Friday, November 6, 2020

Jupiter cycles and the astrology of a treacherous presidential transition

"The significance of crises is the indication they provide that an occasion for retooling has arrived. —Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions



It may be weeks before we have official word that this fraught, at times chaotic election year has come to fruition, with a confirmed pick for new U.S. president, but as I write this, the Electoral College count between Biden and Trump has been stuck on 253 to 214 for days, with the path forward looking better for Biden than Trump. So definitive results are heating up like kernels of corn in a hot skillet, just waiting to pop. And pop they will, despite Trump’s attempts to mount legal challenges against what is looking to be the inevitable conclusion to this years-long drama.

So a celebration (also set to pop) at this point would be premature, but as one Pennsylvania representative commenting on MSNBC put it, “we cannot allow Donald Trump to have our joy.” So given the vicious divisiveness of the campaign, there’s no need for Biden supporters to gloat, but there’s also no need to deny the likely success of their uphill battle.  

This, of course, will be only one of many moments that will demand great sensitivity and finesse—not to mention downright determination—between now and inauguration day, 2021 (chart to follow below). This election has put the U.S. on almost entirely new political terrain: we’ve had extremely divisive elections in the past (think 2000, most recently; 1860 and 1876 before that), but none for which the peril to our democracy and cohesiveness as a nation has been as high. I would suggest that one distinctive astrological feature of our times has a lot to do with this peril: the fact that we are currently experiencing waning times in five out of ten outer planetary cycles. There’s more to this story, as we’ll see, but for now, let’s map out that terrain in Table 1.

Table 1. Cyclic index for November 3, 2020.


Waxing angular distance

0°-179.59° (positive)

Waning angular distance

180°-359.59° (negative)

Index totals















-358.41* (see below)






























Cyclic Index




*the Jupiter-Pluto cycle began anew in April 2020 at 24°53’Capricorn, but after a long retrograde period this past May-September, Jupiter hasn’t quite caught back up with Pluto, creating a prolonged waning effect.

As you can see from the final Cyclical Index number of -1620.02 in Table 1 and the [*] note below the table, the Jupiter-Pluto cycle has added to the overall waning impact by getting caught up in a retrograde period shortly after its new cycle launched this past April.

It’s hard to say how we should take the “interesting timing” of Jupiter’s comings and goings—to my eye, it looks similar to not quite being able to celebrate a new day with a new president (Jupiter-Pluto reflects a lot about executive power), a situation that could perhaps be remedied when Jupiter catches back up with Pluto on November 12th, and then even better, emerges from its post-retrograde shadow period on December 6. So hopefully by that time we will start feeling that long overdue “joy” that this heavy, divisive election year has made so difficult to embrace. 


The fact is, we’re living through the deeply waning times of all the Jupiter cycles—Jupiter-Uranus is the only one shown in the table above that has a number higher than negative 300. This perhaps only adds to the “heavy” feel of our times, especially with Jupiter in the home sign of Saturn. Patience everyone (we’re hearing a lot about that today), better times are coming as the Jupiter cycles all begin anew and transition into waxing status over the coming four years! More on that ahead.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: I wouldn’t counsel letting down our guard against the many challenges that will be brought to bear in the pre-Inaugural transition period, for instance. We know that Trump probably won’t ever stop tweeting about being cheated out of the election, and he’ll undoubtedly keep trying to stir his supporters up against a Biden presidency and against our bedrock democratic principle of “one person, one vote.” In fact, the right to count every legitimate vote is a matter of state, not federal law, which is why we have such an array of rules and regulations, but Trump has been demonizing the mail-in ballot forever, as if he anticipated exactly the scenario we’re seeing before us.

So he’s now—even from his White House podium—doing everything he can to keep our body politic divided, suspicious and defiant. Quite a legacy to leave behind.   

“Cheating” is in the eye of the beholder, of course, and Trump seems incapable of respecting people’s right to vote for his opponent, so naturally a vote against Trump is “cheating” to his eye. In fact, all indications are that this has probably been the most strictly administered election in our history, simply because Trump and the GOP have made no secret of their intentions to cheat by working hard to suppress the vote wherever they thought there might be Democratic strongholds. The states that are lagging behind with their absentee/mail-in ballot counts are, in many cases, doing so because their GOP-led legislatures refused to allow those votes to be counted until after election day. 

