Ever since Trump has fallen behind in the polls, he has claimed the election is rigged against him and has railed against the media, the Washington elite and anybody else who disagrees with him. He has since waffled back and forth on this question but there remains some possibility that he may not concede if he loses. In a worse case scenario, he could even take the matter to the courts and somehow disrupt the transition of power that normally takes between the November election and Inauguration Day on January 20th when the next president is sworn in.
Will Trump concede if he loses? Astrology notwithstanding, life teaches us that betting on the status quo -- that things will probably continue as they are -- is usually the wisest choice. Despite his bluster, the sensible view is that Trump will probably give in to pressure from his campaign and from what is left of the GOP and not legally contest the election results. And yet the planetary alignments on Election Day and on Inauguration Day seem more active than they otherwise should be in a normal election cycle. Given what he has already stated and what the planets may be hinting at, there is reason to think that he could follow through on his threats to challenge the results. While I probably wouldn't bet too much against the status quo, it's interesting to ponder the possible alternatives.
What caught my eye were some similarities between the USA chart this year and in November 2000 when Democrat Al Gore legally contested the results after a very narrow and controversial result in the state of Florida. While some uncertainty remained about the Florida recount given the whole "hanging chad" fiasco, the Supreme Court halted the recount and awarded the election to Republican George W. Bush. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Gore's legal challenge famously occurred when Mercury had stationed direct (S.D.) on the night of the election in a close square aspect with natal Pluto in the USA chart. Mercury symbolizes rationality and calculation while square aspects are often problematic and can indicate a disruption in these processes. Pluto symbolizes power so the Mercury-Pluto aspect suggested a suspension of rationality in the service of power.
But other politically-relevant planets were also afflicted in 2000. Jupiter represents laws and constitutional tradition and it was in a near-exact trine aspect with Ketu, the planet of change. Ketu's penchant for destabilization therefore undermined Jupiter's inclination for adhering to convention. This was one element in the larger picture of the unprecedented Gore-Bush election. The Sun represents the government as a whole and a general sense of authority. This was also afflicted by the conjunction of transiting Rahu within one degree (23 Gemini). Like Ketu, Rahu (North Lunar Node) is disruptive of the status quo and its transits to the Sun can reflect a time when authority is challenged and comes under increased scrutiny. Uranus (23 Capricorn) was also in a close quincunx alignment with the Sun and this may have intensified the power of Rahu to disrupt the normal functioning of government (Sun).
Shorter-term aspects were also in play on the night of the 2000 election. Transiting Venus was opposite Mars indicating an agitated and unsettled state of mind throughout the country. Mars was square the Ascendant and this may also have reflected an unusual and sudden development whereby the country did not have a newly elected government.
Perhaps most crucially, Saturn (4 Taurus) was casting its close third house, 60-degree sextile aspect to Mercury (3 Cancer) on election day. Saturn is a disruptive influence and its aspect here on Mercury as a very appropriate indication of frustration, irrationality, and disappointment. Most fundamentally, Saturn symbolizes loss and its aspect to Mercury in November 2000 represented a temporary loss of rationality and the ability to solve problems logically. The recount was one of the most bizarre and embarrassing episodes in US history as in some polling officials could not even agree if a vote had been cast for Gore or Bush. This was the famous "hanging chad" ballot which seemed to crystallize the arbitrariness of the US electoral system. Saturn's ability to distort and deny upended Mercury's rationality.
This time around we can see some of the same afflictions to Jupiter (law), the Sun (government) and Mercury (rationality). However, they seem to be significantly less intense than they were in 2000. Jupiter (15 Gemini) is again afflicted by Ketu (16 Aquarius) in November and suggests that the constitution and legal conventions may be under greater pressure than normal. By itself, it may not mean that Trump requests a legal challenge. But it does seem to indicate the likelihood that legal traditions are coming under greater scrutiny. It is also possible that much of this transit affliction to Jupiter has been fulfilled here in October as Trump has called into question so much of conventional thinking about law and elections.
