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Collective shifts & Narcissism

Trying to trace the development of consciousness or cultural trends through astrology is complicated by the fact that what has affected the West in terms of outlook and lifestyle has not been mirrored in other societies. China, Middle East, Africa and Asia have in large part stayed closer to their historical attitudes. They may be changing now because of the incursion of Western media and the internet, but the old family and religious ties still have a strong grip.

What is below is more thinking-in-process than anything too conclusive.

Narcissism has been widely spoken off as the prevailing trend in the US and West in the 20th Century (Erich Fromm, Christopher Lasch). People have become greedy and vain. Narcissistic traits include self-love and self-indulgence, over-reaction to criticism, prejudice, bigotry, vanity based on an inflated and unrealistic sense of self. Narcissism is the opposite of humanism; narrow self-love blocks out a broader awareness of the interdependency of all mankind. Lasch saw the echo of such qualities in “the fascination with fame and celebrity, the fear of competition, the inability to suspend disbelief, the shallowness and transitory quality of personal relations, the horror of death.” http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/07/books/review/Siegel-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Donald Trump, in one sense, is the ‘logical’ conclusion to this trend. Though to a greater or lesser degree all leaders are and always have been wildly narcissistic. As indeed are snowflake children and University students so precious they insist on ‘safe spaces’ and ‘trigger warnings’. They should try taking a course in Jacobean drama.

Individualism took hold in the west partly because of the breakdown of the extended family; and a shift away from religious belief, though that’s probably less true of the US than Europe. Freud and the rise of the psychoanalytic culture, which certainly has a firm grip on the US, is also a factor. Not that Freud would have approved of selfies or the Kardashians, but he focussed attention on the individual and pulled apart family dynamics.

In Eastern cultures there is much less focus on the individual. Identity tends to reside in the family or in religious beliefs. There is much wrong with the old patriarchal, enmeshed family set ups, and proscriptive and dictatorial religious beliefs dependent on a guru (alive or dead). But there’s clearly a downside to making personal identity the be all and end all.

Increased wealth and leisure are also a reason in the west for the proliferation of psychological conditions and unease. If you’re facing starvation, you don’t have time or energy to be neurotic. In the old days, the wide extended family with wise elders and the certainty of religious beliefs provided a cushion. Nowadays in the west, people struggle to find meaning and security in anything bar money, and entertainment to fill the empty hours, often living vicariously through the lives of celebrities.

The recent rise of racist and populist ideas is, in one sense, an urge to re-establish identity. It is unpalatable for all manner of reasons, but it also answers a human need for belonging, to be surrounded by those like-us, given that we’ve lost the old connections (a family substitute).

The liberal tendency to be all-inclusive and support minorities, sexual and ethnic, all demanding rights (though not always offering duties), is also contributing to a backlash. In a different sense the EU tried to do the same, tying together all manner of differing national identities in an idealistic hope of creating a new cohesion. The great brotherhood and sisterhood of mankind is a great theory but it runs counter to the human need for roots.

Where does the astrology come in? These are just stray thoughts. The mid 19th Century triple conjunction in late Aries/Taurus of Saturn Uranus Pluto threw up Marx (religion is the opiate of the masses), a very young Freud, and Nietzsche (God is dead) kicked off one massive change. Neptune Pluto in Gemini late 19th Century spawned the yellow press, as well as the telephone, and sound and picture recording which revolutionized the leisure industries. Pluto lingering in Cancer for an unconscionable time from 1914 to 1938 certainly destroyed the old family culture in Europe. The triple conjunction in the late 1980s/early 1990s of Saturn Neptune Uranus in Capricorn arguably led to widescale migration in the (very long) aftermath and produced the internet.

