by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
We have a U.S. presidential inauguration pending – that is, once the arguing and nonsense over who won the election settles down. Know that on January 20, 2021 at noon, the power of the existing presidency ceases to exist and that power is passed to the person or persons who won the election on November 3, 2020. That is our Constitution. Notice I did not say “upon the Oath” because that is not what is dictated by the Constitution.
When George Washington became president number one on March 4, 1789, he was out of town (Virginia) and didn’t even know he was President. The available members of the incoming legislature took their oaths in New York City, NY on March 4th. The President took his oath on April 30th. The power of the presidency had passed while the man was out of town. Think of what “out of town” meant in 1789 in terms of transportation and communication. Washington’s presidency was not contingent upon his oath; the power had already passed to him wherever he was. The presidential oath itself is a visible declaration for the intent of the President to serve the Constitution and the people he was elected to govern. The Founding Fathers took the phrase “of the people, by the people, and for the people” seriously. The government serves the citizens of, by and for. The actual power is in citizen votes.
I thought an examination of the last few inaugurations and the upcoming inauguration might be interesting. What can we learn by viewing and comparing? What does the upcoming inauguration chart reveal about the upcoming presidential passage of power?
We can set charts for both the oath itself and for the legal moment of the passing of power. To me the oath time would be most substantial to the person taking that oath. The passing of power for the country would be noon, and that is my choice to examine the four-year term of each presidency. Simply set a chart for noon, January 20 (day of inauguration) in Washington D.C. once every four years. In my political research files, I have charts for every inauguration – those for terms of office (four years) and those for when we lost a president prematurely. It is common for the incoming Vice President to swear their oath first, the President following.
Originally the U.S. inauguration date was March 4th. That was changed by Constitutional amendment to January 20th for the 1937 inauguration. Know also that if the 20th is on a Sunday, oaths may be administered on Monday. If the Vice President must be elevated to President due to the death of any sitting President by natural causes or assassination, that new term expires on the original presidential term date. Electees only get four years total as a term. The upgraded position oath would need to serve for timing for that new chart. Note: The astrology chart for the original term should indicate the interruption and revision of oath.
All full-term charts since 1937 will have approximately 26 Capricorn on the Midheaven and 14 or so Taurus on the Ascendant. FYI, 26 Capricorn on the Midheaven always brings the Declaration of Independence Mercury/Pluto opposition to the Midheaven. Read: power, control, maneuvering and manipulation in communication. Remember that the Inauguration chart is about the Presidency itself, not the person who occupies the chair. Astrology allows us to look back so we can see what has happened to help with our effort to see what can happen when we look forward. What can we see from past charts?
Note that noonmark charts will normally have Sun conjunct Midheaven, just as sunrise charts will normally have Sun conjunct Ascendant. Don’t read more into those conjunctions than necessary. Watch for daylight savings time corrections.
On January 20, 2009, presidential power passed at noon EST, Washington, D.C.; President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden were inaugurated. Briefly:
- The 2009 Presidency was initiated with the then-current Saturn / Uranus opposition, tight and mutually applying with Saturn 21:24R Virgo opposite Uranus 19:56 Pisces and Venus 17:47 Pisces. The Venus/Uranus conjunction would indicate the financial upheaval that was already present. Venus is the inauguration chart ruler. The financial upheaval was controlling to our experience. The age-old struggle between the status quo and tradition (Saturn), and the forward direction of progress and the future (Uranus), caused and was controlled by the polarization of that aspect. For the accuracy wonks out there, Neptune 22:25 Virgo and Mars 21:10 Gemini were the Declaration of Independence (D of I) natal degrees activated.
- The Saturn / Uranus opposition first pass (direct) was November 4, 2008, 18:58 Virgo (sounds like election week to me).
- The next (retrograde) opposition was February 5, 2009, 20:39 Virgo. Inauguration was two weeks earlier, January 20. Due to pre-inauguration planning ahead, Obama announces President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board February 6, legislation negotiation already underway.
- Final direct opposition was September 15, 2009, 24:43 Virgo (past the D of I activated degrees).
