Sunday, March 11, 2018

Progress, pitfalls, and keeping it real: the 2018 Aries Ingress

The last time I wrote about the prospects for  a new solar year, marked by the Sun’s ingress into vibrant, energetic Aries, it was March, 2017, and we were just getting acquainted with the Trump administration. 

I won’t rehash that history (it seems like ten years!), but suffice to say here that a lot has happened since then to deeply concern Americans committed to our democratic system. Vladimir Putin says our system is “eating itself,” and evidence suggests that he would know. 

Unfortunately, it’s hard to dispute Putin’s cynical observation, but probably not for the reasons he made it. To my eye, we've seen a toxic degeneration in the tone, the integrity and the humanity of our culture, and we are probably more divided as a body politic than we have been since the Civil War. Pluto is having its way with us these days, shredding and purging our national Soul: multiple indictments are swirling around the Trump administration already, suspicions of widespread corruption and conflicts of interest are stacking up like cordwood, and Mueller’s investigation seems to be just getting started. So, yes, there's plenty of reason for concern, but even so, we have somehow made progress this year, as well!

In fact, the coming quarter may actually be positive—especially for women—if the Aries Ingress chart is any indication. There’s been a definite, strongly feminist breeze blowing ever since the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns launched to support better treatment of and respect for women in all walks of life, and we could see some real momentum. 

I hesitate to read an ingress chart with one particular issue in mind because the Sun shines on all our concerns, but any progress made to improve life for women and girls in this culture would ultimately be a boon for everyone, wouldn’t it? Misogynists won’t like it much, but they need help and we will hopefully get there. Signs are, times up! 

Let’s look at the ingress chart, set for Washington, D.C. We’ll consider the ingress on its own merits first, and then consider it next to the Trump and Sibly charts. Lots to explore there!

Chart #1: Sun enters Aries, March 20, 2018, 12:03:35 p.m. DST, Washington, DC. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Cancer rises, with ruler Moon (Taurus, 11th) trine Saturn (Capricorn, 7th). Astrological tradition says that the Aries ingress chart has more or less influence, depending upon its rising sign. When a cardinal sign like Cancer rises, the chart is said to reflect the current situation through the summer solstice, at which time the Cancer ingress takes over as a guide. Cancer is considered a feminine sign, of course, ruled by the Moon, which is exalted here, in Venus-ruled Taurus. 

The Moon’s exact trine to Saturn adds another strong feminine note: Capricorn may sound more masculine because of its aggressive, career-ladder-climbing connotations, but all the earth signs share a receptive, yin quality. 

In fact, we might argue that one reason our culture has had so much trouble cultivating and protecting “powerful women” is that we’ve allowed the naturally yin nature of ambitious Capricorn to be distorted in our national consciousness. Not in this chart…this nice trine, between lovely feminine Taurus and Saturn—in her “happy place” in earthy Capricorn—suggests a nice flow of feminine power.

Sun (Aries) is elevated in the 9th, square horizon (Asc/Dsc)-Saturn-Mars (all Capricorn). All of the feminine empowerment discussed above exists in the somewhat discordant context of a newly-minted Aries Sun, the embodiment of masculine virility and vigor. So it’s no surprise that there will be stress—a square in this case—between them. Creating a new, healthier order between the sexes is a messy, stressful affair, and it won’t happen in one quarter! Or, perhaps it’s time for women to own their innate yang assertiveness. 

Progress can be won through effort: Mars enters the story here, exalted in yin Capricorn: cultural notions that aggression and assertiveness are unwomanly can be seen as the lies they’ve always been. This Mars also disposes and squares the Aries Sun, as it conjoins the DSC and Saturn, so it definitely dominates this ambitious cardinal chart. Saturn conjoins this Mars at the same time it rules the critical 7th and 8th houses, so we can’t underestimate the role it’s playing here either. 

In fact, as the only planets in their ruling signs, Saturn and Neptune are the co-dispositors of this chart. Much more on these two ahead.

