Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Would Putin be welcome in Disneyland today?

Mundane astrology shows that historical figures and events of public importance resurface in public consciousness when both the time and context are ripe. The planets keep orbiting in their various cycles, driving cultural and collective developments, and the past is forever being brought forward for reconsideration and further work. Strange convergences often result!

Among them is a story in the news about how 56 years ago this September 19th, then-Soviet Union leader Nikita Khruschev—hosted by then-president Richard Nixon—was barred from visiting Disneyland. The official excuse was an inability to guarantee the security of the Soviet leader, but Khruschev didn’t buy that for a New York minute. Many other dignitaries had been welcomed with open arms in Disneyland, so why not him? (he was really upset about this!)

There were probably multiple reasons for Disney’s actions, but in retrospect, it’s not surprising he didn’t want to open the “ideal world” he had created in Disneyland to a man who might construe his manufactured nostalgia for “small-town America” as capitalist propaganda. Being an avid anti-Communist with FBI informant credentials, it seems Disney simply wasn’t going to invite that kind of scrutiny.


Fast-forward almost 50 years, and the disconnect between American and Russian perspectives and values dominates the news again—this time, on the issue of defeating ISIS in Syria and beyond. Both President Obama and Russia’s Vladimir Putin spoke to the U.N. General Assembly earlier today (9/28/15)—predictably, offering diametrically-opposed views of the problem and its solutions. Business Insider online reports that Putin blames foreign (U.S.) “meddling” in Middle East regimes for creating the extremist threat of ISIS; further, he believes the only way to defeat this threat in Syria is to create a “genuinely broad international coalition against terrorism” to do the job (he’s already formed one with Syria, Iran, and—most surprisingly, Iraq). Far from wanting the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria to crumble and exit, Putin advocates for supporting Assad, saying “No one but Assad’s armed forces and the Kurdish militias are truly fighting ISIS and other terrorists in Syria.”  Assad’s brutality against his own people—a counterpoint Obama raised—is apparently not on Putin’s radar screen.

This leaves us to wonder whether the U.S. will be forced by geopolitical agreements, relations and/or self-interest to join forces with the unlikely alliance Putin has mustered against ISIS in Syria. Apparently, the idea of a “managed transition” for the Assad regime is gaining traction with Obama, Secretary of State Kerry and others, but can this “broad alliance” really achieve the same goal (defeating a common enemy) without agreeing on what caused the problem and what the solutions are? Been there, done that…it resulted in a 45-year Cold War.

There was wild speculation online about the other issues Putin would raise in his U.N. speech today—even inspiring a “Bingo Card” by Washington Post online, which laid out 25 likely concerns and a short discussion of each. Such intense Russia/Putin-watching certainly feels like a throwback to the Cold War, and deservedly so. Significantly, on Putin’s wish list is a “new Yalta” agreement (the 70th anniversary of the original agreement happened this past February) that would update Russia’s sphere of influence more to Putin’s liking.  Such an agreement—especially as a means of distributing the “spoils” of a joint war against ISIS—would beat the gong of history indeed, reverberating all the way back to 1945 when the Soviets gained control of Eastern Europe and cemented the expansive boundaries of the Soviet Union. If the Yalta Conference taught us anything, it’s that waging a war with an “odd bedfellows” alliance—even one against a heinous common enemy such as Hitler—recalibrates the global balance of power. 

So, what now?

So, astrologers have to wonder where all this is headed, and although the scope of this question exceeds my reach here, there are some accessible points to ponder. For instance, is it any coincidence that all these issues are welling up in global geopolitics now, on the heels of a “supermoon” lunar eclipse?  Probably not. Are there cyclical (as in planetary cycles) dynamics in play at this time that makes a “new Yalta” astrologically conceivable? Very possibly. To explore these questions, let’s start with the Yalta chart, and then consider that chart with the supermoon eclipse chart (Yalta chart set for noon; see inner wheel, biwheel below):

·      Yalta chart Air grand trine: Mercury in Aquarius-Uranus in Gemini-Chiron & Neptune in Libra. Amazingly, this hard-nosed trine features Mercury in mutual reception with Uranus (a bit wide, but seems allowable considering the bigger aspect), suggesting the rapid, perhaps overwhelming deployment of ideas, ideology and power. The cerebral nature of the air grand trine tends to ignore the human costs at stake; we see that with the wound of cosmic proportions (Chiron-Neptune) that was inflicted by the fragmenting of east and west Europe, the parceling out of territorial interests to the various stakeholders, and so on (more below). As positive as the war’s end was for the world, the ideas/ideologies swirling about during this conference were heavy on charm (and hot air!) and laced with double dealing; the cooperation inherent in the trine soon became a precarious stand-off of global proportions.

