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Political Apprentice, Season Two: The Trump Administration’s 2018 Solar Return


Like any other entity, a presidential administration has a birth chart. And if you have a birth chart, you’ve also got a Solar Return, which can provide clues to the astrological weather for the year ahead.


The Trump Administration’s first Solar Return occurs at 5:45 PM EST on January 20th, 2018, in Washington DC. Significantly, this date coincided with a government shutdown, with responsible parties unable come to an agreement by the time funding ran out on January 19th. And that’s just how the year starts! Astrologers know that often an event representative of the energies of the coming year will occur at or near the actual Solar Return – if this is any indication of the path ahead, it does not inspire confidence.

Celebrity Apprentice

This was all so much easier when the producers made the decisions and everyone was in on the joke. Who would have thought that Reality TV Star skills wouldn’t translate to the Oval Office?

Accompanying the 0 Aquarius Sun is Icarus at 25 Capricorn and Phaeton at 24 Capricorn. This repeats a theme central to the administration, which was born with Icarus exactly conjunct the Sun. Icarus represents rash, reckless acts or words, taken heedless of the consequences, and an inability to follow good advice. This reads like a textbook description of the Trump administration, and the repetition of this pattern indicates “more of the same.” As the conjunction is now five degrees in orb, the intensity of this factor may wane in year two, but it’s still a vital part of the core of this White House.

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Cover of German magazine Der Spiegel: Trump as a globe-smashing asteroid headed for earth. The caption reads, “End of the World.”

Phaeton here is, if possible, even more evocative of disaster. The establishing myth involves the young son of Helios, who begged his father to be allowed to drive the chariot of the sun, and then had to be shot from the sky by a thunderbolt from Zeus when his inability to control the horses put the earth’s very existence in jeopardy. It is an image of taking on responsibilities for which one is ill prepared, with calamitous consequences, for oneself and others. The inexperienced Phaeton’s chaotic trajectory threatened to burn the earth to cinders, an image almost eerily evocative of Trump’s nonchalant Twitter utterances regarding nuclear conflict with North Korea, which respected national security and military experts have suggested could lead to World War III. The inaugural chart shows a conjunction of Troemper and Phaeton, at 9 and 12 Aries, reinforcing the sense that Trump may implode, receive his “downfall”, or lead the country to ruin.


It’s interesting that both the myth of Icarus and Phaeton focus on a spectacular and devastating fall from a great height, precipitated by a failure to accept expert advice or adhere to normal boundaries and standards.


Venus is here too, at 3 Aquarius, and that’s a bit of a puzzler. Ordinarily, Venus with the Sun would suggest smooth sailing and a pleasant, relaxed, cooperative atmosphere. I think we can all agree that, barring some phenomenal Act of God, this is unlikely, so I would propose that Venus with the Sun represents the continuing impact of the administration on US culture and social norms. The coarsening of the public discourse under the Trump administration is undeniable, even before the use of terms like “shithole” or “shithouse”, whichever it turns out to be. The use of deprecating nicknames for political opponents, or anyone who crosses him, sets a low bar for presidential communication that is unlikely to be equaled, though Trump himself will doubtless bring it lower before he’s done.


The Sun exactly squares asteroid America at 0 Taurus, within orb of the 26 Aries MC. This elevates the status of the country above that of the administration, whose Sun for the year is below the western horizon, out of sight. The square implies conflict between the administration and the nation at large, a stressful, inimical relationship between them.

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Trump poses in the redecorated Oval Office; the new curtains are gold, of course.

Also of note is an angular Uranus, with the planet of disruption, change and revolution at 24 Aries, conjunct the 26 Aries Midheaven. Uranus elevated on the MC puts the eccentric, unorthodox, volatile White House in full view for all to see. This in itself suggests turmoil, and with Icarus in close square to both points, there is a propensity for poor decision-making, volatile actions, and tragic outcomes. Transforming this pattern into a T-Square is asteroid Russia, at 28 Libra on the 26 Libra IC. Russia is a powerful force in the administration, a reality reflected by its being stationary at last year’s inauguration, turning direct just four days later, and thus an embedded, fixed element, exerting inordinate influence throughout the first term. With this point angular in the Solar Return and involved in this T-Square, the Russia story is once again likely to dominate the year.


Interestingly, this MC/IC axis is exactly squared the MC/IC axis for the administration itself, at 26 Capricorn/Cancer. This suggests that the goals and foundational elements of the second year are at conflict or in stark variance with those of the first year, and the tenor of the administration generally. This appears to be the case, with officials in the administration, if not Trump himself, acknowledging that the infamous southern border wall, perhaps the defining element of the Trump campaign, will not be fully completed, and will not be paid for directly by Mexico, but rather by the American taxpayer. Trump also averred that, not only would the wealthiest Americans not receive tax cuts, their taxes (and his) would go up, but in reality the tax “reform” bill passed in December gave most of the benefits to the super rich. Continued examples of the variance between campaign rhetoric and governing practice are doubtless in the wings.

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Time magazine cover marking the end of Trump’s first year, third in a series of “meltdown” covers.

Conjoining the IC is TNO Rhadamanthus, named for a Greek judge of the dead noted for his strict adherence to the law and the meting out of harsh punishments for offenders.   One is tempted to envision Special Counsel Robert Mueller in this role, complete with toga. It should also be noted that this solar return IC conjoins Trump’s natal asteroid d’Arrest at 24 Libra, which represents a cessation or end point, perhaps a literal arrest or detention, indictment or charges filed. This point, which is stationary and embedded in Trump’s psyche and destiny, has a powerful impact on his biography, and currently affects the foundational energy (IC) of the second year of the administration.


