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Home » Current Events

Obama’s Second Inauguration Charts

Posted by on Wednesday, January 16 201318 Comments

Obama's Second Inauguration ChartsThe 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

Obama second inauguration chart - January 20 2013

January 21, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. in Washington, DC

Obama second inauguration chart - January 21 2013


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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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?

Twentieth Amendment

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.

Biden takes oath of officeBiden took the oath of office during a small private ceremony at the Vice President’s residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, DC. He finished at 8:21 AM EST.

Here is a video of Biden taking the oath. See the screen capture from C-SPAN to the right for confirmation of the time.

Obama takes the oath of office, January 20, 2013Obama took the oath of office in a very brief and seemingly even more private ceremony in the Blue Room of the White House. He finished at 11:55 AM EST.

Here is a video of Obama taking the oath. See the screen capture from C-SPAN to the right for confirmation of the time.

Click here to view Obama’s January 20 oath of office chart.

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

Biden takes oath of office - January 20, 2012 (click for larger image)

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.


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Written by

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

Hellenistic Astrology Course


  • Laura Cuplin says:

    I think that you are right about the 20th chart being true. The ceremonial 21st chart may truly be the wish for what may be. The good part of both these charts is the node indication that this administration may move from being secretive to being more transparent, Scorpio to Taurus. There is a strong indication that the financial affairs will be address in an intellectual manner. This more open approach with a Aquarius Sun/Mer in the 10th trine Gemini in the second, could be the set up for economic dialog that would improve the economy by involving those not holding the purse strings to help solve the manufacturing and import problems. Perhaps the first house personalizing of our problems, where the American no longer sees money as an uncontrolled problem that others have, but his own, might be a set up for igniting the more unified emotional approach (Moon on South Node in the 1st). Such a nation wide movement would foster some forms of compromise on a personal level. Then is when things get fixed.

  • Emily Morrison says:

    You hit the nail squarely on the head regarding the campaign and election, and now you’ve clearly explained the facts of the inaugural situation. I’ll be eagerly following your continuing episodes and am so happy to be getting your emails again!



  • Ryhan says:

    Do you think the Mars Square has to be a foreign issue? I’m thinking gun control is going to be a major contentious issue for his second term, depending on how much he pushes for it. Aside from being an emotional issue which many individuals and groups have pushed back very…angrily against, conflicts about guns sounds like the epitome of a Mars-type issue.

  • Chris Brennan says:

    @Ryhan – No, I don’t think that it necessarily has to be foreign issue, and I sort of alluded to one potential scenario that could be motivated by internal issues. That being said, the ruler of the ascendant in the 9th does make me think that the focus of the term might be more on issues abroad than we might otherwise assume. There is a recurrence of that placement every 8 years though, since Taurus is always rising at noon on January 20 in Washington, so I’m not sure how much emphasis to place on it.

  • Toni says:

    Chris – what do you think about the President’s transits for these two dates? They look awful to me…

  • Leslee in TN says:

    Thank your for your analysis, as always. I haven’t had the time yet to review other’s comments, however, common sense would tell me that the official inauguration would be Jan 20, 2013 at noon-ish. The 2nd ‘inauguration’ on the 21st is really nothing, other than a public ceremony and festivities. The actual ‘business’ at hand is conducted on the constitutioally appointed date and time. Why would there be any confusion, or argument on this in the astrology community, or anywhere else for that matter?

  • Hi Chris, once again great work and I totally agree with your assessment re inauguration 20-21 Jan.

    The 20th does seem to hold steadfast with the constitution. But as you mention why is the heavens providing an additional Time?

    Is this an out clause…some sort of “hey you have another choice”!

    Chris I think I mentioned sometime ago that the troubling or concerning thought with this 20th January chart is that whilst the exalted Taurus Moon is squaring Mars (which you rightly point out spells Differentiations with the regards to the Office holders (Government 10th whole sign) and issues it faces, which with Mars in Aquarius suggest thoughtful but fixed views.

    The May 9th annual solar eclipse looks problematic with regards to the Inauguration chart; firstly eclipse Mars co-joins the 20th Jan, Ascendant and eclipse Mercury, Moon/Sun co-join the inauguration (20th) Moon.
    And as you can probably see many other very dynamic aspects are apparent –eclipse Uranus square inauguration Venus /Pluto.

    From my experience the planetary expression or intension suggest that when a Theme is repeated that it’s for a good reason.
    If we take the 20th as the start then Mars rules the 12th and 7th, placed in the 10th suggests that these are the places of expression with regards to the actions of Mars and the 10th is where we can expect to see the results. And Saturn is Lord of the 10/9th whole sign houses.

    To hass a guess and at this stage without fully assessing all the astrological data to possible areas of this expression of energy, Mars rules Guns and with Saturn in the 7th Lord of the 9th/10th houses, this does suggest a Mars –Differentiation battle.

    The 9th is where we first initiate our Laws then they go to the Congress or House of Commons 11th, and then the 9th from the 9th is where we pass the Laws, Senate, 5th.

    Now space and time prevent me from elaborating but note that Mercury is the Lord of the 5th and Jupiter the 11th.

    Now whilst Mercury is out of Sect (rising behind the Sun/Solar sect) and combust, this doesn’t seem as unfortunate as it looks, as you know Mercury is in His/her Confines, and as so is protected to some degree by its Chariot.

