Monday, June 19, 2017

Nebulous timing, Real tragedy: the USS Fitzgerald





This week we saw stories unfold in the news about the now seriously-damaged warship USS Fitzgerald and its 7 tragic fatalities.

Seven sailors, ages 19-37, perished in a collision with the ACX Crystal, a Japanese-owned, but Filipino-flagged container ship. The 7 sailors were asleep at the time, as most of the crew on board at the time were.

Tragically, their sleeping berth compartments were flooded when the container ship crushed into the lower starboard side of the ship. Others were wounded, including the ship’s captain: reportedly, the crew of the Fitzgerald had to fight hard to keep it from sinking.

There are several mysteries about why this collision happened: both ships are equipped with sophisticated systems that should have prevented such a tragedy. Human error is always a possibility, of course, and the Navy has already launched a full-scale investigation into all of it. Another odd fact that needs explaining is why the container ship took a quick U-turn 25 minutes before the collision.

One particular mystery that caught my astrologer’s eye is the lack of definitive timing for the collision: the official Navy estimate is 2:20 a.m., Wikipedia cites 2:30 a.m., and Japan’s Coast Guard says the timing is closer to 1:30 a.m. Given the reported details, what time makes astrological sense?
Assuming the Navy’s official time and the Japanese Coast Guard time are likely the most credible of the three, I’ve cast two charts for 2:20 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. (Charts 1 and 2, below).

Considering their differences is an interesting experiment in rectifying a chart with uncertain timing. A lot depends upon the chart angles (ASC-DSC, IC-MC) and on house placement, of course, so here’s where the variables begin multiplying.

Astrologers tend to be pretty passionate about their house system choices, and while I’m certain there’s an argument for all of the systems, I’ve always deferred to the Equal houses system. It’s highly regarded among respected mundane astrologers I’ve followed over the years, and the charts I cast with it always seems to comport with the news accounts pretty well, so I figure if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! With that said, let’s begin.


Chart #1. USS Fitzgerald Collision, June 17, 2017, 2:20 a.m. ST, Yokosuka, Japan. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Event charts usually tell the story that transpired pretty clearly. In a chart like this one, however, where so much of what happened is still in question, we look for both the overt and covert signs of violence and loss of life, focusing particularly on any dynamics that signal intention, errors in information, communication and/or judgment, and so on. Such dynamics will look a bit different depending upon the time frame—our main focus here.

Here, we have three major indicators of violence and potential loss of life:

-          a fiery Grand Trine between Uranus-Eris (12th-Aries)-Saturn Rx (8th-Sagittarius)-No. Node (4th-Leo)
-          an opposition between the Saturn/Pluto (8th, midpoint, 6°33’ Capricorn) and Mars (2nd, Cancer), and
-          a powerful t-square between Sun (Gemini) opposite Saturn Rx, both square to Chiron (Pisces). 

These aspects are all fairly tight, so they are definitive and potent. The unfortunate “illogic” of two ships trying to occupy the same place at the same time is reflected in the dual nature of Gemini and Sagittarius “colliding” in their opposition. The destruction to life and treasure (the sailors and the ship) is portrayed in the 2nd-8th house span of Sun-Saturn (this opposition on its own also takes in Gemini Ceres and Mercury), as well as in the fiery grand trine, tapping into that 8th house.

Chiron’s placement in the t-square highlights the potential wound to both ships’ reputations, a fact reflected in 11th house Pisces (the seas). Here’s where things get mysterious and “interesting,” however: a double quincunx (DQ), with 6th house Jupiter as focal planet. Jupiter quincunxes Pisces Neptune-Moon in the 10th and Taurus Venus in the 12th.

It’s curious that Venus rules this Taurus-rising chart: from the 12th house, this may reflect some covert commercial interests. For certain, there was precious cargo contained in both ships. The Fitzgerald's was sailors sleeping in the lower berthing compartments, not to mention an impressive array of weapons (missiles, etc.) and electronic systems.

Venus was the “morning star” here, probably glowing brightly for the sailors during those clear wee hours of the morning. Hopefully she wasn’t a distraction!

The potentially “damned if we do, damned if we don’t” DQ configuration certainly helps to put Jupiter’s square to 8th house Pluto (Libra-Capricorn) into context: a clash of mammoth powers (two humungous ships) caused by an unclear, possibly reputation-compromising situation. Again, money (Venus) could have been a factor (we don’t know what motivated the container ship’s U-turn maneuver, for instance).
Jupiter’s 5th house placement almost suggests that a “party” atmosphere prevailed on one or both ships, but this conflicts with reports that most of the Fitzgerald's 200 or so crew were sleeping at the time of the accident. Unless the “party” involved the watch crew.

