Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Springing forward in a time of waning cycles: the 2019 Aries Ingress

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do careers and fortunes—and nations—wane along with outer planetary cycles? My observation is that when the individuals and nations have significant astrological connections to those cycles at given times, they do feel the impact. That leaves many, many individuals and nations vulnerable to falling off the deep end of our deeply corrupt times because the energies in play today are so potent and unforgiving.

Writing for, Heather Digby Parton captured this point effectively in her analysis of Trump’s former lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen’s appearance before the House Oversight Committee this past February 27th:

“Cohen then issued a memorable warning that should keep these Trump enablers up at night. He said, ‘I can only warn people that the more people that follow Mr. Trump as I did blindly are going to suffer the same consequences that I'm suffering.’ Michael Cohen sounded, more than anything else, like a cult member who had been deprogrammed.
There is little evidence that the congressional Republicans saw themselves in him. They should have. While they may not end up in federal prison, as he soon will, they should at least be aware that Donald Trump is fully prepared to take them all down with him. Michael Cohen is their canary in the coal mine.”

As might be expected, both Cohen and Trump are astrologically connected to key cycles that are now in the late waning stages, and (not surprisingly) they’re also tightly connected to each other. We won’t go into it in any great detail, but let’s take a quick glance at the triwheel between these two men and the transits for February 27th (his first open hearing before the House Oversight committee, which kicked off at 10 a.m.). A few key placements stand out and will add to our discussion. 

Triwheel #1: (inner wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY; (middle wheel) Michael Dean Cohen, August 25, 1966, 12:00 p.m. DST (Wikipedia info, noon chart, no exact time), Long Island, NY; (outer wheel) Cohen Hearing-Oversight Committee, February 27, 2019, 10:00 a.m. ST, Washington, D.C. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Interchart Mutable Grand-Square: Trump Sun-No. Node-Uranus (Gemini) opposes Trump Moon-So. Node (Sagittarius); this axis is squared by Cohen Uranus-Pluto conjunction (Virgo) opposite Hearing Neptune (Pisces). This is a stark reminder that Cohen was born into that turbulent 1960s period marked by the launch of a new Uranus-Pluto cycle—a cycle point that is now being opposed by Hearing Neptune. This Neptune is a force to be reckoned with in home sign Pisces—confused and deceptive narratives, obfuscation and passive resistance are all fair game in this 4th point of mutable tension. 

Clearly, Cohen himself is suffering from that Neptune opposition to his Uranus-Pluto: he’s the one going to prison (Neptune) for lying to Congress on Trump’s behalf! Even so, Trump can’t help but be drawn into the fray, with the tight connections we see here—Hearing Neptune also squares his Gemini-Sagittarius placements. This reflects, among other things, the wearing down effect that the sea of investigations now in progress regarding his political and financial affairs is likely to have on him as it all unfolds. Much more on that ahead. 

Interchart Cardinal Grand Square: Hearing No. Node conjoins Cohen Jupiter-Trump Saturn-Venus (all Cancer) and opposes Hearing Saturn-Pluto-So. Node (Capricorn); this axis squares Hearing Eris-Cohen Pallas (Aries) opposite Trump Chiron-Jupiter (Libra). This dizzying array of energies seems shot through with a common theme—self protective and aggressive actions stimulating a battle over accountability and excess. In government terms, this clash of interests is being framed as a battle royale between Congress and the Executive branch, which can only lead to havoc of some kind.

Clearly, Cohen and Trump had a mutually beneficial protection arrangement going on (Cohen Jupiter conjoined Trump Saturn-Venus) which accords with Cohen’s description of his “fixer” role in the Trump Organization to a tee.   

So, even with this short analysis, it’s no surprise that Cohen finds himself in his present precarious situation. Perhaps the fact that his natal Pallas is tied into this tough cardinal configuration is a sign that he’s acting from a true concern for justice—he was a lawyer pledged to do just that before things got so very, very complicated and corrupt with him. There’s no missing that he’s paying the price for himself and Trump, however. 

