GOP Debate #2 – Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!


I have not had the time to prepare an extensive analysis prior to this evening’s second GOP debate.  But having calculated the chart for the time and place that the debate will be held, I can’t say that I missed much.

If you will recall from my previous posts on the debates, the idea is that if one calculates a chart for the time/place of an event one can read the chart as being reflective of the event itself, even when the event takes place in the future.

As you can see in the chart above, the red square outlines the ascendant (lagna) in Virgo.  Both Mercury and Rahu are present in this sign.  What this means is that Mercury, who owns Virgo is strong in this sign.  As the planet of communications, this is appropriate for a debate.  The presence of Rahu, an externalizing force,  magnifies the influence of Mercury, but also coarsens it.  From this alone I think we can safely say that the debate will be lively, that there is going to be some unpleasantness, and since the lagna is Virgo we are going to see a lot of Virgo’s critical and perfectionist nature come out.  There will be much splitting of hairs.


In this chart we see in red, the aspect from Mars onto Saturn.  This is generally an explosive combination because Mars is all go, go go, and Saturn is all stop, stop, stop.  This conflict in essential energies is something to beware of.  Saturn is in Scorpio, which is the 3rd house in this chart.  The 3rd, is generally reflective of one’s goals and aspirations, in this case the desire of the participants to be the GOP nominee.  Mars, the ruler of Scorpio is in the 12th house, which is a hidden house.  So, I would expect that those who are feeling hidden (meaning low in the polls) will raise their voices and fireworks will ensue.

Aries, the 8th house from Virgo is ruled by Mars.  The 8th house is a place of transformation, not always desired.  It is a place where things disappear.  As the 8th lord, Mars is the messenger of this energy.  I am going to go out on a limb and say that two candidates will have a poor showing in this event, so poor that they will drop out in the relatively near future.  I say this because Mars is with Jupiter and Venus.  Two planets would be representative of two candidates.

It is also worth noting that Saturn rules the 6th house of combat, so there is another dimension to this chart that promises verbal conflagration.

The green arrow points out that the Moon is opposite the Sun, meaning the Moon is full.  In a birth chart, this is generally indicative of an individual who’s life purpose is clear and their mind and emotions are well balanced. In the context of this event, I think it represents that there will be no shortage of ego in the room.

Just for fun

We have seen in my analysis above that Mars, the ruler of the 8th house will be an instigator of conflict.  In the symbology of astrology, the 8th house has to do with bathrooms.  The following appeared in the Politico website this morning.  Rather appropriate I would say, and proof, I think, that a sense of humor is deeply present in the cosmos.


Campaigns erupt over greenrooms at third GOP debate

Aides to Chris Christie and Rand Paul complain their work spaces look like bathrooms.

During a tense 30-minute meeting at the Coors Event Center, which was described by three sources present, several lower-polling campaigns lashed out at the RNC. They accused the committee of allotting them less-than-hospitable greenroom spaces while unfairly giving lavish ones to higher-polling candidates, such as Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

The drama began Tuesday afternoon as RNC officials led campaigns on a walk-through of the debate site. After touring the stage, candidates got a peek at what their greenrooms looked like.

Trump was granted a spacious room, complete with plush chairs and a flat-screen TV. Marco Rubio got a theater-type room, packed with leather seats for him and his team of aides. Carly Fiorina’s room had a Jacuzzi.

Then there was Chris Christie, whose small space was dominated by a toilet. So was Rand Paul’s.


-The debate will be noticeably turbulent with the minor candidates disrupting the even flow of the discussion.

-There will be much nit-picking on the finer points of the debate.

-Two candidate will leave the race as a result of this debate.

Post Script

I did well.  There certainly were fireworks and yelling and interrupting and plenty of drama, especially from minor candidates trying to grab their share of the attention.  We shall see about anyone dropping out, so far nothing has happened.  It is interesting that there so much criticism about the moderators and debate format. I think that is related to Mars as 8th lord, since they want to destroy the existing debate structure (8th house) and are doing so in the least diplomatic manner possible.


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Trey Gowdy – the soul of a prosecutor


Having watched almost all 11 hours of Hillary Clinton’s appearance before the Benghazi hearing, I was fascinated by Trey Gowdy, the committee’s Chairman.  I think with the pace of political events leading up to the hearing, he was a man somewhat at the mercy of circumstance.  On the other hand he did his job with focus and determination, even though at times seemingly without enthusiasm.   I would hope that readers of this article would agree that this hearing in particular was all about politics, as opposed to a search for the truth.  By his own admission, the committee didn’t earn anything new as a result of the hearing. When asked, he said, “I’d have to go back and look at the transcript.”

That being the case, one wonders why they chose to put a woman in her mid-60’s on the witness stand for 11 hours to answer aggressive questions from a variety of congressmen, a number of whom were prosecutors in the past.  As numerous commentators have remarked, their hope was probably that they could goad Mrs. Clinton into a mistake in which she would say something that could be used against her.  As we saw in my previous article, they weren’t going to succeed.

Since at least partial birth data is readily available for members of congress, I figured that I would take a look at Congressman Gowdy’s chart.  Interesting people generally have interesting charts.

We have to remember a few things.  First, we are looking at a chart not knowing what the birth time is.  That means we have to rely on the position of the Moon and have no way to calculate the lagna.  That makes some of the astrological cross-checking techniques unavailable to us.  We can’t do a rigorous analysis, so we’re limited to what I think of as an “isn’t that interesting” analysis.  We see what we see, knowing that there is more to the story.

trey  trey2

I have posted a photo of Mr. Gowdy above to illustrate an interesting technique.  People who have Saturn in the lagna (see the red box in the chart below) generally have a face that is long and thin and would not ordinarily be considered terribly attractive.  The Moon gives a face that is round and generally has softer features especially in the cheeks.   Working with a Google image search, the photos above get as close to illustrating this principle as I can find.  The photo on the left shows the long Saturn like appearance.  The image on the right shows more of the Moon’s influence.  While this may amuse astrologers more than any one else, it is always fun to try and determine the planets in the lagna (rashi or chandra) by an individual’s appearance.

trey lagna

Mr. Gowdy has many years of experience as a federal prosecutor in South Carolina and his chart shows his talent for the profession.  What does a prosecutor need astrologically?  His job requires that he put people into jail, sometimes for a very long time.  He prosecuted seven death penalty cases in addition to a full variety of others so he certainly had extensive experience administering justice.  In that role I would imagine that compassion would not be a useful trait.

