Monday, June 13, 2016

Shooting the rapids on a cosmic river boat: September’s mutable eclipse

The essence of mutability is change—as in, you never step into the same river twice...that’s generally a good thing because “same” means stagnant when it comes to rivers. Must change mean senseless, hateful tragedy, however, as we've seen this weekend in Orlando? We must help each other navigate this change, wherever it's leading us. Our hearts and condolences go out to our fellow Americans in Orlando.

The way forward between now and March 2, 2017 (the beginning of the U.S. chart’s new Progressed Lunar cycle—see 5/3/16 post here) is bound to be rocky, disorienting and elusive—how could it not be, with a transiting mutable t-square dogging our steps?

Despite the certainty of uncertainty, however, this year’s astrological puzzle is missing another major milestone before year’s end: a total solar eclipse on September 1st at 9°+Virgo—right in line with the now familiar mutable t-square. As we’ll see with the U.S. Sibly chart, this eclipse will turn a somewhat disruptive mutable configuration transiting that chart into a 4-way mutable grand square.

As I pointed out in a June 6th post, a mutable grand square (as was active during last week’s California primary) can be quite a romp: Hillary Clinton made history; Bernie Sanders continued to show that his integrity can weather just about any storm; and Donald Trump began flailing to the tune of lower poll numbers. Whether he’ll overcome the flood of bad will he created with his most recent rants remains to be seen—perhaps with this upcoming eclipse.

Let’s consider the highlights.

First, an important caveat: Eclipses unfold their influence over time, and the power of the event will be re-stimulated by subsequent transits (especially conjunctions and oppositions) to the Eclipse point. Neptune’s very slow transit (including a retrograde period) opposite the Eclipse point alone will take us to the end of 2017—an indication that the period ahead will continue to be disruptive and incoherent. Other, more fleeting transits will chime in as we go.

A case of the jitters for the U.S. Sibly chart
Here we’ll take a brief look at a triwheel for the U.S. Sibly chart (inner wheel), the Sibly chart progressed to 9/1/2016 (middle wheel) and the Solar Eclipse on 9/1/2016 (outer wheel)—all three charts set for Washington, D.C. As we’ll see, the mutable t-square (Eclipse point in Virgo opposite Neptune in Pisces, all square Saturn-Mars in Sagittarius) also falls over the Sibly ascendant (12°+Sagittarius) and pulls Sibly Uranus (8°+ Gemini) into the configuration to form the final leg of an interchart, mutable grand square. Let’s consider some insights from aspects expert Bil Tierney regarding the mutable grand square:

“This restless configuration seems to operate best in all fields of mental expression. However, the stress created by the four squares often manifest as agitated nervousness and extreme restlessness…The Mutable Grand Square poses frustrations due to undue changeability, poor concentration ability, indecision, negative suggestibility, and a tendency to give in to external pressures rather than resist or challenge.”[1]
In the case of a grand square that impacts a chart ascendant, Tierney adds:

“…the urges of the three planets [legs of the grand square] interact with a great level of tension and filter themselves out thru the ASC point, according to the behavioral expression of the ascending sign.”[2]
So, how is the eclipse mutable t-square likely to express itself through the Sibly ascendant? Let’s break it down:

Interchart Mutable Grand Square: Eclipse Sun-Moon oppose Eclipse Neptune (Pisces) and both square Eclipse Saturn-Mars at Sibly ASC (Sagittarius) opposed to Sibly Uranus/Mars (midpoint, Gemini). This grand square misses the Sibly MC-IC axis (Libra-Aries), but the sensitive 10th-4rd axis (Equal houses) is pulled into the fray here even so. Interestingly, the Eclipse impacts more Sibly houses than might be expected through sheer placement: the Eclipse point and Node straddle the 9th and10th houses; Eclipse Neptune and the South Node straddle the 3rd and 4th houses; Eclipse Saturn-Mars straddle Sibly’s 12th and 1st houses; Sibly Uranus and Mars straddle the 6th and 7th houses. At the risk of overstating the case, I’d say this unusual happenstance speaks volumes about the time period ahead for U.S. politics and society.

