Friday, June 9, 2017

Dueling Suns in DC: Comey takes the Oath

Astrologically, they look like two figures facing off in a classic “duel.” Because Comey’s Sun opposes Trump's Sun and conjoins Trump’s Moon, the challenge Comey poses to Trump is tangible, and it's emotional. 


This is a long-term, irritating relationship, of course—yesterday’s hearings were probably just the beginning.  

As I write this, Jupiter appears—from our vantage point—to be shifting gears into “PARK,” looking over his shoulder for oncoming traffic while slowing his backwards (“retrograde”) movement and shifting into “DRIVE”—“station direct.” This is always a momentous occasion in astrological circles: a retrograde Jupiter can be difficult to deal with if you’re trying to get something done in this world.

We “spin wheels” and “tread water” under this retrograde; goals go partially fulfilled, action plans run into obstacles, patience gets worn thin, and growth is mediocre at best. In Libra—the stylish sedan Jupiter’s driving these days—relationships, alliances and negotiations can be stymied. 

Former FBI Director Comey’s testimony yesterday on Capitol Hill caught the tail end of Jupiter Rx, so it felt like those concerned with Trump’s behavior in the White House took several steps forward, yet not the slam dunk “gotcha” many were hoping for. Surprising? Not really, given the situation and the characters in this drama. 

We haven’t seen the last of that drama, of course. Importantly, Jupiter is shifting gears at 13°+Libra—conjunct the U.S. Sibly Saturn (Congress, the Judiciary) and exactly square the U.S. Sibly Sun (the president and the nation itself). Of course, a square from Jupiter is like the proverbial “slap on the wrist,” followed by a “wink, wink, nod, nod” that you’re not really about to be held accountable for anything, but even from Jupiter, a square does produce tension and imperatives. 

So, in yesterday’s hearing, all three branches of the U.S. government were caught in the “last gasp” of the retrograde, despite the hype. If we thought that the (normally) damning things former FBI Director James Comey revealed about his interactions with Donald Trump would have immediate impact, we might have been disappointed. 

This is at least partially due to the fact  that Trump has been experiencing Jupiter’s on-again, off-again return to his natal Jupiter Rx (17°+Libra) since December, 2016, during his presidential transition period. Yes, he’s gotten away with a lot because of this, yet very little of his agenda has actually been signed into law--another sign of the retrograde's inertia. We'll see if that starts changing with Jupiter's switch to direct motion.

Jupiter's "blessing" on Trump may also explain why he hasn’t quite grasped the distinction between being a democratically-elected president and being an autocratic CEO—Jupiter/Zeus expects and needs loyalty and blind obedience to get by with his arrogant shenanigans. Those themes came up a lot in the hearing. 

This “grace period” Trump’s enjoying is—in the nature of a Jupiter Rx—far from unconditional, however. He is beset on all sides with challenges to his authoritarian excesses, his odd affinity for the Russians, his total disinterest in what their attack on our democracy during the election was all about, or what we should do about the threat going forward. This issue was raised several times in yesterday’s hearing with Comey, and despite the Trump camp’s preference for fogging over the whole “Russia thing,” Comey was unequivocal

"There should be no fuzz on this whatsoever. The Russians interfered in our election during the 2016 cycle. They did it with purpose. They did it with sophistication. They did it with overwhelming technical efforts. And it was an active-measures campaign driven from the top of that government. There is no fuzz on that."
As we’ll see below, this Jupiter dynamic is key to the challenging impasse the nation’s “checks and balances” appear to be in at the moment, and Comey is likely to remain a key figure in the unfolding drama. It appears to this astrologer that he and Trump are, at this time, the ultimate “dueling” opponents in the OK Corral we call Washington, D.C. 

Let’s consider the Triwheel below for their two nativities, against the 10 a.m. chart for Comey’s testimony yesterday. 

