by Zip Dobyns
John McCain is providing real rivalry to George W Bush in
the contest for the Republican nomination, which chooses the
political partys candidate to run in the 2000 election
for the U.S. presidency. I wrote previously about the horoscope
of George W Bush in The Mutable Dilemma. My Mutable
Dilemma and Asteroid-World articles will eventually
be in an archive on this web site, so I will only make limited
references here to his chart. I received the birth data for McCain
in February 2000, thanks to Lois Roddens data bank. The
data came from an astrologer who got it from his mother. His
office is also giving out the same data. He was reportedly born
on August 29, 1936 at 9 AM EST in Panama, Panama. Births reported
on even hours are always suspect as possibly rounded off, but
his horoscope aspects seem appropriate for his life.
As I mentioned in Part 1 of this article on the U.S. presidential
inauguration in 2001, George W Bush has a highly harmonious chart
while John McCains chart is highly conflicted. This could
mean that Bush will win the nomination and McCain will lose.
But it could also mean that McCain will win the Republican nomination
but lose the election to Al Gore. Or, he could win both and have
a very difficult term of office potentially even facing
personal threats. Astrology shows states of mind, with many possible
McCain has the one-ten combination, which is common in people
identified with power. Mars, the natural key to "identity
in action," is in the tenth house, which is a key to the
law and those who enforce it. Pluto rules part of his first house
since Scorpio is partly in that house, and Pluto is also in his
tenth house. An identification with power can range from "my
will is law" to "the power is outside of my control,
so I might as well give up and not try." The first approach
leads to power struggles, which may involve healthy competition
or may lead to catastrophe. If the second approach is maintained
too long, it usually produces illness. Letter one is a primary
key to personal energy and health. It is symbolized by Mars,
and by any factors in Aries, or any factors in or ruling the
first house. Serious self-blocking, for whatever reason, shuts
down the immune system and recuperative capacity. We cant
do everything we want, but we have to do some things we want
in order to stay healthy. Between those two extremes, the safe
compromise permits wielding some power within the limits of the
laws: both natural and those created by society.
McCains life demonstrates the power struggle option.
I believe that such reactions are habits brought from the past
that are present at birth. Most people live on automatic pilot
most of the time, controlled by subconscious habits. When the
consequences become painful, we learn to change our habits. The
Washington Post newspaper ran a series of valuable articles
on McCains life during February 2000. In the Post
series, McCains brother Joe, as well as friends who were
interviewed, described John as coming right to the edge, but
never flunking out of anything. A Naval Academy roommate, Gamboa,
said "hed push the edge, but he never went over the
edge." McCain credits his acceptance of essential limits,
despite his naturally rebellious disposition, to seeing his father
drunk. John said that though he drank and was excessive in other
areas, he was always careful not to lose control of himself.
Of course, continually testing the limits, a common tendency
when fire conflicts with earth and/or water, the elements seeking
security, is likely to lead to periodic failure to get what the
fire-driven person wants. Many Bush supporters claim that McCains
17 years in government service have produced few accomplishments.
McCain supporters counter that this is because the "causes"
he has chosen to support have often been uphill battles against
heavy odds. In fact, his "causes," like campaign finance
reform, have often pitted him against the majority in his own
Republican Party. The consequences have been that, though most
of his associates respect him, many if not most "establishment"
Republicans support Bush for the nomination. McCains fight
for the Republican presidential nomination may well be just one
more "lost cause," like finance reform and closing
tax loopholes used by wealthy individuals and companies.
In passing, Bush also has the one-ten mixture in his chart
as a repeated theme. His MC is in Aries, the sign of letter one.
Venus, ruler of his intercepted Taurus in the tenth house, is
in his first house. Even though only a fraction of a degree of
Gemini is in the tenth house, using the Placidus house system,
Mercury counts as a ruler of the tenth and it is also in the
first house. Saturn, the planetary form of letter ten, is widely
conjunct the East Point, an auxiliary Ascendant for letter one.
Saturn is also on the midpoint of his East Point and his local
Ascendant calculated for Washington D.C., where he hopes to gain
the power of the presidency. And, even more emphatically, his
current (progressed) Saturn is conjunct his Washington Ascendant
within the one degree orb allowed for progressions. Added to
his many harmony sextiles and trines, Bush clearly feels he is
entitled to get what he wants, to be the president of the U.S.,
and his inner harmony also draws supporters who agree with him.