·      Yalta Pluto in Leo opposes Mercury in Aquarius, creating one of TWO “Kite” formations out of the grand trine (see next point for the second Kite)—the dynamic Us v. Them of the Cold War and the Faustian entanglement (MAD-mutually-assured destruction) created by the still fresh unleashing of “The Atom Bomb” (Mercury-Uranus-Pluto) were seeded here. The world psyche was painfully “split,” right along with the atom (Neptune-Chiron).

·      Yalta Venus in Aries trines Pluto, opposes Chiron-Neptune and disposes Libra; Venus also sextiles Mercury and Uranus, forming Kite #2; this speaks to the global balance of power and the intense financial interests driving the Yalta agreement. With Mars in Capricorn disposing this militant Venus, we can see how the military-industrial complex (as Eisenhower warned) would produce untold fortunes and influence (Venus trine Pluto) and energize relations between the Yalta signers going forward.

·      Yalta Mars in Capricorn trines Jupiter in Virgo. The powerful, expansive nature of post-WWII defense industries, the military occupation of the territories doled out, and the persistence of military conscription is assured here.

·      Cardinal T-square: Venus opposite Chiron-Neptune, all square Saturn in Cancer. This speaks to the human costs of the war that was ending; population displacements (including the flight of Jews to Palestine) and a deep economic depression gripped Europe for years, resulting in relief efforts such as the Marshall Plan and others. Instability and chaos (Saturn-Neptune) provided a pretext for totalitarianism on the Eastern front and for a return to pre-war social structures elsewhere (Capricorn opposite Saturn in Cancer - men reoccupying jobs that women performed in their absence, etc.).

·      Yalta Saturn in Cancer inconjunct Mercury in Aquarius. This Mercury draws upon the energies of Uranus through their mutual reception (see above), reflecting the science underlying the “arms race” of the period; this aspect evokes the ways in which that competition clashed with human needs.

Flinging open Pandora's Box...

It’s not hard to see the geopolitical “Pandora’s Box” that was opened in the wake of the Yalta agreement. The question now remains: In keeping with Putin’s desire for a “new Yalta,” is roughly the same cast of national players—this time united by a common desire to defeat ISIS—revisiting the energies unleashed in this chart? If so, what planetary cycles are involved and what can we glean from those? Let’s consider how the September 28th “Supermoon” lunar eclipse chart interacts with the Yalta chart (see outer ring, biwheel below):

·      Eclipse Sun-Moon (Libra-Aries) conjoin the Yalta Chiron-Neptune to Venus axis; Eclipse ruler Venus in Leo opposes Yalta Sun. Clearly, this “supermoon” is providing an opportune moment for the Yalta agreement to resurface in our collective consciousness; a great deal of financial power and political influence is at stake in this configuration.

·      Eclipse Saturn in Sagittarius sextiles Yalta Mercury in Aquarius and Yalta Chiron-Neptune in Libra,  to form the 6th sextile of a rare Grand Sextile (Hexagram) interchart aspect. The sheer magnitude of a joint military campaign against ISIS (and its likely spin-offs in global anti-extremist efforts) is represented by this configuration, but Saturn’s key role in completing the configuration reflects the dangers of exceeding strategic and ideological limits (Sagittarius). The possibilities Putin is likely seeing for Russia’s restored “superpower” status can also be seen here—the opportunities (sextiles) are beckoning. (More on how this eclipse chart interacts with the charts of Putin and Russia another day).

·      Eclipse Saturn in Sagittarius squares Eclipse Neptune in Pisces; Eclipse Neptune opposes Eclipse Jupiter in Virgo and both square Yalta Uranus in Gemini. Here we can see the fundamental disconnect: should the “broad international coalition” Putin envisions pursue ISIS with Assad in power, or after he’s been removed? Both the strategic reservations and the ideological differences expressed by Obama and Putin are represented here. Putin appears to have certain goals for the situation he’s set in motion and he’s less squeamish about “dancing with the devil” to get there; it’s less clear what the U.S. and other allies stand to gain from another round of “boots on the ground” in the Middle East, especially if undertaken on Putin’s terms. The square phase of Saturn-Neptune can be a treacherous time for action, but the public is likely to be malleable. Jupiter’s recurring presence in Virgo (military) opposite Neptune, both T-squaring Yalta Uranus reflects the violent stress the situation will impose upon the masses, the environment (through the war-time exploitation of natural resources for technology) and the “common good.”  

