Saturday, February 15, 2020

A close look at Election 2020 candidates in Neptunian times

“As I swiped at my phone, a stream of pro-Trump propaganda filled the screen: ‘That’s right, the whistleblower’s own lawyer said, ‘The coup has started …’ ’ Swipe. ‘Democrats are doing Putin’s bidding …’ Swipe. ‘The only message these radical socialists and extremists will understand is a crushing …’ Swipe. ‘Only one man can stop this chaos …’ Swipe, swipe, swipe.”—McKay Coppins, The Atlantic, “The Billion Dollar Misinformation Campaign to Re-elect the President,” March, 2020

If you haven’t yet heard about or read the article cited above, I highly recommend it: it’s the most complete, detailed and thoroughly researched account of the massively deceptive Neptunian challenge looming ahead for Election 2020. We’ve been seeing this challenge take shape for years already—it’s unclear to what exact extent propaganda and distorted information  served up in Election 2016 by Russian troll farms actually decided the election, but according to Coppins’ eye-witness account from inside Magaworld, an even more sophisticated, large-scale campaign using the same Neptunian tools is unfolding even as we speak, and it sounds like its coordinators are determined to sway the vote by any means necessary this time around. No ethical, legal or moral boundaries exist here, so there will be victims. 

 Consider this summary of the challenge from Coppins, who basically embedded himself in the world of Trump disinformation on social media so he could report what he observed:

“What I was seeing was a strategy that has been deployed by illiberal political leaders around the world. Rather than shutting down dissenting voices, these leaders have learned to harness the democratizing power of social media for their own purposes—jamming the signals, sowing confusion. They no longer need to silence the dissident shouting in the streets; they can use a megaphone to drown him out. Scholars have a name for this: censorship through noise…
Every presidential campaign sees its share of spin and misdirection, but this year’s contest promises to be different. In conversations with political strategists and other experts, a dystopian picture of the general election comes into view—one shaped by coordinated bot attacks, Potemkin local-news sites, micro-targeted fearmongering, and anonymous mass texting. Both parties will have these tools at their disposal. But in the hands of a president who lies constantly, who traffics in conspiracy theories, and who readily manipulates the levers of government for his own gain, their potential to wreak havoc is enormous.”

Just to be clear, a “Potemkin” local-news site is a phony news website, set up to look legitimate, but there only to host misinformation and to help perpetuate smear tactics against Trump’s rival (or anyone he chooses to target). In other words, to provide local mouthpieces for Trump propaganda that basically act to tear down the credibility of opponents and local news outlets at the same time. Coppins reminds readers that more people trust those local news outlets than the national ones (probably thanks in part to Trump’s “Fake News” smear tactics)—the goal here is to break down that small residual trust so people don’t know where to look for the facts, and they have no idea what to trust.

This erosion of trust, in combination with a deluge of micro-targeted ads and texts touting the Trump narrative on all things, basically works to erode people’s ability to think for themselves. In worst case scenarios, it breaks down people’s confidence to the point that they’re super-vulnerable to lies and distortions. In other words, the campaign intends to essentially psychologically overwhelm, abuse and manipulate everyone on the receiving end of this with gaslighting tactics. We know that Saturn is one remedy for Neptunian abuse—in this case, that means learning to recognize the tell-tale signs of gaslighting before they achieve their aim, so consider this:

See article that explains this pernicious form of abuse here.

We don’t even have to wait for the planned billion-dollar misinformation campaign—some  operatives have reportedly dubbed it the “Death Star”—to see the signs of gaslighting: we’ve been living with these tactics in Trump’s behavior since before the 2016 election, and it’s produced a very real phenomenon of outrage fatigue, which only serves to erode our democracy further. Remember the drip-drip-drip of the following messages? The election process “is rigged,” "busloads full of “illegals” voted in November 2016, (totally debunked; something had to account for his loss of the popular vote, right?—if this continues, can we ever trust another election?!

The press—the only watchdog we have against government corruption these days—fell victim to constant smear tactics in 2016, as well—they’re all Fake News! At times Trump and company have even lashed out at individual reporters just trying to do their jobs. But he will “never do anything to harm Social Security and Medicare”—until he proposes one trillion dollars in health care cuts in the next budget. Have we started to question our own perceptions and judgments about what the presidency in a democracy should be about, yet?  

Of course we have—how couldn’t we? 

Who's the real person here?

