To the classical mundane astrologer, ingress charts -- astrological charts cast for the moment of each solstice and equinox for national capitals -- are a basic working tool. Why do those provide a snapshot of coming political trends? Nobody has the least idea. Astrology isn’t a theory-driven field of study. People practice it today because more than five thousand years ago, priests in the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers came up with the hypothesis that there might be a correlation between changes up there in the sky and changes down here on the ground.
In the best scientific manner, they proceeded to put that hypothesis to the test by noting down what the heavens were doing each night and comparing that to what the world around them was doing each day. Fast forward two and a half millennia, and that had turned into the first draft of the astrology we have now, complete with horoscopes, rising signs, and the rest of it; fast forward another two and a half millennia, and we’ve got astrologers, working professionals as well as educated amateurs like me, using computers and the internet to carry out tasks that priests in Ur and Larsa did with clay tablets back in the day.
We still don’t know why it works, and unless someone’s willing to cough up a whale of a lot of money for the necessary research, it’s quite possible that we never will. The fact remains that the predictions generated by looking up into the notional sky over Washington DC at certain moments of time produce more accurate predictions than you’ll get from many of those who pride themselves on using more rational means of analysis. With that in mind, let’s glance over what the previous ingress chart had to say -- you can find the post in question here -- and then go on to the chart to come. Here’s my summary of the Libra ingress chart six months ago:
“To sum up, we can expect six more months of ongoing contention between the White House and the federal bureaucracies that are in theory subordinate to the president, never quite breaking out into open conflict but never resolving into a working relationship either. The chasm between pro- and anti-Trump factions in the voting public will remain unbridged, though some media outlets will break ranks and throw their support to Trump and his followers. The success of socialist candidates in recent polls won’t turn out to be a flash in the pan -- quite the contrary, the absurd excesses of America’s kleptocratic elite have produced the inevitable backlash, and this is working its way through the political sphere in the usual manner. Partly as a result of this, partly as a result of the Trump administration’s rejection of neoliberal economics, better times for working people are on the way.”
All in all, I think it’s fair to say that I called it. One thing that didn’t make it into the summary, though, was my prediction for the midterm election. Since a certain number of readers of my blog insisted loudly, on the basis of cherrypicked selections from what I said, that I was wrongetty-wrong-wrong-wrong! in my election prediction, here’s the whole passage:
“How these trends will play out in the midterm election isn’t obvious from the chart. (Emphasis added.) The 11th house rules Congress; its cusp is in Pisces, which is ruled by Neptune, and Neptune is in Pisces conjunct the 11th house cusp. The big news coming out of the midterms, I suspect, will be the success of populist movements on both sides of the aisle, at the expense of the bipartisan establishment. Since the ruler of the 11th house is not in aspect to the Sun, it doesn’t look as though the outcome of the election will either strengthen or weaken Trump’s position noticeably, though it will make life difficult for the executive-branch bureaucracies that are opposing Trump just now. All in all, I expect the midterms to be something close to a toss-up, with a few seats changing hands but no major shift in power either way.”
The election wasn’t a tossup -- the Democrats made noticeable gains in the House, though they also lost seats in the Senate that they couldn’t afford to spare -- but as it turned out, I was quite correct that there was no major shift of power, and Trump’s position was neither strengthened nor weakened to any significant degree. Trump has continued to push his agenda, the Democrats have continued to push back, and the resulting gridlock has filled the headlines. Notably, too, the success of populist candidates on both sides of the aisle was a major feature of the election, as I predicted. Here again, I don’t think I did too badly.
So let’s move on to the Aries ingress and see what it has to say. Here’s the chart. Those of my readers who aren’t used to astrological charts will want to know that the inner circle is the notional Earth, the outer circle is the notional heavens, and the lines connecting them are the cusps or lines of division between the twelve houses, which are divisions of the sky relative to the observer that define how a given astrological influence will have its effect.
Each cusp position is marked with the sign, degree, and minute of its placement on the ecliptic. See the one at the far left, 14° Virgo 24’? That’s the ascendant, the cusp of the first house, which is also the point of the heavens rising above the horizon at the moment for which the chart is cast. See the one to the right of the top with the arrow on it, 12° Gemini 09’? That’s the midheaven, the cusp of the tenth house, which is the point on the ecliptic highest in the heavens at that same moment. Remember these; you’ll need to know them right away.
The length of time an ingress is effective is determined by whether the sign of the zodiac on the ascendant is a cardinal, fixed, or mutable sign. Virgo is a mutable sign, so this chart is good for six months, until the Libra ingress in the autumn. The last chart also had a mutable sign rising, so the pace of events will probably continue about where it has been for the last six months.
So what can we expect during the six months to come, in terms of US political and economic events? The first step in figuring that out is to find the planets that refer to the American people, on the one hand, and their government, on the other. Here we’re in very complex territory right away. The planet ruling the ascendant, in mundane astrology, stands for the people, and the planet ruling the midheaven stands for the government. The difficulty here is that Virgo and Gemini are both ruled by Mercury. What gives?
