Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Emperor has no shame: Napoleonic times in America

Emperor Napoleon I of France (born Napoleone di Buonaparte) was born on August 15, 1769 in Ajaccio, France (then Corsica). 
He rose to power as a charismatic French Revolutionary military leader; he went on to basically reinvent France as well as most of Europe in his own image. 

He did this first, by conquering most of them in the so-called Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815), and then by imposing the “Napoleonic Code” rule of law across this new empire.

In his own times, Napoleon was compared to conquering emperors like Alexander the Great and Charlemagne. Napoleon himself was known to believe that Charlemagne (the “Holy Roman Emperor”) was the only worthy comparison. We might want to consider another comparison, in light of this history. Leaders with such overblown self-images rarely end well; it seems the U.S. may now have its own Napoleon clone, Donald J. Trump.
“He characterized his election as part of ‘a historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen.’ Forget about his loss of the popular vote. Or his 40 percent favorability rating. Or the puny crowd at his inauguration in comparison with the throngs at Obama’s eight years ago. Trump remained a singular man on a singular mission — a legend in his own mind.
We’ve already become so accustomed to his egomania that we sometimes forget how remarkable it is. He’s a braggart beyond his predecessors in the Oval Office, and that says something sad and scary about the country that elected him and the kind of leader he’s likely to be. With Trump we enter a new age of arrogance. He’s the cock crowing at its dawn.”
It’s likely that Frank Bruni was not thinking about Chinese New Year when he penned the above lines: it’s interesting in light of his observations about Trump that this will be for the Year of the Rooster—specifically, the Fire Rooster. Astrologers tend to see meaning in such synchronies—perhaps Trump’s powerful—and yes, arrogant—Leo Mars/Ascendant conjunction illustrates the “cock crowing at its dawn?”

But I digress; in poking around in past astrology publications, I found an article that is helping me put Trump’s pathetic rush to overturn American democracy with a flurry of executive orders into historical context. Countries have been turned upside down in short order before—we’re just the latest case. Case in point here: Trump may be a lot taller, and a whole lot less well-read, but there are enough eerie echoes between Napoleon Bonaparte (France’s one and only “emperor” from 1804-1815) and Donald J. Trump to warrant an exploration. Not just as a matter of curiosity—we might just learn something about what to expect going forward.
According to a masterful article written by astrologer André Barbault[1], there have been a number of efforts to rectify Napoleon’s birth time. After an exhaustive discussion of the alternatives, Barbault settles upon an 11:30 a.m. chart, so that’s what we will be using to examine the parallels between Trump’s and Napoleon’s charts and to some extent, between the two historical periods involved. Let’s consider the biwheel:

Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) Emperor Napoleón I, August 15, 1769, 11:30 a.m. LMT, Ajaccio, France; (outer wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY. Equal Houses; True Node.
To be clear, while I am certainly beholden to Barbault’s article for many of the following observations about Napoleón’s chart, I have adapted my reading to a tighter allowable orb for aspects (the traditional 4th harmonic Ptolemaic ones), which alters some considerations. I’ve also added Chiron into the picture, which I believe adds a valuable dimension to this discussion. I highly recommend Barbault’s article for further reading (see Note 1). Teasing out the parallels between the charts was my idea, of course!
Trump Mars-Ascendant (Leo) conjoins Emperor Napoleón (EN) Sun; Trump Pluto (Leo) conjoins EN MC-Mercury (Leo). Barbault points out the fierce “Lion” at the heart of Napoleón’s being: here we see that leader’s fiery, passionate Sun elevated in his 10th, widely conjunct his Leo MC—a signature aspect for a person whom others want to follow into battle. Barbault quotes Napoleon as saying: “I am the French Revolution”—are we seeing the parallels yet? Trump’s arrogance emerges more from his fiery angular Mars-Ascendant—perhaps a more openly belligerent spin on the same personality quality.

A leader known for being “lion-hearted”—an essential quality for empire builders—naturally draws followers. Trump, on the other hand, drew loyal followers with his thin-skinned demeanor and pugilistic, “anti-establishment” behavior, which is certainly carrying over into the White House. “I alone can fix this” (all America’s woes) was Trump’s rallying cry at the July convention, and Napoleon might have proclaimed something similar—absolute power is a comfortable fit for such potent Leo types.
Even as an entry-level military leader, Napoleon rallied his troops with charismatic magnetism, projecting his personality out onto his loyal followers, lauding them for having “fought like lions.” Attributing this charisma and skillful communication to Napoleon’s equally elevated Leo Mercury, Barbault cites the emperor’s self-adulation: “My great talent is to see clear…”[2]
When it comes to outright bragging, however, Napoleon had nothing on Trump’s brutish Mars in Leo demeanor. Bruni’s article is titled “The President Who Buried Humility” for good reason:
“His remarks…at the Lincoln Memorial early Thursday evening included the assertion that his victory was really theirs. “You had much more to do with it than I did,” he told them. ‘I’m just the messenger.’
But then he recited, for perhaps the thousandth time, how emphatically he defied so many pundits’ predictions and how huge his rallies were. He has indulged this tangent so repeatedly that Politico recently published a story with the headline ‘Trump Can’t Stop Talking About How He Won.’”
Likewise, Napoleon valued winning so deeply that he “branded” himself a romantic hero: cue Mars and Neptune!

