The Washington Post, which dutifully reported a new government intelligence analysis purporting to confirm that the Russians interfered with the presidential election, has followed up with alarming evidence that the Kremlin hacked into the U.S. power grid. Continue reading OMG, Putin hacked into the power grid!
One of my goals in launching this blog is to encourage people to think more critically about the news.
Inundated by a toxic wave of partisan journalism, government propaganda, and just plain sloppy reporting, readers have to apply filters, or they’d be overwhelmed to the point of insanity. Continue reading Upgrading Your Critical Thinking Cap
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, wasting no time after Hillary Clinton’s stunning defeat in the wee hours of November 9, issued a brief statement later in the day and then launched full-steam ahead on a tour to promote his new campaign memoir, Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In. Continue reading Bernie Sanders: I’m Baaack!
As Donald Trump was walking to the podium to give his victory speech, it looked to me like he was about to cry.
Perhaps it was simply fatigue. After all, it was 3 a.m. and the end of a grueling campaign that would have exhausted anyone, let alone a 70-year-old man. Even so, with the ultimate spotlight upon him, you would think a Rising Leo would be beaming ear to ear.
Maybe, like everyone else, he was in a state of shock. Only two weeks earlier, his own pollster conceded that he was way behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the odds-on favorite. The abrupt reality that in two months he would be responsible for running the most-powerful nation on earth had to have been sobering, enough to humble even a billionaire business tycoon of the greatest, most amazing immodesty.
Trump’s brief address was uncharacteristically gracious, conciliatory, and restrained. Although it couldn’t erase 18 months of divisive rhetoric, it garnered cautious support from political leaders key to his future success or failure. President Barack Obama set the tone in an address to the nation the day after the election, followed by remarks the next day in a joint appearance with the president-elect.
“[A]s I said last night, my number-one priority in the coming two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our President-elect is successful,” Obama said following a 90-minute meeting with Trump that was scheduled to last half an hour. “And I have been very encouraged by the, I think, interest in President-elect Trump’s wanting to work with my team around many of the issues that this great country faces.”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an Independent who ran as a Democrat against Clinton in the primaries, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the progressive Democrat from Massachusetts, both said they would be willing to work with Trump. “To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him,” Sanders said. “To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him.”
For his part, Trump indicated that he would rely on Obama’s counsel – a revelation that can’t have pleased Republican leaders hard at work on an agenda they hope will fly through the Republican majority in both houses of Congress. It’s too early to tell how much of it Trump will go along with. Already, he’s softening his positions on hard-line campaign statements, such as repealing Obama’s healthcare legislation and prosecuting Clinton. After months of calling her “Crooked Hillary” and suggesting she should go to jail, he now says it’s not a priority.
For all practical purposes, all bets are off on what a Trump administration will do. The pundits have been making predictions for months, even though very few gave him any chance of winning. Even fewer predicted he would get support from liberal lawmakers such as Sanders and Warren. New estimates are coming out daily as information emerges from Trump’s transition team, but circumstances are changing so fast that they may not have a very long shelf life.
Astrologers didn’t fare much better in predicting the outcome of the election. There were some who correctly predicted that Trump would win, but most favored Clinton, including a panel of astrologers at the annual conference of the International Society for Astrological Research (ISAR). Ray Merriman, ISAR’s president, has some good observations in his latest weekly forecast on how we missed it, not the least of which is that Hillary Clinton actually won the popular vote. “I cannot think of a single astrological model that would be able to measure or project an electoral vote outcome with more probability than a popular vote,” he writes.
Maybe we can do better at forecasting his first 100 days in office. There are several charts we could analyze, including the chart for the time the election was called for Trump, the Inauguration chart, charts for the solar eclipses on September 1, 2016, and February 26, 2017, the 2016 and 2017 Aries ingress charts, Trump’s transits and progressions, and charts for major planetary transits, such as the Mars-Neptune conjunction on New Year’s Day (late New Year’s Eve in western time zones) and Venus retrograde on March 4. Many astrologers will have others, with many different ways to interpret them.
