It seems the Russian bear may have been ambling through the U.S. electoral process more than we’d like of late. Allegations by U.S. intelligence services emerged as early as the late summer of 2016 that state-sponsored Russian hackers had broken into the emails of the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, chair of the Hillary Clinton campaign, then given this data to WikiLeaks for public release. A virtually daily drip-drip of leaks continued right up to the election itself.
During the same period, FBI Director James Comey made some startling insertions into the political process, in previously unprecedented ways. In July, Comey held a press conference to absolve Hillary Clinton of any legal wrongdoing in her use of a private email server while serving as U.S. Secretary of State, declaring the case closed with no recommendation to prosecute, but then lambasted her as careless, reckless, and irresponsible with national security. Just ten days before the election, Comey sent a letter to Congress to notify them that an unrelated probe into Anthony Weiner’s emails found material that might have further bearing on the Clinton case, which could potentially be reopened. Two days before the election he sent another letter, notifying Congress that nothing new had been discovered in the Weiner email cache.
Both these unwarranted intrusions into the U.S. presidential campaign, Russia’s and Comey’s, were likely contributing factors in the stunning Clinton loss in November, which catapulted Donald J. Trump into the Oval Office, against all expectation.
In early January both these situations were revisited when a report on Russian hacking activities, ordered by Obama, was released to Congress, and the existence of a highly sensitive dossier on Trump’s connections to Putin and Russia, complied by a British espionage officer, was made public. Congressional and Justice Department investigations into these matters were announced, the results of which should prove highly interesting.
Helping to make sense of this astrologically are several minor bodies of the solar system, asteroids of the Main Belt, which resonate to the names of the principal actors involved in this political drama. These include Russia (#232), Moskva (#787, Russian for “Moscow,” that nation’s capital), and Nemesis (#128), named for the Greek goddess of vengeance and retribution.
Originally, Nemesis’ role was one of karmic balance, a doling out of punishment in consequence of prior bad actions, the sense that no one is able to forever escape justice, but will ultimately pay the price. In modern parlance, however, Nemesis has come to represent anyone or anything that curbs our ambition, prevents our agenda, or simply stands in our way — any opponent, competitor or rival. Asteroid Nemesis played a leading part — as the campaign season rolled out and in the election itself — and its effects are even prefigured in the charts of the principal combatants.
Born on October 26, 1947, Hillary Clinton’s natal Nemesis appears at 27° Libra, within orb of her 2° Scorpio Sun. In many ways, she is her own worst enemy, and classical Nemesis’ emphasis on “self-undoing” is easy to see in the choices she made. Chiefly, this revolves around the decision to opt for a private server for both public and private email correspondence during her tenure as U.S. Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. Much of the damage to Clinton’s reputation, campaign, and career can be traced to this single decision, which violated government precedent, regulation, and, subsequently, law. If Clinton had simply followed the rules and used a government server, none of the accruing negative publicity, including the FBI investigation, would have happened.
Nemesis with the Sun indicates that prior bad actions, decisions, or circumstances will carry a price, one that will be paid in due course. We can get a sense of what areas this might involve by looking at the tightest aspect in Clinton’s birth chart, an exact square from natal Saturn at 21° Leo to natal Mercury at 21° Scorpio. This suggests a crisis (square), perhaps including a loss or restriction, or even a penalty (Saturn) that is somehow related to communications (Mercury). It’s a great placement for a policy wonk to have, that is, focused and detail-oriented, engrossed, even fixated, on practical solutions, and Clinton’s career arc shows that she put this planetary team to work efficiently and reliably on numerous occasions. But that deliberate use didn’t preclude the corollary: that there would be hell to pay regarding some decisions.
For our purposes, it may be instructive to look deeper into what else contacts Hillary’s natal Nemesis at 27° Libra. We can almost see the wry smile playing on the “face” of the cosmos when we examine additional PNA (Personal-Named Asteroids) connections, for in close proximity we see asteroid Bernie at 23° Libra! Asteroid Sanders is also broadly conjunct, at 18° Libra — these two asteroids together precisely identify the first major roadblock to Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, the Democratic Socialist septuagenarian Senator from Vermont, who came very close to derailing her candidacy.
