Monday, August 5, 2019

Unleashing the Furies: the astrology of ending the U.S.-Russia INF Treaty

"It is such a supreme folly to think that nuclear weapons are deadly only if they are used." --Arundhati Roy

"Nearly all men can withstand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." -- Abraham Lincoln

"I think, for me, nuclear is just the power, the devastation is very important to me." --Donald Trump

As I begin this post, the U.S.-Russia INF Treaty is officially a thing of the past, its cancellation first signaled when the Trump administration announced last October that it would be letting the treaty expire this August 2nd. Trump justified this action, claiming that Russia has been violating the treaty since 2013 by producing a prohibited ground-based cruise missile system. Even so, it seems that for the sake of “modernization,” the  administration is glad to find the exit, and Russia quickly followed suit. According to the Washington Post

“The United States plans to test a new missile in coming weeks that would have been prohibited under a landmark, 32-year-old arms control treaty that the U.S. and Russia ripped up on Friday.
Washington and Moscow walked out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty that President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed in 1987, raising fears of a new arms race. The U.S. blamed Moscow for the death of the treaty. It said that for years Moscow has been developing and fielding weapons that violate the treaty and threaten the United States and its allies, particularly in Europe.”

Of course, Russian leader Vladimir Putin blames the U.S. for the end of the treaty, but he’s not complaining—Trump’s actions have liberated both sides to expand and upgrade nuclear arsenals, and it’s expected that Trump (if re-elected) will also pull out of the 2010 New START agreement with Russia (negotiated under Obama). This pull out will basically end arms control as we’ve known it, which is a very troubling prospect on so many levels. It’s especially concerning for European nations who have relied on such treaties to rein in Russian ambitions.

Putin troubled over Trump walking away from the INF?

For starters, are we supposed to believe that the Trump administration is punishing Russia by basically killing arms control? Europe is feeling intimidated (Putin's okay with that), Russia is now free to strut its stuff as a major nuclear power again (no problem with that)--the BBC reported in October 2018 when Trump announced the U.S. pull-out that Putin even "joked about nuclear Armageddon." So Trump's moves are more likely enabling Russian ambitions than restricting them, and in fact, we’ve seen evidence of that in Turkey just recently, with Moscow beginning to send them a new missile defense system it developed. Again, the Washington Post

“The S-400, also known within NATO as the SA-21 Growler, has advanced radars and isn’t compatible with alliance technology. Its deployment in Turkey would mark a further advance in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to engineer a bigger role in the Middle East. Chief among U.S. concerns is that the Russian system could be used to collect intelligence on the stealth capabilities of the U.S. F-35 fighter jet that Turkey is buying and has helped to build.” 
Despite U.S. objections, however, Turkey has apparently decided to hold firm, complaining that it has “lost trust in the U.S. because of disagreements on multiple fronts.” Turkey has been flexing its geopolitical muscle in the Middle East, and Russia is happy to step into the void left by the Trump administration’s on-again-off-again friendship. This is a long story for another day, but suffice to say here, it’s relevant. 

Astrologically, the timing of Trump’s decision to walk away from decades of nuclear diplomacy is significant, and it definitely pings with history in ways that should be a wake-up call from nuclear complacency

Of course, the key planetary cycle that we would look to for nuclear geopolitics is Saturn-Pluto, and this duo will be hovering within range of a waning conjunction between now and January, 2020, when they launch a new cycle at 22°+Capricorn. The New START treaty will still be in force at that time (it expires in 2021), unless something happens to overturn it before then—we shouldn’t take anything for granted.

Nuclear weaponry and power is far from a two-sided issue.

Truth is, we’ve probably become quite complacent about these arms treaties keeping us safer from nuclear proliferation, and like they say, you don’t know what you’re missing until it’s gone! Foreign Policy contributor Sarah Bidgood argues that Trump “just accidentally triggered global nuclear proliferation” by killing the INF treaty:

“U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to throw out the rulebook instead of trying to enforce it greases the wheels for a return to U.S.-Russian nuclear arms racing—with potentially dire consequences for international security.
But there is another outcome of the end of INF Treaty that is less examined and no less dangerous: It will undermine global efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons to countries that don’t yet have them.” 

