Few individuals divide opinion and promote disagreement as intensely as Donald Trump. Americans in particular, are deeply divided on his merits, while, for the most part, the rest of the world looks on, perplexed. He is a man of singular views, voiced unreservedly and this is possibly the major driver of both his popularity and his censure from those onlookers. For the right-leaning, he is hailed as a kind of saviour, selflessly renouncing the ease of private life, for the slings and arrows of public service, in order to better the lives of ordinary Americans betrayed by a series of professional politicians. To the left, he is a narcissistic, selfish misogynist; a dangerous, corrupt demagogue whose primary motivation for seeking office is to assuage his all-consuming thirst for attention and admiration.
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But which is he really? And can a study of his astrology help us to determine the quality of the man behind the heartfelt furore of differences? Well, you and I know that it can, but it might not give the clear-cut answers that we are looking for, because one of the key conundrums of understanding in the astrological view is that we cannot read spiritual intention in the chart. Charlie Chaplin who brought joy to millions was born a day apart from Adolf Hitler. The astrological map of the soul therefore can only truly delineate intention when an awareness of an individual’s level of consciousness is appreciated.
If it is true that ‘ye shall know them by their fruits’, then it will be a hung jury, for Donald Trump has clearly made some dubious decisions and pronouncements; but at the same time, one would be hard pushed to definitively ascribe these to definitively evil intent. Indiscretions of youth, immaturity, a poor attitude certainly, but many of the more extreme accusations levelled at Trump are, as yet, unproven.
And right away, we become aware of a fundamental tenet of the astrological paradigm, because a person’s identity in the world is a true synthesis of their solar and 10th house characteristics. The Sun represents that ideal self that we project outward, while the 10th determines something of the manner in which we are perceived by the world; it is the domain of our reputation. When, as in Trump’s case, the Sun falls into the 10th, then we have an individual whose self-ideal, is that of a man of reputation. Contrast this with Hilary Clinton’s Sun in the 1st, a woman whose identity is that of a leader. Immediately we can appreciate a contrast of motives. Consider Obama’s Sun in the 6th, a self-identified technocrat, intellectual and hard worker.
So, we understand already that Trump wants to be respected, and this is his Sun in the 10th, the subjective self-ideal, but the 10th also operates through the prism of every onlooker’s own subjectivity. In the sign of Gemini, this Sun is perceived from dual perspectives. He quite clearly divides opinion: life imitates (ch)art. He is seen as many things (Gemini) to many people (10th), and that is precisely his identity (Sun).
But this is only identity 101. The qualities of the Solar self are manifold. Consider that other President with an image problem: Richard Nixon. Nixon’s Sun alone was in Capricorn and the 5th. Many believe that Nixon’s greatness was lost to his folly. His foreign policy achievements were remarkable, and he was known by those with some personal connection as a creative innovator. He was more liberal than his critics might allow; he desegregated Southern US schools and ended the Vietnam draft, both acts promoting the 5th house ideal of liberty. He created more national parks than any other president before or since, and parks are singularly 5th house in scope. His reputation on the other hand is starkly entangled by Pluto, casting a long shadow from his 10th house, and again, from Gemini, dividing public opinion. This in turn exacerbated his solar crisis. With Sun squaring Orcus and opposing Neptune, it’s little surprise that he became identified as ‘Tricky Dicky’.
The important observation therefore is that the totality of our solar identity must be understood. But even this cannot happen without an appreciation of the roots of our being, and that always involves our heritage; our parents, or primary caregivers. Quite apart from the obvious connection that our same-sex parent is our most cogent role-model, we begin our lives deeply affectable by the subtle impressionism of our environment. The child becomes father to the man. This is a process that is immutable but subtle, and it explains why the Sun is a masculine directive. Solar identity is more complex and intangible for a female chart, but it still informs key, profound ideals of what a man should be, and what a woman’s own masculine quality should be, because of course we all live in and breathe an atmosphere entire of gender-fluid forces.
And so, first we encompass the many participants of Trump’s identity, then we go back and place them in the context of the child. This is such an important process in any astrology that you come to contemplate. “Where does this come from?” is the best question you can ever ask to truly gain insight into how an entity has become what it is. You cannot make a loaf of bread without knowing the ingredients. You cannot transform the dough without understanding the temperature and time required for baking.
