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At the Crossroads: 2020 on the Horizon

As Americans increasingly polarize now around Trump’s impeachment, it’s no coincidence that, since the eve of the Civil War, we’ve only seen astrology a few times like the astrology that’s coming up next week. At this very moment, America is at an enormously important crossroads—the likes of which this country hasn’t faced since the Civil War Restoration Era. In the next few days, we will see the conjunction of almost every major planet in a very tight arc of less than 30° — which has only happened a few times since 1859. In addition, Saturn and Ketu’s 9-month-long conjunction in Sagittarius will be finishing up in the next month as well (and, as I’ve also said before, this Saturn-Ketu conjunction in Sagittarius hasn’t happened since just after the Civil War). This means that America is being pushed right now to face its own internal discord.

So, in this post and the next, I’m going to look back a little at 2019 and forward a little to 2020—and I’ll offer my suggestions on how to view and navigate this major milestone in both US and global history. In a follow-up post I’ll also comment on how the unusual astrology of next week is likely to serve as a type of trigger-point for igniting/highlighting the discordant political, social, and environmental pressure that has been building so dramatically this year.

 

Review of Prior Predictions

Let’s first get my predictive mistakes about Trump and the stock market out of the way…

The Stock Market

Anyone who read my last article will know that a big mistake I made was in predicting a stock market crash for this year. That simply didn’t happen. I was basing my prediction on the 1929 crash and the long history of financial “panics” that have occurred during Saturn-Ketu conjunctions (see my blog post from 2017), dating back as far as the Panic of 1792. Throughout this year, and especially this fall, the Federal Reserve did adopt major measures to prevent the stock market from crashing (e.g. lowering interest rates at Trump’s insistence, and infusing hundreds of billions of dollars into the automobile credit arena, where literally millions of auto loans are reportedly in default), and my prediction of a stock market crash ultimately turned out to be wrong. My bad.

 

Trump

Another prediction that I put out in January 2018 was that Trump would likely leave office by the end of 2019, during what I called his final “peak of accountability” (but, I have also said that the “bookend” for this last peak of accountability is actually in February 2020). More recently, I pointed out that this prediction was based on a comparison of Trump’s and Nixon’s charts, and that this comparison would only hold if Republicans began jumping ship this past fall. Since I thought a stock market crash was likely, I also thought it was likely that Republicans would begin jumping ship.

Neither of those things happened, and the Nixon comparison didn’t hold, so it looks like my initial prediction will turn out to be at least partly wrong. It doesn’t look like Trump will be leaving office anytime soon, even though Trump’s two “peaks of accountability” in 2019, which I mentioned in my January 2018 article “Trump in Nixon’s Footsteps,” did play out exactly when the astrology indicated they would. In the first peak of accountability–which I said in that article would be February/March of 2019–Michael Cohen testified that Trump had committed felonies, and Robert Mueller completed his investigation of Trump and issued the Mueller Report (March 22). In the second peak of accountability–which I said in that article would be late November/December of 2019–Trump obviously was impeached. This is a great illustration of how the astrology can be right, even when the astrologer is wrong about what that astrology is specifically indicating. The astrology correctly indicated two peaks of accountability, but these peaks didn’t lead to Trump’s resignation.

 

Now for the ones I got right…

Trump

In my last post, I said that Trump would become increasingly “unhinged” in the end of November and the beginning of December. I’ll let my readers make their own assessment as to whether this happened, but I will also offer a few pretty convincing points for their consideration:

-After A 16-year-old girl with Asperger’s (a type of autism) was named Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” for her pioneering activism on climate change (beating out Trump for that honor), Trump attacked her as “so ridiculous” and as needing to “work on her anger management problem.” This powerful young woman (who, if you watch her in this interview, doesn’t seem to have an anger management problem any more than activists like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did) is rightly upset that the world’s adults are allowing global warming to jeopardize the survival of the planet she will inherit.

-At a rally, Trump dramatically enacted his imagined version of the lovers’s talk between Lisa Paige and Peter Struck, two FBI agents who are known to despise Trump.

