When “Casablanca” was released in 1942, no one expected it would stand out among the hundreds of films churned out by Hollywood yearly, let alone achieve the iconic status it has. The film did reasonably well at the box office, but it wasn’t until it won the Academy Award for Best Picture that people began to take it seriously. Over the decades, “Casablanca” has earned an enduring place in movie-lovers’ hearts, with its star-studded leading players, supporting cast of popular ‘40s character actors, memorable dialogue, and iconic theme song, “As Time Goes By.” “Casablanca” regularly makes it to the top of the lists of the most popular movies of all time, and was one of the first films nominated by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry. It remains a personal favorite, and I never miss an opportunity to watch.
Based on the play “Everybody Comes to Rick’s”, Warner brothers paid a record $20,000 for the movie rights (roughly $300K in today’s currency), and hired writing team brothers Julius and Philip G. Epstein to adapt it for the screen, tapping Michael Curtiz to direct. Warner acquired the property in January of 1942, principal photography began in late May and wrapped by early August, filmed on the backlot in Burbank, California. Originally set for an early 1943 release, “Casablanca” was rushed into production in the fall of 1942 to take advantage of the publicity from the contemporaneous Allied invasion of North Africa, where the film is set. Its world premiere occurred in New York City on 26 November 1942.
They couldn’t have picked a better date. Surely Fate had a hand in its release, for the film has lived up to its celestial potential, and then some!
The accelerated release date produced a 3 Sagittarius Sun opposing asteroid Casablanca at 5 Gemini, offering maximum illumination, as in a Full Moon position. With the Sun are Mercury at 1 Sagittarius, a nod to the writing team which would win through to Oscar gold, and Venus at 6 Sagittarius, identifying “Casablanca” as essentially a romance. Conjoined Casablanca are Saturn at 9 Gemini, suggesting the film’s longevity, and Uranus at 2 Gemini, depicting the exotic setting and establishing the eclectic mix of characters, representing Americans, French, Germans, English, Moroccans, Arabs, Dutch, Bulgarians and Russians, all ex-pats and refugees, another Uranian theme. This wasn’t just cinematic overlay, either – only three of the credited actors were born in the US, for a truly international flair.
This basic Sun/Casablanca polarity is bisected by asteroid Oskar at 4 Leo (for the gold statuette handed out at the Academy Awards), trine the Sun and sextile Casablanca, an indicator of the film’s subsequent peer acknowledgment. Oskar reaches out to other winners associated with the production, in a T-Square with asteroid Michel at 2 Scorpio and asteroid Curtis at 0 Aquarius, for director Michael Curtiz. The Epsteins, Julius and Philip, who wrote the screenplay in tandem with Howard Koch, appear as asteroids Philippa (for Philip), conjoined Oskar from 11 Leo; Julia (for Julius), in square from 9 Scorpio; and Epstein, in an out-of-Sign wide square from 28 Aries.
The love triangle that dominates the film is seen in a nifty little conjunction of asteroid Richard (for Humphrey Bogart’s character of Richard “Rick” Blaine), exact with asteroid Ilse (for Ingrid Bergman’s character of Ilsa Lund) at 2 Scorpio, with hubby Victor Laszlo (portrayed by Paul Henreid) represented by asteroid Viktorov at 8 Scorpio, still within orb of conjunction, but definitely odd-man-out in this affaire de coeur.
Asteroid Academia (for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which sponsors the awards) also promises clues to upcoming accolades. At 20 Leo, Academia conjoins asteroid Kurti at 22 Leo, another referent for director Curtiz, and squares asteroid Koch at 25 Taurus, for the third writing partner, later sharing Best Screenplay with the Epsteins, Howard Koch. Humphrey Bogart, nominated as Best Actor, had a double shot at Oscar gold, with asteroid Humphreys opposed Academia from 26 Aquarius, and asteroid Bogard broadly opposed from 29 Scorpio (as well as trine Oscar, and also conjoined the film’s Sun), but ultimately lost to Paul Lukas for “Watch on the Rhine”.
Although the premiere had been in November of ’42, general release wasn’t until January of ’43, and the Academy in its wisdom decreed that “Casablanca” should be judged against films from the latter year. Yet as time went by, so to speak, the film grew in popularity, and the heavens rearranged themselves to promote its natal potential. Much like the refugees in the film’s opening sequence, who are eagerly anticipating their hour of deliverance, those seeking honors for “Casablanca” were forced to wait. And wait. And wait.
And so it was that at the 16th Annual Academy Awards ceremony, held 2 March 1944, asteroid Casablanca appears at 20 Leo, conjunct fame-inducer and good-outcome-provider Jupiter at 19 Leo, on the fulcrum of a T-Square with asteroids Academia at 25 Scorpio and Victoria, named for the Roman goddess of victory, at 22 Taurus. Casablanca also trined asteroid Oskar at 23 Sagittarius, and the film’s director is trebly christened victorious, with Oskar conjunct Kurti at 27 Sagittarius, Curtis conjunct Victoria at 24 Taurus, and Kurtz at 5 Aries conjunct asteroid Nike, named for Victoria’s Greek counterpart, at 2 Aries.
Nike also forms the Apex of a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, conjoining asteroid Howard at 0 Aries, with inconjunct aspects to asteroids Koch at 7 Virgo and Philippa at 7 Scorpio. Asteroid Epstein at 7 Leo is in trine to Nike, with asteroid Julia at 2 Pisces in exact semisextile, binding all PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids) for all three writers with the principle of winning.
“Casablanca” strongly influenced the lives and careers of its most notable players and director, with its eponymous asteroid appearing in significant aspect in their nativities. Humphrey Bogart (born 25 December 1899, no time available) has Casablanca at 7 Scorpio, opposing asteroid Richard, his character in the film, at 5 Taurus, and these are respectively sextile and trine his 3 Capricorn Sun. PNAs for actor’s roles which appear in connection with the Sun allow for genuine, authentic performances which are often admired and become iconic, and here we see not only the character, but the vehicle which proffered it. Ingrid Bergman (born 3:30 AM MET on 29 August 1915 in Stockholm, Sweden – Rodden Rating AA) has Casablanca at 8 Leo in square to the 4 Taurus Midheaven, ruling career, and semisquare to asteroid Ingrid at 24 Virgo, sesquiquadrate asteroid Humphreys with Jupiter at 22 and 25 Pisces. For both actors, “Casablanca” evoked defining roles in their careers.
Michael Curtiz (born 9 PM LMT on 25 December 1886 in Budapest, Hungary – Rodden Rating AA) has Casablanca at 24 Gemini opposed asteroid Oskar at 20 Sagittarius. Nominated as Best Director four times, “Casablanca” was his last, and only winning, nomination in that category.
I’ve viewed “Casablanca” more than two dozen times, and each time I do, I find another hidden gem, in a muttered aside, a stolen glance, a bit of business or lighting, a background shot. It was one of the first classic films I ever saw, and for me, the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
On November 20, 2022, US President Joe Biden turns eighty years old, the oldest person ever to serve in that office. Although he has not made his candidacy official, Biden routinely offers, when asked, that it is his “intention” to run for reelection in 2024, just shy of 82, which would make him 86 when he hands off to the next president in January of 2029. We’ll see.
In the meantime, there’s another year of challenges and crises to navigate, and a more complicated political landscape to deal with in Washington. As of this writing (November 16), the Democrats have managed to maintain control of the Senate in the aftermath of the Midterm Elections, but control of the House is still in doubt, though it seems likely Republicans will flip it by a very narrow margin. If so, much of Biden’s legislative agenda will be stalled, subsumed in a series of GOP investigations of the administration, its allies, and Biden’s family, with a probable impeachment battle looming.
