John McCain & Sarah Palin: Astrological Insights
Written by Bernie Ashman
Welcome to an analysis of John McCain's Birthchart and a brief glance at Sarah Palin. I started writing
these insights on 9/10/08, just 55 days from the Presidential election of 2008. You can click here to
view John McCain's birthchart. It seemed only a month or two ago that Barack Obama was well on his way to winning the election with a Republican having
little chance to win. I now feel John McCain has to be taken very seriously, especially with the lift
his campaign has gotten with the selection of Alaskan governor Sarah Palin as his Vice President.
The conservative base of the Republican party has gotten ignited. Ms. Palin is an Aquarian Sun sign which
is a sign of surprise and McCain has launched quite a shock with picking her!
What follows is a condensed version of McCain's astrological profile. It was mentioned in my
previously written Obama profile that Barack was born with Pluto in Virgo, and he would become the
first Pluto in Virgo president if elected. McCain is from the earlier Pluto in Cancer cycle.
There were two U.S. presidents previously born with Pluto in Cancer, John F. Kennedy, elected in 1960 and
George Bush Sr., elected in 1988.
BirthChart Profile for John McCain
First have a brief meeting with a birthchart
The moment of birth is a unique point in time for each of us. It is a cosmic connection with universal forces. Astrology is a language that helps translate the symbolism of celestial events into a type of understandable psychology. The birthchart is a Blueprint of our consciousness. It is a magical RoadMap pointing to potential experiences that can transform us.
The primary ingredients of the birthchart are the planets, signs and houses. The ten planets symbolize different ways to direct actions. The Sun points to our will power and creative drive. The Moon is linked to our emotions and instincts. Mercury is symbolic of our perceptions and communication patterns. Venus denotes our relationship and romantic instincts as well as a search for comfort. Mars points to our assertiveness and courage. Jupiter symbolizes our philosophy and search for knowledge. Saturn points to our career yearnings and desire for serious life commitments. Uranus is indicative of freedom needs and our search for a clear sense of direction. Neptune inspires our idealism and spirituality. Pluto awakens our impulse to seek rebirth and to find passionate life pursuits.
The twelve signs give a coloring or shading to the planets. They are psychological processes that can show the planets operating through us in many diverse ways. The signs can be categorized according to four elements. There are Fire signs (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius) which are fast moving and impulsive in nature. The Earth signs (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn) are more cautious and pragmatic in nature. The Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) are intellectual and communicative in nature The Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces) are more intuitive and emotional in nature.
The twelve houses represent different life arenas where our life is acted out. Each house is a territory saturated with valuable clues about our creative energies, thoughts and emotions. Imagine you are watching a play. The planets are the actors while the signs are the psychological makeup adorned by the actors. The houses are more related to Act One, Scene One or where the action is taking place. You could say the houses are the setting and offer a deep psychological atmosphere. Like the signs, the houses can be arranged by element. The Fire houses (1st, 5th and 9th) represent our more dramatic and action-oriented tendencies. The Earth houses (2nd, 6th and 10th) depict a natural tendency to seek stability and concrete commitments. The Air houses (3rd, 7th and 11th) point to our urge to communicate and develop our intellect. The Water houses (4th, 8th and 12th) denote our intuition and emotions.
Each person's chart will contain certain themes that seem to be easy to master. They are more flowing in nature. Then there are those places in the chart that really require great determination and our best judgment to get the best results. Every chart will show places of conflict. It's in how we deal with the ups and downs that strengthens us. The birthchart is a multidimensional lens offering suggestions how to redirect negative energies into positive expressions. The universe is constantly calling to us in a myriad of ways to grow in understanding. We have the freedom to choose our directions.
Part One: John McCain's Astrological Passport
Sun: Creative Vitality, Ego Needs, Self-expression
The Sun, Moon and what's known as the Ascendant are the first, middle and last names of our astrological identity. In a sense they are like a passport into understanding each of us. What is John McCain's Sun sign? He is solarized through the sign of Virgo. Why? Because he was born on August 29th, 1936, which means the Sun was moving through the sign of Virgo. What does this mean? My father was a Virgo and quite a sharp businessman. People born under this sign have a keen sense of how systems function and an amazing capacity to stay organized. In traditional astrology Virgo has a keyword theme: “I analyze”. McCain likes to study how to outmaneuver others. Virgos are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and work hard. His choice of Sandra Palin in the short-term is distracting the Obama campaign away from the big picture, how to win the election. It remains to be seen if Palin takes the Obama campaign even more off message.
