Monday, April 13, 2020

The Astrology of Pandemic Power: the 2020 Jupiter-Pluto cycle

You may recall that in the March 9th post here, we examined Jupiter’s ingress into Saturnian Capricorn, and since it was then the very early days of the COVID-19 pandemic within U.S. borders, we were teasing

out the possibilities for great restrictions in the public sphere, but we were unsure how those were likely to manifest over time. 

Since that time, of course, the situation has evolved into a full-blown national emergency, with more cases confirmed in the U.S. now than in any other country. And speaking of restrictions, something like 80% of the nation is in total lockdown, in an effort to “flatten the curve” of virus spread as quickly as possible, but the lockdown falls short of being a national order because Trump has resisted all calls to treat the situation as a national emergency. As we’ve seen, he prefers that the governors of each state do the heavy lifting that Federal emergency agencies used to at least facilitate, if not entirely manage. 

The fact is, he’s dismantled or basically de-staffed a number of key agencies since taking office, so it’s not surprising that son-in-law Jared Kushner was trotted out to run interference. In a twist that attempted to basically redefine the Federal government's role in times of emergency, he announced that the “federal emergency stockpile is for us” (meaning the administration), adding that it’s up to the governors to find what they need for their states.

Little did anyone know that the unfathomable subtext to Kushner's point was that the Federal government would also be using the Defense Production Act to  seize the materials sourced by the states and to redistribute them as they see fit! New Yorker columnist Susan L. Glasser documents the chaos trail of missteps that has, in her words, caused U.S. nurses to wear garbage bags as protective equipment. From her article by that title:

"What they did not foresee was that the federal government might never come to the rescue. They did not realize this was a government failure by design—not a problem to be fixed but a policy choice by President Trump that either would not or could not be undone. 'No one can believe it. That’s the No. 1 problem with the whole situation: the facts are known, but they are inconceivable,' Ries told me. 'So we are just in denial.'”

Jupiter can be pretty Scroogey in Capricorn, but even Scrooge finally acknowledged his responsibilities and failures. When asked about the federal government’s failure to get ample virus tests out to the states, Trump stated that he “takes no responsibility,” going on to blame the Obama administration! Trump covets great power, but responsibility is always another issue with him. The proverbial “Buck” never stops there.  

Does he even hear himself?

For what it’s worth, however, Trump did sign the massive aide bills cobbled together by Congress on a rare bipartisan basis, but even that has developed a troubling undertone: the ink was barely dry before he informed Congress that he won’t be following the oversight provisions they carefully built into the bills, so it’s anyone’s guess how all this will go. 

Negotiations on extending key programs within those bills have also started to break down along party lines, and the reality on the ground for small businesses looking for relief sounds very different from the official hype. Complications have also arisen in trying to implement the unemployment programs contained therein: Even with Jupiter involved, Capricorn brings Saturn into the mix, so people can expect long, Purgatorial wait times for this to all roll-out, and the proverbial “right hand” may not always know (or approve of) what the “left hand” is doing. 

So the first of the month has come and gone with many unable to pay bills, and there’s little word about when the stimulus checks, small business loans and unemployment programs will start working for them. To benefit from a stingy Jupiter, especially in bureaucratic, obstructionist Capricorn, requires patience and persistence.  

Still, the news is not all bad or nerve-wracking: there are no gasoline or food shortages (yet, although the meat industry is raising an alarm), and for those in certain essential industries (you know who you are), your work is more appreciated than ever, even though you’re often challenged to work safely. These days, those who check out our groceries or clean up after medical staff in hospitals are more essential than the CEOs of major corporations are—not a completely bad shift of perspectives, despite how we got here.

While we’ve been distracted with all this happening, however, Jupiter wasn’t standing as still as we were, so it began a new cycle with Pluto at 24°+Capricorn on April 4th. In fact, we discussed this new cycle at great length in the September 21, 2019 post here, but given today’s realities, it seems to me that this would be a good time to revisit the Jupiter-Pluto cycle for what it might tell us today. I have to believe that this new beginning will influence the remainder of our COVID-19 struggle in some way, so it’s worth the doubletake. Before we begin to consider the relevant charts, however, let’s consider some basic points about these two planetary dynamos.

