Sunday, December 30, 2018

Waking up from the game of “nothing matters:” a Cosmic New Year dawns

“I try and tell myself it doesn’t matter. If you tell yourself it doesn’t matter, like you do shows, you do this, you do that, and then you have earthquakes in India where 400,000 get killed. Honestly it doesn’t matter. That’s how I handle stress.”  

MSNBC, cited from Donald Trump interview on Larry King Live, 2004. 

Reflecting on our chaotic, war-against-truth year in politics, commentator Ari Melber examines Trump’s “nothing matters” ethos—the spiritual malaise he seems to have brought with him into  American discourse and politics. 

Whatever he’s hiding in his tax returns doesn’t matter…telling the truth about anything doesn’t matter…hiring dedicated public servants with integrity doesn’t matter… accepting informed and experienced counsel doesn’t matter… appreciating and working with our allies doesn’t matter…our democratic institutions don’t matter…children dying at the border to fulfill a campaign promise don’t matter… All this because the “game” is won by those who dare to grab as much power as possible, by any means necessary, and the game is, after all, everything

Thousands of times since being elected, Trump has told verifiable lies to the American public, and this constant drip, drip, drip erosion of the truth is pure toxic Neptune. Melber addressed how the “nothing matters” ethos has gradually undermined our national conversation, making it difficult for Congress to maintain or even rationally discuss the values that hold our democracy together—again, toxic Neptune!  Many question whether these values really do hold us together anymore. 

Yes, Melber counters…facts, laws, accountability, fair and ethical uses of power do matter: bottom line, we need to consciously reject the “nothing matters” spell the Trump era has cast over us. 

This is easier said than done, of course: manipulating the news cycle to his purposes is child’s play for Twitter-happy Trump. Because Neptune clouds our judgment and distracts us with the next “shiny thing” so fluidly, it takes a concerted effort to pay attention where attention is truly due, where the issues at stake really “matter.” But all is not lost: that’s where Saturn comes into the picture, and in Capricorn these days, it provides some much-needed clarity and direction.

Complex times

First, let’s frame this exploration. Clearly, the first calendar quarter of 2019 (January through March) is going to be a critical period. Not only will Trump be coming to grips with a majority Democratic House, but the Mueller investigation is winding down, with a full report due to come out soon. Trump isn’t likely to take the Democratic House majority’s scrutiny lying down, and since he’s installed at least one “yes man” in the Department of Justice—Matt Whitaker—the unveiling of Mueller’s report and any legal consequences will be “complicated” at best. 

Even so, Saturn will soldier on, despite powerful counter-vailing energies that could work to Trump’s favor. In the charts below, we’ll see what all this looks like astrologically.

Setting the issue of holding Trump accountable aside, there are other reasons to be concerned about the coming year. In fact, it appears to be incredibly complex and even precarious. In a long, forward-looking piece, Foreign Policy details “10 Conflicts to Watch in 2019,” and the picture is daunting. For starters, the world is transitioning between dominant Western influence and Eastern influence (China), and the multilateral institutions that have kept the world in relative peace and stability since WWII are crumbling or ineffective. This process apparently has a life of its own (way beyond the scope here), but it’s been cultivated in the U.S. as well:

“As the West’s influence declines, accelerated by U.S. President Donald Trump’s contempt for traditional allies and Europe’s struggles with Brexit and nativism, leaders across the world are probing and prodding to see how far they can go. In their domestic policies, many of those leaders embrace a noxious brew of nationalism and authoritarianism….inward-looking populism that celebrates narrow social and political identity, vilifies minorities and migrants, assails the rule of law and independence of the press, and elevates national sovereignty above all else.”
All of this sounds like the trends we’ve been seeing in the U.S., but clearly we’re only one of many nations on this nightmare bandwagon. Perhaps Trump has just been promoting and supporting a grim trend that he didn’t originate? It’s hard to imagine that he’s leading this trend, but other nations look to the U.S. for cues, so he’s mirroring this troubling picture back at them. 

This puts what we’re experiencing in the U.S. into a much larger context—one that simply can’t be handled in this blog post, of course—but it’s important that we’re at least aware of that context before we focus back on the smaller picture. So what follows considers mostly domestic dynamics in the coming quarter. We don’t live in a vacuum, of course—as much as this populist trend might like us to—but let’s try to keep things as simple as possible.

