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Home » Birth Data

What Astrologers Learned From the 2008 Election

Posted by on Thursday, November 5 200926 Comments

What astrologers learned from the 2008 electionThe 2008 presidential election in the United States was full of surprises for everyone, even for astrologers.  There was one very important lesson that the astrological community learned during the course of it though, and that is the importance of acquiring accurate birth data when endeavoring to make predictions about the outcome of an election.

Now, this isn’t anything new for astrologers.  We all know that you need an accurate birth time in order to be able to cast a full chart or “horoscope” properly, otherwise you can’t use important components of the system such as the ascendant, houses, Lots, time-lords, etc.

Because of the fundamental importance of having an accurate birth time when casting a natal chart, astrologers have been actively seeking out birth data for celebrities and politicians for over 2,000 years now.   Entire businesses such as AstroDatabank have even been set up in order to procure and organize birth data for notable and non-notable individuals.

What was somewhat unique about the 2008 election was the complete lack of reliable birth data for many of the candidates initially, and the drama that unfolded during the course of the past few years as astrologers scurried about attempting to collect exact birth times for each of the candidates.  For many astrologers this turned into a roller coaster ride with many twists and turns during the course of the election, as new information came out at various points about different, often conflicting, sets of birth data for each of the candidates.

In the end we all learned to be a little bit more careful about taking certain birth times for granted, although in order to understand how this happened we need to outline how the election played out from the perspective of the astrological community.

Initial Dearth of Birth Data, Speculations Abound

In the late fall of 2007, when the primaries were in full swing, we didn’t have confirmed birth data for almost anyone.  By confirmed birth data I mean actual copies of individual birth certificates in hand, thus providing us with indisputable proof of a person’s birth date, time and location.  For the most part all we had were unconfirmed rumors and reports of certain candidate’s birth times floating around.

On January 6th, 2008 I published an article detailing who we did and did not have confirmed birth times for, as well as some of the problems with the birth times that were currently in use at that point.  Here is the tally of all of the data at that point, when there were still a number of candidates in the race (note that the following times are not necessarily accurate as of now):

  • Hillary Clinton: 8:02 am (Birth time was rumored and disputed.  No birth certificate.  Source of the time: Frances McEvoy.)
  • Barack Obama: 1:06 pm (Time widely used, but no one knew for sure.  No birth certificate.  Source of the time: Frances McEvoy.)
  • John Edwards: 7:02 am (Time widely accepted, although with some discrepancies and no birth certificate.  Source: anonymous campaign staffer & mother.)
  • Bill Richardson: 11:35 am (Source:  birth certificate.  The only birth certificate available at that point.)
  • Joseph Biden: 8:30 am (Source:  Apparently acquired by someone during his presidential campaign in the 80’s, but no birth certificate available.)
  • John McCain: 9:00 am (Widely accepted and used since the 2000 presidential campaign, but no birth certificate.  Source:  Campaign staffers in the 2000 race.)
  • Mitt Romney: 9:51 am (Widely used, but no birth certificate.  Source:  Frances McEvoy.)
  • Rudy Giuliani: 2:30 pm (Widely used, but no birth certificate.  Source:  apparently from his mother.)
  • Mike Huckabee: no time at all.
  • Ron Paul: no time.
  • Fred Thompson: no time.

That is where we were at as of early January of 2008.  We only had one confirmed birth time, which was Bill Richardson’s, who dropped out of the race shortly thereafter.  We didn’t have confirmed times for anyone else, but just reports from astrologers who purportedly spoke to certain candidates, family members or campaign staffers and got birth times from them.

At that point I raised some concerns about the source of the birth times that were being used for Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Mitt Romney, since they were all from the same person – the late astrologer Frances McEvoy, who died in December of 2007 as I was writing the article.  The problem with McEvoy as a source for all three candidates was that she had purportedly spoke to and gotten the birth times from each directly, although she had apparently done the same thing with John Kerry prior to the 2004 election, and the time she gave for him later turned out to be wrong.

