Trump by Numbers
A Demonstration of Arithmology in the Birthchart
unpublished / written January 2017
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Mathematicians and scientists routinely use numbers to measure the quantifiable parameters of the so-called objective world, never imagining that numbers could serve any other purpose. Yet some form of number was known to exist before mathematics or science, hinting at an a priori function more fundamental than these applications. This deeper sense of number was discussed by Carl Jung, who said (1):
I incline to the view that numbers were as much found as invented, and that in consequence, they possess a relative autonomy analogous to that of the archetypes. They would then have, in common with the latter, the quality of being pre-existent to consciousness, and hence, on occasion, of conditioning it rather than being conditioned by it . . . Accordingly, it would seem that natural numbers have an archetypal character.
Astrology and the Archetypal Power of Numbers
The archetypal sense of numbers was also known to Pythagoras, who developed it into a cogent system of spiritual understanding, which integrated Egyptian, Babylonian, Chaldean, Phoenician, Brahmanic, Hebrew, Greek, Zoroastrian, and Hyperborean (pre-Celtic British) mystery teachings, then passed it on through a succession of torch bearers, including Plato. Pythagoras’ teachings about number were written down by Neoplatonist teacher Iamblichus of Chalcis (c. 245 – c. 325 CE) in a book called The Theology of Arithmetic: On the Mystical, Mathematical and Cosmological Symbolism of the First Ten Numbers, translated into English by Robin Waterfield. This work is generally believed to be an accurate reflection of Pythagoras’ teachings and, in turn, became the source for my musings about number in Astrology and the Archetypal Power of Numbers, Part One.
Pythagorean number theory – called arithmology by those who practiced it – was not, strictly speaking, presented in an astrological context by Pythagoras and his followers. Instead, each number was associated with multiple deities from Greek mythology, as well as numerous secondary characters, and by correlation with the planetary references of astrology. Both mythology and astrology were part of a mythopoetic worldview prevalent during the time of Pythagoras, and his theories were inescapably marinated in this worldview. Within this larger context, arithmology considers the metaphorical implications of the mathematical properties of number, and has identifiable mythological and astrological correlates.
Although few astrologers would reference arithmological principles in describing how astrology works, they are nonetheless inherent in the astrological language. When astrologers speak of the twelve signs, the twelve houses, the four elements, the four angles of the chart, the three modalities, the two polarities – masculine and feminine – and so on, they are speaking about numbers in an implied arithmological sense. In addition, there are less obvious arithmological associations to be made when considering the duration of planetary cycles, the harmonic division of the whole circle that gives rise to aspects between planets, the overall shape and structure of the whole birthchart and the association of various planets with various deities through which various numbers are evoked. Astrology and the Archetypal Power of Numbers, Part Two, I have made these underlying arithmological principles more explicit.
The Archetypal Power of Numbers Applied
Astrology and the Archetypal Power of Numbers, Part Two contains numerous examples and case studies in which arithmological principles are revealed to be at work within a birthchart. In my book, I speak of each number as being the archetypal principle at work within a Number Realm ascribed to it, in order to make the point that the presence of the numbers – like the presence of Spirit, or the One, to which they refer – is protean and multidimensional. The Pythagoreans considered the numbers (and by extension the Number Realms they occupy) not as sequential, but as co-existing in space and time, reflecting various dimensions of the One simultaneously at play within our individual and collective experience.
Having said that, in each given birthchart, and at each moment of time, various dimensions of number, and the Number Realms that encompass them, come to the fore, while others recede into the background. When three or more planets that can be associated with a given number come together by mutual aspect in an identifiable astrological pattern, they point to an identifiable Number Realm signature.
Given that the numbers in general represent an ongoing panoply of evolutionary forces that shape and reshape the world in which we live, we might then understand individuals from this perspective as more or less conscious agents, in whom the Number Realms that are primary find a human vehicle for expression. Whether or not we are aware of playing a larger function in the grand scheme of things, the potential – encoded in the arithmology of the birthchart – is always there. Certainly when someone rises to power as a world leader, or plays a prominent role in changing the culture in some way, a strong Number Realm signature can tell us something about the nature of the evolutionary function a given soul is playing on the larger world stage.
