Looking back, looking forward: the Volatile Cycles of Election 2016

(Editor’s note: See Chart Data below for details on birth times used herein.)

Election years are great times to explore outer planetary cycles. History is being made (and possibly repeated) during these years, and providing a cosmic framework for historical trends, events, social change, and evolution is what these cycles are all about. Election 2016 has been an especially good study because we’re “blessed” with: 1) an unconventional set of candidates and, 2) a deeply polarized, angry electorate that’s pushing the country’s ideological limits. Not surprisingly, these extremes and the general desire to “shake things up” are reflected very well in planetary cycles, so we have a lot to explore.

A key premise here is that history repeats itself through the individuals who resonate with significant planetary cycles and carry forward the agendas signaled by the inception charts of those cycles.

For instance, in history, both the Saturn-Uranus cycle and the Saturn-Neptune cycles have marked times of social and economic change along ideological extremes. As we’ll see with examples below, this has been especially true against a backdrop of cardinal Uranus-square-Pluto. The platforms of Election 2016 candidates embody all of this at the same time — an ongoing mutable (change-oriented) Saturn-Neptune square, a rapidly-perfecting Saturn-Uranus trine in fiery Sagittarius-Aries, and of course, the enduring cardinal Uranus-Pluto square.

Not to be underestimated, the waning Saturn-Pluto cycle (a new cycle begins at 22° 46′ Capricorn in January 2020) is clearing out outworn power structures and creating a new social context for the upcoming cycle. This post will focus specifically on the 1988 Saturn-Uranus and the 1989 Saturn-Neptune cycles prevailing in this election year, and on the upheavals they are creating. Whatever transpires from the election in November will lay the groundwork for the new Saturn-Pluto cycle in 2020 .

Right, Left and all of the above
Right-wing political leanings relate to the Saturn-Uranus cycle, according to Andre Barbault, who says this approximately 45-year-long cycle is “…essentially conservative/authoritarian” — deeply concerned with law, order, individualism, and defensive positions. (1) Barbault also associates capitalism with this cycle, so perhaps today’s waning trine (exact for the first time in December) explains why even normally conservative voters are questioning capitalism’s preference for channeling wealth to the top.

Barbault views the Saturn-Neptune cycle in history as more left leaning, promoting more broadly-shared prosperity, along the lines of socialism or other forms of collectivism. Grass roots movements tend to thrive under Saturn-Neptune, which explains not only physical movements like the migrant crisis overseas, but also the new civil rights movement (i.e., Black Lives Matter) and the record voter turnouts inspired by this year’s unconventional election candidates.

In everyday practice, these cycles influence the roles we assign to government in our private and public lives, but as we’ll see, even the most extreme governments employ some mixture of right- and left-leaning policies. Depending upon the mixture, however, radical imbalances can take over such societies, and it is these imbalances that trigger either warfare or revolutionary times. Which brings us back to today.

Saturn, a  “social” planet that helps organize and structure societies and their governments, combines with Uranus to shake up those structures, usually for a more orderly “strong man,” or hero-centered alternative. Donald Trump’s campaign certainly taps into the longing people have for a tough-guy “hero” who has a simple answer for all problems. These heroes tend to have strong ties in their natal charts to prevailing Saturn-Uranus cycles, and Trump is no exception, as I will show below.

On the other hand, Saturn and Neptune combine to wash away old structures and manifest the dreams and ideals (or negatively, the delusions) Neptune is inspiring in the collective. In a startling example, the 1989 Saturn-Neptune conjunction marked the rapid demise of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union. Bernie Sanders’ liberal call for a “political revolution” to rescue the U.S. middle class from oblivion fits the Saturn-Neptune idealistic mold, but implementing his ideas might require some “tough guy” maneuvering.

As we’ll see, both right- and left-wing extremes in history have employed both cycles to their advantage, and we’re seeing this same phenomenon in 2016. Let’s consider a couple of  “archetypal” examples from the World War II era.

