Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Birth of America, Inc & the astrology of conflicting interests

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Despite Donald Trump’s latest tweet promising he will distance himself from his businesses before taking office, Americans have been flirting with the idea that we need to run the country like a business for a long time. Rarely do we stop to consider what an absurd, conflicted mess that could actually look like in practice. Well, tweets or no tweets, we may be about to find out—if our new top official can’t bring himself to decide between running a government and running a business, why not just push the limits and do both?! 

So, let’s imagine for a bit what “Make America Great Again, Incorporated” (hereafter, America, Inc.) would look like. For astrological purposes, this new hybrid entity will take its first breath on January 20, 2017, at high noon. It’s bound to be a gala, gilded affair. We’ll consider that chart first, next to Donald Trump’s natal chart; then, to assess the effect of all this on the nation itself, we’ll add the U.S. Sibly chart into the mix.

 Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Washington, D.C.; (outer wheel) Inauguration 2017, January 20, 2017, 12:00 p.m. ST, Washington, D.C.

Inauguration Moon (Scorpio) squares Trump Pluto (Leo) and trines Trump Mercury (Cancer). Any contact to Trump’s Mercury reverberates through his 10th house Mercury-ruled Gemini points (Sun-Node-Uranus), so the emotions of the day will definitely feed his sense of wellbeing and achievement (how could they not?). The Scorpio square to his 12th house Pluto could feel threatening, however; it’s always lonely at the top, even when the man at the top is surrounded by loyalists.

Oh, but who isn’t loyal? Trump’s moody Mercury-Saturn conjunction may let fly a defensive Tweet-storm after the day’s festivities. Mercury loves a wordy tirade, and square Neptune, it’s all about spinning his own reality; Saturn loves to make his points by scolding and deriding any would-be challengers. Bosses have to let off steam, and there’s nothing more important in the corporate world than controlling the narrative. This Cancer conjunction figures into Trump’s style of wielding power overall—more on that ahead.

Interchart Grand Fire Trine: Inauguration Uranus-Eris (Aries) trine Trump Mars-ASC (Leo) trine Inauguration Saturn (Sagittarius). Transiting Uranus-Eris overlays Trump’s 8th house of Other People’s Money here, an influence that’s reinforced by his 8th house ruler Neptune, posited in his personal resources-related 2nd house, square his Mercury and trine Inauguration Sun (Aquarius. 

With his belligerent fixed Mars-ASC (Leo) pulled into the mix here, we see the connection between his financial affairs and his views of leadership—it’s no accident his businesses are referred to as the Trump “Empire”—this Mars radiates the personality of a true Emperor/CEO.

In fact, Uranus-Eris have been transiting through Trump’s 8th throughout the campaign, which can be read as either a breathtaking, shocking opening for linking personal and business aggrandizement, or simply a long, unfolding shock to his financial realities and reputation. One early shocker--Trump Towers could be charging Trump's Secret Service details rent for the space they need in that facility to protect him and his family. Really?!

Any review of Trump's past business practices shows that putting OPM (other people's money) to work for his purposes is a favorite tactic--he certainly didn't invent the idea, but has perhaps honed it to perfection. This tactic is likely to get a work-out in his administration, under this fast-and-loose grand trine energy, Today, we find out that Trump promised Indiana state tax dollars (Mike Pence is still governor) to the Carrier company to keep 1,000 jobs there--photo op to come tomorrow. 

We’ve seen how his belligerent Leo Mars-ASC reacts to challenges—financial or otherwise—and it falls square his equally fixed Taurus MC. Being forced to divest from his businesses (again, tweet or no tweet) will not go down easy. Whose name will go on all those buildings?

Eris likes to be unpredictably shocking (as Trump does), so we’ll have to stay tuned on this one. In a November 22 meeting with the press, Trump was apparently okay with mixing business with the presidency—bragging that his brand is “hotter” than ever.

On Inauguration Day, Trump is not receiving an entirely free pass on meeting the traditional standards for avoiding conflicting interests, however; Inauguration Saturn also conjoins his Sagittarius Moon and opposes the Gemini Sun-Node-Uranus gathering in his 10th house of profession. Saturn has been hovering in this area for awhile—reflecting the push-back he is already getting from inside and outside the government.

The reality is, there are legal hurdles here for this corporate nation’s new CEO, and he will undoubtedly feel emotionally repressed (Saturn conjunct his freedom-oriented Moon) by them. Even so, with his Leo Mars-ASC enabled by this ambitious grand trine, Trump’s “Emperor” persona will likely take over, confronting any obstacles with his signature anger and determination to leverage the situation. This grand trine gives him a “foot in the door” that may be difficult to reverse.

