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Home » Current Events

Obama, the Tea Party, and Venus

Posted by on Monday, August 15 201129 Comments

What is the Tea Party movement? It is a conservative protest movement against government spending, taxes, and President Barack Obama. It is mostly made up of middle class white males who consider themselves libertarians or conservatives and typically vote Republican. It hails its name from the iconic Boston Tea Party of December 16th 1773, when American colonists dumped over a million dollars worth of tea into the Boston harbor in protest of England’s taxes on tea. Now the modern Tea Party has gone from ragtag protests to becoming a small but estimable force in American politics, to the point of seriously complicating negotiations to raise the nation’s debt ceiling to avoid default. What does the sky reveal about this development in America’s political discourse?

Much ink has been spilled over the fact that on the night of the 2008 election, Saturn perfected its first opposition to Uranus in a series lasting through July 2010, signaling a confrontation between forces for change (Uranus) and the status quo (Saturn), an upheaval of the established order, which was a fairly appropriate astrological statement since Obama himself framed his candidacy in those terms. However, for every action there is a reaction. Certainly his election established an administration of consequence which has already made some historic reforms, but perhaps the right has a claim to have contributed to an “upheaval of the established order” as well.

Interesting thing is, the last series of Saturn-Uranus oppositions spanned across the years 1965-1967. They largely occurred in the opposite signs of the most recent series, so the period of  the mid to late-60’s is a kind of reflection or mirror-image of the period in which the Tea Party rose to prominence, 2008-2010. With Saturn in Pisces opposite Uranus in Virgo we saw a youthful, liberal protest movement against the (old, white) “Man”, but with Saturn in Virgo opposite Uranus in Pisces we saw an older, conservative protest movement against a youthful black man in the position of power, in many ways an embodiment of the social progress fought for in the Civil Rights Movement of the 60’s. Tea Partiers are the anti-hippies.


There is another side to the story though, and it involves a planet which may not make much sense at first: Venus. Venus is popularly associated with romantic love, but really it is representative of all the things we value as a society that unite us together. Robert Schmidt theorizes the essence of Venus is to unite that which is unlike, for better or worse. That would account for the various things it has come to have relevance for: social interactions, whether it is between two individuals, or different groups of people or entire societies, cultures, races, religions, as well as for the things that unite different people together- art, music, pleasure, beauty, order, which in themselves are related concepts.  Interestingly enough, Venus probably has the most regular planetary cycle, since it is very close to the ecliptic and whose 5 inferior and superior conjunctions happen just 2 degrees away from the place they did exactly 8 years before. It is orderly, beautiful even. In contrast, Mars, considered a planet of war and conflict, or according to Schmidt “that which separates that which is like”, is very far off the ecliptic and whose 7 conjunctions and oppositions with the Sun occur very roughly over the zodiac every 15 years.

Venus has a particular relevance for American politics because of the way elections happen to be scheduled, particularly for the 4-year terms of the President, since after 4 years, Venus is in the same part of the zodiac but in the opposite position relative to the Sun, whereas after 8 years, Venus is in the same part of the zodiac and in the same position relative to the Sun. Americans unwittingly elect Presidents on the regular schedule of Venus. Despite America’s historical skepticism of authority, opposing parties have often looked up to their Presidents as uniters, beloved heroes who strive to make things better for the country and maintain order. Sounds a lot like Venus to me. Mayan astrology might not tell us much about millenarialist fads such as the non-astrologically based 2012 Mayan apocalypse fad, but it does have a very interesting perspective on Venus.

Bruce Scofield is an expert on Mayan astrology and wrote an extremely illuminating article about the way the Mayans looked at Venus. It turns out the Mayan myth of Quetzalcoatl is a kind of allegory for what the different points of Venus’ synodic cycle might mean, which tells an archetypal human drama of sin, judgment and redemption which in some ways provides something that is missing from the western astrological ideas on Venus. The bizarre part is that it actually seems to have something to it. Scofield’s example shows the myth of Quetzalcoatl playing out quite literally in the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, timed eerily well by the cycle of Venus. The tale of the Bush administration’s history with Venus retrogrades practically deserves its own book. In practice, Venus retrogrades do indeed seem to be important for the US’s own Quetzalcoatl- the President of the United States, and Obama has been no exception in this regard.

In short, there are 4 main points to the cycle of Venus in the view of the Quetzalcoatl myth, according to Scofield:

1: the rebirth and descent of Venus as a morning star followed by a loss of self-control, 2: the judgement of social transgressions by the gods at superior conjunction, 3: the loss of god-status and acceptance of mortality during the evening star period, and 4: sacrifice leading to rebirth as a god once again at the inferior conjunction.

How we got to today can be understood remarkably well by examining these points of the Venus cycle.

Venus Superior Conjunction at 18 Gemini on June 9th 2008, Obama wins Democratic Primary

According to the Mayans, the superior conjunction is when Quetzalcoatl is judged by the gods. The gods in this case are the people, and in this particular election year, it was going to be a shoo-in for the Democrat. The real choice for who would take over after President Bush would be determined by the Democratic primary election, and fittingly, Barack Obama finally triumphed over Hillary Clinton close to a Venus superior conjunction on June 3rd 2008. It was also a remarkable event for race relations, which is very interesting in light of Nick Dagan Best’s research into the cycles of Venus as a uniter of different groups of people and its consequent relevance for the gradual and painful yet ultimately beneficial integration of peoples. It unites that which is unlike after all.

Venus Maximum Eastern Elongation on January 14th 2009, Obama Inauguration

According to the Mayans, the eastern elongation is when “Quetzalcoatl walks the Earth as a mortal. He has been judged by the gods and is humbled. The rules of the world prevail over individual urges”. This certainly captures the reality for the outgoing President Bush who was first sworn in at Venus’ maximum elongation 8 years earlier. But even for the incoming President Obama, the euphoria of the election must have been dampened by the sobering realities of the responsibilities he now had to face. Obama was inaugurated under a week away from the Venus elongation on January 20th 2009.