In an article that’s well worth a look, she goes on to list the many ways the INF treaty was designed for that prevention – and she emphasizes the importance of keeping the New START treaty intact, as well. What’s to stop nations like China, Iran, North Korea and Pakistan from ramping up their nuclear capabilities if arms control is a thing of the past? The inevitable threat of Trump sanctions? Hardly a substitute for skilled diplomacy focused on mutual cooperation and international security. Trump’s reliance on sanctions to solve all problems and throw U.S. weight around is getting old for everyone (especially with China—a story for another day!). 

And if Trump thinks he can rage-bully other nations into compliance (remember those incendiary tweets to Kim-Jong Un?), he’s probably wrong. The rage routine may play well to his base (America’s tough), but the more he rages, the more other nations will want to build up their defenses—how could they not? Then Trump is left in the awkward position he found himself in recently, having to defend North Korea’s most recent missile launches.

A famous "friendship," but how does it help nuclear policy?.

His so-called “friendship” with Kim Jong-Un has done little to curtail North Korean nuclear development, so he’s choosing to downplay Kim’s actions and say that Kim “wouldn’t want to let him down.” Who knows what is going on behind the scenes with those two, but that response to a nuclear security issue is frankly ridiculous.  From

“The Associated Press reported that North Korea called the tests a ‘solemn warning’ targeted at ‘South Korean military warmongers.’ Though Pyongyang pointedly avoided calling out the U.S., the test of ‘a new type of tactical guided weapon’ came as the U.S. and South Korea planned to hold joint military drills in the region.
But the president brushed off those concerns, as well, asserting that they weren’t his problem.
‘Well, he didn’t say a warning to the United States, I can tell you that. He didn’t send a warning to the United States,’ he said, pointing out that North and South Korea have had disputes ‘for a long time.’
‘But he didn’t say that, but they’re short range missiles — and very standard missiles,’ he concluded.”

So, not Trump’s problem—really?!  So much for defending our allies (Japan, So. Korea) in that region. We might wonder what exactly Trump conceded to Kim in return for those glowing photo ops at the North Korean border.

We might also wonder if the end of the INF Treaty was a mutually-agreed upon concession between Trump and Russia. For all our differences, the U.S. and Russia used to be partners in negotiating sane, responsible international nuclear safeguards; now it seems that Trump and Putin see nuclear proliferation as a lucrative opportunity to expand arsenals and market them to other nations. 

European nations fear that Putin has expansionary ambitions—Ukraine continues to suffer the brunt of those, the Baltic nations are in an ongoing state of high alert, and Norway has been fending off Russian electronic interference into its military systems for years now. By walking away and not trying to enforce Russian compliance in the INF treaty, Trump certainly isn’t standing up for our NATO allies, so what signal is he sending to Russia here? Clear as mud, and that should be concerning.

When tensions were high about Ukraine, U.S. and Russia conducted nuclear drills.

Let’s keep that question in mind as we examine the astrological history of the INF treaty. We’ll start with a quick look at the charts for its signing on December 8, 1987, at 1:45 pm at the White House (Chart #1), and for its demise today, August 2, 2019, at 0:00 hours (Chart #2). We will then compare the two at more length in Biwheel #1. 

The INF Treaty 

In retrospect, we can probably argue that this critically important treaty represented a major step towards the end of the U.S.-U.S.S.R. post-WWII Cold War. Wikipedia sums up its tenets and impact as follows:

“The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty, formally Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles; Russian: Договор о ликвидации ракет средней и меньшей дальности / ДРСМД, Dogovor o likvidatsiy raket sredney i menshey dalnosti / DRSMD) was an arms control treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union (and its successor state, the Russian Federation). U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev signed the treaty on 8 December 1987.[1][2] The United States Senate approved the treaty on 27 May 1988, and Reagan and Gorbachev ratified it on 1 June 1988.[2][3]
The INF Treaty banned all of the two nations' land-based ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and missile launchers with ranges of 500–1,000 kilometers (310–620 mi) (short medium-range) and 1,000–5,500 km (620–3,420 mi) (intermediate-range). The treaty did not apply to air- or sea-launched missiles.[4][5] By May 1991, the nations had eliminated 2,692 missiles, followed by 10 years of on-site verification inspections.[6]

Short and intermediate range nuclear missiles warranted this type of agreement because our NATO allies felt threatened by the Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal and geographical proximity. At that time, U.S. foreign policy fully embraced the defense of our NATO allies, so talks officially began regarding these concerns at the end of November 1981, with Ronald Reagan in the White House. In the late degrees of diplomatic Libra, Saturn and Pluto were nearing the end of their 1945 cycle at that time (official in November 1982).  

