What’s Going on with the U.S., and Kevin Spacey?

Kevin_Spacey-wiki-commons
Kevin Spacey

I used to wonder how it was for Kevin Spacey to play such a dark character as Frank Underwood in the series ‘House of Cards.’ Now I really wonder what it was like for him.

First, what is going on with the U.S. lately? I see both some really positive supportive Astrological energies and some pretty challenging ones.

Saturn has been opposing the U.S. Mars and squaring the U.S. Neptune, which are natally square to each other in the U.S. chart.

This Mars/Neptune Square is something I have written about in great length in my book and subsequent articles. It was being activated by Pluto during the War in Vietnam and during the War in Iraq. It is indicative of our penchant for delusionary (Neptune) militaristic, aggressive, violent engagements (Mars).

Previously I have looked at this in our international relationships but clearly it is also a component of our domestic relationship to guns and violence.

The Saturn activation of this has been operative all year. I see it in the delusionary aggressivity between Donald Trump and Kin Jong Un, but also the mass shootings in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, Texas.

The recent attack in Texas has a particularly Neptunian quality to it. I can’t imagine a greater Neptunian ‘test of faith’ as having to watch children being murdered in a church during a prayer service.

In Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs the shooter’s motives and mindset are clearly not political, but rather some confusing, delusionary suffering playing out within the environment of our delusionary relationship to firearms.

I am happy to say that that Saturnian tension is starting to back off now, and we may find a respite from such events, although this component of our ‘curriculum’ is always there.

The on-going effects of Jupiter in Scorpio, which I wrote about in my last article about Harvey Weinstein, is obviously continuing to bring out and expand into the open (Jupiter), what were previously hidden, sexual abuses (Scorpio).

The phenomenon has been active around the world but the U.S. really seems to be the epicenter of the phenomenon. Well that Jupiter has actually been harmonizing, trining, our Venus in Cancer, our Jupiter in Cancer and soon our very Sun in Cancer.

I see this as expansive potential for a healthy reconnection to our positive Cancerian capacity to honor the feminine, and to choose caring and nurturing over selfish domination and power.

The Jupiter trine Jupiter was exact on November 6, and I relate this to the positive results (in my mind) of the recent Democratic victories in the recent elections.

Particularly poignant was the victory of the first Transgender person to a statewide office, defeating an opponent who prided himself on being Virginia’s #1 Homophobe.

Many of us may wonder if this is the end of the old order, of the old Patriarchy of cultural/political domination.

Next year Jupiter will be harmonizing with both Neptune and Pluto, so I suspect even more revelations leading to greater compassion and healing of old wounds. I think it bodes well for the 2018 mid-terms for the Democrats.

Also starting early next year, however, Saturn will start to oppose the U.S. Venus and Jupiter in Cancer, so I wouldn’t sense we have seen the end of old order (Saturnian) restrictions on our capacity to express caring, nurturing Cancerian energies too soon. This Saturnian restriction continues throughout next year. I am sure I will be writing about this more later.

Kevin Spacey

Kevin Spacey's Astrological Chart

Now this was a great disappointment for me as I have long been a fan of Kevin Spacey’s acting performances. And of course, his politics seemed to generally coincide with my own.

Of course I was curious to see what the Astrological agenda was behind the man that I thought I had a sense of.

The things I found are pretty interesting so I thought I would share some of it with you here.

First of all, Kevin Spacey’s chart is even more a sign of our times of what Jupiter in Scorpio is trying to bring about in our society than Harvey Weinstein’s was.

Kevin Spacey has, himself, Jupiter in Scorpio. To refresh your memory, or if you didn’t read the Harvey Weinstein article, here is what Hilarion says:

Scorpio
In Scorpio, ruled by Mars and Pluto, Jupiter promotes an excessive interest in the sensation/sexual outlet for energy. Afflicted, Jupiter here will cause the mind to play ceaselessly with the sexual fantasies and will tend to cause the individual to seek out this form of experience to an excessive degree. The major lesson is to moderate and control this tendency. In positive aspect, Jupiter in Scorpio ensures an ability to do well financially, and gives a strong sex drive.

Unfortunately for Kevin Spacey his Jupiter in Scorpio is ‘afflicted.’ It is square to his Mercury/Uranus conjunction in Leo. Here are Hilarion’s pronouncements for those two planets being in Leo:

Mercury in Leo:

Leo Mercury here if afflicted will aggravate feelings of pride, superiority and arrogance. The thoughts will revolve ever and only about the self, and the person’s life will seem to him to be a magnificent play in which he himself is the main actor, and has written all the parts. The main lesson is to see others as whole persons in their own right, living their own life-plays. Again, as with Taurus, shocks are to be expected in order to force the attention away from the self. These will come in relation to love affairs and also to children.

Uranus in Leo:

Uranus in Leo will naturally point to breaks, ruptures and uncertainties in the love-involvements. Inwardly this placement denotes a love nature which is unusual and lopsided in some way. The unexpected losses and sorrows in the love-involvements are intended to correct and balance the lopsidedness of the affectional nature.

So that hyper-sexual Jupiter in Scorpio would tend to be extra ‘pumped up’ in a tense way by a self-absorbed Mercury in Leo and a Uranian ‘love nature which is unusual and lopsided in some way.’

The Leo theme continues in his chart. First of all he is a Leo, someone who came to the rescue of a group of people in a previous life through an act of courageous leadership but, in this life, they can be proud and arrogant and think that they are the principal actor and everything revolves around them. (Adding to that type of Leo self-absorbed theme)

Kevin Spacey also has the similar Pluto/Mars connection, as did Harvey Weinstein. As I said before, Astrologer Liz Greene once said that Pluto/Mars aspects show up a large percentage of times in the charts of both rapists and rape victims.

Spacey’s Pluto/Mars aspect is a conjunction rather than a square.

Now there seems to be no official birth time available for Spacey in order to determine his Rising Sign and his Houses.

One Astrologer noted, however, that in the movie K-Pax the character played by Kevin Spacey says he was born on July 27 at 5:51 am. Noting that Spacey was in fact born the day before on July 26, and 5:51 being a pretty specific time one could ponder whether he was using his actual birth time in that line in the movie.

Looking at the chart with that time, with a certain amount of confidence in my ability to feel if a chart ‘works’ or not, I would bet money that he was in fact born at 5:51 am.

For example, the Pluto/Mars conjunction falls in the 2nd House. Hilarion* doesn’t give a specific for Pluto there, but this is what he says Mars in the 2nd House:

Second House
When Mars is found in the second sector, there is present in the make-up a strongly passionate or physical side to the affections. Partners tend to be viewed as sexual objects first, mates second. The lesson is of course to realize that sexuality is merely the body’s way of expressing love, and that such expression is always incomplete unless it has the underpinning of a strong, committed emotional affection. If necessary, this lesson will be learned through the loss of love partners, and such losses must continue until the individual recognizes that sex by itself is an empty experience. Karmically, this placement suggests a string of previous lives in which others suffered due to the native’s sexual proclivities and the caprice that often comes with dalliance for its own sake. Thus in the current life must this individual likewise suffer, as he is attracted repeatedly to partners who are incapable of committing their affections into his care.

Being conjunct Pluto lends a pretty intense Plutonian transformational dimension to that Mars karma.

