Hurricane Sarah

A veritable cacophony has erupted with the selection of Sarah Palin as the GOP vice presidential candidate. On the Right, there is jubilation over her extremely conservative social positions including the criminalization of abortion, abstinence- only sex education, and the teaching of Creationism in the schools. To add further gravy to this feast is her denial of global warming and her focus on drilling as the solution to the energy crisis, with little concern for any pristine environment or endangered species that might get trampled in the process. On the Left, there is universal disdain for these same positions compounded by shock and horror over Palin’s total lack of experience and understanding of both national and international policy. While one narrative has McCain reclaiming his maverick mantel with a brilliant, courageous outside-the-box pick, the other points to the revelation of McCain as an irresponsible, reckless, and impulsive candidate who has put his political needs over the good of the country.

For well over a decade, the Left and the Right have lived in a sort of parallel universe. For each side, it is painful to even listen to the other, and with the explosion of media sources, we can surround ourselves with like-minded fellow travelers most of the time. From an astrological perspective, much of this shrillness can be attributed to the passage of Pluto through the very ideological, know-it-all Sagittarius. Internationally, we have seen the proliferation and growing power of fundamentalist ideology in multiple areas and the animosity and aggression that has developed as a result. Domestically, we have seen the hardening of social and political perspectives within the red versus the blue state paradigm and the almost mutually exclusive set of assumptions and perceptions upon which they are based. Although the nation is getting increasingly fed up with this situation, the last, brutal stage of Pluto in Sagittarius is upon us, from mid-June through November 2008, fed by the fires of election-year politics. With Pluto entering Capricorn by late November, we can hope for an increase in pragmatism over ideology, beginning perhaps a month or so before the next presidential term begins, but unfortunately, not before.

In the meantime, the battle rages in the midst of an election drama where the two sides seem to be on different planets. The Culture Wars have been reignited in the person of Sarah Palin, with the perennial issue of abortion roaring back to the forefront, though it may seem hard to believe with all of the critical issues facing the nation at this moment. To the starry-eyed Christian Right, Palin manifests the essence of who they are – a righteous warrior standing for all that is holy and against all that is corrupt – and they ignore any uncomfortable facts that might compromise their rather crazed infatuation. To the rest of us, she is a strident, bullying, and vicious ideologue, a frightening possibility as an Oval Office backup.

Sarah Palin was born on February 11, 1964, in Sandpoint, Idaho. (Several birth times have popped up on the internet including 4:40 PM. Although I will be using this time for my calculations, it is totally unverified.) The Sun/Mars/Saturn conjunction in her chart indicates an extremely aggressive and determined woman, something of a cross between a bulldozer and a pit bull. The square to Neptune brings an ideological and sometimes self-deceptive and scandal-prone quality to the mix. For most of 2008, transiting Neptune has been conjunct Palin’s Sun (22Aquarius20) and Mars (23Aquarius27), and has been exact on her Sun during the past few days while endless rumors and scandals swirled around her. The ongoing Troopergate story and the tales (now disproven) of her pretending to be pregnant with her daughter’s child that have engulfed Alaska over the last several months may also be seen as part of this transit. Although just past the exact aspect, the Neptune station until the election will remain within a degree of Palin’s Sun, suggesting that scandals and strange stories will continue to dog her candidacy. There will also be a strong tendency for her followers to project onto her their own hopes and expectations, possibly leading to significant disappointment at some point. There will be an ongoing sense that she is not what she appears.

Around the time of the election, Neptune will turn direct and be moving toward another exact conjunction with Palin’s Sun through December 2008 and conjunct Palin’s Mars through January and early February 2009. Whether this transit will reproduce the self-delusion and magical expectations of the current crossing or whether it will lead to that vague feeling of loss and confusion that are also possible under Neptune is not yet clear. The Sun/Neptune aspect is bolstered at present with progressed Venus (22 Taurus) square to natal Sun/transiting Neptune. According to the time we are using, this aspect will be exact around Election Day. This suggests that she will remain well loved and very popular at least until the election. Further evidence of her enormous popularity is seen in the progressed Moon opposition to her natal Venus (1Aries22) through September 27. Unfortunately, we are in the midst of this evangelical orgasm right now. After September 27 (Moon/Venus), her luster will dim somewhat but not completely.

There are some glimmerings of hope, however. Some crisis is likely to erupt in the Palin candidacy between September 9 and September 12. Tertiary progressed Moon will be conjunct tertiary progressed Uranus (12Virgo54) and natal Pluto (13Virgo27), and the the entire configuration will be crossed by transiting Saturn. Given the somewhat Teflon nature of the progressed Moon/Venus and progressed Venus/Sun, this is likely to not be a deal breaker. The Right will stand staunchly by their “gal”. But I do think it may tarnish her in the minds of the more reality-based among us.

Also of interest is the progression of Palin’s Moon semisquare both Neptune and progressed Neptune (17 Scorpio) from September 20 through November 3. This aspect underlines the likelihood of scandal and of her being caught in contradictions and dishonesty. Image rather than reality will be pushed at the public; lies and deception will be the norm.

There is not a lot to indicate Palin assuming the increased power of the vice-presidency after the election. The strongest aspect is Neptune conjunct the Sun during all of November and December, with the appeal of the progressed Venus beginning to wane, a possible indication of confusion and perhaps disappointment and loss. There is, however, some evidence that her popularity will reemerge in 2009, with progressed Venus moving to square natal Mars and transiting Pluto squaring natal Venus, both beginning in December 2008. Let us hope this is more about returning to Alaska and becoming a grandmother rather than winning an election. Because Neptune is known for giving the illusion rather than the reality, it may be that the illusion here is that she is popular enough to win this election for Grampy McSame. But with Neptune, nothing is ever quite clear.

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