Two Trump-related stories came into focus in mid-June, just as the President celebrated his 72nd birthday. On the day of, June 14th, New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood gave Trump a rather unusual present, charging his charitable organization, the Trump Foundation, with state and federal charities law violations extending over a decade.
Meanwhile, controversy mounted over the Justice Department’s “zero tolerance” policy on immigration, which has been the cause of children being separated from their parents and held in detention. The debate came to a crescendo over the Father’s Day weekend, with Trump attempting to lay the blame for the “law” (which this isn’t, it’s an administration policy which can easily be changed) at the feet of congressional Democrats.
Let’s begin with the lawsuit, which includes additional directors of the Trump Foundation, the President’s children, Don Jr, Eric and Ivanka. Truly, as in the old adage, charity begins at home, and the lawsuit alleges that charitable funds were routinely used for Trump’s personal or business advantage, extending to unlawful political coordination with the 2016 Trump presidential campaign. Underwood’s statement reads in part: “As our investigation reveals, the Trump Foundation was little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his business to nonprofits, regardless of their purpose or legality.”
The lawsuit claims that payments were made from Foundation funds to settle legal claims against Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and his National Golf Club, at Trump’s personal direction. Among the more egregious incidents was the purchase of a portrait of himself, at a cost of $10,000; the “artwork” now hangs at the Trump National Doral in Miami. Further allegations include unlawful political contributions, and the participation of the Foundation in Trump political fundraising events, along with false IRS filings.
Underwood is seeking $2.8 million in restitution and penalties, the dissolution of the Foundation, and to bar Trump from serving as a director of a New York not-for-profit for ten years; his children would be barred from such service for a year.
Neptune and Jupiter are the planetary arbiters of charity, but we can look to two asteroids for issues with charitable institutions as well. These are Charito, closest in spelling; and Charis, the singular form of the Greek noun “Charites”, goddesses which in English are known as the “Graces”, relating to the dispensing of kindness, mercy, good-will or favor.
When the story broke on June 14th, there was a remarkable T-Square in the sky, comprised of Charis at 28 Pisces opposed Troemper at 25 Virgo, both in square to Charito at 28 Gemini, conjoined the Sun with TNO Chaos at 23 Gemini and Tantalus at 27 Gemini (these also conjoin Donald Trump’s natal Sun at 22 Gemini). Charito with the Sun puts issues of charity front and center, highlighted for the period, while Tantalus relates to heinous or unforgivable acts, and Chaos liberally spreads its own particular brand of disruption and turmoil. In addition to the connection of these to his natal Sun, transit Troemper in the mix here designates Trump as pivotal to the story.
Neptune played its traditional part in charity – at 16 Pisces it is exactly conjunct asteroid Washingtonia, for Washington DC, Trump’s current city of residence. Transit Whitehouse at 29 Aries has been paired with transit Uranus at 1 Taurus for several weeks, evoking additional and ongoing controversy around this disputatious president. Transit Jupiter at 14 Scorpio, also involved with charity work via the dissemination of mercy and largesse, currently opposes asteroid Nemesis at 11 Taurus, suggesting potential undoing from that quarter.
Barbara Underwood is also in evidence, with asteroid Underwood at 25 Leo conjoined Barbara at 0 Virgo. Underwood is sextile to the Sun/Charito conjunction, inconjunct Charis and exactly semisextile Troemper. Barbara at 0 Virgo closely conjoins Trump’s natal Ascendant at 29 Leo, affecting how others view him, and squares transit Karma, the results of our actions, at 4 Sagittarius, forming a second T-Square with transit Justitia, representing the New York Department of Justice which Barbara Underwood heads, at 2 Pisces.
Natally, Trump has Charito at 8 Cancer, exactly conjoined Mercury, with transit Mercury at 9 Cancer fresh from its return to its natal place, and activating the potential for newsworthy developments regarding Trump’s charitable endeavors inherent in that natal pairing. Natal Charito at 27 Cancer combines with Saturn and Karma at 23 Cancer, as well as Venus at 25. This shows a predisposition to blend charitable (Charito) funds (Venus) with business interests (Saturn), possibly to his detriment (Karma). There is a striking allusion to the portrait purchased with Trump Foundation funds as well, with Venus ruling art and decor.
