homeThe White House, the Great Chonocrator and Tecumsehís Curse
by Richard Nolle (OCT 17, 1996)

The Clinton administration wasnít even in the White House yet when, as a guest on Pat McMahonís KTAR AM 620 radio show in Phoenix, I was asked to predict President Clintonís future. My reply to that question on January 1, 1993 was straightforward, and I stand by it: "Mr. Clinton is a one-term President." As of October 1996, that statement may seem a bit outlandish. Mr. Clinton has a substantial lead over Mr. Dole in most public opinion polls, after all. I am not dismayed, for two reasons.

First, similar and more recent political predictions I have made (in subsequent Pat McMahon show appearances and on my website at http://www.astropro.com) have all come true. For example, on Patís May 16, 1996 show, I predicted that Benjamin Netanyahu would win election as Israelís Prime Minister; and that Boris Yeltsin would win the Russian Presidential election by forging a coalition - but that he would be reduced to a figurehead despite his win. Both predictions proved true in the fullness of time. Although he was behind Peres in the polls when I did the show, Netanyahu won. And Yeltsin won by taking Lebed aboard in a coalition - only to end up running Russia rather feebly (at best) from a hospital bed. Iím not saying Iím never wrong, mind you. But I am saying that some of my past predictions have beaten some pretty long odds . . .

Second, there was more to my prediction regarding the Presidency than the simple statement that Mr. Clinton would only be a one-termer. I also added that whatever candidateís term of (or election to) office as US President includes the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in the year 2000 will not survive his tenure. Since the term of office that goes with the November 5, 1996 election runs from January 1997 to January 2001, and since the Jupiter Saturn conjunction of May 28, 2000 falls within that span - see chart below - it follows either that Iím way off-base . . . or that whoever wins the 1996 election has a reduced life expectancy.

This prediction has been controversial enough that I have received numerous requests from astrologers and astrology students to explain my reasoning, and so I shall. But before I do I hasten to add that I have no particular bias for or against either Mr. Dole or Mr. Clinton. In other words, Iím neither a rabid Republican who wishes Mr. Clinton ill, nor a yellow dog Democrat who would relish Mr. Doleís downfall. (Yellow dog Democrat is not a pejorative term. It refers to a Democrat so loyal as to vote for a yellow dog if the party nominates one.) Actually, Iím a registered Libertarian because that partyís platform by and large describes whatever political leanings I do have; namely toward a constitutionally-limited, minimalist government.

Given my own political inclinations, I donít feel the least affinity for either the Republican or Democratic parties. I consider both their candidates socialists: a Fabian socialist and a flaming socialist respectively, but socialists just the same. Like so many politically-inclined people, Iíll hold my nose and pull the lever for the lesser of two evils in November. (It reminds me of the line from Simon and Garfunkelís Mrs. Robinson: "Goiní to the candidatesí debate. Talk about it, shout about it, when you have to choose - anyway you look at it you lose.") To be sure, for some time I have been of the opinion that Mr. Dole is the lesser of the two evils. But that hardly makes me a GOPAC go-fer. That said, I must also acknowledge that Mr. Clinton has qualities I admire: heís fairly articulate and charismatic, for example (qualities virtually alien to Mr. Dole). But thatís not enough to make me want to mortgage my house to raise money for the DNC.

In summary, while as a person I do have personal biases, I hope (and believe) that I have set them aside enough to render a professional astrological judgment on the topic at hand. Ultimately, what happens between now and 2001 will decide that question - because the prediction as a whole deals with that time frame. For the present, all I can do is share with you the factors which led me to my conclusions and let you make up your own mind. Just remember what Yogi Berra said: "It ainít over till itís over."