How will the year go? We can gain some insights from a look at Joe Biden’s 2022 Solar Return, which occurs at 5:20 PM EST on November 19, 2022 in Washington DC ( a Solar Return chart, as the name implies, is cast for the moment the Sun returns to its natal degree and minute; this may vary from the birthdate by as much as a day in either direction). 7 Gemini on the Ascendant indicates a year where communication will be extremely important. Messaging is paramount, with Biden needing to focus on the positive effects of legislation already passed in the first two years, which will just begin to impact Americans’ lives (such as the $35 cap on monthly insulin copays for Medicare recipients, going into effect in 2023), since he’s unlikely to accomplish much in the next two years, with a stonewalling Republican House, more intent on making mischief than crafting legislation.
The obstacle to additional progress is on display as asteroid House, for the US House of Representatives, which at 8 Sagittarius conjoins the 7 Sag Descendant, giving that lower chamber angular power and force, a major player in the president’s upcoming year. The conflict between the administration and the House is seen in a close square from asteroid Whitehouse at 9 Pisces to House, depicting the tension in that relationship. Also here with House is an exact Mercury/Venus pairing at 4 Sagittarius; traditionally, that would be an admonishment to “talk (Mercury) nice (Venus)” with House leaders, but no amount of honeyed rhetoric will sway most of the GOP caucus. Best bet here is for Biden to flip the script and focus on clearly stating (Mercury) his values (Venus), contrasting them with those of the Republicans. This becomes even more important with Mercury and Venus’ wide conjunction with the 27 Scorpio Sun; Biden needs to dig deep and express himself in a conciliatory (Venus) but authentic (Sun) way, devising a plan (Mercury) to cooperate (Venus) with his opposition whenever possible, but always drawing that bright line between their views.
Also with the Sun is asteroid Washingtonia at 24 Scorpio, so, no surprise, the capital will be a major focus of the year for Biden. But things may get a little sticky, with Damocles in square from 25 Aquarius, suggesting a looming threat or a doom about to descend. Saturn is widely squared the Sun as well, from 19 Aquarius, so there’s some adversity or hardship to be overcome. Saturn’s placement conjoined the 14 Aquarius MC puts it in the Tenth House of career, so it’s at work where Biden experiences most of the delays and setbacks. Reinforcing the sense that things are about to become much more difficult is Saturn’s exact square to asteroid Old Joe at 19 Taurus, a point which becomes increasingly useful as a marker for Biden as he enters his 80s. Saturn’s angular placement and exact square to a Biden referent indicates choppy waters ahead, resistance and limitation.
A T-Square is formed with additional squares from the Sun to a cluster of asteroids Josefa and Nancy at 25 Leo, and Senator at 28 Leo. Josefa is another PNA (Personal-Named Asteroid) which represents Joe Biden, while Nancy likely refers to outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who may retain a leadership role in the Democratic minority. If so, these two will be working hand-in-glove to try to limit Republican excesses in the House.
Senator’s presence here is unexpected; with that looming threat of Damocles in opposition on Election Day, the possibility of Republicans gaining control, now beaten back by a Dem win in Nevada, it would seem that danger has passed, and the Senate should be a comfort zone for the President. But there’s one race still to be called, in the Georgia Senate runoff; if Herschel Walker should defeat the incumbent Raphael Warnock, then the balance would remain at 50/50. This gives the Republicans an outside chance to regain the majority, if they can woo the conservative Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia to switch Parties and join them, creating a 51/49 split in their favor. That’s pure speculation, but it would satisfy the stressful aspect from Senator to Biden’s Sun.
There’s another connection to Damocles for this year, one that is virtually certain to manifest, should Republicans take control of The House, and the subpoena power that goes with it. Investigations of the President’s son, Hunter Biden, whose business dealings with China and Ukraine have long been a conservative obsession, are likely to ensue, and could reflect poorly on Joe Biden personally. This is seen in asteroid Hunt, for Hunt, which at 26 Scorpio conjoins the Sun/Washingtonia pairing and squares Damocles, that doom hanging overhead.
Asteroid Bida, our celestial referent for Biden, appears at 10 Libra, conjoined asteroid America at 7 Libra and the Moon at 6 Libra, and opposed asteroid NOT at 6 Aries, in a T-Square with asteroid Jose (Spanish for Joseph) at 7 Capricorn. The American (America) people (Moon) are largely behind Biden (Josefa, Bida), even if they sometimes disapprove of his performance (NOT). A square from Moon/America to TNO Chaos at 0 Cancer reflects the ongoing unsettled mood of the electorate, which seems to fear an imminent breakdown of conditions (Chaos). If such occurs, they’re likely to blame Joe Biden (Josefa, Bida).
Current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy seems about to enjoy a considerable increase in personal power, with asteroid Kevin at 26 Aries exactly squared powerbroker Pluto at 26 Capricorn, which would occur if in fact the GOP takes control and he is elevated to House Speaker. But it’s not all a bed of roses – Kevin also conjoins fractious, divisive TNO Eris at 24 Aries, and McCarthy will have to wrangle a very thin, divided majority, where virtually any member can deflect or derail his goals. The MAGA election denier caucus has increased after the Midterms, and they aren’t happy with McCarthy to begin with: his assumption of the Speaker’s gavel is not a done deal, by any means. (The possibility that McCarthy may be forced, willingly or no, to turn the House’s focus toward Hunter Biden investigations can be seen in an opposition from Kevin to asteroid Huntress, another referent for Hunter, at 21 Libra, with Pluto on the fulcrum of a T-Square, representing criminality and scandal.)
Consider also that with such a narrow majority, the balance of power could easily shift, mid-session. In every Congress there are members who don’t make it through their term, due to illness, death or indictment (there were five empty seats at the last election); if just 2 or 3 Republicans leave office, for whatever reason, control would flip back to the Democrats. A likely time for this could be as early as April 2023, when a Solar Eclipse at 29 Aries conjoins asteroid Kevin, perhaps limiting his authority.
As well, asteroid McCarthy at 11 Virgo lies at the fulcrum of a T-Square with House at 8 Sagittarius and asteroid Achilles at 16 Gemini. Achilles indicates weakness or vulnerability, an inherent flaw which threatens to destroy the individual; so, yes, McCarthy may be Speaker (House), but a weak one (Achilles) who may not be able to control his caucus.
Another T-Square, from Bida at 10 Libra opposing asteroid Mitchella at 16 Aries, with asteroid Harris on the fulcrum at 16 Capricorn, suggests the tension (opposition) between Biden (Bida) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Mitchella), mediated by VP Kamala Harris (Harris) as President of the Senate, and the tiebreaking vote, should Walker win in Georgia and regain that 50/50 split. McConnell’s pivotal importance in the next year is shown by asteroid McConnell at 11 Leo, conjoined the 14 Leo IC, giving him angular force. A T-Square with Saturn at 19 Aquarius and Uranus at 16 Taurus on the fulcrum suggests McConnell may be a roadblock to progress (Saturn) and have more than a few surprises (Uranus) up his sleeve.
Joe Biden made it through the series of aspects and eclipses that could have proven fatal in 2021 and 2022, but at age 80, anything is possible. One possible indicator of mortality in the 2022 Solar Return is asteroid Giuseppina (Italian feminine for Joseph), which at 24 Capricorn conjoins Pluto, modern lord of death, at 26 Capricorn. Pluto also opposes asteroid Josephina, another feminine Joseph referent, at 28 Cancer, doubling down on the possibility that Joe Biden doesn’t finish his term. Regardless, this polarity is T-Squared by TNO Eris at 24 Aries – there is a lot of stress, strife and discord for Biden personally with that configuration, and there’s no telling what toll that may take. A Solar Eclipse next October at 21 Libra makes this a Grand Cross, and could prove a pivotal trigger for whatever Pluto and Eris have in store.
For now, Joe Biden embarks on the second half of his first term in a better political position than many of his predecessors, though it’s hardly an enviable one. Time will tell how he manages.
