Don’t get me wrong, I like John Edwards. I live in North Carolina so I’ve liked him for quite a long time. As a Democrat I was excited when he ousted conservative Lauch Faircloth and breathed new life into the North Carolina legislature, and I was impressed when he responded by letter to every email I sent about one particular issue or another.
My disillusionment with Edwards began when he voted to support the Iraq war, stating not just that he thought the president should have war powers, as most of the Democrats who voted for the war said, but insisting that we faced a serious threat from Iraq. I still don’t understand how someone like me who lives in a small town in North Carolina and millions of others like me could have foreseen the debacle we are now faced with in Iraq where supposed professionals in Washington with access to better data could not. But I digress…
John Edwards is driven both by a sincere desire to help people and a fierce ambition combined with a brilliant intellect. But with four planets in Gemini, he has difficulty focusing. Gemini of course is the sign of the twins, the sign of communication. Gemini has a thirst for experience, an intense curiosity and a desire to digest as much information as possible. Gemini is the jack of all trades and extremely versatile; they are chameleons who can change their skins frequently and in fact they usually dislike becoming overly involved in one particular project. The career of John Edwards has reflected this trait. Gemini usually bestows a youthful appearance, and we can see this in the face of John Edwards as well.
Edwards was an extremely successful trial lawyer for 20 years, representing families and children before entering politics. After the death of his son in 1996 he gave up on his dream of a family law business and went into politics and it was at this point that he appeared to lose his focus. He won the Senate seat in North Carolina in 1998 but almost immediately began pursuing higher office and was reportedly on the short list for vice president in 2000. We Democrat consistuents were dismayed at the lack of commitment that Edwards showed to his party and to the state in not waiting for his term to be completed when he began campaigning for president as early as 2001. In 2004 when Edwards retired to run for president that Senate seat went to Republican Richard Burr. After his presidential bid failed he became the first director of a new Center on Poverty at the University of North Carolina – a post that he just resigned in order to run for president.
John Edwards is an extremely likeable guy – my friend ran into him at the local physical therapist and was overwhelmed by his charm and his chatty friendliness. There is no doubt that he is brilliant. However, his political history reflects the lack of focus indicated in his birthchart and I wonder whether he has the ability to stick to a position as intense as President for four years and really focus on the issues at hand.
The four planets in Gemini in the chart of John Edwards are the Sun, Mars and a conjunction of the Moon to Mercury. This is a powerful Geminian influence that is the fulcrum of his chart. Mars in Gemini shows that he is driven (Mars) to experience a variety of things and to learn (Gemini), but also that his physical energy (Mars) can be scattered and unfocused (Gemini). Moon in Gemini shows an emotional need (Moon) for variety and a dislike of convention (Gemini). There is also a need to talk and communicate one’s feelings and this can lead to an intellectualization (Gemini) of the feelings (Moon). Jupiter in Gemini suggests success (Jupiter) will come through communication (Gemini) but also that the Gemini tendency to multitask and seek variety becomes expanded (Jupiter).
Most importantly, the conjunction of Jupiter to the Moon indicates an individual who is on a mission (Jupiter). There is an expanded (Jupiter) sense of compassion and nurturing (Moon) and an inner sense of righteousness in one’s path. Jupiter is the King of the Gods after all, and can often bring the kind of self-righteousness we have seen with religious and political leaders whose Suns are connected to Jupiter.
Rising in Edward’s chart is the nurturing sign of Cancer and Mercury (thought process) is in that sign as well, showing that he is very concerned with taking care of others. Cancer is a “cardinal,” or active sign so the nurturing that it provides is very action-oriented: feeding the poor, organizing groups of social conscience. Cancer is also driven by love of family and very protective of their loved ones. It is no wonder that Edwards’s trial practiced focused on families. With Mercury in Cancer his thinking process (Mercury) is colored by the emotional sensitivity of Cancer which gives him a strong sensitivity to the needs of others. However, he is likely to be somewhat moody and make important decisions based on the feeling of the day. Venus is in Taurus in his chart showing that his relationships (Venus) provide the stability that he needs (Taurus) and help to ground him.
A challenging T-square in the chart of John Edwards may help to explain what drives him relentlessly towards the Presidency. Saturn and Neptune are conjunct in his chart in the fourth house, a configuration that combines the desire of Saturn to create form and achieve success with the urge of Neptune to dissolve form and withdraw into the world of spirit. There is a deep inner conflict here that is made stronger by the fact that both planets are retrograde and therefore operate a a more internal level. When Saturn is retrograde in a birthchart it also shows an individual who is self-critical and feels a lack of self-worth on a deep level. Ultimately the goal of this conjunction is to successfully unite the energy of the two planets by giving form to our dreams and ideals rather than dividing in conflict between these two directions. Uranus squares Saturn and Neptune as it does in the charts of many babyboomers, indicating a conflict with authority figures and conventional society (Saturn/Uranus) and between one’s ideals (Neptune) and the reality of change (Uranus).
Saturn and Neptune are both squared by Chiron, showing that this confusion between the world of matter and the world of spirit is a deep wound (Chiron) that Edwards carries within him. Chiron intensifies the negative self-talk of his retrograde Saturn and creates a relentless need for him to prove himself. I believe that this is the underlying element that is driving his political ambition.
Transiting Pluto opposed Edwards’s Sun back in 2003 and 2004 as he sought the Presidency and blocked (opposition) his reach for power (Sun/Pluto). Pluto is just beginning another cycle, this time opposing his Mars. Over the next year Edwards will face challenges to his ambitions as Pluto blocks his drive and ambition (Mars). However, other planetary influences are favorable for him, and perhaps this could be a time when he is able to achieve enough balance in his life to stabilize him and give him the persistence he will need to face another presidential campaign.