21st Jun, 2016

Discussion thread

I will try and post something with some substance soon. Meanwhile, enjoy the discussion. No sniping!

At long last, the primary season is effectively over. Hillary Clinton garnered huge victories in California and New Jersey, as well as winning in New Mexico and South Dakota. Her masterful speech, highlighting her achievement as the first woman to win a party’s nomination, was a triumph she shared with all women, of all ages and all races, as well as with the fathers, brothers, and sons in their lives.  My sense is that Bernie Sanders may take another week or so to let go, moving from aggressive revolutionary (Uranus conjunct his Mars) to magnanimous unifier (Jupiter conjunct his Sun), on or around June 15. But the dye is now cast, and there will be no turning back. This leaves us with the final, ultimate battle: Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton.

As for Donald Trump, once again he has surprised us. We were treated to a real spectacle on primary night when Donald finally acquiesced to his handlers and became, for a moment, Donald the Castrated. Like the castrati of old who were robbed of their testicles so that they could sing as their masters wished, Donald performed for the Republican Establishment that night, rather than for his rabid base. As consistently horrifying as Donald the Unhinged is to those of us who have not drunk the KoolAid, the robotic, emasculated version of The Donald we witnessed during his carefully crafted speech was not only alarming but truly bizarre, with his characteristic swagger, bluster, viciousness, and racism carefully excised so as not to intimidate the party poobahs.  My head is still spinning.  Nonetheless, we should remember that this was a momentary image manipulation, and there is little doubt the real Donald Trump, the nasty snake oil salesman and King of Tweets we have come to know all too well, will soon re-emerge.

Hopefully, the media and the Clinton campaign will continue to push the unsavory saga of Trump University, although Trump himself will attempt to avoid it like the kryptonite that it is.  This story has the potential to be the real turning point in the whole campaign. Ironically, Trump’s racist rants against the judge presiding over the case, though they have caused a huge wave of upset across the country and among the GOP establishment, were initially intended as a diversion from the real issue that truly threatens his campaign.

Indeed, the tale of Trump University is a perfect analogy to the Trump presidential campaign. In essence, it is about people in need being ruthlessly manipulated, guaranteed riches and success, by a world-class huckster who in reality was offering nothing but empty promises and grandiose dreams. The whole thing was a masterful marketing promotion with no real substance to back it up, just like the Trump campaign.

The danger of the Trump University story is that it is easy to understand and easy to relate to. The snake oil Trump sold at Trump University and the snake oil he sells now derives its potency from his glorified name, his blustery confidence, and his bragged-about brilliance. To those who join with him, he offers an irresistible fantasy: a share in the wealth and success he generates just because of who he is. But, ultimately, the only winner is Trump’s perpetual need for self-aggrandizement.  If it ever becomes clear to his followers that he is nothing but a snake oil salesman, with a polished veneer barely masking his greed and self-absorption, his support will vanish.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, offers us a steady, resolute and solid sense of purpose. In the same way that the Grandmother is the dependable backbone of the family and can be trusted when difficulties strike, I see Hillary as fulfilling the most positive aspects of this archetype.  She may not have the charisma of The Donald, but she projects a deep concern, wisdom, and a steady caring for all who live in this country, as well as the ferociousness of the lioness defending her cubs. Her attacks on Trump come from a deep realization of the true danger he represents to the nation and the world. Moreover, despite the recent focus on a few high-priced speeches to Wall Street, Clinton’s entire life has been about public service. For decades, she has worked tirelessly on children’s issues, civil rights issues, women’s issues, health care, poverty and more. Her drive to be President is a natural outgrowth of her inner imperative for public service, as it should be, rather than the ultimate in self-aggrandizement that fuels her opponent.

