Alex's Asteroid Astrology - Alex Miller

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Aster-Obit: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

–Ruth Bader Ginsburg

 

On September 18th, 2020, the US political world was shaken to its foundations by the death of the Notorious R.B.G., Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an associate Justice of the US Supreme Court and liberal icon for almost thirty years.  Ginsburg succumbed to complications arising from metastasized pancreatic cancer, after struggling with the disease in one form or another for over twenty years.  Ginsburg’s death, coming so close to a US presidential election, completely upends the calculus, energizing both sides, as conservatives scramble to replace her before they may lose control of the White House and Senate, and progressives cry “Foul!” in the face of clear double standards regarding the rules for filling such vacancies.

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House Diary: Late Summer Wrap-Up

 

[Cover photo:  A late summer bouquet of zinnia, Maximillian sunflower, marigold, Shasta daisy and sedum brightens the dining table, already set for fall]

 

It’s been a long, hot summer, but at last the autumn breezes have arrived!  Prime time to look back and review the progress the garden has shown this first season on the property.

 

Over all, I’m very pleased with how things have gone.  I actually lost only a single perennial, one of those new ill-fated heliopsis cultivars in orange; everything else either thrived, or held its own.  And considering all the plants I plunked into this bit of soil, that’s pretty amazing.  Now, the big question is – what liked it enough to return next year?  But that’s an answer for next spring – for now, let’s just take an amble down memory lane, horticulture style.

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Sally Sashays Ashore

Moving at barely a walking pace of 3 mph, Hurricane Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama as a Category Two storm at 4:45 AM CDT on September 16, 2020.  The storm promises to be one of the worst water-dumpers ever, with historic levels of rainfall expected and major flooding likely.  Up to 30” of rain is predicted in some locations, a devastating amount of precip as Sally slogs her soggy way across the south-east.

 

Astrologically, too, Sally promises to be a major event, fitting the pattern of her PNA (Personal-Named Asteroid) in major aspect to the Sun.  In this instance, we have asteroid Salli, an alternate spelling, which at 29 Sagittarius is squared the Sun, coming in just under the wire of 24 Virgo, at 23 Virgo 59 for her landfall.  A broad T-Square is created by Neptune, planetary ruler of floods, opposed the Sun from 19 Pisces, where it is accompanied by asteroid Achilles at 23 Pisces, a symbol of vulnerability, and asteroid Heracles at 25 Pisces, a symbol of strength and power.  In this case, vulnerability (Achilles) from water (Neptune), via a storm that already exceeded expectations for its strength (Heracles) at landfall.

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TRIUMF or Tragedy?

There’s a new point (to me) which has come across my radar recently – asteroid TRIUMF, which may have bearing on the 2020 election outcome.  An anagram for the Canadian national particle accelerator (originally called the TRI University Meson Facility), TRIUMF seems to operate well as its phonetic clone, “triumph”, an indicator of ultimate victory or success.

 

TRIUMF would of course have many applications not solely related to the political or career sphere, in theory pertaining to any successful endeavor.   But this teeny orbiting rock chunk does appear to portray a pattern of influence on US presidential nominees and elections, at least in recent times.

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Of Hearts and High Water

For those of you who may not have heard, my heart has been out of rhythm (again) and my basement was flooded by Isaias a few weeks ago.  While unrelated, I do like the alliteration of the title, so here goes!

 

My heart issues began with birth, when Kevin Mark Miller incarnated in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania at 1:37 PM EDT on July 27, 1960.  (That’s my legal name still, and I use asteroid Kevin when tracking physical issues, as I do my self-chosen moniker of Alex and its variations, though we don’t like or use the K-word except for official business).  I was underweight as an infant and small child (a defect I have more than made up for subsequently, I assure you!), due to having been born with a hole in a ventricle of my heart.

 

If I’d had an astrologer then (well, one using asteroids, anyway), she would have been able to warn me that, with asteroid Kevin at 0 Leo conjoined the Sun at 4 Leo, and exactly opposed asteroid Valentine (symbolizing hearts) at 0 Aquarius, cardiac problems could be an issue.  Open heart surgery at age three in 1963, a time when this was still new territory, effectively solved that congenital problem, and I was untroubled by heart concerns for 40-plus years.

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A Tale of Two Nominations

Now that the Democratic and Republican conventions are safely behind us, and their nominees are official, we can take a look at the acceptance charts for those nominations, as a preview of what to expect for the campaign and the upcoming election in November.

 

Joe Biden confirmed his Party’s nomination by uttering “with great honor and humility, I accept this nomination,” at 10:49 PM EDT on August 20th, 2020, from a largely empty school gymnasium in Wilmington, Delaware, with himself, his running mate, the spectators and crew observing current CDC guidelines on mask-wearing and social distancing.

 

Donald Trump’s statement that “with a heart full of gratitude and boundless optimism, I profoundly [?  did he mean “proudly”?] accept this nomination” occurred on August 27th at 10:28 PM EDT, in front of a crowd of 1500 people, largely without masks, packed check-by-jowl on the White House lawn. 

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The Wrath of Laura

[Cover Image:  Laura was so massive, she filled virtually the entire Gulf of Mexico adjacent to the US]

The first major-impact storm (at least from the US perspective) of the 2020 hurricane season is Hurricane Laura, which made landfall in Cameron, Louisiana at 1 AM CDT on Thursday, August 27th.  Hitting as a Category Four storm, the strongest ever to make landfall on the Louisiana coast, Laura maintained her momentum until well inland, only dropping to a Category Two stage more than fifty miles from shore.

 

From the release of the World Meteorological Organization’s 2020 hurricane name list, Laura betrayed all the hallmarks of becoming a serious storm, from a celestial perspective.  First, she had an exact asteroid match for her name, like 2018’s hurricane Florence, scourge of the Carolinas; or Maria before her, which devastated Puerto Rico in 2017; and Irma before that, inundating Naples, Florida earlier that year.  And also like these three, Laura would have a period of time during hurricane season when her PNA (Personal-Named Asteroid) would be interacting with the transit Sun.  Asteroids Florence and Irma had been conjunct the Sun when they wreaked their havoc, and asteroid Maria had been squared.  For asteroid Laura, that time was now, in opposition.