The DQ could also reflect the precarious situation the Fitzgerald faced to keep the ship from sinking; in any case, it will be good to know what conditions helped create this complicated situation.

It’s not really relevant to our focus here, but I’d be interested to know what the cargo ship was transporting: agricultural goods of some kind would fit Ceres-Mercury, but within the larger t-square context, there might also be something more nefarious, like illegal drug crops (opium, marijuana, etc.). Pisces' role could even point to a cargo that is somehow related to the slave trade (Pisces).

If the container ship was trying some kind of evasive maneuvers with its U-turn, the above Piscean possibilities could explain why.  

There’s been no finger-pointing that I’m aware of yet, but the chart suggests a couple basic potentials:

a) that crew members were simply asleep at the helm in one or both of the ships, or again, that

b) there was some type of covert or nefarious intention involved. These possibilities are signaled by the 10th house Pisces Neptune-Moon conjunction, Neptune’s rulership (along with Jupiter) of the Chiron t-square.

With Neptune, of course, there’s always the possibility of intoxication and impaired judgment, as well.


 Neptune-Moon also contributed to the flooding that took 7 sailors’ lives, but this duo had help from the Mars/Asc (midpoint, 14°13’ Gemini), exactly square Neptune. Munkasey characterizes a negative Mars/Asc as “A poorly prepared defense or war making capability; leaders who don’t have the will or energy to mobilize their resources productively.”[1]  

Neptune could well be the debilitating factor at play here. The Navy might want to investigate the morale on board the Fitzgerald.

All of the above certainly reflects the peril the Fitzgerald faced during the wee hours of the 17th, so what difference does it make if the chart is timed for 1:30 a.m., per Japan’s Coast Guard report? I won’t repeat the basic configurations (they all remain the same), but there are some interesting differences in angular and house placements worth considering. Let’s consider the highlights of Chart #2, below.


Chart #2. USS Fitzgerald Collision, June 17, 2017, 1:30 a.m. ST, Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

The Sun-Ceres-Mercury conjunction moves solidly into the 2nd house and still opposes 8th house Saturn Rx, but Pluto has moved into the 9th house, conjunct the Capricorn MC. 
The Saturn/Pluto (midpoint) also falls in the 9th, now opposing 3rd house Mars. Both of these shifts comport with a deadly collision during travel abroad.
The fiery grand trine spans the same houses in both charts, which makes sense: Uranus in the 12th reflects a volatile pre-dawn event, Saturn in the 8th reflects the death toll, and the 4th house Node signifies an “end” to something.

It shouldn’t be lost on us that this Nodal axis conjoins Trump’s Mars (Leo) and the Sibly Moon (Aquarius). Perhaps these placements inspired the recent article in the UK’s Guardian.com, which draws the connection between our losses (So. Node) and Trump’s failure to fill key posts in his government, including the Secretary of the Navy.
Neptune-Moon have moved into the 11th house in this chart, while Chiron remains in the 11th. The flooding, not to mention the possible compromised reputations are still relevant—commanding officers are likely to lose their positions as a result of the accident.  

Jupiter has moved into the 6th, which suits the military and “employment” nature of the event (covering both parties to the collision).
All told, it will require a bit more information to rectify a time choice between these two compelling charts, but with what we already know, we might hazard an educated guess that the 1:30 chart is more accurate overall. Saturn rules the MC in both charts; in the 2:20 a.m. chart, disaster-prone Uranus co-rules this point.



Yet, in the 1:30 chart, the deadly nature of the event is reflected in the Pluto-MC conjunction. This Capricorn conjunction may also reflect the “big picture” underlying this tragedy: commercial interests (the container ship) are literally pitted against the USS Fitzgerald’s geopolitical mission in those waters off Japan. Was the collision really an accident, after all? Too early to judge, but this chart would suggest that perhaps it wasn’t.

Turmoil in that region of the world almost certainly comes down to globalized commerce and protecting that commerce in the end—protecting access to shipping routes, being positioned to respond to conflicting interests, etc. China and Japan have their issues these days, as do many others in that region—Obama was trying to position the U.S. for a bigger role in Asia, but he was more likely to forge agreements than deploy warships.

Which is not to downplay the threat North Korea poses and why the USS Fitzgerald is needed in that region. Now that this ship is disabled for some time to come, we’ll have to see what comes next. This brings me to one final thought, which is a bit of pure speculation about both these charts: is there a possible connection between the hostility of Filipino president Duterte towards the U.S. and the behavior of that Filipino-flag bearing container ship? 

Specifically, does Duterte have any reason to fear or dislike our ship’s presence in those waters off Japan? If reports I’ve seen are accurate, the Philippines has a very “complicated” relationship with the illegal drug trade that could fit the Neptune activity in this chart.

