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The California Recall Election

For the second time in twenty years, California is holding a recall election for its governor.  Like Gray Davis in 2003, the at-risk chief executive is a Democrat, Gavin Newsom, less than two years into his first term, former mayor of San Francisco.  Unlike the successful challenge mounted by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003, there is no high-profile Republican candidate running to unseat Newsom in 2021.  Rather, upwards of 40 little-known candidates have ponied-up to the electoral bar, from across the political spectrum, but Newsom is not among them, as the current governor is not allowed to run to replace himself.

To be held September 14th, voters will be presented with two questions on the California Recall ballot:  first, whether to retain Newsom in office or remove him; and then, stating their preference for his replacement, which option they can exercise even if they had voted to keep him.  Mail-in ballots have been sent to every registered voter, which may boost turnout in this off-year, off-season election, possibly giving Democrats an advantage in retaining the seat.  Newsom is consistently polling just above 50% saying he ought to remain in his job, but should he drop below that level, he will be replaced by whoever has a plurality of votes, no matter how few are cast; there is no runoff provision to winnow the field.  Currently polling best among his would-be successors, with roughly a quarter of the vote, is Republican Larry Elder, an African American conservative talk radio host and author.

So the polls tenuously endorse a Newsom victory – what do the stars say?  Born 10 October 1967 at 5:13 AM PDT in San Francisco, California (Rodden Rating AA), Gavin Newsom has a firm grasp on power, with Pluto exactly conjunct the 21 Virgo Ascendant and squared natal asteroid Gavini at 26 Sagittarius, combining two personal celestial markers (Ascendant and Gavini, for Gavin) with the source of personal power.  In itself, Gavini is also exactly conjunct asteroid Nike, named for the Greek goddess of victory, so winning comes naturally to Newsom.  Asteroid California at 24 Pisces on the Descendant, T-Squared Gavini/Nike and opposed Asc/Pluto, shows the venue for Newsom’s personal power and victories; California’s angularity identifies it as a pivotal locale in Newsom’s biography.

California Governor Gavin Newsom; with Pluto on the Ascendant, squared asteroid Nike conjunct Gavini, Newsom is used to winning and wields his personal power with confidence and authority, as a marker of his identity and public image

The Sun at 16 Libra conjoins asteroid Newsome (for Newsom; thus both his PNAs conform to the typical pattern of aspecting Sun, Moon or Ascendant in the birth chart) and opposes Saturn at 8 Aries, moving Gavin Newsom into government work (Saturn), specifically in the role of Chief Executive (also Saturn).  The Moon at 16 Capricorn is exactly at First Quarter square with the Sun, and creates a T-Square of the Saturn polarity, suggesting, among other things, the likelihood of government (Saturn) housing (Moon). 

Newsom was cheated in this natal potential during his tenure in San Francisco by the fact that the City by the Bay has no official mayoral residence; and he voluntarily voided the celestial manufacturer’s warranty when he abandoned the California governor’s mansion barely three months after moving in, opting for a private residence just outside Sacramento.  Perhaps third time will be the charm:  with asteroid Whitehouse at 16 Cancer filling out the Grand Cross, and exactly aspected to the Sun and Moon, an Oval Office run seems likely in the future, giving Newsom a crack at fulfilling the cosmic government housing proviso at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

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The recall election is perfectly timed celestially, with the spotlighting Sun exactly conjunct asteroid California, and opposing Gavini – all eyes on the Golden State and its Governor

On September 14th, the Governor and his state are appropriately highlighted for the Recall Election, with the transit Sun exactly conjunct asteroid California at 22 Virgo (just one degree past Newsom’s natal Ascendant) and opposed asteroid Gavini at 27 Pisces, placing both in the spotlight.  But not so fast!  Neptune is also part of the mix, conjoined Gavini and opposing Sun/California from 21 Pisces (highlighting Newsom’s natal Descendant/California pairing, suggesting his personal/Gavini relationship/Desc with the Golden State/California is in flux/Neptune), an indication of possible confusion at the ballot box, or disappointment in the outcome (both Neptune keywords).  (One likely source of the confusion could be that Democratic voters who support Newsom on Question One will not realize that they can also voice a preference for his successor, thus skewing the Question Two results towards a Republican challenger.)

