A joint publication of: Astro Logos and Zyntara Publications



September 2008

   VAN Archive - www.Zyntara.com


In this issue:
Standing in the Radiance of Venus - A visual astrology view of the US presidential elections and its self-imposed union with Venus.

Sympathy versus Hubris - The sky maps of John McCain and Barack Obama

This issue is focused on the forthcoming presidential elections with, firstly, an historical look at elections through the eyes of visual astrology and then applying this to the sky for the day of the election in November. Seeing the election as rivals families in a royal court enables one to look forward to the elections of 2012 and 2016 with surprising results.  We then focus on the paired images of the horizons at birth of the two candidates - John McCain and Barack Obama.

A Swallows Update

The Swallows lunar eclipse bought another invasion and further boundary issues, as it did with its last occurrence in 1990 which saw the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. On 8th August, 2008, Russia invaded Georgia in defence of South Ossetia, a small group of people who were seeking independence from Georgia. This conflict is complicated and will not resolve itself quickly, thus adding another statistic to the Swallows lunar eclipse record. Meanwhile the Pope, also associated with this eclipse, is embroiled in a conflict between Muslims and Catholics over a speech he made earlier in August - right on cue. One gets a strong feeling that all of this is going to grow into bigger things.


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Standing in the Radiance of Venus -
A visual astrology view of US presidential elections and its self-imposed union with Venus
Bernadette Brady M.A.

Modern day two-party political systems would have appeared strange to the eyes of the Mesopotamian astrologer priest. However, they were not unfamiliar with concept of rivals seeking to overthrow the king and in that light they would have considered the two-party system as a kingdom ruled by two warring families, each one claiming different levels of power at different times. But our early forefathers of astrology would have warmed to this political struggle within the US because, unlike any other country, the US presidential elections have been tied unintentionally by law to the ever-important and powerful Venus cycle. This is a concept they would have considered most logical, as it allows the party or faction receiving the blessing of Venus to gain the rulership of the kingdom. Venus was the only female deity in their world view and her power, which was considerable, was her ability to bestow radiance on any star or planet near her. If the king received this blessing, then he was protected and strong. If, however, she choose to give it to a rival, then the king could be overthrown.


The USA's adoption of the Venus cycle

It so happens that the term of office for the US President was set by the founding fathers at four years and so, starting from 1792, US presidential elections have been held every four years, always occurring on any year divisible by four. At that time the date of the different states' presidential elections could vary, as long as they fell within a 34 day period before the first Wednesday in December [1]. However, as time passed and communication between the states increased, it was clear that candidates were gaining an advantage in some states due to early victories in others. Thus by 1845 it was decided that the four yearly presidential elections would be held on the same day throughout the country. This date was set as the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, thereby locking the presidential elections into an interesting Venus cycle [2].


Every eight years Venus returns to the same place in the sky. Look at the planets on your birthday when you are eight years old and you will notice that Venus is around the same zodiacal degree for when you were born. This is also the case for your 16th birthday, 24th birthday, and so on. This regular cycle of Venus, when linked with the US four yearly presidential elections, means that every second election Venus will be in the same place in the zodiac. Indeed Venus simply alternates between two zodiacal position from one election to the next over the many elections since 1792. These two positions are the early degrees of Libra and the middle degrees of Sagittarius.


Added to this is the fact that the elections are also tied to a calendar date - elections occur between the 2nd and 8th November - thereby locating the Sun, for every election, within the middle degrees of Scorpio.  When these two cycles are combined - the four-year elections with a set date every four years - then Venus for any given election can have only one of two relationship with the Sun: it will either be in Sagittarius, giving it good separation from the Sun, and thus it will be seen as a bright Evening Star; or it will be in Libra, also with a good separation from the Sun, and thus it will be seen as a bright Morning Star.



Morning Star Elections or Evening Star Elections


To the astrologer/priest of the Mesopotamian court, these four-yearly set calendar date elections are custom-made for Venus. With this perfect alignment between the two, they would have considered it an intentional and fortunate association which allowed Venus to be the deity who chose the winner by casting her beams on nearby planets representing the king or his rivals. The brighter she was the greater her favours and with the US system of presidential elections, Venus is bright for every election and could and would give her strength and imprimatur to either the king or the king's rival in the court. So the astrologer/ priest pondering this contest would want to know whether Venus was, firstly, a morning or evening star, as that changes the nature of her favours, and then, secondly, explore who she was empowering with her beams. 


Sorting out the Elections

The following are the election dates divided into their
Morning Star Elections with Venus in early degrees of Libra and the Evening Star Elections with Venus in the middle degrees of Sagittarius.  

