Monday, October 17, 2016

Thumbs Up or Down? The “End of Civilization” and the Jupiter-Saturn roots of Election 2016

Donald Trump is out there these days complaining that he’s been victimized, that “the system is rigged,” and warning everyone that a Clinton victory will “end civilization” as we know it. He apparently wants us to be very afraid to pull that lever marked “Clinton” on November 8th.  

Needless to say, this fear-mongering shtick he’s decided to adopt is already getting old, but I simply can’t get past how strange his sudden, curious concern for “civilization” is. We can only wonder how Trump even defines that term. Perhaps this is just my Libra sensibilities, but to me, civilization looks nothing like “Reality TV,” or Wrestlemania. Once in awhile I enjoy the spectacle of people shrieking at each other across Hell’s Kitchen, but do we really want to run a nation (or a political campaign) that way? 

Maybe this reflects how the media has reframed conflict in our lives over the years. Trouble is, the media works hard to deliver what its consumers are looking for—including in the political arena—so the “buck stops” with us on this one.

Conflict has certainly been one of the key forces shaping civilization as we know it, but history shows that as humans evolved into more complex, interdependent societies, these conflicts required basic rules of honorable conduct. Honor and justice are tightly related, of course. For starters, facts matter and accusations need to be founded on them. Facts should be vetted independently and must, in the end, be respected by both contenders.

Character and integrity matter because the messenger is the message; emotions are welcome (passion is a positive for public servants), but emotions need to be balanced carefully against the facts; logic and reason are positives, yet must also be tempered by ethics and basic respect for the humanity of both sides.

Last, but certainly not least, in honorable combat, family members are off limits, and opponents accept their victories and losses with dignity and grace. Though rarely exercised perfectly, these basic rules have enabled our democratic system’s success over the years. Even in times of great change and public unrest, the peaceful transition of power has been a hallmark of American elections--and its civilization.

Neptune and Pluto at the Games

To my mind, this campaign has violated all the tenets of civilized conflict. Neptune and Pluto rule the evolution and eventual decay of civilizations, and it’s worth considering how busy this duo has been in our 2016 politics.

We could say that this campaign has echoed the gladiatorial games in ancient Rome—where torturing and killing the Empire’s defenseless “enemies” (or the “disposable” enslaved groups) provided salacious entertainment for the privileged. It seems every decaying empire reaches a point where maintaining power over the masses serves no purpose other than perpetuating the status quo, and this demands serious distractions, “spinning” (the truth is the first casualty), and—for want of a better word—magic shows. In 2016’s bloody contest, our ability to make well-informed, rational decisions is the real victim.

In this campaign’s “magic show,” we’ve been served up a toxic blend of paranoid innuendo and unsubstantiated claims—and it hasn’t all been about Donald Trump. This compendium (click on link) of the long history of conspiratorial claims about Clinton is amazing: we have to marvel reading them that she’s still able to walk upright and function under daylight. How in the world are people expected to trust what they’re reading and hearing and make rational decisions?

Yes, Neptune and Pluto are working overtime on this election, and the paranoid illusions are not particularly constructive on the local level. Astrologically, local concerns and economies fall in the domain of Jupiter and Saturn, and to some extent, Uranus, but these are not the focus of impersonal planetary forces like Neptune and Pluto.

Instead, Neptune and Pluto fuel the ever-transforming power dynamics that civilizations are subject to over long stretches of time (their cycle lasts approx. 492 years). These transformations can be very difficult to follow because we’re more likely to watch the “sleight of hand”—what’s being said and done up close to distract us—than to keep our eyes on the “background,” the broader, long-term picture. This lack of perspective only fuels conspiracy thinking.

We know that personally, something’s not going right, but we just can’t put our finger on it: enter the opportunistic scapegoaters with an ax to grind; enter the bellicose hotheads that have a long list of who’s to blame, but have no solutions; enter the passive aggressive illusionists, for whom responsibility is victimization. Do any of these provide a viable path forward?

This election is, of course, unique in its gender mix, and Clinton’s campaign is probably fueled as much by a desire to crack that “highest of ceilings” as it is by other priorities. Clearly, civilization hasn’t been even-handed with women: we’ve only had the right to vote in the U.S. for less than a century, and as the past two weeks have proven, we still have a long way to go before the tacitly-accepted power dynamics holding us back will be healed.

If we didn’t already know as much, Nicholas Kristof’s “If Hillary groped men” crystallizes the double standard of behavior for men and women very powerfully. Can a modern society call itself civilized and still persist in this duplicity?

Truth be told, Clinton and Trump are perhaps both symptoms of the rotting civilization we see around us, and the astrology suggests that we need to move beyond them both, when the time is right. Unfortunately, this sorely needed social/political rebirth is still roughly 4 years away—after we’ve completed what’s left of the present Jupiter-Saturn breakdown/clearing out phase. This is a complicated story for another day, but suffice to say here that Election 2020 could be refreshingly different.  

Meanwhile, the imperative in this election is to choose which of our intensely disliked candidates is best fit to carry us through that clearing out process without selling out our national soul, totally shredding our economy and getting us into senseless wars. The policies laid down by this next administration will either provide a bridge to a better reality for all of us in the 2020s, or they will set us back for decades.

I will argue here that the difficult—or as many feel, the “nonexistent”—choice we are faced with in 2016 has been powerfully impacted by where the final quarter of the current 2000 Jupiter-Saturn cycle began in August, 2015. This was around the time both candidates were announcing their intentions and those dynamics have colored everything since. Let’s consider the relevant charts.

Bring on the games

In May, 2000, Jupiter and Saturn began the cycle we are still completing today by conjoining at 22°+Taurus—a fixed earth sign that is intensely focused on material progress. Ironically, this cycle opened during the waning days of then-President Bill Clinton’s prosperous, but troubled administration (Clinton left the last national budget surplus we’ve enjoyed). 

Difficult times (for the 99%, not so much for the 1%) took over almost immediately with the new cycle, but fast forward to August 3, 2015 and Jupiter and Saturn form their final square in this 2000 cycle, falling at 28°+Leo and 28°+Scorpio respectively. The broad dynamics of Election 2016 thus fell into place between these hard-headed fixed signs. In retrospect, this chart seems to call the primary results before the races even got going.

With his hot-headed angular Mars-ASC conjoined 3rd quarter Jupiter (itself conjoined by Mercury and Venus) in late Leo, Trump saw his opportunity and descended his golden elevator to grab it. He’s been considering a run for decades, and I can only imagine that an astrologer pointed out the cosmic opening. On the other side, Clinton probably sensed—with her keen Scorpionic antennae (Sun-Chiron-Venus-Mercury) and steely Leo backbone (Mars-Saturn-Pluto)—that the time was ripe for her to run, as well. See Biwheels 1 and 2 below for these details.

Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY; (outer wheel) 3rd Quarter Phase, 2000 Jupiter-Saturn Cycle, August 3, 2015, 05:37:52 a.m. DST, Washington, D.C. Equal houses, True Node. 

