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HOROSCOPES FOR THE UNITED STATES

Astrology theorizes that anything that has a beginning has a horoscope – that is, a map of the sky drawn for the date, place, and time of its beginning. The horoscope symbolizes the nature (character, set of habits) of the entity coming into existence at that date, time, and place. For “habits” to be present at a “beginning” in the physical world obviously implies that there was some type of pre-existence or continuity brought from the past. Some people accept reincarnation as an explanation, some give the power to genetics and/or to pre-birth experiences as an embryo, some believe that God pre-ordained one’s nature and life experiences, etc. However we try to explain it, every parent of several children knows that they each have a unique character from the moment of birth.

The sky is part of the cosmic order, hence a convenient way to see the order. That does not mean that the sky creates the order! We are born when we match the state of the cosmos. Since character/habits create destiny which is the consequences from acting on habits, the horoscope also symbolizes the future potentials of the entity that enters the physical universe at that time. Astrology has many techniques to picture these future potentials. They can be conceptualized as a class schedule describing psychological issues that will be faced over time. When we change our habits, we do not change the psychological principles: we change the details of how we are handling those basic life drives/desires.

Since countries, businesses, and other institutions are born in stages, they have a series of charts for the stages of development. Their history describes the ways that they evolved the character that produces each new stage. Over the years, astrologers have devoted an incredible amount of time and energy to searching for, and arguing over, the “right” or “best” chart for the United States. I suggest that there are many “useful” charts for our country, and this article will discuss four of them that date to the momentous week of July 2 to 9, 1776. The historical information in this article was provided by Doc Cottle, a friend at the University of Kentucky.

Though we celebrate July 4 as our official independence day, the “Resolution For Independence” was actually voted on July 2. John Adams wrote to his wife the next day that history would record July 2 as the “great anniversary festival” when the colonies voted to become an independent country, ending their ties to England. After an earlier vote on July 1 got divided results, two delegates from Pennsylvania decided to abstain to swing their colony into the affirmative group, the South Carolina delegates who had objected to the antislavery statement in the resolution said they might change their minds, and Caeser Rodney was sent for to break a Delaware tie. Rodney arrived after the delegates had read many letters and had completed a long, leisurely lunch. The vote for the resolution on the afternoon of July 2 was unanimous with one abstention by New York “for lack of instructions.” Unfortunately, no one seems to have recorded the time of that crucial vote. An afternoon vote could produce a Scorpio or Sagittarius Ascendant, since those two signs were rising between 13:42 and 18:35 LAT (local apparent or sundial time).

The Congress met at 9 AM on July 4 to determine the final wording of the Declaration of Independence. According to the records of the secretary, this discussion was the third item of business. After two relatively brief items, the Congress resolved itself into a committee of the whole to discuss the final language of the Declaration. The final vote was then taken and the document was signed by John Hancock and witnessed by Charles Thomson, the secretary. Copies were made of the text and one was sent to the printer, Dunlap. When the New York delegation received word on July 15 that they could vote with the majority, they advised Congress, who on the 19th, sent word to the printer to change the title to “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America.” On August 2, when a nice vellum copy of the declaration was available, all present delegates signed it and that copy was put away for safe keeping. Another copy was “wafered” into the Congressional Record, thus leading many to believe that the bulk signing took place on July 4 rather than nearly a month later. The Philadelphia Historic Society cites statements by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and John Quincy Adams that they signed the document “late in the day.” Since only Hancock and Thomson signed the original document on July 4, the other members of the Continental Congress were obviously referring to the nice vellum copy produced by the printer on August 2, 1776. To throw additional doubt on the memories of Jefferson and the Adams, the Congressional record reports that when the Congress convened on August 2, 1776, signing the special copy of the declaration was their first order of business.

As on July 2, no record has been found of the exact time of the final vote and Hancock’s signing, but the list of items of business carried out after the crucial vote suggests that it was still well before noon. For example, in “Letters of Delegates to Congress,” available in the Library of Congress, the fourth item of business was described in a letter written later in the day by a committee member that began “Gentlemen, Philadelphia, July 4th, 1776, The Congress this morning directed us to confer with the Committees of Safety and Inspection …” For four additional items of business to be completed before noon, we have to consider a time prior to 11 AM, and possibly much earlier. The Ascendant was in 5 Virgo when the Congress met at 9 AM and it remained in Virgo until just after 11 AM LAT.

