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  EDITOR'S CHOICE ARTICLES April/May 2001 Issue  

(Please go here for Part Two of this article, which appeared as a Sidebar in the original printing. The Sidebar includes George W. Bush's A*C*G map for the world.)

The Red Planet and the White House:
Mars in the Presidency of George W. Bush
by Jim Shawvan

Since October 29, 2000, when I made public my speculation about the delays in the results of the U.S. presidential election, I have occasionally been asked my astrological opinion on other political matters. In this article, I will look at the charts of President George W. Bush, the Articles of Confederation of the U.S. (Scorpionic America), and Bush’s inauguration, in an attempt to scry a bit of the future — specifically, the first two years of Dubya’s term.

George W. Bush prefers to be called "Dubya" by his friends and acquaintances, to avoid being confused with his father. Therefore, I will refer to him as such throughout this article.

At the same time, putting his foot in his mouth is shown by SP Mercury semi-square to both natal and SP Neptune. SP Mercury makes the semi-square to natal Neptune from March 3, 2000 to May 2, 2001 – and this overlaps with SP Mercury semi-square SP Neptune from November 22, 2000 to January 19, 2002 – Mercury for words, Neptune for confusion.

Dubya is out from under this "spell" for a little while, but another version of the same thing is in the offing: Transiting (T) Neptune will make several oppositions to his natal Mercury during 2002 and 2003. Thus, the late-night TV comics will again have ready material.

What are the prospects for Dubya’s communication skills during the periods when he’s not under the Mercury—Neptune "curse"? He does have a natal sextile of Mercury and Neptune, but more importantly, he has a powerful conjunction of Mercury and Pluto almost exactly on his Ascendant. In The Combination of Stellar Influences, Reinhold Ebertin gives positive and negative "Sociological Correspondences" for Mercury—Pluto combinations. On the positive side, he writes: "A convincing speaker, the power to influence the public or the masses...."; on the negative: "A plagiarist or a demagogue, in short, persons who are guilty of fraudulent representation or misrepresentation in speaking or writing."(1) Does this sound like a successful politician?

Mars in Dubya’s Chart, 2001—2002

There is another side to politics besides the charm and persuasion that politicians use to control people they think they can manipulate. This other side is ruled by Mars, the ancient god of war. The next few years will see plenty of action involving Dubya’s Mars in Virgo; some of it may conceivably go beyond the realm of threats and into actual combat.

If Dubya’s birth time is exact, he has a very tight sesquiquadrate from the natal Midheaven (MC) to natal Mars; T Saturn is making a semi-square to the MC at virtually the same time that it makes the square to natal Mars. The exact dates are shown in Table 1 below.

To narrow down the times when Dubya’s natal Mars is most stimulated by transits, I used Solar Fire to generate graphic ephemerides and transit reports (not shown) to find multiple simultaneous transits – i.e., dates when three or more transiting planets are making hard aspects to the same natal pattern at the same time. Those dates appear in Table 2 below.

Table 1: Outer- Planet Transits to Dubya’s Natal Mars
(within a 1° orb)

Neptune quincunx March 30–June 22, 2001
(goes retrograde without becoming exact)
Saturn square June 25–July 12, 2001
Saturn square December 18, 2001–January 25, 2002
Neptune quincunx January 24–March 24, 2002
Saturn square February 21–March 30, 2002
Neptune quincunx July 4–September 30, 2002
Neptune quincunx November 9, 2002–January 21, 2003

Table 2: Multiple Simultaneous Transits to Dubya’s Natal Mars
(hard aspects within a 1° orb)

January 13–15, 2002 Sun, Venus, and, briefly, the Moon (sesquiquadrate)
  (Although the Moon is sesquiquadrate Dubya’s Mars on January 13, 2002, the most exact hits are on the 14th, when both the Sun and Venus are in a 1° orb of exact sesquiquadrate, and the Moon is quincunx Dubya’s Mars.)
July 18–19, 2002 Neptune (quincunx)
  Sun (semi-square)
  Venus (conjunct)
  Mercury (semi-square)

Dubya’s Progressions

If we are correct about the potential for major conflict on or around January 14, 2002 (as given in Table 2, above), then we would expect to find it corroborated by Dubya’s progressions. In fact, there are hard aspects involving Mars within a 1° orb in all three kinds of progressions on the date in question, as shown in the four-ring chart (see Chart 2).

In secondary progressions (SP), we equate one day’s movement of the planets after birth to one year in the life. On January 14, 2002, Dubya’s SP Jupiter continues its long-lasting semi-square to his natal Mars and also conjoins his natal IC. These aspects began in 1991 and will continue until 2003, so they set a background theme.

In tertiary progressions (TP), we equate one day’s movement of the planets after birth to a lunar month in the life. On January 14, 2002, Dubya’s TP Sun is semi-square his natal Mars and square his natal MC/IC axis. These aspects are in orb for only two months.

