Monday, June 10, 2019

Gathering forces: planetary cycles echo in times of impeachment

Richard Nixon's parting salute upon resigning in Aug. 1974.

Among the wonkier features of our mundane astrological times is the fact that the transiting nodal axis (the polarity, now traversing Cancer-Capricorn, created by the two points where the Moon’s orbital path and the Sun’s ecliptic intersect) has been tracking very closely with Pluto’s transit over its heliocentric south node at 21-+Capricorn. 

This convergence alone explains why so many issues surfacing in the news these days carry a “do or die” sensibility, but Saturn’s added presence in this Capricorn gathering intensifies things even further. “Normal” challenges become oppressive doomsday scenarios; the always rocky state of affairs in D.C. descends into a sordid tour of the Underworld. The situation feels so different from anything this nation has gone through, but in truth, we've been here before, in more ways than one.

Even so, today's political climate is extra disturbing: our very humanity seems to be up for grabs, as poorly accounted for numbers of asylum-seeking individuals (including children) have been abused and/or have died at the southern border in U.S. detention. Rather than directly tackle that toxic mess with some kind of compassion, however, Trump chose to threaten tariffs on Mexico because they aren’t doing something about it. To add insult to injury, he simultaneously cut funds that were making some scant services to detained immigrant children possible. From
“The Trump administration is canceling English classes, recreational programs and legal aid for unaccompanied minors staying in federal migrant shelters nationwide, saying the immigration influx at the southern border has created critical budget pressures.
The Office of Refugee Resettlement has begun discontinuing the funding stream for activities — including soccer — that have been deemed ‘not directly necessary for the protection of life and safety, including education services, legal services, and recreation,’ said Department of Health and Human Services spokesman Mark Weber.”

Aside from the breathtaking venality at work here, by cutting legal aid to migrants, the Trump administration is chipping away at the likelihood that their asylum cases will eventually succeed in the courts. IMHO, using money as a pretext for choking off the already meager amenities allowed to immigrant detainees is simply heinous, especially as the Trump children return from their overseas boondoggle in Britain, and Trump plans a big July 4th celebration for himself.  

The Trump children posing in front of a "No Picture-taking" sign.

Meanwhile, his administration, with the help of complicit Justice and Homeland Security departments, has built an authoritarian apparatus around the issue of immigration, and immigrants aren’t the only ones being oppressed in the process.  Scott Warren is an American who, acting under the auspices of No More Deaths, offered humanitarian aid to two undocumented migrants who found themselves in dire straits crossing the Mexican desert. Warren was arrested by U.S. authorities and now faces three felony charges this week for his compassionate actions. He’s potentially looking at 20 years in prison, so if he’s convicted, we know that we’ve descended into the worst kind of inhumane police state.

Unfortunately, Saturn-Pluto at Pluto’s helio south node may enable this descent, for now. The question we will be forced to confront is, do we really want such wholesale cruelty to define us as a nation? 

Such heavy Saturn-Pluto times demand that we make structural and systemic choices, and those choices may haunt us for a very long time if we don’t get them right. Do we want a society based on the (small “d”) democratic rule of law, in which no person is above the law, or do we want a quasi-monarchical Chief Executive-centered regime? The chair of the RNC recently said that Trump’s plans to speak at the Lincoln Memorial on July 4th are fine because it should be a “day to celebrate our president.” Really? Isn’t it the nation—all of Us—that was given birth on July 4th, 1776? 

Perhaps we’re seeing a sliver of hope, however: despite the fact that the horrors at the border are framed by Trump as a sort of enemy invasion—instead of the humanitarian crises they are—some Republicans have been speaking out against Trump’s prospective tariffs, arguing that trade and immigration are distinct policy areas and are better kept separated. Their objections are understandable: members of Congress answer to the consumers, farmers and other producers who stand to lose with new tariffs (which are essentially added taxes).  

Does this mean the GOP-led Senate will actually overturn Trump’s plans at the border? As it happens, late breaking news indicates that Trump now claims to have struck a “deal” with Mexico that makes the tariffs unnecessary, for now.  According to the New York Times, however, it’s likely that this deal is nothing new—its main negotiating points were decided months ago. So was Trump’s brinkmanship just a show?  Keeping the threat of tariffs alive is Trump’s choice of leverage strategies, and diplomacy by threat seems to be his modus operandi. 

