Monday, July 24, 2017

From euphoria to muck: the 2009 Jupiter-Neptune cycle lives on





We rarely stop to consider the Jupiter-Neptune cycle in any depth—it sounds so friendly, so expansive and bubbly. And, in fact, it can be all those things. Remember the tsunami-style state of euphoria that swelled over Washington D.C. on Inauguration Day 2009? Even those who didn’t vote for Barack Obama, or didn’t really welcome the idea of our first black president, had to feel a bit energized and uplifted that day. 

However, as with every outer planetary cycle, there’s a dark side to Jupiter-Neptune energies, and we’re seeing the results in today’s news. Jupiter and Neptune “collude,” if you will, to erase limitations for the sake of growth, and that’s exactly what brought our mainstream economy down during the 2007-8 period. That’s also the exact situation Trump seems interested in replicating, only the limitations he wants to erase are those which challenge his executive power—over Congress, the Justice Department, over voters, and so on. 

Jupiter and Neptune aren’t really interested in the “separation of powers”—they’re more about eroding such boundaries and allowing the “Big Fish” to swallow everyone whole.


So, how did we get here? The last two Jupiter-Neptune cycles are clearly relevant: the January 1997 cycle that launched at 27°+Capricorn, and the still-current 2009 cycle that took off at 26°+Aquarius, conjunct Chiron, I should add. Significantly, both cycles tied into the U.S. Sibly chart in ways that impacted the economy. Let’s briefly consider the context surrounding each.



Globalization and the post-Soviet Union “Gold Rush” days

The 1997 Capricorn cycle set the tone for those globalization-happy, “Gold Rush” times, with great enthusiasm for rolling back financial regulations—most notably, the Glass-Steagall Act that separated commercial and investment banking was repealed by President Clinton in late 1999. It launched conjunct Sibly Pluto—the nation’s planetary corporate “Overlord.” Corporate downsizing, outsourcing, etc. were the order of the day, and by the time George W. Bush handed the White House keys over to Obama 2009—months before the new cycle would take off—the  overblown, unregulated finance industry had put our economy in deep trouble. 

Not coincidentally, this 1997 cycle also explains a lot of the revelations in “The Russian Laundromat,” published by The New Republic this past week. If the article is verifiably true, Russian oligarchs were pouring money into New York real estate and the Trump Organization all through the 1990s and 2000s—not to occupy the properties they purchased, but to launder their ill-gotten millions and billions. 

You might recall that the Soviet Union imploded and became the Russian Federation on December 25, 1995, fresh on the heels of the new 1993 Uranus-Neptune cycle in Capricorn, with Virgo Jupiter trine that conjunction. Even though Eastern Orthodox Christians don’t celebrate Christmas until January, this Russian reorganization turned out to be Christmas for Russian oligarchs. Russian leadership set off a “wild West”-type scramble to distribute previously nationalized industries to these newly-minted billionaires. 

Over time, this oligarch-based economy evolved to become today’s Russian kleptocracy—a strong-man leader calls the shots, and State, enabled by his financially-dependent minions, do his bidding. This was not exactly the democratic transition the idealists were hoping for from the new order there.   
Former Trump campaign head Paul Manafort’s heyday as a foreign agent on behalf of Russia and other authoritarian regimes (especially Turkey) also peaked during this 1997 cycle period—obviously, the details of these investigations are way beyond me here, but the New Republic article is definitely recommended reading!


Short-lived euphoria 

As noted, the 1997 Jupiter-Neptune helped set the stage for the Big Money juggernaut that did so much irresponsible damage to our economy in the 2007-8 recession. Jupiter’s time in Capricorn had a lot to do with that damage, so when Jupiter came up for air by entering Aquarius just before Inauguration 2009, the country was ready for a party. 

The Obama inauguration felt like a refreshing new start, after 8 long years of George W. Bush (who looks much better in retrospect!). Bush’s presidency was bracketed on both ends by the life-changing horrors of 9/11/2001 and the destructive ravaging of our financial and housing markets in 2007 and 2008, which wreaked long-term financial havoc for millions. High unemployment, foreclosed housing and loss of credit standing were still major issues, so whether we voted for Obama or not, we all needed a bit of euphoria.  

