Is American democracy at risk of succumbing to authoritarian rule someday soon?
In fact, based upon the often-shocking recent revelations we’ve seen from the House Select Committee Investigation of the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol, we’d have to say that this nation has edged dangerously close to that precipice of tyranny, indeed. Thankfully, that grim possibility has been and is being countered by a robust effort to hold would-be authoritarians and their enablers accountable: most dramatically, the most serious charges yet of “seditious conspiracy” were brought on January 13th by the DOJ against members of the militant, right-wing extremist group known as the Oath Keepers, as well as ten additional individuals—all key players in the plotting and execution of the January 6th insurrection.
It did not surprise me that the DOJ’s actions transpired during the final days of Uranus’s retrograde passage, just as it was poised to station direct (it turned direct at 10°49’Taurus on January 18th). The process of getting to the bottom of what happened to cause the Jan. 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol has yielded revelations that require strong commitment to Law and Order, and the ongoing Saturn-Uranus square (Uranus-Taurus), not to mention a direct-motion Uranus, should facilitate. In my view, this describes the upside of Authority that’s at stake in these times; there is no (small “d”) democracy without a balanced use of authority, full stop.
How to strike that balance is the ever-present challenge in democracies, of course—hence the need for a strong, balanced Supreme Court that is committed to being the neutral arbiter between the Law and individual rights. I applauded the Justices’ overwhelming recent decision to uphold the Jan. 6 Committee’s right to review Trump’s presidential documents from the final days of his presidency for this reason—if he had any role in planning, promoting or enabling the insurrection, We the People need to know about that. And there needs to be accountability, however high up or entitled-feeling the perpetrators were.
|Trump, addressing the amassed crowd on Jan. 6.|
I tend to think this right/left breakdown is oversimplified, but with Saturn strong in Aquarius, there is an undeniable emphasis on structural control, integrity and Law and Order, and these impulses are always vulnerable to mis-use for toxic authoritarian purposes. Perhaps the prominence of these issues right now has something to do with the coming New Moon in Aquarius, conjunct Saturn and tying into the Saturn-Uranus square?
In fact, we’ve seen a regrettable new level of crimes against police forces in the past year, but along with that, we’ve also seen a new level of accountability being leveled against police officers and self-styled vigilantes who commit crimes (prosecutions in the George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery cases come to mind, and the Oath Keepers could fit into this category as well), so it seems that the emphasis of Saturn-Uranus in these cases is more specifically about punishing power abuses and preserving law and order, as opposed to enabling authoritarianism. Of course, these are concepts that can be misconstrued and twisted for purposes of control, too.
|New VA Gov. Youngkin signs EO banning mask mandates in schools.|
Perhaps even more troubling, Florida’s Gov. De Santis has recently started pushing a bill that would basically enable citizens to act as "thought police" over state school curricula. NYTimes.com columnist and economist Paul Krugman explains why this is perhaps the sleeper attack on democracy that rises to the top at the moment, as much for its content as for the likelihood it will spread like wildfire across GOP states:
"Republicans have made considerable political hay by denouncing the teaching of critical race theory; this strategy has succeeded even though most voters have no idea what that theory is and it isn’t actually being taught in public schools. But the facts in this case don’t matter, because denunciations of C.R.T. are basically a cover for a much bigger agenda: an attempt to stop schools from teaching anything that makes right-wingers uncomfortable.
I use that last word advisedly: There’s a bill advancing in the Florida Senate declaring that an individual ‘should not be made to feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race.’ That is, the criterion for what can be taught isn’t ‘Is it true? Is it supported by the scholarly consensus?’ but rather ‘Does it make certain constituencies uncomfortable?’”
Anyone tempted to place an innocuous interpretation on this provision — maybe it’s just about not assigning collective guilt? — should read the text of the bill. Among other things, it cites as its two prime examples of things that must not happen in schools ‘denial or minimization of the Holocaust, and the teaching of critical race theory’ — because suggesting that ‘racism is embedded in American society’ (the bill’s definition of the theory) is just the same as denying that Hitler killed six million Jews."
