Donald Trump Pardons Himself – Or Does He?

In late August, President Trump pardoned former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio of criminal contempt of court. On the following Sunday’s episode of Meet the Press, round table participant Michael Gerson of the Washington Post said that Trump pardoning Arpaio was Trump pardoning himself.

Is Gerson a secret, closet astrologer?

Trump was born June 14, 1946. Arpaio, June 14, 1932. Two peas in the Gemini pod. Spot on Gerson!

As with any two individuals born 14 years apart, the charts have many differences. Jupiter takes 12 years to travel around the sun (and the horoscope) so it can be in the same sign in different generations. Saturn the the planets further out in the horoscope take a while to travel around the sun and reflect generational differences.

What’s the same and what’s different about these two June 14 Geminis?

What’s the Same?


As noted, both are mutable sign Gemini which is represented by the twins and suggests a certain duality existing in the basic personality. Gemini is ruled by Mercury and you’ll note recent news stories referring to Trump as “mercurial,” another good astrological call.

Gemini is here to experience, explore, process, categorize and employ idea and intellect. The gifts of Gemini, which can make it faster and cleverer than those around it, can be channeled into chicanery.

As a sign of changeability, it’s not common to see Gemini fixated on the institutionalized control of others. Gemini likes its freedom and is not known for trying to trap others in co-dependent situations. Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius) and earth signs (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn) are the signs that tend to focus on rules, purpose, obligation and duty. These signs will follow through on stated goals even if they no longer believe them through a sense of identity and pride.

Gemini, like its companion air signs Libra and Aquarius, does seem to enjoy playing the rebel. Unlike earth signs, it’s quite aware of the trends in the environment and can both follow them loyally or reject them entirely creating its own styles and trends.


The other interesting aspect that both men share is Venus in Cancer. Venus doesn’t travel too far from the sun so can only be two signs before or after your sun sign. So while there are many Geminis with Venus in Cancer, both Trump and Arpaio have intense aspect to this pleasure-seeking planet.

Trump has Saturn conjunct while Arpaio has Pluto. Both aspects suggest difficult early family life with lack of that comforting, nurturing feeling you get from Cancer. Both seek it desperately but for Trump family life was filled with rules and rejection while for Arpaio it was filled with power struggles and domination.


Trump has Uranus conjunct his sun (and opposite moon in Sagittarius) which creates the uber unpredictability for which he is known. Arpaio has Uranus trine sun which provides the energy and inspiration of Uranus but not quite as much unpredictability.

As Uranus has recently made a return to its natal position in Arpaio’s chart, he’s experiencing the Uranus-in-Aries sense of self that is one of his life energies. At 85 that must be refreshing as it’s a time when the Aries “self” is diminishing.

Trump is experiencing a less energizing aspect – transiting Saturn opposing sun and Uranus. Saturn tries to put the brakes on energy in demand of integrity. In Sagittarius, Saturn is demanding that the walk match the talk.


As already noted, Trump’s Saturn is in Cancer. Arpaio’s, in contrast, is in Aquarius. While Cancer is (cardinal) water and Aquarius (fixed) air, what they have in common is a sense of group. Cancer is the family and generally boils down to a sense of belonging. Aquarius is about group goals and missions such as with charitable causes and idealized societies and community living. With Saturn in these signs, both lack a certain connection to the group, Trump emotionally (water) and Arpaio intellectually (air).

What’s Different?


The major difference is moon sign. As noted above, Trump has moon in Sagittarius, a mutable fire sign, Arpaio has moon possibly in the fixed water sign of Scorpio. That would explain a more consistency of purpose and fixation on certain causes.

Scorpio is very different than Gemini. Gemini is light and playful; Scorpio, heavy and somber. Being fixed water means emotional intensity to the point of obsession. Scorpio can’t let go or forget while Gemini is always looking for new, interesting stimulation.

The mixture of Scorpio/Gemini makes for someone inconsistent in various ways but intensely anchored to certain strong feelings both positive and negative.

If Arpaio does have this consistency of purpose, that’s very different from Trump who changes his mind and positions daily. While some may find that quite frustrating in a leader because a leader, how shall I say this, is supposed to lead. But in contrast to Arpaio, it can be refreshing that Trump has the attention span of a three-month old kitten.

Astrology describes the soup of life and the balance of signs, modes and elements ultimately makes for balance. Like soup, you don’t want too much corn, or too little salt, or a base that overrides all the flavors.

Trump may believe he pardoned his kind in pardoning Arpaio in a great statement of solidarity, but he actually pardoned an entirely different energy – an energy with focus.

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Alexander Hamilton: The Shadow Hero

Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton – that’s all you hear today. The local library newsletter of events has several events on the schedule about Hamilton. Alexander Hamilton, “American statesman and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States,” has been our new hero since the opening of the musical Hamilton on Broadway in 2015.

While I haven’t read much about Hamilton or seen the show on Broadway yet, Hamilton for me is the man who proposed a national bank. Is this the Hamilton who is now in our attention? Or is there another Alexander Hamilton out there who plays sports or has a tech company?

While I’m always happy to see my country focused on history, the chasm between this interest and how politicians are received is quite stunning. Imagine Hamilton had run for president in 2016 talking about financial systems, especially in the two-minute time frame of a political debate. He probably would have been deemed a “policy wonk” and yawned off the stage. There were some candidates who dared to speak of the Constitution, but they didn’t make much progress in the election.

Prior to Hamilton, our last foray into media history was the mini-series about John Adams (2008), our second president. While the series had some popularity, Adams didn’t take hold in the American psyche quite the way Hamilton has.

Pluto in Capricorn

In 2008, Pluto entered the sign of Capricorn which rules authority and structure. Capricorn is your society regardless of its characteristics. Capricorn loves authority and follows the rules. When Pluto the great destroyer and transformer entered that sign, the rules changed.

The first change was in Hamilton’s playground, the financial system. We learned there are some flaws in the system and that a few individuals can take a global financial system to its knees. In the recent US politic election, all past protocol was destroyed. The old rules are gone and the new rules, if we are fated to have any, have not yet been established.

The United States was “born” with Pluto in 27 degrees of Capricorn. Pluto will return to that position in 2022 for the first time since the nation’s founding. Prior to that in 2020 Saturn and Jupiter will travel with Pluto in Capricorn so I expect the next election to be even more volatile than 2016. We are going through a pull-the-rug-from-under-us evolution of Capricorn issues of structure and authority.

Adams and Hamilton

The John Adams mini-series launched right as Pluto moved into Capricorn in 2008. Hamilton came later at 13 degrees of Capricorn. Pluto in Capricorn brought some interest in historical figures.

Alexander Hamilton appears to have been born in 1755 or 1757. Without a year, we’re at a loss for his horoscope. However, if he was born on January 11, his sun is in about 21 degrees of Capricorn. We have a Capricorn hero for Capricorn time.

It’s interesting that our current president is the anti-hero, bucking all the rules, insulting people, and generally exhibiting behavior that is the opposite of the Capricorn old man – Trump is the eternal child who refuses to grow up and follow rules.

