Prediction for the 2012 US Presidential Election
We’re finally here. The 2012 presidential election in the United States is just about six months away. While we have suspected the outcome of the elections for quite some time now, the Republican primary has recently settled enough that we know that Mitt Romney is the presumptive nominee who will face President Obama. So now the writers of the Political Astrology Blog are ready to issue our prediction for the election.
In what follows we will outline the techniques that we used and some of the studies that we have done in order to arrive at our conclusions about who will win the election. At the end of the article we will summarize our views on what the astrology says, and who we think will win the election based on our approach.
Zodiacal Releasing from the Lot of Spirit
The primary astrological technique that we used in order to determine the winner of the election is called Zodiacal Releasing from the Lot of Spirit.
Zodiacal Releasing is an ancient technique that is derived from the work of the 2nd century astrologer Vettius Valens. It is a time-lord technique that divides a person’s life up into different periods and subsections, as if an individual’s life was written out as a book with specific chapters and paragraphs.
Zodiacal Releasing from the Lot of Spirit is particularly useful for studying different periods in a person’s professional life, as it is capable of showing high points and low points during the course of a person’s career. It is primarily on this basis that we will be making our prediction about which candidate will win the election, by determining whose Zodiacal Releasing periods are more favorable at the time of the election, according to the principles inherent within the technique.
Unfortunately it is beyond the scope of this article to explain the principles underlying the calculation and interpretation of Zodiacal Releasing periods. Instead, we will refer the reader to the latest issue of The Mountain Astrologer magazine, where Chris Brennan has an article on Zodiacal Releasing, which explains the basic methods surrounding the usage of the technique. The digital edition of the current issue is available for sale through their website now, and copies will be available in most major bookstores in the next few weeks. If you subscribe to The Mountain Astrologer and sign up for their digital edition then you can view it online and download the article on Zodiacal Releasing immediately.
For those of you who understand at least the rudiments of the technique, read on. For those who just want to read our prediction, you can skip to the end of the article.
Before we get started we would like to note that a prediction is not the same thing as an endorsement. We are not issuing this prediction on behalf of any candidate or party, whatever our personal political sympathies. Our motto here at the Political Astrology Blog is that our agenda is not partisan, but astrological.
President Obama’s Zodiacal Releasing
Obama is currently in his Aquarius major period, which started on January 12, 2000. There are several reasons why Aquarius periods will always be important and fortunate for him.
- Aquarius is the sign of his natal Ascendant, so it profits from its angularity.
- Jupiter is in Aquarius, and while it’s not the benefic of the sect, is still an angular benefic.
- Jupiter is the ruler of his Lot of Spirit, which is in Sagittarius, indicating a period when he finds his “life’s work”.
- Jupiter is one of the trigon rulers of his sect light, the Moon, which offers its support in raising one’s status in the world.
- The ruler of Aquarius is a somewhat problematic but still powerful Saturn in Capricorn.
Generally his more positive periods will be ones in which benefics are present or ruling. The most active and important periods though will be those which are angular to his Lot of Fortune in Aries, which are the cardinal signs. In this context Cancer and Libra are particularly important, since they are both angular relative to Fortune and either contain or are ruled by the benefic that is of the sect in favor, Venus.
Just by looking at the sub-periods since Obama entered the Aquarius general period, we can see his electoral successes have only occurred under minor periods that were either ruled by a benefic, or where a benefic was present in the sign.
We know that Cancer is one of his best sub-periods because of Venus’ presence there, and his 2004 DNC speech occurred at an L4 Loosing of the Bond to Cancer, and then he was also in an Aquarius-Cancer period when he was elected in 2008. Libra is another one of his best sub-periods and it just so happens that at the time of the 2012 election, Obama will be in Aquarius-Libra. Accordingly, we would expect a similarly positive time for Obama again. There is more to look at before we have the complete picture though.
Aquarius Sub-periods and the Loosing of the Bond to Leo
If we look at the third and fourth level sub-periods, the verdict becomes clearer. In particular, examining the recurrences of Aquarius level 3 periods in the past gives us some pretty good insight into the 2012 election, since Obama will be in the same sub-period at the time of the election. Let’s take a look at how those have worked out for him in the past.
Aquarius-Aquarius-Aquarius: January 12, 2000 – March 27, 2000
Shortly after Obama entered the 30 year Aquarius general period in 2000, he was defeated in a primary election for the US House of Representatives. This happened on March 19, 2000, when Obama was under Aquarius-Aquarius-Aquarius-(Aquarius). While Saturn as the ruler denied him the opportunity to be a US Representative, Jupiter’s presence in the sign meant that it was still working on his behalf in some way.
