[Editor’s note: we are delighted to publish this new article by Alex Miller, and to announce the launch of his new website, Alex’s Asteroid Astrology, where you’ll find asteroid-related current events articles as well as the astrological interpretations of many mythic named asteroids.]
Donald Trump turns 71 on June 14, but his Solar Return actually falls a day earlier, at 2:39 PM EDT on 13 June 2017. It’s not at all unusual for the Sun to return to its birth degree a day earlier or later than the official birthday, but what is unusual is having other points exactly conjunct the Sun at the time of its return.
In this case, it’s particularly strange, for there are two points in exact conjunction—TNO Chaos, and asteroid Troemper, the celestial placeholder for The Donald. We’ve spoken before about Trump as an agent of Chaos; natally, his Sun is in square to this point, which acts just as it sounds, to create turmoil, turbulence, disorder and anarchy. Trump naturally thrives on the disarray and commotion, it is meat and drink to him; but for us lesser mortals caught up in the maelstrom, it’s jarring, at a minimum, and potentially destructive.
Now, transit Chaos, which moves very slowly (it’s from the Kuiper Belt region of the solar system, out near Pluto), conjoined Trump’s natal Sun all last year. So it was conjunct the Sun in last year’s Solar Return also (from 20 Gemini, two degrees away), but this year it is exact, at the same degree. If you thought the havoc and mayhem wrought in the past twelvemonth was extraordinary, hang on to your hats—you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!
But what makes this Solar Return truly extraordinary is the exact conjunction of asteroid Troemper, The Donald’s celestial referent, with Trump’s Sun at 22 Gemini. This is like a double dose of chaos, and a doubling down on Trump being Trump. In essence, there’s the personal Trump, reflected in the natal Sun, and then there’s the transpersonal Trump, represented by asteroid Troemper. To have these two coincide with the Sun to the degree on the day of a Solar Return is a once-in-a-lifetime event. The odds against this are, quite literally, astronomical!
What will be the effect? Basically, Trump will be Trump-ier than usual, if that’s possible. Whatever ameliorating effect upon his psyche which the cosmos may have granted by aligning his celestial referent in ways that are different, perhaps more palatable, than the Sun for this year, is gone. Poof! There’s no secondary focus to take the heat, soften the blow, or ease the burden. It’s as if the cosmos is saying, “No restrictions, no half measures—let Trump be Trump, and let the chips fall where they may!”
There are four other points which solidly impact the Sun this year. These are transit Saturn, opposed the Sun in the Solar Return, from 24 Sagittarius; transit Chiron and asteroid America, both at 28 Pisces, somewhat broadly squared the Sun; and TNO Borasisi, in exact square from 22 Pisces. These last three are also within orb of each other, making them parts of a whole. Taken together, with Saturn and the solar stellium, there is a T-Square created, a dynamic pattern that brings much challenge and change.
To begin at the beginning: having Saturn opposed the Sun in a Solar Return is rarely a sign of smooth sailing on calm seas. Yes, it can bring structure, but if a 71-year-old man hasn’t developed this by now, he’s unlikely to, whatever the cosmos dishes out. More likely it brings restriction, limitation, loss, even legal penalties. There are hard lessons to be learned under this configuration, always, but these are often harder to learn the older we are, the more set in our ways. If we adjust ourselves to its rough tutelage, Saturn can grant rewards, but what more reward can there be than the Top Job on the planet? From the pinnacle, there is really only one way to go. Saturn’s handmaidens are depression and loneliness, frequent companions as we age, and these will be brought into stark relief as the year rolls on.
Let’s talk about Chiron, next. It’s wounding, that’s obvious. Wounds that penetrate deeply, do not heal, and remain livid and festering. In light of this, having asteroid America exactly with Chiron is surely a remarkable “coincidence.” Trump’s narrative of the US is that it is broken, failing, and needs revival—essentially, “wounded”; his actions may create a self-fulfilling prophecy of this perspective, with the cosmos colluding in uniting these two energies. But we also need to focus on the fact that this pair is in square to Trump’s Sun – they are at odds. This injured and aggrieved America doesn’t see eye to eye with Trump, and like any wounded animal, it can be dangerous.
Chiron of course is also maverick behaviors, dancing to the beat of a different drummer, striking out on one’s own in unexpected and heterodox ways. With Chiron natally conjoined Jupiter, Trump has prospered from thinking outside the box in the political arena. All the faux pas of his supremely unconventional campaign seemed to act only to boost his popularity with an electorate frustrated and enraged by “business as usual” in Washington. But since entering the Oval Office, these missteps and purposeful eye jabs have become increasingly less endearing. When Trump tramples tradition, convention and the established precedent of the presidency, when he recklessly disrespects allies and strokes adversaries, when he flails directionless in a sea of legislative, judicial and political process he doesn’t begin to comprehend, he does daily damage to the institutions, inner workings, and lynchpins of our democracy.
