We’re about to experience something which has never been consciously felt by humanity before, namely, the conjunction of Uranus, planet of awakenings, shocks, rebellion, revolution and democracy, and minor planet Eris, ruling strife, discord, rejection and marginalization, and populations which embody the disenfranchised Other.
Uranus has been in the collective consciousness since its discovery in 1781, when it parenthesized the American and French revolutions. Eris was only named in 2006; its discovery, in the same region of the solar system as Pluto, caused the astronomical community to reappraise the very definition of the word “planet”, leading to the new classification of “minor planet”, and Pluto’s subsequent demotion. Talk about stirring up controversy!
But is Pluto “minor”? Certainly astrologers don’t think so. And its celestial bedfellows in the trans-Neptunian regions need to be treated with as much care and consideration. Eris as a source of strife, contention and disaffection is well established, based in its mythic namesake’s rolling of that golden apple inscribed “to the fairest” into the wedding feast of Peleus and Thetis, attended by the Olympian pantheon. The subsequent squabbling which broke out over which divinity should get the apple eventually led to the Trojan War, and planet Eris can be relied upon to upset the apple cart today in much the same way.
But why did Eris make such a provocative and divisive gesture at that wedding? Because she hadn’t been invited! Planet Eris also represents those who feel marginalized, disrespected, let down, affronted, or otherwise trampled upon by the powers that be.
As such, the union of Uranus and Eris gives us a stunningly accurate thumbnail sketch of a large portion of the US nominating electorate—voters who have felt disenfranchised, abandoned and left sitting by the wayside as cultural, political, and economic developments move forward, seemingly passing them by.
Bringing together these energies, now made more conscious since Eris’ discovery, with the planet of shocks, upsets, surprises and uprisings helps to explain why this is the “year of the outsider”, with significant populations of US voters who have had enough and are ready to revolt against the establishment. Donald Trump, on the GOP side, and Bernie Sanders, for progressives, have both tapped into this wellspring of suspicion, resentment and fear. Trump is poised to manipulate these feelings into a galvanization of these dispossessed populations via his particular brand of bullying demagoguery, while Sanders rallies them for support of what he literally terms “a political revolution”, revolution of course being a key Uranian theme.
Both candidates are routinely drawing crowds so massive as to be almost beyond comprehension in today’s self-obsessed, apathetic citizenry, bringing into the process both lapsed participants who have eschewed politics for decades, and new voters, who finally feel energized enough to make themselves heard. Sanders’ Washington Square rally in New York City on April 13 drew some 27,000 people, but this is only marginally larger than those he amassed in venues across the country. Donald Trump’s crowds typically are as big or bigger than Sanders’, and often carry the unmistakable flavor of extreme discontent, with frequent altercations between supporters and protestors, sometimes egged on by the Donald.
Uranus and Eris together are evoking massive political uprising, and what we’ve seen so far is only the opening act. Once the two come together formally, on June 9 and again on September 26, who knows what levels of discontent will be revealed in the American populace?
These conjunctions coincide with the high-water mark of the political season, the nominating conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia this July, followed by the general election campaign and the actual vote on November 8. Both conjunctions occur at 23 Aries. An examination of the associated celestials for their first conjunction, as well as the placement of this in the natal charts of the candidates, can give us some insights into its effects as we attempt to weather this most disruptive of presidential campaigns in recent memory.
First, the second-stringers in this competition are well in evidence, with asteroids Bernie at 20 Aries and Cruz at 24 Aries, both within orb of the Uranus/Eris conjunction on June 9. This is appropriate; as essentially insurgent candidates gunning for the frontrunners, they are relying for victory on public discontent with their opponents and/or the status quo, and their own ability to excite, enthuse and arouse their supporters. Mathematically, at this point, Sanders cannot win his party’s nomination outright before the convention, and Cruz has formally shut down his campaign. Sanders is still trying to erode the advantage Hillary Clinton has in pledged delegates, also denying her the requisite total for an outright victory among them, and then wants to convince the “super delegates” to abandon their allegiance to her and support him instead.