Triwheel #1: (inner wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY.; (middle wheel) James Brien Comey, Jr., December 14, 1960, 12:00 p.m. ST (noon chart, no time available), Yonkers, NY; (outer wheel) Comey Testimony, June 8, 2017, 10:00 a.m. DST, Washington, D.C.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Interchart T-Square: Testimony Pluto (Capricorn) conjoins Comey Jupiter-Saturn (Capricorn) and opposes Trump Mercury/Saturn (midpoint, Cancer)-Comey Mars Rx (Cancer); this axis squares Testimony Jupiter RX (Libra) conjoins Trump Chiron-Jupiter Rx (Libra). This is an epic clash of cardinal energies, and is almost Shakespearean in the scope of its power struggle and conflicting loyalties (such as Comey was faced with, between country and Trump). Faced with a heavy Capricorn Pluto square his ongoing Jupiter return, Trump’s stake here is gaining a stronger foothold on presidential power, whatever that takes. It’s not surprising that his Twitter feed is full of attempts to defame and tear down Comey’s reputation. 

We can see how this happens with Trump’s Libra Chiron: his character “wound” (perhaps one of many) seems to be an inability to treat people fairly if there’s the slightest hint they wish to restrain his ambitions (Chiron conjoins Jupiter Rx). If he doesn’t get what he wants, it’s always someone else’s fault. 

By contrast, Comey seems to have internalized the higher energies of Saturn, dignified in Capricorn (widely conjunct Jupiter, also in Capricorn): he’s a highly respected, long-serving public servant who is both reputable and realistic, based on some surprising admissions on his part yesterday. When asked why he didn’t correct Trump when he attempted to influence him into “letting the Flynn thing go,” Comey responded that “maybe if I [Comey] had been strong enough, I would have…” Comey expressed keen awareness of his limitations and responsibilities throughout his testimony, reflecting his pragmatic (and self-deprecating) Capricorn energies to a tee. 

Despite this pragmatism, however, Comey appeared ready to fight to recuperate his reputation from Trump’s assault, which reflects Comey’s Mars (opposite Jupiter-Saturn) and its role in this configuration. Unfortunately, it falls at the midpoint of Trump’s Mercury and Saturn, which puts a target on Comey’s back. We’ve seen throughout Trump’s campaign and presidency that he uses words (Mercury) to punish and intimidate opponents (Saturn). In fact, words are a favorite weapon: tearing down other people’s reputations (and throwing his own staff under the bus, as well) is what he does. 

With that same Pluto conjoined Comey’s Saturn and opposed his Mars Rx, we can appreciate that Comey probably felt duty bound to throw down his gauntlet and get his story out there, come what may. He has probably been experiencing something like a “dark night of the Soul,” with this Pluto passage (which would have been equally challenging during the election last year when he made difficult choices about the Clinton investigations). 

In fact, the Universe seems to be demanding that Comey show us what he’s made of. It’s hard to be more specific about the challenges without knowing his birth time (affecting the houses, angles and Moon), but we’re seeing some of them playing out despite the missing information. 

Most intriguingly, Comey seems to realize that his role vis-à-vis Trump was similar to the role played in medieval times by the martyred Archbishop Thomas Becket, the “meddlesome priest” to Trump’s “Henry II:” 

“The reference popped up when Senator Angus King was questioning Comey, asking him about Donald Trump’s seemingly casual but firm request to have Comey drop the F.B.I.’s Michael Flynn investigation. Though Trump did not demand outright that Comey drop the investigation, even his slightest requests come with an air of seriousness, King suggested.
‘Do you take that as a directive?’ King asked Comey of Trump’s question.
‘Yes, yes,’ Comey replied. ‘It rings in my ears as kind of ‘Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?’
‘I was just going to quote that,’ King replied.”

I can’t think of a better analogy for the hyper-cardinal face off that we see in this configuration. Each man has something to gain and something to lose, and the stakes are very high for everyone around them!

Testimony Saturn Rx (Sagittarius) conjoins Comey Sun-Trump Moon (Sagittarius) and opposes Trump Sun (Gemini). This is almost uncanny—the two Suns here are exactly opposite within 13 minutes of arc, with Comey’s Sun closely conjunct Trump’s “full Moon.” Astrologically, they look like two figures facing off in a classic “duel.” Because Comey's Sun opposes Trump's Sun and conjoins Trump’s Moon, the challenge Comey poses to Trump is tangible, and it's emotional.

This is a long-term, irritating relationship, of course—yesterday’s hearings were probably just the beginning.  

Comey’s Sun was brought to task by transiting Saturn yesterday—testifying before a Congressional is no walk in the park, and it’s all done under oath and threat of punishment (Saturn). Here’s where we get to appreciate Saturn’s relationship to the FACTS: truth does matter, in the end, to this reality-conscious energy.  

