On June 1st, 2017, Donald Trump appeared at a White House Rose Garden ceremony to announce his intention of withdrawing the US from the Paris Accords on Climate Change, a non-binding, flexible agreement among 195 nations globally, with only Nicaragua and Syria abstaining. The pact is more aspirational than emphatic, allowing nations to set their own pace and policies to bring them along the road to carbon emissions reductions. As such, the US’s participation was more important symbolically than as a practical matter, establishing us as a world leader as well as a cooperative partner in the struggle to prevent a climate-based disaster in the coming decades.
Which makes Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement even more unfathomable. If there are steps encouraged by the pact with which he disagrees, he can simply slow the pace, alter our approach, or flat-out disregard them. There is no enforcement mechanism; this is simply an agreement on a goal.
But apparently, combating global climate change is not a goal of the Trump Administration, although just as apparently, dismantling every vestige of the Obama Administration’s legacy is. It’s difficult to conceive of any other motivation for this action.
As always, the celestial timing is perfect. Slated to come off at 3 PM, Trump built suspense while the waiting audience listened to the soft jazz stylings of a military band, not appearing until after 3:30. It was at 3:35 PM EDT precisely that he uttered the fateful words announcing America’s withdrawal.
The 13 Libra Ascendant for the statement not only exactly conjoined transit Jupiter, it was also within a degree of Trump’s natal Chiron, which many equate to the environmental movement and the healing of our planet, at 14 Libra. Chiron also relates to maverick acts, when one steps out of accepted norms or expected responses and sets a new, often controversial, course. Jupiter is the politics of the decision, with the withdrawal the fulfilment of a campaign promise and a sop to his base which eschews any sort of global collaboration, as well as the diplomacy that created the agreement in the first place. In square was transit Pluto at 18 Capricorn, showing the utter annihilation of that earlier diplomacy. Its conjunction with the 15 Capricorn IC prefigures the mass devastation and destruction to our home (Fourth House cusp) if we do not take effective action immediately.
Forming a T-Square with these points is asteroid Icarus at 15 Aries on the Descendant, suggesting the rash, reckless act of withdrawal. Icarus also factors into another major pattern, involving a second T-Square between the transit Moon (our home, Mother Earth), which at 14 Virgo (Sign of the environment) exactly opposes transit Neptune (representing erosion and the rising sea levels brought by climate change) at 14 Pisces (our essential unity as a people). This polarity squares transit asteroid Troemper (for Trump) at 15 Gemini, itself conjoined asteroid Ceres at 13 Gemini (another indicator of the environment), forming the T-Square with which both Icarus and asteroid Eurydike collude. At 15 Aries and 15 Leo respectively, both are sextile Troemper, adding the flavor of a Mirror Configuration or Fan to the pattern. Eurydike is essentially a backward-looking, nostalgic, conservative energy, which seeks to revive a dead past. Donald Trump, with his natal Sun at 22 Gemini conjoined Eurydike at 28 Gemini, is a prime exemplar of that energy, as noted in his campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again”, vowing to revitalize long-dead industries and bring back jobs which have left forever. And thus Icarus’ rashness is not only highlighted in the moment, as angular, but also tied directly to Trump himself, in the sextile to Troemper. As if to drive home the point, Icarus is also in square to Trump’s natal Mercury, representing the decision-making process itself and the announcement, at 8 Cancer.
Troemper is also within orb of the Sun, rapidly approaching from 11 Gemini. This places Trump front and center on the world stage. The pair will be running together within five degrees from May 31 through June 26, bringing Trump’s core essence more vividly to the fore, visible to all as the Sun illumines his celestial marker for an extended period, increasing visibility and casting light upon inner dynamics such as motivation and self-image. The two will come together exactly at 22 Gemini, conjunct Trump’s natal Sun, during his Solar Return, so this energy of exposure and highlighting continues throughout the ensuing year.
Transit Mercury at 21 Taurus is conjunct asteroid Requiem at 17 Taurus, and opposes asteroid NOT at 17 Scorpio. This indicates a decision (Mercury) to end something (Requiem, named for the funeral mass for the dead), a statement (Mercury) that negates (NOT) a prior position. Mercury is also loosely squared to another extended conjunction which has been wreaking havoc of late, namely the combination of asteroids Damocles and Whitehouse, currently at 26 and 29 Aquarius.