-Trump tweeted/retweeted 123 times in a roughly 24 hours span during the impeachment hearings

-Trump suggested that a democratic congresswoman’s dead husband might be in Hell, “looking up,” after she voted to impeach Trump

-Trump wrote a bizarre letter to Nancy Pelosi claiming, among other things, that the Democrats were “declaring open war on American democracy” even though he has directed his administration to deny all congressional subpoenas, invited foreign governments to interfere in American elections, ignored the entire intelligence community’s unanimous conclusion that Russia did and will interfere in those elections, and continually and knowingly violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution (among other things)

-Trump said that the whistleblower should be “sued” for correctly reporting to the proper authorities that Trump and his administration had hidden the record of his call with Ukraine’s President Zelensky in a top-secret White House server that is intended only for extremely sensitive government secrets.
Jared Kushner

In a post from last spring, I mentioned that Jared Kushner would face troubling scrutiny at the end of this year. Indeed, in November a report came out that Jared Kushner had actually approved the Saudi’s arrest of the Washington Post reporter, Jamal Khashoggi. That arrest led to Khashoggi’s brutal murder in the hands of the Saudi’s at the Turkish Embassy. This story went under the radar due to the media’s focus on the Trump-Ukraine Congressional investigation at that time.


Kim Jong-un

I also mentioned in earlier posts this year that Kim Jong-un would probably reemerge at the end of this year from his relative silence. Right on cue, he returned to the news cycle in recent months, trading insults with Donald Trump and re-upping his nuclear program. This story also went under the radar due to the media’s focus on the Trump-Ukraine Congressional investigation at that time.

Kavanaugh

I mentioned a few times since his Senate confirmation last year (on Facebook and on this blog site) that I thought this fall could be very challenging for Brett Kavanaugh. It turned out that in September, a book was published about Kavanaugh (‘The Education of Brett Kavanaugh’), detailing his embarrassing past in hundreds of pages of deep journalistic research. Because the media was simultaneously just starting to explode then with the news that Trump had withheld Ukrainian military aid in exchange for an investigation of the Bidens, this news about Kavanaugh went largely under the radar too (although the New York Times printed a piece about it). But, undoubtedly, the news of the book was noticed by Kavanaugh and his family, so it is likely that he did in fact endure an excruciating fall, even if this was not reported in the news.


Bill Barr

In a prior article, I mentioned that Bill Barr would likely reach an “end of his leash” at the end of this year, regarding his ability to misrepresent things for Trump. It was reported in November that Barr had refused Trump’s request to publicly announce that Trump had done nothing wrong in the matter of withholding the Ukrainian military aid. Since I think Barr is late Sagittarius rising, I don’t see him playing much of a publicly prominent role beyond late January 2020 (although he is likely to be in the limelight again in the spring of 2021, and in ways that he generally feels good about, whether it’s in Trump’s administration or not).

Mueller

What I said about Robert Mueller playing another role again at the end of this year was partly right and partly wrong. I had indicated that he would have a third turn at contributing to the public narrative around Trump at the end of November and beginning of December. He did in fact play a role at that time, because a judge ordered that the grand jury testimony from his report (the Mueller Report from March 22, 2019) had to be released to Congress. But, admittedly, I thought Mueller’s role was going to be a public speaking role, and not one of merely funneling his report’s evidence to Congress, less publicly. I did say, however, that he would feel “duty-bound” to play this third role, and it’s hard to imagine a more duty-binding responsibility than one that is ordered by a federal judge. I know that the Trump administration was responsible for handing over the Mueller Report grand jury evidence, but Mueller’s astrology indicates that he was nevertheless somehow involved in this transaction. With that, though, I think that Robert Mueller’s public role is probably done.

