Monday, December 31, 2018

A Look at 2019

It’s a drippy day, this last day of 2018, here in the outskirts of the US capital.  My wife just waded through the puddles, taking her grandmother to the doctor.   Outside my window is a pastiche of browns and greys. 

I’ve been reading Katharine Graham’s autobiography, which is also the history of the Washington Post, and it covers all the news that shook our bones during the last half of the twentieth century.  I just got to the part where Richard Nixon resigns. 

One thing I’m really noticing is how long it took to tighten the net around Nixon.  There were three long years between the Watergate burglary and his resignation. And these were hard times for the Post, since the White House used every weapon possible to weaken and threaten them.  Of course, this aversion to transparency is a sign of a corrupt administration, as we see nowadays. 

Trump’s level of corruption is worse, and he’s not as smart, but he has plenty of enablers.  I don’t think there was ever a Nixon cult, but there are a bunch of people who see Trump as a their golden-haired Messiah.  And there are many in power who think he can be persuaded to advance their agendas – as indeed, he already has. 

So how long will it take for the Trumpster Fire to be extinguished?  The aspects throughout 2019 give a meandering air to the year.  Both Jupiter and Saturn make recurring aspects to Neptune, and Neptune is all about illusions and confusion. So there could be a certain amount of circling around, going nowhere, or bumping up against errors and contradictions.  Economically, 2019 looks like a year of cyclical rises and falls, each with its predictable chorus of elation and despair.

However, I am also looking at the first solar eclipse of the year, on January 5, to see how the first half of the year will go, and it looks quite serious.  Mercury, Saturn, the sun, the moon, and Pluto are all in Capricorn, with the latter four quite close together.  These planets gathered in Capricorn are like a board-room of robotic executives, or perhaps a phalanx of nuns with heavy rulers.  The focus is on cutbacks, austerity, limitation, and discipline.  We already see this in the government shut-down, now in its 10th day.  There is an underlying grumbling in the land, as thousands of people try to get by without paychecks.    

Comparing the eclipse chart to the chart for the US, we mark a cardinal cross, a tense configuration.  That Capricorn stellium opposes the sun in the US chart, and squares its Saturn.  The US chart has a sun/Saturn square, and in a person, this could signal a sense of inferiority.  This country has a tendency to posture, to praise ourselves, and to feel defensive about our actual advantages.  There’s a constant battle between our ideals and our appetites.

In order for the US to develop, we need a healthier and more realistic sense of who we are.  And this is one of the things that this first solar eclipse could do.  It’s not an easy passage. It’s humbling and restrictive.  It could also presage some crumbling of essential services and infrastructures, perhaps because of climate change. 

And it could intensify the wars we already know.  Even though DT is now making noises about pulling out of Syria and Afghanistan, there is no reason to think he’ll follow through, and an international offensive could be his way of trying to divert attention from his legal troubles.  War is always a bedfellow of poverty, except for the masters of war that Bob Dylan once wrote about. (“You fasten all the triggers for the others to fire/Then you sit back and watch when the death count gets higher.”)

A heavy Capricorn stellium like this, complete with Saturn and Pluto, tends to slow things down, so everything will play out in a heavy, inevitable way.  When it comes to dealing with this corrupt administration, I’m not expecting a quick resolution.  However there is also a powerful element of transformation here.  Minds are being changed, patterns are being altered, and there is some crumbling of long-existing structures.  A lot of it is happening underground, like termites gnawing away at old rotted wood.  

Eventually, I do think DT will be impeached, will resign, and will leave the country for some sunnier clime, where he can play golf all day without fear of being airlifted to a prison cell.  But when?  When? 

Things do change right at the end of 2019, and this is when some of those termite-ridden structures could fall.  There could be a resounding crash of some kind when Saturn and Pluto come together in Capricorn.  It looks like a time of economic and philosophical reckoning.  In fact, I’m getting a day of judgment kind of vibe, looking at these charts.  It’s very unlikely that DT could hang onto power through this, but that might not be the first thing on any of our minds.   

Throughout 2018, we’ve faced a lot of moral thresholds.  And there will be many more in 2019, many opportunities for us to deal with some intrinsic identity questions, as a nation.  What do we really need – for ourselves, for our families, for our cities and fields and mountains?  And what do we need, spiritually?  What can we learn from other countries, from places that don’t have our hubris?  Because they will be the ones to help pick us up after the fall.  And listening first could mean a softer landing.