Monday, January 6, 2020

On the brink: A new Saturn-Pluto cycle launches in reckless, turbulent times

This is about where we’re at as Saturn and Pluto close the gap between them and unite for a new 33+ year cycle—this time in Capricorn.  

Events on the ground being what they are, we’ll be discussing a number of incredibly tense situations as pertains this cycle: Trump’s looming Impeachment trial; his decision to approve U.S. airstrikes against Iranians, including their most high-profile military leader, and the dangerous Pandora’s box he’s opened in the process. 

In some ways, coming to grips with an aggressive Iran has been unfinished business since the late 1970s—in other words, the entire Saturn-Pluto cycle that just completed. However, Trump purposely ratcheted up the tension when he pulled out of the Obama-era JCPOA treaty with Iran (also signed onto by our European allies), and then laid heavy economic sanctions on Iran, creating tremendous hardship, mistrust and anger. This isn’t the first time that Trump has helped create a problem so that he can then take “heroic” action (in his mind, anyway) to resolve it. 

Add in his seemingly insatiable need to be seen as the tough-guy in control (of events and the narrative framing them) and it’s not hard to see how we arrived at our present precarious state.

All that said, it’s equally disturbing that the common thread running through nearly everything happening in D.C. these days is that Trump appears to be using the chaos he creates to elevate Executive power over Congress in ways that endanger our democracy, threaten the rule of Law and turn back the clock on human and civil rights. 

Under Trump’s belligerent rule, the U.S. has morphed from being a defender of these rights to being a violator of these rights—we’ve been seeing rising hate crimes targeting minorities; hostile changes to our immigration practices and the rise of detention camps that are still separating families at our southern border, despite judicial rulings that say they must stop. 

This situation on our southern border is far from solved.

Incredibly, children housed like animals in cages may be the iconic image that remains from Trump’s administration and the late waning days of this Saturn-Pluto cycle. Unless, of course, that image is crowded out of the way with ones showing masses of people in Iran shouting “Death to America.” 

So it’s no accident that we’re stuck in limbo, or in some kind of suspended animation, as we wait for Trump’s impeachment trial to be scheduled in the U.S. Senate—will it get moving now that the new Saturn-Pluto cycle has launched at 22°+Capricorn (on the 4th)? House Leader Nancy Pelosi hasn’t yet sent the House Articles of Impeachment to the Senate because there is still no assurance that a fair trial with witnesses will be held, and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and his Democratic counterpart, Chuck Schumer, are at loggerheads about how the trial will proceed. 

Sen. Lindsay Graham now says that he’d change Senate rules to eliminate the need for the Articles before the trial. So we may be in limbo a bit longer.  

Major General Qasem Soleimani's killing is being taken as an act of war in Iran.

How interesting that as the new Saturn-Pluto cycle fell into place on the 4th, we were just absorbing news about the dangerous geopolitical corner we turned the day before: world events all of a sudden feel more precarious than usual because in the wee hours of Monday morning (approx. 1 a.m. local time), U.S. airstrikes—ordered by Trump—hit the Baghdad airport, killing Iranian major general Qasem Soleimani. 

Thought to be the second most powerful man in Iran, Soleimani was also the military strategist responsible for many American deaths in the Middle East, and although his function was strictly within the Iranian military “Revolutionary Guard,” the Trump administration had labeled him and the RG as “terrorists.” It’s not clear that our allies or the U.N. agree with this label, but no one is defending this guy, either. 

Analysts are quick to point out, in fact, how “bad” he was, but they also point out the intense risks the Trump administration is taking by making a victim out of him. Other U.S. presidents have weighed the benefits against the risks for similar actions and they all decided the risks outweighed everything. Bottom line, making a victim out of Soleimani basically assures retaliation, which could take many disturbing forms.

Then there’s the question of what’s next? A former Middle East specialist under George W. Bush, Brent McGurk commented that “we need to presume that we are in a state of war with Iran…and the Trump administration doesn’t seem prepared for that.” 