On a generational note, Cohen might be the “canary in the coal mine” for others in his tumultuous Uranus-Pluto cohort—a much longer story for another day. 

New beginnings?
Also not surprising, the U.S. Sibly chart—a particularly relevant founding chart for our nation—is heavily influenced by this period of waning cycles.[1] We’ll consider a few examples of this in the Aries Ingress reading below. So, what ties all three of these heavily connected entities (Sibly, Trump, Cohen) together? In one way or another, they are all hitting bottom in some observable way, and it’s time to clear out the old energy and make way for the new. Symbolically, it’s a “death and rebirth” cycle, the natural cycle. 

What I find so interesting here is how everything has accelerated so dramatically just before the Spring Equinox—the Sun’s ingress into bright Aries, and a time when we expect vibrant new beginnings.  

This ingress is traditionally thought to give us a snapshot of the coming astrological year (marked from one Aries ingress to the next), although depending upon the sign rising in these charts, they may not apply to the entire year. We’ll examine this year’s chart below—it paints a very interesting picture because we can see the tension between the impulse to begin anew and the fact that seven of ten outer planetary cycles are still waning. 

This odd juxtaposition has a way of obstructing, undermining, stonewalling—or at least “slow-walking”—the fiery impetus for new beginnings. It feels like it’s time, but things will not be rushed. Too much toxic “stuff” needs to be brought to light and cleared for anything to happen quickly. Patience, patience. 

Patience is certainly essential as the heaviest of the waning cycles proceeds: Saturn is now trailing Pluto by a mere 3° or so in Capricorn, inching towards their new cycle that will launch in January, 2020. The dynamic between these two is modified and complicated by the remaining Saturn pairs: Saturn is also waning into new cycles with Neptune (less than 60° ahead of it in Pisces) and Uranus, further away in early Taurus, but still within the waning half of their 360° cycle. 

For its part, Jupiter (faster than Saturn) is now within the final 30° of that pair’s cycle and so Jupiter, like Saturn, is waning in regards to the remaining outer planets. No wonder it feels like any forward movement is monumental. This preponderance of waning cycles has very real consequences, and these were on full display this past week in D.C. 

Like so many, I was glued to the television for the Michael Cohen hearing, but it felt like I was watching two simultaneous partisan dramas with one ultimate message: corrupt influences—both within and without—are taking an almost unimaginable toll on the integrity of American democracy, and have been doing so for some time already.

Not that anything Cohen had to say was truly new—if we’ve watched this president’s behavior and tried to follow the steady drip of media revelations in the past couple years, most of what Cohen said was far from surprising. For those of us who lived through the Nixon era, the fact that a president could be accused of such treachery and self-aggrandizement at the expense of the nation was more sad and frustrating than shocking.

Another waning Saturn-Pluto moment. 
I don’t say this to be cynical: heaven knows, cynicism is a real pitfall during a closely waning Saturn-Pluto cycle, but succumbing to that dark perspective would only undermine the opportunity we’re also being given. Our descent into this cosmic underworld of deathly corruption, of social and institutional disintegration, of purgation and rebirth is right on time, and it’s a necessary, albeit painful process. 

Let’s be clear: corruption and corrupt figures are always with us in some form (humans being humans), but during the waning half of powerful planetary cycles like this one, we are forced to confront and deal with all of it, or to suffer the dire consequences. We’re forced to consider big questions, like: Why bother with laws at all if a president can break them with impunity, all while attacking the very justice system he’s pledged to support? Can we imagine the horrors that would ensue if we had to exist without a strong system of justice? In good times there are challenges keeping our system fair and functional, but the past two years or so have sounded a real wake up call.

IMHO, the good news is, Congress is reinvigorating its role of Executive oversight under Democratic leadership. House committees (Oversight, Judiciary, Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, Finance) are now in the hands of a new Congress, and a host of new investigations into potential illegalities during Trump’s campaign, his administration’s transition to power and his subsequent activities in office have been opened—hence the Cohen hearings, both open and closed.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Larry Nadler (D-NY)
Framing those hearings is a much deeper, broader mandate, however: summing up his committee’s goal in demanding a long list of documents and evidence from eighty-one distinct players in the Trump saga, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Larry Nadler said, “Our job is to protect the rule of Law in this country.” 

