Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Cosmic Do-Si-Do: Retrograde transits, Super Tuesday and the July Nominating Conventions

This could get real messy, of course, which shouldn’t surprise us, with the wild astrological “Square Dance” we’re saddled to these days. Well, the dance is about to get even more interesting...

As promised in the last post, it’s time to take a closer look at the so-called “establishment” candidates and their likelihood of overcoming the “insurgents,” Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Several pundits seem to feel that both July nominating conventions—beginning July 18th in Cleveland for the Republicans, July 25th in Philadelphia for the Democrats—may end up being brokered—“a sanitized term for describing the hard-nosed horse-trading carried on by the party bosses.” 

Technically, any convention that requires more than one ballot to nominate the party’s nominee is brokered, and although it rarely happens in this age of state primaries, caucuses and early delegate commitments, it’s still quite possible. “Party bosses” are a thing of the past, as well, which means this year’s conventions could be “winging it.”

This could get real messy, of course, which shouldn’t surprise us, with the wild astrological “Square Dance” we’re saddled to these days. Well, the dance is about to get even more interesting, as first Saturn (on March 25), and then Mars (on April 17) will pivot and join Jupiter in a few months of backward motion. Their comings and goings are detailed in the Table below, along with the major aspects each major candidate’s chart forms with the various milestones. Perhaps by examining how these charts interact, we will get a better read of the likely dynamics each candidate will carry into the July conventions.

Interestingly, both Jupiter and Mars turn direct before the July conventions, but Saturn holds out until August 13—after the conventions. Political conventions have become fairly predictable and ceremonial—the results pre-determined on day one. Historically, however, some of our less predictable election years have featured Saturn retrograde just before or during the conventions. For instance, the last brokered Democratic convention was in 1952, when Adlai Stevenson was nominated—on a third ballot—to run against Republican war hero Dwight D. Eisenhower. There were no retrograde planets in July, 1952, but Mars, Saturn and Neptune had turned direct just that June.

And a do-si-do... 
Like the planets that July, the Democratic party was playing catch-up that convention—starting out with one candidate and deciding to switch to Stevenson (who hadn’t even been running) in mid-convention. This sounds like the retrograde “do-si-do” to me.  Importantly, Stevenson didn’t win that year—we have to look back to 1932 and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s nomination for the last successful brokered nominee. Both Saturn and Venus were retrograde for the June 1932 Democratic convention, with Venus turning direct in July and Saturn turning direct in early October. So let’s consider what’s happening this year.

Retrogrades keep rollin' into primaries
As the Table below displays, Jupiter turned retrograde on Jan. 7 at 23°+Virgo. Despite that transit hitting his 12th house on Feb. 1, Ted Cruz won the Iowa Caucus over Donald Trump on the GOP side; Cruz’s positive aspects included a wide Jupiter conjunction with his Pluto, a sextile with his Scorpio Jupiter and a trine with his Taurus Saturn. Neptune formed a transiting grand trine with Cruz’s MC (Cancer) and Mars-Venus (Scorpio)—a long-term transit still in force—making Cruz’s win feel more like a “sweep” than a modest 3.3% win. This was a good feeling in the coveted Iowa caucus, but the Saturn-Neptune square (also long term) is preventing him from gaining traction.

Election 2016 Candidate aspects to Mars, Jupiter & Saturn retrograde/direct transits
Jupiter Rx -23+Vir
Jan. 7
Saturn Rx – 16+Sag
Mar. 25
Mars Rx – 8+Sag
Apr. 17
Jupiter Direct 13+Vir
May 10
Mars Direct  23+Sco
June 29
Saturn Direct – 9+Sag
Aug. 13

11th; 60-Me; 90-Ur; 120-No; 180-Mo
1st; 120-Ma-Pl; 90-Mo
1st; 90-MC; 0-Ju (wide)
10th; 30-Pl-Ma-Ne; 60-Ve
1st; 0-AS-Me; 120-Mo; 150-Ur
1st; 60-Ne; 90-MC; 120-Ma-Pl
12th; 60-Ju; 180-No
3rd; 60-Ur-Mo; 150-Sa
3rd; 60-As; 150-MC
12th; 30-Ura-Mo; 60-Ma; 120-Sa-Me
2nd; 0-Ve-Ju; 90-No; 180-Sa (both wide)
3rd; 60-Ur-Mo; 150-MC

2nd; 0-Pl;
4th; 60-Ma; 150-Ve-Me-MC
4th; 0-Ju-Ne wide); 60-Ma; 180-Su
1st; 120-Ve-Me-MC
4th; 0-Ju-Ne (wide); 60-Pl; 120-Mo; 180-Sa;
4th; 0-Ju-Ne (wide); 60-Ma, Ur; 150-Ve-Me-MC; 180-Su