 

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Trump has been struggling with the transit of Uranus square to his Saturn (23Cancer48) since late May. The agitation and stress implied by this crossing will continue to intensify through July 10, due to the addition of transiting Mars trine natal Saturn for much of the period from June 14 through July 10, as well as transiting Saturn sesquiquadrate natal Venus (25Cancer44) from June 22 through July 9. During this time, we can expect further well-honed criticism and focused attacks to be heaped on the very thin-skinned Trump, likely to deeply upset him and again precipitate a multitude of irritable, angry, and possibly unhinged responses. Someone with the significant mental imbalance he has thus far exhibited during the campaign (causing many, including myself, to suggest a Narcissistic Personality Disorder) tends to decompensate under severe stress. This is one of many reasons that he should be disqualified from the presidential race and never permitted to enter the enormous pressure and high-stakes reality of life as president.trump

Nonetheless, the period from July 18 through August 5 will bring to Trump a series of Jupiter transits that seem likely to smooth the waters and generally bring him through a successful convention as the GOP’s presidential nominee.  By August, however, Uranus will go back into a waxing square with Trump’s Saturn through September 10, and transiting Saturn will move again to sesquiquadrate his Venus from August 13 through September 17. This is likely to bring another period, from August through mid-September, of very effective attacks against Trump that get under his skin and possibly cause him to respond angrily and impulsively.

He may fare better during October until the election, enjoying the adulation and the crowds described by tertiary progressed Venus conjunct his Ascendant. The Venus/Ascendant combination might even suggest a female running mate, since it points to an increase in female energy in his immediate environment. The tertiary progressed Sun will be conjunct tertiary Neptune for most of October as well, pointing to the grandiose illusion of possibly becoming president.

I continue to think that Trump’s presidential bid will fail. His progressed Moon will move into a one-degree orb of conjunction with his natal Saturn as of November 6 for a month, intensified by the transiting Node semisquare to Saturn from November 14 through 26. These suggest sadness, loss, and general emotional contraction. This will be followed by multiple Saturn transits from December 18 through January 14 and again for the first half of February. These signal a sharp decrease in power, prestige, and popularity.

Currently, Hillary Clinton is greatly enjoying the powerful strengthening of her natal Venus (16Scorpio14), due to a transiting Pluto sextile, a transiting Node sextile, and, as of June 15 through June 25, transiting Jupiter sextile. These aspects will carry her through July 5th, suggesting popularity, increasing poll numbers, and a likely resolution with Bernie Sanders. There are no significantly stressful aspects in her chart between now and the election, with a more or less ongoing stream of mild but steady strengthening of the beneficent and optimistic Jupiter through mid-February 2017 (transiting Pluto semisquare natal Jupiter, transiting Jupiter opposite natal Moon, tertiary Jupiter opposite natal Mars and then opposite natal Pluto). Moreover, the transit of Pluto sextile her natal Venus will return from November 1 through December 11 again boosting her popularity and warm support. I firmly believe that the good Grandma who we can always depend on to have our backs will easily trounce the nasty, self-absorbed snake oil salesman and send him packing.hillary

30th May, 2016

A Dark Mood

What would a Donald Trump presidency be like? For the millions of Americans who remain sane and clear-thinking despite the hypnotic pull of the Presidential Election Reality Show in progress, images of economic and environmental collapse, metastasizing military conflict, and the destruction of global cooperation haunt the collective imagination. These fears are actually a rational response to the unhinged policy pronouncements of The Donald: a trade war with Mexico and China; an end to all environmental regulation; the expulsion of 11 million illegal immigrants; a cavalier attitude to nuclear proliferation and the possible use of nuclear weapons; a halt to any collective response to Climate Change; and a ban on all Muslims entering the country, to name just the most obvious and most odious.

Moreover, for those who follow global affairs, there is also a sense of an increasingly out-of-control disaster unfolding on the world stage. The cancer of terrorism and war is spreading and destabilizing a wide swath of countries throughout the Middle East. While millions of refugees are fleeing this chaos and danger, increasingly robust and xenophobic right-wing political movements in the US and Europe are emerging in response.

And so, a dark mood of despair is spreading in response to both domestic politics and international dysfunction. One astrological factor that is fueling this depressing disposition is the ongoing Saturn/Neptune square that has been in effect since November 2015 and will continue through mid-September 2016. Saturn often brings fear, depression, and insecurity, which in normal times can be somewhat managed with self-restraint, perseverance, and lowered expectations. The addition of Neptune, however, augments these dark feelings to a fevered pitch, and it becomes very difficult to remain grounded and rational. The frightening fantasies become overwhelming and uncontrollable.  This is not to say that the situations we find in the present day are not extremely dangerous and difficult. But it does describe the underlying emotional mood of many in response.