·      Eclipse Uranus in Aries trines Eclipse Venus and squares Eclipse Pluto in Capricorn; Eclipse Uranus sextiles Yalta Sun. The tech industries will be buzzing; chaos, unrest and social breakdown (square to Pluto) has its upside in “crisis capitalism.” By timing his move to form a coalition now, Putin may be able to leverage the Uranus-Sun sextile and inject new life into the Yalta agreement. This belligerent, cardinal Uranus-Pluto square cycle is slowly separating, but the timing is apt when viewed against Putin’s chart and the Russian Federation’s chart. More to come on that.

Needless to say, Putin inspires no trust on Capitol Hill, probably for good reason. On a lighter note, Donald Trump claims he could get along very well with the Russian leader. Perhaps a tour of Trump Towers is more appropriate than Disneyland?

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former university English instructor. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, the astrology of generations, and in issues of public importance such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years. Raye can be contacted by comment here, or at: robertsonraye@gmail.com

© Raye Robertson 2015. All rights reserved. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

"Mr. Speaker...the Pope of the Holy See!"

As astrologers know well, timing is everything when it comes to events of global importance. The Pope’s visit to the U.S. was exquisitely timed to coincide with not only a critical time in U.S. politics (on the cusp of a new election year), but with the 70th anniversary of the United Nations and with the September 25-27 (Super Moon!) U.N. Summit for the Adoption of the post-2015 Agenda, where the hot topic will be global sustainable development goals—a concern the Pope eloquently expressed in his speech today at the U.N. 

There’s so much more to consider in all this (see earlier post about the Pope's chart itself), but for now, a few astrological observations about the Pope’s historical visit to Congress. Because his stated intention was to speak to the country at large, through our representatives in Congress, we’ll examine the U.S. Sibly chart and the chart for the Pope’s visit to Congress for the biwheel (see below):

·       Pope’s Visit Sun conjoins Sibly MC. The Pope is clearly the “man of the hour” with a serious message for the nation about its responsibility and role in the world.

·       Visit Mercury in Libra conjoins Sibly Saturn, squares Sibly Sun in Cancer. The Pope’s message is seen being literally delivered to the halls of Congress (Saturn) here, but his message is also directed to the larger nation and the Executive (Sun). The Pope made several pointed comments about the perils of extremism, polarization and “a simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or if you will, the righteous and sinners.” Quite appropriate for this Mercury in Libra—and for the ears of Congress!

·       Visit Jupiter in Virgo opposes Visit Neptune in Pisces; Visit Jupiter sextiles Sibly Jupiter; Visit Neptune trines Sibly Jupiter and Venus. These may seem like “soft” aspects, but Visit Jupiter opposite Neptune created a spiritual context and elevated the tone of the proceedings. As one reporter put it, there was an air of “reverence” in the chamber that he had never witnessed before. Jupiter and Neptune together speak to the “common good,” a guiding principle for the Pope that our economic/political system tends to sweep under the rug. The “softness” of the Visit aspects to Sibly Venus-Jupiter reflects the proverbial “velvet glove” with which the Pope delivered some pretty harsh criticism—on the issue of the U.S. role in the global arms trade (“… money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood”), on the need to direct business efforts differently (“a noble vocation…especially if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good”), and on the many ways economic justice falls short. The Pope poked at open wounds in Congress and the nation as he promoted the reciprocity of the Golden Rule (Venus-Jupiter-Neptune) in regards to today’s refugee crisis and to other immigrants knocking on our doors: “…most of us were once foreigners…We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces…” The need to better balance human and financial interests was a constant theme.

·      Visit Mars and Venus in Leo oppose Sibly Moon in Aquarius; Visit Mars falls inconjunct Sibly Pluto in Capricorn. This potent, fiery Mars befits the strength and courage of the Pope’s message; Venus in Leo reflects the affection with which he delivered that message. The American people’s response (Sibly Moon) has been all over the place, as might be expected, but if Pope “bobble-head” sales are any indication (clearly we’re not getting his anti-consumerism message), many were impressed by his warmth and the aura of leadership he projected (Mars in Leo). The Leo-Capricorn inconjunct suggests the Pope’s speech rattled some cages on high—especially on Wall Street. He does, after all, promote adjustments to the capitalist system (Pluto), with the aim of making the economy more sustainable for all concerned—not an easy sell.