An army of invaders?

Not surprisingly, this approach also expresses toxic Saturn-Pluto to a tee, especially with Saturn in stern Capricorn, but naturally exalted in diplomatic Libra. 

So what’s going on here astrologically? 

A quick peek at Trump’s nativity (see inner wheel, Biwheel #1) explains why the “trade and immigration are separate issues” argument just doesn’t wash with him: his protectionist Saturn-Venus conjunction in Cancer perfectly reflects how deeply his financial and security anxieties are enmeshed and how they feed on each other, and now, that natal vulnerability is being opposed by transiting Saturn-Pluto.  

In fact, Pluto’s helio north node always conjoins his Cancer Saturn-Venus, perhaps accounting for Trump’s general zero-sum mentality (if someone else benefits, it must mean he loses). We’ll have more to say about this ahead—clearly, this would also account for his punitive approach to getting what he wants.
In his brilliant study of Pluto’s transit over its helio south node, Michael Lutin[1] points to how this transit subverts humanitarian instincts, replacing them with survival-of-the-fittest dynamics. It’s no surprise with this that Trump’s own personal survival, both financial and emotional, ranks over all other concerns for him. It was shocking to hear him claim that former FBI director James Comey and others should be prosecuted for treason—potentially punishable by death—for having opened an investigation into the Trump campaign as part of its investigation of Russia’s election meddling, but given Pluto’s opposition to his Cancer points, we shouldn’t be too surprised. Survival of the fittest means just what it says—the less powerful (the unfit) are in peril. 

But humanity has learned to transcend such raw truisms: using collective power to outweigh the savagery of bullies is what democracy is all about!

A protest in Times Square (NYC), staged to protect Mueller's investigation.

Status determines the odds for survival for those with a social Darwinist worldview, so clawing one’s way to the top and kicking others off the ladder below is just all in a day’s work. Not a pleasant world to inhabit, but that’s the world as social Darwinists see it. We might notice parallels with the no-holds-barred corporate mindset (Capricorn approves) that brought us economic globalization and corporate mega-mergers, as well: in this case, the bottom line = status = survival. 

This doesn’t mean that corporations can’t play a positive role in societies—they can individually, and in fact, the “higher angels” of Capricorn might also support human scale enterprises that enrich and uplift our communities. Unfortunately, the many ways in which corporations have appropriated the reins of our government makes this very difficult. This is a much more complicated story for another day, but the Cancer-Capricorn dynamics we’ve been discussing clearly apply.  

The genesis of Trump's political career?

Even under less stressful transiting times, the Cancer-Capricorn axis seems to play a key role in emotional fear-mongering episodes that place individuals in jeopardy to satisfy someone else’s fears and/or biases (let’s face it, biases are almost always fear-based). Consider the fact that Trump contributed powerfully to the wrongful conviction of one Hispanic and four African-American teenagers in the controversial 1989 Central Park Five jogger rape case. Significantly, to this day, he has offered no apologies for the almost “mob”-like media fire he started with four full page newspaper ads calling for the death penalty for these young men—before they had even come to trial! 

From Duvernay's When They See Us (2019).

This story is recounted in director Ava Duvernay’s recent Netflix docudrama, When They See Us. The prosecutions of the accused young men involved blatant travesties of justice, reminiscent of the Jim Crow south and its horrible violent legacy against minorities. Even though DNA tests didn’t corroborate the accusations against them (and later figured into exonerating them when the man whose DNA matched confessed), the NY prosecutor in charge of their cases, Linda Fairstein, wouldn’t back off. Crime rates in New York were high at the time and she was reportedly determined to see that someone went to jail. 

As it turned out, the five teens each spent between 6 to 13 years in prison for a crime they didn’t commit, and Fairstein has also declined to apologize for her mishandling of their cases.

Trump's ads pushing the death penalty for 5 teens bought him lots of attention.

This case also involved a prominent Cancer-Capricorn axis: the noon chart for the publication of Trump’s full page ads regarding this case (outer wheel, Biwheel #1 below) featured a Chiron-Mars conjunction in early Cancer, opposite Uranus-Vesta-Neptune-Saturn between 5°-14° degrees Capricorn. The fear-based desire for shocking physical punishment is clear here—truth was optional (Neptune). The impulse to protect one’s own at the expense of others is powerful and primal, befitting the cardinal, Moon- and Saturn-ruled nature of Cancer-Capricorn. 