EN Grand Earth Trine: Mars conjoins Neptune (both in Virgo); this duo trines Uranus (Taurus) and Pluto (Capricorn). Acquiring territory (earth signs triad) while assuming power (Uranus-Pluto) over the resource “spoils” of victory (Neptune-Pluto) was a sure path to hero-worship (Mars-Neptune) in the early 1800s: subjugating colonized peoples and their lands was every ambitious sovereign’s economic growth plan, and the military implemented the plan. Laws regarding ownership and private property were key to the Napoleonic Code, and despite France’s abolition of slavery in 1794, this “ownership” system was reinstated in some places under Napoleon.  
This grand trine reflected Napoleon’s leadership style, according to Barbault. He cites Napoleon saying “I draw my plans of battle from the dreams of my sleeping soldiers”—a stunning, unique expression of this close Mars-Neptune relationship! Further, “the genius of their leader—maker of their dreams...these men were won over by the collective trance so much so that they worshipped and served him as if there were no greater happiness.”[3]

Napoleon may have had the heart of a lion, but he valued cunning and calculated deception as well: “I am sometimes a fox, sometimes a lion. The key for governing is to know when it necessary to be one or the other.”  Barbault attributes this dimension of Napoleon’s character to his 1st house Scorpio Jupiter, but his wily, instinctual Mars-Neptune contributed.[4]
Casting a “collective trance” certainly fits Neptune’s modus operandi, but this earth grand trine allowed the use of Neptune for the purposes of material empire building, which may or may not promote civilized social evolution. A Neptune-Uranus-Pluto grand trine is rare: Barbault cites the 575 B.C. triple conjunction between these points as the seed bed for this amazing collective dynamic. He notes that this B.C. period ushered in the “great prophets (Zarathustra, Isaiah, Pythagoras, the Buddha and Confucius…the advent of Greek rationalism, the seed of our modern civilization…”[5]
Napoleon (and others of his day) undoubtedly did impact human civilization in profound ways we take very much for granted, but he was above all a man who seized the potential of his times for his own self-aggrandizement. Things didn’t end well for him, however; despite accomplishments that cannot be denied, he died in exile after a crushing 1815 defeat at Waterloo. His troops had lost enthusiasm for following him years before that.

Trump Mercury (Cancer) squares Neptune (Libra). According to New York Times columnist/economist Paul Krugman, Trump has been “furious at the media for its failure to reflect the magnitude of his achievements”—here we see why numbers (i.e., inauguration attendance) and “magnitude” (the heroic scope of his victory) are so important to Trump. It seems he can’t quite wrap his mind (Mercury) around the idea of losing even one vote because that idea registers as a personal injusticeif one vote was cast for his opponent, it must have been illegal!
In this same Tweet, Krugman also wondered out loud if Trump is actually mentally ill. Columnist Ruth Marcus writes that “Trump’s erratic first week was among the most alarming in history.” This Mercury square Neptune aspect could certainly tend in that direction, but Trump could also simply be a “fox,” who like Napoleon before him, knows how to use the power of delusions and uncertainty. 
One way or another, the state of his mental health is for the professionals to figure out. In fact, there were times Napoleon’s courtiers wondered about their emperor’s mental health, but his issue was more about depression than being unhinged; his Moon-Saturn opposition (Capricorn-Cancer) was a clear factor.
When does being an ungracious “sore winner,” unable to let a personal sleight go, cross into  mental health territory? We may find that out yet; Trump has announced there will be a “major investigation” into illegal voter fraud in the election. Since he has no proof to offer those who challenge his assertions, it appears he wants to manufacture the evidence. Republican voices are already lining up behind him—this is their opportunity to further suppress the vote going forward.
The “Wall” being built is not just on our Mexican border—it’s going to be built around the ballot box, as well. As for Trump’s mental health, obsessing about walls, imaginary “carnage” and threats posed by immigrants and refugees (the most disempowered people on Earth) can’t be a good sign. These people fleeing terrorism and war themselves are “the roadkilll of Trump’s posturing and fearmongering,” according to CNN analyst Fareed Zakaria.

Neptune can clearly promote delusionary, conspiracy-theorist type thinking, but this aspect with Mars also suggests an instinct for the optics and narrative of power, and Trump could simply be “crazy as a fox” here. He is determined to command any and all signifiers of power—staging his executive order signing photo ops in prestigious symbolic places, like the Hall of Heroes at the CIA, and so on.
Further, Trump wants to be considered the “one reliable source of information” for the public (undermining the free press in the process), and if his team can’t control the narrative put out in the media, he gets very pouty. When the Mexican president canceled his state visit here, it coincided with Trump’s face-saving effort to insist that Mexico is still going to pay for the border wall, “one way or another.” No, all signs point to the American taxpayer being on the hook for that corporate boondoggle.
Interestingly, Napoleon’s Venus-to-Neptune-Mars sextile ties into this configuration, with EN Venus conjoined Trump’s Mercury.
Simply put, the trappings of glory are essential to leaders who are “legends in their own minds”—otherwise, the “Emperor has no clothes.” Both these men are known for having over-the-top, opulent taste in furnishings, etc. It’s not hard to see Trump dressed in that iconic Napoleonic regalia, hand tucked into his lapel.
Importantly, Trump’s Mercury also disposes his progressed Virgo Sun (which crossed into his touchy Virgo 1st house last June), and his volatile/erratic Gemini stellium (Uranus-No. Node-Sun). This Mercury renders Trump insecure (Cancer) and insatiably hungry for what comic Trevor Noah calls “profiles in tremendousness.” Trump’s beleaguered press sidekick (Mercury) Sean Spicer has the unfortunate job of feeding the media Trump’s “beliefs” in place of facts (Neptune). Just how long can that go on?
Trump Taurus MC squares Leo Mars/ASC. Since we’re on the topic, every mental illness masks needs of some kind, and we can glean something about that. Trump’s chart features a deficit of earth, which could account for his erratic, ungrounded nature. Interestingly, his sole earth placement is a powerful fixed Taurus MC. This square likely supports Trump’s stamina—he is, we hear, quite a workaholic.
This placement also speaks to the strong career image he likes to project to the world, and to Trump’s apparent need to build and control substantive territory and structures. This certainly explains his career in real estate, but it also speaks to his obsession with “the Wall” and his need to control our territorial borders.
Disposed by his security-conscious Cancer Venus (conjunct legal-minded Saturn), Trump’s MC seems to reflect a view that success equals keeping others out of his land. Related, the land (and the riches within it, undoubtedly) is a business resource (Taurus) in his mind, so it’s not hard to see why he opposes environmentalists who want to shield those resources from business. Passing up on an opportunity to profit from available resources is not his style.

