Tuesday, July 7, 2020

A Buck Moon over Mt. Rushmore: stoking division & ripping away illusions

According to the lore, male deer develop their antlers under this Moon.

It’s always interesting to me that the names for particular lunations are often derived from Native American traditions.

This practice makes perfect sense, of course—the resulting names always reflect deep connectedness with the natural world around us and its rhythms and cycles. In June we had the “Strawberry Moon” solar eclipse (New Moon) and today (July 5th), we have the “Buck Moon” lunar eclipse—a very lightly shaded (penumbral) full moon. Strawberries are quickly ripening in late June and male deer are typically developing their full rack of antlers in July, so both Moons are aptly named if one’s goal is to cooperate with, rather than to dominate the natural world. 

In this sense, it was troubling to see the July 3rd show of raw governmental power, headlined by Trump, at Mt. Rushmore—technically (and by more than one treaty), territory belonging to Sioux Indian tribes, and territory that the tribes consider sacred (they call the mountain on which four U.S. presidents’ faces were carved “6 Grandfathers”). Treaties regarding the Black Hills (Rushmore’s site) have been repeatedly violated when it has suited DC (more on these occasions ahead), however, and now insult’s been added to injury with raw political opportunism by Trump and South Dakota’s  governor, Kristi Noem.

Krisi Noem (2nd from rt) reportedly had been exposed to COVID when she greeted the Trumps in S.D.

In fact, an excerpt from Trump’s speech on the 3rd, attacking the reform movement that aims to address systemic racism in our society, probably laid out his entire 2nd term platform: an apparent plan to stoke further division by flipping the script on the whole debate about racism and systemic change. In the process he is revealing a deeply twisted sense of heroism and heritage, which he would clearly like to impose upon the rest of us. From WHIO news:

“This movement is openly attacking the legacies of every person on Mount Rushmore," Trump said. He lamented ‘cancel culture’ and charged that some on the political left hope to ‘defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.’ He said Americans should speak proudly of their heritage and shouldn't have to apologize for its history.
‘We will not be terrorized, we will not be demeaned, and we will not be intimidated by bad, evil people,’ Trump added. ‘It will not happen.’"

So, takeaways here: slave owners are “our heroes?” Those who want racial justice are “bad, evil people?” and racial justice itself “will not happen?” Pretty chilling, but reasonable inferences, straight from his own words. And to top it off, we should all fear any “indoctrination” that might promote racial justice?

This was Independence Eve (July 3rd), of course, so on the occasion of the signing of our Declaration of Independence—that glorious document that stated “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal…”—he wants to roll back time to argue, as the would-be-dictators in George Orwell’s brilliant anti-totalitarian gem Animal Farm did, “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” 

Tellingly, Trump made absolutely no attempt to speak to the whole of America in that Independence Day speech—his remarks were limited to “every person on Mount Rushmore”…except of course, the Native Americans who were protesting his desecrating presence on their sacred land. As has so often happened in our history, these Native citizens were either arrested or forced aside on their own land, to make way for occupiers.  

So, if anyone had any doubt about where Trump stands on racial issues, he revealed by the “rockets red glare” that night what his precise feelings and intentions are, to redefine American patriotism as a crusade for “white power” and to paint the racial justice movement (a radical left wing movement, in his mind) as “dystopian fascism.”

Is the well-being of others really that threatening?

Orwell's doublethink lives!
George Orwell had a word for the psychological tactic that twists fundamental principles to mean what the propagandist wants them to: doublethink—“a process of indoctrination whereby the subject is expected to accept as true that which is clearly false, or to simultaneously accept two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in contravention to one's own memories or sense of reality. It follows, by doublethink logic, that Trump would accuse others of “indoctrination” and “dystopian fascism,” when he himself is promoting the same or worse.  

