Monday, February 27, 2017

Of Whistle-blowing & Volatile Times: Saturn & the 3rd Q Sibly Progressed Lunar Cycle

 In May, 2016, I wrote about a major progressed cycle event for the U.S. Sibly chart that was—at that time—still “down the road a piece,” but this week, on March 2, that event is squarely upon us. 

So, I thought this would be a good time to update and deepen our considerations, based on what’s transpired since last May. 

And a lot has transpired since May.

You may be tempted to feel, as I do, that since the election, we’re “not in Kansas, anymore.” Even so, as freakishly different as American life may seem on the surface today, there are reassuring, visible threads of continuity. Protests and waves of grass-roots resistance (at town halls, etc.) are proving that we’re never quite as helpless as we may feel in the face of challenge, that heroes do have a way of emerging when we need them, and besides, the solar system keeps humming along, no matter how we screw things up in our little corner of it. 

One reassuring bit of continuity is our nation’s progressed lunar cycle—the cycle that tracks the movements of the Sibly progressed Sun and progressed Moon, and the angles they form to each other over time. If we’re wondering why so many things in our collective American lives are falling apart around us right now, this cycle provides some insights. If we’re wondering when our politics and public life will stabilize and begin rebuilding, this cycle is a good place to start. Let’s check in to see where we are currently.

On March 2, 2017, the U.S. Sibly chart will begin the 3rd Quarter of its 8th progressed lunar cycle, which ends on March 25, 2024, when a new cycle begins. Transits, outer planetary cycle milestones and eclipses that occur during this time period will unfold within the context of this progressed 3rd Quarter, which will impact the nation’s health and wellbeing accordingly.  
As I said in the May post, this 3rd progressed quarter context will provide an underlying theme for the coming 7 years—finishing unfinished business; clearing out outworn realities and emotional baggage so the way is open for something new. So what will that mean in day-to-day American life?
Let’s first very briefly review the 3rd Q inception chart next to the Sibly chart. 

Biwheel 1: (inner wheel) natal, USA (Sibly), July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m., LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (outer wheel) USA (Sibly), day-for-year progression for March 2, 2017 at 12:00 a.m. GMT, Washington, D.C.  

Interchart T-square: Progressed Moon conjoins Sibly ASC (Sagittarius) and opposes Sibly Uranus/Mars (midpoint) & DSC (Gemini); Progressed Sun (Pisces) squares this opposition from the Sibly 4th. Since the Sibly Sun represents the Executive and the nation as a sovereign entity, we can see here that the Executive and the People (the 4th in a mundane chart is the “People’s” house) need to be on the same wave-length during these next 7 years. Matters of trust and deception will resonate deeply.

Importantly, can we feel “at home” (4th) with this president? Does America itself feel like “home” anymore? Calls from the fringe-Right for a more ethno-cultural perspective on America (i.e., the white nationalist viewpoint that this nation “belongs” to white people because it was white Europeans who first stepped off the boats onto our shores) may begin to sound logical and nostalgically-appealing to many more; if the spike in hate crimes we’re seeing these days is any indication, this dangerous perspective has made inroads.

Those who reject this sadly-limited vision of America as a culturally “white homeland” will need to recommit to our pluralistic American soul. As one politician this week put it, this vision of a homeland was put to rest at Appomattox: do we really want to relitigate the Civil War and the bad old days of Jim Crow?

Unfortunately, this progressed Sun placement allows the Executive to heavily influence the nation’s 4th house demographic mix—the crazy wonderful diversity of our body politic. Bottom line, Trump will likely continue to adjust our demographics more to his liking whenever he’s given the leeway to do so. More white Christians, check. Fewer Muslims and Latinos, check. We don’t really know what he thinks about Asians…yet.

Of course, with this progressed Sun in Pisces, the lines of authority related to all this may be quite blurred: despite Stephen Miller’s chilling pronouncement that the “power of the president…will not be denied,” it’s hard to say whose agenda Trump is really acting upon at any given time. Getting a straight, truthful story out of the Oval Office will also continue being a struggle.

As far as I’ve been able to tell, the only consistent narrative running throughout Trump’s agenda is fear and dread, which certainly speaks to this Pisces placement. In its negative moments, Pisces can engender terror (no need for actual terrorists!)—the dread of dissolution, of violation by “invasion” and overwhelm. Every immigrant can look like a flood of threatening outsiders out to get us.

It’s no coincidence that our experiences with terrorism really ramped up after our progressed Sun entered Pisces in 2004, unleashing these fears and legitimizing George W. Bush’s strategy of “pre-emptive strike.”

Our “innocence” was violated horrifically on 9/11/2001 (progressed Sibly Sun conjunct our radix Sibly Moon in Aquarius) and ever since, the mere suspicion of a threat was enough to justify attack under Bush, even though nothing substantial provoked the attack. If national security continues to dominate Trump’s agenda, we’ll continue chasing Pisces bogeymen. All the more reason that executive orders proclaiming national security-oriented policies should be fact-checked and reality-based.

If we can relax this fearful focus and act on the creative, compassionate potential of Pisces—perhaps even reaching across borders in constructive ways, maybe there will be progress. Our participation in the Paris Climate Accord is one example that comes to mind, but many such opportunities will arise.

As our progressed Sun gets deeper into the “weeds” of Pisces over the next years, we will be challenged to make peace with our insecurities and resist the undertow of nationalist isolationism. The 4th house is where we can refresh our collective spirits, if we can avoid succumbing to that undertow.

With that said, this progressed Sun-Moon event does speak loudly to the nation’s defenses: the progressed Moon—representing the People and our demographic make-up—falls smack on top of the Sibly ASC, opposite the sensitive 7th house of enemies and Others and the Sibly Uranus/Mars (midpoint, Gemini). 