Other Neptunian challenges: the “Hall of Mirrors” effect—the often distorted “funhouse” sea of deflections and projections that fill our Media space in regards to the facts of anything involving Trump. We saw more of this with his pronouncements regarding the Roger Stone sentencing. The “other side” (i.e., those who would dare to try holding his crony accountable for defying Congress, etc.) were the problemnot Stone himself and the many crimes he was convicted on in court (some for quite vicious behavior). 

If the Constitution or Congress says there’s a problem with something Trump or his cronies want to do or have done, the Constitution and Congress must be the problem! We've been enduring a rolling constitutional crisis for this very reason. His impeachment defense was similarly rife with distortions and attempts to smear others to save himself.  “I’m rubber…you’re glue…bounces off me and sticks on you!”

This “mirror” effect is also expressing in the way Trump has attempted to distort our perceptions of right and wrong themselves: he intervened in the military justice system to pardon a Navy Seal convicted of war crimes and as alluded to, he has intervened with the Justice Department to secure a light sentence for his long-time cronies, Mike Flynn and Roger Stone, convicted on multiple counts of corrupt, illegal behavior. Mike Flynn actually pled guilty under oath and then tried to smear the court to nullify his verdict. Yet Trump is now calling for the prosecution of decorated war hero Lt. Col. Vindman, who testified in Congress in the impeachment hearings. 

Purple Heart recipient, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman

According to a stunning article by former Chief of Staff John Kelly, Lt. Col. Vindman  followed the law and his military training by responding to a subpoena from Congress and telling the truth as he knew it under oath, and for this he (and his brother!) were perp-walked out of the White House? 

In another instance, we witnessed Trump attempt to curry a bit of favor with African-Americans by inviting one of the last remaining Tuskegee Airmen to his State of the Union address, only to turn around and award the National Medal of Honor to a blatant racist and all-round ethically-challenged Rush Limbaugh. The “Hall of Mirrors” provides Trump with the only ethical North Star he knows, judging the rightness or wrongness of every situation by how it reflects on him. If it reflects poorly, it must be a lie perpetrated by disgusting, evil “NeverTrumpers.” How dare they say anything negative in regards to His Highness? Free speech rights are being trampled, left and right, and that's just the tip of the corruption iceberg!

Michelangelo Caravaggio's rendition of the Myth of Narcissus.

Even beyond the damage being done to military justice and to Vindman’s reputation and career (likewise, to so many other public servants who have been treated equally shabby), the fallout in terms of the ethical and moral collapse of our national leadership and Trump’s inability to see beyond his own self-interest will be deep and long-lasting. Remember the myth of Narcissus, a “beautiful” young man who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water? It didn’t end well for him because he tragically realized he could never fulfill his longing for that reflection and so committed suicide. It seems that Trump has figured out a way to destroy others in that quest instead—anyone who might question the beauty he sees in his own reflection is fair game. Neptune!

Neptune is also the likely source of a host of “no win situations” that seem to proliferate exponentially, right along with the culture of constant crisis Trump has spawned: every time we think we might have made a step forward, it’s common for something out of the blue to intervene and muddy the waters, throw the daily news cycle out of whack and put us three steps back. That insidious undertow is Neptune at work. 

Addressing true crises is another story: Trump begrudged Puerto Rico every penny of federal aid they so badly needed after Hurricane Maria, and he has barely mentioned the Coronavirus epidemic or the challenges of climate change—both truly urgent, as opposed to his toxic Neptunian crises

Of course, no win situations touch all sides of politics these days: for instance, why is former N.Y. mayor Mike Bloomberg in the race? – to stop Bernie Sanders or to stop Donald Trump? The first choice raises uneasy suspicions and divides the Democratic party; the second choice would seem to be welcome and unifying because even if he doesn’t become the nominee, Bloomberg has pledged to finance the Democratic party in its quest against Trump. 

Former NYC Mayor and Democratic candidate, Mike Bloomberg

But, if Sanders wins the nomination, which could happen, what then? Sanders expressly rejects funding by billionaires, so where does that leave the effort? Will the Dems look a gift horse in the mouth over ideological lines one candidate has drawn in the sand? It’s true that the Dems have all decried the power of big money to “buy” our elections, so they may be damned if they accept Bloomberg’s help and damned if they don’t.  Neptune!

