Sunday, November 19, 2017

An astrological fork in the road: on gender & power in America

Here’s something to be thankful for this week: American society is being forced to do some long-overdue soul searching about power and gender.

We’ve seen a cathartic wave of #MeToo-style revelations, a sordid litany of sexual abuse indignities suffered by both women and men. The news has recounted the many ways abusers impose their power on a subject without consent—by sneak attack, by intimidation, by relentless harassment, by unwelcome pursuit.

Hundreds, maybe thousands of brave individuals have come forward and finally, their stories seem to be breaking through into broad public awareness. This trend gained momentum when controversial Trump supporters like Alabama Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore became a big focus of the story. Moore has been accused of multiple counts of sexual misconduct against several teenagers (including a 14-year old girl). He has since denied everything, basically calling the accusers liars and the story an evil plot against him by the media. Sound familiar?

Since that story broke, we’ve learned that numerous past and present politicians (including White House dwellers) have engaged in sexual misconduct, and that Congress itself has a serious problem with such behaviors—just ask staffers and interns! Democratic Senator Al Franken was called out this week for actions he took years ago as an entertainer—he made a credible sounding apology, which his accuser accepted, but there are calls for an ethics investigation, and SNL is having a field day.

Senator Al Franken (D-MN)

Unable to resist the temptation, Trump entered the fray by leaping all over Franken on Twitter, which reawakened allegations against Trump himself for similar misbehavior revealed before last year’s election.

So, what can astrology tell us about all this? A number of things, naturally, because sexual misconduct (of any degree) is both a collective and a personal phenomenon—in fact, it entangles these two levels in the most uncomfortable ways, as we’ll see in an example ahead. The fact is, sexual misconduct is most often about imposing one’s power over another, not about wanting to form an intimate relationship, so what may look at first to be personal, relational power abuses often become matters of law and social norms—collective matters.

First, let’s quickly consider why this, why now? The tidal wave of revelations, resulting in a public change of heart that many have referred to as a “sea change” sounds like Neptune, and we’ll see how deeply Big Blue is involved soon, but what accounts for all the brave “whistleblowers” who have made the revelations possible?

A cosmic snapshot for this past Thursday, the day radio host Leeann Tweeden came forward to claim that Sen. Al Franken (D-Mn) had kissed and touched her inappropriately (the infamous picture speaks volumes), gives us an important clue. Noon chart—no exact time known. See Chart #1, below.

Chart #1: Tweeden/Franken claims, November 16, 2017, 12:00 p.m. ST, Washington, D.C. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

What stands out most here, in regards to whistle-blowing and revelations, are two key aspects:

1.      Saturn (Sagittarius) conjunct Galactic Center (not pictured, at 26°-27°Sagittarius), trine Uranus-Pallas (Aries). According to astrologer Mandi Lockley, outer planetary transits to this sensitive galactic point often correlate with a sudden release of earth-shaking information—aka, whistle-blowing—and prominent whistleblowers often have important connections with this late Sagittarius point in their natal charts. Similarly, Julija Simas proposes that Saturn here marks an opportunity for “birthing a new reality,” and this definitely accords with the “sea change” we’ve seen during this transit: so many victims of sexual abuse have come forward to demand a new world in the arena of gender relations. 

      The shock value of the revelations and the importance of justice being done for victims are reflected perfectly by Saturn’s trine to Uranus-Pallas. The time for action (Aries) is now, and there has been a sense that this time, the change could be real. Time will tell, but the potential for that “sea change” seems to be there. 

2.      Chiron (Pisces) squares Saturn-GC (Sagittarius). Chiron and Saturn in aspect often point to wounds suffered while growing of age, from parents, from society, schooling, etc. If we view society and our leaders as a collective “parent”—certainly an influential shaping force—we can see why the standards set and the behavior displayed by our leaders and authority figures are so critical for the well-being of society. With the square, our character development as a nation is blocked by unresolved issues. As we’ve seen lately, toxic power dynamics in this society (between genders, between classes, between races…etc.) are far from healed, and this aspect reminds us of this. Not surprisingly, this square aspect ties into the Sibly chart like a glove, forming an interchart T-Square with Sibly Neptune (Virgo).  

This chart ties into Senator Franken’s nativity in some surprising ways—a story we’ll pick up again another day. For now, though, let’s consider a more complicated example that has dominated the news this past week.

What happens in Alabama doesn’t stay in Alabama…

The sex-abuse saga has hit particularly hard in Alabama, but it’s unclear whether there’s any soul-searching going on. For now, the responses are more defensive and political—an effort to “circle the wagons” of partisan support, with little regard for the truth of allegations made. It’s been a prime example of how tightly interwoven personal and collective concerns are with this issue.

Case in point: today’s news is reporting that Alabama Governor Kay Ivey says she has “no reason to disbelieve” Judge Roy Moore’s sexual assault accusers, but she’s going to vote for his election to the U.S. Senate anyway. Coming from a female leader in response to Moore’s alleged history of sexual abuse and worse, Ivey’s stance requires a truly disturbing mix of moral abdication and partisan blindness. Blend the lesser angels of Neptune and Pluto with a dash of shocking, Uranian defiance, and there you have it.

