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Birth of a President

Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the US, is 71 years old on June 14th this year (born June 14, 1946 at 10:54am in Jamaica, New York). So, this seems like a good time to take a look at this man's astrological chart.

With all the media ridicule, hype, hysteria and fear-mongering, it is easy to forget that President Trump is actually a human being, born an innocent child, just like you and me.

“Beneath his bluff exterior, I always sensed a hurt, incredibly vulnerable little boy who just wanted to be loved.” (article by Tony Schwartz, who helped Trump write The Art of the Deal)

I recently read this very insightful article by Dr. Gabor Mate, in which he discusses the reasons underlying some of Trump's behaviours: “What we perceive as the adult personality often reflects compensations a helpless child unwittingly adopted in order to survive. Such adaptations can become wired into the brain, persisting into adulthood. Underneath all psychiatric categories Trump manifests childhood trauma.”

Just like the rest of us, President Trump's childhood experiences helped to shape the personality that the press now labels with “psychiatric categories” such as “Textbook narcissistic personality disorder,” or “a severe case of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder”.

Dismissing him (or anyone else) with such labels keeps us from feeling compassion for a fellow human being and certainly does nothing to help us understand his behaviour.

Dr. Mate explains how behaviour patterns are compensations: “Not paying attention, tuning out, is a way of coping with stress or emotional hurt. Narcissistic obsession with the self compensates for a lack of nurturing care. Grandiosity covers a deeply negative sense of self-worth. Bullying hides an unconscious conviction of weakness. Lying becomes a mode of survival in a harsh environment. Misogyny is a son’s outwardly projected revenge on a mother who was unable to protect him.”

As a holistic health care practitioner, I often see in my adult clients the unconscious “compensations a helpless child unwittingly adopted in order to survive”. Only when we address the early trauma and unconscious conditioning does real healing begin.

As an astrologer, I see in the birth chart the potential for both the 'positive' and 'negative' expression of what is represented by the planets. Like a packet of seeds, the environment in which those seeds land, how well they are 'fed and nurtured' will determine how they grow and develop. So it is with us and our human potential.

The science of epigenetics confirms that our genes do not determine whether or not we develop certain diseases/disorders (physical, emotional, mental) as it is the environmental influences that determine whether genetic potentials are switched on or off, how our genetic potential is expressed.

President Trump has some extremely interesting features in his birth chart which can help to explain the image, persona and behaviour that we see. But we need to look beneath the superficial appearances and behaviours to understand the man.

The famous 'mane' of hair, love of gold and lavish surroundings are all somewhat stereotypical of a Leo Ascendant (rising sign). Leo is the sign of royalty, whose symbol is the Lion, 'king of the beasts'. He is likely would prefer to be a King rather than a President.

In fact, one of the outstanding features in the chart of 'The Donald' is the position of 'The Royal Star', Regulus (also known as the 'Star of Kings' and the 'Heart of the Lion'), at the exact degree of his Ascendant. This Fixed Star is said to bestow many gifts on an individual, promising power, success, honour, charisma, wealth, and special talents.

However, there is one caveat: “If, out of anger or hurt, the person takes revenge, then as promised with all Royal Stars, there is a falling from grace”.

Unfortunately, judging from his patterns of behaviour, Trump is carrying considerable anger and hurt from his early childhood.

When well nurtured, some of the qualities of the Leo Ascendant can be warmth, charm, childlike playfulness, healthy self-esteem, inner confidence (royal bearing) and a healthy sense of pride....the positive expression of Leo.

The Leo energy is more likely to express as childishness, arrogance and a need to always be the centre of attention when the early environment has not been supportive and nurturing, when “Narcissistic obsession with the self compensates for a lack of nurturing care”.

According to Tony Schwartz, "The Trump I first met in 1985 had lived nearly all his life in survival mode. By his own description, his father, Fred, was relentlessly demanding, difficult and driven." As a result, "This narrow, defensive outlook took hold at a very early age, and it never evolved."

This would be further exacerbated by the planet Mars, (named after the god of war) which was rising in Leo just twenty minutes before his birth, making it quite natural that Mr. Trump's approach to life would tend to be aggressive, competitive, combative, as if every encounter is a battle to be won. Everything seems to be about 'winning'.

