(For Part Two, click here.)
There are ways of looking at this appalling presidency that have nothing to do with politics per se.
Those of a Jungian frame of mind, for example, might propose that Trump is a creation of the collective consciousness.
A transpersonal astrologer, and even some historians, might say that he is not an aberration but an epitome.
Uncle Sam’s Evil Spawn
The man may well be certifiably crazy, as attested by the Duty-to-Warn shrinks. But it’s a craziness that reflects that of the country. Trump is Uncle Sam in a fun-house mirror, reflecting back to us our legacy of pathological violence, fear of Otherness, and ignorance of how the rest of the world sees us.
He represents the American public’s fatal cluelessness about its own history, (1) every phase of which features the racism and anti-immigrant vitriol of which Trump is simply a particularly brutish exponent.
Dear old Dad
As we have seen, the whole Trump family exemplifies this legacy. Donald’s white supremacist leanings are a continuation of those of his father, likewise a product of his society.
In the late 1920s, Fred Trump and other “native-born” (their term) American Protestants were outraged by the presence in the police force of Roman Catholics, essentially “the dirty-immigrant Irish, last century’s Mexicans.” (Matt Taibbi).
We rightfully condemn The Donald when he sics his rabid fans on reporters, brags about assaulting women and stages pissing contests with other insecure dictators.
But to get to the next level of understanding, we need to recognize that Trump’s poisonously skewed masculinity is not the exception but the rule. He is an embodiment of the USA’s misused birth chart, in particular its out-of-control Mars.
Deadly white men
The greatest purveyor of violence in the world [is] my own Government.
— Martin Luther King, Jr., 1967
The USA is far and away the global leader in the shadow side of the Mars archetype. We are number one, not only in mass shootings, but in arms trading (which gets far less press but is, of course, exponentially more deadly).
And war. Although it has been getting harder and harder for Washington to sell us on the idea of “just” wars of aggression, we have barely begun to absorb the lessons of Viet Nam, as the Ken Burns documentary has made clear.
We are nowhere near connecting the dots between the invasion of Iraq and the nonstop bloodbath that has ensued. And most Americans seem to be ignoring altogether the horrors being wreaked right now by the US military (now obliquely referred to as “U.S.-led coalitions”) in Africa and elsewhere, all over the world.
…[The USA] subsists on massacres and slave labor and leaves victims half-alive and crawling over deserts and jungles, while we sit stuffing ourselves on couches and blathering about our “American exceptionalism.” We dumped 20 million gallons of toxic herbicide on Vietnam from the air, just to make the shooting easier without all those trees, an insane plan to win “hearts and minds” that has left about a million still disabled from defects and disease…well out of view…
— Matt Taibbi (ibid)
Like all mythic figures, Trump is extreme. Such is the perverse genius of the mass mind. It gives rise to larger-than-life personae, big and loud and exaggerated, so as to show the group what it is not seeing about itself.
Such as the toxicity of our materialism. Glorified by our national creation myth, “the American Dream,” our obsession with wealth is symbolized in the US chart by the planet of power and control (Pluto) in the house of money (the 2nd).
“I have a Gucci store that’s worth more than Romney,” Trump bragged during the campaign. He’s selling a vicarious fantasy: “the silent-majority vision of how they would all live once the winning started.” (ibid, Taibbi)
If America can withstand the Trump period, it can withstand anything. This is the law of Pluto, planet of decay/ rebirth, whose cycle is now winding to a close for the USA.
We’re at the tail end of a riff that began some 250 years ago, when Uncle Sam was born. As soon as the Uranus-Pluto square segued into the Uranus-Eris conjunction (populist rage), the country’s Pluto Return started to express itself in earnest.
For consciousness seekers, the task here is to identify what is dying and what is trying to be born. What to let go of, and what to embrace.
Our first clue is the sign Pluto is in: Capricorn, which governs political structures. Everywhere in the world, national governments are losing credibility (e.g. Spain vs. Catalonia). They are coming unglued, ceding power to other forms of group activity; such as the kind of communities that arise when we think globally and act locally.
These other forms are the green shoots poking their heads out of the compost.
Drowning in the bathtub
Years ago, astrologers foresaw that the prestige and viability of centralized government would suffer, relative to that of regional and local government (see Soul-Sick Nation, 2006).
As soon as Pluto (breakdown) entered Capricorn (federal authority), the Tea Party exploded into the public conversation in the USA. Suddenly it was permissible for elected officials to talk about “drowning the government in the bathtub.”
Not since the Civil War has there been such a tsunami of hostility towards the workings of Washington. In more placid times, such sentiments are not voiced aloud; they sound too much like treason. But in these waning years of the Cardinal Cross, the gloves are off.
At first, the attacks on Washington came from Republican extremists. (2) Now we are seeing anti-federalism from everywhere along the political spectrum.
Progressive cities and states are breaking from Trump’s ecocidal policies and declaring their allegiance to the Paris agreement. Sanctuary cities are proclaiming their proud defiance. States are repudiating the GOP’s bogus voter ID campaign. The country’s mayors are opposing Trump’s budget. California is making noises about creating its own single-payer system.
Right side of history
This is not to minimize the ugliness and chaos we’re up against, here in the death throes of multiple cycles.
More serious a threat than any tweet from Trump is the stranglehold on Washington now held by the Republican old guard and the powers behind its throne: Big Armaments, Energy and Pharma, and, towering over them all, the financial industry.
But if we take the long view, we can glimpse the flicker of new cycles just over the horizon. Cultural currents are arising that we recognize, instinctively, as being on the right side of history. You don’t have to be an astrologer to see that certain trends have life and health in them, while others are born of fear and reaction.
Clean energy, for instance. It is too big to be shut down. Or the idea that that everybody deserves some level of healthcare. It doesn’t matter whether Obamacare survives in its current form: it ushered in a significant shift in the American mindset, one that can’t be eradicated by GOP efforts.
The same is true of the Dodd-Frank legislation. The idea that banks should not get too big to fail again, and that taxpayers should not bail them out if they do, has now become part of the group mind.
These are milestone shifts. They savor of unstoppability. We must throw our weight behind them, if the USA is to arise from the ashes, re-birthed.
1) To call it “fatal” is not an exaggeration, in the context of a Pluto Return.
2) The Teabaggers began to take on steam soon after Pluto’s ingress into Capricorn, when Neptune (illusion) came into orb of the USA’s Aquarius Moon (populist feeling) in March 2009.
Thomas Hart Benton, Missouri Landscape
Rolling Stone illustration by Victor Juhasz
Native fighter: Ernesto Yerena Xicanx Yaqui
Newquist cartoon: DonkeyHotey
California secedes: Jeff Durham