I’ll leave you with a noon chart for his reported birth data: see what you think!


Chart #3: Rodrigo Duterte, March 28, 1945, 12:00 p.m. ST (no time available), Maasin, Philippines. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 


Most importantly, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of our lost sailors. 






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. 




[1] Michael Munkasey, Midpoints: Unleashing the Power of the Planets, ACS Publications, San Diego, CA, 1991, p. 252.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Playing Ball on a Fiery Diamond: a Day of Violence and Conflagration





“Shocked, but not surprised…”


How the day began…
Our thoughts and prayers go out to our British friends today. The above “shocked, but not surprised,” was an observer’s response to the horrific fire that erupted in the very early a.m. in London, engulfing the Grenfell Tower—a 24-storey public-housing type apartment building, housing approximately 600 people. The flames engulfed the building with lightning speed, trapping hundreds. At this writing, 17 are confirmed dead, with the death toll expected to climb dramatically as operations continue. The building was still smoldering hours after the last flames were extinguished: needless to say, the video footage is very hard to watch.  

Event Two

Then, approximately 7 hours later, in Arlington, Virginia, where a group of Republican congressmen were practicing baseball for the annual bipartisan Congressional Baseball Game taking place this evening, shots rang out. A disgruntled 66-year old shooter from Illinois, named James Hodgkinson, fired into the field from the only available exit, targeting the gathered players and others. Those reporting on the incident after the fact emphasized that if it weren’t for the presence of GOP Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s armed Capitol Police security officers, who were both injured, but able to effectively intervene, things could have been much, much worse.

As it was, a total of five attendees were shot and wounded, and the shooter has since died of his wounds. Of the others, Scalise was wounded the most seriously, being shot in the hip and still in critical condition after surgery.  



The New York Times reports that Hodgkinson’s brother says the shooter was “distraught over the election of President Trump and had traveled to Washington in recent weeks to protest.” He had apparently volunteered for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign last year, and Sanders has, of course, strongly condemned the shootings, saying they “sicken him.” More about political rhetoric and violence ahead. 

The potential political content of this violent event is triggering justifiable concern. Visibly emotional members of Congress have been reacting with a strong message of bipartisan unity, but one day of solidarity is unlikely to transform the volatile mood of the country. We really need to get a grip on this phenomenon and channel it productively before it rages out of control. As we’ll see, there’s a sound astrological basis for this concern. 


Event three

As if all of the above wasn’t enough violence and tragedy for one day, there was yet another mass shooting yesterday, with 4 people dead in a San Francisco UPS facility. This story broke shortly after first shots rang out at 8:55 a.m. in San Francisco.

So, between the three events raised here, there are three very similar astrological charts—they vary by location and time, but in many ways, they carry the same interesting dynamics. For the sake of space, however, and because the baseball field shooting was justifiably the dominant U.S. story yesterday, we’ll focus on that event in greater depth here. 

As we’ll see, the chart depicts, with almost stunning, literal detail, how this horrific shooting transpired.  




The Astrology

First, let me say that I agree wholeheartedly that attacks on anyone for the sake of political issues is no solution to our nation’s problems, but there’s no denying that the cosmic dynamics for potential violence are active. So as with the London fire, while it may be “shocking” when these things happen unexpectedly, we really can’t be too “surprised” by them. For those who see violence as a solution, the Cosmos is, for better or worse, offering opportunities. 

There are two sides to that “vision,” of course: all but the most rigid pacifists would agree that violence is sometimes appropriate for protection (as in the police shooting Hodgkinson yesterday) and defense (as in warding off invaders), but defensiveness can also be twisted for many purposes.

That said, let’s examine the astrological possibilities for why the GOP baseball team became a target yesterday. While I have no chart information for the shooter, James Hodgkinson—and his own personal issues and mental health would be an important issue to consider—the event chart tells us a lot about why the baseball players gathered on that diamond in Arlington, Virginia yesterday morning were almost, as one observer put it, “sitting ducks.” 

The chart is cast for the reported “first call” to police, received at 7:09 a.m. The team had been practicing since 6:30 a.m.


Chart #1. GOP Baseball Team Shooting, June 14, 2017, 7:09 a.m. DST, Alexandria, VA.
A Fiery “Diamond”: Uranus-Pallas-Eris (Aries) trines No. Node (Leo) trines Saturn Rx (Sagittarius); this grand trine is pierced through the center by Sun (Gemini) opposite Saturn Rx. 

