Trump pulls even with Clinton as Jupiter dasha set to begin

(21 September 2016) The improbable candidacy of Donald J. Trump continues to defy the odds as the US presidential election heads into its home stretch.   After falling behind by 6-8 points in July and August, Trump is now in a virtual dead heat with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.   He clearly has the momentum on his side as the candidates prepare for the first debate next Monday the 26th.  If he can even hold his own against his better-prepared and more wonkish opponent, it could be enough to put him in the lead and perhaps take him into the White House. 

Last week, I reiterated my skepticism about a Trump victory.  The first debate looked like it would be a clear Hillary win, or at least some event right around the time of the debate looked strongly favorable to her.  While Trump's horoscope for the second debate on October 9th looks much better, I'm still not convinced he will be able to go all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. 

In previous posts on the US election, I've outlined a number of reasons for Hillary's relative strength and Trump's relative weakness in November.  This week I wanted to focus on a single factor, dashas periods, to illustrate how the race could shift gears in the days ahead. 

Dasha periods are unique to Vedic astrology, although Western Hellenistic astrology uses the analogous concept of time lords.  Essentially, a dasha period is a block of time where life experiences and outcomes are disproportionately shaped by a single planet, the dasha ruler (or dasha lord). The outcomes of a particular dasha are more likely to be favourable if its ruler is a 1) benefic planet and 2) if it is strong and well placed in the horoscope. Obviously, there is a considerable interpretive grey area about whether a planet is well placed or not.  Sometimes, it is clearly positive such as for a dasha of a benefic planet like Venus which is unafflicted by malefics like Saturn or Mars and it is placed in an auspicious house, like the 1st, 5th or 9th.   In most such cases, we could predict that a Venus major or minor dasha period will tend to be mostly favourable.  The major dasha period is divided into minor periods which can also be assessed and interpreted according to standard rules of Vedic astrology.

Now let's take a look at Trump's chart.  He is at the very end of his Rahu major dasha period which began back in 1998.  He launched his campaign for president in June 2015 while under Rahu-Moon and then began to assume a commanding lead after Rahu-Mars began in September 2015.  Rahu is a fantastic planet for Trump because it is placed in one of its best houses, the 10th, symbolizing status and profile.  Rahu may be a natural malefic, but it does very well in the 10th and 11th houses where it typically accompanies career (10th) and material success (11th).  It also does well in the other upachaya houses, the 3rd and 6th.  Moreover, Trump's Rahu is made ever stronger by virtue of its close conjunction with Uranus (originality, rebellion) and the Sun (leadership, ego).  Rahu is also aspected (by 120 degree trine) by benefic Jupiter. 

Rahu is the planet of transgression and grasping -- a perfect planetary embodiment of the free-wheeling, self-aggrandizing entrepreneur Trump.  Rahu seeks to breaks the mold no matter what the cost and its placement in Trump's 10th house is one reason for his stunning campaign success.  Trump's campaign has broken all the US political rules and dumbfounded media and fellow Republicans alike.  And yet he still putting his message out there no matter how much offense it causes or much criticism he receives. He's very Rahuvian in that way.

His campaign began under Rahu-Moon.  Moon is nominally debilitated in Scorpio but its dispositor Mars is very powerful on the Ascendant, hence its debility is canceled.  And Moon is with Ketu (South Node) which conjures up notions of unusual or unconventional behaviours.  His campaign seemed like a circus sideshow at first (and still is by some observers) because Trump usually spoke off the cuff without notes or a teleprompter.  Like its nodal cousin Rahu, Ketu is also capable of surprises and going off-script.  Moon is also opposite the Sun, a very empowering influence that speaks to leadership and being in the limelight.

Trump started to pull away from all other rivals in the polls once Rahu-Mars began in September last year.  Mars is arguably Trump's best planet so that isn't too surprising.  Mars is rising in fiery Leo, no less!  It would be an appropriate time for him to exercise his assertiveness, aggression and executive ability against all comers.  And he did -- all of his rivals dropped out of the race one by one until Trump was nominated in the spring.  Trump has continued to thrive in his unconventional campaign against Hillary Clinton as his Rahu-Mars dasha period now comes to a close.

