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JULY 18, 2008
© Amir Bey, 2007
Barack Obama's Astro-Portrait

© AMIR BEY, 2008

Barack Hussein Obama was born on August 4, 1961 at 7:24 PM, in Honolulu, Hawaii, according to his birth certificate. I’d like to apologize in advance if I’ve used too many technical astrological terms dear readers! But it’s OK to ignore them, as I explain their meaning as I use them.

All charts are complex, and reading charts is similar examining portraits which are made up of many colors, textures, brush, charcoal and pencil strokes, so that a subject’s face if magnified would not be monochromatic, but appear to be an arrangement of differing elements. To have a full understanding of drawing, the viewer should look close-up to see its details, and from a distance to appreciate their effect. The nature of the configurations in a chart is very complicated and sometimes conflicting, and Obama’s show why he is controversial to many: the left, to the black “old guard”, and the Democratic Party establishment, not to mention his innovations to campaigning that have challenged users of traditional methods.


For a broad view of Obama’s chart, let’s look at its pattern, the shape of his planets. Obama’s chart forms a Funnel Pattern, with the two planets (called “doubletons”) in the upper left quadrant opposing the main body of planets on the right side of the chart. A Funnel Pattern can be viewed as an opposition between the individual and others, as well as the opposing planet or planets symbolizing an area of concentration or focus. This pattern can give him a perspective of both sides of a situation, and help to balance his viewpoint.


Those two planets are a “power” combination: Jupiter and Saturn in Conjunction and retrograde (Rx), in the 12th House, with Jupiter in Aquarius, Saturn in Capricorn. This combination has been noted in the charts of a significant number of U.S. presidents. Many presidents have had them in Square aspect, although this combination is not always in the charts of presidents. They have also been identified as being the significators of the two major parties, Jupiter for the Republicans, Saturn for the Democrats. The JU/SA combination has been in Conjunction during election years in decades divisible by ten, from 1840 to 1960, when there were assassinations or deaths in office of every president who was elected in those years. The assassination attempt and subsequent survival of Ronald Reagan in 1980 and so far, Bush’s tenure, have broken that cycle.

This combination is not any indication of danger to Obama (note that this year is not divisible by ten); its main consideration for us is that it has been connected to executive power in this country. His conjunction falls in his 12th House, the House of the inner and unconscious mind, institutions, self-undoing, hidden strengths, the past, and karma. Jupiter symbolizes the dreamy, philosophical and visionary mind, and Saturn is discipline, definition, and limitations, and both relate to destiny, career, and one’s aims. This socially and professionally important combination that has much to do with power and ambitions by inhabiting the 12th House may restrict those tendencies or not give them direct expression. However, a 12th House position can also indicate a hidden agenda, or a deep seated purpose, or a wise and careful application of one’s objectives. Surely its possessor is aware of the potential pitfalls that may be encountered during the pursuit of one’s goals. Considering the “karmic” aspect of the house, could this indicate someone whose previous experiences tempered him to be less than obvious? Does it imply a quiet and subtle erection of a plan? Is Obama someone who will prepare a well-laid strategy while not being ostentatious in its execution? As a Leo he may be given to demonstrative expressions, and some editorialists have commented on his presumptuousness; but with this powerful pair in the 12 House, how much of his real intentions will he broadcast? The answer can be found in the kind of campaign he ran, how the groundwork was laid for his primary victories and eventual nomination (presumptive at this typing). Jupiter is in Opposition to his Mercury in Leo at home in the 6th House, suggesting he may have conflicts between the big, universal (Jupiter in the 12th) picture and details and the finer points -Mercury in the House of work. The influence of his 4th House Moon acts to ground disparate ends together and at 3 21’ Gemini is also a transmitting instrument. Saturn’s maintenance of the personal and broader status quos is resolutely supported by his Mars in Virgo in Trine aspect, but also receives shock from his Uranus in Leo in an Inconjunct aspect. With those aspects he must meld challenging and unorthodox social elements with his long term goals; a task that can help to hone skills that a politician should have.


Speaking of Uranus: Obama’s Ascendant is Aquarius, putting his chart’s ruler, Uranus, in the 7th House. It is Unaspected by planets in Ptolemaic aspects, Square the Midheaven/Nadir axis, and in a Conjunction with the North Node, is an indication of personal and wider social relationships that are unorthodox, yet he has an open, collegial approach. He naturally upsets the applecart, yet connects with a broad spectrum of people. His seemingly detached and cerebral manner, and his apparent weakness in one on one formats and in the earlier debates are Aquarius-Uranus in nature. He “translates” well before large audiences and mass media. Since he is a Leo it’s assumed that he will shine and adore the limelight; however his charisma stems from the Aquarius-Uranus factor that gives him his appeal, particularly among young people. The AQ-UR factor deals with innovative technologies and social movements, and his campaign is characterized by the social activism and grass roots organizing that has benefited from the viral nature of the internet. When considering his AQ-UR, if there is a word that can be associated with the Obama campaign, it’s Change. It is the undercurrent in his approach to life and people and his effect has been cataclysmic on the status quo in many strata, from challenging the Clinton machine, the color barrier in politics, and the “old guard” African American politicians and community leaders. He has upended many established power bases and concepts about power. It’s a story: a young upstart doesn’t pay the dues, won’t take the usual route, but will ride in on a new time that they’re in tune with. This often occurs in the arts, as when the painter Jean Michel Basquiat or the saxophonist David Murray (who was quoted as saying “I don’t have to pay dues”) broke into their respective scenes. It should be noted that Obama can be puzzling for many groups; e.g.: during the observation of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, he did not attend the ceremonies at the site as did Hillary Clinton and John McCain, and he is reaching out to not only the left but the religious right and independents. Those actions has made him questioned by many, and in my opinion, he’s not a politician trying to get as many votes as he can by compromising certain principals. Rather, his vision includes diverse interests and actually is evidence of an independence that will permit him to address the many issues and realities of the American populace. When we add his Sun’s wide conjunction with the 7th House cusp, we can see how strongly fellowship with humanity is for him. Hey, he’s not running for mayor or a House seat that involves a small segment of the population!