In our “Reality TV”-style politics, we run the risk of pursuing military aggression simply for the sake of the “rush” and the “ratings.” A Sagittarius progressed Moon might be inclined to rally around that flag, unless someone leads us in a more constructive direction.

On the other hand, perhaps the People (progressed Moon) will—in ways large and small—steer our leaders in that more constructive direction. Sagittarius is capable of cutting through the “fog” of Pisces with rational, strategic thinking. The groundswell of activism at town halls and the like is very hopeful in this regard.

Entering the nation’s 1st house of identity, this progressed Moon is like a newborn, feeling out its new sensory environment and responding to it from a purely gut level. Does this aspect of American identity make me feel safe, or vulnerable? Are my physical needs satisfied? Do I feel respected and loved? In Sagittarius, we might add, Do I find that the world is my oyster and the sky’s the limit? Can I follow my insatiable curiosity wherever it takes me?

Americans have always been an adventurous (Sagittarius) people; we are poised to explore whatever frontiers beckon today. If we listen to today’s scientists and technology pioneers, there are still many groundbreaking developments on the horizon. Not a moment too soon; we really need to expand into our greater potential again.

It used to be a core assumption that America was “Number One”—the most powerful, the richest, the strongest, the most heroic, and so on. That assumption has run aground since this progressed cycle began in 1994, and in this final progressed quarter we seem to be entering a period in which we have to prove once again what we’re worth as a nation, how dedicated we are to our democratic institutions and each other. 

Will we prove ourselves to be “exceptional” in any valuable, virtuous sense anymore, or simply the 500-lb. “elephant” in every geopolitical situation?

Nations develop “itchy trigger fingers” with intense configurations like this Mutable t-square, especially involving the nation’s chart horizon. Judging from his rhetoric, Trump could be inclined to shoot first and think later at the least provocation, simply to assert his dominance and authority. It’s interesting in this regard that the Russian spy ship has been hovering off our East coast—the Russians apparently have to do a lot to provoke a reaction.

Today’s news reports that Trump plans to promote a $54 billion increase in defense spending, at the expense of programs “across the federal government.” Surprise, surprise.

There’s also justified concern about growing internal unrest (progressed Sun in 4th square Sibly Uranus), but “People Power” (progressed Moon) may be the only way to shore up our democratic institutions for now. Even so, this progressed 3rd quarter is our opportunity to confront and work on internal divisions. We really need to decide if we are one nation or two.

Progressed Mars (Rx Libra) conjoins Sibly Saturn (Libra) and trines Sibly Mars/Uranus (Gemini). Mars conjunct Saturn in Cardinal signs denotes aggressive impulses, although with Mars Rx by progression since 2006, the actions we’ve taken as a nation have tended to fall short of the desired results. Saturn rules Congress, so pressure will be brought to bear on them to act—the progressed Mars trine to Sibly Mars/Uranus suggests an attempt to assert dominance that may or may not unfold as planned.

Denying a hike to defense budgets is never easy, but it could be important for two reasons: 1) to rein in Trump’s aggressive impulses and willingness to say anything to get his way; 2) because using a defense budget hike as a wedge that forces dramatic cuts to other necessary agencies will only stoke further internal divisions.

It should be noted here that this configuration ties very tightly into Trump’s natal chart: progressed Sibly Mars-Sibly Saturn conjoins Trump’s natal Chiron-Jupiter (Libra), and that Trump’s natal Uranus (Gemini) conjoins the Sibly Mars/Uranus (all in Gemini), while his Sun conjoins Sibly Mars itself (see Triwheel below). 

His abiding need to prove his greatness (Chiron-Jupiter) and his volatile nature (Uranus-Node-Sun) are given free rein with these aggressive Sibly dynamics. Pressure on Congress (Sibly Saturn) to fund a military campaign could also be indicated (see below for Venus’s involvement).

Interchart T-square: Progressed Venus (Aries) squares both Sibly Mercury (Cancer) and Sibly Pluto (Capricorn) and sextiles Sibly Moon (Aquarius). Adding to the intensity, Mars disposes Progressed Venus in Aries, and she in turn squares Sibly Mercury, ruling the 7th house of open enemies and the 10th house—a Virgo house that speaks to the U.S. military’s involvement in the world. P Venus also squares 2nd house Sibly Pluto, ruling the Sibly 12th, suggesting a more behind-the-scenes dimension to government activities in regards to negotiations, resources and finances.

It should be said here that P Venus (over the Sibly 5th) also squares Trump’s natal Saturn-Venus (Cancer) and the Sibly progressed NNode (Cancer), reflecting Trump’s conflicts of interest—there’s no doubt that resources and political power are closely linked here. The chances that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and/or Congress will hold Trump to the standard all past presidents have been held to appears doubtful, or at least very strained here.

There’s a very troubling inertia at work in this t-square (and its connections to Trump’s chart, see below); with Sibly Pluto involved, the possibilities of “Dark Money” and political debts to pay are quite real.

Despite all that, the P Venus sextile to Sibly Moon (Aquarius) suggests that economic opportunities for everyday people should be available during this coming progressed quarter, even if Wall Street (Sibly Pluto) is ill at ease with some initiatives (t-square). The sextile may also reflect that the ACA (Venus rules the health-oriented Sibly 6th) lives on without too much economic damage to those covered.

Progressed Mercury (Aquarius) conjoins Sibly Moon (Aquarius), trines Sibly Mars and inconjoins Sibly Neptune (Virgo). Mercury rules the Virgo ASC of this progressed 3rd quarter chart, making Mercury’s position in Aquarius more potent than we might expect. Mercury rules public media communications, and with these aspects we can expect a frustrating lack of transparency (P Mercury-Sibly Neptune) when it comes to military or health (Virgo) matters (watch out for surprise over-night developments regarding the ACA!) and to the actions being taken in our name on the world stage (Sibly 10th). 

