Glittering promises rained down upon the massive crowds, like candy tossed by Santa at a Christmas parade. To these bespelled and gullible throngs, dying industries would be revived, bringing back millions of well-paying jobs. Healthcare would be universal, cheap, and generous. All those nasty foreigners that are stealing our country would be expelled. And the greedy, corrupt government that wants to take our freedom and our money would be cleansed. Just hitch your wagon to that of the very rich, very successful, powerhouse Donald Trump, and everything would be “terrific” once again.

The repeated slogans that played on grievances and offered a shimmering mirage of the coming “greatness” became fuel for the raging bonfire of 2016’s Trumpmania.  “Lock her up”, “Lying press”, “Dishonest Hillary”, “Build a wall”, “Repeal and replace”, “Forgotten men and women”, and “Drain the swamp” kept the conflagration of rage and unbridled hope burning.

Now, as winter winds into spring, the stars are still shining brightly in the eyes of most of the cultish Trump worshipers, but the reality of his agenda is beginning to bleed through. The proposed replacement of Obamacare, known alternatively as Trumpcare or Ryancare, promises to rip health coverage away from 24 million people over the next decade, while offering billions in huge tax cuts for the super-rich. The orgy of regulation destruction set upon by Trump and his minions will save the global corporatists and their stockholders billions but will unharness massive pollution of the air and water, while cavalierly fueling the growing destruction of climate change.  Moreover, the Trump agenda includes cutting Medicaid, food and housing support for the poor, as well as science research and financial protections, all while lowering taxes on the wealthy and subsidizing a massive military buildup and a useless wall on the southern border.  As for “draining the swamp”, Trump’s cabinet is mostly a cadre of multi-billionaires and the politicians who supported and were subsidized by them.

The consistent thread through all of this is who benefits from these policies. Beyond the manipulative lip-service given to the Trumpophiles, the invariable winners in the real world are the mega-corporations and the billionaire class, and most especially the fossil fuel industry and the weapons manufacturers.  As is well known, deregulation and tax cuts for the rich have been the lifeblood of Republican policy makers for decades, and they are more obvious than ever in the Trump budget and health care proposals. As the fog lifts, draining the swamp has morphed into swelling the swamp, all the better to smother the whole country with its fetid stench.

………………………………

The larger context for the rise of corporatist power in the US today is the waxing Pluto return in the US chart which will be exact throughout much of 2022. Pluto in a natal chart describes an overwhelming, almost compulsive need to take things to an extreme, eventually leading to a profound transformation. Using the Sagittarius rising version of the US chart, Pluto (27Capricorn33) is in the second house, which describes the intense drive for material wealth and the near sacredness of capitalism in the US, as well as the huge pockets of hidden wealth and wielded power among the billionaire class. The coming Pluto return in 2022 is focusing increasing intensity on this position of Pluto, expanding the wealth and the unbridled greed of the oligarchs, as well as leading to an implosion of some kind and a major reset of this process during 2022. It is worth noting that during 2020, from February through most of November, transiting Saturn will cross US Pluto three times, suggesting some leashing of US Pluto during that year and therefore constraining the manifold efforts toward unbridled corporatism, and likely Donald Trump, during that period.

In the more immediate future, the month of April is a cause for concern. From April 5 through April 21, there will be a protracted Venus station (26Pisces54) square to a Saturn station (27Sagittarius43).  It seems likely there will be some ongoing story during that time of loss or sorrow, with unfolding chapters highlighted when transits to 27 degrees from other positions trigger this configuration  (4/8, 4/15- 4/17).  With Donald Trump’s second crossing of his Jupiter return from April 6 through April 13, we may see him opportunistically trying to capitalize on the initial events with some limited success.  Thus far, I have not been able to find any chart with 27 degrees of the mutable signs prominent, not among Trump staff, the US chart, major politicians, or news media. This suggests the most dramatic events will either be very localized in the US and/or impacting a foreign nation. Nonetheless, the protracted Saturn/Venus square suggests something quite difficult and deeply stressful somewhere, and we will have to wait to see where and how it unfolds.