He actually has some potentially disciplining influence from Saturn harmonizing with that Pluto/Mars energy. And next year he will have his second ‘Saturn Return’ doubly enhancing his ability to get a ‘reality check’ on this part of his sexual curriculum.

The Saturns are in his 6th House of work, service, the way you spend your day. Being out of work is going to give him a lot of time to get real with the ramifications of having allowed this manipulative controlling overly passionate sexual energy to play out in selfish ways.

So all of this is easy relatable to the accusation of rather crazy (Uranus), self-absorbed (Leo), sexual abuses (Jupiter in Scorpio, Mars in the 2nd) which has been hidden away yet was using positions of power to indulge these negative tendencies (Pluto)

And yet what else does the chart tell us about Kevin Spacey?

Well his Sun in Leo is square to Neptune. This always creates some ‘confusion, illusion, delusion, victimhood and/or martyrdom’ involving one’s relationship with one’s father.

Well, I just now went to Wikipedia to see if there is something there about his childhood to reflect this. This is what I found:

Randy Fowler (Spacey’s older brother) has stated that their father, whom he described as a racist “Nazi supporter”, was sexually and physically abusive, and that Spacey had shut down emotionally and become “very sly and smart” to avoid whippings.

Usually Wikipedia is not so forthcoming with childhood details.

This description of his father is going to create the classic Neptunian ‘victim/victimizer’ program.

The 5:51 am chart also gives Kevin Spacey Leo Rising and the Sun in the First House to which Hilarion says:

Leo Rising:
When the sign Leo rises, there will be a tendency for the self-picture to be colored by the notions of elegance, specialness and superiority……. The reason for giving this Ascendant to an individual is to prompt him to think better of himself than he is in the habit of doing when in incarnation. . The rulership by the Sun thus lends to the individual certain bolstering influences in terms of how he sees himself, which are intended to teach him not to underestimate his own worth and not to feel inferior to others. In view of this explanation, it will be understood that those with Leo rising will often find that they are torn between thinking little and thinking a lot of themselves. Through the experience of this inner battle, it is hoped that they will ultimately learn that each person is complete and worthy in his own right, and that none are either superior or inferior.

A portion of the Sun in the First House:

Thus it will often be observed that one with the Sun in the first is adept at projecting a facade of strength, will and control over the environment, while inwardly there lurks a desperate fear that others will one day discover the incompetence or the unworthiness or the self-embarrassment which constantly echoes, like a mocking laugh, up from the depths of subconscious recollection.

This Sun in the First House is something he shares with Bernie Sanders, John Kerry, and I believe (uncertain birth time) Hillary Clinton. All people who are good at looking stronger than they are.

Now, on a more positive note, the 5:51 birth time also gives Kevin Spacey Venus in the 2nd House, although unaspected, thus making it more difficult for him to consciously own that Venus energy.

This is what Hilarion says about Venus in the 2nd:

Second House
The placement of Venus in the second house is in many ways an ideal positioning for the planet of love. The second house corresponds to the sign Taurus, which is ruled by Venus. Unless the planet is severely afflicted in the second, one may assume that the love nature of the individual is stable and genuine, and that the waters of the soul’s affection run very deep. Here is one who knows that love is a constant flame. Under dire affliction, this placement of Venus can point to the need to unblock certain avenues of affection that have become closed. Sometimes there is a tendency to lavish love on the body, thus leading to a self-indulgent or sensuous streak. Other than these possible problems little else need be said. (End Quote)

I feel that that very sensitive love nature is also there inside of Kevin Spacey. Obviously the tendencies in his chart leading to a ‘self-indulgent or sensuous streak’ are going to be major parts of his Astrological curriculum which would limit his access to that much more loving energy.

Right now transiting Neptune is exactly opposite that Venus. I think he can feel his Venus now, but with a major Neptunian ‘test of faith’ as to whether the negative expressions of all of his Leo/Scorpio/Mars/Pluto karmic elements will make it such that he will never be believed or be able to fully manifest the truly sensitive, loving nature of his Venus.

I think he was inspired to become an actor to have some access to that positive sensitive emotional energy. Later, however, he gravitated to darker roles.

Now he has to live his real life, all of it, the good, the bad and the ugly.

For the rest of us, the enigmatic portrayal of Frank Underwood, with both his potentially truly sensitive loving energies, and those appearances of sensitive loving energies masking incredibly dark, selfish, controlling destructive manipulative energies will be even more, enigmatic.

Blessings,
Steffan Vanel

Harvey Weinstein, Sex and Jupiter into Scorpio

(Richard Shotwell / Associated Press)

I just thought it was curious that the first allegations about Harvey Weinstein’s proclivity for sexual harassment came out just a few days before Jupiter went into Scorpio. And on the day that Jupiter went into Scorpio:

According to Wikipedia:

In The New Yorker on October 10, 2017, Ronan Farrow reported further allegations that Weinstein had assaulted or harassed 13 women, and raped three of them.

Jupiter is large expansiveness and can be exaggerated, ‘over the top’ and fanatical. Scorpio is the sign of sex, birth and death.

Here is what Hilarion says about Jupiter in Scorpio:

Scorpio
In Scorpio, ruled by Mars and Pluto, Jupiter promotes an excessive interest in the sensation/sexual outlet for energy. Afflicted, Jupiter here will cause the mind to play ceaselessly with the sexual fantasies and will tend to cause the individual to seek out this form of experience to an excessive degree. The major lesson is to moderate and control this tendency. In positive aspect, Jupiter in Scorpio ensures an ability to do well financially, and gives a strong sex drive.

Now I always tell my clients that that last statement, about a strong sex drive being part of a positively aspected Jupiter in Scorpio, shows that Hilarion himself is not a prude. He is not against sex. This tendency, however, to overemphasize the physical aspect of love shows up in about 75% of our charts in one way or another.

Harvey Weinstein's Chart

Harvey Weinstein has a powerful Jupiter in his chart, hence his ‘bigness’ in many ways. It wasn’t in Scorpio but he did have Mars in Scorpio square to Pluto.

I remember Astrologer Liz Greene once saying that Pluto/Mars aspects show up a high frequency of times in the charts of both rapists and rape victims.

Here is what Hilarion says about Mars in Scorpio:

Scorpio
Scorpio is ruled by Mars, and the martian energies have full expression through this sign. In Scorpio, the martian energies are found mainly in the sexual area and thus the lesson is to avoid sexual excesses, regardless of aspect. The worse the aspects, the harder it will be to control the sexual nature. Another point that can usually be made with Mars in Scorpio afflicted is that a karmic loss must be undergone in the life — a separation from someone with whom strong sexual ties have been forged. This is, of course, to prompt the individual to place less emphasis on the sexual outlet for the energies.

A square to Pluto is pretty well afflicted.

As far as that karmic loss, well his wife, Georgina Chapman, announced that she was separating from him on that same fateful day of October 10th.

Jupiter will be in Scorpio until November 2018 and it is bound to bring some expansive viewing of some of the secret Scorpionic energies of our lives and our society. Of course this could also create some juicy energies around positive sexual experience for us as well.

Hilarion says that the way in which we experience sexuality now doesn’t give a glimpse of the power and grandeur it will be for us in the New Age.

Blessings,
Steffan Vanel

Las Vegas and U.S.

As I am about to write this article I have just come out of a Global Meditation event, staged to help heal the recent energies of trauma created in Las Vegas.