 

Predictions for the Holidays and 2020

Trump

Even though I don’t think Trump is likely to leave office soon, there are two more windows of accountability that he will have to face in 2020. The first is the “bookend” mentioned above, in January and February. The second, however, is one I haven’t yet mentioned in any previous articles: building from July to early October of this year, and peaking in October and November, right around the 2020 presidential election. Since Congress generally tries to avoid proceedings that could sway a presidential election so close to an election day, I’ve always I assumed that this last window of accountability (July-November 2020) would not result in Trump’s resignation or removal from office. That’s still likely to be the case, but since there’s still so much evidence that Congress has requested and not yet received about Trump’s activities, anything could happen. What’s most likely to happen, though, is that some additional damning evidence or issue will begin to surface in July/August, and by October, Trump’s public image will be tremendously challenged.

This looks especially likely because Ketu will be transiting over Trump’s natal moon for the entire month of October 2020. Among other things, our natal moon represents our public image, and Ketu typically drains and muddies the things it influences, so Trump’s public image will surely suffer in October, just before the election. However, this Ketu transit also indicates a greater likelihood that Trump could be doing something sneaky out of public view as well, like engaging a foreign power for support in the election. While I think it would be disastrous for American democracy if Trump were reelected, and the astrology leading up to the election will make it very difficult for him to win, Trump nevertheless has a Jupiter transit after the election that somewhat mirrors the Jupiternian boost that Trump got after the 2016 election. Readers may recall that, just prior to the election, I wrote about how Trump had the astrology immediately around election of someone who was likely to lose (and he lost the popular vote), but also about how he nevertheless had astrology after the election that looked suspiciously like that of a president elect. It is possible that this duality could happen again, if Trump does not leave office beforehand, but I will have to return to a deeper analysis of this subject in a future post.

 

The Stock Market

I still think the stock market is not a safe place to be in 2020, particularly when Ketu approaches early Sagittarius this summer and fall, since there is some reason to believe that in its astrological “birth” chart, America is early Sagittarius rising. However, I’m going to hold off on making any more predictions, so please use your own discretion about investing in stocks or real estate next year.

 

The Christmas Eclipse and Next Week’s Highly Unusual Astrology

As I said in the beginning of this article, next week’s conjunction of so many planets is quite rare. On Christmas and Dec. 26th (in the US timezones) the sun, the moon, Mercury, Jupiter, Ketu, Saturn, and Pluto will all be in Sagittarius (and for a couple hours on both days, the ascendant will even be in Sagittarius with that celestial cluster as well).  There are only two similarly full and tight occurrences that I can think of offhand: late August of 1859 and early May of 2000.

The 1859 case directly corresponds with the Carrington Event. The Carrington Event was essentially a massive solar flare (or more properly, a coronal mass ejection) in which the sun ejected enormous amounts of charged particles that interfered with telegraph systems when they hit the Earth. A repeat of the Carrington Event in the modern world could shut down the electrical power grid and possibly destroy many modern-day electronics. Such an event would at least be likely to disable or destroy satellites, thereby disrupting transportation and communications.

On the other hand, if next week’s astrology mirrors that of May 2000, then the astrological effects might be limited to the realm of market economics. In any case, it wouldn’t hurt to be prepared for both natural and economic disruptions from now until mid-January (three weeks of food, water and batteries is advisable, and this is true even if nothing happens with this astrology).

This year’s nine-month-long Saturn-Ketu conjunction in Sagittarius, which I’ve posted about many times, happened last in 1870-1871. A brief look back at American history during those years should make the parallels to the present moment very apparent. For context, in 1868 Pres. Johnson became the first US president to be impeached (and he narrowly escaped removal from office by the Senate by just one vote). Interestingly, Johnson was impeached primarily because he advocated fairly lenient conditions for re-admitting the Confederate states into the Union after the Civil War. This angered congressmen who wanted strict rules imposed on the Southern states as a condition for remittance. In 1868, the 14th Amendment (which granted citizenship black American men) was ratified and took effect, while in 1870, the last Confederate states were readmitted into the Union, just as the 15th Amendment (which gave black American men the right to vote) was ratified and took effect as well.