Even so, we have to wonder why Ivey is repressing her own personal stake in this matter as a woman, in favor of the collective, partisan goal of boosting Moore into the U.S. Senate. Undoubtedly, the political calculations she’s faced with are tricky: she’s only been Alabama’s first female governor for about 7 months, and she’s up for her first real election in 2018. She has had a long career in state politics before this, but at 73, this next election may be her last, so the stakes are high. Wikipedia doesn’t say if she’s married or has children, so it’s possible that her professional life is hugely important to her. The collective, in other words, may be very personal to her.

The state GOP party (most recently represented by a bevy of middle-aged women coming forward to sing Moore’s praises) and Evangelical leaders are also standing behind Moore at this point, so doing the “right” thing for Women-writ-large could be political suicide for Madame Governor. Pluto loves a good Faustian bargain—the more hypocrisy involved, the better. 

Let’s consider a chart for Kay Ivey next to the transits on November 17th (reflecting her announcement of support for Moore). Both charts are set for noon (no exact times available for either chart). Ivey’s birth data is published on Wikipedia as October 15, 1944 in Camden, Alabama

My goal here is to consider her less as a private individual and more as a public figure, representing her State, so I’ll also raise some correlations with the U.S. Sibly chart as they make sense.  

Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) Kay Ivey, Octobeer 15,, 1944, 12:00 p.m. (noon chart, no birth time known), Camden, AL; (outer wheel) November 17 transits [Ivey announcement in news], 12:00 p.m. (noon chart, no exact time known), Washington, D.C.Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Interchart Cardinal Grand Cross: Ivey Mercury-Sun (Libra) opposes Transiting Uranus-Pallas (Aries); this axis squares Transiting Pluto-Juno & Ivey So. Node (Capricorn) opposed Ivey No. Node (Cancer). It’s very interesting that two of the most prominent “goddess” asteroids are involved in this tense configuration: Juno (consort to Zeus and the ultimate “power wife”) is aligned with Hades-dweller Pluto (there’s that Faustian bargain), falling on Ivey’s vulnerable So. Node—her default, fall-back position when times get “complicated;” transiting Pallas-Uranus oppose her Sun-Mercury (which are conjoined in turn by transiting Mars), suggesting that she’s trying to wield Justice like a two-edged sword at the moment.

Again, she has “no reason to disbelieve Moore’s accusers,” but Roy Moore will get her vote. She may not have intended to state her position in such blunt, cynical terms, but Mars and Uranus helped with that.

Note that Pluto has been transiting opposite Ivey’s Saturn for the past couple yearsundoubtedly having something to do with her ascent to the governor’s role in the past year. It was probably a conditional rise, however—Saturn and Pluto often demand that you “dance with them that brung you.”  

Here, things are doubly complicated, in fact: Ivey’s Cancer No. Node conjoins Trump’s demanding Saturn-Venus (chart not shown), so there’s definitely a fated feeling to her GOP “loyalty.” Ivey’s Sun and nodal axis fall naturally square, so as transiting Pluto closes in on that axis via her So. Node, the pressure could compromise her even further.

A long-term Pluto transit to her Sun has thus been in the works, and the impact of this has been enhanced by this same Pluto (Capricorn) trining her Jupiter (Virgo). Working in concert, these two transits have undoubtedly helped her achieve some ambitions, but we might wonder at what price? Such transits can inspire a basically amoral view of power that’s focused only on goals, not on the means for achieving them (Machiavelli lives!).

We can’t know what’s in her heart, but this focus on goals at all costs seems to capture the essence of Ivey’s support for Moore. In her statement, she emphasized that Alabama needs a GOP Senator, and that’s why she would be supporting Moore. 

What’s happening to Ivey in her state-level position is, in fact, an apt reflection of the corrupt influences we’re seeing today on the federal level of U.S. politics: this same Pluto is transiting opposite the Sibly Sun (Cancer), corroding the integrity of the Executive branch and the nation as a whole. Neptune simultaneously trines the Sibly Sun, so partisan “divide and conquer” is the name of the game.

Interchart Grand Water Trine: Transiting Neptune (Pisces) trines Ivey Saturn (Cancer), which trines Transiting Venus-Jupiter (Scorpio). These are heady times for the Alabama governor’s career: she has opportunities, with that nice trine from Venus-Jupiter to her Saturn. Trouble is, Neptune trine her Saturn may be eroding her responsible inclinations and promoting that Machiavellian perspective we’ve seen.

Neptune is also transiting opposite Ivey’s Jupiter (Virgo), perhaps leading her to believe and depend on people who don’t really have her best interests at heart. A Neptune-Saturn trine basically unleashes situations that demand our response. In truth, we create and perpetuate a lot of our own dilemmas and delusions with Neptune-Saturn. Bottom line, there’s a lot going on here that could result in a compromised, codependent situation for her.  

Hollywood producer/executive Harvey Weinstein, accused by several women of sexual assault.