EN Jupiter (Scorpio) opposes Uranus (Taurus); Trump Jupiter-Chiron (Libra) trines Trump Uranus-No. Node-Sun (Gemini) and sextiles Trump Moon-So. Node (Sagittarius). Barbault considers Napoleon’s Scorpio-Taurus opposition an indication of the Emperor’s fatal ambition and overreach. The ancient Greeks would have called it hubris. As Barbault puts it: “The man was driven by the irresistible expansive force of his being, and we may believe that this need for more, always more, resulted in a loss of direction, because he always went further, finally too far, the tyranny of his internal imperialism [emphasis added] turning against him.”[6]
Clearly, Napoleon’s nodal axis (Sagittarius-Gemini) t-square to Chiron (Pisces) pressured and enflamed his driven nature even further. The synchrony here between this configuration and Trump’s Gemini-Sagittarius nodal axis-Uranus-Sun configuration is pretty breathtaking: rather than “burning out,” as Napoleon seemed to have done, however, Trump shows signs of overreaching with his words and divisive, chaotic nature (Gemini).
Napoleon dreamed of unifying Europe under one ruler, crowning himself as Emperor—predictably, he made fatal strategic and tactical errors as a consequence of this drive for “more, always more.” There’s an uncanny echo here with the 2016-2017 Jupiter-Uranus opposition (Libra-Aries), and Trump’s chart also evokes this “excessive ambition” dynamic with its Jupiter-to-Uranus-NNode-Sun trine and Jupiter-Moon sextile (in addition to the Gemini-Sagittarius configuration named above).  
Transiting Jupiter has recently returned to its natal position in Trump’s chart (clearly a help during the campaign), but it may be that throwing open the doors to a veritable candy shop of power and benefits for him all at once is tripping him up by inflating his already engorged sense of entitlement.  His misguided assumption that the president “cannot have a conflict of interest” (just by virtue of being president?) is certainly reflected here.
David Brooks describes Trump as the “Lord of Misrule” for his aversion to rules and protocols. He’s a throwback to medieval “fools,” Brooks says, who were often “rude and frequently unabashed liars….willing to make idiots of themselves” to prove their worth and strike out at the status quo. IMHO, there are better uses for the disruptive energies of Uranus.  
The expansive, intellectual energies of Jupiter-Uranus are also wasted here; so far, Trump seems to prefer the more chaotic potentials of this blend. Barbault likens Napoleon’s Jupiter-Uranus opposition to his “inner demon;” time will tell if Trump’s natal trine is similarly destructive, under pressure from transiting Jupiter-Uranus. The trine is more “libertine,” since the potentials of both planets are unleashed without the checks and balances provided by the opposition. Hopefully, transiting Uranus will step in to fill that void with constructive protest (looking at the airports this weekend and the aggressive legal efforts of the ACLU, there seems to be room for hope).