This, along with the fact that Trump is never accountable for anything has spun an almost magical feeling “invincibility cloak” around him that insulates him against any and all responsibility.  This “myth” of invincibility isn’t real, folksit’s a carefully engineered narrative that is reinforced every time he “colors outside the line” with impunity (when doesn’t he?). His invincibility depends entirely on his followers picking up on his “coded” (i.e., Neptunian) statements. 

It doesn't take much to see that there are implied threats in everything he says on Twitter—he didn’t have to “force” the DOJ to reduce Stone’s sentencing—all he had to do was to express dissatisfaction and toss out a couple choice code words like “unfair” and “horrible,” and his toadies know that a threat looms if they don’t fall into line. This allows Trump to deny that he did anything untoward—plausible deniability is Neptune’s gift that keeps on giving. Muddy the waters and anything is possible. 

Of course, Trump bullies his way into these situations and then just dares those with any say in the matter to withhold what he wants, or—if he’s done something blatantly inappropriate or illegal—to hold him accountable. We’re seeing this dynamic play out in his current attacks against Judge Amy Berman Jackson in the Roger Stone case. Another “no-win” situation: Will she cave to his unfounded criticisms and cut the sentence she thinks is best for Stone? Or will she do what her professionalism dictates as being just and appropriate and be forced to deal with non-stop threats and recrimination? 

If Trump’s targets dare to withhold what he wants, he will carry out those implied threats that lace every message, which takes us back to the Hall of Mirrors—his accusers are guilty…not him! They’re out to get him…It’s a hoax…a witch hunt…they’re corrupt, liars, she’s an “Obama judge,” and so on. It’s a horrible miscarriage of justice…what a waste of time and money…and yadda yadda. These are all very predictable projections and deflections from the real issues at hand, but it’s a formula that always seems to work for Trump, so why vary the script? 

As another judge observing what’s happening with Jackson Berman put it: “He’s trying to delegitimize anyone appointed by someone other than him and to say that the only people who can be trusted are Trump judges,” she said. There should be no such thing as a Trump (or Obama) judge…the whole basis for a judge’s position is his/her ability to remain politically neutral and to judge the case strictly on the facts presented. The long sordid history of the Stone case suggests that Jackson Berman has done just that—she didn’t even jail the man after he violated a gag order by posting a threatening picture of her on Instagram, with rifle crosshairs laid over her face! Sounds to me like she’s been more than fair!  

So we’ve seen Trump in action long enough now to anticipate a lot of the corrupt maneuverings that he and his operatives are likely to try, but as in all things Neptunian, there’s a hidden “trap:” a tendency to become lulled or overwhelmed into accepting these behaviors as the new norm, which IMHO, is very dangerous. If we ever want to live in a democracy where no one is above the law again, we must take these behaviors very seriously, and we must be incredibly vigilant.

A case in point is the “Operation Chaos” initiative the Republicans are planning to pursue in primary contests. The point is for Republican voters to cross-over the aisle and vote en masse for the “weakest” Dem on the ticket—those in charge believe this will sow chaos in the Democratic party and will provide Trump with a punching bag candidate he can easily vanquish. Will there be any way to trace the impact of this kind of overt meddling? One of the organizers of this corrupt initiative has this to say:

"I would love to see the Democrats -- whoever wins the South Carolina Democrat primary -- for everybody else to have accused him of having stolen the election because he was actually elected with Republican support and therefore prolonged the chaos and the disruption."
In other words, the dirty tricks have already begun and the tricksters don’t even try to disguise what they are doing—they’re boasting about it. This is a stark warning about the Neptunian challenges to our upcoming election: if we let down our guard for a minute, allow ourselves to be fragmented, divided and/or apathetic, things will go very wrong, so extreme vigilance and unity are key. Personally, I hope the DNC files a law suit suing those in charge of this program (which Trump has remarked on from the White House)—here’s a case where a dash of Saturn might help balance out a bit of the toxic Neptune. 

Of course, how do you stop people from showing up at the polls with bad intentions? It might help if there were party affiliation laws (Saturn) limiting who can vote in the primaries, but that’s not likely to happen.  Despite there being a viable Republican alternative in Bill Weld, Trump isn’t being primaried in most states (he’s the projected winner of the nomination, apparently)—unfortunately, this allows Republicans to cast their one vote for the sake of doing mischief. 

