Friday, October 30, 2020

The Astrology of truth or consequences

“The time hath found us.” –Thomas Paine, Common Sense



We’ve explored the role transiting Neptune has been playing in a number of dysfunctional dynamics that have dogged our steps in the past few years, but now, in this last week before Election 2020, I feel compelled to return to that topic, from a slightly different perspective. On Wednesday the 28th, Trump announced that he intends to open the Tongass National Forest to logging and road-building—a transactional move, to be sure, since he wants Alaskan votes, and of course, timing is everything, folks!

More importantly, the environmental importance of the Tongass National Park (a temperate rain forest) is impossible to overestimate—climate scientist and activist Bill McKibben now warns that our continuing inability to slow down emissions (Trump policies have actively promoted more and higher emission) into the atmosphere has destroyed any margin that remains for acceptable CO2 concentrations. Clearly, this is no time to destroy one of the few remaining rainforests on this planet, election or no election. From Washington Post:

“For years, federal and academic scientists have identified Tongass as an ecological oasis that serves as a massive carbon sink while providing key habitat for wild Pacific salmon and trout, Sitka black-tailed deer and myriad other species. It boasts the highest density of brown bears in North America, and its trees — some of which are between 300 and 1,000 years old — absorb at least 8 percent of all the carbon stored in the entire Lower 48′s forests combined.

‘While tropical rainforests are the lungs of the planet, the Tongass is the lungs of North America,’ Dominick DellaSala, chief scientist with the Earth Island Institute’s Wild Heritage project, said in an interview. ‘It’s America’s last climate sanctuary.’”

But Trump has no use for Science—facts are such inconvenient obstacles for his political self-interests—so barring a miracle, we are probably now looking at an onslaught of logging companies and who knows what else in our last pristine sanctuary. Once they’ve cut into that magnificent forest, even a new president may have a serious problem stopping them—especially if reversing something about Trump’s executive order setting them loose requires a long process in the courts. 

Protections for the Tongass wildlife are now up for grabs.

In fact, Trump et al are adept practitioners of a toxic form of “disaster capitalism,” or, as social scientist Naomi Klein has dubbed it, the “shock doctrine.” Whatever we call it, this zero-sum approach (“anything they win is a loss to us”) involves “the practice (by a government, regime, etc) of taking advantage of a major disaster to adopt economic policies that the population would be less likely to accept under normal circumstances.” The “win” is all that matters here to those taking advantage of the Tongass; never mind that this move makes all of us losers in the end.  

In fact, this move is probably seen as a win-win by Trump: COVID and the economic downturn it’s caused has undoubtedly caused corporations to chomp at the bit over environmental regulations, and logging companies have been looking for this opening in the Tongass forever, so why not take advantage, especially now when he needs more than ever to “stick it to the Libs?” Anything can be rationalized with a toxic Neptunian mindset.  

Just for the sake of illustrating the context for all this, consider that one of Bill Clinton’s final acts in office—just days before leaving the office, in fact--was to shore up protections for the Tongass National Forest by passing what was called the Roadless Initiative on January 5, 1001.  This initiative “prevented the construction of new roads in currently roadless areas of United States national forests,” one of the protections that Trump just rolled back for the sake of facilitating logging companies who need roads to bring their heavy machinery into the dense forests. This is one of the same ploys used by Brazil’s Bolsonaro to continue decimating the Amazon rain forests, in fact, although Bolsonaro finds himself embattled over his actions these days. Regardless, he and Trump have been working out of the same anti-environmental playbook for some time.

So, let’s take a quick look at a couple key highlights from a chart for Clinton’s Roadless Initiative, set against the U.S. Sibly chart, appropriate since Trump’s actions may be sounding the initiative’s death knell. See Biwheel #1 below:



Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) USA-Sibly chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (outer wheel) Clinton Initiative protects Tongass, January 5, 2001, 12 p.m. (noon chart, no time known), Washington, D.C.. Equal Houses, True Node. All charts cast, courtesy of Kepler 8.0 Cosmic Patterns software.

Initiative Pluto (Sagittarius) rises at Sibly ASC (Sagittarius), opposes Sibly Mars/Uranus (midpoint, Gemini), quincunxes Sibly Sun (Cancer) and sextiles Sibly Saturn (Libra). Clinton’s Initiative was a rare environmentally-helpful exception to his administration’s mainly “go-go-globalization” 90s period, and it shows in these aspects, as well as Pluto’s 150 and 30 degree aspects to the North and South ends of the Nodal Axis (Cancer-Capricorn) that reflected the clashes the Initiative set up between powerful corporate lobbies and the Federal government. Still, we can probably assume that the Tongass would have been decimated by now if Clinton didn’t take this action, so he bought us all a little bit of time.

Initiative Mars (Scorpio) t-squares Sibly No. Node (Leo) opposite Initiative Neptune-Sibly So. Node (Aquarius); Mars trines both Initiative Venus (Pisces) and Sibly Jupiter-Venus (Cancer). So we have an interchart t-square and a grand trine here, both tapping into this formidable Initiative Mars. The fact that the Initiative was passed under one Mars in a ruling sign (Scorpio) and it’s end was announced during Mars’ passage in another ruling sign (Aries) should tell us something about the potent role Mars plays in our national fortunes. It appears here, in fact, that protecting the Tongass was a prudent economic move in 2001 (the grand trine)—one that tapped into some deep-seated value at the core of our national identity (t-square). Anyone who’s watched Ken Burns’ documentary, National Parks: America’s Best Idea, would sense how important these forests are to our sense of national Self. Our Sibly No. Node in Leo thrives on “majesty,” and our national parks and forests perhaps represent the last remnants of that glorious quality, from sea-to-shining-sea.  

