July 13, 2008 by Nina Gryphon
To finish our series on the next U.S. president, today’s post will comapre the astrological charts of Barack Obama and John McCain for presidential or “royal” qualities. We have looked at their horoscopes individually, but now we can compare the candidates’ horoscopes side by side for strengths and weaknesses. There has been a great deal of debate about the candidates’ real birthtimes; all our posts take the commonly accepted times for the candidates. If the birthtimes turn out different than those currently known, all bets are off.
Barack Obama’s Horoscope: Presidential Enough?
We have looked at the “royal” characteristics in Obama’s horoscope from two ancient astrologers’ perspectives – that of William Lilly and Guido Bonatti. Their rules are similar but not the same. The analyses below sum up the findings from the previous analyses.
Obama’s Strongest Card: The Sun in Leo in the 6th house. This is not a very strong card, as the Sun is under the horizon and in a malefic house with no major aspects. The next strongest card is in even worse shape, with Mars, ruler of the 10th house of honor, in the 8th house and trine Saturn in Capricorn in the malefic 12th house. Most importantly, Obama’s horoscope does not appear to have any prominent royal stars to help lift him to the presidency. Because of the relative weakness of Obama’s chart, McCain’s horoscope would have to be weaker still for McCain to lose the 2008 election.
Obama’s Horoscope for Autumn 2008: Obama’s Venus will be active by secondary progressions, aspecting his natal Part of Fortune and conjoining the North Node. This is beneficial in general, but Venus is not one of the significators in Obama’s chart promising fame or prominence. Interestingly, his solar return for 2008 shows Jupiter in the 7th house of opponents, an interesting parallel to McCain’s 2008 solar return (see below). Again, the relative strengths of the horoscopes matter: McCain’s horoscope would have to be weaker than this to lose to Obama.
John McCain’s Horoscope: By a Hair?
McCain’s Strongest Card: Two royal stars, Spica and Hercules, are near the Ascendant and Midheaven, but barely within the acceptable orbs. Still, this is better than Obama’s horoscope, which does not have royal stars. McCain also has a very favorable (though not strictly royal) star, Canopus, right on his Midheaven. This star is also conjunct George W. Bush’s natal Sun.
McCain’s natal Mars-Jupiter trine is quite lucky as well. Mars is in the fortunate 11th house trining Jupiter in Sagittarius in the 3rd house. This configuration was active by primary direction when McCain was shot down in Vietnam and nearly died. That itself was not very lucky, but his miraculous survival against the odds certainly was.
McCain’s Horoscope for Autumn 2008: His progressed Sun trines the Midheaven in January 2008, his progressed Midheaven trines the Moon (ruler of the natal Midheaven) in April 2008, and progressed Mars trines the Moon in October 2008. The luminaries are not especially strong in McCain’s chart, but the Midheaven itself is. When the Midheaven is “lit up” by the Sun and Moon, William Lilly says that these promise “great preferment…and shall govern the Common-wealth.” Mars, again, is a fortunate planet for McCain. McCain’s solar return has Saturn on the 7th house cusp of opponents, possibly indicating misfortune for his opponent.
John McCain’s horoscope appears to be slightly more presidential and luckier than Obama’s, so assuming the candidates’ birthtimes are correct, McCain has an ever-so-slight advantage over Obama for winning the 2008 election.
July 11, 2008 by Nina Gryphon
John McCain may or may not have the horoscope of a potential president; the evidence is underwhelming thus far. We looked at McCain’s horoscope a few days ago, and while there were some redeeming features, it was not an outstanding presidential horoscope. Interestingly, this election year does not have a clear winner from an astrological perspective. Barack Obama’s horoscope is equally finely balanced. We long for the days of Bill Clinton, whose horoscope broadcast “royal” astrological characteristics far and wide.
Today, we will look at John McCain’s presidential qualities from Guido Bonatti’s perspective, as detailed in his treatise on nativities.
John McCain for President?
Bonatti’s Criterion 1: What is the condition of the Sun, the 10th house and its ruler, and the Part of the Kingdom (I used Asc + Moon – Mars for McCain’s day chart, as per Bonatti’s tract on Arabian Parts), and the ruler of the Part?
McCain’s Horoscope: The Part of the Kingdom in McCain’s chart falls at 2 Aries, where it is opposed by Mercury in Libra in the 12th house, and ruled by Mars in Leo in the 11th house. Mercury is not very strong in McCain’s horoscope, but Mars is well-placed in the fortunate 11th house, trine Jupiter in Sagittarius in the 3rd house.
