by Boots Hart, CAP

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Inauguration 2013: The Second Obama Administration

The dome of the US Capitol at night in Washington, D.C.
(Florian Hirzinger, August 2010)

In spite of the fact that the term of a President for the United States is supposed to begin on January 20th, this time around the gigantic party which is America’s Inauguration Day will be taking place on January 21st, 2013 – which happens to be Martin Luther King Day.

But the law on this subject is clear: the term of President starts on January 20th at noon. So, since the last thing the United States needs is for the country to technically be without a President for a day…(not to mention the headaches and debates which would erupt if Barack Obama just hung around ‘acting like a President' for a day between Term One and Term Two)…since the United States isn’t a nation prone to doing such things, Chief Justice John Roberts will swear Barack Obama in as President (again) on Sunday January 20th.

And then John Roberts will swear Barack Obama in again on Monday.

Aside from the fact that apparently Washington, DC is into a lot of swearing, there are those who will ask what the astrology on all this is.

I’m way ahead of you. We had Version One of this question the last time around when Obama took the oath on January 20th then Chief Justice Roberts noodled over to the White House to re-administer oath because a few words had gotten flubbed up.

Barack Obama with Chief Justice John Roberts as the 'second' oath of office is administered on January 21, 2009
(photo credit: White House, Pete Souza)

In that case, the ‘official’ swearing in was a few minutes after noon on the 20th, and that very small variance (between 12 noon exactly and the five-minutes-after-noon chart which timed the ‘swearing in’ moment) appeared here and there in the following four years as the differences between what the administration pretty much described some of the internal turmoil in the US government.

The Obama Administration takes office
January 20, 2009 - noon (EST/+5) - Washington D.C.

Barack Obama takes the Oath of Presidential Office
on January 20, 2009 - 12:05 p.m. (EST/+5) - Washington, D.C.

The tale here is told in the small shift of cusp houses, most specifically the Ascendant/Descendant line which in the noon chart was 14 Taurus/Scorpio and in the swearing in chart is 15 Taurus/Scorpio. The degrees around 15 degrees of all four fixed signs is a very specific section of the zodiac which is all about the willingness to change. Or the resistance to change. When we see Taurus/Scorpio involved in this dynamic, the Taurus side doesn’t want to feel they’re wrong and the Scorpio side is all about control and fears of loss of control.

Need I say more?

In any case, the ‘day after oath’ (Return of Oath, Oath Part Deux) didn’t seem to have an ‘active’ part in the administration at all. EXCEPT…except if we think of how President Obama seemed to very much be his own man in the midst of All Things Governmental. Obama’s very consistent perspective on how things work – the applied necessity of functionality is very much a Sagittarian concept, and by a day after the inauguration, the Moon was already half way through Sagittarius.

The very aura of ‘getting perspectives on problems’ which the world has heard the President talk about (and many have criticized him for, calling Obama “professorial”) is very Sagittarian, Sagittarius being the sign of learning, whether we’re learning whether or how things work, or learning from someone who is teaching us, or even encouraging us to reconsider.

One more item to note about this Sagittarian Moon is that in 2009, House, Ixion and Pholus were all at 15 Sagittarius, conjunct the Moon of this ‘secondary Oath’ chart. If you missed the post which precedes this one, that will spell out why I’m citing this here – with one addendum which came to me after the Accountability: Running with Astrological Scissors’ post went up.

That note is about entitlement. Ixion is very much about entitlement (read the piece linked to in the Accountability post and you’ll understand why I say that). My point here is that Pholus-Ixion seems to “spell” accountability where Ixion-Pholus seems to “spell” entitlement…which has been a BIG buzz word in life, money and politics for quite some time now.

Gee…would that be pretty much ever since Ixion and Pholus hooked up? Yes, it would.

