The Impeachment and the Inauguration: A Snapshot from the Family Album of the United States

Chart for the inauguration by Lanvi Nguyen.

“Religion and nationalism, as well as any custom and any belief, however absurd and degrading, if only it connects the individual with others, are refuges from what man most dreads: isolation.”

Erich Fromm (1900-1980), Escape From Freedom

FOR MORE THAN A YEAR, I had the chart for the 2021 presidential inauguration hanging over the toilet in my studio bathroom. This was in the early days of the Trump administration. This placement ensured that I looked at the chart several times a day, because I knew it would take some time to figure out.

It was difficult to get a read on what was obviously the horoscope of a big moment. Now that we are within days or hours of the inauguration, it makes more sense.

One salient feature of this chart — a thing that makes the day distinctive — is the conjunction of Mars and Uranus in Taurus — Mars, the fiery god of war and desire, and Uranus the god of awakening, invention, revolution and provocation. Their combination in Taurus is explosive, and cautionary on the first day of a presidential administration. It is unpredictable in a potentially dangerous way.

There is violence in this chart, and a seeming revolutionary spirit that can go quite wrong to the point of total backfire.

“Grief (America) weeping on the shoulder of History.” Read about it here.

Drowning in Grief: Ceres Conjunct Neptune, Square the Nodes

Before I get into the political and social details of this chart and surrounding events, there is a background detail about this chart that calls for acknowledgement. Ceres is in Pisces, conjunct Neptune in Pisces. This is part of the Kala Sarpa Yoga setup I described last week. That setup — all the planets swept to one side of the lunar nodes — jacks up the karmic implications of this chart, during the already sensitive Pluto return of the United States.

Neptune is the point in the closest square to the nodal access, exact to less than one degree.

Chart for the Inauguration and Impeachment.This chart is full-on Kala Sarpa Yoga as even the ascendant is to one side of the lunar nodes. In case you have not been following that, not the nodes at 19 Gemini and Sagittarius, and everything is to one side. This is one of the very rarest of the yogas from Jyotish astrology.

Neptune tends to make things invisible, and this is about the maternal grief of Ceres. Ceres begins with the grief of mothers for their children, whose futures are being stolen from them. Their health is being stolen from them. Their trust in existence is being stolen from them. And they are being told this is “for their own good.”

This grief, which takes many other forms, is lurking behind everything we are feeling, witnessing and experiencing. Grief is antithetical to our society because it calls forth the vulnerability of being human.

Therefore it must be hidden or denied. Yet even hidden, it can be used against people by those who know it exists.

It is being used as anesthesia, or a narcotic. This is not conscious for most people, yet it is a driving force behind human behavior. We are not talking about how much we have lost, whether it is friends and relatives who have died the past 12 months, or the death of our social patterns and the lives we were living, or the death of our dreams.

This grief connects to much unresolved trauma from the past. That this setup is exactly square the nodes is an indication of what everything turns on. Everything turns on what is square the nodes, and that is what all of this is doing.

An aspect of that grief is knowing what a dark future our children face if the world keeps going in the direction that it is.

The Chart for an Inauguration and an Impeachment

It’s now clear that this is the chart for both a presidential inauguration and the beginning of an impeachment trial. It has been said that Chief Justice John Roberts will go from presiding over the inauguration to presiding over the impeachment trial without needing to leave the Capitol grounds.

It is only in 2021 that people could not see the absurdity of holding an impeachment trial for someone who is not in office, as the first act of the new administration and the new congress. It is the living incarnation of “lock her up” that Trump supporters were chanting during the 2016 campaign.

This is such a terrible foot for the Democrats to get started on that you wonder why they are doing it. Promises of unity are merely cynical with such actions driving division of the electorate, of families, of friends and of society.

Here, we have the most blatant depiction of the U.S. Pluto return and its effect of crumbling whatever is left of society and its customs. Remember that the Pluto return is building now, it peaks in 2022 and that will be sustained through 2024, into the next election cycle. The inauguration chart is one of those watershed moments in the history of both the United States, and its allies.

Inscription by James Madison on the Capitol grounds. Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

The Moon is Void-of-Course in Aries

In this chart, the Moon is void-of-course. That means the Moon is done making aspects in its current sign, which is like being between gears. The Moon is what engages the whole chart. With the Moon void, there is a feeling of lack of direction and unpredictability. Once the Moon changes signs, the first thing it does is form a conjunction to Mars-Uranus, which will still be within arc minutes of exactitude.

When the Moon is out of aspect with other planets, that means the chart starts one way and ends another. Unusual things can develop, though at the time they are considered unforeseeable. Yet they are usually in plain sight.

