#1 B.Brady - Inauguration of US-presidents - Amtseinführung US. von ShanuRa 19.01.2009 22:54


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Newsletter January 2009

In this issue: A place and a time: the inauguration of US Presidents. The history of the location and timing of US presidential inaugurations reflects via its star phasing the expectations of the nation of its president.
When the Crown Prince becomes a King: the journey of Barack Obama. A look at Barack Obama's predictive work through the lens of visual astrology and fixed star parans for his first year in office.


This month we have focused on the US Presidential Inauguration and Barack Obama's predictive work as that event, the changing of power in the USA, is imminent. However, we are aware that events in Gaza are also of overwhelming magnitude at this time. There is next month a large gathering of planets in Capricorn which we will focus on in the next issue and we are optimistic that it may suggest an end to the crisis in Gaza.


A place and a time:
the inauguration of US Presidents
Bernadette Brady M.A.

Places and calendar dates have a relationship. When events of great moment occur at a certain place, we raise monuments there. We also hold ceremonies at these monuments and we do so on the calendar dates of the events enshrined in that time and place – the anniversary. We hold other special events at regular times in the same place, such as parades, horse races or major national events like this month’s inauguration of a new US president. Such a repetition, be it annually or every four years is, according to complexity science, the way in which a family, community or nation builds its history, culture and character. Repetition, or as it is known “re-iteration” of an event, is the way we weave our stories.

As astrologers we know that such a repetition of date and place will produce a similarity in the horoscopes for these events. All the charts will have the same position of the sun and, if the time is repeated, the angles.

Furthermore if we broaden our astrological palate via visual astrology, another level of repetition is revealed.

Stars Govern a Place and Time

Every latitude has an annual pattern where at any time there will be two stars – the helical rising and the heliacal setting stars - which govern the essence of place and time. It is a little like a piece of music in that, at any one time, a piece of the melody will be playing but it is only over the whole year that the entire melody is played.

There are two ways of working with this “melody of place”. The first is to look at the whole tune to understand how certain dates and events seem to repeat for a place. For example, on 2 September, 1666, the Great Fire of London erupted and nearly destroyed the city. Nearly 300 years later the London Blitz of WWII began on 7 September, 1940, and once again the city was nearly destroyed. Indeed for London early September is a difficult time of year, for the heliacal rising star is Alphard, the Heart of the Serpent, and is associated with 'emotional upheavals and/or distress, criminal activity' [1]. For most years this manifests as a ripple in the events of the city. Occasionally a difficult planetary combination will come together with difficult stars, in these two instances it was Saturn-Neptune, and the intensity of the “melody” at that time will come to light.

The second way of working with this pattern of time, date and place is to consider the nature of the refrain when a nation or a community intentionally places a repeating event at a set calendar date and place.

The US Presidential Inaugurations

The important historical event of the inauguration [2] of a president of the USA is such a repeating event. However, the set date and place has changed since the first inauguration in 1789. When George Washington became the first US president, he was inaugurated on 30 April, 1789, in Wall Street, New York City. After that inauguration the event was moved to Philadelphia, PA, and the date was changed to 4 March (or the 5 March if 4 March was a Sunday). It was then moved to Washington for the 1801 inauguration of Thomas Jefferson. Having settled on that place in 1933, the date was changed from 4 March to 20 January, unless it falls on a Sunday and then the inauguration is held on the 21 January. This came into effect for the second inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The importance of this shift in the inauguration date or place is that it leads to a change in the heliacal rising and setting stars for the event. Effectively this means that the nation is placing the ideal of the presidency into different symphonies, different patterns. Such changes, therefore, are reflective of the changes in the people’s expectation of the role of the US president.