This included helping the souls of those who have had to transition out of their bodies in such an intense, shocking, violent way. And yes, even trying to help the twisted, tortured tragic soul who has created such a hellish experience for himself and others.

I am actually in China right now, so I am looking at this with some distance. From here, however, I can feel the incredulous view of the U.S. the rest of the world holds right now. A view of our repeating on-going traumas of gun related mass shootings, to a President who threatens to destroy another nation before a General Assembly of all of the nations of the world.

Our nation seems to be spinning crazily out of control with violent energies. Hopefully something can be learned from this.

If we look at what is happening to the Astrology chart of the U.S. right now we can see collective lessons we are all being faced with in the community of our nation, and the opportunity to grow from it.

And if we look at the Astrological karma of the shooter, Stephen Paddock, we can also benefit from understanding the implicit in-born energies he was born with and the impending Astrological energies which were coming to bear upon him. From this we can also understand and learn. (His Solar Chart: no birth time or surety about birthplace)

Stephen Paddock Astrology Chart

I was initially going to stay in the comfort of my relative distance from the details of this event. But then as I listened to the news on the English language TV station here they announced Stephen Paddock’s birthdate and I got ‘sucked in.’

I knew immediately that Pluto was moving right now into a square to his Sun in Aries. Someone who is Aries, according to Hilarion*, is someone who, in some previous life, risked their own life to come to the rescue of another individual. As a reward for that courageous act they are given an additional energy, physically, mentally or emotionally.

Their challenge is to be able to express this energy in such a way that it does not harm themselves or others through aggressive, violent behavior.

Pluto squaring the Sun is, in any regard, a time when you have to look deep within yourself. A time to see where are you really coming from. Is it from love or is it from fear?

One author described it this way:

Pluto square Sun transit means you are in for a test of your character for a couple of years. The Sun represents your sense of self, your authority and power. The challenging square aspect from Pluto brings extreme forces in the form of other people and circumstances which mean you have to stand up and be counted.

This can be a time of crisis or breakdown as Pluto totally transforms your ego, identity and life direction. Pluto is basically throwing down a challenge so that you master your own personal power. Pluto can be ruthless in its effect so it can make you ruthless in achieving your goals. Power conflicts are common with this transit and these can be not only with authority figures like the law and bosses, but also in personal relationships. (Astrologyking.com)

And I would say as well that when Pluto squares your Sun, if you have not really been owning the energies of your Sun, of your soul essence, who you really are, then Pluto will force you to, one way or another.

Of course there are numerous other Astrological factors at play here in this man’s chart, too numerous for me to want to devote all of the time and energy it would take to elucidate them all.

To briefly hit the main points, however:

  • Most people know by now that Stephen Paddock’s father was a criminal on the FBI’s top 10 most wanted list. His father, Benjamin Paddock, was in prison for the first three years of his oldest son, Stephen’s, life.
  • When Stephen was 7 (the time of Saturn squaring his natal Saturn) his father was arrested for a string of bank robberies. The neighbor took Stephen swimming while the BFI searched their house. The neighbor later stated to the newspaper: “We’re trying to keep Steve from knowing his father is held as a bank robber. I hardly know the family, but Steve is a nice boy. It’s a terrible thing.”
  • When Stephen Paddock was 15, around the time of Saturn opposing his natal Saturn, his father escaped prison and an FBI poster appeared stating that his father had been diagnosed as psychopathic. That has got to be rather intense for a hormonally-charged teenage Aries boy.

In Stephen Paddock’s natal chart, however, he has an Aquarius Moon opposite to Pluto. This is relatable to the apparent attempt to maintain some cool, detached, airy, Aquarian mental atmosphere in his childhood in order to avoid the deep, dark, hidden intense Plutonian reality of the man who, in part, led to his creation in this life. This is how Hilarion describes the affect of this afflicted Aquarian Moon:

The more afflicted the Moon, the more one will find a sense of emotional control and suppression, even coldness, at the heart level…. there tends to be taken from the early home situation a trait of self-control at the emotional level, a dislike of emotional display or extremes, which can produce a difficulty in the individual’s own later home/marriage pattern, particularly if he becomes involved, as he usually does, with someone who requires more in the way of emotional responsiveness than the Aquarian Moon is prepared to give.

That opposing Plutonian reality to that cool detached afflicted Aquarian Moon never went away from the dynamics and reality of his own unconscious psyche.

And those Saturn transits hitting his own Saturn at 7 and 14? Well his natal Saturn was conjunct Neptune and they are both, Neptune and Saturn, opposite to his Sun in Aries.

The Sun, in Psychological Astrology, represents the Father/Male principle in a chart. Saturn difficultly aspecting the Sun creates a likely restrictive energy involving the relationship with the father. Neptune difficultly aspected to the Sun will create some likely illusion, confusion, delusion, and/or victimhood involving one’s relationship with the father. (For example: Barack Obama has a Sun square Neptune, fatherhood experience in his own childhood.)

Stephen Paddock’s Aries Sun was also square to Uranus, thereby creating a sense of the father that would involve sudden ruptures, and a perhaps crazy unconventionality.

Now early in his life Stephen Paddock chose to be an accountant. Not too exciting, intense or aggressive. More like his cool detached Aquarian Moon and some other factors in his chart.

He worked, however, for a company that became Lockheed Martin, a major military defense contractor. I remember when I happened to be visiting Littleton, Colorado, where the Columbine High School mass shooting took place; I discovered that, although it seemed like a rather idyllic peaceful suburban town, most of the parents in that town worked for Lockheed Martin….

Stephen Paddock’s father, Benjamin, liked to gamble and while he was a fugitive he tried once to run down an FBI agent with his car in, Las Vegas….

So, we have Stephen Paddock, a former accountant moving recently to Las Vegas, gambling sometimes $10,000 up to $30,000 in a day, and starting to collect guns while Pluto was in a period of opposing his Uranus, squaring his Sun and moving into a square to his Neptune and his Saturn. Clearly he was trying to somehow embrace the denied, unintegrated intense reality of his father’s presence in his psyche.

Stephen Paddock really needed deep therapy, intensive meditation or Ayahuasca ceremonies to help him with this. Instead, as Pluto started to hit all of this he chose the violent, explosive Aries way of ‘acting it out.’

If Stephen Paddock had lived in a country where citizens have limited or no access to firearms he may have acted out through some explosive fight with his boss or guys in a bar.

In full disclosure, I myself own a firearm and I have killed with it. Even though I am basically a pacifist/vegetarian, I have a 22 rifle with which I once shot a packrat who had been terrorizing my house all night, every night and was uncatchable by humane ‘catch-em alive’ traps, by traps that kill, and even by poison. (He would build a ‘nest’ of twigs, pine needles and nails on top of the poison!)

I finally took out my rifle and ‘got’ him with one shot. And, I was scared to admit the primal sense of relishing that power and control wielded to me by that weapon, temporarily superseding my compassion for that poor creature.

It does enable me to imagine the potential effect of the force of being in possession of a stockpile of weapons and ammunition with some of those weapons made to be fully automatic upon someone with a dissociated, unstable psyche.

On a lighter note, it does remind me of a comedy routine by the British comedian Eddie Izzard where he repeated the often-repeated statement: ‘Guns don’t kill people. People do.’ To which Eddie replied in that enunciated way that the Brits do so well: ‘Well, I think guns have something to do with it. You can’t just point your fingers and go: bang, bang, bang, bang you’re all dead!’