We are likely to see a major recruitment effort (Mercury trine Sibly Mars) for any such projects, including the project of protesting changes to the ACA. This could also reflect the effort to recruit thousands into Trump’s plans for military-style border control and deportations—is this the “infrastructure jobs” program we expected from him?

Triwheel #1: (inner wheel) U.S. Sibly, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (middle wheel) U.S. Sibly, Day-for-Year-Progressions for March 2, 2017, 12:00 a.m. GMT, Washington, D.C.; (outer wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY. All charts feature Tropical Equal Houses and True Node.

A word about “leaks”

Since Trump has decided to declare war on the media—“the enemy of the People,” according to him—perhaps this is a good time to talk about what might be triggering all the “leaks” he finds so upsetting. In fact, we should probably thank the leakers for keeping his administration at least somewhat accountable for its actions and words. Journalists have begun calling Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s recent demand that his staff turn over their phones for inspection a case of “swirling paranoia”—never a good sign for an administration.

Even former President George W. Bush has today supported the importance of the independent media, saying it’s needed “to hold people like me to account. Power can be very addictive and corrosive and it’s up to the media to call to account people who abuse their power, here and elsewhere.”

Following the leader is at times all-important; when leaders are clearly acting or planning to act against our higher principles as a nation, however, it’s time for citizens to step in for the good of all. These “leakers” are called whistleblowers, and they fulfill an important role in democracies. I started this article by saying that we can take comfort in the fact that “heroes” tend to emerge when they’re most needed—here’s a great case in point!

There’s no denying that whistle-blowing can be controversial, but astrologically, it makes sense that this secretive administration has sprung multiple leaks. Saturn is now transiting the Galactic Center (GC) at 26°-27° Sagittarius, trine Mars-Uranus in Aries. Such leaks from within the administration have helped uncover many important stories that Trump wants to squash—because they may put his campaign and future plans in an unfavorable, even illegal (Saturn) light. I give former president Bush credit for speaking up here—things are likely to get even more heated in this struggle over our free press before long.

The trine to Mars-Uranus reflects the shocking, aggressive nature of some of the leaked information, as well as Trump’s response to it all. Transiting Saturn also falls quincunx Sibly Mercury (Cancer), the nation’s media, so they are certainly experiencing frustrating blowback from their journalistic efforts. Last I heard, they’re committed to continue reporting whatever credible information comes their way.

So, can we expect things to stabilize a bit any time soon? Some outer planetary transits, like Saturn entering Capricorn later this year and Uranus entering Taurus in May, 2018 may help calm things down going forward, but the nation’s progressed Sun doesn’t enter Aries until 2035, and Aries isn’t exactly a “calm” sign. It will feel like a refreshing new birth, however, after a very long “swim” in the waters of mutable Pisces. 

Let’s not get pulled down by the undertow.

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. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

“The Widening Gyre:” Saturn, Neptune, Chiron & the February 26th Eclipse in D.C.

Difficult-to-diagnose illnesses or “syndromes” that waste away an individual’s vitality over long periods of time, such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), are considered Neptunian

I would argue that Chiron—with its wounding influence, designed to help us bridge the physical/spiritual divide in our lives—may also be lurking in the background during such illnesses, as well.

CFS is rarely seen as being a fatal disease, but the inactivity and generalized debility brought on by this syndrome can, over time, undermine the individual’s already compromised immune system, making it vulnerable to a host of other ailments that are fatal. 

Nebulous, difficult to diagnose (Neptune) conditions like CFS test a subject’s physical/spiritual mettle and constitute a Chironic journey of healing and/or transcendence. Some astrologers believe the Soul chooses its path with Chiron.

We can certainly see a social corollary to CFS in today’s political reality—widespread economic stress has enabled a passive dissolution (Neptune), an implosion of sorts that has resulted in toxic nationalist (Us against Them) populism. Throughout history, this type of Neptunian passivity has disordered and weakened the political organisms it targets—simply put, a system divided against itself cannot stand. 

Neptunian passivity undermines structures, blurs the lines of responsibility (Saturn) and pits delusionary narratives against objective facts. As William Butler Yeats’ poem, “The Second Coming,” put it so vividly:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.

Chinua Achebe used these lines in his seminal novel, Things Fall Apart (1959), which described the breakdown of African tribal systems and the British colonial empire, yet we can certainly see how these lines apply with today’s political chaos. Chaos—a full systems breakdown—truly is the operative word.

With election 2016, the U.S. has, in a nutshell, been caught on the horns of a Neptune-Saturn dilemma: confusion, prevarication and incoherence have transformed our national discourse into meaningless babble to many. Our ability to deliver a factual, coherent narrative is seriously compromised, along with our confidence and institutional integrity.  

As this past weekend’s Munich Security Conference suggested, our European allies are looking for that coherent narrative from the U.S. and they’re not getting it; importantly, they’re not sure where we stand in regards to Russia because we’re talking out of both sides of our collective “mouth” about it—members of Congress are saying one thing, the president is saying another—all while troubling and inappropriate communications between Russia and the Trump team are being investigated in seven Congressional committees.

Is it any wonder that critical peace talks regarding the Ukraine are set to commence without direct U.S. participation? Russia would reportedly like us at the talks, but diplomats from Ukraine, France and Germany don’t feel our presence would be constructive.

Could it be that  reports of big money collusion between Trump’s first campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and two corrupt, pro-Putin, Ukrainian figures, deposed dictator Viktor Yanukovich and oligarch Dmitry Firtash, have something to do with it? Whatever the truth is, we are clearly in over our heads with a web of suspected Russia-Ukraine-Trump entanglements, and perhaps it is better that Europe takes charge of any peace talks for now.  