The first inauguration - George Washington

George Washington was inaugurated on 30 April, 1789, in New York, NY. His inauguration's heliacal rising and setting stars are as follows:

30 April, 1789 – New York, NY.
First Inauguration of George Washington

Heliacal Rising Star

Fomalhaut - Rising before Sunrise

Idealism, illusion and even deception abound

Heliacal Setting Star
Vindemiatrix - Setting before Sunrise

A time of gathering people or ideas together

This is the star refrain that repeats itself every year for New York, NY, for that date. Here we see that the ritual of the first presidency was planted in a rich, supportive soil. The act of creating a republic and a president was a noble idea, an idea full of dreams held together by ideals which united people, a bold venture, a pathway to peace, the victory of self-government after the military matters of the American War of Independence. This was a good day and a good place for George Washington to stand on a balcony on Wall Street and take the oath of office. It gave the fledgling nation the best chance to grow into its dreams.

Having established the first president, the new republic enshrined in its constitution a set date for inaugurations. In order to allow enough time for officials to gather elections results after election day, as well as for candidates to make the long journey in the winter months to the north of the country, it was decided that the inauguration would be held on 4 March, unless that was a Sunday and then it was held on 5 March. George Washington’s second inauguration date was therefore 4 March in Philadelphia.

4 March,1793 - Philadelphia, PA.
Second inauguration of George Washington

Heliacal Rising Star

Deneb Algedi - Rising before Sunrise

A time of the Establishment and the law

Heliacal Setting Star

Regulus – Setting before Sunrise

A noble, righteous act that inspires the nation

As can be seen from the quality of this date for Philadelphia, the shift of the inauguration put the presidency, with all its new dreams of nationhood, on a more solid footing. Gone is the idealism of the 30 April New York inauguration and in its place is the energy of Deneb Algedi, the tail of the goat of Capricorn. This is the mark of law and order, the establishment acting in a ritual which is about nobility, an act that inspires a nation. This is linked with Regulus the Heart of the Lion and one of the Royal Stars of Persia which fills the presidency with themes of the noble leader.

For the inauguration of Thomas Jefferson in 1801, the date of 4 March was maintained but the event was moved to Washington, DC. This move is, however, only about 1 degree of latitude and did not change the heliacal rising or setting stars for the inauguration. Thus all of the 4 March inaugurations from George Washington’s second inauguration to that of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 were placed into these stellar themes of nobility and the establishment. However, with the second inauguration of Franklin D Roosevelt, which was his second of four terms of office, came improvements in communication as well as travel, and the lengthy delay until the transition of power was considered unnecessary. Hence in 1933, with the passage of the Twentieth Amendment, the constitution was changed to move the date to 20 January, unless that was a Sunday and then it was moved to 21 January.

This changed the stellar themes of the inauguration chart and reflects a change in the expectations of the nation concerning the role or the nature of the president. This is a vastly different theme to the 4 March date. Gone is the idealism and nobility, the belief in honour and correctness, and it is replaced with a different melody.

Second inauguration of Franklin D Roosevelt. 20 January, 1937, Washington DC. The first January inauguration.
20 January, 1937- Washington, DC.
Second inauguration of Franklin D Roosevelt

Heliacal Rising Star
Acumen - Rising before Sunrise

Scandal and rumours

Heliacal Setting Star
Capella - Setting before Sunrise
A period which favours the independently-minded

This stellar melody will remain unchanged until either precession shifts the heliacal rising or setting stars for this date and this place (and this will not occur until the year 2201), or the US changes the date or place of the presidential inaugurations.

The reason for making this change in 1937 can be understood in the light of the increase of communication technology from WWII onwards. However, what it brings in with its heliacal rising star is a real threat of scandal and rumors which potentially erode the president’s position. It also adds an increase in the cult of the individual via the heliacal setting star - Capella, to be seen to be independently-minded. However, it is important to remember that not all presidents will be hounded by scandal and rumours and not all presidents will be strongly independently-minded, for this is the potential into which the individual inauguration charts are placed.

Inauguration charts and stars

Each inauguration will produce it own particular horoscope which is part of the larger pattern and also supported or stressed by certain star and planet parans. Such charts linked with their star parans do, I believe, overshadow the individual president’s natal chart, as the position is larger than the man. It is possible to take an inauguration chart with its background theme and star and planet parans and gain an insight into how history will judge a particular president.

