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The First 2024 Presidential Debate

“Step right up, ladies and gentlemen!  Step right up to the Greatest Shitshow on Earth!  Ya pays your money, ya takes your chance!  What will it be?  Who will you choose – the Felon or the Feeb?”  So says the Cosmic Carnival Barker to promote the first (and now likely only) 2024 US Presidential debate.  For incumbent Joe Biden, it was an unmitigated disaster, which is an apt word for an astrologer to use, since its literal meaning is “against the stars.”

Unfortunately, Biden’s performance wasn’t against the stars of the night; it was in perfect alignment with them.  Although his performance improved after the first half, Biden was way off his game at the Atlanta, Georga debate hosted by CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, starting at 9 PM EDT on 27 June.  He had one job at this outing:  to convince the American public that he’s fit to serve, not too old for the job.  And at that, he failed miserably.

Biden entered the stage slowly, looking feeble, started off soft-spoken and at times difficult to understand, speaking too quickly or becoming entangled in tangential thoughts.  He appeared confused, often misspoke his numbers (like saying he had created 15,000 jobs when he meant 15 million; or that there were a thousand trillionaires in the US, which he corrected to billionaires) and failed to take advantage of numerous opportunities to knock Trump off his game, or respond to blatant untruths from his opponent.  He performed little fact-checking on the firehose of bilge streaming from Trump, but the moderators did even less.

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With a loose T-Square incorporating Mars (campaigns) with asteroids Washingtonia, Whitehouse and America, the cosmic stage was set for the first US presidential debate; unfortunately, no asteroid has yet been named “dumpster fire”

Donald Trump, on the other hand, was at the top of his game.  Yes, virtually every word he uttered was a lie, an exaggeration, a misrepresentation, or all three, but he spoke with clarity (largely, until towards the end), confidence, and vigor.  He kept his worst personality traits in check, and didn’t come off as overtly insane, vengeful, self-conceited or rambling, as he does on the stump. If I was an undecided voter who had been living under a rock for the past decade and knew nothing of either man’s record or character, I’d have plumped for Trump in a second.

I didn’t look at the chart for this debate far in advance, just a few days ahead.  I was privately convinced that it would never happen, that Trump would oil out of the impending peril of appearing before a national audience composed of persons other than MAGA sycophants at his rallies.  I had no astrologic rationale for this, just a gut feeling.  But as D-Day approached, and the debate remained on the schedule, I took a gander.

PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids) for Donald Trump are fairly straightforward, with asteroid Donn 4689 for Donald, and asteroid Troemper 28130 acting reliably as a cosmic stand-in for Trump since he first rolled down that golden escalator to announce his candidacy in 2015.  But Joe Biden is a tougher celestial nut to crack.  We have asteroid Bida 32104 for Biden, and that works well.  But there’s no exact match for Joseph, and a wide variety of possible substitutes, including asteroids Jose 1423 (a Spanish version), Josefa 649 and Josephina 303 (both feminine variations), Giuseppina 6533 (a feminine Italian version), and my personal favorite, given the circumstances:  asteroid Old Joe 10515. With that many possibilities, there’s bound to be some conflicting data, and sussing out which of the potentialities will come to the fore can be a thankless task.

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With the Moon sandwiched between Saturn and Neptune, the public (Moon) was poised to be hyper-critical (Saturn) and confused or despairing (both Neptune) at the same time; an opposition to a pairing of asteroids NOT and Veritas (Latin for “truth”) depicts the plethora of falsehoods they were subjected to by Trump

At first glance, I was pleased to note that two Biden referents found themselves angular for the start of the debate.  Angularity promotes force and power, shows relevancy in the moment, and is generally a good thing.  Then I took a step back and looked deeper.

What I saw was Old Joe at 26 Libra on the 29 Libra MC, which represents the focus of all eyes and relates to status, reputation or career.  I immediately feared that Old Joe was the Biden who would show up, the seemingly enfeebled, weak, ineffectual Joe Biden of the GOP characterizations.  And indeed, that’s just what we got, for all the world to see. 

Squared Mercury at 21 Cancer and inconjunct Neptune at 29 Pisces, I thought there might be issues with speech (Biden acquired a stutter in childhood which he has never completely shed, becoming more prominent under stress), cognition, clarity and verbal delivery.  Neptune itself can be an enervating energy, signaling physical weakness or enfeeblement, and Joe Biden certainly needs no help in that department.

