Wednesday, October 25, 2017

On critical times for the GOP: Pluto weighs in

I’ve talked at length here about Pluto’s difficult transit into the depths of Capricorn, and about the tough evolutionary process our American democracy is experiencing, as a consequence. 
Pluto’s hold on our daily lives is at times very covert— yet, as long as we inhabit earth’s material plane, this astrological “god” of the Underworld reserves the right to take a regular bite out of us. Political parties are no exception to this rule, and it appears that the GOP can attest to that these days.

Conventional astrological wisdom says that Pluto rules “death, sex, and taxes”—which is true enough, but this is only half the story. If we pull the right string, each of these dreary sounding areas unravels, revealing a rich, deeply profound dimension of life. The past week’s news reads like a compendium on these dimensions of life:

- Four Marine Green Berets patrolling (for unknown reasons) a treacherous area in Niger are ambushed and killed, raising all kinds of Plutonian questions about how our nation—and regrettably, our president—handles the death of American service people;

- The Internet explodes with high-profile cases of sexual assault in the workplace (Harvey Weinstein’s and many more), while thousands of women come out and #MeToo, sharing their experiences in solidarity;  

- Congress struggles with Trump’s pet project of tax reform, and if the royal tweets are any gauge, falling behind Trump’s wishes in this area is a litmus test for “loyalty”—in Trump’s eyes, a matter of life and death. The GOP is beginning to realize that it’s the life and death of the party itself that is at stake here, as high-profile senators Bob Corker and Jeff Flake stage a mutiny against Trumpism and those demands of “loyalty.”

So, Pluto’s fingerprints are all over our news, and the destructive power we associate with Pluto is equally manifest. It’s curious to me that the GOP—the party that hosted Trump’s rise—would be such a target of this destruction, but that’s what happens in parasitical relationships, isn’t it? Once the invader latches on and establishes itself, it begins sapping the lifeblood of the host (vampires are the ultimate Plutonians), to the point of no return. 

Without serious intervention, in fact, the invader becomes the host. Let’s take a look at a biwheel cast between Donald Trump and the U.S. Republican Party to gain some insight into the effect he’s having on them. Please note that the GOP chart is a noon chart–there’s no precise “birth” time available, so we won’t be dwelling on the party’s angles, houses or Moon placement. 

Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) U.S. Republican Party, March 20, 1854, 12:00 noon LMT (no precise time available), Ripon, WI; (outer wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Interchart T-Square: Trump Sun-Node-Uranus (Gemini) opposes Trump Moon –So. Node (Sagittarius); this axis squares GOP Sun/Neptune (midpoint, Pisces). Again, we can’t say much about the GOP’s Moon, but the noon placement falls conjunct Trump’s Moon, and it’s plausible that both Moons fall within orb, no matter the time. Even without that conjunction, however, this is a remarkable connection between the two charts, and if we factor in the GOP’s Sun/Neptune midpoint, it’s even more so. According to Michael Munkasey[1], this point has positive and negative expressions (like every midpoint does), and it’s worth looking at both of them:

Thesis (+) “A leader with the ability to thrill the masses through visions of a great future; projection of the ‘good times,’ an ability to respond to the needs of the consumers by offering products based on popular concepts.

Antithesis (-) “A leadership which goes to excess and exhausts itself on impractical schemes; inflation which drains resources; budget deficits; drug problems; promises made but not backed with substance or intention.”

How much more accurately can we describe the situation? Trump thrilled the masses and seduced the GOP into supporting him, against the better judgment of several key players. Trouble is, the “antithesis” side of the equation could become the GOP’s downfall because they will answer for their parasite’s shortcomings. 

As so many Plutonian dilemmas dictate, they’re “damned if they do, and damned if they don’t”—if they desert Trump one by one, the “loyalist” brigade led by Steve Bannon will pick them off like flies, installing the extremist candidates he and Trump prefer in their place. If they remain loyal and swallow whatever pride and dignity they have in return for Trump & Co.’s blessing (it’s really embarrassing to watch), they may survive into the 2018 election season, but the voters could also clobber them for being such toadies.