There is a strangely dystopian feel in today’s America, as if we are in some bizarre futuristic reality.  Indeed, a creeping authoritarianism seems to be taking hold, while we are endlessly distracted by the appalling reality show of Trump Unhinged.  We keep missing the important, life-altering stories, while our eyes are glued to the stupefying circus.

The star of the show is, of course, the impulsive, blatantly dishonest, uncontrollable, unpredictable man at the center, Donald Trump. Unfortunately, he is also the president, thereby giving him almost limitless power to wreak havoc.  Many of the policies he is pushing upon us are not based in a realistic understanding of various situations, but instead are based in paranoid delusions of wild dangers and evil conspiracies.   This leads to enormously expensive, wasteful, and often harmful plans being enacted, while the real problems are either ignored or made far worse.

A wall on the Mexican border will do little to actually stop illegal immigration while being a gargantuan waste of resources that could be put to use elsewhere. Proposed funding for this boondoggle is likely to be syphoned from the Coast Guard, FEMA, and the TSA, among other crucial services. The ill-conceived Muslim ban actually threatens our national security by ratcheting up anger, resentment, and hatred against the US.  The hunt for and expulsion of illegal immigrants is breaking up families, hurting American-born children, and often sending away those who have done no harm, not to mention the increased expense of forcefully and precipitously expelling productive members of society. The absurd accusation claiming President Obama had “wiretapped” the Trump campaign has only served to overwhelm the media which should be covering the proposed and deeply problematic GOP replacement for Obamacare, the very real threat of North Korea, and the simmering fury engendered by the Muslim ban. At times, one wonders if this is purposeful distraction or just more unhinged narcissistic paranoia.

Meanwhile, almost 40% of the country seems to be enthralled in a cult-like worship of all things Trump.  Whatever he says is taken as truth, no matter how crazy it may sound to the rest of us and no matter what evidence is presented to the contrary. His followers have essentially been drawn into a bubble of distorted reality, and, much like the followers of any cult, they are captivated by the grandiose delusions of a charismatic and narcissistic leader. Moreover, he has successfully inoculated himself from any media revelations, claiming repeatedly for months now that the mainstream press are liars. In addition, his supporters are used as leverage against a supine Republican Congress that fears more for their own jobs than for the country.

……………………………….

 

Astrologically, the planet associated with deception, delusion, and dishonesty is Neptune. When strong, it can create widespread confusion, misdirection, and unrealistic expectations. Under Neptune, the perception of reality is often twisted by what one wants to see rather than being based on the facts on the ground.  Illusions look like reality, while reality seems confused and murky.

In the US chart, the progressed Sun has been in Pisces, Neptune’s sign, since late 2004 and will remain there until early November 2034. This has increased the tendency to religious and partisan extremes, as well as the highly emotional and changeable reaction to many news stories. The progressed Pisces Sun provides a background theme for other more specific events that unfold over time.

This Neptunian flavor of reality engendered by the progressed Pisces Sun is especially potent when strong progressions and transits intensify its influence. It is at these times when the population or some part of it can be swept away with some form of unrealistic expectation or misperceptions.  Needless to say, we are currently in such a time. Beginning in 2016, from late March through July and returning in 2017 from late February through March 22, transiting Neptune has been and continues to be conjunct the US progressed Sun (12 Pisces).  The first period was when the Trump movement, based in his grandiose proclamations of how he would rescue the victimized masses, began sweeping the nation. The second, current period is when his delusional and unhinged tendencies are becoming increasingly obvious. 

The transit of Neptune conjunct the progressed US Sun will return the summer of 2017, from July 28 through September 3, and then again in 2018, from January 15 through February 18, as well as from September 14, 2018, through January 10, 2019.  It is worth looking deeper into each of these time periods to see what other planetary indicators are simultaneously part of the story.

The current phase of transiting Neptune conjunct the US progressed Sun, from February 22 through March 22, has been accompanied in part by the transit of Jupiter opposite transiting Uranus (2/20 to 3/3), as well as transiting Uranus opposite Inaugural Jupiter (2/20 to 3/13).  These configurations point to the rapidly changing, dramatic, unexpected, and transformative events that have been overwhelming the news cycles. Largely consuming all of them, however, are the illusions, deceptions, and confusion of Neptune.

