Sunday, September 23, 2018

The perennial struggle: the Uranus-Pluto roots of today’s Senate/#MeToo clash

These are threatening times for women in America, and we’re seeing a clear illustration of why playing out in Washington, D.C. as we speak.

Somehow it wasn’t even surprising to me that Trump’s  Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, could have a sexual assault skeleton in his closet—when this news broke, it almost felt like just another “shoe” that was bound to drop. He denies the allegation vehemently, of course.

Even so, it's hard to know who to trust under this administration, so getting at the truth is a challenge. Trump supported Judge Roy Moore in Alabama—an unconvicted, but accused pedophile—and he seems to hold the opinion that if a man is prominent and has climbed the social ladder (by any means), he should get a pass when it comes to the abuse of women. So "boys will be boys?"

But why wouldn’t Trump hold this view, with 19 women hovering in the background with assault claims of their own against him and a pretty damning Hollywood Access tape? Not to mention one or two campaign finance scandals related to paying women off for their silence (Stormy Daniels being the most vocal). People knew Trump's attitudes towards women when they voted for him, so none of this is surprising. This does not make Kavanaugh guilty by association, but people can be forgiven for wondering what the truth is.

“This is not a man who deserves this…” is Trump’s mantra when it comes to Kavanaugh, apparently trying to cast the judge as the “victim” in the alleged sexual assault allegations, and minimizing the importance of getting at the truth about Kavanaugh’s behavior.  At first more reserved in regards to Kavanaugh’s accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford, Trump has now reverted to his usual condescending remarks about women, implying that if her claim was “so important,” why didn’t she report it to the FBI 30 years ago? 

Thankfully, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) found Trump’s latest comments “appalling.” Women need her and Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski to vote “no” vote on this confirmation.

Clearly, anyone with eyes and ears can understand Blasey-Ford’s dilemma—she’s damned if she does testify, and damned if she doesn’t, so she’s faced with doing what her deepest lights tell her she must.  What woman doesn’t understand why Blasey-Ford might have felt intimidated, or hesitant to come forward all those years ago? A girl’s or woman’s word on such things was rarely believed when she was a teenager. Who knows whether her parents would have been supportive or not? She had a life to live, a profession to pursue, a family to raise—sometimes sexual “Pandora’s boxes” are better left closed.

Until the Cosmos basically says, “ready or not, ta-da!!”
On the other hand, the timing of this big reveal is “impeccable,” as they say, and it’s pretty well guaranteed to cling to Kavanaugh’s career like Peter Pan’s shadow, whether Kavanaugh is held responsible in the long run or not. We can’t fault the Dems (specifically Sen. Feinstein) for using every bit of ammunition at their disposal against this nominee, either: so much is at stake here for the Democratic agenda—not to mention our Constitutional system of checks and balances—that they are probably looking at Blasey-Ford’s big revelation as a gift. The GOP never shrinks from using every weapon at their disposal, so why the double standard?

As so many have warned in the past week: the Supreme Court is a lifelong appointment, so we could have to live with the results of this nomination for a very long time. 

In short, those who care deeply about the progress women have made over the past 5 decades should be glad that Blasey-Ford did finally come forward—ultimately, the timing doesn’t make the allegation valid—the facts do.  

Young women are overwhelmingly against this nomination.

So I’m hoping the Senate Judiciary Committee will do the right thing and insist on the FBI investigation into Blasey-Ford’s allegations that she requested early on (update, probably not going to happen). As noted, Trump is out stumping and doing his best to tear her down before she even gets to Washington, so a fair investigation of the facts is the least the Committee should do. This wouldn’t be so difficult, of course, if Trump and his boosters in Congress weren’t also busy tearing down the FBI! Or if buddies of Kavanaugh weren’t busy spawning absurd “doppelganger” theories about how Blasey-Ford was assaulted, but by a “friend” of Kavanaugh who looked a lot like him!''

So, the astrological mystery embedded in all this operates on two dimensions, personal and collective: first, what’s likely to happen for these specific individuals; and second, how will their struggle impact our national dialogue about and approach to gender relations and power dynamics. Remember that famous 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” between tennis celebs Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs? Well today’s contest rises to a whole new order of seriousness, and it’s going to impact how we relate to each other for a long time ahead.  

Two big questions loom: are American women about to make a little progress against the systemic misogyny we’ve confronted forever? Will women’s advocacy forces celebrate some small victory, or will they have to take a deep breath and let loose with a new battle cry? 

On the flip side of those questions is one for Kavanaugh: is it likely that he will be confirmed, despite everyone’s best efforts to the contrary? If he is credibly shown to have drunkenly assaulted Blasey-Ford in their teenage years, will he do the honorable thing and withdraw? Or will partisan politics and Trump's "tweet-shade" prevail, thus putting Kavanaugh in debt to Trump and compromising any judicial “independence” he might have had on the Court? 

From Conservative analyst George Will,  

“Hence the confirmation process has followed the crumbling, descending path the rest of American politics has taken into the depths of cynicism, faux outrage and pandering to the parties’ hysterical bases. The utter emptiness of everything is an intellectual vacuum into which have flooded histrionics.”

The astrology

Perhaps in a future post we’ll consider the relevant charts for Brett Kavanaugh and the hearing(s) that he and Blasey-Ford will be testifying in, but today’s focus is more about the personal/collective dilemma Christine Blasey-Ford finds herself caught up in. Interestingly, all we know about her personal birth data is that she was born in November, 1966. Wikipedia doesn’t provide any further detail, except to say that her early years were spent in Maryland. This is fine—she has good reason to protect her information right now, and I think we should respect those wishes here.  

We can, however, glean something important from the powerful outer-planetary cycles in force in November 1966—perhaps very little about her personally, but at least something about the times she grew up in and what they meant for the treatment of women. She was born, for instance, at one of the most critical early moments in the 1965 Uranus-Pluto cycle (Chart #1 below)—first exact just a bit more than one year prior to her birth—when Saturn nudged into conjunction with Pisces Chiron, opposite the Uranus-Pluto conjunction. Venus hovered within a trine of Chiron-Saturn that month—perhaps explaining one highlight in that month’s news: 

November 4 – In Italy, a flood of the Arno River hits Florence, flooding it to a maximum depth of 6.7 m (22 ft), leaving thousands homeless and destroying millions of masterpieces of art and rare books. In addition, a severe tidal flood hits Venice.”
A strong Venus-to-Chiron-Saturn transit could certainly play into the loss of great masterpieces of art, especially by water (Scorpio-Pisces), but this transit could also implicate women. Activist Betty Friedan had just released her feminist manifesto, entitled The Feminine Mystique, in February, 1963—arguably, the conception point for the feminist movement that followed soon after. As with all social movements, many were ready for her message and eager to promote and build the movement, while many others (both men and women) immediately began fueling a backlash and doubling down on their support for American patriarchy. Wikipedia reports that in North America:

“…the [women’s] movement began in the United States and Canada almost simultaneously with the first articles articulating their aims appearing around 1965. By 1967, organizations had formed in major US and Canadian cities spreading within a year throughout both countries…Characterized as man-haters and radicals, the movement in North America gave way to more liberal reformers by the mid-1970s in the United States and Canada and by the early 1980s in Mexico.”  

