Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A critical tipping point ahead: one Saturn-Pluto cycle ends, another begins

Every anniversary of the World Trade Center bombings on 9/11/2001 is a somber reminder that we can be targets of global forces over which we have little control. 

Even worse, we have to know in our collective gut that there’s no amount of White House tough-guy bluster and defense dollars that will render us completely safe. And, unless Trump-style delusions have gotten the best of us, there’s no magical “Wall” that can keep all the bad guys out. In fact, history suggests that over-defensiveness may ultimately undermine our national desire for safety. 

Loudly proclaiming that our safety and security is their primary concern makes for a great political sound bite, but IMHO, we throw ourselves down a dangerous “slippery slope” when we make safety and security the main drivers for public policy. Through our potential misuse of astrological forces that we’ll consider in a bit, we could end up destroying whatever’s left of our democratic institutions and reversing our progress in so many ways. 

We’ve seen the process in action—it’s sneaky and often operates under the radar. First, we’ve seen our legislative system polarize around zero-sum ideologies like “Law and Order”—and since the people at the top certainly don’t want to pay for all that entails, an obsession with shifting tax burdens

This dual track has pushed life in these United States closer to the brink of 1) a twist on the “police state” order of law (the NRA loudly claims that the government wants to take your guns away, but the worst kind of police state would be one in which the government basically deputizes certain armed people to support its aims of control and command, and arrests those it doesn’t want armed on trumped up charges), and 2) pure social Darwinism—“survival of the fittest” as a national way of life. 

Those who have the means gain political access and influence over public policy, which enriches them with more means and more access, while the have-nots lose out on all levels, which include the following dark potentials:

-         - Our infrastructure goes on crumbling, while the money gets earmarked for tax cuts and defense. Building the new, clean-energy infrastructure we need to address climate change is unimaginable under this scenario.
-        -  Our school systems—once a model for the world and a reason for pride—are reduced to corporate degree factories that focus more on filling corporate labor needs than on creating an enlightened, democratic citizenry
-        -  Our justice system becomes a “pay for play” affair, working hand-in-hand with corporate prisons to house those who can’t pay. In a nice perk for the prisons these corporations run—bursting at the seams, most of them—for the low-low cost of slave wages and working conditions, what used to be public institutions can now be turned into bustling, competitive factories. Job training is one thing—a definite positive—but prison factories manned largely by poor people of color who couldn’t navigate the justice system to their advantage are quite another story.
-         - Our corporate media drowns out voices that resist the “official line,” and those who report the facts are undermined and marginalized as purveyors of “fake news.”
-        -  Our cultural institutions—access to the arts and all that makes being human truly special—also wither into “pay for play” arrangements due to strategically dismantled agencies/organizations and tax cuts. The next generation of artists is faced with vicious competition for the few spots sanctioned by an increasingly consumer-driven entertainment industry. Corporate media pressures artists to conform by cutting off their resources and crowding them out of the airwaves; those who don’t conform risk becoming the “enemy” under a “safety and security State.”
-        -  Our cultural and ethical mores degenerate and divide us: racial intolerance and “Us v. Them” thinking invade our collective consciousness, and even the youngest are not immune to the hatred this spawns. Daily Kos reports today that a biracial 8-year old was lynched and almost killed by white teenagers in New Hampshire. Terrorism of all types (lynchings, bombings, random mass murders, etc.) is an extreme manifestation of this dark divisiveness and the will-to-violence that often accompanies it. 

      These dark, dystopic possibilities, to quote that prescient noir Sci-Fi thriller, Bladerunner, harden and stratify a society, turning it into an isolated, survivalist fortress where you’re either “Cops or little people.” In the case of lynchings and “lone wolf” attacks, we might add that you’re either “vigilantes or victims.” Trump’s pardon of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio is a troubling sign from this perspective, isn’t it?
American society doesn’t have to be this way, of course, but I don’t think the dreary list above is an exaggeration: more likely, it catalogues some disturbingly real tendencies in American life in recent decades. Of course, there’s an astrological story to tell here, and it’s heavily concerned with the Saturn-Pluto cycle. 

Before we get into how that story has unfolded over time, however, let’s consider a timeline of Saturn-Pluto cycles in the so-called “modern age”—see Table 1. Bits of information in Table 1 will become relevant as we go. 

Table 1. Saturn-Pluto cycles in modern history.
1st Conjunction

Following the breadcrumbs…

Looking back, we can see that both the 9/11 attacks in New York and the troubling erosion of our national institutions ever since have taken place during the waning half of our current 1982 Saturn-Pluto cycle (Table 1). In fact, there may even be a causal relationship between the two. 

