The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 5, titled:
With Chris Brennan and guest Patrick Watson
Episode originally released on January 17, 2013
Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: email@example.com
Transcribed by Andrea Johnson
Transcription released September 15, 2022
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CHRIS BRENNAN: Hi, I’m Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. Today is Thursday, January 17, 2013, and this is the 5th episode of the show. You can find the show at TheAstrologyPodcast.com, and you can also subscribe to it via iTunes. My co-host today is Patrick Watson of The Political Astrology Blog, and our main topic is a retrospective analysis of some of the things we learned from the 2012 presidential election in the United States.
Because this is our first show since the one we did prior to the election in September, we plan to talk a bit about how our predictions for the outcome of the presidential election actually worked out in practice. Aside from that, we also discuss some techniques that did not work when predicting things about the election. That leads us to to discussion of the void-of-course Moon and different definitions for the void-of-course Moon and the need for astrologers to perhaps rethink their position on how significant the modern definition of the void-of-course Moon actually is in practice, especially in light of some of the events that have occurred in the past few months.Finally, the last thing that we discuss with respect to the election is the inauguration chart, since President Obama’s second inauguration is coming up in just a few days. And there’s a bit of an issue because there may be two separate inauguration charts.
Later in the show, we discuss the end of the Mayan calendar and the Age of Aquarius, since that’s another event that took place last September. And we discuss some of the pros and cons surrounding that phenomenon and exactly what happened and why things didn’t work out, and why, perhaps, we should be careful about associating the Mayan calendar with the Age of Aquarius. This leads to a discussion of the eight-year Venus cycle and the usefulness of an actual astronomical and astrological cycle that the Mayans did use that still actually does have some validity, even if the phenomenon surrounding the Mayan calendar did not. And finally, this also leads to a discussion of the sometimes literal nature of astrological symbolism—how, you know, sometimes astrological symbolism is more abstract but there are certain instances where it’s just very literal, and why that is. So with that introduction out of the way, let’s get started. Patrick, welcome to the show.
PATRICK WATSON: Thank you for having me.
CB: All right, well, let’s get started with some news and announcements. So first things first, there are three big astrological conferences that are taking place this year in 2013. The first two actually both take place in May. The first is the Northwest Astrological Conference in Seattle, which always takes place at the same time each year at the end of May in Seattle. I’ll be speaking at that conference on Hellenistic astrology. Then the American Federation of Astrologers are also doing a conference in May in Arizona. That was one that I attended a couple of years ago and spoke at, and it was a pretty good conference, so that is also worth looking into.
And then, finally, the biggest conference of the year is the National Council of Geocosmic Research’s conference in Philadelphia in mid-August. And that’s gonna be a conference where all of the organizations around the world, or all the chapters that the NCGR has around the world come together to form one big conference in Philadelphia, so it should be pretty spectacular. I’ll be doing a lecture and then a workshop on zodiacal releasing and timing peak periods in a person’s love life at that conference. So if you’re in the area, you should come check it out. I think they actually extended their early-bird special until the end of January. So if you sign up right now, you can actually get it for pretty cheap, whereas the closer and closer we get to the event, the higher the price will be going.
So that’s the first piece of news. Let’s see, the second piece of news is I recently launched a new course on electional astrology, and that’s now available. It’s broken up into a series of different lectures that are presented on my online course site. I’ve been working on it for a few years, and I’m pretty excited. So you can find more information about that course on my website at ChrisBrennanAstrologer.com.
Other than that, the third piece of news is that I have a big announcement to make about the paper that I’m releasing with Benjamin Dykes about the origins of the assignment of the four elements to each of the signs of the zodiac and how that actually came about—like why Aries is a fire sign, and why Cancer is a water sign, and so on and so forth—because that wasn’t always the case. And there’s been this kind of open question of how those assignments came to be at one point in the Hellenistic tradition about 2,000 years ago, and we actually recently figured it out. So the paper will be coming out soon. And then at that point, hopefully, I’ll be able to, perhaps, have Ben on again in order to do an actual show about it.
And speaking of Ben, that brings me to the fourth piece of news, which is that Ben has already released another book since last fall. He released a book on astrological magic. And then he has another book on mundane astrology—which is the first of, I believe, a trilogy of books on mundane astrology—coming out sometime in the next few weeks. So he’s already produced two more books since I interviewed him last fall. Which brings us to, in other news, our fifth point is that, I believe, scientists have confirmed that Ben is, in fact, a robot sent from the future in order to translate astrological texts. I think you were on the team of scientists that made that discovery. Patrick?
PW: Oh, yes, yes. Of course. Of course. But that’s true. He’s amazing.
CB: Right. He is a machine. Okay, so let’s transition into some of our main topics. Our first topic, since it’s been so long—it’s been since September that we recorded the last episode, and at that point, we did an entire episode on the astrology of the presidential election. I thought it would be good to recap what happened, since it’s now mid-January and that’s pretty much all wrapped up.
CB: That was a big year for us, but it went pretty well. We had three really strong points that worked out in our favor—three key points that were somewhat unique about prediction that ended up working out rather well.
PW: Mm-hmm. I believe the first point was that, Chris, I believe that it was you actually that pointed out that the beginning of Romney’s Virgo L3 period—starting on October 13—would kind of begin a period in which he would not do so well, which was statistically validated by Nate Silver’s projections and by the polling data. It was, in fact, right one October 13, the beginning of his new Virgo L3 period, that Romney’s favorability ratings started to dip and Obama’s started to rise at that point after the second debate.
PW: So we correctly identified using zodiacal releasing from the Lot of Spirit. We correctly identified that turning point…
CB: Yeah, and that was one of the things that…
PW: …to the day.