Hamilton, then, might be the shadow side of that energy. We’ve projected our immature child onto the public stage but are also identifying with the mature, intellectual man who wants to discuss banking and taxation.

The Real Capricorns

When I toss out the extant Capricorns on the public stage, you’ll get a sense of how Hamilton might be received today.

Three Capricorns ran for president in 2016. One of the more prominent is Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. Known for his self-centered meanness, even his most ardent detractors admit of his strong intellect and ability to debate.

Libertarians Rand Paul (senator from Kentucky) and Gary Johnson (former Governor of New Mexico) made little headway during the election. Martin O’Malley on the Democrat side wasn’t able to topple his Goliath Capricorn-establishment opponent Hillary Clinton or the anti-Capricorn establishment opponent Bernie Sanders. Pluto in Capricorn suggests O’Malley will be back in 2020.

Our past Capricorn presidents have been Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Woodrow Wilson and Richard Nixon. Which of these men could win an election today? Wilson and Nixon were also known for intense intellect and focus on policy. Fillmore and Johnson – I’ll have to read more on these guys. Or maybe there will be a Broadway play so I can save myself a few hours . . .

The King and the President

Don’t think I’m insulting Capricorn here. The attraction to Hamilton suggests the desire for the strength and executive ability of Capricorn. It also suggests a need for stability. As much as we claim to dislike government authority, part of us craves it.

Our conflicting desire for Capricorn and rebellion against it is best demonstrated by this awesome photo from December 21, 1970 as the sun was entering Capricorn (photo from Smithsonian magazine).

Two very famous Capricorns – President Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley – met in the White House and shook hands. These are the two faces of Capricorn influence. Capricorn climbs the mountain to get to the top. Nixon and Presley each climbed a different side of the mountain but ended up at the the same peak. As the saying goes, it can be lonely at the top and both men seemed to have experienced some isolation at the end of their lives.

Alexander Hamilton is the new Nixon-Presley of our Pluto transit of Capricorn. He’s a self-made man, statesman and developer of systems that provide security. And with the opening of Hamilton on Broadway, he’s also a rock star.

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All the President’s Humiliated Men

When my cat saw that President Trump’s Communications Director, Chief of Staff, Chief Strategist and Attorney General were all being publicly humiliated in an effort to push them out of their roles, she asked why anyone would work for Trump since eventually this pattern occurs.

I said I didn’t know.

My cat asked if these people were drawn to abusive relationships and had delusions that their experiences would be better than others’ experiences because they were somehow special.

I said I didn’t know.

My cat asked if these people were going to get some therapy so they could learn to identify and avoid sociopaths in the future.

I said I didn’t know.

With obvious irritation, my cat asked if I could at least look at their horoscopes for some insight on why these individuals would walk into a self-destructing mine field, even by political standards.

I said I could do that.


My cat and I have been learning much about humiliation in the past six months. As we’ve read in Psychology Today:

Embarrassment, shame, guilt, and humiliation all imply the existence of value systems. Whereas shame and guilt are primarily the outcome of self-appraisal, embarrassment and humiliation are primarily the outcome of appraisal by one or several others, even if only in thought or imagination. (See my article on embarrassment, shame, and guilt here.)

One important respect in which humiliation differs from embarrassment is that, whereas we bring embarrassment upon ourselves, humiliation is something that is brought upon us by others. Tommy confides to his teacher that he has not done his homework. He feels embarrassment. The teacher reveals this to the whole class. Now he feels even greater embarrassment. The teacher makes him sit facing into a corner, provoking the laughter of his classmates. This time, he feels humiliation. Had the teacher quietly given Tommy an F grade, he would have felt not humiliated but offended. Offense is primarily cognitive, to do with clashing beliefs and values, whereas humiliation is much more visceral and existential.

Which sign suffers most under humiliation?

Each sign may have its own tolerance of humiliation, much like we have varying levels of tolerance for pain. Fire signs (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius) for example, are outgoing so if you ask them spontaneously to speak at a large public gathering, they might respond well. Ask a practical, planning earth sign (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn) to to do the same and they may never speak to you again.

Call out an air sign (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) for not following the rules and you might find that they deliberately rebelled to prove a point. Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces) are extremely sensitive and would respond emotionally to humiliation but may also be more prone to guilt and internalize it.

Our sight, hearing and analytical intelligence are quantifiable and can be easily compared to our fellow men. Comparing our tolerance for love, hatred, pain and humiliation aren’t quantifiable. We can only feel our own level of these emotions and observe others to try to understand what they feel.

All the President’s Humiliated Men

Steve Bannon, Chief Strategist, has recently been criticized in vulgar fashion by the new White House Communications Director. Bannon is a fiery guy with sun in Sagittarius and moon/Pluto conjunct in Leo. Fire is strong, bold and resilient. Mars, the active principle, is in detriment (bad placement) in Libra which may make Bannon contain some of his aggressive instincts.

Saturn has been transiting Sagittarius which puts the brakes on some of Sagittarius’ natural instinct to wander and explore. Saturn also is a reality check on one’s lofty ideals. If you claim to be a teetotaler, for example, and take a nip of brandy under this transit, Saturn will make sure to catch you.

Saturn in Sagittarius also happens to be transiting President Trump’s moon which leads me to believe that humiliation of Bannon is simply a pass-it-on humiliation that Trump himself feels. Fire signs don’t usually accept this kind of treatment so I could image Bannon taking the Sagittarius path away from the situation.

Reince Priebus, former Chief of Staff, with sun in Pisces and moon in Taurus, was also in the criticism lobbed by the new White House Communications Director. A Taurus moon is a nice placement to have for calm, steady reaction. Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac and most prone sacrifice itself or inadvertently become the scapegoat. Priebus chose not to be a scapegoat.

In a blog from April 2016, I described Priebus’ Gemini problem. He was warned and yet decided to walk into it . . . astrologers always help where they can. Priebus’ natal Saturn in Gemini is tied up in the President’s natal sun/Uranus opposition to the moon. That he lasted six months is a feat of Pisces adaptability.

Jeff Sessions, Attorney General, who has been the subject of critical tweets from the president, has sun and moon in Capricorn. Capricorn loves, loves being authority but hates humiliation as its highest goal is respect. This is the situation of the monkey who grabs food from a cage but the food is too large to fit through the holes so does the monkey let go or hold on forever?

Pluto the great destroyer and transformer is transiting Capricorn. If Sessions is pushed out, it will be particularly ugly and may involve accusations of a Plutonian nature such as underworld connections, illegal activity or abuse of power.

Sean Spicer, former White House Press Secretary, who left when the new Communications Director was hired, has sun and Pluto in Virgo, which is highly controlling in an obsessive-compulsive way. Spicer’s moon is in Scorpio which has a strong ego and is not known for suffering fools gladly. Saturn is in Gemini as is Priebus’ which is conjunct the president’s sun. A person’s Saturn on your natal sun feels heavy, like they are always making the rules and trying to control you. Trump probably dislikes Spicer because he’s viewed as ruining the fun.