His failed bid for Congress had been a useful dress rehearsal. It proved he could appeal to white voters as well as black ones. It let him audition his message that Washington does not work for all people. And it showed him what to do – and what not to do – to win.
-Scott Helman, “Early Defeat Launched Rapid Political Climb”, Boston Globe, October 12, 2007
This appears to be the nature of Obama’s Jupiter being ruled by Saturn, or more generally of a benefic ruled by a malefic, that good things come out of bad things, that he receives blessings in disguise.
Aquarius-Aquarius-(Aquarius): March 2, 2002 – May 16, 2002
Obama first commissioned polls to assess his chances of winning the 2004 US Senate race in Illinois in May 2002, just before the end of the Aquarius-Aquarius period. In fact, the first half of May occurred under Aquarius-Aquarius-(Aquarius). It wouldn’t be surprising if Obama requested the poll under Aquarius-Aquarius-(Aquarius)-(Aquarius), which would be a Loosing of the Bond repetition of the periods under which Obama lost the primary race. In subsequent minor periods, when Obama encounters Aquarius sub-periods, especially after the Loosing of the Bond to Leo, he tends to be extraordinarily fortunate.
The 2008 Election – Aquarius-Cancer: January 5, 2007 – January 24, 2009
2008 Primary Election Campaign – Aquarius-Cancer-Aquarius: Nov. 16, 2007 – Jan. 30, 2008
Shortly after Obama entered his Aquarius-Cancer period in 2007 he began his first run for President. For most of 2007, Obama’s campaign showed promise but lagged in the polls behind Hillary Clinton. A turning point for Obama came when he received Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement on December 9, 2007, under Aquarius-Cancer-Aquarius-Cancer. Astrologer
Curtis Manwaring Ellen Black* has called this phenomenon of the major and minor periods repeating on the lower levels “amplification”, since it seem to amplify the meaning and power of the major and minor periods. (*4/30/12: correction based on comments by Curtis Manwaring in the comments section below)
Later on the same day that Obama received the endorsement from Oprah, he entered Aquarius-Cancer-Aquarius-Leo, which was a “foreshadowing” period for a Loosing of the Bond that would occur three weeks later. The Loosing of the Bond has a special connection to the previous time the same sign was encountered, which seems to act as a kind of foreshadowing of events that will take place at the Loosing. And in fact, Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement of Obama was a direct foreshadowing of the event at the Loosing of the Bond to Leo, which was Obama’s upset victory at the Iowa Caucuses. This initial victory propelled him to the nomination, and beyond. Many commentators have remarked that without Winfrey’s endorsement, Obama probably would not have won the primary.
The 2008 General Election Campaign – Aquarius-Cancer-(Aquarius): Aug. 22, 2008 – Nov. 5, 2008
The previous Aquarius-Cancer-Aquarius period itself served as a foreshadowing period for something on an even larger scale after the Loosing of the Bond under Aquarius-Cancer-(Aquarius). Obama’s endorsement by Oprah and his subsequent victory at the Iowa Caucuses was going to repeat itself in an exaggerated way.
On September 13, 2008, Tina Fey first unveiled her impression of Sarah Palin, which would end up being very unintentionally helpful to Obama’s campaign, under Aquarius-Cancer-(Aquarius)-Cancer. Similar to Oprah’s endorsement, many attribute Tina Fey’s impersonation to having actually affected the 2008 election. And just like the last Loosing of the Bond to Leo, which resulted in his Iowa Caucus victory, it wasn’t long after the next Loosing of the Bond to Leo that Obama won the 2008 election, under Aquarius-Cancer-(Aquarius)-(Aries).
The First Half of Obama’s Presidency – Aquarius-Leo: January 24, 2009 – August 17, 2010
Each Loosing of the Bond to Leo on the lower levels in the run up to the election put Obama on the path to winning the presidency, and then finally he reached a Leo level 2 period just four days after being inaugurated, which seems to have signaled his arrival to the Presidency itself
One thing that is notable about this time period for Obama is that it emphasizes that when he reaches Aquarius sub-periods on the lower levels he tends to have particularly notable periods of success, apparently due to Jupiter’s presence in that sign natally.