The Moon at 13 Pisces conjoins Neptune at 12 Pisces. This could indicate a dishonest stance with the public, an attempt to misrepresent, obfuscate, or deceive. It also represents confused or inconsistent public policy, and a populace that is disillusioned, disheartened, or cynically disengaged; many may feel betrayed, another Neptune keyword. With asteroid Whitehouse at 7 Pisces within orb of this conjunction, the administration is likely to misjudge the mood of the electorate, perhaps donning rose-colored glasses or pretending to have support that is in fact an illusion or fantasy. Regardless, Whitehouse here clearly establishes the source of the deception and betrayal practiced on the American people.


Mercury and asteroid Askalaphus are exactly conjoined at 13 Capricorn. Expect further revelations in the press, as Askalaphus encourages disclosure of secrets. These square an exact conjunction of asteroid d’Arrest and Atropos at 15 Libra, which could signal an indictment (d’Arrest) and a termination (Atropos) of some sort within the administration, perhaps involving its head. Also in the mix is asteroid Moskva (Russian for Moscow, the capital), which creates another T-Square by opposing Mercury/Askalaphus, from 9 Cancer. This degree abuts the president’s natal Mercury at 8 Cancer, so the news and disclosures will be concentrated on him, with again a focus on Russia.

political apprentice5

A pithy reminder of just how much the White House staff has changed in the first year; if Trump had intended to produce a political reality TV show, he couldn’t have done better.

Nearby at 17 Capricorn is an exact pairing of asteroids Achilles and Washingtonia, suggestive of an inherent flaw or weakness (Achilles) which threatens to destroy the government (Washingtonia), revealed this year by the media (Mercury/Askalaphus). And just a little further down the celestial pike is Pluto at 19 Capricorn, suggesting a major transformative year, for the government generally, as well as its relationship with the Press (Mercury). Pluto conjoins Mercury/Askalaphus as well, suggesting a prime year for muckraking, and the revealing of all sorts of potential scandals, but also a renewed attempt to manipulate or control news outlets, using threats and coercion to intimidate or destroy. Pluto conjunct both Phaeton and Icarus on the hinter side is a further warning of dire consequences in the offing, perhaps leading to total destruction.


Another T-Square is worthy of mention, comprised of asteroid Troemper (our celestial referent for Donald Trump) at 1 Libra opposing TNO Salacia at 0 Aries, both squared Saturn at 3 Capricorn. Salacia refers to sensationalism and scandal; this is often of a sexual nature (as in the recent exposure of hush money paid to a porn star with whom Trump had an affair), but it needn’t be – anything defined as shocking or outrageous would fit the bill. Is the President likely to utter incendiary statements this year? You be the judge. Saturn here brings in the office of the chief executive directly, as well as the government generally, and has implications for career matters and the possibility of penalties exacted. Saturn brings limitation and hard lessons, it can be a very exacting taskmaster; it requires admission of guilt or responsibility and willingness to change, or it punishes severely. This will be a difficult year for Trump, based on this pattern, with lots of criticism and perhaps some harsh realities to be faced; the overriding theme is loss.

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Cover of the German magazine Der Siegel: Trump beheads Lady Liberty herself.

This pattern becomes a Grand Cross with the inclusion of asteroid Kassandra at 1 Cancer – the issue here is credibility, integrity and trustworthiness; can Trump’s words and promises be trusted, and by extension, how does this affect the credibility of the United States? With constant changes in policy stance, stated intentions or aims which alter with the breeze, and back-stabbing verbal turnabouts which undercut supposed allies and opponents alike, the Trump administration’s credibility is virtually non-extant, and his ability t craft deals with rival political factions is seriously undermined.


A grouping of asteroids Lie, Karma and Mueller at 29 Scorpio, 0 and 3 Sagittarius overlays Trump’s natal asteroid Troemper at 2 Sagittarius, perhaps indicating a comeuppance for prior bad acts (Karma), based in falsehoods, untruths and half-truths (Lie), very personal to the President (Troemper), wrought by the Special Counsel (Mueller). Remember that Mueller’s natal position in Trump’s chart is 13 Aries, conjoined asteroid Russia at 12 Aries, and squared asteroid Nemesis, representing self-undoing and divine retribution, at 16 Cancer. This is not an aspect to be trifled with, and transit Mueller’s conjunction with natal Troemper brings this home with a (literal) vengeance this year.


The recent Mars/Jupiter conjunction is still in effect, now at 26 and 19 Scorpio respectively, and this prefigures continued combativeness and stress in political matters for the year ahead. Heated rhetoric, battle lines drawn, philosophic conflict and partisan division, are all indicated. A square to Damocles at 23 Aquarius suggests a doom hanging unseen overhead, though you’d have to be pretty myopic not to see this one coming. This becomes yet another T-Square with the addition of TNO Sedna at 25 Taurus, opposing Mars/Jupiter; Sedna represents isolation, as well as an inability to accept adult responsibility.

political apprentice4

All in all, it looks like another year of volatility, explosiveness and unpredictability for the Trump administration, with scandalous revelations and outrageous utterances. But I guess we didn’t need astrology to figure out that one.

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.

4 comments, add yours.


Venus conj Lucifer and hard to Apollon (many),…. hundreds of women’s marches around the world against Trump. Thought you’d like this. 🙂

    Alex Miller


    thanks, Martina! encouraging news!

Greg Wright

I am consistently amazed, entertained, and horrified by your writing. Keep up the good work!

    Alex Miller


    thanks, Greg! it’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it… :^)

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