Wednesday, August 10, 2016

An Unhinged Medley: an Eclipse, a Libra Ingress & potential surprises on the road to Election 2016

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” 

(Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities)

Charles Dickens certainly captured our present situation in this opening line of his French Revolution-themed masterpiece. For many working- and middle-class Americans, life since Wall Street’s 2007-8 greed-fest has been “the worst of times,” indeed. For those at the top, however, it’s been arguably the “best of times,” as well. As for wisdom and foolishness, there’s been plenty of both in politically high places to go around.

It doesn’t take an astrologer to know that the gap has been steadily growing between “worst” and “best” in this land, and that too many Americans feel slapped in the face with every substandard paycheck.  Relying on credit cards to stretch from one check to the next gets old, real fast, so the road ahead has appeared bleak.

To their everlasting credit, both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump drew attention to these populist concerns during the 2016 Primary season. One did so with wisdom and grace (even birds seemed to like his message); one did so while spewing foolishness and hatred (and in his latest gaffe, crossing the line into veiled threats). Despite some foolish moves of her own, Clinton—promoting the only acceptable “middle way” for many —is benefiting from both.

Today’s post focuses not on predicting election outcomes, but on taking a sober look at a potentially volatile astrological period that is poised to play out in the near-term. Specifically, we will consider 1) the annular Solar Eclipse on September 1st (a quick revisiting; see the June 13th post here for more), 2) the chart for the Sun’s entrance into Libra on September 22nd and what that suggests about the remaining days of this astrological year (ending at next March’s equinox), and 3) the possibility of an “October surprise.” 

The September eclipse…an unhinged medley?

In the June 13th post here, we discussed the incredible gathering of mutable forces represented by the September 1st annular solar eclipse at 9°+Virgo, and we considered the impact of that eclipse on each of the three major presidential candidates. As it happens, the impact on Donald Trump discussed in that post is already being seen—largely, I would offer, due to his progressed Sun moving into mutable Virgo.

Sign changes to an individual’s progressed Sun can be dramatic times, requiring adjustment—the transition from blustery, dominant Leo to the more subdued, detail-oriented, rational and service-oriented sign of Virgo is surely taking Trump way out of his comfort zone and—as we’ve seen in the past two days of news—he’s not handling it very well. As mentioned in that earlier post, his behavior is attracting more scrutiny these days, as well, since his Progressed Sun has not only changed signs, but transitioned over his Leo Ascendant into his first house.

The September eclipse will also put pressure on Trump’s 1st and 7th houses, suggesting he will likely continue projecting incoming criticism out onto others (towards his Descendant) by claiming critics are out to get him and somehow “rigging the system” against him. He’s already tried to use his predictable “dishonest Media” line to explain his ill-conceived 2nd Amendment comments.

Significantly, the eclipse will be tightly opposed to Neptune, which has been transiting Trump’s 7th house of enemies and Others since March, 2011, so it’s no surprise that the difference between “real” and “perceived” enemies has been blurred for him. This distortion plays well to those who know they’ve been working hard, but have been spinning their wheels and need someone to blame for their difficulties.

Especially on the heels of a growing GOP defection from his campaign, it won’t be surprising if this eclipse clinches that “victimization” narrative in some dramatic fashion. In his latest controversial comments, Trump projected that narrative onto his followers, suggesting to gun owners that they will be losing their 2nd Amendment rights—“their safety”—if Clinton wins.

So, will Mr. Trump’s GOP nomination be actually revoked, as some are calling for? Will there be a massive exodus from Trump to newly-declared Independent candidate, former Republican, Evan McMullin?

Or, will Trump continue blowing up his campaign, as we’ve seen he is capable of doing? Let’s consider the actual eclipse chart next to his nativity.

Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) Natal, Donald Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY. (outer wheel) Solar eclipse, September 1, 2016, 5:01:57 a.m., Washington, D.C.

