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Ted Cruz: Texas Toast?

Texas Senator Ted Cruz may be in the fight of his life for re-election this November. The one-term Republican Senator who famously shut down the government in 2013 with a filibuster comprised partly of a reading of Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham”, has made few friends and allies on Capitol Hill, having a reputation as uncompromising, caustic, and generally charm-free. Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) once described him as “Lucifer in the flesh.”


Polls show he is now neck-and-neck with Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke, a former punk rock band member who is currently US Representative for Texas’ 16th District. Cruz is so desperate, he has asked former 2016 GOP presidential nomination rival Donald Trump to stump for him. Trump, who during that campaign tagged him with the moniker “Lyin’ Ted”, insulted his wife as ugly, and accused his father of participating in the JFK assassination, is Cruz’ last best hope of retaining his seat. With friends like these…


Cruz and O’Rourke are like polar opposites – where Ted is eminently unlikeable (unless he’s quoting lines from “The Princess Bride”, which he seems to know by heart), uncomfortable in his skin, smug, and gives the impression of being a priggish know-it-all, Beto exudes self-confidence, aplomb and has that star quality mingled with the common touch which can be so vital in connecting with voters. Recent polling has them tied or within the margin of error, something unthinkable in Deep Red Texas, where Cruz won his first Senate race in 2012 by almost 16 points (in one of history’s quaint little ironies, that election was held the same date, November 6th, as this one will be, bringing Cruz’ wheel of fortune full circle).

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A typically warm, endearing pose from Ted Cruz

Oddly, both men are known by nicknames. Cruz, the son of a Cuban emigre who attained Canadian citizenship before his US naturalization in 2005, was born in Calgary, Canada as Rafael Edward Cruz, known as “Ted”. O’Rourke is a Texan born and bred, son of an El Paso County judge; his given name is Robert Francis O’Rourke, but he was named “Beto”, a common nickname for the Spanish “Roberto”, before kindergarten.


Cruz attended two private, faith-based schools, then obtained a BA in Public Policy from Princeton and a JD from Harvard Law. After graduation he clerked for Chief Justice William Rehnquist of the SCOTUS, becoming the first Hispanic to hold such a position. A brief career in private practice followed before he joined the Bush campaign as legal advisor in 1999, and then worked as an Associate Deputy Attorney General in the Bush Justice Department, before his appointment as Solicitor General of Texas in 2003. He returned to private practice in 2008, then in 2012 ran for the Senate seat vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison, using an endorsement by Sarah Palin to energize the GOP base to support him against his rival, sitting Lieutenant Governor of Texas, David Dewhurst, in what was considered the political upset of the 2012 election.


Cruz is pro-life, opposes both same-sex marriage and civil unions for homosexuals, as well as the Affordable Care Act, the legalization of marijuana, and net neutrality; he supports school choice, gun rights and the death penalty. In 2013 he voted against federal aid to the East Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy; in 2017 he led the charge for federal aid to Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

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Beto O’Rourke on the stump, vital and engaging

O’Rourke attended public schools and afterward was bassist for the punk rock band Foss. He graduated from Columbia University in 1995 with a BA in English Literature. A DWI arrest in 1998 was dismissed a year later after he completed a court-recommended DWI program. He remained in New York, working with an internet service provider company until his return to El Paso in 1998, after which he co-founded an internet services and software company that develops websites and software, now run by his wife Amy. In 2005 he ran for El Paso City Council, defeating a two-term incumbent, and in 2012, like Cruz, he also ran for a federal government post, becoming US Representative for the 16th District of Texas, which he currently holds, having been re-elected twice.


O’Rourke supports decriminalization of marijuana, LGBT rights and same sex marriage, advocates for the abolition of cash bail on the grounds that it is unfair to the poor, is pro-choice, pro-comprehensive immigration reform, gun control legislation and single payer health coverage, or Medicare for all.


Ted Cruz was born at 1 AM MST on 22 December 1970 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada (Rodden rating C). It’s easy to see why he chose to use his middle name: asteroid Eduarda, one of two PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids) for “Edward”, falls at 0 Cancer exactly opposed the 0 Capricorn Sun, a very common placement for one’s own celestial referent, although asteroid Raphaela, for “Rafael”, is also prominent. At 16 Aries it squares Mercury at 13 Cap, ruling the naming function, another common spot for a PNA to find itself. Asteroid Cruz at 0 Gemini is exactly inconjunct the Sun.


With that Mercury is asteroid Achilles, also at 13 Cap, and asteroid Icarus, at 12. Icarus inclines the native to rash, reckless words or deeds, heedless of the consequences, while Achilles represents a weakness or vulnerability, something which threatens to undermine or destroy the individual.   Cruz’ unpopularity likely stems from his misuse of the language; in Capricorn, he may speak in condescending or critical ways, without much human feeling or warmth. Ordinarily Mercury’s square to the Moon at 16 Libra would ameliorate this, softening Capricorn’s stern stance with more emotional notes, but there is also an exact square to Uranus at 13 Libra, conjoining that Moon, making his utterances somehow inappropriate or controversial, and draining much of the Moon’s natural intimacy and affection, to be replaced with cold, intellectual calculation.