Whether the killing was prudent or justified is a very complicated question we can only guess at here, but the reality is, Trump acted on his own, with basically no input from Congress (he golfed with Sen. Lindsay Graham, but the rest of Congress wasn’t even briefed before the killing). True to form, Trump is pushing his Constitutional limits, and for all we can tell, he has no follow-up plan except to tweet heavy threats. To dig us in deeper, in other words.

He had to know that Iran won’t take such an attack lying down—they consider this an act of war and a significant escalation of tensions, and they will feel justified to strike back in any way they can. He also had to know that this would cause the evolving Iran-Russia-China alliance to harden. Is all of this what Trump set out to achieve? Did he understand what he was getting us all into? 

Then there’s the issue of curious timing. 

The 1979 Iran hostage crisis launched 40+ years of "shadow war" with Iran.

While it does feel a bit too coincidental that both North Korea and the Middle East have flared back up again just in time to divert us all from the impeachment drama in D.C., the timing for such flare-ups isn’t surprising from a Saturn-Pluto perspective—the days bridging two Saturn-Pluto cycles can bring volatile power struggles. Significantly, in the final days before the 1982 cycle we just completed began in late Libra, the U.S. and Iran were at loggerheads over the 1979 hostage crisis. 

Apparently, Soleimani got his start with the Iranian military during that volatile 1970s period, and according to McGurk, we’ve been in a “shadow war” with Iran ever since. So the timing for Trump's attack sounds a lot like “what goes around comes around,” but he's the one who has forced the conflict out of the shadows. Does he know what to do with it now?

If Trump was inclined, or even equipped to now build a diplomatic solution to this emerging dilemma, we might rightly celebrate. On the news shows this morning, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s defense of the killing on NBC today basically suggested that we all need to just trust that the Administration knew what it was doing, and that we should just accept that whatever the consequences are, they were for our good.  Like the Administration is this all-wise, protective paternal force and “Father Knows Best” (remember that sitcom back in the “good old days?”). 

Not surprisingly, this protective paternal image is strongly projected by Trump’s natal Saturn-Venus in Cancer: we’ll consider this further in the charts below.

So by Pompeo’s “official” logic, setting off a cycle of revenge and retribution that kills Americans, not to mention others, is actually saving Americans. Can that line of reasoning—offering no facts and no supporting evidence—really reassure people? So, who’s expendable? Who’s not?

The waning days of a Saturn-Pluto cycle do tend to force old festering conflicts to the surface so they can be addressed openly. But it’s hard to trust that Trump wants to solve anything diplomatically, or if he was even thinking that far down the road when he gave the order to strike Soleimani. 

So has Trump opened a Pandora’s box that he won’t know how to close? Unfortunately, all this is happening as we shift gears into the new Saturn-Pluto cycle, suggesting that the tinder he’s lit could keep burning well into the first quarter. Astrological precedent exists for this, as well. When the 1947 Saturn-Pluto cycle was winding down in the late 1970s and early 80s. Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was emboldened by the turmoil between the U.S. and Iran (and U.S. assistance) to attack Iran in September 1980: the horrendously destructive First Gulf War ensued and lasted into 1988, well into the 1982 Saturn-Pluto cycle. 

And the entanglements didn’t stop there: as you might remember, the U.S. only deepened its involvement in that region under George H.W. Bush, who launched the Second Gulf War in 1991—purportedly to defend Kuwait from an encroaching Iraq. The more our politicians have talked about extricating us from these “forever wars,” the deeper we seem to sink into them. 

And now, Trump appears to be taking yet another lurching step into this perennial morass. As always, we have to wonder who benefits? For one thing, if the past is any guide, there’s nothing more difficult to get rid of than a war-time president.  

How convenient for the fossil fuel and Defense industries that this would transpire now, too, when there’s a robust trend towards retooling our economy around green energy and shrinking our collective carbon footprint.  Will the war machine burn “green” fuel? Not likely under Trump’s anti-regulatory regime, but what the war machine is likely to do is to consume every free dollar that might be put towards building a green, sustainable economy, towards building a sane health care system, educating our children, and so on. 

