Planet Waves
An Update on Bill Clinton's Horoscope

By Eric Francis Coppolino, written for Rob Brezsny's "Televisionary Oracle" newsletter in August 1998.

While Kenneth Starr and thousands of the most brilliant journalists in America postulate on the President's private life, private thoughts and private parts, it seemed logical to check his private astrology, especially since no other aspect of the inquiry is producing relevant facts, much less actual meaning.

Astrology, like news reporting, is an interpretive art. There is no definitive bottom-line meaning to the aspects, but often there are many factors that point in the same direction. The major benefits of using astrology are that it can serve to connect us with the bigger picture, allowing the mind to work more objectively, and reminding us that everything must be seen in its context; that it provides material for questions, which can be researched in other ways; and that we get a source of uncensored information that "spin doctors" cannot control. And most people take their astrology somewhat spiritually, meaning that it's a place held sacred, where we tend to lay aside judgment, in the negative sense of that word, as a matter of practice.

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Based on a reading of the astrology surrounding Bill Clinton's admission that he had an "inappropriate" relationship with Monica Lewinsky, and his personal charts and the chart for the United States, there is a reasonable chance that he'll be forced to resign from office, and that America will pay a high price for its sexual hypocrisies as a result.

I will not predict this; what I will say, without reservation and based on reading Clinton's astrological charts over the past two years, is that it'll be a miracle if it doesn't happen, and catastrophic if it does. In laying my bets, I'll go with the miracle. But whatever happens, it would be great to live in a world where it was possible to tell the truth about sex, and I hope this issue provides some insight for anyone who is wavering on that point.

To develop answers to these questions, I have used the following charts: Bill Clinton's birth chart, progressed chart and solar return (natal data: Aug. 19, 1946, 8:51 am CST, Hope, Arkansas); Scorpionic America, natal and progressed (natal data: Nov. 15, 1777, 5:52:56 pm GMT, York, Pennsylvania); and the chart for Bill Clinton's speech on the Monica Lewinsky affair (Aug. 17, 1998 at 10:00 pm EST, Washington DC).

Q: Why is this happening now, and how big is it really?

The keyword is eclipse. People familiar with astrology will immediately recognize the significance of this. Saturday, Aug. 22 was the first solar eclipse in Leo for 17 years, the timing of which is very unusual. The last time eclipses were supposed to happen in Leo, they just skipped right over that sign. When I discovered this, I thought I was seeing things and needed glasses, but I've checked with other astrologers and it's indeed true. And it is weird. Now, Bill Clinton is a Leo and his natal Sun is about three degrees from the eclipse, so it's bound to come with big changes in his life. Solar eclipses, which are among the most potent and unpredictable astrological events, happen twice a year. They almost always boom in with significant and noticeable events. The Monica Lewinsky scandal surfaced seven months ago, last February, with the most recent one. That may not have seemed important at the time, but the future is proving otherwise.

Eclipses have a way of being very public events, and moreover, connecting individuals with the collective. The things that occur around them are unusually moving -- for example, Princess Diana died on the eve of an eclipse, and the Persian Gulf War began on the eve of one as well. They have a distinct feeling, which is like a vortex or an acceleration-point in our lives, and this is felt all over the world. In terms of the news of the world, it certainly has been an unusually intense few weeks. This major development in the presidential sex scandal comes in the context of the embassy bombings in Africa, the explosion of an American Titan-IV missile (the kind normally used to loft extremely radioactive payloads into orbit, including the Cassini Space Probe), and America's air-strike in retaliation for the embassy bombings. And remember, these are the things we know about, not the ones we don't.

Planet Waves
Eclipses do not always spell disaster, although some people are very sensitive to them (Diana was among them), and if they are in public office this can be very difficult. In working with my clients, I find that they are usually major turning points which can be negotiated quite successfully, and almost always, used to create a better life. The key is to stay awake and pay attention to what is happening, to use the energy consciously, and not make very fancy plans in their immediate vicinity. Let the dust settle and see what your life looks like on the other side of the gateway.