The attack provoked widespread fear, a loss of national confidence and growing enmity for the Others out there. Reestablishing American “greatness” in the face of our new vulnerability became an increasingly shrill priority. Most importantly, we were primed to relinquish our cherished rights (including the right to protect our environment) in return for safety and security

In fact, the events of 9/11/2001 fell very near the beginning of this Saturn-Pluto cycle’s second-half: Saturn and Pluto were tightly opposite, to within 2 degrees of exactitude. Since 2001, of course, their cycle has continued to wane, and along with it, our rights and institutions.

Because Saturn is a social planet, its energies respond to humanity’s efforts, commitment and determination. Because Pluto works on our survival anxieties, challenges posed by the Saturn-Pluto cycle often feel like existential crises, and they can be—for individuals, for societies, and for civilization itself. World War II was perhaps the prototypical Saturn-Pluto event—unfolding as it did during the final waning quarter of the 1915 cycle. 

So we are now experiencing the final waning quarter of the 1982 cycle, and a social unraveling and degeneration reminiscent of 1930-40s Germany is threatening to overtake our democracy, as well. Today, the Supreme Court gave a pass to Trump’s ban on refugees for now; even if this is only a temporary reprieve for Trump’s anti-immigration plans, it suggests that the Court is not going to be a great “check” on the excesses of that administration. 

Here, Saturn represents the institution of the judiciary and the “check” over absolute power (Pluto) that we need it to provide; unfortunately, the Court is enabling that absolute power at the moment with its choices, and the remaining months of this 1982 cycle may not reverse that trend. 

To appreciate the impact of this 1982 cycle in terms of American society’s evolution, we need to consider the cycle’s inception chart against the U.S. Sibly chart. We will then consider how that cycle has unfolded over a few major milestones, and how that unfolding is likely to prepare us for the new cycle beginning in 2020. Every Saturn-Pluto cycle clears out the “dead wood” that hampers evolutionary development, but what, in this case, is our “dead wood?” 

Our fateful choice of leaders? Our battered democratic institutions? Let’s consider the first biwheel.

Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) U.S. Sibly chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (outer wheel) Saturn-Pluto cycle 1982, November 7, 1982, 3:53:43 p.m. ST, Washington, D.C.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

Interchart T-Square: Sibly Pluto (Capricorn) opposes Sibly Mercury (Cancer); this axis squares Cycle Saturn-Pluto (Libra). Think back to the 1980s—Ronald Reagan was president, corporations were celebrating his willingness to roll-back regulations and side with them against labor unions, “upward mobility” was all the rage, and the “Yuppies” were coming into their own. In 1982, specifically, Michael Jackson’s Thriller album—some might say the “soundtrack” of the Pluto in Libra/Gen X generation—topped the charts, and technological breakthroughs were the order of the day. The personal computer was Time magazine’s “Person of the Year!” 

Apple Computers was feasting on its portion of the financial pie, but the domestic markets were just a start for its life-altering technology.

So, early glimmers of globalization were on the horizon, although the Big Three auto companies still had some clout when it came to protecting American markets from Japanese imports. Unfortunately, the American auto industry was resting on its laurels while Japanese and Koreans car makers were moving full steam ahead, reinventing the affordable sedan.

The auto industry was only one example—this cardinal t-square tapped into the ambitions of the U.S. financial sector (Sibly Pluto) and applied transformative stress on the entire business world. 

International institutions (Saturn) like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) took a more aggressive stance towards micro-managing national economies in return for bail-out and infrastructure loans, and Milton Friedman’s conservative “Chicago School” of economics was gradually transforming the policies at work in the U.S. Federal Reserve and in Washington, D.C. 

With this t-square, the economic policies underpinning a strong American middle class were undercut by movement towards a more polarized, “haves and have nots” economy.  This shift is reflected in a wealth-conscious Scorpio Venusconjunct Jupiter—disposing the Libra Cycle point. The nation was about to see a serious shift in economic policies that would be based on lowering taxes on the wealthy and opening capital markets, all in the name of growth.  

In other words, our national economy was being prepared for the really radical transformations of the Clinton era that would usher in global trade agreements, and a simultaneous rush to offshore, downsize and right-size American corporations. All this forced our politics into greater polarized camps. Even though compromise should be possible under a Libra cycle, both Saturn and Pluto would soon enter aggressive, fixed Scorpio, and compromise became a dirty word. 

Cycle Neptune (Sagittarius) sextiled this late Libra Saturn-Pluto (not unusual—Neptune and Pluto have been transiting roughly sextile since the 1950s), highlighting Neptune’s role as Pluto’s cohort, eroding and undermining the institutions and social structures that Saturn-Pluto may target for destruction/renewal. 

