The French Election
With the UK leaving the EU after their Brexit vote and Trumpism triumphant in the US, a wave of reactionary populism is sweeping the Western world. Several European countries face crucial elections this year, including the Netherlands, France and Germany.
The Netherlands already had their turn, on March 15, when far right populist Geert Wilders, known as “the Dutch Donald Trump” for his trademark shock of wild blond hair ad extremist views, went down to defeat, after espousing banning immigrants and withdrawal from the EU. But his Party for Freedom gained enough seats to become the second-largest in the country. Germany’s vote is not until September, but France’s election loomed large on the political horizon for the spring.
With eleven candidates in the running, it was no surprise that no one gained a majority in the initial contest on April 23, triggering a subsequent run-off between the two leading candidates, to be held May 7. These emerged as Emmanuel Macron, leader of the centrist En Marche! party he founded a year ago, with 24% of the vote; and Marine Le Pen, leader of the Front Nationale, a right-wing populist-nationalist party founded by her father in 1972, with 21%.
We’re fortunate to have Rodden ratings of AA for both candidates, and comparison of their charts with that of France and both election dates can provide clues to the outcome. Le Pen was born 5 August 1968 at 11:20 AM MET in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, and Macron on 21 December 1977 at 10:40 AM MET in Amiens. The chart used for France is that of the Fifth Republic, established at midnight MET on 5 October 1958, in Paris.
One point stands out immediately, which is the astrological interconnectedness of both candidates to their native land. France’s Fifth Republic has an Ascendant/Descendant axis of 24 Cancer/Capricorn; Macron’s natal horizontal axis is an almost exact flip of this, at 25 Capricorn/Cancer, while Le Pen’s Saturn at 25 Aries closely squares, forming a T-Square with her Saturn in the country’s Tenth House of government.
PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids) for the contenders are also well tapped in. Asteroid Emanuela (a feminine form of “Emmanuel”) and asteroid Macon (for Macron, minus the “r”) fall in significant placement, with Emanuela at 25 Cancer on the country’s Ascendant, and Macon at 18 Sagittarius conjoined its Saturn at 20 Sagittarius, representing the presidency itself. Le Pen was born Marion Anne, which was contracted to Marine in her early childhood; asteroid Marion appears at 20 Capricorn, on the French Descendant, with asteroid Marina (the Greek/Italian variant of “Marine”) at 3 Libra conjunct the country’s 0 Libra IC and enmeshed within its solar stellium of Venus, Mercury and the Sun, at 1, 10 and 11 degrees respectively. The implication is that Le Pen resonates to her country’s heart (Sun), voice (Mercury) and values (Venus), while Macron represents how the nation wants to be seen by others (Ascendant) and its sense of history, respectability, laws and traditions (all Saturn).
It’s no surprise then, with such contacts, that these two emerged as the final contenders for the governance of the nation. Additionally, at round one of the election, transit Marina and Marion were conjoined each other at 0 and 1 Pisces, opposing France’s natal Pluto at 3 Virgo, and transit Emanuela at 28 Virgo conjoined its natal IC and exactly squared its 28 Gemini Moon. Marina/Marion were also conjunct the nation’s asteroid Nike at 1 Pisces, named for the Greek goddess of victory, and Emanuela was exactly sextile its Victoria, Nike’s Roman counterpart and the very source of our word for victory, at 28 Cancer. Not to be outdone, transit Nike and Victoria were themselves squared on the day of the first election, with Nike at 27 Capricorn on Macron’s Ascendant, and Victoria at 28 Libra opposing Le Pen’s Saturn.
Natally, Macron has Nike at 23 Capricorn on his Ascendant, so he’s easily seen as a “winner.” He’s also in a strong position, with Nike recently returned to its natal degree, reactivating whatever potential for victory he was born with. His natal Victoria at 8 Scorpio broadly conjoins natal Uranus at 14 Scorpio, and more closely squares natal Mars at 11 Leo; he’s already shown he can upset the balance (Uranus) by winning with a party he himself established just a year ago, and Mars’ combative, competitive energy may well bring him the victory in round two. Le Pen’s natal Nike and Victoria are also well-connected, with Nike at 22 Pisces opposing natal Pluto at 21 Virgo, and Victoria at 20 Taurus broadly squared her natal Sun/Venus conjunction at 13 and 25 Leo.
Round one featured a Sun/Kassandra conjunction at 3 and 7 Taurus opposing Pandora at 3 Scorpio. This shows the focus of the election as on issues of credibility (Kassandra) – can this candidate be trusted and believed? If we follow them will we be better off or courting disaster? There’s more than a bit of risk involved in the choice, and potential unintended consequences (Pandora) abound, with who knows what ills to be released from the Pandora’s Box of the election, once opened? There is no “France” asteroid, but there is a reliable stand-in with asteroid Paris, named for France’s capital, which at 6 Leo nicely fills in a T-Square, providing a fulcrum for the Sun/Pandora opposition and establishing France as the venue for the vote.
Now that the selection has been whittled down to just two, by May 7, Pandora will have moved out of orb, but Sun/Kassandra is still in force, at 17 and 13 Taurus respectively, so credibility is still the issue. Early polling of this match-up suggests an easy win for Macron, but then, the Brits were expected to remain in the EU, and Hillary Clinton was supposed to be the next US president. A potent combination of transit Mercury and Uranus at 24 and 25 Aries, on Le Pen’s natal Saturn, could argue for an upset outcome (Uranus) in the voting (Mercury) which grants her the presidency (Saturn).
From 17 Taurus, the Sun will be fast approaching Le Pen’s natal Victoria at 20 Taurus, but also just past Macron’s natal Moon at 14 Taurus, showing an emotional connection with the people for the centrist candidate. Transit Emanuela at 27 Virgo is trine transit Nike at 29 Capricorn, and still within orb of square to France’s Moon. Will that doubled lunar contact be enough to guarantee Macron’s (Emanuela) victory (Nike), with the people’s support (Moon)?
Transit Marina and Marion are now exactly conjunct at 4 Pisces, in exact semisextile to transit Venus at 4 Aries and exactly semisquare to transit Pluto at 19 Capricorn, which is itself exactly on Le Pen’s natal IC. Will a last-minute surge in popularity (Venus) prove the foundation (IC) of her personal (Marine/Marion) power (Pluto)? Asteroid Hillary’s opposition to Pluto at the US presidential election showed, not an augmentation of power, but a devastating loss. Will Marine Le Pen’s PNAs fare better?
These questions were answered at the subsequent run-off election on May 7th, where Macron gained a commanding victory, garnering 66.1% of the vote, crushing Le Pen’s support by 2-1 margin. But it may not be over for Le Pen’s Front Nationale Party, since elections for France’s National assembly will not occur until mid-June. With only two representatives in the current, outgoing assembly, Le Pen’s party is expected to surge in the final round of France’s electoral process, gaining at least 50 seats, and possibly as many as 111, nearly twenty percent of the total.
Only time will tell …