Jim Shawvan's Right Place Consulting

A Classical Analysis of Three Contest Charts for the Presidential Election of 2004                                                    
by Jim Shawvan

Prefatory note added on Nov. 8, 2004, after the election --

The following article was originally posted on Sept. 4, 2004.  In it, I used a variation of a Western classical astrological technique to predict the outcome of the election -- incorrectly, as it turned out.  This may imply that this technique is not the appropriate one to use for this purpose.

Some astrologers base their predictions of election results on transits, progressions and returns for the natal charts of the candidates.  Others prefer to use one or another of the numerous charts that have been proposed for the United States, or the charts of the two major political parties.  It has been argued that, in the 2004 election, the massive cheating via electronic voting machines with no paper trails, and the massive disenfranchisement of African-American and student voters in Ohio and some other states, mean that Kerry may have been the actual winner if the votes were really counted, and that astrologers who called it for Kerry were thus correct.  However, our techniques should allow us to call correctly the next occupant of the White House, regardless of cheating.

I would love to hear from any astrologers who have a track record of predicting a whole series of election outcomes correctly.  If you know an astrologer who fits that description, please e-mail me at Mailto:jshawvan@yahoo.com

The original article follows, as posted on Sept. 4, 2004, and edited shortly thereafter.


This article looks at three event charts which I presented to the San Diego Astrological Society in June 2004.  It grew out of discussions on two mundane astrology groups on the Web, namely PoliticalAstrology on Yahoo.com and Argonautica on Topica.com.  Specifically, the article is expanded from a message which I sent to Argonautica on Aug. 4th.

I should preface this by mentioning that Cheney's acceptance speech at the Republican convention preceded by less than half a day the direct station of Mercury, which occurred at 9:09 am EDT on Sept. 2, 2004, and that Bush's acceptance speech followed that station only about half a day later.  It is interesting to speculate on the possibility that there may be a brouhaha within the Republican party, in the weeks following the convention, that might be somewhat comparable to the confusion about the results of the presidential election in 2000, when Mercury made its direct station on the evening of election day, as polls were closing.


1.  Since 1960, every American presidential election has begun in the tiny town of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, where the voters assemble and cast their votes immediately after midnight Eastern Time.  Although this doubtless began as a publicity stunt and continues for the same reason, nevertheless it gives us an actual time for the beginning of election day -- the time when the very first vote is cast.  For practical purposes, we can assume one minute after midnight.

I have looked at the Dixville Notch charts for every election from 1960 on, both as contest charts in their own right and as transits to the natal charts of the two major candidates (where I had those candidates' birth data, which I do have for most).  When the election has been close, the Dixville Notch charts have been hard to judge, but in the more frequent cases wherein one candidate won with a clear lead, these charts hold up very well, both as contest charts and as transits.

Here are the chart data for the 2004 election:

Dixville Notch votes, Nov. 2, 2004, 00:01 am EST, Dixville Notch, NH -- Asc 26 Leo 29 tropical

Classically, this a contest chart, to be analyzed by Ramesey's rules for Castle Besiegement, per Lee Lehman.  The party initiating the conflict is the challenger, hence the 1st house, while the incumbent is the 7th.  Everything else depends on the relative strengths of the significators of these two houses.

The Sun is both ruler and almuten of the 1st, the challenger.  The Sun has only the minor essential dignity of Face, giving a score of +1.

Saturn is both ruler and almuten of the 7th, the incumbent.   Saturn is in its Detriment (-5), but is also in its Term (+2), for a net score of -3.

Thus we would give the contest to the challenger, Kerry.

It could be argued that we should give Saturn an additional +4 points for being in Mutual Reception by Exaltation with Jupiter.  If we did so, then Saturn's net score would be +1, the same as the Sun's, and all bets would be off.  Classical writers such as William Lilly would only have used such a Mutual Reception if the two planets were also in Ptolemaic aspect.  There is an out-of-sign sextile between Jupiter and Saturn here, and it is within the sum of the moieties of the orbs of the two planets.  However, the fact that the aspect is out-of-sign makes me dubious.


2.  Another chart that can be analyzed using this technique is Kerry's announcement that he was forming an exploratory committee for his candidacy for the presidency.  The announcement was made on Meet the Press, which airs at different times in different markets, but would first have been aired at 9:00 am EST.  Since I can find no information as to the exact time during the show at which Kerry announced this, I arbitrarily picked 9:10 am.  However, the Ascendant is in Capricorn throughout the entire show.

Kerry Announces Exploratory Committee, Dec. 1, 2002, 9:10 am EST, Washington, DC

Saturn ruling the 1st (Kerry) is in Gemini, and is Triplicity Ruler of Air Signs in the daytime, thus gaining a score of +3.  (Note that at some degrees of Capricorn, Saturn may be coalmuten with Venus or with Mars, but it is stronger in essential dignity than either of them in this chart, so we would use it as the significator, no matter which degree of Capricorn was actually rising.)

The Moon ruling the 7th (Bush) is in Scorpio, hence in its Fall (-4) as well as Peregrine (-5), for a net score of -9.

This chart clearly gives the contest to Kerry.

By the way, there is another chart floating around for Kerry's formal announcement of his candidacy.  This refers to his well-publicized speech in front of a Navy ship at Mt. Pleasant, SC, near Charleston, on Sept. 2, 2003, at approximately 10 am.  However, Kerry had been going around for days or weeks telling everyone who would listen that he would announce his candidacy at that time and place.  Hence I do not consider this a valid chart.  If I tell you that I'm going to tell you, and tell you what I'm going to tell you, then I've already told you!


3.  We can also analyze the chart for Bush's filing of his official papers for the run for his second term, using a similar technique.  In this case, however, this is not Castle Besiegement, but a simple contest chart, since Bush took the initiative and filed the papers at that time.


G.W. Bush Files for Reelection, May 16, 2003, 10:49 am EDT, Washington, DC
-- Ascendant 3 Leo 20 tropical

Bush is the actor, the 1st house, and the Sun is both ruler and almuten.  The Sun is Peregrine, scoring -5, and is also conjunct Algol, considered the most malefic of all fixed stars.  Thus the Sun suffers under major essential debility and major accidental debility as well.

Bush's opponent (not yet identified at that date) is the 7th, with Aquarius on the cusp, and Saturn as both ruler and almuten. Saturn in Gemini has Triplicity Rulership of Air during the daytime, giving it a score of +3.

Thus this chart also shows a Kerry win.


4.  On the issue of whether the election will be canceled, etc., I have no astrological information to offer.  I pay attention to the news, and I have posted a number of stories  relating to this issue on my own list, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheWayThingsWork

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