Holy Week 2020 saw two major reversals for political figures on both sides of the pond, one medical, one political, both with COVID-19 connections. On Palm Sunday, 5 April, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalized in ICU with coronavirus complications and given oxygen. The 55-year-old PM had been diagnosed positive for the virus ten days previously, and his condition had deteriorated to the point where the medical support at No. 10 Downing Street was insufficient to his need, and he was admitted to St. Thomas Hospital, London.
On Wednesday April 8, US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders withdrew from the race; the indefatigable Vermont Senator’s campaign, bloodied but unbowed in Super Tuesday primary contests, had finally succumbed to COVID-19’s isolationist tendencies. Unable to hold mass rallies or campaign effectively given coronavirus social distancing requirements, with most remaining primary elections postponed to the summer due to the virus’ impact, Sanders finally threw in the towel on his presidential aspirations.
Both incidents were celestially portrayed in ways indicative of the circumstances. Boris Johnson’s (born 19 June 1964, 2 PM EDT, New York, NY, Rodden Rating A) potential for inimical interaction with the coronavirus is foreshadowed by asteroid Koronis at 11 Virgo exactly conjunct natal Pluto, harbinger of death, transformation and trauma, with asteroid Alexander, Boris’ given first name, close beside at 13 Virgo and Uranus, indicating unexpected outcomes and volatile reactions, within orb at 6 Virgo. These oppose Saturn with Chiron at 5 and 18 Pisces, further establishing Koronis/coronavirus as a potential source of a serious, debilitating, possibly fatal (all Saturn) health crisis (Chiron). When Johnson was diagnosed on March 26, 2020, ten days before his hospitalization, transit Koronis at 17 Pisces had recently opposed its natal degree and Pluto/Alexander, about to conjoin Chiron, sparking the infection.
The recent Saturn/Pluto conjunction at 22 Capricorn had closely conjoined Johnson’s natal asteroid Borisov, closest to Boris, at 23 Cap, preparing the ground for a serious, life-threatening circumstance (Pluto) for the head of state (Saturn). By the time Johnson was hospitalized on April 5th, transit Jupiter had come to conjoin Pluto at 24 Cap, still within orb of natal Borisov, exacerbating and inflating the situation while enhancing the virus’ effectiveness, but also inclining him toward a more positive outcome ultimately. According to press reports, Johnson was never intubated nor lost consciousness, though he did transfer most of his duties to a deputy.
PNAs for the day added to the positive outcome. With asteroid Alexander at 19 Leo conjoined healer asteroid Asclepius at 13, and asteroid Johnson at 8 Gemini conjoined Venus (the “Lesser Benefic”) at 1 and health-related asteroid Hygeia at 9 Gemini, support for recovery was offered. Asteroid Borisov at 15 Capricorn squared the 16 Aries Sun put Johnson in the limelight, but solar contacts are not unreservedly favorable, though in this instance a boost to his overall stamina and lifeforce may be implied, just enough to get him over the hump of the crisis.
That it was a near thing is suggested by the exact pairing of Damocles and asteroid Britten (phonetic match for Britain) at 28 Aquarius, showing an impending doom (Damocles) for the country and the man who leads it, locked in the grip of COVID-19 at the time. These are exactly trined Johnson’s natal Sun/Venus pairing at 28 Gemini, personalizing the threat to him personally, but with the trine aspect offering support for weathering the storm.
Asteroid Thomas at 0 Taurus conjoined Uranus at 5 and TNO Albion, an ancient name for Britain, at 8 Taurus, depicting the shock (Uranus) to the nation (Albion) by its PM’s admittance to St Thomas Hospital (Thomas). A square to the Mars/Saturn conjunction at 3 and 0 Aquarius suggests a head of state (Saturn) with an infectious disease (traditionally Mars-ruled). Hospitals generally are ruled by Neptune, and with transit Koronis exactly conjunct Mercury at 21 Pisces, with Neptune at 19 Pisces, not only was the PM’s hospitalization front page headline material internationally, but the news (Mercury) was filled with stories of medical facility (Neptune) overload due to spikes in COVID-19 (Koronis) cases in the UK and US. In Johnson’s natal chart, asteroid Thomas at 18 Libra conjoins the 11 Libra Ascendant, and is stationary, having turned direct just 12 days before his birth, denoting a pivotal role ij the PM’s biography for persons or institutions resonating to that name.