Much more analysis of this intense biwheel (incorporated into a triwheel with Trump’s progressed chart) is available in the June 13th posting—here, I’d like to simply revisit the tense interchart grand square that shoots through the heart of this biwheel, especially in light of post-Convention realities:

Interchart Grand-Square: Eclipse Mars (Sagittarius) widely conjoins Trump Moon (Sagittarius) and together these oppose Trump Uranus-Node-Sun (Gemini); all of this squares Eclipse Point-Node (Virgo) opposite Eclipse Neptune (Pisces). Please note: Eclipse Saturn is just out of orb to oppose Trump’s Gemini points, but it does figure into the rest of the grand square. Eclipse Saturn-Mars are applying to Trump’s South Node, ratcheting up the tension of this grand square and playing to Trump’s default modus operandi and agitated (Mars-Saturn) emotional (Moon) demeanor.
Grand squares—especially mutable ones—can be supremely unnerving, since we tend to feel caught up in a chaotic sea of forces we cannot control. 

The Eclipse point (Virgo) is also widely conjunct Trump’s progressed Sun (discussed above), which could pull him further out of his comfort zone. Those who speculated in the news this past week that Trump is too “unstable” to be President may see more of the same once this eclipse hits. We can only hope his instability doesn’t richochet out onto others.

In Trump’s 4th house, Eclipse Mars and Saturn transiting square Neptune in Trump’s 7th could trigger more veiled or real threats against his perceived “enemies” (7th house Neptune). His ambiguous suggestion today that “2nd Amendment people” may be able to do something to stop Hillary Clinton from appointing an anti-gun Justice to the Supreme Court reads like a sneak preview to this tense square. 

In crude political terms, Trump’s insinuation here is called a dog whistle. Those with ears to hear will hear it.

In fact, elements of the square are already in place today (8/10), with Sagittarius Mars now squaring his Virgo Progressed Sun. Considering that things can get worse once the eclipse hits, it’s a good thing that Trump’s comments are not being taken lightly by Clinton’s campaign and the Secret Service.

The Sun falls into Libra

In years when the Aries ingress chart features a fixed rising sign, Ptolemaic tradition dictates that the Aries chart represents conditions we will experience for the entire solar year (from Aries ingress to Aries ingress). In years with mutable or cardinal rising signs (the 2016 chart features 0°+Sagittarius rising), the Aries chart represents only half of the year, leaving us to consider the Cancer, Libra and Capricorn ingress charts for further insight.

This tradition is controversial, by the way—discussed in great detail in Mundane Astrology by Baigent, Campion and Harvey—but these seasonal ingresses of the Sun are, at least, powerful transits that merit consideration and help us tune into the outer planetary pictures of those periods.

So here, we’ll consider the Libra ingress set for Washington, D.C., a chart that features fixed sign Scorpio rising, suggesting its impact could be felt by the U.S. at least through the election, if not for the rest of this solar year. In fact, there are some powerful historical precedents for the Libra ingress’s importance covered by Mundane Astrology, a story for another day.

For now, let’s consider the chart on its own first, and then—for deeper national context—set against the U.S. Sibly chart.

Chart #2: Libra ingress, September 22, 2016, 10:09:46 a.m., DST, Washington, DC.

11th Sun conjoins Jupiter (both Libra); both also widely square Mars (Sagittarius); Mars trines Uranus (Aries). The nice Sun-Jupiter conjunction should compensate for the so-called “fall” of the Sun in Libra. The Sun’s power—as perceived here on Earth, anyway—gradually diminishes after the autumnal equinox, so this ingress represents a vulnerable time for Self-and-Other related issues. Here, Jupiter offers protection, which we’ll consider more deeply when we look at the Ingress-Sibly biwheel. Suffice to say here that, in the 11th house, this duo suggests a focus on public affairs and specifically, a possible leadership figure (Sun).

The out-of-sign square to Mars (wide, but within traditional orbs) also taps into the sensitive Sagittarius Galactic Center, as well (Mars conjoins this point). Between these two aspects, there is potential for volatility (Mars-Uranus in fire) that’s worth watching.