Whatever results from those impending peace talks (apparently planned for a few weeks from now) could be impacted by the February eclipses we’ve been exploring here. History chimes in quite intriguingly here, too—much more on that to come.

First, let’s consider the upcoming annular solar eclipse on February 26th. The path of this eclipse cuts across the southern tip of South America and on in to Africa, so those areas may be most directly affected by the event; even so, every eclipse represents a potentially powerful transit that bears watching everywhere. There’s a lot more than the Ukraine peace talks at stake here.

Chart #1: Solar Eclipse, February 26, 2017, 9:58:31 a.m. ST, Washington, D.C. Tropical Equal houses, True Node.

Eclipse Point (EP) conjoins Neptune-SNode-Mercury (Pisces) in the 10th house. We can’t miss the Neptunian theme to this eclipse chart, with these Pisces points elevated in the powerful 10th house, but we shouldn’t forget that 6th house Jupiter co-rules Pisces with Neptune, so there are two “Lords” of this watery event. A couple interesting details emerge from that: first, at 139°+ apart, Jupiter and Neptune fall in a wide biquintile aspect (144°) linking DC’s outwardly manifest power (10th) with the military 6th.

Significantly, Bil Tierney says this aspect family (the 5th harmonic) has been traditionally associated with “the use or abuse of power and authority.”[1] Sounds like what we’re seeing in Washington these days, and if Trump does call out 100,000 National Guards troops to round up the nation’s undocumented immigrants, the military dimension of this chart—reinforced by its Virgo NNode—will manifest as well.

Second, Tierney adds that this harmonic expresses a “composite of Jupiter and Uranus principles (with Mars undertones). Uranus in this context does not appear to represent its higher humanitarian expression, but instead seems to indicate its more willful, untamed, lawless and inconsistent side.”[2] As we can see, one of the strongest aspects in this chart is the strident Jupiter opposition to Mars-Uranus (Libra-Aries)!

So it appears the softer feeling Pisces character of the event masks a more volatile, cardinal potential. This opposition is, in fact, the high point of the Jupiter-Uranus cycle that launched with a bang at 0°+Aries in June, 2010. Concerning the growth and awakening of social consciousness, this cycle can promote both positive and negative revolutionary efforts, as well as extremist campaigns.

This dynamic pushes against any and all limitations, so judging from the Trump administration’s behavior to date, challenges to the Constitution and the rule of law continue to be predictable. Add Mars into the mix and the potential for volatility and destruction—possibly the military variety—increases.

Factor in the slow erosion of our nation’s “immune system” by this heavily Neptunian chart, and we need to wonder here what the constant “drip, drip, drip” of Trump’s fear-mongering messages (about the “fake Media”…about criminal immigrants...about Sweden, of all places?) is about. Is he trying to erode our common sense ability to discern what’s true and what isn’t? Which voices we can trust and which we cannot?

Is it about shrouding us in the “fog” of war, perhaps? Or, imposing a state of domestic martial law to clamp down on protests while immigrants—Trump’s favorite scapegoats for all our national ills—are rounded up? The latter seems more likely right now.  

Venus-Mars-Uranus (Aries) square Pluto (Capricorn). I haven’t overlooked the cardinal T-square lurking in this chart (more on that ahead), but this set of square aspects is interesting on its own because Venus rules this chart’s Taurus ASC. We’ve been seeing a lot of active, aggressively outspoken women in protest movements these days, and these aspects point to the power wielded by those women. It may also pertain to women in high places like Germany’s Angela Merkel, whose voices are being heard.

It’s also interesting that the Venus-ruled ASC exactly inconjoins Libra Jupiter, which is itself disposed by Venus: whatever agenda Washington tries to promote in the coming eclipse period will be heavily influenced by this strident, even militant energy.

It bears noting that a Taurus ASC also speaks to the fixed, conservative times ahead. This may be a welcome development—many may feel we need some fixed, earthy energy to stabilize the crazy mutable stuff. This could also speak to the dead rush the fossil fuel industry is in to open up public lands to drilling, to complete the controversial Dakota Pipeline, and so on.

Based on Venus’s position in Aries and the other strident cardinal energies in this chart, it seems likely we will see armed conflict and/or martial law used to squash protests on the pipeline sites. Native Americans are the earthiest group imaginable; it’s a safe bet that this Taurus energy will impact them one way or another. In fact, this ASC is the focal point of a Yod configuration with Jupiter-sextile-Saturn (more on that below); the fossil fuel takeover is not likely to be smooth and easy.

On a historical note, the 1973 Wounded Knee occupation by the Oglala Lakota Sioux began under a Yod formed by the Saturn-Chiron sextile (Gemini-Aries) to asteroid Pallas (Scorpio). Deep injustices (Pallas) against the Natives were the focus of this peaceful (sextile) action that devolved into violence over the roughly 2 months it lasted. Amazingly, this configuration echoed another Yod involving Pallas found in the chart for the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre. Pallas has a clear connection to Venus/Athena through the principle of wisdom and “just warfare.”

Cardinal T-Square: Mars-Uranus (Aries) opposite Jupiter (Libra); this axis squares Pluto (Capricorn). Judging from Pluto’s 8th house placement here, it seems there are powerful financial interests at stake in taking aggressive, possibly military action. World disorder  (spawned by Neptune, etc.) presents ripe opportunities for conquest and exploitation (remember, “America First!”). Unfortunately, this disorder echoes a much earlier period, according to foreign policy expert, Richard Haass.