 Morning Star Elections - The Victors
Venus in early degrees of Libra



 Evening Star Elections - The Victors
Venus in middle degrees of Sagittarius

Franklin Pierce 2 Nov 1852 Zachary Taylor 7 Nov 1848

Abraham Lincoln (1st term)

6 Nov 1860

James Buchanan 4 Nov 1856

Ulysses Grant  (1st term)

3 Nov 1868

Abraham Lincoln (2nd term) 8 Nov 1864

R. Hayes

7 Nov 1876

Ulysses Grant  (2nd term) 5 Nov 1872

Grover Cleveland (1st term)

4 Nov 1884

James Garfield 2 Nov 1880

Grover Cleveland (2nd term)

8 Nov 1892

Benjamin Harrison 6 Nov 1888

William McKinley (2nd term)

6 Nov 1900

William McKinley 3 Nov 1896

William Taft

3 Nov 1908

Theodore Roosevelt 8 Nov 1904

Woodrow Wilson (2nd term)

7 Nov 1916

Woodrow Wilson 5 Nov 1912

Calvin Coolidge

4 Nov 1924

Warren Harding 2 Nov 1920

Franklin D Roosevelt (1st term)

8 Nov 1932

Herbert Hoover

6 Nov 1928

Franklin D Roosevelt (3rd term)

5 Nov 1940

Franklin D Roosevelt (2nd term) 3 Nov 1936

Harry Truman

1 Nov 1948

Franklin D Roosevelt (4th term) 7 Nov 1944

Dwight Eisenhower (2nd term)

6 Nov 1956

Dwight Eisenhower 4 Nov 1952

Lyndon Johnson

3 Nov 1964

John F Kennedy 8 Nov 1960

Richard Nixon (2nd term)

7 Nov 1972

Richard Nixon

6 Nov 1968

Ronald Reagan (1st term)

4 Nov 1980

Jimmy Carter 2 Nov 1976

George Bush

8 Nov 1988

Ronald Reagan (2nd term) 6 Nov 1984

Bill Clinton (2nd term)

4 Nov 1996

Bill Clinton 3 Nov 1992

George W Bush

2 Nov 2004

George W Bush 7 Nov 2000

Venus as Morning Star favours the one who holds the crown

Venus as a Morning Star was considered more independent, desiring to function alone or give favours which are powered with rashness, haste and or free-thinking. Generally this does not favour the political networking and back-room deals needed for any rival to rise to power. For this reason it is rare for the  “king” or the king’s chosen heir to lose power at a Morning Star election. Indeed there have only been two occurrences since 1900 when they did, that of the first election of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 when he took the White House from the Republicans, and Ronald Reagan in 1981 when he took the White House from the Democrats. Every other election since 1900 which has Venus as a Morning Star has resulted in no change to the "family" who is ruling the White House.

The only two successful challenges to  the "throne"
since 1900 in Morning Star elections 

Franklin D Roosevelt successful in 1933
- Venus was radiating Jupiter with Mars on the
 king star "Regulus".

Ronald Reagan successful in 1981 - Venus
was radiating the Moon, Saturn and Jupiter.



Venus as Evening Star favours the one whom she radiates

This is the type of election where there is a greater possibility for changing who holds the power in the court. This situation does not guarantee change but as an Evening Star Venus is far more active in terms of networking and co-operating in team work and thus her blessing is more suited to the nature of politics, potentially empowering the rival with the luck and skill required for success. The candidate symbolised by the planet or star which is receiving the light of the bright Evening Star Venus will tend to be the victor. 


 Venus favours the Rival - a look back at other Evening Star elections.


The Academic takes the throne - Jupiter and Mercury
In 1912 Woodrow Wilson claimed the White House for the Democrats under an Evening Star election as Venus was radiating Jupiter and Mercury (see image right). He was an academic who, two years earlier, had become President of Princeton University. Here Venus was favouring the scholar. The Sun, always symbolic of the king or in this case the ruling party, was conjunct Mars (at the top of the apex of the constellation Libra) and the Republicans (the ruling party) were being torn apart from a rift between Roosevelt and Taft.

The King dies in an Eclipse and the Editor (Mercury)  wins
In 1920 Warren Harding reclaimed the White House for the Republicans under an Evening Star election. Venus was radiating Mercury (see image right) - Warren Harding was a small town editor reflective of this Venus/Mercury combination - while at the same time the king (the Sun) was within 3 degrees of the nodal axis and thus an eclipse season was in force, signifying a time of mortal threat to the king.  

Victory to the Soldier (Mars) , while the King ails...
In 1952 Dwight Eisenhower, the successful General of WWII, took the White House for the Republicans under an Evening Star election when Venus was radiating both Mars and Mercury (see image below) while Saturn (the other indicator of the king) was conjunct Neptune (Saturn and Neptune are just above Spica), a combination reflected by Democrat President Harry S. Truman retiring and deciding not to seek a second term.