And for those 2nd Amendment people who always say: ‘Well, if someone in the school was ‘packing heat’ this never would have happened.’ Well, in Las Vegas, in a state with both concealed and open-carry weapon laws, the shooter made sure that he had a distance, and a vantage point, and firepower such that all of those likely handguns in the crowd would be totally useless.

It seems that we are possibly heading towards a nation with metal detectors at all large hotels, public buildings, schools and transportation hubs.

Neptune, up in the sky right now, is squaring the Sagittarian Rising/Ascendant of the United States this year. Sagittarius Rising makes it such that you see yourself as, as Hilarion* says: ‘honest, upright and morally strong, whether true or not.’

Neptune impinging that Sagittarian self-image is creating some ‘illusion, confusion, delusion, and victimhood’ challenges in relation to that normally self-righteous self-image. So I think there is some unease with prior convictions, or an added sense of vulnerability in the way we see ourselves, like the potential for Nuclear War.

The potential benefit of this aspect is to dis-identify with those previously held convictions in order to view them with a non-ego-identified perspective.

Just because an Astrological transit creates this opportunity, however, does not promise that one will benefit from it. There is always going to be resistance, a pushback.

For example, we have ex-Fox TV host Bill O’Reilly posting on his blog in the aftermath of this massacre: “This is the price of freedom.”

There have been many responses, such as this one: “No Bill O’Reilly. Listening to you is the (high) price of freedom. Gun massacres are the price of weak gun laws.”

One last, I feel, poignant Astrological Note:

Stephen Paddock’s Moon was in the 25th degree of Aquarius. The Moon of the U.S.A. is in the 28th degree of Aquarius. The Moon at the moment of the attack Sunday night was in the 26th degree of Aquarius.

The Great American Eclipse was at the 29th degree of Leo, within four degrees of exact opposition to the Moons of Stephen Paddock, the USA, and the Las Vegas Massacre.

Now the US Aquarian Moon has only a positive aspect to it natally and I relate that to the positive Aquarian ideals of freedom and equality the nation was founded upon. And it is unfortunate, but tragedy like this does have the potential to bring us all together as one suffering human family.

The Leo potentially oppositional arrogance to that brother/sisterhood Aquarian potential is, however, evidenced by the previously quoted comment by Bill O’Reilly.

In the spirit of my Libran fairness, however, this arrogance was also evident in the comments of a CBS vice president who was fired after she posted on her Facebook page:

“If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs [sic] will ever do the right thing,” Geftman-Gold continued: “I’m actually not even sympathetic bc [sic] country music fans often are Republican gun toters [sic].”

She has since heartily apologized but of course is now facing numerous death threats.

As I say at my lectures, the self-righteous Sagittarian Rising energies of the U.S. are not limited to the Right Wing. We all have a tendency to be rather obnoxious. It is one reason I really enjoy spending a fair bit of time outside of our country.

I would like to end this article with some wisdom from Hilarion. These are his statements about the nature and experience of karma and reincarnation quoted from his book: ‘Nations’ (which is available as an EBook on Amazon.com).

Blessings,
Steffan Vanel

PS: Even though I am in China right now, I’m not too busy work-wise and would be happy to do Skype readings for anyone who would like that. I can also make free phone calls to the U.S.

From the Introduction by Hilarion to NATIONS

For these things are not governed by chance.

Many imagine that pure hazard decrees where one shall be born, and then they blame an unjust God for His cruelty. Others are so appalled by the suffering that they retreat into apathy. Yet others – often prompted by murky religious concepts – think that some sort of ‘plan’ is being worked out, but are not able to explain that plan in a satisfactory manner.

The key that is missing – the link that can unite all of the apparent chaos and suffering into a just and plausible scheme – is the concept that each individual born into the earth is merely taking on a new physical body (one of many) and that his habits and actions in previous bodies have determined the opportunities and the hardships which are his now.

It is deplorable that the main western religions have turned their backs upon this truth – a truth which was part of the credo of most early Christian writers until the Council of Nicea voted to erase all scriptural reference to reincarnation. (Even so, they did not dare to tamper with Jesus’ own statement that John the Baptist was the reincarnation of Elias – Matthew 11:14 and Mark 9:11-13.)

What we are saying is that a proper grasp of the principle of rebirth – and the related principle of karma – not only makes reality understandable, but shows God to be just. We see in the near future a great excitement among humanity as the truth of reincarnation gradually spreads among all peoples. Indeed, numerous individuals already acknowledge this principle without even admitting it to themselves. How many have said, in a moment of exasperation, “What did I ever do to deserve this?” Were they not stating the very law of karma upon which cosmic justice rests? It is the same law which Christ was evoking when He said that those who live by the sword must die by the sword. If this statement were taken to refer only to a single life, it would be manifestly untrue – for have not many murderers died peacefully in their beds? Yet, seen in the light of the rebirth principle, the dictum makes far more sense. It asserts that justice shall follow the murderer even if it does not work itself out in the same life in which the misdeed was committed. In some incarnation, now or later, he himself must ‘die by the sword’.

An interesting facet of this karmic principle is its great effectiveness in teaching humanity to have compassion. Let us explain this point more fully.

Everyone is generally aware of the fact that, in ages past, human beings tended to be very calloused and unfeeling towards each other. At the time of Jesus, for example, there was little respect for human life, hardly any consideration for the suffering of another, and absolutely no feeling of any kind for the animals. Children were regularly beaten, tied up, even hung on the wall to keep them out of an adult’s way. A soldier would think nothing of running his sword through a passing stranger, merely to determine whether the cutting edge were still sharp.

These inhuman attitudes persist even today in many of the darkened places of the earth. And yet, particularly in the western democratic nations, one finds many individuals who are polite and considerate, and who feel it deeply when others around them are suffering. This is the essence of compassion. The word literally means ‘to suffer with’ another. This trait has also been called empathy.

It might surprise the earth’s compassionate individuals to learn that their empathetic nature arises because of their own previous suffering! In effect, what happens when one perceives another person in pain is the rekindling of a memory of one’s own previous painful episodes – whether in this life or in a previous one. Hence what one feels initially is a memory-pain which is evoked by the suffering of the other person.

Some individuals merely feel the empathy – they ‘suffer with’ the person who is undergoing the pain. But others are prompted by their own pain-memories to try to relieve the suffering. Initially the person may do this because by relieving the suffering in the other, the source of his own pain-memory will be removed. But repeated episodes of such help will gradually become ingrained into the individual as a habit of compassionate kindness, and the result will eventually be to incorporate that wonderful trait into the soul itself.

It is thus that the karmic necessity to suffer the same pain we have caused others brings with it ‘an automatic antidote to the kind of attitude that gives rise to the karma in the first place. Think of it as a progression: in the primitive stage, the soul is darkened, insular and lacking in empathy; a life is lived during which pain is caused to others through violent actions. In subsequent lives, the soul inhabits bodies which are made to suffer the same pain which the soul once meted out to others. As a result of that karmic ‘meeting of the self’, the soul stores pain-memories which can be evoked by witnessing similar suffering. Finally, the soul has become so sensitized by pain that it reacts immediately to any scenario in which another is seen to be suffering. At first the soul is simply overcome with ‘com-passion’, i.e. it ‘suffers with’ the other. Perhaps the soul will wish to leave the presence of the sufferer in order to stop its own pain-memories. But at a more mature point, the soul learns to reach out a helping hand to relieve the suffering.