Q: Is there anything in Bill Clinton's horoscope that indicates the quality of his character?

"Quality of character" is an astrological blind spot, at least among astrologers who are sensitive to the reality that we cannot judge the soul. The only way to get to know people is to actually know them for a while, and even then it's tricky. I don't know Bill Clinton personally.

But I feel I can say this fairly safely. Astrologically, one can see that Billy is a complex fellow. Issues of sex and relationships dominate his life. They are a major part of his search for personal identity. It's inevitable. Not only does he have Libra, the key sign of sex and relationships, rising (located on the eastern horizon, or "ascendant"), there is also a conjunction of Venus, Mars and Neptune rising as well. The ascendant magnifies the effect of planets in any chart, and planets located there come into the life experience powerfully; the ascendant works like a huge psychic antenna. With Venus, Mars and Neptune rising, you can expect to see passion, lust, intense personal magnetism (charisma), deep curiosity about sex, and intense creativity, including musical and artistic talent. And this also comes with unusual intelligence (a Venus attribute) and psychic sensitivity (a Neptune attribute). No doubt both of these last two factors have helped Clinton save his hide many times.

The problem is this: When you put Mars and Neptune together so powerfully, especially in a conjunction, you can expect to see the unfortunate themes of lies and scandals. Some astrologers say this makes the person treacherous and dishonest, which I cannot vouch for, but it also comes with being the subject of lies and scandals. This is not about fate. This is about how people use their power, and what kinds of positions they get into in life, and who their enemies are (a president always has many), and we often have influence over these factors most of the time.

Given his chart, it would not surprise me if Bill Clinton were someone who had a lot of affairs, and given his job, he has little choice but to keep quiet about it. To propose anything else is absurd: He is in a powerful position, which will bring women to him like few other things can, he's a lusty guy, and he cannot exactly declare himself "polyamorous" in the middle of nutso-Christian-values America. This "infidelity" factor isn't exactly a miracle; depending on what survey you believe, there is cheating in anywhere from 25% up to 75% of all American marriages (survey your friends and see if the results match). Normally where there are affairs, there is lying. Where there is lying, there is getting caught and sometimes getting blackmailed, which appears to be the case in this situation. It's important to remember that Bill Clinton is a person. Every human being is born with their desires and their share of stuff to work out. We come here for the experience of it, and holding public office doesn't exempt you from being human. As Bill Clinton said the other night, even the president has a private life. And as Bob Dylan said, sometimes even the president of the United States must stand naked.

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Q: Is the eclipse the only aspect Bill Clinton's chart that's affecting him now?

Not at all. There is a lot of action in his charts associated with these sex-scandal events. And over the recent few years, there have been many unusually difficult transits (events in the astrological chart) for him, particularly involving relationships.

For example, with Saturn moving through his 7th house during the past two years, he (or anyone) is likely to be facing a very challenging time of maturing in his marriage and relationships, particularly when you see that Saturn in Aries has been "opposing" all of his Libra planets (Venus, Mars, Neptune and several others). And it's interesting to note that using a technique called "progressions," the timing of the scandal breaking was clearly marked by his progressed Moon exactly crossing his 7th house cusp (the marriage line) last February when the whole thing surfaced; the progressed Moon does this once every 30 years or so. (That told me two things: that it was going to be a big issue, and that his chart is accurate.) This progressed Moon now opposes (just like Saturn did) many planets, and represents the public consciousness acting like a huge mirror to whatever is going on with him personally. We shall see.

And there are a variety of other factors, particularly involving several small planets called Centaurs. You may have heard of Chiron, which was the first Centaur planet discovered. Chiron is now in Scorpio; Clinton has many progressed planets in Scorpio, in a very private area of his chart, and this means that he's going through some intense inner changes. Yet there are two other Centaurs working on him right now as well: One is Pholus, now in Libra, which tends to come with themes of "opening the jar" and "points of no return," and this has been going over that Venus-Mars-Neptune in Libra aspect quite intensely all summer. Finally, there is Nessus, which deals with complex love-triangles, and involves themes of revenge and "bad blood" with women, and this planet has been transiting something called his South Node, which astrologers know is connected with one's past karma. So all these themes are being stirred up for him now. It is quite a difficult situation.

