Wednesday, July 22, 2020

All the King’s Men: the astrology of unmarked Federal troops taking over the streets of America

"Madam, we've given you a Republic, if you can keep it..."--Benjamin Franklin

“When the pro-leader paramilitary and the official police intermingle, the end has come.”[1]—Timothy Snyder, Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

"When you pluck a chicken one feather at a time, nobody notices."--Benito Mussolini 

Traditional mundane astrology envisioned the Sun as the glorious “head” (Monarch), commanding and controlling the “body” (People) from on high, a position that reflected the Sun’s role in our solar system as people understood it in ancient times. So it was a fair model in pre-democracy times before people started to question the “divine right” of kings. Then and now, we are rightfully awestruck by the Sun, of course, as the literal source of light and through photosynthesis, life in our world; however, no individual leader can live up to that metaphor, nor should they be arrogant enough to try.

Does that mean that the world has given up on monarchy (or theocracy, or plutocracy, or…) as a form of government? Given the fascination with the British royals and their never-ending soap opera, probably not, but I wonder if those admiring onlookers know to separate out the figurehead monarchs from monarchy as a form of centralized, top-down, hereditary government.  Unfortunately, there are signs even in the U.S. these days that the world is still dealing with the gross excesses and abuses of power enabled by this Sun King metaphor, which allows would-be tyrants to act with impunity.

For instance, consider what’s been happening in Portland, Oregon in the past week, with Trump sending in what looks to be his personal band of camouflage-clad storm troopers, unidentified federal thugs sent in to forcefully “dominate the streets” during entirely peaceful protests. Ostensibly there to “protect federal properties” (buildings and monuments), it’s more than clear from video footage that their mission is to intimidate and punish people into submission. And then to act as if the very fact that they (the government) did these things, they must be legal, when that is far from the case.

They’ve demonstrated this by kidnapping peaceful protesters off the streets and taking them away for questioning and further intimidation in unmarked vehicles; they’ve proven this by beating up on peaceful protesters attempting to question their identity and motives, which is particularly egregious because as retired Lt. Gen. Russell Honoré put it quite forcefully, “beating people with sticks is not what our nation’s uniform is about.”  Local authorities are livid and gravely concerned, and are suing the federal agencies behind the onslaught. From the Washington Post:

“The federal government is ‘overstepping their powers and injuring or threatening peaceful protesters on the streets of Downtown Portland,’ according to a release from the Oregon Department of Justice Friday….

In response to the president calling Portland protesters anarchists and insinuating that local officials were afraid of them, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said, ‘this is a democracy, not a dictatorship. We cannot have secret police abducting people in unmarked vehicles. I can’t believe I have to say that to the President of the United States.’”

If this were a one-stop kind of operation on the part of Trump’s thug force, that would be bad enough, but at least his “protect federal property” pretext might hold some water. Unfortunately, he appears to have decided this is the new way he’s taking the “Trump show” on the road, targeting other cities with Democratic leadership and daring them to do anything about it, working to conjure up the image of chaos on the streets in “radical Left” areas of the nation and to then equate that with how the nation will look if Biden wins in November. 

Putting their bodies on the line: the "Wall of Moms" in Portland.
The Atlantic parses the legalities of the Federal occupation of American cities very reasonably:

"The existence of the department’s authority to protect federal property is uncontroversial. The federal government has the power to defend federal buildings and facilities from civil unrest, and a variety of federal laws protect federal property from attack and vandalism and federal officials from interference with their discharge of the government’s business. 

While this authority certainly extends to the power to investigate federal crimes and arrest those suspected of them, it is not some general authority to patrol the downtowns of major cities and pick up and detain protesters merely because a federal building may be in the neighborhood."
Oregon Governor Kate Brown captured the situation on Portland's streets well, calling it Trump’s “political theater,” while Trump and company refuse to budge or respond to state officials’ calls to cease, desist and leave the situation to local authorities. A “wall of Moms” joined the protest in the past couple nights, standing with linked arms as a shield in front of protesters. From 70 the first night, the list of Moms volunteering for protests has grown to over 2,000—despite teargassing and other violent tactics on the part of the Feds. CNN reports one spokeswoman saying,

"’We'll stop when there is no protester that needs our protection,’ she said. ‘We get thanks every which way. But we're not doing it for the thanks. We're doing it to protect human rights.’"

Clearly, our cities might need many more “Moms” involved if Trump’s ultimate aim is to demonize and politicize protest, forcing cities and states to deal with escalating violence all summer long. In the name of “restoring order,” of course, the storm troopers are employing violence and instigating even more of it. Unless the Constitution has been rewritten recently, the right to peaceful protest and assembly are enshrined there in black and white, but it’s easy to see how these thug deployments will only create the violence that they will then use as pretexts for more thuggery…and so it goes.

