Silent Calvin Coolidge – The Crablike President

Any one with the most cursory knowledge of astrology will tell you that Cancers are shy, silent, sensitive types who react to the world mainly through their feelings but will often adopt a hard protective exterior because they know that their emotions can make them vulnerable. After all, the symbol for the sign is that of the Crab with the hard protective shell which it retreats into at the slightest sign of threat or danger.

If we were dealing with someone who had all the personal planets, the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars in Cancer the assumption would be all of the above but in spades. Not the kind of thing that you’d expect in the chart of President of the United States.

But this is the problem with Sun sign astrology. A focus on an overriding dominance of the zodiac signs in general and the Sun sign in particular can give a very misleading impression of the whole. It’s like not being able to see the wood for the tree !

The house positions and aspects between planets are often more significant in terms of what a person actually does and achieves in their life than the signs that the planets are in. This is particularly true if there is a stellium, a large group of planets all in one sector.

There is something about a stellium which means that a tremendous amount of energy will be expended in one particular direction as shown by the house. The sign involved will show what type of energy and the way that the person would look to achieve their goals.

As a personality, US President Calvin Coolidge fits all of the above classic Cancer description. His Cancer stellium however sits right in the middle of the 11th house of politics.

Calvin Coolidge
Coolidge’s stellium actually extends to 7 planets including Uranus and Jupiter in the early part of Leo.

It is true that the Moon is in the very final minutes of Gemini but at this stage of a sign any planet is seriously taking on the character of the sign that it’s about to move into so we would effectively say the Moon is also in Cancer.
This is particularly so as it is in conjunction with the other planets of the stellium as they are drawing it towards them.

For the same reason Mars is considered to be in the 11th house, so we have 6 of these planets in the house of politics and Coolidge’s choice of career is inevitable.

So what type of politician ? Well Cancers are known for their attachment to their roots and the past as well having a strong need for security. So obviously we would be looking at a political conservative here.

An interesting thing about conservative American politics and where it differs from the same right wing groups in other countries is the emphasis on small government. Conservative Republicans have traditionally aimed at reducing the powers of the federal state and increasing the control of the local States government. This is a particularly tribal, keep off my patch, Cancerian kind of government. After all Cancers are so tied to their own homes and local territories that their symbol, the Crab carries it’s house around with it.

In this way Calvin Coolidge resonated with an important part of the American psyche. The US chart after all has the Sun in Cancer in exact conjunction with Coolidge’s.



Interestingly enough this exact position for the Sun is shared by another famously small ( government ) minded Republican President.

George W Bush

George W’s Sun position explains a lot, not least how he managed to get elected in the first place.

Coming back to Calvin Coolidge it’s important to note that he has Saturn opposite the Sun , Mercury and Venus, a placing that would add to his conservatism but also make him an even more restrained and serious person, someone who spoke very little.

Like all politicians, he gave speeches around the country, but none were especially noteworthy.

He was invited to quite a few parties, where the legend of “Silent Cal” was born. Coolidge often seemed uncomfortable in fashionable society, when asked why he continued to attend so many of their dinner parties, he replied, “Got to eat somewhere.”  One observer noted “When he wished he were elsewhere, he pursed his lips, folded his arms, and said nothing. He looked then precisely as though he had been weaned on a pickle.”

Coolidge became the butt of many jokes. An apocryphal story has it that Dorothy Parker, seated next to him at a dinner, said to him, “Mr. Coolidge, I’ve made a bet against a fellow who said it was impossible to get more than two words out of you.” He replied, “You lose.”

Silent Cal’s own view was. “The words of a President have an enormous weight, and ought not to be used indiscriminately.” 

Its actually unlikely that Coolidge would have ever stood for President himself as it was not in his personality to lead, but he was chosen by Warren Harding to be Vice President in 1920.

Generally speaking a Vice President is chosen to help balance the ticket, often from a different wing of the party from the would be President in the hope that the running mate would bring along some of his own supporters with him.