This is key because today’s Saturn and Pluto positions are wrapping up that 1982 cycle and they are doing so square Saturn-Pluto’s position at the beginning of the INF talks. 

When the talks began on November 30, 1981, the outer planets fell as follows: Jupiter - 0°+Scorpio; Saturn - 19°+Libra; Uranus - 0°+Sagittarius; Neptune - 23°+Sagittarius; Pluto - 25°+Libra. Jupiter made an “out-of-sign” conjunction with Pluto here and would be disposed by Pluto for the ensuing two years, reinforcing the power of diplomacy. 

And for its part, a Jupiter-inflected Neptune (Sagittarius) opened up opportunities for broad collective success to those with visionary goals for a more secure world. “Trust but verify” became one of the guiding principles of the negotiations—certainly in line with both the Saturn-Pluto and the Jupiter-Pluto relationships we see here. 

Has it started to boggle our minds yet that when the INF treaty was first conceived in 1981, the cosmic line-up of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto was very similar to the situation today, only from a square position? So, flashing forward, the treaty ran into hard times as the square began to form (Russian noncompliance enabled American withdrawal) and rather than work hard to salvage it and/or improve it for future generations, Trump has simply decided to let it go, making no demands on Russia in the process. 

Compare that to how diligently he has worked to impose his immigration regime here at home—if he cares about an issue, he digs in relentlessly until he gets what he wants. Where does that put nuclear diplomacy and international security on his priority list? 
Back to the history for a bit: let’s take a quick look at the chart for the INF Treaty signing, on December 8, 1987. Then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev joined Ronald Reagan at the White House for this important event. 

Chart #1: INF Treaty signed, December 8, 1987, 1:45 p.m. ST, Washington, D.C. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Jupiter and Eris rise and conjoin at the ASC in Aries, trine Sun-Saturn-Uranus-Pallas (Sagittarius) and sextile Venus-Ceres (Capricorn). This was a landmark event, and its time had clearly come. Nancy Reagan was known to consult astrologers—perhaps the timing was deliberate? There’s a strong sense here that authority figures (Sun-Saturn) are engaged in principled battle (Eris-Jupiter) and guided by concerns for the higher good (Pallas and Uranus also conjoin the Galactic Center). It’s significant that the Saturn-Uranus cycle is nearing completion here (it launched anew in February, 1988, still widely conjunct the GC from 29°+Sagittarius). This cycle impacts restrictions on technology and collective attitudes toward the use of such technologies. 

Ending the nuclear arms race was a deeply idealistic and pressing goal during those times—partly because the issue of nuclear proliferation was mounting in importance. Military incursions like the Soviet-Afghan war  and other tensions in the Middle East had stimulated terrorist events during the period this treaty was being negotiated (remember the 1983 bombing of a military barracks housing American and French soldiers in Lebanon?)—in fact, the topic had surfaced in a big way even before the initial negotiations, with the 1979-1981 Iran hostage crisis (another interesting astrological story). 

So perhaps those who negotiated the INF Treaty had the perspective to know that terrorism would be growing in scope and ferocity? This consciousness of how volatile the situation was is reflected in the fiery nature of the Aries-Sagittarius trines and reinforced by Mercury in fiery Sagittarius, trine Vesta in Leo.

A notable accomplishment, the INF made the world a measurably safer place.

Mars rules the Aries ASC and conjoins Pluto (Scorpio) in 7th house. This puts the ruler(s) of the overall chart and the economics-related 8th house in the allies/enemies-focused 7th house. Any negotiation worth its salt will offer both “carrots and sticks” designed to stimulate cooperation on all sides, which would make perfect sense here. The Soviet Union was engaged in a financially crushing 10-year war and keeping up with an always-escalating arms race was simply counterproductive. 

