US forecast September 2-29, 2017

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US forecast September 2-29, 2017

Post by Jim Eshelman » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:15 pm

If you are unfamiliar with the methods and interpretations of Sidereal mundane astrology, see my free book Sidereal Mundane Astrology. (A link to the current edition can always be found near the top of the Publications sub-forum.) For standard interpretations, see Chapter 7.


USA Mundane Forecast
for the four weeks beginning September 2, 2017


LONG-TERM PATTERNS Map 1 Map 2
For the twelve months beginning January 14, the United States Year chart promotes greater optimism. It might be the best, most interesting year we've had in quite a while. Jupiter is most angular (IC, 0°56'). Uranus is on Midheaven opposite Jupiter. Sun squares MC and Jupiter.

JUPITER OPPOSITE URANUS brings ideological rebellion - both peaceful and violent forms, as diverse as Woodstock and the storming of the Bastille. Expect remapping of the larger social contract, pushing for wider horizons and expanded opportunities. Medical breakthroughs will accelerate, e.g., there is an excellent chance that the final crack in cancer's defenses will occur this year. Proponents of liberal social and political agendas raise their voices, demanding civil rights and social justice. At best, it brings collective optimism, inventiveness, new tech vision, and futurism.

However, SUN-JUPITER promises plenty of self-serving, elitist "politics as usual" in the mix, motivated by a non-philanthropic tendency of people with money and power wanting more money and power.

With Jupiter most angular, the year is overall optimistic. Expect victories (e.g., military victories and athletic wins), diplomacy and peace, and heightened prosperity, economic expansion, and a spirit of abundance, celebration, and national pride. With Sun angular, the authority of government is a larger, more persistent presence in the typical American's life. As Sun is well aspected, this will be mostly a beneficent presence.

Cansolar Map 1 Map 2
Angular Jupiter reinforces the strong, mostly positive Jupiter trends of the Capsolar for three months (July 17-October 18), but with a twist: Jupiter now squares a foreground Pluto. In some ways this reiterates messages of the Capsolar's Jupiter-Uranus emphasis, especially regarding social rebellion and remapping the larger social contract (something we have seen in many ways over the last six months, but especially in the battle over health care). Jupiter-Pluto is political and ideological. It challenges existing value systems and the power systems that support them. We have seen this in recent years for terrorist attacks that target cultural values and attempt political destabilization. We also know that, while it can be a king-maker, it is even more likely to drag the uplifted from their pinnacles into stunning ruin. Anything represented by Jupiter is open to extremes and ruin (including meteorological events and the economy - though other current indications do not resemble patterns of serious economic falls, so manifestations more likely will be political).

A Moon-Mercury mundane square for Washington has a 0°00' orb. It is unclear how this pairs with Jupiter-Pluto. Since it joins a wide Moon-Uranus aspect, it surely refers to constant streams of information from discoveries and disclosures, innovations, and novelties. Given its precision for the U.S., this should be an especially good quarter to watch for Moon-Mercury effects. In a time when the news media saturates our awareness, I nonetheless predict it will be even more prevalent - that, in great measure, the news media itself will become the story. Otherwise, besides the celebrity and media element, expect situations (as in business) that involve voluminous paperwork or its digital equivalent, strategy, tactical moves, and news outlets gripping our attention as they rarely do - think of the OJ trial or the days of 9/11.

BRIDGE

From September 2-12, and again September 17-20, we have a JUPITER Zone as the heavy planet transits Capsolar IC. (This concentrates around September 10.) Among Jupiter’s manifestations are victories, diplomacy, and prosperity - economic expansion and a spirit of abundance. Events, if not purely political, economic, or aristocratic, often center on religion and other passionate beliefs. Its shadow side includes ideological conflict (rampant ideology and belief-driven politics) and excesses.

September 13-16 is a MARS-JUPITER Zone as Jupiter crosses Capsolar IC while Mars conjoins progressed Capsolar Moon for the whole world. (Conditions resemble August 30 to September 2, at last month's end.) Normally, these Mars transits represent a concentrated period of worldwide violence, fires, and other destruction, both natural and human-instigated, but the U.S. seems protected from that version of the aspect or, if involved, we come out a clear winner (as in competitions), with a rousing or renewal of national pride and patriotic evangelism.