Another source of evidence that the action was in the morning of July 4 was provided to Lois Rodden’s web site by Ted Gormick of Hong Kong. He cited the Quarterly Magazine of November 1976 published by Princeton University that referred to a letter in the Thomas Jefferson library. That letter said that the town crier announced at noon on July 4, 1776 that late that morning, the declaration for independence had been officially adopted. The editors of “Letters of Delegates to Congress” in a footnote estimated that “the vote on the declaration was probably taken sometime before 11 AM.” According to the record, after the Declaration was sent out to the printer, no fewer than 14 additional matters of business were considered on July 4 before the Congress adjourned. Jefferson’s memory was clearly confusing the action of July 4 with the August 2 actions when he wrote, years after the event, that immediately after the signing, they adjourned and went out to supper together.

When we lack a precise time for a horoscope, astrologers normally use events in the “life” of the entity to try to determine the chart that best fits the events. Such “rectified” charts are obviously less reliable than charts with a recorded birth time. Astrology has so many different factors and techniques, and, with over 200 years of events to consider in the history of the U.S., the choices are almost limitless and the outcomes are highly subjective. Probably no one will be surprised to learn that many astrologers choose a chart in which their own Sun sign is on the Ascendant. Or they pick a chart that fits their personal view of the nature of our country. As suggested above, in light of the complexity of a country and its development, I think that many charts can offer insight into different facets of the U.S.A.

We do have a recorded time for the other two charts discussed here, when the Declaration of Independence was read to the public. This took place on July 8, 1776 in Philadelphia at noon in the main square in front of Independence Hall where the Congress had continued to meet. It was also read in Easton, Pennsylvania and Trenton, New Jersey, on the same day. We have another public reading for which a recorded time is available, to the troops in New York at 6 PM on July 9, 1776. These times are LAT.

Each of these charts is fascinating, with its picture of facets of our country. The transiting Sun moved from 11 to 18 Cancer during the week, but for the slower moving outer planets, both natal and current progressed positions show little movement. The natal positions of Pluto, Neptune, Chiron, and Saturn remained in the same degree during that week, and Uranus moved only a few minutes of longitude from 8 to 9 Gemini. The progressed positions of these five as well as of Mars are only changed by a few minutes when the charts are calculated for September 11, 2001, one of our most dramatic events, so astrologers using transits to planets to rectify the charts would have trouble discriminating between the charts for July 2 and July 4. Of course, the angles that change about one degree for every four minutes of the earth’s rotation are the primary tools in rectification, so it is the lack of angles in most transit charts for events that make them inadequate for rectification.

A different challenge is present when an astrologer chooses a “birth” time that puts an angle conjunct a major planet. It becomes difficult to discriminate between events symbolized by the angle and by the planet. Many astrologers prefer a July 4 chart calculated for plus or minus 3 AM which puts Uranus on the Ascendant, but this is historically untenable. Nicholas Campion, in his superb Book of World Horoscopes gives the only reasonable rationale for this chart, suggesting that a horoscope with Uranus rising could give a symbolic picture of the revolutionary spirit that motivated the colonies.

Uranus on the MC would be equally appropriate, especially when we consider that the colonies were rebelling against the rules and the authorities trying to enforce them. Also, this placement fits into the historical time period described in the notes of the Congress as constituting the third item of business after a 9 AM start. In 1982, I first read that the final action on the declaration was in the morning of July 4, and I started testing the “Uranus-on-the-MC” chart against events in our history. In 1982 I had to choose between LMT and EST to calculate the progressions for our historical events, and I used EST as the more convenient type of time in current use. Later, when the ability to calculate LAT, the type of time in use in the 1700s, was added to the CCRS computer program, I used it to work with the other charts to be discussed here.

Putting Uranus on the MC gave an Ascendant of 11 Virgo, and there were appropriate progressed angle aspects for many of our major events, though, as previously stated, with our many factors and techniques, it is almost always possible to find something that fits. Some years after I wrote about this chart in my book Expanding Astrology’s Universe, I discovered that an astrologer named James Boehrer had published his choice of this time in an astrology magazine several years earlier. So the 11 Virgo rising chart should be properly called the Boehrer chart, though my name is often associated with it.