The U.S. was experiencing its own economic ups and downs during this 70s-80s period, so it’s quite likely that Reagan, whose administration’s claim to fame was the reinvention of a recession-weary economy—also regarded the arms race as an unproductive drag. 

Of course, a 7th house Mars-Pluto conjunction (in the sign these two co-rule, Scorpio!) speaks to a stable, no-nonsense relationship empowering the agreement represented here. The fact that the treaty has endured this long suggests that this relationship offered something worth preserving to both sides.

Mutable Grand-Square: Nodal Axis (Pisces-Virgo) squares Uranus-Pallas (Sagittarius) opposite Chiron (Gemini). This prominent and chaotic feeling configuration points to the collective imperative driving the INF Treaty process—if the parties involved had shrugged off this imperative like Trump seems to be doing now with Kim Jong-Un’s adventurism, literal hell could have broken loose. Saturn figures in here too, widely, highlighting that with superpower status comes grave responsibility.

Even with the INF Treaty, the years that followed reflected what an imperfect solution the treaty was for the many chaotic dynamics going on in the world. The treaty did nothing to stop two bombings of New York’s World Trade Center (the last devastating one of 9/11/2001) and the never-ending wars we’ve been waging in the Middle East. It didn’t heal the situation between Israel and Palestine, and so on. But, it eased a lot of people's minds by reducing hundreds of nuclear deployments across Europe (see map above) and certainly reined in the extent of possible devastation (hard to believe, but yes, things could have been worse). It also provided a template for cooperation that future administrations could look to for guidance--if they were interested!

Less positively, of course, the relative success of the treaty also enabled the nuclear complacency we’ve developed every since. Did anyone fear that the U.S. would resort to nuclear weapons to end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Perhaps fringe theorists might have, but overall, we assumed there was another way out. It took Trump’s “Little Rocket Man” tweets to Kim Jong-Un to wake us up from that misplaced confidence. 

The road ahead

So, what does the road ahead look like, now that the INF Treaty has ended? Let’s take a quick look at the chart representing that moment, at 0:00 (12 am) on August 2, 2019. I’ve cast the chart for Washington, D.C.

Chart #2: INF Treaty ends, August 2, 2019, 12 a.m. DST, Washington, DC. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

Uranus rises and conjoins Taurus ASC, squares Venus-Sun (Leo) and semi-sextiles Chiron (Aries). In earth sign Taurus Uranus is disposed by a regal Venus here, suggesting that the upheaval wrought on nuclear diplomacy by the INF’s lapse may be deeply-rooted in material pursuits and power plays (Venus-Sun conjoin IC). Interestingly, if we relocate this chart to Moscow—Trump’s “partner” in walking away from this treaty—the Venus-Sun conjunction falls in the 12th, with Venus ruling the resource-and-finance-related 2nd house and the foreign affairs-related 9th house (Uranus conjoins that cusp). 

For its part, Neptune rules and occupies the naturally Venusian 7th house of allies/enemies. A nebulous, hard-to-pin down and “unique” (Uranus) overseas relationship underlies the nascent promise of prosperity this Venus-Sun conjunction represents. 

This is perhaps all reflected in how difficult it is to pin down where Trump stands vis-à-vis Russia and Putin: he plays at sanctioning Russia and decrying their actions (while Putin lashes back with some criticism), but then Trump’s actions often enable whatever Putin’s up to—and we have reason to believe Putin will once again intervene to help Trump’s re-election campaign—so there’s a real sense that both sides are playing at being “frenemies.”

Russia's  Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is expected to be complete by end of 2019.

Venus-Sun and Mars (all Leo) separately trine Jupiter (Sagittarius); Mars inconjoins Neptune (Pisces) and trines Eris (Aries) and Jupiter (Sagittarius). The trines to 8th house Jupiter (dignified in its ruling sign) suggest a robust, competitive potential for material gain, although Jupiter’s current square to Neptune could undermine and obfuscate any deal-making involved. This square may also relate to the strange, convoluted case of Russia’s deal to build a Nord Stream 2 gas (ruled by Neptune) pipeline along which it will supply natural gas to Germany. describes what’s at stake very well:

“Now the House and Senate are considering legislation to impose sanctions on companies involved in building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. On Wednesday the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the sanctions bill 20-2.
Ostensibly intended to protect Europe from Russia’s malign influence by halting pipeline construction, this legislation will do nothing of the sort. It is far more likely to undermine U.S. relations with Germany and push Russia even closer to China.” 

