The Trump Inauguration horoscope: more like Reagan or... Nixon?

(17 January 2017) The day is finally upon us.  On Friday, Donald Trump will be sworn-in as the 45th President of the United States.  The outspoken businessman and reality TV star will takeover as commander-in-chief and begin to undo not only the legacy of Barack Obama but much of the post-war global consensus.  It is a potential sea change in world affairs that cannot be underestimated in its historic magnitude. 

But how successful will Trump be in realizing his nationalist vision by reshaping the economic and political landscape?  There is no shortage of anxiety surrounding Trump who is threatening to end free trade and globalization and usher in a new period of protectionism.  Economists fear that Trump's policies may boost economic activity in the US in the short term, but may prove more damaging in the longer term as inefficiencies take hold and global trade declines. 

There are different ways to analyze this question.  The easiest is to look at the horoscope of the swearing-in at noon, January 20th in Washington, DC.   The inauguration chart doesn't supersede other charts such as the USA national chart or Trump's individual chart, but it can provide a quick snapshot of Trump's term in office in the White House.

Donald Trump will be inaugurated at a time when the planets are very unsettled.  Specifically, Saturn will be in a gandanta state on Friday. A condition of gandanta occurs when a planet is near the junction of a water and fire sign and is said to represent an unresolved karmic knot.  Saturn is in the last degree of watery Scorpio and is due to enter fiery Sagittarius just a few days later on January 25th according to the Krishnamurti ayanamsha.  This makes Saturn's energy more unstable and therefore may indicate suffering from disruptions in the upcoming administration.  A gandanta Saturn is less reliable to deliver its symbolic portfolio of stability, traditions, and order.

Of course, Trump seeks disruption of the status quo in his efforts to remake the US into a more isolationist nation in a multi-polar world.  In that sense, the gandanta designation may actually be appropriate for the goals of the Trump administration in its efforts to bring about thoroughgoing change.  ("I love gandanta.  We are going to have tremendous gandanta, folks!")  It should be noted, however, that gandanta planets have a malefic reputation as the changes they bring usually involve difficulty and hardship. 

We should also note that Mars, the planet of conflict and violence, is also prominent in the first degree of Pisces on Friday.  This newly-minted Piscean Mars is also unstable since it is in the first degree of its sign.  Having both malefics, Saturn and Mars, is less-than-stable conditions therefore casts a shadow over the inauguration horoscope.  Both planets will therefore be more powerful and more likely to do ill.  Symbolically, this Mars may mean an increase in conflict and disputes while the Saturn indicates the assertion of limits and a loss of freedom and as well as an increase in suffering. 

What is particularly unusual is that Mars and Saturn are in a near-exact square alignment with each other. This likely intensifies the problems that could be wrought by the new Trump administration.  To be sure, Mars and Saturn do not aspect each other according to standard Vedic rules so their mutual influence may be diminished to some extent.  However, I would argue that alignments this close are still meaningful since they still entail exact aspects, albeit in less than full strength. 

And if we look more closely we can see that both Mars and Saturn align with the Moon in this chart.  Saturn is 45 degrees away from the Moon while Mars is 135 degrees away.  Both are considered significant albeit lesser aspects in Western astrology as both are divisors of the 360 degree circle.  The Moon represents the population as a whole and the emotional state of the nation.  Having the Moon aligned with Mars (conflict, anger, violence) and Saturn (limits, loss, suffering) is a terrible indication for the next four years.  Now one possible saving grace is that these are minor aspects and not proper Vedic aspects.  This could mean that popular sentiment in the US may not be that negative with these twin influences.  But no matter how minor they may be in a technical sense, these alignments are not what you want to see in an inauguration chart as they accentuate the negative rather than that positive.  At best, they represent huge obstacles that are unlikely to be easily overcome. 

By why of comparison, let's look at the 1981 inauguration chart of Ronald Reagan.  This is a much better chart and reflects the relative success of his first term.  In some ways, Trump is trying to model himself after Reagan as he is also trying to break with the past and bring a new kind of thinking into government.  Reagan de-regulated the economy and cut taxes and helped to jump start the boom of the 1980s.  The long term negative economic effects of the Reagan era notwithstanding, his first term was deemed successful and he was easily re-elected in 1984. 

We can see why.  Mars is exalted in Capricorn atop the chart in the 10th house conjunct Mercury, Ketu and the Sun.  This is a good placement.   Ketu (South Lunar Node) denotes change and that is very much the case with Reagan who ended the stagflation of the 1970s.  Both malefics are associated with benefics as Mars is with Mercury and Saturn is with Jupiter.  This neutralizes their negative effects and makes their impact more constructive.  Moreover, benefic Jupiter aspects all of the 10th house planets in Capricorn.  This confers a sense of "right action" and abundance upon all of those planets and their significations.  It's generally a good chart. 

