October Tensions

In recent months, at least until the overwhelming magic of the Pope’s visit this past week swept away everything else in our thoughts, the nation has been consumed with the 2016 presidential election. Most other stories have disappeared amidst the cacophonous bluster and outrageous bombast of the GOP presidential wannabes, and, in particular, the din created by the most brazen of the lot, Donald Trump. But for all who have forgotten, Barack Obama is still the president, and the country continues to push forward along its often bumpy path of destiny.

As we enter October 2015, there are some astrological configurations that point to significant stress during the course of the month, both for the president and for the nation. The larger context is the final phase of the Pluto transit opposite the US Sun (13Cancer19) through early November. This transit began with a long station of Pluto in the early months of 2014, largely coinciding with Russia’s unexpected military push into Ukraine and the resulting destabilization and violence in that nation, as well as a buildup of tensions between the US and a newly combative post-Soviet Russia. This final phase is coinciding with Russia’s new and unexpected push into Syria where it will be aiding President Assad against the rebels, including ISIS. Once again, the US is in a quandary over how aggressively to respond and how to evaluate the newly emerging threat to its policies and its standing.USchart

The transit of Pluto opposite the Sun essentially describes the sense of a dangerous threat of some kind, with the caveat that reacting with too much or too little force can be hazardous. Part of the struggle is calibrating the appropriate rejoinder without causing an increase in harm. This transit creates a great deal of tension and anxiety, while forcing a strong, focused, but careful response. For the US, it will not only include an increase in tensions with Russia (and Putin is currently under a Pluto transit square to his Sun, and thus also struggling with his own sense of perceived threat), but also other challenges to present policy that create deep anxiety while demanding both action and caution.

In addition, there is a grouping of configurations in mid to late October that suggest some random act of violence leading to a national story of upset and loss. In the US chart, progressed retrograde Mars (18Libra11) is currently opposite the 4th house progressed Chiron (17Aries15). This combination will be transited by Uranus from September 22 through November 8, with both simultaneously being impacted by Uranus from October 9 through October 17. In the US chart, both natal and progressed Chiron in the 4th house in Aries point to the penchant of Americans to be angry at and attack one another. The multi-year addition of progressed Mars here highlights this tendency, while the transit of Uranus to this configuration greatly increases the likelihood of sudden and violent events. The last crossing of Uranus to progressed Chiron opposite progressed Mars came in April 2015 at the time of the death of Freddie Grey, due to the malfeasance of police in Baltimore, and the angry and violent aftermath of that event. This was a national story of police misconduct that generated both anger and feelings of deep sorrow among many.

The final three weeks of April 2015 also brought the transit of Saturn opposite Obama’s Moon (3 Gemini21) and quincunx the US Venus (3Cancer06), indicative of the subsequent sorrow and grief surrounding the Freddie Grey circumstances. While the Uranus/Chiron/Mars combination suggested sudden, fierce and potent violence, it is the Saturn transit impacting US Venus that indicated a national story of upset and sorrow.

From October 13 through October 25, 2015, we will again have the sorrow of a Saturn transit impacting US Venus and Obama’s Moon, which seems likely to again be sparked by the sudden and violent events indicated by a Uranus transit to the US progressed Mars/progressed Chiron combination, most likely at some point between October 9 and October 17. Indeed, the Sun/Uranus opposition active from October 10 through October 12 offers a dangerous platform for some sudden, roiling circumstances.

One can hope that eventually the many examples of pointless and seemingly unrestrained gun violence, as well as tensions between police and the community will lead to more thoughtful and comprehensive laws and policies. However, the slow-moving retrograde of progressed Mars opposite progressed Chiron in Aries in the US 4th house will be with us through the spring of 2019. Exact at 17Aries/Libra 41, it will be crossed again by Uranus in February 2016 and squared by Pluto multiple times in 2017. These configurations seem likely to bring some painful and repeated violent experiences that will ultimately, after much sorrow, lead to a muting of some of the more dangerous and aggressive impulses in our national character. Let us hope that our tendency to be angry and aggressive toward one another is in the midst of a profound multi-year transformation going forward, though it may be awhile before we see the improvement.

