Trump poised to assume presidency amid controversy and opposition

(10 January 2017) There are just ten days before Donald J. Trump is inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States.  According to recent polls, Trump will enjoy the lowest popularity of any incoming president in US history.  The Trump transition from the November election to the January 20th inauguration has been as controversial as his campaign.  Despite Trump's initial dismissal of Russia's interference in the campaign, last week's US intelligence revelations confirmed that Russian hacking had been ordered by President Vladimir Putin and had been intended to favour Trump and discredit Hillary Clinton. Putin's logic was simple: undermine Clinton whose stated foreign policy sought to oppose Russian expansion and boost Trump who has been far more conciliatory towards Russia's strongman.  Mission accomplished: Moscow will now have a friend in the White House. 

I have previously written that Trump's problems would likely worsen in January and this difficult phase could well extend through the rest of the winter.  Trump survived December with little damage despite all the symbolic gnashing of teeth surrounding the Electoral College and the record number of faithless electors.  But the Russian hacking has been a significant embarrassment that has forced Trump to agree with the GOP Senate leaders and admit that it was real.  No matter what kind of gentleman's agreement he may have already struck with Putin, Trump knows that he needs Congress on his side or his legislative program will not succeed.  This means he may now have to actually punish Russia for its illicit actions in the US election.

Astrologically, Trump's January problem lies in the transit of Saturn in late Scorpio which conjoins with his Moon-Ketu (South Lunar Node).  Trump's Moon is already debilitated in sidereal Scorpio and its conjunction with Ketu is one key reason why Trump is so emotionally volatile and often times unpredictable and unhinged.  Trump's famously petty Twitter rants are the direct result of this volatile and emotional Moon (insecurity) combined with his highly active Mars (anger) on the Ascendant. 

Saturn transits are often difficult for most people but they do more damage when the planet they are conjoining or aspecting is vulnerable and weak.  That is very much the case with Trump as his Moon is likely one of his weakest planets and therefore more susceptible to setbacks, disappointments, and distortions.  While Trump has come under a lot of criticism, I thought things might actually be worse for him than they presently are.  For the moment, Trump is managing to stay above the fray (literally) by avoiding the media while holed up in his 5th Avenue redoubt in New York City.  He is due to finally hold his first press conference tomorrow on January 11th.

This Saturn transit will begin to wane in influence over the next week or two as Saturn prepares to enter Sagittarius on Jan 25th.  He is likely to come under further scrutiny over the coming days as the transiting Sun opposes Saturn (stress and conflict from authorities) and then the Mars square to the Moon and Rahu (North Lunar Node).  The Mars transits may mean even more angry emotional outbursts from the thin-skinned President-elect as he flails against all who deign to criticize him. 

We can see that Trump's difficulties are also reflected in GOP Speaker Paul Ryan's chart.  In addition to dealing with the fallout of Trump's ad hoc approach to governing, Ryan has come under fire for promising to repeal Obamacare without having a clear replacement plan in hand.  Ryan is currently at the tail end of the Saturn-Venus dasha period which, on balance, looks generally positive.  However, his 6th Saturn (opposition, conflict, and health(!)) is currently under the aspect of transiting Rahu.  Since the aspect will be very close for most of the rest of January, Ryan and the GOP will likely have a difficult time achieving their goals. 

The end of this week could be marked with some unusual and disruptive event as transiting Venus (and minor dasha lord) alongside Neptune is conjunct his natal Rahu in Aquarius while Mars conjoins his unequal 4th house cusp on the IC/MC.  I would not expect anything too earth-shaking, although there could be something along the lines of a Trump cabinet appointee who fails to gain approval with these aspects.  Other setbacks are also possible with these alignments.

The day of the Inauguration may be marked by strife and conflict.  If Trump was hoping for the nation coming together behind him when he takes the oath, he will likely be disappointed.  Saturn (obstacles, tradition) opposes his Sun while Mars (conflict) forms a very close square aspect to the same Sun (self, ego).   I hope to take a closer look at the Inauguration horoscope next week in order to discern what kind of presidency we may expect.  Suffice to say, there are intense, close alignments involving Mars and Saturn which suggest the next four years will be marked by conflict and controversy.  Well, no surprise there.  Trump may well be in permanent campaign mode for most of his term.

Like Trump, Ryan's chart suggest he may enter a quiet and more productive period in late January and February as Jupiter (29 Virgo) stations retrograde near his Moon (0 Libra), but March and April look difficult again.  Saturn station in square aspect his Pluto in the 11th house -- denial of success through applications of power.  The mid-March period looks quite troublesome for Ryan and the GOP as Mars aligns with Rahu and both will therefore activate Ryan's 6th house Saturn.  When afflicted, transits to Saturn in the 6th can indicate disputes, sometimes with legal consequences.  Opposition to the GOP agenda and Trump is therefore likely to intensify at this time.  Late-April also looks extremely difficult as Mars squares Rahu and aligns closely with Ryan's Ascendant (7 Scorpio), as well as Donald Trump's Ascendant (6 Leo).  This could further undermine the legitimacy of Trump and thereby make his agenda harder to implement. 

While it may be a mere astrological coincidence, this March-April is also the time that I had previously suggested a significant gain or reward for Hillary and Bill Clinton.  It seems as if whatever events transpire during this time will damage the GOP and benefit the Democrats in some significant way.  Trump's tax returns finally leaked to reveal debts owed to Russian oligarchs?  GOP defections in the Senate that give the Democrats control?  It could be something fairly major along those lines.  I hope to propose some more specific scenarios as the new dynamics emerge in the first weeks of the Trump administration. 

Weekly Market Forecast

Financial markets have generally moved sideways over the holiday period.  US stocks have remained strong although the Dow cannot seem to move above the 20,000 level. Investors may be taking a wait-and-see approach on Trump's ability to deliver the goods.  Indian stocks appear to have bounced off their lows and have mounted a rebound here in early 2017.  

The recent market strength is due in part to the alignment of Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus around 27-28 degrees of their respective signs.  We could see further upside this week as the Sun will align with the aforementioned three planets. Once the Sun begins to separate on Wednesday (or possibly Thursday), however, there could be some new vulnerability in the market.  Next week is shaping up to be more volatile as Mars aspects Jupiter on Monday and Tuesday and then aligns with Saturn at the time of the Inauguration on Friday. 

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.