I have written about the 2nd house prior to this, but I did not reach back to astrologers like Maternus who wrote about the 8th and 2nd houses as the two gates into and out of the nether regions of the world.
Personally, I find the metaphor of the journey of the cave gives this axis the kind of spiritually-based depth of meaning it otherwise lacks, when all we focus on is its association with material wealth and ownership of property.
Although later astrologers, imbued with the Christian fear of Hell, the Devil, and a modern sense of evil, mistook his meaning, Maternus actually used the Greek words anaphora and epikataphora to describe the nature of this axis, and these words do not literally translate to “road to Hell.”
Instead, the 8th, which descends downwards towards the Descendant—the point on the Western horizon long associated with death for the Egyptians, since this is where the sun sets—is where you were “carried along to the place of” (epi “place” + kataphora “being carried down”—there is a passive sense with this word; something is happening to you, rather than that you are consciously choosing it to happen).
The lack of choice means you can be swept up in a mystery, crucial for all those mystery religions that required that the initiate go down into caves, since the depths of the cave were where you would experience direct contact with the source of all wisdom.
The 2nd house, crucially for the state of your soul and in my opinion, your sanity, was your way out: anaphora, “to carry back” or “bring back up” from below (see Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon).
Personally, I find this metaphor gives this axis the kind of spiritually-based depth of meaning it otherwise lacks, when all we focus on is its association with material wealth and ownership of property.
Materialism is the level at which most people, understandably, approach this house, though. We live in a time when we are increasingly disconnected from the relationship human beings used to have with nature, instead pouring all of our energy into attainment and wealth.
In this sense, it does not help to encourage our spirituality to know that Hades, ruler of the underworld, who was ultimately symbolically transformed into Pluto, has become an almost entirely negative symbol associated with darkness, death, and even possessiveness and jealousy.
To discuss this axis fully, though, I believe one must engage with the oldest myths, those that speak to our ability as humans to discern a deeper reality, the deeper mysteries, that guide our decisions even as we question the direction those decisions take us in.
If you tell me that your relationship’s composite Sun falls in the 2nd house, then, what will you make of that? Will you feel encouraged to buy property, put down roots in a community, start businesses, and in other ways focus on materiality, or will you ask me, how do we live out our deeper psychic and spiritual needs with a Sun weighed down by its association with Earth?
For the ancient Greeks (whom I research the rest of the time when I’m not writing about astrology) Earth was perhaps the most potent force of life energy there was, deeply mysterious and unknowable, but the source of all wisdom. Gaia, one of the primordial beings, represented life itself:
Gaia was the great mother of all creation–the heavenly gods were descended from her through her union with Ouranos (Uranus) (Sky), the sea-gods from her union with Pontos (Sea), the Gigantes (Giants) from her mating with Tartaros (the Pit), and mortal creatures born directly from her earthy flesh.
I have written to some extent all throughout this website about the fundamental sexism of astrology, but it’s important to note that astrology is based on myths, and those myths were not entirely sexist. There were female deities every bit as important (and in some cases more important, more revered) than modern-day interpretations would have you believe.
Gaia, indeed all the chthonic deities, female and male, were far more influential to the Ancient Greeks than we would ever allow to be possible for us these days, when we take the Earth almost entirely for granted and certainly no longer believe in the power of the gods.
A recent paper written on the semiotic metaphor of the cave in Greek literature summarizes the cave and its inherent mysticism this way:
. . . [I]n many cultures and religions, the cave symbolises a secret, dark and often hostile space, a long, tortuous intellectual journey from darkness to light, utopia to reality, ignorance to knowledge, etc. In most references, the cave has two entrances: one facing the light (hope) and the other facing the darkness (death). The sea is often visible from the cave, with various semiotic connotations.
The heroes either enter the cave or abandon it. The entrance of the hero into the obscure cave constitutes an exploration of his personal labyrinth, a journey to the dark kingdom of death and a return to the ancient uterus with rebirth following. Into the cave, the hero fights with evil and his conscience. In poetry especially, the cave has erotic connotations: entering the cave means succumb to instinct, which counterbalances the instinct of death. Abandoning the cave may mean meeting either life or death.
COMPOSITE 2ND HOUSE SUN
KEYWORDS: “Shared Values” and “Earned reward”
We can look at the purpose of this composite Sun in two dichotomous ways, and at the same time, try to integrate the two through the magical process of alchemy, bringing the two together to create a larger whole.
The first is to see this house as a reflection of the needs of the body, the material realm of reality, such as financial resources. That’s the (relatively) easy path for this composite Sun. These two people should be able to make money together more easily than they would apart, since the purpose of the 2nd house from a material sense is to build and manifest something real in the material, hold-it-in-your-hand way.
There’s nothing wrong with this. The highest expression most 2nd house Sun types attain is to construct a legacy that will live past their deaths, even if that legacy is based on something intangible (check the sign on the cusp of each house to see how that manifests in your, or the other person’s, life). The creation of foundations and philanthropic organizations is a way to accomplish this, but I would look for certain other things in the chart for that urge, primarily altruism, which isn’t necessarily associated with the 2/8 axis.