TNO (Trans-Neptunian Object) Borasisi is perhaps the most telling of these points, and the most intense, in exact square to the Sun and thus tightly bound up in Trump’s self-image for the year. Named for the fictional sun deity in Kurt Vonnegut’s novel “Cat’s Cradle”, Borasisi represents lies generally, but specifically self-deception. It is the lies we tell ourselves so we can feel better, often bound up in religion. Like Trump affirming that his inaugural crowds were the biggest ever, despite all photographic evidence to the contrary; like his claim that he only lost the popular vote because three million illegal aliens voted; like the entire Russian collusion investigation is only a problem because a.) the Democrats and the fake news media are making it up to explain their electoral loss or b.) because FBI Director Comey wouldn’t just let it go or c.) because Attorney General Jeff sessions unnecessarily recused himself from the case.
This tendency to self-deception dovetails nicely with Trump’s base, who seek to blame their job loss on unfair international trade deals, instead of increasing automation which renders a human workforce superfluous; or on illegal aliens, who do the unpalatable, low-wage work Americans decline to do in the first place. Trump is their false prophet, telling them things they want to hear, the Pied Piper Fantasizer-in-Chief who will magically reverse modern trends and bring back all their jobs, while returning the country to its mythical, originalist pristine state. It feels good to harbor these fantasies, but it doesn’t advance reality or improve circumstances.
This is the essence of Vonnegut’s fictional religion, Bokononism, of which Borasisi is the chief deity. The sacred texts forming the religion are all lies, but if you believe them and comport your behavior to these tenets, it’s possible to live a happy life. Trump’s semi-religious hold on his supporters may be fading, since TNO Borasisi tends to expose the falsity behind the façade, and asteroid America’s conjunction with Borasisi in Trump’s Solar Return gives the country an extended opportunity to dwell upon the particular fictions espoused by him. Further, right next to Borasisi at 21 Pisces is asteroid Lachesis, named for the mythic Greek Fate who determines the span of life, and an indicator of ending or termination. Has the time finally come when the nation (America) recognizes Trump’s basic dishonesty (Borasisi), and decides enough is enough – let’s end this (Lachesis)?
There is one more point in this pattern to be considered—asteroid Narcissus. At 18 Pisces, this squares the Sun, providing virtually endless self-focus for Trump for another year. Natally, Narcissus at 15 Taurus is with Lie at 17 Taurus, both impinging on the 24 Taurus Midheaven; this is the source of the endless self-aggrandizement, based in half-truths, exaggerations and outright falsehoods, particularly concerning career-related matters. Trump’s lies are typically in the service of his massive ego, as with any narcissist. Often with a Solar Return, there is a symbolic event which captures and encapsulates some vital energy for the year, which occurs on or about the actual birthday. Witness that ridiculous Parliament of Sycophants at Trump’s first cabinet meeting on June 12, just a day before the Solar Return. Virtually to a person (with the exception of Secretary of Defense Mattis), the cabinet officials and Chief of Staff Priebus took turns lauding the greatness of the man at the top, and the vastness of his accomplishments in office so far. Some even professed themselves “blessed” to be a part of his greatness, in a cringe-worthy performance the like of which few democracies have ever seen. This perfectly sums up the effect Trump will be looking for this year, with Narcissus squared his Sun.
The Angles of the chart express interesting themes for the year as well. Jupiter at 13 Libra is standing virtually still on the 12 Libra Ascendant, having turned direct just four days previously. This repeats a natal theme, with Trump born the day of a Jupiter direct station. The entrenched nature of stationing points should not be underestimated; they penetrate deeply in the psyche, and provide loci of activity and intensity in the life, however well or poorly they are aspected.
Jupiter on the Ascendant implies a year where politics is pivotal, but so, too are Jupiter’s less appealing personality traits—bluster, bravado, exaggeration, excess and overreach. The Ascendant is how others see us, how we interface with them, and expecting Trump to pull in his horns and modify his extreme behaviors under this type of Jovian provocation is unrealistic. If anything, this position exacerbates the problem, encouraging an inflated sense of self and a willingness to leap before we look, to step out on that limb before we are certain it can support us, to overreact to all types of stimulus.
The Libran Ascendant may itself be an issue, as it promotes indecision and vacillation. Trump often seems torn between two radically opposed alternatives, sometimes supporting one policy, then making a 180 degree change of direction and supporting its polar opposite. This tendency toward volatile change may be increased by the Libran accent on seeing both sides of a situation, and having difficulty choosing between them. This Ascendant is also conjoined Trump’s natal Chiron/Jupiter conjunction at 14 and 17 Libra, providing a year-long accent on the issues of “political“ (Jupiter) “wounding” (Chiron) which this union implies.
