I had just started my walkabout and moved overseas when Mr. Trump won the election, and for the first three years of his term whenever I watched the news, I was aware that many reporters as well as pundits were surprised by his behavior. It was as if they thought the presidency would be a personal growth opportunity for Mr. Trump—a challenge he would mature into and because of that maturation, he would start telling the truth and assume other habits of gravitas that are traditionally expected from the leader of the free world. It was so optimistic to think that the office would be transformational for a man who embodied (and emboldened) so many negative personal traits. This is why I stayed on his flaws and wrote about him and his Gang of Hungry Ghosts for so many years—normalizing his behavior was something I had to take a stand against. It was clear to those with eyes to see that Mr. Trump was never going to develop the kind of character we’ve come to expect from the president of the United States. As the first three years of his term played out, he morphed from a cartoon president into a clear and present danger to us all—a threat so clear that even many of the pundits began to talk about him as a failed human being, utterly lacking in the skills needed to lead the country. Mr. Trump has treated and continues to treat the presidency as just one more failed business; he is bankrupt financially as well as morally. But COVID-19 has brought Mr. Trump’s knack for destruction and devastation into sharper focus; his inability to be anything other than a con man is revealed for everyone to witness. Comedians have joked about his tiny little hands, but it’s his tiny little heart that’s the problem.
For the past several weeks, the planets along with the pundits have been kicking his presidential ass, and the coming weeks are no different. Venus goes retrograde today, and as she “turns around” she does so within a degree of his Gemini Sun and exactly opposite his Moon in Sagittarius. Venus is the goddess of love and beauty, but also the goddess of ultimate value. While Venus Retrograde is not particularly pernicious, this cycle has the potential to focus even more on his flawed values and how they affect us. As Mr. Comey pointed out, Mr. Trump has no external reference point—he is his own Higher Power—a character flaw we should learn from, because an absence of genuine humility is nothing to be proud of; eventually it balloons into hubris, and inevitably hubris ossifies into lack of concern and empathy for others. As part of Venus’ retrospective, it reviews the last five weeks—ain’t they been a doozy—and for Mr. Trump, who continues to let the pandemic rage through the country as the death toll is still rising, the coming weeks are certain to be the hardest times he’s ever faced—even more challenging than the last two months, if only because that retrograde Venus is going to dredge up every decision he’s made. The gods have no tolerance for hubris, and the pandemic may be Mr. Trump’s nemesis.
Venus may not be pernicious, but she’s no slouch when it comes to taking a stand. After all, the ancient Mesopotamians saw her as a warrior goddess and she was Julius Caesar’s patron saint. Venus retraces her path to the position she occupied on April 10, and when she goes direct, she retraces that very same ground again. So we are not going anywhere new anytime soon. Keep in mind that in April, the cases of COVID-19 were surging daily. Mr. Trump is certain to be visited by the ghosts of those lost and although he isn’t likely to share those visitations, anyone with a keen eye is sure to notice the stress as these weeks play out.
But that’s not all; indeed, it’s the least of his astrological stresses.
On April 4, we experienced the first of three Pluto/Jupiter conjunctions that occur this year. The second conjunction occurs on June 30 and the third on November 12. Jupiter/Pluto contacts encourage such a strong desire for power that they give birth to despots of every ilk who would attain it at any cost, leaning toward unbridled ruthlessness to achieve their fanatical aspirations. This first conjunction took place on the mid-point of Mr. Trump’s Venus/Saturn conjunction in Cancer, a configuration that can manifest as hard-heartedness, so it’s interesting that the pundits are now focused on Mr. Trump’s glaring lack of empathy and compassion. What’s more, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto are all transiting his natal Venus/Saturn conjunction in Cancer—transits that have the power to humble even the most exalted among us, but leave him continuing to try magic tricks to make his troubles disappear. As any of us who have had a negative Pluto, Saturn, or even Jupiter transit know first-hand, nothing nullifies the power of those planets; the only solution to successfully navigate those transits is transformation. And if the death toll isn’t a strong enough impetus to facilitate transformation, nothing is.
Under the influence of the first Jupiter/Pluto conjunction in April, we experienced the worst of the first wave of COVID-19 surges. The next conjunction occurs on June 30, and given the chaos of the May reopening (and by chaos, I mean the lack of a coherent federal plan here in the U.S.—some states are opening early against medical advice, and even in states attempting to follow stricter medical guidelines, some people are ignoring safety issues, in a random mélange of many individuals just doing whatever they feel like), we’re likely to see another dreadful increase by the end of June. We don’t know what awaits us in November, when the third Jupiter/Pluto kicks in, although concerns of another wave during flu season are growing.