At the other end of the spectrum is the 1973 inauguration chart of Richard Nixon.   Nixon won re-election to a second term in 1972 but was forced to resign in August 1974 as a result of the Watergate scandal.  At the time of his resignation, impeachment proceedings were already underway.  The most striking feature of the Nixon inauguration chart is the near exact opposition of Mars and Saturn.  The two most malefic planets were tightly aligned and therefore resonated more intensely with each other.  Moreover, both planets were situated on the 8th and 2nd house cusps, respectively, and were therefore more powerful to do harm.  It is a very afflicted chart that befits a failed administration and a resignation of a disgraced president. 

Mars is the key planet in this respect since all inauguration horoscopes (since 1933) have an Aries Ascendant in the 1st house.  Since Aries is ruled by Mars, the condition of Mars becomes a shorthand for the fate of the incoming administration.  The 1st house represents the presidency as a symbolic whole, so any afflictions involving Mars raises the likelihood of problems and setbacks.  Mars in the 1973 Nixon chart was about as afflicted as one could imagine, but Trump's inauguration Mars may not be quite so bad.  The Trump inauguration chart falls somewhere in between the Nixon and the Reagan chart.  Although it is a matter of interpretation and not cut and dried, I would say the Trump chart is much closer to Nixon than to Reagan.  Mars still has considerable problems attached to it in the Trump inauguration chart so that suggests his presidency is likely to be troubled. 

Some observers on the left have also openly discussed the possibility that Trump himself may not survive politically to the end of his term.  His inauguration chart certainly offers some support to this view as Mars and Saturn are aligned and in difficult positions.  However, I would note that the afflictions don't quite acquire Nixonian-levels that one might expect for impeachment or resignation.  The Trump inauguration chart is bad enough that resignation is worth considering, but it does not seem to be a high probability to me.

There are many serious planetary afflictions that hit Trump's inauguration chart over the next four years.  A couple look serious enough that they could well mark times when his hold on power is tenuous or even lost.  Given the series of Saturn afflictions in the USA chart over the next few years, it could well become a presidency in a state of permanent crisis, either in terms of legitimacy or through a bad economy or both.  The affliction of Mercury by Rahu in the Trump swearing-in chart is unhelpful for promoting economic growth.

One very clear time of governmental crisis will be the summer of 2019 when malefics Saturn and Rahu both align with the Sun (=government) in the USA chart.   This Saturn-Rahu alignment will occur near the 9th house cusp in the Inauguration chart so it is more likely to coincide with a major event.  There are no hits to key planets in the chart, however, so it is possible it may not be strong enough to remove Trump from power.  

Also we should note that Trump enters his Jupiter-Saturn dasha period in November 2018 so that could weaken his ability to fend off attacks.  Currently, his Jupiter-Jupiter period may be strong enough to allow him to continue to wield power with his usual ad hoc, shambolic aplomb.  But Trump's Saturn is another matter altogether.  Although it is strengthened by its conjunction with Venus, his Saturn is in the 12th house of loss and it is considered somewhat weak by virtue of being in the first degree of Cancer.  It should therefore be seen as a background negative in his chart.  We may also speculate if he may become more vulnerable to losses through females (Venus) during this 2018-2021 period.

Other alignments also look difficult including April 2017, October 2017, and September 2018.  But I haven't correlated the specifics yet across all the relevant charts but I hope to revisit the timing of these rolling crises in the weeks and months ahead.  Hopefully, we won't all have Trump fatigue by then, if we don't have it already.  And his administration hasn't even started yet!

Weekly Market Forecast

Stocks have moved sideways through last week and into this week as traders await the Trump inauguration.  US stocks dipped slightly late last week as the Dow has yet to climb above the 20,000 mark.  Indian stocks were generally higher last week as the US Dollar retreated and inflation data moderated.  This outcome was in keeping with expectations in last week's market forecast as I thought we would see some upside for much of last week on the Sun-Jupiter-Saturn alignment on Wednesday and Thursday.  However, I thought the late week might be more troublesome.  As expected, this week has also been lower as Mars aspects Jupiter and then aligns with Saturn.

I would expect volatility to continue for most of this week.  Mars enters Pisces on Thursday and aligns with Saturn at the end of the week.  I don't have a specific forecast for Inauguration Day although the general influences here look bearish.  That said, we cannot rule out a brief rise as bullish Venus aligns with Pluto that day.  The entry of Saturn into Sagittarius on January 25th is another reason why caution and pessimism may predominate in the days ahead.

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