We might feel tempted to feel sorry for the GOP’s dilemma, but unless they “grow a pair” as Stephen Colbert put it, they will probably deserve whatever treatment they get! It seems to me that the only power they will have in the situation is to desert Trump en masse, reassert Congress’s total independence from the Executive Branch, and take whatever beatings their home districts want to hand out. At least they would go out with their principles and self-respect intact! 

Unfortunately, Trump has them where it hurts—hoisted on the petard of tax reform—a legislative opportunity they’ve been drooling over forever, especially since Trump hit the scene. Munkasey characterizes the connection between Uranus and a Sun/Neptune midpoint as “upsets caused by ignoring reality while you are dreaming…” Another quite accurate description of the situation—Trump is not going to stand by while they craft a tax reform bill to their liking; he’s going to undermine their efforts just like he did on health care reform, and it’s anyone’s guess if a bill will actually reach Trump’s desk.

Interchart T-Square: Trump Venus-Saturn (Cancer) oppose GOP Chiron-Jupiter-Pallas (Capricorn); this axis squares Trump Jupiter (Rx, Libra). We’ve seen in earlier posts here that Trump’s Cancer points are key to what Jeff Flake just called his “outrageous, undignified behavior”—hateful fear-mongering, insecure bullying (Trump’s Mars helps here), ready to project his own shortcomings out onto others and avoid responsibility at all costs.

This t-square captures all that, with the GOP’s economy-focused Capricorn Jupiter as the target for Trump’s projections. He knows what buttons to push to demean and wound them (Jupiter-Chiron conjunction), and he’s undermined any remaining principles of justice and ethics (Pallas) the GOP may cherish. If “loyalty” to him is all that matters now, how can they be ethical or just?  This loyalty is represented by Trump’s Jupiter in this equation: growing his brand, expanding his reach and deepening his hold on power (and the goodies that come along with it, if you lack ethical scruples) is the goal here.

It’s in the nature of t-squares that if things get “stuck,” and goals aren’t being accomplished, the way through is at the point opposite the focal planet. In this case, that would be opposite Jupiter, in mid-Aries, which suggests more adolescent, belligerent behavior. As Corker says, “Alert the Daycare staff!” 

Is the writing on the wall for the GOP?

There’s a lot of media doom and gloom afloat about the GOP’s future as an intact party, and clearly, Election 2018 will tell the story in the short term, so let’s quickly explore that biwheel. Here, because the noon-chart is the inner wheel, we won’t be discussing angles, houses or the GOP’s Moon. Even with all those vagaries, this arrangement gives us a better visual feel for the impact Election 2018 is likely to have on the party.  

Biwheel #2: (inner wheel) U.S. Republican Party, March 20, 1854, 12:00 noon LMT (no precise time available), Ripon, WI; (outer wheel) U.S. Election 2018, November 6, 2018, 6:40 a.m. (sunrise) ST, Washington, D.C.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node

Interchart Grand Earth Trine: Election Saturn (Capricorn) trines GOP Mars (Virgo) trines Election Uranus-GOP Pluto (Taurus). The transit of Uranus over the GOP’s Taurus Pluto portends a period of rapid, revolutionary change. Robert Hand’s transit “bible”[2] puts it this way:

“Forces that have been gathering slowly in your environment or within yourself have reached such a critical point that changes begin to occur now in a swift and sometimes rather devastating manner…”

Combining this powerful conjunction with the trines to the Virgo and Capricorn points suggests that financial/material concerns will “grease the skids” of this radical change, and depending upon the nature of those changes, the party may look back in horror to see the trap they fell into. This could be a real Dr. Faustus moment: if the party’s sold its “Soul” in return for material favors, Pluto will be calling the shots! 

Which brings us to Election Pluto conjoins GOP Chiron-Jupiter-Pallas (all Capricorn). Clearly, the GOP is getting hit by Pluto from both sides, from within (its radix chart) and from without (transits), so the Faustus metaphor applies even more deeply. We should note that Pluto has been transiting the GOP Chiron-Jupiter since the beginning of 2016, so it’s clear that they were subject to the “carrot-stick” routine by Trump from way back then.

Thinking back, he more than likely convinced them that he was their only “salvation” (in terms of the 2016 election and their pet issues), and that to survive was to throw their lot in with him. Didn’t anyone realize that his “art of the deal” is all about the willingness to stiff anyone who’s foolish enough to think they’re going to profit from him?  