In square to Jupiter, and within orb of the 15 Cancer Midheaven, is transit Mars at 6 Cancer. This suggests continued combativeness, and even increased acrimony and strife, with Jupiter fanning the flames. The confrontation involves Trump’s reputation, standing and place in the world (MC), as well as his career (Tenth House cusp). Trump will be both embattled and lashing out, as Mars here encourages attacks from others as well as violent responses. Making the situation worse is Mars’ close conjunction with Trump’s natal Mercury at 8 Cancer, further encouraging angry outbursts and overheated rhetoric. [And as an aside here, both of First Lady Melania Trump’s PNAs—Melanie and Mellana—conjoin Mars in the Solar Return, implying a less-than-amicable, stressful relationship between them this year.]
Further exacerbating things is transit Pluto, which at 18 Capricorn is conjunct the IC at 15 Capricorn and also squared Jupiter (though the opposition to Mars is too wide for this to be considered a T-Square). The IC is a foundational point, the basis of the situation; in this case, Trump’s next solar year. Pluto on the IC suggests an existential crisis, one rocking Trump’s foundations to the core. There is the potential for devastation and complete dissolution, and with Pluto there is often the whiff of scandal. The square to Jupiter shows the scandal and the potential for destruction to be political in nature, and again, as with Mars, turns up the volume.
Asteroid Niobe, exact on the Descendant at 12 Aries, may be the key to understanding the entire situation. Niobe represents excessive pride which brings loss or undoing. Trump seems unable to admit fault or error, deeming this “weak.” In the words of a recent Wall Street Journal editorial, “The Buck Stops Everywhere Else.” Trump’s overweening pride may well be his downfall. It’s worth noting here also that this Descendant exactly conjoins Trump’s natal asteroid Russia, potentially emphasizing and coloring all his relations with others (Descendant).
Another point of interest is transit Mercury. At 13 Gemini, Mercury is involved in a Grand Cross comprised of squares to Neptune at 14 Pisces and asteroid Karma at 10 Virgo, and an opposition to asteroid Askalaphus at 19 Sagittarius. The square to Neptune indicates difficulty distinguishing between fact and fiction, fantasy and reality. It could indicate mental deterioration or breakdown, but at a minimum, shows serious issues with regard to expressing, perhaps accepting or understanding, the truth. Deception, both self-deception and lying to others, is a theme of this pairing.
Askalaphus relates to tale-bearing, and in this context, we can ascribe to it the rampant pace of leaks, from the White House, the security apparatus, congress, virtually every facet of the federal government. These are likely to continue, perhaps even increase, as the year progresses. Askalaphus and the leaks it promotes will serve to expose the deception proceeding from the Mercury/Neptune square.
Asteroid Karma involved in the pattern suggests that a fated comeuppance is on the way, based in Trump’s prior actions (and particularly his statements, with Mercury prominent), with his verbal chickens coming home to roost. No one can avoid the consequences of his acts and words forever, and this year may be Trump’s time to be called to account for them.
Also of note, Trump’s Solar Return Moon at 9 Aquarius is exactly squared the Moon of his administration at 9 Scorpio. This suggests that his connection with the public is fractured, and there is a variance between their emotional needs and his own this year. The Moon is also squared to transit Venus at 7 Taurus, implying conflict between the public and Trump’s values or ethics; this may diminish his popularity (also Venus-ruled) further, already at historically low levels. If the visceral level of his base’s support is eroded, Trump, loathed by Democrats and mistrusted by Republicans, will be on very thin ice indeed.
So much for the more traditional chart elements and other points associated with them. Let’s take a look now at the PNAs which represent places and people pivotal to the Trump narrative, and how they unfold into the year.
To start with, there’s asteroid Russia. Of course. At 15 Cancer, it’s not only caught up in the Jupiter/Pluto square, it’s also closely conjunct the MC at 13 Cancer, from the Tenth House side. This puts Russia in a powerful, pivotal position to affect Trump’s reputation, status, career and place in the world. Tenth House planets are elevated, on full public display; there’s just no missing them. Exactly on that MC is asteroid Veritas, Latin for “truth”. Having Russia and Veritas conjoined, on the MC, is a bold statement that at some point during the year, the truth of Trump’s connections to Russia will come out, in highly public ways.
Also in the Tenth, though no longer bound up with the MC, are asteroids Truth and Atropos, at 24 and 28 Cancer, and asteroid Lie, at 3 Leo. This may seem like a confusing and contradictory set of energies, but keep in mind that Trump’s natal Saturn at 23 Cancer is also being affected by these placements, as is the nation’s Mercury at 24 Cancer.
