Will Trump be inaugurated? Some unanswered questions about the US presidential election

(10 November 2016) President Donald Trump -- the sound of it seems better suited to a dystopian science fiction novel than to our current reality.  No wonder protests have erupted throughout the US as angry and frustrated Hillary Clinton supporters take to the streets to voice their opposition to the new order.  As the second part of my postmortem penance, I am offering up some additional thoughts on the election and what may happen between now and the Inauguration on January 20th.  As I see it, there are some unanswered questions that relate to the election from the astrological perspective that are worth pondering.

1. If Trump is going to sail through this transition period without major incident, how do we then understand the strange planetary alignment that occurs the day before the Electoral College vote on December 19th?

The sensible response would be that the Mercury retrograde station conjunct Pluto will not pertain to the the Electoral College vote.  It is just a coincidence that it happens on December 18-20 around the same time.  (Thanks to Patrick Watson for pointing out to me the coincident timing of this conjunction with the EC vote.)  The key is that this very unstable alignment occurs exactly opposite the Sun of the USA at 22 sidereal Gemini.  Pluto has been in opposition aspect throughout 2016 and likely reflects the undermining of the political and cultural status quo by Donald Trump.  In yesterday's post, I thought this was more easily explained by the simple change in government from Obama to Trump.  The move from the globalist Obama to the anti-globalist Trump represents a potentially epochal shift in world history as the US prepares to shed its superpower role. This is a fairly obvious explanation (thanks for the shave, Mr. Occam) which unfortunately I couldn't fully bring myself to accept in my pre-election forecasts.

But the problem is that Mercury is turning retrograde just one day before the vote and it will only be one degree from Pluto.  This is quite unusual.  Mercury retrograde stations have a reputation for coinciding with confusing and unexpected events.  A Mercury direct station (at the end of its retrograde cycle) was one of the key alignments that coincided with the famous stalemate election in November 2000 between Bush and Gore.  Mercury turned direct the day before the election and highlighted the similar possibility of unexpected situations where miscommunication and malfunction would be more likely. 

2.  If there are no surprises in the Electoral College vote, then why is Donald Trump's chart stressed in that period?

Again, it could all be coincidence.  Never underestimate the ability of astrologers to dream up fanciful scenarios to explain unusual planetary alignments.  But just as the USA horoscope gets that Mercury-Pluto to the Sun transit, Mars will be at 6 Aquarius exactly opposite Trump's Ascendant. Mars aspects indicate intense manifestations of energy, either good or bad.  The Mars opposition is somewhat more likely to correlate with stressful situations but not always. 

But there is something else: Mars will conjoin the USA's Moon at 6 Aquarius at the same time. Mars-Moon aspects indicate strong expressions of emotional energy and include an elevated possibility of conflict.  If the Electoral College were to deny Trump the votes needed to the presidency, then there would be an outcry from his supporters.  And to top it off, that Mercury-Pluto conjunction is exactly 135 degrees (the sesqui-square aspect) from his Ascendant.  This suggests that an unexpected event or miscommunication (Mercury Rx) pertaining to the exercise of power (Pluto) will impact him directly (Ascendant).  But how?

In the mid- to late December period, transiting Jupiter (25 Virgo) will have already passed its conjunction to its natal position (24 Virgo) in late November and early December so it will be less able to protect him and produce good outcomes.  Worse, it will come under the destabilizing influence of the aspect of Rahu (North Node) at 27 Taurus.  By itself, this isn't solid evidence of anything too serious for Trump but I would argue it forms part of a larger picture of growing instability in his chart. 

The other sensible explanation would be that these problems are not Trump's personal political problems but rather the country's as a whole.  As I said yesterday, as president-elect, Trump's karma is now indissolubly connected to the karma of the nation.  If there are bad alignments in Trump's chart, then it can also indicate problems in the US.  e.g. a Mars transit in Trump's chart could manifest as a terrorist attack in the US. 

3.  But in this speculative scenario, why would the Electoral College voters choose not to follow the result of their states' popular votes? Is this scenario even plausible?

Yes, I think it is plausible although I don't have any strong opinions about what it could be.
A) It is well-known that Trump faces a civil court case for fraud with Trump University on November 28th. He will have to testify in a Californian court presided over by Gonzalo Curiel, the Hispanic judge he openly criticized for displaying ethnic bias during the campaign.  Previous efforts by his lawyers to postpone the hearing have failed.  Not only will Trump probably look bad having to appear in court and face cross-examination, but it is possible we could say something unguarded to get himself into trouble.  Probably not bad enough to compel Electors to change their vote on Dec 19, but one can begin to think about the possibilities in that direction.  It is also possible he could be found guilty in the civil case fairly quickly before the Electoral College vote.  Could that sway the votes of some "faithless electors" to switch to Clinton?  No matter how bad the optics, that seems very unlikely. 

B) It might take something more egregious like revelations involving a Russian connection with Trump or his campaign.  There have been claims about Russian involvement with Trump made by the left wing of the Democrat Party but so far nothing solid has materialized.  But if there was actually some evidence which hinted at treason, it would be easier to see how Electoral College voters could change their votes on December 19th.  For what it's worth, Vladimir Putin's chart looks troubled in the next two months but I'm not sure why. If Trump's Russian connections are discovered, it would deal a major blow to Putin and would likely intensify the new Cold War with the US.  Of course, Putin's troubles may be entirely unrelated to Trump but it is definitely a non-negligible probability outcome.  Beware the long-tail risk.

