A few days from now we’ll have arrived at the northern hemisphere’s autumn equinox, when the Sun crosses the celestial equator to bring spring to my readers in Australia and fall to me and my neighbors here in North America. The equinox is an important holy day to Druids and members of various other nature-centered religions, and I’ll be celebrating it, but it’s also important for mundane astrologers: those eccentric and studious souls who ignore the DO NOT ENTER signs our culture posts all over the most interesting parts of its intellectual heritage, and study the archaic science of the stars as a guide to political events here on the ground.
Ingress charts for equinoxes and solstices are important tools for the mundane astrologer. For the last six months public affairs here in the United States have been under the influence of the Aries 2019 ingress chart, which you can find interpreted here. Before we go on to see what the heavens have to say about the next six months, it’s only fair to take a few minutes to look back over the period just ended and see how I did. Here’s the summary from my post in March:
“To sum up, the people who keep on insisting that any day now we’ll see a final showdown between President Trump and his enemies are once again going to be disappointed. The next six months will see another round of angry social media wars between pro- and anti-Trump factions, more bluster from the Oval Office and more tirades from the Democrats, none of which will go anywhere or do anything, and all of which will begin to lose whatever interest they might have had for most of the American people. The Democratic Party establishment will be at loggerheads with its party’s radical wing, and will make no noticeable attempt to reach out to the working class voters it used to represent. Meanwhile the Mueller investigation will wind down inconclusively, leaving Trump unscathed.
“The economy will be a mixed bag, with a troubled manufacturing sector and major disruptions in the service and information sector partly balanced by good times in farm country. Foreign policy will get the bulk of the administration’s attention in the months ahead, with very equivocal results, and foreign trade and investment will take a serious hit for reasons that will likely be political in nature. Finally, we can expect some kind of international mass movement to seize the media spotlight for a while and give people something to do other than make the changes that matter, before it fades away in the usual fashion.”
Farm country has had a much more mixed time than I anticipated, due partly to difficult weather and partly to the burgeoning trade war with China, and the manufacturing economy did fairly well—it was the upper end of retail that took a beating, as wealth flowed away from the privileged classes and into the hands of working stiffs. Other than that, I think it’s fair to say that the heavens and I did a noticeably better job of predicting the last six months than the supposedly more rational methods used by the punditocracy on either side of our nation’s political war zone. With that in mind, let’s proceed to the 2019 Libra ingress chart for the United States.
Here it is. Those who don’t know their way around horoscopes will want to know that the circle in the middle is the notional earth, the circle around the outside the notional heavens, and the lines that radiate out from earth to sky mark the cusps or dividing lines between the twelve houses, which are divisions of the sky that relate to certain categories of events on earth. The most important of these for our present purposes are the ascendant or first house cusp, also known as the rising sign, the point on the ecliptic rising in the east at the moment for which the horoscope is cast—that’s the one marked 21° Leo 47’ over on the left—and the midheaven or tenth house cusp, the one with the arrowhead on it, which represents the point on the ecliptic furthest north of the celestial equator at the moment for which the horoscope is cast—that’s 14° Taurus 45’ in this chart. Got it? Okay, let’s proceed with the interpretation.
The first things you want to do in interpreting an ingress chart is to check which of the three classes of zodiacal sign—cardinal, fixed, or mutable—is on the ascendant. This determines how long the reading’s effects will last. Leo, the rising sign, is a fixed sign, and indicates an active period of up to a year. Since the astrological year begins with the Aries ingress in March and everything resets at that point, this means that the reading below will cover the six months left in the current astrological year.
The sign on the ascendant also determines the planet that typifies the period we’re considering: in the language of old-fashioned mundane astrology, the lord of the ingress. With Leo rising, the lord of the ingress is the Sun. The Sun in a mundane reading corresponds to the head of state, and when it’s the lord of the ingress, it tells you that the personality and activities of the head of state will dominate the collective mood of the year. The next six months will be all Trump, all the time, to an even greater degree than has been the case so far—and the Sun as the lord of the ingress is also traditionally a sign of success for the government. To a great extent, the Trump administration has been having to play defense for the last two and three-quarters years. The chart suggests that this may be about to change.
