Monday, July 16, 2018

Putin’s wounded trophy wife: Trump reports for duty in Helsinki

“The country can no longer afford to wait to ascertain why President Trump has subordinated himself to Putin—it must deal with the fact that he has.” David Frum, The Atlantic
 “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors.’ It was nothing short of treasonous…Republican Patriots: Where are you???”– former CIA Director John O. Brennan, as quoted in the Washington Post

No words can express how upsetting Trump’s performance was today in his joint press conference with Putin in Helsinki, although the foreign policy experts cited above—and a host of others—do a pretty good job of it. 

Did we ever think we’d see these words in print? It almost feels like the afternoon of 9/11/2001, when the World Trade towers had fallen, New York was choked with toxic ash, and we knew for sure we had been viciously attacked. Only this time, it’s difficult to distinguish between the external and the internal threats. 

Putin’s team may have lost in the World Cup of soccer, but he certainly made up for it in the U.S. coup he pulled off today. One American commentator called it “the surrender summit;” another characterized Trump and Putin as “playmates on a soccer field.” Putin ended his remarks by handing a World Cup soccer ball to Trump (for Russian-speaking Melania), which was fitting; Trump seems to have long since handed his “b#lls” over to Putin. Those who have suspected that Trump owes Putin something big (his election, perhaps?) probably feel validated today. 

In the last post here, we considered the dynamics likely to be in play at today’s summit in Helsinki, but today’s reality was still quite a shocker. For that reason and because that article was written before Friday’s stunning announcement that twelve Russian GRU operatives are being indicted by the Mueller investigation for their part in the Russian meddling into our 2016 election, I thought this geopolitical love fest deserved a second look. I would bet that its impact is going to be felt for decades, if not more, so it’s worth deeper consideration.

One good thing: we now have an actual starting time for today’s meet-up: scheduled for 1 p.m., Putin’s plane was still biding its time on the runway at 10 past the hour, its occupant apparently playing “hard to get.”  

Trump, for his part, was waiting in his hotel room, prepared to arrive fashionably late, after Putin. And so, the games began…CNN reports the meeting kicked off at 1:20 p.m., Helsinki time. 

Three major issues of astrological importance catch my eye with the triwheel I’ve cast for today’s event, using the event chart itself and the two nativities. First is the heavy preponderance of cardinal energies on the angles of the event chart, and the uncanny way those coincide with the players’ charts (could there be a court astrologer at work?); second is the amazing array of retrogrades in the event chart; third is the tight connection this triwheel enjoys with the July 27th total lunar eclipse chart. We’ll cover the first two of these issues in this post; the eclipse issue deserves an entire post to itself—lots to talk about there!

With the retrogrades, it’s as though the Cosmos has been holding its breath right along with the rest of us! What’s also interesting here, though, is that the summit predated Mercury’s impending retrograde station just prior to eclipse day. At this station, Mercury will conjoin Trump’s natal Mars and Putin’s natal Pluto (both Leo), perhaps taking the wind out of both of their sails temporarily. 

So we can see one reason why their joint narrative today (pre-retrograde station)—enabled by Trump’s pre-summit tweets and the Russian Foreign Ministry’s retweeting of those tweets—was a propagandistic coup. 

Here’s the theme that’s been unfolding for weeks and was doubled down on today: the DNC is to blame for Russia’s hacking of its systems, and the “Rigged Witch Hunt”/Mueller investigation is to blame for US-Russia relations being so bad.

All of this lays a pretext for the cozy relations Trump so dearly wants with Putin, and it doesn’t seem to matter that yes, relations between our two nations are bad because Russia attacked us and shows no signs of letting up or taking responsibility. Trump was asked blatantly by a reporter to say who he trusts on the issue of Russian election meddling: his unanimous U.S. intelligence community? Or, Putin?
Rather than answering the question in all its simplicity, however, Trump began rambling on and on about Hillary Clinton’s “server,” and why the FBI hasn’t looked at that server, and how he doesn’t think Russia would be the one to do such a thing, and yadda yadda. In other words, blaming Hillary (as he’s blamed the DNC in past tweets) for what our intelligence community (many of them Republicans!) knows the Russians did to us. At least we now know beyond a doubt where Trump’s loyalties lie, and we have a firm leaping off point for considering the charts below.

The astrology

Judging from their post-meeting press conference (held up by the specter of a Nation journalist being dragged out of the room for holding a piece of paper with the words “Nuclear Test Ban Treaty” on it…so much for “free press”), Trump and Putin must have agreed that Putin would speak first. His segment fleshed out in incredible, rapid-fire, complex detail the global policy areas that these two claim they discussed, including one key area that leapt out at me: that he and Trump want to forge business relations between American and Russian companies, and that they aim to establish mutually beneficial economic ties. 

Needless to say, this goal is putting Trump’s recent movements into perspective:  he’s made no secret of distancing himself from trade relations with Europe, encouraging Theresa May to sue the EU on the UK’s way out the door and calling the EU a “foe.” His demonstrated desire to shift his focus to Russia might also explain why Trump sent the GOP Appropriations Committee delegation to Moscow for talks with Russian counterparts (see July 5th post and here). 

So where does that leave the issue of sanctions? Or Russia’s annexation of Crimea, its downing of a Georgian airliner and its feared incursions into other Baltic states? Or its proven interference in our election? Into the UK’s Brexit election, and the recent nerve agent poisoning of UK citizens? The list goes on. 

