Whirlwind Weeks at the White House
L’ETAT, C’EST MORON
In an echo of Louis XIV of France, the Sun King, America’s own particular Dung King, Donald Trump, appears to be taking the reins of government more firmly into his small hands, packing his administration with sycophants and fools as ill-prepared to run the country as he is himself. Let’s hope we don’t all become far too familiar with the myth of Phaeton as a result.
The first three weeks of March 2018 witnessed a dizzying series of rises and falls in the administration, with Cabinet secretaries, National Security advisors, personal lawyers and economic advisors fired, resigned, translated or otherwise shuffled on the checkerboard of Trump’s agenda. No less than eight major staff shakeups occurred, with doubtless more on the way, as the administration sheds its fourteen-month-old skin and slithers into a new phase of reckless abandon. Add to this increasing pressure from the Mueller investigation and at least two major lawsuits involving former mistresses, and the flame under the Oval Office kettle has been turned up to boiling point.
Why the turmoil, and what will be the effect? We’ll take each case separately, but to begin, let’s examine a major configuration formed in the sky, involving the general area of interest. This is a Grand Cross, comprised at one corner of an extended conjunction of asteroids Whitehouse and Nemesis (effective January 17 through April 22, 2018), which essentially points up Trump as his own worst enemy. Nemesis, named for the Greek goddess of vengeance and retribution, had a specific role to play – namely, to smack down mere mortals who got above themselves, ascribing their success to their own efforts and not the beneficence of the gods, who allowed hubris (that is, intolerable arrogance) to guide their steps, thus precipitating a self-wrought downfall and karmic comeuppance. Basically, Hybris, the divine personification of hubris (and the root of that word), sets up the stumbling block, and Nemesis comes along and obligingly gives the offender a good hard shove, sending him ass over teacups into a maelstrom of his own creation.
Asteroid Hybris has had a role to play here, although not directly involved in the Grand Cross we’re dissecting. Hybris has been crisscrossing Trump’s natal Mercury at 8 Cancer, his mental faculties and decision-making processes, coming to its direct station in mid-February at 6 Cancer, opposing Saturn, which represents the chief executive and the presidency. After resuming direct motion it took Hybris awhile to spit on her hands and get back into the swing, so she didn’t connect exactly with Trump’s Mercury until March 6th – remember that date; it’s significant. Saturn should have encouraged caution in decisions, but of course, like an all-caps directive not to congratulate Vladimir Putin on his specious electoral victory, Trump ignored that impulse, threw caution to the winds, and began reordering his government like a drunken sailor on shore leave.
The Whitehouse/Nemesis conjunction is currently in mid-late Pisces, and hanging out in the vicinity is TNO Salacia, at 1 Aries, with that dynamic duo creeping closer all the while. Salacia, the root of our word “salacious”, relates to scandalous, sensationalized sexual impropriety and actions, and as Whitehouse and Nemesis enter its orb of influence, we’re seeing just such stories begin to light up the news again, despite all the confusion and competition Trump can hurl at them. Porn star Stormy Daniels, bound by a nondisclosure agreement not to discuss her affair with Trump, and Playboy model Karen McDougal, similarly silenced about their affair by a “catch and kill” contract with the parent company of The National Enquirer, have both filed lawsuits to give them back their voices. McDougal has already told her story to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, and Stormy Daniels’ “60 Minutes” interview airs on March 25th, leaving one to speculate on just what the harvest will be when Nemesis works her retributive magic on the occupant of the Oval Office.
So much for that quarter of the Grand Cross. Opposing this is asteroid Troemper in Virgo, our celestial referent for The Donald himself, leaving no doubt as to the specific individual at risk in this pattern, and putting the President, frankly, somewhat at odds with his own administration. And forming the crosshairs on this karmic bullseye is an opposition from Mars in Sagittarius to TNO Chaos in Gemini, which straddles Trump’s natal Sun/Moon polarity at 22 Gemini and 21 Sagittarius (incorporating also his natal Salacia at 24 Sag, exactly conjunct asteroid Achilles, a point representing an inherent flaw, weakness or vulnerability which threatens to destroy the native).
