Eclipses and the U.S. Presidential election of 2016

eclipse total

Observed July 29, 1878 courtesy of the New York Public Library

The political race for the Presidency of the United States of America in 2016 has shocked many for how much success Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders have had so far given their polarizing political views.  Typically, candidates for the U.S. Presidency are conservatively centrist, yet suddenly a Republican candidate with Nationalist policy ideas and a Democrat with Socialist policy ideas have been winning primaries and doing much better than anyone expected.  In the case of Donald Trump, whose candidacy at first was viewed as a joke to many, the fact that he has been dominating the Republican race has been straight up bewildering.  The primary season now approaches Super Tuesday on March 1, followed by a second Super Tuesday on March 15.  In between these two Super Tuesdays, there will be a very powerful Total Solar Eclipse in Pisces on Tuesday, March 8, 2016:



Total Solar Eclipses have longterm impacts, and the influence of this one will extend into the time period of the actual U.S. election in November 2016.  Since the early days of omen astrology in ancient Babylon, Eclipses have a far reaching tradition of being associated with transfer of power from one ruler to another.  Eclipses also have a long history of stirring up collective fear, and there is enormous collective fear and anger that both Trump and Sanders have drawn on for their success.  Sanders has inspired many with his message aimed at the gross inequities in the U.S. economy in which a minuscule minority controls the vast majority of wealth.  Trump seems to inspire those looking for a blustering, overconfident leader and has drawn on fear of foreigners and terrorism as well as anger over the Presidency of Barack Obama.

The two greatest political families of the past half century in the U.S.A. have been represented in this race by Jeb Bush and Hilary Clinton, yet Jeb Bush is already finished and Hilary Clinton has struggled more than expected.  In the case of the Bush family, it is as if their political legacy has been eclipsed.  If we consider some of the aspects of this Total Eclipse, we can see that Saturn in Sagittarius is in square to the lunar nodes, with Jupiter conjoining the North Node of the Moon and forming a last quarter square to Saturn.  This aspect reveals the collective crisis in thought both Trump and Sanders have been drawing on.  In addition, the Solar Eclipse conjoining the South Node of the Moon as well as Chiron and Ceres reveals the massive collective wounds feeding the fears and outrage of the electorate.

It is further quite amazing that both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders were born at the time of eclipses that are directly linked to the upcoming Total Pisces Solar Eclipse.  The chart below for Donald Trump is sourced from a certificate that was posted online, supposedly by Donald Trump.  If the time is accurate for his birth, it reveals that Trump was born at an exact Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius:


As we can see, Trump’s chart will be severely triggered by the Total Solar Eclipse on March 8, as it will be in square to his Moon, lunar nodes, Sun, and Uranus.  In the quadrant house system shown above, the Solar Eclipse will fall in Trump’s seventh house, whereas in the whole sign house system the Eclipse will fall in his eighth house.  As this Pisces Eclipse conjoining the South Node of the Moon will activate past forces needing to be released, it likely that the shadowy past of Trump full of myriad scandals will come out in the open more so than it has up to this point.  Donald Trump has more secrets and sordid past associated with the relationships of the seventh house and the shared resources of the eighth house than most.  Up until now he has somehow mostly escaped being damaged by his past, but this Eclipse indicates he will have to directly address allegations made about his past business relationships.

However, as Trump so far has demonstrated an amazing ability to step into and create political chaos and manipulate situations to his political advantage, it will be interesting to see how he responds to his chart becoming so stirred up by this Eclipse.  Having a Sagittarius Moon conjoining its own South Node, opposite the Sun and Uranus, Trump is a narcissistic visionary and the type of Sagittarius who can be convincing with people even when they do not really know what they are talking about or have anything solid to back it up besides their confidence.  With transiting Jupiter in square to his lunar nodes, Uranus, Sun, and Moon there is a lot of activation but he will begin to be forced to present actual details and specifics to back up the vision he has been spouting.  In addition, there will be a Lunar Eclipse in Libra on March 23, 2016 that will conjoin his natal Neptune and be in square to his Mercury in Cancer.  While this can again play up the glamor side to his candidacy, it will also draw more attention to his need to present concrete details.