- The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (2009 Recovery Act*): the House passed the bill January 28, 2009, the Senate February 10. It was signed into law Feb 17th. Different sections had varying expiration dates, but September of 2009 was noted as determinative. Healthcare had also moved forward legislatively.
- Inauguration Saturn was conjunct D of I Neptune 22:25 Virgo located in the D of I first house, which I have previously referred to as “the Soul of the Nation.” Sounds like spiritual testing to me. In natal astrology the Saturn/Neptune aspect is called “the Dark Night of the Soul”, and is very difficult personally. This was a presidential term; Saturn was conjunct D of I Neptune and would have referred very specifically to the early nine months of that presidential term. Why? Transiting Saturn aspecting natal Neptune takes nine months (three passes). Transiting Neptune aspecting natal Saturn can take nine to eighteen months – five passes possible (yes).
- While it is normal for the Sun to be in 00 Aquarius on the 20th of January every year, look at the tight three planets in Aquarius (Mercury 00:41R, Sun 00:47, and Jupiter 03:32), along with the North lunar Node nearby at 9:20 and Neptune quite far out from the group at 23:05 – a major stellium, applying (future).
Sun conjunct Mercury and Jupiter is very communicative – open lines. Mercury is retrograde, further emphasizing communication, and it is the planet at the very top of the chart, highest elevated, exalted in Aquarius, but weakened by retrograde. When you have Mercury and Jupiter conjunct, there is the opportunity to have both part-to-whole thinking and whole-to-part thinking working simultaneously. Think of the old adage about seeing the “forest for the trees.” Most of us have one viewpoint; this aspect allowed both simultaneously.
- Remember also that with old and new rulerships, Saturn and Uranus both rule Aquarius. On top of that, Neptune is in Aquarius and Uranus is in Pisces – they are in mutual reception. This was a ground-breaking presidency on more than one level, with the status quo versus progress drives seriously contesting one another. The combination makes me think of what went on politically for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which came through in 2010.
- Inauguration Moon 29:45 Scorpio was void of course – lots of wheel spinning, in Scorpio of psychological drama, power and manipulation. Once the Moon changed signs into Sagittarius (one-half hour after inauguration), the Moon would sextile the Aquarius planets, then square the Pisces planets. Win some, lose some.
- Inauguration Pluto had just entered Capricorn and the roto-rootering of the halls of power and institution had begun, a sixteen-year passage. It was at that time opposed D of I Venus. You do remember the economic recession the 2009 administration inherited, don’t you? Pluto is a generational planet because it impacts an entire generation of people.
- A potential pandemic was lurking in the shadows (H1N1). This administration also inherited an ongoing, very fractious war indicated by Inauguration Mars 18:29 Capricorn in the ninth house of foreign countries and relations.
- This was a perfect bowl chart, full of potential, needing always to seize opportunity when it presented itself, usually by hard aspect to kick it into productivity (common to a bowl chart). Quite a presidential term introduction!
January 20, 2013, power passed at noon EST, Washington, DC; President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden re-inaugurated. (Note: Even though they were already in office, they took a new oath for a new four-year term. The energy of the first term was defunct and the energy of the second term superceded the expired term.)
Note that noonmark charts will normally have Sun conjunct Midheaven, just as sunrise charts will normally have Sun conjunct Ascendant. Don’t read more into those conjunctions than necessary. Watch for daylight savings time corrections. Remember D of I Mercury / Pluto opposition is always in play conjunct inauguration Midheavens as of 1937.
For the last example, we used actual events to illustrate. This example will describe energy patterns that did not allow much progress. Briefly:
- Another Aquarius stellium: Sun 00:49, Mercury 02:21 and Mars 20:13 all in the tenth house; progressive, forward-seeking. Sun/Mercury conjunction widely applying to the square of Saturn 10:48 Scorpio. That’s a four-year signature; forward motion will be frustrated by a brick wall (political). Beyond that, the pair will next conjoin Mars for possible or occasional breakthroughs. That is quite a strong T-square pattern between the first and tenth/11th houses plus Saturn, which is the dispositor of (strong, controlling influence on) chart ruler Venus. Saturn blockage is a major factor in this chart.
