Friday, August 24, 2018

Hope trumps cynicism & deceit: an epic week for the rule of law

“Truth isn’t truth…”

Rudy Giuliani, speaking on Aug. 19th to Meet the Press’s Chuck Todd

“Critical thinking without hope is cynicism. Hope without critical thinking is naïveté.”  

Maria Popova, Brainpickings

There’s been constant, brain-rattling pressure from the Trump administration (and particularly its leering jester, Rudy Giuliani) to get the Mueller investigation over with, now!! Well, they should probably be careful what they ask for, because this past Thursday (Aug. 21) felt like the investigation unleashed a deluge directed, ultimately, at them

Here’s a quick review of the highlights—again, all from Tuesday, August 21st: 

-         - Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was convicted of eight serious charges of tax and bank fraud, and we now find out that there were Trump supporters on the jury who convicted Manafort anyway. One of them has since reported that a lone holdout (not a Trump supporter, apparently) prevented Manafort from being convicted on all eighteen charges

-        - Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer,” Michael Cohen, pled guilty to eight criminal counts, including two that directly implicate Trump himself in campaign finance violations. 

-        - California state rep Duncan Hunter and his wife Margaret were both indicted for violating campaign finance rules and basically living it up on his campaign’s dime. Needless to say, this case didn't get much press on that crazy day in the news.

Rudy Giuliani gave cartoonists a lot to work with this week!

     The astrology of all this is predictably fascinating: this is especially so because so much happened in such a concentrated timeframe (the Cohen and Manafort dramas both culminated right around 4 p.m. on 8/21). As we’ll see, this allows us to examine more precisely what was going on in the defendant’s charts. Unfortunately, we have no birth times for either nativity, so their respective Moons and angles are a mystery, but the 4 p.m. shared timing in both mens’ court proceedings allows us to see what the event Moon was up to, and that adds some spice to the story.

So, let’s leap right into an examination of two biwheels, the first for Paul Manafort’s guilty verdict on 8 counts in Alexandria, VA, and the second for Michael Cohen’s guilty plea in Manhattan, NY. 

Please notice that I’ve chosen to place the nativities in the outer wheel in each instance, since the 4 p.m. timing of the respective events is the only firm cosmic guidepost we have for the angles and Moon at work. 

Paul Manafort, Trump's former Campaign Chair

The Manafort verdict

Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) Manafort guilty verdict, August 21, 2018, 4:00 p.m. DST, Alexandria, VA; (outer wheel) Paul Manafort, April 1, 1949, 12:00 p.m. ST (noon, no birth time available) , New Britain, Connecticut. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

Verdict Jupiter (Scorpio) rules Verdict ASC (Sagittarius) from 11th, square Verdict Mercury and trine Verdict Neptune (Pisces). One juror’s reported inability to find Manafort guilty on all 18 counts probably speaks to Manafort’s small bit of ironic Jupiterian “luck” in this case. He’s by no means home free: the eight charges that did stick are serious and will put him away for decades, barring intervention from Trump (who’s very self-servingly “sympathetic” all of a sudden), or a cooperation deal with Mueller.  

Jupiter’s presence in Pluto-disposed Scorpio may support his (and others’) corrupt practices to some degree (it’s reminiscent of a mobster “getting by with murder” because everyone fears him), but its inconjunct with Manafort’s Sun (Aries) is less helpful.

From Adam Zyglis of the Buffalo News
The ever-slippery ways of white collar criminals and their obfuscating lawyers is certainly represented in the Verdict Jupiter-Neptune trine (Scorpio-Pisces), however, so it “ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” In fact, given Trump’s current campaign to celebrate Manafort’s loyalty to him and to turn him into a sympathetic “victim” (Neptune/Pisces), the prospect of a “compassionate pardon” is all too real. 

The Washington Post’s Paul Waldman gets it right when he says that Trump has brought “mafia ethics into the GOP.” Considering Pluto disposes this Jupiter from Capricorn, those ethics are certainly on display in this watery aspect. 

That would be the cynical perspective, however: let’s err on the side of hope. Manafort’s conviction on anything lends credence to Mueller’s investigation, so by association, prosecuting Manafort’s multi-layered, incredibly entangled crimes may help foreground Trump’s malfeasance. This will figure more prominently into Manafort’s second trial coming up in September, but this first trial laid the groundwork. 

