Thursday, February 6, 2020

Saturn-Pluto’s Chilling Finger: the Astrology of the final impeachment vote


Nothing about the past week’s course of events in the U.S. Senate has been truly surprising or unpredictable—

we knew that its GOP members have somehow deluded themselves into thinking they are providing “impartial justice,” despite first voting to not allow easily available testimony that would add some critical facts into the impeachment proceedings against the president.

One by one, all the boundaries we would never expect Congress to violate have been violated; yesterday, the whistleblower who stuck his neck out to let us know what corruption was going on behind the scenes in the White House in regards to Ukraine was outed on the Senate floor by Sen. Rand Paul (Ky)—a move that is sure to chill similar courageous public servants. It’s a sad reminder that democracies don’t flourish in the dark, and no surprise, it’s difficult to see how our democracy is thriving at the moment. The Senate has basically abrogated its responsibility to oversee the Executive—instead, allowing Trump to order up the sham trial he wanted from his concierge, Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky), and to continue digging democracy’s grave in front of our very eyes. 

Corruption definitely started at the top in these proceedings.

Trump has swallowed the GOP’s integrity whole over his three years in office, and we know he's hellbent on destroying the opposition as well. Even so, I’ve been very proud to watch the valiant effort the Democratic House managers put forth in the impeachment trial. Their arguments were eloquent, historically-grounded and steeped in constitutional scholarship. They were based (as is proper) on facts gleaned from testimony in the House hearings—much of it from courageous public servants who probably risked their careers in the process. They were sincerely and courageously waging the battles we needed them to wage if we value our constitutional system of checks and balances. 

No one is supposed to be above the Law in our system of government, and that concern was clearly expressed in everything they did. Not only has Trump admitted to inviting foreign interference into our next election—he actually violated the Impoundment Control Act in the process, but he’s now insulated from any accountability, licking his wounds, bemoaning how "unfairly he was treated," (his own behavior started it all, of course) and according to reports, he plans to continue doing the same things that got him impeached. He’s determined to pervert our coming election for his own purposes, it seems.

And the fake news ate my homework...

The insulation he now enjoys was carefully spun by Trump’s defense team through their repeated narrative of victimization: they conveyed their client's aggrieved sense of victimization, saying that “the Dems have been trying to impeach him from day one,”—in otherwords, the “my teacher hates me” rationale that school kids like to deploy when their performance falls short. This pouty Neptunian defense is designed to shroud any regrettable behavior from responsibility—just like claiming “fake news” every time reporters spill inconvenient facts. 

Clearly, Trump is a master practitioner when it comes to Neptunian defenses, and he’s now free to ride Neptune’s Piscean wave into the election. Now that the Senate has decided he’s above the Law, he may never have to answer for his behavior, ever. Who’s the victim now?  

This should be resonating as a massive wake-up call to all of us; the last time we had the experience of answering to a one-man government, we weren’t particularly happy about it. That can’t happen here? Think again—instead of holding Trump accountable (Saturn and Pluto have been opposing his natal Saturn-Venus in Cancer), Saturn and Pluto (Capricorn) are pointing their chilling finger of fate at our democracy, and absent miracles that are hard to see coming at the moment, Trump will be playing golf on that grave before we know it.  

Saturn & Pluto. are taking us on a ride. Are we there yet?
Why should we leap to such a grim outlook?  For one thing, he’s removed all the restraints that might keep him from defying cosmic “laws,” much less U.S. law. A master of projection, he seems to have managed deflecting the energies of Saturn-Pluto back out onto his “enemy,” the so-called “Deep State.” Trump has used that term from day one to accuse the institutional infrastructure of our government (including the House, of course) of being a conspiracy (Neptune) to undermine his administration, and he’s used this pretext to basically dismantle or fatally corrupt our institutions, one by one. The Justice Department, the Supreme Court, the Senate and the State Department are in the hands of sycophants who will put his whims above the American people...and never criticize. Public servants take an oath to uphold the Constitution, but Trump demands personal loyalty over all--another page taken from the authoritarian's playbook. 

I wish this were a joke!

Here’s how The Hill characterizes Trump’s use of this “Deep State” conspiracy theory:
“At a campaign rally in 2018, President Trump denounced “unelected deep state operatives who defy the voters to push their own secret agendas.” Originally applied to shadowy elites in the military and intelligence services in Turkey, who, in essence, ran the country and were willing, if necessary, to carry out coups to overthrow the government, the term “deep state” has become ubiquitous in American politics since Trump became President. The term first gained currency in the United States when it was used by a Berkeley English professor, Peter Dale Scott, to refer to big oil conglomerates. Recently, of course, Donald Trump and his supporters have employed it to mean a conspiracy within the federal bureaucracy determined to undermine his Administration.
One of many conspiracies in circulation these days, deep state allegations cheapen public discourse, corrode public confidence in government, and exacerbate partisan polarization, especially when they are used indiscriminately, as Trump and his allies have, in denouncing his own appointees (most recently, former Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer, who opposed the decision to absolve three service members accused of war crimes), and State Department officials who defied the White House by testifying to the Intelligence Committee of the House of Representatives.”