Toxic seas could be a metaphor for our times.
Awash in a sea of toxic choices

In fact, this entire election season has forced Americans to continually choose between Neptune’s toxic and addictive low road and its more redemptive, but elusive higher road. For instance, embracing clear misinformation without seriously questioning its source and credibility is a major pitfall for those who insist on getting their news from social media. Social media was never meant to be a news outlet—there are no editors on these platforms for fact-checking and demanding the truth, undistorted by clever framing ploys, etc. More likely, the administrators of these platforms hide behind an unfortunate spin on the 1st Amendment. Since when are libel, slander and defamation,, not to mention incitements to violence, allowed under the 1st Amendment?

More often than not, such unregulated “news” ends up being no better than unfounded rumors, innuendo, slander and defamation (sounds like Trump’s Twitterfeed!) which has done none of us any good—except those who are purposely trying to sow chaos between us.

Being able to trust a solid, shared base of facts about the events of our time is a fundamental need of any democracy—unfortunately, the first time Trump dismissed credible media reports as “fake news” because he wanted to control the narrative to his liking, he began tearing down that trust. We explored the astrology of trust in political times in the last post here; suffice to say here, there’s not a lot of it left!

It doesn’t take much to see that by calling every inconvenient fact “fake news,” Trump was actually planting disinformation, intentionally meant to mislead people for some purpose, like avoiding responsibility (always!) or dividing Americans against each other by party, race, ethnicity, economics, etc.  The sneaky thing about disinformation is that there’s often a grain of truth in the information, but it’s given a deceptive twist or framed in a distorted, misleading way.

Several Trump ads circulating today against Biden use this tactic, of course: words Biden said in a totally different context are often spliced into some “gotcha” graphics, which then go on to visually twist those words to mean something totally untrue. We know that politics is “blood sport,” but there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed and we all know what they are.

Dominators routinely manipulate truth for the sake of power.

It’s not even disputed that Trump tells outright lies to the American people--sometimes several times a day! Four years of this has made it pretty clear that the “truth” to him is whatever he wants it to be at the moment—actual facts just get in the way! Trouble is, the truth is not a piece of clay to be manipulated at will, and we normalize this lying behavior at our peril. An objective reality does exist and can be discovered through research, expert testimony and fact-checking. Of course, Trump’s even distorted the idea of investigations with his mania for using them (or pushing others to use them) to intimidate and tear down his political opponents. Remember Michelle Obama’s famous quip, “when they go low, we go high?” Clearly, Trump and company have chosen to flip that script and to go as low as they possibly can. Right out of the toxic Neptune playbook.

We hear a lot about the “filters” people see their lives through—often the source of unconscious biases and opinions (especially if the filter is a tribalist one)—and there’s even a school of thought in Physics that says we live in a “multiverse” of alternative worlds and realities, so maybe there’s an entire “reality” out there in which Trump’s lies make perfect sense, who knows?  Such possibilities are interesting mind games, but as long as Saturn rules this Earth-sphere and keeps our feet anchored to the ground through the force of gravity, 1+1 will equal 2, the Sun will still only appear to rise in the east and set in the west (we know it doesn’t actually), and scientists—using sophisticated, fact-based tools and techniques—will be able to calculate what time it will rain on us that day. Or when we will need to have boarded up our homes and evacuated for a coming hurricane/fire/tornado…you name it. 

Bottom line, we don’t need scientists to tell us how they feel (or what their gut tells them) about a potential hurricane or tornado or the Coronavirus—we need their sound, fact-based judgments!

Just like we don’t need journalists or government officials who will act from some sense of loyalty to Trump over the actual facts we all need them to convey.  As we’ve seen with the rising tide of new COVID infections, an unwillingness to prioritize facts over our desires to put this pandemic behind us can be deadly. Neptunian wishful thinking has its usefulness—we need to hope and dream and visualize better futures—but just proclaiming that the virus is behind us from a political pulpit doesn’t make it so!

We know Neptune is strong in Pisces—it’s shown this strength in ways both toxic and uplifting since its ingress in 2011, but Saturn has also been strong in home sign Capricorn (and it will continue to be in Aquarius soon), especially as reinforced by Pluto (and now Jupiter, more recently) in that same sign. All of this creates an atmosphere of power-sensitive rigor, which probably accounts for the rise of intensive fact-checking as a staple in the daily news (Saturn now opposes Sibly Mercury); facts are valued much more in this earthy, pragmatic “what you see is what you get” sign than they might be in more mutable signs like Pisces

Collective truth-telling isessential for nations and civilizations. 

This mania for facts extends to the practice so many have adopted of recording what’s going on in their daily activities because they may need to bear witness to some egregious act such as police abuse, at times to defend themselves from the same. Facts keep the powers-that-be within some reasonable bounds of honesty—a Capricornian value that used to mean something in this society.