The fact is, Trump seems to have found his idol and benefactor—the one powerful person he looks up to as a role model (I wonder if the World Cup ball was autographed?)—and the sanctions (if they’re even being enforced by his administration) can be worked around very handily, with the GOP’s help. Their complicity is a story for another day. 

Triwheel #1: (inner wheel) Trump-Putin Summit, July 16, 2018, 1:20 p.m., DST, Helsinki, Finland; (middle wheel), Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY; (outer wheel) Vladimir (rect.) Putin, October 7, 1952, 12:39 p.m. ST, St. Petersburg, Russia (chart rectified by Isaac Starkman).  Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

As noted earlier, my focus here today is on two key issues: first, the preponderance of cardinal placements between all three charts, and why that’s geopolitically important; second is the impressive line-up of retrogrades in the event chart. So let’s take each issue in turn and see how they play out. 

Cardinal energies

This is a good point to pause and consider why cardinal energies are so important in geopolitical contexts like today’s summit. There are, according to Bill Meridian and the mentors he refers to regularly (Johndro and Jayne) “power points in the Zodiac” and they’re mostly in Cancer and Capricorn. Here’s the list Meridian cites in the March/April 2006 issue of Astrological Journal[1]:
0° of the cardinal signs (15° fixed signs)
10° Cancer: the helio north node of Jupiter
13°-14° Cancer-Capricorn: the invariable plane
20° Cancer: the helio north node of Pluto
24° Cancer: the helio north node of Saturn
Meridian also cites the geocentric north nodes of Saturn at 20° Cancer and Pluto at 23° Cancer (Pluto is now transiting its own south node) as powerfully compelling, and he gives a technical explanation for why the geocentric and helio nodes interact in mundane charts. As to the importance of these cardinal points, he says:
“Many major political entities have important points near these cardinal degrees. This includes the USA Sun in Cancer, the USSR Sun [now Russia’s Uranus-Neptune] opposite it in Capricorn, the imperial Japanese Sun in Capricorn, and the Red Chinese Sun by square from Libra. One transit hits all.”[2]
These points have practical implications for citizens of these nations: for instance, Meridian points out that Americans may be on average wealthier than other nationals because our radix Sun and Jupiter are conjunct Jupiter’s helio north node. This, combined with Jupiter ruling our radix chart with its Sagittarius ASC, has worked pretty well for us over the years.
We might also make the connection with how these cardinal points operate in Trump’s chart: his Cancer Mercury is within orb of Jupiter’s helio north node, and his Saturn-Venus conjunction is conjoined Saturn’s helio north node. Putin’s nativity features other key placements along these powerful cardinal axes, and in some cases, his placements overpower Trump’s (surprise, surprise).
To a great extent, today’s summit was a show of cardinal shadow-boxing, but judging from Trump’s pre-summit tweets alone, we pretty well knew who would emerge victorious.
Stay tuned for the role these key cardinal “power” points played in the overall picture of today’s event—it’s dizzying!
Summit ASC (Libra) conjoins Putin Sun and Trump Chiron-Juno and squares Trump Mercury/Saturn (midpoint, Cancer) and Putin Uranus (Cancer). This reflects a powerful impediment to Trump’s ability to speak freely, even though he seems to ramble on incoherently half the time. Putin’s Sun is in its glory here, conjoined the event’s ASC; it’s tempting to say that a “new day” has dawned for him, in fact, courtesy of Trump’s Chiron-Juno square Mercury/Saturn vulnerability. Munkasey has this to say about this midpoint, minus Juno’s and Chiron’s input:

“Serious discussions with your partner; talk which carries a sense of duty and realism; approaching and discussing difficult subjects with your companions; plans for joint projects or mutual activities.”[3]
Even having these closed-door, secretive, no-accountability-required discussions with Putin was enough to compromise Trump’s presidency, not to mention the presidency in general. It shouldn’t surprise us that both the presidency and the nation-at-large are represented by the Sibly Sun at 13+Cancer—square Putin’s Sun shown here. 
Recall that this 13°-14° Cancer/Capricorn axis is a major power axis; in fact, Meridian tells that it is on what is known as the “invariable plane” (the explanation for this is pretty wonky; suffice to say here, nations with placements on this plane tend to be more powerful than those who don’t). [8] Meridian details a number of major historical events and national chart placements along this plane—I think we can add today’s summit to his impressive list.
Bottom line, both the presidency and the nation-at-large were turned into Putin’s wounded “trophy wife” today (Trump Juno-Chiron).
Every American president to date who has had to deal with Putin has stood up to him, save one—Trump.  No improved economic ties in the universe can make up for that!
Interchart T-Square: Summit Sun-MC, Trump Saturn-Venus, and Putin Uranus-Part of Fortune (all Cancer) oppose Summit Pluto Rx (Capricorn); this axis squares Putin Saturn-Neptune-Mercury (Libra) conjoined Trump Jupiter Rx (Libra) and Summit ASC. These aspects reinforce and demand more from the first set of aspects at the Summit ASC, and again, we see how Putin outmatches Trump’s strength on all fronts, and it may have something to do with how the cardinal “power points” are deployed here.
Putin plays to Trump’s considerable insecurities, conspiracy theories and thin skin (Putin’s Saturn-Neptune-Mercury to Trump’s Venus-Saturn—all conjoined or square to Pluto’s north node at 23°Cancer and Saturn’s helio north node at 24°). Putin probably adds some unique twists to the narrative (Putin’s Uranus-Part of Fortune, also aligned with this sensitive power axis. All for the sake of fulfilling Putin’s geopolitical wish-list (his Part-of-Fortune tightly conjoins the Summit Sun). My guess is that the summit was timed to make sure these conjunctions would be prominent.
It’s no secret that Putin sees himself as the rebuilder of Russia’s former glory, and he’s wily enough to seize the opportunities these cardinal dynamics offer (Capricorn Pluto is key here, too). Trump is playing right into his hands (Pluto opposes Trump’s finance-related Saturn-Venus), so it’s likely that money is a big reason why. Is there something for him, personally, in all those business deals he’s hoping to make with Russia? Or is it simply payback time for past favors? We could speculate for days here—better to wait for the facts.
We might think Trump has a choice in whatever’s going on, but when Pluto’s involved (it is now not only opposite Putin’s Uranus, but conjunct Russia’s founding Uranus-Neptune conjunction, see the July 5th post), we can’t really take that for granted. Putin is on a mission to seal his legacy, and Trump handed him a big victory today.
Summit Saturn Rx (Capricorn) opposes Trump Mercury (Cancer) and squares Trump Neptune (Libra); Summit SaturnRx/PlutoRx (midpoint) squares the gathering at the Summit ASC (discussed earlier). Putin was clearly thinking and speaking rings around Trump today, and that shows up here, along with Trump’s dodgy loyalties and grasp of the facts. He’s trying to serve “two masters,” as the saying goes, and it’s isn’t going well because it can’t be done. Munkasey captures this Saturn/Pluto midpoint exceedingly well:
“Keeping affairs private or not open to scrutiny; secret preparations for future restrictions; hoarding resources for potential future disasters; lengthy consideration of methods of removal or destruction.”[4]
The first two points were clearly accurate today; it will be interesting to see what resources are at stake, and who or what’s likely to be removed or destroyed. 

