What happens when the irresistible force meets the immovable object? More to the point, what happens to the poor schmuck caught between them? That’s the current position of the 45th President of the United States, whose celestial referent, asteroid Troemper, is caught in the vice of the forming Saturn/Pluto conjunction. Between Saturn’s rock and Pluto’s hard place, Donald J. Trump’s cosmic moniker finds itself in its own “place of little easement”, with wiggle room so slight that Trump can neither sit, stand, nor lie down.
With Saturn, Pluto and asteroid Troemper traveling within five degrees of each other from March into November, due to retrograde motion by all three bodies (barring a few weeks’ temporary respite in mid-spring and late summer), this is a protracted situation fraught with peril, and the position of the Commander-in-Chief looks dire indeed. As the first of several exact conjunctions approached in early April, Trump seemed to be testing his power (Pluto) and chafing at its limitations (Saturn).
A FOOL’S ERRAND IN A TAXING SITUATION
Troemper’s first exact conjunction with Saturn occurred April 1, 2019, April Fool’s Day, and the first exact conjunction with Pluto occurred April 15, 2019, Tax Day. The period saw Trump attempting to exercise the authority (Saturn) and power (Pluto) of his office in increasingly erratic and desperate ways, all of which were beaten back to some extent by laws, rules and regulations (Saturn) and his inability to circumvent or transform them (Pluto).
Trump got the ball rolling on March 29th, three days before his celestial referent’s exact conjunction with Saturn, by announcing he would close the southwest border the following week “if Mexico does not immediately stop ALL illegal immigration,” in response to the ongoing “crisis”. Saturn rules boundaries and borders, and with Trump’s typical Tourette’s-like responses to personal pressure, it was perhaps inevitable that he’d retreat to his perennial talking point about his Wall (with walls also Saturn-ruled) when stressed.
Pushback on the idea was immediate, from within the administration and without. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen cautioned that the act would be illegal, while economists warned of the economic impact of such a move, with rising grocery and produce prices felt immediately, and layoffs soon to follow. More than $600 billion in trade crosses the Mexico border annually, and even a brief closure would send shockwaves through the economy.
By the 5th of April, Trump had of course backed down on his impotent threat, whining that he’d give Mexico a year to resolve the problem on their end before lowering the boom. The only permanent effect of the abortive plan was the forced resignation of Secretary Nielsen a week later, on April 7th. Judged by Trump as simply too law-abiding and not “tough” enough on immigration (though it seems to me that keeping children separated from their parents in wire cages is pretty darn tough), Nielsen had to go.
Also on the 5th, Trump is reported to have ordered Nielsen’s lieutenant, Kevin McAleenan, to close the border anyway, regardless of the illegality, promising that if he incurred any negative blowback from the action, Trump would pardon him. The blatant disrespect for the rule of law is shocking, but not surprising; apparently cooler heads once again prevailed, and no such border closing was undertaken.
By the 12th, just three days before Troemper made its cosmic rendezvous with Pluto, Trump had a new half-baked idea of his ability to exercise power: send all these annoying asylum seekers to so-called “sanctuary cities”, all Democratic strongholds, and see how they like it. Again, Trump was trumped by the underlying illegality of the mooted policy, but also lost the PR war, with several Democratic mayors coming out publically to state that if the policy was enacted, these immigrants would be welcomed with open arms. There was even the suggestion that if such a policy were to be implemented, it might actually result in increased immigration, since life in these cities would be far preferable to existence in the government’s holding pens.
Each of these incidents shows, not only Trump’s ineptitude and non-reflective, shoot-from-the-hip, consequences-be-damned “leadership” style, but also the close confinement he’s experiencing with Troemper trapped between Saturn and Pluto. Try as he might, Trump cannot find a way out of the impasse, as immigration surges in anticipation of even harsher policies perhaps to be employed in the future. Saturn blocks and Pluto mocks – the supreme power and authority Trump thought he had is an illusion.
THE PASSION OF THE TRUMP
We last looked in on AG William Barr and the much-awaited Mueller Report when it was released to the Justice Department on March 22nd, at which time Barr wrote his four-page “synopsis” of its findings. The ensuing three weeks were rampant with speculation about when the full report would be released to Congress or made public, how much would be redacted, and what the Democratic legal and political response would be.
Barr took his time with the redactions, not releasing the Mueller Report until Holy Week, when Congress was conveniently away on a two-week recess, and Americans were focused on stuffing Easter baskets, arranging egg hunts and marinating hams. On Maundy Thursday, April 18th, Barr rhetorically whitewashed the feet of his Savior in a twenty minute Press Conference given hours in advance of the transmission of the report to the absent legislators, and before any of the attending Press had the opportunity to read it and ask informed questions. Troemper was still exactly conjunct Pluto, evoking images of scandal, manipulation, and criminality.