Next to the Gemini rising chart, many astrologers prefer an afternoon chart on July 4, citing the notes of Thomas Jefferson to defend it. Different astrologers have chosen different times to produce a variety of Ascendants in Sagittarius. However, Jefferson’s notes actually say he signed the declaration in the evening, and the notes were written much later in his life. Jefferson’s memory was clearly faulty on that point if the rest of the historical records are reliable. In light of the limited planetary changes between July 2 and July 4, one of the rectified charts with Sagittarius rising may actually fit the time of the July 2 Resolution for Independence, since we know that its crucial vote took place in the afternoon. One possibility would be a chart with Uranus on the Descendant, but most astrologers working with Sagittarius rising charts for July 4 are using higher degrees. My rectified resolution chart is calculated for 17:43 LAT, with 18 Sagittarius on the Ascendant. Of course, with one calculated in the morning and the other in the afternoon, the houses of the July 2 and the July 4 charts are totally different. However, if astrologers limit their rectification efforts to transits to planets, the allowable orb of transiting aspects could let our historical events fit either July 2 or 4. The primary planetary difference between the two days was the movement of the Moon from a conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn to a position not far from Pallas in Aquarius. But what a difference that is!!!

The decision to become independent was made by colonial leaders who were all property owners and merchants. They objected to the taxes imposed by England, and sought that executive power for themselves. The resolution chart with 18 Sagittarius rising puts Saturn, key to the law and authority figures, in its own tenth house. Saturn rules part of the first house of identity since part of its sign, Capricorn, is placed there. Placing a ruler of the first house in the tenth house can express as “my will is or should be the law.” The East Point, an auxiliary Ascendant, in the first house in Capricorn repeats that “one-ten” identification with executive power. The Moon with Pluto is in the sign of Saturn and the natural house of Taurus, referring to personal money and possessions. This is a chart of a person or group of people who want to be in control of the material world.

However, Jupiter is also a key to identity and personal power as a ruler of the rising sign, and Mars is always the natural ruler of “letter one,” so their placement in the seventh house shows a potential for feeling subject to the power of others. We can react to that potential projection of our personal power in a variety of ways. We may give in, fight, run away, help others (which reassures us we have the power) or compromise and cooperate by sharing the power. The Colonies had been fighting for more than a year at the time their leaders decided to declare independence – that there would be no turning back. The Sun, the key to the desire to expand one’s power, being placed in the seventh house reinforces the power issue. Venus, ruler of Taurus, also placed in the seventh, repeats the reason for the struggle – the control of money and material possessions. The lunar nodes across the second and eighth houses also repeat the challenge of integrating personal possessions and pleasures (letter two) with the ability to share money, possessions, pleasures, and power (letter eight). Juno, carrying the same meanings as Pluto and placed in the tenth house, repeats the issue of shared possessions and power versus the executive power to enforce the law. This resolution chart certainly fits the issues being faced by the Continental Congress.

Many other aspects could be listed, including the Mars square to the ninth house Neptune, and its T-square to the Sagittarius Ascendant if this time for the resolution is close to accurate. This pattern fits our uneasy relationship with religion. Fundamentalists fight to make their beliefs into law and free thinkers fight to prevent that happening. Aspects of the progressed Ascendant and Mars also fit the years of war which followed the Resolution. There were also some harmony aspects in the chart, including a grand trine in air signs between the MC, south lunar node, and Uranus. As the key to the intellect, the air aspects are appropriate for our technological leadership in the world. Air is also the element associated with equalitarian relationships, while the Cancer emphasis shows our ability to feed the world on the material level. To summarize, the drive to gain and maintain power in the world seems primary, while the ability to nurture and to relate as an equal are present but subordinate to the power urge.

After working with the 11 Virgo rising chart for July 4 for nearly 20 years, I was confronted by a possible “new” time when Lois Rodden’s Astrodatabank web site invited astrologers to defend and vote on their favorite chart for the U.S. An astrologer from Australia named Ronald Howland had produced a book defending possible times of 10:40 or 11 AM LMT. His book included the delineation of 400 events in our history. I assume that Howland lacked a computer program that handled LAT, which we know was the time in use in the 1700s, but subtracting 4 minutes from LMT converted Howland’s charts to LAT, so it was easy for me to progress and test them against our events using the CCRS computer program. At this point, after checking over a dozen of our most significant events, I am so impressed with the 10:40 chart (10:36 AM LAT) that I plan to use it from now on. Lois Rodden says that Howland used transits for his rectification. As indicated previously, I have not found that technique as reliable as the different systems of progressions and arcs. The progressed angles for the possible Howland time of 11 AM do not work nearly as well as the 10:36 LAT angles.

