John McCain – Outsider on the loose

The Situation in February 2000

A couple of months ago I wrote an article about the US election with the data available at the time for the candidates in the running: Bill Bradley, George W Bush and Al Gore. Since then data for John McCain has become available, and a quick study of his chart shows a strong chance of his winning the presidency. To everyone’s surprise he won the New Hampshire primaries, knocking Bush – the other main Republican candidate – into second place. Bush later won in South Carolina, but McCain pulled out another surprise in Michigan on February 22, and in his home state Arizona. At the time of writing Bush is a worried man, even though he has the party machine behind him, as well as considerable funds. In theory McCain is still the outsider, and the next few months will decide which of the two republican candidates is selected in the August party convention.

McCain and the Kennedy legacy

McCain’s chart is a good reflection of the man we know him to be from media reports. He is a dedicated conservative and his policies are pro-life (which means he is against a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy) and pro-gun. Not surprising considering the fact that he was a USA navy pilot. In the sixties he conducted bombing sorties over Vietnam, and their murderous effect can be traced in the Pluto/Moon opposition from the 10th to the 4th house of his chart. The destruction of Pluto above, is rained down on the people (Moon) below. He was naturally just doing his job, but it was a job he chose, and it can be seen that his own Pluto is 26 minutes of arc from an opposition to USA’s Pluto, whilst his Moon is 32 minutes from the conjunction with USA’s Pluto. This is the first clear sign that McCain is a man powerfully keyed in to the fabric of America, and indeed the dark underside of America. This attunement to USA’s Pluto is reminiscent of the many connections of the Kennedy clan with the same Pluto position of 27° Capricorn. However, the same Pluto/Moon opposition relates to his avowed campaign against the financing of politics through special interests and powerful organisations. As such he is a reformer who wants to eliminate certain power structures in the political administration – Pluto in the 10th. In doing so he will awaken the sleeping monster of the financial corruption and secret politics indicated by USA’s Pluto in the second house – possibly at some danger to himself.

A Man of Danger

His elevated Mars in Leo square Uranus, with all the explosive power that this implies, also indicates McCain’s earlier career as fighter pilot. This is a man with exceedingly strong willpower, and a headstrong stubbornness. To get ahead as a pilot there has to be an element of risk, and an element of luck. The risk-taker is shown by Mars square Uranus. There is considerable danger in this aspect: danger if you cross the man, and danger to the man himself from reckless behaviour. It was during the period when his progressed Ascendant and MC were activating Mars and Uranus that he was shot down over Vietnam on October 26 1967, breaking both arms and legs. McCain’s birth time comes after intensive investigation by US astrologers including AstroDatabank designer Mark McDonough, and sources including McCain’s mother indicate the time was “about 9.a.m.” If the astrologer is so bold as to subtract 15 minutes from this time, then the rectified chart shows MC progressed on Mars when he was shot down, and Ascendant progressed square Mars with MC progressed square Uranus when he started his posting in Vietnam. McCain is rumoured to have a violent temper, and his chart confirms this. When Mars in Leo explodes – and it would normally be in control, then it goes ballistic, as I am sure partners in his life can testify. (And indeed in all probability will as he approaches the election).

Winning combinations

Fortunately Mars is also trine McCain’s natal Jupiter on the third cusp, and this is a real winner combination. Indeed, with the rectification, the Ascendant comes to 14 degrees Libra sextile Mars and sextile Jupiter, which positively propels him into prominence. Quite clearly he has extraordinary energy and enthusiasm, and is a man who is not prepared to lie down and accept defeat… especially if he has a strong partner (Mars rules his 7th) behind him. I wonder if there is any chance that he could lure Colin Powell into being his running mate? With Mars on the 11th and Jupiter on the third cusp, he can motivate organisations and make them believe in him winning, and at the same time he will have powerful allies, especially amongst the armed forces, and even in sports, the media and entertainment. He is going to win the battle for the media, and in debate he should really be able to roll over his opponent. Except for the fact that this is a bit of a bully-boy combination… and if the opponent can make him lose his temper, then the resulting explosion is not going to be a pretty sight. McCain spent 5½ years in a Vietnamese jail, in what was probably the most formative period of his life.


He has a Libra Ascendant, and his ruling planet is Venus which is very weakly placed – in Virgo and the twelfth, and both square Chiron and in opposition to Saturn. Although weak, Venus also shows the kindest part of the man…he is very strongly motivated to help others, of that there is no doubt. In solitary confinement in a North Vietnam jail, he learned what it was like to suffer, to be weak, to be sick and to be helpless. His Venus/Neptune conjunction shows a person who is an idealist, and a person who is willing to sacrifice himself for others. It’s extraordinary to see the effect of Chiron at 22°Gemini in his 9th house – showing this great wound in his life in a foreign country.