Some astrologers have a tendency to “rectify” or back-form birth times based on studying events in a person’s life and then adjusting the natal chart accordingly.  They then use the rectified birth times in order to make predictions.  Unfortunately these rectified times sometimes get picked up by other astrologers who assume that the birth times are verified or accurate.  In reality they are basically just educated guesses that rely entirely on the skill of the astrologer and the types of techniques that they employ in the rectification process.  The problem with this approach is that while there are some astrologers who are pretty good at rectification, there are many who are not.

I had some suspicions that this might have been the case with McEvoy – that she may have rectified the birth times that she reported – but since I did not know her personally and she passed away as I was researching the issue, I had no way of knowing for sure.   No one did.  So, for the most part, astrologers continued using the times derived from her for much of the early part of 2008.

As the race tightened, the field narrowed down to three candidates:  Obama, Clinton and McCain.   McCain’s 9:00 am birth time had been in use for several years at that point, so everyone felt pretty confident about it.   There were still questions surrounding Obama’s, although the 1:06 pm time was generally used, with much discussion over whether or not his Moon was in Taurus or Gemini, since the sign change occurred only three minutes prior to the purported birth time.  Hillary’s birth time was the most sketchy of the three, since there were several different conflicting times and sources for her, whereas for the other two there weren’t many sources to begin with.   All of this was to change over the course of the next few months though.

Obama’s Birth Time Revealed

The largest astrological conference of the decade, the United Astrological Conference, took place in Denver, Colorado between May 15-20, 2008.  There was some buzz going around before the conference that an astrologer named Joni Patry had obtained a verified birth time for Obama, and she was going to announce it during the conference.  By this time it was becoming clear that Obama was going to be the Democratic nominee, and the mystery and speculation surrounding his actual birth time had reached a fevered pitch.   All eyes were on Patry when she proudly announced at the conference that she had obtained his birth time from an unnamed campaign staffer, who got it from Obama’s campaign manager:

7:11 pm, with Aquarius rising, she said.   News spread from the conference like wildfire, especially since the time she gave was totally different from the 1:06 pm birth time from Frances McEvoy that had been in vogue up to that point.   It was just in the nick of time too, since there was a panel on the very last day of the conference which was focused on the election, and each astrologer on the panel was expected to make a prediction about the final outcome of the election.  So, a few days later, at the end of the conference, using the 7:11 pm time for Obama and the 9:00 am time for McCain, each astrologer on the panel unanimously predicted that Obama would win the election.

Obama's birth certificateHowever, a few weeks after the conference ended the Obama campaign released a copy of his birth certificate to the public, and it had a conspicuously later birth time of 7:24 pm on it.   There was something perplexing about the fact that Patry had been given a slightly wrong birth time for Obama from someone, yet it was still close enough that it didn’t make a huge difference since the rising sign, Moon and MC were all still essentially the same as the 7:11 time she had announced.

As perplexing, albeit minor, as this was, the sense of relief that astrologers had over finally having a confirmed and accurate birth time for Obama was enough to cause everyone to quickly forget Patry’s announcement and move on with studying the election.  There were still some questions about the authenticity of the newly released copy of the birth certificate, since it was a digital reproduction rather than a scan of the original birth certificate, but this never seemed to turn into a major issue (the “Birther Controversy” that happened a year later in the summer of ’09 doesn’t count).

Enter Palin, McCain’s Birth Time Revisited

In late August McCain announced Sarah Palin as his running mate, which was problematic since no one had really heard of her before, and so there weren’t even speculative birth times floating around for her at that point.   All we had for Palin was a birth date and location, but that was fine because we already had birth times for three of the main players: Obama, Biden and McCain.   And those were pretty solid, right?   Wrong.

