A New Chart for the U.S.?
Astrologers have been experimenting with horoscopes for the United States since the beginning of the country. Soon after the end of the Revolutionary War, an English astrologer circulated a chart with Libra rising and Saturn in the first house. A number of Sagittarius rising charts have been suggested, including one by Dane Rudhyar. Many astrologers have used a chart drawn for Gemini rising although all the historical records state that the Congress met at 9 A.M. and signed the Declaration of Independence during the day of July 4, 1776. Thomas Jefferson, the primary author of the document, wrote in later years that it had been signed in the late afternoon, but other records suggested that the action occurred in the morning.
I have experimented with the chart repeatedly, trying out times that ranged from 11 A.M. to 5 P.M., but I had never found a chart that satisfied me. On March 6, 1982, on the day devoted to mundane astrology as we reached the end of our 1982 astrology Intensive, I pulled out the folder of dozens of possible charts thinking the group might like to mix a little more instruction in rectification techniques with what should be a very important part of mundane astrology in the U.S.: a reliable chart for our founding as a nation. True, there are always many charts for an institution. We could use a chart for the actual beginning of the war with England, the first shot fired at Concord. There would be a chart for the formal declaration of war against England on July 6, 1775 and for the end of the war when Cornwallis surrendered and we were really free. A chart for the Constitution would be possible. It is still the foundation of our government. A chart for Washington as first President would provide information on the potentials in that office. But most people feel that the day on which we formally declared our intent to be a separate and independent nation would provide a vitally important key to our existence as a nation.
Over the years, I had collected a series of dates for important events in the history of the U.S. A few years back, someone had also given me a photocopy of new historical information about that crucial day. Paul H. Smith, a historian at the Library of Congress, had found a letter by a committee appointed by Congress on July 4, 1776, to raise troops for the defense of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The committee was appointed as the third item of business after the Declaration was approved, but their letter begins: “Gentlemen, the Congress this morning directed us to confer....” If three items of business could be handled after the signing and before noon, an earlier time would have to be considered for the historical moment.
I had not worked with the Declaration chart since receiving the information suggesting an earlier time than any I had tried. Looking at my previous earliest chart, it occurred to me that sometime shortly before 10 A.M., Uranus would have crossed the MC. I thought of all those astrologers devoted to a chart with Uranus on the Ascendant. Wouldn’t it be interesting if it were on the MC instead! With the modern miracle of microcomputers, within minutes I had a chart with secondary progressions for four of the important dates in U.S. history. I looked at the aspects to the progressed and natal angles, our primary tools in rectification, and began to get excited. Class was starting. There is never enough time. But when the seminars ended, and full attention could be devoted to the book I was trying to finish, I ran another dozen charts for additional important events. The results were so promising, I have included a chapter on the chart in my new book which is to be called “Exploring Astrology.” Readers of the Mutable Dilemma are getting an early preview.
We associate Mars, Jupiter, and Uranus with the passion for freedom. Mars is simply the basic desire to do whatever we please. Jupiter wants to be free to pursue an ultimate value, whatever the individual has chosen as an ultimate goal in the life. Uranus wants to transcend any past limits, to permit freedom for everyone provided they are equally willing to allow it to others. The goal is voluntary cooperation rather than coercion. In this chart set for 9:36 A.M. EST (for convenience, we can use standard time though we know that local mean time was in effect when the action was taken), all three of the planets of freedom were in the tenth house with Uranus right on the MC. The primary issue in the struggle against England had been “taxation without representation,” so it is fitting to have Venus and Mars, rulers of the second house (our own money), and rulers of the eighth house (taxes among many other meanings) in the tenth house. England sought to keep the power over joint resources and we fought to take the power into our own hands.
Using this early time, the Sun is right on the eleventh house cusp, the house of representative democracy, just moving into the tenth house as our leaders were claiming executive power. Saturn, the natural key to executive power, was in the second house (England trying to control our resources) square the Sun, and we took the control of our own money and possessions into our own hands. Mercury rules both the first house (the right and power to do what we want) and the tenth house (the power to execute the Law). Mercury in the eleventh house wanted democracy. Different parts of life are connected by having the same planet as ruler. Mercury’s octile to both angles (it falls on the midpoint between them) is one of many aspects showing the tension in the situation. Mercury is also opposite Pluto, natural key to joint resources and taxes, again indicating a major key to the reason for the action. Placement of two of the first house rulers (Venus, ruling the Libra in the first house and Mars, the natural ruler) in the tenth house supports again the decision to take the executive power into our own hands.
