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Astrology at Work: Gary HartHartGaryImage

Now that the Democratic primary seems to have settled down into a foregone conclusion, I thought it might be interesting to look back at past primaries. One particularly dramatic Democratic race comes to mind. That was the 1987-88 campaign of Gary Hart.


When Gary Hart entered the race for the 1988 Democratic nomination on Apr. 13, 1987, he seemed to have everything going for him. Hart had made a good showing in the 1984 primary, before being defeated by Walter Mondale, so he had name recognition. He was also young and handsome and seemed to be bursting with new ideas. No one was surprised that Hart immediately became the frontrunner for the nomination.


However, there was one problem, and that was the astrology of the situation. (Click on Gary Hart to see the horoscope.) Hart announced his candidacy when transiting Neptune was sitting almost directly on his Midheaven. Neptune can do a lot of wonderful things, but when it comes to politics it typically brings trouble. Neptune obscures boundaries, in particular the boundaries between truth and falsehood and what’s ethical and unethical. When boundaries like these are indefinite, it becomes all too easy to make the wrong decision.


More important, Neptune was on Hart’s Midheaven, the most public place in the horoscope. The Tenth House is the identity that you project to your community. It’s like a neon sign that tells the world who you are and what you do. Nothing that goes on in the Tenth House can remain private for very long.


In the weeks following Hart’s announcement of his candidacy none of this seemed to be a problem. Transiting Jupiter was moving across Hart’s Ascendant, giving him a burst of confidence and energy. However, another problem with Neptune transits is that things are not always as they appear, and when Neptune and Jupiter get together, overconfidence can become a major problem.


On May 1, 1987, with Neptune only three minutes of the arc away from his Midheaven and Jupiter on his Ascendant, a young woman from Miami, Florida arrived at Hart’s townhouse in Washington D.C. Hart had canceled an engagement in order to be there to meet her. What he didn’t know was the reporters from the Miami Herald and been tipped off about the assignation and had followed the woman from Miami. These reporters later questioned Hart about his relationship with this woman and he refused to comment.


This was not the first time someone had questioned Hart’s relationships with certain women. Rumors of his womanizing had been around for a while. Hart seemed to believe that they didn’t matter. A naturally optimistic Sagittarian, he was an idealist who felt that the only thing a politician should be questioned about was his or her public service. Nonetheless, Hart’s decision to meet with this woman in the midst of his campaign is clear evidence of both Neptunian delusion and Jupiterian overconfidence.


It wasn’t just these two aspects that were working against Gary Hart during this period. On May 1 transiting Mars was square his natal Neptune, making it even easier for the candidate to get himself into to trouble. In Hart’s secondary progressed chart, the progressed Sun was opposed to his natal Pluto. He was about to meet up with a cruel reality.


The Miami Herald published its story on May 3. The young woman with whom Hart had met gave a press conference denying any romantic involvement with the Senator, but the Neptunian ball was already rolling. Another thing about Neptune is that it doesn’t care a whole lot about facts. Neptune is more at home in the fog of rumor and innuendo. On May 8 Hart suspended his campaign. A few months later he tried to restart it, but his moment had passed. Gary Hart quickly disappeared from the political landscape.


What makes this story particularly interesting is that the current frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, Joe Biden, is also having a Neptune transit. Transiting Neptune will be near his I.C. for the rest of the year. Since Neptune on the cusp of the Fourth House, it’s influence has more to do with Biden’s home and family, in particular the activities of his son, Hunter Biden. We can expect a lot of Neptunian innuendo to come out of the transit. The question is, how with Joe Biden handle it. For his sake we have to hope he does a better job than Gary Hart did back in 1987.

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