In addition, using the 12Sagittarius57 rising US chart (5:12PM), we also find the progressed Moon conjunct the Ascendant (2/20 to 3/18), which itself is receiving a square from transiting Neptune (3/9 to 4/4), thereby adding to the confused and unrealistic mood in the country at present. The progressed Moon conjunct the Ascendant, moreover, points to the deep changes currently taking hold in the country.

The next crossing of Neptune to the US progressed Sun will be from July 28 through September 3This comes in the midst of what is likely to be an exceptionally challenging and problematic period for the country and for Mr. Trump. Transiting Saturn will be stationing opposite the US Mars (21Gemini23), square to US Neptune (22Virgo25), and sesquiquadrate US Node (6Leo36), as well as conjunct Trump’s Moon (21Sagittarius12) and opposite his Sun (22Gemini56). The entire length of these extraordinarily difficult Saturn transits extends from June 24 to October 12, 2017. The addition of the progressed Sun/Neptune theme, from late July to early September, suggests wild emotions, great disillusionment, and extreme feelings of loss and confusion.  It is possible this period may serve to deflate the larger-than-life image of himself (Neptune) that Trump has instilled in his followers. It is certain that some of his grandiose plans will hit the brick wall of reality (Saturn) during this time.

Transiting Neptune will cross the US progressed Sun again in 2018, from January 15 through February 18, as well as from September 14 through January 10, 2019. Both periods coincide with Saturn transits opposite US Venus (3Cancer06) and US Jupiter (5Cancer56), suggesting contractions and difficulties financially. The multiple Saturn transits to US Venus may also point to periods of grief in the US over deeply upsetting events of national interest. Late July through early October 2018 is particularly susceptible. The added progressed Sun/Neptune energy adds distrust and disillusionment towards the president (US Sun) at that time, as well as confusion over national goals.

Although the influence of Neptune may be exciting and energizing in its initial phases, it is ultimately corrosive and deflating. Unrealistic expectations collide with the limitations and irrefutability of the facts on the ground. The grandiose delusions that are woven into the Trump persona and the wild expectations he has engendered ultimately contain the seeds of their own unraveling. Moreover, he has created policies to thwart a disturbingly paranoid perception of dangers, threats, and conspiracies, while leaving the real problems to fester or be shortchanged while we wrestle with phantoms. As the multiple Saturn transits unfold in the next few years, it seems likely that a fierce a relentless reality will begin to break down, piece by piece, the multiple layers of Trumpworld delusion.

We are one month in, plus a day or so. And while the Kool-Aid drinkers still believe in the grandiose fantasies of their orange-hued savior, the rest of us are fiercely wondering how we can excise this rabid malignancy from the national soul. Unfortunately, impeachment or the path described by the 25th Amendment depend on too many, either in Congress or the Cabinet, who are fanatical Kool-Aid junkies themselves or who fear the votes of those who are.

It may be that circumstances need to get much worse before those who should act will do so. Or we may be able to peel away the most heinous of Trump’s entourage and find a way to stumble forward to the next election. Already, conspiracy theorist Michael Flynn is gone as National Security Advisor, replaced by the sane, stable, and serious Lt. General H.R. McMaster.  A near-universal chorus of joyful hosannas was heard in the wake of that choice. Given the planetary picture of this summer, there is some sliver of hope that Steve Bannon will be the next reprobate to be exiled. Time will tell.

In the meantime, besides the ongoing and gripping national psychodrama into which we have all been painfully drawn, there will inevitably be domestic and international crises that will demand a clear and concise, and hopefully rational, response from the current White House. Much will be learned and many conclusions will be drawn from those moments.  As of today, we are in the zone of the waxing, one-degree orb of the second of three Jupiter/Uranus oppositions, this one running from February 21 through March 2.  The previous opposition (12/18 to 12/28/16) brought with it the assassination of the Turkish ambassador, the Berlin terrorist attack, the Jordanian terrorist attack, and the downing of both a Libyan and a Russian aircraft. This 10 day period is also likely to bring an upsurge of violence, explosions, and transformative events. In particular, the periods to watch for agitation, sudden and explosive events, and increased aggression are: February 21 through early February 23 due to the Mars square to Pluto; February 24 through early February 25 due to the Sun semisquare to Uranus; February 25 through the evening of February 26, and especially dangerous period, due to the Mars conjunction of Uranus and opposition to Jupiter.

