Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Not-so-Close Encounters: the Astrology of Trump-Merkel relations

Trump tweeted that the U.S. trade deficit with Germany is "bad for the U.S.," despite the fact that our trade relations are mutually beneficial. Is it that he simply doesn’t like win-win situations, and is he driven to be the sole “winner?” 


If so, that’s a lonely place to be...

CNN made a point of highlighting that German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Barack Obama (about an unrelated issue) before she met with Trump this past Thursday at the NATO G7 summit—clearly Merkel gets along better with the former U.S. president than she does with the current one.  Her post-G7 statement seemed to capture the situation perfectly:
“The days that Europe could completely rely on others are "over to a certain extent," Merkel warned at a rally in a packed Bavarian beer tent, Reuters reports. "I've experienced this in the last few days."
Her impassioned comments indicate her disappointment with the past week's contentious meetings of NATO in Brussels and the Group of 7 in Italy. Merkel had described the climate change talks at the G-7 meeting as "very difficult, if not to say very dissatisfying."
Obviously, we need to distinguish between personality differences and geopolitical priorities and goals here; Merkel’s misgivings with Trump seem to be centered on two key issues: Trump’s reluctance to recommit to Obama’s agenda with the Paris (climate change) Accord, and his belligerent refusal to unconditionally support the NATO alliance. This latter failing played out in a particularly awkward, insensitive way—vintage Trump. 

We heard all during last year’s campaign that Trump’s gripe with NATO members is that they don’t pay enough toward their own defense—i.e., they don’t meet the 2% of GDP standard that was established some years ago. I’ve never seen an accounting of why this should worry our bean-counters’ little heads (i.e., does that really mean that we’re taking up the slack?), but this 2% principle is generally acknowledged as a goal to be met over time by the various countries, and Germany reportedly comes pretty close to that mark. 

Never one to let a grievance go, however, Trump lectured the convened NATO powers about all this in the midst of a solemn memorial for the victims of 9/11—perhaps the most insensitive moment he could have found. This was actually Trump’s opportunity to thank our European NATO allies for coming to our aid during the aftermath of 9/11, fighting next to our soldiers in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

The salient point here is that NATO’s mutual defense Resolution #5—basically, that an attack on one NATO member will be deemed an attack on all—was the basis for that mutual support that we benefited from post-9/11. In fact, that was the only time Resolution #5 has been invoked. This is the resolution that Trump should have recommitted to at that memorial, but chose not to.

So, Merkel’s reservations about Trump are probably well-founded, and many are wondering why Trump seems to be signaling a break away from our roughly 80-year commitment to Europe. Who stands to benefit from this new protectionist, isolationist stance? We’re left to wonder.

In the meantime, the Trump-Merkel encounter was not-so-close, and this is sending shock waves across Europe and rattling our own foreign policy visionaries. A rather grisly coincidence: we lost one giant among those visionaries over the weekend—Zbigniew Brzezinski (National Security Advisor under Jimmy Carter, among many other things). Brzezinski was famously vehement about the possibility of America becoming “irrelevant” in the world if we lack leadership in Europe and Asia. Writing in 2012 in his very prescient Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power, he says:

“America’s global standing in the decades ahead will depend on its successful implementation of purposeful efforts to overcome its drift toward a socioeconomic obsolescence and to shape a new and stable geopolitical equilibrium on the world’s most important continent by far, Eurasia.”[1]
Brzezinski talks at length about the volatility of Eurasia (we’re certainly seeing that play out) and he highlights the importance of consensus in America’s direction forward, because to regularly act without that consensus—in response to crises, for instance—will damage our democracy. Perhaps the crisis mentality we’re seeing with Trump explains his impatience with democratic processes?

Given Trump’s apparent preferences for supporting dictators over democratically-elected leaders (on display in the Middle East leg of his tour, if not from day one of his presidency), it’s easy to see here why Merkel is feeling somewhat grim about the U.S.-NATO relationship going forward. We may not feel it yet, but there’s a radical transformation happening in front of our noses. It’s not easy in these foggy, Neptunian times, but we need to pay attention. 