A funny thing about the Venus eastern elongations and presidential inaugurations that Nick Dagan Best also discovered: From 1793 to 1933, the inauguration was always held on March 4th. In 1793, the eastern elongation of Venus happened on March 18th. Every 8 years, the date of the elongation would happen 2 days earlier. Eventually, the elongation started happening so long before the inauguration that the following retrograde period began to get closer and closer to the inauguration. That is, until FDR’s inauguration in 1937 when the inauguration day was changed to January 20th, setting presidential inaugurations right back in sync with Venus’ maximum eastern elongation! It will be interesting to see if we change the date yet again once the elongation strays too far from the inauguration date…

Venus Retrograde 15 Aries-29 Pisces, March 7th-April 18th 2009, Rise of the Tea Party

According to the Mayans, the inferior conjunction during the retrograde period is where Quetzalcoatl commits a sin or otherwise errors. Venus entered its pre-retro shadow period on February 3rd 2009. With the economy in dire straights, Obama quickly signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on February 19th 2009. It was a sweeping combination of tax cuts and job growth programs in order to pull the country back from the brink of depression. At the retrograde station, President Obama held a forum at the White House to launch his health care reform effort. The combination of Obama’s efforts to save the American economy and reform its health insurance industry are a couple of the most cited reasons for the formation of the Tea Party. With the way these initiatives were presented in conservative media, Obama had committed an atrocity by marching the country towards “socialism”, as they perceived it.

In keeping with the Western notion of Venus as a uniter of peoples and redeemer of relationships, the retrograde period coincided with Obama’s world tour to repair relations with countries that had soured during the Bush years. On March 6th 2009, the day before Venus stationed retrograde, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Russian counterpart symbolically “reset” relations between the two countries by pressing an actual reset button. Ironically, the Russian word on the button was misspelled and actually read “overload” instead of “reset”. They pressed it anyway. On March 24th 2009, the US and Russia agreed on a new commitment to reduce their stockpiles of nuclear weapons, called New START.

On March 20th 2009, the day of the vernal equinox, the people of Iran celebrated Nowruz, the new year from their Persian (and astrological!) heritage. In an unprecedented move, Obama used the occasion to reach out to Iranians directly through a video calling for a new beginning. On April 2nd, world leaders convened for the G20 Conference in London to reach an agreement on a global response to the recent economic downturn. From April 17-19th 2009, over the course of the direct station, Obama attended the Summit of the Americas. At these last two events, Obama’s gestures of social etiquette and respect, (a bow before the Saudi King Abdullah and shaking hands with Hugo Chavez) made a big impression on conservatives who viewed his efforts to repair global relations as an “apology tour” for the United States. Conservatives distrusted his ease and popularity with foreign countries, especially since some already mistakenly suspected he was not an American citizen or a secret Muslim.

Meanwhile, ragtag Tea Party protests continued to proliferate from late February through the retrograde period. The largest number of coordinated Tea Party protests took place 3 days before the Venus direct station, on April 15th 2009, coinciding with Tax Day, which included a protest right outside the White House.

Venus Maximum Western Elongation on June 5th 2009, Obama’s Cairo Speech

Bruce Scofield says the maximum elongation that follows a retrograde period exemplifies or intensifies a trend or cycle that began during the retrograde. The retrograde period was chiefly characterized by Obama’s efforts to repair global relationships. The day before the maximum elongation, Obama gave a well-publicized address entitled “A New Beginning” to students in Cairo, which was aimed at softening the tensions between the United States and the Muslim world. The Tea Party was also a trend that took root in the retrograde period however, and conservative reactions to the speech solidified in some minds the idea that Obama, by making overtures for peace with the Muslim world, was himself a secret Muslim, a terrorist or sympathizer, or something. Distrust of Islam is partly an unfortunate consequence of the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent invasion of Muslim-majority countries in retaliation to those attacks. The specific demographics of the Tea Party identify a group of people statistically more racially and culturally insensitive than other groups, and we will see the issue of relations between Muslims and non-Muslims appear again in a major way at another Venus maximum elongation.

Venus conjunct the South Node at 28 Cancer- Ted Kennedy Dies

Now technically this is not a phase of Venus although it relates obliquely to the Sun and the Moon since the Nodes are where the Sun and Moon’s path intersect, where eclipses happen. Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, champion of healthcare reform, died on August 25th 2009. August itself was probably the thorniest month for healthcare reform, as Tea Parties as well as ordinary town halls got out of control over anger at the initiative. Stay with me on this one.

Venus at 24 Libra square the Nodes at 24 Capricorn-Cancer, 2009 Gubernatorial Elections

On November 3rd 2009, a few states had off-year gubernatorial elections. Of particular interest were the gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia, where both Democratic candidates lost. While the campaigns did not focus on healthcare, it was clear that Republicans benefited from the public outrage at healthcare reform from August, and was interpreted as a referendum of sorts.

Venus Superior Conjunction conjunct the North Node at 21 Capricorn, Massachusetts Special Election

Because of Ted Kennedy’s death, a Massachusetts Senate seat had to be filled. The special election was widely reported as a general referendum on Barack Obama and his plan for healthcare reform. A lot hinged on this election: if the Democrats lost, they would lose their razor-thin filibuster-proof majority in the Senate necessary for passing healthcare reform. This is after all the phase of Venus the Mayans associated with judgment of Quetzalcoatl. Against a lot of expectations, Republican Scott Brown won in the bluest of states to replace a legendary Democrat whose life’s work on healthcare reform he campaigned against! Democrats were baffled and demoralized by the loss.

Venus at 20 Aries square the Nodes at 17 Capricorn-Cancer, Health Care Reform signed into law

Amazingly, despite all odds and setbacks, healthcare reform was finally passed through the Senate through reconciliation and signed into law on March 23rd 2010. I was surprised by how hard aspects between Venus and the Nodes seemed to connect these distinctly related events- from Ted Kennedy’s death, to the 2009 gubernatorial elections, to the 2010 special election in Massachusetts to replace Ted Kennedy, to the ultimate passage of healthcare reform.

