Zeitgeist Trends: April 11, 2021
When has anyone from Florida failed to titillate that tabloid-loving center of our medulla oblongata? What does astrology portend for Matt Gaetz, the flip-flop-loving MAGA media figure?
Zeitgeist Trends is a private column for paid subscribers to WOODRUFF.
ACTUALLY, THERE’S NOTHING WILDLY trendy or surprising about last week’s report in the New York Times that the House Ethics Committee is opening a formal investigation into tawdry allegations related to Congressman Matt Gaetz—the Florida fratboy famous for his flip-flops and ceaseless ass-ferreting of Donald Trump.
After all, Gaetz is a Republican (a party clogged with comeuppance-worthy controversies, QAnon intrigues, and garden variety hypocrisy—the shameless sort).
Speaking of which. Fun fact! Gaetz is the only member of Congress who cast the single vote against a 2017 bill designed to combat human trafficking. An irony—and loopy foreshadowing—considering that Gaetz is now accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old he paid to, uhm, travel across state lines.
But again—are we really shocked?
There has always been an unsavory patina about Gaetz’s boorish Trump aping and clip-art-like demeanor; a sheeny plasticity that flashed early warnings of scandals to come. Too, when has anything or anyone from Florida failed to titillate that tabloid-loving center of our medulla oblongata?
Welcome to the bullring
Let’s take a gander at Gaetz’s birth chart (no official time) to see what sort of planetary high-jinx is punching holes in his karmic dance card.
Two quick disclaimers: I am politically agnostic. Though, possessing a conscience, I have pointed disdain for all things GOP-related. Also, I’m a barebones astrologer and work primarily with conjunctions and oppositions when studying transits (they deliver bigtime). Sometimes I’ll work with squares and trines. I don’t employ minor aspects. And I do not work with asteroids, ‘black moons’, galactic centers, or other horoscopic static.
Going big, as in the long view, what catches the eye first with Gaetz’s natal chart is transiting Pluto in Capricorn and its waning square to Gaetz’s natal Pluto in Libra. Pluto stays in a sign (seemingly) forever, so this is a generational predicament. Still, there are themes to tease out consistent with each natal position of Pluto in the Zodiac.
The relational realm is where Pluto in Libra folks do all of their heavy lifting. It’s where complications cluster and spill out through unsavory dilemmas like domestic abuse. Or skullduggery with colleagues. Or pedo predicaments where older people become enmeshed with younger people (as in below the age of consent younger.) Themes that involve how one person’s power is intertwined with another person’s power (or lack of power) are big red flags for the Pluto in Libra tribe.
Beauty and its allure is another subtext to these Pluto jam-ups. I’m thinking of the ancient film The Blue Angel, where a staid high school teacher is drawn to his ruin by a beguiling and beautiful (and younger) cabaret singer.
As Saturn is also linked by a wide conjunction with Pluto in Gaetz’s birth chart, all of the relational entanglements I’ve mentioned above are shoved into a red alert zone. Saturn in Libra, despite being ‘exalted’ in a chart, can suffer the same complications as any other exalted planet. In Gaetz’s case, a sense of exemption (Saturn) that’s assumed to be a perk associated with one’s social position (Libra). This application of exaltation, as borrowed from traditional astrology, is ready for an overhaul. Consider serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s horoscope, a feast (sorry) of exalted planets crowd his wheel. Entitlement issues of the most barbaric sort.
Gaetz’s Pluto square Pluto transit is akin to a slow-blooming rash that erupts suddenly. A malady that seems to arrive out of nowhere when actually a chronic condition has festered during the two years leading up to the perfected square. Translated, I’d imagine the alleged activity that Gaetz and cohort Joel Greenberg were involved with has been a persistent pattern.
But what sort of condition specifically?
Ego inflation that balloons existing boundaries to their limits. An overextension that invites correction and deflation. Pluto squaring its natal position, especially in a politician’s chart, can be radioactively (a Pluto keyword) problematic. With their attraction to power, the last thing an egomaniacal congressman needs is the impetus to acquire more of what they already have in abundance.
Gaetz, a Taurus (a highly libidinal sign) was born during a full Moon in Scorpio (ditto the sex motif, but of the more complicated emotional entanglement sort). A full Moon made ‘larger than life’ by its conjunction to Jupiter—the planet of no limits or boundaries. This is what I’d call a Hungry Ghost full Moon, where the sex drive is inextricably bound up with one’s survival and social instincts. Gaetz’s ambition for ‘more’, throughout his life, would most likely goad him into risk-taking terrains. In search of the perfect meal. Or tryst.
Add to this the curious weirdness of Gaetz’s 2020 adoption of Nestor, his gorgeous 19-year-old Cuban ‘son’. A philanthropic act that launched a slew of speculation as to Gaetz’s equal-opportunity sexuality. Gaetz. Gay. What’s in a name?
(…“legally, of course”). Oy.
As a bonafide gay man, I’m curious as to how one ‘raises’ a 19-year-old man. This confuses—or maybe excites—me.
Mark Zuckerberg is another full Moon frat boy with the same solar-lunar combination as Gaetz (with Saturn sitting alongside Zuckerberg’s Moon in Scorpio). If there’s anyone in our current cultural moment with a more obsessive-compulsive need to obtain—more data, more acquisitions, more violations of privacy, more property on the island of Kaua’i—I can’t name them. I wonder how folks like this ever find satisfaction?