So, under the guise of some parental rights (on mask and vaccine mandates), all the children and teachers in these states are forced to risk their health to attend classes in school buildings. And because some parents don’t want their kids learning our actual history, none of the children in these schools will have the benefit of an honest education. Sounds like a “tyranny of the minority” to me! Maybe there are some aspects of our collective lives, like health care and education, that should be left up to the experts and scholars? I agree with parents who feel some topics need to be introduced to children once they're mature enough to grasp their significance and to appreciate historical contexts, but to “spare” them the discomfort of our history’s darker moments is to seriously shortchange their—and the nation’s--development. How will they grow up to make the world a better place if we fail to trust them with the truth?
|(l-r) Senators Manchin and Sinema. |
Rarely do I feel it's important to scrutinize the nativities of individual politicians for insight into current trends, but this is one occasion where it makes sense because Senators Manchin and Sinema have made the dilemma that voting rights are in quite personal by deciding to place their own agendas above the needs of the nation-at-large. So, we will briefly consider each senator's chart in turn (Biwheels 2 & 3), putting each nativity next to the chart for the February 1 New Moon, cast for Washington, D.C.
Before we get to those charts, however, the broader, international picture forming these days is also worth consideration. Given the tension being caused by Russian president Putin's current saber-rattling near Ukraine's borders, the world has been poised breathlessly, waiting to see what Russia does next. Creeping authoritarianism, indeed. With more or less bi-partisan support, American diplomats have coalesced around working with European Union and NATO nations to counter and deter this Russian aggression; for his part, Putin has presented a long list of demands that the NATO alliance deems unworkable.
|Russian troops and weapons amassed at Ukraine's border.|
"Asserting Moscow’s power over Ukraine, a country of 44 million people that was previously part of the Soviet bloc and shares a 1,200-mile border with Russia, is part of his aim of restoring what he views as Russia’s rightful place among the world’s great powers, along with the United States and China.
Mr. Putin has increasingly portrayed NATO’s eastward expansion as an existential threat to his country, and insists that Moscow’s military buildup is a reaction to Ukraine’s intensifying ties with the alliance. He appears intent on winding back the clock 30 years, to just before the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The timing of Russia’s troop mobilization is perhaps no coincidence. Mr. Putin is seeking to energize nationalist support at home amid a raging pandemic and a stumbling economy. Last year, opposition groups held some of the largest anti-Putin protests in years.
But while some analysts have portrayed Mr. Putin as a wily chess player adroitly manipulating the West, his latest gambit could backfire. NATO could reinforce its military presence in member countries bordering Russia, like the Baltics. And an invasion would invite punishing sanctions that could diminish his support in a country weary of foreign adventures."
Any mundane astrologer worth her salt knows that these geopolitical dilemmas do not just "happen"--they emerge when the time and the astrological conditions are ripe. And, as we'll see with Manchin and Sinema, Putin's nativity suggests there's definitely a personal dimension to the geopolitical thuggery he is currently threatening. Putin's aggrieved style of Russian nationalism, predicated upon Russia deserving to retake its place among world powers and to rewind history to just before the collapse of the Soviet Union is nothing new; we've seen it in action in the relationship Putin cultivated with Trump; we've seen it in the Russian hacking of our social media platforms and its malicious seeding of misinformation in those platforms; we've seen it in Russia's continued attempts to influence our elections for the purposes of destabilizing our democracy and installing right-wing extremists.
As Russia expert and long-time diplomat Fiona Hill puts it in a new NY Times opinion piece, Russia wants nothing less than the U.S. being forced to pull its military presence out of Europe, once and for all. As Ms. Hill says:
"In the 1990s, the United States and NATO forced Russia to withdraw the remnants of the Soviet military from their bases in Eastern Europe, Germany and the Baltic States. Mr. Putin wants the United States to suffer in a similar way. From Russia’s perspective, America’s domestic travails after four years of Donald Trump’s disastrous presidency, as well as the rifts he created with U.S. allies and then America’s precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan, signal weakness. If Russia presses hard enough, Mr. Putin hopes he can strike a new security deal with NATO and Europe to avoid an open-ended conflict, and then it will be America’s turn to leave, taking its troops and missiles with it."
