4th Jul, 2017

Happy Birthday America

I know the last year has been very agitating and upsetting, a kind of wild, unhinged roller coaster ride for those who are paying attention to the fate of their country. But today is once again your birthday, and, for a few brief hours, fireworks rather than politics are the subject du jour.

In astrology, a birthday is understood as the time when the Sun returns to its original position in the natal chart, designated as the solar return. Consequently, we draw up a chart for this moment, and we look for indications that may describe the coming year.

Unfortunately, no one knows for certain the birth time of America, although most agree at least on the date of July 4, 1776.  There are several theories, offering, alternatively, an Ascendant in Gemini, Virgo, Scorpio, or Sagittarius. Personally, I prefer the time of 5:13 PM, which gives an Ascendant of 12Sagittarius59, and is a few minutes past the “Sibley” chart which uses 5:10 PM. But really, no one knows, and so any prediction based solely on any particular birth time and the precise degrees of the angles that go with it, must be qualified.

I have drawn up a solar return chart based on the birth time for America that I prefer, and interestingly, the result mostly confirms what is already apparent in the current transits and progressions. In this chart, retrograde Saturn (23Sagittarius05) is conjunct the Midheaven (21Sagittarius57), and will be stationing on that degree from July 8 through September 26. This is essentially the same Saturn station that will be opposite the US Mars (21Gemini23) and conjunct Donald Trump’s Moon (21Sagittarius12) during a similar time period. In the solar return, this Saturn station describes a time of great frustration in the US, and quite possibly significant setbacks and humiliation on the world stage. It reiterates the 10th house Saturn position in the US Sagittarius rising chart, which, when activated, points to an overextended use of power followed by a humiliating and forced contraction of goals. The Midheaven position relates to a country’s reputation and position in the world, as well as the executive leadership of the country.

The other noteworthy aspect in this solar return chart is the Neptune (14Pisces10) conjunction to the Ascendant (15Pisces25). This describes a year filled with anxiety, confusion, and a feeling of being rudderless. Hyperbole is the norm; shifting emotions are the guiding principle; illusion is hard to differentiate from reality.  This Neptune/Ascendant configuration in the solar chart mirrors a progressed aspect that has been going on since during March 2016 and will continue through early January 2019, an aspect that certainly describes the campaign and early presidency of Donald Trump. What I am referring to is the transit of Neptune conjunct the US progressed Sun. This transit continues to be active during this not quite three year period of time, but is intensified when it is waxing within a degree to exact. It will be moving toward exact again from July 28 through September 3 and again from mid-January through mid-February 2018 and again for several months at the end of 2018.  

In the US chart, the Sun/progressed Sun always symbolizes the US president, and aspects to it will describe the conditions, agenda, and mood surrounding him or her. With Neptune impacting the US progressed Sun for an extended duration, the goals and agenda of the US have become confused, and there is a feeling of weakness and deception at the top. This potent Neptune transit describes the absence of sobriety, discipline, and reality-based focus. It points instead to hyperbole, emotion, and confusion. It should be noted that a strong Neptune can also describe someone strongly steeped in ideology but unmoored from reality. Thus, if by chance, Mike Pence moves into the presidency, it is easy to see that his hyper-ideological stance may be the guiding factor in his agenda. But at least we wouldn’t have to deal with the bottomless pit of spite that seems to motivate the current occupant of the Oval Office.

In the near term, I continue to have great concern over the last week of July and moving into early August. There is a building Sun conjunction to Mars from July 23 through July 26, suggesting significant violence somewhere, followed by transiting Sun and then transiting Mars triggering the Saturn station, from July 28 to July 30, and suggesting serious difficulty and frustration, especially for those impacted by the Saturn station, like the US and Trump. Moreover, Trump will be under his Jupiter return from July 28 through August 4th, exacerbated by a square from transiting Pluto. This is megalomania on steroids and suggests he will aggressively expand his impact in some way, potentially with some form of military force.  Trouble and limited and ineffective options described by the continuing Saturn station are likely to derive from his actions throughout August and September.

