Conventional Wisdom

by Alex Miller on July 1, 2016

Trump, or Clinton?

July 2016 promises to be full of fireworks, as both major political parties in the US hold their nominating conventions back-to-back, affording plenty of opportunity for drama. The Republican National Convention opens on July 18 in Cleveland, Ohio, followed on July 25 by the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, finally bringing to a close a primary season unlike any other we’ve seen in modern times.

Surprises abounded on both sides, from Bernie Sanders’ unexpectedly close second place showing and amazing feats of small donor fundraising keeping pace with the Clinton fundraising machine; to Donald Trump’s astounding take-down of one GOP establishment one candidate after another, beating each into the dust, until he was the only contender left standing.

In a political season already fraught with “firsts”, the conventions promise to be the icing on this presidential campaign cake, with the first female candidate ever nominated by a major US political party, and the first “virgin” candidate since Eisenhower who has never run for office before.

The conventions are where it all becomes formalized—until the floor vote, neither candidate is their party’s official nominee. And just as the charts cast for when the campaigns were announced have secrets to reveal about those candidacies’ ability to navigate the primaries, so too will the convention charts point us toward probable plusses and pitfalls of the general election season for each candidate.

As of this writing in mid-June, there is still some slight degree of uncertainty about exactly who those nominees will be. Bernie Sanders continues to aver that, since Hillary Clinton has not reached the requisite number via pledged delegates alone, and the so-called “Super-delegates” don’t vote until the actual convention, the process should still be considered open, until he has a chance to put his case before the Super-delegates, party stalwarts who have expressed their support for Clinton up to now, but who theoretically might be induced to change their loyalties.

And on the GOP side, nervous tremors caused by Donald Trump’s outrageous racist bashing of the judge in a private civil suit over his Trump University real estate course, alleging the judge can’t be neutral because of his Mexican heritage, have engendered fresh talk of finding some way of stopping the business magnate’s actual nomination, perhaps via a rules change at the convention.

But if us earthbound folks are still doubtful, the cosmos seems to have made its decision. Both asteroids Troemper, for Donald Trump, and Hillary, for Hillary Clinton, show impressive connections to their respective nominating conventions, indicating they’ll be well in the thick of things.

Trump the presumptive nominee

Trump becomes the presumptive Republican nominee, May 4, 2016

For Donald Trump, the connection couldn’t be any clearer. Troemper fits snugly into a Grand Trine Kite pattern, leaving little hesitation as to his prominence in the proceedings. At 5 Aries, Troemper is exactly conjunct asteroid Kassandra, and trine to both a Venus/Mercury pairing at 7 and 9 Leo, and asteroid Whitehouse conjoined Achilles at 2 and 3 Sagittarius, with Saturn a part of this Grand Trine also from 10 Sagittarius.

Troemper/Kassandra says it all: Kassandra is about credibility, the degree to which one is authentic and believable. Is Trump’s candidacy credible? Does he have the gravitas to pull it off in a general election, or is he just a sideshow carnival barker who suckered the most votes out of a gullible Republican primary base?

The trine to Saturn, associated with Whitehouse and Achilles, demonstrates both the goal and the prescription for success—Whitehouse represents the Oval Office and executive residence, Saturn is the presidency itself. However, Achilles shows a weakness or vulnerability which must be overcome to attain that goal.

Venus and Mercury illustrate Trump’s particular challenge—can he soften (Venus) his rhetoric (Mercury), make it more socially acceptable, less confrontational, less bombastic, more focused on others’ benefit rather than his own personal aggrandizement? Nowhere will this be more important that at the convention, where Trump’s candidacy is first showcased to the general American electorate. The transiting Venus/Mercury conjunction should help facilitate the roll-out of a softer, gentler Trump.

Trump’s pronouncements through the primary season have frequently ruffled feathers, caused outrage, or perturbed the waters, but Saturn offers the cure for this ill—discipline! Can Trump remain on message, can he focus his rhetoric and play nice, or at least, nice enough that he doesn’t further alienate undecideds? Upon such considerations the election will revolve.

This Grand Trine becomes a Kite pattern when asteroid Cleveland is inserted, opposing Troemper from 1 Libra. Cleveland, of course, represents the city where the RNC will take place, Trump’s particular Gethsemane, his point of trial and tribulation.

Republican Convention 2016

If the astrological chart is cast for noon on Monday July 18, a likely time for the RNC to convene (and a common start point for indeterminately timed mundane charts in any case), this Troemper/Cleveland opposition becomes strongly angular, straddling the Ascendant/Descendant axis, with Cleveland on the former and Troemper on the latter. This symbolism fits the case—it is Trump’s ability to relate to others (Descendant) which is in question, and whatever comes out of Cleveland will be, perforce, the public face (Ascendant) of the GOP going forward.