Verdict Sun (Leo) conjoins Manafort Saturn (Virgo). It’s not surprising that an individual being charged and convicted on crimes that could put him in prison for a very long time would have some Saturn issues. It’s interesting, nonetheless, that Trump’s natal Mars-ASC in late Leo closely conjoins this Verdict Sun-Manafort Saturn (Trump’s chart below, Chart #1). We can probably assume that Trump was livid (Mars) when this verdict came down—not on behalf of Manafort, but because he himself feels threatened by the rule of law and its operation (who’s his favorite punching bag?—the Justice Department). 

The question is, what action (Mars) will Trump take to protect himself?

From Gary Varvel, The Times Examiner

Verdict Saturn-Moon (Capricorn) trines Manafort Saturn. It’s worth pointing out that this Saturn-Moon duo is rising within a few degrees of the Verdict ASC, so it’s not surprising that the scene in the Manafort trial on the 21st was somber, and that it heaped a world of hurt on Manafort and his family. Unfortunately, Saturn says “do the crime, do the time,” and even Lady Luna here isn’t all that sympathetic. Even so, perhaps the trine aspects here registered in Manafort’s mind as a partial reprieve—he did temporarily escape conviction for 10 of the 18 counts he was tried on. 

The one juror’s inability to decide “beyond a reasonable doubt” to convict on all counts is probably less about these trines, though, and more about Verdict Venus (Libra) conjoining Manafort Neptune (Libra) and opposing his Venus-Mars-Sun conjunction in Aries. 

I’m guessing those natal oppositions have gotten him out of a lot of tight spaces in his lifetime—a white lie here, a misrepresentation there, a little double-dealing behind the scenes, and somehow he kept up his lavish lifestyle and appearances. Taken as one big character portrait, however, his slippery practices have now turned against him. Pluto has been transiting square his Aries-Libra points over the past few years, so something had to give. 

Interchart Yod: Verdict Mars (Capricorn) exactly conjoins Manafort Jupiter (Capricorn); Verdict Sun (Leo) sextiles Manafort Uranus (Gemini) and both inconjoin Manafort Jupiter. This is a potent, tense configuration that caught Manafort between the proverbial “rock and a hard place:” should he hold out hope that a pardon will be forthcoming (Verdict Sun-Trump Mars-ASC), or will he need to “sing like a canary” (his Uranus in Gemini) to get a lighter sentence? It’s no surprise that his Uranus falls over the Verdict chart’s 7th house of allies/enemies. 

No doubt money could be involved, as well: Verdict Mars-Manafort Jupiter (Capricorn) fall over the Verdict chart’s 2nd house, so is there a chance Trump will start “fixing” Manafort’s legal expenses somehow?  I haven’t heard how Manafort’s expenses are currently financed, but this powerful conjunction and yod focal point, falling over a 2nd house, is very suggestive. 

That, in combination with Verdict Saturn (Capricorn) square Verdict Chiron-Manafort Mercury (Aries) says Manafort’s ability to speak out is suppressed and wounded. Time will tell, but we know Trump’s history with offering “hush money”—Manafort may not be in a position (or be inclined) to say “no thanks.”

The Cohen Plea

A lot has been made of the fact that Cohen pled guilty to 8 criminal counts against him without sealing an actual cooperation agreement with the Mueller investigation. Aside from taking the proactive, less devastating route than a trial would be, is this Cohen’s way of leaving himself open to Trump’s help, as well? It’s tempting to think that because once a Trump fixer, maybe always on the team, whether you like it or not? Maybe not. At least, it’s probably not being read that way by Trump, who is now displaying his mob boss ethics, praising Manafort for not flipping, and condemning Cohen for his “betrayal.” 

Because Cohen’s long, tight relationship with Trump is such an issue in this case, we’ll consider here and there how Trump’s chart interacts with the biwheel. Let’s begin.  

Biwheel #2: (inner wheel) Cohen guilty plea, August 21, 2018, 4:00 p.m. DST, Manhattan, NY; (outer wheel) Michael Dean Cohen, August 25, 1966, 12:00 p.m. DST (noon, no birth time available), Long Island, NY. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Plea Vesta (Sagittarius) and Plea SaturnRx (Capricorn) rise at the ASC (Sagittarius). Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, gave many interviews after his client entered his dramatic guilty pleas before the judge in Manhattan this week, but one of the most striking things Davis reported on was how “liberated” Cohen is feeling by the decision he’s made to tell the truth to whomever asks. That sense of release—a sense of “finding oneself” again—is certainly felt here with Vesta on the ASC, but the reality is, this liberation will come at a price (Saturn), serving time for the crimes he’s pled to and for the first time in decades, being on the outs with Trump, who Cohen claims he looked up to as a “father figure” (Saturn). 