In minor progressions (MP), we equate the planets’ movement during a lunar month after birth to a year in the life. On the date above, Dubya’s MP Moon is sesquiquadrate his natal Mars and also conjunct his natal MC. The MP Moon is the fastest-moving body in any type of progression; it moves about one degree per day.

I’d like to use precession-corrected return charts for further corroboration, but I cannot do so, because I find these charts to be totally dependent upon location. (2) Politicians such as Dubya are constantly traveling, and I have no way to know in advance where he will be on any given date.

The "War Chart" and Scorpionic America

On January 19, 2002, T Mars will be at 0° declination, crossing the Earth’s equatorial plane and moving north. Some mundane astrologers regard this as a "war chart," showing upcoming hostilities for those countries where the chart is most powerful. The chart for Washington, D.C. (8:12 p.m. EST) shows Mars just on the 7th-house side of the 8th-house cusp (see Chart 3). In traditional astrology, of course, the 7th house stands for open enemies, and the 8th stands for death. The Moon in the 8th is also at 0° declination and crosses to north exactly one hour and one minute later than Mars does. Both Mars and the Moon are in Aries. This speaks of violence and bloodshed.

There is no widespread agreement on which one of numerous charts to use for the United States; however, the one I find most useful is David Solté’s Scorpionic America chart (see Chart 4) for the adoption of the Articles of Confederation, the moment when the thirteen colonies first formed a true national government. (3) What can we learn from this chart about the dates that most emphasize Dubya’s Mars?

On January 14, 2002, SP Mars conjoins SP True North Node and squares natal Neptune of the Scorpionic America chart. TP Mars semi-squares TP Uranus, sesquiquadrates TP Neptune, and conjoins the natal Moon. MP Mars semi-squares MP Venus and squares MP Pluto. Transiting Mars does not affect the Scorpionic America chart that day, and natal Mars receives no important transits. However, three out of these four techniques seem to be in agreement with the warlike tendencies shown by the multiple transits to Dubya’s Mars.

We can also check the precession-corrected solar return (PCSR) for the Scorpionic America chart, for November 18, 2001, relocated to Washington, D.C. (Chart 5). This solar return occurs at 11:16:53 p.m. EST and is shown here using Campanus houses – traditional among many astrologers of the Western sidereal school that has promulgated this type of chart. Mars conjoins Uranus, which conjoins the Descendant, the point of open enemies. Mars and Uranus, in turn, square a grouping of Venus, Mercury, and the Sun, all clustered around the IC. I have looked at some of the past PCSRs for the Scorpionic America chart, and they are quite revealing. I see this 2001 PCSR as confirming the violent trends we are seeing elsewhere; in fact, it recapitulates the theme of Dubya’s inauguration chart, which is discussed below. Given the Uranus influence, this could involve something sudden – a surprise attack, a terrorist bombing – and, in fact, that is the most likely way for any hostilities against the U.S. to commence. Civil wars and conflicts in the Third World often build up slowly, with many warning signs; however, when the only remaining superpower is attacked, the preferred approach seems to be terrorist action with no warning.

On July 18, 2002, SP Moon sesquiquadrates the natal Mars of the Scorpionic America chart. TP Jupiter also squares that natal Mars, and MP Mercury sesquiquadrates it as well. MP Mars, in turn, opposes natal Moon. Transiting Uranus semi-squares natal Mars.

This date does not look quite as drastic as January 2002, but I believe that it still shows potential violence and possible military involvement.

The Inauguration Chart

Dubya took the oath of office at 12:02 p.m. EST on January 20, 2001, just two minutes after the scheduled time. Many astrologers had already looked at the chart for 12:00 noon and had remarked on the potential for violence shown there. The two-minute delay changes nothing in that respect.

The inauguration chart itself looks warlike, with Mars setting in very wide opposition to Saturn rising (see Chart 6). More to the point, Mars closely squares Mercury and Uranus in the 10th house.

Looking ahead to January 14, 2002, the progressions of this chart tell the story. SP Moon enters a 1° orb of semi-square to inauguration Mars on that date, and it will be within orb for about two months. TP Mars opposes inauguration Saturn, with an orb of 0°29’ applying. MP Mars opposes inauguration Jupiter, sesquiquadrates inauguration True North Node, and quincunxes the inauguration Equatorial Ascendant (a point that acts like an auxiliary Ascendant). In the transits for January 14, 2002, there is no Mars action within a 1° orb involving the inauguration chart; however, starting on January 16, T Mars will semi-square the inauguration Ascendant and then sesquiquadrate inauguration Mars. All of this action appears to confirm what we have seen in Dubya’s chart and the Scorpionic America chart.

When we examine the PCSR for January 20, 2002, based on the inauguration chart, we see a different theme, but one that reinforces the probability of trouble with one or more foreign governments (see Chart 7). The Moon is in the 9th house, indicating attention focused on foreign matters (and on the courts, too). However, the pattern that grabs one’s attention includes Uranus in the 7th and Mercury, Neptune, Venus, and the Sun all chained in conjunction to each other and to the Descendant. Mercury and Neptune together show deception and confusion, which would certainly be characteristic of a terrorist conflict, such as one involving Osama Bin Laden or similar characters.