Note that in any public chart, one significator for the public is the Moon. Based on a Moon void, we have a symbol informing us that the public is confused and disengaged — and in Aries, self-absorbed, angry and with no special place to direct its energy. This is another way of saying easily manipulated, and in particular, by having its own ideals used against it.

The West Front Fountain on the Capitol grounds. Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

The Presence of Planets in Aquarius

Finally, it’s impossible to miss the strong presence of Aquarius. This includes the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction, plus Pallas and Mercury. That abundant Aquarius is in the 10th (Whole Sign) house of the presidency itself, representing a kind of populism — whether real or false. Populism is a political approach that strives to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups.

Note that both seeming sides engage in this game, playing off of one another and accusing the other side of being the ‘real’ elites or people whose interests go against those of the public. The Age of Aquarius is thought of as the time when “peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars,” though that is not the elemental energy of Aquarius.

Rather, Aquarius is about patterns, and as we have seen since early 2020 when Saturn first entered its native sign, these patterns can be authoritarian. Presently the vehicle of that authority is technology, which is a distinctly Aquarian theme.

Capitol grounds. Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

The Group and the Individual

The aspect of Aquarius that’s about the relationship of the group to the individual requires self-actualization. So all this Aquarius would be fantastic in an era with critical thinking and the willingness to dissent.

Instead, what we now have in the town square is a riot of censorship. Say one thing that Facebook disagrees with and you can be banned for a day or seven days or 30 days, or thrown off.

We might ask why anyone thinks that is necessary, and why it’s so commonly done. Yet we would be better served to note the effect, which is to make people timid and afraid to speak up. Banning and freezing out dissenting views also makes it seem like there is one side to the story.

In fact there are as many sides to the story as there are people to tell it, or to hear it. You can be sure that any one-sided or two-sided analysis of the issue does not have enough facets to even approach getting at the truth. Listen for places where every angle is fearlessly considered and questioned.

View from the Capitol to the Library of Congress across the street. Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

Authoritarianism and Self-Actualization

It is commonly thought that “right wing” viewpoints are oppressive, and that “left wing” viewpoints are “liberal.” But that is not what history tells us, nor is it what an honest look at our moment tells us. In fact, both “left” and “right” theories quickly degrade into authoritarianism at the moment people stop taking responsibility for their lives. Political theory is often an invitation for them to do so.

Any collective of people who are not self-actualized will take on mass-consciousness, rather than group consciousness. A group is a meeting of individuals, who have a sense of who they are and what they want.

Self-actualization is a strong force in the psyche. Yet as Erich Fromm wrote in his landmark 1941 book Escape From Freedom, external pressures can block the process. “Impulses arise to give up one’s individuality, to overcome the feeling of aloneness and powerlessness by completely submerging oneself in the world outside.”

Said another way, self-actualization is a lonely process, and sets people apart from others. Often that is unbearable, so people give up and go along with the crowd — and are rewarded for doing so. Part of that seeming reward is the sense of belonging. Again by Fromm:

“Unless he belonged somewhere, unless his life had some meaning and direction, he would feel like a particle of dust and be overcome by his individual insignificance. He would not be able to relate himself to any system which would give meaning and direction to his life, he would be filled with doubt, and this doubt eventually would paralyze his ability to act—that is, to live.”

The Senate Garage Fountain with a view of the Capitol. Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

The Need to Belong Can Be Used Against Us

Aquarius is about the need to belong. This need is so profound that many will do anything to fulfill it. And that means that like hunger, it can be used against people. The first way this is done is to divide society, and say, “If you’re not one of us good people, you’re one of those bad people.”

The concepts of “good” and “bad” are free of values, and can represent anything. They are variables. For example, one day aggressive protests are good, and the next day they are bad. One day, questioning or challenging government leaders is “good,” and the next day it is “bad.” One day capitalism and the free market are “good” and the next day they are “bad.” One day communists are being rounded up and the next day they are cultural heroes and pristine examples of virtue.

How things are styled is merely an advertising tactic, which means a way to trigger and manipulate people. And it’s always based on the notion of inclusion.

This chart is a bold caution against accepting what would promise to make you part of the crowd, and then only take power over you and your fellow citizens.

That is almost always how it happens.

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Monthly Horoscopes and Publishing Schedule Notes

Your extended monthly horoscope for January was published on Tuesday, Dec. 22. We published your extended monthly horoscope for December on Monday, Nov. 30. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope after the Sun has entered a new sign.

