The Dance of the Constellations
by James A. Eshelman

I have a particular interest in the horoscopes of U.S. Presidents. It’s a great data base! We have abundant historic and biographic information on the figures involved, and the data set is sufficiently diverse to show quite a range of behavior.

I have observed a significant difference between the operation of the horoscope of the man (they’ve all been men thus far) before he became President, and while President. The office absorbs the horoscope into a nearly archetypal level. The President’s horoscope becomes the de facto horoscope of the nation for a time — or, at least, it shows the patterns that the nation is enacting during that individual’s Presidency, and often seems far more responsive to transits for national events than the national horoscope itself.

The king and the land are one.

Several Presidents strikingly support this premise that Presidents’ horoscope becomes something larger during the years they are in office. Look at the lives vs. presidencies of John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, and William McKinley, just for starters — but there are more!

Additionally, I see the procession of Presidents as a continuing ritual enactment, with the Presidents as ritual officers; or as a symphony with the individual Presidents representing specific musical movements; or as a dance where each President is the next pattern of steps. Therefore, it should not be a surprise that there are patterns flowing from President to President expressed in their Sun and Moon signs primarily, which either match or the reverse patterns of their predecessors as if marking step and spin in a dance (or point and counterpoint in music, or dramatic tension in a ritual or play), with occasional pauses for movement change or redirection in the series.

What does this mean In concrete terms? In a heavy majority of cases (close to 100% of the time), a new President will have the Sun or Moon either in the same sign or, more commonly, the reverse, as his predecessor; or, even more frequently, it will skip a generation (skip an administration), cycling back to the immediately prior pattern. This “inheritance” crosses party lines as if they do not exist.

This mathematical measurement of “inheritance” or successorhip, by itself, makes a striking case for astrology.

Here follows a list of each President with remarks on how this pattern has played out. Sign pairs (e.g., “Aquarius-Sagittarius” for Washington) are the Sidereal Sun-Moon sign pair (in that order).

GEORGE WASHINGTON Aquarius-Sagittarius.
There have been only two Aquarius Sun Presidents, and these have been are gargantuan stature outside all others: Washington and Lincoln. There have been no Sidereal Aquarius Moons. Sagittarius Moons are the most common of all Presidents to date, though none has occurred after the 19th Century and there has been only one since the Civil War. In any case, Washington is the first movement of the dance, the first theme of the ritual, and stands aside from the rest of the flow, outside the pattern.

JOHN ADAMS Libra-Pisces
The first six Presidents were a distribution of the Virginia and Massachusetts giants among the “Founding Fathers.” As the nation began the “taking turns” trade-offs between the northerners and southerners, Adams and Jefferson set off the pattern with a Libra-Aries polarity.

JAMES MADISON Pisces-Scorpio
The obvious successor to Jefferson, Madison “inherited” Jefferson’s Scorpio Moon — but also pulled Adams’ Pisces Moon as a Sun-sign.

JAMES MONROE Aries-Sagittarius
A synthesis of other Virginian giants preceding: Jefferson’s Sun and Washington’s Moon.

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS Gemini-Sagittarius
Retained Monroe’s Sagittarius Moon.

A very different kind of switcheroo! Adams and Jackson were ferocious rivals. Both were double Spokes with Sun and Moon in opposing signs. Here the Gemini-Sagittarius polarity (already an opposition) flips 90 degrees (the closest an opposition can come to “opposite sign”) to the other Spoke opposition, Pisces-Virgo.

MARTIN VAN BUREN Scorpio-Sagittarius
Pulls the Sagittarius Moon of the prior generation.

“Old Tippecanoe” totally broke the mold! There is no continuity here. I can’t tell you why he was elected, except... Given how briefly he was President, it can be argued that he was a bridge whose primary purpose was to deliver John Tyler to the Presidency — and the pattern continues.

JOHN TYLER Pisces-Virgo
Skips a generation to before Van Buren, and exactly replicates Jackson.

JAMES K. POLK Libra-Cancer
Another seeming discontinuity. This seems to begin a new “movement.”