The scene outside one of Detroit's vote counting facilities.

So Trump’s attempts to use the courts to shut those counts down and his call to supporters to “watch” the counts (often quite disruptively) is simply another effort to disenfranchise voters he doesn’t want to hear from. Thankfully, the courts are so far, not buying Trump’s grievances. Even so, the counting facilities are dealing with attempts to intimidate the vote counters and to shut down the process—here in Michigan, the scene got very ugly a couple days ago, as it has in Pennsylvania facilities. This is precisely the type of disruption that PA Governor Tom Wolf was probably speaking to when he issued the following statement:

“Pennsylvania is going to count every vote and no amount of intimidation will stop our dedicated election officials in our municipalities. As a country and a commonwealth, we must reject efforts to intimidate election workers and prevent votes from being counted. The planned attacks on our elections this morning are undemocratic and all elected officials must denounce them. Pennsylvania will be prepared to protect our election workers and our votes.” 

Since then, even some Republicans are coming out and saying that Trump must accept the duly-administered results.

So it’s no mystery that it will take the likely Biden administration some time to help heal this divisiveness and rancor, not to mention the crisis of confidence that Trump will surely leave behind. Even so, time will be on the new administration’s side because the increasingly waxing numbers of the Jupiter cycles going forward will give a lift to us all and to his appeal as a leader. So many frustrations could begin melting away with competent leadership at the helm—including his deference to scientific leadership that helps get this pandemic under control! Bottom line, that necessary “retooling” mentioned in the Thomas Kuhn quote above should get a boost with the new Jupiter-Saturn cycle launching in late December, just in time for a fresh new calendar year and the Inauguration soon thereafter. More on this below.

Some poll-watchers have been respectful; others less so.

The long, dragged out counting process is frustrating, of course, but it too is a sign of our waning times. It just takes longer to get things done because every bit of progress is met with obstacles and pushback. Republican legislatures across the nation made certain that the absentee/mail-in count would be cumbersome and long by militating against early counting (including in my home state, Michigan).

Importantly, there are hints from all the outstanding states on the electoral map that Trump’s chances are dwindling the more votes are counted, and in waning times, I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised by this. Trump has been experiencing diminishing returns on his efforts for a long time—this just happens to be the most visible and consequential. He didn’t want to be impeached by the House, but he was, even if he was saved by the Senate’s refusal to  hear witnesses or convict. Trump didn’t want the pandemic to take over the national narrative, but all his efforts to ignore and downplay the seriousness of the virus (in the face of 235,000+ dead) for political purposes has boomeranged on him. Rather than making him look like a strong leaders, it's made him look like an incompetent empathy-free Emperor-sans-clothes—one major reason, I suspect, that he’s now looking at the White House exit door.  

Even so, working all the kinks out of this election is going to be a long slow process by the time the legal challenges are navigated, so it’s not at all inconceivable that we won’t begin emerging from the “shadow” of this election until Jupiter gets its forward-moving Jupiter-Pluto cycle back up and running. It would seem that things should start to settle down by the November 12th reunion of these two planetary hefties—a reunion that will also conjoin Saturn and Pallas, hovering just a bit later in Capricorn.

Perhaps it’s only a coincidence, but North Carolina is slated to finish its vote count on that day. It’s not likely the presidential race will hinge upon that one state at this point, but it’s good to know that the vote will still be ongoing as late as November 12th. Hopefully we’ll have a firm idea where the presidential race is going before then, but one way or another November 12th seems significant, so to see what that reunion of forward-moving Jupiter and Pluto will look like, let’s check out Chart #1 below.



Chart #1. Jupiter-0-Pluto 2020 II, November 12, 2020, 3:50:22 p.m. ST, Washington, D.C. Equal Houses, True Node. All charts cast, courtesy of Kepler 8.0 Cosmic Patterns software.

