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Primary Directions: Hitting the Celestial Campaign Trail

The Democratic presidential contenders are in the starting gate, ready to begin the donkey race. Who will take the lead, who will stumble? Who are the sprinters, who are better in the turns? Is there a dark horse in the field? We all know Donald Trump is a mudder – who can take him on and win? One way we can handicap the competition is by analyzing the cosmic turf, as the asteroids representing the candidates jockey for position in the stars.


We have close or exact asteroid matches for Bernie Sanders (asteroids Bernie and Sanders), Elizabeth Warren (Elisabetha and Warren), and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg (Peter), as well as suitable stand-ins for Joe Biden (Josephina and Bida) and Michael Bloomberg (Bloomsberg). By examining the speed and direction of various contenders’ PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids) throughout the Primary season, we may be able to pinpoint when stations and changes in direction will alter the momentum of the race. At any rate, this technique seems to be paying off so far, in depicting the flip-flop of status between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in late autumn 2019.


That year began with Bernie Sanders at a disadvantage, with asteroid Bernie in retrograde. Retrogradation is an optical illusion, created by the relative positions of the Sun, the Earth, and the retrograding body, whereby that point appears to slow, halt its forward momentum, and reverse course in the heavens. Illusion or not, retrogrades have a definite verifiable effect astrologically. Retrograde bodies are turned inward, not functioning at their normal level, often handicapped or showing weakness, or at best, sluggish and slow off the mark.


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Listening to the winds of change? After a slow start Bernie Sanders’ rise has been remarkable, once asteroid Sanders ended its retrograde cycle in November; Sanders continues direct through the year, but asteroid Bernie turns retro in late March, perhaps signaling a slowdown in his campaign

And indeed, Sanders didn’t enter the race until February 19th, well after many of his competitors had thrown their hats in the ring.   It was another two months until asteroid Bernie resumed direct motion, and the Sanders campaign took some time getting up to speed.


In contrast, Elizabeth Warren hit the ground running in 2019, with an added advantage of having both PNAs in the same general area of the zodiac, sometimes within orb of conjunction to each other, allowing her to concentrate her efforts more easily, without the divided focus of Sanders. The Vermont Senator struggled with Bernie in Leo, Virgo and Libra for much of the year, while Sanders traversed Capricorn through Aries. At times his PNAs were actually opposed each other, suggesting that various parts of the campaign were unintegrated, perhaps working at cross-purposes.


In August the Sanders campaign was slowed again, this time by asteroid Sanders turning retrograde, and squared the forming Saturn/Pluto conjunction to boot. It was during this second retrograde phase, in early October, that Bernie Sanders suffered his heart attack, a clear signal to slow down and a likely reaction to the pressure coming from Saturn/Pluto. But slow and steady can sometimes win the race; retrograde periods can allow going back over old ground and reviewing past mistakes, adopting plans to move forward when the timing is right. By late September the Sanders campaign had become the first to develop a database of a million donors, though polling still lagged.


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Eyes on the prize? Elizabeth Warren’s stunning drop in the polls coincided with both her PNAs turning tail into retrograde motion in November; they won’t both be direct again until after Super Tuesday, perhaps too late for her to win the nomination

Then Warren’s PNAs began to encounter Saturn and Pluto, in opposition, and her numbers, on the rise since May, started to stabilize, then slide. The astronomical cost (Pluto) of her health care plan (insurance is also Pluto-ruled) threw up roadblocks (Saturn), and Warren began to feel the heat in the loss (Saturn) of support. At her peak in early October, she was edging past Biden as the national frontrunner; by late November she had fallen to a distant third. The Real Clear Politics average pinpoints mid-November as the critical time when she and Sanders switched pole positions (or “poll positions”, if you prefer).


And what was happening with their celestial monikers then? Plenty. On November 16th, asteroid Elisabetha turned retrograde, with asteroid Warren following suit on November 23rd; meanwhile, between these stations, asteroid Sanders resumed direct motion on the 17th, giving both his referents forward momentum, while Warren’s were in full retreat. The slide continued into early 2020, with some polls showing support for Elizabeth Warren in the low double digits.