Biwheel #2: (inner wheel) Hillary Rodham Clinton, October 26, 1947, 8:02 a.m. (contested time) ST, Chicago, IL; (outer wheel) 3rd Quarter Phase, 2000 Jupiter-Saturn Cycle, August 3, 2015, 05:37:52 a.m. DST, Washington, D.C. Equal houses, True Node. 

One last Boomer presidency? 

Besides, both candidates probably realized that it was “now or never”—at roughly 69 and 70 respectively, Clinton and Trump may be the last Pluto in Leo (Boomer) presidential contenders ever. This is a side story for another day, but aside from it’s not being my generation’s finest hour by a long stretch, this campaign represents a generational step backwards (Obama has Pluto in Virgo). Unfortunately, it feels like a step backwards in other ways, as well. If this bizarre campaign has proven anything, it’s that we could benefit from new ideas and fresh faces.

It is what it is

Still, these two candidates are the hand we’ve been dealt, with good astrological reason, so I’m willing to believe that we had to take this step back in order to clear the way going forward. Clinton is, for better or worse, among the most experienced candidates we’ve ever had, and she has the battle scars to prove it. Trump, for his part, is inspiring a lot of national soul-searching, which isn’t all bad. Getting beyond a Trump defeat with that soul intact will be another story.

Let’s consider the insights this 3rd quarter Jupiter-Saturn chart offers; for context, we’ll consider the cycle chart against the U.S. Sibly chart (Biwheel #3 below).

Biwheel #3: (inner wheel) U.S. Sibly chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (outer wheel) 3rd Q 2000 Jupiter-Saturn cycle, August 3, 2015, 5:37:52 a.m. DST, Washington, D.C. Equal Houses and True Node.

3rd Q Sun (Leo) conjoins Sibly Node (Leo) and sextiles Sibly Uranus (Gemini) and Sibly Saturn (Libra); 3rd Q Pluto (Capricorn) squares Sibly Saturn. We’ve seen how this campaign has leveraged the economic anxieties of working class Americans (6th h. Sibly Uranus) to challenge the “Establishment” (3rd Q Pluto in Capricorn squares Sibly Saturn). 

This challenge is only exacerbated by 3rd Q Mars conjoining Sibly Mercury (Cancer) and opposing Sibly Pluto (Capricorn). All this works together because Mercury disposes Sibly Uranus (Mercury rules Gemini).

Bottom line, American workers have been feeling stressed out, anxious and angry at “politics as usual” (3rd Q Mars also inconjoins Sibly Moon in Aquarius, representing the “People”).

The fixed nature of this 3rd quarter square—strongly reinforced by its Leo Sun-Sibly Node—reflects the difficult time many Americans are having accepting the demographic changes we’ve seen since immigration was opened up in the 1960s. The unfolding transformation we’ve seen in the American job market, in jobs lost to trade deals and globalization, and in the nature of work itself has fueled other anxieties that aren’t going to go away any time soon. People have made it clear that they want to return to more stable, prosperous times for their families, and this 3rd Q phase has given them an outlet for expression.

Trump’s 10°+Leo Pluto ties in tightly with this configuration, which reflects how powerful these hot button issues have been for Trump—it’s no surprise his announcement speech went right for the jugular on immigration policy, offering broad sweeping solutions (“build a wall”). 

On the other side, Clinton’s Leo-Scorpio planets tie into the same configuration and reflect her more “policy-wonk”-style of discussing these issues. We won’t see the end to this story on November 9th, and in the nature of a 3rd quarter, it could get worse before it gets better.

Interchart T-square: 3rd Q Mercury-Jupiter-Venus (Leo) oppose Sibly Moon (Aquarius); this axis squares 3rd Q Saturn. Mercury and Venus here added glitz and charisma to Trump’s campaign—especially early on. So closely tied into his Mars-ASC, this certainly evokes Trump’s “star power,” and the people (oppositions to Sibly Moon) ate it up. From descending on an escalator to a “winning” soundtrack, to flying in for rallies on his private jet, he has pulled out all the celebrity clichés, until reality—and societal standards of behavior (square to 3rd Q Saturn)—started catching up with him.

Even so, Leo Jupiter has the arrogant chutzpah to confront the powers-that-be, so this t-square also represents the “screw you” message Trump’s campaign has issued establishment politics. “Trump will be Trump” is a phrase often heard when he defies decorum, and is certainly reflected here.

Clinton has a more complicated relationship to this T-square, with her Leo-Scorpio groupings tying in to the 3rd Q groupings in these signs, but not as tightly as Trump’s Mars-ASC do.  3rd Q Saturn conjoined her Jupiter (Sagittarius) in an out-of-sign (or dissociate) conjunction, which reflects how hard she’s had to work for every bit of growth her campaign has realized. This is probably also her saving grace as a candidate, at least for those who look less for charisma and more for substance and depth of experience. If there really is a legitimate contest between the candidates over stamina, her Leo-Scorpio squares give her an edge.

Clinton is up against the nagging issue of trust, however—the lack of trust that seems to dog her campaign, no matter how many hours of intense Congressional/FBI scrutiny she undergoes.  This almost gut level response to her speaks to her Scorpio squares to these 3rd Q Leo points, and to the square between her Mercury-ASC-South Node and Sibly Moon (Aquarius). Being a Sagittarian nation, we seem to fear the more closed Scorpio persona we see in Clinton—trouble is, like Trump, “Hillary will be Hillary.”

Astrology textbooks emphasize the light and dark expression of each Zodiac sign: at its best, Scorpio (co-ruled by Mars-Pluto) promotes a commitment to the right use of power, which we certainly need in our politics. This commitment evolves over a lifetime, however, so it’s no wonder the public is challenged to understand a Scorpio native’s journey. Clinton has proven she is able and knowledgeable and willing to do the work of governing, but we can’t really know what’s going on in her heart, any more than we can know what goes on in Trump’s mind, in his taxes, in his international ties, his relations with women, and so on. 

I think it’s fair to say that neither contender passes the “WYSIWYG” test entirely.

In general, however, nothing is ever made easy for Clinton, so even if she wins in November, the path ahead looks very difficult—3rd Q Moon-Chiron (Pisces) fell tightly conjunct her Moon (Pisces), hitting the one vulnerable “soft spot” of her chart. I would venture that she feels the brutal attacks that Trump and others launch at her more deeply than she lets on. She could pull out the “victim” card as easily as he does, but he’s beat her to it with this same 3rd Q Moon squaring his intense Gemini-Sagittarius opposition.

Besides, Clinton knows that the double standard for men and women would act against her if she starts crying “victim,” so she’s basically opted to maintain strength in the face of attack. And the attacks don’t seem to ever stop—between her husband’s baggage, Trump’s smears, Wikileaks, and the Russians feeding Wikileaks with questionable, hacked documents, Clinton is called upon to have the fortitude of several men. Without really laying it out in so many words, she’s letting us know more about her inner life than we might think.

