U.S. Election Retrospective
by Dennis Sutton 03/18/2001

On election night 2000, with both presidential candidates being driven by high-discord Mars aggression, we were sure to get fireworks. In fact it turned into a no holds barred political battle, with the contenders fighting for their political lives. The stakes were very high. The electronic media provided a blow by blow account of each round, and in the end the Supreme Court hit Gore with a knock out punch. But astrologers are not interested in the media’s prejudiced propaganda or politically biased court verdicts. Astrologers are primarily interested in the real behind the scenes stuff - the astrological affects influencing each candidate and how these work out in real-life.

The original Church of Light research into gauging elections, as explained by C.C.Zain in Mundane Astrology, pages 269-272, covered a period of 23 years, but it is unlikely that any of the elections researched during this time rivaled the Y2000 US presidential election result in its drama or complexity. This original research sought to determine the various astrological factors, and their order of importance, when gauging election results. Yet during this time no election result was determined by the US Supreme Court. More importantly, does this recent Bush-Gore presidential battle provide astrologers with any new research information? In retrospect the entire election night-month drama was clearly portrayed in all the relevant astrological charts and a competent astrologer would have taken the time to become aware of the various environmental factors that could influence the event (like the potential for the result to be determined by a Supreme Court decision) and then assess if the relevant charts favored these potentialities. In my opinion, the following retrospective, is a summary of the most important astrological factors that influenced the trend of the Y2000 US presidential result.

1.Both candidates had remarkably similar progressed charts - see AHA News and Views September 2000. Due to their birth times each had Leo Rising and Aries on the 10th house cusp. This means that Mars rules the house of honor and position (10th) in both charts. The Sun is the planet of politics and on election night Al Gore had progressed Sun square progressed Mars and George W. Bush had progressed Mars square birthchart Sun. These aspects stimulated, in a high-discord manner (square aspect), the power-political (Sun) and the honor-position (10th house) thought-cells in the unconscious minds of both candidates. This progressed Sun-Mars-10th house stimulation was the primary astrological influence on the political event each man was to experience. Other progressions influencing the Sun, Mars and 10th house - whether fortunate or unfortunate - acted as Rallying Forces influencing for better or worse the trend indicated by the Sun-Mars square aspects.

2.An astrologer simply estimates the volume of power, harmony and discord being received by the thought-cells in the unconscious mind at any point in time. The birthchart reveals the soul’s human-life potential. Birthchart power, harmony and discord (plus conditioning) is weighed up against progressed, power, harmony and discord (plus current circumstance). The progressed chart reveals when the birthchart potential can be actualized. In other words, when viewing progressed aspects the characteristics of the planets and houses involved must be considered relative to both past conditioning and present environment. In the case of Gore Vs. Bush each candidate had a progressed square aspect involving the Sun and Mars. Any progressed aspect to the Sun influences the significance, authority and vitality; and any progressed aspect to Mars influences strife, haste and increased expenditure of energy. The Sun is the planet of politics and Mars is the planet of disputes. The real difficulty in both instances was the progressed Sun-Mars discord was stimulating birthchart harmony. Al Gore has birthchart Sun forming a luck (trine) aspect with birthchart Mars; and George W. has birthchart Sun forming an opportunity (sextile) aspect with birthchart Mars. This unique astrological factor - when progressed discord stimulates birthchart harmony and when progressed harmony stimulates birthchart discord - has received a great deal of research. (Readers are referred to pages 165-167 of Progressing the Horoscope by C.C. Zain). Briefly, so far as harmony and discord are concerned (except as modified by conditioning) a progressed square aspect between planets that were trine or sextile in the birthchart tends to bring events that have about equal parts benefit and detriment. It needs to be noted that Mars is a discordant planet and one must fight for any advantage that Mars brings. This is why the election turned into The Gunfight at the Florida Corral. Both men were fighting for their political careers and even though George Bush won the White House (a benefit) he has also experienced adversity (a delicate political/economic situation? damaged health?). And while Al Gore lost the political battle and the White House (an adversity) this may have been a fortunate career experience for him. Yet both men have had an unfortunate political experience and each has been politically wounded (Mars) in some way. It seems that the winner of the election cannot be estimated by considering the progressed Sun-Mars square aspect by itself. It simply indicates that whilst it is in operation that both men will experience a similar amount of benefit and adversity with their political careers. The birthchart luck possessed by Gore has more harmony than the birthchart opportunity possessed by Bush and the question arises: was Gore lucky to lose?