Indeed, the turn that the relationship between Cohen and Trump has taken echoes the mythic relationship of Chronos and Ouranos (Saturn and Uranus). By Cohen claiming responsibility (i.e., becoming Chronos) for his actions, and rejecting any notion of a pardon while he implicates Ouranos as the driving force (Trump’s chart definitely has an elevated, empowered Uranus), Cohen/Chronos is wresting control of his life from Ouranos and empowering himself. It’s not unusual that even “adopted” sons need to break from their fathers in some dramatic way—at least for a time—in order to assume their own manhood. We’ll see how the astrological Uranus figures into this story in just a bit. 

There’s something redemptive about all this, especially considering Cohen is 52 years old at this time. He could very well spend his second Saturn return in prison, a developmental passage that will take on a whole new dimension in these new circumstances. 

The emotional dimension of this experience couldn’t help but be wrenching, of course, but Cohen claims that his actions are motivated by his family above all else, and this may be why he was able to exhibit the calm strength he did, standing in front of that judge to confess his guilt. We can see all this in the way that his natal Moon (shown here at 2°+Capricorn, but it could have fallen anywhere between 26°+Sagittarius and 8°+Capricorn the day he was born) ties into this gathering at the Sagittarius ASC

It’s feasible, in fact, that Cohen was experiencing a lunar return as he stood up in that court room, as well: the two Moons are hovering within 5° of each other, and if we knew Cohen’s exact birth time we might find that they’re even closer. At some point that day, those Moons converged, and I would guess that Cohen felt validated and supported in his actions because of it.

Interchart Grand Earth Trine: Cohen Sun-Vesta (Virgo) trines Plea SaturnRx-Moon-Cohen Moon (Capricorn) trines Plea UranusRx-Part of Fortune (Taurus). This impressive circuit of earthy energy says that the time for Cohen/Chronos to break with Trump/Ouranos was ripe, and that it would all just flow naturally. His uncanny calm in court that day is reflected here. It’s almost certain that Cohen’s Moon was closely involved (how close we can’t say) because his sense of family responsibility (Capricorn) was driving him. I’d like to believe that the Cosmos was blessing his plan for the day, but one way or another, forces colluded to put him in the right place at the right time, for the goals he was pursuing.
To that point, it’s interesting that Vesta is once again key: his lawyer claims that by standing up to Trump, Cohen chose to recover his “center" and his central focus—his family—and here we see that validated as the Vesta “hearth” that warms him. Breaking with Trump, the source of so much of his income over the years (UranusRx-Part of Fortune) can’t have been easy, but there’s also a sense that breaking with a fixed “material” perspective on life (Taurus) would be liberating (Uranus) and ultimately rewarding (POF). I sense a memoir coming down the road.
Interchart Mutable Grand Square: Plea NeptuneRx (Pisces) opposes Cohen Uranus-Pluto (Virgo); this axis squares Plea Vesta-ASC (Sagittarius) opposite Cohen Ceres-Plea DSC (Gemini). There had to be a chaotic maelstrom somewhere in this story, didn’t there? It’s super interesting to see how one native of the “Gen X” Uranus-Pluto conjunction of 1965-66 is faring all these years later. Clearly, his fate has been dictated by the company he chose to keep!
Specifically, Trump’s natal chart (see Chart #1 below) is closely tied in with this stressful configuration: his Uranus-No. Node-Sun (Gemini) opposed Moon-So. Node (Sagittarius) falls tightly conjunct the Gemini-Sagittarius horizon of this Plea chart, and pretty tightly squares Cohen’s Uranus-Pluto. Add transiting NeptuneRx (Pisces) into the mix and we have a chaotic upheaval. 