It is not normally part of the process for someone running for President to choose a running mate that would make a decent substitute in the event of their own death. But anyone who had an understanding of astrology would make this a compulsory factor every 20 years.

There is something called the Curse of Tippecanoe which states that every US President who is elected or re-elected in years evenly divisible by twenty will die in office. This curse began with the death of William Henry Harrison (elected in 1840) through to John F. Kennedy (1960) and on the way accounted for Abraham Lincoln ( 1860 ), James Garfield ( 1880 ), William McKinley ( 1900 ), Warren Harding ( 1920 ) and Franklin D Roosevelt ( 1940 ).

After Kennedy the curse seemed to lose some of its potency, some might say unfortunately as the Presidents who got a reprieve were Ronald Reagan, elected in 1980, who was shot and survived and George W. Bush (2000) who survived an attempt on his life unharmed.

Not a lot of people know this but the Curse is entirely astrological. Every 20 years a Jupiter / Saturn conjunction occurs. In olden times this was looked on as the most important regular event in the destiny of rulers. In those days Uranus, Neptune and Pluto had not been discovered which apart from anything else made astrology a lot simpler.

Jupiter ruled the King or the leader. Saturn as the last planet was always seen as the all round baddie and was associated with death. So it doesn’t take too much to see the death of a ruler or President.

Incidentally this is why King Herod got his knickers in so much of a twist when he heard of Jesus Christ’s birth in another year ending in zero !  Christ was born with a Jupiter / Saturn conjunction and this one was actually in Pisces, the sign that ruled that particular part of Palestine at the time. So any self respecting autocratic ruler would be looking to eliminate the competition under this transit.

Every President from Harrison to Reagan had the conjunction occur during their first year of office. Its not spooky at all, just simple astrological fact. Of course the cynics say in that case why did it not happen to James Monroe in 1820 and perhaps more desperately to Reagan and Bush ?

The answer is simple. Jupiter / Saturn conjunctions have cycles themselves where they occur in signs of a particular element. Between 1840 and 1960 all of them occurred in the signs of the Earth element, Taurus, Virgo or Capricorn. A Jupiter / Saturn conjunction occurred in the very week that Ronald Reagan was installed as President but it happened in Libra, an Air sign.

Earth signs have a certain practical heaviness about them whereas Air signs are much lighter, Libra in particular so Ronald Reagan was shot but survived so he got off lightly ( Air ).

James Monroe was elected at the last time that this conjunction occurred in a Fire sign, Aries.

For George W Bush, the Jupiter / Saturn conjunction was back in Earth in Taurus, but it actually occurred in May 2000 before the election. So Bush survived but whether one could say the same for the image of American democracy is a question best left unanswered.

Given this Jupiter / Saturn curse, you’d think these people would be standing aside and doing deals with potential opponents thinking of running in 4 years time but no, they queue up to be shot down. Its just another example of absurd human egotism that thinks they are in control of their own destiny.

Its a well known fact that Ronald Reagan had his own personal astrologer. How else do you think that such an idiot managed to become the most powerful man in the world for 8 years ? It seems that he was given advice along the lines of, it’ll be ok, this conjunction occurs in Libra. Either that or his astrologer wanted him dead as well.

There was no excuse for Warren Harding. He was elected in 1920 and died suddenly and unexpectedly in office in 1923.

He developed an illness believed to be pneumonia. His health appeared to improve, so his doctors went to dinner. but during the evening, Harding shuddered and died suddenly in the middle of conversation with his wife.

Harding’s sudden death led to theories that he had been poisoned or committed suicide. Rumours of poisoning were fuelled by a book called ” The Strange Death of President Harding ” in which the author suggested that Mrs. Harding had poisoned her husband.
Harding’s sudden death was even more obvious when we look at his chart.

