On October 16, 2019, Donald Trump “celebrated” a millennium of days in the Oval Office, which means the rest of us have suffered with this administration for a thousand earthly rotations. The miracle is that we’re still standing, if barely.
Trump commemorated the day with a meltdown in front of Congressional leaders, including the self-release of a photo showing him being chastised by Nancy Pelosi; the leaked release of an admonitory letter to Turkish President Erdogan that reads like a Third Grade composition; the self-bombing of hastily abandoned US bases in northern Syria to prevent their use by enemy forces; the House Impeachment Hearings testimony of a chief State Department adviser who had resigned the week before in protest over Trump’s Ukraine shenanigans; and a Jerry-Springer-style meeting at the White House between the bereaved parents of a British citizen killed in a driving accident and the US diplomat’s wife who killed him.
Is Donald Trump nuts? Or a genius? Or crazy like a fox? Or cracking under the pressures of the Oval Office?
Your answer to this question likely depends on where you find yourself in the political spectrum, but what can an examination of his birth chart tell us about the truth of The Donald’s mental state?
To the ancients, insanity was ruled by the Moon (hence our English word “lunacy” for mental deterioration). To modern astrologers, there are two types of planetary insanity – Neptune is generally considered the primary ruler, but manic episodes can be seen as the purview of Uranus. The old expression, “there’s a fine line between genius and insanity” might be instructive here, since Uranus rules both.
Of course, with his Sun conjunct Uranus, Donald plumps for the “genius” version of this equation every time, but in frequently qualifying himself as a “stable genius”, he betrays this as yet another fiction: Uranus is anything but stable! With his Sun conjoined this volatility magnet, Trump may have flashes of insight which seem heaven-sent, but his overriding characteristics are instability, impulsivity and unpredictability. Unwilling to be pinned down or commit, unable to formulate a game plan, Trump delays decisions until a whim of the moment strikes him, then digs in his heels at the resultant controversy and refuses to amend his course of action, attempting to portray this as the right strategy, all evidence to the contrary.
Neptune’s placement is, if possible, even worse. At 5 Libra, Neptune squares natal Mercury at 8 Cancer, a combination which is known for fuzzy thinking, illogic, confusion, and difficulty distinguishing between fantasy and reality. Obviously, a pairing of planetary elements representing thought and decision-making capacity with irrationality, misperception and delusion is not ideal in any leader, let alone the purported Leader of the Free World. Add to that Neptune’s propensity for deception, misdirection and outright fraud, and we have a very dangerous mix indeed. This pairing says much about Trump’s style of speaking, his lack of focus, stream-of-consciousness, disjointed, hyper-exaggerated rhetoric. The fluidity of language implied here renders it very difficult for Mercury/Neptune to frame a thought and bring it home without amendments, revisions or adaptations made on the fly, in the very utterance.
Mercury/Neptune also describes someone prone to conspiracy theories, fantastical narratives, and what we might term, in White House parlance, “alternate facts.” The tendency for Trump to be less than honest seems to have increased during his time in the Oval Office (The Washington Post has already chronicled more than 13,000 incidents of deceptive or misleading rhetoric since his inauguration), which may be explained by the presence of asteroid Whitehouse at 4 Capricorn, transforming this into a T-Square. Once Whitehouse had an actual job to do, as opposed to being a mere point of potential, it began to feed into the Mercury/Neptune square (one could also argue that the repeated lies told by Trump about his predecessor’s birthplace was another manifestation of this pattern).
So we have two for two on The Donald’s planetary picture of potential insanity. What about asteroids?
Two asteroids which can indicate insanity are Dionysus, named for the Greek god who was often out of his right mind and conferred a sort of sacred insanity on his followers; and Ophelia, named for the tragic character from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” who goes mad and drowns herself. Both are prominent in Trump’s nativity.