In short, the America of 1870 was one in which the southern states were having to grapple with accepting the new paradigm of rules that had been imposed upon them, which gave African-Americans the rights that the southern states had fiercely denied them for so long. In fact, the South’s resistance to those rights was so severe that three separate laws (the “Enforcement Acts“) were passed between 1870 and 1871 to ensure the civil rights of African-Americans. Unsurprisingly, however, many Southerners flouted those laws, in actions ranging from the establishment of the KKK (which quickly rose to prominence by 1870-1871, but was suppressed by law enforcement in 1871 and 1872) to the establishment of the infamous “Jim Crow” laws that sought to undermine African-American’s rights.

So, the last time Saturn and Ketu were conjunct in Sagittarius, like now, America was embroiled in a nationwide controversy over whether the laws were going to be obeyed and enforced. Interestingly, the current controversy has largely resulted in the same states being on the same sides of the dividing line as they were after the Civil War. In a moment, I’m going to take a look at that controversy in more depth, but first, I want to address the upcoming Christmas eclipse specifically

This Christmas, there will be a solar eclipse. At least, it will still be Christmas in the US when the eclipse begins on Christmas night. Because it’s happening in the evening, the solar eclipse won’t be visible in America, but it will still have an astrological effect. In fact, the effect of this eclipse will be quite unusual, because so many other planets are clustered around the eclipse as it happens. For instance, Jupiter, at 11° of Sagittarius, will be just 1° away from the eclipse, which is happening at 10° of Sagittarius (in the sidereal/jyotish zodiac). Meanwhile, Mercury will be in the 1st degree of Sagittarius, Saturn and Pluto will be in the last few degrees of Sagittarius, and Ketu will be right in the middle of Sagittarius. All of this suggests that the eclipse will have a way of highlighting both the present abandonment of ethics/principles and the need for a broad re-commitment to those abandoned ethics/principles. This is likely to happen through a challenge, whether natural (like an earthquake or the 1859 Carrington Event) or man-made (like a terrorist act or the dotcom crash in May 2000), that offers to bring people together. In any case, I think we should pray that somehow we return to a commitment to ethics and principles, and that we do so with a minimum of suffering.

 

Why Principles and Ethics Are Always Practical and Indispensable

The word “principles” has developed mistaken connotations in recent decades. People now conceive of principles as things that are only occasionally applicable in daily life. Many people believe that principles come into play maybe a few times a day at most, and then only when they would be facing some kind of ethical or moral decision or challenge.

This is a total misunderstanding of what a principle is and of the role that principles constantly play in human society. I’ve written about this already in my article, “Saturn and Ketu Are Making America Grate Again: Why Selflessness, Oneness and Compassion Are the Antidote to This Moment” but the current rampant abandonment of principles nevertheless compels me to revisit the topic here as well.

Principles are just rules that guide our decisions in particular circumstances. That is, principles are merely guidelines for what to do in this or that situation. A principle simply amounts to a statement like, “if X is the case, then do Y.” Accordingly, it should be obvious that principles sweepingly apply in everything from language, math and science to family codes, social norms, economic systems, ethical mores, and political or legal structures.

In each of these categories, what makes them a category at all is that people adhere to certain principles in certain situations. For example, family units arise only when people behave a certain way, and language arises only when people behave a certain way. So, if there’s no adherence to the rules that constitute a family, family units disappear; if there’s no adherence to the rules that constitute language, language disappears; if there’s no adherence to the rules that constitute science, science disappears, and if there’s no adherence to the rules that constitute a democracy, democracy disappears.

Things like families, language, science, and democracy do not even exist unless and until people behave according to the rules that pertain to those particular things. Following the right set of rules is what makes those things exist.

We’ve reached a historical juncture where many of the systems we take for granted are in danger of dissolving or failing, simply because too many people are abandoning the rules that constitute those very systems. Look at the way so many people are disrupting the convention of language by abandoning the principles of intending to convey the truth and saying what you actually believe. This has disrupted our ability to even have a meaningful discussion with each other across the political aisle. Look at the way people have abandoned the ethical rules of decency by personally attacking those who simply disagree with them on a particular point. This has disrupted our ability to even coexist with people who disagree with us.

