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!

21st Jan, 2018

Shut Down

The big news now is, of course, the government shutdown. In the realm of toxic partisanship, it is known alternatively as the Trump Shutdown or the Schumer Shutdown, or, my favorite from a sign yesterday at the DC Women’s March, the Shithole Shutdown. In my humble opinion, that one ties it all together nicely.

Nonetheless, it was probably inevitable that our two sides, which agree on nothing including reality itself, would come to total paralysis. So here we are. Interestingly, both Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have some strong, optimistic planetary configurations over the next couple of days:  Jupiter opposite Schumer’s Moon and opposite Pelosi’s Venus. So some kind of resolution in favor of the Dems might be possible through the 24th or maybe the 25th. But the energy shifts somewhat around the 24th and 25th, with Venus crossing Paul Ryan’s Venus/Sun conjunction and Jupiter opposing Mitch McConnell’s Mars, suggesting that from the 25th on for a few days, the GOP is happier. In other words, resolution during the final six days of January is slightly but not completely in favor of the Republicans.

If there is no resolution by February, things could get very difficult. Essentially, almost everyone looks miserable. And whether it is still the shutdown or something else, there are some serious stresses impacting our teetering system. Paul Ryan will have his progressed Moon square his progressed Saturn (6Taurus33) for all of February, followed by transiting Saturn square to his Uranus (8Libra40) in March. Mitch McConnell will have transiting Saturn sesquiquadrate his Mars/Saturn conjunction (21-22Taurus) from February 8 to March 1. Both GOP leaders will be frustrated and highly upset over circumstances for the entire month.

Nancy Pelosi will have Saturn sesquiquadrate her Venus (20Taurus16) beginning on January 27 through February 6, followed by Saturn square her Sun (5Aries53), until February 11. In addition, Schumer, will have Saturn sesquiquadrate his Moon (20Taurus17), also from January 27 to February 6.This describes an extremely stressful and challenging period, but of note, it ends weeks before the comparative difficulties on the GOP side end.

As for the odious and shameless creature now defiling the White House, the first 11 days of February will also bring him some significant stress, with transiting Saturn making its first of three crossings square to his Neptune (5Libra21). This suggests some confrontation between reality and his usual lies and delusions. This strain will run parallel the transit of Saturn opposite the US Jupiter (5Cancer56), so perhaps there will be some economic consequences to the shutdown or other financial challenges that must be faced at that time.

Of perhaps greater concern, is the period from late February through mid to late March.  It is during this time that our already rage-addled commander will be infused with more impatience and anger than his usual toxic mix. From February 26 to March 19, transiting Uranus will trine Trump’s Mars (26Leo47), triggering the solar arc Uranus conjunction to his Mars that continues to build until July. This makes him ripe for aggressive, unpredictable and impulsive actions.

In an almost parallel transit (2/25 to 3/12), Saturn will cross the IC (7 ½ Capricorn) and square the Ascendant (7Libra) in the New Year chart drawn for Washington, DC, pointing to some strain experienced in the country at the same time. And finally, the transit of Pluto will make its first quincunx to US Mars (21Gemini23), albeit shy about 6 minutes, from February 22 through April 24. Here we see the country as well as Trump feeling more aggressive, perhaps pushing toward a more assertive foreign policy.

Whatever these stressful situations that include Trump’s hyper aggression and the country’s deep concerns in February and March, they will lead to a very significant strain for the Mandarin Monster in the White House. The Saturn station from March 9 through May 7 will essentially sit opposite Trump’s Mercury (8Cancer52), which is the ruler of his Gemini Sun, North Node, and Uranus. The overlap of depression (Saturn/Mercury) and rage (Uranus/Mars) from March 9 to March 19 seems most likely to create some wild acting out from our Toddler-in- Chief. Thus, more mind-numbing drama, distraction, and destruction can be expected in the coming months. Welcome to 2018.

3rd Jan, 2018

The Long View

This past year has been deeply disturbing and profoundly disheartening for a multitude of reasons. We long for a world of opportunity, hope, and sanity, while we struggle to stay afloat in a sea of narrow-minded selfishness and short-sighted cowardice engendered by Republican governance. We desperately hope for the crushing of the Megalomaniacal Monster and his twisted reign of narcissism, manipulation, and greed, while his swath of destruction marches ever onward, administered by his minions from Hell. It is not at all clear that any of this will shift in the near term, but it is useful to look at the longer trends to begin to get a grip on what is happening to us and find a glimmer of hope among the ashes.