The irony, of course, is that the protests began in response to the horrifying death of George Floyd under the knee of an abusive, criminal cop—does it make any sense whatsoever that the Federal government’s response to these protests would be to crank up abusive State power even further?   

And the Dads have come out, with their leaf blowers...such anarchists!

The astrology

I began this post with an account of mundane astrology’s traditional top-down view of government, as enshrined in the Sun King metaphor. It’s not difficult to see where that view came from—court astrologers used to serve the “top dog,” whoever held that top spot and was considered the “seat” of a nation’s power, and everyone’s else’s fate mattered only in context to how it impacted the ruler. If you don't turn tail and run at his display of power in Portland, you're a "violent anarchist"...right! As in the “royal” game of Chess, the only non-expendable piece was the king!

That analogy doesn’t sit well in democratic societies, of course—where the People are more than “pawns” whose primary usefulness is in their “sacrifice.”  In fact, in a democracy, power doesn’t descend upon the ruler from on high; it ascends from the grass roots up, and is given freely through what should be our scrupulously fair elections, to the leaders we choose  to represent us. At least this is how it’s supposed to work—the “head” owes his title and his power to us, not the other way around.

Strictly speaking, such  leaders have no power that the People through the Judiciary and Congress have not agreed to lend them for the sake of fulfilling their responsibilities toward the People. However, the delicate balance of powers required to maintain this democratic arrangement has clearly been thrown out of whack by a president who doesn’t seem to have any allegiance to the core principles of democracy. Why exactly he’s actively trying to destroy that democracy is still a mystery, but we know that he’s wanted to recreate “America” in his own “Reality TV” image since day one. 

Unfortunately, he has had too many self-serving or naïve allies in this quest.  One way or another, his relationship with the People is at an all-time low, and as always, there are astrological reasons for that.

Normally, I would monitor the relationship between Leader and People by watching the progressed lunar cycle of a nation’s radix chart (here, the U.S. Sibly chart) next to that radix chart. We’ll anchor this investigation around a particular event and time by using Trump’s June 26, 2020 “Executive Order on Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues and Combating Recent Criminal Violence”—the order he wrote to grant himself the overreaching Executive power that we now see on display in Portland. The transits for this event will occupy the outer wheel of Triwheel #1 below, set against the Sibly chart and its progressions for June 26, 2020.

In the case of Trump, however, it seems we must personalize the exploration because that’s what he has done with presidential power—he’s personalized it and made it a point of personal hubris to maximize his hold on it at all costs. For this reason, we’ll add his nativity into Triwheel #2 below. 

Let’s begin.

Triwheel #1. (inner wheel) USA (Sibly) chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (middle wheel) USA (Sibly) chart, Secondary progression, Solar Arc MC method, for June 26, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. GMT, Washington, D.C.; (outer wheel) Statues Executive Order, June 26, 2020, 12 p.m. DST, Washington, D.C.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. All charts courtesy of Kepler 8.0 (Cosmic Patterns software).

Executive Order (EO) Mercury (Cancer) conjoins Sibly Sun (Cancer) and Progressed Sibly Jupiter (Rx, Cancer), squares Sibly Saturn (Libra) and Progressed Sibly Mars (Libra) while trining Progressed Sibly Sun (Pisces).  EO Mercury (Cancer) plays an interesting, multi-faceted role here, literally representing an Executive Order (written doc) with its conjunction to Sibly Sun, but also representing the violation that order represents to our balance of powers by squaring Sibly Saturn. Progressed Sibly Jupiter is doing us no favors by enabling excessive Executive power (conjunct Sibly Sun and trining Progressed Sibly Sun in Pisces), raising concerns about being able to rein Trump in when these instances of overreach arise. 

Power ascends from the grass roots in democracies.

EO Uranus (Taurus) sextiles Sibly Sun/Jupiter (midpoint, Cancer) and trines Sibly Eris (Rx, Capricorn). I don’t often pay too much attention to Sibly Eris, but in this case, it seems appropriate because the pretext for Trump’s Executive Order was the protests and disorder on the streets of American cities, with a particular focus on Federal properties and monuments. The trine from EO Uranus to this point suggests an explosion of disruption, which is exactly what we’ve seen—not the restoration of order. EO Uranus stimulating the Sibly Sun/Jupiter (midpoint, Cancer) reflects dilemmas within the nation’s leadership, which will have to deal with various disruptions and legal issues. The aspect is soft, however, so it’s unlikely the disruptions are going to put a halt to what Trump is trying to do.