T-Square: Neptune-SNode (Pisces) opposes Mercury-NNode (Virgo); this axis squares Saturn (Sagittarius). Compared to the mutable grand square we’ve been experiencing, this t-square is downright benevolent, but a Saturn-Neptune square always raises agitation levels, so communications (Mercury) will continue being clouded and ambiguous, and hack attacks (breaching data boundaries, Mercury-Neptune) are likely to continue. Getting out the vote (Mercury) this November—especially in a way that doesn’t raise questions and accusations of rigging—is likely to be a rocky process. Because Jupiter disposes Sagittarius Saturn and conjoins the Sun, targeted parties may be protected from the worst case scenarios.

Saturn (Sagittarius) trines and Pluto (Capricorn) inconjoins MC (Leo); Pluto trines Mercury. Interestingly, the ingress MC also exactly conjoins Hillary Clinton’s natal Mars-Saturn (chart not shown), so the Cosmos could be trying to tell us something here about Clinton’s national role in the near future. With Pluto’s inconjunct to these points, however, the power struggle that plays out in the media (3rd house Pluto also trines 11th house Mercury) will be one for the books. This race is personal for Trump (Ingress Mercury will be transiting his 1st house), and we shouldn’t expect him to be detached, sportsmanlike or professional about losing.

Moon (Gemini) opposes Saturn/Mars (midpoint, Sagittarius). This interesting connection plays right into Trump’s chart, with his lively Gemini-Sagittarius axis (Uranus-Node-Sun opposite Moon) and suggests that he may finally see the wisdom of restraining his impulsive outbursts. He may not see this, however, becoming even more agitated by the attempts of others to control him. We can expect turbulence surrounding the presidential debates, supposedly beginning on September 26th. Trump has already put out signals that he wants to “renegotiate” the terms and name who he considers to be a “fair moderator.”

Considered in the ingress chart on its own, this midpoint configuration falls between the 2nd and 8th houses, suggesting efforts to restrain some Market volatility or perhaps even issues with the Federal Reserve before this solar year is out. This configuration taps into that chart’s mutable grand square (which is somewhat loose, but within orb)—a story to consider more thoroughly another day.

Pluto (Capricorn) trines Mercury-NNode (Virgo) and sextiles Pluto-SNode (Pisces). It’s possible our voting system will experience a transformation of sorts during this season; the need for a total recount is not out of the question, either, with Saturn (and by extension its square to Neptune) disposing Capricorn. The Nodal axis reflects the national importance of this election as a matter of “public service,” (Virgo), reminding us that political power (5th-11th house axis) demands a balance between pragmatism (Virgo) and collective empathy (Pisces).

In the national context

Now we can consider briefly how this ingress chart functions next to the U.S. Sibly chart.

Biwheel #2: (inner chart) Radix, U.S. (Sibly), July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (outer wheel) Libra ingress, September 22, 2016, 10:09:46 a.m., DST, Washington, DC.

Ingress Sun-Jupiter (Libra) conjoin Sibly MC (Libra), square Sibly Venus-Jupiter (Cancer) and widely trine both Sibly Uranus (Gemini) and Sibly Pluto (out-of-sign, Capricorn). This ingress will likely open up a “Pandora’s Box” of cascading effects. Jupiter-Sun appear to be blessing our national “soul” (MC) here—or at least, bolstering our national image in some way. Consumer confidence and our sense of national security (7th house Venus-Jupiter) may take a hit, however, and the corporate sector (Pluto) appears primed to capitalize on the last quarter of 2016, although there could be challenges (out-of-sign trine). The trine to Sibly Uranus may explain where the profit centers will be—military technology is likely to be an area of growth.

Ingress Moon conjoins Sibly Mars (both Gemini). This Moon, representing the People, is tied into a much more complicated configuration as well (our next consideration), but it’s worth considering in isolation first. This Moon placement in the Sibly 7th suggests national security will be a broadly held concern, perhaps triggered by rhetoric from the Trump camp (see the earlier discussion for how this Moon ties into his volatile Gemini-Sagittarius axis), or perhaps from actual events on the ground.