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Dueling Dems? Their nonaggression pact came to a searing conclusion as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders traded accusations of lying after the Iowa debate, with asteroids Elisabetha and Sanders squared to the degree when the fracas broke out

For further confirmation of the efficacy of this method, we need only look at the brouhaha between the rival progressive camps that mushroomed in mid-January 2020. Over the weekend of January 11th, reports emerged that in a one-on-one December 2018 meeting, Sanders expressed his opinion to Warren that a woman couldn’t win the presidency. Warren confirmed this on Monday the 13th, while Sanders denied the allegation. Matters hit fever pitch at the January 14th debate in Des Moines, when Sanders again denied making the statement, and Warren, after refusing to shake his hand post-debate, was caught on a hot mic accusing him of calling her a liar on national TV. Clearly, their mutual nonaggression pact had broken down. The timeframe tells the story – on January 10th, asteroids Elisabetha at 12 Cancer and Sanders at 12 Aries came into exact square, showing potential conflict and prefiguring the kerfuffle shortly to follow.


That’s a small sampling for our theory, to be sure, but the 2020 Primary season will provide many opportunities for further testing. It’s full steam ahead as the new year dawns, for all the candidates except Warren, whose PNAs are in direct motion, but by the Iowa Caucus on February 3rd, things start to change. Asteroid Peter will be slowing, already at its station degree of 12 Libra, preparing to shift into reverse on the 11th, the very day of the New Hampshire Primary. Pete Buttigieg has been doing remarkably well in Iowa, even topping the polls in late December. More recent polling shows the four frontrunners in a statistical dead heat in both states, but asteroid Peter at station suggests that Buttigieg’s momentum is slowing. He may remain “dug in” to his position long enough to pull off a good showing in the Hawkeye State, but by the time the action switches to the Granite State, Mayor Pete’s political options may be slimming to the second half of New Hampshire’s motto of “Live Free or Die”.


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Waving goodbye? Despite a hefty war chest, “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg may be bowing out of the race sooner than expected, as asteroid Peter slows and reverses direction in the midst of the February contests

Buttigieg may be fortunate in that his PNA reverses direction just before encountering the square to Saturn and Pluto, but it’s a long haul until it resumes direct motion in mid-May. Although at that time it will be in enviable position, in a Grand Trine with the Sun and Saturn/Pluto, the action will have long since passed him by.


Fully 40% of the Democratic delegates will be chosen on Super Tuesday, March 3rd, making it the most “super” in recent memory. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders look good for that date, with all four PNAs still moving forward.


Josephina at 19 Capricorn is traveling with Mars and Jupiter at 11 and 20 Cap; this should funnel energy and drive (Mars), expansion and optimism, and positive outcomes (all Jupiter) into the Biden campaign. But Josephina is also just coming into conjunction with Saturn and Pluto; conjunctions with outer planets and malefics can be tough to call – they can enhance or overwhelm, and it’s hard to know which way the cosmic cat will jump. This could make Biden appear presidential (Saturn) and dominant (Pluto), but it can also manifest as restriction or limitation (Saturn) and devastating loss (Pluto). Josephina so closely aligned with Jupiter suggests protection for Biden from the worst potential effects of Saturn and Pluto, though they may still limit his progress.


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Pointing toward victory? With asteroids Josephina and Bida in direct motion until the Primaries are well underway, Joe Biden could capitalize on his “electability” argument, but Josephina retro from late May through mid-September could signal a rough start to the general election campaign, should he get the nod

Bida at 3 Sagittarius is squaring a retrograde Mercury in Pisces, which could elicit some tabulation anomalies or a surprise in the vote, but does allow Biden to connect with voters. Bida turns retrograde on April 8th, and Josephina follows May 28th; Bida backing off could conceivably affect the outcome of the race, but it’ll be long over before Josephina turns tail. If Biden should win the nomination, the first months of his General Election campaign could be hampered by Josephina, which will not resume direct motion until September 11th. After that, it’s smooth sailing for his PNAs for the rest of 2020.


Asteroids Bernie and Sanders are both direct on Super Tuesday, but Bernie is beginning to slow as its late March retrograde station nears. The Sanders campaign won’t be pumping the brakes just yet, but that change is in the wind. At 26 Scorpio, Bernie squares asteroids Victoria and Nike at 25 and 28 Leo, named for the Roman and Greek goddesses of victory respectively, so this could be a very productive day for the campaign.