    Saturn/Mercury and Mars are the triplicity Lords of Air, which is the 10th. The Sun (leader of the Government) is also in the confines of Mercury; Lot of Fortune is under Mercury’s rulership in the 5th, in aversion or quincunx to Mercury. This suggests something difficult, something we need to deal with that we have not yet or not wanting to deal with.

    To sum-up; very briefly
    Sun/Mercury, Mars and Saturn are all noticeably angular along with the Moon, so to me it looks like a very Fixed Mars type battle and include Mercury –Moon-Mars –Saturn = Emotional Public Contestation = Separation/Dissociation = Rejection and Exclusion. (Words used to describe the last sentence are from Phaser Foundation © projecthindsight 2001.

  • The rules for the coronation of the king would still apply I would think, so neither chart is right. Since the king never lost power and the throne was never compromised, the 2009 chart still stands.

  • Chris, this is a good exercise you have presented – because it directly addresses a key piece in mundane and electional astrology. My understanding has always been that events happen in a legalistic way: that the key feature is: who’s in charge when, or what would the legal opinion be? The public show is just that: entertainment. It’s no different than in many places where a legal marriage is a civil document signing, but the couple decide on a big public church ceremony. In that case, the ceremony is essentially entertainment, because if some freak tragedy occurred, they would be legally married or not according to the paperwork, not the public ritual.

  • Chris Brennan says:

    Good points Lee. That makes sense. When I was researching this article I kept thinking about your story about the first Kepler symposium during the summer of 2001, when your class was looking at George W. Bush’s first inauguration chart, and you made the remark that it was odd because it looked like a war chart.

  • J Lee Lehman says:

    Yes, I remember making that comment – all too well! After 9/11 that was easy to see, but I really could not imagine nine months before what enemy we were going to be dealing with. Of course the sad thing is that it doesn’t take Mars in the 10th for the USA to go to war!

    I agree totally with your analysis that the Moon-Mars square is potentially very volatile. With gun control already on the agenda and being discussed in the Inaugural address, a Mars topic is going to be a definite theme even without further escalation. The fact that Mars is peregrine and at the Bendings may actually show the gun lobby to no longer have the strength everyone has assumed.

    We must hope that the partile trine of Venus to the Ascendant brings some reason to the people.

  • Chris Brennan says:

    Biden has already taken the oath, very early on Sunday morning in Washington. He took it separately from Obama earlier this morning. Awaiting confirmation on the time. It sounds like Obama is planning on doing it closer to noon.

  • Chris Brennan says:

    I added an addendum to the end of the article to include the data and charts for the two oaths of office that were taken today, January 20.

  • Hi Chris! Very interesting commetary to the oath chart. For me the Sunday ceremony is most important too. There is one more interesting thing here. In Obama’s first term inauguration 20.01.2009 Mercury was retrograde, so he took the oath again 21.01.2009. If we take this first chart like a chart for Obama presidency in general, it’s funny how Mercury retrogade works this time – he had to repeat the oath again 🙂

  • Chris Brennan says:

    Biden just took the oath for a second time at 11:47 AM on January 21, and Obama at 11:51 AM.

  • Loretta Lopez says:

    Chris, I wonder if the Chart for the 21st won’t supersede the chart for the 20th. I’m thinking of this in terms of “wills” for instance. People sign a will, a legal document, but then if they then amend their wills, and sign them again, then the second will supersedes the first. Same with the marriage ceremony, perhaps signing the legal document is the first chart, but then when a second vow is taken, doesn’t the second vow supplant the first one. In this, I hope so! Time will tell, but I have my fingers crossed, as I naturally want the best possible chart for the country. Thanks again for your excellent work!

  • Gary Calderone says:

    I also noticed that Mars is conjunct Saturn by antiscion.
    My teacher John Frawley said that although the first inauguration chart is still valid for his overall presidency, the second one is important also and would apply, of course, to his second term – kind of like a sub-chart within a main one.
    Also, I’m about half way through the workshop recording of Chris, Demetra George and Ben Dykes called ‘Traditional Astrology in the 21st Century’. It’s really great and I’ve learned a lot so far. I see in this inauguration chart that Mars dominates in the square to the Moon, not only because he’s in the 10th, but mainly because he is in earlier degrees of the zodiac in relation to the Moon. Chris, is this what is called a Maltreatment with Engagement since it is within 3 degrees?
    In my notes, you said, this type of affliction ‘completely denies’ what the afflicted planet represents. Is that the case here? And would that only be 3rd house matters (ruled by the Moon) or would the first (the Moon’s house) also be included?

  • Chris Brennan says:

    Hi Gary,

    Yes, that is correct. This would be an example of maltreatment via engagement. Maltreatment either denies the topics that the planet wants to signify, or it corrupts them in some way. With the Moon we are dealing with three separate areas, since 1) it is the ruler of the 3rd, 2) it may have some of its own mundane significations as the Moon in general, and then 3) the Moon always acts as a secondary significator of importance for the chart as a whole in elections and horary charts. It is the third point that I’m most concerned about. So, I don’t know that it directly relates to the 1st house because the Moon is in the 1st so much as it relates to the chart as a whole and the outcome of what was initiated at that time.