Thursday, May 18, 2017

Crisis, Part Three: The Chaos & Wisdom of the 3rd Q Sibly Progressed Lunar Cycle

On March 2, 2017, the U.S. Sibly chart began the 3rd Quarter of its 8th progressed lunar cycle, which ends on March 25, 2024, when a completely new cycle begins. 

The May 3, 2016 post here explored that transition before it happened; it’s no exaggeration to say that a lot has transpired since then that smacks of a 3rd quarter passage. One such development is the so-called “Constitutional crisis” that seems to be overwhelming D.C. since Trump fired FBI Director, James Comey. 

We’ve covered the personal dimension of this crisis (as it relates to Trump and Comey); we’ve covered the historical dimension (as it relates to echoes from Nixon’s Watergate days), and in this post, we’ll turn to the collective dimension—how this so-called constitutional crisis is impacting us as a nation. At the risk of rehashing the same event over and over, I think it’s worth considering this final perspective. In May, I addressed the Sibly 3rd Q progressed lunar cycle in the abstract—now we have events on the ground to fill in the picture more concretely. 

It’s not difficult to see that the current challenges to our democracy—and to American identity itself—are related to this unfolding progressed cycle. The news is not all bad, however: last night’s (Wednesday) appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as Special Prosecutor by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is an event that is being hailed by Congress people on both sides of the aisle—maybe there is something we can agree on, after all! 

One thing to remember before we dig into this “collective dimension” discussion: transits, outer planetary cycles and eclipses unfold differently depending upon where in an entity’s progressed lunar cycle they happen. That’s relevant because in a progressed 3rd quarter—for the coming 7 years, that is—these astrological factors will contribute to a “winding down” agenda: finishing unfinished business, clearing outworn realities and healing unproductive or incoherent “baggage,” so the way can be prepared for a fresh start.

Also, in any progressed lunar passage, there tends to be an influential planetary (or cyclical) theme: this present passage is no different. 

In this instance, I would characterize that theme as “hitting bottom with Neptune and Pluto.” There are echoes of an addiction crisis here that brings this imagery to mind—first, because it’s a phenomenon that slowly takes hold over time. Second, because—as anyone with a first-hand or even second-hand experience knows—addiction can be a Plutonian downward spiral, for only Pluto can effectively dis-illusion the addict, stripping her Neptunian armor of denial over time, landing her finally with that crashing thud of self-knowledge, on the “bottom”—Pluto’s “Underworld.” 

This is the realm where survival itself can be at stake.

There’s nowhere to go but up from Pluto’s realm—back into the “real world” of Saturn’s domain here on Earth—or up and beyond, through tragic release. Neptune and Pluto effectively possess the addict’s soul; and yes, the addict must “surrender to a higher power,” which can take many forms. All of them involve taking responsibility (Saturn). There’s no other path forward with this duo.

So, am I saying that the U.S. is an addict? Broadly speaking, an addict is one who is entirely dependent upon an illusion that is enabled by a “substance,” (and by those who help him pursue it, either actively or passively). That “substance” can be tangible or intangible—from alcohol to victimization and chaos, from opioids to the rush of extreme risk-taking. It’s even possible to be addicted to one’s own self-image, for that matter—the Trump presidency comes to mind in this regard.  

This attachment to self-image may be where the U.S. also fits the addict category. Clearly, we’ve perpetuated illusions (the “American myth”) over the years that don’t quite mesh with reality on the ground—such as the ideals of freedom and equality enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, our Sibly “birth certificate.” This founding document reflects our original American values and represents the birth of our Collective sense of national identity—what it’s supposed to mean to be an American.

This doesn’t mean that we’ve lost track of those values entirely: we’re a lot more “free and equal” than many nations, but the trouble is, there are as many interpretations of those values and ideals as there are political viewpoints along our Left-to-Right spectrum. And yes, we can all point to corrupt and cynical uses of those values for the sake of gain. “One bad apple…” is a Neptune-Pluto truism that rings very true here, only the “barrel” that’s gotten spoiled is our confidence in government and its role in our lives. 