Except for the Moon, planetary aspects do not change much in a day, so Mars was square to Neptune all day. But putting Mars into the tenth house and Neptune into the first house certainly highlights our rash faith, and this speculative time puts the natal Moon in close trine to Mars but quincunx Neptune and Mercury, a yod or double quincunx to further accentuate the message that we were moving in a new direction, leaving the past behind. Jupiter and the East Point formed another yod to the south node of the Moon to emphasize again the official statement of separation from England, and Ceres was opposite the East Point and Ascendant as well as quincunx the north node of the Moon. We were separating from our “mother-country”, so these aspects to the Moon, its nodes, and to Ceres seem highly appropriate. And isn’t it fitting for the “bread-basket of the world” to have both Moon and Ceres in the sixth house of the harvest?
Pallas is conjunct the Moon in Aquarius and Juno is in Libra, widely conjunct Saturn, with the two conjunctions forming a grand trine to Mars. There were terrible problems in those early years of our nation, but the women worked (and sometimes fought) alongside the men, continuing later to risk the frontier as the nation moved west. In many ways, women in the U.S. have been freer that their sisters in other countries, but the present struggle to pass the Equal Rights Amendment shows that the battle for equality is not over. Despite all the air signs in this chart, Saturn and the south node of the Moon are in air showing that full equality and sharing is still a lesson, a goal for which we are still striving.
At the same time, the trines in air signs and in earth houses were a good augury for our ability to succeed in our efforts to handle the world. There are also trines in earth signs in fire houses, Neptune trine both Vesta in Taurus in the ninth and Pluto in Capricorn in the fifth. Mercury, ruler of the angles, is sextile Neptune and Vesta. The work ethic is important, and unlike the countries of the “old world,” ordinary workers have been able to achieve positions of power. Money and title still carried clout, but there was more opportunity here for personal drive to triumph. Even when it only happened occasionally, it was part of our national mythology: the Horatio Alger hero.
Of course, there are also hazards in being identified with work and power; first house Virgo and rulers of the first house in the tenth house. Particularly with the rising Neptune, there is the danger of thinking we have final answers, of being willing to point out the flaws in others and trying to use our power to make over the world in our image. We have been identified with the savior role from the beginning: (Give me your poor, your outcast, etc.). We have just continued to expand the savior role until we had to come crashing down with Vietnam as our progressed Mars squared the natal Sun and our progressed MC opposed Mars, squared Neptune, and moved into the quincunx to natal Mercury, along with many other aspects. Another hazard of the Puritan identification, with Capricorn and south node of the Moon in the fifth house, has been our national sex hang-ups. With Virgo and Capricorn reproving, and Pluto and Aquarius encouraging, we have had a combination of official blue laws and back-street pornography. We idealize marriage with Neptune and Jupiter ruling the seventh house, but our divorce rate is phenomenal with the nodes across Leo-Aquarius, Uranus ruling the fifth house trioctile Pluto in it, as well as the Pluto opposition to Mercury which has been noted.
Probably some astrologers will be dubious about the Virgo rising, in light of our power complex, but the East Point is the Scorpio dwad, the Ascendant is the Capricorn dwad, and the Antivertex is in Leo. When we add them to the loaded tenth house, there is no shortage of power. Much more might be said, but one final note about the natal chart. Most of our presidential deaths have come following Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions. In this chart, these planets rule the fourth house (a death house as the end of matters); Saturn is the natural ruler of the tenth house and Jupiter is in the tenth house, and they are widely square in the natal chart but remained in an exact square by progression for a great many years of our history.
Since one can usually make a case for almost any chart if the nature of the person or organization is known (it is always possible to find some things that fit), the real test of this horoscope will come through comparing different systems of current patterns with historical events. We would need a small book to include all the progressed charts already checked, and may publish such a book later. We will include as many here as space permits, and I will comment on the angle aspects to some of them. As always, a single aspect is not enough. With as many factors as we include in a horoscope, there should be several appropriate aspects involving natal and/or progressed angles. One of the techniques that I have been testing in the last couple of years produces quotidian or daily angles. The quotidian angles circle the whole chart in a year, so they move about a degree a day. They permit really fine tuning of the time of birth of the person or organization.