In my book, I elaborate the astrological mechanisms by which various Number Realms find expression in various souls whose charts have strong Number Realm signatures. For purposes of this article, I will just mention a few of the most important principles that are relevant to an arithmological discussion of the chart at hand. Having just finished this book as Donald Trump was being elected President in the US, I was naturally curious to apply what I had learned to his chart (not included in my book). In this article, I will share some of this exploration with you. A full explanation of Trump’s – or any chart – in terms of numbers would be beyond the scope of this article, but I at least hope to demonstrate the value of this approach through a few poignant observations.
In particular, I will begin by simply noting that, by far, the strongest Number Realm signature in Donald Trump’s chart points to the Realm of Two, and thus as he moves into position as US president, Donald Trump can be considered an evolutionary representative of and agent in this Number Realm. In this article, I will discuss what this means, then demonstrate how Trump’s Realm of Two signature is constructed astrologically and show how various dimensions of the signature are expressed in Trump’s political personality.
Trump in the Realm of Two
The Realm of Two is where we must come to terms with the duality inherent within the embodied world. Here we encounter all the opposites – light and dark, male and female, hot and cold, self and other – and must enter into relationship with everything we think we are not. In Jungian terms, the Realm of Two is where we engage the shadow – all those places within ourselves that are wounded, rejected, judged unworthy, denied or neglected – in order to reclaim our essential Wholeness, or the Unity of the One. Collectively, the Realm of Two is where we must come to terms with the apparent existence of evil and our fears of the Other in all its many forms and guises.
Here, it is not hard to see how a man elected largely because of fear and mistrust of entrenched government bureaucracies, Wall Street insiders, the loss of white male privilege to women and minorities, Islamic terrorism, and the immigration of foreigners who steal American jobs, might represent the Realm of Two, where such divisions between Us and Them are the central issue.
Along what I call the path of equality through the Realm of Two – where both sides of any polarity are recognized to be essential to the integrity of the whole – co-creative synergy, in which the whole is more than the sum of its parts is possible. Trump does not appear to be walking this path. The other possibility in the Realm of Two is the path of inequality – which generally leads to conflict, catastrophe, pain and suffering, and a general backslide into the Realm of Zero, experienced as an archetypal Abyss.
An article in the BBC news (2) references the “paranoid style in American politics” coined by the late historian Richard Hofstadter to describe Trump’s likely approach to his new position of power. The paranoid style generally demonizes an Enemy – often justified by the liberal adoption of conspiracy theory – then rallies forces of opposition to it. The author notes that this particular style in the use of power is a theme pervasive throughout US history – from the genocidal treatment of indigenous Americans, to the Salem witch trials, to the slavery of black African Americans culminating in Civil War, to the incarceration of Japanese Americans in World War II, to the McCarthy era and Cold War fear of communists, to the post-911 War on Terror. In short, everywhere throughout our history where we have projected our collective shadow unto some foreign or domestic enemy, we have collectively stepped into a path of inequality through the Realm of Two. Donald Trump’s election is another step along this path, outcome yet to be determined, but with a bit of archetypal handwriting already on the wall.
As Mother Jones puts it (3):
Never before has a presidential campaign, from its paranoid messaging to its white nationalist backers, been rooted so deeply in the fever swamps of the right-wing psyche . . . Trump has embraced and normalized the political fringe in unprecedented ways – and that could have far-reaching effects.
The Realm of Two and the Full Moon Eclipse
Trump’s Realm of Two pattern begins with the fact that he was born at the Full Moon in Sagittarius during a total lunar eclipse (with Sun and Moon conjunct his lunar Nodes) (4).
Full Moon Eclipse in the Realm of Two
The opposition – or 2nd harmonic – in general can be an indicator of Realm of Two activity, but more to the point in this instance is the fact that this particular opposition takes place between Sun and Moon. The arithmologists associated the Realm of Two with a broad pantheon of goddesses generally those subsumed under the astrological auspices of the Moon – and the archetypal Feminine (feelings, sensory experiences, intuition and imagination, caring, compassion, family, community, ecological sensibilities, attunement to the rhythms of the natural world, and the Feminine mysteries of birth, life, death and rebirth).