·      Visit Saturn in Sagittarius sextiles Visit Sun in Libra-Sibly MC and opposes Sibly Uranus in Gemini. Clearly, the timing of the Pope’s speech allowed him an amazing teaching (Saturn in Sagittarius-Uranus in Gemini) opportunity, and early comments suggest that the lessons are resonating with American public consciousness (MC). Scientific studies have failed to impress, but the Pope’s ethical spin (Sagittarius) on scientists’ warnings about climate change show signs of hitting home.

·      Visit Moon in Aquarius trines Sibly Uranus in Gemini; Visit Uranus in Aries opposes Sibly Saturn and square Sibly Sun. The Moon aspect fits the almost clinical, matter-of-fact style the Pope adopts in his speeches. With Uranus disposing this Moon, it’s clear that the Pope spoke with an authoritative voice and delivered a clear call to action that will perhaps set some action in motion during the months remaining of the current Uranus-Pluto square (Aries-Capricorn). This harsh cardinal square has promoted polarization and extremism, of course, and we can sense that with his critique of the arms trade and with many comments he made in his speech to the U.N., the Pope is frustrated with the inability of regional stakeholders to resolve Middle East crises and to avert the tremendous human suffering we’ve been seeing with the refugee crisis.

·      Visit Uranus in Aries conjoins Sibly Chiron and trines Visit Venus in Leo. Here we see that the Pope’s visit was clearly a call to action—action that works to heal the planet we have helped to wound and works to elevate our consciousness in regards to humanity and human relationships.

The Pope’s speech to the United Nations, delivered this morning, was an exhaustive deepening and broadening of the themes touched upon with Congress; however, there’s an inner consistency in both messages that speaks to the gravity and focus of this dedicated human being. Please feel free to add your observations on these charts and the amazing times we’re witnessing!

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former university English instructor. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, the astrology of generations, and in issues of public importance such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years. Raye can be contacted by comment here, or at: robertsonraye@gmail.com

© Raye Robertson 2015. All rights reserved. 

Papa Pancho comes to town

     On September 23, 2015, Pope Francis I (affectionately known as Papa Pancho) brought the core messages contained in his remarkable encyclical (Church teaching document), Laudato Sí, to a joint session of Congress—an unprecedented event hosted by Speaker of the House John Boehner (more about him to come!). Perhaps a gesture meant by Boehner to appease the GOP’s conservative base and justify a government shutdown over Planned Parenthood, the invitation offered the Pope a much broader teaching moment. He made the most of the opportunity to address Congress (as he put it to a standing ovation), “in the land of the free and the home of the brave.” His message was at once gracious, positive and hopeful, fatherly, critical and admonishing, and his call for moral leadership and responsibility towards humanity and the environment far exceeded the narrowly-defined conservative “family” agenda.

     Not surprisingly, both the Pope’s encyclical, his speech to Congress and his subsequent address to the United Nations on September 24th reflect the intellectual breadth and spiritual depths of the man we’ve come to know these past few days. Astrologers would argue they also reflect the power and substance of his birth chart, which is, thankfully, available at Astrodatabank.com, with enough documentation of his birth data to garner a Rodden AA rating (birth certificate/record in hand).  Let’s consider some highlights (see chart below):

·       6th house Sun at 25+ degree Sagittarius, conjunct North Node and opposed to Chiron. Clearly destined to serve others as a teacher, Pope Francis has a soaring intellect well-suited to the calling. He has taught many disciplines since he joined the Jesuits and began his own studies for the priesthood in 1958. Chiron’s opposition produces a deeply introspective nature and an intense wound to self and ego; the Pope’s humble, self-effacing persona is perhaps reflected here.

·       Cancer rises at the Ascendant, trine Saturn in Pisces and opposed by Jupiter-Mercury conjunct in Capricorn. The Pope radiates active pastoral energy with this cardinal Cancer Ascendant. His benevolence, however (most obvious when he interacts with children) is infused with both pragmatic and spiritual ideals (Capricorn-Pisces) that move him to actively serve others (6th house Jupiter, 7th house Mercury in Capricorn, both disposed by 9th house Pisces Saturn). As we’ve witnessed this week, he serves through his actions and by his demanding, spiritually-grounded message of compassion and responsibility.

