The blistering battle for the Democratic nomination is now in high gear. Passionate followers of the various candidates duke it out with their counterparts from other campaigns all across cyber space, with barely six nail-biting weeks to go before Iowa and New Hampshire. Former Governor Howard Dean, the current frontrunner, has clearly run a remarkable campaign, with many already gleefully anticipating that he will win the nomination. Al Gore’s recent endorsement of Dean has jolted the primary landscape and added enormously to Dr. Dean’s prestige, viability, and, perhaps, inevitability. Many, however, continue to fear that a Dean candidacy will doom the country to four more years of President Bush and his incredibly disastrous policies. To these concerned Democrats, Dean’s total lack of foreign policy or military experience and his plan to eliminate all of Bush’s tax cuts seem ripe for a Republican assault that will leave him, and us, in tatters.
Questioned at a fundraiser one night, Dr. Dean gave as his birth time 7:21 PM. Despite the seemingly irrefutable source (himself), I still have doubts about the accuracy of this data and so will avoid focus on predictions most specifically related to the exact time.
Dean’s current popularity, success, and the intense feelings he inspires seem most clearly described in the converse progressions: converse Venus conjunct Pluto which peaked in June 2003; converse Venus conjunct converse Pluto which peaks in early March 2004; and converse Sun square Jupiter which also peaks in early March 2004. What is striking in these aspects is that of the two still active, both rapidly begin to dissipate by mid-March 2004. Thus, at least some of the powerful emotion surrounding the Dean candidacy (Venus/Pluto), as well as its over-abundant optimism and high success (Sun/Jupiter), may rapidly stream away in March 2004.
There are the transits of Jupiter square to Dean’s Moon (3/23 to 4/3/04 and 5/26 to 6/9) and the transit of Venus to his Moon (6/20 to 7/7), all of which could give him a strong, temporary boost. But the general trend, especially from late March through early August 2004, is one of increasing difficulty and burden. The Uranus station of this period will be basically sitting in opposition to Dean’s Saturn. We can expect a series of sudden events that upset him and cause significant changes in their wake. If our given birth time is correct, these events may have to do with Dean’s penchant for making quick and witty remarks that come back to haunt him, such as the Confederate flag comment. Saturn in the 7:21 PM chart is in the third house of communications, an area where lessons will come when that Saturn is activated.
Even more significant as a signal of possible trouble for the Dean candidacy are the aspects during the Democratic Convention. Here we find not only Uranus opposing Dean’s Saturn, but also Saturn squaring Dean’s Venus, especially strong from 7/27 through 8/4/04. This suggests that Dean will be distressed, upset, and pulling inward during this time. It is possible he will be the nominee but undergoing a great deal of opposition and difficulty from within the Party or from a Republican smear campaign at that time. Normally, the days of the Convention are when adoring crowds surround the nominee and the Party comes together to support him no matter what has gone before. It is a time of hope, energy, and restoration. This transiting Saturn square to Venus, especially seen in the light of Dean’s natal Saturn /Venus semisquare, suggests a sour mood that is generally incompatible with the experience of the Convention.
One possible interpretation of these shifting aspects is that Dean does not win the nomination during the primaries or that it ends up being brokered at the Convention. Another possible interpretation relates to predictions I have made elsewhere about the increase in US military activity and its likely temporary success in the winter of 2004. It may be that such a scenario makes a Dean candidacy look less appealing by spring and increasingly problematic. Or, it may simply be that Dean does win the nomination by early March but then comes under the full frontal attack of the treacherous Rove propaganda machine and its vicious attack dogs in the media. In any event, things will go less smoothly for Dean from April through early August, and July and early August, in particular, will bring some very uncomfortable and problematic issues to the fore.
I can find very little in Dean’s chart that suggests successful campaigning from August through early November 2004 or strong emotions around the time of the election. The transiting Saturn semisquare to his Moon from 9/ 12 - 9/24/04 and again from 12/6 – 12/23/04 even suggests some periods of emotional funk. This very uncomfortable aspect is again repeated during the Saturn station in early 2005, from 2/24 – 4/5/05. These aspects indicate times of emotional adjustment, difficulty, and introspection. There is a progressed Venus opposition to natal Uranus that grows in strength through the summer and fall of 2004, bestowing an electrical attraction in Dean and an appreciation for his unorthodox approach to things. This will become extremely beneficial when it comes into orb of Jupiter in December 2004 and thereafter. But it is not triggered by much of anything up until then, including during and immediately after the election.