Clearly, Putin has woven a personally aggrieved agenda into his deeply nationalist form of authoritarian rule over Russia, so we will also look at his nativity next to the coming month's New Moon chart (Biwheel #1) for some timely insight. But first, let's take a quick look at the lunation chart on its own, set for Washington, D.C. (Chart #1 below).
Chart 1. New Moon, February 1, 2022, 12:45:51 a.m., Washington, D.C. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. All charts cast on Kepler 8.0, courtesy of Cosmic Patterns Software.
Sun conjoins Moon and Saturn (Aquarius), squares Uranus (Taurus) and t-squares ASC-DSC axis (Scorpio-Taurus). This powerful Sun-Moon-Saturn conjunction (co-ruled by Saturn and Uranus) falls opposite the chart's MC (Leo), so conjunct the IC and thus powerfully rooted in the everyday concerns and most primal instincts (or perhaps in Aquarius, more rightly the mindset) of We the People. We're also seeing a fixed grand cross formation here that reflects the "damned if we do, damned if we don't" dynamics so much of our national life is caught up in these days. It would be an understatement to say that we're living in a pressure cooker at the moment.
The instinct to avoid pain and/or restrictions (Saturn) and to project existing grievances onto Others is deeply rooted and represented well here, as well, by the way this lunation energizes the Saturn-Uranus square and t-squares the axis of Self & Other (1-7). This may simply reflect the deep partisan rancor that has pervaded all our national affairs for a while now--but there's a harder edge to that tension than usual here, and there's a serious undercurrent of zero-sum thinking (if others gain, I must be losing). Such thinking—so prominent in the obsession Republicans seem to have for rolling back Affirmative Action programs--underlies a lot of tension both within and beyond our borders these days.
Lighter possibilities exist, of course--U.S. States are receiving a flood of federal infrastructure dollars as we speak, and these hard-nosed Saturn-Uranus energies can certainly facilitate important structural projects. In addition to important work now being possible on crumbling bridges, roads, electrical grids, water delivery systems and on the building of thousands of electric charging stations, my home state of Michigan will soon be seeing two massive new automotive plants dedicated to manufacturing electric-powered vehicles (Aquarius Saturn rules the 3rd house of transportation in this chart); hopefully, Michigan’s progress reflects a trend across the country.
Unfortunately, Uranus (Taurus) on the 7th house cusp (DSC), trine Mars and Venus (Capricorn) may also shock us with the outbreak of hostilities--not surprising, considering the world is poised, waiting to see how Russia chooses to act on its threatening stance towards Ukraine. As noted earlier, both Uranus and Venus very recently turned direct after their respective retrograde sojourns (Venus is covered in the November 22nd post here), so whatever restraint those Rx statuses might have imposed is no longer guaranteed. Venus is a key player in this scenario, with the Taurus DSC ruled by her from the 3rd house, conjunct Vesta. The cynic in me wants to say that there are deep corporate pockets that stand to profit tremendously from the perilous possibilities of 7th house tension. Trines, I have observed, tend to unleash the energies of both planets involved; unfortunately, these trines could well enable the authoritarian takeover of a relatively young democracy such as Ukraine, and if Putin's allowed to get by with that, what's next?
The No. Node’s presence in the 7th also suggests that the nation will be focused on allies, “enemies” and on balancing our national interests (1st) with the imperatives of diplomacy and relationships. Considering that NATO is one of our key alliances at the moment, I would expect some tensions (perhaps even surprising ones) to arise within that body. In fact, it seems that Germany, one of our most important allies at the moment, isn’t quite sure if it’s entirely on board with NATO’s plans for deterring Russian aggression. Maybe it’s significant that Putin waited for Angela Merkel to retire before accelerating his latest threats against Ukraine? Food for thought! Pluto’s (Capricorn) sextile/trine relationship with the Scorpio-Taurus Nodal Axis reflects that geopolitical gamesmanship is thriving these days, but we should probably also expect record corporate dollars (Mercury conjoins Pluto and rules 8th) circulating in our politics, for better or worse.