Chart #1: Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 p.m. DST, Jamaica, NY. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.
Through the force of his personality and worldly power, Trump clearly had an emotional hold on Cohen that ran deep; Cohen’s pragmatic Virgo nature, and perhaps his need for a father figure, on the other hand, were useful. A point Cohen's probably regretting now, his ethics were conveniently malleable for Trump’s purposes (Cohen’s SaturnRx-ChironRx in Pisces). Trump’s Gemini-Sagittarius axis also squares this Pisces conjunction of Cohen's—Cohen’s famous remark that he would “take a bullet for Trump” is certainly reflected here and is reinforced by other interaspects. Here’s what Chiron expert Martin Lass has to say about the Saturn-Chiron conjunction:
“Saturn says to us that we need to solidify the foundations of our journey of Healing and evolution of consciousness, to take control, to become accountable, before we can take our rightful place in the Higher Realms….Although we may feel held back, suppressed, repressed, limited and restricted, there is important work to be done in this space. The Wounds serve us as they are until we are truly ready to transcend them.”[1]  
In my experience reading client’s charts, I've seen that Saturn-Chiron aspects also speak to parental wounds and toxic child-parent relationships. So none of this should surprise us: “guilt tripping” and perhaps a true emotional attachment (Cohen’s Moon may well fall tightly opposite Trump’s Cancer Mercury) worked to keep Cohen “loyal”—i.e., to “repress” his own truth, and burden himself not only with his own secrets and crimes (wounds), but with Trump’s secrets (and crimes?), as well. That was, until he realized there would be no reciprocal loyalty—the “father/son” dynamic was mortally wounded.
Commentators have observed as much, but here we see the dynamics at work. When Trump gradually distanced himself from Cohen after the election, Cohen’s Mars, Venus and Mercury in proud Leo probably lit up like a torched Christmas tree. Plea SaturnRx inconjoins Cohen Mars here (this would have been true for most of 2018) —another signal that breaking with Trump is an attempt at restoring (Rx) his own dignity and “coming of age.”

Plea Jupiter (Scorpio) conjoins Cohen Neptune (Scorpio), sextiles Cohen’s Uranus-Pluto (Virgo) and squares Cohen Venus-Mercury (Leo). There’s no doubt Cohen’s actions in court will reverberate into every dimension of his life—especially his marriage and children (Venus-Mercury), but for now, he is probably enjoying the illusion of progress and growth (Jupiter on his Neptune). To his detriment in the end, Cohen’s own Jupiter (Cancer) was tied into Trump’s sensitive, security-oriented Saturn-Venus (Cancer), and we haven’t even begun to understand how deeply entangled their fortunes were.
This tight Cancer connection speaks to Cohen being the “fixer,” the person who could make Trump’s problems go away (at least temporarily) and protect him and his family from scandal. None of this would be necessary, of course, if Trump didn’t seem to think he could act with impunity (i.e., the law just doesn’t apply to him), but Cohen probably enabled that attitude. Intimidating others into leaving Trump alone (or paying them off) only goes so far, and with the Stormy Daniels affair, both he and Trump ran up against the limits. Go, Stormy!!

Final thoughts

The final chapters of this story are far from written—today’s news reports that longtime Trump associate and friend, David Pecker, the head of American Media, Inc. and publisher of the National Enquirer, has been granted immunity by the Mueller investigation. To say that the National Enquirer played a key role in horrifically smearing Hillary Clinton and electing Donald Trump in 2016 is an understatement; what we might not have known is that Pecker was also instrumental in squashing inconvenient, negative stories  about the Trumps over many years—probably using them as powerful leverage, in fact. 

The “safe” Pecker reportedly kept this treasure trove of stories in (about many celebrities and public figures, not just the Trumps) included one that has become the focus of a criminal investigation. In fact, it’s evidence in one of the crimes that Cohen just pled guilty to in court and implicated Trump in, as well.  

Then, in two related, but equally stunning developments—one, the Manhattan District Attorney is looking at lodging criminal charges against the Trump Organization in connection to the financing and tax implications of the Stormy Daniels case, and two, the longtime CFO of the Trump Organization, Allen Weisselberg, was granted immunity after being subpoenaed by the Mueller investigation. Every commentator I have read on this latter instance says that Weisselberg knows “where all the financial bodies are buried” with the Trump Organization, so who knows how this story will unfold!
Time magazine’s cover this week features three pictures of Trump, “drowning” in the White House. Artists are always so perceptive: in this case they seem to capture the Neptune-Pluto undertow that’s threatening these days to bring a lot of people in high places down. It’s not just about Trump and one corrupt administration, however: as a nation and a democracy, we are undergoing a wholesale purge, and all of our closest held illusions about ourselves are being challenged. Pluto is returning to its Sibly position in late Capricorn between now and 2022, but in the meantime, it’s still opposing our Sibly Sun (Cancer), corrupting the office of President as it breaks down the nation itself. 
Even so, we're long overdue for a reprieve from all this drama; perhaps that will happen when Pluto edges out of orb to our Sun, but hasn't quite entered the orb of Sibly Pluto (and by opposition, Sibly Mercury).