Similarly, the way Americans are abandoning the principles that underlie democracy and the rule of law is threatening to dismantle the American system of government. If this continues, then the system of government that Americans have enjoyed for over two and a half centuries will soon be unsustainable.

Taking the strength of our government for granted, Americans do not realize that our system of government only exists while the vast majority of American citizens and politicians uphold the rules of that government. Our system of government is only as sturdy as our political will to follow the rules that sustain it. Following those rules just is what democratic government amounts to.

Really. Democracy is just following a special set of rules. So, if you don’t follow those rules enough, then you don’t have democracy, plain and simple. You can still have a government without following the rules for democracy, but the resulting government wouldn’t be a democratic one. America is now toying with that result.

 

How We Arrived at so Much Rule-Breaking

Donald Trump is an unapologetic norm-buster, and I think this is why he has gained so much popularity so quickly. I believe that, as a norm-breaker, Trump appeals to the large percentage of Americans who feel that the rules of American life have long been unfair to them. Whether these people are less educated or just not indoctrinated into the various social/political systems in play, they have seen their inability to play the game or “play by the rules” as an impediment to their ability to thrive in life. They have felt sidelined by their lack of education, their lack of etiquette, their lack of political knowledge or experience, or by their inability to articulate and defend their views and their feelings about what is right. That is to say, being inarticulate, irreverent, or just rough around the edges, has made a large swath of America feel excluded from the political and social discourse, and thus, those Americans have felt excluded from the decision-making processes that affect their lives and their country.

Trump’s norm-breaking has infused a new sense of freedom and personal dignity into this segment of America, by granting them a sense of liberation from the rules and norms that previously seemed to marginalize them. I believe this is primarily why Trump has such a fiercely loyal Republican following. The loyalty is not about who Trump is; it’s about who his followers want to believe that they themselves are, and about the freedom that they want to feel from seeing themselves in that new light.

I do have a lot of sympathy for this situation, if it’s indeed what’s happening. Democrats have typically conducted their dialogue with an air of sophistication and snobbery that could be repulsive for those who, for whatever reason, lack the necessary information and vocabulary to track those conversations. Such conversations are cliquish, because they can only be joined or digested by people with sufficient knowledge and vocabulary. The more sophisticated the discourse, the more people are left out of it. Not every Trump follower is a part of this group, but I believe that most of the people in this group have become loyal Trump followers.

Those left out people believe that they have found representation in Trump. The problem is that if some norm-breaking is good, this doesn’t mean that more norm-breaking is better, or that all norm-breaking is good. Norms are just a type of principles, and as I pointed out above, some principles are very important to uphold. What about the norm of respect for truth? Respect for the law? Respect for law enforcement? Respect for the rule of law? Respect for the rules of Congress and for legal precedence? Respect for the rules of logical reasoning? Respect for an opponents’ reasoned opinions? Respect for the dignity of others? Respect for the definition of words? Refusing to uphold these norms will lead to the indiscernibility of truth, the degradation of law and law enforcement, the disruption of government, the failure of reasoning, the collapse of civility, and the breakdown of communication. Is this what we want?

The other big problem is that many of Trump’s followers’ personal sense of freedom and dignity has become entangled with Trump’s status as their president and leader. In other words, an attack on the leader who gives them a sense of freedom and dignity looks to them like an attack on their own sense of freedom and dignity. Now that they finally feel dignified and free, the prospect of again being denied that dignity and freedom seems intolerable. I believe this is why it is virtually intolerable for many Republicans to consider the possibility that Trump has lied, cheated, or committed any other mistakes or violations of his office or of the public trust. In order to defend the sense of freedom and dignity that they rightly want to feel, many people feel the need to stand guard vigilantly against anything that might compromise their image of Trump.

I think this explains why it is that nearly 30% of the American population reportedly believes that Trump has never publicly lied. The problem with this statistic isn’t just that it’s a worrisomely large percentage of the American citizenry; it’s that Republican politicians are beholden to this portion of America. Senators like Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham, to name a few, have to answer to a political base that largely consists of these Americans. Since Republicans are roughly half the US population, this means that, not 30%, but 60% of those Republican politicians’ constituencies are Americans who believe that Trump is always a truth-teller. So, these Senators can’t say Trump’s lying without contradicting and upsetting the majority of their voters.

