Monday, December 7, 2020

Why can’t we do this? The astrology of the U.S. COVID dilemma

“The dark periods of history are the creative periods; for these are the times when new ideas, arts, and institutions can be brought into being at the most basic level.”—Thomas Berry

“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”—Arundhati Roy


An intriguing article by Yascha Mounk in The Atlantic this week posed a question to the American public about our handling of the pandemic. The question in so many words was simply “why can’t we do this?” Why do we seem incapable of acting effectively together to contain the COVID-19 threat in our midst? Mounk offers some potential answers to that question, of course, at the same time he cautions against settling for the obvious explanation:

“Many factors help explain America’s abject failure to contain the pandemic. A good number of them can be traced back to Donald Trump. But many democracies with able leaders, such as Germany and Canada, are also struggling to contain the virus, so pointing to the president’s lies and incompetence isn’t sufficient.”

Considering Trump just this week retweeted a picture of a newly established, but patient-less COVID surge ward in Nevada that some right-wing extremist labeled as “proof the pandemic is a fraud,” we might still place quite a bit of the blame for confusing people on Trump’s doorstep. When he’s not trying to make sure he gets all the credit for rolling out the vaccine, he is willfully trying to confuse and undermine our pandemic response. It’s hard to say which is more baffling—his arrogance, his cruelty, or his incoherence. We probably wouldn’t quibble over the credit if he would just demonstrate some actual concern for and commitment to those suffering with COVID and its economic fallout. Whatever the case, we have to ask, what exactly is his goal here? Clearly it’s not the nation's wellbeing.  

Given the Neptunian nature of this pandemic, we may never know for sure what Trump hopes to accomplish with his callous, slipshod approach to it, but Mounk’s article title—“Your Individually Rational Choice is Collectively Disastrous”—offers some food for thought and, with a little digging, some astrological insight.  The points he makes to explain that title might, in fact, explain both of the questions posed above. Let’s summarize those points briefly:

“Misleading feedback”—Mounk says that we learn difficult tasks through negative feedback that lets us know we’re making a wrong move, but a virus with a long incubation period like COVID doesn’t work that way. There’s no immediate feedback in regards to our actions, so it’s easy to dismiss their importance and to get comfortable with risky behavior. How many people are under the impression that as long as they aren’t manifesting symptoms, they’re okay and can relax their guard? We’re often oblivious to whether we’ve been exposed or not because asymptomatic people are capable of spreading the virus unawares—again, there’s no immediate feedback that helps us logically link cause with effect.

So the individual choice to go to work, or to meet up with a few people in a restaurant,  seems rational, but could go very wrong, which—as Mounk puts it—can be “collectively disastrous.”

“Intellectually rational, collectively disastrous.” Mounk adds that the counter-intuitive “dynamics of contagion” become a matter of great urgency when they are multiplied by lots of people taking the same seemingly rational, but ultimately risky actions. Get enough people hosting these individually rational gatherings and exponential spread becomes a very real possibility. 


Normally, a beautiful thought.

So, the social dynamics that magnetize people to each other during the holiday season can be counterproductive, to say the least, but difficult to resist. During the holidays, we naturally love, and need, to feel like part of something bigger than ourselves—unfortunately, this year that “something” is a pandemic that only feeds on those impulses.

As if all that isn’t difficult enough, there are those who simply refuse to “believe” that COVID-19 is real, or (more importantly) that even if it is real, it requires anything of them. Concern for others’ wellbeing does not come naturally to everyone, unfortunately; in fact, quite the opposite, so getting close to full cooperation in fighting the virus using that as the “hook” is probably not going to happen. One headline this past week recommended paying people for getting the vaccine when it’s available; if that’s what it takes to get cooperation, I think we’re sunk.

Asking “what’s in it for me?” is a perspective that Trump and like-minded extremists have cultivated and/or reinforced in their followers, although it’s hard to say if these politicos actually originated the mindset, or if they are just glomming onto it for their own purposes. The powerful Neptunian energies afloat these days have left a lot of people far too open to manipulation, fear-based scams and “mob” mentality—more on this in a bit. 

