The (Cosmic) Week That Was
The week of January 13th, 2019 presented a number of interesting stories, which together paint a picture of celestial heavy weather such as we have rarely seen. With the Sun still within orb of its annual conjunction with Pluto, fresh off its tete-a-tete with Saturn, it was likely we’d have limitation and devastation on our minds, and events proved that to be the case. But it was asteroid NOT that really made its presence felt, in story after story, illumining various dead ends, impasses and reversals. NOT lent its particular brand of obstructionism to the proceedings, issuing a variety of nolle prosequi rulings worldwide, applying the breaks and throwing up roadblocks. AAA has summarized its effects in five disparate incidents, described below:
At 23 Virgo, NOT is currently tied in a T-Square with asteroids America at 26 Virgo and Troemper at 23 Sagittarius. In and of itself, America and Troemper in square suggests a period of conflict or contention between the country and its current leader, a circumstance borne out by Trump’s declining poll numbers and eroding support, and NOT also involved adds a very contrarian vibe to their relationship. America is in a particularly sensitive phase in its cycle, turning retrograde that very week, on the 14th, emphasizing national concerns and indicating a change of opinion, direction or momentum, with an opportunity for a major reset or realignment.
America tied to NOT conjures images of both stagnation and recalcitrance, and you probably can’t get much NOT-er than a government shutdown! With NOT also exactly sextile asteroid House at 23 Capricorn (itself in an ongoing conjunction with the transit Sun, granting enhanced visibility) and semisquare asteroid Whitehouse at 7 Taurus, both sides of the stalemate are dug in, with the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives and the administration seemingly unable to find a way out of the impasse over Trump’s Border Wall funding, which has resulted in the longest government shutdown ever.
Over 800,000 furloughed federal employees, some continuing to work without pay, are just the tip of the iceberg on this debacle, with ripples extending out to contractors, local businesses which depend upon their spending, and the economy in general. Estimates are that if the shutdown extends into March, there will be zero growth shown for the country at large in the first quarter, so far-reaching are its effects.
Adding to the confusion and disorder is a Grand Cross formed of this pattern by TNO Chaos at 23 Gemini, exactly squaring NOT and exactly opposing Troemper, also squared America. Chaos is just what it sounds like: disruption, turmoil and disturbance, which is just what has been sowed into the lives of those furloughed government employees. With Chaos also conjoined Donald Trump’s natal Sun at 22 Gemini, we see the source of the problem. The week of the 13th witnessed a barrage of news stories chronicling the very real pain felt by those directly affected by the closure, beginning to ramp up the political pressure on Senate Republicans, whose leader Mitch McConnell may be the key to ending the standoff.
The House has been passing bills to reopen the government, but McConnell has thus far refused to introduce anything onto the Senate floor which in his estimation the President won’t sign. The public is overwhelmingly assigning blame for this sorry state of affairs to the GOP, and as pressure builds, there may be a way to find a veto-proof majority in the Senate, which could end-run Trump and restore sanity to Washington (insofar as that may be possible).
NOT SO FAST…
On the 16th, Nancy Pelosi upped the ante with Trump, when she “disinvited” him from his scheduled State of the Union speech, scheduled for January 29. Citing security concerns with a shrunken Homeland Security and Secret Service staff due to the shutdown, Pelosi suggested Trump either postpone the speech until after the government reopens, deliver it from the Oval Office, or submit a written version to Congress. NOT is exactly squared Troemper, House is exactly conjoined Atropos (endings) and asteroid Nancy at 25 Aries squares House/Atropos, trines Troemper and is semisextile NOT, perfect for nullifying (both NOT and Atropos) the president’s (Troemper) speech, which is traditionally given from the Speaker’s (Nancy) podium in the House of Representatives (House).
The move is a bit of political jujitsu, using Trump’s weight against him, denying him the panoply of an address to Congress, with its pomp, circumstance, and scores of GOP members rising to applaud at every pause. After Trump’s dismal and poorly reviewed address to the nation from the Oval Office last week, in support of his border wall, the prospect of another such lifeless performance cannot be pleasing to the Narcissist-in-Chief. It may even bring him back to the negotiating table.
After waiting almost 24 hours to respond, suggesting the move put him off his usual tit-for-tat game, on the following day Trump retaliated by canceling a fact-finding trip to Afghanistan by the Speaker, a petty-minded countermeasure with no effect whatever on Trump’s ultimate strategic goal of gaining his Wall funding. This is basically another manifestation of Troemper/NOT, with Trump acting out instead of being acted upon – I’m NOT speaking? OK, then you’re NOT traveling!