Ingress Mars semi-sextiles Sibly Pluto, sextiles Ingress Venus (Libra), opposes Ingress Moon-Sibly Mars (Gemini) and inconjoins Sibly Mercury (Cancer); Ingress Venus squares Sibly Pluto, trines Sibly Mars and squares Sibly Mercury. Finance (Venus) and aggressive action (Mars-opposite-Mars) work hand-in-hand here, pulling the corporate sector (Pluto) into the national security issue concerns discussed above. Mars is particularly woven into every area of concern, suggesting a volatile international scene and an appetite for belligerence at home. The Media (Mercury) appear to be at odds with the Mars agenda—considering Sibly Pluto’s involvement, there may be some behind-the-scenes wrangling of the message.

Interchart T-Square: Ingress Pluto (Capricorn) opposes Sibly Sun (Cancer); this axis squares Sibly Saturn (Libra). This tense, cardinal configuration probably underlies the almost hysterical concern we Americans seem to have about who gets to name the next Supreme Court justices. All three branches of government have been undergoing a radical makeover for years now, so a little objectivity and historical perspective would help if we want to preserve the core “checks and balances” our system was founded on.

An “October surprise?”

Interchart Grand-Square: Ingress Saturn (Sagittarius)-Sibly ASC and opposes Ingress Moon-Sibly Mars (widely, Gemini); this axis squares Ingress Mercury-NNode-Sibly Neptune (wide, Virgo) opposed to Ingress Neptune-SNode-Chiron (separate oppositions). This mutable grand square echoes the agitated dynamics we’ve seen in Donald Trump’s transits, but the placement of the configuration is key here—across the Sibly ASC-DSC horizon. This placement speaks to the feeling of insecurity and perhaps, our itchy national trigger-finger as well.

This placement could portend an “October surprise” of some kind, meant to disrupt the election or one particular candidate. I haven't seen charts for new contenders Dr. Jill Stein (Green Party) and Evan McMullin (Independent), but nothing in this Ingress precludes a voter exodus happening from both Trump and Clinton. In fact, those most disenchanted by our wounded American Dream (Sibly Neptune opposed by Ingress Chiron) and those who feel democracy means being able to vote for whom you want, as opposed to voting against a distasteful choice, an exodus may be the only sane alternative.

In the meantime, Trump had better hope he hasn’t inspired a “lone wolf” attack on Mrs. Clinton, because the conditions will be ripe for some unstable individual on a “mission.”

New York Times  columnist and economist Thomas Friedman writes about the similarities of Trump’s veiled threat targeting Clinton and the 1995 extremist assassination of Israel’s Itzhak Rabin, a sobering parallel that we must take seriously. Friedman reminds us that “words kill”—something anyone who’s ever been the victim of verbal abuse knows well.

With his volatile Gemini-Sagittarius axis tied so tightly into the nation’s volatile 7th house, Trump appears fully aware that vicious suggestive words are a weapon that work in gun-toting America, and he chooses to deploy them anyway.


A much happier “surprise” this October could be a GOP decision to finally revoke their candidate’s nomination. We’ve already seen election meddling (a year-long hack of DNC emails) that appeared to originate from Russia, so it will be interesting to see if there’s a repeat effort or some variation thereof—with or without Trump’s prompting.

Any time transits or important cycles tap into Sibly Neptune’s square to Mars, we can expect some level of chaos and disillusionment. At times like these, the “American Dream” (Neptune) comes up for scrutiny and criticism, and somebody out there (7th house Mars) must be to blame.

With Ingress Neptune in the Sibly 3rd, we can expect Trump’s conspiracy theories to proliferate, feeding the general instability; it will be interesting to see to what extent debate moderators insist on objective fact-based discussions, and how Clinton responds to Trump’s inevitable “I saw it on the Internet”-style insinuations.

The beat goes on

Bottom line, both candidate charts tie into this year’s Libra ingress chart in interesting ways. I hope you will investigate further—I would love to hear your thoughts!  

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.