Venus Maximum Eastern Elongation on August 20th 2010, “Ground Zero Mosque” Protests

Interestingly, the events surround the eastern elongation have a curious relevance to the previous elongation, when Obama gave his historic speech reaching out to the Islamic world. At issue was an Islamic activities center (like an Islamic YMCA) to be built where an old Burlington Coat factory stood, a few blocks away from the site of the 9/11 attacks, but was popularized inaccurately in the media as a mosque at Ground Zero. While the controversy had been brewing through June and July, it was on August 22nd 2010, just 2 days away from the eastern elongation that the largest and most vitriolic and blatantly anti-Muslim imagery and rhetoric were seen. Also in this time period, a preacher from Florida threatened to burn copies of the Qu’ran which caused international condemnations. The so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” became a divisive political issue in the 2010 midterm elections.

Not too far away from the elongation was Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” Rally on August 28th 2010. It was held at the National Mall on the steps of the Lincoln memorial, purposely timed to coincide with the 47th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. (Interestingly enough, the day of the 1963 protest was the day of a Venus superior conjunction with Uranus.) The purpose of the timing of Beck’s rally was to consciously connect the ongoing Tea Party/conservative revival to the Civil Rights movement. 47 years happens to be a Mars recurrence cycle (32+15) or (15+15+15+2). So again, we see these kinds of racially-tinged events centered around the phases of Venus.

Venus Retrograde from 13 Scorpio-28 Libra, October 7th-November 18th 2010, Midterm Elections

November 3rd 2010 was the day Venus made its heliacal rising, the morning after the nation participated in the 2010 midterm elections. Bruce Scofield says the Mayans paid particular attention to  this phase as Venus’s heliacal rising as a morning star and was known to strike down those in power, Quetzalcoatl is “sacrificed”. The outcome resulted in the loss of the House of Representatives for the Democrats, and the Democrats lost more seats than any party had in a midterm election in nearly a century. It was a major test for the true influence of the Tea Party. This of course is interesting since the Tea Party came about during the Venus Retrograde in Aries of 2009, tested its power in the Massachusetts special election during the Venus superior conjunction in Capricorn in January 2010, and then came into power at the Venus Retrograde in Scorpio in November 2010. Obama admitted in a press conference the next day that his party had received a “shellacking”, and he took responsibility for the loss. Analysts tended to agree that the Tea Party had helped the GOP win the House of Representatives, but hindered it in taking the Senate as well.

The 2010 midterm elections were often compared to the “Republican Revolution” 1994 elections in the middle of Bill Clinton’s first term. This is interesting because both elections occurred at the same part of the Venus cycle.  At the previous elongation, Beck held his “Restoring Honor” rally. Comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert of the Daily Show and Colbert Report held their joint rally “Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear” at the National Mall on October 30th 2010. It was organized as a satirical response to Beck’s rally, although it blurred the lines between satire and political activism.

Venus Maximum Western Elongation on January 8th 2011, Gabrielle Giffords Assassination Attempt

Bruce Scofield says about the maximum western elongation: “Symbolically speaking, at this point in the cycle any conflict or trend that began at the inferior conjunction intensifies and becomes clear and objectified.” The last Venus retrograde encapsulated the 2010 midterm election campaigns. On January 8th, 2011, the day of the Venus maximum elongation, Arizona Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head at a public meet-and-greet with constituents but managed to survive. Several others were killed, including a federal judge and weirdest of all, even a little girl who was born on September 11th, 2001.

While the assailant, Jared Loughner, did not have a coherent political philosophy and did not seem particularly associated with Republicans or the Tea Party, it did not go unnoticed in the media that excessively violent campaign imagery and rhetoric permeated the 2010 midterm elections. Sarah Palin’s PAC even released a map of Democratic seats they wanted to flip to Republican with the districts marked with crosshairs, and Gabrielle Giffords was one of them. Gabrielle Giffords even said herself at the time: “For example, we’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the thing is the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they’ve gotta realize there’s consequences to that action.” Violent political rhetoric from the 2010 midterm elections during the Venus retrograde became all too “clear and objectified” at the next Venus maximum elongation.

Venus Superior Conjunction at 23 Leo on August 16th 2011, Tea Party on Trial?

On July 25th 2011, Venus heliacally set. At this time, the US was in great danger of needlessly defaulting on its debts by not raising the debt ceiling. The Tea Party Republicans in Congress, now having grown in power every Venus superior and inferior conjunction, seriously complicated the nation’s prospects for avoiding a default by not agreeing to anything, even proposals from the top Republican in the House, Speaker John Boehner. Boehner unveiled his plan on the 25th, and Tea Party Republicans voted against it on the 28th. When Congress somehow managed to settle on a final deal, who shows up for the final vote on August 30th but Gabrielle Giffords! It was her first appearance in public since the assassination attempt, which connects the event of the maximum elongation to the events of Venus’s heliacal setting.

A New York Times/CBS News poll and others in the wake of the debt ceiling resolution revealed that the public tended to blame the Republicans more for the debt crisis for unwillingness to compromise. Negative views of the Tea Party were also on the rise, reaching 40%, while 20% supported it and the remaining 20% had not heard enough to have an opinion.

Remember that Obama clinched the Democratic presidential nomination right by a Venus superior conjunction in 2008? And Venus superior conjunctions are times of “judgment”? Well, interestingly enough, a major test (although it is claimed to be overhyped) for the Republican presidential candidates was the extremely recent Ames Straw Poll. While not always a reliable predictor of who would win the nomination, it could be a good launching pad for some candidacies while torpedoing others. Given the increasing profile and power of the Tea Party with each conjunction between Venus and the Sun since early 2009, it is extremely interesting then that Michele Bachmann, the self-proclaimed Tea Party Republican candidate came in first! For Tim Pawlenty, a decidedly more moderate candidate in the race, the Ames Straw Poll resulted in the end of his campaign. At the same time, Pawlenty was replaced by the arrival of a new and more Tea Party-ish candidate, when Texas Governor Rick Perry officially threw his hat into the ring. We’ve known that one of the two distinct factions of the Republican party would eventually have to prevail. It appears that this latest “judgment” reveals which direction the Republican party may be heading in, although with public opinion turning against the Tea Party, it will be interesting to see in what form Quetzalcoatl will take when he is sacrificed and reborn again at the Venus retrograde in Gemini in May-June 2012.