Empowering politicians to attack public servants who don’t do things their way is straight out of the authoritarian playbook, of course. You may have noticed the following move by Poland’s strong man leader in yesterday’s news:

“Polish President Andrzej Duda on Tuesday signed into law much-criticized legislation that gives politicians the power to fine and fire judges whose actions and decisions they consider harmful.
The legislation has drawn condemnation from the European Union and international human rights organizations as well as from Poland’s opposition and some judges. They say it violates the basic democratic values of judicial independence and the system of checks and balances and puts judges under political control.”

I try to avoid leaping to the Hitler comparison, but as we can see in the "Totalitarian's Playbook" pictured above, the comparison is strikingly apt—he too “reorganized” the German government the moment he took power in 1933. Trump's political opponents (perceived, if not real) within the ranks were the first to come under attack—in our case, Joe Biden and anyone who stood in the way of getting to a sham investigation that would smear him for 2020 have been primary targets, but there have been many, many other key public officials who have been targeted unfairly for dismissal and career-destroying smear tactics. Those who have worked for Trump have basically found their lives are treated like his play things.  

And yet, his defenders are tenacious and somehow willing to set aside their integrity, their rational judgment, logic and conscience on Trump’s behalf. Thankfully, one courageous Senator—Utah’s Mitt Romney—voted to convict on one of the Articles of Impeachment against the president of his own party, putting conscience above party pressure and describing his reasons quite movingly on the Senate floor. 

Sen. Mitt Romney (R, UT) choked up explaining why he voted to convict Trump.
Despite Romney’s valiant effort, however, at 4 p.m. today (February 5th), the Senate voted to acquit Trump on the Articles of Impeachment, and we’ll examine the chart for this event below—first on its own and then set against the national Sibly chart. We know that Trump will consider today’s vote to be a total exoneration, even though he’s still an impeached president, and it’s hard to consider anything that came out of a trial without witnesses to be a legitimate acquittal. Impeachment will be an asterisk next to his name forevermore, whether he likes it or not. Even so, Trump isn’t likely to show any humility or regret, so we can expect that he will be insufferably smug and whiny about having “beaten” the Dems for at least the rest of this election year. 

Sometimes we just have to marvel at how adeptly he manipulates outer-planetary energies: his Neptunian “wizardry” has thus far overpowered Saturn-Pluto’s laws and only fueled his ambition to destroy even more parts of the government that are supposed to operate independently of the Executive branch. If he can’t be in total control, they must be out to get him—so goes the conspiracy logic.  I received an email claiming that his latest budget will seek to defund (and thus destroy) public libraries. Perhaps he thinks they do nothing important (wrong!!). Book burnings, anyone?

We’ll see how this has worked in the charts below. Let's begin.

The Vote

 Chart #1: Final Vote-Trump Impeachment, February 5, 2020, 4:00 p.m. ST, Washington, DC. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

T-Square: Saturn-Pluto conjoins DSC (Capricorn) and opposes ASC (Cancer); this axis squares Eris (Aries). This tense configuration suggests a hotly adversarial situation in which legal/institutional issues are at stake—certainly a fit for the deeply polarized Senate impeachment trial. 

Saturn rules the Capricorn 7th and squares Uranus (Taurus), which reflects the tangible  rupture we’ve been witnessing to our institutions and the rule of Law. The media reported serious displays of divisiveness and acrimony on the floor of the House when Trump gave his State of the Union last night (2/4)—this aspect could account for that, not to mention the hostility floating around in the Senate during the impeachment trial. 

Saturn also co-disposes the Aquarius Sun with this Taurus Uranus, which is widely conjunct hot-headed Eris and sextile both the Moon (Cancer) and Mercury (Pisces).This scenario is energizing warriors (Eris) among the People (Moon) and those with information to offer (Mercury). “Getting the word out” into the court of public opinion will be key. The GOP’s commitment to setting aside any concern for facts and to acquit Trump with no witnesses will probably inspire a lot of stories to “go viral.” 