The other way to approach the 2nd house composite sun is to look at it from the esoteric perspective, which is not about material attainment, but about the soul’s correct use of the resources these people bring to the relationship. The best day to begin to understand this is when you take your wedding vows, because those are intended to be a statement of purpose, a mission statement from the heart, if you will, for the rest of your lives together.
Your wedding vows are a way to tell each other, this is my promise, this is the best I’ve got, this is what I bring to the relationship. The more traditional vows mention endowing worldly goods to one another, and that’s about as specific to the 2nd house as you can get in the early days of the relationship. It’s later on in life that this road gets harder, because no matter what, you’re in the 2/8 axis, which is always about going deeper, like it or not.
In other words, you can skim through life on the surface of this house much more easily than with a lot of houses. Much depends on the values you bring with you from your natal charts. You can build the mansion in the hills, drive the Rolls Corniche, fill your cupboards with sparkling baubles, and numb your mind with drugs and alcohol.
If ‘money is all you love,’ as Princess Leia once spat at Han Solo before he revealed his noble values, the two of you should be fine, because where your composite Sun is posited you will also find a lot of energy expended toward the goal of attainment.
From what I’ve seen, though, unless your natal is very protected, there will always be a price to pay for ignoring the rules of this axis, because the 8th house shadow is always behind this Sun. That it is this axis in particular means you might pay the price with your money, or an enforced deep-level assessment of your values. You learn a lot about a couple’s values, and the values they promote in each other, by watching their behavior around the sign on the cusp of this house.
Naturally, you will also want to see how each person’s natal 2nd/8th houses are tenanted, and if they are empty, see how the sign and its ruling planet are posited in the individual natal charts. Then bring that information to the composite.
BILL AND HILLARY CLINTON
I am not about to tell you how much I love the Clintons, although I am aware of most of the words spoken against them or in their favor—much of it misinformation based on many factors, not all of which can be seen directly in the charts. Not all of the criticism is fair, not all of the ‘truths’ are accurate. Right now, though, we’re focusing on the astrology, largely because, more than a year ago, when I set up the concept of doing this series, it turned out they had a composite 2nd house Sun.
However, somewhere between looking at their charts initially and writing the Nodal axis series, I researched the 8th and 2nd houses as the entry and exit from the underworld. That research began to bring me to a different awareness of how these two houses function, and gave me increased insight into a couple who have, for so long, divided public opinion, outraging or inspiring people by turns.
I’ve been struggling for weeks to determine which chart works better for Hillary Clinton, her 8:02 a.m. or 8 p.m. chart. I finally did the simple thing you should always do first (I’ve been over-complicating this) and placed Bill’s planets in her charts for comparison. When I saw that his 5-planet Libra stellium fell either in her 11th or her 5th, I saw the answer pretty clearly.
You don’t stay married to someone who stimulates your intellectual and emotionally-distant 11th house, not after everything she’s had to put up with with this man, all the times he’s stepped all over her boundaries—not if you’re a quadruple Scorpio like she is. It’s all well and good to say, oh, they’re “friends” after all these years. My answer is, you can, if you’re lucky and work at it, end up as friends after all the damage inflicted.
Friendship, though, is not sufficiently binding for two charts otherwise lacking strong indicators of ‘friendship’ as a pre-existing major life goal. Of the two of them, it’s Bill, with his Sun and Pluto in the 11th, who you could realistically say possibly pushed for friendship (as in, keeping their marriage ‘together’ even if they are actually distant in many ways).
I think Hillary, if she’d been raised differently and if her Moon in Pisces was not so compromised, would have been better off without him. What I do agree, however, is that each chart sets them up, individually, for a willingness to be in an emotionally-distant relationship.
Their story, with composite Sun in the 2nd, goes something like this: You marry in a state of psychic ‘darkness,’ not knowing who or what you are, or what you’re each capable of. Because it’s dark down here, each person veers off the path, finding ways to betray and alienate the other. Until we learn to work together and pool our resources, we wander down twisting paths, some leading nowhere, while some lead to glittering treasure.
We separate; we learn a lot. We come back together. We might find the way out of the darkness or we might not. If we don’t, we end up having to make a place for ourselves down here, dwelling mostly in ignorance and unawareness. If we lose our way, there might be no clear sunlight to guide us.
Conversely, there are signs along the way in this underground that point up, towards the light we’re seeking. If we stay true to our values, we might indeed find our way out of the darkness. This entire process describes what this axis is like for two married people who are fundamentally better off together, because the dark underground is a threatening place.
You separate, neither person has any chance to find their way out. Together, though, we might just make it. All in all, though, this is a tremendously lonely journey, because we’re alone down here, surrounded by the darkness. It’s entirely possible only the worth of our souls will guide us up and into the light.
You have to really love someone to put up with what Hillary has tolerated (and/or have some sadomasochistic issues in your natal, such as 6th house or Virgo placements). You will see that kind of almost obsessive attachment with certain houses, and they’re usually not Air houses or planets. Aquarius planets could stay together as “friends” after all the betrayals, but not Scorpio.