Yes, ill-conceived wars have been a serious feature of the Saturn-Pluto cycle that just ended, and we have much better things to do with those trillions, don’t we? 

Rudy Giuliani, promoting his Ukraine "documentary."

Meanwhile, Trump’s Impeachment defense goes “Hollywood”

All of the above maneuverings are playing out while Trump’s personal lawyer and “fixer” Rudy Giuliani has reportedly been working with a small right-wing television network, One America News Network (OAN) to assemble a “documentary” that he says will exonerate Trump in regards to the Impeachment articles and “prove” that Ukraine was behind 2016 Election meddling, not Russia. 

The description of Giuliani’s film debut, reported in the Washington Post, reads like a twisted fairy tale, to be blunt—and it sounds like the fact-checkers are dismissing it out of hand—see here for more. Even Trump supporter, Sen. Lindsay Graham said that he hopes our Intelligence community reviews what Giuliani is doing and makes sure he’s not just spouting Russian propaganda. According to the Daily Beast, Giuliani is working to “brief” Senators—impeachment trial jurors—with the questionable information he’s been gathering:

“On his trip to Kyiv last month, Giuliani met with former general prosecutors and parliamentarians known for peddling Russian conspiracy theories, including supposed plots that involve Ukrainian intervention in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter. When he arrived back in Washington, Giuliani updated Trump, according to two individuals with knowledge of their conversation, and said publicly the president asked him to brief Republican senators about the information he gathered. “He wants me to do it,” Giuliani told The Washington Post in an interview earlier this month. “I’m working on pulling it together and hope to have it done by the end of the week.”
Since then, though, various lawmakers, as well as administration officials and national security brass, have privately expressed concerns about Giuliani's latest Ukraine jaunt, given that the Trump lawyer's efforts are what helped create this Ukraine scandal and get the president impeached in the first place. ...”

The corrupt approach Giuliani has been taking to Trump’s defense should be a real wake-up call, but perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised: Trump has employed such thuggish figures to “fix” things for him throughout his career. First there was Roy Cohn, a controversial figure in the 1950s McCarthyism era and Trump’s unscrupulous (and eventually disbarred) attorney from 1973-85; then there was longtime Trump lawyer and Trump Organization official, Michael Cohen (now serving a prison term for eight offenses, including campaign finance law violations and lying to Congress on behalf of Trump).

And now there’s Rudy Giuliani, possibly the most bizarre crusader Trump has ever used.

Conflicts of interest abound when the official becomes personal.

Untangling the person from the position

Astrologically, trying to separate out the personal and the official levels of a national leader’s life is often tricky, but with Trump we know that everything is personal, even when it shouldn’t be. In fact, the first Article of Impeachment accuses him of using his official power to benefit his personal political ambitions, and of putting those personal ambitions above his duty to the Constitution and the nation. 

Ideally, the two dimensions of life remain distinct with leaders of nations, especially in democracies, but Trump seems either unwilling to follow or incapable of understanding this principle. When he protests that he “did nothing wrong” with Ukraine, in the face of clear evidence that he did (and that he admitted to), we’re left to wonder if he’s living in a fantasy world, or if he just doesn’t grasp the ethical principles involved. 

Or he simply disagrees that such ethics are even possible. Trump’s own comments reveal that he takes a cynical, transactional view of basically everything. Everyone can be bought; others’ needs are important only when they provide leverage; the truth is whatever you want it to be at the time, whatever serves your purpose. All that matters is that you “win” by making a good “deal” that essentially crushes your opponent, and that you stay in power. Perhaps this is what happens when a no-holds-barred business person gets into politics? 

Niccolo Machiavelli, 16th c. political philosopher.

Saturn-Neptune-Pluto and destructive cynicism

Working for the corrupt Medici courts of 16th century Florence, Machiavelli coined the phrase “the ends justify the means,” a controversial idea that has haunted politics and the exercise of power in societies ever since. Perhaps one of the keys to Machiavelli’s enduring influence on politics is that—directed at keeping a monarch and his family in power—his amoral approach to maintaining power totally conflated the personal and the official. Pretty much the same thing we’re watching Trump do every day he occupies the White House.  