It’s important here that Cycle Neptune (over the Sibly 1st) opposed Sibly Mars (Gemini) in 1982 (Cycle Saturn-Pluto also trined that same point), setting us up for a long period of vaguely-defined, but somehow self-serving wars. We might say that war has become a national addiction (Mars-Neptune) that the powers-that-be simply don’t want to discuss. The connections to Sibly Pluto reflect the vested interests that big business has in this discussion. 

Interestingly, Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) was in the news yesterday for forcing Congress to face this discussion.  Claiming that none of the seven wars we’re involved in now have anything to do with 9/11, Paul occupied the Senate floor, blocking any further activities, saying he wouldn’t leave until the Senate votes on a measure to repeal the 2001-2002 Congressional authorizations for our current wars. 

Paul says he doesn’t expect to win, but he (I think rightly) wants Congress to take more conscious control of our military actions, and not simply leave an open-ended authorization. We might say that he’s staging an “intervention.”

The t-square discussed above suggests somewhat restrained capitalism, yet there’s an ambitious, even aggressive feel to it. Cycle Neptune’s involvement—falling semi-sextile Sibly Pluto and square Sibly Neptune (Virgo)—probably contributed to the loosening of those restraints. Reagan did proclaim that government (i.e., government regulations, labor protections, etc.) was the “problem,” not the “solution.” 

This anti-regulatory stance has followed us ever since, creating real havoc during the 2007-8 Wall Street meltdown, and now guiding Trump’s roll-back of every Obama-era regulation he can find. Here’s where Neptune’s talent for delusion is operating full throttle: Climate change?...a Chinese plot! Tell that to people whose lives were upended in Texas and Florida these past weeks!

Then, there’s terrorism…while it’s existed as a hostile tactic forever, it seems to have been almost institutionalized during this 1982 cycle. We’ve seen an escalation both here and abroad in terrorist-style tactics, in response to geopolitical dynamics, the rise of globalization, etc. There’s a reason Osama bin Laden targeted the World Trade Center in 2001, at the mid-point of this Libra cycle—the towers were the financial hub for Wall Street and all the symbolic baggage it carries abroad. 

It’s worth noting that the first terrorist bombing of the WTC was on February 26, 1993 (chart not shown), very close on the heels of the new Capricorn Uranus-Neptune cycle, disposed by a staunch Aquarius Saturn and its mutual reception with this bombastic, finance-minded Uranus

Importantly, Saturn was also applying to its first square of the 1982 cycle with Scorpio Pluto. Economics and the severely polarized “haves and have nots” world that globalization has spawned is never very far from the picture when terrorist attacks have happened during this cycle. 

On a lighter note, the 1982 Best Picture Academy Award went to Chariots of Fire, while the other blockbuster movie that year was Spielberg’s E.T.: the Extraterrestrial—what better images for idealistic Neptune in fiery Sagittarius?!

Then and now…

Let’s move on to consider what the new 2020 Saturn-Pluto cycle looks like next to our Sibly chart. We have a lot to navigate between now and then if we want to preserve our democratic institutions, our checks and balances, and so on. In fact, these institutions may be seriously up for grabs—this new cycle is launching a mere 7° from Pluto’s transiting return to its Sibly position (first exact in February 2022)—so we might want to consider what life in these United States could be like without them. 

Not that a Capricorn Pluto is necessarily a sign of autocracy—as a feature of the Sibly chart, it marks our Declaration of Independence from Britain’s then-autocratic government! However, we have to remember that King George III gradually tightened the screws on American colonists over the duration of Pluto’s 1760s Capricorn transit, finally reaching the point of no return in 1776. Clearly,  autocracy and resisting autocracy co-existed then, just as they co-exist now. 

Happily, that 1776 chart featured some key aspects that facilitated the balance of powers between our newly-minted three branches of government. This balance has been under serious attack of late, of course. Will the new cycle help restore the balance, or will it bring us closer to a radical transformation towards greatly concentrated power?  That depends heavily on the use we all make of the cosmic energies at our disposal, but let’s consider some highlights from the new cycle biwheel below to see what those energies will be.

Biwheel #2: (inner wheel) U.S. Sibly chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (outer wheel) Saturn-Pluto cycle 2020, January 12, 2020, 11:44:48 a.m. ST,Washington, D.C.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

Cycle 5-point Capricorn gathering conjoins Sibly Pluto (Capricorn) and opposes Sibly Mercury (Cancer). This intense, Saturn-charged gathering includes the Sun, Ceres, Saturn, Pluto and Mercury and does suggest a concentration of power in the Sibly corporate sector (2nd house). As we know, corporations are not democracies. David Korten’s visionary 1995 book entitled When Corporations Rule the World has been updated for its 20th anniversary recently, and clearly, it’s more relevant than ever. 