On November 14, 2022, Charles III of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will celebrate his 74th birthday, the first as King. Having served the longest apprenticeship in British royal history, Charles had been heir apparent for seventy years before his mother passed away in early September and the Prince of Wales finally came into his inheritance. It had been a long road. Once the world’s most eligible bachelor, Charles became half of the fairytale wedding of the 20th century, followed by scandal and divorce, and a second, controversial marriage with the love of his life. While kicking his heels for three-quarters of a century, Charles established The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund, founded in 1979, which awards money to grant applicants in six categories: heritage and conservation, education, health and wellbeing, social inclusion, environment, and countryside. He is also a noted proponent of efforts to combat climate change and species extinction.
Over the years, a number of astrologers (allegedly beginning with Nostradamus) have predicted that Charles would never be king; some are still saying he won’t be crowned. Apparently they weren’t looking at the right markers, because asteroids foretell a very different outcome.
Born 14 November 1948 at 9:14 PM GMT in London, England (Rodden Rating A), Charles’ 22 Scorpio Sun is awash in indicators of his royal destiny. Closely opposed asteroid King at 21 Taurus, the Sun also T-squares a triple conjunction of asteroids Charlotte (closest to Charles), Britten (homophone of “Britain”) and Rey (Spanish for “king”) at 21, 26 and 28 Leo respectively (which pretty plainly spells out “King Charles of Great Britain” in and of itself), and bound in an out-of-Sign Grand Cross with asteroid Thronium (for “throne”) at 1 Pisces. That all seems fairly decisive to me.
Charles’ foundation as prince from birth can be seen in asteroid Prinz (German for “prince”) at 11 Libra, angular on the 13 Libra IC; it’s the honorific he would hold the longest, as well as his official designation as Prince of Wales. His parents, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and Queen Elizabeth II, picture in stereotypical ways, with asteroid Philippa (feminine form of Philip) at 13 Virgo conjoined Saturn at 5 Virgo, symbol of the father; and a rare exact conjunction of asteroids Elisabetha and Elisabetta (two celestial stand-ins for Elizabeth) at 10 Capricorn in trine to both the natal Moon at 0 Taurus, symbol of the mother, and asteroid Queen’s at 8 Taurus. Yes, mummy was Queen (and incidentally, that Moon degree exactly matches Elizabeth’s Sun, appropriate for her firstborn – when she assumed the identity (Sun) of a mother (Moon)).
Charles’ wives are present, too, but not in ways you might expect. Both Diana and Camilla have PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids) which exactly match them, but neither aspects Venus or asteroid Aphrodite, the chief markers of a love match. Both, however, aspect asteroids Hera and Juno, named respectively for the Greek and Roman goddesses of marriage, both of which are embedded at station, an indication that marriage would be of prime importance in Charles’ life and biography. As indeed it was, with the bachelor prince playing the field and avoiding matrimony until the ripe old age of 32.
Asteroid Diana at 4 Sagittarius is trine to Hera at 29 Pisces, which turned direct 8 days before Charles’ birth, and also to Juno at 1 Aries, which followed suit five days later. This makes Diana the easy choice (trine) but it takes a lot of work to fulfill that potential, with Charles seemingly unwilling to make the effort.
Asteroid Camilla at 21 Virgo opposes both matrimonial points, and is also sesquiquadrate Queen’s, to which Diana is inconjunct (suggesting a poor fit for the role of Charles’ consort for the Earl’s daughter). Points in opposition, while at times representing something stressful, are often seen as the goal, the apparent fulfilment of what they oppose, so Camilla definitely has the upper hand over Diana in Charles’ psyche to be cast as “wife” (Hera, Juno); points inconjunct to each other require considerable adjustments to perform well together, an apt image of Charles’ relationship to his first spouse.
Diana does oppose asteroid NOT at 10 Sagittarius, however, a general disqualifier or warning not to proceed, perhaps a cosmic heads-up that this was not the way to go. Perhaps most telling, the Camilla-Hera/Juno opposition becomes a T-Square with asteroid Regina on the fulcrum at 23 Sagittarius, Latin for “queen”, a clear indication that his first love would eventually grab the brass ring (though likely a gold one, in this case). Despite all the setbacks, the general sense of her unsuitability for the role, the extramarital affair (on her side before his marriage, on his side after), the scandal of his divorce, their quiet, offstage private marriage, the refusal to create her Princess of Wales, and vague mutterings about her never being acknowledged as queen, it’s Camilla who will be crowned Queen Consort with Charles next May.
Camilla is also squared Mars at 20 Sagittarius, suggesting a strong sexual attraction which was apparently the case, with Charles unable to get Mrs. Parker Bowles out of his system after marriage; and squared asteroid Nemesis at 25 Sagittarius, suggesting that Camilla would be a source of ruin or downfall, or at a minimum, something causing problems and setbacks. Sex in general can be a bugaboo with Mars conjunct Nemesis, and it was certainly at the root of the failure of the marriage with Diana.
Children Prince William and Prince Harry make an appearance as well, with asteroid William at 4 Virgo conjoined Saturn at 5, designating Charles’ paternal relationship; opposing Thronium at 1 Pisces, identifying him as the heir apparent; and exactly squared Diana at 4 Sagittarius, imaging the close connection with his mother. The Saturn connection also suggests a relationship which is somewhat distant, perhaps more formal, and legally binding.
Prince Harry, officially named Henry, shows as asteroid Henry, which at 26 Pisces is trine his father’s 22 Scorpio Sun and Chiron at 28 Scorpio, but also squared Mars at 20 Sagittarius and asteroid Nemesis at 25 Sag. Harry is the maverick of the family (Chiron, which in conjunction to Charles’ Sun also expresses His Majesty’s environmental concerns), the agitator, the problem child (both Mars), and a potential source of ruin or downfall, sometimes seen as an opponent (all Nemesis). This appears to be bearing out, following a series of minor youthful indiscretions and scandals, Harry’s marriage to divorced, biracial actress Meghan Markle and subsequent “stepping back” from royal life, and now the imminent release of a “tell-all” bio, cumulatively granting the errant prince a “bad boy” reputation.
Charles’ fairytale marriage to Diana appears to have been doomed from the start. Witnessed globally by some 750 million on 29 July 1981, making it one of the most-viewed extravaganzas of its time, the day features a conjunction of the Sun at 6 Leo with asteroid Diana at 3 Leo, appropriately placing the blushing bride in the limelight. Just for good measure, Diana is also exactly sesquiquadrate asteroid Briede at 18 Pisces, homophone of “bride”, while Charlotte (for Charles) at 1 Virgo conjoins asteroid Groom at 3 Virgo, establishing his role in the ceremony. This pair is also conjunct Venus at 6 Virgo, suggesting a love match, until we dig a bit deeper and find asteroid Camilla exactly there, too. Love is there, for sure – but not directed toward the bride.
Stationary points on the day confirm the main issue between them as infidelity. Bodies at station, embedded still points in the collective psyche about to change direction, become outsized influencers of whatever is begun that day. In trine to Sun/Diana, and squared Charlotte/Venus/Camilla, is an exact pairing of asteroids Aphrodite and Achilles at 11 Sagittarius. Aphrodite represents affairs of the heart, love matches, relationships born of passion and not necessarily long-term. Achilles represents a weakness or vulnerability, an inherent flaw which threatens to doom the individual (or the marriage in this case) from the start. Underscoring sex as the cause of the trouble is a stationary asteroid Nemesis, which at 7 Aries exactly squares Mars at 7 Cancer.
Charles’ second marriage on 6 April 2005 was a much more hole-in-the-corner affair than his first, a civil ceremony performed quietly at Windsor Guildhall out of the public eye. But, true to form, it features the bride prominently, with asteroid Camilla exactly conjunct the Sun at 19 Aries, and this time Venus is also in tow, from 22 Aries. Here’s the true love match, and its status as enduring, productive of an official royal consort, is seen in the T-Square opposing Jupiter, ruling royalty generally, at 13 Libra, with Saturn (staying power, longevity, official status) on the fulcrum at 20 Cancer. A cluster of Briede, Regina and King at 15, 18 and 20 Gemini, squared by Groom at 13 Pisces, reinforces the essentially royal nature of this matrimony, and the titles both would accrue in the fullness of time.
