On Friday, July 15th, 2016, newly-minted Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump tweeted his choice of running mate: Indiana Governor Mike Pence. This simple electronic transmission began one of the more unusual partnerships in modern American political history, and as with all things Trump, considerable drama accompanied the event.
A live announcement had been scheduled for that morning at 11 in New York, but Trump seemed discomfited the day before by reporting that he had sent his plane for Pence, thus earmarking him for the selection before he’d made it official. That night the Bastille Day atrocity in Nice, France, intervened, and Trump decided to postpone the event until Saturday, “out of respect.”
Instead, he tweeted the choice himself, shortly before the original announcement was scheduled. The official presentation came on Saturday, with Trump barely mentioning his running mate during his half-hour introductory speech, then leaving the stage when Pence spoke. All good; nothing to see here, now that I’m done talking.
Pence and Trump have continued to utilize this sort of tag-team style since taking office, with the two generally not much seen together publically, though Pence is a frequent observer at the White House. Trump does his outrageous high-wire act under the spot light of the Big Top, while Pence goes about behind the scenes, quietly making assurances among the other clowns, calming jangled GOP nerves when the lion roars, appearing competent, message-driven and focused as the circus manager (at least compared with his boss), and generally cleaning up after whatever mess the elephant has left in the room.
He is a staunch defender of the president, a man whose behavior he must often abhor, given his own strong fundamentalist Christian faith, which he wears on his sleeve. Pence is the point man for such congressional interaction as the Trump Administration has, which is underdeveloped, to say the least.
Born 7 June 1959, Pence is a fellow Gemini, doing nothing to balance the ticket astrologically, though he does seem to have a better ability to focus than Trump, whose Sun/Uranus conjunction, allied to easily distracted Gemini energy, can make him seem like a mentally peripatetic, unbalanced, perpetual motion machine.
Pence’s communication skills are more integrated, with the 16 Gemini Sun conjunct Mercury at 22 Gemini; an exact opposition from Mercury to asteroid Memoria at 22 Sagittarius grants good recall and a capacity to think fast on his feet, quickly utilizing past experience and a wealth of stored data as he crafts his responses. It is virtually impossible to move him from his chosen talking points during interviews; there is a tenacity there that belies his astrological mutability. This polarity overlays Trump’s Sun/Moon opposition, perhaps helping The Donald to focus his thoughts and balance his emotions with reasoned logic. Then again …
Also in the solar mix is asteroid Eurydike at 19 Gemini, which represents a sense of loss, harking back to a past which is now gone beyond hope of recall. This says much about Pence’s conservatism, which seeks to reclaim a golden era that never truly existed, except in perception. Asteroid Niobe is here as well, at 20 Gemini, suggesting that Pence can be prideful, perhaps to his detriment. Asteroid Michelle, the French female equivalent of Michael, closely conjoins the Sun from 15 Gemini, a common placement for one’s own PNAs, while asteroid Penza’s square from 18 Virgo suggests that this point might make a suitable celestial referent for “Pence.”
Pence’s geographic emphasis is represented as well, in the form of a solar conjunction with asteroid Indiana at 18 Gemini, the state where he was born and raised, lived his entire life, and which he represented in Congress for twelve years, then headed as Governor since 2013. Indiana is a very strong part of his central core, and it is perhaps appropriate that, as its governor, he was in some sense its very embodiment.
Last in the solar stellium is a broad conjunction with asteroid Troemper, representing Trump himself, at 24 Gemini. This carries the potential, from birth, that someone of that, or a similar, name could play a pivotal role in Pence’s life at some point, for good or ill. Specifically, with natal Mercury the closest point in conjunction, it makes Pence a sort of “mouthpiece” for Trump, charged celestially with translating the 45th president’s somewhat rough, unpolished political utterances into terms which legislators and the public alike can find intelligible. Helping to formulate policy, explain the agenda, and focus others on the task at hand, Pence attends to the petty details of governance which Trump eschews, while always remaining the loyal consigliere, at least outwardly.
Squaring the Sun, and part of a grouping including Penza, are asteroids Whitehouse and Washingtonia, at 13 and 14 Virgo. Clearly, Pence’s pull toward the nation’s capital is a strong one, and in fact, he spent a dozen years there as an Indiana Representative, but the presence of Whitehouse here foreshadows a Chapter Two for Pence, enacted after Trump won the presidency in November. Pence took charge of the transition team, and tried his best to fit his square peg boss into the round hole of the Oval Office, remaining his chief apologist since taking office.
Exact with Penza is asteroid Aphrodite, governing affairs of the heart. Pence, a fundamentalist born-again Christian, has a squeaky-clean reputation, but Aphrodite here suggests that at some point in his Washington sojourn, there may have been illicit romantic goings-on, or that there may be in the future, during this return engagement to DC.