24th Jun, 2017

Crushing Summer

It is deeply troubling to me that so many of my fellow citizens find the extraordinarily self-centered aggression and general vileness of character of Donald Trump appealing. From what I can ascertain, he has three settings: winning whatever he is fixated on at all cost; spitefully counter-punching hard against any perceived threat; and a self-aggrandizing braggadocio disconnected from reality. There is no room for compassion or empathy and no deep-seated impulse to serve or sacrifice for anything greater than his own narrow interest.

Sadly, all of the policy proposals and budget determinations stemming from the Trump administration derive from these disturbingly self-interested character traits.  Anything that would care for those who are vulnerable or in need is cut back, while the military is given a greatly expanded amount of resource and scope. Diplomacy is a mere shadow of its past self; Medicaid is being threatened with gargantuan cuts; scientific research and education programs are being uniformly slashed. And all of this is occurring while military operations worldwide are quietly expanding with barely a discussion in Congress or the media. The Circus of All Things Trump has drowned out awareness of everything else, despite the dangerous ramifications of what is unfolding.

In May and June, the US bombed Iranian supported military forces three times. In June, US forces shot down 2 armed drones. On June 17, the US shot down a Syrian air force jet. In response to these escalations, Russia, Syria’s stalwart ally, is now threatening use of its antiaircraft defense system against all US aircraft in Western Syria and imperiling communications between the US and its allies in the region. Although the US justifiably worries about an increase in Iranian and Russian dominance in Syria, we might also worry about ineptly stumbling into World War Three with Russia, Syria, and Iran in a dangerous alliance against us and our increasingly shaky allies.

Everyone cheered a few months back when Donald Trump bombed a Syrian military airstrip in retaliation for Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons. This was our Commander-in-Chief’s first heady taste of a truly dangerous and addictive cocktail that fed both his craving for praise and his instinctive thuggery.  As any addict will tell you, there is always a hunger for a repeat of that first exquisite high.

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The context for the extraordinarily difficult planetary picture of the next few months is an enraged and short-tempered president increasingly mired in legal and political jeopardy and a global situation, particularly in Syria and with North Korea, of alarmingly dangerous potential. Within this framework, it should be noted that Mars, the planet of anger, aggression, and war, is very active throughout the month of July. Already, on June 23 and 24, we find Mars in a conjunction to the US Sun (13Cancer19), pointing to a particularly combative president or a military action of note by the country.  On July 1 and July 2, we find transiting Mars in opposition to transiting Pluto, while on July 15 through July 17, we find transiting Mars in a square with transiting Uranus. And finally, from July 22 through July 28, we find transiting Mars conjunct the transiting Sun. All of these configurations will strengthen any residual tendencies toward hostility, belligerence, and destructiveness, whether through military action, unexpected attacks, escalating anger, or dangerous weather conditions and natural disasters.

In the midst of this Mars period, we are also moving into a protracted Saturn station that will oppose Donald Trump’s Sun (22Gemini56) from June 24 through July 7 and again from September 26 through October 12, as well as conjunct his Moon (21Sagittarius12) from July 20 through September 1. Virtually this entire period will bring a build-up in stress for the president, who will feel more and more frustrated and upset. There is also a progressed Moon conjunction to progressed Saturn in his chart beginning around June 25 and culminating on July 21 that will add to a feeling of depression and loss.

We must, however, also include the Pluto transit square to his Jupiter (17Libra27) from June 28 through August 6, particularly strengthened by the final Jupiter return from July 28 to August 4. This combination suggests a reckless expansion of power, and points to a very dangerous period if military action is involved.  Indeed, the Saturn station mentioned above continues on Trump’s Moon for the entire month of August, suggesting a problematic outcome of any reckless action taken during the Jupiter return of late July and early August.

