Sunday, January 26, 2020

At an astrological crossroads: Impeachment highlights


Timing and out-of-the-blue obligations colluded 
to cut short my writing time this week, so this will be a very preliminary consideration of the Senate impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump, which I will argue here was “birthed” officially this past week at 2:00 p.m. on the 16th, when Chief Justice Roberts was ushered into the Senate chamber to swear an oath of impartial justice and then to administer that oath to the Senators convened. 

It’s tempting to analyze the astrology for this unfolding drama on a day-to-day basis—and perhaps in the future we’ll do some of that—however here, we’ll treat that ceremonial 2 p.m. oath-taking as the definitive launch of the trial.  

Why not wait until the January 21st beginnings of the substantive procedural arguments and opening statements? As we’ll undoubtedly witness over and over, the ceremonial and substantive dimensions of the impeachment process are hopelessly enmeshed because such are the solemn workings of government, and an impeachment trial is among the most solemn. So it’s all one multi-dimensional process that for our purposes here, launched at 2 p.m. on January 16th.

Roberts is greeted after swearing the oath.

Consider the position of the Moon, for instance. On January 16th, when the ceremonial oath was given to officially launch the proceedings, the Moon was in justice-minded Libra (see outer wheel, Biwheel #1 below), a lone voice in the nearly vacant lower hemisphere of the chart. 

Far from isolated, however, Lady Luna formed traditional aspects with several other points, including Juno, Jupiter, Pluto-Saturn-Ceres-Sun (the Sun only widely), Neptune, Eris and Vesta, not to mention both the ASC (Gemini) and the MC (Aquarius). 

This suggests that the “People” (Moon) have a lot at stake in the proceedings—the solemnity of the moment aptly captures the complexity and divisiveness of this moment in American life—so we might hope the public will be intensely engaged in the arguments being presented. Our Congress people are there to represent us, of course, so the Moon speaks to those individuals, as well. Sitting in forced silence as the “audience” for these proceedings over the days of this trial, they will also be impacted by the ebb and flow of lunar energies, no matter where the Moon fell on January 16th.

The Sun is an interesting figure in the impeachment process because it seems to represent both the leadership of the Senate, and the proceedings themselves, as a living, developing entity. It may not seem so at times, but both Houses of Congress enjoy joint leadership, a juggling act that plays out between the majority and minority leaders of each body.  

Senate Leaders Mitch McConnell (r) and Chuck Schumer (l).

In the case of the Senate, that’s between Majority Leader McConnell (GOP) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (Dems), and while the majority weighs heavily when bills come up for votes, there’s a give and take nevertheless. We’ve seen small examples of that already during this trial, and will see much more before the end.
For instance, while the Sun was still in Capricorn, on January 21st, Schumer presented several amendments to McConnell’s proposed Senate rules for the trial, calling for the Senate to subpoena additional witnesses and documents from various sources, but one after another, they were dead-on-arrival, voted down by the GOP majority.  A couple small, but important changes were adopted by McConnell, however, apparently due to pressure from his own caucus. In true Capricorn fashion, the changes pertained mostly to timing. 

Mercury (Aquarius) rules this Gemini-rising chart, but interestingly, the daily proceeding charts have all been ruled by Mercury so far, as each day convenes at 1 p.m. in Washington, D.C.  This could reflect the small army of technicians and communications personnel that put on the “show” every day. 

Chief Justice Roberts presiding and admonishing.

Even Chief Justice Roberts is providing mostly administrative services, although he embodies the “leader/enforcer,” as well. Saturn (especially apt in Capricorn) would represent this heavier role. Roberts may appear to be doing very little, but his presence radiates the solemn, dignified and disciplined aura that the proceedings deserve. Something about those robes, huh? 

