The Astrology of the Petraeus Affair

On the morning of November 9, 2012, Petraeus resigned as the Director of the CIA. What was his reason? Well, apparently the highly-decorated general had engaged in an affair. The fact that his resignation occurred so suddenly, as well as so quickly after the Presidential election, spurred numerous hypotheses regarding the Petraeus’ motives behind his announcement.

This prompted me to take a better look at Petraeus’ natal chart; I was curious to see what natal chart factors and transits led him into this mess.

Unfortunately, Petraeus’ birth time is unknown.

In this Article:

  • Analysis of Petraeus’ Sexual nature, as evidenced by his natal chart planets and aspects
  • Current Transits and Progressions
  • Possible Birth Time

Things that stood out to me in Petraeus’ natal chart:

Petraeus’ Sun is in the sign of sexual Scorpio. Indeed, Scorpio is the most highly-sexed sign of the zodiac. In fact, the sexual drive of a Scorpio is insatiable. However, Scorpios are usually very loyal and committed once partnered.

His Sun receives an opposition from Jupiter in Taurus. In Taurus, Jupiter is highly sensuous and pleasure-seeking. His Sun-Jupiter aspect indicates that he is prone to “overdoing” things. He is prone to overindulging in life’s pleasures, making exercising self-control a big problem.

Petraeus has Venus in Sagittarius. Sagittarius is the sign of expansion, optimism, and adventure. In Venus, Sagittarius seeks variety and fun in love. Individuals with this placement are not known for committing easily. In fact, Venus in Sagittarius individuals desire a vast amount of experiences when it comes to love and relationships. They bore quickly, which makes settling down and staying loyal quite difficult.

His Venus receives a quincunx aspect from his natal Uranus in Cancer, indicating a conflict between freedom on one hand, and commitment on the other. Petraeus seeks excitement in love, and may tend to act on impulse when it comes to fulfilling his desires.

His Venus also receives a sextile aspect from Neptune, indicating that he is romantic and compassionate in love. He is idealistic in love, and is easily seduced. In addition to this, his Venus also receives a trine from his natal Pluto. This indicates that Petraeus seeks intense, transformative relationships, and has a strong sexual drive.

Petraeus has very strong aspects to his natal Mars in his chart. Mars is ruled by the sign Aries, and is the symbol of war and aggression. Given his role in the military, this is not surprising.

Mars is also the sign of sex. Our Mars sign, as well as the way it is aspected, can tell us a lot about our sexual preferences and our sexual drives.

Petraeus’ Mars is a part of a strong T-square in his chart, which includes Uranus, Neptune, and Saturn (and possibly the Moon).

To begin, Petraeus’ Mars in Capricorn is opposite his Uranus in Cancer. This indicates Petraeus has a restless, energetic sexual nature. He tends to act impulsively and prematurely. When he wants something, he wants in Now. He seeks variety and excitement in his sexual conquests. While his Mars is in the sign of traditional Capricorn, the opposition from Uranus indicates that he throws caution to the wind when it comes to issues of sex and aggression.

Petraeus’ Mars also receives a square from his natal Saturn in Libra. Petraeus may have experienced significant sexual disappointments and frustrations in his early life. Perhaps he suffered from a feeling of sexual inadequacy, which prevented him from experiencing fulfilling sexual relationships. Individuals with this placement often see their sex lives improve as they get older, as they become more comfortable with their sexuality. Petraeus may be drawn to the taboos of sexuality, including domination/submission scenarios.

Petraeus’ Mars also receives a square from his natal Neptune in Libra. This indicates Petraeus experiences a conflict between asserting his sexual energies and catering to his sensitive feelings. This is an aspect which is linked to sexual anxieties, sexual addictions, repressed sexual urges, and, not surprisingly, deception involving sexual affairs.

To top things off, his Mars also receives a trine aspect from his natal Jupiter. This aspect indicates that he has a strong sexual drive, and seeks new, fresh experiences in his sexual expression.

So, what happened?  Petraeus’ Progressions and Transits

Without his birth time, this analysis will not paint the full picture of what led him into this mess. His chart certainly indicates that he is a sexually-charged individual with varied, and hard-to-control sexual urges. By observing his transits, there were a few things that stood out to me.