In 2013 Cruz famously shut down the government with a filibuster incorporating “Green Eggs and Ham”, which somehow failed to evoke his childlike qualities

Mercury is also within orb of asteroid Senator at 17 Capricorn, recalling that 21 hour and 19 minute filibuster on the Senate floor, the third longest in US history. Whatever weakness Achilles may impart to natal Mercury, it’s not lack of breath or staying power. Senator is in a Grand Trine with Saturn at 16 Taurus and asteroid Texas at 18 Virgo, bringing together Cruz’ career and government work (both Saturn) with the state he represents (Texas) and the job he does for it (Senator).


An opposition from Saturn to Mars at 9 Scorpio (forming a Kite pattern) indicates the fractiousness which has so failed to endear him to his colleagues, though Venus is here, too, at 17 Scorpio, suggesting Cruz could make more friends if he chose to. Also opposed Saturn is asteroid Victoria at 20 Scorpio, named for the Roman goddess of victory, granting success in career matters generally. Saturn opposed Venus suggests limited appeal with women, but Victoria with Venus indicates they could be crucial to his winning, much in the way Sarah Palin’s endorsement brought him the nomination in 2012.


Senator also opposes asteroid Karma at 11 Cancer, creating another Kite, intimating that Cruz’ Senate job was somehow fated. Finally, Senator widely opposes asteroid Lucifer at 25 Cancer, which is itself exactly squared asteroid Washingtonia at 25 Libra, for the nation’s capital, and exactly trine Jupiter at 25 Scorpio, ruling politics generally and the Senate in specific. This alignment may perhaps be the source of John Boehner’s suggestion that Cruz is “Lucifer in the flesh”, as the DC venue may bring out the worst in him. Asteroid Nike, named for Victoria’s Greek counterpart, conjoins Washingtonia from 20 Libra, squared Senator, and also conjoins the Moon, a second indicator of the importance of women in Cruz’ Senate career, if he is to once again emerge victorious.

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Bitter rivals in a highly personal 2016 nomination fight, Cruz must now turn to the President for help in retaining his seat

Strangely, the only point which is at station in Cruz’ nativity is asteroid O’Rourke, at 11 Virgo. O’Rourke doesn’t turn until January 4th, almost two weeks after Cruz’ birth, but is already at its station degree. Stationary points exert a hugely disproportionate influence in a biography, and this may indicate that O’Rourke has a major role to play in Cruz’ life. Asteroid Roberts, also for Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, falls at 19 Aquarius with Damocles, that doom hanging unseen overhead, close beside at 17 Aquarius; both square Venus/Victoria, suggesting they may block Cruz’ winning streak, with help from female voters. Asteroid Roberta, the other Robert referent, falls at 22 Aries, opposing Nike and Washingtonia, perhaps further limiting Cruz in his quest for another DC win.


Beto O’Rourke (born 26 September 1972, no time available) is one of very few individuals I have profiled so far whose PNAs do not fit the normal pattern (although, to be fair, without a time of birth, we can’t know his Ascendant, another common PNA tie, or the exact degree of his Moon, also commonly linked, so they may well conform).   But asteroid O’Rourke at 22 Aries does conjoin asteroid Nemesis at 19 Aries, suggesting Beto has the ability to act as another’s downfall or undoing. This is placed with Nemesis exactly atop Cruz’ natal Roberta, and opposed that Nike/Washingtonia, confirming his potential to obstruct Cruz’ ambition. Asteroid Roberta at 22 Virgo conjoins Mars at 27 Virgo, establishing Beto as a leader and a fighter, a natural campaigner, whether on the battlefield or the stump. Perhaps the lack of a typical PNA placement can be explained by the presence of asteroid Betti, closest to Beto, at 10 Libra, conjoined both the 3 Libra Sun and Mercury at 8 Libra. Or rather, Beto may have emerged as his name of choice due to the lack of typical PNA contacts.


O’Rourke’s senatorial bona fides appear as asteroid Senator at 4 Virgo, semisextile the Sun and exactly sesquiquadrate asteroid O’Rourke. Senator also trines Jupiter at 0 Capricorn, ruling the Senate, which opposes Victoria at 9 Cancer. Roberta/Mars opposes Texas at 24 Pisces, identifying O’Rourke as a champion for his state, and forms a T-Square with Washingtonia and Nike at 22 and 26 Sagittarius, perhaps signaling a victory which brings him to the capital.