Reflecting Saturn’s influence, Capricorn consolidates and builds, disciplines and imposes judicious restraint, and Mars makes that process an urgent imperative here. Whereas other forces are eroding our national structures and even our foundational, democratic principles (Neptune’s the usual suspect), this Mars-Saturn meeting across the 6th-7th divide suggests a strong drive to build defensive (7th) structures and to shore up structures rather than tear them down. 

Everything depends upon how we decide to use the energies available: a strong Mars-Saturn could relate to Trump’s “Wall,” of course (we are getting into midterm election season), or could reflect more repressive police forces (like ICE), but it could also point to arms control and the building of cultural institutions that aggressively protect women’s interests (considering Saturn-Moon trine)! We may see pronounced improvements in how women are treated in the service sector and the military (6th), which would be huge.

Indeed, legal funds are springing up to help aggrieved women pursue justice. Money (Capricorn magnetizes it) will not be the obstacle it has often been. 

Venus/Uranus and Mercury/Uranus (midpoints, Aries) square Pluto (Capricorn, 7th); Eris (Aries) conjoins Venus/Uranus and tightly squares Pluto (Capricorn). Women’s issues are again highlighted, especially with the involvement of Venus, Pluto and Eris here. The Aries placement of Venus supports that call for women to “own” their bold, assertive sides. 

In fact, the Venus/Uranus square to Pluto evokes the “Wonder Woman” theme we’ve seen so much of lately, a theme that we can expect to be laced with some flattery and media manipulation along the way. Slapping a sexy media label on women’s new bold attitude will amount to mere pandering, unless results follow. 

There’s a cautionary tale here, too: women have often been their own worst enemies when it comes to empowerment, so at least some of the manipulations will originate with women who would rather remain “behind the throne.” Ivanka Trump (10/30/1981, NYC) comes to mind as a major influence here: her Sagittarius Venus conjoins Neptune disposes and sextiles her powerful Libra Jupiter-Pluto conjunction. A story for another day.

It’s significant that the Venus/Uranus and Mercury/Uranus midpoints are happening in feisty, energetic Aries—and that both form squares to Pluto. The two midpoints could play off each other to produce a generational shift that empowers young people even more than we’ve seen with the Parkland teens and their fight for gun control. Special elections around the country are showing indications that the winds are blowing in the direction of more women in political office, and more Gen X’ers and Millennials. This chart reinforces that dramatic shift: IMHO, it’s time

As for Eris, imagine for a moment that you can actually see her in this chart at 22°+Aries (sorry, outdated software). So discordant Eris is tightly conjunct the Venus/Uranus midpoint and firmly square Pluto, as well. Where’s there’s discord, we naturally look for a source: as it happens, there’s a Russian connection here, as well: the Russian Federation’s radix chart is cast for December 25, 1991, Moscow, Russia, 7:45 p.m. (according to Nicholas Campion’s Book of World Horoscopes), and Eris was at 16°+Aries that day, tying into this ingress chart’s Venus-Mercury with sharpshooter precision.  
Because of this disruptive potential from Eris—aka, “the avenging warrioress”—the deep ties between ingress Venus-Mercury and Uranus, Pluto and Pluto’s south node (more on that just below) should give us pause. All the cyber-warfare skullduggery that’s been revealed in regards to Election 2016 is still possible, even likely. We’re not out of the woods with this—Saturnian vigilance will be more important than ever! 

Eris and Pluto have been transiting square for a good long time, and in fact, this combination may have stimulated some important and timely domestic unrest, such as the Parkland teens and their gun control quest, the West Virginia teachers’ strike (IMHO, an idea whose time has come), not to mention countless protests over immigration reform, and so on. This ingress suggests that we’ll see more of the same, only perhaps more strident and determined. 

As for the integrity of our coming election, given the roles of Mercury, Venus and Uranus here, the less credence we give to anything election-related on social media, the better. 

About Pluto being conjunct its own south node. I went into much greater detail on this transit in an October, 2017 post (click HERE), but suffice to say here, we should remain alert and aware. Pluto’s 7th house position here reinforces that concern: we may well have enemies out there, but they’re not refugees, immigrants and people of color! Much more on this when we examine the ingress alongside the Sibly chart.  

