Monday, March 20, 2023

Kite-flying with the spin machine and other close calls



The mundane astrological "winds" have been intense, indeed, these past couple weeks, and I'm struck by not only the cruelty of our present experiences with politics in America, but about the fateful trade-offs we are witnessing in action as high-flyers on a quest to distinguish themselves challenge the values that keep us grounded on this good Earth. By aspiring to the Sky of individual achievement, do they sever the delicate strings of our collective aspirations?

Sound familiar? Our everyday news is filled with stories about clashes between the greater good and the narrow goals of individuals—and, of course, the perils met by those who recklessly pursue power and distinction like out-of-control fighter kitesIs it better to bail out an ailing bank that could bring down the whole system and hurt everyone, or should the “free market” have the final say, come what may? Is it okay to approve oil drilling in the last pristine regions of the nation while too many in the world are experiencing extreme climate change that they did little to cause?  

Will Donald Trump be indicted for paying hush money to a porn star during an election campaign? Or for pressuring state officials with his Big Lie to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia? Or for illegally moving classified documents from the White House to his Florida beach club for who knows what purpose? Or do he and others like him reside somewhere in the stratosphere, flitting above the Law entirely?  

And what do we do about rogue media networks and personalities like Fox and Tucker Carlson who knowingly float lies to serve their bottom lines? Or politicians who create propaganda paradises in their states, subverting our public schools and public knowledge systems for their own narrow purposes?  

You get the picture...we’re grappling with an existential and ethical morass of issues as I write this—sort of like the continent-dwarfing seaweed “blob” that’s headed for Florida as we speak—and it will probably get worse before it gets better unless we make better individual and collective choices. Yes, even a nation that idolizes the “rugged individual” must make collective sense if it wants to survive: astrology models this reality, especially if we reimagine its traditional separation between the so-called “personal,” “social” and “collective” planets.  

Here’s why this re-envisioning is key: we can’t really work with mundane charts and planetary cycle dynamics without also observing how personal stories weave into the events and developments these dynamics support. Many fear that we’re headed for authoritarian rule in this nation, for instance—a surprising number of developed nations are either trending that direction these days or, like Ukraine is, heroically facing down an authoritarian threat of takeover. Meanwhile, American democracy and all the individual "breathing room" democracy allows feel more fragile all the time. 

In each case, however, including our own, some would-be “strong-man” figure has worked to consolidate public resources and power under his control, and it’s these personal efforts, combined with the efforts of other power players, who end up calling the shots for the entire collective. Yet, the collective is far from powerless.   


Grossly oversimplifying here, of course, but serious “strong-man” figures seem to follow a similar pattern or “playbook:” from the get-go, they position themselves as being “above the Law”--and more than entitled to be so. Often quite charismatic, they trade on their personalities to stoke the bellows of public anger and grievance, building up a social/collective force or “current” that at some point lifts them off like kites on a skyward mission.  

These lift-offs can take on a life of their own, keeping them flitting around up there for a while, especially if they and their “handlers” keep re-stoking those bellows and whipping up another, even more ferocious updraft. It’s all about managing the prevailing winds to their advantage, in other words. Perhaps Donald Trump is currently gambling that by announcing he's about to be “arrested,” true or not, his campaign will receive just such an updraft in the face of a potent Ron de Santis nipping at his heels.  

Eventually, however, gravity—often in the form of hubris—has the final say and all such “kites” must run aground; the trick is to avoid allowing them to bring everything else down with them.   



So, as we speak, Trump—with a number of air-signed points in his nativity [1]—is one such “kite” fluttering in the wind, looking for an updraft but faced with the very real possibility of crashing to the ground. 

I do my best to ignore most of what Trump does these days (life is too short to get entangled in that constant drama), but the following headline and blurb from today’s NY Times snatched my attention and deserves deeper astrological consideration: “Trump Claims His Arrest Is Imminent and Calls for Protests, Echoing Jan. 6.” The following blurb elaborates: 

“With former President Donald J. Trump facing indictment by a Manhattan grand jury but the timing of the charges uncertain, he declared on his social media site that he would be arrested on Tuesday and demanded that his supporters protest on his behalf. 

Mr. Trump made the declaration on his site, Truth Social, at 7:26. a.m. on Saturday in a post that ended with, ‘THE FAR & AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE AND FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK. PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!’” 