For example, on October 9, 2009, Obama was notified that he had won the Nobel Peace Prize. This happened under Aquarius-Leo-Aquarius-Aquarius. Astonishingly, the award ceremony took place on December 10, 2009, which happened to be under Aquarius-Leo-Aquarius-(Aquarius), which was a Loosing of the Bond on level 4. He received the news that he won the award at the “foreshadowing period” of the Loosing of the Bond for when he would accept the award itself two months later.
It seems that while Jupiter in Aquarius gave him the award, Saturn as its ruler provided the criticism that he had not done enough at the time to earn it, particularly in light of his plans to escalate the war in Afghanistan. He recognized these criticisms by accepting the award as a call toward peace, and by providing a defense of “just war” in his acceptance speech.
The entire Aquarius-Leo-Aquarius period of winning the Nobel was itself a foreshadowing period, and the underlying theme seems to be connected to the topics of peacemaking. After the Loosing of the Bond, and under an amplification period, on August 2, 2010, Obama announced the removal of the last combat troops from Iraq, under Aquarius-Leo-(Aquarius)-Leo.
Second Half of Obama’s Presidency – Aquarius-Virgo: August 17, 2010 – April 8, 2012
Aquarius-Virgo promised to be a more difficult period for Obama, because of the presence of his natal Mars in Virgo. However, Mars is of the sect in favor in Obama’s chart, since he was born at night, thus making it somewhat less malefic in character. This period started just before the 2010 midterm elections, which were very difficult for the Democratic party, and it also coincided with Obama’s subsequent struggles to work with a more Republican Congress. However, that did not stop Mars from acting in Obama’s favor occasionally, especially during Aquarius sub-periods.
On April 4, 2011, under Aquarius-Virgo-Aquarius-Leo, Obama officially kicked off his 2012 re-election campaign. This was the foreshadowing period to the triumphant release of his “long form” birth certificate, under Aquarius-Virgo-Aquarius-(Leo). In this way the “Loosing” or “Releasing” of the Bond can sometimes be quite literal. It is worth noting that he also released his first birth certificate at another Loosing of the Bond, on June 12, 2008, under Aquarius-Cancer-Gemini-(Sagittarius).
Even more astonishing was what happened directly afterward at the amplification period, under Aquarius-Virgo-Aquarius-(Virgo). Obama ordered the execution of Operation Neptune Spear, resulting in the death of Osama bin Laden. Obama was born with Mars in Virgo and Jupiter in Aquarius, so both Mars and Jupiter were amplified at the time, and Mars was even conjunct Jupiter in the sky.
The 2012 Election – Aquarius-Libra: April 8, 2012 – December 4, 2012
This brings us to the present time. Based on the way that Obama’s chart is set up, and the way he has responded to past periods, we know that Libra is one of his best sub-periods due to its angularity from Fortune, and its rulership by Venus. Additionally, Venus in Cancer is in a superior square to Libra.
We’ve also shown how Obama has had some rather fortunate times under Aquarius sub-periods, and this is actually important because he will be in another Aquarius sub-period during the 2012 elections. In fact, the conditions are very similar to his his Iowa Caucus victory, the awarding of his Nobel Peace Prize, the death of Osama bin Laden, and his 2008 election victory. These events all occurred under Aquarius level 3 periods.
Of the events just listed, this upcoming period that will be activated for Obama in late 2012 will be most similar to the the period he was in during the 2008 election, because Venus is an operative planet on level 2. In 2008 Obama’s success was indicated because he was under Aquarius-Cancer-(Aquarius), with Venus in Cancer. In 2012 he will be under Aquarius-Libra-Aquarius, with Venus ruling Libra. All of this seems to build a very strong case that Obama will win his re-election campaign in 2012.
With that being said, there are reasons to believe that there are still some surprises in store for us during the 2012 election, which is why must now turn to Obama’s opponent, Mitt Romney.
Mitt Romney’s Zodiacal Releasing
Mitt Romney is currently in his Capricorn major period, which started on May 27, 2001. In the minor periods he has been in Capricorn-Cancer since August 8, 2010. Capricorn and Cancer are somewhat enigmatic periods for Romney, because they are not angular to the Lot of Fortune, or his Ascendant, or any planets except Neptune. The same is true for all the cardinal signs for Romney.
