The latest in a string of seemingly endless mass shooting hate crimes unfolded in Buffalo, New York on Saturday, 14 May 2022, when 18-year-old suspect Payton Gendron unleashed a hail of bullets from his modified AR-15 weapon at a Tops Friendly Market, killing 10 and wounding three others. Nine of the dead were black and specifically targeted for their race by Gendron, who is white and had released his White Supremacist manifesto online days before the shooting, then live-streamed the initial stages of the massacre from a camera mounted on his helmet. Clad in body armor, Gendron drove 200 miles from his home near Binghamton to exterminate individuals he feared were “replacing” whites as America’s majority, and had made the trip at least twice earlier to select additional targets, which included a nearby black church and an elementary school.
On Tuesday, May 17th, 2022, the Keystone State of Pennsylvania holds its Primary Election, fraught with import for ultimate control of the US Senate. GOP incumbent Pat Toomey is retiring, and with his seat up for grabs, there’s a good chance for a Democratic pick-up, which could reinforce their Senate majority. Far ahead of the pack for the Democrats is current PA Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, polling at over 50%, with current US Representative Conor Lamb trailing with just 14%, and two other “also ran” asterisk candidates. Most of the drama in the race has been on the Republican side, with three main contenders attempting to out-Trump the others in appealing to the all-important MAGA crowd. Trump himself has endorsed celebrity candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz, the controversial heart surgeon-turned TV doctor, in a move “Rolling Stone” magazine aptly hailed as “Fraud Endorses Quack.”
The 2022 Kentucky Derby came to a startling and unexpected “Wow!” finish, as long shot Rich Strike came from behind in the last furlong to cross the finish line ahead of favorites Epicenter and Zandon. At odds of 80-1, Rich Strike’s victory was the second-greatest upset in Derby history, and paid off handsomely for the few clairvoyants who saw it coming. And it almost didn’t happen; as of 8:45 the previous morning, Rich Strike wasn’t even slated to run, but a last-minute scratch by Ethereal Road opened up a spot with two minutes to spare before the 9 AM deadline for registration.
The cold which had been such a feature of our early spring, and threatened to damage emerging buds and leaves, has continued in a less severe form into mid-spring, and has now become my friend. Normally by Beltane most of the narcissus have bloomed and faded, with just sporadic dots of color across the garden, but the extended period of below-normal temps this year has acted like a florist’s cold case, preserving these beauties well into May.
On April 22, 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a mean-spirited, retaliatory Bill meant to punish Disney World for its outspoken opposition to his so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law, which bans discussion of same-sex and transgender orientation in primary public schools in the Sunshine State, signed by the governor the month before. The new legislation revokes the Disney World theme park’s special status as a self-governing enclave within Florida, allowing it to function as a municipal or county government, providing its own electrical grid, security, emergency, medical, fire and rescue services, in exchange for special tax status in the state. DeSantis pushed for the law after Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek publicly denounced the anti-gay legislation, and announced a reassessment of Disney’s political contribution policy.
It’s been an odd spring, weatherwise. We had an unseasonably warm start in late February, which popped the early bloomers like crocus and snowdrop, but then slowed to below normal temps, followed by drastic cold, with three consecutive nights dipping into the teens as March ended. That was nerve-wracking: so much was at a critical stage of development, and I could hardly cover the entire garden! I did put some weighted pots over the new corydalis “Beth Evans”, which was budded much earlier than I dreamed, and took my chances with the rest.
On April 4, 2022, a dear feline friend, Emmett, passed away. Emmett was the daughter of Embers, my cat Ashes’ sister, and thus her niece and a close relation, part of our extended family. She was fur baby to my longtime friend, former landlord and cat rescue partner John Mignone, and is survived by her sister Maxine. Emmette passed of complications from failing kidneys due to hyperthyroidism.