One further caveat—asteroid Cleveland is exactly conjunct the supermassive Black Hole at the center of Galaxy M-87, the largest anomaly of its kind we are aware of, holding more than 130 subsidiary galaxies in its gravitational thrall. All eyes will be drawn to Cleveland this week with Black Hole magnetism, that’s for sure, but the uncertainty and unpredictable quality of Black Hole interaction suggests there may be more surprises in store, right down to the identity of the final nominee.

Cleveland falls in the chart’s Twelfth House, suggesting there may be some backstage machinations and hidden matters we’re not privy to. And on the other side of that Ascendant, in the First House and also opposed Troemper, is asteroid Washingtonia, representing the US capital, equally important to the proceedings. Together, these form the pole stars of Trump’s current existence: to somehow cross the hurdle of the convention in Cleveland, then run a successful race that ends with The Donald moving in to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Other factors in the chart describe the energetics of the upcoming campaign. The Sun at 26 Cancer is squared by the Uranus/Eris conjunction at 24 and 23 Aries, also exactly sextiled by TNO Sedna at 26 Taurus, trined by Mars at 25 Scorpio, and squared by asteroid Nemesis at 27 Libra, itself conjoined asteroid America at 0 Scorpio. This complicated mix is not very encouraging for the Trump campaign.

True, Uranus conjunct Eris indicates a rebellion from the masses, a shaking of the status quo and surprising, unexpected outcomes, and one can’t imagine a more unanticipated outcome, from the perspective of the recent past, than a Donald Trump presidency (who, a year ago, would have even considered such a dénouement to this political season?). But Eris is also associated with division, discord and strife, which seems to be building between the GOP base and hierarchy.

Eris also represents marginalized, downtrodden or alienated populations, and while Trump has attempted to stoke the frustrations of the white majority to galvanize their support, they’re only disadvantaged in their own minds. Eris’ true constituency falls mainly in the Democratic camp: women, minorities, the LGBT community, people who have truly suffered from white male dominance over the decades.

It should be noted here that this same transiting Uranus/Eris conjunction squares Trump’s natal Saturn/Venus conjunction at 23 and 25 Cancer. This combination is the source of Trump’s vaunted obsession with his brand—he truly values his career, and he’s fond of the good things in life it brings him, likes work to be a personally pleasing and lucrative affair. But the squares coming in to this point are asking Trump to re-evaluate his career desires.

With Uranus squaring here, Trump’s career moves are likely to be erratic. Of course even running for the presidency in the first place, much less winning a major party nomination, already qualifies as “erratic” career behavior for someone of Trump’s nonpolitical background. But look also at his bizarre, unorthodox and iconoclastic actions, both before and after he became the presumptive nominee: calling Mexicans rapists and murderers at his announcement speech, saying John McCain is a war hero only because he was captured, the ongoing feud with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.

Trump’s primary pronouncements went far toward alienating women and minorities, but since winning his fight he has even turned on fellow GOP leaders like Susanna Martinez, popular Latina Republican governor of swing state New Mexico, saying she didn’t do a good job, apparently because she had failed to endorse him up to that point. The number of key demographic groups to potentially be offended by Trump’s statement there is staggering, leaving one to wonder if Trump really wants to be president? He wants to win, sure; we all want to win. But does he want the job?

With Eris in square to Venus, it’s likely Trump is feeling unappreciated, and is none too happy about it. He keeps touting the fact that he’s gotten more primary votes than any GOP contender before, so why doesn’t everybody just shut up and let him be himself? It’s worked so far, right?

This again calls into question what Trump really values, and lays out just what creature comforts he’s going to have to give up if he becomes president. Now that he’s effectively the GOP nominee, the spotlight he’s under is more heated, and he may well wonder, is it worth it?

He’s already expressed impatience with the press’s investigation into when and to whom he paid out the funds raised in his charity event to benefit veterans, and he’s not yet released his taxes for public scrutiny. He’s definitely not feeling supported by the GOP establishment, who are giving predominantly lip service to his candidacy, some even beginning to back slowly for the exits, as the latest Trump verbal faux pas asserts itself.

With both Uranus and Eris pounding on his Saturn, don’t be surprised at anything, not even if Trump rises to his nomination acceptance speech in Cleveland to declare he’s dropping out of the race. With this man, given his natal potential for shocking behavior in the Sun/Uranus conjunction, and spurred on by these heavy transits to his career energy, literally ANYTHING is possible!