So, hovering in the middle degrees of its watery domain Pisces, Neptune is basically dominating our astrological times. Yes, the Saturn-Pluto dynamics have been showy and deeply significant because they seem to have weakened the institutional defenses that Trump can then take advantage of, but Neptune looms strong like a stealth undersea behemoth.  It’s also especially significant because of the transiting influence it has on several candidate charts and the Sibly chart. 

The astrology

So which candidate going forward stands the best chance of managing toxic Neptunian energies? To my mind, this person will be the one who best weathers Trump’s corrupt power plays and flying Twitter thumbs, and will be the one with the best chance of prevailing over Trump. Of course, this is far from an exact science, made even more difficult by who we’re dealing with, but I hope the exercise will help us put the challenges ahead into a useful perspective . Neptune is at its most powerful when we’re the most divided, confused or unsure of what to call the events and behaviors we’re seeing with our own eyes. has even issued a “Guide to stop catastrophizing, for tackling anxiety and approaching each day more logically and positively” –certainly a sign of our Neptunian times.

As for resisting Neptune, there’s no resisting a deluge, but we can “ride the waves,” so to speak, and even learn to channel its oceanic energies into something useful. Trump does this all the time, undoubtedly supported by his natal Mercury square Neptune (Cancer-Libra, chart not shown), so the key to opposing him just might be to “fight Neptune with Neptune. This differs from the conventional wisdom that Saturn is the best antidote to Neptune, but the normal rules never seem to apply to Trump, do they? 

So let’s see how the current Democratic front-runners might meet this challenge. We’ll consider their nativities against this year’s Aries ingress chart, which should lend us some perspective for the campaign road ahead this year. 

Please note that because we’ll be considering a couple charts ahead, I will be focusing pretty tightly on the Neptune issue and passing over some other details. This campaign year is just getting started, of course—we’ll be looking at these charts, as well as the other candidate charts,  in much greater detail as the year progresses! 

Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT).

Sen. Bernie Sanders

Sanders, who has gone by the party label “Independent” in the Senate since 2006, is the Senate’s only self-avowed Democratic Socialist, so no surprise, his policy plans reflect that progressive left-wing stance. Because he’s something of an outlier ideologically, it’s remarkable what a strong opponent he was for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and it's equally significant how strongly he performed in both the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary this time around. He claims to be the Democratic frontrunner at this point, however Mayor Pete Buttigieg is nipping at his heels, and even has a very slim delegate lead over him, in fact. Again, this isn’t Sanders’ first presidential “rodeo,” of course—in 2016 he famously objected to what he perceived as discrimination on behalf of Clinton by the DNC in that race. 

This time around, it doesn’t seem that Sanders will have the patience to be put aside so lightly, and the party is quite concerned that his passionate young followers will not accept any one else at the top of the ticket. He has momentum, in other words—it just remains to be seen how robust the “wave” he’s riding right now will be. The biggest questions arise in regards to his support from African-American and Latino communities—will they be “feeling the Bern” in states like Nevada and South Carolina? We’ve seen Beto O’Rourke, another charismatic progressive, fold up his tent and go home, but he didn’t have nearly the traction that Sanders has. 

Sanders is the oldest candidate in the field, but has great appeal for many young voters.

Finally, Neptune has long been regarded as the planet ruling Socialist-style political systems, so it might be logical to expect that if he will have a positive, even supportive, relationship with Neptune, and this might redound to his success as a Socialist candidate. Of course, his somewhat rigid progressive left-wing ideology could also be the “hook” on which the opposition hangs his candidacy out to dry. Neptune has a way of exploiting such ambiguities and doubts to paralyze people and cause them to vote against their own inner lights. Erring on the side of gut instinct works pretty well in Neptunian times—politicians need sharp instincts and the ability to follow their “inner lights,” too, so let’s see whether Sanders’ chart endows him with that skill.  Let’s begin.

Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) Bernie Sanders, September 8, 1941, 11:43:40 a.m. DST, Brooklyn, NY; (outer wheel) Aries Ingress 2020, March 19, 2020, 11:50:01 p.m. DST, Washington, D.C.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

It’s important to note that Sanders’ time of birth is not entirely certain (I’m told that another astrologer acquired the time 12:27 p.m., which could have some merit too), although looking at his chart, I suspect the time I found is close, if not accurate. Even so, we’ll dwell less on his angles and Moon placement than we would otherwise. Clearly, he possesses an aggressive, active Aries Moon—it’s just not certain at which degree. From listening to him speak and watching how dynamic his campaign has been, I suspect that the Mars-Moon (Aries) conjunction shown in the inner wheel here is also credible. 