The next steps in interpreting an ingress chart are to check the Sun and the planet ruling the midheaven, which represent the government, and the Moon and the planet ruling the cusp of the ascendant, which represent the people. More specifically, the Sun as already noted is the head of state and the planet ruling the midheaven is the executive branch; the Moon is that portion of the population that makes its voice heard, and the planet ruling the ascendant stands for the mostly silent masses. The luminaries (Sun and Moon) and planets can be, as the old astrologers put it, dignified or debilitated by their positions in the zodiac, by their relation to certain houses, and by aspects from other planets. Their condition indicates how the things they represent will do over the period of the reading, and any aspects they make will show how they relate to one another.
Here again, I hope none of my readers are eagerly awaiting a prediction of Donald Trump’s imminent fall from power. Trump himself is indicated by the Sun; you don’t count zodiacal dignity for the Sun in an ingress chart—otherwise all Aries ingresses would be favorable for presidents and all Libra ingresses unfortunate—so what counts is that the Sun is not in a cadent house and is free of negative aspects, meaning a moderate degree of success can be expected. Since the rising sign Leo is ruled by the Sun, Trump will retain the loyalty and love of the deplorable masses through this period, however little the more vocal end of the population likes him.
Far more important in this context is the executive branch. Since Taurus is on the midheaven, Venus—the planet that rules Taurus—is the significator for the federal government, and she’s very strongly placed in Libra, her other rulership. Having Venus along with the Sun in the 2nd house of the chart shows prosperity and an increase in revenue to the government, although it also predicts very large government expenditures. More generally, with three important planets in the 2nd house, one of them the lord of the ingress, economic news will dominate the headlines for the next six months, and economic policy will be get the bulk of the Trump administration’s attention over that time as well.
Surprising as it seems, the vocal segment of the populace—indicated by the Moon—will not primarily be vocalizing about Trump over the months ahead. Other things will excite their wrath. The Moon is strongly placed in Cancer, the sign she rules, but she’s on one end of the aspect astrologers call a T-square: opposite at least one planet and square at least one other. In this case, the opposition is with Saturn in the 5th house and the squares are with Venus late in the 2nd and Mercury just over the line in the 3rd. This is a complex and powerful interaction, and it’s worth taking a few moments to unpack it.
The 11th house in a mundane chart represents the legislature, and more particularly the lower house—in the US, the House of Representatives. The 5th house, opposite it, represents the upper house—in the US, the Senate. The 11th has Gemini on its cusp and so is ruled by Mercury; the 5th has Sagittarius on its cusp and so is ruled by Jupiter. Any planets in either house represent factions among the legislators of that house not necessarily aligned with the leadership. Got it? Now let’s trace the relationships in action.
Mercury, representing the leadership of the House, is sextile Jupiter, representing the leadership of the Senate, and conjunct Venus, representing the executive branch. Opposing all of these—by square in the case of Mercury and Venus, by inconjunct in the case of Jupiter—is the Moon, which clearly represents the radical Democrat faction in the House. What this says to me is that the struggle for power in the Democratic party is going to blow wide open in the months ahead, as the radical faction in the House (the Moon) takes on the House leadership under Nancy Pelosi (Mercury) and both sides end up at odds with the Democratic minority in the Senate (Saturn).
That’s apparently going to drive Pelosi and the House leadership to mend fences with the GOP Senate leadership (Jupiter) and ultimately with the executive branch (Venus) in an attempt to head off a complete loss of control over the Democratic party. (Thus, for instance, we can expect Pelosi to double down on her resistance to attempts at impeaching Trump.) GOP control of the Senate will continue to frustrate the House radicals (Moon inconjunct Jupiter; the inconjunct is the aspect of frustration) and their supporters among the population, and will make life easier for Pelosi and her faction. At the same time, there’s another player in this game, and it’s troubling.
The 8th house, over on the right hand side of the chart, is among other things the house of other countries’ money. It’s ruled by Neptune, and Neptune is in it, close to the cusp. Neptune also has aspects to most of the players in the T-square we’ve just been analyzing. It’s trine the Moon, sextile Saturn, square Jupiter, and inconjunct Mercury. What this means, unless I’m much mistaken, is that at least one foreign country will attempt to influence the political struggle here in the US by providing a great deal of covert funding by roundabout means (Neptune is among other things the planet of all things that can’t be seen clearly) to the radical Democrats in the House and Senate, while spending more money in an attempt to frustrate the leadership of both parties.