Virgo is the sign of the working class. So it does give this old fox of a war veteran senator from Arizona an edge in talking to everyday Americans. He seems down-to-earth to rural and blue-collar voters. Virgos are planners. They don't really like to be surprised by the unexpected. The downside for McCain is if he becomes too earthbound and too predictable. He somehow has to appear progressive in order to keep attracting those Independents. The conservatives in his party would prefer he keep the country living in the past. So he introduces them to Sandra Palin, for now their new symbolic champion of the past.
Planets reside in astrological houses. So in which house does McCain's Sun reside? It's the 11th house. This is a house that influences him to be a Maverick, which is what some people like to call him. This house placement shows McCain can think into the future. He does not need a computer to do this for him! There is a side of McCain that loves to shock others. He tends to be loyal to his friends, desiring to keep them close, and never forgets his enemies, and sometimes keeps them even closer. He really has no love for the right wing of his party and is adept at knowing what makes these people respond positively to him. There is a revolutionary embedded somewhere in his thinking. The question is just “how”, or “if”, he will allow it to manifest. 11th house Sun individuals are very goal-oriented. Their challenge is staying focused. The composite message of the Sun in Virgo/11th house is someone with the capacity to put trend-setting ideas into a precision-like fast motion.
The Moon: Home, Family, Emotions, Security
McCain is lunarized through the sign of Capricorn, a reality-based earth sign. This means his inner world is a pragmatic landscape. His primary instincts are ambition and a respect for tradition. His imagination is grounded and serious. The worlds of career and commitment are valued. A test is not letting success become an obsession, like winning in Iraq! Failure can be something that depresses him to the extreme. He relies on those closest to him to rescue him when he is feeling very down. McCain desires his home to be a place to focus his mind and keep him feeling self-assured.
Barack Obama and John McCain have something in common. They both have the Moon living in the 4th house at birth. What does this indicate? Just as I said with Barack, this is a terrain with great emotional depth. This shows the great influence of family and in John's case, it's traditional values. His father and grandfather both served in the military.
His wife, Cindy, a Taurus, offers him great stabilizing strength and is his key ally in life. Cindy, like Michelle Obama (Capricorn), is an earth sign. Maybe both of these men enjoy having the strength of earth sign women to support them. In my book, SignMates, I call the Taurus/Virgo relationship, as in John and Cindy, The Planners. This would seem to indicate they would be a logical and thinking couple in the White House.
McCain seems happy as a family man which can be typical of a 4th house Moon placement. His moods are deep as the 4th house is filled with strong feelings. He is a man greatly influenced by the past with a deep loyalty to his roots. The composite message of the Moon in Capricorn/4th house makes for a man with a strong conscience and someone wanting to get his deepest intuitive feelings to yield pragmatic results.
The McCain Ascendant or persona
The sign rising on the eastern horizon at the time of birth is called our Ascendant. It is the sign that starts the 1st house of the chart. The Ascendant is the image that we present to others. Think of this as a persona or mask You need an accurate birth time to pin down this sign. Lois Rodden was known for being a great researcher of astrological data. She died in 2003. I am trusting that her website has an accurate birthtime of 9:00 AM. The Ascendant or Rising Sign for McCain is Libra. Does this sign fit? It seems to.
He has been perceived as working across the aisle with democrats which is true of this very diplomatic air sign. It's interesting that Obama and McCain have air sign Ascendants in common, as Barack has Aquarius Ascending. Libra is a socially-oriented sign and John McCain whether you love him or hate him, is comfortable in being among all sorts of people. He even spoke at a black church in Alabama, which for a republican is amazing. I was surprised several years ago to find that many military-minded people have a strong Libra placement in their charts. This Venus ruled sign isn't always interested in peace. There is a strategy side to Libra that politicians, generals and lawyers can utilize (It's believed that Hitler had Libra as his Ascendant).