The astrology

In the last post, I brought up a few connections between Trump’s nativity and the Capricorn ingress (solstice) chart: in this post we’ll examine those connections more deeply in Triwheel #1, where we will consider key transits during the first calendar quarter of 2019, from Winter Solstice (Dec. 21, 2018) to Spring Equinox (Aries ingress on March 20, 2019). This segment will not attempt to analyze what the Aries ingress chart has to say about the beginning of the new 2019 solar year (from March 20-June 21)—that’s in the second half of this post, concerning Triwheel #2.  

So the time between the middle and outer wheels of Triwheel #1 below encompasses this first calendar quarter time span, and despite the fact that the slower outer planets hardly budge in that interim, others shift in more significant ways. The luminaries and shorter-orbit inner planets cover much more territory in three months, of course, and have some important things to say. 

One important milestone involving the luminaries during this first calendar quarter is the total lunar eclipse on January 21st: it’s bound to impress, with the Sun-Moon at 0°+Leo-Aquarius). Amazingly, this entire “blood Moon” event will be visible across both North and South America, parts of western Europe, with great bands of partial visibility cutting through western Africa, most of Europe and Russia, etc. See this map for more detail. The more visible the eclipse is, the more impact it’s thought to have on a particular region, so this one is likely to be felt in U.S. affairs. 

Another interesting phenomenon that applies to the Aries Ingress (Equinox) is that the Moon will be void-of-course at the time of the exact ingress, set for Washington, D.C. (5:58:20 pm). This seems to depend upon using an undefined, super-tight orb for major aspects, and the only aspects that count here are applying ones in which the Moon is approaching the slower planet, not moving away from it. That said, the Equinox Moon will be applying from late Virgo to its full position opposite the Aries Sun by a scant 2°11’, so the question here is whether an out-of-sign aspect counts. I will defer to the community on this one.

This issue will matter when we discuss Triwheel #2: we’ll have to assume that the Moon will slow things down during that first solar quarter (March 20-June 21) and could stand in the way of new initiatives. This will be an interesting test case to watch more closely then.

More to come on the January 21st eclipse in a future post, but for now, let’s go on to Triwheel #1. 

Triwheel #1: (inner wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY; (middle wheel) Sun enters Capricorn (Winter Solstice), December 21, 2018, 5:22:38 p.m. ST, Washington, D.C.; (outer wheel) Sun enters Aries (Spring Equinox), March 20, 2019, 5:58:20 p.m. DST, Washington, D.C.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

Opinions differ, but tradition assigns importance to the rising sign of any cardinal ingress chart—it’s thought to set the tone for a particular time period, depending upon the modality. Cancer rises in the Solstice chart (middle wheel), so this chart would only pertain to this Solstice quarter, ending in March. Cancer is a cardinal, aggressively protective sign, and with his natal Mercury conjoined Solstice ASC, it’s not surprising that Trump is now aggressively hunkered down in the White House (a Cancerian “shell?”), demanding his $5 billion wall. His brand of siege mentality goes beyond the pale for even protective Cancer, but as we’ll see, transits to his chart do shed some light.   

Interchart T-Square: Solstice Sun-Saturn (Capricorn) opposes Solstice ASC (Cancer)-Trump Mercury (Cancer); this axis squares Trump Neptune (Libra). This tense configuration only deepens Trump’s siege mentality: notice that Trump’s natal Mercury and Neptune are square: this explains something about his complicated relationship with the truth, his tendency towards conspiracy thinking, and especially his seeming belief that if he says something, it must be true. It doesn’t help in this regard that his Mercury disposes his prominent Gemini 10th house Sun-Uranus-No. Node. That he believes he’s “like a genius” shouldn’t surprise us!

Neptune’s quiver is full of delusion-tipped arrows: willfully confusing beliefs with facts in the face of contradictory evidence, building “plausible deniability” into every action to evade responsibility, outright denying (aka “willful ignorance”) of the visible facts to muddy the waters and undermine inconvenient priorities (as with climate change mitigation), and most perniciously, gaslighting--using all of the above techniques to abuse and undermine others’ confidence in their mind and senses. 

This form of abuse occurs more often in confined, domestic spaces (imposing limits is key); it aims to exert power over the narrative and hence, over the victims. “What you’re seeing in the news isn’t real…it’s fake news…I’ll tell you what’s real.”