A painful astrological fork in the road

The truth is, there’s a lot going on for the nation right now that spells compromise and corruption, and the same forces we just considered in the biwheel above are roiling our national dynamics, as well.  
An outer planet transiting its ruling, “home” sign wields clout like the force of nature it is. Today, the force we’re reckoning with on so many levels is Neptune—since 2011, transiting its mutable, watery home sign of Pisces. Anyone watching these things has had front row seats for Neptune’s “magic” show: is what we’re seeing the Truth, or is it a Plot by sinister “forces of evil?”
Specifically, should we believe the mounting number of women alleging that they were victims of sexual harassment and assault at the hands of powerful American men—of all political stripes—or should we believe that all these revelations are somehow just a politically-motivated “plot” to bring those men down?

Knowing how these things tend to go, people see what they have eyes to see, and we’re all left wondering if there’s such a thing as objective “truth” anymore! Neptune’s particular brand of “divide and conquer” is sorely trying this nation’s soul at the moment. 

In all fairness, today’s rabidly polarized politics isn’t due to Neptune’s influence alone—no planet ever operates in a vacuum—yet the divide has certainly deepened and become more vicious since Neptune entered Pisces in 2011.  That was the year the liberal-minded Occupy Wall Street protests emerged—at least partially in response to the ultra-conservative Tea Party movement that broke through after Obama’s 2009 inauguration.

These two phenomena laid down the ideological polarities that have driven American politics ever since, overwhelming and undermining the ideological middle-ground that was so productive in past political eras, melting it away like today’s Antarctic ice.

This explains why courageous and committed moderates in Congress like Arizona’s Jeff Flake, Kentucky’s Joe Manchin, Tennessee’s Bob Corker and Maine’s Susan Collins seem to be members of an endangered species. Gutting out the moderate voices in D.C. would be a serious loss, further degrading the tone of our public life.

As always, astrology speaks to the dysfunctional dilemmas we find ourselves in, and the biwheel above provides a perfect illustration. Notice the following in Biwheel #2 below:

Biwheel #2: (inner wheel) US Sibly Chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (outer wheel) November 17 transits [Ivey announcement in news], 12:00 p.m. (noon chart, no exact time known), Washington, D.C.Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Interchart Yod: Sibly Pallas-Moon (Aquarius) sextiles Transiting Uranus-Pallas; both parts of this sextile fall quincunx Sibly Neptune/MC (Virgo-Libra). Transiting Chiron (Pisces) opposes Sibly Neptune. This is what aspects expert Bil Tierney and the authority he cites would call a “true yod,” one in which the apex planet (here, Neptune) is the slowest-moving of the planets involved. A little explanation from Tierney will help:
“Here, inner and outer forces are working together to stimulate subtle but heightened pressures which may eventually release themselves during a timely crisis in self-awareness…If his preparation has enable him to operate at a more effective level of consciousness, the potential energy of the sextiling planets can allow him to make intelligent and innovative adjustments in the social environment…But if he has not adequately adjusted to the pressures of the double quincunx emphasis, his maladjustments are also prone to surface at this time and actively struggle with the environment.”[1]
This powerful configuration does just about say it all on the topic at hand, doesn’t it? As a nation we have a long history of quietly sanctioning toxic sexual behavior (“that’s just locker talk”), but we have come to a “fork in the road” where our level of consciousness drives our ability to heal and alter course.

Clearly, a serious disconnect exists between the willingness to make needed adjustments and the unwillingness to upset the status quo of power and gender relations—Yods are never simple or straightforward or easily resolved.

This Yod, which marks the crossroads we find ourselves pondering in the news these days, is extra painful—and significant—because Chiron occupies the “reaction point” opposite Sibly Neptune. Tierney also speaks to this dynamic:
“The reaction point directly opposite the apex planet is very sensitive. It pinpoints that focused area where the individual’s new orientation will center itself for better or worse. The passing of transits or natal progressions over this reaction degree should be noted carefully, and particularly so if slower-moving planets are involved…The reaction planet is initially a conditioning agent that eventually becomes a prominent catalyst for inner illumination.”[2]
So, with Chiron at this sensitive point, we can expect that deep wounds will continue being ripped open by more revelations of sexual misconduct, but that healing will be available, if we navigate these dysfunctional times with open hearts and spirits (Neptune). Considering the apex planet of this Yod is our nation’s Neptune, we can expect that some of our “Hollywood Dream Machine” myths and icons will need to be revisited.

For instance, our cultural tendency to idolize celebrities and politicians (or hybrids thereof) and give them a pass on all kinds of bad behavior is up for review. Are we telling ourselves stories that help to heal or perpetuate this deep-rooted problem? Or are we spinning delusions that cover-up how we really feel about gender and power? Who do we idolize these days?

Considering the way Trump’s natal chart ties into the mutable Chiron opposition to Sibly Neptune (square his powerful Gemini-Sagittarius grouping), we may see a national catharsis around resolving the sexual misconduct allegations against him. Millions voted for him a year ago, knowing that 10+ women had come out with stories about his sexual misbehavior with them.

In fact, we probably all know people we love and respect who voted for him, despite the damning Access Hollywood tape that came out in October, 2016. Other presidents have been far from innocent in this regard, but now the time has come to grapple with all of it as a nation. Pluto’s transiting return to its Sibly position is raising the stakes: who do we want to be as a nation, going forward?
Answering this question has everything to do with deciding what type of power relations we will accept and which ones we will not. Importantly, it’s not just about how our celebrities and politicians behave, but whether young women waiting restaurant tables should have to endure pats on the behind or worse to make a living, or whether our aspiring Olympic athletes can trust their coaches and team doctors. Can we trust teachers and coaches to protect our children, rather than exploit them? In other words, we need to resolve the dilemma posed by this fateful Yod.

