Poor Donald Trump! He just can’t seem to get a break. At least, not while his celestial referent, asteroid Troemper, is going through such difficult peregrinations. First was the extended conjunction of Troemper with the Sun, which began with a ten-degree orb in mid-May, just as Trump embarked on his first official visits abroad as president.
After buffooning his way through a Saudi sword dance ceremony and then telling Israelis he had “just got back from the Middle East”, it was on to an audience with the Pope and then the G7 summit in Sicily, his first opportunity for a face-to-face confab with other world leaders en masse. He rounded out that trip with a stop at NATO headquarters in Brussels, where he explicitly refused to affirm the US’ commitment to Article Five of the NATO Pact, which states that an attack on one member will be considered an attack on all. Which is kind of the whole underlying structure of the alliance. The affirmation was in the speech prepared for him, he just couldn’t say the words.
No sooner was he back on American soil than he announced that the US would withdraw from the Paris Accords on global climate change, on June 1st. Further opportunities for international embarrassment came in early July, at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, just as the Sun/Troemper conjunction was breaking up.
A PNA (Personal-Named Asteroid) in conjunction with the Sun reveals much of the true character of the individual it’s associated with. It can be a time of coming into one’s own, making the most of the heightened visibility the Sun affords, or a period when flaws and inconsistencies come to the surface, and one’s defects and imperfections are made manifest for all to see. The bright glare of the Sun illumines, but it can also burn.
In Trump’s case, the solar conjunction revealed a shallow, thin-skinned, inept individual, in way over his head and seemingly unable to take direction or appear in public without humiliating himself and the country he represents. His jaunty shoving of the Montenegrin prime minister out of the way of his own advance to the flash of photographers’ cameras at the NATO meeting is perhaps the best metaphor for this ugliest exemplar of the Ugly American. And by the way, Montenegro is NATO’s newest member, and its admittance into the Treaty mightily ruffled feathers at the Kremlin, whose vassal state Montenegro formerly was. Does anyone really think it was a “coincidence” that Trump shoved the man who had pissed off Putin?
But the drama wasn’t over. After the solar conjunction Troemper got itself entangled in a Grand Cross of energies including squares to Jupiter and asteroid America, and an opposition to Pluto, which played out over the last two weeks of July, eliciting much mayhem and chaos. During this period Trump tweeted a major change in Pentagon policy regarding transgender service members; presented a speech to the Boy Scout Jamboree that was so partisan, the Boy Scout leadership felt they had to apologize for it; carried on a Twitter war with his own Attorney General; endorsed police brutality in a speech for the Suffolk County PD; accepted the resignation of the White House Press Secretary; had his hands tied by the Congress in the matter of removing Russian sanctions; and witnessed the total failure of the attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare. [Read the details here.]
One would think after all that brouhaha, that Troemper would take it easy and lie low for a while. But it was not to be.
Onward and upward, to the transiting conjunction of Troemper with asteroid Toro, effective with a five –degree orb from July 27 through August 16, 2017. We’ve discussed Trump and the Toro effect before. Toro is bullying behaviors, aggression and bellicosity, and Trump has this point at station in his birth chart, making it an embed in his consciousness, a prime factor in his life. At 21 Libra, natal Toro is closely trine the 22 Gemini Sun, blending its character flaws into Trump’s core essence, and also conjoins Jupiter at 17 Libra, indicating that it’s in the political arena where Trump gives full vent to his Toro tendencies, and that he carries these to excess and extremes.
That is, of course, fully borne out, not just by his belligerent chastising and name-calling of his 17 rivals for the GOP presidential nomination, but by his continued tactic of abuse and attack while serving in the Oval Office (often directed against members of his own Party who draw his rage), whether in person, on the phone, via Twitter, or in campaign-style speeches before adoring crowds of Trumpites. Trump gives new meaning to the traditional description of the presidency as “the Bully Pulpit.”
It took Trump awhile to warm to this conjunction, or perhaps we’re just so used to his bluster and bravado that it’s hard to tell when he’s turned up the volume. But by the time the conjunction became exact on August 6th, the combination was well in evidence, as Trump verbally abused and threatened a leading Democratic Senator, the Republican Senate Majority Leader, a prominent pharmaceutical industry CEO, and the entire state of North Korea.
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) was the first focus of Trump’s cyberbullying ire. After a CNN interview on Monday, August 7th, where Blumenthal disparaged Trump’s relationship with the Justice Department and went on to urge Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate any and all financial dealings between Trump and the Russians, Trump riposted with a three-Tweet series where he lambasted Blumenthal for his own prior foibles, such as exaggerating the extent of his military service in Vietnam. Trump, the Exaggerator-in-Chief, characterized the Russian investigation as a “hoax” and said Blumenthal’s “phony Vietnam con artist” status disqualified him to judge collusion. Blumenthal responded hours later by Tweeting: “Mr. President: Your bullying hasn’t worked before and it won’t work now. No one is above the law.” Blumenthal then followed up with another appearance on CNN the next day where he again called out Trump’s behavior: “I won’t be distracted by this bullying.”