First, a run-down of which planets are retrograde in the Summit chart: (from right-to-left, clockwise) Chiron (Aries), Neptune (Pisces), Mars (Aquarius), Pluto and Saturn (Capricorn), Vesta (Sagittarius). Beyond the overall sense that the Cosmos is holding its breath and awaiting something big, the restrained, inward-looking characteristics of these retrogrades made for some interesting dynamics between today’s players. Let’s look more closely:
Summit ChironRx (Aries) squares Summit SaturnRx (Capricorn). This aspect spans the charts 4th-7th houses, suggesting that we’re seeing a wounding, almost “parental” relationship take shape. Authority flows in one direction in this relationship; it’s not a relationship of equals.
Summit NeptuneRx (Pisces) trines Summit Jupiter (Scorpio), squares Trump Uranus and Putin Ceres (both Gemini) and quincunxes Putin Saturn conjoined Trump Jupiter Rx (both Libra). Trump prides himself on being able to “deal” on the fly, with no preparation other than his natural ability to play with words and spin alternate realities (which is getting real old). Here, Neptune seems to have him under the lazy illusion that others can’t see through his machinations.
There’s a limit to how many times he can call the facts “fake news” before even his biggest boosters get tired of it. Actions spoke louder than words at today’s summit—reflecting the stress his cardinal points (including Jupiter Rx here) were under. He reportedly had “low expectations” for this summit (it was going to be the “easiest” of his European stops), and he certainly delivered!
Summit MarsRx (Aquarius) conjoins Summit South Node (Aquarius), squares Summit Uranus (Taurus) and inconjoins Summit Venus-Ceres-Moon (Virgo). Again, we see that 4th-7th house connection in action: the shocking relationship “coup” revealed today has both tangible (Taurus) and technical/weapons-related (Aquarius) implications. There were supposedly nuclear arms issues discussed, but my interest was especially piqued by the business dealings these two seem prepared to pursue. Trump complains non-stop about China’s theft of our technology: will he gift Putin with the same? Putin wants our strategic missile defense technologies removed from Russia’s sphere of influence: will Trump deliver? 
We know that agreeing to a framework for a three-way alliance with Israel was high on their priority list today; who will be arming whom, at whose expense?
How does control over Syria’s future fit into their plans?—in a weird twist today, Trump allowed Putin to characterize himself as having “compassion” for the ravaged people of Syria—really, after supporting the Assad regime’s merciless bombing campaign against those same people? More than likely, “compassion” translates as lucrative nation-building contracts (Taurus) ready for the picking!
Trump said he would not suspend military exercises going on in the Baltic States: is that a small bone he’s willing to throw the NATO alliance for the sake of appearances? Or a smoke screen for throwing those states under the geopolitical bus down the road? I wish this speculation was outlandish paranoia; unfortunately, Trump’s committed to pleasing Putin, so anything goes. I tried to listen carefully as Putin detailed his agenda for today’s discussions (yes, Trump appeared to let Putin set the agenda), and many of the above issues were quickly mentioned. The translator could hardly keep up with Putin’s rapid fire wish-list.
Summit PlutoRx and SaturnRx (both Capricorn) anchored today’s discussions; SaturnRx trines Uranus (Taurus). We’ve talked at length about the cardinal oppositions and squares that Pluto and Saturn are involved in; here we see how their physical location in the chart weighed everything down, leaving heavy dismay in their wake for many. What might normally be a positive feeling trine (SaturnRx to Uranus) felt instead like an unfortunate use of resources and energies.
SaturnRx also quincunxes the Summit North Node (Leo), suggesting that relationships will be fatally compromised by what happened today, with reputations destroyed, and so on. Trump’s word is already pretty worthless, but he was even criticized by Fox News today! Loyalty is a Saturnian virtue, and with this SaturnRx opposite Trump’s natal Mercury (Cancer), his loyalty to the U.S. is being questioned.
VestaRx (Sagittarius) conjoins Putin Mars and Trump Moon (both Sagittarius). These points figure heavily into the discussion we need to have about the upcoming eclipse, so I will just note here that there’s a lot more going on in this conjunction than meets the eye. In his incredible compendium of information about eclipses entitled The Predictive Power of Eclipse Paths, Bill Meridian teaches that eclipses wield an impact for some period prior to the dates they happen, and the July 27th eclipse point at 23+Sag will reignite and carry forward whatever transpired in today’s meeting.
The more I look at it, the more I believe this eclipse will be one for the books: please check back for more on that soon!
In the meantime, hope springs eternal, but it doesn’t trickle down from on high—it surges up from the grass roots!
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, Astrological Journal, and other publications over the years.