The United States Supreme Court just got a little more diversified, with the history-making confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as its newest Associate Justice, the first black woman to sit on the bench. Jackson was confirmed by the full Senate on Thursday, April 7, with a bipartisan vote of 53-47, and will replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer when the new session convenes in October. A native of Washington DC, Jackson was raised in Florida, is a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School (where she edited the “Harvard Law Review”), and previously clerked for the Justice she is replacing.
Vladimir Putin has dominated Russian politics for almost a quarter century. A former KGB officer, Putin entered politics after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, an event he describes as the greatest tragedy of the Twentieth Century. In 1996 he joined Boris Yeltsin’s administration; appointed as prime minister in 1999, he filled the role of acting president when Yeltsin resigned later that year, being elected to the office in 2000. At the time, Russia had a prohibition on an individual serving more than two consecutive terms as president, so after being reelected in 2004, in 2008 Putin swapped jobs with then prime minister Dmitry Medvedev for a term, only to assume the top spot again in the following election, four years later. That would have entitled him to two more terms, but Putin changed the law to allow himself to run for an additional two terms uninterrupted, potentially continuing his occupancy of the presidency indefinitely.
In the aftermath of the slap seen ‘round the world, will anyone remember who actually won Oscars at the 94th annual Academy Awards? Will anyone care? Moments after presenter Chris Rock uttered a rather tasteless joke about Jada Pinkett Smith appearing in “G.I. Jane 2” (based on her shaved scalp due to alopecia hair loss), hubby Will Smith, nominated as Best Actor, strode to the stage and smacked the comedian full on the face, then returned to his seat, and yelled at Rock to “Keep my wife’s name out your fuckin’ mouth!” Minutes later Smith accepted his Oscar, tearfully apologizing to everyone except Chris Rock for his violent outburst.
Spring first unfurls in the garden, not in sweeping vistas, but dots of color punctuating winter’s drab. A snowdrop emerges and glistens pristine white from a mulched bed; a crocus spreads its vibrant yellow blossom widely in response to the waxing sun, its bladed leaves slicing through the encroaching straw-colored grassy turf at the path’s edge. Vivid green tips of mid-season daffodils rise upward in hopeful aspiration, massed in patches across the landscape. The initial change of seasons is emphatic, but lost in panorama; it’s best viewed up close, at the level of the perforated earth, in much the way a passing ant might see it.
If you’re a regular reader of these chronicles, you may recall that from time to time, I’ve referenced the autumn 2021 Pluto station in exact square to Trump’s natal asteroid d’Arrest as a probable timeframe for him being brought to justice. Well, the autumn came and went, and while investigations have increased apace and in quantity, no charges were filed. Astrologers can be purists, and nothing delights the heart so much as an appropriate manifestation exactly on the date in question.
In the garden, March Madness has more to do with the weather than anything else. One day it’s 72, the next night we’re down to 15 again. Nature doesn’t seem to know which season it wants to be, and this dilatory musing can be a real challenge for the gardener intent on coaxing as much bloom as possible from the landscape. Early heat can set tender buds to swelling, which later are subject to freezing if temps dip again, blighting the blossom and eliminating an entire season of bloom for some species.
I just couldn’t let the 25th anniversary of the premiere of my favorite show ever slip by without due acknowledgement, so here we go! On March 10, 1997, the Warner Brothers television network opened the gates of Hell and unleashed “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, a teen angst horror hell-odrama about a high school age Valley Girl fated to battle evil in all its forms; the world would never be the same. Creator Joss Whedon had assailed the topic in a 1992 theatrical film starring Kristy Swanson, but wasn’t done with the idea, not by a long shot! TV’s Buffy was the guardian of a hell mouth in “everyman” Sunnydale, California, charged with slaying, not just vampires, but all manner of demons, ghosts, zombies, hell-beasts and things that go bump in the night.
