If the implications of the situation weren’t so dire, and the dysfunction of the Republican House caucus so manifest for the world to behold, I’d love to have the popcorn concession for what’s playing out now on Capitol Hill. It’s certainly must-see political theater, as Republicans continue to set records for ineptitude and incompetence, becoming the poster children for inability to govern, even themselves, let alone the country.
After ousting Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker on October 3rd, the first time ever that a Speaker has been removed by a floor vote, Republicans went on to take an 8-day pause in bothering to pretend to govern before nominating Steve Scalise (R-LA) as their next Speaker on October 11th. Scalise, currently the House Majority Leader, was an obvious choice, but faced immediate blowback, couched in terms of his health (Scalise is undergoing treatment for blood cancer), but perhaps more grounded in his ability to distinguish reality from fantasy, and acknowledge the validity of the 2020 election.
So much so, that just a day later, Scalise gave it up as a bad game, and withdrew his nomination. But Republicans leapt into the breach by nominating Jim Jordan (R-OH) on the 13th, one of the most-disliked members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, noted for his irascible, scrappy persona, bomb-throwing, and eschewing of suit jackets. Jordan has never crafted a single piece of meaningful legislation, is an underperformer in fundraising, and doesn’t play well with others, three essential components of a successful Speakership. His colleagues seem to agree with this assessment, and Jordan fell some 17 votes short of confirmation in the first ballot to elect him on October 17th, compounding his humiliation by losing ground on the second round the day after. On October 21st, Jordan tried a third time, but it was not the charm – he lost yet more votes. Even then, he refused to withdraw his nomination, until a closed-door caucus meeting officially deprived him of it.
What’s to be made of this House insanity? A look at the USA chart, the skies above at the time of the disaster, and Jim Jordan’s nativity fill in the blanks.
Asteroid House 4950 makes a bold statement in the US chart: at 25 Libra, House aligns with asteroid America 916 at 27 Libra in the Tenth House of governance, only appropriate for what has been called a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.” The House holds the purse strings, deciding how to raise revenue, and where to spend it.
The Speaker of the House is one of the most pivotal persons in government, setting the agenda and tone of each Congress, determining what bills come to the floor for a vote, and when, and which do not. This is seen astrologically in House’s close square to the US Mercury at 24 Cancer, which rules speech; the Speaker’s immense power is reflected in a square to Pluto at 27 Capricorn.
But it’s not all a bed of celestial roses. House also opposes a pairing of centaur Chiron 20260 at 20 Aries with asteroid Nemesis 128 at 28 Aries, completing a Grand Cross. And Mercury is encumbered with an exact conjunction from asteroid Agita 4392 as well as conjoining asteroid Lie 26955 at 17 Cancer.
Certainly the House has always had its share of misfit members, outcasts who provoke maverick behaviors, reflecting the Chiron connection. Typically these populate the fringe, and don’t do too much damage, but in the current razor-thin GOP majority, these bomb-throwers and anti-government anarchists have become key players. Nothing can be accomplished by the majority without their imprimatur.
And certainly the decisions made by the House can cause a degree of unrest, dyspepsia and agitation in the population, as represented by Agita. Not to mention the sense of dishonesty and lack of trustworthiness prompted by Lie’s influence.
So it’s no wonder that many Americans view the House as an enemy, an opponent, a roadblock or obstruction. In short, as a Nemesis.
The US asteroid House is currently being assailed on various sides. Solar Eclipses at 29 Aries in opposition last spring (19 May 2023), and in conjunction from 21 Libra just this month (14 October 2023), are highlighting its role in government. As well, Pluto has been toying with House in square from Capricorn, prompting major transformation and perhaps decay or decline. Though the last exact connection occurred in January 2022, Pluto remains within orb of the square, and is currently exactly squared to the US asteroid America, House’s celestial bedfellow.