Literally, Polk’s Libra Sun flipped to Taylor’s Aries Moon. More broadly, the soft Libra-Cancer tone of Polk was flipped to the manly, aggressive double-Mars of Taylor’s Scorpio-Aries.

MILLARD FILLMORE Sagittarius-Taurus
Taylor’s Scorpio Sun flips to Fillmore’s Taurus Moon.

Fillmore’s Taurus Moon flipped back to Pierce’s Scorpio Sun (which also retrieves Taylor’s Sun from one step back).

JAMES BUCHANAN Aries-Sagittarius
Not a strong example of continuity. At best, pulls Fillmore’s Sun as a Moon-sign, and gives an Aries voice to the Mars-ruled Scorpio Suns of late. But I’m willing to count this as mostly a miss.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN Aquarius-Capricorn
Like Washington, Lincoln stands outside the pack, a musical Prelude to Act II.

ANDREW JOHNSON Sagittarius-Taurus
Replicates Fillmore exactly, and more broadly continues the Sagittarius and Taurus-Scorpio themes of the four prior non-Lincoln Presidents. (The immediate link is that his Sagittarius Sun pulls off of Buchanan’s Moon.)

U.S. GRANT Aries-Cancer
Jumps a (non-Lincoln) generation to grab Buchanan’s Sun. (If Lincoln is considered, which I don’t think he should be, Grant flips the Capricorn Moon to Cancer.)

America’s first Virgo President (the Republican Jimmy Carter) is known best for starting the overhaul of the Civil Service system. But the main point here is that he jumps one back to inherit Johnson’s Taurus Moon.

As would happen to Carter later, the nation responded to “too nice, too moderate” Hayes with an Aries Moon successor. Specifically, though, Hayes’ Taurus Moon flipped to Garfield’s Scorpio Sun.

CHESTER A. ARTHUR Virgo-Sagittarius
Garfield’s Vice President pulls Hayes’ Virgo Sun.

Virgo flips to Pisces.

Exactly like his grandfather, Harrison seems to have astrologically come out of nowhere! No explanation — An interpolation, before getting back to the usual story.

Back to who he was the last time! — But this time, with the Panic of 1893. It’s worth noting that the second worst financial devastation in our history occurred on the watch of a Cancer Moon partile square Saturn, and that the nation’s response was to elect a Capricorn to follow. We will see a repeat of this later!

WILLIAM McKINLEY Capricorn-Capricorn
Cleveland’s Cancer Moon flips to a double Capricorn.

A clean break! — McKinley’s death propelled the unelectable and remarkable Roosevelt into office, a rogue motif boldly striking across the face of the opera.

Taft’s Cancer Moon flips the McKinley Capricorn Moon, while absorbing a Cancer Moon and Leo Sun from the two previous Presidents. Musically, a succession of motifs bounds forward and synthesizes.

WOODROW WILSON Sagittarius-Capricorn
The Moon-sign again flips, from Cancer back to Capricorn.

Harding was nearly as much a dumb note astrologically as he was in the Presidency. His closest “inheritance” link is the reach back three steps to Roosevelt for the Libra Sun.

Not only double Gemini luminaries, but a Gemini stellium. This, in Harding’s Vice President, was the “common man” reaction against Wilson’s Sagittarius.

Not only double Cancer lumnaries, but a Cancer stellium — to succeed Coolidge’s Gemini stellim. — As had happened similarly with Cleveland, the worst financial devastation in our history occurred on the watch of a Cancer Moon opposite Saturn... and the nation’s response was to elect a Capricorn to follow.

Primarily the Capricorn to flip Hoover’s Cancer — but he also inherited Coolidge’s Gemini Moon from one step back. (Good example here: People wanted things to go back to as good as they were in Coolidge’s time.)

Roosevelt represented the largest chorus in the opera of our nation’s history. After him, his Vice President started a new pattern quite suited to the needs of the time.

Retained Truman’s Libra Moon.

JOHN F. KENNEDY Taurus-Leo (+Aries stellium)
In many ways, the start of a new wave. The luminary signs did not particularly inherit anything. However, Kennedy had an Aries cluster of Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter, an “inheritance” from the Aries-Libra themes of his two predecessors. He also was the first of three consecutive Presidents who played out an aria of the Imperial Presidency with an amazing trio of stellia.