CB: …made our prediction unique—not just that we predicted that Obama would win and that’s happened. But we predicted specifically that starting around October 13 both of them actually were in what looked favorable periods and what looked like peak periods with respect to their career in both of their natal charts coming out of the conventions over the summer and the fall. So they were both in reasonably good shape leading up to mid-October, but then we predicted that starting October 13, Romney would go into a different period that would last through December. And at that point things would begin to unravel for him, eventually culminating in the loss of the election. And in retrospect, that turned out to be true, and we actually got some objective external validation from that in The New York Times pollster, Nate Silver, who had this great graph where he showed that Romney’s numbers were rising—especially as a result of the first debate—all the way up until about October 12. And then starting every day after that, they just plummeted all the way through until Election Day.
PW: And then, of course, there was the big prediction. We did say that Obama would win, and he did. So the second, obviously, really big part of our prediction was, you know, who would win. So we definitely got that right. There was a bit of a discussion that took place amongst the astrological community about projections about the Mercury retrograde that would happen on the day of the election. But Chris, you know, was able to find a lot of things about the election that did kind of fall under the category of what we would typically expect from Mercury retrogrades, especially concerning Romney’s Project ORCA.
CB: Yeah. I mean, most of the discussion in the astrological community, especially in the last few months leading up to the election, was about the Mercury retrograde that would station retrograde on Election Day and what that would mean, and because it was a repetition of what happened in 2000 that there might be similar delays for several weeks, or other Mercury retrograde-related issues. And we, ourselves, in our original prediction, we recognized that as potentially being an issue, although one of the things that we saw is it was specifically tied into Romney’s chart because a couple of the other timing techniques were also coinciding with the two timeframes of Mercury stationing retrograde and Mercury stationing direct approximately three weeks later. So we knew that it was specifically tied into Romney’s chart. It didn’t necessarily seem to be tied into Obama’s chart, though.
PW: Yeah. Well, one thing that I’ve always noticed about Obama and Mercury retrograde periods—and I think it’s due to his natal Mercury—is that Obama tends to have pretty good luck during Mercury retrograde periods, and I think that is because he was born with Mercury opposite Jupiter. And so, I think his experiences with the phases of Mercury are kind of colored by Jupiter, which tends to be more fortunate. Whereas for Romney, you know, Romney was born with Mercury retrograde conjunct Mars, which is especially problematic in his chart because he was born during the day. So his experiences with Mercury retrogrades—and even through the primaries—is that he tends to get in more trouble during the Mercury retrogrades. So, of course, the election itself happened with Mercury retrograde, and so, Obama was able to benefit from it, and Romney did not.
CB: Right. Yeah, which is a bit of an understatement. I mean, there was kind of a debate afterwards. There were some astrologers that were kind of annoyed in the immediate aftermath of the election that things were wrapped up so quickly, and so many astrologers had said that there might be delays because of what happened in 2000. And I think there was a little bit too much…
PW: Although there were some delays. I mean, while Obama was projected to win in Florida, the official counting didn’t actually finish until several days afterwards. It’s funny because while everyone’s worst fears didn’t materialize, even completely, non-astrological commentators in the media and so forth were openly speculating about, yeah, a repeat of 2000. So I think it was interesting that it was on everyone’s mind whether you knew about Mercury or not.
CB: Yeah. I guess what I was saying is just that there were some astrologers that were a little bit too quick to jump on some of the other astrologers who had made predictions based on Mercury retrograde…
PW: I agree. I agree.
CB: …when, in fact, you know, this was definitely a unique election. And there were definitely a number of problems with it externally, in terms of the circumstances surrounding the election from many people on Election Day, such as everybody on the East Coast that was hit by Hurricane Sandy a week before. This will forever be remembered as the election where a hurricane came out of nowhere and slammed into the East Coast one week before Election Day.
PW: Which was interesting ‘cause people also mentioned that weather had a role to play at both of the conventions as well. I thought that was very weird. I didn’t know what to make of it, necessarily. But the Republican convention had to be postponed because of a hurricane, and they had to move Obama’s final acceptance speech for his nomination inside because of a thunderstorm, and then the election itself was affected by another hurricane. It’s just kind of interesting ‘cause we know that reading not just celestial omens, but weather omens were also taken into account in ancient traditions of astrology. So it’s interesting to consider what role that might have today.
CB: Sure. Yeah, the broader study of omenology when events take place and when they begin. Yeah, so there were external events like Hurricane Sandy. There were major delays. There were certain races, like in Florida and Arizona, that were up in the air for weeks afterwards. It’s just that it didn’t matter this time. If things had come down to Florida, then we would have seen a repeat of 2000. And it’s interesting that that was the one state which really did perfectly have a repeat of the circumstances surrounding 2000 in so much as it was so close that it took a couple of weeks until the outcome was known.
But even beyond that there were problems inside Romney’s campaign that were talked about quite a bit in the media in the aftermath, about a week after the election. Everybody was talking about this program, this get-out-the-vote program called Project ORCA that was supposed to be Romney’s secret weapon in order to help him identify polling precincts that were underperforming, and then calling all of the supporters in the area in order to get out the vote at the last minute. And it was supposed to be this very high-tech program in order to help accomplish that, but it completely went haywire and it was a huge Mercury retrograde-type fiasco on Election Day, which some people attributed to or said had a significantly negative impact on some of Romney’s numbers on Election Day.
And it’s interesting because one of the ways that was tied into his campaign—and one of the reasons that seemed to have affected his campaign specifically rather than Obama’s—was because of when Romney launched his campaign. Not only does Romney have Mercury as the ruler of his Ascendant, and retrograde in his natal chart, but when he launched his campaign, he had Virgo rising with the Sun and Moon in Gemini. So he had a very Mercury-ruled inception chart for the start of his presidential campaign back in 2011.
PW: That’s right.
CB: So that’s kind of a lesson. As you were saying with Obama, you’ve mentioned and demonstrated some events where he seems to do pretty well under Mercury retrogrades, whereas there are other people who—if you pay attention to their chronology—do not. Or sometimes if you’re trying to, you know, figure out how Mercury retrogrades are gonna affect something like this, you figure out which person is more dominated by that planet, and then you’ll know which camp it’s gonna become more prominent in. But that wasn’t the only thing. I mean, that wasn’t the only thing.