Dionysus at 15 Gemini conjoins both Uranus at 17 Gemini and the Sun at 22, perhaps inclining Trump to the “insanity” side of Uranus’ fine line. It certainly helps to explain the rabid support given Trump by his most diehard adherents, as Dionysus’ followers, the Maenads, were known to tear limb-from-limb those who had offended their god, a fair analogy to the atmosphere of a Trump rally. From 15 Gemini, Dionysus is exactly sesquiquadrate natal asteroid Askalaphus at 0 Aquarius, named for the most famous eyewitness in Greek myth, perhaps an indication of why whistleblowers seem to get so deep under Trump’s skin and craze him to such an extent, that he characterizes them as “spies” and “traitors”. Like rubbing a tongue over a sore tooth, each pass just makes the pain worse, and with each successive leak, Trump goes more and more ballistic, egged on by the Dionysus activation.
Natal Ophelia is even more prominently positioned. At 27 Aquarius, Ophelia is stationary, trine the Sun, and given angular force and impact by conjunction with the Descendant and opposition to Mars on the Ascendant. Its stationary status makes it an embedded feature of Trump’s psyche and a potent factor in his biography; the trine to the Sun shows its energies as integral to his core essence; the conjunction with the Descendant implies that it is his relationships with others which set him off, while the Mars opposition defines what it is that activates Ophelia most: he becomes agitated or mentally stressed and chafes at perceived restrictions on his ability to act or express himself, especially when he thinks this affects how others see him. Basically, others set him off – their actions, their opposition, any confrontation or conflict is prone to send him into a tailspin of irrationality or worse.
Accompanying Ophelia are asteroids Fox (also at 27 Aquarius), Hill at 20 Aquarius, and Icarus at 19. An angular Fox speaks for itself – it’s Fox News Channel which provides the Trump echo chamber, reinforcing his craziest notions, wildest conspiracy theories, and repackaging his at times bizarre, disjointed rhetoric as brilliant commentary. Icarus indicates rash, reckless actions or decisions taken heedless of the consequences, typically with disastrous results.
The importance of Hill was unapparent until recently. Also at station (the other two are not), Hill turned retrograde the very day of Trump’s birth, and is currently being represented terrestrially by Fiona Hill, a former top administration advisor on Ukraine and Russia, who gave some rather damning testimony regarding Trump’s Ukraine “policy” earlier the same week. Given the status of her PNA, we can surmise that Fiona Hill’s testimony is likely to be one which will aggravate Trump’s mental state even more. With a stationary PNA in Trump’s nativity, Hill’s role in his impeachment is likely to be pivotal.
Two other players in the current drama have significant representation in the birth chart as well. Gordon Sondland is Trump’s ambassador to the EU, but unaccountably was also a point man on the Ukraine “arms for dirt” scandal (despite the fact that Ukraine is not a member nation, and thus Sondland has no business interfering there). His testimony was withheld by the White House the week before Trump’s 1000th day, but was given under subpoena the day after. Sondland, like Trump himself, is a hotel magnate whose chief qualification for the post he now holds was a $1 million contribution to Trump’s Inaugural fund, and Gordon Sondland is represented by asteroid Gordonia, which at 16 Libra is also at station! Turning direct eleven days prior to Trump’s birth, Gordonia conjoins both a stationary Chiron and Jupiter, indicating the “political (Jupiter) wound (Chiron)” nature of his involvement in the story, and his innate potential as a facilitator of that. Sondland’s testimony that his assurances to lower echelon State Department officials that there was no “quid pro quo” in the Ukraine negotiations was based solely on the President’s word could be vital.
The other major player currently is Turkish President Recep Erdogan, whose recent incursions into northern Syria to roust out our erstwhile allies, the Kurds, was greenlighted by Trump in an October 6th phone call. Without obtaining advice from experts and advisors, Trump agreed to withdraw a small US force which had been inhibiting the Turkish advance, so precipitately that not enough notice was given to properly dismantle the bases, which were bombed by the US after withdrawal so as to prevent occupying forces from using them. Two million people is a lot to throw under a bus, but Trump did it in a trice, characterizing the Kurds, who fought our ground war against the ISIS caliphate and lost 11,000 people in the process, as “no angels” and leaving them to their fate without a second thought.
