With his background in real estate, Donald J. Trump is doubtless aware of the concept of a “balloon payment”, a one-time last-minute huge increase in disbursement before a contract term expires. If the President’s outrageous remarks at the breakfast with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on July 11th, and his subsequent trashing of British Prime Minister Theresa May in a tabloid interview on July 12th, didn’t constitute just such a payment immediately before his annual performance review with his boss Vladimir Putin, then I don’t know what would.
Apparently tasked by Putin with destroying the North Atlantic Treaty Organization from within, Trump took advantage of a Brussels NATO Summit scheduled just days before he had to report to the Russian Bear on July 16th, updating Putin on the status of his assignment: to disrupt the American political system and dismember its alliances. (I mean, how else do you explain this?) In typical freewheeling style, Trump excoriated the inadequate financial contributions of the NATO member nations toward their joint military budget in general, but reserved special condemnation for Angela Merkel’s Germany, which he claimed was being held “captive” by Russia due to its natural gas pipeline. Trump asserted that “Germany is totally controlled by Russia because they will be getting from 60% to 70% of their energy from Russia.” (I believe psychologists term this “projection”.)
As usual, The Donald has his facts skewed. It’s true that Germany imports most of its natural gas from Russia, approximately 50-75%, but natural gas only fulfills 20% of Germany’s energy needs, so the situation isn’t nearly as dire as Trump paints it. The NATO breakfast outburst was all “fire and fury”, incendiary bluster designed to show Putin he was the right man for the job, and Russia’s investment in Trump’s 2016 Electoral College victory wasn’t wasted. But, typical of a bully when faced with someone of true courage, the American President’s one-on-one meetings with other heads of state in the alliance were more cordial, even that with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom Trump characterized as having a “very, very good relationship” with, after disparaging her country earlier.
As Trump’s on-camera breakfast tirade continued, several of his US companions appeared noticeably unnerved and embarrassed, not knowing where to look as the President berated Stoltenberg, who did his best to remain self-effacing and diplomatic. In particular, White House Chief of Staff General John Kelly seemed upset; when questioned about this later, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders averred that Kelly’s discontent was less about Trump’s diatribe, and more about his disappointment over the menu: “He was expecting a full breakfast and there were only pastries and cheese.”
Actually, as ridiculous as that sounds, astrologically that explanation does hold celestial water, with both asteroids Kelly and Kelley, at 15 and 11 degrees of fault-finding Virgo respectively, conjoined asteroid Baker at 9 Virgo, opposing asteroid NOT at 18 Pisces, issuing the full stop on the proffered patisserie. Basically, it just wasn’t what Kelly wanted (and that means two things).
Trump’s behavior, too, can be explained with reference to the stars. Asteroid Troemper, then at 3 Libra, has been involved in a square with Saturn at 4 Capricorn throughout the period of his trip abroad. This could tend to make Trump hyper-critical and caustic, two typical Saturnian traits, and also opens him up to censure from the boss, as Putin calls him on the carpet for his job performance. Trump is also opposed a combination of centaur Chiron and TNO Salacia at 2 and 3 Aries, forming a T-Square. On the one hand, Chiron evokes his maverick side, the contrarian who bleats to the beat of a different drummer; and on the other, Salacia encourages shocking, sensational or scandalous behaviors, often of a sexual nature, but not exclusively. It can be anything that causes comment or raises eyebrows. It’s true that, given Trump’s record, there’s not much he can do anymore which others find truly shocking, but the NATO screed came close, as we witnessed the spectacle of an American president trashing the alliance that has helped to keep the country safe, and the world at large at peace, for over seventy years.
Why single out Germany for special criticism? That can be explained by a Grand Trine formed of Troemper with asteroid Germania at 5 Gemini and Mars at 7 Aquarius, identifying the country and Trump’s over-the-top attack. Germany (Germania) simply presented an easy (trine) target for Trump’s (Troemper) wrath (Mars).
In casting about for PNAs suitable for use as NATO referents, I came across asteroids Nata (NATO with an “a” instead of an “o” at the end), and Otani, which is close to OTAN, the NATO acronym in French (“Organisation du Traité de l’Atlantique Nord”), and appears side by side with NATO on all official signage. For the Brussels Summit, Nata falls at 23 Taurus exactly conjunct Nemesis, that source of self-undoing, and squared Damocles, that doom hanging unseen overhead, at 26 Aquarius; while Otani at 1 Scorpio conjoins asteroid Toro, noted for aggressive, bullying behaviors, and TNO Typhon, which represents being beset by a “sea of troubles”. They do seem to work, don’t they?