EN Saturn (Cancer) opposite EN Moon (Capricorn); Trump Saturn-Venus (Cancer) quincunxes Trump Moon-So. Node (Sagittarius). Barbault feels that Napoleon’s Moon-Saturn opposition (especially with Saturn-ruled Capricorn’s involvement) was his Achilles heel, in the end. He says it promoted an unhelpful solitary, workaholic tendency in the emperor. The old saying about being “lonely at the top” comes to mind here, considering Napoleon died in exile on a remote island.
In a stunning piece of synchronicity, Trump’s Cancer Saturn-Venus combination conjoins Napoleon’s Saturn. There’s probably a parallel with being “lonely at the top,” as well—Trump is surrounded by others, but it’s hard to see him as anything but a solitary individual, quite out-of-touch with humanity (especially now that he’s banned a large segment of it). One commentator described an interview with Trump as “listening to the Admiral in Mary Poppins.”
Trump’s Saturn-Venus quincunx his Sagittarius Moon-SNode is a frustrating mix; his Moon also disposes these Cancer placements. This points to the way Trump’s emotional nature seems to pull him in counterproductive directions—witness his history of bizarre 3 a.m. “tweets” that attack others, so he can then feel “free” (Sagittarius) to lash back with even more ferocity (a dynamic he seems to crave).  
Is he simply filling that attention void with this behavior? We see a love/hate relationship with authority (Saturn) here as well; Venus’s involvement points to why he prefers finance-based punishments (tariffs, taxes, withheld funding) for controlling others.
Repeatedly we’ve seen that when others resist his agenda (as the Mexican president did), Trump’s full Moon-Uranus-Nodal axis configuration simply won’t allow him to relax and let anything go. This is likely to be an ongoing battle—Trump has already picked a fight with millions around the world, and his new U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, is putting the world on notice for him:
"Our goal with the administration is to show value at the U.N.," said Haley, President Donald Trump's envoy to the international body. "And the way that we'll show value is to show our strength, show our voice, have the backs of our allies and make sure that our allies have our back as well."
Haley noted that those U.N. members "that don't have our back, we're taking names, we will make points to respond to that accordingly."
So, what’s the plan? Trump is clearly counting on the military option (he may even “send the Feds” into Chicago!), and a quick glance at the U.S. Sibly chart shows why we cannot underestimate his reckless impulses: his Gemini Sun-Node-Uranus conjoin Sibly Mars (21°+Gemini).
Haley’s opening salvo at the U.N. lobbed a shocking Gemini “message” that carefully implied military involvement (Mars inhabits the Sibly 7th house). Are we looking at a foreign policy aimed at “getting back” at countries that don’t get with Trump’s program? That’s not the “greatness” we need.

History echoes loudly
The possible parallels between Napoleon’s French empire and what appears to lie ahead for the U.S. with Trump and Co. makes for a long story, but one parallel leaps off the page that should concern us:
When Napoleon took the reins of power in France in November 1799, it was as “First Consul.” The French had just abolished their absolutist monarchy in the bloody 1789 revolution and its aftermath (lots of heads literally rolled), so they weren’t prepared to accept another monarch in 1799. Long story short, Napoleon’s charisma and early popularity as a military hero gained the people’s trust, and by May, 1804, he had finagled his way into the title of Emperor—over a new French constitutional monarchy.
Napoleon’s ambition for power simply had no bounds—he was a supreme megalomaniac. As it turns out, being crowned emperor (Dec. 2, 1804) was more for show than an “upgrade” for Napoleon—no new powers were assigned to him at that time, but the optics were great. And being seen as great was very important to him.
So, will Trump, as he may think he’s done, create a whole new nation in his own “great” image, as Napoleon did?
To explore this possibility, I’ve set Trump’s nativity and Inauguration charts against the 1787 U.S. Federal Constitution chart; I’ve chosen the latter chart because the Constitution is the final bulwark standing between Trump and an extreme transformation of the U.S. in his image. Will he finally settle into life as a more-or-less normal U.S. president, bound by the Constitution and a Congress and Supreme Court that sometimes, but not always gives him everything he wants? Or, are we in for a much more extreme ride?
Wherever possible, we’ll stay focused on new insights and avoid rehashing the contents of past posts about Trump’s natal/Inauguration chart interactions (see 11/30/16 and 1/19/17 posts). Let’s begin.

Triwheel #1: (inner wheel) U.S. Constitution signing, September 17, 1787, 4:00 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA. Source: Campion, BWH, Chart #376, p. 371[7]; (middle wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY; (outer wheel) Inauguration 2017, January 20, 2017, 12:00 p.m. ST, Washington, D.C. All charts use Equal Houses, True Node.
So, what impact does the Inauguration chart (representing the new administration) seem to have on the Constitution here? As Trump’s natal placements become relevant, we’ll add those into the conversation.
2017 (Inauguration) Neptune (Pisces) opposes Constitution (CON) Mercury. CON Mercury (Virgo) disposes CON Sun-Venus (also Virgo) and CON Jupiter-Chiron (Gemini). Clearly, Neptune’s Pisces transit wielded enormous influence over the election campaign (squaring Saturn for most of it), the election itself, and now, the resulting Trump administration.
The impact Neptune is threatening here against the Constitution’s Mercury may explain why “fake news” has permeated our political discourse and why Orwell’s 1984 has shot to the top of the Amazon bestseller list. Considering how dispersed Mercury’s influence is within the Constitution chart (via rulership/dispositorship), the power of delusion (not to mention delusions of grandeur on Trump’s part, with his natal Mercury-trine-Inauguration Neptune) will weigh heavily during the new administration.
Consider how Neptune’s power operates: it basically overwhelms or floods over a pre-existing reality and chokes the life out of it. Once its objectives are accomplished, it then peacefully and quietly recedes as if nothing happened: “Who me? I didn’t have anything to do with that destruction.” One reporter tapped into this type of power when he characterized Vladimir Putin’s favorite tactic of deny and lie, whenever he is confronted with facts and evidence. 
Trump is a very skilled pupil of these tactics. He simply dismisses any inconvenient facts as “fake news,” or “the dishonest media,” at the same time he keeps flooding the Twittersphere with his preferred narrative. It worked during the campaign (quite possibly enhanced by Russian influence) and Trump is apparently counting on this technique to work during his administration. Judging from yesterday’s performance, it seems that when Trump isn’t able to muzzle free speech and actual facts on his own, he has wing man Steve Bannon handy to issue threats. 