The US chart also shows serve strain over the summer months, beginning on July 1. The Mars (21Gemini23)/Neptune (22Virgo25) square in the US chart has often been associated with wars that begin with great expectation and end in significant disappointment and loss. From 1967 through 1969, during the Vietnam War, transiting Uranus and transiting Pluto crossed 21 -22 Virgo multiple times. In 2004 and 2005, during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, transiting Pluto crossed 21-22 Sagittarius, while Uranus reached 21-22 Pisces in 2008.  

On the other hand, impacting the economy more than military pursuits, the Saturn station from late November 2008 through late January 2009 was exactly conjunct US Mars and square to US Neptune. It brought a dramatic financial decline (Saturn) after a period of manufactured gain built on illusory (Neptune) expectation. Not much could be done to handle the situation (Saturn/Mars) until the new president took office.

As of July 1 and continuing through October 4, we will again move into a Saturn station that will impact the Mars/Neptune square in the US chart. We can expect disappointment, loss, and a crushing of false expectations in some area. It is quite possible some military adventurism will lead to severe complications and grief, but economic issues cannot be entirely ruled out. The situation will bring enormous strain to Trump and his administration, and with the Saturn station so close to an exact opposition to natal Mars, it will be difficult to take any truly effective action. The greatest stress in the US chart will pass after early October, but the tensions for Donald Trump and his administration will remain through mid-November, as Saturn makes its final quincunx with his natal Saturn and natal Venus. It is hard to see him remain unscathed from the mess he makes in the summer.

6th Jun, 2017

Remember the Vision

The path of humanity is a razor’s edge path between self-sacrifice and selfishness, between service to the greater good and advantage to self.  This inner struggle is always there, and we are sometimes more pulled in one direction, and sometimes more pulled in the other. All of the great religions focus on the importance of this inner effort and inspire us toward kindness and generosity and a remembrance that we are all children of God, as well as away from the dangers of a dangerously consuming self-absorption.  For example, the Seven Deadly Sins – greed, lust, envy, gluttony, pride, sloth, and wrath – mostly point to the soul-defiling seduction of compulsive, self-obsessed grasping.

Ideally, once the basic needs of food, shelter, and safety are satisfied, we are more readily able to give to others less fortunate or in crisis. But sometimes, people become lost in the inner gesture of taking, and it becomes an overwhelming, never satisfied hunger.

One of the great paradoxes of life is that the more you give and the more you care for others, the happier you are, while the more you are focused on yourself and your bottomless pit of unmet needs, the more miserable you become. If we translate this into the arena of national policy, we can understand that the America that the world loves and respects is the one that gives generously to nations less fortunate or in crisis, welcomes strangers in need of a new home, and supports multilateral efforts to create a healthier, more prosperous, and more peaceful world. The America that is disliked and disrespected, on the other hand, resembles the proverbial Ugly American: loud, brash, arrogant, self-absorbed, and trampling whoever gets in its way.

Although the selfish, ugly American attitude has always been with us, it has never so thoroughly permeated the policy and pronouncements of the Chief Executive and his party as it does today. It is as if a deep and virulent soul sickness is spreading throughout the country, a sickness that is most fully manifest in the Oval Office itself.

In their previous attempts to damage President Obama , as well as their continued support for the current administration, Republicans in Congress have repeatedly put party over Country, no matter the harm these efforts might cause. Manufactured rationalizations are simply fitted to conform to whatever agenda works best for political expedience or the interests of wealthy donors, with little concern about the actual facts on the ground.  Examples of this can be found in Republicans’ distorted health policy, tax policy, and climate policy, to name the most obvious. Moreover, there has been, in Republican circles, a tendency not only to blame the victim, as for example, inferring that poverty is the fault of the lazy, overly dependent poor, but to suggest that the taxpayers are the real victims, somehow exploited by the poor who receive benefits such as food stamps or Medicaid.