Furthermore, in this country, expect different forms of economic aggression, including aggressive spending, driving trade and market forces, and economic expansion, including greater industry and productivity). Prices will spike on gasoline and numerous other categories of products consequent to the recent Hurricane Harvey impact. Concurrently, expect belief-driven enthusiasm and aggression. In nature, expect the further unleashed power of the storm, as a heightened probability of destruction mingles with unleashed rain and other natural forces.


LUNAR INGRESSES

Caplunar (Sep 2)
The Caplunar, covering September 2-29 (and especially to September 2-9), is a chart of conflict. Mercury and Mars are foreground and exactly conjunct, the same aspect that dominates President Trump's lunar returns this month. Besides anticipating harsh, combative speech, this mobilization of strategy and aggression is the most distinctive sign of war and abandoned diplomacy. (Other expressions include travel crises and other strategic deployments.)

Sun opposes Neptune (close and foreground). This adds uncertainty, disorientation, and maelstrom-like chaotic conditions. Emotions run high and leaders' failings tend to be more visible. Angular midpoints binding the Mercury-Mars and Sun-Neptune themes together (Su/Me, Su/Ma, Ma/Ne) are volatile and threatening, combining surging adrenaline with heightened emotional chaos, and even panic or blood lust. An example of the energy: These same planets predominate in our collection of catastrophic explosions of docked commercial vehicle: Something of this emotional tone (perhaps watered down a great deal) will mark this month. Commerce will closely theme the main events.

Moon's squares to Uranus and Jupiter don't easily merge with Mercury-Mars and Sun-Neptune (other than the Moon-Uranus explosiveness). I think it most likely this will express more (and more passionate) culture-based political conflicts. The strongest Moon-Jupiter themes may be prosperity, but will not be diplomacy or dignity. Expect strong elements of national pride, patriotism, family, community, and standing first for those groups with which one most personally identifies. The surprising, eruptive, explosive Uranus will continue blind-siding us in a rapidly-shifting terrain requiring uninterrupted adaptation and reorientation, including civil instability, populist arousal, and reversals (probably inviting suppressive retaliation).

Quotidian angles start the week with transiting Mars and Neptune, drawing the worst expressions from this Caplunar. (For Venus-Neptune + Mars on 9/3-4, expect a high-profile murder - something shockingly common under these indications - or otherwise themes of betrayal, deception, and volatile emotional drama.) Extreme effects are probably spent by 9/6. The news media becomes its own best story around 9/5.

Arilunar (Sep 9)
The Arilunar covers September 9-16. Uranus culminates. Expect explosions (literal or metaphorical); sudden rupture or eruption, shock, surprise, and overflowing normal boundaries and limitations. Many of these events involve disclosures and revelations, and may have profound social impact.

Uranus' core themes generalize through several types of destructive events, e.g., bombs, quakes, floods, and building collapses, and events actively caused by people: surprise attacks, changes in foreign relations, and changes in leadership, or riots, revolts, uprisings, and their predictable suppression.

However, because Moon, Venus, and Jupiter join Uranus in the foreground, we expect the happier side of these possibilities more than the destructive ones. In a personal lunar return, these planets are most common for births and other causes for celebration. Additionally, matters on the forefront of the nation's culture wars will be downstage.

However, amidst this, CapQ angles touch Neptunes and Saturns all week. Many tragic themes emerge with Saturn-Neptune (the word "tragic" is not too strong), and those that most overlap with Jupiter-Uranus are flooding and similar weather-caused suffering.

Canlunar (Sep 15)
The Canlunar covers three weeks, September 15 to October 6 (due to the next three ingresses being dormant). Flipping from Uranus plus angular benefics (in the Arilunar) to Neptune with angular malefics, this week should be a sharp reversal of the main trends of last week.

Mercury-Mars, already dominating the Caplunar, appears as a partile foreground conjunction supported by Su/Me and Su/Ma midpoints on Midheaven. The harsh, combative speech, mobilization of strategy and aggression, and combative action in lieu of diplomacy that mark the entire month are increasingly likely for the two weeks the Canlunar and Caplunar overlap.