One good place to start would be to grapple with why Trump’s documented history of sexual misbehavior was not a deal breaker for so many 2016 voters? If we can face the answers to this question head-on, with that open heart and spirit, we will learn a lot about ourselves and 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, Reno, NV, 1983, pp. 146-7.
[2] Ibid, 148.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

An outer planetary perspective, as Uranus prepares to enter Taurus

It’s an old, well-worn Uranus-Neptune-Pluto story: Neptune erodes every structure and institution it touches, and eventually a critical point is reached where one isolated event cascades into bigger and bigger significance. 

We seem to be experiencing this today on at least two fronts: one mass killing incident (Uranus shock) follows on the heels of another, washing away our national sense of security like a sand castle at high tide. Qui bono? Gun manufacturing sales and stock prices soar! Pluto rings the Wall Street bell. 

The avalanche of sexual assault revelations hitting the news lately is similar—the shock of it all evokes Uranus, while Neptune—which helped maintain the “code of silence” that undergirds so many of our social institutions (including corporate life and the entertainment biz), now gets around to eroding that code. A few chinks in the silence appeared here and there with early revelations (Neptune), making it possible for Uranus (via brave individuals) to explode the code further. 

It was time. The longer these crimes go unaddressed, denied and enabled (more Neptune), the more our nation’s moral core rots from within. Pluto’s on board with that because new life eventually emerges out of all that rot. With Pluto’s return to its radix position in the Sibly chart looming in 2022, it’s simply time for this karmic sludge to be processed. Not just with women, but with any toxic power relations that have wormed their way into our social fabric. 

Of course, real lives are at stake in all this erosion and corruption, but people who should be able to offer more solutions often deliver prayers and condolences instead, with no second act. Pontius Pilate washing his hands of the death sentence imposed on Jesus Christ comes to mind. Maybe the traumatized people of the Sutherland Springs Baptist church are bravely trying to believe that there’s something redemptive about the 26 deaths they suffered—that God is with them, no matter what--but  the promise of redemption somehow rings very hollow.

As hollow as an addict claiming that he “can stop using any time,” or that she will “get her act together… as soon as she gets that next hit.” Under Neptune’s most toxic influence, it’s possible to become addicted to victimization itself. We’ve all known such individuals, but is that also where we’re at as a nation? 

Happily, women are saying loud and clear that they’re not prepared to be victims of sexual abuse any longer, even though somewhere in the tortured history of gender relations the idea took root that such sacrifices are a “woman’s place.” When that Alabama politician attempted to defend Roy Moore from pedophilia claims by saying that in the Bible, Mary was a teenager, married to Joseph, an older man, is that what he was implying? 

There’s nothing sacred about such toxic sacrifices, in the end: Congress washes its hands of thousands of American gun violence victims every year with its support of the Gun Lobby, and it is equally corrupt when it enables dangerous players like Roy Moore to take a seat in Congress. Passive enabling of violence and corruption—a Mars-Neptune phenomenon—is just another way of pulling the trigger. 

Neptune assures that this toxic quest is not only glorified for individuals; it’s also tacitly accepted for masses of people who find themselves being sacrificed to the “higher powers.” That’s where we find ourselves today with the Trump-Kim Jong Un stand-off at the nuclear OK Corral. According to foreign correspondent Richard Engel, a gradual build-up of forces in that region has been mustering quietly behind the bombastic, provocative rhetoric between these two. 

Millions of lives could be at stake, of course—in fact, if I read Engel’s reporting correctly, a war of choice is fast becoming a war of inevitability. This is the same process we saw with Vietnam and Iraq: those conflicts were plotted out months or even years in advance, and could have been prevented. The key difference in the U.S.-North Korea conflict would be the spectre of nuclear escalation.  

Every military person I’ve heard on the topic of North Korea says that there would be “no good options” for waging war over there. Most expect that even a limited conflict would be a bloodbath, if not outright genocide. Of course, that’s how rolling atrocities unfold, obscured by an enabling, distracting Neptunian smokescreen. If history’s any guide, we rarely know what the true objectives or facts are before the damage is done. As any Pluto-watcher might say, “follow the money!”
Which brings us to a fast-approaching, important transiting milestone. 

A significant ingress is just around the bend

Among the many outer-planetary “moments” approaching, I think the upcoming Uranus ingress into Taurus in May, 2018 will put a lot of the issues we’ve explored here into perspective, and more. Uranus rules technology, and in earth sign Taurus, we might expect to see a focus on pragmatic, yet high-tech solutions to earth-bound problems.  

This upcoming Taurus period has concerned me for awhile, frankly—it’s a topic I covered in an April/May article in The Mountain Astrologer[1] about the 2020 Jupiter-Saturn cycle (launching in Aquarius in December, 2020)—importantly, because Uranus in Taurus will dispose that cycle and wield long term influence. 