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

© Raye Robertson 2018. All rights reserved. 

[1] Bill Meridian, “Power Points in the Zodiac,” Astrological Journal, Vol. 48, March/April 2006, pp. 5-12.
[2] Ibid, p. 5.
[3] Michael Munkasey, Midpoints: Unleashing the Power of the Planets, ACS Publications, San Diego, CA, p. 164.
[4] Ibid, p. 296.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Into the desert: on Neptune & Pluto, migrant crises, the Helsinki Summit & shifting alliances

“Since October 2017, Algerian authorities have forced at least 13,000 desperate people to trek across the punishing landscape with no water or food for hours, or even days, to reach safety..., 6/25/18

“The theatre of cruelty unfolding at the southern border last week was the purest distillation yet of what it means to be governed by a President with no moral center.” - The New Yorker, July 2, 2018, p. 13

Unfortunately, there are atrocities enough to go around these days when it comes to poor, desperate people trying to flee oppressive, dangerous situations. There may be a difference in degree when it comes to the heinous treatment such people receive between Algeria, Europe and in the U.S., but there’s no denying their common experience: would-be migrants are suffering the jack-boots of authority crushing down on them, and if they aren’t physically forced into an actual desert to fend for themselves, they are cast into the figurative desert of imprisonment. In the case of the U.S., they’re torn apart from family members, with scant access to due process or to any treatment that would meet United Nations’ standards.

These separated families are faced with an unforgivingly long, cheerless and demeaning trek towards reunification.

One of several detention centers at the U.S. southern border.

“They treated us like animals,” says one mother’s letter from detention.  
“In the letter, she calls the facility ‘la perrera’ -- the kennel or dog pound -- because of the chain-link cages she and others were held in.
For eight days after she was captured near the US-Mexico border, she says she did not bathe or brush her teeth. She and other women slept on the floor under ‘aluminum paper’ blankets, she says.”

The dynamics creating these global migrant crises are hauntingly similar: for one, these rivers of desperate migrants are flowing north from the blazing hot and dry southern regions of the earth—from Africa over the Mediterranean Sea to Europe’s shores, and from Central America northward to the U.S./Mexican border. In case we haven’t been taking climate change seriously, these migrations (ruled by Neptune) strongly suggest that the planet is changing for the worse, and that life is becoming unsustainable for millions in the southern hemisphere.

The science suggests that the energy-hogging northern hemisphere bears some responsibility for this—a story for another day.

For now, here’s one pattern that can be counted upon to create desperation and mass dislocation: drought destroys local economies; social institutions break down, with gangs (or some violent/authoritarian equivalent) developing to fill the void and control the resources that remain. Fear-mongering and panic—two of Neptune’s more toxic impulses—fuel these violent transformations. Racism, xenophobia and their hateful spawn generally take over from there. Unfortunately, the U.S. under Donald Trump is part of this transformation, rather than a force for justice, and we have astrological reasons to be very concerned. 

As we’ll consider ahead, there’s a “new world order” forming, and those with Trumpian mindsets about immigration and the “elites” (a derogatory code word for those in favor of liberal western democracy) are attuned to this evolutionary process, which they are using to institutionalize hateful, inhumane impulses.  Trump seems to be trying to dance on the cutting edge of that effort, tearing down our post-WWII alliances from Europe, shifting his focus to “getting along better” with Russia, and to supporting Israel in its crusade against Iran. Humanitarian concerns beyond their own borders aren’t likely to be on the agenda, and Trump is fine with that arrangement.  

How all this connects is a very complicated story that’s beyond my scope here, but some sense of it all will emerge when we consider Trump’s July 16 summit with Putin (below).

First, some background 
When Neptune’s compassionate impulses cave in to fear and hysteria, Pluto’s “survival of the fittest” ethic rules. The “ends” then “justify the means,” and cruelty prevails, as any sense of morality, civility and loving kindness recedes. Pluto simply ignores such scruples or niceties—rights and equality become meaningless in a toxic Plutonian context. We’ll consider these themes more deeply ahead, but frankly, once Neptune’s and Pluto’s lesser angels are unleashed—as they were during WWII—it’s no mystery why tragedies, atrocities and genocides follow.

