Those of you who weren’t part of that conversation may want to know that an Aries ingress chart is one of the basic tools of mundane astrology, the branch of traditional astrology that tracks the rise and fall of nations. It’s cast for the exact moment of the spring equinox, the point at which the Sun crosses the celestial equator on its way to the northern arc of the ecliptic, for the location of the national capital, and it predicts the political climate for three, six, or 12 months to come.
Before we go on, it’s probably necessary to note a few points that may come as a surprise to some of my rationalist readers. Yes, I know about the precession of the equinoxes; astrologers discovered the precession of the equinoxes. (Where did you think all that talk about the Age of Aquarius comes from?) Yes, I know that the constellation Aries is no longer in the 30° wedge of the ecliptic that astrologers call the zodiacal sign Aries. (Signs are not constellations and constellations are not signs; every beginner’s textbook of astrology explains that.) Yes, I know that the Earth revolves around the Sun and not vice versa; astrologers use the geocentric positions of the planets because we live on the Earth, not the Sun. (It’s the planetary positions relative to where you are that matter in astrology.) Finally, yes, I know that nobody knows how astrology works; so? It’s a thumping logical fallacy to insist that an effect can’t happen just because the cause isn’t known.
Ahem. With that out of the way, let’s review the Aries ingress chart, and then go on to the Cancer ingress chart, which will take effect at 6:07 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time tomorrow and predict the political climate of the United States for the next three months.
Those of my readers who missed the Aries ingress chart can find it here. Here’s my summary from that post:
“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 so openly long for and 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.”
The major shift in Congress is the one detail that isn’t yet clear, though I have a clearer sense -- which I’ll discuss below -- about what that might have been predicting. Other than that, I think it’s fair to say I called it. The Trump administration has succeeded in enacting several core elements of its platform, and Trump himself appears to have pulled off a foreign policy coup in his negotiations with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un; his public approval ratings are at an all-time high; the loud public quarrels have certainly been in evidence, and so has the giddy excess in speculative markets; the turn away from economic globalism has been dramatic; and the predicted upturn in the domestic economy, though quieter, seems to be underway. As for the self-referential bubble, well, that prediction really was shooting fish in a barrel, wasn’t it?
So let’s move on to the Cancer ingress and see what it has to say. Here’s the chart. Those of my readers who aren’t used to astrological chart will find it useful to know that the inner circle is the notional Earth, the outer circle is the notional heavens, the lines inside the inner circles are aspects relating the planets to one another, and the lines connecting the two circles are the cusps or lines of division between the 12 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 (the path the sun makes through the heavens in the course of a year). See the one at the far left, 04° Cancer 19’? 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 a little to the right of the top, 12° Pisces 58’? That’s the Midheaven, the point on the ecliptic highest in the heavens at that same moment. Remember these; we’ll need 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. Cancer is a cardinal sign, so this chart is only good for three months. The last chart also had Cancer rising, by the way; as we’ll see, this is one of several striking similarities between the two charts.
Let’s move on. You determine how well the government in power will do in the period covered by an ingress chart by watching two things. The first is the location and condition of the Sun, which represents Donald Trump as head of state; the second is the location and condition of the planet that rules the sign on the Midheaven, which represents the executive branch of the federal government. The Sun is over on the far left, just above the ascendant, in the 12th house of the chart. That’s a significant change from the last three months when the Sun was in the 10th house, which is among other things the house of grandstanding and open displays of power.
In the three months ahead Trump won’t be as central to the collective conversation of our time as he’s been for the three months just past. He’s still going to be in power, and he’ll be able to get some important legislation through Congress -- more on that in a bit -- due to the sextile aspect between the Sun and Uranus in the 11th house. He’s still going to be at loggerheads with foreign powers, too -- that’s shown by the opposition between the Sun and Saturn, which is the ruler of the seventh house of foreign affairs.