The Crown Prince takes the Throne (Jupiter) while the king is confused.

1960 was the next occurrence of an Evening Star election when John F. Kennedy claimed the White House for the Democrats. At this time Venus was radiating Jupiter, as it was for the victory of Woodrow Wilson. For Wilson, the Jupiter symbolism was in his academic background; for Kennedy it was his youthfulness, his unofficial title of  “crown prince” when compared to his opponent of Richard Nixon, the hard-liner, anti-communist Republican.  At the same time the Sun (the king's heir who was, in this instance, the Republican party) was sitting with Neptune in a similar situation which gave Eisenhower's victory against the Democrats. This can also be a statement about Kennedy using the new medium of television (Neptune) for the first time and the king's heir not following this path.

The Saturn figure pushes the old heir - Lyndon Johnson - to one side

By 1968 another Evening Star election was held and this time Venus, bright and owning the sky, yielded her night sky position only to Saturn (see image below, Saturn and Venus are only two planets in the evening sky). Now Venus was giving her blessings to the hard-hitting, anti-communist Republican Richard Nixon who took the throne for the Republicans, while the Sun tries to run from Neptune (not shown).

The Southerner takes control blessed by the black vote (Neptune being radiated)
In 1976, the next Evening Star election occurred with Venus radiating Neptune (see right) and a Southerner took the White House for the Democrats. Jimmy Carter, with huge support from the black southern states, arrived as the outsider in Washington. His opponent, the incumbent President, Gerald Ford, was the Sun which was besieged by Mars and Uranus – symbolic of the king in serious trouble.

Venus herself takes the White House
It was Bill Clinton who claimed the next Evening Star election by taking the White House in November 1992 and removing the Republican, George Bush. At this election Venus, although brilliant in the evening sky, only bestowed her blessings on Mercury (her frequent partner in the sky), so it seems as if she has focused on the man whose natal chart was ruled by Venus and who was renowned for his charm.


Victory to the Bold - Pluto receives Venus' radiance

However, by the next Evening Star election “Bush the Younger”, G. W. Bush, retook his father’s house on 7th November, 2000. This was a disputed election and with Venus radiating Pluto, she blessed  the one who had the most money, the most power, the most lawyers and the most might.



[Note of Interest: Of the twenty-eight presidential elections since 1900, ten of these elections have seen changes in the party governing the White House and of those ten changes, eight of them have been Evening Star Elections. Thus there is a track record of  28.5%  times of change with an Evening Star election versus 7% times of change for Morning Star elections. ]



The Evening Star Election of 2008 – a Visual Astrology view


So now we have another Evening Star election. The "family" that rules the White House is the Republicans, and, for this Evening Star election, the king has retired and the appointed heir is seeking the throne. There is, of course, the rival "family" who, for this election, are the Democrats and, as always, the rival is seeking to claim power at these times of change.


As the astrologer/priest, you watch the heavens looking for the way of Venus. If the king is being challenged, this does not hold well for the Republicans. If Venus is radiating a planet, then what is that planet and who does it symbolise, the king's heir or the rival? From our Mesopotamian mind set, we can ask this question of the heavens: "Can the king's selected heir win the White House or will the court rival overthrow him? Which of the two families in the court will take the throne?"


 The sky for the Evening Star election on 4th November, 2008.


The 2008 Evening Star Election
At the time of the election Venus is once again radiating Pluto but differently to the 2000 election as there is also a distant but bright Jupiter in the cape of Sagittarius (see image above). If Venus’ empowerment goes to both planets, questionable as the orbs are wide, then this would symbolise a landslide victory to the younger "crown prince", a bold sweeping ascent to the White House where the sheer weight of the mandate places great power in the hands of Obama. Such power can be a heady drug for any politician so the younger rival will need to remember that he is not Caesar, he is not one of the gods and is only human. 

But if Venus' light does not reach Jupiter, then the emphasis will be focused on the raw power-struggle of Pluto. The election will be won by the "family" with the most money, power and grit. Adding to this intrigue, the heir of the retiring king is not being damaged by Mars. Rather that Mars is expressing itself as John McCain, the Soldier. 


One gets a sense already of the power of the Jupiter Pluto victory to the young contender, Obama, but if it comes to a fist fight in the manner of the 2000 election - the last Evening Star election where Venus radiated Pluto  - then the victory will go to the one who can wield the most money and power.  


The victory will be most sweet for it will last for twelve years


On a final note, whichever party gains the White House, they will hold it not only in the 2012 elections but also in the 2016 elections. In the election of 2012 a Morning Star Venus radiates the Sun-Saturn conjunction which will give much blessing on the king. In the 2016 which is an Evening Star election, Venus once again radiates Saturn, with no threat to the king. So Visual Astrology is indicating that the ruling party will hold the White House for at least 12 years. Presidents may change at any stage but the "family" that wins this current election in 2008 gets a very large prize indeed.  