And as in 2000, we can see the Sun (22 Gemini) under affliction as Pluto (21 Sagittarius) opposes it while Saturn (21 Scorpio) is in a close 210 degree alignment. While the Saturn affliction is not full-strength (it is not a Vedic aspect) it still matters and should be seen as a time of great stress on US government and its institutions. The fact that both planets are in near-exact alignments to the Sun at the time of the election should be worrying. Of course, it could be just some empty Trump grandstanding against the forces that be, but it could be something a bit more tangible. Again, Venus is opposite Mars showing agitation and a less than contented mood among the population.
And as in 2000, Mercury is afflicted. However, this time around it is afflicted by Mars, not Saturn. Mars brings its own list of problems but since it is a faster moving planet, its damage may be less thoroughgoing. Mars (5 Capricorn) is conjunct the US Pluto (6 Capricorn) and opposite Mercury (3 Cancer). There is definitely a ratcheting up of intensity here on election day, as it there could be confrontation and even violence at some polling places. Some Trump supporters have been calling for careful monitoring of some polling places in order to stop voter fraud. This has already been a flash point of contention in the campaign and could boil over. The placement of Mars opposite Mercury on election day is one more reason why this could be a significant problem. The Mars opposition is actually closer a few days before election day so we could see some tension manifest on that front a bit earlier, such as Nov 3-6. Either way, Mars connotes aggression and assertion and would seem to be unusual and inappropriate at a time of an election.
And yet the absence of any heavy Saturn aspect to Mercury makes me less certain that Trump will actually go ahead an launch a full legal challenge. Given the planetary picture here, it's certainly more possible than in any normal election. Nonetheless, the multiple afflictions to the USA horoscope in early November are cause for some concern. Whatever happens, it seems likely that the rule of law and the stability of the US authority structure will come under increased stress around the time of the election.
The other chart that got me intrigued about a possible Trump challenge is the Inauguration chart for January 20th. Normally, this chart should be mostly unafflicted as the day is ceremonial in nature without much controversy. But this time we see that the USA Mars (0 Gemini) is closely afflicted by both Mars (0 Pisces) and Saturn (29 Scorpio). This double affliction of Mars suggests conflict and controversy are more likely at the time of the inauguration. Mars brings an added risk of violence, of course, so that is also something that we should look out for. But the Saturn affliction is more worrying as it may indicate a deeper antagonism with the whole process of the presidential inauguration.
Given that Trump has already spoken of the possibility of challenging the results and the planets do not look straightforward on election day, it is possible we could see significant protests in Washington on January 20th. We could also see Trump organizing something like a parallel inauguration just to raise the stakes against the incoming Clinton administration that he sees as illegitimate and corrupt. Admittedly, I'm only thinking out loud here but these sorts of scenarios are more likely given these charts. We could also see some non-Trump-related developments around the time of the inauguration that may contain significant Martian elements of conflict and violence either at home or abroad.
Weekly Market Forecast
Stocks have continued their mostly sideways movement for another week. The Dow is down a bit today (Tuesday) but it is actually marginally higher over last week due to Monday's gain as it is holds above the crucial 18,000 level. India's Sensex has largely followed suit as it is still trading above 28,000. In last week's market forecast, I thought we might have seen more late week declines on the Mars-Pluto conjunction but the downside was very modest indeed.
This week offers the possibility of more upside into Wednesday's Sun-Mercury conjunction. However, the late week is more problematic as Mars squares Uranus while Venus approaches its conjunction with Saturn. This conjunction is exact on Sunday the 30th but it is possible it could produce fallout earlier than that. And after that, November looms as Saturn remains in its tense alignment with Rahu and Neptune.
For more details and analysis on market trends for this week, this month and this year, please check out my weekly MVA Investor Newsletter. The newsletter is published every Saturday and includes extended discussion of US and Indian stock markets, as well as gold, oil and major currencies.