The Four Obamas

January 22, 2009

Over the last few weeks, there’s been some astrological buzz about the fact that at the supposedly traditional swearing-in time of noon on January 20, and for about a half hour thereafter, the Moon would be void of course.  This led to some suggestions by concerned astrologers that Obama should put off taking the oath until 12:30 pm or so. There’s a problem, though, with the void-of-course idea. I don’t use it myself, and once when I thought of adding it to a monthly publication I edit, I tiptoed through the literature, ancient and modern, and found at least five quite different ways of defining the period when the Moon, or any other body, is in this state. So while in my own opinion it wouldn’t have hurt to put off taking the oath, it probably wouldn’t have helped either.

But there’s a bigger problem here than the idea of whether void of course would have made a difference or not, and that is the fact that in normal circumstances there are three separate dates and/or times which we could take as the beginning, the “birth,” of a presidency. The first is for the certification by the congress of the election results. If you go here, you’ll find that Obama was officially certified as the successor to George W. Bush on January 9th at 1:35 pm EST. The next is for the constitutionally mandated date and time when Obama actually became president. As one wag put it, even if Obama had been home taking a bath at noon EST on January 20th instead of standing on the dais ready to take the oath, legally and constitutionally at that moment he would have been president.

The role of the oath in relation to the legal beginning of a presidency is quite a different thing. From noon of January 20th onward, the person certified earlier as president-elect is the president, but at that point though he can do fun things like hang around the White House yelling at the staff and doing photo-ops, he cannot legally exercise the duties and responsibilities outlined in Article 2, Sections 2 and 3, of the Constitution, because of the following statement at the end of Article 1:

“Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

So while Obama was president at noon on January 20th, he couldn’t do much of anything until four minutes later when he took the oath.

But then of course there’s a twist that we all know about, which is that Chief Justice Roberts fluffed the wording of the oath, though not by much, when swearing in Obama. According to the Washington Post:

At the inauguration, Roberts instead said: “that I will execute the office of president to the United States faithfully.”

The only thing wrong was that “to” should have been “of,” and “faithfully” was in the wrong place in the sentence, but even though Roberts’ wording means exactly the same thing as the words in the Constitution, many if not most Constitutional scholars apparently feel that altering the wording invalidates the oath. According to the article just cited, Calvin Coolidge and Chester Alan Arthur also had oath problems. In these earlier cases, the oath was readministered at some point, as it was here for Obama, at 7:35 pm on January 21st, according to the political publication The Hill.

So where does that leave us? With the question of when, in an astrological sense, Obama became president. Out of the four Obamas, which one should an astrologer choose? On that I take the 5th.

Astrology at the Movies, Loosely

December 19, 2008

Michael Erlewine’s return to the helm at Matrix in Big Rapids loosely coincides with the showing of a biopic about him loosely based on the Cold War thriller, “I Led Three Lives.” It has been retitled to “I Led Nine Lives (in Astrology)”. First run is on the Astrology Channel on Manhattan Cable, at 2:34 a.m., though we don’t yet know what day. And just in case you haven’t caught on by now, this post is loosely factual…

Don’t Axe Me Why

December 19, 2008

Astrology has been disproven yet again, this time at approximately 11:15 a.m. on the 7th of December on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the one that runs between Staten Island and Brooklyn in New York. A person of my acquaintance was driving over the bridge and definitely minding his own business when he saw what appeared to be a small circular object spinning up from the road near a car that was ahead and to the right of him. A moment later, something hit his windshield, with a resulting pandemonium that you can well imagine.

After he pulled off the highway on the Brooklyn side to call 911, he noticed that right in the center of the windshield damage was a vertical break about 6 inches long and an inch wide, and then he noticed a large hunk of metal below the dashboard and lying right in front of the gearshift. The hunk of metal, which clearly was bolted to something (perhaps on the bridge itself) before it decided to go traveling was about the size, shape, and heft, of an axe blade, though with a hole in it where the bolt would have been. It was clear from the lower-right origin and the hole in the windshield that its vector had been straight at the driver’s head. Had there not been good, solid safety glass on the car,  said caput were else kaput. Putting it in archaic terms somehow seems to make the whole thought less icky.

So what does this have to do with disproving astrology? It’s very simple, as the three most elevated bodies at the time were Mars, Sun, and Mercury, in that order, all squaring Saturn, a singleton in the Western half of the chart. The longitudes, using first Sidereal and then Tropical coordinates, were:

Ma 20.34 Scorpio
Su 21.04 Scorpio
Me 27.41 Scorpio
Sa 26.22 Leo

1. 21.30 Scorpio<<<
2. 20.09 Scorpio<<<

Ma 15.26 Sagittarius
Su 15.56 Sagittarius
Me 22.33 Sagittarius
Sa 21.14 Virgo

1. 15.30 Sagittarius<<<
2. 14.09 Sagittarius<<<

So what are those entries labeled 1 and 2 with the <<< beside them? The subject’s Ascendant and Jupiter, respectively. Quod erat demonstratum.