Given Donald Trump’s clear disdain for science, fact and expertise, coupled with a complete inability to take direction or follow sage advice and a propensity for reckless action, it was perhaps inevitable that he and the coronavirus would become personally acquainted at some point, sooner rather than later. So Trump’s 12:45 AM EDT Tweet on October 2, 2020 confirming that both he and Melania had been exposed and tested positive, was hardly a shock, but it was a thunderous admission regardless. With Trump’s age and corpulence, he was a prime candidate for a serious, if not deadly, COVID-19 infection, and with his re-election pending just a month away, his turbulent campaign was thrown into a tailspin, while a shattered nation waited with bated breath for the outcome.
Well, we needn’t have bothered. Trump’s natal stationary direct Jupiter, with its “lucky bastard” vibe, came through for him once more, and after a few days of rough sailing in the hospital, Trump emerged from the crisis apparently unscathed, after being given experimental treatments and therapies unavailable to most Americans. Trump professed himself “better than new” after his illness, and his first official act on reentering the White House was to recommend that people not take the disease so seriously.
This was a story I didn’t cover fully at the time, but at this turning of the year, with its theme of tying up loose ends, it might be good to look back and examine the transits in effect during Trump’s brush with death, some of which remain in force today. For the Commander in Chief isn’t out of the astrological woods yet as far as his mortality is concerned, and it’s entirely possible he might not even finish his term, with scant weeks to go.
Let’s stipulate up front that there exist a LOT of death indicators, when viewed from an asteroid perspective. Even planetarily, astrology has a full cast of characters to represent the Big Sleep. Saturn was the ancient lord of death, a role Pluto shares in the modern day, but Mars has always been viewed as a harbinger of violent death, and even benefic Jupiter can be strongly placed in passing charts, as an indicator of that final long journey fraught with mystery. Asteroid indicators include Atropos, named for the mythic Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death; her sister Lachesis, who determines the span of life; Osiris, Egyptian god of the dead, and jackal-headed Anubis, who governed Egyptian funerary rites; Nemesis, named for the Greek goddess of undoing and ruin; Requiem, named for the funeral mass for the dead; and Rip, which functions reliably in passing charts, as the acronym “RIP”, “Rest In Peace”, a common tombstone inscription. For homicide, there’s also TNO Ixion, noted as the first murderer in Greek myth; and centaur Pholus is active in incidents of mass casualties, by whatever cause, from terrorism to plagues, earthquakes and weather events.
With a baker’s dozen of potential markers of death, static in the birth chart or swirling in the heavens, each of us encounters this vibe on a regular, recurring basis. Most of the time this energy relates to change and transition, not literal death per se; what seems to make the difference, based on my experience of passing charts, is timeframes when multiple activations occur simultaneously, both in the nativity and by transit.
Donald Trump was immersed in just such a period in the last half of 2020. The kick-off was a triplet of eclipses in June and July, which set the ball rolling. It began June 5, as a Lunar Eclipse at 15 Sagittarius ignited a T-square, activating Damocles at 13 Pisces and Uranus at 17 Gemini—the potential for a sudden or unexpected (Uranus) doom hanging overhead (Damocles) was teed up then, which could have taken any number of forms. The course this would follow was refined by the Solar Eclipse of June 21 at 0 Cancer, broadly conjoined natal asteroid Osiris at 5 Cancer, which brought out the natal opposition from it to asteroid Whitehouse at 4 Capricorn.
In and of itself, this pattern could suggest dying (Osiris) as president (Whitehouse), and when the backhand Lunar Eclipse came along two weeks later on July 5, its exact conjunction with natal asteroid Koronis at 13 Capricorn showed the probable cause as the coronavirus (with Koronis the closest match phonetically, and tracking reliably for the virus since its inception). Death from this source is also indicated as a natal potential, with Koronis opposed asteroid Requiem at 17 Cancer, in a T-square with natal Chiron at 14 Libra, representing an incurable wound and health issues generally. But in that same space is SD Jupiter at 17 Libra, Trump’s protector throughout his life, and likely to shield him from the worst effects of the natal potential.