Trump’s natal asteroid Barbara at 18 Aries squares natal Nemesis (as does Mueller, at 13 Aries) establishing her as an antagonist and potential influence in Trump’s self-undoing (Nemesis). Natal asteroid Underwood at 21 Scorpio conjoins Trump’s natal IC at 24 Scorpio, granting persons of that name with angular force and importance in his biography.
Pretty impressive stuff. And the family separation story is no less so.
On April 6th, Attorney General Jefferson “Jeff” Sessions announced a “zero tolerance” immigration policy – all persons crossing the US/Mexico border without authorization would be detained and prosecuted. An essential part of the policy included separating families, removing minor children from their parents’ custody, segregating them by gender, and warehousing them in facilities like the converted Walmart in McAllen, Texas, which has become the epicenter of the recent controversy.
The policy was specifically designed to discourage immigration, as expressed more than a year earlier by then Secretary of Homeland Security (now White House Chief of Staff) General John Kelly, and includes persons applying for asylum, a legal act. Formerly individuals or groups who crossed the border at any point and surrendered themselves to ICE officials could apply for asylum; now only those who attempt to enter the US at official points of entry will be considered, and often once there, they are turned away and told to return later, due to “lack of personnel resources” for processing them.
Children as young as infancy are being removed from their parents, and consigned to the care of total strangers, who are not even allowed to touch or console them. The “lucky” ones remain in contact with their parents via weekly phone or video conferencing calls; eventually they are turned over to HHS officials for placement with fosters, orphanages, or family members already resident in the US, or are deported. They are housed in what can best be described as cages or “pens”, areas demarked by chain-link fence partitions, where they sleep on mats on the floor, covered by Mylar blankets.
They receive two hours of exercise per day, instruction in English and US civics, three meals and two snacks, and have access to TV and video games. Pediatric psychiatric specialists have stated that the damage caused by the trauma of separation at such tender ages is permanent and incalculable; there is no way to assess the lifelong repercussions.
Blowback on the “zero tolerance” decision didn’t begin to grow until it was revealed that almost 2000 minors were being held, and reporting began to illustrate the conditions under which they were detained. The administration has done its usual fine job of messaging, initially denying there was any such policy, then claiming it was a law they had no choice but to enforce, then trying to justify the action. President Trump repeatedly blamed the Democrats for the situation and the non-extant “law” which created it; Jeff Sessions first attempted to provide a Biblical justification for the detentions, and then, when evangelical pastors denounced this as a misinterpretation of scripture, averred that comparisons to Nazi concentration camps were unwarranted because the Nazis were trying to keep the Jews from leaving Germany, whereas the US is trying to keep populations from entering illegally. Current Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at first denied the existence of the policy, then denied it was policy per se as opposed to law, and finally tried to mollify protest with a press conference where she stated that reportage of the conditions at the holding facilities was exaggerated.
Politicians from both sides of the aisle have expressed growing concern and condemnation over the separation policy, which can be altered at any time with a simple directive from the President, including all three former First Ladies, who have each weighed in on the policy’s essential cruelty and inhumanity. Even Melania Trump subtly expressed mild disagreement with her husband’s position. But the policy remains popular with the GOP base, and to reverse it would imply weakness or vacillation, two things which are anathema to Donald Trump, who is clearly trying to use the predicament of these children as leverage to force congress to provide funding for his proposed border wall, and regularize the position of the DACA recipients.
Although the controversy has been building for weeks, things came to a head in mid-June, and I chose to cast a chart for Father’s Day, June 17th, for its symbolism and resonance to the administration’s most vocal push-back on the issue, as demonstrated by appearances on the Sunday political talk shows.
I was not at all surprised to find that asteroid Child at 20 Cancer was exactly opposing Pluto at 20 Capricorn, governing deep psychological trauma, manipulation and control, and scandal. Child is broadly conjoined asteroid Apophis at 28 Cancer, named for the ancient Egyptian personification of pure evil, which opposes asteroid Askalaphus at 29 Capricorn, just within orb of Pluto, indicating the revealing of secrets. A loose Grand Cross is created with the addition of TNO Eris at 23 Aries, governing dispossessed, marginalized populations, and asteroid Allen at 27 Aries (for McAllen, Texas, the main focus of the story at this time), opposed asteroid Photographica at 17 Libra, denoting the images which have gone viral and promulgated the story, TNO Haumea at 23 Libra, named for the Hawaiian goddess of childbirth, and TNO Rhadamanthus at 27 Libra, named for a mythic Greek judge of the dead noted for his strict adherence to the letter of the law and the meting out of severe punishments.