N.Y. Times columnist David Brooks
In an article entitled “The Rotting of the Republican Mind,” New York Times columnist David Brooks (normally pretty conservative) seems to feel there has been a systematic attempt to detach Trump supporters from reality, and that this attempt is approaching a crisis in how we know things as a society. An extended excerpt that explains is warranted:

“My analysis begins with a remarkable essay that Jonathan Rauch wrote for National Affairs in 2018 called “The Constitution of Knowledge.” Rauch pointed out that every society has an epistemic regime, a marketplace of ideas where people collectively hammer out what’s real. In democratic, nontheocratic societies, this regime is a decentralized ecosystem of academics, clergy members, teachers, journalists and others who disagree about a lot but agree on a shared system of rules for weighing evidence and building knowledge…

In 1972, people without college degrees were nearly as happy as those with college degrees. Now those without a degree are far more unhappy about their lives.

People need a secure order to feel safe. Deprived of that, people legitimately feel cynicism and distrust, alienation and anomie. This precarity has created, in nation after nation, intense populist backlashes against the highly educated folks who have migrated to the cities and accrued significant economic, cultural and political power. Will Wilkinson of the Niskanen Center calls this the “Density Divide.” It is a bitter cultural and political cold war.

In the fervor of this enmity, millions of people have come to detest those who… appear to have it so easy, who have such different values…”

So Brooks seems to be viewing the upheavals we’ve seen in the economic order and the labor force since 1972 as being at the root of all this populist backlash and enmity. Trump is not the only—or even the first—person to take advantage of the fear underlying all this enmity, but his time in the White House certainly honed his ability to cash in on it all. Anyone who has listened to him at all knows that he sells fear, which in turn sells all kinds of products—and inspires contributions, as we’re seeing with Trump’s controversial “legal defense fund” that is legally set up to continue feeding his family coffers and financing whatever he wants or needs to do in the coming years. Maybe we’re getting closer to that elusive purpose for his current behavior?

Whatever the case, it seems certain that Trump’s radicalizing of his supporters has been more than purposeful—it’s been a brazenly transparent grift. Aside from valuing his followers as his very own reliable cash cow, however, does he really care about any of these supporters or their lives? If he does, it’s certainly not very obvious—especially in the approach he’s taken to COVID. My home county here in Michigan voted heavily for him in 2016 and a bit more lightly in 2020, but our COVID rates are going through the ceiling as I speak. Has Trump been on the tube sending regards and condolences, or counseling his supporters to wear masks and social distance? No, not in this county or in any other, but I bet he or his minions have been on Macomb County email servers and Twitter feeds, asking for money.


The astrology

It is perhaps the most mysterious conundrum the Cosmos poses to us: why should the same planet that has such uplifting possibilities in both our personal and collective lives also account for the disturbing and frankly frightening manifestations we’re faced with today? I’m speaking of Neptune, in this instance, which, as you might know from past posts here, is a very complex energy that can demand a lot of us on both personal and collective levels. For instance, the pandemic itself is a Neptunian phenomenon—any disease that spreads “virally,” hopping between people with such ease qualifies—and the elusive way in which this particular COVID virus hides out in people for days after their often unwitting exposure (i.e., by other asymptomatic individuals), rendering them contagious without their even knowing it, is especially Neptunian.  

Breaking down barriers (in this case, with contagion) by dint of overwhelm and obfuscation is an effective way for epidemic viruses to perpetuate themselves, and as our numbers attest, the U.S. has excelled in that perpetuating process. What we haven’t been great at is in reining the virus back into some kind of control by limiting its access to new hosts. Most disturbingly, we’ve had leaders from the top on down who have actively interfered with the efforts of those who have tried to do the right thing for people.

In fact, Trump is headed to Georgia for another potential super-spreader event this evening, as I write this. An event where he will undoubtedly feed people’s minds with more delusionary conspiracy theories about the election and COVID – as we’ve seen, he’s weaponized Neptunian energies against the wellbeing of the nation, while he makes out like a bandit in the process!