Squaring Mercury from 25 Pisces is asteroid Kassandra, granting Pence a certain credibility of speech and opinion, a sense that he can be trusted to keep his word. This also squares Trump’s Sun, and in fact Pence was chosen to shore up Trump’s credentials with both fundamentalist Christians, who count the Indiana governor as one of their own, and the Republican establishment, who accept Pence’s conservative bona fides without question. Whether or not the pick has been successful is another matter.
As just noted, Pence self-identifies as a born-again Christian. Raised in the Catholic faith, he underwent a conversion experience in college, and although he continued to attend mass for years, he and his family now worship at an unaffiliated evangelical “megachurch.” Unsurprisingly, he is consistency anti-choice, anti-gay, and pro-gun. In 2015 he signed into law Indiana’s controversial “Religious Freedom Restoration Act”, which would allow private businesses to refuse to serve persons whose lifestyles they objected to, on religious grounds. Widely seen as a backlash to the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same sex marriage, corporate and popular condemnation of the act was so severe, Pence was forced to sign a revision to the law just a week later, specifically exempting LGBT individuals from this discrimination.
Asteroid Christian at 11 Taurus combines with asteroid Sappho and TNO Varuna, both a 15 Taurus, an indication that an integral part of Pence’s legacy (Varuna) would be his religiously-based stance (Christian) on LGBT issues (Sappho, named for an ancient Greek lesbian poet). Additionally, asteroid Ganymed at 14 Aries, another indicator of gay issues, conjoins asteroid America at 19 Aries, so Pence was likely to become a nationally known figure in the struggle for gay rights in the US, for pro or con. Certainly the Religious Freedom Restoration Act qualifies on this score, in the latter capacity.
A broad trine from asteroid Fanatica at 17 Cancer to Jupiter at 24 Scorpio, ruling religion and philosophy, suggests there may be something of the zealot to Pence. Fanatica is also closely semisextile the 16 Gemini Sun. Jupiter also rules politics and specifically the legislature, and its conjunction with asteroid Sisyphus at 26 Scorpio indicates a repetitive, one-step-forward, two-steps-back relationship with congress, where true progress seems always just out of reach, and Pence struggles against the natural inertia of the institution, but often to no avail. Indeed, Pence’s role as tie-breaker in the US Senate has already given us Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, and he may yet be called into play in passing one of the several abortive Obamacare repeal efforts, or other legislation which the GOP is barely squeaking by.
Natal Saturn at 5 Capricorn doubles down on the conservative bent, and was energized by two Lunar Eclipses, in September 2015 and March 2016, each in T-Square, signaling the change in career (until he was chosen as Trump’s VP, he faced an uncertain re-election bid as Indiana governor, so likely a change was coming regardless). Saturn ties to the US chart by exact opposition to the nation’s Jupiter, ruling politics, seamlessly aligning Pence with the GOP via Capricornian conservatism; and the US Venus close by at 3 Cancer confirms Pence’s “budget hawk” reputation, with Saturn seeking to trim finances where it can.
Another factor to be considered seriously with Pence’s Saturn is its placement vis-à-vis a pair of deep space anomalies. Opposing the Black Hole at 4 Cancer and squaring the Quasar at 5 Libra, Pence is likely to be successful, accomplished and acknowledged in career matters (all Quasar attributes), and could ascend even further due to the sudden, unexpected disappearance of a superior. This Black Hole Saturn trait typically shows natives advancing in career by this means, filling the vacuum left by a boss’ departure. This potential would be aptly fulfilled by the impeachment, resignation or death of Donald J. Trump.
A noted family man, Pence and his wife Karen have been married over thirty years, and have three children. Asteroid Karen at 7 Aquarius in Pence’s natal chart opposes his Venus/Mars conjunction at 0 and 4 Leo, as well as asteroid Hera, representing spouses, at 9 Leo.
When Trump picked him as his running mate on July 15th, 2016, asteroid Penza at 19 Pisces exactly opposed transit Jupiter at 19 Virgo (itself atop natal Penza at 18 Virgo, brining “luck”, or at any rate, expansion and increase), which was conjoined by asteroid Michela, another variant of “Michael”, at 16 Virgo. This reflects an augmentation or increase in Pence’s reputation, social standing or political profile. This polarity T-Squares Pence’s natal Sun, further personalizing these energies to the Indiana governor in particular. Asteroid Michel (the French male equivalent of “Michael”) at 20 Cancer conjoined the 23 Cancer Sun (itself exactly on Trump’s natal Saturn), indicating general prominence on that day for individuals resonating to that name.