So in our original prediction, that was the problem. The problem was that we saw that Mercury retrograde was important and that it was stationing retrograde on Election Day, but we saw this specifically being tied into Romney’s chart, and it was tied into this other technique in such a way that it implied that there was something about the election, or there was something unfinished for Romney until about three weeks after the election. And we had a specific date range of, I think, three or four days at the very end of November of 2012 when whatever it was that was not finished for him would come to completion. And that was part of our original prediction, if you go back. We basically said either this could indicate something that happens globally in the sense that there’s a big delay in the election, like 2000, or it could be something personal for Romney because it only seems to be tied into his personal chart.
And the latter ended up being the case because what happened is three weeks later, Obama fulfilled a promise he made on election night, when he gave his acceptance speech, where he said he’d like to meet with Romney in order to see if they could work together or something to that effect. And three weeks later, Obama made good on the promise, and Romney went to the White House and met with Obama for a private launch for a couple of hours and they talked about some undisclosed matters. And we really have no idea what happened, but it was really striking that Romney just sort of emerged out of the White House after three weeks of…
CB: …seclusion, obscurity after losing the election, after such a huge event in his life. And then he went to the place that he really had been trying to get. Like he’d been trying to, you know, move into the White House in some sense for the greater part of a decade. And that was probably the point at which Romney got—at least to whatever extent he can—some sense of closure about what happened on November 6. So that was the third major prong of our prediction, which actually turned out to be correct, so I just wanted to point that out. I mean, I think towards the end—especially once Hurricane Sandy showed up—like everyone else, we started assuming that it really was gonna be like this big, national ordeal and potentially that the election could be delayed. Which to some extent was true, but nonetheless, in our original prediction, we sort of left it open that these two different possibilities were taking place and we weren’t sure which it was gonna be. So that’s pretty good
CB: We’ve got to come up with a new measurement scale for astrologers of…
PW: How well the predictions are?
CB: I’d like to call it ‘we-called-it-ness’, like what is the ‘we-called-it-ness’ level of this prediction. I mean, I don’t know how you rank that, but we should probably really work on that at some point in the future. But I’d say it was pretty high up there on the ‘we-called-in-ness’ scale in terms of not just predicting the outcome, but predicting two crucial things…
CB: …surrounding the election as far as important events that would take place.
PW: I think, yeah, on a scale of ‘lame-to-awesome’, I think it was definitely close to awesome.
CB: Okay, so that’s that. Let’s move on. There were a few things that we learned from the election, just to sort of round this out and to give it some perspective. One of the things that we learned that I think the astrological community really needs to take note of is about the void-of-course Moon. There was a lot—I don’t want to say a lot—but there could have been more, perhaps. But there was some ink spilled about the void-of-course Moon at the time of Obama accepting the nomination at the Democratic National Convention. A lot of that was surrounding or was a result of that book, Secrets of a Stargazer’s Notebook, where she quotes another astrologer who was the one who popularized the concept of the void-of-course Moon, Al Morrison.
And apparently, the concept wasn’t that widely used. I mean, it was a concept. I know that because it’s in the Hellenistic texts 2,000 years ago, it’s in the Medieval texts a thousand years ago. So it’s been a concept, but it wasn’t necessarily used in the exact same way that it has been in the past 20 to 30 or 40 years. And it certainly wasn’t something that people paid attention to every two or three days and wouldn’t, you know, do anything at those times. And I think that this is one of the best examples where we really should bring into question the modern conceptualization of the void-of-course Moon and the modern definition of that concept.
PW: Yeah, we just have too many examples now of the void-of-course Moon resulting in successful endeavors. We have four major ones from Obama beginning with his first presidential run announcement on February 10, 2007. The Moon was at 25° of Scorpio, apparently void, but he won the presidency in 2008. He also announced his vice presidential selection, Joe Biden, I believe on August 26, 2008, and the Moon was at 29° of Taurus, completely void by the modern definition, but Biden became Vice President Biden. And then, what else do we have? Oh, yeah, the inauguration itself. On January 20, at noon, 2009, Obama was inaugurated. I guess depending on your perspective of Obama, you could say that the void Moon manifested as a failure or not, but he was reelected. And then, of course, I think the really conclusive test is the fact that Obama was nominated to be the Democratic presidential candidate a second time under a void-of-course Moon, on September 6, 2012, and he won the presidency. So we have four very solid examples of void-of-course Moons, or apparently void-of-course Moons resulting in the exact opposite effect.
CB: And there’s a bunch of issues surrounding the void-of-course Moon that people don’t realize and don’t take into account, and so, there might be some ways of explaining this away. First, astrologers need to come to the realization and we need to have a discussion about the fact that there’s at least two—if not possibly three—entirely distinct or separate definitions of void-of-course Moon. The definition that everybody uses today is not the original definition, nor was it necessarily even the definition used more recently, a few hundred years ago. But through translations of ancient texts over the course of the past decade, we’ve actually learned that the original definition of void-of-course Moon is that the Moon does not complete any exact, applying aspects within the next 30° regardless of sign boundaries. So that’s a much different definition. That doesn’t have anything to do with sign boundaries. It just has to do with the Moon essentially not completing any exact aspects for the next 48 hours, for the next two whole days, since the Moon usually moves approximately 13° in a 24-hour period.
PW: And it’s a far rarer condition.
CB: Yeah, it’s a far rarer condition. This does not take place every two to three days. It happens much more infrequently than that, but it actually does happen every once in a while. But that’s one of the reasons why it was seen as so special and so problematic, and that’s actually where the original term comes from. The original Greek term for void-of-course was kenodromia, which means ‘running in the void’ or ‘running in the emptiness’. And it’s because the Moon, if it’s moving for 30° without running into any other planets, it’s literally moving through a void in the zodiac because there’s a complete emptiness of any other planetary relationships that the Moon is forming at that point for two entire days, and that is kind of striking. And that’s also one of the reasons why it was viewed so negatively.
