13th Apr, 2018

Whispers of War

Whispers of War

While the gathering storm of a multitude of legal entanglements tightens its grip, the Tantruming Toddler who occupies the Oval Office looks for avenues in which to vent his rage and distract the masses. Between the FBI raid on Michael Cohen and the release of the Comey book, Trump is almost literally frothing at the mouth. His tweets sound more like fingernails on a chalkboard and are so over the top that they would embarrass a schoolyard bully. Of greater concern, are his threats to send missiles into Syria, angrily warning Russia to get ready for the onslaught.

For the moment, at least, Trump has pulled back somewhat on the menacing verbal assaults on Putin for his partnership with Assad, instead allowing wiser heads to actually plan for a response to the recent use of chemical weapons.  But the well-known, rage-filled impulsiveness of our commander-in-chief has the world terrified of a new escalation in Syria, where the growing conflagration is already edging toward a proxy war between Russia, the US, and Iran.

Of interest astrologically, is the first crossing of Pluto in quincunx to US Mars, stopping 6 minutes shy of exact on April 24 and then diminishing quickly. This has stirred up the more aggressive posturing of the nation, especially with the transit of Jupiter, also quincunx US Mars (21Gemini23) from April 1 to April 13. Although the impact of the Pluto transit will decrease after April 24, the Mars/Pluto conjunction of April 25 to April 26 is likely to give it one last punch. This period from late February through April 26 is giving us a taste of the increased military stance the US will be taking as transiting Pluto crosses and recrosses its quincunx to US Mars through 2019. In addition to April 2018, we can expect this heightened aggression from late December 2018 through January 25, 2019, as well as from late June through August 5, 2019, and October and November 2019.

The current Pluto/Mars configuration is occurring at the same time the Saturn station slowly makes its opposition to Trump’s Mercury (8Cancer52), a very stressful transit which runs from March 9 to May 7. This is becoming a period of ongoing difficulty, frustration, and peril for Trump, bringing increasing legal entanglements, challenges, and embarrassments, as well as the FBI scrutiny of his consigliere Michael Cohen, Trump’s Mafioso-like “fixer.”  The Saturn transit here suggests that any impulsive or exaggerated responses to any situation will have an adverse impact. Ideally, Trump’s attitude and actions should be thoughtful, measured, and cautious, but these traits seem almost oxymoronic when used in the conjunction with Donald Trump. In any event, any military action up to April 26 will also be under this Saturn aspect in Trump’s chart and should be done with the utmost caution and care. Otherwise, major complications and trouble are sure to follow into early May.

2nd Apr, 2018

Boiling Pot

Although the daily firings, scandals, and sleaze are saturating the headlines in the US, unheeded tensions in Israel are escalating. In the past several days, a robust demonstration of Palestinians at the border fence left 15 Palestinians dead and hundreds wounded due to the significantly aggressive response of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).  A study of Israel’s astrological chart suggests this is the beginning of a period of increased violence through the first few days of June.

Currently, transiting Uranus is trine to natal Mars (28Leo19) in Israel’s chart from March 29 to April 21. This will be joined by the progressed Moon opposite natal Mars from April 17 to May 18 (exact). The overlap of these two configurations will occur from April 17 to April 21, making those particularly dangerous days. In addition, there are further triggers that suggest periods of increased anger and harm. The first of these we have already witnessed at the Palestinian/Israeli border, when transiting Mercury was sesquiquadrate natal Mars on March 30, triggering Uranus trine to natal Mars. The next comes when the Sun crosses the same degree on April 2 to April 3, and the following will bring transiting Mars sesquiquadrate to natal Mars from April 8 to April 10. Moreover, transiting Mercury will trigger the progressed Moon opposition to natal Mars from April 29 to April 30. 

Also of consequence is the first crossing of transiting Uranus to the Descendant of the Israeli chart (00Scorpio53 but possibly a bit earlier) from May 13 to June 3, triggered by a square from Mars May 12 to May 17, exactly as the progressed Moon opposition to Mars becomes exact. Uranus here suggests aggressive, unilateral action, as well as sudden unexpected attacks from May 13 to June 3. The addition of Mars from May 12 to 17 clearly points to another dangerous upsurge in violence.

