Trump Agenda Hits a Speed Bump
For multi-tasking Geminis, when things go bad, problems tend to appear on two or more fronts simultaneously. As conservative pundit David Brooks observed, Trump watched his first major legislative initiative die, and a growing Russian-connection scandal makes headlines all in one week. "That’s a rarity in American history, let alone this early in the term."
Astrologically, a number of factors are involved in Trump’s bad week. One was mentioned in last week’s NewsScope blog. Transiting Neptune conjunct the U.S. progressed Sun describes the scandals, uncertainty, and unreliable allies. We can factor in the third and final Uranus-Eris conjunction that also took place last week, which has brought chaotic, rapid developments and Trump’s demonstrated inability to match his agenda with responsible legislation.
A minor but telling astro-event in Trump’s chart was his Lilith Return last week. Lilith is placed in his 4th house of family, and his most trusted advisers – Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner – were enjoying a lavish ski vacation in Aspen during the healthcare disaster. Note that Ivanka’s Lilith is also at 4º Sagittarius so she was simultaneously going through a Lilith Return. In general, Lilith expresses no love or sympathy.
Trump’s Pallas is another key player. Transiting Saturn is currently lingering at 27º Sagittarius -- right on Trump’s progressed Pallas, the political strategy asteroid. Under this influence, Trump is being forced to face the harsh realities of governing. The next item on his agenda is tax reform. The Saturn-Pallas link offers the opportunity to change his political tactics in order to appease the middle class Americans who got him elected. However, by continuing to blame the Democrats for his failures, Trump has yet to make the transition from an opposition candidate to a governing leader.
April’s Top Five Astro-Events
1. Saturn turns retrograde on the 6th while conjoining the Galactic Center at 27º Sagittarius. The GC can be thought of as "Command Headquarters" for humanity’s collective evolution. Transiting Saturn here tests the current direction, especially regarding the governments and institutions that structure society. Those systems that provide for collective security and growth can be expected to thrive, while those that are half-baked, corrupt, or misguided will need some major adjustments.
2. Mercury turns retrograde on the 9th in Taurus, ushering in a three-week phase when finances can be constructively re-evaluated. As usual, Mercury’s retrograde phase can bring snafus with technological devices, misinformation, and disrupted travel plans. These are to be expected at this time, but go with the flow on this, because Mercury’s only major aspect is a practical trine to Saturn. Make necessary changes to become more reliable for the long term.
3. Venus turns direct on the 15th while squaring Saturn and conjunct Chiron. This powerful, stressful configuration can bring heartbreak and loss to many individuals, especially in personal relationships and business affairs. Keep expectations low when this dynamic is in play from the 5th through 23rd. In Pisces, Venus is being forced by circumstances to give up impractical visions and to take off the rose-colored glasses.
4. Uranus squares the U.S. Mercury on the 10th, a major cycle in American history that has previously brought high-level investigations into presidential wrong-doing. Although this is the final square in the current series, Uranus goes on to square the U.S. Pluto over the next two years. Uranus’s activation of the U.S. Mercury-Pluto axis brings a deeply divided and troubled political scene.
5. The Full Moon in Libra on the 11th conjoins Jupiter while opposing the Sun, Eris and Uranus to make an exceptionally lively, energetic phase. A key issue for many is whether to take independent action or work in cooperation with others during the week leading up to this Full Moon. With Mercury, Venus and Saturn turning retrograde this month, all decisions, results, and new beginnings are subject to major revisions later. April brings an inflection point in relationships, business, and health issues.
Paul Manafort to Testify
Last week the Associated Press reported that Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska -- a close confident of Putin -- from 2005 through at least 2009.* Manafort was paid $10 million per year to "influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government."
Paul Manafort was born with his Aries Sun conjunct Mars (April 1, 1949; New Britain, CT; time unknown), a fiery, energetic combination that gains power from a trine to a Ceres-Pluto in Leo. His Sun also opposes Neptune - at its worst, this Sun-Neptune opposition is filled with deception, both of self and others. It’s willing to distort anything in order to cling to a fantasy. As a highly paid lobbyist, Manafort’s Pallas becomes a central archetype in his chart.
Pallas is placed in media-savvy Gemini and given tremendous originality and unusual ideas by being conjunct Uranus. At 23º Gemini, it’s exactly conjunct Trump’s Gemini Sun, making him the ideal political mastermind for his 2016 campaign. However, Pallas also squares Black Moon Lilith, adding hidden and possibly illegal motivations. When transiting Uranus was squaring the U.S. Mercury last August, he resigned from his campaign manager post when his Russian connections made headline news.
And now, as transiting Uranus heads into its square with the U.S. Mercury, Manafort will testify before the House Intelligence Committee. Politico* reports that Manafort’s business partner, Konstantin Kilimnik, might be in league with Russian intelligence and a link to Russia’s alleged meddling in the U.S. presidential race. Transiting Saturn is now opposing Manafort’s Pallas configuration as authorities (Saturn) deepen their probe into his hidden (Lilith) political connections (Pallas), and suspected meddling with Moscow in the 2016 campaign.
* See http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/22/trump-ex-campaign-chairman-manafort-secretly-worked-for-russian-billionaire-to-benefit-putin-government-files-show.html
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