Also on the 16th, Vice President Mike Pence lauded the defeat of ISIS in Syria mere hours after the deaths of four Americans in an ISIS-sponsored suicide bombing in that war-torn land’s northern provinces. There weren’t many asteroids to flesh out this story, just Isis itself, Victoria (named for the Roman goddess of victory, and the root of our word) and Penza, for Pence, but at 23 Virgo Penza exactly opposes NOT, with Victoria at 22 Taurus in trine and sextile to this polarity, giving the cosmic countermand to Pence’s assertions of victory.
In the course of that research, I discovered that Penza is also at station, having turned retrograde on January 10th, showing the VP at a “turning point” in his process. More interestingly, further inquiry showed that Penza and America have been conjoined within five degrees since September of 2018, and will be thus linked for a full year, until early September 2019. Is this prepping Pence to assume the top job in the country with Trump’s early departure? Only time will tell, but it’s a strong indicator of his potential public identification with the US, at some point during the year.
The 15th and 16th witnessed the confirmation hearings of William Barr, Trump’s new pick to replace Jeff Sessions at the helm of the Justice Department. Formerly AG for President Bush 41 in the early ‘90s, Barr comes from the conventional, establishment wing of the Republican Party, a seemingly safe and sane choice, but recent writings supporting Trump’s legal unassailability while in office brought him to the President’s attention for this post. The Sun at 25 Capricorn for the beginning of his confirmation hearings on the 15th is opposing transit Themis, named for the Greek goddess of Justice, at 23 Capricorn, making the Justice department a theme of the week.
Asteroid Bohr (closest to “Barr”) at 26 Sagittarius, conjoined Troemper at 23, shows him as very definitely Trump’s ally; exactly squared to America and T-Squared to NOT, he may not be the best choice for the country over all, and there could be stumbling blocks to his confirmation induced by NOT. But the GOP-held Senate isn’t likely to cross Trump openly at this point, so despite asteroid Williams at 6 Gemini conjoined Nemesis at 5, suggesting some hindrance or block to ambition, he’s likely to win confirmation. Williams/Nemesis could be a cautionary tale of its own, either for the country in general during his tenure at Justice, or possibly for Trump specifically, if the new AG adheres to the largely pro-Mueller, pro-investigation, anti-obstructionist and anti-perjury views he expressed during his hearings.
Further supporting a successful outcome for Barr is asteroid William at 9 Leo, trining both Venus and Jupiter at 8 and 14 Sagittarius, the Greater and Lesser Benefics, which often bring advantage or success. As well, transit Justitia at 21 Pisces (named for the Roman goddess of Justice and the root of our word) squares transit Bohr, which is itself conjoined Barr’s natal (born 23 May 1950, no time available) Justitia at 27 Sagittarius. Barr’s natal Troemper at 20 Capricorn is just a week past its station, making Trump a potentially powerful force in his biography, and has been conjoined lately by transit Pluto, currently at 21 Cap, symbolizing the dramatic change in his circumstances wrought by the 45th president.
But NOT’s effects didn’t stop at America’s shores. Across the pond in the UK, Prime Minister Theresa May got a dose of its mulish obstinacy and failure to cooperate or proceed when her government’s Brexit plan went down to a defeat of gargantuan proportions on the 15th. The vote of 432-202 against was the worst trouncing of a policy proposal in British history. The following day, May herself narrowly squeaked by a no confidence vote in Parliament, retaining her position by a mere 19 votes, 325-306.
Asteroid May was exactly with the Sun at 26 Capricorn that day, perhaps pulling her across the “victory” line (if such a humiliating debacle can be termed a victory), but giving her increased visibility on the day regardless. Note that May is also sextile NOT, evoking the defeat of the Brexit vote and her own “no” confidence threat, but is further trines to Victoria at 22 Taurus, affording her that personal victory of retaining her office despite her policy’s unpopularity. Asteroid Theresia at 18 Libra was sextile Britten (homophone for “Britain”) at 20 Sagittarius and squared Pluto at 21 Capricorn, denoting the near-death experience. Asteroid Teresa at 5 Cancer widely opposed Saturn at 13 Cap, an indication both of the snub or censure of the vote itself, and the preservation of her authority.
Tory PM May’s chief antagonist is Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party; depicted celestially by asteroids Corbin, exact with Damocles at 23 Aquarius, and Jeremias, in square to Damocles from 21 Scorpio. Both tie to NOT, in semisextile and trine, and those negative votes did indeed represent the doom hanging overhead (Damocles) for May, her policies and her government.
It was an action-packed week for slowdowns, shutdowns, postponements and reversals, with NOT strutting its stuff on the celestial stage globally.