Of course since making that statement the administration has signaled it will not cooperate, so it’s likely that many, including Trump family members, will follow the White House lead. Not surprisingly, son Eric Trump has been appearing on Fox News to bitterly complain about how much his father has “sacrificed” to become president, and how damaging these investigations are to their family businesses. Such a victim! 

One thing seems clear to me in this, and I don’t offer this from a partisan perspective: to expect otherwise from Congress at this point would be to stick our heads in the sand and to enable the corruption—and all sides bear responsibility for the long drawn out decay of our institutions, including the rule of Law. Trump and company just arrived on the scene at a particularly vulnerable time, and with the help of very questionable “friends,” he’s managed to exploit those weaknesses to consolidate an alarming hold on the Republican party, and roughly 40% of the country who will cheer no matter what Trump does or did in the past.

Even so, the systemic weaknesses that Trump and company have been able to exploit to their advantage didn’t arise overnight, and they won’t be strengthened and renewed over night, either. Like dysfunctional families who sometimes have to hit bottom before things can get better, dysfunctional societies and nations often need to do the same. 

So, what can we glean from the coming Aries ingress? Let’s examine the chart, cast for Washington, D.C.

A look ahead

As noted earlier, the chart for the Aries ingress is traditionally consulted as an astrological blueprint for the year ahead, or at least for some portion of the year ahead, depending upon the rising sign and location. Charts with fixed ascendants are thought to reflect the entire year; charts with mutable ascendants reflect the following six months, while charts with cardinal ascendants speak to the following three months. 

Opinions and empirical evidence can differ on all this, of course, but I do agree that some ingresses have longer significance than others. We’ll keep these traditional ideas in mind as we proceed, but let’s factor in some flexibility as well. The situation we’re faced with of 7-in-10 waning cycles is bound to have some sway beyond the scope of any one chart.      

Chart #1. Aries Ingress, March 20, 2019, 5:58:20 p.m. DST, Washington, D.C. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Virgo rises, with Neptune opposing, conjunct DSC (Pisces). If we stick with the traditional view, these mutable angles would signify a chart that applies for 6 months only, taking us into the fall. More importantly than its exact duration, however, is the whirlwind instability these angles portend for some period of time ahead. Virgo ruler Mercury rules this chart, and it falls within 2 degrees of Neptune in Pisces—not the greatest sign when the priority is to unearth important facts in a host of investigations. 

Passive resistance (i.e., stonewalling, pleading the 5th, etc.) and perhaps even cover ups could dominate when it comes to getting the information needed: we might even see this Pisces influence as a signal that we’ll be swimming in a sea of conflicting narratives. It’s a “witch hunt,” it’s “Congress doing its job, finally,” etc. 

Even so, hope is not entirely lost, with Saturn (Capricorn) sextile Neptune-Mercury. There will be opportunities for oversight, and authority may be imposed to overcome any cover-ups and obfuscation. Saturn represents Congress and the Judiciary here, and even though the cycle is still waning, Saturn is conjunct Pluto. We can hope that these branches of government will exercise their investigative authority in a fair, but uncompromised manner, despite the likely attempts to discredit the investigators, stymie progress and claim victimization—the sextile works both ways. 

We could see more witness tampering, veiled threats and elusive “coded” language and behavior that are difficult to pin down in a court of law. This all makes sense if we consider that during the coming quarter, the House committees will probably still be gathering evidence and interviewing individuals of interest in their Trump-related investigations.     
The chart MC-IC fill out the mutable cross by being in Gemini and Sagittarius, respectively. It’s hard to miss that all this mutability pings with Trump’s natal chart (not shown here) and his mid-Gemini-Sagittarius Sun-Moon. Yes, he and his exploits will be the center of attention, as they have been for two years now. 

This only reinforces the difficulties we’ve had pinning down truthful narratives, yet Ceres conjoins IC (Sagittarius), forming the 4th leg in the grand mutable square that the rest of this chart is built around. She may stimulate the nation’s curiosity and intellectual willingness to face the truth being brought to light by the various investigations. A focus on what kind of nation we’re leaving behind for our children and what this “descent into the underworld” means in the grand scheme of things is implied here.  