On the flip side, I would argue that astrologically, the murky, corrupt situation (aka the “Swamp”) we see in D.C. today has a lot to do with the powerful Jupiter-Neptune cycle that launched on May 27th of 2009—at 26°29’ Aquarius conjunct the Sibly Moon (We the People). The former Capricorn cycle unleashed Sibly Pluto’s greed, and the 2009 cycle—launching conjunct the Sibly Moon—highlighted the impact that greed has had on the American people. In retrospect, it’s clear that the Trump “uprising” of 2016 was an Aquarian reaction to the excesses of the 1987 Capricorn cycle. 

It’s just too bad that the cards were stacked in that uprising—most likely with substantial outside interference—in favor of a man with little basic integrity, and a long shady history of financial dealings. And, a man whose actions demonstrate how he would welcome a Russian-style kleptocracy in this country: he clearly sees himself as the strong man who answers to no other branch of government, of course, and his dependent billionaire minions would kowtow to him around the White House conference table and do his bidding.

Not to be overlooked—Trump would also love to pass along the scepter of power to his son, Donald Jr. when the time comes, perpetuating a Trump dynasty that could go on for decades. As we’ll see in the chart below, Jr. is an astrological “Mini-Me” if there ever was one. Among other parallels, Jr. seems to share his father’s deep affinity for Russia. To explore these connections, we’ll examine a triwheel between the father, the son and the Russian Federation. There’s an undeniable resonance that proves nothing in a court of law, of course, but may help add context to the daily news.





Triwheel #1: (inner wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY; (middle wheel) Donald Trump, Jr., December 31, 1977, 12:00 p.m. (noon chart, no time available), Manhattan, NY; (outer wheel) Russian Federation, December 25, 1991, 7:45 p.m. ST, Moscow, Russia. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Please note that we have no birth time for Trump, Jr., so we can’t say anything definitive about the chart angles and the Moon placement shown in the noon chart we’re using here. Even so, there’s a lot to consider here, so to simplify the very complex connections, we’ll map out the major points of convergence between all three charts:

At Trump Sr.’s (hereafter just “Trump”) ascendant: the Russian Federation’s Moon and Jr.’s Saturn conjoin in early Virgo and conjoin Trump’s late Leo ASC-Mars. The Russian people (Moon) and Jr. clearly know how to tap into Trump’s ego needs and “play him” if you will for their purposes. Jr.’s Saturn here suggests that his role is to administer for Dad—hence his role (with brother Eric) overseeing the Trump Organization’s business (or at least appearing to) while Trump is in office. In that capacity, Jr. is supposed to not be involved in the day-to-day business of the White House, but that’s a big question mark. 

Russia’s Moon (with these strong connections to the Trump charts) exactly trines its national Capricorn Sun, representing their leadership, so the friendly, tangibly-beneficial (earth signs) relationship between the Trumps and Russia seems clear. Jr. has been on record talking about the volume of money that has poured into their organization from Russia over the years, despite Trump’s later attempts to deny financial ties with Russia.

Russia’s Virgo Jupiter-Sagittarius Mercury/Mars (midpoint) square creates an interchart T-Square with Trump’s Gemini-Sagittarius Full Moon and with Jr.’s Sagittarius Mercury-Neptune. The promise of Russian wealth (Jupiter) appears to motivate Trump’s (and Jr.’s) ambitious agenda, but Jr.’s Mercury-Neptune is triggered here by Russia’s aggressive, propaganda/money machine, Jupiter-disposed Mercury/Mars, and this perhaps explains his lack of ethical boundaries when it comes to dealing with Russia. “Most people would have taken that meeting,” Dad said in Jr.’s defense during last week’s troubling revelations (see here for a chart for that event). 

