So here we are, again. The ramifications of the 2016 US presidential election will reverberate for years in the collective, and for potentially decades on the US Supreme Court. The result has been a fiasco for the Democratic Party and the progressive cause (two very distinct entities, by the way).
Trumpism triumphs, whatever that is. Nobody knows. We know the progressive views Donald Trump expressed in the past; we know the hatred, venom, xenophobia and extreme conservatism he spewed in his campaign; what we don’t know is how he’ll actually govern. It’s no consolation to realize he probably doesn’t know that himself yet.
So few saw this coming, in the mainstream and on the fringe. I have been unable to find any published astrologer who predicted a Trump win, including myself, which seems like a total failure of our profession.
But before we launch into the post-election analysis, I’d like to posit a theory. Did astrologers in fact call this one wrong? As of this writing, though all cast ballots have not yet been counted, Hillary Clinton leads in the popular vote by more than a million votes, with that margin likely to increase when the final tally is in.
In most contests of this type, getting the most votes counts as “winning.” Donald J. Trump will be the 45th president of the United States, not through the clearly expressed will of the American people, but via the arcane and byzantine US electoral process. I’m not sure astrology can be held accountable for that. It’s a point to ponder, surely.
But let’s begin. I’m going to detail just exactly where I made my mistakes, and we’ll add in some newsworthy details that were not available when I made my projections.
First, I vastly underestimated the power and potency of the Uranus/Eris conjunction. This speaks to the volatility and unpredictability of the electorate (the Uranus part of the equation), and specifically those portions who felt themselves marginalized, cast aside, disrespected and left without a voice (all Eris components).
Trump was able to tap into and direct this potential rebellion (Uranus) of the downtrodden (Eris) and use it to his advantage. Astrologically, this can be seen in the sextile from the transit Aries conjunction to his natal Gemini Sun, which granted an opportunity to tap into these energies personally.
I’m not sure why I missed this in my calculations (or rather, why I rated it less highly than it deserved, since I did remark on it in several pre-election articles). It’s not like I didn’t have an example of its effectiveness right in my face, in the shocking result of the Brexit vote in Great Britain in June, when countless millions voted against their economic interests in a backlash against globalism and technology. The helpless, hopeless, devastated populations of north and west England, rural and agrarian, economically depressed and left behind, were a perfect mirror of the US Mid-west “Rust Belt” states, which ultimately gave Trump the win. And the elites in the south and east, urban and progressive, confident that their vision would prevail, simply didn’t turn out in numbers great enough to offset them.
So, in my opinion, that pairing of Uranus and Eris was the very formidable backdrop of this election that most astrologers missed, setting the stage for a massive backlash and the most unconventional candidate conceivable.
My next misstep involved the final Lunar Eclipse of September, which so closely squared Trump’s natal Sun/Moon polarity, itself within hours of an eclipse. I saw the effect in the release of the Access Hollywood tape and the resulting avalanche of sexual assault allegations, spurred on by simultaneous activations from that eclipse to TNO Salacia in both Trump’s natal chart and the transit sky.
But that’s where I left it. I didn’t follow through and consider the highlighting effects produced by an eclipse, which linger long after the initial impact, positive or negative, has been felt and absorbed. It’s Trump’s basic dictum, his guiding star—“there is no such thing as bad publicity.” After the shock and revulsion unleashed by his self-proclaimed pattern of boorish sexual aggression, things went back to normal, and the electorate reset itself.
It’s not like people didn’t already understand that Trump is a misogynistic pig—that fact, as the political pundits like to say, was already baked in the cake, confirmed by countless of his own utterances recycled in countless political ads and cable news shows for months. They simply didn’t care.
In the words of documentary filmmaker and activist Michael Moore, one of the very few who got it right, Trump was their “human Molotov cocktail”, a political incendiary device to be thrown into the heart of the old guard Washington elitists of both of the parties which had abandoned them and left them swinging in the wind.
One vital factor that wasn’t available in my final analysis of the election was the intervention of FBI Director James Comey on October 28, less than two weeks before the election. At that time, Comey sent a letter to Congress, informing them that additional emails which might be “pertinent” to the FBI reviews of Hillary Clinton’s private server controversy had been obtained from, of all sources, the laptop of former US Representative Anthony Weiner, a known sexual predator and estranged husband of Clinton top aide Huma Abedin.
The conservative right went into a frenzy, sensing blood in the water, and the progressive left groaned a hollow groan and mumbled, “not again!” Clinton began to dip in the polls, and Trump rose. Comey issued a second letter to Congress late on November 6, just two days before the election, affirming that nothing new had been obtained from the Weiner laptop, but the damage was done, and the reiteration of the issue, even in a positive light, just 36 hours before voting began, did Clinton no favors.
I should have been more vigilant on the Comey score, after his blistering “exoneration” of Clinton’s email travails in July, when he held a press conference to state that, while there was nothing in the emails which he considered a prosecutable offense, nevertheless she had been extremely careless, even reckless, with national security.