My argument goes like this: When someone has a stellium, that energy on its own is inescapable. It dominates the personality, and it will dominate your personality if you let it. The only way to deal with someone with a stellium and retain your sense of individuality over the course of a lifetime is to have one of your own. Fire fights fire, so to speak (or whatever elements are involved in your charts).
This chart puts Gemini on the Ascendent, making Mercury the ruler of the chart. Further, the 29˚ Ascendent says this is an intense lifetime, perched on the edge or brink of something ending, something new beginning. Gemini, as a mutable sign, combined with that sensitivity of the 29˚ ‘tipping point’ puts a special emphasis on the nature and character of Mercury in this chart.
How Hillary uses her ability to communicate and move from one world to another is personified by the mythology of Hermes, the only god allowed to descend into the underworld, bringing Zeus’ message to his brother Hades. How effective is her Mercury, then?
Mercury, it turns out, is absolutely crucial to her chart, because it, along with Venus and Chiron, connects by square to her Leo stellium of Saturn, Pluto, and Mars (her Scorpio Sun is out of orb). The Saturn, Pluto and Mars conjunction in Leo is, I believe, at the core of her ambition, but Saturn and Pluto together are more complicated than ‘mere’ ambition. Saturn can discipline Pluto’s overwhelming desire for control, but it can also direct it and channel it into a nature based on intense commitment, stamina, and sheer will power.
But here’s where things get sticky in her chart: Saturn has many squares, too many to ignore. My explanation for the energy of a square usually comes down to trying to make two impossible and mutually-contradictory personal values true at once. There is a similarity to working with oppositions, but as I’ve said more than once, oppositions usually manifest as a lack of awareness of one end or the other; integration of the two energies might even be possible in this lifetime, but it’s hard work.
Squares, on the other hand, mean the person lives with cognitive dissonance, forced to believe six impossible things before breakfast. This obviously leads to behaviors that seem shady, particularly when Capricorn, Scorpio, Saturn, and/or Pluto, are involved. Ain’t nobody trusts people with a lot of squares. Square people want two incompatible things to happen at one and the same time, or they act one way and speak another.
Their energy is split between one way of life and another. Sometimes squares are entirely benign, and really only hurt the person involved. Sometimes, however, the person is living very much in the public spotlight like Hillary and Bill, and their behaviors are impossible to ignore.
Hillary’s squares represent the dichotomy between two things she was taught, or learned, to believe when she was still quite young. Her relationship with her father was fraught with the tension that comes when your father imparts two very different messages through his treatment of you: one, that authority is patriarchal, punitive, and even cruel, but that hard work could lead her, a girl, to success.
I don’t have her father’s time of birth, but their synastry included a Sun/Saturn-Venus-North Node opposition (her Sun, his Saturn-Venus-North node in Taurus at approximately 6˚-11˚; her Chiron at 12˚ Scorpio was on his South Node). Nodal contacts in synastry are incredibly significant, particularly in families, where they can indicate inherited traits as well as fated relationships that shape the growing psyche.
On the parent’s South node, the child’s planet has absolutely no chance to resist; s/he is a captive audience, as it were, for the unconscious and usually negative, self-defeating qualities symbolized by the South node, while the child’s planet reminds the South node parent of something s/he would rather forget. Remember, we’re always, in some way, trying to reach for our North node; South node contacts pull us back toward something we recognize, but aren’t necessarily good for us.
I think the power of this opposition in synastry not only taught her Saturnian lessons, it also impressed upon her what it means to be an authority figure (which is possibly also why she so often sounds like she’s channelling John Wayne when she speaks authoritatively). But most importantly, her father’s Saturn/Venus conjunction means that his version of ‘love’ was strict and even punitive, if not actually harsh and punishing (not unusual, since men of this era did not spare the rod to spoil the child—my grandfather was born one month after Rodham in the same town and the same year).
Saturn/Venus is not easily pleased; a Saturn/Venus/North node in Taurus is striving toward a sense of self based on self-control, at the best, and something close to cruelty at worst. I think in many ways, this grim man imprinted on Hillary, but her mother’s spirit imbued her as well, although her mother stayed married to him (never left him no matter how horrible he was to her, and from the sound of it, he was a misogynist, who used almost every opportunity to say something negative). That’s the effect Saturn conjunct Venus can have; it’s that unpleasant.
Given the fact that her mother, Dorothy Rodham, never left the father, in spite of his horrible mistreatment of her, it’s entirely possible that Hillary’s mother, with a natal Moon/Saturn conjunction at approximately 22˚ and 24˚ Leo, was depressive and masochistic. Dorothy’s 6˚ Aries Chiron was conjunct her husband’s 4˚ Aries Sun.
That’s not “love”, Magi Society, that’s pain, inflicted over and over again. I deeply reject the Magi Society’s claims that Chiron is in any way associated with love, unless the two people involved are hyperconscious and working on their issues. Chiron seems to have two basic functions: one is to inflict or endure pain; the other is to function as a teacher or, conversely, have lessons to learn, often from pain. Check out the Chiron myth; these interpretations are part of his story.