The 20-Year Presidential Death Cycle

Many students of astrology are aware that most U.S. presidents elected in years divisible by 20 have died in office. The cycle began in 1840, with the first Jupiter—Saturn conjunction in an earth sign in modern times; the cycle appears to have remained as predictable as clockwork as long as the Jupiter—Saturn conjunctions continued in earth. An additional subtlety – a cycle within the cycle – is shown in the table at right. Note the alternation of deaths in the first term and deaths in the second term, counting from the year divisible by 20. This alternation, which was absolutely regular from 1840 to 1960, has not previously been cited, as far as I know. However, the cycle was broken in 1980, so it is not at all clear whether the election of 2000 should be regarded as falling in the first-term group or the second-term group.

What do we make of all this? Should we speculate on either a first-term or second-term death in office? We must seriously consider the possibility that all the Mars action in Dubya’s chart could refer to an attempted, even a successful, assassination or – less likely – a natural death while in office. If there were an assassination attempt, and if it were linked to a foreign government or terrorist organization, that could certainly lead to the U.S. sending in the bombers and perhaps even troops. Clinton tried to kill Osama Bin Laden by bombing his headquarters – next time, if there is one, might involve commandos on the ground.

Year Elected President Died during his
1840 Harrison First term
1860 Lincoln Second term
1880 Garfield First term
1900 McKinley Second term
1920 Harding First term

FDR Fourth term, but the second term counting from the 1940 election
1960 JFK First term

Reagan The first Jupiter—Saturn conjunction in air! The cycle broke – there was an assassination attempt in his first term, but he survived; however, his wounds were so serious that, if this had happened 20 years earlier, he would have died, even with the best medical care available then. (Information about the severity of Reagan's condition was not released to the public at the time.)
2000 George W. Bush The Jupiter—Saturn conjunction in 2000 was in earth (Taurus) for the last time in a very long while. In 2020 and following, it will occur in air.


Although we can never know in advance the exact events that will unfold under a given set of astrological indicators, it is quite possible to be clear about their nature. I set out to look for dates when Dubya’s Mars will be activated, specifically because I am concerned about the dangers that such activation brings. The potential for violence always exists. Although we cannot say whether these indicators point to terrorist attacks, an attempted assassination, or a more conventional war, they do seem likely to bring at least one major violent event affecting the U.S. and its president – and perhaps an entire new scenario of violence, which could last for quite a while.

I would like to give credit to the following astrologers, who have been my strongest teachers over the years: Donald Bradley, whose book, Solar and Lunar Returns, has been the basis of my work with the astrology of travel; John McCan, who taught a course on Major Figures in Honolulu around 1978; Joyce Wehrman, for Koch cusps in transit and quotidian progression, geodetics, and the importance of considering "minor" aspects; Judy Johns, for mundane work; Lois Rodden, for minor progressions; and Rob Hand, in more ways than I can count.

Chart Data and Sources

George W. Bush, July 6, 1946; 7:26 a.m. EDT; New Haven, CT (41°N18’, 72°W56’); AA: Birth certificate (per AstroDatabank Web site, listed under Newsmakers).

Scorpionic America (the Articles of Confederation), November 15, 1777; 12:46 p.m. LMT; York, PA (39°N57’, 76°W43’); Source: See note 3 below.

Inauguration of George W. Bush, January 20, 2001; 12:02 p.m. EST; Washington, D.C. (38°N54’, 77°W02’); Source: Live news coverage.

References and Notes

(1) Reinhold Ebertin, The Combination of Stellar Influences, Tempe, AZ: American Federation of Astrologers, 1988, p. 128.

(2) Donald Bradley, Solar and Lunar Returns, St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1948. (Reprinted in 1968, 1973, and later, but now unfortunately out of print.)

(3) Pages 395 and 401 of the Journals of Congress, Vol. III, point to a time between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on November 15, 1777. Rectification by David Solté produced a time of 12:46 p.m. LMT in York, PA, which equates with a GMT of 5:52:56 p.m. For a more complete argument for this chart, see Mr. Solté’s articles in TMA, February 1992 and March 1992.

(Please go here for Part Two of this article, which appeared as a Sidebar in the original printing. The Sidebar includes George W. Bush's A*C*G map for the world.)

© 2001 Jim Shawvan — all rights reserved

Jim Shawvan, of Right Place Consulting, specializes in the astrology of relocation and travel as well as more traditional types of astrological consulting. He has been a student of astrology since 1969 and has taught classes in Predictive Astrology since 1989. Jim can be reached at (619) 725-5404; e-mail: jshawvan@netzero.net; Web site: www.jshawvan.homestead.com; mailing address: 2260 El Cajon Blvd., #890, San Diego, CA 92104.

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