Returning to McCains chart, his history describes a
life of challenging the limits, from his teen years in an Episcopal
boarding school, to the Naval Academy, to the Viet Cong prisons
where he was beaten repeatedly for his defiance, to his current
challenge to the Republican establishment. His Moon opposition
to Pluto in the houses and signs of home and parents fits his
constant changes of residence as he grew up in a military family
subject to constant transfers. The pattern also fits his constant
changes as an adult who is in his second marriage, caring for
seven children; two from his first wifes earlier marriage
who were adopted by McCain, four of his own, and one born in
Bangladesh who was adopted by McCain and his present wife, Cindy.
He is a responsible father with his emphasis on Cancer and Capricorn,
with a capacity to love as well as to seek power supported by
his Mars in Leo. His Mercury, Ascendant, and East Point in Libra
and his Pallas and Ceres in Scorpio fit both a need for a mate,
but also the potential for competitive relationships, including
In addition to the emphasis on power issues and the importance
of relationships, McCains chart features the mutable dilemma.
An emphasis on the mutables, whether planets, houses, or signs,
indicates an active, and usually capable, mind. Conflict aspects
between the mutable factors show the potential for some form
of the dilemma. The most common form is pretty universal: To
list the "sign version," it pits Gemini and Virgo,
which try to look at the world "the way it is," against
Sagittarius and Pisces, which symbolize our ideals, how we want
it to be. McCains life illustrates both this conflict between
what "is" and what we want, and the willingness to
fight for the latter. It is quite possible to feel the conflict
but not try to do anything about it, to just live frustrated.
Or we can take action to change the world by preaching, teaching,
writing, etc., without risking our personal security. McCains
identification with power led him to risk personal security to
Bushs chart is more harmonious. So far in his life,
when he has failed to get what he wanted, as in his business
failures, relatives and friends have pitched in to get it for
him. They are certainly helping currently, and may well be successful
in buying the U.S. presidency for him. Our beliefs create our
lives. The problem with metaphysics, as it is generally taught,
is that it focuses on conscious beliefs. The real power is always
in the subconscious faith.
Another common form of the mutable dilemma involves conflict
between different beliefs, goals, and values. For example, "head"
goals may be at war with "heart" goals: truth versus
kindness. McCains bluntness can be interpreted as a version
of that. To resolve such issues, we need clear priorities and
the ability to compromise. Still another form of the dilemma
may be a lack of faith in a Higher Power, thinking we have to
do it all ourselves. This can lead to depression if we lack faith
in our own power as well as in Gods power. Or it can lead
to the "Atlas syndrome," feeling that we have to carry
the world, especially in individuals identified with power, with
an emphasis on fire and earth. The air and water emphasis in
Bushs chart tends to lead to expecting others to do much
of it for us. Alternately, we may expect "God" to do
it all, relieving us of all responsibility. Some metaphysical
writing implies that all we need is conscious faith in God to
produce a perfect world and life.
McCain has a wide-orb grand cross in the mutable signs with
idealism at all four corners. Chiron, a small body which may
be a comet, carries the meaning of Jupiter which can express
as either Sagittarius or Pisces. Chiron is in Gemini in the ninth
house, which reiterates the idealism since it is the natural
house of Jupiter. Neptune is the primary ruler of Pisces in the
sign of Virgo. Jupiter is in its own sign of Sagittarius. Saturn
is in Pisces, which is co-ruled by Jupiter and Neptune. Aspects
which picture the mutable conflict include progressed (current)
Saturn, which moved into a long opposition to P Neptune and then
to natal (birth) Neptune that has lasted for years and is still
in effect. (P Saturn is also in a very long trine to McCains
MC for work success.) P Jupiter has been activating the mutable
cross during much of his life. It squared Neptune for years,
then squared P and N Saturn, and finally went through an opposition
to Chiron, which is still within a one-degree orb. Clearly, McCain
needs to work on effective compromises between his ideals and
what is possible in the world. I hope that IF he actually wins
he has enough earth to manage that; that he will not become a
religious fanatic or precipitate self-destruction, slipping from
savior into martyr.
His sense of humor is a definite asset. That is conspicuously
lacking in real fanatics. The air element helps, since it shows
the capacity for seeing a broad perspective and handling equalitarian
relationships, but his drive to make over the world is pretty
Turning to McCains current progressions, I was especially
impressed to see P Vesta on his MC. I read Vesta as the ultimate
Virgo, symbolizing the need to do a good job for the sake of
doing a good job, something worth doing that we can do well.
