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Predicting the outcome of an election is a tempting exercise, but extremely difficult in practice. In 2016 astrologers everywhere attempted to predict whether Clinton or Trump would win the November US Presidential election. You can geek out here and read the article and comments breaking down results by whether the astrologer followed the tropical or sidereal zodiac, was US-based or international etc., but the important takeaway is that of the 90 predictions collected in the article, 62.1% predicted a Clinton win and 37.9% predicted a Trump win. These predictions were based on a nearly infinite assortment of techniques including ancient and obscure techniques such as firdaria, vertical zodiac, whatever that is, and something my friend Barry Goddard called “a non-astrological judgement that politically the more charismatic candidate usually wins.”
62.1% predicted a Clinton win; 37.9% predicted Trump would win. This wasn’t far off from Gallup’s polling which gave Clinton a 51% chance over 32% for Trump.
After the election some astrologers attempted to blame the incorrect predictions on faulty birth data, but in this kind of prediction there are so many factors. The individual candidates, their personalities and their planetary cycles affecting them at the time of the election. Whether or not they connect with the People as reflected in the chart for the United States. Which chart for the United States is used (most astrologers, myself included, use the chart from July 4 1776 but there are many others). The mood of the People on election day. Planetary conditions for the US chart and how the candidates fit into those conditions.
And then there’s the fact that planetary conditions are not good predictors of future events. Saturn transits can create tests and challenges, but they don’t necessary mean a loss. Jupiter transits can indicate good fortune, but they don’t necessarily mean a win. I can tell you that Joe Biden has a transit right now of Jupiter in a harmonious trine to his Midheaven – the point of reputation and public life. That’s very positive for the way he is seen right now. He also has a challenging square from Neptune, planet of illusion and detachment, to his Midheaven. This suggests the potential to be undermined and perhaps lose one’s focus as he reaches for greater meaning (Neptune) in his public life. Overall, Biden’s transits and progressions are pretty favorable this year.
Donald Trump also has some favorable planetary cycles, including harmonious trines from Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto to his Midheaven of public life. However, these same planets are challenging his natal Venus/Saturn conjunction which shows his basic insecurities about being liked. This conjunction is in Cancer, the sign of the family, and he really only likes or trusts those in his immediate family and inner circle. This will be challenged over the next few years with Pluto opposing those planets.
More significant, in my mind at least, is what is happening in the US chart as we approach the US Pluto return. Transiting Pluto (destruction and regeneration) will return to its place in the US chart beginning officially in 2022, but it is within the orb of influence now. Transiting Saturn (tests and challenges) has been triggering the US Pluto all year as part of the Capricorn trio, adding additional pressure. Pluto has made significant impacts on the US chart for the past few years and we have been seeing the Plutonic effects of the eruption of national rage for quite some time now, but this has really only set the stage for the upcoming Pluto return. Race and class wars will be amplified by the stressors of Covid-19 and related economic challenges, and the choice of President will have a huge impact on how this scenario unfolds.
On election day (November 3, 2020) four planets plus Chiron will be retrograde, and this includes Mercury. Mercury will be squared by Saturn on that day, suggesting some negativity of thought and perhaps changes of mind on the part of the voters. Mars will also be retrograde, in its own sign of Aries, holding on to old grudges – especially with the Sun in Scorpio. A conjunction of Jupiter to Pluto and Saturn which has been in effect all summer will be completing its third phase, adding the likelihood of ideological conflict. On top of the astrology, we have a president who has already said that he will not step down if he loses because that will mean the election was a fraud.
President Trump is a symbol of the conflict in the United States, not a cause. This election is not merely a choice between two presidents, but a choice of the path that the US will take through its Pluto Return. Will it continue to tear apart the veneer of normalcy that has covered over hundreds of years of racial strife and economic equality, forcing an eventual transformation through destruction (Pluto’s domain), or will it decide to try repair the deep fissures through kindness and strategy? Either way, we will have to at some point come to terms with the darkness that is at the heart of the American experience.