What then are the ingredients? We already understand the Sun by sign and house, but here too we have – within 5 degrees – North Node, Orcus, Uranus, the Transneptunian theoretical Vulcanus and the asteroid Atropos 273. Sun opposes Moon, sextiles Mars and trines Jupiter. Sun is ruled by Mercury in the 11th, square Neptune and Ixion. Here are many ingredients, so in order that we can begin to appreciate how they have combined, we go back.
Fred Trump, Donald’s father was fiercely driven to become established, and wealthy. A carpenter and draftsman by trade, he had built 20 houses by the age of 20 and pioneered the concept of a self-service supermarket. During the Second World War he built barracks for the US Navy, and after the war he built middle-income housing for returning veterans, but his true wealth came from the construction – on a vast scale – of low-income housing which he rented to the poor and disaffected, mostly migrant populations of New York. Fred Trump amassed a fortune in real-estate and was driven to speculate and build his wealth from a variety of sources. He worked every day of the week, never took time off and seemed to be almost fanatically focused on building his property empire.
This obsessive identity immediately brings to mind the image of Orcus – Sun. The natural domain of Orcus is in the opposite sign of Sagittarius whose proclivity toward forthright, positive self-expression is the most comfortable medium for authenticity and sincerity in the zodiac. Gemini has a facile tendency that does not sit well with the uncompromising and implacable core of the Orcan directive. But that fanatical drive and single-mindedness still applies of course, only now the desire is for quantity, rather than quality, for more being more, whereas less is too little, a failure.
Whenever Trump speaks about his father, it is with enormous enthusiasm and respect. He clearly idolised Fred and ascribed to his values of hard work, determination to succeed and enrich himself and his family. As a footnote to this intense focus, note that Donald’s Sun is in partile conjunction with Fred’s Pluto! The danger of Gemini Orcus though, is that Orcus makes the difficult qualities of its sign, extreme and unrelenting. Here the lightness that can be the delight and fascination of a Gemini placement, becomes fanatic. This is frequently interpreted by onlookers as a near pathological superficiality and lack of meaningful sincerity. Nobody is really sure if Trump is sincere, and many are unconvinced that he is even able to be sincere.
If we add Uranus into this picture, we see a very detached style that can be devoid of empathy. The Moon opposes, exacerbating the isolation (opposes Orcus) of his feeling nature. Then we add in Vulcanus, which adds potency and force to the entire, making this stellium vigorous in the extreme. This then tells us something about Fred Trump. He was truly a force to be reckoned with, and he was the Sun in the young Donald’s sky. His father’s beliefs, perspectives, ways of being, approach to life became the cornerstone of the future President’s worldview and image for himself. A dealmaker, a businessman, an irresistible force majeure, driven, dynamic, unstoppable.
Sun is also conjunct Atropos, a little-known asteroid which is named after the last of the three Moirai, or fates. These three daughters of Erebus (darkness) and Nyx (the night) were revered and feared in equal measure by the ancient Greeks, but none were as feared as Atropos. It was she that held the shears which were used to cut the thread of life, after her sisters had spun the thread and measured its length. Atropos brings a fated quality to the life, and a ruthless streak to the identity. Atropos rules over endings and conclusions, what happens at the last. When we put this concept together with the sudden nature of Uranus, the implacable nature of Orcus and the overwhelming force of Vulcanus, we can see that Trump will be identified – in some way – with how he comes to an end, either in his role as President (10th house) or as a man (Sun), but most likely both.
The key insight here, is that the Sun and the Midheaven (10th House) both convey important ideas about the person, but most of all, the identity we strive to project is not going to entirely direct the manner in which we are perceived. We have all felt the frustration of being misunderstood and this entirely universal human experience is, at least in part, a conundrum engendered by these competing imperatives.
And this is only the start. We look at his Sun and the connections thereto and already we glean volumes! What about his well-publicised issues with women? Is he truly a misogynist, a ‘hater’ of women? What really makes him tick? All of these questions can be reframed, contemplated and understood in the context of his astrology.
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