On Thursday, 24 February 2022, at approximately 5 AM local time, Vladimir Putin’s Russian Army invaded Ukraine, accelerating a process of intimidation and aggression that had begun eight years before with the illegal occupation and annexation of Crimea, and had continued with support for separatist movements in Ukraine’s easternmost sectors, bordering Russia, specifically portions of the oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk, in the Donbass region. Since the beginning of the year, a series of planetary stations had reflected the inexorable march to war, eight cosmic turning points which built upon each other like tumblers in a lock, eventually unleashing the conflict.
On December 1, 1955, an African American seamstress named Rosa Parks boarded a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama, and stepped into history. At the time, buses were segregated, with “Whites Only” sections up front that were created by movable signs. If the white section filled up, drivers adjusted the markers and asked already seated black patrons to move further to the back. Parks, who according to custom paid her fee up front, then exited the bus and re-entered through the rear door, had initially sat in the black section, but when the driver expanded the white area and requested she vacate her seat, she refused.
On February 8th, 2022, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences released its nominees for the upcoming Oscars, to be presented at 5 PM PDT in Hollywood, California on March 27th. With the Academy agreeing to expand eligibility into films made for streaming platforms, there are a record eleven Best Picture nominations, though acting and directing categories have been maintained at the traditional five nominees per. From an asteroid perspective, Best Picture nominations are a wasteland – just three have exact matches for any portion of their titles (“Nightmare Alley”, “West Side Story” and “King Richard”), though “Drive My Car” weighs in with an alternate spelling (asteroid Carr).
As the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing begin to wind down, let’s take a quick look back at memorable moments from the competition. A chart set for the opening ceremonies (8 PM local time, 4 February 2022, Beijing, China) shows an exact conjunction of the Sun with Saturn at 15 Aquarius, pulling focus (Sun) to acknowledged masters and top achievers (Saturn) in their fields, in a quest for professional (Saturn again) recognition (Sun).
Winter can seem a very bleak period, but there’s beauty and wonder everywhere, if you know where to look for it. Last year we had a blizzard in late January, which dropped more than 30 inches on the property, and kept it snowbound until mid-March. In my youth, this used to be the natural state of things in my area, snow cover from Christmas to Easter, but climate change has made that a rarity. The year before there was no measurable snow accumulation the entire season, and this year, though we’re still running below average, we’ve managed to have a series of smaller snowfalls which, aided by bitter cold spells, have helped to keep the ground covered throughout January, if only by a few inches.
We’ve known for years that, as President, Donald Trump was shredding the Constitution, igniting division, and generally flushing the country down the toilet. We just didn’t know it was literal.
But on Friday, 4 February 2022, as Mercury came to its direct station conjunct Pluto, news (Mercury) broke that while in office, Trump routinely destroyed (Pluto) papers (Mercury) relating to the presidency. In doing so, he violated the Presidential Records Act of 1978, which establishes that all such papers, from rough notes and memoranda to correspondence and drafts of Executive Orders, are public property of the United States, to be retained by the National Archives, and not the personal possessions of the president, subject to his whim. Apparently the most common method of destruction Trump employed was to tear papers and toss them into the waste can, after which staffers would retrieve the pieces and tape them back together for preservation at the Archives, although some were in such a state of confetti as to be irretrievable.
At the age of 25, Elizabeth found herself reigning head of an empire upon which the sun literally never set, comprising some quarter of the globe. The seventy intervening years have seen much change and turmoil, both for Britain and the world at large, but the Queen has been a rock in the stream of time, a stabilizing influence for her people, and an invaluable source of information and experience for her governments over the decades.
In 2022 the United States is undergoing a profound and deeply transformative period in its development, namely the return of Pluto to its natal degree. Pluto’s orbit is roughly 248 years, so this is a cosmic event that no human has ever experienced, but it can occur for longer-lived entities such as nation-states. The historical record for what transpires at these times is mixed at best, and subject also to such interruptions and mutations as major political reorganization. (Is it really valid, for example, to continue using a chart for the Norman Conquest of England for today’s United Kingdom, a different political entity entirely, albeit with a titular head-of-state whose ancestry dates back to those days?) As well, when such charts are used, we may see recurrent themes under successive Pluto Returns for the same country, but not necessarily among all countries.