What I’m calling a “Diamond” in this chart is actually what is known in astrology as a “Kite” formation, which incorporates a grand trine, an opposition from a 4th planet to one point of that grand trine (the “focal” planet), and the two sextiles that result from that 4th planet’s presence (here, Pallas-Uranus to Sun, and Sun to No. Node) I find it pretty uncanny that we’re talking about a violent event on a baseball “diamond,” and the chart contains what is essentially a Fire Diamond

A configuration like this usually feels mostly positive and uplifting; however, if we consider the elements involved in this specific case and consider the physical dynamics they represent in the event, we get a different story. The grand trine unleashed fire—an actual shooting in this case—and if it weren’t for the police presence, that shooting could have become a massacre. 

The air involved only fanned the flames—we don’t know if Hodgkinson planned his actions for Trump’s birthday (also yesterday!), but it would make sense, considering the role the day’s Gemini Sun played. Let’s consider in more detail how the planetary “players” contributed. 



The Gemini Sun not only provided significant timing, but it provided the “air” to fan the flames of violence and disruption represented by fiery Uranus-Eris, and it’s a stunning bit of synchronicity to see that this Sun was positioned tightly opposite Saturn Rx, which in the nation’s chart signifies Congress! Saturn’s role as “focal planet” in the Kite formation is an uncanny reminder that members of Congress were in the crosshairs. 

Saturn’s retrograde makes perfect sense, too: the members of Congress we heard from yesterday after the attack were visibly shaken, feeling as if they were powerless in the situation and totally beholden to the police protection that was there for Majority Whip Steve Scalise. The shooter was blocking their only exit from the baseball diamond, apparently, so again, things could have been much worse. 

It’s ironic that the worst wounds were actually realized by Scalise, who brought the security detail, and in fact, a noon chart cast for his published birth date in New Orleans, Louisiana, does connect with the day’s event in pretty dramatic ways. We may revisit this story at some point. 

For now, though, in Chart #1, Mars (Cancer) was conjunct the event ASC from the 12th house (assuming our time is about right), so the shooter’s sneak attack (12th) was potentially deadly. Mars was not quite within orb of an opposition to Saturn, however, which was probably a saving grace for those targeted. Thankfully, Mars played a dual role here—the police, represented by protective/defensive Cancer—were on hand to bring down the shooter, who later died in the hospital. 

Mars’ Cancer placement tells us something about the shooter’s intentions, too. Reportedly Hodgkinson had been homeless, living out of his van for months, so it’s reasonable to assume he was angry (Mars) about his situation. The presence of Pallas in that Aries group is also interesting because it suggests that both the shooter and the police (Mars disposes Aries) felt they were acting justly, as well, to defend and protect their own interests and values. 



Few would disagree with the police action, but we can be certain that some will quietly sympathize with the shooter, as well. In fact, however we feel, it’s important to understand what motivates people like Hodgkinson. They may be our neighbors!

It was amazing how quickly media analysts turned from conjectures about terrorism to political motivations for yesterday’s shooting, which makes perfect sense if we consider that the Leo North Node here happens to conjoin Donald Trump’s natal Mars-ASC.  

Media-staged violence against Trump has been in the news a lot these days: Kathy Griffin’s “severed head” incident, and a production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in New York that features an uncanny likeness of Trump in the doomed Caesar’s role, for starters. 

However we feel about Trump’s presidency, such violent public depictions work on people’s minds, and we really need to dial that back. Protest, yes, but peacefully! There’s responsibility to go around here, however. The North Node in a national chart reflects collective trends, and with Trump we’ve definitely seen a trend towards Leo-style autocracy (hence, the parallel to “Caesar”). 

Perhaps he should show more concern for our democracy? Perhaps he should try collaborating with Congress as a whole instead of governing by lofty “edicts?” Another story for another day.



Trump’s belligerent Mars is far from innocent, in any case. Even though he is urging unity and calm now, he repeatedly incited violence during his campaign, and he continues to whip up his base whenever he needs an adoring audience. As Shakespeare might say, perhaps he “doth protest too much?” 

Again, it’s pretty uncanny that yesterday was also Trump’s birthday (see more on his solar return here)—too much cosmic weirdness for one day! 

T-Square: Sun opposes Saturn Rx (Gemini-Sagittarius); this axis is squared by MC-Chiron (Pisces). Chiron also connects with Uranus (by semi-sextile) and No. Node (by inconjunct), but its main function in this chart is to play the focal point of this mutable T-square. It’s only very widely conjunct the MC, however the MC ties in pretty tightly with the T-square, so it all suggests that the nation at large is feeling this “wounding” event, and the dilemma (t-square) it presents us all. 

Do we err on the side of more control (i.e., of guns, of media, etc.) or do we favor education (3rd-9th houses) and constructive public discussions of the issues that threaten to cause violence? Or do we fall back into default media-silo positions (also 3rd-9th) and blame each other? 