Planet Waves

Weekly Horoscope #260 for January 19, 2021

By Eric Francis Coppolino


Aries (March 20-April 19) — It will now become apparent how much your life has changed over the past year, in ways that have opened up many new possibilities for you. Yes, the world is presenting every possible argument to the contrary. Opportunities seem to be drying up. Yet you possess determination and excitement about your existence that few are daring enough to acknowledge much less express. Your secret to success will be engaging with people in person: actual social existence, to the greatest degree possible. Get among your neighbors, your colleagues, your friends, and your community. There, you will find other people who are not afraid to do so, which means not frightened of other humans. Those are your people. Take this opportunity now to establish new friendships, new social patterns, new hangouts and new ways of conducting business. Be a pioneer. A new world will arise out of the ruins of the old, and you have the moxie to be one of its founders — and your astrology reveals that many doors will be wide open to you.


Taurus (April 19-May 20) — The Sun now joins Jupiter and Saturn in your 10th solar house — the one about your mission, your reputation and your sense of responsibility to the world. These are all the same thing. Because the sign involved is Aquarius, you need to be among people who are true to their ethics. The specifics matter less than the integrity factor; sincerity is of the utmost importance, and it is rare to find in professional environments that depend so much on various unstated intentions, and unsavory allegiances and agreements. In planning your way forward professionally, it is therefore essential that you understand the lines of accountability. Ethics are only possible among people who are true to themselves. Therefore, it’s not what claims people make, or what tee shirt or button they wear, but rather the depth of their commitments. You will inevitably be in a position of leadership in whatever you do, and that means it’s more important than ever that you discern who is real, and who is not.


Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Humanity is your religion. It is your faith, it’s your hope, and it’s your best guess about the whole purpose of the cosmos. There are those who argue that the human experience is insignificant in the cosmic realm, merely based on the size and scale of the universe. Yet that is not a valid argument. It is not an actual assessment. We do not know the purpose of the human experience, endeavor or experiment — really, it’s all three. Most people do not think of it consciously, as this life is all they know or have ever imagined. Religion (the closest most people get to cosmology) is all centered around the Earth as the only place that exists. Then spirituality chimes in with all kinds of speculation. You, however, have the ability and the calling to ground your entire cosmology in the human experience. And now this is stronger than ever. No matter what the purpose of the experiment on this planet, whether it is accidental or part of some divine plan, all we have is one another. And that is quite enough.


Cancer (June 21-July 22) — The Sun entering your house of contractual and business arrangements will help you sort out your many pending projects and spinning plates. Take a serious and determined approach with people. Mince no words and listen carefully to what people say. Take this opportunity to form the right partnerships with the right people — if you do, some of them will last for many years. Yet whoever anyone else may be in your world, in your business or in your community, remember that you are in the position of moral leadership. You are the one who threads the needle and selects the correct fabric. You are the one who sets the example. Your ethics are the bottom line in your life, which is called having integrity. Yet at the same time, the perspective that you hold makes a difference for many people who are disoriented, confused and struggling for direction. The leadership you are learning and teaching is truly what could be called “for a new age,” as you are aware of the need to integrate both worldly needs and values that encompass healing and the spiritual condition of the community.


Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — In some ways, the condition of your relationships will make much more sense once the Sun has entered your opposite sign Aquarius. There, it joins a grouping that includes Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn. This new, once-ever set of transits has brought sweeping changes into your world and your personal engagements, which may not make sense in the way that you like things to. Now, imagine that your ruling body, the Sun, is going to make direct contact with all of them over the next few weeks. Think of this as being taken on a personal tour of your new world, and the new world that is emerging. I would remind you to be intimidated by no person; and most particularly, by their fears. These days we are seeing the emergence of the ethic, “You must be terrified of what I am terrified of,” and that will never work to produce a sane, functional world. Nor will, “You must do only what makes me comfortable.” That is not freedom, it is tyranny — and you were born free, and are entitled to live that way.


Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You must do everything in your power to sort out fact from fiction; hallucination from the truth. This is not any kind of one-off. Rather, it’s about a lifetime of seeking and devotion, and the willingness to question everyone and everything. Take nothing at face value. Get beneath the surface. The problem is you may not have a sense of when you’re really doing that, and may be too easily placated or made anxious, both of which are means to getting you to compromise. I suggest the most important thing you can work on is paying attention to when you are making assumptions. Keep asking yourself how you know what you think you know. You need to actually know, and not be speculating, as your commitments and responsibilities demand that you have grounding in logic and intellectual rigor. This is a habit, and it must be practiced. It’s not easy to keep your powder dry when the whole world is being hosed down by delusion, denial and deception. But you simply must do so.


Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — The Sun’s ingress into your fellow air sign Aquarius will come as a relief. It’s always good to have the Sun in your element, though the thing is, you have so much more there at the moment — Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, and the meaningful asteroid Pallas. The question of what to do with all this creative energy is a real one. You currently have enough for the next eleven people, and as many ideas. What the Sun moving through this region of your chart can provide is energy for expression, and light so you can see what you are doing. The essence of the moment is experimentation. The world is currently developing a bad case of rigor mortis from all of social and artistic life being smothered. You need to move and breathe and keep reminding yourself of all the reasons you have to be alive and to be creative. You know that you’re healthy when you’re feeling well, that is, when you’re positive and involved. Avoid health dramas of any kind — and know what they are. Get out the paints and turn on your amp. Get ready to test your theory, in real space, and in real time.


Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — This is the time in your life when you’re building a new foundation. It may feel, at the moment, like everything is shaking and vibrating and changing. Yet that is evidence of movement and progress. Here is the thing to remember: your foundation is social. You might be good with money. You’re an excellent worker. You know how to focus your sense of purpose and get things done. All of that is wonderful. But it is society itself that is your foundation: by which I mean the larger society we all share, and your personal society of family and friends. These are the very things under assault right now, as everything is driven apart from everything else, and all the crumbs are vacuumed up onto the internet. Make your home the local speakeasy. Get together with people and figure out what is happening. Have real conversations with people you trust, and get to know one another. Work the details of community and of mutual support. You have a role to play. In your own modest way, you are a titan of industry.


Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — You are in possession of some world-changing idea, and of the power to express it. The idea may come quickly and the development slowly. That is usually the challenging part for you: the arrow that only flies slowly through the air. Yet it is true that each step must be taken consciously; each pitfall identified and remedied; and that you think in whole-system terms. Whatever you’re doing, you’re unlikely to be doing it alone. This too presents a challenge, as there is part of your nature that is not all that interested in direct collaboration. You have, at times, thought that this compromises your individuality. But now it is time for individuals to work with one another, in a spirit of equanimity and equality. This is not the time when egos can prevail, if anything is going to be accomplished. And as you well know, there is much that needs to be done and not so much time in which to do it. Therefore, find your project partners and get busy.


Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — The only thing you have to worry about is being true to yourself. That’s most of what everyone else has to worry about, though this is the very epicenter of your spiritual growth. All that has happened the past three years, and in particular the past year, may have left you feeling like it’s just impossible to stand up to the world. Yet times have changed, your chart has changed, and you are living in a whole new reality. And in that reality, just one thing matters, and that is sincerity. Therefore, do not brook deception in any form, from you or anyone else. Know what you stand for, on a level deeper than your beliefs, and make all of your choices based on that one thing. If you find that your choices conflict with your values, one or the other has to stand. There is no room whatsoever in your life for cognitive dissonance: that is, two competing realities. You must live one truth, and that requires profound personal investigation. That can be inconvenient and it can be wrenching. Yet you have little choice.


Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — The Sun entered your sign Tuesday, and this will grant you a whole new perspective on life. If it feels like everything is changing faster than you can keep track of it, that is true for everyone but especially for you. Yet this ‘especially’ part gives you an advantage. The most important resources in the solar system — Jupiter and Saturn — are now in your sign. This is extremely rare, and it will not last long. So you must take full advantage of this moment. Shake off any lethargy, depression, disillusionment or frustration, and set about doing what you know needs to be done. Live as much time as you can in the world of people and not technology. Meet with your fellow humans in person, where you can see their faces, hear their voices, and work together in a way that is founded upon trust and understanding. Nothing else matters in your life, or in the world. There is no other basis of success, or of community, or of friendship, or anything that is good and true. Therefore, call forth your deepest humanity.


Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — A stunning collection of planets in your 12th house Aquarius, now joined by the Sun, is granting you a superpower. For most, the 12th is vexing. It’s the place where people lose themselves or get disoriented. But you are born under the 12th sign, and having planets in the 12th house grants you inner awareness, substance and energy. Whereas others may lose things in the 12th house, you discover them. While others may lose track of the past, you retrieve what belongs to you. Yet there is something even better. You contain, within yourself, a map of all the changes that society is going through. Of all people you may have the deepest insight into the nature of these movements, though you cannot take that for granted. You cannot assume you have some psychic impression and that’s all you need. To have possession of the whole truth, verify every fact and every belief against the data. You will need to do this several times, coming at each question from different angles. You will know you’re getting there when 1. You recognize how much is at stake and 2. You know what to do.

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