Angular Neptune always signals extreme excitement: insanity, whether of a major sporting event or of a mob: madness, confusion, uncertainty, disorientation, and a gripping sense of, “So, what happens now?” This disorientation marks these three weeks. The specific causes could be many (see SMA), but expect both mindless herd-torrents and waves of people driven by a shared vision: the politically-inflamed cultural wars continue.

We expect the worst, rather than the best, from this month: Besides the foreground Neptune and Mars, Saturn closely squares the foreground Sun. This anticipates sad events, though it especially puts strong negative pressure, and a negative spotlight, on the president (and, more generally, the government as a whole). The least we expect is gridlock: September is budget month, so expect threats of government shutdown and extreme polarization before a late-hour deal that keeps the lights on and mostly floats last year's budget forward for another year. (After all, there is a close Moon-Jupiter square in the mix to bring them through.)

The week begins with CapQ MC on Saturn and Ascendant on Mars. These will be harsh, challenging days - perhaps the most difficult of the year for those who run the country from Washington. The pressure doesn't lift until 9/20.

Liblunar (Sep 22)
The Liblunar is dormant. Last week's Canlunar flows through as if no new ingress occurred. (But see the "Other Locations" page below for localized impact.)

As the week begins, CapQ Descendant finally intersects transiting Sun. Focus concentrates on the president specifically, though no aspects to Sun detail what kind of attention this brings. By the 9/25 (plus-minus two days) the magnifying lens of scrutiny is focused (see Mercury's involvement), and magnification always increases the heat. In the CanQ, the 9/28 Venus-Mars-Neptune T-square falls worrisomely close to the Q angles: Expect bloody, heart-gripping violence to lead the news more than usual.
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Trump Watch

Post by Jim Eshelman » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:16 pm

SUMMARY
This will be one of the worst summers of Donald Trump's life. Two Moon-Saturn combinations converge. Saturn conjunct MC is his reigning progression. The Solar Return is filled with harsh aspects. His lunar returns emphasize repeated Mercury-Mars-Mars. (But he is no stranger to criticism, given or received.)

PROGRESSIONS
Progressed Saturn conjoins progressed Midheaven, concurrent with transiting Saturn conjunct his Moon for several months (see below). He is weakened and feels progressively increasing burdens, threats, and losses. At the end of January, progressed Saturn-MC is exact while progressed Moon conjoins his Pluto. A briar patch has sprung up along the road to the end of his first year in office.

The long-term picture for Pres. Trump, therefore, is dire professionally, politically, and even in terms of health. He no longer stands in brilliant sunlight, but in deepening, darkening shadow.

Also this month, Uranus' decades-long progressed opposition to his natal Moon is brought to the fore by progressed Moon's aspects to them, exact on September 21 (Moon-Moon) and 23 (Moon-Uranus). He is blind-sided by surprises, and is primed to spring his own surprises: The focus varies according to his immediate transits and lunar returns, but he particularly is in a face of vacillation, shifting conditions and increasing stress, caught between a need for emotional reassurance from familiar things vs. variety, change, emotional excitement, and the unfamiliar. Definitely expect unanticipated disclosures and revelations this month, especially around the equinox.

His one clearly positive continuing progression, Venus conjunct Jupiter, lasts for years. He also retains aspects of combat and verbal aggression, with Mars' square natal Mercury and sextile Pluto.

But these are the sideshow. The main Secondary Progression panorama for now is the Saturn-MC conjunction.


TRANSITS
PLUTO sesqui-squares PROGRESSED SUN until the end of November, peaking September 1 and November 4. At its simplest, this shows his world demanding that he dismantle himself (or be dismantled by circumstances), and take off on an entirely new life-phase. It is an invitation to remake himself.

SATURN conjunct his MOON (exact September 30). Concurrently, Saturn is sesqui-square his progressed Moon. This is a hard transit if one does not surrender to its demands. Practical matters do better than emotional ones. Times are somber and lonely. One becomes distant and cautious, cut off from nurturing. Wounded pride, loss, and feeling misunderstood are typical. Others seem unsympathetic.

Beginning September 9, NEPTUNE is sesqui-square his VENUS. For most people, this means enhanced aesthetics, idealism, and romance, pursuit of unreachable or unavailable love goals, and an emphasis on the beautiful side of other people. None of this seems within the behavior profile of Donald Trump, especially concurrent with Saturn-Moon. We may have to watch very closely to see this transit manifest. It surely will enhance overall emotion. I think the theme of the time may include betrayal of (or by) those thought to be allies.

