Monday, October 13, 2014

US Midterm Elections: Obama's bad timing

(13 October 2014)  The bad news keeps on coming for US President Barack Obama.  Not only has Ebola arrived on American shores in the face of his previous reassurances to the contrary, but now a medical worker in Dallas who treated the late Thomas Duncan has contracted it despite following all the appropriate safety protocols. Questions are now being raised about Obama's ability to lead the country amid this worsening crisis as well as the CDC's competence in trying to keep Ebola under control.  If that weren't enough, reports are emerging about the ineffectiveness of the US air strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.  ISIS continues to advance on its targets and has now surrounded Baghdad.  If Baghdad falls to advancing ISIS forces, Obama may have no choice but to put US troops on the ground in order to protect its strategic interests in the region. 

The timing of these setbacks could not be worse for the President as the US prepares to go to the polls for the midterm elections on November 4th.  In a previous post, I suggested that the ongoing stationary transit of Rahu (North Lunar Node) on Obama's 9th house cusp was a plausible astrological explanation for his current troubles.  With the 9th house symbolizing foreign places and Rahu representing disruption, especially involving foreign-born people, it was not hard to put two and two together and recognize that Obama's problems very much originate beyond US soil.  I also suggested that the tension implied in this Rahu transit was damaging the chances of his Democrat party to retain control of the Senate.  If the Dems lose the Senate, then Obama would be further marginalized and hamstrung during his remaining two years.   Currently, the polls are too close to call.

Another window on the question of the midterms may be seen through the horoscope of the person who arguably has the most to gain by a GOP win in November, namely, Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader.  If the Republicans win a majority in the Senate, he would become the Majority Leader and therefore would become the second most powerful person in Washington, a position now enjoyed by Harry Reid.  

But a quick look at McConnell's chart and we can see a complicated picture.  If McConnell and the GOP were going to win in November, then why would there be nasty-looking Saturn opposition to his natal Mars-Saturn conjunction?  This is a terrible transit and suggests frustration, annoyance, stress and setbacks.  This is exact over the next two weeks so it is conceivable it may ease off somewhat by Election Day as Saturn gradually moves away.  McConnell himself is in a surprising tight race for his Kentucky Senate seat so it is possible that he may face a setback of his own very soon.  Unfortunately, we do not know his time of birth so we can only hazard some educated guesses about the possible effects of this transit.  But on the face of it, this does not look like the chart of a newly-elected Senate Majority Leader.

Looking forward to November 4th, we can see that Saturn will have just entered Scorpio and will be aligned with Mercury.  The Moon conjoins Ketu when the returns will come in on the evening of the 4th and both will be in close aspect to Jupiter.  I try to avoid making too many symbolic interpretations from such transit patterns, but the Ketu influence with the Moon and Jupiter is not favorable for incumbents and maintaining the status quo.  Ketu is usually a planet of change that seeks to reveal what lies beneath the surface. 

But the absence of any clearly positive transits in McConnell's chart is a bit puzzling.   A few scenarios are possible.  His party could reclaim the Senate but he could lose his own seat.  This is perhaps more possible than one might expect as recent polls show him only up by 3 points.  Or both he and the GOP could win in November but he may not be approved as the next Senate Majority Leader when the House reconvenes in January.  Perhaps he would get word of this internal opposition in October and thus have that Saturn-to Mars/Saturn manifest in that way.  There have been some murmurings within the Republican Party that McConnell would be opposed in the event of a GOP win on Nov. 4, especially from its more activist Tea Party wing.  Certainly, McConnell's chart looks heavily afflicted in January and February when Saturn will square his Sun.  This is usually a very difficult transit which blocks ambitions and undermines the ego.  If McConnell does turn out to win his seat and lead the GOP to victory on Nov. 4, then I would expect a major reversal of his fortunes in early 2015. 

Obama's transits for Election Day are similarly mixed.  Besides the negative Rahu influence, Saturn will form a close 3rd house sextile aspect to natal Saturn.  This is usually difficult and reflects lack of progress.  On the other hand, both Sun and Venus are sitting high up in the chart near the equal 10th house cusp.  This is usually positive for status and enjoying a high profile.  But the Sun and Venus are fast moving planets and may not be enough to put Obama and the Democrats over the top and maintain control of the Senate. 

And if we examine Obama's relocated chart for Washington, DC, we can see that the Mars-Pluto conjunction at 13-17 Sagittarius is sitting right atop his 8th house cusp.  This is usually very stressful and is not conducive to success.  It is possible this harsh and sometimes violent transit may only manifest are troubles with his military campaign against ISIS or the Ebola outbreak rather than the election outcome.  But the timing seems more than coincidental since the Mars transit is near exact in early November.  Overall, I think Obama and the Democrats are more likely to lose the Senate, even if the charts are more mixed than I would like.  In any event, it should be a very eventful and intense next several weeks in US politics.

Financial Markets Update

Stocks declined last week as investors pondered the implications of the news that the once-indestructible German economy is now on the verge of recession.  The Dow fell 3% on the week closing at 16,544 while Indian stock market lost 1% as the Sensex finished the week at 26,297.   This negative outcome was in line with expectations as I thought we would see more volatility around the lunar eclipse and the Mars-Jupiter aspect.  US stocks suffered their biggest drop on Thursday just as this aspect was exact.

As I have mentioned previously, the transit of Venus through sidereal Virgo is usually bearish for stocks and this has definitely been the case this year.  The transit concludes on Sunday the 19th so it may be pre-mature to expect stocks to recover too much this week.  In fact, the close alignment of the Sun with malefics Mars and Saturn looks difficult.  Downside risk will likely remain high for much of this week.  As I write this, US markets have already declined more than 1% after Monday's trading.  One would think it likely that there is more downside to come.