Of course, by then EVERYONE had been distracted from this Tweetstorm in a Teacup by Trump’s aggressive posturing with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. On August 8th, Trump threatened retaliatory “fire and fury” in response to aggressive statements and missile launches from North Korea. In a saber-rattling technique he might have picked up during that sword dance in Saudi Arabia, Trump asserted, “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and the fury like the world has never seen.” The two countries edged closer to the brink of nuclear war, but, having set a match to the long-burning fuse on the Korean peninsula, Trump felt he had enough running room to return to conflagrations closer to home.
On August 9th, after a phone conversation that devolved into a profanity-laden shouting match with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Trump again took to Twitter to vent his spleen. Famously unable to let any perceived slight pass unremarked, Trump’s frustration at McConnell’s failure to pass Healthcare reform legislation or support his efforts to block the Russian investigation boiled over after a seemingly innocuous statement from McConnell two days earlier. At a Rotary Club speech, McConnell opined that, “Part of the reason I think that the story line is that we haven’t done much is because, in part, the president and others have set these early timelines about things need to be done by a certain point. Our new president, of course, has not been in this line of work before. And I think he had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process.”
That was too much for Trump, who replied with a tweeted indictment of McConnell’s leadership: “After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?” Trump’s attacks escalated over the next two weeks, at one point admonishing the Majority Leader to “get back to work” after the Senate had adjourned for its August recess. The two have refused to speak to each other since that heated August 9th screamfest, and McConnell’s temper was not mollified when Trump used the Senator’s wife, Elaine Chao, the current Secretary of Transportation, as a prop in his post-Charlottesville rant in support of moral equivalency between White Supremacist, neo-Nazi and KKK demonstrators, and those opposing them.
Astrologically, we’ll deal with these three incidents on August 7, 8 and 9, as of a piece. We’ve mentioned above that the Troemper/Toro conjunction became exact during this week, which focused on Trump’s natal Saturn at 23 Cancer, prompting work-related bullying galore. But also exacerbating the situation was a transit conjunction of the Sun and Mars, putting everyone in a testy, fractious mood and encouraging assaults, verbal and otherwise. This played out over the region between Trump’s natal Pluto at 10 Leo, and natal Mars at 26 Leo, possibly the two worst chart points imaginable for hosting such a celestial union, prone to aggravation and taking offense, allied with a desire for serious payback. And of course this dynamic duo was closing in on Trump’s biannual Mars Return, and building toward the eclipse conjunct natal Mars and his Ascendant. Quite the volatile combination of factors!
Trump’s Twitter War with Senator Richard Blumenthal commenced on August 7, 2017, at 7:47 AM EDT, with Mercury at 10 Virgo rising on the 2 Virgo Ascendant, showing the power of communication in the moment. This Ascendant also conjoins Trump’s own, at 29 Leo, making the President personally engaged in the attack. And exactly squaring Mercury is asteroid Richard at 10 Gemini, while asteroid Blumenthal at 1 Scorpio opposes Uranus at 28 Aries, itself squaring transit Toro and Troemper at 22 and 23 Cancer, eliciting the bout of cyber(Uranus) bullying (Mars/Toro). Toro is also exactly conjunct Trump’s natal Saturn and exactly trine transit asteroid Washingtonia at 23 Scorpio, suggesting that federal government officials might be the object of the President’s wrath. The Moon at 12 Aquarius is just hours away from a Lunar Eclipse, opposing the Sun and Mars at 15 and 11 Leo respectively.
The same energies informed the North Korean fracas on the 8th, one day after that country absorbed the Lunar Eclipse exactly opposed its Pluto, ruling nuclear power and weapons. Its 29 Leo Saturn is an exact match for Trump’s natal Ascendant, and the Commander-in-Chief attempted to look both presidential (Saturn) and menacing (Pluto) in his rhetorical assault on the country’s leader, stating that Kim Jong Un “has been very threatening beyond a normal state, and as I said, they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.” With transit Mercury preparing to station on North Korea’s Midheaven, and Troemper semisquare this point, it was time for a verbal showdown, and the passage of transit Mars over Trump’s natal Pluto, in semisextile to transit Mercury, encouraged a threat of the use of nuclear force.
By the next day, although tensions were on the rise and the US territory of Guam had been explicitly threatened by the North Korean regime, Trump felt it was time to take on the Senate Majority Leader. After a knock-down, drag-out phone conversation where voices were raised and expletives showered, Trump proceeded to begin his Twitter assault on McConnell, first slamming his inability to pass the Obamacare repeal. “After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?”