“Disarray” is the precise term used by Haass to describe today’s world disorder[3], and he begins his new study by recounting how we arrived at our present state. We need to learn from the period leading into World War I, Haass argues, and it appears that the astrology concurs. As we’ll see ahead, there are interesting parallels between that period and today’s brand of disarray.

Saturn (Sagittarius) trines Mars-Uranus (Aries), sextiles Jupiter (Libra) and squares Chiron (Pisces). Saturn is a real social butterfly these days with all this, but most importantly, it’s engaged in all this from the final stretch of its approximately 33-year cycle with Pluto. A complete post could be dedicated to this array of cycles, but for now let’s consider some highlights.

The trine suggests that Congress may simply look the other way with the volatile changes on the horizon in Washington institutions—i.e., at the hands of Trump’s Cabinet appointees who fundamentally disagree with the mission of their departments, with Trump’s illegal conflicts of interest, and so on. If the seven distinct Congressional investigations now happening to examine the relationship between Trump, his team and Russia finish under this trine (not likely), we can expect he’ll receive a slap on the wrist and little more. It’s not a particularly tight trine, however, so pressure may build on Trump et al as the aspect separates.

The Saturn-Jupiter sextile will also be moving in and out of orb over the coming months, so the opportunity it poses for institutional change will be somewhat hit or miss. As noted above, under the Venus discussion, this sextile is part of a tense Yod configuration that is likely to manifest in several different arenas.

Again, the Native American protests against the Dakota pipeline (which are currently not being covered by mainstream news very well) will probably boil to the surface in some way. Resource development in general will be a tense focus, especially with Jupiter (ruling the 8th) in Venus-ruled Libra, opposite the Aries points discussed above. It’s interesting that Saturn also falls sextile Pisces Mercury, which rules the chart’s Gemini 2nd house of resources.

Strengthened by its wide conjunction to the Eclipse Point, this Mercury also rules the Virgo 5th house of power plays and the “Old Boys’ Network.”  With Virgo this powerful gathering of forces could involve the military as well—resources and heightened Defense spending go together like Forrest Gump’s “peas and carrots.” It appears likely that the resource-driven agenda Trump wants will be rolled out, and that “national defense” will be a big justification used for whatever federal revenues are put towards that purpose.

It’s also important here that Jupiter and Saturn are closing in on their new cycle that begins in December 2020. In fact, we are in a period of several waning outer-planetary cycles, (Jupiter-Saturn, Jupiter-Uranus, Jupiter-Neptune, Saturn-Neptune, Saturn-Uranus, Saturn-Pluto) marking serious, even somber, troubled times during which things tend to unravel in preparation for a new beginning. Such uneasy times always seem to support military buildups, as well, so we can expect that many of the domestic jobs Trump takes credit for will be in the Defense industry.

Given Trump’s desire to bring us back to those post WWII times when America was “numero uno,” it makes sense that we’ll see the cliché that “war is good for the economy” reemerge. With WWII that was the case for a couple decades, but economic historians say this happened because a very different Keynesian model was enshrined in our economic system after the war. Under our current finance-industry dominated economic and labor relations regime, the rich would have gotten richer and the middle class never would have developed the way it did.

President Obama attempted to return to some aspects of that Keynesian model during his tenure, but Trump is already busily rolling back those efforts with executive orders and a Wall Street-packed Cabinet. Certain higher ups in select industries will get obscenely wealthy if we go into full-scale war mode; how did Iraq, Afghanistan and various other adventures work for the rest of us?

Bottom line, this chart suggests that we might want to pay close attention to all of this: the number of military heavyweights on Trump’s Cabinet is probably not accidental, and the number of waning cycles noted above says we need to watch what’s going on behind the scenes. This is not likely to be good for the environment—time to support the free press and resist any effort to restrict access to the Internet!!

The Saturn-Chiron square is perhaps the most evocative relationship that Saturn is flirting with these days. While the orb isn’t particularly tight in this eclipse event, it will be tightening again in the coming months, as Saturn retrogrades and turns direct again. This is a long-term square, and historically, Saturn-Chiron aspects tend to happen during war times, or just prior to those periods.

This aspect often reflects a paternalistic authoritarian figure who inflicts great harm, but down-the-road, there is potential healing. The psychological wounding (Chiron) Willy Wonka experienced at the hands of his parents and particularly, his authoritarian “dentist” father (Saturn) who forbade him to eat candy, reflects this aspect. The healing of their relationship in the end was the “happy ending.”

It’s no accident that Trump’s natal Sun-Node-Uranus Gemini stellium is tied into today’s Sagittarius-Pisces square. He also had a somewhat fraught relationship with his father, an authoritarian man who demanded that he and his brothers be tough above all. Donald Trump’s brother Freddy Jr. died of alcoholism-related illness; Donald himself has “issues” with authority and an apparent need to win, no matter what. 

His many conflicts of interest as president and stubborn refusal to acknowledge any authority over his actions (to release his tax forms, for example) suggest that those early wounds cut deep.

If his first month in office is any indication, Trump simply needs to prove—as his lackey Stephen Miller put it—that his power “will not be questioned.” Sure sounds like a father-related Saturn-Chiron crisis. There’s always a void that can never be filled with this aspect: how many will be sacrificed to his need?

Returning to the connection between Saturn-Chiron and war, it seems that mutable Saturn-Chiron aspects are particularly pernicious. The run-up to WWI featured the Gemini-Pisces square (Saturn-Chiron)—the waxing counterpart of today’s waning square in Sagittarius-Pisces (begun in 12/2016 and running through the end of 2017). 

The decade-long run-up to the Vietnam War (officially declared Aug. 4, 1964) featured the conjunction in Pisces (at the declaration they were still 14° apart; the U.S. Civil War featured the Virgo-Pisces opposition—are we starting to see a pattern here?

