Cohen pleads guilty; implicates Trump

(22 August 2018) Yesterday wasn't a good day for President Donald Trump.  His former campaign manager Paul Manafort was found guilty of fraud and his former lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to two felony campaign funding violations.  In his plea deal, Cohen revealed that he had been instructed by Trump to make hush money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal before the 2016 election.  Despite being Trump's once-loyal "fixer", Cohen has abandoned his former boss as he now faces at least five years in prison.

This ratchets up the political pressure on Trump.  The previous hints of criminality in the White House are more difficult to ignore now even for the GOP.  If he weren't the sitting president, Trump would have been indicted along with Cohen.  Moreover, Cohen has indicated that he is prepared to share what he knows about the Russian-Trump contacts during the campaign with the Mueller investigation.  Clearly, things have taken a turn for the worse for Trump at a very vulnerable time as we approach the midterms in November.

The planets clearly reflect Trump's troubles.  It's mostly about Mars right now, as it slowly backs into its direct station on Monday, August 27 at 4 Capricorn.  The problem for Trump is that this slow-moving Mars is closely aspecting his Mars and his Ascendant.  This is a nasty pattern as Mars-type situations will usually put the native back on their heels.  Mars symbolizes conflict, disputes, aggression and frustration.  The Cohen plea deal came just as the transiting Mars-Sun quincunx aligned with his Mars-Ascendant.  This created a surge of Mars energy that not even Trump's exaggerated martial karma could handle.

One of the more fascinating aspects of this event what how Trump's former loyal foot soldier, Michael Cohen, "flipped" in order to protect his own skin when faced with the prospect of a much longer jail sentence.  One can call it a betrayal, although few would blame Cohen given the options in front of him, especially since there is no honour among thieves.  Again, the astrological perspective offers a stunning example of how a relationship between two people can go so wrong, so fast. 

As before, we can see that the upcoming Mars direct station at 4 sidereal Capricorn is the cosmic trigger.  Using the Davison relationship chart for Trump and Cohen (20 July 1956), the Mars is stationing exactly opposite the Sun-Mercury conjunction in the relationship chart.  It is an impressive display of just how clearly these relationship charts can work.  If Mars had been moving forward at normal speed, then it likely only would have manifested in a one-off argument that lasted a day or two.  But the Mars station is a completely different animal. 

Mars has been retrograde for two months and is due to spend four weeks within one degree opposite of that exact alignment with the very core (Sun-Mercury) of the relationship chart.  It doesn't get much nastier than that!  And depending on Cohen's birth time (it is unknown), it is possible that the Moon (4 Sagittarius) was also closely activated by this Mars station at 4 Capricorn.  Saturn was also in this toxic Mars mix at 3 Scorpio. 

Planetary stations often coincide with significant events in a person's life.  When malefics like Mars or Saturn are stationed in hard aspect to a natal planet, serious setbacks and conflict are much more likely.  For example, relationship breakups can occur when Saturn stations opposite or square the Sun or Moon in the chart if other factors are also in a weakened condition.  But when benefics like Jupiter or Venus station in close aspect with the natal Sun or Moon, it is almost certain it will be a time of abundance and happiness.  Jupiter stations in aspect to the Sun or Moon often bring career progress and sometimes new love.  I would say stations -- both direct and retrograde -- are one of astrology's most reliable measurements.

Once Mars begins to resume its forward motion after August 27th, I would focus on the transit of Rahu (North Lunar Node) in November and December in terms of seeing more tension in the Trump-Cohen relationship.  Rahu is due to conjoin the Sun-Mercury conjunction at 4 Cancer and thereby also aspect the natal Saturn at 3 Scorpio.  This is likely to be another time when Cohen and Trump are at odds with each other.