A shortened version of this article appeared in The Mountain Astrologer Magazine in 1999
The natal horoscope of James George Janos, better known as Jesse Ventura, colorful figure extraordinary and governor of Minnesota (1999 to 2003), is drawn from birth certificate particulars (See sidereal chart, figure 1). It is a fundamentally fortunate horoscope because Jupiter, the greater benefic, well placed in Pisces, is elevated above all other bodies; and the most angular planet Venus, the lesser benefic, is at the lower meridian. His natal Sun is between the two principal stars in Gemini, the Twins themselves, Castor and Pollux. These stars are noted for violence and heavy handedness among other things. Ventura served in Vietnam and steadfastly refuses to discuss anything about his tour of duty there, which is typical of people who have seen combat. His Sun is closer to Castor, the mortal one of the Twins, in Right Ascension. The ancient writers claim that success in law and government befalls the native who has Castor strong in the horoscope, all the more remarkable here because Ventura has no college degree. It is also averred that Castor prominent gives skill in taming horses. As it happens occasionally, traits that are supposed to show up in the life of the native, appear instead in the spouse. Ventura's wife is an owner and breeder of horses. As their home is a farm, Ventura is close to horses although he prefers horsepower courtesy of Porsche. The governor's Sun is closer in longitude to Pollux, the immortal one of the Twins. Pollux is noted for skill in boxing according to the ancient writers. Ventura first gained celebrity and maintained it for many years as a professional wrestler which seems not so much of a stretch from the world of boxing as to make the old symbolism inappropriate.
Jesse Ventura was elected governor of Minnesota on November 3, 1998. He is the first member of the Reform party to win a major office. His Sidereal Solar Return (See figure 2) for 1998-99 is extremely fortunate, probably the best solar return of his life and more fortunate than ￼most people will see in a lifetime. The great strengths of the chart are: natal Jupiter in the zenith (the place 90° above the horizon); solar return Jupiter near the M.C.; a well placed solar return Moon in Pisces high in the sky, and the solar Moon's aspects. The solar return Moon is only 1⁄2° beyond the precise square to solar Mars. If the benefics are prominent, such a square is usually not to be feared; rather it confers great strength, determination, charisma and the willingness to fight—the factors that win elections more often than character, intelligence, one's record and positions on issues. Further, the solar return Moon is trine the natal Moon and inconjunct the natal Venus. Both contacts suggest popularity, especially Venus-Moon which indicates that one is beloved of the people, at least for the year when the aspect obtains. It fortifies the natal Moon-Venus square, which is usually unfortunate for domestic happiness but can be sometimes contravened depending on what else is in play. The main issue though is that transiting Jupiter turned retrograde immediately after the solar return became operational and began to make its way back toward the solar return mid-heaven where it was in its glory. Angular Jupiter, slow in motion whether retrograde or direct, is symbolic of success, promotion, money and advancement. When angular in the solar return, Jupiter often signifies the best years of one's life. At the time of the election, transiting Jupiter was almost stationary two degrees in ecliptic longitude beyond the solar return mid-heaven, although Jupiter was only one and one half degrees away from the mid- heaven in Right Ascension, the more important measure in respect of angular contacts. A birthtime two or three minutes earlier than 3:00 a.m. would put natal Jupiter not just very close but exactly in the zenith of the solar return and would make transiting Jupiter less than one degree in Right Ascension from the solar return M.C. on election day.