Grand Air Trine: Mercury (Gemini) trines Jupiter (Libra) trines Moon (Aquarius). It’s also relevant here that Mercury, which is strong in home sign Gemini, also squares Neptune (Pisces). First, let’s consider the rush of air released with this grand trine: Moon rules this Cancer-rising chart, so it’s not surprising that the the media message yesterday by anyone reacting was protective and defensive: “if the police hadn’t been there, it would have been much worse.” 

The constant repetition of that theme began to feel like a mantra, and considering the media circulation (air grand trine) it received, it was probably the biggest takeaway people had of the event.
It’s curious how Trump’s chart ties into all this—his Jupiter is conjunct this Jupiter and of course, he has strong Gemini placements. Does this event provide him with a benefit of sorts? 

That might be answered by the fact that his natal Mercury is also square Neptune, as we see in this chart. Even though his square falls in a different water-air combination (Cancer-Libra), the correlation suggests that the energies in this event can be twisted to reflect Trump’s worldview—and that would be a cynical benefit, indeed.



Final thoughts

It’s hard to miss that the national “mood” is a crackling tinderbox these days, a point that featured heavily in editorial comments about yesterday’s shooting. Outbreaks of anger have affected our public discourse for years now, infecting our election results, our newly cruel treatment of immigrants, our elevated hate crime statistics, our divisive, often defamatory media, and so on. 

When people feel stressed, bad things happen, and a lot of people feel stressed for good reasons right now. Will they and their children have health care tomorrow? Will there be jobs for them in the increasingly automated workforce? Will hard-won college degrees mean anything in this future workplace? You get the picture...

I ended my last post here by saying that what happens to our young people happens to the nation. Simply put, their stress is bound to become our collective stress, if the way forward doesn’t improve for them. This principle holds true for the older generation, as well, as yesterday’s shooter reminds us. And yes, despite violence never being the solution to political issues, stress and frustrated expectations have consequences. 

Maybe they’re like Langston Hughes’ “raisin in the sun,” that finally “explodes.” 

Let's reclaim our "national past time" for better things in tonight's Congressional game...Play Ball!!







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. 








Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Astrology of Young People under Fire: Generation Sagittarius






Hiding out among the predictable long list of political reports this week is this very telling nugget. It’s a story about young people that, IMHO, should concern us all:


From the New York Times:
 
 “According to data from the National Institute of Mental Health, some 38 percent of girls ages 13 through 17, and 26 percent of boys, have an anxiety disorder. On college campuses, anxiety is running well ahead of depression as the most common mental health concern, according to a 2016 national study of more than 150,000 students by the Center for Collegiate Mental Health at Pennsylvania State University. Meanwhile, the number of web searches involving the term has nearly doubled over the last five years, according to Google Trends. (The trendline for “depression” was relatively flat).”

Why, we might ask, are these teenagers so anxious? Maybe that’s another way of asking why “fidget spinners” are the number one selling item these days, but of course teenagers are always somewhat anxious, right? They’re dealing with the usual social pressures and maturing into adults, with all the emotional and biological fury of that process. A process that is undoubtedly exacerbated today by social media, but that’s not the worst of it for today’s young people. The Times article teases out yet another issue:

“…(‘Are you anxious because you feel like the world is ending?” the hosts of “Generation Anxiety,” a podcast aimed at millennials, ask in a recent episode called “So You’ve Inherited the Apocalypse?” “Well the good news is you aren’t crazy and it definitely is.’)”

Apparently, the scientific establishment is seeing “a growing body of research that shows that climate change has become a mental health issue, afflicting an increasing number of people with something that one researcher has called ‘pre-traumatic stress disorder.’” It turns out scientists have been studying this phenomenon since 2009 and in 2016, the Obama White House was actually working on helping the health care system respond to these mental health needs. 

That was then, of course, and this is now. The new plan for climate change-related stress is apparently now to simply deny that climate change exists, that it really matters, and to assert that we have much more “important” things to do than preserve the environment for our next generations.

Tell that to the Pluto in Sagittarius generation (1995-late 2008)—they know better, and they’re keenly aware that they’re going to be left to clean up the mess left by our inaction. 



The impending climate apocalypse isn’t the only stressor our kids and grandkids are suffering from these days: the National Center for Children in Poverty estimates that while the “official” number is 21%, when adjustments to official standards are made for the actual costs of living, the reality is that 43% of American children live below the poverty level, which makes these children extra vulnerable to physical and mental health challenges. My own state of Michigan features heavily here, with upwards of 500,000 children living in poverty.