In fact, we seem to be witnessing that in Capricorn, Pluto actively crushes any higher, compassionate or just impulses with thuggish vigor. This tendency is given institutional reinforcement at times by Saturn’s added presence in Capricorn, its earthy ruling sign; for instance, we’ve seen Trump and company pick and choose which parts of the Constitution they wish to follow and which they don’t, imposing a “loyalty test” on both Congress and the Judiciary, an institution designed to check Executive overreach, not to act like feckless “yes men.” As long as a GOP majority prevails in Congress, Trump enjoys a system that he has rigged to give him free rein.

Yet, this dignified Capricorn Saturn is also the astrological “ace in the hole” for those who want to see a return to Constitutional norms and checks and balances, and if Saturn’s energies are wielded diligently, they should ultimately hold Trump’s overreaching forces accountable. In keeping with their cycle’s agenda, however, as Saturn transits into its impending conjunction with Pluto (beginning a new, 35+year cycle), a new world order is taking shape. Given what we’re seeing in the news, there are no guarantees that we’ll come out on the other side of it with an intact democracy.

We’re living through the “clearing out” phase of this waning 1982 Saturn-Pluto cycle (launched that November at 27+Libra), and Trump and company are clearly aiming to create a new, more authoritarian replacement that privileges corporations and undermines civil rights and democratic institutions. In fact, a Russian-style oligarchy—in which the nation’s billionaire industrialists do the strong-man leader’s dirty work and keep the economy feeding their coffers first—would probably suit Trump just fine.

As we saw in the 2016 genesis of this transformative Trump administration, however, Neptune is the wild card. Any time the calls for constitutional accountability mount, Trump works to stir up his emotional, Neptunian “base,” a tactic he’s used to avoid Saturnian responsibility since declaring his candidacy. The more erratic and frenzied his tweet-storms, the more we can assume that his feet are being held to the fire.

In fact, Trump has weaponized Neptune in a host of ways: importantly, he seems to be on a mission to subvert our traditional NATO allegiances—apparently, in deference to Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Trump’s upcoming summit with the Russian leader on July 16th looks like it might be a big step forward towards shifting our alliances: it’s so important to Trump that he sent a large delegation of Republican Senators to Russia to pave the way and set a conciliatory tone. Interestingly, these senators are all members of the Senate Appropriations Committee—not the Foreign Relations Committee members that usually make these trips.

According to Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia, this multi-day, “Kum-bah-yah” meeting between the two governments is far from normal, and is actually quite disturbing. How interesting that this news came out on the same day that the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a report confirming that the intelligence assessments regarding Russia’s interference in our 2016 election are “sound!” We have to wonder if this delegation is making nice with Russia because they’d like to see more election meddling in their favor. No Democrats were invited—not surprising, since Trump is trying to run our government as though the Democratic party doesn’t exist!

A quick look at Neptune’s role in the two biwheels below speaks volumes: the first will be between Trump’s natal chart and the Russian Federation’s radix chart, and the second between Trump’s and Putin’s nativities. Then we will consider a noon chart for the Summit itself.

Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY; (outer wheel) Russian Federation, December 25, 1991, 7:45 p.m. ST, Moscow, Russia. Source: Book of World Horoscopes, Chart 280, p. 273. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

First, a few thoughts on Neptune in Venus-ruled air sign, Libra—where Trump’s natal Neptune resides. Librans are famously able to see all issues from multiple perspectives—a trait that explains Libra’s reputation for diplomatic skills and which can create confusion and indecision. Which side to choose? Sometimes we (I’m guilty as charged) favor one side; sometimes the other. “Part of me thinks….” is an oft-heard Libra phrase, as though we can split our brains in pieces and have things go whichever way feels good at the moment! The challenge is to reconcile whatever disparate perspectives we’re presented with into one coherent point of view, and it’s often not easy, especially these days with Neptune transiting its home sign, Pisces, quincunx Libra!

As noted above, Trump seems to have leveraged the slippery leeway his Libra Neptune gives to advance his purposes: he refuses to be pinned down to any one perspective on anything. As his staff well knows, he reserves the right to change his mind on a dime with no notice. This is the perfect expression of his Mercury-square-Neptune (Cancer-Libra), and it provides one important key to his approach to wielding power. Mercury disposes his elevated Gemini placements and his Gemini Sun rules his Leo rising chart, so this erratic, potentially deceptive mental style identifies him, and it empowers him because it keeps everyone around him scrambling!

We’ve seen how this works everyday in the news: Trump prefers to make up his “reality” as he goes, and he relishes the ability to provoke shock and awe in the process (Gemini Sun-No. Node-Uranus). Uranus co-rules his 7th house with his Cancer Saturn, so this shock effect throws both his rivals and allies off balance—right where his thin-skinned security impulses (Cancer Saturn) likes them to be. 
Being slippery and unpredictable and keeping others he wants to dominate (i.e., “deal” with) off balance is, of course, another way Neptune can use and abuse Libran qualities. An erosive force, Neptune can be deployed in Libra to undermine any sense of equanimity, and to break down systems of justice and fairness (other Libran values), as well. We’re seeing all of this happen under the Trump administration.

Trump’s attempts (enabled by his House GOP allies) to tear down the DOJ and to skew the intelligence underpinning the Mueller investigation are clear examples of this. Gathering and acting on actual facts for the sake of enforcing the law justly is Saturn’s thing (a good reason it’s dignified in Libra); Neptune would prefer to spin “alternative realities,” deny reality (one reason it rules addictions) and confuse any attempts to pin that reality down.