That looming threat for princes and potentates, symbolized by the ongoing Jupiter/Damocles conjunction, which has taken down more than one public figure of late, remains in effect at 24 and 26 Aquarius, making this recall effort part and parcel of that current energy.  Also of note, a potential controversy regarding the vote itself.  Conducted largely by mail, transit asteroid Maillen (phonetic stand-in for “mail-in”) at 14 Taurus is an exact match for transit Uranus, and is stationary, turning retrograde on September 6th.  This could indicate an unexpected or controversial  (Uranus) development in the process, as related to mail-in ballots (Maillen), or perhaps a sluggish retrieval of that vote (the stationary status).

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Things look promising cosmically for Newsom retaining his office, but Neptune opposed the Sun and California on Election Day, with asteroid Maillen conjunct Uranus, suggests a heightened level of confusion in the process, and the possibility of some controversy regarding the mail-in ballots

Transit asteroid Newsome at 29 Aries exactly opposes asteroid Sisyphus at 29 Libra, a symbol of repetitive action which neatly suggests the recall vote itself, and this polarity is T-Squared by transit Pluto at 24 Capricorn, identifying the playing field as Newsom’s personal power base, and perhaps evoking a devastating transformation (also Pluto) in circumstance.  The Newsome/Sisyphus opposition also forms the spine of a Boomerang Yod with inconjuncts from Newsome to Sun/California and asteroid Nike at 22 Scorpio, though the orbs here are a bit wide, indicating that Fate has a major role to play in the outcome. 

More closely bound up in this pattern is Newsom’s natal Uranus at 26 Virgo and natal asteroid Victoria at 28 Scorpio, named for Nike’s Roman counterpart and the root of our word “victory.”  This suggests an unexpected win, but Neptune is once again the fly in the cosmic ointment, with natal Neptune at 22 Scorpio, exactly conjoined transit Nike, spreading uncertainty like a fog.

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Currently leading the pack of contenders to replace Newsom is Republican Larry Elder; with asteroid Lawrence conjunct Nike and asteroid Larry at station conjoined Victoria, Elder’s win on Question Two seems likely, but it may be a moot point, if Newsom is retained in office on Question One

This contest is not a typical one, in that Newsom is not directly running against anybody, but rather, against his own performance as governor, as Californians rate it.  That said, Larry Elder’s prospects do look good for the day, with transit asteroid Lawrence (for given first name Laurence) at 25 Scorpio conjunct winning Nike, and transit asteroid Larry at 26 Capricorn conjunct both transit Pluto at 24 Cap and transit Victoria at 3 Aquarius, doubling down on the victory vibe (Nike, Victoria) for Elder (Lawrence, Larry), with prospects for increased personal power (Pluto again).  Both Larry and Victoria are strategically embedded at station, perhaps indicating a literal “turning point” in Elder’s life (win or lose, this election is likely to be a watershed moment for him and his career).  Larry resumes direct motion a week before the election, while Victoria turned direct on September 2nd, both still at their station degrees.  However, given the peculiar circumstances of this vote, this may refer only to a theoretical win of Question Two, voided and rendered moot by a Newsom victory on Question One.  A third Larry referent, asteroid Laurentia, appears at 23 Gemini, closely opposed asteroid NOT, a general disqualifier, at 22 Sagittarius, and T-Squared Sun/California, suggesting a cosmic nolle prosequi for the conservative talk radio host in his quest to be California’s next governor.  Larry Elder may find himself the winner of a contest that doesn’t apply.

And that, for now, seems the most likely outcome.  But with Neptune, certainty is always a mirage.

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.

3 comments, add yours.


Hi Alex! I enjoyed your analysis, as always! It’s amazing that the asteroid California is conjunct the Sun on the recall election day and that both make a conjunction to Newsom’s ascendant! Canada has a federal election on September 20th and the asteroid Maillen is still conjunct Uranus so I’m waiting to see how that unfolds here too! Neptune will also be affecting our results as it is widely conjunct the Full Moon on that date! I’ll be watching the California election to see how it unfolds as it may give clues about Canada’s election outcome! Thanks for this!

Emma Esperanza Acosta



Thank you so much for doing this. I’ve been telling people to fill in the 2nd question even if they voted no on the first. Partly for the reason you mentioned, and partly because if they don’t and there’s a far right group that does a recount like they did in AZ, they might mark or write in someone if one isn’t chosen.

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