The last time Pluto transited its south node was in 1772-73, as our founding fathers built support for the coming war against Mad King George III. Consensus building—especially in response to economic repression imposed from the outside—is an important Capricorn skill and a necessary prelude to committed, cardinal-style action.

Aside from the likely political shifts and the consensus building, however, with Uranus and Pluto in cardinal signs, there’s always the possibility of shocking power plays and volatility. The racism and xenophobia on parade in Charlottesville last year haven’t evaporated with the snow; we can expect more of the same in this midterm election year. There’s a world-wide trend towards right-wing extremism, and we can take nothing for granted here, either.   

Jupiter is retrograde (Scorpio), sextile Pluto (Capricorn) and inconjunct Uranus-Eris (Aries). Jupiter turned Rx on March 8. This was the day that a bewildered-looking South Korean emissary was hastily hustled out onto the White House porch to announce North Korea’s willingness to talk, and Donald Trump’s willingness to meet directly with him. Trump blindsided his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (in Africa at the time this was announced) with this and set his aides scrambling to explain what just happened.
The extent of Trump’s “willingness” was quickly walked back the following day, and then…who knows? Jupiter seems to have retreated into Scorpio’s marsh for a crocodile’s nap, but the sextile suggests that the crocodile is merely lying in wait: high-level power plays are pending, and they could manifest in volatile ways (inconjuncts to Uranus-Eris). Drain the swamp?!
The same day that Jupiter turned Rx, Stormy Daniels was (coincidentally?) in the news, Trump signed his tariff order, and Putin’s remarks about Trump and our system “eating itself” surfaced. Just days before, Russia had announced a brand new, ramped up nuclear program, showing Florida as a video target…all this could make us wonder who’s playing whom, especially since Russia wields influence over North Korea. Following the money is usually productive with a Scorpio Jupiter: does anyone know what the steel and aluminum ties are between Russia and the U.S.? 

Neptune (Pisces) conjoins MC (Pisces) and inconjoins No. Node (Leo). It’s a ridiculous understatement to say that the world is “confused” by what the Trump administration is up to, but this Neptune placement confirms that lack of clarity and transparency on the world stage (9th). As we’ll see when we check out the highlights of this ingress next to the Sibly chart, this obtuseness threatens to damage our direction as a nation. Nations are known by the company they keep, too—enough said, for now! 

The ingress, Trump & the Sibly chart

I’ll try not to rehash too many of the same issues we’ve discussed above with this chart, however some issues will be worth revisiting for the added perspective.

Triwheel #1: (inner wheel) USA-Sibly chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m., LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (middle wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m., DST, Jamaica, NY; (outer wheel) Sun enters Aries, March 20, 2018, 12:03:35 p.m. DST, Washington, DC. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Interchart T-Square: Trump Sun-No. Node-Uranus conjoins Sibly Mars (Gemini) and opposes Trump Moon-So. Node; this axis square Ingress Neptune/Chiron (midpoint, Pisces). These aspects stretched across the Sibly 1st-7th axis are an ongoing reality, as long as Trump remains Commander-in-Chief; the t-square suggests that there’s a serious need to monitor how the grassroots are used and abused (4th house Neptune/Chiron) under his watch.  

Chiron will be entering Aries, directly opposite Sibly MC, in April. Since Venus (Cancer) disposes that MC from the Sibly 7th, vigilance is called for in financial (Venus) matters, trading relations (7th) and our position in the world (MC). 

Interchart T-Square: Ingress Mars-Saturn (Capricorn) oppose Sibly Venus-Jupiter (Cancer); this axis squares Ingress Sun (Aries). If, as we’ve seen with the ingress chart alone, this Mars-Saturn conjunction points to building projects of various types, it will all cost money, so the impact on Sibly finance-related points here isn’t surprising. Positioned across the Sibly 1st, 7th and 4th, these aspects suggest that infrastructure projects are possible, unless the funds are sidelined by Defense (Sibly 7th) purposes. Of course, that “infrastructure” could be a “big beautiful wall” along our southern border, so a lot remains to be seen here.  