The April 19, 1989 attack on Trisha Meili, the so-called Central Park jogger, was extraordinarily vicious and shocking, no doubt, and it’s no wonder the public clamored for immediate answers. But the police and prosecutors rushed to conclusions that savaged five mens’ lives, and that wasn’t acceptable either. It probably also didn’t help the accused teens that Pluto was in vindictive Scorpio that day. The five teens were handy scapegoats—justice was missing in action.

Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 am DST, Jamaica, NY; (outer wheel) Trump Central Park Five Ad, May 1, 1989 12:00 pm DST (noon chart, no exact time known), New York, NY (source: Wikipedia report). Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

So what can we tell here about why Trump decided to use provocative newspaper ads to whip up public fervor against the “Central Park 5?” Aside from his natural tendency to use media in shocking ways (Sun-Uranus conjunct in Gemini), notice that Trump’s Cancer connections (inner wheel, above) to the “cause” he took on with his death penalty ads are clear: his Mercury conjoins the outer wheel’s Mars-Chiron and opposes the event Uranus-Vesta-Neptune-Saturn. With Mercury disposing his Gemini Sun-Node-Uranus, however, he clearly had an ego investment in the Central Park Five case.

In fact, adding a bit of ego/emotional grist to this picture is Trump’s Progressed Sun (not shown), at 3°+Leo and his Progressed Moon at 20°+Cancer—applying to his Saturn-Venus conjunction, when all this happened. He was in attention-seeking mode (Leo) and his emotional demeanor radiated concern for security and protection. He was poised to create an authoritative public “voice” for himself, using public protection as his hook. 

Why wouldn’t he? The Central Park Five case became a vehicle for the political “coming of age” that he was navigating during that decade, which turned out to be one of the most significant for his career as a media personality. His book, Art of the Deal, came out in 1987, he registered as a Republican that same year (although he switched parties after that) and supported George H. W. Bush’s campaign. Perhaps it’s not coincidental that his then-wife Ivana secured her U.S. citizenship during election year 1988. He made some high-profile media appearances during this time (Letterman, Oprah, etc.), as well, and gained considerable celebrity. 

Early Trump-Letterman interview.

Flashing forward, and having seen him in action for over 2 years as president, it’s easy to suspect that gaining celebrity was his goal at that timenot only for those media appearances, but also for the cruel ads he published, whipping up public fervor against the teens wrongly accused of the Central Park crime. Was it just a coincidence that the teens happened to be Black and Hispanic? Not likely. 

Consider that on June 16, 2015—the day he came down that fateful escalator to announce his presidential campaign—he returned to the theme that helped launch his media career in 1989, this time accusing Mexicans in general of being rapists and killers. As we’ve seen, acting on that accusation has been a major focus of his presidency, not just his campaign. 

Pluto (Capricorn) was transiting opposite his natal Mercury (Cancer) that day: his harsh “smashmouth” style had acquired a deadly Plutonian edge because real power over people’s lives was potentially at stake in his words. And, although some media outlets tried to downplay the seriousness of his rhetoric and veiled threats, the tragically inhumane situation created by his anti-immigration policies at our southern border proves that he was deadly serious. 

Interestingly, Pluto had by June, 2015 taken up the same position as the Saturn-Neptune conjunction we see in the chart for the Central Park ads (outer wheel, Biwheel #1). The brutally slanderous message and rhetorical style he used in those 1989 ads were basically carried forward into his presidential campaign, where the stakes were even higher. 


Trump railing against Pelosi in France's D-Day Cemetery.

He can hand it out, but can he take it?

This past June 5th, the Washington Post reported that, in a meeting with Democratic House committee leaders discussing the topic of impeaching Donald Trump, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said “I don’t want to see him impeached. I want to see him in prison.”  Needless to say, Trump’s been striking back at Pelosi for this comment ever since—even using a Fox interview on the usually sacred grounds of the American D-Day cemetery in France to viciously attack her from all angles. We can always tell when he fears a powerful woman—a tendency that’s also built into that thin-skinned Saturn-Venus conjunction of his—his remarks become very personal, as though his goal is to embarrass the woman for being strong. 