The US Gun Culture

McCain’s ruling Venus is at 22°48′ Virgo, precisely conjoining USA’s Neptune at 22°25′ Virgo (and squaring USA’s Mars at 21°23′ Gemini), reflecting the fact that he actually joined the US navy as a pilot. Again McCain shares part of the Kennedy clan power signature here, for many in that most famous American family have planets configuring with the USA’s Mars semisquare North Node semisquare Neptune. This shows America’s gun culture, and the Hollywood celebration of violence. In Vietnam McCain played out his role channelling USA’s Mars/Neptune, and was ultimately a victim of it. With his Venus/Neptune placement in the 12th he always runs this risk of being a victim of gun culture.When comparing the horoscopes of Bush and Gore with McCain, neither of them ties in quite so closely with the US chart, and particularly with the USA’s Pluto/Mercury position, and the Mars/Neptune square.

Rectifying the Birth Time

If, as suggested, McCain’s birth time can be moved back to 8.45 a.m. then the evidence that he will win is compelling. The justification for this rectification is as follows:

Marries (July 3 1965), and serves in Vietnam: Ascendant square Mars, MC square Uranus
Shot down (26 October 1967), MC conjoins Mars
Released (March 14 1973), Ascendant trine Saturn
Divorces (1980) and retires from Navy (1981) Ascendant sextile Moon, then trine Pluto Becomes senator (1986) Ascendant sextile Mercury, MC sextile North Node.

Extraordinarily with this horoscope, McCain’s Ascendant at 14°32′ Libra would conjoin USA’s Saturn at 14°48 Libra, which represents the administrative might of Congress, whilst his MC at 13°09′ Cancer conjoins USA’s Sun at 19°19′ Cancer. This is powerful even if the 9.00 a.m. birth time is used: it is compelling if the earlier time is used. Here is a man tuned into the most important planetary patterns of USA’s chart… far more than any other candidate. Furthermore, this chart, when progressed to the election on November 7, 2000 shows his progressed Ascendant at 15°04′ Sagittarius, two minutes of arc from his dignified third house Jupiter. If this rectification is correct, he simply cannot lose. With his ruling Venus progressed to 11°43′ Sagittarius at the same time therefore conjoining the 12°13′ Sagittarius Ascendant of USA’s chart, then Lady Luck is really on his side. (If you prefer the second Sibley birth time variant of 5.10 p.m. rather than the 4.50 p.m. time which gives an 8° Ascendant).

The Election Chart

And looking at the actual election date, where transit Mercury retrogrades through Scorpio to station at 29°59′ Libra, this actually contacts McCain’s progressed Mercury at 28°52′ Libra. You will note that progressed Mercury squares McCain’s Moon/Pluto opposition… an adequate reflection of the exhaustive ransacking of his personal life that will take place in this election year. It is quite likely that there are things to be uncovered – particularly in relation to family and property matters. At the time of election start, transit Moon is at 20°27′ Pisces – exactly on McCain’s Saturn – a strong indication that he is in the running at this time. The fact that Uranus is square the Sun (and conjoining the IC as the polls open in New York at 6 a.m.) could indicate that there is an upset at the last moment, or that an outsider can win.

The Future with McCain

What can America expect if McCain is elected? It is normally the case that the horoscope of the President operates as a kind of subharmony of the country’s horoscope during the period of the presidency. Clinton’s chart with its weak Mars rising in Libra conjoining Neptune, showed him mired in sexual disgrace, and his Moon in Taurus in the 8th gave trouble through the economic scandal of Whitewater. On the other hand Moon in Taurus was strong, as was his Venus in Libra, and he presides over an economic boom. Also his 9th House Uranus trining Jupiter showed his successful international diplomacy and conduct of effective high-tech bombing campaigns. Looking then at McCain’s chart, it seems certain that should he get elected there will not be an economic boom! His Venus/Saturn opposition puts the emphasis on helping the underprivileged (despite his Republican credentials) or at least getting embroiled in serious social problems, and seems to indicate a debilitated economy. On top of that the Pluto/Moon opposition could mean that he presides over a collapse in the property or business market, and a general undermining of the feel-good factor in America. With the Moon and Venus debilitated, it may not be good for women either – and, in terms of the election, unpopularity amongst women could still be his weakest point. The strong Mars suggest it’s good for the macho factor… and it is indeed in the field of foreign affairs that McCain is seen to be strong. His gut reaction to confrontation is to fight, and when he fights he may strike fast and rather ruthlessly. But generally he will stick to his exceedingly low-profile Venus, and try to iron out things behind the scenes – at least until he is provoked. And finally, if McCain is elected, we can expect his tenancy of the White House to follow an unpredictable course. This is both because after a year, USA’s progressed Sun conjoins its natal Moon in Aquarius, and McCain’s progressed Sun opposes his natal Uranus. Whether this is connected to unforeseen and sudden developments in foreign affairs, or something closer to home, is difficult to say.

Adrian Ross Duncan


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