This kind of approach bears a lot in common with gaslighting, as well, a particularly insidious tactic used to psychologically abuse and control others by making them doubt their own sanity. There’s nothing in this speech that we didn’t already know about Trump’s Neptunian mindset, of course – he’s just made it more crystal clear and added fireworks to his tool kit. We’ve seen doublethink tactics from day one, in fact, with Trump’s defensive labeling of every story he doesn’t like as “fake news,” when so much of what has come out of his mouth since taking office has been verifiable lies or attempts to obfuscate. 

Perhaps none of this should be too surprising:  with Neptune (Pisces) now transiting square his Sun-Moon-Nodal axis oppositions, Trump (chart not shown) is more than ever relying on distractions and deflections to answer any criticisms and to avoid accountability. He “was never briefed” about the Russians placing bounties on American soldiers heads overseas. The intelligence was “unverified,” even though there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary, and that’s not even the issue. If someone says American soldiers are being targeted, it’s their Commander-in-Chief’s job to look into it and do something, full stop. Yet, the spin and the deflections continue to cloud this issue and little gets done. 

Unless we are determined to open-mindedly hew to verifiable evidence over emotions and vague innuendos (“people are saying…” “they want to …”), we’ll be lucky to emerge from this campaign season with our ability to comprehend the meanings of words and to tell fact from fiction.

Eclipse echoes

Watching the events of the past month, it might occur to onlookers that there’s a pattern in Trump’s rally-scheduling that’s interesting and possible significant. You might recall that on June 21st—on the occasion of the new moon solar eclipse that kicked off the lunar cycle for this past month—he held another race-tinged rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which turned out to be a big disappointment because of low numbers. Even so, it allowed him to lay claim to a darkly symbolic event (the race massacre and mob destruction of the Tulsa black business community in 1921) as his own—a shrill “dog whistle” that would certainly resonate with some extreme fragment of his base. 

Fast forward to the full moon lunar eclipse of July 5th and just prior, Trump has bullied his way into “owning” the symbolic importance (including its difficult racial heritage) of Mt. Rushmore for his increasingly hateful, divisive and irresponsible message (urging people to congregate in a pandemic!).  And he’s done so on the added occasion of the nation’s Sibly solar return, so this is an eclipse that is bound to have some importance in the year ahead.

The so-called "Buck Moon" eclipse was subtle as eclipses go, but timing was everything!

Despite his best efforts, however, even Donald Trump cannot “own” the power of an eclipse; there’s more to this full moon than even he can control. With that in mind, let’s consider the chart for the eclipse against the U.S. Sibly chart. The Trump campaign basically occupied Mt. Rushmore for the weekend, so these two charts will represent the event and its context pretty well. If the intent was, as it appears, to leverage the power of this lunation (if nothing else, a full moon over Mt. Rushmore must be stunning, so not a bad backdrop), these charts should be representational. 

This choice of charts seems additionally apt, of course, because both charts have something to do with Independence Day. We will also then very briefly consider the July 3rd event chart on its own, cast for 8 p.m. in that same location.  According to news reports on the evening of July 3rd, the Native protestors were arrested (some pepper-sprayed) and/or cleared away around 7 p.m., so by 8 p.m. the rest of the event was probably unfolding. From USA Today reporting of that evening:

“At 6:30 p.m., law enforcement gave remaining protesters 30 minutes to disperse before they would arrest anyone left in the road. Shortly after 7 p.m., the National Guard largely held back onlookers and pressed in on protesters while the sheriff's department moved in to arrest the 15 people who stayed.”

All very efficient. First, let’s consider Biwheel #1 below.

Biwheel #1. (inner wheel) U.S.-Sibly chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (outer wheel) Lunar eclipse, July 5, 2020, 12:44:16 a.m. DST, Mt. Rushmore, WY.  Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Eclipse Sun-Moon (Cancer-Capricorn) conjoin/oppose Sibly Sun (Cancer) and t-square Sibly Saturn (Libra). This suggests that we have reached a critical moment in a constitutional crisis (t-square involving Sibly Sun-Saturn)—clearly, Trump has been working to redefine what America stands for and how it is governed, so this one tense configuration covers a lot of territory. If you recall, this June-July lunar cycle began with a lovely 0°+Cancer New Moon, but here it has reached fullness with the Moon in the fairly difficult sign of Capricorn

Physical and emotional difficulties, restrictions, overly burdensome responsibilities and the duty to keep putting out efforts that feel unrewarded are all characteristics of this placement, which makes it easy to understand why people have “virus fatigue” and are willing to take risks just to lighten up—how about, with heavy, troublesome stories in the news every day, they’re simply fatigued, period? 