In the chart above, the red box is the sign of Aquarius in which we find Saturn and the Moon.  Note that the Moon is at 00:09 degrees of Capricorn.  This means that the qualities of the Moon are relatively faint in his awareness and the Moon is the planet of the mind/heart/emotions.  Saturn is a cold, dark, and dry planet and when found with the Moon makes a person serious, focused and rather cold emotionally.  Having said that, we have to remember that Saturn is retrograde (see the “R”) which makes it stronger and accentuates its difficult side.  In short, this is a man who can completely turn off his emotions when needed.

Above the “SaR” your see that it says “Sat” which stands for the nakshatra Satabisha.  The Nakshatras are vedic constellations that are useful in many ways.  In this case, it gives us an insight into the subtler nature of Saturn in this chart.  Satabisha is a interesting nakshatra that has to do with the vedic god Varuna, who rules the deep waters of the ocean.  He is a wise deity whose job it is to make sure that things on the earth are in alignment with the cosmic order (dharma).  People with Satabisha energies tend to operate in secret (like the deep waters) and are somewhat solitary in nature, although principled.   The ancients texts also say that people with this nakshatra active in their charts, tend to eat little (he is obviously thin), can be exceptionally opinionated and stubborn, and can adopt a brusque or aloof style than can interfere with their success.

In my experience, people who become prosecutors and politicians frequently have a conection (Moon/Sun/Lagna) with the sign of Capricorn.  Capricorn is like the order to the universe.  People with thsi sort of energy want life to be the way they think it “should be”.  With his Moon in between Aquarius and Capricorn, there is going to be a strong desire to make life “right”.  Certainly, if you watch his press appearances, he is deeply committed to his position and role in this drama.


The nakshatra of the Moon is Dhanishta which is often associated with fame, ambition, and control.  Interestingly, they tend to find success away from home, appropriate for a member of congress.  In my research I found several comments about this nakshatra that associate it with a lack of respect for women.  I find this telling in the chart of one who essentially tried to put Mrs. Clinton on trial for 11 hours.  His willingness to go to that extreme comes most likely from this Dhanishta Moon in conjunction with Saturn and connected with Rahu (see the next paragraph).

In the chart above you will see two arrows directed at his Saturn/Moon configuration in Aquarius.  The blue arrow shows the connected with the Sun (strong in his own sign) and Mercury (retrograde).  When the Sun and Moon are opposite like this, it means that the individual was born on or near the Full Moon.  Individuals with a Full Moon tend to be here on earth with a clear sense of purpose and a strong mind and will.  Mercury retrograde will tend to give the person above average speaking abilities and a quick mind.  Handy for a prosecutor.

The black arrow shows the aspect from Rahu in Gemini, who represents the combined energies of Mercury, (who owns Gemini),  and both Venus and Mars.  These are directed at the Saturn/Moon combination.  Rahu acts as a magnifier of these energies, although in a rather coarse way.  It gives one an almost fanatical dedication to accomplishing some goal, especially with the connection to the idealistic Aquarius.

Observe also, how every planet in this chart is connected to the Saturn/Moon combination.  Ketu is always opposite to Rahu, so it has to be 7 houses away.  Who else is outside the combination….Jupiter!  Jupiter is not connected to any of these planets.  In my experience those who aspire to national political office tend to have Jupiter positioned in some significant way in their chart.  Perhaps this is because election to political office requires a certain amount of luck and Jupiter is the planet of luck.  Perhaps it is because politicians have an idealistic and optimistic side, regardless of their political affiliation, they want to make life better as they see it.

This is where it would be great to have an accurate birth time because it would show us how Jupiter comes into play, because we know it will!  My theory is that his birth time would give us an ascendant in Capricorn which would make the Rahu/Venus/Mars fall in the 6th house of “combat”.  Just what a prosecutor/congressman needs.  That would also mean that the Sun and Mercury would fall into the 8th house.

I find that people with an afflicted Sun can be an odd combination of arrogant and insecure.  Mr. Gowdy said the following in Huffington Post:  “I would say in some ways these have been among the worst weeks of my life,” Gowdy said this weekend during a lengthy interview with POLITICO. “Attacks on your character, attacks on your motives, are 1,000-times worse than anything you can do to anybody physically — at least it is for me.”.

That’s the 8th house Sun talking!  He sees himself as the victim when all he is trying to do is get to the truth.  As my favorite book on Nakshatras says in the section about Shatabisha, “[they]…may suffer from loneliness or depression.  They may possess a victim mentality.  Their philosophical depth may too often descend into sheer moodiness and depression.”









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Benghazi Hearings and Hillary Clinton – 10/22/15

Hearing prashna

There is a technique in Jyotish called “Prashna”.  It can be used in a number of different ways, but the fundamental idea is that the chart of a moment holds within everything about that time or situation.  One way this is used is to answer a question.  The questioner poses the question to the astrologer and on the basis of the chart for the time the question was asked, the astrologer determines the answer.  I have found this to be an effective technique and sometimes producing exceptional results.

This article will use a variation of this by calculating the chart for the time that the hearing begins, and on that basis predicting the nature of the hearing and its outcome.

Not in the chart about that Saturn is in the Scorpio lagna (see the double lines) for that time.  Since Saturn represents a democratically elected government, this is going to represent the committee itself.  The fact that this is Scorpio gives the tenor of the hearing and committee.

The object (Hillary Clinton) of the hearing itself would be seen through the 7th house which in this case is Taurus.  Taurus is ruled by Venus, a feminine sign which matches nicely with the situation.  Venus is with Jupiter and Mars in the sign of Leo who is ruled by the Sun.  The Sun is in the 12th house.  This presents a complex picture of the situation from multiple perspectives.