Mars, which squared Whitehouse exactly from March 3-8 and Troemper exactly on March 11 & 12, has been impelling Trump to “act, act, ACT!” This is advice he has heeded, likely to his future detriment, and ours as well, given the caliber of the new “talent” he’s importing. Chaos, of course, has been the 45th president’s constant companion, squared his Sun at birth, conjoined his Sun by transit since 2015, exactly conjunct it in his current Solar Return chart, and he’s been no slouch in listening to its siren song, spewing turmoil, turbulence and disarray at every opportunity.
So this explosive, agitated, incendiary (all Mars) bout of arrogance-based, self-defeating (both Nemesis) anarchy and pandemonium (Chaos) has formed the backdrop of Trump’s (Troemper) last few weeks in the Oval Office (Whitehouse), and the decisions he’s made then. Let’s turn now to the specifics of these tumultuous changes.
GARY VS LARRY
Trump’s personal March Madness extravaganza began on March 6th, when chief economic advisor Gary Cohen resigned in protest over Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Recall that March 6th was the date when Hybris once again aligned exactly with Trump’s Mercury; the tariffs were announced on the 1st, with the conjunction in the offing. Casting about for a suitable replacement, Trump naturally turned to the medium he knows best, television, and the Reality President appointed noted conservative CNBC commentator Larry Kudlow to the post on March 15th. The Ides of March, prophetically enough, for Trump’s continued tariff-palooza has sparked fears of a trade war with China, which have caused the stock market to plunge into significant correction territory, losing some 700 points in just one day on March 22, and more than erasing any gains made this year.
When Gary Cohen announced his resignation, asteroid Cohen at 25 Gemini was caught up in the chaos, conjunct TNO Chaos at 21 and Trump’s natal Sun at 22 Gemini, squared Whitehouse/Nemesis at 23 Pisces and Troemper at 27 Virgo, and opposed Mars at 23 Sagittarius. Additionally, asteroid Gary at 8 Capricorn conjoined transit Saturn at 7, an image of loss or withdrawal, and exactly opposed Trump’s natal Mercury at 8 Cancer, a signal that it was Trump’s decisions which determined his own. Also at 8 Cancer was transit asteroid Requiem, named for the funeral mass for the dead, another indicator of a decision-based loss for the president.
When Larry Kudlow was appointed to replace Gary Cohen on March 15th, asteroid Larry at 13 Taurus was semisquare Whitehouse at 26 Pisces and sesquiquadrate Troemper at 25 Virgo, binding Larry Kudlow to both the administration and Trump personally. So we’ve traded a bona fide economic expert, a free-trade advocate, for a bloviating TV personality.
NEW HAND AT THE TILLER(SON)
On March 13th, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson learned, via Tweet, and along with the rest of the world, that he had been fired. It was several hours before Trump called him personally to confirm the news. Unfortunately, there are no PNA matches for either of Tillerson’s names, but I’m using asteroid King (which is the literal English equivalent of the Latin-originating “Rex”) and asteroid Rey (Spanish for “king”), as well as Tillman (Tillerson’s closest celestial variant). As with Gary Cohen’s departure, asteroid King at 10 Aries closely aspects Saturn, in square from 8 Capricorn, and is exactly conjunct transit Mercury, which forms a T-Square with Trump’s decision-making natal Mercury. Asteroid Rey at 26 Virgo conjoins Troemper at 25 Virgo, while Tillman at 21 Libra opposed Uranus at 26 Aries and squared Pluto at 20 Capricorn, indicating the sudden, unexpected and electronic (all Uranus) dismissal and dramatic change in circumstance (Pluto). In truth, the handwriting had been on the wall for Tillerson since his outburst last summer, when he called Trump a “fucking moron”, but the manner and timing of his firing was both controversial and startling, two more Uranian keywords.
Trump announced that same day that he was translating Mike Pompeo from his current post as CIA Director to head the State Department in Tillerson’s wake. Asteroid Michel (for Mike/Michael) at 25 Sagittarius fed directly into the Grand Cross, conjoined Mars, squaring Troemper, Whitehouse and Nemesis, while opposing Chaos and also squaring Rey, representing his predecessor. So we’ve traded a tentative, thoughtful head at State, who counselled caution and diplomacy with North Korea and Iran, for a hot-headed hawk who supports military intervention and the scrapping of the current nuclear deal with Iran.