If we believe the intelligence released thus far regarding Russian meddling in our 2016 election, that “spoiling” was also purposely enabled from outside our borders. 

The fragmented array of interpretations of American ideals (“freedom to” vs. “freedom from” is one of the most slippery) has become increasingly chaotic and controversial, especially since Obama was elected in 2008. This is a good place to remind ourselves how the overall progressed cycle—the one ending with the current 3rd Q passage—has unfolded over time. Please see Table 1, below:

Table 1. Current U.S. Sibly Progressed Lunar Cycle.
Progressed New Moon
Progressed 1st Quarter
Progressed 2nd Quarter
Progressed 3rd Quarter
Cycle Mode
Cycle Triplicity
Sibly House(s)




27°Aq-27° Tau




4° Pis-4° Vir




12° Pis-12° Sag




Significantly, the Sibly’s 2nd progressed quarter (the full phase) launched on Christmas Day, in December, 2008, during the worst of the recession, when there was an outpouring of support for Obama’s more liberal, almost “New Deal”-style view of government’s role. This quarter also launched the conservative backlash known as the Tea Party, however, so Obama’s victory was very quickly hamstrung by that opposition and the hardening non-cooperation from Congress (especially after the November, 2010 mid-term elections). 

During those 2010 elections, the Affordable Care Act (a “New Deal”-esque effort) was getting off to a rocky start, galvanizing the GOP against the Obama agenda, and the country wasn’t too happy with Wall Street at that time either. Remember the outcry about Obama’s “bail-out,” made more controversial by sensational cases like Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff’s (Dec. 2008) pitting the country against Wall Street? Then, the Tea Party (2009) and the “Occupy” movement (2011) vied for media attention. How about the Dodd-Frank bill and Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Protection Bureau? There was something for everyone to either love or hate, sometimes both.

It’s almost uncanny how the Obama years correlated with this 2nd Q, "full" passage, so it’s not surprising in retrospect that Election 2016 allowed for serious disruption. In retrospect, the change has been serious and destructive, with Trump doing everything he can in a short period to erase Obama’s legacy. Even so, I have to imagine that the disruptions have probably not been quite what Trump voters envisioned. 

Besides, whoever one voted for, it’s hard to deny that the disruptions have impacted American identity. Getting back to a coherent sense of that identity is the challenge presented by these times—our 3rd quarter opportunity to clear out the debris and coalesce around a path forward.

If the angry, grim, torch-led protest over the removal of a Confederate statue in Virginia this past weekend is any indication, however, our sense of national identity is under literalfire these days. Are we really going to re-litigate the Civil War going forward? We’ve never completely healed its wounds, clearly. Troublingly, Obama’s presidency seems to have ripped our unresolved racial issues wide open again, and Donald Trump’s campaign leveraged our white supremacist demons to its own benefit.

But let’s not rehash all of that, except to say that during the present 3rd Q, we need to consciously sort through decades of fragmentation, polarization and growing chaos and decide what essentials are worth carrying forward into the next cycle (March, 2024). This may, in the end, be a very positive process, yet returning to that “hitting bottom” analogy, we probably haven’t seen the worst of it yet.

Let’s revisit that March 2, 2017 Progressed Lunar Cycle chart, set against the Sibly chart for some added insight. Since the Comey firing event marked the latest “crisis” we’ve been considering, we’ll use that as the outer wheel of the triwheel. We’ll confine this to the most collective-oriented highlights here; please see the May 10, 2017 and May 13, 2017 posts for more detail.  

Triwheel #1: (inner wheel) US Sibly Chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (middle wheel) US Sibly Chart, Day-for-Year Progression for March 2, 2017, March 2, 1777, 1:56:40 p.m. GMT, Washington, D.C.; (outer wheel) Comey Firing, May 9, 2017, 5:05 p.m. DST, Washington, D.C..  