It’s interesting that Neptune falls a bit wide of forming an interchart T-square with these dueling Suns, which is just as well, since Neptune will be turning retrograde on the 17th and moving farther out of orb. When it does reverse course and finally comes into range of t-squaring the two Suns, however (next year), we should gain a firmer grip on whose credibility is stronger.

Right now, both men’s Mercuries (Trump’s in Cancer and Comey’s in Sagittarius) are under Neptune’s influence—probably another good reason Comey felt compelled to document every encounter with Trump, who is a natural Mercury-Neptune character (natal square). 

Comey put it pretty bluntly, basically calling Trump a “liar” more than once yesterday, but not only does Trump lie, he’s notable for making up “reality” as he goes, even if he’s contradicting one of his previous stories. What makes this difficult for others is that he may even believe his fabrications, challenging everyone else to wonder if they’ve fallen down Alice’s proverbial “rabbit hole.” This is the same impact that “fake news” has on our public discourse—what messages are safe to trust?

There’s just so far anyone can take this loose relationship with reality, however, before it becomes untenable, so it will be interesting to see what happens when Neptune tightens its square to Trump’s Sun-Moon. It could be that the nation as a whole will have to choose a version of reality we want to embrace: Trump’s or Comey’s. 

What makes this a national concern is the fact that Neptune is applying to a “half-return” (opposition) with Sibly Neptune in Virgo (chart not shown). Our national illusions will need to be dealt with, for better or worse, and these dueling Suns (and the individuals they represent) are the characters fated to be in those crosshairs.

Today, Trump is claiming that he is willing to testify under oath to refute Comey: he won’t say whether he’s been taping conversations in the White House or not, however. If he ever does testify under oath, will he get to pick and choose what he testifies about?

Interchart Fire Kite: Testimony No. Node (Leo) conjoins Comey Uranus-Trump Mars-ASC (Leo), trines Testimony Uranus (Aries) and Testimony Saturn-Comey Sun-Trump Moon (Sagittarius). The Nodal axis (Leo-Aquarius) conjoins Trump horizon, taking in his Part-of-Fortune and Comey’s Chiron (Aquarius). Again, some incredible synchronicity is at work here. Without over-complicating things, it appears that Trump and Comey are both caught up in forces that have been unleashed to hold their respective “feet to the fire.” A “war of the Titans” comes to mind—in mythic terms, the volatile, primal energies of Creation battled it out, giving “birth” to all that is. What, we might imagine, will the nation look like after these two are done fighting it out?

Comey appears fated to upset Trump’s powerful ambitions and “fortunes,” however Comey himself will also be at the mercy of these forces, which could be quite wounding (Aquarius Chiron). 

Comey’s willingness to be wounded for the sake of a greater good will resonate with many, and look like “grandstanding” to others. It should be noted that the grand trine here pulls in the Sagittarius GC, as well—a point that triggers the release of inconvenient information and revelations. This grand trine also resonates with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s Leo Venus (a story for another day—chart not shown), so it will be interesting to see whether Trump attempts to tear down his integrity as well.

 Final thoughts

For want of a better word, today’s situation feels “complicated.” I mean this in a specific, elemental sense, however, because it seems to me that we’re going through the type of transformation that Florida’s environment is experiencing. The sea levels are rising on their very low-sea-level perimeter, and simultaneously, the warming climate triggers fire events that only exacerbate the encroachment of the waters. 

Rampaging brush fires and encroaching waters are difficult enough to withstand when they happen individually: when they co-exist, a lot of people simply give up and move away, and the environment becomes unrecognizable. In fact, people with properties on Miami’s beaches are reading the “tea leaves” and starting to move out. There’s no panic yet, but the sense of impending crisis is in the air. What will those beaches look like 20 years from now?

We have an epic, bombastic year ahead in American life, and yesterday’s drama in D.C. will continue to unfold in response to intense, fiery energies and Neptune’s deeply erosive waters (with Capricorn Pluto thrown in for good measure). So, it’s too early for conclusive predictions about Trump’s tenure in office, etc., but let’s not lose track of the big picture while focused on that narrow issue. 

The combination of challenges we’re facing is both erosive and creative; an old order is being broken down in front of our eyes, while a new one is forged in the fiery furnace of will power, ambition and yes, commitment. If the drama in D.C. this week is any indication, the specific form that new order will take is literally up for grabs.  


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.