Also on June 21, Neptune came to station at 20 Pisces; not a death indicator per se, Neptune does indicate hospitalization (and to some astrologers’ minds, suicide), and from its retrograde station degree, Neptune set off Trump’s primary natal polarity, an opposition from his 22 Gemini Sun (his vital essence and core being) to 21 Sagittarius Moon (the physical body and general health or constitution), both of which Neptune squared. So some period of time spent in a hospital over the ensuing six months or so was a likely outcome. Also in the mix is natal asteroid Achilles at 24 Sagittarius, a symbol of a weakness or vulnerability which threatens to destroy the native, and Uranus at 17 Gemini, suggestive of a sudden, unexpected and paradigm-shattering event.
So the stage was set by early summer for a potentially deadly confrontation with COVID-19, a health crisis which imperiled Trump, and the pressure began ratcheting up as autumn approached.
Next up was Jupiter’s direct station on September 13, at 17 Capricorn. True, this was within orb of natal Koronis and exactly opposed Lachesis, enhancing the potential for a COVID-related death, but it also exactly squared its natal position, reinforcing Trump’s celestial “get out of jail free” card. It was this figurative shot in the arm, enabling the experimental IV cocktail shorty to follow, which likely kept Trump off the coronavirus mortality lists.
Two weeks later it was Saturn’s turn to pile on; its direct station at 25 Capricorn on September 29 opposed its natal degree of 23 Cancer, from where it exactly conjoins natal asteroid Karma. A fated (Karma) passing (Saturn) was potentially in the cards, with both natal and transit Saturn also squared natal Lachesis at 21 Aries, perhaps limiting (Saturn) Trump’s lifespan (Lachesis).
Pluto followed suit on October 4, turning direct at 22 Capricorn and repeating Saturn’s pattern. This was at the height of Trump’s illness and hospitalization, but he had already turned the corner on his confrontation with the virus and would be released from Walter Reed hospital the next day.
When Trump tweeted his diagnosis at 12:45 AM EDT on October 2, 2020, Pluto was exactly setting on the 22 Cap Descendant, with the 22 Cancer Ascendant conjoined natal Saturn/Karma. Also rising was transit asteroid Atropos, the fate who severs the thread of life at death, at 28 Cancer, doubling down on the death motif in the heavens at that time. These T-squared a transit Mars/Koronis union at 24 and 27 Aries (both conjunct natal Lachesis), with Mars the ruler of contagious infection, while Koronis specified which one; asteroid Nemesis formed a Grand Cross from 21 Libra (exactly opposed natal Lachesis).
A stationary asteroid Rip at 5 Aquarius (it had turned direct September 27 but was still at that degree) was squared a Mercury/Whitehouse conjunction at 5 and 4 Scorpio, potentially bringing news (Mercury) of the demise (Rip) of the President (Whitehouse). The Sun and Lachesis were conjoined the 6 Libra IC from 9 and 2 Libra respectively, granting angular force and power (IC) while highlighting (Sun) the theme of lifespans (Lachesis). Transit Osiris at 5 Capricorn was sextile Mercury/Whitehouse and exactly opposed its natal position.
The exact nature of the President’s status vis-à-vis COVID was initially unclear, but came into stark relief later that day when he was transferred to Walter Reed for more focused medical attention than could be given at the Residence. Leaving the White House at 6:16 PM EDT, asteroids Walter and Reid (homonym for “Reed”) were exactly conjunct each other at 2 Virgo, sextile Mercury/Whitehouse and conjoined asteroid Apollo at 0 Virgo, noted by the Greeks as a bringer of plague. These align with Trump’s natal Ascendant at 29 Leo, making for the highly public (Ascendant) visit to the hospital (Walter/Reid) on a coronavirus-related mission (Apollo). The Moon at 21 Aries was then an exact match for natal Lachesis, exactly opposing transit Nemesis and in a Grand Cross with Saturn/Pluto and Atropos.