This placement of Mars indicates the potential for strong leadership ability, but his strongly defensive attitude suggests that he is still unconsciously reacting to 'childhood trauma'. Like many of us, his extremely reactive behaviour is his way of protecting himself, a coping mechanism.

"Trump’s worldview was profoundly and self-protectively shaped by his father.......Trump felt compelled to go to war with the world. It was a binary, zero-sum choice for him: You either dominated or you submitted." (Schwartz)

So, it seems that the influence of Trump's father brought out the most primitive expression of his natal Mars....a powerful survival instinct where survival means winning, or being seen as a winner, no matter what.

This seems to have been reinforced by the his older brother's inability to live up to their father's expectations. He died of alcoholism at 43.

Donald has said of his brother, Fred, “He would have been an amazing peacemaker if he didn’t have the problem, because everybody loved him...He’s like the opposite of me.”

With Mars on his Ascendant, Donald was born a warrior not a 'peacemaker', but his brother's example could only contribute to Donald's belief that one must be tough to survive.

One might think that having won the biggest 'prize' there is, the Presidency, would be enough, but I believe that nothing can ever be enough because, like so many of us, President Trump suffers from a lack of early nurturing and connection which has created enormous neediness.

What we feel is lacking on the inside can never be filled from the outside. So, no matter how much money he might have, or how elevated his social position, he will want more. But no amount of money, attention or success can compensate for the lack of early nurturing.

Mr. Trump clearly loves to be the centre of attention and certainly has a talent for playing to the media. He received 'the lion's share' of media attention and coverage, far more than any other candidate during the entire election, and continues to dominate much of the media's attention now that he is in the Oval office.

During the campaign, Mr. Trump drew some attention when he tweeted a quote that happened to be from Mussolini (whose Sun and Mercury were in Leo): “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep”.

With Leo so prominent in his chart, it is very easy to see why he thought this was such a great quote!

The Sun is the planetary ruler of Leo and its placement in the President's chart is also very significant and quite unusual in that he was born during a Total Lunar Eclipse.

His Gemini Sun (conjunct the North Node and Uranus) in his 10th house, further emphasizes the importance of career, status and being a public figure, always in the limelight. Directly across from that Sun, his Sagittarius Moon (conjunct the South Lunar Node) in the 4th house strongly emphasizes the powerful subconscious influence of his earliest conditioning, home and family, his roots... which drive that need 'to be somebody', to achieve notoriety and be seen as significant.

The planetary ruler of his career house is Venus which is closely conjunct Saturn in Cancer (the sign ruled by the Moon). Cancer is a very emotionally sensitive sign and this Venus-Saturn conjunction gives us a clue as to why he is so 'thin-skinned'. The symbol for Cancer is the crab with a hard shell to protect the soft, vulnerable insides.

His Venus-Saturn conjunction also strongly suggests the lack of nurturing love from the parents, leading to a lack of self-love and a huge tendency to overcompensate, to prove himself through his position in the world and his accumulation of up to the materialistic values taught to him by his parents.

With his Sagittarius Moon (emotional needs) opposite his Gemini Sun (ego) both finding an outlet through his prominent Leo Mars, he is a big talker and his favourite topic appears to be himself, what grand things he has done and will do. "Grandiosity covers a deeply negative sense of self-worth".

Because of his intense neediness, his intense desire to be seen as 'a winner', the truth of what he says is less important to him than the impression he can make and the attention he can get. "Lying becomes a mode of survival in a harsh environment."

“Becoming a genuine individual requires learning the oppositions within oneself. Those who fail or refuse to face the oppositions within have no choice but to find enemies to project upon. Enemy simply means a "not-friend;" unless a person deals with the not-friend within they require enemies around them.”― Michael Meade

A biographer quoted Trump as saying, “I don’t like to analyze myself because I might not like what I see.” In my experience that is how many people feel and I suspect this may be one of the most honest and revealing things he has ever said.