Women were instrumental in the 1960s-70s anti-war & civil rights movements. 
Clearly, this so-called “Women’s Liberation Movement” in the U.S. was a Uranus-Pluto phenomenon—Friedan’s work provided a fertile seed bed for the revolution sparked by the 1965 cycle. Should it surprise us that this new cycle launched in Virgo opposite a Pisces Chiron? No more than it should surprise us that as a 51-year old woman, Blasey-Ford is now experiencing her Chiron return--a time when old wounds tend to be ripped back open. Healing is the ultimate boon, but there are no guarantees.

So, I believe we can view today’s Kavanaugh debacle through the lens of this Uranus-Pluto cycle and its beginnings. Looking back, it seems to me that the chart for this cycle tells us something about where we are today with women’s issues. Power has never been equally distributed between men and women in America, but why have gender dynamics taken such a dark turn lately?  At least some of the answers are found in Chart #1 below. Let’s begin. 


Chart #1: Uranus-0-Pluto 1965, October 9, 1965, 6:00:42 a.m. DST, Washington, D.C. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

Libra rises, with ruler Venus (Scorpio) trine the Moon, conjoined DSC (Aries). Of the Venus-ruled signs, Libra carries the yang polarity, which makes perfect sense because Venus/Athena is a feminine warrior at heart.  Fighting inequality and injustice against centuries-old cultural/religious odds takes backbone and cardinal determination, so an Aries Moon and strong cardinal angles (0° of cardinal signs all around—very significant) are helpful. 

Venus (Scorpio) conjoins Mars (Sagittarius) and both quincunx MC-Jupiter (Cancer). One of the key themes in the 1965 cycle was that the gender “war” was (and remains) ultimately, wrong-headed.  Actually, it’s been more of a frustrating stand-off (quincunx) that masks the reality that both sides need the other to thrive. The Aries Moon disposes these Cancer points at the same time it squares them; Mars disposes this Aries Moon—there is simply nothing to be gained in working against each other except emotional trauma and turmoil. The more both genders look out for each other’s well-being, the better everyone will thrive.  More on this ahead.

Uranus conjoins Pluto (Virgo) and together oppose Saturn-Chiron (Pisces). These oppositions captured the “seed purpose” of this important social cycle, which impacted much more than gender dynamics, of course. It was no accident that almost immediately after this cycle launched, anti-Vietnam War protests escalated and took on the character that we now read about in the history books. Anti-Establishment politics are certainly seen here, with Saturn’s double wounding—its placement in Neptune-ruled Pisces and conjoined Chiron

An era of difficult labor markets was also on the horizon (Saturn-Chiron in the 6th)—remember the Arab Oil Embargo and the resulting recessions that marked the 1970s? This period began the shift away from middle class-empowering union jobs and towards the export of American manufacturing jobs. Young women were prepared to take on the American job market in greater numbers, but they were not going to enjoy the same post-WWII boom times their fathers had thrived under. Nothing has ever been made easy for ambitious women in America. 

Neptune (Scorpio) sextiles Uranus-Pluto (Virgo) and trines Chiron (Pisces). The easy rapport between all three outer planets is significant here: we simply can’t overstate the importance of this cycle to what we think of as “modern” life. The fact that Chiron aspected all three planets is also key: the years since 1965 have been marked with unfathomable pain and incredible progress. Unfortunately, it seems we’ve reached a point where everything that was gained in the first decades of this cycle, however—civil rights, women’s rights, voting rights (this Virgo Uranus-Pluto cycle is disposed by a justice-minded Libra Mercury)—is now up for grabs once again. 

Amazingly, the precarious place we find ourselves in may have a lot to do with Chiron. It completed a new passage through Pisces and entered Aries earlier this year (it has one additional short jaunt to go in Pisces), but even more importantly, it “returned” to its exact Pisces position in this Uranus-Pluto chart in the run up to Campaign 2016 and remained within orb of that position into the first months of the Trump administration. This definitely speaks to the Neptunian erosion and wounding we’ve experienced in our democratic institutions.

That was then, this is now

So it shouldn’t surprise us that the issues at stake in the 1960s are coming back to haunt us today, seeing as we’re now experiencing the challenging second quarter of this 1960s cycle. That this quarter was heralded by a long cardinal Aries Uranus square to Capricorn Pluto (punctuated by 7 exact hits) makes perfect sense in retrospect: these signs carry yang (Aries) and yin (Capricorn) polarities and the years since have been characterized by mounting gender-driven battles. It’s not hard to conclude that the issues at stake in these battles were most dramatically illustrated by Trump’s vicious assaults on women during Campaign 2016.  

Every action spawns a reaction, however, so we may have Trump to thank for many positives, as well: the reactive outpouring of female solidarity across the nation in the post-inauguration 2017 Women’s March (remember the “Pussy Hat?”), the bulwark Congresswomen Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins (both Republicans) provided (along with the now-departed Senator McCain) against the decimation of the Affordable Care Act (one of Trump’s first initiatives in office, just the first of many attempts to kill Obamacare and its protection of women’s reproductive rights). 

Not every destructive Trump/Pence initiative has been forestalled, however: Planned Parenthood funding has taken a big hit under these guys (Pence makes no pretense about wanting to outlaw contraceptive services entirely). Surprise, surprise, women’s overall health and welfare are increasingly under fire on the state level, if not the national. A lot of women in Texas (and other states, undoubtedly) have to order their contraception devices and/or pills online because they’re not available locally. 

There’s no coincidence here that a young woman from Arlington, Texas is in the news this morning, speaking out about her experience reporting a rape in 2006 and being disbelieved, abandoned and vilified by her community. Doubting women, denying them justice and reproductive health care go hand-in-hand. 

Just about says it all!

Clearly, there’s a renewed collective effort afoot to force women back into a secondary (at best) “place” in society. Hillary Clinton’s near-miss at the presidency was apparently an unnerving bridge too far for the patriarchal ideologues.

Countering the patriarchy’s efforts has been the #MeToo movement, however, and it seems to have struck quite a nerve with the ideologues. When women are believed (a hallmark of this movement), the patriarchy begins to rack up defeats.  Even so, this Supreme Court nomination poses greater threats to women than perhaps we realize. Roe v. Wade is the obvious target, but that may be the “tip of the iceberg,” so to speak. 