For now, however, Uranus is lingering in the last few volatile degrees of Aries, so we’re not out of the woods yet (maybe there’s been enough volatility lately?). Looking forward, though, I think the following excerpt captures my initial concerns:

“Clearly a key player in this [2020 Jupiter-Saturn] cycle, Taurus Uranus will hopefully drive earth-friendly technological developments, but we’ll need constructive ways to channel the distracting intrigue of Mars-Eris-90-Pluto [an aspect contained in the 2020 cycle chart] and Neptune-enhanced toxic emotions. Otherwise developments such as a new high-tech generation of weapons (a nuclear arms race with North Korea?) and mercenary warriors (or robots who push the limits of military ethics for free) could become the default. There’s a lot at stake here.”[2]

In fact, the warnings from military experts like Gen. Barry McCaffrey are mounting, with precise “Uranus timing.” McCaffrey predicted last night on the Rachel Maddow show (a Richard Engel report) that if the administration’s present course doesn’t change, we will most likely be engaged in a shooting war with North Korea by “next summer.” That’s perfectly timed for the upcoming Uranus ingress, of course, so we’ll examine that May chart alongside both the Sibly chart and North Korea’s radix chart for some perspective. 

It’s not unusual for wars to launch under fresh cycle milestones involving Uranus, in fact: the American Civil War broke out after a decade of building tensions, tensions set alight by the June 1850 Uranus-Pluto cycle in late Aries; Pearl Harbor was attacked (and war declared) just as Saturn and Uranus were settling into their new cycle in late Taurus (first exact in May, 1942); the Vietnam War escalated and became a quagmire as the 1965 Uranus-Pluto cycle in Virgo took hold; and the Iraq war’s timing was thoroughly premeditated for March, 2003, the same month that the Uranus-Neptune mutual reception (Pisces-Aquarius) fell into place.   

And, if we consider the long historical perspective, we’ll see that building national infrastructure and waging war are sometimes connected—a common factor being the presence of Uranus in Taurus! Another excerpt fills in more background:

“History offers interesting precedents: Uranus transited Taurus in the 1850s and in the 1930s—both periods of industrial development and material progress preceding major wars. After each war, the infrastructures and inventions created (railroads in the 1860s, our manufacturing base in the 1940s) were repurposed for economic expansion. We’ve also seen this happen with the Internet—(originally the military’s “Arpanet”)—a Cold War-era invention. Perhaps war doesn’t have to be the only motivation for developing infrastructures?”[3]

I mentioned in the last post here that there’s been an unfortunate connection between waging wars, resource exploitation and economic prosperity that makes fighting to preserve the peace a low priority for our political leaders, and this astro-historical perspective lends insight. So, Uranus disposing the airy Aquarius 2020 Jupiter-Saturn cycle from Taurus—an earth sign—could bring many positive developments down the road, but can we avoid the violent costs? If it’s up to some, we’ll see another generation of warfare. How much bad karma can one nation amass before something goes tragically awry?

Positive possibilities for Uranus in Taurus

A re-focused look at our economy and the values underpinning economic policies would be constructive, for starters. The following are a few common sense/pragmatic possibilities that I suggested in that TMA article:

·         “rebuilding our crumbling or out-dated infrastructures (roads, bridges, etc.) with sustainable materials that can withstand earthquakes, prevent sinkholes, etc.

·         producing new technologies that improve resource stocks (energy, land/soil, drinking water, clean air, bandwidth) and their efficient use. (Our electric grid—Aquarius—is in dire need of updating. China is slated to have 20 million electric cars on the road by this time—what are we waiting for?).

·         producing technologies and infrastructures that help prevent and predict, rather than cause environmental disasters, epidemics, and cyber-terrorism, and that help us respond more effectively when such things happen. 

·         educating the next generation of Americans to be “makers, not takers,”[4] creating the jobs they need to thrive and the support systems they need to have a voice (a new re-imagined era of labor unions?).”[5]

Because war is such an “easy money” industry (easy for Wall Street, at least), shifting our national priorities towards more peace-time pursuits is never easy. Shifting our focus from pointless, environmentally-destructive dollar churning can be difficult, too—especially when assault weapons used in mass killings or war are as important to our GDP-driven economy as life-saving medications and infrastructure projects are. Such amoral equivalencies fuel what economist David Korten calls the “death economy.”[6]

So, clearly, the time Uranus spends in Taurus could be very consequential. I’m happy to report that volatile Eris is no longer conjunct Uranus in the new ingress chart, but there are some other trigger-happy dynamics to deal with. 

Let’s consider the ingress chart on its own for now. Connections to the U.S. Sibly or Trump charts (not shown) will be pointed out, if they seem significant. As noted earlier, we will then quickly consider some connections with the radix charts for both the U.S. and North Korea.

Chart #1: Uranus enters Taurus, May 15, 2018, 7:32:05 a.m. DST, Washington, D.C. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Venus-Pallas in Gemini rises, trine Aquarius MC; chart ruler Mercury conjoins MC ruler Uranus (both in Taurus). This is an “upbeat” chart in a lot of ways: Uranus is happily placed in its comfortable 11th house, conjoined its close, cerebral sidekick and “press secretary” Mercury. The Venus and Pallas connections suggest a fruitful period for innovators, communicators, transportation, the justice system  (Pallas), and of course, technology in general (Aquarius MC, ruled by Venus-disposed Uranus). We should recall, however, that Venus often supports war efforts--indeed, Athena herself was often pictured in battle garb, so a positive-looking Venus is no guarantee of peace! 