10th; 0-No-Nep; 90-Ju; 120-Sa; 150-Ma
1st; 90-Su-No; 120-Ma; 180-Ju
1st; 90-MC-Su (wide); 120-Pl; 180-Ur (wide);
10th; 0-Su-MC
12th; 0-AS; 60-No-Ne; 150-Ma; 180-Sa
1st; 90-Su-MC; 120-Pl

1st; 60-Sa-Ve; 90-Su-No-Ur-Mo; 120-MC
4th; 0-Mo; 60-Ju; 120-Pl; 180- Su-No-Ur;
4th; 120-Pl; 150-Me
1st; 90-Ur
3rd; 90-As-Ma; 120-Sa-Ve; 150-Su
4th; 120-Pl; 60-Ju/Ne

Trump took his modest drubbing in Iowa as expected, with Jupiter Rx transiting his 1st house of ego and identity—he lashed out defensively and offensively, stepping up the rhetoric to make sure the “loser” label would stick to others, not him. Retrogrades often inspire this Janusian (looking both ways at once) response.  Interestingly, his natal Jupiter is also retrograde, although it went direct by progression by his 1st birthday.

On the Democratic side, Jupiter was transiting Hillary Clinton’s 10th house on February 1, opposite her Pisces Moon, trine her Node and square her Uranus in Gemini—perhaps explaining her whisker-thin .3% win over Bernie Sanders. Sanders rightly points to Iowa as a victory, however—he was not expected to challenge Clinton so seriously; Jupiter Rx was also transiting his 10th house, but conjunct his Node-Neptune (deferring the win, but allowing the dream to live on), trine his Taurus Saturn and inconjunct his Aries Mars. In the realm of downplayed expectations, he gained momentum by losing—it’s hard to ask for more from a retrograde!

Fast forward to Super Tuesday…
Tuesday, March 1 will see primary races in 12 states and the U.S. territory of American Samoa. Jupiter remains the only retrograde planet until March 25, when Saturn does an about face at 16°+Sagittarius. Interestingly, only the New York primary election on April 19 remains after that, and two planets will be retrograde at that point, with Mars having joined the Rx dance on April 17 at 8°+Sagittarius. It makes sense that this April timeframe may be a turning point for the overall race, but let’s get through Super Tuesday, first. Texas is considered most critical for the Cruz campaign, since losing a home state usually puts a candidate out of the race, so let’s start there:

Biwheel: (inner chart) Ted Cruz; (outer chart) Super Tuesday (7 a.m., Austin, TX)
Super Tuesday (ST) Sun conjoins Asc and Neptune (Pisces); these Pisces points square ST Saturn (Sagittarius); . Saturn-Neptune squares often manifest in extreme ways since the impulse is to overcome limits or “build the dream.” Cruz is considered a s extreme conservative in Republican circles, appealing even to Libertarian-leaning voters, but in sharing the Republican stage with Donald Trump, his platform has seemed to lose focus and force—undermined by not only Jupiter Rx, but more importantly, by the Saturn-Neptune square.

ST Neptune-Asc-Sun trine Cruz MC (Cancer) and Mars-Venus (Scorpio). This transiting grand trine (discussed above) should net him some “favorite-son” love from voters and some success (MC) asserting the Christian “values” he serves (2nd house natal Venus-Mars trine Pisces transit of his 6th house), but leveraging this trine into an actual win that day may be a tall order. The ongoing Saturn-Neptune square spans Cruz’s 3rd and 6th houses—not the strongest houses, ruled by Jupiter (Rx) and Neptune. This said, Cruz’s campaign counts heavily on the Evangelical vote, and the Neptunian energies may help there, but his campaign is vulnerable to Donald Trump, who’s proven quite capable of stealing Cruz’s thunder with his own slippery Neptunian tactics.

Interchart T-square: ST Pluto squares ST Uranus opposition to Cruz Uranus-Moon (Libra). Cruz’s political career has benefitted from the long Uranus-Pluto square transit, but falling over his 4th-7th house, it hasn’t made him many friends in powerful places (especially when he tried to shut down the government over the debt ceiling). Cruz’s Moon-Uranus conjunction projects a rather dogmatic personality from the 1st house, and dogmatism feels disruptive to people these days (Uranus transiting 7th). Those who work well with mutable energies have the edge this year, and Cruz does not appear to be that candidate. He is a formidable debater (improvises well), but his policy positions are entrenched and unmovable.

