Boy, do I hate being right. Maybe that’s why the cosmos permits it so rarely. On May 24, in an article on Saturn Station Fallout, I wrote:
“As an aside, let’s note that Troemper is heading into troubled waters, about to join disaffected Eris and its square to powerhouse Pluto at 24 Aries/Capricorn, also incorporating the political, bombastic energies of Jupiter at 27 Cap. If you think we live in interesting times now, give it a few weeks!”
The next day George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer in the performance of his duty, and all hell broke loose. Protests against police brutality and treatment of minorities erupted all across the country, in more than 140 cities, and though the vast majority of those protesting were peaceful, there was also a lot of violence unleashed, with riots, looting, vandalism and property damage.
Now, just to be clear, I’m not saying Donald Trump caused the rioting. Just that, as always, he only makes things worse. Trump largely ignored the protests initially, as well as the death of George Floyd. Then on Friday the 29th he tweeted that the demonstrators were “thugs” and opined that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” a racist trope dating from the ‘60s.
In contrast, former VP Joe Biden called the Floyd family that same day, speaking with them for over twenty minutes and attempting to console them, discussing the upcoming anniversary of his son Beau’s death in 2015, and how he understood their loss. The call from the presumptive Democratic nominee apparently prompted Trump to make one of his own, and on Saturday he briefly phoned the grieving family to express his condolences and talked over top of Floyd’s brother, dismissively not allowing him to speak; the call lasted less than three minutes, and Trump followed it up with another tweet about how protesters on White House grounds would be met with “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons.”
Trump aides discussed the possibility of a presidential address to the nation as rioting increased and spread over the weekend, but decided against it in the aftermath of the President’s address regarding the coronavirus, which had been a PR disaster. But following a spate of headlines describing him as hunkering down, hiding in a White House bunker and ignoring the situation, Trump lashed out at Democratic governors during a conference call on Monday, June 1, calling them “weak” and “look[ing] like jerks” if they didn’t respond harshly to protestors and “dominate” the streets with overwhelming force.
He then briefly addressed the nation from the Rose Garden, asserting his full support for peaceful protesters, but vowing to punish wrongdoers swiftly and fully, using the Insurrection Act to insert US military into urban centers to stop the rioting if necessary. The endorsement of dissent rang hollow as flash-bang grenades could be heard in the background during the speech, emanating from a block away in Lafayette Square, where mounted police used these, tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a crowd of peaceful demonstrators who were blocking the President’s footpath to visit St John’s Episcopal Church, which had been damaged by a fire several nights prior.
His way cleared, Trump manfully strode to the church, surrounded by military personnel and advisors, boarded up after the damage, and stood there posing with a Bible, which he first held upside down. Then, realizing that the book was not emblazoned with its title on the cover, he extended it spine-first, so the words “Holy Bible” would be legible. When asked by a reporter if it was his Bible, Trump replied, “it’s a Bible.” He made no further remark, offered no prayers, took no tour of the damaged house of worship, but walked back to the White House, photo op for his fundamentalist Christian base accomplished.
The present atmosphere is certainly supercharged, with Trump pouring gasoline on troubled waters. This is largely a result of the Pluto/Eris square currently in effect. These dwarf planet siblings have just begun their heated interaction, which depicts the conflict (square) between the powers-that-be (Pluto) and marginalized, resentful, disrespected populations (Eris), precisely like those protesting and rioting.
Pluto and Eris have been squared to the degree since April 25th, the day of Pluto’s retrograde station, and will continue so until Independence Day, July 4. Their exact square to the minute occurs June 14th, Donald Trump’s birthday, so their energies will be fully entrenched in his upcoming Solar Return.
Asteroid Troemper, our celestial referent for The Donald, has been moving into this hot zone for weeks, and joined Eris to the degree on June 1, the day the President excoriated the governors for not hitting their citizens hard enough, and threatened lethal force to protesters, backed up by the US military.
These, then – Pluto, Eris and Troemper – comprise three of the Four Horsemen of the looming American Apocalypse. The fourth is Trump’s old handmaid and confidante TNO Chaos, joining the party from 25 Gemini, in sextile to Eris/Troemper and inconjunct Pluto. With Chaos squared his Sun natally, Trump has fished the waters of disorder and anarchy throughout his life; with transit Chaos conjoined his Sun from the moment he announced his presidential candidacy, he has raised disruption and distraction to an art form, and unleashed it on the nation.