John McCain's birth certificate (click for larger image)In September a birth certificate for John McCain suddenly surfaced online, and the birth time that it listed was 6:25 PM, which was way off of the 9:00 AM time that astrologers had used for him for nearly a decade at that point.  If accurate, then his chart would have been much different than the one that every astrologer had based their predictions for the election on up to that point.

Unfortunately it wasn’t really clear if the birth certificate itself was in fact legitimate.  I tried to track down the original source for it, and it appears to have first been posted on a discussion forum on a website that was setup for the specific purpose of questioning whether John McCain was eligible to become president due to where he was born.

While it is well within the realm of possibility that a group of people with a specific agenda were able to gain access to McCain’s original birth certificate, the partisan nature of the website raised questions about whether or not it could be a forgery that was created in order to support a somewhat dubious argument about McCain.

By this point there were only weeks to go before the election, and suddenly the birth data for one of the key players was in doubt.

So What Did Astrologers Learn From the 2008 Election?

Eventually the election came and went, and some astrologers got their predictions about it right, while some got it wrong.  Many questions still lingered though.  Had Francis McEvoy simply rectified the birth time that she reported for Obama?  What about the times she gave for Clinton and Romney?  Why was the time that Joni Patry reported for Obama 13 minutes off?  Is the birth certificate that surfaced for John McCain legitimate?

The fact that these are still unanswered questions a year later underlines the point that astrologers need to be more careful about taking birth times for granted when a verified copy of the birth certificate is not available.   If the type of astrology that we practice relies on this information, then our predictions are only as good as the data that we use.

And that is the lesson that the dramatic saga of the 2008 U.S. presidential election, with all its twists and turns, taught the astrological community.  There may never be another election quite like this one again in the future,  but let’s let this example be a cautionary tale of the crucial foundations upon which we rest our predictions, and the dangers that arise in taking unverified data for granted.

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Written by

Chris is a practicing astrologer from Denver, Colorado, USA. He is the former President of the Association for Young Astrologers, as well as the former Research Director of the National Council for Geocosmic Research. He offers personal consultations and teaches online classes through his website at

Hellenistic Astrology Course


  • Moses says:

    … yeah. Learned that one hard.

  • What Astrologers Learned From the 2008 Election…

    An overview of the 2008 presidential election in the US from the perspective of the astrological community, with a particular emphasis on the changing status of different birth times throughout the campaign. …

  • Gary P Caton says:

    I correctly predicted both the 2006 & 208 elections in print (in the NCGR memberletter). I predicted a big democratic wave in both.

    My correct predictions were based on transit cycles, and so not dependant on unreliable birth data.

    2006:Since Congress introduced a universal Election Day in 1845, Mercury retrograde has appeared in 15 House elections. Only 4 of these have seen majority shifts; however 2 of these elections saw major pendulum swings of nearly ¾ majority (1894-Republican & 1934 Democrat). 1954, the only Mercury retrograde election to see a reversal in both the Senate and the House, saw a Democratic majority shift in the House which would last until 1994. Democrats would need to pick up 15 seats to take control of the House, which has had a Republican majority since 1995. Research indicates that the House of Representatives is likely to see a majority shift in 2006.
    Since 1914, the first election where all Senators were popularly elected, there have been 8 mercury retrograde Senate elections with 4 of them seeing a majority shift. Those Senators who were elected in 2000, the last Mercury Rx election, will be up for re-election or retiring.
    So how will this Mercury retrograde Election during a Scorpio alignment compare? As an opposite energy of the 2000 alignment, leaders who took power then are in jeopardy. Alliances will probably be shaken, with new leaders taking a position quite different from their predecessor. A reversal of power in in both houses of Congress seems possible.

