Before we go on to the next vignette from the magical history of the United States, it’s time to glance over the annual Aries ingress chart for the United States and glean what we can of the next year of American history from that source. Readers new to this blog may not yet be aware that in mundane astrology—the branch of astrology that deals with the fate of nations—ingress charts, cast for the exact times of the solstices and equinoxes at the capital of each nation, are basic tools of the trade, central to making predictions on a day-by-day (or rather year-by-year) basis. The most important of all is the Aries ingress, since the first day of Spring—the day when the Sun enters the first degree of Aries—is the beginning of the astrological year, the point at which a new current of influence sweeps aside the remaining patterns of the year just ended.
(Yes, I know that the point the Sun reaches at the moment of the vernal equinox is no longer in the group of stars called Aries. Astrologers know all about the precession of the equinoxes—where do you think all that talk about the age of Aquarius came from? The signs of the zodiac are not groups of stars; they’re 30° wedges of the ecliptic, as seen from Earth, and have the names of the star groups that filled them when astrology was codified in ancient Greek times. The beginning of the zodiacal sign Aries is always the point at which the Sun is located at the northern hemisphere’s spring equinox—and if you think the names should have been changed, ask astronomers some day why they still use the names of Pagan gods and goddesses for the planets. Thank you, and we now return to our regularly scheduled Ecosophia post.)
Ahem. Ingress charts, as I was saying, are essential tools for the practice of mundane astrology. I’ve been casting US ingress charts for some years, and before we go on to the Aries ingress it’s only fair to look over the last chart I posted here—the Libra 2019 ingress, which you can find here—to see how I did. Here’s the summary I posted then:
“To sum up, then, we face another six months of political conflict in the US, but the focus of the conflict is shifting. For that period, Trump will be in the ascendant, and his administration will face less effective opposition from the Democrats than it’s had in the years just past. Instead, the Democrats will turn on one another in a bitter three-way struggle for control of a party in turmoil. The radical Democratic faction in the House, the more conservative Democratic bloc, and the party leadership will all be at loggerheads, and Pelosi and the House leadership can be expected to move closer to the GOP and the administration as a matter of sheer survival. Foreign money will also play a role in this struggle; keep a close eye on the possibility that this will blow up into a big political scandal sometime in 2020.
“The economy is in for a rough ride, with markets jolting up and down, but the end result will be close to the breakeven point. Expect sudden good news from the agriculture or mining industries, sudden bad news from somewhere in the entertainment industry, and hard times for the news media and for internet companies. Federal expenditures will jump upward as the administration props up the economy with pork-barrel programs and promises of tax cuts. Overall, no drastic changes can be expected, just a continuation of gridlock in a bitterly divided society and a slow shift of the initiative, at least for now, into Trump’s camp.”
One of the things clear in this reading is how tricky it is to interpret certain astrological indications. I predicted that Nancy Pelosi and the House leadership would hold up the impeachment proceedings, and took that to mean that the Democratic House leadership would begin to cooperate with the GOP in an attempt to head off its own radical wing. As we all know, Pelosi did indeed hold up the impeachment proceedings, and the struggle between the Democratic establishment and the party’s radical wing has certainly been a major source of news over the last six months, but those two trends didn’t intersect the way I expected. Such not-quite-hits part of every astrologer’s learning curve, and will help refine my future predictions—including this one.
The foreign money in Democratic coffers that was indicated so clearly by Neptune in the 8th house of that chart hasn’t yet surfaced, but then the Justice Department is playing its cards remarkably close to its vest these days; we’ll see what happens when the current investigations start bringing charges. Other than that, I think it’s fair to say that I did tolerably well—better, certainly, than a great many pundits using allegedly more rational means to gauge the oncoming shape of the future. With that in mind, let’s proceed to the Aries 2020 ingress, which is shown below:
If you don’t know your way around astrological charts, it will help to know that this is an abstract image of the sky as seen from Washington DC at the moment of the spring equinox. The horizontal line is, surprise, the horizon; the arrow up top points to the midheaven, which isn’t actually the middle of the sky—it’s the point of the ecliptic, the band of sky through which the Sun, Moon, and planets move, that’s furthest north in the sky at that moment.
The inner circle is the notional Earth, the outer circle are the notional heavens, and the wedge-shaped sections between them are the twelve houses, which are segments of the ecliptic that are assigned, on the basis of about five thousand years of practical experience, to different aspects of our national life. The symbols in the houses mark the position of the planets, and the lines inside the inner circle show aspects, which are geometrical relationships between planets that the same five thousand years of experience have taught astrologers to interpret. Got it? Let’s proceed.
