Well, GOP Convention rhetoric reached new dark lows by the time the balloons dropped, and Donald Trump clearly wasn’t channeling Ronald Reagan—who, despite some radical moves that set the nation on the road to our current globalized mess, was a basically sunny, congenial and optimistic guy.
In retrospect, even if you vehemently disagreed with some of Reagan’s policies and perspectives, he left the Constitution basically intact, played well with others, and was therefore a real sweetheart of a president.
In his nomination acceptance speech, Trump veered to the extreme opposite pole. We can only surmise that his objective was to scare his followers into following him blindly, because in a nutshell, OTHERS (people who don’t quite look like them) are to blame for whatever ails this country, and it’s all so bad that HE ALONE is their salvation. Trump’s speech played the victim/savior card masterfully.
Perhaps Trump supporter and former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke’s announcement today (7/23) that he’ll seek a Republican Senate seat in Louisiana was a vote a confidence in Trump’s promise? Duke has never been coy about his core mission, which is to promote white nationalism, anti-Semitism, and the racist agenda of Neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. Clearly this mission includes rolling back any progress in Civil Rights for minorities, and now that Trump has brought bigotry into mainstream politics, he apparently feels free to paint the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement as a “terrorist organization.”
Duke’s not the only champion of rolling back hard-won civil rights: empowered by the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision to invalidate a key principle of the 1960s Voting Rights Act, several Southern states have been busy curtailing access to the vote for blacks—a key point of protest for groups like BLM. Just today, a federal judge upheld North Carolina’s new restrictive voting laws, despite a Department of Justice’s suit against it on the basis of discrimination.
Duke’s presence on the Louisiana legislature can only enflame the situation and lead to further division. Duke claims that his decision to run this time (he’s run for various offices in the past) was inspired by the shooting of police officers in Baton Rouge: if Trump’s “law and order” agenda prevails in November, Duke—and the fringe groups he speaks for—will be given free rein to interpret that call to action. Anyone who remembers the grim activities of the KKK during the 1960s Civil Rights Era knows this is a truly dreadful prospect.
So, what does this quest for “law and order” look like, astrologically? Privileging the rights of the police over the people (one reason it’s so hard to prosecute the police killings of unarmed black men) is one hallmark of the “law and order” agenda, so we might expect a heavy Mars-Saturn emphasis. Withholding important rights such as voting from people, to achieve such “order” also suggests a heavy Saturn component, but there’s a delusional Neptune undertone, as well.
The relentless fear-mongering narrative, claiming that minorities and outsiders (the OTHERS) are taking something away from the rightful (assumed to be “white”) owners of this country, threatens to produce a mob mentality that is classical Saturn-Neptune in hard aspect—panicked and chaotically focused on regaining a perceived loss of control. This perception—creating perceptions is Trump’s forté—finds especially fertile ground in those who have experienced hard times and need someone to blame (Saturn). Those who can’t quite empathize (Neptune) with the OTHERS being demonized are especially prone to this panic, and are especially likely to appreciate a Savior (Neptune) solution. When Trump promises “I alone can fix this,” he knows exactly what need he’s tapping into.
The importance of shock value
Nothing feeds the above panicked mindset and the “law and order” agenda like rebellion and violent unpredictability—potentials that Uranus offers, especially in combination with Mars. Unfortunately, the world has delivered more than enough chaos lately to fit the narrative and make people legitimately uneasy. What’s actually causing the level of violence we’re seeing is another story, though—the typical “law and order” agenda has simple pat answers for very complicated situations, and if we start labeling every violent event as “terrorism,” the door is left open for Constitution-free remedies.
The long-term, cardinal Uranus-Pluto square (Aries-Capricorn) we’ve been experiencing since 2010 has strongly supported this hard-nosed, belligerent agenda: a great deal of violence (Uranus in Aries) has been used to ramrod the priorities of a global economy favoring the wealthy (Pluto in Capricorn) down everyone’s throats. Realistically, the hardship and chaos resulting in the U.S. has been mild compared to that suffered abroad (witness the migrant crisis, spawned by the intertwined drivers of geopolitical chaos and environmental degradation).
Which is not to say that one set of suffering is more important than the other—Trump may want to frame the challenge as “Americanism over Globalism,” but Uranus and Pluto challenge us to figure out a solution that takes all needs seriously because we’re all in this together, like it or not. The choices are stark: cooperate and craft solutions that lift us all up, or retreat within a walled fortress and live in a perpetual state of turmoil and restriction. As this generational square separates in the coming year, it’s extremely important that we get this right.
Misogyny as a tool for “law and order”
Pluto is also clearly involved in a law and order agenda from another perspective: in the kangaroo court “witch-hunt” that overtook GOP Convention rhetoric last week, Hillary Clinton was framed as the scapegoat—“Lucifer, himself”—for all the chaotic forces (Saturn-Neptune in mutable signs) this mob wants to exorcise. The narrative spun by New Jersey’s Chris Christie painted her as the antithesis of “law and order,” and you can bet there are those who’ve taken that a step further and painted her as the “Anti-Christ.”
