Monday, June 24, 2024

At an astrological tipping point: of strawberries and shadows haunting Election 2024


Gotta love Michigan strawberries!

As the natural world blossoms and begins to bear fruit at the Strawberry Moon at this   

astrological mid-point of the year, so too do the U.S. political world’s battle plans for the November election begin to manifest like the “wheat and tare” fields of yore. Which plants constitute “wheat” and which constitute “tare” is a subjective matter, at this point, but come November, the reapers will be sorting through the mess.  

Meanwhile, billions are pouring into the entrenched camps of Left and Right, the first presidential debate of the season is looming between the presumed front-running candidates, and in Louisiana—apparently set on preempting anything the November ballot box might say—the legislature has already imposed upon its people a version of what life was like before the 1700s, under the iron rule of Puritan theocracy. Ask the poor women of Salem, Massachusetts who were executed on a gallows hill on fabricated charges of witchcraft in 1692-3!

Later deemed a tragic case of “mass hysteria” that swept over the village, Neptune was transiting Pisces then as it is today. Today the hysteria takes somewhat, but not entirely different forms—women (including teachers) are still convenient targets for violent Shadow projections (must control their creative energies at all costs); and anyone who opposes the perceived “Patriarch” and his relentless degradation of their very souls can expect to suffer vicious retribution. 

As for the particular law that was just passed in Louisiana, we might wonder, well…what’s wrong with cultivating basic morality in school children by mandating the posting of the Ten Commandments in every classroom? It’s a fair question…it’s not that there’s anything wrong with the commandments, for those who choose to ground their families’ belief system in them; it’s that the universal wisdom and precepts contained in them can—and should be—taught without violating the fundamental freedom of religion that we have a right to enjoy in America. The mandating of posters in classrooms is, at best, a way of claiming the “territory” of children’s minds for one particular religious worldview. At worst, it’s the first step off a very slippery authoritarian cliff.

Besides, U.S. law seems very clear, and unless the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment are no longer valid:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

In other words, there shall be no state religion in this democracy presenting its dogma to our children as if it is the Law. The Second Amendment hasn’t lost its luster or its defenders; why should the First Amendment

Blurred and eroding lines spell trouble for democracy.


So, where does this stop? Perhaps the pledge of allegiance will be next—children led every morning in pledging loyalty to the Christian Bible rather than to the American flag? Or, even worse, maybe the two will be construed to essentially be the same thing, and loyalty to one becomes loyalty to both? Or maybe children will be led in Christian prayer and any teacher that isn’t comfortable with that will be shown the door. And any child (and by extension, parent) who objects will be singled out for misery, as only teachers and fellow students can deliver it.

Chillingly, none of these encroachments on our First Amendment rights are far-fetched at this moment, and they may already be the reality in some American classrooms.

Given January 6th and various Supreme Court scandals involving Justice Alito and his wife, it’s quite evident that the official American flag seems to be on the wane as a symbol of our national unity these days: or maybe it’s more appropriate to say that national unity is on the wane, and the disrespectful uses we’re seeing of the flag simply reflect that reality.

Even before the Alitos hit the news, however, on January 6th we witnessed the flag being flown upside down, in “revolutionary” colors and with religious symbols and/or Trump’s image or name plastered all over it in various configurations. We saw flag poles being brandished as weapons against the Capitol police and flags being desecrated in other ways, as well.

All of which reminds me that there’s more than one way to wage a “civil” war—it can be fought on bloody battle fields and/or insurrections—as we saw—but it can also be fought in classrooms and in people’s hearts and minds, without firing a shot.

Being a television personality at heart, Trump knows the role that imagery and iconology plays in producing ratings and in piercing through traditional norms and standards. Indeed, he makes a show of flanking himself in flags and embracing our flag like it’s one of the women who will “let him do it.” If you’ve ever lived through a flag ceremony at the funeral of a veteran (I have on multiple occasions), you’ll know the profound respect and ceremony that is given to all aspects of presenting a lovingly and properly folded flag to grieving family members, and you’ll know that some of today’s behavior—hanging the flag out with no regard for its significance, like it’s a tattered old piece of laundry—is pretty sorry indeed.  


