The Astrology of the Presidential Debates
The first of the four presidential debates for the 2012 election begins tomorrow, and the purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the astrology of the debates.
This article will cover some of the astrological highlights of the four debates, which includes a discussion of the inception chart for the beginning of each debate, as well as an analysis of significant transits that each of the candidates will be having on each debate night.
Each section will be concluded with a summary of our observations about the key astrological signatures for each debate, and who we think will come out on top.
Schedule for the Presidential Debates
Each debate will begin at 9:00 PM EDT, and then end at 10:30 PM, although the local time will vary depending on the location. Here is the schedule for the debates:
- October 3 – First Presidential Debate – Denver, Colorado, beginning at 7:00 PM MDT.
- October 11 – Vice Presidential Debate – Danville, Kentucky, beginning at 9:00 PM EDT.
- October 16 – Second Presidential Debate – Hempstead, NY (Nassau County), 9:00 PM EDT.
- October 22 – Third Presidential Debate – Boca Raton, Florida, beginning at 9:00 PM EDT.
Let’s begin our analysis with the first debate, which takes place tomorrow in Denver.
First Presidential Debate – October 3, 2012 at 7:00 PM MDT in Denver, Colorado
The first debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is supposed to focus on domestic policy.
The Inception Chart for the First Debate
- The first debate begins with 22 Aries rising in Denver.
- The main signature in the chart is the applying Moon-Mars opposition, with the Moon at 24° Taurus and Mars at 27° Scorpio. This is a repetition of the same configuration that was occurring during the DNC last month. The Moon here is actually very close to the same degree as when Obama accepted the nomination. The Moon will conjoin the ascendant exactly right at the end of the debate.
- The second most striking placement in the chart is that Venus moves into Virgo the day of the debate. At the time that the debate begins the closest aspect in the chart is Venus at 0° Virgo opposing Neptune at 0° Pisces, within 8 minutes of arc. This Venus-Neptune opposition is one of the main signatures for the first debate, since it is the closest aspect in the chart.
- This is the only debate that will take place while Saturn is still in Libra.
- Another signature is Mercury conjunct Saturn, with Mercury at 27° Libra and Saturn at 29°. This conjunction will set at the descendant very early on in the debate, between 7:13 and 7:20 PM in Denver. Traditionally Mercury-Saturn combinations are associated with difficulties in communication, which in this context might mean some sort of verbal gaffe, or perhaps one of the candidates literally having problems speaking.
- Around 7:20-7:21 the ascendant moves into Taurus, which almost seems to indicate a change in the mood or tone of the debate, from this tense or very serious Saturn on the descendant to a more relaxed or lighthearted Venus at 0° Virgo trining the ascendant.
- Although it isn’t playing a very major role in the chart for the debate itself, Jupiter stations retrograde early the next morning, which is very significant. Interestingly, it doesn’t station direct until late January, just after the inauguration. This seems to reflect a close connection between this particular debate and who is sworn into office on inauguration day.
- Mars conjunct MC – Mars at 27° Scorpio is conjoining Obama’s natal Midheaven at 28 Scorpio. Some astrologers might interpret this as being a negative transit for Obama to have, however, Obama was born at night, and so according to the concept of sect his Mars transits are much less negative. It is also worth noting that Mars is the ruler of his 10th house. So, on this night the ruler of his 10th conjoins the MC, which is rather auspicious.
- The north node is also in Scorpio, at 26 degrees, conjunct Mars at 27°. This is squaring his natal north node at 27° Leo. So, he has a transiting Mars-Node conjunction in his 10th, square his nodes.
- Moon square Uranus – Transiting Moon at 24° Taurus is applying to a square with his natal Uranus at 25° Leo. This actually goes exact during the debate at 8:09 PM. Usually a transit like this reflects an unexpected development or surprise.
- Moon trine Saturn – Transiting Moon trine Saturn goes exact at 8:17 PM, right towards the end of the debate. This is a more positive transit for Obama, especially with Saturn ruling his ascendant. It is almost like Romney does something unexpected that unsettles Obama, but then Obama regains his stride a few minutes later.
- Venus sextile Venus – Transiting Venus is important for Obama because it is activated as the lord of the year for him since his birthday in August. It is striking that it has just moved into Virgo right before this debate, sort of like how it just moved into Leo right before he accepted the nomination at the convention. During the debate transiting Venus at zero Virgo is applying to a sextile his natal Venus at 1 Cancer, which is generally an auspicious transit.
