[Editor’s note: we are delighted to publish this article by Alex Miller, with thanks to Alex and his website, Alex’s Asteroid Astrology, an incomparable resource for asteroid-related astrology. There you’ll find in-depth astrological analyses of breaking events, as well as the astrological meanings of many mythic named asteroids.]
If Donald Trump maintains his grasp on the US presidency for the duration of his upcoming solar year, then he will likely complete his first term in office. He may even win reelection. But looking ahead at the year on tap, that’s a huge “if”. This appears to be the pivotal year for Trump, the one that decides how the remainder of his life unfolds.
Cast for 8:24 PM EDT on June 13, 2018, in Washington DC,* Donald Trump’s 72nd Solar Return is breathtaking in its implications and complexity. So much of the “natural Trump”, as seen in his birth chart, reverberates through this chart that it seems this year is tailor-made to make or break The Donald, for once and all.
Perhaps the most striking feature is the emphasis on Trump’s natal Sun/Moon polarity. Born just hours before a full moon (which was also a Lunar Eclipse), Trump’s 2018 Solar Return (hereafter abbreviated “SR”) occurs just hours after a new moon exactly on his Sun. Moreover, this Sun/Moon pairing, and the Sun/Moon opposition in the natal, is strongly highlighted by the Horizontal Axis of the SR, which at 21 Sagittarius/Gemini places his SR Sun angular on the Descendant, just minutes away from setting.
The implications of these somewhat extraordinary circumstances are contradictory. On the one hand, the new moon on his birth Sun argues for a new beginning, while the setting of the SR Sun denotes an ending. The mirroring of the natal full moon and the solar new moon also suggests a reversal or ‘flipping’ of some sort. Inarguably, the year represents a major turning point in his life, but in what direction? Let’s dig a little deeper…
Between the Sun at 22 Gemini and the Moon at 25 Gemini lies TNO Chaos at 23 Gemini. Chaos has been Trump’s constant companion since 2015, when he announced his candidacy. Never more than a degree away from his natal Sun since June 2016, last year’s Solar Return saw it exactly conjunct the Sun; this year it is a degree after. While transiting the Sun, Chaos’ mission has been to help Trump fulfill the potential for creating havoc and disorder which is present in its natal square to the Sun, marking Trump as its agent provocateur from birth. And it’s been putting in lots of overtime on that behalf. During this period Trump’s ability to disrupt, contort, distort, make mayhem and sow chaotic conditions has been at its peak. The good news is, the final exact conjunction occurred in May 2018; the bad news is, Chaos will not pass fully outside its five-degree conjunction orb to Trump’s Sun until 2022, though as early as this summer, we could see a slight diminution of the insanity, as Chaos moves to two degrees past the Sun.
Taken separately, Chaos with the Moon could indicate serious health issues this year, crises which disrupt and throw Trump off balance; this could also manifest as a sudden and unsettling alteration in domestic arrangements (such as an unexpected move from one form of public housing, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, to another, a federal penitentiary). Emotions are subject to extremes and wild fluctuations this year, and can be the root of much of the outer turmoil that manifests itself, as well as a response to the havoc that is largely self-created.
Also with the Sun is asteroid Osiris at 22 Gemini, named for the Egyptian god of the dead. This signals a major transformation of some sort, an end point or transition. It’s not necessarily a physical death, although it could be, and there are other SR chart factors which support this view, as we’ll see shortly.
All of these clustered on the 21 Gemini Descendant indicates major upheaval (Chaos) in relationships of all kinds (Descendant), including those with family (Moon) and one’s internal sense of self (Sun), perhaps extending to the termination (Osiris) of long-standing connections.
That’s impressive enough, but the Sun is also involved in two major configurations, at the crucial point of each. One is a Kite, essentially a Grand Trine with an opposition from one point, which then becomes the “head” of the Kite, with the opposing point the “string” which guides its potential; the other is a Grand Cross.
Let’s look at the Kite first, because the points which are in trine to the Sun within it are also at station, creating a powerful embedded focus upon which the chart revolves. Stationary bodies exert an influence disproportionately greater than their normal effect. Incredibly, two of the points at station are asteroids Russia at 28 Libra and Roberts (for Special Counsel Robert Mueller) at 29 Aquarius!