Also of interest in the current astrological climate, is the transiting Jupiter conjunction to natal Jupiter (22Libra43) in the Inaugural chart, running from the Inauguration through February 24, and the transiting Uranus opposition to Jupiter in the Inaugural chart that runs from February 19 through March 13. The overlapping of these aspects, from February 20 through February 24, suggests transformative, successful and grand gestures from the Trump administration. The choice of General McMaster and likely a new, more legally-crafted immigration order seem to fall in this window.

Moreover, with the Uranus transit opposite natal Jupiter continuing through March 13, we can expect more boundary-busting, untraditional, and grandiose actions from Trumpworld. Some of these may be aggressive responses to some of the events that transpire during the Jupiter/Uranus opposition from February 21 through March 2. But the Jupiter/Uranus opposition may also incite a fierce reaction from the population, especially with the Mars conjunction to Uranus on the weekend of the 25th and 26th.

As for the possibility of a Trump impeachment or removal from office, I thought it useful to at least look at Mike Pence’s chart for any time frame when things might step up dramatically enough to suggest such a change. The period from May 2018 through March 2019 is the only one that I found. During this period, his progressed Sun will conjunct his natal Uranus (joined by a Jupiter square from mid-June through mid-July 2018), while transiting Uranus will be square to his natal Venus and semisquare his Sun. These configurations suggest big, powerful changes and a strong surge of independence. Without a birth time for him, I am somewhat handicapped, but 2018 and early 2019 will be a significant and transformative time for him one way or another.

9th Feb, 2017

No Longer the GOP

Dear Republicans,

You have always been the ones to most loudly proclaim American Exceptionalism. You have been the leaders of bringing democracy to the world and insisting on its superiority to every other system. You have been rigid in your intolerance of any who criticize America or, in any way, diminish her claim to greatness. You have professed that America is the Indispensable Nation.

And yet, here you are, enabling the greatest diminishment America has ever seen. Here you are proving to the world that our democracy does not, in fact, work, and that it is not, in fact, strong enough to oust the deeply poisonous Trump from its bloodstream.

Have you considered that all of his policies are based in what are obviously either paranoid or grandiose delusions:  millions overwhelming our borders who seek to harm us; evil terrorists hiding behind every bush; every other country in the world ripping us off?  Have you considered that all of these delusions serve to enhance his stature as the one who will rescue us from the overwhelming, dark Other who seeks to harm us? Have you noticed his easily-provoked impulsiveness that has essentially one setting: attack any who stand in his way?  No, you are too busy cheering the greatness of the Emperor, while the rest of us see nothing but the nakedness of an angry and vile man, drunk on the unlimited power he has been given.  While the Emperor obviously has no clothes, you cravenly admire his sartorial splendor.

Meanwhile, he is busy destroying the respect and cooperation that has been built up for decades by previous administrations. If he continues, many might well recognize that America is no longer the Essential Nation, and it might be better to go forward without it. Yemen, Iraq, and Europe are already considering these issues after less than three weeks of the Trump era. And you, dear Republicans, will have allowed this to happen.

In my mind, you are no longer worthy of the Republican name. You are no longer part of the Grand Old Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. I think you should be henceforth called the White American Supremacist Party (WASP) since you seem set on promulgating policies that benefit the white and Christian among us to the exclusion and often harm of all others. You support Trump’s Muslim ban. You support the suppression of minority voting. You support the diminishment of civil rights and women’s rights in America. You have put an avowed racist in as Attorney General. You have stood by while one of the leaders of the alt-right, essentially a neo-Nazi movement, becomes the primary advisor to the president of the United States. And just to tie a nice ribbon on this whole despicable racist turn, your leader, Mitch McConnell, has seen fit to silence a woman senator who wanted to quote the words of Coretta Scott King on the floor of the Senate.  Really Republicans? Have you looked in the mirror lately?