With him, strong women who don’t simply accept everything he does (Pelosi), or who ask hard questions (i.e., journalists Megyn Kelly and Mika Brzezinski) are “nasty,” “disgusting,” “not very talented,” “a horrible person,” and so on. Or, they’re “bleeding” out of some orifice—not much mystery about the misogyny in that one! How appropriate for a Cancer conjunction—the Moon rules the reproductive function!  

Pelosi, on the other hand, is not likely to be intimidated by Trump’s juvenile “shock jock” misogyny—if anything, it will strengthen her hand with the Democratic caucus. Considering the still very likely possibility that the Mueller Report does contain evidence that Trump committed actual obstruction of justice crimes, it’s no wonder that 61 House Democrats and 1 Republican now favor beginning impeachment proceedings against him. Public opinion polls have been gradually moving in that direction, as well, as the contents of the Mueller Report begin to sink in.

Speaker Pelosi remains firm about slow-walking impeachment.

Still, Pelosi wants a slow, deliberative process that would avoid the pitfalls experienced with Bill Clinton’s 1998 impeachment. It’s not hard to imagine Senate Republicans daring her to proceed with impeachment because it will be DOA once it gets to them. So it’s understandable that her preference is for proceedings that resemble the 1974 impeachment hearings that led to Richard Nixon’s resignation—getting the truth out to the American public in such hearings might just make the critical difference. Pelosi says she “respects the impatience” of those who are eager to proceed with impeachment, but she is determined to allow this very complex process to unfold more carefully. 

It’s hard to say how serious Pelosi is about wanting to see Trump in prison (did she just say that to appease impeachment boosters?), but clearly her preference would be for the electorate to simply vote Trump out in 2020. Those who fear that an election won’t solve the problem argue, however, that we’ve seen one dirty, manipulated election already, so what would prevent another one from happening? And what would prevent him from simply refusing to honor the results, claiming that the election was “rigged” against him? These arguments probably hold merit: Trump would be in hyper-defensive mode and we’ve seen how that goes. 

So what does the astrology say about this impeachment quandary?  First, some historical context: on October, 1973, Nixon made some fateful moves that turned the Watergate scandal into a full-blown impeachment inquiry. From Wikipedia:

“The Saturday Night Massacre is the name popularly applied[1] to the series of events that took place in the United States on the evening of Saturday, October 20, 1973, during the Watergate scandal. U.S. President Richard Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox; Richardson refused and resigned effective immediately. Nixon then ordered Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to fire Cox; Ruckelshaus refused, and also resigned. Nixon then ordered the third-most-senior official at the Justice Department, Solicitor General Robert Bork, to fire Cox. Bork considered resigning, but did as Nixon asked. The political and public reactions to Nixon's actions were negative and highly damaging to the president. A new special counsel was appointed eleven days later on November 1, 1973,[2] and on November 14, 1973, a court ruled that the dismissal had been illegal.[3][4]
Recalling all this clarifies why the prospect of Trump firing then-FBI Director James Comey in 2017 because he wouldn’t stop the Russia investigation, and then months later attempting to get others in the Justice Department to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller (see the Mueller report—it’s all in there), are considered such serious abuses of Executive power.  

The day that changed everything for the Nixon presidency.

Following the shock of Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre,” the impeachment process against Nixon was officially approved by the full House of Representatives on February 6, 1974¸ but the actual impeachment hearings didn’t launch until May 9, 1974. The hearings gripped television audiences over that turbulent summer and convinced not only a majority of the public, but several Republicans in the Senate that Nixon was guilty of the charges laid against him in the Articles of Impeachment of July 27, 1974.

This gives us several milestones to consider astrologically, but trying to analyze any multi-staged process requires a focus not just on specific milestone moments, but also on the planetary cycle dynamics during that overall span of events. For today’s analysis, we’ll focus especially on the Saturn-Pluto cycle, the two energies most likely to hold a national leader accountable for crimes. It’s a notable echo with today’s situation that the Nodal Axis was also tracking closely with transiting Saturn when Nixon was under impeachment. As we’ve seen, the Saturn-Pluto cycle is already challenging Trump. Let’s see how it played out from the beginning to the end of the Nixon impeachment process. Please see Biwheel #2 below. 