We can see the hand of Neptune here: from its home sign of Pisces, it disposes 8th house Mercury and Venus and creates a foggy, no-win situation for manyespecially since it falls square Mars (Sagittarius) in this position. Mars falls in the “Old Boys’ Network” 5th house, so this aspect also raises questions about the viability of the Senate as an institution going forward. Neptune can be a deeply corrupting energy when put to toxic use (leadership is key here-McConnell has basically handed the Senate over toTrump to control), and that certainly seems to fit the energies we’re seeing here.  

Above the law?

Jupiter (Capricorn) squares MC (Aries). Interestingly enough, this combination evokes the best qualities we have traditionally looked for in our Senators: scholarship, a deep sense of history, integrity, dignity, commitment to the rule of Law (Saturn rules Capricorn), discipline and perhaps even a modicum of wisdom. There’s a reason so many Senators begin their careers as lawyers, judges, etc., and it’s no accident that so many of our presidents in history have first been senators—we’re supposed to expect the above-noted qualities from presidents, too! 

These points are reinforced by Jupiter’s rule of the 6th and 9th houses (the 9th co-ruled with Neptune)—public servants and the legal/philophical basis for our government are reflected in these houses. The intense pressure on these public servants in seen in Saturn-Pluto’s 6th house placement here, as well. 

Jupiter’s square to the Aries MC suggests a certain tension between the need for those laudable Capricorn characteristics in the trial, and the more self-serving (Aries) outcome of the trial. The GOP has been traditionally considered the more Jupiterian of the two parties (Republicans tend to want to eliminate regulations, favoring an unrestricted form of corporate capitalism), but this aspect suggests the party is acting out aggressively and that it could even inspire a volatile backlash. 

We’re certainly seeing this with the early reaction to Mitt Romney’s principled vote to convict Trump. Romney displays all those wonderful senatorial traits listed above to my mind, but Trump and the party he’s swallowed whole are not likely to hold back—it seems that Trump needs sacrificial lambs (this takes us back to that Mars-Neptune square) to feel good about himself. No surprise here—this square ties in tightly with Trump’s natal Gemini-Sagittarius oppositions (Neptune squares his Sun-Moon, Mars conjoins his aggressive, entitled-feeling Moon). History will be much kinder to Romney than to Trump, in the end. 

Impeachment and the Nation

The question now is, what will the failed attempt to hold Trump accountable do to the nation at large? It goes without saying that the presidency and some other institutions like the Justice Department have been corrupted—hopefully not beyond repair—but nevertheless, damage has been done and we can only cross our fingers that Trump doesn’t become the prototype for future administrations. It’s clear that he would like to hand the presidency off to one of his children—a dynasty would add to his “glory,” and that would suit him just fine. 

Since he’s now basically “above the Law,” this is not going to be easy going forward—Rudy Giuliani is back hopping from nation to nation, looking for dirt to dig up on Trump opponents, and all but a few Republicans have basically said they don’t see anything wrong with that. Perhaps the Biwheel below will hold out some hope, however—at a time when we really need to be working on major issues like the environment, we literally can not afford to stand still, much less shift into reverse. A little hope might go a long way. 

Before we begin, it’s worth noting also that in the early morning hours of February 9thwe’re about to experience the winter “Snow Moon,” a supermoon (a full-moon that looms large because it happens with the Moon at its closest point to the Earth) that also happens to mark the end of Chinese New Year celebrations. This lunation promises to put on a glorious showing, stretched across mid-Leo-Aquarius—stay tuned! For now, let's consider the Impeachment vote chart next to the Sibly chart.

Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) USA (Sibly) chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (outer wheel) Final Vote-Trump Impeachment, February 5, 2020, 4:00 p.m. ST, Washington, DC.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Saturn-Pluto (Capricorn) conjoin Sibly Pluto (Capricorn) and oppose Sibly Mercury (Cancer). We’ve been talking about this dynamic duo creeping up on Sibly Pluto forever¸ so no surprises, but we’re seeing that the dread and anticipation were certainly warranted. Yes, the U.S. is going through some kind of death and transformation process, and the system of checks and balances we’ve always thought was so strong and resilient has not proven up to the challenge of a would-be dictator. As so often happens with major transformative experiences, the peril that drives the whole thing has its roots within, not from external attacks. 

Because Sibly Mercury (Cancer) rules the Sibly 7th and 10th houses, the aspects noted above may manifest in volatile ways, with actions directed at allies, adversaries, and relations (especially via official communications) with those we depend upon for feeding U.S. coffers (Mercury in Sibly 8th) could be rough, as well. If China’s Corona virus issues start to cause a serious production stoppage, that will open a Pandora’s Box with financial ramifications for all of its trading partners. 