Enjoy this Article?
Feel Free to Support the Cause!

The Inauguration Chart for President Donald J. Trump

January 20, 2017 – 12:00 pm – Washington, DC.

Dear Friends, Clients and Subscribers,

I have recently returned to the U.S. from an overseas trip since just before the election. (We vote by mail in Washington State) I have actually been enjoying being out of the country during this time. I have been well aware and keeping tabs on what happened and was happening here, but I was glad that I didn’t have to spend a lot of time commiserating in misery with all of my lefty progressive friends. It did, however, make it all seem even more surreal.

I did receive gusts of the collective angst of the left side of the national divide as I was doing Skype Readings for my U.S. clients who were in anguish and asking if they should sell their stocks or not.

Part of the time I was away I was in China and watching the English Channel TV news station there. It was quite interesting to look back on it all from their perspective. Insights from that will percolate into future articles I expect to be writing.

Since I have been back, watching and hearing the daily news, I definitely feel that I have been thrown back into the thick of it. Through the writing of my book: ‘The Astrological Karma of the USA’, I feel I have set myself up as someone who is trying to make sense of it all. There are times, however, that I can nostalgically pine for the days that I could be more oblivious to it all.

Nonetheless, I accept it as my fate at this time to try to help out in this way. Below I will post a flyer for a lecture I will be giving here in Seattle, where I will be looking at the Astrology charts of the U.S. at this time, the Inauguration and of President Donald Trump. If you are in the Seattle area I invite you to come check it out. I do plan to record it and make it available somehow.

I will also be writing some future articles about the U.S. and Donald Trump Astrology charts. Today, however, I just want to share some insights into the chart for the Inauguration, which is the symbolic ‘birth’ of the Trump Presidency, as I feel it has some very interesting things to say, some of which I can recognize as already manifesting.

As a kind of ‘mission statement’ in response to one subscriber’s claim to my having a bias against Donald Trump; I have no intention of hiding the fact that my personal politics are well left of center. That being said, I honestly feel that anything I would say about Donald Trump’s chart or his Inauguration chart is an expression of what I would say about anyone with the same chart, no matter their political affiliation.

In the interest of trying to make this more clear and obvious I am going to rely more often than usual upon direct quotes from the main source of my Astrological insights, the book: ‘Astrology Plus’* channeled from the Ascended Master Hilarion.

There is a larger backstory to what is going on in the world at large at this time Astrologically. How that has, is, and will be impinging upon the Astrological Karma of the USA is likely to be the topic of a future article, and I will be starting with that topic in my lecture next Sunday.

Today, however, I just want to look at the Inauguration chart. Of course the Inauguration chart is an Astrological ‘snapshot’ of what we are all generally experiencing at this time on Planet Earth, in addition to some of the specifics for January 20, 2017

January 20, 2017 Inauguration Chart
January 20, 2017 Inauguration Chart

The largest Astrological theme of this decade are the Pluto/Uranus Squares we have just come through, and which are still in effect. Pluto in Capricorn, thus deep intense transformation of major organizations, structures, and the world economic system, which has been in tension with Uranus in Aries, i.e. courageous, perhaps rash and impulsive, unconventional efforts of revolution and change, and freedom from old patterns that have outlived their purpose.

These are the themes of hard Pluto/Uranus aspects which can be viewed throughout history when they were occurring, and this is a major factor in the manifestation of these themes in obvious ways on the world stage in recent years. The houses that these planets are performing in, whether in your own chart or a nation’s chart, is more personal and specific as they change every two hours every day. So, we will look at what house this Pluto/Uranus tension falls in in this Inauguration chart.

During this last year or so, however, we have also had the added Astrological theme of some Saturn/Neptune squares. Now, any difficult Neptune aspect will challenge us with the ‘victim/victimizer’ program and a certain ‘test of faith.’ This has been impacting, in particular, the Sagittarian self-image of the United States, and is clearly a major factor in the flavor and results of the recent campaign season.

Now the Saturn/Neptune tension has passed the peak, but this same theme reappears in this Inauguration chart. The Neptune end of this tension was in the sign Pisces, a sign that is ruled by Neptune and also quite prone to the ‘victim/victimizer’ program, increasing the likely intensity of this kind of challenge. Now, even though the Saturn/Neptune tension has eased off, Saturn in this chart, is squaring Venus and Mars in Pisces. And, Neptune, Venus and Mars are all in the house of ‘karma with former enemies.’

In the interest of objectivity here are some Hilarion quotes:

Eleventh House When the planet of love (Venus) is found in the house of former enemies, the significance is clear: that the individual should seek ways of expressing affection for those with whom he feels an echo of the old hatred or rivalry carried over from an earlier life.

Eleventh House When Mars is located in the eleventh house of a natus, there is a clear indication that those souls who in previous lives were cast in the role of opponents or enemies will again be part of this life, and moreover that the old resentments and conflicts with such souls have yet to be resolved. A person with this martian placement would do well to survey individuals who have played “enemy” roles in his life, and to seek ways of resolving those tensions. Even if such opponent souls are no longer in contact, the individual should look within himself and find a way to dismantle any resentment or dislike which he may still be harboring. Remember that if you die to this life with the least shred of resentment or dislike for any other soul, you must inevitably be drawn back into earthly incarnation with that same soul, there again to be put through the same tensions and differences that caused the original estrangement. This law is inflexible and governs all human souls.

So, it isn’t difficult to recognize that the adversarial nature of what has been termed the ‘Divided States of America’ (resonant with the theme of former enemies) is going to be an on-going challenge during this Presidency.

Although there could also be an involvement with other ‘former enemies’ to the U.S. i.e. Russia, China, Islamic ‘Jihadists’ etc.

Fortunately, Mercury in serious Capricorn is in positive aspect to Neptune in this chart. Mercury is coming from the house of belief system and should help us all to make the effort to ‘rise above the fray,’ to understand and communicate the, to my mind, only way out of the victim/victimizer program which is:

Unconditional love, for oneself and for others, total forgiveness, for oneself and for others, and spiritual faith, trust and surrender, to where there are no victims of victimizers, but just all of us little boys and girls trying to do the best that we can….even Donald Trump.

I do make the point that compassion doesn’t necessarily mean that you be a doormat. As every parent knows, you have to be on ‘the razor’s edge’ raising children. You can’t be too soft and you can’t be too hard. Otherwise either you are power tripping them or they are going to power trip you.

So, our challenge is to stand up for what we believe to be right but to not be coming from ego and losing our human capacity for compassion. In this regard I can tell that the next four years will be a ‘great opportunity for growth.’ This kind of opportunity does seem to be particularly evident in this chart.

Now these Saturn squares to Venus and Mars are not the most challenging elements of this chart. Pluto is in the house of belief system, and square to Jupiter in the house of work, service, activity in the world, and Jupiter is opposite to Uranus in the house of the deeper unconscious and past memory, and Uranus, in turn, is square to Pluto, again, in the house of belief system. This completes a ‘T-Square.’ This is where any Astrologer looking at this chart is going to go “Yikes!”

