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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



The Sun enters Libra at the autumn equinox Monday morning, so this is an occasion to continue my series on the signs of the Zodiac.

Libra is a cardinal air sign, ruled by Venus. It is all about using communication to create harmony and balance between people. My mnemonic for Libra is “finder of the song”.

Libra energy is diplomatic, esthetic, sociable, and indecisive. Although air is the element of intellect, in Venus-ruled Libra air is more about communication and interaction, rather than academic abstractions. Libra seeks interaction, connection, and relationship, and the reciprocal give-and-take of thoughts and ideas is the medium through which this goal is pursued.

Libra often takes on the role of a harmonizer, negotiator, collaborator, lover, or counselor. Libra will seek to consider the needs of others and to smooth out conflict whenever possible. Libra, like all cardinal signs, is looking for self-understanding and a sense of identity. Ironically (and perhaps profoundly), Libra sees reciprocity and relationship as the key to self discovery.

Libra is susceptible to certain traps, mostly having to do with focusing on others rather than self: low assertiveness, difficulty with tough choices, and fear of independence are all common Libra troubles. Libra can also sometimes become caught up in appearances, more concerned with being attractive and surrounded by attractive people and things than with getting to the bottom of things. Libra’s desire for harmony can make it unwilling to “stir the waters”, settling instead for the appearance of contentment.

The indecisiveness of Libra is an astrological cliché, but it should not be assumed that Libra is unable to commit or choose. Rather, Libra is concerned with the consequences of decisions, for both self and (especially) others. Libra needs to feel that the evidence has been weighed, the different viewpoints considered, and the impacts thought through. This is a process that can take some time and deliberation (like a court case), but there is a conclusion to be reached in the end. Libra just takes more time and thought to reach the conclusion than more impulsive signs are used to.

Planets in Libra tend to operate through the filter of interpersonal relationships, uncomfortable with both the narrowness of self-focused activities and the loftiness of societal or philosophical concerns. More than the other cardinal signs, however, Libra has ways of connecting with the energy of the other elements. Its esthetic sense keeps it connected with the physical, and its focus on relationships ensures that emotional realities do not take a back seat for long.

People born under a Libra Sun are called to explore and create relationship. As a Libran grows and matures, he or she comes to see interpersonal connection as life’s most meaningful goal. If the person has strong interpersonal skills to begin with, this project can get off to a rapid start. That’s not necessarily a good thing, however, as an eager Libran can pursue relationship at the expense of self-centering and self-knowledge. The challenge will be to understand that a clear sense of identity is a prerequisite to a strong relationship. Libras whose childhood or other astrological influences give them a taste of nonsocial ways of living may actually have an easier time of it in the long run.

With the Moon in Libra, a person is likely to see relationships as a source of comfort, a safety net to retreat to when life’s challenges become too intense. The Libra Moon needs happy, easy-going friendships and romantic partnerships for nourishment and support, although they may not reveal this need to people outside their trusted circle. Whereas a Libra Sun is willing to work hard at crafting the perfect relationship, the Libra Moon needs relationships that are more-or-less free of trouble and issues.

Libra as a rising sign bestows a great deal of charm and “people skills”. Such people fit in naturally in a variety of social situations, and help others get along. They can also be flirtatious, engaging, and attentive to others. A person with Libra rising is never at a lack for something to do as long as there are people around. Behind the affable mask, however, there may be motivations that are more personal and private. Others may mistake the charm and attention for a deeper or more intense interest. Being easy to get along with is sometimes a mixed blessing. The challenge for people with Libra rising is to let other see your true needs and opinions, beneath your agreeability.

The Lughnassad issue of Starweaver’s Gems from Earth and Sky is now available on the web at Contents of this issue include

Moon Goddess - Aquarius

Moon Goddess - Aquarius

This full moon comes around two in the afternoon on Saturday here in New Mexico, so Friday night is at least as good a night for ritual as Saturday, since it catches the waxing energy of the Moon.

The theme for this Moon is manifesting your ideals.

With any Aquarius Full Moon, the underlying tension is the Aquarius-Leo axis: whether to embrace the ideals of a larger cause or focus on your own sense of self-esteem and satisfaction. There is an urge toward service, that is both challenged and energized by the feeling that personal success must be achieved first.

This Full Moon, however, offers an opportunity to resolve that tension in a potent and meaningful way. Saturn, Mercury, and Venus are all closely conjunct in Virgo. Together, they are wonderfully effective in making things take form on the physical plane, in a way that is not only structured but creative and esthetically appealing. This easy practicality complements the Moon’s Aquarian penchant for abstraction. Furthermore, this impressive triple conjunction is in a close trine with Jupiter in Capricorn, ensuring that whatever we do produce at this time of opportunity will provide a happy boost in recognition, status, and the other trappings of success. This makes the Leo Sun happy. There’s a lot of energy available this Moon, and it’s all good stuff.

This is a time to actually get to work on that wonderful creative project you’ve been stewing on, out of fear that it will be met with criticism, or (worse) indifference. If you apply yourself now, you will be surprised at the quality of the result, and so will others. A ritual or magical working Friday or Saturday to initiate and energize your undertaking should set things off on a strong and felicitous path.

Affirmations for this Moon:

I craft my dreams into being
What I do is valuable and visible
I bring the sacred down to earth
I share my wonder

For more on upcoming full moons and dark moons, see Moon Magic at Starweaver’s Gems from Earth and Sky.

Dark Moon in GeminiDark Moon in Gemini, June 3, 1:24 pm

Best evening for ritual: June 2 (Monday) or June 3 (Tuesday)

Theme: Know Yourself to Show Yourself

The Moon, Sun, Venus and Mercury are all in conjunction during this Dark Moon in Gemini. This presents a great opportunity for looking yourself over, up and down, back and front. What do you know about yourself? How do you feel about yourself? Are you the person you believe you are? Are you the person you want to be? Mars is in Leo, in a close sextile with the Solar-Lunar entourage. He is ready to express himself, to go to battle on your behalf, to be your personal hero bringing in fame, fortune and admiration. But he needs to know who he is fighting for, and that is the task this Moon presents.

Questions for this Moon:

Are there two sides to my nature?

Am I wise?

Am I beautiful?

What side of me needs to be seen?


August 2021