No longer respectfully yours,

A Grieving Citizen

………………..

As an astrologer, it is my role to elucidate the planetary patterns. I have already said on many occasions that the first big crisis of the Trump administration will come this summer from late June to mid-October 2017. This may be the time when the issue of Russian involvement with Trump, as well as Trump’s multiple conflicts of interest, become center stage once again. Or it may be some other crisis that impacts the country in a negative and troublesome way. But the stress during that period will emerge, and it will be very problematic for Donald J. Trump.

At the moment, until February 19, Trump is under the benevolent Jupiter trine to his Sun, feeding his grandiosity and enabling him to get a great deal of his agenda through in the short term, including assembling his chosen cabinet. Unfortunately, events on the world stage are likely to heat up significantly from February 20 through March 3 with the Jupiter/Uranus opposition, which will be strongly triggered by Mars and the Sun from February 24 through 27. The previous crossing of this aspect, during the second half of December, brought the assassination of the Turkish ambassador, the Berlin and Jordanian terrorist attacks, and the downing of both a Libyan and a Russian plane. This late February period seems likely to bring another wave of violence and explosions, especially during the Mars aspect (2/25 5o 2/27). 

Unfortunately, in Trump’s chart, transiting Uranus will be in sextile to his Sun from February 25 to March 16. There is already a conjunction between Trump’s natal Sun and Uranus. Thus, the transit is likely to be felt and intensify his already stark tendency for precipitous and unexpected behavior. We can expect a very quick and bold reaction to whatever comes at him during this period. With the progressed US Moon in a semisquare to natal Pluto, peaking on March 2 and moving to conjunct the 12Sagittarius57 Ascendant from February 20 to March 18, it is possible that some of these violent events will directly impact the US (Ascendant) and cause consternation and upset (Moon/Pluto) here. Only time will tell how these energies will unfold.

22nd Jan, 2017

Toddler-in-Chief

The Trump Era has begun. It remains to be seen whether or not the Toddler-in-Chief’s mental instability, audacious corruption, and sheer incompetence will be enough to prematurely end his presidency or whether he will blunder on by the grace of a craven and supine GOP Congress. For now, his delusional rescue fantasy and his hypersensitive grandiosity continue intact.

The clear pathology is one of narcissism on the level of a deeply disturbing character disorder. Moreover, his delusional interaction with the world is steeped in the dysfunction of the victim, persecutor, rescuer triangle, originally described by Stephen Karpman in 1968.  These three roles often morph one into the other as the endless drama they engender unfolds.

Not to unfairly pin the current horror only on Donald Trump, the fertile ground for his recent ascendency has been nourished for years by Republican politicians who increasingly fanned the flames of victimhood in their followers.  The government was portrayed as stealing their guns or their money or their freedom. It was described as trampling their religious liberty. Increasingly, foreigners were described as stealing their country and their jobs. Terrorism was described as an existential threat to the very being of the Republic.

Into this climate of enraged grievance marched Donald Trump, who portrayed himself as the consummate Rescuer who would save his followers from all the misery of their world. Essentially, he told them: Join with me and you will share in my limitless success and greatness. We saw this pattern over and over in the campaign and again in the dark dystopia described in the “American Carnage” Inaugural address. He portrays the current reality as miserable, corrupt, and destitute, so that only he, the enormously rich and immensely successful businessman, can fix it and bring us into greatness. Thus, he is the Rescuer and his followers are the beleaguered Victims he will save.

Needless to say, in his deranged mind, he is also the Victim, as his endless, angry complaints about the conspiracies against him by the press and the intelligence community, among others, clearly prove. Somehow, he is always being treated unfairly and his true greatness unjustly diminished. Any criticism or even reported fact that may be somewhat unflattering is perceived as an attack, with him as the much-maligned and severely mistreated Victim. In response to this perceived affront, Trump-as-Victim seamlessly morphs into Trump-as-Persecutor. In his mind, his overwhelming rage at being wrongfully criticized or provoked justifies his angry counterpunch and legitimate revenge.