Bernie Sanders in contrast has vastly different planetary aspects in his chart, though there has yet to be a clearly confirmed birth time for him.  What we do know is that Sanders was born three days after a Lunar Eclipse in Pisces, and a couple of weeks before a Solar Eclipse in Virgo.  In other words, Sanders was born between eclipses that line up exactly with the Total Solar Eclipse in Pisces coming on March 8:


While we do not know for sure the houses that will be impacted for Sanders, we do know that the Solar Eclipse, Chiron, and the South Node of the Moon will be conjoining his natal South Node of the Moon, and that transiting Jupiter and the North Node of the Moon will be conjoining his natal Sun and North Node of the Moon.  Moreover, the Total Solar Eclipse, Jupiter, and Chiron will be in square to the natal Jupiter of Sanders.  His natal Jupiter in Gemini is one of the most important pieces of his chart, as it is in square to his lunar nodes and therefore signifies issues he must confront and address.  While we do not know what house to put his Jupiter in Gemini in, we can surmise that part of the related issue revolves around the ability of Sanders to collect a wide array of information and integrate it into a meaningful vision that will be useful to others.  Sanders has a Jupiter in the home of Mercury, and a Sun conjoining the North Node of the Moon in the home and exaltation of Mercury.  Part of this old Soul pattern for Sanders involves his vision stirring up debate and contention, and at this time Sanders has finally been given the platform to have his voice loudly heard.

Similar to Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders will also be strongly activated by the upcoming Lunar Eclipse in Libra on March 23 as the Lunar Eclipse will conjoin his natal Mercury.  Unlike Donald Trump, Sanders has less of a shadowy past that can haunt him and instead the Solar Eclipse conjoining his own South Node of the Moon could highlight his lifetime of work dedicated to social justice issues that has been inspiring to many during the primaries.  Unlike other candidates who have flip flopped and changed positions, Sanders has been remarkably consistent and forthright going back a half century.  Additionally, the Gemini Jupiter and Virgo Sun of Sanders being triggered by the Pisces Solar Eclipse, while his natal Libra Mercury will be activated by the Libra Lunar Eclipse, means that even if Sanders is not able to defeat Hilary Clinton in the primaries, the message he has been communicating and the movement he has garnered around him will have influence and impact long past this Presidential election.

To speak of Hilary Clinton, it is worth mentioning that although Hilary Clinton was not born at the time of an Eclipse, she was born with a Pisces Moon that will be activated by the Total Solar Eclipse, Chiron, and Ceres:


As a result of her Pisces Moon being aligned with the Total Solar Eclipse, we can expect more of the controversial past of Hilary to be revealed.  However, we can also note that the Solar Eclipse will be in trine to her Ascendant, South Node of the Moon, Mercury, and Venus, and in sextile to her Descendant and North Node of the Moon.  This suggests she can stabilize the associated damage, and her Pisces Moon becoming so activated by the Eclipse could have an energizing impact she can use to her advantage.  An interesting additional point to make that is not related to eclipses, is that Mars will ultimately retrograde and then station direct on Hilary’s ascendant.  If Hilary becomes the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Presidency, her link to the upcoming Mars retrograde cycle will be a compelling aspect of the election for those interested in astrology.


Lunar Eclipse in Libra


Lunar Eclipse of August 28, 2007 courtesy of wikipedia

A Moon the red of roses will appear on April 4, 2015 for those living in view of the Lunar Eclipse in Libra (regions of East Asia, Western North America, Australia, New Zealand).  The Full Moon will be conjunct it’s own North Node in the Venusian sign of Libra, causing the Sun’s light to cast a shadow of our Earth across the Moon’s face, changing it’s normally milky white color into a blood red hue.  The Sun will be conjunct the South Node of the Moon, Mercury, as well as Uranus in Aries, and so this Lunar Eclipse is the final activator of the seven squares between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn that have been occurring since June of 2012.  Potential meaning of this Lunar Eclipse connects with the dramatic red color of it’s visual appearance, as the Rubedo (aka Red) stage in the alchemical process signifies the Great Work:  in the synthesis of Carl Jung, this translates as the union of the ego and the Self, the discovery of wholeness and our true nature.

Yet, similar to the Phoenix being a symbol of the Rubedo stage, the merging of our personality with our Soul is not an easy experience, but rather the result of a foray through intense heat that brings us renewal only after we have confronted our shadow. In the extreme polarity of our experience we gain the capacity for Self-actualization that can be guided from within, as we discover that the false has been burned off and our essential remains.  We have now entered the first quarter square phase between Pluto and Uranus that will last for years to come, and this Lunar Eclipse marks a Rubedo phase passage in relation to the seven previous squares that initiated us into this active phase between Pluto and Uranus that calls for us to take meaningful, purposive action. Since the Moon is covered in shadow during a lunar eclipse, it can have a similar symbolic meaning to the renewal of the Rubedo stage because it portends an opportunity to respond to our life from a new sense of presence that is free of our past patterns and conditioning.