Interchart T-Square: Trump Sun-Node-Uranus (Gemini) opposite Trump Moon-Inauguration Saturn (Sagittarius); this axis squares Inauguration Venus-Chiron-Mars (Pisces). Trump overcame obstacles during the election by being unpredictable and by deflecting any challenges with his default, crude defensiveness (especially on Gemini Twitter). We shouldn’t expect that to change—the Apprentice-style suspense over Cabinet appointments and the Twitter rants behind “Door #1” are clearly tools for distracting us from what goes on behind “Door #2”—there’s a reason Gemini and Pisces are considered “dual” signs—what you see isn’t always what you get.

This duality speaks directly to elusive conflicts of interest—what we think we’re seeing with Trump’s operations may be a small fraction of the entire story, and nailing down what’s actually happening will be difficult because we have few concrete reference points to work with.

Pisces Venus and Mars may simply speak to the stylistics and glamorous attendees sure to grace Inauguration festivities, but with this mutable T-square and Pisces Chiron also over Trump’s 7th house of rivals, this gathering also reflects the likely unpredictability of Trump’s presidency. Unpredictability—transmitted so effectively on Trump’s media of choice (square his Gemini Uranus)—is a useful Machiavellian ploy that throws opposing forces (especially mainstream media) off balance and creates the illusion of “transparency.” Trump goes to great lengths on Twitter to cultivate perception that he “says it like it is,” but the fact-checkers know better.

Chiron’s presence here suggests that Trump will continue feeling victimized and wounded by his “enemies”—especially in the media—it’ll be interesting to see if he starts making noise about Constitutional ideals (Pisces Mars-Chiron-Venus—these points also conjoin Sibly Neptune) being “highly overrated,” and somehow “against” him.

A victim mentality at the top can be toxic on many levels, and a good reason we should not ignore the comments once made by Trump campaign “African American outreach” director, Omarosa Manigault—a person who knows Trump well from her time in the Apprentice:

“Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump,” she said. "It’s everyone who’s ever doubted Donald, who ever disagreed, who ever challenged him. It is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe.”

This wanting to “have it all,” come what may, is reinforced by Trump’s Libra Jupiter disposing his Sagittarius Moon and exactly trining his Gemini Uranus. It’s easy to imagine that the biggest obstacle to avoiding conflicts of interest will be the need to replace his name emblazoned on towers all around the world with something else. Indeed, this could register in his mind like a personal attack.

In fact, with transiting Neptune also in Pisces, disposing Inauguration Venus-Chiron-Mars, we can expect more confusion about where the lines should be drawn between private and public, between corporate and political—and not just when it comes to Trump’s personal/business finances. We’re dealing with blurred distinctions between private/public and corporate/political in numerous areas of public concern—healthcare, education and defense, to name a few.

In all cases we’ve seen so far, the new administration seems to favor an approach that employs public dollars while feeding corporate coffers—certainly a coup for the corporate world, which thrives by offloading expenses on others while raking in the proceeds, generous tax credits in hand. We’ve seen almost a decade of stagnant growth since the 2007-8 recession—could this be the new “growth” plan? Republicans will likely be quite eager to see these corporate-friendly policies enacted—will they be willing to overlook Trump’s personal blurring of financial distinctions to get there?

Interchart Cardinal Grand Cross: Trump Saturn-Venus (Cancer) oppose Inauguration Pluto (Capricorn); this axis squares Trump Jupiter-Inauguration Jupiter (Libra) opposed Inauguration Uranus-Eris (Aries). This is a pressure cooker configuration that is likely to keep things very lively from day one of the Trump administration. We’ve experienced how thin-skinned Trump can be—challenges to his personal power (Pluto overlays his 5th house, opposing his authoritative 11th house) will not go unanswered, especially if he suffers financial consequences (Inauguration Jupiter-180-Uranus-Eris overlays his 2nd-8th house axis and squares Trump’s impatient Venus-Saturn).

We’ll see how this volatile configuration is likely to play out nationally when we add the Sibly chart into the discussion: suffice to say here that we’ll have to figure out what to do when our new president confuses personal and national interests. Yesterday’s Tweet-rant veered between doubling down on his baseless claims that millions of people voted illegally against him, and threatening jail time or loss of citizenship to anyone burning the U.S. flag. He’s been making similar noise about restricting the Internet, as well—linking it in his followers’ minds with terrorism and suggesting that the First Amendment is no excuse. As we’ve seen, controlling the narrative is a constant with him. Are we on a slippery-slope?

