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Political Charts

To know me is to know that I am a skeptic and a political news junkie. Some might argue that I am a political animal first and a skeptical animal second. I’ve been politically conscious since I was 10 years old, while I’ve only been a skeptic since I was 26. I became friends with Perry DeAngelis 10 years before my skeptical awakening, but long before that, some of our earliest and most colorful discussions were those concerning politics.

So when politics and skepticism collide, I am like a kid in a candy store in Disneyworld.

Remember back in the late 1980’s when Nancy Reagan admitted to consulting the astrologer Joan Quigley to assist in scheduling President Reagan’s appointments?

Or more recently when Michelle Obama explained how there are “prayer circles out there and people who are keeping the spirits clean around us”. The “us” refers to herself and her husband, President Obama.

Well, recently I came across an article at Aolnews.com about a former cabaret performer-turned-astrologer named Shelly Ackerman, and she is making the rounds this political season on places like The O’Reily Factor, Fox and Friends, and other networks.

Start with this piece of insight from Ackerman:

“The United States was “born” on July 4, 1776, at 5:10 p.m. in Philadelphia. At present the U.S. chart, which has the sun in Cancer, moon in Aquarius and Sagittarius rising, is under more planetary stress than usual: Our natal Cancerian planets are being challenged by Pluto in Capricorn, the transit that led to the 1776 revolution in the first place (Pluto was in Capricorn during the first tea party, which occurred in Boston on Dec. 16, 1773).”

You learn something new every day! Who knew that countries have birthcharts? If a country can have a birthchart, then what else can have a birthchart? The car I drive was driven off the assembly line on August 1, 2005 (according to the records I could find on my car.) I wonder what that bodes for my vehicle?

Apparently we need to start teaching history differently than we have been for all of this time since the American Revolution. It was not the oppressive, heavy-handed government of Great Britain led by King George III that assaulted the liberties and natural rights of the colonists, driving them to rebellion.  No, it was Pluto transiting through Capricorn during the Boston Tea Party in 1773 that was the driving force behind the revolution!  The assumption that anything, or for that matter, everything is subject to its date and time of birth and celestial positions relative to the Earth is about as childish and juvenile as you can get.

As far as election day itself is concerned, here is what Ackerman offers:

Traditionally astrologers look to the lunation just before we go to the polls on Nov. 2 (in this case, the Oct. 22 full moon) to determine which party will fare better. And it’s no surprise that the elevation of Jupiter in the chart cast for Washington at 9:37 p.m. favors gains for the GOP, but how many?

For those of us that have been paying attention to the nighttime sky recently, Jupiter’s and Earth’s revolutions around the sun are bringing these planets closer than they have been in over 30 years. This makes Jupiter shine brighter than we are normally accustomed to seeing it.

But how exactly does the position of Jupiter under any circumstances favor gains for the GOP? For those of us paying attention to recent politics knows that the Republican party is going to gain seats in Congress and Governorships. Saying that Jupiter has an influence in this political outcome is like me stating that due to the influence of dark matter in the universe, people will be spending money on presents this coming Christmas season. Duh!

What does Ackerman see in the stars for The President this political season?

Born on Aug. 4, 1961, at 7:24 p.m. in Honolulu, the 44th prez has the sun in Leo, moon in Gemini and Aquarius rising. Though the president will probably lose control of the House of Reps and several seats in the Senate, all is not lost for Dems, and the last two months of 2010 show Jupiter and Uranus lending support to Barack Obama’s midhevaen. Translation: Keep on keepin’ on, Mr. President. November and December could see you having your way on Capital Hill before those who lost their seats go home for good.

This is not even astrology. This is political opinion. Nothing wrong with that at all, but why does Ackerman deserve airtime on any network to spouse these opinions? She’s an astrologer.  To grant her any time on the airwaves to talk about politics is to lend her validation that she, or any other astrologer, does not deserve.  Ackerman is simply relaying what she’s heard reported – that the Republicans will lose control of the house and Republicans are poised to make gains in the Senate. Again, Big Duh!

One more from this article, about the local Senate candidates here in Connecticut:

Libra Linda McMahon, born on Oct. 4, 1948, has thrown more than $20 million of her own money at the Connectucut senatorial race, and though Aquarian Richard Blumenthal is favored, I’m having second thoughts about this one. Blumenthal (b. Feb. 13, 1946) was practically a shoo-in before he fibbed about serving in Vietnam. Bad move. Will Neptune give Blumenthal the same magical aura that it provided for Palin in 2008, or will Saturn in Libra deliver the victory that McMahon has earned (and/or paid for)? It’s Blumenthal’s to lose: One false move and he will.

Not to nitpick, but McMahon has spent about $50 million (not $20 million) of her own money. And something tells me that Blumenthal’s “fibbing” (some would call it lying) that he served in Vietnam will have infinitely more influence on the outcome of the race instead of some magical aura attributed to Neptune.

One has to ask after reading this article: where is the astrology? Where are the firm predictions based on astrology? This is just a mish-mash of some political opinions based on cursory attention paid to the political headlines, sprinkled in with some astrological mumbo-jumbo that is designed to give the whole cake a taste of something astrological.

How is it that anyone takes Shelley Ackerman seriously? But she sells books, has a radio show, appears on Oprah, Fox, and other networks as some kind of expert in her field. Like so many other astrologers I have looked into, I find her to be underwhelming, unimpressive, and unappealing on many levels.

I suppose that’s the Virgo in me – I like to actually think about things before I choose to believe in them.

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