I think Campion is right, that charts with Uranus on the major angles can provide useful information on the handling of the planet’s principle by the entity, in this case by our country. Apparently, a chart with Uranus on any of the major angles can provide some insight into how an entity will manifest its revolutionary urges, its resistance to limits.

When we study the July 4 chart calculated for 10:36 AM LAT, we find 24 Virgo on the Ascendant, with Neptune exactly on the East Point in 22 Virgo, just inside the 12th house. This fits the focus on religion that is strong in the U.S. and often puzzling to our friends in Europe. If this time is accurate, the emphasis on Neptune in the country’s psyche is even more dramatic because P Neptune stayed within one degree of the East Point and then the Ascendant up to 1876. By the time it reached 25 Virgo 35 to leave the one-degree-orb Ascendant conjunction, the midpoint of N and P Neptune was within one degree of the Ascendant, maintaining the equivalence of a Neptune conjunction to the angle. When P Neptune turned retrograde in 26 Virgo 7 on March 29, 1948, that midpoint was still within one degree of the Ascendant, and it will hold the aspect to the angle until P Neptune reaches the conjunction with the N Ascendant and later N Neptune and the East Point. In effect, this chart shows an identification with the Neptune principle for our whole history and for centuries to come.

As a country, we have demonstrated the whole range of positive and negative Neptunian attributes. We preach the highest ideals, sometimes acting on them but more often opting for fierce individualism and personal freedom (the desires of Uranus and Mars), or we manifest our power-drive, rather than the empathy and compassion appropriate for Neptune. Of course, putting Neptune on the personal angles, East Point and Ascendant, is similar to putting it on Mars. This identification with the Absolute, (“I am or ought to be God”), can range from savior to con artist, from delusions of grandeur and arrogance to victim feelings of being helpless and hopeless. “Dubya” illustrates some of this potential when he says that we are so “good,” he can’t understand why others don’t realize this, and we have to do a better job of informing others of our true nature. “We are good. Our opponents are evil. Our cause is just, and we will do whatever it takes to win.” Whether Dubya’s repeated mantra is genuine ignorance, or self-deception, or an effort to deceive others, any of these can fit a rising Neptune.

A Gallup poll published in late December 2001 in the Paris-based International Herald Tribune showed that the majority of opinion leaders in other countries saw the 9/11 attacks as a symptom of increasingly bitter polarization between haves and have-nots, that the overwhelming power of America was feeding resentment in countries that were missing out on the spoils of economic progress. Fifty-eight percent of non-US respondents considered that US policies were “a major cause” of the attacks, versus only eighteen percent of Americans. Neptunian self-deception?

Returning to the July 4 chart, as in the resolution chart for July 2, the drive to make our personal will into law is still present with Mars conjunct the MC, just inside the ninth house. The MC conjunction provides a one-ten combination, strengthened by the fact that progressed Mars continued over the MC into the 10th house, where it remained for years. One of the impressive details that fits Howland’s 10:40 LMT time for the chart is that P Mars just left the one-degree orb to the MC when Cornwallis surrendered to Washington, effectively ending the revolutionary war, though scattered battles continued for months, mostly in the west involving native Americans. Another one-ten combination is present with Mercury, ruler of the Ascendant sign, in the tenth house.

Since I learned that Howland used only transits, he presumably would not know about these relevant progressed aspects of P Mars on the MC during the war, and then square the East Point, Neptune, and the Ascendant as we negotiated with England and France and finally signed a peace treaty in Paris on September 3, 1783. If this 10:36 LAT time is absolutely accurate, P Mars ended its square to the Ascendant in December 1782, but making the time even a fraction of a minute later could maintain the aspect well into 1783 to include the vote by England’s Parliament on February 24, 1783 to abandon further prosecution of the war, and the declaration of victory by our Congress on April 19, 1783. Progressions permit this kind of fine-tuning of time, but usually I call it quits if I think I have the time within one degree. All major events will have many different aspects, some just coming into the one-degree orb, some exact, and some close to leaving, so the choice of making one aspect for one event the defining one is arbitrary and unreliable.

