Manafort Trial Begins

The first of two trials of former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort opened in Alexandria, Virginia on August 31st, with Manafort facing federal bank and tax fraud charges. Manafort joined the Trump campaign in March 2016 as a non-paid consultant, when the GOP nomination became a likely outcome; his expertise in politics was sought to derail a possible floor fight at the convention, smoothing Trump’s path by locking in delegates’ votes. Promoted to Campaign Manager in June, Manafort resigned under a cloud in August, allegedly because family members had become worried about the extent of his Russian connections.


Manafort attended that now-infamous Trump Tower meeting in Don Jr’s office with Kremlin-connected Russian nationals promising “dirt” on Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton. As such, he became involved in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and Trump Campaign collusion. The charges in these trials were brought by Mueller, but relate to Manafort’s earlier work with Ukrainian politicians and pro-Russian groups, for whom he lobbied and gave political advice.


Chief among these was Viktor Yanukovych, President of the Ukraine, for whom Manafort consulted from 2004-2010, helping to refurbish his image after the Orange Revolution protests, which threatened to unseat Yanukovych, in part due to his strong ties to Vladimir Putin. Manafort allegedly received millions of dollars from his Ukrainian employers which was never disclosed to the IRS, which forms a major part of the indictment against him.

manafort putin yanukovych

Manafort employer, Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, left, head to head with Russian president Vladimir Putin, from days gone by, when Manafort wore $15K ostrich jackets instead of prison jumpsuits

Manafort has always worked with questionable figures, including former Philippines president Ferdinand Marcos, Zaire’s military dictator Mobuto Sese Seko, and Jonas Savimbi, leader of an Angolan rebel group. He also assisted in the presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bob Dole, and has lobbied for the governments of Saudi Arabia, the Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya and Nigeria.


At age 69, conviction on any of the multiple charges against him would amount to a life sentence for Manafort, unless given a presidential pardon. As such, speculation was rife that Manafort would cut a deal with Mueller, and turn state’s evidence in return for a lighter sentence, but so far Manafort seems determined to see the trials through to the end.


Born on April Fool’s Day 1949 in New Britain, Connecticut (no time available), there has always been something of the trickster to Manafort. The Sun at 10 Aries opposes Neptune at 13 Libra, indicating a possibly strained relationship with the truth, and a natural bent towards deception, misrepresentation, and invisible or hidden, behind-the-scenes operations. Like any good lobbyist and power broker, Manafort is aggressive and driven, as seen in Mars conjoined the Sun from 7 Aries; as well as interactive, persuasive and a born networker, as seen in Venus also with the Sun, from 6 Aries.

manafort marcos

Former Manafort client, Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, ousted for corruption

But there are other indicators among the asteroids of a left-hand path, one fraught with questionable dealings. Asteroid Bilk, named for a German observatory but resonating to its English meaning of to defraud, dupe or cheat, also conjoins the Sun from 15 Aries, accompanied by Icarus, noted for rash, reckless actions heedless of the consequences, at 3 Aries, and Damocles, the doom hanging unseen overhead, at 9 Aries. And speaking of doom, asteroid Mueller, for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Manafort’s current leading nemesis, bringing not one but two legal actions against him (the second opens in DC in mid-September), also falls within orb of the Sun, at 2 Aries. Mueller and Damocles together on the Sun could denote an existential threat for Manafort coming from that quarter.


But Mueller is just the vehicle for Nemesis’ cosmic retribution – the cause of it can be seen in Manafort’s natal asteroid Nemesis, at 24 Aquarius, conjoined by asteroid Banks at 29 Aquarius, with this pairing suggestive of a self-undoing (Nemesis) related to financial dealings (Banks). These are semisquare the Sun, marking them as personalized energies, an integral part of who Manafort is.


Nemesis/Banks also participates in a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, in sextile to asteroid Russia at 29 Sagittarius and Kiev (named for the capital of Ukraine) at 28 Sag; both pairs are inconjunct to asteroid Ukraina at the Apex, at 29 Cancer. This brings together the two principal foreign nations most identified with Manafort’s current troubles – Ukraine/Ukraina and Russia, with a reckoning (Nemesis) for financial actions (Banks). Note that three of these points are at the same degree of various Signs, yielding an extremely tight, dynamic configuration, suggestive of precise celestial timing in bringing these factors into contact.

manafort seko

Another of Manafort’s employers, Zaire dictator Mobuto Sese Seko, noted for corruption, embezzlement and extravagance

In its turn, Ukraina is part of a T-Square, opposing Jupiter and asteroid Themis at 28 and 25 Capricorn respectively, and squared asteroid Putilin at 25 Libra. We’re seeing there the meddling in Ukrainian (Ukraina) politics (Jupiter) in the interests of Vladimir Putin (Putilin, closest match to Putin)), resulting (directly or indirectly) in a confrontation with the Justice System (Themis, named for the Greek goddess of justice).


Russia and Kiev are also involved in a second pattern, a Grand Cross formed of squares with TNO Chaos (disorder, turmoil, confusion) at 26 Pisces and asteroid Viktorov, for Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, at 27 Virgo, and an opposition to a truly remarkable grouping of asteroids Moskva (Russian for Moscow, its capital) and Vladimir, both at 24 Gemini, with asteroid Whitehouse at 21 Gemini and Uranus at 26. Uranus indicates shocking, controversial developments, involving the Russian president (Vladimir) and other state actors (Moskva), as well as the Oval Office (Whitehouse).   The enmeshment with Russian and Ukrainian interests seems very deep and intense with this pattern, and has the ability to sow havoc and disruption (Chaos) in Manafort’s life.