A momentous day. Will we see a repeat?

A brief historical note: Richard Nixon resigned the presidency in August, 1974 under a far lighter cloud of corruption than Trump has produced: Saturn conjoined Sibly Sun in Cancer at that resignation (chart not shown), with Uranus square Sibly Pluto (Libra-Capricorn).  Saturn is now working its way towards an opposition to this same key point from Capricorn and Uranus (Taurus) falls inconjunct our collective MC (Libra)!
Meanwhile, Neptune (Pisces) is slowly approaching its “half-return” (opposition) to Sibly Neptune (Virgo), which is facilitating transiting Pluto’s path of destruction and transformation. Trump—whose nativity ties into the Sibly chart in pretty incredible ways—is clearly the agent of these transformations, but we’re not helpless here, despite the GOP’s refusal to rise above the rot that seems to be paralyzing it (a story for another day).
If anything, we’re being challenged to recommit to the founding values of this nation, or to decide what alternative values we want to collectively embrace. If making money for corporations and stoking the stock market is all that matters to us as a nation—the Constitution be damned—then Trump and his ilk probably are the future. If we want to preserve the Constitution and ourselves as a pluralist, democratic society, however, we have a lot of work ahead.
I’ll leave you with some hopeful wisdom from brilliant humanist, Maria Popova:
“Yes, people sometimes do horrible things, and we can speculate about why they do them until we run out of words and sanity. But evil only prevails when we mistake it for the norm. There is so much goodness in the world — all we have to do is remind one another of it, show up for it, and refuse to leave.”

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. 

[1] Martin Lass, Musings of a Rogue Comet: Chiron, Planet of Healing. Galactic Publications, Nyack, NY, 2001, p. 396.

Friday, August 17, 2018

One voice falls silent, another rises: an astrological week in the news

“All I’m asking for is a little respect…”

Written by Smokey Robinson, immortalized by the great Aretha Franklin

What a harsh wind blew over us this week, breaking so many hearts with the death of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin on Thursday. We knew this was coming—hospice workers had moved into her home here in the Detroit metro area, where her many friends and family members kept vigil for the past couple days. Suffering the end stages of pancreatic cancer, it simply was her time. Still, the news of her passing was a blow, and our world already feels more sad and brittle without her. 

Then it occurred to me what a perfectly ironic, if tragic, twist Ms. Franklin’s death gives to this week in American news, when Donald Trump unleashed a raw tantrum of emotions—like so much sewage—on another strong African-American woman, Omarosa Manigault-Newman. His one-time reality-show “apprentice” and most recently, terminated White House aide, Ms. Manigault-Newman has been on the offensive, touring a tell-all book of her time in the Trump White House entitled Unhinged: an Insider’s Account of the Trump White House

Trump’s defensiveness is probably warranted—the book should be intensely embarrassing to him—but his vicious Twitter sputum was still revolting and a new low, even for him. Never fear, as fired former FBI Director James Comey famously quipped, “Lordy, she has tapes!”

First she released a tape in which administration members are discussing how to handle Trump’s historical uses of the “N”-Word. And then yesterday, Manigault-Newman released a tape of Trump daughter-in-law Lara allegedly offering her a vague $15k/month “campaign job” for remaining “positive” about Trump and little else. No dice. 

So, it’s been a week of passing, controversy and a kind of poetic justice for strong black women, and even Donald Trump—whose modus operandi with such individuals is to disparage their intelligence and much worse—had a few nice things to say about the Queen. He had to say that she "worked for him"...really?! Is he trying to compete with her for media attention?  Stay tuned!

On display in Biwheel #1 below is Aretha Franklin’s natal chart (inner wheel), precisely timed according to her birth certificate, and a noon chart for her day of death (outer wheel). We can only speculate about the journey she was on at this point, so I won’t attempt an in-depth analysis here, but one prominent transit speaks volumes about her death, and it’s worth pondering. 