 

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At long last, as of June 7, the 2016 primary season will come to an end in New Jersey and California. It is doubtful that anyone will grieve its passing. It seems likely that Hillary Clinton will clinch the Democratic nomination that night. Not only is transiting Pluto now back in sextile to her natal Venus (16Scorpio14), from May 20 through July 5, but the transiting Node will also move into a sextile with Clinton’s Venus as of June 5, continuing for two weeks, and will be further joined by Jupiter sextile her Venus from June 15 through June 25. These combined aspects to Clinton’s Venus suggest an upswing of popularity and success.hillary

For Hillary, however, her birth Venus is square to natal Pluto and also in the midst of a multi-year tertiary Pluto exact square to natal Venus. Thus, despite the increase in popularity and widespread impact that the strong focus on her Venus will bring, the impact of Pluto here also describes an increase in scrutiny, judgement, and criticism. Moreover, these issues are part of a life-long struggle. Clinton’s natal Mars/Pluto conjunction in Leo is square to natal Venus and Mercury, and likely the Ascendant, all in Scorpio, suggesting that she is a powerful and relentless fighter (Mars/Pluto) who deals with an endless barrage of manipulation and attacks from opponents. The vast right-wing conspiracy she described back in the nineties was never an illusion.

Needless to say, Bernie Sanders will not go quietly into the night, not by any measure. Uranus continues its conjunction with his natal Mars (23Aries41) through June 14, while transiting Mars will retrograde across his Ascendant (25Scorpio) from June 8 through June 13, suggesting he will be extremely aggressive in his political pursuits and possible legal action after the final primaries, at least through June 14. Moreover, transiting Jupiter will be crossing Bernie’s Sun from June 8 through June 18, suggesting he garners some success in his mission.bernie

It may be that the period from June 15 through June 25 is the time when Clinton and Sanders will come together at last. For her, transiting Jupiter, Pluto, and the Node will be sextile her Venus. For him, the more aggressive Mars energy will fade, while the generous and magnanimous feel of Jupiter will be quite strong. They may both find satisfaction around that time.

For months now, we have been drowning in a deluge of non-stop coverage of the bluster, bullying, and braggadocio of Donald Trump.  It has not been possible to turn on cable news, or, for that matter, any TV news show, without being accosted by an endless stream of video and discussion of The Donald. Across the nation, his larger-than-life personality has become ubiquitous, just as it has been in New York for decades, where his name is arrogantly stamped in bold letters across a multitude of the phallic-shaped buildings of the metropolitan skyline. You would literally have to be blind to avoid his grandiose presence.

Although Trump knows virtually nothing about policy or government, he is a master at manipulating the media and magnifying his image. Much like a junkie craving his fix, Trump’s need for attention and self-aggrandizement is overwhelming, and ultimately dispositive of both morality and good judgment. Through skillful manipulation of shocking statements, outrage, and fear, he manages to keep the public eye on himself at all times, sucking the oxygen away from any other candidate and all other news stories, while constantly feeding his voracious narcissism.

But before we see this needy, attention-grabbing buffoonery as only a Trumpian pathology, we should note its contamination of the entire political process. Both the media and the politically-interested public have become subsumed by The Donald’s dysfunction.  Indeed, we have also become addicts of a sort, hopelessly hooked on the unending psychodrama of Trump’s campaign, on the daily dose of outrage and shock, and on being witness to boundary after boundary of expected decorum being shredded. It is titillating, it is exciting, and it is horrifying, much like a top-rated Hollywood production or the best of reality TV. One might even say that Trump has co-opted the entire political process into one big reality TV show.

Even more alarming, The Donald has successfully projected himself onto the national stage as larger-than-life and immeasurably powerful.  He is all the pundits talk about, he is on every front page every day, and – this is the most crucial – he is beginning to feel inevitable, like the daily fix we cannot do without even if it appalls us.