One configuration leaps off the page immediately: the Firing Mars-Neptune square (Gemini-Pisces) ties in tightly with the Progressed Cycle Sun-Moon square, with Firing Mars opposing Cycle Moon and Firing Neptune conjoining Cycle Sun. Mars and Neptune in combination can bring uplifting and noble energy to a situation, or they can bring the darker potentials of sabotage and deceptive, underhanded actions. In fact, this interchart T-square assures that we’re seeing both right now in D.C., and the way people see the situation is colored by their predisposed “filters:” Trump’s either the beleaguered victim of a “witch-hunt,” or he’s the justifiable target of an intense investigation into questionable presidential behavior.  

This Neptunian “Fun House mirrors” effect is the reason a totally independent, non-political investigation is so critically needed. There must be facts that can be tracked down and evaluated dispassionately.

Please note that Firing Mars also conjoins Sibly Uranus (Gemini). The job market may be fairly volatile during this progressed quarter—ups and downs, with some gains for people (Sibly Uranus disposes the Sibly Moon), but little certainty or stability. This isn’t directly relevant to the Comey firing and the ensuing crisis, however many Trump voters are still holding out hopes that jobs and trade issues will improve under this president, and it’s hard to confirm that here. 

Public servants (the 6th house is naturally Virgoan) will find their work very lively and unpredictable—clearly, we’re already seeing that with Trump’s “crisis du jour” presidency. Job security is hard to come by in D.C. these days, but some individuals will undoubtedly shine (or become infamous) in the process. For instance, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is being praised today for naming a Special Prosecutor (Wednesday, 5/17)—a sign that our checks and balances are in safe hands.  

Some are directing the praise to the “Trump administration;” if that’s what it takes to get to the bottom of the issues under investigation, more power to them.

The Sibly horizon’s (ASC-DSC) involvement in this interchart T-square raises the issue of American identity that was noted earlier. Emotions (progressed Moon) are running high these days, and there’s tremendous confusion (Firing Neptune conjoined progressed Sun). Is American identity today all about the partisan divide—meaning we might as well be two nations instead of one—or is it about something deeper, more fundamental and unified?  

The challenge of this t-square is reflected perfectly by a comment by Rep. Ben Sasse (R, NE), who says that too much time is spent in Congress re-waging the “Hatfield-McCoy feud,” instead of rebuilding public trust in our public institutions; in fact, the 4th house position of our Sibly progressed Sun suggests that we need to go back to basics and rediscover our core ideals and principles—who we are as a nation, in other words. 

Pisces is a sign which breaks down boundaries and divisions; this can take light and dark forms, of course, but if a greater sense of solidarity comes out of this for We the People, it’s all good. 

In his unruly, “trickster” sort of way, Trump may be forcing us to do this. 

Firing Mercury-Uranus (Aries) conjoins Sibly progressed Venus (Aries) and t-squares Sibly Mercury-opposite-Pluto (Cancer-Capricorn). The Aries points also trine Firing Saturn Rx (Sagittarius). Revelations will likely continue to emerge regarding Trump’s conflicts of interest (including Russia), and as we saw today on Wall Street (closed at -373 points), the markets may be shaken up by the unpredictability. Trump’s hardened attitude towards the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) could come back to bite us financially and in terms of global influence (Mercury opposite Firing Pluto, and Firing Pluto opposite Sibly Sun, ruling 9th house). 

Trump seems to think he has a “great relationship” with China’s Xi Jingpin, but Xi could be running strategic circles around his American counterpart. As transiting Pluto gradually returns to its Sibly position, any such mistakes being made will “come home to roost.”

The challenges extend to Trump’s negotiations with U.S. allies elsewhere in the world, of course: we might judge his whirlwind trip to the Middle East later this week a success if he returns with all our diplomatic ties intact. These are dicey times all over.  