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Harris Wins Veepstakes

On Tuesday 11 August 2020, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden made his long-awaited choice for running mate in the 2020 election:  US Senator and former nomination contender Kamala Harris (D-CA).  I suggested Harris as a running mate for Biden in my January 2019 profile on her when she announced her candidacy for president, based not so much on astrological analysis as a gut feeling that this would make a winning team.

 

Harris’ chart shows a clear professional drive for the White House, and the connections between her and Biden suggest she’ll be an asset on the campaign trail, and a worthy successor when the time comes, should they win in November.

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House Diary: Lammas

[Cover image:  The Corn Wheel I made in the early 1990s is still serviceable as the center attraction for the Lammas season, evoking corn, one of the glories of August, as well as anticipating autumn, with its use of Indian corn for the spokes representing the eightfold year.]

 

Lammas, August 1st, is the celebration of the First Harvest, that of grains.  It takes its name from an Anglo-Saxon term meaning “loaf-mass”, a day when early Christians brought their milled grain and fresh-baked breads to be blessed by the Church.  As with so much of Christian lore, the tradition has its roots in prior pagan practice, and Lammas has been honored by nature religions for the first fruits of the earth time out of mind.  The earlier pagan term is Lughnasadh (pronounced “loo-nah’-sah”), named for the annual games held in honor of the Celtic deity Lugh (“Loo”), god of light.  It was a day for gathering the clans, feasting on the abundant produce, friendly competition, horse trading and “handfasting”, a remarkably sensible mating ritual whereby a couple agrees to cohabit for a year before final vows are exchanged, just to be certain they’re compatible.

 

Here in the garden it’s been a blisteringly hot and dry summer, which spells trouble for yours truly and the errant well.  So far, adhering to a carefully spaced watering schedule utilizing zones, I have averted a second incident of the well running dry, and a few drenching summer thunderstorms have helped.  We’re having one of those days as I write, on Lammas Eve, so I’m taking advantage of my break in water drills to start composing this entry.

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Aster-Obit: John Lewis

On July 17, 2020 US Representative John Lewis (D-GA), known as “the conscience of the Congress”, passed away at the age of 80.  A former associate of Martin Luther King Jr, Lewis was an influential civil rights leader and had served his district as representative for more than thirty years.  Lewis, one of the organizers of the 1963 March on Washington and the last surviving speaker at that rally, was a leader of the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965, which protested suppression of black voting rights, when he was viciously beaten by Alabama State Troopers at the crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge.  Members of this same organization now saluted his remains when Lewis’ casket was conveyed across that bridge one final time, as part of a protracted funeral process.

 

The five-day official commemoration of Lewis’ death focused on Alabama, where he was born; Georgia, where he represented the state’s 5th district; and Washington DC, where he had served in the House, highlighted in a funeral and lying-in-state at the Capitol Rotunda, first African American to be given that honor.

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Trump: The Nemesis Dialogues

[For my sixtieth birthday, a bit of mythic whimsy, as I revision Nemesis’ role in Donald Trump’s life and career; all celestial relationships are authentic and reflected in Trump’s chart; events alluded to are accurate, though embellished; reported conversations may or may not have occurred.]

 

Nemesis pursed her lips as she glanced about her at the droves of celestials lining up in the Hall of Destiny, shuffling and taking their places for Zeus’ final approval of the about-to-be-incarnated’s horoscope as the birth moment approached.  Enthroned on his dais, the King of the Gods seemed preternaturally still, even from Nemesis’ vantage point, some ninety degrees away.

 

She looked again at her traveling companion, standing on the same degree marker; this wouldn’t do at all.

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Stranger Rings in the Kuiper Belt

Guest blogger Sue Kientz gifts us with some celestial jewelry in the form of her thought-provoking, groundbreaking article on planetary rings in the Kuiper Belt, that icy region past Neptune which may be populated by thousands of dwarf and minor planets.  And so, without further ado, here’s Sue!

 

Saturn’s rings have been explored close-up by robotic spacecraft and found to be small moonlets marshaled into ring shape by nearby moons. Separating the rings are distinct gaps, also made by lunar influences, both examples of how small bodies can be surprisingly influential and in beautiful ways.

This design structure repeats. Saturn is not the only one with rings; Jupiter has gossamer rings as do Uranus and Neptune. Centaur Chariklo and Dwarf Planet Haumea have them. Even the Sun has a huge ring — the main-belt asteroids, corralled by Jupiter and Mars.

So it should not surprise that there is ring-like structure in the Kuiper Belt, itself the Sun’s “outer” ring, maintained by Neptune, but not without gravitational coaxings from Uranus, Saturn, and Jupiter. These giants use gravity to “bully” big Dwarf Planets into safe zones where they peacefully orbit. If they stray from these zones, they’re thrown clear of our solar system or pulled inward and broken into asteroids.

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A Rolling Stone Serves No Time

We last checked in with Trump crony and political adviser Roger Stone eighteen months ago, in January 2019, just after his home was raided by FBI agents, and Stone arrested on seven federal counts of obstruction, making false statements and witness tampering.  It’s been a long road for Stone, who was convicted on all counts in November 2019, then sentenced to forty months in prison on February 20, 2020, after William Barr’s Justice Department attempted to intervene and lighten his prison term, prompted by tweets from the President characterizing his friend’s treatment as “horrible and very unfair” and a “miscarriage of justice”.

 

Stone’s incarceration was due to start July 14, but was superseded when Donald Trump commuted his sentence on Friday, 10 July 2020.  Short of a pardon, the commutation means that Roger Stone, for now, remains a convicted felon, but will never serve a day in prison for his crimes.

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Donald J. Trump: Quitter or Loser?