One note on Ixion as entitlement, however: as displayed in the Ixion story, it is the person who ‘accuses’ someone else of being entitled who is more than likely coming from a position of entitlement. If this were happening in a water sign (or with Neptune tied into the mix) we would call this emotional projection…the longing for someone else to ‘fix’ your problems or to ‘be’ that person you want them to be. But as this is all about fire signs (Pholus and Ixion are both in Sagittarius, right?) the issue is more akin to the idea of deflection, which particularly in astrological terms is ‘I don’t want to look at my stuff, I’d rather criticize you and your stuff.’

A photo from the January 20, 1953 inauguration of President Eisenhower
(photo credit National Archives and Records Administration)

Okay. So now what we’ve trotted through a few of the astro-facts about Inauguration 2009, let’s consider Inauguration 2013.

The most basic of factors is this: the power of any U.S. Presidential Administration as a seated governmental entity, is regulated by US law. Which is handy for us, as that means that whatever time President Obama takes the oath on Sunday and Monday, those charts may be ‘modifiers’ of the noon Sunday (January 20th) chart and therefore interesting to look at, but the ‘legally mandated’ chart (January 20th at noon) is the chart to look at, first and last…with the caveat that we did learn a lesson about those ‘subtle shifts’ (noon versus five minutes after noon) from the Obama Administration: Part One adventure.

14 Taurus/Scorpio (the noon chart) is a more resistant degree than 15 Taurus/Scorpio. Fifteen degrees of all four fixed signs is the ‘cross-quarter’ degree. But in being the first degree of the second half of the quarter, fifteen degrees of any fixed sign is where we move on. Or where we at least know we should move on, which is where we get into modifiers and exotica. I have a friend with a Sun at 15 Taurus who plainly knows in his heart-of-hearts that he shouldn’t be ‘locked in’ by family tradition, that life is about growth and change and moving on. But he has a really hard time with it, and that Medusa is conjunct his Sun is the sign of how scared he is of the purgatory he would have to go through not through what others do, but through what he'd have to deal with in changing his own standards and learning how to be secure purely as an individual.

Plus there is this mid-Taurus fixed star...It's name is Menkar, and it has a grungy reputation for delivering hard lessons in the area of who one 'sides' with - which is an interesting idea if you apply it to the Ascendant of an administration. The tendency is to go with what's easy. Or to believe lies and base your life on them (Sun) or to act on them (administration's Ascendant).

And this does point out an important pair of facts.Our natal Sun is our natal Sun. It represents not just the ‘tool box’ with which we come into the world, but the lesson we will continue to learn, even to the point of reinventing the lesson or unconsciously seeking out new challenges so that we can keep on learning. My friend (bless his heart!) is going to spend his life experiencing and creating situations which in the short or long run teach him that he has to be secure with, and trust what he knows is right in himself. For a national administration, this asks that the administration stand for what is right, whether it's popular or not. Whether it's comfortable or not. Whether it makes everybody happy or not.

Our Sun is always about us and the path of growth in our life: his Sun is his path of learning just as yours is individual and about your journey. Each life is different because reading the Sun in any chart is not 'just' about looking at the sign or degree the Sun is positioned in.

But that's a start. And when we talk about the United States, that question starts which the ol' 'which chart is really the US chart?' question. I've written about that at length (just look in the sidebar in the politics section) and believe America is an Aries nation - a nation which is forever learning the meaning of its existence, a nation which is going to go through repeated lessons on the difference between assertion and aggression and what a 'national consciousness' really is - or means, allows or signifies.

Beyond that, there's also this matter of administrations. And since the United States has chosen to legally bind itself to administrations which begin on January 20th, there's no whifling there. Despite the fact that synching a 365.2422 day Earth orbit around the Sun to a 365 day long calendar creates a situation where zodiac signs shift subtly from year to year, in looking from 2013 to beyond the year 2050, there isn’t a single year when January 20th isn’t Aquarius.

But that little fact does bring an interesting tidbit up for contemplation. Because the United States has a four-year election cycle, that does sync the presidential election cycle to the Earth/Sun vs. 365-day calendar. That "extra" 0.2422 day which every four years adds a Leap Year Day to our modern daily calendar also works to keep administrations locked in at 0 Aquarius.