Put another way, imagine for a moment this race was suddenly between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. After the dizzying whirlwind ride we have experienced in the last several months, switching from all Trump all the time to Hillary versus Jeb might feel like we were going from a daily diet of chocolate mousse to one of unseasoned canned spinach. One is exotic, intriguing and rich but very bad for your health; the other is mildly beneficial, somewhat tasteless, and rather boring. The danger for us today is that we are hooked on a steady diet of the mousse, dulling our taste for all else, even while this rich chocolate confection is making us sick.  Sober has never been as much fun as going on a bender, but it does allow us to nurture our relationships, further our goals, and fulfill our responsibilities. The mindless bender can only lead to disaster, but we need to look in the mirror before we have any hope of stopping it.

 

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Probably the most signficant astrological signature in Trump’s chart pointing to his current success and popularity on the stage of presidential politics is his progressed Sun conjunct his natal Ascendant (29Leo55), which itself is conjunct the fixed star Regulus.  In the heart of the constellation of the Lion, Regulus is known as the “royal star”, conferring an aura of royalty and honor upon the individual. With the progressed Sun there, waxing from July 2015 through July 2016, Trump has emerged full force on the national scene as if he were manifesting some form of American kingship: arrogant, regal, and authoritarian. Although this progression will begin to wane in August, it will gain some extra energy from mid-July through October 10 by the transit of Pluto sesquiquadrate to the natal Ascendant. Pluto, however, is a double-edged sword, and will bring an uncomfortable measure of power struggle into the mix.

Also hugely benefitting Trump has been the transit of Jupiter through Virgo, which was in square to his stellium in Gemini (Uranus, Node, Sun), as well as square to his Moon in Sagittarius during the first months of the primary season. The final crossing of this very beneficial, expansive, and success-inducing transit will occur from July 18 through August 5, essentially during and just after the high drama of the Republican convention, essentially sealing the deal for the presumptive GOP nominee.

In a few days, however, problems will begin to emerge for Trump as the most vulnerable part of his chart begins to get agitated. In his natal chart, Trump has a Saturn/Venus conjunction in Cancer, which points to a rather brittle and stressed emotional reality. This configuration is probably the source of his bottomless need for praise, approval, and attention, as well as describing an acute hypersensitivity to criticism, possibly in reaction to some kind of very deep, early childhood emotional wound or perceived lack of love and empathy.  As of May 23 and running through September 10, transiting Uranus will be square to Trump’s natal Saturn (23Cancer48). This suggests many sudden and stressful attacks that irritate and upset him and may throw him off his game, most likely from negative campaign ads and public figures denouncing him. This transit will be especially active from June 14 through June 19 and June 29 through July 10, during which transiting Mars will be trine natal Saturn, as well as from July 28 through September 10, the last most potent part of this crossing.

Adding to the bruising nature of the Uranus transit to natal Saturn will be another transit, that of Saturn sesquiquadrate natal Venus (25Cancer44), from August 13 through September 17. Owing to the natal conjunction, any Saturn transit to Venus can be especially difficult, and this is a protracted crossing of five weeks duration. Again, it implies criticisms and personal challenges that cut deeply and are very distressing to the hitherto seemingly indestructible Donald. My sense, from these two transits to Trump’s natal Venus/Saturn conjunction, is that political attacks will erode some of his popularity, and his Teflon image of invulnerability will be greatly diminished during August and September.

October may be a little easier for Trump, and he may seem to gain back at least some momentum. Tertiary Sun will be conjunct tertiary Neptune, creating large and unrealistic expectations. In addition, tertiary Venus will be conjunct his natal Ascendant right up to Election Day, pointing to successful political rallies and some increase in poll numbers, making the candidate feel loved by the adoring crowds. Noteworthy is that this energy dissipates quickly as of the day of the election.

Beginning around November 6 and building through November, Trump’s progressed Moon will be moving to conjunct his natal Saturn, again intensifying his deepest insecurities and a feeling of loss. This uncomfortable and stressful transit will be further strengthened by the transiting Node semisquare to natal Saturn from November 14 through November 26.