Martha Alito's idea for an anti-Pride flag.


But, like Martha Alito put it—these actions are designed “to send a message.”  

A lot of the right-wing agenda these days seems to be about creating perception—a Neptunian phenomenon for sure—especially when it arises from purposely distorting factual Saturnian reality. Perception is Reality for those who don’t want to be bothered with facts and accomplishing anything of substance. Doctor videos to say whatever you want; lie and misrepresent the truth indiscriminately—the “truth” is whatever Dear Leader says it is, anyway, so one day it will be this and the next day it might be the exact opposite, but beware…to notice contradictions is to fail the test because in the end, it’s all one big loyalty test!  

So, those who want American schools to move in Louisiana’s theocratic direction may dismiss any and all constitutional qualms and pretend there’s “nothing to see” there, but the astrology of this moment raises a blazing red flag that says we should take Louisiana’s backsliding into authoritarian rule seriously. For one thing, such brazen moves have a way of proliferating across like-minded states, especially when the Supreme Court seems prepared to look the other way on anything that smacks of religious (aka conservative Christian) “freedom.”

Bottom line, the somewhat cynical timing of this Louisiana law signing—on Juneteenth—was clearly deliberate and calculated for maximum divisiveness. 

Now a national celebration every June 19th.

Of course, the purposeful (and legalistic) twisting of this concept of freedom for the sake of political power evokes the deeply-waning Saturn-Neptune cycle that will continue to have us in its grips into the new year. More on this cycle as we examine Charts 1 and 2 below for the Sun’s Cancer ingress (aka, the Summer Solstice) and a dawn chart for Election Day 2024, both cast for Washington, D.C..  



At the solstice tipping point

I have purposely avoided predicting any election year outcomes in this space in the past months, simply because I think it might be more constructive to assume that either candidate has a 50% chance or better to win at this point and there are simply too many ambiguities at work in any chart we might cast at this time. Besides, the Trump camp has gone out of its way to lay the groundwork for an immediate, deeply-funded election challenge—complete with “judges on speed dial,” according to Trump acolyte and self-described dirty trickster Roger Stone. From The Daily Beast…

“Stone, who was a key figure in Trump’s “Stop the Steal” efforts following the 2020 election, characterized his plan to challenge election results in 2024 with three pillars: ‘Lawyers, judges, technology.’ He also bragged that the Trump campaign occupied strong ‘offensive footing’ this time around.”

Others in MAGA world are hedging their bets with some version of “if Trump doesn’t win, the contest must be rigged.” In other words, they don’t expect a fair fight because they’re determined to make sure it isn’t fair…sounds like a major case of Shadow projection to me, which actually fits the astrological picture pretty well—more ahead on this.

So, how do we even think about such an election? Perhaps in the course of considering the following two charts, cast for Washington, D.C., we’ll have a better answer to that question. 


2000 Shadow Projection, Dennis Oppenheim, 1972, Art Institute of Chicago

Chart 1. Sun ingresses Cancer, June 20, 2024, 4:50:46 p.m. DST, Washington, D.C. All charts are cast by author on Kepler 8.0, with Tropical Equal Houses and True Node and courtesy of Cosmic Patterns Software.

To a great extent, this chart reads like it’s laying the groundwork for the Big Event in November: the Sun’s entrance into cardinal Cancer is shown in the 8th here, conjunct Cancer Venus and Mercury, which perfectly reflects the role that Big Money is already playing in the election. Big Money-with-strings-attached, to be more precise. Why else would reclusive conservative billionaire Timothy Mellon just contribute a cool $50 million to the Trump campaign? Or why would any billionaire chip in so handsomely? From the Independent (UK):

“Donald Trump is no stranger to a quid pro quo — he was impeached for one, after all. But while campaigning for a second term in the White House, he has gone further than perhaps any other candidate in recent history to shape his policies in return for cash.

Trump is not making these bargains behind closed doors or in smoky back rooms, but at fundraisers and events attended by dozens of influential and extremely wealthy people.

On several occasions he has made explicit offers to reward donors by enacting or dismantling policy on their behalf should he win in November, often reversing his own previously held positions.