Jungian astrologer Liz Greene shares this about Taurus Sun folks’ compulsions:
I have met many Taureans who have attempted to cope with the potential problems of the bull, its powerful passions and its single-minded covetousness, by ‘splitting’, i.e. withdrawing into the intellect in order to avoid the threat of the overwhelming senses. This of course is no solution…”
Mention of the intellect calls up Gaetz’s Mercury in Gemini (verbal gymnastics and an agile command of data and facts) which is, unfortunately, in a wide opposition to natal Neptune. This is not the ‘I can not tell a lie’ style of politician. And not the best spot to ‘withdraw’ into.
Mercury-Neptune alignments have a reputation for—at worst—constantly telling fibs. But in more aberrant cases, these are individuals with a spooky skill for formulating labyrinthine schemes that, once collapsed or exposed, lead to scandal.
In their defense, the Neptune side of the equation often evokes martyrdom as a way to muddy the waters. “You just can’t see the ultimate good my actions have done.” Stuff like that. Deluded as that sounds, I’ve already heard rumblings of this sort coming from the Gaetz spin doctors; the most prominent (and bizarre) coming from Gaetz himself.
Considered symbolically, it couldn’t have helped that Gaetz’s childhood was spent in a house that was used in the making of the film The Truman Show. A fantastical 1998 tale about living a fake ‘real life’ in an ongoing television series.
Another dilemma with the natal Mercury-Neptune opposition is the protective act of projecting one’s delusions onto the same people who are challenging or investigating the fabrications. A mirror machine powered by denial and Xanax.
Uranus: Breakthrough or breakdown?
I’ve been amazed watching the Taurus folks in my life—both clients and friends—adjust to Uranus’ entry into Taurus from back in March of 2019. (Where the planet will reside until April of 2026). For a sign that depends on the reliable, the tangible, the trusted—be it routines or relationships—I’ve observed careers, marriages, families—or stalwart ideologies go spinning off into 180-degree turnarounds. Especially as Uranus came within close orb to the individual’s Sun sign degree.
As I write this, Uranus is sitting just a week away from an exact opposition to Gaetz’s Moon in Scorpio. This transit is akin to Pandora’s Box being blown open during an electrical storm. Oppositions, unlike conjunctions, show up as events that occur ‘out there’—beyond our control. Or they’re prompted by the actions of partners or associates. Or, as an earthquake or flash flood—those “acts of god” that insurance controllers depend upon.
The Moon in Scorpio individual’s sense of comfort and security is anchored to a private world that’s diligently controlled. And monitored compulsively—in a quid pro quo arrangement. Childhood is often a pain in the ass for these kids because there’s always a parent (usually the mother) that’s constantly ferreting around in her child’s private life. To maintain sovereignty, barriers against impingement are constructed. Over time this can develop into a hurt locker.
Desires that only find expression through stealth, over time, become convoluted and entangled. Of all the lunar positions the Moon in Scorpio individual has the most complicated emotional life; their intense longing for connection is tangled up with the fear of being violated—taken advantage of. It’s a complex puzzle and deserves attention and care, often of the therapeutic sort.
A Uranus transit to one’s Moon sign, with its electrifying shocks and jolts, could, if accepted, provide a tremendous sense of freedom. Old secrets—and the constant monitoring of feelings—becomes burdensome. Having them lifted refreshes the water that sustains the emotional life. Unless of course, the emotions have regressed. Then, crude compulsions—aberrant acting out—can be the byproducts of the Uranus transit.
As a function in nature, Uranus relates to the force that accelerates, perturbates, and disturbs. My friend in Hawai’i, a keen arborist, told me once that the best way to get a sluggish fruit tree to kick back into life is to give it a hard whack at the trunk with a sharp ax. A very Uranian remedy.
Gaetz’s Uranus-Sun conjunction is the one transit to watch if you want to weigh in on the odds of Gaetz’s durability. Still, as with all things Uranian, this remains a crapshoot. For astrologers that love to make predictions, Uranus is their nemesis.
A wild card outcome, especially when you consider that Gaetz is a member of the GOP—a political party that welcomes bad behavior (and crime) as beacons of the party’s leadership and commitment to ‘own the Libs’. This is also the party that deftly maneuvers quagmires of shit and finds ways to profit from it.
Already Gaetz has flipped his fiasco into an opportunity to launch a fundraiser. The spokesperson for which is QAnon calamity Marjorie Taylor Greene (featured in February’s Zeitgeist Trends).
As with all Uranus-inspired forks in the road—and keep in mind that Gaetz’s Uranus-Sun conjunction isn’t exact until May of 2022—this could roll on for another year) there are, as of now, two paths forward.
Either Gaetz’s alleged sex trafficking crimes will permanently unhinge his political career. Or he’ll adopt a “You’re fired! I quit!” strategy to shuttle himself into a new lair on Fox News or Newsmax. A pundit position that his gigantic head, soft-serve pompadour, and rapid-paced bloviating are ready-made.
Blessedly, his flip-flops can still be worn on camera.
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