Ingress Neptune (Pisces) squares Sibly Mars/Uranus (midpoint, Gemini) and Sibly ASC-DSC (Sagittarius-Gemini). Rather amazingly, the Mars/Uranus midpoint on its own relates perfectly to high-level actions that have been unfolding over this past year. Neptune is a slow-moving planet, explaining why nothing much is new here, except perhaps a sharper awareness of how these trends are affecting the nation’s “grassroots” (Neptune falls over Sibly 4th). Michael Munkasey’s interpretation of the Mars/Uranus midpoint rings very true here:

“Reforming a military organization; changes within the armed forces of the nation; modernization of basic energy or steel industries; groups formed to use or exploit energy resources; unplanned military actions….Malice or unrest accompanied by violence; using security forces to control strife; radical movements within the military; rebellions against modernization efforts; sudden attacks or outbreaks of hostility.” [1]
When Neptune is figured into this midpoint picture, the unfolding changes enumerated above take on an erratic, disorganized, unplanned and at times, suspect quality; quite possibly the type of thing we’re seeing with Trump’s sudden plans for meeting with Kim Jong-Un. Our defense budgets are bloated, once-protected public lands are being razed for energy exploration, Trump is demanding a military parade (it’s slated for Veteran’s Day, with “no tanks”) and as always, “national security” is the one-size-fits-all rationale—now, even for justifying tariffs!  

Interchart Cardinal Grand Cross: Ingress Mercury-Venus conjoins Sibly Chiron (Aries) and opposes Trump Chiron-Jupiter conjunct Sibly Saturn (Libra); this axis squares Sibly Sun (Cancer) opposite Ingress Saturn/Pluto (midpoint, Capricorn). The Chirons for both Trump and the Sibly chart could be left out of this, arguably, due to the tight orbs we like to see with Chiron aspects, however some of the aspects these points make in this grand cross are tight enough, so I’ve elected to include them. 

That said, the cardinal points (both fast- and slow-moving) added to the mix by the Ingress chart (Mercury-Venus-Saturn-Pluto) are what light up this stressful grand cross, potentially confronting (Aries) not only Trump (stressing his Chiron-Jupiter), but the nation as well (Sibly Sun) over the short and longer terms. It’s important to remember that Trump isn’t entirely separate from the Sibly chart, either—by virtue of his position, he embodies the Sibly Sun! 

Unfortunately, he never made a clean break with his pre-inauguration life, so we almost have to analyze everything he does from two perspectives, his presidential persona and his personal/businessman persona. Bottom line, both personae are challenged in this grand cross. 

Areas in the crosshairs here are national values and finances (Sibly 2nd), the Executive Office (8th house Sibly Sun), Congress and the Judiciary (Sibly Saturn), our nation’s creative output, vitality (and our young generations, as a collective concern – Sibly 5th). Trump is both impacted by all this, and is probably also causing some of the concerns. He treats the GOP Congress as though their role is to protect him, no matter his excesses, or the extent of his bad behavior: this reflects his Jupiter-Chiron-Sibly Saturn contact. 

This became crystal clear in his dealings with GOP House Intelligence Committee members; they have literally made a sham of their so-called Russian meddling investigation because of Trump's expectations.

Saturn-Chiron aspects often point to toxic father-son relations, so it would be good to know more about Trump’s relationship with his father, Fred Trump. Donald Trump’s Saturn-Venus (Cancer) quincunx to his unruly Sagittarius Moon (disposing the Cancer points) points to some definite father-son tensions involving protection, loyalty and behavior.

The Ingress Saturn/Pluto midpoint is key here to the powerful dynamics that could stress the nation, as well as the Executive, over the coming quarter: diminished respect, loss of loyalty, blatant retaliation, cover-up attempts, corrupted reputations, hardened and/or destroyed structures, heightened restrictions/surveillance, hoarded resources, and so on. Unfortunately, this list sounds like the “new normal”—just another day in the news, and that’s because the Saturn-Pluto cycle goes beyond one ingress chart. 