Kennedy’s Vice President shared his Leo Moon. It’s important to note, though, that in addition to his double Leo luminaries, Johnson had a Leo stellium that included Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter.

RICHARD M. NIXON Sagittarius-Capricorn
In addition to his Sagittarius Sun, Nixon had a Sagittarius stellium that included... Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter. Thus, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, the crest of the Imperial Presidency, moved the same stellium around the three “Fire” signs, Aries — Leo — Sagittarius.

GERALD FORD Gemini-Scorpio
Sagittarius reversed to Gemini. The imperial Sagittarian was replaced by the “common man” Gemini just when the nation needed it.

In what had to be the most banal Presidential contest of all time, a Gemini lost to a Virgo. (There’s more to say about this, including the transition from a Mars-ruled Scorpio Moon to a Venus-ruled Libra Moon — but the Gemini-to-Virgo hand-off is the most obvious detail.)

RONALD REAGAN Capricorn-Aries
For the second time, the nation replaced a “too nice” Virgo with a Venus-ruled Moon by an Aries Moon. In this case, the Libra-to-Aries was the key “inheritance” flip — at a time that the nation wanted more military, economic, and executive aggression.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH Taurus-Virgo
The Virgo Moon inherits Carter’s Sun-sign. Notice also (in contrast to the “Fire” stellia of the Imperial Trio) that the Sun constellations now have cycled through the “Earth” signs in the order Virgo, Capricorn, Taurus.

BILL CLINTON Leo-Aries (+Virgo stellium)
He inherited Reagan’s Aries Moon. His four-planet Virgo stellium inherited Bush’s Virgo Moon theme.

GEORGE W. BUSH Gemini-Virgo (+Cancer stellium)
He inherited his father’s Virgo Moon (a motif also preserved through Clinton’s Virgo stellium). There is also a four-planet Cancer stellium to consider (which is probably not part of the inheritance patterns, but does show him as something of an anti-Reagan).

BARACK OBAMA Cancer-Taurus
At first glance, he completely breaks the pattern — which, of course, is what he campaigned he would do. However, on closer examination, his Cancer Sun inherits and continues Bush’s Cancer stellium. Thus, the third worst financial crisis in the nation occurred under the watch of a Cancer stellium President and his Cancer Sun successor, just as the earlier two had occurred with Cancer Moons in the White House.


ARIES: Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, James Buchanan, U.S. Grant, Harry S Truman
TAURUS: John F. Kennedy, George H.W. Bush
GEMINI: John Quincy Adams, Calvin Coolidge, Gerald Ford, George W. Bush
CANCER: Herbert Hoover, Barack Obama
LEO: Benjamin Harrison, William H. Taft, Lyndon B. Johnson, Bill Clinton
VIRGO: Rutherford B. Hayes, Chester A. Arthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter
LIBRA: John Adams, James Polk, Theodore Roosevelt, Warren G. Harding
SCORPIO: Martin Van Buren, Zachary Taylor, Franklin Pierce, James Garfield
SAGITTARIUS: MillardFillmore, Andrew Johnson, Woodrow Wilson, Richard Nixon
CAPRICORN: William H. Harrison, William McKinley, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Regan
AQUARIUS: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln
PISCES: James Madison, Andrew Jackson, John Tyler, Grover Cleveland


ARIES: Zachary Taylor, James Garfield, Warren G. Harding, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton
TAURUS: Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Rutherford B. Hayes, Barack Obama
GEMINI: Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Franklin D. Roosevelt
CANCER: James Polk, U.S. Grant, Grover Cleveland, William H. Taft, Herbert Hoover
LEO: William H. Harrison, Franklin Pierce, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson
VIRGO: Andrew Jackson, John Tyler, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush
LIBRA: Benjamin Harrison, Harry S Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter
SCORPIO: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Gerald Ford
SAGITTARIUS: George Washington, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, James Buchanan, Chester Arthur
CAPRICORN: Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, Woodrow Wilson, Richard Nixon
AQUARIUS: (none)
PISCES: John Adams

This page last updated 14 Apr 2011 E.V.