talk of the Bush Administration leading the U.S. into an attack on Iraq to topple
Saddam Hussein (and/or to acquire Iraq's rich oil reserves), I researched astrological
patterns coinciding with past American wars. The planets most involved in wars
are Mars and Uranus, and the U.S. was born with Mars and Uranus in Gemini. Depending
on which Ascendant one chooses for a birth chart of the U.S., Gemini occupies
the First, Seventh or Second House.
Uncle Sam's Persona
use the Gemini Ascendant because I feel it best depicts Uncle Sam's persona in
the community of nations. It puts Uranus conjunct the Ascendant, indicating an
entity that is bold, headstrong, innovative, and by turns benevolent and violent.
Also, the U.S. was "born" in the Revolutionary War of 1776 and this
chart places Mars and Uranus in the First House, and one expects to find these
two planets prominent during wars.
takes Uranus 84 years to circle the Sun, and the U.S. has gone through its most
destructive wars when Uranus has returned to, or near, its natal position in the
U.S.'s birth chart: the Revolution, Civil War and World War II.
many wars have there been in US history? Hendrik Hertzberg, writing in the New
Yorker magazine's September 30, 2002 issue, took on this question:
does a couple of hundred sound? There have been eight or nine that were big enough
so that most reasonably attentive college students could probably name them, from
the War of 1812 to the Persian Gulf War. There have been a dozen other conflicts
that involved the accoutrements of bigtime warfare, such as pitched battles or
naval engagements. And if you count the many so-called Indian wars, the various
Latin-American adventures, and all the military episodes that, to the participants
at least, felt an awful lot like war (from the forays against the Barbary-pirate
states of North Africa at the outset of the nineteenth century to the Balkan interventions
at the close of the twentieth), the numbers begin to mount up.|
have been only five declarations of war: War of 1812, Mexican War (1846), Spanish-American
War (1898) and the two World Wars of the twentieth century. Some of the bloodiest
wars were fought without formal declarations by Congress. And some of the most
decisive conflicts in terms of America's destiny were not called wars. So I have
researched those which I think were the most influential in our history.
Behind the Scenes
the American Revolution, Uranus had returned to its natal position when the Civil
War broke out in August 1861. Mars and Uranus were both conjunct Uncle Sam's Uranus
at 9 Gemini then. But we should not overlook the lead-up to this tremendous transformation
of America, for it is a classic example of Pluto's subtle, long-range effects.
During the 1830s, Pluto was in mid-Aries, opposite the U.S. Saturn in Libra and
square the U.S. Sun in Cancer. This is when the Underground Railroad came into
existence, when the Southwest and California were being wrested from Mexico, and
when Frederick Douglas and William Lloyd Garrison boldly and righteously agitated
for the abolition of slavery.
produced the first issue of his newspaper, The Liberator, on January
1, 1831, with transiting Pluto square the U.S. Sun and opposite the U.S. Saturn.
He wrote as though possessed by Pluto: "I shall strenuously contend for the
immediate enfranchisement of our slave population....On this subject I do not
wish to think, or speak, or write with moderation....I am in earnest, I will not
equivocate, I will not excuse, I will not retreat a single inch AND I WILL BE
Underground Railroad was an elaborate network of secret routes established during
Pluto's hard aspect to the U.S. Sun-Saturn square. From 1830 to the Civil War,
at least 40,000 slaves followed this network to freedom. By 1840, there were no
less than 2,000 antislavery societies with a membership of around 200,000. Pluto,
we might say, inspired resistance to slavery and seeded the Civil War that erupted
30 years after Douglas and Garrison launched their philosophical assaults.
December 7, 1941 when Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese, Saturn at 23
Taurus was conjunct Uranus at 27 Taurus, with both moving toward a conjunction
with the U.S. natal Uranus. Saturn and Uranus moved over Uncle Sam's Ascendant-Uranus
between the tide-turning battle of Midway and the A-bombing of Hiroshima in 1945
which changed the nature of war forever.
wars are orgies of mass murder and wanton destruction instigated by those who
have convinced themselves that "we are good, they are evil." But not
all wars have been fought with military weapons. The first unconventional war
fought on American soil occurred in 1610 in what was then the Jamestown Colony,
two orbits of Uranus before the birth of the U.S. as a nation. Uranus was conjunct
what would become the U.S.'s natal Uranus for this. In history books, it's called
"The Starving Time." Local Indians, humiliated by the high-handed ways
of those early colonists, withdrew their support, leaving the newly arrived English
gentlemen to their own devices. Those interested in history will find the details
of this time exceedingly gory.
next time Uranus transited over what would become the U.S. natal Uranus occurred
in 1694, coinciding with another nonmilitary war, the Salem Witch Trials. It marked
the end of a thousand or more years of Christian persecution of pantheists and
major wars and turning pointsJamestown, Salem, Revolution of 1776, Civil
War and World War IIall correlated with Uranus returning to its natal position
in the U.S. birth chart. Each was unique and different in detail, but all were
primarily fought for ideals or ideas. The emphasis in other American wars has
been on commercial or imperial interests.