This obviously speaks volumes for the importance of Muller’s Russian investigation (and its associated components) to the President’s year, and repeats an emphasis on energies also highlighted in the previous Solar Return. In 2017, Roberts at 26 Libra (roughly where Russia is now) was also stationary and in a Grand Trine with the Sun; the other stationary Grand Trine point was asteroid Whitehouse, accompanied by Damocles, representing impending doom for Trump’s presidency. It was these two competing poles, the Oval Office and the Special Counsel, upon which Trump’s year turned.
This year Damocles at 27 Aquarius is again involved; it lies in the wake of Roberts, indicating from what quarter the doom will fall. Similarly, last year Russia was also in a pivotal position, closely conjoined the Midheaven. Roberts stations retrograde on June 21, eight days after the SR; Russia stations direct on June 3, ten days before.
With Russia are TNO Rhadamanthus at 27 Libra, which represents harsh but fair judgments and the enactment of severe penalties, and asteroid Toro at 29 Libra, indicating a stubborn, entrenched stance, being “dug in” on an issue. Rhadamanthus doesn’t turn until July 11, but moves so slowly, it is already at its station degree; Toro turns on June 24.
One final point to ponder here is asteroid Rip, which turns direct on June 18 at 23 Libra, closely trined Trump’s Sun. Rip functions well as the acronym RIP, “Rest In Peace”, a common tombstone inscription, and can also signal a major life change, perhaps extending as far as physical death. (In an earlier era, this combination of Russia, Rhadamanthus and Rip might give pause to someone who had colluded with Russia, and was facing the ultimate penalty for treason, but the death penalty was abolished on the federal level in 1990.)
But the kicker in this pattern, the string of the Kite which guides and propels its latent potential (and which also forms the spine of the Grand Cross we will examine shortly), is the Sun and Moon’s opposition to asteroids Lie and Mueller, which appear on the 21 Sagittarius SR Ascendant, with Lie at 16 Sag and Mueller at 27. This is so apt it beggars description! So, encompassed within this pattern we have not only the investigative basis of the inquiry, in asteroid Russia, but two of three PNAs representing the chief investigator, in asteroids Roberts and Mueller (the third point, asteroid Roberta, we’ll encounter later), as well as the focus of the investigation, Donald Trump’s essential dishonesty, represented by asteroid Lie. Mueller’s placement exactly atop the Galactic Center guarantees global attention or notice for his efforts.
Lie and Mueller have been in an extended conjunction for quite some time, traveling together within ten degrees from April 2017 through April 2019 (with a few short breaks to an 11-degree orb, as is the case here). This represents a timeframe when Mueller is completely immersed or enmeshed in dealing with issues of truth and falsehood; it becomes an unavoidable fact of life. And amazingly, throughout this period, there has been only one day on which the two came together at the exact same degree—May 22, 2017, just five days after Mueller was appointed Special Counsel!
But as noted above, this polarity is not only the driver of the Kite, it is also an important element of the soli-lunar Grand Cross, combining with squares to asteroid Troemper at 25 Virgo and TNO Borasisi at 23 Pisces. Troemper is of course our celestial referent for Donald Trump; its close square to Mueller vividly portrays the basic conflict between them. It also lies atop Trump’s natal asteroid Moskva at 22 Virgo, named for Russia’s capital, Moscow. Borasisi is another point that resonates to lying and deceit, often in a political or quasi-religious, almost cult-like context.
So much for the solar aspects; there is much more meat in the peripherals of the chart.
Let’s look next at the other angles, the Vertical Axis of MC and IC, at 12 Libra and Aries respectively. The MC is the most elevated point in the chart, the focus of all eyes, ruling reputation and worldly place or status as well as career matters. Points connected to the SR MC represent clearly visible elements of the coming year which have the potential to impact these arenas.
On Trump’s SR MC for 2018 are asteroids d’Arrest at 2 Libra, Atropos at 3 Libra, Truth at 5 Libra and Photographica at 16 Libra. At its basic level d’Arrest refers to a forced cessation or termination (as in cardiac arrest), an ending of some sort, but it can also indicate a literal legal arrest or detention, the filing of charges, even confinement or imprisonment. Atropos is named for the mythic Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death, and is again an image of endings or possible physical mortality. The two together, on the MC, could suggest retirement, an end to career, or the loss of worldly place or status. Add in asteroid Truth, and we have something to ponder.