He’s also going to be on the receiving end of vocal but ineffectual opposition from an assortment of career politicians and tech-stock billionaires -- that’s shown by the weak sesquisquare aspect between the Sun and Jupiter, which rules the cusp of the tenth house of politics and is located in the fifth house of speculative wealth. By all indications in this chart, the opposition to Trump generally won’t accomplish much in the three months ahead. The Jupiter placement just mentioned is part of a grand trine including the Neptune in the tenth, representing the big federal bureaucracies, and Mercury in the first, representing the media; a grand trine is a favorable aspect pattern in some contexts, but it tends to be passive.
I read this as predicting that the opposition to Trump will make the same mistake that doomed Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions. Having convinced themselves that everyone who matters hates Trump, they have forgotten that they have to make their case to the people who actually matter in the 2018 midterm elections, the ordinary voters -- many of whom have done very, very poorly under the policies the opposition to Trump supports, and are showing very little sign just now of being willing to shut up and do as they’re told by their soi-disant betters.
An effective challenge to the Trump administration would start by figuring out why so many voters were so desperate for change that they were willing to vote for Donald Trump in order to get it. It would then offer them solid reasons to think that their situation will actually change for the better if they vote for an alternative. Such a challenge has yet to be mounted, either by the Democrats or the old guard of the GOP; slogans tattered with years of hard wear and well-rehearsed shrieks of outrage have taken the place of any more effective approach, and Trump’s approval ratings have climbed steadily as a result. The Democrats still have time to slap themselves awake and do something that won’t simply lead them on a march to defeat in 2020, but the window of opportunity is narrowing with each passing day.
What will Trump be doing while his opponents scream into an echo chamber? My guess, based on the Sun’s position conjunct the ascendant from the 12th house side, is that he’ll be reconnecting with his base. He got into office by giving voice to the economic concerns of millions of Americans who had been shut out of the political conversation by a bipartisan elite; as he faces the first major electoral test of his administration, the 2018 midterm elections, it would make sense for him to do more of what won him the election, get outside the Beltway, and get a sense of the concerns, issues, and slogans that will energize his base in 2018 and 2020.
If I’m right, expect to see some new policy proposals coming out of the White House as summer turns toward fall. One very likely direction this might take is the reform of some of the many abuses in the Federal prison system. Trump’s recent, highly publicized intervention in the case of a woman serving a life term for a nonviolent drug crime could well be a straw in the wind; the 12th house rules prisons, among other things, and the Sun’s presence in that house suggests that may be a focus of Trump’s policy. (No, it doesn’t mean he’ll end up in jail in the next three months! For that even to be an option, the Sun would have to be afflicted by a strongly placed malefic planet ruling the 12th house cusp, and Trump’s natal chart would have to show certain distinctive signs it doesn’t have.)
As the Sun and the ruler of the 10th house represent the government, in turn, the Moon and the ruler of the ascendant represent the people. In this case, since the rising sign Cancer is ruled by the Moon, it amounts to the same thing. The Moon is in the fourth house of agriculture and the countryside, afflicted by square aspects from Mercury, which rules the media, and Saturn, which rules debt -- thus the ongoing hostile treatment of ordinary Americans by the mass media, and the immense burden of debt weighing down on so many Americans, will continue to be major grievances. (We’ll get to the trine aspect between the Moon and Mars a little later.) The Moon is also peregrine, meaning that she receives no strength from her position in the zodiac. It will be a difficult summer for a lot of people.
Meanwhile, we’ve got another round of speculative froth to deal with. That’s another theme that carries over from the Aries ingress -- Jupiter, the planet of wealth, was in the fifth house of speculation then too -- but his only significant aspects were a trine to the Sun, boosting Trump’s popularity, and a semisquare to Saturn on the seventh cusp, warning that trouble with foreign trade would push back against the latest bubbles du jour. This time, Jupiter is far more central to the chart, with more aspects than any other planet. What’s more, he’s one point of the grand trine that joins him in mutual support with Neptune and Mercury, and also one point of a T-square that locks him in conflict with Venus and Mars.