Interchart T-square: 3rd Q Mars-Sibly Mercury (Cancer) opposite Sibly Pluto squares 3rd Q Uranus-MC-Eris (Aries). These Aries points trine 3rd Q Mercury-Jupiter-Venus (Leo). This configuration works closely with the following, so it’s simpler to discuss both together:

Interchart Grand-square: Uranus-MC-Eris (Aries) conjoin Sibly Chiron (Aries), oppose Sibly Saturn (Libra); this axis squares 3rd Q Pluto (Capricorn) opposite Sibly Sun (Cancer).  We’ve discussed the Leo emphasis in this 3rd Q chart, but these aspects involving disruptive Uranus-Eris explain the passion and desire for change-at-all-costs that has characterized this anti-Establishment campaign. This passion has emerged from deep national wounds (Sibly Chiron) brought to a head by the 2007-8 recession. The Sibly 2nd-8th house axis speaks to the economy and the oppositions reflect the many ways in which inequality is always possible in our system, so it’s no surprise that those issues have been so powerful in this election.

The radical transformation of what it means to “be presidential” is certainly seen here, as well, with 3rd Q Pluto opposed Sibly Sun. Countless commentators have noted that any one of Trump’s outrageous pronouncements would have sunk his campaign if these were different times, but his behavior has somehow been acceptable to his diehard followers. As happens often with oppositions, the double standard lives to see another day.

This configuration also evokes the national “gladiator games” mentioned earlier—the “victims” that have been devoured in this campaign, however, are the important issues (Sibly Mercury) that deserve frank discussion and dedicated policy (Sibly Pluto) responses. 3rd Q Neptune (Pisces) trines Sibly Venus-Jupiter-Sun, and as we’ve seen, this has only added to the spectacle and has obfuscated important 7th and 8th house issues. With 3rd Q Saturn-Neptune square, the confusion extends to our public institutions and the very ideals of democracy.  

Many key questions have emerged during this campaign, but the ones reflected here are: What is the true value of our alliances and international agreements (7th house Venus-Jupiter), and how do we proceed from here? Is there unacceptable meddling (Neptune trines Sibly Venus-Jupiter -- i.e., Russian hacking undermining public confidence in our election) going on that we need to address? How do we move forward in a globalized economy (2nd-8th house Cancer-Capricorn) without causing even greater distress at home?

A final thought

As countless commentators have reminded us, supporters on both sides have legitimate concerns that deserve consideration, but if Debate #3 follows the pattern set by #1 and #2, the destructive entertainment will win out over those issues. Millions will tune in for the spectacle—SNL will undoubtedly capture the new round of absurdity—and the news will be abuzz with Trump’s latest pranks and outrage, as both candidates claim victory. So far, these exercises have only further debased our politics, and that debasement is already the “end of civilization” as we know it. 

IMHO, the serious needs of our times deserve better - two disgusted thumbs down!

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former university English instructor. 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. Raye can be contacted by comment here, or at: 

© Raye Robertson 2016. All rights reserved. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Hurricane Trump shreds the GOP – the astrology

Trump and the GOP have hitched their fates to each other, but clearly there’s no love lost between them. Trump doesn’t equate his own personal success...with party success, and the GOP’s purposes aren’t very well served by Trump’s agenda and followers, either.

This past March, I posted an article that analyzed the astrology surrounding the GOP’s fractured state and its parallels to California’s precarious, earthquake-prone status. Of course, at that time the political dilemma was the Republican primaries and way in which the GOP was being co-opted for Donald Trump’s even then-controversial campaign. Little did we know then just how controversial that campaign would become, and how disastrous it would be for what remained of GOP party integrity. The threat of earthquake seemed like an apt metaphor at the time—now, I’d have to say the situation has evolved into more of a cataclysmic hurricane. Coincidental?

I said then that “the Party is crumbling from within”—a development illustrated convincingly by the astrology—but in the wake of this past Friday’s (10/7) release of Access Hollywood tapes showing Donald Trump bragging in the most disgusting possible terms about being able to “do anything” to women because he’s a “star” (gag me with a stick), the Party of Lincoln is more like a coastal city being shredded by Hurricane force winds.

Indeed, astrology shows that these timely convergences (Hurricane Matthew with the GOP’s latest crisis) are never accidental: GOP leaders and down-ballot candidates have staged a mass evacuation from their positions of support and are fleeing for higher moral ground. Or at least higher, voter-friendly ground. On this post-Debate #2 morning (more on that stalk-fest going forward), House Speaker Paul Ryan has stated that he will “no longer defend Donald Trump.”

“In a conference call with members Monday morning, Ryan told members ‘you all need to do what's best for you and your district,’ according to someone who listened to the meeting.”
Reportedly, Ryan has not taken the important symbolic step of un-endorsing Trump, but—to the anger of some GOP members—he is withdrawing any further efforts to support him.

I’ve analyzed Trump’s chart and his chaotic tendencies repeatedly over the past year, and Trump—and the entire lunatic event we’ve been calling an election—have been the most intensely analyzed subjects ever in my experience.  I’m really starting to think that the fascination we’ve all had for this lunacy has been part of the problem:  by focusing so much attention on this man’s antics and on his disregard for even the most basic rules of civility and humanity, we only feed the ego-fire that seems to consume his every moment.

With fiery Mars in Leo on his Ascendant (middle wheel, triwheel below), we shouldn’t be surprised that Trump radiates narcissistic rage whenever he feels unfairly challenged (which is any time he’s challenged). In fact, this Mars loomed large on the debate stage Sunday night, as he impatiently paced the stage, scowling, and at times looming behind Clinton as she answered questions.

News commentators noted this body language, finding it threatening, creepy and, as one put it, a "pre-assault indicator." Visually there was no missing the fact that his large bulk often overshadowed Clinton’s smaller stature in the television frame. As a well-seasoned media “star,” Trump clearly knows how to upstage others, and he deployed that skill in a very menacing way here. When he was speaking, his demeanor was similarly aggressive, and though no one mentioned it much this time, he was also sniffing the whole time he was speaking.

It’s not likely Trump had a cold during both debates, but he certainly sniffed his way through both. If he has sniff-causing allergies, he could have medicated them away for an hour or two, but this time the sniffing came across even more like a nervous need to draw attention and upstage his opponent. His Leo Mars is disposed by a Gemini Sun, disposed in turn by Cancer Mercury square Aries Eris (at 6°41’ Aries, not shown), so it’s quite possible the sniffing reflects the Raging Bull persona we witnessed onstage last night, courtesy of his Mars-ASC.

The Mercury connection here speaks to how he manages to turn language and words (and maybe even sniffs) into pre-emptive strike weapons. We heard a lot this past week about the destructive nature of hurricane storm surges—Trump’s incessant word surges and aggressive over-the-top exaggerations are similarly overwhelming and destructive (to our collective morale, if not to his opponent), and they certainly speak to the aggressive restlessness of his Leo points.

In fact, Trump is very familiar with the wrestling arena (Jake La Motta was a boxer, to be fair, but the arenas are similar), and it showed in his belligerent behavior Sunday night. He seems comfortable in the aggressive, no-holds-barred, “me against the world” universe he’s created for himself in this campaign, and indeed, his Cancer-Aries square—especially involving Eris—speaks to a pugilistic worldview.