Gemini and Sagittarius can both be somewhat restless and I have read that President Trump seems to have a difficult time sitting still, that he is always 'fidgeting'. I suspect that if he was born in more recent times, he would have been diagnosed as having ADHD. His Sun sign (Gemini) ruler is Mercury which is in Cancer, indicates that emotions can cloud his thinking. It also reinforces a very powerful early life influence on his thinking, processing of information and communicating. “Not paying attention, tuning out, is a way of coping with stress or emotional hurt."

From an astrological perspective, I would say that he has a highly sensitive nervous system, as shown by the conjunction of Uranus with his Gemini Sun. This also suggests a huge need for variety and stimulation as befits his Sun-Moon (Gemini-Sagittarius) combination. That, coupled with his aggressive Mars in Leo approach to everything (and everyone) would make him quite a 'handful' as a growing child, and would have required the right kind of nurturing, loving attention and discipline very early on to develop and channel such strong energies in a positive direction.

Instead, according to one biographer, "his exasperated parents finally sent him off to a military academy. There, grown men whom Trump described as drill sergeants who would "smack the hell out of you," taught him that adults play by bully-boy rules, too."

Such an environment could only serve to reinforce the early conditioning from his father and add more fuel to young Donald's already overly-aggressive, fiery Mars. Certainly, being sent away would have exacerbated his feelings of being unlovable/unloved and needing to protect/defend himself.

“Mr. Trump’s advisers say that his frenzied if admittedly impulsive approach appeals to voters because it shows that he is a man of action........Yet some of his own advisers also privately worry about his penchant for picking unnecessary fights and drifting off message. They talk about taking away his telephone or canceling his Twitter account, only to be dismissed by a president intent on keeping his own outlets to the world.” (from article in NY times)

With Mars on his Ascendant, he was born to be a man of action. However, his impulsiveness and aggression tend to come out through more verbal than physical attacks, which fits with his Gemini Sun....and we have seen several of his 'Twitter wars' already.

The brevity and immediacy of Twitter is really the perfect medium for someone with such an impulsive, energetic planetary set up, so I am not surprised that it seems to be the President's favoured method of communicating.

He certainly would never allow anyone to take away his phone or cancel his Twitter account! I'm sure anyone who tried would hear the famous phrase, "you're fired!"

Communication is extremely important to Gemini...especially with the Sagittarius Moon. He is a certainly talker...though not one for scripted speeches! With his chart, he is much more comfortable speaking 'off the cuff'....often saying and doing things that might (intentionally or unintentionally) shock or upset people.

Uranus is a planet that signifies revolution, rebellion and upheaval. Since Uranus is so closely conjunct President Trump's Sun, he tends to stir things up, to do or say the unexpected, and as we have all seen, he can be quite erratic. During the primaries, Senator Sanders talked a great deal about starting a revolution. President Trump, with his prominent Uranus, may well be the one to spur such a revolution, whether intentionally or not. We are already seeing some of that in resistance movements arising in reaction to some of his decisions, such as dropping out of the Paris Accord.

The energy of Uranus acts as 'the awakener', shaking us out of our complacency. People certainly seem to be much more awake now to what the White House is doing than they were during the previous administrations. Actions that were taken by previous Presidents, executive orders signed, countries being bombed, drone strikes, etc., received little or no attention. But that has certainly changed since Trump became President.

There are some very interesting connections between President Trump's chart and the chart for the birth of the US. His Sun-Uranus is in the same place as the US Mars which his Moon opposes. At the same time, his Mars-Ascendant oppose the US Moon. To me, this 'double-whammy', reciprocal Moon-Mars oppositions helps to explain how he taps into the populist anger in the country. He catalyzes or reflects the anger, frustration and rage in various segments of the population.

President Trump's 'shadow' is reflected in the collective 'shadow' of the nation and vice versa. This makes him an ideal scapegoat, someone on whom many people will want to blame all the country's problems.

But no president can solve (or cause) a country's problems.....that is always up to the collective will of the people.

This president, like all others who have played that role, is just a man, a flawed human being, like you and me.

[In an earlier post, I discussed the astrological reasons that this is, indeed, the time for a new American revolution. If you are interested in seeing how the planetary cycles tie into the historical periods of the 1930s, 1960s and the present, as well as the major planetary event in the US 'birth' chart that signals a time of rebirth.]

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