The lunar Dyad in turn was contrasted to the solar Monad. The lunar Dyad was understood by the arithmologists to be necessary to the furthering of evolutionary purposes, since the solar Monad – or the One – could not become the Many except through the Two. Yet, the patriarchal arithmologists did not entirely trust it, because it was not only a source of embodied life, but also at times a dark force capable of inducing mystical entrancement, irrational lunacy, capricious unpredictability, and even death. Although necessary to further the process that led out of the Abyss into the possibility of becoming, the Moon also was thought to embody a shadowy side, a tricksterish malevolence, and a subterranean power to be feared.
These fears were heightened during the Full Moon, when the power of the Moon was at its peak. The Full Moon – marked astrologically by opposition between Sun and Moon – has long been associated with both poetic inspiration and madness; illumination and delusion; magic and sorcery; mystical attainment and shamanic dismemberment.
An eclipsed Full Moon was even more terrifying, since to the primal reptilian brain within all of us, it represents a withdrawal of the benevolent life force. Although we scoff at such a notion today, for many indigenous peoples, and to the arithmological imagination capable of associating the Moon with goddesses like Hecate, Demeter, and Artemis (5):
. . . the abrupt blackening of the Moon meant . . . that the natural order had been violated and life was doomed . . . In earlier times, especially for lunar cultures, an eclipse would have meant – if only for a few minutes – that the water and food of life were gone, as well as the hope of life renewed.
This withdrawal of the benevolent life force harbored by the Moon was, at the same time, accompanied by a kind of bittersweet relief in the psyche of an arithmologist ambivalent about the Moon, since on a primal level, it also meant a temporary extinguishing of the Moon’s power to do harm, as well as good.
Trump’s Attitude Toward Women
Of course, these descriptions reference what most contemporary people would consider the irrational vestiges of a primitive mindset no longer applicable to life in the 21st century. And yet here we are, still reeling from another stolen election in which a woman, feared and hated by many, won the popular vote by over 2 million, yet lost the election to a misogynistic “pussy grabbing man (who) demonstrated over and over again that he loathes powerful women who do not bend to his will” (6).
Although not all women voted against Trump, it is likely that women will not fare well under his administration. He has threatened to roll back Roe v Wade, repeal the Affordable Health Care Act – which despite its flaws has made it possible for many women to obtain free or low cost contraception, as well as general reproductive and other health care. In addition, he has boasted about committing sexual assault, called women “pigs” and “dogs,” and said that, “putting a wife to work is a very dangerous thing”. As Jean Hannah Edelstein notes in The Guardian (8), “If the head of state can treat women like objects, why should any other American man feel he should behave differently?”
Trump’s Attitude Toward the Environment
Aside from his attitude toward women, Trump’s Full Moon eclipse also reflects a deeper disregard for the archetypal Feminine. Particularly troubling is his stance on environmental issues – which at heart are rooted in an archetypal Feminine awareness that humans and the ecological systems that sustain us are part of an integral community of Life, and that ultimately what we do to the Earth we do to ourselves.
Over the past 40 years or so, we have made great strides in recognizing this Feminine truth – through the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the passage of legislation like the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, and more recently the Clean Power Plan, and international efforts to mitigate climate change such as the Paris Climate Accord. It is not unlikely to assume that much of this progress will be rolled back during Trump’s administration, which also plans to open up federal lands to extensive oil and gas drilling and coal mining; eliminate many federal regulations that currently at least attempt to keep corporate excesses in check, and neuter the EPA. He is appointing many fossil fuel executives and climate change deniers to cabinet positions. He has promised to take an active role in promoting industrial agriculture, which is heavily dependent on fossil fuels, pesticides, and inherently damaging to the environment.
As long-time environmental activist Bill McKibben says, “I think it’s clear that he wants no part of environmental progress, and I imagine the damage from this election will be measured in geologic time” (9). It can also be measured arithmologically in terms of the Realm of Two, where Trump appears to be acting as an agent of the eclipsed Full Moon along a path of inequality (devaluing and demonizing the Feminine), moving us all closer to the possibility of ecological disaster.
Mars and the Realm of Two
In addition to the association of various deities and their planetary correlates with given numbers, each planet can be understood to have a relationship to number in a more mathematical sense through a consideration of its orbital characteristics. Of primary importance is its sidereal period – the time it takes a planet to complete its orbit around the Sun. In this regard, because of its approximately 2-year sidereal period, Mars can be associated with the Realm of Two through orbital dynamics.
