US astrology chart

The Solstice Chart and its Meaning for the US

Robert P. Blaschke has written an elegant piece for The Mountain Astrologer website on the chart for the Capricorn Ingress.  The Capricorn Ingress is the Wnter Solstice in the tropical zodiac that occurs when the Sun enters Capricorn and begins a new year.  Robert writes,

Upon viewing the overwhelming preponderance of planets in the first quadrant, one immediately perceives that 2009 will become a year of survival for the United States. As the only Winter Ingress horoscope in American history to have an exact Sun-Pluto conjunction on the Cardinal Point, the depth and extent to which the United States will have to change during the next year is at the present time unfathomable to all but the astrologers who have the techniques and methods to make such a forecast.

This tremendous change to be seen in the US is also reflected, as I’ve written before, in the transiting square of Pluto to the Midheaven in the chart for the United States.  Pluto represents the power for change and transformation, and the Midheaven in a national chart represents the government and leadership of that nation.  Pluto often begins with a breakdown phase, and we are certainly seeing that phase now.  But if we navigate the breakdown phase successfully, there is a regeneration phase on the other side that brings transformation and regeneration that in the end will make it all worthwhile.  When a system is broken, there is sometimes no way to fix it but to begin anew!

By | 2008-12-29T19:42:13+00:00 December 29th, 2008|Astrology|Comments Off on The Solstice Chart and its Meaning for the US

Happy July Fourth! And a look ahead

There is a lot of disagreement among astrologers around the exact time that the United States was born. The actual declaration of independence occurred with a unanimous vote on July 2, but the actual document was not signed until July 4. You can read more about this and why I prefer the Sibley July 4 chart here, and you’ll also find my predictions for the past twelve months.

But now, let’s take a look at the US solar return chart and see what could be ahead in the coming year:

The Solar Return chart is cast for the moment that the transiting Sun returns to its place in the birthchart. The return chart gives us a hint as to the energies of the upcoming year, although no prediction of the future is set in stone.

The chart for the 2008 US Solar Return shows Sagittarius rising, with Pluto rising in the first house of identity and personality. Sagittarius is rising in the version that I prefer of the US natal chart as well and signifies the expansive colonialism of the US and the desire to spread its philosophy around the world. Pluto is retrograde, signifying the waning of power, although in the first house it is still attempting to flex the muscles of that power and show the world that the power is still present.

Uranus, planet of innovation, change and rebellion and also retrograde, is in the third house of communication and it forms a square to the ascendant, or persona. To me this seuggests that the speech and efforts of the US to communicate its goals and ideals will be out of sync (Uranus) with the rest of the world (perception of persona) and although there is an effort to make changes and create new ways of diplomacy they are likely not to be successful.

Still, alliances are highlighted in this chart, with the Sun in Cancer (tribal affiliations and family) in the seventh house, but an opposition from Jupiter suggests that the allies of the US will not be as dependable as hoped. Jupiter is retrograde in the first house of identity, and while Jupiter’s presence generally suggests good fortune the retrograde component often indicates an inability to recognize the bounty being given.

This opposition forms a T-square to the Libra midheaven, signifying the government and people in power, which suggests that the alliances of the US, or perhaps within the US, will create serious challenges for the governmental structure. With Pluto’s re-entry into Capricorn in December, we could see some significant changes in the US government.

Mercury, the Trickster and communicator, is conjunct the descendant (the cusp of the seventh house) and opposite Pluto on the ascendant, carrying the partnership theme a little farther and adding additional concern that those that are thought the allies of the US may in fact have other agendas.

The Moon (the emotions of the people) is in Leo, where it longs to be adored and celebrated, but it falls in the eighth house of death, taxes, and other people’s money. The Moon makes no aspects to any other planets, indicating a sense that Americans feel isolated in the world. The Leo Moon in the eighth house traditionally portends the death of a well-loved leader.

A conjunction of Saturn and Mars also falls in the eighth house, suggesting to me the continued fall of the stock market (eighth house) and blocks and restrictions (Saturn) in efforts to pull money out of the resources of other countries (eighth house) such as in Iraq and Africa.

The USA solar return chart for 2008 includes the conjunction of Chiron to the North Node that I’ve been writing about here, and long-buried painful issues from the nation’s past (Chiron) will make themselves known in order to help facilitate the evolutionary journey (North Node) of the US. The conjunction falls in the second house of money and resources, an area of great compulsion for this country (Pluto is in the second house in the natal chart). I suspect that the healing process will have something to do with the way resources (second/eighth house) are distributed in this country and the legacy of slavery and welfare programs that are all a part of the resource distribution patterns. The Chironic process is rarely comfortable, but it’s an important process that in the end proves to be very worthwhile.

