On Wednesday, November 7th, 2018, while the Midterm Election votes were still being counted, Donald Trump saw the fulfillment of a years-long dream: the forced resignation of Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions. (And don’t think the timing on that isn’t significant; Trump wanted something controversial to distract from the Democratic victory the day before, and Sessions fit the bill perfectly.)
Yes, Sessions was the first sitting US Senator to openly endorse Trump’s Presidential campaign in 2016; yes, he was Trump’s handpicked choice for the post he now leaves; yes, he was perhaps the most effective of Trump’s Cabinet officials in enacting the administration’s ultra-conservative agenda.
But Sessions’ fatal flaw was a teeny modicum of ethical behavior, when he recused himself from the Justice Department’s investigation into Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. This he was required to do, having been a major campaign surrogate for Trump, and he only did it after lying to Congress during his AG confirmation hearings about his own interactions with Russian agents.
But somehow in Trump’s twisted mind, this recusal was the Original Sin from which sprang the creation of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel, completely ignoring his own culpability in that appointment when he fired FBI Director James Comey, citing “the Russia thing” as his prime motivation.
Now, Trump compounds his problems with the appointment of Matt Whitaker, Sessions’ former Chief of Staff, as Acting Attorney General. Whitaker, a former US Attorney, failed candidate and GOP political operative, came to the President’s attention in 2017 as a CNN legal analyst, when he characterized Mueller’s appointment as “ridiculous” and “a little fishy.” With such sterling qualifications, surely no one will object to his promotion?
Well, there’s just one little hitch: the appointment appears to be unconstitutional. It’s certainly irregular, since there are junior DOJ officials who would normally ascend to the Acting AG position in the absence of a Senate-confirmed department head (Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, currently overseeing the Mueller investigation, being tops on that list). And confirmation is the issue – Whitaker, as a Chief of Staff, has never received Senate confirmation for any post at Justice, and the Constitution is very particular and specific on this point. Only persons who have been given prior Senate confirmation can be appointed to fill temporary vacancies of positions requiring such confirmation. Whitaker doesn’t qualify. Period.
Whitaker’s appointment theoretically paves the way for a shutdown of the Mueller investigation, either directly by his firing, or via more underhanded means, such as drying up funding, burying his report once delivered, or advising the White House of just exactly where the investigation stands, and what evidence it has uncovered. In just two days, the response has been electric, with “Protect Mueller” demonstrations in major cities nationwide, and even Republican legislators publically looking askance at the choice; legal authorities on both sides of the aisle are decrying the selection as unconstitutional.
In analyzing the charts for this event and the chief participants, one degree stands out: 25 Capricorn. This is the transit placement of asteroid Achilles, a point which represents a weakness or vulnerability, some inherent flaw in the native which threatens to destroy him (as in our phrase, “Achilles heel”). This degree repeats in Jeff Sessions chart (born 24 December 1946, no time available) as the natal placement of asteroid Whitehouse, and in Matt Whitaker’s chart (born 29 October 1969, no time available) as the natal placement of Mars. For Sessions, this highlights his vulnerable position within the administration (Whitehouse); for Whitaker, it foreshadows the struggle to ensue over his appointment, and highlights him as a partisan figure (both Mars), which weakens his position.
In Donald Trump’s chart, 25 Capricorn exactly opposes natal Venus at 25 Cancer, ruling ethics and morals, and also opposes an exact conjunction of Saturn, ruling career and the presidency, with asteroid Karma, an indicator of the results of our actions, both at 23 Cancer. This suggests that ethical considerations (Venus) are a weak spot for Trump, especially in this instance (transit Achilles), which can initiate a career (Saturn) vulnerability and provide a karmic comeuppance (Karma).
In the sky, Achilles is further influenced by conjunction with transit asteroids Askalaphus and Jefferson at 24 Cap and 1 Aquarius; squares from TNO (Trans-Neptunian Object) Eris and Uranus, at 23 and 29 Aries; additional squares from Venus and asteroid Whitaker at 26 and 27 Libra; and semisquares from asteroids Icarus at 9 Sagittarius and Arachne at 10 Pisces.
That’s a bit complicated, so let’s unpack it further. Askalaphus relates to the revealing of secrets, with dire consequences for those who have offended; Sessions’ recusal based on his previously hidden interactions with Russian agents was the root cause of the falling out with Trump. Jefferson of course represents AG Jefferson “Jeff” Sessions, and its conjunction with Achilles in the sky shows the AG as particularly vulnerable in the moment (these two have been traveling within ten degrees of each other the entire year, as Sessions’ standing with the President continued to erode). Eris indicates discontent, strife or fractious outcomes, as well as marginalizing or disrespecting people (like Trump’s frequent Twitter tauntings of Sessions, whom he has described as “beleaguered”, “a dumb Southerner”, “mentally retarded” and “Mr. Magoo”), while Uranus points to nonconformist, maverick behaviors, things which are shocking to the common sensibility, outside the norm, or in some way controversial.
Venus repeats the theme of ethics and morals in real time (as opposed to the reflection in Trump’s natal chart described above), and Whitaker of course represents the new Acting AG. Icarus signifies rash, reckless actions, heedless of the consequences, often taken against advice to the contrary (Trump has been aching to take this step for over a year, but has been persuaded to delay by concerned allies and confidants, finally agreeing to wait until after the Midterms, which agreement he honored by mere hours), while Arachne suggests complex, interwoven motivations, intrigue or entanglement, and entrapment, becoming ensnared in a web of one’s own making.