The First Amendment (as interpreted by the Supreme Court in several cases) says he cannot carry out any of the above threats, but Trump is clearly signaling that he will challenge that Amendment. Ironically, it seems that homegrown white supremacists can stage “Heil Trump” rallies in the nation’s capital, but protestors objecting to this behavior could be treated like criminals.

We forget at our peril that the corporate mindset is not democratic—capitalist corporations are by definition not democratic institutions. Employees can be fired at a moment’s notice and with barely an excuse; aside from a few paltry federal laws that rarely see enforcement, and without a union representing their needs, they have no rights, in the end. Citizens, on the other hand, do have rights, and the President ultimately answers to us, not the other way around.

This is where the slippery issue of a voter mandate comes in—if words get out that half or more of the American people didn’t vote for him, Trump can’t claim that he has electoral “carte blanche” to do whatever he wants. We see evidence in the news all the time about how important the adulation of others is to him, but this interchart Grand Square seems to say that his current panic over the popular vote and the recounts going on in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania is about something more fundamental—having the freedom, once inaugurated, to act (cardinal signs) with impunity, virtually unopposed.

CEOs and corporations chafe at regulation—a “jobs-killing-impediment” that Republicans never fail to rail against in their economic plans. Trump is very ill-suited temperamentally for any situation that demands restraint and moderation—his freedom-loving Sagittarius Moon disposes his security-oriented Cancer Mercury, and we’ve seen how woven into his personality this Mercury is.  Long story short, the cardinal stresses in Trump’s natal chart will soon be intensified by Inauguration day transits, and we can expect fireworks. 

Should we toss out the Sibly chart and start over with America, Inc.?

On January 20, 2017, sometime around noon, Donald J. Trump will place one hand on a Bible provided, and he will repeat the following oath:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."[1]
We can be assured that well before he says these words, Trump will have rationalized a few loopholes into this job contract. Can he count on the Supreme Court to  rubber-stamp his Executive whims, as Boards of Directors tend to do, or to provide the healthy checks and balances intended? From Trump's ever-streaming Tweets, we can glean an imaginary internal dialogue—yes, a bicameral-brained conversation between the two halves of our president/CEO—that might fill his mind as he takes that oath:

“You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours…you aren’t loyal, you wait in line. Why shouldn’t I have it all?…problem is, who needs a complicated mess like the Constitution? What this country needs is an action plan, and I intend to deliver. Besides, the Constitution is just there for show…appearances matter, I guess…I would be the first one to say how important appearances are, so it looks good and it gives us lots of leverage, but I’ll decide which parts will make America great again and which won’t. I’m the only one who can fix this disaster. Anybody makes trouble (don’t those greedy students know they got a bargain?), I’ll hit them back twice as hard. No more having to settle. I could do anything, and who’s going to tell me no? Hey, that’s nothing illegal…if the president does it, it must be legal.”

So, perhaps there’s a new national/corporate charter in the works, and it starts something like: “We the president/CEO cannot have a conflict of interest, and here are the new rules of the game.”

On a more serious note, let’s examine the triwheel below—I’m only interested here in national issues that Trump’s election will raise; we’ll try to avoid rehashing issues we’ve already discussed above.

Triwheel #1: (inner wheel) U.S. Sibly chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Washington, D.C.; (middle wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Washington, D.C.; (outer wheel) Inauguration 2017, January 20, 2017, 12:00 p.m. ST, Washington, D.C.

Interchart Mutable Grand Square: Trump Sun-Node-Uranus (Gemini) conjoin Sibly Mars (Gemini) and oppose Trump Moon (Sagittarius); this axis squares Sibly Neptune (Virgo) opposite Inauguration Venus-Chiron-Mars (Pisces). I’ve written extensively about the Sibly Mars-Neptune square and the “fog of war” it has enabled repeatedly through history. Any time the nation has been caught between military ambitions and founding ideals, this “fog” has come in handy—recasting the adventure as somehow glorious, in defense of democracy, and so on. Not to say that wars can’t ever be justifiable, but it’s often difficult to tell which is which.

Trump’s powerfully erratic, Uranus-charged full Moon configuration now takes hold of the nation’s armed forces, a position he might consider “destined” (North Node). Many military leaders expressed concern about his temperament during the election campaign, but “Make America Great Again” has been a military quest from day one (Trump Moon over Sibly 1st, opposite Sibly Mars).

Despite the misgivings of these leaders, however, Trump won and has now made retired Lt. General Mike Flynn—a known military “hothead”—his chief national security advisor. The new “fog of war” (this PR technique distorts reality to justify a predetermined military plan) appears to be taking shape as we speak.

