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Midterm Elections 2018: Post Mortem

Well, it’s finally over. Mostly. As of this writing (Wednesday morning, November 7, though a protracted Verizon service outage may delay posting), the results appear to be a mixed bag. The Democrats have retaken the House of Representatives, but the Republicans have expanded their Senate majority. Barring a few key races (Arizona, Florida and Montana Senate races still too close to call, a Mississippi Senate race requiring a run-off, and a likely legal challenge in Georgia’s gubernatorial election), the broad outlines are clear.

 

The GOP went into this contest with severe handicaps in the House races, and a clear advantage in the Senate. Fully 41 sitting Republican Representatives retired in 2018, leaving a greater number of “open” seats than either Party has experienced in more than a century. On the weekend before the election, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report identified 75 House seats which were in the “toss-up” category; all but 5 were currently held by Republicans. And the final tallies bear this out: Dems won back an estimated 28 seats, mostly in suburban “collar counties”, especially in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Michigan, propelling a slim, but secure, House majority.

 

In the Senate the situation was as grim as could be for Democrats, defending 26 seats, more than twice the GOP total, many in Red States which Trump won in 2016. The final results are not in, but Dems have lost at least three of those vulnerable seats, in Indiana, Missouri and North Dakota, by wide margins, and two more teeter on the edge, in Florida and Montana. They did pick up a seat from the Republicans in Nevada, and Arizona may yet go their way, although the GOP candidate has a slim lead.

 

It is perhaps in the gubernatorial races where the impact of this election will be most keenly felt going forward. Dems kept the Governor’s Mansion in Pennsylvania, and picked up chief executives in Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Illinois, Wisconsin, Maine, and Kansas. On a statewide level nationally, Dems gained more than 300 seats, flipping seven state legislatures from Red to Blue. With the next census looming in 2020, instituting a new round of congressional redistricting, these gains cannot be overemphasized, allowing these states to overturn prior GOP gerrymandering which severely limited the head count of losing Republican representatives on Election night.

 

So let’s break down the results over all, and in some key races we profiled earlier on AAA.

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In January, AAA’s first post of the year was a preview of this election, and the general outlines prognosticated then adhered closely to the actual event. Donald Trump’s importance to the election, although not physically present on the ballot, was indicated by asteroid Troemper, his celestial referent, at 22 Scorpio in broad conjunction with the 14 Scorpio Sun, and more closely conjunct Jupiter at 29 Scorpio, squared Mars at 24 Aquarius. Of course, we don’t need astrology to predict that somehow The Donald would make it all about himself, do we? The heavens merely confirm this fact.

 

This celestial combination suggested a certain centrality to the process for Trump (Sun/Troemper) as well as a heightened impact on the Senate in particular (ruled by Jupiter), and a role as agitator-in-chief, vociferously championing his cause (both Mars). This certainly proved to be the case, with the President crisscrossing the country for no less than two dozen campaign rallies in the final weeks before the election, purportedly to support Senate candidates, but never missing an opportunity to proclaim that “a vote for Candidate Fill-in-the-Blank is a vote for me!” Trump stressed the fact that his presidency was on the line, while stoking fear and racism with outrageous lies and misrepresentations about the nature of Democratic goals, the danger of a refugee “Caravan” slowly making its way through Mexico to the US southern border, and the deployment of some 5000 troops to defend that border, with the promise of 15,000 more to follow.

 

Trump’s shameless use of the military in this matter is also reflected in the close square from Troemper to Mars, but the concomitant square to Damocles at 21 Aquarius has in fact wrought that “doom hanging unseen overhead”, in the form of a Democrat-controlled House, which now has subpoena power to investigate and expose Trump’s illegal or unethical actions, from revealing conflicts of interest with his businesses spelled out in his tax returns, to potential campaign finance violations in paying hush money to porn stars. The White House is about to be engulfed in a tsunami of legal paperwork, which seems to be the way a pattern featuring TNO (Trans-Neptunian Object) Typhon is manifesting. At 6 Scorpio, Typhon, which represents storms and a feeling of being overwhelmed or “swamped”, is sextile Saturn at 5 Capricorn and opposed asteroid Whitehouse at 11 Taurus, both additional signifiers of the President and his administration.