The planets should be strong by sign and/or aspect from benefics. None of the planets are strong by sign, but Mars is trine a powerful benefic, Jupiter in its own domicile, Sagittarius.
Bonatti’s Criterion 2: For the planets listed above, the oriental planets should aspect the Sun and the occidental ones should aspect the Moon and Saturn.
McCain’s Horoscope: Only one of these conditions is true for McCain, and it probably isn’t worth much for king-making purposes: Venus in Virgo (the sign of its fall) is occidental and opposes Saturn in Pisces, retrograde in the 6th house.
Bonatti’s Criterion 3: The condition of the almutens of the 10th and 1st houses should be strong. In McCain’s chart, those are the Moon and Saturn, respectively.
McCain’s Horoscope: Neither planet is very strong in McCain’s horoscope; the Moon is in the sign of its fall, in the lowest part of the horoscope, while Saturn is weakly placed in Pisces in the 6th house.
Bonatti’s Criterion 4: Angular benefics above the horizon should aspect the Sun and Moon, or a planet in the midheaven, preferably with reception. The luminaries should be in masculine signs, with the planets named in Criteria 1 and 3 in good condition.
McCain’s Horoscope: The Sun and Moon are not aspected by benefics above the horizon, and the luminaries are feminine. The only truly “royal” complex is Mars in Leo trine Jupiter in Sagittarius, which has likely saved McCain time and again.
John McCain does not have an overwhelmingly Presidential horoscope, a similarity he shares with Barack Obama. However, as we saw in the previous post about his horoscope, John McCain does potentially have two royal stars, Spica and Hercules, near his Ascendant and Midheaven, which would be enough to give him the election.
In addition, McCain has a very powerful (though not strictly royal) fixed star right on his Midheaven; Canopus. Vivian Robson writes that Canopus on the Midheaven gives “great glory, fame and wealth, dignity and authority by the help of an old clergyman or influential person.” Perhaps this would be enough to get him to the White House!
Later: The Grand Finale. A post comparing our findings on Barack Obama and John McCain’s horoscopes, and which candidate, in our humble opinion, is better positioned to win the 2008 elections.
July 10, 2008 by Nina Gryphon
Deb will be lecturing on forensic astrology this September in San Francisco.
Can we expect a forthcoming book on horary astrology or on another astrological topic from you? What books do you have out already?
Yes, there will be a forthcoming book, and I hope to have several forthcoming books on horary before too long, but I have a few large projects currently nearing completion and these are my priority for the moment. I came close to publishing a book on horary astrology a few years ago, but then all of these new translations started becoming available, and I decided to research and re-evaluate my understanding of some of the traditional writings on horary technique before committing myself to print.
I am pleased now, that I have not rushed to publish a horary book so far, because I feel that my theoretical knowledge has become far more robust over the last few years, and I want the book that I write to be a sum of my astrological knowledge, and not a summation of a stage where I was still exploring some of the theoretical principles.
One of the long term projects I have been doing involves going through Christian Astrology again, annotating it with more explanations and cross-references to other texts. I published an annotated version of Christian Astrology before, but that is out of print, and it was getting ready for an update anyway. Unfortunately the electronic files were lost, so it has been the case of starting again from scratch.
Although it has been more time-consuming, in a way it’s a good thing that I’ve started again from the beginning, because now I don’t have any restrictions in being tied to an old format. I do enjoy this sort of work, but it’s a monster of a project. Sometimes I wonder if I am seriously preparing something for publication, or using it as a place to park my own endless notes and annotations! Of course, I also wrote Houses: Temples of the Sky a few years ago, and that is still available.
You have a well-established astrological presence on the web with your website. I discovered it a few years ago, but it took me some time to realize that it belonged to a Deb Houlding. The site really is not about you, but about astrology, which is rare and refreshing.
I did not want the site to be just about me, as part of me does not like too much attention (I have the Moon in Virgo in the 4th house), but because of that, I think, people have been extraordinarily generous in letting me use their content on the site. One person could never have done it all, and I think because the site was always about the astrology first and foremost, other people have contributed much more than if I had made it all about myself and my own views. I found that I would just start something, try out an idea on the site, and someone else would volunteer to make it happen and take it further; so if someone else was involved, I was now more invested in it myself.
I am finally now thinking of putting up a small personal site, separate from the Skyscript website, that will talk about upcoming events and such. But at the moment having time for students and my own research is my main priority, and in that respect I know that self-promotion is a double-edged sword, so I’m approaching it with caution.