Don’t you ever wonder how this all works? I know I do. After 15+ years of intense engagement with asteroids, I’m no closer to an answer, but sometimes I like to revel in how even the most mundane of mundane events can be reflected in the stars. On January 28th, two Biden-related stories made the news – a bridge in Pittsburgh, PA collapsed just hours before a presidential visit touting the need for repair of crumbling infrastructure; and the White House acquired a new furry occupant, a grey tabby cat with jade-green eyes named Willow.
A huge sigh of audible relief went up from progressive circles on Wednesday, 26 January, 2022, when the story broke that Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court, would resign at the end of this term. Breyer, 83, had been balking at political pressure to remove himself from office while the Democrats still marginally control the Senate, so his seat would not pass into conservative hands at a later date.
Tensions continue to increase on the border between Ukraine and Russia, where more than 100,000 Russian troops have recently been stationed, in what appears to be a build-up to an invasion. Russia began a piecemeal takeover of its neighbor in 2014 with the annexation of Crimea, followed by further border incursions into adjoining Ukrainian enclaves dominated by its military and local separatist groups wanting to reunite the two nations, as they were under Soviet hegemony. Reports that families of Russian diplomatic staffers in Ukraine were evacuated in early January heightened the sense of impending crisis.
On January 13, 2022, a year and a week after the event, the US Justice Department issued its first indictments for seditious conspiracy related to the Epiphany coup attempt in the final days of Donald Trump’s presidency. Elmer “Stewart” Rhodes, founder and leader of the right-wing militia group Oath Keepers, was among eleven members of the group charged in what prosecutors described as an organized, preplanned plot to storm the Capitol on January 6th last year, to disrupt and prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
Serbian tennis phenom Novak Djokovic may have thrown a spanner into his quest for a new world record as the winningest Grand Slam champion of all time. Djokovic is in a three-way tie with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, with 20 titles each, but he may have stubbed his toe with his COVID anti-vax stance, which may prevent him from competing in the Australian Open, beginning January 17. Australia’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been notoriously strict, with county-wide lockdowns and stringent protocols on entering the country.
I chose to profile this story, tragic as it is, because it makes an excellent example of how this process unfolds, both celestially and in my own psyche. As a former resident of Philadelphia, and still within that media market, I regularly watch the morning news on 6 ABC, predominantly for weather forecasts. When I heard about a housefire near my old stomping grounds on January 5th which took 12 lives, 8 of them children, I got that familiar tingle at the nape of the neck that tells me to investigate, astrologically.
Imagine it: more than 24 hours cooped up inside a cramped metal box, with subfreezing temperatures just a thin glass wall away. No food, water, medicine or bathroom. Power, heat and connectivity only as long as the fuel and cellphone power hold out. Children, pets, seniors, special needs individuals – no one is spared. That was the situation confronting hundreds of motorists caught in a massive traffic snarl on Interstate 95, the primary north/south artery up the East Coast, on Monday, January 3rd.
It’s hard to believe, but January 7 marks the second anniversary of the day the Chinese government announced it had identified a new coronavirus that was ravaging the city of Wuhan. It was also the day that asteroid Apollo, named for deity noted mythically as the bringer of plague, conjoined asteroid Koronis, closest celestial match to coronavirus. And just five days before the Saturn/Pluto conjunction, with its theme of “pervasive structural change.”
Just as the year 2021 came to its close, so did the life of Betty White, one of the most beloved entertainers in America. Fate was oftentimes a friend to Betty throughout her long life, but unkind to her at its end – she expired barely two weeks before her 100th birthday. Just days before her passing, she had tweeted her eager anticipation of the star-studded celebrations planned to commemorate her centennial.