 

But perhaps the point having the most impact on the day is Venus, which at 27 Libra retrograde prefigured a resurgence of women and their importance in the election. Venus here is opposing TNO Eris at 23 Aries, a symbol of grievance and disaffection from women. Marginalized and disrespected, offended by Trump’s words and actions and appalled at his 2016 victory, the massive Women’s March on Washington the day after Trump’s 2017 inauguration was a mere precursor to the multi-millions of women voters who wrought the changes of this election.

 

As candidates as well, women made their mark, with more than 250 hitting the campaign trail, and more than 100 winning seats in the new Congress, the most female representation in the nation’s history. Granted, that’s still only 20% of the congressional total, while women make up more than 50% of the population, but it’s a major step on the road to governmental parity. Women of both political stripes also took a record nine Governor’s mansions across the country (with half a dozen more female candidates losing their races), as well as sending to Washington the first two female Muslim representatives, the first female Native American, and the first two Latinas to represent Texas. At age 29, New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, and Ayanna Pressley became Massachusetts’ first black female representative, with Jahana Hayes claiming that title in Connecticut. Venus opposed Eris allowed these women to channel their justified anger into a productive cause, and are remaking the political face of America in the process.

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The biggest winner of the day may be Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who will become the next Speaker of the House if she can convince her caucus to vote her in

But Venus’ impact doesn’t end with the opposition to Eris, that’s just her start point. She is sextile a Karma/House conjunction at 25 and 28 Sagittarius, indicating a fated rectification of the gender imbalance in that legislative body; trine the Mars/Damocles pairing, showing the handwriting on the wall (Damocles) for men (Mars); and inconjunct Chiron at 28 Pisces, affording women the opportunity to heal the wounds created by this administration’s policies and this president’s proclamations. In addition to Eris, Venus also ties to incendiary Uranus, which that very day retrograded from Taurus back into Aries, closely opposing Venus and lending women the revolutionary fervor to pull off this political upset.

 

The retributive, rectifying nature of the election can be seen in a remarkable T-Square of asteroid Washingtonia exact with Neptune at 13 Pisces, exactly opposing asteroid America at 13 Virgo, both ends of this polarity squaring asteroid Nemesis at 17 Gemini, with centaur Asbolus at 20. This depicts the malaise and erosion (Neptune) of the GOP-controlled government (Washingtonia), mired in confusion and ineptitude (both Neptune), which is at cross purposes with the country generally (America).

 

Nemesis, symbolizing due enactment and the retribution of divine justice, acts to redress imbalances and right wrongs, cutting down to size offenders of the cosmic order, punishing those who have stepped out of line, failed to acknowledge the blessings of providence, or acted badly in the past. A karmic comeuppance is due, and Nemesis ensures it is paid; in this instance, with the help of ordinary Americans, wanting to place a check on Trump’s actions.

 

Asbolus was a seer who read the future in the flight of birds; astrologically, it represents the ability to tap into the zeitgeist, the “spirit of the times”, to have one’s finger on the pulse of humanity and read its intent and direction. Despite the actual outcomes in individual states and districts (in many cases engineered beforehand by gerrymandering), as in 2016, the national popular vote heavily favored Democrats, with three million more voters preferring their House candidates, and 10 million more voting for their Senate lineup, which shows how deeply embedded progressive values have become in the country at large.

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Long lines at polling places across the country were prefigured by Jupiter’s conjunction with Mercury on Election Day, which brought out more voters than have participated in an off-year election since the 1960s

My last, and simplest, prediction for the day appeared in another article about the election, and revolved around the vote totals: “With Jupiter widely conjoined Mercury, it’s likely to be a day of massive voter turnout across the country.” Well, that was an understatement! In state after state, both early voting and Election Day turnout far exceeded typical Midterm levels, with high voter enthusiasm on both sides. Americans haven’t been as engaged in an off-year election since the ‘60s.