Truth is the deciding factor here; in the Tenth House, which governs career matters, and also conjoined Trump’s natal Saturn, which rules the same, expect a rush of disclosures and revelations about, not just his current job, but his entire career, brought to our attention by the national media, as represented by the US Mercury. Why the coziness with Russia? Just how much money do the Trumps take in from that country? What are their business dealings there? What do they owe? These questions and more are likely to be answered in the coming year.
Atropos is named for the mythic Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death, and is representative of not just physical expiry, but any sort of ending or termination. In the Tenth of the Solar Return chart, and simultaneously conjoined Trump’s natal Saturn, this could well spell “the end of a career.”
Lie at 3 Leo in the Tenth suggests an inordinate amount of falsehoods relating to career matters, given in a highly public forum. That’s interesting enough on its own, but look at what it’s paired with: asteroids Mueller, d’Arrest, and Jaredgoodman, at 6, 5 and 1 Leo respectively. Wow! So we have the special counsel, Robert Mueller, charged with getting to the bottom of the lies, smack up against d’Arrest, which again signals some form of cessation or termination, but could obviously refer to an actual arrest for illegal activity as well. There is no Jared asteroid, but Jaredgoodman seems to work well for First Son-in-Law Jared Kushner (it conjoins his Sun in his natal chart, for one thing). So Jared is also bound up with Mueller, the investigation of his own false statements (Lie), and potential legal jeopardy (d’Arrest). All Tenth House placements have the potential to affect the native’s career and reputation, and for Trump, there are a lot of unfriendly indicators here.
But Trump’s troubles don’t end there. Asteroid Moskva, Russian for “Moscow”, appears at 6 Gemini, at the fulcrum of a T-Square which includes Karma, the results of our actions, at 10 Virgo; Whitehouse, the Oval Office, at 0 Pisces; and Neptune, lies and deception, at 14 Pisces. The overall structure here is loose, but the story is plain: payment is due (Karma) from the Chief Executive (Whitehouse) for involvement with the Russians (Moskva) focused on fraud or deceit (Neptune).
And it gets worse: on the other side of Whitehouse, and much closer in orb, lies Damocles at 26 Aquarius, that point which symbolizes the doom hanging unseen overhead, capable of crashing down at any time without notice. Due to relative rates of speed, these two points, Whitehouse and Damocles, are in an extended conjunction in the sky, never more than five degrees apart, from mid-April to mid-December 2017 (apart from a few weeks in late September when they briefly slip out of orb), affording a protracted period of extreme vulnerability for Trump. The two are conjoined at the same degree three times—May 10-16 (which roughly coincides with Comey’s firing and the appointing of Mueller as Special Counsel), August 6-11, and November 23-27. These will be peak periods of exposure for Trump, times when even the slightest foot put wrong could bring the cosmos’ vengeance raining down on his head.
And as if all that isn’t bad enough, this Whitehouse/Damocles pairing is itself focal in another T-Square, with Kassandra at 28 Taurus on one hand, and Washingtonia at 26 Scorpio on the other. Whitehouse/Washingtonia in square suggests conflicts between the Oval Office and the Capitol at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. A rift with Republican legislators is likely, based in Kassandra’s emphasis on credibility issues. As Trump’s own credibility, or lack thereof, becomes more and more apparent with each new devastating disclosure, the credibility of GOP lawmakers is also called into question: will they continue to support and prop up someone who indulges in such egregious misconduct, or will they put Country over Party and do the right thing? Asteroid Requiem, named for the funeral mass for the dead and yet another indicator of endings, conjoins Kassandra from 24 Taurus—this spells “the death of credibility” for someone; will it be Trump, Republicans in Congress, or both?
One more point to make—stationary bodies. We’ve already discussed this with Jupiter, but there are two other points which are standing still in the heavens, and will exert an inordinate influence on the year. These are asteroid Whitehouse, discussed above, which turns retrograde at its Solar Return degree on June 21, just eight days later. The other is asteroid Roberts, another indicator of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which at 26 Libra has just turned direct at that degree on June 4, nine days earlier. Not only that, but Mueller is joined by asteroid Pandora exactly at 26 Libra, which represents the unexpected consequences of our poor decisions, and both these conjoin Trump’s natal d’Arrest at 24 Libra, which is itself at station, about to turn direct two days after Trump’s birth. This is a truly remarkable collision of energies, and cements the importance of Mueller and his investigation, and its close opposition to Uranus at 27 Aries suggests that there will be more shocks and upsets to proceed from that quarter.
Together, these establish the two central players of this political tragedy, of which we are only in Act One—the Oval Office and the Special Counsel. How will the play turn out? Stay tuned….