At first glance, at least, it appears that such mutable aspects reflect conflicts in which the structural integrity of the societies at war is seriously challenged. Civil wars (or at least serious internal divisions, as the U.S. fell into over Vietnam) seem to be a particular focus. As noted earlier, Richard Haass speaks to how this played out in WWI (see note 3), which he offers as a model of the haphazard traps nations divided get themselves into:

“…what makes the history [of WWI] so frustrating even one hundred years later was the carelessness of it all…History is filled with examples of individuals and countries acting against their own self-interest. World War I was obviously not in anyone’s interest, but it happened all the same.”[4]
Clearly, this year-long Saturn-Chiron aspect could impact the rebuilding of so many Middle Eastern and African nations that have fallen into chaos in the past decade—Syria, Libya, Somalia, South Sudan, etc. The so-called Arab Spring uprisings launched with Chiron tightly conjunct Neptune in late Aquarius (ruled by Saturn); several of the societies in crisis since then were caught up in this revolutionary fervor and have been sorely wounded (Chiron) since.

Fighting a paternalistic (Saturn) dictator inflicted dire catastrophic wounds (Chiron) on Syria, and with Russia’s support, Bashar al Assad shows no signs of giving up power. It’s hard to say at this time what the prospects for healing are in that country, the broader Middle East, and in places like South Sudan that just today has declared a state of famine.

Other notable wars or military campaigns feature cardinal Saturn-Chiron aspects: World War II (Cancer-Libra) and the 1990 Invasion of Kuwait (1st Gulf War-Cancer-Capricorn), for example. The Iraq War (2003) launched as a hybrid mutable/cardinal exception—with Gemini Saturn opposing Sagittarius Pluto instead, and Chiron in Saturn-ruled Capricorn.

Final thoughts

There’s so much more that could be said about this eclipse in regards to the Trump administration, but I will end here with a note about how this event is likely to impact the U.S. Sibly chart. In fact, this eclipse is playing “Tag, you’re it” with that chart’s progressed lunar cycle’s 2nd quarter, the one we are finishing out this month. 

That quarter began on Christmas Day 2008—the height of the financial crisis—at 4°+Pisces-Virgo, a mere 4 degrees from the eclipse point and 1 degree from the eclipse chart’s nodal axis (see this May 2016 post for more on this progressed cycle).

Not surprisingly, the instability and breakdown we are seeing in Washington was probably triggered during the 2008 crisis, and may, in a painfully twisted way, be cosmically right on schedule. Given the economic damage done to so many at that time, this makes perfect sense.

This interesting synchrony also suggests that Mutable times are here to stay for several years: the 3rd progressed quarter launches on March 2nd at 12° Pisces-Virgo, and the new progressed cycle in 2024 pushes off from the shore at 19°+Pisces. As a nation, we will need to make our peace with creative chaos—it just may be our new normal!

The question is, will our highly-structured democratic system of checks and balances weather all this instability, or will our system simply erode into some type of authoritarian regime?

Stranger things have happened, and Neptune’s remaining years in Pisces will probably tell the story. Such structural erosions do tend to attract “strong-man” types who benefit from claiming that things are worse than they really are, and that they have all the answers and know all the right “enemies” to blame.

The pattern replicates itself like a Neptunian virus, whenever the various “body politics” are compromised by corrosive inner divisions. Immunity of any kind (personal, social, political) relies on the structural integrity (Saturn) of an organism and its systems, so it’s no surprise that after a year-long Saturn-Neptune square, that we would be seeing systems breakdown.   

The only antidote for Neptunian invasion is to shore up Saturnian containment efforts as quickly as possible. We can be hopeful that a stronger Saturn is on the horizon as the planet moves into home-sign Capricorn this coming December. Unfortunately, a strong Saturn can also benefit a would-be dictator, so striking the right balance will be key.

It would help if we didn’t make every decision on the basis of potential economic gain (Capricorn’s dark side), relinquishing important values, resources and structural safeguards every time a few jobs are dangled like a carrot in front of us. We need to access the better angels of this potentially wise sign.

It will also help if the military and para-military forces that are deployed to implement Trump’s mass deportation raids, etc. begin questioning what cause they are serving and whether it requires them to sacrifice their own deeply held beliefs and principles. Their help and integrity is going to be sorely needed on the road ahead.

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] Bil Tierney, Dynamics of Aspect Analysis: New Perceptions in Astrology, CRCS Publications, 1983, p. 46.
[2] Ibid, p. 47.
[3] Richard Haass, A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the World Order, Penguin Press, 2017, pp. 28-29.
[4] Haass, p. 28.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Strutting its Cosmic Stuff: Eclipse season 2017 unfolds in DC

In the last post here, we dug into Eclipse season 2017, and sure enough, the February 10th event (set for Washington, D.C.) has been strutting its cosmic stuff. 

In a mere three weeks, the new White House administration has proven to be over-the-top chaotic and unstable; of course, if you’ve been watching this space, you know the astrology indicated these conditions from the get-go.

In fact, as we saw in the last post, the February 10th event put the eclipsed Moon conjunct Trump’s powerhouse Mars-ASC in Leo, which makes sense considering his executive power and perhaps even his self-confidence have taken a couple big blows in the past week. First, his ill-considered immigration ban was (for the second time) slapped down in the courts, and second, his National Security Advisor, the embattled former General, Michael T. Flynn, resigned under a cloud of controversy and suspicion. Here’s the Wikipedia quick summary:

“Michael Thomas "Mike" Flynn (born December 1958) is a retired United States Army Lieutenant General who was the 18th Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and was the 25th National Security Advisor, serving President Donald Trump for 24 days, from January 20 to February 13, 2017,[1][2] before resigning amid controversy over his covert contacts with Russian officials. His tenure as National Security Advisor is the shortest ever.[3][4]
The bottom line with today’s press coverage about Flynn’s resignation seems to be, “What took Trump so long to get rid of him?” This is a more serious question than it looks because it raises the suspicion that Trump himself was aware of Flynn’s Russian communications before and after Trump’s election. Breaking news also indicates there were more Trump aides communicating with Russia during the campaign, as well, so this plot can only thicken.