That regal Leo Mars on his Ascendant (inner wheel, Triwheel #1 below) comes to mind, doesn’t it? 

Machiavelli may not be the original toxic cynic (in its modern sense, cynicism is defined as “an attitude characterized by a general distrust of others' motives.[1 )–but when his worldview is embraced by leaders such as Trump, it has a pernicious way of eroding social principles and norms—especially (small “d”) democratic ones. If everyone is basically corrupted or at least corruptible, then for those who want to act in ways society wouldn’t approve, anything goes. Everyone’s doing it; it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, only the strong prevail. 

Looking out for one’s own interests over all else takes on an almost darkly religious quality when an ideology is involved. Heavily-influenced by dark Saturn-Pluto “realism,” it also smacks of toxic Neptune, which rules parasitism—“survival of the fittest,” right?  

Once the parasite of cynicism gets its claws into a society, in fact, corruption and institutional disintegration are never far behind, although it’s often difficult to pinpoint exact causes. Purely non-partisan, such abuse of power takes many forms. Note that to corrupt is a verb—an action that is consciously pursued against some target—but passive aggression (cynical inaction) often corrupts as well

As we’ve discussed many times on this site, Saturn, Neptune and Pluto seem to be especially active during such periods of toxic inertia and disintegration. It doesn’t appear that a lot is happening, yet we wake up one day and find that our world feels markedly different, vaguely dangerous and disordered. The structures, institutions, and civil safeguards we took for granted seem to be melting in front of our eyes, and the way forward is unclear. Wondering where your computer data is going these days? You’re not alone!

In a nutshell, things fall apart during heavy waning Saturn-Neptune-Pluto times and they need to be reengineered when the new cycle begins. For instance, current aspects between these planetary energies (Saturn closely applying to Pluto and widely sextiling Neptune)  undoubtedly reflect why Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has over 300 House bills—many passed on a bipartisan basis—just sitting on his desk, going nowhere, at the same time his GOP comrades are criticizing the Dems for being a “do nothing” party. 

McConnell can find time to pack the Courts with Trump-friendly judges for lifetime appointments, but he obstructs any legislation that Trump may not want to see. That’s not how the Senate is supposed to work! 

And, as we’ve seen since Trump was impeached by the House, McConnell has openly pledged that he will not be an impartial juror for the Senate trial, that he will plan the trial in “total coordination” with the White House. So in addition to corrupting the Senate—basically handing our its power to the Executive—he’s also conflating the personal and the official levels of his job. What he stands to gain from being Trump’s “fixer” in the Senate is an interesting story for another day. 

If this doesn’t represent the worst of a Saturn-Neptune-Pluto “Swamp,” what does?!  

McConnell (l) & Schumer (r) at an impasse over the Impeacment trial.

Trial and error

An important main focus here, of course, is how Trump and the nation are likely to weather the Senate impeachment trial looming ahead, not to mention the proverbial “monkey wrenches” with which Trump is trying to sabotage it. Before we can say too much about that, however, it will be good to have a date for the trial and some information about how it’s likely to proceed. 

In the meantime, we can consider this week’s killing of Iran’s Major General Soleimani—it’s part of the story, after all. Undoubtedly, Trump will use this action to whip up patriotic fervor in his base over this “tough-guy” action, which will, of course, further divide the nation between those who unquestioningly believe his narrative and those who question what’s really going on. And between those who welcome more warfare (yes, they’re out there!), and those who don’t. 

And, since there’s an added religious dimension to any conflict with Iran (as an Islamic Republic), Trump can play that card to solidify his Evangelical following—some of his “flock” have strayed lately.  Bottom line, Trump could feel that his job security is at stake, and a little political “Teflon” can’t hurt. 

What better way to undermine the impeachment process? 

Saturn & Pluto conjoined for their new cycle on Jan. 4th.