While “reality TV” was the perfect medium for Trump’s brand of Neptunian mindset, the presidency is distinctly different because again, “facts, laws, accountability, the fair and ethical exercise of power do matter.” Simply put, the dis-connect between illusion and reality endangers people’s lives. All of this raises at least two very troubling possibilities: 1), that Trump possesses a willfully devious and amoral mind (too many of his actions attest to this), or 2), that he’s clinically unable to control his mental delusions, so the fact that something he says isn't true doesn't even register.

I don’t raise such mental health issues lightly; in fact, thousands of mental health professionals have expressed concern, not to mention aides in the White House itself.  I won’t go into the gory details here—the article links here do that—but suffice to say, Trump’s mental health is far more than a passing concern, and with Saturn transiting his natal Mercury-Neptune square so tightly, his behavior and words will be tightly scrutinized. 

I have observed a few cases of Alzheimer’s disease (and related dementias) over the years, in fact, and Neptune seemed to play a role, especially in combination with the individuals’ personal planets. I’m not suggesting a causal connection or a diagnosis here, but for what it’s worth, Neptune (Pisces) is now within orb of squaring Trump’s Gemini-Sagittarius planets, including his Sun and Moon. Between rulership and dispositor networks, this influence on Trump will persist well into the 2020s—a story for some future day. 

Getting back to the cardinal t-square, it appears that the powers-that-be (Congress?) will work to hold Trump accountable for his actions and words, and it may not matter which mindset (or pathology) drives him: installing guard rails around this man and enforcing our critical rule of law will be difficult, however, because Neptune is still transiting trine Sibly Sun (the presidency and the nation-at-large—see inner wheel, Triwheel #2)—and it will move on to trine our Sibly Mercury (Cancer).  

No wonder our politics are so confusing and divisive—“divide and conquer” is another erosive Neptunian tactic. 

All this points to a baffling conundrum here: Trump the man (natal chart) is one astrological entity; Trump the president (Sibly chart) is another, and as we can see, there are some troubling astrological “pings” between the two entities. This is reflected by the ways in which Trump’s very rules-averse personality has exposed chinks in the “armor” of our constitutional checks and balances. Under different astrological conditions, our institutions—including our treasured free press—wouldn’t  be so vulnerable to one individual’s behavior, corrupt motives or not. 

Could the Founders have foreseen what we’re going through today? Some measures to deal with a rogue or incapacitated president were passed after Nixon and Watergate, but even they didn’t anticipate today’s challenges. The 25th Amendment can remove a president for debilitating illness, but it doesn’t mandate psychiatric evaluations. Would Trump submit himself to such scrutiny willingly?

Interchart T-Square: Solstice Saturn (Capricorn) opposes Trump Mercury (Cancer) and Saturn/Pluto (midpoint, Capricorn) opposes Trump Saturn-Venus (Cancer); this axis squares Uranus-Eris in both Solstice and Equinox charts (Aries, Taurus). I haven’t even included the collective trend towards defensiveness signaled by the Nodal Axis (Cancer-Capricorn), but Saturn and Pluto do turn the screws on Trump’s Cancer points over this quarter. Despite the complexity, the bottom line is straightforward: a “battle royale” (Eris) is brewing this quarter between society’s laws and institutions (Saturn-Pluto) and Trump’s defensiveness over personal and financial priorities (Saturn-Venus). Investigations will continue and possibly multiply.

"The Legend of Briar Rose" by Edmund Burne Jones
Trump will continue sowing discord in response, Eris’s favorite weapon—works well with Neptune's "deep sleep"—remember Sleeping Beauty? Unfortunately, the collective “trance” that Trump perpetuates is supported by Solstice Moon-Trump Sun-Uranus-Node (Gemini), square Neptune (Pisces). Could Trump be projecting his own insecurities out onto all of us? Building his wall is for our benefit? 

Conventional wisdom says that the way “through” the tension and challenge of a t-square is to move towards the open “4th leg”—here, that would be where Pallas is traversing Libra. Pallas will be transiting into a closer opposition over the course of this quarter, but notice that Solstice Pallas conjoins Trump Jupiter (Libra).  

This probably accounts for Trump’s ability to insert competing versions of justice (Pallas) into the conversation (claiming the FBI illegally spied on his campaign and should be investigated). Obfuscation always drags out the process, but the fog should lift as Pallas approaches the Equinox. Pursuing justice will be time-consuming, but essential (Nodal axis).