Ultimately, the emergence of Donald Trump can be seen as the culmination of this devolution of consciousness and loss of integrity and morality that has been unfolding for years in the modern Republican Party.  There is no longer any compassion or empathy for the poor, the sick, or the hungry, either domestically or globally, in stated American policy.  There is no longer any interest in reining in corporate malfeasance, either financial or environmental. There is no longer any desire to coordinate with allies with an uplifting global agenda. Instead, it seems we are obsessed with how those with needs or who desire cooperation are exploiting us and how we should step away from deeds of concern and kindness and into a defensive, angry, and self-protective crouch.  In short, the inner gesture of the American government and its supporters has become one of selfish grasping, distrust, and spite, and the soul sickness of Donald Trump is rapidly becoming the soul sickness of the nation.

At this juncture in our history and to thwart this deep dysfunction, it is imperative to remember who we are and who we strive to be. Both Republicans and Democrats need to recall and reaffirm the elements of our fundamental and unifying identity. America is a nation of immigrants, a multi-hued thread made stronger by its diversity and ever-reinvigorated roots. It is a wealthy and powerful nation, made great by its generosity and vision, its push toward research, invention, and increasing potential. Moreover, America is a nation that believes in the synergy of alliances, of nations coming together to work towards freedom, democracy, greater decency, and a better future. We need to forcefully hold to this understanding, now more than ever, when there are those who would tarnish or destroy it for their own dark purpose. And we need to elect leaders who can unrelentingly share this vision and fiercely fan its inner fire.

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In America’s birth chart, we find the US Sun (13Cancer19) widely conjunct Venus (3Cancer06) and Jupiter (5Cancer56), which suggests a generous, wealthy and successful nation, although the Cancer influence also points to a strong need to pull inward when feeling threatened. The potent Jupiter can additionally bring, at times, a streak of arrogance and self-righteousness..   On the whole, however, this Venus, Sun, Jupiter combination describes wealth, favorability, and optimism.

The Cancer Sun is in a 135 degree aspect with the Aquarian Moon (27Aquarius12) which creates some tension between the self-protective Cancer attitude and the global citizen attitude of the Aquarian Moon. It is the latter that most accurately describes the nation-of-immigrants meme in the American identity. Aquarius is always about working together for the greater good and the “out of many, one” theme immortalized by our founders.

Of great significance at present is that we are moving relentlessly toward the US Pluto return (27Capricorn33), with transiting Pluto moving to conjunct the US natal second house Pluto, culminating in 2022. In my mind, it is this natal second house positon that describes the overwhelming compulsivity of material acquisition that is also a part of the American identity, as well as the immense power of the “plutocrats”, those who are hugely wealthy and never tire of gathering yet more wealth into their personal coffers. The US Pluto return that is building in strength at present points to the growing ascendance of this billionaire class and their increasing dominance of all policy in the near future. It should also be pointed out that Pluto transits tend to bring things to such an extreme that they eventually implode and cause a transformation, so we may find that the Pluto return will herald a shift in this unbalanced power structure that now exists and seems to be intensifying. Pluto transits also cause a profound power struggle to build, and thus we may also see a growing opposition to the global, corporate power wielders over the next few years.

As for Donald Trump, one could say he embodies the rising strength of the US second house Pluto: dominating, relentless, greedy, and grasping. Moreover, there is no doubt that his anti-regulatory and tax policies benefit the super-rich to the exclusion of all else.  In addition, his unhinged behavior, obsessive ruminations, vengefulness, and paranoid thinking are reminiscent of the worst traits associated with Pluto.

The period of growing stress in Trump’s chart and the Inaugural chart has already begun and will continue to intensify throughout the summer and fall, until November 12. Transiting Saturn moves to quincunx his natal Saturn/Venus conjunction during May and June and again in October and early November. It will oppose his Sun and conjunct his Moon from late June to mid-October. Taken together, these suggest loss, dwindling poll numbers, great criticism, frustration, and extreme difficulty.

In addition, most of July through August 8 will bring some expansionistic and potentially reckless actions (transiting Pluto square natal Jupiter), especially from July 28 to August 4 during the final crossing of his Jupiter return. Given the continued Saturn station on his Moon through August, it is very likely his expansive and aggressive actions in late July and early August will not turn out well at all.

