In the first week of January 2023, it took the US House of Representatives 15 rounds of voting before they could finally award Kevin McCarthy the coveted role of Speaker of the House. While watching the horse-trading, name-calling, and body-slamming among Republican House members, I was reminded of an observation from the late comic George Carlin. In one of his standup routines, Carlin had said, “When you’re born, you get a ticket to the freak show; when you’re born in America, you get a front row seat.”

Presiding over this three-ring circus of moderates, hard-liners and outright nut cases, McCarthy will need to keep a whip in one hand, and a pistol on his belt at all times, for fear some of the hyenas in this pack of legislative loonies will break ranks and rip his throat out right there on C-SPAN as the world looks on in shock and awe.

If ever there was a thankless role in this fractured Congress in a dazed and divided America, this has got to be one of the worst. Being Irish of origin, we might assume that McCarthy enjoys a drink now and again. But his is now a Sisyphean task, and as fast as he puts one Qanon zombie in her place, another will lurch into the spotlight. Roll out the whiskey barrel, boys, and keep ’em coming.

McCarthy was born January 26, 1965 at 12:40 PM in Bakersfield, California. He attended university, earned two degrees (BSc Marketing, and an MBA), served on and off as a firefighter in his younger years, and has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2007.

His chart contains few classical yogas, chief among which is a Sasha yoga, one of the Pancha Mahapurusha yogas, this one formed by Saturn in its own sign in a kendra. Saturn is conservative, hard-working, stoic, and strategic for the most part. As lord of both the 9th and the 10th houses, Saturn here has an affinity with government service, via its rulership of both legislative process and administration.

Lagnesh Venus and Mercury form another two yogas in the 8th house. As 5th lord, Mercury combines with Venus to form a Dharma-Karma Adhipati yoga; as 2nd lord, it combines to form a Dhana yoga. In terms of strength, however, both of these yogas are lackluster, since neither enjoys any dignity. Even more problematic, they are in graha yuddha, which technically harms them both. More on this planetary war later…

The strongest planet in this horoscope is Saturn, while the weakest is the Moon. Not only is the Moon debilitated, but it’s also relatively dark in its waning phase, being just five tithis away from total disappearance at the new moon. Neechabhanga analysis offers scant prospect for recovery. The only factors in favor of amelioration are that the Moon occupies a kendra, while its dispositor Mars is in mutual kendras with Venus, the lord of the Moon’s exaltation sign. Even if Neechabhanga did apply, which is moot, it leads nowhere, since the Moon forms no yoga.

Aside from suffering double weakness — debilitated and dim of light — this Moon is also afflicted, first by alignment on the nodal axis, second by aspect from a powerful Saturn. Thus, its combination of inherent weakness and destabilization at the hands of the worst malefics compromises most everything the Moon is associated with.

The Moon’s occupancy of the 7th house suggests problematic alliances. We know little of his personal life except that he’s been married for more than 15 years, and remains so, despite allegations in 2015 of an affair with another member of the House of Representatives. For the record, that little scandal occurred in the conjoined period of Venus-Mercury, the two planets in graha yuddha. Not only do they occupy the 8th house of the rashi chart, they also occupy the 8th house of the navamsha chart, placing marital relationships in double jeopardy at the time.

In his professional life, however, this destabilized Moon poses greater problems. He has waffled repeatedly vis-a-vis Donald Trump, whom he accused as being the instigator of the January 6th attack on the Capitol. But within days, he walked those comments back and soon hastened off to Mar-a-Logo to kiss the ring of the former President and beg his forgiveness. Notwithstanding his youthful days as a firefighter, McCarthy seems to lack courage, a theme governed by the 3rd house and its weak unstable lord, the Moon.

The recent 15 rounds of voting for Speaker of the House have only served to bring the fragile nature of McCarthy’s alliances and deal-making into a harsh spotlight. By the estimation of many political commentators, his desperate bid to gain the Speaker’s chair has obliged him to make dozens of previously-unthinkable concessions to the most right-wing elements of the GOP. Aside from further fracturing a party made vulnerable by Trumpism, McCarthy’s having given away everything but the kitchen sink to the noisiest of the Republican holdouts may actually harm the country by dismantling ethical guardrails and redirecting legislative activities to vindictive investigations.

The graha yuddha in his horoscope looms over his future. Although Venus wins that planetary war by two principal measures — being brighter and more elevated than Mercury — the war inevitably causes collateral damage, potentially to his “name and fame” as represented by Venus. And even though he will never see another conjoined period of those two planets, there will be several Venus and Mercury bhuktis in other dashas that provoke crises small and large. The next one will start in mid-April of this year, when he will run Sun-Venus for one full year.

According to the principles of Krishnamurti Paddhati, a dasha lord primarily gives the results of its nakshatra dispositor. In McCarthy’s horoscope, the Sun’s star-lord is the Moon, thus evoking the weakest planet in the chart, with its implied jeopardy for alliances, diplomacy, negotiations and partnerships. Indeed, the whole of his Sun dasha, 2018-2024, has largely been defined by his servile relationship to that other notable native with a Scorpio Moon, Donald Trump.

When Venus bhukti runs, it too will primarily act to manifest results for its own star-lord. But Venus is swa-nakshatra, ie, an occupant of its own nakshatra. Thus, its period will be strongly characterized by its natal status. As lagnesh in graha yuddha in the 8th house, this promises dislocations, reversals, scandals and varied irregularities, some of which may tarnish his reputation and his legacy. 

In April 2023, McCarthy will also experience his second Saturn return, which typically happens for all of us between the ages of 58 and 60. Although Saturn returns aren’t something that jyotishis dwell upon as much as western astrologers, the circumstances warrant a closer look. Saturn in the 10th often suggests long-term ambitions, a steady struggle to the apex of career, and sometimes a fall from grace. Meanwhile, this natal Saturn hammers his weak Moon, while the imminent Saturn return duplicates the pattern.

Among the many concessions that McCarthy gave away to the most demanding of holdouts in the latest Speaker-of-the-House votes was a new rule that would allow a single member of the House of Representatives to initiate a “no-confidence” vote to reconfirm the Speaker of the House. In effect, this rule will hold him hostage to the most extreme elements of the GOP, and reduce him from a role of influence to one of subservience.

McCarthy has only a tenuous grip on the Speaker’s gavel. The year ahead will likely see him fighting a dogged rearguard action against the fifth column in his own party. Vive la guerre!


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Alan Annand is a Vedic astrologer, palmist and author. He’s a graduate of the British Faculty of Astrological Studies and was for many years their sole tutor for students in USA and Canada. After being introduced to jyotish, he was certified by the American College of Vedic Astrology, and went on to enjoy advanced instruction from Hart de Fouw. Aside from consulting and tutoring, he has long been a professional writer, straddling the corporate and creative worlds. His New Age Noir crime novels feature an astrologer protagonist whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.” His books on Vedic astrology — Kala Sarpa, Parivartana Yoga, and Stellar Astrology, Volumes 1-3 — have been praised for the quality of their research and writing. His latest book — Kama Yoga: Love, Marriage & Sexuality in Jyotish — can be found on Amazon.