Biwheel: (inner chart) Hillary Clinton; (outer chart) Super Tuesday in Minnesota (7 a.m., Minneapolis)
Clinton’s challenge on Super Tuesday is to capture more of the progressive liberal vote than Sanders does, perhaps making Minnesota a representative battleground, for its traditional progressivism. Let’s see what that landscape looks like for her:

ST Saturn (Sagittarius) trines Clinton Mars-Pluto-Saturn (Leo); ST Neptune (square Saturn) opposes Clinton MC (Virgo). Saturn’s transiting aspect activates Clinton’s potent Leo planets, giving her the fixed determination to methodically work out the personal challenges (legal/ethical, Sag Saturn in her 1st) that Republicans hope will be her Achilles heel. Even so, her Super Tuesday may not suffer too badly from it. She is vulnerable to Saturn’s retrograde here—Saturn will be backing off from these planets as the election progresses, perhaps opening up possibilities for those legal challenges and for Sanders, especially in the late primary states. By election day, however, Saturn will have turned direct (August 13) and returned to mid-Sagittarius, so we can’t count her out over this.

ST Jupiter (Rx)-Node in Virgo opposes Clinton Moon (Pisces) and sextiles Clinton Asc-Mercury-Venus (Scorpio). ST Jupiter squares ST Saturn. The legal scrutiny her career is receiving (Jupiter square Saturn over her 10th-1st houses) by the FBI has a bruising effect on Clinton (Chiron is also transiting her Moon), but it’s nothing she hasn’t handled before. The sextile to her Scorpio stellium holds open a door of opportunity for her at this point, but the retrograde and the square may temper her success on Super Tuesday. In May, when Jupiter turns direct at 13°+Virgo, Saturn remains retrograde, suggesting legal action may still be pending; when both points are direct in August, there should be a resolution of some kind. By that time we’ll know if she’s the nominee (July convention).   

On to Cleveland…
If Donald Trump does well on Super Tuesday, the delegate count suggests that he will be the Republican nominee in July, but the GOP organization would prefer not, so the big question is—can they somehow engineer a nomination for their preferred candidate, Marco Rubio? Let’s examine his biwheel for July 18th in Cleveland:

Biwheel: (inner chart) Marco Rubio; (outer chart) 2016 GOP Convention opens (July 18, 2016, 7:00 a.m., Cleveland, OH). *Note: this is based on a noon chart for the candidate—no birth time available. His natal Moon would range between 22°+Cancer-5°+Leo.

GOP Sun-Asc-Venus-Mercury may conjoin Rubio Moon (see *note above) and GOP Sun sextiles Rubio Saturn; GOP Uranus is inconjunct Rubio Pluto and possibly square Rubio Moon. This configuration suggests there will be an opportunity (sextile) for Rubio to be nominated, but he has an uphill slog to power (inconjunct) that may or may not be helped by any GOP Uranus aspects.

GOP Pluto (Capricorn) squares Rubio Uranus (Libra); GOP Uranus (Aries) squares Rubio Moon. Pluto transiting his 5th house of personal power could help Rubio leverage that inconjunct mentioned above, however the square to his 2nd house Uranus in Libra suggests he’s not quite on the right side of history with his values and policies—Uranus in Aries is the prevailing revolutionary theme. The Uranus-in-Libra generation will definitely have their turn at the helm, but this may not be the moment, especially with transiting Uranus square Rubio’s Moon.

GOP Saturn (Rx-Sagittarius) squares GOP Neptune (Rx-Pisces); GOP Saturn sextiles Rubio Uranus and is inconjunct Rubio Venus-Mercury (Taurus). We can’t say which natal houses are being impacted here for Rubio (noon chart), but we can see that his nice Jupiter-Neptune conjunction (Sagittarius) doesn’t really profit as much as the Party might like from this transit. On August 13, Saturn will turn direct in close sextile to Rubio’s Uranus, offering an opportunity for progress, but will it be strong enough?

As the convention progresses, the Sun will form a dissociative trine with his Jupiter-Neptune, but this uneasy aspect may not hit the mark, either. The difficulty Rubio has with focusing his message and making it stick (GOP Saturn inconjunct his Mercury-Venus) is written all over this chart. Neptune’s transiting sextile with his Mercury-Venus could appeal to some—he is likely to give a stirring convention speech—but Neptune may only further confuse Rubio’s stance on issues like immigration, making him an easy target for Trump.

GOP Sun trines GOP Mars (Scorpio); this Mars conjoins Rubio Jupiter-Neptune, sextiles Rubio Pluto and opposes Rubio Saturn (Taurus). This fixed sign Mars may help Rubio focus his message against the odds discussed above, and should also open the door to fund-raising (sextile to Pluto). GOP Sun also sextiles Rubio’s Pluto, further supporting such fund-raising, however it remains to be seen whether dollars will decide the nomination battle—Trump has financial weight of his own to throw around. Rubio’s earthy Saturn-Pluto trine may be his “ace-in-the-hole” yet, but a lot will depend upon how he employs that GOP Mars opposition.  