Dorothy’s Venus at 25˚ Cancer, forming a trine to Hillary’s 29˚ Pisces Moon, is probably where Hillary found a modicum of emotional comfort, but of course she learned from her mother to endure a hell of a lot of absolute nonsense from a husband; the daughter’s life mirrors her mother’s choice to stay in what appears to be a painful marriage.
Before I move on to look at Bill Clinton’s chart, let’s take a look at Hillary’s 2/8 axis, so we know what she’s bringing to their composite chart.
In the above chart, Cancer is on the cusp of the 2nd, and so the first thing I can say is that Hillary approaches 2nd house issues from the perspective of her Moon and how she feels about the material world. It also shows us that her values are based in Moon-realities, such as the very things she is known for, such as her work with women and children through the years.
Further, the Moon in Pisces is posited in her 10th house, and that gives her 2nd house a Water-sign emphasis, at the same time that it tells us that the 10th house, traditionally the house of the work we do in this lifetime, is tenanted by the one planet we automatically associate with women and children.
However, once we look at the state of her Moon, we see that it’s very much under siege in her chart, with lots of stressors (and only two trines). The primary source of energy in her chart, the Sun, has few contacts, but those she does have give her revolutionary zeal, the trines to Uranus and Pallas Athena.
Let’s talk about Pallas Athena for a moment. It is the one point in Hillary’s chart that I believe truly represents her ideology, for it falls in the 9th, the houses of causes, lost or not. This chart says that women were and are her cause. In my opinion, she has always been most effective on these issues, because it’s clear to me this is where her passion truly lies, and it’s the area where she sounds most authentic.
Pallas Athena is an asteroid named after the original Pallas Athena, the Athena who protected young girls. In history, this is the version of Athena whose primary function was to act as (virginal) goddess of war. So a prominent Pallas Athena tends to make you a fighter, but not necessarily a beloved one, since Pallas Athena’s energy seems pretty harsh these days—until you’re down on your luck and you need someone to fight in your corner.
Keep in mind, not everyone’s asteroids are activated in their chart—the fact that Hillary’s Uranus is angular (in this case, conjunct the Ascendent) gives her 9th house an energy it would otherwise not have, with Aquarius, the idealist-revolutionary on the cusp of the 9th.
Further, Hillary’s Pallas trines both Sun and Uranus (giving it chart emphasis due to Uranus’ strength at the Ascendent). That Pallas is semi-sextile to her 10th house Moon says that it’s how she expresses her desire for change: with force, determination, and most of all, Uranus-zeal. However, her Saturn/Uranus sextile modifies this urge, and I’m postulating the theory that because Hillary never made peace with either her Uranian or Saturnian ‘sides,’ we see someone we find hard to understand (though the sextile gives her an opportunity to use these energies together).
The opinions of the native with a Saturn/Uranus aspect are often hard to reconcile since they represent two very different forces, while Gemini on the Ascendent guarantees she will change her opinion as often as she changes her [expletive deleted] hairstyle. So Mercury, the ruler of the chart, is almost completely overwhelmed by these forces, this pushme-pullyou between what Uranus represents versus what Saturn represents, and chaos erupts around the Gemini rising person with this much tugging her in mutually-exclusive directions.
Also, I think that there are just too many squares and other sources of unpleasantness in this chart, and that it’s likely that with Saturn ruling the 8th house cusp, the ‘descent’ into the subconscious material that lives in the 8th house (most of which she seems to be in denial about—I refer to the recent claim that the FBI ’caused’ her defeat in the election, whereas it would have been more honest and more appealing as a human being to blame yourself and your own choices first) is blocked, largely because of Saturn aspects and the legacy of Saturn-gloom brought over from her childhood.
However, it is extremely hard to accomplish what you want in this life when Saturn squares the nodal axis; her Saturn forms a T-square with her nodes, primarily because the squaring planet (and this is even more true when it’s Saturn) is holding you back until you fully understand its lessons. Since in this case, Saturn is so crucial in her chart, she would benefit from unpacking the damage done to her during her childhood, and own the damage she’s caused through her own (Saturn-induced) limitations.
Interestingly, given how often she’s accused of being a liar, natal Neptune forms only one aspect, and that’s a positive-leaning sextile with Mars. I’m going to speculate (before I look at the synastry between she and Bill) that it’s actually his problem with the truth that is at work here, and she is in collusion with him due to the fact that her Neptune falls in conjunction with his Libra planets. For her, there seems to be a pattern of denial and blaming others instead of taking responsibility.
If I were to hold any particular force accountable in her chart for all the subterfuge, I would prefer to look at Scorpio’s natural desire to hold one’s cards close to the chest. However, the way Hillary has dealt with the concept of transparency makes it seem as though unless there’s a true emergency and/or crisis, she’s going to keep everything to herself.