Pluto in Capricorn (2008 to 2024) has historically been associated with strong leaders, especially in Russia and the Middle East. Also a flourishing of civilized culture and the arts, which seems to have got lost this time round. We’ve lived recently through Uranus square Pluto, giving rise to rebellions various, a kicking against authority and underdogs demanding recognition. We’re now out of that and heading for Saturn Pluto in Capricorn by 2018/19 which will swing the other way, repressive financially as well as for beliefs away from the mainstream.

Then by 2024 Pluto moves into Aquarius, with Neptune shifting into Aries by 2025 and Uranus into Gemini by 2026, which will see a considerable shift.

History and progress, in my view, goes in pendulum swings rather than a straight line or getting stuck in one rut. So what we’re heading into is a reaction against where we have been and isn’t where we’ll be on the far side.

Donald Trump – facing up to Saturn

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Donald Trump has tr Saturn opposing his 10th house Uranus from 25 Nov to 3rd December (ie. now). It then opposes his North Node in Gemini from Dec 21 to 28th; is conjunct his Moon from 29th December to 5th January 2017; and then opposes his Gemini Sun 6th to 15th January.

It’ll be interesting to watch how all that plays out. Saturn demands responsibility, self-discipline, gravitas and maturity.

Media stories: “After meeting the President-elect last week, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich told USA Today the billionaire businessman was starting to appreciate the burden of the Oval Office. Mr Gingrich said: “He commented, ‘This is really a bigger job than I thought.’ Which is good. He should think that. As President of the United States you have war and peace, you have enormous powers…and it all comes down to the Oval Office and it all comes down to you.”

“After President Barack Obama met his successor at an official meeting in the Oval Office, sources inside the White House told The Wall Street Journal that Mr Trump “seemed surprised by the scope” of responsibilities the job entails.”

And isn’t that just Saturn for you? Everything comes at a price; and power comes at a heavier cost than most.

His Saturn isn’t that well placed natally – in the 11th so team relationships and friendships don’t come easily to him. It is in a depressive conjunction to Venus and an unstable square to Jupiter; and quincunx his Moon. Low emotional self-worth which is why he’ll have to parade his ‘I’m the greatest’ act and a good deal of pendulum swinging from high to low.

He’s not a bad man per se, as in ruthless, brutal, sadistic. He’s just crazy chaotic with zero understanding of other people’s sensitivities. He’s absorbed his father’s racism and is stuck in a retro loop as far as women are concerned, which is why he’s acquired trophy wives, who’s only function is to look beautiful and reflect well on him.

He has the narcissist’s extreme fragility when it comes to taking criticism or loss. The narcissistic rage is the psyche’s way of staving off implosion since what is on the underside is a bottomless pit of shame and emptiness, which would eat him if he gained any insight.

His problem on the LGBT front may be an inability to separate out from the attitudes of his parents. Plus he has to see himself as a super-masculine guy. So he projects out and stamps on anything that feels alien or other, either ethnically or in terms of sexual inclination.

He’s a psychological wreck and although I don’t think he’s inherently evil, incompetence married to a personality disorder of his variety in the most powerful job in the world is a thoroughly scary prospect.

Buzz Aldrin – always up for a challenge

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Buzz Aldrin, now 86, the second man to walk on the moon, has been evacuated from the South Pole where was on a tourist trip, after falling ill.

Born 20 January 1930 2.17pm Glen Ridge, New Jersey, he has a scientifically-inclined Sun Mercury in Aquarius in the determined 8th; with a self-sufficient Jupiter in the 12th in an adventuring sextile to an innovative 10th house Uranus; and square Neptune. What runs across his chart is a gutsy, never-say-die Mars in Capricorn opposition Pluto, so not short of courage but with a fair few demons to contend with.

When he made his historic walk on 21 July 1969, his Solar Arc Jupiter had moved to exactly oppose his Mars, giving him a tremendous lift and being conjunct his Pluto two years later as he bathed in the success of their venture. After he retired he battled against depression and alcoholism.

His constructive, get-it-together 5th Harmonic is strong as is his ‘obsessive dream’ 11H.