Biwheel #2: (inner wheel) Richard M. Nixon, January 9, 1913, 9:35 pm ST, Whittier, CA (rated A); (outer wheel) Nixon Impeachment open, February 6, 1974, 12:00 pm DST (noon chart, no exact time known), Washington, D.C. (source: Wikipedia report). Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

Impeachment Saturn Rx-South Node (Gemini) conjoin Nixon Pluto Rx (Gemini) and opposes Nixon Mars-Mercury-Jupiter (Sagittarius-Capricorn). If we factor in the square to Nixon’s Eris (Pisces) by the Gemini-Sagittarius points here, we can consider this a volatile, change-producing mutable t-square. Clearly, Nixon’s Power-writ-large was being challenged by Saturn’s pass over his 10th house Gemini Pluto. He lost his quest to keep certain incriminating evidence (the so-called Watergate tapes) from Congress, thus revealing his abuses of Executive power. 

The oppositions to his more personal planets—Mars, Mercury and Jupiter—were probably equally stressful. Notice that the oppositions to his Mercury and Jupiter would only tighten as Saturn continued into Cancer (April 1974). 

Saturn is clearly playing an important role here: Impeachment Saturn Rx quincunxes Nixon Saturn Rx (Taurus), which would have frustrated his attempts to impose authority. Note that he would have experienced his 2nd Saturn return during the year prior to his 1972 re-election. People tend to make choices for how they want to proceed into the second half of their lives during this return, and he apparently made some unfortunate ones. 

One of these included his gambit to undermine and attack his Democratic opposition known as the Watergate scandal. The actual break-in and burglary of the Watergate Hotel offices of the Democratic campaign headquarters, the attack at the heart of the scandal, took place on June 17, 1972, with Saturn (12°+Gemini) transiting Nixon's Saturn-Pluto midpoint (13°+Gemini) and Pluto (Virgo) transiting opposite Nixon’s natal Pluto (Gemini). He was, indeed, making powerfully abusive and fateful choices in those times.  

The 5 Watergate burglars were convicted and imprisoned.

If you’ve never paid attention to the details of the Watergate break-in, the parallels with Russia’s interference in our Election 2016 are stunning, extending to an actual attack on the Democratic National Committee. The key difference is that in Nixon’s case, there was no foreign involvement and the individuals actually responsible for the Watergate break-in were eventually prosecuted and imprisoned. We haven’t quite gotten there with the 2016 instance, despite some indictments by Mueller. 

IMHO, it’s tempting to wonder whether bringing in foreign involvement with connections that are hard-to-substantiate and prosecute was a way of circumventing prosecution by all concerned. Needless to say, this is why the facts need to be made available to Congress. 

Notice that Saturn and Pluto in the Impeachment chart are a mere few degrees from entering the final square of their cycle, which launched in 1947 at 13°+Leo—we’ll see how that fact impacted the rest of the impeachment process in 1974, especially with Impeachment Pluto (Libra) tracking with Nixon’s Nodal Axis (Aries-Libra). Astrologically, Nixon was “caught red-handed” by a series of events that he, himself set in motion, and the Cosmos was poised to hold him accountable. Interestingly, he took only partial responsibility for his actions in the end and claimed in his final speech that he was resigning for the sake of the nation

Needless to say, that nation was reeling from the sequence of events set off by Nixon and his Watergate operatives. Because the nation itself was so implicated, let’s very briefly consider the chart for his resignation against his nativity and the U.S. Sibly chart in Triwheel #1 below. We’ll focus primarily on how key planetary cycles impacted the course of events. 

Triwheel #1: (inner wheel) USA-Sibly chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (middle wheel) Richard M. Nixon, January 9, 1913, 9:35 pm ST, Whittier, CA (rated A); (outer wheel) Nixon resigns, August 9, 1974, 11:35 am DST (news report), Washington, D.C. (source: Wikipedia report). Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

Resignation Saturn (Cancer) conjoins Sibly Sun (Cancer), squares Sibly Saturn (Libra), Resignation Uranus/Pluto (midpoint, Libra), and widely squares Resignation Pluto (Libra). Surprising shifts in power dynamics were afoot that had deep systemic implications for our democratic checks and balances. Both Executive power (Sibly Sun) and Congress (Sibly Saturn) are seriously challenged by the squares from Resignation Saturn; what’s interesting is that Nixon himself emerged relatively unscathed. Resignation Venus-MC (Cancer) conjoined Sibly Mercury and opposed Nixon Sun-Juno (Capricorn)—he was allowed a dignified exit, and after a time, he was pardoned (controversially) by his successor, Gerald Ford, from any criminal prosecutions that might have been launched.