Transiting Neptune has been transiting his progressed Venus by conjunction for the past few years. The fact that Neptune is stationed direct today (and will go officially direct tomorrow) makes it clear that this transit played a huge role in this incident. When Neptune transits conjunct someone’s natal Venus, their love nature is expanded. During this transit, we usually meet someone new, who sweeps us off our feet. Aspects between Neptune and Venus in transit are prime indicators of scandalous affairs, as well as deception.

Due to an increase in sensitivity, individuals going through a Neptune conjunct Venus transit are easily seduced. They are vulnerable to romantic fantasy and over-idealizing partners, and must be careful to see partners for who they really are. Under this influence, the individual is more likely to “see what they want” in partners, which can lead to disappointment once the transit is over. Under this transit, the individual is wearing rose-colored glasses; they see beauty in all people, and only want to think the best of others. Either way, the individual opens their heart during this transit, which gives them the opportunity to experience the purest form of love they could ever have. This influence often brings a relationship into our lives, and the individual often believes this new mate is their soul mate. The individual idealizes the new person and make excuses for their faults, and ignores indications that the new mate is anything less than perfect. Relationship behaviors the individual would not normally approve of are now regarded as acceptable.
During this transit, the native must be extra careful to not over-idealize the partner and ignore red flags, as the threat of deception is strong. As Neptune moves away from Venus, the native becomes less enchanted by their mate; the native begins to see the person as they really are, which often leads to disappointment. The end of the transit can also manifest in the discovery of deception or dishonesty on the part of the partner; the native ignored red flags and made excuses for their partner’s behavior instead of facing the truth about the situation.

Indeed, there has been much speculation about who his mistress is. CNN has stated that she (or he) is not a member of the CIA. Many political commentators have hypothesized that perhaps the affair was a part of a larger “set-up” on the part of individuals who were aiming to extract information from Petraeus. This would fit in with his transit perfectly. It is very likely that Petraeus, under the influence of such a powerful transit, was easily seduced into the arms of a deceptive individual. However, perhaps he is just taken with her. He seems to have been very attached to her, based on what we have heard about the relationship. 

This is further reinforced by the fact that Petraeus’ progressed Venus is exactly opposite his progressed Black Moon Lilith at the moment. Lilith is an asteroid which represents raw, uninhibited sexual energy. Lilith represents the temptress, seducer, and is often compared to a “home wrecker.”  The fulfillment of her sexual appetites and desires was what Lilith cared for the most, and any attempt to hamper her sexual self-expression was met with hostility and violence. Lilith is magnetic, and has the power to mesmerize those she comes in contact with. She uses sexuality to further her own goals, and takes no prisoners. In a man’s chart, Lilith represents the type of woman he fears, and craves, the most. It is the type of woman that can drive him over the edge with obsession and desire.

Given these powerful transits and progressions, we can infer that Petraeus was overcome by idealism, delusion, and overwhelming desire, leading him to engage in this scandalous affair. While he was at it, he managed to ruin not only his ruin his relationship, but also his career.

Petraeus’ Birth Time?

I’m tempted to place Petraeus’ Ascendant in the early degrees of Capricorn (which would make his birth time 10:49 AM- November 7/1952, Cornwall on the Hudson, New York). This would mean that his Midheaven is in Scorpio, which would make sense, given the fact that Scorpio rules the military, police and secret services. In addition, this would mean his Sun is in his 10th house, which would also make sense, given the fact that he has been in the public eye so much, and has risen to a position of considerable power and success in his career.

In addition, this hypothesis would also make sense, since it would mean that transiting Saturn would be hovering over his Midheaven at this time, indicating a loss of prestige and status.

This would also mean that the Pluto/Uranus square of this year transited near his Ascendant/Descendant axis. This would certainly indicate a time of high activity, transforming (Pluto) his self-image (Ascendant) and shaking up (Uranus) his relationships (Descendant).

Another factor that makes me think he is a Capricorn Ascendant is the fact that he got married in 1974, shortly after he graduated from University. At that time, Uranus and Pluto were transiting his ninth house, and Saturn was transiting conjunct his 7th house Uranus/Moon (ruler of his 7th house) conjunction. Because his mistress seems to be a much younger woman, it is likely that Uranus was involved.