We can note that during the early years of our struggle to gain independence, the MC progressed over Uranus and then squared the natal Ascendant; progressed East Point moved through the square to Uranus and MC; progressed Sun squared Saturn and progressed Mars squared Neptune which was quincunx the natal Moon. By the time the war was over and won, Mercury had finally ended the quincunx to the Moon, progressed MC was semisextile natal Sun, progressed East Point was crossing the natal Ascendant (I have seen major changes in personal action and in interaction with others with that aspect), and the Antivertex was opposite Moon. At the time for which the chart is set, the progressed MC was just coming to the trine to Saturn for our triumph when our independence was actually assured. Progressed Moon had just entered the ninth house to begin the struggle to formulate a legal structure that would be acceptable to 13 independent colonies. The Moon’s sextile to progressed Jupiter was a good augury but its square to its own nodes and trioctile to Neptune fit the tensions that had to be faced and resolved. Many families were divided, with brothers on opposite sides of the struggle, and some emigrated to Canada (which was still loyal to the English) after the war ended. The formal Paris Treaty of Peace was signed two years after the war’s end, with progressed Sun and Mercury conjunct. Progressed Vesta was conjunct Pallas with progressed Mars trine both. Progressed Antivertex had just reached a quincunx to Pluto. The Articles of Confederation proved unworkable, and a new Constitution was hammered out which limited some of the powers formerly vested in the individual colonies. Progressed MC would have been on Mars, setting off the pattern with Neptune and natal Moon, for the major change in executive power as the Constitution became the law of the land in 1787-8 and Washington became our first President in 1789.
We had one more war with England, declared on June 18, 1812. It was mostly a naval war, started to protest the impounding of our ships by England which was busy still fighting France. Prior to the formal declaration, progressed Moon had been moving over Mars, square Neptune and trine its natal position. Progressed MC was conjunct natal Sun and progressed Jupiter, (maybe a bit of hubris there added to the Moon setting off the aspects to our first house Neptune). Progressed Mars had been squaring Saturn and remained in orb through the war, and progressed East Point was conjunct Saturn, sharing the square to Mars. Progressed Ascendant had been trine natal MC and Uranus, (remember they were square in the natal chart, and the quality of the natal aspect tends to come through while the progressed aspect shows the timing). Progressed Sun and Venus were octile natal Venus; material possessions and honor were again the issue. Two years later, progressed MC was square natal Saturn and progressed Mars was still square progressed Saturn when the British burned the new capital buildings in Washington, DC. Progressed MC was still square progressed Saturn and progressed Ascendant had reached the conjunction with Saturn when we set up the U.S. bank and a protective tariff to guard our young industries against competition with other countries. Could there be a more appropriate aspect than to Saturn in the second house?
Our first President to die in office was Harrison, on April 4, 1841, after only a month in office. He died of pneumonia, with our progressed Venus on Neptune quincunx natal Moon. Progressed Moon was conjunct natal Sun, a new Moon for a new beginning, and Progressed Vesta was slowly moving over MC-Uranus with the progressed MC sextile them. (Remember again that natally, MC was conjunct Uranus, a potentially disruptive aspect). Progressed MC was also octile progressed Mercury, ruler of both MC and Ascendant. Our long progressed Jupiter-Saturn square was also forming a T-square to Chiron in the eighth house. Jupiter and Saturn both rule the fourth house, and if Chiron is also a key to Sagittarius, the combination is still more appropriate. Progressed Ascendant had been moving in square to progressed Mars for some years, and they had moved into orb to the progressed mean nodes of the Moon. Progressed Antivertex was quincunx progressed Moon, square progressed Sun, and sextile natal Saturn.
The next president to die in office was Taylor on July 9, 1850. Like Harrison, he died of illness. The two men had other things in common. They were the only two presidents to be elected from the short-lived Whig party. Both were military men who had won fame through fighting the Indians. Both were reluctant candidates, sought by their party because their popularity gave them a good chance to win. Neither of their wives served as hostess in the White House. Mrs. Harrison was ill, and her husband died before she had recovered enough to make the trip to Washington. Mrs. Taylor had braved the frontier with her husband, but would not face Washington. A daughter-in-law acted as hostess for Harrison, and a daughter assisted Taylor. We can suspect that unconsciously, both men were really unhappy with the pressure of the job, and illness was a way out.
At the time of Taylor’s death in office, progressed Sun was conjunct progressed Neptune; it was on natal Neptune when he was elected. Progressed MC was octile natal Jupiter and square natal Vesta. The latter is often associated with illness. Jupiter and Saturn were still in the T-square to Chiron with natal East Point octile or trioctile all of them. Progressed Antivertex was quincunx natal Mercury, ruler of the angles. Progressed East Point had been square the natal Moon when Taylor was elected; it was trine natal Mercury and sextile progressed Sun-Neptune for the death. Progressed Mars was octile progressed Sun-Neptune and progressed Moon was square the progressed mean nodes. Progressed Ascendant was quincunx progressed Vesta-Uranus in the tenth house. There are always many more aspects, but I am mostly noting those that involve angles or the Moon, since they are sensitive to time changes.
