Forty years ago on August 8, Richard Nixon announced his resignation as President of the United States. I have strong memories of watching the Watergate hearings on TV with my family--a formative experience. Nixon remains a fascinating figure. Surprisingly, I’ve never looked at his chart until now!
In our astrological tradition, one thing we do upon first glance of a chart is identify any planet that has recently changed sign, or is about to. This can be especially important if that change increases or decreases the planet’s essential dignity in a major way. Such planets will have strong motivations, determined in part by the nature of the change.
And what do you know! Richard Nixon has three planets such planets, clustered together. Two are conjunct bodily, the third by antiscion. This is fascinating! Let’s take a look, as a first step in the study of Mr. Nixon’s chart (below; click to enlarge).
The first of the three is Mars at 29.44 Sagittarius, on the verge of entering exaltation in Capricorn. It’s about to feel a lot better, with an imminent increase in ability to do Mars stuff. It wants to hurry up and get there! Thinking of Mars in its natural significations, this will serve as fuel for Nixon’s ambitions. Mars also rules the important third house of our day-to-day behavior in the world.
Mercury is 0.00 Capricorn, just barely out of detriment. This is an improvement, although in Capricorn it has no essential dignity. What a relief, having just escaped that bad place! Importantly, Mercury now exalts Mars and loathes Jupiter. Mercury’s important, of course, because it is Nixon’s Lord Ascendant and his Lord 10: career and public life.
Jupiter is close by at 1.40 Capricorn, newly in fall after enjoying major dignity in Sagittarius. This is a big shift downward, with a long road ahead. It’s as if Jupiter will look back nostalgically on its days of strength so recently lost. It, too, exalts Mars, which loves it in return. Jupiter rules Nixon’s fourth and seventh houses.
Now let’s look at the antiscia. Antiscion Mars is 0.16 Capricorn, closely conjunct Mercury. By reception this contact afflicts Mercury, because Mars takes Mercury into detriment. Antiscion Jupiter is 28.20 Sagittarius. By reception Mars takes Jupiter into rulership. Interesting, this pattern of receptions! Mercury’s condition has just improved, but Mars harms it. Jupiter’s condition has just worsened, but Mars helps it.
Together these three planets—so tied into each other—rule six of Nixon’s twelve houses. This is bound to be key in understanding Mr. Nixon and his life.
We’ll continue this look at Nixon’s natal chart in further posts, soon. If this interests you, please stay tuned!
Photo Above: By Unknown or not provided - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17195767