It’s key here that so many outer planets are occupying earth signs at the same time—there will be such a heavy focus on material goals that we can perhaps understand why the GOP is so willing to keep its blinders on and just forge ahead with the tax reform issue right now—they really do believe it’s necessary for the next wave of economic growth, and they see that as their “salvation” in the end.  

Agree with them or not, Jupiter will be celebrating its homecoming into growth-oriented Sagittarius right after the election, so the push will be on. Watch out for inflation and ballooning deficits!

Election Mars (Aquarius) squares GOP Saturn (Taurus) and trines Election Venus-Ceres (Libra); Election Venus inconjoins GOP Saturn and GOP Sun (a Yod). The GOP’s infrastructure (rules, guiding principles, leadership hierarchy) is under considerable stress here, and it’s quite possible that they will be held responsible for things they have little power over. The stress will likely be at least partly financial—Election Mars is also stressing out their coffers with its wide conjunction to GOP Venus (Pisces). Will some big Republican donors be lured to Trump/Bannon’s more nationalist wing of the party and bypass their usual party affiliation? Such funding choices could fragment the party more effectively than anything.

Election Saturn (Capricorn) squares GOP Mercury (Aries). This aspect illustrates why Saturn’s ingress into Capricorn will probably be a key moment in how these threats to the GOP evolve between now and Election 2018: as Corker and Flake have both demonstrated with their courageous decisions to speak out, the party can’t continue enabling behavior that so completely clashes with its founding principles if it wants to survive. As we see in this square, Saturn is going to demand that they walk their talk (Mercury)—if they want to be known as the “Party of Lincoln,” they have to act like it. They can’t condone Trump & Co’s radical right-wing agenda of shutting our borders, dismantling 1st Amendment guarantees and oppressing minority citizens. And so on.

Election Neptune conjoins GOP Neptune (both Pisces). A Neptune return is a transit that we mortal humans never experience in our lifetimes, but in this case it forces us to consider where the GOP got its start: as a pre-Civil War effort to consolidate around a national ideal of slavery-free enterprise. The so-called Compromise of 1850 was top-of-mind, no doubt: it sought to keep the nation united, despite serious disputes over which new states and territories would be allowed to hold slaves and which would not. We know how that story ended, but the GOP has prided itself on its anti-slavery position all these years.

With Neptune returning to the party’s original Neptune position, however, their original ideals will be either confirmed or washed away with the changing tides. It’s hard to imagine that this wouldn’t be a key passage in their history!

Final thoughts

Death is, of course, the nether extreme of Life, as a cyclical phenomenon—it’s the tipping point at which an individual life gives way to the collective, creative ferment all around us, becoming one with the material that nurtures future generations. There’s a reason Pluto transits through the Zodiac are used to examine the astrology of the various generational “signs.” Pluto rules every one of the organic stages of the life cycle: conception, gestation, birth, degeneration, death, transformation and regeneration.

We can even imagine this cycle in mechanistic terms: each new population cohort is literally generated by the energy output of its parents, and those children—unique as snowflakes on their own—are also born into the collective, demographic reality represented by each Pluto generation. As such they tend to inherit a zeitgeist, or worldview, that is typical of Pluto in a specific Zodiac sign.

In raw, material (or even scientific) terms, our biological selves are both dependent upon the generations before us, and in time, will be transformed into the generations that follow us. Even those individuals who never produce children end up contributing to future generations in one way or another: through their mental and creative output, their material possessions and resources, and perhaps even their physical organs. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust” is more than a romantic notion—it’s a matter of species survival—another key Plutonian concept.

Not surprisingly, the serious, right-ward shift in political viewpoints that plagues global politics these days is related because many societies and cultures fear for their survival today. Toxic potentials lie dormant in every society, awaiting a trigger, and when survival fears creep up on a society and consume its energies, what transpires often reflects the “dark side” of the Pluto generation(s) in power.  

We don’t have to look too far for examples: many of the adults now in positions of power were born in either the Leo or Virgo generations, and members of both generations are complicit in this right-ward shift. Despite the considerable progress made in Civil Rights legislation during the Leo generation, this cohort also resonates with Pluto’s authoritarian alliance with Saturn in Capricorn, and that connection can definitely be twisted to right-wing purposes. We’ll examine this generational chart to explore why this is true in the next post here.