It’s not surprising with all this that the Supreme Court has ventured into the Mueller investigation--Chief Justice Roberts has personally intervened in one very secretive petition from an unnamed foreign corporation, apparently. Disturbing news is already emanating from there, including a strange story about Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife Virginia. Let’s hope the Court isn’t falling into Sleeping Beauty’s deep sleep, as well.
What about the 500 lb. elephant in the room, impeachment? These charts don’t rule that possibility out, but it’s not likely to succeed during this first quarter. 

Notice that Trump’s Cancer planets (Venus-Saturn) are disposed by his Sagittarius Moon, and Jupiter (Sagittarius) will be transiting across his Moon and opposing his Gemini Sun during this Solstice quarter. Even as I write this (12/30/18), transiting Jupiter is trine Trump’s Pluto, stimulating hubris and a sense of entitlement—is it any surprise he’s chosen now for a full court press on a $5 billion monument to himself?

Knights of the Round Table revisited?

Unfortunately, this touch of megalomania could drag out for awhile, despite the pain it’s inflicting on Federal workers—by the Equinox,  Jupiter will have moved on to conjoin Trump’s Moon and oppose his Sun-Uranus-Node. Clearly, the “Wall” is a personal “Holy Grail” for him: the big question is, does Trump even care about opening the full government back up again? 

Megalomania (a Jupiter pitfall, especially with Pluto) plays interesting tricks on the mind: during another shutdown one year ago this week he claimed that “he alone can fix” what ails the nation. “He alone” also can’t take responsibility: that’s the flip-side of megalomania.

Consider Trump’s recent visit to our troops stationed in Iraq: critics fear that by staging a rally for himself instead of making the visit about them, that he politicized the military. The timing seems to agree: his first visit to troops in a war zone happens to fall after he stated publicly that he intends for the military to build his wall. Unfortunately, he laced his remarks to the troops with outright lies about pay raises he alone gave them, which fits this puffed up Jupiter scenario to a tee. More on Jupiter when we discuss Triwheel #2 and bring the Sibly chart into the discussion. 

Mars transits from 23°+Pisces to 23°+Taurus ( Solstice to Equinox). Personal and presidential priorities at stake here are tightly interwoven. With General Mattis’s protest resignation and continuing pressure from the Mueller investigation, Solstice Mars has already taken a good poke at Trump (it started out square his Gemini-Sagittarius axis, inconjoined his natal Mars, but trined his Saturn-Venus), but he’s responded by hunkering down in the White House and holding government workers hostage in the shutdown. 

Clearly, the movements of Mars over this quarter will be a mixed bag for Trump’s personal priorities, and as we near the Equinox, a stressful fixed t-square will take shape (more on this under Triwheel #2). 

It’s possible that Mars’ time in Aries (most of January into February) will also present some challenges, but because Trump seems to thrive on volatility, it’s hard to say if he will be challenged or energized. For the last half-month of its time in Aries Mars will conjoin transiting Uranus (Aries), a period we can expect to be fairly volatile. 

What use that volatile energy is put to will be the question.

Uranus will be finishing out its post-retrograde shadow period before re-entering Taurus in March, but the volatility to come could also inspire an even more entrenched defensiveness in Trump. Will he continue lobbing incendiary tweets over his fortress walls in the White House, anticipating the Dems’ siege in January? These Mars and Uranus transits will probably only exacerbate that thinking.  

Bottom line, this first calendar quarter will be a tricky time to hold Trump accountable for anything. Can we begin to recover our collective sense that—as Ari Melber says—things like the truth and the rule of law “do matter?” Absolutely

Between now and the Equinox, Venus will transit from 14°+Scorpio to 22°+Aquarius—chances are good that the economy will fare pretty well, although we should probably expect the Stock Market’s roller coaster ride to continue as Venus enters Sagittarius, conjoins Jupiter (Sagittarius) and squares Neptune (Pisces) around the time of the January 21st eclipse (watch for delusionary promises and market bubbles). It then moves on to conjoin Saturn-Pluto-So. Node (Capricorn) in February. This could help align stock prices with true values, but I’ll defer to the experts on this one. 

This transit will happen opposite Trump’s Venus-Saturn, perhaps softening Trump’s anxieties for a brief while—probably in relation to his children (Venus, Saturn-Pluto transiting his 5th house). Perhaps his self-dealing Trump Foundation will be dismantled by then, but that, and/or other family business interests may be under scrutiny around this time. 