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Mirror images portray each candidate’s attempt to offer himself to the public; with asteroid Old Joe conjunct the MC, it was the feeble version of Biden which showed up, while asteroid Donn at station allowed Trump to settle himself into a more staid stance than normally

The other angular point was asteroid Giuseppina at 1 Cancer.  Aligned with the Sun at 6 Cancer, on the Descendant at 9 Cancer, and also within orb of asteroid Nike 307 at 8 Cancer, named for the Greek goddess of victory, this looked rather more promising.  Add in a square to asteroid Victoria 12 at 8 Libra, named for Nike’s Roman counterpart (and bracketed by asteroids Josephina and Josefa at 5 and 13 Libra), and it seemed like a lock on winning the debate for Biden.

But that’s not as far as it went.  Also with Giuseppina are TNO Chaos 19521 at 2 Cancer and asteroid Losse 340579 at 0 Cancer, hemming it in, just a degree to each side.   Chaos refers to disorder and confusion, a lack of focus or direction.  Losse is a point which only recently came across my radar, but in our brief acquaintance it has proved itself as an indication of its homonym “loss.”  The Sun in conjunction is not unreservedly positive, as many believe.  Rather it simply highlights, drawing attention, revealing the essence of a thing.  This can be positive or negative, but is always illuminating. 

With both Nike and Losse conjunct Giuseppina, we have a split decision – is it victory or defeat?  In this case Nike is further afield than Losse, so likely less effective, but it was the intervening Sun that tipped the scales for me.  With Giuseppina and Losse together on one side of the Sun, and Nike on the other, these points, though conjoined, can’t really “see” each other, blinded by the Sun’s light between them, similar to what is termed “combust” in astrology.  I’m sure Nike would have loved to help, given the stakes, but she just couldn’t see that Biden needed her aid.  So Losse and Chaos got the upper hand, with the Sun right there to show it off to everyone.

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The Biden campaign requested this early debate on CNN, in an attempt to reset a stagnant race; they may have accomplished that, but not in the way they’d hoped. Pluto conjunct asteroid Kassandra opposed asteroid Whitehouse encapsulates the debate’s theme in a nutshell: who seems the most credible (Kassandra) individual with whom to entrust the power (Pluto) of the presidency (Whitehouse)?

Not content with this bit of mischief, the cosmos compounded the problem with Neptune at 29 Pisces squared Giuseppina.  This doubles down on the personal connection for Joe Biden to an energy that encourages confusion, lack of focus, debilitation and weakness, both physical and mental.  The Moon is here with Neptune as well, at 25 Pisces, representing the public, which is therefore very closely linked with Neptune’s perspective of Biden as ineffectual, muddled and rambling.  With the Moon in square, the public is likely to be critical; Saturn also conjoined the Moon from 19 Pisces could suggest that this impression of Biden is now firmly cemented in the public mindset.  The one saving grace here is that Saturn, which also rules old age, is a bit too wide to be squared Giuseppina itself, so isn’t adding to the perception of Biden as too old, though the President is perfectly capable of looking ancient all on his own.

Meanwhile, asteroid Bida at 9 Taurus finds itself on the fulcrum of a loose T-Square, conjunct Mars at 13 Taurus and asteroid Washingtonia 886 at 0 Taurus.  So far, so good – we’re looking at Biden (Biden) embroiled (conjunction) in a campaign (Mars) for federal office (Washingtonia, DC); just simple explication there, a frank celestial statement of the circumstances.  Mars/Bida could even refer to a boost of energy for the candidate, or a scrappy demeanor that takes no guff (or “malarky,” as Biden would term it).  It’s the squaring polarity that makes this problematic.

On one side, we have Pluto at 1 Aquarius, with asteroids Kassandra 114 and America 916 at 4 and 12 Aquarius respectively.  On the other, we have asteroids Whitehouse 4036, Achilles 588, Lie 26955, and Nemesis 128, at 2, 10, 12 and 18 Leo.  Ouch!

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In case you’ve forgotten, or haven’t seen any hit Broadway shows of late, political rivals Hamilton and Burr shot out their differences on the dueling field; with Mars in a T-Square with asteroids America and Nemesis, political enmity (Mars) could be the ruin (Nemesis) of the nation (America)

Obviously, both America and Whitehouse are remarkably apt modifiers here, representing the US itself and the office of the presidency.  These are neutral descriptors, but having them in contact with Bida does suggest a certain affinity between Biden, the country, and the job he currently holds.  Again, in the circumstances, this is wholly understandable and of little comment save as illustration of the cosmos’ ineffable ability to put its best foot forward when describing terrestrial conditions.