In addition, Virgo is a mutable sign (as are Gemini, Sagittarius and Pisces). Saturn transiting Sagittarius is making a square and all of that knocks up against the President’s sun/Uranus moon opposition. In other words, it’s all conflict. Like Priebus, Spicer’s ability to stay for an entire six months reflects the a Herculean task which may have been aided by his Virgo sun which can take some abuse. His Virgo sun probably developed a migraine which never ended due to external pressure and internal self-criticism, a Virgo trait.

Anthony Scaramucci

After discussing the various ways Trump’s men are humiliated, the cat asked if the new Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci would be humiliated.

I said I didn’t know.

She said it was inevitable and asked what his humiliation might look like.

I said I’d look.

Scaramucci has sun in Capricorn, moon in Libra and Jupiter in Aries, which forms a T-square. Squares can be frustration but moon in Libra isn’t known for the abusive language used by Scaramucci. It’s usually much more diplomatic. Jupiter in Aries would have natural self-assurance but square Capricorn creates a demanding personality.

Possibly Scaramucci is trying to prove his worth by saying, “I don’t have a poetic, wishy-washing, relationship-oriented Libra moon that strongly desires to be popular. I’ll prove it.”

Saturn and Venus are conjunct in Aquarius in his chart suggesting great difficulties connecting and feelings of rejection by the group. Scaramucci’s behavior might be responding by saying, “I’ll reject you before you reject me.” This can be common with Capricorn as well.

What humiliation is in store for a man who’s clearly come out of the gate with fighting fire with fire?

Pluto is transiting Capricorn and recently crossed Scaramucci’s sun. Pluto is retrograde (moving backwards) but won’t actually cross his sun again. It will, however, make a long trek to his natal Mars and form exact conjunction around 2021.

Will Scaramucci last until 2021?

Like Sessions, Scaramucci’s humiliation will involve Pluto, which is very powerful and intense. Add Mars and you get a very nasty and violent combination. If (or should I say “when?”) Scaramucci goes, it will be very nasty.

Since Scaramucci clearly knows the rules of the Humiliation Game, he may fight his way through the gauntlet. This brings to mind Scorpio imagery, which is ruled by Pluto and the defensive tactic of biting one’s own tail in defense.

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Amazon, United States

In US in the 1960s, the youth of this country rebelled against “the establishment” with many professing to “drop out.” Fifty years later, the pendulum has swung and now all generations are willing, card-carrying members of the establishment from memberships to large business entities such as Costco and Amazon to numerous identity cards allowing us into corporate (name badge), financial (checking accounts) and health care establishments (health insurance).

The anti-establishment generation was born with evolutionary Pluto in fire-sign Leo which focused on self-expression. They were the first generation in memory to turn away from their parents as role models and instead focus on popular culture from music to television to form identity.

While Pluto was in water-sign Cancer prior to Leo, the family fell apart as we became a “world” which could have “world wars.” For the first time in history, masses of people could process the same information at the same time through the radio (which was developed as Pluto was in air-sign Gemini). When the “world” was created, the family, tribe and clan were threatened.

In other nations, the family structure is more solid than in the US possibly because of our evolutionary lesson as indicated by natal Pluto in Capricorn. When Pluto entered Cancer in 1912-1914, it began its opposition to the US natal Pluto in Capricorn. That opposition culminated in 1936. In other words, we were halfway through our first evolutionary cycle at that time.

In Capricorn, Pluto represents evolutionary lessons about structure and authority. This includes all of society’s establishments including education, banking, government, police and law. Capricorn makes the rules. In 2022, Pluto will return to its initial position representing a “return” and a complete cycle.

When Pluto was in Cancer at the beginning of the 20th century, family structure evolved. One hundred years later, we’ve replaced family with establishment. In the US, many Americans look to the corporation with its 401K programs and to the government with social security to help us in old age, not our family. The days when children had a stay-at-home parent are rapidly decreasing. Because the US does not support family structure, many children are raised by businesses as both parents are needed in as earners.


One of the largest US business entities is Amazon. When I read that Amazon was purchasing Whole Foods, I had my usual response – “duh.” Amazon borrowed its name from the second longest river in the world and implies a deep, life-sustaining relationship. As of 2016, Amazon the business had a “warehouse or delivery station within 20 miles of 44% of the US population.” That percent is growing as Amazon continues to build warehouses.

Historically, the Amazons were purportedly a group (race? tribe?) of warlike women. Legend has it that they burnt off their right breasts to better use a bow and arrow – interesting etymology for a brand that was formed in 13 degrees of the mothering sign of Cancer (July 5, 1994). Oh, by the way, the US horoscope has the sun in 13 degrees of Cancer.

Amazon has an interesting place in the establishment. It’s the one-breasted mother to us being within 20 miles and ever-attentive to our needs but is actually a for-profit venture that is Capricorn in nature. During the Progressive Era of the late 19th and early 20th century (mostly Pluto in Gemini), corporate power was identified as a social problem and corporations that achieved monopoly status were split up (aka “trust busting”). We seem to have lost our fear of large corporations gaining excessive control over our lives.

When Amazon was founded, Neptune and Uranus were conjunct in Capricorn at 22 and 24 degrees respectively. This transit both idealized/spiritualized (Neptune) and advanced/innovated (Uranus) Capricorn. Our current membership into Capricorn is a result of these energies.

Transiting Pluto began its journey through Capricorn in January 2008. The three-dimensional effects of this energy were seen almost immediately with a housing market collapse in the US which led to a global financial crisis. Capricorn saved Capricorn as the government bailed out the banks.

Since 2008 we’ve seen other evolutionary shifts in Capricorn structure and authority, most recently with the US election which placed a businessman into the highest elected office. Now government and business are fully merged.

In 2022, Pluto will return to its original place in the US horoscope symbolizing the entire evolutionary cycle around the Capricorn energy we embody as a nation. A couple years prior in 2020, around the time of the next US presidential election, Pluto will hook up with Saturn (and a few months later Jupiter) which increases both the power and responsibility of these lessons.

For Amazon, Pluto will begin exact conjunction of natal Neptune in February 2019. Saturn will take a while to catch up as it goes retrograde and won’t make an exact hit to Neptune until January 2020. As I’ve noted in a separate blog, Uranus will be moving from Aries to Taurus around this time. Uranus will then focus on the earth, material goods and property.

What occurs at these times of evolutionary change involving structure, authority (Capricorn) and material reality (Taurus) will have a profound impact on Amazon. What happens to the US happens to Amazon.

Astrology is symbolism and it’s certainly an astrologer’s entertainment to imagine how Uranus in Taurus will affect a company building massive and complex national infrastructure. One imagining is that Amazon’s infrastructure will dominate and define all other infrastructures. Or possibly changes in property and monetary values renders the infrastructure too expensive to use. Or more draconian, government owns the infrastructure.

The Amazon horoscope has Mars, moon and Mercury in the mutable air sign Gemini. Gemini speaks to Amazon’s agility, flexibility and diversification. Natal Saturn in Pisces squares the moon causing a bit of damper to that energy – this aspect is often linked to depression. Pisces is water and squaring the moon suggests issues with physical water such as flooding. Depression is also an economic term which threatens all business when consumers have no money to spend.