Those “dicey times” are reflected in this Firing Saturn Rx also opposing Sibly Mars (Gemini), with that axis t-squared to Sibly Neptune (Virgo). The tension and potential damage built into this t-square is enhanced by Firing Saturn Rx’s square to Firing Chiron (Pisces), and Chiron’s trine to Sibly Mercury. Progressed Saturn Rx (Virgo) also quincunxes Sibly Jupiter-Venus (Cancer). All of this reflects how tightly interwoven our domestic and foreign affairs are, and how potentially volatile all of this has become. 

I’ve never seen an attempt to quantify (in dollars and cents) what America’s global leadership is worth to “We the People” in terms of actual revenue, jobs, etc., but Firing Chiron’s semi-sextile to Sibly Moon (Aquarius) suggests that we do have a considerable stake in the matter. Our post-World War II “glow” is wearing dangerously thin in the world, it seems, and we now have to earn every bit of influence we have.

“There’s a new sheriff in town”—enter Robert Mueller 

It may sound alarmist, but many analysts are worrying out loud these days about the health of our democratic institutions and our system of checks and balances. Their concerns are amplified by a wave of support for more nationalist-leaning, authoritarian leaders in key nations—in Turkey, in the Philippines and across Europe, even in France. 

Nothing—not even democracy—can be taken for granted at the moment, so did we really think everyone would be fine with Trump and Vladimir Putin arranging a meeting for Putin’s people in the Oval Office, with Trump excluding the American press? Or, with Trump firing the FBI director investigating his ties to Russia one day, and yucking it up with the Russians the next, while he brags about his “great intel” and reveals classified information?   

Even those who want to cut Trump some slack (or who buy into his victimization story) have to admit there’s a problem with the optics here.

When Rod Rosenstein relented from his original position and appointed a Special Prosecutor yesterday, it was reportedly because he feared the American people would not trust the results that come out of the various Congressional and FBI investigations into Trump-Russia ties (and Russian meddling in our election). Rosenstein was close to being a tainted “fall guy” for Trump in Comey’s firing, and by this appointment, he vindicated himself.

Rosenstein was clearly concerned about the public’s mistrust of partisan biases, so most analysts in the press are hailing his decision to bring former FBI Director and decorated Marine, Robert Mueller into the fray. Mueller now has the weight of these investigations on his shoulders: chalk up one for our democratic institutions and the “rule of law!” 

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough (a Republican) praised Rosenstein’s move in glowing terms, quoting Churchill – “America always does the right thing…after exhausting all other possibilities.”
Let’s take a quick look at a noon chart for Mueller (birth data from Astrodatabank.comno time available), against the Sibly chart and the Sibly 3Q progressed lunar cycle chart—again, with an eye to the collective dimension. 

Triwheel #2: (inner wheel) US Sibly Chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (middle wheel) US Sibly Chart, Day-for-Year Progression for March 2, 2017, March 2, 1777, 1:56:40 p.m. GMT, Washington, D.C.; (outer wheel) Robert Swan Mueller, III, August 7, 1944, 12:00 p.m. (noon chart, no time available), New York, NY. 

Interchart Mutable Grand Cross: Mueller Mercury-Chiron-Mars (Virgo) conjoin Sibly Neptune (Virgo) and oppose Progressed Sun (Pisces); this axis squares Progressed Moon (Sagittarius) opposite Sibly Uranus-DSC and Mueller Uranus (Gemini). Mueller’s Purple Heart for Valor in the Marines certainly shines here (Virgo=military), along with his career as a methodical, thorough public servant. The mission he has now accepted puts him in the crosshairs of America’s somewhat chaotic evolutionary moment (tying into Progressed Sun-Moon square), and there’s always the potential for disruption to himself, and to the nation (his Virgo points square the Sibly horizon, where his natal Uranus falls). 

As we’ve seen a lot in the past year, with such powerful mutable energies, anything goes! We can undoubtedly anticipate diversionary tactics from Trump (his mutable planets tie into all this, as well): the challenge will be to contain the damage and chaos caused by his efforts.