Despite the Neptunian erosion of that value, however, in today’s world, facts matter more than ever, whether they are respected or not.  

Realists know that companies can’t prosper for long on the basis of lies or distortion and obfuscation—a string of these will become over time the proverbial “house of cards” that cannot stand.  Even Trump hasn’t been immune to inconvenient truths coming out about his own past business ventures—layers and layers of lies and debt will catch up with any business in a rule-of-law society. He has a long history of defying such laws, of course—with the help of his first notorious “fixer” and power broker Roy Cohn—but Cohn’s ability to manipulate the legal system in 1970s New York didn’t render Trump’s business practices any less shady in the end.  

My hope is that the radical insecurities being forced on everyone by this election have been waking us all up to the value of unfiltered, independently confirmed Truth and Facts once again. Neptune also inspires imagination, intuitive perceptions and creativity—as essential as left-brained facts, but not meant to take the place of facts. Using imagination (or projections, with Trump) to spin lies and rumors designed to destroy others’ reputations is a pretty sorry use of that incredible Neptunian gift. IMHO, there’s no honor in using any kind of information to destroy others, but painfully, we know that honor (military or otherwise) also means nothing to Trump. 

Even so, I will stubbornly cling to the belief that honor lives on in our national Soul—I don’t believe that one very small man—even one empowered by a toxic Neptune—could possibly erase centuries of deeply-held values in all of us. We will recover our sense of national Self and of what’s important in this world, after all. 

We can tell the difference between fact and fiction, with practice.

Bottom line, rumors, misinformation and disinformation should be dealt with as suspicious and fact-checkable—they should be submitted to Saturnian scrutiny, that is. Unfortunately, our intelligence authorities know that there are foreign entities trying to sow chaos in our body politic and election on social media, so maybe if we’re inclined to feel outraged or shocked about something in a post, we should seriously consider how credible it is, or track down the source and its credibility before passing the message along.

We’re under fire, folks, and information has been weaponized for the purpose of wearing us down and destroying our democracy through mistrust and worse. Mis- or dis-formation  circulating on social media was probably planted there to purposely create mistrust and outrage, but happily, if you want to check on the credibility of rumors, you can see this cyber security and infrastructure website that specializes in that:  Facts will win out in the end and we will be more worldly-wise for it all.


Nations around the world are anxious about our election!

Neptune and the fears we have going forward

If you’re at all like me, you’re more apprehensive about the day after we know who wins the election than I am about the contest itself. Trump has basically said that he won’t accept the results if they don’t go his way, and he’s built up a network of militias that appear prepared to hit the streets to support whatever he plans to do next. Thankfully, again, there are concerned experts who have been mulling over all these unprecedented possibilities and have formulated a citizens’ plan for “what’s next” that is contained in this link: .

As for what we can still do today, if you haven’t voted, vote! Move heaven and earth if you need to, but vote! A vote is a fact that Trump and the GOP will certainly attempt to subvert, repress, obfuscate or simply refuse to count, but if the numbers are overwhelming enough, there will be fewer discrepancies to latch on to for law suits, etc. If we’re looking for one mantra that should help get us through this, it’s that every vote must count, and it doesn’t matter who you’re voting for—it has to count! We simply can’t settle for anything less than full accountability in this election—perhaps the sense that we can take away from Chart #2 below, of the Full Moon that perfects tomorrow, October 31st (Halloween!). Let’s close this with a quick look at a few highlights.



Chart #2. Full Moon, October 31, 2020, 10:49 a.m. DST, Washington, D.C. Equal Houses, True Node. All charts cast, courtesy of Kepler 8.0 Cosmic Patterns software.

Jupiter rules Sagittarius ASC; Mars, Pluto and Venus rule Scorpio Sun-Taurus Moon. Mars-Eris (Aries) squares Pallas-Jupiter-Pluto (Capricorn) and Venus (Libra) opposes Chiron (Aries) and inconjoins Moon-Uranus (Taurus). This seems like a fairly dense tangle of energies vying for attention, however there’s a sense that Justice and reason-based Power will prevail because an intense amount of action is pushing for that outcome. Women are having their say here, and their power is being channeled through their sense of being Wounded by the status quo, which again, calls out for Justice (Libra).  Saturn and Jupiter are both still working through their respective post-retrograde shadows (that is, to regain the degrees they lost in their retrogrades), so there’s a sense that they are revisiting key issues of structural importance that have been compromised, such as our voting infrastructures (squares to Mercury Rx, Libra).

Yes, there are likely to be voting irregularities and recounts—the imperative here is to protect and fight for every vote to be counted (Eris opposes Mercury Rx).

Uranus (Taurus) may deliver a number of surprises before this is over—its position exactly conjunct Moon (the People) reflects rebellious times and a surprisingly strong youth impact on this election. The lunation itself is a bit out of the ordinary--it's a "blue Moon," or the second full Moon in the month. Venus disposes Taurus here, reinforcing that some surprises could originate with women.


On the march again?

Final thoughts

Obviously, Chart #2  is not an election chart, per se, but it certainly speaks to some hopes and anxieties we can’t help but bring into this election, just 4 days away now. I take comfort in the sense I get from this chart that Justice will prevail and that our national institutions should hold strong in the face of the powerful Neptunian forces being waged against us (yes, Neptune t-squares the Nodal axis and horizon in this chart). Backing down in the face of such challenges is not the answer, however: it's better to be conscious of them and to respond by channeling that same Neptune in creative, service-oriented directions. 

