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Insights into "The Great American Eclipse"

Total solar eclipse on July 22, 2009; photo by kubotake via Wikimedia Commons. 

Total solar eclipse on July 22, 2009; photo by kubotake via Wikimedia Commons. 

As usual with rare astronomical/astrological events, a lot of speculation, rumor, hype and superstition surround it. The unfortunate part of this is that it spreads a lot of fear, anxiety, and then, when some momentous event doesn’t in fact happen, it reinforces a perception among the general public that astrology again failed and got a lot of people worked up over nothing. As you probably now know, next week’s lunar eclipse leads into a total solar eclipse in Leo just two weeks later on Aug 21. It will only appear as a total solar eclipse for those residing in Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, south eastern Georgia, and South Carolina. For everyone else in the U.S., it will appear as a partial eclipse (still a pretty cool experience).

As you may or may not know, as an astrologer I stay away from making radical predictions and claims. While I’m not completely against the idea that there are many predetermined events in life, I think that for the most part, consciousness can alter and change our experiences. I think that life is a mixture of fate and free-will. So often, our predictions fail to manifest as we expect them to. That could be partially a result of faulty technique, but I think it more often has to do with the fact that astrological symbolism is multivalent. Each sign and planet has an array of possible expressions. Even with a finely tuned, time-tested technique, astrologers will never be 100 percent accurate in predicting the future. One thing that I’ve learned about astrology, especially the more I engage with it consciously, is that it’s so often hundreds of steps ahead of me.

I’m more often completely surprised by how things actually turn out. In hindsight, I look back and the event certainly fit the symbolism, but never could I have imagined the end result. I think most of us experience life like that. Astrology shouldn’t be used to control your choices or dread the future, but rather to help you make more conscious and informed choices. Rarely do the worse-case scenarios ever manifest as we feared. With that said, and considering where the U.S. currently is politically, this event is pretty interesting. The first thing to consider is that eclipses are not isolated events. Eclipses open a portal in the zodiac that becomes an active hot zone. Planets that cross over or aspect the degree of the eclipse can trigger its manifestations for weeks, months, or even years into the future. The first step in analyzing this eclipse is to consider that it’s emphasizing the United States because it will be visible here and cross from coast to coast, which means that it’s making a statement about this country. The next step is to look at what kind of eclipse it is. Since it’s a solar eclipse, it’s basically a supercharged New Moon. It symbolizes a dramatic end and beginning of something.

Death is a natural part of life. That’s an obvious statement, but so often we choose to forget it for good reasons. We’re here to live our lives; there’s no sense in dwelling on death while in the thick of life. But I think every nation, or anything that gains considerable power in the world, creates an illusion that it’s somehow omnipotent and immortal. As an American myself, I grew up with this belief pounded into my head that my country was the “greatest” and would never end. I obviously didn’t grow up to believe that. All empires meet their end. Everything dies. While we might not have the capacity to comprehend it, the Sun will die too. The entire Universe will cease to exist. These unsettling thoughts threaten the ego, that dominating part of our consciousness that has gained such power over the western mind.

Empires come and go, just as people do. As the Buddhists would say, “all is impermanent.” I think eclipses are fascinating because they generate this very real sense that there’s something more powerful than we are. Like an earthquake or severe storm, we’re suddenly minimal in comparison. Our existence is instantly put into perspective. It would seem that this eclipse kind of sends that message to America: “you’re not the center of the universe and there are greater powers than you.” You can interpret that in many ways. I’m certainly not predicting the fall of the American Empire over this eclipse, but it may well signify the beginning of an end in terms of how we’ve perceived ourselves as a nation. Consider the tropical sign of Leo, and consider how this eclipse occurs at the end, the anaretic degrees of this sign.

Leo is a fixed, fire sign of yang polarity. It’s ruled by the Sun. It carries this symbolism of gravitas, presence, and a sense of permanent ruler ship and power. The Sun is the center of our solar system. The Sun forces all planets to orbit around it, but as I just said, the Sun will not have rule forever. It too will die. I think this illusion in the American psyche of being the dominating and fixed power center of the world needs a serious reality check. It has mobilized a movement of people who seriously lack perspective, and I think that’s a dangerous thing. I think the United States needs some humility and respect of other perspectives. And I think it’s highly possible that this eclipse signifies the beginning of the end of this illusion. Many would say that began long ago, but I’m not sure it’s reached the collective consciousness of the United States just yet. Perhaps it soon will.

Life feels overwhelming when faced with things outside of your control. Understanding yourself is key to finding your power and place in the world. While you can't control fate or the chaos of life, your destiny belongs to you, something you can always strive for to gain command of your life path. Evolutionary Astrology can help. Click here for personal readings. 