The Moon also stands for the people -- specifically the more vocal and visible end of the people -- and the Sun stands for the head of state. The Moon rules the sign Cancer, and Cancer is on the cusp of the 11th house, which stands for the national legislature -- more particularly for the lower house if the nation has a bicameral legislature, as ours does. (The 5th house stands for the upper house of the legislature; as we’ll see, this is of some importance in the chart.)
Notice that the Sun and Moon are applying toward opposition, a hostile aspect. Thus we have the House of Representatives opposed to President Trump -- no surprises there -- and the more vocal, visible, and mediagenic end of the population equally opposed to him -- no surprises there, either. Now notice Mercury himself. He’s separating from a conjunction with the Sun; he’s retrograde (that’s what the Rx symbol means) and in Pisces, he’s very weak; but he’s moving away from Trump. At the same time, the Moon is in the last three degrees of Virgo, so also drifting out of contact with the Mercurial influence that represents the American people.
What I see indicated here is that the ongoing reality show pitting President Trump against the people who hate him has finally begun to bore the American public. What’s particularly striking is that the boredom applies to both of the squabbling parties -- to Trump’s strutting and posturing, but also to the shrieking self-righteous meltdowns of his opponents. The boredom isn’t acute yet, and it’s not certain from this chart how soon it’ll reach that stage, but the bloom is off the rose; while those who have staked their identities on being pro- or anti-Trump will doubtless keep on lurching through their prerecorded routines, the audience may not be as attentive as before.
Mainstream Democrats will not benefit from this. In a mundane chart, the party out of power is indicated by the fourth house; the cusp of the 4th is in Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter, and Jupiter is in the fourth house. Jupiter is therefore the Democratic Party’s significator. It’s strong in Sagittarius, but its relationships to most other planets in the chart are not good. Notice that Jupiter and the Moon are in square aspect; this suggests that the anti-Trump faction in the House and the populace more generally will spend the next six month at loggerheads with the Democratic leadership. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s decision not to pursue impeachment, in the teeth of loud pressure from Democratic radicals, is a straw in the wind.
The Democrats have been out of touch with the US population for a long time, and that’s not changing -- Jupiter is square Mercury, the significator of the people in this chart. They can also expect a complex relationship with the Supreme Court, which is indicated by the ninth house. The ninth house cusp is in Taurus, and Venus, the ruler of Taurus, is thus the Supreme Court’s significator; Jupiter is in a favorable sextile aspect with Venus in the 6th, but Mars is also in the Supreme Court’s 9th house, and in a frustrating inconjunct aspect with Jupiter. I’d expect to see the Court rule in favor of some Democratic-backed measure relating to 6th house matters such as employee rights, and against some Democratic measure that relates to the military.
The place to watch over the six months to come is the Senate. The 5th house cusp is in Capricorn, and Saturn is in the fifth house, strongly placed in Capricorn. Saturn is sextile Mercury in the seventh, and thus has a very real chance of providing disillusioned Americans with something less clownish than either the President or the House of Representatives have to offer. Keep an eye on the moderates on both sides of the Senate aisle; one of them may turn out to be the president who cleans up the mess the decay of today’s politics is leaving behind.
(No, I’m not talking about the 2020 election. Right now, unless something changes in a hurry, the Democratic Party is steaming full speed ahead toward a repeat of their debacle in the 1972 election: too many Democratic candidates competing for too few dollars and voters, resulting in a circular firing squad of a nomination campaign, from which a badly wounded nominee staggers into the general election to face a GOP incumbent with huge cash reserves riding a wave of popular discontent against an out-of-touch liberal establishment. It’s still early days yet, but so far the Dems are behaving as though they have a poorly concealed political death wish.)
The main beneficiaries of the increased lack of enthusiasm for the bipartisan clown show in Washington DC, though, will be populist movements on both ends of the political spectrum; that’s shown by Mercury’s movement toward a conjunction with Neptune, the planet of mass movements. There’s a good reason why the far left is busy shrieking that everyone on the right is a would-be Hitler who wants to reopen the concentration camps, and it’s the same good reason why the far right is shrieking that everyone on the left is a would-be Stalin who wants to reopen the gulags: both sides are competing for the same pool of young people disillusioned by the failed models of business as usual that both parties have on offer. Down the road a bit, if historical models are anything to go by, one of the two parties will fall into populist hands, and the other will accordingly become the party of the status quo; right now it looks most likely that the GOP will turn into the vehicle through which the rising political tide will seek its destiny, and the Democrats will turn into the immovable object that will contend with that irresistible force; still, it’s early days yet and the situation is still in flux.