Close beside this Russia/Moskva/Vladimir polarity is TNO Borasisi at 12 Sagittarius opposing asteroids America and Swindle at 14 and 18 Gemini. Borasisi relates to lies and deception as well, in this case with an accent on personal gain or advantage based on fraudulent dealings (Swindle), directed toward the USA (America).   This opposition becomes a Grand Cross with the inclusion of Achilles, Lie, Troemper and Roberts in the Virgo and Pisces quadrants, detailed below.

manafort trump

Donald Trump completes the rogues gallery of Manafort’s employers, with potentially the most far-reaching and disastrous results

In addition to Putin, two other figures who have been millstones around Manafort’s neck are Donald Trump, involvement with whom has brought him to the attention of Robert Mueller and plunged him into his present legal jeopardy. Asteroid Troemper (our celestial stand-in for Trump) at 11 Virgo T-squares the Gemini/Sag polarity, and is exactly trined asteroid Paul at 11 Taurus, and inconjunct Manafort’s 10 Ares Sun, showing close contacts between the two men. Manafort’s legal exposure via the Trump connection is prefigured by Troemper’s opposition to asteroid Achilles at 7 Pisces, a point noted for weaknesses or vulnerabilities, inherent flaws which threaten to destroy the native, and asteroid Lie at 8 Pisces, suggesting that deception generally is a character flaw for Manafort, but also a potential source of undoing.  Asteroid Roberts (another celestial marker for Robert Mueller) joins this pair from 13 Pisces. Again we see a fundamental division (opposition) between the President (Troemper) and the Special Counsel (Roberts), facing off over the issue of financial fraud (Swindle) and lies or deception (Lie, Borasisi).


Manafort’s seemingly inevitable entanglements with the Justice Department and Robert Mueller may be further confirmed by noting asteroids which are stationary at his birth. Stationary points become embedded elements in consciousness, formative agents in character and biography, the still points upon which the chart revolves. Asteroid Justitia, named for the Roan goddess of justice, turned direct at 6 Leo three days prior to Manafort’s birth, suggesting extensive interaction with justice in some form; and asteroid Roberta, our third and final entrant for Mueller, followed suit on April 7th, six days later, at 17 Leo, again highlighting someone of that, or a similar, name as having prime impact in Manafort’s life. Roberta broadly squares asteroid Paul, denoting their adversarial stance, and is T-squared with asteroid Washingtonia, for the nation’s capital, at 18 Scorpio.

manafort trial

Manafort arriving at the Alexandria, Virginia courtroom where his first trial commenced on July 31

When Manafort’s bank and tax fraud trial began on July 31st, transit asteroid Swindle at 14 Aries had just conjoined his natal Sun, and was closing in fast on natal asteroid Bilk at 15. Transit Bilk at 28 Gemini was traveling with transit Chaos at 24, itself exactly on Manafort’s natal Moskva/Vladimir, also conjoined natal Whitehouse and Uranus. Transit Paul at 19 Pisces was closely squaring natal Swindle at 18 Gemini, once again connecting Manafort to fraud in a very personal way (Paul). Transit Banks at 18 Taurus is squared natal Roberta and opposed natal Washingtonia.


Transit Roberts confirms Robert Mueller’s adversarial role in the proceedings; at 24 Aquarius it is an exact match for natal Nemesis. Transit Roberta at 23 Cancer is running with transit Ukraina at 28, about to return to its natal degree at 29 Cancer; thus Manafort is undergoing a “Ukraina Return” for the period when his suspect income from Ukraine forms a major portion of the evidence against him. These oppose transit asteroids Achilles (vulnerability) and Askalaphus (tale-bearing, telling of secrets) at 25 and 23 Capricorn, themselves conjoined natal Jupiter and Themis (both indicators of the justice system, trials, judgments and juries). Transit asteroid Mueller at 17 Sagittarius is at station, about to turn direct on August 2nd, opposing natal Swindle at 18 Gemini.


That’s a lot of cosmic legal clout packed into the opening of a trial which could conceivably cost Manafort his freedom for the remainder of his life. Whatever you think of the charges being brought against him, their very existence validates their importance in his biography, even if acquitted on all counts. To see this type of interaction among PNAs resonating to the people, places and alleged behaviors pivotal to the story, both at birth and in the transit sky, is a truly stunning example of the ways in which these “minor” bodies add amazing depth and detail to the chart.


Regardless of the verdict, or indeed, whether Manafort chooses to end the trial early by accepting a plea bargain, the events of this period have been intimated since Manafort took his first breath. What better testimony can there be to the minute attention paid by the cosmos to our terrestrial existence?



Alex Miller is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book, detailing deep space points in astrological interpretation, and the forthcoming Heaven on Earth, a comprehensive study of asteroids, both mythic and personal. Alex is a frequent contributor to “The Mountain Astrologer”, “Daykeeper Journal”, and NCGR’s Journals and “Enews Commentary”; his work has also appeared in “Aspects” magazine, “Dell Horoscope”, “Planetwaves”, “Neptune Café” and “Sasstrology.” He is a past president of Philadelphia Astrological Society, and a former board member for the Philadelphia Chapter of NCGR.

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Fascinating! I love these posts!

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