C) Incriminating evidence related to the letter released by FBI chief James Comey on October 28th could come to light.  The Comey letter arguably cost Clinton the election since it cut her lead by three points in the polls less than two weeks before the election.  Add three points to all those close battleground states like Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania and she wins.  It looked fishy at the time and it stinks even more now.   If the Trump campaign was somehow linked to Comey, then it could be enough reason for Electors to change their vote from Trump to Clinton on December 19th since it would show that Trump stole the election.  It is widely known that Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani has links to the New York office of the FBI.  As I have noted previously, Giuliani's chart is heavily afflicted in January and February.   Of course, it's possible he could have to deal with a serious personal matter or perhaps he suffers some other career-related setback.  But the affliction in Giuliani's chart in the coming weeks and his links to the FBI are intriguing given the critical role of the Comey intervention in the election.

The thing is I don't quite see enough planetary afflictions in Trump's chart to account for something sufficiently incendiary happening in late November or early December before the Electoral College vote.  I admit it's the weakest part of this hypothesis. 

4.  If Trump is going to be inaugurated on January 20th, then why does his horoscope look decided worse around that time?

Trump's chart looks stressful in January as transiting Saturn approaches its conjunction to his Moon (28 Scorpio).   This suggests a greater likelihood of disappointment and heavy emotional burdens.  Trump also doesn't look happy on January 20th with Mars squaring his Sun. Throughout January and February, disruptive Rahu (North Node) will conjoin his Ascendant.  This is also unhelpful given the Mars and Saturn influences.  Jupiter is still there of course aspecting his Sun in January so that still argues for prominence, higher status and achievement.  But it's a mixed and even confused picture.  Or perhaps the confusion is mine.

So what could it mean?  The most likely explanation of these transits may simply be that Trump is embattled from Day 1 -- and well before.  If he makes it to Inauguration Day, there will certainty be huge protests against him in Washington which could mar his ceremonial swearing-in.   That is the more likely scenario for Trump and his difficult planets in January.  But could it be something worse for him?  The planets are bad enough that we can't rule it out.

5.  If the Electoral College vote on Dec 19th proceeds as scheduled without any deviation from the norm, then why does Hillary Clinton's chart look more positive on that day and on Inauguration Day? 

If we use Clinton's 2.18 a.m. chart, we can see that transiting Venus (19 Capricorn) is exactly trine (120 degrees) the unequal 10th house cusp (19 Taurus), the Midheaven at the top of the chart. Venus brings good things into our life and the 10th house is associated with career and status.  That suggests some kind of boost related to status.  In itself, it's not a huge influence and probably not enough to indicate she somehow wins the Electoral College vote that day.  But it's interesting that this favourable aspect should occur on the day the Electoral College votes.  Perhaps the vote is postponed for some reason until January.  Again, it cannot be ruled out.  Congress is scheduled to meet on January 6th to formally count the votes so it is possible it could be delayed until that time.  Unlikely, but worth considering.

And Inauguration Day looks much better for her as transiting Venus (23 Aquarius) is conjunct her Moon (26 Aquarius).  Maybe not as close as it should be but it is a more appropriate placement for the event.  And we can see that the very powerful Jupiter-Saturn-Mars alignment on Inauguration Day aligns exactly with her relocated Ascendant (29 Leo) and 10th house cusp (29 Taurus) for Washington, DC if we use the 2.18 a.m. chart.  It's worth noting that 29 Taurus is also the same degree of Donald Trump's Sun. 

While Trump should still be odds-on favourite to be inaugurated, it's strange that Clinton's chart should be so energized on that day too.  As a former Senator and First Lady, she would likely be in attendance as a guest only.  We would therefore not expect too much going on in her chart.  But why would there be such strong hits to the most sensitive part of her horoscope if she was only attending as a guest?  Maybe it's all just a coincidence.

Final Thoughts

In highlighting some of these odd coincidences, I do not intend to give Clinton supporters false hope.  I may simply be engaging in some delusional face-saving analysis after my failed prediction for a Hillary win on the 8th.  That is very possible.  And yet there is something going on here that suggests the path to the Inauguration will bring some unexpected twists and turns, even if it does end up producing a highly-contested Trump presidency. In other words, my previous prediction of post-election uncertainty until the inauguration still seems viable although I don't know what form it will take. 

At this point, I would still think it is likely that Donald Trump will be sworn-in on January 20th.  How can you not?  Inertia is a very powerful force.  However, the betting markets give current odds of Hillary Clinton being sworn-in as the next president as 100-1.*  Now those are good odds that I would definitely take, even if I wouldn't necessarily want to wager too much money on it.  These strange planetary coincidences suggest that the chances of her becoming the next president are much higher than that, although probably well below the 50% threshold.  At this point, I don't know what to think.  It's almost too bizarre to contemplate seriously.  But something doesn't add up here and I would like to figure it out.  I hope to do more research on these scenarios in the coming days. Stay tuned.

*Today (Nov 11) the odds have fallen to 50-1 possibly as a result of a Washington Post story that indicated that Russian government had contacts with the Trump campaign before the election.