Saturn and the Speaker of the House

Saturn’s transits to its natal place have always been considered important. They constituted one of the Saturn Cycles. In my book on Saturn Cycle transits I point out that these aspects can sometimes represent a lifting up of your worldly ambitions and sometimes a slipping down. Last month’s struggle by Republicans in the House of Representatives to find a Speaker gave us an example of both these possibilities.

We will start out with Kevin McCarthy (click here to see his chart). McCarthy was elected to the House in 2007 and he had methodically worked his way up through various leadership positions until he seemed the natural choice to take the Speaker’s gavel when Republicans achieved a majority in Jan. 2021. However, his nomination was blocked by hardcore conservatives who doubted the purity of McCarthy’s Republicanism. (After all, McCarthy had actually complained when Trump supporters invaded the Capitol Building on Jan. 6.)

McCarthy eventually achieved the Speakership but his hold on the position was tenuous. When he agreed to a temporary funding bill in order to keep the federal government from shutting down, his fate was decided. He was removed as Speaker. At that time transiting Saturn was moving retrograde about two and a half degree away from a conjunction to McCarthy’s natal Saturn. The aspect had been exact in Sept. 2023.

The search for a new Speaker turned out to be a drawn out affair with one hopeful after another failing to make the cut. Finally, a relative newcomer, Mike Johnson of Louisiana, was nominated and won the Speakership on Oct. 25, 2023. (Click on Mike Johnson to see a chart done for noon on his date of birth.) At that time transiting Saturn was forming a square aspect Johnson’s natal Saturn.

Obviously, McCarthy and Johnson experienced their Saturn Cycle aspects in very different ways, but Saturn is not random. Most of the time what happens to us during a Saturn transit is the product of our past behavior. McCarthy knew made the deal he made to become Speaker put him at the mercy of hardline conservatives. He also knew that any agreement he made with the Biden administration would be seen as a betrayal of that deal.

Mike Johnson was elected to the House of Representatives in 2017. One reason given for his promotion was that he hadn’t been around long enough to make enemies. On social issues, such as gay marriage and abortion, Johnson’s positions are in line with the most conservative members of the Freedom Caucus, but his voting record on fiscal issues is more moderate. Also, unlike some of the leaders of the ultra-conservative wing of the Party, Johnson appears to be, if not “Mr. Nice Guy,” at least relatively inoffensive. His ability to strike this balance made Johnson palatable to the moderates within the Republican Party and, under this transit, he was rewarded.

Of course, Saturn transits don’t just bring judgement for our past decisions and actions. They also present us with new challenges and new tests. Certainly Johnson, who enters he new jobs as the least experienced Speaker of the House in recent history, is about to be challenged. How he responds to those challenges, however, will not just be a personal matters, It is going to impact all of us.


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