Trump’s flailing campaign, disastrous responses to the pandemic and racial justice movement, and increasingly obvious unfitness for the office he holds, have sent his poll numbers tumbling to near-subterranean levels.  Trailing “Sleepy Joe” Biden nationally by double digits in poll after poll less than four months before the election, Trump also finds that he’s behind by significant margins in every swing state he won last time, and states thought safe six months ago, like Georgia, Arizona and even Texas, are now definitely in play.  What to do, what to do?

 

It’s a tough predicament for a sociopathic narcissist to be in:  psychologically, he can‘t admit mistakes and course correct – that would be to acknowledge error, which he is constitutionally (no pun intended) incapable of, no matter how small the matter.   But as he doubles down on the division, misogyny, race-baiting and bigotry that propelled him into the office four years ago, he just sinks deeper in the mire electorally. Yet it’s the only game he knows, or is comfortable playing:  attacking others and fomenting the worst instincts in his supporters.  The problem is, it just doesn’t work anymore, in numbers sufficient to retain the presidency.  But again, if he changes his behavior to win votes, then he’s admitting that what he does, doesn’t always work, his choices aren’t perfect, his genius is only temporary, and he’s not flawless.  And he just can’t do that.

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House Diary: Litha

[Cover Photo:  My own personal Stonehenge – the rays of the rising sun illuminate its coppery representation on my living room wall for just the few days surrounding summer solstice]

Litha is the pagan term for summer solstice, the longest day of the year (or thereabouts) in the northern hemisphere.  Ancient Stonehenge is set to catch the rising sun’s rays on this date, which was once celebrated with considerably more panoply than today.  Also known as Midsummer (based on the old agricultural calendar, which divided the year into just two seasons, light and dark, starting with the equinoxes), Litha was commonly observed with the burning of huge bonfires to celebrate the sun at the peak of its maximum, life-giving strength.

 

It’s been a dry spring here at the house, but relatively cool.  Now as Litha and the summer season commences, the temps are rising, but it’s just as dry as ever.  Not a good combo for yours truly, who feels like some botanical version of Gunga Din, lugging gallons of water daily to keep my precious plant babies alive.  But last night some drenching thunderstorms doused the garden, so I’m taking a much-needed morning off to compose this diary entry.

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Catching Up with COVID-19

Late June 2020 saw a resurgence of coronavirus cases across the US, predominantly in states which reopened too quickly, or too recklessly, and where social distancing guidelines had not been strictly adhered to.  Too early to be considered the vaunted “second wave” of the pandemic, this surge is still part of the initial infectious outbreak.  As of June 26, conditions were so bad in Harris County, Texas, home of Houston, that Judge Lina Hidalgo, the county’s Chief Executive, raised the threat level locally to red once more, issuing a second “stay-at-home” order when Texas Medical Center reported 100% of its ICU beds were filled.  Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order banning elective surgery in the county and three others most at risk.

 

According to NBC News figures, Texas has seen an 83% increase in COVID-19 cases since the prior week.  Other emerging hot spots include Georgia (71% increase), Arizona (61%), Oklahoma (50%) and California (35%).  With total reported US infections now exceeding 2.5 million, and more than 127,000 deaths, the US remains the world leader in coronavirus cases, almost six months after the virus was first identified.  At less than 5% of the world population, the US accounts for roughly a quarter of its infections and fatalities, largely due to delayed and inadequate response by its government.  There is still no national program for testing, contact tracing or quarantine, and the same week alarms were sounding on COVID’s resurgence, the Trump administration announced it was pulling funding for testing in key hot spots.

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AAA Profile: Peter O’Toole

Recently I had the opportunity to view “Lawrence of Arabia” again, the 1962 screen classic which reaped seven Academy Awards, detailing the military career of British officer T.E. Lawrence, who led the Arab Revolt that successfully ousted centuries of Ottoman Turkish rule over the Arabian peninsula in the waning days of World War I.  As always, I was taken in by the sweeping majesty of the movie, filmed over a two-year period in the Arabian desert, overwhelming in its epic scope but liberally peppered with human, humane, even humorous moments.  But I was struck by the fact that despite wins for Best Picture, Best Director, Cinematography and Original Music Score, among others, none of the actors won an Oscar, not even Peter O’Toole, outstanding in the title role.

 

Lawrence of Arabia” was O’Toole’s breakout performance, but it wasn’t his only Oscar snub.  Nominated seven more times, four of them in the ensuing decade, the Anglo-Irish actor never took home a little gold statuette for a specific film role, despite a body of work that puts many Oscar winners to shame, including “Becket”, “The Lion in Winter” and “Goodbye Mr. Chips”.  O’Toole once quipped that he was “the biggest loser in Hollywood”, but did reluctantly accept a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award in 2003, after initially refusing the honor on the grounds that he was still acting and would prefer to earn one for himself.

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SCOTUS Cockblocks Conservatives

In a surprise 6-3 decision June 15th, the United States Supreme Court ruled that gays and transgendered individuals are in fact protected by Title VII of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act, which already prohibits discrimination in the workplace on sexual grounds.  Conservatives Chief Justice John Roberts and Trump appointee Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the bloc of four liberals in essentially grandfathering in sexual orientation and gender identification to the nearly sixty-year-old law.  Well, duh.

 

The senior Justice in the majority determines who will write the decision, and John Roberts wasted no time in passing this hot potato along to junior Justice Gorsuch, perhaps the unkindest cut of all for conservatives, who have put up with all manner of crudity, ignorance, and anti-Christian-values shenanigans from Donald Trump, all in the name of the justices he would appoint to the Supreme Court, whom they assumed would rule in support of their views.  As historian Jon Meacham recently opined, “they sold their souls to Trump for the Supreme Court, and now find that his check has bounced.”

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Here We Go Again – the Rayshard Brooks Murder

Late Friday evening, June 12, 2020, Atlanta police were called to a Wendy’s restaurant, where 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was passed out sleeping in his car, blocking the drive-through.  Police gave him a sobriety test, which he failed, and talked with him cordially for over half an hour, while he cooperated and consented to a weapons search of his car, which came up clean.  Brooks suggested he be allowed to walk the few blocks to his sister’s home, but the officers decided to arrest him for DUI.