This sounds more like Saturn than anything else, and I figure that impulse comes from her parents, who taught her to keep quiet and tough it out unless there was a real emergency (like losing a limb). Children raised in her generation were taught to be ‘seen and not heard,’ and you were only allowed to complain if you had something legitimate to complain about. In your typical blue collar family, that doesn’t leave room for much in the way of personal, and especially not emotional, needs to be met.
ENTER BILL CLINTON
So, Hillary and all her emotional baggage met Bill, and he had quite a bit of baggage too (appropriate for the 2/8 axis; at one end you have earned money and all the ‘baggage’ it creates, and on the other end, not only ‘psychological’ baggage, but other people’s money too).
First, let’s look at Bill’s 2/8 axis. The 2nd house has Scorpio at 3˚ on its cusp, so all of Hillary’s Scorpio planets fall in his 2nd, and her Sun sits on the cusp at 2˚. Although traditionally this house is not considered the house of the physical body, its association with Taurus as its ‘natural’ ruler gives it an emphasis on the needs of the physical body. When someone’s planets fall in your 2nd, it tends to stimulate you to provide for them—including physically (sex, obviously, but also shelter, a house, money to help your dreams come true, etc. Find someone whose Jupiter falls in your 2nd, and I guarantee life becomes easier.).
So her 5th house house contains his stellium, his 2nd house contains her stellium. Those are both houses that make sense for a marriage that has lasted as long as theirs has, because Scorpio on his 2nd house cusp tells you how he approaches his values (in a Scorpio way) and it also tells you what he values (Scorpio beliefs) and how he will manifest those values (like a Scorpio).
Similarly, with Libra on her 5th house cusp, her ideal of the ‘perfect’ lover is based on that Libran smile and that Libran charm, as well as the wonderful intellectual conversation (with one huge caveat, which is her Libra Neptune, as we will look at). I will caution you that if you find Air signs on the cusp of your 5th house, though, don’t be surprised if you tend to favor romantic partners who appeal to you intellectually, but might not be grounded enough to pursue a real relationship with—and that brings me to Bill’s lack of maturity, as I will discuss later.
First, I will argue that in the real world, where material ownership of stuff matters more to most people than almost anything else (I offer the current election cycle as proof) Bill is the driver here of how the material is dealt with in the marriage; it’s his 2nd house, after all, and although she motivates him, he’s the one who makes stuff happen.
Now, of course, this is a simplistic way of looking at a marriage; when you’re married, in fact, all these urges are blended together. One person says one thing, the other responds, and all of a sudden, like magic, we’ve made a decision together that changes our lives. But in this situation, because we’re looking at the 2nd house (which Bill approaches from the perspective of Scorpio; that is, instinctually, emotionally, and from his deepest, most unexplored psychological-self), and it’s the lack of psychological awareness of what motivates this axis that generally causes its undoing.
I think it’s reasonable to say that someone with Scorpio/Taurus on the cusps of the 2nd and 8th houses is going to have a fairly straightforward approach to the issues involved in these houses, and so we look at Bill’s attitudes towards money, ownership, and ask what his personal values are. The primary reason I’m digging and digging into this axis is because, well, there’s so much there to deal with, and I think the Clintons are an astrological dream come true when it comes to deconstructing hidden psychological motives.
There are far too many scandals associated with their names, most having to do with money, sex, or death. Sound familiar? Those are 2/8 house themes, after all. But perhaps the biggest scandal when you’re married are those involving betrayal, and here we come to Bill’s multiple infidelities (or at least those he’s admitted to). For astrological illumination, let’s look at asteroid Juno (Ancient Greeks’ Hera) and Zeus, the couple from myth who spent at least three-quarters of their time at war over one of Zeus’ many indiscretions.
Immediately upon looking at each chart, you realize, woah, these two have Zeus and Hera/Juno karma going on. Bill’s 1st house Libra Juno is conjunct Jupiter and Chiron, in trine to 5th house Zeus. The 5th house of love affairs therefore contains the symbol of the most unfaithful god in the heavens, plus these trines are a classical example of why you don’t necessarily perform cartwheels as soon as you see trines in a chart.
First of all, the trine is a ‘lazy’ aspect, in that, if it feels good, you’re just going to keep doing it. It’s not inherently a lucky aspect at all; much depends on the nature of the planets involved. What Chiron adds to this mix is that when his ego (1st house planets) was stimulated, Jupiter would magnify the response, sending out the let’s do this because it feels good response to Zeus in the 5th.
This in turn caused continual wounding (Chiron) for Hillary. Her 11˚ Neptune falls in Bill’s 1st, conjunct his 11˚ Venus, but also conjunct his 18˚ Chiron. She would have been the classic “If I don’t see it, it must not be happening” wife in denial during the height of his sexual attractiveness, until she found out the truth.
Your Neptune falling in someone else’s 1st house is completely capable of denying what that think they see about the other person, because the Neptune person is projecting their own needs and reality onto the other person’s behaviors and “act.” In other words, if he acts innocent, she’s going to believe him until she finds out the absolute truth. Unfortunately, denial of one’s behaviors are endemic with Neptune/Mars or Neptune/Mercury conjunctions.
