Originally published in the December 2008 newsletter.
Now that Barack Obama is set to become the next president of the United States, it seems like a good time to explore how some of his key personality characteristics and talents are shown in his natal chart. (I’m using Porphyry houses and the birth information August 4, 1961, 7:24 PM, Honolulu, HI.)
Leo: Leadership as Service
Obama’s strongest sign is Leo, the sign of the “king” — one who is naturally at home in the spotlight. He has four things in Leo: the Sun, Mercury, Uranus and the North Node of the Moon.
At first blush, one might expect someone with so many Leo planets to be a preening egotist. Fortunately, their house placement counteracts this. The Sun and Mercury are in the 6th house of humility and service, while Uranus and the North Node are in the 7th house of others. So all his Leo planets make him a natural leader, while their house placement helps ensure that he charts a course for the benefit of others.
Unaspected Planets: The Wild Cards
Obama rose from Illinois State Senator to United States Senator to President-Elect with stunning speed. His ability to rapidly achieve his goals by making an end run around the usual path is reflected by the presence of three “unaspected” planets: the Sun*, Venus and Uranus. (I am using the classical definition of “unaspected”: no Ptolemaic aspects to anything from the Sun through Saturn.)
To have one unaspected planet is noteworthy; two is rare; three is extraordinary. Unaspected planets are considered wild cards. Being mavericks, unrestrained by the other core energies of the chart, they can plunge fearlessly into areas where angels might fear to tread. For some, this could be disastrous. For Obama, it led him to believe that he could be the first black man to be elected President of the United States.
Most people would be comfortable applying the adjectives “distinctive,” “paradigm-breaking” and “one-of-a-kind” to Obama. These words describe Aquarius and its modern ruler Uranus. Obama’s rising sign — the mask or persona he presents to the world — is Aquarius. (He also has Jupiter and the South Node in this sign, making Aquarius a powerful force in his chart.)
Aquarian energy also features prominently in Obama’s “Axis of Destiny” (the archetypal journey from the South Node to the North Node). His South Node is in Aquarius, and while the North Node is in Leo, it’s conjunct the Aquarius-flavored planet Uranus. Any hope this man may have had of being “just a regular guy” was doomed from the start!
Mercury and the Golden Tongue
Obama’s outstanding oratorical skills are universally acknowledged, and are clearly supported by Mercury (the planet of communication) in charismatic Leo. Plus, Mercury has powerful allies! Its energy is amplified and made distinctive by its opposition to Jupiter in Aquarius. Its tight sextile to the Moon gives his words emotional power and helps them resonate with the public. (In a famous person’s chart, the Moon can stand for the masses.) Mercury trines the Midheaven, the angle associated with career and public recognition. One could even make a case that Mercury makes a loose conjunction to the Sun, a signature often seen in the charts of well-known writers and speakers.
Additional support for his gifts as a communicator comes from the Moon in Gemini (the sign of communication), opposing the Midheaven and energized by a square from powerful Pluto. And pioneering Mars, which rules Obama’s Third House of communication, connects easily by trine to rock-steady Saturn (dignified in its home sign of Capricorn).
Saturn and Uranus: the Tightest Aspect
Obama has made clear that he intends to accomplish his ambitious agenda by partnering with both Democratic and Republican lawmakers. His ability to work with the established powers-that-be as he brings about paradigm shift is reflected by the tightest aspect in his chart: an angle of adjustment (a quincunx) between Saturn and Uranus that is only 1/20 of a degree from being exact! (Saturn represents tradition and the status quo, while Uranus represents revolution and paradigm shift.) It seems nothing less than poetry that Saturn and Uranus create Obama’s most exact natal aspect, while these two planets also made an exact opposition in the sky on the day he was elected President!
Jupiter: Bringer of Hope
Obama’s chart reveals so much more about him, such as his desire for a sane and stable home life for his family (Taurus on the Fourth House cusp) and his mission to bring much-needed transformation to the world (Scorpio on the Midheaven). But let’s conclude by exploring why the audacious concept of “hope” – one of the words with which he is most strongly associated — is so strong in his chart.
Jupiter, bringer of optimism, hope and luck, permeates Obama’s personality because it aspects more of his personal planets than anything else. It sextiles his Moon, opposes his Mercury and quincunxes his Venus. Hope is easily visible in his message because of Jupiter’s sextile to the high-profile Midheaven, and the inspiration he offers feels so stable, trustworthy and credible because of Jupiter’s conjunction to Saturn.
The Right Man at the Right Time
I feel that there is something truly magical about Obama.** It seems to me that he is the right man at the right time, for the United States and the world. I, for one, will be keeping him in my prayers.
* I state later in this article that the Sun might be loosely conjunct Mercury. Even if true, the distance between them is so great (more than 10°) that their wide conjunction would not significantly impact the Sun’s behavior as an unaspected planet.
** The spiritual energy Obama radiates is shown by numerous Neptune aspects: the planet of divine connection squares the Sun, trines Venus and Chiron, semi-squares Mars and quintiles Uranus and the North Node. Chiron in Pisces, Saturn and Jupiter in the 12th House, and Neptune standing alone at the top of his chart as his most elevated planet also contribute to his spiritual vibe.
Originally published in the December 2008 newsletter.