The only indication from Romney’s natal chart about what the Capricorn period means for him is the fact that it’s ruled by his Saturn in Leo. The condition of Romney’s Saturn is somewhat mixed. On the one hand, it is a malefic, it is retrograde, it is cadent by whole sign placement, and it is in the sign of its detriment (Leo). On the other hand, Saturn is of the sect in favor and thus not as malefic, it is configured to both Jupiter and Venus by sign, it is the ruler of the Lot of Fortune while being configured to Fortune, and it has some share of angularity due to its close proximity to the degree of the IC. See our previous two-part article about Romney’s history with Saturn, in which we examined Saturn’s peculiar relevance for his career, family, and especially his father.
Mitt Romney’s best and most active or important periods should generally be the fixed signs, because the Lot of Fortune and both of his benefics are in the fixed signs. His most challenging periods will generally be the mutable signs, especially Pisces, because of the presence of the malefic that is contrary to the sect in that sign, Mars. Virgo periods may be just as challenging because Romney’s Mercury is retrograde and in the sign of its fall, Pisces, and also especially due to the opposition from Mars in Virgo. Romney’s Mercury is also the lord of his Lot of Spirit, so his “life’s work” is revealed when Pisces is reached. Understanding the tentative strength of his Leo periods versus the challenging nature of his Virgo and Pisces periods will be instrumental in understanding Romney’s chances in the 2012 election.
Capricorn-Leo: August 27, 2012 – March 20, 2014
Just a few months before the election, Romney enters a new Level 2 sub-period. He goes into Capricorn-Leo on August 27, 2012. This happens to be the exact same day the 2012 Republican National Convention begins.
Leo is one of the best periods for Romney, because it’s angular to the Lot of Fortune and angular to both of his benefics. The angularity relative to Fortune suggests a peak period in activity and importance, and the angularity relative to the benefics suggests that it is experienced as positive, although not as positive as it could be since Jupiter is only configured by an inferior square, and of course because Saturn is placed in that sign.
What makes this particular Leo sub-period far more distinctive from previous times that he has encountered it is that it coincides with the encounter of the ruler of the major period. The major period is Capricorn, and thus its ruler Saturn is in Leo, which demarcates this period as a time of critical importance.
This puts Romney in a position that is not completely unlike Obama’s, with both candidates hitting signs that are angular from the Lot of Fortune on level 2 just months before the election. Ultimately this makes the final outcome far more dependent on the L3 and L4 periods, in order to determine which candidate seems to come out on top at the time of the election itself.
Virgo Sub-periods and the Loosing of the Bond to Pisces
Since Romney will be undergoing a Virgo Level 3, Pisces Level 4 period at the time of the election, it will be prudent to examine previous instances in which he has encountered Virgo sub-periods with a Loosing of the Bond to Pisces. There were only a couple of documented instances that we noticed as potentially standing out in his chronology:
Romney was born with the Lot of Spirit in Virgo, so he experienced a L2 Loosing of the Bond to Pisces at the age of 17, beginning on July 10, 1964. It was in that very week, between July 13-16, 1964, that the young Mitt Romney attended his first Republican National Convention. It was at this convention where his father, former presidential candidate George Romney, unsuccessfully battled presidential nominee Barry Goldwater over civil rights. Mitt famously walked out of the convention with his father when support for civil rights was rejected from the Republican party’s platform. Mitt was extremely close with his father, he idolized him. Mitt has never talked about how seeing the defeat of his father impacted him, but we know that he remembered the experience.
…You may recall that my dad walked out of the Republican convention in 1964 in San Francisco in part because Barry Goldwater, in his speech, gave my dad the impression that he was someone who was gonna be weak on civil rights…
We can tell from Romney’s releasing that this was a time when his whole perspective shifted, presumably in a somewhat unpleasant way. He went from seeing the glory in politics to the gory in politics. This was also a dramatic encounter with the ruler of Romney’s Lot of Spirit, Mercury. According to Robert Schmidt, the encounter of the ruler of the Lot of Spirit reveals one’s life’s work. It is very interesting to consider how well this episode plays out as a forecast of Mitt’s own career so far, which has involved presidential politics, specifically characterized by intra-party tensions between moderate and extreme factions.
Capricorn-Pisces-Virgo-(Pisces): November 18, 2006 – November 21, 2006
As his presidential ambitions began to crystallize, Romney became more conservative on social issues, particularly toward the end of his term as the Governor of Massachusetts. For someone who once claimed that he would be better on gay rights than Ted Kennedy in 1994, Romney’s harder shift to the right came as a surprise to some.