Does this gathering around Sibly Pluto have to be a negative, however? Saturn implies restraints and regulations (I can just feel the GOP shudder in its collective boots), and it’s feeling its oats in its home sign here. Perhaps in Capricorn we’ll see a renewed appreciation for the importance of balancing restraints and freedom in our global capitalist economy. 

The presence of Ceres and Mercury here suggests that grass-roots needs and realities may be considered more closely when economic policies are hammered out. As climate change intensifies (are we doing anything to stop it?), economic policies may have to become more focused on survival issues such as growing enough food (Ceres) and roads, not to mention safe communications media (Mercury). 

If Trump manages to get his “Wall,” this could be the period when it goes up; it will no doubt impact agriculture and unhindered movement (Ceres and Mercury opposite Sibly Mercury). The wall could also prompt Mexico to stop sending its agricultural goods across the border to us—as well as the agricultural workers we need for our fields. Whose loss would that be, in the end? 

On another note, it may or may not help that this Capricorn gathering will happen trine Sibly Neptune (Virgo), at a point when transiting Neptune (Pisces) is closing in on its “half-return” (aka “opposition”) to that same point (first exact in May, 2021). We can expect that how we define the so-called “American Dream” will be up for revision, and who gets access to that dream will be another story. 

There’s a lot of speculation today about the economy being reinvented around a new super-automated, AI-focused age that will put a lot of people out of work, but cause a real boom-time in the business world. Although conservative ideologues would like us to believe they are, corporate “dreams” are not always in synch with grass-roots “dreams”—how these two will be reconciled (if they are) is a story to watch closely. 

It’s hopeful that Cycle Venus conjoins Sibly Moon (both Aquarius) here, but I’m mindful that this nice conjunction is also semi-sextile Sibly Pluto and trine Sibly Mars (Gemini). It will be interesting to see if war (it's more of a corporate industry than ever these days) ends up employing a lot of those left behind by automation. Will the current tension with North Korea boost bottom lines between now and then?

Cycle Neptune (Pisces) quincunxes Sibly Saturn (Libra) and trines Sibly Sun (Cancer); Cycle Saturn-Pluto (Capricorn) widely square Sibly Saturn.  This is not too different from what we’re currently experiencing, so it appears that the confusion over the distribution of power in D.C. will continue for years (i.e., with Trump acting as though Congress is his legislative errand boy). This confusion (perhaps purposeful) could partially stem from an encroaching "top-down" militarization of national power, combined with an increasingly “corporate” military.  

Trump has put retired and active-duty generals in positions that military personnel have not been allowed to occupy before him, and while these men are probably bringing a little order to a chaotic administration, it’s not a trend to follow if we value a civilian-led democracy. In extreme cases, military-rule leads to “Banana-Republic”-style governments. Too much power is concentrated in too few hands, and mindlessly following orders crowds out the People's priorities. 

Cycle Neptune is tightening its square to Sibly Mars, which could debilitate our military on the one hand, and create military “quagmires” with the other. This latter possibility is supported by the Capricorn gathering’s quincunx to Sibly Mars and its simultaneous square to Sibly Saturn. Hopefully, we will find better uses for these energies.

Final thoughts

Neither democracy nor autocracy simply happen to a society like ours overnight—they both unfold over a series of developments that stretch over decades, through multiple outer-planetary cycles. With that said, we have to be realistic about the challenges ahead. The 1982 Saturn-Pluto cycle is quickly waning, and the transition between that cycle and the new one feels like a  precarious tipping point within our longer evolution. 

Considering its timing during this sensitive transition period, it’s my astrologically-grounded opinion that the Trump administration is a wake-up call that we need to heed. 

Astrology concerning the U.S. is unusual in that we haven’t changed national charts every time a new administration comes into power. France is now on its 5th Republic, and its national charts change with its republics. Likewise with other nations—as new regimes take over, the charts often change to reflect that new reality. You can imagine the arguments that ensue over which charts to use for what!

I think our founding fathers wanted to create a more stable system for our government, however, and for 241 years, their balanced distribution of power centers has worked fairly well, so there's been no need to view a new administration as a whole new nation, with a new chart. That's until our stable system was undermined and didn't function as it should have been this past election—a story we haven’t heard the last of

So, this transition between Saturn-Pluto periods feels to me like a time for either recouping our founders’ original democratic intent, as embodied in the Sibly chart—or for abandoning that original plan and engineering a new national reality, chart and all! 