Warren Harding

A Sun / Mars / Saturn conjunction in Scorpio in the 8th house of death opposite a conjunction between the Moon and Pluto. If readers don’t know what that means, they need to read a few more of these articles.

Actually in an extraordinarily cunning way that astrology has, the chart has even included the conspiracy theories. Venus in Libra in the 7th house of marriage is quite obviously referring to Harding’s wife Florence and just in case we didn’t pick that up it refers to her by planet, sign and house. Venus is opposite Neptune the planet that symbolises many unexplained things but also rules poisoning. This opposition focuses onto an apex Uranus in Cancer in the 4th so the result of the opposition is a sudden unexpected event ( Uranus ) occurring in Harding’s hotel suite ( Cancer and 4th house ).

Looking at the timing of stuff in Warren Harding’s life, because Pluto was natally in aspect to his Sun and Moon and its movements in the early part of the 20th century were very slow, it would not have made any major transits during his lifetime. But it is interesting to note that in 1923 Pluto right in the middle of this T Square, square to Harding’s Neptune and square to his Venus, thus making the most powerful transit of his life whilst triggering the whole Venus / Neptune debate.

The transiting Neptune was also right in the thick of things as it was doing a remarkable mirror Pluto thing in 1923. While Pluto was square Hardings Neptune, Neptune was also square his Pluto. Neptune was also square Harding’s Mars / Mercury 8th house conjunction.

If Florence Harding had poisoned her husband she could perhaps have presented Warren’s Sun / Mars / Saturn opposite Moon / Pluto as lifelong provocation. It couldn’t have been an easy combination to live with particularly when we do a chart comparison. No birth time is available for Florence Harding so noon as usual.

Florence Harding

Florence has a stellium of 5 planets in Leo, most of which are in square to Warren’s Scorpio grouping and to his Taurus Moon / Pluto conjunction. It would be hard to find a combination of signs that are so dead set on stubbornly heading in their own different directions than Taurus, Leo and Scorpio.

At the very least we are talking about two very strong personalities who would have stood up to each other. Of course the conspiracy theories of Florence  poisoning her husband were dismissed as nonsense, his all round health was poor and it was felt by his doctors that he wouldn’t have lived for long anyway. Capricorn Research obviously has no view on all this but is quite content to present astrological evidence so that the reader can decide for themselves.

It’s interesting that Neptune played an important role in Warren Harding’s death because it was the major factor throughout his Presidency. Neptune was square his Sun in 1920 – 1 when he was elected and it was an interesting choice by the Universe because Harding’s Presidency was marked by a series of scandals. Neptune’s role in the charts of politicians seems to be a largely undermining one and often makes an appearance when there is a whiff of dodgy financial dealing or some kind of sex scandal.

The scandals were purely financial and not directly involving Harding but they were related to a number of his senior appointments. Harding rewarded his friends and contributors, known as the Ohio Gang, with powerful positions. Cases of corruption, including the notorious Teapot Dome scandal, resulted in prison terms for his appointees.

Harding’s view was  “I have no trouble with my enemies, but my damn friends, they’re the ones that keep me walking the floor nights!”  The only scandal which was openly discovered during Harding’s lifetime was in the Veteran’s Bureau. Yet the gossip was cranked up after two suicides of Harding’s aides.

The intriguingly titled Teapot Dome affair concerned an oil reserve in Wyoming that was covered by a teapot-shaped rock formation. For years, the country had taken measures to ensure the availability of petroleum reserves, particularly for the Navy’s use.

Harding’s Secretary of the Interior, Albert B. Fall, contracted Edward Doheny to build storage tanks in exchange for drilling rights. It later came to light that Doheny had made significant personal loans to Fall. The Secretary also negotiated leases for the Teapot Dome reserves to a Harry Sinclair in return for guaranteed oil reserves to the credit of the government. Again, it later emerged that Sinclair had personally made concurrent cash payments  to Fall. Fall was ultimately convicted in 1931 of accepting bribes and illegal no-interest personal loans in exchange for the leasing of public oil fields to business associates and was the first cabinet member in history imprisoned for crimes committed while in office.