Mueller Sun/Venus (midpoint, Leo) opposes Sibly Progressed Mercury (Aquarius). The proximity of Progressed Mercury to Sibly Moon (Aquarius) is a consideration here, as well, when it comes to the collective dimension—“We the People” have a stake in Mueller’s taking firm, beneficial control (Sun/Venus in Leo) on these complex investigations.  Progressed Mercury is significant because Mercury rules the Sibly radix 7th and 10th houses—concerning the nation’s defense and role in the world—sensitive points during volatile times. 

Interestingly, Mueller’s Venus conjoins Trump’s volatile Mars, so it will be interesting to see if he tries any bully tactics on Mueller. This will also be an interesting relationship to watch once the August eclipse explored here takes hold (see May 2, 2017 post). 

Mueller Saturn (Cancer) conjoins Sibly Venus-Jupiter (Cancer), trines Progressed Sun (Pisces) and quincunxes Progressed Saturn Rx (Scorpio). Mueller’s Saturn also widely conjoins the Sibly Sun (Cancer), exerting authority over the “Executive” and the nation itself in some ways. This may dampen economic growth (Sibly Jupiter-Venus) in the short term (we witnessed some Wall Street jitters yesterday), but it may also impose much needed discipline and perspective on all of the above. This Saturn also falls conjunct Trump’s Mercury (Cancer), which disposes his key Gemini points, so having to answer to Mueller will not be taken lightly.   

The trine to our Progressed Sun here bodes well—Mueller’s intervention feels perfectly timed. The quincunx to Progressed Saturn Rx suggests that Mueller will engage Congress and the Judiciary in a frustrating, extended process, in which there will probably be attempts to derail progress. It will be awhile before even a competent professional like Mueller will have all the facts, and awhile longer before the facts turn into accountability (Saturn). 

Mueller Jupiter (Virgo) conjoins Sibly Progressed ASC (Virgo); both oppose Sibly Moon (Aquarius). Any Jupiterian benefit to “We the People” is a good thing right now, so Mueller’s relationship to us looks hopeful. Given the involvement of our Progressed ASC, we may be looking at an improved “new day” ahead, as this progressed cycle unfolds. It may not feel like that for awhile, but his entrance on the scene looks positive.

Final thoughts

In the same way that external wars galvanize people, an internal falling apart may eventually do the same for Americans. Unfortunately, we seem to have forgotten that unity is strength, and that there are real external forces that stand to gain from our chaos and dissolution while we work out our divisions. Judging from the past week’s news, Trump seems far too cozy with one of those forces. 

We’ve had many such learning experiences in our history, in which we’ve had to regroup and get back to “square one:” after the Civil War, of course, but also in the wake of both world wars, during the Depression, the McCarthyist era (roughly 1947-1956), during the Civil Rights turmoil and the high-level assassinations of the 1960s, after the Viet Nam/Watergate debacle, after 9/11, the 2008 Recession, and so on. 

It seems we’re heading into another such period, only this time the threats to our democratic system are challenged by a president who doesn’t seem to understand his role, or its many nuances.  In a week when we’ve been hearing about Trump soliciting oaths of loyalty from his appointees, it’s sobering to realize that many are wondering where his loyalties lie. 

We looked at parallels with the Nixon administration in the last post here: another such parallel is the attitude we’re getting from Trump lately that (I’m paraphrasing), “if the president says something it must be true…If the president does something, it must be legal.” This reflected a distortion of Executive authority when Nixon did it, and it reflects the same today. 

This takes us full circle back to the issue of addiction and illusions: it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what illusions Trump and team operate under, but we can probably start with Trump’s deep need for personal power (it’s all over his chart and constantly displayed in his behavior). It sure seems that everything else flows from that: he’s been determined to shoe horn his “empire” into the confines of the White House from day one—and these two realities simply cannot coexist without serious conflicts. 

On the other hand, not all illusions are negative or toxic: maybe we, as a collective, need to hold on to our illusions (or aspirations, at least) of freedom and equality a bit longer—if we can imagine it…you get the drift. Besides, what are the alternatives?!

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 2017. All rights reserved. 

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