This story is far from told, but as the new Saturn-Jupiter cycle (beginning in December 2020) launches in Aquarius, ushering in that new age of automation we’re expecting, and as Pluto returns to Sibly Pluto in early 2022, we’ll definitely fill in some blanks. 

Needless to say, a lot will happen between now and then – stay tuned!

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

She is also available to read individual charts—contact her at:

© Raye Robertson 2017. All rights reserved. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

No Heart in D.C.—the Astrology of DACA

I have no idea who said it first, but I certainly agree that a nation is truly known by how it treats its young.  

Well, in the wake of yesterday’s DC announcement that the so-called “Dream Act” (aka “DACA”) would be rescinded and gradually shut down over the coming months, unless Congress passes legislation to legalize the program—we now have a new measure of our nation’s heart and soul. 

Not surprisingly, Trump’s been trying to play both sides against the middle on this one, so Attorney General Jeff Sessions—a vehemently anti-immigration member of the Trump administration—broke the news in an 11 a.m. press conference. 

The general consensus in media reports to this point is that Trump was “playing to his base” with this action, but polls show that only 25% of his base actually wanted him to do this. So, he’s playing to the most fringe, hardliner elements of his base. He was also responding to legal pressure from several states (including prominently, Texas) whose attorney generals were threatening to sue the administration if he didn’t take this action. The Dreamers who served as first responders during Harvey are now officially thrown to the curb. 


Considering the “Dreamers” are overwhelmingly positive members of their communities, doing all the right things we would like to see from all our young adults, means little to those who can only see life through a “Zero-Sum” prism. Through this prism, every immigrant “outsider” in this country is a potential obstacle to their success, their pocketbook and their cultural/moral/economic superiority. Yes, there’s a racist element in all of it as well: killing the DACA program has been a clear Alt-right/white supremacist priority.

If jobs are in short supply, it must be an immigrant’s fault; if wages are stagnant, blame immigrant communities. Never mind that this thinking lets D.C. and our particular brand of capitalism off the hook! Deficits in jobs and wages have solutions that don’t involve slapping shut our borders and deporting people, but these solutions involve an uncomfortable shift of power back to workers and away from Wall Street. Not likely to happen while we have convenient immigrant scapegoats. 

To be clear, shutting down DACA and disrupting the lives of some 800,000 “dreamers”—young adults who arrived here as children from other countries and, through no fault of their own, have never been legally documented—is far from a popular move across the country. Many Republicans in Congress urged Trump not to take this move, but with a packed legislative calendar this fall, not to mention the specter of war with No. Korea, will they be likely to get around to passing a fair, humane set of immigration reforms before the deadline today’s announcement laid down? 


A very long story, coming back around

Astrologically, this issue resonates in American history with the pre-Civil War days, specifically the period in which the original Texians (now Texans) broke away from Mexico and declared themselves to be an independent Republic on March 2, 1836. This action became complicated by other U.S. territorial ambitions of the time and the U.S. annexation of Texas as a state in December 29, 1845. The tension all this produced finally erupted into the Mexican-American war a few months later—on April 25, 1846—a war that left more than a few hard feelings that may be coming back on some level to haunt us under the Trump administration. 

Let’s take a brief look at these charts before we go on, setting each of them next to the U.S. Sibly chart. 

Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) U.S. (Sibly) chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m., LMT, Philadelphia, PA (outer wheel) Republic of Texas, March 2, 1836, 12:00 LMT (no exact time known), Washington-on-the-Brazos, Texas. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

Clearly, the dominant factors in this biwheel are found in the lower hemisphere—especially in that packed 2nd-3rd house area where Texas Uranus (Pisces) forms a mutual reception with Texas Neptune (Aquarius), and where Texas Uranus-Mars-Mercury (Pisces-Aquarius) conjoin the Sibly Moon (Aquarius) and trine Sibly Mars (Gemini). The “dogs of war” were unleashed (trines to Sibly Mars) here, in the name of adding territory to the U.S.—even though Texas was not yet ready for statehood at this point. Wars don’t just “happen” the moment they are declared—it takes years to build up to them. 

Between the time that Texas announced its independence and the time it became a state in 1845, the U.S. government approached Mexico with an offer to purchase additional territories, but was rebuffed; this became one more incentive for war in April, 1846.

For the record, Uranus-Neptune mutual receptions have been associated with war more recently, too—specifically, the 2003-2010 passage which marked the worst period for U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Texas Jupiter-Juno (Cancer) conjoin Sibly Jupiter-Venus (Cancer). Clearly, there were financial and resource-related “perks” associated with Texas breaking away from Mexico and subsequently allying itself with the U.S.­—as Juno seems to be saying here, it was a “match made in heaven.” On an interesting note, this Jupiter action is happening over the Sibly 7th house of ally relationships, so the U.S.-Mexico relationship comes into play here. 