But Bernie Sanders isn’t the only embodiment of Nemesis foreshadowed in Clinton’s chart. Incredibly, asteroid James appears at 26° Libra, just one degree shy of exact conjunction to Hillary’s natal Nemesis! Whatever effect Sanders may have had on wounding Clinton in the primaries, it’s indisputable that James Comey made the greater impact once she’d achieved her Party’s nomination. When Comey called a press conference to simultaneously exonerate and excoriate Clinton on July 5, 2016, transiting asteroid James at 21° Scorpio lay exactly atop Clinton’s natal Mercury, bringing out the negative potential of that Mercury-Saturn square. Transit Nemesis at 25° Libra was just one degree shy of Clinton’s natal James and about to make a return to its own natal degree, reinforcing her chart’s inherent potential for self-undoing sparked by someone of that name. (By the way, transiting James was at 21° Sagittarius for the election, exactly conjunct Trump’s natal Moon and opposite his Sun, placing FBI Director James Comey firmly in his camp, by effect if not intent.)
Vladimir Putin is another bad actor in Clinton’s presidential debacle. According to intelligence reports, the Russian president personally ordered the hack on the DNC and the Clinton campaign chair, perhaps in retaliation for Clinton’s denigration of his own election during her time at State. As of this writing, it’s unclear if Putin was pro-Trump or merely anti-Clinton, but his interference may have cost Clinton the election. Regardless, it was certainly a contributing factor. Asteroid Vladimir in Clinton’s nativity falls at 24° Aquarius, in trine to her natal Nemesis and putting it in direct contact with her natal Mercury-Saturn square (transforming it into a t-square). Transiting asteroid Damocles, representing the doom that hangs unseen overhead, was crisscrossing that degree all summer and autumn, coming to station at 20° Aquarius on Election Day itself.
Nemesis dogged the Clinton campaign from the start. When Hillary announced her candidacy on April 12, 2015, transiting Nemesis appeared at 6° Leo, paired with transiting asteroid Whitehouse at 5° Leo, and closely inconjunct transiting asteroid Hillary at 5° Capricorn. But perhaps more powerful was its exact conjunction with transiting asteroid Juno at that time, representing the spouse. Certainly Bill Clinton was a mixed blessing at best for the campaign — his record as president was a good one, but the memory of his personal life and the constant drama of the Clinton years cast a pall. Voters were uneasy with the prospect of seeing him once again in residence at the White House.
Nemesis has one more tale to tell us in regards to the 2016 election. On Election Day, transiting asteroid Hillary, paired with asteroid Lie, was stationary in the heavens at 16° Cancer, turning retrograde four days later. And 16° Cancer just happens to be the degree of Donald Trump’s natal asteroid Nemesis! The ultimate bar to Clinton’s path to the Oval Office, her celestial referent was activating his inherent ability to act as nemesis.
Which brings us to the other half of the story, Russia’s involvement. For over a year, press and populace have speculated about Donald Trump’s apparent fascination with, and approval of, Vladimir Putin. Trump always seems to give him the benefit of the doubt — comparing his leadership style with Obama’s, to the sitting president’s detriment; stating that Putin has always said nice things about him, and so he’ll reciprocate; praising the Russian’s restraint when sanctions were increased in response to his meddling in the U.S. election. Just how far does this political “bromance” go?