In fact, so much of the challenge we’re facing right now feels like a replay of what American colonists faced in the 1770s, and if transiting Pluto’s impending return to our Sibly Pluto alongside transiting Neptune's opposition to Sibly Neptune is any indication, the parallel is real. Who knew we’d have to confront such enemies from within to protect our autonomy and democracy?

But it is what it is, and the prevailing energies suggest to me that we’ll get through it—together!

Be safe out there, everyone!



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 Publication link on the home page for her two most recent publications, now available as e-books on Amazon.


For information about individual chart readings, contact:


© Raye Robertson 2020. All rights reserved. 






Tuesday, October 27, 2020

A potent December eclipse: human dignity & trust in the crosshairs

“In a future that is as unavoidable as it will be unwelcome, survival and sanity may depend upon our ability to cherish rather than to disparage the concept of human dignity.”—William R. Catton, Overshoot


On July 20, 1969, the U.S. successfully landed the first manned spacecraft on the Moon—a project that the late JFK had set in motion during his ill-fated administration, characterizing it as something we must do—not because it was easy, but because it was difficult. Needless to say, when the lunar module landed on the Moon’s surface at 4:17 p.m. EDT that July day, it was a time of giddy national celebration, followed by more of the same as the world watched astronaut Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon’s surface at 10:56 p.m. and heard him say, “that’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”  

Looking back at that heady time, it occurs to me that it was not just about reaching out and touching the Moon with a human foot; it was about living out a higher potential for we humans as Cosmic citizens. It was a time, in other words, when we did “cherish human dignity,” as William Catton’s quote leading this post suggests we need to do. And we did so by embracing the Science of the day to achieve, for that time, something inconceivably difficult. 


Maybe we need to get back to "moonshot" thinking?

Does it surprise us that ever since that day, when some massive, unimaginably bold national project or corporate venture has seemed almost insurmountable, we’ve called it a “moonshot?” Such projects usually redefine the cutting edge of innovation, but there’s a reason they are so rare. On the corporate side, the 352 blog explains:

“Inherently, moonshot projects are risky, time-consuming ventures that monopolize the brainpower of your most talented thinkers for months or years. They’re well-informed bets that if the stars align and the market changes, the company will be ready and well-positioned to take advantage of that change. Visionary projects plant a target for where executives want to take the company, and how they plan to get there.”

 The Federal government has always played a role in supporting visionary innovations and research that serve the common good—especially in matters of public health. My fellow Boomers may well remember lining up in school in the 1950s for their first Polio vaccine—that was a life-saver for countless American children at that time. Likewise with Measles, Mumps and Smallpox—finding vaccines for these three scourges has saved countless more people and raised humanity’s average life expectancy numbers overall—a worthy effort, indeed. Americans used to trust that their government would accomplish (or would support those who could) these critical “leaps forward” for humankind, but as we’ve seen from Trump’s response to the COVID-19 virus, this trustworthiness needs to be restored. 

Unfortunately, national optimism regarding our government’s competence and commitment to us has been spiraling down for decades and to my eye, it seems that we’ve hit bottom in this regard with the current administration. Polls have suggested that if a COVID vaccine does become available in the next month, more than half of respondents say they wouldn’t trust it! This lack of trust would, of course, lend itself to a self-fulfilling prophecy; if a critical mass of the population is not vaccinated, the vaccine will not accomplish its aim of “herd immunity.” 

I have to admit that I’m not sure I would trust a vaccine hastily released before an election either—not because I doubt the international scientific effort that will have gone into it—like many, I wouldn’t trust the rushed process and the White House’s shameless politicizing of the effort. This is exactly why the career scientists who serve us in government need absolute independence to go about their work on behalf of all of us.

Instead, a COVID vaccine, an accomplishment that might naturally be an occasion for great celebration­ across the nation—another “Moonshot,” if you will—has been denigrated into a questionable development, fraught with questions and mixed messages. Trump doesn’t even pretend to respect scientists or epidemiologists, or the rigors of a scientifically-sound vaccine development process, so how can we know what to make out of such an important scientific development?

Trump’s not the only one who has conditioned us to mistrust government actions in the past years, however; we’ve been on a downward spiral of trust for some time now—probably from at least the 1990s when our top officials decided to trust neoliberalist economists such as Milton Friedman and Paul Krugman in regards to globalization—effectively privileging corporate profits over American jobs and wellbeing, and allowing the corporate privatization of far too many natural resources (a big obstacle to solving the climate crisis these days). A lot of us didn’t feel too damaged by these developments at first because cheap Chinese goods offset some of the pain, but when the 2007-8 recession hit, the damage became all too clear. Even Krugman himself is now regretting his former enthusiasm for globalization. From Foreign Policy:

“In a recent essay titled ‘What Economists (Including Me) Got Wrong about Globalization,’ adapted from a forthcoming book on inequality, Krugman writes that he and other mainstream economists ‘missed a crucial part of the story’ in failing to realize that globalization would lead to ‘hyperglobalization’ and huge economic and social upheaval, particularly in the industrial middle class of America. And many of these working-class communities have been hit hard by Chinese competition, which economists made a ‘major mistake’ in underestimating, Krugman says…It was quite a ‘whoops’ moment, considering all the ruined American communities and displaced millions of workers we’ve seen in the interim.”