The second cohort that launched when Pluto entered Virgo in 1956 can be drawn into a dark maelstrom by its focus on “purity” and “perfection,” and its earthy resonance with Capricorn makes this generation particularly prone to that right-ward drift. This is especially true with Neptune now transiting opposite their sign, distorting their vision and triggering their anxieties. This is the generation that gave us Andrew Breitbart (b. 2/1/1969) and his right-wing media website phenomenon.

Pluto rules genetics, so the unfortunate emergence of “blood and soil” right-wing extremism on American soil makes twisted sense to at least a segment of the Virgo cohort. In fact, Pluto’s tour of Virgo from 1956-1971 was marked by a long list of hate crimes against African-Americans and other minorities, including the high-profile assassinations of civil rights workers and leaders.

The KKK was heavily involved, of course—it took until 2005 for one of its ring leaders to be prosecuted for his role in the 1964 murders of civil rights workers Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner (the so-called “Mississippi Burning” murders). Clearly, that era helped promote the cause of civil rights in the end (martyrdom is a Virgo-Pisces phenomenon), but not without heinous costs that still weigh heavily on our nation.

Where individuals fall in these tragic situations—on the side of the perpetrators or the victims, or somewhere in between—is also a Plutonian puzzle. This is a tough world for those prone to survival anxieties, whether justified by reality or not. When—by circumstances or delusion—it’s “kill or be killed”—what are the choices? Even if they don’t physically murder anyone, those caught up in fearful delusions poison our social discourse with the hatred and fear they harbor. In these Capricorn-heavy times, we need to ask who profits from all this.

We shouldn’t lay the responsibility for today’s anxieties on the Virgo generation alone, however. We have a Leo generation, would-be “king” in the White House, and his destructive agenda is enabled by several from that same cohort, including Steve Bannon and 11 of his current Cabinet-and Executive-level appointees.

In fact, there’s a fairly even split between Leo and Virgo generation Cabinet members, with one lonely Libra generation representative in United Nations Ambassador, Nikki Haley. This Leo-Virgo preponderance shouldn’t be surprising, of course—we would expect to see those age groups involved in the top level positions of government.   

Even so, the individuals sitting in those Cabinet seats carry the torch for their Pluto generations in some way, so it’s worth exploring those generational perspectives a little more deeply. We need that understanding to envision a more positive way forward!

Stay tuned – more on this topic in the next post!

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] Michael Munkasey, Midpoints: Unleashing the Power of the Planets, ACS Publications, San Diego, CA, 1991, pp. 88-89.
[2] Robert Hand, Planets in Transit: Life Cycles for Living, Whitford Press, Atglen, PA, 1976, p. 413.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Pluto’s southward transit: Wealth, Power & Race in the crosshairs

Yes, the Cosmos is being a bit heavy-handed with "We the People" these days, and the constant state of crisis is becoming quite exhausting. 

Are we going to war with North Korea? Will Puerto Rico get the federal assistance and political commitment it needs to rebuild? Will we ever see sanity in our gun regulations, or keep kowtowing to the NRA’s over-sized lobby? 

Will the new Trump tax plan put the screws to the working and middle classes, causing further toxic anger? Will Trump continue reigning chaotically in what Senator Bob Corker calls the White House “adult daycare center?” 

Will the country continue its Trump-sanctioned descent into a bloody culture war? Are we seeing “creeping authoritarianism” taking shape around us in a thousand small ways? Making sure that people are angry and spitting fire at each other over who-gets-what-at-whose-expense is Job #1 on that agenda. The signs are there. 

If you made it through this dreary list and are prepared to read on, I give you credit: it’s because you care. This should be far from unusual, however—we are instinct-driven souls, and our instinct is for biological survival. We also care that future generations survive and thrive—they will carry our genetic heritage onward, which registers on the level of instinct as a type of immortality, after all. So, as dreary as it is, we need to know what’s going on. 

Touring the Underworld

Because they operate on the unconscious level—Pluto’s “Underworld” realm—our survival drives may not be top of mind, but these instincts are certainly lurking beneath the surface, and they do get our blood moving. I think we can safely say that astrologically, Pluto is now, more than ever, determined to grab us by our survival instincts and shake any remaining complacency out of us. 