In her own chart, 29˚ Sagittarius Juno on the Descendent exactly squares her Moon/Zeus conjunction at 29˚ Pisces: the marital partner betrays her through infidelity. And, because these affairs are karmically designed, they are publicly humiliating, with Moon/Zeus in the 10th, putting his affairs out there for all to see. Bill’s Zeus is trine Juno in the 1st though; she forgives him and probably enables him, since the trine, once again, is too ‘lazy’ to make any real changes.
Bill’s inability to stay faithful to one woman, whom he nonetheless stays married to, indicates a fairly serious emotional problem, which I chalk up to a lack of maturity, but also to a fair amount of neediness and greed (not incompatible with the Moon in Taurus in the 8th inconjunct Chiron in the 1st and square Pluto in Leo in the 11th). Pluto’s willingness to abuse power stimulates the emotional hunger for physical comfort experienced by Moon in Taurus.
Of course, there are always ‘reasons’ and ‘excuses’ why someone does what they do, but at base, one does these things because you want to and because you can; no one held a gun to his head and made him take his damned pants off in the Oval Office. The conjunction at the Ascendent of Mars and Neptune means a few different things, all of which are supported by Clinton’s actions. The Actor (dominant 1st house + Neptune) combined with Neptune’s propensity for deception when fueled by Mars’ energy.
All that 1st house energy is fairly needy, no matter how glossy, glamorous, and pulled together Libra rising appears on the surface. 1st house planets usually demand attention as part of their ability to walk into a room and take command. A Libra stellium isn’t just charming and attentive to the needs of others; it’s ruled by Venus, which automatically seduces you with Clinton’s renowned handshake and wink of the eye. Apparently, during the Clinton presidency, pretty much anyone who encountered Clinton was charmed by all the attention exuded by that intense 1st house stellium.
Further, Clinton’s Moon in Taurus in the 8th picks up on the theme of an emotional need for 8th house activities (sex is over-rated as an 8th house need, but obviously, as long as it’s kept secret, it has a certain thrill, as well as the power and thrill of handling other people’s money).
Most of the emotional needs of Taurus can be fulfilled with simple things, but the location in the 8th complicates this Moon, which is then hard to know. I do think we can take as a given that Clinton’s emotional needs run deeper than typical Taurus physical comforts usually imply, although Taurus combined with the 8th makes a rather natural repository of other people’s money, with a banker’s instinct for making and hoarding money. But this Moon is also highly complicated psychologically, and keeps its secrets.
THE COMPOSITE CHART
We’re going to focus on a few different indicators at this point: the ruler of this particular chart, the Sun; the ‘natural’ rulers of the 2/8 axis: Venus for Taurus, and Mars and Pluto for Scorpio; and finally, the rulers of the planets that fall on the 2/8 axis in the composite chart—in this case, Virgo on the 2nd house cusp, Pisces on the 8th (and therefore, their rulers, Mercury and Neptune).
I think the first thing we notice is that the ruler of the chart, the Virgo Sun, is at 29˚ conjunct 29˚ Mercury. I always progress charts with important planets at 29˚ because what we really benefit from looking at is the current state of the relationship, rather than the relationship as it was written when it first became official (usually the day of the marriage—if you bring me a composite of two people who have not had a longterm relationship and are just getting to know each other, I will refer you back to the synastry).
However, let’s first look at the potential of this original relationship. The 29˚ conjunction in Virgo is on the brink of change, so these two came together to do something to utterly change their lives. A Virgo composite Sun in the Anaretic degree implies that life up till now has been played very much by the rules, coloring within the lines, and doing what was expected.
The Virgo Sun conjunct Mercury says that what brought these two together, ultimately, was a shared intellectual vision, one they could use to manifest (2nd house) their ideas.
However, no 29˚ planet is ‘stable’, because as soon as you progress the chart, you see where that energy is moving to. The 29˚ composite Sun has the sense of coming to the edge of the cliff (think of the image of the Fool in the Tarot; he is walking blindly to the edge of the mountain, oblivious to what’s coming). Think of it as a transitional degree. We don’t know what’s coming, but we know we’re facing an ending, and that always implies a new beginning.
The lack of awareness of the Anaretic degree is not necessarily a negative, because if we always knew what to expect, we wouldn’t take most of the risks we take. It’s more interesting to me that they stayed together at all, because 29˚ planets or points in the chart are inherently radical in tone. They imply that this lifetime (for the natal chart) or this relationship (for the composite) means we’re done with something and need (for our soul’s sake) a completely new way of being. So let’s say for argument’s sake, they must have both decided that they needed to hang on to this relationship at a soul level, because their perspective is that they are stronger together than apart.
Further, the importance of the 2/8 axis in general is supported by the fact that Taurus and Scorpio fall on the MC/IC axis. That tells me that the architecture of this relationship is supported by fundamental beliefs (4th house early life conditioning) that will give these two the impetus to live out those beliefs, which we see enacted through Taurus on the MC/10th house cusp. In other words, their 4th house Scorpio values of privacy, family, protection from harm, and emotional safety, expresses through Fixed-energy rigid emotional patterns, and fuels the view outsiders get of them with Taurus on the MC.