Jr.’s mindset is clearly attuned to Dad’s emotional, Full Moon need (Gemini-Sagittarius Sun-Moon) to accomplish his goals and cut through obstacles by any means necessary. Contact with Russia likely stimulates this need further (Mars) and makes Jr. a valuable go-between (Mercury). This raises questions about whether Trump is somehow beholden to Russia in ways that keep him “loyal”—a possibility prosecutor Mueller is undoubtedly considering.
Russia’s Capricorn No. Node-Uranus-Neptune oppose Trump’s Cancer Mercury-Saturn-Venus, particularly stimulating Trump’s Mercury/Venus (midpoint); Jr.’s Capricorn Venus-Sun conjoin Russia’s Sun-Node-Uranus-Neptune. Trump’s Cancer gathering seems to explain his thin-skinned defensiveness when challenged, and probably represents a great well of personal and financial anxiety/insecurity that he projects onto others when he attacks them for things he’s doing. His Mercury falls square his Libra Neptune (Jr.’s conjunction shows that the astrological pear falls close to the pear tree), and Mercury disposes his Gemini Sun-Node-Uranus, confirming that for him, the best defense is a shocking offense. His mercurial nature makes Twitter the perfect tool for this.

The ties between Jr. and Russia in this triwheel are especially interesting for the way the Capricorn points of both Jr. and Russia oppose Trump’s Cancer Mercury/Venus. Clearly, Trump takes some comfort from this strong-feeling Capricorn energy on his team, and this is probably doubly true because there are financial implications. If the news reports (and the Trump boys’ comments in this regard) are true, the Trump Organization has profited mightily from the reorganization of the Soviet Union over the years—and Russian meddling in our election may have won the family the election. The election was a family (Cancer-Capricorn) affair and Trump’s presidency carries that forward.


But there is an astrological catch. All of these significant Cancer-Capricorn oppositions form an interchart T-square with Trump’s Libra points (Neptune-Chiron-Jupiter) and Jr.’s Libra Node-Pluto. The Trumps are clearly aligned when it comes to values (these points fall over Trump’s 2nd house), a sense of wounded entitlement (Chiron’s contribution) and destiny (Jr.’s Node), but this t-square questions whether the Russians will have their backs forever. 

Most likely, they will just as long as the Trump White House proves useful to them: Russia’s Aquarius Saturn inconjoins Trump’s Cancer Mercury and Trump Jr.’s Virgo Saturn. It should be pointed out here that in the Sibly chart, the president is represented by the 13°+Cancer Sun: this point falls closely opposite Russia’s aggressive Capricorn Uranus-Neptune: this surely supports our Intelligence services’ concern that Russia is determined to get something out of the U.S. president, and that it’s working to undermine our democracy. Uranus disposes Russia’s Aquarius Saturn, which trines Trump’s Libra Neptune; we can’t draw legal conclusions from this, but the relationship is suggestive.

Trump’s already made one major concession to the Russians in Syria (canceling the CIA program that was arming forces opposed to Assad), probably one reason why Congress is working to prevent Trump from rolling-back the sanctions they are currently proposing for Russia and others. It’s quite possible that Russia’s Uranus-Neptune square to the Trumps’ Libra points will begin to pinch either their finances (Trump Jupiter, ruling his 8th; Jr.’s Pluto) or their reputations (Trump’s Jupiter also rules his 5th)—all the more reason Special Prosecutor Mueller needs to access Trump finances to understand what’s going on with Russia. 

Things are going to get interesting. As we saw last week with his ill-fated June 2016 meeting, Trump Jr.’s weak spot seems to be “foot in mouth” disease (Mercury-Neptune), and through an excess of enthusiasm for pleasing Dad he stumbles into situations that incriminate himself, the Trump administration itself, and the Russians. It’s hard to not misspeak when the modus operandi is to “make things up as you go:” with their respective Mercury-Neptune connections, the facts are often quite malleable for both Trumps.



