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!
With the Sun at 4 Libra as the work week kicks off on Monday, September 27th, there’s a remarkable solar pileup of asteroids tailored to perfectly describe the situation, including House at 0 Libra, Washingtonia at 5 Libra, Mars at 8 Libra, and Karma at 10 Libra. This astounding conjunction throws a spotlight (Sun) on the House of Representatives (House), and the struggle (Mars) in DC (Washingtonia) to craft a working compromise that can actually get something accomplished. Karma says you reap as you sow, and the ongoing clash between progressives and moderates, unresolved for decades, is coming to a head once again as the Dems seek to effect legislation based on razor-thin majorities, where even a single vote lost can mean total defeat.
Of course, the cosmos likes to dot its i’s and cross its t’s, so the solar stellium isn’t alone in defining the playing field. Opposed it is asteroid Josefa at 9 Aries, for President Joe Biden, whose legacy is on the line. An unfortunate conjunction with centaur Chiron at 10 Aries suggests both an incurable wound from which his presidency may never recover, should this legislation go up in smoke, and those maverick elements of the Party who could bring this to pass. Speaking of which, asteroid Senator opposes the Sun as well, from 0 Aries, designating and highlighting those Upper House refuseniks, principally Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Krysten Sinema of Arizona, who could scotch the whole deal.
Forming a Grand Cross is asteroid Whitehouse at 1 Capricorn, conjoined asteroid Demokritos at 5 Capricorn, for the administration and the Party in question; and asteroid America at 10 Cancer, for the hapless nation embroiled in this tug-of-war. The square from Demokritos to Mars depicts the infighting among Democrats in this circular firing squad, who habitually fail to show the discipline regularly mustered by Republicans, even over their least defensible positions. An exact T-Square embedded within this pattern, of America, Chiron and Karma, all at 10 degrees of their respective Signs, suggests a wounded nation, resigned to paying its political debt, if not its actual debtors.
Matters aren’t helped by the fact of Mercury’s retrograde, which commences at 25 Libra the very day the week begins. There could be some ancillary benefit in certain recalcitrant Dems rethinking their positions and their votes in this period, but the overall atmosphere of miscommunication, delay, and false steps encouraged by a backward-looking Mercury augur poorly for any sort of smooth resolution to the impasse.
Add in that Mercury is opposing an exact conjunction of TNO Eris and asteroid Josephina at 24 Aries (another marker for Joe Biden, as well as representing Joe Manchin, the Senate thorn in his side; the presence of asteroid Virginia here at 26 Aries, for Manchin’s state of West Virginia, suggests this point inclines more toward the senator in this round), and we have an image of strife, disaffection, and feelings of outraged dignity (all Eris). A second Grand Cross formed by squares of this polarity to asteroid Bida (our celestial referent for Biden) at 21 Cancer and Pluto at 24 Capricorn turns up the heat on the President, and makes this a make-or-break moment for his presidency. Will we see its total destruction, or a phoenixlike rise from the ashes, both Plutonic outcomes?
Prospects for a favorable resolution in the House are fair, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a strong position, as represented by asteroid Nancy at 2 Aquarius, trine the Sun and House, and conjoined asteroid Victoria with Saturn at 5 and 7 Aquarius. The self-confidence displayed of late by Pelosi, reinvigorated by the recent station direct of her celestial namesake (conveying a feeling of getting back on track), is likely a consequence of the trine to House, evoking a self-assured stance: she’s certain she can get the job done with ease, all evidence to the contrary. In this, she is aided and abetted by Victoria, also fresh from its station, named for the Roman god of victory (and the root of our word), imbuing a “winning” vibe into the Speaker; and by Saturn, fount of all authority and control. If there’s one thing Pelosi knows how to do, it’s whip votes.
Prospects for a Senate passage of the pertinent legislation are less sanguine, as displayed by the exact opposition from asteroid Senator at 0 Aries to House at 0 Libra, showing the antipathy between the two chambers. Caught in the crosshairs is asteroid Whitehouse at 1 Capricorn, in a tense T-Square, signaling an administration attempting to mediate between them, but so far without much success. Sidling up to Whitehouse is asteroid NOT at 26 Sagittarius, implying a halt in the proceedings, an inability to progress or attain an ultimate goal. The fact that NOT conjoins the Galactic Center at 27 Sag suggests that the results of failure will be of global importance and worldwide attention.