 

So much for the day itself. Let’s turn now to a recap of the projections made by AAA in individual Senate and Governor’s races across the country. In my article “Florida Georgia Line (of Scrimmage)”, I rated the victory prospects for both those states’ gubernatorial races. In Florida the contest was between Democrat Andrew Gillum, African American mayor of Tallahassee, and Representative Ron DeSantis, a Trump “Mini Me” if ever there was one.

 

I reluctantly picked GOP candidate DeSantis as likely to come out on top: “It pains me to say it, but DeSantis does seem to have a celestial leg up on a win in November […]. Asteroids significant to the outcome show a marked preference for the Trump sycophant […]. For me, the jury is still out on whether PNAs are predictive or merely descriptive, but if the former, we may be seeing a blatant Trump-clone racist in the Florida Governor’s Mansion come January.”

 

Florida’s primary wasn’t until late August, and as the summer cooled down and the campaign heated up, Democratic nominee Andrew Gillum opened an early lead, and kept it. I was surprised but relieved, always happy to be proved wrong for the better good. (OK, full disclosure, I wasn’t really “happy” to call it wrong – I HATE that! But I was prepared to take it on the cosmic chin if it meant that Gillum prevailed.)

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Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gillum square off in debate: Gillum’s best line? “I’m not saying you’re a racist, I’m saying the racists think you’re a racist.” Ouch!

My rationale for a DeSantis win included an exact square natally from his 21 Virgo Sun to asteroid Victoria, named for the Roman goddess of victory, at 21 Sagittarius, and opposed Nike, her Greek counterpart, at 24 Pisces, forming a T-Square, which suggested a tendency to emerge victorious in competition. With transit asteroid Karma, denoting a fated event, setting off this pattern from 25 Sagittarius on Election Day, combined with a strong showing of transit asteroid Disanti (for DeSantis) at 0 Capricorn, conjunct both Karma and career and governorship-ruling Saturn at 5 Capricorn while trined transit Nike at 26 Aries, Ron DeSantis seemed poised to make the most of his opportunities.

 

Contrast this to Andrew Gillum’s weaker natal placements of winning asteroids, and encumbered, ill-fitting PNAs on Election Day, and we have a perfect storm for a GOP victory, which DeSantis eked out by less than a percentage point.

 

I felt better about progressive chances in Georgia, where Stacey Abrams was attempting to become the nation’s first black female governor, squaring off against Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, another Trump “Mini Me”. As I described it at the time, Abrams’ personal connections to winning were similar to DeSantis: “Abrams’ 17 Sagittarius Sun is in a close T-Square with victorious Nike at 18 Pisces and asteroid Georgia, the state she wants to lead, at 17 Virgo. This type of personal connection with her constituency is very helpful, not to say determinative. Asteroid Victoria at 1 Libra conjoins Pluto at 6 Libra, arbiter of personal power, and is exactly trine Venus, ruling popularity, at 1 Aquarius. Victoria also provides a second intimate connection with winning, via its square to asteroid Stacey at 2 Capricorn, which is the degree of Saturn’s direct station on September 6th, ruling career and chief executives like governors.”

 

Kemp’s chart showed electoral promise as well: “[Natal] Victoria at 5 Scorpio conjoins his 9 Scorpio Sun, while Nike at 5 Pisces is in trine, and also at station, having turned direct on October 24th, nine days before his birth. The other stationary points in Kemp’s chart are asteroid Georgia at 2 Cancer and asteroid Stacey, representing his opponent, at 13 Pisces […]. Georgia is also trine the Sun and sesquiquadrate Saturn at 16 Aquarius, but the latter is conjoined by asteroid Kassandra at 18 Aquarius, perhaps eliciting credibility issues for Kemp as a gubernatorial candidate. Sun/Victoria with Georgia and Nike form a Grand Trine, very useful and beneficial, but there is a Kite also formed with the oppositional “string” to asteroid Nemesis at 6 Taurus, that point of undoing or frustrated ambition, which could throw a monkey wrench into the works.”

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Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp trade jabs at their debate; with Kemp running the voting process as Georgia’s Secretary of State, could this race be fairly decided?

