The self-destruction of John Edwards

John Edwards astrologyby Lynn Hayes.  Please note that the URL of this blog has changed and update your bookmarks.

Here in North Carolina where I live, the trial of John Edwards has all of the fascination of the OJ Simpson Trial but without the blood. This story has all of the classic ingredients of a Southern Gothic novel: an arrogant politician, a long-suffering wife dying of cancer, a mistress into “new agey” things like astrology and crystals and a reported $9,000 a month allowance.

John Edwards (see chart) is driven both by a sincere desire to help people and a fierce ambition combined with a brilliant intellect. But with four planets in Gemini, he has difficulty focusing. Gemini of course is the sign of the twins, the sign of communication. Gemini has a thirst for experience, an intense curiosity and a desire to digest as much information as possible. Gemini is the jack of all trades and extremely versatile; they are chameleons who can change their skins frequently and in fact they usually dislike becoming overly involved in one particular project.

Edwards was an extremely successful trial lawyer for 20 years, representing families and children before entering politics after the death of his son in 1996. Edwards’ progressed Sun, which delineates our evolving sense of Self, moved into Leo around that same time.  Leo is the sign of the Ego, and the transition of the progressed sun from Cancer (where it had been for 30 years, being focused on family issues and the family business) into Leo, where one’s own expression in the world becomes the primary matter, was the perfect fuel to feed Edwards’s ambition.

The four planets in Gemini in the chart of John Edwards are the Sun, Mars and a conjunction of the Moon to Mercury. This is a powerful Geminian influence that is the fulcrum of his chart. Mars in Gemini shows that he is driven (Mars) to experience a variety of things and to learn (Gemini), but also that his physical energy (Mars) can be scattered and unfocused (Gemini). Moon in Gemini shows an emotional need (Moon) for variety and a dislike of convention (Gemini). There is also a need to talk and communicate one’s feelings and this can lead to an intellectualization (Gemini) of the feelings (Moon). Jupiter in Gemini suggests success (Jupiter) will come through communication (Gemini) but also that the Gemini tendency to multitask and seek variety becomes expanded (Jupiter).

Most importantly, the conjunction of Jupiter to the Moon indicates an individual who is on a mission (Jupiter). There is an expanded (Jupiter) sense of compassion and nurturing (Moon) and an inner sense of righteousness in one’s path. Jupiter is the King of the Gods after all, and can often bring the kind of self-righteousness we have seen with religious and political leaders whose Suns are connected to Jupiter.

Rising in Edward’s chart is the nurturing sign of Cancer and Mercury (thought process) is in that sign as well, showing that he is very concerned with taking care of others. Cancer is a “cardinal,” or active sign so the nurturing that it provides is very action-oriented: feeding the poor, organizing groups of social conscience. Cancer is also driven by love of family and very protective of their loved ones. It is no wonder that Edwards’s trial practice focused on families. With Mercury in Cancer his thinking process (Mercury) is colored by the emotional sensitivity of Cancer which gives him a strong sensitivity to the needs of others. However, he is likely to be somewhat moody and make important decisions based on the feeling of the day.

I don’t think there’s any doubt that the Edwards family was an important force in Edwards’s life.  The fact that he had an affair doesn’t negate the powerful influence that Elizabeth Edwards had on John Edwards and his career.  The ability to take on a variety of roles without feeling one has jeopardized one aspect of one’s life for another is a hallmark of the Geminian duality.  There is often an amorality to this sign of which I myself, with Gemini rising, am well aware.  Gemini is free from judgment, and assembles a different set of rules for different situations.