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President Donald Trump and the U.S. Horoscope

As you may be aware, this “Great American Eclipse” touches the horoscope of President Donald Trump. You’ve probably heard of him. I’m going to steer clear of expressing any personal bias or opinions about him here. The eclipse touches on Donald Trump’s Ascendant. This is the sign that was rising on the eastern horizon at the time he came screaming into the world (I imagine he was probably pretty vocal with a 10th house Gemini Sun, but maybe not). In modern astrology, the Ascendant is the cusp of the first house, and in ancient, Hellenistic astrology (which tended to favor whole sign places over houses), the first house was known as the Helm. In simple words, this place originally signified where we steer the ship, that is to say, how we direct our lives. In modern, evolutionary astrology, the Ascendant is a symbol of our persona or outward mask. This is separate from our public mask. It’s more personal and one on one. It’s what my teacher, Steven Forrest, calls the mask we wear at a cocktail party.

I would argue that the mask we see of Donald Trump is more described by his 10th house and the sign that falls on his Midheaven because it’s what he shows to the public (though you’ll soon see that his Ascendant and Midheaven are interchangeable). Using equal houses, Trump has his Sun conjunct Uranus and the North Node in Gemini in his 10th house. We see a statement about a person who has greatly emphasized public and career matters (10th house) and that he’s using radical and rebellious vocal expression as a means of getting ahead in life (Uranus conjunct Sun). With a strong 10th house statement, Donald Trump is deeply concerned with status, reputation, and making a stamp on the world. With Uranus making such a statement here as well, Donald Trump is a rebel and has an eccentric public persona. With Taurus on his Midheaven, immediately we see a fixed, stubborn, and determined edge to this. Taurus is an immovable sign, and it symbolizes energy that stands tall and firmly entrenched.

The ruler of his Midheaven is Venus which is separating from a conjunction with Saturn in Cancer in the 11th house. This reveals that a big part of his public image depicts him networking and schmoozing, but also gives a traditional, conservative side (Saturn in Cancer) to his otherwise eccentric and radical Uranus vibes. The 11th house is known traditionally as the house of dreams, hopes, and friends. With Saturn placed in Cancer and conjunct Venus, this placement also shows a person who is fated to have a history of separations and challenges in his friendships and relationships (which will be very much public knowledge). Also, from a modern perspective, this Venus/Saturn conjunction in Cancer paints a person whose public image is predicated upon laying out nostalgic dreams and visions of the “good old days”, promising security, safety, and practical goals. Do we see his, “Make America Great Again” slogan emerging from these symbols?

Donald Trump's chart (inner chart) with transits (outer wheel) during the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. Note the eclipse to the left of the chart on his Ascendant. Equal houses and tropical zodiac.

Donald Trump's chart (inner chart) with transits (outer wheel) during the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. Note the eclipse to the left of the chart on his Ascendant. Equal houses and tropical zodiac.

President Donald Trump’s Saturn/Venus conjoins Mercury in the U.S. Sibley horoscope. These nostalgic dreams and visions hit a powerful chord in the American mind. Donald Trump’s Ascendant falls in the last degrees of Leo, and is ruled by the Sun. This brings us back to his equal 10th house Gemini placement conjunct Uranus. Thus, there is a strong synergy between his personal persona and public image. With a Leo Ascendant, Donald Trump’s personal style is one that is showy, dramatic, attention getting, and loud. With Mars close to his Ascendant, there is an element of assertiveness, aggressiveness, and a “warrior” like quality to this. Mars, the planet of war, reveals a highly combative and forceful persona which amplifies the fire element in his mask.

This eclipse represents on one level a death of that image and style, and the way he makes decisions, choices, and asserts himself in the world. Hitting an angle of the chart (the Ascendant) is also very significant as the beginning of a critical shift in his consciousness and personal life. On another level, the solar eclipse requires a rebirth of his personal and public image, one that is likely to be dramatic in its change and transformation. Thus, what we could expect here is to witness a major shift in how Donald Trump represents himself, which may come as a result of a crisis or challenge to his reputation. This will utterly change the freedom he has to make decisions and lead others. Since the first house and Ascendant are tied into themes involving leadership as well, we see the death and rebirth of a leader in one way or another. How exactly that manifests is partly up to fate, and partly up to Donald Trump’s own free will.

Also, the first house and Ascendant represent the physical body, and it’s possible we may see some health related issues arise from this. From these symbols we can ascertain that Donald Trump is going to be “eclipsed” in the coming weeks and months. What that actually looks like, we’ll soon see. The eclipse occurs in the ninth equal house/place in the U.S. Sibley chart. This chart is the most commonly used by astrologers, and really proved its validity during the events of Sept 11, 2011. In traditional astrology, the ninth house was known as the house of the “king” or “God” and governed issues dealing with foreign travel/relations, divination, religion, and even astrology. Since we live in different times (though technically not much different), we can conclude that this “Great American Eclipse” will change much of our national ideology/beliefs, foreign relations (policies) as well as our “king”, which we could say symbolically represents the President of the United States.