Democrat Jamie Raskin, ranking member of the House committee on oversight and accountability, accused Trump of treating the presidency ‘as a for-profit business enterprise and money-making venture.’

He told The Independent that the former president was ‘brazenly offering to sell out US policy to any corporate and billionaire campaign donors ready to make a deal, including telling Big Oil he will sign their executive orders in exchange for a cool one billion dollars.’”

Shouldn’t there be more to deciding the critical future of fossil fuel policies in this country than tallying up billionaire contributions?! Many nations are on the verge of disaster and/or devastating conflict in these times, and climate change is often at the root of it all: should America’s response really be determined by the highest bidder? 

Notice that Pluto turned Rx this past May 2nd at 02° AQU 06’ and in Chart 1 it is still in the early days of that retrograde passage. Things change in this regard by the November election (Chart 2), which adds a key dimension to all this focus on big money and potential corruption.  

At recent Biden Hollywood fund-raiser.

In all fairness, Biden also has mega-donors, but Trump’s open willingness to sell access to policy shifts feels like a new low, which might account for that 8th house Sun and Venus also being inconjunct Aquarius Pluto (Rx).

For his part, Biden is still running on a promise to “make corporations pay their fair share,” so his donors need to be deep-pocketed and less willing to overturn democracy for the sake of lower tax rates and pet policies.

Not surprising under the election-funding realities at the heart of Chart 1, Jupiter also falls trine that Pluto Rx from early Gemini, while Mars widely squares the same point from Venus-ruled Taurus. The fact that Trump has shown himself willing to reverse prior policies for the sake of big donations is also reflected in the duplicitous Gemini Jupiter we see here.Playing both sides against the middle to vanquish both is a Jupiterian ploy if ever there was one.

Notice that, in Jupiter-disposed Sagittarius, the Moon speaks to the People’s state of mind at this year’s astrological tipping point: as such, it falls square Pisces Saturn and t-square the Saturn-Juno (Virgo) opposition. In mythology, Juno (Hera) was Jupiter’s (Zeus’s) long-suffering, but powerful wife, of course, which makes for an interesting mutable set of “transactions” here, if you will. The People feel strongly about the demands being placed on women—indeed, they appear inclined to stand up for women’s rights in the coming elections. Will that emotional engagement hold up through November’s election? That’s less certain—mutable signs aren’t the most stable.

Even so, in their comprehensive study into the astrology of the major asteroid “goddesses,” Demetra George and Douglas Bloch remind us of the role Juno—a “symbol for the powerless”—plays in standing up for such rights, and for protecting “women, battered wives, abused children, victims, minorities and the disabled from crimes of sexual violence, seduction, rape and incest.” [169] Perhaps this reflects why the Supreme Court actually came down on the side of the victims of domestic abuse in this past week’s gun rights case?

Queen Hera as pictured in Greek mythology.

Other studies I’ve encountered have claimed that Hera (Juno) is the protectress of women in childbirth, which is certainly an appropriate quest for our post-Roe times!

Of course, women don’t vote in lockstep, and amazingly, not every woman supports her own reproductive freedom, so we also need to recognize that the mutable signs in this Moon-Saturn-Juno t-square could render these issues a bit less reliable in the fall. Trump has shown signs of tempering his own position—I’m guessing he knows he could be on the losing side of the women’s vote, and not just for his position on abortion. Even those who are generally willing to accommodate Trump’s craziness might have second thoughts after he is sentenced for his 34 felony election interference convictions in the New York “hush money” trial.

Yet, it’s so easy for voters to backslide into dismissing Trump’s baggage…he was born into the slippery New phase of the 1945 Jupiter-Neptune cycle (Libra) and enjoys an airy (Libra-Gemini) Jupiter Rx-Uranus trine in his nativity [1], perfect for his signature talents of grifting and eluding justice.

With Scorpio rising, this chart is ruled by Mars (Taurus) and Pluto (Rx Aquarius), which fall widely square between the 6th and 3rd houses. The house cusps involved are Aries (6th) and Capricorn (3rd), yet this square is heavily fixed on material ambition and technology-related control. A great deal of talk about the cost of living for working families happens every election year, but this square suggests deep pent-up demand and possibly resentment over such things as the cost of housing (Aquarius rules the 4th here).