Sun conjoins Chiron (Aries) and opposes Moon (late Virgo). The Sun (leader/nation-at-large) seems fairly stressed here, and there’s a sense of impending things to come (opposite nearly full Moon). The close conjunction to Chiron is stunning, if we consider that those most aligned and perhaps even compromised by Trump (the leader/Sun pictured in this chart) are truly prone to a wounding. 

Remember Cohen’s warning to such followers cited above? Of course, Trump is feeling wounded by all the investigations pressing in on him, so it’s not surprising that this chart suggests he will continue to lash out angrily (Aries Chiron) in response, as he did at CPAC this last weekend. 

Trump’s speech at that conservative conference rambled on for over 2 hours, with him complaining about how innocent he is and the many ways he’s being victimized these days. We will undoubtedly see a lot more of that—the Sun here rules the Leo 12th house from the 8th, suggesting the psychologically motivated “self-undoing” of the Executive. By playing the victim, Trump pumps up the anger in his base and solidifies its support: there’s a method in this madness. 

The Sun’s 12th house rulership is reinforced by some powerful transits to Trump’s chart that we won’t go into here, but that will be a story to revisit soon.

Sun semi-sextiles Uranus (Taurus), widely squares Jupiter (Sagittarius) and quintiles Saturn (Capricorn). These are mostly minor aspects; however, considering the waning cycles “dance” going on between the planets involved here, any contact with the Sun suggests a role to play in the coming year’s affairs. I’ve written at length (here, here) about what we might expect from Uranus in Taurus, but it seems here that the quintile holds out hope that Congress and the Courts (Saturn) will benefit from some brilliant, creative moments—not what we might expect from these authoritative branches, but why not? 

This Jupiter is transiting conjunct Trump’s natal Moon (chart not shown), so it will either inflate his self-focus or perhaps inflate his emotions (he’ll be holding rallies no doubt), but the square to this new Aries Sun suggests that any positives will be laced with challenges. He will want to watch his weight gain during this period—too many fast food meals on the campaign trail can be damaging. This Jupiter is dignified in its fiery home sign and also widely squares Neptune-Mercury in Pisces, the sign that Jupiter and Neptune (also dignified in its home sign) co-rule, so a sort of mutual reception dynamic exists between them that can have overwhelming influence. 

This dynamic signals a pretty fluid circuit of benefits flowing between forces that may not be too concerned about ethics or the truth. Even a square between these two can be very slippery. The undermining of our system of justice may continue for awhile, especially through any stonewalling efforts by those called to testify in front of Congress.  

Both Jupiter and Neptune will go through retrograde phases in the next few months, dragging out this square too long for comfort, but by November, 2019, Jupiter will have moved beyond it into late Sagittarius. The retrograde periods may also be times when the worst expressions of this square will be checked, as well. 

One of those worst potential expressions would be to “wag the dog” on some international tension that puts the nation on a war footing for the sake of distracting attention from the investigations. This is unfortunately conceivable because Jupiter opposes 7th house Sibly Mars (Gemini) (chart not shown), and Trump’s natal chart ties very tightly into that same point via his Gemini stellium. 

Unfortunately, Trump has surrounded himself with loyalists who will ignore our security, intelligence and military experts to do his bidding —integrity and professionalism just get in the way. This situation is represented by both the transiting Neptune and Sibly Neptune (Virgo) squares to Sibly Mars. As Neptune transits into tighter orbs with both Sibly positions, it will be very important for Congress to demand a role in approving any and all military incursions. As always, Saturn is the best antidote for an overwhelming Neptune. 

This begs the obvious: it would be to everyone’s advantage to find some positive expressions for these energies—i.e., a renewed commitment to causes (environmental, perhaps) that serve all of us. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” may enjoy a boost of enthusiasm during this period. Trump will undoubtedly be working his base into a euphoria (Jupiter-Neptune) in his rallies, but that can work on both sides of the aisle. Let’s hope these partisan battles don’t deepen the “Us v. Them” delusions and end up inspiring violence (7th house Neptune).