As icing on the cake, asteroid Merkley, for Angela Merkel, helming the country for which Trump reserved most of his criticism, also appears at 1 Scorpio, exact with Otani, and in the middle of the Toro/Typhon aggression maelstrom. This precise alignment equates Germany and NATO; what is said about one applies to both, at least in Trump-speak. Asteroid Bruxelles, French for Brussels, falls at 14 Libra, conjunct deliberative, message-and-conference-oriented Mercury at 15, establishing the venue for the Summit talks. Mercury/Bruxelles are broadly semisquare Troemper, suggesting some level of conflict, and asteroid Angel, for Angela Merkel, is also within orb of the conjunction, at 9 Leo, marking the German Chancellor as a major news item for the day.
The proximate object of Trump’s ire is there as well, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, in the form of asteroid Jens, which at 23 Gemini is conjunct Trump’s natal Sun at 22. PNAs transiting the Sun will often bring people into close proximity; sometimes, this indicates a shared purpose or objective; at others, there is a quality of chafing from such closeness, as if the contact abrades each participant. (Ask Jens which variety this feels like.) Here, too, is transit TNO Chaos, which Trump is so adept at sowing, at 24 Gemini. These square asteroid Washingtonia at 21 Pisces, conjunct Neptune at 16: confused, incoherent and baffling (all Neptune) pronouncements from the US government (Washingtonia, in the form of the Chief Executive himself), which disrupt the balance and create instability (Chaos). Washingtonia with Neptune also indicates a basic deception being practiced by the administration, something hidden, behind the scenes, invisible.
Stoltenberg is also present as asteroid Stolte, which at 0 Taurus conjoins inflammatory Uranus at 2 Taurus, opposing Otani, Toro and Typhon. Stoltenberg (Stolte, Otani) bore the brunt of Trump’s excited, belligerent (Toro) rhetoric, deflecting the volatility (Uranus) as well as he could, while avoiding being sucked into Trump’s whirlpool (Typhon) of condemnation. Asteroid Whitehouse is a part of this mix from 8 Taurus, still within orb of Uranus, provoking the controversy machine that is Trump, working overtime in recent weeks.
There is another major pattern to be discussed, involving the US at large. This is an applying conjunction of the Sun with asteroid America; for the NATO Summit this appears at 19 and 24 Cancer, opposing Pluto with Achilles and Europa, at 20, 28 and 29 Capricorn, and in a T-Square with TNO Eris and asteroid Icarus at 24 and 25 Aries. Sun/America places the country in full view for the period, with its leadership on public display in high relief; Pluto threatens destruction, or at a minimum, total transformation of the existing status quo, but also suggests some hidden agenda or power play; while Achilles hints at an inherent vulnerability or weakness, one which can be exploited and could lead to disaster. It should also be noted that this polarity overlays the US natal opposition from Mercury at 24 Cancer to Pluto at 27 Capricorn, thus energizing an inherent tendency toward official statements (Mercury) of a manipulative, transformational, or destructive nature (all Pluto). It is also conjunct Trump’s natal Saturn/Karma/Venus pairing at 23 and 25 Cancer, thus affecting his career (Saturn) and popularity (Venus) in predetermined or indebted (both Karma) ways.
Europa is named for the mythic figure which gives the continent its name; the value of its inclusion here in setting the scene is obvious, and this polarity, of America opposed Europe, perfectly depicts the energy of the moment. Eris with Icarus is Trump broadcasting to his base, those disgruntled and aggrieved persons (Eris) whose champion he appears as, but his rash and ill-considered remarks, made with no thought to the consequences (Icarus), while they may feel like balm to his supporters, resentful of foreign entanglements and global economies which they consider to have sidelined them, will in the end simply foster more discord, irritation and anger (Eris again).
