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UNITED STATES — Attempts to predict the results of presidential elections have been around as long as the elections themselves. Pundits and pollsters look to the past to predict the future, and there are some idiosyncratic methods that take such an approach to an extreme. Divination is part and parcel of the campaign cycle. Many news sites have even asked for readings to be included in their lighthearted and quirky sections.
It could probably be argued that Pagans and polytheists have the highest number of members practicing divination per capita. Some read only for themselves, while others make their living doing readings. Still many more fit into a spectrum between those points. These readers — and their clients — do not consider divination to be a parlor trick or a black-and-white way to predict which team is going to win.
We asked some practitioners to offer their predictions for this year’s contentious presidential race and what might follow. Some declined to participate at all, citing a preference not to intermingle the political and religious spheres. Two astrologers and one card reader did agree to participate. Here is what they found:
Teri Parsley Starnes (astrology)
“I have to make a confession. Although I am a Witch who believes it is her responsibility to be informed about politics and world events, I have paid as little attention to the current presidential race as my Facebook feed would allow. I haven’t been doing a lot of clicking. Truth be told, I even unfriended someone I never knew in the first place because they only posted about Bernie Sanders (many times a day), even though I loved Bernie Sanders.
“I guess I am in a cynical mood when it comes to U.S. politics. The candidates and their dramas seem so removed from the actual things we need to work on in this country that I’ve kind of checked out of this race. By the way, I am not proud of this; just felt it was important to clarify. So, this request to write a prediction for the presidential race using astrology makes me smile for two reasons: my disinterest with this race and because I don’t really use astrology this way.
“For me astrology is a tool, a lens, for looking at self and the world where I am striving to be a conscious and responsible co-creator. Astrology can be used to match my efforts with the astrological weather of the moment. As a Witch, this comes in handy when doing magic. As a spiritual person, I use astrology to be mindful of my patterns and to support my prayers. I use birth charts for people, movements, moments, and institutions to better understand what makes them tick and what seems possible now.
“That piece -— what seems possible now -— borders on the realm of prediction, but isn’t exactly. Free will exists. As co-creators, our efforts shape outcome. Astrology can show what is likely, what is possible, and just what it might take to shape an outcome that we most desire. Astrology is really good at revealing where the lessons are and what the struggles will be. Regardless of who wins this next presidential race, we are in for struggle. There is a lot for all us to do.
“Even though I don’t focus on prediction, other astrologers do, and I respect that. There’s much concerning fate and free will that is a mystery, and it is fun. Of the astrologers who have been writing about the outcome of this presidential race, I am most impressed by Nina Gryphon. She has been studying presidential elections going back to 1880 using a special chart called the Aries ingress. To summarize her findings, using traditional techniques of rulership and dignity, Gryphon predicts that this presidential race will be won by the candidate of the political party that is currently in power. That would be the Democrats, and at this point, that means Hillary Clinton.
At this point, it also seems pretty clear, even to someone avoiding news about the race, that a third-party candidate will not win the 2016 election, and that even conservative Republicans are starting to lose it over Trump’s clearly non-presidential temperament. A fascinating tidbit is that Gryphon also predicts that the Democrats will lose the presidency in 2020. Looks like Hillary Clinton could be a one-termer.”
What astrological weather is in store for the U.S. and Hillary Clinton, should she be the next president?
“I use a chart for the U.S. called the Sibley chart. This is not the only possible chart for the U.S., but this chart is one of the more common ones astrologers use to reflect on the character and transits of the nation. It works for me. One prominent feature of this chart is a square between Mars in Gemini (21 degrees) and Neptune in Virgo (22 degrees). Squares are challenging connections. Mars represents will, war, and aggression. Neptune is both illusion and spiritual idealism.
“Historically, we see this aspect played out when beliefs are manipulated to rationalize war. This connection between Mars and Neptune makes it difficult to think and see clearly when the nation is engaged in aggression or defense. The U.S. has vacillated between denial about world conflicts to taking on a savior role in world events. Idealism can influence our national will but we have to be careful about telling ourselves lies.
“Hillary Clinton’s moon in Pisces is exactly opposite the U.S. Neptune, and only one degree from exactly squaring the U.S. Mars. To make matters more interesting, Donald Trump’s sun in Gemini is only one degree from the U.S. Mars, and his Moon in Sagittarius is exactly opposite the U.S. Mars. Both major candidates for president are very closely tied to the problems of war and illusion in the U.S. Both probably feel they can lead the country to fulfill its ideals. Mars in the Sibley chart rules the fourth house of the homeland. It looks like the next president will be challenged to defend national security, and could also be involved in the national tendency to fantasize our role in aggression.