Amazingly, cast for the Mt. Rushmore site, this eclipse features a 26°+Aquarius ASC—closely conjunct Sibly Moon (Aquarius), which certainly accords with Trump’s rhetorical attempts (amplified by natal Mars-ASC in late Leo) to whip people up with his own angry brand of doublethink “froth”—speaking as though their original 1776 “freedoms” and vision for the nation are somehow threatened by demands for racial justice. Has he even read the Declaration? As if freedom and equality in this nation are “zero-sum” propositions that should neatly divide us into “Us” v. “Them”—if they enjoy their rights as American citizens, then we have lost something!

How about some "win-win" thinking?"
In its entirety, Trump’s speech seemed intent on fixing a psychological equation in people’s minds that sees Benefit A (white privilege and control over the reins of power) reduced by a factor of “X” (slippery slope alert!) with every Threat A (scary moments in which a person of color actually enjoys the full rights of citizenship), or Threat B, (when people join in protest because Threat A doesn’t happen enough), or Threat C, (when our heritage of slave-holding and other cutthroat behavior is disavowed, or there are any signs of remorse). Regret = weakness, plain and simple; healing or redressing truly legitimate grievances simply don't figure into the narrative. 

This mindset would be alarming in a child still learning what being a citizen is all about, much less in an American president who’s supposed to govern on behalf of all Americans and to represent us on the world stage. The dangers of this mindset are only too clear. As Washington Post writer Jennifer Rubin put it,

“His enemies are other Americans; his understanding of American greatness is utterly defective. Reform, progress and inclusion are threats to his base, oozing with white grievance.”

Would Trump and his supporters really prefer that slavery had never ended? What, exactly, is the basis for romanticizing that era and holding on so tight? These are questions that need answers if we are to ever act as one united nation again. 

As we can see, multiple points of resonance exist between the Sibly and Lunar Eclipse charts; it’s almost as if this eclipse is offering Trump (and whoever helped him plan this event) an opportunity to rewrite America’s story to suit himself, or to at least rhetorically carve his agenda onto that mountain slope like a dark caricature of our noble early leaders. And, he’s used the occasion of the Sibly/Declaration of Independence solar return—which should be our annual “rebirth in democracy”—to do all this.   

Interchart T-Square: Eclipse Pallas-Jupiter-Pluto-Saturn (all  conjunct and Rx in Capricorn) conjoins Sibly Pluto (Rx, Capricorn) and opposes Sibly Mercury (Rx, Cancer); this axis squares Eclipse Eris-Sibly Chiron (Aries). This same tense, wounding stellium/t-square configuration has been with us for some time and it will basically continue through the election and into Jupiter-Saturn’s new cycle launch in late December at 0°+Aquarius. The one notable difference is that every transiting Capricorn point is retrograde all at once, and will be turning direct one by one between now and 2021. Judging by what I can glean from the media (Sibly Mercury Rx), this array of retrograde energy probably reflects the prevailing public sentiment that we’re carrying an oppressive weight (in more than one way) and that we are just trying to keep things together. 

Even so, we can sense a lively spirit of reflection in that popular discourse as well. Numerous examples suggest that our society is looking back in time to pull issues forward for reconsideration and improvement: we see this in the protest movement’s desire to purge our public spaces of slavery symbolism; we see it in four out of the top 5 titles on the New York Times Best Seller’s list (non-fiction) being about some aspect of our history of racism, and the other one (by John Bolton) being about Trump’s incompetent leadership. 