So much of the media coverage of her death has focused on her upbringing in the “Gospel” community, and the fact that her singing—whether religiously themed or not—was profoundly moving. “When Aretha sang, she brought you to God,” was one person’s comment. This theme features prominently in this biwheel. Let’s begin.

Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) Aretha Franklin, March 25, 1942, 10:30 p.m. War Time, Memphis, TN; (outer wheel) Aretha Franklin death, August 16, 2018, 12:00 p.m. (noon, no time available), Detroit, MI (news reports). Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

Transiting Neptune conjoins/opposes Natal Nodal Axis (Pisces-Virgo) and squares Natal Mars-Jupiter (Gemini). Neptune’s square to Franklin’s Jupiter and Mars would have also been a long-term, debilitating transit, and this undoubtedly factored into tipping Franklin’s battle with cancer in the direction it did. Medical astrologers would point out the bodily systems ruled by these planets and how their weakening contributed to the situation.  

It’s significant that the Neptune-Nodal axis conjunction happens at the south node here; in fact, because of its slow movement, Neptune has been hovering within orb of Franklin’s nodal axis for at least a year and a half. This transit is not a signal of impending death on its own, but it can signal a drawn-out, debilitating passage, which fits her protracted battle with pancreatic cancer.  

 I would argue that Neptune (even more than Pluto) seems to usher individuals approaching death over that mythological “River” into the world beyond. Neptune—at its best, known for compassion and grace—very gradually washes away the boundaries between this world and the next and gently delivers the person into eternal rest. 

This is especially true in hospice situations such as Franklin experienced; every effort was undoubtedly made to keep her comfortable and pain-free, and to ease her into the next world. It’s easy to see how these attributes of Neptune would be expressed in a loving Christian vigil: in fact, Neptune and Pisces are often associated with Christianity and its more compassionate impulses. Happily, we know that the “Queen” was surrounded by loved ones in her final days


Omarosa on tour

“I seriously began to suspect that the president was delusional or had a mental condition…Was Donald like Ronald Reagan, impaired while everyone around him ran the show and covered up for him?”

                                                   Unhinged, Omarosa Manigault-Newman, 2018

Ms. Manigault-Newman is considerably younger than Aretha Franklin, but she certainly does her part to perpetuate a “queenly” image for African-American women in our times. Confident, tough, laser-focused on her goals and authoritative, she’s gained a reputation for being one of Reality TV’s best “villains” over the years. I have to confess, however, that she’s new to me: I never watched the Apprentice in her heyday. In fact, my first introduction to her was a disturbing prediction she made on Frontline before Trump was even elected:

“Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump,” she said. "It’s everyone who’s ever doubted Donald, who ever disagreed, who ever challenged him. It is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe.”
Trump must have liked this statement because Manigault-Newman went on from there to become the Trump administration’s director of African-American outreach, and to be known as a top Trump “cheerleader.” These comments were made in response to a question regarding the 2011 Washington Correspondent’s Dinner in which then-President Obama took a comedic jab at Trump for promoting his so-called “birther” conspiracy.

Omarosa Manigault-Newman
Since being terminated by Chief of Staff John Kelly—an encounter Manigault-Newman also taped and has since revealed—she has, of course, answered a lot of questions about her loss of respect and faith in Trump, and she has been very forthcoming about how deluded she has been by him, as a potential “father figure.” She claims that during the Apprentice years, she “wanted to be like him,” energetic, resourceful and successful. 

Now, her Unhinged book claims that (as summarized in the Washington Post) Trump is “scattered, self-absorbed, misogynistic and insecure.” In days of interviews she has suggested that his mental acuity isn’t what it used to be—that he can’t focus and can’t comprehend complex policy arguments, etc.  And, she claims that where she didn’t want to see his racist nature before, now it’s undeniable. 

So is this just a case in which the “protégée turned her tactics against” the mentor? Or, has Manigault-Newman really taken a sincere turn and decided to play whistleblower? As we’ll see in her nativity, and in Biwheel #2 below that with Trump’s nativity, there’s an argument for either one. So many have pointed out that Trump “created” the Omarosa in this week’s headlines, so is she just one more enemy of many, or something much, much worse? 