So what’s the astrology of this situation? 

To understand the dynamics I’ve described above, we might want to start with the Jupiter-Neptune cycle that began its third quarter waning phase in January, 2019 and is quickly approaching the last 45 degrees before the next conjunction—a period also known as its balsamic  phase, a time of very low negative waning numbers (between -315° and -359.°59+) and not much chance of getting anything truly new accomplished. 

This final phase of any cycle is also a time of great creative fertility, however, when the seeds of what Thomas Berry calls “new ideas, arts and institutions” are germinating deep in the soil of our social and collective consciousness, slowly taking form and shape for eventual manifestation. In the case of this specific cycle, Jupiter-Neptune , we’re talking about the creative genesis of the new spiritualities our times demand.

Cycles expert AndrĂ© Barbault sees this cycle as largely positive—quite understandable given Jupiter’s mostly optimistic and expansive reputation. He summarizes this view as follows: 

“Generally humid, temperate and diffuse, the ‘active principle’ emphasizes the Neptunian current of unified collective global power. Here the huge, elastic, moderating, generous Jupiterian mode aims for unity and peaceful exchanges. In brief, it is humanitarian. There is a general atmosphere of diplomatic and political defense and collective movements that have liberal democratic tendencies. In effect, its ideology is socialist, a beneficial power which favours universal moral values.”[1]

Obviously, Barbault’s perspective is somewhat colored by the socialist political realities in France and Europe more broadly—here in the U.S. we might simply view this cycle as being more ideologically inclined towards the “liberal democratic tendencies” he cites. Indeed, the germinating moral reservations many have had about the Trump presidency may have had a lot to do with Biden’s victory, so we can already sense how this cycle might evolve in action as we struggle through this transition period. Will a bipartisan relief bill finally pass muster and rescue millions from certain hardship this winter? Considering we’re in the balsamic period of this cycle, it’s not surprising that the country will probably have to settle for a lot less aid than many would like for now, but we can probably assume that more federal largesse will begin to slowly manifest going forward as the new Jupiter-Neptune cycle falls into place at 23°+Pisces in April, 2022.

Barbault also sees this cycle at work in some revolutionary times across Europe—especially in regards to revolutions that are seeded around moral outrage over how governments mishandle or simply ignore humanitarian needs. The so-called “Arab Spring” that spread like wildfire across the Middle East in the 2010s certainly qualifies—the 5/2009 cycle launched at 26°+Aquarius, interesting for how it echoed the U.S. Sibly chart’s (our Declaration of Independence) Moon, during our revolutionary days.

What became an amazing wave of protests for more democratic governance across the Middle East was inspired by the Tunisian government’s mistreatment of a street vendor, who proceeded to protest by publicly immolating himself. Unfortunately, most of the democratic gains were wrangled back under the control of the authoritarian governments in that region, which illustrated the fact that such revolutions require at least some Saturnian institutional support, but in the end, Tunisia did make some real progress towards democracy. 

An uplifting moment during the Obamas' 2009 inauguration.
During that same period in U.S. history, of course, we witnessed the totally “out of the blue” idealistic presidency of our first black president, Barack Obama. It, too, of course, was hampered by the Saturnian institutional realities of that time—an obstructionist Senate led by Mitch McConnell and a nascent Tea Party conservative movement, but hope (a very Jupiter-Neptune phenomenon) remained strong through two reasonably consequential terms in office. Obamacare lives on, for instance, despite very determined, systematic efforts to destroy it. If nothing else, we were given a brief glimpse of what a progressive liberal reworking of some of our systems might look like if we ever decided to take it seriously.

The liberal impulses of a Pisces Jupiter-Neptune cycle will likely also be reined in by the waning third quarter of the current Jupiter-Uranus cycle, discussed at much greater length in the November 28th post here. That third quarter will tick down to completion between January 2021 and April 2024, so its influence will be felt for two years beyond that Pisces Jupiter-Neptune launch. The good news is, it will be a good time to be a moderate politician like Biden who’s willing to compromise here and there for the sake of forward motion. 