Perhaps all the way. Born on June 14, 1946, a look at Donald Trump’s birth chart reveals some startling connections to Russia. Chief among these is the placement of asteroid Moskva, named for the Russian capital. At 22° Virgo, Moskva squares Trump’s natal Sun at 22° Gemini exactly, a possible indicator of a deep-seated personal identification (Sun) with Russia (Moskva) in general. What’s more, this placement exactly conjoins the U.S. natal Neptune (22° Virgo), bringing in elements of subterfuge, deception, even espionage, on a national scale, as in the hacking done by the Russians for Trump’s benefit. Aligned with the U.S. Neptune is its natal Moskva, which at 25° Virgo is close beside Trump’s own; and TNO Chaos, emblematic of the disruption and anarchy Putin attempted to sow in the U.S. electoral process by his intervention. Trump is himself a natural agent of chaos, with his natal TNO Chaos at 24° Pisces in close square to his natal Sun, and transit Chaos conjoined it throughout 2016, and was exact on Election Day.
Trump’s natal asteroid Russia at 12° Aries opposes his natal Jupiter, ruling politics, at 17° Libra, suggesting potential intrusion from that quarter. It was also opposed exactly by transiting Jupiter at 12° Libra on Election Day, providing a final boost to his chances. Transiting Russia at 18° Gemini on Election Day, conjunct Trump’s Sun (22° Gemini), further reinforces the sense that the two are linked, while transiting Moskva at 12° Pisces conjoins transiting Neptune at 9° Pisces, reiterating Trump’s natal Moskva connection to the U.S. Neptune and encouraging ongoing deception and subterfuge.
Natally, asteroid Vladimir appears at 23° Scorpio, just one degree off Trump’s natal IC at 24°, indicating a vital role to play of a foundational (IC) nature, suggesting support and substantive backing. Natal Vladimir is also in a grand trine with Trump’s natal Saturn at 23° Cancer and Chaos at 24° Pisces; this becomes a Kite with Chaos’ opposition to natal Moskva at 22° Virgo. This suggests an easy working relationship (trine) between Putin (Vladimir), Trump’s career (Saturn), and his ability to shake things up in a big way (Chaos), all manipulated by and geared toward the advantage of the point at the “string” of the Kite, Moscow (Moskva), who is here quite literally pulling the strings. On Election Day, transiting Vladimir at 28° Virgo was loosely square Trump’s natal Sun, pulling away from its recent conjunction with the U.S. Neptune.
Going forward, what can we expect of the Trump administration vis-à-vis Putin and Russia? On Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017, the Sun at 0° Aquarius sextiled transit Moskva at 3° Aries and trined transiting Russia at 4° Gemini. This suggests a high degree of engagement with the Russian government, sometimes of an opportunistic nature (sextile), sometimes working hand-in-glove (trine). That Moskva degree (3° Aries) conjoins Trump’s natal Eris, named for the goddess of strife and discord, while the Sun/Russia trine becomes a grand trine with the insertion of Trump’s natal Neptune at 5° Libra. Trump’s fascination for all things Russian, should it continue, will likely provoke a disagreeable response (Eris), perhaps pushing Trump into more hidden or underhanded involvement (Neptune). Meanwhile, transiting Vladimir at 19° Libra conjoins both transiting Jupiter at 22° Libra and Trump’s natal Jupiter at 17°, and is also trine Trump’s natal Sun. One expects good times and smooth seas ahead for the Russian president, facilitated at least in part by his American counterpart.
Nemesis isn’t done with the administration either. At 0° Capricorn, transiting Nemesis is coming to conjoin Trump’s natal asteroid Whitehouse at 4° Capricorn; the open question here is whether his tenure in the Oval Office will lead to Trump’s undoing, or the country’s. Given the fact that transit asteroids America at 14° Capricorn and Whitehouse at 22° Capricorn are both within orb of transit Pluto at 17°, the latter seems most likely. In any case, a radical transformation (Pluto) — both of the office of the presidency (Whitehouse) and the country itself (America) — is intimated. What form this takes has yet to be determined.
Bio: Alex Miller is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book and The Urban Wicca, former editor of “The Galactic Calendar,” and past president of The Philadelphia Astrological Society. His pioneering work with Black Holes in astrological interpretation began in 1991, when his progressed Sun unwittingly fell into one. His work with deep space points and asteroids appears monthly at DayKeeper Journal. Alex can be reached for comment or services at firstname.lastname@example.org