There’s more to say, of course, but for more insight into some of the tensions that are driving all the geopolitical dynamics we’re seeing at the moment, let’s move on to Biwheel 1, setting Vladimir Putin’s nativity against this lunation chart (Chart 1).
Putin on the brink, or just maneuvering?
Biwheel 1. (inner wheel) Vladimir Putin, October 7, 1952, 9:30 a.m. ST, St. Petersburg, Russia, Rodden: DD (conflicting/unverified); (outer wheel) New Moon, February 1, 2022, 12:45:51 a.m., Washington, D.C.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. All charts cast with Kepler 8.0, courtesy of Cosmic Patterns Software.
As you can see, even though there is some documentation for the 9:30 a.m. birth time shown here for Putin, it’s all still considered uncertain. Considering his history as a KGB agent and mis- and dis-information expert, it amazes me that we have as much credible information as we do! Bottom line, we will take his chart angles, house and Moon details with a grain of salt as we go. As we’ll see, there’s plenty to talk about, even so.
Lunation Sun-Moon-Saturn conjunction t-squares Putin Venus-Jupiter Rx opposition (Scorpio-Taurus) & Lunation Uranus (Taurus). This tense stand-off suggests that Putin may not get what he wants from the tension he’s manufactured on Ukraine’s borders. Or, if he does, it will be under duress. This is further reinforced by Lunation Saturn’s wide conjunction with Putin No. Node (Aquarius). We can’t say which houses are ruled by Venus in Putin’s chart, but from the planets being impacted we can infer that he may yet experience the financial sanctions being discussed in the NATO negotiations.
On the other hand, Putin’s not without his defenses here: Lunation Saturn also trines Putin’s Sun-Saturn-Neptune-Mercury conjunction (Libra), which may somewhat facilitate the strategic legerdemain he seems to want to pull off. He wants to amass thousands of troops and weaponry on Ukraine’s borders and then complain because other nations think he’s about to invade that nation! On the other hand, his tactics of obfuscation and denial could fall seriously short, with Lunation Neptune (Pisces) quincunx his natal Mercury-Neptune (Libra).
Diplomats seem to be guided by a simple maxim with Russian military aggression: don’t wonder what Putin intends to do (you’ll never get a straight story)--watch what he does. What he does is more likely to be reflected in his Mars-Pluto trine (Sagittarius-Leo), so it’s probably significant that Lunation Neptune now squares his Mars. So, no surprise that observers have been watching for subversive tactics (like Russia’s reported plan to install a pro-Russian government in Ukraine) And for the Russian propaganda machine spinning spurious claims against Ukrainian sovereignty such as “There is no Ukraine, but an historical part of Russia...,” or as Putin himself claimed, that “Ukrainians and Russians are one people...” Ukrainians themselves would overwhelmingly beg to differ.
Lunation Venus squares Putin Sun-Saturn (Libra), trines Putin Jupiter Rx (Taurus) and Lunation Uranus (Taurus) and widely opposes Putin Uranus (Cancer). Turning 70 later this year, Putin’s at an age when he may be looking for legacy accomplishments, so returning Russia to its former Soviet glory (a known concern of his) could sound more compelling now than ever. He shouldn’t be underestimated, for that reason: an independent Ukraine on Russia’s border must really stick in his craw. The Venus trine to his Jupiter here suggests that he can rely on some deep pockets to support his efforts, but the Venus square to his Sun-Saturn says he’s still not immune to the impact of financial sanctions. Could sanctions backfire and actually facilitate reckless and aggressive behavior? The Venus opposition to his natal Uranus leaves that question open. Venus and Mars (Capricorn) will soon edge into a tighter t-square formation with those same natal points, at which point we may get our answer. Again, we probably all need to watch what Putin does, not what he says.
Back in the U.S. of A.
So, given all of the above dynamics in play during these times, what can we learn about the intransigence of our two renegade Democratic Senators, Manchin and Sinema? Why would they appear to be staking their political careers on refusing to prioritize voting rights legislation over the cringeworthy filibuster rule? Why would they choose complicity with the GOP on this most symbolically-weighted issue over loyalty to party and president? There’s a limit to how much we can tell from a chart, of course—human intentions are often inscrutable, but we can perhaps glean what kind of pressures each senator has been experiencing, and how they might typically respond. So, with that in mind—and with an eye towards understanding, rather than criticizing, we’ll examine each Senator’s chart alongside Chart 1 for the upcoming New Moon lunation in Aquarius. Sinema’s chart is timed and Rodden rated “A”; Manchin’s birth time is unknown, so the chart below relies on information from Wikipedia.