Joe, Bernie, and Hillary

It has come down to three candidates on the Democratic side: the warm-hearted, sitting Vice President, Joe Biden, who is not yet officially running; the insurgent Bernie Sanders, who has a passionate, growing, and energized following; and the establishment Hillary Clinton, who has been bogged down by her own caution and a well-orchestrated email “scandal”, effectively whipped up by Republicans attempting to diminish her stature.

Although “everyone loves Joe Biden” is the usual narrative, this feeling may peak to some extent by mid-November 2015. Currently, converse Venus is square his natal Sun (exact around October 5); progressed Venus is conjunct natal South Node (exact November 8); and transiting Pluto is semisquare natal Venus (passing after November 13). If these three were in effect over next year and through the election, I would suggest that the immense popularity they describe could bring him a win. But they will be dissipating very soon, leaving behind some weaker indicators of popularity that will nonetheless finish before the Democratic Convention (progressed Venus square progressed Uranus, exact in early April, and progressed Venus sextile natal Moon, exact in July 2016).biden

Moreover, there will be some strong Saturn aspects in Biden’s future, beginning in December 2015 and continuing into early 2017, which point to some emotional struggles and significant stresses which will become part of his campaign experience should he run. Saturn will move into a square with natal Saturn in late December 2015 and again for a protracted station in July and August 2016. Saturn will also station close to a sesquiquadrate with Biden’s Moon from mid-February through mid-April 2016. Although the increased energy and drive of progressed Sun square to natal Mars will be his through mid-September 2016, I see little to suggest a winning presidential run at the end of the year and think it would be best for him, already emotionally compromised by the tragic loss of his son, to sit this one out.

I am somewhat caught between Bernie and Hillary; they both look like they could win, and they both will also run into difficulties. Bernie’s immense popularity clearly holds through the election and the Inauguration, with progressed Node conjunct Jupiter into January 2017 and converse Venus conjunct converse Node through February 2017. In addition, there will be a great deal of the outgoing, optimistic, and expansive energy from strong transits of Jupiter, signifying success from December 2015 on and off through February 2017: conjunct his Node in December 2015 and January 2016; square his Jupiter for the second half of February; conjunct the Sun in late March and mid-June; and conjunct the Node again immediately after the Convention and into early August 2016. Jupiter will also station on his Venus during all of January and February 2017. These configurations point to much success and contentment.bernie

Beginning in January 2016 and running for a year, Bernie’s progressed Sun will oppose natal Uranus. This will be triggered by transiting Pluto in July and August and again from late September through just before the election. It suggests a path of fierce independence from the status quo and tumultuous and unexpected twists and turns along the way. Bernie will also gain a strong dose of combativeness from late May through mid-September with transiting Uranus conjunct natal Mars compounded by tertiary Mars square natal Sun (July through early September). This is what might be expected from a candidate moving from the primaries into the general election.

The difficulties are suggested by the transit of Saturn square to Bernie’s Sun during most of February and again from late March through late April 2016. The final crossing comes over the time of the actual election from November 2 through November 12. These periods could point to times when Hillary is showing strength in the primaries or perhaps other difficulties during the primary season. The Saturn transit square the Sun at the time of the election is also confusing, given the relatively positive aspects that show up otherwise during that time and in January. There is additionally a tertiary progressed Saturn conjunction to natal Jupiter from March 2016 through June 2017. This aspect may also put a damper on things and point to Bernie using his popularity and presence to help other Democratic candidates including Hillary Clinton, rather than furthering his own candidacy.