Pluto could certainly speak to the interest rates that are still stopping young couples from buying homes. Or it could speak to the artificially manipulated costs of housing that couples are encountering, as so many properties have been snatched up by corporations under the guise of “We pay cash for houses.”—again, notice Pluto Rx also trines inflationary Jupiter in Gemini in this chart and Gemini falls on the 8th house of Big Money. 

By and large, people don’t seem to be as financially strapped in this Biden economy as the grousing about inflation and prices would suggest—wages are up, jobs are plentiful; we’ve been through much worse. I’m no finance expert, but this square seems to be telling us that the obstacles people are encountering just trying to make basic financial moves in life are the gnarliest problems, and corporate greed (Pluto) may be largely responsible.

Which brings us back full circle to the issue of deep-pocketed billionaires trying to buy our elections. Let’s see if this theme persists quite as heavily in Chart 2 below, a dawn chart cast for Election Day 2024 in Washington, D.C. I will make no attempt to predict winners with this chart, but there are a few key dynamics that are worth discussing this far in advance.



Election Day 2024

This may be one of the most anticipated and dreaded elections of my lifetime, and at 70-something, I’ve been through a few of them. Yet, I’m not prepared to predict winners at this point because, to tell you the truth, the usual principles and predictive techniques may not apply with this situation. Nothing is as it seems with Trump, so why hazard guesses that may only serve to distort and/or distress?  

From the essential hollowness of his character and his willingness to bend wherever the money blows him, it seems to me that Trump himself isn’t running—it’s the powerful forces at work behind him and to whom he answers one way or another that are determined to do anything to win. It is they (the Heritage Foundation, among others) who have made it clear in their Project 2025 roadmap that their quest is to “reshape” (i.e., bring down) the federal government itself to fulfill their radically conservative and theocratic agenda.

Do we really buy that a second-term Trump would have a “choice” about adopting their agenda or not? My guess is, the fix is in, when it comes to Trump’s willingness to follow their lead. As long as they slather him with praise and keep the money flowing. Maybe they’ll even allow him to move the White House to Mar-a-Lago so he can comfortably complete the merging of his businesses with the business of the country.

So, we can examine the chart for November 5, 2024 in Washington, D.C., but it won’t tell us about Trump or Biden, for that matter – either could be replaced in a heartbeat. This chart isn’t about either one of them: it’s about whether the government Biden happens to lead today will survive another January 20th inauguration.


Chart 2. Election Day, 2024, November 5, 2024, 6:40 a.m. ST (dawn), Washington, D.C.


My main concern here is on the cycle dynamics that reflect the forces operating behind the scenes in this most fraught of elections. For starters, let’s examine that Saturn-Neptune cycle we stuck a pin in earlier—here Saturn and Neptune are within a mere 13° of completing their 1989 cycle, so they’re deep into balsamic territory and residing in the 5th house of casual political influence here. Golf tournaments, celebrity benefits—perhaps Trump’s obsession with Taylor Swift’s refusal to endorse him?—and so on, and the Saturn/Neptune (midpoint, Pisces) falls t-square the Jupiter Rx-to-Pallas-Venus oppositions (Gemini-Sagittarius).

Religious dogmatism that steers us astray, delusionary leadership and/or claims about political control, misuse of the justice system for corrupt gain—so much of what we see in our news every day is potentially contained in this configuration.

If we take Neptune (Pisces) on its own, we can see how it also t-squares the Gemini Jupiter Rx-Moon opposition. All of which suggests that the misinformation machine (Saturn-Neptune) will be alive and well and eroding (balsamic phase) people’s trust and confidence in the nation’s economic system and in its values (the oppositions cut across the 8-2 axis).

The flip-side of this (there’s always a flip side) could be that a strong (or with Jupiter Rx, at least moderate) boost in optimism will take hold of the People by the time the election rolls around and that optimism will challenge the dreary Saturn-Neptune narrative we’ve become numb to.