A model conservative Democrat
It doesn’t appear that Manchin—the Democratic Senator from the coal-mining state of West Virginia since 2015—has ever pretended to be anything other than what he is, a conservative who fully embraces some of his party’s agenda, but tends to seek more compromise with the Republican majority in his state than most Dems do. He’s what they call a “blue dog”--a Democratic outlier in a state that typically votes ruby red. As such, his voting record is a patchwork of “some of this, some of that....” Most recently, we know that he thinks Biden’s Build Back Better plan and the Child Tax Credit that just lapsed due to inaction are too generous (in 2020, WV had the 6th highest poverty rate in the nation, before COVID), and although he’s actually written a voting rights bill, his vote against the recent bill suggests that his commitment to those rights is conditional, at best. Draw your own conclusions: here’s a sample of his voting record:
“He opposed the energy policies of President Barack Obama, including reductions and restrictions on coal mining, voted against cloture for the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 (not voting on the bill itself), voted to remove federal funding for Planned Parenthood in 2015, supported President Donald Trump's border wall and immigration policies, and voted to confirm most of his cabinet and judicial appointees, including Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Manchin opposes many progressive priorities, such as Medicare For All, the Green New Deal, abolishing the filibuster, packing the Supreme Court, and defunding the police. Manchin has also repeatedly voted against attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, voted to preserve funding for Planned Parenthood in 2017, and voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. In addition, he voted to convict Trump in both of his impeachment trials. He is among the more non-interventionist members of the Democratic caucus, having repeatedly called for the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and opposed most military interventions in Syria.”
So with all that, let’s take a look at Biwheel 2 below.
Biwheel 2. (inner wheel) Joseph Manchin, August 24, 1947, 12:00 p.m. ST (no time known), Farmington, WV; (outer wheel) New Moon, February 1, 2022, 12:45:51 a.m., Washington, D.C.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. All charts cast with Kepler 8.0, courtesy of Cosmic Patterns Software.
Lunation Sun-Moon-Saturn (Aquarius) opposes Manchin Saturn-Pluto conjunction (Leo). We need no further proof that Manchin can be stubborn and quite capable of playing power games: he was born just days after the August 11, 1947 Saturn-Pluto cycle launched at 13°+Leo! Many individuals with this conjunction in their charts (especially if we allow a generous orb) have wielded public power, for better or worse. Of course, like any potential, this can be, and has been, seriously abused in the history of the 20th century. Those with this conjunction in their charts are often charismatic, but lying beneath any “softness” in their exterior demeanor is a steely spine and an unapologetic sense of personal sovereignty and authority.
In Manchin’s case, this conjunction also squares his Jupiter (Scorpio); Lunation Saturn thus forms a fixed t-square with that powerfully self-assured point as well. The Saturn-Saturn opposition happening here represents the tipping point at which Manchin’s personal Saturn cycle has culminated and is now going into waning mode. He was experiencing the first square in his second Saturn cycle during the Obama administration, when he first came into the Senate and opposed several key Obama priorities. He hasn’t really changed his approach since then, except to vote for several Trump priorities, so is it time for him to call it a day with the Dems? It does seem that he’s seriously out of step with the party, but to my knowledge, there’s no active effort to support a primary challenge against him at the moment.
|(l-r) Sens. McConnell and Manchin|
We know Mitch McConnell would take him in with open arms, but based on this Saturn cycle information, I suspect Manchin’s future affiliations will depend on where he feels the most influential and on the extent to which he feels his work as conservative counter-force, or “spoiler” is done. No doubt, he garners more attention (and probably campaign revenues from conservative sources) doing what he’s currently doing; if that’s what he’s after, ultimately, he may just continue playing the role he’s carved out for himself, but it’s possible the t-square will force a decision on his part. Of course, the entire nation will be watching to see if he readily confirms Biden’s impending pick for the Supreme Court (based on the opening Justice Breyer just made available), or if that process is also fated to become an obstinate power play. Early signs are that it will not; Manchin has pretty reliably confirmed Biden lower court nominees thus far, yet time will tell, and the Media and social media platforms will undoubtedly have a field day with the issue.