Lincoln was our first president to be assassinated, on April 14, 1865. I also ran a chart for the Emancipation Proclamation which was issued by Lincoln on January 31, 1865, and which freed the slaves. The issue of slavery had been a festering wound for years, and was a primary cause of the Civil War which lasted from the beginning of 1861 to the middle of 1865. The south considered the slaves an economic necessity, and freeing them threw the south into economic chaos. For all our spiritual principles, money and possessions have been central in our wars. Progressed Mars was octile natal Venus for much of this war (Mars and Venus rule both the second and eighth houses) and progressed Mercury squared Pluto (natural ruler of the eighth and ruler of a small part of the second) at the start of the war while by its end, Mercury had entered Scorpio. At stake were the shared resources of the nation, including the issue of whether one person could own another. The uneasy conscience of Neptune quincunx the Aquarian Moon was set off by progressed Ascendant square the Moon and sextile Neptune and by progressed Venus conjunct progressed Saturn (which still squared progressed Jupiter) trine Moon and semisextile Neptune and the progressed Ascendant. By the end of the war and Lincoln’s death, progressed Antivertex had passed the opposition to natal Venus and was just leaving the opposition to natal Jupiter. Progressed East Point had reached the natal IC opposite the MC and Uranus. Progressed Mercury had reached the trine to Venus. Progressed Sun was trine MC-Uranus. The progressed Moon was trine Pluto and octile natal Sun for the Emancipation Proclamation. It had reached the trioctile to Saturn for Lincoln’s assassination.
This could go on, but let’s skip two more presidential assassinations and look at Black Friday when the stock market crashed. Remember that we had the Ascendant on Saturn for the original U.S. bank. How would you like an Ascendant square to Saturn in the second house for the financial crash? Progressed Venus, our money planet, had just reached the cusp of the fifth house of speculation and investment and was opposite the Sun. The progressed Sun was quincunx natal Sun, so the progressed MC was quincunx its natal position and Uranus while progressed East Point was also quincunx its original position. The progressed Antivertex was conjunct the natal Moon and quincunx natal Neptune. The progressed Moon was just coming to the second house for the long years of economic struggle. The bread lines were not in evidence yet, but they were coming. Progressed Mercury was octile natal Saturn and trioctile natal Sun while progressed Mars was at the midpoint of natal and progressed Neptune, sextile natal Mercury.
Just a couple more dates: Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 marked our official entry into World War II when the Japanese bombed Hawaii. Progressed MC was quincunx natal Mars and just coming to the square to natal Moon. Of course, we might want to move these angles a fraction of a degree, even if the time is approximately right. Progressed Antivertex was quincunx progressed Mars, and trine progressed Saturn, all at zero degrees so aspecting the Aries point. Progressed Ascendant was just past Pluto but still on the progressed mean node of the Moon. Progressed Venus was on both the node and Pluto. Progressed Moon had just reached the seventh house cusp to force us to confront partners and open enemies. Just prior to the attack, while it was being planned, Moon had gone through the square to MC-Uranus.
That 21 to 22 degree area in Scorpio might be worth watching. We had progressed Ascendant there for the latter part of the Civil War, and progressed MC there for our entry into World War II. By solar arc directions, Saturn would have been there for the War of 1812, Mars there for the stock market crash, and Uranus there for the second World War. By the end of the war, progressed Moon was coming to the ninth house again, as we looked at the moral issue of the atom bomb. When the bombs fell on Japan, the Moon was just past the opposition to progressed Saturn but in orb of the quincunx to progressed Mars and square progressed Ascendant and Venus. The latter two were quincunx natal Venus with progressed Venus still in the square to progressed Saturn. Progressed East Point was trine Mars; Antivertex trine Venus; MC trine Mercury. We did win; for the moment. Then the Sun entered Capricorn and some serious thinking began. It was the end of an era, and a time to confront a kind of power the world had never before seen. There had been many aspects to Pluto while the bomb was being developed and we were at war around the earth.
The first resignation of a President in disgrace came on August 9, 1974. Progressed MC was quincunx natal Mercury, ruler of the MC. The progressed angles for Philadelphia and the local ones for Washington, DC were clustered around the square and opposition to Neptune as the nation watched a President exposed as a liar. Progressed Mars had reached the square to natal Sun. Progressed Mercury was quincunx the natal Ascendant. The quincunx is the classic aspect for separation; closet cleaning time. The Sun was just leaving Pluto; it had been conjunct it through the actions that led to Watergate, and through the whole struggle to uncover the truth. Progressed Moon was in the ninth house (law courts and moral principles), moving over Vesta during the last two months before the final showdown, trine Pluto in Capricorn in the fifth house when Nixon (who has his Sun in Capricorn in the fifth) was finally ousted. Progressed Sun was in the last degree of Capricorn (approaching Aquarius) to open still another era that would see equality between the sexes as an issue of increasing importance.
We may run additional charts in future issues of The Mutable Dilemma if readers are interested. Rectification is a chancy and time-consuming pastime. But it would be nice to have a chart for the U.S. that really worked. Enough people have computers now to do more work on the chart. Let us know what you find.