Even optimism won’t change the fact that Saturn’s influence is deeply entrenched in this chart, however: it rules the Capricorn 3rd and co-rules the Aquarius 4th house with Taurus Uranus, so greatly influencing the grass roots and the issues that drive everyday people’s thinking about elections. We’ve spoken at length about economic issues; here we see additional emphasis on security issues. Saturn is capable of casting gloom over the grass roots here, leaving us more open to fear-mongering than the hopeful Jupiter oppositions might suggest—and even if Trump isn’t on hand to predict doomsday in every speech, there’s been a drip-drip-drip of mass shootings and climate catastrophes in the news recently that get under people’s skins and flash “danger, danger, Will Robinson.” 


Always proclaiming "danger! danger!"...From the iconic 1960s Lost in Space series.

As for Neptune’s role here (still thinking about that cycle), fear-mongering absolutely pervades a lot of popular social media platforms and it certainly feeds Neptune’s proclivity for whipping up mass hysteria.

Admittedly, dangling the “end of democracy as we know it” in front of people to influence their vote, as Biden’s ads have been doing lately, could also be considered fear-mongering, but which alerts would you prefer to receive on your phone—the ones that signal real and imminent dangers like a tornado warning that you can respond to if you act decisively, or the ones that cynically paint everything you experience as one big nebulous catastrophe that only one man knows how to fix?  Paint the picture, keep banging away on it and eventually the catastrophizing feels real.

Then there’s the tight Mars-Pluto opposition between early Leo and late Capricorn that slashes quite amazingly from top to bottom in this chart, suggesting an axis of influence that will be difficult to ignore in November, especially since Mars and Pluto co-rule the Scorpio ASC of this dawn chart. For starters, we can certainly expect the Gun industry to wield divisive influence with this, but beyond the usual catastrophizing, we may have to buckle up for more politically-tinged domestic violence—probably targeting the “usual suspects,” LGBTQ+ individuals, minorities, migrants, and sadly, we must now include Jewish and Palestinian Americans as clear targets because any thing that keeps that war fresh in people’s minds—even in the case of a successful cease fire agreement—will make Biden look bad. And that, ultimately, is the point.

This is reinforced by Uranus in the 7th (looking for profits in Taurus) trine Capricorn Pluto, which could signal unrest, if not downright violence. 



Bottom line, with such a prominent wild card like Uranus, if people don’t feel safe in their communities, they may respond by voting for right wing Law and Order agendas. But then there are those who want to create a bit of chaos for the sake of key causes, and that could also fit the Uranus-Pluto dynamic we see here. Protests about everything from the Supreme Court’s heavy-handed treatment of women to the Biden administration’s stance on the Israel-Gaza war are likely. If the protestors themselves aren’t violent, outsiders will find a way to change people’s perception of that…one way or another, it seems that this election will be volatile, no matter what happens with the vote.

On that note, let’s take a closer look at this Capricorn Pluto: in Chart 1 above, Pluto was Rx in Aquarius—why will it be transiting direct, in Capricorn come election day (Chart 2) and what, if anything, does that tell us? After all, this Pluto is still transiting conjunct the nation’s (Sibly) Pluto (at 27° Cap 33’ Rx) and completing its monumental 240-year Pluto return, so this is a good opportunity to check in with that process.

Bear with me, please—we’re about to venture into some technical weeds, but I promise it’s relevant to our discussion, so here goes:

·       Pluto first returned to Sibly Pluto in February, 2022, but it took until March 2023 for it to first enter Aquarius.

·       It very quickly turned Rx in May, 2023, which brought it back into Capricorn for several months.

·       It turned Direct again in October 2023, again tightly conjunct Sibly Pluto in Capricorn.

·       Once again it ingressed Aquarius, this time in January, 2024, transiting Direct until May 2024 when it turned Rx at 02°Aqu 06’. Take note of this degree; it will become important for our election-related discussion.

·       Pluto will remain Rx until October 13 of this year, by which time it will have backed up one last time into Capricorn, turning Direct at 29°Cap 39’.

·       On November 5th—Election Day—Pluto will be transiting Direct but will still be in Capricorn because its final re-entrance into Aquarius for this go-round won’t happen until later that month, on the 19th.

·       Which means Pluto will also be in the midst of navigating a post-RX shadow period on Election Day—a period that will be completed on February 2, 2025 when it regains that May 2024 position where it turned Rx, at 02°Aqu 06’.

