Six Contemporary Presidents – What do they have in common?

Our current leader-in-chief, Mr Trump, and the five U.S. Presidents that preceded him each have a  planetary pattern in common in their horoscopes that I will explore with you in this essay.  Astrology is particularly good  at revealing  such unsuspected, underlying connections between charts.  We will be looking at the natal horoscopes of the presidents, beginning with Jimmy Carter, the 40th U.S. President, and concluding with Mr. Trump, the 45th.

Marc Edmund Jones in his astrological work developed several original techniques for horoscope delineation.  I will be using one of them, “the Mode of Self-Integration” in this article.  His description of this technique can be found in its initial published form in “Astrology, How and Why it Works”; the technique was further elaborated with many example charts in a subsequent book, “The Essentials of Astrological Analysis” , and in his final book,   “The Counseling Manual in Astrology”.

I refer the reader to those texts for a complete treatment of this technique.  Within the limited space of this article I will attempt to give to those of you not familiar with these texts what I hope will be a “working knowledge” sufficient for understanding this interesting material.

Some Basic Principles of Sabian Astrology

The planets naturally  pair off into four groups according to their orbital distances from the Sun.  This fact has been recognized by astrologers since the beginning, but the deeper meaning of this was not investigated in any depth until Marc Edmund Jones came along in the mid-1900s.  He organized the planets ( Sun and Moon) into four “departments”:

  1.  The first department, Vitality, the Sun and Moon;
  2. the second, Motivation, Jupiter and Saturn;
  3. the third, Efficiency, Venus and Mars;
  4. and the fourth, Significance, Uranus and Neptune.

Note: You notice that Mercury and Pluto are not included in this classification.  Dr. Jones  did recognize that perhaps a fifth department should or could be created, but did not pursue it, in part because the 4 -3 pattern that he finally devised,  worked so well, and would have been completely disrupted by the addition of another Department.

He did recognize that Mercury and Pluto were a significant pairing, in fact he described Pluto as a “cosmic Mercury”.  Perhaps this is an area for further research.


The Four Departments

The Department of Vitality: Sun and Moon – “…the Sun, as self itself, or a core aliveness, keywords: AUTHORITY and PURPOSE, and, the Moon, is in a sense all other relevant existence, keywords, PUBLIC, and FEELING,Sun and Moon  together constitute the domain of “Vitality” or the area of the simple possibility of a conscious ongoing”.

The Department of Motivation: Jupiter and Saturn – ” Jupiter is the positive representative of the primary act-of-personality, or of what becomes man’s continuous determination to play an identifiable role in the company of others in order to make some appreciable contribution to the common or conscious reality, keywords: PERSONALITY and ENTHUSIASM….with Saturn, is the negative representative of this primary act-of-personality, keywords: WISDOM and SENSITIVENESS …it can be used to chart the everyday and direct intervention of the cosmos in all conscious experience”.

The Department of Efficiency: Venus and Mars  – “Mars as the positive representative…indicates fundamentally the manner in which anybody starts anything, and therefore it is the indicator of INITIATIVE and RISK.  Venus as the negative representative …can be taken to measure the common endeavor of man to collect his due from the normal course of events in which he participates. keywords: RECOGNITION and ACQUISITIVENESS. ”

The Department of Significance: Uranus and Neptune –  “Uranus is the positive representative of this pair, keywords: UNIQUENESS and INDEPENDENCE….it has become the special representative of independence, and so of personal distinctiveness or even eccentricity…an enlistment of all cosmic potentialities in the cause of human audacity and an untrammeled vision.  Neptune, as the negative representative of this pair, keywords: RESPONSIBILITY and OBLIGATION….reveals the cosmic potentials or the broad sweep of history itself…of man’s obligation to his everyday and fundamentally material world.”

The Fundamental Trichotomy

The trinitarian conception of deity and the philosophical triad appears in many forms worldwide and throughout history:

  •  in Plato’s tripartic soul;
  • in Aquinas’s 3 acts of intellect;
  •  in  Kant’s, 3 categories of relation;  
  • in Hegel’s, 3 dialectical moments:
  •  in C.S. Peirce’s, 3 active principles in the cosmos;
  •   in Pythagorean metaphysics and the list goes on.