Too many government intrusions into women’s personal lives and decisions are being empowered from the White House—in the name of a conservative ideology that makes no apologies for disempowering women.  

Emboldened by Trump’s lifelong habit of chewing women up and spitting them out, the tentacles of this conservative patriarchy—the Supreme Court would become one under Kavanaugh—are closing in fast on women’s reproductive rights, and even on their right to a fair defense against sexual assault.

So who is served by crushing women beneath the patriarchy’s heels? Those who are determined to rise, no matter whom (or what institutions) they have to destroy in the process. Ambitious jurists such as Brett Kavanaugh? Maybe we’ll arrive at some conclusions on this as we examine one final chart below.  

A Saturn combustion

There’s an important, but little discussed transit that figures into this conversation, and I have Portuguese astrologer João Medeiros to thank for drawing my attention to it. It’s called the “Combust Saturn Ingress,” (or simply “Saturn combustion”) and the passage we’ll examine here happened on Dec. 20, 2017, when Saturn first entered Capricorn, conjunct the Sun (then in late Scorpio) within an 8-degree orb.
In the current edition of the UK’s Astrological Journal (Sept/Oct 2018, pp. 13-17), Medeiros analyzes this historically significant Saturn ingress “combustion” phenomenon, which he has found happens in approximately 1 out of 6 Saturn sign ingresses. I highly recommend his entire study, but for today, we’ll focus on the 2017 example. Here’s how he introduces the importance of these ingresses, after considering other key astrological phenomena:

“…since Saturn is the slowest and more generational classical planet—ruling society, governments, money and big institutions—it is logical that its ingresses represent society’s main events and trends over a given (almost) three-year period ahead.” (p. 13)
The 2017 combust ingress happened less than one year into the Trump administration, but potent ingresses are often felt some months before they are exact, so if things have seemed to go from bad to worse with the administration, this transit is probably a factor! Medeiros associates this transit with fire- and disaster-prone times, and historically they have correlated with outbreaks of plague. He does mention that the correlation hasn’t been thoroughly researched and probably doesn’t stand up in many instances (fires and disasters seem to happen every year), however he documents numerous examples that do support his claim. 

I would agree that more research is needed on natural disasters, but there's also a political and social dimension to a Saturn combustion's influence, and the sign Saturn ingresses is key. Wars and assassination attempts  have broken out during these critical periods, assassination attempts have been made--the list goes on and on. I think it’s likely, therefore, that this “combustible” ingress—unleashing the extreme impulses of demanding, critical Capricorn—has encouraged the following trend, observed by the Washington Post:
“Women running for office are barraged with attempts to humiliate and scare them. Female journalists, bloggers and pundits experience much the same, some of it exploding into the kind of terrifying harassment that was Gamergate. Women of color, no surprise, are attacked with that toxic admixture of racism and misogyny….Others, like Christine Blasey Ford, who came forward with allegations of sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh, are forced to leave their homes and hire security after receiving death threats. And all of this hatred has been made newly legitimate by a president whose disdain for women is a matter of public record.”
It’s not hard to astrologically confirm that Trump’s character is key to this unleashing of vitriol and hatred: let’s take a very brief look at a biwheel between his nativity and the 2017 Combust chart. 

Biwheel #2: (inner wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY; (outer wheel) Saturn combust 2017, December 20, 2017, 12:12:43 a.m. ST, Washington, D.C.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

Combust Saturn ingresses Capricorn conjoined Combust Sun-Venus (Sagittarius)-Trump Moon (Sagittarius), opposite Trump Sun (Gemini). This is dramatic enough to tell us that Trump’s essential “Full Moon” character will be spilling out into the collective during the period influenced by this ingress. But wait, this gathering is a part of a larger, more dramatic configuration. 

Interchart Grand Fire Trine: Combust Saturn-Sun-Venus trines Combust Eris-Uranus (Aries), trines Trump Mars (Leo). To my eye, this fiery circuit of energy—much of it expressed as anger, is at the heart of today’s discord. Trump’s Mars is furious and bellicose enough at his ASC, but it ties back into his Sun, opposed by the fiery Combust Sagittarius points and Saturn. The Combust Aries points are disposed by Scorpio Mars conjunct Scorpio Jupiter, adding a combative, manipulative and intimidating feel to it all. 

Need we say more? Trump’s “base” (or simply those with a gripe who want to lash out) clearly resonates with his anger. Perhaps they feel themselves to be culture warriors (Combust Eris-Uranus), and for whatever reason, women, people of color and immigrants are their favorite targets. All of this is about doctoring one’s insecurities by gaining power over others, of course, a dynamic we can see in the news every day.

Misogyny is an ugly trait in any leader.

Interchart T-Square: Combust Pluto-Moon (Capricorn) opposes Trump Saturn-Venus (Cancer); this axis squares Combust Eris-Uranus (Aries). An extreme Capricorn Moon (here enhanced by Pluto) can be destructive, tapping into deep fears of inadequacy and even mortality, and projecting those out onto others, scapegoating them in the process. The balanced approach to dealing with such fears would involve therapy, admitting one’s shortcomings and taking conscious, reality-bound action. 

This approach doesn’t seem to work with Trump and his hyperbolic, “it’s all about Me” nature; clearly, his Saturn-Venus is an emotionally insecure nerve center in his chart, and these days, it’s feeling under siege (opposed by transiting Pluto). Trump never admits shortcomings or mistakes; reacting to criticism means imposing his power over others by either blaming them for whatever happened, or by attacking the critics and their interests.

Insecurity registers as an existential threat with him, perhaps: his Cancer points are disposed by his Sagittarius Moon, which always seems to be emotionally poised for attack. It must be exhausting to carry this pugilistic energy into everything he does. 

Unfortunately, this complex of behavior traits resonates with insecure egos looking for empowerment—is it any surprise that we see the legions Trump appeals to spreading vitriol on social media?

One last look
Finally, a quick look at what the Combust ingress may mean for this week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for Kavanaugh and Blasey-Ford. Because no day has even been agreed upon, and certainly no time has been set for these hearings (that I’ve seen), Wednesday at noon is the best “average” approximation I can give this event before the fact. This could change, clearly, but most of the points we need to consider will be very similar whichever day the meeting is held. Obviously, we won’t be focusing on Moon placements, angles and houses in the hearings chart. Let’s begin.

Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) Saturn combust 2017, December 20, 2017, 12:12:43 a.m. ST, Washington, D.C.; (outer wheel) Kavanaugh-Ford Hearing, September 26, 2018, 12:00 DST (noon chart, no exact time known), Washington, D.C.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

First, what a breathtaking “coincidence” that the angles of this Combust chart (which we can talk about since this is a timed ingress) fall exact within minutes of being the same as those in the 1965 Cycle chart (another timed event, see Chart #1 above)—both feature 0° cardinal angles all around, beginning with Libra at the ASC! These so-called “world points” (aka “Aries points”) signal that the charts indicate that important world matters are at stake. 

No doubt—whatever transpires with Blasey-Ford’s testimony and the Kavanaugh confirmation, ultimately, the personal concerns of these two could have a huge impact on our American system of government, our culture, communities and collective discourse. And given the influence of American culture and discourse on the world, what happens in D.C. this coming week may have far-reaching implications.   

Combust Saturn (Capricorn) conjoins Combust Sun-Venus (Sagittarius); these points square Hearing Chiron-Combust Chiron (Pisces). I’ve allowed a generous orb with a couple of the Chiron aspects here, but considering the Saturn stellium involved, it feels justified, and the echo from the 1965 cycle chart (Saturn-Chiron conjunct in Pisces) is just too stunning to ignore! 

Medeiros was hopeful in his analysis of this combust chart that its conjunction with Venus would moderate Saturn’s most oppressive tendencies, and that may be true, but I would also offer that this conjunction may have been a cosmic heads-up back at the end of 2017 that things were going to become very tough for women during the ensuing 2.5 to 3 years. Women (and other groups represented by Venus) may be faced with uphill battles, exhausting efforts, unfairly critical demands, and so much more—sound familiar? Of course, these difficulties and demands would be all the more onerous in Saturn’s home sign, Capricorn. 

The fact that all these difficulties and challenges could be enhanced with Chiron’s wounding ways certainly speaks to the pain and dread Dr. Blasey-Ford is likely experiencing. Thankfully, she’s stood firm and called out the bully tactics that the Senate Judiciary Committee has tried to use against her, but she also has to stand up against Trump and his minions, with their death threats and intimidation. Hopefully there will be a healing down the road—one that impacts all American women—but it could be a very fraught process. So what else is new?!

Sen. Bernie Sanders has been actively campaigning against the Kavanaugh nomination.

Combust Saturn conjoins Combust IC. In a mundane chart, the IC and 4th house implicate the People’s concerns, and with Saturn so dramatically present at the cusp, a season of difficult challenges seems to lie ahead. This placement also squares Hearing Sun-Mercury (Libra), suggesting the fair treatment we would hope that Kavanaugh and Blasey-Ford would both receive may be missing in action or strained. Nothing will be easy, that’s for sure. 

Hearing Venus disposes Hearing Sun-Mercury (Libra) from Scorpio, conjoined Combust Mars and Jupiter (Scorpio) and opposite Hearing Uranus (Taurus). These aspects explain the bully tactics that Blasey-Ford has already encountered (Mars-Jupiter-thug energy is everywhere these days), but the wide opposition to Taurus Uranus suggests that there’s a chance she will hold her own and deliver a surprise or two. It doesn’t hurt that Taurus is disposed by Venus and that Uranus is thought to be dignified in Scorpio—the give and take could be beneficial here. 

On the other hand, Hearing Mercury trines Hearing Mars (Aquarius), and Mars in turn squares Hearing Uranus, so it’ll be interesting to see whether the “he’s a great guy who’s done great things” narrative carries the day. Late breaking news (9/24): it appears another allegation has surfaced against Kavanaugh in the New Yorker which I won't be able to go into here, but it could certainly impact how the hearing goes.

Of course, Venus doesn’t only benefit the woman in the situation here, so let’s not pick sides until we hear more on the facts. One way or another, Justice and doing the right thing are what the Libra Sun and Capricorn Saturn in this chart would like to see. A “happy” outcome to this hearing would be that Blasey-Ford feels she has been treated fairly and respectfully, and that we come away from the proceedings feeling that we now know what happened, for better or worse. 

If the focus of this whole proceeding—Kavanaugh’s potential nomination—moves forward, let’s hope it’s for the right reasons. If he is credibly found to have assaulted Blasey-Ford some 30 years ago, let’s hope he takes responsibility, drops out gracefully and protects what’s left of his integrity. 

Am I certain this outcome will prevail? With Hearing Chiron opposing Hearing Sun and t-squaring Hearing Saturn, I am anything but certain. Committee Chair Chuck Grassley is playing the role of curmudgeonly school master in these proceedings, and he’s more than ready with a ruler to slap everyone’s knuckles. On the other hand, he has expressed almost ebullient regard for Brett Kavanaugh in past hearings, and I wouldn’t expect that to change in the next one. 

As we know, some members of the Senate have committed to confirming Kavanaugh no matter what—and Trump has already cast him in the role of victim if he isn’t confirmed—so it’ll be interesting to see if the Venus-Uranus energy described above overcomes that heavy bias. It’s an uphill battle for those who protest his nomination, but like I said earlier, what else is new?!

Final thoughts
As one media panel member on this morning’s Face the Nation put it, this whole Kavanaugh-Blasey-Ford situation is a “big mess” that reflects how toxic our polarized politics are right now. In so many words, she suggested that these hearings represent a toxic clash between partisan politics and the #MeToo movement. I can’t disagree, but what’s the alternative? 

Maybe it would help to reframe the coming battle a bit differently, as a social-historical phenomenon. Clearly, over the last 50-some years since this 1965 Uranus-Pluto cycle began, male attitudes towards women have evolved remarkably (and overall, positively), and measurable progress has been made in every dimension of life by women. The growing accessibility of contraception and family planning (the “Pill” was FDA approved in 1960) and the 1973 passage of Roe v. Wade were instrumental, of course, in allowing women to enter the work place in greater numbers, and women would not have made the collective strides they have if individuals had to continue choosing between marriage, child-bearing and careers. 

Indeed, “having it all” is hard enough, even with a supportive spouse and local resources. 

This sobering reality raises questions. What kind of ulterior motives are driving those who want to now deny women access to reproductive choice? Is this really about some deep spiritual regard for the sanctity of life, or is it about seeking bald-faced power? Why do so many in positions of power—including the churches—want to see women “barefoot and pregnant” again? 

The U.S. is not suffering a population decline as they are in China, and although some small percentage of Americans worry that the white population will soon be overwhelmed by a minority-majority, how does denying poor women of color access to birth control help to keep the balance they’re looking for? It makes no sense, unless the goal is to dis-empower these families. 

No, the problem seems to be less about demographics and more about trying to re-impose some fantasized pre-Roe v. Wade control over women, and by extension, their families. Some women feel that they’ve been forced into that dark place already; if the ideologues get their way, there will be more. 