The rest is less harmonious.  Pluto can signal empowerment, or wreak devastating results (just ask Hillary Clinton, with asteroid Hillary at station, opposing Pluto, on Election Day 2016), and by itself, there’s no way to know in advance which way the cosmic cat will jump.  But Pluto isn’t alone here.  Kassandra relates to credibility; is this person believable in the role offered?  Achilles signals exposure, weakness and vulnerability, an inherent flaw which threatens to destroy the native.  Nemesis refers to an opponent or archenemy, as well as potential ruin or destruction, often self-created.

Does all this sound as depressingly self-fulfilling to you as it does to me?  Equating Lie with liar, and using it as a marker for Trump here, we see the picture clearly:  Biden (Bida) in the fight of his life (Mars) to retain his office (Whitehouse, Washingtonia), but hampered by an appearance of weakness (Achilles) and looking less than credible (Kassandra) as an alternative to his opponent Trump’s untruths (Nemesis conjunct Lie), who bests him and puts the country (America) at serious risk of destruction (Pluto), brought on by Biden’s self-defeating (Nemesis again) performance.

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Question: Can you describe, via hand gestures, how much the American people don’t want the choice you both represent? Asteroid Giuseppina (feminine Italian form of Joseph) conjunct TNO Chaos and asteroid Losse prefigured a confused, losing performance by Biden, while asteroid Troemper conjoined Jupiter gave Trump a boost

And what of The Donald?

He’s got his challenges here, but they’re not as dramatic as Biden’s.  Asteroid Donn has been running with Damocles 5335 for weeks, and the implication is that there is a peril or doom hanging over Trump’s head.  This alignment coincided with the legal jeopardy of his criminal trial and its guilty verdict, and continues through Trump’s sentencing on July 11th, which could result in jail time.  And indeed, there was peril for Trump in this instance, if he showed his true self fully to the uncommitted voters in the audience.  But he kept that to a minimum, and despite the cosmos doubling down with asteroid Troemper at 8 Gemini in square to Damocles, survived the debate relatively unscathed.

That he did as well as he did may be attributed to the action of Jupiter, known as “the Greater Benefic,” proffering luck and positive outcomes.  At 7 Gemini, Jupiter is closely conjunct Troemper, smoothing Trump’s path.  This man is so shitty lucky, it’s sick-making, with his lifelong good fortune propelled by a stationary natal Jupiter which turned direct within two hours of his birth.  Asteroid Jose at 13 Gemini, our final referent for Biden, conjoins Jupiter as well as Troemper, but was blocked from its share of luck by the pass interference provided by Troemper between them.  As it is, the combination merely describes the two rivals (Jose, Troemper) coming together in the political setting (with Jupiter also ruling politics) of the debate.

If there was a casualty of the debate (beyond Biden’s reelection aspirations of course), it was Truth.  CNN’s fact checker Daniel Dale chronicled more than thirty overt falsehoods uttered by Donald Trump, but unfortunately, he did so after the fact, once most of the audience had left.  His more egregious lies included his assertions that some Democratic-led states allow babies to be executed after birth; that every legal scholar and everybody in general wanted Roe v. Wade overturned; that there were no terror attacks during his presidency; that Iran didn’t fund terror groups during his presidency; that the US has provided more aid to Ukraine than Europe has; that Biden for years referred to Black people as “super predators;” that Biden is planning to quadruple people’s taxes; that then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi turned down 10,000 National Guard troops for the US Capitol on January 6, 2021; that Americans don’t pay the cost of his tariffs on China and other countries; that Europe accepts no American cars; that he is the president who got the Veterans Choice program through Congress; and that fraud marred the results of the 2020 election.

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Not an exaggeration; panic in progressive circles ensued post-debate, with the NY Times editorial board calling on Biden to withdraw from the race before it’s too late; asteroid Demokritos conjunct Mercury, sesquiquadrate Damocles with asteroid Donn, certainly got Dems (Demokritos) talking (Mercury) about the looming peril (Damocles) they face should Trump (Donn) win in November

Of course, that sort of thing is no more than boilerplate from Trump, but many of the undecideds and low-information voters who watched wouldn’t know that, and Dale’s revelations came too late.  Moderators Tapper and Bash uttered not one word of correction as the lies came trippingly off Trump’s tongue, and Biden barely offered any rebuttal in the moment.

Here we can look to two factors, asteroid Truth 249521, and asteroid Veritas 490 (the Latin word for truth).  Truth at 25 Aquarius is at station, about to turn retrograde on the 29th, signaling a “backing off” of fact and veracity.  Truth at station is powerful, but also strongly influenced by other elements in its orbit, and this includes asteroid Donn, which at 3 Pisces would turn retrograde June 30th.  Having these conjunct allows Trump to appear truthful, substituting his own reality for the genuine article.  Donn at station likely also added to his ability to “settle down” and present a more stable demeanor than is often the case.