“Clearly, Clinton and Trump are candidates who are being called up by the U.S. psyche to play out patterns laid at the birth of this country. Trump is cashing in on American fundamentalism and hysteria. Clinton appeals more quietly to a side of the country that needs to feel safe while maintaining liberal ideals. She is more of a hawk than Obama. We most likely will find that out about her over the next four years.
“Transits by Saturn next year will activate this pattern between Mars and Neptune in the national chart. Every reenactment of a pattern is an opportunity to evolve into more conscious expression of that pattern. As a nation, the U.S. could learn to be more accountable and realistic (qualities that Saturn encourages) when expressing Mars. These transits will give us an opportunity to experience the expression of national will in a new way, but it will be challenging. Other Saturn reactions include tamping down on excess, becoming more conservative, being tested to our limits.
“Here are the exact dates of the transits, although we should feel the pressure all year:
- Saturn opposes U.S. Mars on December 31, 2016, August 9, 2017, and September 9, 2017.
- Saturn squares U.S. Neptune on January 10, 2017, July 15, 2017, and October 3, 2017.
“Clinton will be feeling this same Saturn transit to her moon. Remember, her moon in Pisces is opposite the nation’s Neptune, and square to the nation’s Mars. Trump, as it happens, is experiencing this Saturn transit to both his sun and moon. Difficult personal transits are not unusual for a new president. During Obama’s first year in office, Saturn also squared his natal moon. As you may recall, it felt like Obama squandered all the good will that progressives had about his presidency as he made a series of conservative moves in the beginning of his presidency. Both Clinton and Trump, under the influence of difficult Saturn transits, may exhibit similar conservative behavior.
“Trump and Clinton aren’t the only ones in the race with planets around 22 degrees of mutable signs. Here are more fascinating coincidences: Bernie Sanders’ chart feeds into the same U.S. pattern. Sanders’ South Node of the moon is exactly conjunct the U.S. Neptune. Jill Stein’s Mars is exactly conjunct the U.S. Neptune, and Gary Johnson’s Mercury is only one degree from squaring the U.S. Neptune. As an astrologer, I love these moments of coincidence. They make me pay attention. Something important is happening. I wonder what it means?
“An election is a collective choice. It looks like one of the influences around this choice is about how, as a nation, we express idealism (Neptune) and will (Mars). Some questions to ask ourselves as we face this choice are: How do we work with this pattern in the U.S. birth chart? Who will we choose to enact this pattern for us? What can we learn? How can we grow? Stay tuned for more insight and choice as Saturn calls this part of the national character into accountability. May we choose wisely.”
Star Bustamonte (tarot)
“In my first laying of cards with my question being: Who will win the general election? [and with] two columns of three cards each to identify the major contenders:
“First Column: The first card (3 of Cups) reflects general unhappiness, disagreement, or emotional discord. Second card (7 of Staves) is indicative of initiation, moving to new or different levels. Third card (King of Staves) can reflect someone strong of will, fiery, and refusing to back down. I feel this column represents Trump. His attainment of the Republican nomination made a great many people in the GOP quite unhappy. And his campaign has certainly initiated all of us into a place like none seen before. New levels, indeed. Trump is nothing else if not willful, fiery, and stubborn.
“Second Column: First card (Death) rarely means a physical death, but often signals an ending or being finished. Second card (10 of Circles) is all about community support and resources. Third card (Strength) often implies that whatever is your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness. If the first column is Trump, then this one must be Clinton. She lost the Democratic party’s nomination in 2008, a death, if you will. Since obtaining the nomination this time around, her support has only grown and even her campaign slogan is reflected in the second and third cards–Stronger Together. Not to mention that her strength in understanding how the government actually works and in using it to the greatest advantage are also her two biggest liabilities.
“Final Column: To aid in mapping out from now until the election, I use five cards.
“1) 9 of Swords – Great stress, confusion and fear over the outcome.
“2) 2 of Cups – Two candidates, male & female. This may also reflect that the third party candidates, Johnson and Stein, will have a slight impact on the election. Another possibility here, in light of recent events, it could also mean there is more to roll out about either candidate’s past relationships. If this proves true, I would put my money on Trump bearing the brunt of unpleasant things coming home to roost.