Asteroid Sanders at 0 Taurus is sandwiched between Venus at 28 Aries and Uranus at 3 Taurus, also trine that Victoria/Nike pairing. Venus here indicates popularity, while Uranus augurs something unexpected, even shocking. With Uranus one is never sure, it specializes in surprises; the question is, will Sanders’ showing be better or worse than expected?   As with Josephina/Jupiter, Venus here, and the link to winning asteroids, suggests it may be a good day despite the mitigating factors.


Asteroid Sanders keeps ploughing ahead until after the General Election, but Bernie backpedals from March 27th through June 29th, perhaps signaling a retrenchment or reorganization in the campaign. Bernie will be moving forward again by the time the Democratic National Convention convenes in Milwaukee on July 13, so look for Bernie Sanders to stay in it to the end, and if the nomination is contested, he’ll have a strong voice.


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Plutocrat populist? This black background may be appropriate for dark horse candidate billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who could buy his way out of the gloom with asteroid Bloomsberg in direct motion throughout the Primary season, perhaps providing unhampered forward momentum

Elizabeth Warren is in the most precarious position for Super Tuesday, celestially speaking. Her PNAs remain retrograde until well after the initial contests, with their high PR value for the winners, have been held. Elisabetha stations direct on February 23rd at 6 Cancer, just after the Nevada caucuses, perhaps allowing for a slightly better showing in South Carolina on the 29th. But Elisabetha is still stagnant at its station degree for Super Tuesday, and asteroid Warren remains retro at 15 Cancer, so I wouldn’t expect a huge showing then, either. However, both are trine the Super Tuesday Sun, with Elisabetha also trined Mercury, very positive placements, so their embedded stance could signal a “last stand” for the Warren campaign, a final roll of the dice. Warren resumes direct motion on March 7th, and the pair remains direct for the rest of the year, but that may be too late for Elizabeth Warren’s presidential aspirations.


We asked about a dark horse as this article began. Actually, there may be two.


Enter former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The billionaire entered the race late, was unable to meet the thresholds for participation in the Democratic debates, and has eschewed the first four contests, banking (literally) on a super showing on Super Tuesday. Bloomberg’s approach will be to throw money at the problem, something he has aplenty, and which seems to be having some effect. Blitzing the airwaves with more than $100 million in ads before 2020 even began, Bloomberg has already edged up to 7% in some national polls, far higher than most of the original 27 contenders, who have been slugging away at this thing for a year, only to remain in asterisk territory. Bloomberg has indicated recently that even if his strategy doesn’t pay off in a win, he’s willing to invest $1 billion of his estimated $58 billion piggy bank to defeat Donald Trump in November, that’s how much a threat to American democracy he believes him to be. What a mensch!


Bloomberg is represented by asteroid Bloomsberg, one of only two PNAs to remain direct throughout the primary season (the other is Sanders). At 9 Aquarius on Super Tuesday, Bloomsberg is squared to Uranus, perhaps signaling an upset win.


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On the rise? A second dark horse candidate could be Amy Klobuchar, whose breakaway from the “also ran” crowd began as asteroid Amy conjoined the Galactic Center, with its increased visibility

The other potential dark horse candidate is Senator Amy Klobuchar, currently #5 with a bullet in Iowa and New Hampshire polling, where she is flirting with double digit support. Klobuchar’s rise has been slow but steady in recent weeks, coinciding with her eponymous asteroid Amy’s transit of the Galactic Center at 27 Sagittarius, which enhances global attention and visibility. It remains to be seen if she can capitalize on this bump, but her PNA is well placed to poach Warren voters, with Amy’s opposition to asteroid Elisabetha during the period of the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary, then opposing asteroid Warren during the period of the Nevada Caucus and South Carolina Primary. The opposition could create a see-saw, symbiotic relationship, where one rises as the other falls. Amy remains in direct motion until June 24th, well after the Primary season has concluded, perhaps giving her the juice to remain in this to the bitter end.


Asteroid stations have proven themselves useful and reliable indicators of “changes in direction” for their terrestrial counterparts. Recently former NSA John Bolton did an about-face on providing testimony in the Trump impeachment trial, within days of asteroid Johnbolton’s station in square to asteroid Troemper.   As his PNA went direct in late December, he announced he would appear if subpoenaed, after months of remaining noncommittal, waiting upon judicial rulings.


We may not know all the ins and outs of the 2020 Democratic Primary from examining the sky, but we’ll have a good idea of where the race is headed, and when.


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. 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 a former board member for the Philadelphia Chapter of NCGR.

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