Here are a few quotes about a Jupiter/Uranus tension, which was exact on December 26, 2016, and will recur on March 2nd and September 28th of this year:

The expansive nature of Jupiter, the shocking nature of Uranus, and the antagonistic nature of the opposition mean that there is likely to be particular sudden event that releases your built up tension and leads to a major change in circumstances. The more restricted you have felt, then the more upsetting the change is likely to be. (found at astrologyking.com)

Clearly a reflection of what just happened to our nation in the election of Donald Trump, the legacy of which will be an ongoing factor in the unconscious psyche of the nation. Donald Trump himself has a Jupiter/Uranus trine, something he has been using to good effect his entire life.

Additionally:

But their (Jupiter and Uranus) combination can also produce dogmatic conviction of the rightness of their vision. This, as the driving force in challenging outmoded structures, can lead to the breaking down of old ways of organizing human life without regard for the consequences. They can also jointly manifest a restless drive towards innovation or revolutionary change, which cannot leave things alone which may be working perfectly well just as they are. They can also operate together with hubristic arrogance, usually with destructive consequences. (Found at astro.com)

Now Uranus also rules technology and is related to the birth of the Internet. To me this is relatable to the unconscious, not clearly known uncertainty of just how much the Russian computer hacking did influence the election, how much collusion may have existed between the Trump campaign and the Russians, or the Jupiterian, perhaps exaggerated, reaction to Hillary Clinton’s emails and of course, a President who incessantly ‘tweets.’

This Uranus/Pluto/Jupiter T-Square is a clear manifestation of the on-going Uranus/Pluto impulse to ‘throw the bums out’ taking place not only here but around the world.

This Inauguration chart, however, is the birth of an entity which will most likely exist and function for the next four years, which may well indicate an on-going, perhaps behind the scenes, revolutionary Uranus in Aries activity at odds with what is going on in the on-going daily life of the nation. Quite likely this will involve activities on the Left and the Right.

There is also a Jupiter/Pluto tension here, however, which is made more intense due to the fact that the Pluto end of this tension is in the house of belief system, which is ruled by Jupiter.

Here is a quite telling quote about a Jupiter/Pluto square in general:

Jupiter Square Pluto
This indicates that your personal philosophy and attitudes will condition your life, and because they tend to be fixed and dogmatic can serve to bring you into conflict with others. This philosophy or set of beliefs will either be ‘self-created’ or tend to reflect older, more traditional religious dogma; either of them is likely to be out of phase with much of contemporary life and social development. You will either express a peculiarly unique and personally individual outlook, or be willingly absorbed within a traditional structure. Basically, you are likely to be antagonistic to the modern world, believing that it is taking the wrong direction, and will be inclined towards a desire to reform the outer world and people so that they begin to conform to your world vision. There is a tendency towards mental arrogance, a certainty of your own way being right as opposed to the ways of others; and you are unlikely to be receptive to alternative beliefs and new ideas. You will be an active exponent of your way, expressing it forcefully to others, either by a challenging of their beliefs or by attempts at conversion; you feel that you have a mission to perform, and this conviction gives you the inner strength to continue. If rejection occurs, you tend not to use that experience as a means to re-evaluate your beliefs, but inwardly reassert your own sense of righteousness. Whilst it may appear that your own system of belief is intellectually founded, the truth is that it is rooted deep in your emotions, and you feel its personal meaning very intensely, thus whilst attempting to challenge and persuade others, you maintain a barrier to outer challenges against yourself. You are afraid that if your belief structure cracked and began to fall apart, then your inner cohesiveness as a personality would too, as your identity is so intertwined with your own beliefs. To some degree, most people are in a similar situation to yourself, where self-identity is defined by beliefs, opinions, attitudes, thoughts, emotions and body; in defending personal convictions you are defending yourself. It may be that your particular belief is not obviously religious; it could easily be political (Found at astromatrix.com)

Adding that to the fact that the Pluto is in the house of belief system and square to Uranus in the house of being ‘behind the scenes,’ or in the unconscious, adds to the intensity of this T-Square in terms of a pretty major ideological battle, the results of which are anybody’s guess.

When I talk about Uranus with clients I often repeat what I heard Astrologer/Author Liz Greene say at one time:

“Astrologer’s favorite pastime is trying to predict what a Uranus transit will be when it hits their chart, and they are always wrong.”

Now, one more quite telling factor here, especially when you have access to insights given by Hilarion is what he says about Jupiter in the house of daily life when difficulty aspected:

Sixth House
If Jupiter is in the sixth and negatively aspected, the indication is that the native will receive many rebuffs in life due to his inability to interact sincerely with others. The lesson of sincerity is a paramount one for him, and until it is learned, little true personal happiness can be found.

I think we have seen this quite a bit, including quite recent remarks on the part of President Trump and his Press Secretary, i.e. that the feud with the Intelligence community was created by the media, and that the crowds at his Inauguration were bigger than Obama’s when photographic evidence seems to clearly indicate that is a false statement. When I look at this chart I think we can expect more of the same.

And yet, whacky as those statements were, it did take down the headline of 2.6 million people in this country and others in 32 other countries marching in protest to the Trump Presidency from being the top story. Is it just Uranian impulsive wackiness, or clever Plutonian manipulation? In this chart I would have to say, probably a bit of both.

(As I am still working on this article since I wrote the above, we have now the additional apparently fraudulent claim that the reason Trump lost the popular vote was because of voter fraud.)

Adding to the theme of insincerity and dishonesty is the Mercury in the house of belief system. Again, in the interest of absolving myself from the accusation of having a penchant of bias, here is the Hilarion quote:

Ninth House
When Mercury is located in the ninth sector, there is an indication that the individual has forgotten the “precepts of righteousness” which he had acquired in earlier lives. The association of Mercury with an early childlike state is the rationale for this connection. Usually, the soul has passed from a state of “knowing” to a state of “forgetfulness” in terms of the Laws of Being, and one purpose of the present life is to restore the memory that has been eclipsed. The lesson side of this placement is thus obvious. Karmically there is a requirement that the individual pass through various episodes when his attempts to be less than completely honest and above-board will land him in hot water.

Now, fortunately, this Mercury is not difficultly aspected, but in early 2018 and throughout that year, transiting Saturn will be on top of that Mercury. I expect some concrete manifestation of someone landing in ‘hot water’ around then.

And knowing that Uranus is in opposition to the Jupiter in the sixth house penchant for insincerity, I believe we may see surprise revelations, perhaps Internet hacks, that reveal/expose this Jupiter in the sixth house insincerity.

I also tend to feel that this Uranian, revolutionary, potentially liberating force, behind the scenes, hidden away in the twelfth house is relatable to an emerging Progressive backlash to the policies and beliefs being implemented in the daily life of the nation over these next four years, also energized perhaps by duplicity in the conduct of things.

It should make for a quite interesting 4 years!

Toward the end of 2018 Saturn will harmonize with the Neptune in the house of Karma with former enemies, so this ‘hot water’ from the Mercury in the ninth house moral test could lead to some resolution and restoration of faith, compassion and healing between former adversaries.

Saturn is also in the house of other people affecting your money, and in harmony with both ends of the Jupiter/Uranus opposition. These positive aspects could bring a bit of a sober, stabilizing influence upon some of this Jupiter/Uranus craziness. Somehow other people, other political parties, or other nations affecting our finances could provide some grounding ‘reality check’ here. This reminds me of an article in the current issue of ‘The Economist’ magazine: ‘China the Global Grownup.’