Jupiter & Pluto walked into a bar…

Notice that I haven’t sugar-coated the downside of either of these planetary energies in Table 2: in fact, I think it helps to have our eyes wide open about the ruthless possibilities because we’re seeing them play out in D.C. every day. Just today, the headlines point to the GOP’s refusal to negotiate with Dems over the particulars of the small business loan relief programs that the Treasury Department says already need more billions. The bone of contention, apparently, is whether these programs will be allowed to ignore those more working class and minority-owned businesses (something Dems want to insure against) who may or may not have solid big bank affiliations. 

Table 1. Planetary characteristics of Jupiter and Pluto  
Mythic Sky “god” Zeus
Mythic “god” of Underworld Hades
Impulse to grow and accrue 
Primal instinct to survive, reproduce and evolve; rules natural “death/rebirth/transformation” dynamic
Seeks to freely expand horizons; has “issues” with limiting relationships
Seeks to dominate and transform environment and everything within it
Fueled by intellectual power
Driven by unconscious “chthonic” compulsions and generative/regenerative power
Rules churches, clergy, judges, bankers, physicians, philanthropy, aristocratic class.
Rules organized crime and criminals, vast subterranean  natural resources (oil, minerals, etc.) and the economic Power implicit in those resources. Often provides the power “behind the throne”
Progresses and leads via intelligence and philosophical perspective
Dominates via predation and “survival of the fittest” ethos; demands loyalty and surrender
Excels in complex, abstract thinking
Excels in gut instinct and speculation
Expects positive outcomes: holds generous, optimistic perspective
Expects a “dog-eat-dog” world in which might is right; holds cynical, Us v. Them perspective
Circulates expansive energy on large scale; prominent in democratic or parliamentary political systems.
Protects and hoards the “treasure” – capitalizes on great amounts of debt; prominent in kleptocracy or oligarchy—billionaire-driven political systems
Comfortable with global travel, trade, and borderless flows of capital--the world is Jupiter's oyster
Treats economic arrangements as “zero-sum” situations—another person’s gain feels like the Plutonian’s loss
Capable of good sportsmanship and cooperative alliances
Uses ruthless, manipulative tactics to win because winning  =  survival; cooperates only in reciprocal (you scratch my back, I scratch yours) arrangements and from positions of dominance
Behaves excessively to acquire desired objectives
Takes advantage of others’ excessive behavior to gain power over them; the “ends justify the means” for maintaining power

As we can see from the Table, both Jupiter and Pluto (dominant energies in these billionaire-happy, Trumpian times) privilege the haves over the have-nots, and the decades-long lock that the wealthy have enjoyed on the halls of power since at least the Reagan era has created a serious level of wealth inequality in this country. 

Perhaps these 500-lb cosmic “gorillas” are feeling even more empowered since Senator Sanders has pulled out of the presidential race? It’s interesting to me that he chose to pull-out in the very first days of the new Jupiter-Pluto cycle—did the reality of overwhelming power poised to crush his vision of a “working class” agenda began to sink in more deeply when the cycle clicked into place? This is the heavy reality the Dems in Congress are up against in trying to negotiate the pandemic aide packages for the sake of ordinary Americans. Given Trump’s defiance of the oversight provisions Dems wrote into the early bills (and Trump signed), it must now be clear to them that no matter what requirements they write into a bill, Trump will simply ignore the parts he doesn’t like.

Voters may have to contend with problems like this in November, too!

Unfortunately, it’s hard to say what can be done about this until November’s election when voters will hopefully create a less toxic balance of power. Even then, it’s going to depend upon a massive and determined votership that doesn’t allow itself to be manipulated à-la 2016.  

So we’ve teased out some basic principles and points of reference with regards to these two planets that have just this past week begun their new, approximately 12-year cycle. 

For the sake of historical context, note that Capricorn cycles are relatively rare for Jupiter and Pluto: the last time this happened was in February, 1771, just before American colonists decided to revolt as a consequence of the oppressive tax burden (Pluto) placed on them by King George III’s government. 

Cycles in cardinal signs in general have been more frequent, tending to fall during significant geopolitical times. For instance, two consecutive cycles fell in Aries in the angry, aggressive, expansive pre-Civil war 1830s and 40s; two consecutive Cancer cycles spanned most of WWI (1918 cycle) and WWII (early 1931 cycle), with America’s triumphal victory and new super-power status taking shape under two Leo cycles, in 1943 and 1955. The highly influential late 1980s (the onset of globalization, end of the Cold War and beginnings of U.S.-Middle East entanglements) were marked by a 1987 cycle in Libra. 