    2008:If one looks back at the Saturn/Uranus cycle carefully, a very interesting pattern emerges. Going all the way back to the Reconstruction Era we can see a distinct trend. Saturn opposed Uranus 1873-75. With the election of Grant, the Republicans saw their nominee serve 9 of 11 terms till just before the next oppositions of 1918-20. With the election of Wilson, the Democrats saw their nominee serve 9 of 14 terms through the next oppositions of 1965-67. With the election of Nixon, the Republicans have seen their nominee serve 7 of 10 terms since the last oppositions.

    Just like the battle between the two mythic Titans, the tide has seemed to turn in our Presidential history based on a reactionary stance by the electorate to some form of extremism. Andrew Johnson survived two impeachment attempts from radical Republicans, but couldn’t even gain his party’s nomination for a second term. Taft launched an anti-trust suit against US Steel for a merger his predecessor, Roosevelt had approved personally. Their bitter rivalry in 1912 opened the door for Wilson. Hoover’s ineffectiveness in the face of a spiraling economy re-invigorated the democratic wave. The tumult of the 60’s around the last Saturn/Uranus oppositions opened the door for the most recent conservative wave. This time around it seems the extreme policies of the Neo-Cons will result in another liberal wave. Personally, I think this election is the biggest no-brainer in my lifetime and I am sure Obama will win. Further, I will be surprised if the Democrats don’t win a clear majority of Presidential elections over the next 45 years.

  • Patrick Watson says:

    Gary. Do not underestimate the fickleness of the American electorate.

  • Chris Brennan says:

    Ok Gary…

  • Gary P Caton says:

    Chris, I am agreeing with you. IMO and IME it is best to look at the transits, election chart or national chart -certainly a speculative chart is not the best way to go.

    Watson, I am not underestimating the fickleness of the electorate but rather counting on it! When you say fickle you are essentially saying Lunar. Most people vote with their emotions not their heads. Thus, they are more subject to being caught up in such historical waves as I laid out above, not less. Heavens knows if people voted rationally we would never have had a functionally illiterate and emotionally retarded former drunk and business failure for president!

  • Funkstar says:

    Good blog Chris, is there anything in the USA chart(s) you use that could explain such confusion with these birthtimes? Also, is this just a recent problem?

  • The Betty says:


    What a great site. You have my support!!!! I would like to second the opinion that predictions are all about transits, astronomical events and transits. Here’s why…

    On election day, I ran Obama’s erroneous birth chart next to the Eclipse of August 1, 2008 and he would have been the obvious winner of ANY contest because he had the energy of the August 1 2008 eclipse aspect pattern behind him. The Eclipse was within a 3 point orb of his Sun. Mercury, the FTD/FedEx like messenger from the heavens, was conjunct his Sun. Even with the corrected time, the eclipse aspect pattern holds strong. The 6-hour difference does effect the faster moving solar points like the Ascendant, Midheaven, Moon Nodes, the Vertex, and the Arabic Parts but the planet positions including the Sun, Moon and Mercury did not move, nor did their modern rulers.

    Sadly, the majority of the NCGR affiliated astrologers, with the exception of Mr. Caton, pronounced McCain the winner long before the elections. They worked hard and produced data derived from some pretty complicated formulas. This ignored what the obvious transits and astronomical events were bringing forth. In the case of the August 1, 2008 Eclipse, it brought forth Obama.

    You are also welcome to join me inside the beltway (Washington, DC) at where you’ll find the astrological series on The Rise of Obama.

    Keep up the good work!!!


  • Chris Brennan says:

    Thanks Elizabeth!

    I’m not sure that I agree that the majority of the NCGR astrologers predicted that McCain would win though. My general impression was that the majority of astrologers were predicting that Obama would win, which is why it was somewhat surprising when I would notice someone prominent predicting that McCain would take the election, like Ray Merriman for example.