Sedna in exact sextile to the RNC Sun is also troubling for the Trump campaign. Sedna brings the threat of isolation, which would be fatal. If Trump identifies too strongly with white chagrin at having to share power, he’s toast, pure and simple. But it’s these disgruntled populations that form the backbone of his support, and he can’t be seen to abandon them, either. Adding fuel to this fire is Mars, trine to the RNC Sun but also opposing Sedna. Trump’s anger and bombast may be truly isolating to the general population, although the trine to the Sun also suggests an energetic, “damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead!” approach to the campaign.

Lastly, Nemesis represents undoing, ruination or downfall, often of a self-inflicted nature (or at a minimum, resulting directly from one’s prior actions). In square to the RNC Sun, and especially in conjunction with asteroid America, the implication is that Trump’s style and lack of policy proposals, running his campaign like a reality TV show, eventually catches up with him in ways not supportive of his ultimate victory.

Of course, another interpretation of this combination would be that, whatever the eventual product of this convention (Sun), it will be in some way inimical or destructive (Nemesis) to the country (America), leading to its downfall.

Additional chart elements include a close conjunction of Jupiter and asteroid Icarus at 19 and 20 Virgo. Jupiter rules politics generally, while Icarus represents rash, reckless actions heedless of the consequences, and the inability to take good advice.

Trump’s very nomination is likely one of the rashest, most reckless moves the GOP could make. Their putative standard-bearer has shown himself very averse to advice and instruction, preferring his own counsel to that of experienced politicos. These points square Trump’s natal Sun/Uranus conjunction, not known for its calm responses to stressful situations, and are fanning the flames of Trump’s impulsivity.

Furthermore, his natal Icarus at 19 Aquarius, in addition to being tightly inconjunct the transit Jupiter/Icarus pairing, is also receiving an unwanted stimulus from transit asteroids Hybris and Narcissus at 17 and 15 Aquarius, in conjunction. Hybris represents arrogance or overweening pride, Narcissus is obsessive self-focus, and having these energies tag-teaming Trump’s innate rashness indicator at this time is not helpful.

Last to consider in the RNC chart is a forming conjunction between the Moon at 10 Capricorn and Pluto at 15, in the Fourth House. This symbolizes the turmoil and rage (Pluto) bubbling up from the general population (Moon), and brings it home (Fourth House) directly to the GOP. Can this energy be harnessed to propel the party into a position of greater power (Pluto), or will internal pressures and familial infighting cause the GOP to self-destruct (also Pluto)? Whatever the final outcome, expect some furious floor fights before the end.

Clinton accepts accolades as prospective Democratic nominee, June 7, 2016

Clinton accepts accolades as prospective Democratic nominee, June 7, 2016

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton’s Personal-Named Asteroid is also in the thick of things as the DNC convenes on July 25, with even more impressive tie-ins to her natal chart.

Asteroid Hillary at 14 Gemini is bound up in a T-Square, opposing Saturn at 10 Sagittarius and squaring Neptune at 11 Pisces. This is a mixed bag; it could certainly show Clinton as an authoritative, serious candidate, experienced, qualified and masterful (all Saturn), even one who is seen as inspirational (Neptune).

The flip side, of course, is that she can also appear cold, distant, aloof (Saturn), confused or deceptive (Neptune). But Clinton is getting an assist from centaur Asbolus, exactly conjunct Hillary, a point named for a mythic seer and augur, which relates to having one’s finger on the pulse of the times, being tuned in to the zeitgeist. This could enable her to set just the right tone to connect with voters, presenting her as the perfect fit for the times.

This T-Square becomes a loose Grand Cross with the insertion of transit Jupiter at 20 Virgo, lending political support and bringing good fortune. Although it’s only a week after the RNC convenes, Icarus, now at 6 Libra, has moved comfortably far away from Jupiter, so this choice is less of a political risk than the Trump candidacy.

DNC logo

Casting the astrological chart for noon in Philadelphia gives a 14 Libra Ascendant, which not only exactly conjoins the US Saturn, symbol of the presidency, but is also exactly trine asteroid Hillary, showing good support. As with the RNC chart, Washingtonia at 10 Libra conjoins the Ascendant (and thus also trines Hillary), and is conjunct Clinton’s natal Neptune at 11 Libra.

As always, Neptune is slippery and hard to call in advance. This could represent the attainment of a long-cherished dream (and of course, even being nominated surely qualifies in that category), but can also indicate bitter disappointment, a confused result, or some form of voter fraud.