Harding’s appointment of Harry M. Daugherty as Attorney General received more criticism than any other. In 1922,  impeachment charges were brought against Daugherty but were stopped as the charges that Daugherty protected interests in trust and war fraud cases could not be substantially proven.

Daugherty remained in his position during the early days of the Calvin Coolidge administration, then resigned in March 1924, amidst allegations that he accepted bribes from bootleggers. Daugherty was later tried and acquitted twice for corruption.

Harding’s Attorney General hired William J. Burns to run the Justice Dept.’s Bureau of Investigation. Burns was keen to conduct unauthorized searches and seizures of political enemies of the Justice Dept. A number of inquisitive congressmen or senators found themselves the object of wire taps, rifled files, and copied correspondence. Burns’ primary operative was Gaston B. Means, a reputed con man who acted independently, took direct instructions and payments from Jess Smith, without Burn’s knowledge, to spy on Congressmen.

Narcotic trafficking was rampant at the Atlanta Penitentiary while Daugherty was Attorney General and he was particularly slow to clamp down on it and suppressed various investigations into it.

Daugherty, according to a 1924 Senate investigation into the Justice Department, had authorized a system of graft between aides Jess Smith and Howard Mannington who both allegedly took bribes to secure appointments, prison pardons, and freedom from prosecution particularly for bootleggers. During Prohibition, pharmacies received permits to sell alcohol for medical purposes. According to Congressional testimony, Daugherty allegedly arranged for Jess Smith and Howard Mannington to sell these permits to drug company agents who really represented bootleggers.

As rumours of these abuses started to come to light, Jess Smith committed suicide.

Charles R Forbes the Director of the Veterans Bureau disregarded the needs of war veterans to procure his own wealth and defrauded the government of an estimated $ 225 million through hospital construction and sold hospital supplies at a fraction of their cost privately for a commission. In 1926, Forbes was brought to trial and convicted of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government and was given a two-year prison sentence.

Charles F. Cramer, Forbes’ legal council to the Veterans Bureau committed suicide in 1923.

Harding appointed Albert D. Lasker chairman of the United States Shipping Board.  A congressional investigation revealed that while Lasker was in charge, many valuable steel cargo ships, worth between $200 and $250 a ton, were sold for as low as $30 a ton to private American shipping companies without an appraisal board. Lasker resigned from the Shipping Board in July 1923

Thomas W. Miller, head of the Office of Alien Property, was convicted of accepting bribes and he was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Roy Asa Haynes, Harding’s Prohibition Commissioner, ran the patronage-riddled Prohibition bureau, which was allegedly corrupt from top to bottom. The bureau’s “B permits” for liquor sales became tantamount to negotiable securities, as a result of being so widely bought and sold among known violators of the law. The bureau’s agents allegedly made a year’s salary from one month’s illicit sales of permits.

Its all an extraordinary litany of corruption and double dealing which makes you think all those TV series about the prohibition period were probably not fictional at all. We are supposed to believe that all this went on apparently without Warren Harding’s knowledge, but again a quick glance at his chart might reveal otherwise.

Another rulership of the 8th house is of other people’s money and such a powerful opposition between the Sun, Mars and Saturn there and the Moon and Pluto in the 2nd house of one’s own resources tends to reveal where much of the energy of Warren Harding’s Presidency was focused.

Given that Neptune was transiting all this at the time, these events together with the suicides ( 8th house ) are not really that surprising.

So Harding’s successor, Calvin Coolidge was probably right when he said “I think the American people want a solemn ass as a President, and I think I will go along with them.”

After 3 years of Harding’s Neptune flavoured Scorpio / 8th house / Taurus 2nd house administration, the Anerican public were probably ready for a bit of a boring Cancer stellium opposite Saturn.