Jupiter rules the second (Sagittarius) and 5th (Pisces) houses from the ascendant.  These are both good houses, and so one would conclude that Jupiter’s protective influence will extend to Venus and therefore Hillary will be able to effectively present her position (Jupiter as ruler of second house of speech).  She will stand her ground effectively.

In my research it seems that from an astrological perspective, the concept of diplomacy is represented by the 5th house.  Jupiter, as ruler of the 5th house, could be representative of the nature of the hearing having to do with diplomacy and the death of the ambassador and others in the Benghazi attack.  This is especially compelling because of the presence of Mars (the planet of violence) with Venus and Jupiter.  All three of these planets are within roughly two degrees of one another which is an indication of the focus and power of this issue which just doesn’t seem to fade from view.  The “loss of life” as the subject of the hearing is well represented by the presence of the Sun, the ruler of Leo,  in the 12th house of loss and foreign lands (Libra).

In “Significators in Astrology”  by Shiv Kumar Chadha, the Secretary of State is represented by Mercury.  In our chart, we see that Mercury is exalted in Virgo right in the powerful middle of the sign which is the nakshatra (vedic constellation) of Hasta.  Within Virgo, Hasta is a region of rather good luck and is associated with Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.   This nakshatra is clever to a fault and my interpretation is that we will see some of the legendary Clinton verbal gymnastics.

The presence of Rahu with Mercury in Virgo has various layers of meaning.  As the planet of karma, this situation is certainly karma for Hillary and in some way represents an important lesson and process for her to go through.  These sort of lessons are not always obvious on the surface, but rather have to do with changing consciousness and attitudes deep within.  Rahu is acting as a messenger of fate.

Over the past few weeks various Republicans have admitted that the committee’s existence is largely a political exercise dedicated to lowering Hillary’s poll numbers.  This unfair and damaging action would be characteristic of Rahu who mythologically is the head of a poisonous snake.  It is interesting to note that the 5th house aspect of Rahu falls on the Moon, as does the 3rd aspect of Saturn.  If the Moon is in some way representative of Hillary, they are going to run roughshod over her and it will be a personally painful experience.  The Moon is in the nakshatra of Sravana which is associated with Vishnu, the Protector.  Another way to look at this is to start from the Moon (Chandra lagna), which puts the Venus/Jupiter/Mars into the 8th house of conspiracies.

Secondly, in my research I found that the 3rd house represents “rumors” and “reactions to calamities”.  melding these symbols together, the hearing represents an out of balance (Rahu) reaction to a tragic event.  The repeated leaks from the committee would be the rumors.


I think that the scales will tip in favor of Hillary and she will emerge stronger than what might be expected.  On the other hand, I wouldn’t let her off too easily.  If this chart accurately represents the karma of the situation (and I think it does), there are some difficult karmic lessons for her to learn.

Post Script (10/23)

I did well.  Certainly the consensus was that the Hillary comported herself well during what turned out to be an 11 hour grilling (inquisition?).  The situation seemed to match the astrology and my analysis.  I feel pretty good about this one.  Asked about what she did to maintain her composure, she replied that she meditated during the breaks.

When asked what new information the committee learned from the hearings, the Chairman, Trey Gowdy, said, “nothing”.

The selection of a future time in which to begin an event is called the selection of a muhurtha.  The day of the hearing came at the very end of a nine day Hindu festival called Navaratri.  The last day (the day of the hearing), fell on what is called Vijaya Dashami; “The Day of Victory”.  My new contemporary rule is: “Never interrogate a powerful woman during or following a nine day festival dedicated to the goddess, and especially not on the day of victory.”










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Will Joe Biden Run?


Joe Biden is a cool dude.  He is the essence of the old fashioned politician who loves what he does and who has dedicated his life to improving our country.  He’s not perfect but he is certainly the quintessentially American politician in the Democratic Party.

His personal life has been marked by tragedy more than once.  His wife and one year old daughter were killed in a car accident on 12/18/72.  In their memory, he does not work on December 18th in order to honor their memory.  His two sons Beau and Hunter survived the accident.  Recently, in May 2015, his son Beau died of brain cancer.  Later in this article we’ll examine these events from an astrological perspective as they have a considerable bearing on his decision to seek the presidency or not.

What we will find is that his chart shows both his desire to run for President at this time, and his current state of indecision.  In my opinion,  as much as he would like to, he will not run at the present time, or if he does he will not win the nomination.  Having said so, I think that astrologically there is an interesting chance that he will change his mind in early 2016.  More on this towards the end of this article.


Good planets – the core of success

The different houses in a chart can combine in various ways to produce significant success in life.   In Biden’s chart above, you can see the double diagonal lines in the box along the bottom row.  This marks the “lagna” or starting point of the chart.  Since we are using the style of chart from Southern India, that square will always represent the sign of Scorpio.  We say astrologically, that Joe Biden has both the Sun and Venus in Scorpio which is his lagna, with Saturn opposite in the sign of Taurus (count 7 signs inclusive).

By itself, this is a powerful combination because it brings together the energy of the Sun as ruler of Leo, the 10th house of career, with the soothing energy of Venus, the ruler of both Taurus and Libra; both strong but diplomatic signs.  Taurus is the 7th house and Libra the 12th.


In Jyotish, the cornerstones or pillars of a chart (kendra in sanskrit) are the 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th houses.  In the chart above the kendras are outlined in red.  Planets in kendras have considerable strength especially when combined in another kendra, in this case the first house.  In Mr. Biden’s chart we see two kendra (7 and 10) rulers (Sun and Venus) combined in the Scorpio ascendant.  Scorpio is a sign that is powerful in and of itself.  Added to this, we see that Jupiter, who is exalted in the sign of Cancer has drishti (glance, shown in red) onto Scorpio. This means that the energy of Jupiter is projected onto Scorpio and therefore combines with the Sun and Venus who gain the added influence of spiritual, dharmic, and lucky Jupiter.  Furthermore Jupiter is “vargottama” meaning that he occupies the same position in the Navamsha divisional chart as he does in the birth chart.  This multiplies the influence of Jupiter considerably.