At the moment he has both tr Saturn and his Progressed Moon moving through his 6th house of health; and his Solar Arc Moon is conjunct his Mars with tr Pluto being conjunct both. So not a great time. But whatever happens, he’s certainly lived life to the full.

Shailene Woodley – Native American cheerleader

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Award winning American actress Shailene Woodley, (Divergent series, Snowden etc) is an avid environmental activist and is campaigning against the Dakota Access Pipeline. It is a 1,172-mile crude oil pipeline which Native American tribes say will harm drinking water and cultural sites on their land.

Born 15 Nov 1991 in Simi Valley, California, she’s certainly a determined fighter with a powerhouse Sun Mars Pluto in Scorpio, plus a helpful and lucky Jupiter in Virgo trine a highly strung Uranus Neptune in Capricorn.

She’s got some disappointments in 2017 but is also amazingly exuberant and not going down without having her say as tr Pluto squares three of her Jupiter midpoints.

Unfortunately the CEO of the Texas company laying the pipeline, Kelcy Warren, 9 Nov 1955, is also a real toughie with a Sun Saturn in Scorpio square Jupiter Pluto in Leo.

There aren’t really any charts for the Native Americans apart from the Fort Laramie Treaty, 29 April 1868, which guaranteed land ownership for some tribes, which the government reneged on parts of it in later years. It was signed with a control-freaky Sun Pluto in Taurus square Moon; and an unstable and explosive Uranus square Mars Neptune in Aries.

Trump nominees – leaning towards Capricorn and Sagittarius

Of the Trump nominees announced so far (bar three I can’t find dates for) – four are Sun Capricorn or five if you include Jared Kushner. Three are Sun Sagittarius including Bannon. Plus one Libra, one Gemini, one Aries.

Three of the Sun in Capricorn individuals have Sagittarius planets and some of the Sags have at least one Capricorn planet. So those are clearly his two favourite signs. His Moon is in Sagittarius so he’ll be nurtured by that energy; and Capricorn is his 5th house so those will be play or speculation buddies.

What is also notable are the Jupiter aspects in all of them – enormously strongly marked. Out of seven there are four with Jupiter in hard aspect to Pluto, so pushily confident and disinclined to stick to rules. Four with Jupiter aspects to Neptune, so keen on high finance, not always practical, can get carried away on a delusional bubble. Three have Jupiter in aspect to Uranus, so undoubtedly lucky but also risk-takers. Two Jupiter Mars adventuring types amongst them as well.

It won’t be dull.

Geert Wilders – the far-right picking up traction

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Polls are putting Geert Wilders, the Dutch far-right, anti-Islamist politician, in the lead at the moment as the Netherlands heads for a May 2017 election. On these figures he wouldn’t have enough for an overall majority and would have trouble finding support amongst other parties for a coalition, but he would have sufficient to become prime minister.

It is putting the wind up politicians and commentators who, on the worst case scenario, given electorates recent track record, are envisaging Le Pen into the Elysee Palace in France, a far-right President in Austria, Italy in the hands of the euro-exiters. It may never come to pass but who knows?

Wilders, 6 September 1963, has mixed fortunes over 15 March 2017, with tr Neptune opposing his Sun/Pluto midpoint, then opposition his Sun from mid April. But he’s also got tr Uranus square his Mars/Jupiter midpoint which could just swing it for him, then he’d run into problems pulling together a government. He’s certainly on a confident roll before the election with tr Pluto square his Jupiter in Aries (a la Trump) through February and then again in June.

The Netherlands, 26 July 1581 JC chart, is looking panicked through this December with tr Pluto opposition the Neptune; and a droopy tr Neptune opposition Mars in March and later in the year. But the Solar Arcs are indicating a series of major turnarounds in April and May.