GOP reaction to the abandonment of our allies has been blistering and caustic, a rare instance of the Party standing up to its putative head. In typical Trumpian “strategically brilliant” fashion, the President has alienated Senate allies just at the time he needs them most, to prevent his removal from office after the House impeaches him. Their ire and disgust at his Kurdish policy may give cover for Republican senators to support impeachment, and if so, Erdogan will have been instrumental in creating the fracture. There is no exact asteroid match for Erdogan, or Turkey, for that matter, but the closest is asteroid Erda, which at 5 Aquarius is … wait for it … also at station! Erda turned retrograde nine days before Trump’s birth; as with Hill and Gordonia, its stationary stance indicates a greater-than-typical importance in Trump’s bio. Turkey is represented by asteroid Turku, which at 17 Cancer in Trump’s birth chart closely conjoins asteroid Nemesis at 16, a point of self-undoing and ruin. It is also exactly squared Jupiter, suggesting the political nature of Turkey’s involvement in the impeachment saga. If the Turkey/Kurdish sidebar becomes pivotal to Trump’s downfall, having that country’s celestial referent conjunct his Nemesis, and its president’s at station, would be a remarkable example of cosmic prescience.
But to return to Ophelia, the most glaring factor in assessing Trump’s mental state, which is rapidly becoming one of the chief arguments in support of his removal from office sooner rather than later. As Ophelia is energized by transit, its potential for inciting madness becomes active rather than passive. So what’s been activating Ophelia of late?
In a word, lots. An extended conjunction of asteroids Achilles and Damocles has been transiting this point for months, each with stations of their own just one degree away (both at 28 Aquarius, the Damocles station came in late May 2019, while that of Achilles occurred on Trump’s birthday). Achilles represents an inherent flaw, a weakness or vulnerability which threatens to destroy the native, while Damocles is the doom hanging overhead, which may descend at any moment. Damocles has been within 5 degrees of natal Ophelia since December 2018, and will remain so until April 2023, with peak periods of activation March/April and June/July 2019, March and July/August 2020, February and August 2021, February and September 2022, and January 2023. Throughout this period, but especially at the exact conjunctions listed above, Trump is more than usually susceptible to “losing it”, that is, experiencing significant deterioration of his mental faculties or grasp on reality.
If there is any inherited biological predisposition to mental breakdown, this will be strongly evoked by Achilles during its conjunction periods, given its affinity with evoking inherent flaws. These conjunctions occur in May and July 2019, and January 2020. Achilles is within 5 degrees of Ophelia from April 2019 into February 2020, barring a few months in the autumn of 2019, at which point it will be spending its time coming to station conjunct Trump’s natal Icarus, ramping up his natural tendency to rash, impulsive, poorly considered action.
A further goad to Ophelia, an incredibly appropriate one, is asteroid House, which will be within 5 degrees of natal Ophelia from August 23rd through December 7th, 2019. Obviously symbolic of the US House of Representatives, House was exactly conjoined Ophelia September 15 through 21, as the Ukraine story broke and the push to impeachment began, and will repeat this conjunction November 10-16, the period when the impeachment articles are expected to be drawn up, preliminary to a pre-Thanksgiving vote. Surely nothing has deranged Trump more than the specter of impeachment. If we thought his antics were bizarre before the blow fell, wait till you see what follows! As asteroid House grates Ophelia, the House grates Trump’s mental state.
But perhaps the most significant and enduring transit is that of TNO Sedna, in square to Ophelia from 27 Taurus. Sedna is an extremely slow-mover from the Kuiper Belt region out past Pluto, with an orbital period of some 11,400 years. Yes, you read that right – the whole of recorded human history is but a blip on Sedna’s radar, and Donald Trump doesn’t even register. Kinda puts things in perspective, no?