- Sun/Mercury and Aquarius are all about the future; the President would be the Sun. Saturn is about the past, status quo, or road blocks. Since Saturn co-rules Aquarius, Saturn controls the Sun/Mercury/Mars stellium as well. It was the declared intention of Senate Leader McConnell to block every possibility of the Obama agenda and he did that. He also would not allow any non-Republican judicial nominee to be presented for vetting by the Senate or blocked them on most of the lower courts. This was the continuing fight about ACA/Obamacare through both terms. Most people don’t realize the bulk GOP of the House and Senate negotiated the stimulus package down in terms of coverage and then did not vote to pass the whole thing. Only a few GOP members crossed ranks from each political body. This four-year term translated to great difficulty in passing anything productive or forward-seeking. There was lots of frustration on every level in that term. The frustrated public voted strongly Republican in the next election because of the lack of progress… irony. While changing parties is common in our political history, the 2017 election would then be a game-changer.
- Emphasis on foreign relations this 2013 term as chart ruler Venus 14:27 Capricorn is conjunct Pluto 10:00 in the ninth of foreign involvement. Also, lots of controversy about the opposing party limiting judicial appointments and legislation in general (ninth house).
- 2013 is not quite a perfect bucket chart. My analogy is that of a funnel where nine of the ten bodies are positioned on the wide side with a singleton outlet roughly opposing the group of nine; this time the singleton is slightly offside like an automotive or special purpose funnel. Saturn is the outlet. No matter how many concepts or issues are presented they must go through the Saturn outlet, which tends towards restriction, status quo, limitation. Must have been frustrating to have a whole bunch of ideas and new directions that had a hard time going anywhere! Saturn controlled the output as the outlet.
January 20, 2017, power passed at Noon EST, Washington, DC; President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Michael Pence inaugurated.
Note that noonmark charts will normally have Sun conjunct Midheaven, just as sunrise charts will normally have Sun conjunct Ascendant. Don’t read more into those conjunctions than necessary. Watch for daylight savings time corrections. The D of I Mercury / Pluto opposition is always in play conjunct inauguration Midheavens as of 1937. Briefly:
- The Sun is in Aquarius 00:50 as expected, but the Sun stands alone with no close major planetary activations, literally unaspected. All dressed up with no place to go! The Sun person, the person in charge, is untethered, not able to connect the dots, no natural connections. As usual in noonmark charts, the Midheaven moves almost in tandem with the Sun, so a non-planetary conjunction prevails between them, which is definitely better than no aspect at all, but this is the Sun and the figure it represents will always be center stage. This can be a whole lot of show but little in terms of impact. The stand-alone head of state, the President, is in this spotlight for the whole four-year term, not just the day of the inauguration.
Sun’s ongoing progression through natural motion will square Moon, square Ascendant, sextile Uranus, trine Jupiter, sextile Saturn in that order. Win some, lose some. The faster-moving planets are usually the day-to-day activities of any government unless they join an ongoing activation from one of the slower-moving, more politically life-shaping outer bodies.
- There is a Pisces stellium with Neptune 10:16, Venus 17:44 and Mars 24:22 that describes this presidency. Venus as chart ruler is exalted in Pisces, denoting strong imagination and creativity. This is a strongly Piscean presidency, with both positive and negative connotations – lots of ideas, dreams (sometimes fantasies), theater (illusion/disillusion). This Neptune is key. It is closely conjunct D of I Descendant 11:46 Pisces in the house of partnerships and open enemies and it is opposing D of I Ascendant, the face of our country. One description I have read might be that “we made friends of enemies and enemies of friends in this four years” – very confusing diplomatically.
Venus and Mars are triggering D of I Mars 21:10 Gemini and Neptune 22:25 Virgo. The D of I Mars/Neptune square is the three-ring political circus when activated that I have described in other writings. Confusion, waffling on issues, broken promises in general; lies, deceit, intrigue if deeper. Venus and Mars are fast moving planets and may contribute their energy to ongoing major aspects such as this Neptune as described.
- Mars in the eleventh house is tightly square Saturn 23:31 Sagittarius in the eighth house. This is definitely not good for law-making, money and expenditures of a nation. Think of the old adage, “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer”. Using the legislative eleventh house as focus, it is very Piscean, nebulous, vague, difficult to define and implement. That Mars square Saturn forms a T-square with the D of I Neptune 22:25 Virgo and the previously mentioned D of I Neptune square Mars. The conflict also affects the spirituality of the nation (D of I natal Neptune in D of I first house), where there is more polarization and confusion. Separation of church and state issues have been continual.