At this point, I have to turn back to Hillary’s planets, because her Scorpio stellium falls across the bottom of the chart, with her natal Sun conjunct composite Chiron (ouch + this relationship will teach her about who she really is), as well as conjuncting the IC. The rest of her stellium falls in the composite 4th. Then her natal Chiron conjuncts composite Jupiter in Scorpio in the 4th: more pain, more lessons, more learning to be done. Negatively-expressing Scorpio needs to learn that compassion, tolerance, and humility are not indications of weakness. But meanwhile, she can keep her secrets in this original chart, because planets below the chart are ‘unseen.’
Now I think we can say, this relationship obviously has karmic debt written all over it for Hillary. Issues at stake for her in this relationship should come as no big surprise to anybody, but I can summarize them as this: Her concept of self is squelched in this initial chart because 4th house/IC planets are below the horizon. Her initial needs and sense of self are discounted, but this gives her time to develop her personal values (4th house).
Obviously, being ignored at a fundamental, soul level, requires a response from her ego, and that’s why Chiron is so important, because there are so many lessons for Hillary to learn via the way she is treated in this relationship.
What about Bill’s planets applied to this composite? Well, his stellium begins with the conjunction of Mars and Neptune on the composite’s 3rd house cusp, and extends through the 3rd house. Meanwhile, composite Neptune conjuncts his natal Mars, Neptune and Venus (and pulls in, widely, Chiron).
Composite Venus conjuncts his natal Jupiter/Pallas. I think he meant it when he said he admired Hillary’s mind and strength, but the inconjunction between his Sun and her Moon, and Hillary’s innate inability to give unconditional love (due to her compromised Moon) causes a lot of interpersonal stress when you wake up from your synastry’s Neptune conjunct Venus dream and find out who you’re actually married to.
Bill’s emotional reaction to this marriage and all it requires of both of them is seen in the natal Jupiter in Libra opposing the composite Aries Moon. Not only is that Aries Moon in opposition to composite Venus/Chiron in the 3rd, it’s also in opposition to Bill’s Juno. Their affection and even love for one another has its ‘ups and downs’, as they say. Those oppositions in the composite do not affect Hillary to the same extent they do Bill, interestingly.
The Sun/Mercury conjunction at 29˚ in the composite exactly opposes Hillary’s natal Moon (putting the opposition in the composite 2/8, augmenting the 2/8 axis meaning; this relationship forces her to go down into the depths, emotionally, and I would argue, entangles her in the weeds in terms of business, ownership, other people’s money, and all the various scandals she’s been associated with.
In the initial composite, rulers of the 2/8 axis are Mercury and Neptune. In the composite, Mercury and Neptune are widely conjunct, with Neptune falling in the 3rd, making it even more unlikely this couple would be able to speak clearly. Neptune in the 3rd tends to muddy issues; the mind loses clarity, and dream-states take over.
Obviously, in an artistic couple, Neptune in the 3rd would have helped them create works of beauty, but the ambitions of the Clintons are for political and material attainment, both of which benefit from clear messaging. Neptune in the 3rd represents their desire, ability, however you want to put it, to blur the boundaries between Mercurial truth and Neptunian wishful thinking. Sleight of hand techniques take over, and when that doesn’t work, they just stop talking, since words are easy to misconstrue.
Now we’re in the land of the natural rulers of the 2/8 axis, Pluto, Mars, and Venus, because when it comes to misuse of abilities, we need to also look at misuse of power, and how to ameliorate it through Venus as mediator between warring factors. Ruler of Scorpio on the 4th house cusp, Mars, falls in the 1st and provides the kind of warrior spirit this couple has become known for. You push them down, they just keep coming back up. They are known for their indefatigability.
Second ruler of Scorpio, Pluto, is conjunct Saturn, but unfortunately from my perspective, in the 12th. Both of the Clintons have natal Saturn/Pluto conjunctions; Hillary’s is with Mars, Bill’s is with Mercury (and therein lies the true difference between their governing styles; hers is more adamant and aggressive, Bill’s is more intellectual, considerate, and willing to negotiate). But they bring their Plutonian desire for power, combined with Saturn’s ability to wield the scythe, to how they manage their 2/8 axis.
I am never all that happy to find harsh, powerful, and negative planets like Saturn and Pluto in the 12th house of a composite chart. Although the 12th has many positive interpretations, let’s be honest. Most people are pretty unaware of the ghosts in their own attics.
The 12th house has a strong potential for denial, because this is the least ‘seen’ house other than the 8th, and it’s considered the weakest house in the chart; moral character is hard to find with negative planets in this chart. Saturn/Pluto in the 12th to me means that as a couple, they both had a huge desire for power, with a kind of rabid ambition that no doubt created enemies (12th house) they brought with them after Bill Clinton charmed an unsuspecting nation.