Sedna is named for an Inuit goddess who dwells in the deepest, most inaccessible part of the Arctic. Her story is a complex one, but a major theme is isolation, as well as a refusal to grow up and accept adult responsibility. Trump has been under Sedna’s gun since before his election, while it squared his 26 Leo Mars. I’m indebted to Sue Kientz, minor planet specialist, for an interpretation of that aspect, which I quote in full:
“I’ve taken Sedna square his Mars since becoming president, as the constant limitations put on him (by common sense people and laws) which must be greatly frustrating him, as he was previously used to doing whatever he wanted. Remember Sedna the mythological figure could not escape her fate no matter what she did, and her father was ineffective also, in fact his self-preservation caused him to mutilate her so he could “get rid of her” and escape. Her victory is she gives up and that makes her the sea goddess. But Trump doesn’t give up his selfish will and that leads to his suffering, his grievance. He can’t get to a “positive” Sedna state.”
Trump started his Electoral College-sanctioned presidency with a 3 million vote deficit – he’s never been popular with the American people; including Third Party candidates, some 7 million more of his countrymen voted for somebody else in 2016. We’ve seen how Trump’s isolation has only grown since that rocky start. The only president since the advent of modern polling never to crack the 50% mark in approval rating, Trump’s base continues to shrink with each successive faux pas, rude Tweet, example of ineptitude, racist trope or self-revealing comment. We discussed above how linked Mars and Ophelia are – one of Ophelia’s issues that drove her mad was a perceived romantic rejection by Hamlet. Trump’s relationship with his hardcore base can best be described as a love affair. He once boasted he could shoot a man on Fifth Avenue and lose none of his supporters, and by and large that’s been true.
But cracks are beginning to show in some of the core groups, such as Evangelical Christians, perplexed and put off by his cavalier hanging of the Kurds out to dry. When you’ve lost televangelist Pat Robertson, who recently opined that Trump’s actions in abandoning the Kurds would risk him losing “the mandate of heaven”, you’re on pretty shaky ground. Will these folks vote for the Democratic candidate in 2020? Not likely, but they may just stay home, which would be just as deadly for Trump.
Trump’s isolation is only matched by his absolute refusal to accept responsibility for ANYTHING. No critic is too small to ignore, no criticism too slight to overlook. Whenever something goes wrong, Trump disavows culpability, even denies knowing those he charges with blame, however close they may have been to him. Hush money payouts to a porn actress lover? Talk to Michael Cohen, who used to be my lawyer. Paul Manafort’s corruption indictment? The name sounds familiar… oh, right; he was just briefly with the campaign. Political shenanigans perpetrated outside the auspices of the State Department in Ukraine? Talk to Rudy Giuliani, who sorta still is my lawyer, but is he?
Trump’s natal Sedna at 22 Aries closely squares his Saturn/Karma conjunction at 23 Aries, and Trump has skated without consequence in business all his life. From millions loaned by his father to bail out his bad decisions, to contactors and employees underpaid or stiffed completely, to financial institutions left holding the bag after his frequent bankruptcies, Trump has never faced up to his business obligations, and that hasn’t changed just because his address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Like Sedna, Trump simply refuses to grow up and accept adult responsibility, and he drags down everyone else with him.
We won’t even deal in orbs for Sedna, time spent at Taurus’ 27th degree will suffice. This comprises June 24 through November 4, 2018; May 7 through August 17, 2019; September 11 2019 through January 12, 2020; March 8 through June 5, 2020; and November 29, 2020 through April 18, 2021. At each of these periods, Sedna’s isolating pressure on Trump’s Ophelia could evoke a total meltdown of his mental state. Perhaps leading to the isolation of a padded cell somewhere.
Setting the stage for this period overall was the so-called “American Eclipse” of August 2017, which at 28 Leo opposed Ophelia, beginning the process of mental deterioration which seems to be daily increasing. As we watch the President continually denying reality, attempting to form fact of fantasy, and lauding his own failures as brilliant successes, we have to wonder: do we already have a dangerously delusional occupant of the Oval Office, or merely one in the making?