What may seem like a more or less friendly relationship in modern times has probably never been entirely free of “baggage” and resentment—the Mexico independence chart from 1821 (Book of World Horoscopes Chart #215A) features a 5°+Libra Sun, which falls exactly square both these Cancer Jupiters. If nothing else, Mexico was certainly on the losing end of that statehood transaction in terms of resources (i.e., Texas oil, etc.). 

Interchart T-Square: Texas Pluto-Venus (Aries) conjoin Sibly Chiron (Aries) and oppose Sibly Saturn-Juno (Libra); this axis squares Sibly Sun (Cancer). This continues the theme we’ve seen with the Jupiters above:  great resources (Venus-Pluto) were at stake and it was a first-come-first-served scramble, with six-guns blazing. There were winners and losers (Chiron), but the scramble was soon subsumed under the U.S. flag (Sibly Sun-Saturn), shored up by its legislative/military might (Texas Venus sextiles Sibly Saturn). The young American nation was bringing an almost volcanic transformation to the continent (Texas Pluto squares Sibly Sun) in those times, and indigenous peoples from sea-to-sea—including Mexicans—bore the brunt. 

Biwheel #2: (inner wheel) U.S. (Sibly) chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m., LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (outer wheel) Texas Statehood, December 29, 1845, 12:00 p.m. LMT (no exact time known), Washington, D.C.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

The sensitive lower hemisphere is still buzzing in this biwheel, with a lively focus on the Sibly Moon (the People) by Texas Venus-Neptune (Aquarius). Those were the days of “Go West Young Man,” with the California Gold Rush a mere 4 years away. They were heady times for adventurous fortune-seekers (Venus) and ruthless land grabbers, but Americans (Sibly Moon) were under the illusion (Neptune) that it was their “Manifest Destiny” to overtake all the land from sea-to-sea.

Whether or not to allow Texas to become a slave state was a big controversy at the time. We can see the violent opportunists who wanted slavery in Texas in the harsh Texas Mars-Uranus (Aries) that squares Sibly Venus-Jupiter (Cancer) here—slavery was an economic issue then that haunts us yet today, long after we’ve fought a war over it and it’s no longer socially acceptable.  Notice the parallel between today’s Uranus transit through Aries (2010-2018) and the one that spanned 1843-1850: economics-based aggression and tension, with one race working to capitalize on the bodies of another.

Today’s anti-immigration forces think we will profit from expelling the Dreamers, however many economists and business leaders dispute this impression.  In fact, it becomes more clear all the time that Trump and the anti-immigration movement are more concerned with maintaining America’s white majority than they are with saving jobs or growing the American economy. 

It all amounts to a rather twisted version of “identity politics”—something Republicans disdain when Democrats practice it, but in this case, we’re talking about racial identity. Unfortunately, the cardinal signs—especially Aries and Cancer—are prone to toxic wrangling over identity and heritage.
In fact, we see the toxic force (and economic stakes) of this wrangling very dramatically in an Interchart T-Square:  Sibly Pluto (Capricorn) opposed Sibly Mercury (Cancer), with this axis square to Texas Pluto-Sibly Chiron (Aries). Investors enjoyed an unbelievable cornucopia of opportunities once the word got out (Sibly Mercury-Pluto) that the roads going westward were figuratively “paved with gold.” 

The government encouraged this westward expansion by deploying the U.S. military to clear indigenous peoples out of the way, as needed. Indigenous Central Americans who happened to live on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande were caught in the fray just as Native Americans were.

Biwheel #3: (inner wheel) U.S. (Sibly) chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m., LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (outer wheel) Mexican-American War, April 25, 1846, 12:00 p.m. (no exact time known), Washington, D.C.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

The energies we considered in Biwheels #1 and #2 seem to culminate in the outer wheel here, which marks the outbreak of war between Mexico and the U.S., which was at that time embroiled in “expansion fever.” Here we see Neptune conjunct Saturn in Aquarius, conjunct Sibly Moon: whatever limits the American people may have naturally honored were suspended during those times—they were driven by a public relations campaign that painted the West as the  “Land of Opportunity,” and there were serious profiteering forces at work, as well. 

All this is embodied in an Interchart T-Square: Sibly Mercury (Cancer) opposite Sibly Pluto (Capricorn); this axis squares War Mercury-Pluto-Ceres-Sibly Chiron (all Aries). Naturally, this means the nation was experiencing its first Pluto-square-Pluto transit, so the cardinal drive to transform the nation allowed major corporations to emerge, and to gain a foothold in the resource-related industries. As mentioned earlier, there was always an assumed air of cultural superiority that accompanied the west-going adventurers: the indigenous were easy to shunt aside and dispossess because they were non-Christian “savages.” 

