The Cap

Posted by Fe Bongolan


Fe Bongolan contemplates how far the ramifications of our personal voting choices can reach — and considers the unintended consequences of never rebuking young family members. Despite one young, bright relative pulling out a Trump hat at a family dinner, there’s potential for some course-correction.

While enjoying last year’s Thanksgiving at my sister’s in-laws, the peril of the Trump campaign and potential presidency revealed itself.


While we were enjoying our pre-meal wine and appetizers in a lovely home in Oakland’s Piedmont hills, Sam, a bright young man in his early twenties, pulled a red trucker’s cap with its gold lettering: “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN”

“No.” That was the first word to come out of my mouth. “No, Sam,” I said, shaking my head. “You cannot be serious.”

He looked at me blankly. Suddenly I felt ill.

He said, “But he will make American great again!”

Who was I talking to here at the family dinner? I have watched our cousin Sam since he was a baby. My niece and nephew Nikko and Felicia played with him at my sister’s farm. Sam has since grown into a handsome young man who is earning his degree in international studies at the University of California in Santa Barbara. Fluent in Arabic, he spent last summer in the Middle East, and has a future in the diplomatic corps if he continues as he is.

All these facts swirled around my head, churning both head and gut into a bout of existential nausea when I heard our Sam — our brilliant, handsome Sam — utter the campaign slogan of “He Who Must Not be Named,” wearing the cap no less. And smiling.

I had to check in — was he kidding me? No. He seemed serious. He had a dismissive attitude towards the other candidates in both parties. I could understand why. But my adamant stance against Sam’s pronouncement was going against the unwritten, unspoken rule among my generation of family members: we do not squash, but listen to our kids’ opinions even when we disagree.

It took every measure of patience I had to climb down off the tree a little and calmly remind Sam that too many people, probably people that he knows already, will be hurt by what Trump does — or instigates other people to do. I reminded him that he should be familiar with Trump’s kind of demagoguery, if he’s studied world history as his major suggests. Voting for Trump certainly makes his Deadhead parents recoil.

I remember my own idealism at Sam’s age, and reminded myself that we created a world of shelter, safety and security that allowed kids like Nikko, Felicia and Sam the privilege to make whatever decisions they wanted — because they would not be affected by it. In raising these kids surrounded by comfort, stability and anticipated upward social mobility, perhaps what we neglected to do was involve them in the larger consequences of our choices and preferences.

 The Spring Reading is now published. Order all 12 signs here or choose your individual signs here for immediate access. You may listen to a free audio introduction here.

The Spring Reading is now published. You may order all 12 signs here or choose your individual signs here for immediate access. You may listen to a free audio introduction here now.

People we don’t see are hurt by the ramifications of our actions, our consumption and our economy. For a vast majority of us here and for the rest of the world, the choice of the U.S. President is, unfortunately, too important to decide cavalierly. People are hurt by our vote. We can see that more plainly and on an hourly basis through the Internet.

After Thanksgiving dinner, Sam and I talked about the situation in Turkey, comparing and contrasting Erdogan’s stance to Putin’s, and how we in the U.S. just don’t understand how the Middle East rolls. We don’t understand how the rest of the world rolls.

Even though I stopped pursuing our disagreement about Trump from earlier that evening, I felt quietly relieved that Sam is bright enough and thoughtful enough to consider the whole world in his own voting decisions — now and in the future. And, I am not going to be in the world long enough to watch what happens thirty to forty years from now. He will be. So will Nikko and Felicia.

But I won’t be helpless or inactive. I will make my decisions too. The world is still wide enough for all of us to form the dynamic that will break or make this world. There’s years to come where we’ll see what kind of world we will be creating — starting this year. For all our sakes, here and abroad, I hope it’s the latter. I want that feather in my cap before I go out.

Posted in Columnist, Fe-911 on | 1 comment
Fe Bongolan

About Fe Bongolan

Planet Waves writer Fe Bongolan lives in Oakland, California. Her column, "Fe-911," has been featured on Planet Waves since 2008. As an actor and dramaturge, Fe is a core member of Cultural Odyssey's "The Medea Project -- Theater for Incarcerated Women," producing work that empowers the voices of all women in trouble, from ex-offenders, women with HIV-AIDS, to young girls and women at risk. A Planet Waves fan from almost the beginning of Eric's astrology career, Fe is a public sector employee who describes herself as a "mystical public servant." When it comes to art, culture and politics, she loves reading between the lines.

One thought on “The Cap

  1. Barbara Koehler

    Poor Fe, I’m sure this was – and still is – happening in many a family gathering in this country. You done good though and I’m proud of you.