This aspect was triggered at the end of the second Obama administration. What happened at the very end of it that was significant? Obama was not allowed to appoint a judge to the Supreme Court. Saturn rules the Inaugural ninth houseoflaw and courts. This activation is key to the ongoing packing of the lower courts and Supreme Court with conservative justices.
- This is another bowl chart with Jupiter 22:43 Libra opposed Uranus 20:46 Aries, sixth to twelfth houses, both square Pluto 17:37 Capricorn in the ninth house, a T-square. Bowl charts seem to need stress aspects to release the potential within the bowl, sort of kick it into action. Looking at what was accomplished in that four-year term is close to nothing. McConnell and the Senate refused hearings to rule on over 400 bills the Democratic House passed over this time period. There may have been opportunity for progress (bowl), but it was controlled by Pluto of manipulation and power.
- Where is the ongoing pandemic (2020) in this chart? Start with the T-square just described. The house of health is the first. The house of catastrophe is the eighth. The house of disease is the sixth… there it is: Jupiter opposed Uranus square Pluto. In the final year of this four-year term, transiting Jupiter joined Saturn and Pluto in a Capricorn stellium triggering the Jupiter/Uranus opposition square Pluto in the 2017 inauguration chart. For the pandemic, I would choose Saturn/Pluto in hard aspect as suspect with Jupiter joining and enlarging, expanding, all in Capricorn, on the D of I Mercury / Pluto opposition.
2020 has been the most difficult year I have ever witnessed in my 82 years of living. It has been so hard on so many, outrageous and shocking, and still ongoing. Remember I am reading energy through chart positions, the office and the tenure, not the people inhabiting the throne room. Because it is interpretative, we can disagree with my choice of words, but not experience. This has been a difficult four years as we approach the passing of power for the next four years.
January 20, 2021, power passes at Noon EST, Washington, DC, a choice between Incumbent President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Michael Pence, currently showing as behind in popular vote and electoral college vote, and former Vice President Joseph Biden and California Senator Kamela Harris, currently showing as winners in popular vote and electoral college vote. Contest not yet resolved. Biden and Harris were shown to be the winners by my previous personal inaugural research. Remember this chart is for the Presidency and term of office, not a specific person, gender, race, or religious persuasion.
OMG – the chart! Look at all the bodies in the chart bundled tightly in 111˚ of space, less than a trine. Look at the empty houses. Look at the squares showing in the diagram. WOW! Now to read it!
Again, similar Midheaven and Ascendants will always be true for January 20th inaugurations. Sun conjunct Midheaven common in most noonmark charts (watch for daylight savings time). The D of I Mercury / Pluto opposition is always in play conjunct current inauguration Midheavens.
- Currently transiting Pluto is opposition the D of I Mercury 24:20R Cancer and will continue to activate that and its opposition to D of I Pluto 27:33 Capricorn over the next couple of years. The manipulation of communication problems will go on and we will be continually surprised by what has been hidden from us and is now being revealed. False news, etc. is not going to go away. We are going to have to be smarter about what we accept and tolerate. That takes time.
- The 2021 presidential term Sun is no longer unaspected, which is good. This fully functional Sun can freely act as President with interaction and involvement, positive and negative (normal) with other roles and issues in the government and worldwide. The real problems in this chart are the necessary focus required and the multiple squares.
- Another Aquarius stellium: Sun 00:52, Saturn 3:56, Jupiter 7:23, and widely Mercury 18:52 (remember, members of stelliums act as conjunctions and are not dependent on close degrees).
- The major conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on Dec 21, 2020 at 00:29 Aquarius will now be activated by and will influence this inauguration Sun, a major 20-year celestial aspect pattern. (See “Grand Conjunction of Jupiter/Saturn” article on marilynmuir.net.)