Pluto, in the house of belief system, is also in positive aspect to the former enemy, Pisces, victim planets, so I think, eventually, some Higher Wisdom may prevail there.

The last, and also very telling, component of this chart I want to mention is in regards to the position of the Sun in this chart.

The Sun is clearly going to represent the President himself in such a chart. In researching and working on this article I’ve discovered that, as a result of scheduling the Inauguration to always be on the exact same date and at the exact same time, to the minute, means that every Inauguration chart has a Taurus self-image (Ascendant) and a Capricorn projected image to the world (Midheaven).

This is what Hilarion says about having these two earth signs on these angles:

Capricorn
This sign appears commonly at the M.C. coinciding with either Aries or Taurus rising. It tends to cause a projection of the more serious and cautious traits of Capricorn into the outer picture. Others will see the individual as practical and hard-working, with little time for play. But play is precisely the right prescription for these individuals, particularly those with Taurus rising. In such cases the preponderance of earth on the angles weighs down the spirit and must be counteracted with light, enjoyable activity undertaken for pleasure alone.

In that light I would venture to say that it is therefore appropriate to make use of the therapeutic benefits of watching Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, John Oliver and/or Bill Maher over the next four years.

The other consistent factor is that the Sun in our Inauguration charts is always in the first degree of the sign Aquarius, which is helpful in encouraging the potential for embracing a humanitarian group consciousness. The Sun is also always in the house of work, career, ‘role in the world’, again, rather appropriate for a Presidential Birth Chart. It makes me wonder if there was some secret member of the Masonic Lodge with esoteric knowledge involved with these choices.

What is relatively unique about the January 20th, 2017 chart, however, is that the Sun, although it is conjunct the Mid-Heaven, and therefore the most elevated, visible and prominent entity in the sky, it nonetheless has no positive, and no difficult, aspects to it. In effect, it is dangling up there by itself.

This brings to mind what Liz Greene said about having an ‘unaspected’ planet like this. She said that in such a case the planet would tend to live in the unconscious and not be easily integrated into conscious awareness.

I also remember something that Master Hilarion said about having the ‘D’ sound in a name in his book ‘Symbols’:

At the time when the parents are selecting a name for their child, the guides and guardians attempt to influence the choice in order to produce a first name which either a) reflects the traits or karma of the soul which is their child, or b) will influence the pattern of the life in such a way that the karma will be encountered. The latter effect is normally the case for the letter D. In other words, souls who must for karmic reasons go through a period of loneliness and separation from others are “labeled”, so to speak, with the sound D. Of course, not everyone who has the D in his first name will recognize this effect in his life, but comparison with the lives of others will usually show how the effect has manifested.

These two factors give me a sense of Donald Trump’s Presidency, as it progresses, becoming one where he is very isolated, perhaps a figurehead, but other people are really running the show.

In searching for the last time that the Inauguration Chart had an unaspected Sun, I had to go back until 1977, the Inauguration of President Jimmy Carter. It does seem to my memory that President Carter definitely ended up being rather isolated in his views, and rather overwhelmed by the flow of external events and attitudes, giving rise to the Ronald Reagan era.

Of course my liberal side would love to believe that this parallel between the two Presidencies could portend a one-term Presidency for Donald Trump as well. We shall see.

In this light, however, I might note that the most telling event I witnessed, personally, on the day of the Inauguration was when newly Inaugurated President Trump was signing Executive orders, a ceremony where the President normally uses a different pen for each order and gives it to someone present as a memorial gift.

I saw President Trump sign a document and give a pen to Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. Ryan, however, put the pen back on the table and left it there. At the end of the signings Trump picked up the pen and tried to give it back to Ryan, but Ryan had turned away and hadn’t taken it. Then Trump, left holding the pen in his hand, tried to find someone else who would take it. At first, no one wanted to take it, and then someone finally did, but they apparently felt uncomfortable receiving it, and ended up giving it to Melania Trump….

In the Congressional luncheon that day I heard Paul Ryan give a glowing speech of praise for Vice President Mike Pence. The combination of that speech, the symbolic incident with the pen, the unaspected Sun in the Inauguration chart, and the fact that most of the cabinet picks are old school Republicans, many of whom have views on issues that are counter to those expressed by Trump himself, gives me a sense that this may become more of a Pence/Ryan Presidency than a truly Trump Presidency.

This reminds me of a joke told during the George W. Bush years: “If Dick Cheney had died, Bush would have become President.”

I do have some additional things to share about collective movements in the soul and psyche of our nation, and specific Astrological ‘exams’ approaching for our new President. These I will reserve for a future article, unless you want to come down and hear me on Sunday.

Blessings,
Steffan Vanel

My Cards Were Right – I Was Wrong: What does it all mean?

Dear Friends, Clients and Subscribers,

I am actually in China now, and quite busy. I have had some requests, however, to share some thoughts about the recent election results, so I have carved out some time to do so.

I must say, watching the election from here in Dali, a small idyllic city way away in Western China, has made what just happened back in the U.S. seem even more surrealistic.

Obviously, the ‘rigid holding pattern’ my cards had predicted for Hillary Clinton’s feelings the day after the election, and the ‘love’ they predicted for Donald Trump’s feelings, were not amenable to the spin my personal political bias was trying to put on them. I was also uncomfortable being virtually the only Astrologer predicting a Trump win, especially with all of the polls indicating a Clinton victory.

What does it all mean?

Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton
source: midnightsunak.com

There is so much one can say. We definitely have uncertain times ahead of us. But it seems clear to me the Trump victory is a ‘sign of the times,’ i.e. reflective of the Saturn/Neptune squares of this past year. One can see how people who feel themselves victims (Neptune) feel resentment towards the establishment (Saturn) and are inspired to dissolve (Neptune) that Saturnian status quo structure and put in place their own authoritative strong man (Saturn).

One can see parallels of this around the world: in the British ‘Brexit’ from the authority of the E.U., the rise of various right-wing groups in Europe and specific ‘strong men’ in Eastern Europe and the Philippines.

The dynamic I see involved here is resonant with a travel blog I wrote some years ago from Nepal. Some of you may have read it. The insights that I had shared came from conversations I had had with my Himalayan trekking guide, Yadev. Yadev was a really nice guy and we became good friends during the 10 days of our trek together. At one point I asked him how he felt about the future of Nepal. With a despondent reaction he said “Oh it will go down. There is so much corruption in the government.’ This is, certainly a common refrain in third world nations. But then he surprised me by saying ‘But the people, they expect you to be corrupt. They want you to be corrupt. Even me, if I was a politician, I would be corrupt.’ Now the last part really kind of shocked me because I knew Yadev to be a guy I could trust to be honest, considerate and above board.

The insight that came to me was this: In most tribal societies, untouched by the sentiments of civic duty and social contracts among equal citizens, when they were looking for a tribal leader to help protect them from the other tribes, they were not looking for a civic-minded diplomatic type with a slogan like ‘Stronger Together. ‘ No, they wanted the meanest, bad-ass, self-involved ‘’Alpha’ male. And they were quite willing to overlook some of their personal unpleasantnesses in doing so. It is this archaic ‘tribal spirit’ searching for an alpha male, which was willing to overlook all of the perhaps immoral or unethical components of Donald Trump.