All the players are in evidence. Asteroid Troemper, for Donald Trump, at 26 Virgo is exactly squared the transit Sun at 26 Gemini, traveling with TNO Chaos at 23 and asteroid Tantalus at 29 Gemini. Tantalus is another point which refers to heinous acts of an unforgivable, unconscionable nature. Troemper also conjoins asteroid Texas at 1 Libra, the border state most associated with the policy, and opposes asteroid Mexico at 29 Pisces, the border country through which these migrant children pass (though most are not natives of that land).
Asteroid Jefferson, for Jefferson “Jeff” Sessions, appears at 8 Aquarius, exactly conjunct Mars and accompanied by asteroid Pandora at 9 Aquarius. All points are essentially stationary, and all have or will turn at 9 Aquarius, the degree where Mars will turn retrograde on June 26th. Jefferson turned at that degree on June 1st, and Pandora on June 9th. Jefferson with Mars shows an embattled stance, evoking strife and conflict; Pandora represents the unleashing of unintended consequences, as in the blowback to the decision. Also here is asteroid Achilles at 0 Aquarius, suggesting a vulnerability or weak spot.
Asteroid Nielsen, for the Homeland Security Secretary, appears at 5 Capricorn, conjunct Saturn at 6 Cap. Homeland Security is the enforcer here, a Saturnian function, carrying out the policy enacted by Sessions at Justice. Nielsen squares Texas at 1 Libra and is trine to a conjunction of Whitehouse and Uranus at 0 and 1 Taurus, which of itself indicates controversy for the administration. Nielsen’s square to Texas suggests conflict arising from that quarter, the trine to Whitehouse indicates support for the policy. Whitehouse is also opposed to TNO Typhon at 2 Scorpio, suggesting the storm or maelstrom the administration finds itself immersed in due to this decision.
Looking at Donald Trump’s natal chart, we find asteroid Child in a pivotal position. At 24 Virgo, Child is part of a Grand Cross, squaring the Sun at 22 Gemini and the Moon at 21 Sagittarius, and exactly opposing TNO Chaos at 24 Pisces. Also in the mix is TNO Salacia and asteroid Achilles, both at 24 Sag, forming an exact T-Square with Child and Chaos. Traditionally, Salacia refers to sexual issues of a scandalous nature, though it can denote any type of sensational or scandalous situation. (Interestingly, Trump has often expressed an uncomfortably blunt admiration for his daughter Ivanka’s sexual attractiveness, asserting that he would date her himself if she weren’t his child, a probable manifestation of this Child/Salacia connection.) Achilles shows a weak point or vulnerability (the “Achilles heel”, which the public reaction to this policy may provide for the administration), and the precision of the opposition from Child to Chaos suggests a refined ability to sow turmoil, anarchy and confusion in this population.
Rhadamanthus is also in this pattern, conjoined the Sun from 23 Gemini. The mythic judge for whom this point is named had a reputation for scrupulous honesty, a character trait which seems to have eluded The Donald (The Washington Post recently calculated that Trump had uttered over 3000 lies, misleading statements or falsehoods in his first 15 months in office), but he does stand by Rhadamanthus’ policy of strict adherence to the letter of the law (at least for others), and administering harsh punishments for infractions. Again, the square to Child suggests he is particularly susceptible to expressing severity with minors.
Once before Trump attempted to hold immigrant populations hostage to his vaunted border wall, when he tried to coerce Democrats to agree to funding in exchange for a fix to the status of the DACA “Dreamers”, individuals, now adults, who were brought illegally into the country as minors, through no fault of their own. He got nowhere with that blackmail, so he has now upped the ante by threatening migrant children currently in his custody, and the public and political response to this inhumane ploy will determine just how far we have sunk as a nation under his “leadership.”