- Jupiter trine ASC – Transiting Jupiter, which stations retrograde a few hours after the debate, is trine to Obama’s ascendant within about a degree and a half.
- Mars conjunct Moon/Jupiter – Romney’s closest transit when the debate begins is transiting Mars at 27° Scorpio conjunct his natal Moon-Jupiter conjunction at 27° Scorpio. The Mars-Moon transit is within 8 minutes of arc. This is problematic since he was born during the day, so Mars is the most malefic planet for Romney. All the more so since Jupiter rules the 10th whole sign house.
- Jupiter conjunct Uranus – Transiting Jupiter at 16° Gemini, which stations retrograde just a few hours after the debate, is conjoining his his natal Uranus at 17° Gemini, within about a degree and a half. This is more of a positive transit for Romney because it usually indicates unexpected or sudden benefits. This Jupiter station is also important because it is a recurrence transit for Romney, since he was born about 1 day away from a Jupiter retrograde station, and the debate itself is being held within a degree of a Jupiter retrograde station. This particular station is important because it is occurring in his 1st house.
- Other than that, Romney doesn’t have a lot of significant transits going on at the time that are specific to the debate. There are a few outer planet transits, but these are long-term, and some of them become more exact during later debates, so we will discuss them there. Other inner planet transits on this date, like transiting Sun conjunct Neptune, are separating, and are more than a degree or two away from exact, so it is not clear if they are relevant for the debate.
First Debate Conclusions
The Moon-Mars opposition seems to indicate combativeness as a major signature of this debate.
Ultimately Obama seems to have better career transits for the first debate, with transiting Mars conjoining his MC in his nocturnal birth chart, versus Romney having transiting Mars conjoin his Moon and Jupiter (which rules his 10th) in a diurnal birth chart.
Obama may still be in for some surprises though, with the Moon square his natal Uranus, and transiting Jupiter stationing conjunct Romney’s natal Uranus in the 1st.
Vice Presidential Debate – October 11 at 9:00 PM EDT in Danville, Kentucky
The Vice Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan is supposed to focus on both foreign and domestic policy.
***Update: This section on the VP debate was revised on October 4, 2012 after a reader named Tracy pointed out in the comments section below that the original time that we were using for this debate was an hour off, due to a mistake we made in placing Danville in CDT rather than EDT. This section has been updated accordingly to reflect the 1 hour difference.***
Inception Chart for the VP Debate
- The debate is set to begin at 9:00 PM in Danville, and at that time the ascendant will be at 29°50′ Taurus. If the debate starts just 30 seconds later, after 9:00:34 PM, then the ascendant will be at 0° Gemini. We will have to see what happens, although we strongly suspect that they will end up starting the debate after the ascendant has moved into Gemini, and so the horoscope or chart for the debate to the right reflects that placement rather than the Taurus rising chart. The only counter-argument against doing this might be the fact that the Moon was at 29° Taurus when Obama first announced that he had chosen Biden as his running mate in 2008.
- Moon square Mars, applying, and only 19 minutes of arc from exact when the debate begins. This is the main signature in the chart. It is interesting because the Moon opposing Mars was one of the main signatures in the first debate, although it wasn’t as close to exact as in this chart. This seems to imply that this debate is even more combative than the first one. The Moon-Mars square goes exact at 9:35 PM in Danville, just over 30 minutes into the debate. This is also important because both Biden and Ryan have early Sagittarius rising in their birth charts, and Mars will be at at 3° Sagittarius, right on both of their ascendants.
- Transiting ascendant square Neptune goes exact at 9:02 PM, right as the debate begins. Neptune also becomes prominent again at the very end of the debate when it reaches the MC, which seems to make it one of the other major signatures in the chart, especially since it is part of a T-square with the Moon and Mars. Neptune usually has to do with deception, and so it seems that one of the other major themes of the debate will be issues surrounding lying or dishonesty.
- The transiting MC squares Mercury exactly at 9:02 PM, also right as the debate begins.
- Mars conjoins the descendant exactly and sets over the western horizon at 9:12 PM. Moon square ascendant at the same time.
- The ascendant squares Venus at 9:36. This is is right when the Moon-Mars square goes exact as well.