Full Moons are extreme in quality and can be both a high of illumination as well as a low of a breakdown, yet the vibrational magnitude of our experience is more heightened at a lunar eclipse than at a full moon.  In The Lunation Cycle, Dane Rudhyar wrote that if one has been focused on growth and liberation from past patterns in the waxing Moon time period leading up to a Full Moon, one will experience the “fulfillment, illumination, or revelation” of receiving a new message in “clear, objective consciousness,” and that as “some new factor is given a high valuation,” consequently “an old value is either altogether repudiated or placed under a new light in contrast to the new realization” (p. 29).  From this change one can re-orient one’s life in accordance with the true purpose one is finding in life.  However, Rudhyar also warned that if one has been mired in tentative and negative behavior leading up to the Full Moon, resisting growth and refusing to break free from past patterns needing release, the polarity between the Sun and Moon can be too much to hold for the personality and both “destructive organic conflict” as well as “a mental dilemma of which no integrating solution appears possible” will occur (p. 30).  The fact that this Lunar Eclipse sets off the Pluto and Uranus square amplifies the meaning behind these points made by Rudhyar.

With the Sun, Uranus, and Mercury all conjunct the South Node of the Moon in Aries and set off by the polarity of the Lunar Eclipse, growth comes in connection with our past karmic and unconscious issues related to Aries.  For astrological guidance, analyze the house placement and aspects made by eight to seventeen degrees of Aries in your chart, as these nine degrees hold the transiting Mercury, Sun, Uranus, and the South Node of the Moon.  There are old personal patterns and identities related to these unconscious,karmic issues that are now ready to be purged and released.  Resisting the release of this outdated and heavy personal baggage could bring on the tipping point of a catastrophic loss or crisis that will force a letting go in the aftermath of this Libra Lunar Eclipse.  With all of these planets in Aries, a sign of instinctive initiation, we can feel the fire of wanting the changes we sense to manifest for us immediately, or impulsively desire to step into our new vision we have for our life as quickly as possible.  Yet there are still many steps to come in the process of integrating all of the new changes that have happened during the past three or four years of the Uranus and Pluto squares, and even the form we ultimately create will be fluid and continuing to change.  It is also vital to realize that Venus in Taurus is the ruler of this Libra Lunar Eclipse, and so sustaining patient, unrelenting, and grounded focus on going step-by-step toward our envisioned new life will be the most effective course of action to take.

Although this is a particularly potent lunar eclipse, it is worth remembering that we experience a lunar eclipse every six months, and so twice a year.  Our last lunar eclipse on October 8, 2014 (Moon at 16° Aries) was exactly opposite the April 4 eclipse (the Moon of the 10/08/14 eclipse was conjunct the Sun of the 04/04/15 eclipse), and the lunar eclipse that occurred a year ago in Libra on April 15, 2014 (Moon at 26° Libra) was an incredibly powerful one that created a Cardinal Grand Cross involving the Pluto and Uranus square as well as Jupiter in Cancer and Mars in Libra.  Going even further back, the first Aries-Libra lunar eclipse in this series occurred on October 18, 2013 with the Moon at 26° of Aries.  This series of lunar eclipses have been extraordinary in the change and liberation they have coincided with in our lives:  think back to where you were on 10/18/2013,  04/15/2014, and 10/08/2014 and compare it with where you stand today.  The impact of each eclipse is far-reaching, the manifestation of change not always immediately felt.  On a personal level for me, the pivotal change and ideal vision I felt within reach at the lunar eclipse of April 2014 has still today not completely materialized, yet it is also still clearly in process of materializing and it’s impact on my life has only deepened.


Sunset, Orange Sky (1910) by Felix Vallotton

Venus rules this Lunar Eclipse in her home, the sign of Taurus.  As the Moon is in the relational sign of Libra, the entry point into the mystery found in this potent lunation is through discovering the interplay between our inner relationship and it’s manifestation in our outer relationships.  Instead of allowing external opinions to dictate how you feel on an inner level, connect with your personal essence as free as possible from outside conditioning and radiate this nature outwardly.  Venus continues to be a resplendent Evening Star dazzling us with her light every evening at Sunset, so taking time to honor her with our purest intentions of heart will be auspicious.  When we absorb ourselves in the moment, such as in blissfully savoring the light of Venus in a darkened sky, we are in a space free of our past limitations of thought.  It’s not like all of your past troubles are going to go away at the stroke of the Libra Full Moon turning ecliptic red, yet the type of extraordinary shifts and unexpected change that can follow the wake of a lunar eclipse stem from the concept that our ties to our past conditioning can be severed in the ecliptic light of the lunation.