The fact that Clinton is a powerful WOMAN—to historical law and order types, “the feminine evil”—is no accident. According to archaeo-historians Monica Sjöö and Barbara Mor, this deadly misogyny, deeply-rooted in patriarchal Western civilization, “led logically and directly to the religiously targeted murder of women as witches during the Great Inquisition in Europe.” Things aren’t much different today: women are particularly vulnerable in all the war-torn areas of the world. Rape—a constant threat that is swelling the numbers of migrants desperately trying to reach European shores—is the weapon of choice in many conflicts.
In the end, obsession with “law and order” is about consolidating power-over a rival that threatens one’s authority, whether that authority is legitimate or not.
Horrifically, women and homosexuals were apparently burnt at the stake together in many documented Inquisition incidents, and Pluto also rules homophobia. Homosexual men were used as “tinder” for these hideous fires—hence the origin of the demeaning term, “faggot.” Trump’s nod toward LGBTQ rights is perhaps real, or perhaps calculated for effect, but his venomous approach to women who challenge him has never varied.
It's disturbing enough that Trump apparently believes himself authorized to defame and assassinate the characters of opponents (imposing power over them and modeling that behavior for followers), but it’s hard to know what to make of the physical death threats made by his followers to Clinton. Trump hasn’t overtly supported them, but he hasn’t publicly denounced them and told his supporters to lighten up, either. Ambiguity can be a powerful Neptune-Pluto tactic: by maintaining a nebulous inferred threat for which he can’t quite be held responsible, he works to keep his opponent off balance.
A chart to consider
At least some of the turmoil we witnessed in last week’s Convention was driven by Uranus, gradually slowing down as it approaches station retrograde on July 29th—inconjoining Mars in Scorpio as it does. Uranus will turn retrograde, of course, as the Democratic Convention is winding down, and Mars will still be inconjunct, so there could be more than a little turmoil in Philadelphia, as well. The chart for this important station is worth considering here for what it says about the tone of the remaining campaign: will “law and order” be the order of the day? Will Clinton’s more upbeat agenda be overwhelmed with drama from the other side? Uranus will be transiting retrograde through nearly the end of December, so it’s an important turning point.
Uranus stations retrograde at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia
As we know, Uranus instigates change, setting off a “cause-and-effect” chain reaction that is often surprising and unconventional. There is potential for both positive and negative change, but more than the change itself, Uranus has an uncanny way of revealing the “truth” of the collective, producing disruptions that express the energies of that collective at any given time. We may think we’ve moved beyond some of our darker impulses as a people, but events have a way of erupting that show us what we’re really made of. As co-ruler of Aquarius with Saturn, these eruptions are an opportunity to work on ourselves—or, an excuse to withdraw into our troubled “comfort zone” for the sake of security. As painful as it can be, Uranus produces necessary upsets in the end.
Chart 1: Radix, Uranus Stations Rx, July 29, 2016, 5:06 p.m. DST, Philadelphia, PA.
Uranus (Aries) semi-sextiles Chiron (Pisces), trines Venus-Mercury (Leo) and inconjoins both Jupiter (Virgo) and Mars (Scorpio); Jupiter (Virgo) opposes and Mars (Scorpio) trines Chiron (Pisces). There’s a lot of frustration and irritability contained in these aspects, so considering the importance of Uranus here, the tone of the remaining campaign is likely to be annoyingly wounding (Chiron). The extremist agenda on display in Cleveland is likely to persist as long as Jupiter opposes Chiron, and it may feel like we’re seeing a tug-of-war between random terrorism and militarism (Virgo).
Fiery speeches will be a staple of the campaign, with both candidates heavily invested in personal magnetism and claims of authority (5th-9th house Aries-Leo trines). There may be an almost gladiatorial feel to the back and forth between the candidates; the tone of their respective rhetoric will be especially reflected in how transiting Mars (Scorpio) connects with their nativities (Clinton’s Scorpio Mercury-ASC-South Node-Sagittarius Jupiter conjoin and Saturn squares; Trump’s Mars-ASC in Leo squares). Uranus also trines the ascendant here (Sagittarius), creating a grand trine with Mercury and Venus (Leo), so we can expect some fireworks (literal and/or figurative) while this configuration holds together.
Who will make the most effective use of today’s turmoil for his/her campaign (Uranus grand trine and Mars trine Chiron)? Ideally, as Uranus turns retrograde, the candidate who best turns a reflective eye inward and commits him-or-herself to healing our social divisions will prevail. Unfortunately, the choice to stoke those divisions for the sake of “power over” (enabled by disruptive dwarf planet Eris transiting conjunct Uranus) will remain. This will be reinforced by Uranus's opposition to the Mars/Jupiter (midpoint, Libra); political solutions for social unrest are reflected here, but the choice to make knee-jerk social changes also exists.