But that then just brings up a separate issue, which is that some of the modern astrologers, like Al Morrison, would quote the ancient astrologers, like Firmicus Maternus, for their delineation of the void-of-course Moon, which was always extremely bad and extremely negative. Apparently, some of the modern astrologers, like Al Morrison, did not realize that Firmicus was using an entirely different definition of void-of-course than the one that they’re using today. So that’s a big deal, and that’s the original definition, apparently. But then there’s also the possibility of a third definition.
In the early 1990’s, Sue Ward wrote a paper where she argued that William Lilly’s actual definition of void-of-course Moon was not the modern one as it appears. But instead, she argued that William Lilly’s actual practical definition of void-of-course Moon was that the Moon is not within orb of making any applying aspects to any planets within the next 12 or 13°, or whatever orb, using for the Moon. So basically, void-of-course occurs somewhat more frequently, but it’s basically anytime the Moon is out of orb from an applying aspect with another planet. So that’s a potential third definition and there’s some historical debates over whether or not that’s actually what Lilly intended in terms of what his definition of void-of-course was. But that, again, is another definition that doesn’t have anything to do with sign boundaries. It just has to do with orbs and with applying aspects that the Moon is or is not making.
And that’s really important because, ultimately, I think the main thing we need to learn from this is that if the Moon is applying to another planet, even if it’s across a sign boundary, if it’s a close application, you really don’t have to worry about the fact that it’s not gonna complete the aspect before it changes into the next sign. And honestly, it’s not that big of a deal. Or at least it’s not as big of a deal as some modern astrologers have made the contemporary definition of the void-of-course Moon out to be. There may still be something to be said for that definition. There may be some interpretive value to it, and I very much think there is, but it’s just not as extremely bad or extremely negative as the ancient definition, or as some people sometimes make it out to be, where you shouldn’t do anything under a void-of-course Moon, or anything that is started under a void-of-course Moon will fail to come to fruition. That’s simply not true.
PW: Yeah, it’s much better that the Moon just be late in the sign than directly applying to a malefic. Yeah, I think the main importance about the Moon is the applying aspects.
PW: And sign changes might indicate some sort of change in the circumstances. Like in horary, we see that a bit where if the Moon changes signs, there’s usually like a change in the circumstances over whatever the Moon is significating or acting as a significator for.
PW: So there is an interpretive, you know, importance, but certainly not earth-shattering.
CB: Right. And in point of fact, in Obama’s acceptance chart for the nomination last fall, the Moon was at the very end of the sign, but it was applying to a sextile or a square with Venus. So it was actually applying to a very positive aspect as soon as it changed signs within a few degrees. So it really was not a big deal. And if anything, it was indicating something very favorable in that chart.
PW: And another thing to consider, too, is that in Obama’s chart, you know, he has his Midheaven at 28 Scorpio and his IC at 28 Taurus. And with all of these examples that we found with the void-of-course Moon, the Moon was at, you know, 25 or 28 or 29° of Scorpio or Taurus. So it was making a major connection with, you know, very important points in his chart. So there’s no reason to view these negatively just by themselves. I think people were almost looking at them, you know, without any context of his natal chart.
CB: Sure. And for all we know that may have provided some mitigations, since that does seem to come up frequently for him. Another thing that people need to take into account is that if you’re using the Medieval definition of void-of-course—or let’s say the contemporary definition—even in authors like Bonatti or in Lilly, they say that there are exceptions to the rule. And so, they say that, for example, the Moon is hindered when it’s void-of-course unless it’s in Cancer or Taurus or Sagittarius or Pisces.
PW: Which it was at the time that he accepted the nomination, in Taurus.
CB: Right. And it was in Taurus, so there was a mitigation involved. So even if you were using that definition, you still should have been more careful about, you know, considering it to be the end of the world, but that part of it or those mitigating factors have sort of been forgotten about. Although that’s kind of problematic ‘cause then if somebody wanted to defend the modern definition of void-of-course Moon, that’s probably the best way to do it. Just say, “Well, this wasn’t a good example because there was that mitigating factor because it was exalted in Taurus.” And I might buy that as an argument or as a counterargument, although you’re still gonna have to contend with some of the other void-of-course Moon examples in Obama’s chronology, like the launch of his successful 2008 presidential campaign. And if you’re able to somehow prove that was also not a good example, then I’ll be impressed.
PW: Go you.
CB: Go you. Okay, so let’s move on. So that was one of the big things, I think, that astrologers can take from the 2012 presidential election. Another thing that astrologers could take from it or that we learned is there’s a problem—I mean, there’s two problems; two of them are using inception charts. No, let’s start with the other one. Let’s start with horary. Horary—I mean, it’s kind of a hobby-horse of ours. We really are not impressed by the application of horary astrology in order to attempt to predict things like presidential races. It seems like bad astrology. And I apologize to any of you that do that or that are offended by that. But I think there’s something missing from the theory and the philosophy underlying it that kind of violates some of the principles of horary astrology, which is the importance of that unique moment when you’re casting the chart for the exchange of a question. And assuming that that chart will give you the answer to whatever was inquired about, there has to be something special about that moment, in the same way that there’s something very special and unique about the birth of an individual.
But if hundreds or thousands of other people are asking themselves that same question everyday for like two or three years, your chart is not gonna be terribly unique unless you are one of the candidates. If you are, you know, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, and you ask, “Will I win the election?” that’s deeply personal, and that connects you and makes you one of the 1st house people. That gives you a right to be the 1st house. But if you were just asking, “Who will win the election?” you’re one of a thousand people that are asking the same question, and I really don’t think that that’s a compelling use of horary astrology.
PW: And from people who have, you know, noticed using this technique—I mean, I know two people who used this technique and came out to different answers. So that just kind of invalidates the entire practice altogether ‘cause there can only be one answer. So it’s not the answer that’s right, it’s the practice that’s wrong. Asking yourself a question and asking yourself a question that you have nothing personally to do with—you can’t ask horary ‘2 + 2’, right? And you can’t ask—yeah, it’s our hobby-horse, I guess.
CB: Yeah. I mean, one of the main rules is you have to be personally involved in the question. And if you’re not, then you don’t have any business asking the question, and it doesn’t tie you in and doesn’t make you the 1st house.