The interchart grand square thus formed also pulls the Sibly progressed Moon (Sagittarius) into the picture, suggesting the American people are clearly in tune with the unrest and volatility of this configuration and are likely to express themselves with Sagittarian passion and vigor, especially once the Progressed Moon reaches the Sibly ascendant in March (see 5/3/16 post for more on this). Those who now believe Bernie Sanders received unjust, corrupt treatment from the Democratic establishment will probably still be feeling that sense of bruised justice (Eclipse Saturn-Mars-P Moon), and the eclipse may provide an opportunity to vent that frustration legally (E Saturn-Mars sextile Sibly Saturn in Libra). This same dynamic could operate for disenchanted Trump supporters who feel cheated or marginalized in some way.

The President may find himself on the horns of a dilemma with these disgruntled populations, and with any issues raised by the Eclipse—E Saturn-Mars fall inconjunct Sibly Sun in Cancer. Tierney also suggests that grand squares stretching across a chart’s horizon tend to be expressed externally rather than internally, because the Descendant is involved. Meaning, there’s a good chance our internal frustrations will be channeled into external conflicts rather than being resolved internally. This would certainly fit the role of Sibly Uranus/Mars in this grand square, at the Sibly Descendant. 

Historically, Sibly Uranus and Mars have been charged with venting internal frustrations—in fact, each time we’ve gotten involved in a major overseas conflict, the decision to call up the troops was preceded by an economic downturn and/or civil unrest of some kind (a long story for another time). Bottom line here, the conditions could well exist here for a major overseas involvement, and with our involvement in Afghanistan growing again as we speak, further escalation won’t be surprising.

Eclipse Jupiter-Mercury (Virgo)-Venus (Libra) widely conjoin Sibly Neptune (Virgo) and trine Sibly Pluto (Capricorn); Eclipse Jupiter-Mercury widely square Sibly Mars (Gemini) and inconjoin Sibly Moon (Aquarius); Eclipse Venus trines Sibly Uranus and squares Sibly Venus-Jupiter (Cancer). The influence of Jupiter-Mercury-Venus richochets throughout the Sibly chart, suggesting a well-financed (trine Pluto), expansive, tactical approach (Virgo) to responding to a volatile threat (Mars in 7th). The security imperative is seen with Venus’ square to Sibly Venus-Jupiter; needless to say with Venus, there’s an economic imperative and a question of social justice (Libra) in play as well.

Eclipse Venus also conjoins the Sibly MC (Libra), suggesting that societal challenges could register as security threats that the military or national guard (Virgo Jupiter-Mercury) will be called upon to address. 

Eclipse Uranus (Aries) conjoins Sibly Progressed Venus (Aries), sextiles Sibly Mars and Sibly Moon (Aquarius), squares Sibly Mercury (Cancer) and Sibly Pluto (Capricorn) and inconjoins Sibly Neptune (Virgo). One key energy (Uranus) here literally electrifies the entire Sibly chart. Unless an unlikely technological revolution is about to overtake us in a big way, this volatile configuration suggests a shocking event or series of events. Financial, with Pluto? Terrorist, with Mars? Election chaos, with Mercury-Moon? Eclipse Uranus also widely conjoins Sibly Chiron (Aries) and squares the Sibly Progressed Node (Cancer), so a natural or man-made disaster is not out of the question.

Considering Eclipse Saturn and Mars are conjunct the Sibly Ascendant and Sibly Progressed Moon in the midst of all this, civil unrest on the order of the 1960s is not inconceivable. There are deep astrological parallels between today and then that we won’t go into here, but Uranus’s inconjunct with Sibly Neptune here reinforces the possibility of civil unrest, bringing to mind Langston Hughe’s poem, “A Dream Deferred”. Perhaps the continued frustration of the “American Dream” for so many could, indeed, “explode?” 

Sibly Progressed Sun conjoins Eclipse Neptune (Pisces) and both square Sibly Uranus (Gemini), trine Sibly Sun and inconjoin Sibly Saturn (Libra). Misinformation (Neptune) is likely to abound when it comes to any of the many volatile scenarios discussed above, involving Sibly Uranus. The election (two months into this Eclipse period) will provide a distraction and may even produce a certain amount of euphoria (Neptune-Progressed Sun). Whatever happens, it will be over!