On the subject of Silent Cal’s ascension to the Oval Office, it’s possible that he was aware of the Jupiter / Saturn thing and planned his route to the top via the Vice Presidency accordingly.

Cancers usually do have a strong sense of their own needs and goals but would generally pursue a quite indirect method of attaining them. After all the Crab does move sideways. So perhaps he had the Presidency in sight as early as 1920 after all and thought ‘ its a year ending in zero, so I’ll take the VP job.’

During Coolidge’s presidency the United States experienced the period of rapid economic growth known as the “Roaring Twenties”. Like the small government Cancerian he was, Coolidge disdained business regulation and did little to restrict the activities of businesses. The regulatory state under Coolidge was described as, “thin to the point of invisibility.”

Coolidge’s economic policy has often been described as “generally speaking, the business of the American people is business”. His taxation policy was basically that taxes should be lower and fewer people should have to pay them. He also proposed reductions in federal expenditures.

Perhaps the most contentious issue of Coolidge’s presidency was that of relief for farmers. Congress proposed a bill designed to fight falling agricultural prices by allowing the federal government to purchase crops to sell abroad at lowered prices. Coolidge opposed this declaring that agriculture must stand “on an independent business basis,” and said that “government control cannot be divorced from political control.”

Coolidge did however speak in favor of the civil rights of African Americans and Catholics and the Ku Klux Klan lost much of its influence during his term.

Although not an isolationist, Coolidge was reluctant to enter into foreign alliances. While not completely opposed to the idea, Coolidge believed the newly constituted League of Nations did not serve American interests, so he did not advocate membership of it.

While this is a fairly accurate portrayal of a Cancerian Presidency, readers who can remember how this article began might well ask the question ” what about the opposition of  Coolidge’s Cancer stellium to Saturn ? ”

Its worth noting that as his stellium was in the 11th house of politics, Saturn was in the 5th. This house rules a number of things based around joyful creativity and generally having a good time so Saturn’s position here accurately reflects Silent Cal’s taciturn presence at dinner parties, but tragically it was much more than this.

The 5th house also rules children and in 1924, in the middle of Coolidge’s campaign for reelection his younger son, Calvin, Jr., developed a blister from playing tennis which became infected, and within days developed sepsis and died.

After that Coolidge became withdrawn. In spite of his sadness, he still ran for election and was successful but later said that “when he ( Cal Jr ) died, the power and glory of the Presidency went with him.”

Calvin Coolidge chose not to run in 1928.

What do we need to know about the transits for Coolidge’s Presidency ? Just one simple thing, that the most powerful astrological transit known to man, Pluto’s conjunction to the Sun occurred in his chart from 1923 – 28 !

What was his legacy ? It was said that “He embodied the spirit and hopes of the middle class, could interpret their longings and express their opinions. ” Others have criticised Coolidge as an adherent of the laissez-faire ideology, which they claim led to the Great Depression.

It’s interesting to note that the end of Coolidge’s Presidency coincided with the Wall St Crash and the beginning of the Depression.

If ever there was an astrological symbol of depression it would probably be the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars in Cancer opposite Saturn.

The Great Depression was actually caused by the Pluto / Uranus square aspect in the early 1930s but Pluto also arranged for 6 years of Calvin Coolidge being in charge so that the American people were already in the right mood for it.

Perhaps the last word should go to Dorothy Parker who was an American writer and critic, best known for her wit and wisecracks.

Dorothy Parker

Virgos are known for their critical abilities so someone with the Sun conjunct the assertive Mars in the sign particularly square to a Jupiter / Pluto / Neptune conjunction in Gemini in the 1st house combined with an insensitive Capricorn Moon would be fairly good at caustic and sarcastic barbs.

So it was only natural that it should be Dorothy Parker who, upon learning that Coolidge had died, reportedly remarked, “How can they tell?”


The Turning Point in Your Life ?

Astrology and Celebrity – all in the timing



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