·       The Moon (chart ruler) conjoins Venus in Aquarius and trines Mars in Libra. The Pope’s loving concern for humanity is certainly reflected here, and the trine to Mars reinforces his calls to action. His recurring focus on families as the backbone of societies can be seen in Mars’ 4th house placement. Even though he hews to the church’s conservative teachings about family and marriage, the more open-minded, less judgmental perspective he has taken publicly on divorce and homosexuality (saying, “who am I to judge?”) is perhaps reflected in his 9th house Uranus in Taurus disposing the Aquarius placements. This is especially notable as Venus squares and falls in mutual reception with this point. There is  “revolutionary” potential here, suggesting that women might still hope for change in the roles they are allowed to play in the Church under this Pope’s tenure.

·       Mercury-Jupiter in Capricorn trine Uranus in Taurus. Here we can see the strength of conviction that underlies the Pope’s courageous, but not always popular, views on social and economic justice and environmental challenges. Both his encyclical and his speeches to Congress and the U.N. expressed how interdependent he believes these issues are. The Pope captured this ideal in his speech to Congress by referring to the figure of Moses present in that chamber. The role Moses played with the Israelites certainly resonates with the Pope’s chart as well: Moses, he said, was both the ideal “patriarch and lawgiver” (Jupiter in Capricorn) and the bridge (Uranus trine) between God and the People that spoke to the “transcendent dignity of the human being” (the highest expression of these placements in Taurus-Capricorn). The urgency of caring for “our common home” by taking responsibility for the wellbeing of the planet is another constant theme in the Pope’s teaching—also not hard to see in these powerful earth-sign placements. Capricorn evokes both the regulatory and conservation impulses of Saturn; Taurus also preserves and celebrates the material dimension of life on this planet. Uranus here explains the Pope’s concern for putting technology “at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral.” This line was only one of several in his speech that were first seen in his encyclical.

·       Saturn in Pisces opposes Neptune in Virgo; both form a T-square with Chiron in Gemini. There’s a lot to unpack here, but the overall configuration evokes the deep sense of spiritual vocation the Pope embodies. It suggests a wound-driven need to make spiritual sense of material life, to take responsibility for the wisdom gained, and to communicate that wisdom for the sake of humanity. Even though many public figures and celebrities were born with Chiron in Gemini, this placement often represents a wound to our communication abilities (or at least the feeling that we’re not getting through to others); clearly the Pope has not allowed that to deter his efforts.

·       Chiron in Gemini trines Mars in Libra. This upbeat aspect points to the vibrant internal reserves of energy that power the Pope’s daily life and agenda and reflects his active concern for social justice. 

What do you see in Pope Francis' chart? More to come on the Pope's visit to Congress!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Trump the Magic Dragon

The more Trump's poll numbers defy gravity, the more lavish the adjectives used to capture the essence of Donald Trump and his appeal. He’s an “alpha male, tapping into our hunting DNA” says one; he has “comedic sense” with how he times his insults, says another; his language skills serve him well; he attacks naysayers with “visceral” ruthlessness; he’s playing “3D chess,” when his opponents haven’t even found the board, but he’s “sophomoric;” he’s an egomaniacal bully—not even an adolescent, but more fit for the “sandbox,” and so on. Reportedly, there’s even a new “study” springing up regarding this candidate’s enigma… you guessed it, “Trumpology!” 

Despite all of this, however, no one seems quite sure if—on the flip side of his blustering routine—there’s a serious presidential contender. How about a little Astro-“Trumpology?”

Trump’s birth data is Rodden rated AA (birth certificate in hand): June 14, 1946, 10:45 a.m., EDT, Jamaica, New York. The chart (using Tropical Equal houses and True Node) is shown below:

 A full-blown chart reading is beyond our scope here, but a few key highlights say a lot:

·         Gemini Sun conjunct Uranus, disposed by Mercury in Cancer. This combination speaks to Trump’s prodigious language “skills,” and they are skills of a sort, as he can deploy them when needed to achieve a purpose. As ruler of his Sun, his Cancer Mercury supports the defensive “pre-emptive strike” mode Trump adopts when challenged: he knows instinctively (Cancer/Moon) what his audiences want to hear and he delivers. Why they want to hear what he delivers is another story, entirely.