Entertaining is a Libra trait. I noticed McCain is known for having outdoor barbecues at his home in Arizona. He likes to loosen up people before sitting down to talk business with them. I get the impression he can smoothly work a room of politicians without them even knowing it. The drawback of Libra is indecision or doing things just to please others. At its best, Libra is interested in being inclusive and doing what's best for all.
Past presidents such as Bill Clinton and John Kennedy had Libra Ascendants. George W. Bush has the Moon in Libra. Libra has a knack for making others feel at ease. It's a sign well used for diplomacy and compromise.
Part Two: The Sarah Palin Impact
It was mentioned already that McCain has his Virgo Sun in his own 11th house. What's maybe even more interesting is that Palin's Aquarian Sun sign sits in John McCain's 5th house. Yes, you can actually place someone else's planets in your chart to see how they effect you. Palin makes McCain feel younger. Why? The 5th house is the terrain of youthful vibrancy. She energizes him and his whole campaign! The 5th house is the territory of advertising ourselves. So Palin draws greater attention to McCain by appearing with him at talks! It's happening folks. This of course introduces her dramatically to the public through McCain's 5th house. The 5th house is similar to the 5th sign Leo. It's all about making a message more visible. Acting out or broadcasting what we want others to see comes out through this house. In my book, SignMates, I refer to the Virgo/Aquarius combination as in McCain/Palin as The Resourceful Ones.
It's interesting to note that the Democratic Vice President, Joe Biden is a Scorpio. His Sun resides in Obama's 9th house, the foreign policy territory. Most of the experts say this is why Biden was picked, to balance the ticket in terms of national security. Biden's Scorpio helps him talk about the economy because Scorpio is a strong money sign. It remains to be seen if Obama or McCain will benefit the most from their VP selections. In SignMates, I refer to the Leo/Scorpio combination as in Obama/Biden as The Negotiators.
Sarah Palin's potential Ronald Reagan-like appeal to Public
Remember President Ronald Reagan's way of knowing how to talk to the people? He was an Aquarian Sun sign. This newcomer to the national stage may not be a Ronald Reagan but she has the instincts to reach out to blue collar, rural conservatives. That spells trouble for Democrats. It doesn't mean she can deliver a victory for McCain but she sure helps pave the way for the possibility.
Sarah Palin's Ambitious Nature: It's Large
Governor Palin was born with the Sun and Saturn joined at the hip, both in the sign Aquarius on February 11th 1964. This symbolizes tremendous ambition. Saturn is always a key planet in the charts of politicians. Stirring the pot even more was a third planet joining with the Sun and Saturn which was Mars, the god of war and competition. All of these planets are in Aquarius for her at birth. She is fearless. Mars explains her love of hunting, the outdoors and competitive sports. She was quite the athlete in highschool in being a member of the basketball team. She even was a sports newsperson for a short time in Alaska. She won't backdown from a fight. Whether you love her or hate her, she is a dare-devil. Her Aquarian independent spirit is winning admirers. She appears to be appealing to Independent voters and white male voters.
The Palin Idealism: Tied to the Past
Sarah Palin has a planetary aspect in her chart similar to Barack Obama which is her Sun squares (90 degrees) Neptune, the planet pointing to our ideals and greatest inspiration, our romantic instincts, our connection with spirituality and for some the collective unconscious. In my opinion, it operates differently for her than Obama in that her ideals seem more tied to yesterday's dreams. Conservatives like this about her. Obama dreams of a new tomorrow. Palin doesn't really trust the future. But make no mistake about it, if she needs to, she can talk flowery in her own way about the future because she is an Aquarian. She is not inherently a reformer, but ironically could become one, kicking and screaming in resistance to change. I have a sense she likes men more than women with the Sun/Mars conjunction. She has a soft spot for children and likely would agree eventually to a healthcare legislation for kids. Her stand against abortion is linked to those religious principles that seem rigid and unyielding. Neptune can be religious dogma. Also, her Aquarian Sun which longs for the future, is hopelessly trapped by the conjuction to Saturn, yesterdays traditions. She has an innate fear of a women's right to choose an abortion because of the conflict with her own beliefs. Palin is an odd mix of the Aquarian rebel as illustrated by her father saying Sarah makes up her own mind about things. She married Tom Palin without telling her family. As a matter of fact, the two witnesses to the marriage were borrowed from a home for the elderly! Yet she is ruled and tormented by Saturn in some ways. The great Saturn influence and drive to rise to power also has her thinking of ways to limit the freedom of others if it contradicts with her own beliefs. Could she change? Not that fast!
