Friday, April 6, 2018

Two companies in the D.C. crosshairs: the Astrology of Amazon & the Washington Post





Actually, the White House has stirred up trouble for three American corporate institutions:

Facebook—the social networking giant; Amazon—the consumer goods and media giant; and the Washington Post, the venerable “elder” in the group and a champion of investigative journalism. 

So why not lump Facebook in with today’s look at the other two companies here? For starters, Trump clearly saves his juiciest venom for Amazon and the Washington Post (both not coincidentally owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos), but he’s expressed no such animosity towards the social media network.

Why would he? 

Even so, Facebook has been caught up in the Trump undertow by virtue of the role it played in spreading Russian-planted disinformation designed to help elect him during Election 2016. The Atlantic is reporting this week that:

“Facebook said that data from as many as 87 million users may have been shared with the research firm Cambridge Analytica, exceeding earlier estimates. The company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 11.” 

Cambridge Analytica was the data-broker and communications arm of Trump’s 2016 campaign, and is reportedly being scrutinized by the Mueller investigation for some of its actions and sketchy connections during that campaign. A story for another day. 

The point I would make about Facebook here is that it seems that those who ally themselves with Trump—even inadvertently, or passively—have a curious way of suffering as a consequence. Maybe it’s something about that Venus-Saturn conjunction in Trump’s nativity (below)?




Of course, the news has been full of storm and fury over all three of these beleaguered corporate players, and the challenges that they are experiencing are reverberating throughout our economy and our democratic system. That, on top of his rash policies regarding trade and tariffs, has a lot of people wondering if the U.S. is still a “free-market” democracy under Trump, or will he (and/or his promoters) get by with picking “winners and losers” among American companies? The trade issue is a story for another day, but it figures indirectly into the drama over Amazon and the Washington Post, as we’ll see. 

In an article entitled “Amazon has lots of company as Trump slams ‘stupid’ businesses,” the NYTimes reports:
“This is an unprecedented situation for companies. The president’s tweets can cause significant reputational harm,” said Dean C. Garfield, the president of the Information Technology Industry Council, which represents big technology companies like Amazon, Dell, Facebook, Google and IBM. “We are now at a place where about 90 percent of the companies we represent now have a presidential Twitter strategy in place.”
“It’s no laughing matter,” he said.

As for media companies like the Washington Post, we know from other stories in the news that Trump would far prefer Sinclair Broadcasting’s propagandistic approach to news-reporting: provide a Trump-friendly script to anchors and fire them if they don’t read it on air! After the charade we witnessed this past week with hundreds of Sinclair news anchors reading the same, pro-Trump script (one commentator called them “hostage videos”), it’s no surprise to learn that Sinclair has been trying to merge with Tribune, a merger that would give them 42% of the broadcast news market. 

Mergers are subject to approval by the Department of Justice…Attorney General Jeff Sessions might want to offer Trump an olive branch these days…pro-Trump election ads would be a huge source of revenue…it’s not difficult to see where this is headed. 

So, not only are Amazon and Washington Post company reputations and stock prices at stake in all this, but our First Amendment rights to free speech and that essential “5th estate” of our democracy—the Free Press—are also in the crosshairs. 

To consider all this astrologically, I’ve cast charts for the IPOs (initial public offerings) of these corporate entities—we’ll consider Facebook’s IPO chart in a future post. We could look at the earlier origins of these companies, but the IPOs essentially created new corporate entities out of all of them, and these are the entities that are under fire at this time. 

To examine the dynamics stimulated against Amazon and the Post by Trump’s attacks, I’ve set each of the company charts in turn against the Trump administration chart (represented by his inauguration on January 20, 2017).  I made this choice—as opposed to setting them against his Trump’s natal chart—because Trump isn’t acting in a vacuum when he launches these attacks. He’s acting in the context of an entire bureaucracy that enables and cleans up after him.

He’s also acting with a complicit, majority-Republican Congress in charge, which allows him to get by with a lot. So, in so far as Trump is using his official “bully pulpit” to attack these companies, his attacks represent an administration-wide assault. His personal chart still figures into the mix, as background, however: the inauguration chart would be the same no matter who was elected in 2016, so we can’t ignore the personal energies that Trump brings to D.C. with him as part of the package. As such personal factors come into play, we’ll consider them. Trump’s nativity is available for reference above.