It should also be mentioned here that Neptune’s environmental implications (not a metaphor, unfortunately)—water, lots of water (or alternatively, not enough)—may continue to challenge areas of the country with flooding and drought. This is especially reinforced by Saturn’s continued square with Neptune and Neptune’s square to the Sibly ASC and DSC. On another note, we’re looking at a long mosquito season ahead, suggesting a Zika epidemic (Neptune) could also become a greater concern, if preventive measures are unsuccessful.

Trump & the Eclipse
The September eclipse appears to offer Trump a pivotal astrological moment, but the eclipse will only stimulate what’s already there in his natal and progressed charts. I’ve written at length about Trump’s path ahead recently (see 6/6/16 post), so what follows is meant to build upon, not repeat what’s been said. So, let’s consider a few dynamics brought to bear by the eclipse.

Eclipse Point (Virgo) widely conjoins Trump Progressed Sun (Virgo); Trump P Sun opposes Trump Part of Fortune. Trump is being drawn way out of his comfort zone with his P Sun’s transition into his 1st house in Virgo—especially as it attracts more scrutiny to his behavior, past business practices, etc.. We’re seeing the discomfort level with his focus in speeches on perceived wrongs to himself—his legal tussle with the so-called “Mexican” judge, etc.  Whining, pickiness and racial discrimination are not the higher expressions of Virgo, and they don’t play well in the media or with GOP leaders (who find they have to answer for them), but coming to grips with the higher, more service-oriented side of his new Virgoan reality will take time.

We have seen attempts to focus (with the help of a teleprompter) on how his campaign promises to help people—the dilemma here is (opposition to Part of Fortune), will a kinder, softer (more “presidential”) Trump alienate the voters who have resonated so strongly with his tougher demeanor?

Interchart Grand-Square: Eclipse Mars (Sagittarius) widely conjoins Trump Moon (Sagittarius) and together oppose Trump Uranus-Node-Sun (Gemini); all of this squares Eclipse Point-Node-Trump Progressed Part of Fortune (Virgo) opposite Eclipse Neptune (Pisces). Please note: Eclipse Saturn is just out of orb to oppose Trump’s Gemini points, but it  does figure into the rest of the grand square. Since Eclipse Saturn-Mars are also applying to Trump’s South Node, this grand square blushes a couple shades more stressful. The South Node points to a person’s default modus operandi, reinforcing Trump’s agitated (Mars-Saturn) emotional (Moon) Sagittarian “wild man” rants and arrogant, offensive rhetoric. Philosophy is a Sagittarius domain—placed in Trump’s 4th house of “true inner self,” we shouldn’t expect a teleprompter will change his ideological stripes. As we've seen in his post-Orlando shooting comments, he leapt at the chance to label the event as "Islamic terrorism," and to repeat his calls for a ban on Muslim immigration.  

The reason grand squares tend to be so nerve-wracking is that we find ourselves run aground in a sea of opposing forces, and that creates agitation in the best of us. We’ve seen that Trump lashes out when confronted, so we can expect more of that. With Neptune transiting his 7th house of enemies, it may be difficult for him to distinguish between real and imaginary enemies. Hillary Clinton will, of course, provide a real enemy he can work on, and enemies that reinforce his worldview (they are out to get us) will undoubtedly materialize (Neptune opposes his 1st house Part of Fortune).

Eclipse Jupiter-Mercury (Virgo)-Venus (Libra) trine Trump MC (Taurus), sextile Trump Progressed MC and Jupiter-Mercury widely square Trump Moon (Sagittarius) and inconjoin Trump Part of Fortune (Aquarius); Eclipse Venus conjoins Trump Neptune-Progressed Mars (Libra) and squares Trump Mercury (Cancer). The square to Trump’s Moon adds to his agitated emotional state, but the trine to his MC from his 1st house bolsters his ambitions in the midst of frustrations (inconjunct to Part of Fortune). His confidence is only slightly dampened these days (in fact, it's emboldened with the latest in Miami), so it will be interesting to see how long he persists with the teleprompter.

Trump’s financial life (2nd -8th house axis) is ruled by Mercury and Neptune, so Venus tying into both these natal planets points to benefits and challenges there. The elusive “audit” of his taxes may become an issue with Neptune ruling his 8th and the Eclipse Point semi-sextile his Progressed 2nd house Mars-Neptune: Uranus is also transiting his 8th house, so maybe his tax records will finally be released?   