It’s no surprise that Trump feels naturally allied to Russia: they share this Neptunian approach to wielding power. Putin’s response to any criticism of his actions is often to simply deny the action itself and to ridicule those who brought it up (the same macho tactic women trying to get ahead often find used against them). On that note, let’s consider the biwheel charts.

Interchart T-Square: Trump Neptune-Juno-Chiron-Jupiter opposes Trump Eris-Russia Eris (very widely conjunct in Aries); this axis squares Russia’s Sun-No. Node-Uranus-Neptune (Capricorn) stellium. There’s an aggressive, “eyes-on-the-prize” quality to this cardinal t-square, and with Neptune involved in both legs of the Libra-Capricorn squares (and in the actions of both parties to the biwheel), anything goes when it comes to achieving that prize. When asked about Russia’s election meddling, Trump often says that he “believes” Putin’s denials. Of course he does—he’s implicated in the meddling, as well!

The fact is, when Russia meddles, Trump benefits, and that’s not an advantage that he’s willing to pass on. What we don’t know for sure is what does Russia expect in return? The concessions Trump is reportedly prepared to make to Putin at their one-on-one summit are probably a good start. From The Guardian:
“Trump’s ‘America first’ approach to world affairs is arguably the greatest political gift brought to Putin since he was told in 1999 by Boris Yeltsin’s entourage that he’d soon be stepping into the Kremlin to replace an ailing leader. The US’s withdrawal from Europe was a long-held Soviet goal that Putin now believes may be in reach.
If the extremist political forces Putin likes to promote in Europe do take over, with Trump helping to embolden them, the Russian president can begin to envision a new brand of transatlanticism, anchored in authoritarianism and white, Christian nationalism – a world view that would suit Putin down to the ground. The presence in the White House of a US leader who disparages allies, questions Nato, lashes out at Angela Merkel and says the “EU is possibly as bad as China, only smaller” when it comes to dealing with the US is quite simply a godsend.”
This passage implies that Putin is shrewdly navigating his relationship with Trump on behalf of Russia, but Trump may mistakenly believe the relationship is personal: as we’ve seen by his comments, Trump seems to crave Putin’s attention and approval. Putin—a former KGB operative—seems to have  a long-held vision for restoring Russia’s place on the world stage, and we might be safe in assuming that he could care less about personal attachments. He’s been handed an outstanding opportunity with Trump’s presidency: Putin probably has little respect for Trump, but he will certainly use him to get where he wants to go.  

Unfortunately, Trump tends to lionize Putin—speaking of him reverently as a “great leader,”  almost treating him like a hero. Is Putin the perfect “father figure” in Trump’s mind? The trouble is, if Trump chooses to lather praise on Putin like he did on Kim Jong-Un, Putin will have him right where he wants him. Putin “didn’t have time” to meet with the Senate delegation Trump sent; why would he? Humiliating them serves his purposes far better: guess who’s likely to be calling the shots at the July 16th summit? 

On that note, let’s briefly consider the biwheel between the two men’s nativities.

Biwheel #2: (inner wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY; (outer wheel) Vladimir Putin (rectified by Isaac Starkman), October 7, 1952, 12:39 p.m. ST, St. Petersburg, Russia. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Putin Uranus-Part of Fortune (Cancer) conjoins Trump Saturn-Venus (Cancer) and squares Trump’s Libra stellium (Juno-Chiron-Jupiter and widely, Neptune); Putin Sun-Saturn-Neptune-Mercury (Libra) conjoins Trump’s Libra stellium. Trump’s Mercury also plays into this energetic cardinal array through its square with Putin’s Sun-Saturn. This aspect may explain Trump’s deferential attitude towards Putin: he’s clearly impressed with the man’s power and authority. He may even look to Putin for protection (Cancer)—especially now, that Pluto is transiting opposite Trump’s Cancer Saturn-Venus.

Trump’s ethics-free approach to life is in synch with an oligarchic system in which corruption is enabled, as long as it serves the “strong-man’s” purposes. Under what’s left of our democratic system, Trump is forever dealing with legal suits that want to hold him accountable.

Trump and Putin share strong, mutually-reinforcing Mercury-Neptune aspects, so they see “eye-to-eye” on a lot of things. Putin’s close conjunction trines Trump’s Mercury-disposed Sun-Node-Uranus, but it seduces Trump via the square to his Cancer planets. By virtue of his office, Trump wields global influence and administrative clout (over NATO, the EU, etc.) that Putin might just want to “borrow” for the sake of redrawing global alliances, so being on Trump’s mental “wavelength” is a real asset for him.

There’s no way to know for sure, but it would be no surprise if Putin has been coaching Trump to impose tariffs on Canadian and EU goods for ridiculous “national security” reasons (Cancer). Anything that stresses western economies and further weakens those democracies would likely be a plus to Putin, and if Trump is eager to please…? Even if the tariffs and the trade wars are entirely Trump’s ideas, Putin will be able to position Russia to benefit, especially once Trump rolls back the sanctions regime that was imposed after Russia forcibly annexed Crimea in 2014.

Narrative is everthing!

Thankfully, Trump cannot unilaterally deliver on that prize at the upcoming summit, but it’ll be surprising if some movement isn’t made in that direction. He seems bent on burning our trade bridges with Europe: who do we think he’s going to look to for new trade agreements? We’ll see Russian steel in our oil and gas pipelines yet! Given the shadowy way Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee are meeting with Russians prior to the summit, we have to wonder what kind of business deals are afoot.