Amazon’s own Pluto is in the water sign of Scorpio. Scorpio is sex, death, taxes and regeneration. Like the phoenix, Scorpio rises from the ashes so regardless of what may occur in 2019-2020, Amazon is resilient in addition to being flexible.

Scorpio also relates to other people’s money which includes loans. When Uranus in Taurus opposes Pluto in 2024, there may be issues with paying loans or with property taxes. This is where government may step in.

Amazon, United States

It’s quite interesting that Amazon and the US have the sun in the same placement – 13 degrees of Cancer. Amazon’s identity is the US identity which is why we so willingly participate in its takeover of the retail sector. Retail consumption is an estimated two-thirds of the US economy.

The consolidation of wealth and power is becoming a focal point during Pluto’s transit of Capricorn. Amazon is clearly involved in the evolutionary changes we are experiencing with this transit as it consolidates so much business under one brand. Amazon owner Jeff Bezos is the perfect leader for this lesson – he has Mercury (5 degrees), sun (21 degrees) and Mars (29 degrees) in Capricorn.

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What Does Saturn Transiting Your Sun Feel Like? Ask Comey.

Your astrologer friends are always saying some life event is occurring because of this or that planetary transit. You’ve probably heard, “Saturn is transiting my sun and I can take it no longer” and wondered what that meant. Here’s a description that can ease the confusion.

Saturn transiting your sun feels like you’re responsible for everything — being blamed for a presidential candidate losing an election, for example. This transit makes you feel like the sturdy brick wall between two warring factions such as Democrats and Republicans. Unfair guilt by association is another Saturn-transit feeling like when you are fired from your job because your boss was let go. Saturn transiting your sun is like sitting in a Congressional hearing for eight hours without a potty break as you repeat the same answer and hear dozens of monologues posing as questions. Saturn transits can also put you face-to-face with a rigid authoritarian figure, never any fun. But Saturn isn’t known for fun. Never was.

If these Saturn-sun transit feelings don’t make sense to you, go ahead and schedule a coffee with former FBI Director James Comey who with Saturn transiting his Sagittarius sun was suddenly dismissed from his role by President Trump. Comey can explain this transit to you which has been in range (called “orb” in astrology) since November 2016 (using a five-degree orb). It made a direct assault, I mean transit, in January 2017.

Saturn is currently retrograde (apparent backward motion due to it being far away) so it will criss-cross Comey’s sun for a while. The Saturn net has not ended for Comey. Saturn won’t go direct and re-cross his sun until October 2017. I suspect Comey will receive more Saturn-inspired charges of irresponsibility until that time. Some additional eight-hour Congressional hearings may be in his future.

Comey Will Return

These are interesting political times for Americans. When I learned Comey was fired then read his farewell letter to his staff, I started to get teary.

Teary for an FBI Director?

How did this happen? Did I accidentally slip into a black hole and fall out in the opposite end of the universe?

Comey has sun in Sagittarius and moon in early Scorpio or late Libra. His resolve suggests moon in Scorpio with its detective mind, emotional understanding of hidden motivations and emotional stubborness. Libra moon is also conceivable with its desire for fairness and detached rationality. However, moon in Libra is also indecisive with a strong desire to be popular. I don’t see that in Comey.

Natal Neptune in Scorpio and moon in Scorpio can make some sense as the public response to Comey’s sudden dismissal has bit of Neptune-inspired victimization, as if the Saturn transit weren’t enough. Neptune can be the savior or scapegoat. One person’s scapegoat is another’s savior.

Possibly Comey’s moon/Neptune charisma is evoking responses not normally directed to government officials.

Prior to transiting Sagittarius, Saturn was in Scorpio. Comey was appointed FBI Director in September 2013 when Saturn was transiting his moon. The job should have been listed as “Saturn seeks individual looking for overwhelming responsibility.” Scorpio moon is good at keeping secrets. With Saturn transiting, the secrets are quite serious. These are authority’s secrets, the secrets of structure and social order.

When it leaves Sagittarius in late December 2017, Saturn will move into Capricorn. Comey was born during the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Capricorn. Comey has even more Saturn lessons in the next two and a half years as Saturn transits both natal Jupiter and natal Saturn.

When Saturn conjuncts Comey’s natal Jupiter in spring 2018 (within a degree of orb), Comey may be back in government or heading a different established institution. Jupiter is the social crowd and they are looking for a Capricorn type who is structured, predictable and authoritative.

Shed no tears, Comey will return.

Saturn Return

Another saying you’ll hear from your astrologer friends is that someone is going through a “Saturn return.” Saturn takes 29.5 years to revolve around the sun and return to its natal position in your chart.

The first return around age 30 is considered a settling down point, the time when we mature and discard our childish notions about ourselves. The second return is the maturity that comes with 60 years of life experience. Should you see a third return, you’ll be 90 and everyone will treat you with respect (a Saturn rule).

We could use a little Confucius here to explain Saturn. Here’s a quote with some correspondences to Saturn’s cycle and half-cycle:

At fifteen my heart was set on learning; at thirty I stood firm; at forty I had no more doubts; at fifty I knew the will of heaven; at sixty my ear was obedient; at seventy I could follow my heart’s desire without overstepping the boundaries of what was right.

Possibly Comey could explain to us “at sixty my ear was obedient.”

Comey’s next Saturn return will be in November 2019. Around that time Jupiter will also move into Capricorn from Sagittarius (it’s two signs away in Libra right now). I’m calling the 2020 transits of Capricorn the “Authoritarian Apocalypse” as Pluto, Jupiter and Saturn will all be in that sign. It will be a collective Comey experience. It wouldn’t surprise me if President Trump kicks us all out of the country at that time.

Need more information about Saturn transiting your sun? There are lots of awesome astrology websites and blogs. Or, more easily, you can ask Comey.

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How to Be Your Own Nostradamus

Nostradamus was a 14th century physician and astrologer who is best known for a series of prophecies that some believe predicted the Holocaust and others believe are mere coincidences or creative translations that snugly fit historical facts.

The prophecies were written in four-line stanzas, quatrains. has a nice layout of the quatrains. Ah, to be in the 21st century where prophecy is a click away.

The quatrains are grouped into centuries which don’t have relation to actual centuries but refer to groupings of 100. Let’s take a look at a few:

Century XII, Quatrain 55
Sad counsels, disloyal, cunning,
Wicked advice, the Law will be betrayed:
The people stirred, wild, quarrelsome,
In borough as in town, the entire peace hated.

Yes, I can see how many could interpret this as any period of the last 2,000 years. It’s relevant today – this quite clearly describes US President Trump and his advisor Kellyanne Conway.

Century 1, quatrain 47 below is also clearly about US President Trump. I can already feel the time dragging.

Century I, Quatrain 47
The speeches of Lake Leman will become angered,
the days will drag out into weeks,
then months, then years, then all will fail.
The authorities will condemn their useless powers.

Century VIII, quatrain 49 provides an idea of how Nostradamus devised his prophecies – astrology!

