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Well, in the wake of yesterday’s DC announcement that the so-called “Dream Act” (aka “DACA”) would be rescinded and gradually shut down over the coming months, unless Congress passes legislation to legalize the program—we now have a new measure of our nation’s heart and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


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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? 


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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.


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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. 

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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. 



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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. PRI.org’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.  

 
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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: robertsonraye@gmail.com.

© Raye Robertson 2017. All rights reserved. 



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