PW: Perhaps the chart might indicate that you’re thinking about this particular topic, but yeah, it’s not gonna have any value really.
CB: Yeah. I mean, tons of different people came up with different answers based on that approach, and some of them said Romney would win and some said Obama would win. I mean, it doesn’t matter. Even if your chart, your horary chart said that Obama would win, I don’t find that impressive or compelling in the least for the same exact reason I don’t find anyone who said that Romney would win. I didn’t find that compelling before the election either. You’ve got to use charts that are directly tied in with the election or with the people that are most involved and most crucial to the election itself.
PW: And on that topic of which charts are relevant, you know, for determining an election, I think we really are down to just the people who are involved because early voting has made using inception charts of election night or Election Day pretty useless. Who’s to say now when the election really happens when Election Day starts at different times in different states? Who knows when the first ballot is really cast? So I think we really are kind of down to just using the natal charts of the people directly involved using natal astrology.
CB: I mean, there’s other things you can still…
PW: Or ingresses. Yeah, perhaps ingress charts.
CB: Yeah, perhaps ingresses. There’s the inauguration chart, which is an inception chart. There’s, you know, the campaign launch charts themselves—which we had at least one of them—that did actually tell us very important information about what would happen on Election Day. But you’re right. Casting an inception chart and trying to find the start of Election Day itself is kind of a fool’s errand at this point. None of the results of any of that was very compelling. Anybody who tried to cast an inception chart for the, you know, start of, let’s say, Election Day itself, what they ended up going with ended up being very subjective. And unfortunately, in this era of early voting and everything else, we’re gonna have to retire that method unless somebody can find something that’s a lot more compelling in terms of showing that this is definitely the beginning of Election Day, or the beginning of when people start voting. I think something we learned from this election is that we’re gonna have to move away from that method.
CB: Yeah, so I think that’s it for…
PW: That’s that.
CB: …the election. That’s what we learned from the election and those were some of our successes when it came to this election. So it was kind of a fun ride. I guess we’re at the very end of the road at this point because now we’re just days away from Inauguration Day. And that has presented a bit of a problem. Since January 20—which is always Inauguration Day—falls on a Sunday, they’ve decided to move the public inauguration to the following day, to January 21. Which is interesting since January 20 at noon is always when the transfer of power occurs. According to the 20th Amendment, since 1933, January 20 at noon is officially when one President’s term ends and the next one begins.
And the chart for that moment actually looks remarkably bad or remarkably inauspicious from an electional standpoint. But it’s notable that the next day, at noon on the 21st, the chart actually looks remarkably much better or remarkably positive from an electional standpoint. And so, there’s gonna be probably a bit of a debate in the astrological community in the near future about which is the correct chart—whether you should use the chart for noon on the 20th or if it’s the public ceremony that really counts. And it should be noon on the 21st. So what do you think, Patrick?
PW: I mean, we kind of had this issue before last time…
PW: …as well because the Constitution also says that the President is not really the President till they say the oath. So in that case, you know, it wasn’t until the President said the proper words they technically became the President, but then the other amendment says that it’s at noon. So back in 2009, we decided that, you know, we kind of had to go with the more symbolically-significant moment, which was, you know, noon, on January 20 because that is what is explicitly stated in the Constitution. It’s also when he kind of did the public ceremony. In this case, it’s kind of reversed that the significant moment is the one that they are still honoring—the legal moment at which he begins his new term vs. the public celebration. So I think it is probably gonna be the January 20 noon time that will be the official beginning of his term. And that does, unfortunately, come with some fairly ominous indications in the chart.
CB: Yeah, what we’ve got is Taurus rising ‘cause it’s always Taurus rising on January 20. So the angles are always the same. What changes is the placement of the planets. And there’s two problems with this chart. The first thing is that Mars is angular. It’s in an angular house, and thus, it’s more prominent in this chart. And surprisingly, this doesn’t happen very often. I went through inauguration days for the past 75 years or so, back to the 1930s, and there’s only a handful of them that actually have Mars in an angular house. The most recent was George Bush, Jr.’s first term starting in 2001. So that’s the term that lasted from 2001 to 2005, which, as we all know, involved two wars—the Afghanistan war and the Iraq war. And then the inauguration that occurred with Mars in an angular house prior to this was his father’s—George Bush, Sr.—who was inaugurated in 1989. And that also had Mar in an angular house, and coincided with, during his term, the First Gulf War in Iraq.
So that’s kind of a weird precedent. There’s a few others, like Harry Truman’s second term. Harry S. Truman—his inauguration took place in 1949. That coincided with the Korean War during that term. Franklin D. Roosevelt—his second term in 1937, technically, America did not officially get involved in the war until 1941, in his third term. However, World War II did break out in Europe during that term, and Roosevelt himself pushed very hard for rearmament and trying to get the US in a war stance, in order to get it ready to enter World War II. And he did everything short of basically officially declaring war against the Axis powers. Yeah, so that’s a problem. So we’ve got this problem because Mars, of course, is the planet of war. It’s more prominent in these inauguration charts, and several of the ones in the past have coincided with major wars.
PW: Yeah, the other problem is the next application of the Moon is a square to Mars. Not only is it a square to Mars, but it’s also very close to the nodes. So Mars itself is squared the nodes while the Moon is approaching a node. You know, the old rule from Valens about inceptions is you never want the Moon to be in the quadruplicities of the nodes. So even though the Moon is in Taurus, it’s, you know, right by the nodes, and it’s square Mars, so it doesn’t look good.
CB: Yeah. And the Moon applying within a degree to a square with Mars, with Mars in the superior position up in the 10th house, and the Moon in the inferior position in the 1st house in a day chart, where Mars is more malefic due to the concept of sect. That’s basically one of the worst possible conditions that you could have in an electional chart for the Moon. And in an article I published on The Political Astrology Blog recently, I talked about some of the implications of that and some of the other instances in which that’s occurred, and they’re not very good for the sake of the President, so we’ll kind of leave it at that. But it’s interesting that on the following day, 24 hours later, the Moon has left that. It’s completed that square with Mars, and it’s even moved out of Taurus. And instead, it’s ingressed into early Gemini, where it’s applying to a conjunction with Jupiter in a day chart and a trine with Mercury.