 

At this point Brooks resisted, broke free of the officers as they attempted to cuff him, was tackled, struggled and grabbed an officer’s taser before breaking free once again and drunkenly lumbering across the parking lot.  At one point he turned and shot the taser wildly in the officers’ general direction, continuing to run away; Officer Garrett Rolfe shot him twice in the back, killing him.  As Brooks lay prone on the ground, struggling for his life, Rolfe approached and kicked him, asserting, “I got him!”, while his partner stood on Brooks’ shoulder; he then waited more than two minutes before offering medical assistance.

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The White Lion: Seeding Racism in America

On August 25, 1619, the privateer vessel White Lion landed at Point Comfort, now Hampton Roads, Virginia, just outside Jamestown.  The ship and its partner, the Treasurer, had encountered and raided the San Juan Bautista in the mid-Atlantic, a Portuguese craft transporting some 200 enslaved Africans as part of its freight, carrying off some 60 for sale in the West Indies.

 

But the two privateers became separated at sea, and the White Lion with its 20-odd captured slaves made port in Virginia, and there traded their human cargo for badly needed food and supplies.  This was the origin of African slavery in the land which would become the United States (some indigenous tribes had practiced slavery with captured enemies for centuries), thus establishing one of the country’s Original Sins (the other being genocide of the native population).

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Donald Trump’s 2020 Solar Return: Fate Awaits

Donald J. Trump’s 74th Solar Return occurs at 8:00 AM EDT on 13 June 2020; I’ve set it for Washington, as the normally peripatetic president has been hobbled of late by COVID-19 restrictions, unable to campaign in the traditional mode, though it’s uncertain as of this writing exactly where he’ll spend his birthday.  Perhaps at Mar-a-Lago?  At 8 AM, however, we can be fairly confident he’ll be in his jammies, tweeting insults at someone.

 

This may be the most important Solar Return (hereafter abbreviated “SR”) in Trump’s life, determining as it does whether he remains the most powerful man in the world, or is removed from office and translated from the White House to the Big House, no longer immune from prosecution as sitting US President.

 

So let’s not waste any time in seeing what it says…

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Four Horsemen: Pluto, Eris, Chaos & Troemper

Boy, do I hate being right.  Maybe that’s why the cosmos permits it so rarely.  On May 24, in an article on Saturn Station Fallout, I wrote:

 

“As an aside, let’s note that Troemper is heading into troubled waters, about to join disaffected Eris and its square to powerhouse Pluto at 24 Aries/Capricorn, also incorporating the political, bombastic energies of Jupiter at 27 Cap.  If you think we live in interesting times now, give it a few weeks!”

 

The next day George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer in the performance of his duty, and all hell broke loose.  Protests against police brutality and treatment of minorities erupted all across the country, in more than 140 cities, and though the vast majority of those protesting were peaceful, there was also a lot of violence unleashed, with riots, looting, vandalism and property damage.

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The Murder of George Floyd

On Monday evening, May 25, 2020, Memorial Day, police were called to a small shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota following a report of a man trying to pass a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill.  Four officers took a black man matching the description of the suspect into custody, handcuffed him, then laid him down in the street, where one white officer held him prone with a knee on his neck for almost nine minutes, while he begged for air and called out to his deceased mother, and the other officers watched or assisted.

 

Passersby and EMTs pleaded with the officer to relax his stance, but he persisted, for almost three minutes after the man beneath him became unresponsive.  Taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, EMTs worked to revive him for almost an hour before he was pronounced dead at 9:25 PM CDT.  Protests began the night after the incident, escalating to violent confrontations with police and looting over the ensuing four nights, as demonstrations spread to urban centers across the country.  All four officers were terminated from their employment with MPD the following day, and four days later the arresting officer was himself arrested and charged with third degree murder and manslaughter.

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Asteroid Casefiles: Saturn Station Fallout

Recent pronouncements by 2020 presidential election contenders and a personal run-in with potential disaster sent me scrambling for the ephemeris lately, and while having that knowledge in hindsight didn’t change the reality, at least there was some comfort in confirming the timing of the cosmos is always perfect.

 

In all four instances, Saturn seems to have been a mover and shaker of the events, and with the planet of authority, restriction, limitation, career and status currently at station, that’s not surprising.  Saturn turned retrograde on May 11th, but has been energizing its station degree of 1 Aquarius since April 7, and will continue to do so until June 15, affording two months of saturnine shenanigans while it slows, changes direction, and picks up speed again.  So Saturn themes are emphasized throughout the period, which has also witnessed the height of the US death toll from coronavirus (about to top 100,000), with Saturn acknowledged by the ancients as Lord of Death.

 

Saturn also rules chief executives and the presidency, which is the chief focus of this article.  In particular, we’ll look at two statements from presidential candidate Donald Trump and one from rival Joe Biden, all of which garnered heightened attention or controversy.

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House Diary: Beltane

Beltane, AKA May Day, is one of the Cross-Quarter days in the pagan year, the midpoint of Spring. Beltane’s focus is fertility, and in the Old Days, we’d all be out rutting in the fields to encourage a good harvest, not a bad religious tenet when you think about it (though somewhat hard on the back). So Beltane represents the earth’s fecundity, with nature coming into its first exuberant flush of bloom and growth. As such, it’s known for warm, wet days, lots of flowers, and the first bits of fruitfulness, as asparagus, rhubarb, strawberries, and cold-frame lettuces are ready for harvest.

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Coronavirus Creeps Closer

Tired of being dissed, marginalized, downplayed and generally misunderstood by the President of the United States, COVID-19 invaded the White House in early May, determined to be respected and recognized. In the East Wing residence, a military valet who serves Donald Trump his meals tested positive for the virus on Thursday the 7th, while on Friday the 8th its target was the West Wing office, where Katie Miller, Press Secretary to Vice President Pence and wife of senior White House advisor Stephen Miller, also tested positive. Donald Trump pronounced himself mystified by her change in status: “She tested very good for a long period of time. And then all of a sudden today she tested positive.”

Ummmm… that’s kinda how it works, stable genius.

