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Aster-Obit: Dianne Feinstein

US Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) passed away peacefully at her Washington DC home on 29 September 2023, bringing an end to an era.  Her health had been in decline for some time, but the death itself was sudden and unexpected.  At 90, with some thirty years in the Senate, Feinstein had become a Washington institution, initially elected in 1992 as California’s first female Senator, and first female Jewish Senator in the US.  Reelected five times, in recent months ill health had kept her absent from Judiciary Committee meetings for long periods, imperiling the Democrats’ fragile majority and delaying numerous judicial appointments.  In February 2023 she announced she would not run for reelection when her term expired in 2024.

Feinstein, who began her political rise as mayor of San Francisco in the wake of the assassination of that city’s mayor in 1978, left an extensive legislative legacy, including introduction of the Assault Weapons Ban in 1994, which kept AR-15 style rifles and other semiautomatic firearms off gun store shelves for a decade.  She was the first woman to chair the Senate Rules Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee.  In 1996, Feinstein was one of only 14 senators to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage as an opposite-sex union for purposes of federal law.  In 2011, she introduced a bill to repeal DOMA, which was defeated, but in 2022, she was the lead Senate sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which repealed DOMA and required the federal government and all state governments to recognize same-sex and interracial marriages.

With asteroid Senator conjunct the Ascendant, and asteroid Washingtonia on the Midheaven, it was a safe cosmic bet that Dianne Feinstein would one day find herself on DC’s Capitol Hill

Born 22 June 1933 at 12:44 AM PST in San Francisco, California (Rodden Rating AA), Dianne Feinstein’s political future and ultimate destination in the US Senate is prefigured by asteroid Senator 8603 at 18 Aries, conjoined the 14 Aries Ascendant, the point which governs how others see us, and asteroid Washingtonia 886 at 8 Capricorn, conjunct the 7 Capricorn Midheaven, the cusp of the Tenth House, ruling career.  With these placements, a strong draw toward DC and the Senate is almost inevitable.

Senator is also sextile Saturn, another career indicator, at 15 Aquarius, and her progressive stance is mirrored in the conjunction of Senator with Uranus at 26 Aries, known for its liberal outlook.  The Senator/Saturn sextile further lies at the base of a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, with inconjunct aspects to Jupiter at 15 Virgo at its apex, ruling politics and the Senate generally.

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A lifelong gun control advocate, Feinstein introduced the legislation that became the Assault Weapons Ban in 1994, perhaps prompted by a close conjunction of asteroids Gunn and NOT in her birth chart

Asteroid Diana 78 (for Dianne) at 4 Aries squares the Sun at 2 Cancer, a common placement for one’s own PNA (Personal-Named Asteroid), which typically interacts with the Sun, Moon or Ascendant.  Born Dianne Goldman, asteroid Goldman 10153 at 18 Leo is semisquare the Sun, trine the Ascendant and sextile the Moon at 22 Gemini, for a cosmic trifecta of interaction.  Her married name of Feinstein appears as asteroid Feinstein 10988, which at 7 Virgo exactly conjoins Neptune and also conjoins Jupiter, is exactly trine the MC, and semisquare to asteroid Juno 3 at 20 Libra, named for the Roman goddess of marriage.  Feinstein’s placement reinforced her celebrity (Jupiter) and visibility (MC, the focus of all eyes) in her political (Jupiter) career (MC); Neptune made her an inspiration to other women with political aspirations.

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A conjunction of natal asteroid Feinstein with asteroid Franciscocordova and Jupiter suggests her involvement with San Francsico (Franciscocordova) politics (Jupiter), while asteroid Goldman conjunct asteroid California, trine asteroid Senator, hints at statewide office

Feinstein’s public career began in 1969, with her election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.  When Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated by former supervisor Dan White on November 27, 1978, Feinstein became acting mayor, as she was serving as the Board’s president, and next in line to the mayoralty.  The Board subsequently voted to appoint her to finish Moscone’s term, and she officially became the city’s first female mayor.  In 1979 she won a term in her own right, survived a recall election early in 1983, and was reelected that fall, but was term-limited and could not run again.