But, consider what effect this is having on our ability simply to use language to discuss political issues. Take, for example, the position unanimously held by 17 US intelligence agencies, namely, that Russia interfered with the 2016 US presidential election. Then consider what Trump said sitting next to Vladimir Putin in Helsinki in July 2018, “My people came to me, Dan Coats came to me and some others saying they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin, he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this, I don’t see any reason why it would be.” Trump wasn’t lying here, but the next day Trump stated publicly that he had meant to use the word “wouldn’t” instead of “would” in Helsinki. In that case, whether Trump was lying or not would represent a huge difference in Trump’s actual foreign policy. In Trump’s original Helsinki statement, he’s expressing a dismissal of the findings of every single US intelligence agency and accepting the denial of the very person who is accused of meddling in our elections. But, in the amended statement, Trump is expressing confidence in those intelligence agencies’ findings and a belief that Putin had lied to him moments earlier about not meddling in our elections.

The circumstances around the Helsinki statement make it appear very unlikely that Trump truly meant to say his amended statement (i.e. with the word “wouldn’t”). But, Republicans were quick to take Trump at his word, nonetheless. So, then, how could any political dialogue proceed from there? The two parties couldn’t even agree on what Trump actually believed, so they had no common ground upon which even to begin a discussion. Because Trump has developed a reputation for habitually distorting the truth, American political discourse has largely come to a halt in a similar way.

 

Double-Standards and the Cult of Selfishness

Dishonesty isn’t the only thing that is jeopardizing American democracy. Whether America’s elections will represent the will of only the American people, or whether they will reflect the will of foreign actors, is now also in question. Just as importantly, however, the question of whether our government will apply rules and principles uniformly or according to a double-standard remains unsettled as well. Double-standards are typically a sign of what I’ve simply called “selfishness” in prior articles, and the increasing prevalence this kind of selfishness is now threatening to undermine the American system of government.

Take for example one of the pivotal questions in Trump’s impeachment, “Does Congress have the power to subpoena the president and his administration for documents and evidence in a congressional investigation?” Arguably, whether Trump should be removed from office revolves largely around the answer to this question (since Trump has ignored all of Congress’ subpoenas in recent months). In the Clinton impeachment, Lindsey Graham said, “The day Richard Nixon failed to answer that [congressional] subpoena is the day he was subject to impeachment, because he took the power from Congress over the impeachment process away from Congress” while Congress was “going through its oversight function.” Here, Graham clearly was espousing the principles that a president must answer a congressional subpoena and that Congress can exercise an oversight function. By not espousing the same principles now, as Trump fails to answer Congressional subpoenas of any kind by providing anything requested in those subpoenas, Graham is simply applying a double standard to the Trump presidency.

For lack of time, I will have to continue this article in my next post. But, to highlight the double standards being deployed politically nowadays, it should suffice just to ask the following question:

If the situation were bizarrely reversed, and Democrats were trying to impeach a democratic President like Trump, would Republicans be invoking the same principles to raise the same objections in that president’s defense? If not, then those principles are merely being cherry-picked to fit the current circumstances, simply to provide some plausible grounds for the objections that the Republicans have actually raised in the Trump impeachment case. This double standard is nothing but selfishness.

This kind of selfishness is what I said in my earlier article was giving rise to the “cult of self” that is increasingly swallowing the American population (and more and more of the world population as well). As I also said in that article, the antidote to that selfishness is selflessness, and selflessness requires us to subjugate our self-interest whenever principles, ethics, laws, or important norms dictate that we do so.

So, continue to strive for selflessness in the face of selfishness, and pray that others may also do so as much as possible. So much depends right now on your selflessness and your positive prayers!

 

Please pray as much as you can during the unusual astrology of this coming week. Please stay peaceful, lay low, and visualize the year 2020 as full of selflessness, truth, love and joy!

 

 

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