So, does Trump prevail in Cleveland?
I’ve covered Trump exhaustively in prior posts, so I’ll add just a few observations about the Convention here. For starters, the Convention is not likely to be friendly territory for Trump, despite endorsements from the likes of Gov. Chris Christie. Trump will not control the narrative and setting as thoroughly as he likes to, and it’s more than likely the theme will be chosen to highlight Rubio’s conventional politics over Trump’s “sideshow antics.”  

That said, the Party knows that Trump’s loyalty to them is sketchy, at best, and that there is a very real possibility Trump will launch a third-party run if he doesn’t get the GOP nomination (the agreement he made early on with the Party not to do this, notwithstanding). That disruptive prospect gives Trump important leverage that Rubio may not be able to overcome, especially since the Party organization won’t know at that point which Democrat will be running. Yes, a brokered convention is a very real prospect—the Sun is squared by disruptive Uranus and trined by Mars in Scorpio (direct since June 29) as the Convention opens, and the energies that day play to Trump’s strengths:

Biwheel: (inner chart) Donald Trump; (outer chart) GOP Convention
GOP Sun conjoins and GOP Uranus squares Trump Venus-Saturn (Cancer); GOP Mars trines Trump Venus-Saturn, squares Trump Mars and opposes Trump MC. Trump could score an outright “coup” (Uranus square), or the Uranian shock could reflect his decision to run on a 3rd party ticket. The Mars-Mars square (a t-square if his MC is factored in) also suggests the 3rd party move is a real possibility—he’s likely to feel the Party doesn’t appreciate his contributions.

GOP Jupiter (now direct) forms a t-square with Trump’s Gemini-Sagittarius points. I’ve discussed this complex at length in the last post about the Michigan primary election—please see that for details. Suffice to say here, Jupiter turning direct in his 1st house will only encourage Trump’s ambitions.

GOP Asc-Venus-Mercury (Leo) conjoin Trump Pluto (Leo) and trine GOP Saturn (Rx); GOP Neptune falls inconjunct Trump Pluto. With transiting Saturn Rx-Neptune in his angular houses (4th-7th), Trump will continue being able to “manage” these mutable energies to some advantage—certainly, continuing his knack for “simulated intimacy” with his followers. Transiting Saturn (Rx) is also trine his Pluto, suggesting money will not be a problem, especially once Saturn goes direct in August. Whether he stays with the GOP or not, there is bound to be tension and acrimony at the Convention—Trump may emerge a winner in his own mind, but he’s not likely to get everything he wants.  

Stay tuned…on to Philadelphia’s Democratic Convention in the next post!

 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, 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. Raye can be contacted by comment here, or at: 

© Raye Robertson 2016. All rights reserved. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Cosmic Threads: Einstein’s Black Holes “Chirp,” Pope meets Patriarch & Justice Scalia exits Stage Right

The Cosmos really outdid itself this past week, spinning a web of synchronous Events, writ large. As the title here suggests, in the space of three days, we learned of three world-shaking developments—a breathtaking scientific discovery, a long-overdue convergence of East and West, and last, but certainly not least, a dramatic exit on the part of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. With the benefit of a few days’ hindsight, it seems to me that this week will be remembered for some time to come—not just for what happened, but for the astrological dynamics in play. Let’s briefly consider each event and then examine highlights from each chart.

The “Chirp heard ‘round the universe”
 On Febuary 11th, scientists collaborating with LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) and the Virgo Interferometer announced the “first observation of gravitational waves”—what the news has since called the “Chirp heard ‘round the Universe.” According to the announcement, this signal (named GW150914) was formed by two inspiraling black holes colliding and merging. Not only was this a magnificent discovery on its own scientific merits, but the fact that it confirms Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity—presented in November 1915—is simply mind-blowing.

East meets West
This incredible week only picked up momentum from there: if two black holes can meet up and issue a “statement,” then why can’t two Earth-bound religious leaders do the same? Just such a meeting transpired on February 12—two years in the planning (and secret until the week prior)—as Pope Francis I of the Roman Catholic Church and Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, embraced and sat down together in an airport VIP lounge in Havana, Cuba. The Pope, of course, meets with hundreds of dignitaries in a year, but this meeting was long overdue—from about 1054 AD—when the so-called Great Schism split what then constituted Christianity into Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic persuasions. In Havana, the church leaders signed and issued a joint declaration expressing solidarity and a call to end the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and Africa.