The Astrology

So, because today’s killing of Soleimani at the Baghdad airport is such an important piece of this impeachment puzzle, let’s begin with a quick review of that event chart. We have an approximate time of 1 a.m. local time, and even without a precise time, the chart tells quite a story. We will then add further context by setting this Soleimani event chart against Trump’s nativity. In a future post, as events unfold, we’ll bring the U.S. Sibly chart into the discussion as well.

Just to set the stage, please note that I wouldn’t presume that deflecting from Impeachment was the sole motivation for the attack on Iran, but the Pentagon called Soleimani a “target of opportunity:” that does seem to work in more than one way. 

For instance,  by taking hard action against Iran, Trump will solidify his support from hawkish GOP Senators such as Lindsay Graham and Tom Cotton, and perhaps even former National Security Adviser John Bolton (an Iran hawk from way back) will be more inclined to resist testifying in the Impeachment trial—or if he must testify, to go easy on Trump. 

The charts below will shed some light on this and much more.

Chart #1: Soleimani killing by U.S. airstrike, January 3, 2020, 1:00 a.m. ST, Baghdad, Iraq. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

Angular cardinal placements: Eris (Aries) conjoins DSC and squares Saturn-Pluto-IC (Capricorn). Venus (Aquarius) rules Libra ASC from 4th (the end of things). The pretext of retribution (Libra-Aries balance) figures heavily into this event—the technological weapons of choice are seen with Venus in Aquarius, ruling the ASC and disposed by Uranus (Taurus) in the 7th, the house of open enemies. Venus is often active in charts concerning warfare—we do well to remember that Athena was a warrior goddess—here she comes armed with high-tech Uranian weapons!

Uranus and Venus here also reflect the shocking nature of this event (in the dead of night, a total surprise). Venus falls exactly semi-sextile Neptune (Pisces) as well—the manner in which this event was planned and implemented is very unclear (Neptune), but we’ve heard that Sen. Lindsay Graham was alerted ahead of time when he played golf (5th house) with Trump at Mar-a-Lago. It seems like a lot of high-level negotiations and planning transpires over a game of golf, doesn’t it? This Neptune placement suggests that there could have been other shadowy influences on Trump’s decision-making, as well. 

At this point, we should very briefly consider this chart next to Iran’s radix chart—the most current chart is cast for the announced “birth” of the Islamic Republic at 3 p.m. on April 1, 1979 in Tehran.[1]


Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) Iran-Islamic Republic, April 1, 1979, 3:00 p.m. DST, Tehran, Iran; (outer wheel) Soleimani killing-U.S. airstrike, January 3, 2020, 1:00 a.m. ST, Baghdad, Iraq. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Soleimani killing (SK) Venus (Aquarius) conjoins Iran DSC-Pallas (Aquarius), trines Iran Pluto (Rx, Libra), and forms two separate squares to Iran MC (Taurus) and Iran Uranus (Rx, Scorpio). Clearly the planning that went on in Mar-a-Lago (over a golf game or not) is registering in Iran as a shocking, death-dealing (square to 4th house Uranus) case of unjust attack (7th house Pallas). It’s no wonder that we’re hearing Iran respond to the violent affront to their image in the world (MC)—the fixed signs involved in all this will require a response.

Interchart T-Square: SK Neptune (Pisces) conjoins Iran So. Node and opposes No. Node (Pisces-Virgo); this axis squares Iran Neptune (Rx, Sagittarius). This suggests that the Soleimani killing carries a great deal of symbolic weight for Iran, and that the nation finds itself at a spiritual or ideological crossroads of some kind. Will it mean regime change? Considering that Neptune has been transiting over Iran’s 7th house, opposite Iran Saturn (Rx, Virgo) over the course of Trump’s administration, it’s quite possible that there’s been a breakdown of key institutions, infrastructures, and perhaps even the rule of law. 

Environmental and anti-Nuclear groups hailed the 2015 JCPOA with Iran.

During this time period, Iran was subject to the Trump administration pulling the U.S. out of the multi-lateral Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in which Iran agreed to halt some types of nuclear development—click here for the details. Negotiated by the Obama administration, Trump hated the agreement from day one because it didn't solve every issue we had with Iran, but those who negotiated it never said it would solve all ills. It was considered a starting point for diplomacy that would at least stabilize the most dangerous threat of nuclear development. 