This MC is actually quite significant: it conjoins the Sibly Moon (Aquarius), and opposes Trump’s Mars-ASC (Leo) conjunction, suggesting that the People’s agenda might actually take precedence over Trump’s in the 7-year period ahead! With that said, it’s also clear that he will benefit from this chart: the chart ASC-Venus-Pallas (Gemini) tie quite tightly into his natal Sun-Uranus-No. Node to Moon-So. Node opposition (Gemini-Sagittarius). More on this when we consider the national charts.

The ingress New Moon (Taurus) also conjoins his Taurus MC, so yes, once again, timing is everything, and Trump will continue dominating our national attention. With Pallas as part of this mix, however, the spotlight he bathes in may originate in the Justice Department! 

Back to the ingress chart itself, a Taurus Uranus in a Venus-blessed chart signals a prosperous period marked by pragmatic technological solutions and innovations. “Necessity is the mother of invention” comes to mind, as it should. We want technology to serve practical needs, right? The pitfall here could be the way in which “necessity” is defined by those holding the reins of power and the purse. 

Will we see a new technological age that’s designed to serve the needs of everyone, or simply the top tiers? Those watching the coming “robot invasion” are wary, at best, yet the Aquarius MC-Sibly Moon conjunction could be hopeful in this regard. 

Venus and Mercury occupy each others’ ruling signs, so they enjoy a nice mutual reception. The Venus-Pallas duo suggests a strong focus on justice—perhaps the Uranus transit ahead (marked by the ingress) will pioneer a more egalitarian distribution of wealth? Hope springs eternal!

As suggested in that earlier bullet-point list, Uranus’s time in Taurus is likely to be a “building” period—a good time to tackle our decaying infrastructure—definitely a pragmatic step forward. The economy is likely to be strong: Saturn (Rx here) will be in Capricorn at this point, widely trine Uranus-Mercury, signaling an eventual return to productive regulatory frameworks and stronger institutional structures. This is not the plan in Trump Land right now, but Saturn likes a little law and order. We’ll be able to tell more once it goes direct in September 2018.  

We shouldn’t think that Saturn’s entrance in Capricorn will be the cure-all for what ails our national institutions, however: Saturn will be in the final few degrees of its November, 1982 cycle with Pluto (beginning at 27°+Libra), so there’s also likely to be a “clearing out” of outworn institutions, in preparation for the much more thorough re-engineering process beginning in 2020 (new Saturn-Pluto cycle). 

Let’s hope that our system of democratic checks and balances between three equal branches of government isn’t on the chopping block. Trump shows few signs of respecting that system, so something to be aware of.

Jupiter Rx in Scorpio opposes Sun-Moon conjunct in Taurus. Interestingly, this Uranus ingress is happening at a nearly exact New Moon. Lady Luna is exalted in Taurus, so there’s a nice, hopeful, fertile feel to this lunation. The Sun and Moon fall in the 12th house, reinforcing the sense that a “renaissance” is gestating behind the scenes, waiting for the right time to emerge. Jupiter Rx signals a period of quietly nourishing this development (being retrograde) through its almost “umbilical” opposition. 

A massive investment fund (Scorpio) will probably be fueling this developing “new world” after Jupiter goes direct in mid-July (2018). I am wary about this Jupiter, however, because the possibility of war is looming—more on that when we look at North Korea’s chart. 

In Scorpio, it’s likely this Jupiter will play a role in the tax reform package the GOP is trying to ram through. A big boost to the upper crust’s wealth would make sense with these aspects, and Paul Ryan seems inordinately certain that the GOP reform bill will pass, but others are claiming the corporate tax cuts will now be put off for 2019, which is probably more in keeping with Jupiter’s movements. As both Saturn and Jupiter close in on Sibly Pluto between now and 2020, we’ll most likely see something come to fruition in regards to taxes. 

Jupiter trines Neptune (Pisces), at the same time it sextiles Pluto (Capricorn), which are nice aspects on the surface, but in unscrupulous hands, they can be put to very corrupt use. Positively,  they could accomplish great things, stimulating an outpouring of idealism (which could make for a high-turn-out, “wave” election year), but here’s the rub: in Scorpio, Jupiter already allies itself with the agendas of Mars and Pluto (co-ruling Scorpio), and both these ruling planets are in Capricorn. We need to remember that democracy is not a corporate priority. If it were, Facebook and Twitter would not be in the compromised mess they are right now.

Jupiter and Neptune in aspect in two water signs could also loosen any regulations remaining on the corporate world and make cutting through the fog (Neptune in Pisces) of cover-ups and obfuscation (the “Swamp”) very difficult. This nice trine is what I’d call the “Santa Claus” aspect—factor in the power-playing going on with the Jupiter-Pluto aspect and we see that a tax giveaway to the 1% could be like Christmas all year long! The generosity won’t be unbridled, however—it’ll be more conditional (“loyalty” tests) and selective

Trump is hankering for a big tax giveaway (the Jupiter-Neptune trine can act like Santa Claus, but watch out what you wish for), and since he filed the paperwork for a re-election campaign in 2020 sometime last January, his concern is hardly altruistic. Will his big donors and other wealthy support networks abandon him if it doesn’t happen? 