The entire trip has been dominated by the energies of a stationing Jupiter, which returned to direct motion on the day Trump left DC, and a Solar Eclipse, which occurred as Trump left the continent and headed to Merrie Olde England. (Need we say the eclipse included asteroid America in its grasp, and further energized the T-Square described above?) Jupiter at station shows a fundamental shift in diplomatic approaches, while the eclipse pumps vast amounts of energy into the tensions between the opposed entities, the US and the EU. Opposing Jupiter at 13 Scorpio was asteroid Whitehouse at 8-9 Taurus for the period, which also squares Mars retrograde at 7-6 Aquarius. This focuses the general diplomatic shift to the Oval Office occupant specifically (via the opposition to Whitehouse), but also injects the elements of anger, aggression, argument, contention and attack, via Mars.
After Brussels it was off to the UK; Trump “went there”, and declared himself “bigger than Lincoln” in an interview with London’s “The Sun” tabloid, alleging his popularity to be greater than that of the Great Emancipator. “You know, a poll just came out that I am the most popular person in the history of the Republican Party. Beating Lincoln. I beat our Honest Abe.” (Apparently, this was in the days when the “Gallop” poll was conducted on actual horseback.) Asteroid Lincoln opposed Troemper from 11 Aries to 4 Libra, pulling our 16th president into contact with Trump’s Saturn square Troemper insecurities.
The thirty minute interview with “The Sun”, Britain’s most widely-circulated paper, set the tone early on for the visit, with Trump bashing PM Theresa May’s Brexit strategy (which he said he had warned her against, offering much better alternatives for dealing with Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, which she ignored), threatening a loss of trade with the UK, and asserting that he would rather deal with May’s chief political opponent, former London mayor and newly-resigned Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, as Prime Minister, than her. Trump continued his insulting remarks with statements on the “sad” state of affairs in Britain and Europe generally, where, in his opinion, unchecked immigration has eroded the culture. To top things off, he accused London’s current mayor, a frequent Trump critic, of being soft on terrorism.
Trump toured the UK, with visits to the Queen at Windsor and a weekend break at his golf club in Scotland, though not so much to London, where the American head of state would face the spectacle of tens of thousands of protestors in a chief ally’s capital. Before leaving Brussels, Trump discounted this factor, commenting that “I think they like me in the UK.” He might not want to look too closely at the 20-foot balloon depiction of himself as a diaper-clad baby holding a cell phone in his tiny hands, floating high above the London streets while crowds of angered Brits gathered below.
By the time Trump passed the white cliffs of Dover, Troemper had moved to an exact square with Saturn from 4 Libra, heightening the tension of this aspect. But it was asteroid Britten, phonetic match for Britain, which showed the increasingly inimical relations between the two English-speaking powers across the pond. At 18 Libra, Britten was moving into a square with the Sun/America opposition to Pluto/Achilles/Europa and opposing Eris/Icarus (thus forming a Cardinal Grand Cross), ably describing the conflict, with all three allies, the US (America), the EU (Europa) and the UK (Britten) on stressful terms and at odds with each other (Eris). Inherent weaknesses (Achilles) in the alliance were recklessly (Icarus) exploited by Trump, with no regard to the costs.
The beleaguered Theresa May, already on shaky ground before Trump’s full frontal assault, is represented by asteroids Teresa at 12 Gemini opposed May at 14 Sagittarius with asteroid London at 7 Sag, forming a T-Square with Neptune/Whitehouse at 16 and 21 Pisces. Any time an individual’s PNAs for both first and last names come into dynamic aspect with each other in the sky, as is seen here in Teresa opposed May, there is a period of testing, trial or challenge. It may bring in a positive new direction or an abysmal defeat, but with Neptune in the mix here I wouldn’t be surprised to find that May’s government dissolves under the pressures of the “soft Brexit” policy she promotes. And if May’s position erodes further, it will be partly due to Trump’s intervention, as seen in asteroid Washingtonia conjoined Neptune, prodding it on to its best debilitating efforts. Teresa/May’s alignment with Trump’s natal Uranus at 17 Gemini is an additional factor in the intensity of his attack, erratic, unprovoked and irrational (all Uranian keywords).
Even Her Majesty the Queen is not immune to the Trump Taint, as witnessed by asteroid Elisabetha at 15 Aries, drawn into the drama of the Cardinal Grand Cross, and asteroid Queen’s at 7 Taurus, in the close embrace of Whitehouse at 8 Taurus and within orb of volatile, controversial Uranus at 2 Taurus. Her tea with the Trumps at Windsor Castle on the Friday afternoon was the closest The Donald got to the fanfare and panoply of a formal state visit, scrapped months ago in deference to the public’s negative view of this president (11% of those polled view him favorably, a new record for an American president). He wasn’t even invited into London itself to officially open the new US Embassy.