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Tara Reade’s Accusation

Breaking through the coronavirus newsdemic these days is a story about alleged sexual assault by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Tara Reade, a former Senate staffer, has charged Biden with groping and digital penetration in a Senate basement in 1993. Reade was one of several women to come forward in the spring of 2019 alleging that Biden’s famously “handsy” manner with females made them uncomfortable. All stopped short of charging assault, and defenders of the former VP (including many women he has treated with this undue familiarity) ascribe his often odd-looking interactions – extended hugging, hair-stroking, neck-nuzzling – to his desire to comfort or put at ease his interlocutors. Biden has since acknowledged that his style of relating with females who are relative strangers needs to be revised in the #MeToo era.

Reade also refrained from accusing Biden of improper or illegal activity last spring, until March 25, 2020, when she first publicly charged him with assault in a radio interview. Reade states that she filed a complaint for sexual harassment at the time, but was too frightened to report the full incident. Reade did not keep a copy of the complaint, and so far none has been found in Senate records or Biden’s staff records.

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2020 Election Preview: A Stolen Democracy?

The date of posting this article marks six months exactly until the General Election which will decide Donald Trump’s (and the nation’s) fate. Typically I don’t comment this early on a fall election, particularly when the official Democratic candidate has yet to be named (though Joe Biden’s nomination appears to be just a formality, in the age of coronavirus, nothing can be taken for granted), but the popular acclaim for advanced analysis has been deafening of late. So here we go.

In this article, I’ll be focusing on peripheral factors unrelated directly to the candidates; we’ll save that for closer to the event itself. But there are several unalterable factors that independently impact the day. And an alarming number of them point to electoral fraud. So we’ll just be looking at the day itself in isolation, irrespective of the individuals’ winning potential (though we will discuss how the candidates’ PNAs factor into the patterns of the day).

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Coronavirus Update: We’re Number One!

Donald J. Trump’s “America first!” policies take on a whole new meaning in light of the COVID-19 pandemic: the US is now the global leader in infections and deaths from the virus. With almost a million known to be infected and more than 50,000 deaths, the US now accounts for nearly a third of infections worldwide, and a quarter of the fatalities. We’re lightyears ahead of our leading competitor in COVID-19 incompetence, with four times as many cases as Spain. No one can catch us! The Trump administration can be justly proud of the new records it’s setting. Hey, no such thing as bad publicity, right?

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House Diary: Ostara

For readers unfamiliar with my saga, I’m an inveterate celebrator of the seasons. Although raised as a fundamentalist Protestant, what my parents truly inculcated in me was a love of nature and the wilds. Those few precious hours between Sunday morning school and church services and Sunday evening prayer meetings were often spent in the backroads and byways of the Poconos, identifying the local flora and fauna, which was where my spirit truly soared.

So pagan practice was something I gravitated to naturally when I threw off the confines of my upbringing. But as a city dweller for 35 years, without regular access to the fields and woods of my boyhood, I’ve had to recreate those spaces indoors, and I decorate extensively season to season, using the Wiccan Wheel of the Year as my model and faux or artificial elements as my tools. These days I have no faith, terming myself a “lapsed Pagan”, but I still enjoy the rituals of my maturity and the traditions of my youth when holidays roll around.

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Coronavirus Case Notes: Boris & Bernie

Holy Week 2020 saw two major reversals for political figures on both sides of the pond, one medical, one political, both with COVID-19 connections. On Palm Sunday, 5 April, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalized in ICU with coronavirus complications and given oxygen. The 55-year-old PM had been diagnosed positive for the virus ten days previously, and his condition had deteriorated to the point where the medical support at No. 10 Downing Street was insufficient to his need, and he was admitted to St. Thomas Hospital, London.

On Wednesday April 8, US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders withdrew from the race; the indefatigable Vermont Senator’s campaign, bloodied but unbowed in Super Tuesday primary contests, had finally succumbed to COVID-19’s isolationist tendencies. Unable to hold mass rallies or campaign effectively given coronavirus social distancing requirements, with most remaining primary elections postponed to the summer due to the virus’ impact, Sanders finally threw in the towel on his presidential aspirations.

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Michael Atkinson Fired

Late on April 3, 2020 US President Donald Trump did a little spring cleaning, throwing out some trash he’d been wanting to get rid of for some time. The offending object was Justice Department Inspector General of the Intelligence Community Michael Atkinson, the man whose judicious handling of the Ukraine whistleblower report eventually led to the President’s impeachment. Trump made no bones about his reason for relieving Atkinson of his position, citing the decision to pass the complaint on to Congress as the grounds for removal. With The Donald, everything is either confession or projection.

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Moving Day

It’s been a year since my father died, leaving me my boyhood home, and I am finally ready to make the move! I won’t actually be completely cleared out from my old digs and off that lease until June 1, but Friday, April 3 was the day I chose to transfer focus to the new house in Nazareth. Until then, my base had been Philadelphia, with frequent trips north to prep the new space; now I’ll flip that script, staying mainly in Nazareth while I travel back to Philly to continue final packing. We’ve already done two prior major moves, with one remaining. But the key moment in this protracted process is when I move Ashes, my sweet-cranky tortoiseshell cat, who has been with me 13 years. Where she is, is home! And that date was set for April 3.

As ever with the cosmos, all things are perfect in their timing, and I hadn’t really consulted an ephemeris before I chose the date, relying on the heavens to do its thing. And a chart cast for moving day shows my faith was not misplaced, with the momentous event perfectly portrayed in celestial symmetry.

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Dwarf Planets and the Pandemic

 

AAA is pleased to introduce our first Guest Blogger, Sue Kientz, Dwarf Planet Astrologer extraordinaire!  I’ve relied on Sue’s interpretation and understanding of outer solar system points for years.  In this post she enlightens us about the current pandemic and what these icy worlds reveal about COVID-19.

 

And so, without further ado, here’s Sue!