The U.S. Sibley horoscope (center chart) with transits during the solar eclipse on Aug 21, 2017 (outer wheel). Note the eclipse making an opposition to the Moon in Aquarius in the third house. Equal Houses and tropical zodiac. 

The U.S. Sibley horoscope (center chart) with transits during the solar eclipse on Aug 21, 2017 (outer wheel). Note the eclipse making an opposition to the Moon in Aquarius in the third house. Equal Houses and tropical zodiac. 

In evolutionary astrology, the ninth house deals with encountering shocking perspectives and the formation of personal ethics, philosophy, or worldview. Its shadow exhibits dogmatism and defensiveness against foreign views and perspectives. So for the country as a whole, there’s a dramatic shift in our perspective as a nation, and a change in our national ideology. The eclipse also makes a challenging opposition to the natal Moon in Aquarius in the third house. This Aquarian Moon, looked at through a modern lens, symbolizes the “revolutionary” soul of America and our need to be a “progressive” and rebellious nation via the Aquarian association with Uranus. The third house came to be known as a house dealing with communication in a broad sense, though traditionally it was called “Goddess”, and dealt topically with issues surrounding travel, relatives, and siblings.

I believe that the third house association with communication is an important modern shift in its symbolism. It can indicate the transmission of news and gossip. American culture is so highly influenced by the media which now expresses itself mostly through the internet. We see here an eclipsing of our media, and also the revolutionary spirit of America. This is being directly challenged by the “King” as well as a foreign influence or through foreign relations. It will stimulate much gossip and theorizing to take place surrounding these issues, or will utterly change how Americans communicate over time. I’m sure that given the nature of recent events and speculations, we could imagine all kinds of scenarios here.

From the evolutionary view, the third house deals with the ability to form unbiased perceptions. Opposite the ninth, the third house supports the asking of questions as opposed espousing a definitive underlying truth. In it’s shadow, similar to the ninth, it seeks to defend a given perception of reality and limit the flow of information, leading to a scattered pursuit of useless facts and ideas. It’s interesting that the themes of these two houses are rather hot topics with the current presidency. It’s presented us with a lot of questions about what the truth really is, who to actually trust, and whether the facts are really what we think they are.

I think theses symbols also speak to the reality of the times we currently live in. We are at a point in this country where we need to be very careful of simplifying and polarizing the issues on the table. I don’t think it’s as simple as making one side “good” and another side “bad”. There isn’t much of anything in life that’s that simplistic. Life is complicated and messy. The truth isn’t so clean cut and dry. I think that as we approach this eclipse, Americans need to be really careful of taking any particular side, no matter how hard that is. If you really want the truth, these symbols suggest moving beyond any rigid assumptions you might have about reality, and choosing to look beyond your usual sources of information to find it. I think that’s important advice, and something we might find to be a necessity in the very near future.

One last observation here. The Moon rules the eighth house in the U.S. horoscope, which is traditionally called the house of death. That's always sounds a little ominous, but it also deals with issues pertaining to shared resources and debt. There are several critical placements in this sign and house, including the Sun and Mercury, and if using whole sign houses, both Jupiter and Venus as well. This was not seen as a favorable house for placements in earlier traditions, though even in modern astrology the eighth house is not a particularly comfortable place. It invokes a sense of having to face uncomfortable realities, usually pertaining to ones mortality. It's possible this eclipse will dredge up some unsettling truths which will deeply effect our national security and may well impact America's shared resources. 

Consider that currently, America's only major economic export is war. This sad truth is what led many to believe that Donald Trump could restore our self-sufficiency as a nation. I think the reality of whether or not this is possible is going to very quickly sink in here. And on a basic symbolic level, the Moon is a statement about our nation's heart, hearth, and safety. This eclipse brings into the collective consciousness of the nation an awakening realization to the threat that not all is as safe and secure as we might imagine. The synchronicity of that correlating with the eclipse hitting Donald Trump's Ascendant reveals that as President, he must alter his image somehow, to get the public to earn his trust as a leader. In looking at his current ratings, that may be a very difficult challenge. 

Life feels overwhelming when faced with things outside of your control. Understanding yourself is key to finding your power and place in the world. While you can't control fate or the chaos of life, your destiny belongs to you, something you can always strive for to gain command of your life path. Evolutionary Astrology can help.

Follow me on Instagram for weekly astrological updates.