EO Venus (Gemini) conjoins Sibly Uranus (Gemini), trines EO Saturn (Rx, Aquarius) and squares Progressed Sibly ASC (Virgo). If we cast the orbs real wide, this EO Venus also squares Sibly Moon (Aquarius); it seems our cosmic “Queen” is not being very helpful right now, enabling authoritarian tactics (EO Saturn), perhaps rendering benefits to Trump’s personal army (Sibly 6th house Uranus) that keep them doing his work instead of the People’s. An investigation into all this is definitely in order—who’s paying the bills here? Sibly Progressed ASC (Virgo) square this Venus suggests a militaristic shift in the nation’s identity, which isn’t surprising given some of the Mars connections we will see in Triwheel #2.  

Notice here that EO Mars is about to enter aggressive Aries, as well, sextiling EO Saturn (Rx, Aquarius) and squaring Sibly Venus-Jupiter (Cancer). Militant force designed to control people was perhaps predictable and could continue while Mars remains in Aries because it will move into a square with Sibly Pluto and the heavy duty transits now conjoining that point. Unfortunately, due to a retrograde period we’ll discuss in another post, Mars will persist in Aries well into January 2021, just in time to sextile Saturn (Aquarius) and square Uranus (Taurus). It pains me to say it, but it appears that local communities could suffer under the present oppressive, volatile conditions well into 2021 unless the reins of power shift and the  martial law-style incursions in American communities that Trump is threatening are stopped for good. There are more constructive uses of the energies we’re seeing here—more on this in Triwheel #2.

EO Pluto-Jupiter-Pallas conjoin Sibly Progressed So. Node and Moon (all Capricorn), and all of this conjoins Sibly Pluto (Capricorn). In other words, we have a super-oppressive gathering, hovering just short of Sibly Pluto’s 27°+ position. The EO Pluto-Jupiter conjunction is super-tight, reflecting the abusively overblown power dynamics in play, at the expense of Justice (Pallas).  The Sibly Progressed So. Node is significant here, conjunct all these Capricorn points—the So. Node tends to represent reactionary, less than constructive trends, whereas the No. Node (Cancer) indicates a more productive, nurturing direction. Hopefully things will begin to lighten up when Jupiter and Saturn move beyond Sibly Pluto into Aquarius and their new cycle in December. This will have the added benefit of separating Jupiter from transiting Pluto, which may help to moderate the power abuses.

Unfortunately, while we’re waiting for all that to happen, and with the pandemic still at full-tilt (Sibly Progressed Sun widely conjoins EO Neptune in Pisces), serious economic fall-out could shift the nation’s focus away from protest and onto economic disruption. These Pisces points square the Sibly Uranus/Mars (midpoint, Gemini), as well, suggesting continued unrest, with the military playing some role in response. Will Trump continue trying to politicize the pandemic by pitting people against each other? Criticism for the way in which Trump’s paramilitary force is “denigrating the military uniform” with their thuggish activities in Portland abounds—these aspects reflect that the friction produced by this will continue. Triwheel #2 has more to say about that.  

Triwheel #2. (inner wheel) USA (Sibly) chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (middle wheel) USA (Sibly) chart, Secondary progression, Solar Arc MC method, for June 26, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. GMT, Washington, D.C.; (outer wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. All charts courtesy of Kepler 8.0 (Cosmic Patterns software).

It’s always been a bit alarming how Trump’s Gemini points (Sun-No. Node-Uranus) fall squarely conjunct Sibly Mars (Gemini) and square Sibly Neptune (Virgo), with his Moon (Sagittarius) creating an interchart t-square out of it all. If it made sense to add yet another chart to this wheel, we’d see from the transits on June 26, 2020 (outer wheel, Triwheel #1) that Neptune is turning Trump’s mutable t-square into a grand square, suggesting the Cosmos is basically enabling his and Homeland Security chief Chad Wolf’s chaotically corrupt designs on our military and the American Dream. From the position of Trump’s No. Node, we might assume that he is following some sense of “destiny” for this course of action, but the only heroism here is illusionary, at best. Trump’s Mercury (Cancer) disposes these Gemini points at the same time it squares his natal Neptune (Libra).

Chris Wallace gave Trump opportunities to crow, but he also fact-checked him.

Trump Jupiter-Chiron (Rx, Libra) conjoins Sibly Progressed Mars (Rx, Libra) and Sibly Saturn (Libra), and squares Sibly Sun (Cancer). Trump Jupiter opposes Sibly (radix and progressed) Chiron. It appears from the interesting Chiron interactions here that Trump is driven to heal his own inner wounds by ripping open the nation’s wounds, and Progressed Sibly Mars is facilitating his quest at the moment. In the process, enormous damage is being done to Congress (Sibly Saturn) by the divisiveness and anger Trump spreads wherever he goes. 