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Coronavirus Pandemic Worsens

Now affecting every corner of the globe except Antarctica, the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic threatens to destabilize governments and sow economic chaos for months, even years to come. Across the planet, cities, provinces, even entire countries are on lockdown, with businesses shuttered and citizens told to “shelter in place”, ultimately restricted to house arrest except for essential errands for food, medicine, gas and assistance to dependent family members. A death toll count is pointless; even at the speed of internet publication, such figures are immediately outdated, but as of March 18th, global casualties approach 10,000. Millions are likely to follow.

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Coronavirus Update: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson

Coronavirus received its first celebrity “spokespersons” on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, when actor Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, announced they had tested positive for the virus. Thankfully, the couple was in Australia for the filming of Hanks’ latest movie, giving them access to adequate testing facilities unavailable in the US. Both had been feeling unwell, tired and achy, with Ms. Wilson also experiencing chills and slight fever.

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Super Tuesday Post Mortem

At long last, some sanity! Joe Biden’s virtual sweep of the Super Tuesday primary contests on March 3rd was stunning to behold, coming from so far behind, and left most political pundits scratching their heads in wonder, scrambling for an explanation. But not here at AAA – we foresaw the likelihood of a Biden nomination last November, when that startling “victory stellium” appeared on the Ascendant of his Solar Return, portending a successful year. We’re not exactly tripping over Accurate Prediction Trophies here, so you’ll forgive me if I crow a bit, like Maurice the rooster.

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Coronavirus Update: First US Death

The coronavirus continues to spread globally, with the first deaths in the United States, Australia and Thailand, all announced within a 12 hour period on Leap Day. Genuine awareness of the economic threat it poses seemed to sink in during the prior week, manifesting as a panicked sell-off on Wall Street to the tune of 3600 points, some 11% of its volume, the worst week since the financial crisis of 2008. February 27th saw the largest single-day drop in Dow history, shedding 1191 points. Of course, Fearless Leader says it’s just a hyped-up conspiracy by the Fake News Media to discredit him, the Dow drop occurred because investors were depressed by the paucity of viable candidates in the Dem primary (but shouldn’t that make these alleged Trump-lovers happy?), and coronavirus will just “disappear one day … like a miracle.”

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Leap (of Faith) Day

It only happens every four years – Leap Day! Carved from the monotony of the calendar by the cosmos’ refusal to divide itself evenly into neat 24 hour increments just to suit human constructs, Leap Day provides us with an extra day, the opportunity to do whatever we like. Well, in theory.

 

This year I’m using my Leap Day to publish some random musings on the intricacies of the celestial sphere with additional asteroid research that really doesn’t fit into any category. I encounter these points haphazardly, and don’t always have a chance to thoroughly investigate them at the time.

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Asteroid Sleuth: The Case of the Manhole Mishap

On October 15, 2019 at 3:15 AM EDT, a crew of Verizon workers raised a heavy iron manhole cover in the Columbus Circle section of Manhattan, to be assaulted by a putrid smell. Investigation into the vault below found the badly decomposed body of a man, partially consumed by rats, who had clearly been dead for some time. The mystery of how the corpse got under the 300 pound manhole cover, which normally takes two people to lift it, was resolved by examination of surveillance footage of the area.

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DNI DOA: Trump’s War on Intel

On Thursday, February 20th, Donald Trump ejected acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire from his post, replacing him with partisan hack Richard Grenell. The position was created in the wake of the 9-11 attacks to coordinate the output of 17 intelligence agencies and provide useful, integrated information to the President and Congress, relating to national security. All Executive Branch employees serve at the pleasure of the President, and Trump was well within his rights to make this change. The question is: why now?

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Happy Presidents Day!

Today is the day in the US when we celebrate all those crazy kids who brought us here, the men who grabbed the reins of American power and guided, propelled or dragged the country along with them, for a span of time. Some were giants, some could have been Munchkin extras in “The Wizard of Oz”.

 

Mostly, being a capitalist country, we honor their service and sacrifice with reduced prices on cars and large appliances, a chilly mid-February day off to break the monotony of work or school, and possibly their own category on “Jeopardy!

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2020 Oscar Recap

Well, one out of four ain’t bad. I’m referring to my pre-Oscar predictions, where I sussed out the chances of victory for the various contenders, based solely on their PNA (Personal-Named Asteroid) interactions with the chart for the 92nd Academy Awards on February 9th.   It was an incredibly tapped-in lineup, with 13 of the 20 acting award nominees connected to the Sun of the event, 14 connected to asteroid Oskar, 12 angular and 11 linked with the Moon. Of course, the day’s sky has a powerful impact, but in a field so evenly distributed with cosmic potential, a lot will come down to the natal chart. And now, with the winners firmly in hand, we can see just how that played out.

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Aster-Obit: Kirk Douglas

On February 5th, 2020, Academy Award nominee Kirk Douglas died at the age of 103. He was a film icon in the ‘50s and ‘60s, with starring roles in such notable films as “Champion” (1949), “Young Man with a Horn” (1950), “The Bad and the Beautiful” (1952), “Lust for Life” (1956) and “Spartacus” (1960). Nominated as Best Actor three times, Douglas never snagged that top accolade, but was given an honorary Oscar in 1996 for “50 years as a moral and creative force in the motion picture community.” Not merely an on-screen presence, Douglas also wrote and produced, and founded a Hollywood dynasty, including his son, actor/producer Michael.

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Of Verdicts, Voting & Verbiage

It’s been quite a week! The impeachment “trial” verdict, the Iowa caucus, and the State of the Union (SOTU) speech. By rights, we ought to take them in order, but as of this writing (2/6/20), the debacle that was the Iowa caucus is still not quite over, despite starting on Monday, so we’ll save that for last, in hopes we might get complete clarity by deadline. And we’ll begin with the President’s speech to the nation before the joint session of Congress at 9 PM on Tuesday, February 4th.

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The Coronavirus Outbreak

On January 7, 2020, the Chinese government announced that it had isolated the cause of a new strain of flu-like contagion, which it named the novel (“new”) coronavirus.   Part of a large class of viruses which include the common cold, MERS and SARS, the new disease had already claimed at least one life, in late December 2019, before it was identified. To date at least 259 people have succumbed to the virus, which has now spread to more than a dozen countries, with upwards of 12,000 known to be infected. Over 60 million people have been put on lock-down in China, and international researchers are racing to develop a vaccine before the contagion becomes a worldwide pandemic. The US government announced that as of February 2nd, all foreign nationals who had visited China in the past 14 days would be barred from entering the country, and all Americans returning from China would be placed in quarantine.