3.The potential for the election to be played out in the courts is something that, to my knowledge, no astrologer, psychic or mystical fortune-teller even considered. This student-astrologer was totally unaware that such a circumstance could arise and yet when Mars is activated by progression the dispute that erupts very often becomes a legal battle requiring a legal decision. The fact that the political battle mapped by the Sun-Mars square aspect became a legal battle has an easy astrological explanation. The hard part was knowing that the US political environment (which is vastly different to that in Australia) allows such a situation to arise. In a legal battle the 7th house maps the opponent; the 9th house maps the courts and the 10th house maps the verdict. Both Bush and Gore have Aquarius on the 7th house cusp and on election night both men had powerful progressions to Uranus, the ruler of Aquarius, stimulating their 7th house thought-cells. Uranus is the planet of the sudden and unexpected - it maps an unpredictable element or surprise factor - so the legal turn of events no doubt took both men, and everyone else, by surprise. Al Gore had progressed Mercury conjunct progressed Uranus - a neutral aspect that stimulated birthchart discord (Mercury square Uranus). George W. Bush had progressed Venus forming a luck (trine) aspect with progressed Uranus and progressed Ascendant forming an obstacle (square) aspect with birthchart Uranus. When the political battle hit the courts Bush was able to inflict more damage. The progressed Venus-Uranus trine in his chart was a powerful luck factor that limited the amount of damage that Gore could inflict on him.

4.When the courts, ruled by the 9th house, became involved Gore’s chances of victory took a nosedive. He has birthchart Sun in the 9th house. Progressed Sun square progressed Mars added discord to his 9th house thought-cells but even greater adversity was mapped by progressed Neptune in the 3rd house forming a separation (opposition) aspect with birthchart Sun. This particular high-discord progression did not directly influence the election result until the courts became involved. When this occurred the progressed discord influencing Gore’s 9th house thought-cells became apparent. Bush has no planets in the 9th house. Pisces ruled by Jupiter and Neptune is on the cusp. Progressed aspects involving these planets did not directly influence the outcome of the election until the courts became involved. While Al Gore had progressed discord influencing his harmonious 9th house, George Bush had progressed harmony influencing his weak 9th house. In his chart progressed Sun had moved to form a harmonious growth (semisextile) aspect with birthchart Neptune - another situation requiring a delicate estimation where progressed harmony was activating birthchart discord (the Sun is square Neptune in the birthchart.) This harmonious Sun-Neptune 9th house progression certainly tipped the scales in Bush’s favor. (The fact that the Court’s decision went along party lines seems to indicate that justice in the US is open to personal bias, unlike that depicted by Major Arcanum 8 where ‘The eyes of Justice are covered with a bandage to show that she weighs and strikes without taking into account the conventional differences that men establish for themselves.’ It can also be noted that Pluto is in the 9th house of the US [Gemini Rising] chart where, at times, the Lower-Pluto thought-force has easy access to the justice system.)

5.But all things considered the winning of the Presidency is a 10th house event and it was the various 10th house progressions in the charts of both candidates that determined who would win. Shortly after doing the original article I realized that I had made a mistake with the assessment of George W’s 10th house. What I failed to note was that in his birthchart Taurus is intercepted in the 10th house. This meant that any progressed aspect involving Venus would directly influence his 10th house (honor) thought-cells. In that article I noted that progressed Mercury conjunct birthchart Venus, progressed Venus sextile progressed Mercury and progressed Venus trine progressed Uranus were supportive rallying forces influencing his personal environment. What I failed to realize was that these three high-harmony progressions were directly influencing his 10th house (honor) thought-cells and thus favoring his election chances. In that original article I stated that Al Gore had the better progressed 10th house, but this was incorrect. George W Bush had the better progressed 10th house. (It is interesting to note that both Bush and Gore have Venus and Mars ruling the 10th house in the birthcharts. An amazing chart similarity involving the planets of love and hate.) The assessment of George W’s 10th house did involve a delicate balancing act where powerful progressed harmony was activating birthchart discord. It seems to me, in retrospect, that progressed MC forming a high-harmony luck (trine) aspect with birthchart Moon was a favorable 10th house influence. This progressed trine activated a birthchart opposition so it was a matter of weighing up the birthchart discord potential against the progressed harmony potential and the harmony at the time of the election seems to have had the higher potential. The Moon rules the ‘real’ people - the masses, and in a popular contest Moon harmony is always favorable. (When this MC-Moon progressed trine aspect goes out of orb the discord potential stored in the birthchart opposition will become more apparent.) All things considered George W Bush did have the better progressed 10th house and this did favor his election victory.

