The day that has seemed inevitable since summer is finally upon us. President-elect Barack Obama will take the oath of office on January 20 as prescribed in the Constitution. Actually the original document set March 4 as the inauguration day, but us modern hurry-up types moved it forward. Looking back, it would be more favorable to have the date in March, as the Sun will trine the election date.
I was not going to write an article on the inauguration, but a fellow astrologer emailed me all aflutter because the chart featured a Mercury retrograde plus a void-of-course Moon. To me, Mercury retrograde signifies trying to undo all the destructive acts and executive orders of the previous occupant of the White House (who shall not be named here). Perhaps we can look forward to this former law professor, Obama, restoring much of the integrity of the original Constitution. As for the Moon being voc, I started one of my better jobs under that aspect, and had to learn to ignore it as one year after another rolled by.
Depending on exactly when Barack Obama takes the actual oath of office Tuesday, the Moon will either be void-of-course in Scorpio or just entering Sagittarius. Even tho Mercury is retrograde, Mercury is strong because it is Cazimi (within 17 minutes of the Sun), both in Aquarius. In the strange reasoning of the ancients, Cazimi is MUCH better than combust (within 8 degrees of the Sun) (combust supposedly weakens the affected planet). Cazimi is a very favorable aspect to have for any enterprise that you want to succeed – assuming of course that there is anything else in the chart to support it. Mercury is also exalted in Aquarius, while unfortunately the Sun is in its detriment in Aquarius. (This is another argument in favor of the March 4 inaugural date.)
The Moon will be sextile the conjunction – if Obama takes the oath at or after 12:30 pm Eastern, the Moon will be Sagittarius, and not void-of-course. (PS – The Moon is in its fall in Scorpio, but unaffected by either detriment, fall, rulership or exaltation in Sagittarius). These planets are applying to aspects to Jupiter at 3 degrees Aquarius, Vesta at 3 degrees Taurus, and Pallas Athena at 4 degrees Gemini.
Pallas Athena in Gemini is a very good placement for her; in Gemini she is very adept and very career-oriented. Placed in the second house of banking, personal finances and income, this would seem to bode well for government management of the nation's fiscal problems.
One major concern, however, is that Venus is at 17 degrees of Pisces (17 degrees 47 minutes, which is rounded up to 18 on the chart graphic) – even tho Venus is exalted in Pisces. Seventeen degrees is a critical degree, which normally very promising for good things to come. But a prominent local astrologer declared that if VENUS hits a critical degree, it means lost money. Venus also happens to represent the dollar itself, so it will be interesting, to say the least, if the US dollar suffers another slide in value on the global exchange rate. Venus is also applying to a conjunction with Uranus, and the two of them oppose Saturn in the fifth house of speculation – and the stock market. Even though historically the stock market has gone up under Democratic presidents (contrary to the “common knowledge”), the Wall Streeters may be bit wary of Obama until they see what he actually proposes to do.
Note that Venus is sextile Mars, which happens to also be in its exaltation in Capricorn.
None of the outer planets are in strong placements for them. Transiting Uranus at 20 Pisces is square the U.S. natal Mars at 20 Gemini. A Mars-Uranus square is never comfortable; Uranus is in the chart's eleventh house of advisors (cabinet?) and Mars in the ninth house of foreign relations and also legal entities, such as possibly the US Supreme Court. Could Obama get in a legal battle with Supreme Court rulings? Could some of his advisors get in legal trouble and have to step down?
Pluto at 2 degrees Capricorn is opposite the US natal Venus at 2 degrees Cancer. Pluto is also in the ninth house, ruling law, publishing, religion and higher education. In the inauguration chart, Pluto is semi-sextile Sun-Mercury, trine Vesta in Taurus, and inconjunct Pallas Athena in Gemini in the second house. I am wondering if Vesta in the twelfth house means folks will go back to hiding their money in mattresses, perhaps to hide it from eighth house taxes.
I have also dug up the chart for George Washington's inauguration: April 30, 1789, 1:04 pm (LMT) in New York City, because some astrologers like to use this chart as a basis for comparison to new presidential charts or to transiting eclipses, etc. The George Washington chart has 2 degrees Virgo on the Ascendant, and 27 Taurus at Midheaven. RE indicators of was in the Washington chart, peaceful Pisces is on the seventh house (house of open enemies, among other things) cusp, a peaceful sign; also both traditional and modern rulers of Pisces (Jupiter and Neptune) are separating from hard aspects to the Ascendant ruler, Mercury.
Obama's inauguration chart has Scorpio on the Descendant. Ruler Mars is sextile Venus, ruler of the Ascendant. Pluto, the modern ruler, is not in any of the classical aspects to Venus. So this is good news for those who voted with the goal of getting someone in who will put an end to the bloodletting in Iraq.
The George Washington inaugural chart sets the tone for all our chief executives. George was sworn in in New York City on April 30, 1789, about 1:04 pm LMT according to a chart published in the 1984 special issue of the NCGR Journal. The chart has 2 degrees Virgo rising and 27 Taurus at the Midheaven. I do not have LMT on my program, so I had to jigger the time to get that ascendant degree.
Comparing the two charts yields these contacts: Obama Sun-Mercury opposes the GW Uranus in Leo. Obama Moon conjuncts the GW North Node in Scorpio. Obama Venus trines the GW Moon in Cancer. Obama Jupiter squares GW Venus in Taurus. Obama Saturn opposes GW Saturn, and Obama Uranus conjuncts GW Saturn. Obama Neptune sextiles GW Mercury. Obama Pluto trines GW Venus in Taurus.
The Moon contacts express the public's hope wish or hope that Obama will move the country forward towards its destiny (North Node) again, and that he will uphold the underlying American values (Venus). I suspect that the Pluto to Venus contact presages some revamping (Pluto) of the the nation's banking or financial system, and that the Jupiter square to Venus merely reflects the serious economic situation we face. Sun-Mercury should denote the inspiration (Uranus) he gives in his speeches and just by his positive demeanor.
It is interesting that the current Saturn-Uranus opposition ties into the GW Saturn; again, this reflects the serious problems we face and possibly a real change in the structures (Saturn) of our government and/or of our society. Mercury-Neptune contacts generally mean fuzzy or confused thinking; this may merely indicate that he will not get into too many specifics in the inaugural address, but stick to expressing ideals (Neptune) in an effort to inspire and soothe (Neptune) the American people.
In addition, Obama's Vesta is conjunct the GW Venus at 2-3 degrees Taurus, and Obama's Ceres at 13 degrees Virgo is inconjunct the GW Mars in Aries. I think that these reinforce his intention to deal with the monetary or fiscal crisis in this country and the matter of winding down the war in Iraq.
One could go on and play around with progressions to the GW or to Obama's birth chart, or add a ring for Obama's natal planets. I have to keep this article to a reasonable length. But I give you the data and charts for the inaugurals so that the more advanced readership can play with them.
Best wishes to all Americans and hoping for better times ahead.