Other types of quid-pro-quos could also be in the works, judging from these two charts. Putin’s Cancer Uranus-Part of Fortune ties into Trump’s Saturn-Venus, suggesting that there are mutually-beneficial possibilities involving power, authority and treasure. Russia’s chart (outer wheel, Biwheel #1) proves the foundational importance of the Uranus-Neptune cycle to the nation that emerged from the Soviet Union’s rubble: the Russian Federation was built to navigate the globalized economy, and when times have been tough, the U.S. and western liberal democracies have been convenient foils. It’s good to have an “enemy” to blame for everything that goes wrong when the public gets agitated, and Putin is known to deploy this narrative very adeptly. Trump and he are clearly on the same page with this tactic.  

Considering Russia’s radix chart, it’s no surprise that Putin’s nativity features the waning Uranus-Neptune square, not to mention a powerful Saturn-Neptune conjunction. Even his Saturn ties into the new cycle perfecting in the radix chart, through its rulership of Capricorn; the Saturn-Neptune aspect itself (placed in his 11th house of associates, not shown here) suggests that Putin follows that Machiavellian canard of holding his “friends close and his enemies closer.” He has probably outfoxed many opponents with relative ease—being a KGB master of “disinformation” (Mercury conjunct Neptune!), and as the history of his rule has shown, if all else fails, his opponents—including media people—experience mysterious “accidents.”  

Bottom line, Putin has been playing 3-D chess to Trump’s checkers, being much more keenly attuned to tactical and strategic maneuvering. Another important difference: Putin has the benefit of a keen historical perspective, where Trump often seems clueless about American history and its place in the world. A deeply strategic and perceptive Scorpio Venus disposes Putin’s Libra stellium, whereas Trump’s more thin-skinned Venus is caught up in security issues and focused on his financial growth (2nd house Libra Jupiter).

Trump Mars-ASC (Leo) trine Putin Mars (Sagittarius). The mutual comfort level these two enjoy has a lot to do with this tighter-than-tight aspect, but it also speaks to the different manners in which each projects his power. Trump tends to bully his way into dominance (Leo), demanding personal loyalty out of his minions (including his base) and returning very little for their trouble; Putin may have more finesse, but he seems interested in maintaining that “wild” Sagittarian image, too, posing bare-chested on horses and practicing karate.

Hosting the soccer World Cup was a stroke of genius on Putin’s part because it softened his image abroad without weakening it. His Sagittarius Mars is disposed by a staunch Taurus Jupiter, opposite and disposed by his Scorpio Venus; no one is likely to question his strength and stamina. Contrary to another common Machiavellian strategy, Putin seems to want to be both “loved” and “feared.”
One last point about Trump’s Mars bears noting: Leo’s downside is a tendency toward toxic narcissism, combined with a thirst for adulation from powerful people and a need to wield firm control over the narrative (angrily, with Mars) so he “looks good.” All of these seem to apply, judging from Trump’s behavior. Perhaps he believes that his personal charisma can take him everywhere he wants to go, but as we’ve seen, when that fails, his anger takes over.

Unfortunately, Trump can make a lot of costly mistakes if he follows these lower Leo tendencies with Putin. Former Ambassador McFaul is deeply concerned that Trump will be more focused in this summit on pleasing and praising Putin than he will be about American national interests. He’s also concerned that Trump will make all kinds of concessions—going against all his advisors—without asking for anything in return. I hope that’s not simply na├»ve: is future election meddling already figured into the deal?

Former intelligence chief John Brennan fears that Trump doesn’t realize the extent to which he’s being “played” by Putin, or that he simply “doesn’t care.”  

The summits
So much more could be said in regards to the above biwheels, but I think it’s worth shifting gears at this point to consider a noon chart for the July 16th summit itself. The exact timing of the first meeting is probably anyone’s guess, but the noon chart will give us a peek at the dynamics of that day. One quick observation: the dynamics in this chart (excluding houses) are very similar to the ones in the July 11th noon chart for the NATO Summit that Trump will be attending prior to his meet-up with Putin, except that in the first instance, the Moon will be in late Gemini, conjunct Trump’s Sun-Node-Uranus, opposite his natal Moon.

We’re used to seeing Trump in a surly mood at NATO events (he’s convinced our allies are “playing” the U.S. by not paying enough for mutual defense), but the controversial letters he sent out to NATO allies demanding that they must spend a greater percentage of their GDPs for the alliance’s defense are likely to set the tone for his time there. One thing is very predictable with him: one way or another, he will be the star of the show, and not in a good way. On to Helsinki!

Chart #1: Trump-Putin Summit, July 16, 2018, 12:00 p.m. DST, Helsinki, Finland. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

T-Square: Sun (Cancer) opposite Pluto (Capricorn); this axis squares Eris (Aries). If we’re feeling expansive, we could extend Eris’s orb to include Uranus (Taurus) here, as well, but for now let’s simply consider the tighter cardinal configuration. Clearly, any configuration involving Pluto and Eris is going to be focused on power dynamics and potential conflict and discord. Resources and money are bound to be the issues entangled in these dynamics: earthy Capricorn Saturn disposes this Pluto, and it’s part of a grand earth trine that includes Venus (Virgo)—more on that ahead.