Had I done my due diligence at the time, I would have found that, while there is no “Comey” asteroid, there is a James. At 26 Libra in Hillary Clinton’s birth chart, this closely conjoins her natal asteroid Nemesis at 27 Libra, a point describing undoing, often self-created. If I had sussed out that astro-tidbit earlier, I might have been prepared for James Comey to re-enter the drama in the final act.
But even with the clearest crystal ball in the world, I couldn’t have predicted the re-emergence of pervert Anthony Weiner into the political dialogue. Yet the Clinton birth chart shows that potential, too. Natal asteroid Antonia (for Anthony) at 4 Leo squares Clinton’s natal Sun at 2 Scorpio, suggesting an inimical, confrontational stance, while natal asteroid Wiener at 15 Capricorn closely conjoins natal asteroid Achilles at 16 Capricorn, indicating a potential weakness or vulnerability from that quarter.
Pluto had been transiting these degrees all year, and was sitting at 15 Capricorn, exactly on Wiener, at the election. (As an aside here, it’s astounding the extent to which “men-behaving-badly” have affected Clinton’s fortunes, from her wayward husband, to her chief aide’s lecherous spouse, to her salacious opponent.)
Finally, I miscalculated the strength of asteroids Hillary and Troemper, both pro and con. Hillary at station degree on Election Day, about to turn retrograde, would have given me more pause if it weren’t for the fact that it was simultaneously in exact trine to the Election Day Sun, which sat exactly atop Clinton’s popularity-evoking natal Venus. Added to the transit conjunction of Venus and asteroid Whitehouse, it seemed a clear indicator of a Clinton victory, representing a woman (Venus) in the Oval Office (Whitehouse).
I overestimated the value of the trine, which typically requires active engagement to produce a measurable effect, and underestimated the impending shift to retrograde motion, since it occurred four days after the election itself. To my credit, I did state that asteroid Hillary’s close opposition to transit Pluto on Election Day could lead to either an increase in personal power or a devastating loss. It just seemed to me, all things considered, that it would be the former.
On the Trump side, I underestimated the direct station of asteroid Troemper, which occurred the day before the election, as well as its position at 22 Pisces, which closely squared Venus/Whitehouse, providing a strong challenge to Clinton. That swivel back to direct motion turned the tide for Trump, giving him the final boost over the finish line, and I should have given more thought to that possibility. I did speculate that its square to Venus/Whitehouse could prove a block to Clinton’s ambition, but again, discounted that as the less likely outcome.
For some time now, since Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s unexpected victory in his 2012 recall election, when PNAs seemed to so clearly predict his defeat, I have been on the fence about whether PNAs are in fact predictive, or merely descriptive. In numerous events since then, their stunning applicability to those events has been confirmed, but I think now, with this result, the jury is in—they describe, they do not determine. Both Hillary and Troemper at station on Election Day showed merely their prominence on the day, not the outcome. Venus/Whitehouse defined the first female presidential candidate, but it did not grant her the Oval Office.
Of course, there is always the possibility that they can be used for prediction, just not by me. Although I consciously strove to keep my own predispositions and prejudices out of my interpretations for this election, and dispassionately review the data, it’s likely, being human, that my own bias crept in, and caused me to weight essentially neutral factors more heavily in Clinton’s favor. I was also undoubtedly influenced to some extent by the groupthink of the mainstream media, which rarely countenanced the notion that such a manifestly unfit candidate as Donald Trump could ever win the presidency.
I do have the consolation that I never vociferously supported the Clinton victory expectation, as so many of my colleagues did, and remained to the end cautious and concerned, fully aware of the advantages Trump had going into this election both culturally and astrologically. But that is cold comfort indeed, as we face the prospect of at least four years of a Donald J. Trump presidency.
A Personal Note:
This will be my last regular monthly contribution to Daykeeper Journal. I have enjoyed working with Susan Pomeroy, who has always allowed me the latitude to explore the more “fringe” elements of astrology which I find personally fascinating. And I am forever in Maya del Mar’s debt for bringing me into the group, rescuing me from the wilderness in 2002 after the closure of “Welcome to Planet Earth” magazine, and helping me to establish an online presence.
My decision is a personal one; for several years now I have been growing weary of chronicling the horrors of the world we live in, disasters and mass murders, so I have focused more on politics. But I have no intention of chronicling a Trump presidency, which leaves me with very little to say. I hope I’ve added to the scope of astrological knowledge, and laid foundations for others to build upon. I want to thank Susan again for her unwavering support, and also the many readers who took the time to offer theirs over the years.
And a note from Susan:
Alex, thank you for so many years of vivid, fascinating, cutting-edge astrology. Your prose is superb, your analysis always thoughtful and insightful, and your professionalism, impeccable. I will miss working with you, and both I and our readers will miss your spellbinding, innovative and multi-faceted astrological insights.
With deep thanks and wishing you the very best from all of us,