We’ve already seen how asteroid Lie is on the SR Ascendant; what’s fascinating is how Truth on the MC in combination with this provides another ‘flip’ of Trump’s natal chart in this SR. At birth Trump has Truth at 7 Virgo on the 20 Leo Ascendant, with Lie at 17 Taurus on the 24 Taurus MC. This allows him to project an image (Ascendant) of honesty, appearing authentic (Truth) to a portion of the populace, despite continual misrepresentations (Lie) regarding his status or career, to boost his reputation (all MC). With this SR we’re seeing this reversed—he now appears untruthful to others (Lie/Ascendant), while the reality of the situation is on public display (Truth/MC). The implication of Truth with d’Arrest and Atropos is that as the underlying reality (Truth) is revealed, his reputation (MC) suffers, his career ends (MC/Atropos) and he faces possible incarceration (d’Arrest).
Photographica here is interesting; it refers to photos and video, yes, but also one’s image generally. In a literal sense, it could suggest that tweet sent by Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, in March, with a picture of a CD and the caption, “If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is this worth???” That seems the most likely interpretation of an angular Photographica, given what we know: that there is some incriminating or damaging evidence on that CD, and it will come to light this year.
Speaking of Stormy Daniels, she’s likely to be a key player in Trump’s solar year. And we find her, prominently displayed, as asteroid Clifford (her real name is Stephanie Clifford), exactly on the chart’s IC at 12 Aries. The IC represents the foundation of the situation, and addresses security concerns, implying that the Stormy Daniels case is foundational for the year, and messes with Trump’s internal sense of safety. 12 Aries, incidentally, is exactly conjunct Donald Trump’s natal asteroid Russia, and just one degree off his natal Mueller at 13 Aries. So, yeah, foundational indeed.
But to return to d’Arrest. This point does not stand alone and isolated, but is part of a second Grand Cross in the SR. It opposes asteroid Icarus, centaur Chiron and TNO Salacia at 0, 2 and 3 Aries, and squares asteroid Stephania and Saturn at 2 and 6 Capricorn, as well as Mercury and asteroid Roberta at 2 and 5 Cancer. This suggests that the potential for actual arrest or detention (d’Arrest) is based in a wound or maverick behaviors (both Chiron) created by rash, reckless actions (Icarus) of a sensationalist or scandalous sexual nature (Salacia), focused on Stephanie Clifford (Stephania), for which there is a penalty incurred (Saturn), brought about by information (Mercury) released by Robert Mueller (Roberta, out third PNA referent for the Special Counsel).
Not bad. Who says this astrology stuff doesn’t work?
Note also that Roberta is exactly squared Truth—‘the truth will out’, as Shakespeare would have it, though even the Immortal Bard would find it difficult to pen a tragedy as rich as this one. Mueller is also accompanied by asteroid Isis at 6 Cancer, which among other things, represents retrieving disparate parts and reassembling them into a whole, much in the way Mueller is bringing together various strands of his investigation to form a single, cohesive narrative of Trump’s wrongdoing.
But the cosmos isn’t finished with Trump yet. There is one more Grand Cross to be considered. It is anchored by Mars at 8 Aquarius, not quite at station (it will turn retro on June 25), accompanied by asteroids Achilles at 1 Aquarius and Pandora at 9 Aquarius. Pandora is at station, having turned retrograde on June 9, just four days prior. These oppose asteroid Moskva at 1 Leo, with Kassandra at 6 Leo and Hybris at 11 Leo. The other polarity, in square to this one, is composed of asteroids Narcissus and Nemesis at 6 and 11 Taurus, and TNO Typhon, at 3 Scorpio.
So let’s break that down. Mars of course is sexual matters, Achilles speaks of an inherent weakness or vulnerability that threatens to destroy the native (as in “Achilles heel”), and Pandora refers to the unleashing of unintended consequences, contrary to warnings and all good advice. ‘Nuff said there, I think. Moskva, again, is the Russian capital and acts as a stand-in for all things Russian, including the Mueller investigation. Its exact opposition to Achilles shows this as the “first cause”, the weakest chink in Trump’s armor, while its conjunction with Kassandra raises issues of Trump’s general credibility and trustworthiness, in this matter and all associated ones (primarily, here, the sexual issues).