LAWYER IN, LAWYER OUT
Despite frequent protestations from the White House press office about the state of Trump’s contentment with his current legal representation, tasked with defending him from Mueller’s probe and civil suits brought by former inamoratas, on March 19th Trump announced that Fox News contributor Joe diGenova would be joining the team. DiGenova has been a frequent guest of late on Trump’s favorite station, advancing a conspiracy theory to the effect that the Mueller investigation is a “deep state” plot to blacken Trump with (no pun intended) trumped-up charges, based on fabricated evidence and a discredited intelligence dossier. He’s also a strident advocate for the removal of Mueller and closing his investigation. Trump likey.
Three days later, Trump’s current lead counsel, John Dowd, who had consistently supported full cooperation with the Russian investigation, resigned, apparently unsure of how he fits into the new, more aggressive landscape now that diGenova has arrived on the scene.
When diGenova’s hiring was announced, asteroid Josefa (for Joe/Joseph) at 25 Taurus was trine Troemper at 24 Virgo and sextile Whitehouse at 28 Pisces. When Dowd resigned on the 22nd, a celestial double-whammy occurred, with asteroid Johney at 22 Gemini, exact on Trump’s natal Sun and enmeshed in the transit Grand Cross, and asteroid Johnny at 19 Pisces also involved, trailing Whitehouse/Nemesis by a few degrees. Asteroid Dow, for Dowd, at 17 Leo closely opposed asteroid NOT at 19 Aquarius, a clear legalese indicator of nolle prosequi on Dowd’s part, a decision by Dowd not to proceeds further. So we’ve traded a respected white collar Washington lawyer for a snake oil salesman and sycophant willing to encourage Trump’s worst instincts as regards his legal defense.
I AM THE EGG MAN, I AM THE WALRUS
John Dowd wasn’t the only Johnny in the news on March 22. Late in the day, Trump announced the resignation of his current National Security Advisor, General H. R. McMaster, and his replacement by former UN ambassador John Bolton. McMaster’s departure, too, had been long rumored and vociferously denied by White House sources. Apparently, Trump was discontented by McMaster’s approach to briefings, saying he “talked too much”, whereas Mike Pompeo’s presentations were more entertaining, chock full of graphics and visual aids.
We’ve already seen the smooth dovetailing of the Johney and Johnny asteroids into the Grand Cross. McMaster is represented by PNAs for his given, non-initialed names, which are Herbert and Raymond (can anyone blame him for substituting initials?). Asteroid Raymond at 25 Sagittarius (an exact match for Michel, btw) is again hopelessly entangled in the Grand Cross, while asteroid Herberta ( a feminine form of Herbert) at 26 Scorpio trines White House and sextiles Troemper, perhaps an indication that McMaster, an acknowledged intellectual and Vietnam War-debacle anatomist with a bestselling book to his credit, is well out of it.
John Bolton’s jingoistic stance is well documented. Another frequent Fox News contributor, a leading proponent of the Iraq War (which he still defends), as recently as February 28th Bolton built a case for a “first strike” nose-bloodying of North Korea in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. So we’ve traded a thoughtful, measured and experienced military veteran with actual combat service and an understanding of all that entails, for a warmongering, neo-conservative firebrand with a record of supporting, even promoting, poor decisions.
So far, so good.
The good news is that Mars has moved out of orb of the Grand Cross, leaving us with a less powerful T-Square, and Trump with less impetus to take action. Soon both Troemper and Whitehouse/Nemesis will have moved on, too, though not before their salacious rendezvous with Salacia, forming over the weekend of the Stormy Daniels interview. Leaving just Chaos, still conjunct Trump’s Sun, for its final havoc-wreaking sojourn. Where this all leaves us is anyone’s guess, but the Whitehouse/Nemesis extended conjunction has sown the seeds of the downfall of the administration, germinated by Mars and watered by Chaos. One thing we can count on – we know Trump will provide plenty of fertilizer.