For example, to date Richard Nixon has been the only president to resign in office. The second inauguration of Richard Nixon on 20 January, 1973, has the following chart:

Chart 1 – Richard Nixon’s second inauguration.20 January, 1973 Noon EST (estimated time) Washington, DC. 38N53 77W02

This chart contains Mercury conjunct Jupiter in Capricorn, the sign of Jupiter’s fall and they are stressed in the chart by their location on the MC, if the inauguration occurred close to noon. The background star theme for this time and place already contains the potential for scandal or rumours as Acumen, one of the stings of the Scorpion, is the heliacal rising star governing that time period and place. So in this instance the stellar theme has been reflected in the inauguration chart with Mercury-Jupiter but with the Jupiter in fall, thus the presidency itself is open to being marred by scandal and rumour [3].

Thus the first point of which the visual astrologer needs to be aware is that all inauguration charts will be strongly influenced by the stellar theme into which they are placed. The other key point is the nature of the individual presidency will be reflected in the actual inauguration chart itself, as shown above with Richard Nixon.

Obama’s Inauguration on the 20 January 2009
Barack Obama’s inauguration chart and stars is one in a long line of such charts and instead of looking at the man and his natal chart (which I leave for Darrelyn below), we can look at how history will judge his presidency in this term of office.

This inauguration contains another Mercury-Jupiter conjunction. However, it is linked with the Sun and the North Node. This Mercury is angular, as it was for Nixon, hence also effective, but different, as it is not in the same sign as the MC. Furthermore Jupiter is in Aquarius rather than being in fall in Capricorn, as it was for Richard Nixon.

Chart 2 – Barack Obama's inauguration.
20 January, 2009 Noon EST (estimated time) Washington, DC. 38N53 77W02

So whilst we can expect it to pick up on the themes of rumour and scandal, as that is one of the major themes of being inaugurated at this time and in this place, it will probably not be an eroding influence on the presidency. There is a real potential that this term of Obama’s presidency will be remembered as one where much is revealed, where light is shone into some previously hidden places. We will not just be looking at policy changes or changes in the political philosophy of the presidency but also the unexpected being revealed, a great scandal being unearthed, a truth coming to light.

Another major feature of the chart is a Venus-Uranus conjunction which is in opposition to Saturn in Virgo. The Saturn is Mercury-ruled, so as the truth is revealed, it is done so via this opposition. There are many stars in paran to this opposition and they are:

Saturn in paran with:
Rigel - Faith in an elected leader

Ras Algethi - The natural order restored, a worthy appointment

Aldebaran - Planned military action, a military leader

Betelgeuse - Leaders taking the harder path, focusing on the proletarian issues

Alnilam - Solving problems one step at a time

Uranus in paran with:

Aculeus – A person who tries to give voice to the difficulties of the life within their culture of community

Phact - Willing to break new ground on behalf of one’s community or culture

Murzim – To be interested in or have an understanding of the thinking of the general people

Venus - in paran with:
Zosma - Depression, a difficulty with self-esteem

Denebola - To challenge accepted social opinions

The star parans to Saturn show the themes of leadership, order, and problem-solving, so as the Mercury themes of revelations and scandals are unpacked, they are done so one step at a time and do not diminish the office of the presidency. Uranus, which is the voice of the people and the popularity of the president, is also helped by star parans suggesting that Obama will end this term of office with a strong popularity and a feeling that he is indeed giving voice to the people. However, when we look at Venus, the chart ruler, the star parans reveal another theme. The location of Venus in this opposition personalizes this Saturn-Uranus struggle. It places the man himself, Obama, in the centre of the issues, and as he deals with the revelations that are now coming up to the surface for the US people, he, too, will have to deal with a personal struggle of self-doubt, a loss of ideals and/or faith in his or anyone’s ability to bring the change required.

There are other aspects in this chart and all of star parans and aspects are important, so those readers who own Starlight can explore these for themselves. However, I have focused on the Mercury theme in this chart as this amplifies the background theme of rumour and scandal.