White, who enjoyed the longest career of any female entertainer, was an actor and singer noted for her comedic talents. From the sugar-spiked sexpot Sue Ann Nivens in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, to the naïve sexagenarian ingenue Rose Nylund of “The Golden Girls” and the acerbic house caretaker Elka Ostrovsky on “Hot in Cleveland”, White continued to delight TV audiences for over seven decades with her unique brand of charm and humor.
In the delicate 50-50 balance of the current US Senate, every Democrat vote is needed to pass legislation, and every Republican vote is needed to block it. As usual, the GOP is better at closing ranks than the Dems, but despite the potential Kingmaker/Spoiler role any member of the majority Party could choose to adopt, only two are playing that card: Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.
It’s hard to believe 2022 is knocking on the door. 2021 was a rough one, I’m not sorry to see it go, but somehow, the thought of 2022 doesn’t bring much comfort. I lost two dear feline companions this year, Cleo and Charcoal, and my own health has been precarious at times. I’ve had to bring in more help for the yard, and moving masses of heavy boxes of decorations up from the basement, but the masterplan for the garden proceeds on schedule, and the seasons continue to unfold inside just as they have always done, even if climate change makes the outside landscape a less reliable predicter of the times.
On Friday evening, 10 December 2010, some 30 tornadoes smashed through six mid-West states, creating havoc and spreading devastation, claiming upwards of 100 lives. The outbreak, apart from being one of the worst recorded, is all the more historic given the unseasonable timing, with most tornadoes occurring in the spring. Normally, cooler temperatures preclude the formation of tornadoes, and this December rampage is yet another sign of increasing weather instability stemming from unchecked climate change globally.
On October 21, 2021, police were called to the set of “Rust”, a western being filmed in Bonanza City, New Mexico. An accidental shooting with a prop gun, discharged by star Alec Baldwin, had killed the film’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, and wounded director Joel Souza. The cause of the incident is still under investigation, but somehow, live ammunition was loaded into a real revolver, not blanks in a prop gun. While setting up the next shot, with the gun pointed at the camera and the cinematographer, the weapon discharged; Baldwin’s statement is that he had cocked the gun, based on Hutchins’ instructions, but did not pull the trigger.
By which, I mean the movie franchise, which celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the release of its first film, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”, on 16 November. Harry Potter the book series began publication four years earlier, and Harry Potter the character has been given a birthdate of 28 July 1980 by his creator, J.K. Rowling. Rowling herself was born on that date, fifteen years before, giving her a strong identification with the character that made her famous, beloved, and incredibly rich.
On Sunday, 21 November 2021, a man broke through barriers and drove his red SUV wildly through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing six and injuring more than sixty others. The suspect, Darrell Brooks, 39, was well-known to local police, a repeat offender who had just been released from jail two days prior on a thousand-dollar bail after arrest on a domestic abuse charge. Brooks had been accused of trying to run down his girlfriend with the same SUV. Witnesses said that Brooks swerved through the parade route in a zig-zag pattern, apparently attempting to hit as many people as possible. Police recovered Brooks and the damaged SUV several hours later; he was arraigned on multiple counts and bail set at a more reasonable $5 million.
Better late than never, as they say. Autumn came in dribs and drabs this year, with the accent on the drab – tan, brown, and sepia tones dominated early fall, with bright, brilliant colors a rarity, but now that the ghosties and ghoulies have been (mostly) packed away, a few shots of bitter cold have turned what’s left of summer’s foliage into a stunning panoply of red, yellow and orange.
Joe Biden’s solar year began at 11:31 AM EST on 19 November 2021, in Washington DC, just hours after a Lunar Eclipse with the longest duration in 580 years, which fell exactly opposed his natal Sun. This is not a positive augur for the coming twelvemonth, and delving deeper into the details, we’re not seeing much to alleviate that.