Mars is trine Pluto in the US chart, which does show power (Pluto) in military endeavors (Mars) and the ability to overcome (Pluto) terrorist forces (Mars). But the conjunction of Saturn there to Mars will limit that success somewhat.

We also see a trine of Venus to Uranus, demonstrating the likelihood that friends (Venus) will come from unlikely places (Uranus), and a trine of Mercury to Chiron which bodes well for negotiations in the entertainment and telecommunications industries.

If I were astrologer to the President today, I would recommend that he watch his back as the perceived friends of the US may not be the most dependable, and to keep his eyes open to new alliances that could turn out to be the best after all.

Happy Fourth everyone!

By | 2008-07-04T10:34:00+00:00 July 4th, 2008|Politics|Comments Off on Happy July Fourth! And a look ahead

The US Progressed Sun: The Next 30 Years

piscesThis is part III of the series on the US Progressed Sun. Catch up with Part I here and Part II here.

The Sun of the US astrological chart (Geeky astrological note: I use the Sibley chart with Sagittarius on the ascendant) progressed into Pisces on the exact day of the 2004 Presidential election. We saw in Part I and Part II how the progressed US Sun has brought major shifts in the attitudes and circumstances of the United States culture, and I expect this cycle to be no different.

Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac: it is the sign where we long to transcend the boundaries of ordinary reality and attain an experience of the beyond. For the devout this takes the form of a longing for god; for the atheist the transcendent experience may come through music. Some, such as Richard Dawkins, spend their whole lives fighting against the transcendent impulse within them. The darker expression of the Pisces impulse brings us into a state of confusion and delusion when reality becomes blurred and undefined. It is easier to look back and assign astrological significance than to predict the future, but let’s see what we could see under the Pisces influence.

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, the US nation was united and strong in their resolve to battle the forces of darkness, but by the time the 2004 elections came about Americans were beginning to have doubts and that national resolve began to splinter. Just after the election Colin Powell resigned, the first chink in the Bush administration to fall. Pisces tends to obscure the truth, and suddenly the world appeared far less black and white.

The United States has become much more culturally diverse over the past 50 years, and under the Pisces influence racial identification will become much less defined and specific. We are already seeing this with the candidacy of Barack Obama, who is not white, not a black descendant of slaves – he defies categorization. There is a Muslim member of congress, and Latinos are gaining a foothold in the power and economic structures of the country. This trend towards a blurred national identity will continue under Pisces.

Pisces rules endings, and as the US entered its influence the Terry Schiavo case opened up a new debate on end-of-life issues. Sacrifice and redemption is associated with Pisces and Neptune, and controversies over birth and death will bring changes in the way our society looks at these transitions.

A true experience of the divine is what Pisces offers, and the movement out of dogmatic theology into a more authentic and transcendent experience will continue to be more and more important for Americans. Psychic experiences will become ever more accepted, as we are seeing even now in our major media. The television show “Medium” premiered in January of 2005, just after the US progressed Sun moved into Pisces, and was the first of many such shows that came afterwards. The darker side of Pisces could lead some into a well of confusion and deception, however, as the yearning for the divine can combine with the urge for self-sacrifice and atonement that we also find under Pisces and encourages some to leave their discrimination behind.

The sacrificial urge can also be expressed in a higher form through benevolent compassion and nonviolence as prescribed in the Buddhist religions, and we will likely to see a spread of these congregations throughout the US. Pisces bestows empathy and a desire to understand the plights of others which could lead to increased understanding between various social and religious groups. This growing empathy could lead to a greater sensitivity to environmental issues as well, and perhaps the urge for martyrdom and redemption will encourage the kind of conservation that can help preserve the earth’s resources.

Music is associated with Pisces, and I would expect new forms of music to enter popular culture in the US. Fantasy films are likely to become even more popular for adults as well as children; eight out of the ten top grossing films in 2005 were fantasy films.

The next 30 years could mark a weakening of US global power. Pisces is not a sign of action or strength, and it can be difficult to achieve enough focus and energy under the Pisces influence to be able to effect real change. In addition, the US progressed Mars turned retrograde back in the summer of 2006 which many astrologers believe to be the end of US global domination. It will be difficult for Americans to unite behind a common purpose under the Pisces influence and we are likely to see a fragmentation in the government, particularly with transiting Pluto entering Capricorn and then squaring Uranus in Aries in 2010-2013.