Trump responded phenomenally well to the cocktail of experimental drugs he was given at Walter Reed, and was back in the Oval Office late Sunday, October 5, bolstered no doubt by that recently stationed Jupiter exactly squared its natal degree, where it remained throughout his illness. The President’s plan to leave the hospital, acting enfeebled at first, only to tear back his dress shirt to reveal a Superman tee shirt beneath, was shot down by staffers. Asteroid Nietzsche (named for the popularizer of the term “superman”, though not the creator of the cartoon character of that name) at 9 Aquarius was exactly squared Uranus at 9 Taurus, also squared Whitehouse at 6 Scorpio, and opposed Trump’s natal Pluto at 10 Leo, when the unorthodox (Uranus) presidential (Whitehouse) stunt depicting his invincibility (Nietzsche’s Superman) over death (Pluto) was aborted.
Trump had weathered a serious health crisis, but the body blows to his mortality didn’t end there. Underpinning the past two years has been a thorough scouring of his Midheaven region by TNO Sedna, including a prolonged conjunction with natal asteroid Anubis at 27 Taurus. Anubis conjoined the 24 Taurus MC suggests a highly visible death and funeral, one the public takes notice of, though if this should occur while Sedna is simultaneously transiting Anubis, the actual moment might find Trump alone and isolated. Sedna’s concurrent exact square to asteroid Ophelia, stationary retrograde at 27 Aquarius on the Descendant, raises the specter of suicide as well (as does the active Neptune), which would fit the bill for transit Sedna/Anubis, a lonely death, as well as natal Anubis/MC, one given high visibility. (It is unlikely that a clinical narcissist like Trump would take his own life, but stranger things have happened when individuals are pushed to the breaking point, and Trump’s devastating election loss could qualify.)
For additional insights on Sedna, I turned to Dwarf Planet expert Sue Kientz. She associates Sedna with two primary modalities. On the negative side are hopelessness and suffering, giving up, and obsessiveness. On the positive side is giving up in a trustful way, becoming determined to bear consequences come what may, and a steely steadfastness. She suggests that Trump may have focused on the negative obsession and managed to turn that positive “steely steadfastness” trait into a negative here, vis-à-vis the death (Anubis) of his political career, “winning” reputation and status (all MC) in the election loss (she further proposed that Trump’s inadequate coronavirus response and his detonation of the COVID-19 relief package constitutes “career suicide”, effectively combining Sedna’s Tenth House/MC transit with its square to Ophelia). He simply refuses to accept defeat, grasping at legal straws, attempting to strong-arm the result by intimidating election officials and state legislatures, and proposing truly insane conspiracy theories about how his massive victory was stolen from him. What began as performance art to show his base that he wasn’t giving up easily has morphed into an actual fantastical conviction that he truly did win.
In that light, consider that another of Ophelia’s keywords is “insanity”, as Trump, under this Sedna square transit, becomes increasingly isolated by this alternate reality, with even staunch supporters questioning his continued insistence on his victory, and staffers worried about his mental state and what he might become capable of.
Sedna spent much of 2019 and 2020 crisscrossing Anubis, fueling its energies and imbuing it with additional force and power, but it had actually eased off its pressure that summer and fall, hanging out a degree away at 28 Taurus. For slow-mover Sedna (whose orbit lasts approximately 10,000 years), that degree is significant, but Sedna is now back at the old stand, having returned to 27 Taurus and natal Anubis on November 28, staying until mid-April. This will be Sedna’s final pass over Anubis, and a key moment of its prolonged transit; Trump won’t be out of the woods on this particular brush with mortality until it has moved on completely.
In the meantime, activations to death indicators continue. Mid-October saw several of these, with a Mercury station retrograde on October 14 at 11 Scorpio, which closely squared his 10 Leo Pluto, while transit Mars retrograded back over his natal Lachesis at 21 Aries on October 12 though 14, and again in direct motion December 16 through 18.