Sabian astrology also has its variation of the concept expressed as: circumstances, function and activity.  

Circumstances, as the concept is used in Sabian astrology, “relates to the Houses which localize and reveal man in his everyday conscious existence as he attempts to establish a horizon of experience for himself which he may relate to as; personal and hence of direct concern or;  impersonal, a matter of incidental importance which he may use or discard as he chooses”.

Function, as the concept is used in Sabian astrology, “relates to the Signs which  develop and reveal the essential characteristics of the individual himself, which correlate to that which all individuals on earth must have in common, such as functional participation  in life as a whole or organic being as known as wholeness of self.

For example, Aries rules the ‘head’, and all humans have a head, Taurus rules the ‘neck’ and all humans have one, and so on.  Function may be objective or tangible in every respect or as equally and entirely subjective or unique in an ever elusive inward orientation”.

Activity, as the concept is used in Sabian Astrology “relates to the Planets which reveal the individual in the immediacy of the act-of-self and the ends to which the act is directed. Action is knowable as it is observed and has an object, or can be described in some phase of purpose or response to some other action.

Hence activity may be considered conjunctive as it seeks to bring elements of immediate reality into consistent and fruitful connection with each other, a synthesis;  or as disjunctive or bringing the elements of a situation, separating these into components, for analysis, with the purpose of a realignment or reorganization that will be more suitable or desirable –  one that will contribute novelty and originality to a given consideration.

Determining the Mode of Self Integration

The next step is to combine the 4 of the Departments with the 3 of the Triadic Process which produces this chart: “The Anatomy of Planetary Relationship”:



The procedure is to identify which of the four Departments are activated, this is usually easily accomplished by noting which pairs of planets of a Department are in a major aspect, if none are found to be in aspect other means are available to determine the Mode of Self Integration that will not be discussed here.  If only one department is activated by planetary aspect then the attributes of that Department will be found to be strongly identified in the personality.

If the planetary signification  of two Departments are activated by major aspect then a specific Mode- of- Self- Integration for the native is established.  For example, if in a natal chart the Sun and Moon are in a major aspect, as are Jupiter and Saturn, but neither of the other two Departments are activated by aspects,  than  a Mode- of -Self -Integration in “Personal in Circumstances” is established for that individual.  Or, in another case, if Venus and Mars are in major aspect as are Sun and Moon then the Mode- of- Self- Integration for the native will be “Objective in Function”.

                             The orbs

Now we finally get to the fun part, after much laborious spade work. I think that if you have survived the digging this far this part will be an adequate reward for the effort.  Don’t be discouraged if this is just slightly clearer than mud I think if you look at a few example charts the technique will become better understood and useful to you.

One additional note, in Sabian Astrology the allowed orb for aspects of planets is 10 degrees, for aspects involving the Moon, it is 12 degree 30 min, and the Sun is 17 degrees.

                                               The Presidential  natal charts

The first chart we will look at is Jimmy Carter’s:



Jimmy has a close opposition between Venus and Mars which indicates that he is naturally inclined to be impersonal, objective and disjunctive in his approach to life, in his ‘self-ordering’.

I believe that those attributes correlate perfectly well with what we know about him.  Is there another Department that is activated that would permit us to identify his ‘triadic’ classification, i.e., is he more attuned to ‘circumstances’ in life, or is he more  ‘functional’, so that he desires to understand how things work, or is he a ‘activity’  seeker?

By the customary standards of procedure Mr. Carter does not have another Department activated, however, if we permit the admission of a so-called minor aspect, there is a Qunicunx between Uranus and Neptune, if it is allowed, then Mr. Carter can be put into the “Impersonal in Circumstances” category – which also seems to fit him well.