- MC trine Sun at 9:41.
- Transiting ascendant conjunct Jupiter at 9:59 PM. This is one of the most positive hits to the angles during the course of the evening, and it will be interesting to see if one of them doesn’t say something around this time that ends up playing very well with the public and the press.
- Ascendant trine Sun at 10:11.
- MC moves into Pisces and conjoins Neptune 10:23-10:27. Maybe some specific instance of lying or dishonesty around this time?
- The MC squares Mars exactly and around 10:36, although the debate is supposed to be over by this time.
- Moon square Uranus – This transit goes exact for Biden about 45 minutes before the debate begins. Obama also had the same transit during the first debate, and it was also to a 7th house Uranus placement. Perhaps somehow Ryan surprises Biden with something as well.
- Moon square Ascendant – This goes exact right after the debate begins.
- Saturn opposite Moon – Second closest transit is Saturn at 0° Scorpio applying to oppose natal Moon at 0° Taurus within 15 minutes of arc. He has a day chart, but still not a very positive transit to be having.
- Mars conjunct Ascendant – Third closest transit is transiting Mars at 3° Sagittarius conjunct Biden’s ascendant at 3° Sagittarius. This is problematic since he was born during the day, and thus Mars is more malefic. Transiting Mars is also opposing his natal Uranus at 2° Gemini at this time, separating, although within 41 minutes of arc, which is even more problematic. This is the type of transit that tends to coincide with someone being more aggressive than normal, sometimes with sudden outbursts.
- Venus square Saturn – Fourth closest is transiting Venus at 10° Virgo, square Saturn at 9° Gemini, separating, but only 18 minutes of arc from exact. Virgo is activated via annual profections. Again, not a great transit.
- Biden is having a Sun-Jupiter recurrence transit. He was born with the Sun trine to Jupiter within about 2 degrees, with the Sun on the left side, and then the debate takes place when the Sun and Jupiter are also trine again, about 2 degrees away.
- Neptune square Neptune – Closest transit is transiting Neptune at 0° 36′ Pisces square natal Neptune at 0° 35′ Sagittarius, within 1 degree of arc! This is applying, and it goes exact about 24 hours later.
- Neptune square Ascendant – Second closest transit is Neptune at 0° 36′ Pisces square his natal ascendant at 0° 38′ Sagittarius, separating, within 2 minutes of arc.
- The transiting MC at the beginning of the debate is very closely conjoining Ryan’s Sun/Venus conjunction at 9°/10° Aquarius, which seems very positive for him.
- Mars trine Mars – Transiting Mars at 3° Sagittarius trine natal Mars at 3° Aries, separating, but only 11 minutes of arc from exact. This one is important since his natal Mars is very well-placed, by sign, house, sect, etc.
- Mercury square Sun & Venus – Transiting Mercury at 9° Scorpio very closely square his natal Sun at 9° Aquarius and Venus at 10° Aquarius. This quite positive, and also potentially important because Mercury is activated as the lord of the year. It is very good for communication and getting one’s point across in an elegant manner.
- Moon trine Saturn – Transiting Moon at 3° Virgo trine Saturn at 2° Taurus, separating, 31 minutes from exact. This is an interesting contrast with Biden’s Moon square Uranus transit before the debate, because Moon trine Saturn tends to be more calming and stable, whereas Moon square Uranus can make a person kind of jittery and uneven.
- Jupiter square MC – Transiting Jupiter at 16° Gemini is square his MC at 17° Virgo, just over a degree away. Positive career transit.
- Saturn opposite Saturn – Saturn’s ingress into Scorpio the week before the debate triggers the opposition to his natal Saturn at 2° Taurus. This is interesting because he was first elected to public office at his Saturn return. This transit is less specific to the debate though because it doesn’t go exact until closer to the election, although it is relevant for this entire period in his life from October forward.
Conclusions About the VP Debate
This looks like it has the potential to be a highly contentious debate due to the Moon-Mars square that goes exact that night, as well as the transit of Mars over the ascendant of both candidates.
Biden’s transits seem to be distinctly more difficult, and some of the Mars transits make it look like he might lose his cool at some point during the debate.
Ryan, on the other hand, seems to have much more favorable transits in general, and we would expect him to handle the Mars transit better than Biden, both because he was born at night, as well as the fact that transiting Mars will be trine his natal Mars that night.