This, I believe, explains a lot about his threatening tactics, his worldview and policy stands, and his misogynistic view of women as “conquests.” The Access Hollywood and Howard Stern Show tapes should be evidence enough of this.

An epidemic of “scary clowns”

For now, let’s bring the discussion back to the long term stakes. Trump provides intoxicating entertainment for news watchers, but if we’re lucky, he’ll disappear back up that golden escalator once this circus we’re calling an election is over. Again, there are no coincidences in astrology, so it’s little wonder that we’re seeing an epidemic of “Scary Clown” incidents these days. This entire election has been shot through with mistrust over the “masks” our candidates seem to wear, and each side is more terrified than the other over what lurks behind those masks. Meanwhile, the election looms in less than a month and one of our major political parties is in crisis.

As we’ll discuss much more by the end of this story, the GOP’s future and its critical role within our 2-party system will play out over several years to come. Significantly, while Trump’s campaign has downgraded and divided the GOP, Russia appears to be attempting similar damage by hacking the Democratic party. Is it just me, or is our entire system of representative government under fire? A story for another day.

First, let’s briefly update the issues discussed in my March 1, 2016 posting by examining the chart for the second debate against the GOP’s founding chart and Trump’s natal chart. This debate was largely considered an impossible situation for Trump (in the wake of Friday’s revelations), but as many would admit, he did “better” than expected (who knew what to expect?), keeping Hillary Clinton on the defense for large segments of the event. Did he do the GOP any service with his performance last night?

In a grotesque and vicious pre-debate ploy, Trump staged a “press conference” that featured four women who were supposedly there to accuse Bill Clinton of past sexual misconduct. As Greg Sargent, writing for the Washington Post so aptly put it, this ill-conceived “gambit” was designed not to address the feminist issue at the heart of sexual misconduct, but more to humiliate and rattle Trump's opponent—who Trump wants to paint as “guilty” of enabling her husband’s philandering. All things considered, Trump's ploy ended up being an even uglier twist on misogyny than his usual. Sargent feels strongly that Trump did not do the GOP any service with his performance last night.  

Republican strategist Steve Schmidt reportedly believes the campaign is all but over, with the only question being how badly the GOP will lose in November. Relevant to our discussion here, he states that Trump’s candidacy reveals the “intellectual rot in the Republican party….” Bottom line, Schmidt doubts that the party will have sufficient integrity left to promote the conservative agenda it claims to represent. 

Let’s consider the triwheel:

Triwheel #1: (inner wheel) U.S. Republican Party, March 20, 1854, 12:00 p.m. LMT (noon chart, no exact time known), Ripon, Wisconsin; (middle wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m., DST, Jamaica, New York; (outer wheel) 2nd Presidential Debate, October 9, 2016, 9:00 p.m. DST, St. Louis, Missouri.

First, a few sweeping generalizations

This triwheel reads like a study in frustrating, oppositional forces—an exact reflection of how the debate came across on television. We find numerous interchart t-squares and grand crosses, depicting the Jerry Springer-type sparring we witnessed from Trump’s side. Clinton appeared to be trying to go high” when Trump “went low,” (as Michelle Obama counseled), but she took some deeply wounding blows which we'll consider another day.

Interchart Grand Cross: Debate Sun (Libra) conjoins Trump Jupiter (Libra) and opposes Debate Uranus-Eris (Aries, Eris not shown); this axis is squared by Trump’s Saturn-Venus (Cancer) opposed to GOP Chiron-Jupiter (Capricorn). I’ve cast the GOP inception chart for noon because there’s no published time for its founding meeting in 1854. That limits our use of angles and Moon degrees, but there’s certainly enough drama in this triwheel without those details. If noon were the correct time, this grand cross configuration’s intensity would be heightened by its proximity to the GOP Cancer-Capricorn horizon. I’m guessing that an astrologer rectifying this GOP chart might want to consider this dramatic triwheel—the current crisis certainly seems to be an existential threat to the GOP as we know it, so perhaps the timing seen in this chart is not that far off.

As for Trump’s role in this triwheel, his natal Jupiter (Libra) is literally “in the heart” (cazimi) of the Debate Sun, perhaps reflecting his “better-than-expected” performance. His defenses (Cancer Venus-Saturn) were finely tuned and he was laser-focused on (close square to Debate Uranus) destroying his opponent (Debate Sun-Trump Jupiter opposition to Debate Uranus-Eris).

His tactics, however, only further debilitate the GOP’s chances of success (his Cancer planets and Libra Jupiter t-square GOP Jupiter-Chiron) along with his own prospects. Analyst Michael Gerson says Sunday night’s debate was the “worst possible outcome for the GOP” because Trump didn’t even try to appeal to mainstream GOP voters with his talking points. Uranus-Eris has been transiting widely trine his natal Mars-ASC (Leo), unleashing Trump’s combative nature and furthering his oppositional relationship with the Party.

Doubling down rather than courting party support, Trump has taken to lashing out at GOP members and the party in general for their perceived lack of support (Cancer planets opposed GOP Jupiter-Chiron). With Trump’s Saturn-Venus conjunction (Cancer) trine the GOP Sun (Pisces) and his Mars (Leo) exactly inconjunct that Sun, it appears the Party has been railroaded into supporting its own demise.

This fatal attraction is reflected even further by the addition of Debate Pluto (Capricorn) into this grand cross. Indeed, the Debate Moon/Pluto (midpoint, Capricorn) ties in very closely with the GOP’s Jupiter-Chiron and opposing Trump’s Saturn-Venus—it’s no wonder that Trump’s depraved approach to women featured prominently in the past week’s run up to the debate. His cavalier attempt to dismiss the so-called “hot mic” revelations as “locker talk” is already coming back to bite him—and the party.

With Uranus-Eris’s long term transit squaring all these Cancer-Capricorn points, it appears that Trump’s “success” (Jupiter) in disgusting women everywhere will severely wound the party (GOP Jupiter-Chiron). Trump and the party have hitched their fates to each other, but clearly there’s no love lost between them. Trump doesn’t equate his own personal success (i.e., the ego-gratifying glory he cultivates with his most loyal base) with party success and the GOP’s purposes aren’t very well served by Trump’s agenda and followers, either.

Commentators continue to ask whether Trump really wants the presidency, or if he’s simply using the GOP to cultivate a following he can leverage for other purposes after the election. The fraught convergence of oppositional cardinal forces we see in these charts suggest that these commentators may be on to something.

Interchart T-Square: Trump Sun-Node-Uranus (Gemini) oppose Trump Moon (Sagittarius); this axis squares Debate Chiron (Pisces)-GOP Sun/Neptune (midpoint, Pisces). The GOP’s Sun/Neptune midpoint is strongly triggered here by its relationship with Trump, evoking the problems that can arise when a one partner in the relationship lives in an “alternative” or delusionary reality; such relationships are often exploitative, codependent and ultimately destructive. As columnist Maureen Dowd put it on October 9th:

“In Trump’s alternate universe, he is always the winner. If he’s not, the system is rigged, the mike is faulty, the media is biased. Narcissists can see only themselves in a fun-house mirror, either larger or smaller than they really are at any given moment, so it is impossible for others to convey a true picture to them.”