Any of the second-string paths to victory are circuitous and Byzantine at best, particularly since on the Republican side, there is now no possibility that Trump will fall short before the GOP convention. However, even if Trump failed to make the nomination on the first ballot, and the delegates turned to someone else as their nominee, it’s by no means certain that they would turn to the former second-runner, Ted Cruz.
This sense that something radical and unexpected (Uranus), divisive and contentious (Eris), is in the air is supported by the Sun’s conjunction with TNO Chaos at the first Uranus/Eris conjunction. This duo spells major trouble in the Uranus/Eris chart governing the period of the party conventions and the opening salvos of the general election.
With Sun and TNO Chaos at 18 and 20 Gemini, squared Jupiter at 14 Virgo, and broadly opposed Saturn at 12 Sagittarius, the anarchy and disorder spill out most strongly into the political arena. We see the goal of the competition, the office of chief executive, as well as the entrenched Party hierarchies which the insurgent candidacies threaten to overturn. Neptune at 12 Pisces, turning retrograde just four days later, completes the Grand Cross and adds an air of deception, disillusionment, zealotry, and an inability to release desires or fantasies and focus on the reality.
Additionally, Mercury is making its annual conjunction with TNO Sedna, exact at 25 Taurus. This unfortunate pairing represents an isolation, willfulness or immaturity (Sedna) on the part of the electorate (Mercury), an inability to face up to the consequences of their words and deeds (also Sedna). It speaks to the wide disparity in political viewpoints, creating an isolating gulf, not only between the parties but among factional divisions in both the Republican and Democratic bases, with all sides seemingly unable to come together for the common good.
These exactly oppose transit Mars at 25 Scorpio, a harbinger of the backbiting, anger, recrimination and rage displayed, as well as being a potential augur of actual violence unleashed. Asteroid Hillary walks right into this dynamic from 21 Taurus, conjunct Mercury/Sedna, which speaks volumes for the former Secretary of State’s difficulties connecting to voters with her message. Only asteroid Troemper (for Donald Trump) at 27 Pisces stands largely aloof from the chart of the first Uranus/Eris conjunction, being just very widely squared the Sun.
Of course, the Uranus/Eris conjunction isn’t just for the US; it applies to the whole world. But this dynamic duo does seem overly focused on Americans, by its opposition to asteroid America at 28 Libra. America is itself in a particularly strong position, embedded as a still point in the heavens, just 11 days from its direct station at that same degree. Also in this mix are asteroid Nemesis at 24 Libra, and TNO Typhon, exactly opposed the conjunction from 23 Libra.
Both points are also at station, with Nemesis, representing undoing, ruin and downfall, often self-created, turning direct just six days after the conjunction, and Typhon making its turning on June 29, less than three weeks later. Typhon is named for an ancient mythic storm god, and is the root of our word “typhoon”; it represents a violent upheaval or tempest, destructive and menacing. In tandem with asteroid America, this is not a comforting combination.
The conjunction also impacts the birth chart of the US and the charts of the leading contenders for its presidency as well. For the United States, Uranus/Eris falls on natal Chiron at 20 Aries, amidst the natal T-Square including Mercury at 24 Cancer and Pluto at 27 Capricorn. This evokes a great deal of past pain and unease (Chiron), bringing to the fore all the perceived wounds (also Chiron) and slights or injustices (both Eris) in stark relief, with a sense of urgency and immediacy (Uranus), focusing on the feelings (Cancer) of the voting electorate (Mercury) and their attitudes (also Mercury) toward the entrenched power (Pluto) structures (Capricorn) of the emerging oligarchy (also Pluto).