Sanders displays emotional strength, courage and absolute confidence in his convictions, and a dignified Aries Mars fits that profile. From the avid nature of his following, I’d say that he projects strength and self-assurance, and this may account for a lot of his appeal. 

Sanders' ubiquitous merchandising helps spread the word - Neptune!

Interchart T-Square: Ingress Neptune conjoins Sanders South Node and opposes Sanders Sun-North Node (Virgo); this axis squares Sanders Jupiter (Gemini). This aspect bodes well for Sanders’ ability to “surf the Neptunian waves,” and the presence of his Nodal Axis in all this speaks to his avid fan base, as well. He often emphasizes the imperative of doing the right thing by people (Virgo Node-Sun), and this has appeal for those who feel short-changed or marginalized by our capitalist system.  

 His ideas about student loan forgiveness and his desire to totally dismantle and recreate our healthcare system seem to be the key to a lot of his appeal, and it doesn’t hurt that he often “scolds” our nation (Virgo) for being so totally behind the rest of the world in matters like this. Of course, Virgo suits his passion for the health care issue in general, even as the square from Gemini Jupiter raises questions about how he will fund his ambitious “Medicare for All” plans. 

On another note, Sanders’ Aries Mars (and possibly Moon) quincunxes North Node—another sign that he has the drive to fulfill the commitments he makes: who doesn’t respond to that? He was staunchly against the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq—one of the few who voted against it—so he gains respect and loyalty there, as well. 

The t-square puts pressure on him to put his resources where his mouth is (Gemini Jupiter). This placement fits how he’s managed to fund his campaign too—through a robust network of small individual donations.  He likes to remind people that the average donation his campaign receives is less than $20. Of course, this sensitive point leaves him open to prying eyes and disinformation (distorted claims or bald-faced lies about how he’s being funded), as well—so again, it’s hard to envision him accepting huge donations from billionaires like Mike Bloomberg. Will that hamper him if he’s up against Trump’s fund-raising behemoth? He claims he’s prepared to do just that—only time will tell about this, but we can see where the pressure points are in this t-square.  

Neptune rules Sanders’ 5th house; Ingress Neptune occupies this house, trines Sanders ASC (Scorpio) and quincunxes Sanders Venus (Libra). All these points are contingent upon Sanders’ chart angles being more or less accurate, so big grain of salt here. Happily, Sanders’ Venus is dignified in Libra, and since it’s rising in his 12th (likely unless his birth time is seriously wrong) opposite his dignified Aries Mars, he could be the “rising star/warrior” that people are looking for. If we can count on the house arrangement we see here, this 5th house Neptune transit is likely to enhance Sanders’ influence and provide a receptive audience for his passions. This is a very long-term transit, of course—it would see him through an entire presidential term and then some. His naysayers may be selling him short, and that point is reinforced by the fact that his 5th house overlays the Sibly 4th—his grass roots appeal may be stronger than anyone thinks at the moment. 

So we’ll leave Sanders’ chart here for now—there will be much more time to revisit it as the year unfolds. Let’s turn to the young, 30-something who is nipping at his heels, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. 

Former South Bend Mayor, Pete Buttigieg

Mayor Pete Buttigieg

A self-styled moderate, Afghanistan veteran, and the first openly gay (married) candidate who’s ever run for president, what Buttigieg lacks in national political experience, he seems to gain in his middle-of-the-road policy ideas. He’s not so liberal as to scare people away, but he’s certainly a man that radiates a strong value system, has no problem discussing the role of religion in politics in terms that are pretty personal, so he gains authenticity points there. He also seems to be pretty savvy regarding the workings of power in D.C. Notably, he disagrees with the progressives who want Medicare for All: his health care plan is “Medicare for All who want it,” which probably appeals to union members who prize their comfortable insurance plans. 

Buttigieg feels like a safe bet for those concerned about the state of perpetual war we find ourselves in, as well—he’s the only candidate with a military background, and that can’t hurt him with voters. He seems to have some success pulling what he calls “future former Republicans” into his fold, too—I’m guessing that people resonate with his clean-cut “decent guy” persona, which is a welcome counter to Trump’s corrupt bully routine. 

Pete and Chasten Buttigieg.