Two main themes show up very strongly in the inception chart for the debate itself: 1) Neptune, which will probably bring up issues surrounding deception or dishonesty, and 2) Mars, which will bring out themes having to do with anger or aggression.
What is interesting is that Ryan seems to be the one who is having the closer Neptune transits that night, whereas Biden is the one who is having the closer Mars transits. It is almost as if there is something about the way that Ryan embodies Neptune that night, either in a positive sense through his idealism or in a negative sense by being dishonest, which rubs Biden the wrong way, and results in him becoming very agitated or angry. Either way, we look forward to seeing some fireworks that night.
Second Presidential Debate – October 16, 2012 at 9:00 PM in Hempstead, NY
The second presidential debate will have a town hall format where audience members will pose questions to the candidates on foreign and domestic policy issues.
Inception Chart for the Second Presidential Debate
- At the beginning of the debate 19° Gemini is rising with Jupiter having just risen over the ascendant. This is similar to the chart from a month ago at the DNC when Obama got enough votes to be confirmed as the Democratic nominee.
- Moon conjunct Mercury – The main signature is the Moon at 15° Scorpio applying to a conjunction with Mercury at 16° Scorpio. Before the Moon conjoins Mercury it completes a sextile with Venus, which goes exact at 10:15 PM, towards the end of the debate, and then right after that the Moon conjoins Mercury, at 10:23.
- The MC conjoins Neptune at 9:21 PM, then MC square Mars at 9:46, ASC square Uranus at 10:09, Pluto conjunct descendant at 10:15, Jupiter square MC at 10:19, then Venus conjoins the IC at 10:20 and Moon-Mercury trining the MC at the exact same time. This last string of hits around 10:20 seems to be an important point in the debate.
- The Moon-Mercury conjunction in mid-Scorpio in the debate chart takes place in his 10th whole sign house.
- This will be the first presidential debate after Saturn moves into his 10th whole sign house (Scorpio).
- Saturn trine Venus, square Jupiter – Transiting Saturn at 1° Scorpio is closely trining his natal Venus at 1° Cancer, which is positive, although it is also squaring his natal Jupiter at 0° Aquarius at this time as well.
- Mars square Pluto – Obama’s closest transit on this night is Mars square Pluto, within 5 minutes of arc, separating. We’re not really sure what to make of this, although it doesn’t generally sound good.
- Sun sextile Uranus, square Saturn – Transiting Sun at 24 Libra is sextile his natal Uranus at 25 Leo, and square his natal Saturn at 25 Capricorn. The latter is not a very great transit to be having, as it can coincide with a brief period of not feeling like you are on top of your game.
- Mars square Mars – Romney’s closest transit on this night is transiting Mars at 7° Sagittarius square natal Mars at 6° Pisces, separating, about 50 minutes of arc away. This is problematic since he was born during the day, and Mars is in his 10th house natally. Some of the edge is taken off of this by the fact that Mars then applies to a sextile with his natal Venus and MC at 8 Aquarius, although this doesn’t go exact until 2 days later.
- Moon trine Mercury – Transiting Moon at 15 Scorpio is separating from a trine with his natal Mercury at 13 Pisces, about a degree and a half away.
- Venus square Uranus – Transiting Venus is applying to square his natal Uranus in the 1st, 1 degree and 40 minutes of arc from exact. Not sure if this applies to the debate itself or something that takes place after it.
Conclusion About the Second Presidential Debate
Neither candidate is really having great transits on the night of the second debate, so it is almost a matter of determining who is doing worse.
We would almost have to give this one to Romney because he seems to have fewer negative transits, except that the one that he does have (Mars square Mars in the 10th) is much more overtly problematic than Obama’s (Mars square Pluto, Sun square Saturn).
Based on that, it seems that Obama has the edge here, although it doesn’t look like he will come out completely unscathed.
Third Presidential Debate – October 22, 2012 at 9:00 PM in Boca Raton, Florida
The final debate will focus on foreign policy, and the format is supposed to be the same as the first debate.
The Inception Chart for the Final Debate
- Mars opposite ASC – The debate begins with 9° Gemini rising, with Mars right on the descendant at 11° Sagittarius, and Jupiter somewhat close to the ascendant at 15° Gemini.