Clearly, Trump is strategically (and in ALL CAPS) invoking the collective level (his roles as former president and current candidate and his media sway) as a defense against the Manhattan DA’s potential indictment for his personal behavior: his illegal payment of hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election campaign. Yet, so much of what Trump does seems to have both personal and collective implications: is it any surprise that he’s approaching the possibility of an arrest in New York as the basis for a PR stunt to beat all PR stunts? 

Manhattan DA, Alvin Bragg
For all we know, the Manhattan DA has no such plans for Tuesday—there's been no verification—but bottom line, Trump is working those kite strings to take control of the narrative, come what may 

Clearly, today's development reveals an entangled mess of very high stakes personal and collective dynamics. As former National Security Advisor under Trump, John Bolton, put it on CNN after this announcement: 

“However guilty Trump may be—and having very much in mind the one rule of Law for everybody—if they indict and fail to convict in New York, I think historians will look back and say that’s the one act that re-elected Trump.”  

So, with all this in mind, we'll consider a chart for Trump’s surprising 7:26 a.m. declaration on his Truth Social platform (Chart 1 below). Is “PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK” simply a variation on the infamous “Be there. Will be wild.” tweet he sent out before the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol? Or, by not specifying a place this time around, is he calling for protests to break out across the country? The wording seems to be deliberately vague—as we’ll see, for good reason.     

Before we dig into Chart 1 below, however, let’s establish a bit of context about our astrological times. This is a significant period, as you’re probably aware: Jupiter and Neptune launched their new Pisces cycle this past April, 2022, so they’re still in “new” phase; Saturn just ingressed Pisces, so it’s deep into what’s already been a difficult 3Q phase with Neptune in that sign; the Sun is about to enter Aries for its Spring Equinox on March 20th and Pluto will be entering Aquarius next week. Then, transiting into place down the road this coming May, for good measure, the 2020 Jupiter-Pluto cycle (launched in Capricorn) will reach its waxing 1Q square between 0°+Taurus-0°+Aquarius. 

Meanwhile, charts cast in the past couple weeks have mostly featured an incredible array of planets and other points all compressed and fanning out within one half of the houses. Which houses are inhabited like this depends upon the timing of the event, of course, but the compression certainly reflects the intensity of our times.  

We’ve already discussed most of the planetary developments listed above (we’ll check in with the Jupiter-Pluto cycle in a post very soon), but suffice to say here that change is in the air, and while some of it may feel very surprising and destabilizing (a former president may be arrested this coming week?), the chaos factor may end up being a bit more restrained than we might expect. That said, however, the Trump “kite” may still be capable of a few “loop-de-loops.”  


Chart 1. Trump announces his imminent arrest and calls for protest, March 18, 2023, 7:26 a.m. Chart cast for Palm Beach, FL (Mar-a-Lago) 



The first notable feature of this chart is that Neptune rises at the late Pisces ASC, conjunct the Sun (Pisces) and square Mars (Gemini). Neptune’s presence at the ASC certainly speaks to the vague nature of Trump’s announcement, and this square suggests that there are grass roots activists out there who are likely to respond to Trump’s Neptunian “victim story”--he’s the victim in this saga, not the public who was deprived of important insight into his character before Election 2016, and not his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who was cast as the “fall guy” for this crime early on, serving a three-year sentence as Bill Barr, Trump’s Justice Department ally stepped into the fray to make sure Cohen would be the sole defendant. Neptune rules cover-ups,’ll be interesting to see whether that issue is brought up in court.  

Jupiter (Aries) co-rules the Pisces ASC with Neptune, its “partner” in their joint cycle that just launched earlier this year in late Pisces. In this chart, Jupiter has moved on into the 1st house in Mars-disposed Aries and is bracketed on both sides by Chiron and Vesta (Aries), a cluster that amplifies the wounds of American households and calls out for justice-minded Pallas in Cancer. Tapping into anger and woundedness for his own purposes with statements like “TAKE BACK OUR NATION!” is Trump’s forté.  

Even so, 12th house Saturn, relatively new in Pisces, sextiles 2nd house Venus and the two of them inconjoin 7th house Ceres (Libra), creating a yod. He is likely to be faced with authority figures that he’s not able to control and will probably be looking to others for economic support.  

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) warns against prosecuting Trump.
The predictions that so many floated in response to this announcement—that being arrested will help his political efforts—may seem true at times, but over time I would expect his support to fizzle in frustration. Or “run aground,” like that tired kite.  