It can show a devotion or dedication to what is considered one's
duty, sometimes to the exclusion of everything else. A strong
Vesta can be highly successful if we feel good about our job,
though it can lead to problems with relationships, which may
be neglected and alienated by the focus on the job. Alternately,
if we feel our job is not worthy of our skills, we may be searching
for a more satisfying job, or we may become ill. The subconscious
runs the body, and if we are sufficiently frustrated by our work,
it can produce illness to get us out of the job without feeling
guilty. The chart MC carries the same meaning as Saturn, so this
aspect of Vesta is like a conjunction with Saturn, which also
has a trine to P Saturn in 16 Pisces. McCains midpoint
of the Sun and Moon, which is read as carrying the same meaning
as a conjunction of the two lights in that spot, is in 16 Scorpio
to complete a grand trine with P Vesta and P Saturn!
A grand trine involving the primary keys to work (Vesta and
Saturn), connected to the Sun (ego, self-esteem, creativity,
the urge to do more) and the Moon (home, and by extension, the
homeland and public) points to an intense drive to accomplish
something outstanding in the life. Additional support for McCains
powerful commitment to his work is shown by his combination of
P Juno (equivalent to Pluto), P Mars (personal identity in action),
and P MC in Washington D.C., which are clustered on his natal
(birth) Venus (pleasure) in Virgo. Though the clustered factors
are potential keys to personal and career success, they are also
square Chiron, which indicates problems. Conflict aspects to
a factor which symbolizes ultimate values and goals may mean
we cant attain our goals. OR we may get to them and have
major problems in handling what we have acquired.
My repeated message is that astrology shows psychological
issues, and a variety of life details are possible with a given
mental state. I am reminded of the mother of a spoiled child
who, on hearing the child scream, called to the maid to give
the 5-year old what she wanted. At which point, there was a louder
scream. Little daughter had gotten what she wanted, and it was
From about May 1998 to May 2000, McCains P MC from his
birthplace was also in Virgo, the work sign, conjunct P Neptune.
During this interval, he decided to run for the presidency, and
the most important primaries are being conducted while the aspect
is still in place. Neptune symbolizes our subconscious faith,
values, and goals, suggesting that McCain does have faith in
an exalted destiny.
Many other current aspects could be mentioned, including some
strong conflict patterns. P Mercury in the first house squares
Pluto in the tenth house, showing the conflict between McCains
personal desire and power versus the limits of his personal power.
During the fall campaign leading up to the election, P Moon will
hold conflict aspects, octile and trioctile, to the Pluto-Mercury
square. At the nominating convention, P Moon will oppose P Venus,
while it will reach an opposition to Jupiter by the election
on November 7. Oppositions can be manifested as partnership cooperation,
or competition and separation. Obviously, a separation by McCain
could be the public votes separating him from his role as Senator
to reach his hearts desire to be the next U.S. president,
or the votes could separate him from success in attaining his
ambition to become president.
The theme of separation is also shown by McCains P Sun
opposite his Uranus. The latter planet is often associated with
unexpected outcomes. McCains P MC will also be opposite
his Saturn, reinforcing his potential to change his career and
power. This could mean leaving the Senate to become president,
or feeling frustrated as he works to learn his Saturn lesson
on the limits of personal power, and perhaps becomes more realistic
in his ambitions. His P local East Point in Washington D.C. also
opposes Chiron, and, by March in 2001, his birthplace P East
Point will move into the opposition to Chiron. The horoscope
angles are so sensitive to birth time, if McCain was born just
one minute later than 9 AM, the latter aspect would be within
orb by late 2000, fitting a change in his aspirations and actions
this year. But the change of birth time is not needed, since
the local East Point is already holding the aspect. There are
others, but I will just mention one more aspect that points to
this being a time of change. McCains P Ceres is quincunx
his MC, square his P Saturn, and sextile his local natal Ascendant.
Such mixed pictures of harmony and conflict reinforce the open-endedness
of life with their multiple potentials.
At the first official primary on February 1, 2000, McCains
P Moon was in 3 Gemini, quincunx Pallas and octile his natal
Ascendant. The quincunx typically heralds a separation, and Pallas
is the asteroid most associated with politics. The results of
the New Hampshire vote produced a major change in McCains
political prospects. South Carolina was a setback, but Michigan
and Arizona gave him a new boost, only to be followed by losses
in Washington and other areas.