The fog is further thickened by distorting our national ideals and leveraging the longing people have for the American Dream in the process (Inauguration Venus-Chiron-Mars (Pisces) opposite Sibly Neptune (Virgo). From the today:

“What if someone were to tell you that China and North Korea are allied with militant Islamists bent on imposing their religious ideology worldwide?
You might not agree. After all, China and North Korea are officially secular Communist states, and China has blamed religious extremists for violence in Muslim areas of its Xinjiang region.
But such an alliance is the framework through which retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, the pick of President-elect Donald J. Trump for national security adviser, views the two East Asian countries. To the list of pro-jihadist anti-Western conspirators, General Flynn adds Russia, Cuba and Venezuela, among others.”
Flynn has reportedly tweeted that “fear of Muslims is RATIONAL…” and he’s known to favor a worldwide war on terror. Unfortunately, for certain people, any challenge to their power is a terrorist act. 
Trump Mars (Leo) opposes Sibly Moon (Aquarius) and inconjoins the Sibly Mercury (Cancer)-Sibly Pluto (Capricorn) opposition. Trump will want obedience (Leo’s the king) and cooperation from the American people (Sibly Moon), and he will see the opportunity to leverage their energies through the press and through the finance industry (inconjuncts to Sibly Mercury and Pluto). That leverage will likely be to “divide and conquer”—hence, Breitbart News owner Steve Bannon’s appointment—but the flip side of that leverage could be to “unite” the country around the military quest discussed above.
Will we see an attack on our soil that is used to justify a military campaign, as happened in 2001? Saturn was conjunct the Sibly DSC on 9/11; this year it’s been transiting opposite that point and is now opposite Sibly Mars, suggesting that we may mount the initial attack this time. 
Suffice to say, if the American people begin feeling bullied into going along with questionable military adventures (or attempts to divide us internally against each other), this will be the configuration in play.

Interchart Cardinal Grand Cross: Inauguration Uranus-Eris (Aries)-Sibly Chiron (Aries) oppose Sibly Saturn (Libra)-Trump Chiron-Jupiter (Libra)-Inauguration Jupiter (Libra); this axis squares Trump Saturn-Venus (Cancer)-Sibly Mercury/Sun opposition to Inauguration Pluto (Capricorn). There’s a whole lot going on here, obviously, and as we’ve already seen in the first chart analysis above, the cardinal energies in Trump’s chart are on a collision course with Inauguration day cardinal transits, so we won’t rehash all that.
Here, the legislative/judicial apparatus and the nation’s system of checks and balances (Sibly Saturn-Sun) are added into the stress. Trump has promised to stretch the boundaries of democracy, with little care for how that looks on the world stage. Corporations can always hire “spin-doctors” to smooth out those wrinkles, and America, Inc.—decidedly enabled by Pluto’s Capricorn transit—will be no different.
About that Capricorn transit: applying a corporate mandate to foreign and domestic “growth” policies (square Inauguration-Trump Jupiters, and Sibly Saturn) means redefining sovereign nations as exploitable profit centers, an approach that will most certainly trigger resistance. Truth be told, we have probably already flirted with this type of foreign policy in historical misadventures, but let's focus on today. The pushback we will get from countries on the other end of these global "deals" can always be construed to look like terrorism from here, but don’t other nations have a right to preserve their own resources and freedom? Is this the pitiful “greatness” we’re looking for ahead?
We shouldn’t ignore the potential for deep internal harm, here, as well. With Inauguration Uranus-Eris on Sibly Chiron—a long-standing transit—old wounds (racial divisions, for instance) and new (a possible loss of global stature and democratic institutions) stand to be ripped wide open. Many would argue that our global stature and democratic institutions are what made us “great” to begin with—so, what’s the plan, America, Inc.?

 Final thoughts
We are still far from having a complete picture of Trump’s finances and potential conflicts of interest, but even legally-required (Inauguration Saturn) disclosures could be undermined under the stressful cardinal configurations we’ve seen above. He may never release one tax return, unless forced to do so by a subpoena--will the IRS also answer to him? 

At the same time his team (Reince Priebus, especially) has been promising that Trump will abide by all laws, etc., Trump himself has long been signaling that he believes “The president cannot have a conflict of interest.” 

Today’s Tweet inserts the usual double whammy into that stand and says that yes, Trump knows that he can have such conflicts and that he intends to work them out. Importantly, his Tweet acknowledges it’s “visually important” to avoid such conflicts. Let’s hope that his work-around isn’t just about the appearance of impropriety. It’s not just appearances that matter here.

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. 

No comments:

Post a Comment