Asteroid Veritas at 21 Virgo is opposing Neptune at 29 Pisces, also noted for deception, fraud and misdirection, so truth is at risk of serious compromise here.  Worse, Veritas conjoins asteroid NOT 2857 at 26 Virgo, a general disqualifier or symbol of negation, so what we’re hearing isn’t Truth at all, just one twisted version of it.  Hopefully, with both the Moon and Saturn also opposed, the public (Moon) will be skeptical (Saturn) about Trump’s false claims (NOT/Veritas). 

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Yes, the NY Post is a Murdoch-owned publication, unlikely to trumpet the President, but they’re not wrong; asteroid Truth at station, trine asteroid Old Joe and squared Uranus, revealed the unpleasant reality (Truth) of the shocking (Uranus) image of age and frailty projected by Biden (Old Joe)

Moderators Jake Tapper and Dana Bash appear as well, in ways which show their ineffectiveness.  Jacob “Jake” Tapper appears as asteroid Jacobi 12040, which at 24 Scorpio participates in a Grand Trine with Mercury at 21 Cancer (moderators) and Neptune, exact with asteroid Basher 134127, for co-moderator Dana Bash.  As we’ve seen, Neptune encourages ineffectuality and lack of control or order, and what it touches can appear invisible.  This was certainly the case when it came to either moderator calling out obvious untruths, and Bash in particular, with her PNA exactly conjunct Neptune, seemed virtually absent from the debate.  A Kite pattern is formed by Neptune’s opposition to NOT/Veritas, a signal that the moderators were unwilling to do anything about the lies.

Biden’s abysmal performance has created consternation – not to say panic – in progressive circles, with the New York Times editorial board calling for him to step aside from the race, the day after the debate.  Biden has the option to do this, with no harm, no foul, if accomplished before the August 19 Democratic Convention, though the mechanism for replacing him on the ticket is unclear.

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CNN moderators Jake Tapper and Dana Bash did nothing to correct the record or call out falsehoods during the debate, leaving Trump free to lie continually; a Grand Trine of Mercury with Neptune and asteroids Jacobi and Basher showed the total ineffectiveness (Neptune) of Tapper (Jacobi) and Bash (Basher) during the debate (Mercury)

Things do look bleak at this juncture, but they could get a lot bleaker.  The “October surprise” is a venerable trope in American politics, referring to something which upends the race late in the day, as the election approaches.  But it could come early this year, with Uranus, the planet of shocks and surprises, coming to its station on September 1st, at 27 Taurus, exactly opposed Joe Biden’s natal Sun.

Among the potential health issues attributed by astrologers to Uranus are accidents, nervous breakdown, and strokes.  Whatever form it comes in, Joe Biden is due for a serious shock to the system come September, and that likely reverberates throughout the body politic as well.

On the bright side, on Election Day, asteroid Losse will conjoin asteroid Troemper. Perhaps it will prove itself to be nonpartisan?

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Are we looking at a presidential debate, or a trailer of the third installment of the Jack Lemmon/Walter Matthau film series, to be titled “Grumpiest Old Men”? We might do better with Lemmon and Matthau as alternatives – they’re both dead

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.


Brilliant as usual.


I was shocked watching Biden’s poor performance and yet by the next day in public appearances he seemed to have recovered. My experience of the elderly is that they have good days and bad days. Just a lack of sleep can show up as confusion and memory problems (perhaps the debate was past his bedtime?). Maybe a few of those performance-enhancing drugs would have helped! I’d rather have an elderly President who at least knows right from wrong and truth from lies, but on the other hand a President needs to be on top of his game all the time. I think Dems are right to panic. Appreciated the nuances you shared in this post about deciding which asteroids to give more weight to when they are close together and also enjoyed learning the meaning of ‘disaster’ which makes total sense! I agree that Uranus opposite Biden’s Sun looks ominous. I think he has accomplished a lot in his single term and can step down gracefully now for reasons of health. Thanks Alex for following this important story!


Come September, we will see, perhaps a change will be,
Harris strong, competent. articulate, not afraid of being battle born,
Enviscerating replies against a past debate since mourned,
Long ago mother universe cast a spell to make Trump shout and wail?
What? Dhumpt to lose the Whitehouse to his arch nemesis, Asian-African American woman, who doesn’t have to cook, clean or put up with an old white supremacist?
In that house built by her ancestors long ago, did one sing a seer song of Kamala’s victory?
I think Alex needs to see where Kamala lands in all of this, do you agree?

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