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Saturn Challenges Mr. Obama

In November transiting Saturn moves into a square aspect with Barack Obama’s natal Saturn. This aspect represents a crucial step forward in his personal life history and, because of his position, the history of the country.176px-official portrait of barack obama


This Saturn square is part of a broader cycle. Every seven years transiting Saturn makes an angular aspect to its natal position in the horoscope. As I point out in my book, Saturn Cycles: Mapping the Changes in Your Life, each link in these Saturn cycles represents an important passage in our development as a mature adult and as a contributing member of the social order into which we have been born. Saturn’s job is to challenge us, to push us to the edge of our abilities. If we are able to meet the challenges Saturn brings us then, quite often, these aspects coincide with important milestones in our career or public life. However, if we fail or try to avoid the challenges, then these passages are fraught with misery and frustration.


President Obama’s life has already been marked by Saturn transits. (Click here to see President Obama's horoscope.) In 1990, when he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, Saturn was conjunct (0 degree aspect) his natal Saturn. This accomplishment earned Obama his first taste of national media exposure. In 1997, when Saturn was square (90 degree aspect) to his natal Saturn, Obama was making a name for himself in the Illinois State Legislature and, later that year, he was reelected. In Sept. 2004, two months after he made the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention and two months before he was elected to the U.S. Senate, Saturn opposed (180 degree aspect) its natal place.


Transiting Saturn was not a significant factor in President Obama’s election in 2008. As monumental this event was, it was not a part of his personal Saturn journey. Obama’s next Saturn aspect becomes exact in late November of this year and then again in April and August of 2012, in other words, right in the middle of his campaign for reelection.


In 2008 Obama brought a fresh face and a fresh message to the electorate. For his trouble he was handed two wars and the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression. His performance in solving these problems has been mixed a best. The challenge Saturn will bring to Obama over the next several months will be daunting. He must find a way to convince angry, impatient Americans that he still has the ability to deal with these problems. It will be a tough sell, but if it was easy it wouldn’t be Saturn.


Often, during a Saturn passage we are defined by our failures, no matter how impressive our accomplishments may be. So, President Obama will be hearing some heavy criticism during this period. It is likely he will be forced to reevaluate and revamp, not only his policies, but also his self-image. But Saturn aspects can also give us a clearer understanding of what our short-comings are, and how we can fix them. To the extent that he is able to accept these judgments and take advantage of this clarity, this Saturn transit will leave Mr. Obama a stronger and wiser person.


Saturn is often linked to destiny. Destiny for Saturn, however, is not a matter of waking up one morning to find that you are a prince or princess. With Saturn destiny is a job. It is a series of trials and obligations. It is a matter of facing responsibility and undertaking difficult tasks. Obama’s previous Saturn transits have shown him to be a person of singular ability and promise. During the passage that begins next month he will be challenged to fulfill this promise.

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