The bad news is, by the time the Biden administration repairs the damage Trump is leaving behind to our institutions (including the task of ushering us through the remains of this pandemic and lifting the nation’s spirits), he will have precious little time to accomplish anything before the next election year throws everything into partisan divide mode again! We can probably be assured that Biden knows how precious every single day of his administration will be towards establishing a national response to climate change and jump-starting badly-needed infrastructure projects, but is he aware of how narrow the window of opportunity for these programs to succeed might really be? As happens so often, the blindingly urgent needs of our times could continue being at odds with the political energies we need to address them. 

This mismatch is, unfortunately, compounded in these times by the distorted, toxic use that Neptunian energies in particular have been put to. Those crafting the many diplomatic and revolutionary milestones that Barbault attributed to the Jupiter-Neptune cycle probably didn’t have to contend with a constant toxic atmosphere of lies as we have to lately. Trump has not only told literally thousands of documented lies throughout his presidency, slandering and defaming people at will and twisting information to his political purposes, he’s worked overtime to undermine the institutions we depend upon for our facts and information. When he has accomplished something of diplomatic value, we never quite know what actually went on behind the scenes because there’s little transparency and a lot of reasons to suspect he’s been cutting deals for his own purposes, not ours. Again, we need to ask, to what purpose?

Lies and twisted information are the lifeblood of tyranny, of course, so all of this has greatly damaged our confidence in democracy, in the sanctity of our system of “one person, one vote,” and everything that goes along with that. By refusing to concede the election and saying things like “the Democrats are trying to steal my presidency,” he reveals that he simply doesn’t believe in fair elections because under that system, he might lose, and that’s simply inconceivable to him.  

Here’s where the potential delusionary nature of a Jupiter-Neptune cycle can be dangerous, something that might concern us about the coming 2022 Pisces cycle. It will be difficult to, as Biden promises, “bring the country together” if we continue to suffer from this shredded confidence and a lack of one shared view of reality. Trump (and family) have been masterful at bending the dynamics of this normally hopeful, idealistic Jupiter-Neptune system to their own purposes.

All of this calls Trump’s nativity to mind—it would be helpful to see why he’s shown such dubious skill at manipulating the energies of both the Jupiter-Neptune and Jupiter-Uranus cycles. We know how this skill has worked for him over the past four years—perhaps not perfectly because he did lose to Biden, after all—but these energies have enabled his efforts through much of those years pretty reliably, and against all odds, he’s clearly counting on them to give him the overturned election he wants. Why does he think that if he incessantly lies and whines about his imagined grievances that he will finally get what he wants? My best guess: because that tactic has worked pretty well for him throughout his presidency, if not his life.

So we can learn something from examining his natal chart through the prism of that question, but to put this consideration into a relevant larger context, we’ll examine his chart against the U.S. Sibly chart and the upcoming Winter Solstice (Capricorn ingress) chart.



Triwheel #1. (inner wheel) US (Sibly) chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA ; (middle wheel) Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY.; (outer wheel) Sun enters Capricorn, December 21, 2020, 5:02:12 a.m. ST, Washington, D.C.. Equal Houses, True Node. All charts cast, courtesy of Kepler 8.0 Cosmic Patterns software. 

Trump Neptune (Libra) conjoins Sibly MC (Libra), squares Trump Mercury (Cancer) and Sibly Venus-Jupiter (Cancer); Trump Jupiter/Neptune (midpoint, Libra) squares Sibly Sun (Cancer). Trump had his sites set on the U.S. presidency for a long time, having made a couple aborted runs at it years before he actually rode down on that golden escalator in 2015.  It probably shouldn’t be surprising that once he experienced the heady power of the office that he would be hooked and unwilling to let go. Power can be addictive (a Neptune issue that Jupiter often exacerbates), especially when it combines the delusionary power to identify his very self with the Self of the nation (his Neptune at Sibly MC square his Mercury and his Jupiter/Neptune square Sibly Sun) and with power over that nation’s treasury (Sibly Venus-Jupiter). The fact that Trump and family have glommed on to untold millions of taxpayer dollars by establishing their properties as appropriate receptacles for public monies—beginning with his very inauguration celebration, with every trip to Mar-a-Lago (where his Secret Service people had to be housed and fed at exorbitant over-market prices), and continuing on throughout his four years every time he or his adult children traveled (even for business)—illustrates these aspects perfectly.   