Feinstein’s elevation to top job in Frisco was a fluke, but vividly portrayed by the skies.  On 27 November 1978 former supervisor Dan White shot and killed the Mayor and Supervisor Harvey Milk, a noted gay rights activist, later pleading an insanity defense (supposedly brought on by junk food consumption, the much-lampooned “Twinkie Defense”).  An impressive string of cosmic energies begins with Neptune (insanity) at 17 Sagittarius, followed by Mars (murder) at 18 Sagittarius, Mercury (newsworthy event) at 21 Sag, and asteroids Daniel 2589 (for Dan White), Diana and George 3854 (for mayor George Moscone) at 22, 24 and 28 Sagittarius, an eleven-degree stretch of the zodiac that sums up the situation nicely.  Seeing PNAs for three of the four principals most affected by this act bound together in this fashion is surely a remarkable example of cosmic synchronicity.

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Supervisor Harvey Milk (left) and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by former coworker Dan White in November 1978, opening Feinstein’s path to her first major political office, as San Francisco’s mayor. Asteroids George, Daniel and Diana appear together in the sky, conjunct Mars (murder), while asteroid Feinstein clusters with asteroids Harvey (for Milk) and Osiris (god of the dead), in trine to Saturn, showing how the murder expanded Feinstein’s career path

The 4 Sagittarius Sun conjunct asteroid Anubis 1912 at 2 Sag, named for the ancient Egyptian deity governing funerary rites, and asteroid Daniela 107504 puts the focus (Sun) of the day on death (Anubis) and White (Daniela), while a cluster of asteroids Osiris 1923 (Egyptian god of the dead), Harvey and Feinstein at 11, 14 and 18 Capricorn, in trine to Saturn at 13 Virgo, reasserts Feinstein’s (Feinstein) association with the death (Osiris) of her fellow supervisor (Harvey), and the effect that had on her career (Saturn). 

Feinstein’s entanglement with San Francisco politics may be seen in asteroid Franciscocordova 28864, a CNA (Compound-Name Asteroid, comprised of first and last names strung together as one word, which can be separated and used for either) whose first half equates to “Francisco”, which at 10 Virgo conjoins both asteroid Feinstein and politically-minded Jupiter.  Milk’s death essentially put her on a glide path (the trine, noted for its ease of expression, and positive manifestation) to the next step of her career arc.  Osiris is also exactly squared to asteroid Milkey 6789 (for Milk) at 11 Libra, doubling down on the unfortunate supervisor’s fated rendezvous with death that day.  Further emphasis on the murderer is supplied by asteroids Daniels 315088 and White 10730, at 7 Leo and 25 Cancer respectively, both at station (White turned retrograde on November 24th, three days before the murder, and Daniels followed suit on the 28th, the day after, marking a major turning point for the former supervisor).  Daniels is also squared to TNO Ixion 28978 at 12 Scorpio, named for the first murderer in Greek myth.

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Former Supervisor and Twinkie enthusiast Dan White shot and killed Mayor Moscone and Supervisor Milk; asteroids Daniels and White were conjunct and at station, with Daniels also conjunct Jupiter (politics), in a T-Square with TNO Ixion (first murderer in Greek myth) and asteroid Gunn (firearms), opposed asteroid Lachesis (Fate who determines span of life)

Feinstein had become San Francisco’s first female mayor, but her sights were set much higher than that, perhaps prompted by a natal conjunction of asteroid California 341 at 21 Leo with asteroid Goldman, her maiden name, at 18 Leo, conflating her with statewide office.  Feinstein unsuccessfully tried a run at the governorship in 1990, two years after her mayoral term expired, but lost to Pete Wilson, a Republican Senator.  Undaunted, in 1991 Feinstein ran to replace Wilson in the seat he had vacated, and won a special election on 3 November 1992, taking office immediately after her victory.  Also elected that day, to fill a seat made vacant by the retirement of Alan Cranston, was Barbara Boxer.  At the end of Cranston’s term in January 1993, when Boxer was sworn in as his successor, Feinstein became the state’s senior senator after just two months in office.