On Wednesday, November 3, 2021, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19, sparking a controversy over his previously unrevealed unvaccinated status. Rodgers had earlier described himself as “immunized” for the coronavirus, parsing his words carefully so as not to expose his actual vaccination refusal. The NFL superstar experienced COVID symptoms Tuesday, and tested positive the following day, triggering a mandatory 10-day suspension from play.
All politico eyes were turned to the “Old Dominion State” on Election Day 2021, where former Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe sought to regain his old job and beat back a challenge from Republican Glenn Youngkin, a businessman with no prior political experience. Virginia’s increasingly blue tint, and a 10-point Biden victory margin just last year, not to mention McAuliffe’s earlier tenure of the office, all argued for a stately procession to victory, but in practice, the outcome was far from assured. Polls tightened in the weeks leading up to the election, with Youngkin showing significant leads in some, but a statistical dead heat in most.
On Monday, 18 October 2021, four-star general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell passed away unexpectedly, from COVID-19 complications while fighting multiple myeloma cancer and Parkinson’s disease. Though fully vaccinated for COVID and awaiting his booster shot, the 84-year-old Powell acquired a breakout case of the coronavirus, and his compromised immune system was unable to shake it off. He is survived by his beloved wife of almost 60 years, Alma, who also acquired a milder COVID infection at the time of her husband’s illness.
Well, the cosmos has done it again! With unerring precision, the celestial sphere has once again placed its astrologic finger on the nub of current events. It’s Hell Week in Washington, with Democrats in disarray, struggling to pass the signature legislation of the Biden administration, keep the government from closing its doors, and facing some of the most momentous votes in recent years. Given all the Capitol Hill drama, how can this fail to register on the cosmic etch-a-sketch? Short answer – it doesn’t!
Some asteroid names are resonant to particular job titles or accomplishments. In this article, we’ll examine three, two of which have been featured in the news lately.
On August 23rd, Pope Francis acquiesced to a rather unusual request: 52-year-old Xavier Novell i Goma, Bishop of Solsona, Spain, submitted his resignation for “strictly personal reasons.” In good health, at the prime of life (for clergy), the bishop’s departure raised eyebrows and caused speculation in sacred and secular circles. Novell was elevated to his see in 2010, at age 42, one of the youngest bishops Spain had ever known. It took the Spanish press awhile to smoke out the details, but on September 5th the sordid story broke – the ex-bishop had left the church to cohabit with a 38-year-old divorcee, Silvia Caballol Clemente, with whom he had fallen in love. Caballol is a novelist. Of erotica. Satanic erotica. Well, at least she doesn’t have a penis.
Two famous Andrews came to crisis moments in their biographies within a day of each other, in mid-August 2021. On the 9th, a lawsuit was filed against HRH Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, Queen Elizabeth II’s second son, alleging sexual abuse of a minor; and on the 10th, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned under a firestorm of condemnation after a probe into allegations of sexual misconduct revealed a pattern of abuse of female staffers.
Two Andrews, in two days, both charged with sex crimes? What’s going on here, celestially speaking?
The professional sports world was stunned on July 27th by the announcement from star American gymnast Simone Biles that she would be withdrawing from the 2020 Olympics, citing mental health concerns. After performing a qualifying round for the vaulting competition, Biles made a hard landing, affected by what gymnasts term “the twisties”, when one’s sense of balance and positioning is lost during vaults or dismounts. Biles went on to withdraw from all team and individual competitions, later stating that the unexpected loss of her aunt two days before the Tokyo games opened, and memories of sexual abuse from her coach, had combined to dangerously distract her focus.
Independence Day may be over, but the fireworks in DC are just beginning. Hard to imagine this could be a controversial topic, but in the post-Trump age even an investigation into an insurrectionist attack on the US Capitol itself can become a bone of contention between the two Parties. Some of the very lawmakers whose lives were threatened by the fury unleashed by Donald Trump’s supporters, now stand by and opine that the attack was just high spirits or a typical congressional tour group.