The three I’d like to consider here are for the moment the election was called for Trump, plus transits to Trump’s natal chart on his first and one-hundredth day in office. This isn’t intended to be a thorough analysis but rather a preliminary discussion of the astrological influences at work during the first 100 days of his administration.
The election was called by The Associated Press at 2:29 a.m. on November 9. The chart has 25°15″ Virgo Rising, with Mercury at 24°53″ Scorpio in the third house of communications, in an applying sextile to the Ascendant and partile quincunx to the Midheaven at 24°36″ Gemini.
Mars is at 0°03″ Aquarius, having left Capricorn less than two hours earlier, as the last glimmer of hope for a Clinton victory was vanishing. Mars is exalted in Capricorn, which is associated with the established order. Among its traits are patience, discipline, and respect for the rules. Conversely, Aquarius represents the rule-breaker and upstart, rebellions, shocks, and upsets. With Uranus in Mars-ruled Aries since late May 2010, world affairs already were in a volatile state.1,2 We can expect major upheavals between now and December 19, but even after Mars enters laidback Pisces, there will be more surprises, possibly in the form of shocking secrets revealed to the public.
On January 27th, just a week after Trump takes office, Mars will enter its own sign of Aries. At the solar eclipse on February 26, Mars will be conjunct Uranus by exact degree, in an ominous cardinal T-square with Jupiter and Pluto reminiscent of global civil unrest in 2013 and 2014.
Another stand-out feature of the election night chart is the close conjunction of Neptune with the lunar South Node at 9-10 degrees Pisces, and the Moon in an applying conjunction. Neptune represents confusion and possibly deceit, although the fog is so thick that even when you know it’s concealing something, you just can’t see it … maybe because there’s nothing there after all. At times like this, we need reliable instrument panels, because we can’t trust our own eyes and ears. Unfortunately, anything with electronics can be hacked. Until the fog lifts, we need to proceed with caution, concentrate on remaining stable and upright, and remind ourselves that we don’t know what we don’t know.
Mars conjoins the South Node the day after Christmas, crosses 9 degrees Pisces on New Year’s Eve, and conjoins Neptune on New Year’s Day. If there were any irregularities in the election or other unforeseen consequences, these are key dates to watch.
Much already has been written about the Inaugural chart for the United States, so I will leave that to others, except to note that the Inauguration is always held on January 20, at noon. This means the Sun is always in the first or second degree of Aquarius, and Taurus will always be on the Ascendant.
What’s interesting here is that Mars entered the first degree of Aquarius right before the election was called for Trump. In mundane charts, the Sun represents the country’s leader. The Inaugural chart also features a stellium of Neptune, Venus, and Mars in Pisces, plus Chiron and the lunar South Node. I realize how contentious this election cycle has been, with passionate arguments on both sides. Maybe, just maybe, it’s a good sign that Chiron, the planet of wounds and healing, is snugly tucked between Venus and Mars, which represent the polar opposites of female and male, all in Pisces, the sign of unity and compassion. Of course, Pisces isn’t the fish, but the fishes, whose negative characteristics include excessive secrecy, passive-aggression, addiction, escapist behavior, and feeling that one is always the victim.
One additional point worth mentioning is that the Inaugural chart has no retrograde planets, which is relatively rare and bodes well for the new administration. Inauguration Day happens to fall within a four-week window that is the only period of the entire year when all of the planets are direct.
There also has been enough written about Trump’s natal chart that it’s not necessary to go into a lot of detail here. The one thing worth repeating is the conjunction of his Sun, lunar North Node, and Uranus in Gemini. Sun-Uranus people display many characteristics we associate with Aquarius. There’s no denying that Trump can be shocking and that he’s anti-establishment. For those who wonder how any of his supporters could see him as an “outsider” when he’s one of the billionaire class that has reaped most of the benefits of the economic recovery while working families struggle even harder to make ends meet, remember that many top Republican leaders refused to endorse him, precisely because he’s not a member of their “club.” In short, he’s not a Davos Man.
Let’s turn to Trump’s transit charts for his first day in office and his 100th day – technically, the 97th, which I’ve chosen instead, because it’s the day of the New Moon in Taurus (and the 100th day falls on a Saturday).