You’ll notice that I haven’t said much so far about the President himself. There isn’t actually that much to say. His significator, the Sun, is in the 7th house of foreign affairs, and its only aspect is the hard opposition with the Moon in the 1st house. It’s quite common for presidents stymied in their domestic policy ambitions to turn their attention to foreign policy. That’s what Obama did, for example, when the Obamacare fiasco blew up in his face and cost his party both houses of Congress, and it seems likely that Trump will follow that time-honored tradition. That and the ongoing tweetstorms from the Oval Office will keep him in the headlines, but there’s no indication that he’ll accomplish much of anything significant for good or ill in the next six months.
One major change, though, is in the offing: the long struggle between Trump and the federal bureaucracies over which he theoretically presides is ending, at least for the time being. I suspect that the final winding up of the failed Mueller investigation will be the turning point. One way or another, though, Trump’s not going to be driven out of office. He’ll serve out his term, and unless the Democrats get their act together in a hurry, his odds of also serving out a second term are very good.
Let’s move on and look over some of the broader indications for the six months to come. The economy? That’s predicted by the 2nd, 4th, and 6th houses and their planetary rulers; the second governs manufacturing, the fourth agriculture and mining, the sixth the service and information sectors. The 2nd house cusp is in Libra and so Venus rules it; Venus is weakly placed in the 6th house, so we can expect a lackluster period for manufacturing, partly due to trouble over wages or workforce issues (both sixth house matters). The 4th house cusp is in Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter, and Jupiter’s right there in Sagittarius; expect a prosperous period for farmers -- trade agreements opening overseas markets to US farm products may be involved.
The 6th house cusp, finally, is in Aquarius and ruled by Uranus; Uranus is in his fall in Taurus in the eighth house of other people’s money. The service and information sector of the economy may be in for a very sharp disruption, probably involving a lot of investment capital leaving in a hurry. Uranus is inconjunct the Moon and semisquare Neptune; it’s quite probable that the House of Representatives will aim an inconclusive but uncomfortable spotlight on the big internet firms, for example, and that a shift in public attitudes will also work to the serious disadvantage of Jeff Bezos and his absurdly overpaid ilk. Exactly how this will work out in the years to come is anyone’s guess as yet.
Foreign affairs are a 7th house matter, foreign investment is the 8th, and foreign trade the 9th. All three of them are going to be something of a mess for the next six months. With Pisces on the cusp of the 7th, Neptune rules this house, and there Neptune is, conjunct the cusp. Neptune is strong in his own sign Pisces. I expect to see some kind of large-scale international mass movement to have an impact here in the US over the next six months. It won’t necessarily accomplish much of anything, but it will attract a fervent following among the disillusioned and will be loudly marketed as the solution to all our problems -- that’s pretty standard when Neptune is strong and angular.
More generally, the relations between the US and the rest of the world will be complex for the next six months. With Neptune, the planet of confusion and self-deception, sitting right on the 7th house cusp, it’s a pretty safe guess that US foreign policy will be guided by wishful thinking more than anything else; since that’s been the case far more often than not since 1945, that’s a safe guess anyway. Mercury retrograde in the 7th also suggests that the US will back out of at least one more treaty in the six months ahead.
Foreign investment and foreign trade both face significant downturns -- the 8th house cusp is ruled by Mars, badly placed in Taurus in the 9th, and the 9th house cusp is ruled by weakly placed Venus in the 6th. One thing that combination suggests is that trade quarrels may end with one of America’s overseas debtors dumping US assets in a big way. There are other ways that could play out, and the Mars square Venus aspect suggests that at least some of the downturn in US manufacturing will result from that.
To sum up, the people who keep on insisting that any day now we’ll see a final showdown between President Trump and his enemies are once again going to be disappointed. The next six months will see another round of angry social media wars between pro- and anti-Trump factions, more bluster from the Oval Office and more tirades from the Democrats, none of which will go anywhere or do anything, and all of which will begin to lose whatever interest they might have had for most of the American people. The Democratic Party establishment will be at loggerheads with its party’s radical wing, and will make no noticeable attempt to reach out to the working class voters it used to represent. Meanwhile, the Mueller investigation will wind down inconclusively, leaving Trump unscathed.
The economy will be a mixed bag, with a troubled manufacturing sector and major disruptions in the service and information sector partly balanced by good times in farm country. Foreign policy will get the bulk of the administration’s attention in the months ahead, with very equivocal results, and foreign trade and investment will take a serious hit for reasons that will likely be political in nature. Finally, we can expect some kind of international mass movement to seize the media spotlight for a while and give people something to do other than make the changes that matter, before it fades away in the usual fashion.
That is to say, business as usual. We’ll check back in September and see how it all worked out.
On a different and far more somber note, I learned a few days ago that Shane Wilson, a longtime commenter here and on my previous blogs, passed away suddenly in late January. While we squabbled from time to time, his irrepressible wit and enthusiasm helped make this blog and its predecessors the lively venues for conversation that they’ve become, and I hoped to have the chance to meet him someday. You can read his obituary here; please keep him and his family in your thoughts and, if you’re so inclined, in your prayers as well