It will also make it all the more difficult to tell where Trump and Putin actually stand as geopolitical fellows—if Trump really cared about how Russia might impact Europe, why sanction non-Russian companies (including German ones) that are working on the project? IMHO, it seems that the Trump administration is just looking for an excuse to sanction someone, and if it creates the illusion that he’s slapping Russia on the wrist, all the better. 

There are several signals in this chart that duplicity is an issue, as it happens: Mercury (Cancer) trines Neptune (Pisces) and the Mars-Neptune inconjunct suggests that confusing disconnects may exist between actions and appearances. The sanctions issue is one to keep in mind here, with 8th house Jupiter square 11th house Neptune. Both Trump and Putin know how to say one thing and do another.

The Mars-Jupiter trine might well reflect Trump’s favorite foreign policy tool, in fact—sanctions (action against another).  Mars also inconjoins Capricorn Pluto here and at the same time punitive Saturn semi-sextiles Jupiter—this ham-handed policy tool, which inevitably punishes innocent bystanders like the American consumer (Leo Moon also inconjoins Pluto here) and forces our trading allies to go elsewhere could cause some disruptions in the economy going forward.

It may sound as if we’ve veered off topic here, but economic factors are relevant to our INF discussion if you consider that economic disruptions routinely impact security concerns and reverberate far beyond dollars and cents!

Cardinal Grand Square: MC conjoins Pluto-So. Node-Saturn (Capricorn) and all oppose Mercury and No. Node (Cancer); this axis squares Eris (Aries) opposite Pallas (Libra). This tense configuration highlights the collective (Nodal axis) battle (Eris) for justice and balance (Pallas) in which we’re engaged. Unfortunately, this battle—justified on so many levels and righteous in itself—lends itself to extremism and violent events. This applies as closely to nuclear issues as it does to the events we witnessed in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio this weekend. 

A short aside seems justified here, given the events of this weekend: the shooters are ultimately responsible, of course, but those who point to Trump’s hateful rhetoric as the inspiration for such domestic terrorism incidents may be on to something. This difficult grand square is probably exacerbating Trump’s desire to lash out, and his re-election campaign is giving him the pretext (as if he needs one). This configuration has been ongoing for quite awhile now and falls in a sensitive position over Trump’s natal chart—opposite his Saturn-Venus conjunction in Cancer.

Clearly, for many right now, seeking justice is a quite personal battle, and it’s likely to intensify as Saturn and Pluto close out the 1982 cycle between now and January. The role of the Nodal axis here and its indication of “which way the wind is blowing” is key—notice that it was also involved in a significant grand square in Chart #1?

The biwheel framing the INF Treaty’s history

I’ve already let the planetary “cat out of the bag” by discussing the Saturn-Pluto cycle and how it has bracketed the INF Treaty’s history, but there are other reasons for examining the entire biwheel representing that history as well. We’ve seen a great deal of resonance between the early 1980s and our current times, in fact: the economic policies put in place during the Reagan era have come full circle from sparking a prosperous period (for some) to causing great wealth inequality over the years and all the dysfunction that goes along with that. 

In geopolitical terms, what George H.W. Bush termed a “new world order” has overtaken the globe during this 40+ years, and there’s a sense that America’s post-WWII dominance is on the wane. We’ve gone from being the world’s “sole superpower” in the wake of the Soviet Union’s implosion in the late 80s and its re-emergence as the Russian Federation in 1991, to not being quite sure we can actually stage a free and fair election. We’ve gone from fighting against foreign terrorism to fighting between ourselves along racial and ideological divides, with a rising tide of hate crimes and white supremacist-inspired mass killings. 

The Saturn-Pluto cycle is certainly one connective thread in all this because it represents the “heart of darkness” that keeps us embroiled in karmic issues like race and violence (against each other and against the Earth itself), but it’s only part of the picture. Focusing specifically on nuclear weapons and security raises all these karmic issues, including environmental destruction, so this one Treaty’s ending packs far more punch than we might imagine. 