Even so, the packed 1st house of this announcement event basically reflects what’s already happened: the announcement has taken on a life of its own, capturing the media and putting Trump at the center of attention once again. The possibility of some kind of social upheaval on Trump’s behalf isn’t totally off the table here, either: those Aries points basically fall sextile the Moon (Aquarius) and semi-sextile Uranus here (Taurus).  

Add to this the fact that the Moon/Uranus midpoint in this chart falls conjunct the Sun-ASC-Neptune conjunction, and we can see this announcement through a different lens, what expert Michael Munkasey calls “unconventional rulers with an emotional flair” and/or “an emotionally immature person placed in an important and visible leadership role.” [2]  

Commentator Rachel Maddow added an interesting note to the conversation, surmising that Trump is attempting to “raise the civic cost of indicting him” with his call for protests. With the Moon-Uranus square spanning the 2nd-11th houses, she could be onto something. More and more, Trump’s rhetoric tends to cast the federal government—the government he wants to head once lead again—as an “enemy” that needs to be “taken back.” And he’s counting on a massive, sustained updraft, courtesy of our legal system, to help him do that. Whatever happens or doesn’t happen on Tuesday, it may not end up being the “opportunity” he’s hoping for.  

There are no surprises as I write this, however: he’s already fund-raising off the phony outrage he and his spin machine are working to produce.  

Kite-flying with the spin machine 

Trump is far from the only public figure who depends upon the media for the “lift” in their lives, of course: in fact, his strong ally, Fox “News” innuendo-maestro Tucker Carlson is right up there flitting around, probably hoping to ride Trump’s next updraft as we speak. Interestingly, Carlson’s publicly available and AA-rated nativity also tells an important story about the entangled personal and collective dynamics of our times. Let’s consider Chart 2 below. 


Chart 2. Tucker Carlson natal, Astrodatabank rated AA 


First off, this chart reminds us that not all children born under the long influence of the 1965 Uranus-Pluto conjunction in mid-Virgo would grow up to become champions of civil rights, voting rights, and similar so-called “liberal” causes. Here we see Jupiter bracketed between those two planetary “heavies,” still conjunct Pluto from the launch of their 10/1968 cycle (first conjunct at 23°+ Virgo) and, for good measure, the Virgo So. Node, opposing his Pisces No. Node. Which tells us that Neptune’s transit deep into Pisces over the past 12 years (first exact in April, 2011) has accompanied Carlson’s steady rise in the media world, especially after 2016 when he became a major nightly figure with Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox in 2016 and found the cynical power of his Trumpist “voice.” documents this rise very compactly, as follows: 

“Carlson began his media career in the 1990s, writing for The Weekly Standard and other publications. He was a CNN commentator from 2000 to 2005 and a co-host of the network's prime-time news debate program Crossfire from 2001 to 2005. From 2005 to 2008, he hosted the nightly program Tucker on MSNBC. He has been a political analyst for Fox News since 2009, appearing on various programs before the launch of his current [2016] show. In 2010, Carlson co-founded and served as the initial editor-in-chief of the right-wing news and opinion website The Daily Caller, until selling his ownership stake and leaving in 2020.[5] He has written three books: Politicians, Partisans, and Parasites (2003), Ship of Fools (2018), and The Long Slide (2021).” 

It’s quite possible that Carlson hit the nadir of his media career, however, when House Speaker Kevin McCarthy recently turned over 40,000+ hours of official footage from the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol exclusively to him and he (as expected) used the footage to craft a visual rewrite of the events of January 6th, 2021 that reimagines them as a benign “tourist visit.”  

Yes, editing around a cynical script that picks apart and questions what people saw with their own eyes and experienced in their own lives that day can be used to gaslight the nation. That, I surmise, is the point.    

Notice that Carlson’s Taurus Moon rules his natal Cancer rising chart, which seems to mark a “sweet spot” in his chart, with his Part of Fortune also rising in that sign. In fact, his Sun and Moon are also conjunct in Taurus, meaning he was born into a New Moon phase in May, 1969. These Taurus luminaries are disposed by an aggressive Aries Venus at the top of his chart, itself widely conjunct Eris and his MC (Aries). No doubt his go-getter rise has been fueled by a strongly competitive and materially ambitious nature.  

The 11th house placement of his Sun-Moon reflects the collective orientation of his media career. Interestingly, Carlson’s fiery Sagittarius Mars—on the one hand, a definite point of connection between himself and Trump’s Sagittarius (full) Moon (see Note 1)—is his only so-called “personal” planet in the lower hemisphere. Sun, Moon, Mercury (Gemini) and Venus all occupy prominent positions in the upper hemisphere, but 11th house Mercury (great for a media career) also opposes that Mars, reflecting Carlson’s tendency on Fox to also stoke the Trump base’s anger and defiance.  

