Astrological Musings — A look ahead to 2024, what is ahead for the USA, and for Joe Biden and Donald Trump (September 17, 2023)
It has been two months since my last show, and I thought that we might want to turn our attention to the astrological indications for the USA in 2024. Of course, we are all very aware that the coming year will be shaped, or maybe better warped by presidential election politics, and so I will also consider the current major party candidates for the presidency, the charts of Joe Biden and Donald Trump.
Given that the election is more than a year away, we certainly know that there will be many twists and turns in the tides of history between now and November 2024, so we simply cannot imagine or foresee at this present time what we will encounter then, and that it may even turn out that only one or neither of these two candidates will end up on the ballot. But for our purposes today, given what we do know, let us see what the year ahead holds generally for the USA, and specifically for Joe Biden and Donald Trump.
Let’s begin with what will certainly be true and consider the chart for the USA. One of the principal cycles that astrologers use to frame the arc of the life of a person, or in this case a country, is to consider the progressed chart, and principally the Sun/Moon cycle from New Moon to Full Moon and then back to the next New Moon, a roughly 29-year cycle.
For the USA, 2024 will be the year for its ninth progressed New Moon. The progressed New and Full Moons should be understood as framing a cycle of unfoldment for any being. Some of the more meaningful pairings of the New and Full Moon for the USA were the 1846 New Moon leading to the Full Moon of 1861, and the US Civil War.
The 1965 New Moon reaching its climax of the Full Moon in 1979, which led to the turning away from the policies and programs of FDR established in the previous New Moon of 1935, and also Lyndon Johnson’s efforts to broaden the civil rights and social programs in 1964-65. This expansion of Civil Rights and of Social Services, were framed and blamed for the inflation and stagnation of the late 1970’s, but that economic malaise was really brought about by the unfunded debts from the years of the Vietnam War. It was this turning that formed the counter-revolution to the New Deal and also to the Great Society programs, pushed by neo-liberals and Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980.
The 1994 New Moon during the Clinton presidency came a climax with the Full Moon of 2008, and another debacle for the USA, where once again the unfunded wars, this time in Iraq and Afghanistan forged a credit market/real estate bubble which resulted in a financial market meltdown, forming what really was the second great Depression for the US at the end of the Bush Presidency.
And now we have the present-day New Moon in 2024, and a new seed of meaning for the USA is being planted once again. What will be the result at the Full Moon in 2038, who can say. What we do know is that just as in 1816, or 1846 or 1935 or 1965, we are at a turning and the tides of history are sweeping through the story of America with the promise of new beginnings…but it is up to every one of us to make the most of this opportunity.
But we also know that this is the first New Moon after the first ever Pluto return in the USA chart. Pluto is located in the second house of the USA, the house of value and the wealth of a nation. Pluto rules the will and the power of Alchemy, and it this spiritual root power which drives the entirety of Creation as the seemingly infinite varieties and hierarchies of energy-forms combine to grow and transform one another, and it is this “engine of creation” which forges the many manifestations of spirit in all the hierarchies of life.
The return of Pluto brings an end to the first cycle of value and of power in the USA. Which means we are equally at the beginning of a new order of value and power too. Indeed, we are at the moment of a major restatement and restructuring of the value of the nation. The value of any nation is fundamentally formed by the power of the people. Yes, it is the Will of the people, and their alchemy of combination, that forms the wealth of the nation.
For the first 250 years of the USA, this “Will of the People”, through their political combinations, that is the exercise of their capacity for self-determination and freedom, was limited by customs and laws. In the very beginning, the will and power for political self-determination was only held by male, white property owners, (and not an insignificant part of the property for some of those was ownership of other human beings!). But slowly through the decades, this right of self-determination by combination was extended through the extension of the right and capability to vote. It has not been a straight line, and there have been advances and retreats, but the struggle for one person/one vote, and the ability to join together for the common good has made progress over the arc of the history of the United States.
After the great expansion of self-determination by emancipation of slaves after the Civil War, the counter-revolution of Jim Crow laws in the south broke the promise of freedom and denied the right to vote to the non-white populace, especially in the South. Then with the granting of suffrage to women, the United States experienced the greatest extension of self-determination in 1920. And after the Civil Rights movement of the 1950’s and 60’s, the re-establishment of the right to vote was extended once again.
But in the past few years, we have seen both a legal and operational push to restrict voting rights and the ability to vote again, especially after the Supreme Court gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act in 2013. The Voting Rights Act had required certain states, those which had a history of suppressing voting rights, and principally in the south, that they were required to submit any changes to voting policies and procedures to the Justice Department for review. As soon as the 2013 ruling came down, many of those states began to restrict the right and ability to vote. That along with other measures by those seeking to reassert or maintain the rule of the minority over the majority has once again put into question exactly what form of democracy will prevail in the USA.