We’re beginning to see here the sheer number of close attachments between Trump’s nativity and the Sibly chart (with more to come, in fact)—perhaps that explains why he simply can’t conceive of not being the president? When he rolled out his “MAGA” slogan, was he thinking about making the nation “great” again, or himself? He was coming off years of business failures and deep indebtedness before he declared his candidacy—are we beginning to see a pattern here? 

It’s hard to imagine, for that matter, how any one family could weave its fortunes more inextricably into the literal revenue streams of the nation. The relationship has resembled something like a parasite and its host, in fact, and it’s gone on in clear sight with no help from the Courts (there have been lawsuits). 

Trump International Hotel in D.C.
 The evolution of the Trump D.C. hotel into a GOP power center where anyone who wants Trump’s attention—including foreign dignitaries—had better be seen, is yet another focal point for conflicts of interest (many questionably legal) that leverage Trump’s position for financial gain. Giving all that up through his loss to Biden is bound to bruise Trump’s self-image (Mercury-square-Neptune, Mercury disposing his Gemini Sun)—not surprisingly, Eric Trump put the hotel on the market recently, but withdrew it when the offers were disappointing. Trump’s Venus and Saturn (Cancer) also fall opposite Sibly Pluto, which could be said to reflect a “beautiful, money-generating structure” that taps into the nation’s treasure in questionable ways, but as we’ll see ahead,  the transits of our time probably account for why that’s not working so well at the moment. The absurdly high rates that people were charged to stay in this hotel for Trump’s inauguration are under investigation as we speak, and that’s just the proverbial tip of the iceberg of issues. 

Bottom line, maximizing the length of his dad’s presidency could have well been a business imperative for the family. Could they have woven together Trump’s personal financial and political interests more inextricably?    

Interchart T-square: Solstice Chiron (Aries) opposes Trump Neptune and Sibly MC; this axis squares Trump Mercury. There are multiple rulership and dispositorship connections between Trump’s key Neptune and Jupiter dynamics and his mental and ego needs (Sun, Moon, Mercury), so we can see how this Chiron opposition is falling pretty heavy on them and by association, on the nation’s reputation and image abroad (Sibly MC). Chiron will keep applying this pressure to his Libra points between now and May, 2022, when it will form its second return to his natal Chiron (Libra). 

After a lifetime of basically skirting the consequences of his actions, consequences may start catching up with him, especially if he fails to transcend the Neptunian “martyr” schtick he relies on so heavily to evade responsibility. Some opening to the woundedness of others around him would also be helpful, but as we’re seeing with his response to COVID, that opening might be asking for more than he’s capable of delivering—his armor of denial (Neptune-Mercury) seems impenetrable. To admit reality (especially in public) flies in the face of these dynamics and everything they’re connected to in his nature. Unfortunately for him, that aversion does nothing to change reality. It’s hard to imagine how chaotic his mind-space is at the moment—we have to wonder how long he will continue trying to live in an alternate reality of his own making.  

Interchart Grand Cardinal Square: Solstice Mars-Eris (Aries) opposes Trump Jupiter (Libra); this axis squares Trump Venus-Saturn and Sibly Mercury (Cancer) opposite Sibly Pluto (Capricorn). The fact that by the time the Solstice rolls around, transiting Jupiter and Saturn will have moved on into Aquarius for their new cycle feels like an important relief valve in what feels like a potentially volatile grand square. There is the danger that the Aquarius points will somehow feed Trump’s delusions about the election, however—these points do trine his Neptune and their dispositor Uranus (Taurus) sextiles his Mercury (Cancer). Even so, the new cycle feels like an important threshold—perhaps a point even when Trump will be “shocked” (Uranus) into accepting reality on the ground. 