On the other hand, most of January through mid-February 2005 brings Dean’s progressed Moon into opposition with natal Jupiter, which has just begun to be influenced by the progression of Venus conjunct natal Jupiter. This is a very optimistic, popular, and beneficial aspect. Dean will be under this popularity-inducing progressed Venus/Jupiter aspect through most of 2005, as well as impacted by transiting Pluto conjunct Mars. Thus, the events around the Inauguration and through mid-February are generally quite positive for him, bringing him into a more general cycle of optimism, popularity, and powerful energy, with the brief exception of the mid-February to early April 2005 Saturn/Moon aspect. This indicates the possibility of a dynamic role in the next administration, but I continue to question, despite all evidence to the contrary, whether that will be as Commander-in-Chief.
Senator John Kerry has fallen far behind in New Hampshire and many are predicting that his candidacy is all but dead in the water, eclipsed by the come-from-behind Dean. Despite current appearances, I am not altogether sure this will be the case. Kerry is just about to enter an extended period of Jupiter square his Sun that runs from 12/6/03 through 1/17/04. It is possible that the expansive and beneficial energy of this transit will facilitate enough of a comeback for Kerry to keep him in the running.
In addition, late December will bring the beginning of the year-long transit of Pluto square to Kerry’s Midheaven, a very dynamic aspect that suggests intense striving for power and great attainment. It is particularly strong from late December through January 20 and then again in late March through May 2004. Its final pass covers the period from mid-October through mid-November 2004, exactly during and just after the election. It is always possible that this transit will lead to renewed vigor and leadership in the Senate, but it would seem to imply that Kerry’s run for the White House will take on new energy and power in January 2004 that will continue right through the election.
Another very dramatic aspect coming to Kerry’s chart is the square from Uranus to his natal Ascendant. The first crossing comes between mid-March and early April 2004, simultaneous with a progressed Moon conjunction to Kerry’s natal Jupiter and a Jupiter transit square natal Mars. This promises to be a dynamic time for Kerry, of both great optimism and success, as well as a change in personal stature (Uranus/Ascendant). Uranus may bring some kind of reversal of direction or break with the past. This could imply either the end of his presidential campaign or a shift in the campaign that changes his status. I continue to wonder if at this point a brokered convention begins to seem likely. These aspects do not suggest defeat though they do imply a significant shift in the landscape.
In late July and August 2004, the powerful Uranus square to Kerry’s Ascendant returns for the Democratic Convention and its aftermath, accompanied by Jupiter square to Kerry’s Sun in late July and then conjunct his Midheaven in August. For its final crossing, the Uranus transit returns for the entire month of January 2005, accompanied again by Jupiter, this time stationary and in sextile to Kerry’s Sun. With each pass, Uranus squaring Kerry’s Ascendant suggests a change in status, a change in location, and a stepped-up schedule with all kinds of unexpected events imposing themselves. That all three crossings are accompanied by strong Jupiter transits implies that these changes will be dynamic, expansive, and colored by success.
Thus, despite current appearances, it is conceivable that Kerry will somehow regroup and make a dynamic comeback, perhaps even benefiting from a brokered Convention scenario and moving forward from there. A Vice Presidential run also seems to be a possibility. Otherwise, the combined Uranus and Pluto transits may cut him off from his presidential ambitions but move him into another very dynamic and energized role of leadership, possibly back in the Senate. I see no quiet defeat and withdrawal in his astrological picture.
General Wesley Clark, despite his long and productive military career, is a newcomer to politics. Nonetheless, he seems to be picking up the rules of the game quickly and integrating them rapidly into his impressive presentation. Many are suggesting it will come down to a Dean/Clark battle for the nomination. At present, Pluto is conjunct Clark’s natal Mars, and his progressed Moon is trine natal Venus. But the Moon aspect is about to wane (exact 12/9/03), and the Pluto transit will weaken around Christmas 2003 for several months. Thus, it could be that December ends up being the most dynamic period in Clark’s campaign until May or June 2004.
The current Pluto transit brings with it a focused and aggressive tone that is clearly moving Clark up in the polls and in people’s minds as a possible alternative to Dean. The stimulation of Venus also adds to his attraction to the voters. From mid-January through to mid-April 2004, however, there is a tremendous amount of Saturn influence that implies that Clark will lose ground in his campaign and perhaps even give it up entirely. This shows up in three separate charts.