This is why the return of Pluto, and the question of the Will, of who has the power to determine the future of the USA is again driving the story of the USA now. The question is this, will the majority of US citizens be able determine the future of this country or will they not.
So, it would seem quite fitting and timely that the major transit in the chart of the USA in 2024 is Uranus squaring the USA Moon. In a national chart the Moon literally rules “the people”, and each time Uranus makes a significant pass over a point in a chart, roughly every 21-22 years, there is a shock and release of new formations. The most significant alignments of Uranus to the USA Moon for the 20th century until now were the conjunction of 1918, the square of 1941, the opposition of 1961, the square of 1981, and the conjunction of 2003. Now in 2024 we will be at the next waxing square.
The principle behind Uranus holds the process of individuation and the experience of freedom. As it moves through any space in a chart, and over any element in it, it serves to elicit growth through the breaking up of old patterns and meanings. The Uranus square to the USA Moon of 2024 is a waxing square, and if we consider the last two times it aligned with the USA moon, we can see that it has coincided with a tremendous shift in the consciousness and actions of the US population.
The first waxing square was in 1857, which coincided with the division of the people of the country between those who believed in the equality of human beings, and those who believed some humans were destined to be subordinate to others.
The second waxing square was in 1941, and during this period the USA was deeply divided between those who wished to withdraw from a world at war, a existential battle between Fascism and Freedom, a war by dictators and autocrats against those who believed that individual freedom is a right that should be safeguarded and extended to one and all.
So here in 2023 and 2024, as Uranus squares the USA Moon once again, the people of the USA are going to be shocked in order to awaken in order to free us from our self-made limitations. We will need to use the many crises we are confronting to remember the promise of America, which is held in our compact with one another and forged by the integral two-fold principle of individual self-determination which can only be preserved and shaped by our communal responsibilities to one another. That in facing our challenges with and between one another, we choose to turn from the destructive passions of “us and them”, because we agree to be bound by our sacred oath to the essential truth of our constitutional covenant, which is we are seeking to forge a society where all may live freely and fairly with one another, and that this principle must guide every person, and every form of union and community, as we rededicate our purposes to make possible a better future for ourselves and our descendants.
Now as I mentioned earlier, we cannot know for certain what will happen during the next many months leading up to the party’s conventions or who will be on the ballot in November 2024. But presuming that the leading contenders today are the choice, let us briefly consider what is happening in 2024 in the charts of Joe Biden and Donald Trump.
When considering the chart of any individual, one can obtain a very quick sense of what are the major themes by looking at the most powerful transits, those formed by the three outer planets, that are currently in effect for their chart. In 2024, the planets Pluto and Neptune, and Uranus are all making strong transits to both Joe Biden’s and Donald Trump’s charts.
For Biden in 2024, Pluto is squaring his Moon while trining his Neptune. Given the slow-moving nature of Pluto, this double transit is certainly shaping his life in 2023 and 2024. The Moon rules our emotional life, of how we meet and respond to our needs and the needs of others, and most especially concerns those closest to us, our loved ones, our family, and our most important emotional attachments. This Pluto transit is very challenging, but it can lead us onto the path of emotional transformation and integration.
What is being offered by the intense pressure that Pluto always brings is an opportunity for greater insight into Biden’s own emotions and that of his loved ones. Since Pluto rules the Will and the lesson of control, Biden will be challenged to maintain self-control, to turn away from any attempt to control another but instead to help himself and any other find their own true path to self-acceptance and self-control. For me this intense experience is there for us all to see in Biden’s challenge of dealing with his son’s legal troubles. The challenge and opportunity for Biden is to maintain being centered and balanced no matter how challenging the circumstances are now, as he is faced with the test of emotional self-control which will foster ever deeper determination and a resolute spirit.
Meanwhile, Pluto is forming a trine to Biden’s Neptune, and this is a very uplifting and inspiring transit. Neptune is the avatar of Unconditional Love, of spiritual compassion and sacrifice, and Biden’s natal Neptune is located in his 10th house of public life and career. Biden is being offered a gift to explore a deeper meaning for his life, as his spiritual nature is stimulated to explore the true meaning of sacrifice, which means to live a life in a sacred way, where one gives up the lesser to honor the greater within and around us. He will feel and know, at least for himself, that what matters now is more important than himself, and that by following the path of selflessness and sacrifice he is fulfilling his destiny, given his Neptune is in his 10th house of career, that his work in this life is not a job but a calling.