Buttigieg’s potential Achilles heel, of course, is his sexuality and his gay marriage. Are Americans or even Democrats-at-large really ready for this? That’s the aching question, but Buttigieg doesn’t seem phased by the possibility that this could cause a problem. He’s proven he can win in “Mike Pence’s Indiana,” as he puts it, so why not the nation? So far voters are proving him correct, but the prospects for GOP dirty tricks and smear campaigns targeting his sexuality are real and they’ve already begun, with Rush Limbaugh and others sowing seeds of doubt this past week.

Biwheel #2: (inner wheel) Pete Buttigieg, January 19, 1982, 9:00 p.m.ST (cited by Astrotheme), South Bend, IN ; (outer wheel) Aries Ingress 2020, March 19, 2020, 11:50:01 p.m., Washington, D.C.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Again, a word of caution: a birth time that falls right on the hour is always a little suspect, so we have to take this timing with a grain of salt, too. Astrotheme didn’t offer a source on this one either, so we won’t focus too much on the angles and houses, or the Moon placement. 

Buttigieg Saturn conjoins his Pluto (Libra) and both square his Sun (Capricorn). This is an important marker for why Buttigieg’s campaign may be “an idea whose time has come”—he’s a member of the November, 1982 Saturn-Pluto cohort, which also happens to be squared by Ingress Saturn-Pluto. Buttigieg’s campaign signals, in fact, a generational shift going on with political power, and IMHO, it’s high time for a younger crowd to take the reins. It’s like the transition between Dwight Eisenhower and JFK—the nation was just ready for a younger, well-educated and charismatic leader, so despite the naysayers, JFK won against Richard Nixon. 

It probably helped that Kennedy’s Pluto (Cancer) still conjoined the 1914 Saturn-Pluto cycle point (0°+Cancer) he was born under[1] and his Saturn (Cancer) tightly opposed Sibly Pluto (Capricorn) as well, similar to Trump’s Saturn-Venus (Cancer) opposing this same point, while Obama’s and Buttigieg’s Saturns conjoin Sibly Pluto (Capricorn).  The Kennedy-Trump parallel may not be as outlandish as it sounds—a story for another day. In any case, the generational shift dynamic at work here may give Buttigieg a leg up.  

Buttigieg hasn't hesitated to bring religion into his campaign narrative.

Ingress Neptune trines Buttigieg No. Node (Cancer) and sextiles Buttigieg South Node (Capricorn). This may be the “inspiration” factor that has kept Buttigieg’s campaign perking along so surprisingly well. His openness about religious matters doesn’t hurt here, of course, although his appeal for Evangelical voters is still bound to be limited. Can he turn the tables on their disdain for gays and gay marriage and be the “ambassador” that opens their minds to new possibilities?  He certainly accomplished that for some in Iowa and New Hampshire, but he’s far from home free on this issue. His success across the southern states will probably tell the story here. 

What does all this say about Buttigieg’s ability to handle Neptunian energies? Transparency and authenticity are his assets; allowing himself to be put on the defensive will not go well. His natal Neptune falls in late Sagittarius and is widely squared by Ingress Neptune (Pisces), so he is driven by an energized, freedom-seeking set of ideals and it’s likely that he sees these qualities in his mate, Chasten Glezman. This generational mid-life square may bode well for him if he can navigate its energies. The downside of this square is its tendency to cloud a person’s judgment and choices for the second half of life. Is his run for the presidency just a passing delusion or a true long-term commitment to public service? Hard to know, but I guess we’ll find out. 

Still building and living their public service ethos, Jimmy & Roslyn Carter.

Former president Jimmy Carter lost his second try at the presidency against Reagan, but he then embarked on an even more impressive life of service with his Carter Center and Habitat for Humanity—it happens! 

Whatever impact this generational transit has on Buttigieg, it’s quite possible that his “serious” Capricorn energies and Sun-Venus conjunction (Capricorn-Aquarius) will help.  

Buttigieg Jupiter (Scorpio) square Venus (Aquarius). This could certainly account for Buttigieg’s “charm,” and as we know from history, charm and a photogenic personality can be a game-changer. Interestingly, his Venus is also being squared by transiting Uranus (Taurus), so the possibility that Republicans will gang up on him about his sexuality is real. Will it make a difference? So far, nothing worth notice—the fact that he’s won more delegates than Sanders at this point speaks loudly to this.
If Neptune is truly transiting Buttigieg’s 7th house right now, as pictured, this could account for his tendency to see Sanders’ Socialist roots as problematic. 

