Obama’s Second Inauguration Charts
The second inauguration of President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to take place in just a few days.
This inauguration is unique because January 20 falls on a Sunday, which caused organizers to move the public ceremony to the following day, Monday, January 21, 2013.
However, according to the Constitution, the transition from one presidential term to another always officially takes place at noon on the January 20th following the election, and so Obama and Biden are planning on having a private ceremony to take their oaths on the 20th as well.
This creates a bit of a problem for astrologers since it potentially gives us two different inception charts for the inauguration. Naturally this raises the question of which is the correct chart that will indicate the future of Obama’s second term.
I will present both of the inauguration charts below, and discuss some of their potential implications.
The Two Inauguration Charts for the Second Term
Below are the two inauguration charts for Obama’s second term. Both of these assume a noon time in Washington, DC, which is probably pretty close to when each will occur, although we will update the article to reflect the exact times once the events take place.
January 20, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. in Washington, DC
January 21, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. in Washington, DC
Ominous Indications in the January 20 Chart
One of the things that we noted back in September when we recorded a podcast episode on the presidential election was that, regardless of who won the election, the alignment of the planets at the time of the official inauguration on January 20, 2013 looked kind of ominous. We made this observation for two reasons:
- First, due to the prominence of the planet Mars in the 10th whole sign house in a day chart. Mars was traditionally viewed by ancient astrologers as the planet of war, strife, and bloodshed, especially in day charts. The presence of Mars in an angular house in the inauguration chart raises the potential that some of the themes associated with Mars will become more prominent during this presidential term.
- Second, because not only is Mars prominent in the 10th house in the chart, but the Moon, which is in the 1st house at 19° Taurus, is applying to a square with Mars at 20° Aquarius within a degree of orb, which is a specific condition of affliction. This emphasizes the role of Mars in the chart even more, and makes it so that whatever negative event is signified by Mars is likely to emerge at some point in the not-too-distant future, under the conventional premise that applying aspects indicate developments in the future while separating aspects indicate the past.
Basically, we’ve got a problem here, because there is a distinctly negative alignment that is very prominent in the inauguration chart.
Past Instances of a Prominent Mars in Inauguration Charts
In order to get a sense for how frequent such alignments are, and what it has coincided with in the past, I went back and checked every inauguration chart since the 1930s. This was pretty easy since the inauguration has always taken place at noon on January 20 in Washington, DC since 1937.
Here is a list of all past instances in which Mars has been more prominent by being in an angular whole sign house in the inauguration chart. Keep in mind that the resulting indications associated with Mars would then apply to the following four years of each presidency:
- 2001 – George W. Bush’s 1st term
- 1989 – George H. W. Bush
- 1981 – Ronald Reagan’s 1st term
- 1969 – Richard Nixon’s 1st term
- 1949 – Harry S. Truman’s 2nd term
- 1937 – Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 2nd term
One of the most notable themes, of course, is that several of these presidential terms coincided with major wars – Bush Jr. (Afghanistan, Iraq), Bush Sr. (Gulf War), and Truman (Korean War) especially, although even Nixon oversaw the escalation of the Vietnam War, while Roosevelt’s second term saw the beginning of WWII in Europe and his push for rearmament, which eventually culminated in the US officially entering the war in 1941.
One troubling point here is that the only two charts in this list that not only had Mars angular but also had it in the 10th house were Truman’s second and Reagan’s first inauguration, which both saw serious attempts on the life of the President. And while Kennedy’s 1961 inauguration chart did not feature a prominent Mars in terms of it being angular, in that chart the Moon’s next exact aspect was a square to Mars. This is, of course, only one astrological factor out of many that were involved in each of these situations, so we need to be careful about putting too much emphasis on it alone.
The Alternate January 21 Inauguration Chart
If you compare the January 20th chart to the January 21st chart, the major difference is that the Moon changes signs and moves into Gemini, which changes the chart in such a way that it goes from having one of the worst possible electional aspects (Moon square Mars by day) to having one of the best possible electional aspects (Moon conjunct Jupiter by day).