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Beto O’Rourke, left, with his band Foss in his punk rocker days

If O’Rourke’s own PNAs make a less than impressive showing in his chart, his opponent’s are singularly placed to pinpoint the pivotal nature of their interaction. Asteroid Raphaela is an exact match for O’Rourke’s Sun, suggesting vital importance in his life, while Eduarda and Edoardo, at 8 and 18 Scorpio, sandwich asteroid Karma at 13 Scorpio between them, exactly on their midpoint, further evidence of some fated link. Asteroid Cruz at 12 Libra is also widely conjunct the Sun, and closer in orb to Uranus at 17 Libra, perhaps indicating O’Rourke’s ability to disrupt Cruz. Lastly, O’Rourke’s natal Saturn at 20 Gemini is an exact match for Cruz’ natal asteroid Cruz, suggesting he has the power to dampen or restrict the current Texas senator’s progress.


What to expect from their contest on Election Day, November 6th, 2018? In general, a conjunction of asteroid Senator at 5 Taurus with Uranus at 0 Taurus prefigures some unexpected twists and turns, upsets and shocks, in the Senate races being decided that day. Will Cruz’ be one of them?

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Beto reconnects with his guitar, appearing with fellow Texan and supporter Willie Nelson

Ted Cruz is strongly tapped into the day; asteroid Edoardo at 10 Taurus conjoins Senator and opposes the Sun at 14 Scorpio, granting high visibility and linking him in the public mind with the job he wants to keep. Asteroid Cruz at 19 Libra is exactly squared Pluto at 19 Capricorn, but this can cut both ways, either validating Cruz’ personal power and dominance, or dealing a devastating blow to his ego. Asteroids Eduarda at 17 Sagittarius and Betti at 19 Sag bring together the two competitors; their square to an exact pairing of Washingtonia and Neptune at 13 Pisces indicates despair, disappointment and disillusion for one of them in his quest for a DC job, but which will be left out is unclear.


Asteroid O’Rourke at 18 Gemini travels with Nemesis at 17, but again, as with Pluto, this symbol can be read either way. Nemesis could put the brakes on O’Rourke’s ambition, or enable him to function as an obstacle to another; perhaps the placement of this pair on Cruz’ natal asteroid Cruz provides the answer, directing Nemesis’ retributive energies toward him personally. Asteroid Roberts at 17 Aquarius is about to return to its place in Cruz’ nativity, and is again in company with Damocles, now at 21 Aquarius, and also Mars at 24. This reinforces the impact O’Rourke has in Cruz’ biography (the Roberts Return in his natal chart), still acting as his doom (Damocles), but with enhanced vigor and force (Mars). But it is asteroid Roberta which provides the best hope for O’Rourke; at 26 Leo, Roberta is in a tight Grand Trine with victorious Nike at 26 Aries and fated Karma at 25 Sagittarius, with a Kite formed by Roberta’s opposition to Mars. This could be just enough to drag O’Rourke over the finish line ahead of his rival.


But then again, this is Texas we’re talking about.


If we look simply to both men’s capacity for wining, as embodied in their natal Nike and Victoria placements and these points in the sky that day in relation to their charts, we see Cruz’ natal Nike at 20 Libra conjoined by transit asteroid Cruz at 19 Libra and squared by transit Pluto at 19 Capricorn. However, since this Pluto aspect to Nike has been in force throughout the run-up, while Cruz has been underperforming, we may see Pluto here as breaking down Cruz’ ability to win, adding the coup de grace of its square to his PNA to finish him off politically. Cruz’ natal Victoria at 20 Scorpio is broadly conjoined by both the Sun and Jupiter, at 14 and 29 Scorpio respectively, which could highlight (Sun) his capacity for winning (Victoria) and increase its potential (Jupiter). Transit Victoria at 4 Gemini exactly trines his Ascendant, perhaps making him look like a winner, while transit Nike at 26 Aries opposes Cruz’ natal Nike/Washingtonia conjunction, again suggesting he could bring home the blue ribbon.

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Switched at birth? Ted Cruz has been compared to Al Lewis, who played the vampire Grandpa on the 1960s TV series “The Munsters”. Will Beto be his garlic?

For O’Rourke, natal Victoria at 9 Cancer is being opposed by transit Saturn at 5 Capricorn, perhaps concretizing his ability to win, or alternately, withholding victory. Natal Nike at 26 Sagittarius is exactly trined by transit Nike at 26 Aries, with transit Karma conjoined from 25 Sag, suggesting a fated victory. Transit Victoria at 4 Gemini exactly squares his natal Senator at 4 Virgo and trines his 3 Libra Sun, potentially an indicator of a win in the Senate race, while transit Nike, in addition to its trine to its natal degree mentioned above, is also exactly squared natal asteroid Roberts at 26 Cancer, once again personalizing its winning vibe to O’Rourke.


All in all, I’d say this race is too close to call celestially. We may have to rely on earthly polling.






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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