Looking back on the last couple of Presidential elections and the horoscopes of the contenders (hyperlinked below - use your browser's back button to return to this page) gives a few pointers on the outcome of the 1996 election. The 1988 election was held with Jupiter in a very favorable transiting conjunction right on George Bushís midheaven - the point of career, status and reputation. There was a simultaneous progressed sun-north lunar node conjunction at work in Mr. Bushís chart as the nation went to the polls. His opponent Michael Dukakis had no midheaven transit, but he did have a favorable Jupiter transit on his ascendant (and was leading the opinion polls in the summer). The stronger chart clearly won.

In the 1992 election, Mr. Bushís chart featured transiting Saturn in an unfavorable opposition to the progressed midheaven, while Mr. Clintonís chart had an almost exact Jupiter transit on the ascendant plus a once in a lifetime progressed sun conjunction to natal Venus. Clearly, the candidate with the strongest aspects won.

In 1996 Mr. Clinton has lost the exquisitely favorable progressed sun-Venus contact, plus he has picked up a foreboding Saturn transit in opposition to his ascendant and the several planets in Libra which are rising in his chart. (In his favor, it must be said that Mr. Clintonís natal Mars-Neptune-Venus conjunction on the Libra ascendant means heís charming and unprincipled enough that nothing much seems to stick to him.) The Jupiter transit which favored him in 1992 now lends no support - in fact, it opposes his midheaven by sign. Mr. Doleís chart features a mix of weakly favorable and truly dreadful aspects. His progressed moon-Pluto conjunction most definitely falls in the dreadful category; along with Saturnís transit right on his progressed midheaven. On the favorable side, he does have a nice minor transit (Venus is conjunct his progressed sun) and a weak but forming major planet factor (Jupiter in the sign of his midheaven). Astrologically speaking, weíve got a couple of losers here. The one who self-destructs least ends up with the most votes. (Youíll notice I didnít say he wins.)

Looking at these two horoscopes, one can hardly imagine how the Republicans could have made a worse choice than putting Mr. Dole up against Mr. Clinton. The Clinton chart is weak and vulnerable compared to 1992. So what do the Republicans do? They nominate a candidate whose chart is at best lukewarm, whose persona is dull, whose charisma is on a par with three-day-old road kill. I can think of a couple of candidates who could have swamped the Democratic incumbent at the polls (e.g. Colin Powell), but unfortunately for the GOP itís Mr. Dole at the head of the ticket. The Republicansí only hope is that Mr. Clintonís transiting Saturn opposition comes home to roost: it signifies a dissipation of public support as his own past (and that of partners and associates) catches up with him. And it just might save his life . . .

It was over fifteen years ago that I wrote an article on the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction, which appeared in Dell Publishing Companyís HOROSCOPE magazine. The gist of the article dealt with the unarguable historical fact that since the fire sign sequence of conjunctions between those two planets ended in 1821, every subsequent conjunction in earth signs has signaled death for the President whose term of (or election to) office included such a conjunction: seven consecutive earth sign conjunctions, seven dead Presidents. (In all of American history, there has been only one President to die in office without this Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in earth signs connection; namely Zachary Taylor in 1850.)

The twenty-year Presidential death cycle that began with William Henry Harrisonís death in 1841 was for some time known as Tecumsehís Curse. A Shawnee chief, Tecumseh had the vision to recognize as early as 1806 that the growing United States posed a lethal threat to his race. Together with his brother, Tecumseh attempted to organize a pan-tribal confederacy to fight the growing menace. He was killed by American forces under the command of William Henry Harrison at the Battle of the Thames in Canada on October 13, 1813. When Harrisonís Presidency was cut short by his death of pneumonia on April 4, 1841 - the first time death had touched the White House - there were those who believed that Tecumseh had put a curse on the United States. As the roll call of American Presidents who died in office at twenty year intervals grew, the legend of Tecumsehís curse grew with it.