As you will begin to notice as we wade though the study of these six Presidents the “Personal in  Circumstances” typing will appear frequently.  Mr. Carter is sort of the “odd-man-out’ in this group because he  clearly checks out as the  “impersonal” type, whereas the others are “personal”.  This maybe an explanation for the rather low popularity ratings that he had as President, he just did not seem to connect to people very well, appeared a bit aloof.  He was admired but not well liked. A definite handicap for a politician.

George H.W. Bush next up


George Herbert Walker Bush

George H. W. has a clear and definite Trine between Sun and Moon, so he is naturally high in “vitality”, an energetic soul, optimistic, probably has not been depressed a day in his life, and you probably don’t have to drag him out of the bed in the morning either, an early riser, probably believes in what Ben Franklin  advised us, “Be early to bed and early to rise…” so, G.H.W.B.  is “personal, objective and conjunctive” in his self ordering.

But does he have another Department activated?  He does, a Sextile between Jupiter and Saturn, if we stretch the orb just a little bit, which I will do, so that puts G.H.W.B. into the class of “Personal in Circumstances” folks.

Number 42, William Jefferson Clinton:



Bill’s chart is an easy one, a good strong square of Sun to Moon and a rather wide, out of sign square, but within an acceptable orb, of Jupiter to Saturn and a conjunction Mars to Venus.

Without further adieu let’s drop Bill into the “Personal in Circumstances” bin.


President #43, George W. Bush:



W’s chart repeats the common theme we are seeing of a hard aspect between the Sun and Moon, in addition he has Jupiter and Saturn  in a square aspect.   So, he is also clearly a “Personal in Circumstances” guy.

President #44  Barack H. Obama


Barack Obama

Mr. Obama is also a “Personal in Circumstances” type because his natal chart has the sextile of Sun and Moon and the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn.  However, as I look more closely I see that Venus and Mars are in a wide orb ( 9 degrees 12 min) square, which changes the picture by making this a 3 horse race.

Here we are faced with a challenge to our ability to fine tune the chart.  I do have some hesitation to put Mr. Obama into the Personal in Circumstances bin, because he comes off as so cerebral, thoughtful, cool and a big picture type guy.

As we will see next, DJT is a Personal in Circumstances fellow, and he strikes me as the epitome of the type,   BHO does not.  I believe that typically the Venus and Mars square should not be considered in this Mode- of- Self- Integration analysis because it does not significantly connect with the primary  Sun, Moon, Jupiter, Saturn pattern.

Mars is  indeed trine to Saturn, but Venus does not make a major aspect to them.  Consequently, I think we should stick with the Personal in Circumstances typing for BHO, even though he does not seem to fit all that well, which leads us to the conclusion that he is much more personal and transactional, than he appears.

But then, in a second thought, perhaps Mr. Obama has a “split personality”, not clinically of course, but, basically, he is, as we indicated a primary “Personal in Circumstances” type,   but with the addition of the third Department, Efficiency (Venus & Mars) his psychology becomes much more complicated, and the possibilities of typing  shift toward the “missing Department”, namely, Significance”.

Significance is missing?  This notion is rather fascinating, suggesting that perhaps BHO is a man seeking something larger than life.  He is looking for significance of some kind.  Did he find it as president?

And now # 45, Donald J Trump:


Donald Trump map

DJT’s chart is another easy one to type, the Sun,Moon eclipse, partnered with a rather close Jupiter Saturn square, puts him into the Personal in Circumstances camp. He is a man around whom the Universe revolves, so he seems to think, if he can not see a personal involvement in a given situation, it, for all practical purposes, does not exist.  Further, he is by his own description, is a “guy who makes deals”, an opportunist,  a horse-trader, always on the look out for a a new opportunity to make some money.  Not real complicated.

Some concluding Thoughts

I think we might be on to something, that is, we may have identified an astrological signature of “the politician”, namely, a “Personal in Circumstances” typing, and the frequency of appearance of Sun, Moon aspects may indicate that for those who enter politics.  To be highly successful it greatly helps if you have a strong “vitality” via a hard Sun, Moon aspect.