So, let’s consider these biwheels in chronological, IPO order: first, the Washington Post, then Amazon.  In the interest of space, we’ll consider quick highlights in each instance and then leave some room for a final consideration of the “big picture” that these biwheels paint for us.
“Democracy dies in darkness”

This, of course, is the pro-First Amendment corporate mantra that appears at the top of every Washington Post front page, in both print and online versions. If you happened to have caught the film (The Post, 2017) that depicted Katherine Graham’s storied career as the first woman newspaper publisher/CEO during the tumultuous times of the Post’s IPO, you’ll know that the paper has been no stranger to controversy and politically-motivated attacks. 

Graham supported her reporters in publishing the so-called Pentagon Papers that same year, which helped turn the tide against shady goings on in D.C. with the Viet Nam War, and not long after, Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein broke the Watergate scandal story, for good measure. 

The Post has more than lived up to its motto, in other words, so even before Amazon chief Jeff Bezos acquired it in October, 2013[1], it’s wasn't hard to see why Trump keeps it on his Twitter “hit list.” In fact, Trump’s behavior towards the press in general suggests that he views its function in propagandistic terms, with little thought for its role in democracy: serve his communication purposes, or feel his wrath. 

Let’s consider the biwheel.





Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) Washington Post IPO, June 15, 1971, 9:30 a.m. DST, Washington, D.C.; (outer wheel) Inauguration 2017, January 20, 2017, 12:00 p.m. ST, Washington, D.C.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Interchart Mutable Grand Square: Inauguration Venus-Chiron-Mars (Pisces) conjoin Post Moon (Pisces) and oppose Post Pluto (Virgo); this axis squares Inauguration Saturn-Juno (Sagittarius) opposite Post Mercury-Ceres-Sun (Gemini). Considering that a journalistic enterprise like the Post is “Mercurial” by nature (Mercury is aptly dignified in ruling sign Gemini here), the stress of this 4-way configuration could be fairly destabilizing. With an idealistic Pisces Moon, the stress could be intense; today’s journalism is no place for the faint-of-heart. Indeed, life in that newsroom must be chaotic and distracting, trying to cover a White House that’s in constant crisis mode and can never be counted on to tell the truth. 

Of course, print newspapers have had to navigate a long learning curve with the growing reliance on digital communications, but that switch has perhaps helped the Post to be as agile and flexible as it’s needed to be under Trump’s constant quest for headlines. It would be interesting to know if they’ve had high turnover in their writers and other staffers—the conditions they’ve worked under could certainly create some churn.


This possibility is especially reflected in Inauguration Venus-Chiron conjoined Post Moon—working for the Post has probably been a wounding experience since Trump took over D.C.. Considering that Inauguration Pluto is currently applying to a trine with Post Pluto here (Capricorn to Virgo), however, it’s likely that the trials the Post is enduring now will reap benefits for them down the road. In fact, I remember reading that their readership has soared in the past year, so maybe the chaos has been good for their bottom line?

Here’s where we see to what extent Trump’s administration is an extension of his personal nature. His personality—with all its bluster and bullying, whining and casting blame—dominates his presidency, so it’s no surprise that his natal chart resonates with this biwheel. In fact, his Gemini Sun-Uranus-Node and Sagittarius Moon (see his chart, near the top of this page) tightly align with the placements along that axis in this biwheel (with Inauguration Saturn tied into his Sagittarius Moon), so this may explain how aggrieved (Saturn) he’s been feeling in regards to the Post and other companies these past 15 months. 

Saturn-to-Moon transits are best handled by taking responsibility and making personal changes, but as far as I’ve been able to see, Trump is more inclined to project such responsibilities out onto others, even friends and allies (natal Venus-Saturn conjunction). All kinds of blame to go around!




Interchart Kite: Post Sun-Mercury-Ceres (Gemini) trines Inauguration Jupiter (Libra), which trines Post Mars-No. Node (Aquarius), which opposes Inauguration Uranus (Aries). This somewhat rare configuration creates a spectacular visual: a “fighter” kite, aggressively soaring and putting on quite a show, high in its natural element, air! This suggests that the Post and the Trump administration are quite agile opponents, and that the “contest” could go on for awhile. We’ll see if some turmoil ensues when Uranus enters Taurus and transits over the Post’s MC next month. 

More future passages to watch: Transiting Jupiter –now retrograde, but turning direct in July—is another interesting point to watch in regards to the Post. The Post’s radix Jupiter (Rx) is also in Scorpio, so this media giant will be experiencing a Jupiter return this coming November. Will they break another history-making story around that time? 