  • […] Featured Article » What Astrologers Learned From the 2008 Election Thu, 11/5/09 – 23:42 | 9 Comments […]

  • Kevin says:

    As more people start taking astrology seriously, I expect it will become harder to find out candidates’ birth times. Except where there is a reason to doubt a candidate’s citizenship, there is no reason other than astrology to demand to see a birth certificate, and why give out information that might be used against you? If someone anticipates being asked to prove citizenship, he/she can present a birth certificate to the government and get a passport, which won’t show a birth time.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama’s campaign leaked a birth time a bit more favorable astrologically than the real one, knowing that astrologers were going to make predictions based on it.

  • Chris Brennan says:

    Yes, definitely. That is one of my greatest worries at this point actually, not just that birth times will become more scarce, but that some politicians may actively go out of their way to alter their birth times in order to make the charts look better.

    At one point I had wondered if this was the case with Obama’s time given the difference between what Patry said and then what the birth certificate said. This would be kind of strange though because the difference in the times was small enough not to make a huge difference.

    The funny thing is that in some cases the release of a birth time could actually be a boon to a politician though, because if the chart looks eminent then all of a sudden you have a bunch of astrologers predicting that you will be the winner of the election or what have you. That is basically what happened during the UAC panel where everyone unanimously predicted Obama as the winner based on the birth time they got from Patry.

    So, one could argue the pros and cons of releasing one’s birth data either way.

  • Don Borkowski says:

    To me, the best predictor for an election is the synastry between the candidate and the political entity. To me, the clincher for Obama was his 18+ Aquarius ascendant and the 18+ Aquarius Moon in the 7+ Gemini rising chart for the US. That particular chart for the US, which was used by both Noel Tyl and me before either of us heard of the other, has always provided the best synastry for predictive purposes IMHO. Curiously, Martin Sheen, who has portrayed other US presidents besides the fictitious Josiah Bartlett, also has 18+ Aquarius rising!

  • Gabriella says:

    SOmehow I got to this blog, and read very interesting ideas.
    Back in August 2008 I wrote and article about Joe Biden. WHy him? i was at the conference in UAC- where astrologers played with different hours.. since nothing was clear, about the big boys, I used their second hand to see if they will have a turn in their lives. So I found, thru Biden, that Obama will win. But was this what Biden was dreaming of??

    Best regards,
    Gabriella Mittelman

  • Gabriella says:

    To Gary:

    what do you mean by ” major pendulum swings”
    what are the pendulum swings??


  • nakshatra says:

    I think he was just revering to the time changing.

  • […] remain anonymous.  This is heightened since, on the one hand, the astrological community has had a number of high-profile debacles concerning birth data in recent memory, and on the other hand because this is already a very sensitive situation in which a lot of […]

  • stef says:

    Obama’s chart shows his Sun and Mercury is squared by Neptune. What does this tell you about his judgment?

  • Concerned says:

    Gary P. Caton makes this comment “Heavens knows if people voted rationally we would never have had a functionally illiterate and emotionally retarded former drunk and business failure for president!”

    Then Kevin states, “As more people start taking astrology seriously..”

    You’ve got to be kidding me. With any luck you will be free to continue practicing despite your immature, hateful opinions.

  • […] remain anonymous.  This is heightened since, on the one hand, the astrological community has had a number of high-profile debacles concerning birth data in recent memory, and on the other hand because this is already a very sensitive situation in which a lot of […]

  • […] anonymous.  This is heightened since, on the one hand, the astrological community has had a number of high-profile debacles concerning birth data in recent memory, and on the other hand because this is already a very sensitive situation in which a lot of […]

  • […] Featured Article » What Astrologers Learned From the 2008 Election Thu, 11/5/09 – 23:42 | 21 Comments […]

  • […] Featured Article » What Astrologers Learned From the 2008 Election Thu, 11/5/09 – 23:42 | 22 Comments […]

  • ZA says:

    Hello Chris and Patrick,

    Just found this site and am having a great time checking it out. Looking forward to reading more.