Now as to the sources of this sense of victimhood in the U.S. I’ve listened to a very interesting interview with an Atlantic Magazine journalist, James Fallows, who just spent three years flying his own small plane to small cities around the U.S. In his ‘on the ground’ assessments he really counters many of the reasons being cited for Trump’s popularity. For example, the myth that we are losing manufacturing jobs to Mexico, China and Japan. He said that might have been the case in the early 1990’s. Now, however, most of our (and their) manufacturing jobs are being lost to automation. He saw, however, that most communities have already adapted and moved on with new forms of young start-ups and entrepreneurs. He cited an article to the effect that all Republican congressmen believe the economy is getting worse, except in their own district.

He also made reference to Erie, Pennsylvania, which had a huge Trump rally. Erie is known as one of several ‘gateway’ cities serving as a receptive base for landing and integrating refugee immigrants. With this year’s rhetoric you would think there would likely be a large amount of fear, distrust and resentment towards the Syrian families brought to live there. In interviews with the families and the population at large he actually found none of that.

Seventy percent of the exit polls in this election had people stating that they favored a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

So what explains the discontent? Besides the Neptunian illusion, confusion, and victimhood affecting our Saturnian grasp of reality, I have one last Astrological explanation, and a last sociological, political explanation.

The sociological, political explanation was coined by an author in the phrase ‘The Majoritarian Backlash.’

This author put forth the observation that the previous and present (but dwindling) majority rule of this nation, basically the white race, and in particular, white men, have seen, and can see, the on-going erosion of their privileged position as the dominant force in the political and social culture of the USA, and there is a collective resentment about that decline.

Clearly this is a follow-up to the theme I presented in my last article about the reason for the collective resentment of Hillary Clinton. I would say that it shouldn’t have taken a political genius to see that, after forcing these white males to stretch and try to accommodate a Black President, about the worst thing you could do was to try to shove a female President on them, especially a female as flawed as Hillary Clinton. Hence, the Majoritarian Backlash.

I believe it is this discontent percolating in the collective psyche of this group that made them ready to get fired up about trade, immigration and terrorism when these weren’t really ‘hot button’ issues previously. It’s not too difficult to see the slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ as code for ‘Make America White (and Male dominated) Again.’

This is parallel to the fears in Britain’s own ‘Majoritarian Backlash’ fueling Brexit. And, just as there has been a certain amount of ‘Brexit Remorse’ following the results of their election, I wonder if there isn’t some ‘Trump Remorse’ today, after having pulled the lever in protest, thinking that Hillary would win anyway.

A certain parallel has also been made between what just happened in the U.S. and what happened in post-1916 Weimar Republic Germany. That was a time when cosmopolitan Germans in the metropolitan centers were creating some of the most liberal forms of social democracy. They, however, experienced a backlash in the form of the Nazis, whose early support came largely from provincial, rural areas. Although it has also been pointed out that we must remember that populism is not fascism, at least in the early stages.

Now, I know that Hillary actually won the popular vote and clearly there are flaws in our system. But I don’t begrudge the existence of the Electoral College. If we had only a popular vote the candidates and their campaigning and advertising efforts would be focused entirely on the population centers of New York, California, Illinois and Texas. The rest of the nation would be basically irrelevant.

Now, I will end with an Astrological explanation derived from the U.S. chart. This is in reference to our Mars in the Seventh House, the house of relationships, giving rise to an experience of likely conflict and aggression in relationships and a tendency to ‘rush into battle’ when opposed, being square to our natal Neptune, making that Mars subject to illusion, confusion, delusion, victimhood and martyrdom.

USA Chart
USA Chart

I have written about this extensively in my book, and in subsequent articles over the years. For example, when Pluto was conjuncting the Neptune and squaring Mars we were in the delusionary military engagement of Vietnam. When I saw Pluto moving towards a square to Neptune and an opposition to Mars starting in 2003, I predicted the likely emergence of a similarly Vietnam-like manifestation. That of course was the War in Iraq.

When Pluto was activating this during the 1960’s it became characterized by the phrase ‘Hawks (Mars) and Doves (Neptune). Now, I was certainly a dove at the time and remain largely so today. But, as I said in my book, if I were counseling an individual with this same difficult aspect in their chart, I would say: ‘You need to heal and integrate this tension.’ This perspective has led me to feel that, karmically, the U.S. has to do the same. We obviously can’t just do Mars; send in the military, with no Neptune, i.e. no compassion or sensitivity to the reality of the people we are dealing with. But, by the same token, I am of the belief that we can’t just do Neptune without acknowledging there are occasionally times for an appropriate expression of Mars. The trick is to have it truly integrated and not either/or.

George W. Bush was obviously way too Mars. Obama has really tried to bring in Neptune and dissolve and melt away from those Martial wars started by George W., but, by my own assessment, as much as I appreciate and stand behind many of the efforts of Barack Obama, I do think he was too Neptune. I believe he should have stayed much more engaged with what we had created in Iraq, at least diplomatically, if not militarily having left some stabilizing troops there. Instead of disengaging virtually entirely and giving Prime Minister Maliki full sway at suppressing Sunni Muslims thus creating a more fertile ground for ISIS.

And, perhaps Obama could have done more to support moderate Syrians when there were still some around that could be distinguished from the Islamists.

Hillary actually seems to be, to my taste, a little too much on the Hawkish side of things, but she would have been a continuing effort to work on balance and integration of this. However, an animus-possessed woman in a pantsuit was just not Mars enough for Trump supporters hungry for a real martial alpha male warrior.

I think we saw the same phenomenon in the loss of Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan. My Kabbalah teacher, who always spoke of the balancing integration of the Tree of Life, said that because of this eternal back and forth movement of the pendulum, societies will always have a certain amount of ebb and flow between the conservative and liberal view points.

As to my liberal, progressive comrades, it is obvious that when we have a Republican President we do get much more seriously engaged. When we have a Democratic President we tend to just whine and criticize, or spin self-indulgent cocoons of conspiracy theories such that it doesn’t matter whom you vote for.

This is another factor as to why Hillary lost. Neither Hillary nor Trump received as many votes as Mitt Romney did when he lost the election in 2012. Lots of Democrats didn’t vote.

In an interview before the election with one of our great progressive champions, Noam Chomsky, he said any vote not made for Hillary is a vote for Trump. That this is just arithmetic. You can say you are going to vote your conscience but you can’t cancel the factual reality of arithmetic. And the danger of a Trump Presidency is such that you don’t really have a conscience if you don’t vote for Hillary but are just indulging in your own personal feelings.

As I have said in the past, the Sagittarian Ascendant of the U.S., giving rise to a tendency towards ‘seeing oneself as upright, honest and morally strong, whether true or not,’ is not limited to the Right Wing. We are all, in the U.S., prone to that kind of self-righteous ‘know-it-all ness.’

That Sagittarian self-image was getting hit pretty hard this past year. Next year it appears to be worse. And, as I said in my last article, the inauguration chart is also pretty challenging. More about those things later.

In the meantime, may we pray that there can be as much openings as possible in the consciousness and conscience of Donald Trump, and enough truly inspired strength and vision in those who oppose him, to mitigate as much as possible the potential harm that could happen to our society and the individuals within it, and to our fragile planet.

Blessings,
Steffan Vanel