Cardinal cycles tend to initiate dynamics that will develop further over time. These dynamics will adapt to realities on the ground under mutable cycles and become more entrenched under fixed cycles down the road. This natural progression of things should be a wake-up call for today’s diplomats and leaders: the dynamics that are initiated over the coming 12 years could haunt us for many years to come because the next cycle (2033) will affix it all in Aquarian “amber” for the next generation. 

As for our current situation, the cycle that just ended on April 4th began in mutable Sagittarius in 2007, and as we’ve discussed in several posts prior to this, it was probably instrumental in pushing the limits of our financial system to the toxic extremes that finally brought the economy to its knees in September 2008. Sagittarius isn’t interested in moderation or discipline—those qualities had to be imposed upon Wall Street after the crash by Obama administration programs and policies; even so, the controversial bank bailouts that kept the system afloat were often used quite arrogantly by the big banks to give bonuses to their CEOs, while thousands of homeowners abused by Wall Street lost their homes. Clearly Jupiter-Pluto on steroids! 

With these points in mind, let’s examine the freshly-minted cycle chart below. 

The astrology

Chart #1: Jupiter-Pluto 2020, April 4, 2020, 8:03:03 pm DST, Washington, D.C. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Jupiter conjoins Pluto and Pallas (Capricorn) and squares ASC-DSC horizon (Libra-Aries); Eris (Aries) conjoins DSC (Aries). The 4th house placement for Jupiter, Pluto and Pallas is even further empowered by the wide conjunction between these Capricorn points and the Saturn-Mars conjunction in early Aquarius. The Capricorn gathering raises issues of economic justice and the overall social order, which are even more key than usual during this national shutdown—the 4th house impacts the grassroots level, which is in a more precarious position than usual at the moment. We can all imagine several issues this may influence. Asteroid experts Demetra George and Douglas Bloch offer some interesting points:

“Pallas Athene in Capricorn denotes structural perception. One ‘sees’ through a comprehension of the structural foundation which supports form…Politically, this is a defender of law and order. There is a strong power drive for authority over others in political and social institutions. The wisdom of Pallas in Capricorn is the wisdom of order—putting things in their proper sequence.”[4]

Saturn, of course, disposes the Capricorn points, so it’s possible that its cozy relationship with Mars here will heavily influence the order implied above. In the April post, I suggested this could mean something like a police state, especially with militant Aries Eris on the DSC (disposed by that Mars), and here we are, in an almost national COVID-19 lockdown! Not exactly “oppressive” because we’re staying at home for the right reasons, but the fact that we’re basically powerless to move everything along until the virus says so, suggests that there’s at least biological tyranny in place.

We’re also at the mercy of the more subtle tyranny of the Trump administration’s on-again, off-again passive aggressive response to the whole thing, which has definitely translated into challenging, frustrating times for our state governors, left to deal with the crises with very little federal leadership. Still, Trump wants to come out of this with military honors—not to mention the powers of a military leader. From Jack Shafer, writing for Politico:

“Trump’s determination to label the virus an invisible enemy bears all the hallmarks of a branding campaign, one fashioned to shape our attitudes toward the microbe to his liking. By calling the virus ‘invisible,’ Trump implies that he can’t be responsible for its wreckage because who can be expected to see an invisible thing coming? And once the unseeable thing has arrived, there are limits to what one can be expected to do about it!
Calling his crusade ‘our big war’ and directly enlisting the military in the fight allows Trump to frame a public health crisis as a military operation: He is the commander in chief, we are his foot soldiers, our patriotic duty is to obey him, and the entire planet is his battleground. This, too, is rot. You can’t bomb a virus into submission or bayonet it to death…The virus isn’t attacking us like the Japanese at Pearl Harbor… It’s just a mindless biological process doing what biological processes do—self-replicate. All this saber-rattling might enthuse Trump’s base, but it does zilch to create a vaccine or an effective therapy.”