The combination of Jupiter and the Sun do not tend to make one modest.  In Wikipedia, “journalist James Traub has written that “Biden’s vanity and his regard for his own gifts seem considerable even by the rarefied standards of the U.S. Senate.”  and “Biden is the kind of fundamentally happy person who can be as generous toward others as he is to himself.  This is a perfect example of the expansive nature of Jupiter combining with the Sun.

We should also mention that Saturn is opposite the ascendant in the 7th house which is the sign of Taurus, ruled by Venus.  Venus is in the ascendant which links the two houses very closely.  His partners in life are deeply invested in his success and actively support his ambitions.  It is also interesting to note that when Saturn is connected with the partner, whether in marriage, business, or politics, there will be a meaningful difference in age.  In this case, President Obama is 54 and Mr. Biden is 73.  His wife Jill is nine years younger.  It has also been my experience that a connection between the Sun and Saturn will give the individual a strong sense of persistence, bordering on stubbornness, a quality that is useful in politics where nothing is done quickly or easily.

In my experience, people who have an exalted Jupiter are generally regarded as being of profoundly good character.  Regardless of one’s political affiliation, in Washington, Joe Biden is widely regarded as being ethical, and a “good guy”.  From the wiki article, “Former Senate colleague Lindsey Graham (a Republican) said, “If there were no gaffes, there’d be no Joe. He’s someone you can’t help but like.”

The Sun owns the sign of Leo which is the 10th house (count 10 squares clockwise inclusive of Scorpio).  The 10th house is a powerful house having to do with our place in the world most notably career.  Note that in Leo we have Rahu, the planet of obsession.  This man is known for his total and complete dedication to his job.  Interestingly, if you start counting from the position of the Moon (Chandra Lagna) in Aries, you will see that Rahu is in the 5th house having to do with children.  After the accident in which his daughter died, he was a dedicated father to his young sons and took the train to Washington DC, 90 minutes each way every day for many years.  In fact, (according to the wiki article) over the years he made over 7,000 trip home from Washington DC and held an annual BBQ for the Amtrak crews, who would often hold the last train of the night for him.


Lastly, Mars and Mercury are found in Libra, the sign before his Scorpio ascendant.  Mars/Mercury combinations are found quite often in the charts of politicians.  It is a blending of energies that gives persuasive speech, although often times with a somewhat tenuous connection to the literal “truth”.  Mr. Biden was the subject of several scandals in which there were allegations of either incomplete attribution of quotes or plagiarism.   In fact, these allegations (largely unfounded) were the cause of his dropping out from the race for the presidential nomination on September 27, 1987.  At that time Ketu/Sun/Moon/Venus were all transiting through Virgo.  This is a combination of planets in the 11th house of recognition and one’s reputation.  Ketu and Saturn are taking away all the light from both the Sun and Moon.  It must have been a humiliating time, although at that time Saturn was transiting through Scorpio (as it is now in 2015) and we’ve mentioned earlier that in his chart Saturn gives him a virtually inexhaustible resilience.

Mars as ruler of the 6th house of “combat” means that he can be tough and Mercury as ruler of the 11th house of friendship and recognition, means that he can impose his will on others and not lose their friendship in the process.  Because these planets are in the 12th house, he is comfortable and effective working quietly behind the scenes in order to negotiate with his opponents.


One of the unique features of vedic astrology are the planetary periods, or dasas.  This means that each planet gets their chance to exert influence more strongly than usual over a number of years.  There are many different kinds of dasa and they are all calculated based on the position of the planets in the birth chat.  There are also sub-dasas and other levels which can be used to refine the time periods into smaller and smaller amounts.  Dasas rely on the precision of the birth time, and since that is always somewhat suspect, dasa and sub dasa are the only periods that I use.

Isn’t it interesting that in the chart above,  Mr. Biden ran for President the first time in 1988 when he was in his Rahu/Rahu dasa.  We have already seen that Rahu being in the 10th house gives drive and determination especially because Rahu is in Leo, ruled by the Sun, which is in the ascendant – “elect me!”.   Interestingly, Rahu projects his energy five signs from his position and in this chart, that means that it is felt in Mr. Biden’s 2nd house of money, the sign of Sagittarius.  Early on in the campaign he raised significantly more money than his opponents.

The second house is also associated with speech and Rahu’s aspect onto Sagittarius contributed to his downfall as much as his rise.  As mentioned earlier, the combination of Mercury and Mars can make one a little loose with the specifics of “the truth” and Mr. Biden was dogged by accusations of plagiarism which were largely discounted, but only after the damage had been done.  At the time in 1987/88, Saturn was moving through Scorpio.  In combination with the Sun, Saturn can bring humiliation and failure.  Saturn’s shadow was being felt through the 10th house aspect, meaning that Saturn’s shadow was passing over his birth Rahu, obscuring his fame.

In February, 1988 he was taken to the hospital and it was discovered that he was suffering from an aneurysm, which was found and repaired just in time.  The situation was serious enough, and the outcome in doubt to the extent that he was given last rites.  But he was able to recover and has had no return of any problems.  Astrologically, Ketu, the planet of sudden occurrences, was in the same sign (Leo) as his birth Rahu, meaning that Rahu was in the same sign as his birth Ketu along with the Sun.  Since the Sun represents the life force and Rahu/Ketu cause eclipses, his life was almost lost.  At that time he was in his Rahu/Rahu dasa thus giving Rahu/Ketu added power to cause trouble.

The obvious question is why did he survive?  My feeling is that Jupiter was in Aries at the time, and in a nakshatra (vedic constellation) called Ashvini, which is very strongly related to healing.  From that position, Jupiter is aspecting both Saturn and Mars in Sagittarius, a sign owned by Jupiter.  Saturn owns the sign of Aquarius, where Ketu is found by birth, and where the Sun and Rahu were transiting.  The influence of Saturn and Rahu/Ketu were softened by the healing nature of Jupiter.  Mars owns the sign where Jupiter was transiting (Aries), thus establishing another linkage to the healing qualities of Jupiter.

Often times, as is true in this case, it seems like the planets gang up on an individual and disaster ensures and were it not for one or two factors, the life would be lost.  Mr. Biden was fortunate indeed to have survived.