So, let’s explore what’s going on astrologically with Trump and Merkel: it does appear that they could accomplish some important things together, but there are clear obstacles, as well. If the meeting on May 25th was rough, there are good reasons why. The triwheel between their two nativities and the noon chart for their meeting (no exact time available) gives us quite a bit of insight.   

Triwheel #1: (inner wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY; (middle wheel) Angela Merkel (neĆ© Kasner) July 17, 1954, 6:00 p.m., Hamburg, Germany (rated “B” for biography); (outer wheel) Merkel-Trump Meeting, May 25, 2017, 12:00 pm. (noon, no time available); Brussels, Belgium. Tropical Equal Houses, True Nodes.  

Interchart Cardinal Grand Cross: Merkel Sun-Uranus-Trump Venus-Saturn(Cancer) oppose Meeting Pluto (Capricorn)-Merkel Chiron (Capricorn); this axis squares Merkel Neptune-MC (Libra)opposite Meeting Venus-Uranus (midpoint, Aries). Trump’s security concerns (Venus-Saturn in Cancer) are likely agitated by Merkel’s “no-nonsense,” but somehow charismatic personality (Sun-Uranus). She radiates a willingness to think “outside-the-box” for the sake of security—her Cancer stellium (Part-of-Fortune-Mercury-Jupiter-So. Node-Uranus-Sun) is disposed by a staunch Aquarius Moon, so she is keenly focused on pushing social and technological boundaries for the sake of prosperity and security.  

This is a combination that has kept her in power in German politics since 1990, and she is now regarded by many as the “de facto leader of the European Union, the most powerful woman in the world, and the leader of the free world.” It’s easy to see how Trump may feel threatened by that. He certainly did his best to destroy the last powerful woman he was up against!

Importantly, this doesn’t mean Trump and Merkel can’t see ”eye to eye” on a lot of things: their Cancer Mercuries are conjunct, with Merkel’s Jupiter also conjunct Trump’s Mercury. 

Returning to the Grand Cross, we can see the intense pressure for a geopolitical “rebalancing” at work these days—Merkel was born to the task of shepherding Germany through significant times with her natal Uranus-Neptune square, and those points have been powerfully stressed by the transiting Uranus-Pluto square (Aries-Capricorn) for some time now. In fact, Merkel has led the European Union through very difficult times with the near depression of 2008-10 and the migration crisis of the past few years. 

Clearly, her government’s compassionate liberal stance on admitting migrants and refugees (on display this past summer) is at serious odds with Trump’s views on such things (and it has given her some domestic problems, as well), but compassion characterizes her public image (Neptune conjoins her MC) and seems to come from a sincere place. 

Merkel has also spearheaded Germany’s aggressive drive for a clean energy economy, and has undoubtedly encouraged similar progress in other European countries as well. Her commitment to the Paris Accord is palpable, which fits her protective Cancer Sun. Trump’s Cancer impulses seem to be more concerned with financial security; if saving the Earth costs his business constituency anything, the trade-off may be too dear for him.

Besides, cooperative agreements like the Accord are not really in Trump’s wheelhouse: he much prefers a “top-down” model for wielding power (his full Moon-Node-Uranus 10-4 stellium). 

That being said, Trump could conceivably cooperate with Merkel on some things—his Venus-Saturn conjoins her Sun-Uranus, after all. He probably needs to feel in charge of whatever that would be, however, and it will remain to be seen whether anyone has patience for such games. With Merkel’s Capricorn Chiron opposed her Sun-Uranus, it’s my guess she’s been in similar situations before. 

