2009 Nobel Peace Prize Winner – President Barack Obama, Was it in His Stars?

An astounding thing happened on Friday morning October 9, 2009. President and Mrs. Obama were awakened before dawn with the news that the President had won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. A very surprised president accepted the award, said he was humbled by the honor and by the august body of past winners. Instant political controversy brewed. I agreed with the president’s surprise and quiet disclaimer, I think it was a bit soon. However, I was proud of his accomplishment for both the man and my country. This was a moment of great honor and should be accepted and enjoyed as such. But there are always people who must rain on someone’s parade. Those who can’t participate because they lack the skills themselves often find the need to throw stones. These were the same people who applauded when Chicago lost their opportunity to host the 2016 Olympics. As an American I found that quite offensive. Both our political far right and the Taliban thought President Obama should not win or accept the award. Strange company.

The list of Nobel Peace Prize winner names reads like a world who’s who in the cause of peace. Several Americans have won over the years, including four presidents and one vice president, Al Gore. Since I had done the research on all 43 presidents recently, I wondered what in each of the four presidential charts indicated the skills for such an honor. These are very distinct and different men as evidenced by their charts. I wondered if their collective charts would show commonality in some way. In my search I did find an unexpected connection to the USA Virgo Rising natal chart as well, a dedicated research effort for me. First I will look at the personal then at the commonality. These are completely different individuals but a skill set which produced the award is visible in each. Last I will briefly note connections to the USA chart because it is both interesting and available.

Just what is the Nobel Peace Prize? Swedish industrialist and inventory Alfred Nobel bequeathed and funded five Nobel Prize awards upon his death four of which are scientific or literary. According to Nobel’s will, the Peace Prize is to be awarded “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” Nominations are made by specifically qualified people by February 1st each year. Awards may be made for actions completed, underway or which may require large segments of time to complete, to those who are in a process to either resolve a conflict or to create peace. Both individuals and organizations may receive the prize, singularly or in multiples (a single prize shared). It is presented December 10 th , the anniversary of Nobel’s death. Beginning in 1901 and as of 2009 the prize has been awarded to 97 individuals and 20 organizations. There were 19 years in which no peace prize was awarded.

The first American President (26th) to win the Nobel Peace Prize was Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 for his successful mediation of the Russo-Japanese War and for his general interest in arbitration. This was a military man who as a Colonel led the Rough Riders in Cuba during the Spanish American War and was assistant Secretary of the Navy for the USA. In 2001 he was also awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for his military actions, the only president to win such honor. Before his presidency, Mr. Roosevelt was also head of the New York City Police Commission reforming the very corrupt New York City police, as well as Governor of New York. He ascended to the presidency after the assassination of William McKinley. President Roosevelt was a world-class big game hunter whose personal hunting efforts helped supply the Smithsonian and many other national museums with taxidermy models of flora, fauna and insects from both Africa and South America. The Rio Roosevelt River in Brazil was named after him. This was a man of action who was awarded the world’s highest peace prize. His motto: “Speak softly and carry a big stick” is well known, an excerpt from a 1900 letter to Henry Sprague.

Astrologically what does President Roosevelt’s chart reveal as a world-class peacemaker? His Midheaven is 00 Pisces 14 with ruler spiritual Neptune at 22 Pis 29 retrograde (been there, done that previously) in the 10th for starters. Midheaven co-ruler Jupiter (philosopher, world traveler) is at 21 Gemini 04, also retrograde (been there, done that) in the 12th (internal philosophy) on the backside of his Ascendant at 24 Gem 37, strongly influencing his coping skills and personal projection. He was larger than life and the author of 35 books. His Jupiter opposes (confronts) his Venus (cooperation, conciliation, detenté, peace) in the 6 th of work/service, in Sagittarius (world diplomat) and conjunct (united) with his Sagittarian Descendant, his point of partnerships, alliances, truces, joint partners. There’s always more to read, but that makes my point.

The second American President (28th) to win the Nobel Peace Prize was Woodrow Wilson in 1919 for his work in creating the League of Nations and for orchestrating the Treaty of Versailles. Unfortunately the sitting U.S. Congress was so angry that he led us into the war (or we could be speaking German right now), even though he himself was against the war in principle. Congress refused to allow America to join the League and it never fully evolved. See what happens when you upset an obstructionist congress? The League was the predecessor to the United Nations. Regardless of whether his accomplishment was successful or not at that moment, the Nobel Prize Committee recognized his work as a man of peace. Much quieter than his predecessor Roosevelt, Wilson was a lawyer, dignified president of Princeton University and former governor of New Jersey. His accomplishments as President are truly myriad, including the Federal Trade Commission, Women’s Suffragette, Federal Reserve, Liberty Bonds, and more.