The 2008 Campaign

Mr. Biden chose to run again in 2008 which was in his Jupiter/Saturn dasa.  Jupiter, the dasa lord is in his 9th house by birth and the 9th house represents, among other things, the role of government in upholding dharma.  Since he had continued to be in the Senate since his first run in 1988, he built up a base of experience in the Foreign Relations and Judiciary Committees.  He was well regarded as being both moderate and willing to work with the opposition.  Certainly he felt that he was the superior candidate based on his experience in the Senate and especially with foreign affairs.  In his usually witty style (there’s that Mars/Mercury again), he said of then candidate Obama; ” I think he can be ready, but right now I don’t believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training.”


The funny thing about astrology is that one can say with absolute confidence that whatever happens, it will be consistent with the imagery in the astrology chart.  As an astrologer, it is up to us to decipher what will happen ahead of time, and it is very easy to make an incorrect prediction, but with hindsight, the universe is always correct.  The events always match the symbols.  In other words, the universe is perfect.  We astrologers are not.

The chart above shows the relationship of the planets in the sky on the evening of January 3, 2008, when he withdrew from the race.  Mr. Biden had a difficult time raising funds and couldn’t seem to attract attention compared to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.  He dropped out of the race after attracting less than 1% of the vote in the Iowa Caucuses.  As you will see below, at that time there were several negative factors acting against him, so his lack of success is not surprising.  On the other hand, some of the astrology was quite positive.  In fact, on the evening of his withdrawal he said, “There is nothing sad about tonight…. I feel no regret.”

  • Transiting Saturn was moving through Leo.  This affected him in a number of ways.  Saturn was aspecting his birth Saturn (blue arrow) and thus adding to the impact of Saturn in his chart.
  • Saturn was retrograde at that time, and that is not usually a time when people are able to make “forward progress”.  Retrograde movement of a transiting planet tends to intensify the negative qualities of that planet.
  • Transiting Saturn was with transiting Ketu in the same sign that Rahu was in at the time of his birth.  Rahu/Ketu take on the qualities of the planets they are in close contact with thus amplifying the negative influence of Saturn.
  • In 2008, Mr. Biden was in his Rahu/Rahu dasa, thus placing even more emphasis on the astrological configuration of Leo; lots of Rahu/Ketu influence all of which translates into a considerable influence on the part of Saturn – the planet of “no”.
  • It is important to remember that Saturn represents the public in a democracy and Rahu is often associated with fame.  All of these symbols are present in the situation as his presidential aspirations came to a close for that election cycle.

I suspect that for him to have been successful, the combination of Sun and Jupiter in Sagattarius (see chart above) would have had to be better positioned relative to his birth planets.  Furthermore, I would be willing to bet that in the charts of Clinton and especially Obama, that would be the case.

As mentioned above, publicly Mr. Biden seemed to accept his fate gracefully.  In the chart you will see that transiting Venus was with his birth Venus and the Moon was with his birth Mars/Mercury.  These are gentle and positive influences for him.  Certainly as time went on and he was selected as the vice presidential running mate by Barack Obama, better times were in store for him.

The Big Question – 2015, Will he run again?


The chart above shows the configuration of the planets in the sky on 10/20/2015.  As I write this, speculation is boiling about Mr. Biden’s intentions regarding the presidential race.  He has spoken openly about not feeling ready to plunge into what would be a grueling campaign.  He is, by his own admission, still grieving the loss of the his son to brain cancer, and up to now, has suggested that he would not run.  And yet, he continue to quietly explore the options.

The general trends in life are seen through the dasa and sub-dasa lords.  He is in his Jupiter major period and Venus minor period.  If you count from the birth Jupiter square in the chart above, you’ll find that birth Venus is 5 signs away from his birth Jupiter.  This is a harmonious relationship and suggests that even though Jupiter/Venus dasa is generally a difficult dasa, his will be as good as it can be.  These are both benefic planets and so his experience of life will be generally a positive one.  When he ran in 2008, he was in his Jupiter/Saturn dasa; a more difficult dasa that the current one, but clearly Jupiter is involved in his desire to run for president.

Jupiter is active in his chart now as you can see from the orange lines.  His birth Jupiter is aspecting his birth Ketu, thus giving Ketu the qualities of Jupiter.  His birth Jupiter aspects his birth Sun and Venus giving them luck and power.  In the blue square, the sign of Scorpio, you can see that Jupiter is aspecting the transiting Saturn.  Transiting Jupiter in Leo (red square) is also aspecting his birth Moon giving him a sense of fullness and confidence.  I think we can say that Jupiter is favorably disposed at this time.

In the red square we see that his birth Rahu is in Leo and right now Venus and Jupiter and Mars there by transit.  This is the significant 10th house of career and activity in the world.  He has both his dasa and sub dasa lord in the same sign along with the combative Mars – handy for contesting an election.

One of my astrology teachers is fond of saying that “nothing happens without the blessings of Jupiter and the permission of Saturn.”  So far, it seems to me that Jupiter is very supportive.

Saturn is transiting through Scorpio (blue square) and is aspecting (blue lines) Mr. Biden’s birth Saturn and his busy 10th house with Venus/Jupiter/Mars by transit and Rahu by birth.  There is a strong connection with the dasa/sub dasa lords, and the transits of Saturn and Jupiter seem to be supporting his ambition.  Furthermore, from the red square (Leo) you can see that Mars is aspecting Saturn (red arrow) adding the combative power he will need to contest the nomination and possibly the election in 2016.


If you consider that Scorpio is his lagna and that he has Sun and Venus there by birth, he would feel sensitive to the influence of the transiting Saturn.  The Sun shines as the center of the solar system.  Saturn is the shadow and son of the Sun.  There is a natural conflict between the two as Saturn moves over the Sun, he obstruct the light that the Sun usually emits.  But this is complicated because rules the 3rd house of ambition and the 4th house of emotions and in a political sense, the seat of power.  I would say that Saturn has a good side for Mr. Biden, but not completely so.

There are more problems when we look at the chart starting from the Moon (Chandra lagna).  When we do so, Scorpio is the 8th house.  To have the Sun in the 8th house is not good for victory.  Sadly we have seen that Mr. Biden lost his first wife in a car accident.  His wife is represented by Venus and with Venus in the 8th house we can see the power of the 8th house to painfully take something away.