In Trump’s chart, Mars completes a Half-Kite pattern with his lunar eclipse opposition.
Mars in the Realm of Two
Within the Realm of Two – especially within the context of a mindset that involves ambivalence toward the Feminine – Mars can add intensity and at times complication to that ambivalence. Not surprisingly – given its appropriation as the universal symbol for male energy – Mars is even more closely associated with the archetypal Masculine than the Sun, while Mars in Leo can represent an imbalanced hyper-Masculinity.
When in balance, Mars is focused on the cultivation of competence and expertise, the carving out of a sphere of personal influence, and the pursuit of a course of self-determination culminating in achievement, recognition, and individual attainment of excellence in whatever field the soul chooses to apply its talents. Mars’ effort on this level feeds the Sun’s need for a strong sense of purpose, identity and direction. All of this is a positive and healthy course of development along the archetypal Masculine polarity within the psyche of both women and men in the Realm of Two.
When out of balance, however, Mars can preside over what we might call an expression of the wounded Masculine – in which achievement, recognition, and individual attainment of excellence take place with a combative attitude that is highly competitive, aggressive, and at times ruthless in pursuing its goals. Along this path, the Feminine values of tolerance toward others, cooperation, and concern for the common good are lost in a rush of unbridled ambition toward self-aggrandizement by an aggressor bent on winning at any cost. This is essentially a path of inequality through the Realm of Two, which results in conflict, patterns of domination and suppression, and glaring imbalances of excess and deficiency.
Trump and the Wounded Masculine
In my previous book Tracking the Soul With an Astrology of Consciousness, I spoke about planets in the 12th house just above the horizon as associated with 1st chakra wounds where survival seems to be at stake. Often such planets simultaneously represent both a wounded response to the world and a survival mechanism for protecting oneself against the world.
Astrologers traditionally associate the Ascendant with the persona, or a mask each of us adopts in order to cope with the outside world. It is my sense, however, that the persona is primarily represented on the 12th house side of the Ascendant – in this place of wounded adaptation – where psychological coping strategies are formed and employed. With Jupiter in the 12th house, a false hyper-cheery, optimistic persona might overcompensate for rampant fear, while Saturn in the 12th house might reflect a cautious, serious persona that instinctively keeps others at arms length. With Mars in this position, one can become the schoolyard bully who goes on offense in order to avoid being the victim of attack.
Throughout his campaign, Trump was not shy about using inflammatory language to alienate not just his enemies but his would be allies, as well. Nor was he apologetic for inciting violence in his followers. Indeed, he seemed to provide a lightning rod for all the pent up frustration and anger festering within the disenfranchised voters that felt represented by him. Filled with bluster and braggadocio, he paraded an endlessly inflated sense of his own worth, including bragging about behaviors that most people would find offensive, or morally questionable, or even criminal. At the same time, he seemed to be quick to take offense at the slightest criticism or suggestion that he might in fact be a flawed, perhaps even somewhat delusional human being with no guiding principle other than his own self-interest. All of this can be understood as an expression of a wounded Mars persona – in this case, contributing to a Realm of Two pattern in which the potential for a precipitous slide into the Abyss on a wave of imbalance is never far away.
In an article in The Atlantic (10), Dan P. McAdams (Chair of the Department of Psychology at Northwestern University) observes Trump to be someone “supremely cognizant of the fact that he is always acting. He moves through life like a man who knows he is always being observed” through “an existence unmolested by the rumbling of a soul.” Here we might translate this observation into our current discussion as someone who is all persona and no substance – or in astrological terms, for whom Mars is what, Trump, the perpetual actor on the stage of life, embodies and reflects back to us.
In his fascinating article, McAdams attempts to dive beneath the persona to find the man, using what he refers to as the Big Five taxonomy of personality – measured along five primary scales: extroversion; neuroticism; conscientiousness, agreeableness, and openness. Trump rates extremely highly on the extroversion scale – functioning “in an outgoing, exuberant, and socially dominant manner. He is a dynamo—driven, restless, unable to keep still.” At the same time, he rates extremely low on the agreeableness scale: “People low in agreeableness are described as callous, rude, arrogant, and lacking in empathy. If Donald Trump does not score low on this personality dimension, then probably nobody does.”