PW: It’s also a lunar return for him as well.
CB: Oh, yeah. So the Moon’s at, what, 2 or 3° Gemini?
PW: Yeah. Yeah.
CB: Yeah, so that’s really striking because it goes from being one of the worst possible electional alignments, which is Moon square Mars in a day chart applying within a degree, to one of the best possible electional alignments, which is the Moon applying to a conjunction with Jupiter in day chart, within a few degrees. So I don’t know what that means. We’ve been hoping for a while that what that means is that there’s a reason why this terrible electional chart on the 20th happened to fall on a Sunday, which forced them to move the public inauguration to the next day. Perhaps in some way, that public inauguration and the fact that all of that will take place in front of the country on the 21st under the more auspicious chart, there’s something significant about that. And somehow, perhaps, that will be the more important symbolically-significant inception for his second presidency.
PW: Yeah, but it may not matter.
CB: Yeah. But then if you look at the Constitution, it’s pretty clear in Amendment 20 that one President’s term ends at noon, on the 20th, and the next President’s term begins at that time. And the Obama administration itself appears to agree with this because they’re gonna go ahead and do a private oath ceremony on the 20th anyway, presumably around noon because they also appear to know or think at least that his term will begin that day. Maybe they’re just covering all of their bases like they did with the last inauguration.
PW: Well, one explanation for the Moon conjoining Jupiter—the Moon-Jupiter conjunction is a good thing maybe just for the ceremony. You know, the public ceremony will go well, you know, with the Moon conjoining Jupiter. But with Moon squaring Mars on the day that he actually is supposed to start his new term is more of a symbol for his entire term. But either way, before you get too bummed out if you’re listening, actually a very unexpectedly good thing about either inauguration chart is that Mercury—the planet of commerce and markets—is applying to a trine to Jupiter in Gemini. And it’s going from, I believe, the 10th house to the 2nd house and that is also about finances and money. So it does look like, to some extent, we may see an improvement in the nation’s finances due to the restorative nature of Jupiter. Jupiter is in Gemini, which is Mercury’s domicile. So that’s somewhat unexpected because, you know, who would guess that the economy might improve.
CB: Yeah, especially if the second chart is the most important chart.
CB: But if it isn’t, then I guess there’s still some good indications, but it’s not emphasized, or the positive economic indications are not…
CB: …emphasized as much. Okay, well, I’m kind of bummed out now, so let’s move onto the next topic and just get away from the 2012 election and get away from politics. So what else happened? I guess we have some other topics. One thing that happened immediately after the election—it was kind of funny because a week or two after the election, there was nothing. You know, it was just over very suddenly and nobody had anything to talk about. And then, all of a sudden, this sex scandal with Petraeus broke out, and a lot of the astrologers were commenting. I saw a tweet by Jeff Jawer who just remarked about how perfect a sex scandal involving the two major intelligence agencies in the United States—the CIA and FBI—how perfect the symbolism was because there’s an eclipse in Scorpio right around the same time that took place in mid-November.
It wasn’t just that it was a sex scandal, and it was involving, you know, these intelligence agencies or these spy agencies. But also, one of the things that was funny is around the time of the eclipse some of the news stories and the op-ed pieces started turning towards topics having to do with personal privacy and personal secrets and things like that. In reading the stories, a lot of people realized that how they were busted was that the FBI basically just got access to their email accounts and started reading everything and then was able to figure everything out. And one of the side effects that happened as a result of that or one of the spin-off stories was just people started writing op-ed pieces or pieces about how to protect your privacy online. And suddenly, personal privacy and personal secrets became a topic of the day in some of the news venues for about a week, right around the time of this major eclipse.
So I just thought that was funny. And it just raises this issue where sometimes astrological symbolism can be very literal. And that’s not all the time, but sometimes it really is. And it’s always striking when that happens because sometimes you’re not expecting it. Sometimes you’re expecting it to be much more abstract. But in some instances, it’s just…
PW: Very literal.
CB: Yeah, it’s just beating you over the head with it just over and over again.
PW: I mean, it was even a general, you know. And Scorpio’s, you know, lord is Mars.
PW: Yeah, Scorpio is the home of Mars, the warrior.
CB: Yeah, I mean, all of it, and then the FBI. I mean, I should say—unless you assume that I’m thinking this too simplistically. It’s not just because it occurred in the sign Scorpio, but it’s also tied into a bunch of inception charts that also happen to have Scorpio very closely tied into them. I mean, I know, for example, that the chart for the FBI has a lot of heavy Scorpio placements. And I think it has…
CB: Right, naturally, but that’s part of the reason why. It’s not just because there was an eclipse in Scorpio, but it’s also because that eclipse was in a prominent house, in a prominent sign in many of the inception charts for the organizations and the people who were closely tied into the event.
PW: That’s cool.
CB: Yeah. I mean, that in and of itself gives you some insight into the nature of astrology that, you know, they have these placements in these signs. I think the FBI itself has Saturn in Scorpio because, if I recall correctly, J. Edgar Hoover founded it during his Saturn return, and he, himself, had Saturn in Scorpio.
PW: Makes sense.
CB: I need to check into that and make sure that’s correct, but I’m pretty sure that was the case. And then, of course, we have Saturn ingressing back into Scorpio in October and then this entire thing coming out of nowhere. But sometimes the placements and the symbolism or the basic symbolism in a person’s chart, or even in an organization’s chart, can sort of lie dormant there until something activates it, and then at that time you will see the symbolism come out in a very literal way. One of the problems I’ve been dealing with recently, though, a big problem that I’m trying to wrestle with is that sometimes the manifestation of the astrological event doesn’t always take place—that the person who it’s happening to doesn’t always see it, but that doesn’t mean that something important didn’t happen in their life. This is coming up more and more frequently for me. It’s starting to bother me a little bit.
