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