On the extreme Right

Trump has been labeled a “fascist” in the course of this election year, and, in all fairness, his immigrant-bashing, tough guy rhetoric does conjure up images from that extreme right pole, whether that’s his intention or not. The historical milestones highlight some compelling astrological parallels:

Germany’s Third Reich was established on January 30, 1933: Uranus was square Pluto in the cardinal signs Aries-Cancer, the so-called cardinal “power axis,” which is active again today. Saturn in Uranus-ruled Aquarius was at 7° Aquarius inconjunct Neptune at 9° Virgo (amazingly, exactly opposite its current Pisces placement).

Hitler’s consolidation of power under the Nazis: This process took place during the early 1930s, which was the waning Capricorn-Aries square of the 1897 Saturn-Uranus cycle (beginning at 27°39′ Scorpio). This 1897 cycle gave way to the next Saturn-Uranus cycle in May 1942 (29°19′ Taurus), conjunct Hitler’s Neptune-Pluto conjunction in early Gemini. This new cycle exactly conjoined the natal Pluto of then-President Roosevelt, helping to bring the U.S. into the fight.

Interestingly, Saturn had also transited opposite Neptune in Virgo during 1936 and 1937, and the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party was powerfully enabled by Neptune’s added influence. During the 1930s, Hitler built popular momentum for his genocidal ideology with vitriolic rants about Germany’s economic victimization (Neptune) at the hands of the World War I peace agreements and to the ever-present “Others,” i.e., German Jews. In doing so, Hitler was leveraging the August 1917 new Saturn-Neptune cycle (at 4°45′ Leo), which was conjunct his Midheaven and sextile his Neptune-Pluto conjunction in Gemini. This Neptune-Pluto conjunction (first exact in 1891 and marking the beginning of a new 492-year cycle) marked a major turning point in civilization, and Nazism embodied its “dark side” to a tee.

Also attuned to both cycles

Drawing parallels from Election 2016 to 1930s Germany will hopefully prove shockingly wrong, but Trump’s natal chart also resonates strongly with both the current Saturn-Uranus and Saturn-Neptune cycles. He’s “talking the talk,” that is, sounding like 1930s Germany, so we have to wonder. The Saturn-Uranus cycle seems to anticipate the powerful tactics we’ve seen him deploy.

(All charts use Tropical Equal houses and the True Node.)

Inner wheel: Natal, Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. EDT, Jamaica, NY (40°N41’29” 73°W48’22”). Source: Astrodatabank, AA.
Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Uranus, Feb. 13, 1988, 04:04:41 p.m. EST, Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”).

Trump natal, Saturn-Uranus cycle

The 1988 Saturn-Uranus conjunction (new cycle) at 29°57′ Sagittarius trines Trump’s natal 12th house Mars (26°47′ Leo) and Ascendant (29°58′ Leo) and widely opposes his natal Sun (22°56′ Gemini). A “knight-in-shining-armor” aspect, this configuration blessed Trump’s fortune-building quest and perhaps reflects his tendency to view the world in terms of “winners” and “losers.”

The Saturn-Uranus conjunction chart has Jupiter and the Midheaven at 24° – 25° Aries, which square Trump’s natal Saturn-Venus conjunction at 23° – 26° Cancer. This reflects his deft use of extreme defensiveness and verbal “pre-emptive strike,” and perhaps the particular vitriol he saves for women (Venus) who challenge him. Hillary Clinton in November?

The Saturn-Uranus conjunction chart has Chiron and Mars in opposition to each other (24°15′ Sag – 23°15′ Gemini), which conjoins his Sun-Moon axis (Gemini-Sagittarius). This reflects the tough guy character he’s created and his ability to leverage criticism to his advantage. Archetypally, heroes are victims who overcome their enemies for the good of all. What better battle cry than “make America great again?

Inner wheel: Natal, Donald J. Trump
Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Neptune, March 3, 1989, 04:01:17 a.m. EST, Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”).