Are we getting the picture now? In taking yet another unconstitutional, rash act, Trump may well be exposing himself to further severe consequences. The installation of an unlawful sycophant in this position, particularly if he acts to curtail or end the Russia investigation, could provide the final nail in the coffin of obstruction of justice which Mueller has so carefully been crafting.
Trump’s exposure is further intimated by the placement of transit asteroid Troemper, his celestial referent, which at 23 Scorpio is bound in a T-Square and conjoins Jupiter at 29 Scorpio, squares Damocles with Mars at 21 and 25 Aquarius, and opposes TNO Sedna at 26 Taurus. The conjunction with Jupiter suggests overreach, especially in a political context (both Jupiter-ruled), while Damocles indicates the doom hanging unseen overhead, which can fall at any moment; Mars again signals a fight or struggle over the act. Sedna represents isolation, and political isolation could ensue for Trump if the GOP finally finds its backbone and stands up to this egregious act of self-interest.
For Sessions, the celestial handwriting was perhaps on the wall. Not only does he confront that startling Achilles/Whitehouse conjunction, but there is another exact transit conjunction in effect at this time. Transit Saturn, which rules career, loss and resignation, is exactly conjoined his natal Mars/Achilles conjunction at 5 Capricorn. That provides a second dose of vulnerability, specifically regarding career matters. In its natal sense, Sessions’ Mars/Achilles shows a weakness somehow involving a struggle or conflict, an inherent vulnerability relating to a Mars-ruled arena, such as sex, military matters, anger management issues, etc. In this context, we should remember that contests and campaigns of all sorts, including political ones, fall under Mars’ influence. As well, Saturn’s recent direct station at 2 Capricorn in September was exactly conjoined his natal Sun, suggesting a period of either increased responsibility and authority, or hardship and penalty.
The inability for Trump and Sessions to come to an understanding is intimated by natal Troemper at 16 Capricorn exactly opposed natal Jefferson at 16 Cancer, which sets them at cross purposes at some time, but also closely links the two. This was highlighted and exacerbated by Pluto’s direct station in September of 2017, as Trump’s frustration with the situation began to boil over, exactly conjoined natal Troemper and opposed Jefferson. Sessions, with his Sun at 2 Cap opposed asteroid Senator at 9 Cancer, would have done better to remain where he was in the Upper Chamber, a more natural fit for him than a Cabinet office (especially since Democrats now control his old seat, a circumstance which should have taught The Donald something about the law of unintended consequences).
Two eclipses in 2018 also suggested a period of major alteration for Sessions; the Solar Eclipse of July 12 at 20 Cancer fell on natal asteroid Jefferson, indicating some form of transformation or upheaval, while the subsequent Lunar Eclipse of July 27 at 4 Aquarius opposed natal Saturn, ruling career, at 7 Leo, specifying from what quarter the change would ensue. The upcoming Solar Eclipse on January 5 at 15 Capricorn highlights natal Troemper, the source of his undoing (natal Troemper is also widely trine natal Nemesis at 22 Virgo, reinforcing Trump’s potential for doing harm), and again emphasizes the distance between them (opposition, furthest point apart in any cycle).
For Matt Whitaker, the cosmic picture comes into focus when we look at several natal placements that suggest his probable effect on our times. A pairing of Achilles with Whitehouse at 13 and 15 Sagittarius identifies him as a possible vulnerability for an unspecified US administration, and reflects the transit Achilles/Whitehouse combination for Sessions. Asteroids America and Icarus exact at 23 Sagittarius are within orb of the other conjunction, and suggest this is a rash or reckless promotion for the country, something done against advice which could have calamitous consequences. An exact square from asteroid Whitaker at 3 Sagittarius to asteroid Rosenstein at 3 Pisces (which is additionally at station, indicating a heightened importance in Whitaker’s biography) indicates friction or conflict between Whitaker and his new Deputy, Rod Rosenstein; a T-Square formed from asteroid Washingtonia at 9 Virgo shows the US capital as the venue for their strained relationship.
Lastly, an intriguing Yod, or Finger of Destiny, appears, with asteroid Troemper at 21 Aries on its Apex, fashioned from inconjunct aspects to Nemesis at 20 Virgo and Mueller at 23 Scorpio. This could indicate a fated role (Yod) to play in Trump’s (Troemper) downfall (Nemesis) via Mueller (Mueller), which is of course the reason Whitaker was appointed to his new job in the first place. And if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll recall that 23 Scorpio is exactly where transit Troemper was for Whitaker’s elevation. Was Mueller on Trump’s mind when he made his choice? You betcher.
Trump made this appointment with the idea that Whitaker would have his back in the Mueller investigation, but the very nature of the act may open up a whole new front in the Special Counsel’s inquiry. How did such a stupid, stupid man ever become President?
And what of Mueller? His eponymous asteroid is now at 17 Capricorn, in the strong and powerful embrace of Pluto at 19 Cap, ruler of secrets and crimes, but also trauma and devastating outcomes. In any contest, Pluto always has the upper hand, but to which of our pugilists will he show the back of it? Mueller will conjoin Pluto exactly on November 11th through 13th; expect high political drama, or more blessings to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.