Also, TNO Eris 136199 has been opposing House from Aries. Eris promotes strife, division, squabbling and faction, a fractious, discontented atmosphere redolent of current conditions, where intra-Party backbiting and contention is as common as that between the parties. Due to Eris’ ultraslow movement, this protracted aspect which began in the summer of 2022 won’t conclude until the spring of 2031. Here in late 2023, we’re in the thick of it, with Eris now at 24 Aries, also exactly squared Mercury/Agita, a likely source of the nation’s heartburn surrounding the Speaker fight.
Finally, the transit Sun and transit asteroid House are in a square relationship, from Libra to Capricorn, which came into a ten-degree orb on September 25th and runs until October 20th, with the peak coming at the exact square on October 7th, in the midst of the mishigas. The Sun’s bright spotlight is highlighting the House of Representatives’ dysfunction and malaise, just as conditions implode and break down, a vivid reminder of the issues that face the benighted body.
When McCarthy was ousted as speaker on October 3rd and this period of instability ensued, Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC) was selected to serve as Speaker pro tempore, a largely honorary position without the full authority of Speaker, able to oversee the election of a new Speaker, but with no power to advance legislation, etc. McHenry was a logical choice, celestially speaking, with asteroid Patricia 436 (feminine form of Patrick, for which there is no exact asteroid match) at 10 Capricorn, conjunct asteroid House at 13 Cap, closely identifying him with that legislative body. As well, asteroid Henry 1516 (for McHenry) appears at 14 Scorpio, sextile House, semisquare Mercury at 27 Virgo (the Speakership), exactly opposed Jupiter at 14 Taurus (politics, increased visibility or celebrity), also opposed Uranus at 22 Taurus (the unexpected nature of his elevation). A last-ditch effort to find a way out of the quagmire by granting McHenry full Speaker status as an interim head until January failed on the 19th.
For further illustration of the current impasse, let’s take a look at the full sky for October 11th, the day Steve Scalise’s short-lived nomination occurred. It will serve as a general marker of this period.
The Sun at 17 Libra is conjoined Mercury at 11 Libra and squared to House at 14 Capricorn, with asteroid NOT 2857 at 24 Leo, semisquare Mercury and sesquiquadrate House. This pulls focus (Sun) to the issue of the vacant (NOT) House (House) Speaker (Mercury) position.
Interestingly, NOT conjoins asteroid Stephania 220 at 21 Leo, one of three PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids) for Steven, as in Steve Scalise, nominated to fill the vacancy that day, but destined to withdraw his candidacy on the following day. That slant toward fatedness is reflected in asteroid Karma 3811 exactly conjunct Saturn, signifying loss or withholding, which squares a very apt conjunction of asteroids Scalesse 25035 (for Scalise) and Stevens 38540 (also for Steven) at 2 and 4 Sagittarius. Technically, this pair is also just within orb of an out-of-Sign square to NOT; it seems the cosmos was not on board with his elevation.
Scalise’s discomfiture is spelled out in other ways as well. A Grand Trine Kite pattern is formed by trines from Scalesse/Stevens to asteroid Stevin 2831 (a phonetic match for Steven, and our final asteroid referent for him) at 5 Aries and a pairing of asteroids Nemesis with Achilles 588 at 0 and 1 Leo, with TNO Sedna 90377 at 0 Gemini opposed Scalese/Stevens, on the String. Nemesis, as we have seen, is a roadblock or obstacle, Achilles represents, among other things, mulish stubbornness and obstinate refusal to cooperate, while Sedna is a symbol of isolation. Scalise was too moderate (for which, read, “reality-based”) for the MAGA caucus, who dug in their heels (Achilles) against his candidacy, and he found himself isolated (Sedna), exposing his vulnerability (also an Achilles trait).
TNO Eris at 24 Aries opposed Mars at 29 Libra (as well as the US House) signifies the squabbling and division (Eris) as Republicans try to choose a leader (Mars). A T-Square with Pluto at 27 Capricorn hints at dire consequences to follow.