Needless to say, social media trolling and propaganda which feeds off those delusions is more than possible during this period as well. Fox News is likely to perpetuate its cozy “State TV” relationship with Trump, unless criticisms (and/or the investigations) begin to hurt Fox’s bottom line.

Venus (Aquarius) is in mutual reception with Uranus (Taurus); Venus squares Mars (Taurus). These aspects remind us that a number of progressive women are interested in being elected president in 2020, and they will be in the news a lot in the coming year. Nothing comes easy for candidates opposing Trump, so the square to Mars is no surprise. The mutual reception suggests an added measure of support for women, however, and it might even suggest that a female candidate has a chance in this next election. In the meantime, women are playing important roles in legal- or justice-related situations, as reflected by Venus trine Pallas (Libra). 

In fact, a prominent female U.S. Attorney for D.C. named Jesse Liu has just been nominated by Trump for the number three position in the Justice Department—it will be interesting to see if this new assignment is intended to sideline her from the tough prosecutions she’s been overseeing against Trump-related individuals (Manafort, Stone, etc.). She’ll be working for the new Attorney General, William Barr, so it’s one to watch.  

This connection between women and justice is reinforced by Venus’s rulership of the Taurus 9th house in this chart. Its rulership of the Libra 2nd house—occupied by Pallas—could also be key. This suggests that the judicious allocation of funds and resources will be a prominent focus this coming year. Many priorities could get caught up in this focus—perhaps Trump’s border emergency and the wall? Something to watch.

Grand Earth Trine: Moon (Virgo) trines Mars (Taurus) trines Saturn-Pluto (Capricorn). The mundane Moon represents the People, and here we see that the People will be motivated to do what’s right or “correct,” as they perceive it, and they’ll be actively engaged in doing so. This activism may actually support Saturn-Pluto’s balsamic phase agenda (the final stage of a waning cycle) of clearing out old corrupt energies and holding those responsible accountable.  

It’s notable also that the Nodal axis (Cancer-Capricorn) is tightly aligned with Saturn-Pluto—this has particular relevance in regards to Trump’s natal chart, but it’s equally relevant to the U.S. Sibly chart, tracking very closely with the Sibly Pluto-Mercury (Capricorn-Cancer) axis by a mere 3°+

Transiting Saturn-Pluto-So. Node also fall opposite Trump’s natal Saturn-Venus conjunction in Cancer—it’s no accident that many of his financial affairs are now being investigated for possible criminality by Congress, and it’s no accident that all of this taken together coincides with the final months of this Saturn-Pluto cycle.  

Waning cycles

As mentioned earlier, it’s quite possible that the waning status of seven of the ten outer planetary cycles represented in this chart will tend to put a drag on the forward movement Aries would like to see; that’s particularly concerning with the Saturn-Pluto, Jupiter-Pluto and Jupiter-Saturn cycles, since they are relatively near to completion and might create the most noticeable drag. 

If our underlying institutional structures are resilient, however—hope springs eternal!—these cycles could do us all a service, pruning administrative “dead wood,” trimming bureaucracies that have become unwieldy and ineffective, and recalibrating the power relations between our branches of government, etc. They are also likely to weed out corrupt players in high places—yes, from Trump on down, depending upon who finds him or herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

All of these processes may be painful, but they are essential to any nation’s well being—it’s imperative to banish the old energy before we can welcome in the new. In this “rebirth” process, stagnant, ineffective dynamics are revitalized, clearing the way for growth and healthy development. 