History will remember this presidential term as one filled with revelations which may shake the very foundations of the USA, if not other nations. Such revelations are beginning to surface concerning the economy but according to this inauguration chart, the economic news is only the beginning. Meanwhile Obama himself will suffer personal losses or feel almost crushed by the weight of his office.

1.Meanings from Starlight Software.

2. Inauguration is defined in this article as the organised ceremony of the president elect taking the oath of office. This is different to a swearing-in which occurs upon the death of the incumbent president and is held as soon as possible at the location of the vice-president, or next in succession to the presidency.

3. This example is taken from a longer article see: Brady, Bernadette (2008). "The Stars and Stripes" in From Here to There. Editor Martin Davis. Bournemouth, UK: Wessex Astrologer.


When the Crown Prince becomes a King:
the journey of Barack Obama

Darrelyn Gunzburg

What helps a Crown Prince become a King? What rites of passage must he undergo to galvanise the metal to make is strong enough to lead a country? As we approach the Inauguration, we can consider Barack Obama’s first year in office as that liminal space where the Crown Prince (the president elect) becomes a King (president) taking on the mantle of rulership. Thus his predictive work, via transits to his natal chart in conjunction with his Visual Astrology and fixed star parans, will not only indicate what lies ahead of Obama in his first year in office but the fiery furnace through which he must walk in order for him to wear the crown.

Jupiter’s position as Crown Prince in Obama’s natal chart

Visual Astrology - In the September 2008 issue of the Visual Astrology Newsletter I noted how the constellation of Capricorn, the great sea-goat law-giver and educator in the sky, governs Obama’s eastern horizon at the time of his birth, so he is seen as a stabilizing force, one who educates his people and brings order. Visually at his time of birth Jupiter sits in the face of this sea-goat. This is a Crown Prince who seeks to reform and broaden society in some way, to improve the lives of others and who willingly and optimistically faces problems head-on. Jupiter rises in the east and sits a closed hand span apart from Saturn, so it makes a visual statement about the Crown Prince and the King working together, supporting each other. Thus we could say that he can advise and he can take advice.

Obama has one star in paran with his 12th house Jupiter in Aquarius:

Jupiter in paran with Mirach
(in the hip of Andromeda the Princess)

Living in a world of opportunity, or an insatiable appetite for the physical world, money or people.

Obama’s autobiography ‘Dreams From My Father’ [1] displays both sides of this coin. His instable appetite to find out who he is, to seek out his barely-known father and his family of origin allows him to question his culture, his race and his identity as an African American. In so doing he recognizes how he creates opportunities to make changes at the grass roots level of the community.

Horoscopically. In his natal chart Jupiter opposes Mercury in Leo in the 6th house. Mercury in Leo can be charismatic or arrogant. Sited in the 6th house, he can use his voice to inspire others or dogmatically insist on a course of action. In opposition with Jupiter it can find wise solutions or become excessive.
Obama has one star in paran with his 6th house Mercury in Leo:

Mercury in paran with Vega
(the star in the lyre of Orpheus)

A visionary with a very persuasive voice, or charismatic ideas.

The paran to Jupiter allows us to calibrate this charisma/arrogance needle. Indeed it was the presidential election that allowed him to use this Mercury-Vega ability to full effect and to enthuse and motivate people from a broad range of backgrounds. So this Mercury-Jupiter aspect across the 6th-12th service axis of his chart suggests that he has the ability to keep his finger on the pulse of the country via its legal system (Jupiter in the 12th house), give it a voice (Mercury-Jupiter) that is persuasive (Mercury-Vega) and create opportunities (Jupiter-Mirach) to find a third perspective (Mercury opposition Jupiter).

March 2009, Jupiter crosses his Ascendant. Fittingly, transiting Jupiter crosses Obama’s Ascendant just as he, the Crown Prince, becomes the president. The transits incorporating his visual astrology and the fixed star parans are suggesting that, in this coming year, one of the skills that Obama will be making visible will be his desire to stabilize, bring order and reform, and create opportunities (Jupiter-Mirach) for his visionary ideas (Mercury-Vega).