Eris is an old ally as well. Trump’s 2016 campaign, indeed, his entire presidency, has been founded on grievance, one of Eris’ specialties. All the “summer of ’46” presidents – Clinton, Dubya, and now Trump – have had natal Eris in square to the USA’s own, creating a backdrop of inescapable discord, like rubbing a tongue against a sore tooth; we have seen rancor and division, partisan bickering and strife, increase with each administration. But Trump is the first to actively court this discord and attempt to harness it as a political tool.
The union of Uranus with Eris in 2016 brought forth a rebellion (Uranus) of disaffected folks (Eris) which swept Trump into power (albeit via the back door of the Electoral College, having lost the popular vote by nearly three million). The Trump administration inaugural chart tells the full story, with an exact T-Square of Eris opposed Jupiter, asteroid Whitehouse on the fulcrum: the politics (Jupiter) of division and discord (Eris) was now firmly seated in the Oval Office (Whitehouse). Filling in the empty leg of a Grand Cross was Donald Trump’s natal pairing of Karma with Saturn, defining him as the President (Saturn) of payback (Karma).
But whose wrongs has he redressed? Not the disempowered and marginalized individuals who voted for him. And certainly not the truly oppressed populations that rejected his candidacy en masse. The only slights and miscarriages of misjustice which Donald Trump sees are those he perceives as directed toward him. It has taken Trump nearly four years to create the “American carnage” he falsely characterized as the state of the nation at his inaugural. But now, with more than 100,000 dead from the coronavirus pandemic he failed to stem in time, and American cities in flames, his dystopian vision has become a reality.
And America is grieving; grieving the loss of 100,000 of its sons and daughters, parents, children, friends and neighbors lost to COVID-19. Grieving the loss of its freedoms of movement and association from the same source. Grieving the loss of jobs and economic opportunity. There is more than a bit of pent-up frustration being expended in these protests, and while the death of George Floyd lit the match, the candle that is burning now is composed of the tallow of four hundred years of minority oppression, and its flame is fanned by the breeze of the coronavirus lockdown. Encapsulating both national disasters are George Floyd’s final words: “I can’t breathe”, echoed by dying coronavirus patients, chanting protesters and generations of oppressed minorities struggling to inhale the pure air of freedom.
The country’s grief is well portrayed celestially in a Grand Trine of asteroid America at 12 Sagittarius with centaur Chiron and asteroid Koronis (for the coronavirus) at 8 and 13 Aries, and asteroid Grieve at 14 Leo. This transit America placement sits exactly on the Ascendant of the declaration of Independence, our country’s founding document, as its president urges brutal suppression of dissent. We mourn (Grieve), not just for the loss of our fellow citizens (America), taken by plague (Koronis) or brute expressions of power, but also for the seemingly incurable wound (Chiron) of racism, and sometimes our grief takes the form of anger.
The Grand Trine becomes a Kite, with its string a combination of asteroid Photographica, centaur Bienor and Venus retrograde, at 9, 11 and 14 Gemini, opposed America. The string guides the Kite’s direction and manifestation, and what we see here is Venus at retrograde, signaling a reappraisal of values (as well as the economic downturn caused by the pandemic). Bienor means “strong man”, which is how the President attempts to portray himself (this point is stationary and exact on the Ascendant of the inaugural chart, a clear signal of how the administration wants to be seen), and never more so than when taking that audacious walk to the church for his brave photo op (Photographica).
With asteroid Church at 3 Cancer conjunct Mercury at 4, both approaching Trump’s natal Mercury at 8 Cancer, the photo was an attempt to portray the President in the Media (Mercury) as a champion of religion (Church). Within hours footage of the walk appeared on the reelection campaign website, underscored with triumphal music, and the White House has gushed over the image, calling it “iconic.” With that, I must agree – nothing better portrays the soullessness of Donald Trump than an upside-down Bible held aloft before a shuttered church.
Asteroid America opposed Bienor/Photographica/Venus is also one axis of a second major configuration involving the namesake asteroid of the US, a Grand Cross whose squared arms are comprised of Mars at 13 Pisces and asteroid Nemesis at 14 Virgo. Nemesis indicates downfall, ruin and undoing, often self-created. Mars rules the military, the force which Trump wishes to unleash on American cities, as well as the violence and rioting which is occurring there. Bringing this all together is the President, that would-be Strong Man (Bienor), the image-without-substance (Photographica) who embodies the opposite (retrograde) of American (America) values (Venus).