Already at the top of the Best Seller's list.
We also see this backwards gaze in the sheer abundance of historical studies and documentaries about every topic imaginable. Even the Trump family itself isn’t exempt—Mary Trump’s “tell-all” book about how the family "created" the menace she sees as her Uncle Donald now has the legal go-ahead for release on July 14th.  

Do we like what we see?

Mirror, mirror on the wall…

There’s also a palpable sense in our national discourse that the pandemic has held up a “mirror” before us and that it’s difficult to like what we see. We can see this dynamic in Neptune’s long Pisces transit opposite Sibly Neptune (Virgo)—there’s a definite feel of a “hall of mirrors,” in which illusions bounce off each other and confuse everyone’s perception. 

Bottom line, we seem to be at a critical crossroads, and this is stimulating a great deal of soul-searching. We’re not quite sure who we want to be as a nation—who we want to see in that mirror—or how we want to reinvent ourselves for the future, but we might be approaching broad consensus about what we don’t want to be, and that’s key for moving forward. 

There’s also a dreadful “dead” feel in the air that suggests we’re paralyzed as a nation—Trump’s initiatives and approach to everything has been to tear down, dismantle and deconstruct—among other moves, putting many life-long public servants out on their ears for simply doing their jobs, with the overall impact being to immobilize much of our federal “machinery.” 

Congress tries to do its job, but the final results always somehow depend upon Senate Leader McConnell, who won’t even bring anything up for discussion unless he knows Trump will pass it, so there’s a toxic backlog that is, through Saturn-Pluto-style inertia (like a very bad case of legislative “constipation”), poisoning everything. 

Nobody imposed this image on McConnell: he dubbed himself the “Grim Reaper”—an apt description of our extreme Saturn-Pluto times, but even with all this heavy energy, cardinal sign Capricorn ultimately wants to get things done, so this is a major concern that should have a solution once the retrogrades loosen up. Judging by his behavior, we have to assume that McConnell’s malicious intransigence towards anything coming to his desk from the House is purely intentional—he sees it as his role to stymie Congress’s ability to get anything done that may not serve Trump’s purposes. This, by definition, prevents Congress from overseeing the Executive branch, as the Constitution and our checks-and-balances-based democracy requires, so there are multiple reasons more attention should be paid to this. 

Is Congress on the proverbial "Bridge of Death" these days?
Whatever his motives have been, in playing the unpassable gatekeeper for all but the most urgent emergency-driven bills (and stocking our courts with conservative judges, of course), McConnell has made the Senate basically irrelevant, throttling the very basis of our representational democracy in the process. There’s a reason so much of the action in Washington, D.C. these days is coming from the Supreme Court and from White House Executive orders: our duly-elected representatives can’t overcome McConnell’s "None shall pass" obstructionism to accomplish anything that requires Senate participation. 

In this way, McConnell controls what even GOP Senators can work on with an iron fist—somehow they’ve relinquished all autonomy to him (some few of them may actually be willing to cooperate on bipartisan initiatives), but they don’t have a chance to do that because their leader appears solely focused on running interference for Trump. Just like “Trump’s Personal Lawyer” was never the Attorney General’s job description, “Trump’s Gatekeeper” was never the Senate leader’s job description, and it shouldn’t be now. 

These are both signs of deep corruption in our constitutional system—certainly in keeping with the Saturn-Pluto times we’re living through (not to mention all this happening at Sibly Pluto), but not something to accept as normal. 

Importantly, all this started long before this season of retrogrades, but since that season has taken over with such force, the urgency to resurrect the proper roles of Congress and the Department of Justice has grown enormously.  

Notice that Eclipse Neptune (Pisces) is also retrograde over our Sibly 4th house of the “grass roots.” This Neptune sextiles Eclipse Jupiter and Pluto, reflecting how the pandemic (Neptune) and our current economic malaise (Jupiter-Pluto Rx) are deeply connected. Jupiter’s not in its glory in Saturn-ruled Capricorn, so the retrograde only adds insult to injury and produces a sort of paralysis. Between this and Pluto’s role (both transiting and Sibly), there’s a danger that the nation’s debts will come due at an inopportune time, causing massive turmoil in the markets. 