It pains me to even contemplate this topic—as the mother of all sons, I don’t view men as a problem to be solved, or an oppressive reality to be “suffered.” No, I celebrate their strengths and appreciate the unique talents they offer our world. I’ve seen my sons overcome difficulties to mature into loving, compassionate and respectful individuals with their wives and daughters—and I don’t believe that the attitude of Trump & Co. is really the American norm when it comes to gender relations. 

Yet, we rarely hear anything about how deeply interdependent men and women are—making reproductive choice unavailable to women hurts their entire families, including the men involved! Being able to share the burdens of working and caring for the children more equitably has improved relationships, not the opposite. IMHO, casting gender relations in terms of power is counterproductive, at best. 

So, despite my strong feelings on these issues, I hope to keep a balanced perspective in regards to this week’s hearings.  I think we need to avoid rushing to judgment either way; nevertheless, I’m glad to see that the media is keeping the memory of Anita Hill’s hearings against then-nominee Clarence Thomas alive—that was a travesty that must not be repeated.
Happy Autumnal Equinox to all!

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. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

“Out of chaos:” the astrology of a heavy, transformational moment

“To use the world well, to be able to stop wasting it and our time in it, we need to relearn our being in it.” 

Ursula le Guin, from Late in the Day

“Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines…

Maya Angelou, from A Brave and Startling Truth

As natural disasters often do, Hurricane Florence has summoned the highest, most compassionate impulses in the American people, and I’ve been happily reminded that yes, we can work together for the sake of a greater good. We are a resilient people, aren’t we? One storm-battered, elderly woman was pictured wading through waist-deep water to reach a rescue helicopter, using two canes as support! 

Our deepest sympathies go to grieving families, of course—Florence has wreaked tragedy, as well. The sheer enormity of Florence has been a bitter wake-up call for them—as it should be for all of us.

Florence has engulfed the entire Eastern Seaboard in its enormity.

Those who study outer planet astrology know that the powerhouse planets orbiting beyond Saturn in our local solar system—Uranus, Neptune, Pluto—wield great influence along multiple dimensions, both personal and collective. Climate is one of those dimensions, and in what can seem like eerie ways, storms do mirror the overall political, social, economic tone of the times, also covered by these cosmic heavies. 

Consider this: we’ve been experiencing an oppressively stagnant period in politics and society lately—in between elections, getting nothing of any value done and chomping at the bit to move on. True, the Stock Market keeps bloating--with Jupiter in watery Scorpio, how could it not? And with this same energy, reinforced and amplified by the ultimate water planet, Neptune in Pisces, is it any surprise that Florence is notable for the sheer massive volume of water it is dumping on everyone?

Florence could dump 18 trillion gallons!

In the political dimension, White House scandal and chaos seems to be the order of the day, but we’re not in a position to do anything about it quite yet--it just keeps raining emotion-laden tweets on us! Astrologically, it’s been a stuffy season of retrogrades and heaviness, as well: something big is about to break, it seems, if it would just get to it. Don't look now, but something big has broken, right along with Florence!

Perhaps you, like me, have felt suspended in some kind of D.C. Limbo, waiting for the Mueller investigation to bring its final findings.

In other words, the long-anticipated D.C. storm “clouds” have had plenty of time to gather strength and mass from the troublingly warm “oceans” of information and suspicion that simply take time (so much time) to process…until at last they make “landfall” and all hell breaks loose. 

That’s basically what we’ve seen over the past week: as Florence inched slowly onto the North Carolina coast, in D.C. (landfall was reported at 7:15 a.m. on September 14th), major events also “landed” to roil Trump’s White House. First, on September 11th, veteran journalist Bob Woodward released his much-anticipated exposé of White House chaos, entitled Fear: Trump in the White House; then, on the 14th, Trump’s former campaign head Paul Manafort pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy related to his work as a lobbyist for Kremlin-linked Ukrainian politicians. 

Significantly, this plea deal requires Manafort to “cooperate fully and truthfully” with the Mueller investigation. It’s too early to know what, if anything, Manafort can offer the investigation, but most commentators say that Mueller wouldn’t agree to a plea deal if there wasn’t something. During Manafort’s first trial on financial crimes (8 guilty counts there), Trump had tweet-praised him for not “flipping” against him…that was then, this is now. As we’ll see, there’s a hurricane-force “storm” gathering in transits to Trump’s chart, as well.

The fading line between personal and collective   

The multi-dimensional impact of our outer planetary heavies is key here: taken together, these energies are to our individual minds and souls what cyberspace is to an individual computer: a fertile, energy/data-rich matrix from which we create, nourish and sustain our lives. We could spend a lot of time on this point, but I think it will become more clear as we go. 

Taken together, these planets are to our individual biological beings what the human genome is to our species—the endlessly creative fabric of existence, uniquely woven into each individual by heritage, chance or choice (genetic engineering?) and animated by the inexplicable force of Life itself. We are biologically both electromagnetic (Uranus) and watery/hormonal (Neptune) creatures, and we are connected by virtue of our genetics and survival instincts (Pluto) to Humanity (at large and in more local relationships) and the natural world.  

I would argue that when the outer planets dominate the astrological landscape (as they certainly do now), individual priorities tend to take a back seat to the sheer survival needs of our families, communities, and our Species-at-large. Along these lines, climate change is the perfect, illustrative “storm,” gathering force and trying, with manifestations like Florence, to get our attention.

Yet, despite all this, we dare to challenge earth-bound mortality in both uplifting (spirituality) and terrifying ways (climate change denial and/or inertia), because these outer planetary forces tease us with transcendent possibilities and magical thinking. 

This past week, however, our cosmic “heavies” seemed far less focused on transcendence and far more intent on slapping us upside our figurative heads and saying, “pay attention…you may think you’re not involved in what’s happening out there (in D.C., along the North Carolina coast, in juvenile immigrant detention centers, and so on)…but you are.” 

As sordid as the task may seem, “paying attention” means trying to understand not only the better angels of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, but their corrupt, lesser angels as well. Consider the dominant themes in this past week’s news: from Mueller’s Russia probe, seedy criminality for the sake of power and/or a buck; from immigration news, mean-spirited cruelty by the powerful towards “the least of these” (Power and money? Racism?); from environmental news, willful EPA ignorance about the pressing, legitimate needs of humanity and the planet we depend on. I’m aware that there are alternative perspectives on all these issues, but however you view them, the outer planets are working overtime and people are suffering the consequences. 

Yes, there are millions of righteous, compassionate Americans doing the right thing with integrity and grace—some of them are even in D.C.—however, Mueller’s many indictments suggests that the D.C. “Swamp” is throbbing with new life since Trump came to town.  