Whitehouse and Achilles are now exactly conjunct at 2 Sagittarius, and moreover, are within orb of Clinton’s natal Jupiter at 0 Sagittarius. This points up her weakness and vulnerability in the race for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, possibly magnifying these, given Jupiter’s expansiveness and tendency to magnify what it touches.

But it could also suggest her native “good fortune” asserting itself in the quest for the presidency. There’s one other important factor to be considered with Whitehouse—it is now direct, whereas it is still retrograde in the chart for the RNC. Whitehouse’s station comes on the 20th of July, probably the date of the GOP nominating vote itself. Additionally, Whitehouse is closely trined the DNC Sun at 3 Leo, lending support to the Democrats’ chances of retaining the presidency.

The Venus/Mercury conjunction is still in force, but with Mercury now pulling a full five degrees ahead of Venus. This is still an admonition, and a spur, to “kindler, gentler” communication, but there’s a very odd circumstance which may make this pairing more powerful than in the RNC chart, for this particular candidate.

At 16 and 21 Leo, Venus and Mercury are reprising the exact same degree spread between each other as in Clinton’s birth chart, and exactly squared her natal degrees, at 16 and 21 Scorpio! This is a fascinating circumstance, and with the transit Sun just one degree shy of an exact square to her natal Sun, the natal pattern between all three is being repeated; the implication is that she’ll feel very comfortable in the campaign, with these energies coming now from open, gregarious Leo, rather than the shy, reserved and secretive Scorpio. Yes, it will be a challenge for Clinton to morph herself into this freer style, as all squares bring challenges, but the potential is there for her to become a much more outgoing, natural, and attractive candidate.

One more point to note with regard to the Venus/Mercury conjunction—asteroid Victoria, named for the Roman goddess of victory, exactly conjoins Mercury, and these appear atop Clinton’s natal Saturn, her career. Together that spells winning (Victoria) a vote (Mercury), affecting her career (Saturn); a pretty good omen, I’d say!

The Moon at 16 Aries conjoins the Descendant from the Seventh House, a placement which could help to “bring along” the American people, an echo of the Clinton campaign’s leitmotif, “I’m with her!” However, the Moon is moving to conjoin Eris at 23 Aries and also squares Pluto at 15 Capricorn, so the populace is discontent and fractious, and there’s still some resentment and internal division in the party to be overcome.

Asteroid Sanders at 19 Taurus is conjunct asteroid Truth at 20 Taurus, in a Grand Trine with Jupiter and Pluto, so if Senator Sanders and his supporters can “keep her honest” (Truth) to progressive ideals, there’s a strong potential for political success. That Pluto on the IC does hint at foundational problems which remain unresolved in the Democratic Party, however, and as with the RNC chart, there is a suggestion of some floor disputes.

The Nemesis/America conjunction which squares the Sun of the RNC is still in effect, now at 28 Libra and 2 Scorpio. But whereas Nemesis had the stronger impact on the RNC Sun, now it’s America which is more in focus for the DNC, perhaps a positive sign for the Clinton campaign, especially considering that America also conjoins her natal Sun exactly. It may be that Clinton and the Democratic Party come to be more closely identified with the country at large, but the underlying sense of the extended conjunction, that the US is about to get its comeuppance, whomever we choose, is unnerving at best.

There is one more factor to be considered, which is asteroid Lie. The very day the DNC convenes, asteroid Hillary first comes to within orb of asteroid Lie, at 19 Gemini. This is surely an unfortunate circumstance for the candidate with the lowest “honest and trustworthy” ratings in modern history. The pairing of Lie and Hillary will go far to reinforce a narrative already rife in the American electorate, namely that Hillary Clinton is not forthright and up-front with the public, that she is hiding something, misdirecting, purposely concealing her true agenda, and not to be trusted.

Making things worse is that this is an extended conjunction, lasting for almost a year, until mid-July 2017, before these bodies fully separate. In fact, by Election Day, Lie and Hillary will be exactly conjunct, both at their retrograde stations, and exactly trine the Election Day Sun. I’m hard-pressed to think of a worse combination from the perspective of the Clinton campaign.

Both convention charts show considerable advantages and disadvantages for either candidate, but regardless of who has an edge coming out of the gate, the general election season is likely to be one of the ugliest and most distasteful we’ve seen. And whoever wins the presidency will be starting the job with historically low approval ratings, and facing a populace that is disinclined to trust or believe them.

Maybe that Nemesis/America conjunction is the most crucial fact to take away from this summer of “conventional” wisdom.

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