Cardinal T-squares: MC-Jupiter-Pluto-Pallas-Saturn conjoin in 9th (Capricorn); this stellium t-squares Mars Rx-Eris Rx (Aries) opposite Venus-Moon (Libra). The Capricorn stellium here certainly speaks to all the legal challenges we can probably expect to keep seeing if Trump continues to see his re-election slip away. No doubt the lawyers are locked and loaded for bear on both sides, however—the Trump side will try to disenfranchise voters and invalidate key contests and the Biden side will work to protect every voter. The Moon-Venus conjunction reflects People who wish to proceed peacefully in mutually beneficial ways, but I would suggest that it also reflects the important role women have played and are playing in this election, and we’re not just talking about a Democratic phenomenon: a new group of Republican women have won seats in the House, in fact, diminishing the Democratic lead in that body. Despite good news for women, however, this Moon-Venus opposition to Mars-Eris suggests a tug-of-war with players who are looking for a fight. 


The elevated position of the Capricorn stellium, and particularly of Pallas in this chart, points to prominent Justice-related challenges. It doesn’t look like a configuration that will tolerate attempts to cheat the system for the sake of a dubious “win,” however; there’s institutional strength in this stellium that provides a concrete “wall” of sorts that should protect those institutions. The People also seem to be protected here (Moon-Venus, with Venus strong in Libra). Pallas in Capricorn will be concerned with the structural arguments being made by both sides, but there should be enough shared interests  between the Libra and Aries sides of the t-square oppositions to work things out.

Yes, the stakes are high in this tense configuration, but Mars and Eris are both retrograde and fall in the 12th house, so it’s likely their “bark” will be somewhat worse than their “bite.”

Neptune Rx (Pisces) t-squares Nodal Axis (Gemini-Sagittarius) and quincunxes Venus-Moon (Libra).  No doubt, the forces of misinformation and distortion are alive and well and working hard to muddy the waters of a presidential win. It’s worth remembering, however, that this heavy Neptunian energy has been dogging our steps all year—it’s also been squaring Trump’s natal Sun-No. Node-Uranus (Gemini)-(Moon-So. Node)Sagittarius points (chart not shown), which may account for his increasingly disruptive and frankly, dark behavior. To listen to his odd ranting in the White House last night (11/5), we have to assume that he’s truly convinced that a vote against him must be a fraud, by definition. The delusional nature of that stance is simply breathtaking—it makes his usual delusions of grandeur look normal.

As for the Pisces quincunxes to Venus-Moon, we can be sure that the attempts to sow discord and fear in Americans’ hearts and minds will continue throughout this transition period, but there’s room for optimism here: hopefully, our inherently social natures will be resilient and mostly able to deal with the attempts at mis- and dis-information, as we have been all year.


More of the same for awhile, it seems!

What’s next?

We have to let the vote counting process unfold in its time, obviously—as one network put it, it’s not quite time to “pop the corks”—but the writing appears to be materializing on the proverbial wall, so it’s fair to consider some broad strokes about the coming four years. The analyses of Trump’s time in the White House have just begun, of course—it’s not often that an election has carried the weight of our nation’s “Soul” on it, but this one surely did, for good reason, and the analysts’ responses are starting to roll in. From the Brookings Brief:

“Biden’s potential victory, meanwhile, will be made possible by America’s cities, populated by people of color. Trump has referred to these Black and brown neighborhoods as places infested by crime and rodents. They are not; these communities are places that elevate integrity, hope, hard work, and determination—values that the country must build upon.

If this election is about the “soul” of America, then even voting Donald Trump out of office is not enough. The president’s sustained support demonstrates that the mirror we hold up to America’s soul should force us to reflect on the beliefs, the systems, and the political practices that elected him. Biden’s support is enough evidence to say that America isn’t Trump, but Trump still represents a good part of America’s soul. Confronting that part means confronting the nation’s racism, xenophobia, and classism. If, someday, we prove successful in battling those demons, then Trump was the mirror America needed.”

Or, as Princeton Chair of the African-American Studies department Eddie Glaude so aptly put it, “What are people voting for when they vote for Donald Trump?” 