A point about timing deserves discussion: unless the meeting begins in the early, early morning, this t-square is going to fall across the 11th-8th-5th or the 10th-7th-4th. Either way, the Sun is elevated, representing the leaders involved, and Pluto falls in the houses commonly associated with “the People.” This places Eris nearly conjunct the Sun/Pluto midpoint (21+Ar), and while he doesn’t address Eris aspecting this point, Michael Munkasey does characterize this midpoint as being a heavy, potentially volatile place to be:
“Accumulation of an excessive amount of armed strength; the use of secret police to exert authority and control over others; the influence of criminal organizations; extremes of corruption which waste resources.”[1]
What we’re seeing at home with immigration and ICE and family separations already resonates with this midpoint, but we have to wonder what it will look like in the context of Trump and Putin. If they strike a closer U.S.-Russian alliance at their meeting, it will be characterized by this aspect—not very desirable. Maybe here, Eris represents the spirited warriors fighting the corruption unfolding in front of us?!
Saturn (Capricorn) squares Chiron (Aries). If we factor in the MC (Cancer) to this, we have another cardinal t-square, this one reinforcing the authoritarian impulses of the first one, and pressing in on those in authority to take responsibility for the pain they are causing or enabling. There are plenty of situations in the world that fit this dynamic, including our own here at home, but how will it manifest in the context of U.S.-Russia relations? 
We know the Russian economy is hurting, which always causes unrest; we know that there’s a lot of unrest here at home, yet it’s hard to say whether improving the lot of their people is job #1 for these two. More likely, staying in power by whatever means necessary is top priority, and that is guaranteed to be a wounding experience (Chiron) for all.

Earth Grand Trine: Uranus (Taurus) trines Venus-Ceres-Moon (Virgo) trines Saturn (Capricorn). It’s key here that Venus also disposes Taurus, so there will be momentum to apply Uranian technologies for economic purposes. Considering the context (a summit between geopolitical players) and Virgo’s involvement, it’s likely that agreements aimed at nurturing (Ceres) the players’ military forces (Virgo) will be featured. Past discussions between us and Russia have focused on reducing arsenals, not nurturing them, so this could be interesting.
Considering that Trump will be hot off the NATO summit a few days earlier, we have to wonder how military issues will figure into a renewed U.S.-Russia relationship. Trump reportedly wants Putin to use his military to force Iranians out of Syria, but Foreign Policy says he may have to “take no for an answer.”
Even if it’s not military in character, this configuration appears to signal some mutually-beneficial (in tangible, economic terms) project that these two will take on, but it could remain behind-the-scenes (Virgo in 12th). We know how Trump refuses to acknowledge that his personal and presidential activities must be kept separate: is he still working on that Trump Hotel-Moscow? Or investing in some Russian infrastructure project in return for…? Are Jared and Ivanka along for the ride? Remember that Senate Appropriations Committee delegation’s visit? All of this bears watching.
Yod: Pluto (Capricorn) and Neptune (Pisces) inconjoin Mercury (Leo). This aspect only works if the two far planets (Neptune and Pluto) are sextile, and that’s the case here. We started this post talking about the ways in which these “heavies” are calling the shots these days, and here we get a window into how that works. Basically, if we thought we were going to get a straight story out of this summit once it’s over, we’re probably deluded. There’s a reason Trump and Putin (Neptune & Pluto?) are meeting alone first, and IMHO, that should concern us. They will tell us what they want us to hear, full stop.
It’s also notable that Mercury here conjoins Putin’s natal Pluto (Leo) more tightly than it does Trump’s Mars (Leo), so Putin is likely to dominate the narrative. We may get conflicting stories, but one way or another, skepticism will be warranted.

Final thoughts
For all his finger-thrusting rhetoric about putting “America first,” and about how “tough” his administration has been on Russia, Trump can’t seem to say “no” to Russia. The MaddowBlog summarizes his track record going into the summit really well:
“Trump has, after all, echoed Putin’s line on the 2016 attack on the American elections, endorsed Russia’s re-entry into the G-7, opened the door to formally recognizing Crimea as Russian soil, canceled joint military exercises with South Korea (which is a step Putin suggested to the Republican president), tried to further fracture the European Union, expressed his dissatisfaction with NATO, and moved toward handing Russia more power over developments in Syria.
The Deal-Maker in Chief took all of these steps in exchange for … nothing. There’s no evidence that Trump sought any concessions from Moscow in return for his recent pro-Russia efforts.”
The deferential attitude Trump takes with Putin goes back to his presidential campaign, in fact, so why would we expect anything different now? Does Putin “have something” on Trump? Or does Trump simply want further cooperation from Putin for upcoming elections? Robert Mueller is still getting to the bottom of what transpired between Trump and Russia from 2013 through the 2016 election, but the dynamic is already clear from what we do know: if Russia meddles, minds are swayed in favor of Trump and other Republicans, so there’s clearly been a Faustian bargain of sorts, whether we’re ever able to pin down all the facts or not.

Neptune and Pluto may be inscrutable, opaque and downright deceptive, but “survival of the fittest” is a fairly simple concept to grasp in the end: the more “fit” are the predators, and the less fit are the prey.

As former Fox analyst, Lt. Col. Ralph Peters surprisingly expressed recently, “Putin has devoured Trump.” He illustrated his point by citing some lines from a poem by A.E. Housman:
“The Russian bear is huge and wild,
It has devoured the infant child…”

Guess who’s the “infant child?”

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. 

"Trump Baby" - a balloon that will fly in protest when Trump visits the UK this week.

[1] Michael Munkasey, Midpoints: Unleashing the Power of the Planets, ACS Publications, San Diego, CA, 1991, p. 92.