That moment would have to wait another 17 years, but its day would come. When Elizabeth II finally gave up the ghost on 8 September 2022, transit asteroid King, so closely opposed Charles’ Sun at birth, was exactly conjunct his natal Midheaven at 13 Aries, symbol of career, status and place in the world. Asteroid Charlotte, his primary celestial referent, was at station, implying a literal change of direction was in the offing. Its degree was 8 Taurus, exactly conjoined natal asteroid Queen’s, a nod to the Old Guard that was passing. It would actually turn retrograde two days later, within hours of the formal proclamation of Charles III as King at 11 AM BST on September 10th, as asteroid Charlotte crossed the Descendant, forever altering the relationship of Charles to his people.
Charles’ natal Sun/King polarity had been energized by two Lunar Eclipses prior to his accession, that of 15 May 2022 at 25 Scorpio, and 19 November 2021 at 27 Taurus, prefiguring the elevation to the throne. The previous Solar Eclipse at 10 Taurus on April 30th conjoined natal asteroid Queen’s, suggesting his mother’s passing, while the subsequent Solar Eclipse at 2 Scorpio on 25 October 2022 opposed the exact conjunction of her Sun with his Moon, and the subsequent Lunar Eclipse of November 8th at 16 Scorpio/Taurus exactly T-Squares his natal Pluto at 16 Leo, symbol of the death that would enhance his personal power, both Pluto-ruled.
They say all good things come to those who wait, and if that’s true, then King Charles III has surely earned a palaceful of blessings and rewards. Long may he reign to enjoy them.
Going into the Midterm Elections on 8 November 2022, it was anyone’s guess what would happen. With a Lunar Eclipse that day which also directly incorporated both Mercury (the vote) and Uranus (shocks and surprises) pretty much any outcome was possible. With a Red Wave predicted to topple Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, inflation at record levels, gas prices rising again, and a president with low approval ratings, the Common Wisdom argued for a Republican resurgence. Historically, the Party which holds the White House tends to lose seats in the House of Representatives during its first Midterm, on average 28. Republicans had only to wrest five seats to gain control of the House, and just one to gain control of the Senate, which seemed like a walk in the park, given precedent.
But Uranus loathes the Common Wisdom, delighting in upsetting the apple cart and throwing a spanner into the works. So it did the most surprising, shocking thing it could in the circumstances – it left things pretty much as they were! As of this writing (November 11), not all races have been called, and one at least will proceed to a runoff in early December before control can be decided. The most likely outcome seems to be a mirror image flip in the House, from 222 Democrats and 213 Republicans, to 222 Republicans and 213 Democrats, with the Senate swapping out a few members but retaining the 50/50 split, leaving Dems in charge with VP Kamala Harris as the tiebreaker. [See Addendum for breaking updates.]
Which isn’t to say there wasn’t some Uranian-style high drama in the election. Republican political analysts and Fox News pundits watched aghast as the Red Wave became a Red Trickle, in some cases backing up in the sink, with unthought-of losses in State Houses across the country. Surprise victory was mostly on the Democratic side, with unexpected wins and advances for progressives nationwide. Maryland got its first black governor, Wes Moore; Massachusetts got its first female and lesbian governor, Maura Healey. Michigan’s incumbent Governor Gretchen Whitmer, once so unpopular that defeat seemed certain, won reelection by more than ten points. Not only that, both houses of the Michigan legislature flipped red to blue! Democrats in Pennsylvania can now boast two sitting senators, with John Fetterman’s win over Dr. Oz, and are within an ace of turning the lower chamber there blue as well, once all the votes are counted.
Fetterman’s PA pick-up seems likely to be counterbalanced by a loss for Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada, putting Georgia in the spotlight once again as the deciding race for control of the Senate, as in 2020. Incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock eked out a slim victory over GOP challenger Herschel Walker, but didn’t cross the 50% threshold required for winning in the Peach State, compelling a runoff election on December 6th. It’s likely we won’t know which Party has the upper hand until that race has been settled. [See Addendum for breaking updates.]
In many cases, it was Trump-endorsed candidates who went down to defeat, causing some Republicans to finally begin to question their uncritical adherence to the former president. From a Trump perspective, the night was an unqualified fiasco, and may cause him to delay a mooted and ballyhooed announcement for his 2024 bid for the presidency, teased for the week after the election.
This squares nicely with the placement of asteroid Troemper on Election Day, our celestial referent for The Donald. At 16 Sagittarius, Troemper conjoins asteroid Karma at 18 Sagittarius – there is a reckoning coming! Locked in a T-Square with an opposition to asteroid Achilles at 17 Gemini, with asteroid Nemesis on the fulcrum at 18 Pisces, Trump’s essential weakness and vulnerability (Achilles) were on display, and his ability to bring his Party to ruin (Nemesis) fully actualized. Only one of his endorsed candidates for Senator or Governor won their races (that would be James David “J.D.” Vance in Ohio, perhaps a result of asteroid James’ conjunction with Troemper from 11 Sag), and many conservative politicians and media outlets are beginning to openly verbalized what’s been obvious to everyone in the fact-based world for some time: Trump is a drag on the GOP.
Hard to believe, but control of the House is still not a done deal, though a Republican Speaker with a very slim majority still seems the most likely outcome (will it be Kevin McCarthy? We’ll deal with that at another time). The Senate looks to remain just as it is, though it’s still possible that Dems will actually come out of this with a net gain of one seat, a result unthinkable just days ago. And that’s what delights Uranus most, shaking up expectations and shocking people out of their complacency. [See Addendum for breaking updates.]
That the Senate would be in the balance and a major focus of the election was prefigured by asteroid Senator at 26 Leo opposing Damocles at 25 Aquarius, representing the doom hanging overhead, about to descend at any moment. That Sword of Damocles is still suspended, and may be until early December, but right now it’s looking good for Democrats.
Also under the gun of that opposition to Damocles was asteroid Nancy at 22 Leo, representing current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who may be about to lose her primacy. That Damocles connection manifested a week before the election, when a crazed MAGA supporter invaded her San Francisco home and brutally attacked her husband Paul with a hammer, while the Speaker was in DC, shouting “Where’s Nancy?!”. That incident may render Damocles a spent force in Pelosi’s life, or it may yet require the sacrifice of her leadership position.
Also opposing Damocles is asteroid Arizona at 25 Leo. Surely, the looming threat (Damocles) to democracy is nowhere better expressed than the GOP ticket in Arizona, which featured 2020 election deniers up and down the ballot, from Governor to Senator and Secretary of State. Had they been successful, the country’s slide into MAGA, Christo-fascist autocracy would have been accelerated. As of this writing, however, incumbent Senator Democrat Mark Kelly handily held off GOP challenger Blake Masters with a five-point victory; Democrat Adrian Fontes defeated Mark Finchem for Secretary of State by a similar margin; and Democrat Katie Hobbs holds a slim lead over Kari Lake for Governor, though that race is still too close to call, with thousands of votes yet to be counted. Trump endorsed all three and was pivotal in their Primary victories, for a probable trifecta of failure.
The thorny issue of abortion was on the ballot this year – quite literally, in five states, where the right to reproductive freedom for women was confirmed or established (California, Montana, Kentucky, Michigan and Vermont). Early in the cycle, abortion was assumed to be a major factor in turnout and outcome, but as inflation increased and Biden’s popularity dipped, most surveys listed the economy as the top issue for voters. Exit polling on the day, however, revealed abortion to still be top-of-mind, and helped carry Democrats across the finish line with minimal losses in an atmosphere that was otherwise ripe for massive Republican gains.
Asteroid Roe at 9 Aries (for Roe v Wade, the seminal decision legalizing abortion nationwide which was struck down by the conservative supermajority on the Supreme Court in June) conjoined asteroids Demokritos (for Democrats) and NOT (a general disqualifier or block to progress), both at 7 Aries, identifying the subject as critical for progressive hopes. The issue in advance was, which way would the NOT cat jump? Did it signify the voiding (NOT) of abortion protections by the court as a Democrat catalyst, or did it suggest that abortion wouldn’t (NOT) be a contributing factor in their outcomes?