Although Israel has a long history of strong and successful military action in the face of her enemies, there is concern that she is now in a period of greater challenge, difficulty, and frustration in terms of fulfilling an assertive agenda. In the progressed chart, progressed Saturn has moved into a square with natal Sun (23Taurus41) beginning in June 2017 and waxing to exact in July 2025.  From April 17 to May 12, 2018, the transiting Saturn station will trigger this onerous square by a sesquiquadrate to the natal Sun, thereby manifesting the difficulty and grief of this configuration. Note that as this very stressful Saturn trigger begins to dissipate around May 12, we move into the very strong Mars/Uranus action of May 12 to 17, suggesting significant and unexpected violence from Israel in response to the increased sorrow of the combined Mars (aggression, violence) and Saturn (frustration and difficulty) period from April 17 to May 12.

Unfortunately, the leadership vacuum from Washington, and the Trumpian penchant for grand, ill-conceived, and destabilizing gestures, such as the moving of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, leaves the world much more vulnerable on a number of fronts. Indications are that Israel may prove to be one of many areas where the lack of any tempering guidance or push from the US results in chaos and destruction.

17th Mar, 2018

Trump Unrestrained

Besides some pernicious regulatory rollbacks and several unenlightened judicial appointments, the first year in the reign of Disgraceful Donnie brought us mostly his obnoxious and inappropriate verbiage, bragging about himself and imperiously attacking any who didn’t bow down to his greatness. But now that we are well into year two, the defiler of the Oval Office has thrown off whatever minimal shackles might have held him back. He has gotten increasingly comfortable and ever more daring in exercising his presidential prerogatives. Not even his top advisors have a say in restraining his impulses anymore, and subordinates are vulnerable to his vicious rage attacks or even loss of employment if they offer less than worshipful praise and wholehearted support. Even worse, his short-sighted narcissism and self-serving compulsions are now bleeding unhindered into substantial policies – economic, environmental, and foreign – and the extensive damage is piling up at an alarming rate.

Indeed, the momentum of his recklessness in both policy and behavior is now spiraling out of control. The recent tax cuts for the rich (and another one is planned in the near future) are hollowing out the Treasury, leaving little for the rainy-day fund we will clearly need for the next downturn. For those not blinded or simply cowed by Trump’s snake oil bluster, the mounting inflation induced by his tariffs and the short-sighted melting of the economy’s regulatory glue into gold can only signal some form of disaster down the road. Moreover, conducting foreign policy by gratuitous insult and impulsive pandering is also likely to result in a major calamity. With thoughtless abandon, Trump insults allies at random moments and even brags about lying to a foreign leader. Again with little thought or plan, he has increased the stature of North Korea’s dictator by agreeing to meet, while cravenly standing down in the face of multi-layered Russian aggression against the US.   The full story of his Manchurian presidency is yet to be told.

In the meantime, the last remaining adults in the administration are either being jettisoned (Tillerson and possibly McMaster) or co-opted (Kelly). Bringing Mini-Trump Mike Pompeo into the State Department will only fan the flames of Trump’s already dangerous belligerent instincts. And the rumor that anti-UN war-monger John Bolton might replace H.R. McMaster as National Security Advisor is nothing short of horrifying. If that nightmare comes to pass, expect a foreign policy with one setting: aggression. Diplomacy will become the lost art of the last Century.

As I have mentioned in previous writing, Trump is currently under a Uranus transit trine to his natal Mars/solar arc progressed Uranus (26Leo47). This transit runs from February 26 through March 19 and is intensifying Despicable Donnie’s already robust tendency for impulsive combativeness, impervious to the demands or concerns of others. During this period, we have seen him agree, with no previous planning or discussion, to meet with Kim Jong Un in the near future; precipitously fire Rex Tillerson by tweet; and randomly and unexpectedly put forth draconian tariffs on aluminum and steel imports, potentially sparking a trade war and a tsunami of economic dislocation. We can clearly see the combination of the sudden, unexpected and anti-traditional heedlessness of Uranus combined with the aggression and impatience of Mars. The only good news is that this particularly potent activation of the solar arc Uranus/Mars progression is over in a few days (March 19). The bad news is that this progression, which intensifies his generally impulsive and pugnacious attitude, will continue to wax in strength through July 1. It can be triggered by other, briefer transits, although none will be as long lasting or dangerous as the current three-week Uranus trine.

As of March 20, the 2018 Spring Equinox chart will go into effect, describing conditions for the coming year. Drawn for Washington, DC, and therefore specifically impacting the US, the Spring chart has Saturn (8Capricorn29) exactly conjunct the Descendant (8Capricorn20). By transit, Saturn will remain in that position through May 20, and will be further intensified by transits from the Sun, Mars, and Mercury from March 28 through April 5.