May to December 2009, Jupiter opposes his natal Uranus. On a mundane level this is about risk-taking, doing something differently. Natally Uranus sits in Obama’s seventh house conjunct his North Node. Through his commitments to others he finds his unique voice.

Reinforcing these transits are Obama’s star parans to his natal Uranus. As noted in the November 2008 issue of the Visual Astrology Newsletter, Uranus seeks change through the voice of the common person rising up to be heard in rebellion, thus causing revolution [2]:

Uranus with Deneb Algedi
(the tail of the sea goat Capricorn)

To have a social conscience, seeking justice for the common folk. To listen to and work for minority groups.

Uranus with Scheat
(In the chest of Pegasus the flying horse)

The journalist or reporter; to collect information on behalf of a group or the community. To be interested in bringing ‘truth’ to a particular community.

Uranus with Schedar
(The alpha star of Cassiopeia, the Queen)

A person who is a natural leader in their community or family; the one in a group who is respected for maintaining the dignity of others.

Working with under-resourced groups and helping them to gain skills, resources and hence self-empowerment gives him great satisfaction, so this transit may see him bring into law ideas for change that seem quite radical but which have worked in other areas of the community. Such parans suggest that this coming year is one where he can gain ground in finding and possibly implementing new solutions to old problems.

The power to rule
In this same time period transiting Pluto opposes Obama’s natal Venus.

Chart 1 – Barack Obama, 4 August, 1961. 19:24 AHST,
Honolulu, Hawaii. 21N18 157W51

Visual Astrology. In the sky at the time of his birth Venus was bright (Visual Magnitude: -4.05) and radiating Mercury, emphasizing Obama’s thinking and communicating skills described above.

Horoscopically. Venus in Cancer in the 5th house suggests someone with a creative and empathic relating, socializing, and networking ability. Natally Mercury makes a water trine to Neptune, adding the skill of at-one-ness and compassion, along with idealism and magnetism. Interestingly Obama has no stars in paran with his Venus.

Transits – Pluto opposes natal Venus. As noted in the November 2008 issue of the Visual Astrology Newsletter, Obama has two stars in paran with his 7th house Pluto:

Pluto with Agena
(in the foot of the Centaur)

To influence the opinion of a large number of people, to want to help to change society's attitude to a subject through politics or demonstrations.

Pluto with Fomalhaut
(in the mouth of the southern fish)

To be able to make money from illusions or the virtual world. To understand that the virtual world is just as important as the physical world.
To work in the media.

The first paran is self-explanatory. Pluto seeks change through intensity and irrevocable alteration, and as its first touch opposes Venus across the 5th-11th axis of immortality at the time of the Inauguration, this is clearly the overt imprimatur of the country giving him the power to reign. However, as he takes on this mantle, so throughout 2009 he wrestles with the nature of power, loyalty, trust and bonds, even issues of betrayal - and taking into account what Bernadette has written above, such a betrayal may have more to do with political issues being uncovered than his personal issues. The second paran reinforces the natal Venus water trine to Neptune, the talent for empathy, for listening, and for compassion. ‘Dreams From My Father’ was flooded with him listening to people’s stories as he sought better understanding of his own background. It was also emphasized by Obama in his speech after winning the Presidential election (Tuesday 4th November, 2008):

‘… I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree.’

So what helps a Crown Prince become a King?

It would seem that, like any new Crown Prince, this year for Obama is one where he must learn how to wield the sword of power (transiting Pluto opposition Venus) as he implements new ways of doing things (transiting Jupiter crossing the Ascendant and opposing Uranus). Both transits are oppositions, so it is in the resistance, in the debates and in the discussions that he learns the strengths to take risks. However, it is in looking at the visual astrology and the parans that sit underneath these transits, we see the depths and recognize the strengths.



1. Obama, Barack (2007) Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, Edinburgh, UK: Canongate Books.

2. All outer planet and star paran meanings have been taken from: Brady, Bernadette (2008). Star and Planet Combinations. Bournemouth, UK: Wessex Astrologer.

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