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.
PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids) on the day show a highlighted role for the Inspector General, and help to explain Trump’s timing, beyond the obvious choice of the backdrop of wall-to-wall coronavirus coverage to downplay this story’s importance. “Michael” is one of those maddeningly common first names for which there is no exact celestial equivalent in English. We do have three substitute candidates, however: Michel, the masculine French version of the name; Michelle, the corresponding feminine French form; and Michela, which utilizes all the correct English letters in the name, albeit a bit scrambled. Often all three will show prominently when a terrestrial candidate is in the news, and such is the case here.
Asteroid Michel at 18 Aries conjoins the 14 Aries Sun, asteroid Michela opposes from 13 Libra, and asteroid Michelle at 10 Leo is in trine, and at its station degree, having turned direct just three days prior. The solar contacts show a focus on Michaels for the day, while the station indicates a literal “turning point”, a major shift or change in direction for persons of that name. Asteroid Intel, short for the Intelligence Community which Atkinson oversaw, appears at 4 Sagittarius, also at station (it turned retrograde at that degree March 25th), indicating an “embedded” stance for the period, a focal point for energies. It is also in a broad Grand Trine with the Sun and Michelle.
Asteroid Atkinson at 14 Pisces is exactly semisextile the Sun, and bound up with Neptune and Mercury, both at 19 Pisces, as well as asteroid Achilles, at 15 Pisces. Neptune/Mercury shows the “absence” of Atkinson, his “disappearing”, if you will (both Neptune), as newsworthy (Mercury), while Achilles underscores the inherent vulnerability of his position, having made an inveterate enemy of the President of the United States by doing his job. Asteroid Koronis in the mix from 20 Pisces validates the idea of Trump using the pandemic (Koronis) to camouflage or deflect (Neptune) the Media (Mercury) from the IG’s firing (Atkinson). Further, Atkinson squares asteroid Justitia at 15 Gemini, named for the Roman goddess of justice and the name of the department for which he worked, while also trined asteroid Themis at 10 Scorpio, Justitia’s Greek counterpart, establishing his connection to that institution.
Atkinson is also opposed by asteroid Nemesis at 13 Virgo, that source of ruin or undoing, which still travels with asteroid Whitehouse, now at 20 Virgo. During the early months of their extended conjunction, beginning in August 2019, it was others who emerged as nemeses of the occupant of the Oval Office (the whistleblower, Pelosi, Schiff, Sondland, Taylor, Vindman, et al), but post-impeachment he has flipped the script and now acts as nemesis to them. Atkinson is merely the latest in a long line of presidential paybacks. Just to drive the point home, Nemesis is also exactly semisextile Michela at 13 Libra.
Jupiter and Pluto precisely conjoined at 24 Capricorn is another image of a purge (Pluto) at Justice (Jupiter), while Saturn and Mars connected at 0 and 2 Aquarius suggests the ire (Mars) of a Chief Executive (Saturn). Asteroid Troemper at 27 Pisces is at the focal of a Thor’s Hammer, a fated pattern similar to a Yod, with sesquiquadrates to that stationary Michelle and Themis, directly linking Trump (Troemper) with someone in Justice (Themis) named Michael (Michelle), in a predetermined (Thor’s Hammer) outcome.
If we look at Michael Atkinson’s chart (born 16 May 1964, no time available), we can see the seeds of the conflict, as well as obvious indicators of his career path. The Sun at 26 Taurus opposes asteroid Troemper at 19 Scorpio, suggesting an innately antagonistic stance, as well as one which is in some sense revelatory (points in opposition to the Sun “mirror” ourselves, as the full moon mirrors the light of the sun). Atkinson’s promulgation of the whistleblower complaint revealed an aspect of Trump’s character which would bring them into direct conflict. Troemper conjoined natal Neptune at 16 Scorpio underscores the sort of secrecy and almost “cloak and dagger” atmosphere of a whistleblower charge, as well as granting Trump the power to erode (Neptune) Atkinson’s self-image (Sun), bound up at least partly in his career identity.
The Sun is exactly squared asteroid Icarus at 26 Aquarius. Did Atkinson act rashly (Icarus) in authenticating the whistleblower complaint? Knowing the character of the President, that answer would be yes, though he could in good conscience do nothing less. With that Icarus conjoined Trump’s 29 Aquarius Descendant and opposed his 26 Leo Mars, rash, reckless (Icarus) and inimical (Mars) is certainly how Trump saw it, as a virtual act of war (Mars).
There is a remarkable natal grouping of Mercury with Michel, Mars, Jupiter and Justitia at 3, 6, 7, 8 and 10 Taurus, which shows Atkinson’s (Michel) strong pull toward the Justice Department (Jupiter, Justitia), even prefiguring his martial-sounding (Mars) role of Inspector (Mercury) General (Mars).
Asteroid Atkinson further endorses Justice as his career lodestar; at 7 Virgo the PNA conjoins Themis at 1 Virgo, and is bound up in the Uranus/Pluto conjunction at 5 and 11 Virgo. Atkinson/Themis propels him toward the Justice Department, but his tenure there is likely to be fraught with controversy and end abruptly (both Uranus), with possibly devastating consequences (Pluto).
When the axe fell on April 3rd, Uranus at 5 Taurus was activating that natal Taurean stellium, so to the all-seeing eye of astrology the blow should not have been entirely unexpected, though no less abrupt and disruptive. The transit Mercury/Neptune pairing was exactly trine natal Troemper and exactly squared natal Nemesis at 19 Gemini, bringing out the exact natal inconjunct between them, which identifies Trump as a potential source of Atkinson’s undoing. Natally Nemesis is grouped with asteroids Intel and Achilles at 23 and 25 Gemini, suggesting that Atkinson’s involvement with the Intelligence Community (Intel) could prove a weakness or vulnerability (Achilles), as well as a source of ruin (Nemesis). Transit Damocles at 28 Aquarius, the doom hanging unseen overhead, in squaring the natal Sun at 26 Taurus, while transit Michelle had just come to station in broad opposition to natal Damocles at 17 Aquarius, impelling that doom to fall.
The transit Sun/Michel conjunction at 14 and 18 Aries opposed Atkinson’s natal asteroid Whitehouse at 15 Libra, which is itself stationary, turning direct at that degree 12 days after his birth. This stationary status in itself denotes a disproportionately powerful role for the White House in Atkinson’s life, and the Grand Trine in which it is enmeshed, incorporating natal Nemesis and Damocles, shows the potential for that connection to be less than pleasant, possibly devastating. Emphasizing the point is transit Michelle conjoined natal Whitehouse from 13 Libra.
Michael Atkinson isn’t the first conscientious career civil servant to lose his job and livelihood to Trump’s paranoid need to lash out against perceived enemies. And he likely won’t be the last.