Pluto will remain opposite Trump’s Saturn-Venus (Cancer, chart not shown) for years to come, so we probably haven’t seen the end of his conflicts of interest or his involvement in Big Money politics. This is reinforced more generally by Pluto’s upcoming return to Sibly Pluto. Worst case scenario: we see a real “Clash of the Titans” atmosphere in Election 2018—a “billionaires only” gladiatorial games. Best case scenario: Saturn’s time in Capricorn trine Uranus (Taurus) will begin to really hold the “swamp” accountable. 

Moving along in the background, of course, will be the Mueller investigation: it will be interesting to see if the Uranus ingress brings the investigation to a new level, one way or another. I suspect it will. Saturn (Capricorn) in this chart opposes Trump’s Mercury (Cancer), which disposes his Gemini points, so he may feel more constrained than usual.

There are positive potentials for the Jupiter aspects we’re discussing as well: it’s possible that the new “waves” of outspokenness—at the ballot box, on Twitter with #MeToo, especially—will reach a critical turning point that tips over into serious change. This past Election Day was enough to put color back into the Dems’ cheeks, of course, but even in general, we should see a period of less doom and gloom, if we can avoid war. An activist speaking on the radio this morning said that her group has so many volunteers it doesn’t know what to do with them all—as she put it, “a good problem to have.” 

So, people are ignoring the doomsayers and putting their energies where their values and ideals are—a good plan! We’re seeing this effect now because Jupiter and Neptune are already within orb of the trine, which will persist into next October, with breaks for the retrograde “dance” in and out of orb. More on this aspect as it unfolds. 

As positive as some possibilities are, I’m still concerned about the fact that both Jupiter-Neptune and Jupiter-Pluto aspects overlap in this chart: this suggests that we’re looking at a 7-year period (Uranus transits through each sign approximately that long) in which there will be tension between the forces promoting innovative, idealistic progress and those who will try to use their great resources and power to control the shape of that progress. Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto will move on beyond these aspects during that 7 years, of course, but the ingress chart will set a certain tone for the entire period and will wield some influence. 

There will be a serious effort to control the political narrative, of course, and those looking for war to boost their bottom lines have the script down pat. Will the ingress provide opportunistic timing for them? Let’s consider the ingress and relevant national charts.

The ingress and the U.S.-North Korea charts

North Korea’s chart is a noon chart, so we won’t be dwelling on house placements, angles and Moon degrees; with the U.S. chart we can be more specific. Because we’ve considered the ingress set for Washington, D.C. above, I’ve cast the outer wheel here for P’yongyang. The ASC-DSC axis in both charts falls in mutable signs (flipped from Gemini-Sagittarius in the D.C. chart and Sagittarius-Gemini in the NK chart), so there’s an unstable, change-oriented feel to both charts.
Let’s consider some key highlights from this triwheel. 

Triwheel #1: (inner wheel) U.S. Sibly Chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (middle wheel) North Korea, September 10, 1948, 12:00 p.m. ST, P’yongyang, NW, N. Korea. Source: Nicholas Campion, Book of World Horoscopes, Chart #179, p. 180.; (outer wheel) Uranus enters Taurus, May 15, 2018, 8:32:05 p.m. ST, P’yongyang, North Korea. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.
Interchart Grand-Cross: Ingress Uranus-Mercury conjoins NK No. Node (all Taurus) and opposes NK Mars-So. Node (Scorpio); this axis squares Ingress No. Node-NK Venus-Sibly No. Node (Leo) opposite Ingress Mars-Sibly Pluto (Capricorn). Please note that Mars and Sibly Pluto are part of this configuration because even though they are “out-of-sign,” they’re within a generous 8-10° orb in the oppositions and squares involved (tighter orbs are preferable, but given upcoming transits, these points are certainly part of the picture). Mars will be moving into Aquarius shortly after this ingress, in fact, tightening the configuration.

If hostilities haven’t broken out by this time, we can see here that they’re threatening to do so. There’s a “fated” quality to the nodal connections here, which makes sense considering we fought a torturous war in Korea in the 1950s (probably driven by the “military industrial complex” Eisenhower warned us about) that has never been settled!
With the Sibly nodal axis tied into this configuration, we’re seeing a significant, potentially volatile (Ingress Uranus-NK Mars opposition) turning point in North Korea’s fortunes (Venus), if not our own. The Sibly 2nd-8th house axis is implicated here—again, we have to wonder if there are financial/resource motivations for military actions on the Korean peninsula. Does Trump have designs on controlling that strategic Asian outpost for some reason? Qui bono?