A critical aside
Neptune’s undermining impact on Mercury in these charts is not simply about delusionary thinking, etc.—again, we need to consider how Mercury’s influence is dispersed throughout the CON chart to fully appreciate what’s at stake here.
Mercury also disposes CON Chiron (Gemini), which in turn trines CON Pluto (Aquarius). In a stunning bit of synchronicity, Trump’s Chiron-CON Neptune (Libra) forms the third leg of an air grand trine with these two CON points, and Trump’s Uranus (Gemini) conjoins CON Chiron (Gemini).
Trump’s continuing tendency to lash out at the “world out there” for the sake of healing his own intensely felt wounds is seen here, but the stakes are infinitely higher now—with Trump’s Uranus trining CON Pluto in Uranus-ruled Aquarius and his Jupiter (Libra) also trining that CON Pluto, he’s capable of nuclear-armed destruction in the name of his megalomania-laced wounds.
Such leaders tend to use security and laws (CON chart) of the homeland as their open-ended pretext for ethically-questionable (Jupiter-Chiron) behavior. Are there higher, more enlightened uses of these configurations? Of course, but based on the man’s behavior and mindset, we need to brace ourselves for the darker potentials as well.

Blessings on us all
CON Mercury-Venus conjunction. This represents the fundamental democratic “blessing” of free speech and cooperative trade relations (commerce clauses). Mercury’s dispositorship of Gemini Jupiter suggests that this Mercury needs to function well for the success and growth of our governmental system. Trump’s Pluto (Leo) semi-sextiles CON Mercury, hinting that there will be friction and a somewhat uneasy relationship between Trump’s sense of power and entitlement and our core constitutional principles. There’s not much need to speculate here—with his draconian immigration/refugee orders, the clashes are already happening.
Trump’s heavy emphasis on trade relations (and his disastrous first whack at them with Mexico this week) seems curiously grounded in his power needs. He has staked a lot of political capital on his promises to tear apart and renegotiate trade agreements, but deal-making at the expense of civility and cooperative relationships (i.e., with Mexico) will most certainly come back to haunt us.

Interchart Mutable Grand Cross: Inauguration Saturn-Trump Moon-SNode (Sagittarius) opposes CON Jupiter-Trump Uranus-NNode-Sun (Gemini); this axis squares CON Sun (Virgo) opposite Inauguration Mars-Chiron-Venus (Pisces). We’ve seen this movie before—mutable grand crosses were a stressful feature of the 2016 election campaign, but thus far I’ve only considered them in reference to the Sibly chart, not the Constitution chart. Either way, the nation has been subjected to a long, destabilizing, wounding shake-up. With his tightly connected Sun, Trump has clearly been the agent of this shake up—a fact that he is proud to point out.
Many close observers in the press these days are—to their credit—speaking out about the dangers of this destabilizing force, and how deeply it may have penetrated our democratic system’s defenses. The Sibly connection is key here, too: that chart’s 22°+ Virgo Neptune conjoins the CON chart’s Sun (representing our ideals and the American Dream), reflecting that the Constitution is the real dream we were founded upon. It wasn’t home ownership, it wasn’t a chicken in every pot, it wasn’t freedom from taxation, and it certainly wasn’t the capitalist system that was then beholden to slavery.
Our foundational dream was democracy and the sovereignty we gained from breaking free of King George III’s tyranny. Do we even remember what that means these days?
Anyone who has ever experienced a flooded basement knows how easy it is to undermine a home’s foundation—there’s just no substitute for preventing the flood! Saturn put up a feeble attempt at prevention this past election season, but in Sagittarius, it was marginalized by Libra Jupiter (ruling Sagittarius). This Jupiter’s proximity to Trump’s Jupiter-Chiron, not to mention the CON chart’s Neptune (Libra) overwhelmed the forces of reason (Saturn) with “fake news” and promises to “make America great again” (Jupiter-Neptune).

Trump Mercury (Cancer) quincunxes CON Moon (Sagittarius). If we allow that the CON Moon represents the passionate, freedom-loving “spirit” embraced by the writers of that document, here we see that Trump’s thinking (Mercury) is incompatible. The founding revolutionaries were animated by so-called “Enlightenment” thinkers, such as Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Locke and Adam Smith; taking a page from their writings, the founders became very cautious about the corruption inherent in state religions and keenly tuned into the potential of a liberated humanity.
For his part, Trump is happy to leverage religious biases for the sake of power (banning Muslims, prioritizing Christian refugees). His fearful mindset (Cancer) is driving his immigration and refugee policies, with no regard for the anti-democratic outcomes.
This fiery CON Moon reflects the ideals of liberty and equality that are given practical expression in this document (CON Mercury in Virgo squares the Moon). A wide, dissociate trine between the Moon and Uranus (late Cancer), with Uranus in a discordant position, but disposing the 1st house Aquarius Pluto-Saturn (widely conjoined) points to the powerful “complications” these ideals ran into as the country evolved.
American colonists dropped their differences long enough to unite against the King, but the Constitution had to accommodate some incompatible viewpoints to gain ratification. These compromises have been keeping us ideologically divided ever since.

