Inaugurations are made for divination. The Latin word augur—meaning “to read the signs”—lies at the heart of the word “inauguration.” This ritualized ceremony recalls a time when humanity more consciously mingled its fate with gods, when in ancient Rome, diviners routinely chose auspicious dates for its leaders to claim their power. Augury helped the incoming administration gather celestial blessings and momentum.
When dates are fixed (as is true of our inaugurations), diviners wait until the ceremonial moment. We read the signs during the inauguration to see what the heavens are thinking. January 20, 2017 isn’t a date an astrologer would have picked. The two most traditionally malevolent energies of the horoscope—Mars and Saturn—are locked in a challenging square. Of this combination, Ebertin says:
Harmful or destructive. Concentrated energy either outwardly expressed as violence or inwardly shown as destructive power, hardness, harshness, or bitterness. … Tests of strength, disputes, separations.
I thought of this on the night before the inauguration, watching Trump and Melania make their entrance at the Lincoln Memorial inaugural concert; they descended the long concrete steps (Melania in heels) to a Rolling Stones song, Heart of Stone. This is a ballad about a cold-hearted man who likes to knock women over and make them cry.
Diviners, of course, prefer natural signs. As inauguration day approached, and the Mars/Saturn aspect became exact, what were the auguries? The ancients would have scanned the skies for lightning, thunderclaps, or the flight and cries of birds. I tend to find my omens in the daily news. I learn a lot about astrology this way. Rather than predicting what something will bring, I notice what actually happens when it arrives.
Sometimes omens are bizarre events (like the birth of a white buffalo or an eight-legged calf). More typically they show themselves in archetypal patterns. On the morning the Mars/Saturn square was exact, two powerful images appeared on the news, suggesting an archetype that is very familiar to all Tarot readers.
First, in an Italian ski resort at the foot of the Gran Sasso Mountain, after a series of earthquakes, an avalanche buried a four-star hotel, killing at least fifteen people. Then, in Iran, fire struck the iconic Plasco Building (once the tallest in Tehran). Onlookers watched in horror as the historic structure collapsed and killed thirty firefighters. It was reminiscent of the Twin Tower disaster and the Tower Card.
Appropriately, this is the Mars card of the Tarot. It depicts a burning tower toppling against a black sky, as people look on in horror and others fly through the air. “It’s the end of the world!” this card screams. In the weeks leading up to the inauguration, the Tower Card has been rippling through the national conversation. Among many Hillary supporters, Trump’s election has felt like the end of the world. Some saw Russian interference in the US election as a form of terrorism equivalent to the Twin Towers being brought down on 9/11.
To link The Tower to the inauguration, however, we’d want to see this archetype express itself during the very ceremony. Would someone take a tumble on the dais? Would one or more parade bleachers collapse? No. The Tower arrived in the president’s own speech. Its words, (ironically) crafted (or so Trump tweeted) at his luxury resort Mar-a-Lago, are the darkest in presidential memory.
America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay… rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation… mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities… we all bleed the same red blood…. The American carnage stops right here and stops right now.
Trump’s rhetoric seemed like an odd choice, given Trump inherits a US economy that performed better under Obama than it did under all but one of his five most recent predecessors. But these are strange times. Whatever side you’re on, we can all agree, that the political system hasn’t been working well for anyone except the elite and powerful. Democracy herself is the tumbling Tower. Trump—who bears Mars on his Ascendant and who has an obvious love for towers—is an oddly brilliant standard-bearer for the times. The world is ending. What’s called for now is imagination. After the Tower falls, a new world begins.
The Moon was in Mars-ruled Scorpio for the inauguration and for what happened on the day after. Scorpio rules power, destruction, and rebirth. The Tower card looks scary when it appears in a reading. But in most cases, the worst has already happened. Typically, the Tower is already in flames for the person who pulls this card. The blessing is recognizing this. It happened. And now keep watching for signs. On the day after the inauguration, there was a new omen–not blood red, but pink. We saw a pink sea of people in cities around the world gathering as advocates for sacred feminine values like compassion, social inclusion, and women’s health. Daughters, mothers, sons and fathers marched, declaring themselves protectors for the rights of all life on this planet.
Often the world brings something better than our dreams. Instead of electing the first female president to lead us—we empowered ourselves to lead. This is the Aquarian Age. Democracy herself woke up through us. The people are now engaged. We’re paying attention. We’re gathering locally. We’re calling congress. The world transformed on Saturday, January 21. Something confident and exuberant rippled through the compassionate collective. If you felt this, and still feel it, amplify this vibration. Let it continue to sound throughout the energetic community WE inaugurated that day. We will need this nectar in the weeks and months ahead as each of us keeps marching. Let’s protect democracy and the Great Mother’s values—Moon values—in this new world, where we hope everyone will feel welcome.
As a start, you can collect the phone numbers of your senators and representatives, state and national. This info is easy to Google and calling has an impact. The staff notices when the phones keep ringing. Call regularly. Claim your power. Act.