The article suggests that Krugman and other economists have been doing a lot of soul-searching lately, wondering if they helped put Trump and other trade protectionists in office, to the detriment of free markets and democracy everywhere. Whether these economists should be blamed for all the negatives that have transpired since 1990 is an open question, but I suspect we can look to the “go-go-globalization” 90s as the beginning of a notably sharp decline in popular trust that Congress and the government more generally are making decisions and deploying resources based on the People’s needs, as opposed to corporate wish lists. 


Key global trade organizations and agreements sprang forth during the 90s that even prioritized corporate profits over the rights of national governments in some cases. While never the stated objective, corporations were unleashed to essentially privatize the “Commons,” natural resources like water that have always been considered the People’s—we might have to pay a modest fee to support infrastructures and safety systems, but the resource itself was considered essential to life and therefore, not open to private “ownership.” 

That position sounds quaint these days, of course—ask the lead-poisoned families of Flint, Michigan how public/private management of their drinking water sources worked for them! 

The same peril for communities has arisen with the corporatization of prisons and law enforcement—addressed in the last post here. Profits have reigned over the demands of justice and certainly, of “equal protection under the law.”

Long story short, there have been plenty of reasons to mistrust government in the past three decades, but unfortunately, through the dynamics of hyper-partisan politics, we’ve also lost trust in each other and have basically surrendered to those who wish to “divide and conquer” us.

Wouldn't you know, there is an astrological technique for measuring this troubling trajectory, and it can help put these trust-busting dynamics into perspective. We talk a lot about specific outer planetary cycles on this site, but there are times when we need to broaden our focus to consider all ten such cycles at once, and to grasp what those cycles are trying to tell us about the prevailing tone of our times.

I’ve discussed the technique in question in reference to the 2000-2020 period in a recent Mountain Astrologer blog article entitled “Election 2020: an astrological moving picture,” but the same technique will help us consider that critical 1990s period as well. First, a quick explanation is in order.

Various mundane astrologers in the past have suggested calculating the “cyclical index” of a given year, or even a string of years, in order to understand the prevailing tone of those times; for example, by following this information, compiled from all 10 outer planetary cycles over the entire 1990s decade, we can better understand the overall astro-social “climate” of those years.

Baigent, Campion and Harvey (BCH) cite methods for making these calculations in their classic work, Mundane Astrology, picking up most notably on the work of AndrĂ© Barbault and Claude Ganeau. While both esteemed astrologers promote similar approaches, I’ve employed Ganeau’s technique here, which I find more accessible. He explains it pretty clearly in the following, from BCH:[1]

“The stability or instability of the world is directly related to the difference in the sum of the phases of all waxing cycles of the five outer planets, and the sum of the phases of waning cycles of planets. Whilst the resultant figure remains positive, the earth will tend to experience relative stability and a period of evolution; when the resultant figure is negative, the earth enters a period of crisis and involution.”

Using the basic algebraic math Ganeau calls for, I applied this technique to the years 1990-1999—the last ten years of the 1980 Jupiter-Saturn cycle that began so anomalously in air sign Libra. This was an air cycle that interrupted an earth “synod,” a series of cycles in one element that stretched back to the Capricorn cycle of 1842 and will end with the launch of the December 21, 2020 Jupiter-Saturn cycle in air sign Aquarius, a shift known as a “mutation conjunction.”

Flashing back to the 1990s, however, with the 1980 Taurus cycle’s waning condition a constant thread trailing throughout that decade, we can better appreciate the oscillations that went on around it with the remaining nine cycles. 

The 1990s planted important seeds we are harvesting now.

So let’s see what all this means for that key 1990-1999 time period in question. To obtain the following numerical values for this timeframe, I cast a chart for January 1st of each year between 1990 and 1999 and did the cycle calculations Ganeau calls for in each one. I chose January 1st so that we have a perspective on how each year began—as good a benchmark as any for this study.

Note that the trends we can see in the bold numbers below are inextricably related to the number and “weight” of the waxing and waning cycles in play in any given year. Waning cycles tend to be “heavy” because the angular distance numbers between any two given outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) will fall between 180.01° and 359.59°, so subtracting these figures from the smaller numbers produced by waxing cycles (0°-179.79°) often produces a negative difference.

Simply put, years in which there are several waxing cycles (see tabulations below) tend to produce positive numbers, and years in which there are several waning cycles tend to produce negative numbers. Not to be overlooked, there will be years in which strong positive numbers are flattened out somewhat by just a couple deeply waning cycles (say cycles very near completion, measuring in the 300°+ range)—probably indicating a transition point of some kind.

So detailed below in Table 1 are the numbers I obtained in the cyclical index calculations for 1990-1999— and, to keep the numbers in perspective, the line below those numbers show how the balance of waxing (wx) to waning (wn) cycles broke down for those years (calculated for January 1st of each year):

Table 1. Cyclical Index numbers for 1990-1999































 8 wx,

2 wn

5 wx,

5 wn

5 wx,

5 wn

5 wx,

5 wn

6 wx,

4 wn

7 wx,

3 wn

7 wx,

3 wn

7 wx,

3 wn

9 wx,

1 wn

9 wx,

1 wn

“wx” = waxing; “wn” = waning

Notice that some cyclical index numbers are positive, some are negative, and that there are some suggestive trends that track with the gradual transition into a new order that characterized the tone and key developments of that decade.