    It is symbolic, in my minds eye, your experience with young Sam, of the process going on that includes (at least) the 7 squares between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn, that began shortly after transiting Neptune entered Pisces for the duration. The Neptune/Pisces element had to be in place; symbolizing the dissolving of all things taken for granted; in families, governments, established order on all levels.

    Of the 3 conjunctions between Uranus and Pluto that took place in 1965-66 from which sprang those 7 squares, it is their 2nd conjunction that has had the most influence on the USA. From the chart for that middle conjunction that took place on April 4, 1966, there are direct contacts to the U.S. Moon, the U.S. Neptune, the U.S. Sun and Saturn, the U.S. Mars and the U.S. Chiron opposite the U.S. Juno. Some of those same contacts also contact the birth charts of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. It reads like a script.

    It has seemed to me (and others I’m sure) that there is a greater burlesque quality to this election season than ever before (in my lifetime anyway). The media exaggerates every pratfall (hear that cymbal crash?) and we all laugh and laugh. Young people must be forgiven if they see it as business as usual; so much of their so-called real world is based on movies and video meant to shock and awe us into a different sense of reality. That’s what Neptune is doing. There is no real world anymore.

    Neptune in that 2nd Uranus-Pluto conjunction chart was at the apex point of a Yod he shared with the sextile between Jupiter and Mars. Mars was at 20+ Aries conjunct the U.S. Chiron, Jupiter was at 24+ Gemini, the degree where this year’s U.S. Sibly solar return Mercury was, as well as where Uranus was discovered, and Neptune at 21+ Scorpio in the Uranus-Pluto chart is where Hillary’s natal Mercury is. That Neptune and Hil’s Mercury are conjunct the south node of that chart at 25+ Scorpio which is where Bernie’s natal ascendant is.

    So we know that apex points of Yods need to adjust, which is no big deal for Neptune but a real challenge for fixed sign Scorpio. That translates into Hillary’s Mercury. Yet Bernie’s ascendant (in the form of the south node of the Uranus-Pluto chart) is soooo close she could reach out and touch it. I think she will.

    Then there’s the matter of a conjunction within a conjunction chart; two conjunctions for the price of one. At the time Uranus and Pluto made their 2nd conjunction, Mercury was making a conjunction with Saturn. They were doing it at 22+ Pisces, the same degree as Hillary’s Moon and Bernie’s south node. All these bodies; the Uranus-Pluto chart’s conjunction of Saturn and Mercury, Hillary’s Moon and Bernie’s south node all opposed the U.S Neptune at 22+ Virgo, where transiting Jupiter will be for the 3rd time this August. Right after the Dem’s Convention.

    See what I mean about being scripted? And so much Neptune around you might think you dreamed it all up.

    The thing about burlesque is that it’s designed to reach the lowest common denominator. I think that’s what this election is going to be about too. Something for everyone, even if you think its course and vulgar.

    Honestly Fe, there is so much in this Uranus-Pluto conjunction chart and so much in the transits from now to November and beyond that (to me) screams that Bernie and Hillary are in cahoots (or will soon be). Further, in some fashion, they are teaming up (not necessarily as Pres and VP) to fulfill the prophecy of the Uranus-Pluto cycle, and were it not for the rampant Neptune/Pisces influence, it would be as plain as day to them and to all of us.

    Like, for example, right now transiting Chiron in Pisces has returned to the degree he was in when the 2nd Uranus-Pluto conjunction took place. Then he was at 23+ Pisces, conjunct Saturn and Mercury at 22+ Pisces who was conjunct Pallas and Hera at 21+ Pisces which trined Neptune at 21+ Scorpio. (Trans. Chiron will return to 23+ Pisces in September (retro) and again in February moving direct)

    This burlesque farce we call a Presidential Election absolutely must get the attention of everyone it seems, right down to the kids in the playpen. It’s that important. So what if the 20 something’s seems to have wool in their heads, if they speak up and wear a silly cap, their elders will speak up and a conversation will be engendered. Transiting Chiron is stimulating the Uranus-Pluto program right now, as is transiting Uranus (who just passed the degree of Mars in the cycle he and Pluto share, the one that was conjunct the U.S Chiron).

    Transiting Mars has left the degree that opposes the U.S. Uranus in Gemini and transiting Neptune is no longer in a tight square with the U.S. Uranus so we might get a break from the most shocking remarks in the clown show, but in just a couple of weeks trans. Saturn and Jupiter will make their 3rd of 3 squares. The beauty of that one is that they are in mutable signs; easy to adjust signs (compared to fixed or even cardinal signs). Transiting Neptune will be conjunct the progressed U.S Sun, also in a mutable sign. Maybe we can catch our breath before the next round of the process. All to make us more ready to evolve my dear.

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