A challenging T-square in the chart of John Edwards may help to explain what drove him relentlessly towards the Presidency. Saturn and Neptune are conjunct in his chart in the fourth house, a configuration that combines the desire of Saturn to create form and achieve success with the urge of Neptune to dissolve form and withdraw into the world of spirit. There is a deep inner conflict here that is made stronger by the fact that both planets are retrograde and therefore operate a a more internal level. When Saturn is retrograde in a birthchart it also shows an individual who is self-critical and feels a lack of self-worth on a deep level. Ultimately the goal of this conjunction is to successfully unite the energy of the two planets by giving form to our dreams and ideals rather than dividing in conflict between these two directions. Uranus squares Saturn and Neptune as it does in the charts of many babyboomers, indicating a conflict with authority figures and conventional society (Saturn/Uranus) and between one’s ideals (Neptune) and the reality of change (Uranus).

The drama of John Edwards has been unfolding on the national stage for the past five years, although in North Carolina we witnessed it much earlier as he finally wrested a senate seat from the Republicans only to surrender it in his first failed run for the presidency. Now he is on trial for his life and his reputation as the jury considers whether his use of campaign funds to support his mistress violated campaign finance law.

The astrology does not look good for John Edwards.  His progressed Midheaven, denoting his evolving career path, made an exact square to his natal Pluto (destruction and regeneration) last year and is moving towards the same aspect to Pluto in the progressed chart.  This type of planetary cycle is virtually always a harbinger of some type of major change in one’s work or home life, and usually both because they are so interconnected.  It can also mean the total annhilation of one way of life, since Pluto represents endings and the destruction of an old way of life so that something new may grow in its place.

Still, Edwards’ fate may turn on a dime depending on the jury’s decision.  And in the midst of the intensity of the progressed Midheaven/Pluto dynamic, Jupiter’s optimism and good fortune is smiling on Edwards with conjunction to his natal Midheaven as the jury deliberates, potentially opening doors to sympathetic supporters.  However, a square from Jupiter to his ascendant (his public persona) will annoy those on the jury who consider him arrogant and condescending.

The astrological chips are up in the air and it’s impossible to predict the outcome.

 

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13 Responses to “The self-destruction of John Edwards”

  1. tracyMay 23, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    I don’t know much about John Edwards history—what was going on with his childhood? Saturn conjunct Neptune in the 4th….gotta wonder? Boozing parent or extreme teetottler, religioius zealot mother or workaholic father? There is usually something with Neptune down there and Saturn is so tough.

    • Lynn HayesMay 23, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

      I think Edwards idolized his father and worked for years in the family business.

  2. AdamMay 23, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    A very concise and articulate summary. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The Gemini discussion helped me gain a greater understanfing of the scattering dynamic. My Mom was a strong Gemini. I agree with Tracy, the Saturn-Neptune conjunction in the 4th house invites further scrutiny. In my opinion, this conjunction absolutely necessitates the priority of healing the childhood wounds. And it is even more imperative when involved in the T-square with Chiron (wounding) and Ceres (mothering). In addition, he has a T-square of Nodal Axis and Venus (the most elevated planet in the chart). Big time karma to resolve with female relations are clearly stamped on this chart. It’s easy to make a case for difficulties with Mom which are unhealed and lead to all the dysfuntion in his relationships with women. FYI – typo in paragraph 4 …conjunction of Moon to Jupiter.

  3. JdostignaMay 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    Hi Lynn, I am a fan of your work but the last 3 paragraphs of this article and specifically the very last line got me thinking: don’t you mean that you are not able to predict the outcome and your astrological skills (as impressive as they are) are not up to the task? At the end of the day, there are astrologers who actually do predict the future.
    This article ‘fits’ what has happened so far with his chart. Nothing else.

    I don’t mean to be a cynic or offensive, but that’s how I see it. You are not able to predict the outcome with your present skills set. And that’s okay. But to say its impossible to predict astrologically is not fair.

    • Greg FMay 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

      “The stars impel, they do not compel”

      • JdostignaMay 25, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

        With respect, I don’t see how your comment relates to what I have said. I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t see it in relevance. While I do understand the meaning of what your statement is, I actually don’t even know if you agree or disagree with me.

        My point is that as astrologers, hindsight is 20/20 and its possible to fit what has happened to patterns and planets. But this is a divine science and prediction is a big factor of astrology. In vedic astrology, there are 2 reasons for a consultant: understanding and prediction. I am merely using that as a guidepost in case of this particular article.

