On Thursday, 30 November 2018, George H. W. Bush died at his home in Houston, Texas, at age 94. The 41st president of the United States, Bush was the son of a Senator, the father of the 43rd US president and of a former governor of Florida. Bush served two terms as Vice President for Ronald Reagan before succeeding to the office for a single term, losing the presidency to Bill Clinton in 1992. The subsequent friendship which grew between the two men (Bush and his wife Barbara often referred to Clinton as another son) was a beautiful example of a nonpartisan spirit that seems quaint and antiquated in today’s cruder, rough-and-tumble political atmosphere.
The Bush administration oversaw one of the most fraught periods in recent world history, from the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 to the end of the Cold War with the peaceful dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991; it’s unclear how much of these changes can be attributed to Bush’s leadership, but he did navigate the ship of state through choppy international waters, competently and without detriment to US interests. But Bush’s chief foreign policy achievement was the successful First Gulf War in 1990-91, when he assembled a coalition of some 35 nations under US auspices to dislodge Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s occupation of Kuwait. Bush, a somewhat unsympathetic figure due to his nasal voice and stilted demeanor, scored record approval ratings from the US public in the aftermath, but a downturn in the economy a year later soured the country on his leadership, and he lost a three-way contest in 1992 which included Texas billionaire and eccentric H. Ross Perot, who split the conservative vote.
Bush was a Navy fighter pilot in World War II, where he heroically served in the Pacific sphere; he married Barbara Walker in January 1945, embarking on a true love match which lasted 73 years, until Barbara’s death last spring. The couple holds the record for presidential marriage longevity, shattering the previous record, the 54-year union of John and Abigail Adams. They had six children, one of whom died in childhood.
After the war, Bush enrolled in Yale University, and following graduation the family moved to West Texas, where Bush entered the oil business, becoming a millionaire before being bitten by the political bug. He won his first race for Congress in 1966 and held the seat for two terms until resigning to run for the Senate, a race he lost at the primary level. Bush was compensated in 1971 by being appointed Ambassador to the United Nations, a post he held for two years, followed by brief stints as Chairman of the RNC, Envoy to China, and Director of the CIA. In 1980 he ran for president, initially lambasting opponent Ronald Reagan’s massive tax cut plans, which he termed “voodoo economics.” Bush won the first critical Iowa caucus, but Reagan rebounded in New Hampshire’s primary, beginning a string of victories which eventually knocked Bush out of the race. But political expediency is nothing if not adaptable, and in a surprise move at the Republican National Convention that summer, Reagan chose Bush as his running mate, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Domestically, Bush continued and expanded upon Reagan’s policy of gutting the social safety net, preferring to turn over these support services to private enterprise and charities, in an image for the country he famously defined as “a thousand points of light.” In general, Bush had trouble with inspiring others (what he termed “the vision thing”), and this, allied to his broken promise at the 1988 Convention ( “Read my lips – no new taxes!”), eroded Party support at a crucial juncture in his re-election campaign.
After his defeat, Bush returned to Texas, building a home for himself and Barbara in a Houston suburb; they have divided their time since between Texas and the family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. He busied himself with business interests and remained largely clear of politics, barring support for his two sons’ runs for Texas and Florida governor respectively, and eldest son George W.’s campaign for president. Bush held a second presidential record, in 2017 surpassing Gerald Ford as the longest-lived US president. In his senior years he became fond of skydiving, enjoying general good health until well into his 80s. For the past few years of his life, Bush suffered from vascular parkinsonism, a form of neurological deterioration which required use of a wheelchair. This allowed him to better display his collection of unique, flamboyant and colorful socks, for which he was noted.