Sent at 11:14 AM EDT on August 9th, the chart shows Jupiter rising at 18 Libra, on the 17 Libra Ascendant, which is an exact match for Trump’s own Jupiter. (Yes, believe it or not, throughout this year of hell Trump has actually been undergoing a protracted Jupiter Return, a period which normally brings benefit, which is as much as to say, the cosmos can only go so far, you have to meet it halfway.) The Ascendant also highlights Trump’s natal Toro at 21 Libra, and this squares the transit conjunction of Troemper and Toro, now at 23 and 26 Cancer, on the 20 Cancer MC, making Trump prominent in the moment. From there, Troemper is exactly conjunct Trump’s Saturn, so we see the combination of the executive branch (Saturn), a la Trump/Troemper, in conflict (square), with the legislative (Jupiter), represented by McConnell.
Asteroid Mitchella for Mitch falls at 10 Virgo, conjoining stationary Mercury and drawing Trump’s rhetorical fire, with Troemper in semisquare. Asteroid McConnell at 7 Sagittarius is sesquiquadrate Troemper and squaring Mitchella/Mercury, bringing things full circle. Adding a note of emotional response based in disappointment or disillusion is the Moon conjunct Neptune at 9 and 13 Pisces, opposing Mercury/Mitchella and forming a T-Square with McConnell. All the while Jupiter continues to oppose America and Damocles/Whitehouse continues to square Washingtonia, indicating congressional opposition and conflict between the Oval Office and Capitol Hill.
Trump rounded out this week of bashing with his statements about the violence at a White Supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Held on Friday, August 11th (the same day Trump appeared to mull a military option for the unrest in Venezuela), the demonstration featured hundreds of White Supremacists, neo-Nazis, and KKK members marching in the streets, protesting the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, and chanting slogans such as “Jews will not replace us!” and “Blood and Soil!”, a 1930s Nazi trope.
On Saturday the protest turned deadly, when a white power advocate purposely drove his car into a crowd of counter-protestors, killing one and injuring 11 others. Trump made a brief remark after an appearance at his Bedminster NJ golf resort, but went off-script to chastise the violence “on many sides” without decrying the White Supremacists directly, seeming to spread the blame in an act of moral equivalency.
The outcry was immediate, and by Monday, even businessmen were abandoning Trump in droves. The departure began early Monday morning the 14th, with Ken Frazier, the African American CEO of Merck Pharmaceuticals, withdrawing from Trump’s Business Advisory Council, stating “I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.”
Less than an hour later, Trump responded via Tweet, “Now that Merck Pharma CEO Ken Frazier has resigned from President’s Manufacturing Council, he will have more time to lower RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!” Sent at 8:54 AM EDT, the Tweet has a 22 Gemini Midheaven, exactly conjunct Trump’s natal Sun. The Moon is again active; at 15 Taurus, it squares the Mars/Sun conjunction at 16 and 21 Leo, forming a T-Square with asteroid Panacea, ruling drugs and pharmaceuticals, at 16 Aquarius. Asteroid Kenny, for Ken, falls at 17 Libra, exactly on Trump’s natal Jupiter, with both squared by transit Pluto at 17 Capricorn and transit Jupiter close beside at 18 Libra. Kenny is also trine to Panacea and squared to Venus at 16 Cancer, evoking Frazier’s ethical response to Trump’s moral equivalency. Asteroid Frazier is stationary at 3 Capricorn, having turned direct four days earlier, showing a literal change in direction for the Merck CEO.
Trump initially intimated that if Frazier was gone, that was fine with him – he had many more such individuals to take his place. But by the end of the day, two other CEOs had resigned, from Under Armor and Intel, with more to follow on the Tuesday, including Campbell Soup and 3M, and by Wednesday the Business Advisory Councils had to be disbanded.
Trump tried to stem the tide on Monday with prepared remarks specifically denouncing the hate groups involved in the Charlottesville demonstrations, but most considered this effort to be too little, too late.
So Trump doubled down on his original sentiments Tuesday. In a blustering, hectoring impromptu press conference following a prepared address on infrastructure, Trump blasted the Press for mischaracterizing his remarks, then reaffirmed them. “I think there is blame on both sides. You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now. I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups,” he said. “Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.”
Trump continued, reviling the Media, asserting the correctness of his argument, and, incidentally, plugging the winery he owns in Charlottesville, for over twenty minutes. Begun at 4 PM EDT at Trump Tower in New York City, the chart shows a 19 Gemini Descendant, once again conjoined Trump’s natal Sun, with asteroids Virginia and Charlotte recently setting, at 13 and 9 Gemini respectively. Both are square to transit Neptune (Virginia exactly) at 13 Pisces, as well as Mercury, now retrograde, at 11 Virgo, indicating a level of deceptive manipulation (Neptune) of rhetoric (Mercury) regarding the protests (Charlotte, Virginia). Troemper at 26 Cancer and Toro at 1 Leo are just beginning to diverge, after more than two weeks of symbiotic resonance.
By now the fallout had spread even to Republican members of congress, who universally rejected Trump’s remarks, though often without naming the president directly. The only people who received aid and comfort from Trump, and gave their support in return, were the White Supremacists themselves. David Duke, former head of the KKK and an attendee at the rally, tweeted: “Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth about #Charlottesville & condemn the leftist terrorists in BLM/Antifa.”
A fitting end to the transit Troemper/Toro alliance.