        • Greg FMay 25, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

          As I understand this old adage I quoted, the environment, (the horary chart or whatever), sets up certain boundary conditions. It is up to us as humans to employ free will and make choices about how to deal with those conditions. I am thinking you are more of a fatalist than I, that everything can be predicted as a causal phenomenon. I believe that there is too much chaos and unpredictability in the fabric of the Universe to be 100% sure of anything. There’s my 10 cent philosophy speech. :)

        • Lynn HayesMay 25, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

          I can’t tell you how many “repair readings” I have done for clients who were told by a predictive astrologer that this or that would happen. Predictive astrology is incorrect a great deal of the time, a fact which to me demonstrates that we have free will to make choices that affects the outcome of a situation. Incorrect predictions doesn’t mean someone is a bad astrologer any more than an incorrect weather forecast indicates a bad meteorologist. There is only so much that can be predicted with any surety.

          If you are looking for predictive astrology you won’t find it on this blog.

          • JdostignaMay 25, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

            I am not disagreeing with what you have said or what Greg has said. Not at all. I understand the concept of ‘repair readings’ and that nothing can be predicted with 100% surety. I am not a fatalist (but I used to be one years ago). Life (and astrology) taught me that fatalism is not a good road to walk on – its simply one shirking one’s role in life. But surely, there are non-changeable factors that can be predicted. For instance, predicting that Edwards would cheat on his wife – predictable; predicting that Edwards would lose the election – predictable; death of son – predictable; so to me, it stands to reason that something as big as this legal case should also be predictable.

            Obviously astrologers are not God. We all answer to God and so do the planets. I’m just saying in the predictive sense, a win/lose for him in this case is not 50/50. Its skewed one way or the other – and astrology can indicate that direction. That’s my point.

            But I should add something far more important: an apology and a compliment. My apology is for my previous posts – they come across as rude and offensive. I didn’t meant to be either, but that’s not and excuse and I truly apologize. And my compliments and thanks are to all of you for taking the time to reply, to answer and encourage conversation even if we are not exactly on the same wavelength. Its okay to disagree, but we can agree to disagree. That’s what makes for community and I am grateful to be part of this one.

            • Lynn HayesMay 26, 2012 at 7:08 am #

              Thanks for your interest in intelligent conversation here! However, I would say that while something might be predictable, that doesn’t mean it has to happen. Some people with a transit of Pluto squaring their Mars experience violence in their lives, especially if there is rage buried deep in the subconscious of which they are not aware. But if I say “you are likely to be attacked at this time” not only is there a good chance I will be wrong, because this doesn’t always occur, but I would have instilled unnecessary fear in the client.

              In the John Edwards situation the jury has still not made a decision, and perhaps that is due to the conflict in the transits that I outlined. So perhaps I could have predicted that these conflicting transits would mean a delay in the decision as the jurors wrestled with their conflicting impressions.

              I’m really not interested in prediction. To me that is an ego game and in my practice it doesn’t help people to become empowered and make good decisions. In this blog I like to point out how astrology can explain the behavior of people in the news so that the public can better understand what I consider to be a more helpful use of the craft.

  4. BethMay 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    Fascinating article, Lynn! Thank you.
    Also revealing was Edwards spending the day yesterday (Wednesday) while the jury continued to decide his fate, at the ACC baseball championship game. Surreal.

    • Lynn HayesMay 25, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

      I was really amazed that as the scandal was unfolding he was sitting at Foster’s Market meeting and greeting like nothing was happening. I think there was a lot of denial in that family all around.

      • BethMay 26, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

        Yes, “holding court,” you might say. He does appear to believe he is utterly immune to any consequences.

        WTVD News was reporting that there he has been flirting with one of the jury alternates, saying they’ve been smiling at each other, even blushing. That it is really obvious.

        May I just say, I am so glad he never made to be president. What a horror-show that would have been!