As in the resolution chart, the drive to control our money and possessions is still present in this chart. Venus rules the second house and is placed in the tenth house. Jupiter in the tenth shows the high value we place on power. It is possible to literally “worship” power, to make it one’s supreme value. The Sun in the tenth house is a five-ten combination, connecting executive power to our self-esteem and ego-strength. Mars and the Sun represent the drive for personal power, while letter ten symbolizes the “law” that is bigger than individual wills. The rules include natural law, cultural regulations, authorities who enforce the law, and the conscience where we should be self-regulating. Our current president, with an Aries MC, Leo Ascendant, and P Saturn on his local Ascendant, seems to be on the way to a collision course between personal will and the limits of personal will as we edge toward an imperial attempt to rule the world. Cooperation is demanded of other countries but we reserve the right to abrogate past treaties and reject new ones when we choose.

One of the ways of conceptualizing these two charts is to see the July 2 resolution as our definitive assertion of taking power over the bureaucratic structure and finances of the country, showing the basic nature of the men who took that momentous step. The July 4 declaration was our public announcement of the action that sought to justify it, still showing the character of the group but also a kind of persona showing the way they wanted to be seen by the world. The Moon in the sign of Aquarius could not be more different than it was in Capricorn, and to reinforce the message, it was close to Pallas, a Libra asteroid that is associated with the air principle, including a strong sense of fair play and social justice. The primary principle on July 2, the will to dominate, is still very clear in the July 4 chart calculated for Howland’s time, but the increased air did offer some hope that sometimes we might be capable of giving everyone the same freedom we wanted for ourselves. Or do we just talk equality while continuing a drive to rule the world?

The twelve primary drives conceptualized in astrology can manifest in many different details, and the potential complexity can include major challenges. Integration is not just needed between the twelve different life desires. It is often needed within them, and letter eleven is an especially good example of this. The primary urge of letter eleven, Uranus, Aquarius, and the eleventh house, is to go beyond any limits (letter ten), to transcend the “laws,” authorities, etc. But as an air principle, it is also committed to equality with our fellow humans. Air seeks to take turns, to look at the world as objectively as life can, (never completely), to understand the situation, talk about it, and accept it. The confrontation between the theories of capitalism and communism, not necessarily the reality of how they have been manifested, is a good example of this Aquarian split. Communism tried to legislate equality and capitalism worshipped personal freedom. Obviously, the more you enforce equality, the less personal freedom you have, and the more you permit total freedom, the less equality you will have. As with all of the different life desires, a compromise is needed. Any extreme will eventually lead to pain.

The January 2002 issue of The Atlantic Monthly has an interesting article by Jonathan Rauch describing the theories of Aaron Wildavsky, a political science professor at the University of California at Berkeley for 30 years. Wildavsky described three major approaches to politics. “Radical egalitarianism” he described as the belief in the moral virtue of diminishing differences among people of varying incomes, genders, races, sexual preferences, and (especially) power. We can see this as the theory, though not the actual practice, of communism, the equalitarian side of Uranus. Wildavsky said that the American left in recent years had moved strongly in this direction, abandoning any defense of freedom. He gives the example of protests against the US bombing of Iraq and Afghanistan that fail to offer a constructive way to resist terrorism. He writes that the protestors suggest that the US is no better than the mullahs who promote their holy war.

Individualistic cultures reach their peak with capitalism, which endorses personal freedom as the ultimate value, including the freedom to be hungry, homeless, jobless, ill, and ignored by society. Carrying this side of Uranus to this extreme produces a detached indifference. Other people can do anything they want as long as they don’t interfere with our freedom to do what we please. The third category of hierarchic cultures believes that all is right in the world when each person is in his proper place in the hierarchy and performs his/her traditional duties. Inevitably, the ones on the lower rungs will have to sacrifice some of their own desires for the good of a smoothly functioning whole. Fundamentalist religions, including Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, all fit in this camp, which astrology recognizes as letter ten in our alphabet.