So what does that mean? The Aquarian Administration Sun means that every United States presidential administration will be bound - legally and politically - to a ‘life’ centered on learning lessons about and through all things Aquarian: the economy and economics, social and societal trends, the marketplace, infrastructure and power grids and everything by which goods or people or money or information moves...equality and egalitarianism, elitism, anarchy and the altogether E Pluribus Unum ideas of individuality...the administration's role in helping the U.S. earn its rewards in this world through finding its place in the world and making a contribution to that world.

This may in a nutshell explain a lot to you about the United States and the apparent inability of its administrations to leave well enough alone. And it brings up and begins to make clear the difference between the administration and the nation, which is probably well worth thinking about.

Of course, it may also explain why America will survive in spite of problematic administrations. After all, they are not the same thing as the nation. And since they aren't, it also begins to explain why there will be times when all the good governing in the world isn’t going to get the nation headed in the right direction. 

A nation and its government, astrologically, are two different things. Yes, they interact. But they’re different things.

So getting back to the inauguration, all we have at time of writing for this incoming Administration is the one chart which is designed by law, that being a chart for Sunday, January 20th, 2013 at noon in Washington, D.C.

Obama Administration 2
January 20, 2013 - noon (EST/+5) - Washington, D.C.

Several things stand out in this chart, and the first is another similarity-but-difference between this chart and that of the 2009 inauguration, which I will again post here (to make things easy).

Obama Administration 1
January 20, 2009 - noon (EST/+5) - Washington, D.C.
In the 2009 Chart we have the Sun and Mercury both at 0 Aquarius. This is a degree which is all about the need for balance, a capacity for leadership, great insight and a concern for humanity – which is exactly what Americans (and the rest of the world) would like to think the United States is all about. Apparently those who designed the inauguration were all about this idea.

This 2009 chart also has Sun/Mercury conjunct Juno (equaling ‘trials regarding discipline’) and Jupiter, Tantalus and Bali. Taken together – and remembering that all astrology is a polarity of positives-and-negatives, this goes in one direction towards the temptation (Tantalus) to be happy (Bali) with what you already know (Jupiter)….and in the other direction towards excessive (Jupiter) temptations (Tantalus) to please yourself (Bali).

Personally, this makes me think of the Administration’s internal battles and the division between Congress and the people which seems greatly based in the electional process and the polarities (or extremes) of positions currently being fostered and appealed to in the United States. Aquarius in positive modality is about ‘building consensus and a powerful mainstream interaction’ and the negative is all critique and extreme views which are outside the mainstream.

The 2013 Inauguration chart again has Sun conjunct Mercury, but with the Sun again at 0 Aquarius, Mercury is at 2 Aquarius, a degree known as a plus in the relationship and relating realm balanced against some of the Aquarian tendency towards situations which seem confusing until in a moment, they clarify.

Another important difference: in the 2009 chart, Mercury was in front of the Sun (higher in the chart). This is an indication that the idea would rule. As indeed it did. Sensible or nonsensical, this last four years in the United States has had the theory of the thing being put forth as operational fact. And especially when we mix in how this came to us (with a little Pholus/Ixion or Ixion/Pholus in the mix) that drove people not to the nation’s edge but to extremes of positions on governance.

Some say ‘as go nations, so go populations.’ Do Americans as a ‘people’ take their cue from administrations? That’s an interesting astro-political question which I haven’t gotten to. So for now I’ll say ‘I’m not going there’ and leave it at that. (Check with me when the next administration rolls around. After another four years of thinking I may have an answer.)

In any case, this time around, Obama Administration: Part Two has Mercury following the Sun. This should indicate a slight (very slight) ratcheting down of ‘purely theoretical rhetoric.’ But it also amps up the possibility of more surprises and out of the blue announcements or information. Some will be brilliant and insightful. Some will just be bizarre.