Attributed to Bradford Veley, via CartoonStock.com


The family biz
 
Obviously, the Trump saga is a soap opera that just won’t quit, but one last dimension to the story deserves attention in light of the 2009 Jupiter-Neptune cycle we’re still experiencing. Since Jupiter and Neptune tend to unleash forces into the collective that were pent up for some reason, they are closely associated with contagious fear-mongering, hysteria, and the mob mentality that often results. They could also be related to pent up anger about real oppression on the part of government officials—i.e., involving police abuse, the incredible excesses of our prison incarceration rates, attempts at race-based voter suppression, and so on. There is considerable unrest afloat that could ignite if things get worse instead of better. 

The almost “cult”-like impact that Trump’s campaign wielded on his 38-40% base fits here, as well: rules, norms, facts, and rational behavior lost out to over-the-top emotionalism and a “follow-the-leader” (over the brink) kind of mentality that Trump often used during campaign speeches to stoke violent emotion, if not violent acts. IMHO, we need to take Trump’s hold on his followers’ emotions seriously:  history is filled with examples of would-be dictators getting their hooks into people using this same playbook. 

In 2015-6, these emotion-laden dynamics were energized to Trump’s benefit by the Uranus-Pluto square from cardinal Aries to Capricorn (Uranus transited trine Trump’s aggressive Leo Mars-ASC throughout the campaign). Among other results, the spike in race- and ethnicity-based hate crimes since 2015 (especially targeting Muslims) reflects all this.
Importantly, Trump’s family seems okay with all this—Donald, Jr. is reportedly an avid consumer of Alt-right news and seems to share his father’s (and grandfather Trump’s) white supremacist/anti-immigrant attitudes. Their “Make America Great Again” mantra stops where business concerns begin, however: this past “Made in America” week was marked by Mar-a-Lago  seeking more foreign workers. That’s Jupiter-Neptune: make up the rules as you go, stoke emotions whenever possible, and always maintain plausible deniability!




What’s on the horizon?

The lies are already catching up with the Trump administration, but then that’s been happening since day one of his presidency. The question is, will Trump, Trump, Jr. and other administration members involved (like Jared Kushner, etc.) be held accountable when the full truth finally emerges? Time will tell, but if we know anything about Trump, it’s that he loves a useful distraction. In this regard, one upcoming cosmic event is worth watching. 

As we’ve considered on this blog, a total solar eclipse traverses the continental U.S. on August 21st (see here for more) that will closely conjoin Trump’s Mars-ASC: this could have far-reaching effects on the Trump administration, but it’s important to note that eclipses aren’t always negative for those whose charts connectthe transits alone to Trump’s chart are fairly supportive looking, in fact.
So, does the eclipse give Trump’s power (Mars) a boost, or does it portend the opposite? 

Until Jupiter exits Libra and enters Scorpio this coming October, separating from its square to transiting Pluto, I’m inclined to think Trump will continue enjoying support as he pushes for kleptocratic reforms. Perhaps Congressional Republicans (Jupiter) will stop enabling him quite as much come October.  

I am frankly concerned that the eclipse portends an internal revolt or an external threat that could give Trump an excuse to impose martial law on the nation. We can only imagine what damage he might try to do with our democracy—and the Mueller investigation—at that point. Another period to watch is early September, when Mars transits over the 28°+Leo eclipse point, reactivating the eclipse. Russia benefits any time we are in a state of turmoil, so stay tuned!








Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former educator. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years.

She is also available to read individual charts—contact her at: robertsonraye@gmail.com.

© Raye Robertson 2017. All rights reserved. 






Friday, July 14, 2017

Surprise, surprise…drip, drip, drip: the Astrology of an email disaster




Drip...Drip...Drip...



This is going to be a quick one—I just can’t pass up this amazing sequel to the last post here: namely, the mind-blowing revelations we’ve been hearing about all week regarding a long chain of emails between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russia-connected contact. The contact set out to broker a meeting between the Trump team and a Russian lawyer with “dirt” to spill on Hillary Clinton. 