As it turns out, it was decisive, in progressives’ favor. Asteroid Wade was also active; at 18 Virgo, it joined the Troemper “GOP disaster” T-Square to form a Grand Cross, identifying the dual issues of Trump and abortion as the bugaboos which would limit Republican successes and expose their inherent weakness with the American people.
And how about those Americans? Asteroid America at 3 Libra conjoined asteroid Bida (our celestial referent for Biden) at 6 Libra, suggesting that, on some level, the country was behind the Biden administration’s agenda, if not behind the President personally. Biden’s closing argument focusing on abortion rights and the threat to democracy paid off, big time.
And, as always, Donald Trump was shown to be the Biggest Loser.
[ADDENDUM: Just as AAA was going to press on this article, the Senate race in Nevada was called for incumbent Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, who overcame a lead by GOP challenger Adam Laxalt to claim victory. This gives Dems the 50 seats they need to retain control in the Senate; if the Georgia runoff in December returns Raphael Warnock, they won’t need VP Harris’ tiebreaking vote, except to offset a recalcitrant Manchin or Sinema, if they balk the Party line again. There remain 16 House races to be called before control is definitely established; a Republican majority still seems likely, but with a slimmer margin than the Democrats currently have, perhaps as little as two seats.]
While Uranus exactly conjunct the Moon for the Lunar Eclipse on Election Day warns us to expect the unexpected, loss of control of the US House of Representatives does seem likely. Redistricting alone, in the wake of the 2020 census, should grant the Republicans ten more seats, more than enough to change the balance of power in the lower chamber and wrest the Speaker’s gavel from Nancy Pelosi, even if all current Dem incumbents not caught up in that redistricting shift keep their seats.
So it’s in the Senate where the real drama will unfold. Currently split 50/50, Democrats maintain control (assuming they are all acting together, not always the case with consensus refuseniks like Manchin and Sinema in their ranks) due to VP Kamala Harris’ ability to break any ties in the administration’s favor. Earlier this year, the likelihood of Dems holding their fragile majority, perhaps even picking up a seat or two, seemed fairly high. But recent polling suggests Republicans are closing the gap, threatening Dem incumbents in some states, perhaps failing to pick up seats from retiring GOP senators in others. I’ve chosen three contests to profile, the winners of which will likely determine who ultimately controls the US Senate: Pennsylvania, Ohio and Georgia.
Before jumping into the details, let’s take a quick look at what the skies have to say about Election Day as regards the Senate generally. Asteroid Senator at 26 Leo opposes Damocles at 25 Aquarius; this vividly portrays the Senate in the balance, suggesting a looming threat, a doom about to descend, but it’s not specific about whose doom. Given the current makeup, Dems would seem to be in the hot seat on this one, with more to lose, and that’s somewhat supported by the addition of TNO Sedna at 29 Taurus, on the fulcrum of a T-Square. Sedna is named for an Inuit goddess who dwells in the deepest, most inaccessible part of the Arctic Ocean, and represents isolation. Sedna in this combination could signal Dems being “left out in the cold.”
In contrast, there’s a Grand Cross filled in with a Venus/Washingtonia conjunction at 20 Scorpio, and asteroid Felicitas at 27 Scorpio. Venus is known as the “Lesser Benefic”, typically providing positive outcomes; Washingtonia represents the US Capital; and Felicitas promotes luck and happiness, giving somebody something to celebrate in DC that night. But is that Democrats or Republicans? Aye, there’s the rub!
In Pennsylvania the battle is between Democrat Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman and celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz. Oz only moved to the state from his New Jersey mansion (one of nine homes he maintains) this year, to qualify for the ballot, and charges of “carpetbagger”, plus being manifestly out of touch with everyday voters, put him well back in the polls for much of the post-Primary season, by as much as 15 points. However, Fetterman’s health issues (he suffered a serious stroke in May and is not yet communicating or processing data normally) and millions spent in deceptive, misleading negative ads have brought the polling to near parity. Fetterman and Oz are vying for the seat of retiring GOP incumbent Pat Toomey, and a Fetterman victory could shore up the Democratic majority or prevent its loss if a Dem incumbent goes down, so the stakes are very high.
Oddly, both candidates have natal asteroid Senator within a degree of each other, and both were ignited by a Lunar Eclipse at 25 Scorpio just two days before the Pennsylvania Primary on May 17th. John Fetterman (born 15 August 1969, no time available) has Senator at 24 Leo, conjunct his Sun at 22 Leo, making him a natural fit for the office. Mehmet Oz (born 11 June 1960, no time available) has Senator at 25 Leo, but it’s not well-integrated into his chart, though a wide conjunction with Uranus at 17 Leo could signal an upset win. Both candidates’ Senators were T-Squared by the Sun/Moon polarity of the Lunar Eclipse, and not surprisingly, both won their respective Primary contests for that office within days.
For Oz the story stops there, but for Fetterman, there’s a codicil, and an unfortunate one. The Lunar Eclipse also squared his Sun, which is itself exactly conjunct asteroid Nemesis, noted as a point of ruin or destruction, often self-created. Two days before the eclipse, Fetterman suffered his stroke, which may now be his political undoing.
A prominent Washingtonia might help to break this celestial tie, symbolizing a pull toward the US seat of power, but again, both candidates are evenly matched. Fetterman’s Washingtonia at 18 Leo conjoins his Sun/Senator, and will be activated by the Lunar Eclipse at 16 Taurus/Scorpio on Election Day, in T-Square. This provides Fetterman with a strong connection to the job he’s vying for and the city where it’s located, making both a component part of his core being or essential self.
Oz’s Washingtonia at 26 Libra is embedded at station, making it a natural focus of energy, a lodestar of Oz’s existence and a major influence on his biography. Washingtonia turned direct more than a week after Oz’ birth, but is already at its station degree, and conjoined by asteroid Victoria, named for the Roman goddess of victory, at 1 Scorpio, which is also stationary, and turned direct four days after birth. This promotes a winning vibe around matters related to the US capital.
Moreover, Oz’ Washingtonia will be exactly squared by Pluto at 26 Capricorn for the election, though whether that signals a massive increase in personal power or a devastating loss (both Pluto-ruled) is hard to say. Oz gets a boost from the Election Day Lunar Eclipse polarity as well, in square to Uranus, forming a Grand Cross with Oz’ natal asteroid Johney at 15 Aquarius, also at station (turning retrograde 15 June 1960, same day as Victoria). Johney in this placement indicates an outsized importance for a person or persons of that name in Oz’ life and bio, for which John Fetterman fits the bill nicely.
Both men share another cosmic similarity – they have asteroid Oze (closest to “Oz”) conjunct asteroid Nike, named for Victoria’s Greek counterpart, naturally linking Oz with the principle of winning. Fetterman’s is an exact conjunction at 0 Cancer, opposed by Jupiter at 29 Pisces on Election Day. Oz’ is an out-of-Sign conjunction with Oze at 28 Cancer and Nike at 3 Leo (trined by Jupiter on Election Day), and also incorporates asteroid Nemesis at 4 Leo. Essentially, having Nemesis here suggests that Oz is his own worst enemy, but a square to the natal Washingtonia/Victoria conjunction bolsters the idea of a winning run for Congress, if he can get out of his own way.
Which seems to be happening. The two squared off in a single debate in late October, with Fetterman utilizing a closed caption device to better understand the questions posed, and Oz’ responses. It was painful to watch, with halting, somewhat disorganized replies by Fetterman, and certainly didn’t leave undecided voters with an impression of his fitness for office, despite positive prognoses from doctors that predict full recovery in time.