What we do know is that the second wave of the Spanish flu began in August 1918 and as it happens, there was a Jupiter/Pluto conjunction during that whole month, when a virulent new strain of the flu took hold. We also know that at the end of October 1981 there was an exact Jupiter/Pluto conjunction; this was about the time that AIDS cases were starting to appear, first identified through the symptoms of Kaposi’s sarcoma and Pneumocystis pneumonia. Not every Jupiter/Pluto conjunction is an indicator of a pandemic; nevertheless, we would be wise to prepare for at least two more waves of COVID-19. It would also be wise to learn from history.
Which brings us back to Mr. Trump and his lack of leadership. In many ancient cultures the king was the representative of the divine on Earth and also the representative of his domain and the people who lived within his realm. Certainly, Mr. Trump has been the representative of our collective shadow—both locally and globally—in his racism, cynicism, narcissism, and grasping greed. It doesn’t need to be said, but I’m gonna say it anyway… he embodies the worst of human nature and although his many, many egregious acts in the past three years have failed to dissuade many from listening to his lies, the reality of death may be his ultimate undoing. Saturn and Pluto have been wreaking havoc with our lives, but they are definitely kicking his ass. No one escapes Pluto—it’s the most powerful of all the sky gods, other than the Sun, of course. The Sun gives life; Pluto brings death. In his determination to dismantle the government and create a dictatorship, Mr. Trump has put us all in danger.
This week, as the planets unite in their retrospective—Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus are all retrograde—make the most of this time by reflecting on what you’ve learned from this first wave of an invisible virus that has laid bare all the issues that need our attention. Most of all, be kind to your fellow travelers, especially children, who more than ever need positive examples of how to live in an uncertain world.
Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.
Aries March 21-April 19
Resist the temptation to succumb to negative mental chatter about any and all situations. Instead, concentrate on staying present in the moment and dealing with things as they are—show up, but remain unattached to the outcome. If you can stay neutral, you will work your way through this phase skillfully.
Taurus April 20-May 20.
Use this time to reflect on where you’ve been so that you will be better equipped and educated to handle what lies ahead. This is not a dire warning—it’s just advice about how to handle the multi-retrogrades and the information that will be delivered as a result of this review.
Gemini May 21-June 21
It would be an understatement to say that there’s a lot going on—you’re in the midst of a ton of shifts, all of which demand your attention. Rely on your innate gift of gathering information and synthesizing the data. Just remember to stay flexible so you can integrate pertinent information as it appears.
Cancer June 22-July 22
There is no need to insist on your way and your way only, so rather than engage in battle, retreat or withdraw. I’m not suggesting that your position is wrong; I’m simply advising you to take a little more time to think about the consequences of your actions, especially how your choices affect others.
Leo July 23-August 22
Take a deep breath, and as you exhale, focus on what it is you want to create next—you may not have to wait until the pandemic is over to put your plans in motion. Do your best to be unconcerned about others’ opinions or judgments about your process—just be true to yourself and you will be fine.
Virgo August 23-September 22
While retrogrades are always a good time to take stock, they are not always a good time to take action, especially if it’s your intention to tear something down when you don’t have a plan to rebuild or support what’s left. Try not to hurry the process—let it ripening so you can make thoughtful choices.
Libra September 23-October 22
I don’t usually have to remind you to rely on your partners, personal or professional, but because the pandemic has created so many areas of concern for so many people, it might be wise for you to tune in and see what your significant others need and also to let them know what you need.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
It is possible to have too much fun, especially when the consequences of fun could take a long time to heal. Instead of rushing headlong into a pattern of excess, try to follow a path of moderation. There’s nothing wrong with indulging your appetites but dealing with the results could be a drag.
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
Yes, there are real financial consequences to deal with, but that’s no excuse for giving up. I’m not suggesting this process is easy, but neither am I suggesting that it’s impossible. So roll up your sleeves (and I know they might already be rolled up) and be determined to make whatever shifts are needed.
Capricorn December 22-January 19
You have the necessary charismatic charm to move through your situation with grace and skill as you simultaneously inspire others to do the same. Be willing to set an example through your behavior and you’ll be surprised at how many people are truly grateful for your contribution.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
It may feel as if you’re pulling your chariot through the mud but try to remember that this is a necessary process you must complete. You don’t have to labor for the entire retrograde cycle of each planet; you just need to be open to examining your actions and learning whatever lessons there are to learn.
Pisces February 19-March 20
Despite the multi-planetary invitation to reflect, review, and reconsider recent choices, you are ready to move forward into positive action. Not everyone is moving that quickly—some are stuck in the retro-molasses, trying to make their own progress. Be patient and you will eventually shift into a faster gear.