Of course, Pluto only works through its agents in this world—every Machiavellian “Prince” has his minions, if you will. We can certainly imagine the cosmic power meeting involved: a real “my people will get with your people” confab. Unfortunately, Trump is right there, holding court with his increasingly pitiful loyalists (really, Pence, you had to pull that ridiculous P.R. stunt at the Indiana Colts’ game?). 

The tone of Trump’s administration certainly reflects what Pluto is up to these days—applying within 5 degrees orb to its own south node at 21°+ Capricorn, and more. As I reported in the 9/29/2017 post here, the path between Pluto’s position now, over that south node and on into its 2022 return to Sibly Pluto (at 27°+Capricorn), could be dicey. 
Again, if you haven’t read Michael Lutin’s[1] admirable work on Pluto and its south node, I highly recommend it.

This is a high stakes transit because it could definitely enable Trump’s stated plan to dismantle the government as we know it. Trump excels at Plutonian “divide-and-conquer” tactics: we’re seeing this in the way he’s challenging our national institutions (the Courts, the separation of powers, etc.) and in his purposely pitting Americans against each other, looking to incite a new, racially-tinged culture war, one NFL game at a time. 

One commentator finally said what must be on many minds: why did this man want to be president? 

Historical context

It’s worth recalling that the last time Pluto transited over its Capricorn south node, a great deal of resentment was building between the American colonies and Britain, and we know how that ended. British monarchs had waged a series of expensive wars, and the colonists were being pinched by more and more oppressive taxation to pay for them—it was a pressure-cooker situation, not too different in tone from today’s drama.  

As for other volatile Pluto activity, the U.S. Civil War broke out in 1861, under the first quarter of the 1850 Uranus-Pluto cycle that launched at 29°+ Aries. That point is echoed by Uranus’s current position at 26°+Aries, and of course, we’re in the 3rd quarter “resolution” phase of another pretty lively Uranus-Pluto cycle (1965), so it could be good timing for a karmic comeuppance from earlier times. 

It also bears noting that the current situation is evolving within the Capricorn Uranus-Neptune cycle that launched at 19°+ in February, 1993—conjunct Pluto’s south node! This adds even more importance to Pluto’s remaining time in Capricorn. So, let’s consider a chart that might give us some insight into the near-term road ahead, but also keeps these broader contexts in view. 

Because the health of the nation is at stake, Triwheel 1 below begins with the U.S. Sibly chart, setting that against the 1993 Uranus-Neptune cycle chart (which reflects so many of our issues today) and finally, against tomorrow’s Jupiter ingress into Scorpio. 

I’ve chosen this latter event to represent the current situation because in Scorpio, Jupiter is disposed by Capricorn Pluto and will amplify and support whatever Plutonian agenda is afloat. At the very least, this ingress will give us a sneak-peek into the power dynamics at work in the coming year. 

For instance, Jupiter’s “Achilles heel” in Scorpio is toxic excess; how could this weakness manifest in the near-term? Let’s consider the triwheel. 

Triwheel #1: (inner wheel) U.S. Sibly chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (middle wheel) Uranus-Neptune Capricorn Cycle, February 2, 1993, 12:46:43 p.m. ST, Washington, DC; (outer wheel) Jupiter enters Scorpio, October 10, 2017, 8:25:23 a.m. DST, Washington, DC.Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Let me just mention that I’ve written at length about Jupiter’s Scorpio ingress in another post here, dated 8/21/2017, so if a lot of what follows sounds familiar, that’s why. Even so, repetition is called for, I think: Trump recently teased us with his veiled, but potentially ominous warning that we’re seeing the “calm before the storm,” and any outer planet ingress would be relevant under those conditions. In Scorpio, all the more.

The last time Jupiter entered Scorpio—in October 2005—Hurricane Katrina had only recently swallowed New Orleans whole, Hurricane Rita roiled the Texas Gulf coast, and Hurricane Wilma tore up southwestern Florida. North Korea first announced it possessed nuclear weapons, and what came to be known as the “Housing bubble” burst, precipitating the later foreclosure crisis. 

Wall Street’s “irrational exuberance” (definitely a Jupiter phenomenon) would soon catch Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan’s eye, but too late to spare the nation a major financial meltdown. 