Mutable Grand Cross: 12th house Saturn (Rx, Sagittarius) opposes 6th house Moon (Gemini); this axis squares 3rd house Neptune (Rx, Pisces)-Nodal Axis. Mutable grand squares are famous for promoting chaos and incoherence, so we can expect the messaging (Gemini Moon-Pisces Neptune) in the remaining campaign to take us out on the emotional ledge. The timing of this aspect suggests that this could be the impression Convention attendees (and the viewing public) take away with them.
Promises could be made indiscriminately—the perception that Trump “tells it like it is” may start looking empty and incoherent. Clinton will probably still be dealing with perceptions of dishonesty (the Trump campaign will do its best to upstage her), but she may have a good week, nevertheless. Taking responsibility for the words (Gemini) thrown around and the perceptions (Pisces) created, and for steering their campaigns in sound tactical directions (Virgo Node), will be important.
Saturn trines Sun (Leo). This aspect taps into Trump’s natal Pluto (Leo), supporting his agenda and “aura of authority” while it persists. By November, Saturn will be within orb of trining Uranus and conjoining the chart ascendant. As this develops, the candidates will have choices: to take responsibility for, and thus facilitate positive Uranian change—answering the hard questions, considering all angles and all stakeholders, etc.—or to use these fiery energies to destabilize and dominate. The first half of August may be a particularly volatile period, with Sun transiting Leo; it will conjoin Trump’s Mars-Ascendant before moving into Virgo.
T-Square: Jupiter (Virgo) opposes Chiron (Pisces) and this axis squares ASC (Sagittarius). We’ve seen Jupiter’s involvement in the mutable grand cross discussed above, but this configuration stands on its own and highlights an important dimension of this presidential election. In Virgo, Jupiter celebrates service; opposite Chiron in Pisces, this service is ideally directed towards healing the collective. Not surprisingly, however, this opposition taps into the U.S. Sibly chart’s Neptune-Mars square (Virgo-Gemini—see Biwheel 1 below), which raises key issues for the next president’s policies.
Will that president wield his/her Commander-in-Chief role responsibly (Virgo=military, square Gemini Mars), or as a misguided tool for restoring the so-called “American Dream?” (Neptune). There’s a lot of nostalgia for the “good old days” of WWII, when the American middle class was booming and America was “great,” but the war alone would not have bolstered the economy; it took a coherent, multi-faceted combination of factors after the war (unionized industries, support for education and home ownership, vigorous technological opportunities, and so on) to support that unprecedented period of broadly-shared prosperity. Certain industries thrive tremendously in times of war, but the past decades have shown clearly that war is not a shortcut to overall prosperity.
Granted, Jupiter wants growth at any cost, but Virgo demands we sweat the details and proceed logically and pragmatically. Jupiter is transiting Trump’s 1st house, opposite transiting Chiron in his 7th; we will likely see more emphasis on “I alone can fix this,” directed at wounding Others (7th). As for Clinton, Jupiter is transiting her 10th (8:02 a.m. chart) and Chiron is transiting her 4th house Moon (Pisces); this certainly reflects the emotional bashing she’s been taking from Trump, and the fact that she’s one of the Others he is intent on wounding. The 10th-4th axis here suggests a growth of authority on the world stage for her, gained at the expense of deep personal pain.
Jupiter trines Pluto (Capricorn). This aspect always reflects our use of power, and spanning Virgo to Capricorn, the choices have tangible, economic ramifications. Globalization has strategically redistributed the tangible “goodies” of this planet to those at the top (Pluto), and we’re seeing the results in the form of terrorism (ideology/Jupiter seems to be used to keep the “foot soldiers” inspired; beyond that, a great deal of money/Pluto circulates in terrorist networks, which seem to have a lot in common with organized crime).
Clinton and Trump have Pluto transiting their 2nd and 6th houses, respectively, which taps into her values (2nd) and his attitudes toward service (6th). Clinton clearly values prosperity and her platform (perhaps moved to the left by the Sanders challenge) reflects a moderately liberal approach to economic issues. Trump has leveraged the economic anxieties of his followers, but his ideas seem to entangle economic and defense policies. Telling NATO members that they have to pay up before the U.S. will honor its treaty obligations in their defense may seem pragmatic on the surface (6th house), but apart from the mercenary tone of that idea, what happens when we need allies? When we want to build healthy trade relations to bolster the economy? Etc.
Biwheel 1: (inner wheel) Radix, U.S.A. (Sibly), July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (outer wheel) Radix, Uranus Stations Rx, July 29, 2016, 5:06 p.m. DST, Philadelphia, PA.
As with Trump, the big question for Clinton during the coming Convention week will be whether she can happily unite her party behind her candidacy. Vice presidential choice Tim Kaine seems to be a net positive for now, but time will tell whether he helps bring Bernie Sanders’ supporters into the fold or not. Surprises undoubtedly await in Philadelphia—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: email@example.com.
© Raye Robertson 2016. All rights reserved.
Monica Sjöö and Barbara Mor, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth, Harper & Row, N.Y., N.Y, 1975, pp. 298-9.