On the whole, I would say that Bernie looks a lot stronger than Hillary, except for some interesting aspects in Hillary’s chart from August 2016 through early March 2017.   It should also be noted that I have no birth time for Bernie, and Hillary’s birth time is given as either 8 AM or 8 PM, both uncorroborated. For our purposes here, I am using 8:02 PM, giving her Cancer rising, and putting the ruling Moon in the very public realm of the 10th house and in aspect to both the Ascendant and the Mars/Pluto conjunction. But really, this chart cannot be seen as reliable and must be considered accordingly.

Hillary’s biggest problems come from the planet Neptune. Using either birth time, Neptune aspects are with her throughout the campaign. With the later chart, these issues extend into the early months of 2017 and are even more pronounced from late December 2015 through early April 2016, due to the progressed and converse progressed Moon conjunctions with natal and progressed Neptune. Otherwise, in both charts we are looking at progressed Sun square natal and progressed Neptune and progressed Mercury square natal and progressed Neptune from the second half of 2015 throughout 2016. Essentially, Neptune’s strong presence describes a murky and unsubstantiated aura of dishonesty, opaqueness, and scandal. It tends to erode and diminish that which once seemed solid and substantial. It makes it very difficult to get a grip on what is really happening.hillary2

The other problem for Hillary is the converse Venus conjunction to natal Saturn, which peaks in January 2016 in the 8 AM chart and late June 2016 in the 8 PM chart. This is one of many factors that make the 8 AM chart a better fit for a successful presidential run. The Venus/Saturn combination sharply inhibits popularity and likability, probably the biggest necessities in a campaign. If this aspect does pass by late January, and the progressed Moon/Neptune aspects are not an issue (8 AM chart), the overall outlook for Hillary would be far better.hillary

The most notable aspects in Hillary’s favor may be found in the tertiary progressions (one day equals one month calculation). There is a multi-year tertiary progressed Pluto square to natal Venus that extends into 2020 and that is triggered by transiting Pluto sextile natal Venus in January and early February 2016, as well as late May through early July and for all of November 2016. This aspect indicates a strong attractiveness and intensity in the candidate, but also adds to the highly polarized attitudes that swirl around her.

Even more significant is the tertiary Jupiter moving to conjunct natal Mars (August through November 2016) and conjunct natal Pluto (November 2016 through March 2017), joined by the tertiary Sun for all of January and early February 2017. It should be noted that Mars and Pluto are particularly important in this chart as the co-rulers of Hillary’s multiple Scorpio planets and possibly her Ascendant. This unique and potent combination of tertiary Sun and tertiary Jupiter conjunct natal Mars and natal Pluto, culminating in the Inauguration and early days of the next presidency, may well be seen as pointing to the pinnacle of Hillary’s success and achievement. Because of it, I will not rule her out as the winner in 2016 despite the confusing waves of Neptune attempting to drown out her candidacy.

Debate Tonight

Tonight is the second Republican debate. Although 16 candidates remain, Donald Trump continues to stomp on the entire process with his gargantuan and blistering presence. Since everyone has a theory about why he has been so unexpectedly effective, I thought I would add my two cents here, while starting a new thread.

It seems to me that Trump is tapping an inchoate rage that itself has been animated and encouraged by right-wing politicians and right-wing media for years. The arrival of a gifted candidate who could mine this political vein of gold was inevitable. A highly effective orator, Trump stimulates the already over-inflated sense of victimhood in his followers, reminding them how powerless and angry they are. Then he purports to rescue them by absorbing them into his aura of superhuman confidence and infinite power, promising to fix all problems just by his herculean presence.

It is a heady and addicting mix, an irresistible offer by Trump to share in his overwhelming strength and unbending confidence, while promising simple and easy mastery of every challenge. Somewhat reminiscent of the inflated, habit-forming and unhinged confidence of a cocaine high, Trump’s spiel is nothing but a well-packaged illusion. What his supporters do not see is that the real estate mogul-turned-candidate is the consummate snake oil salesman, selling the fantasy of inordinate power, while in reality offering naught but a vast well of vague and empty promises.

The Trump Reality Show

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.

Discussion thread