Think about it: we have traditionally controlled weapons of mass destruction because they are, by definition, heinous and excessive. According to the International Court of Justice, they have no legitimate use in a so-called “legal” war. So, for responsible leaders, their only real usefulness is deterrence. Unfortunately, today’s leadership may be less than responsible, and our Commander-in-Chief seems to love to throw his weight around just because he can. In two+ years in office, Trump has threatened North Korea, Iran and Afghanistan with devastating nuclear firepower. 

And that’s a conservative take on his record with this weaponry. From the American Conservative, July 25, 2019:

“On Monday during a press conference between Donald Trump and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Trump spoke rather casually of having reviewed plans to annihilate Afghanistan.
‘I could win that war in a week. I just don’t want to kill 10 million people,’ Trump said. ‘I have plans on Afghanistan that if I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the earth, it would be gone. It would be over in, literally, in 10 days. And I don’t want to go that route.’
Trump’s seemingly blasé reference to a hypothetical mass murder on a scope and scale never seen in the history of mankind (it took Nazi Germany more than four years to kill six million Jews) was stunning. We know, given the state of play in Afghanistan, that it will never happen. But it wasn’t offhand. Such a policy of total destruction could also be seen as applying to Iran, and the potential for the use of nuclear weapons in the event of a U.S.-Iranian conflict is far from hypothetical. He knew exactly what he was doing.”

IMHO, Trump’s statement on Afghanistan amounted to international bullying, and if that’s considered leadership these days, we’ve seriously strayed from America’s traditional role. When the INF Treaty was first conceived and negotiated, American leadership had seen the horrors of war (Trump has not) and our only use of nuclear weapons against a wartime enemy—the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (in August, 1945, almost exactly 74 years ago).

The U.S. bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan on August 6, 1945.

Despite the perpetual debate about those bombings,  many historians and scholars believe that they were unnecessarily excessive and unjustified—Japan’s Emperor was already prepared to surrender before the bombs even dropped. The world was in a very dark Saturn-Pluto place at that time (a new Leo cycle was pending in August 1947), so fair warning as we navigate a similar point of the same cycle 74 years later. It seemed in the 1980s that we had learned something from that dark passage, but now, we can't take anything for granted. 

The diplomatic imperative for decades after WWII, in the midst of the Cold War with the U.S.S.R, was toward voluntarily downplaying and restricting even the possibilities of using nuclear weaponry. Diplomacy was used to defuse any situation that might remotely trigger nuclear proliferation, and this was considered essential statesmanship. Generations of great U.S. statesmen (and women, such as Madelyn Albright, Condoleeza Rice and yes, Hillary Clinton) proudly led the way in this project, which was never perfect, but it was better than the belligerent approach we see now.

Our current State Department is a shadow of its former self, and our policy of nuclear restraint is in shambles, with bombastic Trump booster Mike Pompeo in charge, and self-professed war hawk John Bolton as Trump’s National Security Advisor. 

So, yes, the demise of the INF Treaty is significant­—it provided important areas of restraint that we could count on and it provided a framework for accountability. Let’s keep all this in mind as we briefly examine Biwheel #1 below. Perhaps it will point to a sane way forward from here. 

Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) INF Treaty signed, December 8, 1987, 1:45 p.m. ST, Washington, D.C.; (outer wheel) INF Treaty ends, August 2, 2019, 12 a.m. DST, Washington, DC. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

Please note that to simplify the descriptions, I will refer to the INF Treaty Signed chart as INF 1, and the INF Treaty Ends chart as INF 2. 

Cardinal Grand Square: this is the same dramatic grand square found in Chart #2, the Aries-Libra points of which stretch here across the INF 1 horizon (ASC-DSC), with Capricorn Saturn falling widely conjunct the INF 1 MC and the rest of the vertical Capricorn-Cancer opposition spanning the 10th and 3rd-4th cusps. So very significantly placed and clearly reflecting that the Treaty has reached a critical, existential threshold. 