Now, Mars is still prominent in the chart as a result of being in an angular house, but there is a major shift in emphasis as a result of the Moon no longer applying to the square with Mars, and the chart looks much less foreboding as a result of it. In fact, despite the prominence of Mars, the placement of the Moon in the 2nd with Jupiter and applying to a trine with Mercury seems to imply some sort of silver lining, so that although Mars-related themes become more prominent during the term, in other areas things prosper, particularly in the area of financial matters (2nd house), which presumably in this context refers to the economy.
So the second chart for January 21 looks remarkably better. But the question is: does it matter?
When Does the Second Term Officially Begin?
It is curious that in this year January 20 happened to fall on a Sunday, forcing the public ceremony to be moved to a remarkably more astrologically auspicious date. Is this perhaps a positive indication, where there was a delay of an event that otherwise always happens on the same date every four years?
Ultimately this is going to come down to a question of when Obama’s second presidential term officially begins. What is the most symbolically significant moment that represents the true beginning of the new term?
Unfortunately it seems that the Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution stipulates that the President’s term will always officially begin at noon on January 20th. This was ratified in 1933, and it is the reason why Inauguration Day always takes place on January 20.
While I think that one could make different arguments about this, and it is notable that the public inauguration will take place the following day, it seems that this amendment necessarily requires that the correct chart for Obama’s second term will be the January 20 chart.
This is evidently the opinion of the Obama administration as well, since they still plan to hold a private swearing in ceremony on the 20th. Perhaps if they had decided not to even hold a private ceremony on that date, then there might be more of an argument for the 21st as the correct chart. But as it stands, the administration also appears to be under the impression that the 20th is when his second term officially begins. That being the case, it appears that January 20 at noon will be the correct chart.
Update 1: January 20, 2013 at 9:10 PM MST
The President and Vice President ended up taking their oaths of office at separate times in separate locations today, and we have exact times for both oaths.
Here is a video of Biden taking the oath. See the screen capture from C-SPAN to the right for confirmation of the time.
Here is a video of Obama taking the oath. See the screen capture from C-SPAN to the right for confirmation of the time.
There is a bit of an interesting issue here, because since 1937 the President and Vice President have always taken the oath of office together, right around the same time and in the same place. Today they took their oaths more than 3 hours apart though, which resulted in a different rising sign for each.
Obama’s chart for taking the oath was essentially the same as the chart that was posted earlier in this article for January 20, since he took the oath just before noon. The chart for when Biden took the oath has Aquarius rising though, which shifts all of the planets to different houses, and makes the ruler of the ascendant a different planet.
Unfortunately the malefics are still quite prominent, although there are some interesting differences in this chart compared to Obama’s. For example, the ruler of the ascendant is in the 10th rather than the 9th, while Mars has shifted to the 1st rather than the 10th. Here is the chart:
Biden Takes Oath of Office – January 20, 2013 at 8:21 a.m. in Washington, DC
This provides us with an interesting issue to work out, which is whether the noon charts still apply to both the President and the Vice President, since that is legally when their new terms begin according to the Constitution, or whether the symbolic significance associated with taking the oaths of office is enough to represent the true beginning of each new term.
This is something that we will actually be able to test in this instance since Biden’s oath chart is significantly different from Obama’s. If Biden’s path from this point forward diverges and becomes significantly different from Obama’s for some reason during the course of this term, then it may be a good indication that it really is the oath that counts rather than the noon chart.
But then again, the legal implicates of the noon charts may still trump the symbolic significance of the oaths, and thus there would be no change. Check out the comments section below for some different perspectives on this issue.
Update 2: January 21, 2013 at 10:45 AM MST
Biden just took the oath of office for a second time at 11:47 AM EST on January 21, and then Obama took the oath at 11:51 AM EST.
At 12:42 AM EST Obama he signed some of the first documents of his second term, which were for cabinet nominations: Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense, John Kerry for Secretary of State, Jack Lew for Treasury Secretary, and John Brennan for Director of the CIA. Not directly relevant to the inauguration, but these could be useful times for the chronology of these four people.