Born 10:30 AM EDT on 12 June 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts (Rodden Rating B), George H. W. Bush’s chart reveals much of his character and destiny. Oddly, Bush and Donald Trump share a Sun Sign, with Suns just a degree apart (Bush at 21 Gemini, Trump at 22), and a strong Sun/Uranus signature (Bush in exact square from 21 Pisces, Trump’s conjoined), but it’s hard to imagine two more different individuals. Bush was self-effacing, soft-spoken, seemingly embarrassed by his heroic war service, which he rarely spoke of, and dedicated to a life of service for the country. Trump blows his own horn constantly, inflating and exaggerating his accomplishments, filled with bluster and braggadocio, with never a thought for others. Bush’s solar Uranus contact found an early outlet in flight (likely assisted by asteroid Icarus at 29 Pisces, named for the youth who flew from his prison on waxen wings); Trump’s Uranus is just erratic and volatile. Both men also have late Leo Ascendants (Bush at 26, Trump at 29), another commonality which is hard to square with their personas, so very opposite.
Bush’s Moon/Saturn link may help to account for the difference in the two men. With the Moon at 17 Libra and Saturn at 25, Bush tended to be emotionally reserved, not very outgoing, with a high sense of dignity and honor. These individuals don’t always like to put themselves forward in a very public way, but also have a strong sense of responsibility to others, the propriety of the situation, and acting appropriately, in ways which others deem to be acceptable.
The Moon also rules the home, and geographic asteroids pinpoint likely locations for Bush to live out his life. Closely conjoined the Moon from 16 Libra is asteroid Houston, where he spent much of his extended post-presidency, while asteroid Whitehouse opposes from 13 Aries, a suggestion that Bush could find himself in residence there one day. The pivotal role Texas in general would play is foreshadowed by asteroid Texas at 25 Leo, on the 26 Leo Ascendant, as the foundation state of his personal fortune, his political career, and his retirement. The Moon also squares Washingtonia at 18 Cancer, an indicator of a prominent place in his biography for the nation’s capital, which Bush lived in for much of his political career, as congressman, CIA director and president.
The Moon is exactly squared Venus at 17 Cancer, and more widely squared Pluto at 11 Cancer; this suggests an attraction for powerful, forceful or dominant women (Bush has often described wife Barbara as “the head of the family”, an opinion her adult sons fully endorse), with whom he is also likely to cohabit (Moon).
Asteroid George at 3 Pisces squares Mercury at 29 Taurus, ruling the naming function, a common placement for one’s own PNA (Personal-Named Asteroid), while asteroid Busch (alternate spelling for “Bush”) appears at 0 Cancer, very broadly conjoined the Sun, another common location. George also conjoins asteroid Vesta at 2 Pisces, symbol of service to others, perhaps helping to explain Bush’s focus on service, which he attempted to instill in his countrymen via his “thousand points of light” rhetoric. He has opined in interviews his strong belief that a vital component of any successful life is service to others.
Asteroid Barbara at 0 Taurus is exactly sextile Busch and opposes Saturn, another indicator of her as in charge in their relationship. Barbara is also sesquiquadrate asteroid Hera at 13 Virgo, named for the Greek goddess of matrimony, and closely inconjunct asteroid Juno at 2 Libra, Hera’s Roman counterpart.
Despite the denial of a second term as president, no one could reasonably argue that George H. W. Bush was anything but successful. This may be sourced to an exact square from asteroid Victoria, named for the Roman goddess of victory, at 21 Virgo, to his Sun. Achievement and success comes easily to these individuals, but the fly in the ointment here is Uranus, forming an exact T-Square form 21 Pisces. The victories may seem sporadic, interspersed with apparent defeat, but with results leading to further successes down the line. With his hands-on diplomatic experience as Envoy to China and U.N. Ambassador, coupled with legislative experience as US Representative and a solid working knowledge of intel as CIA Director, plus a broad understanding of Party politics as former RNC Chair, Bush was arguably one of the best-qualified, well-rounded individuals ever to hold the office. Again, the contrast with Trump is stunning. Natal Victoria squared the Sun has much to do with that continual progress toward a goal, accruing necessary skills and knowledge to broaden future prospects.