In Clark’s birth chart we find a natal Cardinal Grand Cross in which all four of the Cardinal signs are occupied with planets at hard angles to one another. This configuration includes the Sun, Mercury, Moon, Saturn, and Neptune. It implies a tremendous amount of energy, as well as a lot of struggle necessary to keep things moving along smoothly and to succeed in the achievement of goals. Difficulties may arise when either Saturn or Neptune transits one of the four corners of the cross. The Saturn/ Neptune dynamic in this configuration describes the underlying issue: an ongoing struggle between practicality (Saturn) and idealism (Neptune), between a lack of awareness of the details on the ground and being hit over the head by them.
Beginning in mid-January for three months duration, Saturn will be making a station conjunct Clark’s natal Saturn (7Cancer47) and square his Neptune (6Libra22). This suggests a rather hard coming down to earth, and may be experienced like a bucket of cold water thrown on any dream of the presidency (Neptune). This theme is reiterated in Clark’s composite chart with the US which shows this same Saturn transit square the composite Sun (7Libra25). Clark’s solar return drawn up for Little Rock, Arkansas, likewise shows a strong Saturn transit during this same period when Saturn transits conjunct the IC (6Cancer49) and opposite the Moon (6Capricorn40).
There are, however, two progressions involving Venus that intimate an increasing popularity and appeal enjoyed by Clark as 2004 unfolds. These are: progressed Midheaven square natal Venus (12/03 through 11/04) and progressed Venus square progressed Node (9/03 to 1/05), which in turn will be strengthened and then followed by progressed Venus square natal Node (11/04 through 11/05). All of these taken together suggest the personal charisma and popularity that are essential for an electoral victory. Some of this may manifest during the period from 2/21 through 3/6/04 when Jupiter both crosses Clark’s Midheaven and quincunxes Venus, thereby triggering the fortunate Venus/Midheaven progression.
Several important primaries occur during late February/early March, suggesting that, despite Saturn, Clark may grasp some primary successes and potentially throw the nomination to a brokered convention. In addition, the transit of Neptune to Clark’s Venus from late February 2004 through January 2005, will also act as an activator of the progressed Midheaven/natal Venus square aspect. From mid-May to mid-July this aspect will be very strong and undiluted by Saturnian difficulties, thus further increasing Clark’s appeal. He will emanate a real sense of caring and compassion that people will respond to in a very positive way.
Other factors will also come into play by May 2004 that may signify a radical shift for Clark as Saturn lifts and some significant power aspects enter the picture. From May through mid-November 2004, transiting Pluto will be square to Mars in the Clark/US composite chart. This suggests that his relationship with the country itself will go into high gear and people will be focusing on him intensively. In addition, another Pluto aspect of importance during this period will be the return of the powerful Pluto transit to Clark’s natal Mars, which will go from June through October 2004, bringing with it again the focus, drive, and forcefulness we are witnessing in December 2003.
These aspects taken together lead me to wonder if Clark will go down in the early primaries only to rise again as the Vice Presidential nominee. They certainly suggest some kind of active, aggressive candidacy. Alternatively, they could imply a very aggressive entry into the private sector after the primaries, with work that brings him a great deal of recognition. But my sense is we may see him as the Vice Presidential candidate in the second half of 2004.
Congressman Dick Gephardt has focused most of his campaigning energy on the Iowa primary and the labor vote. He is currently running neck and neck with Howard Dean in this important primary state. A loss there will finish Gephardt; a win for Gephardt in Iowa will make Dean seem less inevitable and bring at least a little more oxygen into the larger primary process.
Gephardt is currently going through the last month of a year-long Neptune transit to his natal Sun. When it passes in January, he may be willing to let go of his presidential aspirations and come back down to earth. He has also just completed the empowering Pluto transit to his natal Mars, which has given him a decided boost in focus and charisma during the 2003 campaign cycle.
Although Gephardt has a few beneficial progressions that are worth noting, the only significant activation comes up just before and during the Iowa primary (1/17/04) and then dissipates. Currently, his progressed Jupiter is quincunx his natal Mars, ruler of the important career-indicating Midheaven. This progression has been building since January 2003 and continues through April 2005. From early December 2003 through January 21, 2004, transiting Jupiter will be square to Gepahrdt’s natal Mars, thus triggering the Jupiter/ Mars energy going on in his chart. This suggests a time of success and expansion of career potential and at least some level of triumph in Iowa - if not a win, then perhaps a close second. After that, the air seems to go out of his campaign.