Considering how much of our debt China owns in the form of treasury bonds, perhaps we should be concerned about Trump’s increasingly hostile attitude towards them (with some GOPers saying we should just “default” on our obligations to them because of the pandemic). The two issues are totally separate and should probably remain so, despite Neptune’s talent for blurring boundaries and distinctions. 

The Trump's were "choppered in" to the event site while Natives were protesting.

The event chart stands alone

As promised earlier, we’ll take a quick look at the highlights from the actual 8 p.m. chart for Trump’s Mt. Rushmore rally on July 3rd.

Chart #1. Trump Mt. Rushmore rally, July 3, 2020, 8:00 p.m. DST (news story), Mt. Rushmore, WY (43°N52’44” 103°W27’35”). Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

Venus (Gemini) conjoins DSC and opposes ASC (Sagittarius); Mars (Aries) conjoins Chiron (Aries) and both sextile Venus and trine ASC. These aspects say a lot about the mood Trump (and his planners) were trying to set that night and the benefits they hoped to derive from the event. Venus at the DSC suggests a benefit from messaging (Gemini) that “otherizes” (7th), and with a volatile Aries Mars involved, it’s no wonder those “others” were cast as enemies to fight, fear and demonize.

Amazingly, that fiery, always-reaching-for-more Sagittarius ASC pings with the deep dynamics of our revolutionary history—including our own Sibly ASC just 4 degrees later in that sign, but there’s more. I’ve written about this point in my new e-book that digs deeply into all this history, in the context of Pluto’s impending Sibly return, but a quick excerpt here will explain:

“Mundane Astrology notes the significance of this Zodiac degree, pointing out that the Great Mutation in fire (a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction beginning a series of such cycles in a new element) on December 8, 1603 at 8°+ Sagittarius “has been related to the subsequent colonization of America due to religious (Sagittarius) oppression.”[1]
Freedom from religious oppression has always been touted as a key reason for making the voyage to the “new world” and settling the colonies, but it was far from the main motive for revolting against Britain in the 1770s. Still, it’s one of the more fiery, fear-inspiring notes to strike if one’s intent is to divide people over conflicting views of freedom. In truth, unscrupulous leaders have used religion as a cudgel throughout this nation’s history, and Trump has demonstrated a willingness to do the same.

Does religious freedom as a pretext for discrimination make any sense?

We know that a key target for his agenda are Evangelicals who tend to see all issues through the lens of religion, so is it any wonder he’s made a habit lately of conflating religious sensitivities with fears about protestors stealing our freedoms? The most visible example of this, of course, happened when he held up that bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal after police cleared protestors out of Lafayette Park), but for those who equate “freedom” in general with “religious freedom,” there were more than a few signals in Trump’s July 3rd speech. Trying to derive power from the trappings (but not the actual substance) of religion—especially in the name of freedom—rarely ends well.
We’ve discussed the heavier, slower and retrograde planets at length earlier, but here we see Mercury Rx taking its prominent position between the event Sun and No. Node (Cancer and Gemini, respectively). This Mercury—which conjoins Trump’s[2] natal Mercury (Cancer), is disposed here by an aggressive Sagittarius Moon that also widely conjoins Trump’s natal Moon, supporting his emotion-based appeal. And of course, as we’ve seen repeatedly, that natal Mercury disposes Trump’s array of Gemini points at the top of his chart (Sun-No. Node-Uranus), so his messaging will probably take on a life of its own.

We simply can’t make these things up—either someone planned for this event to unfold in such an astrologically fortuitous way, or the Cosmos is a Trump loyalist. I’m leaning towards the former.  
Mars and Chiron (Aries) square Sun and Mercury (Rx, Cancer). Rage and grievances (on all sides, including the Natives treated badly) combine to animate the messaging of this event, although the inherent discord between aggression and the impulse to nurture and protect are also on display. It’s not difficult to see how Trump’s messaging that night tapped into these discordant energies.  