The Sidereal Lunar Return (See figure 3) is as impressive as the solar return both for the right symbolism and precise angularity fits which tend to corroborate the certificate time within a narrow range. The lunar return became operational eleven days before the election and at first glance looks ominous because the Sun in this chart is directly opposite Saturn. Ventura was not expected to win and was obviously, and in some cases not too politely, dismissed by the Republican and Democratic candidates who worried that he would pull votes away from them so as to allow one or the other of the traditional party candidates to win. Instead Ventura pulled enough votes from both of them to win the governorship for himself. The symbolism for the win in the lunar is a double Venus combination. That is, transiting Venus came charging out of the 12th house, as a dark horse, onto the ascendant of the lunar return at the same time that the progressed lunar M.C. arrived at natal Venus in the 10th house. The lunar return ascendant is 18° Libra 27'. At 11:45 p.m. on November 3, 1998 with 57% of the vote tallied, Ventura was projected the winner. Transiting Venus at that moment was at 18°Libra 11'. Progressing the mid-heaven by the accrued increase in the Right Ascension of the apparent Sun puts precession corrected natal Venus in the progressed mid-heaven at the same time, to wit,
RA apparent Sun for win on Nov. 3
RA apparent Sun for lunar return on Oct. 23
Sidereal Time (RAMC) of lunar return
Lunar return M.C. progressed to moment of victory
RA precession corrected natal Venus
14h 36m 40s
-13h 51m 28s
00h 45m 12s
+09h 48m 35s
10h 33m 47s
10h 32m 00s
Note important aside: It is important not to get the idea that the angles can be progressed in longitude. That will only work for bodies with no celestial latitude and even then only in the meridian, not the horizon. In Ventura's case the celestial latitude of his natal Venus is negligible (-0° 21' 26") and so it looks like one can get away with it and just count eleven degrees from the lunar M.C. and land on November 3 as a fortunate day. But angles are calculated in Right Ascension, not longitude, and planets are not in the M.C. until their RA is the same as the RA of the M.C. which for planets with a bit more latitude than in this case will be different than their celestial longitude. In other words counting degrees of longitude can in many cases produce timing errors of days, not hours, for planets with several degrees of celestial latitude.
The difference is 1m 47s of sidereal time between the progressed lunar return M.C. and ex-precessed natal Venus (Right Ascension and declination are tropical coordinates and therefore must be corrected for precession). A birthtime about two minutes earlier than the certificate time produces angularity within seconds of a perfect fit and also gives a slightly better fit on the static lunar ascendant for transiting Venus. Note as well that the transiting Moon was applying to the opposition of transiting Venus across the horizon of Ventura's lunar return. He was the darling of the people on that day. Double Jupiter in the solar and double Venus in the lunar is symbolic of coming into power and being very pleased about it.
Governor Ventura has been flying high since his election in 1998, often not exercising restraint in his actions and remarks as befits the natal Moon in Scorpio which tends to shoot from the hip, as it were. Earlier this year he gave an interview to Playboy Magazine in which he aired his unusual views on many subjects that offended large portions of the electorate, in particular women and anyone with religious convictions. The public relations damage was massive and even prompted a recall movement in Minnesota. Significantly, the governor's secondary progressions (See figure 4) featured a progressed New Moon, which is by no means a bad thing, unless as in this case, the New Moon was a solar eclipse (September 1, 1951). The eclipse had been in effect symbolically since early September but its main effect manifested on the day that progressed Saturn became angular in the progressed chart, which is also the day that the Playboy issue with the interview in it hit the newsstands nationally: September 30, 1999. An immediate storm of protest from the public at large rained down on the governor which produced awkward and desperate attempts at damage control by his staff. The progressed New Moon was in the 12th house which is appropriate for someone who creates his own problem. The fallout of the incident, besides an approval rating that fell like a stone, is that the governor is now dismissed as "nutty" according to the newspapers and his thinly veiled presidential aspirations have been dashed. Although progressed Saturn conjoins the ascendant in longitude, the more important contact with the ascendant, the one in mundo, is exact for a somewhat earlier time; that is, a birthtime about three minutes earlier produces the exact contact in mundo between the progressed ascendant and ex-precessed progressed Saturn. The modest corrections necessary to produce the best angularity fits suggest that the birthtime is fairly radix. Even though it looks like Ventura may well have been born between 2:57 and 2:58, one should be wary about adopting that time over the certificate time, and rather, continue to observe.
© Kenneth Bowser, 1999. All rights reserved.