It is also important to note that the 8th house is associated with “the enemy you can not see”.   In a positive sense, Mr. Biden has been able to put his own ego aside to serve President Obama as an exceptionally active and effective Vice-President, often time working behind the scenes to bring to fruition many of President Obama’s policy goals.  On the other hand, the darker side of the 8th house may presage a difficult campaign with much happening unseen in an attempt to undermine his candidacy.


The balance of factors related to his powerful Jupiter make me think that he will choose to run.  Given the 8th house influence in his birth chart and with his current transits, there is some weakness that will be played out one way or another.  With any chart, the trick to an effective prediction is being able to judge the relative strength of influence exerted by the various planets.  Everyone seems to be happy, but then here we see Saturn who could spoil the party at any minute.

Post Script – 10/21/15

The day after I wrote the above, Mr. Biden announced that he would not run for President.  It is interesting that on this day, the Moon is being aspected by Saturn, the planet of “no”.  It was my feeling that there were so many similarities to the previous times when he ran, that he would choose to do so again.  But as he said in his announcement, “the time is not right”, and it seems that the influence of Saturn predominated.  I’ll deduct a letter grade for not following through on my initial inclinations.




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The Debate Aftermath


So how did I do?   Pretty well for the most part, with one glaring failure.  Oh well….

After watching the debate and consuming many hours of TV commentators I have realized that it is very difficult to objectively determine who was the “winner”.  The general consensus seems to be that Hillary did well, lived up to expectations, and from the perspective of the establishment, “won”.

On the other hand, Bernie Sanders won in the sense that he was by far the most googled candidate during and after the debate, he won all of the focus groups including one hosted by Fox, and he raised $1.5 million within 24 hours.

For someone who was virtually unknown even a few months ago, he had certainly cemented his position as a credible candidate who continues to resonate with a large part of not only the Democratic Party, but the population as a whole.

Bernie generates excitement and has room to grow whereas Hillary certainly cemented her position as an effective candidate and debater, but one wonders where she goes from here.

The other candidates were, as expected, something of a distraction because they rarely had anything new or different to contribute.  It is difficult to imagine them climbing much beyond their 1% or less standing in the polls.  Obviously it is just a matter of time (and money) before they are going to have to drop out.


Success and failure.  How did I do?

Clearly the debate was polite and oriented towards substance and I think this reflected the strong Jupiter influence and the fact that Mercury, the planet of communication was exalted and with the Sun.

At the same time the Saturn/Mars connection was reflected in the argumentative nature of the event.  There were some serious confrontations as Sanders and Clinton disagreed on a number of issues, particularly gun control and military involvement in the world; both manifestations of Mars energy.

I predicted that the connection of Ketu with Venus might symbolize some form of loss for Hillary.  At least at this point it seems not to be the case, although as Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, pointed out, the real winner/loser is determined over the coming weeks when we see whose poll numbers change and by how much.

I think I was on target with my analysis of Bernie Sanders.  I pointed out that the position of Venus in his chart gave him a quality of politeness and his defense of Hillary with reference to her email scandal was widely regarded as a classy and generous act.

101315 Dem Debate Airtime 1

I had thought that perhaps the presence of Mars with Venus and Jupiter might indicate that a third candidate would make a splash, and given his military background, Jim Webb might be the one.  Sadly, the only splash he made was the sound of his campaign sinking beneath the waves.  He seemed out of touch and largely irrelevant to the discussion.

Lincoln Chafee pretty much sank his campaign as well by admitting that his first vote in the US Senate was a random guess at the time.  Another one gone.

Martin O’Malley was much the same, although he made many references to the fact that in his political career, he has implemented many of the policy goals that Clinton and Sanders brought up.  But his time as mayor of Baltimore leaves him open to too many based on the riots in recent memory.  Gone as well.

In politics, as with comedy, timing is everything.  I will begin work on an analysis of both Bernie and Hillary’s chart to see what their timing is and how this might be reflected in the ebb and flow of their popularity as we move towards the general election.

So for now, I am giving myself a “B” based on the immediate aftermath of the debates and the relative accuracy of my predictions.  If, for whatever reason Hillary trends lower in the polls, then I think that my analysis of Ketu will be validated and I will give myself a “B+”.  On the other hand if Bernies trends lower and Hillary significantly higher…”C”.  I hate getting C’s.

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Democratic Debate #1 – Las Vegas


As I write this, the first debate between the candidates from the Democratic Party will begin in about 3 hours.  I thought it might be interesting to look at the chart calculated for the time that the event begins; the birth of the debate.


A few things are immediately apparent.  Ketu is in Pisces (upper left square) and as the planet of technology this is particularly appropriate because this debate is brought to us via television, the core technology of our culture.

Opposite that point in the sign of Virgo, we find Rahu (who is always opposite Ketu), Mercury who is exalted in Virgo, and the Sun.  This is a powerful combination of energies and suggests that the event will come off well.

The presence of Mercury is appropriate because this is a debate intended to give the candidates the opportunity to communicate their views to the public.

The presence of the Sun is important because he links the 6th house of “combat” to this communications event.  In the chart above, the red arrow is pointing to the sign of Leo, the 6th house, and in this sign we see Venus, Mars, and Jupiter.

The Sun owns the sign of Leo and because in this chart, the Sun is in Virgo, there is a connection between these two signs.  We have a communications event characterized by a contentious exchange of views.

It is interesting that in Leo (where the red arrow points) we have three planets, one of whom is Venus.  Sometimes in Jyotish the symbols are very simple and I think that this Venus will represent Hillary Clinton.

I would not think that this is going to be a very good night for her because Venus is in the nakshatra (vedic constellation) that is ruled by Ketu and Ketu on a personal level tends to indicate some form of loss.


The chart above is for Bernie Sanders.  Note that the Moon in his chart (where the blue line begins) is in the same place where the ascendant will be at the time of the debate.  I think this means that he is very emotionally invested in this event and he knows that if he does well here, his chances for the nomination are greatly enhanced.