When that election was held on 3 November 1992, the Sun at 11 Scorpio conjunct asteroid California at 8 Scorpio casts an appropriate spotlight on the Golden State’s dual Senate elections, a rarity in any year.  Asteroid Senator at 12 Sagittarius conjunct Venus at 18 Sagittarius suggests the election of female senators, which of course occurred in both races in California (Patty Murray of Washington and Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois also gained their Senate seats in this election).  Asteroid Victoria 12 in the mix from 16 Sagittarius, named for the Roman goddess of victory, helped to assure successful runs for females in general at this time, later known as the “Year of the Woman” in US politics.

feinstein boxer
When life gives you lemons … Feinstein lost her bid for California Governor to sitting Senator Pete Wilson in 1991, but won the special election to replace him as California’s Senator the following year; seen here with fellow successful Senate candidate Barbara Boxer. The Sun conjoined asteroid California on Election Day highlighted the unusual circumstance of two open Senate seats, while Venus conjunct asteroids Senator and Victoria suggested the winning vibe (Victoria, Roman goddess of victory) for female (Venus) Senate candidates (Senator)

Asteroid Feinstein at 1 Aquarius was broadly squared to the Sun/California conjunction, with asteroid Goldman at 29 Leo in square to Mercury at 4 Sagittarius, ruling the vote itself, and asteroid Diana at 22 Aquarius exactly squared Pluto at 22 Scorpio, showing Feinstein in a power position on the day.

Arguably Dianne Feinstein overstayed her welcome in the US Senate, and might have done better to retire a cycle earlier, if not two.  As noted above, her poor health was creating delays and disruptions in confirming Biden’s judicial nominees, and Feinstein had become increasingly disengaged.  Her passing was well-timed from a political perspective, however, allowing California Governor Gavin Newsom to appoint Laphonza Butler, the president of Emily’s List (a national organization dedicated to electing pro-choice Democrats) to complete her term.

When Dianne Feinstein passed on 29 September 2023, the Sun at 6 Libra conjoined asteroid Senator at 14 Libra, an appropriate celestial hat-tip to the longest-serving woman in the Senate.  Asteroid Diana at 23 Cancer exactly opposed asteroid Feinstein at 23 Capricorn, and this polarity aligned closely with Pluto, modern lord of death, at 27 Capricorn.  A Grand Cross is formed from squares to asteroid Lachesis 120 at 26 Aries, named for the mythic Greek Fate who determines the span of life, and asteroid Rip 7711 at 26 Libra, which functions as a death indicator in the form of the acronym RIP, “Rest In Peace”, a common tombstone inscription, further confirming the theme of her passing.

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When Dianne Feinstein passed on 29 September 2023, the Sun conjunct asteroid Senator, squared asteroids Goldman (her maiden name) with California, paid homage to the longest-serving female US Senator

Asteroid America 916 conjoined asteroid Osiris at 6 and 7 Scorpio, asteroid California conjunct asteroid Goldman at 7 and 10 Cancer, and asteroid Requiem 2254 (named for the funeral mass for the dead) conjunct asteroid Washingtonia at 20 and 24 Sagittarius, all echo the theme of a national (America, Washingtonia) loss (Osiris, Requiem) of the political powerhouse (nee Goldman) from the Golden State (California).

Transit connections to the natal chart include transit Lachesis exact with natal Uranus at 26 Aries, for a passing that was sudden and unexpected (also opposed exactly by transit Rip); transit Anubis exact with natal Rip at 5 Sagittarius and squared natal Feinstein at 7 Virgo; transit  Osiris at 7 Scorpio conjunct natal Lachesis at 12 Scorpio (itself at station); transit Requiem at 20 Sagittarius squared natal Anubis at 17 Virgo; and transit asteroid Atropos 273 (named for the Fate who severs the thread of life at death) at 28 Taurus, at station (it turned retrograde Sept 23rd, less than a week before her passing) squared natal Osiris at 27 Aquarius (also at station natally).

Dianne Feinstein was a trailblazer for women in national office in the US, and her legacy will long endure.

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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A great tribute to this progressive trailblazer, Alex! Once again it’s amazing how the asteroids foretold her political journey. I’ve also noticed that a strong, well-connected Venus by transit at the time of an election can indicate a woman will win. Thanks for this, great job!

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