Interchart Mutable Grand Cross: Ingress Neptune (Pisces) opposes NK Sun-Sibly Neptune (Virgo); this axis squares Ingress Venus-Sibly Mars (Gemini) opposite Ingress ASC (set for P’yongyang)-NK Jupiter-Sibly ASC (Sagittarius). The potential for a clash between our two nations is pretty clear here—the volatility across the Sibly horizon is enough to say that. To keep all this in perspective, we need to note that this entire configuration also ties into Trump’s natal Gemini-Sagittarius Sun-Moon-Uranus-nodal axis configuration, and it’s not all sweetness and light for him, either. 

The North Korean people are undoubtedly being served as distorted a picture of what their leader is doing (Neptune opposite their Sun) as we are of Trump’s actions and motives. Clearly, we are the natural “foil” for North Korea’s every problem: NK Jupiter is locked in a perpetual quest to oppose our Sibly Mars, and that quest is being facilitated these days by added factors (including Trump).

We’ve seen him in action in Asia this week, taking the bizarre step of pulling the U.S. out of multilateral trade deals in that region, supposedly in the interest of “America First,” but to their credit, none of the ASEAN nations are lining up to negotiate new, bilateral deals with him. Why should they? Asian cultures value cooperation and collaboration far more than “me first.”  Bottom line, it appears that Trump is undermining a lot of American companies, manufacturers and farmers who count on Asian trade deals for their livelihoods. Can we expect skyrocketing prices down the road on Asian-produced goods? Walmart shoppers, beware!

So, is Trump negotiating from a position of strength or weakness on this one, and what relationship does all this have to the North Korean dilemma? To many, it looks like Trump is paving the way for “China First,” yet he is looking for Asian nations to cooperate with the denuclearization and sanctioning of North Korea. A mutable grand cross can be chaotic and tense because it poses irrational demands—that’s the overwhelming sense here. This ingress could be very favorable for China, as a matter of fact—a story for another day!

Interchart Fixed Grand Cross: Ingress Sun-Moon (Taurus) opposes Ingress Jupiter-NK Chiron (Scorpio); this axis squares NK Saturn (Leo) opposed to Sibly Moon-NK Part-of-Fortune (Aquarius). Again, Trump’s chart ties into everything happening here: his Mars tightly conjoins NK Saturn in Leo, so the hot-headed Twitter war between the two leaders is well-founded and not likely to subside. Trump’s MC is conjoined by the Ingress Sun-Moon in fixed Taurus, so a “new day” for his image in the world will dawn along with this ingress. So much could happen between now and then that I hesitate to predict specifics, but Trump will be grabbing the spotlight one way or another (when is he not?). 

And, because North Korea’s wounds from the 1950s have never healed (Chiron), there will be more defiance from them. With that Neptune opposition to their radix Sun, noted above, Kim Jong-Un is likely feeling very insecure and victimized. Trump, of course, continues to poke at those insecurities, like the playground bully he is. There’s too much ego invested in the war of words between these two, and that’s a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, it’s not the arrogant leaders who typically bury their children in war time. 

The NK Saturn opposition and the Ingress Sun-Moon square to our Sibly Moon is concerning in this regard; our younger generations are carrying a heavy load these days, and this doesn’t appear helpful. Reinforcing that notion is a “wedge” configuration: Ingress Uranus-Mercury (Taurus) sextile Sibly Venus-Jupiter (Cancer) while Ingress Saturn (Capricorn) opposes those same points and widely trines Ingress Uranus-Mercury. This, while Ingress Saturn also quincunxes Sibly Uranus (Gemini). Some economic progress, perhaps, but the trade-offs in the workplace could be difficult and frustrating.  

A future we can look forward to…

So much more could be teased out of this triwheel, of course, and since this story is going to unfold over the long term, we’ll have lots more to consider. Let’s end by considering some high-tech possibilities looming out there as Uranus moves into Taurus--possibilities we might look forward to!

Conserving the planet for human habitation is already a moneymaking quest, but it will become more so! Corporate profit-making doesn’t have to be a deadly phenomenon. Green technologies have come down in price, and a good part of the world is gearing up for the switch to electric cars, if not autonomous electric vehicles. Transportation itself is being re-envisioned—Uber (in association with NASA, no less) just released plans for self-driving, flying taxis, to be buzzing our skies within 20 years, and these vehicles will be 100% electric!
So, if we can balance all that with a sane approach to job creation, there’s plenty of money to be made out there for innovative corporations and a vibrant peace-time economy (wouldn’t that be refreshing). So, it'll be high time to resolve the short-term profits/long-term environmental dilemma caused by fossil fuel technologies. Other countries are doing it--why not us?!

I doubt there are many American companies that are happy to stand by and watch the rest of the world sail by, producing the “next big thing,” and under this coming Uranus transit, they shouldn't have to! China is certainly capitalizing on clean energy technologies these days, as are other Climate Accord signees—why should we hold back?

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] Raye Robertson, “A Silver Lining in Aquarius: The 2020 Jupiter-Saturn Cycle,” The Mountain Astrologer, Vol. 30, No. 3, April/May 2017, pp. 28-36, 75-76.
[2] Robertson, pp. 34-5.
[3] Ibid, p. 35.
[4] Rana Faroohar, Maker and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business, Crown Business, 2016. 9/19/2016.
[5] Robertson, p. 35.
[6] David C. Korten, Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth, 2nd ed., Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco, 2010.