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Slow Global Warming


by Gary Brand - written September 15, 2004,
published in the October 2004 edition of Echo* newspaper
The birth chart of John Kerry (December 11, 1943 at 8:03 AM MWT in Denver, CO) is based upon the time of birth obtained directly from Kerry in 1996 by Karen Thorne, Kerry's sister-in-law by his first marriage (source: AstroDatabank at
The birth chart of George W. Bush is based upon the time of birth obtained from hospital records and his birth certificate (source: AstroDatabank at  This chart is in a different format than the above chart for Kerry (which shows the aspects between the planets as colored lines in the center) because that format made Mercury appear to be in the 12th house instead of the 1st house where it is actually located.
Sometimes it is challenging to think of a subject for this column, for I have tired of writing about just the aspects between the planets during the month.  This month, however, is a huge exception with too many possible topics - the flooding in the Richmond area caused by Tropical Storm Gaston that killed eight people on August 31 (yes, it was evident in Richmond's birth chart); the impact of Hurricane Frances on Florida cities on September 4 as evidenced by the transiting planets in their birth charts, and the presidential election.  As you can tell from the title of the column this month, the choice was a matter of priorities.  This election, like that of 2000, is a prime example of the polarization that is gripping this country.  I'm not referring to the rather simplistic divisions of Democrat/Republican, Liberal/Conservative, Poor/Rich, Freedom/Order, Liberty/Safety, Love/Fear, Decentralization/Centralization, and Public Good/Special Interests.  I'm talking about the very principles that bind us together in a sometimes wonderful, sometimes horrible, often crazy, tapestry of homogeneity and diversity.  I'm talking about the Constitution of the United States and the present threats to its precepts.  However, this topic must wait for a future column.

This presidential election is a clear example of the above divisions that have resulted in polarized tares in the fabric of our body politic.  I don't know anyone who is undecided and, though I can think of very few people I personally know who will vote for Bush, everyone seems to have strong opinions against or for Bush.  Why is this?  One possible reason is that Bush's chart has much emphasis in Leo - his Ascendant, Mercury, Pluto and Venus (all in the first house) are in that sign, which give him an undeserved smugness often seen in unevolved Leo types.

Leo is also a sign of pride and ego and the smirk we frequently see is an obvious manifestation.  However, the characteristic of Leo most alarming in this personality is the desire for and assumption of power.  Bush has assumed, without Constitutional authority or Congressional assent or oversight, powers rivaling no predecessor, even in times of war.  These include personally deciding who will be retained and interrogated (tortured) as "enemy combatants" indefinitely and without due process, including U.S. citizens.  In other words, our present government can make people disappear (12th house) and deny them access to the outside world.  Is this 2004 or are we retrogressing to Orwell's 1984?

With the Sun and Saturn (both symbols of authority and control) in the 12th house of his chart, Bush has created a secret government (12th house) that answers to no publicly elected officials except himself and Chaney.  This shadow government is poised to seize control (Leo) in the event of a crisis, declare Martial Law, suspend individual Constitutional rights, and restrict travel to mention only a few of its powers.  Fear is represented by Saturn and by the 12th house and Bush has Saturn in the 12th house.  This fearful nature is impacting on the whole country - he and those in his regime play on the fear of terrorism that many Americans feel and they breed fear of loss of freedoms, retribution, or interrogation in other Americans.  Despite the Leo in his chart, Bush's 12th house Sun and Saturn make him secretly quite insecure and paranoid (see my article Bush Compared to Nixon) so he has surrounded himself with "yes" men and women and he isolates himself from dissention or disagreement from others.  For example, White House aides who question his ideas are not allowed back in the Oval Office, protestors are prohibited from demonstrating anywhere within his view, and those who are allowed to appear anywhere near him must first sign a loyalty statement.

How does this contrast with Kerry, who has Pluto and Jupiter in Leo?  Yes, there is some desire for power and authority is his personality too (after all, it comes with the aspiration to be president) but most people born during the 1940's and 1950's have Pluto in Leo so we can't hold that against him (Bush does too but his Pluto in his 1st house is more power and control hungry than Kerry).  With Jupiter in Leo, Kerry is much more of a born leader than Bush but he can be just as egotistical.  Some big differences are that Kerry is courageous (who served in Vietnam and who didn't), honest and forthright - he is not hiding parts of his personality, his opinions or his personal agenda so what we see is what we get.  Kerry has five planets in mutable signs so he genuinely cares about the environment and the condition of the world that we leave to our progeny and his votes in Congress affirm this.  Conversely, Bush has only two planets in mutable signs and one of them is Mars in his 2nd house, which indicates that he cares mostly about the property he owns and the golf courses upon which he plays.

The planets in Kerry's chart are more spread out than Bush's chart and Kerry has some oppositions.  These features mean that Kerry has more diversity than Bush and can more easily empathize.  The planets in Bush's chart form what we call a wedge or bundle - they occupy only one-third of the zodiac, which means that it is difficult for him to understand others and he is self-absorbed.  Another contrast between these two is that Kerry's chart has most of the planets above the horizon and most of them are in "open" signs so he is mostly an "open book."  All but one of the planets in Bush's chart are below the horizon or in the 12th house, making him highly secretive, fond of hidden agendas and he allows very few into his inner circle.  We do not see Bush as he really is, only the public persona.

Although I continue to say, think, visualize, believe, hope, and pray that Kerry has a good chance of squeaking out a narrow victory on Election Day, Saturn (the planet of fear) still has this country in its grip and Fear may prevail over reason and the common good.  If no other reason motivates you to vote for Kerry, let the fact that over 1,000 U.S. soldiers have needlessly died and over 7,000 have been needlessly wounded in a war that Bush long ago declared over.  And have you noticed that Osama bin Laden has completely disappeared from the tongues of those in power?

Source of John Kerry's chart:  an e-mail to Douglas Lannark from Frances McEvoy in which Frances said, "the correct time of John Kerry's birth was indeed 8:03 am and confirmed by Karen Thorne, astrologer, who was married to David Thorne, close friend and former brother-in-law of Kerry."

*Echo is a monthly newspaper about community, the environment, health, cuisine, and spirituality that is distributed in central Virginia.
Good Timing and Location are Keys to Success

Gary Brand, Traditional Astrologer
Tallahassee, Florida

© copyright 2004-2013 Gary Brand.  All rights reserved.