Astrologically President Wilson was very Saturn/Capricorn, Sun, Mercury in Capricorn, Saturn elevated in the 9th of foreign cultures, and Saturn’s old rulership of Aquarius holding Moon, Mars, Venus. This was a no-nonsense very clannish president and he had a tremendous sense of responsibility for his country (his Midheaven was 4Ës from the USA Sun.) If his hand had not been forced by Germany’s attack on international shipping, knowing that Europe was about to fall to the onslaught and that the door would then be open for Germany to attack the U.S., he would not have entered the war. Isolationism was typical of the U.S. since its birth but change entered with the Spanish-American War. I read the Lunar Nodes as relational and karmic. They straddled his Asc/Dec axis, with the emphasis coming from Libra on the Ascendant (habits, knowns, internally locked), growing towards the Descendant and Aries, more assertive, aggressive, especially regarding partners and alliances. I have mentioned his three Aquarius planets, but two are Venus and Mars, conjunct (united) within 1 minute of arc, on the money! His Asc/Dec and his N Node/S Node rulers act as an Ari/Libra unit. I think we can see this one.

The third American President (39th) to win the Nobel Peace Prize was James E. Carter in 2002, long after he left office. He was awarded the prize for work “to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.” He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. President Carter came from a farming/businessman, legal and military background. He was a naval officer until the death of his father required him to return to the farming/business world. He was both a Senator and Governor of Georgia, and presided over the Camp David Accords, Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, Iran Embassy takeover and hostage situation, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, civil rights, Geneva Accord, negotiations with North Korea, and more. He has been and is still active in the cause of peace and uplifting the human condition through his Carter Center work on human rights and his Habitat for Humanity.

Astrologically President Carter has both his 12th house Sun and Ascendant in Libra strongly indicating his desire for cooperation, conciliation, alliance, détente. He also has his Saturn 6Ës into the 1 st in Scorpio (widely conjunct his Ascendant) along with his Moon (intensity, deep feelings) later in the house. This strong 12th house plus Scorpio emphasis would lead to much behind the scenes activity. Scorpio’s ruler Pluto is elevated in the 9th adding to this emphasis and power and persuasion internationally is added to the mix. Many astrologers don’t realize the emphasis of Libra in past military leaders. Libra is the chess player, able to look through the eyes of all the positions and to project ahead and see moves as they develop. His sense of fairness and justice is so strong that it helped him become the peacemaker, but can cause him occasional problems for his forthright confrontation if he senses unfairness or injustice.

The fourth American President (44th) to win the Nobel Peace Prize is our sitting president, Barack Obama, the very surprised man I spoke of in my opening statement. The reason given for his selection was for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. It was also emphasized that it was given for performance and not expectations. Since he has been President for not quite nine months, his is a work in progress. America’s prestige and reputation had suffered worldwide for the previous eight years. President (and Mrs.) Obama have managed to recoup much of our lost position. President Obama has made overtures for peace and negotiation worldwide. Our country is again presenting itself as the world caretaker and no longer the world bully. He is young so his work is still establishing itself. Before his presidency he was a lawyer who majored in constitutional law, civil rights, community projects, and a first-term Senator from Illinois. He definitely has made an impression on the world community and the Nobel selection committee in particular. This honor gives him a challenge to fulfill what he has started. President Obama is the new kid on the block, a work in progress, huge potential that is working hard to produce actuality. He is the president of hope and change in our lifetime, as were Presidents Jefferson, Lincoln and Kennedy. Astrologically we can look to see if he has what it takes to produce. Production itself will be up to his efforts and reception by the world community. It is said that a prophet is seldom known in his own country (paraphrased) and the current political rhetoric is proof of that. The man needs a thick skin.

Astrologically Aquarius is rising, 18:02 and the rulers of the chart are Uranus is in the 7 th in Leo and Saturn in the 12th strong in Capricorn and conjunct Jupiter also in Aquarius, both retrograde in phase two of that great conjunction that signifies a new start lifetime. That is definitely apropos. The Nodes of expanded relationship and karma are again across the Asc/Dec axis as in President Wilson’s chart, about 9Ës into the 1st /7th . The strong tie between the Asc/Dec emphasizes the I/you/we role of partnership, alliance, and cooperation. The president has 5 planets (one of them the chart ruler) plus the Lunar Node within a 50Ës cluster across his 6th /7th houses. Here’s where the man lives. His connection to the world at large and international treaties is well illustrated. Yes he can. Now the question is “will he?” Judgment of the results is personal perspective.