This key geopolitical cycle has been in its final, closing quarter for some time now, and as Saturn creeps closer to Pluto, we’ll see outworn, dysfunctional societal and governmental structures continue to crumble. Once the new cycle begins in January, 2020, we will see a renewed “birth” of structures and institutions, and perhaps an entirely new feeling society. To say that this cycle represents a struggle for the nation’s Soul wouldn’t be an exaggeration. To put it in simplistic “pop culture” terms, will we choose to live by the “Force,” or by the “Dark Side?” 

So the “big question” looms: what kind of society do we want for ourselves, and what does that look like in terms of governmental institutions and systemic structures? This question should be heavy on our minds between now and 2020. By the time Pluto transits into its return position in the Sibly chart (27°+Capricorn) in early 2022, the mold for this new society will most likely be cast for a long time to come. Will we join several other nations in the world in their right-ward swing into nationalism and worse, or will we find the strength to renew our democratic (small “d”) institutions for this new century? 

Ingress Neptune (Pisces) trines Sibly Sun (Cancer) and sextiles Ingress Saturn/Pluto (midpoint, Capricorn). This combination of aspects can—like everything else in these charts—manifest in distinctly different ways, depending upon whose influence is allowed to have the final say. More realistically, conflicting views of what the American ideal is (Neptune), and the tensions between those views will inform the Saturn/Pluto “makeover” of our society. This will be especially true as transiting Neptune opposes Sibly Neptune (a “half”-return) for at least 2 years (allowing 5 degree orb), before and after Pluto’s return to Sibly Pluto. 

This passage will be our opportunity to seriously revisit the “American Dream” and decide what that means for the coming generations. Hopefully we will actively define this dream for ourselves, instead of allowing it to be defined by players who don’t have our interests at heart. 

It’s worth noting here that Neptune is now transiting conjunct the Sibly Progressed Sun (chart not shown, Pisces). This transit will persist into the next year (and a few months beyond), which could be both positive and negative. On the positive side, we may be motivated by idealism and compassion to work towards the constructive restructuring of our society around an inclusive vision; on the negative side, we may continue to be overwhelmed with distorted, fear-mongering narratives which divide us against each other and confuse us into working against our own best interests. 

Because of its “fun house mirrors” quality, Neptune is a difficult energy to harness for good: needless to say, it will help to have leaders who aspire to those higher purposes for real. Other ideas: get used to applying the “WYSIWYG” test more effectively, insist that our media companies come to grips with the fine line between protecting free speech and demanding respect for facts; start to recognize fear-mongering, innuendo and slapping toxic labels on others as the tools for altering perception they are. The antidote for Neptunian distortion is Saturn’s more “earth”-bound reality show!

Ingress Jupiter (Rx, Scorpio) trines Trump Saturn-Venus (Cancer) and inconjoins Ingress Uranus-Eris (Aries); this Uranus-Eris also square Trump Saturn-Venus. These placements suggest that Trump’s financial resources may be subject to disruption, even as they continue to benefit from Jupiter’s time in Scorpio (ethics are optional). Indeed, Trump’s financial dealings (pre- and post-election) are being scrutinized by the Mueller investigation, so he may have reason for concern. 

His Pisces 8th house rulers are Jupiter and Neptune, both in Libra and disposed by his Cancer Venus, but Ingress Saturn (Capricorn) also squares Trump Neptune, so restrictions and scrutiny are to be expected. He clearly likes the money that he receives from others to be kept as nebulous as possible (Pisces 8th)—it’s likely more information will surface about all this in the next quarter. Bottom line, it’s no mystery why we haven’t seen his tax returns! 

Ingress Jupiter also trines the Ingress Neptune/Chiron (midpoint, Pisces). The Neptune/Chiron midpoint remains a bit of a mystery to us, but we’ve been seeing its importance in many of the charts from the past year, so it’s worth noting here, too. Trump’s Saturn-Venus also trine this midpoint, so there is a “grand trine”-style circuit of energy flowing here. Here’s how I see it (your ideas are welcome!): we magnetize to ourselves whatever we envision on that transcendent level of Neptune and Chiron; if fear is our dominant emotion and we envision the world as an “Us v. Them,” zero-sum affair, that’s what we will attract to ourselves. 