A grand trine is a very favorable pattern; a T-square is a very difficult one. My reading is that we’ll see an unsteady economic landscape over the next three months, with fortunes made and lost with equal ease. Speculative gambits that relate to communications, technology and the media (ruled by Mercury) and to pie-in-the-sky fantasies (ruled by Neptune) will tend to do very well; equally promising speculations focused on the production of actual goods and services (Venus in the second house of goods), or those vulnerable to hostile economic moves by foreign governments (Mars in the eighth house of other nations’ wealth) are much more likely to get clobbered. One way or another, it’s going to be a wild ride.
That Mars in the eighth house is worth watching. As an indicator of trade wars with other nations, it opposes Venus in the second, which suggests disturbances in the production and availability of consumer goods in the United States as a result of competitive tariffs. At the same time, Mars is also in a trine aspect to the Moon of the common people. A vast number of Americans these days, courtesy of the much-lauded global economy that Trump is busy dismantling, are trapped in permanent part-time jobs at starvation wages if they can get jobs at all, which many can’t. As trade barriers make it more profitable to supply the huge domestic market of the United States with goods and services produced here at home, that will begin to change.
Let’s move on to politics. Congress is indicated by the 11th house, which has Aries on its cusp and Uranus placed in it, both carried over from the Aries ingress. It’s ruled by Mars, thus, will continue behaving in a belligerent and confrontational manner, and semisquare Neptune, ruling the executive branch -- expect confrontations between Congressional committees and such federal agencies as the FBI and the Department of Justice to accelerate in the months ahead. Since Uranus in the 11th rules the ninth house of the judicial branch, I’d expect at least some of those confrontations to end up in the courts, or to make Congress turn to its rarely used power to levy contempt charges and other quasijudicial penalties.
I mentioned earlier my prediction in the Aries ingress that some important legislative change would come out of Congress. It’s possible that this will turn out to be correct after all. Bills have been introduced that would legalize industrial hemp production, on the one hand, and turn the regulation of marijuana over to the states, on the other. Trump has already said that he supports the latter bill -- and there are potent political reasons why he should do so. First, states’ rights are an easy way for Trump to appeal to his base; second, pushing for de facto legalization would appeal to a great many voters who usually side with the Democrats; third, following up a change in the marijuana laws with commuted sentences for everyone in federal prisons who’s there for marijuana possession and other nonviolent crimes would be hugely popular among those demographic sectors that are overrepresented in that end of the prison population -- sectors which by and large vote Democratic much more often than not.
Done skillfully enough, Trump’s support for reform of the marijuana laws would cut off his opponents at the knees and tilt the midterm elections solidly in his party’s favor. What’s more, if the Democratic establishment reacts to this as it’s done to Trump’s other policy proposals, and opposes these reforms solely because Trump supports them, the blowback from Democratic voters could split the party right down the middle, plunging it into internal conflicts that would make Trump’s reelection campaign in 2020 a walk in the park. The only constructive option the Democratic establishment has in the face of that gambit would be to get out in front of the GOP and support the proposed bills even more enthusiastically than Trump does, and even then Trump would still be able to take credit for it all. I’m guessing that this is what Uranus in the 11th predicts; that’s a guess, but it would be exactly the kind of unexpected move Trump likes to do, and it would be wickedly effective at blindsiding and embarrassing his opponents.
To sum up, then, the next three months will see Trump a little less outspoken and a little less central to America’s collective conversation than he’s been of late. The trade wars now underway will continue, causing some disruptions in the supply of goods and services here in the United States and some expansion in the supply of jobs. More of Trump’s agenda will get traction in Congress, and there’s the possibility of a significant shift in U.S. drug laws and federal prison policies as a result. The economic news will be dominated by dramatic swings in stocks and other speculative vehicles, with some big winners (especially in tech industries and vaporware generally) and some big losers (especially in smokestack industries and ventures vulnerable to foreign trade barriers). Trump’s opponents will, by and large, devote their time to preaching to an assortment of Democratic choirs, Congress and several federal bureaucracies will pound their collective chests at each other like a couple of quarreling silverback gorillas, and the rest of the country will swelter through a difficult summer, caught between the grinding weight of too much debt and the maddening chatter of an increasingly self-referential media industry.
That is to say, business as usual. Three months from now, we’ll see how things turned out.
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 twelve 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.