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Patrick is an astrologer originally from High Wycombe, England. His personal practice is based on a blend of ancient and modern astrology. He is a member of the Association for Young Astrologers.

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  • Charles Sven says:

    One more Venus hit

    Poor timing? Texas Gov. Rick Perry joined the 2012 GOP race for president Saturday with an 8/13/11/announcement at approximately 1:23 PM EDT.

    Moon opposite Venus; Moon in 19 Aquarius 52′ 01:23 pm EDT 8/13/11
    “Feelings and desires may tug and roil around you, and trying to cut an even balance may be a challenge. Today’s beginnings may mature into tomorrow’s turmoils, so don’t fly off the handle and don’t jump into something you’re not sure of. Let the waters settle until tomorrow, then decide on it.”

  • Patrick Watson says:

    Hey Charles,

    Totally, I was still trying to get my article up on Perry’s announcement and verify the time because I couldn’t watch it myself because I was out and far away from a computer and internet, and the videos kept stalling before he got to the “magic words”. Thanks! The Sun-Venus opposite Moon at 19 Leo-Aquarius goes across Obama’s Asc/Dsc…


  • Ryhan says:

    Non-astrological comment following:

    “Tea Partiers are the anti-hippies.”

    Best. Line. Ever.

  • JudiGem says:

    Patrick, thanks so much for doing this Venus superior/inferior etc conjunctions post….I am not a pro astrologer, but have studied for years…and I read it just as the ‘door of perception’ seemed to be opening…and added to my expandsion of information on how astrology relates to all of us, and especially the ups and downs of politics.

    My one and only astrology teacher 20 years ago talked about the ‘doors of perception’ which I thought was just the title of Huxley’s book…but is actually, for those who may know it by a different name, is when retrograde Mercury is in the same degree as the sun, in this case, today, 23 Leo….and with the added cherry on top of Venus at 23 Leo. Thanks!

    Ryhan…love the anti-hippies line…

  • nicole says:

    patrick, thank you. i know nothing about astrology and astrological terms, but this post, like your others, is thoughtful and detailed and clear enough for a muggle.

  • Patrick Watson says:

    Ryhan: Thanks, haha.

    JudiGem: You’re very welcome, and that’s very interesting, about the doors of perception. Certainly different than “cazimi”. I tend to think of planets at a conjunction with the Sun as moment of conception, if the heliacal setting is death and the heliacal rising is birth/rebirth.

    Nicole: That is precisely what I’m trying to achieve with this blog! To write something interesting for people familiar with astrology while not alienating someone unfamiliar with astrology. I’m really glad you enjoyed it!

  • Excellent insight. Gave me new avenues to pursue in my own work.

  • Patrick Watson says:

    That’s great! Thank you.

  • ZA says:

    Really interesting article.

    A couple of comments…. The Tea Party started under Ron Paul, but changed into a John Birch type organization in 2009, with an influx of large money.

    And there was no health care bill, but a health INSURANCE reform bill, that cemented the rule of large corporate interests in everyone’s daily existence. It is not popular with liberals, anyone left of center, non-corporatists, republicans and tea party alike. It was a huge mistake, both economically and politically. Obama’s “base” was not happy and disliked being belittled and insulted by the white house.

    The ‘stimulus’ was a huge mistake because it was not targeted and relied extensively on tax cuts which are not stimulative in reality so the stimulus was ineffective. Pandering to republicans and tea party (over and over and over again) in regards to tax cuts as stimulative to the economy is a mistake.

    Expanding the war in Afghanistan and the drone wars in Yemen and Pakistan was another extremely expensive mistake.

    Extending the Bush tax cuts to the mega wealthy was also a huge mistake, and gave away any bargaining chip for the debt ceiling negotiations. The republicans and tea party just walked all over Obama and the dems, but it was like the dems and Obama just invited them to.

    Also, I hope you consider a rural small town / large urban divide in regards to the astrology. Hippies of the 60s were a urban phenomenon and tea party is often anti-urban in its identity politics. Tea party representatives work to gain a rural and small town and small city identity, and against a large urban identity like Obama has. So the anti-hippies are anti-urban. Part of the anti-urban is seen in their anti-social positions, where they NEVER include farm subsidies as a social program, they are against social programs that mainly benefit urban populations or very poor populations.

  • Patrick Watson says:


    I didn’t want to cover all the various philosophical ancestors of the Tea Party as that would amount to writing the astrological history of conservatism – that would be a loooong article.

    I’m aware that it was a health insurance reform bill, it is just popularly known as the “health care reform bill” so I labeled it as such. What it does do is increase access to health insurance which in turn increases the number of people who will be able to receive any type of health care before their problems get so serious they have to go to the emergency room. The reason why no one is happy with the bill is that they cannot see past their objections to various parts. Overall, it is much better for America that this was passed because it means that it will be very hard for insurance companies to deny an essential service to people. Without a public option, it is a huge giveaway to the health insurance industry because it increased the number of customers, but at the same time, they can no longer profit from denying a service arbitrarily. I understand conservative objections to the bill insofar as I understand that they appear to be more willing to entertain conspiracy and fantasy rather than a reasoned and factual argument against it, but liberal objections to the bill are somewhat mystifying. It’s not everything they wanted but I don’t understand why it has to come at the expense of recognizing the good. There are also realistic political considerations you have to make. Just because Democrats controlled the White House and both houses of Congress didn’t mean they were always on the same page, and if Obama made a mistake, it was in thinking that the Republicans would be reasonable negotiators, given the scope and gravity of the problems facing the country. In general, liberals do not appear to be too grateful for the President who has got more of the progressive agenda past than any President since Lyndon Johnson. It’s amazing that on the right he is characterized as a socialist/communist and on the left he’s a secret right-wing corporate sell-out. He can’t be both!

