Retrograde Party in the Political Arena

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**For a personalized look at how Mars will work with you, check out my article on TheArtofYoga.org.
 
Mercury owns the title for most notorious retrograde, but what’s not as well known is that all of the planets in our solar system travel retrograde as well. This month, Mercury, Mars and Pluto turn retrograde. Out of these three, Mars will be the most influential. Here’s why: Mercury spends half of the year moving in and out of retrograde. It might not always be fun, but we are familiar with navigating the choppy waters of miscommunication, avoiding the purchase of electronics and so forth. Mars, on the other hand, only turns retrograde once every two years, doubling his usual two-month residence in each sign. His extended stay in a sign further emphasizes their respective signatures, while encouraging us to rework the domains in our charts.
 
Mars will begin his retrograde in the sign of Sagittarius, where cultural themes of foreign policy, xenophobia, religion and world view will arise. Student loans also fall under the domain of Sagittarius. Then we move into the realm of Scorpio, wherein lies a trove of buried secrets waiting to be uncovered. In recent news, impressive amounts of secret documents have already been released to the public, condemning their supporters. The truth never stays hidden for long. Scorpio rules shame, but also redemption. Mars turns retrograde on April 17th at 9⁰ Sagittarius, reentering Scorpio on May 27th; Mars stations direct at 23⁰ Scorpio on June 29th and finally makes his way to his original degree on August 23rd. It’s said that while the God of War is retrograde, “Those who start wars shall lose.” It will be interesting to observe how political combat plays out, in this regard.
 
The very next day, April 18th, Pluto makes his annual station retrograde at 17⁰ Capricorn. Here we have two very volatile and powerful planets stationing together in sky. The few days surrounding this event should be especially tumultuous. The other interesting thing to note is that Pluto will finally return to this degree at the time of the Presidential inauguration, in January 2017─ which is why I think it’s so important that we include him in our analysis.
 
Mercury retrogrades are in the Earth signs this year, urging us to reconsider basic structures in our lives, such as values, finances, health and career. On a collective level, this is “American values,” the economy, health care and the entire political institution itself. This month, Mercury spends some extra time in Taurus, wherein we take extra time to ponder our values and finances.
 
Let’s take a look at how these retrogrades will interact with the natal charts of our Presidential hopefuls:

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Bernie Sanders:

The God of War may be the most lenient on Senator Sanders, as he was born during a Mars retrograde! Bernie’s natal Mars conjoins his Moon in Aries. Interesting that Mars is in his rulership, but it’s expression is goes in an alternative direction: he passionately fights for the underdogs of the world─ the poor, victims of prejudice, and particularly women. While Mars in Aries typically aims for glory, Mr. Sanders will always do the right thing, but without a care for pleasing the majority. He has always beat to his own drum, and should actually feel more at home while Mars is retrograde. Additionally, Mars moving in his direction may actually make him appear more electable to those who have doubted his potential to lead.

Mars retrograde will transit Bernie’s first house, influencing his direction and how he presents himself to the world. We may see Bernie adopt a new angle on the campaign trail. He’s a very practical guy, but we might see some subtle adjustments in his wardrobe. Whatever adjustments he makes in his personal presentation will affect how the people receive him, either increasing or decreasing his support. Mars will oppose his natal Saturn, representing added stress in his crusade against the status-quo. Hillary is growing angrier with Sanders’ victories. I believe that she will throw some fireballs here, and Sanders will be challenged to stay focused and keep his cool.

Mars also opposes his natal Uranus, who has the last word upon turning direct: this is a surprise of some kind involving relationships, his teammates and open enemies. Expect to maybe hear about who he partners with around May 27th and August 3rd. Perhaps this could indicate a running mate. There will be an element of shock or revolution here. This could also indicate something shocking that happens with his opponent, which would thus affect his campaign. Retrograde Mas also transits Pallas Athena (weaver of wisdom) in his first house, aiding in the revamping of new plans and strategies. Mars stations direct in sextile to Neptune, which could indicate a small victory or a dream coming true.

Mercury retrogrades in the Senator’s 6th house of health, work and routine. He may have to make adjustments to his schedule that are more supportive to his health. He’s been a busy guy, and perhaps some rest is in order, or at least not overloading his schedule. Mercury stations retrograde in a harmonious trine to his North Node of destiny in his 10th house of career and leadership. Mercury will station direct in trine to his Sun (also in his 10th house), and eventually return to trine his North Node on June 7th. All in all, if he makes the necessary adjustments to his routine, he should be rewarded.  
Pluto retrograde trines Bernie’s Sun, forming a grand trine with transiting Mercury! Things are looking pretty positive here. Pluto will help Senator Sanders with resourcefulness, extra help from others and giving him his own boost of personal power from within. Pluto’s trine is ongoing, and probably represents his devoted (even obsessed) supporters.