The first thing to look at when interpreting an ingress chart is the sign on the ascendant—that’s the leftward (eastward) part of the horizon line, representing the point on the ecliptic that’s just rising above the horizon at the moment of the equinox. In this chart Scorpio rises, and Scorpio is one of the four fixed signs. This means that the chart we’re considering will predict political and economic conditions in the USA for an entire year, until the Aries 2021 ingress comes along. This indicates, among other things, that conditions will be noticeably more stable for the next year than they have been for the last two years or so.
The sign on the ascendant also determines the planet that has most influence during the period of the chart—in old-fashioned astrological jargon, the Lord of the Ingress—which reveals the character of the period in a general way. Scorpio is ruled by Mars, and Mars in this chart is in very good condition: in his exaltation in Capricorn, in an extremely close conjunction with the benefic planet Jupiter, and in an applying trine with the benefic planet Venus. His only negative factors are that he’s in an intercepted sign—a sign that has no house cusp in it, showing limitation of effect—and he’s in a loose conjunction with Saturn, the planet of limits, which points to the same thing. Overall, there will be enormous energy in motion during this year (Mars), moving in generally beneficial directions (Jupiter and Venus), but unable to complete its work due to a variety of extraneous factors.
Next we need to examine the Sun, the Moon, the planet ruling the first house, and the planet ruling the 10th house. The Sun in a mundane chart represents the head of government—in this case, Donald Trump. Since the Sun is always in its exaltation in Aries in an Aries ingress chart, that aspect of its placement isn’t read, but the rest of his condition is relevant, and in this case that’s very favorable: strengthened by position in the angular 4th house and by a very close trine with Saturn, hindered only by relatively weak semisquares with the Moon and Venus. He is located in the 4th house, which is among other things the house of agriculture and of the rural hinterlands—no surprise there, since that’s been the core of his political strength since the early days of his 2016 campaign. Since Leo, the sign the Sun rules, is on the cusp of the 9th house of judiciary affairs, expect Trump to win significant victories in the courts over the next year.
The Moon in mundane astrology represents that portion of the general population who play an active role in the political and cultural discourse of the time. For the last few years the Moon has reliably indicated the classes in American society who can’t stand Trump. If that remains true this time around, Trump has little to fear from them over the next year, because the Moon is the weakest planet in this ingress chart: she’s peregrine (without strength) in Aquarius, weakened by placement in the cadent 3rd house, all her aspects are negative—a square with Venus and a semisquare with the Sun—and the sign she rules, Cancer, is intercepted in the 8th house.
About the only way a planet can be weaker than this is if it’s also retrograde, and the Moon never goes retrograde. This is going to be a very difficult year for the chattering classes, in other words: not because anything dreadful will happen to them, but simply because most Americans no longer care what they think. (This is shown by the Moon being in bad condition in the 3rd house of communications.) Cancer intercepted in the 8th house of money from overseas is also interesting, in that several past charts had a planet in that house supporting the Moon, suggesting that foreign money was being provided to Trump’s opposition.
One possible interpretation of this aspect of the chart is that the foreign funding sources, sensing failure, stopped throwing good money after bad and left the opposition twisting in the wind. Another, drawing on the 8th house’s other traditional meaning as the house of death, is that one or more of Trump’s leading opponents may not survive the year, either because of the current pandemic or from some other cause. One way or another, though, the comfortable classes stand to lose a great deal of their influence this year; we’ll have to see in future charts whether they regain it.
The 1st house in a mundane chart represents the common people, those who don’t have a voice in the political and cultural discourse of the time. Since Scorpio is on the ascendant, the cusp of the 1st house, Mars is the planet that represents the common people. (Yes, it’s also the lord of the ingress; the fact that the significator of the people is always also the lord of the ingress is not an accident.) Mars, as already noted, is very strong by sign and aspect, but frustrated in part by interception and a conjunction with Saturn, and this will typify the experience of ordinary Americans this year: increasingly strong and confident, but hindered by extraneous forces. One implication is that the populist movement that coalesced around Trump will continue gaining strength but will be held back from some of its goals, at least for now. More generally, expect ordinary Americans to feel their strength and to start pushing for changes that have been completely off the table for decades now.
The 10th house in a mundane chart represents the government, and more specifically the executive branch as distinct from the other branches and from the president himself. With Virgo on the cusp of this house, Mercury rules it, and Mercury is in almost as bad shape as the Moon in this ingress, in his fall in Pisces and weakly placed in the cadent 3rd house. His one advantage is that he’s making a sextile aspect with Uranus, the ruler of the 3rd house, who is in even worse condition—in his fall in Taurus, in the cadent 6th house, and afflicted by a square with Saturn and a semisquare with Neptune. Furthermore, and fascinatingly, Mercury as ruler of the 10th house is applying to an opposition with his own house cusp.