After a weekend golfing at his Scottish resort of Turnberry, Trump nervously headed to Helsinki, Finland for his performance review with Vladimir Putin. Would the recent barrage of insults and threats aimed at Putin’s foes be enough to renew the contract between them? Was Trump a good enough flunky for Putin? Would he continue to extend his protection and support in the upcoming Midterm Elections?
Putin arrived late for the Summit, keeping Trump waiting for more than half an hour before the two retreated behind closed doors, alone except for an interpreter, for a 90 minute face-to-face at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki on July 16th. The delay is a tactic straight from the Trump playbook when dealing with “inferiors” (that is, everyone on the planet but himself); he was late to a G-7 meeting last month, late for the NATO meetings on the second day, and kept the Queen waiting 12 minutes for his arrival, so the foot-shuffling induced by his boss’s late arrival was no more than his due.
Putin’s delay may have been astrologically tactical, for when the two men made their public remarks at 2:16 PM before their private meeting, the Ascendant at 2 Scorpio had moved to place asteroid Russia front and center, rising at 4 Scorpio, while Whitehouse at 9 Taurus was setting. Additionally, Mercury at 19 Leo was now on the 20 Leo Midheaven, appropriate for a Summit, but also accompanied by asteroid Moskva, Russian for “Moscow”, its capital, at 14 Leo, making this point not only angular, but among the most elevated in the chart. Russia opposing Whitehouse is an obvious allusion to the tension between the two countries, exacerbated by the release on the prior Friday of brand spanking new indictments from the Mueller investigation against a dozen Russian nationals accused of email hacking in the 2016 elections.
Toro is also rising, the bully, at 1 Scorpio, this time in cahoots with Russia and directing Trump’s patented brand of intimidation against him, as occupant of the Oval Office (Whitehouse). And Uranus is exactly on the Descendant; this “friendly”, unstructured meeting may well provoke its share of fireworks and controversy.
Not to be outdone, with Russian referents in powerful positions, both rising and culminating, asteroid Vladimir at 20 Capricorn was closely aligned with Pluto, the power broker, at 19, opposing the Sun with asteroid America at 23 and 27 Cancer. Once again we see eerily portrayed the dynamic of the moment, with Putin’s PNA in a position of dominance and control, opposing the US, and doing so in the open light of day (the Sun).
And let’s not forget asteroid Putilin, closest celestial match to Putin. From 12 Cancer, Putilin joins the Troemper-Saturn square at 5 Libra and 4 Capricorn, creating a T-Square, with Putin/Putilin again in the lead position, basking in the Full Moon opposition, imbued with Saturn’s authority and mastery. The square from Troemper to Saturn shows Trump in a weaker position, under stress or attack, subject to Saturn’s penalties or criticisms; in fact, just as you would expect, in a tense relationship with the “boss”.
An exact combination of asteroids Washingtonia and Arachne at 22 Pisces suggests some complicated, intricate level of entanglement is operative at the Summit, perhaps, with Neptune also here at 16 Pisces, becoming entrapped in web (Arachne) of lies or deceit (Neptune). These are sextile to Nemesis, that point of undoing, at 25 Taurus, which lies on the midpoint of Washingtonia’s trine to America at 27 Cancer. Nemesis also aligns with Donald Trump’s natal MV at 24 Taurus, suggesting an unmaking of his career is in progress. The source of that discomfiture can be guessed from the exact pairing of transit Narcissus, signifying fatal self-obsession and rampant egotism, with natal asteroid Lie, at 17 Taurus. It is Trump’s self-aggrandizing and self-serving untruths and misrepresentations which have brought him to this pass, and threaten his place of status in the world (MC). Washingtonia/Arachne also exactly opposes asteroid Helsinki at 22 Virgo, establishing the venue for the Summit.
We’ll likely never know exactly what grade Putin gave Trump at their annual performance review. It’s hard to say whether Trump is an actual Russian asset, or simply a “useful idiot” unconsciously playing his part. But all in all, the American President has done an outstanding job of promoting his Russian counterpart’s global agenda, driving wedges into important Western alliances, mocking the 2016 electoral interference by calling it a “rigged witch hunt”, and destabilizing world markets with his trade wars.
My guess? Putin only grants Trump a B+; there is much work still to be done. After all, we still have freedom of the press.