Mexican War, declared May 13, 1846, found Uranus conjunct Venus in mid-Aries making
a t-square to the U.S. Sun-Saturn square, and Pluto conjunct Mercury forming a
t-square with the US Mercury opposite the US Pluto.
War of 1812, World War I, Korean War, Vietnam War and the Persian Gulf War show
that for these, it was Uncle Sam's financially sensitive Mars-Neptune square which
was receiving challenging aspects.
In 1812, Pluto was at 19 Pisces opposite
the U.S. natal Neptune at 22 Virgo, with both square the U.S. Mars in Gemini.
Transiting Mars was opposite transiting Saturn with both making hard aspects to
the U.S. natal Jupiter-Sun conjunction in Cancer: the newly formed nation was
World War I, transiting Jupiter was at 22 Pisces conjunct Chiron at 18 Pisces
and both were square the U.S. natal Mars. Pluto and Saturn in Cancer formed hard
aspects to the U.S. natal cluster of Venus, Jupiter and Sun in Cancer.
the Korean War's outbreak, transiting Uranus at 5 Cancer was square transiting
Mars at 7 Libra, forming a grand cross to Uncle Sam's Venus, Jupiter and Sun in
Cancer. Chiron at 17 Sagittarius was opposite the U.S. Mars, and soon to join
Jupiter and Saturn in a grand cross challenge to the U.S.'s Mars-Neptune square.
The country's Sun sense of "I am" was aroused, but with the U.S. Mars-Neptune
square under so much pressure, this was primarily an economically-motivated conflict.
was no official inception date for the Vietnam War. It grew gradually after World
War II when the U.S. came the aid of French companies and troops, faced with mounting
resistance in what was then the French colony of Vietnam. With the Gulf of Tonkin
Resolution passed August 7, 1964, the U.S. military became fully committed. Astrologically,
Uranus, Pluto and Mercury were conjunct in Virgo at this time, with Saturn in
Pisces opposite Virgo. In retrospect, this was a Neptunian war: most Americans
were foggy as to why we were fighting it, or were deluded by the media into believing
we were stopping communism and saving the shores of California from an Asian invasion.
winter of 1966 an unprecedented (Uranus) antiwar movement changed America for
ever (Pluto), all the usual planetary suspects were implicated: Uranus was conjunct
Pluto with both conjunct the U.S. Neptune, opposite a conjunction of Mars, Saturn
and Chiron in Pisces, with all these warrior energies square the U.S. natal Mars
in Gemini, which was hit at the time by a conjunction of Jupiter, enlarging the
investors thought we were in for another Great Depression in October 1987 when
stocks did a record dive. But this turned out to be strictly a financial affair.
It barely caused a ripple in the overall economy. For financial panics I look
for adverse aspects to the US Mars-Neptune square. And sure enough, Saturn and
Uranus were both in Sagittarius opposite the US Mars, with the Moon conjunct Neptune
and Chiron conjunct Mars. Jupiter opposite the US Saturn appears to have inflated
Saturn next arrived in mid-Capricorn, America had not suffered a Great Depression
since the 1930s and no small number of economic theorists believed another was
inevitable. Foremost among those economists was Ravi Batra, whose book The
Great Depression of 1990 became a runaway bestseller, coinciding with
the arrival in mid-Capricorn of Saturn, Neptune and Uranus.
surprise! No grand cross, no great depression. Even though those three heavies—Saturn,
Neptune and Uranus—were opposite the US Sun and thus square the US Saturn, no
heavy occupied mid-Aries and Pluto showed its power at 14 Scorpio, trine the US
Sun and sextile the Saturn-Neptune-Uranus trio in Capricorn.
It was at
this time that I came to the realization that every time Saturn anchors a grand
cross to the US Sun-Saturn square, America suffers a Great Depression. Every time
Saturn arrives in mid-Capricorn without being square a heavy in mid-Aries, historic
events occur but no Great Depression.
I write this, news shows carry talkers who speculate that February will be the
"ideal" month for Bush to send American troops to Iraq. So I did a chart
for February 24, 2003, and then compared it with the U.S. natal chart. Based on
the astrological history of previous American wars, we look first for the positions
of Mars and Uranus, then Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter, and whatever aspects these
might make to the U.S. natal Uranus-Ascendant, and/or Mars-Neptune square, and/or
the U.S. Sun in Cancer.
we find is that Mars and Pluto (plus the Moon on February 24) are in Sagittarius
opposite Saturn at 22 Gemini: a t-square affliction to Uncle Sam's natal Mars-Neptune
square. Transiting Uranus at 29 Aquarius is soon to move into a square with the
U.S. Uranus-Ascendant. Chiron at 15 Capricorn is opposite the U.S. Sun and also
thus square the U.S. Saturn. And there is at this time an opposition formed by
Jupiter and Neptune which, although it doesn't directly affect U.S. planets, is
definitely not helpful.
Most interesting is that Pluto has moved 90 degrees
or one-quarter of its cycle around the Sun and is now in mid-Sagittarius, forming
a 90-degree square to where the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of 1966 occurred in mid-Virgo,
and the antiwar protestors of 2002 are looking a lot like those of the Sixties.