Folklore aside, the correspondence between the earth sign series of Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions and death in the White House is simple and straightforward, as described in my article for HOROSCOPE. The first earth sign alignment of these two planets after the end of their fire sign series occurred during William Henry Harrisonís term of office. The second conjunction came in Lincolnís term: Lincoln was assassinated. The third alignment fell during the Garfield administration: Garfield was assassinated. The fourth occurred in the McKinley regime: McKinley was assassinated. The fifth fell in Hardingís term: Harding died in office. The sixth alignment happened during Franklin Delano Rooseveltís third term: Roosevelt died in office. The seventh time Jupiter and Saturn aligned in earth signs coincided with the Kennedy administration: Kennedy was assassinated. The 1980-81 alignment slipped out the earth element (falling in the air sign Libra). I correctly predicted that the 1980-81 triple conjunction would be different, because it occurred in an air sign. Iíll admit to sweating that one on the day President Reagan got shot, but his survival vindicated the prediction after all. In the same article I pointed out the obvious: the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction returns in 2000 - and in an earth sign once more.

Why should earth sign conjunctions of these two planets coincide with such baleful consequences for the US Presidency? The conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn was called the Great Chronocrator by ancient astrologers, who regarded its twenty-year advent as a metronome of momentous social and political change. So there is a centuries-old tradition which holds that this conjunction marks great turning points in the tide of history. But thereís more to it than that.

A look at the horoscope for the US Declaration of Independence - the astrological birth certificate of the nation - suggests why the occurrence of this conjunction in its earth sign series might coincide with dreadful developments for the country, and in particular its Chief Executive. In that chart there are only two planets in earth signs: Neptune in Virgo (the highest planet in the chart) and Pluto in Capricorn (which is disposited by Saturn, the second highest planet in the chart and the only one in the tenth house - the house of the Chief Executive). Both planets make difficult aspects in the Declaration of Independence chart. Pluto opposes Mercury (in the eighth house, the sector traditionally associated with death), and Neptune squares Mars - and both of these planets are disposited by Mercury. Moreover, Plutoís dispositor Saturn is in square aspect to the sun, which is at the cusp of the eighth house.

Whatís all this disposited stuff? Planet A is disposited by Planet B if A is in a sign ruled by B. Another way of saying this is that Planet B is the dispositor of Planet A. In the US chart, Pluto being in Capricorn (which is ruled by Saturn) makes Saturn the dispositor of Pluto. Neptune being in Virgo and Mars being in Gemini (the two signs ruled by Mercury) means that both planets are disposited by Mercury. Itís a technical nuance which boils down to a connection between the planets so related. And if those planets happen to be in hard aspect, they tend to work together in a way that doesnít produce happy results.

As far as the US chart is concerned, all this adds up to a sign that a major socio-political timer like the Great Chronocrator happening in its earth sign series tends to be rather traumatic for the country - and particularly for the occupant of the White House at the time. Which is exactly what has happened throughout US history to date. There have been seven earth sign Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions since the country was founded and the earth sign Chronocrator series began, producing in each and every case one dead President per conjunction. Donít get me wrong, Iím not saying that this particular alignment somehow causes these personal and historical tragedies. Iím simply saying that they happen together. Knowing when the next earth sign alignment of the series takes place - namely in the year 2000 - it doesnít take a rocket scientist to figure the odds that whoever wins the 1996 election is to be pitied rather than congratulated. In all likelihood, heís about to become the eighth Ďsacrificial goatí (Pluto in Capricorn in the US national chart).

Add it all up, and there are a couple of scenarios which could come to pass in November and still fall within the parameters of my prediction. One is that Mr. Dole wins due to a scandal involving his opponent, in which case Mr. Clinton ends up being a one-term President with long-term survival prospects. The other is that Mr. Clinton wins re-election, and ends up being a one-term President regardless because he fails to live through a second term in office. In either case weíre now in the home stretch toward another one of those defining national traumas, the kind of moment weíll always remember exactly what we were doing when we got the news. Coo-coo-ca-joo Mrs. Robinson . . .

(Last update: October 17, 1996)


Richard Nolle, Certified Professional Astrologer
phone or fax 602-838-8816 - email rnolle@astropro.com
Box 26599 - Tempe, AZ 85285-6599 - USA
on the World Wide Web at http://www.astropro.com