The first thing to understand is that the US progressed Sun moved from Aquarius and into Pisces at the end of 2004, where it will remain until November 2034. The previous thirty years, with the US progressed Sun in Aquarius, brought with them unsurpassed technological innovation and scientific advancement, traits very much associated with Aquarius.

With the US progressed Sun now in Pisces, we are in a thirty year period of increased religiosity, as well as thinking ruled more by the shifting emotions of the day than by the fact-based analytical analysis we used to depend on. The country as a whole is less grounded, more emotional, and more prone to deception, illusion, a sense of grievance, and disappointment. Moreover, these difficult traits of the water sign Pisces are very much exacerbated at present while the transit of Neptune is conjunct the US progressed Sun, spanning roughly from late March 2016 through the first half of January 2019.

Thus, from the early months of the 2016 campaign through early January 2019, Americans have been and will continue to be highly susceptible to deception, false and manipulative narratives, unrealistic and ultimately disappointed expectations, and misguided, exaggerated, and changeable emotions. Using this particular frame of understanding, we may hope for some clarity emerging after January 2019, but the real awakening from this shifting, emotional, and rather unmoored state of mind will not come until the US progressed Sun moves into Aries in November 2034, ushering in a real rebirth in the nation’s self-awareness and agenda.

The second issue to be aware of is the building energy of the US Pluto return, which will be exact during much of 2022. Pluto’s placement in a chart describes where we will find an attempt to control and overwhelm all opposition, often leading to enormous power struggles and the tendency to take things to such an extreme that they implode and transform. It is useful to recall that the last time Pluto was in this position, the Declaration of Independence was written, and the 13 original colonies pushed back hard against the overwhelming power of the British Empire. One could say that the British pressed down too hard in their efforts to control their colonists, leading to the revolutionary resistance that led to the birth of a new and independent nation. This may be seen as a classic example of a Plutonian power struggle for survival, one which inexorably led to profound transformation.

In the current situation, the battle coalescing with the coming US Pluto return seems to be between the overwhelming financial and political power of concentrated wealth, especially the big corporations, and the rest of us. With the US natal Pluto in the 2nd house of personal finance and opposite US Mercury in the 8th house of investment and hidden wealth, the obsessive accumulation of wealth is a constant issue in America. As Pluto moves back toward its birth place, this compulsion to amass limitless wealth is on steroids. This unbridled impulse is clearly manifesting through the policies of the Trump administration and the Republican Congress, who bend their collective knee to the demands of their donor class, the uber wealthy and the big corporations. At the top of their wish list is the defanging of all regulation that might impede their profits, as well as the dramatic diminishing of their tax burden.  One need only glance at the new tax law or the destruction of most of the existing environmental and other corporate regulation to see this trend.

As this growing concentration of wealth continues, irrespective of all consequence, it will become so extreme that it will engender its own implosion, and, ultimately, transformation. This will be compounded by Pluto moving from Capricorn into Aquarius, briefly in 2023 and then completely in early 2024. At this point, there will begin to be a major shift in the power structures in the US and the world. The Aquarian dynamic, with Pluto in Aquarius from 2024 through 2043, will move us globally toward working together for common goals, greater diversity, and far more egalitarian social and economic structures. The historical antecedent to this coming era, the last time Pluto was in Aquarius from 1778 to 1798, included not only the final years of the US Revolution (1775 to 1783) and the emergence of the truly revolutionary US Constitution (1787 to 1789), but also the French Revolution (1789 to 1799) and its reverberations throughout the world. As described in Wikipedia:

The (French) Revolution resulted in the suppression of the feudal system, the emancipation of the individual, the greater division of landed property, the abolition of the privileges of noble birth and the nominal establishment of equality. The French Revolution differed from other revolutions in being not merely national, for it aimed at benefiting all humanity.

Thus, we can hope for big changes as Pluto moves through Aquarius beginning in 2024. But this transformation is likely to be precipitated by the extreme manifestation of concentrated wealth and an increasing abuse of power in the final years of Pluto in Capricorn and during the US Pluto return. And who better than Donald Trump to be the poster boy for the unbridled and greedy arrogance of wealth and privilege? I am in no way claiming that Trump will win again in 2020, but certainly the enormous corruption and concentration of wealth he has unleashed will continue for years, as we fight the Plutonian fight for survival against it through the mid to late 2020’s.  For now, we need to begin to truly conceptualize what we want this world to look like in the coming Pluto in Aquarius era. And what exactly will liberty, equality, and fraternity 2.0 mean as the US enters an entirely new cycle by 2035 with the progressed US Sun beginning the zodiac anew in Aries?

31st Dec, 2017

Happy New Year to All

Let’s hope the coming year is better than the last. Blessings and warm wishes to all!!