What this suggests to me is the likelihood of a scandal within the executive branch, one that does not affect Trump—the Sun has no connection to this business by aspect or rulership—but that deals a serious blow to the prestige of the federal bureaucracies and puts officials into conflict with one another and with the institutions they serve. Given the other indications in this chart, one possibility is that the investigation into the Russiagate hoax will turn up evidence of serious wrongdoing on the part of Obama-era officials; another is that one of the other investigations now under way into shenanigans in high places will turn up something similar. One way or another, important federal officials are likely to land in serious trouble, but we’ll have to wait and see what the details turn out to be.
Let’s move on. In a mundane chart, the 11th house represents the lower house of the national legislature, and the 5th house represents the upper house. In this chart, the 11th house has Libra on the cusp and so is ruled by Venus, who is of very mixed condition: in her rulership in Taurus but weakened by placement in the cadent 6th house, strengthened by trines with Mars and Jupiter and a sextile with Neptune, but hindered by a semisquare with the Sun and a square with the Moon. The House of Representatives is definitely going to be worth watching in the year ahead; it will continue to oppose Trump (Venus semisquare Sun) but the civil war between the radical and conservative wings of the Democratic party will flare up again (Venus square Moon).
Less obvious from recent headlines is the trine aspect between Venus and Mars, the ruler of the 5th house and thus of the Senate, and Jupiter, the lord of the 2nd house of economics. Expect the standoff between the Democratic House and the Republican Senate to become less intractable over the coming year. Possibly in response to the current coronavirus pandemic, possibly because the House realizes it needs to have something to show the voters in time for the upcoming election, legislation that will benefit the national economy significantly will get through both houses, and the same may be true of important reforms of one kind or another.
The outcome of the 2020 elections is not shown in this ingress chart, by the way; the astrology of political elections is still in its infancy—remember that leaders weren’t elected by the people in the days when astrology was codified, and the couple of centuries since that habit became common are only just getting to the point of providing adequate raw material for the development of this end of mundane astrology. Those of my readers who were following the astrological press in 2016 know how many prominent astrologers added their names to the long list of pundits who failed to foresee Trump’s election. (My guess at this point, based on the same sort of political considerations that led me to predict his 2016 victory, is that he’ll win reelection with comfortable majorities in both the electoral college and the popular vote; that said, November’s still a long way off.)
On the other hand, a question that’s on many minds right now—the extent and consequences of the current coronavirus pandemic—is something mundane astrology is well equipped to answer. (Plagues were a common occurrence back in the days when astrology was young, after all.) The 6th house governs public health; its ruler is Venus, which is in mixed condition in this chart. Uranus at the beginning of the 6th house predicts sudden disruptions, but his condition in this chart is very weak, and Venus as house ruler is of moderate strength and relatively beneficent, all things considered. My prediction here is that the coronavirus pandemic will run its course in the US fairly quickly; the death toll will be significant but not catastrophic, and things will return to normal in short order once the virus has settled down, as such viruses reliably do, to become a normal cause of respiratory disease among the elderly and immunocompromised. The economic impact of the pandemic will be significant but, here again, we’ll get over it.
To sum up, the astrological year ahead (March 20, 2020—March 21, 2021) will be very rough sledding in some ways, and for some people. The comfortable classes who staked everything on getting rid of Donald Trump will find themselves sidelined in the national conversation, an experience I doubt they will handle with any degree of grace, while the populist insurgents who are backing Trump will be increasingly vocal and confident, though important goals of theirs will remain out of reach. Trump himself can expect a much more successful year than he’s had to date as his opponents stumble.
The gridlock in Congress will not be quite as total as it has been in recent years, with at least a few pieces of genuinely useful legislation making their way through the more than Byzantine toils of our lawmaking process. Federal bureaucracies face a very difficult year as something—quite possibly a large-scale scandal—pits officials against one another in a struggle many will lose. Meanwihile the coronavirus outbreak will sicken a lot of people and cause a significant death toll, but run its course fairly quickly and leave few lasting impacts.
That is to say, one more year of politics as usual. We’ll check back a year from now and see how these predictions have done. For what it’s worth, I have much more extensive predictions based on the Aries ingress charts for the US, Great Britain, India, Japan, and Australia, as well as the eclipses in December and January (which are still having effects as I write this), on my Patreon and SubscribeStar accounts. If you’re interested, or would simply like to help me cover my bills so I can keep providing lots of free content online, please check them out.