It’s no wonder that the weather reflects the prevailing hostile and oppressively dragged out tone—outer planetary energies have their say in the natural world, which is more and more clearly dependent upon decisions made in the man-made one.

The EPA is struggling to remain relevant, when we need them more than ever.
We’ve seen how the weather mirrors our politics in the way that scientists who have been nearly begging the Trump administration to pay attention to the fateful path we’re on with the environment and climate change are treated like mythical Cassandras—doomed to have their accurate predictions ignored and disbelieved. It’s a classical power play: if the facts aren’t on your side, shut up those who deal in facts. Neptune’s (Pisces) long square transit to Saturn (Sagittarius) prior to and during the 2016 election certainly empowered this trend, and has caused us to lose very precious time in the fight against climate change. 

Like Cassandra, scientists often refuse to tell the Big Guy (Zeus/Trump?) what he wants to hear, and we’re all paying the price in one way or another: water and air quality are threatened; extreme fire seasons ravage the western states more intensely every year; warming, rising oceans spawn more and more extreme hurricanes, and so much more. Priorities and economics being what they are, it’s taking longer and longer to recover from such disasters, too: ask those still recovering from Harvey and Maria.

The morning after Maria struck in 2017.
In fact, Trump’s self-centered obsession with Maria’s death count kind of says it all: he just doesn’t get what’s at stake here and worse, he doesn’t seem to want to. If we judge by his tweets and thin-skinned defensiveness, it seems that to him, disaster-recovery and humanitarian aid efforts simply represent pots of money that he can plunder for other purposes. In what logical (and even slightly compassionate) universe would transferring funding from FEMA to feed ICE make sense? 

I do understand how our collective approach to these issues can be reduced like a toxic sauce into dollars and cents, however:  every year more of our tax dollars are siphoned into disaster recovery, when they could be used to create a sustainable, clean energy economy for the generations to come. An interesting CNN feature this past week pointed to how many people have been spared the worst ravages of Hurricane Florence because scientists have developed much more accurate predictive technologies. Even a few decades ago, hundreds, perhaps thousands more people would have died in these storms than they do today. 

This happy development does not let us off the long-term hook, however: our focus still needs to shift to preventing climate disasters rather than mitigating their damage, and I would argue that this involves making better use of the prevailing astrological “winds.” Why dance on the edge of disaster every hurricane season, every fire season, and so on, when insight and preventive measures are within reach? Environmental regulations, for instance, work for their intended purposes, and we could be a better, healthier society for the trouble.

From Science Alert: 16 nuclear reactors are located in the path of Florence!

Of course, these regulations are toothless if economic policies and practices don’t support their goals—again, this is where outer planetary energies weigh in. There’s been an ongoing tug-o-war between Technology (Uranus) and the natural resource-based industries underpinning our economy (Neptune-Pluto, i.e., the fossil fuel and nuclear energy industries) for decades, and until these three are brought more into synch behind the goal of long-term planetary sustainability, the environment is going to go from bad to worse to unlivable.  

For instance: if consumers are punished with outlandish costs for the environmentally-friendly products they purchase, and if the public infrastructures necessary for a clean energy economy simply don’t get built because of politics, we’ll be stuck in climate change Limbo. At some point, Limbo gives way to cascading destruction (we’re seeing hints of that with Florence), and we don’t want to go there.

Of course we might wonder why, in a time characterized by so much corruption and chaos on multiple fronts, it makes sense to focus on the environment so intently.  Again, think about the many dimensions of life impacted by Uranus, Neptune and Pluto:  natural/biological, socio-political, economic, technological. In other words, Power as it is wielded on the “meta” level—not always visible or transparent, but calling the shots from behind the scenes. 

Congress presumably doesn’t hate the American public or wish it harm, but by infusing its health care policies with corporate ethics, it ends up privileging corporate profits over people. Does Congress intend to kill people? No, but people die, nonetheless. Remaining “once removed” from the people they know they will end up hurting is a bureaucratic art that combines Uranus’s technocratic detachment, Neptune’s obfuscation and denial, and Pluto’s jaded “survival of the fittest” perspective. 

Molding these energies to a more humanistic agenda is no small task, but we have to hope it can be done. 

Power and policies

As simplistic as this may seem, perhaps the “litmus test” for a sound, healthy society is its policies impacting the environment. This is because Big Money and the government power it purchases determines where our focus and priorities are as a society. While public policies—or key decisions such as the one to participate in the Paris Climate Accord or not—are crafted with Jupiter’s and Saturn’s assistance, their tone and focus depend upon how the energies of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are deployed by those we entrust with power. 

Are we following our higher impulses with today’s policies, or falling back on lesser instincts and practices? Unfortunately for our children’s futures, the latter approach is today’s norm. If a regulation hampers corporate operations in any way, it’s deemed by the Trump administration to be destructive and “burdensome.” The precarious balance of power between corporate priorities and the health and welfare of the American people—which has always existed—seems fatally undermined under his sway.  

Not only are the American people physically endangered by Trump’s regulatory rollbacks, but our national moral standing as a world leader is equally compromised.  Here’s one stark illustration: instead of leading the way with the Paris Climate Accord and helping nations that are experiencing climate-related economic hardships to build sustainable irrigation and agriculture systems, or perhaps industries that will work for their displaced populations (to make mass migrations unnecessary), we’re busy slamming shut our borders and turning our immigration system into a quasi-police state that runs roughshod over desperate families. 

In the process we’re shunning responsibility for the very real damage our developed, carbon-gushing economy has done to the atmosphere over the centuries, and we’re routinely violating the international right that people have to seek asylum in emergency situations.  Everywhere we look there are examples like this, in which mean-spiritedness, greed and irrational short-sightedness are prevailing over compassionate, common sense solutions. Our cosmic lesser angels are hard at work, indeed. 

Distressing developments like this don’t happen in an abstract vacuum, of course: individual people whose charts resonate strongly with these outer planetary “angels” carry their energies in their very natures—in the way they choose to interact with others and society, and in the ways they wield whatever power and influence they possess. Such natures tend to be tumultuous and/or extraordinary—and such individuals often express these energies unconsciously.  

Surfers loved the waves Florence brought in with her.

As we’ve seen repeatedly over his presidency, Trump’s nature surfs on the outer planetary “waves,” and not surprisingly, he’s attracted a cadre of individuals with similar inclinations—many of whom are now indicted or have been convicted by Mueller’s Russia probe. When all this is said and done, there will be some very interesting research projects ripe for exploration! 