In any case, in May 2018 Trump formally pulled the U.S. out of it, even though our European allies and Russia and China voiced their concern and have been trying to keep it going. As noted earlier, in the process, Iran, Russia and China have formed a tighter alliance that may or may not be good for the U.S.

Meanwhile, Trump found reasons to impose heavy financial sanctions on Iran, dubbing his approach a “Maximum Pressure” campaign. To accomplish what has never been clear—it certainly doesn’t seem to be about making the Middle East safer, but as we’ll see below, Trump has an astrological relationship with Iran that might explain some of this. 

Perhaps Neptune’s presence in this sensitive 7th house explains the lack of clarity. The weaponizing of misinformation would also make sense here. 

The overall sense here is that Iran has experienced an extended, debilitating period in which it was unclear who they could count on and who they couldn’t. Of course, this Neptune could also reflect their projected fears and anxieties, and the strategy of waging “proxy” wars wherever Shia Muslim populations were concentrated (throughout the Middle East). Managing such operations was reportedly Soleimani’s role. 

As a major sect within Islam, Shia Muslims transcend boundaries (Neptune)—they are united by religious affiliation and heritage over geography, and Iran has been uniquely concerned with projecting their power across the Middle East. 

SK Uranus (Taurus) sextiles/trines SK Nodal Axis (Cancer-Capricorn) and inconjoins SK Mars (Scorpio). The aspects to the Nodal Axis are fairly wide, but they make an important point that the Mars inconjunct only solidifies further—especially since this Mars widely conjoins Iran’s Uranus in turn: we’re in a season of resource-based disruptions and dangerous, volatile maneuverings. SK Uranus sextiles Iran Venus (Pisces) and trines Iran Saturn (Rx, Virgo), suggesting that Iran has allies (7th house Venus), and that it should be able to muster the internal discipline (1st house Saturn) to benefit from these disruptions. 

Iran’s Saturn rules its Capricorn 6th house of the military, over which SK Saturn-Pluto are transiting. The event pictured here is being taken very seriously indeed. Since Pluto rules nuclear energy and SK Saturn-Pluto also sextiles Iran’s Mars-Vesta (Pisces) here, the world should probably assume that Iran will take the U.S. attack as the go-ahead for continuing to develop its nuclear capabilities. 

This tells us quite enough to go on to the next layer of context: how is Trump’s nativity tied into all this volatility? 


Threats and counterthreats are flying between Trump & Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini.

What is Trump’s beef with Iran?

If I had to hazard a guess about this now burning question, it would be that Iran is the “enemy of his friends,” the Israelis, and if we’re thinking in religious terms, of his Evangelical base. If it is just such an enmity of convenience—or worse, a distraction from the pressures of Impeachment on him—then every life that he’s sacrificing or putting through trauma by his recklessness is one too many. The world is not his plaything, but it sure appears that the arrogant Leo Mars on his ASC hasn’t gotten that message. 

Far from it—he’s feeling empowered since he has so far suffered few consequences from violating the Constitution, stonewalling Congress and pushing the limits of Executive power. And, judging from the 2011 video he put out that claimed Obama was “sure” to start a war with Iran just to get himself re-elected in 2012—Trump is clearly attuned to the “job security” a war could net him. 

So, let’s add Trump’s nativity to the Biwheel above and consider how that context colors what we’ve already seen in the event chart. Maybe we’ll also get a better idea how Trump views Iran. 