Other alternatives are far more troubling: we know there are calls from Trump’s now-pardoned buddy Michael Flynn and other right-wing radicals (one of whom Trump recently installed in a position of power in the Pentagon) to institute “martial law” and to basically overturn the Constitution to get the election victory he wants under military supervision.  Unfortunately, the energies in this grand square could be channeled into such uses, especially since Trump’s hold on the military is natally pretty tight—his Sun-Uranus-No. Node conjoins Sibly Mars (Gemini) and squares Sibly Neptune (Virgo). This tie is rendered even more significant right now by the transiting No. Node conjoining those Gemini points and that nodal axis creating a Mutable Grand Square with the Solstice Pisces Moon-conjunct-Sibly Neptune opposite Sibly Neptune. So far the media seems to be basically scoffing at and dismissing the very idea, but given these dynamics, we really shouldn’t put anything past Trump, especially since he’s stacked Pentagon leadership with loyalists. Biden’s team is being briefed by some Pentagon officials today after being basically blocked from access for some time—will the Biden team come away from today’s briefings with anything of value? 

Armed protests have been on the rise in Michigan.
Another possibility—not exactly less troubling, but less “official” perhaps—is that Trump’s following among the radical gun-toting militias across the country will continue to cause problems. There’s reason to believe Trump views these militias as his very own private army of “fixers”—guys who, without being overtly ordered to do anything (must maintain plausibile deniability), will basically carry out what they know are Trump’s expectations. We’ve continued to see problems from them in Michigan, as they work to intimidate our state officials, including the governor and state attorney-general, and since the clarion calls have gone out on certain social media sites, I’m guessing the same is happening elsewhere. There’s more than one type of “contagion” plaguing our nation at the moment in these Neptunian times.

On another note, we can also see here how entwined our collective pandemic response has been with both Trump’s chaotic quest and this complex of dicey mutable connections that continue to support it. The fact that the Trump administration relied so heavily on getting vaccines (Neptune) developed and fell far short of organizing a nationwide testing and contact tracing plan (which would require some Saturnian dedication) fits this scenario quite well. It’s not surprising to see that our national will power (Sibly Mars) has been seriously undermined with the constant chaos on high—whether that manifests as people ignoring the health experts or with our inability to say no to normally healthy impulses for connection.

We can also see here why our health care workers are so severely overstressed—Solstice Venus (Sagittarius) rules our Sibly 6th and opposes Sibly 6th house Uranus (Gemini) from the Sibly 12th. There may be a light at the end of their unrelenting situation with the vaccine, but it will take time for this to really impact their burden.  


 Back to square one

This is a good point at which to bring this discussion back to the question that we began with here, in fact—why can’t we seem to get our act together as a nation and beat this virus? I think the answers are actually out there, in the stories people are telling about their own experiences with it. 

Stephanie RuhleMSNBC’s finance/economics commentator put her finger on at least one key obstacle today, her first day back from quarantine and recovery from the virus herself.  She and her entire family apparently had to quarantine for two weeks, but as she pointed out, as hard as that was, at least her family had the choice and the resources to do that! Far too many people, she pointed out, don’t have the support systems they need to take two weeks off work, and they may lack access to the top-notch health care that can make a big difference. They may be unemployed, for that matter, and on the verge of losing homes and lives all at the same time.

Ruhle lays this on the government’s shoulders—if there ever was a time when government assistance could make all the difference in people’s lives, this is it! We’re all witnessing the small business carnage going on in our communities—is the solution to keep everything open and take our chances? Hardly—that’s where our taxpayer dollars should be helping people bridge this pandemic chasm.

Ruhle also pointed out that in many countries, a positive COVID diagnosis gets the person two weeks in a government-sponsored hotel quarantine room, all expenses paid. Not here, however—we have too many ideological hang-ups to simply open-handedly help people. These are both individually and collectively disastrous choices—perhaps the toxic combination we can expect to persist under the current Neptune opposition to Sibly Neptune across the Sibly 4th-10th axis. 