Intelligence sources have evidence that Flynn’s collusion happened both before and after the election: before, on behalf of Trump’s campaign, and since November 8th, as a way to calm Russian nerves about the recent sanctions President Obama imposed on Russia (for meddling in our election) while still in office.

These were definitely “curious,” potentially illegal connections that could very well implicate Trump: reportedly, a group of GOP senators have just today decided that all this needs to be thoroughly investigated, suggesting that Flynn and perhaps even Donald Trump may be called on to testify.

Suspicions surrounding Trump seem at this point to be rooted in the following, reported here by CNN:

“Flynn resigned from his position as national security adviser Monday following reports that the Justice Department warned the Trump administration last month that he misled administration officials.
Flynn had conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States before he was a government employee causing some to fear that he was potentially vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians.”
Clearly, this raises an additional question about why acting Justice Department head Sally Yates was terminated less than two weeks into the new administration—she reportedly delivered the above warning to Trump eighteen days before he asked Flynn to resign. She also warned him about the illegality of his immigration ban, and was Twitter-shamed for her “betrayal” as a result. 
All this suggests that we can examine a triwheel for further insight, and we will, with the following disclaimer: unfortunately, the only solid birth information we have for Mike Flynn (if anyone has it, please let me know!), is December, 1958 in Middletown, Rhode Island, so Flynn’s middle wheel in Triwheel #1 below is set for mid-month (December 16) at noon, the half way point in a 31-day month.
Obviously, this makes the Moon placement and the chart angles highly uncertain, so we won’t be considering those features. We’ll consider other uncertainties if and when they affect the discussion. As we’ll see, a lot can be gleaned from this Triwheel when we see Flynn’s chart—imperfect as it is—next to the February 10th eclipse chart and Trump’s natal chart.

Triwheel #1: (inner wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY; (middle wheel) Michael T. Flynn, December 16, 1958, 12:00 p.m., ST, Middletown, RI; (outer wheel) Lunar Eclipse, February 10, 2017, 7:32:53 p.m. ST, Washington, D.C. All charts cast with Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.
Interchart Fixed Grand-Cross: Eclipse Moon-Trump Mars-ASC (Leo) oppose Eclipse Sun-Flynn Chiron (Aquarius); this axis squares Flynn Mars (widely conjunct Trump MC in Taurus) opposite Flynn Jupiter (Scorpio). We can’t know for sure if Flynn’s Mars is Rx, as his chart shows here (Mars turned direct at 16°35 Taurus on 12/21/58), but it’s interesting that no matter which December 1958 day Flynn was born, his Mars would be within 8° orb of conjoining Trump’s MC, so we’ll allow for that here. This makes perfect sense, considering Trump’s security-sensitive Venus (Cancer) disposes his already security-conscious Taurus MC, and Flynn was his National Security Advisor.
Flynn was also a bullish (Taurus) Trump booster during the campaign, known to lead “Lock ‘er up!” chants at rallies—a fairly unconventional role for a former military officer. The question now is, did his use of Russian connections cross legal lines in trying to get Trump elected? We might want to find out why he was so connected to the Russians from the get-go—a Scorpio Jupiter will stop at little to build its own power.
A fixed grand cross can be intensely frustrating, especially in this case, where one player’s opposition squares the other person’s. Flynn’s ambitious Scorpio Jupiter-Taurus Mars was perhaps bound to cause Trump’s Leo Mars-ASC a problem eventually, and clearly the eclipse stretching across Trump’s chart horizon was a powerful trigger.

Were Flynn’s actions designed to somehow give him leverage (Scorpio) over the future president, in case things went south? Or was he the dutiful servant, following directions? A fixed Mars-Jupiter opposition (especially in Taurus-Scorpio) can certainly go either way.
Flynn’s Jupiter also trines Trump’s Saturn-Venus (Cancer), so Trump probably felt his campaign and subsequent security interests were in good hands at first; what he may not have been counting on is that Flynn’s behavior would be closely scrutinized by our Intelligence services. This is ironic given Flynn’s career-long specialty in military intelligence, but Trump’s bully tactics (Leo Mars) with the CIA and other agencies seem to have set Flynn up for a confrontation and failure. Trump may be concerned that Flynn will throw loyalty overboard to implicate him at a hearing about the Russian connection. Stranger things have happened.
Eclipse Saturn conjoins Flynn Sun-Saturn-Eclipse Saturn (Sagittarius)-Trump Moon-SNode (all Sagittarius) and opposes Trump Sun-NNode (Gemini). The “Buck Stops Here…unless we can find someone else to blame” seems to be the theme here, with Eclipse Saturn implicating both Trump and Flynn and their mutable natures. Flynn was only let go when the press coverage about his misadventures became a liability for Trump, but it won’t be at all surprising if we eventually find out that Flynn was essentially expected to “fall on his sword” for his boss. This convergence of energies certainly makes it look like they cooperated either explicitly or implicitly in the scheme that brought Flynn down.

Flynn’s Sun-Saturn (along with the remaining late-Sagittarius points) fall quincunx Trump’s Saturn-Venus (Cancer) and trine Trump’s Mars-ASC (Leo). This confirms that the risk-averse, Cancer power center in Trump’s chart was shoved out on a limb by the risks (Sagittarius) taken by Flynn and his Russian connections. The comfortable trine between all that Sagittarius energy and Trump’s Mars-ASC may have boosted Trump’s ego to the point (“see how I won, with the greatest…”) that he simply threw caution to the wind, believing his presidential power would shield him from any fallout. Rude awakening here.