In fact, the delusions are probably equally shared between the candidate and his beleaguered party in the present instance: despite serious misgivings from the get-go (again, see March 1 posting) GOP members made a calculated decision to support Trump’s nomination early on because they were dazzled by his primary victories and loyal following. Unfortunately, they failed to see that Trump would be unable and probably unwilling to broaden his very limited base.

At a time when the GOP knows (at least theoretically) that it needs to expand its base to meet today’s changing demographics, Trump wants to drag them back into the good ‘ol pre-Civil Rights era. It isn’t going to work because denying reality (a comfortable default for Trump, but not a very sound political strategy for a party) is a dead, delusional end.

Fateful turnings

Interchart Grand Cross: Debate Neptune-South Node (Pisces) conjoins GOP Neptune and opposes Debate North Node (Virgo); this axis squares Debate Saturn (Sagittarius) and Trump Uranus. Additional points factor into this configuration—especially if we consider progressions—but we’ll consider those as needed to flesh out the story. Clearly, the GOP is caught on the horns of an outer planetary dilemma; for starters, as an organization, they are experiencing their Neptune return in Pisces, which explains the almost hysterical tone of their candidate’s appeal and the blind faith his following continues to have in him.

Neptune has inspired hysteria and a mob mentality throughout history because those who know how to use Neptune’s power tap into a society’s primal depths of insecurity, perceived victimization and existential fears. There’s nothing rational about Neptune—“Make America great again” has little to do with a future plan and everything to do with perceived wrongs and anxieties about changing times. The passive aggression associated with Neptunian idealism (seen in insinuating rhetoric like “People tell me that…”) morphs into overt aggression when the mob takes over.

Of course, used wisely, Neptunian energies are compassionate, uplifting and even euphoric, but there are light and dark sides to every planetary energy, and the GOP (and the country, by extension) has had front row seats for negative Neptune. It’s significant that as the Party of Lincoln, the GOP is also the Party of Neptune, their Venus and late Pisces Sun disposed by Neptune. They were “blessed” by Neptune from the get-go, with Venus exalted in Pisces, disposing their Taurus Pluto, Uranus and Saturn. These roots speak to Lincoln’s determination to end the victimization of slavery—not just for compassionate reasons, but for economic reasons (Taurus) and to build a stronger nation going forward. As we know, that transition challenged the GOP to its core, but they survived and evolved into the party we see in crisis today.

People tend to fear Pluto’s more overt destructive force, but Pluto merely finishes the job Neptune starts. Neptune breaks down existing realities using erosion, disillusionment and overwhelm—we’re seeing all of these with the breakdown of GOP unity, the obfuscation of its traditional core messages and strengths. By allowing their party to be co-opted by divisive extremism, we are seeing the destruction wreaked by both Neptune and Pluto.

Interchart Grand Cross: Debate Jupiter (Libra) conjoins Trump Neptune (Libra) and opposes GOP Mercury (Aries); this axis squares Trump Mercury (Cancer) opposed to Debate Mars (Capricorn). We considered earlier how Trump’s Mercury-Neptune square enables his conspiracy-driven mindset, but here we see why that tendency loomed so large and to such depressing effect in the debate. Debate Mars exactly opposed Trump’s Cancer Mercury from Capricorn, a water-earth sign combination (“mud”) that Trump put to very mean-spirited effect, using language and threats ("you'd be in jail") to lash his opponent with what could have been crippling verbal blows to a weaker target.  

Luring Clinton into the muck for a knock-out didn’t prove to be that easy, however. Clinton anticipated Trump’s plans and sought higher ground (when an emotional water sign like Cancer “floods,” flee to the earth sign “hills”). There was stunning irony in Trump’s accusing Clinton of having “hatred in her heart” when he was the one radiating vitriol from every pore. The young Muslim lady who ventured a question to Trump about how he would assure her safety in this country going forward probably understood Clinton’s pain, and the strength it took for her to calmly confront the bully looming over her shoulder.  

A word about progressions

On debate #2 night, Saturn fell opposite the GOP’s progressed Saturn (15°+Gemini), the GOP’s progressed Mars (1°+Scorpio) opposed the GOP’s radix Pluto (Taurus) and transiting Pluto fell within orb of the party’s progressed Jupiter (retrograde at 18°+Capricorn). This complex of energies certainly evokes the need for a structural overhaul (Saturn); as for the Mars and Pluto dynamics, they reflect to a tee the brutal “thug” energy Trump has brought into the party’s discourse. As we’ll see ahead, the party’s Uranus (Taurus) also plays a role here.

Bottom line, the party is not likely to thrive until it does the soul-searching a retrograde progressed Jupiter calls for, clearing out the old destructive energies and restoring a productive raison d’ětre (progressed Saturn).  

Instinctive power

Thankfully, rational Saturn (Sagittarius) has been challenging Neptune’s erosion of the GOP’s democratic principles in favor of a Mars-Uranus-Pluto influenced “strong man” candidate, but challenging Trump with fact-checking and extensive media analyses that would be damning to any other candidate hasn’t been enough to disengage his core following. He simply has a deeper hold on them than anyone could have anticipated.

It’s not too big a mystery how he’s accomplished this: it appears he’s been able to tap into the GOP’s Taurus Uranus (the more radical fringe) with a belligerent square from his 12th house Leo Pluto: he has simply followed his instincts and drawn in these hidden denizens of the GOP (white supremacists, etc.), who are usually ignored and marginalized. Best of all, they’re angry because they don’t feel they’ve “gotten theirs” (Taurus)strong-man governments never thrive without the energies of an angry, minimally-educated following. Anger and angst become the life force of such movements and the results are always painful.


The transiting nodal axis’s presence during the GOP’s Neptune return perhaps reflects the critical turning point that the party’s has been stumbling over these days. The Debate Pisces South Node here evokes the party’s past, perhaps explaining why they’ve twisted themselves in ideological knots over the years trying to leverage constituencies that are, by nature, at odds. How can any party try to accommodate the super-wealthy and the uneducated white working poor? Throw in the religious conservative cohort and the gun lobby and the mix becomes even less workable. The agendas are bound to clash eventually, and Trump leveraged the dissatisfaction of some groups to the detriment of all the others.

Indeed, his core message hasn’t been entirely off-base—it resonates for valid reasons with many working people. He simply doesn’t know how—or isn’t willing to—broaden his agenda to fit today’s pluralistic democracy and demographics. Instead, he’s continuing to court one, mostly marginalized constituency with his message, ensnaring the party at large in the process. Left to scratch its collective head in disbelief, the party is now reportedly in a state of “civil war”—the RNC falling over its feet to reassure the media it is 100% behind their candidate, while House Leader Paul Ryan issues an “every member for themselves” alert for the sake of Congressional majorities.  