    Only 1/3rd of the 2009 stimulus was comprised of tax cuts, which were stimulative because they put money into the pockets of the lower and middle class- that’s demand-side (as opposed to supply-side) economics right there. The only mistake with the stimulus is that it should have been larger and earlier to prevent against a double-dip recession.

    I think Obama wants out of Afghanistan, he’s splitting the difference, I hope the gamble pays off, he says he’s getting out in September 2012, I want to believe him.

    Extending the Bush tax cuts was a terrible but necessary move, because essentially, the Republican leadership put a gun against the heads of the unemployed, and Obama couldn’t let unemployment benefits dry up for folks who are already hard up in an economy that is still recovering from having lost millions of jobs in 2008. However, Obama shrewdly only agreed to extend the tax cuts for 2 years, which places the issue of their renewal right in the middle of the 2012 election season. If the Republicans are serious about reducing the debt, then they will have to explain why they are defending one of the largest contributors to the debt- the cost of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts – and why they fight so hard for tax breaks for the richest in the economy while taking away benefits for the unemployed and otherwise pillorying the poorest.

    With your urban/rural considerations, it makes the hippies/Tea Party even more like opposites or mirrors of each other.

    Thanks for reading!


  • ZA says:


    I really like reading you, even if I don’t agree on everything. The archetypal energies are fascinating.

    I am personally among those who are uninsurable because of pre-existing. Because I am self employed I’ve always had to buy individual health insurance. I managed to get a catastrophic insurance thru a state public option (which thankfully will not be cancelled by the insurance reform, but it was threatened)(and I cannot move). The liberal problem with the ACA is that individuals will be mandated to purchase a corporate product and there are no cost controls. A good public federal public option would have been a cost control, but as is, there are none. Regulations on insurance corporations have been lax (and anyone who has ongoing health issues and had to deal with insurance corporations knows – most people don’t get it tho) . If I do not buy a certain level of health insurance under the mandate (not sure if my catastrophic insurance meets the mandate level) then I will have to pay a fine of a couple of thousand dollars a year (a percentage of my earnings per the IRS) and will not be able to actually afford my super catastrophic insurance since that money will go to the fine/tax! (AND the IRS is now the health insurance watchdog). The corporate insurance business can charge me pretty much whatever they want, and it will mean that either I simply will not be able to afford any insurance (and that does not mean care!) and have to pay a fine (which will be termed a tax and will be a massive REgressive tax and make actual care even more out of reach) or max my discretionary spending out so that, for example, I will not be able to help children with college, or save for retirement. But I am middle class. The bill would maybe help me if my income drops and I could get subsidies. I think that is where the bill is both socialist and corporatist. It is the people with basic middle incomes who will suffer under the bill. A self employed person could earn subsidies one year and the next would have to pay fines – extra fines and penalties – if my income goes up. As a professional artist, my income varies a lot from year to year. There are safety nets for low income and high income people. Most people don’t understand this since they see the debate in rather abstract terms – “isn’t it nice that so-and-so can get coverage” but not “will it bankrupt that so-and-so or impoverish them? and they still can’t actually get CARE?”. ACA is a regressive bill, not a progressive bill.

    I’m sorry, but the dem excuse that “the republicans made me do it” is not a good excuse. Obama had super majorities in congress for nearly 2 years and could have raised the debt ceiling during that time. He made a mistake and waited. Many people worked hard to get all those majorities, plus the white house. We didn’t do it in order to have Obama continually be compromised by and want to please republicans. The progressive effort seems completely wasted. He made a mistake and wanted Geitner and Summers who also made mistakes about the economy, and to bail out wall street while not bailing out homeowners or even to put a check on the fraud the banks have been doing to homeowners.

    And I don’t see any evidence Obama did not want to expand the war in Afghanistan as he -actually- did with the 2009 surge, or greatly expand the drone wars, as he has -actually- done. Who knows what he “wanted” to do, and who cares? What he actually did is probably just what he wanted to do.

    The urban/rural image does reflect racism to some extent. It seems that great wealth is using the three middle class and poor class demographics against each other: whites, blacks, latinos. The middle class pie is getting smaller and it is a great distraction for those who will lose to duke it out with each other instead of with the actual powers that be. Wealth is being concentrated under Obama as much as under Bush. Why?

    Also, with mirror images, the similarities are striking as are the oppositions. Oppositions reveal unrecognized similarities.

  • Patrick Watson says:

    I definitely think a public option is what is missing from the ACA, so we’re in agreement there.

    The Democratic supermajorities were not on the same page even if they were in the same party. The danger of having a big tent is that it can have warring factions. The Democrats elected in 2006 were more conservative. And I agree that hindsight has now provided us with the wisdom that Obama should never have counted on the Republicans for any cooperation. I don’t blame him for trying to act in the spirit of bipartisanship. But now we depend on House Republican support for any new bill to be passed. Progressive efforts weren’t wasted, we need perspective, we need to remember what it’s like when Republicans are in power and not be forgetful of the good things Obama has done.

    In his December 2009 speech he indicated that the purpose of the 30,000 surge was to get out of Afghanistan, but I admit that the sooner we get out the better off everyone is.

    “Wealth is being concentrated under Obama as much as under Bush. Why?”
    There isn’t a silver bullet for creating income equality. Millions of people have lost their jobs, that money is staying up top, the richest will keep their incomes, it’s easy to save and get richer when you’re already in wealth.

  • ZA says:

    Ah, you still believe in partisan politics. Sigh. You don’t “blame” him for being really naive and rather stupid at politics. Great. Did we really need a leader who is rather stupid about partisan politics at this juncture of planets? Apparently so. He is perceived as a nice guy, so no one really expects much of him, and his post-partisanship is seen as nice instead of really intensely stupid. Dems so very much want to identify themselves with “nice”.

    Obama campaigned on no mandate – against Hillary Clinton. She wanted a mandate and if a mandate was not met the person was then auto-enrolled into medicare. Obama campaigned against a mandate but after elected CHANGED his mind and in his HIDDEN dealings with CORPORATE interests dealt away inclusion into medicare if a person cannot easily get corporate insurance coverage. This was a mistake. It went directly against what he campaigned for. Then he ridiculed and belittled anyone in his ‘base’ who spoke out on his duplicity. It changes ACA from a PROgressive bill into a REgressive bill. The health insurance bill is a regressive bill – it is opposed to all proceeding policy of the former democratic party.