We would do well to recall the traditional Vedic warning about Rahu.  It is said that Rahu bring gains quickly but they can be unreliable and unsustainable.  Gains and benefits that accrue under the Rahu dasha are vulnerable to sudden loss near the end of the its dasha period.  So far, Trump isn't showing any signs of losing his momentum and the Rahu period is just days away from ending.   Traditional warnings about Rahu notwithstanding, I suspect that Trump may become more prone to setbacks, ironically, under his Jupiter dasha.

So what happens when his Jupiter dasha period starts on or near September 30th?  I should note at the outset that the exact timing of dashas is dependent on the ayanamsha used.  I use Krishnamurthi which is 5 arc minutes ahead of the more widely used Lahiri.  Lahiri has Trump entering his Jupiter dasha after the election in mid-November.  So that creates an additional layer of interpretive uncertainty.   Nonetheless, it may be worth watching if there are significant shifts in the campaign around this September 30th date.  Interestingly, it is just four days after the first debate. 

So while we could see some new dynamics or developments in the campaign with the Jupiter dasha, we could also make the case that Trump's Jupiter dasha could put him over the top and win the presidency.  After all, Jupiter is a natural benefic and it is very strong in his natal chart in the 2nd house, although retrograde.  Trump's Jupiter is near stationary as he was born just one day before Jupiter stationed direct.  This usually enhances Jupiterian matters like money, in this case, since his Jupiter is in the 2nd house of wealth.  Jupiter is placed in Virgo, a sign which Mercury rules.  Mercury is placed in the 11th house of gains and income.  It all makes for a powerful Jupiter to be sure so I would think Trump's Jupiter dasha period will still be good for him.

But Jupiter also receives an aspect from Rahu and is aligned with destabilizing Uranus very closely.  While Trump's 2nd house Jupiter has been a big reason for his billionaire status, we should not forget he has declared bankruptcy several times also.  His wealth has been very changeable, a perfect reflection of Rahu's feast-or-famine type influence.  Rahu's aspect to Jupiter also makes Trump less likely to adhere to ethical norms perhaps as Rahu's amoral and disruptive ways undermine Jupiter's natural inclination to uphold commonly accepted standards and values.   So while Trump's Rahu gets a boost from its aspect from Jupiter, Jupiter may be damaged by its aspect from Rahu.  This is a clue that Trump's upcoming Jupiter dasha period may be flawed in some way

It's also worth noting that Jupiter is only indirectly connected with status and career.  Jupiter does aspect the 10th house of status so that could boost his fortunes somewhat.  But the 11th house of gains (and winning!) is only indirectly involved through the Mercury dispositorship.  It could be that Trump's Jupiter dasha is better for fame and wealth, rather than gaining political power.

This is not at all clear cut, of course.  For forecasting a Trump election loss, I would have much rather seen his Jupiter in more obviously difficult shape.  And yet it is still quite strong, with the exception of the aspect from Rahu.  But it could lend the late September-early October period a special importance as Trump's dasha periods turn over, regardless of what Jupiter may ultimately bring.  Given Rahu's problematic influence on Jupiter, we should watch for possible lapses in Trump's moral judgment, or at least those that are brought to light and begin to gain traction against him.

Weekly Market Forecast

Stocks have generally been mixed so far this week, after a modestly positive close to last week.  In last week's market forecast, I thought that stocks might be fairly mixed, except for Friday given the tense Moon aspect with the Sun and Mars.  Indeed, Friday was more volatile in some markets following stronger than expected US inflation data. 

The Fed meets Wednesday just after the Bank of Japan is also scheduled to issue its latest pronouncement.  There is definitely the possibility of major reactions to both of these central bank statements.  While Venus is now in Libra which is somewhat more bullish than Virgo, the short term aspects look more tense for Wednesday and Thursday.  Mercury stations direct in a close square aspect with Saturn.  Moreover, this aspect will be highlighted by the Moon, especially during Wednesday's US trading session.  So we could see some short term negative fallout to the Fed or the BOJ.  Friday looks more bullish, however, as Venus aligns with the Sun and Moon.  This positive Venus alignment also continues into early next week.

For more details and analysis on market trends for this week, this month and this year, please check out my weekly MVA Investor Newsletter.  The newsletter is published every Saturday and includes extended discussion of US and Indian stock markets, as well as gold, oil and major currencies.