Essentially, Saturn conjunct the Descendant suggests trouble with partners, allies, and known adversaries. During the entire Saturn station from March 20 through May 20, we may see burdensome and stressful interactions and challenges, causing upset and sorrow in the US. Certainly, one possibility would be the harsh unfolding of an escalating trade war due to Trump’s ill-conceived tariff action. Expanding trouble with Russia is another possibility. Again, March 28 through April 5 is likely to be particularly difficult.

The current Saturn station is also opposite Trump’s Mercury (8Cancer52), as well as well as conjunct the Sun (8Capricorn28) in the chart of our new Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo (12/30/63).  Both men will be feeling the strain of these unfolding and challenging events through mid-May.

And finally, the more combative stance of the US on the world stage also shows up in the US chart with the transit of Pluto quincunx US Mars from February 22 through April 24, likely further set off by some aggressive action with the Mars/Pluto conjunction on April 25 to 26.  The current posture on tariffs may be seen in connection with this transit.

Of greater concern is the return of this Pluto transit quincunx US Mars (21Gemini23) in 2019. We will see this energy again during much of January 2019, but more significantly from June 24 to August 5, 2019, when it will be greatly intensified by the concurrent transit of Uranus semisquare US Mars from June 15 to September 9. We can expect extremely belligerent and militant action coming from the US during that period (late June to early September 2019) with likely extremely negative consequences for the country in response. This difficult period shows up clearly by the stationing transit of Saturn square US Saturn (August through October 2019) and the progression of US Moon square natal US Saturn (14Libra48) from mid-August to mid-September 2019. These configurations point to a time of decreasing reputation and power on the world stage (US 10th house Saturn), as well as a general time of sorrow and loss in the US (Moon/Saturn).  Whatever it is that unfolds during that period, it will be remembered as the result of a manipulated and seduced populace allowing an unhinged tin pot dictator squatting rights in the Oval Office, with a flaccid Congress unwilling or unable to restrain him.

25th Feb, 2018

Corporate Overlords

Like the proverbial frog slowly being brought to a boil in pot of water, the US has unwittingly moved from a democracy to a corporatocracy. How else to explain that multiple policies which garner large majorities of support by the citizenry are vehemently crushed in favor of schemes enriching and protecting the interests of mega-corporate power?

Last week’s gun tragedy is a prime example. The NRA is merely the visible face of the gun industry and the outlet for their most vociferous propaganda. But the power behind the curtain is those who make a fortune scaring citizens that their guns will be taken away if any Democrat gets near elected office, while, in turn, scaring Republican Congressmen and Senators that they cannot be reelected without gun industry and NRA backing. Never mind that somewhere around 80% or more of the country wants tighter gun restrictions and more robust and consistent background checks. The corporate overlords do not want anything to get in the way of their profits, and thus it is so. Gestures that cancel special credit cards or car rental and hotel discounts from the NRA might be satisfying, but they do not address the real power that is controlling the debate.

Likewise, the pharmaceutical industry makes a fortune on exorbitant medication prices, as well as the widespread opioid epidemic. And yet, it is like walking through molasses uphill to get anything done to bring common sense regulation that benefits the financially struggling and painfully-addicted members of the populace. Or consider the oil and gas industry, which, unregulated, will pollute with abandon despite toxic spills, climate change warnings, and fracking-related earthquakes and water pollution.  But Republicans don’t like to regulate these massive, obscenely rich industries because, you know, we can’t be having the government strangle our freedom, blah, blah, or, more to the point, cut off the spigot of unlimited donations from the fat cats.

It might be useful to remember that one of government’s primary roles is to enforce ethical behavior on the inherent selfishness of unrestricted human activity. Without laws, at least some of the people would rob, cheat, steal, assault, or even drive drunk or speed with impunity. But government has defined boundaries we cannot cross without consequence, and so it becomes enshrined behavior to behave, at least for most of us.

By definition, large corporations are ruled by a focus on the bottom line, and any negative impact of their misdeeds is too many degrees of separation from the decision-makers to garner much interest. Thus, we find a decisive need for regulations to protect the general population from harmful transgressions. Otherwise, the imperatives of a continually growing bottom line will always supersede the wisdom of any self-imposed restrictions that protect and serve the greater good.