    That traditional party and its policy has been destroyed by Obama. And that is interesting. Now the party is something new. It does not stand for a social safety network, or for government as a positive influence.

    About wealth: of course there is no silver bullet. There are policies and that is all government can do. Obama has not advocated for progressive policies that could lessen the gap. Quite the contrary. Period.

    You based this article on mistakes, but then made those mistakes just from a republican pov. Any democratic action would rancor republicans. The actual mistakes were that Obama was opportunistic in his campaign for presidency and abandoned the policies and principles that he campaigned on during his presidency. He campaigned against Bush, but then pretty much continued Bush. And, no, he was not powerless. He was not just simply a weakling. These were choices of his. These choices were mistakes from a democratic pov. Who knows if he can redeem these mistakes. He might have destroyed too much of the democratic platform. We’ll see….

  • Patrick Watson says:

    How is government supposed to work if no one believes it can or should? Without corporate influence and a misinformed electorate it should work quite well. It sounds like your expectations for Obama were unrealistic.

    Hillary Clinton was also the one who said that you campaign in poetry and you govern in prose. We saw the same kind of criticism you’re giving to Obama directed towards Bill Clinton, but perhaps you agree with a lot of that as well. Things change when you become the President. You’re probably getting freaky national security briefings every morning that might make you a little more hawkish, you come up against political and legal constraints from taking the right course of action on virtually every issue. You have to weigh decisions where your options are “pretty bad” and “bad but less bad”. Problems that are easy to fix are solved at the state level, only the hardest problems reach the Resolute desk. Every president, left or right, comes to realize that even as the most powerful person in the world with the smartest people around you, you don’t always have a lot of options, and you do what you can.

    The Democratic party is not something new under Obama. It is only more centrist. At its most aspirant, it does stand for a safety net, and it does stand for government as a force for good. That is far from the nihilist view of the GOP, which runs anti-government candidates to become part of an institution they don’t think can or should do anything.

    What policies can you pursue to lessen the gap? Obama’s stimulus was successful in saving a couple million jobs but that wasn’t enough. How much should it have been? Corporations that hire people say they can’t hire people unless they have more tax breaks, so what do you do? You could lower the minimum wage so more people could be hired, but it would be politically impossible to lower the minimum wage. What do we do?

    The President does not get enough credit for stopping a full-blown depression with the stimulus, saving the auto industry, going after predatory practices by the health insurance industry, as well as by the credit card/financial industry, repealing anti-gay policies in the military, allowing stem cell research, fighting for unemployment benefits, improving and repairing foreign relations, ending the war in Iraq, ordered the killing of bin Laden, and most recently his approach to Libya seems to be turning out well. I mean, come on! That’s pretty decent! All this, in spite of steadfast kamikaze Republican obstructionism with a movement tinged with racism fueled by questions of his religion and citizenship, as well as by liberals who refuse to recognize any accomplishment of his as not good enough!

    It’s weird for me that originally I voted for Hillary Clinton (but not against Obama) to the disdain of all my Obama-supporting friends, and now I have to defend Obama to those same friends!

  • ZA says:

    Hi Patrick,

    I have no idea what your first paragraph means or how it relates to anything I’ve said.

    Indeed I’m sure the office of the presidency is “freaky”. The power of the office is really in setting the agenda and introducing policy. Obama appointed Geitner and Summers (pro-wall street only) and then proposed a stimulus that many many liberal economists said was not properly targeted and to weak. Corporations hire if there is a demand for the products, not simply because they get a tax break. If demand is uncertain they will sit on that money – which is what they have done. Banks too. Speachifying that a bank “should” lend is not effective. They know he didn’t mean it – no policy follow up. And it didn’t work.

    Second on the agenda was a terrible health insurance bill where both the stimulus and second on the agenda should have been jobs bills. Geitner wanted to get wall street back to health, and that was accomplished. You should list that as a major accomplishment. There is so very much money – vast wealth – floating around at the very top.

    Your accomplishment points sound just like Andrew Sullivan. He is a devoted supporter of Obama. He supported Bush over Gore, is anti progressive tax, against universal health care and pro war on terror. Not a liberal. Going after predatory health insurance corporations did not happen. Even people who kind of support the bill admit that it puts great hardship on the middle class and does not reign in the for profit health industry. The rest of the list is honestly not that liberal – OK good on DADT. Are troops out of Iraq? Gloss over the wars in Afghanistan, Yemen and Pakistan…. maybe good to go thru NATO for Libya. Good for stem cell research. Very bad for women’s rights signing stupak and not having female reproductive health covered. Good, I guess, on killing Osama. Not so thrilled at his conciliatory rhetoric towards “well meaning” republicans and the vociferous rhetoric towards democrats. No wonder those democrats are not happy! Blame them? Their agendas are not being implemented and they are being insulted. In light of your article it is obvious. Republicans are an opposition party. Anything any democrat does or says – no matter what color or gender or religious or ethnic or sexual orientation- is not going to be OK. Obama started with vast good will on the part of democrats. It was his to lose. And not all democrats were born yesterday, have some ideas what policies can actually be implemented.

    What could Obama have done? Jobs jobs jobs. Money at the middle and lower middle class. That’s who drives the consumer economy here. Medicare buy in. Home Owners relief – for the homeowner, not the fraudulent banks only – that is a big one. Geitner specifically refused to confront wall street on their fraudulent abuses. We got what is called “privatized gains, and socialized losses”. Corporate socialism. I had some criticisms of Clinton and Bush too. What am I supposed to be – a sheep?

    Maybe Obama was just a powerless weakling against those powerful minority republicans. A really nice guy, trying his best to be nice and inclusive. That would be an interesting astrological perspective. He is interesting astrologically, as are current events. He evokes very strong emotions in citizens certainly (another astrologically interesting point). Views of him that are not “hopeful” and “I would like to believe in him” are perceived as critical so that some need to “defend” him. What happened to just seeing clearly?