    I started casually checking out political astrology sites during the 2008 primaries and election and have have made a few observations. I found this site thru Starlight, but I would not recommend that site for astrology, just cheerleading and Messages from Michael worship and if you want to fancy yourself much more evolved and “light bringing” than anyone else. Nancy seems to be a twin of Gary and is very emotional and binary, using phrases like “evil, prince of lies, goons, ignorant, disgusting, boy, delusional” and much worse for any person who is either not a democrat or who opposes Obama in any way and she will not allow any dissent from her commenters. Everyone who is allowed to comment must agree with her bias. Now, there is nothing wrong with that since that is what political blogs do for the most part and a site/blog owner can craft commenters to reflect their point of view. Since I ‘read around’ I know this is standard blog culture, at the moment. But astrology suffers when it becomes just a tool of bias since, really, people know when someone has a cause and just wants to “prove” it and using astrology in that way truly delegitimizes it. Its actually somewhat entertaining but extremely bad astrology. I like to check into that site to see what the true worshipers/believers are saying – good resource for that.

    Some topics I would LOVE to hear astrologers write about are: how the masses are no longer ‘dumb’ but are becoming connected (Aquarius?) thru social media and are becoming akin to an organic being…a big 3D or 4D web (I’m picturing a giant amoeba, the BLOB! – or a CLOUD…. or THE cloud) – and how that affects elections and the political processes and the economy; How cultural entertainment is becoming an enactment of “reality”; how political leaders are perceived and what archetypes they project and what archetypes are culturally called for. Are we moving from a republic to an empire (or an equivalent)?–is power becoming more concentrated in a single person rather than a congress? If so will this continue? I don’t know much about astrology but it seems to me that all the USA charts are valid as any complex entity has multiple faces, personas, hearts etc. Some experience the US as a Scorpio rising ( especially countries where we have waged secret Pluto oppressions) and some experience it as Sag- and off we go to vast new territories. Both apply, and more. Maybe the same for candidates, so their charts are seen thru very different rising signs by different demographics – more a current cultural perception than an actual planetary placement.

  • ZA says:


    I agree that the 2008 election was a “no-brainer” that a democrat would win. But I don’t understand your reference to the “two” great titans. My understanding is that in the Greek religion(s) and mythology/theology there were around a dozen original titans. And they spawned the Olympian gods which are archetypes, symbols, and physical planets. Isn’t the art and science of astrology based on the movements of these offspring? And in any battle I recall, no Titan really won. It was not a good titan vs. a bad titan and the good one won. That’s much closer to the “one god” religions doing battle with the earlier “multiple god” religions. The “one god” religions won the round of the last 2000-2500 years btw.

    Also your 2009 comment show a very naive and pompous attitude which was so evident in many and which was actually very destructive to the dem party in 2010. Maybe your pendulum has swung by now? Hopefully your pendulum has a greater range than the binary swing of democrat vs. republican. Or corporate vs. populist. Jon Stewart suggests looking at politics and politicians thru the lens of corruption and cronyism. Another astrological filter to try?

  • Patrick Watson says:

    Hi ZA,

    Glad you’re liking our blog! I agree with a few of your sentiments here. As we say on our ‘About’ page, our agenda is not partisan, but astrological. We may certainly have our own opinions on the various politicians and issues that we cover, but we try as best we can to keep it focused on the astrological correspondences. I guess it’s the difference between a political astrology blog versus an astrological politics blog, I think we’re the former. I’m more interested in understanding people rather than judging them, and I think truly understanding something is the position from which you can judge. Analysis is better than name-calling. The only comments I won’t accept are spam, blatant plugging or trolling. I have a feeling you’ll like this site if you’re disillusioned with those other sites for those reasons.

    Sounds like you have enough ideas there to start blogging yourself! At least in my articles, I stick to mostly current events and looking at their context in history and their astrological correspondences. Maybe eventually we can get to some articles of a broader scope like the ones you’re suggesting, it will take quite a bit of research… I hope you keep checking back here at the PAB, thanks for reading!