Kings or Presidents, it is all just power and rivals which is the intrigue of any royal court. Not much has really changed since astrology first emerged between the rivers of the fertile crescent.


 [1] The first Wednesday in December was the date set for the meeting of the Electoral College whose purpose was to elect the president.

[2] The four year cycle of presidential elections also captures a Jupiter pattern but this not focused as as Jupiter does not return exactly to is position every 12 years.


Sympathy versus Hubris
The sky maps of John McCain and Barack Obama

Darrelyn Gunzburg

The July 2008 Visual Astrology Newsletter we looked at the potency of the the sky pictures that collect around the horizon at the time of birth. In continuing this we can consider the horizon not just from the perspective of a single story but also as a pairing of images, pulled together by the person's birth. Although the Mesopotamian astrologer/priest may not have worded it in this way, we can ask who governs the eastern and western horizons, who blesses how we are seen in the world and what is being catalysed in ourselves when in relationship with others? As an example I have focused on the two candidates for the US presidency as these are two figures that are currently in the news.

John McCain born, 29 August, 1936. 9.00 am Coco Solo, Panama.
Born with the constellation Virgo rising while Cetus the Whale was setting in the west.

John McCain - The Virgin and the Sea Monster: Nobility born from pain

McCain's horizon shows two constellations both of whom are standing upright. This doesn't always happen, as orientation depends on the latitude of birth. Both of these images, however, portray 'uprightness',  the concept of decency and honesty.

The constellation of Virgo, the great fertile goddess in the sky, governs his eastern horizon at the time of his birth, so McCain is seen as one who is noble and dignified.  The constellation of Cetus, the whale, governs his western horizon at the time of his birth, and rises in confrontation on its hind legs. So it is this great unknown beast from the depths that
is catalysed in him when in relationship with others and which he then seeks to incorporate into who he is. His presidential ticket is coloured by his track record as a naval aviator, one who has faced Cetus via the hidden depths of torture as a prisoner of war in Vietnam and survived. McCain comes from military stock - his father and his paternal grandfather both became four-star United States Navy admirals [1]. As a man of war, he embodies those issues and brings them up from the depths into the light of day so they can be considered more clearly. McCain is known for his work towards restoring diplomatic relations with Vietnam in the 1990s and for his belief that the war in Iraq should be fought to a successful conclusion in the 2000s. He presents to us, the public, the noble and dignified wounded warrior.

One could say that as McCain wrestles with the chaos and mayhem of human collective issues, initially as a victim of it and then as a protagonist for it (Cetus), so he is seen as someone who is able to offer knowledge and insight in ways that bring nobility out of pain (Virgo). McCain could therefore unintentionally evoke feelings of sympathy rather than qualities of leadership.

Barack Obama born, 4 August, 1961. 19:24 Honolulu, Hawaii.
Born with the constellation Capricorn rising while Leo the Lion was setting in the west.

Barack Obama - The Sea Goat and the Lion: protection into law

Obama's horizon constellation images are also upright. The constellation of Capricorn, the great sea-goat law-giver and educator in the sky, governs his eastern horizon at the time of his birth, so Obama is seen as a stabilizing force, one who educates his people and brings order.

The constellation of Leo, the lion, governs his western horizon at the time of his birth, just as its front paws reach down and touch the earth, grounding the constellation. So it is this great lion which protects the precious waters of the life-giving Nile. It is also linked with Sekhmet, the Sphinx-lioness who was "an active aggressor of behalf of her father's enemies" [2] and the symbol of sovereignty. Both these are catalysed in him in his associations and which he then seeks to incorporate into who he is. His presidential ticket is coloured by his track record as a lawyer, seeking to bring change at the grass roots. A graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, Obama worked as a community organizer and practiced as a civil rights attorney along with teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School  (1997-2004) before serving in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004.[3]

One could say that as Obama seeks to bring sovereignty to his relationships (Leo), in order to  protect his people with laws that stabilize and steady society (Capricorn). He could therefore suffer from hubris as such a combination is reflective of the Roman Caesars.

In summary...

Both men represent vastly different ways of presenting their passion and their argument for presidential nomination and both have a nemesis - sympathy versus hubris.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McCain - accessed 5th September, 2008.
[2] Brady, Bernadette (2008). Star and Planet Combinations, Bournemouth: Wessex Astrologer.
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama - accessed 5th September, 2008.


The software that allows you to work with the whole sky in your astrology is Starlight and it can be explored on the Zyntara home page where there are also online tutorials.