The coming "super Tuesday" primaries on March 7
could be decisive, but if McCain splits the delegates with Bush,
the race could keep going up to the convention. On March 7, McCains
P Moon will be in 4 Gemini 50 with a trioctile to his East Point,
a conflict aspect suggesting that Bush may win more delegates.
Also, during the spring primaries, McCains P Moon will
square his natal Sun in Virgo, which does not augur well for
However, even if Bush has a majority of delegates from the
primaries going into the nominating convention, there are still
a sizable number of "special" delegates not subject
to popular votes. They are normally members of the "establishment"
who are appointed to their positions, so they are likely to be
committed to Bush as the establishment choice. There is, however,
one chance for McCain in this situation. If the polls show, as
seems currently to be the case, that Al Gore is likely to beat
Bush while McCain can draw enough support from Democrats and
Independents to beat Gore, the special delegates MIGHT decide
that having a winner, even a maverick, is better than another
We will take a brief look at some of the personal name asteroids
to see whether they throw light on the situation. I was fascinated
to note that the asteroid named George is featured in McCains
chart. The latters P Moon will trine N George, which is
in 12 Libra, at the nominating convention, and P George in 17
Scorpio is on McCains N Sun/Moon midpoint, with the latter
in the grand trine of MC, P Vesta, and P Saturn. In light of
the strong antagonism between George and John, the harmony aspects
are a puzzle. They suggest that either the two men will reconcile
and the loser will help the nomination winner in the election,
or one or both will take actions which help the other despite
continuing negative feelings. Sometimes, helpful action is not
intended to be helpful. McCains attack on the fundamentalist
Christian leaders seems to have helped Bush, though that was
not his intention. Life and humans are complex.
The other Bush asteroid was feminized, a former policy of
astronomers, as explained in Part 1 of this article. George became
Georgia. Its natal position in 25 Gemini puts McCains P
south lunar node conjunct it, with the north node opposite it.
As indicated above, oppositions can be cooperative or competitive.
The south lunar node marks a lesson, which may be mutual for
George and John. The asteroid signifies George while the chart
belongs to John. In Gemini in the house of Sagittarius, the asteroid
points to the mutable dilemma, to issues involving faith, values,
and ideals. At the election in November, P Georgia will be in
7 Cancer in the ninth house, sextile P Uranus and N Johanna,
again suggesting some kind of help involving George and John,
whether or not it is intentional.
There are two versions of John from foreign languages: Jakoba
and Johanna. There is also an asteroid named Johnny and one named
Johnadams for our second president. N Johanna in 6 Taurus sextiles
P Georgia, as mentioned above, and it also opposes N Williams
for Bill Clinton. P Johanna squares N Pluto from 27 Aries
not a good augury for Johns success, though as usual he
might get the power position he wants but have enormous conflict
in handling it. N Jakoba is in 2 Cancer, on Vesta, repeating
Johns intense commitment to his chosen work. P Jakoba is
just 3 minutes of longitude short of reaching McCains MC
at the election. It might reach it in time for the inauguration.
As with a conjunction with Saturn, a personal name asteroid on
the MC can point to gaining a power position or to overreaching
and failing. Letter ten symbolizes limits. When we try to climb
too high with letter ten, we fall. N Johnny in 3 Cancer is within
one degree of Jakoba, giving us the same message. P Johnny in
22 Cancer sextiles the cluster in 22 Virgo, aspects for potential
success. N Johnadams is on Neptune within one degree, with P
Saturn holding a long opposition to it. No matter how many factors
we keep adding to astrology, it keeps saying the same thing!
John McCain has high aspirations and ideals and he might get
the Saturn power he wants, or he might crash. P Johnadams in
9 Libra is quincunx Uranus for a move in a new direction, which
might be unexpected.
With the multiplying asteroids, a book could be written about every chart.
We have not even touched the asteroids for America, Washington, and appropriate
mythological figures, especially the "overreach" ones like Icarus,
Phaethon, and Bellerophon. We could also look at the names of McCains
family; his wife, Cindy, his brother Joe, his sister Sandra, and his mother
Roberta. We face the perpetual Saturn problem of limited time. IF McCain
wins either the nomination or the presidency, you can be sure we will
look at his chart again.
Copyright © 2000 Los
Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.