- The Capricorn stellium of Pluto, Jupiter and Saturn and all the havoc it wreaked on our planet in 2020 is fast becoming one for the history books. The Aquarius stellium reminds me of the two prior Aquarius stelliums in which Vice President Biden was inaugurated, so my preliminary thought from this research was that he would be inaugurated again. However, I had done the work on the individual candidate charts previously using diurnals and had already called the inauguration for Biden and Harris. (See the three-part article on my website.)
- Think of Jupiter/Saturn as push/pull, expansion/contraction. Whoever is inaugurated will have a huge job to fix what has been going on in our part of the world, especially in 2020. What expands and what contracts and do these processes interfere with one another?
- Remember there are planets only in the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th houses of the 2021 inauguration chart, and the other houses are planet-free. Those occupied houses are the issues I believe will demand the most attention initially, with the other eight houses’ issues having to wait their turn in the limelight. We can elaborate with the dual planetary function of occupation and rulership for the application of each area of activity. For this I would use standard rulerships for all ten bodies. I look at everything and then eliminate the unnecessary rather than miss something important!
- With all the work I have done on our country, and I knew the energy was difficult, I do not recall saying the word “pandemic.” BIG mistake! I had researched the concern for pandemic in 2009, but should have realized that the Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto conjunction suggested it again for 2020 – and a big one at that. Since this particular stellium is separating and in the process of breaking up, I am hoping that means we will soon get a handle on the whole situation to bring it under control. Otherwise, the run-away pandemic will continue to be devastating, with huge loss of life. Not good! The Capricorn stellium is not the only major aspect in play that might be influencing the Pandemic. I don’t trust that transiting Neptune is not part of this total flu/epidemic picture. Neptune is often involved with illnesses which are difficult to diagnose and/or treat.
- As we move forward to December, 2020 first Saturn and then Jupiter will move out of Capricorn and leave Pluto behind, and the two will move into Aquarius just two days apart and join for the major conjunction on Dec 21st. I see this as the end of the just awful Capricorn stellium. But… don’t let down your guard as the Capricorn stellium breaks up because Pluto will continue its relentless drive towards its return in the D of I chart at 27:33R Capricorn. The exact Pluto return will occur on three dates: 1) February 21, 2022 direct, 2) July 11, 2022 retrograde, and 3) December 28, 2022 final direct. Transiting Pluto will then venture into Aquarius, then retrograde back into Capricorn temporarily, but will NOT again conjunct D of I Pluto. Transiting Pluto’s station direct is at 27:53 Capricorn on October 11, 2023. Such major aspects do not just “go away” because it is the exact date. They have residual effect. But since it would now be separating, it should not spawn new activations to the D of I Mercury / Pluto opposition. Residual effect can still be felt and experienced as what was previously set in motion completes itself. And remember we are still talking about Pluto. What resides in a nation’s unconscious should never be underestimated!
- Pluto will then make three ingresses into Aquarius: March 23, 2023 direct, January 21, 2024 retrograde, and November 19, 2024, beginning its twenty-year stay in Aquarius. At that time, we will watch for Pluto to conjunct that Jupiter/Saturn major conjunction point. That ought to be an interesting moment in time for the world and also for the U.S. and just in time for the 2024 election. Before you ask, not this article!
- I am concerned about all the squares I see in this chart, the tight bundling of the planets and the enormous white space in the other houses of the chart. The chart ruler is again Venus, in Capricorn and opposition to D of I Sun, but in good aspect to the inauguration Ascendant it rules and in good aspect to Inauguration Neptune 18:56 Pisces: dreams, hopes, spirituality, hopefully more humane solutions.
Focus on the D of I Neptune square Mars positions for the core issues. The range of transiting Neptune for 2020 was 16:16 Pisces on January 1, and between 20:58 (where it turned retrograde on June 23) and 18:10 Pisces (where it retrograded back to), and it will turn direct on November 27th. Those are our markers, but the energies and issues are much broader because the issues are free-ranging with multiple participating issues, each part with individual timing. But this particular slice of the sky was where the action still is for our country as I write this. Because the actual D of I natal Mars is 21:10 Gemini, the 2020 Neptune travel laid the groundwork for what will be triggered at the actual degree of contact, which is March 25, 2021. That means that what Neptune seeded in our country and world affairs throughout 2020 will bear fruit this spring. We do not know what Neptune seeds have been planted, but since our country’s experience of Neptune is as a square to Mars (D of I natal), I doubt if we will like what gets revealed.