Chart #1: Omarosa Manigault-Newman, February 5, 1974, 10:54 p.m. DST, Youngstown, OH. Source:, rated AA. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Sun-Jupiter (Aquarius) square Mars (Taurus). A serious desire to grow and prosper (she admits to wanting to be a billionaire) drives Manigault-Newman, a fact that’s reinforced by an ambitious Capricorn Venus ruling her Libra-rising chart, and Pluto conjoining her ASC within minutes. 

Considering that this Venus occupies her 4th house of family and heritage, this desire could be deeply-rooted in the conditions she grew up in, and it may even transcend mere self-interest, being a desire to elevate the quality of life for all African-Americans. It’s not surprising that she found her way into the public eye as a Reality TV figure, either—the Saturn disposing her 4th house Venus occupies her 9th house of media, ideology, etc. 

Given the fixed nature of her formidable Aquarius-Taurus squares, it’s not hard to imagine that Manigault-Newman could intimidate anyone who crosses her, so the reports that Trump administration aides are nearly panicked with fear about what her book tour could reveal sound pretty credible. 

With that said, however, Manigault-Newman has not come by her reputation all that easily: none of her planets is placed in a ruling sign, and some are placed in downright difficult signs. This is the case with her Pisces Mercury, disposing her Gemini Saturn. This placement could present challenges for staying focused and thinking clearly, and it may explain why she gravitated to a Gemini “father figure” who turned out to be so disenchanting for her. 

It may also explain why she had no scruples about recording so many conversations in the White House. If she was so deluded by and caught up in Trump’s cult of personality, as she claims, why would she do that? 

Despite that question, being disenchanted is a definite pitfall with such Neptunian (Pisces) relationships. It’s significant also that this Pisces Mercury inconjoins her elevated, 10th house Leo Moon, ruling her Cancer MC. Trump may not be the first “parent” to disappoint. 

That same inconjunct suggests that Manigault-Newman really needs to be the “Star” on some stage, and it’s totally conceivable that her book tour and the release of incriminating tapes is, at its core, an attempt to capture the world’s attention. However, let’s give her motives the benefit of the doubt for a moment here—we all need attention in some way, and a lot of good deeds are done by people who thrive on public acclaim. Besides, there’s more to her attention-seeking than meets the eye

Saturn-So. Node (Gemini) oppose No. Node-GC (Galactic Center, Sagittarius). The Galactic Center (26°-27°Sag) is a massive black hole that has long been considered an important point, astrologically; in fact, it’s been specifically associated in astrologer Mandi Lockley’s research study with whistleblowing. In fact, the charts of many such individuals—including Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, Karen Silkwood and many others—feature aspects with this point. 

So considering this aspect in Manigault-Newman’s chart, it’s conceivable that she was “born” to the task of exposing corruption on high. Saturn’s presence even suggests that it’s her “duty” to do so, while the 3rd-9th house placement of the opposition reflects her use of the media and publishing in the process. 

Could a born whistleblower also be an attention hound? Why not? Whistleblowers aren’t always hailed as heroes, but they serve a critical purpose. In today’s case, Manigault-Newman is taking on a corrupt White House when the entire GOP Congress has its blinders on, hoping the issues simply go away. We don’t have to like her to appreciate how she’s drawing Trump’s fire on herself for the sake of exposing what she experienced in his administration. She is probably emboldened by the fact that her Aquarius Sun has progressed into Aries in the past couple years, at roughly the same time Trump’s Gemini Sun has progressed into Virgo. 

It’s no surprise that they don’t see eye-to-eye right now!

They've had better days.

The biwheel

At this point, let’s examine their astrological relationship a bit more deeply. Biwheel #2 below puts Trump’s nativity (inner wheel) against Manigualt-Newman’s (outer wheel). 

Biwheel #2: (inner wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, New York; (outer wheel) Omarosa Manigault-Newman, February 5, 1974, 10:54 p.m. DST, Youngstown, OH. Source:, rated AA. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

My goal here is not to pick apart every interaspect between their charts, but to get a sense of the ties that bind them, once as mentor and protégée, then as boss and aide, and now as enemy combatants. The ties are there, whether they’re mutually supportive or quite the opposite. In every relationship there are expectations between the parties (reciprocity, mutual advantages, freedom to express, lines that must not be crossed, power dynamics, etc.), projected emotions, shared dreams and/or delusions, as well as some kind of “meeting of the minds.” 