For instance, many fully expected George H.W. Bush to easily win a second presidential term when he ran against Bill Clinton in 1992, but it’s possible the numbers dropping off so precipitously into negative territory had something to do with Bush’s loss. Bush had sent our soldiers to war in the Persian Gulf in early 1991, basically setting up the conditions for what later became the Iraq War under his son, George W. Bush—as we’ll see, another negative-trending period.

Or does that precipitous drop between 1990 and 1991 reflect the global instability brought about by the demise of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War? A 1200 point drop in one year is definitely a signal that a key transition is taking place, and sure enough, it did. 


Hillary & Bill Clinton as we knew them in the 1990s White House.

Clinton won in 1992 and—probably egged on by economists hailing the wonders of free trade and globalization—he decided to finish what Bush Sr. had started with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signing it into law in 1993—also the year Uranus and Neptune launched a new Capricorn cycle that has been favoring corporate interests over everyone else’s ever since—and which probably supported the first bombing of the World Trade Center that year, not to mention the deadly 1993 Siege at Waco and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing of the Murrah Federal building (what the FBI calls the worst domestic terror incident in our history).  The cyclical numbers for that decade hit bottom in 1993 and it showed.

Needless to say, NAFTA was not well-received by manufacturing workers then, and some might say that this backlash (and perhaps some of the events listed above) began the gradual alienation we’ve seen between the working class and the Democratic party that manifested so disastrously with Trump’s 2016 election. Even in its “updated” version under Trump, NAFTA is probably still one of the most reviled trade programs ever

For the purposes of our exploration here, the key point is that this 90s period added greatly to the public’s mistrust of government. This is especially true when it came to trade agreements and jobs, but in retrospect, this decade also receives a lot of scrutiny for Clinton’s controversial 1994 Crime Bill that planted the seeds for corporate prisons, corporate pressure on local governments for harsher policing methods like “stop and frisk,” tougher laws and sentencing guidelines, and for the outrageous mass incarceration numbers we see, with wildly disproportionate numbers of black men represented in those numbers. Needless to say, public confidence in our federal justice system has plummeted right along with trust in public officials.

So it’s perhaps not surprising that negative numbers made the early years of that decade feel stagnant and vaguely fearful—a wave of corporate downsizing, outsourcing and layoffs was gaining steam as companies prepared for globalization opportunities. Luckily, the economy was still fairly robust and it was often possible for workers to find decent alternatives. This slightly stagnant trend persisted through all but Clinton’s final two years in office—and those were the years he was being impeached!

The uptick in 1998 and 1999 probably reflects the strong Federal budget surplus (from 1998-2001)  that Clinton’s economic programs created, but there was a definite power shift going on by then—overall, Clinton’s economic measures produced robust growth and job numbers because corporations stood to gain from the opening of new markets and lax regulations, but at that point the nation was still benefiting from the tax hike Clinton put on corporations early in his administration. 

Canadian workers didn't like NAFTA either.

Yet, a good portion of the working population felt betrayed by Clinton’s trade policies because they allowed companies to relocate plants outside our borders in search of cheap labor and tax avoidance. Auto workers had seen manufacturing giant GM close multiple plants in the 1980s to navigate down times and maintain their bottom lines, and they had witnessed the devastating effect all that had on American communities. So all the happy talk from D.C. about globalization and budget surpluses did nothing to allay their (as it happens) very well-founded fears.

Notice that we see several years of near -600 during this 90s decade—in fact, all the Jupiter cycles (Jup-Sat, Jup-Ura, Jup-Nep, Jup-Plu) were waning during several years of this decade, which might account for the conservative trend that handed the GOP a banner year in Election 1994 (-902), the same year Jupiter-Pluto launched anew in late Scorpio. This was a trend that was reinforced in 1997 (-597) when Jupiter-Neptune launched in late Capricorn in January, followed by Jupiter conjoining Uranus for a new Aquarius cycle in February. These 1997 cycles certainly captured the global quest for boundary-free flows of capital and trade (i.e., globalization) that was on—not to mention the way in which parallel developments in technology (Jupiter-Uranus) supported the overall quest—more on that in a bit.

That exuberant Jupiter-driven period had its dark side, however—as described in startling detail in John Perkins’ Confessions of an Economic Hit Manthe World Bank and World Trade Organization (the latter founded in 1994) jointly enabled an international system of debt slavery (Pluto in Scorpio helped) that greatly enriched transnational corporations and the 1% at the expense of underdeveloped nations that were often pressured into accepting the assistance (and its onerous conditions). Whether Perkins’ book was entirely accurate or is still relevant is an open question, but it did nothing to shore up readers’ confidence in the beneficence of U.S. power players. From Wikipedia:

“The book provides Perkins' account of his career with engineering consulting firm Chas. T. Main in Boston. According to Perkins, his job at the firm was to convince leaders of underdeveloped countries to accept substantial development loans for large construction and engineering projects. Ensuring that these projects were contracted to U.S. companies, such loans provided political influence for the US and access to natural resources for American companies,[1]:15, 239 thus primarily helping rich families and local elites, rather than the poor.”