A fiery chain of events was triggered by the Eclipse, as well—risky behavior caused revelations, and they are further enflaming doubts and calls for further investigations:
Interchart Fire Grand Trine. Eclipse Uranus-Flynn SNode (Aries) trine Flynn Uranus-Eclipse Moon-Trump Mars-ASC (Leo) trine Trump Moon-Eclipse Saturn-Flynn Sun-Saturn (Sagittarius). This configuration maps out the volatile flashpoints involved in the Trump-Flynn relationship and the way in which both men are implicated in Flynn’s resignation (triggered by the eclipse) and all that led up to it. Ego (Leo), resource-driven power plays (Eclipse Aries Uranus over Trump’s 8th house), and a fundamental sense of entitled license (Eclipse Saturn over Trump’s 4th house Sagittarius) are potentially at play here. As we’ll see ahead, these flashpoints feed the tension at play in a Cardinal Grand Cross.
Interchart Cardinal Grand Cross. Trump Saturn-Venus (Cancer) opposite Eclipse Pluto (Capricorn); this axis squares Eclipse Uranus-Flynn SNode (Aries) opposite Trump Jupiter-Chiron-Flynn NNode-Eclipse Jupiter (Libra). The chaos spawned by the above fiery grand trine breeds the “damned-if-we-do, damned-if-we-don’t” dilemmas seen in this tense, frustrating configuration. It’s interesting to see here how tightly linked Flynn’s fate (NNode) is to Trump’s fortunes (Jupiter).
As long as the situation benefitted Trump (Flynn’s Node on Trump’s Jupiter, square Saturn-Venus), it worked, but when push came to shove (as happens with cardinal grand crosses), Flynn became a liability. The attempted “cover-up” of his “Old Boys’ Network”-style, illicit collusion is reflected in 5th house Eclipse Pluto’s impact on Trump’s Cancer-Libra points. Judging from these fraught entanglements, there’s probably much more to learn here.
Indeed, calls for an independent, transparent investigation into all this, fueled by additional information showing that the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia went far beyond Flynn, are mounting.

Eclipse Chiron in Pisces T-Squares Mutable oppositions in Gemini-Sagittarius: We discussed the oppositions in question here earlier, but Chiron’s involvement deserves separate consideration. First, because of its potential impact on Trump’s mental health (square his Sun-Moon, disposed by his Cancer Mercury). 
He has repeatedly displayed erratic, disturbingly narcissistic behavior that a growing chorus of mental health professionals are calling out, despite their professional reservations about doing so. Chaos seems to be Trump’s modus operandi, according to others, and it appears to be wreaking havoc in the White House. Here’s what Salon has to say this morning:
“Three weeks into the President Donald Trump administration, staffers in his White House are telling reporters they’re scared.
One said that the atmosphere in the White House is “borderline chaos” and that “some staff is in survival mode . . . scared to death,” according to a report by Axios. Factors cited as causes for this panic include revelations that President Trump had been warned by former acting attorney general Sally Yates about national security director Michael Flynn’s dissembling and did not act on it, the revelation that Flynn had indeed talked with Russia about Obama’s economic sanctions, and the overall cascade of leaks that have come from the White House since Trump took office.
Having a boss addicted to Twitter hasn’t helped. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the president seemed irked by the intelligence community and the leaks.”

Though speculative, with Gemini-Sagittarius involved, the idea that Trump has a media/Twitter “addiction” is perfectly conceivable. This possibility is reinforced by transiting Neptune (at 11°+Pisces in the Eclipse chart) trining his Mercury, which again, disposes his Gemini points. If nothing else, his rational judgment (already not his strong suit) can be seriously distorted by this transit, and Chiron is nearing quincunx with Trump’s Mars, suggesting that he is already a “wounded warrior.” More on this below.
Factor Trump’s naturally defensive, inward focus into the concerns of this t-square, and it’s no surprise that those around him are panicking. The eclipse has clearly exacerbated Trump’s natural tendencies, and the more he and his administration are scrutinized, the more chaotic things are likely to get.
Eclipse Sun (Aquarius) trines/sextiles Trump Gemini-Sagittarius oppositions and conjoins Flynn Progressed Sun-Chiron (Aquarius-chart not shown). This speaks dramatically to how the February 10th event triggered Flynn’s departure, and suggests that Trump acted on the cosmic opening (trine/sextile) to get rid of Flynn because Flynn threatened his power (Eclipse Sun-Flynn PSun opposed Trump Mars). Despite the nice Sun-Sun trine, that power may still be in jeopardy, especially as Chiron transits within quincunx range to Trump’s Mars over the coming year. As we’ll see in an upcoming post, the February 26th eclipse is focused on Trump’s Mars-ASC as well, so this drama is likely to build.  
 Ongoing saga…last thoughts for now
Clearly this story is just getting started, and the Cosmos is just getting revved up for what remains of a volatile Eclipse season. Based on a noon chart for Trump sidekick Kellyanne Conway, her position is also in the crosshairs these days: the February 10th Chiron fell on top of her natal Chiron within minutes, so she’s experiencing a Chiron return, which is often a “leaping-off point” of sorts. That tired, almost glazed-over stare in her eyes these days is probably stress, pure and simple, and as abhorrent as her disimulations and ethical gaffes have been, it appears she’s being dangled out to dry by the administration, which has unleashed a new “Stormtrooper” in the startling person of Stephen Miller.
Not surprisingly, as with Flynn, Conway’s chart is tightly connected to Trump’s: we’ll explore these connections, along with February’s Eclipse #2, in the next post!
Hang in there!

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.