Socialism has always thrived when capitalist economies serve the wealthy and disadvantage everyone else.

Will Buttigieg make Socialism the “foil” that helps him to continue thriving at the polls? That could be one way for him to handle Neptunian energies—as for the dirty tricks campaign that could target him as the “weakest” candidate they’d like to see on the stage with Trump, it seems to me that he is capable of standing his ground against Trump, and if the GOP does target him, they may be sorry!

One appealing and hopeful note: Buttigieg seems to have inner resources that will serve this purpose—an aggressive, disciplined Capricorn Sun, a Jupiter-infused Moon-Uranus conjunction (Sagittarius), and a forward-thinking Uranian mind (Aquarius Mercury). His mind is sharp as a tack and thankfully, it’s grounded in a solid sense of ethics. He—unlike Trump—seems to possess a sensitive moral core, and his demeanor radiates a certain dignity and honor—his military background is a big help here. Importantly, he seems to possess authenticity and an inner core of strength that exceeds expectations

Last, but not least, if the angles shown in this chart are accurate, his chart is ruled by that Aquarius Mercury (Virgo rising), which explains why he projects the desire to serve on the collective level and to “do the right thing” by people, and why he speaks well in front of a microphone. With all the Aquarius energy in his chart, he may be an effective agent of change, as well—something we’re going to need going forward in this climate change-challenged world. 

Trump challenging Mayor Pete's masculinity. Pete is the soldier;Trump the draft dodger.

Importantly, it’s quite possible that Trump will not want to run against Buttiegieg—for one thing, he’s a good looking, young, slim, healthy looking former soldier whose looks don’t depend upon spray on tans and comb-overs. Trump is famously sensitive about his appearance—especially as seen in the media—so the inevitable comparisons may bother him greatly. Nixon lost against Kennedy for similar reasons, so appearances (and age, in this instance) could matter. 

I think we’ll start to understand Buttigieg’s strengths and Neptune resilience (he does seem to know how to turn an opponent’s criticism back on them) when the results of the Nevada and South Carolina contests are in. His ability to inspire minority support—his biggest challenge to date—will matter greatly in these states.

The field is narrowing, but there are still six standing and Michael Bloomberg!

 Final thoughts

We’ve covered a lot of territory in this post, but because of space considerations, we’ll have to cover the remaining Democratic candidates in the next post. 

Meanwhile, with the Sibly Pluto return tightening to its final few degrees, the time to make serious changes to our economic system might be at hand. This would, of course, support the more progressive candidates, who never tire of pointing out how extreme wealth inequality has become under our current plutocratic (Pluto!) system. It’s hard to imagine that this inequality is a Trump priority, but we can probably be certain that he will find a way to muddy the waters on this issue so as to squelch the impact of that message. 

It’s worth pointing out that, between Buttigieg and Klobuchar (and to a lesser extent Biden), the “moderate” Democratic message resonated with more voters in Iowa and New Hampshire than Sanders’ more progressive agenda. I know this is not how Sanders sees the results—he’s claiming victory, full stop. Even so, this disparity is something to keep in mind—the ultimate nominee needs to not only be able to “beat Trump,” but he/she needs to promote an agenda that resonates with the largest possible Democratic audience. 

A Neptunian outpouring of people at the polls is essential this year: apathy is the worst enemy for those who long for better times in America. Unfortunately, there is an alarming lack of public engagement in the events of the past few weeks in D.C. From the Washington Post:

“As Justice Department veteran David Laufman writes, “We are now truly at a break-glass-in-case-of-fire moment for the Justice Dept.” But does anyone give a damn? Democratic lawmakers are, to be sure, perturbed, but it’s easy (if unfair) to write off their outrage as mere partisanship. Republican members of Congress, as usual, either have nothing to say or offer ineffectual expressions of “concern.”
And the public? I don’t see massive marches in the streets. I don’t see people flooding their members of Congress with calls and emails. I don’t see the outrage that is warranted — and necessary. I see passivity, resignation and acquiescence from a distracted electorate that has come to accept Trump’s aberrant behavior as the norm.”
Stay tuned – more candidate charts in the next post!


“The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.”--Montesquieu

[1] John F. Kennedy birth data: May 29, 1917, 3 p.m. (uncertain), Brookline, MA. Rated XX for uncertain time.

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