Perhaps the most astonishing dynamics of this chart, however, are revealed in how Carlson’s collective and personal planets are interwoven in two major dramatic and unusual configurations. Firstly, a rare “kite" (!) configuration, comprised of a grand earth-signed trine (Sun-Moon trine Capricorn DSC trines Virgo Jupiter-Pluto-So. Node) that is bisected by the Scorpio Neptune-to-Sun-Moon opposition axis, which also forms sextiles with the “wings” of the kite (Neptune sextiles both Jupiter and the DSC). Aspects expert Bil Tierney [3] has this to say about the kite configuration: 

“In addition to the dynamics of the Grand Trine itself, the Kite also receives the added stimulus of the sextile and the opposition aspects. It thus is a composite of three trines, two sextiles and one opposition. I interpret it as a more dynamic indicator of success in life. The planet that is sextile to the two points of the Grand Trine represents a stimulating (often mental) outlet for the creative outpour of this configuration. Any special benefits indicated by the Grand Trine usually channel themselves into the natural activities indicated by the drives of this focal planet, often filtering thru its natal house position.” 

So, by that wisdom, Carlson’s Scorpio Neptune—the focal point of this kite—has likely been his “guiding light” and an influential career booster. We forget at our peril that Carlson is part of a generation that’s been experiencing a mid-life Scorpio-Pisces Neptune trine Neptune transit, which may have something to do with the widespread acceptance of misinformation and “news” that has more in common with performance art than facts. Attempts at gaslighting are also well in keeping with this Pluto-tinged Neptune, which rules his Pisces 9th house of media, publishing, and so on.  

The second highly-unusual configuration in this chart is the “grand sextile,” which connects six planets/points of a hexagram around the wheel: tracing the figure counter-clockwise around the wheel, that means Sun-Moon (Taurus) sextiles ASC (Cancer), sextiles Jupiter-Pluto (Virgo), sextiles Neptune (Scorpio), sextiles DSC (Capricorn), and one more, back to the No. Node. (Pisces). So, three oppositions (Sun-Moon to Neptune, Jupiter-Pluto-So. Node to No. Node, and the ASC-DSC built-in opposition make sure that the concerns of both hemispheres are tightly integrated and “communicating” with each other.  

Chain reactions of events, driven by reciprocal arrangements and other dynamics are entirely possible here as well; for instance, an inflated sense of entitlement as a media person (hubris...or in extreme cases, megalomania), as represented by Carlson’s 3rd house Jupiter-Pluto-So. Node conjunction and Jupiter co-ruling his 9th with Neptune, may inform how every other point in the grand sextile ends up being expressed.   

Those oppositions may explain why his target audiences find him relatable and trust him to be a sound board for their perspective. On a less positive note, once he generates a “rumor” or floats a “conspiracy-lite” theory--which is what he's essentially doing when he decides to question something like the integrity of the 2020 election—such media beasties can take on lives of their own.  


Speaking of individual decisions that impact serious collective trends and vice versa: how is it that freight trains keep flying off the tracks these days? Which hapless individuals made (or failed to make) the decisions that hurtled into view in those chaotic moments on February 3rd that made collateral damage out of homes and lives in East Palestine, Ohio? What compromises were made? Which shortcuts taken? Which warning signals were ignored? Chart 1 below for that event is quite suggestive: let’s explore it briefly. 


Chart 1. Norfolk Southern train derails in East Palestine, Ohio 


The timing for the above chart was taken from the Wikipedia article that documents the event, available here, so we are free to glean some important information from the Moon and house placements and the angles, which are fairly dramatic, this time with Neptune on the DSC (Pisces), square the Gemini MC, the Moon opposite Pluto (Cancer-Capricorn) and Uranus elevated in the 9th, square the Aquarius Sun. The 3-9 house axis is thought to govern transport issues, so a disruptive Uranus in that realm—about 7 degrees from the Taurus No. Node—is certainly appropriate 

Neptune’s presence at the Pisces DSC and square the MC reflects the toxic output of the accident, as well—as reported, 11 of the derailed train cars contained toxic chemicals and much of what they were carrying spewed all over, poisoning East Palestine’s air for days and forcing expensive, disruptive evacuations from that mostly rural area. Neptune also describes the suspiciously rapid way the air quality tests taken after the disaster were A-OK, not to mention the vague promises of compensation and restoration that followed whenever Ohio officials sought to hold Norfolk Southern accountable 