Writing for The Atlantic, Peter Wehner reflected on Trump’s surprising responses to a Fox News interview, which gave him more than one opportunity to crow and to sound graciously presidential. Instead, he chose to complain about “how badly he’s been treated.” A long-time observer, Wehner’s assessment of Trump captures this Jupiter-Chiron dynamic really well:

“Donald Trump is a psychologically broken, embittered, and deeply unhappy man. He is so gripped by his grievances, such a prisoner of his resentments, that even the most benevolent question from an interviewer—what good parts of your presidency would you like to be remembered for?—triggered a gusher of discontent.”

It’s also relevant here that Trump Jupiter widely squares his Saturn-Venus (Cancer)—no doubt he’s felt restrained and put down by critics in life (according to his niece Mary Trump’s book, Donald Trump was “scarred” by his unpleasable, hyper-critical father, Fred Trump, for starters), but Donald Trump proves every day that he is also unwilling to take responsibility (Saturn) for anything he does, which creates criticism, and his actions often suggest a lack of any moral or ethical sense whatsoever—apparently another quality his father passed along. 

In the end, grabbing more and more power in his own hands (inappropriately, in many instances) could be a way of “proving something” to that lasting imprint Dad left behind on him, but it’s reasonable to wonder why the nation has to be caught up in this personal drama.  As it happens, Trump Saturn-Venus (Cancer) conjoins Sibly Progressed No. Node (Cancer) and opposes Sibly Pluto (and its transiting entourage of Capricorn planets shown in Triwheel #1)—for whatever karmic or fateful reason, we’re along for the transformative ride, for now.

Interchart T-square: Trump Mars-ASC (Leo) opposes Sibly Moon-Pallas (Aquarius); this axis squares Trump MC (Taurus). It’s no secret that Trump has a hold on a certain like-minded segment of the American people (Moon), but here we see why he has such a particularly heavy impact on Justice (Pallas) in this nation. His own innate sense of justice (Pallas) is quite harsh (Rx, Capricorn). Individually square his Mercury (Cancer) and his Chiron-Juno (Libra)—orbs too wide for a t-square—it’s also self-pitying, probably adding to his perennial sense of being “badly treated.”

Victimization is a convenient distraction for one who regularly works to justify treating others badly, isn’t it?    

Can we?

Final thoughts

So why are we along for Trump’s fateful ride in this nation? Perhaps because at this point in our history—the last few degrees of a 246-year Pluto return—we need to re-acquaint ourselves with the meaning of that glorious Declaration of Independence that forms the basis of our Sibly chart, and what better way to do that but to risk losing it all? If we come out of this odyssey with our democracy intact, it will be because we’ve rediscovered its value in our lives and because we commit to it with the same passion our founders put into that Declaration. And unfortunately, our myth of exceptionalism isn’t going to do this for us. I like the way Peter Wehner ended the piece I’ve cited above:    

“In another time, in a different circumstance, there would perhaps be room to pity such a person. But for now, it is best for the pity to wait. There are other things to which to attend. The American public faces one great and morally urgent task above all others between now and November: to do everything in its power to remove from the presidency a self-pitying man who is shattering the nation and doesn’t even care.”

Unfortunately, there’s no room for being P.C. here—that Mars-ASC of Trump’s in regal Leo manifests every day in a toxic “Sun King” persona (he even favors that perpetually “tan” look), but as appealing as a Mars Leo can be, Trump displays none of the humility that leaders need to have and enough arrogance of power to believe his own hype. We've seen repeatedly that for Trump, the personal loyalty of others is paramount, but over and over again we’ve had to wonder where his loyalties lie. 

Not with the hapless victims of COVID in red states that won’t allow municipalities to pass strong stay at home and masking orders, certainly; not with peaceful protesters who are fully within their rights to be on our streets demanding justice for all; not with Americans who are being forced in red states to choose between their health and being able to cast a vote; not with the health and well-being of Americans whose environmental protections he’s been rolling back; and certainly not with our soldiers in Afghanistan, who have Russian bounties on their heads.

We can take comfort in the Republic we've been left, but can we keep it? Stay safe, be well!

Says it all!

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; see the sidebar links on the home page for her two most recent publications, now available as e-books on Amazon.

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© Raye Robertson 2020. All rights reserved. 

[1] Timothy Snyder, Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, Tim Duggan Books, NY, 2017, p. 42.

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