Unfortunately, in these days of an American corporatocracy spearheaded by Trump and his cabinet of self-serving billionaires, that is exactly what is happening. Whether it is the sabotaging of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to benefit the banks, enabling the pharmaceutical industry to essentially call the shots at the FDA  and DEA, allowing oil and gas drilling in the national parks and on the shorelines of America, or protecting almost unrestricted gun proliferation in the US, it is always the same underlying theme. Big industry does not want restrictions on their profits, and they have enough of a stranglehold on government through financial power and effective propaganda to get their way.

It seems likely that the underlying tension in this corporate control narrative will continue to build through 2022 as the US moves toward its Pluto return, and to some degree until Pluto completes its journey in Capricorn in 2024.  Pluto describes huge power struggles and is also symbolic of immense, but hidden wealth. In the US chart, Pluto in the 2nd house describes intense efforts to accumulate wealth, particularly for those who already hold financial power. But Pluto also describes the tendency to drive things to such an extreme, to such unbearable tension, that they implode, thereby creating a total transformation, a rebirth, so to speak. And these years of the build-up to the US Pluto return in 2022 are ripe for such an evolution to unfold.

Thus, for example, the current gun tensions in America seem likely to continue to escalate, despite a few minor adjustments, until something so immensely egregious causes the whole reality to come tumbling down. I won’t even hazard a guess as to what that might be. Unfortunately, we got another taste of this process in the past week, though I doubt the current situation will do more than nibble around the edges for now. But the momentum continues to build.

Meanwhile, although the entire Trump administration since day one seems like an ongoing crisis to many, there is cause for concern that something more specific may be brewing and ready to unfold from around March 20 through part or most of May.  It is possible that these challenging events may be preceded by an increase in US/Trump aggression earlier in March.

From February 26 to March 19, we find transiting Uranus trine to Trump’s natal Mars (26Leo41) currently conjunct solar arc Uranus (until July). This will generally stimulate his impulsive, irritable, and easily angered tendencies. March 10 to 11 and March 16 to 17 will have minor transits that will further intensify this volatile tendency.

Moreover, in the US chart, transiting Pluto has now moved into a quincunx to natal Mars (21Gemini23) from February 22 to April 24.This transit will be 6 minutes shy of exact and is likely to be more significant when it returns in 2019. Nonetheless, it is a stimulation of the aggressive and action-prone war planet Mars and may signify an escalation of military action of some kind, especially when transiting Jupiter moves to quincunx US Mars from April 1 to April 13.

Beginning on March 9 and continuing through May 7, Trump moves into a very challenging and stressful period, demanding more discipline and focus than he is normally able to manifest. Transiting Saturn will be making a station opposite his Mercury (8Cancer52) for this entire two month period. Some of this tension may relate to the increasingly oppressive and threatening Mueller investigation, but it seems that some deeply troubling events will be impacting the country as well, especially after March 20.

In astrology, the Spring Equinox chart is seen as the birth chart for the astrological year, and when drawn for the capital city of a country, it will give indications for the coming year for that nation. The March 20, 2018, Spring Chart drawn for Washington, DC, has Saturn (8Capricorn30) almost exactly conjunct the Descendant (8Capricorn20),  where it remains due to planetary station from March 20 through May 20, greatly overlapping the Saturn station opposite Trump’s Mercury. Moreover, in the Spring chart, there is a Sun (00Aries) square to Mars (1Capricorn42) waxing towards a square/conjunction (respectively) to the problematic Saturn/Descendant configuration.  In addition, Mercury (16Aries32) is retrograde and will also cross the square to Saturn/Descendant twice during April.

What this means is that the significant upset and tension described by the Saturn/Descendant combination, both in US relationships with other countries (Descendant) and reflectively experienced directly at home (opposite Ascendant), will be very intensely and problematically exacerbated by concrete and stressful events triggered between March 28 and April 5 by transits from the Sun, Mars and Mercury, and again from April 24 to 25 by Mercury.  The general shadow of these events will remain strong during the entire Saturn station from March 20 through May 20, with Trump deeply embroiled in and stressed by the situation.

The above-described configurations suggest a somber mood in the entire country during late March and April, so it is doubtful they will simply play out politically with one side celebrating the other’s demise. However, as the Saturn station reaches its final impact in May, we do find that transiting Uranus will be making its first crossing square to Inaugural Sun (00Aquarius50), from May 12 to June 1. This transit, by contrast, will bring sudden, swift, and powerful changes and upsets directly to the Trump administration and could suggest significant political turmoil in their wake.