This is also a very clear indication that the underlying conversation (or thought process) is – and should be on “things Aquarian”: social/societal systems, power grids, the internet, computers, software, electronic communications, science, economics, the economy, the functionality of the marketplace, free speech (and whether there are any limits on it), intellectual rights and the general concept of the nation as its own society (and the functionality of that) juxtaposed against the United States as one nation among a host of nations on this planet, all of which – in the Aquarian sense – need to be considered equally and as equals if all are to be free to function.

In Aquarius, ‘power games’ are the name of the game, often quite literally. 

Also worth noting is the fact that instead of Tantalus, Jupiter, Juno and Bali as the modifiers of this Sun-Mercury (as we had the last time around), we have Nemesis. Nemesis is the quality of being willing to stand up for the unpopular thing….and/or realizing you were warned and did the dumb thing anyway.

Which way do we think this will go? Aquarius being one of the co-ruled signs, we look to both Saturn and Uranus to get a sense of the plus or minus involved.

In the 2009 this chart, Saturn was in the 5th house (a bad place for Saturn) and Uranus was in the 11th house (of national income and economy) conjunct Venus, in Pisces. Together, this gives us a pretty good picture of the sullen, nasty (Saturn/negative) atmosphere which seemed to permeate the government over the past four years and how in spite of vacillations and (Uranian/negative) unpredictability, we did manage to get some innovations (Uranus/positive) in place and ended up doing better than expected (Venus in Pisces/positive).

Until then…along came Hurricane Sandy, late in 2012. As a perfect example of ‘the unexpected,’ Sandy well exhibited the power which evolved as the November 2012 Solar Eclipse at 21 Scorpio, an eclipse which set off a lot of points in the Administration 2009 chart.

There’s a sextile to Mars, indicating what the Administration had being (Mars) doing needed to change, and that the Administration had an opportunity to recognize and prove its value on the governing-governance level (to itself and the nation, and its people).

In squaring Chiron and Neptune, Hurricane Sandy would seem to have been a ‘karmic’ pointing out of national vulnerabilities and areas where the United States needs to deal with things which though ‘working okay’ are actually outmoded.

The trine to Uranus is the surprising and shocking quality of how things can (Uranus) change so quickly and the enormous power of (Pisces) water both on a physical level and as concerns the emotional repercussions thereof.

There is an inconjunct to an Aries Eris which, intercepted in the 12th house refers to difficulties with realism.

The opposition from the eclipse to Sedna in Taurus speaks of ‘threats,’ damage and confrontations with national comfort and security being a sign...a metaphysical signal. What is it a signal of? Given that this is Sedna in Taurus we're talking about, the concept would be about how necessary it is to let go of thinking that going forward, things are going to be as they were. They aren’t. And the government, or the nation...and the people of the United States...they all can only suffer by thinking that ‘holding on' to whatever or however security has been defined is a good idea. Sedna teaches that holding on is a huge impediment to the success and ultimate security and satisfaction which can only come through letting go.

Call it a lesson in 'growing up.'

The sextile to Saturn – and that Saturn is in a grand trine with Mars and Sedna - speaks of an opportunity brought with this eclipse (and the hurricane) to reinvigorate a system which had gotten too hell-bent on comfort instead of productive progress.

So what about this time around? Understanding that administrations new and newer always build on what came before, this 2013 chart is heavily left-sided and in terms of full-fledged planets (using the term astrologically) more ‘above’ the horizon than below.

This denotes an administration which is going to be active in its approach and which is going to be public – or made public through the media. Jupiter being positioned in Gemini speaks to ‘a lot of talk’ and a lot of information going on ‘beneath the surface’ (the horizontal axis representing that “surface”). With the Ascendant – the “aperture” our outlet of a chart – in Taurus we look to Venus as ruler of Taurus and find it in the 9th house of information dissemination.

But it’s not alone. Venus is conjunct Pluto, Juno, Vega and Tantalus, a recipe for what is known in the media as ‘the shaping of the message’ or (to use another slogan) ‘controlling the news cycle.’