Thank you for taking the time to talk, Deb, and I look forward to seeing you in California in September!
Deb Houlding kindly provided her birth data, and agreed to share her horoscope with us. The horoscope is below. I didn’t publish the birth data, as I’m old-fashioned and don’t believe in revealing ladies’ years of birth 🙂
August 5, 2005 by admin
The Part of Fortune aka Fortuna has been used by astrologers for hundreds of years in natal, horary and electional astrology; many modern astrologers typically encounter it but do not use it. It can be quite a handy tool to have in natal analysis, and can substantially enrich one’s practice.
Though we will discuss this notion in greater length, the Part is generally taken to signify one’s material possessions, i.e.: one’s wealth. It is often taken to signfiy the state of one’s soul as well. Its reverse, the Part of Spirit, shows shows spiritual, inward possessions, or one’s propensity to religion and things of the Spirit. The condition of the Part of Fortune and its dispositor will determine the quality and state of one’s material and spiritual wealth.
In this article, we will discuss in detail what the Part of Fortune means and how to use it. In this Part I of the article, we will discuss the mechanics of how to implement the Part of Fortune in charts. In Part II, we will talk about the practical and philosophical meaning of the Part of Fortune.
Calculation of the Part of Fortune
The Part of Fortune is a point calculated in the chart, as distinguished from any astronomical body. To find the Part of Fortune, take the longitude of the Ascendant, add the longitude of the Moon, and subtract the longitude of the Sun (PoF = Asc + Moon – Sun).
Thus, 2 Aries is 2 degrees of longitude, 2 degrees of Taurus is 32 degrees of longitude, 17 Gemini is 77 degrees of longitude, and so on around the zodiac. The resulting point from your calculations is the place of the Part of Fortune. Its state and that of its dispositor (the planet which rules the sign the Part of Fortune falls in) will describe the state of the person’s possessions.
If you were born at night, that is, the Sun is under the horizon in your natal chart, some authorities state that you should reverse the above formula: PoF = Asc + Sun – Moon.
The Actors: The Sun, the Moon, and the Ascendant
So why use these three points in calculating the Part of Fortune? Obviously, they are the most important parts of a chart. This is especially the case in natal charts, where the Sun and Moon are the elements that power a chart, while the Ascendant is the place where the heavens meet the earth – the point of incarnation, in other words.
The Reversals of Fortune
One of the many debates continuing to rage among astrologers is whether to reverse the Part of Fortune by night (and therefore all the parts that use it also). Ptolemy, in his Tetrabiblos, states in two separate places that one should not reverse the Part of Fortune by night. However, many subsequent authorities, including Bonatti and Al-Biruni, state quite clearly that one should reverse the places of the Sun and Moon by night.
So why would someone do this? Bonatti’s chief justification for reversing Fortuna is that Parts should be calculated from the naturally stronger planet (he would have looked at our formulas from right to left). Thus, because the Sun is considered stronger by day, when it is in houses 7-12, Fortuna should be calculated from it during the day. Conversely, the Moon is stronger by night, and therefore the calculation should begin from the Moon by night.
However, there are a few problems with Bonatti’s reasoning. First, just because we are looking at a nighttime chart does not mean the Moon is stronger than the Sun. We could imagine a chart where the Sun is on the IC, thereby gaining some accidental strength, and the Moon is below the horizon in the sixth house. Unlike the Sun during the day, the Moon does not have to be above the horizon by night. Automatically considering it the stronger planet at night is simply wrong.
Second, the Moon is considered the “luminary of the time” in nighttime charts. All this means is that it has more of a responsibility for the native’s wellbeing on its planetary shoulders; it does not mean it can effectively take care of those responsibilities. Therefore, we should not artificially put it in the driver’s seat by reversing the Part of Fortune by night.
Third, reversing the Part of Fortune gives you another part, the Part of Spirit. The two parts are obviously related, since they are mirror images of one another. Bonatti writes that the Part of Fortune shows the soul’s strength, fortune, substance, etc., while the Part of Spirit (aka the Part of Things to Come) shows faith, prophecy, and religion. The two Parts are obviously distinct in some fashion, and transposing them by night causes us to get two entirely different beasties depending on when we were born.
Stay tuned for Part II. – the meaning and interpretation of the Part of Fortune.
(Sources used for analysis in this article: Robert Zoller’s translation of Guido Bonatti’s treatise on the Arabic Parts; Al-Biruni’s Book of Instruction in the Elements of the Art of Astrology.)