4th Feb, 2018

Disgraceful Donnie

The president is like a rabid dog, viciously growling and noxiously drooling, while his fanged tweets spew out poison in their bite. There is nothing redeeming in his words or actions, no genuine concern for anyone other than himself. He is like a bottomless dark pit of unquenchable need, starkly revealing an all-consuming hunger that ravenously feeds only on self-interest and self-aggrandizement.

Meanwhile, his spreading infection is leaving a dark swath of disease in its wake – both among his GOP colleagues and his worshipful base. Once-stalwart Republicans have completely lost their ethical center, leaving the truth and morality in tatters by the wayside, while they aggressively pursue nakedly partisan advantage with total abandon.  The casualties of this calumny thus far: environmental protection of the land and the water entrusted in our care; all immigrants, both legal and illegal, who feel themselves and their families constantly threatened; essentially all minorities, who are the targets of the newly unrestrained racism in our midst; the financial solvency of the future of the country due to irresponsible tax cuts; and, most recently, the efficacy and respect of federal law enforcement institutions, degraded and demoralized for standing up for the rule of law above the whims and self-protection of a wannabe dictator.

Unfortunately, from an astrological perspective, it seems that the next few years will continue to be stressful. With Saturn in Capricorn and crossing three times in hard aspect with multiple US planets, we are in a period of contraction and diminishment. This was apparent in the past week as transiting Saturn made its first crossing opposite US Jupiter, and the Stock Market plunged. Put simply, Saturn brings contraction, and Jupiter (5Cancer56) symbolizes abundance and prosperity. This transit goes until February 11 and will return during the second half of June and the first 12 days of November.

We are also in a period when conspiracy theories are running rampant, making it nearly impossible to have sane and responsible government and a grounded, well-informed citizenry. In the US chart, this tendency to paranoia and distrust and endless power struggles may be seen in the Mercury (24Cancer12) opposition to Pluto (27Capricorn30). If one accepts the US birth time of 5:13 PM, this Mercury/Pluto opposition is exacerbated by a natal Pluto (27Capricorn30) semisquare to the Ascendant (12Sagittarius59). Thus, this tendency to believe in conspiracies has been with us since our founding.  Moreover, the year 2016 brought the beginning of transiting Uranus in late Aries squaring this aspect, greatly intensifying it, and moving toward its final crossing square to Pluto in early April 2018. After early April, the potency of some of the conspiracies may dim until 2020, when transiting Pluto will be crossing opposite US Mercury and conjunct US Pluto until 2022, intensifying not just the general distrust but also the widespread feeling of power struggle with a deeply entrenched corporatism (2nd house Pluto).  This over-heated financial struggle for dominance will then peak shortly after the 2022 election.

And finally, using the 5:13 PM US chart, transiting Neptune has just finished its last crossing square to the US Ascendant (12Sagittarius59) as of February 7, in the heat of the fevered pitch over Memo-gate.  Although this aspect is now separating, the transit of Neptune to the US progressed Sun (13Pisces22) will continue through February 18, and then recommence in mid-September through mid-January 2019.  This potent Neptune impact brings with it confusion, deception, and illusion, as well as adding to the hyperbolic emotion already existent in the Plutonian conspiracy theories. We can hope for some calming of the crazy after February 18, at least until late summer.

There is also one very significant aspect going on currently in Disgraceful Donnie’s chart, and that is the Saturn transit square to his Neptune (5Libra51) which is almost exactly parallel the Saturn opposition to US Jupiter (5Cancer56). As mentioned, it runs from February1 to February 11, June 14 to June 27, and finally, from November 1 to November 11. Neptune tends to unrealistic expectations to the point of significant self-deception, if not illusion. These tend to come crashing down in the face of reality, especially during a Saturn transit.  And what have we seen in the past several days: the sudden plummeting of an overheated Stock Market and the revelation of the Nunes Memo as a much-hyped nothing burger.  Both of these events have brought crushing disappointment to Delusional Donnie’s magical expectations (Saturn square Neptune). We can, therefore, hope that the repeat of this transit over the time of the 2018 election and the days following will also mark the crushing of Donnie Boy’s unrealistic and self-deceptive expectations, this time regarding the Midterms. Fingers crossed!