There is little sense, unfortunately, that the “peace” has been won and therefore the treaty is obsolete: with INF 2 Eris conjoining INF 1 Jupiter, trine Mars-Juno-Moon (Leo), the sense is more that a fiery new warrior spirit is rising to take on the mantle of power. This Eris and Mars also trine INF 1 Saturn-Uranus (Sagittarius), suggesting a loosening of traditional mores in regards to technology systems (weaponry?) for the sake of this new bellicose order. 

INF 2 Mercury conjoins INF 1 Moon (both Cancer). This aspect, of course, forms part of the cardinal grand square referenced above, and both these points oppose INF2 Pluto. It’s interesting that the U.S. Sibly chart features a radix Mercury-Pluto opposition from Cancer to Capricorn, so it seems that we are being challenged to revisit our roots (perhaps karmic roots) and take a responsible, life-affirming path. Mercury would like to spark a national discussion into all this, and perhaps a bit of national soul-searching and a re-assessment of our leadership role in the world are long overdue.

Accountability begins with counting.

But Cancer Mercury is disposed by a Leo Moon here, which may or may not be constructive: hubris and the impetuous politics of resentment (INF2 Eris trines INF2 Mars-Moon) can provide a very slippery slope. It’s worth noting here that this Leo Moon also conjoins Trump’s natal Mars-ASC conjunction in Leo, and over-reacting to wounded pride is a specialty of his. If he’s the only person at risk from his actions, that’s one thing, but is this an acceptable approach to nuclear diplomacy?

INF2 Sun-Venus (Leo) square INF2 Uranus (Taurus). We’ve discussed this aspect, however here we see that it is placed over the significant 4th and 1st houses of the INF1 chart. So the end chart rings the death knell of the treaty (4th = the end of things), and strongly disrupts what that Treaty even stood for with Taurus Uranus over the 1st

These two squares reflect a challenge to “make hay while the Sun shines,” meaning material “hay,” and as we’ve seen, there are lucrative new generations of nuclear weapons (Uranus = technology) in production as we speak, with more to come most likely, from both the U.S. and Russia. 

This production (and the awarding of lucrative contracts to potential campaign donors that could be involved) is reinforced by INF2 Jupiter’s (Sagittarius) placement over the INF1 chart’s 8th house and Sun. Also trine INF2 Mars, this Jupiter will be transiting over the INF1 Saturn-Uranus conjunction (Sagittarius) in the coming months and could very well mark a volatile period. Trump has numerous geopolitical targets in his sites these days and motives galore for displaying American firepower—walking away from the INF Treaty reads more like a beginning of something than an end.


Final thoughts

Granted, even the most successful diplomatic agreements need refreshing and updating—that would certainly reflect the Saturn-Pluto imperative to clear out the old to make way for the new, but Trump’s willingness to simply walk away and leave this important key to international security hanging is another story.

It’s easy to get distracted from life-and-death imperatives when a potent Jupiter-Neptune square (both planets in ruling signs) spawns a stalemate between idealistic goals/beliefs and corrupt ambitions (the Saturn-Pluto cycle isn't helping with this, either). We know what needs to be done to cool down our warming planet, yet we’re stuck in a haze of conflicting interests and inertia; we know that a sane, bi-partisan immigration policy would help prevent no-win situations like we’re seeing today at the border (including the horrifying El Paso shooting), yet the legislation that already exists to do this has been shelved. 

We know, in our bones and in our deepest souls that even threatening others with nuclear weaponry is the lowest form of intimidation, yet here we are, since August 2nd, wondering if anything can stop our president and/or Russia from doing so. Nuclear weapons are no substitute for skilled diplomacy, and they are not the stuff of Hollywood Cold War mythology—they’re real, and if climate change doesn’t get us first, a reckless, irresponsible nuclear policy (or pulling out of existing deals that were working, as with Iran) could easily finish the job. 

IMHO, it’s time to wake up and see that a common mindset enables both horrific crimes at home (it’s been a bad weekend) and the potential for stumbling into nuclear catastrophe, but the Jupiter-Neptune square also challenges us to find solutions and a better way. How about accepting the logic of love and compassion as the basis for public policies of any kind? We won’t need as many weapons and we won't magnetize so much grief to ourselves when we do! 

Our hearts go out to everyone in El Paso and Dayton this weekend—we’re so much better than this!

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 for details at:

© Raye Robertson 2019. All rights reserved. 

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