My description of the individualistic culture is my own illustration of its potential extremes. Rauch (and I assume Wildavsky) make it the “good culture,” picturing a moderate form in which people are mainly self-regulating with decisions made by bidding and bargaining so that the need for centralized authority is reduced. But to be able to self-regulate, there has to be some respect for the rights of others. Total freedom does not necessarily lead to this. And there is no bargaining leverage when there is extreme inequality, of wealth, power, talents, etc. The January 6, 2002 issue of the San Diego Union-Tribune in the Opinion section had an article by Paul Krugman quoting figures from the theoretically non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. Adjusting for inflation, between 1979 and 1997, the income of families in the middle of the U.S. income distribution increased 9% from $41,400 to $45,100, while the incomes in the top 1% rose 140% from $422,200 to over a million dollars. Capricorn precedes Aquarius. When the Saturn principle is properly expressed, we develop an internal conscience, respect the laws of the society and legitimate authority and the legal rights of others, and then we can be free to do what we please. To repeat, extreme expressions of any of our life desires lead to pain. Life is a juggling act.

Our current largely Republican leaders are pushing us back toward a hierarchical system, using the fight against terrorism to pass laws that reduce civil liberties, pushing religious organizations that are typical hierarchies to take over the protection of the people at the bottom, and using taxation to increase inequality, to expand the wealth and power of the elite at the top of the pyramid. Don’t look for these ideas in Rauch’s article.

Turning to the chart for noon in Philadelphia on July 8, the Declaration of Independence was read to the public though it had already been printed in local newspapers. According to Doc Cottle, the data for this chart is in Merrill Jensen’s book The Founding of a Nation on pages 701-2. Jenson cites the Pennsylvania Gazette of July 10 as its source. The chart is dramatic, with the Sun exactly on the MC, as is always the case with LAT at noon, and also Saturn is exactly on the Ascendant. The power theme of the preceding charts remains with the “king” (Sun) on the MC (equivalent to Saturn) and Saturn (the executive) on the Ascendant (equivalent to Mars - personal identity and power). But there is also a strong air focus for equality with a grand trine in air signs that includes Mars, East Point, Juno, and Pallas, though their presence in the fire houses (one-five-nine) mixes the equalitarian potential with the fire feeling that we know what we want and we should have the right to do it. At the same time, the grand cross in cardinal signs and houses shows the potential for power struggles. Letters one-four-seven-ten have to integrate independence, dependence, equality, and the responsible use of power. The Moon moved into Aries by July 8, into a close conjunction with Chiron, so the latter’s association with Sagittarius fits the struggle against a foreign country (England) while at the same time we sought a partnership with another country – France. A wide grand trine in earth signs that included Vesta, Neptune, and Pluto indicates our potential for success in coping with the physical world.

Finally, we have the chart for reading the declaration to the continental army in NY at 6 PM LAT on July 9. After they heard it out, they reportedly pulled down a statue of George III on a horse and melted it down for rifle slugs. The cardinal cross is still present, though the house placements have shifted. The Sun opposes the East Point across the first and seventh houses, with squares to Saturn in the ninth house, to Juno on the MC, and to Chiron on the IC. The Moon in 8 Taurus forms a T-square in fixed signs and houses to the lunar nodes and the Antivertex axis, picking up the theme of a struggle over material possessions and power. The colonial militias were desperately poor, but they were highly motivated in comparison to the mercenary forces from Germany that were hired by England. The potential for the colonies’ success is supported by the air-sign trines in partly fire and partly earth houses, plus the earth-sign trines in fire houses. Religious issues are still highlighted by the T-square between the Sagittarius Ascendant, Neptune in the Sagittarius house, and Mars in a sign and house ruled by Mercury. The mutable dilemma pits the intellect with its claim to objectivity and rationality against the faith of “true believers.”

September 11, 2001 has been called a major turning point in the history of the U.S., so I have progressed these four charts to that date. As previously indicated, the progressed positions of the five outer planets as well as the lunar nodes, Chiron, and Mars, all remain within a few minutes of longitude when we compare them at the beginning and end of that week in 1776. Pluto moves only 13 minutes, though its degree changes from 28 to 29 Capricorn. Neptune remains in 26 Virgo. Uranus remains in 6 Gemini. Chiron also changes degrees from 16 to 17 Aries, though the movement is only 19 minutes. Saturn stays in 3 Scorpio. Jupiter retrogrades a half-degree from 16 to 15 Cancer. Mars was near its station during that period in early July, moving very slowly, so it remains in 18 Libra. The true lunar north node stays in 26 Cancer while the mean lunar south node stays in 25 Capricorn. Transits for events in this fall of 2001 would obviously form aspects to all four of these charts.

