Barack Obama, Aug. 4, 1961

Barack Obama, Aug. 4, 1961

With inauguration day around the corner, I thought I would post my own take on the president-elect’s birth chart. I know this has been done a lot (by astrologers more competent than myself), but maybe my “earthy” approach to chart interpretation (I look only at the seven classical planets, and prefer emphasizing basic concepts over esoteric elaborations) will be of interest to some.

The driving energy behind Obama’s personality is the tension between his Leo Sun (reinforced by Mercury) and his Aquarius ascendant, with a powerful contribution from Jupiter. These two signs both deal with the relationship between the individual and the community, but they do so in contrasting ways.

Obama presents an Aquarian face to the world: idealistic, compassionate, socially aware. Jupiter has given him many gifts in this regard, and his interactions with others convey a promise of reinventing and revitalizing society. It is easy for others to project their hopes on him, because his Aquarian face is so bright and expansive.

His Leo Sun, however, takes a much more personal approach to the relationship of self to society, one focused on personal identity and the gratification that comes from others’ approval. He is driven by more than abstract plans for social reform; there is a strong desire for personal success, to lead, not just to philosophize. No politician is without ambition, of course, but Obama’s drive to succeed and lead is particularly strong, perhaps coming as a surprise to those of us focusing on his idealistic outer persona.

Obama could not have enjoyed the success he has had without integrating these two faces of his personality. He has made his ideals and his ambition serve each other, rather than striving against each other.

Saturn plays an important role in this. As the classical ruler of Aquarius, Saturn is his chart ruler. Jupiter in Aquarius also answers to Saturn. And finally, Saturn is in its own sign of Capricorn. Saturn in Capricorn implies serious issues surrounding success and status. It is about discipline, about the climb to the top and the need for perfection in his accomplishments. Obama’s Aquarian ideals are deployed to serve a practical program of achievement. The danger of Aquarian energy is the tendency to lose track of reality, to drift off into pleasant possibilities. Obama has clearly come to terms with his Saturn – he does not embrace ideals that he cannot make to work in the real world. Everything must be achievable, and every achievement must advance his stature and influence. This pragmatic thrust has already surprised ideological absolutists on both sides of the political spectrum.

Saturn receives striking support in this from both Mars and the Moon. Mars in Virgo gives Obama a very measured, restrained approach to conflict. He is careful in confrontation, organized and methodical in asserting his own point of view. The Gemini Moon (in easy collaboration with Mercury) gives him the extraordinary quality of actually deriving comfort and satisfaction from learning all sides of a question. Research gives him pleasure, and friendly dialog and debate are his lifeblood.

Mercury in Leo makes him an energetic and engaging communicator, which might seem to be at odds with the careful, pragmatic achiever of consensus represented by his Saturn, which opposes Mercury in his chart. It’s another tension that Obama has turned to his advantage, by articulating his vision with fire and charisma, but leaving the practical details for Saturn to work out in more quiet collaboration with others.

Six of the seven planets in his chart thus contribute directly to his political ambitions and social vision. The remaining planet, Venus, relates instead to his personal relationships. Venus in Cancer implies a great deal of sensitivity, and a need for security and emotional safety. His family is his retreat and sanctuary. I expect that when he finds hours to spend with his wife and children, out of the limelight, he becomes quite gentle and innocent.

To wrap up, I see the incoming president as a careful, intelligent, stable but highly motivated individual, who will seek out an optimal path between idealism and pragmatism, focused on concrete achievement.

Birth chart produced by Astrolog