Commonalities: I looked statistically for commonalities in this exclusive group of four. I had thought that Libra would be strongly represented due to the nature of the award: peace. The Ari/Lib axis was a weaker by overall count axis, but with both Presidents Wilson and Carter with Sun and Ascendant. All four presidents had placements in Cancer. “Three each had placements in Leo, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. No signs were completely void. The overall average of all positions per sign is 4.5.

In my presidential research I had found good information by looking at the sign axis. Dominant and recessive qualities emerged easily. Because the 52 positions (13 x 4) must be divided by 6 axes, the average becomes 8.7 per axis. Two axes are high (14/10), two are low (4/5) and two (9) are average.

14 by axis: Leo/Aq 9 by axis: Vir/Pis 5 by axis: Ari/Lib

10 by axis: Can/Cap 9 by axis: Tau/Sco 4 by axis: Gem/Sag

All four presidents had placements in Tau/Sco and Vir/Pis. Three of four presidents had placements in Leo/Aqu and Can/Cap.

Looking at houses, all four presidents had placements in the 5th house and three each had placements in the 4th , 6th , 9th , 12th , no houses were empty. Because the midheaven and ascendant were two of the 13 points for each chart, the house count would be skewed so averages are not given.

Individual degrees showed distinct groupings. The strongest was 2 to 8.5Ës Tau/Sco with all four presidents represented. The next strongest was 18 to 22.5Ës Vir/Pis with all four presidents represented. Next was 22 to 27 Leo/Aqu with three of four presidents, followed by 13.5 to18.5 Can/Cap, again three of four.

USA chart: Because I have done extensive work with the USA Virgo rising chart, I saw individual Nobel Prize connections with that chart as well in three of four cases. The USA Neptune is 22 Vir 24. The USA Moon is 22 Aqu 38. The USA Sun is 13 Can 01. The exception was Teddy Roosevelt who was extremely strong in the Tau/Sco axis 2 to 8.5Ës.

Conclusion: President Obama follows an august lineage of bringing hope, change and ultimate success to the endeavors embodied in the Nobel Peach Prize. Astrologically, he has the potential to accomplish “fraternity among nations.”

Stockholm Travel Guide – All About Stockholm

Stockholm Travel Guide

This place offers fabulous hotels, great shopping, elegant eateries, lively cultural aura, and internationally famous music and club scene. A person can walk through all of the city and sites on foot easily. Exploration of this city is very easily possible on foot and is the best way also. A completely different facet of this beautiful city will be witnessed having a boat trip. June, July and August are the best months to visit this place as it is warm and sunny then. During this time the temperature is around 21 degrees Celsius. Outdoor events, excellent weather, lots of activities and long days (Midnight Summer) are witnessed during the month of June.

The city has a very effective and efficient rail network that is modern and well-equipped to handle all forms of weather conditions. The motorways and roads do not witness much traffic and are well maintained. Vintage steamers, canal boats and ferries are offered in the city’s islands, canals and lakes.

Attractions in Stockholm

1. Drottningholm Palace and Theatre – this place is very spectacular and grand. The palace is still the home of the royals but a part of it is opened for the visitors.

2. Millesgarden – this place has major art pieces on display including the reproduced-sculptured of the famous Hands of God. All these can be found by scrolling through the garden that is excellent copies of some of the famous art works.

3. Stadsshuset – this is one of the finest examples of modern architecture where Nobel prizes are distributed. The best view of the old Gamla Stan town can be seen from the top of the 100 meter high tower. This is allowed in the summers.

4. AG925 – This place is the best for people looking for the underground and countercultural environment.

5. Blue Moon Bar is a street-level bar and basement that is also a restaurant and nightclub. This place attracts supermodels and TV actors with its décor that is chic and modern.

6. Cosmopol – This is a world class club building having four bars and two restaurants.

Accommodation in Stockholm– A person looking for accommodations here can go for hotels like the Acapulco hotel that offers really affordable prices.These are just the perfect choices for families or groups. The finest and most elegant hotel that offers extreme luxury and hospitality is the Grand Hotel. There are many other accommodations available here. Apart from all these, there are excellent restaurants like the Cattelin Restaurant and F12 here.

Some more things to do in Stockholm –

Around Gotland is one of the most well-known yacht races that is organised here which should in no case be missed. Stockholm proudly hosts the white steamboat fleet in July.

Solo Travel Destinations, New Places to Travel Alone, Part 5 Chile

Reading today that a 24-year old Chilean saxophonist just won the Monk International Jazz Competition took me back in time to my trip to Santiago and points south. While having only a small percentage of the world’s population, Chile has produced global figures in the arts, including two Nobel Prize winning poets: Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda.