Other ramifications are likely during Venus’s time in Capricorn and Aquarius (March): let’s see what bringing the Sibly chart into the mix adds to this conversation.

Rough times in the Republic

Triwheel #2 below focuses on the coming Aries ingress (Spring Equinox, 2019) and explores what issues the nation will be contending with for the first solar quarter of 2019, with Trump at the helm.  As I mentioned earlier, there is a powerful total lunar eclipse scheduled for January 21st, but to avoid confusion, we’ll address that another day.

Triwheel #2: (inner wheel) USA—Sibly chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (middle wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY; (outer wheel) Sun enters Aries (Spring Equinox), March 20, 2019, 5:58:20 p.m. DST, Washington, D.C.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

The 2019 Aries chart features Virgo rising, so by tradition it covers the first six months of the solar year, at which point the Libra ingress takes over. A mutable rising sign also suggests that the period in question will be somewhat fluid and changing—perhaps even unstable. 

We’ll focus here on the major areas that tie all three of these charts together: the late Cardinal axes, the mid-to-late Mutable axes, and the Fixed axes. A few important transits will be worth consideration, as well—especially the intense pressure that has been building as Capricorn Saturn closes in on Pluto. This, of course, is happening at the same time Pluto is returning to its Sibly position (exact in February, 2022). 

Pluto is actually transiting within a 5° orb of that return at this writing, so we can expect the pressure on our national institutions and identity to deepen, inspiring transformative measures.  Much more on this in days to come.

Interchart Cardinal T-Square: Ingress Sun-Chiron-Trump Eris (Aries) conjoin Sibly IC and oppose Sibly MC-Trump Neptune (Libra); this axis squares Sibly Venus-Jupiter-Trump Mercury (Cancer). Some aspects in this mix are a bit wide, but the configuration hangs together pretty firmly. Here’s what Chiron expert Martin Lass has to say about that point transiting conjunct an IC: 

“Residual Wounds, regrets, self-depreciation and negative feelings surface around past Wounds, blockages and unresolved issues of family—parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and other older relatives in particular. We are encouraged to Heal the past so that we can move forward into the future more freely and openly.”
How appropriate for our times: perhaps Trump’s role in our national evolution has been underestimated? Clearly, his immigration policies and racist track record have ripped open our deeply repressed national wounds concerning indigenous populations, slavery and racism, so he’s been an unconscious (Neptune) catalyst. We’re a long way from being healed, of course. 

Trump may not care (or even support) that we will eventually emerge from this soul-searing process a better, stronger nation, but the Cosmos certainly has an ironic sense of humor!

On a more tangible level, this t-square also points to stresses on the nation’s economy (Sibly Jupiter-Venus) and to how tightly focused Trump is (Mercury) on what happens with the GDP (he promised 3% growth) and Wall Street (watch out, Fed Chairman). We have to wonder to what lengths he is capable of going to look good in that arena—yesterday he ordered a pay freeze on Federal workers, at the same time 800,000 of those workers are shut out of their jobs or working for no pay. 

The day before, he threatened to cut U.S. aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, accusing them of “doing nothing for the United States but taking our money.” How is cutting aid to economically strapped nations going to help keep its people at home? He treats our NATO allies with the same type of transactional, Scroogey zero-sum mentality—like he’s the bill collector come to foreclose on their homes, and they’re the ungrateful debtors (that’s not how NATO works). 

Perhaps with his Mercury conjunct the nation’s Jupiter-Venus and Neptune square Sibly Venus-Jupiter, he takes the National Treasury a bit too personally? 

That attitude could also explain why his so-called “charity” had to be shut down. Is anyone else wondering whether that shutdown has something to do with our present government shutdown? Controlling how the money flows is at the heart of any shutdown: Trump is playing the passive aggressive Neptune card here, attempting to extort the power of the purse strings from Congress. “Give me what I want or else!” 

Interchart Cardinal Grand Square: Rather than specify all the points involved in this multi-layered configuration, please find these degree regions in question: 17°-25° Libra-Aries, with this axis square the planets congregated between 19°-25° Capricorn-Cancer. As you’ll see, there are some powerful energies in play, creating great tension and an intense drive to achieve objectives. Here’s the break down: 

Ingress No. Node-Trump Venus-Saturn-Sibly Mercury (all Cancer) oppose Ingress Saturn-Pluto-So. Node-Sibly Pluto (Capricorn). We’ve considered the tensions produced for Trump around the Ingress in Triwheel #1, so no need to repeat those here, except to say that the tension will spill over onto the nation in potentially dramatic ways. This speaks to that conundrum between Trump’s personal and presidential roles, and to the risky ways those two roles are being conflated.