Pluto’s transit of Sibly Chiron speaks to the heinous harm that was caused by this demagoguery; it may also point to the origins of our national, karmic difficulty with race relations. We’ve certainly seen a resurgence of these difficulties as Uranus has transited over these same Aries points in the past few years. 

Maybe that same demagoguery is in play with Trump’s heartless decision to rescind DACA and play to his base? Or with those state legislatures that decided to threaten law suits over the program (basically because it was Obama’s way of filling the void created by Congress’s inaction)? Or with Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department? Etc…

The outbreak of hostilities with Mexico is marked here with War Mars (Gemini) conjoining Sibly Mars, forming the middle leg of a mutable Interchart T-Square: War Venus-Pallas (Pisces) opposes Sibly Neptune (Virgo); this axis squares that Mars-Mars conjunction. A mutable t-square reflects times of change and chaotic stress, and in this case, it involved Mars style violence, which was enabled by our Sibly Neptune’s illusions of entitlement.  

The vaguely imperialist sounding “Manifest Destiny” has since been replaced by the “American Dream,” (hence the term “Dreamers”), but in the 1840s as well as today, not just anyone was entitled to that dream.

Gemini is disposed here by a strident Aries Mercury, sextile Saturn-Neptune (Aquarius) near the Sibly Moon, which suggests that the press was banging the drums of war, preparing people for the collective effort and the inevitable ethical “compromises” that go along with war. The Aquarius duo is disposed in turn by a bellicose Aries Uranus. If some of this feels familiar, it’s because it is: we’re dealing with a strong mix of cardinal and mutable energies and a belligerent Uranus again today.

Which brings us to today…

When Jeff Sessions announced Trump’s decision to end DACA, but to give Congress some time to craft a law that would save the program in some form, he framed the decision as both a law-enforcement matter and an economic matter: the former because, by definition, the Dreamers are “illegals,” despite the fact that these young people had nothing to do with coming here as children. 

As the PBS News Hour cited this evening (9/5/2017), 59% of them actually have a sibling who is an American citizen. IMHO, Sessions had no legitimate justifications for splitting up families, especially when the “illegal” person was brought here as a child. 

The other frame Sessions applied is the economic argument I alluded to earlier: that immigrants are taking jobs away from citizens.’s “The World” disavowed this idea with strong economic arguments: what follows is a small excerpt:

“Scrapping the program would not only have devastating psychological effects on current DACA recipients and their families, but the potential to negatively affect the US economy, according to various studies.
‘We estimate that the cost [to] the government in terms of reduced tax revenues would be $60 billion in the next decade,’ said Ike Brannon of the CATO Institute, who co-published ‘The Economic and Fiscal Impact of Repealing DACA’ in January. “The broader economic cost of shifting these kids into less productive jobs would be about $280 billion in the next 10 years.’
Brannon’s estimates are conservative when compared to similar studies about what ending the program could mean for the country. 
According to research by the Center for American Progress, ending DACA would result in a loss of more than $460 billion from the national gross domestic product over a decade.”

Yet, the deluded zero-sum mentality prevailed in this decision, and the biwheel for today’s event points to why. We’ll also see some parallels with historical events we’ve been looking at—no surprise!

Biwheel #4: (inner wheel) U.S. (Sibly) chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m., LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (outer wheel) DACA end announced, September 5, 2017, 11:00 a.m. DST, Washington, D.C.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Interchart T-Square: DACA Sun (Virgo) opposes DACA Neptune (Pisces); this axis squares Sibly Uranus-DSC (Gemini). What better energies for a soft-spoken announcement that casually upends hundreds of thousands of lives? Giving no evidence for his claims (that the Dreamers are bad for the economy, that harassing these motivated young people will do anything to make the country more secure or more law-abiding), Sessions’ announcement most likely reflected what’s in his mind and in Trump’s mind—DACA Mercury disposes this Virgo Sun from controlling, self-focused Leo—no facts required (Neptune opposes Sun). 

DACA Mercury also opposes Sibly Moon (Aquarius)—Sessions was directing his comments to the American people, as though the Dreamers aren’t part of that people. In fact, they belong nowhere else! The DACA Moon (Pisces)—which aptly represents the Dreamers here—conjoins Sibly Ceres and opposes  DACA Mars (Virgo). 

Here we see a sign of the hostility directed at these young people, who are, despite denials (Pisces/Neptune) to the contrary, being held potentially liable for their parents’ actions. Ceres’ presence here suggests that the dream of establishing the own households in American communities (Sibly 3rd) is caught in the crossfire. 