That year also saw a riot inspired by a Neo-Nazi rally in Toledo, Ohio, and the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars were in full swing. Vice President Cheney’s adviser Lewis “Scooter” Libby was convicted of obstruction of justice, lying under oath, and “outing” CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity. 

Surprise, surprise, then-President Bush pardoned Libby after he was sentenced to 30 years in prison! The GOP had its internal turmoil: House Majority leader Tom DeLay (R, Texas) stepped down in the midst of a criminal conspiracy conviction.  

Needless to say, there are strong parallels with today…except the issues and themes common to both periods are even more unhinged and volatile today. Race relations are at a new low, with a resurgent, “liberated” KKK and Neo-Nazi/white supremacist fringe; ethical violations and conflicts of interest are rampant within the Trump administration; North Korea’s nuclear capability is an even greater concern, and again, the GOP has its inner turmoil to deal with, amidst some fear that the stock market is overheating.   

A Scorpio Jupiter can definitely exacerbate that, since “growth at any cost” is its modus operandi.
On that note, let’s consider the chart. Just to head off any confusion, I’ll refer to the outer wheel as the Ingress, the middle wheel as the Cycle, and the inner wheel as Sibly.

Interchart Cardinal Grand-Square: Ingress Sun-Mercury (Libra) conjoins Cycle Jupiter-Sibly Saturn (Libra) and all oppose Sibly Chiron (Aries); this axis is squared by Ingress Pluto-Cycle Uranus-Neptune (Capricorn) opposed to Sibly Sun-Mercury (Cancer). This grand square takes in a lot of territory, and I should point out that it’s a bit imperfect: Sibly Chiron out of orb for squaring the Sibly Sun, but it does square the Sibly Sun/Mercury midpoint. 

Even so, the stress contained in this configuration is palpable, and we haven’t even figured Ingress Uranus (Aries) into it. It’s significant that Ingress Pluto is applying to the 1993 Cycle point (Uranus-Neptune); the message here is that the globalized economic and geopolitical agenda Uranus and Neptune ushered in will form the basis for an even deeper transformation of human societies.

The accelerating impacts of climate change come to mind—and our current administration’s efforts to shut down even legal immigration (refugees, be gone!) fits right into that scenario. 

These collective planets are essentially “non-partisan” energies, however: they can be used to manifest sweeping policies and transformations on both ends of the political spectrum. So, one response to climate change is to work together with the international community to save the environment for the next generations, to help mitigate circumstances already in progress, like elevated sea levels that threaten island nations, and to promote preventive measures, so the next generations aren’t faced with this same threat. An ounce of prevention can prevent a torrent of climate change refugees in the future, but this option clearly depends upon taking the long view. 

The other response is more short-term: to simply circle the wagons and take the isolationist, protectionist option. Beef up border security and turn the country into a police state, if necessary, to protect “our own.” Then, create enough discomfort for those Others who happen to be citizens so they want to leave. 

Regulating immigration has always been necessary, and doesn’t have to be racially motivated, but Trump has aligned himself with those who want to “save” American culture from non-whites, so if his policies look racist, they probably are. The stress of this cardinal configuration translates into a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” kind of atmosphere, and this policy area provides a great example: the KKK and their ilk thrive on turmoil, and non-white Americans are not likely to take their threats lying down, so we can expect this issue to become more and more explosive. 

It’s no mystery where Trump stands on these issues: if addressing climate change means working with the international community, that’s a non-starter for him. It might mean that we contribute to supporting other countries’ needs instead of building walls, physical or otherwise! 

The Capricorn points in this configuration are disposed by today’s Sagittarius Saturn, which also happens to oppose transiting Lilith and conjoin Trump’s natal Sun-No. Node (both in Gemini-chart not shown). If we’re sensing a rising tide of darkness in politics and world affairs, these points may explain why. The only way to counter that rising tide is to refuse the dark impulses and the twisted logic that has marked so much of the 1993 cycle thus far. If you haven’t thanked our free press warriors for speaking truth to power recently, this would be a good time to do so!