As of July 1, the US chart comes under increasing pressure. Some kind of significant crisis for the country seems very likely from July through early October, due to transiting Saturn square to natal Neptune and opposite natal Mars, as well as the progressed Moon semisquare progressed Saturn (mid-July to mid-August). In other words, we will move from the ongoing humiliation of Trump’s self-sabotaging, incompetent, and dysfunctional behavior to an actual crisis with him at the helm. The Saturn station opposite US Mars that coincides with the progressed US Moon/progressed Saturn aspect suggests a situation that causes suffering and loss (Moon/Saturn) combined with an inability to act effectively and decisively (Saturn/Mars) to swiftly remedy circumstances. As I have said previously, the difficulties of the summer and early fall offer the possibility that Trump may be forced to resign. If this doesn’t happen by late October, he may ride out the storm, and we may be stuck with him for quite a while.

21st May, 2017

Pygmies versus Giants

The steady drip of corruption and lies seeping out of the Trump administration has become a raging torrent of toxic swamp water.  At the foundation of this monstrosity posing as a presidential administration is its disturbing enmeshment with Russia, including the foulness of a Russian agenda infecting an American election. Eventually, the myriad pieces of this giant jigsaw puzzle will be fit together to coherently tell the full story: who conspired with whom; who promised what to whom; and who extorted what from whom.

Thus far, we know that Russia sent anti-Hillary propaganda in many forms – fake news stories, selectively leaked emails, internet bots to feign support – all of it purposefully spread to strengthen Trump and harm Hillary.  The circumstantial evidence further suggests that the Russians expected a robust return for their efforts if Trump should win, including an end to the sanctions, a cessation of resistance to their tactics in Ukraine, and a generally friendlier and more easily manipulated US government.  What we don’t know is who among the Trumpistas was involved in this grand scheme and what they expected to gain. Was extortion involved, was it barely concealed greed, or are we simply looking at a rather cavalier and somewhat delusional grandiosity.  Perhaps it depends on which of the players we are considering.

Meanwhile, with extraordinary irony, Trump has inadvertently created an entirely new TV genre: part fast-moving crime drama, part soap opera, and part twisted reality horror show. America is transfixed and has been for many months. For much of the time, the primary characters have been moral and intellectual pygmies, whose words are blatantly dishonest and whose deeds are mostly self-serving political stunts. Donald Trump is, of course, chief among them, but we must also include Kellyanne Conway, Sean Spicer, Reince Priebus, Mike Pence, as well as almost every Republican Senatorial and Congressional leader in this lineup. Collectively, they defile the country.

Recently, rising in opposition to the pygmy brigade has been the strengthening presence of those with unflagging integrity and a clear, succinct understanding of service to country, morality, and truth.  The appointment of a special counsel to investigate the Trump administration points to the intensifying of these voices of integrity and service over partisanship and corruption. Among those who have brought this wave of fresh, clean air to the national consciousness to blow mercilessly through the clouds of swamp stench are serious public servants such as James Comey, Sally Yates, and Adam Schiff, to name only a few, as well as the multitude of journalists and commentators who brave the wrath of Trump to speak truth to power.  As these courageous and honorable souls gather steam in the national drama now unfolding, they give us hope that there might be an end to the sick, twisted nightmare we have been witnessing.

 

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Astrologically speaking, the most notable thing currently in the US chart is the month-long transit of Jupiter square to the US Sun (13Cancer19) which runs from May 12 through June 17This transit tends to bring an upsurge of patriotism and pride in the US. I have previously suggested two potential manifestations for this energy: a renewed belief in American democracy that unfolds when the much heralded system of “checks and balances” manages to show enough muscle to stand up to the multitude of Trump depredations; and the possibility of an expanded military effort accompanied by a lot of flag-waving patriotism.

The former has already begun to occur with the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller to be special counsel and investigate the Trump/Russia affair. Many politicians and commentators have stated openly that this has given them renewed optimism (Jupiter) about the survival of American democracy in the Age of Trump.  The appointment was made, to almost universal approval and praise, on May 17, just as transiting Venus (13 Aries) moved into a square with the US Sun (13Cancer), thereby triggering the impact of transiting Jupiter (13 Libra).