Yet this is also pressure from the media and the press – and foreign nations. Diplomacy between the US and foreign countries and interests can be expected to be of great concern in the next four years.

Education and the ‘business of medicine’ is another topic described by this Ascendant/9th house tie.

The Ascendant is again 14 Taurus/Scorpio. Is that always true? No, though there do seem to be patterns. This is the third Administration to have this 14 Taurus/Scorpio Ascendant/Descendant line, though certainly not the last. Running forward through the years, this “12 noon, Washington, D.C on January 20th” inauguration cycle has 14 Taurus and Scorpio showing up with every administration until the year 2089, when the Ascendant/Descendant for this date will move to 15 Taurus/Scorpio.

For those who wonder when the world will ‘settle down’ will be, this may be your answer. 14 Taurus has a mystical and polarizing quality (very typical of the degrees which precede fixed cross-quarter points) and 15 Taurus is a degree which is more about listening and working thoughts through based on what you’ve already learned.

This very slow shift of rising/setting degrees is an interesting one when we look back, too. It’s a bit off the subject, yes. But what the heck – in for a penny, in for a dollar bill, right?

Tracing this sequence back through inaugurations and administrations, 14 Taurus holds until we arrive at January 20, 1989 – the inauguration of George H.W. Bush. At that point the Ascendant-Descendant of the ‘legally mandated, change of power’ Administration chart moves back to 13 Taurus-13 Scorpio, a trend which holds all the way back to 1897 (when William McKinley became President), when it again becomes 14 Taurus/Scorpio.

President Barack Obama on the phone in the Oval Office with
Haitian President René Préval
(January 15, 2010, Pete Souza)

This becomes even more intriguing when we consider that the years described, 1897 to 1993 (which would include the GHW Bush years) generally outline Pluto’s transit through half the zodiac (Gemini through Scorpio, though Pluto was already at 11 Gemini in 1897)…and the generalized ‘industrial age’ in American and pretty much around the world. 13 Taurus being a degree known for being about ‘righting wrongs’ (and yes, probably committing a few so that they can be righted) also brings a whole list of concepts to the fore…things like slavery and civil rights, women’s rights, the greater cycle of industrialization and the accompanying costs of pollution, and various kinds of abuse, particularly child abuse. For almost a hundred years societies around the world ‘looked the other way’ to some extent, valuing work product and societal commerce more than human cost.

At the end of the 1990’s people again were willing to talk about the subject.

Obama Administration 2 also has a Scorpio Saturn in the 6th house. This is not Saturn in its most dedicated form, but also not a Saturn in a sign or house which is likely to create or arouse as much resistance as Saturn in the 5th (the first Obama Administration). As last time around Saturn was in Virgo, denoting jobs and health care, this time around Saturn’s position in Scorpio suggests debt and all things fiscal-and-financial (the banking system, the investment system, the federal reserve etc.).

Aries is again intercepted in the 12th, but this time both Eris and Uranus are in this sign. Uranus in the 12th can be fearful and Uranus intercepted in the 12th can be either quashing fears or the quashing of individual actions or abilities to do as they please. The fear of loss of rights and the need to prevent the 12th house mass-consciousness to be affected by violence or imposition of harm from without seem indicated.

The Eris part of this configuration will be set off in a moment of volatility by the Lunar Eclipse of October 2013 (at 25 Aries). Considering that lunar eclipses are prompt but not long-lasting, this is an event, not a turn of any tide. Far more important in that regard is the Solar Eclipse of November 2013 at 11 Scorpio. This will hit the Administration’s Saturn and Descendant, indicating a major turn of events.

With Saturn trine to Chiron in Pisces in the 11th house of the second Administration chart likely subjects would be Piscean: oil, gas, pharmaceuticals, religious faiths/factions, prisons, emotional health and upheavals which affect same.