On the other end of the axis, the Virgo North Node represents the desirable path forward for the party—a return to a true spirit of public service, perhaps? This node speaks to all politicians, not simply the GOP—public service is often the last thing on their minds, it seems. As for the GOP, this would be impossible without becoming more inclusive, a major challenge they acknowledged from the top levels of the party after Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012. 

As with many paths forward, however, the GOP was waylaid and its weaknesses were horribly exploited. Their progressed Jupiter doesn’t turn direct for approximately 16 years, so they may not return to anything resembling the Party of Lincoln for several election cycles. We can hope they at least try.

Whether we have ever agreed with the GOP about anything or not, we have to appreciate their central importance to our 2-Party electoral system. If they continue the unhealthy track they’re on, we will all suffer (witness this horrendous election). As Rep. Greg Walder (R, Ore.) put it, “navigating the election is now like landing an airplane in a hurricane,” and as we see in today’s news, Hurricane Trump has no plans to exit peacefully offshore. 

The destruction he’s left in his wake has brought down the promising careers of what Republican consultant Rick Wilson calls “a generation of GOP stars,” adding that “everything Trump touches dies.” Harsh words, but being able to admit the problem is the first step to solving it. If we want to get anything productive done in this nation, we need to wish our GOP friends well.   

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former university English instructor. 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. Raye can be contacted by comment here, or at: 

© Raye Robertson 2016. All rights reserved. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Finding the Balance: The Pluto in Libra generation revisited, Part 2

It is perhaps one of the higher purposes of the Libra generation to get the balance between these imperatives of privacy and security right...

Snowden’s ostensibly “criminal” actions certainly illustrate the dilemma we are all in with regards to privacy and security—this is not just about Snowden— but about how his overall Pluto in Libra generation (known hereafter as "PL") is finding its strengths and place in the American continuum, and raising important questions as it does. 

Great tension exists between truth-telling and transparency on one hand, and the tendency for government to push our Constitutional protections until somehow cries foul on the other. It is perhaps one of the higher purposes of the Libra generation to get the balance between these two imperatives right.

A lot is at stake in this generation's collective well-being going forward. For starters, the astrology of 2020 fits their “fire and air” inception chart very nicely (see Chart #1 below), so it’s just possible one of the the next U.S. presidents could be from their generation. One way or another, PLs are found today in every corner of government and public service—they’re scientists and doctors, technicians and astronauts, educators, engineers and inventors, journalists, politicians, screenwriters, producers, artists, social movement leaders, and so on. 

Chart #1: Pluto Libra ingress, October 4, 1971, 9:52 p.m. DST, Washington, DC. Tropical Equal houses, True Node. 

Of course, these broad strokes in no way represent the experience of every PL individual; cultural and environmental differences (and the endless cycling of transits, progressions, etc.) make for countless individual variations on the PL “theme.”

Broadly speaking, the PL generation was born feeling responsible for saving the world—like good Libras they value fairness and justice, and growing up, they didn’t watch all those “super-hero” movies for nothing. College and other life experiences (they are a more highly-educated generation than their parents) inspired them to achieve great things, and though many came back to “reality” with a thud when they found jobs for super-hero types were not that easy to find, they’ve proven resilient.

For that matter, many PLs are contributing in larger-than-life ways. Chris Martin of Coldplay is heading up the Global Citizen’s Festival in New York City’s Central Park (happening this past week), to support the United Nation’s sustainable development goals to end extreme global poverty. Sergey Brin and Larry Page—the founders of Google—are both PLs, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg missed having Pluto in Libra by 5 days during a retrograde Scorpio phase in 1984. 

A latter-day Pluto in Virgo—Elon Musk—may be the visionary who finally electrifies an affordable car for the mass public, and moves the exploration of Mars forward, but PLs (and Millennials, to be fair) will energize these efforts. The transition to a “fire and air” (solar and electric) energy economy is on the horizon, and they will carry it through the obstacles.

PL women are full partners in these exciting times, playing prominent roles, as well—Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg was born in 1972; YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki was born in 1971; Marissa Mayer, the embattled CEO at Yahoo, was born in 1978, and so on. If Hillary Clinton doesn’t crash that highest glass ceiling, after all, a PL woman is likely to do so, and soon.

The ranks of are crowded with PL speakers (both genders) touting fabulous ideas for the future: bottom line, PLs are a thoughtful generation that wants to make a difference, and they are doing just that.

Sub-generations and upcoming Saturn issues

There are 5 Saturn “sub-generations” within the Pluto in Libra cohort:

Saturn in Cancer:        8/73-1/74; 4/74-9/75
            Saturn in Leo:             9/75-1/76; 6/76-7/78
            Saturn in Virgo:          7/78-9/80
            Saturn in Libra:           9/80-11/82; 5/83-8/83
            Saturn in Scorpio:       11/82-5/83; 8/83-11/85 (Pluto leaves Libra in 8/84)

All five cohorts have navigated their first Saturn returns and have overall (there are always exceptions) become responsible adults raising children, juggling today’s economic and work pressures along with the rest of us.

By Election Day (outer wheel, Biwheel #1, below), Saturn will have transited over their generational chart’s Sagittarius DSC, suggesting a time for assuming responsibility and authority in more visible ways. Challenges tend to follow this transit, but PLs appear positioned for success: this Saturn falls between and sextiles both their Aquarius Mars and their Libra Sun-Uranus-Venus, suggesting they will have renewed opportunities to apply dynamic technical brilliance (Mars-Uranus in air) and diplomacy (Libra) in their professions going forward.

The country is long overdue for a technical revolution that plants us firmly in the post-fossil fuel age and comes to grips with climate change, and PLs will probably drive rapid developments in these areas in the 2020s.  Their generational chart’s Aquarius Node-Mars-MC will resonate nicely with the new Aquarius Jupiter-Saturn cycle launching at the end of 2020 at 0°+Aquarius (not shown), exactly trine their generational Pluto. Pluto's Aquarius ingress in 2023 should empower them even further.  

As for PL diplomatic skills, we are faced with some of the most intractable situations ever right now, involving North Korea, Russia and Syria: we can use all the help we can get!

Election Saturn and Venus (both Sagittarius) individually trine transiting Uranus-PL Moon (both Aries). “PL power” is likely to rise in the public sphere during the post-election period, likely on the strength of their skills: diplomatic (Libra) and technical (Aquarius Mars disposes Aries Moon). It might behoove the next President to appoint a number of PLs to the new Cabinet: Secretary of State and Secretary of Energy, for starters.

A peace-loving Pluto

Pluto leads a five-planet, 21+ degree Libra stellium in the PL chart, so this generation would prefer peace and harmony to war. This is not to say that they are a generation of pacifists—this Pluto also gets why conflict that helps restore balance to volatile situations might be necessary here and there. The simple fact that PLs see peace and harmony as their preferred default, however, says we need their help in Washington.

This stellium also reflects how intensely they  need balance in all things for their collective well-being: their generational Sun falls in the center of this stellium, bracketed on one side by Mercury and Pluto, on the other by Uranus and Venus. They “get” the power invested in technology, communications and human relations—these three are second nature to PLs (cozied up to their Sun) and help them maintain their balance.