Century VIII, Quatrain 49
Saturn in Taurus, Jupiter in Aquarius.
Mars in Sagittarius, the sixth of February brings death.
Those of Tardaigne so great a breach at Bruges,
that the barbarian chief will die at Ponteroso.

Be Your Own Nostradamus

In the Ohio Astrology blog History Continues Itself – The Opium Wars, I noted how in 1839-1860 Neptune in late Aquarius to late Pisces presided over the Opium Wars in China. Today a 165-year Neptune cycle later, Neptune in late Aquarius to late Pisces is presiding over the opioid addiction in the US. If we were Nostradamus, we would look at the aspect presiding over the 19th century Opium Wars and project them into today.

The Neptune quatrain:

A great power lures the people
Into a somnambulant waking existence
They take the people’s silver
And leave them in a painless void

Keep in mind that while one planet may return to a position, the other nine planets (the moon and Pluto are planets in astrology) will be in different positions. For example, Neptune may be in Pisces, again, but during the Opium Wars, Pluto was in Aries and Taurus while today Pluto is in Sagittarius and Capricorn. So we must be prophetically creative.

Ohio Astrology Quatrains

The outer planets of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto describe world events as they move slowly and represent the long haul from cave to cubicle. Uranus has an 84-year cycle, changing signs every seven years for the seven-year itch. Neptune has a 165-year cycle and the half-way point is close the Uranus full cycle and a human lifetime. Pluto has a 248-year cycle and spends about 20 years in a sign. Moses was purported to be 120 years old at death, half a Pluto cycle and his Pluto would have been opposing natal Pluto, a fine time to perish.

Right now, Pluto is in 19 degrees of Capricorn. Last time it was in 19 degrees of Capricorn was in March 1771. If you’re American, you know that the people of this land were fomenting revolution. That revolution occurred when Pluto was at 27 degrees of Capricorn. Oh, by the way, Pluto will return to 27 degrees of Capricorn in February 2022 as it bounces back and forth over that position for an entire year.

The Pluto quatrain:

The people of a young land stir
To overthrow their great fathers
Tea is now iced and stays in the glass
But the tall tower must fall

Currently Uranus is in 25 degrees of Aries. The last time of that placement was August 1934 (it first hit this placement in May 1933 then went retrograde). Those were interesting times.

The Uranus quatrain:

Fire rises from around the globe
As heads butt heads in aggression
Identity is paramount
In the struggle for sovereignty

As we get closer to the sun, the planetary cycles become much shorter. Saturn’s cycle is about 30 years, the time in life when people settle down to saturnine reality. Saturn is currently in 27 degrees of Sagittarius. This short cycle takes us back to January 1988. At that time, Uranus was also in Sagittarius providing extra punch to the aspect. This time, Saturn in Sagittarius goes solo.

The year 1988 was in the US the second election of Ronald Reagan who reduced taxes, released regulations, and promoted economic growth that allowed the top one percent to increase in wealth dramatically while everyone else plateaued. The common man did get some benefits which include high fructose corn syrup, diabetes and economic crashes.

The Saturn quatrain:

Abundance causes illness and sadness
Throw the remains into the world
When restraint is needed
The rulers open the gates

Lastly, let’s look at Jupiter, which as a roughly 12-year (actually 11-point-something which is quite close to the sun spot cycle).

Jupiter is currently transiting 15 degrees of Libra. That last occurred in August 2005. Recent history is more difficult for me to remember these days, for some reason, than more distant history so I had to employ Google. Oh my, that was the year of Hurricane Katrina. How could I forget?

The Jupiter Quatrain:

A great wind arises from the south
It blows away the beautiful tablecloth
Revealing the table beneath
The wood is decaying

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History Continues Itself – The Opium Wars

“History repeats itself,” the saying goes. Or you might prefer Edmund Burke’s “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”

At first glance both sayings appear correct, but it might be more accurate to say, “History continues itself.” Rather than historical events starting, stopping then repeating themselves, so much of our current historical landscape can be traced back with unbroken line to past events. As with an individual life, the current political environment of the earth is a result of past decisions and actions.

For example, today refugees from the Middle East are flooding into Europe. If you trace the modern Middle East to its roots at the end of World War I, you can see Europe (mostly France and Britain) was the power that defined the territories and carved the lines in the sand. If you travel even further back in history to the First Crusade of 1095, you will find yourself in France, which is now a focus of terrorist attacks.

In the Western Hemisphere, we can look to the 1980s when US President Ronald Reagan supported conflicts in Latin American countries, including El Salvador. From the wreckage of El Salvador arose a street gang, MS-13, that is now the terror of other gangs and major cities in the US.

These events to me are political karma – the energy used to disrupt other nations returns to haunt the perpetrator.

The Opium Wars

In one fascinating and unveiled return of energy, the rise in the US of opiate addiction has a direct astrological line to the 19th century Opium Wars in southern China.

Up to the the early 19th century, Britain purchased tea and porcelain from China. As buyers only, in today’s lingo, there was a huge trade imbalance. In response, Britain traded opium, which was illegal in Britain, for Chinese silver. Trade imbalance was cured for Britain but at the expense of China which faced a rise of opium addiction and a loss of silver. In response, China banned, confiscated and destroyed large quantities of opium.

That began the first Opium War (1839-1842) in which Britain sought restitution for destroyed opium. Britain won that war, trade rights in China and a lease to Hong Kong until 1997.

In the second Opium War (1856-1860) France and other countries joined the war to force China to concede ports and treaty rights. Foreign powers ruled and dominated in China until 1949 when the Communists took sovereignty.


When analyzing world events from an astrological standpoint, we need to look at the transpersonal planets of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Their distance from the earth and long cycles represent those slow changes that are noticed only when the energy has finally shifted. World history takes longer than personal history to form.

When analyzing religion, mysticism, drugs or any escapist, mass event, we need to track down the astrological Neptune. According to Café Astrology:

Neptune, God of the Sea, is the ruler of Pisces. In astrology, Neptune is considered a planet of inspiration, dreams, psychic receptivity, illusion, and confusion. Neptune rules spirituality, and all things subtle. A youthful, and sometimes naive, spirit characterizes those with a strong placement of Neptune in their natal charts.

On the up side, Neptune is associated with intuition and spiritual enlightenment. As well, it is a planet of mercy and compassion. The more negative manifestations of Neptune include deception, trickery, deceit, guilt, and addiction.

In 1839, Neptune was in the early degrees of Aquarius. At the end of the second Opium War, it was in the late degrees of Pisces. Neptune rules Pisces and that, my dear readers, is where Neptune is today, 157 years later. Neptune’s cycle is a 165 years so it’s close to a complete Opium War cycle.

In Aquarius Neptune “spiritualizes” technology (then railroads and steamboats, today computers). In Pisces, Neptune “spiritualizes” religion and narcotics (then opium, today opioids).

The Opioid War

Opioids, I learned, cover both synthetic and non-synthetic forms of opiates which derive from the opium plant and are used to relieve pain. Opioids are increasingly prevalent as prescribed pain killers in the US with the unfortunate effect of causing an epidemic of addiction to both opioids and heroin.