·         Sun -Node-Uranus stellium elevated in the 10th house; the entire stellium falls trine Jupiter in Libra. These amazing energies capture the conundrum Trump poses to our times: is it possible to be the grandest blowhard out there, and still work for the wellbeing of our society instead of against it? Possible, but oh, the pitfalls. With his Node sandwiched between this whopper Sun-Uranus, it’s not surprising Trump feels entitled to be head honcho on the world stage, and that he expects people to just trust he will “know” (Uranus = “eureka” insights) what to do about all issues when the time comes. With this stellium trine 2nd house Jupiter in Libra, it's possible Trump’s simplistic “build a wall” answer for everything sounds fair and just to people who are simply tired of everything being so complicated.

·         Full Moon type – 4th house Moon opposes Sun from Sagittarius, trines Mars at the Leo Ascendant. All this fiery energy supports Trump’s inflated (Jupiter rules his Moon) sense of entitlement. With his Ascendant at the critical 29th degree of Leo, he has all the finesse of a fire-breathing dragon, but with Leo rising and a 10th house Sun, he’s the boss, so get with it, or you’re fired!

·         12th house Mars in Leo conjunct 29th degree Leo Ascendant and square Taurus MC. We can certainly see the “bully” potential of this configuration because this Mars plays hardball and will not be denied his day in the Sun. “Might is right,” with this energy—whether financial, verbal or military might. Mars square the MC suggests a challenge with anger management, but this is hardly a problem: Leo knows anger has its uses and deploys it strategically in the service of destiny (MC).

·         Taurus MC disposed by 11th house Venus in Cancer; Venus and Saturn conjunct in late Cancer and inconjunct the Moon. This array certainly fits Trump’s tendencies to dig his heels in (no apologies needed) and launch his hair-trigger defenses at the slightest affront. A Taurus MC clearly wants to be accepted (read “a winner”) and noticed (witness the Trump Towers built all over the country). Hence, his instinctive (Cancer/Moon) attacks on the looks and prowess of others (critics are all “losers”) and a defensive rhetorical style (Cancer Mercury). Interestingly, a Taurus MC is perfect for a builder, and his Cancer Venus/Saturn are great complements, for building the ultimate secure homeland. It’s no mystery why “walls” solve so many problems for this builder.

·         Mercury square Neptune in Libra. Never underestimate the power of denial and obfuscation. Trump’s telling retort when challenged for his brutal name-slinging—“Why should I apologize if I’m not wrong?”—speaks perfectly to Mercury and Neptune’s “Mad Hatter” subjectivity. Whether we would be well-advised to elect Trump as negotiator-in-chief or not (Rand Paul’s concern, expressed in the 2nd debate), yes Trump probably could negotiate with Putin—another master of denial and obfuscation (Mercury conjunct Neptune!). Trump claims he would probably get along with Putin, which makes sense here, as long as they don’t trip over each other’s illusions!

·         Pluto in Leo in the 12th. Trump’s Pluto is not only hidden away in the inscrutable 12th, but it also forms no major aspects, which makes it even more compelling. With a Cancer cusp, Pluto in Leo here guards the ego survival needs of the Sun (ruling Leo) like the mythical dragon guards his treasure. A deep-rooted survival anxiety and need to live forever—in some concrete form—dominates this house. Mars on the Ascendant could have added fuel to this anxiety at birth; let’s leave that for therapists to ponder.

So, what are the odds that Trump is a serious presidential contender for 2016? Based on what we’ve seen in his chart, I’d say a Trump nomination is not as inconceivable as the outraged pundits might wish. His chart and the U.S. Sibly chart (one of the nation’s recognized founding charts) connect in several telling ways, in fact. A quick review follows (see Chart below):

·         Trump’s Mercury conjoins  Sibly Venus-Jupiter-Sun. Since Trump’s Mercury also disposes his Gemini Sun-Node-Uranus, this configuration ties his personal agenda and destiny into the nation’s financial workings pretty nicely.

·         Trump’s Venus-Saturn in Cancer conjoin Sibly Mercury and oppose Sibly Pluto in Capricorn. Trump crows about his billions every chance he gets (2nd house Jupiter and Neptune chime in here, too). Whereas lesser mortals couldn’t get by with strutting around the barnyard like Trump does, a lot of his supporters would like the U.S. (and its president) to do more strutting on the world stage, so the exercise serves him well, despite the mock media outrage.  