In fact, when Roberts decided it was time to chastise the presenters on both sides for “uncivil discourse” before the Senate, admonishing them to “remember where they are,” it was 1 a.m. on the 17th—the Moon had moved into late Libra and the 12th house, and the earlier square to Pluto-Saturn-Ceres-Sun had tightened nicely. Institutional decorum became an important point of order and it was Roberts’ job to rein things in. Even with no caffeine allowed, things can get dicey at 1 a.m.!

Interestingly, these solemn, Saturn-infused proceedings may have informed the House Impeachment Managers’ overall strategy of laying out the narrative of their case in chronological order. This strategy was unfurled on January 22nd, when the Sun had moved into Aquarius (co-ruled by Saturn and Uranus), square Uranus in Taurus (chart not shown).

This tense fixed square was potentially upsetting and stressful to that body, even with Roberts’ firm hand over decorum. Hyper-partisanship is built into this divisive square, of course, but that’s nothing new. What is new is how the facts of this impeachment trial are gradually unfolding in a way that’s difficult to ignore.  Time will tell, but with a typical 8° orb, the Sun-Uranus square will persist into next week. Will we see a surprising wake-up call of some sort? Or perhaps an unexpected shake-up to the proceedings themselves? 

The Senate’s daily life is certainly being turned upside down by this trial, which Leader McConnell may find is not quite as controllable as he thought. 

Let’s return to the role the Moon is playing in the trial for a moment: her movements over the course of even a couple days have reflected subtle (or not so subtle) shifts in perception and mood among the attendees, not to mention the public, which has perhaps the greatest stake in the outcomes here. Viewership has been fairly strong—11 million on network television on the trial’s opening day, and that doesn’t count those who watched or listened by other means. We can expect that public opinion will reflect the lunar ebb and flow of these proceedings.  

The astrology

Just to frame the following discussion, please note that this post is not about litigating the case against Trump one way or another. It’s impossible to do so in a space like this, nor is that my goal. I care deeply about the health of this nation and its democracy, and it’s no mystery that I think Trump has been a destructive force to both, but this is not about making a legal argument in regards to a specific set of allegations.  

What we will do here is to examine the January 16th trial chart against Trump’s nativity on one hand, and against the U.S. Sibly chart on the other. IMHO, how the nation is going to emerge from this process is more important than how Trump will fare, but since the fates of both seem to be inextricably linked at the moment, we’ll consider both sides of the situation. 

Let’s begin. 

Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY; (outer wheel) Impeachment Trial Opens-Oath, January 16, 2020, 2:00 p.m. ST, Washington, D.C.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Interchart Grand Square: Trial Capricorn Stellium falls over Trump 5th house, opposing his 11th house Mercury, Saturn-Venus (all Cancer) and Trial No. Node (Cancer); this axis is squared by Trial Moon-Juno (Libra) conjunct Trump Juno-Chiron-Jupiter (Libra), all opposite Trump Eris (Aries)-Trial Chiron and in later Aries, Trial Eris. What we’re going for here is the overall opposing feel of these aspects—the Libra-to-Aries placements involved are far too wide to be considered oppositions under normal circumstances, for instance, but Trial Eris does firmly square both Trump’s Capricorn Saturn-Venus and Trial Saturn-Pluto in Cancer.  

This suggests that the tension is palpable and that it’s heightened by the “wounded warrior” sensibility of Trial Chiron-Trial Eris. 

This is especially true, seeing that these points fall over Trump’s “fight or flight”-oriented 8th house and oppose his 2nd house points. His Neptune (Libra) rules his Pisces 8th house, at the same time it opposes his Eris there and forms a t-square to his security-oriented Mercury (Cancer, 11th). This seems to reflect his clearly zero-sum mindset, in which life is a battle, and it’s him against the world. Those who buy into this imagined victimization may resonate with this part of his chart. 

Lead House Manager Adam Schiff evoked a “wounded warrior” Chiron-Eris perspective throughout his arguments, but his approach was extra powerful when he likened America to the  wounded plaintiff in his case, saying that “She deserves a fair trial.” He was arguing, of course, for the GOP majority to vote to allow more witnesses and documents than its leadership has thus far allowed. How appropriate for proceedings that kicked off under a lovely, but stressed mid-Libra Moon-Juno conjunction. 