The second suggested manifestation of this Jupiter transit is the potential for an expanded military action, possibly with North Korea or Syria, and likely enabling Trump to distract us briefly from his current legal entanglements and dysfunction.  This wag-the-dog scenario may initially be somewhat successful (transiting Jupiter) but seems likely to eventually cause trouble as the extremely problematic summer planetary indicators take hold.

In the US chart, significant trouble begins around July 1 and continues until October 4, with the transit of Saturn square US Neptune (22Virgo25) and stationary opposite US Mars (21Gemini23).  This combination signals frustration, deep upset, and anxiety, as well as the hindering or even failure of forceful and effective action.  Moreover, the progressed US Moon will be semisquare to progressed Saturn (3Scorpio03) from July 17 to August 17, suggesting some loss and sorrow directly impacting the American people. Many have expressed concern about what might happen if the Trump administration is faced with an actual crisis beyond the ongoing mess of their own self-sabotage. We may be finding the answer to this question over the summer.

It should be noted that from the firing of James Comey on May 9 onward, there is nothing but almost continuous difficulty and stress for Trump and his administration through mid-November.   In the Inaugural chart, the extremely difficult configuration involving Saturn, Mars, and the Moon will be stimulated almost non-stop during this period, by either transiting Saturn throughout June and throughout October or by tertiary progressions, including tertiary Venus square Saturn (6/25 to 7/27) and tertiary Sun semisquare Saturn and semisquare Mars (8/6 to 10/1). In addition, the tertiary Moon will join the tertiary Sun from August 27 through September 1, further exacerbating the situation for the Trump administration.

This profoundly difficult configuration in the Inaugural chart was described as follows in my previous article:

 

… This Moon/Mars/Saturn combination describes a central pattern in the Trump administration:  aggressive, often not-well-considered action (Mars in Pisces) meets restriction, frustration, and push back, often legal (Saturn in Sagittarius), while setting off upset and anger among the people (Moon in hard aspect to Mars and Saturn).  Every time this configuration is set off by transits or progressions, we find an eruption of drama that fits this pattern.

 

Again, watch June through October for this troubling pattern to continue to reassert itself.

As for Trump himself, he is also under excruciatingly difficult transits, building in May and June with the Saturn quincunx to natal Venus (25Cancer44) and natal Saturn (23Cancer48), but intensifying as of late June when transiting Saturn moves to oppose his Sun (22Gemini56) and station on his Moon (21Sagittarius12) through mid-October, followed by a repeat of transiting Saturn quincunx natal Saturn and then Venus through November 12. In addition, his progressed Moon will be conjunct progressed Saturn (2Leo42) June 25 to July 21. All of this describes a time of great frustration, turmoil, and profound stress, with his every move blocked or criticized or both.  With the August 21 solar eclipse just outside of a degree orb of Trump’s Ascendant (29Leo53), it is possible this extraordinarily difficult period will end with his resignation from office, likely with a deal not to prosecute. If however, he survives into December, we may be stuck with the unfolding degradation of our country and the destabilization of our government and our place in the world for a few more years.

11th May, 2017

Russian Entanglements

There is a great deal that we know of Donald Trump, his history, and his character.  But for some reason, no one is saying what is so very obvious. The following is an attempt to put it all together, to connect the dots, so to speak.

We know that during the campaign, Donald Trump praised Vladimir Putin, repeatedly, and often said how nice it would be to get along with Russia. This was one of the defining narratives of his campaign and seemed like a clear part of his agenda should he win the election.

We know that virtually all of the American intelligence agencies agree that Russia interfered in our presidential election, using fake news stories, bots on alternative news sites, and leaked emails via Wikileaks. In addition, it later became clear that this interference was specifically in support of Donald Trump and against Hillary Clinton.  Currently, the House, the Senate, and the FBI are investigating this Russian interference and whether or not there was collusion with it from the Trump campaign.