However, two of these charts have unique progressed patterns. In the July 2 chart, which is the date on which the Continental Congress actually passed the Resolution for Independence, Uranus made a station, shifting from retrograde to direct. In the July 9 chart, when the colonial army was notified of the momentous decision, Mars made a station, shifting from direct to retrograde.

Secondary progressions theorize that each day in the sky symbolizes a year in the life of an entity, whether a person, animal, organization, or whatever. Other than with Mercury, changes of direction of the planets only occur at intervals of many years in the life. Even Mercury only changes direction at intervals of about 22 years. Such times are associated with major changes in the area of life represented by a given planet. Both Mars and Uranus are associated with the issue of personal freedom, but they also carry very different implications. Mars is primarily focused on individual freedom, willing to fight for it, and traditionally a key to military action, so it is highly appropriate that its change of direction would occur in the chart associated with the colonial army. Uranus is traditionally a key to revolution, to resisting any kind of limits, but its positive potential includes allowing others the same freedom one desires for oneself. As an air planet connected to the conscious intellect, it resists limits on knowledge, hence its delight in new technology, and also, as an air planet, it supports equalitarian democracy. The Uranus change of direction in the initial vote for independence calls attention to the issue of whether freedom will be universal or limited to some members of the society.

Over our 200 plus years of history, we have gradually moved toward more universal freedom. The most dramatic step was taken with the abolishment of slavery during the Civil War, but increasing the numbers of citizens allowed to vote was also extremely important. From limiting the vote to white male property owners to enfranchising blacks and women, we have moved toward more democracy. We still have proxies rather than letting the popular vote elect our president, so in 2000 the right-wing Supreme Court was able to give the office to the representative of the wealthy elite. We still vote on a weekday rather than a weekend, making it harder for ordinary workers to get to the polls. Limiting voting to a single day also contributes to that result, as do restrictions on voter registration in some states, and permanent disfranchisement of felons even after they were guilty of only minor crimes and have served their prison time. The “war on drugs” has been a useful tool of the elite to reduce the numbers of potential voters, by keeping them in jail for simple possession of drugs, and disfranchised even after their release. Citizens with money can get “treated” while the poor are increasingly marginalized.

So, to use Rauch’s labels, the claim of the radical egalitarians that the promoters of globalism have some resemblances to the hierarchical Mullahs has an uncomfortable kernel of truth in it, though much exaggerated. The protestors against increased free trade are not just post-Marxists. They are actually seeking to protect individual freedoms against the increasing move of our country toward a culture of hierarchy, and their lack of constructive alternatives that is condemned by Rauch is limited to a relatively small number of young and violent (and usually male) anarchists. There are many true liberals who urge the US to stop trying to rule the world with military force and to live up to our claims of supporting both freedom and equality under laws which limit the ability of a small oligarchy to control the world. The countries of Western Europe have done a better job than the U.S. of integrating this Aquarian split. It will be interesting to see whether an increasingly united Europe will be able to hold on to its liberal values, or whether its elite will join the U.S. and the small numbers of ruling elite in other continents to strengthen their strangle hold on the rest of the world, including a never-ending “war on terrorism” that lets them destroy anyone foolish enough to resist their control.

This raw power issue comes through repeatedly in all four of these charts related to our Declaration of Independence, but it is especially dramatic in the current progressions in the last one – the chart that notified our citizen army of the new goal of their struggle – complete independence. Note that the P Mars made its station exactly square the N Sun and East Point at 6 PM LAT on July 9 in NY. Does this change of direction by P Mars in the “military” chart signal the threat of a “war on terrorism” that has no end as long as it serves the goals of the oligarchy? P Mars maintains this T-square for many years. To add to the intensity of this power-struggle pattern, when the U.S. moved its capital to Washington D.C., this birth time put the local MC in 17 Libra 57, into a conjunction with P Mars and exact squares to the N Sun and N East Point. Remember, this is not a rectified chart. It is drawn for a historically recorded event that was tracked down by Doc Cottle in the bicentennial World Almanac.

