Astrologers starry-eyed for Obama
By William Porter
Denver Post Columnist
Article Last Updated: 05/20/2008 11:33:03 PM MDT
In a presidential campaign where we have gauged candidates based on the color of their pantsuits, the health of their skin and the ability to throw a bowling ball, one critical test has been overlooked.
I am, of course, talking about how their astrological charts stack up.
Lucky for us, the United Astrology Conference was in Denver this week, with 1,500 devotees from 44 countries. On Tuesday, seven top forecasters took the stage in the downtown Sheraton and made like television political pundits, minus the screaming.
I'll cut to the chase: Six panelists predicted the election will go to Barack Obama, thanks to a Saturn-Jupiter conjunction spelling change. The seventh, Shelley Ackerman, saw an Obama win, but worried about Neptune doing something funky in January, endangering his chances of actually taking office. Her colleagues agreed the stars did look dicey in this respect.
Panelist Sandra-Leigh Serio ran it down for me.
"Obama's chart and the United States' chart are very much alike," she said. "From an astrological standpoint, he's a man of destiny. (John) McCain also has a strong connection to the U.S. chart."
Hillary Clinton? Eh, not so much, apparently. "There's a little more confusion with her and the U.S. chart," Serio said.
Me, I'm not into astrology. I'll occasionally scan my horoscope, but only if it shows up on the same newspaper page as the crossword puzzle I'm working. The advice is always beyond generic. "Today's a bad day to antagonize your boss/spouse/Doberman."
One breathless woman came up and asked how I felt about Mercury in August. I told her I was generally a Ford man, but given that I was in the market for a new car this fall, would keep an open mind.
So the general star-chart enthusiasm was lost on me.
Still, the panelists were impressive. They sounded like astronomy majors who had paid attention in poli-sci class.
Before announcing their predictions, panelists discussed how they did their charts. There was some distress about the methodology in this election year.
"We don't have a single solid birth chart," panelist Robert Hand told the crowd. "If those dates are wrong, everything I say is garbage."
And Serio said the panel was "doing this in the shadows of Mercury and Neptune — this might not have any validity at all in a few months."
I didn't quite know what that meant, but gave her points for hedging her bets as deftly as any CNN analyst.
Hand ominously noted there would be an eclipse of the sun in August, with Mercury ascending for George W. Bush. The crowd gasped. This seemed to portend election-day shenanigans.
Gloria Star noted that Clinton has looming problems with Neptune. While signs indicate she will be gone from the scene on Election Day, other signs "indicate she's fighting somewhere."
"Probably in her kitchen," a woman behind me said.
Don't tell me astrologers lack a sense of humor.
For the record, McCain is a Virgo, Obama is a Leo and Clinton is a Scorpio.
"Leos and Scorpios are historically at odds," Serio told me. She nodded knowingly. "Bill Clinton's a Leo."
So there it is, courtesy of our top astrologers: Obama wins, probably.
Hey, have we heard anything better from the pundits?
William Porter's column runs Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Reach him at 303-954-1977 or firstname.lastname@example.org.