Trump natal, Saturn-Neptune cycle

The 1989 Saturn-Neptune conjunction degree (11°55′ Capricorn) opposes Trump’s natal Mercury (8°52′ Cancer) and squares his Neptune, Chiron, and Jupiter (5° – 17° Libra). This cycle marked a major milestone for Trump’s career, promoting him and the sales of his 1988 book, Art of the Deal. Trump clearly anticipated the powerful cardinal energies that 1989 would bring to bear, and he continues to benefit. In his 2016 campaign, he’s demonstrated that political deal-making is all about deploying cardinal energies: build rapport (Libra), stimulate fears and promote defensive action (Cancer), control the narrative (Capricorn).

In the Saturn-Neptune chart, Mars and Jupiter were conjunct (25°- 29° Taurus), and conjoin Trump’s Midheaven (24°22′). Aggressive Uranus in Capricorn (4°45′) closely squares his Neptune (5°51′ Libra).
The 1989 cycle signaled a strongly conservative Capricorn cycle and robust growth for Trump’s “brand.” Trump has managed to leverage his wealth as a campaign plus (despite the negative feelings about billionaires these days) and is using this final waning square of the 1989 cycle to solidify his political “brand.” The conservative movement re-engineered the U.S. economy so wealth is driven largely to the top. Trump profited greatly from that movement, and he is now profiting from the backlash to that movement. Whatever we think of his platform, his deal making has worked for him thus far.

On the other side…
In the U.S., the 1930s period that manifested Nazi Germany saw the rise of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) as our only 4-term president (1933-1945), serving from the end of the Great Depression of 1929 through all but the end of WWII. FDR’s administration transformed the U.S. economy and society for generations to come. He gave us the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act restraining banks and Wall Street (legislation dismantled under Bill Clinton) — the same Act that Bernie Sanders wants to reinstate. FDR also passed Social Security legislation and a robust public works approach to recovering from the Depression.

What does it mean to be a “progressive” these days?
So, which of our current Democratic candidates is more “progressive?” Not surprisingly, Clinton’s chart ties in most tightly with the Saturn-Uranus chart, which probably reflects her more centrist liberalism (“conservative lite”). Competing with Sanders has drawn her leftward, but her natural tendencies are more centrist and technocratic.

Inner wheel: Natal, Hillary Rodham Clinton, October 26, 1947, 8:02 a.m., Chicago, IL (41°N51’ 87°W39’); Rodden rating DD, conflicting or unverified. (There is a discrepancy between her birth time as 8:02 a.m. or 8:02 p..m. The author is using the a.m. time herein, although it is unverified.)
Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Uranus, Feb. 13, 1988, 04:04:41 p.m. EST, Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”).

Clinton natal, Saturn-Uranus cycle

Interchart t-square: The 1988 Saturn-Uranus conjunction (29°57′ Sagittarius) was opposite Clinton’s natal Uranus (25°56′ Gemini), square her Pisces Moon (22°51′). Emotions seem to take a back seat to more technical and administrative concerns in Clinton’s policies. As for her “softer” agenda, promoting programs that benefit women and children, Clinton’s Pisces Moon trines her Venus-Mercury in Scorpio, and those points square her powerful Leo stellium.

Clinton’s 9th-house Saturn (21°59′ Leo) trines the conjunction degree (29°57′ Sag) and trines Jupiter, the dispositor of the conjunction (25°27′ Aries). The 1988 cycle’s inception was powerfully ambitious and bellicose as well, ushering in the most tumultuous geopolitical times since WWII. So it’s not surprising that Clinton found herself in the powerful role of Secretary of State during several years of it. We can see here that global statesmanship becomes her, and that she had the mental/physical stamina to tackle the incredible rigors of that career (natal Saturn exactly squares Mercury in Scorpio). This Saturn-Mercury connection and her heavy Scorpio 12th-house energies probably speak to the “trust” issue that dogs her steps. Whether she can be trusted to promote a true progressive agenda is an open question.

Inner wheel: Natal, Hillary Rodham Clinton

Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Neptune, March 3, 1989, 04:01:17 a.m. EST, Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”).