Asteroid Alexander is currently at station, turning direct at 19 Leo on April 10th; this will likely mark a turning point in Johnson’s bout with the virus, one way or another. As of this writing (April 8), it appears the change will be positive. [Breaking: as AAA went to press, news broke that Boris Johnson has been removed from ICU, just as asteroid Alexander stations direct.]
If Boris Johnson’s mortality was spared by COVID-19, not so that of Bernie Sanders’ campaign, which bit the dust on April 8th when the firebrand populist gave up the ghost on his presidential ambitions, for 2020 and life. Hampered by the restrictive conditions imposed by the pandemic, Sanders saw no way to revive his flagging campaign and withdrew from the race, effectively ceding the nomination to former VP Joe Biden.
COVID-19’s power to impact Bernie Sanders is portrayed by its natal placement at 23 Sagittarius, from where it opposes asteroid Karma at 25 Gemini; appears at the Apex of a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, with inconjuncts to asteroid Nemesis at 25 Cancer and Saturn at 28 Taurus; is trine Mars at 23 Aries; is T-Squared asteroid Senator at 24 Virgo and TNO Chaos at 17 Pisces; and sextile to both Damocles at 26 Aquarius and asteroid Nike at 21 Libra. This is a truly astounding level of connectivity for Koronis, showing a pervasive impact on Sanders.
Interactions with Karma and the Yod show a fated circumstance in play, specifically involving the undoing or ruin (Nemesis) of his career plans (Saturn). Sanders’ (Senator) chances of a winning (Nike, named for the Greek goddess of victory) campaign (Mars) were finally scotched by the havoc (Chaos) created by coronavirus (Koronis), which represented the impending doom (Damocles) for his ambitions, though in truth his campaign was on life support before the outbreak became a pandemic.
Asteroid Bernie had turned retrograde on March 27th, which I had suggested might indicate a need for the campaign’s reappraisal; Sanders’ withdrawal came less than two weeks later. When the formal announcement of suspension was made April 8th, transit Koronis at 22 Pisces evenly split the difference between Neptune at 19 and Mercury at 25 Pisces, in trine to asteroid Bernie at 27 Scorpio, bringing the disappointing (Neptune) news (Mercury) of the end of his campaign (Bernie). Koronis was also widely opposed the ongoing extended conjunction of Nemesis and Whitehouse, then at 13 and 19 Virgo, showing the virus as a proximate cause of the downfall (Nemesis) of his presidential run (Whitehouse).
Additional indicators of the death or termination of a presidential campaign include Saturn (the presidency) at 1 Aquarius with Mars (campaigns) at 6 and asteroid Rip (as in “RIP”, “Rest In Peace”) at 10 Aquarius. Transit asteroid Sanders exact with Karma at 16 Taurus and asteroid Atropos, named for the mythic Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death, at 17 Taurus reiterates the fated quality to the decision to end the campaign. Asteroid Requiem in square from 22 Aquarius, named for funeral mass for the dead, and asteroid Lachesis widely squared from 8 Leo, named for the Fate who determines the span of life, lends support for the termination at that time; Koronis in broad sextile confirms the cause.
Boris Johnson’s COVID-19 wounds will likely mend quicker than Bernie Sanders’, who spent a lifetime cultivating and promoting his political philosophy, and the last five years running for the office which he must now acknowledge will never be his. Coronavirus grief comes in many forms, perhaps not least in the death of hopes and dreams for the future.