Barr’s characterization of its findings, not surprisingly, was inaccurate and misleading. He stressed the inability of Mueller’s team to prove “collusion” with the Russians, something the report explicitly states was not its objective, with investigators focused on the much narrower definition of criminal conspiracy. Barr neglected to mention the multiple illustrations of unethical and concerning contacts with Russian agents over the course of the campaign, and intimated that it was “case closed” and the President entirely vindicated. The United States Attorney General also lied outright about the report’s infamous second volume, detailing Trump’s attempts at obstructing the investigation, downplaying his actions as born of “frustration” and attempting to frame the political discussion to follow.
He needn’t have bothered – once the report was made public, by Good Friday, the President was undergoing a political crucifixion of his own, complete with crown of thorns.
The Press Conference began at 9:34 AM EDT on April 18, 2019, in Washington, and a chart cast for that moment shows William Barr, in the form of asteroid Williams, powerfully present at 28 Gemini on the 23 Gemini Ascendant. This degree also conjoins Trump’s natal Sun at 22 Gemini, showing the direct connection between the AG, who us supposed to be the country’s top justice official, acting here as the President’s personal lawyer.
With the Ascendant conjunction Barr becomes the public face of the administration’s response to the report, but there is a cosmic cautionary tale here as well. Mars, TNO Chaos and asteroid Nemesis accompany Williams, with Chaos exact on the Ascendant, Mars at 21 Gemini and Nemesis conjoined from 26 Gemini, all opposed Jupiter at 24 Sagittarius on the Descendant. Mars with Williams on the President’s Sun shows Barr as Trump’s champion and defender; Mars with Chaos prefigures the ensuing battle and the turmoil to be released as the details of the report become public; Nemesis hints that this egregiously partisan act may lead to Barr’s downfall or ruin; and Jupiter, in addition to overseeing politics and the Justice Department generally, represents the overreach and hyperbole of Barr’s attempt to misrepresent the report and exonerate his boss.
Further evidence of the foolhardiness and futility of the Barr approach is given by a cluster of asteroids Achilles, Icarus and Damocles at 24, 26 and 27 Aquarius, angular on the 0 Pisces MC and clustered about Trump’s natal Descendant at 29 Aquarius. This indicates an inherent weakness or vulnerability (Achilles) based in rash or reckless acts (Icarus) which threatens to bring down an impending doom (Damocles), irretrievably altering Trump’s relationships (Descendant).
Asteroid America at 9 Virgo on the 0 Virgo IC, though not actually opposed these points, shows the country in general as highlighted and energized by the report’s findings. Barr may have a jump on public opinion due to his misrepresentations and Americans’ distraction by the holiday at hand, but as Congress pursues the breadcrumb trail left by Mueller in public hearings of its own, more and more of the populace will become aware of a fact pattern which shows Trump to be, at best, dishonest, manipulative, and obstructionist, and at worst, culpably criminal in his intent and actions.
And what of Mueller, conspicuously absent from the Press Conference on the day in question? He’s very present celestially, with asteroid Mueller at 18 Aries in a Grand Cross, opposing the Moon (the public) at 16 Libra (which itself conjoins Trump’s natal Chiron/Jupiter pairing at 14 and 17 Libra, that chronic political wound that cannot be healed) and squared to Saturn, Pluto and Troemper at 20 and 23 Capricorn, as well as asteroid Themis, named for the Greek goddess of justice, exactly opposed Pluto/Troemper at 23 Cancer. Themis/justice is certainly in opposition to Trump at this juncture, even if the Cabinet Department named for her is currently headed by a staunch Trump ally. This 23 Cancer/Cap polarity also aligns exactly with Trump’s exact natal conjunction of Saturn with Karma at 23 Cancer, indicating an ultimate need to pay the piper for prior bad acts in his career which run counter to the law.
Asteroid Justitia at 0 Taurus, named for the Roman goddess of justice and the root of our word, is also powerfully present, conjoined the Sun at 28 Aries and Uranus at 2 Taurus. This indicates the focus on the Justice Department for the day, as well as the shocking, controversial nature of the way Barr presented the report.
What will be the upshot? With both sides so deeply entrenched in their tribal loyalties, it’s doubtful that the details, however damning, will move many, if any, of Trump’s current supporters. But those details could result in firmer support for impeachment or censure from Independents and centrists, as well as eroding enthusiasm for Trump at the polls in 2020.
As with all things, time will tell. But one thing we know for sure: Troemper’s extended conjunction with Saturn the Enforcer and Pluto the Destroyer is just beginning, and Donald J. Trump isn’t out of the woods yet, not by a long shot.