According to the presentation America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse, opioids do the following:

Opioids include drugs such as OxyContin and Vicodin that are mostly prescribed for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. They act by attaching to specific proteins called opioid receptors, which are found on nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord, gastrointestinal tract, and other organs in the body. When these drugs attach to their receptors, they reduce the perception of pain and can produce a sense of well-being; however, they can also produce drowsiness, mental confusion, nausea, and constipation.

And why has addiction to opioids increased in the US?

Several factors are likely to have contributed to the severity of the current prescription drug abuse problem. They include drastic increases in the number of prescriptions written and dispensed, greater social acceptability for using medications for different purposes, and aggressive marketing by pharmaceutical companies. These factors together have helped create the broad “environmental availability” of prescription medications in general and opioid analgesics in particular.

Included in the presentation is this chart which shows Opioid Prescriptions Dispensed by US Retail Pharmacies IMS Health, Vector One: National, years 1991-1996, Data Extracted 2011. IMS Health, National Prescription Audit, years 1997-2013, Data Extracted 2014.

Like the British in 1839, the pharmaceutical companies are winning an opiate war. Today they are more cleverly using the very legal health care system. The peak year of opioid prescriptions was 2011 – that is the year Neptune moved from Aquarius into Pisces.

As in 1839, the government began to intervene in the opioid addiction crisis. Today’s intervention is about education and awareness. My own personal experience is that opioids are prescribed without discrimination of pain. I’ve had them prescribed for minor dental work to major surgery. As my dentist explained it when I asked why such a strong pain killer was provided for minor dental work, she replied that you don’t know how someone else experiences pain.

Pisces, as a sign, experiences everyone’s pain. Possibly the over-prescription of opioids is due to a fear of pain, no matter how minor.

Neptune in Pisces does seek the “well being” that is provided by substances like opioids. Neptune, which rules the ocean, is also fond of drinking. Ultimately Neptune seeks spiritual escape from a world that lacks poetry and wonder. Neptune-in-Pisces escape is evident in other trends occurring now from “binge” media watching to the rise of “craft” alcohol.

History Continues Itself

The Opium Wars of the 19th century and the current opioid crisis have the same roots – business. History isn’t repeating itself, history continues itself. History, like Neptune, has no boundaries.


Related posts:

High on Neptune in Pisces

Neptune in Pisces: Escape and Enablement

Neptune in Pisces

Mutable signs dissolving in a glass of Neptune

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Cat Analyzes Garth Stein Horoscope

When I told my cat that I attended a lecture by an author who writes from a dog perspective, she asked what the dog thought about Pluto transiting Capricorn.

“Dogs aren’t as interested in astrology as cats,” I explained. “They’re more interested in simple stuff, like riding fast in a car, eating, peeing outside, watching TV, paying attention to humans, that kind of thing.”

“Do dogs have any intellectual interests?”

“Why do you ask? Are you planning on making conversation with dogs?”

“Maybe,” she replied with derision.

“You can talk to the dog next door,” I prodded, “and see how it goes. He’s been barking for the last three hours straight so he obviously has a lot to say.”

Before spending three hours in conversation with the dog next door, she decided first to read a book narrated by a dog to see if dogs had anything worthwhile to discuss.

Cat Reads The Art of Racing in the Rain

As my cat finished the last page of The Art of Racing in the Rain, I noticed her eyes were wet. She could not deny that it was touching, that dogs might not be interested in history, politics and astrology, but they were capable of some deep and poignant thoughts.

“As I read it,” she began, “I started to wonder if the dog wasn’t saying things the author wanted to say but felt he couldn’t.”

“Yes,” I replied. “The dog functions as a narrative device to provide safety in expression from an external point of view. Good catch.”

“Can a cat do this?”

“Theoretically. But I fear that humans don’t want to hear what cats think about their behavior. Cats seem to have less compassion than dogs for human folly.”

Garth Stein

Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain, has sun in Sagittarius (I told the cat). Since beginning my studies in astrology, I often reflected that if Sagittarius weren’t ruled by the centaur, it should be ruled by the dog.

Dogs have the freedom-loving nature of the Sagittarius and are always up for a ride, forgive maltreatment and are, by human description, “man’s best friend.” Sagittarius is one of those spontaneous mutable signs that likes to wander with you.

Racing also rings Sagittarius as this sign enjoys freedom of movement and fast motion. What Sagittarius doesn’t care for, at all, is restraint. We see that in the dog narrator, Enzo, when he dashes away after a traumatic event, running through the woods and devouring a squirrel.

Racing, dogs, very Sagittarius.

Stein’s chart, however, is one portion of fiery, freedom-loving Sagittarius but six portions earth (Uranus, Mars, Pluto in Virgo, Jupiter in Taurus, Mercury and moon in Capricorn), two portions water (Venus and Neptune in Scorpio) and one portion air (Saturn in Aquarius).

The freedom-loving Sagittarius sun is boxed in by a lot of mountains, rules and intense emotions. Capricorn is a difficult position for the moon as it’s controlling in nature and prone to suppress emotional response. We read about that, too, in the novel as the race-car driver engages speed and must control response so as not to make fatal mistakes that occur with hasty reactions, a very good use of moon in Capricorn.

Capricorn moon takes care of things as others fall apart. Our race-car driver lives through harrowing unfair treatment but is able to remain strong and prevail. Hopefully other Capricorn moons feel this sense of vindication.

“What a perfect description of Sagittarius sun and Capricorn moon,” the cat proclaimed as she examined the chart. “It’s almost like the character in the book is the author himself.”

So perceptive, the cat.

“What’s even more interesting,” I told the cat, “Is that this book was published when transiting Pluto had just entered Capricorn and transited natal Mercury. The Mercury transformation wasn’t a successful book but a new way of communicating. The innocent narrator has probably opened up a new channel of communication in general for the author.”

Natal Uranus, Mars and Pluto in Virgo (square the sun) make for an exacting perfectionist. The conflict in the square is that Sagittarius freedom involves spontaneity, encounter and experience which can be stifled by Virgo as well as the other earth signs. Reading and writing are other ways to travel.

Transiting Neptune in Pisces is opposing the Virgo energy asking for more imagination when discrimination tends to rule. Neptune also makes things blurry which Virgo hates. Words seem so clear to the issuer and so confusing to the receiver.

Natal Jupiter in Taurus bodes well for accumulating money and assets. During the Jupiter in Taurus transit of 2012 is probably when the financial gains arrived (the author mentioned something about selling movie rights which may have occurred at this time).

Natal Venus and Neptune conjunct in Scorpio provide obsessive and sexual intensity that is also in conflict with the freedom-loving Sagittarius and emotionally distant moon in Capricorn. The sun in Sagittarius is the eye-in-the-sky philosopher in the middle of planets that are continually demanding earth-bound realism and sticky emotional bonds.

“Fascinating,” purred the cat. “Why dogs aren’t interested in astrology is beyond me.”