There are many relevant features in both the natal and the progressed factors in this “military” chart. Pluto in the first house and Juno, which carries the same meaning as Pluto, on the MC, reinforce the central issue of the handling of joint money, possessions, resources, and power. Among the details associated with letter eight are taxes, inheritance, return on investments, and endings, including death. When positively handled, letter eight is where we learn self-knowledge through the mirror of our close relationships, and self-mastery out of respect for the rights of the people in those relationships. It completes the interpersonal section of our life and prepares us to handle the transpersonal section where we deal with the search for Truth, the Laws of society and the universe, the issue of freedom and equality for everyone and openness to new knowledge, and the awareness of the connectedness of life that produces empathy and compassion. When hurting others is experienced as hurting ourselves, we have experienced letter twelve.

But life still includes our right to protect ourselves, to avoid carrying the savior role into martyrdom. Turning the other cheek is not an effective way to deal with a sociopath who believes that only his desires matter and he has the right to do whatever he wants. Nor can it deal with a religious fanatic who is convinced that he is doing God’s will. Life challenges us to integrate personal rights, interpersonal (face-to-face) relationships, and transpersonal issues. They are all essential parts of life. And, to hammer in the focus on letter eight in this chart, P Juno has been conjunct the local Ascendant since August 1994. That fall, the Republicans became the majority power in the House of Representatives for the first time in years, and were able to push the country further toward a culture of hierarchy. P Juno will remain within one degree of the N Ascendant until January 2008. Since Dubya’s chart looks as if he will be reelected in 2004, the election year of 2008 may finally mark enough public awareness of the damage done by extreme inequality to alter the political landscape. In the meantime, how will we deal with taxes, return on investments, trust funds like social security, and our capacity to produce and destroy life? Bombs or stem cells?

Other informative aspects in this chart progressed to September 11, 2001, include P Moon on its own north node, sextile P Uranus and moving into a conjunction with P Antivertex which is square N Moon, and into an octile to N Mars. These aspects were present through much of October to December 2001 as we were bombing Afghanistan. The P Ascendant on 9/11 was in 8 Virgo, opposing N Ceres, trine N Moon, and square N Uranus. P MC in 5 Gemini and P local Ascendant in Washington in 5 Virgo are moving into a conjunction and a square respectively to P Uranus, so the issues of freedom, equality, and openness will continue to be highlighted in the coming years. The progressing Moon moves about a degree a month while the progressing angles are close to a degree a year. Our authorities will be dealing with members of our home-grown militias, like Timothy McVeigh, including the neo-Nazis, tax resisters, white supremacists, gun-defenders, religious fundamentalists who think they know what God wants, and conspiracy buffs in general, whose web sites are propagating and propagandizing their causes. The source of the anthrax letters in the fall of 2001 remains a mystery at this time in early January 2002, but the growing consensus is that they came from a homegrown individual or small group that hates and fears the government. The 21st century is not shaping up to a peaceful golden age that the misguided psychics promised us after the collapse into the oceans of large sections of many continents that was supposed to happen in the last part of the 20th century.

Many more aspects could be listed that repeat the theme of turbulent years ahead. The P Sun on 9/11 was in 1 Pisces, square P local MC and P Vesta in 1 Gemini and opposite P East Point in 1 Virgo. The P L MC reached an octile to the local N MC in December 2001. The other members of that mutable-sign T-square will move into octiles or trioctiles to the local MC and then to P Mars and the natal MC during 2002 to 2004, while the previously mentioned progressing angles are aspecting P and later N Uranus. P Jupiter holds a square to N Saturn for years, symbolizing beliefs and ideals versus what is possible in the material world. P Venus, the pleasure principle, is currently in 15 Aries, in a T-square to P Jupiter and N Saturn. Astrology shows psychological principles. The details of life depend on how life handles those drives/desires. Will we manage to find a compromise between individual freedom and equality? Can we avoid anarchy and hang on to democracy in the face of the increasing power of the oligarchy that supports a hierarchal system? Stay tuned. There are fascinating asteroids in all of these charts, but they will have to wait for another article.

This article could not have been written without the invaluable historical information provided by Doc Cottle, who patiently went through my original version and two revisions to make sure the article was accurate. As usual, I am also indebted to my son, Mark Pottenger, who produced the CCRS computer program and who copyedits my articles, and to Sara and Craig Ridgley, our web masters, who put them on the web.

Zip Dobyns

Copyright 2002 Los Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.

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