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The Debates: Round One, Part One

Typically, we think of a debate as being like a boxing match, with a lot of fancy footwork, verbal jabs and the occasionally haymaker that puts one of the contestants on the floor (figuratively.) The upcoming debate between the Democratic contenders for 2020 is going to be more like a demolition derby. Each candidate is going to seek to do as much damage as possible to every other candidates and, at the same time, stand out in the wreckage filled crowd.

I thought it might be fun to do a little astrological handicapping of the first batch of debaters, set to do battle on June 26. Of this group there are only three people for whom we have a time of birth. That is Cory Booker, Julian Castro and Bill de Blasio. With the other seven I will be using a partial horoscope done for noon on their date of birth and there will likely be things going on in those charts that I cannot see.

By clicking on the name of each contender you can see the article on that person in my “Contenders” series and their chart.

Elizabeth Warren (no time of birth) – Warren has surged in the polls during the past couple of weeks, mostly because she has presented concrete plans for dealing with several hot-button issues. On the night of the debate Neptune will be making a benefic trine to her Venus. I talked about this aspect in my “Contenders” article on Warren. But, at the same time, Saturn will be square her Venus. This aspect inhibits our ability to love and be loved. As the front-runner of this group, there’s not going to be a whole lot of love coming Warren’s way from the other debaters. She is going to be their primary target. For this reason, I expect Warren is going to have to spend a lot of time defending herself during this debate and this will likely hamper her performance.

Cory Booker (complete horoscope) – As far as Cory Booker’s horoscope is concerned, the timing of this debate couldn’t be better. On Wednesday night Mercury will be conjunct his Descendant. He will be intellectually sharp and his communication skills will be at their peak. Along with this, Jupiter will be conjunct Booker’s natal Mars in Sagittarius, so he’s going to be feeling a surge of aggressive energy, just what you need in a demolition derby. The only sour note in this chart on Wednesday is a square by transiting Venus to his Pluto. Since Booker is ahead of everyone in this group except Warren in the polls, he is also going to be a major target. But, with these aspects, Booker should be able to stand the heat and come out a winner.

Beto O’Rourke (no time of birth) --- Due to his much publicized bid to unseat Ted Cruz, O’Rourke has more national name recognition that most of the other candidates, and yet his poll numbers remain lackluster. This debate could be his chance to turn this around. However, O’Rourke faces two problems. The first is that transiting Venus will be conjunct his natal Saturn on Wednesday. Like Booker and Warren, he’s not going to be getting any love from the other candidates. Secondly, being a Libra by Sun sign with the Moon in Taurus, O’Rourke is not naturally aggressive. Demolition derbies are not his style. His strength is in survival, and his aim will be to survive this phase of the campaign and get to a place where his Libran charm can be more effective.

Amy Klobuchar (no time of birth) – Even without a complete horoscope, I like Klobuchar’s chances in this debate. First of all, with the Sun, Moon and Mercury in Gemini, and with Mars in Aries, Klobuchar is a natural when it comes to this kind of verbal demolitions derby. Also, Klobuchar is in the middle of a Saturn Cycle aspect. Transiting Saturn is passing over it natal place in her chart. This is a period of major transition for her. Standing out in this debate could be a big part of that transition. The only other transit that I can see in this partial horoscope is a trine by Jupiter to her Uranus, but this is an aspect that often brings good fortune and Geminis are usually very good at getting the most mileage out of a little bit of luck.

Julian Castro (complete horoscope) – Like Klobuchar, Julian Castro is in the midst of a Saturn Cycle aspect. Transiting Saturn is nearing an opposition to his natal Saturn. This campaign also represents a major turning point in Castro’s life. Of course, for both him and Klobuchar, that turning point doesn’t have to be winning the nomination.  Also, like Klobuchar, Castro has some skills with it comes to debate. He’s a double Virgo, and no sign is better at cutting an opposing argument to ribbons than Virgo. Unfortunately, right now Pluto is making a slow transit across Castro’s Descendant. (Something I somehow missed in my original article on Castro.) This aspect typically brings a feeling of being burdened and held back by circumstances. This doesn’t bode well for either Castro performance in the debate or his campaign in general.

Bill de Blasio (complete horoscope) – In my articles on de Blasio (there were two because I belatedly found a time of birth for him) I pointed out that 2020 was going to be his big year, with both a Saturn Cycle aspect and a Uranus transit hitting his chart. However, Wednesday night could turn out to be his debate. The transits to  de Blasio’s chart during this first debate are almost as good and Booker’s. Uranus is currently sextile de Blasio’s Moon and the Sun will be trine his Moon and sextile his Pluto. More important, transiting Mercury, the planet you definitely want on your side in a debate, will be conjunct de Blasio’s natal Mars. I think that de Blasio will be able to lands some significant blows in this debate. The only problem for him could be a tendency to come off as too aggressive. That would hurt him.

John Delaney (no time of birth) – Since he has the Sun in Aries, we might expect John Delaney to do well in a debate, but his Mercury is in Taurus and it is opposed in his chart by Neptune. It is also squared by Mars. Delaney can express himself forcefully but he’s going to have trouble organizing his ideas and he may tend toward vagueness. With so many contenders on the stage, there’s always going to be someone ready to smash through any soft spot in Delaney’s argument. On Wednesday night, Mars will be squaring Delaney’s Sun, so the Aries in his nature will be strongly accented. He is certainly going to promote his experience as a businessman and entrepreneur, but his effort to standout in the crowd is likely going to be characterized more by aggressiveness than clarity.

Tulsi Gabbard (no time of birth) – In my article on Tulsi Gabbard I wrote that her campaign faced significant challenges, both politically and astrologically. Politically, her past opposition to gay marriage and advocacy of “conversion therapy” is going to make her an easy target for every other Democrat on the stage. Astrologically, she is currently dealing with a major Pluto transit. Pluto is square her Sun and natal Pluto (which are exactly opposed in her chart.) As with Julian Castro, Pluto bring a sense that we have to do something important, that we have to transform ourselves and the world, but it also brings burdens and obstacles. Nothing comes easy during these transits. On Wednesday, transiting Venus will sextile Gabbard Sun, so she might have a moment to shine, but it will only be a moment.

Tim Ryan (no time of birth) – Ryan’s performance in the debate will be sort of an experiment for me. Like Castro and Gabbard, Ryan chart is currently dominated by a Pluto transit. Transiting Pluto is opposed to his natal Sun in Cancer. However, Pluto is now moving retrograde away from that opposition aspect. On Wednesday the separation will be around a degree and a half. It will be interesting to see if this bit of separation in the aspect will give Ryan a chance to advance his centrist ideas and working class roots. If so, even though he still faces an uphill fight, this debate could give Ryan’s candidacy a boost.

Jan Inslee (no time of birth) – As we might expect from someone with the Sun in Aquarius, Jay Inslee has based his presidential bid on a big idea. That big idea is climate change. All the Democratic contenders will have something to say about this issue. Inslee has made it the center piece of his campaign. On the night of the debate the Sun will be conjunct Uranus in Inslee’s chart, so he will have the chance to promote his big idea to the fullest. This will probably allow Inslee to stand out. People will remember his name and associate it with that issue. Whether or not this will be enough to get them to vote for him in a primary, however, remains to be seen.