So yes, this transition period and beyond will be all about national soul-searching, but some expert political observers sound pessimistic about our ability as a nation to overcome the dysfunction and division that Trump has stirred up between us any time soon. Here Foreign Policy editor-in-chief Jonathan Tepperman reflects on what the long-term impact of such a close election will have on the nation:

“Pundits have tried to explain away President Donald Trump’s show of strength  by pointing to lockdown fatigue or to voters’ appreciation for his perceived success on the economy—at least until the pandemic came along and cratered it.

But these rationalizations don’t tell the whole story. Most important, they don’t account for the fact that, whoever ultimately wins the White House, nearly half of all U.S. voters endorsed an authoritarian white-nationalist serial liar who has spectacularly botched the most serious health crisis in a century. They also knowingly ignored, or willingly embraced, Trump’s flagrant cruelty and sexism, his lack of curiosity or knowledge about the government and the world, his disdain for traditional U.S. values such as fair play, the rule of law, and the freedom of the press, as well as his eagerness to tear down the institutions of governance at home and abroad—institutions that, while flawed, have provided much peace and prosperity over the years. Back in 2016, some Republicans voted for Trump because they didn’t know much about him, or because they hoped that the responsibilities of the office would transform him into a statesman. No one can make that argument today. We all now know exactly who Trump is.”

Indeed. Tepperman goes on to very soberly describe the challenges a potential President Biden will have trying to rebuild cooperation or consensus between the branches of government if the Senate majority doesn’t fall to the Democrats (it may not). Senate leader Mitch McConnell is already opining about how he plans to control who Biden will be able to put in his Cabinet—we can bet there will be little cooperation there!

Bottom line, recovering the nation’s Soul after these destructive past years will require much more than what even the most able and appealing new president could possibly do. It’s going to be a long-term collective effort and its success will depend heavily on where we focus our attention and how we channel the energies that will be available to us. As alluded to earlier, in the coming 4-year administration, we will see a series of planetary cycles involving Jupiter that will be completing and beginning anew—an unfolding process that I’ve detailed in Table 2 below, beginning with the Jupiter-Saturn cycle that will be brand new just weeks before the new president takes office. Please see the note below the table for abbreviations, etc.

Table 2. Planetary cycles timeline, 12/2020-2032


Planetary cycle phases


Jupiter-0-Saturn (0°+ Aquarius)


Jupiter-90-Uranus (3Q-6°+Aquarius-Taurus)


Saturn-90-Uranus (3Q-7°+Aquarius-Taurus)


Jupiter-0-Neptune (23°+ Pisces)





Notes: 0 = conjunction; 90 = square; 1Q = first quarter (90°-179.59°); 3Q = third quarter (270°-360°)

Let’s unpack what Table 2 is telling us a bit, keeping in mind that in addition to the cycles launching between now and 2024, that important Jupiter-Pluto cycle will also be moving back into waxing forward motion. So, we’ll probably see a gradual build up of steam for these cycles as they re-launch during the next presidency, but there will still be obstacles to face while the Saturn-Uranus and Saturn-Neptune cycles work through their heavy waning 3rd quarters. We have to dig ourselves out of a very deep waning negativity, remember, so any progress towards lightening up and moving forward will be welcome. For the sake of all of us, let’s hope that the partisan divide lightens up along with the numbers! 

Hang in there, safe out there! 






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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  1. Hi Raye, Interesting article, I am still working to get my head around visualizing the - & + cycles. Jupiter is a 'good' planet for Joe, so the Jupiter renewal should generally benefit him. The Jupier,Pluto conjunction opposition to nJupiter & sextile nMercury is supportive of his success as his MC is 19 Virgo...Im very glad to have found your blog. BTW Biden's speech last night was powerful, sincere and moving. I wonder how many Republicans will actually "hear' him. I have been around the sun quite a few times but this year has hammered home the realization that the human mind is highly resistant to any information that it does not want to recognize, beliefs are baked in, so to speak. This is very disheartening to a us Democrats who are children of the Enlightenment. Keep up the good work!

  2. I think you're absolutely right about the Jupiter-Pluto cycle with Biden---definitely a potent rebirth of power for him, happening opposite his natal Jupiter. Let's hope that helps him to navigate the unpleasant transition waters to come!