We know that the Trump administration has done everything in its power to thwart, sabotage, and stonewall these investigations. The firing of Sally Yates three days after she warned the White House of Michael Flynn’s connections to Russia; the refusal to fire Michael Flynn for 18 days after Sally Yates warned the White House, and only firing him when his misdeeds were revealed in the press; the wild goose chase of Devin Nunes to support Trump’s dishonest and distracting accusation that Obama wiretapped him; the refusal by the White House to give to Congress any documents relating to Michael Flynn; and the unprecedented firing of FBI Director James Comey while he was in the midst of leading the FBI investigation of the administration, to name only what comes to mind immediately; all point to a massive cover-up of serious misdeeds relating to the Trump campaign and the Trump administration with respect to collusion with Russia. It seems obvious that if Russia had acted on its own and had had no contact with the Trump campaign, or if Michael Flynn were just some rogue operator, than there would be every reason to cooperate with the investigations and resolve these issues quickly. But instead, Trump has attempted to squash them at every turn and thrown out numerous counter narratives and attacks that attempt to discredit those who would reveal the truth.

Moreover, we know a great deal about Trump’s character based on what has been reported of his actions in recent decades and especially over the course of the campaign and the first months of his administration, to which we have had a front row seat. We know that he likes to win at all cost, gathering support and resources from wherever he can, with little concern about the source.  He has taken money from Russian oligarchs and mafia bosses over the years. He welcomed political support from neo-Nazis and former Klansmen during the campaign. In short, support and praise from any quarter has always been happily accepted, with any uncomfortable details easily ignored.

On the other hand, we know that Trump’s instinct is to forcefully crush anyone who gets in his way, criticizes him, disagrees with him, or seems to threaten him. We remember his attempt to destroy the reputation of the judge who was ruling in the Trump University case, as well as his vicious criticisms of the judges who ruled against his Muslim ban. We know of his involvement in thousands of lawsuits, many demanding ruinous amounts of money from anyone toward whom he feels any grievance.  These days, those who speak out against Donald Trump are immediately subject to nasty, reputation-battering character assassination by Twitter, often in the middle of the night. We have recently seen public servants, such us James Comey and Sally Yates, who stand up for the truth and do not bend to his will, precipitously fired.

We also know of Trump’s impulsiveness and his difficulty delaying gratification of his immediate wants. The twenty some women who came forward after the Hollywood Access video surfaced come to mind. His inability to control his rage responses on Twitter is another indication of this. His rush to push through his Muslim ban in the early days of his administration and his rushed and botched first attempt at health care legislation are other examples. When he wants something, he rushes heedlessly towards it, with little serious consideration for consequences.

And finally, there is his extraordinary inability to understand or respect boundaries, whether personal, political, or legal.  Rather than disagreeing with ideas or policies, he jumps right in to attack people’s character and speaks as if he knows their innermost thoughts. Moreover, he has shown no willingness to honor political precedent, smashing long-held traditions with reckless abandon, including the “one president at a time” concept during the transition. He shows no respect for the separation of powers or the checks and balances written into our Constitution and upon which our nation is founded.  The fact that the Legislative and Judicial are co-equal branches of government seems beyond his understanding.  Even worse, he has created a counter narrative by maligning “political correctness” as a way to diminish the necessary respect for healthy boundaries which are the foundation for a healthy society.

When all of these facts are woven together, it is very easy to imagine a cavalier Trump being delighted about getting a boost from Russia to win his campaign for the presidency, as well as sending his minions during the transition to reassure the Russians that when he is president, the nasty Obama sanctions will be gone, and we can all work happily together to blow up ISIS and explore oil in the Arctic. Thus, Flynn was probably sent to talk to the Russian ambassador in late December about lifting the sanctions, and Jared Kushner, twice in December, was sent to talk to representatives from the Russian state bank, VEB, currently under severe US sanctions, to assure them that a friend would soon be in charge. Although my conclusion may seem circumstantial, there is simply no other way to put all the facts together into one narrative that makes any sense. As they say, if it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it is a duck.