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Hillary Clinton:

Hillary Clinton is also a Scorpio rising, like Bernie Sanders. Scorpio rising indicates that people will either really like you, or really despise you. Scorpio is all or nothing, and tends to be tight lipped when they must. Hillary is notorious for keeping secrets. Secretary Clinton has a fascinating natal chart worthy of a whole separate article. Notably, Mercury is stationary in her chart, neither moving forward or back; this could indicate why she changes her position so much, as she’s not sure which way to go! It’s unclear if the Mercury retrograde will favor her or not, because her natal Mercury doesn’t know which direction its going either. As in Bernie’s case, Mercury will also retrograde in Ms. Clinton’s 6th house of health, work and routine. Adjustments will be made to optimize her schedule, and to maybe even address some health issues.

Also like Senator Sanders, Mars will also retrograde within Hillary’s 1st house, re-configuring how she presents herself into the world. As mentioned, we may witness a change in her angle of attack, as well as in her appearance. Jupiter is positioned extremely strong in her 1st house at 0⁰30’ Sagittarius, which reflects her ardent involvement in politics, global companies and the UN. She is a worldly woman, for sure, with plenty of experience engaging with other cultures. Some praise this experience, and others criticize her involvement. Mars will retrograde back and forth over her Jupiter around May 27th and June 29th. This can be a very positive transit, boosting energy, even to the point of grandiosity. Watch for changes pertaining to her stance on foreign policy. Clinton is currently under serious investigation for the content of her secret emails; Mars transiting her Jupiter will develop this story further, even potentially altering her political identity.

 (***It can be noted that May 27th and August 3rd) are triggers to both Bernie and Hillary, since they both have planets at 0⁰, in opposition to one another. Prior to turning retrograde, Mars already triggered 0⁰ on March 7th, when the two democratic nominees debated in Flint Michigan. This is when tensions began to get heated.)

Mars stations direct on Secretary Clinton’s South Node of past karma, where “you reap what you sow.” She will either be rewarded for her efforts, or patronized for something she did wrong. Whatever the case, it will affect her public image, for better or for worse (June 29th). Mars retrograde inconjuncts her 8th house Uranus, which indicates pressure to adjust her shared resources with others. This most likely reflects her wealthy corporate investors. She has accused the Sanders Campaign of lying about her corporate sponsorships. She will either have to prove the Sanders Campaign wrong or come clean about her financial endorsements.

Mercury stations retrograde on her North Node, which could indicate a small fall from grace, at first. It goes not a second further, which doesn’t help; it is astonishingly partile to the minute. Mercury stations direct on the midpoint of her Venus and Chiron; she would do well to reach out to women who are in unfortunate situations. When Mercury returns to her North Node around June 27th, there will be a revitalization. Someone significant will endorse her or some redeeming information will arise. Mercury rules the media, so there could be a media stunt that is well received here.

Pluto sextiles her natal Venus, which is a nice aspect of empowerment and leadership. This makes her appealing to the women who she has promised to fight for. However, Pluto also inconjuncts her natal Pluto, which indicates a misuse of power, or an imbalance in the flow of her energy. An adjustment will be in order.


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Donald Trump:

Trump will also be urged to make minor adjustments to his image and how he presents himself to the world. However, Mars will mostly affect his home, family, ancestral roots and his past. Commotion began when his famous tweet compared his wife to rival Ted Cruz’s; this occurred right as Mars transited his natal Lilith in his 4th house (Lilith is the wild woman archetype who refused to lay with Adam). I suspect we will hear an addendum to this story around May 11th and August 16th. I wouldn’t be surprised if Melania did something rebellious. Mars squares his Mars, which will encourage even more impulsive behavior, affecting his entitlement and his ego, creating upsets in his wake. His pride will either take a hit, or spiral into delusions of grandiose.

Mars will station direct in harmonious trine to his Venus/Saturn conjunction, which indicates helpful contacts who are either female or wealthy. Perhaps his female family members will rally around him stronger than ever. 

Now, if the saying is true, that those who start wars shall lose (during Mars retrograde), then Trump should sruggle the most out of everyone.