Interestingly, the People whose lives were derailed right along with the freight train are represented here by a sensitive Cancer Moon that is exactly inconjunct Aquarius Saturn, which also happens to be transiting conjunct the Sibly Moon (Aquarius, chart not shown). The people of East Palestine, Ohio played both tangible and symbolic roles in this drama, in other words: first, as the individuals directly impacted by Norfolk Southern’s careless disregard for their personal and community wellbeing; and two, as the stand-ins for the American people-at-large (Sibly Moon) who are routinely subject to the profit-driven carelessness of American corporations.  

The fallout from corporate carelessness was, indeed, a theme this past couple weeks. In a second shocking example, the Silicon Valley Bank failed on March 10th, early in the day. states that: 

“Early in the morning of March 10, examiners from the Federal Reserve and the FDIC arrived at the offices of SVB to assess the company's finances.[71] Several hours later, the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) issued an order taking possession of SVB,[72] citing inadequate liquidity and insolvency,[73] and appointed the FDIC as receiver.” 

Based on this, I’ve cast Chart 3 below for 12 noon—if anyone knows of a more exact time for the FDIC takeover, I would appreciate knowing about it!  

The carelessness I referenced, of course, has to do with the way some banks have taken advantage of recently (2018) weakened regulations to take on risks they can’t sustain, especially in a climate of higher interest rates. Here’s where Jupiterian excess can easily go bad, hence the reason for sane regulations (Saturn) that help to stave off such crises.  

The good news is, the crisis with SVB and a few others that were teetering on the brink seems to have been averted, but let’s examine what the Cosmos had to say in Chart #3 below: 


Chart #3. Silicon Valley Bank is put in FDIC receivership 


There’s nothing like a bank failure to rattle the entire political and economic world: here, we see how concentrated all the planets except for the Moon are in the upper hemisphere, leaving the more grass-roots-oriented lower hemisphere to suffer the fallout from on high. It’s as if the airy Gemini Mars’ trine to Libra Moon (which, if this timing is somewhat accurate, rules this chart) threatens to propel the failure who knows where. That Moon is opposed and disposed by Aries Venus—American families (Moon) are very sensitive to the financial “hot air” afloat these days.  

If we take a broader look at how this all interacted with our Sibly chart (inner wheel, Biwheel 1 below) we can’t miss that the air-sign trine in the bank failure chart (outer wheel, Biwheel 1) ties into the Sibly Moon in Aquarius—there really was the danger of “wind”-borne financial contagion sparking chaos: Mars also squares Pisces Neptune in the outer wheel below, which in turn, ties into the Sibly Neptune-transiting Neptune opposition and its t-square to both Sibly and transiting Mars. And, even though Saturn has moved on into Pisces, it’s still hovering near the Sibly Moon, which rules the Sibly 8th house (Cancer), so perhaps threatening financial fallout. I’m no banking expert, but it looks to me like it was vital that the Federal government step in to control the situation.  


Biwheel 1: inner wheel, U.S. (Sibly) chart; outer wheel, SVB fails (Chart 3 above) 


Final thoughts  

As I write this, our astronomical winter season is turning into Spring, glorious Spring, and there’s hope in the air, whether the charts we cast in the moment seem to show it or not. It’s a chance for a new beginning and personally, I hope to spend more time in my garden this Spring than I do at the keyboard. Even so, I will be announcing soon the completion of a new e-book that digs into the astrology of Jupiter cycles (Jup-Sat, Jup-Ura, Jup-Nep, Jup-Plu) for our times. To be followed by a second work that does likewise with the remaining outer planetary cycles. And new blog posts along the way...the garden will be there when I need a break! 

We all need a good break from the intensity of these times and the high-flying figures who constantly demand our attention, don’t we...kite-flying, anyone?! 




[1] Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY. Astrodatabank rated AA. 

[2] Michael Munkasey, Midpoints: Unleashing the Power of the Planets, ACS Publications, San Diego, CA, 1991, p. 128. 

[3] Bil Tierney, Dynamics of Aspect Analysis: New Perceptions in Astrology, CRCS Publications, Reno, NV, 1983, pp. 78-79. 


Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and retired 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: 

© Raye Robertson 2023. All rights reserved.