As I also pointed out in the April post about this cycle, Jupiter-Pluto wants to push for new financial horizons and conquests. Unfortunately, to some power players, war is “good for the economy.” In fact, Trump’s been waging a kind of war on our government institutions behind the cover of this pandemic. Steve Risen’s The Intercept puts this into stark perspective:

“Hoping that the country is too distracted by Covid-19 to notice, Trump has over the last few days engaged in a Stalinist purge of truth-tellers, leaving the survivors frightened and intimidated even as the federal government is shown to be too weak to counter the rampaging coronavirus. Last week, Trump fired the intelligence community’s inspector general, Michael Atkinson. Atkinson’s sin was that he took seriously a whistleblower complaint about Trump’s illegal scheme to get Ukraine to meddle in the 2020 presidential election on his behalf.
Last year, Atkinson concluded that the whistleblower’s complaint was both credible and urgent, and should be shared with Congress, which ultimately led to Trump’s impeachment by the House of Representatives. A mountain of evidence confirmed the whistleblower’s complaint and vindicated Atkinson’s decision to tell Congress about it.
‘It is hard not to think that the President’s loss of confidence in me derives from my having faithfully discharged my legal obligations as an independent and impartial Inspector General,’ Atkinson wrote in a statement. He urged whistleblowers to continue to come forward: ‘Please do not allow recent events to silence your voices.’”

Atkinson was only the most recent in a string of vindictive firings of individuals who had the temerity to tell the truth when called upon by Congress to do so, such as Lt. Col. Vindman and most recently, Captain Brett Crozier, whose only crime was that he issued a memo pleading with the Navy to evacuate the sailors on his ship that had contracted coronavirus. The memo leaked to the press and “embarrassed” Navy brass, so he was let go and vilified by the brass. Thankfully, the brass was far less popular (and has since resigned apologetically) than Captain Crozier, whose sailors gave him a defiant hero’s send-off as he left their ship.

8th house Venus (Gemini) trines Saturn-Mars (Aquarius)Big Money is poised to forcibly secure a piece of whatever opportunities this new Jupiter-Pluto cycle creates, and as we know, trillions of public dollars are now in play. While delays, obstacles and obfuscation characterize the roll-out of individual and small business relief funds, the big money Sharks circle, and Trump has rejected Congressional oversight over how that money is doled out—coincidence? While some are suggesting this could become an election year boondoggle, the Brookings Brief is warning that COVID-19 may unleash a toxic round of "vulture capitalism"--how appropriate for this particular cycle!

With a hard-nosed Aquarius Mars ruling the 7th, conjunct Saturn, public policies towards “Others” may feel fairly repressive . This is reinforced by Taurus Uranus—square Mars-Saturn, also occupying the 7th, which says we can’t rule out the possibility of armed conflict. The 4th house placement of Saturn-Mars points to the possibility of domestic conflict, as well—naturally, given our dicey COVID times, this could take some interesting forms. There’s also the potential of cyber conflict here, however, with Uranus ruling such technology. Even if disagreements don’t flare up into actual conflict, however, the nation is under a lot of stress, and at least some of that stress is ideological and political.

Trump’s approach to waging “war” on COVID-19 is basically turning our traditional federalist system on its head, demanding that the states fend for their own crises, with minimal “back-up” from the federal level. This is far from the usual arrangement (FEMA is a federal agency, after all) and that disparity has created a great deal of tension between the states and the White House. It’s hard to say if this tension could boil over into actual violence, but one way or another, the potential for homegrown violence in these United States in the months ahead is real. More on that ahead. 

The biwheel

At this point it makes sense to consider the cycle chart against our radix Sibly chart. Notice that—because the Jupiter-Pluto cycle advances in Zodiacal order, forming each new cycle between 10°-21° ahead of where the last cycle began (depending upon retrograde periods). The result is that the full power potential of each Sibly house is explored in turn over time, as the cycles rotate around the chart. 

For instance, the 2007 cycle launched in the Sibly 1st house—leveraging the nation’s divisive identity politics for what was revealed in 2015 to be one man’s vision of unrestrained American “greatness” (Sagittarius). 

After the 2008 crash it continued deep into the Sibly 2nd,  extracting extraordinary power by exploiting American value systems, deregulating even more sectors of the U.S. economy and attempting to force open protected natural resources. These processes are ongoing, despite the COVID-related hiatus our economy is taking, and we can expect an even greater push in these resource-related areas when the economy opens back up again because Trump will have the excuse that our economy needs to “make up for lost time.” In this same vein, we might also consider how he’ll handle the so-called “entitlement” programs going forward. 

We pick up the story with Jupiter and Pluto conjoined in that Sibly 2nd house, within orb of Sibly Pluto. Let’s consider the biwheel below.  

Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) USA Sibly Chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (outer wheel) Jupiter-Pluto 2020, April 4, 2020, 8:03:03 p.m. DST, Washington, DC. Tropical Equal Houses,True Node.

Clearly, Jupiter triggers growth, but we need to examine the connections it makes in a chart to see where that growth is likely to manifest. Jupiter’s “strike it rich” energy may mean some lucky guy wins the lottery that day, but opportunities that “lift all boats” across society are harder to come by.

Pluto is the 2nd house “dragon” hoarding the treasure of this nation, but Jupiter is no dragon-slayer, despite Sagittarius’s “arrows.” Preserving privilege is kind of built into Jupiter’s aristocratic leanings—Zeus was far from shy about pushing his own privileged status, and the GOP (ruled by Jupiter) has a long history of the same. In combination with Pluto, the weight of privilege can become all-consuming, enforced in increasingly deceptive or thuggish ways.

To a great extent, our political and social systems have been rigged over the decades (especially since Reagan) to privilege the wealthy, and it’s nearly impossible to disentangle the systematic ways in which this manifests.  Even President Obama—more sensitive to the need to “lift all boats” than most recent leaders—found that he had to make unfortunate concessions to Wall Street to get us out of the 2007-8 recession, and he had to accept major compromises to the Affordable Care Act to mollify the corporate health care moguls.

The big question for our COVID-19-ridden times is, will anything change in the way wealth is distributed in this nation? The Financial Times reports that there may be a “shift in income distribution from the richest to the poorest” on the horizon in the UK, but I haven’t seen anyone express hope that this could happen in the U.S., even though aide packages are supposedly poised to roll out soon.

Different era, but similar stakes for people!

The fact is, the party running the Senate and White House (and thus having ultimate control over any legislation) isn’t the least bit interested in this redistribution formula. If anything, they’re adamantly opposed to such an idea on principle. So let’s consider how this reality shows up in Biwheel #1.  
Cycle Jupiter-Pluto-Pallas (Capricorn) and Saturn-Mars (Aquarius) fall over the Sibly 2nd; the Capricorn points conjoin Sibly Pluto (Capricorn), tightly oppose Sibly Mercury-Part of Fortune (Cancer) and trine Sibly Neptune (Virgo). So we can expect a distorted narrative (Sibly Neptune sextiles Sibly Mercury) about all things Economy-related to dominate public discourse. This narrative could be written off as corporate spin, but as usual, the appearance of prosperity (Jupiter-Pluto trine Sibly Neptune) could sway public perception enough to maintain the status quo.

Redistributing wealth downward through systematic policy changes tends to be tagged as “Socialism” (ruled by Neptune)the poisonous label that is routinely rolled out when the working class wants its fair share.  

Cycle Neptune falls over Sibly 4th here (where it’s been for years already), where it will continue to produce grass roots inertia unless Cycle Jupiter-Pluto trine Sibly Neptune (Virgo) inspires some pragmatic idealism and renewed drive for the so-called “American Dream.”

As we’ve discussed in earlier posts, transiting Neptune’s opposition to Sibly Neptune could be a driving force behind the pandemic itself, which is clearly forcing a collective redefining of American ideals and life. This may have been the point of this “half-return,” in fact, especially when considered in concert with our impending Pluto return to Sibly Pluto. Much more on that in the next post.
Needless to say, many observers and thinkers are wondering if this nation will ever be the same again.

Jupiter-Pluto-Pallas semi-sextiles Sibly Moon (Aquarius), suggesting that ordinary Americans aren’t likely to get the better end of any deals and/or legislative efforts in D.C.’s pandemic response. We know that Trump is eager to re-open the economy, but he seems far less concerned about helping the states get the equipment and PPE they need, or in taking federal action to stop the spread of the virus and save lives, so his “People-focus” is missing in action. Maybe I’ve missed something, but I’m still waiting to hear him offer sympathies to anyone who’s been impacted. But, when it comes to revving the economy back up, he’ll be there.

Will we find the treasure we seek this time around?  