Enter the Emperor
Interchart Fixed Grand Cross: Trump Pluto-CON DSC (Leo) opposes CON Pluto (Aquarius); this axis squares Inauguration ASC (Taurus) opposition to Inauguration Moon (Scorpio). This nation was founded as a radical transformation (Aquarius Pluto rising) away from monarchy (Leo), which is clearly seen here. Trump’s Pluto, on the other hand, lines up to oppose that liberation, interacting with the Inauguration points here (the Moon in Pluto-ruled Scorpio) to promote a “strong man” government, ruling by executive fiat.
In all fairness, Pluto signs are a generational matter, and not all Pluto in Leo leaders have pitted themselves against the Constitution; we always have choices about how we express our planetary energies.
Aspects expert Bil Tierney says that the fixed grand cross “tends to work its powerful energies out on the will and desire level, creating inner frustrations often leading to emotional crises (Moon). The four squares intensify the willfulness and unyielding fixity of this quality.”[8] Women (Moon) are playing an interesting role in securing Trump’s hold, as well—a topic that might require an entire post!
Those who expect Trump to compromise on Constitution-related issues have a long wait; legal action will be needed, which brings us to the next issue.
Interchart Grand Air Trine: Trump Gemini points trine CON Saturn (Aquarius) trine Trump Chiron-Jupiter (Libra). If we end up being dependent upon Trump’s Attorney General pick, Jeff Sessions, to protect the Constitution’s checks and balances in the end, we may be in for a rough ride. Unfortunately, this trine may point to Trump’s ability to benefit from, rather than answer to normal legal options.
The worst-case scenario would be that Sessions becomes a tool for prosecuting Trump’s so-called “enemies” (those who “don’t have his back” according to Haley), and thus healing Trump’s Chiron “wounds,” in return for great power and influence for himself. Sessions has refused to recuse himself from any investigations against Trump, so that should tell us something.
As it happens, Sessions’ natal Jupiter-Venus (Scorpio)[9] tie into Trump’s Mars/ASC-to-MC configuration—clearly, Sessions is motivated by the “blessings of great ambition, achieved by whatever means necessary” (Jupiter disposes his Sagittarius Sun). In a curious bit of synchronicity, Sessions’ Jupiter echoes Napoleon’s natal placement; there are serious ambitions at stake here, and as Barbault argued for Napoleon (Biwheel 1 above), the cunning skills of a “fox.” Will he be Trump’s “major domo?”

Final thoughts for now
An emperor claims to derive his power from “on high,” and a “divine mandate” is certainly convenient for leaders who don’t want to follow rules. However, that’s not the American Dream of democracy. Here, power derives from the People, and everyone—even the president—answers to the Constitution. If we allow Neptune to erode that relationship between power and responsibility, we are in for troubling times, indeed. 
Lots of uncertainty looms ahead, but all things considered, democracy is working pretty well this week: protests everywhere, with far more citizens engaged in what’s happening out there than usual. Nothing says democratic leaders can’t be strong (our Founders certainly were)—but it’s equally important that the People are stronger.

February eclipse coverage coming soon!

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former educator. 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.

She is also available to read individual charts—contact her at:

© Raye Robertson 2017. All rights reserved. 

[1]André Barbault, “The Astrology of Napoleón,” Considerations, Vol. XX, No. 4, Nov. 2005-Jan. 2006, pp. 3-51.
[2] Ibid, p. 23.
[3][3] Ibid, p. 15.
[4] Ibid, p. 21.
[5] Ibid, p. 8.
[6] Ibid, p. 27.
[7] Campion, BWH, Chart #376, p. 371.
[8] Bil Tierney, Dynamics of Aspect Analysis, CRCS Publications, 1983, p. 87.
[9] December 24, 1946, 12:00 p.m. (no time available), Selma, AL. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Neptune wears a “Pussy Hat:” the Yin and Yang of the Woman’s March & Movement

By now, you’ve probably seen the incredible news coverage: millions of women, men and children protesting in Washington, D.C., in a host of other American cities, and in cities abroad, all to express opposition to Donald Trump’s presidency and to his anti-civil rights, anti-feminist and nationalist agenda.  

Just one day after Trump swore to uphold the Constitution, so help him God, rivers of humanity filled the streets where he now lives in the People’s House, to have their say. Seas of pink hats—the signature pink “pussy” hats of the event, worn by women and men alike—provided a very “yin” spectacle of support, resistance and defiance.
It was also, however, a very “yang” event—at its heart a massive, logistically-complex and well-organized action. One speaker after another called for the powerful energy engulfing those city streets to be nurtured and developed into an even more competent, more powerful, determined and bold revolution. If we consider the chart for the event, there is reason to believe the revolution may indeed take shape.
I’ve cast the following chart for the time the first speaker began speaking in Washington, D.C., which CNN listed as 10:21 a.m. This is significant because the stated launch time was 10:00 a.m., and the chart would have been quite different had the activities kicked off at that time. Specifically, the 10 a.m. chart would have had a late Pisces ascendant, while the 10:21 a.m. chart has a vibrantly active Aries ascendant. Let’s look at the chart.

Chart #1. Women’s March on Washington, D.C. January 21, 2017, 10:21 a.m. ST, Washington, D.C. Equal Houses, True Node.
Aries rises; Uranus-Eris (Aries) occupy the 1st house, opposing 7th house Jupiter (Libra) and t-squaring Pluto (Capricorn). The event is clearly a revolutionary one: this was not a dreamy, Piscean crowd: it was bold, determined, passionate, and at times an even “nasty” crowd. The recurring thread of “nasty women” evoked support for Hillary Clinton’s use of that Trump insult during the campaign, and the phrase has been adopted to support not just straight women, but women of color and LGBTQ individuals as well. Pop star Madonna (one of many stars who rallied the crowd and performed) directed one crude “F*@k You” after another at any unsupportive doubters/haters.
This is interesting in light of media head Tina Brown’s observation that the overarching theme of the March was “anti-bullying,” which perhaps informed the defiant tone of some protestors. Bullies respect power and that’s about it. Brown also offered that Trump has simply exhausted the tolerance of women with his corrosive rhetoric and “King of Chaos” behavior—in fact, Trump’s natal Mars trines this event’s Uranus-Eris conjunction, so her comment is well-founded.