With its stunning Air/Fire oppositions, the PL chart reflects the polarized times this generation came into. They cut their teeth on East-meets-West, and came of age in a crusader climate of “U.S. vs. Them.” Libra requires an Other, so it’s fitting that each of their generational planets has its Tango partner—except for Mars. Mars dances with everybody—from their 9th house, he conjuncts the Node and provides the 3rd leg of an Air grand trine. It’s his job (in Aquarius) to keep things exciting.

Mars provides an outlet for the chart’s tense oppositional forces, channeling them into principled action. Like kids in the back seat, saying “are we there yet?” PLs have eagerly awaited a societal shift to more Aquarian principles: with their Sun/Uranus trine to Mars in Aquarius, they should feel entirely in their element when Jupiter and Saturn begin their Aquarius cycle in December 2020.

We'll consider this more deeply in a future post, but the Aquarius cycle should liberate this generation’s inner “superpower”—thriving in extreme oppositional situations. The “9-to-5” drill has never been enough for them because with a generational Aries Moon disposed by Aquarius Mars, they love pushing limits.

Chiron’s children

I often think of Pluto in Libras as Chiron’s children. Their generation debuted with Chiron in their collective 10th house—a parental house—during the same decade in which Chiron was discovered (1977). In this biwheel, Election Saturn trines this dynamic Chiron (Aries) and sextiles their generational Libra Sun. Clearly, the self-esteem and confidence issues that seemed to haunt so many of them growing up are healing with time—they are finding their personal, moral and ethical (Aries, Libra, Sagittarius) centers. They’ve always known how to connect with each other—social media is their babygoing forward, they will apply their deepening sensibilities to healing global connections.  

Mercury/Sun/Uranus opposite Chiron. In 2005, I wrote that this one aspect captures the oppositional nature of the entire PL chart. In myth, Chiron was a dual creature: both mortal and divine, man and beast, he mirrors the PL’s split between Fire and Air, mind and heart. Chiron in Aries counters the driven, instinctual “beast” with the cerebral, balance-seeking Libra Sun. Chiron wounds cut deep in Aries, threatening Libra’s fragile self-confidence, but by and large the generation has worked hard to prove its worth, and the world is taking notice.

Besides, time is healing. Election Chiron (Pisces) squares their Gemini-Sagittarius horizon (ASC-DSC) and quincunxes their generational Venus (Libra), so some insecurities will surely remain, but there will be an opportunity to resolve and heal these as Chiron completes its return to their Aries placement in 2021.

This healing process will proceed along with the gradual fading of their parents’ generation (we’re in no hurry, but that’s reality)—Election Pluto (Capricorn) marks the early days of a long transit through their generational 8th house, which suggests that for years to come, they will be dealing en masse with life and death issues and the task of caring for aging parents. Deeper wisdom and compassion-driven connectedness (Chiron in Pisces) are the gifts of this transition, and these profound internal changes will benefit the generation going forward.

Mercury and Uranus also speak to globalized business, communications and trade: perhaps this generation will figure out how to reconcile the corporate world's global trade goals with the needs of their workers and local populations. Logically, world economies can not keep up this "race to the bottom," taking jobs away from the people to keep the flows of capital moving!

Election Uranus (Aries) conjoins PL Moon and both oppose PL Venus (Libra). This aspect speaks to the uniquely aggressive femininity manifesting in this generation. Between two cardinal signs, passivity is not an option. As we saw earlier with the growing number of female top executives, this opposition reflects women who are focused, determined and capable. Gender does not imply limits for them, and PLs have little tolerance for female victimization. Their generation actively seeks gender balance and harmony.

Like this aspect, PL women’s fight for equal treatment in the military has been a double-edged sword—abusive situations abound. Another irony is how embattled women’s rights have been since Roe v. Wade (1973) was passed in the early days of their generation. Their generational Moon-Venus opposition is in a tense semi-square/sesquiquadrate aspect with the chart’s 12th house Saturn in Gemini—there’s been an undercurrent of passive aggression towards women’s progress that persists today, despite impressive exceptions.

Aside from gender, the Moon and Venus represent how we all attract what we need. This is where PLs are faced with balancing needs (Moon) with desires (Venus). Seeking out community (11th-friends, associates) as they’ve formed their families (5th -children) has been top priority lately, with relationships a constant concern.

With Mars in Aquarius ruling this Moon, it’s not surprising that overall, PLs dislike homophobia and see sexual preference as a civil rights issue. They are continuing the reinvention of the family begun with Uranus in Cancer—parenting and marriage are not necessarily linked. Settling down and having children has often come first with this group, followed by marriage if things are working out well.

Of course, sometimes they don’t work out well. Pluto supplies quicksand for all his playgrounds—in Libra, the playground is relationships.

Election Neptune (Pisces) t-squares PL Jupiter-Neptune (Sagittarius) opposite Saturn (Rx, Gemini). Pluto entered Libra just weeks after the new Jupiter/Neptune cycle began at 0°+ Sag in Sept. 1971. This 13-year cycle speaks to how ideals and belief systems develop and evolve. As such, it set the stage for the growth of conservatism in this country, powerfully supported by the January 1984 cycle at 0°+ Cap (square the PL Pluto, the youngest PLs were still being born—Bush #1 rising), and the January 1997 cycle at 26°+ Cap (square the PL Moon/Venus, Bush #2 rising).

Sandwiched in between was the first president PLs could vote for—Bill Clinton. The liberal/conservative divide was blurred, but the Capricorn coup proceeded, snatching many PLs up into Wall Street fervor, mega-mergers and globalization. With Neptune t-squaring their natal Saturn to Jupiter-Neptune opposition on Election day, this ideological momentum in one direction is more shifting and malleable.

This generation is looking for a balanced approach that works for all as a practical matter—they haven’t rolled back the corporate juggernaut, but they’ve pioneered kinder, more magnanimous workplaces like Google, Inc., employee-owned cooperatives, and other novel arrangements. The hard-lines of hierarchical corporate life are being softened with all this mutable energy, and with the help of their younger Millenial generation associates, they are redefining the terrain.

Unfortunately for some, PLs may also preside over the predicted transition to a “jobless economy”—all but the skeletal managerial crews will be “gig” workers or entrepreneurs—that’s a long story for another day. Suffice to say here, these diplomatic souls want everyone to get along and respect each others’ needs—they don’t want to be corporate robots themselves—they’ll deploy actual robots for that—and they don’t expect others to be, either. 

PL Saturn (Gemini) trines and PL Jupiter-Neptune (Sagittarius) sextiles PL Pluto-Mercury (Libra). These connections are also impacted by both transiting Neptune (Pisces) and Saturn (Sagittarius), suggesting that PLs working in the media professions and arts will be challenged to communicate more clearly, and to be the “fact-checkers” in a world where perception is often misinterpreted as fact.