Clinton & the Eclipse
As with Trump, I’ve spoken at length about Clinton’s road ahead as well (see 6/6/16 post), but the impact the September eclipse is likely to have is worth considering for her, as well. Significantly, the eclipse does not form a mutable grand square when laid over her natal chart. The t-square it does form will be stressful, as well, but t-squares tend to be more readily resolved. Let’s consider the highlights:

Eclipse Point (Virgo) conjoins Clinton Progressed Mars (Virgo), semi-sextiles Clinton Progressed Moon-Neptune, sextiles Clinton Chiron (Scorpio), squares Clinton Progressed Jupiter (Sagittarius), trines Clinton Progressed Sun-Mercury (Capricorn) and inconjoins Clinton Progressed Venus (Aquarius). In other words, the Eclipse point itself is tightly tied into key points in Clinton’s progressed chart, but not so tied into her natal chart. As we’ll see, other planets in the Eclipse chart do have more impact on Clinton’s natal chart. As for the key factors listed here—the conjunction to Clinton’s P Mars and the trine to Clinton’s P Sun-Mercury in Capricorn could well support Clinton’s “glass-ceiling shattering” quest. It appears she will have the energy (Mars) and the tangible support (earth trine) needed for the uphill, emotionally-wrought battle. Even if she’s well-supported, however, Clinton’s Moon and Venus are likely to feel like they’ve been scrutinized (Virgo eclipse) to death.

Interchart T-Square: Eclipse Point-Node (Virgo) conjoins Clinton MC-P Mars (Virgo) and opposes Eclipse Neptune; all of this squares Eclipse Saturn-Mars-Clinton P Jupiter (Sagittarius). This t-square stretches across Clinton 10th-4th axis, squaring the points in her 1st. Challenges to ego (1st), reputation (MC) and self-assurance (Neptune transiting 4th) are likely to follow her into Election Day, but her natal chart provides little traction for these stressors and she’s overcome worse during this campaign.   

Eclipse Mars-Saturn (Sagittarius) conjoin Clinton P Jupiter (Sagittarius), semi-sextile Clinton Chiron-Venus (Scorpio) and trine Clinton Mars-Pluto-Saturn (Saturn only widely-Leo). Mars and Saturn can be harsh taskmasters, especially when working in concert, but here they seem to be more like strong motivators for Clinton’s powerful Leo grouping. That said, Mars-Saturn may also challenge her to convince voters that she can be as tough as the times demand, since Sagittarius’ ruling planet Jupiter is still in Virgo, the sign ruling the military. Will her gender be a deficit or a plus in this regard (semi-sextile to Chiron-Venus)?

Eclipse Jupiter-Mercury (Virgo)-Venus (Libra) square Clinton Uranus (Gemini). These aspects span Clinton’s 11th to 8th houses, suggesting her rational (Virgo) approach to policy-making and political power (11th) will be challenged by shocking claims (Uranus in Gemini) that may or may not be true (we can guess what those might be about). She herself may be accused of political “double-speak” as well.

Eclipse Uranus (Aries) trines Clinton Saturn and inconjoins Clinton ASC-Mercury (Scorpio). A Uranus trine can register like a surge of electricity—either it’s welcome energy that keeps things humming, or it’s an overload that burns out a few circuits. The inconjunct to Clinton’s ASC-Mercury suggest that some unpleasant shocks or revelations may put Clinton on the defensive. Whether those would be more than her campaign can absorb and manage (Saturn in Leo) to her advantage remains to be seen.

Eclipse Pluto (Capricorn) conjoins Clinton P Sun-Mercury and inconjoins Clinton Mars-Pluto (Leo). It appears Clinton will enjoy powerful support—especially financial support from well-heeled interests, with Pluto transiting her 2nd house. The eclipse point trines this Pluto, which appears to benefit Clinton. Do we trust politicians who have Pluto’s blessing?—quite another story, perhaps addressed by the inconjunct to her powerful Mars-Pluto. This aspect brings to mind the famous saying by Machiavelli, “It is better to be feared than loved if you can’t be both.”