But don't kid yourself. Anything which could stir the Administration at an emotional level or provoke a national emotional reaction...including anything which could cause the nation to have to look at its own behavior (and feel how it feels about that) is on the list here.
With Saturn involved from the 6th house, there is an element of Congressional and/or civil service and/or military quality to this eclipse effect, and with 27 Virgo on the cusp of the 6th house the indication would seem to be about ‘a mentality’ and/or functionality. The sextile from this eclipse to Pluto-Juno-Venus-Vega-Tantalus in the 9th house is a clear opportunity to better things but with all five elements in Capricorn, there must be concrete actions involved. The Pluto/Juno/Venus/Vega part of this speaks to governing the ‘self’ (Juno) and with Venus/Vega always seeming to indicate the ‘power of persuasion’ and how what you can do isn’t always what you should to, this sounds a bit like some sort of limitation or discussion of limits.

If we look at the cusps all around the wheel of this Administration’s chart we see only two houses with first decanate (action oriented) numbers on the cusps. Those houses are the 3rd and the 9th, and that suggests – again - that overseas affairs will be a functional strong point for this administration. It also would seem to point to taking action in the area of the courts (perhaps through nominating Supreme Court Justices). And because these early-number cusps both carry on to a second house (Capricorn being on the 9th and 10th houses and Cancer being on both the 3rd and 4th houses) national infrastructure is also likely to be a conversation.

But most of all, what this seems to say is that President Obama’s second Administration period is going to be about laying groundwork for what will happen in the years ahead. As such, while we probably can expect much discussion and debate on many topics, the drive of this Administration is likely to be on basic functionality and aims. It is not therefore so much about what they will do as what this administration will leave the country in a position to do which to them, probably counts.

There are, of course, reams of comments one can make on this Obama Administration 2 chart. I'll just toss one fact in...because I got to thinking about it the other day.

Question: is Congress astrologically a separate entity from the Administration itself?

Answer: probably yes. Why? Because Congress is elected on a schedule which is not synced with Presidential elections. Senators, for instance, serve six years, not four years. So their terms don't sync with Presidential elections at all. Plus their terms are staggered so the whole of the Senate is never being elected at once, which is totally different from the House of Representatives, which does get elected as a body (everybody in...everybody out - maybe.)

What this says to me as an astrologer is that "the administration" is really something of a specific reference to the Executive Branch (the President, Vice President and Cabinet, etc.) but more generally to what will be accomplished during the four year period that the given Administration is empowered.

Moreover, Congress should be treated as two entirely separate bodies.

I haven't even begun thinking about the Supreme Court yet.

The United States Supreme Court
Back row (left to right): Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen G. Breyer, Samuel A. Alito, and Elena Kagan. Front row (left to right): Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg
(photo credit: Steve Petteway - October 8, 2010)

Well, until just now. I'm guessing there is a chart which represents its "establishment" (giving us a 'Supreme Court natal chart,' if you will). But more interesting perhaps would be the Davison joint time/space chart to be constructed using all the members of that august body. This sort of chart is the only thing which to this astrologer's thinking could account for how the 'personality' of the Supreme Court seems to change even when only one seated judge is replaced.

And yes, if we had all the charts we could also 'construct' a Davison chart for each house of Congress, and thus for the Congress as a whole during any given term.

The reason why we look at such things is so we better understand our world. When we think of, or when you now hear someone refer to 'The Obama Administration,' you're going to know that really does refer to the Executive Branch in particular, but more to what gets done in the United States between Presidential elections. Knowing that - hopefully - will empower you and allow you to listen to the fractious goings on in our world with a keener ear and a better perspective.

The more we know, the better off we are, right? 

Obviously there are two charts which are yet to be 'clocked-and-cast' and yet to be thought through. One would be the actual time of President Obama taking the Oath of Office with Chief Justice John Roberts on Sunday the 20th, and then the 'public Oath chart' which will be timed out by events on January 21st.

I'm not sure everybody wants to hear about those, but if you do, let me know and I'll make sure I write a post or two on the subject. 

Otherwise - Happy Inauguration Day!

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