And there is one other thing to consider. President Obama warned Trump not to hire Michael Flynn. Sally Yates warned Trump that Flynn was compromised by the Russians. Trump did not fire him immediately but, instead, kept him on as long as he could, involved in top-level national security meetings, until the news media began covering the story. Could it be that Flynn’s multiple contacts and relationships with Russia were exactly why Trump wanted him? Could it be that they were a feature and not a bug?  Why else hire him and then keep him as long as possible? Perhaps Flynn wasn’t ousted for his Russian connections. He was embraced for them.

 

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In the Trump Inaugural chart, there is a very tight Saturn (23Sagittarius31) square to Mars (24Pisces22), with both planets in minor hard aspect to the Moon (9Scorpio22).  This Moon/Mars/Saturn combination describes a central pattern in the Trump administration:  aggressive, often not-well-considered action (Mars in Pisces) meets restriction, frustration, and push back, often legal (Saturn in Sagittarius), while setting off upset and anger among the people (Moon in hard aspect to Mars and Saturn).  Every time this configuration is set off by transits or progressions, we find an eruption of drama that fits this pattern.

During the first nine days of the administration, transiting Saturn moved to complete the square with Mars and the semisquare with the Moon. Within that period, we had the massive anti-Trump Women’s March across the country, quickly succeeded by the first Muslim ban, which itself was swiftly followed by widespread, angry protests and legal pushback.

At present, from roughly May 9 to May 15, the tertiary progressed Moon has moved to conjunct natal Saturn and then square natal Mars. It was on May 9 that FBI Director Comey was fired, eliciting shock and outrage in the news media and on Capitol Hill, as well as across the country. This response of anger and upset over an ill thought out, aggressive action by Trump is similar to the mood after the Muslim ban. In both instances, we find the Saturn/Mars/Moon combination being activated.

By secondary progression, Saturn will move slowly during the four-year term towards its exact square to Mars and semisquare to the Moon, not quite reaching them by January 2021. Thus, the frustration and restriction (Saturn) placed on Trump’s actions (Mars) and the upset experienced by the people (Moon/Saturn) will continue to intensify over the course of his presidency. The faster moving tertiary progressed Saturn moves to complete the square to Mars and the semisquare to the Moon as of early October, 2017, accentuating the stress experienced over this presidency even more during its first year.

Moreover, the transit of Saturn will twice more cross the exact square to Mars and the semisquare to the Moon during 2017, as it did during the first nine days after the Inauguration. These two periods are likely to also produce surges of anger and reaction to Trump misdeeds. The first covers from June 3 to June 29, when Saturn first squares natal Mars and semisquares natal Moon (6/3 to 6/17) and then conjuncts natal Saturn (6/13 to 6/29).  During this same period, transiting Saturn will be quincunx Trump’s natal Saturn (23Cancer48) from June 11 to June 25, and will begin its crossing opposite his Sun (22Gemini56) from June 25 to July 7, suggesting he will be frustrated and upset over the situation that is unfolding.

Given that there is a Jupiter station square to the US Sun (13Cancer19) from May 13 to June 18, one possibility may be that the turmoil in June is in response to some form of problematic military expansion initiated by the Trump administration that upsets the American people. It is also possible that our national pride will expand (Jupiter/Sun) due to a united Congress working in the national interest, perhaps relating to an honest probe of collusion with Russia in the election, rather than for partisan gain. We shall see. This Jupiter square to the US Sun begins in a few days. It is hard to see how the likely impact of expansive US power and pride will manifest.

The final crossing of Saturn in aspect to the Mars/Saturn/Moon configuration in the Inaugural chart will unfold from October 4 to October 29.  This transit comes at the beginning of the US progressed Moon opposition to natal Mars, which waxes from October 20 through November 20, and is likely to agitate and enflame the American public in some way. These aspects also parallel difficulties showing up in Trump’s chart (Saturn opposite his Sun, quincunx his Saturn, and quincunx his Venus) suggesting that yet again, dramatic circumstances enflame the country and create yet another Trump-inspired psychodrama.

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