Of course, the epidemic is a big concern in itself—more on that in a bit). Meanwhile, there are other indicators of potential financial “news”: Saturn and Pluto are transiting the Sibly 2nd, and Jupiter (Capricorn) is opposing Sibly Sun, which rules 9th house global affairs. 

And it may be risky to depend too much on it!

Chiron (Aries) is now transiting within square orb to Sibly Venus-Jupiter (Cancer), as well, suggesting that these financial/trade-related points may be dealt a “wound” in the near future, even though Uranus (Taurus) transiting sextile the same two points may keep the positive numbers coming in. Debt levels (Saturn-Pluto at Sibly Pluto) may rattle the Stock Market, at which point seniors will want to clutch their Medicare and Social Security cards tight and hope for the best. Trump isn’t going to allow anything to mess with “his” Stock Market returns!  Interestingly, Vote Venus (Pisces) falls square Sibly Venus-Jupiter (Cancer), so there could be some unexpected volatility in the markets, in trade relations, etc. Again, China could figure into this. 

Vote Neptune (Pisces) squares Sibly Mars/Uranus (midpoint, Gemini) and opposes Sibly Neptune (Virgo). This is potentially troublesome, with possibilities ranging from unexpected military operations to mass unrest on the streets. It’s also a bit concerning considering that we’re watching an epidemic unfold across the globe. Neptune rules epidemics and with the Neptune-Sibly Neptune opposition (Pisces-Virgo), the tendency for illness to spread within our own borders is real. To coin an Internet term that’s eerily relevant here, we don’t want this thing to “go viral.” 

Fear and panic (also Neptunian) are the enemy here, of course, and so far we have no serious worries, but vigilance and discipline (good Saturnian traits) are key in times like these. Those hand hygiene warnings are serious business—we all need to do the responsible thing and pay attention. If face masks become necessary, then so be it. Will the Trump administration know how to handle a situation that starts getting out of control? So far he’s said very little about the Corona virus—let’s hope he’s not totally tuned out because his tender feelings have been wounded by the impeachment. 

The Coronavirus is a real concern to be carefully watched ahead.

Neptune is transiting square his Gemini-Sagittarius axis, as mentioned earlier. He’s not likely to be as clear-minded as we might need him to be. Besides, there’s still the chance that he will be looking for or responding to military adventures of some sort—Vote Mars (Sagittarius) opposes Sibly Mars at the same time it conjoins Trump’s Moon (Sagittarius). He’s not likely to display much emotional discipline—this Sagittarius Mars (Sagittarius) also trines his natal Mars-ASC (Leo).  Bottom line, all this activity along the Mutable axes is prone to instability and chaotic outcomes—it’s quite possibly the “gremlin” that gummed up the works in the Iowa caucuses!  

Not to dwell overly long on the epidemic topic, but it’s worth noting that there are eclipses later this year that could become part of the story, if cases are still surfacing by then. These dates include July 5th (13+Cap), Nov. 30th (8+Gem) and Dec. 14th (23+Sagittarius). Connections exist with the Sibly chart for all three, so they’re all worth watching.  Let’s hope for the best, support our experts and do the right thing in our own communities! Unfortunately, we may want to avoid crowded venues and election year glad-handing—prevention is everything in these situations. This too shall pass! 

Traveling is especially precarious with this virus. Click here for tips!

 Final thoughts

We have a lot to be concerned with ahead, but it seems to me that the key to dealing with these times is for everyone to expect positive outcomes, and to take whatever responsibility we can for making that happen. United we stand, divided we fall, remember? That doesn’t mean we have to squash our own critical thinking (there’s enough of that going around!), but we have to err on the side of love, compassion and collective spirit. These are positive uses of Neptune’s difficult energies, and they are our greatest protection against the negative ones. Saturn is the “antidote” to a toxic Neptune, which means that facts, experts and personal diligence and discipline are key. 

Good news: we have something to look forward to with the coming Jupiter-Saturn conjunction, launching a new cycle in air sign Aquarius. This starts an entirely new series of such conjunctions, after several in earth signs. This new cycle should help us rebuild from the chaos of the past months, and we’ll have lots more to discuss about this in a future post.  
Finally, the impeachment is a done deal, for better or worse, and the faster we can put it behind us, the better! I am determined to shift my focus here more and more away from Trump’s everyday drama and onto the many important issues that have been left hanging by his administration. We’ll start taking a closer look at the primary process and dig into the challenges of “reading” an election. Lots to discuss ahead—stay tuned and please feel free to chime in via comments! 

This is one way to put impeachment behind us!

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former educator. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years.

She is also available to read individual charts—contact her at:

© Raye Robertson 2020. All rights reserved.