Friday, May 02, 2008
Barack Obama and Rev Wright: an Old, Old Story
In my post of 1st April, I looked at Barack Obama’s political journey in Jungian terms, as the idealistic young hero successively encountering the Shadow, Anima and Wise Old Man. This worked out very neatly as Rev Wright, Hillary Clinton (yes, she is female!) and John McCain respectively. Of course it is never quite as neat as that. Rev Wright has certainly been playing the Shadow archetype, the uncomfortable figure in the corner uttering all sorts of raw truths that are unacceptable to much of America, for they reveal its mistreatment of others, whether at home or abroad. Obama and Wright in happier days Obama has had to deal with this, and though he rejected Wright’s views, he did not reject the man himself. I don’t think you can in reality separate Wright from his views, so I think Obama’s political dance constituted a degree of acceptance of those views and the political constituency they come from. But Rev Wright is also the Wise Old Man archetype for Obama. He is a lot older than Obama and was his spiritual mentor for many years. Obama is a Leo, and like many Leos, there was a problem with absence/wounding in his biological father. Leo as a sign is ruled by the Sun, the source of all life, and it is their path to find this source for themselves and then radiate it to others, to encourage others just by their presence to become who they are. You can see this quality strongly in Obama. But as so often happens, we find our strengths precisely through where we have difficulties, where we have been weakened. And it’s almost like it’s necessary for many Leos that they should find themselves separated from the father-principle and the continuity of life that comes with that. In this way they are forced to find it for themselves, they know it can’t be taken for granted (and lazy Leos love to take things for granted). In finding their wellspring of life for themselves, it becomes uniquely their own: such individuality is a basic part of the Leo character. An absent father often leads in my experience to young men who are unmotivated, because they do not know who they are, they do not have confidence in their own talents. In Obama’s case, this absence has acted like a forcing house, he has been exceptionally motivated to find his own path through life. And it has had the quality of uniqueness to it, precisely because he has been forced to find it for himself. This was a quality the Chicago political insiders noticed in his rise to Senator, that he thought differently, that he had something new to offer. Rev Wright has recently taken the game one step further. He hasn’t just been uttering uncomfortable truths like 9/11 being the result of America’s foreign wrongdoings. He has descended into conspiratorial gibbering, for instance suggesting that AIDS was a racist plot by the US government. In a way this makes it easier for Obama to distance himself, but it is also more painful for him. This time he has had to go further and declare that Rev Wright is not the man he knew, and that his relationship with him has changed. Saturn castrates his father Uranus This issue has put Obama in the forcing house again. He went a considerable distance in becoming his own man in the face of rejection by his biological father. But he still, understandably, felt the need for a father-figure in the form of Rev Wright. He is being forced to grow out of this reliance as well, he is being forced to grow up and become fully independent through pitting himself against the adopted father-figure. This process is psychologically very important for Obama. And it is rarely a process that is neat and tidy. Rev Wright is also no doubt feeling equally hurt. There has been a father-son relationship, but the 2 men have grown apart. As Obama has grown up, his values have been shown to be different to Wright’s. Neither of them are ‘wrong’. Wright is the dispenser of home truths, tinged with paranoia yes, but let’s not expect perfection, which of us would not be like this in his position? Obama is a politician, he wants to be inclusive, he cannot afford to deal in truths that damn half the population. If you want people to change, you don’t damn them for their faults, and Obama wants change. Rev Wright was born 22 Sept 1941. He has Sun at 29 Virgo conjunct Neptune at 27.29 Virgo. Pluto is currently squaring his Sun by transit, and has 2 more crossings to make. The Sun is the father-principle. He is feeling torn apart, hurt, betrayed. As I write, Obama’s Progressed Sun is at 27.29 Virgo, conjunct Wright’s Neptune to the minute. If the chart we have for Obama is correct, Neptune is concluding its transit to his MC/IC axis at 19.29 Leo/Aquarius, which is a parental place. For Obama, the process of leaving Wright has been taking place for a few years, and is almost over. For Wright, the process is still new, he has been who he always was, and Obama’s ‘betrayal’ has been huge for him. This is an old, old story. Father has big hopes for son, the son needs the approval of the father. Son proves to have incompatible values to the father. They clash, each feels betrayed, for neither can see outside their own value system, neither understands that there are other ways of seeing the world. These other ways may be very limited, but you can’t expect people to be other than who they are. For both father and son, there is a big opportunity for growth. I think that Obama is actually doing this. He understands the truths that Wright has to offer, or he wouldn’t have been in his church for so long. But he also sees the narrowness and divisiveness of the way Wright holds those views, and he has said as much. The first stage is separation, and reconciliation, if it is possible, comes later. What we are seeing now is separation, with Obama rejecting not just Wright’s views, but this time the man himself. It is a cruel process, but a necessary one.