And so the Horsemen ride roughshod through the country, but they do not ride alone. With their posse are asteroids Burney (burning) at 23 Capricorn and Flameus (flames) at 26 Capricorn, conjunct Pluto and Jupiter, suggesting both the raging fires of the rioting and Trump’s incendiary political rhetoric. Asteroid Copland, a heady image of Donald Trump’s envisioned police state America, opposes Pluto/Jupiter/Burney/Flameus from 28 Cancer, forming a T-Square with Eris/Troemper.
Exactly opposing Chaos is asteroid Hybris at 25 Sagittarius, named for the Greek goddess of prideful arrogance (and root of our word “hubris”), a vital factor in the current crisis, one embodying Trump’s self-assured calculation that he can, Canute-like, cause the tides of pandemic to recede at his command, simply by saying it isn’t so. Trump’s arrogance feeds the chaotic state of the nation, exacerbating the situation and making things worse.
Forming an exact T-Square with the Chaos/Hybris opposition is a pairing of asteroids Achilles and Persephone at 25 Pisces. Achilles connotes the military presence threatened by the President, but also exposes Trump’s underlying vulnerability and the weakness he tries so hard to couch as strength. Persephone represents the loss of innocence, the enforced awakening, whereby the country may at long last determine that the open wound of racism needs to be addressed – finally, fully and forever.
But Donald Trump is not the man to effect this healing. America’s “Strong Man” is incapable of the true strength needed to face the legacy of the country’s original sin. When protests came scarily close to the Oval Office on Friday the 29th, Trump fled to the safety of a basement bunker, the White House’s “panic room”, unable to face even this modest display of national chagrin at his ineffective leadership. The circumstance is portrayed celestially by asteroid Bunke at 7 Scorpio, opposed Uranus at 8 Taurus, T-Squared Saturn at 1 Aquarius: when the protests (Uranus) became too real, the President (Saturn) retreated to his bunker (Bunke).
This is not a man, strong or otherwise. This is a sad, pathetic boy-child who mars and unmakes everything he touches. And what he’s destroying is our country.
But I want to end this article on a more positive note. And I ask myself, why George Floyd? Why now? Why did the death of this man at this time provoke such international response?
The answer may lie in that lone PNA to represent him, asteroid George. After I published the first article on this tragedy, a generous reader pointed out to me that asteroid George appears at 27 Capricorn in the chart for the city of Minneapolis, where it fills in a square from the Moon at 28 Libra to Uranus at 27 Cancer, creating a T-Square. The people (Moon) of Minneapolis took up his cause, and if some reacted with volatility (Uranus), who can blame them, after decades, even centuries, of such mistreatment? It became a call for equality, also a Uranian aim, and touched us all emotionally (Moon).
So that explains Minneapolis, but why did this story catch fire nationally, and then abroad? For one, transit Jupiter was exactly atop Minneapolis’ asteroid George at his murder. This inflated the case, gave it “celebrity”, if you will, grew the response exponentially. It sparked a national movement, in part, because Minneapolis’ George is exactly conjoined the US Pluto at 27 Capricorn, and also aspected to the US George, which appears at 27 Aries, by square. It is also in this region where we currently find discordant Eris, evoking the massive response to his death from disrespected people who are finally saying “enough is enough!” and coming out in tens of thousands to make their anger known. This forms a precise T-Square with the US asteroid America at 27 Libra, linking the national psyche with the trauma of the homicide of George Floyd (both trauma and homicide are Pluto-ruled).
Filling in a Grand Cross is asteroid Atropos at 28 Cancer, named for the mythic Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death. The US Mercury is there, too, at 24 Cancer, exactly conjoined asteroid Agita, a symbol of agitation and “heartburn”; people could no longer “stomach” this ongoing inequality and lethal mistreatment, and with the support of the Media (Mercury), the story of the death (Pluto, Atropos) of George Floyd (George) spread and took root in the country (America).
With transit Pluto already within orb of of its first Return since the nation’s founding, and transit Jupiter egging it on, America was ripe for a massive explosion from the depths, a cathartic moment to purge all those deep, murderous, race-driven power struggles that stem from our inception, and mock the Founding Fathers’ conviction that all men are created equal. All the scandal, manipulation, coercion, intimidation and brutality (all Pluto) of an oppressed and marginalized population (Eris) over the last 200 years came surging to the fore, all focused on a man named George.
It could have been any George, but it was George Floyd. He isn’t here to see the effect his death has had, but he stands as a reminder that each of us has the potential to galvanize the world, given the right circumstances.