Other Venus transits then come in quick succession. I interpret these in a lunar return below where they are emphasized. The slowest of these, though, is URANUS square his VENUS beginning September 17. With Uranus and Neptune both aspecting Venus, we certainly expect unusual expressions of love and friendship. As already mentioned, expect more extreme sensitivities, and unusual if not irrational treatment of friends and allies.

Jupiter then squares his Saturn September 10-20 and his Venus September 20-29. More on this below.

Key brief MARS transits help identify hotspot dates:

9/6 - t Mars conj. r Asc
9/8 - t Mars conj. p Sun
9/10 - t Mars ssq. r Jupiter
9/20 - t Mars ssq r Saturn
9/23 - t Mars ssq. r Venus


SIDEREAL SOLAR RETURN
Please see the June forecast for an analysis of Trump's Sidereal Solar Return.
viewtopic.php?f=46&t=1450#p8523


SIDEREAL LUNAR RETURN (Aug 30)
Just before the astrological month begins, a new Lunar Return brings a Mercury-Mars focus. As Mercury-Mars is also the main feature of the Caplunar, we have every reason to think it the main astrological theme for the nation for September 2-26 especially.

First, the technicalities: Mercury and Mars are conjunct straddling the SLR Midheaven, their midpoint 0°05' from the angle. Both conjoin Trump's natal Mars, which is only 0°11' from MC. Additionally, these all fall on Trump's natal angles. Finally, SLR Moon is exactly on the prime vertical, placing it in a hidden mundane square (orb 0°54') with SLR Mars, along with its ecliptical conjunction with Saturn (orb 1°00').

In an ordinary person, Mercury-Mars of this sort implies arguments, verbal conflict, rhetorical aggression, extreme agitation, and similar psychological states. The risk increases of transportation accidents, but most problems come from conflict, thriving on combativeness, and slips in self-control.

With the president of the United States, we have to consider other implications. Diplomacy fails. Sabers rattle. Even charging to war can occur, all consistent with the more general description already given. Knowing the president's temperament, the least we can expect is aggravated verbal aggression.

DEMI-SLR (Sep 13)
Were it not for the continued strength of Mercury conjunct Mars (4°-6° below Ascendant), I would consider this a playful chart: Transiting Venus squares MC, and natal Mars rises, both within about 1°. This still may be a major character theme, though: The president's popularity may step up a notch - he at least feels more liked, and is encouraged by this to follow his instincts. Watch him these two weeks to see if he doesn't remind you of a kid with some new cool toys.

But the Mercury-Mars theme is so repetitive - in his SLR and this Demi, as well as the lunar ingresses - that it must be the loudest theme. Everything said about that above goes double right now, especially after the Canlunar on 9/15.

Both luminaries closely aspect Saturn, though in the background. (Saturn is 0°01' from their midpoint.) Despite the sense of play and feeling of renewed popularity, an increasing burden weighs on him. Continuing background events (the FBI investigation?) erode his confidence. Someone or something he loves will be distinctly under attack during these two weeks.

SIDEREAL LUNAR RETURN (Sep 26)
Just before the end of the Caplunar month, a new Lunar Return shifts the tone. The chart is complex, with over a dozen important individual factors, but the main point is that it feels dramatically better for Donald Trump.

The strongest factors boil down to this: A precise Jupiter-Uranus opposition squares SLR Midheaven and natal Venus (on IC). All of this happens within a degree and a quarter of exact. More widely, though, natal Saturn is also on IC and squares Jupiter-Uranus (< 3°), with his natal Venus/Saturn midpoint only 0°10' from the angle. Finally, throw in Pluto moderately angular, and Moon aspects to Saturn (0°10') and Mercury.

Many of these factors bespeak a sense of reprieve or relief, a heightened social sense and increased personal popularity. This is a chart of celebration, success, even honors (including business success: look for events that enhance his personal fortune). None of this, though, comes without paying a personal price. In fact, relationships - whether personal, political, or foreign relations - are where he will be willing to pay a price for his personal relief.

Uranus transits to natal Venus show renewal and excitement in love and pleasure. Flirtatious, fun loving, and experimental, he approaches life in general with a new "zing," a new bounce in his step. "Changes in relationship" can take diverse forms, though.