Cue upstage…
Then, right on cue to upstage both of the above history-making events, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found deceased the morning of the 13th in a south Texas hunting lodge suite, of apparent natural causes. Leaving a super sensitive, conservative void on the Court, Scalia’s death triggered a political drama befitting this Grand Opera-loving Justice—much more to come, undoubtedly. Colliding black holes and embracing religious leaders have nothing on this scene: fervent choruses on the Right shrieking “No! No! No!…Obama will not name the new justice!...on the Left, molto vivace voices counter, “Yes! Yes! Yes! He will! All we need to complete the drama is Bugs Bunny conducting the orchestra.

What is the sound of two political black holes colliding, we might wonder? Judging by the charts for the above events, it must sound a lot like Saturn and Neptune squaring off, and Saturn-Uranus trining—all against the backdrop of the Uranus-Pluto square and a waning Saturn-Pluto cycle. A bar or two of the “Anvil Chorus,” perhaps? In fact, just by virtue of their close timing, all three events express siimilarly dramatic outer planetary dynamics. Just when you think the story of these cycles is getting old, the Cosmos hammers that anvil all over again, sparking unimagined possibilities.  

“Gravitational Wave detected” chart
First a quick caveat before we consider chart highlights. Even though the imagery provided by Saturn-square-Neptune makes February 12 the perfect, symbolic day for the LIGO announcement—i.e., Saturn = Gravity; Neptune = Waves—I’ve cast the chart for the published moment the “chirp” was first heard in September 2015 at the LIGO observatory in Livingston, Louisiana. Saturn and Neptune were quite prominent then, as well, although still applying to their square.

4th house angular Saturn is at powerful 29°+Scorpio, square 12th house Mars- Ascendant (Leo) and applying to a wide square with 7th house Neptune (Pisces). In its role as the ruler of gravitational force and the space-time dimensions thereof, Saturn is truly the “heavy” here, pulling all eyes to the bottom of the chart. The 29th degree of any sign packs a punch—in Scorpio, even more so. With Pluto disposing Scorpio, the power of Saturn’s placement is magnified and radiated throughout the chart via Pluto’s square with Uranus—reflecting the technology involved in this magnificent scientific moment. In fact, Uranus’ role in the 8th house of this chart deserves closer attention.

Uranus in Aries trines 12th house Venus-Mars-Ascendant in Leo; Uranus opposes Mercury (Libra); Uranus-Pluto (Capricorn) square is in force. What a beautiful expression of Uranus’ role in this discovery—by trine, opening a door (Ascendant) to one of the mysteries (8th house) of the Universe and revealing its hidden treasures (12th house Venus) and potential for further activity (Mars). By dispositor connections, we ping from Mars in Leo to Sun in Virgo to Mercury in Libra, which is situated opposite Uranus—all of which reflects the nature of this fortunate, technologically-enabled “signal detection” event. Such an active network also suggests a strong potential for future communication and learning.  

1st house Jupiter in Virgo opposes Neptune and trines 5th house Pluto in Capricorn. 1st house Sun in Virgo opposes 7th house Chiron in Pisces. My thanks to Theodore White for pointing out the serendipitous Jupiter placement here. The discovery was made by a collaboration between LIGO and the Virgo inferometer in Pisa, Italy, so Jupiter in Virgo couldn’t be a better fit, bolstering our dreams of more deeply understanding (Jupiter-Neptune) the universe. The academic prestige (and possibly financial) advantage bestowed by this discovery should be considerable, with Jupiter trine Pluto. Sun opposite Chiron suggests that, as with everything, this power could be leveraged for both light and dark purposes.

As noted above, this momentous “Chirp” also confirmed Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity, presented in Berlin, Germany just over one hundred years ago, on November 15, 1915. Uranus and Jupiter were both strong in that chart, suggesting a fortuitous scientific discovery of universal importance, with Uranus in Aquarius, Jupiter in Pisces. Jupiter fell trine Saturn (Pisces-Cancer) and Neptune opposed Einstein’s Aquarius Node. Not surprisingly, the LIGO chart is deeply connected to both Einstein’s natal and the Relativity charts. Kudos to all involved!

Pope Francis I & Patriarch Kirill (ROC) meet in Havana to issue Joint Declaration. Based on the approximate time mentioned in the link provided, I’ve cast the chart for February 12, 2 p.m. in Havana, Cuba.

Mutable T-Square: Jupiter-Node in Virgo oppose Chiron-MC in Pisces and square Saturn in Sagittarius. This beautiful configuration certainly expresses the spirit of this historical meeting: Religious “servants” (Jupiter-Node in Virgo) meet to express a spiritual goal (MC) of healing divisions (Saturn disposed by Jupiter) and opposing persecution (Chiron).