Kemp’s “credibility” issues certainly came to the fore, with his simultaneous roles as election competitor and election referee, as Georgia’s Secretary of State. Early attempts to disenfranchise large groups of likely Democratic voters, his obvious conflict of interest in the process, and a late effort to smear his opponent by alleging election system hacking by Democrats, will likely result in a legal challenge to the official results, which show Kemp edging out Abrams by less than two percent.

 

I rated their chances on Election Day thus: “When these two face off head-to-head on November 6th, Stacey Abrams seems to have the edge. Asteroid Abramov at 26 Libra conjoins popularity-focused Venus at 27 Libra and exactly opposes Nike at 26 Aries, while Abramson at 2 Gemini pairs with Victoria at 4, two prime indicators of a win for Abrams. A loose T-Square is formed by Pluto at 19 Capricorn, suggesting a transformational period for Abrams. Additionally, asteroid Stacey at 28 Aquarius is conjunct Mars at 24, perhaps bringing energy and drive to her campaign.”

 

This she certainly had, with progressive icons from Oprah Winfrey to Barack Obama coming to stump for her and personally knock on Georgians’ doors. Abrams’ apparent loss (the race has not yet officially been called) may be an outworking of transit Neptune’s exact alignment with Kemp’s natal stationary Stacey at 13 Neptune on Election Day – this hints at some sort of fraud or deception directed by him at her, and with Neptune squaring Mercury for the day, this involves the voting process itself, which, again, Kemp oversees as Secretary of State.

 

I continued with a review of Kemp’s prospects: “Brian Kemp is not totally out of the running, however. Asteroid Brian at 14 Aquarius is exactly squared the transit Sun at 14 Scorpio, making him a focus of the day, and is once again conjoined his natal Saturn, as at the runoff election [which gave him his Party’s nomination]. But asteroid Kempelen at 18 Virgo is perhaps encumbered by its opposition to Neptune at 13 Pisces, which often brings disappointment in its wake, though Kempelen is also trine Pluto, which could provide a boost.”

 

I didn’t mention it at the time, but Pluto also hints at manipulation of the vote, criminal actions, and scandal. Unless that natal Nemesis Kite decides to kick in at the last minute with a successful legal challenge, it looks like Kemp’s actions, of whatever variety, will have paid off.

 

The only Senate race I profiled was the contest between incumbent Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Dem challenger Representative Robert “Beto” O’Rourke.

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Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke in debate; evenly matched astrologically, O’Rourke couldn’t quite overcome Texas’ native red streak

This one, quite frankly, was so evenly matched astrologically that determining a definitive result was impossible, and I said so: “All in all, I’d say this race is too close to call celestially. We may have to rely on earthly polling.” Both men had strong Nike and Victoria placements at birth, increasing their chances of victory, and both had vital connections for their PNAs to the Election Day chart. Choosing between them was a flip of the coin.

 

As things transpired, Cruz got the best of it, after a see-saw campaign which successively favored both candidates, and a final push that brought O’Rourke to within two points of victory. But in Deep Red Texas, such an outcome was unthinkable just a few cycles ago.

 

None of the progressive rock stars, Andrew Gillum, Stacey Abrams or Beto O’Rourke, won through to victory, casting a shadow on the outcome, but it was a good night for Democrats nonetheless. With command of the House of Representatives, they can provide a much-needed check on the Trump presidency, investigate the President’s foreign financial ties, and perhaps even prevent some of the worst excesses of Trump himself. Their leadership positions in state governments will help to undo the last decade of GOP electoral dominance, and create a more level playing field for the next decade. It’s still a long row to hoe, but it’s a start…

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Alex Miller

Alex Miller is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book, detailing deep space points in astrological interpretation, and the forthcoming Heaven on Earth, a comprehensive study of asteroids, both mythic and personal, due in 2018. Alex is a frequent contributor to “The Mountain Astrologer”, “Daykeeper Journal”, and NCGR’s Journals and “Enews Commentary”; his work has also appeared in “Aspects” magazine, “Dell Horoscope”, “Planetwaves”, “Neptune Café” and “Sasstrology.” He is a past president of Philadelphia Astrological Society, and currently a board member for the Philadelphia Chapter of NCGR.

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