All things told, the 700-800 point lift in the numbers at the end of the decade (to +193, +290) probably reflected the dawning awareness that a new “empire” of sorts was on the move—the U.S. had become the “sole super power” when the Soviet Union collapsed—and a system had developed to ensure that the resulting economic power would enrich mostly the top (Jupiter-Pluto in Scorpio helped here). There were some knock-on effects that lifted a few other boats, too—enough at least that even the president bringing down the dignity of the Oval Office to indulge an affair with his intern didn’t seem like too big a thing—he was impeached for lying about it, but not convicted in the Senate (sound familiar?). 

We've enjoyed the Internet for 30 years, believe it or not!

In those late 1990s, the public was also feeling a lift from a wave of new computer-based technologies and their entrepreneurial possibilities—the World Wide Web had opened to the public in mid-1991—amazingly timed to coincide with the end of the Cold War, and seven short years later, Internet giant Google was launched, as was a rush of less successful tech companies. Before that occurred, however, Pluto had entered fiery Sagittarius (January, 1995), widely conjunct Jupiter, with Uranus still conjunct Neptune (Capricorn) and Saturn in mutual reception with Neptune. We were caught up in what Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan called “irrational exuberance”--at this juncture, mostly over tech stocks (Capricorn Uranus).

This exuberance was perpetuated by the 1997 Jupiter-Neptune cycle—a cycle known to inspire euphoria (in Capricorn, perhaps ambitious euphoria)—so it was no surprise the market was experiencing a “tech bubble” by decades’ end (the cyclical numbers reflected a considerable lift)—remember the “ boom?”  

Jupiter-Neptune probably also inspired the apocalyptic mass delusion we all fell for, known as “Y2K,” too—13 school children had been shot to death by disgruntled classmates in the first school shooting to hit U.S. news that past April 1999; if something that horrendous could happen, why shouldn’t the world as we know it end at the turn of the century? We were being conditioned to believe that anything could happen.

And then it did.


The Millennial shift felt downright apocalyptic.

From one century to the next

In many ways then, the 1990s planted seeds—social, economic and political—for so much that has followed since. That “ boom” led to a “bust” with the turn of the century that rippled and reverberated into the 2007-9 “great recession,” and the dalliances we experienced with terrorism in the 1990s blossomed into a full-scale attack on the World Trade Center in September, 2001. This unimaginable day was followed by a decades-long corporate-driven “war on terrorism” begun by Bush, et al against Afghanistan and Iraq—wars that have lingered on for far too long.  

In other words, the 2000 threshold signaled the end of any pretense that We the People could count on our government to prioritize our interests over the global interests of corporations. Then First Lady Hillary Clinton had gotten behind an effort to pass a national health care program, to no avail. By this time, we were seeing a definite conservative trend in politics—Bill Clinton had been a centrist “bridge” character of sorts whose support of globalization firmly shifted the power balance away from union labor and traditional U.S. manufacturing towards empowering the corporate globalization project over all. This shift was characterized by economists (now feeling chastened in retrospect) as being the inevitable future.

So it wasn’t surprising that the mood of the nation had fidgeted just enough to the right by 1999 to benefit George W. Bush in the 2000 election. Unbeknownst to everyone (except some in our Intelligence services), a disaster of massive proportions was looming, and the next decade of cyclical index numbers reflected that perilous threshold.  Maintaining sole superpower status was suddenly a much bigger, more dangerous and more expensive job. Even so, Bush had promised to return the Clinton budget surplus to the people in the form of tax cuts (2001 and 2003), so we were looking at two deficit-funded wars looming ahead.  

 And so we moved into the next century with a great deal of anxiety about the future and a new set of cyclical index numbers that reflected why (Table 2 for 2000-2020 below).


Table 2. Cyclical Index numbers for 2000-2019.






















9 wx,

1 wn

10 wx,

0 wn

9 wx,

1 wn

7 wx,

3 wn

6 wx,

4 wn

6 wx,

4 wn

6 wx,

4 wn

5 wx,

5 wn

6 wx,

4 wn

5 wx,

5 wn





















6 wx,

4 wn

6 wx,

4 wn

6 wx,

4 wn

6 wx,

4 wn

5 wx,

5 wn

5 wx,

5 wn

4 wx,

6 wn

3 wx,

7 wn

3 wx,

7 wn

3 wx,

7 wn

“wx” = waxing; “wn” = waning


Not to be overlooked in the downward spiral of the numbers from 2003 on, the number for January 1, 2020 was -1946—a real bottoming out for the entire 20 year period pictured here that aptly captures the deeply divisive negativity of our current times. I bring all this up because it speaks to the mounting challenges we’ve been experiencing on so many levels—especially the deadly pandemic that has complicated everything leading into this 2020 election.

One thing is certain—there’s only one direction to go from here, and we can already see the trend as we figure in the waxing numbers for new cycles that have launched since January 1st this year (with one more important one to go)—that direction is up!!


See here for eclipse visibility facts.