“3) The Fool – Entrepreneur and definitely represents Trump.
“4) 10 of Swords – This is the end of Trump. The general public turns away, and/or votes against him. I say and/or because some people will just not vote.
“5) Queen of Circles – Hillary comes out on top. She wins.”
Christopher LaFond (medieval astrology)
“One of the highest goals of an astrologer is to predict what will happen in the coming year in politics. Many astrologers have tried to forecast the U.S. presidential elections over the years and this year is no exception. Modern astrologers tend to rely predominantly on the birth data and natal charts of the candidates. When we have accurate birth data, these can be very revealing. However, we often just don’t know what time of day a particular candidate was born, which makes many of the modern techniques difficult to employ.
“We have no accurate birth time, for example, for Bernie Sanders, and the time of day for Hillary Clinton’s birth is suspect, which made it impossible to compare the two charts during the primaries.
“Hellenistic and medieval astrologers, however, had a different approach. To forecast the year ahead, we look at the Aries ingress chart, that is, the spring equinox chart, for the nation’s capital. The astronomical/astrological year begins at the spring equinox (and indeed, the calendar year did, too, for a very long time), so casting a chart for a specific location for the moment that the sun enters Aries is akin to casting a birthday chart for that location.
“Traditionally, if the Aries ingress chart has a fixed sign rising (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius), it is valid for the whole year. If it has a cardinal sign rising (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn), then it’s only valid until the next season, and we need to look at the Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn ingresses for each respective season. If it has a mutable sign rising (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces), then it’s good until the Libra ingress in September. However, California-based astrologer Nina Gryphon has had good success using the Aries ingress alone for all presidential elections, and after experimenting with it myself, I agree.
“In these charts, the “king” (remember this is from medieval astrology) is represented by the 10th house, or Midheaven (MC=Medium Coeli) at the top of the chart, along with its ruling planet. The fourth house (IC=Imum Coeli) and its ruling planet represent the challenger. So the MC and its ruler represent the incumbent party and the IC and its ruler the opposition party.
“In the 2016 chart, Virgo is at the MC, so Mercury will represent the Democrats, while Pisces is at the IC, so Jupiter will represent the Republicans. Jupiter happens to be right on the MC as well, in the Democrats’ house. When this happens, it means that the incumbent party “owns” the challengers, and is a pretty clear sign of victory for the incumbents. There are other testimonies as well. Mercury, the ruler of the Democrats here, will conjoin a very dignified sun in Aries in three and a half degrees, while Jupiter, the Republicans’ planet, won’t make an aspect to another planet for about seven degrees. This means that the Democrats, the incumbents, will retain control of the White House.
“I mentioned before that Hillary Clinton’s birth time is still a question. 8 a.m. has been used by many for a long time, however Clinton herself has told people on more than one occasion that it is 8 p.m. This difference in time would yield very different results. However, the 8 a.m. chart is the one that has consistently produced results at times of major events in Clinton’s life. It’s possible that she is mistaken, or that she has intentionally given a false time; after all, the 8 a.m. chart does have Scorpio rising, which would indicate a degree of privacy and a secretive nature (sounds like her). If the 8 a.m. chart is correct, Clinton is at a very high point in her career, while Donald Trump’s chart shows a far less degree of eminence at the time of the election and inauguration. There’s another testimony to the Democrats keeping the White House this year.
“This leads to the question: What happens politically in the new year? We examine the Aries ingress chart for 2017. Without giving the technical details, what I see is that the country is in good enough shape, but doesn’t realize it; the focus is on the president, who is under constant attack. It’s likely that the Congress and the president will get on somewhat better than the current Congress does with President Obama. But that will only increase the feeling that the entrenched political class needs to go in the next election. The gap in understanding increases between older and younger generations. Financially, the country does well, and attention is paid to shoring up any gaps in the Affordable Care Act and increasing it. Expect more home-grown terrorist attacks in neighborhoods and on public transit, rather than large attacks from the outside. Foreign policy will be a frustrating experience.
2018 looks like a “honeymoon” year, before 2019 and 2020 become difficult once again, leading to the next electoral cycle.”
In short, the diviners are predicting a Clinton win, but a rocky road during her term in office. Want to sway that in any direction? Vote, and pay attention to what your elected officials do to earn your trust after the fact.