With Rick Santorum’s surprising sweep of victories on Tuesday, the GOP is all a-flutter. The Republican base has once again proven itself more fickle than a butterfly in the spring, as it flits from one potential nominee to another, never resting for more than a moment. Every time we think we know what is going on, the wind blows and rearranges the landscape. This week’s narrative is that Santorum is the new savior of the party, and Romney is weak and flailing. Just don’t get too comfortable, for the restless hordes of GOP voters are likely to soon shift again.
I often think that presidential campaigns bear a great resemblance to a courtship, with the candidates wooing the electorate and hoping to gain acceptance for a four or eight year “marriage”. This means that the candidate who is most beloved, as indicated by the strongest Venus progressions and transits, will usually win the day. Indeed, it is the most Cupid-blessed candidate that will draw the most adoring crowds and the highest level of enthusiasm. The problem with this year’s crop of GOP wannabes, however, the reason none of them has really ignited the electorate, is that none of them have enough of a Venus glamour for the seduction to succeed for more than a few days at a time.
Mitt Romney, the limping frontrunner and the one still expected to get the coveted nomination, has a converse progressed Venus opposition to his Ascendant through March, which is certainly helpful and adds to his appeal. But the Saturn station of January and February 2012 (29Libra30) has been in a long sesquiquadrate with Romney’s Mercury (13Pisces55) where it remains through March 4. This has brought a considerable drag to his campaign in the form of numerous unscripted gaffes and mistakes.
Moreover, transiting Neptune is currently square to Romney’s Ascendant (00Gemini43) which brings with it the very destructive narrative that Romney is inauthentic and has no real core of values other than wanting to be president. This tendency to mirror back one’s surroundings rather than having a strong center of integrity, and thereby seeming untrustworthy, deceptive, and changeable, is the hallmark of Neptune. The transit will remain very strong with Romney through late February, returning in full force in late August through mid-December 2012.
The best news for Romney is Jupiter’s path through Taurus and early Gemini: square to his Midheaven (6Aquarius28) from February 21 through February 28; square to his Venus (8Aquarius33) from March 3 through March 9, which suggests a likely big win on Super Tuesday; conjunct his Ascendant (00Gemini43) and North Node (5Gemini29) in June and early July; and square to Mercury (13Pisces55) in late August and again in mid-November 2012. In addition, transiting Venus will be square to his Sun (21Pisces11) and sesquisquare to his Venus during most of May. These aspects point to some noteworthy short-term successes when they are active.
The worst news for Romney is the solar eclipse on his Ascendant on May 20, which suggests some major loss or failure during the following year, especially when strongly triggered. As noted, Neptune will be square Romney’s Ascendant during most of the last four months of 2012, potentially setting off the difficulties inherent in the eclipse. This can indicate an electoral loss, with the above-noted Neptunian characteristics a major factor, or it could conceivably mean a loss of the nomination or a very weakened candidacy due to the confusion and chaos (Neptune) within the party. Unfortunately for Romney, there are no strong Venus progressions that could help to counteract these struggles with a potent dose of charisma and popularity. Instead, it will be the Neptunian narrative that will stick: the candidate as cypher, the hollow man who says whatever he thinks people want to hear and who therefore cannot be trusted. In short, it will become painfully clear that there is no there there.
Rick Santorum, on the other hand, is a reliable social conservative. With his recent wins, he is poised to take over the anti-Romney vote from the beleaguered Newt “Moon Mayor” Gingrich. As with Romney, however, there is no indication of any sustained progressed Venus energy that would be strong enough to really pull Santorum across the finish line. His big win last Tuesday came with the quick-moving transit of Venus quincunx his natal Node/Neptune conjunction (1-2 Scorpio) and transiting Mars sesquiquadrate his Venus (5Aries45) from February 7 through February 11. The Arizona and Michigan primaries on February 28 may also bring some wind to Santorum’s sails, with Venus crossing his Mercury (24Aries), Jupiter square his Uranus (7Leo49), and the Sun conjunct his Mars (10Pisces00).
Santorum may gain some strong momentum and excitement from March 28 through April 15 when Uranus crosses his Venus (5Aries44), but that thrill seems likely to be crushed between mid-April and mid-May with a long series of Saturn transits that will repeat in July through mid-August in case they don’t get the job done the first time. Saturn will sesquiquadrate his Mars (10 Pisces00), oppose his Mercury (24Aries06) and conjunct his Jupiter (23Libra50) during these times. Perhaps Romney…or his PAC… will be bringing out the scorched-earth tactics in full force around then.
As is being noted by the punditocrisy, much of the enthusiasm and energy of the campaign is now building up on the Democratic side, with President Obama’s popularity growing and his approval ratings moving into positive territory, while that of the GOP contenders plummets. At the moment, Obama is enjoying the building progression of his Sun square to natal Venus (1Cancer47), exact in late June, and then granted an extension in July and August with transiting Neptune trine to natal Venus. This progression, along with the transits of Uranus (1Aries) and Jupiter (1Taurus) in the past few months, has helped Obama consolidate and re-energize his base, as well as luring back a significant number of independents.
As for the rabid Republican base, two further things are worth mentioning. Using the Sagittarius rising US chart, the progressed Moon will be conjunct progressed Mars in August 2012, exact on September 1, at 18Libra28. If this chart is accurate (and no one really knows the birth time of the US), it suggests a great deal of anger and upset at the end of August among some sector of the US population (US Moon). One possible manifestation of this would be an eruption of dissent and turbulence at the GOP convention, which takes place from August 26 through August 30.
The final point I want to make concerns the increasingly inflammatory rhetoric of the Republican candidates and their surrogates as they describe the president. He is being characterized as some kind of existential threat to America, and his potential second term is being represented, in the most dire terms possible, as signifying the ultimate doom of this country and all we love about it. The GOP base is already wild with rage and feelings of paranoia and victimhood. This kind of rhetoric could easily create a tidal wave of rebellion should President Obama win the election in November. I am mentioning this because of the hugely volatile aspects that will hit the US chart in late November and December 2012. The progressed US Sun square to natal Uranus (8Gemini55) will begin to take effect in September 2012, but it will be intensely triggered by Pluto, Saturn, and Jupiter from late November until Christmas. There will be some kind of upheaval and rebellion during that time. It remains to be seen if this will be a response to some of the election results or something else entirely. But when I listen to the wild, histrionic, outrageous, and dishonest accusations about President Obama at the CPAC conference this week, I can’t help but wonder.