Creative freedom is precarious, however (Gemini Saturn opposes Sagittarius Jupiter-Uranus); as we saw with Snowden’s quest, the Internet and cell phones provide unprecedented mobility and independence (Jupiter in Sagittarius), but these devices are also marvelous tracking and surveillance devices (Saturn in Gemini). Information is power—and if Snowden is any indication, this is another double-edged sword PLs are figuring out how to wield.

PL Saturn-Neptune opposition (Gemini-Sagittarius). The stark ideological polarization in this country is often attributed to Pluto in Sagittarius, but clearly, the PL Jupiter-Neptune-Saturn threesome laid the groundwork for it.

The PL Saturn/Neptune opposition deserves separate attention: it is waning—the last half of the cycle begun in November 1952 (22°+Libra). As such, the Libra generation made its debut in a time of dissolving structures and relationships: the WWII alliance with Russia dissolved and the balance of power was re-engineered around the Cold War and MAD-“mutually-assured destruction.” By 1971 this all culminated in Vietnam and Watergate, and the end of the so-called “Establishment.”

Instead, the Establishment morphed (Neptune) and regrouped by the next Saturn-Neptune conjunction in November 1989, (10°+Cap). This cycle t-squared the PL Libra Mercury/Sun/Uranus opposition to Chiron, leveled the Berlin Wall and dissolved the Cold War (no longer useful), reinventing nations around globalized market forces and trade agreements. Bush #1 hit the campaign trail; Bush #2 found his Evangelical base in the process. The first Iraq War was close at hand and world power was being steadily redeployed around the latest mutation (Neptune) of MAD—terrorism.

Many PLs are now coping with their mid-life Neptune square Neptune transit, a force that add spiritual depth and broader perspective at best, terrifies and inspires addictive behavior at worst. With Pluto now transiting mid-Capricorn, we can see that the younger half of the generation will be facing its Pluto square Pluto passage

The older half of this generation has been experiencing this with Pluto transiting their collective 7th house of enemies, so the threat of terrorism has been a gut-wrenching reality (PL Pluto in 4th) for them. The “big questions” are fast upon them, as this transformational, collective transit unfolds. To whom or what are they ultimately responsible? 

Snowden decided he was most responsible to his own moral sensibilities; it will be interesting—for the sake of this generation’s future—to see how his case is resolved.

“Riders on the Storm," revisited…

PL Grand Trine in Air: Libra stellium trines Node-Mars-MC (Aquarius) trines Saturn (Gemini). This dynamic GT circulates the chart’s opposing forces into every facet of PL life via rulership and dispositorship: “networking” and balancing opposite extremes is literally built into the PL character. Connectedness and relationship are anchors for a world that won’t stand still. The interplay between personal and outer planets is key here.

PL Saturn (Gemini) trines Pluto (Libra). PLs born between October, 1971 and Nov. 8, 1982 were born into the waning third of the August 1947 Saturn-Pluto cycle (began at 12°+ Leo)—this cohort is better attuned to the Cold War mentality of their parents than the younger cohort, born after the Nov. 8, 1982 cycle  began at 27°+Libra. This latter group (today’s 34 year olds) watched the Berlin Wall crumble on TV, never dreaming that the nation would be talking about building new walls today.

As we’ve discussed, the power of relationships is ingrained in the entire generation, and as the current Saturn-Pluto cycle wanes in the next 4 years, roughly square the 1982 starting point (a new cycle begins in January, 2020 at 22°+Capricorn), we should see leaders among this cohort take on powerful positions going forward. This will be happening in concert with transiting Pluto’s return to its position in the U.S. Sibly chartan important period that I’ve covered in some detail in earlier posts here (and will be reposting).

PL Saturn (Gemini) trine Uranus (Libra)PLs were born into the waning half of the Saturn-Uranus cycle, begun in May 1942, at 28°+Taurus. In earth, it resonated with the Uranus-Pluto cycle (Sept. 1965, 15°+Virgo) that ignited social turmoil in the mid-60s. PLs have been building their families and professional lives under the Uranus (Aries)-Pluto (Capricorn) square phase, so many are adept at the chaotic balancing act it has required. Saturn-Uranus cycles draw us (sometimes kicking and screaming) into the future, where brilliant new ideas and inventions manifest, and outworn technologies and institutions are re-engineered. PLs have been more drawn to tech fields and the sciences than some preceding generations, so this nice trine was a generational boost.

Interestingly, the Election chart shows that we are again headed into a waning Saturn-Uranus trine, this time for the cycle that began in February, 1988 at 29°+Sagittarius. This 1988 cycle facilitated the creation of a new high-tech military alongside policies of aggressive expansion into the Middle East that ultimately led to the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts. Another “no-win-situation” is fast evolving in Syria, but as this cycle wanes, the task will be to extricate ourselves from all these Faustian traps. The PL and Millenial generations will probably be left to actually heal our geopolitical entanglements in that region. As I said in the 2005 article, PLs always find dilemmas to resolve, and this is a big one.

PL Saturn opposes PL Jupiter-Neptune; PL Uranus (Libra) opposes PL Chiron (Aries).  By nature, PLs seek a balance between mind, heart and spirit, and this equips them to grapple with ethical questions in a cool-headed, but compassionate way. Big questions they’re faced with include: who “owns” DNA and “creation”—in humans, in plant seeds? To whom should science answer? How can science and technology be used to create, instead of to control and destroy? PLs are already the vanguard when it comes to climate change research and activism—perhaps the total lack of Earth in their generational chart compels them to act?

The "Dark Side" revisited

Astrologer Ed Gillam’s research suggests the 7th harmonic symbolizes chaotic, destabilizing forces, along the lines of Carl Jung’s collective “Shadow,” so the 7H flavor of this chart deserves an updated look. Set for Washington, D.C. (the 2005 article used the global chart, set for Greenwich, England), there are several septiles in their chart: Sun-Neptune, Mercury-Neptune and Jupiter-Uranus. Notice that all three aspects set outer planets (Neptune, Uranus) against personal planets (Sun, Mercury, Jupiter), confirming that as a generation, PLs are caught in a web of potentially chaotic forces.

PLs have been living through the Saturn-Neptune square (Sagittarius-Pisces) along with everyone, but their charts are perhaps more attuned to those chaotic, structure-dissolving energies than most because of their generational dynamics. Many born with Neptune in Sagittarius have been experiencing Saturn transits to those points—if they weren’t feeling the figurative floor dissolving beneath their feet before that, they probably are now. Snowden is one such PL—if his fate isn’t resolved before Saturn conjoins his Neptune (27°+Sagittarius) in 2017, he may find he has little control over what happens. 

A final word

When all is said and done, the PLs’ basic Libran “mission” hasn’t changed since I last looked in my 2005 article: it’s to balance and harmonize the discordant world they’ve inherited. What I might have missed in 2005 was how important this generation will be to the critical transitions our world needs to make, and soon. Revisiting their many accomplishments and the likely path forward, I’m convinced that PLs have matured into their Libran natures as a generation, and we should rest easy that they will be taking over the helm on this crazy “ship of state” we call America.

They’re going to need those light sabers!

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former university English instructor. 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. Raye can be contacted by comment here, or at: 

© Raye Robertson 2016. All rights reserved.