We may not be at all aware of these powerful, magnetic “visions,” which is why clarity of purpose can be so difficult to achieve. We may not realize that higher possibilities are even available to us!

Jupiter acts as a “relay” in this energized circuit of vision and manifestation, although being retrograde here, progress may less than totally smooth. Jupiter opens opportunities and “delivers the goods,” however we’ve envisioned those. In Scorpio, Jupiter (even Rx) conveys an entitled attitude—for those who’ve ever wondered (as I have) why those who have always get more, this placement, which essentially allies Jupiter and Pluto, provides insight. 

There are national implications in this watery grand trine, of course. This Jupiter seems to imply a growing tendency for defensiveness, and a certain Machiavellian disdain for playing fair. It falls over the Sibly 12th, trining Trump’s security-sensitive points in Cancer (over Sibly 8th): we need to be alert to “behind the scenes” maneuvers involving the nation’s finances. Trump’s Cancer points are being transited by Pluto (Capricorn) at the same time they conjoin Sibly Mercury and oppose Sibly Pluto (8th-2nd, Cancer-Capricorn). 

All of this rings alarm bells about financial entanglements between Trump, the “King of Debt” (as he’s described himself), and Trump the president. It’ll be interesting to see if son-in-law Jared Kushner’s financial woes figure into this somehow—Trump’s 11th house (Cancer) is the house of his children’s mates. 

Also not to be forgotten: the tax cuts Trump championed through Congress are probably a major boon to his own finances, his family businesses and Kushner’s business. Pluto opposing Trump’s Cancer points has so far been the gift that keeps on giving. 

Final thoughts

As we’ve seen, many of the dynamics between the Trump and Sibly charts are going to persist for as long as he’s in the White House, but we are given a fresh perspective by considering all this next to the Aries ingress. It’s probably wishful thinking to believe that the chaos in the White House is going to settle down, but then, he may not be in the White House much in the coming months! Between golf weekends and the campaign trail, he may be very busy. He’s the “Sun King” after all—that belligerent Leo Mars of his needs to shine!

He does have his vulnerabilities, however—the Stormy Daniels story isn’t going to be as easy to squelch as other women’s claims against him have been. Indeed, feisty Aries Venus will soon move on from opposing Trump's Chiron-Jupiter to squaring his Saturn-Venus, and then his Mars, and so on. Other such stories are likely to surface, as is more news out of the Mueller investigation. 

There are many investigative “irons in the fire” as we speak, creating mounting uneasiness in Trump and anyone who works for him. In fact, the need to “lawyer up” in order to work for him is a powerful disincentive, so the White House may be understaffed for some time to come. All of this reflects Pluto’s (Capricorn) transiting inconjunct with Trump’s Sun-No.Node-Uranus points in Gemini, and its semi-sextile to his So. Node-Moon (Sagittarius). 

It’s significant that this Gemini-Sagittarius axis falls over his 10th-4th axis (looking at his chart by itself): his White House “career” and “homelife” are tightly intertwined and are definitely impacted by his siege mentality (everyone’s always out to get him). As transiting Pluto (Capricorn) moves into a second inconjunct with his Mars-ASC (Leo), the plot should thicken even further. 

Happy Spring Equinox to all! The crocuses are sprouting, and new life abounds!

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 2018. All rights reserved. 

[1] Michael Munkasey, Midpoints: Unleashing the Power of the Planets, ACS Publications, San Diego, CA, 1991, pp. 236-237.

1 comment:

  1. As if to emphasize these chart prognoses, Trump has fired Tillerson. This act seems to tie in to the several in-play and to-play aspects featured above. (Defense, Russia, N Korea, Trump's egocentricity but equally insidious cover ups.

    Your analyses are powerful and your readers are blessed by your gifts.