Pluto’s added energy here will raise the stakes in that 1993 cycle’s agenda: we could see more resource-driven, and corporate-backed wars and skirmishes, more “turf wars” over ancestral land claims, more austerity and “disaster capitalism” imposed upon Others. A quick excerpt from Anthony Lowenstein’s book by this title puts this into context:

“No longer able to sustain itself by selling dreams, capitalism now thrives on the management of nightmares. Even the provision of disaster relief is transformed into profit.”   
Ingress Jupiter-ASC (Scorpio) oppose Ingress Uranus (Aries). It’s notable that this opposition is fairly insular, not a part of any larger configuration: this is due to Jupiter finally moving out of orb for the “kite” formation we discussed in the last post, about the Las Vegas shooting. Does that mean we’ll see less drama going forward? More than likely, the drama will take on a different tone: it’ll be a good time to watch business and technology news, in fact. 

Expansion seems to be the watchword, and Trump’s promise of a major corporate tax cut (Scorpio) is the wind beneath those expansionist wings. There are potential risks, however—Uranus isn’t sitting there knitting booties!  Here’s what one economist on CNNMoney has to say about those risks:

"The U.S. economy does not need any fiscal stimulus here. It could be too much of a good thing," said Ed Yardeni, president of investment advisory Yardeni Research. 

Already, the relentless pace of gains on Wall Street has raised concern that the market could be on the cusp of a "melt up" -- an unsustainable rally that isn't supported by fundamentals. CNNMoney's Fear & Greed gauge of market sentiment is sitting in "extreme greed" mode.

Fiscal stimulus like a big corporate tax cut could fuel a bubble in the stock market, David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds, warned in a recent research report.
This help from the federal government would also leave Washington with less ammo to boost the economy should it falter again soon.” 

Needless to say, the “Fear & Greed” index captures the spirit of Jupiter’s ingress, especially against such a heavy backdrop of Capricorn energy. 

Interchart Fire Grand Trine: Ingress Uranus-Sibly Chiron (Aries) trines Ingress No. Node-Cycle Chiron (Leo) trines Ingress Saturn-Cycle No. Node (Sagittarius). Please note that Ingress Uranus is a bit out of orb for aspects with the Chiron and No. Node points in this configuration, but we can see the volatile fiery activity manifesting all around these days, so it’s hard to deny Uranus’s role here. Maybe the orbs don’t need to be as tight as we think under some circumstances? 

In my last post here, we saw how a very similar deadly triangular configuration played out in that horrendous Las Vegas massacre; today, the news is literally about fire—the ones raging uncontrollably in California’s drought-prone northern wine country.  It always concerns me when I see Sibly Chiron involved in such a volatile mix—our original “wounds” are far from healed, and the more survival pressure Americans are put under, the harder it becomes to deal sanely and calmly with priorities like speaking truth to power in our federal government, social justice, international relations, etc.

Natural disasters and shocking public tragedies provide a great distraction for all kinds of mischief. While we were all distracted this past week, Trump decided to roll back women’s access to birth control under the Affordable Care Act—a bit of red meat for his evangelical base.   

So devastating events are tragic on all levels—for the people directly involved, their communities, and the broader nation. The GOP under Trump is determined to roll back sensible EPA regulations regarding the environment (Obama’s Climate program), meaning a bigger slice of the national budget will be needed for disaster relief every year, and if Congress is true to form, we know that those hikes will be offset by cuts to social programs, infrastructure, support for the arts, and so on. The Leo and Sagittarius Nodes in this fiery triangle raise the question, “where does this downward spiral end?”  

One answer to that might be found in the way Saturn, Jupiter and Pluto play off each other in the Ingress chart: in Sagittarius, Saturn is disposed by Jupiter; in turn, Saturn disposes the chart’s Capricorn points, with Capricorn Pluto disposing Scorpio Jupiter! There are national priorities to sort out here: People or Profits? If we’re wise, we’ll come to a balanced accommodation that serves both.  

Interchart Mutable Grand Square: Ingress Mars-Venus (Virgo) conjoins Sibly Neptune (Virgo) and opposes Ingress Chiron (Pisces); this axis squares Ingress Saturn (Sagittarius) opposed Sibly Mars-Ingress Lilith (Gemini). This configuration reflects how instability and volatility feed off each other, and how deep wounds (Chiron) provide leverage if volatility is your aim. This configuration also draws the military into the fray, especially with Mars transiting in Virgo, almost precisely square the Sibly radix Mars

It’s worth noting that the Ingress Mars-Venus conjunction here reflects the dramatic Defense budget increases Congress is authorizing—conjoined Sibly Neptune, this move is framed in the most idealistic, flag-waving, “Mom & Apple Pie” terms, but there’s a lot happening behind the scenes (Neptune), too. Sibly Neptune trines Ingress Pluto/Sibly Pluto: War is the biggest business deal there is: the question is, will Trump pass up this business opportunity, or exploit it for all it’s worth?
Lilith is unfortunately unseen here, but she’s there, next to Sibly Mars (software issues) and could be inspiring this opportunistic view of military preparedness. 

