Thursday, November 19, 2020

Poised at the doorsill: more astrological challenges during transition time



“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep…”
—Rumi, The Great Wagon



It’s no surprise, of course, that Trump will still not admit that he lost his re-election bid. To admit defeat is simply not in his vocabulary. But he will say that he didn’t win, as long as those words are accompanied by because he was cheated. The implication of this strained and fact-free nuance seems to be that in his mind, votes for Biden were by definition, illegal or fraudulent. This self-serving fantasy—that anything he doesn’t want to hear about or admit to must be fake, nonexistent or a plot against him—permeates everything he’s doing during this transition, and unfortunately, this mindset is contagious and threatens to continue taking others down with him.

The dangers are especially keen because they impact how the federal government will respond to the COVID pandemic going forward. Despite several urgent statements in the media by our new president-elect Biden, the Trump administration is thus far refusing to share critical COVID data with the incoming administration, and this, Biden emphasizes, could put the vaccine roll-out effort seriously behind.  Trump’s team could well begin that roll-out, but it will undoubtedly fall to the Biden team to carry it forward. Coordination between the two teams would be exceedingly helpful, of course, but Trump is apparently not interested. 

Meanwhile, COVID infections are growing alarmingly in most states across the nation at this time, and Trump’s denialism clearly hasn’t been helping—now or during his recent electioneering blitz. Whatever the causes and circumstances, however, the spiking numbers are about our fellow human beings who may or may not come out alive in the end.

The frustration of this situation was captured very well by New Day, retweeting a message by a nurse on the front lines of the intense struggle in Red-state South Dakota: 

A South Dakota ER nurse @JodiDoering says her Covid-19 patients often “don’t want to believe that Covid is real… “Their last dying words are, ‘This can’t be happening. It’s not real.’ And when they should be... Facetiming their families, they’re filled with anger and hatred.” 

Being stripped of illusions is painful in the best of circumstances, but clinging to them in the situation Doering describes is tragic beyond belief.  As so many scientists have said, pleading with people to pay attention to the facts they have to offer, the virus doesn’t care about politics or where you live or how you feel about wearing a mask; all it’s looking for is its next host so it can keep on replicating, and by its logic, your individual rights are meaningless. 


As a Neptunian phenomenon, of course, the virus spreads most vigorously when we fall into its passive traps: our simply not bothering to take it seriously because it’s an “invisible” threat supports virus spread, but the virus really hits the jackpot when denialism existsit gets to run amuck and persist much longer than it might otherwise manage to—leaving, as Doering says, only death and “anger and hatred” behind. We might as well be back in the so-called “Dark Ages” of the 14th century bubonic plague in Europe, for all the good our modern scientists are able to do for the deniers. If we’re lucky, maybe they’ll take the vaccine when it finally reaches everyone because Trump says it’s okay?

This points to another Neptunian trap, of course—our difficulty with thinking and acting collectively—a peculiarly American hang-up. Allowing ourselves to fall for calls to “rise up” against anything that infringes upon our individual liberties (like wearing masks, limiting our Thanksgiving celebrations and accepting other locally-imposed restrictions) is a current example we’ve seen in the news this past week, much to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s chagrin and frustration. Over this past year she has had to contend with everything from a kidnapping/murder plot, to Trump & Company’s non-stop harassment over social media—just for trying to keep her state’s COVID numbers from overwhelming its health care systems.

Whitmer’s not alone among besieged Democratic governors, of course, although being a woman seems to have made her one of Trump’s favorite targets. And he’s wondering why he didn’t carry the so-called “Blue Wall” states? Why would he?



Transition astrology

We’re faced with a uniquely complicated set of astrological conditions between now and Inauguration Day, 2021—some of which I’ve covered in the Nov. 6th post herebut today we’ll focus on an event that may put a lot of the cosmic complications into focus for the shorter term. Before we get to that, however, let’s recap the key highlights:

·         The 2000 Jupiter-Saturn cycle is in its final few degrees (due to launch anew at 0°+Aquarius on December 21st), but Jupiter (though in forward movement) will remain hung up in its post-shadow retrograde period through December 6th. This transition period between cycles is more complicated than it looks and probably has a lot to do with the obstacles the Biden team is experiencing. See the Nov. 6th post here for more about such Jupiter cycle issues.

·         Registering almost like “background noise,” the final days of Pluto’s (Capricorn) return to its position in the Sibly chart are upon us, a return that will be first exact in February, 2022, which only sounds distant. Almost in lock-step with that transit, Neptune is transiting into its exact “half-return” (opposition) to Sibly Neptune (Virgo), which will be first exact in May, 2021. It’s possible this impending Neptune milestone will usher in some progress with COVID, but probably only if we actively cooperate to make that happen. More on this ahead.

·         At this writing, five outer-planetary cycles are now waxing and five are waning—quite appropriate for an important transition, but even though the Jupiter-Pluto cycle is waxing again (see Nov. 6th post here for more on why this matters) the cyclic index numbers are still deeply negative, at -1259.48.

As for the impending event we’ll expand upon here, the overall situation created by the transits and cyclical realities listed above will probably find some expression in the December 14th total solar eclipse—a chart worth considering as we continue to navigate this transition period.



Chart #1. Solar Eclipse, December 14, 2020, 11:16:26 a.m. ST, Washington, D.C. All charts cast, courtesy of Kepler 8.0 Cosmic Patterns software.