6.I should also point out that it is impossible to compare the birthchart potential mapped in two different charts using the astrodyne print out’s power, harmony and discord figures. George Bush does have the more harmonious birthchart - 69.43 harmodynes compared to Al Gore’s 16.02 discordynes; but the idea that this means he would win the election is far too simplistic. The devil is in the detail. Gore has the more harmonious Sun (7.85 harmodynes compared to 5.90 discordynes for Bush). Gore has the stronger Sun (10.1 % of the total chart energy compared to 5.9% for Bush). Gore has the more harmonious 10th house (8.46 harmodynes compared to George W’s 13.34 discordynes) And Gore has the stronger 10th house (12.5% of the total chart energy compared to Bush’s 11.4%.) Bush has the more favorable 1st house (35.06 harmodynes compared to Gore’s 7.12 discordynes.) In the age of personality politics Bush does present a pleasing personality and for many voters the personality and appearance guides their voting intentions. Alas, the personality hides the real character. Then there’s the careful assessment of the progressed chart to consider. Sincere student-astrologers should realize that an astrological assessment (even one using mathematically accurate astrodyne figures) involves the estimation of astrological factors where the tendency to over-estimate or under-estimate an influence can easily result in error. (Not to mention the potential for error due to personal bias and rationalization.) But there is nothing wrong with making errors - they provide us with the opportunity to learn and improve our skills.

7.While the thought-cells in the unconscious mind have the capacity to influence both the behaviour of an individual, and the external environmental conditions including the events that come into their life, it is obvious that election results are greatly influenced by the activity taking place in the mundane astrological charts. The confusion and uncertainty generated by the US election result was indicated in the Scorpio lunation chart. Here the Sun-Moon lunation formed an exact square aspect with Neptune - the planet of uncertainty and confusion. Mars conjunct the Asc in this chart indicated the anger felt by the electorate and Virgo Rising mapped their critical response to how things unfolded. Jupiter, ruling the 4th house and the Republicans, and Saturn, ruling the Democrats, are both in the 9th house - the courts. Whilst much importance was placed on the Democratic process and the right of the people to have their votes counted this lunation certainly points to a much more powerful force. The power and activity of the 2nd and 5th houses focuses on the financial sector and Wall Street. Powerful financial, corporate and political groups backed Bush and Gore and either way they were going to win. Lower-Pluto’s Aquarian Age Democratic process safeguards the power and financial welfare of the privileged. While the Scorpio lunation chart displayed a variety of circumstances associated with the election it is difficult to see how it actually supported a Republican victory.

8.Transit Saturn trine Neptune in the Saturn cycle on election day turned out as expected. Saturn rules the Democrats (and the workers) and this aspect did map a huge democrat vote, but its influence needs to be kept in perspective. Even though Gore won the popular vote (as indicated by this aspect) the Electoral College vote is what really matters. It is possible to win more votes and still lose, but things become more complex in a country where one-quarter of the people support one candidate, one-quarter support the other and the other half don’t even bother to vote.

9.Finally, whilst not considered as playing a role in the election result, important political events and developments in the US are mapped by the major progressions in the US birthchart. Currently, progressed MC (political developments) has moved to form a prominence (conjunction) aspect with progressed Neptune in the 5th house; and progressed Ascendant (the people) has moved to form a separation (opposition) aspect with birthchart Uranus in the 1st house. The Neptune progression primarily influence the confusion, fraud, claims of illegality and uncertainty that surrounded the Y2000 election result; and the Uranus progression, via the developments that occurred, divided the country into two extreme camps where each hates the other. These powerful progressions indicate that the consequences and repercussions of The Gunfight and the Florida Corral are sure to be felt for a long, long time.

10.Our knowledge of astrology revealed that the event experienced by George W. Bush and Al Gore would involve the authority, significance and politics (Sun), strife, hectic activity and conflict (Mars), and the honor, position and reputation (10th house). The high-discord square aspect indicated a bitter struggle. Our knowledge of the environment and conditioning at the time of the election indicated a closely fought political battle. It would have been difficult for astrology to foresee the events in Florida yet their potential to add to the strife and the disputation is clearly shown by the powerful influence of Mars in the charts of both candidates. It would have been difficult for Astrology to determine the involvement of the courts and the pivotal role they would play in the election result yet Mars is often involved in disputes that need to be resolved through the courts. The potential for the courts to become involved has historical precedence, and both candidates had progressed aspects involving the 9th house acting as Rallying Forces. (Progressed Moon in Gore’s chart was parallel birthchart Jupiter, cusp ruler of the 9th house; and progressed Moon in Bush’s chart was parallel birthchart Neptune, cusp ruler of the 9th house.) The Sun progression indicated the involvement of those in authority and the Supreme Court is the highest authority. Thus the Sun-Mars progressions in both charts and the various Rallying Forces all worked out in terms of the planets involved and the houses they rule, but in a manner that would have been difficult to have foreseen in precise detail. George W. Bush, with the more harmonious 10th house at the time, won the election battle. The main lesson that student-astrologers can learn from the Y2000 Presidential election is that every aspect of both the political and astrological environments needs to be carefully evaluated when gauging elections.