The other Netherlands chart, 16 March 1815 11.47am, looks angry and blocked in 2017/18 with tr Pluto conjunct the 7th house Mars, which will give problems with neighbouring countries. Plus a discouraging series of Saturn transits square Pluto MC Mercury Sun from this New Year on and off throughout 2017.

All countries have their own internal inclinations. The Dutch have always prided themselves on their liberal outlook and memories stretching back to Nazi occupation in WW11 give the older population no love for the far-right. So they could take fright as France did when Le Pen’s father got into the second round of the Presidential election years back. It so offended national pride it provoked a backlash.

Spain – making some headway

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Spain, despite going through political turbulence for 11 months and now stuck with a minority government, does appear to be making some headway economically. It has grown strongly in 2016, and the expansionary phase is expected to continue in 2017 and 2018. Though unemployment is still the second worst in the EU (below Greece) – 19pc overall, with youth 42pc. Though both are down considerably from last year.

The Bank of Spain chart, 2 June 1782, is limping through 2017 with tr Neptune square the Gemini Sun; and tr Saturn damping down the Jupiter in Sagittarius. The Spain 22 Nov 1975 12.45pm country chart has had tr Pluto square the Jupiter as it dragged itself out of the mire, but that finishes more or less now. There’s not much more showing apart from tr Neptune opposing Solar Arc Saturn in the 8th in 2017 which doesn’t look inspiring but won’t be terminal.

What is more interesting is the chart for the date Spain joined the EU on 1 January 1986. That would certainly indicate joining the EU was a mixed blessing with a heavily aspected Mars Pluto conjunction in Scorpio opposition North Node and tied into both Sun and Moon. Like Ireland, Spain gained substantially from infrastructure funds from the EU especially in rural areas, but the fixed currency has given them similar headaches to other southern European countries. That chart like several others associated with the EU will be under its most separative aspects come 2019 when tr Saturn will be in Capricorn. Tr Saturn conjunct the Sun isn’t that strong but following on from what has gone on earlier through this decade with tr Pluto and tr Uranus in hard aspect, it might just loosen the ties.

India – coping without cash

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There’s chaos in India as Narendra Modi’s government, without warning, declared 86pc of the country’s bank notes no longer legal tender, in a bid to crack down on tax evasion and corruption. About 90% of India’s transactions are in cash and many people do not have a bank account. While some applaud the effort to stamp down on the black economy, it has caused immense headaches for most of the population and travellers.

Born 17 Sep 1950 he’s a rigid Sun Saturn Mercury in Virgo with a ruthlessly confident and overly pushy Fixed T Square of Pluto widely opposition Jupiter square Mars in Scorpio. So not a man to budge when he has steamrollered ahead.

His PMship chart, 26 May 2014 6.13pm New Delhi, is certainly at its most unstable at the moment with the Solar Arc Pluto have moved to square Uranus exactly; and tr Pluto also square Uranus. But there’s a strong Jupiter in this chart, so his luck might hold.

Though his personal chart looks confused this December; and lacklustre and disappointing right through 2017 with a major setback late March into April.

The Reserve Bank of India, 1 April 1935 9am, looks jammed up every which way in 2017/18 with tr Pluto square Mars, which is frustrating and scary. With upheavals again late March into early April 2017. It’ll be in better spirits come 2019/20 with tr Pluto sextile its Jupiter.

The India 15 Aug 1947 12am chart does have tr Pluto sextile Jupiter from early 2017 for two years which is generally good news on the work, health and employment front. Apart from that it isn’t showing a huge amount bar tr Uranus trine Sun in Feb 2017 which is positive change; and some difficulties from transits to Solar Arcs – tr Uranus opposition Solar Arc Pluto, Saturn, Venus and conjunct Solar Arc MC, running from this December till April 2017 – so there will be upheavals, bumps and jolts and a fairly unsettled feel. Tr Saturn will in 2017 hover on the cusp of the 8th house of joint finances (which includes money owed to government in taxes), then it stays there till 2020 suggesting the tightening up will continue.