On the other hand, this conjunction falls over Trump’s Libra Juno-Chiron-Jupiter, which may suggest that Lady Luck (his Jupiter also trines his elevated Gemini Sun-Node-Uranus) will allow him to skate free in the end. As we’ve all learned watching him evade accountability over and over again, she usually does. 

Even so, the Capricorn stress on Trump’s Libra and Cancer points is heavy and real, and could, in the end, outweigh the more supportive looking Moon-Juno, etc.  By the number of lawyers he’s hired, we can see that Trump is putting tremendous resources (2nd house), not to mention emotional energy (a record number of tweets) into his defense.  

So those Aries placements falling over Trump’s 8th aptly represent the battle the House team has been waging, but they also represent the existential (Scorpio’s natural house) threat Trump feels he is under, and the battle he and his defense team are waging to keep him in office. 

The Trump 5th-11th house axis here is familiar terrain in this “battleground,” of course—he’s been the target of one investigation and/or controversy after another while he’s been in office—from his sketchy way of combining his official position with personal profit to his coziness with Vladimir Putin and Russia’s interference in the 2016 election—but this axis also reflects how many of his “associates” have found themselves indicted and imprisoned since he took office. The sentences are still pending, in the case of Trump’s long-standing ally and advisor Roger Stone and Trump’s first National Security Secretary, General Mike Flynn. 

Former EPA Secretary, Scott Pruitt.

Many early administration members, like disgraced EPA head Scott Pruitt, who didn’t officially run afoul of the law had to resign their offices so they wouldn’t. The list of resignations and firings goes on for pages on Wikipedia. The fact that Trump has gutted several key agencies of personnel (notably the State Dept.) and made no effort to fill the empty roles is a matter of deep national security concern in many quarters. 

All of this is coming home to roost in the impeachment trial in one way or another, it seems. We just saw the addition of an audio recording of Trump—around the dinner table with his cohorts in his D.C. Trump International Hotel—ordering the firing of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch in response to lies attendee Lev Parnas told him. 

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas.

Former Giuliani (and presumably, Trump) associate Parnas has given interviews to explain how and why he and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani worked to smear Yovanovitch—known to be a staunch anti-corruption figure in her diplomacy with Ukraine—and to get her out of the way. 

Parnas was also careful to establish that Trump knew and directed everything he, Giuliani and Igor Fruman were doing. It’ll be interesting to see how the Trump defense team addresses the Parnas revelations—so far it appears they plan to double down on the repeatedly discredited Russian theory that Ukraine meddled in our 2016 election, not Russia, and that the DNC “server”—that our intelligence chiefs have testified was hacked by the Russians—is somehow part of the story. Artful distraction is the key to a magician’s act, right? 

For our purposes here, this drama only adds to the 5th-11th house pressure in Trump’s chart. 

Trial Mars (Sagittarius) trines Trump Eris (Aries), squares Trial Venus (Pisces) and quincunxes Trial No. Node-Trump Mercury (Cancer). Transiting Trump’s 4th house, Trial Mars is certainly a disruptive factor, suggesting that he might be venting his rage at the impeachment challenge with his family or wife. This could explain the tension expressed by the Trial Mars-Venus square (Sagittarius-Pisces), but with Trial Venus-Part of Fortune (Pisces) also trine his Mercury, the challenge is minimal. 