The potential of liberation in this particular Libra Lunar Eclipse is magnified by the fact that the Moon is opposite Uranus, and that the Sun, Mercury, and the South Node of the Moon are also all conjunct Uranus, the transpersonal  planet of breakthroughs in deconditioning. Indeed, there is a Grand Fire Trine around the time of the lunar eclipse between Mercury in Aries, Saturn retrograde in Sagittarius, and a Jupiter in Leo that is beginning to station direct.  Jupiter in Leo is also in trine to Uranus, the Sun, and the South Node of the Moon in Aries, and is in sextile to the North Node of the Moon and the Full Moon eclipse in Libra.  With a Lunar Eclipse opposite Uranus, in square to Pluto, with Mercury moving fast in Aries within the rays of the Sun, we could experience accelerated thought difficult to logically organize and communicate.  The more we can creatively respond in the flow of the events we experience, without getting caught up in the need to be rational, the better we can work with the blazing Mercurial potential of the moment.  Saturn now settled into it’s retrograde movement in Sagittarius is further drawing us into removing layer after layer of past conditioning of societal belief, and with Mercury in Aries in trine to Saturn, and Jupiter in Leo stationing direct in trine to Uranus,  a liberated image of our future Self can appear to guide us forward.

These incredibly activated Aries aspects defiantly stare into the Libra mirror of the Lunar Eclipse, driving us to boldly assert our desire toward personal growth instead of repressing our evolution in order to fit in with the expectations of relationships.  I recently read an interview of Robert Hand in The Mountain Astrologer (Oct/Nov 2014 issue) in which he explained spiritual evolution as manifesting our authenticity, and in which he also referenced an idea from the Renaissance astrologer Marsilio Ficino that Saturn can become beneficial for us when we divorce ourselves from “ordinary reality.”  Aligning ourselves with an alternative reality from the status quo social conditioning surrounding us that allows us to manifest our authenticity is a message of this lunar eclipse, but does not mean we should neglect the needs of our relationships in favor of our own personal needs.  Ideally, we can strike a better balance toward focusing on mutual growth in our relationships and constructing scenarios in which we give ourselves the freedom to pursue our authentic growth while also honoring the unique need for growth of others with whom we are in relation.

When we open our perception to aspects beyond the traditional planets, we will notice that Ceres will have freshly entered Aquarius at the time of the lunar eclipse and will be in opposition to Juno in Leo.  Ceres in Aquarius can help turn the face of our relationships toward collective needs of our wider community, instead of becoming wrapped up in overdramatic interpersonal dynamics with others.  If we can hold the polarity of Ceres in Aquarius to Juno in Leo, we can bring a liberating energy into our relationships allowing ourselves to both express ourselves more freely while also connecting with the wider humanitarian needs of our local and global community.  An Aquarian Ceres facing a Leo Juno can also bring opportunities to transmute interpersonal dynamics with others into creative expression that can not only impact our wider community but also help foster alliances with others of like mind and ideals.  Through the portal of this eclipse we will feel an augmented emphasis to engage relationships that connect with our future growth and shed the relationships that align with our past patterns we are in process of releasing.


Moonlight (1895) by Felix Vallotton

Libra signifies balance, but we only know and recognize balance through the experience of imbalance. Thus the lessons of Libra involve extremities of emotions and feeling a lack of harmony in order for us to gain the capacity to bring things into balance and ultimately create greater harmony around us.  The moment of the Libra Lunar Eclipse will shift our self-absorption toward recognizing the needs of others in our environment and what aspects of our perception and behavior could be adjusted accordingly.  With the Sun applying to a conjunction with Uranus in Aries, and a square to Pluto in Capricorn, a large aspect of self-realization could revolve around issues of control in our relationships.  The Cancer polarity point to Pluto in Capricorn that does not hold a transiting planet, yet is also in square to the Libra Lunar Eclipse, signifies the emotional security issues that are the deep well from which our grasping for control in relationships arise.  In accordance with these emotional security issues, it is important that the ruler of the lunar eclipse is a Venus in Taurus that is separating from a trine to Pluto in Capricorn, while at the same time Mars is at the beginning of Taurus and beginning to move into range of a trine with Pluto.  All together these aspects call us within to love ourselves with compassion and to attend to the needs of our bodies and our most cherished inner values.  Through attending to our own inner needs, we lose the desperate co-dependent desire for someone else to “fix” us.