PW: You don’t know everything that happens to you.
PW: There are some things you just can’t know, but do happen…
PW: …but do concern you.
CB: Right. Like sometimes you’re applying to a job. When was the decision actually made that you were gonna get the job? Was it when you heard about it at that moment? Or did it happen like days earlier when you had that important aspect that went exact, but then no event took place in your immediate frame of reference?
PW: But that might have been when the decision was made.
CB: Right. That’s basically what I’m seeing. And there’s a lot of that going on, and it kind of bothers me. I mean, it’s interesting because one of the implications is that, on some level, either all or most, or more than we realize, more of the configurations and the exact transits and the exact aspects—or things of that nature, the activations with time-lords or progressions—are probably actually probably resulting in events or resulting in the initiation of circumstances that eventually culminate in something important, but it’s just that it’s not stuff that we see in our field of vision. But that doesn’t necessarily make it unimportant. Yeah, so that’s very important. Anyway, that’s a topic I’m looking into, and hopefully, I’ll be able to go into more depth with some actual examples. I have some examples, but I’ll go into it some other time. Other topics that we wanted to bring up—what are you interested in talking about at this point?
PW: Well, we talked a little bit about the end of the world earlier.
PW: And gladly, that didn’t happen this year. Oh, no, last year rather, as people predicted would happen on December 21, 2012. We are still here. And it was a completely non-astrologically-based prediction, but nonetheless, astrologers thought it’d be good to kind of hitch the wagon of astrology to this millenarianist fad.
CB: Yeah. I mean, this was the latest in a long line of millenarianism and of people trying to predict either the end of the world or when important world-changing events would take place, either of a literal, physical nature or of some sort of spiritual nature, that there would be a worldwide, spiritual transformation or what have you. And, I mean, there might be some people that are still trying to argue that that’s what happened. I think they’re mistaken, though, and I think that the astrological basis of 2012 was very shaky. It was based originally on the Mayan calendar.
But most of the people that were using it, they were taking other astrological ideas—like the Age of Aquarius or precession or things like that—and they were applying it to the Mayan calendar, which was not originally what the end of the Mayan calendar was based on. The Mayan calendar’s based on other things, like Venus cycles—the eight-year cycle of Venus—and other interesting things like that. I mean, I guess one of the arguments is that it was based on precession. But then if that’s true and it was about the galactic alignment or the alignment of the Galactic Center with the winter solstice, then that was actually much closer about 10 years ago, closer to 1999 than it was to 2012.
PW: Yeah. Something I thought was kind of interesting about the prediction for December 21, 2012 is that it technically was a Jupiter return of the end of the year 2000, which was when we had another big fear about the world ending. Y2K.
PW: So it was interesting that Jupiter kind of brought this topic back into people’s consciousness.
CB: Yeah. I mean, a lot of astrologers or a lot of New Age people were talking about the Age of Aquarius and that was another topic that sort of came up. Although, you know, that’s been around for over a century now. People have been predicting when the Age of Aquarius is gonna start.
PW: The problem is that the constellations aren’t perfectly evenly-spaced or symmetrical. I mean, there’s at least a few hundred years before you really know you’re in one constellation vs. another. Part of Aquarius overlaps into Pisces. Maybe we’re in the ‘Age of Aquisces’ right now, or ‘Piquarius’.
PW: Piquarius, I like that, yeah.
CB: That sounds delicious.
PW: Have some fried Piquarius.
CB: Right. Yeah, the Age of Aquarius, though, there’s a lot of problems with it. I saw somebody posting like a week afterwards in late December, after December 21. It was this hilarious graphic that said that the Age of Aquarius had begun on December 21, 2012. And I really have to just be clear that that’s probably not the case. So there’s not really any good reason to associate December 21, 2012 with the start of the Age of Aquarius partially for the reason that Patrick mentioned, which is that the constellations of Pisces and Aquarius overlap. So there’s gonna be this long period where you’re kind of in both for a while.
CB: Right. But we haven’t even reached that stage yet because the vernal equinox has not even crossed the first star in the constellation of Pisces, as far as I’m aware, based on most ayanamsas. I mean, there’s two things. If you go with the fact that they’re overlapping, then we’ve got probably like a hundred-to-200-year span of time where you’re gonna be in both, and there’s not gonna be a clear transition where everybody becomes enlightened all of a sudden. Two, the beginning of Pisces, as far as the constellation goes—we haven’t hit it yet, so we’re still a ways away. I think the range puts it closer to 2060.
PW: Wow. I think we should definitely make t-shirts saying ‘Welcome to the Age of Piquarius’.
CB: Piquarius. That can be the official mascot of the show.
PW: Yes. Yeah.
PW: There we go. 60 bucks each.
CB: And even the Age of Aquarius itself—whatever you think that it is—you probably have a somewhat mistaken view of that. In the past hundred years, there were a lot of hopes and wishes about this future especially based on the Theosophists because the Theosophists in the early 20th century were really the ones that initially promoted this idea of the Age of Aquarius. And they thought that humanity was evolving spiritually and that we were getting ready to go into a new spiritual age where everyone would be enlightened and everything would be better, and so on and so forth. And so, they grasped onto this idea of the Age of Aquarius and they started attributing a lot of very positive qualities. They started making it so that the sign Aquarius and the qualities associated with it slowly changed to be much more positive and much more closer to their ideal of what they wanted the coming 2,000-year period to be all about.
PW: It’s quite Piscean, actually.
CB: Right. That’s true. And we have a problem now, which is that some of the interpretations of Aquarius, oftentimes—especially within the context of discussing the astrological ages—have more to do with this earlier, inherited, predisposition to want to view the Age of Aquarius as being this great thing. And they ascribe all these positive qualities to it quite aside from what it actually means in astrology, or what that sign actually meant traditionally or anything else. I mean, worst-case—I don’t know if worst-case scenario, but traditionally speaking, Aquarius was an air sign that was ruled by Saturn. So worst-case scenario, we’re going from traditionally a period ruled by Jupiter and a water sign to an air sign that’s ruled by Saturn. So, you know, welcome to a 2,000-year period of Saturn. That doesn’t sound quite as exciting.