The scene over London during Trump's visit there.

Do we cater to Trump’s insecurities (Venus-Saturn) and bullying personality (Leo Mars-ASC) by giving him a pass on potential crimes and unethical behaviors—in other words, deeming him to be “above the Law?” Or do we grit our teeth and move forward with whatever the Mueller investigation reveals? 

The Nodal Axis is interesting here, positioned to suggest that it’s time to account for long-standing financial practices. The Trump family may be on some level dealing with not only Donald J.’s business practices, but with those taught to him by his late father, Fred Trump (Trump Saturn). The possibility of corruption is by no means limited to Trump, his family and associates (his Cancer Venus-Saturn falls in his 11th); it extends to the nation-at-large (falling over Sibly 8th)—there’s a reason “Drain the Swamp” resonated as a campaign slogan in 2016. 

Case in point: we’ve just been through a startlingly corrupt midterm election season and we’re still suffering the aftermath in “lame-duck” legislation. This is not what the nation signed on for in 1776, nor does it honor everything we’ve stood for in our history. If Saturn and Pluto have their say here, however (they usually do), we will be forced to fight for the set of values (transiting Sibly 2nd house) we want this nation to be structured around. Pluto’s impending return to its Sibly position (discussed earlier) makes this a serious transformative struggle. 

Interchart Mutable Grand Square: again, let’s zero in on the pertinent degree areas and then break the aspects down as we go: 17°-23° Gemini to 20°-24° Sagittarius, squared by planets between 16°-19° Pisces to 22-23° Virgo.  

This configuration will require careful handling, involving Sibly Mars. Trump’s Gemini-Sagittarius oppositions (Sun-Uranus-Node opposite Moon-So. Node) cut across the Sibly 7th-1st axis, conjoining Sibly Mars (Gemini) in the 7th and Ingress Jupiter (Sagittarius) over the 1st.  We’ve discussed the Jupiterian pitfall of hubris: given the lack of guardrails left around Trump by Secretary of Defense Mattis’s departure, this configuration could signify military adventurism (I won’t even speculate on the possibilities).  

Ingress Jupiter squares Ingress Neptune-Mercury (Pisces). With all the Neptune/Pisces energy afloat here (Jupiter co-rules), the tendency could be to distort military missions and blatantly abuse that center of power. Jupiter is dignified in Sagittarius, but in this context--conjunct Trump’s Moon and trine his Mars-ASC (Leo)—its energies may be overplayed and counterproductive. Cooler heads will need to prevail, one way or another.

Note that Ingress Neptune-Mercury (Pisces) is now within orb of opposing Sibly Neptune (Virgo); amazingly, this “half-return” will be perfecting around the same time as our Sibly Pluto return, and this axis will then square Sibly Mars (Gemini). It’s quite possible that geopolitical events will take dramatic, but elusive turns between now and 2022, and Trump’s attitude towards our alliances and his transactional view of foreign policy could be a big part of the problem. Perhaps Neptune’s “higher angels” are suggesting that we reinvigorate the American Dream—both at home and abroad? 

Leadership demands much more than big talk about not being “suckers” anymore. Compassion pays dividends—especially if we balance how we exercise it abroad and at home (Sibly 10th-4th house axis). Why are children starving to death in Yemen as we stand by and watch? USAID—one of our chief humanitarian outreach organizations—is now on shutdown. This is only one situation among many: as one commentator put it today, “Helping other countries helps us.

Yemeni children are bearing the brunt of several nations' treachery.
Perhaps we’re seeing the converse here as well (Neptune-Neptune opposition): not helping others will come back to hurt us. 

On another note, because of the way this Neptune-Neptune axis falls against Trump’s chart, we can see that he will probably continue distorting information and using deception as a weapon and “leadership” tactic. We need to be wary of the ways he attempts to chip away at the limits of his authority, and we need to call out anyone in government who enables his tantrum-throwing emotional nature.  