Lastly, I told the cat, natal Saturn in Aquarius in Stein’s chart indicates how some of us move toward our fates with happy endings. Saturn, as the cat knows, is about our weakest link, our insecurity. In Aquarius, there is difficulty relating to groups, to feel part of the mission, part of the team. From the large audience drawn to his speaking, I think he’s doing okay with this placement.

“With transiting Saturn recently crossing his sun,” the cat added, “the speaking probably feels a bit like responsibility.”

And transiting Neptune in Pisces, I reminded her, is square causing a bit of free-floating anxiety. Neptune fears the monsters under the bed. Each person’s monsters are unique to the individual. Maybe Stein’s next book can be from the monster’s point of view. That could purge a Neptune square to one’s sun.

Cat Now Garth Stein Fan

After our lengthy discussion, my cat asked me to go to the bookstore to buy more Stein novels. She needed a break from astrology, she said. She wanted to understand how the other half lives, she said. She wanted to read all of Stein’s novels before he came back to town, she said.

“Unfortunately,” I told her, “you can’t attend the lecture. Cats aren’t allowed in public buildings. Only dogs.”

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American Ice

When in college, I woke every day and prepared myself a tall glass of ice water. I still recollect the intense sensation of that habit which spanned all seasons from the cold winter to the hot summer. Right after college I spent time abroad in a country that did not feel the need to make all beverages ice cold. I suffered greatly.

Initially I was desperate for something, anything so icy cold to relieve the heat of that country. Two years later, after extreme deprivation and withdrawal, I was finally broken of the need for this constant sensation having learned that it’s actually better to avoid cold drinks (and food). While I still drink ice, I do so much less than in the past. Asking for beverages without ice at restaurants is now an eccentric habit that drives my friends and family crazy.

Even more fascinating than learning about cold beverage affect on the body was to realize that desire for iced beverages was a cultural trait. Returning to the United States I watched my people consume icy cold beverages, even when it was freezing cold outside, and claim they loved it. I heard echoes of my former self.

Why do Americans love ice?

Real estate in purchased beverages and free refills form the hypothesis of this author. Yet the sensation of cold in your body is a habit that is preserved both in and out of restaurants.

Another article refers to the 19th century ice industry and increased refrigeration. But does that explain why Americans love a cold burst of sensation on a frigid winter day?

My own hypothesis, which I will test when I get funding, is that American culture involves extreme sensation and extremely cold beverages are one aspect. While traveling abroad I also learned that air conditioning doesn’t need to be turned so high you can store meat, sweets don’t need to have 500 calories and food portions don’t need to last for three days.

Possibly Homer Simpson said it best when he said he liked his “beer cold, his TV loud” and one other extreme you can watch on the YouTube video.

Ice is part of American culture.


In a “you-can’t-make-this-shit-up” (copyright my friend) moment of etymology, in March 2003 the United State Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) rebranded itself as ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

The year 2003 was two years after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Transiting Pluto in Sagittarius was opposite transiting Saturn in Gemini bringing intense focus on Sagittarius foreign others. With Saturn involved, we began a new cycle of fear of the foreign other, having recently completed our fear of Communists. We can trace a fear of foreign others back a long way.

ICE was formed with sun in Pisces (happy birthday!) and Neptune, moon, Mercury and Uranus in Aquarius. Venus is in Capricorn, Pluto and Mars in Sagittarius, Saturn in Gemini and Jupiter in Leo.

“You-can’t-make-this-shit-up” (copyright my friend) describes the entire astrological formation and evolution of ICE. If I was a conspiracy theorist, and I swear I’m not, I’d say the court astrologer planned this rebrand.

Let’s begin with ICE and the United States horoscope. Using the Astrotheme horoscope for July 4, 1776 (our symbolic birthday if not actual birthday), shows our ascendant at 8 degrees of Sagittarius. That makes perfect sense as this country (as well as all of the Americas) was conquered by foreigners.

Both Mars and Pluto in the ICE horoscope (at 19 and 27 degrees respectively) land in the first house of the U.S. horoscope. Pluto and Mars, gods of the underworld and war respectively, are now are the guiding energies in terms of immigration. If you study closely the history of U.S. foreign policy, you will happen upon much Pluto and Mars. In 2003, this simply became more open (ascendant).

On Friday, January 27 the new president of the U.S. signed an executive order regarding immigration that put qualifiers on individuals from several countries that have Muslim majority population. On this day, transiting Saturn was at 24 degrees of Sagittarius; this placement brings it full on to the ICE horoscope configuration of Pluto/Mars (in Sagittarius) opposing Saturn (in Gemini). This order was a direct result of energies coalesced in 2001.

Immigration policy might better be discussed with the benevolent Jupiter who rules foreigners. In the ICE horoscope, Jupiter is in Leo and could provide a bit of leveling to the Pluto/Mars energy but is out of orb.

Jupiter in Leo, does, however, oppose Neptune (in Aquarius) in the ICE horoscope. Neptune in Aquarius is the ideal of a perfect society. While we all vote “yes” for the perfect society, the difficulty is that our perceptions of “perfect” are all different (which results in the logical conclusion that there is no “perfect”). There are sad tales in history of aims of societal perfection through the elimination of people deemed to ruin that perfection. Also, the ICE horoscope has Mercury in Aquarius almost exact the U.S. natal moon again relating to this desire for a perfect society.

In another “you-can’t-make-this-shit up” (copyright my friend) transit, transiting Neptune on January 27 was at 10 degrees of Pisces (specifically 10 degrees, 28 minutes Greenwich Mean Time) landing on the ICE horoscope sun in Pisces which is at 10 degrees, 31 minutes).

Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac, mutable and ruled by water. It is emotional and empathetic. In negative form it is impressionable and easily manipulated. It can also be the manipulator.

Immigration ruled by Pisces should be a compassionate immigration. Yet, Pluto, Mars and Saturn are also in mutable signs creating what’s called “square” energy causing tensions and blockage of this compassion. From the news it appears that ICE was caught unawares by the initial executive order and chaos ensued. Neptune transiting the sun causes confusion and also suggests that ICE is not actually driving the changes, which also seems accurate from the news.

Neptune transiting the sun in Pisces could bring not only more compassion but more imagination into the situation. While “imagination” and “government agency” are in apparent oxymoron, the chaos of our current political climate may allow for something outside of the ordinary.

The first thing we could imagine is what it feels like to be driven from your country by war, having watched your people killed in politics that are far removed from your daily life. Possibly we refrain from this type of imaginative interlude because it’s so painful, also a Pisces experience.

What’s next for ICE/ice?

Saturn will leave Sagittarius at almost the winter solstice of 2017 – i.e., around the Christian holiday of Christmas. Possibly the ice will melt at that time and ICE will be out of the cross-fire of presidential politics.

Several years from now, Saturn and Pluto will join forces in Capricorn and pass over Venus in the ICE horoscope. While Capricorn isn’t the friendliest of signs, the rules will be more clearly established at that time. Venus at 28 degrees in the ICE horoscope corresponds to the U.S. Pluto in Capricorn at 27 degrees.