The crowd was also overwhelmingly young, befitting an Aries chart—Millennials were definitely out in force, and the number of children involved (often very cognizant of the march’s purpose) was  impressive. Sophie Cruz, a young Latino girl (8-9 years old, perhaps), spoke up bravely on behalf of undocumented families, saying, “Let us fight with faith, love and joy so our families will not be destroyed.” She expressed trust in “people with love in their hearts” to protect families: hearing this child’s innocent confidence and trust—and realizing how frightening the Trump presidency must really be for her family—was heartbreaking.  
Uranus in Aries disposed the day’s elevated (10th h) Aquarius Sun, and from its 1st house placement conjunct disruptive Eris, it captured the collective energy and revolutionary intent of the day. Opposite Jupiter in Libra (disposed by super-femme Pisces Venus), this Uranus-Eris completes the 1st-7th house polarity and its powerful blend of “yin” and “yang” energies.
The news yesterday morning (1/22) questioned whether the March represented a “Moment or a Movement,” and I think we see here that between the power of this polarity and its tense cardinal square to Pluto, it is potentially both. The mandate here is power for the People (Cancer opposes the focal planet Capricorn Pluto), and that requires sustained effort. The generative and protective roles of women are reflected perfectly here. In Saturn-ruled Capricorn, Pluto speaks to the chthonic, feminine energies of Mother Earth; this People power we’re seeking needs to work with these earth energies, not against them.

I was reminded of the importance of working with the Earth when two Native American women offered the final songs of the day from the D.C. stage: their ancient chants tapped into this primal chthonic Pluto, and to my mind, put the entire day into the deep context needed. Empowering the People and protecting the Earth are one and the same project in Native minds—perhaps this perspective will provide much-needed momentum going forward. 
Does that mean there will be no pushback against the intentions of the movement that comes out of all this? Clearly, no—there will be many pitfalls ahead, addressed by the following dynamics.
Pisces Neptune is the chart’s final dispositor, widely conjoining Venus (Pisces). Mars and Chiron are conjunct, also in Pisces, so Neptune rules this quartet and all four points occupy the March chart’s 12th house. There’s an outpouring of energy waiting to be unleashed here, but for now it is blocked and perhaps undermined (Chiron) by Neptunian forces, including Trump’s belligerent, deceptive (Neptune) “King of Chaos” behavior.
Within the movement, maintaining a clear focus going forward could be a challenge. The many interest groups represented by the March could find themselves at cross purposes—for instance, working to impeach Trump as many would like will put Mike Pence in office, which many of the marchers might find even worse.
Whether that was Trump’s deliberate strategy for remaining in power despite conflicts of interest, etc. is impossible to say, but this may be an obstacle that’s difficult to overcome. “Divide and conquer” is a real possibility with the diverse priorities at stake—again, coalescing around the deeper “Earth”-centered focus at the heart of this movement would help promote core unity and unleash the movement’s energies.

Chart ruler Venus-Chiron-Mars (Pisces) squares Saturn (Sagittarius), trines Moon (Scorpio) and quincunxes Jupiter (Libra). The Mars-Chiron conjunction by itself creates the urgent motivation to act on actual/perceived wounds and blockages—yesterday’s speakers catalogued many such issues. The outpouring of support from the men in the protestors’ lives is also represented here, but the dark side of relationships (Venus) that feeds problems like sexual assault was also highlighted. Relationships can be both a joy and a burden to all—providing both the wound and the healing, but more importantly, they are a path to deeper, transformative connectedness (Scorpio Moon).
Was yesterday a type of initiatory experience for those involved? The question may be whether the movement will be able to leverage this intensity for its most constructive purposes.
The answers may lie in the 9th house squares to Saturn and the 7th house quincunxes with Libra Jupiter. These factors are likely to drag the movement down with economic and practical realities: as passionate as the protestors are, “real life” has a way of distracting people’s energies.
On another note, the squares to Saturn suggest that taking responsibility will be key: Sagittarius Saturn is disposed by and sextile Libra Jupiter, so the opportunity for success and growth is here—but will we be able to seed a new era of positive growth across the economy, or an era of goodies (Jupiter—tax breaks, business deals) handed out to Trump’s top-tier allies (Libra)?
With four years of Capricorn dominance looming ahead, countering the toxic, plutocratic growth that Trump’s Cabinet seems likely to push will be a serious challenge. See the October 16, 2015 post here for more on this (among other posts—this discussion has been and will continue to be ongoing).