Eclipse Point (Sagittarius) conjoins Mercury and So. Node Rx (Sagittarius); these points trine Mars-Eris Rx (Aries). This Eclipse Point falls in the 10th, suggesting an important passage for the government and the nation’s place in the world. This is a so-called “Dragon’s Tail” eclipse, meaning the South Node is nearest the Eclipse Point. This type of eclipse tends to demand some service or karmic “payback” from whomever it touches, as opposed to delivering new developments of some kind. If you’re familiar with Trump’s natal chart, you’ll know that this Eclipse Point also conjoins his Sagittarius Moon and So. Node, so it’s likely this eclipse will be a significant emotional passage for him.

Mars-Eris Rx (Aries) are likely to play a confrontational role here—perhaps becoming a tool for accomplishing some aim of leadership—unless they are contained by the squares from Saturn and Jupiter (both Capricorn. This raises uncomfortable questions that the news is already answering in some cases: apparently the Trump administration has moved to rush through a $23 billion arms deal with the U.A.E.—Trump clearly likes the influence he gains with these deals and he’s not going to give that up willingly. 

On another note, will Trump look for some pretext to start a military conflict before he leaves office that puts Biden in a foreign policy mess from day one? Some of his closest allies (Israel and Russia) would be happy to support an attack on Iran, for instance, and sure enough, stories are now hitting the news saying that Iran is enriching more uranium than the JCPOA agreement allowed for. Considering how intent Trump seems to be on creating chaos for his successor, will we have the cool heads we need in the Defense department when it comes to volatile possibilities like this?  


Military heads fear that Trump's shake-up will politicize the Pentagon.
In fact, Trump just replaced several top Defense officials with yes-men, so it’s hard to say if the more cautious, deliberative Capricorn voices we need to prevail will do so. Let’s hope the “Dragon’s Tail” nature of this eclipse will tamp down any such adventurism.

The Sagittarius points in this eclipse chart also form one leg of a mutable grand square by opposing No. Node Rx (Gemini); this axis then squares 1st house Neptune (Pisces) opposite Vesta (Virgo). The Nodal axis has been t-squaring Neptune for some time already, notably the election’s peak campaigning season, a period marked by rapidly escalating COVID case numbers. It’s likely these numbers won’t begin to level off until after the Nodal axis moves well out of orb of Neptune—sometime in late spring 2021, that is. 

Meanwhile, it’s likely that our public affairs and national direction will continue struggling against Neptunian confusion and attempts to undermine the election—the chaos Trump has sown by not respecting the will of the People in the election will take time to overcome. Ed Yong, writing for The Atlantic, captures the almost panicky dynamic underlying this situation really well in an article entitled “America is Trapped in a Pandemic Spiral.” An excerpt is worth considering here:

“Army ants will sometimes walk in circles until they die. The workers navigate by smelling the pheromone trails of workers in front of them, while laying down pheromones for others to follow. If these trails accidentally loop back on themselves, the ants are trapped… They march endlessly until they’re felled by exhaustion or dehydration….They are imprisoned by a wall of their own instincts. This phenomenon is called the death spiral. I can think of no better metaphor for the United States of America’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In fact, this state of confusion is likely to persist through at least the rest of the Jupiter-Neptune cycle, which is now deep into its waning 3rd quarter. Significantly, the new cycle launches in April, 2022, at 23°+Pisces, square this December 14th Eclipse Point, which suggests a turning point in which the toxic Neptunian expressions we’ve been used to experiencing with the Trump administration may finally give way to a more hopeful, visionary and creative use of these beautiful energies. Jupiter rules this December 14th eclipse, of course (ruling Sagittarius), so anything we can do to manifest its positive expressions will help steer the eclipse energies more constructively. 


Possible Biden Cabinet picks: Lael Brainard, Michele Flournoy, Sally Yates & Susan Rice

For instance, Jupiter-Saturn sextile Venus-Juno (Scorpio) in this chart, which suggests opportunities for our governing institutions and economy to benefit on the international stage (9th house Venus-Juno). The feminine energies at work probably speak to not only Biden's V.P. pick, Kamala Harris, but some of Biden’s Cabinet choices going forward. More generally, they probably indicate that women will play a critical role in restoring our government institutions and recovering our international credibility. I would expect to see a strong female presence in Justice-related areas, as well.

Interestingly, this Venus-Juno also conjoin Biden’s Sun-Venus conjunction (Scorpio, chart not shown)—I take this to be a good sign for the ultimate success of this transition period.



Final thoughts

Total solar eclipses are thought to have an average “life” (or impact) of about 3-1/2 years—in other words, Chart #1 should wield influence through much of Biden’s administration. There will be highlights and key moments within that period, however. For instance, in January 2022, well within his tenure, Mars will have transited around to re-stimulate the 23°+Sagittarius eclipse point, at the same time it squares transiting Neptune (still in Pisces). This will be within a few months of the new Jupiter-Neptune cycle that will relaunch at 23°+Pisces, square that still potent eclipse point. Given that Sibly Mars and Neptune tie into these mutable points, it’s possible that volatile military situations could hit the news at the time, but there are other distinct possibilities as well—a story for future posts.

To my eye, this 2022 period will be a critical turning point we will want to keep our sites on—barring disaster, we should be feeling the more redemptive possibilities of our Sibly Pluto return and Sibly Neptune “half-return,” by then, but even though we may not have entirely overcome the Neptunian undertow that has so threatened to sink our democracy by then, there will be hopeful energies on the horizon that we will be able to seize and leverage to some effect. If COVID or some offshoot of it is still a threat, we should have an opportunity for serious improvement; if we haven’t gotten back to seriously addressing climate change by then, it will be better late than never.

And above all, this period should be a critical time for rebuilding faith in our collective destiny as a nation, around more life-affirming principles.

Is that too much to ask?




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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