The Trump team individuals present at the meeting that finally transpired on June 9 were Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner. The Russian lawyer’s name is Natalia Veselnitskaya, and today’s breaking news indicates that a former Russian-American lobbyist named Rinat Akhmetshin was also in the meeting. Drip, drip, drip…

There’s been a flood of coverage about every possible nuance of this meeting, but for our purposes here, we’ll start with the chart for the first email in the chain that landed in Donald Trump Jr.’s email box at 10:36 a.m. on June 3, 2016. I’ve set the chart for New York City, since the Trumps were operating out of their offices there at the time.




Chart #1. Trump Jr./Russia email chain, June 3, 2016, 10:36 a.m. (time confirmed here) DST, New York, NY. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

Mutable Grand Square: Sun-Venus (Gemini) oppose Saturn (Sagittarius); this axis squares Jupiter-No. Node (Virgo) opposite Neptune (Pisces). I wrote a lot about the rolling mutable grand square last year—mostly in the context of discussing the election campaign—and in retrospect we can see how damaging that chaos-producing configuration was. One axis—Jupiter opposite Neptune—has the flavor of great aspiration, reaching out for an almost spiritual “ideal,” and the bubbly enthusiasm that often goes along with this aspect is certainly seen in Trump, Jr.’s response to the email writer’s offer of dirt on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.
 
An ambitious Jupiter never looks a gift horse in the mouth, but in this instance, it appears that Jr.’s judgment was seriously impaired. Neptune undoubtedly contributed to the poor judgment call, clouding over the boundaries between normal and inappropriate behavior. That's if Jr. even knows what these boundaries are, having grown up in his father’s household. So Jr.’s response, “Love it!” probably did feel like a no-brainer at the time. 

The Sun-Venus to Saturn opposition (Gemini-Sagittarius) here speaks to the “gift” being offered by the Russian go-between in the email, and the Saturn-Neptune square built into this configuration only reinforced how blurry the lines had become between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. We can probably all remember lots of instances during the 2016 campaign when the ethical lines were not only blurred, but totally invisible. 

Now in retrospect, we know that Russia’s pro-Trump media campaign included giving him cover during some of the most precarious times—i.e., when the Access Hollywood tapes came out. That event was closely followed by Russia’s hacking of the DNC and the emails of Clinton campaign official John Podesta, which was followed closely by Wikileak’s release of said emails. All of this designed to disrupt the Democratic Party Convention set to happen. The media has been talking a lot about “where there’s smoke, there must be fire,” and this is one glaring sequence that's looking too hot to pass up.



The Gemini component in this grand square is also significant: we are now hearing how Jared Kushner’s digital media outlet (Observer Media), organized on time to promote Trump during the campaign, is now attracting scrutiny. The suspicion, apparently, is that Kushner’s media may have helped the Russians target their anti-Hillary disinformation campaign to key, impressionable American voters. Clearly, this would have also flown in the face of any ethical standards, so more to come on this as the facts come out.

Grand Fire Trine: Ascendant (Leo) trines Uranus/Ceres (midpoint, Aries) trines Saturn (Sagittarius); Uranus-Ceres squares Pluto (Capricorn). It’s interesting that Uranus and Ceres converge around the 9th house cusp on this chart and that they square Capricorn Pluto. Clearly, the international realm (9th) is delivering an upset to our “grass-roots” (Ceres), creating what in hindsight looks like a toxic social transformation. Maybe years down the road we’ll look back at this period as having been a positive, after all: we’ve been shocked (Uranus) into re-discovering what our democracy is supposed to be about, into how the partisan divide can be leveraged to really vicious effects, and into what the ethical norms of political behavior are and why they are important.
Not to mention, if we’re looking for the “fire” in all that Neptunian smoke, here it is!



Just a quick one…

So, this gives us a chart to elaborate on further as facts continue to drip out of the Trump-Russia spigot. At some point we need to consider why this whole rolling crisis has been couched in such watery terms: “leaks,” “drip, drip, drip,” Trump being in “over his head,” and so on…there’s wisdom in these metaphors!!




Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former educator. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years.

She is also available to read individual charts—contact her at: robertsonraye@gmail.com.

© Raye Robertson 2017. All rights reserved.