On Election Day, asteroids Oze at 25 Virgo and Johney at 27 Virgo are conjunct, opposed Neptune at 22 Pisces with Jupiter at 29 Pisces and trine a Pluto/Nike pairing at 26 and 17 Capricorn. The conjunction portrays the enmeshed quality of their struggle, with either Fetterman or Oz poised to experience a political (Jupiter) disappointment (Neptune) or an empowering (Pluto) victory (Nike). Fetterman is also represented by asteroid Johnny at 17 Pisces, which is embedded at station, turning direct the day before the Midterms, indicating a major change of direction for the candidate. Johnny’s conjunction with asteroid Nemesis at 18 Pisces suggests it may not be a positive one, and reiterates the “self-undoing” energy of that natal Sun/Nemesis conjunction.
All things considered, this looks like Democrats once again snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. In their quest to keep the Senate majority, the Keystone State is probably not going to be a supportive factor.
Next on the roster is Ohio, where retiring GOP Senator Rob Portman is leaving a political vacuum. Vying to fill it are Trump acolyte and author J.D. Vance, and Ohio Democratic Representative Tim Ryan. Vance’s prior claim to fame was his book “Hillbilly Elegy”, written in 2016, focused on the cultural crisis in working class America. A vocal Trump critic in 2016, Vance saw which way the wind was blowing in the Republican Party and became an avid supporter. But even The Donald called him out for his reversal, opining in a recent campaign appearance for Vance that he was just “kissing my ass” for votes. Ryan has represented Ohio in the US House of Representatives since 2003, first for the 17th District, and then for the 13th, after redistricting changed the map. An economic populist, Ryan has an independent streak which has caused him to call out policies of both Parties when they conflict with what he sees as working-class interests.
Born 2 August 1984 (no time available) J.D. Vance sports a natal asteroid Senator at 5 Cancer conjoined asteroid Nike at 2 Cancer, in square to asteroid Ohio at 11 Libra, opposed Jupiter at 4 Capricorn, and also squared asteroid Washingtonia at 7 Aries, completing a Grand Cross. This links politics (Jupiter) and the US capital (Washingtonia) with the state he hopes to represent (Ohio) and the job he hopes to gain (Senator) through his victory (Nike). Washingtonia is at station, creating a strong psychic pull toward DC for Vance, while Nike/Senator trines natal Saturn at 10 Scorpio, ruling both career and government work.
Born 8 September 1967 (no time available), Tim Ryan’s natal Senator at 0 Sagittarius conjoins energizing Mars at 29 Scorpio, again linking the office with Ryan’s career. A square to Venus at 0 Virgo is the only other aspect of note for Senator, perhaps providing some degree of popular support, especially among women. Ryan also has a strong pull toward DC, with the 15 Virgo Sun closely opposed Washingtonia at 14 Pisces, in a T-square with Nike at 20 Sagittarius, but a semisquare to asteroid House at 27 Libra, for the US House of Representatives, has already drawn him there, and may spell the limit of his interactions in the capital.
Of the two, Vance would seem to have the stronger ties to the job, but on Election Day transit asteroid James (for James David, “J. D.” Vance) at 11 Sagittarius conjoins asteroid Karma at 18 Sag and squares a stationary asteroid Nemesis at 18 Pisces, while asteroid Ryan at 4 Aquarius squares asteroid Fortuna at 1 Scorpio and trines asteroid Ohio at 6 Libra, suggesting a fated (Karma) self-undoing (Nemesis) for Vance (James) and a lucky (Fortuna) outcome for Ryan (Ryan) in the contest for the Buckeye State (Ohio).
If either Fetterman in Pennsylvania or Ryan in Ohio claims victory, the Democrats will pick up a Senate seat currently held by a Republican, increasing the likelihood of maintaining, perhaps increasing, their majority.
Which brings us to Georgia, where a Democratic incumbent pastor and community organizer is in a neck-and-neck battle with a barely articulate pro football star, a vehemently pro-life candidate credibly accused of encouraging and paying for abortions for former mistresses and girlfriends.
Democrat Raphael Warnock (born 23 July 1969, no time available) won his seat in a special election in 2020, to replace retiring GOP Senator Johnny Isakson, and is now running for a full term. Since 2005 he has been pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, a post once held by Martin Luther King, Jr. Natal asteroid Senator at 15 Leo conjoins Washingtonia at 11 Leo and squares Saturn at 8 Taurus, providing links between Warnock’s career (Saturn), his job (Senator) and his current job venue (Washingtonia). It’s not all smooth sailing, however, with asteroid Nemesis conjoined Senator from 13 Leo, and Damocles at 19 Aquarius in opposition; the implication is that Warnock’s Senate run may be self-defeating (Nemesis) and constitutes a looming disaster (Damocles), but he has already beaten these odds once, in attaining the seat he now holds.
His opponent, Herschel Walker, may have the upper hand here, with Warnock’s natal asteroid Walker at 29 Pisces embedded at station, having turned direct the day of Warnock’s birth. This makes Walker a major factor in Warnock’s biography, and an opposition to asteroid Herschel at 20 Virgo, conjunct natal Pluto at 23 Virgo, suggests a dominating role to play. A loose T-Square with natal Nike at 21 Gemini says that Herschel Walker has the ability to affect Warnock’s chances of victory, but not specifically how.
There are two PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids) which represent Warnock, both stand-ins for Raphael. On Election Day asteroid Rafaelta at 11 Leo squares the Sun/Moon Lunar Eclipse polarity of 16 Scorpio/Taurus, putting Warnock in the spotlight; asteroid Raphaela at 13 Pisces is at station, having turned direct on November 2nd, indicating a major shift or turning point for Warnock. Its conjunction with a stationary Nemesis at 18 Pisces could suggest ruin or downfall, though a Grand Trine Kite Pattern is created from the Sun/Moon eclipse axis, with the Sun trined both Raphaela/Nemesis and asteroid Victoria at 20 Cancer, perhaps impelling a Warnock win and allowing him to enact Nemesis’ spoiler role in regards to opponent Walker.
Herschel Walker is so manifestly unfit for office that it’s hard to imagine anyone voting for him, but he’s virtually tied with Raphael Warnock in many polls of Peach State voters. A Heisman Trophy winner for the University of Georgia and pro football player for 12 seasons, Walker was encouraged by Donald Trump to run for the Georgia Senate seat, despite being a resident of Texas at the time. Accusations of domestic abuse quickly surfaced (Walker is alleged to have held a loaded gun to his wife’s head while threatening her), but Walker duly received the imprimatur of the GOP establishment with an endorsement from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Despite his noncompromising stance on abortion, which he states should be illegal in all cases with no exceptions, Walker appears to have been accommodating of the procedure in the past, with two former lovers coming forward in October of 2022 to state that Walker encouraged them to end their pregnancies. In one case, his partner agreed to the abortion on a first pregnancy, and has receipts for Walker’s payment to her for the surgery, but refused his wishes on a second occasion, and is now raising his child.
Born 3 March 1962 (no time available), Herschel Walker’s natal asteroid Senator at 20 Aries is exactly conjunct asteroid Karma, suggesting a fated or predestined quality to his run for office, though not directly suggesting an outcome. Walker’s opponent is present here as well, in the form of asteroid Raphaela, which conjoins Senator/Karma from 18 Aries, possibly blocking any progress toward that goal.
Senator is further bound up in a T-Square, opposing asteroid Herschel at 18 Libra and TNO Quaoar at 21 Libra (named for a creation deity of the indigenous Tongva people which has affinities with abortion and procreation), with a conjunction of asteroid Georgia and TNO Salacia at 16 and 18 Capricorn on the fulcrum. This depicts a possible scandal (Salacia, named for a Roman sea goddess, wife of Neptune, and the root of our word “salacious”) related to abortion (Quaoar) which impacts his run for Senate (Senator) from Georgia (Georgia). Abuse becoming an issue in a political campaign is also foretold by a square from a Mars/Jupiter (campaigns, politics) conjunction at 23 and 24 Aquarius to centaur Nessus at 27 Taurus, noted for bad behaviors generally and abuses of all types.