This project won’t be entirely successful by any means (Neptune, though strong by position, is retrograde). What’s more, word of the covert funding will begin to leak out (Mercury inconjunct Neptune) and it’s possible that the Senate may take action to frustrate it (Jupiter square Neptune). I don’t see any indication in this chart that the matter will become messily public in the six months ahead, but that makes sense anyway; if the Republicans have the political savvy the gods gave geese, they’ll save the big reveal for May or June of 2020, when it will have the maximum impact on the upcoming election. I’d encourage my readers, though, to look for signs that this or that Democratic politician is suddenly awash in money, and notice which wealthy countries overseas stand to benefit most from the policies proposed by said politician. That may just give you a heads up on next year’s sixty-point headlines.
A few other political notes are worth making here. The Moon-Mercury square traditionally predicts political dissension, legislation being held up, and a flurry of controversies and disputes; it also indicates trouble over treaties and diplomatic affairs. The Jupiter-Neptune square predicts class conflict, confusion in the political sphere, and wild accusations flung between the political parties. The Saturn-Neptune sextile, finally, gives strength to populism in the political sphere and results in legislation that favors the interests of the masses.
That basically sums up what the ingress chart has to say about politics. Mundane astrology also has a lot to say about the economic sphere, though. To begin with, as already noted, economic affairs are going to be all over the headlines in the six months to come. With Mars, Sun, and Venus all in the 2nd house, that’s a given. Virgo’s on the cusp of the 2nd house, so Mercury rules that house and the US economy in general. Mercury in Libra has no particular dignity, so the six months ahead will be neither unusually prosperous or the reverse.
On the other hand, it’s going to be a wild ride. Mars in the 2nd is a classic sign of turmoil in markets. Stock market crashes, bank failures, and other colorful events of the same sort tend to happen under that indication. Mars and Sun in the 2nd both indicate very large government expenditures, and Venus in the same house suggests that there will be booms as well as busts. Take the indications together and you’ve got drastic swings in the whole range of markets. Those of my readers who are risk-averse may want to take note.
Economic sectors to watch carefully include agriculture, mining and other resource extraction industries, the entertainment industry, the news media, and the tech industry. Agriculture and mining will by and large stumble along, not good, not bad, but there will be a big success story in one or the other of those sectors; that’s shown by Jupiter well dignified in the 4th house, which governs both sectors. Since Jupiter’s late in the house, expect news to break late in the six month period: say, in February or early March 2020. The entertainment industry will by and large be prosperous, since Jupiter rules the cusp of the 5th house—the house that governs that industry—but there will be some seriously bad news in some part of the industry, as shown by Saturn in that house. It might just be another round of expensive movies that don’t make money, but I suspect it’s more than that—for example, the bankruptcy of a major Hollywood firm.
The news media, by contrast, is in trouble. The media generally is assigned to the third house, which is ruled by Venus and thus fairly strong, but news is indicated by Mercury in the third, and Mercury has no strength in Libra; he’s also hammered by two squares and an inconjunct, though he gets some help from the sextile with Jupiter. The ratings of major news networks such as CNN and MSNBC have been plunging over the last year or so as viewers become bored with the hamfisted partisan propaganda retailed there; expect the plunge to continue as people turn to other sources for their news (Moon square Mercury) and financial problems in some sectors of the entertainment industry spread to news (Mercury square Saturn). The next six months will be equally bad for internet firms, which are also governed by Mercury; only a great deal of speculative funding from venture capitalists (Mercury sextile Jupiter, ruler of the 5th house) will keep some very large firms from going under.
A few other pointers about the months ahead can be drawn from the chart. The courts (ruled by the 9th house) won’t be as central to the national conversation as they’ve been for a while now; their ruler is Mars in the 2nd, in a loose conjunction with the Sun, showing that the GOP’s effort to appoint as many new justices as possible will pay off with fewer legal challenges for Trump and his administration. Uranus retrograde in the 9th suggests that the Supreme Court will reverse a longstanding precedent in the legal sphere, though that won’t have immediate effects on the nation or its politics—this is shown by the lack of aspects connecting Uranus to any of the other planets in the chart.
Moon opposite Saturn, alongside its other implications, is a traditional indicator that government officials will find themselves in serious trouble. Whether that trouble will come out of the various probes now ongoing into the attempts of Justice Department and CIA officials to pin claims of collusion with Russia on Trump is an interesting question, which events will have to answer for us.
Finally, I’m sorry to say that the ongoing problems with drug abuse and suicide in the US will only get worse in the months ahead. Neptune retrograde in the 8th is a very bad sign where this is concerned. Expect a steady stream of ugly headlines.
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.
That is to say, another round of business as usual. We’ll take a look back in March and see how well these predictions worked out.