DACA Mars (Virgo)-Mercury (Leo) trines DACA Uranus (Aries), suggesting that there’s a rough road ahead for Dreamers, unless their cause is championed in the same passionate terms that the opposite viewpoint enjoys on Alt-right sites. Protests have already begun, but these energies suggest that they are only getting started. It will be interesting to see how law enforcement is directed (by Sessions and others) to handle such events.  

If the Pisces Moon here does signify the Dreamers, we need to be alert to signs of victimization and scapegoating. Unfortunately, there are early signs that racist fringe elements are feeling empowered by today’s announcement. 

Interchart Kite: DACA Saturn (Sagittarius) forms a Grand Fire Trine with DACA Mercury-No. Node (Leo) and DACA Uranus (Aries); DACA Jupiter (Libra) opposes DACA Uranus (Aries). This type of unleashed fire, pierced through the heart by a strong cardinal opposition  has been with us for awhile, with the Nodal axis transiting backwards through Leo-Aquarius. It was also a strong feature of the great eclipse we experienced in August. These are simply volatile times, and this chart suggests that whoever leverages the passion afloat to their best advantage will carry the day. 

Sagittarius has a forward-thrusting “dream” quality to it: the question here is whether Saturn’s presence in the sign will squash those dreams. Jupiter’s involvement here, sextile to and disposing Saturn and sextile to the No. Node, opposite Uranus and square DACA Pluto (Capricorn) suggests that making the strongest business/economy-oriented argument will be the key to defending the DACA program.

Final thoughts

A word should be said about the information that those applying for the DACA program have been required to turn over to the government on their applications. The young applicants were basically asked to trust the government to protect their interests when they turned over their vital information (including Social Security numbers) for a chance to acquire legal work permits and attend college—to basically “come out of the shadows” of illegality into normal American life. 

With the Mercury in Biwheel 4 tied into a fiery trine with authoritative Saturn and belligerent Uranus, it’s quite possible this trust will be abused, in the name of “law and order.” I am further concerned about the inconjunct between Mercury and Chiron (Pisces)—these kids are quite possibly being set up for victimization, and that should be unacceptable. 

Timing is everything in astrology, of course—but taking this action on the heels of Hurricane Harvey and its devastating effects on immigrant and non-immigrant families alike, signals that the nation’s humane “better angels” are being muzzled by this administration. Grand trines carry a fated, “inevitable” feeling because the energy is often unstoppable, so again, using that fire for a positive, rather than negative purpose will be key. Maybe it’s time to unleash those “better angels?”

In fact, that is happening, as we speak: Javier Palomarez, president and chief executive of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and a member of Trump’s “National Diversity Coalition,” announced yesterday that he will resign from that presidential advisory group immediately. Apparently, the council never met, anyway (it was so important to Trump), so it will probably fall apart like the other advisory councils did in the wake of Trump’s response to Charlottesville. Palomarez explains his view of the actions that prompted his resignation in a New York Times op-ed:

“Reckless” is exactly the word to describe today’s decision to end DACA — one so obviously at odds with the national interest. Under DACA, 65,000 individuals were graduating from high school and 10,000 from college each year. Those who were in, or eligible for, DACA were paying roughly $2 billion each year in state and local taxes. And the cost to the American taxpayer was minimal: The program had no uncompensated administrative costs, nor were recipients eligible for welfare benefits or subsidies of any kind under the Affordable Care Act. Deporting Dreamers, on the other hand, will cost the federal government $60 billion, along with an additional $280 billion reduction in economic growth over the next decade….
Over the past month, many corporate leaders have fled the councils and coalitions President Trump assembled at the beginning of his administration. I am proud to join them. While I will never cease advocating for policies that benefit America’s Hispanic-owned businesses, the moral costs of associating with this White House are simply too high. There is no place for a National Diversity Coalition in an administration that by its word and deed does not value diversity at all.”
Coming full circle, we can again, probably assume that whatever Sessions expressed in his announcement reflected Trump’s thinking, despite his comments professing to “have love for the Dreamers.” Zero-sum thinking is a limited, dark perspective that spreads contagiously when given the chance, and Trump seems to know no other way of thinking. We can speculate on what kind of damage was done to him as a child—his chart does suggest that there may be grounds for empathy—but that doesn’t really matter now. 

Trump began his presidential campaign with a speech that maligned Mexicans, and yesterday’s decision was the logical extension of that theme. If it was a difficult decision, as he claims, it wasn’t because it was heartless. He’s mastered heartlessness.

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:

© Raye Robertson 2017. All rights reserved.