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Primary Directions: Hitting the Celestial Campaign Trail

The Democratic presidential contenders are in the starting gate, ready to begin the donkey race. Who will take the lead, who will stumble? Who are the sprinters, who are better in the turns? Is there a dark horse in the field? We all know Donald Trump is a mudder – who can take him on and win? One way we can handicap the competition is by analyzing the cosmic turf, as the asteroids representing the candidates jockey for position in the stars.

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Aster-Obit: Kobe Bryant

The world was shocked and saddened by the sudden death of basketball icon Kobe Bryant, who perished in a fatal helicopter crash on Sunday, January 26, 2020. Bryant, whose career spanned two decades with the LA Lakers, had been the third-highest scorer in the NBA, until he was eclipsed by LeBron James just the day before his death. With typical class and magnanimity, what turned out to be his final Tweet was in praise of the man who had just surpassed him: “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother.”

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AAA Profile: Bernie Sanders

Despite a recent heart attack, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has maintained his slow and steady pace in his current bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, coming in reliably second or third in most polling. Bernie (I find it impossible to call him “Sanders”, so associated is he with his nickname) famously broke upon the national political scene when he challenged Hillary Clinton for the 2016 nomination, and while he failed in that attempt, he came remarkably close for someone with very little name recognition prior to throwing his hat in the ring. Bernie quickly became the darling of the progressive left, but also pulled from much of the same demographic of working class blue collar voters that fueled Trump’s grievance campaign. With fellow ultra-progressive Elizabeth Warren flailing of late, assuming Joe Biden stumbles and falls at some point early on in the process, Bernie Sanders would seem to be the man most likely to step into the breach. But would that be a winning choice for Democrats?

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Political Apprentice, Season Four: Series Finale?

It’s that time again, the preview of the White House’s upcoming year. Like any other entity, living and breathing or not, the Trump Administration has a “birth” chart, and thus, an annual solar return, which gives us a cosmic weather forecast for the year ahead. This one is cast for 5:30 AM EST on January 21, 2020, in Washington DC. Old Sol isn’t quite as reliable as we’d like, and sometimes returns to his birth degree and minute a day before or after the actual anniversary, in this case, January 20.

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Asteroid Sleuth: The Case of the Holiday Horror

On Christmas Eve 2019 a Grindr hookup went horribly wrong, when 25-year-old Kevin Bacon (no, not that one) was killed and cannibalized by his date, 50-year-old Mark Latunski. Bacon, a hair stylist who was studying psychology, travelled 25 miles to Latunski’s home, where he was stabbed in the back, then had his throat slit. After his death, his corpse was strung up by the heels from the ceiling, his testicles were removed and eaten by Latunski, whose lawyer is claiming an insanity defense (gee, d’ya think?).

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Megxit: Harry and Meghan “Step Back”

On Wednesday, January 8, 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, better known as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, shocked the Royal Family and the rest of the world by announcing their intention to “step back” from royal duties and retreat into a more private life. The couple plan to divide their time between Britain and North America, most likely Canada, as they work toward building a new life and becoming “financially independent”.

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A Death in Baghdad: Soleimani’s Assassination

If you recall, it was an assassination that began World War I. Is history about to repeat itself, in the death of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, killed by a US drone as his convoy exited Baghdad International Airport on 3 January 2020? Soleimani was head of Iran’s elite Quds force, a division of its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, primarily involved with extraterritorial military and clandestine operations. Soleimani had coordinated with proxy and client terrorist groups in anti-US actions outside Iran, across the Mid-East, had pioneered the IED attacks, and was responsible, directly or indirectly, for the deaths of countless Americans and local civilians.

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What I Learned When My Cat Almost Died

Frequent readers of this site will doubtless be familiar with my cat Ashes; my sweet-cranky Tortie has been with me 12 years, since I took her and her two kittens in from the street on Halloween 2007. Her children predeceased her, Hallows in 2012 and Samhain just last year, but despite some ongoing health issues and an unfortunate addiction to string, Ashes has held her own. As a stray, I’m not sure how old she is exactly, but at least 14, which puts her at about 73 in human terms, an age when mortality begins to assert itself, and even a simple health crisis can prove deadly.

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The Timing of Impeachment

To some, impeachment has been a long time coming for Donald J. Trump. Manifestly unfit for the job, Trump has proven himself to be incompetent, haphazard, reckless and even dangerous as President. Given repeated examples of his inability to operate effectively on even the most basic levels, with staggeringly obvious lapses of judgment, breaches of ethics, and violations of laws, why did this take so long? As astrologers we have to trust the time, remaining confident that the cosmos knows what it’s doing. A lot of factors needed to converge for Trump to find himself in this fix. And simply put, it just wasn’t time.

 

Until now.

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New Kid on the Celestial Block: G!kun||’homdima

Don’t even try to pronounce it, but newly minted Trans-Neptunian Object (TNO) G!kun||’homdima could make quite a name for herself as the decades roll on. Named for a mythic character of the Ju\’hoansu (don’t try to pronounce that one, either!) people of Namibia, in southwest Africa, G!kun||’homdima is a beautiful young girl who appears most often as an aardvark (sometimes a python or elephant). Stemming from a click language, filled with more diacriticals than you can shake a walking stick at, G!kun||’homdima is far too much of a mouthful for Western tongues to handle, so, meaning no disrespect, we’re just going to call her Gkun for short. She defends her people and punishes wrongdoers using gamigami spines, a rain-cloud full of hail, and her magical oryx horn.