This passage will overlap with transiting Saturn—since the Inauguration, in the early degrees of Capricorn—forming an interchart T-Square with the Post’s Eris-Chiron to Uranus opposition (Aries-Libra). This configuration should awaken the Post’s “wounded warrior” sensibilities and challenge them to do something productive with them. It’s very interesting that this Eris-Chiron conjunction exactly squares Sibly Sun—i.e., the president! 

So it’s no surprise that Trump feels threatened by the Post and its insistence on reporting facts and digging up important stories. This probably explains why he has already started calling them Amazon’s “lobbyist”—clearly an attempt to undermine and taint their reputation for fairness. Lobbying for what, we might ask? Is Trump afraid that Bezos might consider a presidential bid? Trump clearly wants a media network dedicated to supporting his narratives, so why would he expect any better of Bezos? 

This transiting Saturn (Capricorn) will be simultaneously opposing Trump’s protective natal Mercury (Cancer), which disposes his entire Gemini stellium (see chart near top of page), so he could be looking for ways to frame media narratives to his own liking. This transit will be ongoing through midterm elections and into 2019, so the gloves will be off (as though they are ever not off, with Trump).

A package on every porch…Amazon

If I had a nickel for every dollar I’ve spent on the Amazon site…(fill in the blank!). And this is why Jeff Bezos’ brainchild is the mega-player that it is—love the company, hate it or fear it, it fills a need that people want to fill. So why does Donald Trump get into such a vicious stew over the success of this company?   

Here’s where his administration-at-large may not be the best barometer for understanding this fraught relationship: Trump clearly has a personal gripe with this company, and yes, this shows up in a biwheel between Amazon’s chart and his nativity. 

Most prominently, Amazon’s Sun conjoins Trump’s MC (both Taurus, see his chart at top of page), and inconjoins Trump’s Moon (Sagittarius). Could there be a history of bruised feelings between Amazon and the Trump Organization over business practices or goals? Trump’s family has sold everything from shirts to steaks, and their products have probably always been listed on Amazon. Daughter Ivanka certainly has a presence on the site, despite the conflicts of interest posed by her position in the White House (a problem that applies to Dad, as well). 

Listing products on Amazon takes a bite out of any vendor’s profits, so there could be a love/hate relationship between the site and Trump that has nothing to do with their “too low” postal rates, their habits in collecting sales taxes, or their taking over Main Street (as Trump has been accusing them of via tweet). Being able to count on a volume discount on postage is a competitive advantage for Amazon, no doubt, but it’s a win-win situation: Amazon Prime members clearly approve, and the Postal Service says it makes a profit by servicing Amazon packages. 

By undermining Amazon’s advantage with the Post Office, Trump probably would be hitting Amazon where it hurts. He has a keen sense of his rivals’ vulnerabilities, even if his motives are less clear: he might just be out to get Bezos because he’s wealthier, for all we know. One way or another, Trump seems determined to harm both Amazon and the Post. Yesterday’s (4/5) tweet storm included the 5th attack in one week, this time on both corporations and repeating Trump’s claim that the Post is Amazon’s “lobbyist.”  

In fact, the Post responded by saying that Amazon is kept distinctly separate from its business, as two independent corporate entities, with no dollars changing hands between them. 

The editor further claims that Bezos is a very “hands-off” owner and hasn’t involved himself in any of the stories they publish. Bezos’ decision to not engage in the trap Trump is laying for him is probably wise. Nothing he says is going to change Trump’s mind, and the followers Trump has convinced to believe his “fake news” mantra about the mainstream media are not likely to change their minds, so why waste the energy? The conservative Wall Street Journal notes how Trump’s criticism of Amazon is reliably triggered by what happens in the Post:

“The president’s most recent flurry of tweets targeting Amazon has coincided with publication of Washington Post stories he dislikes.
Over the past week, Mr. Trump has privately complained about two particular Post stories, White House aides and others said: a March 30 article that documented problems at a White House office that vets political appointees and another the following day that depicted Mr. Trump acting more independently of chief of staff John Kelly and other “moderating forces.”