Next up for the Speakership, to be nominated in two days’ time, was Jim Jordan, also reflected in this chart. Jordan is in a state of flux here, with asteroid James 2335 at 5 Aquarius at its station degree, indicating a change of direction or major turning point. James had turned direct on October 1st, and Jordan was now ready to make his move, initially contending with Scalise for the nomination. He lost that first round, but picked up enough support to secure the nomination in round two, albeit not nearly enough to win the office he sought.
Jordan is also represented by asteroid Jordaens 5232, which at 27 Gemini conjoins TNO Chaos 19521 at 2 Cancer and opposes asteroid Toro 1685 with Washingtonia at 21 and 28 Sagittarius respectively, forming a T-Square with Neptune at 25 Pisces. Jordaens with Chaos (which means exactly what it sounds like – disorder, disarray and anarchy) beautifully portrays both the current state of affairs in the GOP caucus and the House generally, as well as what is likely to ensue from a Jim Jordan Speakership.
The opposition to Washingtonia sets the venue for the vote, while Toro represents bullying, brutish behaviors, much on display in the strong-arm tactics Jordan and his allies used to try to move votes in his direction. Congressmen, their staffers, even spouses were bullied and pressured to support Jordan but the tactics backfired, and his vote tally eroded between the first and second ballots, a day apart, then collapsed on round three a few days later. Neptune is never a solid foundation to build anything, and often brings disappointment or disillusion, both likely felt by Jordan as he saw his dreams (also Neptune) of occupying the top House job slipping between his fingers.
Born 17 February 1964 (no time available), Jim Jordan is true to his birth chart, if nothing else. Jordan’s reputation as a scrappy rabble-rouser is well earned, with an exact Sun/Mars conjunction at 27 Aquarius. These individuals are often spoiling for a fight, unless the energy is channeled into other avenues. Jordan does have a background in sports, another Mars arena, as a college wrestling coach (complete with sex scandals, yet more Mars stuff), and is now attempting to actualize Mars’ leadership potential as House Speaker, as opposed to merely founding the Freedom Caucus, whom former Speaker John Boehner likened to “legislative terrorists,” members more intent on tearing down than building up.
The Sun is also conjoined by Saturn at 25 Aquarius, providing Jordan’s hardline conservative bona fides, and also betraying a certain degree of inflexibility. An opposition to asteroid Washingtonia at 20 Leo confirms where his energies would be directed. A T-Square with Neptune at 17 Scorpio provides a whiff of fanaticism, as well as unrealistic expectations and an inability to face reality.
With asteroid Jordaens at 6 Aquarius conjunct Mercury at 9 Aquarius, it may have been Jordan’s ambition to become Speaker for some time, and as transit James came to conjoin these from its 5 Aquarius station in early October, the Ohio agitator saw his chance to grab the brass ring. An opposition to asteroid America at 0 Leo, T-Squared asteroid Lie at 2 Taurus, places Jordan on the national stage (America), but in a less-than-credible (Lie) position.
A conjunction of Jupiter at 17 Aries with TNO Eris at 10 Aries links politics and fractious division, Jordan’s specialty. A square to asteroid House at 18 Capricorn, with asteroid James at 12 Cap, again confirms Jordan’s focus and personal involvement with strife in government, specifically the US House of Representatives.
Transit House is fast-approaching its natal degree, at 16 Capricorn when Jordan failed at his bid to become House Speaker with a third defeat on October 20th, just a week after his nomination. (That came on Friday the 13th – what was he thinking?) As well, the same eclipse that activated the US House placement at 25 Libra is also hitting Jordan’s natal House at 18 Capricorn, in square. So there was energy coalescing about the scheme to elevate his status, and this was a likely time to make a move.
What Jordan didn’t count on in his abortive attempt to run the House was transit Damocles 5335, exactly conjunct that natal Sun/Mars pairing at 27 Aquarius. Damocles is the doom hanging overhead, about to descend at any moment. Jordan appears to have met that moment.