A common theme in his defense is to bemoan “how badly he’s being treated”— that victimized viewpoint is only exacerbated by this frustrating Trial Mars quincunx Trump Mercury. Because his imperious Leo Mars and Pluto jointly rule his Scorpio 4th, with that Mars trine his 4th house Moon (Sagittarius), nothing less than kingly treatment (“he can do no wrong”) will do. 
Trial Neptune (Pisces) squares Trump Gemini-Sagittarius points and quincunxes Trump Jupiter (Libra). It’s worth pointing out here that this transiting Neptune is also edging into trine territory with Trump’s Saturn, and that it definitely trines his Mercury/Saturn (midpoint, Cancer), which would account for his misinformation and conspiracy theory-laced defense. Michael Munkasey attributes this aspect with the “breakdown of logical processes,”[1] which certainly seems to fit. 
Transparent facts are hard to find when it comes to going to war.
Unfortunately,  Neptune transits persist for long periods of time, and they can be quite hard on a person’s emotional and mental health (Trump’s Sun-Moon are also caught up in this), so we shouldn’t expect rigorous, fact-based narratives from Trump or his defense team any time soon. Emotional appeals (Trump Moon square Trial Neptune) that blur the lines between facts and fiction or simply misrepresent the facts entirely are far more likely. If this was unusual with him, we might look for different explanations, but he does have a track record of conjuring “alternative facts” as he goes, so most likely more of the same, only amplified.
The tight conjunction of Trial No. Node with Trump’s Mercury (Cancer) suggests a collective focus on the working of Trump’s mind going forward. His Mercury disposes his Gemini points, in addition to ruling his 2nd and 11th houses (Virgo and Gemini cusps), so its influence pervades his chart. Interestingly, his Mercury also disposes his Progressed Sun, still in early Virgo (chart not shown), and this point is now being trined by Trial Uranus (Taurus) and opposed by Trial Venus (Pisces).
He is naturally adept at creating distractions and convenient crises—it’ll be interesting to see if these “soft” aspects exacerbate that, especially in the realm of foreign affairs (Uranus transiting his 9th and ruling his 7th).
It’s also pretty clear from this that Trump will—as many have warned—continue  accepting foreign assistance for his campaign if he isn’t stopped: Trial Uranus also trines his natal Mars-ASC (Leo)—he definitely feels empowered to accept help wherever it comes from. This nice trine could also be fueling the ego-bloated defense his team is floating that claims he did nothing wrong (even though his own words belie that). They’ll reinvent right and wrong before they will admit that he made any mistakes.
This Mars rules his Aries 9th, so yes, he feels “above the Law,” and this trial isn’t likely to change that stance. Megalomania is alive and well with him, and as we’ve been hearing from him and his defense team, those who disagree with his concept of himself and his freedom to act with impunity are just being unfair.  Unfortunately, Uranus seems to be playing along for now, although it is capable of surprises and sudden turn-abouts. Stay tuned!

Biwheel #2: (inner wheel) USA-Sibly chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (outer wheel) Impeachment Trial Opens-Oath, January 16, 2020, 2:00 p.m. ST, Washington, D.C.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Here we have another set of tense cardinal oppositions that cut across key areas of the Sibly chart, impacting Sibly Pluto (Capricorn), Mercury, Sun, Jupiter, Venus (Cancer) and Saturn-Juno (Libra). It’s quite possible to see the amazing array of Capricorn energy transiting the Sibly 1st and 2nd as a full-on assault on virtually all the institutions of American government: the Justice system (Jupiter and Saturn), the Legislature (Saturn), the State Department (diplomatic functions-Venus), the Economy and its complex institutions (Venus and Pluto), the Media (Mercury). Last, but implicating all of the above, the Executive branch and the Nation-at-large itself  (Sun). 

As I was listening to one House Impeachment manager after another evoke the Founding Fathers as they presented their case, it occurred to me that this trial is basically forcing the nation to relitigate its founding democratic purpose. Does it matter that we have a president-who-would-be-king, who seems to prefer a Russian-style kleptocratic system to our democratic checks-and-balances? 

If not, where does that leave the American experiment? With Saturn-accompanied Pluto rapidly transiting within orb of our Sibly Pluto, we may find that we have taken democracy for granted for far too long. 