More generally, Lilith over the Sibly 7th could potentially inspire hostility, ill-will and a vengeful attitude towards allies and our so-called “enemies.” Trump has often expressed that other countries have been “taking advantage” of the U.S. over many years, so it concerns me that this Lilith is also conjunct his Gemini Sun-Node (chart not shown). Will he be able to inspire cooperation with our allies when we need them? This has to be keeping his military advisers up at night.

Final thoughts

Clearly, the ambitions of a divisive cardinal Pluto can’t be overestimated, and it’s reasonable to see our current divisions as an echo of Civil War times. The same issues that roiled us then are doing so again (the slave trade takes many forms, including military ones), and almost every time we look at the news these days we’re reminded that our roots with racism, xenophobia and religiously-sanctioned hatred run deep. 

In retrospect, it was really na├»ve of us to think that one black president would heal all ills. If anything, Obama’s presidency seems to have annoyed the Beast lurking in our national Plutonian “cave,” guarding the nation’s treasures for the “Elect,” and Trump is now determined to erase any trace of Obama. Wealth, Power and Race have been inextricably linked in American capitalism, and Trump’s all about restoring what his base feels is their due. 

Forcing us to confront our karmic hang ups over Wealth, Power and Race once and for all may be Pluto’s quest in these final degrees of Capricorn. Of course, Trump is the perfect agent for this quest. We can see this in the way his natal Venus-Saturn conjunction (Cancer) opposes transiting Pluto and its south node, meaning they are conjunct Pluto’s north node. The fear and insecurity represented by that conjunction—disposed by his fiery Sagittarius Moon—is infused with Plutonian conspiracy mongering and isolationism. Pluto is our Cosmic Billionaire, after all—the “fear and greed” index is a real hot potato in Trump’s White House!  

Trump’s Moon is subject to some heavy transits at this time, as well, which is concerning for all of us: Saturn conjoins his Moon-So. Node, and “Dark Moon” Lilith opposes. Trump’s judgment is not exactly rational at the moment: when Senator Bob Corker (Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Committee) warns us that “Trump’s recklessness threatens World War III,” we need to pay attention. Considering his position in the GOP, Corker should be handed a Medal of Honor for saying out loud what so many are thinking.

For every Plutonian passage, there’s a destructive, “tearing down” phase, in which Pluto lays waste to outworn realities. Again, Trump is the perfect agent for that phase, and as Corker also pointed out, those around him need to contain the damage. It’s anyone’s guess how low we will go—if white supremacist Trump loyalists like Steve Bannon have their way, it will be very low. If the climate keeps warming the seas to drastic effect, (thanks for nothing, Scott Pruitt), we could be seeing physical devastation in large areas of the country. I wish Pluto offered an easier path, but there will be an upside, eventually. 

We’ll see that upside during the regenerative phase, which could very well coincide with Pluto’s return to its position in the Sibly chart. In this phase, a newly formed reality will finally emerge from Pluto’s primordial muck. Will that new reality be one nation, or two? From here, the odds look to be even, but during the regeneration we will hopefully rediscover what made this nation a desirable destination as a whole

I don’t have a lot of faith that we’ll experience a collective “kum-ba-ya” reconciliation, but I do think there are measures we can take to bridge our differences and make better use of them. We can forge what E.J. Dionne, et al, call a "new patriotism" in their powerful new study, One Nation After Trump.

Pluto in Capricorn reminds us that human relations ultimately survive or run aground over material realities, so what can we do to engineer a form of capitalism that works for everyone?  Everything else would follow from there, and we might just have something worth fighting for!

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] Michael Lutin, “When Pluto goes south…does the whole world have to follow?” The Astrological Journal, Vol. 59, No. 5, September/October 2017, London, UK, pp. 20-23.