March 28, 2018 (EcoSophia.net) -- This fourth Wednesday of the month would normally be an open post for readers’ questions, but I’ve been asked by quite a few people at this point to cast and delineate a chart for the 2018 Aries ingress, and this is as good a time as any.
Aries ingress? That’s the technical term for the beginning of the astrological year, the moment of the spring equinox when the Sun enters the zodiacal sign Aries. In what’s known as mundane astrology -- the astrology of politics, which tracks the rise and fall of nations -- the Aries ingress each year, cast for the exact longitude and latitude of the capital city of each nation, is one of the most essential tools. It’s not the only game in town, as we’ll see, but it gives a good working approximation of the political and social collective climate for some or all of the year to come.
Before we begin, it’s probably necessary to get a couple of things out of the way. Yes, I’ve heard of the precession of the equinoxes, and so has every other astrologer. Scientific materialists have it stuck in their heads that we don’t know about it and that it disproves astrology. Er, guys, where do you think all that talk about the Age of Aquarius comes from? The signs of the zodiac are not the same as the constellations; the signs are 30° wedges of the ecliptic (the line traced by the Sun against the backdrop of the stars over the course of the year). Those wedges got their names from the stars that used to be there in ancient Greek times, and have since moved on to other wedges. It’s because scientific materialists don’t bother to learn such basic facts about astrology that astrologers by and large pay no attention to their spluttering.
Oh, and I also know that the earth moves around the sun, and not vice versa. So does every other astrologer. We cast charts centered on Earth because that’s where we and our clients live, and so the positions of planets relative to Earth (and in fact to specific longitudes and latitudes on the Earth’s surface) are the data that matter. If human beings ever settle Mars -- I don’t expect this to happen, but it’s been discussed in detail in astrological circles -- their astrologers will have to recalculate all the planetary positions from a Martian vantage point. Oh, and they’ll have to figure out what astrological influence the Earth has in a birth chart cast on Mars, the same way Earthly astrologers have worked out the influences of Uranus and Neptune, not to mention dwarf planets such as Ceres and Pluto. Yes, they’re working on Eris, Sedna, et al. right now.
I don’t use minor bodies such as Ceres and Pluto in my charts, by the way. Did you know that Ceres used to count as a planet, the same way Pluto did? The astrology of planetary discovery is a fascinating field, and has much to say about changes in human history on the grand scale. So does the astrology of planetary downgrading, by the way -- from an astrological point of view, the discoveries of Ceres and Pluto weren’t accidental, and their respective redefinitions as minor bodies weren’t accidental either. We’ll get to that in a post shortly.
Okay, one other thing. Nobody knows what makes astrology work. It’s a feeble and pigheaded excuse for rationality to insist that an effect can’t happen if its cause isn’t known -- and when a scientist says “There’s nothing that can cause that effect,” what he or she actually means, of course, is “we don’t know of anything that can cause that effect.” In the kind of old-fashioned occult philosophy I favor, the working theory is that there’s a subtle something-or-other that seems to be related to biological life, which fills the solar system (at least), and in which planetary movements relative to the Sun, the Earth, the Moon, and the other planets set up complicated patterns of resonance that affect living things here on Earth. Is that true? Heck if I know, but it does seem to explain the observed phenomena tolerably well.
With that in mind, let’s proceed to the 2018 Aries ingress for Washington DC. As already noted, this kind of chart is a basic tool of mundane astrology. People have been casting ingress charts for national capitals since the national capitals of interest were Babylon and Nineveh, so we’ve got quite a rich body of analytical tools to go by.
Here’s the chart. For those of you who don’t know how to read an astrological chart, the circle in the center is the notional Earth, and the circle around the outside is the notional heavens. The lines dividing the space in between mark the dividing lines, or cusps, between the twelve houses, which are divisions of the sky as seen from a particular point on Earth. Each cusp position is marked on the zodiac. See the one over on the left side, 04° Cancer 52’? That’s the ascendant, the cusp of the first house, which represents the point on the ecliptic that’s rising over the eastern horizon at the moment of the spring equinox at Washington DC. See the one a little right of the top, with an arrow pointing to it, 13° Pisces 39’? That’s the midheaven, the cusp of the 10th house, which represents the point of the ecliptic that’s highest in the sky at that same moment. Remember these; they’re of central importance to this chart.