Politico.com points out, insightfully, that there’s a limit to how much Trump can attack a media organization because of 1st Amendment protections, but nothing stops him from attacking the non-media aspects of an American business (aside from the usual presidential norms of behavior that he chooses to ignore). So by conflating Amazon-Washington Post in his tirades, Trump gets by with deep-sixing Amazon’s stock value and sinking his teeth into the Post in the process.  
Perhaps most confusingly, there’s an added technological dimension to Trump’s self-interested feud with Amazon, also a tech giant. From Marketwatch.com:
 
“Trump could also be choosing to pick a fight with one of the country’s tech leaders at a time when the U.S. is in a heated tech leadership battle with China. Trump is being encouraged to cancel a multibillion-dollar contract between Amazon and the Pentagon to provide cloud computing services, sources told Vanity Fair.
‘[I]t does not make sense to us why the U.S. would want to place crosshairs on a main source of its domestic technology leadership and innovation at a juncture when the U.S. and China are squaring off against one another across so many areas of economic of economic activity,’ Wells Fargo said.
More specifically, the competitive ability to harness data and compute resources, where AWS offers important strategic value to the U.S. and many of its industry leaders/customers of the AWS Cloud, will become more important (not less) to broader economic and industry leadership in the years to come, as we strongly believe,’ the note said.”

Maybe I’m going out on a speculative limb, here, but this makes me wonder if there’s some connection between Trump’s so-called “trade war” with China (which he keeps escalating) and his desire to tear tech companies like Amazon down. It’s worth noting that his natal (see first chart above) Jupiter-Chiron (Libra) conjunction falls opposite Amazon’s Eris (Aries), and that his natal Neptune falls opposite his own Eris (Libra-Aries), so there’s a deep-seated, delusionary grudge that grieves him no end, and Amazon just happens to be the latest target for his projections.


Unfortunately, the facts don’t matter here—the Wall Street Journal reports that former economic advisor Gary Cohn and others went to great lengths to brief Trump about how much sales tax Amazon really pays, how their business actually helps the Post Office, and so on:

“It made little difference. Mr. Trump persisted in attacks that ran counter to the material they had showed him.
‘It’s not the narrative he wants,’ one person familiar with the matter said of the White House briefings.  ‘He clearly didn’t find it persuasive because he keeps saying it’s untrue.’”

This indifference to the facts—or insistence on “alternative facts,” as Kelly Ann Conway famously put it—is a sure sign that Neptune (and Trump's natal Mercury-Neptune square) is calling the shots. 

When Trump first took office he apparently invited Bezos to participate on a “Defense Innovation Board” that would consider new uses for technology in defense, but Bezos turned him down. That snub has had time to sink in by now: in Trump’s world, you’re either “with him or agin’ him,” so it’s not surprising that his relations with Bezos have been even more fraught ever since. 

It’s quite possible that he sees Bezos as a political rival, or one who has the means to fund a viable rival for 2020.  In fact, the Post is featuring a piece this morning that points to a deep cultural divide between Trump and Amazon:

“Trump’s decision in recent days to zero in on Bezos and Amazon.com as his latest Twitter targets has highlighted a severe fracture in American society, a divide between concrete and steel and zeros and ones, a split that is as much philosophical as it is economic, as much about the fraying of communities as it is about the shape of commerce.”

They wouldn’t be the first ones to point out that Trump’s policies threaten to take us back in time rather than forward.


Of course, the animosity Trump lavishes on Bezos could be more related to the media side of Bezos’ power: we know that Trump is trying to promote a merger between his preferred media company, Sinclair, and Tribune, which would give him a way of assaulting the Free Press from multiple angles.

We might also wonder if Trump has a buyer in mind for the Post, once he's succeeded in disabling it (Sinclair? Cambridge Analytica? Steve Bannon?). Trump’s been using the “M” word against Amazon—calling it a monopoly—which makes twisted sense when he’s hoping to build himself a media monopoly in time for 2020. 

Whatever angle Trump pursues, it does appear from transits to Amazon’s chart (more below) that Bezos could find himself in court on his company’s behalf over the coming year; who sues who first will be the question.  Either way, it’s likely Trump will keep using Amazon and the Post as electioneering fodder—his  political “schtick” doesn’t work without an enemy.   

Amazon is about to enter the final quarter of its first Saturn cycle (with transiting Capricorn Saturn now nearly square Amazon’s radix Aries Saturn), so a number of challenges, including legal ones, could arise that help them restructure and regroup for their new Saturn cycle, beginning roughly 7 years from now. Will Trump succeed in sidelining Amazon and Bezos before the 2020 election? If he doesn’t, it won’t be for lack of trying. 