December 2016 and January 2017 also contain tertiary Venus conjunct tertiary Saturn (12/8 to 1/7) and transiting Saturn conjunct natal South Node and natal Moon as well as opposite natal Sun (12/18 to 1/14). Taken together, these transits suggest a generally melancholy period, with upsets, frustrations, and severe limits on goals and expectations. In sum, the configurations  in Trump’s chart seem unlikely to correspond to the exciting and celebratory early days of a presidential win nor do they imply the taking over of enormous executive power.

 

It seems that Donald Trump has managed to co-opt the entire political process with a horrifying, addicting reality show. What we thought was a wild summer blockbuster that would quickly fade in the sober consideration of the fall, now has the durability and feel of a lurid, no-longer-amusing combination of Sharknado and Survivor. At first it was entertaining; now it is becoming a pernicious and ugly contagion. The anti-immigrant fervor fueled by Trump is rising;  violence is being committed in his name;  the White Supremacist movement has adopted him;  and he has humiliated and verbally abused the most beloved and respected Hispanic journalist in the country. Trump’s rhetoric is becoming edgier and nastier, and his supporters love it.

When I first looked at Trump’s chart, I didn’t go any further than September. The initial indicators of his success shifted in mid-August, when the criticism and push-back from the establishment began, and then seemed to become increasingly muted after the middle of September when the tertiary progressed Jupiter conjunct his Moon (21Sagittarius12) would begin to fade. Moreover, the Saturn transit square to his Ascendant (29Leo55) for the first half of September indicated some definite frustrations and complications, which will no doubt come. But I should have looked further.trump

Beginning in the third week of November 2015, and continuing with only some occasional breaks until August 5, 2016, will be a series of very potent Jupiter transits –  square Trump’s Uranus (17Gemini53), square his Node (20Gemini48), square his Moon (21Sagittarius12), and square his Sun (22Gemini55). This multi-pronged transit suggests success and optimism and is very strong in the early primary months, as well as during and just after the GOP Convention. Moreover, transiting Uranus will be opposite his Jupiter (17Libra27) from late December 2015 through mid-February 2016, and progressed Moon will be square progressed Venus (15Libra13) in April, as well as square natal Jupiter in June. All of this suggests popularity and a very strong, expansive and successful period from November 2015 through August 5. It seems very possible that Trump will either win the Republican nomination outright or run as a Third Party candidate.

There are, however, also some indications of serious stress from late May through mid-September 2016, pointing to some serious triggers of Trump’s thin-skinned irritability which stems from his natal Saturn/Venus conjunction in Cancer. This may be when the GOP establishment does its best to oust him and/or the criticisms from the media and the Democrats start to really get under his skin. Transiting Uranus will make a long station square to his natal Saturn (23Cancer48) from late May through mid-September. Moreover, the transit of Saturn close to a station sesquiquadrate his natal Venus (25Cancer44), triggering his natal Saturn/Venus conjunction and stabbing his already over-reactive narcissism in the heart, is likely to be very difficult. This will be most notable from June 22 through July 9 and August 13 through September 17. Note that the second half of this prolonged Saturn/Venus transit comes after the uplifting Jupiter energy has passed.

The planetary alignment in October 2016 certainly suggests campaigning, with tertiary Venus conjunct the Ascendant through November 8 (Election Day) and tertiary Sun conjunct tertiary Neptune through October. These suggest a happy time surrounded by supporters, with grandiose and illusory plans.

After Election Day it is a different story. There are a multitude of Saturn transits and progressions involving Saturn that point to a clear loss. Progressed Moon will conjunct natal Saturn from November 6 through December 2; tertiary Venus will conjunct tertiary Saturn from December 8 through January 7; transiting Saturn will cross the South Node and the Moon and oppose the Sun covering the period from December 18 to January 14. And interestingly, converse Moon will square natal Mars from December 4 through early January, suggesting aggression and irritability. Thus, we see an angry and upset Trump after the election, despite his months of blustering and delusional fantasies of taking over the country and molding it into his image.

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