by Boots Hart, CAP

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Arlen Specter: The Parties are Over

The End of a Spect(e)ral Era 

Born on February 12, 1930 in Wichita, Kansas, Senator Arlen Specter first assumed office on January 3, 1981 after a campaign marked astrologically by a solar eclipse at 18 Leo.

Lunar eclipses are emotional times which in highlighting something, present us with some reality. Solar eclipse on the other hand, ‘block out’ some part of reality in order to
reveal some special attribute (the image here being the corona – the halo of solar light we see cast around the Moon when it moves in front of the Sun.).

Neither of these events necessarily good or bad – at least in theory, they’re educational. But when a solar eclipse strikes our chart with any exactitude, it certainly does often perform a blitzkrieg on something we’re used to.

That’s the cosmic point – we get used to things, but life wants us to git growin’.

With this particular 1980 eclipse occurring in exact opposition Senator Specter’s natal Damocles (at 18 Aquarius) and in general opposition to Amor (love, at 19 Aquarius) and Icarus/Sun at 23 Aquarius, this was Specter turning his ego to greater things, as lore suggests we should all do. (And do we?) That aside, he also met up with several other important lessons.

The first would have been colored by Damocles – a symbol that teaches that with power comes responsibilities and exposure, some of which can feel threatening or dangerous, and some of which can actually be threatening. Or yes, even dangerous.

Do we think he was horrified? No. Au contraire…with Damocles so close to Amor in this chart, there’s every reason to suspect Senator Specter has a love of the tough campaign and the good political fight, ego bruises and all. His is a personality which accepts that risks exist and that life isn't supposed to be a platter of cupcakes.

The Icarus/Sun signature also tells us that his is a personality prone to going over the top – which may be a plus in political debates. But this is also a sign of someone capable of taking off on flights of fancy which sometimes come with huge price tags. Still…did he have any real choice? Specter’s Sun and Icarus are both 3rd decanate symbols (degrees 20 through 29) which in social/societal Aquarius tells us that Specter is someone who really can’t know how well something works until it’s put to a real time, real life test. And yes, he has been tested. He's also been testy - go figger.

But that sometimes things work, sometimes they don’t....? Icarus/Sun in late Aquarius marks Senator Specter as someone who would be philosophical about failures but determined to work things through. And while right is optimal, this is a man willing to go with what ultimately works. He gets the distance between ideals and reality. He doesn't always like it (and during this time he got a big heapin' dose of same!) but he gets it. And probably by the time this 3-year solar eclipse transit had run its course, Specter got the clue about how things were going to work. And not work. Or sort of work.

Moving the Senator finished his ‘freshman year’ (evidently a rite of political passage)a lunar eclipse occurred at 19 Cancer conjunct a powerful configuration in his natal chart: Pluto in Cancer opposition Juno/Vega in Capricorn. Juno is a symbol of responsive power. Often seen potently positioned in the charts of matriarchs and those who defend family and home (or in this case, homeland), here united with charismatic Vega and opposition Pluto we have a configuration all about deep beliefs in self, in what one thinks is worth fighting for or against (despite what anyone else will say) and a strong opinion about what’s good for his country and people in general.

And in case we might think Arlen Specter hadn’t found his life’s calling, we have only to look to Jupiter, which at that moment was rolling up on and over 8 Scorpio – the degree of the eclipse prior to Specter’s birth (often a sign of things ‘fated’) .

Just after that lunar eclipse hit, a solar eclipse hit his chart too. Positioned at 4 Aquarius, it focused on Specter’s Aquarian (social/societal) ability to utilize wisdom (Athena), assertion (Mars), image (Photographica) and Atropos – the severing of an ‘old life.’ Say goodbye to Mister Nice Guy – to Senator Specter, getting the job done was always going to be more important than looking good or being liked.

Cut to January 26, 2009 - another solar eclipse (at 6 Aquarius)which set off this Mars-Athena-Photographica-Atropos thing yet again, leading to Senator Specter’s announcement on April 29 that he was changing parties – he was cutting himself loose (Atropos) from the Republicans to join with the Democrats. True to blatant form, as Jupiter was moving in to

roll over Sun/Icarus and natal Venus, he even announced that one of his reasons for making the change was that if he stayed with the Republicans he wouldn’t be able to win another election. Was that crassly crude or a display of honesty and independence seldom like people keep saying they want to see in their politicians?

But some cosmic (not to mention social) die had been cast. A year later, January 2010’s solar eclipse at 25 Capricorn struck the Senator’s Hera (partnering), Mercury (thoughts), calculated Lilith (that I don’t like to see about society) complex: whether or not the Senator wanted to see it (and he probably didn’t see it) the public had witnessed or sensed something they didn’t like.

Or maybe just something didn’t want to deal with…whether in him or in themselves, we’ll never know.

Whatever the case, the politician who had seemed so untouchable suddenly looked vulnerable to challenge. And defeat. The primary of May 18th which finds Senator Specter losing to challenger Sestak proves that.

Interestingly, this summer’s July solar eclipse will be at 19 Cancer, sort of bringing Senator Specter full circle. As if echoing the lunar eclipse which saw him really claiming his place at the heart of American politics, so this 19 Cancer solar eclipse will see the Senator letting go of the reins.But like the song says, he’ll be doing it his way, with personal dignity – as far as he’s concerned – entirely intact.

There are some in both parties who probably dislike Senator Specter intensely. For them, this is the political exorcism of a Specter.

For the rest of us though, it may just be a lesson in how people used to be. Or what we've gained and lost by requiring politicians to play a social image game we not only don’t respect them for playing…but which we probably dislike ourselves even more for falling prey to. Why? Because that would mean we’re the authors of our own disappointment - and how do we 'eclipse' that?

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