So, let’s consider the biwheel for Amazon and the Trump administration. Despite Trump’s definite personal ties to the Amazon chart, his administration’s chart is equally relevant because he is using his public office to wield a ruthless, big stick.  





Biwheel #2: (inner wheel) Amazon.com Inc. IPO, May 15, 1997, 9:30 a.m. DST, New York, New York; (outer wheel) Inauguration 2017, January 20, 2017, 12:00 p.m. ST, Washington, D.C.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Inauguration Moon (Scorpio) squares Amazon Pallas-Uranus (Aquarius), trines Amazon Ceres (Pisces), and inconjoins Amazon Venus (Gemini). This inauguration Moon suited the dark tone that Trump’s speech set for the nation that day, as he talked about stopping so-called “American carnage” and promoted the protectionist, anti-immigration, anti-free trade policies we’ve seen unfold since then. Another campaign speech, for all intents and purposes. So it’s not surprising that Trump’s tone would clash with forward-thinking, innovative companies like Amazon (Uranus-Pallas in Aquarius). 

The trine between Inauguration Moon and Amazon Ceres (Pisces) evokes an image of a scorpion seeking out the soft underbelly of a target in case it needs to attack. Inauguration Pallas is also conjunct 8th house Amazon Ceres, perhaps reflecting legal challenges Trump has intended to pose for the company from day one. The inconjunct between this intense Scorpio Moon and Amazon Venus (and the implied Venus-Ceres square from Gemini to Pisces) suggests that Amazon profits and stock values could remain under threat. 

Interchart Cardinal Grand-Square: Inauguration Uranus-Eris (Aries) conjoin Amazon Saturn-Eris (Aries) and oppose Inauguration Jupiter (Libra); this axis squares Amazon ASC-DSC (Cancer-Capricorn) conjoined Inauguration Pluto (Capricorn). This intense configuration wants “action, now,” but there’s a sense of the players being “damned if they do, and damned if they don’t.” The drive is fueled by a “wronged warrior’s” (Eris) desire to destroy and reshape its enemies more to its liking (Inaug Pluto on Amazon ASC-DSC). Trump seems to seek out this "wronged warrior" role, so this is no surprise, nor is the conjunction with Uranus (Aries)—Trump’s political success is directly related to the disruptions he causes to others. 

We’ve seen the pattern. Eris is a key player in the Trump administration’s drama—in his West Virginia speech yesterday, he launched what sounded like a literal call to arms (using our National Guards forces) against Mexican “rapists.” He launched his entire campaign with this narrative in 2015, so we’re seeing a potentially deadly return to campaign mode, designed to whip up his base.



As for how this impacts Amazon, its Eris is conjoined Saturn, so it’s a formidable fighter, and since this Saturn disposes Amazon’s Aquarius Jupiter and Uranus, which is dignified in its home sign, we can see that Amazon is focused on a technologically-empowered, future-oriented growth agenda.

Working well with others is an important part of the plan, undoubtedly (Jupiter and Uranus fall in the 7th and 8th), however they tend to do this from a position of strength. Their Trump-promoted Saturn cycle challenge will force some adjustments—and to the extent that Amazon operates like a 500-lb. gorilla retailer that dominates all the “little guys,” maybe adjustments are warranted—but over the longer term, their future-oriented culture and perspective will probably win out because that’s where the world is going. 

I suspect that we’ll come to a fork-in-the-road moment in the near future, where as a society we have to make a choice: to be held back in toxic, unproductive, zero-sum thinking about our place in the world (if they gain, that must mean I lost), or to move forward in a much more open, balanced and cooperative way. The new Aquarius Jupiter-Saturn cycle beginning at the end of 2020 will likely be an important passage in regards to this choice. 

Interchart Mutable Grand Square: Inauguration Pallas-Neptune-So. Node (Pisces) conjoin Amazon Ceres (Pisces) and oppose Amazon Moon (Virgo)-Inauguration No. Node (Virgo); this axis squares Amazon Venus (Gemini) opposite Amazon Pluto (Sagittarius).  One of Amazon’s most valuable intangible resources (Pisces Ceres) is its reputation for pioneering a whole new way of selling retail goods, and in being very good at what it does. The online giant didn’t grow that big by displeasing customers, but it definitely has its naysayers—competitors have a rough time, no doubt. But that’s been true with all the “big box” ventures that engulf communities with their volume buying and size advantage.