All this while Senate Republicans in DC are meeting behind closed doors to jerry-rig a health care bill that could strip Medicaid coverage from millions of those poor. Closer to home, a bill is now moving through the Michigan legislature to eliminate our Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Health Care bill—even though Governor Snyder (a Republican) favors retaining the expansion for its many benefits to the state’s budget. 

Maybe I’m just getting to be crotchety, but I simply don’t understand the logic of such heartlessness. Are the powers-that-be hoping for a major “die-off” of the poor? Unless the laws of cause and effect have been suspended, there will be consequences for the GOP’s actions here.  

And then there’s this from the Washington Post:

“An analysis by The Post found that beginning with the shootings at Columbine High in Colorado 18 years ago, more than 135,000 students attending at least 164 primary or secondary schools have experienced a shooting on campus. That doesn’t include other incidents — accidents, after-school assaults, suicides — in which children have been exposed to gun violence. The damage extends to parents, grandparents and siblings forced to cope with trauma.”
Of course, my inner Sagittarius preacher wants to ask “what is wrong with us as a nation, if we let these traumatic conditions persist for our children?” As if all this isn’t enough, yesterday we watched news footage of dozens of Detroit immigrant families being torn apart by a brutal mass round-up for the purpose of deportation proceedings.  
  
Again, children and their communities are in the crosshairs. Oppressing certain targeted communities in such ways really hasn’t worked well in history—if Trump is looking to create domestic terrorism problems, he’s off to a good start. Oppressed children grow into enraged young adults who have nothing to lose.


Meanwhile…the children

Astrology provides some insight into all this, including the issue of heartless politicians, but for now let’s focus on our children, as a collective—their needs, their strengths and vulnerabilities. We can do this by exploring the most recent generational charts, namely Pluto’s ingress charts into Sagittarius and Capricorn.  As we’ll see, these generational charts lend insight into the high levels of anxiety and trauma our young people are experiencing en masse

I have grandchildren from both these cohorts and yes, I’m concerned for the disaster-prone, violent, heartless world we’re leaving behind for them, as I’m sure most grandparents would be. I’m concerned about the unjust, immoral burdens we’re heaping on them. 

Whatever the motivations are for doing the wrong things for future generations, these young people deserve better.

Today I’d like to focus on Pluto’s ingress into Sagittarius in 1995—we’ll do the same for the Capricorn generation in a future post. 

Because the focus here is on American youth (the chart is set for Washington, D.C.), we’ll consider pertinent connections to the U.S. Sibly chart as they arise. For those who want a different account of this generation, focused on the prominent role it has played in autism spectrum disorders and related research, please see “Holding a Lighted Candle: Generation Sagittarius Makes its Mark on Autism Research,” reproduced (in modified form) in an April 26, 2016 posting here, or as originally published by The Mountain Astrologer in August/September, 2015. 

Here we are simply looking for insight into why this young, Sag generation feels so anxious and stressed out. 


Chart 1. Pluto ingress-Sagittarius, January 17, 1995, 1:28 a.m. ST, Washington, D.C. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Please note that for the purposes of this type of reading, we’ll focus on the luminaries (Sun, Moon) and the eight planets (Mercury through Pluto). Chiron is also a consideration, and as we’ll see, it plays an important role in this chart. 

A good place to start with a chart like this is to assess the visual distribution of planetary points around the chart wheel, looking specifically for how the points are arrayed in the upper and lower hemispheres and then, more finely, in the four quadrants of the chart. We also need to assess the elemental balance (between fire, air, earth and water) and the modal balance (cardinal, fixed, mutable). Here’s the run down:

Table 1. Chart distributions by Hemisphere, Quadrant, Triplicity and Mode.
Planet
Lower Hem
Upper Hem
Quadrant
Fire
Earth
Air
Water
Card
Fixed
Mut
Sun
·

1

·


·


Moon

·
3
·




·

Mercury
·

2


·


·

Venus
·

1
·





·
Mars

·
4

·




·
Jupiter
·

1
·





·
Saturn
·

2



·


·
Uranus
·

1

·


·


Neptune
·

1

·


·


Pluto
·

1
·





·
Chiron

·
4

·




·

We can extract several take-aways from this Table that help to answer our central question about this generation’s anxiety level and mental health. Bear in mind that the age range of this Pluto cohort at this time is 8-21, so individual experiences are far from identical. Here, we’re addressing the generation as a whole, as it will unfold over time. 

First – that the majority (8 out of 11) of Gen Sag’s planets are placed in the self-protective and inward-focused lower hemisphere, specifically in the first quadrant (6 of 11). This perfectly suits the generational Scorpio ASC-Node Node conjunction, not to mention heavy-hitter chart ruler Pluto placed in their 1st house of identity. Such a personally-focused Pluto inspires a “survival of the fittest” mentality, which may explain why their generation seems to value working out and pushing themselves to their physical limits so highly. 