Triwheel #1: (inner wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica (Queens) New York; (middle wheel) Iran-Islamic Republic, April 1, 1979, 3:00 p.m. DST, Tehran, Iran; (outer wheel) Soleimani killing-U.S. airstrike, January 3, 2020, 1:00 a.m. ST, Baghdad, Iraq. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.   
Interchart Cardinal Grand Square. By adding Trump’s chart into the mix, we can appreciate how the stressful cardinal energies we’ve already discussed above impact him, personally. This gives us some insight into his motivations for ordering the actions he has against Soleimani and other Iranians. So consider the following grand square axes:

--SK Killing MC (Cancer) conjoins Iran Jupiter (Cancer) and Trump Saturn-Venus (Cancer); this axis opposes SK Killing Part of Fortune-Saturn-Pluto (Capricorn). This axis squares:
--SK Killing ASC (Libra) conjoins Iran Pluto (Rx, Libra) and Trump Jupiter (Libra); this axis opposes SK Killing Eris (Aries).

Clearly, these aggressive, and at times volatile, connections reflect an intense power struggle that offers both grave risks to and beneficial opportunities for both sides. Iran’s Jupiter is tied into this, and clearly the transiting Saturn-Pluto opposition will test and transform that nation’s ability to expand and prosper. This also reflects a possible return to their nuclear energy programs (Saturn-Pluto), although there will be a great deal of pushback if they begin to militarize around nuclear energy. Saturn-Pluto are transiting Iran’s 6th house of military/labor force.  

U.S. & international sanctions have deeply harmed Iran's economy.

Will they revive their economy by providing jobs in the nuclear sector?  Looks possible.

For his role in this incredibly tense Grand Square, Trump seems to favor no-looking-back dynamics that sort out the proverbial “wheat from the chaff:” who loves him enough to defend him, no matter what he does or asks them to do, and who doesn’t?  Clearly, Trump has been under intense pressure from transiting Saturn-Pluto (Capricorn) opposing his natal Saturn-Venus (Cancer), and that has probably been registering as a threat to not just his job, but his feeling of secure authority, advantage, and nurture.  

At some point, an opportunity to deflect that harsh energy in Iran’s direction (oppositions to Iran Jupiter) presented itself, and he pounced. 

As we’ve seen with the Ukraine scandal that got him impeached, however, Trump’s more than willing to manipulate the facts (Saturn-Pluto) when he’s feeling defensive (which is basically always). Trump—or an underling(s) he directs to maintain credible deniability himself—engineers circumstances that will benefit Trump by debilitating his opponents.  

Contrary to a Neptunian style misinformation campaign, in which the goal is to confuse and distort so the truth seems totally out of reach, the Saturn-Pluto-style deceptive attack we’re talking about here is, at its core, a ruthless abuse of power that aims to destroy a perceived rival. Some rivals suffer vicious attacks on their reputations and careers; others, like Soleimani, lose their lives.   

I mentioned the interesting paternalistic explanation that Pompeo gave about the Soleimani killing on Sunday’s talk shows—in his narrative, Trump is framed as an almost benevolent, all-wise father figure who was just concerned that his “children” would be hurt by Iran. Yes, his Saturn-Venus conjunction in Cancer can be construed this way, and I would guess that he has his protective instincts that lead him to lash out preemptively, rather than wait for an actual attack, but do we buy that he’s expressing this paternalism out of the goodness of his heart, with no vested interests in mind? 

That’s a more difficult leap of faith—his behavior and manner simply don’t reflect selfless intentions. 

Trump's defensive Tweets reflect blowback about the Iran attack.

SK Killing Mars (Scorpio) widely conjoins Iran Uranus (Rx, Scorpio), squares Trump Mars-ASC (Leo) and trines SK Killing MC (Cancer)-Trump Saturn-Venus (Cancer). These aspects explain Trump’s belligerence and willingness to bang the drums of war with Iran specifically, but as always with him, there’s a deeply personal dimension to his actions. He is clearly on heightened alert for his own security—Iran Uranus also inconjoins Trump Sun-Node-Uranus in Gemini and semi-sextiles his reactive Sagittarius Moon, so not only did he feel emboldened to attack, he sensed a crisis at hand (aspects to his Sun, etc.). 