Clearly, Ruhle is right on the mark about all that—how many so-called “essential” workers are out there working with the virus, exposing who knows how many people, because they simply can’t afford to stay home? Providing a safety net for such individuals to stay home for all of our sakes may sound like socialism to some, but for legislators to throw obstacles in the way of such support for that reason is simply irrational.  The rational—and compassionate—response would be to help people limit their exposure to the disease and to thus help prevent any further spread. Delusions about reaching so-called “herd immunity” are just that—the only route between here and there is to either simply allow many, many thousands more to die with the disease, or to get the vaccine in a majority of arms across the nation.  In other words, we need to find a helpful balance between Saturn and Neptune in this dilemma. 

But then, trying to find rational solutions in these Neptunian times is a bit like swimming upstream. The Saturnian “adults” have hung in there heroically, but they’ll probably have better luck reining this all in after Biden is inaugurated. The question is, how many people will have to suffer between now and then? 

The good news is, we’re approaching a Saturnian season with the upcoming Capricorn Solstice, and the Biden administration, waiting in the wings, will use that energy to finish getting itself organized so it won’t have to miss a beat when the Sun steps into determined, change-oriented (and also partly Saturnian) Aquarius on Inauguration Day. 

It’s my hope, in fact, that the interesting overlap of the new Jupiter-Saturn cycle just seven hours after the exact Solstice point on December 21st and that January 20 inauguration Aquarius Sun will provide some kind of “bridge” between our hopes for the new cycle and the moment when the new administration will be able to make good use of its energies. 


Final thoughts

My thoughts on “why we can’t get this right” have evolved from simply blaming the guy at the top (who still has a lot to do with that failure, regardless) to a deeper appreciation for how our entire social, economic and political system militates against our getting this right. At the core of so much of this is what seems to be a missing humanitarian impulse. This void is supported by the fact that any more, it’s corporations who feed our politicians, and it is to them that so many of our politicians answer first. If lobbyists were to suddenly begin pushing for a robust COVID relief package, it would probably be done in a day, but since it is vulnerable individuals and small businesses who need the relief, the ideological obstacles and callousness are allowed to call the shots. Never mind that there are vulnerable individuals in every state who need this help—it’s not a “red state”/”blue state” issue. It’s simply human beings who need their government to care. If we can’t do that as a nation, what can we do?  

Despite all that, I’m heartened by the fact that Biden was elected because that says to me that most Americans do care about our present dilemma and believe we can do better than this.

Even so, I’m equally sobered by this excerpt from a recent article on

"One recent column in the Hankyoreh, a major center-left daily newspaper, is titled, “Covid-19 and the downfall of the U.S.” Another headline, in sisajournal, a popular weekly current events magazine, reads: “The surprising election system that makes you wonder ‘Is the U.S. actually a democratic country?’” And it’s not just in the news. In boardrooms, in classrooms and in casual dinner table conversations, you’ll hear the same sense of bewilderment: How did the U.S. lose its way?”

There have been times during this past year when I’ve seriously wondered this very thing, but at this juncture I think perhaps the news of our demise is premature. There’s no denying that we’ve been wandering around in the desert of politics instead of acting like a responsible nation, but faced with the gravity of our most earthbound season of the Winter Solstice and the opportunities (and responsibilities) we’re facing with the new Jupiter-Saturn cycle, my hope is that we’ll snap out of the trance we’ve been in and begin realizing as a rational collective that the future is in our hands.

It’s time we get this right, don’t you think?  




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 Publications tab on the home page for her two most recent publications, A Silver Lining in Aquarius: Engineering the Future with the 2020 Jupiter-Saturn cycle, and Pluto’s Sibly Return: Revisiting Paine’s Common Sense for Transformational Times..


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© Raye Robertson 2020. All rights reserved. 




[1] Andre Barbault, Planetary Cycles: Mundane Astrology, (trans. Kate Johnston), Astrological Association, 2016, p. 52.