The ascendant of an ingress chart tells you, among other things, how long the influence of that equinox will last. Cancer is a cardinal sign -- the signs of the zodiac are either cardinal, fixed, or mutable -- and an ingress with a cardinal ascendant only has effect for three months. We’ll have to cast another chart for the summer solstice to tell what’s going to happen after that.
The ascendant and its ruler also tell you the condition of the people of a nation during the period for which the ingress applies. The Moon also has this role, but the zodiacal sign Cancer is ruled by the Moon, so she’s the one to watch either way. The Moon in this chart is in Taurus, the sign of her exaltation; she’s also benefited by trine aspects (which are highly favorable) from Mars and Saturn, and isn’t afflicted either by position or by aspect. This predicts that for the next three months, things will go fairly well for people in the United States.
The Moon is in the 11th house, and in mundane astrology this house corresponds to the national legislature. Uranus, the planet of eccentricity, individuality, and radical change, is also in the 11th house, and well dignified with a trine from Mars. One prediction this suggests is that during the next three months, Congress, to everyone’s surprise, will do something that actually benefits the American people. Uranus in the 11th predicts abrupt realignments, sudden and unexpected developments, a tendency for the legislature to veer off in unexpected directions. This time, that may actually work out to benefit people.
The midheaven and its ruler tell you the condition of the government during the period for which the ingress applies. The Sun also relates to this, but specifically denotes the head of state: in our country, the President, as distinct from the executive branch (the 10th house cusp and its ruler), the legislative branch (the 11th house cusp and its ruler), and the judicial branch (the 9th house cusp and its ruler). The Sun in any ingress chart has a fixed position in the zodiac -- it’s because he’s at 0° Aries exactly that this is the Aries ingress, after all -- but its house position and aspects vary. In this chart the Sun is in the 10th house, the strongest house in the chart, and this position predicts success and popularity for the president for the next three months.
One of the aspects to the Sun helps explain why. Jupiter in the fifth house of speculation is in trine aspect to the Sun, suggesting that we’re going to see another round of speculative excess over the next three months; those are always popular while they’re going, no matter how bleak things get after the inevitable bust. The second house, which governs the national economy, also has Cancer on the cusp and is therefore ruled by the well-placed Moon. People tend to be happy with the government when their wallets are full and the economy is, however temporarily, going well. We can expect Trump to benefit from that in the months ahead.
There’s a fly in the ointment, though, and it’s the square aspect from Mars. Mars is in the sixth house, and in a mundane chart, the sixth house rules the military; Mars is the planet of war, and also rules the sixth house cusp. Mars is also conjunct the seventh house cusp. Mars in the seventh house is pretty reliably an omen of war; below the horizon in the sixth house, though, it’s something subtler. I see this as referring to the proxy wars the United States is fighting all over the Middle East and in several other corners of the world just now. Those will continue, and may well heat up, over the three months just ahead. Mars square the Sun also traditionally predicts that the head of state will come in for plenty of criticism and condemnation, but this is hardly a surprise.
Notice that Aries, the sign on the cusp of the legislative 11th house, is ruled by Mars, and that Mars is trine both the planets in the 11th house, Uranus and the Moon. This suggests common ground between Congress and the Pentagon, and also between the Pentagon and the American people generally. One possible reading is that some significant military reform will be pushed through by Congress. The Sun-Mars square, though, suggests that disputes between Trump and Congress, and between Trump and the Pentagon, will be highlighted in the months ahead. Mars has more aspects than any other planet in the chart; military affairs will thus take up an inordinate amount of space in headlines in the months to come.