Even if it is void-of-course, Ingress Moon (Virgo) falls over Sibly 10th and technically squares (within the traditional 8° orb) Ingress Jupiter (Sagittarius), so we can hope that it will temper that fiery planet’s enthusiasm for power and overreach. This Moon also falls technically sextile Trump’s Saturn-Venus (Cancer) and trine Ingress Pluto (Capricorn), so the financial implications seem relatively positive. If this Moon has her way, we will be reminded during the year ahead that there’s a right and a wrong way to do things, and yes, such considerations “matter!” 

Ingress Saturn sextiles Ingress Neptune and trines Sibly Neptune: there will be opportunities to build on and express the nation’s ideals, despite what will probably be continuing drama in D.C. Moving forward towards a higher expression of Neptune in American life will be essential, and coming to grips with what that means will be an essential part of re-affirming our core values. Above all, it will mean erring on the side of ideals and not allowing ourselves to get dragged back down into the “swamp.”

Interchart Fixed T-Square: Ingress Venus-Sibly Moon-Pallas (Aquarius) oppose Trump Mars-ASC (Leo); this axis squares Ingress Mars-Trump MC (Taurus). By the time the Sun enters Aries in March, Uranus will be back in Taurus and in direct motion; it will also be disposing and in mutual reception with Ingress Venus (Aquarius). This suggests that we will see changes (perhaps sudden, even though we’re talking about fixed signs) impacting the economy and the wellbeing of We the People (Sibly Moon). This may not be as innocent or as positive as it sounds, however.

 For instance, the 3rd-9th Sibly axis points to international trade and to American foreign policy, but with Trump’s Mars hovering over that house, opposing the People’s Moon, his personal views on trade and “America First” (a substitute for foreign policy?) will prevail, no matter who gets hurt. Alliances will continue to be a sore spot for Trump, it appears, with Venus opposite his Mars, but he’s likely to be in a scrapping mood (Ingress Mars squares Trump Mars). Jake Sullivan’s recent article in The Atlantic (cited in the intro of this post) captures this well:

“He [Trump] is hostile toward America’s allies and contemptuous of cooperation. He loves to goad and bully (and even bomb) other countries and says alarming and irresponsible things about nuclear war. He has pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris climate agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and more. He is not preaching isolationism; he is preaching predatory unilateralism.”
We also forget at our peril that Athena was revered by the ancients as the Goddess of War; in fact, when the U.S. declared war on Japan over the attack on Pearl Harbor in December, 1941, Venus and Uranus were in the same mutually receptive relationship—Venus just beginning its tour of Aquarius and Uranus at 27°+Taurus, closely conjunct Saturn. This means both Aquarius co-rulers were in mutual reception with Venus—certainly more dramatic than the situation this coming March, but something to monitor. 

In his heartless response to the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudis, Trump has let us know where his values are and what makes him tick strategically. He wasn’t about to disrupt a billion dollar weapons contract with the Saudis in order to stand up for Khashoggi—even though the victim was a permanent resident, an American journalist. How would this crass, transactional approach work if we were faced with an attack on our soil, but Trump’s many business ties stood in the way of his defending us? This is why conflicts of interest have always been considered a national security risk!

Does this mean that we should fear a major attack or an outbreak of hostilities around the Equinox in March?  Not necessarily, but this chart will influence the following six months. Unfortunately, the conditions appear ripe for creating convenient hostilities. Nothing is more difficult than voting out a war time president—FDR was re-elected three times, dying in his 4th term as president—an historical anomaly that may not have happened if WWII hadn’t transpired. 

We also know that Trump had powerful outside help becoming president, and as long as he’s facilitating their priorities, the help may still be out there: we really can’t let down our guard on these possibilities.  We’ve also experienced how seductive Trump’s Mars-ASC opposite Sibly Moon-Pallas can be: with his Mars disposed by an erratic Gemini Sun, we are wise to assume that anything goes with him when he’s fixated on personal priorities. Thankfully, an independent drive for Justice (Sibly Pallas) is also at work here, but we cannot take its success for granted. 

Happily, a focus on new technologies and infrastructure may be one of Venus’s gifts here in Aquarius—high-tech industries will continue to thrive. Trump has been bragging about building the strongest military on the planet—perhaps this t-square speaks to that priority, as well. Finally, Venus’s square to Ingress Mars (Taurus) suggests that serious high-tech building projects will be underway. Something other than a border wall, we can hope! 

So, there's a lot to think about, to monitor and to care about as we ring in this New Year: let's go forward with hope in our hearts, because in the end…we’re here, we’re doing our best, and it all matters!  

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 2018. All rights reserved.