Walker’s 12 Pisces Sun conjoins asteroid Troemper at 15 Pisces (our celestial referent for The Donald), signaling the friendship between them and Trump’s pivotal role in urging Walker to pursue this path. The Sun is broadly conjunct asteroid Washingtonia at 21 Pisces and opposes asteroid Rafaelta at 20 Virgo, representing opponent Raphael Warnock, with these two points in a T-Square with asteroid Nike at 24 Sagittarius. This could point to a Warnock win in connection with DC, or may merely be descriptive of the bone of contention between them. The Sun is also caught up in a Grand Cross, opposing Pluto at 8 Virgo, squared asteroid Walker at 6 Sagittarius and asteroid Victoria at 5 Gemini, which grants Walker that winning vibe and a potential for enhanced personal power.
On Election Day transit asteroid Herschel at 17 Capricorn is activating the natal T-Square involving Senator, and broadly conjoined Pluto with asteroid Nike at 26 and 27 Capricorn, while more closely opposing asteroid Victoria at 20 Cancer, perhaps granting Walker the win. However, transit asteroid Walker at 27 Gemini is also active, squaring the Neptune/Jupiter conjunction at 22 and 29 Pisces, a source of likely political (Jupiter) disappointment (Neptune).
It’s a mixed bag, to be sure, with pluses and minuses for all six Senate candidates profiled here. Perhaps it’s best to close where we began, with Uranus’ strength on Election Day, and the resultant futility of prediction. Whatever the outcome, we won’t have long to wait.
In a recent AAA post, I honored the 25th anniversary of the premiere of perhaps my favorite TV series of all time, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and opined at the article’s close about how much I missed seeing the show. Well, the syndication gods have smiled upon me, and just months later, “Buffy” retuned from the celluloid undead to brighten the screen via Comet TV. As faithful readers of this site will remember, October usually brings at least one horror-or-Halloween-related article, but after five years, I was running out of ideas. There didn’t seem the ghost of a chance that I’d find a suitable topic, and then my replay of “Buffy” paid off in a snippet I could sink my teeth into: birth data from the tombstone of a major character.
The character in question is that of Tara Maclay, a witchy-wise college coed brought in as a love interest for newly-lesbian Willow, in season four. A common love of spellcraft brought them together, and their three-season romance was one of TV’s earliest ongoing depictions of same-sex relationships, cast in a positive light. Tara met her tragic end as season six closed, at the hands of geek criminal mastermind Warren Mears, who had been plaguing Buffy and the so-called Scooby Gang ever since she came back from the dead (you had to be there).
Willow, who had become addicted to magic but was struggling to overcome it, lost control completely when Warren accidentally shot and killed Tara, going off the deep end in a dark magic-fueled homicidal rampage which resulted in flaying Warren alive. Brought back to her senses by lifelong friend Xander’s love, just as she is about to destroy the world, Willow is rehabilitated, and eventually finds the strength to visit her dead lover’s grave.
Which is where astrology comes in. Season seven, episode four, “Help,” includes a brief screen shot of Tara’s marker, which lists her birth data as 16 October 1980, and her death date as 7 May 2002. Off to the ephemeris!
I’ve had occasion to profile fictional characters before, and always with stunning and appropriate results. It’s fascinating to me how the cosmos lines up with human creativity, even in the seemingly random selection of biographical statistics for an author’s mind child.
“Born” 16 October 1980, Tara Maclay’s natal Sun at 23 Libra conjoins Pluto at 21 Libra, an apt image of a powerful person (Pluto) grounded in fairness and a strong sense of justice (Libra), which Tara was. Always ready to see both sides of the coin, compromise, and promote others’ wellbeing, Tara was a very enlightened type of Libra, who wore with grace the power that was inborn, as the daughter of a witch. The Sun/Pluto conjunction sits at the Apex of a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, with inconjunct aspects to asteroids McKay (closest to Maclay) at 26 Taurus and Circe (named for a sorceress in Homer’s “Odyssey”) at 27 Pisces, combining her surname with her bent toward the magical arts.
Asteroid Hekate, named for a Greek goddess who in the Middle Ages developed an unsavory (and unearned) reputation as goddess of witches, appears at 21 Virgo conjoined philosophical Jupiter at 27 Virgo, inclining Tara to Wicca as a religious outlook. Hekate also squares Neptune at 20 Sagittarius, another indicator of spirituality.
Likewise, her sexuality is vividly portrayed, with asteroid Sappho, named for an ancient Greek lesbian poet, at 28 Cancer in square to her Sun, also exactly semisquare Venus at 13 Virgo, arbiter of love and romance. Unfortunately, there is no asteroid matching Willow or Rosenberg, the character who became her partner, but asteroid Salix is named for the scientific designation for the willow tree, and it appears at 3 Libra, conjunct Juno, named for the Roman goddess of marriage, at 5 Libra. Salix also exactly conjoins Saturn, so this is a serious relationship, one grounded in stability and good for the long-term, had Fate not intervened.
That intervention came in the form of a bullet from Warren Mears’ gun, and it’s no surprise to find asteroids Warren and Gunn conjunct, at 22 and 25 Taurus, also conjoined McKay at 26 Taurus and asteroid Tara at 2 Gemini. As well, Warren/Gunn is squared by Damocles, representing the looming threat hanging unseen overhead, from 23 Aquarius, and in a T-square with asteroid Osiris at 20 Leo, named for the Egyptian god of the dead. Tara’s death was in fact unexpected, the result of a stray bullet intended for Buffy, and in a subsequent scene the grieving Willow importunes Osiris for her dead lover’s return, to no avail. Asteroid Osiris also squares TNO Ixion at 13 Scorpio, named for the first murderer in Greek myth, pinpointing homicide as Tara’s cause of death, though the orbs are a bit too wide to make this a Grand Cross with Warren/Gunn and Damocles.
When Tara was first introduced, her shy, retiring nature and a history of family abuse rendered her with a halting, stuttering speech pattern, as portrayed celestially by Mercury at 17 Scorpio conjunct Uranus at 23 Scorpio, which represents unusual or unorthodox styles of communication. Willow’s love transformed Tara into a more confident, assertive woman, and her speech eventually reflected this.
Actress Amber Benson, who portrayed Tara, was born 8 January 1977 (no time available), and sports a combination of Saturn at 15 Leo with asteroid Actor at 4 Leo (identifying her thespian profession), opposing asteroid Tara at 13 Aquarius, T-squared Jupiter at 21 Taurus, for the role (Actor) that has been the most famous (Jupiter) in her career (Saturn) to date. Natal asteroid Amber at 20 Aries squares her natal Sun at 18 Capricorn, and together these T-square Tara’s Sun at 24 Libra, affording an instant identification with the character which engendered an authentic performance.
Tara’s screen death on 7 May 2002 shows a stunning exact opposition from the highlighting Sun at 16 Taurus to asteroid Warren, the cause of her death, at 16 Scorpio. (Perhaps the idea for this article was generated by the upcoming Lunar Eclipse November 8th at those precise degrees.) An exact T-square is formed by Damocles at 16 Aquarius, once again introducing the element of unseen, but impending, doom. With the Sun is asteroid Lachesis at 24 Scorpio, named for the mythic Greek Fate who determines the span of life, and conjoined Lachesis (though too far from the Sun to be considered conjunct) is asteroid McKay at 28 Scorpio.
Asteroid Tara at 24 Cancer bisects a trine from Lachesis to asteroid Anubis at 22 Leo, named for the Egyptian deity governing funerary rites, linking her with two death-related energies, and is also sesquiquadrate TNO Ixion at 7 Sagittarius, bringing in the element of murder. Asteroid Gunn at 9 Libra opposes asteroid Osiris at 5 Aries, affirming the means of her death.
Saturn, ancient lord of death, conjoins Mars, ruler of attacks, guns and violence, at 14 and 16 Gemini, opposing Pluto, modern lord of death and planetary ruler of homicide, at 17 Sagittarius. These T-square Tara’s natal asteroid Atropos at 18 Virgo, named for the Fate who severs the thread of life at death.