In response to the Massachusetts legislature delaying votes on constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage, Romney led a VoteOnMarriage rally at the Massachusetts State House during a Level 4 Loosing of the Bond to Pisces on November 19, 2006, under Capricorn-Pisces-Virgo-(Pisces). The anti-gay marriage supporters at the rally were outnumbered by the pro-gay marriage protesters who chanted “Bigot” at him. The courts agreed with Romney that the Massachusetts legislature couldn’t legally avoid voting on the issue, but ultimately the measure couldn’t pass through two separate constitutional conventions with more votes than the required minimum, and gay marriage remained legal in Massachusetts.
Similar to the Loosing of the Bond which jumped to Pisces in 1964, the underlying theme here seems to be Romney participating in a political campaign which was ultimately unsuccessful.
The 2012 Election – Capricorn-Leo-Virgo-Pisces: November 6, 2012 – November 8, 2012
Like Obama, Romney starts a very active and important Level 2 period over the summer – on August 27, 20012, when he moves into a Leo on L2, which is angular to his lot of Fortune. This actually coincides with the first day of the Republican national convention, and it seems to indicate that he will be in pretty good shape for the first couple of months after he officially receives his party’s nomination.
However, on October 13 Romney moves into a Virgo L3 period that lasts until early December, thus encompassing the last few weeks of the election, as well as election night itself and its aftermath. This is not a good period for Romney, due to the opposition from natal Mars in Pisces to the sign being activated, Virgo, as well as the somewhat debilitated status of natal Mercury. It is almost as if things are going well in the Romney campaign in the first month and a half following the convention, but then something goes awry from mid-October forward.
Eventually things culminate on election day, when Romney switches into a Level 4 Pisces period, directly activating the problematic natal Mars placement that is in that sign. It is difficult to see how the activation of these placements could reflect a victory for Romney on election day, and ultimately they seem to be indicative of the scenarios of upset, frustration and loss that he experienced in other instances in his life when this same axis has been activated.
One additional point that is interesting about Romney’s L3 Virgo-L4 Pisces period on election day is that this is actually a foreshadowing period for a Loosing of the Bond that will take place later in the month, from November 26-29, 2012. There is something about what happens on election night that is connected to a change or a transition in Romney’s career and life direction that won’t fully materialize until a few weeks after the election. It is not clear if this pertains to Romney simply making a final personal decision about what he wants to do with his life a few weeks after losing the election, or if there is something about the election itself that isn’t resolved or finished until that time.
Mercury Retrograde Problems
At 6:03:48 pm EST on November 6, 2012, the very night of the election, Mercury will station retrograde at 5 Sagittarius. Mercury is THE planet of politics and elections, given its association with things like communication, calculation, debates, controversies, oratory, etc. In some instances elections that occur during Mercury retrograde periods have problems surrounding these issues.
The most famous example of this was in the contested US Presidential election of 2000, where the vote was evenly split between Bush and Gore. On the day of that election Mercury was stationing direct, and thus leaving the troublesome retrograde period, whereas for the 2012 election Mercury will just be stationing retrograde on the day of the election.
Since Mercury is just stationing retrograde on the day of the election, it will not complete the retrograde period until later in the month, when it stations direct on November 26. This raises the possibility that there could be some sort of Mercury retrograde related snafu on election day that isn’t cleared up until later in the month.
It is striking that Mercury’s direct station on November 26 coincides with the same exact time time period when Romney’s Loosing of the Bond on Level 4 will occur, although it is not clear if this simply relates to personal events and decisions within Romney’s own life, or if there is something about the election itself that remains up in the air until that time, as with the 2000 election.
Update on August 27, 2012: see our recent article on Mercury retrograde during the 2012 presidential election for more information on this issue.
Summary of Our Prediction for the Election
To summarize, it looks like both candidates will come out of their respective conventions over the summer in very good shape, with each entering into very strong periods astrologically in both of their respective charts.
However, Romney switches into a difficult period starting in mid-October, and this seems to reflect that his campaign will encounter some problems at that time. This difficult period for Romney lasts all the way until early December, and so it appears to reflect that he will lose the election, since Obama encounters nothing comparably difficult during the same time frame.
We have some concerns that the Mercury retrograde on election day could reflect some problems or controversy with the election itself, as it did in 2000, but ultimately based on the considerations outlined above, as well as some that we did not include in this writeup, it is our opinion that Obama will be elected to a second term.
This article was co-written by Patrick Watson and Chris Brennan.