Nixon told the nation he was resigning for the sake of the nation.
Despite that largesse on Ford’s part, it took the nation quite awhile to heal from the impact of Nixon’s corrupt presidency; notice that Resignation Chiron (Aries) also fell square the Cancer-Capricorn axis noted above—at the same time it was “returning” to Sibly Chiron, an apt reflection of the wounding and healing journey the nation was experiencing. 

Resignation Eris (Aries) ties into the stressful squares noted above, squaring Sibly Sun-Resignation Saturn and opposing Sibly Saturn-Resignation Uranus/Pluto midpoint. We won’t rehash what all this means, except to say that disruptive Eris throws every situation she touches into a chaotic, potentially volatile mess, so she’s one to watch if and when an impeachment inquiry is begun regarding the Trump presidency.  

Eris will fall opposite Trump’s Saturn-Venus from 24°+Aries on Election Day 2020 (chart not shown), triggering Sibly Pluto and squaring Election Saturn-Pluto (still conjunct in Capricorn). 
So the fight for power and influence is likely to be ferocious and Trump will undoubtedly be in the eye of that storm. Speaker Pelosi’s confidence that Trump can be ousted electorally may eventually pan out (this chart is a serious discussion for another day), but we can expect a monumental fight and multiple distractions designed to obstruct. What else is new, right?!

Parallel challenges

Trump is now experiencing similar stresses to his natal chart as the ones we saw above in Nixon’s chart in 1973-4, although some factors are admittedly different. As touched upon, Saturn and Pluto (Capricorn) have been transiting opposite Trump’s Saturn-Venus (Cancer) for some time now; Uranus (Taurus) is now also squaring Trump’s Pluto (Leo) and Neptune (Pisces) is now squaring his Gemini-Sagittarius axis (Sun-No. Node-Uranus opposite Moon-So. Node). 

Trump has benefited from the nebulous, Neptunian nature of some of the evidence gathered by the Mueller team—i.e., it was impossible to nail down any intentional cooperation between Trump and company and the Russians, even though it’s crystal clear to our Intelligence officials that the Russians attacked our election in a myriad of ways for his benefit

Trump’s decision to totally stonewall Congressional subpoenas and to try to control every piece of information that’s handed over by anyone smacks of both Saturnian obstruction and a Neptunian cover-up—transparency is clearly not his goal here, and it seems that he’s willing to subvert any and all Constitutional norms in the process.   

Uranus may have a few surprises up its cosmic sleeves, and squaring Trump’s Pluto it could impact his ability to wield power. It remains to be seen how Trump will handle any serious upsets: his basic nature is heavily Uranian (Sun conjoins Uranus) and he’s pretty adept at flipping other people’s attacks back against them. Why else would the DOJ now be “investigating the investigators?” Even so, it’s possible that this square to Trump’s Pluto and the added Uranus inconjunct to Trump’s Neptune (Libra) could make his typical jiu-jitsu play a bit clumsy, if not impossible. That won’t change his cries of victimhood, however: with a 12th house Pluto, he might be at a loss if his “enemies” weren’t out to get him! 

Importantly, both Nixon and Trump have natal connections with Pluto’s helio nodes (21°+ Cancer-Capricorn): Nixon’s Sun-Neptune opposition (Capricorn-Cancer) fell conjunct this axis, which may well account for his decision to direct others to commit crimes for the sake of his 1972 re-election campaign, and to then cover-up the whole affair. Trump’s natal Saturn-Venus conjunction (Cancer) falls at the north end of this nodal axis, and as we discussed earlier, heavy transits by Saturn and Pluto are now bringing that natal connection to life.