Lunation Neptune (Pisces) trines Manchin Jupiter (Scorpio), squares Manchin Uranus (Gemini) and sextile/trines his Nodal Axis (Taurus-Scorpio). Jupiter can be fairly power-hungry in Scorpio, and the generational factor of a Leo Pluto disposing that Jupiter can make it even more so, so a Neptune trine to that Scorpio point could feel to him like being blessed with an idealistic “quest” that just happens to support his dearest ambitions. I would be very surprised if there hasn’t been an ongoing effort to actively “court” Manchin’s support by either Republicans, or by those (of either party) who want him to continue in his “spoiler” position because it’s a convenient way to slow down certain trends they don’t like (like the green economy). He may feel that the world is his oyster right now, in fact—everyone’s courting his favor.
Perhaps Manchin’s even thinking of launching a presidential bid in 2024. Whatever the case, it seems that he’s curled up pretty comfortably in the proverbial “catbird seat” he’s created for himself. Indeed, this comfort level may be reinforced by the “return” of his Nodal Axis (a roughly 19-year process)--notice the No. Nodes in both charts are aligned in Taurus. I suspect that Manchin is enjoying a sense of having achieved a certain level of political security and stature, and this may only encourage more of the same behavior from him.
It’s possible, of course, that Lunation Chiron, transiting opposite his Neptune (Libra) and thus t-squaring his Mars (Cancer), could burst his bubble just a bit, however. Being “courted” politically always comes with expectations, and these can have consequences. This Chiron (Aries) also conjoins his natal Eris (6°+Aries, not shown), so the potential for some kind of disruption is there.
The nebulous Ms. Sinema
One of the chief criticisms I’ve read about Sen. Sinema—Arizona Democrat—is that she refuses to say where she stands on issues when questioned; we usually know how she’s going to vote only when she votes, in other words. She seems to have made an exception to that rule, however, when she scheduled her own statement about the sanctity of the filibuster just minutes before Biden was giving his first really definitive speech saying that the filibuster must step aside if the voting rights of all in this nation are in peril. Timing was everything in this maneuver; personally, I don’t think Biden deserved that kind of disrespectful slap from a member of his own party, but Sinema knows her power and she, like Manchin, is unapologetic about it.
So, she and Manchin, between them, ensured that the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis [Voting Rights] Act would not pass the Senate in Leader Schumer’s last attempt. Among other angry, frustrated results (Voto Latino is now financing an ad campaign entitled “Adios Sinema”), the Arizona Democratic Party also made it known that they were “not amused.” From CNN.com:
“Over the weekend, the Arizona Democratic Party voted to formally censure one of its own -- Sen. Kyrsten Sinema -- after she opposed changing the filibuster rules to allow major voting rights legislation to pass the Senate with just 50 votes.
The move was made as a ‘result of her failure to do whatever it takes to ensure the health of our democracy,’ according to Arizona Democratic Party Chair Raquel Terán.”
Will this have any tangible impact on her political future? Aside from Voto Latino, other major donors and donor groups like “Emily’s List” have either threatened to, or have, pulled away from her, and she stands to be primaried in 2024. As far as we can tell, none of this seems to matter to her, however, and some believe it’s nothing that she can’t overcome, but we have to wonder if she’s also considering changing parties or going her own way as an Independent? Or simply continuing, as Manchin seems happy to do, to play the passive aggressive card.
So, let’s consider her chart next to this coming month’s New Moon lunation; please keep in mind that her chart is timed and Rodden rated “A,” so we can take the angles, houses and Moon placement seriously.
Biwheel #3. (inner wheel) Kyrsten Sinema, July 12, 1976, 12:10 p.m. ST, Tucson, AZ, Rodden: A; (outer wheel) New Moon, February 1, 2022, 12:45:51 a.m., Washington, D.C.. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. All charts cast with Kepler 8.0, courtesy of Cosmic Patterns Software.