What is occurring with immigration as transmitted by ICE is really about the very foundations of U.S. economy and culture. It’s more than a little xenophobia; it’s a national psychological drama being triggered that culminates with the national Pluto return in spring 2022 (at 27 degrees, as noted above).

As many Americans are unaware of the detrimental effect of ice in their bodies, etymological transference suggests we are not aware of the detrimental effect of ICE on our collective body, i.e., our culture.

Although we are reminded again and again that if we are not Native American, we are immigrant, there still is this idea that if we exist now in the U.S. and were born here that this land was always ours, a pure land of “us” (oh my, more etymology).

It’s interesting that in the study of race you learn that there is no such thing as race. If there is no race, then there is no us.


Related posts:

The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Planet

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Neptune and Pluto in Malaysia

Malaysia has frequently been in the international news in the last couple years. Perhaps I should say it made it to the US news which means it made it into the five minutes we allot to the rest of the world in our national news.

Malaysia first made news in 2014 with the disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370 which left Malaysia bound for China but for some reason diverted course and still has not been located (tomorrow is the three-year anniversary of its disappearance). A few months later, Malaysian flight 17 was struck down over Ukraine.

This year on February 13 the half-brother of the current North Korean leader was attacked at the Kuala Lumpur airport and died of poisoning by a lethal toxin. Two young women were arrested for this murder with one, at least, having come up from behind the half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, to rub the toxin in his face. Both assailants have claimed they thought they were part of a TV show prank. While the facts are sparse in this story, it’s quite believable that these two cute, young women did not know they were part of a political assassination.

Astrological Neptune and Pluto are definitely at play in Malaysia in their most political, nefarious manifestations. Neptune is the disappearing planes and trickery involved in exploiting two young women who sought fun and fame and instead may be hung for murder. Pluto is the force that betrayed the women and organized an assassination.

Neptune is the ruler of the sea and astrological Neptune brings mysticism, merging, spirituality, illusion, imagination, ambiguity and manipulation. Pluto is the ruler of the underworld and astrological Pluto brings transformation, regeneration, death, power and evolution.

No planet is good or bad – they do their business. But like any energy, a planet’s energy can be manipulated by others. The spirituality of Neptune can be exploited by gurus and directed toward personal gain. Our Plutonian power is exploited by a world that seeks our energy like hungry wolves and leads us into activities where we are provoked to release energy.

The Young Women

The saddest part of this story is the Neptunian sacrifice of two young women to a ruthless Pluto. The women involved are 25-year old Indonesian Siti Aisyah and 28-year old Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong. Both have Pluto and Neptune stories occurring in their horoscopes.

Aisyah is of a generation born with Uranus and Neptune conjunct in Capricorn (early 1990s). Now that Pluto is transiting that sign, this generation must deal with Capricorn issues such as collapsing governments and loss of economic security – intense challenges. I’ve pondered much on how this generation will fare over time dealing with such important issues prior to full emotional maturity.

In addition to the Uranus/Neptune conjunction in Capricorn, Aisyah has Venus and Mars in that sign. She also has three planets in Aquarius (Saturn/Mercury/Neptune) and moon in Taurus. Jupiter is in Virgo and Pluto in Scorpio. Aisyah has very little water in her chart and possibly no fire (but time of birth could reveal a fire rising sign).

Neptune lives in the collective unconscious and Aisyah would probably have trouble picking up the emotional undertone of a situation. In one of the few articles about her, she was described by friends as naïve and trusting. With moon in Taurus and sun in Aquarius, there’s a tendency to take life literally and at face value. Moon in Taurus is strong, steady and generally calm.

Transiting Pluto is currently passing between her Neptune and Venus. Neptune conjunct Venus creates some powerful ideals in love and relationships. In Capricorn, she seeks a partner with ambition who is of a high status. Possibly the person who led her into her current difficulties was that type – a mature, older (Capricorn) man who had money, possessions and apparent control of his environment.

Transiting Neptune in Pisces was almost exactly opposite natal Jupiter in Virgo on the day of the incident. Robert Hand in his book on transits describes this as “inflated expectations, excessive and impractical idealism and sudden disappointments.” Sudden disappointments surely occurred on this day.

Huong has an entirely different personality. With sun, Mercury and Venus in Gemini and moon (most likely) and Uranus in Sagittarius, there is much more playfulness, risk taking and seeking of adventure.

The more unpredictable aspects of her personality are balanced by some other placements – Saturn and Neptune in Capricorn, Mars in Pisces, Jupiter in Taurus and Pluto in Scorpio.

Unlike Aisyah, Huong met Pluto much earlier than last month’s incident. According to the news stories, she left home ten years ago and her family was not clear on her whereabouts. Ten years ago (in 2007), Pluto was in the last degrees of Sagittarius transiting Huong’s natal Uranus. Uranus is sudden and Pluto is transformation – Huong may have made a radical change to her life on an impulse. Uranus opposite Venus suggests following a love interest.

Pluto then quickly changed signs and transited Huong’s natal Saturn in Capricorn in 2008. Pluto transiting a natal out-of-sign conjunction of Uranus/Saturn was a spark that lit an already simmering situation. Uranus is the rebel and Saturn is the system so there are lots of issues with authority here. Pluto in Sagittarius blasted out of its confines but then moving into Saturn probably faced a new and different type of external control.

In 2013, Pluto then transited natal Neptune in Capricorn. This movement probably improved her conditions somewhat or she moved to a new level of acceptance. Around the same time, transiting Neptune made a transit of her natal Mars in Pisces and squared her sun which suggests latching onto a new ideal, a new partner or new religion. Huong definitely went through a spiritual shift around 2013 as both transits involve Neptunian energy (Neptune rules Pisces).

Then in early 2015, Huong had her Saturn return – the time when people begin to settle down. However, settling down is never easy for Gemini. The last ten years for Huong probably were like living several different lives. Huong has probably had more changes in the last ten years than more sedate folks have in a lifetime.

It’s unlikely that Huong has had many moments of internal peace or tranquility in her short life as Pluto has been making oppositions and conjunctions in her chart since birth. First it opposed natal Jupiter in Taurus so there was financial or physical difficulty. Then Pluto was conjunct the moon and opposing the sun indicating problems with the parents. Then Pluto began the transits noted above.

What’s interesting is that at the time of the airport incident, the Pluto and Neptune transits had already passed although transiting Neptune is still in orb. Why are Neptune and Pluto trapping her now?


According to this chart by Astrodienst, Malaysia has natal Pluto in Virgo. Transiting Neptune in Pisces is currently opposing Malaysia’s natal Pluto.

This play of Virgo and Pisces is about analysis and synthesis. Virgo is focused on details and facts while Pisces is focused on feeling and connection. This is an energy playing out in the world today that boils down to the empirical question – what is true?

In my country, the United States, we recently elected a president who routinely utters nonsense surrounded by advisers purporting “alternative facts.” We are in the midst of a national mind game and are busy trying to sort out 140-character puzzles so can’t help sort out facts right now.

Malaysia, you can be the hero of the world by sorting out the Virgo facts from the Pisces imagination. We all love and need imagination. But we also need to know where planes go when they leave the airport.

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