Another challenge will be to separate out Trump’s rhetoric about bringing jobs back and keeping jobs here, from the reality that his economic team is the most anti-labor bunch we’ve seen. What policies and institutions truly serve the needs of working people and which don’t? Here’s where the false equivalency between Bernie Sanders’ agenda and Trump’s agenda is revealed; we have every reason to believe that Sanders would actually carry out his pro-labor, pro-education, anti-globalization ideals, whereas Trump co-opted a “Sanderesque,” populist message which he has already reneged upon. Early signs from his Cabinet appointments suggest that the reason Trump offered no specifics about his agenda proposals was that he never intended to implement them!
Even so, to cut through likely resistance to the movement’s inclusive, liberal-minded message, it will be important to strike a balance between a global focus (9th house) and domestic priorities. For instance, being seen as supporting immigrant rights at the expense of priorities within our borders will be risky if the goal is broader acceptance, yet a major focus of the March was to resist Trump’s anti-immigrant, nationalist agenda.
Undoubtedly, these quincunxes and the cardinal t-square discussed above will require tightrope-walking acts to achieve other goals of the March: namely, to defend the Paris climate change agreement and related environmental priorities (represented so inspiringly by the Native American women attending the March). Jupiter is playing double-duty in both configurations. Trump has an aggressive anti-regulatory and pro-toxic growth (Jupiter) agenda, not to mention a plan to “privatize” Native lands for the sake of oil and gas development.
The determination to protect Standing Rock Sioux lands and waters from the North Dakota pipeline project was a running theme at the March and also speaks eloquently to the chart’s Scorpio Moon—protecting the Native peoples, who refer to themselves as Water Protectors.

This tension between Earth-centered concerns and the corporate bottom line is certainly reflected in the t-square formed by 10th house Part-of-Fortune (Capricorn) opposed to earthy 4th house Vesta, all square 1st house Ceres. Ceres forms a very wide conjunction with Uranus (Aries), but when Trump announced his candidacy last June, they were within 2 degrees of each other. Needless to say, earth-centered issues have been political footballs ever since.
Vesta is doing her best to keep the home fires burning here, and the opposition to the 10th house POF reflects the opposing forms of Power that we’re seeing in Washington: the People v. the Government (Saturn rules the Capricorn 10th). Trump is busily proving that he can take things away from the People (the talk today is about his intent to defund the arts, PBS, NPR, etc.) with a simple flourish of his pen.
In the name of economic growth and jobs, Trump is rapidly overturning any vestiges of environmental protection (and civilization itself, if the arts fall victim) in favor of corporate bottom lines, so at a time when determined forward motion is demanded by mounting climate change doing real damage to people’s lives, we are now threatened with turning back the clock and losing critical ground. The very early killer tornadoes that ripped through the southeast this weekend certainly speak to this.
North Node (Virgo) trines MC-Mercury (Capricorn). In terms of the March on Saturday, this placement elevates the various pragmatic, environmental issues on the protest agenda to the level of a widely-shared, determined action plan. Women attending were concerned about concrete goals—not nebulous ideals or empty promises, and this could be what makes ongoing resistance feasible: even the busiest of women (and men, for that matter) will make time to improve their children’s lives in some way.  
Mercury disposes the Virgo Node, suggesting that this flowing aspect reflects synchrony between the imperatives of this March and the time/place those imperatives are born into; thankfully, it appears there is an opportunity to make progress on its agenda.

Juno conjoins Saturn and the Galactic Center (GC-Sagittarius) and sextiles Jupiter (Libra). This is also a significant indication that the time is right for women—many of them wives, akin to asteroid Juno (the mythic wife of Jupiter/Zeus)—to take on their power en masse. Conjunctions to the GC seem to manifest phenomena “whose time has come,” and there are often inconvenient revelations involved. Jupiter/Zeus was known for betraying and deceiving his long-suffering wife, but she had her ways of expressing wifely power, too. Similar opportunities exist in this chart.
As for how this configuration might help or hinder the March’s ensuing movement, it’s possible that we will see a whole new generation of motivated “whistleblowers”. Brave female soldiers could begin coming forward more boldly about sexual assault, determined female employees could bring more forceful litigation against the gender-based pay disparities they experience, and so on. The defunding of Planned Parenthood could be revealed in all its hypocritic detail, etc.
We might expect that the legally-significant breaking stories will begin spilling out once Saturn passes over the GC, as well (next month).

Final thoughts about an incredible weekend
Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer had the unenviable task of making his first post-inauguration public statement to scold the press for nonsense. Trump's gripe apparently, was a thin-skinned one, as usual--this time focused on how the media reported inauguration numbers. Their crime, of course, was that they cited actual visual data, rather than Trumpian hyperbole.
In the end, this maneuver was designed to suck the oxygen out of media coverage for the Women’s March, and we can probably assume that this pettiness was simply bald-faced attention-grabbing. In general, the media seems to concur that the Trump team got off to a very rocky start, with a series of such ill-considered blunders (including Kellyann Conway’s tiff with Meet the Press’s Chuck Todd over “alternative facts”—huh?).
It’s tempting to simply ignore the Trump administration's juvenile antics, however it may be possible to leverage that negative energy for something constructive in the coming 100 days of Resistance (it may take more than 100 days, but we have to start somewhere). We just have to keep our antennae alert for any attempts to divide women against each other and thus undermine any progress—it will happen, it’s just a matter of time.
Finally, Sikh activist Valerie Kaur offers a hopeful, unifying message for facing the perils of these times:
"Yes…the future is dark, on this watch night, I close my eyes and I see the darkness of my grandfather's cell. And I can feel the spirit of ever rising optimism (in the Sikh tradition 'Chardi Kala') within him. So the mother in me asks, 'What if? What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb?.... What if this is our country's great transition?" 
The astrology says we’re right on schedule!

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former educator. 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.

She is also available to read individual charts—contact her at:

© Raye Robertson 2017. All rights reserved.