  • Patrick Watson says:

    Well you are certainly free to express your view. You should not be a sheep, and I don’t think you are, but I feel like the criticism from the left just overlooks basic political realities of governing and as a result, people are disappointed when policies don’t come in without a hair out of place. It’s unrealistic. And when considering everything Obama has had on his plate, it’s hard for me to say that he’s done altogether badly.

    My first paragraph was a response to your first paragraph. “Ah you still believe in partisan politics” etc.

    As much as everyone hated it, we had to help out the financial industry because they could cause the global economy to tank if they did. I’m not saying they should be prioritized above all else, but picking people who know how Wall Street works might be better at coming up with policy for them.

    I don’t see what comparing Andrew Sullivan to me has to do with anything. Gore was the first candidate I ever supported, at 13 years old, and I’ve supported Democrats ever since. I am pro-progressive taxation, pro-universal health care and anti-War on Terror. I am a liberal. I’ve learned that you can’t always get what you want or even what you need through our system of government, and so you take what you can get. It’s designed to be extremely hard to get exactly what you want.

    Would I like Obama to enact purely progressive policies? Sure would. Would he like to? I imagine so. But I can’t hold him to that kind of lofty standard, and I know any GOP President isn’t even going to be looking in that direction, so ultimately we should take what we can get, and considering everything, I think the argument can be made we got a lot from Obama. If he’s not re-elected in 2012, we’ll be far worse off with a President Bachmann or Romney and you’ll be wishing he was back.

  • ZA says:

    If Obama is not primaried in 1012 I think he will be re-elected. It is too bad that the neo-democrats will not hold Obama and the other Blue Dogs to a higher standard. But that is the way it is. Most young voters like his style, and that the white house is glamorous and the US image is cooler. Beyond that many just don’t know how good leaders get their agendas thru. Its sad because the traditional democratic platform IS being changed. Partisan politics ignores that fact and is played like a team sport…. more like pro-wrestling. The focus is on the opposing team, using hate and fear, and ridiculing and dismissing any “complaint” from their own team.

    Helping out the financial industry did not require not in any way holding them responsible, or attaching a few strings to their bailout. It is not either/or. Either let the industry fail, or bail them out in a way that will lead to more unethical and fraudulent activity. Scott-free. Homeowners were held accountable. So the bail out was for wall street and NOT main street. It is part of the reason the economy is bad, certainly not the only reason. But Geitner’s efforts did succeed and wall street is incredibly awash in money with no limits enacted. Wealth inequality decreased under Clinton, increased under both Bush and Obama. Just a fact.

    If it is a “political reality” that the presidency is a weak office then it should not matter if a dem or a repub occupies the white house. Who ever said “political reality” is easy also? Its important to have forged alliances (and then not snub them) and have deep experience in policy making and introducing bills. And messaging.

    Sorry about the Sullivan thing – your list of accomplishments sounds just like him.

    But you still have not commented on my point which is if you are going to make an analogy of Obama with Quetzalcoatl then the mistakes you point to are not the actual mistakes he made. He made mistakes towards his own party – to his allies. Of course the opposing party will automatically consider anything he does as a mistake. Gibbs was a mistake, and Rahm calling liberals “fucking retarded” was a mistake. Stupak was a mistake. Health care was a republican approach. It is funny to watch Romney try to distance himself from his very bill. Repubs will oppose a dem leader even if they advocate for the very same policy – that’s political reality. They are not going to like dems and will only compromise if absolutely forced to. If the actual mistakes are acknowledged it makes the entire analogy much more compelling. You don’t seem to think he actually made mistakes, but I know many very many long term dems who do. If your analogy holds up, he may redeem himself with his former supporters.

  • Patrick Watson says:

    The difference between a Republican president and a Democratic president is that you’ll either get liberal propositions watered down by conservatives or conservative propositions with liberal damage controls. I’ll take the liberal propositions with conservatives trying to gut them, gutting something that is overall good is at least better than ameliorating something overall bad.

    Quetzalcoatl’s errors or “sacrifice” is supposed to be coincident with the retrograde period of Venus. They can be objectively mistakes or they may not be, but either way they will cause one to lose favor or blessings (western idea of Venus Rx). The Tea Party was an outward expression of displeasure from conservatives with Obama that was notable in a way that other coalitions against other Presidents have not been. I didn’t have much to report from a disappointed and largely silent liberal base so I didn’t cover that angle.

    As for Obama’s mistakes, I honestly think he has tried to make the best of the worst situations. His single largest mistake in my view, is as you suggest, that he thought for one minute that Republicans might want to work with him on anything. He’s thrown them bones and gets squat back. But because of the outcome of the 2010 midterms, he’s now forced to work with them and they still do a lot more take and a lot less give. If he’s re-elected with a Democratic Congress, I really hope he doesn’t make the same mistake again, but then you have to worry about a fractious Democratic party in Congress.

  • Kristina says:

    Interesting debate…

  • ZA says:

    The disappointed liberal/traditional dems have not been silent. You yourself recognized dissatisfaction of traditional dems with Obama in an earlier comment. It sounded a little dismissive, like you are not actually interested in why traditional dems might not be satisfied. The neo-dems have either dismissed or ridiculed and attacked traditional dems. There is even a term for it which fits into the discussion of the teaparty vs hippies. That term is “hippie punching”. Neo dems would benefit from looking at and understanding some of the issues of disagreement within the dem party. The consequences of not doing that will be more of 2010 when many dems simply couldn’t be bothered to care anymore that maybe the dems would be different than the repubs. There was a massive non-turnout – no coattails for Obama and the neo-liberal wing of the party. It fits into your analogy of mistakes made by the sun god/leo.

    The democratic party has been damaged, and split, and Obama has not paid any attention to uniting the party that actually elected him. He was constantly reached out to, compromised with, and been compromised by his opposition party, the republicans. Again, if he made any mistakes it has been with his allies, his opposition is simply that – opposition. They are going to oppose any dem, that’s what they do. Why pretend otherwise? He never had their blessings and so never could lose them. The only blessings he had to lose were those of the dem party.