If Biden/Harris are inaugurated, can you imagine opening the door to the White House on January 20th as a newly inaugurated president and learning what reality truly looks like? I am talking about reality and not just guessing at or relying on supplied information that potentially may have been misinformation (D of I Mars square Neptune triggered by transiting Neptune)? I have already described what D of I Mars square Neptune provides; I called it the three-ring-circus energy. However, no matter what you inherit with that office you must face it squarely and attempt to handle it competently.
Guesswork! D of I Mars is in Gemini in the tenth natally, ruling the eighth and the third. Mars is the warrior and leader, assertive, aggressive, (war?) in the tenth house of world stature and mission, communicating (Gemini) plus relating to communication (yes) on multiple levels (co-ruling third) and joint finance, catastrophe or destiny (eighth). That’s one point of the D of I natal square. Now see transiting Neptune as the activating energy. The two were in natal square. D of I Neptune and Mars are not our nation’s compatible energies on the best of days.
- The Inauguration Mars 6:40 / Uranus 6:44 Taurus conjunction, two planets which in tandem can truly stir up a lot of trouble, seem to be in our past (in the twelfth, behind the Ascendant) hopefully meaning the terrific struggle with this election/inauguration will be partly in the past by inauguration. I don’t trust the Moon 29:03 Aries. It will move to conjunct that Mars/Uranus pair right after inauguration, setting off the conjunction. The Moon itself is void of course. What it represents in a chart may not be fruitful, referred to as spinning its wheels. However, I am going to pay attention to the activation by one planet on two, especially two that can be troublemakers. But… the Moon moves quickly and hopefully what we are looking at is short term. Besides whatever the incident is, it will happen quickly as Mars/Uranus.
I also do not trust the Inaugural Sun and Saturn moving to the square of the Inaugural Mars/Jupiter conjunction, also short term. Stellium Jupiter appears to be past that square (activity in the past), but remember that Mars does move faster than Jupiter, so that aspect is actually applying (future action) and active but again, hopefully short term.
This chart is so focused on the upper left quadrant, leaving the other three quadrants mostly empty. There is a lot wrong with the country at the moment, and it will take tremendous focus to fix any part of it. I believe that the chart energy is showing that some of what is wrong will be immediately addressed (occupied houses). What issues? Pandemic, economy, international relations… what do you see in the big three or four issues as brought front and center? All other issues fall into the white space area and will need to wait their turn. These choices will not go over big because so many citizens and groups have valiantly thrown themselves into remedying what is wrong. They will not want to go on a back burner while the chosen major issues are addressed. I personally have probably fifteen or twenty issues that are important to me to get fixed. How does the incoming presidential team do this?
When I wrote Presidents of Hope and Change back in 2009, I had suggested the formation of subject committees of the brightest and best of America’s brainiacs. Let them pool their talents and our assets to remedy each field of interest. Let the experts report to the administration and legislators to put such remedies into practice. The brightest among us can argue semantics or remedies to get as many subjects to our legislative bodies as quickly as possible. Then the legislature has to act like a legislature and argue the merits, tweak the suggestions and pass the laws to help us out of the morass we have either created or allowed. Stonewalling must be in the past. If we are going to survive and thrive as a nation, we must address and fix what is wrong. It is not productive to waste time arguing or finger pointing, we must fix what is wrong!
The cost to those who came before us to wrest our country from oligarchy, to build a nation that focused on the freedom and rights of the citizens was a tremendous effort and price. They did the best they could at that time, trying to think ahead at what would be needed to protect and preserve the country they founded… embedded in the Constitution. It didn’t answer all the questions and they didn’t always agree; some parts had to be left to the future to fix. Then those brave people had to entrust their efforts to the descendants of that fledgling country to uphold and preserve the rights for all. The Founding Fathers left it up to us, the voters, to keep this nation alive and healthy. It is our job, yours and mine, to fix what we see as broken, to shore up what is weak, to enact new ways and means to protect our country. You and me…. us… we are responsible. “United we stand… divided we fall.”
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