An Election Prediction in an Unpredictable Era


Here's my prediction: No matter what happens in the upcoming US presidential vote, it will intensify the ideological divisions in this country.

I know I'm not taking any huge risk to my professional reputation with such a prophecy—unlike my more courageous colleagues, many but not all of whom have been forecasting Obama's re-election—but it is of this archetypal conclusion alone that I am wholly confident.

Mercury will appear to stand still and then turn retrograde in Sagittarius (one of his least comfortable places) on Election Day, an omen of flubbed details, mixed messages and malfunctioning machinery. As you may recall, Mercury was retrograde on Election Day in 2000 when hanging chads and miscounted ballots left Americans wondering who'd won for weeks… and led to the controversial decision by the Supreme Court to hand the presidency over to George W. Bush. This time around, with the exact station-to-retrograde of Mercury—arguably the hairiest moment of a Mercury retrograde—occurring as votes are being cast and collected, we can probably expect at least as much chaos, confusion and/or contestation as in 2000.

Even without our astrological goggles on, we can already see the makings of such a scenario: the late-game tightening of the race, which could leave the results hinging on a single state (e.g., Ohio); accusations of voter intimidation and disenfranchisement, leading to a UN-affiliated group's involvement in monitoring polling places; conflict-of-interest questions tied to Romney family investments in companies who operate the machines that count votes. These circumstances combine to form a perfect storm of potentially suspect numbers even before a single precinct has reported results.

In good conscience, I would never imply it doesn't matter who is elected US president for the next four years… or, should I say more precisely, who ends up becoming president, since this century we've already once faced a Mercury-retrograde vote that resulted in the position being filled by Supreme Court appointment. As a gay man who believes unambiguously in the moral rightness of a strong social contract under which a government's role is to care for its citizenry rather than allow wealth to unfairly accumulate among its richest tier at everyone else's expense, I must publicly endorse President Obama over Romney the plutocrat. I cannot, incidentally, go so far as to indict all those who support Romney as stupid, evil or worthy of my enmity, merely because they view national politics through a different lens. Many of my co-citizens aren't as forgiving of those who differ ideologically from them. This habitual willingness to abstract one's neighbors into caricatures—while overlooking their humanity—is a fundamental component of the polarized spot in which we now find ourselves.

Yet, as beautifully expressed in 'Love and Ideology', an essay by Yeshe Rabbit (my beloved business partner in The Sacred Well): 'This election is not the be-all, end-all. Whoever gets elected will do some great things and some horrible things, as presidents always do. Whoever gets elected will definitely shape some movement in the longer historical procession of these issues, but will not be the final voice in any of them. Time will march on, fighting will continue, and these issues will remain problematic for at least another 10 generations, if not longer.'

The astrology of our era—most principally, the square between Uranus and Pluto—bespeaks of a time in which these fights sharpen rather than subside. This is not an oversimplified case of good triumphing over evil, for, in the first place, neither 'side' holds a monopoly on one or the other value. Psychological maturity, after all, demands we integrate the two within ourselves, lest we too easily point elsewhere, outside, toward what we are unable to accept. Without a doubt, though, I believe the election of either Obama or Romney will rouse deeper frustrations among those who'll interpret that event as a corruption of what's rightful… not only because the losers of any competition can be lured into soreness, but due to the archetypal energies presently in sharp discord with one another.

If I can make any sound prediction, it's that these deep frustrations of whichever roughly 40something percent of the populace isn't pleased by the election will outwardly and expressively manifest in increasingly erratic, destabilizing, and possibly explosive ways: upsetting short-term fallout, hopefully for a longer-term highest good.

The structures of centralized power, as symbolized by Pluto in Capricorn, are now savagely fighting for the preservation of their dominance… rightly sensing the status-quo upon which their authority rests is hitting a tipping-point in its decay, and thus seeking to double-down on their rule by consolidating their strengths and projecting villainy onto what- and whomever represents their greatest threat. We can define 'structure of centralized power' in a number of ways: Is it a bloated bureaucratic government inhibiting the freedoms of citizens to privately tend to their affairs? an overly secular polity inviting immorality to take deeper root in social life? an alliance of moneyed interests seeking to remove the regulations that help foster a fair playing-field and dismantle the social-benefit programs that promote collective unity? the entire two-party system and the military-industrial-complex profiting from its limiting choices? Depending on how you look at the relative roles of the individual and of collective society, you'll attribute this desperate perpetration of last-ditch power-plays to whatever specific tyranny you personally detest.

Uranus in Aries, an anti-authoritarian force, is Pluto's obvious foe in this revolutionary crisis—and one who's so strongly individualistic, we mustn't expect the resistance he stirs to be either predictable (in where it initiates from or how it plays out) or directly productive. The heated impulse to fight one's way to greater freedom, powered by our personal impatience with thwarted progress and/or entrenched institutional restraints, is not often a rational or well-thought-out instinct. Sometimes, we take the impulsive step because we are sick of talking it out (especially if in conversation with masterful debaters and propagandists who have an answer for everything) or politely waiting our turn (when our own priorities don't align with the official agenda)… and merely want some sort of forward action to occur, no matter how rough or immediately disruptive.

Whoever emerges on top in this election cannot help but symbolize Pluto in Capricorn, at least in the eyes of whichever Uranus-in-Aries radicals are reactively emboldened by their anger with the victorious tyrant. The past few years' history has already spawned the kernels of resistance movements on two fronts—the anti-government Tea Party, the anti-corporatocracy Occupy Wall Street—and these election results are likely to magnify the fiery ire of one or the other, if not birthing new variants of a similar oppositional nature. What, then, will be the Pluto-in-Capricorn leadership's response? Too ruthless or despotic, and the Uranian pushback could aggressively escalate… and so on, and so on.

With the US approaching its first Pluto return (exact a mere decade from now), what's really at stake is whether the entire political-economic structure that holds this large federal entity together is capable of successfully transforming, in ways that address the shadowy truths upon which its success and prosperity have been built. Will a citizens' rebellion go so far as to strike a mortal blow to our collective acceptance of the centralized authority? Will an intensified bearing-down of authoritarianism instead transform us into a markedly less democratic, socially minded state?

Though I might wish not to help manifest a severe scenario by putting forth a prediction of intensifying tensions, my responsibility is to call it like I see it. Just in the last few weeks, since Saturn left his exaltation in Libra and descended into the mud-pit that is Scorpio, there's been a distinctly noticeable shift in the astro-climate. A certain civility (or was it polite denial?) seems to have given way to a more down-and-dirty, gloves-off, survivalist tone… clearly evident throughout the presidential debates, during which a memorable antagonism permeated to such an extent that, at one point, it appeared as if the candidates might even come to blows. As I written before, I believe Saturn's arrival in Scorpio augurs a pronounced uptick in the aggression and discord expressed by the always-already-unstable Uranus-Pluto square. (Saturn in Libra, in other words, saved our asses from its harshest expressions from '09 through this past month.)

Beyond doing our civic duty to declare our preferences through voting (and, for those so disposed, speaking our opinions freely), I advise expanding our political focus beyond which TV-ready figurehead will end up inaugurated in January… and instead looking broadly at our present archetypal situation, which is one of continuing volatility and friction. Even if you are fortunate enough to celebrate your candidate's triumph, it won't change the reality that a significant chunk of your nation-mates will likely experience this as yet one more apocalyptic vision, and a further degradation of their faith in 'the system'. Compassionately prepare for such reactions, knowing the only path to a brighter tomorrow may indeed lead directly through the dark eye of a cathartic storm.