In other words, Pluto will emerge from its Shadow months after an election that has already been set up to fail on November 5th, a failure we’re led to believe will be followed by immediate challenges placed in the hands of judges who are on Roger Stone’s “speed dial.” Pluto’s transformative impact on our system of Justice has been on full display lately with the apparent monetization of Supreme Court decisions (as suggested by the $4 million+ in gifts we now know Justice Thomas has accepted from his billionaire courtiers), and as often happens with Pluto, there seems to be so little that anyone can do about it.

Pluto’s shadow periods can be dramatic and eventful—the terminology alone reflects something nefarious going on, but it’s probably more accurate to think about this in psychological terms, as the nation’s emotional blind spot, the aspect of ourselves that we repress or project onto Others. That sits like a thorn in our collective “gut,” in history we don’t want to acknowledge, in books we want to ban, in children we want to disavow as our own.  In political terms, Pluto in shadow phase suggests the pressing need to recognize that we “have a republic, if we can keep it.” It’s not a given—we grew into a more perfect democracy and union over our short 248-year history, but there were no guarantees and backsliding is entirely possible if we continue letting our guard down.

Pluto shadow phases will always be transformative, in other words, but it’s up to us to steer that process.

Consider this short list of recent historical precedents:

·       the first shots were fired in the U.S. Civil War (April 12, 1861) with Pluto in Taurus, in post-Rx shadow;

·       the World Trade Center towers were attacked on September 11, 2001 with Pluto in late Sagittarius, in post-Rx shadow;

·       and on both Election Day 2020 and January 6, 2021, when insurrectionists defending Trump’s Big Lie about Election 2020 stormed the Capitol, Pluto was in Capricorn, but still in a post-Rx shadow that began when it turned Direct in October 2020, a mere month before the election.

I’m sure there are many more instances like this, but these events all seem to share one theme—they were all designed to destroy the U.S. government from within. Even the 9/11 terrorists had infiltrated the country to study at different flight schools, just months before the actual attacks.

Given all the challenges that have been brazenly announced even before the first votes are cast this year, it shouldn’t surprise us that this coming election is basically slated to be another attempt at the same to destroy us from within. A bolder, more aggressive attempt, if the Mars-Pluto opposition ruling Chart 2 has anything to do with it.

Yet, a nation is its People, and the Sagittarius Moon in this chart also semi-sextiles Pluto, suggesting that the People aren’t really on board with the destruction being wreaked by the billionaires set on buying this election for Trump. They may, with the Moon’s square to Pisces Neptune, be confused and have no idea which side to trust, but this challenging semi-sextile aspect says that, in that collective “gut” of ours, we know what’s going on is simply wrong and destructive.



Final thoughts

Destruction—and eventually, rebirth—is an exceedingly long-term, incremental process with Pluto, but it’s one that seems to have reached a significant turning point during this election year. Which makes sense, considering the Sibly return process we’ve been navigating for years hasn’t yet completed. Even so, there is nothing about this process that requires us to now capitulate to our meanest, most venal self as a nation. 

Nothing requires us to claw back hard-won freedoms and rights from those we used and abused so badly to become the economic powerhouse nation we are. Nothing requires us to cooperate with forces that want to drag us backwards into the 17th century, when women, slaves and horses had equal (nonexisting) legal status. Nothing requires us to look on helplessly as our grandchildren’s future is decimated by today’s fossil fuel backsliding. Nothing requires us to hate our neighbors and to see every relationship in terms of dollars and cents. None of this is “written in the stars”—it’s up to us.

So, as one 70-something who wants to see my grandchildren thrive as creatively, fearlessly and as happily as possible, I choose to believe that we still have choices—in November and beyond. Good, sound and loving choices about how we will navigate these transformative times.  



[1] Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. EDT, Jamaica (Queens), NY. Rodden rated AA: BC/BR in hand.


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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. Her articles on these topics have appeared in several key astrology journals over the years, and she has authored three books on key mundane astrology topics that are currently available on Amazon Kindle. For information about individual chart readings, contact:

© Raye Robertson 2024. All rights reserved.


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