Mercury stations retrograde just one degree shy of Trump’s Midheaven, drawing more controversy over his reputation. But mostly, Mercury retrogrades his 9th house of foreigners, philosophy, law and dogma. You don’t have to study astrology to predict him: he’s going to preach overzealous dogma, offending people left and right.  Most interestingly, over the course of the retrograde, Mercury will form a yod (aspect of destiny), inconjuncting both his Juno/Chiron conjunction (rage against the feminine), and his Moon/South Node in Sag (rage against feminine, foreigners). He will have the opportunity to heal his own wounds around relating to women; however, we will most likely see tantrums and continued disrespect to foreign nations and women. Humiliation will hurt his pride more than anything else, and it may be dealt by a woman. By the looks of it, I wouldn’t be surprised if the shaming comes from his wife, daughter, or someone else close to him.

Pluto squares his natal Jupiter in his 2nd house; herein lies a choice. Either to squander and abuse resources to the fullest, or answer to the pressure to expand world view. This transit could make his money bag even fatter. Watch for changes in his finances, values, and within the law. 


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Ted Cruz:

Cruz has an interesting natal chart as well. He comes across as the nice guy from down the street. But don’t be fooled by his charismatic demeanor (Libra rising); Cruz was born on the darkest night of the year, in the middle of the night. There is a depth to him that most people can’t recognize. He’s always plotting his next move, with strategy and containment. He’s got a degree in “killing with kindness,” as we bore witness with his tactful response to Trump’s tweet about his wife.

The other interesting aspect of his chart is that he was born during Mercury retrograde; indicating that his mind operates non-linearly. He speaks and thinks in circles─ in ways that not everyone can understand. During Mercury retrograde, he will make more sense to people and perceived as a more dependable, consistent leader. He will be able to communicate more clearly during this time. He will navigate the Mercury retrograde better than any other candidate.

Mercury passes over his Saturn/Juno conjunction in Taurus three times: April 17th, May 12th, and June 1st. This configuration represents his unwavering dedication to his wife and values he holds dear. This configuration also enhances his dependability to stand firm in his convictions. On these dates, we can expect to see themes in regards to his consistency, loyalty, strong Christian values, but also, his wife, shared resources, finances and endings. His reputation can be strengthened as someone who is reliable and trustworthy.

Headlines reported “Ted Cruz’s horrible week,” when Mars conjoined his natal Jupiter as the end of February. His campaign appeared to be endangered when he fired his campaign manager and lost Nevada. In the following weeks, he bounced back with some good luck (Mars conjunct his natal Neptune and Vesta). It was then that he garnered a big win in his home state, Texas, and was endorsed by Fiorina.

Mars will return to these points of good fortune May 16th-23rd, most likely attracting more support from focused republicans who are against Trump. It will be interesting to see what happens when Mars triggers his Jupiter again June 10th-13th, and coincidentally during the RNC, July 18th-24th. I predict that this will add vigor to his campaign. His natal Jupiter squares both his Nodes of destiny, promising only choices: some will hold him back, and others will propel him forward. With Jupiter, we will see big results in either direction.

Pluto trines his Saturn/Juno conjunction, which can enhance his stature as a reliable man of values. Pluto also squares his Libra Moon, which could mean big changes for the women in his life. It may also force him to reevaluate being “too nice.” To win against Trump, he may have to get more aggressive. 


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In Conclusion:
 
I’ve tried to remain somewhat neutral here, but perhaps my bias even penetrates my astrological lens.  However, I predict Bernie will most successfully ride these waves. For a few reasons:

1) He’s the only candidate whose nodes aren’t aspected in a challenging way. Mercury makes 3 helpful trines to both his Sun and North Node of destiny,  which are strongly placed in his 10th house of leadership. Hillary and Cruz get action on both nodes, potentially garnering a fall or a rise, although Hillary is almost guaranteed to fall. Donald’s South Node is negatively affected. Both Hillary and Donald will reap what they sow, for better or for worse.

2) Bernie has Mars Retrograde natally, so he should fare well during this period. Cruz is second in line, because he’s going to handle the Mercury retrograde best.

3) Unlike Sanders, Trump and Cruz, Clinton receives zero helpful trines from the retrograde planets. Bernie receives the most positive aspects, and to some of the strongest points in his chart, at that (trines to his 10th house Sun and North Node, indicating a destiny to lead). Trump and Cruz receive some helpful trines as well, but no aspects as strong as Bernie’s.

Now we just have to wait and see!

-Catherine O'Neill