Moon conjoins Uranus in Aries and together square Mercury-Venus-Pluto in Capricorn; Moon-Uranus trine Saturn. The radical compassion (Uranus-Moon) represented by the leaders’ actions gains power (Pluto disposed by Saturn), enhanced by the media distribution of the story (the Mercury-Uranus square is wide, but strengthened by the stellium). As co-rulers of Aquarius, the Saturn-Uranus trine adds supports for the cooperative, collective intent of the groundbreaking declaration that resulted from this meeting.

Yod: Uranus-Moon inconjunct both Mars in Scorpio and Jupiter in Virgo (which are sextile each other); Jupiter trines, while Mars sextiles Venus-Pluto; Pluto disposes Mars; Mars squares Sun in Aquarius. Seriously frustrating power considerations are at stake in the declaration issued by the two leaders, befitting the war-torn, no-win situations in which the current persecution against Christians is happening. The Mars-Jupiter sextile suggests the leaders seized an opportune moment to energize awareness of these issues. Strong sextiles between Jupiter and Mars, and between Mars and Pluto-Venus support the Pope’s consistent agenda of linking war, persecution and other injustices to poverty and exploited resources.

Transcending (Neptune) deeply entrenched divisions (Saturn) for the sake of larger, humanitarian needs seems to be the major take-away from the Pope’s meeting with the Patriarch; how these leaders will apply the powerful energies of that meeting towards closer Catholic-Orthodox relations remains to be seen. The Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union both crumbled under a Saturn-Neptune conjunction—why not East-West divisions?!

Biwheel: (inner) Justice Antonin Scalia birth; (outer) Justice Scalia found deceased in Shafter, Texas lodge (cast for time reported in the news). Perhaps the most dramatic chart of the trio is this biwheel between Scalia’s natal chart and his death announcement. No time of death has been published to my knowledge, but the news did report that when the judge hadn’t shown up for breakfast by 11:30 a.m. on the 13th, the lodge manager entered his room and found him deceased. Despite the uncertain time, the biwheel provides an incredible study in hard mutable aspects—it’s not difficult to see how the justice’s death was so quickly twisted to political advantage, ideological tensions and an intense media flurry. Unfortunately, a sign of the astro-political times!

Interchart T Square: Transiting (T) Saturn (Sagittarius) squares T Jupiter-North Node-Natal Neptune (Virgo) conjunction, opposite T Chiron-South Node (Pisces) conjoined Natal Sun. T Saturn widely conjoins Natal Jupiter (Sag). This breathtaking convergence of hard Saturn-Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron-Node aspects reflects the chaos that ensued just moments after Scalia’s death was announced and suggests that his health was also in turmoil. Scalia’s Sun (heart), 6th and Asc/8th house rulers (Neptune-Jupiter; Venus) are afflicted (Sun, Neptune and Jupiter by T Chiron-Nodal axis and T Saturn square; Venus by T Mars in Scorpio), suggesting a heart attack death is quite conceivable.

T Uranus (Aries) conjoins and T Saturn trines Natal 6th house Mars; T Mars (Scorpio) forms interchart T-square with Natal Pluto (Cancer) and Natal Sun. The shocking, “out-of-the-blue” nature of a heart attack is reflected in transiting Uranus’s impact on Scalia’s 6th house of health. In the grand trine it forms with Scalia’s Pluto and Sun, transiting Mars seems to have triggered and reinforced an existing affliction.  Rest in peace, Justice Scalia.

Much more to come on this as Election 2016 unfolds…stay tuned!

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, 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. Raye can be contacted by comment here, or at: 

© Raye Robertson 2016. All rights reserved. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

“Tweedledum and Tweedledee agreed to have a battle:” a Geopolitical look at the Saturn-Neptune Cycle

“ ‘I know what you’re thinking about,’ said Tweedledum:
‘but it isn’t so, nohow.’

‘Contrariwise,’ continued Tweedledee, ‘if it was so, it might be;
and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.’”

                                                --Lewis Carroll,
Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871)
Of all the outer planet cycles that make our solar system such a lively place, the Saturn-Neptune cycle is perhaps the most puzzling—and worrisome, as there always seems to be a crisis of some kind brewing. Like our “Looking Glass” heroes above, Saturn and Neptune represent quite contrary impulses—one likes to separate (as in the “real” from the “imaginary”) and one likes to confuse the differences between such categories (is it “real,” or is it “Memorex?”). Saturn contains and limits; Neptune undermines and erodes all limits. The only thing Tweedledum and Tweedledee can agree upon is their perpetual battle—as laid down for them in the nursery rhyme Alice remembers:

“Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Agreed to have a battle;
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle.

Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
As black as a tar-barrel;
Which frightened both the heroes so,
They quite forgot their quarrel.”

In Through the Looking Glass, the Tweedle brothers dutifully accommodate Alice’s imagining by living out the rhyme once again: the “spoilt rattle” appears, they agree to have a battle, Alice reluctantly helps dress them for battle (one sword between them, a saucepan for a helmet), but there’s little enthusiasm for the fight:

“We must have a bit of a fight, but I don’t care about going on long,” said Tweedledum. “What’s the time now?”

Tweedledee looked at his watch, and said “Half-past four.”

“Let’s fight till six, and then have dinner,” said Tweedledum.

In fact, the Saturn-Neptune cycle is all about manifesting a vision—nursery rhyme visions, included. Since the present cycle began in November 1989, the visions have been largely dark—like Dee and Dum, they always seem to end with the “monstrous crow” of death swooping in. Waves of near-apocalyptic anxiety (a specialty) have come and gone, with peaks leading up to “Y2K,” (which went off with a whimper, instead of a bang), post-9/11 and now.

 The monstrous crow and the “flat world” order
The fact is, the Saturn-Neptune cycle is manifesting fearsome effects around the world: the final quarter of any outer planet cycle involves “reaping what’s been sown” earlier in the cycle, so it shouldn’t surprise us that we’re seeing the consequences of trends set in place around the time of Saturn-Neptune’s conjunction at 11+ Capricorn in 1989. One such development is economic globalization—what economist Thomas L. Friedman dubbed the “flattening” of the earth. International trade dates back over two millennia, but so-called “free trade” (trade free of barriers, as noted) is a post-WWII phenomenon.

First conceived as part of a long-term vision for the post-war “financial order,” the evolution of that “flat” world order and today’s globalized economy has been marked by a series of major Saturn-Neptune milestones:

  • The 1944-45 Saturn-Neptune waning square (the final square in their August 1917 cycle begun at 4°+Leo). First exact at 1°+Cancer-Libra on July 2, 1944, this transit was perfectly timed for the opening of the Bretton Woods Conference in New Hampshire, at which the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction & Development (precursor to today’s World Bank) were created (chart below).

  • The 1952-53 Saturn-Neptune conjunction kicking off this mid-century cycle (first exact on November 21, 1952 at 22°+Libra) squared both Uranus (Cancer) and Mars (Capricorn), reflecting the lingering, never-quite-resolved conflict in Korea and the absurd dynamics of the U.S.-Soviet Cold War (speaking of “Tweedledee and Tweedledum!”). Throughout the 1950s and 60s (the lead up to the Vietnam conflict), the U.S. exercised its post-WWII “superpower” status by expanding its international reach, fixing its sights on overseas resources and paving the way for much later military/trade agreements. Obama’s back-burnered Trans-Pacific Partnership (perhaps yet to pass once the current Saturn-Neptune confusion clears up) may have its genesis during this period.

  • The 1971 Saturn-Neptune square (first exact on June 26th with Saturn at 00°52”Gemini and Neptune Rx 00°52 Sagittarius) coincided with two major trends related to globalization: 1) the rise of Milton Friedman’s economic theories (specifically, “shareholder hegemony”): “…because shareholders owned the corporation, the only social responsibility of business was to increase its profits;” 2) the publication of the controversial Vietnam-era Pentagon Papers by military analyst Daniel Ellsberg.
  •  In retrospect, we can see how both trends spoke to later globalization and trade goals—first, “shareholder hegemony” laid the groundwork for reneging on the post-WWII social contract between Big Business and American society that ensured middle class prosperity in that era, and second, that the Vietnam war was not fought to protect democracy for the South Vietnamese, but to contain Communist China in its own pursuit of resource, territorial and trade ambitions, and preserve those markets for U.S. business concerns.

Even though the American public had been led to see the “spread of Communism” in a decidedly Neptunian light, as a contagious disease about to become a pandemic, the appearance/reality disconnect proved toxic to official ambitions. The brutal reality (Saturn) was delivered to people on television news every evening, cutting through the Neptunian illusions. In fact, the waxing square phase begun in 1971 laid the groundwork for a lot of today’s geopolitical turmoil: the Vietnam conflict was just winding down when the 1973 Oil Embargo ensued, sowing the seeds for the long-term resource-related turmoil that continues to haunt us in the Middle East.