Whether you agree with their politics or not, whether you remember their early years or have any idea what they accomplished (which is never insignificant with a Saturn/Pluto conjunction) it cannot be denied that 12th house planets, when they’re used unconsciously, carry enemies with them. How do you use 12th house planets consciously? It helps to be honest with each other about what lies at the root of your 4th house goals. It also helps not to have a Mercury/Neptune conjunction and lie to one another and everyone else.
Fundamentally, for the purposes of forming businesses and making money, Mercury and Neptune on the 2/8 axis is only morally good for creating institutions like the Clinton Foundation, and then only if everyone involved in the foundation is honest and transparent, and that combination goes against the overall tone of this composite. You see the three Water-related houses tenanted, involving the planets involved in the 2/8 axis, and that says that hiding stuff—money, emotions, the truth—is a real risk here.
However, Mercury and Neptune when used positively, even in the possibly negative 2/8 axis, can combine to speak of manifesting the dreams of a great country.
THE PROGRESSED COMPOSITE
Let’s see what the progressed composite tells us about how this relationship evolved over time.
So here we see that the original intention of the relationship (as in, the 2nd house Sun) does not change through progression. Now we’re seeing a modified relationship that has been tested by time. Who are these people now?
The new ruler of the chart is Venus. As we saw in the synastry, Bill’s Venus is conjunct other Libra planets, so the emphasis now has shifted, and Bill’s planets are no longer as dominant in this composite, because 12th house planets make you the ‘power behind the throne’, whereas previously, his Sun fell in the 1st house of the original composite.
The 2/8 axis is now firmly allied with Taurus and Scorpio, ‘natural’ rulers of the axis; whereas those signs were previously on the MC/IC, now we see them ‘own’ their own houses. Venus (ruler of both Taurus and Libra) gets a bit of an edge in this chart. Venus squares the two planets conjunct at the Ascendent, Neptune (in the 12th) and Mars (in the first).
Emphasis is now off the Sun, because it no longer rules the chart; Venus’ rulership means that Venus in the 3rd is now in power. Venus is even sextile Chiron in this new chart, and that offers an opportunity for healing (and learning how Venus and Chiron do not have to equal pain, but can equal healing and love). Venus square Neptune at the Ascendent, though, does kind of mitigate against the ability to express Neptune’s unconditional love.
A Venus/Mars square brings a division between the expression of personal values, but also affects the relationship between the Ascendent and the cusp with Scorpio, making the urge to hold on to material gain much more of a fight between the Venus desire to be liked and approved of, with the Scorpio/Taurus and 2/8 axis need to hold on to material possessions. However, another way to look at Libra on the Ascendent is that everything Libra represents, including justice, is what the relationship is now about.
Also, the couple’s Saturn/Pluto conjunction has shifted; it’s no longer in the 12th, the house of potential and things kept hidden. Here we see it out in front of the world. No one’s confused about their ambition now; the Clintons have proved themselves as a defined political commodity (and they’ve worked their way to the top, a 10th house theme).
Most of all, however, the 2/8 axis is prominent. With North node in the 8th, their path is now to fulfill their power through attainment of possessions and wealth. Whereas in the previous composite, North node was in the 10th (indicating their combined desire to be social climbers and attain status), now their purpose is to make money and maintain control of businesses, wealth, other people’s money, etc. If the 8th is your ‘this is my legacy after I’m dead’ house, then they are well on the way to completing the task of this North node.
What is their ‘anaphora,’ that which they can be said to have brought back up to the surface from the depths through which they have had to travel during these past 40 or more years? We can look at the fact that their Sagittarius South Node conjuncts the composite Sun in Sagittarius in the progressed composite for help.
Sagittarius South node combined with the Sun implies that there is still more work to do on the world’s stage, because this combination means they are still using karma earned from this life together to speak to others—a potent theme when combined with Gemini North node in the 8th; these two messengers of the Zodiac, Gemini and Sagittarius, are great at persuading wealthy audiences.
Ruler of the North node Mercury is in the 3rd of the composite, ruler of the South node Jupiter is in the 2nd: they will, no doubt, continue to make money for their foundation (and themselves, obviously) giving speeches, continuing their role as players on the world stage. Sagittarius on the South node loves an audience, and is unlikely to let them give up the ‘act’. I do not see a way for them to go quietly into the night, and with Moon conjunct Jupiter in the composite 2nd along with the Sun, there’s still a lot of money to be made, particularly since Hillary’s natal Venus and Mercury sit comfortably in that house.
Astrology on its own can never assess the condition of a person’s soul, and this particular axis is a tricky one, since there is so much focus on wealth and other people’s money in the 2nd and 8th houses. I also have a lot of skepticism that these are psychically ‘pure’ houses, since materialism is such a powerful drug.
The one thing the 2/8 axis requires to transform its base, materialist energy into alchemical gold is the process of learning about and accepting responsibility for the moral and ethical use of resources. I cannot know if the Clintons can be said to be transforming base lead into (spiritual) gold via the work of their foundation, but I hope they are.