    It is nice that you think he has really tried to do a good job. But he will not be judged on if he tried or not, or if he might have thought something, and no leader in the political realm ever is. Sarah Palin might really try too. She is critically inexperienced and so was Obama – and it is painfully evident now (she is, however canny at identity politics while at the same time she advocates terrible horrible policies). Yes, he is a nice guy with a cool and beautiful wife and children and would be a cool person to have a beer (or glass of wine) with (=identity politics.) And he seems like he would like what he likes to call “this town” to be some fantasy different place. He knows dirty politics – he played it himself and politically hails from Chicago. So where did that savvy go? What on earth made him think this is a post partisan environment, and when he saw over and over that it is in fact NOT, why did he just keep hammering away at his same mistakes?

    I understand he has a cool young image, and I appreciate that. He inspired many including new voters and young voters. He does play identity politics well. A republican president has not damaged women’s rights or threatened SS and medicare like Obama has. He apparently fools some people into thinking he is proposing “progressive” policy, when in fact, for the most part, he is not. The majorities that so many people worked for were squandered.

  • Patrick Watson says:

    I think we’ve come to our impasse. My formative political development occurred during the dark ages of Bush, so I generally have lower expectations from my representatives, and after going through just a semester of student government I find it nothing short of a miracle that anything ever gets done on the national level. So I’m glad to have Obama, someone who seems to be a realist working towards progressive goals, however far they fall short of people’s expectations. I’m also impressed that despite facing unprecedented challenges things have actually come out halfway decent, things could be a whole lot worse if it weren’t for him. Perhaps you’ve had the luxury of seeing more impressive or effective progressive leaders than I have. I was a little too young to know Clinton except from remembering his face from the news, although from what I’ve read and heard, he was a pretty badass president, although I also know he was similarly criticized for selling out the party for working with Republicans.

  • ZA says:


    I’ve enjoyed the debate with you and enjoy your writings and will look forward to reading more.

    You seem to be a positive and loyal person, and that can be good. I really love your enthusiasm and willingness to engage. Just let me caution you against projecting “perfectionism” on those who are not in agreement, but who are not in a position of opposition. It is a dismissal, and a very close minded habit to get into. And it is incorrect. But youth is often that way, and with the “luxury” of more experience and a greater understanding of history youth often actually opens up.

    But the projecting is a really bad habit for an astrologer as it means not actually reading the heavens but projecting onto them. It is something I have seen in some astrologers, altho I know two astrologers who have amazing practices and really do not think in a box so I know its possible (tho both have had a long lifetime of depth study, one into Mayan and Eastern astrology and the other reading original Greek texts and the protracted intense study over decades has made them true masters – so I know it is possible…tho it takes time). Its the difference in opening one’s mind to macro relationships or using astrology to simply illustrate one’s pre-conceived point.

    I know you already know this, but there are more aspects than oppositions and conjunctions. And just because there is disagreement and stress does not make that automatically either an opposition or worthy of simple dismissal. Those other aspects do motivate and energize and when loyalty sways into blind loyalty, those other aspects are invaluable.

    Best wishes for your continued development as a great astrologer!

  • Patrick Watson says:


    I’m glad I haven’t turned you off my blog! Despite my own political leanings, I do genuinely want this site to be useful and interesting to everyone who is interested in astrology, no matter their political perspective. As it turns out, a fair share of readers here are conservative. There will always be some bias that I cannot escape, but I do try to actively guard against being blatantly partisan in posts, I try to just focus on the astrology in my articles. When I put this particular article up, I knew that there was a danger I could be revealing too much of my own perspective.

    I am similarly very wary of projection onto the sky. A lot of other astrology blogs that I see, when they comment on politics, often come with opinions that are then “backed up” with astrology. I’ve tried to take the opposite approach here in this post and others on the blog, I’m just taking the connections people have already made between particular events – the formation of the tea party to the special election upset in Massachusetts to the tea party-influenced midterm elections result to the tea party’s effect on the debt ceiling debate, and showing the reader that they are all connected by Venus syzygys with the Sun. I just introduced the possibility that the Mayan story of Venus/Quetzalcoatl could be a kind of explanatory model for all of Venus’s phases. In trying to interpret it through that lens, that’s where I could have gotten into trouble.

    Progressives are not a homogenous bunch, this discussion is an example of that. I don’t know if I’m projecting perfectionism on to you, it’s just the charge I’m making. I don’t dismiss ALL liberal criticism, and I am sympathetic to some. But I can’t throw Obama overboard, as there are no feasible alternatives. Like all leaders he needs to keep who he should be fighting for at the front of his mind and I hope he can do that for the rest of this term and into the next, if he gets it.

    Thanks for the kind words, and I extend the same to you. We are allies in the end.


  • Za says:

    As a further development– ows. People not ok with business or govt. Perhaps the occupy movement will grow.

  • Patrick Watson says:

    I hope so! Been meaning to write something about it for a while, finally did:

  • Judith says:

    Thanks again for your research Patrick. As an earlier commentator mentioned, your article has given me new insights into the Venus cycle and politics. Am eager to learn more now that you have opened my eyes, will definitely read Scofield.

  • Gary (NJ) says:

    This is just a trifle, but I live in New Jersey and the 2009 gubernatorial election was more about the economy than health care. The economy was/is bad and state taxes were high. Christie promised to lower them, which he did by slashing programs and firing a large number of state employees. I predicted (not using Astrology–just common sense) that local municipal taxes would go through the roof, and that’s exactly what happened. The tax relief that the public foolishly expected was not forthcoming.

  • […] which are coincident with the 4 and 8 year patterns of Venus, (which I went into some detail about here.) What’s gonna happen in those little races on Tuesday is gonna tell us all a lot about […]

  • Diane says:

    Dear Patrick

    I have just discovered your blog and I am impressed with your level of analysis and having read the previous comments here, impressed with your patience.

    I look forward to reading your other articles. I am curious as to what data you use for the tea party?


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