CB: You can’t really write as many books about that. It’s like not as snappy. So that’s kind of a worst-case scenario from a traditional perspective. Best-case scenario—not even best-case. But from a modern perspective, if you want to argue for traditional rulerships what you’ve got is Uranus. And sure, we’ve got things having to do with freedom and liberty and everything else. But then, also, you’ve just got things like technology and a greater focus on technological things and on the air qualities associated with an air sign. So you have a greater increase in communication and things like that, let’s say, that this is a great technological age. But even in the past 10 years, I mean, while we’ve seen many of the benefits of technology in, let’s say, connecting more people around the world, we’ve also seen a lot of downsides. I mean, there’s downsides to technology. Technology itself is not necessarily always inherently good. There’s got to be some drawbacks at the same time.
PW: Progress has a dark side.
PW: And actually just as you mentioned connecting the world, another thing that we wanted to talk about for a bit was the transit of Venus, which happened in 2012. That was a fairly rare event. We won’t see another one for I forget how many years, however many hundred years. But what we thought was interesting comparing the 2004 transit of Venus in Gemini to the next one eight years later in June of 2012 was that back in 2004, a little site that was beginning to get more popular, called Facebook, was officially incorporated. And over those eight years, since that time, Facebook grew and grew and grew. And as Venus does, it connects people together. It connected the world together. And by the time that Venus went retrograde again in Gemini eight years later, Facebook officially applied to give an initial public offering of its shares. It decided to go public.
And I think that sort of represents a culmination of its efforts to connect the world doing what it did over the course of those eight years. And it’s interesting ‘cause people are commenting that Facebook is kind of reaching maximum capacity, that it’s kind of got as many people connected as it can. And now they’re trying to find other ways of keeping the site relevant, but they can’t really grow much more than they already have. But I just thought it was interesting that it’s bookended basically by those two transits of Venus, which connected the world together on a virtual platform.
CB: Yeah. And that’s something that the Mayan calendar was partially based on, that eight-year transit of Venus. Every eight years, on the same day of the year—let’s say April 1, 2012—Venus would have been in the same position in the sky approximately, or the same position in the zodiac, as it was on April 1, 2004. So every eight years, there’s this exact repetition where the Sun and Venus are both approximately in the same part of the zodiac and have approximately the same distance between the two of them or the same phase relationship. And that’s an actual astrological technique that you can use very well in order to time events. Sometimes, especially during Venus retrogrades—since Venus, when it goes retrograde, it’ll go retrograde in the same spot in the zodiac approximately every eight years—you can use that in order to time things or to say that there’s gonna be an important repetition of events or an important connection between what would usually seem as separate events.
So, for example, this year, John Kerry became much more prominent all of a sudden and this happened in a few different ways. One, he gave a pretty decent and pretty successful speech at the Democratic National Convention in September. And that was interesting because eight years prior to that would have been the summer of 2004, and that’s when he would have been the nominee at his own convention. So what we have there is an exact eight-year repetition of the Venus cycle where back in 2004, he’s the candidate for the presidency, and then eight years later, all of a sudden, he’s important again on the political stage, and he’s involved, again, in the Democratic National Convention.
PW: It’s also important to note that even at that point, people were floating his name as a possible replacement—as probably the more likely replacement for Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. And now, Obama has officially nominated John Kerry to fill that position. So yeah, in a similar way that his profile rose in 2004 as a presidential candidate, his profile rose again in a very similar way to, you know, become Secretary of State.
PW: Although this time it definitely turned out better for him.
CB: Yeah. And even before that, in the lead up to the debates, he was Obama’s primary debate partner.
PW: That’s right.
CB: He stood in for Mitt Romney. He pretended to be Mitt Romney and then debated against Obama. And if you just think about that, eight years prior to that, he would have been doing the same thing, but he would have been on the other side. He would have been Obama, and he would have been debating against somebody who was pretending to be George Bush.
PW: And that’s the other very weird connection between John Kerry and Obama, which is that it was also at the 2004 convention that John Kerry gave Obama a shot at, you know, having the keynote speech, and that speech really kind of began his career. That was when people first started talking about Obama as a candidate. So, you know, John Kerry, in a lot of ways, helped Obama kind of get where he is. And now, Obama’s helping him get where he wants to go.
CB: Right. And then this all culminates in being selected as Secretary of State, and that’s huge. I mean, eight years ago, during that same time in December, Kerry went from probably one of the lowest points, I would assume, in his career or his life in terms of having just lost the 2004 election after having been so close to eight years later, suddenly he gets what will presumably be the highest political appointment of his life. Sometimes there’s some people whose chronologies and lives are very closely tied into the eight-year cycle of Venus, and you’ll see these very important events playing out according to that eight-year cycle. And sometimes you just have to look through their chronology and identify it. But once you’ve identified it, you know that they’re tied into certain Venus cycles.
So that’s one technique that we wanted to mention since that’s a much more practical takeaway that we could get from the whole Mayan calendar craze. One thing that the Mayans actually did do—if you wipe away all of the things that they didn’t do with respect to Age of Aquarius or 2012, or what have you—one thing that they did do is they did pay attention to the transits of Venus, and that’s still a viable astrological technique today. So with that, I mean, I think that’s pretty much it in terms of the topics that we wanted to discuss today. There’s a few other things we could discuss, but I think we’ll save those for another show. Is there anything else you had that you wanted to catch us up on since our last show, Patrick?
PW: Nothing that I can think of. But I’m sure we’ll have another time to talk about all the things we talk about.
CB: Okay. Well, then I think that pretty much brings us to the end of our show. So I guess I want to thank our listeners for listening. I want to thank Patrick for being my co-host again, and hopefully, have him on again in the future.
PW: Thank you so much for having me.
CB: All right, well, that’s Chris and Patrick for The Astrology Podcast signing off.