Lunation Sun-Moon-Saturn (Aquarius) widely conjoins Sinema Moon (Aquarius), trines her Pluto-ASC conjunction (Libra) and sextiles her Neptune (Rx, Sagittarius) and her Eris-DSC conjunction (Aries). This is quite a starting place for her coming month under this lunation; clearly, there are both personal and professional/collective forces influencing her actions and outlook. Her natal Moon-Pluto trine has likely taught her how to “read” political situations and to glean where her self-interests lie; indeed, her Pluto’s 12th house placement in this aspect may allow her to manipulate situations with a smile. With Venus ruling her Libra ASC and disposing her 8th house Taurus Jupiter, it's possible she takes a transactional approach to her political maneuverings. Bottom line, I’d say it could be significant that the transiting Nodal Axis (Taurus-Scorpio) cuts across her fixed 8th-2nd axis in this chart.
Sinema’s natal Venus (Cancer) conjoins both Ceres and her Sun and is strong in Cancer); it’s probably safe to assume that she will err on the side of self-care and security when push comes to shove, as it did with the Voting Rights bill. Considering the backlash she’s experienced already, could she have miscalculated or overplayed her hand? Lunation Pluto-Mercury (Capricorn) opposes her Venus-Ceres (Cancer), with transiting Eris forming a t-square from Aries (Eris not shown). Time will tell if she played her cards right, but I suspect this is the chart of a person who lands on her feet because she has learned how to project her power, play the “game,” and importantly, she doesn’t shrink from controversy or disruption—she just “stonewalls” those who ask her to explain! Her Leo Saturn opposition to Aquarius Moon is t-squared by 1st to 7th house Scorpio Uranus-Taurus Chiron opposition.
If anyone has doubted what she’s made of, they can see here that she’s not fragile or weak-willed. I suspect that she’s also been emboldened by the alliance she and Manchin seem to have formed (she comes by that naturally with a strong Venus. Perhaps he's recruited her as a potential running mate down the road? They certainly are on the same fixed “wavelength” astrologically, so this could be something to watch.
The list of concerning developments over the past couple weeks has been long and often startling, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention another stunning revelation from the Jan. 6 House Committee—released after the Supreme Court allowed key presidential documents from Trump’s final days in office to be released for review to the Committee. At issue here is a draft Executive Order that was prepared for Trump, but that he never signed. The order would have had the military seize voting machines in several contested states. The order was based on ideas flowing from Trump’s “Big Lie” about the election being stolen from him (of course, if he lost, it must have been stolen!) MSNBC legal expert Joyce Vance explains why signing this order would have been so egregious:
"The Posse Comitatus Act firmly limits the ability of the military to engage in law enforcement activity on domestic soil. And the military is strictly prohibited from interfering in elections — there are criminal penalties if any member of the military tries to intimidate people to stop them from exercising their right to vote or interferes in the counting of votes.
So, the draft executive order that the House Jan. 6 committee obtained last week, dated Dec. 16, 2020, and prepared for former President Donald Trump’s signature, was a stunning departure from American tradition. According to Politico, which first reported on the document, it was among the White House materials Trump’s lawyers fought hard to keep private. Last week, the Supreme Court rejected Trump’s appeal."
If you’d like to see the original text of the Executive Order in question, Politico.com published it- here.
So, a near miss for our democracy in the midst of a “perfect storm” of so much other turmoil. But let’s end here on a hopeful note: the Earth needs us, our children and families need us, and our public servants (in all fields, not only politics) need us to relax and refresh our souls for the challenges of tomorrow. Perhaps you will find this passage from the timeless wisdom of the Metta Sutta comforting (I know I do):
Wishing: In gladness and in safety, May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they be weak or strong, omitting none,
The near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born--May all beings be at ease!
Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings;
Radiating kindness over the entire world:
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
I wish you all the best. Until next time!
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, U.S. history, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. She’s published articles on these topics in several key astrology journals over the years, including most recently, the TMA blog. For information about individual chart readings, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Raye Robertson 2022. All rights reserved.