Palin's Past Life Impulse to Lead
In any chart there is a symbol that looks like a pair of upside down headphones. This is called the South Node of the Moon. It is not a planet but a key component of our journey through life. It is a powerful past life indicator. If you have trouble with the concept of reincarnation, then think of this as a subconscious influence. The South Node symbolizes some of our deepest past life patterns. The North Node of the Moon looks like a right side up pair of headphones. It is always positioned directly across or opposite from the south node by sign. In my opinion, each of these nodes point to past life work or certain paths we need to balance in this life. When we tune into this polarity it's possible to release great creativity and accomplish much soul growth! What if we exit onto paths that are not good for us? Life usually sends us messages and clues on how to get back on track.
Palin's South Node is in Capricorn, a sign ruled by Saturn. This repeats the theme to want to have power and be a leader. This can be the leader in a family, community, city, state or country. Palin has a past life history of rising into prominent roles. She usually succeeds in rising to power but it has had past life consequences for her personal life, meaning it threw her life out of balance. It doesn't necessarily mean her family life would suffer if McCain wins the election and she becomes his VP. What strikes me the most about her past life chart is the amazing success rate in being victorious. I can't tell the Obama campaign or CNN this, because I doubt if they will believe me. She is a catalyst. What's interesting is that in some past lives she was a Joan of Arc type taking on the establishment. There have been lives with her as more the authoritarian with a deep desire to maintain control. She is a mix of the two in her past life history.
John McCain has the North Node in Capricorn. His nodes are exactly opposite that of Ms. Palin. He has a past life history of leadership as well. Both Palin and McCain have a past life pattern of depending heavily on family support to keep them going. I believe Palin perhaps has had to carry the responsibility for others as a past life pattern more than McCain. This explains her defending her sister in Alaska from an abusive state trooper husband that's now in the news. She may have abused her power, but don't fault her too much, she has a rich past in saving others that lean on her for support. Yes, she may have been a bit ruthless, but she will get tough when defending those she loves. Let's hope she grows enough to do this for others not related to her, whether McCain wins or loses. Alaskans say she does go the extra mile in trying to get them the resources to have better lives and hence even she can try to sell herself as a maverick.
Part Three: More of John McCain's Planets
John McCain's Mars: His Warrior Nature
John McCain has something in common with Hillary Clinton and me. We each have Mars in the fiery sign Leo. They say John has a temper. I would be surprised if he didn't. He has Mars placed in a dramatic sign and in the 10th house, a career area. The good news for his family is probably he has learned to channel the anger into his work. Mars can mature with age. It's a planet of raw instinct. Anger is emotion. He has Mars in strong aspect (square) to his natal Uranus. This doesn't mean he would go war crazy. His chart shows that the higher up he goes in leadership, the more sober he gets in using his power. There is a lot of wisdom in this guy's chart. He has a big heart and I say this as an Obama supporter. He actually might become a great diplomat if elected. He has a strange allegiance to the military that probably has followed him from one past life into another.
He will get a lot of votes from military people because he served. There is a boldness that you either like or dislike. He is impatient. Yet he can exercise restraint with responsibility. His Mars doesn't make me as nervous as many other democrats. He still thinks we are winning in Iraq. Although even he understands we can't stay their forever. Would he be dangerous and get us into more wars if elected President. Probably not. Would Obama make a better peacemaker? Perhaps, but he himself has a potential to get us into conflicts through too much trying to save the world. So you will have to decide this one for yourselves!
McCain's Jupiter: His Philosophy, Judgment and Ethics
This is McCain's folksy side. He loves the west. I don't really think McCain likes Washington politics all that much. It's a necessary evil in playing the game. He likes the wide open outdoors. The guy has a sense of humor with light hearted Jupiter in the happy-go-lucky sign of Jupiter. Picking Sarah Palin as his Vice President may have come from this placement. I think McCain was really hoping Obama would not pick Hillary Clinton so he could show he is the more generous soul in giving a woman a chance and getting a chuckle in launching this surprise. He is a river-boat gambler in this respect and an old gunslinger. You may never see it in him when he is acting out that traditional side of himself. He feels lucky more than not. Both Jupiter and Sagittarius symbolize foreign countries. This placement is a plus for him in that the public still sees him with more knowhow in protecting them from foreign enemies. That's a problem for Obama because the President is supposed to do this. Obama is hoping that the public will see McCain as careless and lacking good Jupiter judgment in sizing up our enemies. Jupiter in Sag works best when allowing others to disagree or when McCain can agree to disagree. He might prove reasonable in appointing Supreme Court Justices if elected. He will soon see he will need to do so anyway as the House and Senate are going to have too many Democrats and will demand a compromise on judicial appointments.