Donald Trump (born 14 June 1946) has the conjunction falling on natal Sedna at 22 Aries, sextile the Sun at 22 Gemini and exactly squared Saturn at 23 Cancer with Venus at 25 Cancer, as well as broadly opposed a natal pairing of Jupiter at 17 Libra and asteroid Toro at 21 Libra. This affords Trump (Sun) the opportunity (sextile) to capitalize (Jupiter) personally on the conjunction’s energies, directing it strongly (square) toward career matters (Saturn). Venus/Saturn indicates both Trump’s general popularity (Venus) in this career endeavor (Saturn), and his problems (Saturn) with female (Venus) voters. Part of what turns women off is Trump’s exuberant, boisterous, braggart (all Jupiter) style, allied with his tendency to bully and brutally attack his opponents (Toro, associated with bullying, overly aggressive behaviors). These will be highlighted by the conjunction’s activation of this natal pattern, and Trump may well find himself in political (Jupiter) isolation (Sedna) as a result, first at the convention and then in the general election, where he currently enjoys the highest negative ratings of any presidential candidate since polling began.
Close behind him in disapproval rating is Hillary Clinton, who would otherwise hold the “most disliked” honors. Born 26 October 1947, the conjunction also aligns with her natal Sedna, also at 22 Aries (although born a year later than Trump, their Sednas appear at the same degree; Sedna is the slowest-moving body we are aware of, at an estimated 10,000-year solar orbital period), threatening political isolation for her as well. The disaffection with her candidacy was unfortunately highlighted by the date she chose to announce her run, April 12, 2015, which showed the annual Sun/Eris transit conjunction exact on her natal Sedna, brining into focus her ragged relationship with the public.
Fortunately for Clinton, the Uranus/Eris conjunction makes no major aspects to major bodies, with just an inconjunct to Mercury at 21 Scorpio, which is, however, a not inconsequential tweaking of her electoral prospects, and a call to focus her message on those who feel left behind or marginalized, and to do so in the most provocative, even revolutionary, terms. Uranus/Eris also evokes the issues of trust and credibility by its square to asteroid Kassandra at 20 Cancer, representing public acceptance or rejection of one’s essential honesty and trustworthiness. An opposition to natal Nemesis at 27 Libra highlights weakness and suggests that Clinton is her own worst enemy, capable of sabotaging her presidential bid without even trying.
Bernie Sanders (born 8 September 1941) has perhaps the most dramatic connection to the Uranus/Eris conjunction, with that duo exactly conjoined his natal Mars at 23 Aries. This points to Sanders as a potential leader or champion (Mars) of the disaffected (Eris), a natural standard bearer for the rebellion (Uranus). His own anger or resentment may come more fully to the fore, as he struggles to come to terms with his likely loss once the primary season comes to a close with the California and New Jersey primaries on June 7, just two days before the conjunction.
The conjunction also opposes Sanders’ natal Venus/asteroid Nike combination at 22 and 21 Libra respectively. Nike is named for the Greek goddess of victory, and Venus represents popularity, both useful factors to have activated during a presidential campaign. But the timing may be just a bit too late to do much good, and additionally, the conjunction squared Sanders’ natal Nemesis at 25 Cancer, evoking that sense of undoing or ruin. It may be that Sanders’ temperament, somewhat crusty, querulous and curmudgeonly, could be too much for mainstream voters, even if his indignation is roused by a righteous cause.
While both parties and candidates from both sides of the aisle will be affected by the Uranus/Eris conjunction, special attention might be paid to the GOP. This is perhaps not surprising, given the already highly fractious, divisive (both Eris), controversial and incendiary (both Uranus) nature of the Republican contest so far. But more drama seems to be in store for conservatives, based in the conjunction’s square to the Sun of the Republican National Convention, convening in Cleveland, Ohio on July 18. At 26 Cancer, this Sun conjoins transit Ohio at 29, focusing all eyes on the Buckeye State, and overlays both the US natal Mercury at 24 and Donald Trump’s natal Saturn at 23 Cancer.
Fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy convention!