This restless configuration, with all its variables, speaks to Trump’s rather erratic determination to bring this company down. The Inaug Nodal axis (Virgo-Pisces) squaring Amazon’s finance-related Venus-Pluto (Gemini-Sagittarius) axis reflects that the administration sees Amazon as a target for change. In the end it’s a power play, and when the government is involved, the tactics and weapons range from tax policies to mud-slinging to investigations on charges (monopoly?) that may or may not be valid. Trump claims Amazon doesn’t collect enough state taxes, and we’ve seen plenty of mud-slinging, so it’ll be interesting to see if an investigation is looming.

The fact that Trump conflates Amazon with the Post is represented by the potentially deceptive role Inaug Pallas-Neptune plays here. Trump seems to see himself as a fierce “knight in shining armor,” come to save American retailers from Amazon, the “fire-breathing dragon” out to hoard their treasure. Yes, he knows how to tap into people’s fears and thirst for drama—overhyped conspiracy theories are a Neptunian specialty of this administration. 

The interesting twist he’s given this campaign, however, is to drag the media (via the Post) into the fray, so that anyone criticizing his actions can be labeled an Amazon “lobbyist.” I can just hear the “lock him (Bezos) up” chants now.



Stepford Wives only tell their "husbands" what they want to hear!

Some final thoughts

Transiting Pluto (now at 21°+Capricorn) is now trine Amazon’s Sun (Taurus), but quincunx the Post’s Sun (Gemini), so of the two, the Post seems to be under the most damaging pressure at the moment. It wouldn’t surprise me if Bezos considers selling the Post, but he may also decide against this for fear it would look like he’s caving into pressure. Either way, the Post may be experiencing some rocky internal dynamics at this juncture. We need to hope that they manage to weather this storm, because their demise would bode very badly for our 1st Amendment rights.

It would be so much easier for any media outlet to simply toe the line and become another of Trump’s Sinclair “Stepford wives,” programmed to tell him only what he wants to hear. Deadspin reports that even Sinclair staffers object vehemently to the Trumpist rhetoric they’re forced to spout on the airwaves. They also claim that their “corporate overlords” are calling the shots, so the forces threatening our democratic institution of free speech are financial, as well as ideological and downright delusionary.  

Neptune will be transiting its home sign of Pisces for nearly 7 more years, so we have to come to grips with its illusionary hall-of-mirrors. If there's no one we can count on to tell the truth, we will  suffer long-term damage to our democratic institutions. At the risk of hyperbole, I would suggest that we could be an entirely different nation in 7 years if we don't get our arms around this.

Over the next year, in fact, transiting  Neptune will gradually float in and out of orb for its opposition (a “half” return) to Sibly Neptune (22°+Virgo), at the same time transiting Pluto is navigating its return to its Sibly position at 27+Capricorn. This stunning synchronistic "dance" suggests that we really need to come to grips with the national illusions that divide us so deeply and wield such power over us, being especially alert to outside efforts being made to divide and conquer us. Which brings us to Facebook.
 
Was Facebook  just a “useful idiot” for the Russian misinformation campaign that roiled our 2016 election, or a willing participant?  We’ll look at what we know about this situation much more closely in the next post. The stakes are clearly very high going forward: if anything good comes out of last year’s debacle, it will be in the heightened awareness of our own internal divides. A little sincere introspection could go a long way for our collective well-being.

In retrospect, it seems that we were laboring under several illusions before the Trump campaign: that America’s problems with racism were“solved” because we elected a black president, twice; that we were somehow immune to the corruption we see in other, weaker democracies; and that certain norms of integrity and behavior can always be counted on in a presidential candidate—obviously, we know the reality in each case is no, no and clearly, no. 

With Neptune, our choices are stark: either go along passively with the dissolution of everything Saturnian, structured and solid—i.e., our societal rules and ethical standards, our constitutional checks and balances, our institutions, etc.—or somehow muster the unity and spirit to take charge (put our Saturnian “oars” in Neptune’s waters) and harness the idealism and compassion of this overwhelming planetary energy for positive purposes. I prefer to believe that we can steer this ship of state in a better direction!






  
Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former educator. Having studied at 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: robertsonraye@gmail.com.

© Raye Robertson 2018. All rights reserved. 








[1] I’ve considered using a chart for this 2013 transaction here, but decided that the journalistic and free press issues at stake are better represented by the 1971 chart. It appears that Bezos’ acquisition was less about journalism and more about business.

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