Journalist Bill Moyers announces the Articles of Impeachment passed by Congress.
For the sake of realizing just how closely 1970s history is tracking with today's concerns about the Trump presidency, here are the Nixon Articles of Impeachment, as passed by Congress on July 24, 1974. From Wikipedia:

"On July 27, 1974, the Committee voted 27–11 to recommend the first article of impeachment against the president: obstruction of justice.[93][94] The Committee then recommended the second article, abuse of power, on July 29, 1974.[95] The next day, on July 30, 1974, the Committee recommended the third article: contempt of Congress.[97]
Article I alleged in part:
On June 17, 1972, and prior thereto, agents of the Committee for the Re-election of the President committed unlawful entry of the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, District of Columbia, for the purpose of securing political intelligence. Subsequent thereto, Richard M. Nixon, using the powers of his high office, engaged personally and through his close subordinates and agents, in a course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede, and obstruct the investigation of such illegal entry; to cover up, conceal and protect those responsible; and to conceal the existence and scope of other unlawful covert activities.[98]
Article II alleged in part that Nixon:
repeatedly engaged in conduct violating the constitutional rights of citizens, impairing the due and proper administration of justice and the conduct of lawful inquiries, or contravening the laws governing agencies of the executive branch and the purposes of these agencies.[98]
Article III alleged in part that Nixon:
failed without lawful cause or excuse to produce papers and things as directed by duly authorized subpoenas issued by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives on April 11, 1974, May 15, 1974, May 30, 1974, and June 24, 1974, and willfully disobeyed such subpoenas.[98]"
What goes around comes around, it seems: Trump's possible obstruction of justice, abuse of power and contempt of Congress are all issues being investigated at this moment by Congress. 

In both the Nixon and Trump cases, the damage to U.S. society from their leadership has been very real, and we’re not likely to see the end to the most recent damage for awhile, given that Pluto will continue beyond its transit over its helio south node to hit a few more key milestones: its conjunction (and new cycle with) Saturn in January, 2020; its conjunction with Jupiter in April, 2020, and its exact return to its radix position in the U.S. Sibly chart in February, 2022.

Simply put, as a nation we are caught in the undertow of a heavy, but ultimately (we hope) redemptive Plutonian passage. It’s also significant that Chiron is now transiting Aries again, as it was in 1974, and although it’s in the early degrees of that sign, we could see a similar wounding/healing experience on the horizon as Trump’s likely impeachment proceeds.

The 9/29/17 post here explored Pluto’s significant transit over its helio south node much more thoroughly, but it’s worth repeating a couple passages from astrologer Michael Lutin’s brilliant study on the topic (see Note #1) for our purposes here.

“A complete re-organisation and re-examination of government on the world, global, corporate and personal level in your own job is being stirred. A revolutionary spirit is occurring as well as the effort to suppress it…This position and motion oddly happens to coincide with the abnormal shift in political and military alliances.”  

Lutin stops short of claiming that these developments will “cause” social upheaval (very controversial topic, he says), but he does say that “Profit, control and personal survival in many cases come before humanity and it’s happening right now.” This certainly fits what we’re experiencing with Trump, but even if it didn’t, Lutin’s interpretation would be particularly true since Pluto’s south node is also conjunct the 1993 Uranus-Neptune cycle point of 19°+Capricorn—globalization and its discontents are in Pluto’s sites, plain and simple.

It’s fair to say that Trump rode the wave of these discontents into power by railing against global trade agreements and immigrants, and by threatening to shift our alliances. These discontents have given a great deal of leverage internationally to extreme right-wing forces, and we haven’t seen the end of this trend yet.

Perhaps most disturbingly, but quite relevantly, Lutin also says,

“There are no political certainties at this time…Pluto in Capricorn will eventually prove to have been about the search for just and proper leadership; or, a frightening grab for money and absolute authoritarian control over others.” 

In a democracy, any president who puts him- or herself above the law is by definition making that “frightening grab;” Nixon tried it and failed, and Trump is still testing the limits of our system and his own power. Unfortunately the global context is very different between these two cases, so while there are parallels, there are distinct differences as well. 

Will Trump be able to continue defying the combined force of Saturn and Pluto and that wonky helio nodal axis that ultimately held Nixon accountable? 

Stay tuned! 

1Michael Lutin, “When Pluto goes south…does the whole world have to follow?” The Astrological Journal, Vol. 59, No. 5, September/October 2017, London, UK, pp. 20-23.

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