Furthermore, he has his Mercury and Venus in Virgo; Mercury is exalted and therefore powerful.  The presence of Venus here could represent his personal style that while powerful, is not confrontational.  He has notably avoided criticizing Mrs. Clinton.

On the other hand, in the 6th house from the Moon, he has Sun and Rahu in Leo, owned by the Sun.  Once provoked, I suspect that he can be quite combative and will successfully defend himself.  You don’t get to declare yourself as a Social Democrat for your entire political career without being able to defeat your enemies in a convincing way.

As we mentioned above, the debate itself is represented by the 6th house in the chart of the moment.  That 6th house contains Venus (Hillary) and Jupiter, which I think represents Bernie Sanders.

His campaign has been centered around the theme of “justice” in a variety of forms; immigration, non-involvement in foreign wars, income equality, reducing the impact of large corporation and Wall Street banks.  He speaks about these issues on the basis of principle, and calls to attention his unwavering dedication to them.


That leaves Mars.  It may be in indication that there will be some negativity as the minor candidates try to make a name for themselves.  Mars has the unique characteristic of transferring his energy 4, 7, and 8 signs from his position in a chart.  In the chart above, you can see this 4th house aspect which links the energy of Mars with the energy of Saturn.

As I often say to my clients, Mars is “go go go” and Saturn is “stop stop stop”.  When they come into contact, the result can be explosive.

It can be that there will be some fireworks in the show tonight.  It is also possible that of the minor candidates, Jim Webb who is an exceptional individual and comes from a predominantly military background will be the third “star” of the night.  However, his chart does not suggest this to be the case.

Lincoln Chafee has his Sun in Pisces, which is the ascendant of the debate itself, so he may do well.  His Moon is in Leo, the sign of this evening’s combat.  With Mercury opposite, he may do well as a communicator, but there is nothing here that suggests he will be able to lift his campaign out of its current state of near invisibility.

Martin O’Malley is like to be much the same.  His chart doesn’t resonate with the debate chart in any significant way.  While he is a successful and thoughtful politician, there isn’t anything here to suggest that this will be a turning point and a successful campaign is around the corner.

In summary, I think the conversation will center around Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders with Jim Webb perhaps making a splash.  The event should be reasonably civil, although the potential for fireworks is certainly there.  The target would be Hillary more than Bernie and there will be a lot of discussion about “principle”.  In the end I suspect that Bernie will be the “winner” of this debate.  What that means for the future of these candidates is yet to be seen.

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The Speakership Denied – The fall of Kevin McCarthy

snow men

I have been enjoying the drama in Washington DC over the past few weeks as the Republicans have been struggling to elect a new Speaker of the House.  This is a vital position in the US government and whom ever holds this office wields quite a lot of power because for the most part they control the legislative agenda.

It has long been assumed that Kevin McCarthy, a representative from California’s 23rd district and the Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, would be the next in line for the position.   But in a moment of candor, he accidentally (on unthinkingly) spoke the truth and agreed that the Benghazi investigation of Hilary Clinton was a largely political exercise intended to lower her poll numbers.

It was such a dumb thing to say, but he was on Fox News and probably felt that he was among friends, and let his guard down.  Immediately I thought that this might cause trouble for him in his race for the Speakership.  So, I found his birth date online and calculated his chart.

Please bear in mind, that while finding out when and where a politician was born is very easy, one does not usually have access to their birth time.  This is a serious lack because it takes away at least 50% of the information you need.

Technically, with a birth time, you can determine precisely what sign of the zodiac was on the eastern horizon at the time of birth.  On that basis we have a starting point, or lagna in sanskrit, and the whole chart is determined from there.  The specific sign on the horizon changes every two hours through out each 24 hour cycle.

Lacking a birth time, we can still use the Moon, because that changes every day.  While people born on a given day will have one of 12 lagnas, they will all have the same Moon.  We can use the Moon (Chandra lagna in sanskrit) as the starting point for our analysis and proceed from there.

Mind you, this is good for getting a general idea of what is happening to an individual.  But even this generalized technique can yield tremendous insight, as we will see.

McCarthy KevinSmall

A word about astrological analysis.  I am a big fan of “lex parsimoniae” which is a latin way of saying “Keep it simple stupid” or KISS.  Many astrologers will launch into a detailed, four fold analysis of a chart when one or two features would suffice.  That tends to bore non-astrologer faster than you can imagine.

Having said that, there is a principle in astrology that if you observe a particular feature in a chart it might suggest a particular outcome, wealth or fame for example.  In order for that feature to manifest fully, you need to continue your analysis and find ways in which that feature is repeated from multiple perspectives.  More on this as we proceed.

Remember that my initial analysis was on October 2nd, and after his gaffe the question was would he become Speaker?

The answer to me was simple and direct.  In the large chart above, note the square where you see MO (for the Moon) and KE (for Ketu).  This square in the South Indian style of jyotish chart represents the sign of Scorpio (Vrishchika in sanskrit).

The Moon does not like to be in Scorpio and in astrological terms the Moon would be called “debilitated”.  In a practical sense people who have the Moon is Scorpio manifest much of the qualities of a scorpion.  They are sneaky, vindictive, and like to work in secret behind the scenes.  When you add the qualities of Ketu, the effect is magnified and made more malignant.

Ketu is a planet unique to Hindu astrology.  In the mythology of ancient India, it is the body of a snake who has been cut in two by Vishnu.  Ketu and its other half Rahu, are responsible for eclipses and in a birth chart give a sense of where karmas may be particularly intense or fated.

As a practical matter, Ketu, because the snake has no head, acts in sudden unexpected ways.  It’s influence can be particularly sharp like a scalpel, and it is also associated with sudden loss or disappearance.

So, why would I predict that he would fail to become speaker?  That is because in the sky right now, the planet Saturn is moving through Scorpio.  Saturn is at roughly 8 degrees of Scorpio and Mr. McCarthy’s Moon is at 9:51 of Scorpio.  That is very close!

The Moon, shining as it does from the reflected light of the Sun, is a sensitive planet.  Saturn is the son of the Sun, and is the opposite of his father.  The Sun shines his light everywhere.  Saturn is the shadow side – the dark side of life.