The cycle of the zodiac marks a natural evolution and progression, and each transition is equally important and the next 30 years will bring a crucial phase for the evolution of the United States. Only time will tell exactly how that will manifest!!

By | 2007-09-05T10:23:00+00:00 September 5th, 2007|Favorite posts, Longreads|Comments Off on The US Progressed Sun: The Next 30 Years

The Progressed Sun in the US Chart

Part I: 1945-1975

The progressed chart shows the evolution of the individual – although the natal chart, or birthchart, remains the same the progressed chart describes life changes that occur as we age and grow. The progressed Sun changes signs every 30 years, and the US Progressed Sun had been in Aquarius since April of 1975 following a stint in Capricorn.

The passage of the US Capricorn progressed Sun, from November 1945 through April 1975, beginning with the end of World War II and initiating a nationwide building period thatexpanded middle-class affluence throughout the country (unless you were African-American, but that’s another story). The GI bill made housing affordable for more and more families, and communities of tract housing such as Levittown sprang up across the country, beginning the suburban sprawl that would ultimately increase our dependence on automobiles and foreign oil.

The Oxford History of the United States includes a volume called Grand Expectations which covers the Progressed Sun in Capricorn period between 1965 and 1974. From the description on Amazon:

Beginning in 1945, America rocketed through a quarter-century of extraordinary economic growth, experiencing an amazing boom that soared to unimaginable heights in the 1960s. At one point, in the late 1940s, American workers produced 57 percent of the planet’s steel, 62 percent of the oil, 80 percent of the automobiles. The U.S. then had three-fourths of the world’s gold supplies. English Prime Minister Edward Heath later said that the United States in the post-War era enjoyed “the greatest prosperity the world has ever known.” It was a boom that produced a national euphoria, a buoyant time of grand expectations and an unprecedented faith in our government, in our leaders, and in the American dream–an optimistic spirit which would be shaken by events in the ’60s and ’70s, and particularly by the Vietnam War. . . .

Patterson excels at portraying the amazing growth after World War II–the great building boom epitomized by Levittown (the largest such development in history) and the baby boom (which exploded literally nine months after V-J Day)–as well as the resultant buoyancy of spirit reflected in everything from streamlined toasters, to big, flashy cars, to the soaring, butterfly roof of TWA’s airline terminal in New York. And he shows how this upbeat, can-do mood spurred grander and grander expectations as the era progressed.

Of course, not all Americans shared in this economic growth, and an important thread running through the book is an informed and gripping depiction of the civil rights movement–from the electrifying Brown v. Board of Education decision, to the violent confrontations in Little Rock, Birmingham, and Selma, to the landmark civil rights acts of 1964 and 1965. Patterson also shows how the Vietnam War–which provoked LBJ’s growing credibility gap, vast defense spending that dangerously unsettled the economy, and increasingly angry protests–and a growing rights revolution (including demands by women, Hispanics, the poor, Native Americans, and gays) triggered a backlash that widened hidden rifts in our society, rifts that divided along racial, class, and generational lines. And by Nixon’s resignation, we find a national mood in stark contrast to the grand expectations of ten years earlier, one in which faith in our leaders and in the attainability of the American dream was greatly shaken.

That period was a time of unmatched achievements and devastating tragedies.

Just as we would expect with the progressed Sun in Capricorn – the sign of building, hard work, discipine and achievement; in Capricorn our nose goes directly to the grindstone and we seek symbols of our new status. But this period also saw the more difficult aspects of Capricorn: the burdens of growth, disappointment in the new system. In the mid to late 1950s, when the US progressed Sun opposed the Sun in the US chart, the seams of the new system were beginning to unravel as it became obvious that the achievements which some enjoyed were not available to all. This time marked the birth of the civil rights movement.

The Cold War was born under the influence of the Capricorn progressed Sun which resists inflammatory behavior and prefers instead to build monuments and defense structures of protection rather than act aggressively as a more fiery sign would do. Although this period marked several wars (most notably the Korean War and the Vietnam War), these wars were sold as wars of protection rather than aggression, and this period marked one of the biggest buildups of defense spending in American history.

Obviously, as with any kind of Sun Sign astrology, the progressed Sun is just one aspect of the totality of the chart that includes other progressions and transits of orbiting planets to the natal chart. But it’s interesting to get a picture of this 30-year cycle through the progressed Sun.

Next:  Part II: The US Progressed Sun in Aquarius

and Part III: The Next 30 Years

By | 2007-09-03T11:32:00+00:00 September 3rd, 2007|Favorite posts, Longreads, Politics|Comments Off on The Progressed Sun in the US Chart