Jupiter's transit to natal Venus emphasizes the social and pleasurable. Love matters go well. Popularity and attractiveness increase. Special, pleasurable life transitions occur; is there a family pregnancy still unknown to us?

I would be less attentive to the angular natal Saturn were it not for the exact Moon-Saturn conjunction. It does seem that practical matters do much better than personal ones under this SLR, that Trump feels cut off from emotional lifelines, suffers wounds to his pride, feels misunderstand and a lack of sympathy. Uranus moderately square his Saturn pressures him for change where he wants to keep things as they are. Jupiter square his Saturn shows him re-securing his foundation, looking for stability where it seems missing, and even a slate wiped clean that eases worries and grants some peace.
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Ingress Angularities - Other Locations

Post by Jim Eshelman » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:17 pm

Geographic areas cited have about a 150-200 mile leeway for strong effects. For these mappings of planetary energies, see the standard interpretations in Chapter 7 of Sidereal Mundane Astrology. (A link to the free current edition can always be found near the top of the Publications sub-forum.)

Notes below highlight some areas of particular interest. For a full analysis, readers should view the maps and consider all planet lines and intersections against the standard interpretations in SMA, Chapter 7
.

Caplunar (September 2) Image
JUPITER and VENUS intersect on the Idaho-Montana border, which should make it the happiest spot in the nation (if not simply the rainiest). Western states generally benefit from benefic indications (see the map above for details), except that Los Angeles is the exact center of a URANUS-PLUTO intersection (see below) - that is unlikely to be a minor event. The MERCURY-MARS pair sweeps across the Midwest and southeast, including centering on Miami, and also right along the Appalachians.
Image

Arilunar (September 9) Image
MOON, JUPITER, and URANUS sprawl across the east (see above), and mid-country (see below): This suggests breakthroughs of all kinds (whether of technology or flooding riverbeds: the theme will be overflowing & bursting forth). The only really worrisome line is PLUTO's arc (above), although NEPTUNE through LA produces anxiety in the context of the Caplunar. Also, PLUTO intersects Uranus and Moon in Mississippi and near New Orleans, which draws the most crisis-prone from those planets. See SATURN on the Salt Lake-Phoenix meridian. With VENUS rising, it's a beautiful time to visit New England.
Image

Canlunar (September 15) Image
JUPITER and URANUS mark the far west, VENUS soothes the middle, and then the Midwest features the worrisome MERCURY-MARS. (Venus squares Ascendant for part of that zone: Compare the two maps to see intersections.) SATURN touches New England, especially through New Hampshire and near the longitude of Boston.
Image

Liblunar (September 22) Image
MOON, JUPITER, and URANUS stream through the Plains and on an arc from Seattle to New Mexico. SUN skirts the NW (will this bring unseasonal extremes of sunshine? we have no data on this, but Jupiter is angular through Washington). VENUS returns pleasure to New England after last week's intrusion by Saturn. Of disruptive concern is PLUTO intersecting URANUS (near Jupiter and Moon) in New Mexico and Arizona.
Image
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Hurricane Irma predictions

Post by Jim Eshelman » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:47 am

It looks like Puerto Rico is in for quite a blow from the approaching Hurricane Irma. The questions floating among meteorologists are whether it will hit Florida, how powerful it will be, and how much damage it will do there.

The news media, of course, wants to play up the danger - it's better for headlines. Sidereal astrology sides with the media this time: It looks to me like a severe blow to south Florida (and maybe farther up). In the "Other Location" paragraph above, I gave the following two maps under the September 2 Caplunar. (The first map is conjunctions with the angles; the second is squares to angles. We can't get both on the same map.) The maps had the caption (in part), "...The MERCURY-MARS pair sweeps across the Midwest and southeast, including centering on Miami, and also right along the Appalachians."
Jim Eshelman wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:17 pm
Image
Image
Mars is especially common for destructive hurricanes - it represents the raw FORCE of nature. I've seen Mercury-Mars many times where the most obvious interpretation is "force and destruction of wind." But, of course, where Mercury is powerful, the media flourishes. See how the Mercury and Mars lines straddle Miami and other areas, while Mars itself strikes right down through the middle of the state. By square, both repeat their act in the Carolinas.