Of course, re-opening the economy safely will be no small feat, not the least because our financial institutions and corporations may have sustained lasting damage from the COVID-19 crisis. The fact that this new Jupiter-Pluto launched within orb of Sibly Pluto, with both planets still applying to exact conjunctions to the same suggests that we’ll see a lengthy, unfolding process of economic regeneration. This will be strung out over an even longer time than usual by Jupiter’s retrograde, from May 15-September 14, 2020. This passage will begin just a few degrees before a consistently forward-moving Jupiter would have conjoined Sibly Pluto.  Instead, the retrograde takes Jupiter all the way back to 17°24 Capricorn, delaying its Sibly Pluto conjunction to December, just before Jupiter finally catches up with Saturn for their new cycle at 0°+Aquarius. 

It’s hard to overstate the significance of this turning point, but the impact will probably be determined by how the U.S. Treasury has handled the pandemic aide packages, and to what extent they have succeeded in stimulating the economy for all concerned. To what extent that will translate into widely shared prosperity depends upon political will—the cycle is just beginning, and once it hits Aquarius, anything goes.

Obviously, we’ll be dealing with a ballooned national debt and deficit (Pluto) for some time to come, and climate change may force some major economic policy changes, not to mention precarious resource-related geopolitical times. Lots to monitor here!

In fact, the Saturn-Mars and Uranus dynamics are a bit precarious looking here, as they were in Chart #1 alone. The squares between these planets span the Sibly 2nd and 5th, with Mars ruling the 5th. This suggests that the “Old Boys’ Club” that drives so much of our economic system may be spoiling for a fight.

This potential volatility is reinforced by Uranus’ (Taurus) square to Sibly Nodal Axis (Leo-Aquarius), with Saturn-Mars conjunct Sibly So. Node (Aquarius). Surprisingly militaristic trends are possible here, and political fireworks are likely. Uranus rules the Sibly 3rd and disposes 3rd house Sibly Moon (Aquarius), so we can’t rule out violence in our streets when things get intense. I would hope we have better things to do, trying to bring the country back from COVID-19, but if nothing worse happens, like generalized conflict, our gun laws debate could at least flare up in a big way.

Any efforts we can make to unite for some cause across our many divides would help here—unfortunately, Trump and company go out of their way to stoke our divisions, and that’s not likely to change during the election campaign. The Dems should consider inspiring unity as job #1, but we should also all be mindful that many people will be heavily and disastrously impacted by COVID-19, and the wounds won’t be healed for quite some time. The Atlantic puts this into tough perspective in an article titled “The Pandemic will Cleave America in Two:

“…there will be stark disparities in how certain segments of the American population experience this crisis. Some of these disparities will be the result of luck or coincidence—a matter of where someone happened to travel, what line of work they chose, or what city they live in. But in a country that was highly unequal in so many ways well before it had a confirmed case of COVID-19, other disparities will be sadly predictable, falling along racial and class lines, as well as other fateful divides.
In the coming months and years, there will really be two pandemics in America. One will be disruptive and frightening to its victims, but thanks to their existing advantages and lucky near misses with the virus, they will likely emerge from it relatively stable—physically, psychologically, and financially. The other pandemic, though, will devastate those who survive it, leaving lasting scars and altering life courses.”

Unfortunately, the shocking statistics for COVID cases among our often under-insured minority populations validate this article’s main point,  and our current administration is mostly insensitive to (or willfully ignorant of) these dynamics. I was horrified this past week to hear one southern  right-wing candidate tout the use of AR15 rifles during the lockdown as a struggle against “looting hordes from Atlanta” –are we really going to descend into that kind of darkness with all this?!  

Does this lead anywhere positive?

Interchart Cardinal Grand Cross: Cycle Nodal axis (Cancer-Capricorn) overlays Sibly Jupiter-Venus (Cancer); this axis squares Cycles Chiron (Aries) opposite Sibly MC (Libra). It’s frankly not surprising that the nation’s image abroad (MC) has been taking a painful hit (Chiron) as this cycle launches—how well we navigate this unusual territory might come down to how adeptly we mend fences with allies (7th house Sibly Jupiter and Venus) and restore our mutually beneficial relationships.

Trump’s on-again, off-again hostilities with China and NATO will not help here: Communist China’s radix Sun (Oct. 1 1949 chart) ties into this tense grand cross from 7°+Libra, and amazingly, NATO’s radix Sun-Venus-Mars-Eris-Mercury all tie into this grand cross on the Aries side, only intensifying the stakes here.