Second – that not only are all these planetary placements occupying the more personal/social lower hemisphere, but the collective-oriented collective planets are all arrayed in that arena. What happens in the world “out there” matters greatly to them, on a generational basis, if not individually. 

The news often features some amazing young person taking socially- and environmentally-conscious actions in school and even outside of school: with their generational Sun exactly conjunct Uranus and 3 degrees from Neptune in responsible Capricorn, Gen Sag kids are keenly conscious of what’s happening on the collective level. With their generational Chiron trine this powerful Capricorn gathering from the 11th house, in earth-conscious Virgo (one of three major placements above the horizon), they know that the stakes of being good stewards of the planet are high for them, personally. 

We can also see a resonance between Mercury’s rulership of that Virgo 11th house and its placement in the Aquarius 4th house: these kids will champion radical changes in the way people live for the sake of environmental stewardship. Aquarius Mercury is disposed by Uranus and Saturn, linking the 3rd and 5th houses: this suggests that—as a generation—their concern for the environment will feel revolutionary and it will be expressed in creative local choices (home styles, transportation choices, etc.). 



We can’t overlook the mental health dimension of Gen Sag’s collective Mercury, however: while Mercury is perfectly comfortable in airy Aquarius, its connections with Pisces Saturn here (by disposition) and Saturn’s mutable opposition to Mars (Virgo) and its T-square to Jupiter-Venus (Sagittarius) speak to a generation that’s very “hard on itself” in the midst of insecure times in the world.



It’s possible that this attitude has helped prepare them for some difficult passages on the horizon. Note that their Capricorn stellium here is also conjunct the U.S. Sibly Pluto, and both are being gradually approached by transiting Pluto (first exact in February 2022). In other words, this generation is going to experience a major Pluto transit in the next few years, and with Chiron trine these generational points, they will have opportunities to prove what they’re made of. Among other feats, they will probably collectively redesign and retool American business for a “clean energy” economy.  

Bottom line, they are carrying a heavy personal burden for the future, so why shouldn’t they be anxious? Once they take over the reins of power, however, they should be up to the challenge, if their parents and grandparents don’t continue undermining their futures in the meantime. With their generational Mars opposition to Saturn square to Venus-Jupiter in mutable Virgo-Pisces and Sagittarius, they are collectively equipped to adapt to circumstances on the world stage (10th house Mars) with vigor, creativity and determination. 

Mastering their mutable energies so they can have this positive impact takes time and maturity, however, so these skills are a work in progress.  As we'll discuss ahead, there are serious pitfalls along the way.



Third – that Gen Sag has a notable predominance of fire and earth signs in its generational chart, with only one point each in air and water. Interestingly, this distribution will probably bode well for their ability to wield power, when the time comes: their Jupiter is dignified in fiery Sagittarius; their Venus is beautifully-placed, conjunct that Jupiter in the 2nd house of values and finances. Their generational Moon presides like a fiery Leo Queen Mother in the 9th, opposite their Capricorn Sun-Uranus-Neptune and exactly trine their equally fiery 1st house Pluto. They are a passionate generation, and they are already finding ways to express that zeal. 

As we’ve seen, Gen Sag’s expectations for itself are also very high, and although this is a very good thing in some ways, being so hard on themselves can be a potential vulnerability with several planets in fire signs. 

Burn out—“frying” their synapses, so to speak—is a real pitfall that may be triggering elevated drug use these days. They have a generational need for water (with only Saturn in a water sign) and Pisces Neptune has been happy to oblige. It’s been transiting opposite their collective Mars, conjoining their Saturn and squaring their Jupiter-Venus from its ingress into Pisces in 2011 (it moved beyond the Mars opposition in 2015). 

This major transit has perhaps inspired not only the elevated bipolar disorder statistics among their age group (a lot more research needs to be done on this), but also a need for escapism as a remedy for frustrated expectations. Then there’s the so-called “Opioid epidemic.” 



This gradually unfolding crisis has probably been driven by mostly older Americans, yet adults caught up in it (willfully or not) haven’t been doing their children and teenagers a service, either. The New York Times reports that 2.5 million children are now in foster care as a result of this horrendous assault on families. Hundreds of thousands of people have died from overdoses during this crisis, which has been literally destroying American families by undermining the parents’ ability to care for their children. We’ve all seen the tragic pictures in the media. Foster care is often the only choice:

“After declining for several years, the number of children in foster care jumped 8 percent nationally, to 428,000, between fiscal years 2012 and 2015, the most recent data available. Experts say opioid abuse accounts for a lot of that increase.”
The need to remove children from their family homes is often driven by medical dangers, as well. CNBC.com reports that:

“A new study finds that poison control centers across the country field 32 calls a day from families with a child who has been exposed to opioids — that is about one call every 45 minutes.
The study was published online Monday by the journal Pediatrics and conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital.
The researchers found more than nearly 190,000 calls to U.S. Poison Control Centers for pediatric exposure to opioids from January 2000 through December 2015.”