There may or may not be concrete evidence to justify his actions, but it appears that his Gemini threat antennae are registering a state of emergency. This may also explain why he’s taken a belligerent attitude toward Iran from the get-go—their radix Uranus resonates as a constant, nagging threat to him, a threat that transiting Mars triggered. As former V.P. Joe Biden put it, Trump “threw a stick of dynamite into a tinder box.”
We’ll see in a future post how this works with the U.S. Sibly chart—unfortunately, the security of the nation is now tightly enmeshed with his own. 

 SK Killing Venus (Aquarius) trines Trump Sun-Node-Uranus (Gemini) and Trump Jupiter-Chiron-Juno (Libra); also tied in here are SK Killing ASC-Juno conjunct Iran Pluto (Rx, Libra). All of this together reads like the whirlwind Trump is already reaping from his impulsive actions. One headline said that Trump has set off a “swift chain reaction”—that certainly fits the airy dynamic here. 

Clearly, there’s a personal dimension to all this for Trump that goes beyond any Jupiter benefits he may expect. It’s impossible to say exactly what form his Chiron wound takes, but its position, sandwiched between Jupiter and Juno (Zeus and Hera were married but always at odds with each other) has always been intriguing, and there’s some “void” there that he’s perpetually trying to fill. Is it the approval of his often-betrayed wife Melania? That would be a totally speculative discussion for another day, but there does seem to be some coveted relationship at stake in the power struggle he’s unleashed in our collective name.  

It’s worth noting that Iran’s Pluto is opposed by Iran Sun-Eris (and widely, Juno, all in Aries), so we can expect disruptive, militant responses to Trump’s attack. What do we make of the Trump Jupiter-Iran Pluto conjunction? It appears that Iran’s posture towards Trump really grinds him because it registers as a challenge to his personal power. Trump’s Jupiter-Uranus trine has probably functioned as a lucky “get out of jail free” card for him over his lifetime--perhaps it even reflects that he's gotten by with some risky behavior. Even so, Iran’s Pluto-Eris may not let him off so easily. 

Of course, with his Gemini planets conjunct Sibly Mars (Gemini), Trump is counting on the power of the U.S. military to shore up his power. 

Bottom line, his personal ambitions, fears, anxieties and wounds have become our collective problem—in a big way.

Russian diplomat Sergei Lavrov admonished Trump for the attack on Iran.

Final thoughts

Much more could be said about the charts above, and we could certainly add more context by looking at all this next to the US Sibly chart, but this is enough dreariness for now. At a time when we should be celebrating the New Year, looking forward to a clean slate and a year of possibilities, Trump decided to put his own personal stamp on that year for his own purposes—whatever those may be. 

I hope we are not simply being lied to—that there’s some kernel of truth in the Administration’s official stance that might make the decision to strike Iran more of a “judgment call” rather than a betrayal, but with Neptune (Pisces) transiting conjunct Iran’s So. Node (Pisces) and square Iran’s Neptune (Rx, Sagittarius), pulling in Trump’s volatile Gemini-Sagittarius points, I fear we are not getting a straight story at all. Bottom line, we deserve to know what the facts are here!

And that’s the hope hidden in all this: concerned voices in government are loudly demanding that the Administration release factual evidence. Trump and company are trying to frame the attack as a pre-emptive strike designed to prevent another terrorist attack (stimulating our national “9/11” trauma, of course), but what happens if this posturing is an empty factual narrative that basically falls apart when scrutinized? The "hero" we need right now is the one who knows how to put the demons of war back in Pandora's box.

Those same loud voices demanding facts are also demanding that Trump follow the Constitution by consulting Congress before he launches a war, as well—in other words, by honoring Congress’s sole authority to declare war and to fund a war. We know how sharing power with Congress irritates Trump no end, but this is serious. Hopefully our Supreme Court hasn’t been corrupted beyond repair—we may need them to mediate between Congress and the White House.  

In the end, it’s up to all of us to hold our government accountable for its actions. The American people did not ask for a war with Iran, and that should mean something!

Let's hope that a happ(ier) New Year lies ahead! 

Quite a leap, huh?

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]Nicholas Campion, The Book of World Horoscopes, The Wessex Astrologer, Bournemouth, UK, 2004, Chart #159, p. 163. 

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