One quick look at an impactful chart

Perhaps an important inflection point for the public trust issues we’ve been discussing above and a cosmic “window” we can peek through to see how the upcoming Election will be resolved, on December 14, 2020, the Sun (leaders) and the Moon (the People) will conjoin to form a total solar eclipse, at 23°08 Sagittarius. With this perspective in mind, let’s take a quick look in Chart #1 below—on its own for now. We’ll probably consider this chart next to both Trump’s and Biden’s charts between now and the December eclipse date, but the effort will reap much more fruit if we wait until the election is over.  

Meanwhile, this eclipse chart, cast for Washington, DC is worth a look—a solar eclipse is an especially potent New Moon, the impact of which can be felt for months or even longer, so it should tell us something about the potential and tone of the “transition period,” at least, those weeks between the election and Inauguration 2021. Let’s begin.



Chart #1. Solar Eclipse, December 14, 2020, 11:16:36 a.m. ST, Washington, D.C. Equal Houses, True Node. All charts cast, courtesy of Kepler 8.0 Cosmic Patterns software.

Grand Mutable Square: Eclipse Point (Sagittarius) conjoins Mercury and So. Node (Sagittarius) in 10th house, opposite No. Node (Gemini); this axis squares Neptune (Pisces) opposite Vesta (Virgo). Because this eclipse falls nearest the South end of the Nodal Axis, it is a “dragon’s tail” eclipse, which eclipse expert Celese Teal suggests signals a time for “giving back, serving selflessly, and practicing compassion.”[2]  When manifesting negatively, a dragon’s tail eclipse can also herald “payback time.”

Eclipse ruler Jupiter is sandwiched “in fall” (rather uncomfortably) between Capricorn Pluto and Saturn—in the 11th house, perhaps an apt representation of our national politics at the moment because the drive for power is great but every forward step is belabored (the Jupiter-Pluto cycle is waxing, but still in its first few degrees due to an extended retrograde period, but Jupiter-Saturn is deeply waning for a little longer). This restrictiveness is also reflected in attempts by GOP-led states to “win” by suppressing the votes of potential Democrats. It will take time to sort through and rectify all the election-related offenses people will have experienced by then—including the potential for foreign interference.

The mutable grand square formed by this Eclipse Point reflects the continuing instability of this critical post-election period and suggests that the “fog” of distortion, disinformation and downright lies will move the grass roots (Vesta = households) to demand whatever “payback” is called for by this eclipse. 

In mythology, Pallas Athena fights for Justice.

Pallas (Aquarius), Part-of-Fortune (Aquarius) and Ceres (Pisces) rise close to the ASC (Aquarius). Significant players in a given chart are often clustered about one or more chart angles, so this trio of energies near the ASC is interesting, given the times. Part-of-Fortune squares Venus-Juno (Scorpio)—this latter conjunction elevated in the chart—which likely reflects the key role women will have played in the election and the key roles they will be playing going forward, either in elected office or as packed hastily into a seriously out of balance Supreme Court. Pallas, of course, raises the issue of Justice, an essential element for restoring that balance—here it’s a bit repressed in the 12th, but it’s conjunct Saturn and sextile Chiron (Aries) and will conjoin the new Jupiter-Saturn cycle point (0°+Aquarius) on December 21st—the potential for progress towards healing wounds is there.

Mars-Eris (Aries) squares Pluto-Jupiter-Saturn (Capricorn), trines Eclipse Point-Mercury (Sagittarius), semi-sextiles Neptune (Pisces) and quincunxes Vesta (Virgo). I might normally overlook the semi-sextile and quincunx here as being too minor to talk about, but since Mars-Eris trines the Eclipse-Mercury and Neptune is in the mix, we could still be trying to manage the flashpoints between misinformation and militant, misguided idealism at this late date in the year. Militias or other players (aka, domestic terror groups) are likely planning to make their presence known during the election’s aftermath—probably in response to inciting rhetoric from on-high (Sag points), so vigilance is called for.

On the other hand, peaceful activism is also strongly indicated, and I would say that voting, no matter what is about the best activism we can exercise at this time. It’s up to all of us to demand a peaceful transfer of power—one of the hallmarks of our democracy we cannot afford to lose.


Young people are already voting in record numbers.


Final thoughts, for now…

Obviously, this final week before the November 3rd election is going to be collectively nerve-wracking, but I take a lot of comfort from watching how deeply engaged countless young people have become in the election effort. After decades of understandable apathy and distrust in the institutions of our democracy, millions of new green shoots of renewed hope and involvement are emerging, and I’d say we have a lot to be grateful for there.

Simply put, it’s time for the younger generations to step in and carry us all forward, and the fact that so many of them are enthusiastically embracing a candidate who stands to be the oldest new president in our history speaks highly of their maturity and dedication. And yes, many of those working so hard during this election were the same ones standing up for racial justice and human dignity during this past summer of protests: I suspect the nation will benefit greatly when they take full charge down the road.

Let's get out and vote with them! Every vote counts! 



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 Publication link 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]Michael Baigent, Nicholas Campion and Charles Harvey, Mundane Astrology: An Introduction to the astrology of nations and groups, Thorsons Publishing, London, 1995, p. 174.

[2]Celeste Teal, Predicting World Events & Personal Transformation, Llewellyn Publications, Woodbury, MN, 2006, p. 11.