Biden may have an easier time persuading Arizona’s Krysten Sinema to change her “no” vote. Asteroid Arizona at 1 Gemini turns retrograde as the week commences, perhaps encouraging the Grand Canyon State’s Senator to rethink her position, and support the legislation. A tougher sell is Joe Manchin, with asteroids Josephina and Virginia conjoined troublemaker Eris, and the conflict with the Oval Office further depicted by the square to Bida. With all three Aries points retrograde, and opposing that retro Mercury, there may be less room for compromise than we’d like, and even as the lone holdout, Manchin can prevent passage of the Build Back Better Act, the supplemental “human infrastructure” package, the Senate’s filibuster rule, and even a temporary carveout of that 60-vote threshold to pass voting rights legislation. The square of Josephina and Virginia to Pluto indicates that Manchin is reveling in his power, but is he willing to destroy his Party and the nation for the sensation?
The GOP leadership is well in evidence also, with PNAs for the House and Senate Minority Leaders in prominent placement. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) shows as asteroid Kevin, which at 4 Scorpio conjoins asteroid Sisyphus at 11 Scorpio, opposing asteroid Achilles at 3 Taurus and T-Squared Nancy/Victoria/Saturn at 2, 5 and 7 Aquarius. Kevin conjunct Sisyphus is an image of repetitive, pointless effort, as House Republicans attempt to interfere with a Democrat agenda that is out of their control, while the opposition to Achilles underscores McCarthy’s essentially weak and vulnerable position. There’s not much he can do to prevail in his battle with Pelosi, as depicted by the square to Nancy, who has victory and authority on her side. As well, asteroid McCarthy at 25 Taurus is at station, having turned retrograde on the 25th (whereas Nancy has resumed direct motion), inaugurating a period of retreat, reassessment and recalibration. McCarthy also squares the Jupiter/Damocles conjunction at 23 and 25 Aquarius, hinting at potential political (Jupiter) doom hanging overhead (Damocles) for the Minority Leader, if his attempted obstruction comes to naught.
On the Senate side, Mitch McConnell is in a better position, with more options. Asteroid Mitchella (feminine form of Mitchell) at 8 Sagittarius conjoins asteroid Nemesis at 10 Sag, granting McConnell the power to block progress in his role as archenemy of the Democrat’s agenda. This is reflected in McConnell’s recent assertion that no Republican senators would vote for an increase in the debt ceiling, despite the fact that these funds would be used, not to pay for future projects, but for debts already incurred by the prior Congress, when he helmed the Senate and approved the expenditure.
Asteroid McConnell at 6 Aquarius conjoins asteroid Schumi (for Chuck Schumer, Democratic Senate Majority Leader) at 3 Aquarius, and both are stationary, having resumed direct motion just days into the new Senate session. Schumi turned first, on September 21st, followed by McConnell on the 25th, as both prepared to dig in for the battle royal about to play out in the Upper Chamber. Sometimes, PNAs which conjoin each other convey a sense of working in tandem toward a common goal; at others, the result is friction and chafing from a shared space which is uncomfortable for both parties. In the triple conjunction of Nancy, Schumi and McConnell, we see both modes in operation as Pelosi and Schumer collude on tactics to pass the legislation, while Schumer and McConnell clash over who will be victorious and dominant, with Victoria and Saturn also in the mix.
It’s quite remarkable to see PNAs representing all four of the top congressional leaders of both Parties, all in the process of shifting direction at roughly the same time, just as the legislative battle heats up to fever pitch. With Nancy, Schumi and McConnell all turning direct, it’s full steam ahead; McCarthy, turning retrograde, symbolizes the House Minority Leader as odd-man-out.
From our current terrestrial perspective, it seems the most likely outcome of these patterns is that Speaker Pelosi manages to shepherd at least part of the disputed legislation through the House, but the Senate is a tougher nut to crack. The Upper Chamber isn’t a lost cause quite yet, but the proposed $3.5 trillion price tag on the reconciliation portion of the package is likely to fall by the wayside, reflected in that NOT/Whitehouse conjunction, blocking Oval Office aspirations. To paraphrase the Rolling Stones, Biden is unlikely to get everything he wants, but he may get what he needs.