In the debate over who would win the election, much was made of Saturn’s pass over Trump’s Moon at 21 degrees Sagittarius. Saturn transits usually occur in three phases. In Trump’s chart, the first pass falls on December 30, just as transiting Mars is closing in on the conjunction with Neptune mentioned above.
Saturn stations retrograde at just under 28 degrees Sagittarius on April 5th and stations direct on August 25, two arc seconds from Trump’s Moon. That means he will have a prolonged Saturn-Moon conjunction, within 5 degrees of exactitude from May 22 to November 16, 2017, and in a partile conjunction from July 24 to September 26. Saturn’s second and third pass over his Moon essentially will be a 12-day conjunction in late August, during which there is a total eclipse of the Sun directly over the United States – the so-called Great American Eclipse. I don’t know about you, but I’m all in favor of making American Eclipses Great Again!
The Saturn-Moon conjunction happens once every 29 years and is generally regarded as a depressing and lonely time. Trump might not feel so great about himself, which is easy enough to imagine of someone who has taken on a gargantuan job for which he is ill-prepared. His confidence in his ability to forge deals could be badly shaken in the first 100 days, as could his confidence overall. He won’t be able to ignore the advice of staff and wing it, as he did during the presidential debates. And while he campaigned on “draining the swamp” of political insiders, those people know their way around Washington politics, and Trump could find himself in the weaker position.
We don’t know the “real Donald Trump” and so don’t know whether he really thinks he’s as great as he lets on. But if he does, the Saturn-Moon conjunction could bring a real come-uppance – not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. Ultimately, this could be a profound growth experience for him.
On the brighter side, he will be in the midst of a Jupiter return on Inauguration Day. This is another transit that usually happens in three phases. The first pass will be on December 4, 2016. By the Inauguration, Jupiter will be slowing to its station retrograde on February 6, in a tight square with Trump’s natal Saturn. This could help him meet challenges, particularly in choosing advisers. It won’t be surprising if he goes through several major personnel changes (as he did in his campaign) before assembling a team he’s comfortable with and that’s comfortable with him. With transiting Uranus opposing natal Jupiter and squaring natal Saturn, there could be some serious shakeups, and it won’t take long for embarrassing internal conflicts to be leaked to the media. There also will be adjustments to his everyday life that he could find confining and irritating. Sagittarius Moon needs freedom, but President Trump will not be free to go anywhere he wishes, whenever he wishes, and his personal life is going to be in a fishbowl.
Despite the overwhelming challenges, there are indications in the charts that President Trump’s first 100 days in office could be surprisingly successful. While Saturn on his Moon may bring a constant barrage of discouraging criticism and negative press, and with the stress of a T-square to his natal Saturn suggesting constant upheavals in staff and surroundings, there is an ace in the hole. Transiting Jupiter and Uranus, while squaring natal Saturn, also form a tight trine/sextile to his Sun-Uranus conjunction. If he does manage to make good on some of his campaign pledges to help the suffering middle class, he will get the credit for it.
As of the New Moon on April 26, Trump will be just past the second pass of his Jupiter return; the third and final pass will occur in the wee hours of August 4. During the turbulent eclipse period, Jupiter will be in an applying trine with Trump’s Sun – which also means it will be in a close sextile with transiting Saturn on Trump’s Moon. As infuriating as it may be for those who detest the man, this fortunate transit suggests that he’s likely to remain relatively unscathed this summer when new scandals emerge.
If he can climb the steep learning curve between now and Inauguration Day and also find a way to allay fears that hate groups will have free rein during his presidency, his first 100 days will give him the momentum he’ll need to make it through what’s sure to be an intense summer, when the eyes of all the world will be on him.
1. Mars entered Aquarius at 12:36 a.m. EST, November 9.
2. Uranus entered Aries on May 27, 2010, but stationed retrograde a month later and returned to Pisces in mid-August. It re-entered Aries on March 11, 2011, and will remain there until May 2018.
This article is an edited version of a post that originally appeared on The Mountain Astrologer’s blog on Nov. 15, 2016.
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