On Election Day, asteroid Penza at 9 Pisces exactly conjoined transit Neptune. As the Veep candidate, this was not determinative of an outcome, but it did look like a day of personal disappointment for Mike Pence. And so it was, in all likelihood. Pence probably agreed to be Trump’s running mate without any expectation of victory, intending to use the increased visibility the position gave him as a springboard for his own presidential ambitions at some future date. Having to play nursemaid, psychologist and second banana to the most ill-equipped and unprepared commander-in-chief in US history can’t have been a pleasant prospect. And the reality has been worse than Pence’s worst fears, with continual faux pas needing smoothing over, a constant need to support the unsupportable, and somehow normalize the chaos machine in the Oval Office.
In a chart cast for the Trump Administration, January 20th 2017, Mike Pence’s role is easy to read. Asteroid Michel, for Michael, is stationary, about to turn retrograde six days later, making it one of the vital still points upon which the chart revolves. At 29 Virgo, Michel is in trine to the administration Sun at 0 Aquarius, showing Pence as a strong supporting player. Michel also opposes the administration Mars at 24 Pisces, making Pence the president’s chief champion, someone to carry the banner of Trump and valiantly battle against his foes.
Asteroid Penza is even more revealing of what Pence brings to the table. At 1 Aries, Penza conjoins asteroid Kassandra at 3 Aries, lending credibility and trustworthiness, and opposes TNO Logos at 3 Libra, marking Pence as the rational, reasonable actor in the mix, Trump’s natural foil. Penza is also exactly squared asteroid Lie at 1 Cancer, casting Pence as the hoodwinker-in-chief, someone trotted out to bolster false claims and recast foolish statements as Truth, based in the aura of reliable sincerity conferred by Penza/Kassandra.
The resulting T-Square pattern becomes a Grand Cross when the fourth arm is filled in by three points, squaring Penza from late Sagittarius and early Capricorn. These are asteroid Achilles at 28 Sagittarius, indicating an inherent weakness or vulnerability which Penza is called upon to shore up or compensate for; asteroid Nemesis at 0 Capricorn, a point of blockage to progress or self-undoing; and asteroid Toro at 3 Capricorn, noted for its connection to bullying, brutish behaviors. If that Achilles/Nemesis/Toro signature doesn’t represent Donald Trump, I’ll eat my cosmic chapeau. And Penza’s role is to counteract the worst effects of that, by appearing calm and rational (Logos), credentialed and believable (Kassandra), using misdirection or misrepresentation when necessary (Lie). Penza is also within orb of conjunction to that Mars which Michel opposes, doubling identifying Pence as the administration’s white knight, in this case, its own particular Christian Soldier.
Will Pence succeed Trump? Probably not, in the fullness of time. Unable to split from Trump for the re-elect in 2020 (if Trump makes it that far), he’s likely to go down with the ship. And by 2024, even if the ticket wins a second term, he’ll be so identified with Trump’s insanity he’s unlikely to garner much support nationally, as the GOP attempts to wash off the taint of the Trump years.
Pence’s best bet for the top job is the premature departure of his boss, and completing the rest of his term, as described by his Black Hole Saturn. Pence’s second Saturn Return occurs in 2018, with three passes of transit Saturn over its natal place – in February, retrograde in June/July, and again in November, during and just after the Midterm Elections. The return naturally resets and reasserts the natal potential, so this could conceivably be a set-up to prepare the ground for a Trump impeachment and a Pence ascendancy. If the GOP establishment themselves do not attempt to dump Trump before the midterms, then the Democrats certainly will, after winning control of congress in 2018.
A pair of eclipses in late winter 2018 supports the idea of an unexpected elevation. The Lunar Eclipse of January 31 at 11 Leo conjoins natal Uranus at 13 Leo, suggesting a shocking, unexpected event. Natal Mars at 4 Leo conjoins Uranus, but is not within orb of the eclipse per se, yet its presence here could suggest an act of violence which propels Pence’s future, such as an assassination. The subsequent Solar Eclipse of February 15 at 27 Aquarius opposes Pence’s natal Pluto at 1 Virgo, potentially increasing or augmenting his personal power, as well as setting up circumstances involving scandal which assist Pence’s job transformation, such as Trump’s impeachment or resignation due to the Russia probe. The Solar Eclipse of July 12th at 20 Cancer highlights Pence’s natal asteroid America at 19 Aries by square, another possible indicator of enhanced identification with the US, as its leader. This is followed by the Pluto direct station of September 30th, which at 18 Capricorn is also in square to America, suggesting dramatic change and transition, as well as exactly trined natal asteroid Penza at 18 Virgo, supporting increased personal power for Pence.
Politics generally is likely to be in focus for Pence in 2018. The Uranus station direct of January 2 at 24 Aries is exactly inconjunct natal Jupiter at 24 Scorpio, ruling politics, which is also visited in March by a transiting Jupiter station at 23 Scorpio, just one degree shy of its return. Lastly, the Neptune station retrograde of June 18 at 16 Pisces is exactly squared Pence’s natal Sun, perhaps inaugurating a period of confusion or deception, but potentially helping Pence to realize a long-cherished dream: that of becoming the most powerful individual on the planet.