Just getting to Chile was part of the adventure. When I arrived at the airport in Washington, there was a flight delay because of bad weather. After about 4 hours in the gate, we were allowed to board. Then it was announced the winds had shifted and the plane could not take off. I returned home for the night and started out again the next day. High over the Andes once again bad weather intervened requiring that we land in Argentina. At last, we arrived in Santiago!

Chile demonstrates the rich differences within the South American continent. Although much of the region shares a common language and a 16th century colonial history, after O’Higgins and San Martin led Chile to independence in the 19th century, it has created its own modern history.

Two features immediately struck me: First was the strong and pervasive European influence. Rather than tapas, afternoon tea was widely featured along with ads for a French Impressionist art exhibit. There was no meringue, salsa or tango. In fact, the first dance performance was at a top restaurant with Pacific Islanders performing at dinner. I soon discovered that even newly arrived, jet-lagged diners had the “opportunity” to be led off to the stage for an introduction to Island dances. (One advantage if you travel solo, there is no one to send photos back home of your first awkward steps.)

Secondly, the geographic range of climate zones and topography was immediately apparent. Chile, 2,672 miles long, felt like many countries comprised within one national border. The north was very arid as it reached into the Atacama Desert while going southward to Puerto Montt was reminiscent of a Swiss Village. From the ski slopes moving on to Antarctica Chile, the landscape was suddenly filled with glaciers and snow-covered roads.

My view of Chile had 4 distant parts. The first was Santiago, Chile’s capital. With over 1 million inhabitants, it offers an array of choices.

Although many colonial buildings have been demolished, key remaining gems include the Basilica in La Merced. Moving on towards the Plaza de Armas, you will find the 18th century Casa Colorada. The past blends in with the present when you visit the Benedictine Chapel whose architect, Gabriel Guarda, created Barcelona’s most famous landmarks.

Another top sight is the Palacio de La Moneda or President’s Palace. It was first constructed in the 18th century but most recently largely reconstructed in the 1980’s. While you are there, you can check out the colorful Changing of the Guard accompanied by a brass band.

For a more detailed view of Chile’s diverse culture, Santiago has multiple museum options, including the popular National History and Pre-Columbian museums. You can also visit the home Neruda built for Matilde Urrutia, his third wife who inspired his greatest works. It is known, as she was as, by the name La Chascona and is located in the Bellavista district.

After a day steeped in history and culture, you will want to save time to take the gondola for a view of the city from Cerro San Cristobal.

My second distinct view of Chile came from a side trip to ski nearby at the local slope Colorado. Just an hour away, it lacked the steeper inclines of the more famous slopes of Portillo or Argentina’s Las Lineas and Bariloche. However, what it lacked in challenging my Intermediate ski prowess, it more than made up for in easy access as an unexpected add-on.

My third destination was Puerto Montt located in southern Chile’s Lake District. Founded in the 19th century by German settlers, the flavor was that of a European village albeit with the addition of the Pacific Ocean. Strolling past waterfalls, you could see llamas munching along the roadside and then visit the stunning Osorno Volcano. The outdoor options in the region are varied, from hiking through the national parks to boating and horseback riding.

My fourth and final view of Chile was in its most famous destination other than the capital, Santiago: the far south in Punta Arenas, Antarctica, Chile. Traveling by bus, I was pleasantly surprised at the first class service with videos and soft drinks’ being served.

On arrival, I hired a taxi for a day’s sightseeing moving at a rapid pace over sometime harrowing snow-covered roads. Working cowboys, i.e., vaqueros or gauchos, sped by on horseback alongside us. Their weathered faces reflected life in the harsh climate.

Although a small museum in Puntas Arenas told more of the history of this remote region, the real draw for tourists is outdoors even during the wintertime. I spent a full day exploring the key attraction, the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine with snow-capped mountains, waterfalls and a large clear blue lake. At the lower elevations, it was not too cold for hiking or just long walks through the Park.

To the south is Cape Horn and the Drake Passage, the latter the gateway to Antarctica, itself. Chile is well-positioned geographically to take that next step, to head westward for the remote Pacific/Easter Island or to combine with a business or leisure trip elsewhere in Latin America.

Chile was an ideal solo destination because of:

1. Its diversity of cultures and attractions

2. The range of terrain from desert to ski slopes to glaciers

3. Its vibrant role in Latin America’s dynamic growth

4. The numerous sporting and adventure options from skiing the Andes to hiking through the Lake District of Puerto Montt to boating in Punta Arenas and down to Cape Horn.

5. Its safety and availability of 4-5 star service and tours

6. The access to the Pacific and Easter Island or on to other parts of South America and Antarctica.

If you don’t want to see the summer end, book now for December in Chile and go boating and swimming instead of shoveling snow