Given Trump’s disdain for science, fact and expertise, coupled with a complete inability to take direction or follow sage advice and a propensity for reckless action, it was perhaps inevitable that he and the coronavirus would become personally acquainted at some point, sooner rather than later. So Trump’s 12:45 AM EDT Tweet on October 2, 2020 confirming that both he and Melania had been exposed and tested positive, was hardly a shock, but it was a thunderous admission regardless. With Trump’s age and corpulence, he was a prime candidate for a serious, if not deadly, COVID-19 infection, and with his re-elect pending just a month away, his turbulent campaign was thrown into a tailspin, while a shattered nation waited with bated breath for the outcome.
[Cover Photo: An early winter sunrise bathes the landscape in pinks and purples]
Yule is the Norse term for the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, a time of hope as we draw the old year to a close and begin anew. Although most pagans have adopted this name for the holiday, humanity has celebrated this return of the light for millennia, under different appellations in cultures across the globe. The Romans brought in live oak and other evergreen plants, gave gifts, lit candles and celebrated the festivals of Mithras, God of Light, or Sol Invictus, the Unconquered Sun. In Celtic lands where winters were colder, huge bonfires were the order of the day, sympathetic magic to encourage the sun’s return. The Yule log tradition stems from the bringing indoors of a large section of tree trunk, estimated to be enough to burn for a full twelve days, a period of annual feasting as the old year died and was reborn into the new. Stone markers, from monoliths to the extravagant display of Stonehenge, were created to mark the exact moment of the light’s return.
Asteroid Sisyphus is named for that worthy denizen of Hades, doomed to forever roll a rock uphill, only to have it roll down again, thus necessitating endless repetition of the action. As such, astrologically, Sisyphus represents futile action without purpose or accomplishment – repetitive, pointless effort which achieves nothing lasting.
In light of President Trump’s repeated, one might say endless, refusal to accept the clear results of the 2020 election, where Americans handed him his hat and showed him the Oval Office door, it occurred to me to take a closer look at asteroid Sisyphus, to see what role it might be playing in the election and its aftermath. It’s not just Trump who’s beating this dead horse: 90% of elected Republicans in Washington refuse to publicly acknowledge his loss, and his “legal team” has been rejected in all but one of the nearly 50 court cases filed to overturn the results in key battleground states such as Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin.
2020’s holiday season promises to be one of the weirdest on record, with coronavirus pandemic concerns dimming the lights and dampening spirits across the globe. A Zoom Christmas isn’t what most of us anticipated as we cleared the wrapping debris from the last Yule debauch, but perhaps COVID isolation is the universe’s way of telling us we’ve overextended ourselves, socially, fiscally and commercially. Time to focus on those nearest and dearest, and what’s right in front of our noses.
Santa may be masked this year, but he’s still expected to make his annual rounds. He could use some help, however, so AAA is stepping into the breach with holiday gift-giving suggestions, employing asteroid Santa as our guide for the best options for each Sign. (And check out the links at the end of this article for prior articles on Christmas-themed asteroids and how they show in the charts of classic Yuletide shows, songs and entertainers.)
OK, so Dems won the White House in the 2020 election, and kept control of the House of Representatives (albeit with a slimmer majority). What about the Senate?
In this time of political polarization, no administration can be completely effective without controlling all three, and the level of toxic waste Biden will need to clear from the detritus of the Trump administration is staggering. Without the Senate, much progress can be blocked. Take, for example, the last two years of Barack Obama’s second term, when Republicans took charge of the Senate at the midterm elections in 2014. Once Mitch McConnell consolidated this grip on power, Obama never got another judge seated again. McConnell just refused to bring his nominees to a floor vote, the most famous being the SCOTUS seat vacated by Antonin Scalia, which McConnell held open for a full year, but literally hundreds of federal judgeships remained vacant until Trump came into office, and McConnell finally filled them.
On Sunday, 8 November 2020, gameshow fans the world over were saddened to hear of the death of Alex Trebek, host of “Jeopardy!”, after an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Described as “the thinking man’s game show”, “Jeopardy!” inverted the traditional format by providing the answers to trivia questions, requiring contestants to phrase their replies in the form of a question.
The third longest-running gameshow on TV (after “The Price Is Right” and “Wheel of Fortune”), “Jeopardy!” has had several daytime and evening incarnations, but Alex Trebek has helmed the show for 37 years, since its latest version premiered in 1984. Its iconic final round theme is one of the most-recognized musical selections in the world, and the series has spawned several foreign-language versions in 32 countries including Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Denmark, Japan, Spain, Australia, Turkey and Israel. Trebek continued working throughout his cancer treatment, until the bitter end, appearing in the studio to film episodes just 11 days before his passing.