While many of these affected children are younger than Gen Sag, their older brothers and sisters are equally stressed by this trauma. Skyrocketing rates of children and teens ingesting drugs that just “happen” to be in the house, teens who find they have to take over the care of their younger siblings, and alarming teen suicide attempt statistics are all manifestations of  Neptune’s negative potential in its home sign Pisces. 

This is an entire story in itself, because as we’re seeing, this most nebulous, seductive collective energy, Neptune, can be very difficult to integrate into a person’s character in a healthy, balanced way. With Neptune conjunct their generational Sun, Gen Sag has been living with this serious challenge since day one. And, if that’s not enough, these same points are also conjunct disruptive Uranus! 



So, frustration, anxiety and other mental health issues seem to go hand in hand with Gen Sag—especially in those individuals whose nativities are most personally tied into some of these dynamics. The other side of the expectations coin is, of course, that this generation expects a lot of the world.
 
These expectations are showing up in all kinds of social and political ways, especially with the oldest among them: they’re the first “all digital” generation, they’re often worldly-wise travelers, not to mention extreme adventure seekers. Politically, they may even be interested in a “revolution:” Bernie Sanders certainly inspired some zeal in these young people in his 2016 run against Hillary Clinton. 

In terms of sheer numbers, Millennials are the largest generational cohort since the Baby Boom (Pluto in Leo), and they seem to be aware of how powerful their numbers can be. 

It’s interesting for the sake of this Gen Sag chart that Saturn falls in mutual reception with Neptune (they occupy each others’ ruling signs); this certainly resonates with the long Saturn-Neptune square these kids experienced along with the rest of us in the past couple years. Even so, perhaps the fact that Saturn disposes their generational Sun-Uranus-Neptune in Capricorn will arm these young people with a “higher purpose” for Saturn in combination with Neptune—reining in the mutable excesses we’ve been experiencing. 

It’s likely, for instance, that with the nice earth-water connection at the heart of the Saturn-Neptune mutual reception, that reinstating regulations on the social and economic excesses that promote environmental destruction (there’s a nice earth-water connection here) will be of serious interest to them in the future. 

Those in Gen Sag would know something about those mutable excesses, actually, with 6 of their 11 planets in mutable signs, including their generational Pluto and its dispositor, Jupiter (also in Sagittarius). This certainly speaks to those who have been dragged into the opioid epidemic, but it also relates to the 2007-9 recession that was so toxic for a great number of American families. 

This transpired with Jupiter and Pluto conjunct over the Sagittarius Galactic Center, preparing for their respective entries into corporate finance-related Capricorn.  Gen Sag felt those unstable times as a deeply cutting wound: their generational Chiron (Virgo) falls exactly square that GC
So, what’s all the anxiety about, in the end?

One overall impression I’ve had of these young people over the years, both one-on-one in my teaching career, with my grandkids, and in my research, is that they’re in a hurry to get going on the important business of life, and their reasons for the rush are sound, based on their life experiences and awareness. As we’ve seen with so many of their collective planets placed in the very personal-focused areas of their chart, that they have (as a generation) a sharply focused collective perspective

We saw earlier that their generational chart features a dynamic mutable t-square between Mars-opposite-Saturn in Virgo-Pisces, square Jupiter-Venus in Sagittarius. Mutable energies can sometimes get scattered to the wind when times are unstable, or they can be twisted to quite negative uses, so it’s possible that all the talk about “fake news” and the difficulty many find in trusting the media is greatly undermining this young generation’s confidence, just when they need to be building upon it. 

The troubling rise of conspiracy theory-inundated social media is another serious concern that isn’t helping them develop the trust they will need to lead this country eventually. For that matter, hate crimes and even terrorism are mutable phenomena because they trade on “shifting sands:” tapping into fears created via economic hard times, instabilities and mistrust. The media—ruled by Gemini, the 4th leg of this mutable t-square—can either be the agent for greater transparency and trust, or it can simply exacerbate the instability. 

Of course, Gen Sag is going to be sensitive—even “hyper-sensitive”—to these dynamics and these pitfalls. They’re more than entitled to their anxieties, in fact. IMHO, what they need from us “old folks” right now is to ease the burdens we’re heaping on them. 

What happens to them happens to the nation and the world, pure and simple.







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.