Clinton natal, Saturn-Neptune cycle

Clinton’s 11th house Neptune (11°21′ Libra) squares the 1989 conjunction degree at 11°55′ Capricorn. The new-cycle degree is in her 2nd house and sextiles her natal Venus in Scorpio (16°14′). This conservative 1989 cycle was also good to the Clinton political partnership, ushering in Bill Clinton’s centrist liberal presidency and building their joint wealth and influence. There were tough moments that steeled Hillary for the challenges to come as well. In retrospect, key milestones that have challenged the Clintons’ political careers have tracked with this cycle:

1992 – 2000 as First Lady: Saturn’s waxing square to Neptune unfolded over 1998-99, during the infamous Monica Lewinsky scandal and Bill Clinton’s impeachment and subsequent acquittal in February 1999. Hillary Clinton characterized the crisis as a “vast right-wing conspiracy,” which isn’t far-fetched during a Saturn-Neptune square, enhanced by Jupiter (then) in Pisces. This may reflect her distrust of Neptunian tactics and idealism, which can be easily distorted and difficult to control.

2006-2008 as presidential candidate: Saturn opposed Neptune from mid-Leo to Aquarius from mid-2006 to mid-2007 during the conception of the 2008 campaigns. This probably helped her build early support, but in the end, Neptunian dynamics left her run aground — on Obama’s celebrity-style pull with young voters and his “Audacity of Hope” theme. As with her husband’s impeachment, there was a silver lining: her career in the State Department was just getting started. The trust issue hurt her in 2008 as it still does, but her fixed planetary energies and ambitious 1st-house Jupiter just keep on ticking.

2016 presidential campaign: Now, in the final, waning Saturn-Neptune square, Clinton’s campaign is promising to clean up the excesses of the lingering conservative cycle, but her promises ring hollow to many, the primaries are far from over, and if she ends up running against Trump, a nasty, bruising campaign lies ahead. Could she still end up being the “default” candidate this year — the one people vote for because they can’t stand the idea of President Trump? A plausible scenario, with today’s planetary picture, but Sanders has an equally strong (if not stronger) relationship with that picture.

What about Sanders?
A lot of would-be revolutionaries are “Feeling the Bern” these days, and the Sanders’ campaign certainly evokes the post-Depression, New Deal policies of FDR in its populist appeal. Sanders is old enough to have experienced the perks of that New Deal era, and his chart taps into both 1988 and 1989 cycles in strong, uncomplicated ways that reflect his “what you see is what you get” candidacy.

Inner wheel: Natal, Bernard Sanders, Sept. 8, 1941, 12:00 p.m. (no time available), Brooklyn, N.Y. (40°N38’ 73°W56’) DST. Source: Astrodatabank, XX (no time).
Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Uranus, Feb. 13, 1988, 04:04:41 p.m. EST, Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”).

Sanders natal, Saturn-Uranus cycle

The new-cycle degree (29°57′ Sagittarius) is inconjunct Sanders natal Saturn-Uranus conjunction (28° Taurus, 0° Gemini) and trine Mars in Aries (23°42′);  as noted above, Jupiter in the conjunction chart is at 25°27′ Aries. The authoritative energies and conservative agenda of Saturn-Uranus have likely rubbed Sanders the wrong way for decades and have inspired a career-long commitment to action. His Taurus-Gemini conjunction suggests an ability to project his own authority with strong determination and sufficient adaptability. This has probably helped him survive as a self-professed Socialist/Independent in Congress since 1991.

Sanders natal Saturn trines Neptune (28°33′ Taurus – 26°59′ Virgo) and Neptune conjoins the North Node (22°54′ Virgo). This is a generous-feeling Saturn-Neptune, reflecting Sanders’ confidence in a liberal agenda that spreads tangible wealth (earth signs). His North Node conjunct Neptune confirms that his “socialism” is an idealistic mission.

The conjunction degree (29°57′ Sagittarius) squares Sanders Neptune-Node in Virgo; his natal Mercury (2°40′ Libra) trines his Saturn-Uranus conjunction.
Achieving this mission runs counter to the aggressive, belligerent nature of this Sagittarius cycle, and Sanders is well aware of the forces he is fighting. Every speech (Mercury) contains an identical litany of these forces (some which implicate Clinton), and he’s convinced many with his relentless messaging.