Ultimately, these three roles of Victim, Persecutor, and Rescuer, create a self-perpetuating loop that continually creates drama and havoc. Needless to say, running a country steeped in the twisted reality of this toxic soup is likely to be disastrous. Whether the cast of characters in the Trump administration will be able to contain the worst of this rampant dysfunction or whether the Congress will eventually become so alarmed they put a stop to it remains to be seen. For now, the country has essentially given an impulse-driven tantrum-prone toddler a loaded gun and is sitting back to watch what happens next.

One of the great benefits of using astrology is the insight it offers into the timing of events. As we look over the coming four years, we can clearly see certain periods that suggest significant complications and difficulties for both Trump and the country.  We have recently lived through an early example of one of these periods as news of Russian involvement in the election, possible collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign, and the potential for compromising material on Trump held by Russia became known.  The extent of Trump’s financial conflicts-of-interest also simultaneously became a focus. The strain from these stories was particularly acute from mid-December through mid-January due to the crossing of Saturn to Trump’s South Node (20Sagittarius48) and Moon (21Sagittarius12) and opposite his Sun (22Gemini56), while concurrently crossing opposite US Mars (21Gemini23) and square US Neptune (22Virgo25). It seems quite likely that when these configurations return from late June through mid-October 2017, these very troubling issues will reemerge for a protracted period and with severe consequences.

The next notable time comes in 2018, when transiting Saturn crosses in opposition to US Venus (3Cancer06) and US Jupiter (5Cancer56), as well as the US/Trump composite Sun (3Cancer08) three times each, intermittently during the year. In general, this seems likely to bring some financial contraction in 2018 to the US which may somewhat dim Trump’s love affair with his followers. Of particular difficulty for Trump, however, will be the Saturn station opposite his Mercury from March 9 to May 7, 2018, suggesting frustrations and restraints on his plans.

Of far greater concern is the period in 2019 that may well bring some heightened military action, from mid-June to mid-September, and which seems unlikely to turn out well for the US, at least initially. During this time, transiting Uranus will in a station semisquare to US Mars (21Gemini23) and square to US Node (6Aquarius36), while at the same time transiting Pluto will be quincunx US Mars, with the latter Pluto transit to Mars intensifying again in October and November 2019. Having both Uranus and Pluto in aspect to US Mars simultaneously suggests a time of unexpected attacks and increased aggression, quite possibly military. From late July through October 22, this Mars energy will be concurrent with transiting Saturn square to US Saturn, as well as progressed US Moon square to natal Saturn from mid-August to mid-September. Saturn here implies that the US reputation may be diminished and the country will be unhappy and feeling some losses and sorrow, especially during the progressed Moon/Saturn aspect in the summer. Trump will have some Jupiter transits during the second half of October which may help him somewhat, but it looks like a very stressful period nonetheless.

And finally, 2020, assuming Trump is still in office, will prove an especially strained year for him and his administration, although somewhat less so for the country. During that year, transiting Saturn will oppose his Saturn/Venus conjunction, including a protracted station opposite Venus (25Cancer44) from mid-August to late October.  In addition, transiting Pluto will oppose his Saturn (23Cancer49) during much of the year. This suggests intensified attacks and criticism, significant emotional stress, as well as a great loss of support. Moreover, Saturn will also cross the Inaugural Midheaven (26Capricorn12) and the Inaugural Sun (00Aquarius49) during much of the year, pointing to trouble for the administration and its goals.  The biggest crisis for him will be when the Inaugural progressed Moon comes to natal Saturn and progressed Saturn and squares natal Mars in September and October 2020.  This will trigger the most problematic configuration in the Inaugural chart, where the Moon is in a minor hard aspect with the tight Saturn/Mars square, and which describes the intense anger and upset that this administration brings to the people (Moon) of the country. The volatile emotions and fury of this aspect are likely to erupt into a crisis at this time.

In conclusion, I leave you with the words from one of the posters I saw at yesterday’s Women’s March in downtown DC  (yes, I was there!):

Dear Congress,

In your guts, you know he’s nuts.

Love,

The World

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