·         Trump’s Sun-Node-Uranus opposition to his Moon forms a t-square with Sibly Mars in Gemini, square Neptune in Virgo. Trump’s passionate (full Moon) quest to restore “American greatness” through military (Mars) means may be more than bluster, seeing how his chart taps into the nation’s delusion-prone Mars-Neptune square so tightly. U.S. Fossil fuel (see Neptune connections below) and Defense industries will be humming again—ah, the return to “greatness.” Unfortunately, Mars-Neptune also assures that we have repeated national memory lapses: We seem to forget that we didn’t become “great” again in Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan, and Iran would be just more of the same, only worse. Better to have an alligator-wrestling contest with Putin and call it a day.  Nevertheless, the worn-out “return to greatness” war cry garners votes, and with Sibly Mercury (opposing Pluto in Capricorn) disposing Gemini Mars, Wall Street has the champagne bottles cooling as we speak.

·         Trump’s Jupiter and Chiron in Libra conjoin Sibly Saturn and square Sibly Sun. This configuration points to a dilemma regarding Trump’s values and intentions: is he seeking the presidency because he deeply values such service (2nd house Chiron), or would the presidency feel more like a desirable acquisition to him (2nd house Jupiter)? Either way, the “checks and balances” built into the federal government would likely feel too rigid and confining to Donald Trump, Executive-in-Chief.  Congress and the Supreme Court (Sibly Saturn) might not be amused. Considering the “magical” connections his Jupiter enjoys (conjunct Chiron, trine Sun-Node-Uranus), however, capturing the presidency—on his own terms—is not as outlandish as it may seem.

Finally, a quick takeaway:  the astrology seems to suggest that with Trump, our electoral process is being redefined as we speak—heavy on the entertainment value; light on political substance—politics as “reality TV.” Sound bites and tweets, packaged for mobile consumption, and no holds barred—the dignity of public service rendered a quaint throwback. Just a few election cycles ago, then-Democratic nomination seeker Howard Dean was shut down overnight for simply howling with enthusiasm at the podium. It seems today, with the stakes higher than ever, that U.S. politics has devolved into an alligator wrestling match.  How this will help the U.S. regain its “greatness” on the world stage is another story. Stay tuned….it’s going to be a wild ride!

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former university English instructor. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, the astrology of generations, and in issues of public importance such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years. Raye can be contacted by comment here, or at: robertsonraye@gmail.com.

© Raye Robertson 2015. All rights reserved. 

Tilting away...

By way of introduction...

These are certainly crazy times for mundane astrologers--too much happening too quickly to digest, much less to write about in any depth! As always, though, some stories rise to the top of the heap and loudly broadcast the astrological dynamics of our times, which makes them great subjects for mundane analysis. These stories and the events they report are more than "trending"--they are redefining our life on this planet as we speak! While I love the efficiency of a good tweet that offers a ripping commentary in a handful of characters, sometimes a topic is worth a few more words and some in-depth consideration. That's my intent for this "diary" (probably a misnomer...there's no way this will be a daily affair!) -- to offer a quick, but thorough astrological look at the burning issues of the day and to invite your comments and thoughts. Agree or disagree with me, I welcome your polite, insightful comments. 

Tilting at windmills...

 Don Quixote (El Ingenioso Hidalgo de La Mancha) has made quite a comback in our cultural consciousness these days: the latest spin on The Man of La Mancha is thriving on Broadway and a new analysis of this endearing dreamer of "impossible dreams" is also coming out as we speak. The irony of this comeback is, of course, its timing, while the world is awash in toxic idealism and its consequences. Most dramatically, millions are on the move from the Middle East, Africa and Turkey to Europe and beyond, desperately seeking refuge from the tragic situations roiling their homelands. Extremism of all types represents an attempt to use idealism for less than ideal purposes. Suffice to say, Uranus and Pluto have certainly been having their Cardinal heyday, breaking down social structures and leaving chaos in their wake. As we'll see, Neptune is feeling its oats as well.

It seems to me that a major theme today is the confused line between idealism and the quest for power. Between delusion and righteousness. A situation closer to home kind of says it all: Is Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis a latter-day Quixote (or more likely, a “Christ” figure) for sitting in jail in contempt of the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage? Wikipedia reports a birth date of September 17, 1965 in Morehead, KY (see Chart), and a few key highlights of her noon chart (no birth time available) seem to reflect the media stories pretty well. See the chart below.