We shouldn’t expect all this to proceed without resistance, however—there are potentially overwhelming forces, like the strong Jupiter-Neptune relationship in this ingress chart, that complicate things tremendously. If Trump’s ranting screed at the CPAC meeting this weekend was any measure, acquiescent GOPers appear prepared to accept anything Trump wants to hand out, consequences to the nation’s collective Soul be damned. From the Washington Post:

“In interviews over the past week, Republicans on Capitol Hill offered an array of reasons for their unflinching loyalty to Trump as the 2020 campaign begins to take shape: a deep-seated fear of his pull with their supporters in primary races; fraying consensus about conservatism as nationalism takes hold of the party; and shared partisan disdain for Trump’s perceived enemies in the news media and the Democratic Party…’They fetishize this nonconservative in the Oval because it’s tribal,’ said Mike Murphy, a veteran GOP strategist and Trump critic. ‘It’s us versus them, we’re right and they’re evil, and it’s created this Trump cult that dominates the party.’”
Maybe in a strange way, Trump is doing us all a favor by drawing out and revealing the raw underbelly of our toxic politics— “divide and conquer” is a tried and true method for consolidating power in the stereotypical “strong man” leader, and as we’ve seen, it works. Consider also that history is littered with cults that ended badly, even tragically. Cults tend to have a delusional, even addictive Neptunian sensibility, laced with Plutonian “all or nothing” power dynamics, and both these forces are fully engaged in today’s divisive politics. Reality” is whatever the “leader” says it is (Neptune), and loyalty (the leader basically owns and controls the followers) is everything. 

U.S. politics may not have sunken into this extreme a cult-like situation overall (witness the last midterm elections), but if the current administration is allowed to keep dismantling and attacking our democratic institutions while everyone is distracted looking elsewhere, the damage will be very real. 

Could things take a real catastrophic turn in the U.S. during this season of heavy waning cycles? In fact, some observers (or pundits) seem to believe that a new civil war is imminent on this soil, and that we could conceivably split into “blue” and “red” Americas along ideological and geographical lines. Judging from the recent spectacle at the CPAC conference, I wouldn’t want to bet against this possibility, but something also tells me that the CPAC spectacle was yet another Donald Trump Reality TV show, not to be taken quite as seriously as we think. More style than substance—eventually, the appeal will wane, if it hasn’t already.

Trump hugging flag at CPAC 2019

Try to imagine the Trump-infused GOP perspective: something had to counter the Congressional hearings with Cohen, and what could be better than being entertained by Trump ranting defensively and hugging the flag, while the crowd goes wild? Who was that cast of thousands who cheered thunderously as one of the speakers celebrated Senator McCain’s recent demise? Something just feels off there—too low and tasteless, even for Trump. 

I wouldn’t disagree that a virtual “civil war” has been in progress for some time, but with Neptune in Pisces, I wonder if a lot of it is meant to distract from the real constitutional crisis going on in D.C. Despite some itchy trigger fingers expressing themselves in social media, this battle is being fought in the Courts and between Congress and the Executive office, and if we don’t see a rebalancing of these separate and equal branches of government around our constitutional ideals, we will all lose out. Everything else is window-dressing. 

As waning cycles near completion, we begin to get a sense of what the new cycle looming ahead will feel like; as noted earlier, we’re now in the balsamic period (within the final 45°) of the Saturn-Pluto, Jupiter-Pluto and the Jupiter-Saturn cycles, and there’s a palpable sense that big things are about to happen—because they probably are. The fact that all three cycles are nearing completion at the same time is monumental enough, but it also accounts for the sense that there are multiple—at times conflicting—trends and pathways to the future and all of them are alive and buzzing. 

On the one hand, the “old order” (in the context of this post, the current corruption in D.C.) is fast disintegrating, but coming up behind the wreckage as fast as they can are the Pluto-in-Scorpio Millennials—eager to take the reins and begin creating the future their young families need and deserve.  

Clearly, the new Jupiter-Saturn cycle in Aquarius (launching in Dec. 2020) will be a time for them to shine, and whichever candidate wins the presidency in 2020 (Millennial or not) had better be tuned into their wavelength when it comes to the environment, climate change, education and the work place. Given the new cycles ahead of us, a literal “changing of the guard” in D.C. is more than appropriate. 

Spring's coming!

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 2019. All rights reserved. 


[1] When a planetary cycle is in waning mode, the faster of the two planets in any given pair has transited past the pair’s opposition (the full point in the cycle) and is moving towards closing out the cycle and beginning anew.