But the Obama “effect” has been tumultuous. And for that we can’t overlook his Pluto in 6 degrees 58’ Virgo in the 7th House of relationships, Opposite his Chiron in the 1st and their Squares his 4th House Moon. The Obama effect stems not from his principles, but from what he essentially is.


An important aspect to his Leo Sun is the Square from Neptune in the 9th House. This is another aspect that may confound people about his purpose. With it his motivations are not simple and are composed of such fine shadings of multiple considerations that he may appear to be: weak, vacillating, insincere, lack firm convictions, vulnerable, without a center; not just a flip-flopper, but a chameleon. One blogger felt that “he lacks fire in the belly”. This is not to say that he doesn’t have to deal with those issues on a personal level, but this aspect suggests that his motivations are influenced by passions that are expressed by more than the seven colors of the rainbow; some of those colors may be infra-red and ultra-violet, which are unseen through the usual lenses. It also points to his ability to influence people in intangible ways. One must simply trust someone with this aspect, to have faith in their creative instincts and that their purpose (Sun) is imbued with an inspiration (Neptune) that is just (9th House). This shows a powerful and unswerving devotion to ideals that are highly flexible and transcendental in nature.


His cerebral nature is in contrast and helped by this combination. His emotions are given direct and variable expressions, glamour, stylish ease in public situations, yet shy and sensitive. This describes his closeness to his mother, and endows him with a strongly feminine nature, female children, artistic, sensual; he easily adapts to new surroundings, and is able to make internal adjustments. It has been said that he was “feminine” to Hillary Clinton’s “masculine”.


Obama’s Ascendant at 18 06’ Aquarius is conjoining the U.S. chart that I favor (the historical record does not give an irrefutable birth time for the U.S.) in significant ways; the US Moon at 18 10’ Aquarius closely conjoins his Ascendant within 4’ the US Midheaven is 13 Aquarius 56’, while Obama’s Sun, at 12 32’ Leo, is opposite that point. This suggests a person who is intrinsically tuned to US domestic and governmental trends and needs, because his Sun conjoins the U.S. House of “home” (4th) while his personality is suited to the shifts that arise in this popularly elected government; his administrative talents lie in his ability to listen to many points of view and gaining a unique perspective that helps him to arrive at clear decisions. He will be able to appeal to and upset the American psyche, and these tendencies present a momentous challenge, since that psyche’s been constricted by its racial history. It may be that this innate connection he has with the country, his link with the US’s integrative factors of its Moon and its 10th and 4th Houses, by his Ascendant and Sun, two very individualizing factors, are connections with this psyche that has manifested in his outreach to so many cross sections of this country. This is not to say that these connections are pervasive or well received by all, as much as they are integral.


While I don’t have an accurate birth time for McCain, I think that Obama is slightly favored by the synastry between their planets and the Election Day transits. The Moon on November 4, 2008 will approach Obama’s Saturn, and then towards the end of the day will conjoin his Jupiter, thus conjoining that power combination of his.

Concerning the Election Day aspects in relation to the candidates' planets, the Moon for that day spans their charts significantly. By passing through the latter degrees of Capricorn to Aquarius, (planet-wise, Saturn and Uranus) it conjoins the doubleton of Obama's Funnel Pattern, his Jupiter and Saturn Conjunction. For McCain, while a reliable birth time is not known, his date of birth (8/29/36) places his Moon in the latter degrees of Capricorn to the early degrees of Aquarius, so he should be having a Lunar Return on that day.

Regarding their synastry, Obama's Sun conjoins McCain's Mars in the same degree, 12 Leo, while McCain's Sun conjoins Obama's Pluto at 6 Virgo. I think that it's better to have a Sun/Mars Conjunction for the Sun bearer (Obama), than to be the Sun bearer (McCain) in the Sun/Pluto conjunction, because Obama’s Sun’s has power over McCain’s Mars and rules it, while for McCain, his Sun’s energies can be manipulated and sapped by Obama’s Pluto. Also, Obama’s Sun in Leo is stronger than McCain’s Mars there, while McCain’s Sun in Virgo will not have the same strength versus Obama’s Pluto.
There will be an Opposition between Saturn and Uranus on Election Day, that can represent a confrontation between the status quo: Saturn 18 degrees Virgo and the unconventional: Uranus 18 degrees Pisces. As a transit without applying it to either candidates' chart, this favors the Republicans because Saturn, associated with the Democrats is receiving a difficult Opposition there, along with Jupiter, planet for the Republicans, being in the same sign as the Moon. With that, it's possible that the Republicans may not do so bad in the Congressional races as it seems now. That Opposition interestingly hits a McCain and Obama contact: Venus (McCain) and Mars (Obama) conjunct in the 22nd degree of Virgo, which is aspected by the Election Day Saturn and Uranus opposition. That favors Obama, since McCain's Venus in Virgo is in its Fall there. Time will tell!
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