I wish this were an exaggeration, but based on the Trump lines of defense that we’ve heard thus far in the trial (basically that he can do anything, cheat, lie and smear innocent public servants, obfuscate all he wants, and if we expect better, we’re being unfair to him), I don’t think it is. Based on the evidence that continues to emerge (from Lev Parnas, in particular), it’s hard to believe that this president has any remorse or plans to do anything differently because, in his mind, he did nothing wrong. 

Trump, crowing about his economy at Davos.

We saw how that mindset manifested in Biwheel #1, so it’s not surprising that in this biwheel, we see Trial Jupiter (Capricorn) opposing Sibly Venus-Jupiter-Sun. For now, Trump feels validated (just wait until he has that acquittal!) because Wall Street hasn’t given up on him yet, and he’s been finalizing some trade deals—the transactional issues he grasps and can crow about. 

Transiting Jupiter is not all that potent in Capricorn, however, so his support system may be shakier than he thinks. Jupiter is coming into orb for a square to his natal Jupiter, as well (inner wheel, Biwheel #1)—maybe someone or something will finally tell him no at that time. 

A couple non-cardinal points to watch: Trial Mars (Sagittarius) conjoins Sibly ASC (Sagittarius) and opposes Sibly Uranus (Gemini) and quincunxes Sibly Jupiter/Sun (Cancer). Munkasey likens the Sun/Jupiter midpoint to “a religious or philosophical system which ties the effective leadership of the country to a predetermined course of action; the executive of the nation battling with the legal and justice parts of government.”[2] 

I’d say he captures the situation here well—this Mars stimulates that midpoint in frustrating ways, as well as making me wonder if military volatility is still a present threat. Many believed that Trump’s decision to assassinate Iran’s General Soleimani was designed to distract from the impeachment even then—plenty of other opportunities for military adventurism are out there, so this bears watching. 

Trial Neptune (Pisces) opposes Sibly Neptune (Virgo) and squares Sibly ASC-DSC and Mars (Gemini). The onslaught of “alternative logic” and conspiracy theories as policy drivers in American government has not happened overnight, but the aspects are tightening and the situation is starting to bear real toxic fruit. Can reason and constitutional order prevail in this trial, as so passionately call for by the House managers? It’s hard to imagine from this chart, but Neptune leaves room for hope. 

Perhaps as its half-return to Sibly Neptune perfects, something will click into place for our national Soul and we’ll finally be able to move forward and meet the very critical challenges of this century.

In the meantime, the “fog of war” appears here as an easy way to knee-cap the impeachment effort—I sincerely hope I’m wrong about this, but we saw the prelude with Soleimani and are very few guard rails exist around Trump’s impulses these days. 

It doesn’t help that Trump’s nativity is tied so tightly into these mutable aspects—Congress needs to have more say about any plans for war, not less, and it’s up to every one of us to support that. It isn’t going to happen without a determined fight—Trial Neptune (Pisces) quincunxes Sibly Saturn (Libra).

This historical trial is being preserved in images, as well as words.

Final thoughts

So much more could be said about the impeachment trial itself—and I apologize that time simply doesn’t permit right now—but the basic astrological forecast seems pretty clear: hope springs eternal, but the odds on miracles are pretty long. In a strange way, we’re actually inhabiting dual realities in this nation at this moment—one determined to pull us back into a rewrite of everything that’s made this nation worth its salt, and one determined to lead us forward into something that builds on our idealistic foundations, heals some nagging wounds and propels us into a lighter, more sustainable and united future. Unfortunately, the first option still has us in its divisive grips.

It’s up to us to keep that brighter future in our sights!   

Perhaps the People are more interested in this trial than the Media lets on?

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 2020. All rights reserved. 

[1] Michael Munkasey, Midpoints: Unleashing the Power of the Planets, ACS Publications, San Diego, CA, 1991, p. 165.
[2] Ibid, p. 76.

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