Just in time for Pride Month, on June 21st Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib became the first active NFL player to come out as homosexual, in a very casual and matter-of-fact Instagram post. “I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay,” stated Nassib, in what sounded almost like an afterthought, a testimony perhaps to the non-event such disclosures have become in recent years. “I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest,” continued Nassib. “I really have the best life. I got the best family, friends and job a guy can ask for. I’m a pretty private person, so I hope you guys know that I’m really not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important.”
In olden days an astrologer could be executed for treason if he prophesied the death of the king, but times have changed. To be clear, the purpose of this article is not to say that Joe Biden will expire in office, but that there is a window opening shortly which could produce that result, and it’s something we should take note of. Given the pressures of the office and Biden’s status as the oldest serving president, this should come as a shock to no one.
To be fair, orange was the Old Trump, too, at least in terms of spray tan and hair dye. But in this next solar year, Donald J. Trump may find himself moving into a more sartorial realm with orange, in the form of a prison jumpsuit. On May 25th, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance gave The Donald an early birthday present when he empaneled a Grand Jury to look into possible criminal charges to be filed against the former US President (just a day before a Lunar Eclipse which conjoined asteroid Nemesis, noted for ruin and downfall). Prosecutors have been investigating Trump, the Trump Organization and its officers since at least 2018, and the convening of a Grand Jury signals that they are ready to present evidence and potentially seek indictments.
House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) must feel as if she’s gone down the rabbit hole these days. The conservative stalwart, daughter of former VP Dick “Darth Vader” Cheney, with a 78% lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union and a record of voting with President Donald Trump 98% of the time, is being booted from her leadership position, likely to be replaced by a woman with a 44% ACU rating, who only voted 77% with Trump. The reason for Cheney’s fall from GOP grace? Her apostacy in refusing to accept and promulgate the Big Lie, that Donald Trump won the 2020 election in a landslide and had it stolen out from under him. Liz also voted to impeach Trump after the January 6th assault on the US Capitol, and has called him to account for his role in that abortive coup, for which she is now paying the penalty.
It’s déjà vu all over again, as Yogi Berra would have it. Less than four months ago I put down my rescue cat Charcoal, who had a cancerous tumor in his mouth, and now his companion Cleo follows him across the Rainbow Bridge, from the same complaint! Cleo and Charkey were very close, and she hasn’t been the same since his passing. Her eating habits had become erratic, and she was isolating more and more in the upper reaches of a storage unit in the laundry room that was their home. After a few initial forays into the spring sunshine of the garden, she refused to go out, and the weekend before her death, she stopped eating completely.
Ten months after his murder, George Floyd’s family received some closure and a form of justice when the jury convicted his killer, former Officer Derek Chauvin, on all three counts of murder and manslaughter charges, after less than 11 hours of deliberation. The evidence against him was so egregious, that outcome should have been beyond dispute, but in such racially charged cases of police misconduct, nothing is certain.
On April 9th, 2021, Buckingham Palace announced the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, at their home in Windsor Castle, just two months shy of his 100th birthday. Prince Philip and the Queen were married 73 years, and he was the longest-serving consort in British history. The couple have four children, eight grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren, with another on the way, due this summer.
The shockwaves are still reverberating among royalty watchers worldwide from an explosive new interview with Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, given to Oprah Winfrey on March 7th, which ranged from accusations of Palace racism to revelations of thoughts of suicide. Shades of Princess Diana! When I first profiled Meghan at the announcement of their engagement, I noted that her birth occurred within a week of Harry’s parents’ marriage, and mirrored much of the challenges of that union, as though the cosmos wanted a re-do, but the danger was that history might repeat itself.
Although removed from office almost a month ago, Donald J. Trump continues to set presidential records. Only president to lose the popular vote in both general elections where he was on the ballot; only president to never reach a 50% approval rating during his term in office; only president to be impeached twice; only president to be tried after leaving office; and now, the president with the most bipartisan impeachment and majority conviction in history.