- Our initial impression was that this would be less contentious than the first debate or the VP debate, because Mars is not making a hard aspect with the Moon; however, this is the only debate where Mars is right on the descendant when it begins. Jupiter is in the 1st though, so there is some tension there, almost as if one of them tries to go on the attack and then the other tries to play it straight.
- The Sun ingresses into Scorpio about 45 minutes before the debate begins.
- The Moon is at 11° Aquarius, and it closely applies to sextile with Mars at 11° Sagittarius very early on in the debate.
- One might think that the Sun-Saturn conjunction would indicate a more sober or restrained debate, although the Mars placement on the descendant seems more combative. Perhaps this reiterates the potential dynamic that we mentioned earlier with one person being more aggressive and the other being more restrained.
- Mars hits descendant at 9:05 PM, then Moon completes sextile with Mars at 9:15, Jupiter hits ascendant at 9:23 and Neptune conjoins the MC at the same moment. Venus square ascendant at 9:54, Mars squares the MC at 10:04, Jupiter square MC at 10:20. Ascendant switches into Cancer at 10:23.
- Saturn trine Venus – Obama’s closest transit during the final debate is transiting Saturn at 2° Scorpio in his 10th house trine his natal Venus at 1° Cancer, separating, within 16 minutes of arc.
- Saturn square Mercury – Second closest transit is transiting Saturn at 2° Scorpio square his natal Mercury at 2° Leo, applying within 16 minutes of arc. This is a more difficult transit, perhaps making it harder for him to get his points across during the debate.
- Venus conjunct Mars – Transiting Venus at 23° Virgo conjunct natal Mars at 22° Virgo, separating, 48 minutes of arc away. This is important than it might appear at first glance because Venus is ruler of the year, and it is conjoining the ruler of his 10th. Since he has a night chart Venus is also the most positive planet for him, so it is like a positive 10th house transit.
- Sun square Jupiter – Transiting Sun square natal Jupiter, just under a degree away.
- Mercury sextile Mars – Transiting Mercury at 23° Scorpio sextile Mars, separating, just over a degree apart. This may help to counteract the communication difficulties that might otherwise be indicated by the Saturn-Mercury square mentioned earlier.
- Mars trine Sun – Transiting Mars trine sun, just over a degree, applying.
- He has a bunch of positive-looking transits that don’t go exact at the time of the debate, but they come into effect at that time, and then go exact in the following days: transiting Mercury square Uranus, Mercury sextile Saturn, Sun trine Venus, Venus trine Saturn.
- Mars trine Pluto – Romney’s closest transit on the night of the final debate is transiting Mars trine Pluto, within 3 minutes of arc, separating. Gives him an extra bit of tenacity.
- Moon opposing Pluto – Transiting Moon at 11° Aquarius applying to an opposition with natal Pluto at 11° Leo, within 6 minutes of arc. This goes exact at 9:10 PM, just a few minutes after the debate begins. The Moon is also separating from a conjunction with his natal MC and Venus at 8 Aquarius, although this is a few degrees away by the time the debate begins.
- Saturn square Saturn – Transiting Saturn square natal Saturn, applying within 20 minutes of arc. He was born during the day, so this isn’t the most difficult transit, but it isn’t great.
- Transiting Jupiter is applying to a retrograde square with his natal Mercury, although this has been in effect all month due to the station, and it is still about 2 degrees away.
Final Debate Conclusion
Obama has a lot of close transits occurring during the final debate, whereas Romney doesn’t really have many for some reason.
Additionally, Obama’s transits seem to be more decidedly positive and noteworthy, whereas the only really noteworthy one that Romney is having is the Saturn square Saturn transit, although that is hardly indicative of a major victory.
It would appear that the final debate will go to Obama.
In this analysis we primarily focused on the transits that each candidate will have on the night of each debate, and we didn’t take into account other techniques that could provide additional perspectives on the situation.
For example, in our official look at the astrology of the 2012 election we noted that Romney goes into a difficult period just before the second debate, according to a different technique, and things looked like they would go downhill for him after that.
Our analysis in the present article is a bit more nuanced, although generally it does still seem like Obama has the better transits in just about every debate, except for the Vice Presidential debate, where Ryan does seem to have the edge.
We will be following the debates closely with our team of astrologers, and we may do some live-blogging or recaps of individual debates, so be sure to check back here often during the course of the month for updates.