In relationships, there can be the tendency for our projections of romantic ideals to lead us into relationships that ultimately bring shattering disillusionment.  It isn’t even always that the image of our ideal is incorrect, but rather that we want it so badly that we blur our perception to the extremity that we see it where it does not actually exist for us.  In other cases, we realize in the end that the romantic ideal we allowed to guide us was more of a socially conditioned concept from our culture than a genuinely intrinsic desire.  Sometimes it takes repeating experiences of projection and disillusionment over and over again, along similar lines of projection, before we finally learn our lesson and develop the discernment to focus on a romantic partner or intimate friend who will be able to listen to and accept us as we essentially are in the evolving moment.  When we let go of the need to control others, or manipulate ourselves in a way that we think will please others, we allow for the relationships that will naturally support us to emerge more freely.  Venus and Mars in Taurus want to feel pleasure and want us to sustain the partnerships and friendships that will bring us internal fulfillment.

vallotton la mer

La Mer by Felix Vallotton

In The Lunation Cycle Dane Rudhyar defined the waning period of the Moon as the phase in which we receive the “creative meaning” of the cycle (p. 31).  In the week following the lunar eclipse that leads to the last quarter square phase, there are two extraordinary astrological moments to pay attention to that will influence our reception of the creative meaning of the lunar eclipse:  Jupiter stationing direct in Leo on April 8, and the superior conjunction of Mercury with the Sun in Aries on April 9, 2015.

Jupiter has been retrograde in Leo since December 8, 2014 when it stationed retrograde at 23° of Leo.  Look in your birth chart for the aspects contained within twenty-three to twelve degrees of Leo to discern how this retrograde journey of Jupiter has impacted you.  When Jupiter goes retrograde we are pulled toward discovery of our personal truth in contrast to the “truth” propagated by the dominant cultural beliefs surrounding us.  What have you realized about yourself since the beginning of December?  What essential lesson about your personal nature have you learned? Crucially, there is an extraordinary aspect about the zodiac degree where Jupiter is stationing direct to integrate, as Jupiter will be stationing conjunct the North Node of Neptune.  As the North Node of Neptune remains stable at the beginning of the second decan of Leo, the times that Jupiter moves through Leo and becomes conjunct this point along our ecliptic are moments to seize for profound creative actualization.  In the context of receiving the creative meaning of the Libra Lunar Eclipse, Jupiter stationing on the North Node of Neptune gives us an opportunity to integrate all of the deep unconscious energy we are releasing into creative expression and self-actualization.  This is yet another astrological reason to center within and ask yourself what you would want your life to be like if you could remove all of the barriers and obstacles that social conditioning has placed around you.  Whatever image or feeling emerges from this process of contemplation, look around yourself and find whatever resources and opportunities are available to move in this direction in whatever way that you can.  In September 2014 Jupiter was last conjunct the North Node of Neptune in Leo, and it will not be here again for roughly another twelve years so this is truly a time to take advantage of for liberated thought and action.

The very next day following Jupiter stationing direct in Leo, Mercury will merge into the heart of the Sun at it’s Superior Conjunction, this time occurring in Aries at twenty degrees.  In Pacific Standard Time, the exact moment of Mercury’s superior conjunction will be at 9:00 pm on April 9, 2015.  Fitting for a waning Moon in Sagittarius that can facilitate comprehension of the creative meaning of a super charged Libra Lunar Eclipse, the superior conjunction of Mercury in Aries is like a blazing meteor of thought and a moment to tap into cosmic mind.  As Demetra George has taught, at the superior conjunction of Mercury we can feel overloaded with a lot of information to digest and assimilate, yet if we can avoid feeling overwhelmed there is great potential for insights of genius.  Be open at this time to receive new thoughts and ideas and a transformed perspective on your life.  There is a stunning synchronicity in Mercury stepping into this role of magical facilitator, as last April 2014 when we experienced a powerful Libra Lunar Eclipse as well as a Cardinal Grand Square, Mercury also passed through a superior conjunction in the waning Moon phase following the lunar eclipse (April 25, 2014 at 6° Taurus).  In Aries, Mercury will be able to help us receive a liberated message of inspiration from this pivotal Lunar Eclipse in Libra.



Rudhyar, Dane. (1982). The Lunation Cycle. Aurora Press.