Sanders & the Eclipse
So, assuming Bernie Sanders makes it to the Democratic convention in July without having capitulated entirely to Clinton (hopefully a safe assumption), how is the September eclipse likely to treat him going forward? As noted in the 6/6/16 post here, I will be using the 11:43:40 a.m. version of Sanders’ chart, rectified by Isaac Starkman. Again, the key highlights:

Interchart Grand Square: Eclipse Point-Node (Virgo) conjoin Sanders Sun (Virgo) and oppose Sanders Progressed Part of Fortune-Eclipse Neptune (Pisces); all of this squares Eclipse Saturn-Mars (Sagittarius) opposite Sanders’ Uranus/Jupiter (midpoint, Gemini). If Sanders’ natal chart timing is accurate, these oppositions straddle his 10th-4th and 1st-7th houses, basically the same houses we’ve seen so heavily involved in the other candidate charts. Career, reputation, personal ideals, Self and Other issues are all important here. With Uranus and Saturn in his natal 7th, he’s used to butting heads with opponents (standard for a career-long “independent” Democratic Socialist in the U.S. Congress), but it will be interesting to see how his campaign message morphs now that Clinton is presumed to be the Democratic nominee and he is charged with shepherding his supporters in her direction.

Eclipse Saturn-Mars (Sagittarius) trines Sanders Pluto-Chiron (Leo). Turning over his supporters to Clinton is a bitter pill to swallow for Sanders (and his supporters) because they do have fundamentally different ideas about the limits of progressivism in this country. However, swallowing this pill can also be a profound turning point (trine to Pluto-Chiron) for Sanders that may—if gracefully executed—secure his ideas (if not him personally) for another run at the highest office. With Aquarius on his 4th house cusp disposed by his 7th house Saturn-Uranus conjunction, there’s mileage left in his quest for a political revolution, and he’s gathered millions of young voters who would support the idea.   

Eclipse Jupiter-Mercury (Virgo)-Venus (Libra) conjoin Sanders Neptune (Virgo)-Mercury (Libra) and trine Sanders Uranus (Gemini); Eclipse Jupiter-Mercury oppose Eclipse Chiron (Pisces). Sanders’ pragmatic ideals (Virgo points - i.e., an economy that works for everyone) and sense of justice (Libra points) will continue to fuel his 7th house fight (Uranus), and Venus falling on his Mercury suggests his message will benefit from the eclipse.

Eclipse Uranus (Aries) conjoins Sanders Moon-Mars (Aries), trines Sanders MC (Leo) and inconjoins his Neptune (Virgo). Assuming the timing of this chart is close to accurate, Uranus transiting Sanders’ “working class” 6th house evokes the “revolution” he promotes so sincerely (Moon). These Aries points in his chart certainly speak to his “what you see is what you get” demeanor. The trine to his MC suggests a powerful opportunity for change in his career and in the public’s perception of him.

Eclipse Pluto (Capricorn) conjoins Sanders Progressed ASC-Progressed Venus-Progressed Moon (Capricorn), sextiles Sanders ASC, squares Sanders Moon (Aries) and trines Sanders Sun-Node (Virgo). Pluto has been transiting Sanders’ 2nd house for years now, so perhaps it’s not surprising that his campaign was so successful at fund-raising. It appears the Eclipse will bolster the authoritative image Sanders projects (ASCs and trine to Sun) and the respect he garners from many, but it’s hard to say what the emotional/health toll (Pluto square natal Moon) might be going forward.

Final thoughts…

The essence of mutability is change—as in, you never step into the same river twice, and that’s generally a good thing because “same” means stagnant when it comes to rivers. Must change mean senseless, hateful tragedy, however, as we've seen this weekend in Orlando? We must help each other navigate this change--wherever it's leading us. Our hearts and condolences go out to all concerned.

A lot of people are feeling that “same” is bad when it comes to our government, too, but the big question evokes another watery metaphor: do we throw the baby [what works] out with the bath water [what doesn’t work]? Whatever the outcome in November, it appears we’ll be “shooting the rapids” on this cosmic river boat (final water metaphor, promise!) clear into 2017—hang on tight!

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. 

[1] Bil Tierney, Dynamics of Aspect Analysis: New Perceptions in Astrology, CRCS, 1980, p. 89.
[2] Ibid, p. 92.

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