Not since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2019 has a freshman congressperson made such a stunning impact in the House of Representatives as Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), quickly emerging as an avatar for the extremist fringe of her Party. Greene latched onto the Trumpist base with all the furor of a Sarah-Palin-inspired “pit bull in lipstick”, hawking every conspiracy theory to come within range while endorsing the lynching of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and the assassination of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Not surprisingly, Donald Trump strongly supported her candidacy, calling her “a future Republican star.” Since his departure from the Oval Office, he and Greene have exchanged phone calls frequently, with the newly minted Representative planning a visit to Mar-a-Lago soon, to kiss the ring: “Great news is, he supports me 100%, and I’ve always supported him,” tweeted Greene.
On Tuesday 19 January 2021, I lost my dear fur buddy Charcoal to cancer. What I thought was a respiratory infection, which Charkey got every winter, turned out to be a mass in his mouth. While waiting for the biopsy appointment, the faint swelling I had observed on his left side blew up dramatically over the weekend, becoming so large it looked like he had a tennis ball in his cheek. I dropped him off for his appointment that morning, the vet confirmed the diagnosis a few hours later, and shortly after that, I held him as he passed.
By Constitutional fiat, all US administrations begin at 12 Noon on the January 20th following a general election, regardless of when the oath of office is actually sworn. This provides a celestial continuity from decade to decade, with all administrations having an early Aquarius Sun conjunct a late Capricorn MC, and a mid-Taurus Ascendant (unless begun by the death or resignation of the previous office holder). But within that rigid framework, the permutations are virtually endless, especially when asteroids are considered.
On Wednesday, January 6th, 2021, the Feast of the Epiphany, Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol to prevent Congress’ counting and certification of Joe Biden’s election victory, preparatory to his inauguration two weeks later. Doors were forced, windows broken, as insurrectionists fresh from a Trump rally mere blocks away which featured an in-person address from the President took control from Capitol Police and security, who offered minimal resistance to the crowd, estimated in the tens of thousands. The Senate and House were evacuated, put on lockdown, as legislators cowered in safe spaces or barricaded themselves in their offices to avoid the mob.
After a protracted waiting period while ballots were counted in crucial swing states, reputable news outlets, from the AP to Fox News, have finally stated what’s been obvious for days: Democratic candidate Joe Biden has won the 2020 US presidential election.
That Biden would be the popular vote winner was never in serious doubt, celestially or terrestrially, but the US Constitution provides for a less-than-democratic mechanism to determine who actually holds the office. In 2016, despite winning the contest by almost 3 million more votes, Hillary Clinton was denied the presidency on an Electoral College technicality. With 4 million-plus more voters casting their ballots for him, that unfair outcome has been avoided in 2020, and Joe Biden will now assume the office, with 273 Electoral College votes to Donald Trump’s 214. Not all states have been called, but when Pennsylvania fell to Biden on the morning of Saturday, November 7th, there was no longer a numeric path to victory for Donald Trump; the former VP had surpassed the 270 vote threshold. If the current leaders retain their positions and win those states where they are ahead, the final tally will be Joe Biden 306 and Donald Trump 230; ironically, this is the same number by which Trump won in 2016.
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.
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.
On Sunday, 27 January 2019, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) officially kicked off her 2020 presidential campaign in her home town of Oakland, California, before a crowd estimated at some 20,000. Harris is the former Attorney General of California, elected to the US Senate in 2016. As a mixed race child of a Jamaican father and a Tamil Indian mother, Harris is the first potentially viable candidate who is a woman of color to run for president. Her candidacy will electrify liberals and promote progressive goals, such as universal pre-K, debt-free college, and Medicare for all, and a long career in law enforcement may help to remove the “soft on crime” sting that many conservatives will attempt to apply.
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.
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.