Trump finally got his grander than grand event--no social distancing necessary.

A solar return, carved in stone
You may be familiar with the idea of traveling somewhere for a solar return day so you can be selective about the angles for this significant chart, which tends to impact your entire following year. So Trump took the nation on a road trip for this solar return (which also represents the beginning of a new solar year for the nation’s Executive). According to H. Valsecia (author of the solar return report on my Kepler 8.0 software), this return will have the following “general” characteristics, based on the angles prevalent in Keystone, WY (the nearest town to the national monument):
Solar return ascendant Scorpio. This will be a year of internal regeneration. You will be prompted to go within to confront your most profound feelings and your deepest inner self, which always produces tension until you are ready to come to terms with yourself. Your attitude will be very confrontational and authoritative. You should be aware of how you handle yourself and maintain control. This year you will be tested. You can expect to encounter certain adversaries and opposition.  You will be dealing with the results of your past actions. If what you have sown is positive, then what you reap will be the same. Very possibly, you will not be aware of your past errors.   You could, therefore, experience some types of restrictions or problems during this period. For example, you may not have taken something that deserved more attention seriously enough. Or you may have neglected to act on an issue that could been turned in your favor later on. Or you may have acted too aggressively in some situation.

     Don't let negative emotions like anger, bitterness, jealousy, hate and vengeance control you. This makes it more difficult to deal with matters successfully. It will be a year to work on those emotions and undo the blockages that have stood in your way too long. It will not be an easy task, but it is certainly not impossible either.

     In general, the obstacles that seem to come during this period will be due to many unexpected things occurring one after another which will tax your patience greatly. However, you will find the necessary strength to deal with them.”
I can’t imagine a more accurate general description of the challenges this Sibly solar return year might bring, for both the nation and for Trump, as Executive. And this is only amplified by considering how the solar return (SR) angles work with Trump’s nativity (see Note #2). SR ASC at 3°+Sco trines his natal Mercury (Cancer), disposing his Gemini Sun-No. Node-Uranus, so generally helpful; SR MC at 9°+ Leo conjoins his natal Pluto, which along with his belligerent Mars-ASC conjunction in Leo, taps into his 12th house “back-up reservoir” of energy and will-to-dominance.

Did these powerful placements just happen to mesh by dumb luck? Since he was ultimately calling the shots for moving his July 4th celebration (not all of ours, unfortunately), such a happenstance is hard to fathom.

Sierra Club flags a number of environmental risks that were ignored for Trump's event.

Final thoughts
I stubbornly refuse to believe that Trump’s delusions of grandeur and misplaced nostalgia for our slave-holding days have to be the nation’s delusions, even though he's trying hard to make them so. We can, among other things, look at those magnificent sculptures carved into Mt. Rushmore and see them for what they really are—poignant representations of the tragic incongruities that have existed at the heart of American democracy from day one—“liberty and equality for all?” or “liberty and equality for all who are white, male and land-owners” (not really so different from today’s privileged wealth holders).

Yes, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson actually owned slaves, but IMHO, they were the product of their times and each performed other redemptive functions for this nation that should still be recognized as such. To put them on the same level as Confederate generals who were technically guilty of treachery, taking up arms against their nation for the sake of preserving slavery, is a real stretch.

Jefferson embodied the odd paradox of a democracy that once allowed slavery.

According to historian Danielle Allen, Thomas Jefferson—who owned slaves, but also had several children with Sally Hemings, a slave he freed and basically considered his wife—was a strange case: he actually wanted to put a condemnation of slavery in his original draft for the Declaration of Independence, but the committee working with him on the project argued that such a passage wouldn’t be approved by the slave-holding colonies, so he withdrew it. Even so, as president in later in the early 1800s, he went on to take further actions to prohibit the slave trade and to move the nation in the direction of abolition. People can change their hearts and minds over time--perhaps this should give us all hope for the future.