These two have been within five degrees of each other since mid-April, and will continue together until mid-December, apart from a few weeks in late September and early October, when they are briefly out of orb. This pairing unites a sense of doom hanging unseen overhead (Damocles) with the current administration (Whitehouse). It coincides with the ramp-up of the Russian investigations, and may well see their end, perhaps in ways inimical to Trump’s reputation and future. When transit asteroid Combe ventured into square from Taurus in early May, FBI Director James Comey found himself out of a job, an instance illustrating how the Sword of Damocles can fall on another with the White House as catalyst. When the pair fell atop asteroid Kathy in Kathy Griffin’s birth chart, she too fell afoul of the Oval Office, in the aftermath of a photo depicting the comedian holding a severed head resembling Trump.
But generally, the blending of these energies suggests that it is predominantly the resident of the Oval Office who has to worry about vengeful fate catching up with him. This pair in simultaneous square to asteroid Washingtonia at 28 Scorpio indicates that even among Capitol Hill allies, Trump’s hand is a weak one, and the unlooked-for disaster can descend from many quarters. While this pattern remains in force, the sense of doom is palpable, oppressive and inescapable.
Also of interest is the exact square between Mars and Chiron, at 28 Gemini and Pisces. Asteroid NOT is broadly sesquiquadrate to both, forming a loose Thor’s Hammer configuration. The implication is of a struggle, endeavor or action (Mars) which remains unattempted (NOT), relating to the wounding of the environment (both Chiron). Asteroid America brings the US directly into this mix, by conjunction with Chiron from 22 Pisces. From that degree, America is exactly squared Trump’s natal Sun, suggesting that he is at odds with the nation, and his decision is unpopular in the country at large, as well as among big business, as exemplified by Saturn joining this as a T-Square, from 25 Sagittarius. Indeed, more than a hundred CEOs of American businesses, including Wall Street firms and Exxon Mobil, have urged Trump to keep the US aligned with the Paris Accord, to no avail.
Asteroid Paris has a role to play in the day as well, as eponym of the Accord. At 9 Leo, Paris is broadly conjunct asteroid d’Arrest at 1 Leo, another point noted for slowing, slackening, cessation or termination, as in “to arrest progress.” Trump’s natal d’Arrest at 24 Libra is stationary, about to turn direct two days after his birth. This becomes an embedded psychological factor for Trump, establishing him as somewhat of a contrarian, willing to act as a roadblock, tending toward the negative or countervailing opinion, just for the sake of disagreement. This point has been receiving considerable attention of late, with a retrograde station of Jupiter in conjunction from 23 Libra in February (boosting its psychological impact), and ongoing oppositions from Uranus (shocks, upsets, controversies) and TNO Eris (strife, discord, troublemaking). On the day in question, natal d’Arrest was also receiving an opposition from Venus at 25 Aries and a conjunction from asteroid Pandora (unexpected consequences of poor decisions) at 26 Libra.
Paris is also sextile the Sun at 11 Gemini and Jupiter at 13 Libra, placing focus once again on the diplomatic rift (Jupiter) generated that day (Sun). Incredibly, Donald Trump’s natal Paris is also at 9 Leo, so he was experiencing a “Paris Return” at the time, an event which recurs only every 12 years. At one point in his speech, Trump opined that he was elected to serve the needs of the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris. Asteroid Pittsburghia at 2 Taurus is broadly squared Paris, symbolizing that verbal contrast.
Paris also conjoins Trump’s natal Pluto at 10 Leo, both natally and by transit, an indicator of some degree of alteration or transformation with potentially far-reaching or devastating results. In this light, asteroid Nemesis, named for the Greek goddess of divine retribution, is also of note. At 4 Aquarius in the chart, Nemesis widely opposes Paris, but is also stationary, about to turn retrograde two days later. This puts Nemesis in a very powerful position, a still point upon which the day revolves, with Trump acting her role as nemesis to the agreement. Trump’s natal Nemesis is also highlighted by the moment he chose to make his speech, with a 15 Cancer MC closely conjunct its natal degree at 16 Cancer.
Since the goals set by the Paris Accord are voluntary, with no enforcement mechanism, America’s withdrawal from the agreement may make little difference to the outcome, if we continue to focus on reducing greenhouse gases on our own. Rather, Trump’s decision is reflective of a lack of willingness to engage and cooperate globally, to isolate the country and extract it from all types of foreign commitments or international collaboration. This sends a dangerous message of detachment and disconnection, affording others the opportunity to pick up our discarded mantle of global leader.