As for the role that Meeting Venus/Uranus (midpoint) is playing here, Michael Munkasey characterizes that combination as “unpredictable vanity shown by leaders or executives.” Factoring in Merkel’s natal Neptune opposite this midpoint, he says, “deception within new and different forms of art, finance, or music; confusing impersonal responses when demonstrating affection.”[2] 

Trump’s ambiguity regarding NATO and its climate accord priorities seems to fit well here. Deception is a real possibility, too—Meeting Neptune falls in Trump’s 7th house, so dealings with allies could be anything but transparent and above board.

Interchart Kite Formation: Meeting No. Node-Merkel Pluto-Trump Mars-ASC (Leo) trines Meeting Saturn-GC-Merkel Mars (Sagittarius), trines Meeting Venus/Uranus (Aries); Meeting Mars-Trump Sun-No. Node (Gemini) sextiles these Leo and Aries points and opposes the Sagittarius points. This is a rare configuration (although not as rare between charts as within a single chart), which suggests a significant, mutually beneficial relationship. As we’ve seen clearly over the months with Trump, “winning” (Mars) is everything to him. He’s even grousing about the U.S. trade deficit with Germany, despite the fact that our trade relations are mutually beneficial. Is it that he simply doesn’t like “win-win” situations and is driven to be the sole “winner?” If so, that’s a lonely place to be, but his nose for profit may overrule his narcissism, after all. 

Merkel’s also determined to win, clearly, and her Mars-Pluto trine (Sagittarius-Leo) may get the better of Trump’s Mars-ASC (Leo). Even so, they are both subject to the pressures and opportunities presented by Aries Venus/Uranus, and it appears here that Trump would be “cutting his nose off to spite his face” if he distances America from Merkel and (by extension) Europe.

Europe is well ahead of the U.S. in terms of clean energy technologies, and it stands to benefit from the fact that the world is going to keep moving in that direction whether the U.S. is on board or not. If America pulls out of this scene, the void left in trade agreements will be quickly filled by China and others. 

Could it be that the U.S. and Russia will be left alone to champion the diminishing returns of a fossil fuel economy? Something to ponder—things are moving quickly and Trump’s decisions will determine if we’re relegated to providing arms for dictators, or if we’ll continue playing a larger, more positive role in the world.

Final thoughts

Parents know that their children are absolutely influenced by the company they keep: this same concern applies—highlighted in flashing neon lights—to nations and their leaders. Trump’s obvious affinity for strong-man dictators is no longer “quaint,” or “curious”—to my mind, it’s progressed, through sheer repetition and brazeness, into a major warning signal.

As his administration continues unraveling civil rights protections wherever they are found in government (another disturbing story this week), we shouldn’t look the other way and rely on vague hope that somehow he’ll be impeached or “see the light” and change his ways. 

No, Trump’s on a mission to “streamline” government more to his liking—to make it more “like a business”—and all those pesky civil rights regulations are simply in the way. This is cutting him some slack, by the way—others are claiming that he’s simply a racist and that he’s surrounded himself with a racist administration. 

Which brings me back to why we so desperately need a new generation of cool-headed and brilliant thinkers like Brzezinski (may he rest in peace). Born under a totalitarian regime in Poland, he knew the true value of democracy and appreciated how fragile it can be:

“Democracy is simultaneously one of America’s greatest strengths and one of the central sources of its current predicament. America’s founders designed its constitutional system so that most decisions could only be made incrementally. Therefore, truly comprehensive national decisions require a unique degree of consensus…propelled by the persuasive impact of determined national leadership. And since in America only the President has a voice that resonates nationally, the President must drive America’s renewal forward.”[3]
IMHO, we need to remember that the Cosmos doesn't particularly care what form of government we live under--it's truly up to us to steer the energies of our times in the direction we choose!

Maybe for starters we should question whether our much-needed “renewal” has been hijacked out from under us. If it has, as it certainly seems, who stands to benefit?

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] Zbigniew Brzezinski, Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power, Basic Books, New York, NY, 2012, p. 121.
[2] Michael Munkasey, Midpoints: Unleashing the Power of the Planets, ACS Publications, San Diego, CA, 1991, p. 205.
[3] Brzezinski, pp. 121-2.