For starters, Davis has a potent 29th degree Jupiter in Gemini, which squares her 24° Virgo Sun and is disposed by her 16° Virgo Mercury. Mercury falls between and is squeaky close to both Pluto and Uranus (a remarkably tight stellium). The controversy over removing her “name” from marriage licenses issued by the Clerk’s office is clearly seen here: Putting her “hand” (Mercury) to those certificates is, in her mind (Sun), intimately tied in to her faith (Jupiter) and to her ideological concept of purity (Jupiter in Gemini-Mercury in Virgo).  The Moon's position is unconfirmed (no birth time), but the noon chart suggests that her Moon is probably in Gemini also, quite possibly within orb of a square to her Virgo stellium. Words and emotions are fused even more tightly into a compelling ideological mix.

In Davis's words, the issue of sanctioning a gay marriage is a “heaven or hell” decision; with her tight Mercury-Pluto-Uranus conjunction in perfection-minded Virgo (Hades/Pluto’s abduction of the virgin Persephone comes to mind), this unwillingness to follow the law because of her beliefs is not hard to see. There is also, of course, the very real question of power at stake—and the delusions that often accompany power.

Davis’ tough Virgo stellium leaps off the page when we see that it opposes her Saturn (12° Pisces) and Chiron (20° Pisces). Together, this speaks to both power and delusion—in this case, manifesting as a weighty feeling of Saturnian responsibility and an internalized, wounded “Christ” figure. Saturn’s debility in Pisces clouds her sense of public responsibility, leaving her open to Neptune’s capacity for delusion. Chiron placed in Neptune’s domain can instill a deep-seated fear of being forsaken by God (or the “government” by default) and a taste for martyrdom. One person’s delusions of “speaking for God” are another person’s deeply held convictions, of course, but with Mercury as the filling in her Uranus-Pluto “sandwich,” all opposed by this painful Saturn-Chiron-Neptune mix, it’s not surprising that Davis is fully convinced of her beliefs/delusions; she feels them in her very core.

Neptune in Scorpio disposes the Pisces mix, all the while wearing a rather intense frown (similar to Davis's booking photo), probably from rubbing elbows with Mars (tightly conjunct) and its co-dispositor Pluto (by tight sextile). The Mercury-Uranus addition to that sextile suggests that Davis relishes what she sees as a fated “teaching” (Virgo-Scorpio) opportunity on the issue of gay marriage. All of this mutable/fixed energy, anchored by the “big guy” Jupiter in Gemini assures that Davis’s zealotry spins a truly coherent universe in her mind—one in which she feels absolutely entitled to preach and rule. The problem for the larger society arises when she projects (consciously or unconsciously, same difference) her perceived absolute authority on to the affairs of her public office.

Viewed astrologically, the psychology driving her quest seems equally stark. She won’t be the first or the last to cloak rage, defensiveness and self-righteousness—especially as inspired by Neptune, Mars and Pluto—in the aura of religious belief and the will to “martyrdom” (imprisonment). Her Scorpio grouping (Venus, Mars and Neptune) and its chart interconnections suggest that sexuality is an exceedingly intense subject for her. Scorpio energy can feel threatening enough; better to be on the defense. Suffice to say, it’s not surprising she feels at home in a dogmatic Christian sect that rejects the full range of human sexuality options. Her out-of-sign Venus-Jupiter trine assures this issue will loom large in her mind and emotions.

Under Davis’s administration, her Office became an ideological fiefdom in which she could project any discomfort she may have in regards to sexuality, framing it all as a quest for “religious freedom.” Predictably, she’s garnering the media attention (Mercury-Uranus) to do so. The politicians who quickly aligned themselves with her have calculated the wedge-issue potential for this “quest” and they like what they see. What better way to distract voters from the harder, less emotional issues of the day?

By claiming to speak for God, Davis is also tapping into the priestly power Pluto and Neptune offer in her Virgo-Scorpio sextile, and she appears eager to take her message into their collective domain. In the process, the fragile line between religion and government is erased even further. With Saturn in Pisces trine her Mars-Neptune and disposed by her Neptune and ideologically-charged Jupiter in Gemini, she probably won’t be silenced any time soon.

This same constellation of energy has served Davis's political ambitions well to date (running for office as a Democrat, amazingly); it'll be no surprise if she becomes the new standard bearer for Bible-Belt fury this coming election cycle. “Tilting at windmills” takes many forms.

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former university English instructor. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, the astrology of generations, and in issues of public importance such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years. Raye can be contacted by comment here, or at: robertsonraye@gmail.com.

© Raye Robertson 2015. All rights reserved.