Interestingly, asteroid Salix (for “Willow”) at 10 Capricorn forms a T-Square with the Gunn/Osiris polarity, and is embedded at station (turning retrograde four days prior), indicating a literal “turning point” for Willow Rosenberg, the once mousey bookworm who subsequently went off the rails in a grief-driven spree of violence directed initially at her lover’s killer and subsequently, the whole world.
Who can explain how a fictional birth date and a fictional death date coalesce to so aptly describe the character given those imagined parameters? If life imitates art, so, too, does astrology.
It’s ironic that Britain’s longest-reigning monarch should be succeeded by its shortest-serving Prime Minister, but that’s just what happened when Liz Truss stepped down from office after only 45 days in power. The fact that they both had the same first name is just icing on the cosmic cake in this bizarre juxtaposition. Truss stepped into the breach in the Conservative Party when embattled PM Boris Johnson resigned in the wake of scandal on July 7, but it took two months to wrap up those loose ends before she was officially appointed by Queen Elizabeth II on September 6. Now, just six weeks later, she’s gone.
In part, Truss got caught up in the current closing square between Jupiter, the planet ruling politics, and TNO Chaos, a far-flung bit of space debris that creates turbulent conditions consistent with its name, which is now exact from 0 Aries to 0 Cancer. Following rapid turnover in Cabinet officers and a disastrous “mini-budget” that sent the pound tumbling, Truss’ position as PM became untenable. Chaos’ role in her discomfiture is expressed in its conjunction with the 4 Cancer Descendant for her resignation (1:34 PM BST 20 October 2022, London, UK).
That chart also highlights asteroid Atropos at 1 Capricorn on the 4 Capricorn Ascendant. Atropos is named for the mythic Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death, and it’s in that context of mortality that we most commonly encounter her. But, like the Death card in the Tarot, Atropos also signals change and endings of all sorts in addition to the cessation of life. Here it suggests an end to Truss’ public image (Ascendant), reinforced by its placement exactly conjunct her natal asteroid London at 1 Capricorn, the city where she worked and announced her resignation.
Born Mary Elizabeth Truss on 26 July 1975 (no time available), asteroid Mary at 10 Taurus closely conjoins the 9 Taurus IC of the resignation chart, keying her personally into the moment. (As is typical of one’s own PNA – Personal-Named Asteroid – which often connects to the Sun, Moon, Ascendant or Mercury, natal Mary at 12 Sagittarius is trine the Sun and embedded at station.) Mary also conjoins TNO Albion at 12 Taurus, an ancient name for Britain, and more widely conjoins Uranus, emblem of unexpected shocks and upsets, at 17 Taurus. Uranus exactly opposes asteroid Elisabetta at 17 Scorpio (one of two PNA referents for Elizabeth), while an exact opposition from asteroid Britten (homophone for “Britain”) at 9 Leo to asteroid Elisabetha at 9 Aquarius (the other Elizabeth referent) transforms this polarity into a loose Grand Cross. (True to form, natal Elisabetha also fits the PNA pattern, falling at 24 Libra in square to Mercury, ruling the naming function, at 26 Cancer.) Elisabetha also conjoins asteroid Lachesis at 4 Aquarius, named for the Fate who determines the span of life (or any other endeavor) and Saturn at 18 Aquarius, symbol of state power as well as its loss.
This Grand Cross ties to Truss’ natal Mars at 17 Taurus, symbol of struggle and stress, and this resignation seems a somewhat fated development, with the Grand Cross also incorporating her natal pairing of asteroids Karma at 15 Leo and NOT at 13 Leo, prefiguring a predetermined (Karma) refusal or abnegation of some sort (NOT). Note that these points are all energized by the upcoming Lunar Eclipse of 16 Taurus on November 8th. More to the point, the Solar Eclipse at 2 Scorpio just five days after her resignation falls tightly on her natal asteroid Nemesis at 1 Scorpio, indicating ruin, downfall, or destruction, often self-created, and exactly squared her natal Sun at 2 Leo.
The Sun of her resignation at 27 Libra is accompanied by Venus at 26 Libra and two more agents of change and transformation, asteroids Requiem (named for the funeral mass for the dead) and Anubis (the Egyptian deity governing funerary rites) at 23 and 24 Libra, which together spell a high profile (Sun) transition (Requiem, Anubis) for a female (Venus). This grouping straddles Truss’ natal asteroid Elisabetha with Uranus at 24 and 28 Libra, engendering controversy (Uranus) for her personally (Elisabetha). The Libra stellium also opposes natal Chaos at 28 Aries, embedded at station, from where it turned retrograde four days after her birth, which itself conjoins an exact pairing of Jupiter with asteroid Britten at 24 Aries, suggesting her involvement with political (Jupiter) turmoil (Chaos) in the UK (Britten).
T-Squared transit Pluto at 26 Capricorn and TNO Eris at 24 Aries, Truss found herself subject to the whims of a disgruntled populace (Eris, evoker of strife and discord; polls showed her as the least popular Prime Minister in British history), prompting the destruction (Pluto) of her career. Transit Pluto’s opposition to transit Britten at 25 Cancer for her appointment on September 6th, still locked in the Eris T-Square, showed the potential for tough times for Britain in the ensuing period of her tenancy of the office, while an opposition from a pairing of asteroids Trussino (closest to Truss) and Dowling (closest to Downing, for the 10 Downing Street address of the UK Prime Minister) at 17 and 19 Scorpio to the Albion/Mary/Uranus group at 13, 15 and 18 Taurus indicated volatility and controversy (Uranus) for the British (Albion) Prime Minister (Dowling), whoever it might be, brought home to Truss by the PNAs Mary and Trussoni linking her directly to this energy. Mary is also stationary, as at birth, turning retrograde a week after her appointment, signifying a literal “change of direction” for Truss, unexpectedly (Uranus) elevated as PM.
A natal combination of asteroid Elisabetta with Dowling at 25 and 27 Aquarius suggests the potential for Truss as PM at some point, but the timing wasn’t right here, with transit Damocles (the doom hanging unseen overhead) haunting this region (exact with Dowling for her appointment, exact with Elisabetha for her resignation) and transit TNO Sedna (named for an Inuit goddess who dwells in the deepest, most inaccessible part of the Arctic Ocean) squaring from 29 Taurus, promoting isolation. Left without support, Truss had no choice but to withdraw, despite describing herself as “a fighter, not a quitter” the day before she resigned.
Truss had experienced an “Achilles Return” at the time of her appointment to the office, with the asteroid representing inherent flaws, weakness and vulnerability (as in “Achilles heel”) transiting its natal degree of 16 Gemini, reinforcing her inborn potential for self-implosion. As well, Achilles came to station to turn retrograde and retrace its steps on October 11th, just as things began to heat up for Truss and the inevitability of her fall became apparent. The Daily Star tabloid paper, riffing on an article in the Economist which compared Liz Truss’ tenure to the lifespan of a lettuce, rigged out a head of iceberg in a blonde wig and began a countdown to see which would have the longer shelf life: Truss’ career as PM or the salad ingredient. The lettuce won.
Regrettably for bad astro-joke aficionados globally, there is no asteroid named Lettuce. There is, however, a Laetitia, a close phonetic match, which appears at 1 Scorpio on the day of Truss’ resignation, conjunct the 9 Scorpio MC of that chart and exactly conjoined her natal Nemesis, squared her Sun, and about to be eclipsed. Natally, Laetitia appears at 15 Leo, exactly conjunct Karma and with asteroid NOT, another indication that the cosmos does in fact have a sense of humor and irony.
Britain isn’t scheduled for a general election until 2024, but the Tories will pick a new leader to be appointed Prime Minister, perhaps within a week. There’s even talk of Boris Johnson returning from the political dead to resume his old post, a zombielike resurrection particularly appropriate for Spooky Season.