  • The 1979-80 Saturn-Neptune square (first exact on September 14 at 17°+Virgo-Sagittarius) was the major aspect that dominated that election year, undermining Jimmy Carter’s presidency (Neptune transited his Jupiter) and sinking his bid for reelection in the quicksand of the Iran hostage crisis (a relationship that has resurfaced powerfully under today’s Saturn-Neptune transit). As it turned out, Ronald Reagan’s resulting landslide victory in 1980 was right on cue for the cause of globalization: his anti-regulation and anti-labor policies strengthened the conservative cause of market liberalization (the fewer restrictions the better) that Republicans are hoping to perpetuate with Election 2016.

  • The 1989 Saturn-Neptune cycle (first exact on March 3 at 11°+Capricorn). This new cycle, in close concert with the 1988 Saturn-Uranus cycle, has brought us the presidencies of George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama—a period during which the interwoven trends of Middle East “regime changes” and the “flattening” of the global economy proceeded in tandem. Obviously, the government-managed economies of the Communist world were an obstacle to globalization in the late 1980s, and this cycle addressed that with startling speed.

On November 9th that year, with Saturn-Neptune still conjunct and accompanied in Capricorn by Venus and Uranus, all opposite Jupiter in Cancer, citizen efforts to dismantle the Berlin Wall were rewarded—the barrier between East and West Berlin was officially dissolved and the reunification process began. As Michael Moore reminds us so eloquently in his new film, Where to Invade Next, the Wall didn’t fall by a top-level edict, however; it fell because ordinary citizens began bringing their hammers and chisels, literally chipping away at it.

This new Saturn-Neptune conjunction set conditions in motion for other mind-boggling developments—most notably, the wave of protests across Eastern Europe that precipitated the December 26, 1991 implosion of the Soviet Union (chart below)—in many ways, a function of the world economy globalizing around them, threatening to leave them behind. Uranus’s transit through Capricorn (integral to the Wall’s fall) was certainly a factor, especially since it was transiting within orb of its coming new cycle with Neptune (exact on February 2, 1993, at 19°+Capricorn). Amazingly, all these major developments unfolded with the planets of social change planted firmly in this Capricorn “power sector.”

Importantly—the sensitive 2nd decanate Capricorn Zodiac sector also opposes the U.S. Sibly Sun and George W. Bush’s Sun (both at 13°+Cancer), so Saturn-Neptune’s conjunction opposite that point not only laid the groundwork for the September 11, 2001 terrorist event, but also facilitated the enhanced Executive powers (Sibly Sun = the Chief Executive) adopted under the G.W. Bush administration.

Executive powers have since that time been powerfully challenged by Pluto’s transiting opposition (allowing a 5° orb, from January 2012) and will remain so through at least October 2018. The Supreme Court’s “stay” of Obama’s Clean Power Plan over his alleged “executive overreach” (and the general lack of cooperation he has experienced) are certainly related.

More generally, though, the growing tendency of Americans to blame government for all their ills, forgetting that we are supposed to be the government, is also key. The next president will inherit this Plutonian challenge to his/her leadership and this toxic view of government; for better or worse, our international reputation and stature in the world (also Sibly Sun) are in Pluto’s hands right now; the right use of power is critically important.

Dissolving barriers, climbing on the roller coaster ride
Long story short, at this point in the 1989 Saturn-Neptune cycle, globalization’s mandate for dissolving regulations pertaining to finance, the environment and labor —so-called “trade barriers”— has basically reinvented local (Saturn) economies around a global (Neptune) economic model that the so-called “99%” find so toxic today. It’s not surprising that the U.S. Stock Market’s current roller coaster ride is fueled by dread over the Chinese economy (if their markets sneeze, we get the flu—clearly, their recently-found capitalism has its own “epidemic” potential) and the ever-shifting price of Big Oil, to which currency values and investor confidence are pegged.

Neptune’s rulership of flowing substances cuts to the heart of this dilemma and, as nebulous as the logic behind oil prices is, we can only imagine what is actually happening behind the scenes to perpetuate the economic/geopolitical turmoil. When we stare into Saturn-Neptune’s “Looking Glass,” the way forward is anything but clear, but there are guiding questions: What vision do we wish to manifest? Which structures and institutions have outlived their usefulness and deserve to be broken up and dissolved? What would those same institutions look like if they were rebuilt for the good of all?

Dum, or Dee?
As it always does, the current Saturn-Neptune cycle pushes for accountability in the midst of confusion, smokescreens and passive-aggressive power plays. Individuals—and countries—are either part of the problem, or part of the solution (Dum, or Dee?), but figuring out which is which is always a challenge. When nothing makes sense, perhaps it matters that we’re in this “nursery rhyme” together?

 “’And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
   Come to my arms, my beamish boy
   O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
            He chortled in his joy.”

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, 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. Raye can be contacted by comment here, or at: 

© Raye Robertson 2016. All rights reserved.