Citing a story that Trump himself told, in which he gave his second-grade music teacher a black eye, McAdams concludes that “anger may be the operative emotion behind Trump’s high extroversion as well as his low agreeableness. Anger can fuel malice, but it can also motivate social dominance, stoking a desire to win the adoration of others. Combined with a considerable gift for humor (which may also be aggressive), anger lies at the heart of Trump’s charisma. And anger permeates his political rhetoric.”
Astrologers will recognize ruthless ambition, boorish callousness, and rampant anger as manifestations of an imbalanced Mars – which in Trump’s chart, rises at the apex of a Realm of Two pattern. In the Realm of Two, these qualities generally result in severe inequalities and disparities, and in a Trump administration will no doubt exacerbate the already widened gap between “winners” and “losers,” rich and poor, black and white, male and female. Following a paranoid path of inequality (to include Richard Hofstadter’s term), the next few years will also likely see an intensification of the “us and them” mentality that fueled Trump’s election – in the form of discrimination against Muslims, Mexican immigrants, Chinese business interests, women, political activists, journalists exercising their First Amendment rights, and anyone who gets in the way of the rampant Mars rising that will mark and mar this administration.
In sum, Donald Trump’s basic personality traits suggest a presidency that could be highly combustible. One possible yield is an energetic, activist president who has a less than cordial relationship with the truth. He could be a daring and ruthlessly aggressive decision maker who desperately desires to create the strongest, tallest, shiniest, and most awesome result—and who never thinks twice about the collateral damage he will leave behind. Tough. Bellicose. Threatening. Explosive.
Trump as a Nuclear Bully
As horrific as Trump’s wounded Mars will likely be within the arena of domestic policy, it becomes positively frightening to think what might happen as he takes his place on the world stage. Many have noted and worried about the fact that as president he will have the authority and power to launch any combination of the country’s 4,500 nuclear weapons against any country that, for whatever reason, gets under his thin skin. He has expressed his ignorance of nuclear weapons in general, being enamored of their destructive capacity, while at the same time, oblivious to the damage they can do. He has called for a new arms race, and said he would support the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Japan, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia, while not hesitating to use them himself against ISIS.
As noted by David Corn, writing for Mother Jones (11):
What makes Trump's loose talk—and ignorance—about nuclear weapons particularly worrisome is that in the past, he has taken a fatalistic approach toward the notion of nuclear war. He has spoken as if he believed such a conflagration was almost inevitable. And now he is about to become one of the few humans on the planet who can decide the fate of the Earth.
In the Realm of Two – emphasized in Trump’s chart – there are two possible outcomes: the fate of the Earth – or at least the human world – will be the cumulative consequence of people coming together across the Great Divide to mediate the conflicts that rip us apart, and co-create a culture built on common ground, with tolerance for differences, and the capacity to learn from each other. Or, we will devolve toward chaos, and march like lemmings over the cliff of willful ignorance into an Abyss that we may not be able to climb out of, within the lifetime of anyone reading this now.
Planetary Combinations in the Realm of Two
On Opposite Sides of the Rulership Wheel
In addition to the natural arithmological opposition between Sun and Moon, and Mars’ participation in the Realm of Two by orbital dynamics, other planetary combinations also evoke a sense of internal conflict, often played out externally. Such planetary combinations can be made with reference to the wheel of rulership – in which signs ascribed in counterclockwise sequence to the sections of the wheel with which they are traditionally associated are replaced by their ruling planet. According to this schemata, we begin with . . .
. . . and then make planetary substitutions as follows:
With this wheel of rulership as our reference, we can speculate that planets across the wheel from each other – in a 2nd harmonic relationship – will participate together in a Realm of Two pattern when they are in aspect to each other in a birthchart, especially when they are in opposition. This rule will apply to the following planetary pairs:
In Trump’s chart, Mars is semi-sextile Venus, Moon is quincunx Saturn, Sun is conjunct Uranus, and Mercury is square Neptune – thus including four out of these six Realm of Two planetary combinations. All of these aspects are worth exploring, but let us start with the Sun-Uranus conjunction, which builds on the Full Moon eclipse that serves as the backbone for Trump’s Realm of Two pattern.
Since Mercury square Neptune is not part of Trump’s integrated Realm of Two signature, I will not be discussing it in this article.