Saturn & Traditional Values
Sarah Palin and John McCain have more than the Moon's nodes in common. Each has Saturn in strong aspect to the Sun. With McCain he has Saturn oppose or sitting directly across from the Sun. He has great longevity. I don't think he is going to die all that soon from an illness. He is quite a survivor. As a matter of fact, with Pluto placed in his 10th house, he keeps surviving, just like he did as a prisoner of war and in the Republican primary when everyone thought he would for sure lose. He definitely has conservative leanings with this Saturn aspect with his Sun. But I don't see the same Palin passion for this. The right wing of his party doesn't even trust him. Independents admire him more. Even his own aging mother said he would have to win the election without the religious right, that is until Sarah Palin came aboard. McCain trusts the Saturn past more than does he his 11th house gaze into the future. Let's say it this way: he will adapt to change as long as it is safely integrated into traditional values. He is open to stem cell embryonic research even though not welcoming abortion rights. He is a weird contradiction in terms which makes him hard to run against in this election. The dude picks a right wing conservative-maverick-moose hunting-Aquarian-non feminist-brave woman. Wow! That even sounds weird to say. The elderly voters like people with Saturn aspects because Saturn rules the aging process. Obama is saying the right things to the elderly but they don't seem to believe him. He doesn't have as strong a Saturn by aspect in his own chart but does have Saturn in Capricorn, it's home sign. That would seem to be enough. It's not as powerful as a Saturn aspecting the Sun. When the election occurs Saturn in the sky will be moving directly across in the sky from McCain's natal placement of Saturn. That will make or break his chances! Saturn is the great reality maker. If McCain/Palin attract enough believers in the past and convince voters that they can secure the future, McCain wins. If Obama can shatter the hold on the Past Traditions by McCain/Palin, he wins this election.
John McCain's Uranus: Independent Voters
This could be where the rubber hits the road in this election in key battleground states. Uranus is the ruler of Lou Dobbs-Independent voters. Right now it's not certain if Obama's Uranus is going to outmaneuver that of McCain and take the Independent vote. Both of these guys have Uranus in 7th house, the house of relating to the public. So both can electrify independent voters. McCain is attempting to do this with the help of Aquarian Palin. Obama does have Aquarius as his Ascendant. This is an interesting battle for Independents. McCain has to show he can be a Reforming Maverick because Obama is running as the Agent of Change. Biden is running as the Ambassador of Foreign Policy and middle-class commonsense. Palin is running as the Reformer, Champion of Conservatives and Preserver of Tradition. Somehow Obama has to connect with Independents to some extent and show he has a Saturn that can fix middle-class and older voters financial woes. The young voters love Obama and are swept up in his idealism and futuristic ideas. The elderly are still trying to figure out if Obama is better for their Social Security and other concerns. The Independents are placing their bets on the right Uranus for their own future. They want to see which candidate is the better Uranian Maverick. It's hard to link McCain to Bush as a third term because somehow McCain still has been able to wear a Maverick enough of an identity.
Conclusion: The Saturn/Uranus Opposition in the sky, during 2008 election
Here's something to really think about! In the sky, on 11/4/08, when voters are in the voting booths, Saturn will be sitting directly across from Uranus (Saturn opposing Uranus is the aspect). This occurs every 45 years! In one corner of the ring, we have Saturn, embodying symbolically an older and very polished traditional Senator from Arizona, John McCain, swinging one glove of Uranian Maverick bliss and another of Saturn cold sober tradition. In the opposite corner, we have Uranus embodying a senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, swinging one glove with Saturn-like ambition and the other of a Uranian youthful burning desire for a new direction. Who is going to win this fight for America's future? You make the call!