As you can easily imagine when Saturn passes over the Moon the results are not good.  One feels that the light has gone out of life and indeed, this is a very significant time in an individual’s life.  The ancients even gave it a name; Sade Sati, and this period covers the 7 1/2 year period when Saturn moves through the sign before, the sign of, and the sign after the position of the Moon in the birth chart.

I like to call Saturn the planet of “no” and Ketu the planet of “gone”.  The conclusion becomes fairly obvious.  Moreover, it is interesting to note that he has his Sun three squares away (counting clockwise) in the sign of Capricorn.


This is particularly interesting because Saturn’s energy is reflected (drishti in sanskrit) three, seven and ten signs away from his current position.  That means that the shadow energy of Saturn is also being projected onto his Sun, the planet of one’s ego.  This would suggest some experience of humiliation or fall from grace.

It is also interesting to note that this is the 3rd house from the Moon, and that would represent one’s desires and aspirations.  With the Sun in the 3rd house, one would have a deep seated desire to be the center of attention, the king, the ruler, or this case, the second in line to the presidency.

Remember that Saturn also sends his energy ten signs away and that would be the sign of Leo. The 10th house is our position in the world and our career.  We have already seen that the ruler of Leo, the Sun, is under the influence of Saturn, and that the sign the Sun owns, and which is associated with career, is also under the influence of Saturn, the planet of “no”.


What you see above is a special feature of Jyotish.  The chart shows a series of 27 constellations called “nakshatras” that represent the position of the Moon as he moves through the zodiac each month.  In a sense they are like sub-signs.  You see that nakshatra #1 is called Aswini and is found from 00′ to 13’20” of Aries and is ruled by Rahu.

We know that Kevin McCarthy’s Moon is found at 9’51” of Scorpio.  Consulting our chart that would be #17, Anuradha nakshatra.

It would be easy to write pages and pages about the uses of nakshatras in astrology, but that is far beyond the scope of this article.  For our purposes, we are only interested in using the nakshatra to further refine our knowledge of his Moon.

In the vedic world view, the Moon represents the soul and its progress towards enlightenment and final liberation.  By examining the Moon’s nakshatra we can get a sense of what the soul wants to accomplish in this life and what kind of person this is.

Interestingly, Anuradha is connected with the ancient Hindu god called Mitra, the god of friendship.  Indeed, if you watch Mr. McCarthy on television, his persona is quite soft, friendly, and lacks the hardness one would expect to see from someone as politically accomplished as he is.  Another individual with this same lunar nakshatra is Oprah Winfrey, who is certainly a successful combination of softness and power.


It is also interesting to note that if you take another look at his birth chart, you’ll see that in his second house, he has Mercury (the planet of communication) and Venus (the planet of softness and diplomacy).  Since the 2nd house is a place that, among other things, represents the quality of one’s speech, having this combination of Mercury and Venus are a great asset to a politician.  And there is a wonderful wrinkle…the planet Mars.


In the chart above, you can see that I have drawn an arrow from the position of Mars in the sign of Virgo over to the position of Mercury and Venus in Sagittarius.  This is because Mars, like Saturn projects his energy in various ways.  In the case of Mars this is the 4th, 7th, and 8th houses and it is the 4th house aspect that concerns us here.

In the case of Mr. McCarthy we see that his second house of speech combines the energies of Mercury, Venus, and Mars by aspect.  The combination of Mars and Mercury are notorious for being found in the charts of salesmen, lawyers and politicians.  Let’s say that it gives them their flexible relationship to the truth.  If you are going to sell snow to the eskimo, or wrangle the unruly crowd of 247 Republicans, the facile nature of Mars/Mercury is going to come in very handy.

So why did he make such an egregious error by telling the truth about the political nature of the Benghazi Committee?   One would think that given all the intelligence and powerful planets in the field of speech, he’d be so savvy, as to never tell the truth!


In my opinion there are too reasons.  In the chart above you see the special connection, or aspect of Jupiter.  Similar to Saturn and Mars, Jupiter has the unique quality of projecting his energies to the 5th, the 7th, and the 9th houses from his position.

In the mythology of the planets, Jupiter is the guru to the gods and Venus is the guru to the demons.  Jupiter represents the highest truth and dharma or natural law.  Venus represents the sensual and material nature of life.  In this case, Jupiter in his birth chart is projecting his energy onto Mr. McCarthy’s second house of speech as an integral part of his personality.  He is probably regarded as a persuasive but good hearted individual.

Transit Jup[iter

All the planets continue their path through the zodiac and as they do, they come into contact with the planets in the birth chart of each individual.  By examining these “transits”, we can predict and understand the events in an individual’s life.  In other words planets in the birth chart represent potential, and the position of the planets in the sky at any given time represent the actualization of that potential.

At the present time Jupiter is transiting through the sign of Leo.  From that position his energy is being projected to Sagittarius (5th aspect), Aquarius (7th aspect) and Aries (9th aspect).

His 2nd house of speech is being affected by the transit of Jupiter through Leo and that same transit is adding strength to the influence of his birth Jupiter.  This is a concentrated attack of truthfulness!

the second influence is that of Ketu.  Ketu, who lacks a head, is the symbol of the ultimate enlightened state where the individual ego has been absorbed into the universal Self.  As a practical matter, when an individual soul is less evolved, Ketu can give insight, but also considerable spaceyness.

In effect, he just spaced out and under the powerful influence of Jupiter, told the truth.

Final Thoughts

Because Saturn (8:01 degrees) has not yet passed Mr. McCarthy’s birth Moon (9:51 degrees), I suspect that with regard to him personally, the story has not yet been fully told.  There are rumors of infidelity, which given the strength of the Venus influences would not be surprising.  Without a solid birth time we can’t be sure.

At the beginning of 2017 when one would expect him to be resuming his position in the US Congress, Saturn will be moving into Sagittarius where his planets of speech are found.  In effect Saturn will be silencing them and so I would be willing to predict that he will not be re-elected, or of he is, that he will no longer be the Majority Leader.

Could that mean that the Democrats will win the 2016 election in such a convincing manner that the Republicans are no longer the ruling party?   Time will tell.

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