How do you judge an election that’s fallen far from the realm of predictability?
Look to the stars.
Hundreds of International Society for Astrological Research members from around the world descended upon Costa Mesa for a weeklong conference to learn how to take advantage of eclipses in their personal lives and understand the power of both Venus.
Also, to see if the planets would align Nov. 8 in favor of Scorpio Hillary Clinton or Gemini Donald Trump.
“This is the election that nobody wants, but everyone wants to talk about,” society president Ray Merriman said while introducing a panel of international astrologers to a crowd clad in power beads, braids and colorful tunics.
Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising” kicked off the first election discussion on Thursday, an appropriate song given October’s never-ending surprise. One by one, six international astrologers from Canada, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Slovenia, Bosnia and the United States, cast their predictions on a twinkly lit stage beneath a cardboard moon.
Unanimously, with varying levels of certainty, the astrologers predicted Clinton would win the presidency. Six American astrologers echoed those predictions at a panel on Sunday, each calling the election for Clinton with a few weeks left before voters head to the polls.
Aleksandar Imsiragic of Serbia had correctly predicted Trump would be the Republican nominee when 17 candidates were still in the mix. This time, using a chart tied to George Washington, his gut is with the Democrat.
“It doesn’t bode well for Donald Trump,” he said.
U.S. astrologer Edith Hathaway correctly predicted Barack Obama’s win in 2008. Pointing to a vedic astrology chart, she believes her prediction will be right again.
“Hillary Clinton will win. I give it 100%,” she said.
Christeen Skinner of London agreed with the rest, but noticed something in Clinton’s future that left her with one major doubt.
“I just don’t see that inauguration taking place,” she said, speculating the possibility of a health issue like the flu.
Meanwhile, a different sort of birther controversy has erupted within the astrology community over Clinton’s precise time of birth.
Her birthdate is Oct. 26, 1947. But what time did she come into the world?
Recently, 2:18 a.m. has become the agreed-upon time astrologers used to make their predictions after astrologer Marc Penfield claimed to have confirmed it. He later retracted his confirmation in an interview with the Washington Post. Still, the society’s members used that time in their studies. The Clinton campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
The difficulty prompted the creation of a MoveOn.org petition to request that Congress create a law requiring every future presidential candidate to submit a long-form birth certificate, down to the minute of arrival.
“Maybe we astrologers are more powerful than we ever realized,” Shelley Ackerman told the crowd.
Why would someone trust cosmic forces over scientific polling?
“Polls are sketchy,” according to conference-goer Sheri Horn Hasan, 58. She noted that polls rely on potentially changing attitudes. Astrology, on the other hand, relies on one snapshot of a specific time.
The society’s astrologers correctly predicted Obama’s win in 2012 and 2008. There was no conference in 2004, but in 2000, when Al Gore won the popular vote and George W. Bush became president thanks to the electoral college and the Supreme Court, the judges had been split 3-3.
“I don’t know if they’re right this time,” Merriman said. “But I presume they will be.”