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Joe Biden’s 2019 Solar Return: Victory Rising

Former VP and current presidential candidate Joe Biden celebrates his 77th birthday on November 20, making him the first of the serious contenders for the Democratic nomination to inaugurate a solar return year which will incorporate the 2020 election within its scope. I won’t be doing this for everyone, but I will for Uncle Joe. Because while I have serious misgivings about Biden’s ability to do the job, I do believe he’s the most electable, which is my sole criterion for the upcoming election. So long as he wins and ousts Trump, for all I care, he can drool into a cup and delegate for four years, like Reagan.

 

And the good news is that Biden’s 2019 Solar Return chart has an unbelievably strong signature of success. The bad news is, there are a lot of qualifiers.

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Trump & Karma

Karma can be defined as the results of our actions – what we put out, comes back to us in some linked form. It is the metaphysical equivalent of Newtonian cause and effect – every action has a related reaction. It has been said that the wheel of justice grinds slowly, but exceedingly fine. Karma is intimately related to justice in that it has a component of impartial equilibrium and in time, invariably brings us what we deserve, based on our prior behaviors. Also related is Nemesis, divine retribution, an equalizing force which rectifies the balance and resets the counters of karma.

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Pelosi Pulls the Trigger

At 5:04 PM EDT on Tuesday, 24 September 2019, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, fresh from a Democratic Caucus meeting, stood before the nation and announced that the US Congress was beginning formal impeachment investigations against Donald J. Trump. Critical mass had been building for this step in the caucus for a week, since the revelations of Trump’s outrageous breech of ethics, convention and quite possibly laws, in requesting aid from a foreign government in his 2020 US presidential reelection.

 

Perhaps more surprising, Mitch McConnell supported a unanimous nonbinding resolution in the Senate requiring the White House to release the full report logged by a national security whistleblower concerning Trump’s interactions with the Ukrainian president. Has the worm truly turned?

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Asteroid Absurdities: Buysballot

People often ask how I do what I do. And truly, it’s not that difficult, it just requires basic astrologic knowledge, solid data, detail orientation and the focus to do it (which my Virgo Moon grumpily supplies), allied with a bit of synchronicity, luck, happenstance or whatever you call it.

 

Recently an example encapsulating this process presented itself, and I thought it to be a particularly apt and illustrative case in point. Part of what I do is science, and part is art.

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Trump the Racist: An Asteroid Indictment

“I am the least racist person that you have ever met,” – candidate Donald J. Trump, interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, 9 December 2015

 

Donald Trump’s gift for hyperbole and unwitting comic self-commentary may be encapsulated in this quote, given just after the GOP presidential candidate had called for a complete ban on Muslims entering the US in 2015. Trump had kicked off his campaign months earlier with a diatribe against Mexican immigrants, whom he characterized as “criminals and rapists.” I guess the kindergarten taunt “takes one to know one” would be appropriate here, given Trump’s penchant for projection and schoolyard bully tactics.

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Donald Trump’s 2019 Solar Return: Jupiter to the Rescue

In last year’s Solar Return, I opined that 2018 was the critical time – if he made it through that solar year, Donald Trump would likely finish his term in office, and could possibly be re-elected. Despite the Mueller Report’s scathing details of impropriety and actions which would be judged criminal coming from anyone not shielded by the office of the presidency, Trump has hung on. Impeachment in the House may still be on the table, but with a GOP majority in the Senate which refuses to budge on its support for the 45th president, conviction and removal from office is unlikely.

 

Reflecting that earthly reality, the skies seem to have parted somewhat for Trump, and the 2019 Solar Return puts a more favorable light on his prospects going forward. Believe me, I evince no pleasure in reporting this, but an old friend which has sustained The Donald since birth is once again stepping into the breach, fortifying the Lucky Schmuck with its substantial staying power and grace.

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AAA Profile: Joe Biden

On Thursday 25 April 2019 former Vice President Joe Biden entered the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Biden’s Macbeth routine, “letting ‘I dare not’ wait upon ‘I would’,” was wearing thin, and at his announcement Biden joined an already crowded field of some twenty rivals who dove into the political (cess)pool ahead of him. Before officially becoming a candidate, Biden’s name recognition kept him at the top of most polls; now that he’s an actual contender, that may change. Fast.

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AAA Profile: Nancy Pelosi, The Once and Future Speaker

When the 116th Congress convenes on January 3rd, 2019, it’s likely to have a most remarkable woman at its head. If chosen Speaker by the incoming Democratic majority in US the House of Representatives, it won’t be Nancy Pelosi’s first crack at wielding the gavel. The California-based Representative made history in 2007 when she became the first female Speaker of the House, a post she held until the 2010 electoral rout against the Affordable Care Act, spearheaded by the Tea Party, tossed Democrats out of power for 8 years. But progressives and Pelosi are back, and 2018’s Blue Wave has once again turned the tide in DC.

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Travels In Trumpland: Yet More Trump Asteroids

Recently, some interestingly named asteroids came across my radar, thanks to a reader from Greece. With more than 17,000 named asteroids out there, it’s easy to miss a few! Some of these promise to be very useful going forward, but like anything new, they have to be tested. One of the best ways to do this is by putting them in charts the astrologer is familiar with, and seeing if they have a noticeable effect. Since I have, regrettably, been eating, sleeping and breathing Donald Trump for the past 18 months, it seemed a good place to start…

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Harry & Meghan’s Wedding

 

On Saturday 19 May 2018, Prince Harry of Wales and American actress Meghan Markle will wed in St George’s Chapel, Windsor. Vows will be taken at noon, before a comparatively small (by royal standards) company of some 600 friends and relatives, after which the couple will drive on a two-mile procession through the town, followed by a reception hosted by the Prince’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

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The Trump Inaugural Chart

As defined by the Twentieth Amendment to the US Constitution, passed in 1933, each administration begins at 12 noon on January 20th of the year following a presidential election. Thus, all US administrations (unless they succeed mid-term due to the death or resignation of a sitting president) have essentially the same structural dimensions: a Sun at 0 Aquarius conjunct a late Capricorn Midheaven and a mid-Taurus Ascendant.

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HekateHekate was a Greek goddess associated with the wisdom of age, healing, medicinal and herbal knowledge, women’s mysteries, sorcery, witchcraft and necromancy.

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