So even though it’s become an increasingly dreary chart to contemplate, for the sake of understanding the ways in which personal and collective planets can interact in human behavior to such dramatic effect, Trump’s nativity is worth revisiting. In combination with the transiting cycles now in force, his chart reads like a cautionary tale on the pitfalls of such personal/collective connections.  These connections can be very difficult to integrate into any personality, and as we’ve seen with his approach to the presidency, the results can be intensely destructive to others. 

Please note that I have no interest in “psychologizing” Trump here; the point here will be to explore how the outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto function within his nativity and between his chart and a significant recent event chart. There are “chords” in his nature that are being plucked more intensely than usual these days, and there are astrological reasons for that.  
So let’s briefly consider his chart against the release chart for Fear: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward. I’m not attempting to “prove” or “disprove” anything alleged in Woodward’s book here, but I chose this significant moment in time to represent the many pressures roiling Trump and his administration these days. An exact time for a national book release is elusive: at what time on 9/11/2018 were books officially available online, for instance? What do we do about the phenomenal “pre-orders?” 

So, to find a happy medium, I’ve cast the Release chart for dawn, September 11, 2018, in Washington, D.C. 

Before we get to the biwheel, however, let’s take a quick peek at the release chart, shown below on its own, for the sake of angles and house placements (Chart #1); Biwheel #1 (incorporating Trump’s nativity) follows on below.

Chart #1: Woodward Fear release, September 11, 2018, 6:46 a.m. (dawn, DST), Washington, D.C. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Just a couple quick observations. Note the interesting angular (or angular house) placements: a rising Virgo Sun, opposed by Pisces Neptune and a demanding 4th house Capricorn Saturn square 7th house Aries Chiron. This book release may end up being tough on its author, Bob Woodward—his Aries Sun-Eris (warrior reputation, identity) will certainly come under fire (see his chart here), even if he reaps many rewards in the process (Capricorn Saturn trines his natal Taurus Venus). 

The Sun-Neptune opposition described above leaves some information open to speculation, unfortunately; as meticulous as Woodward’s research is said to be, the undermining “fake news” legions will still find leverage points to exploit. If they don’t “find” them, they’ll invent them! 

Indeed, Release Mercury/Sun (midpoint, Virgo) pretty exactly opposes Release Neptune, which empowers those who would weaken the book’s message and impact, at the same time it inspires others. From the day it swam into watery Pisces, Neptune has been the nemesis to anyone hoping to nail down a firm, truthful narrative.

Yes, indeed.
Conventional wisdom says that “truth is power,” however Trump has clearly turned that old saw on its head. Instead, he’s built his power base by loudly and persistently undermining even the possibility of knowing the truth. One of the oddest things about this approach is that, even when he’s correct in claiming some positive achievement, he exaggerates and ends up lying (usually about how his achievement is so much better than any past president’s), as though the truth itself—even when it’s flattering to him—is the enemy. As we’ll see, this speaks to Neptune transiting his natal 7th house. 

Even with all this, Woodward’s book will wield influence over time: a dignified Mercury rules this chart from the 12th, conjoined Justice-minded Pallas and it’s out-of-orb for opposing Neptune. The facts as this book puts them forth will come out and be recognized—not without crossing Neptunian waters, but the chances are good that they will survive the crossing. Release No. Node (Leo) falls in the 11th house, with Release Mars conjoined So. Node (Aquarius) in the 5th

This No. Node conjoins Woodward’s natal Pluto (Leo) and trines natal Moon (Sagittarius)— by dint of his seniority as an investigative journalist, he probably felt compelled to write this book, as a matter of transformational destiny and as a statement of deep conviction.  The collective is clearly very personal here.

In many of the pre-release interviews we’ve seen with Woodward, he’s returned to one key warning: that the Trump White House is waging a “war on truth.” In these fiery Leo-Sagittarius dynamics, we can see why he was so compelled to respond. Woodward is far from the first to make this claim, but he’s gotten the message out more dramatically than most. 

Let’s turn to the Biwheel below to see how Trump’s nativity works with all this. We’ll focus primarily on ways in which personal and collective (outer) planetary energies interact and play out. 

Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY; (outer wheel) Woodward “Fear” release, September 11, 2018, 6:46 a.m. (dawn, DST), Washington, D.C.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

Selling out in bookstores everywhere.

Trump Uranus (Gemini) rules Trump 7th house (Aquarius) and conjoins Sun-No. Node (Gemini). Trump’s much-discussed erratic nature is reflected here—not surprisingly, Release Sun (Virgo) opposite Release NeptuneRx (Pisces) now t-squares Trump Uranus-Sun along his 1st-7th house axis. What Woodward calls his “war on truth” is now turned against Trump (this correlates with Manafort’s plea deal, too), throwing him into a state of confusion. Who are his “loyalists;” who are his “enemies?” Can he trust anyone? 

On another note, more in line with the assertions made by former Trump aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, Neptune square Trump’s Sun-Uranus could raise questions about his mental fitness. Neptune has also been transiting trine Trump Mercury (Cancer)—even a trine (especially between water signs) can cloud or undermine a person’s mental stability with hyper-emotionality. A lot of the troubling reporting about the White House these days touches upon the excessively volatile emotional tone Trump inflicts on everyone.  His tendency to feel victimized from all angles—and absolutely not responsible for any of it—also fits here. A favorite theme of his tweetstorms!

In fact, Neptune has been hovering in his 7th for years already, but only recently has it begun to square Trump’s Uranus, so perhaps it’s also not surprising that the NYTimes recently published an anonymous “Op-Ed” that launched our political “hurricane season” on September 4th with the following damning assertion: “I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”

The personal/collective nature of a Sun-Uranus conjunction is obvious, but its difficulty in a natal chart is perhaps underrated.  This would endow Trump with a detached, Aquarian mind, but without the self-assured, fixed attributes of Aquarius. It shouldn’t be surprising that Trump acts “unmoored” from any reality that clashes with his self interests. His long list of documented lies (many in tweet form) and his tendency to play off of conspiracy-mongering websites reflects his deep need to create his own media (Uranus) narrative, whether it’s “true” or not. As a Gemini, the Media probably feels like the air he breathes, and information that clashes with his self-image simply doesn’t compute—or, in Uranus’s electrical terms, it’s “static.” 

This Sun-Uranus conjunction also turns Trump into a veritable self-promoting “broadcast station,” and his full Moon personality (Moon in Sagittarius) and belligerent Leo Mars rising at his Ascendant ensures that he will act with passionate force against any and all critics. It’s easy to see his aggressive, angry nature here, but who needs a chart? Just read his morning tweets! 

