President Clinton: A Quetzalcoatl for Our Times

by Bruce Scofield

The myth of Quezatcoatl, probably the best known Mexican deity, may not be just a myth. It may be an archetypal drama of leadership, self-control, morality, and the decline of civilization. This year, 1998, seems to be a time when life is imitating myth to a degree that hasn't been seen for some time. President Clinton has found himself in a web of sexual intrigue that is so closely synchronized with the cycle of Venus and the myth of Quetzalcoatl that it boggles the imagination.

Primary sources on the Mesoamerican god Quetzalcoatl offer several versions of a legendary Mexican figure who lived in ancient times. Two friars, Sahagun and Duran, recorded tales of a ruler who committed sexual sins and renounced his throne. In Sahagun, Quetzalcoatl was the Toltec king of a golden age who became immersed in his own spiritual perfection. In time, he lost track of what was happening outside in his kingdom. His downfall was caused by rival dark gods who first instigated serious and destabilizing events in the kingdom. Then, on gaining access to Quetzalcoatl's palace, these gods played to his vanity and managed to get him drunk. Intoxicated, Quetzalcoatl had illicit sex with his sister, a shocking event that necessitated a self-imposed sentence. Leaving his city, Quetzalcoatl made his way to the east to the sea.

Other accounts of the god Quetzalcoatl portray him as a feathered serpent, which is what his name translates as, that figured in the actual creation of the universe of humanity. Most accounts also associated him with the planet Venus and its number, five (Venus cycles five times for every eight solar years). Many authors have attempted to understand the enigmatic Quetzalcoatl, and much has been written about him. Some say he symbolized culture and civilization, others say he was merely a historical king during the Toltec period some 800 years ago.

I suspect that Quetzalcoatl was more like an archetype, a classic model for leaders to ponder. There may have been a real character named Quetzalcoatl, or several. The key to understanding the myth or legend is to see it as a pattern that is enacted in real life from time to time. Quetzalcoatl is like a hero, but one who has failed due to sexual sins. He is the archetypal model of a leader who succumbs to negative impulses and loses control, and his office as a result. The fact that Quetzalcoatl presided over a golden age, a significant element in the myth, suggests that real leaders may have actually sought to be associated with this god. It is possible that a number of cultural and religious features came together under the "rulership" of Quetzalcoatl and that the concept was repeatedly played out in ritual form. But sometimes it may have played out for real, as it seems to be doing now, in 1998.

Quetzalcoatl's association with the planet Venus is the key to understanding what President Clinton's "year from hell" might be about. Venus has a 584-day synodic cycle which Mesoamerican astrologers counted from its inferior conjunction with the Sun. This is the conjunction in which Venus passes between the Earth and the Sun. The cycle features four key periods, including the inferior conjunction, that are outlined below.

1. Inferior conjunction: This is when Venus begins its period as a morning star. Venus is moving retrograde here and passes the direct-moving Sun quickly. Mesoamerican astrologers regarding this short period (about a week or two) as a time of impulsive actions and errors on the part of leaders. This is the point in the cycle when the god Quetzalcoatl descends to earth and commits a sexual sin.

2. Greatest eastern elongation: This is when the distance between morning star Venus and Sun is at its maximum of about 47 degrees longitude. At this point any conflict begun at the inferior conjunction intensifies and becomes clear and objectified.

3. Superior conjunction: The Sun stands between Earth and Venus at this conjunction. Because Venus and the Sun are now moving at nearly the same speed, this conjunction lasts for months. The Mesoamericans timed it at 90 days. This was the time when the gods judged Quetzalcoatl. After superior conjunction Venus moves into its evening star phase.

4. Greatest Western elongation: This is when Quetzalcoatl walks the earth as a mortal. He has been judged by the gods and is humbled. The rules of the world prevail over individual urges.

As the inferior conjunction recurs, Quetzalcoatl is sacrificed by the gods, is re-deified, then immediately descends to earth to begin the cycle again.

Over the years I've correlated news events with these points in the Venus cycle. In particular, the inferior conjunction has always coincided with striking events like the downfall of leaders, plane crashes, and embarrassing situations. But this January 16, the date of the inferior conjunction, brought an incredible story to the news, a story that seems to indicate that President Clinton is somehow playing out the Quetzalcoatl myth.

Within a few days of January 16th, 1998, the world heard all about Kenneth Starr's accusations that Clinton had a number of illicit sexual escapes with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Immediately, Clinton denied he did anything wrong. As we know now, this was probably a bad decision.

Around March 28th, when Venus reached its eastern greatest elongation, other allegations of sexual misconduct made the news. On March 13th Paula Jones filed a lawsuit against the president that included 700 pages of documents. On March 15th Willey appeared on 60 minutes and presented her case against the president. On April 1st a judge threw the Paula Jones case out of court, essentially blocking further momentum for the time.

We all know that President Clinton confessed to having had sexual interactions with Monica Lewinsky during on August 17th. On September - the video tapes of the presidents interrogation were aired all day on television. It was around the 19th that Venus was last visible as a morning star, that is it made its last helical rising.

On October 30th Venus and the Sun met in superior conjunction. This event symbolizes the judging of Quetzalcoatl. Just four days after this event, election results indicated that the public did not view Clinton's sexual indiscretions as something so important that they would vote against his party. In fact, the public voted, to some extent, against the accusatory Republicans. In a democracy, the people, not the gods or the self-appointed moralists, decide the fate of Quetzalcoatl.

On December 12th Venus will appear out of the Sun's brilliance, making its first appearance as an evening star. Perhaps this will mark the beginning of the period when Quetzalcoatl/Clinton walk the Earth as a humbled mortal. On June 11th, 1999 Venus reaches its greatest western elongation. I would expect that around this time the entire episode is summarized or becomes completely visible. The antics of Kenneth Starr may also become exposed as well. And the, on August 20th, 1999 Venus moves into inferior conjunction. Will Clinton be sacrificed, or will the entire episode be over and a new cycle, with its own logic, begin?