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The Delicate Sound of Lightning 

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Barack Obama’s inauguration chart is that of a world in transition, or one about to unravel. These may amount to the same thing, necessary aspects of the same process; though if you ask me, this is a dangerous chart. We live in dangerous times and most of us have no clue about the extent or depth of this fact, nor its profound virtue.

The time of the regular inauguration is constitutionally fixed, at noon on January 20, after the election. This year it was on a Tuesday—that is, as this is being written, next Tuesday. The Sun is always in the first degree of Aquarius, and Taurus is always rising. In fact, the degree 14+ Taurus has been the rising degree since the second time Nixon was sworn in. The image associated with 14+ Taurus is a man braving a storm. The degree associated with the first degree of Aquarius is “an old Adobe mission in California.” One is a personal symbol, an individual braving a storm; the other is about the legacy we leave behind for the benefit of others.

You can look forward to these charts for generations; assuming that the scheduled time is not changed (that’s only happened once, when inaugurations were moved to January 20 by the 20th Amendment), which is unlikely to happen for a while, you can get glimpses ahead at history. We can also look back and see how the astrology reckons with what actually happened—something that, by the way, most astrologers are reticent to do.

The question is what these charts really mean; they do seem to mean something. Inauguration charts for both of Clinton’s terms and both of Bush’s terms were dark, suggesting extraordinary controversy and contention. And, with 20/20 hindsight, had we understood Nessus, we could have predicted a sex scandal for Clinton’s second term. Bush’s charts had death painted all over them; astrologers all wondered whether it would be him.

Bush miraculously managed to survive his two terms (despite the curse of the “zero year,” but he’s leaving office as broken a man as Bill Clinton was, though without Clinton’s poise: Bush is trying to convince us that he has left a brilliant historical legacy. I think that this reveals the extent of his hubris: The nation is hobbled by two wars and bankrupt banks, and both industries associated with the American Dream, the home and the car, are devastated.

Tuesday’s chart has several distinct features that speak of rapid change in movement that sets in instantly upon the inauguration. Two stand out right away: Mercury is not only retrograde, but it’s also about to change signs to Capricorn. And the Moon is void of course. It’s so close to the end of Scorpio that had the inauguration happened just 24 minutes later, it would be taking place under a Sagittarius Moon with a very different feeling.

Also, we know that Pluto is at the beginning of its journey through Capricorn; and that Saturn, the ruling planet of that sign, is being opposed repeatedly by Uranus. These are longer-term symbols of changes to the structure of society, including government, business, and perhaps the nation itself.

Finally, there is something that had long confounded me and is now starting to make a lot more sense. Two symbols of the marital partner—the asteroid Juno and a centaur planet called Chariklo—are occupying prominent places in this chart. Indeed, Juno is the most elevated planet in the chart. Now that we know something about Michelle Obama, we can see that she is likely to have an extraordinary leadership role as her husband begins the task of cleaning up the mess left by eight years of Bush and half a century of an unbridled military-based economy.

Let’s look more closely at these chart factors, remembering to keep them in context of one another.

Mercury Retrograde
The inauguration chart has with retrograde Mercury making an exact interior conjunction to the Sun in the first degree of Aquarius. This is three statements in one: Mercury is retrograde; it’s exactly conjunct the Sun; and it’s about to change signs. I am sure everyone aware of this is wondering what this Mercury retrograde means.
Things never go as planned with Mercury retrograde; never is a strong word and I am using it consciously. Things don’t necessarily go badly under Mercury retrograde, but the plan changes. Events and information can be confusing, and it’s difficult to get to the essence of the problem. Retrogrades tend to go particularly poorly if you don’t have a little money stashed away and if you don’t take care of your computer, your car, and other basic technology devices.

  • Inauguration charts and what they all mean.

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