Inner wheel: Bernard Sanders
Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Neptune, March 3, 1989, 04:01:17 a.m. EST, Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”).

Sanders natal, Saturn-Neptune cycle

The Saturn-Neptune conjunction degree (11°55′ Capricorn) trines Sanders Sun (15°35′ Virgo). This aspect suggests that Sanders fully embraces the liberal agenda of Saturn-Neptune, and that his career (which is difficult to separate from the person) will somehow thrive in what remains of this Capricorn cycle.

In the Saturn-Neptune conjunction chart, Mars and Jupiter (25°- 29° Taurus) conjoin Sanders natal Saturn-Uranus and trine his natal Neptune (26°59′ Virgo).
Taurus Mars and Jupiter reflect not only Sanders’ persistence in the face of enormous opposition, but also suggest a pragmatic principle underlying Sanders’ career: that wealth creation and prosperity are not the sole province of conservatism, and that some conservative principles can be deployed for liberal purposes.

Wheels within wheels…

To my mind, this election is proving too volatile for generalizations, and although I respect the many efforts, predictions feel more like wishful thinking than true insight. I do believe, however, that we can begin to understand the unconventional dynamics we’re faced with by digging into these Saturn-Uranus-Neptune cycles and considering what part of history we wish to repeat. If radical change is upon us — as today’s astrology suggests — what does that mean to us, and to what purpose? It’s all there in the cycles, in those “wheels within wheels.” Let’s choose wisely!

Footnote:

(1) Michael Baigent, Nicholas Campion, Charles Harvey, Mundane Astrology, Thorsons, 1984, p. 181.


Chart Data and Sources

Chart 1. Natal, Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. EDT, Jamaica, NY (40°N41’29” 73°W48’22”). Source: Astrodatabank, AA. Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Uranus, Feb. 13, 1988, 04:04:41 p.m., Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”) ST.
Chart 2. Natal, Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. EDT, Jamaica, NY (40°N41’29” 73°W48’22”). Source: Astrodatabank, AA. Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Neptune, March 3, 1989, 04:01:17 a.m. EST, Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”).
Chart 3. Natal, Hillary Rodham Clinton, October 26, 1947, 8:02 a.m., Chicago, IL (41°N51’ 87°W39’); Rodden rating DD, conflicting or unverified. (There is a discrepancy between her birth time as 8:02 a.m. or 8:02 p..m. The author is using the a.m. time herein, although it is unverified.) Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Uranus, Feb. 13, 1988, 04:04:41 p.m. EST, Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”) .
Chart 4. Natal, Hillary Rodham Clinton, October 26, 1947, 8:02 a.m., Chicago, IL (41°N51’ 87°W39’) ST. Rodden rating DD, conflicting or unverified. (There is a discrepancy between her birth time as 8:02 a.m. or 8:02 p..m. The author is using the a.m. time herein, although it is unverified.) Outer wheel: Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Neptune, March 3, 1989, 04:01:17 a.m. EST, Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”).
Chart 5. Natal, Bernard Sanders, Sept. 8, 1941, 12:00 p.m. EDT (no time available), Brooklyn, N.Y.C., NY (40°N38’ 73°W56’) DST. Source: Astrodatabank, XX (no time). Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Uranus, Feb. 13, 1988, 04:04:41 p.m. EST, Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”).
Chart 6. Bernard Sanders, Sept. 8, 1941, 12:00 p.m. EDT (no time available), Brooklyn, N.Y.C., NY (40°N38’ 73°W56’). Source: Astrodatabank, XX (no time). Outer wheel: Saturn-0-Neptune, March 3, 1989, 04:01:17 a.m. EST, Washington, D.C. (38°N53’42” 77°W02’12”).

Bio: Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer, and former university English instructor. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years. She can be contacted at her blog, Diary of a Mundane Astrologer, or by email:  robertsonraye.com.

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