As we’ve been learning quite starkly lately, loyalty is one of Trump’s major expectations of everyone—and it certainly seems that he inspired that in Manigault-Newman early on, but then he has no trouble throwing his so-called “friends” under the bus, so reciprocity is not his strong suit.  In fact, a Washington Post opinion piece today says that Manigault-Newman is exposing Trump’s “deeply twisted view of loyalty.” It’s all one way, or not at all. Where will we see that tendency in these charts? 

In short, these are the “ties that bind” that we’ll quickly examine. 

Interchart Grand Air Trine: Manigault-Newman (MN) Sun-Jupiter (Aquarius) trine Trump Uranus-No. Node-Sun (Gemini) and MN Saturn-So. Node (Gemini), all of this trine Trump Jupiter (Libra). Despite a couple overly wide orbs here, this airy configuration has quite a robust flow. Here’s one strong indication that their thinking was, in general, richly compatible and interactive. Innovative ideas probably flowed freely when they were actively working together; in fact, it appears that MN’s thinking outstripped Trump’s, but there was also a power imbalance between them (that might account for the one-way “loyalty” issue), and she probably learned early on that he doesn’t welcome criticism. 

This point is seen in how MN Jupiter opposes Trump Mars-ASC (Leo). As long as the ideas flowed in a non-judgmental fashion, and things stayed “light” (air) between them, Trump found MN’s Aquarian brilliance and aggressive demeanor useful; however, he doesn’t share control unless it's to his advantage to do so (say, to avoid accountability), so the fixed energies in this aspect would put them at loggerheads. My guess is, with these fixed Aquarius energies and her added Taurus Mars and Leo Moon, MN can hold her own in the face of his fiery temper. Maybe he’s met his temperamental match? 

MN Venus (Capricorn) opposes Trump Saturn-Venus (Cancer). MN and Trump share similar, or at least complementary values, and this aspect probably explains in part why she considered him a “father figure” early on. Projection is a real possibility here: he had what she aspired to, at least in their Apprentice days. Her disenchantment with him may be as much about disappointed ambitions than anything—or because he just somehow fell off the pedestal of her admiration.

If he started to feel vulnerable or weak to her, (constantly touting a“victimization” narrative will do that), or if she sensed fear instead of competence in him, she would probably have little respect for it. All of these are quite possible, considering that transiting Pluto (Capricorn) is also widely opposing Trump’s Saturn-Venus at this time. It will catch up to her Venus as well, as the orb tightens—should be interesting!

MN Mercury (Pisces) trines Trump Mercury (Cancer). When MN says she was “deluded” into following Trump, this aspect probably lights up in response. It’s worth adding that both charts feature a Mercury-Neptune square: Trump’s (which disposes his entire Gemini stellium) falls in cardinal Cancer-Libra), and MN’s in disruptive, mutable Pisces-Sagittarius. This parallel is enhanced by MN’s Pluto conjoining Trump’s Neptune within a degree, and her Mercury quincunxing it. The Washington Post article cited earlier seems to capture the “entangled den of thieves” sense of all this really well:

“When the Omarosa tapes first started surfacing, Trump blasted his own former director of African American outreach as a “lowlife,” leading many to chortle that Trump had revealed his own bad judgment in hiring. But the better way to view this is that Trump hired her expecting at the outset that she would inevitably prove a lowlife who would turn on him at some point for a quick buck — because Trump thinks just about everyone is a lowlife and expects everyone to always sell each other out eventually.”
It would be unfair to judge Manigault-Newman’s motives and moral compass without a lot more evidence, but if the mental parallels between these two truly do run deep, it’s likely that she’s not willing to give her loyalty unconditionally, for nothing in return, and that may have been the breaking point between them. Besides, she's learned to play the Reality TV power-games he taught her fifteen years ago. Regardless of her motives, however, if Manigault-Newman succeeds in exposing true corruption in the Trump White House, she will deserve credit. 

She is not going to be treated kindly in the process, like so many other whistleblowers, but despite all the legal weapons at his disposal, Trump may not be able to easily hush her up and discard her. There will be no unhearing the recordings that she is releasing one by one. The question will be, what's next?
Our Congress should have such guts!!

Aretha Franklin, 1942-2018…Forever our Queen of Soul”
            a sign on the Fox Theater marquis, Detroit, 8/16/2018

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.