Q: What about the horoscope of the United States? Can that tell us anything?

I have been working with what's considered one of the most reliable charts for the U.S., called Scorpionic America. Sexual issues, as the chart's name suggests, are among the biggest themes in this horoscope. America is a complex nation, and it's not the only culture on the planet to have hang-ups about sex. But its hang-ups are of a peculiar nature, and mostly involve conflicts that arise from the denial that sexuality exists at all. The standard is simply fuck but don't get caught, or in other words, secrecy. Because if you get caught, not only are you guilty of the act itself, you're guilty of destroying peoples' illusions about life. And your partner will feel guilty because s/he has to condemn you for what you did, while denying that they ever did anything like that. Guilty, guilty, guilty.

America, in its guilt, pretends that it's puritanical; it pretends that its women are virgins and its men are heterosexual upright monogamous pillars of the community, and that its parents don't have sex, and that its preachers don't get horny. As Carl Jung said, what we deny internally surfaces as fate externally. This is why the only scandal in America is a sex scandal. You can steal money and get away with it. You can kill people and get away with it. But "inappropriate sex" is a scandal.

The U.S. chart is loaded with these themes, and they are all being "activated" right now. One place they show up vividly is on that thing called the South Node, which is about past karma and, in a way, represents old habits we have a hard time breaking. Right on America's South Node are sitting Mars (sexual desire, anger, violence) and Juno (an influential little asteroid which is about marriage and fidelity in marriage). And certainly there are a lot of issues in the States that fall into this category. Marital violence is a huge problem. Many marriages are extremely complex habits people have a hard time breaking. When Bill Clinton got on television the other night to make his confession, the zenith (Midheaven) over Washington was closely aligned with this Mars-Juno-South Node aspect in the U.S. chart. This is what's come up for being addressed.

But there are two other factors in the U.S. chart that really got my attention. The 8th house of this chart features a Saturn-Mercury conjunction in Scorpio. There is no better, no more emphatic, no more neurotic way to possibly express the idea of "sexual secrecy" using the planetary language. And that is the set-up in the U.S. chart. But it's an obsession with sexual secrecy on top of sexual obsession in general, and tremendous confusion of sexual issues with the idea of power. It's as though the culture believes that it's only power is sexual power, and its only sexual power is its ability to keep secrets. Very healthy!

And what is now happening is that Uranus, which tends to shake things up, wake things (and people) up, create revolutions and, in general, rock the world and make havoc right where it is necessary, is "squaring" that Saturn-Mercury conjunction. "Squaring" is an astrological way of saying "shit happens," and the result is that these sexual secrets/sexual obsessions/power obsessions are being brought into the light very suddenly. This has been going on for about nine months, just slightly longer than the (publicly available) length of this scandal.

The last factor is that in America's progressed horoscope, there is the extremely rare occurrence of a solar eclipse. This is different from the Leo eclipse I talked about -- it's a special kind of eclipse, you might call it "symbolic" -- in the US chart, and this only happens once every several thousands of years. And this was the real shocker for me. The timing of this event is approximately two months from now (Aug. 22), and it speaks more clearly than anything that what is happening is not just about Bill Clinton, it's about America and its people and anyone who is participating in the event with their active interest.

So right now, America is putting itself through a kind of karmic initiation, and the results, as always, seem uncertain. There is a Bible story in which Jesus comes across a temple priestess ("prostitute") who is about to be stoned to death by an angry mob. This is where he makes is famous "first stone" comment, you know, he says, whoever is innocent of this kind of thing, go ahead, throw the first stone. Nobody does. And this is pretty much were America is at today. We have to add something to this, though. The public can save Bill Clinton, and it will save its own soul as a result, if it can finally get clear that sex is not a subject that can be sanely dealt with using guilt and attack. There are much more fun and productive ways. Telling the truth is a good start.


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