This article was co-written by my very talented colleague Astrologer C.A. Brooks. She is one of the newest additions to our prestigious staff, and I had the pleasure of meeting her when I visited Denver last month. During an exhausting week that saw my sweet and dear cat Boris both turn 14-years-old and become terribly ill again, one too many drama trips in my home and other assorted upheaval, I cannot put into words what a touch a grace C.A.'s eloquence, kindness and appreciation were. It was such a pleasure to write with her and I look forward to doing so again soon. This article is dedicated with love to change.
The Election of CHANGE
(C A Brooks, Elizabeth Pendleton)
It’s no wonder each of the top presidential candidates in the U.S. 2008 election has adopted the slogan “Change”. Historic planetary aspects are taking both on Election Day itself and in the broader background leading up to and following this momentous day. From the Spring of 1964 through 1966 Saturn had a series of oppositions to Uranus. In short hand, Saturn represents tradition and structure while Uranus challenges the status quo. These two powerful outer planets begin their next series of oppositions on November 4th.
Both Virgo and Pisces are mutable signs which are known for their ability to see more than one side of a situation. Mutable signs tend to break apart or dissolve the fixed energy of the signs preceding them (Leo and Aquarius in this scenario) and paving the way for the new energy of the cardinal signs to follow (Libra and Aries). In a nutshell, the mutable signs represent Change.
At its best, Saturn represents maturity, wisdom learned through experience, self-knowledge leading to self-discipline and accepting responsibility for our lives and our choices. At its worst, Saturn feels like external rules and regulations, structure, and oppression – the ultimate outside authority constricting our lives. Without periodic and sober reflection it is true, the structures we create and accept in our lives can become outdated and cease to function as originally intended.
Sitting on the other end of the astrological teeter totter is Uranus, the rule breaker, representing rebellion, the independence and sometimes genius of adolescence, and forever the seeker of change, the novel and the new. This rebel is all too willing to challenge the status quo, fly in the face of convention, and force us to reevaluate every value we hold dear whether we want to or not.
The tension of these two forces in opposition to each other is easily recognizable in the campaigns dominating this election. While it would be totally unfair and unrealistic to characterize either candidate as representing just one end of this continuum, as we step back and view the “stage” we see the action taking place. The John McCain critics accuse him of being “too old and crotchety, out of touch” and wanting to use all the old methods and structures for solving problems (Saturn). The critics of Barack Obama claim he is “too inexperienced, too radical and even dangerous – palling around with terrorists” (Uranus). McCain’s campaign encourages him to draw to his strengths by highlighting his experience, and long history of serving his country (Saturn) while cautioning him to avoid emotional outbursts and “erratic” exclamations and behavior (Uranus). Meanwhile Obama’s advisors encourage him to demonstrate calm and assertive leadership (Saturn) and avoid getting “rattled” (Uranus).
As usual the truth is usually found in the middle ground. This is actually an exciting, if uncomfortable time. Both planets are change makers in their own ways. Saturn likes to clear the clutter – anything deemed not useful or functional and set up new boundaries and rules. Uranus is usually flashier – wants to create some chaos, fight the establishment, and break things apart – which may be warranted at times. Uranus change is not the soothing predictable and slow evolution like the tides moving in and out.
And just like the election is not the end, but rather the beginning of something new, the storm (or is it fun?) of this planetary oppositional pairing is far from complete. Over the next two years the two planets will each move along in their designated courses, both continuing their dance of opposition as each planet moves in both forward and retrograde motions. In fact the two will be in direct opposition in February and September of 2009, and in April of 2010. If we have done our homework – examined our lives, our beliefs and been open to new information, the July opposition in Aries and Libra will allow us to give birth to something new. No doubt we will see the fruit of our labors as a country as well.
While Saturn and Uranus may have the greatest influence on Election Day itself, Saturn, Jupiter and Pluto are also set to play important roles in the shapes of things to come during the next Administration.
Beginning on September 2, 2007 Saturn entered Virgo which is when stories of the current mortgage crisis began to surface. Saturn’s stern and sober review of the books coupled with earth sign Virgo’s relentless attention to detail will continue to leave no stone unturned in the world of financial affairs through October 29, 2009 when Saturn enters Libra. Saturn in its highest aspect is one of life’s greatest teachers. It gives sound structure to realistic goals, provides consistent strength and encouragement to worthwhile endeavors and rewards work well-done. But it will not tolerate sloth and dishonesty. That the fatal flaws of a financial boom built on unhealthy lending practices fueled by unprecedented greed from the bottom up are having a serious reality check now is no surprise. Saturn simply won’t stand for cooking the books nor self-indulgence. Add Virgo’s meticulous approach to life, particularly the material world, and its devotion to service, and the irregularities and faults of our economic system will continue to be exposed. Saturn will demand that the next President help us get our fiscal houses in order, personally and nationally.
Also making the economy the ultimate focus this election year has been the planet of Jupiter in Capricorn which began back in January. Capricorn is an earth sign ruled by Saturn. So our national examination of the financial facts and real value of assets has been subject to this second heavy dose of reality. In January 2009 Jupiter will move into humanitarian minded Aquarius. Under the right leadership, this is an excellent aspect for political change that serves the common good. An example of how this could manifest would be government spending on infrastructure improvements and tax incentives for investments in green technologies.
But the most subtle yet significant aspect of all in the 2008 election is Pluto’s movement into Capricorn in late November, a trend that will last until March of 2023. The last time Pluto went through Capricorn was 1762 to 1778. One only needs to recall the Tea Taxes of the early 1760’s and resulting American Revolution to understand the powerful implications of this placement. In short, it is a generational opportunity to reshape business, government and our other major institutions under Capricorn’s no-nonsense vigilance. The good news about this ambitious sign is that he gives us both realism and the stamina for long-term goals. He is not interested in being an overnight sensation. And given the magnitude of the problems we now face, his endurance, pragmatism and willingness to roll his sleeves up to do what needs to be done are well-timed. So, as we can see, the consequences of our selection on November 4th are profound and far-reaching. 2008 is indeed a time of “Change”.