Cuba also gets smashed hard by these planets. Farther east in the Caribbean, they are not so angular, but I'm afraid Sun right through Puerto Rico is a bad sign - probably meaning "the government will be there" in the sense of FEMA and other agencies mobilizing with unusual power and presence. This implies enormous damage. (It may also be the best thing to happen to Puerto Rico in a while: They need an enormous influx of Federal funding for infrastructure and to fuel their drowning economy.)

The September 9 Arilunar then has rain planets smashing through.

Using Miami as a target location, CapQ MC is already squaring Neptune - they're anxious, worried - and this is the last CapQ crossing before the weekend. CanQ Asc crosses Mercury on the 7th-8th, and doesn't have anything else all week. But check out the transits to Miami's Capsolar and Cansolar: They are abundant, unpleasant, and close.
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Re: US forecast September 2-29, 2017

Post by SteveS » Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:23 pm

Another picture of Miami's Sept 2 Caplunar. As Jim explains, par-excellent symbolism for angular Mercury-Mars.
https://imgur.com/a/40r2y

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Re: US forecast September 2-29, 2017

Post by Jupiter Sets at Dawn » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:49 pm

Irma's predicted track from here parallels the Mercury and Mars curves from the Caplunar.
A lot of people are very frightened right now by the news. They're being told to evacuate, but there's no gas, so they'll face the storm from their cars rather than at home. They're being told to go to a shelter, but the shelters are full, and some have been closed and people told to leave because the shelter will be inundated. People are being told if they try to leave, they'll be fired for not coming to work, especially people who work in hospitals.

There's so much that could have been done to keep this from happening.

The earth-wind map is amazing, but if you click on the black box that says earth on the lower left, it becomes a menu. Look for the "height" line and click on 250 and you can see the steering currents that are going to move Irma north. I don't see how that's going to move this storm into Tennessee.

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Re: US forecast September 2-29, 2017

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:23 pm

Yes, I really think this is going to go through the Carolinas. That's what the Caplunar astro-maps show.

Much of the "result" has already been obtained from the trauma of panic, fleeing, and the rest - all the stuff you documented. The ingress would be accurate enough if it only showed that much!
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Re: US forecast September 2-29, 2017

Post by Jim Eshelman » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:04 am

Moon enters Cancer later today, and the new Canlunar applies to the next three weeks. Here is the interpretation from above. (And remember we have transiting Mars conjunct CapQ Moon for a couple of more days.) - While it appears that the government shutdown has been avoided with less drama this time, but the same gridlock principle probably still applies in other forms.
Jim Eshelman wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:15 pm
Canlunar (Sep 15)
The Canlunar covers three weeks, September 15 to October 6 (due to the next three ingresses being dormant). Flipping from Uranus plus angular benefics (in the Arilunar) to Neptune with angular malefics, this week should be a sharp reversal of the main trends of last week.

Mercury-Mars, already dominating the Caplunar, appears as a partile foreground conjunction supported by Su/Me and Su/Ma midpoints on Midheaven. The harsh, combative speech, mobilization of strategy and aggression, and combative action in lieu of diplomacy that mark the entire month are increasingly likely for the two weeks the Canlunar and Caplunar overlap.

Angular Neptune always signals extreme excitement: insanity, whether of a major sporting event or of a mob: madness, confusion, uncertainty, disorientation, and a gripping sense of, “So, what happens now?” This disorientation marks these three weeks. The specific causes could be many (see SMA), but expect both mindless herd-torrents and waves of people driven by a shared vision: the politically-inflamed cultural wars continue.

We expect the worst, rather than the best, from this month: Besides the foreground Neptune and Mars, Saturn closely squares the foreground Sun. This anticipates sad events, though it especially puts strong negative pressure, and a negative spotlight, on the president (and, more generally, the government as a whole). The least we expect is gridlock: September is budget month, so expect threats of government shutdown and extreme polarization before a late-hour deal that keeps the lights on and mostly floats last year's budget forward for another year. (After all, there is a close Moon-Jupiter square in the mix to bring them through.)

The week begins with CapQ MC on Saturn and Ascendant on Mars. These will be harsh, challenging days - perhaps the most difficult of the year for those who run the country from Washington. The pressure doesn't lift until 9/20.
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