One last important point about the Aquarian, Sun-Uranus twist to Trump’s nature. Sometimes, amidst the bluster and angry outbursts, we might miss that whenever natural disaster has struck in the past two years, he has struggled to respond with any empathy whatsoever. He’d rather quibble over death statistics in Puerto Rico than concern himself with the welfare of its inhabitants. This deficit in emotional maturity may work to his benefit in some quarters, but it comes across as cruel and heartless overall.

The sign says it all.

His immigration policies are likewise blind to human suffering: under the lead of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, detained children are basically being used as “bait” for undocumented immigrants who might want to give them homes. The very concept of immigration has been criminalized to an extent we’ve rarely seen in our history. 

So thousands of children sit in detention and Trump defies the Courts who say it’s long past time to reunite them with their families. Aquarius is often implicated in heartless, authoritarian regimes, and Trump is definitely setting that tone at the top. It doesn’t help any that Uranus also opposes his natal Moon: the tone of his relationships with both children and women would be implicated here. Are there ways in which his official coldness towards immigrant children overlaps with his private attitude toward family? 

It will be interesting to see what he does if Donald, Jr. becomes caught up in the Mueller investigation. The icy chill between him and wife Melania is pretty obvious—no loving body language there! 

In the meantime, maybe we should be grateful that Neptune and Pluto (through the sabotage of aides) are busy undermining the worst of his tendencies—likely the toxic Aquarian ones we’ve noted here. Aquarian tendencies can be quite positive, in fact, but not the way Trump is exercising them. Those aides have raised a sobering thought: things could get worse?

Release Saturn/Pluto (midpoint, Capricorn) opposes Trump Mercury (Cancer); Release Pluto (Capricorn) opposes Trump Saturn-Venus (Cancer) and Mercury/Venus (midpoint, Cancer). This is a real “Sh#t hits the Fan” complex of tense oppositions, a point that’s reinforced by some of them also falling square Release Eris (Aries). Clearly, Trump feels overwhelmed with attacks from all sides, especially since his go-to defense for most everything—lying and prevaricating—just isn’t working for him as well these days, with Saturn pressing in on his Mercury and working with Pluto (all Release points) to undermine his financial security and authority (natal Venus-Saturn). 

As we’ve seen, Robert Mueller’s investigation has closed in on some key figures in Trump’s orbit, such as Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort, and it’s anyone’s guess who will be next. 

With Release Saturn/Pluto over Trump’s 5th house of progeny, we may see the focus turn to Trump, Jr., yet, if not to Ivanka and Jared Kushner. Trump’s Saturn rules his 6th (Capricorn) and co-rules his 7th (Aquarius): his health could be impacted by Pluto’s transiting opposition, but this may just as well pertain to how his administration has been hollowed out by the loss of several aides. 

One commentator noted that as people leave, they aren’t being replaced because Trump doesn’t know whom to trust. It’s also conceivable that more than one Cabinet official will be leaving soon. With the November midterms around the corner, it’s also feasible that Trump’s very job (6th) could be in danger. 
The power structure (Saturn/Pluto) Trump ran for president within—the Republican Party—may also pose a problem for him, as they are slowly realizing how toxic their allegiance to him has been. They’re not admitting to this yet, but it’s possible their Trump loyalty will wane dramatically after they secure a second Supreme Court justice (also subject to a “storm” this week). Trying to pass another tax cut in the face of multi-trillion dollar national debt might be a bridge too far, even for the GOP, so it may be time to scatter and protect their own.

The U.S. Supreme Court is in the "eye of the storm," too.

Interchart Grand Square: Release Saturn (Capricorn) opposes Trump Mercury (Cancer); this axis squares Trump Neptune (Libra) opposed Release Chiron-Trump Eris (Aries). Cardinal grand squares are like pressure-cookers, and this one is no exception, with Trump’s conspiracy mindset (Mercury-Neptune) figuring heavily into the mix. The situation feels like a fencing match between overt and covert forces, and nothing is likely to happen very straightforwardly, despite the cardinal signs. It feels a lot like the quandary Mueller has been in, trying to pin Trump down to an actual interview, or even to a list of written questions

Interestingly, Trump’s lawyers are the ones opposing a sit-down with Mueller: they don’t trust Trump to tell the truth and/or keep his cool; it appears he simply can’t help himself. 

In the end, this tension involves Trump’s mental state (Mercury-Neptune and Leo Mars, disposed by his Gemini Sun), and it’s worth remembering that his Cancer Mercury disposes his Gemini stellium, discussed above, so Release Saturn’s opposition to this point radiates through much of his chart, squaring his Neptune and staring down his tendency to lie with the legal threat of perjury. Interestingly, this Saturn also trines Trump’s Progressed Sun (2°+Virgo, not shown), so it may not be that easy to hold him accountable for actual crimes at this time. 

The Cosmos keeps on turning, however, and his shield of plausible deniability may not last forever. Will he take any responsibility in the end? We’ll have to stay tuned. Neptune is moving into a tighter square with his Gemini-Sagittarius axis; Saturn and Pluto will continue to press more closely upon his Cancer points, inconjoining his powerful Leo Mars after their January, 2020 conjunction at 22°+Capricorn. He has an uncanny way of deflecting attacks and leaving others to pay for supporting him (just ask Michael Cohen), however Saturn and Pluto together rarely miss their mark. Time will tell!

The collective is achingly personal when disaster strikes.
Final thoughts

Maybe we can sum up all of the above with one hurricane-sized brush stroke: The ways in which outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto manifest on both personal and collective levels are in full view this week, and it isn’t pretty. From the loss of property to the loss of lives, all things personal revert ultimately to the collective level of the natural world and how we (in our societies and as individuals) respond to and work with these natural forces. Do we err on the side of prevention, or push our luck beyond its natural bounds? 

The same goes for the political “storms” pressing in on us right now—and, as we’re seeing so painfully, there are personal and collective dimensions to everything that happens politically, as well. One issue remains worth noting in this regard: Trump has a tendency to conflate his personal security with our national security, and this tendency rips a page right out of the Autocrat’s manual.
An “auto”-crat is intent on serving his/her self interests by oppressing everyone else to his/her purposes—government by the Leader, for the Leader, full stop. It’s really not hard to see how this delusional “L’etât c’ést Moi” (“I Am the State”) approach would serve such a leader—when Trump complains that someone criticizing him is committing treason, he’s playing the autocrat and challenging us to figure out what’s wrong with this picture. 

Unless our Constitution has been put through the shredder, the president works for us, not the other way around! He can’t be expected to please every one of us (the majority does still rule in a democracy), but our job is not to enable his compulsions, or to make him look good in the world news, no matter what he tweets! 

Richard Nixon dallied with this delusion 40-some years ago, as well, but the GOP in his day weren’t buying it. 

Again, our thoughts are prayers are with the people in Florence’s path—we're in this together!!

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.