Opportunities to mend these key fences will exist, but with fixed Cycle Saturn-Mars (Aquarius) sitting inconjunct Sibly Venus-Jupiter (Cancer), it’s hard to say how that will happen. In fact, these disjointed inconjuncts, aggravated by the Aquarius-Taurus squares suggest that the danger of bungling our way into a major falling out is very real. This possibility is reinforced by Cycle So. Node conjoined Sibly Eris (Capricorn), opposite all that activity in the Sibly 7th and tied into the overall grand square.

Not surprisingly, this Sibly Eris opposes Trump’s natal Mercury (Cancer-chart not shown)—yes, he’s personally invested in the prosperity of this nation (his Mercury conjoins Sibly Venus-Jupiter), and he will create chaos in our relationships (i.e., trade agreements, diplomatic affairs) to achieve goals we probably can’t even imagine yet.

We have many ordinary heroes today--reason for hope!

Final thoughts

Apparently, thousands flooded into gun shops when it became clear the country was about to shut down for a long COVID crisis—a predictable Plutonian, fear-driven response, perhaps, but thankfully, those fearful people are far outnumbered by those who want to do—and are doing—the right thing for their communities and fellow Americans. Clearly, the COVID crisis is breaking open our society to reveal many increasingly urgent fault lines, especially around health care and economic justice.

Our communities have seen an outpouring of appreciation for health care workers, which has been deeply heartening, but why are so many millions of Americans still walled off from normal medical care by lack of insurance? Experts are saying that public health crises like our present one will continue to break-out in the future, and with Neptune still in home sign Pisces for years to come, I believe them: isn’t it high time we create a system that makes preventive health care (the key to lower mortality rates these days) more accessible to all?

Of course, the upside of a Pisces Neptune would be the potential for a “wave” of compassion and loving kindness to overtake our currently “dog-eat-dog” politics. IMHO, for our society and economy to heal from the passage we’re enduring, we will need to open our hearts to understand and feel how our fellow Americans have suffered through all this, and to respond as though each life matters as much as our own.  

The Atlantic has dubbed those who want to rush to re-open the economy—claiming that it’s worth the risk of thousands of lives—the “growth evangelists,” which brings us back to the pressure being exerted by this new Jupiter-Pluto cycle. Thankfully, this same article offers some sane “rules” that economists are suggesting we follow to navigate the delicate balance between safeguarding health and restoring the economy. One common thread underlying all of these rules—excerpted below—is that we can’t choose between people’s lives and the economy, which is refreshing, even if it’s not the usual Jupiter-Pluto focus. Consumer economies depend upon people having money to participate, don’t they?!

From The Atlantic:

“Rule 1: “Save the economy or save lives” is a false choice…Without a healthy population, there can be no healthy economy.
Rule 2: Pay people a living wage to stop working. In a pandemic, public gatherings are a kind of social pollution, and asymptomatic individuals who violate social-distancing rules are like factories that spew invisible carbon…Once the government has put the economy into an artificial coma, it must keep the patient alive.

Rule 2: Pay people a living wage to stop working. In a pandemic, public gatherings are a kind of social pollution, and asymptomatic individuals who violate social-distancing rules are like factories that spew invisible carbon…Once the government has put the economy into an artificial coma, it must keep the patient alive.  

Rule 3: Build companies a time machine. “We have to build companies a time machine,” Justin Wolfers, an economist at the University of Michigan, told me. He isn’t talking about the H. G. Wells contraption. He’s referring to anything—including grants, cheap loans, and debt relief—that would allow companies to shift their expenses to the future….


Rule 4: The business of America is now science. Our lack of knowledge about the virus is our greatest weakness in combating it… First, we need more tests, which can tell us where the virus already is…Second, we need sophisticated tracing technology to tell us where the virus is spreading…Washington should train its prodigious energies toward defeating the disease as fast as possible, by establishing billion-dollar prizes for vaccine and antiviral breakthroughs and by relaxing regulations to accelerate the approval of new treatments…We need to get people money, or they will die. We need to get companies cash, or they will die. But if we don’t clear the way for health-care workers to treat the sick, or for scientists to treat the disease, people and companies are going to die, anyway.”

So, while Jupiter and Pluto together have the cosmic “heft” to handle this situation to the benefit of all, it’s up to all of us to insist on this broad, collective focus, and to not accept a response that privileges some groups over others. There’s a lot riding on this focus going forward!
Stay safe and be well, everyone! 

Thank you for keeping us all going!!

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. 

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