The executive branch in general, though, is riding high this spring. The midheaven, the cusp of the 10th house, is in Pisces, which is ruled by Neptune, and Neptune is closely conjunct the midheaven, occupying the strongest position in the chart. That’s a harbinger of trouble, though, because Neptune is among other things the planet of fantasy, delusion, and intoxication. Notice that it’s not in aspect to any other planet in the ingress chart. The implication here -- no surprise to anybody who’s been watching U.S. politics for any length of time -- is that the core institutions of the executive branch are hopelessly detached from the reality of life in today’s America, and just as detached from the changing world outside U.S. borders. That’s eventually going to become a huge problem, but for the next three months nothing will pop the bubble of illusion.
The biggest cloud on the horizon is represented by Saturn in the 7th house, conjunct the 7th house cusp, and ruling both the 7th and 8th house cusps. Saturn in the 7th house of foreign affairs predicts a major crisis pitting the United States against at least one other nation. Because Mars isn’t directly involved, that crisis will stop short of war; because Mars is close by, conjunct the 7th cusp from below, the threat of war will never be far from anyone’s mind, and covert military operations and proxy warfare may well play a significant role in the struggle.
The major field of conflict, though, will be economic. The 8th house, which Saturn rules alongside the 7th, is the house of the national debt, especially debts the nation owes to the rest of the world, and it also rules trade deficits. That intransigent Saturn on the cusp of the 7th thus suggests that over the three months ahead, foreign holders of U.S. debt will become increasingly unwilling to keep carrying the costs of our extravagant national deficits, and the trade wars that the Trump administration has launched with China and several other countries are likely to accelerate over the months to come.
Despite all the carefully coordinated shrieks of dismay coming from the mainstream media in the United States and its inner circle of allies, this is likely to help the U.S. economy and improve the condition of most Americans. It’s only in the ravings of stark staring economists, after all, that free trade policies benefit anyone but the well-to-do; in the real world, free trade policies cripple the economy by driving down wages, thus making it impossible for consumers to buy the goods and services they need and want, and thereby depressing the largest sector of the United States (or any modern) economy. An end to economic globalization will mean that more goods and services for the U.S. market will be produced in the United States, that more wages will be paid to U.S. workers, and that the consumer sector of the economy will receive a badly needed boost.
So that’s basically what we can expect in the three months to come: a generally successful period for Trump’s presidency, marred by loud public quarrels with Congress and the military; a major shift in Congress, out of which important new legislation comes, probably affecting the military; more giddy excess in the nation’s speculative markets; a turn away from economic globalism, leading to enduring tensions in international affairs, but driving a significant improvement in domestic economic conditions; and an executive branch increasingly lost in its own self-referential bubble, but not yet undone by that bad habit.
You’ll notice that this ingress chart doesn’t predict the kind of future that most people like to insist we’re going to get any day now. The end of the world has no place in it, nor do any of the various leaps of technology, or consciousness, or the other forms of twinkle dust with which so many would-be prophets like to entertain their listeners. Neither does the all-consuming economic crash that so many people on the doomward end of the blogosphere have been predicting with the maniacal regularity of broken cuckoo clocks for decades now.
For that matter, this chart doesn’t predict that Trump will suddenly sprout a short black mustache, overthrow the Constitution, and impose the fascist police state that so many of his opponents like to pretend they’re fighting; nor does it predict that he will be impeached, or thrown out by a military coup. Do such things happen from time to time in history? Sure, but they’re fairly rare, all things considered, and signaled well in advance by an assortment of historical and astrological indicators.
Such fantasies are colorful, and they’re comforting to those who find the ordinary realities of politics and history too humdrum for their tastes, but it’s not the job of mundane astrology to cater to such interests. It’s the job of mundane astrology to give some degree of advance warning of the political and social climate in which politicians, not to mention the rest of us, will make the decisions that will shape our lives in the months to come. How well does it work? We’ll discuss that in three months.
John Michael Greer is a widely read author and blogger whose work focuses on the overlaps between ecology, spirituality, and the future of industrial society. He served 12 years as Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America, and currently heads the Druidical Order of the Golden Dawn. He currently lives in East Providence, Rhode Island, with his wife Sara.