As if to magnify, but equally humble him, the planet Neptune itself now is forming a trine to Biden’s Sun and Jupiter this year, and to the Sun and Venus in 2024. The Sun represents the “self”, and Jupiter rules the moral compass, and Venus rules the experience of value and love. Biden’s experience of himself is being shaped in subtle ways, as he finds a deeper spiritual purpose in his life, a more profound understanding of his moral purpose, and a more inclusive experience of love for others.
Lastly, Uranus is opposite Biden’s Mercury in 2023, but forming a sextile to his Jupiter in 2024. For 2023, that means that Biden’s mind is being stimulated and shook up, as he has been experiencing exciting and stimulating insights, but also finding that communications are very unpredictable, and he will have several shocks that could throw him off balance. The challenge is to bend as others challenge your way of thinking, and to be patient when his insights are not as well received as he thinks they should be. The challenge is to remain open to new ideas and not to jump to conclusions or respond without some time to consider how best to do that.
For 2024, Uranus sextile Jupiter is most definitely a fortunate alignment. Often it brings unexpected and good news to an individual. As opposed to 2023, Biden will be able to cope better with any sudden changes, and even enjoy the opportunity and challenge presented by the unforeseen events that he encounters during 2024.
For Trump, he has Pluto making a two-year aspect of the inconjunct, or 150-degree aspect to his Ascendant for 2023 and 2024. The 150-degree aspect is one of adjustment and attunement, of pain and suffering if one does not adjust, or renewal and healing if one does. Pluto rules the will and the issue of control, and the ascendant is the manner in which we meet each moment in the eternal now. This transit indicates that Trump is experiencing a shift in his all his relationships this year, and specifically in how he experiences the balance of power between himself and others. The test and opportunity of Pluto is always about sacred space and the will, and the question is whether one can work with Pluto to develop ever greater self-control and self-mastery in one’s life, or misunderstand or misuse Pluto and so experience the loss of control and/or of being more controlled by others because of a lack of self-control.
Of course, Trump’s special experience of himself is as being an exceptional man, an iconoclastic avatar that shatters conventions and norms, and him being “out of control” is sort of his brand. Perhaps he will be able to master himself when needed in these two years, or perhaps he will be faced with the truth that those who fail to respect the boundaries of others will face their own loss of self-determination in the end.
At the same time as Pluto is forming the 150-degree aspect to Trump’s Ascendant, Neptune is as well. Now that is some coincidence! (And of course, I do not believe in coincidences). Whereas Pluto is about the Will and one’s self-control, Neptune is the avatar of Unconditional Love and Sacrifice. Neptune is offering to shape Trump’s experience of his relationship with himself and towards others so as to incorporate a greater degree of humility and sacrifice. But if misconstrued and misapplied, if the spiritual message is not expressed as it can and should be, then he will amplify his experience and expression of personality to assume a greater degree of martyrdom. Whether he is able to balance his being exceptional and powerful while also making a true sacrifice, well that will be seen in how well understands the difference between making a sacrifice and being the sacrifice. As most of know by now, Trump does not “do humble”, and he can only exist by being a winner. If he is losing whether in the courts of law or public opinion, he will most likely blame that upon others.
Finally, Uranus, which is called the awakener, the bringer of shocks and earthquakes, whose purpose is to bring challenging tests so that we might be freed from our self-limitations and grow into our fuller potential, is reaching a signature position in Trump’s chart. Uranus in 2024 is moving over Trump’s midheaven, over the point of destiny and into the 10th house of one’s public life. Uranus in a way is “Trump’s planet”, as he is born with Uranus rising before his Sun, and it is the highest planet in his chart and placed in his 10th house. Trump is an icon breaker, and his not-so-secret power is that he is not faking it, he is an unstable, unpredictable, and shocking person. But for any individual, whenever any planet reaches their midheaven, you have reached a moment of reaping what you have sown, and it is not at all certain what will happen. Normally, with Uranus what you expect is not at all likely to happen, and you get the unexpected instead.
When Uranus reaches the 10th house of an individual it will indicate the time that they must break through to a fuller, truer experience of their public life. Uranus brings change, and it is rarely a gentle transition from one form into another, and most individuals describe it as shocking. Since it has reached Trump’s house of his path and purpose, and we must also remember that his path is to be an icon breaker, perhaps he will have to react or act in an even more dramatic manner than ever before. Perhaps he will break through to a freer expression of whatever he is here to be, or perhaps he will face the whirlwind that is of his own making.
Uranus is the avatar of Freedom, and each of us must find that one true spiritual path where our greater freedom can only be made and secured by being the path for more freedom for others too.