The Lunar Eclipse of November 30 at 8 Gemini conjoined natal Rip at 6 Gemini and broadly opposed natal asteroid Troemper at 2 Sagittarius, our celestial referent for The Donald. PNA activations from death indicators are extremely common in passing charts, and the eclipse further reinforces the connection between RIP and Troemper.
The subsequent Solar Eclipse of December 14 made an even bolder statement. At 23 Sagittarius, not only did this eclipse activate Trump’s primary Sun/Moon polarity, but it also exactly opposed natal asteroid Atropos, the Fate who severs the thread of life at death, at 23 Gemini. Moreover, the eclipse was also at the Apex of a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, with exact inconjuncts to natal asteroid Valentine at 23 Taurus and that Saturn/Karma pairing at 23 Cancer, and further appears at the base of a second, interlaced, Yod, this one with Valentine at its Apex and natal asteroid d’Arrest at 24 Libra as the other base point. Valentine refers to heart issues in a health context, Saturn/Karma is a fated death, and d’Arrest indicates cessation or termination. So a fatal (Saturn) cardiac (Valentine) stoppage (d’Arrest), commonly termed a “heart attack”, would be a possible manifestation of these patterns, especially with the activating factor of the eclipse conjoined Trump’s Moon, ruling health generally, and opposing his Sun, the life force and vital essence. This eclipse remains in force for a full six months, and will be reactivated whenever a faster-moving planet, such as the Sun, Moon, Mercury or Venus, strikes its chord from 23 degrees of Mutable Signs or 8 degrees of Fixed Signs, creating resonance in the pattern.
Let’s pause a moment here to also consider the implications of a natal Sun/Atropos conjunction. This pairing can make the native an agent of death, so to speak, whether that be as a coroner, hospice worker, funeral director, EMT or ER doctor, or an actual killer. In Trump’s case this natal potential has been dramatically displayed in the results of his coronavirus response, which as of this writing has cost the lives of nearly 350,000 Americans, many of whom would have been spared if Trump had dealt honestly with the country about the risks and severity of the virus, utilized the Defense Production Act to facilitate proper testing and PPE manufacture, and led by example in the importance of mask-wearing.
Instead, Donald Trump chose to downplay the virus, spread disinformation and unrealistic expectations, encouraged rapid reopening of state economies without proper precautions, held “superspreader” campaign events, and hyped nonsensical miracle cures. He saw the pandemic, not as the threat to public health it is, but as a threat to his reelection solely. As a result, the United States has the highest COVID-19 death toll in the world, and responsibility for many of these victims can be laid directly at Trump’s door.
So with all this death-related activation, why hasn’t Trump died? In part, it may be that the individual spurs to his possible mortality were too far removed to effectively produce that result. It’s also true that in most instances where such transits are encountered, it’s not literal death which ensues, but massive change, which will certainly be the case as Trump relinquishes power and his tenancy at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and returns to private life. Also, Trump’s refusal to accept the election results has constituted a protracted political demise, where in effect Trump dies again and again, each time he loses another court challenge or recount. As such, it’s significant that one of the most emphatic death markers, the Solar Eclipse opposed his Sun/Atropos, occurred December 14, the very day the Electoral College confirmed Trump’s defeat and Joe Biden’s win.
As stated previously, Donald Trump isn’t home free on the topic of his mortality just yet. For 2021, the Lunar Eclipse of 26 May at 5 Sagittarius conjoins Troemper and opposes Rip, while the Solar Eclipse of June 10 at 19 Gemini conjoins his Sun/Atropos and opposes his Moon/Achilles, making for two very personal activations of death indicators. Pluto opposes natal Saturn/Karma, while Saturn opposes natal Pluto, transits which doubly unite both ancient and modern lords of death. Also for 2021, Neptune T-squares the Sun/Moon polarity, and late in the year a Solar Eclipse at 27 Taurus exactly conjoins natal Anubis and squares natal Mars at 26 Leo.
So far Donald Trump has managed to trump Death (or in any case, the death indicators in his chart), but it’s still going to be a bumpy year, with the Grim Reaper peering over his shoulder.