Also with Moskva is Venus at 0 Leo, indicating the cash from Russia which may tie Trump to Russian meddling in the election, perhaps even illegal campaign contributions from Russian oligarchs; Venus’ opposition to Achilles shows romantic encounters to be a source of vulnerability as well. (Note: while not involved in the Grand Cross directly, asteroid Vladimir—for Vladimir Putin—is within orb of Achilles from 26 Capricorn, marking the Russian president as another factor in Trump’s discomfiture.)
Narcissus with Nemesis suggests that it’s Trump’s essential narcissism, his obsessive self-focus and unwavering belief in his own superiority, which ultimately brings him down. Note that Narcissus is exactly squared Kassandra—he’s simply not believable, due to the continual hyperbole and self-aggrandizement. No one can take him seriously. Nemesis is exactly squared Hybris at 11 Leo; Hybris is named for a Greek goddess, the root of our word “hubris”, and represents extreme arrogance, the “pride that goes before a fall.”
Trump fancies himself the smartest boy in the room, able to wiggle out of any problem or difficulty by the mere fact of his brilliance, and that overweening pride married to Nemesis’ “set him up to knock him down” mentality is a major liability. Nemesis is also encroaching upon Trump’s natal asteroid Lie at 17 Taurus—the continual misrepresentation and deception is finally catching up with him, and could bring him down. Typhon is named for a mythic Titan, wreaker of havoc and destroyer of the earth; his name is the root of our word “typhoon”, and metaphorically, Typhon (which can also represent actual storms such as hurricanes) indicates “stormy weather”, being beset by troubles on all sides, and feeling overwhelmed by them, drawn into the inescapable maelstrom.
Other points of note include asteroid Washingtonia at 15 Pisces conjunct Neptune at 16: confusion, illusion and deception in the nation’s capital, and among the ruling political class. This pairing forms a T-Square with transit Lie at 16 Sagittarius and Trump’s natal Uranus at 17 Gemini, more broadly squared his natal Sun. There is also a close conjunction of asteroid Whitehouse at 29 Aries with Uranus at 1 Taurus: shocking revelations relating to the presidency, a high-strung atmosphere in the Oval Office bordering on manic insanity, perhaps a political rebellion or coup.
Put it all together, and it’s looking like another banner year for the Trump presidency, and possibly its last.
* As ever, it’s hard to pin down The Donald. During last year’s Solar Return, he was mid-air, so I used his current permanent residence in Washington DC as the locale for erecting that chart. This year, with the Singapore Summit with Kim Jong Un looming on June 12, by the following day he may once again be airborne, or already returned to the White House, or still in Singapore.
Astrologers disagree about where the Solar Return should be set. Some continue to use the birth location regardless of where the native resides, others plump for the current residence, and still others aver that one can travel on the date to acquire a totally different venue for the SR.
Typically, I use the current main residence, but I also ran the chart for Singapore. The Return occurs there exactly 12 hours after the DC time, at 8:24 AM AWST on June 14. The angular changes are not as helpful for Trump as he might wish (assuming he’s consciously trying to outrun his fate by travelling hallway around the world). We now have an 11 Cancer Ascendant, which highlights asteroid America exactly (appropriate for a head of state representing his country overseas in that moment), but also puts Roberta (for Robert Mueller) rising at 5 Cancer in prime focus (so we’re merely trading one Special Counsel referent for another). In addition, it emphasizes natal Nemesis, at 16 Cancer, which will be further activated by a Solar Eclipse at 20 Cancer on July 12.
The MC/IC axis is now flipped from the DC locale, with 13 Aries up top and 13 Libra below. This puts natal Mueller exactly on the MC, and reverses the SR placements discussed above, while still retaining their angular importance. It also brings asteroid Clifford, for porn star Stormy Daniels, to the top of the chart, in an even more visible position. And the Sun/Moon conjunction moves into the Twelfth House, which includes hospitals, prisons and incarceration in its bailiwick.
Wherever Trump finds himself when the Sun catches up with him, it’s a traumatic year regardless.