Victoria was also powerfully present on his election to the presidency, November 8th, 1988. At 11 Scorpio, transit Victoria conjoined the transit Sun at 16 Scorpio, along with Mercury at 3, Pluto at 12, and Washingtonia at 21 Scorpio. Of course these placements are general for the day, and applied to Bush’s Democratic opponent Michael Dukakis as well. But personalizing this very much to Bush himself is asteroid George, which at 16 Scorpio aligns exactly with the Sun, as well as conjoined Victoria and the rest, making the election a slam dunk for Bush. That Sun/George conjunction was also exactly squared Bush’s natal asteroid America at 16 Leo, cementing the deal.
But America is not unencumbered; it conjoins natal Neptune at 18 Leo, suggesting that image many Americans held of Bush as “a wimp”, someone ineffectual and dilatory, out of touch (recall his fascination upon seeing a supermarket barcode scanner for the first time), whose stern rhetoric seemed out of place with his mild manner. Transit America at 15 Taurus opposed Sun/George at the election, further cementing that perception in the public consciousness. Americans may have chosen Bush over his Democratic rival, but they weren’t really sold on him.
Transit asteroid Busch at 24 Leo conjoins Bush’s natal Ascendant and is broadly squared the transit Sun, but more importantly, is tightly inconjunct transit asteroid Nike, named for the Greek goddess of victory, at 25 Pisces. This point is at station, powerfully embedded in the day, and will turn direct just two days later. From this degree, Nike squares Bush’s natal Sun and opposes his natal Victoria, bringing that winning energy full circle.
When George H. W. Bush breathed his last on November 30th, in Houston Texas, transit asteroid Requiem, named for the funeral mass for the dead, was exactly conjunct natal asteroid Houston at 16 Libra, verifying the locale for his passing. The transit Sun at 8 Sagittarius opposed natal Requiem at 10 Gemini (itself conjoined by transit Nemesis, spelling undoing, at 12 Gemini), forming a loose T-Square with natal asteroid George at 3 Pisces. Transit Osiris, named for the ancient Egyptian god of the dead, squared the Sun from 5 Virgo and opposed natal George, created a Grand Cross. Transit asteroid George at 9 Aries was trine the Sun, and at station, having turned direct just four days earlier, marking a literal turning point for the former president.
Transit asteroid Lachesis at 26 Taurus, named for the mythic Greek Fate who determines the span of life, was exactly T-Squaring the Horizontal Axis, which had been activated by the solar eclipse of the prior February 15th at 27 Aquarius, on the Descendant. Within two months the most important and longest-lived relationship of his life, with wife Barbara, had ended. Lachesis was opposing transit Rip at 27 Scorpio, another death indicator (as the acronym “RIP”, “Rest In Peace”, a common tombstone inscription), also T-Squaring the Horizontal Axis and doubling down on the theme of death interacting with the most time-sensitive and personalized point of the chart. Natal Lachesis at 22 Aries was sesquiquadrate the transit Sun, broadly semisquare natal George.
Transit Anubis, named for the Egyptian deity governing funerary rites, and transit Atropos, named for the Fate who severs the thread of life at death, combined at 24 and 25 Sagittarius, trined natal Lachesis and opposing Bush’s natal 21 Gemini Sun. Transit Saturn, ancient lord of death, at 7 Capricorn was opposing natal Atropos at 5 Cancer, and more broadly squared natal Rip at 13 Aries. Transit Pluto, modern lord of death, at 19 Capricorn was sextile natal Anubis at 18 Scorpio.
Transit asteroid Busch at 27 Virgo was traveling with transit America at 20 Virgo, uniting Bush personally with the land he so loved and had given his life in service to, squaring that transit Anubis/Atropos and forming a T-Square with the natal Sun.
Bush’s casket arrived in Washington via Air Force One on Monday the 3rd, to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda for 36 hours after a brief ceremony. The formal State Funeral is scheduled for Wednesday the 5th, with private interment at the Bush Presidential Library on Thursday, to lie beside his wife Barbara. Wednesday has been declared a national day of mourning by President Trump.