As we know, however, it took decades after that to effect the changes Jefferson was working for, and even then, emancipation provided nothing like a short leap between slavery and the full rights of equal citizenship. For those of you are keen on digging into the astrological history of all this, I invite you to check out my newest e-book about the coming Jupiter-Saturn cycle inAquarius. It contains, among a lot of other useful information, a great deal of research regarding the connections between our civil rights history and this particular cycle. See here or click the sidebar link for more information.

Bottom line, as much as it absolutely feels like the right time (astrologically and otherwise) to exorcise our karmic demons of slavery and systemic racism, it will help to acknowledge the ambiguities and complexities and work with them, instead of allowing them to throttle any progress. It’s not like everyone who fought for the Union was a life-long opponent of slavery, either—it took a vigorous, decades-long abolitionist movement (probably beginning with Jefferson in this country) to raise people’s awareness and mobilize them around that position.

Returning to those tragic conflicts sculpted into the side of Mt. Rushmore, consider this: Those 60’ high faces—including Abraham Lincoln’s—were chiseled by Gutzon Borglum, a Freemason and a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and his son, Lincoln Borglum. And they were sculpted in granite on a mountain that the Supreme Court agreed in 1980 rightfully belonged to the local indigenous Sioux tribes.  Wikipedia summarizes the history and what the monument meant to the Native tribes pretty well:
“…for the Lakota Sioux the monument embodies a story of "struggle and desecration".[19] The U.S. Government promised the Sioux territory, including the entirety of the Black Hills, in the Treaty of 1868. That lasted only until the discovery of gold on the land, and soon after white settlers migrated to the area in the 1870s. The federal government then forced the Sioux to relinquish the Black Hills portion of their reservation.[19] The battle that took place in 1890 between the US Army and the Native Americans is known as the Wounded Knee Massacre, "where hundreds of unarmed Sioux women, children, and men were shot and killed by U.S. troops", as summarized by PBS regarding historian Dee Brown's account of the event.[19]

So, the “complexities” of Mt. Rushmore run wide and deep: this “Shrine of Democracy,” as the monument is often called, is a shrine to some people’s democracy, but it’s a desecration to others. One tribal leader, speaking to the L.A. Times,  put the situation into context very powerfully:
“Mt. Rushmore is a symbol of white supremacy, of structural racism that’s still alive and well in society today,” said Nick Tilsen, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe and the president of a local activist organization called NDN Collective. “It’s an injustice to actively steal indigenous people’s land, then carve the white faces of the conquerors who committed genocide.”
The pain at the heart of all this shouldn’t seem so difficult to understand, especially for those who value their own religious freedom. But there you have it—something about the idea of freedom blinds people to the other foundational promise of this nation—equality. Today’s version of this is seen when people refuse to wear a mask in a pandemic—even when it’s considered mandatory for the safety of all—because “we live in a free country.” Yes, and so does everyone else around them! One man’s freedom is not supposed to cancel out everyone else’s—that’s the whole basis for the rule of law in a democracy.  

Unfortunately, these are the tragic distortions, injustices and wounds we’ve always lived with, and if there have been any band-aids applied to them over the years, Trump seems intent on ripping them off and reawakening the anger and grief in the name of stoking division. We took note of some stressful Capricorn squares to Sibly Chiron (Aries) in Biwheel #1 earlier: these aspects powerfully capture the intense need we have to heal the ancestral wounds that were on full display on that mountain this past July 3rd.

The big question is, will we leave this unfinished business to our children and their children, or will we face this darkness once and for all so we can all move forward together?  

It's time to heal old wounds once and for all.

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former educator. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years; see the sidebar links on the home page here for two book-length features about important planetary cycles topics, now available as e-books on Amazon.

For information about  individual chart readings, contact: robertsonraye@gmail.com.

© Raye Robertson 2020. All rights reserved. 

[1]My book cited the following reference: Michael Baigent, Nicholas Campion and Charles Harvey, Mundane Astrology, Thorsons, 1984, p. 185.

[2] Birth data: Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY. Rated AA: BC in hand.