And Just in Time For The Election

The dominant story of 2020 involves the three planets Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto.  Each pair of these planets has a conjunction during the year, and there is much expectation of what those conjunctions will bring.  The first is the Saturn-Pluto conjunction on January 12.  Then the first of three Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions takes place on April 4.  Finally the Jupiter Saturn conjunction occurs on the solstice of December 21, 2020.



Saturn Pluto Conjunction



Jupiter Pluto Conjunction



Jupiter Saturn Conjunction


But I want to point out a combination of the three planets with Mars added in just to give the whole thing some spice.  That is, as illustrated in the chart below, on or about October 16, 2010, less that three week before the Presidential election in the United States.



New Moon Before Election


Does this chart portend anything interesting?  It’s hard to pick the best date here, but I chose this one because there is also a new moon, which indicates new beginnings.  In this chart we have Jupiter conjunct Pluto conjunct Saturn within a total spread of about six degrees.  Pluto is at the midpoint of Jupiter and Saturn.  Mars is square Pluto and most especially Jupiter.  The New Moon is opposite Mars and square Saturn and closely square Pluto and thus there is a T-Square with that triple conjunction of those three planets that are the stars of 2020 at the apex.  Completing the picture we have Venus opposite Neptune (romantic love/deceptions in justice) and Uranus opposite Mercury (changes in the way of thinking).  So the two other outer planets, Uranus and Neptune, are aspecting two personal planets, Mercury and Venus.  On that day every planet is making an aspect.




Furthermore, looking at the US chart, the triple conjunction is opposite the US Mercury, representing the press of the nation, and the New Moon is squaring Mercury and sesquiquadrate Uranus, completing the natal Mercury semisquare Uranus, which represents a basic theme of the United States, freedom.  I am sure that basic issues about the nature of America will come up at this time.  And this year will bring up many issues regarding the press, which will be discussed in another blog post soon.



Last Quarter Moon


Another interesting chart is for the last quarter moon just before this new moon.  In this one retrograde Mars is exactly square Pluto, the Moon is opposite Jupiter and thus completing a T-square with the Sun at the apex, Neptune is sextile Jupiter and trine the Moon thus forming half a kite formation that shares a base opposition with the T-square.

If we compare this with the earlier chart Mars is even tighter in a square to Pluto and the Moon is opposite Jupiter and thus the Sun is square Jupiter, forming a T square.  Pluto is closely at the midpoint of Jupiter and Saturn chart on October 9, the last quarter moon before the New Moon on October 16.  In this chart the square of Mars and Pluto is almost exact.



These various permutations of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto are obvious in the graphical ephemeris for the period in question.  Starting in August Mars (red line) crosses in order Jupiter (blue line), Pluto (dark red line), and then Saturn (light blue line), turns retrograde and the again crosses Saturn, Pluto and Jupiter before turning direct and crossing those three planets — Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter — again at the beginning of 2021; Mars squares Jupiter for the last time when Jupiter is square Uranus in January.  At the date in question — center line of the graphical ephemeris — as you can see Mars is exactly square Pluto.

So I see October as the month when Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto are set up for action by Mars crisscrossing those planets in late summer and early fall of 2020, just in time for the US election that many people are looking forward to with hope or trepidation or both.



Election Day


And for future reference, here is the chart for election day.  There is still the conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto opposite the US Mercury.  There are four retrograde planets: Neptune, Uranus, Mars, and Mercury.  Having a national election when Mercury is retrograde (stationary turning direct) suggests that the early elections reports shouldn’t be trusted.  Mars — the least often retrograde planet — retrograde as well as opposite the natal Saturn suggests that the outcome will be delayed or that questions will arise (quelle surprise!!).  And of course that triple conjunction that has been featured above suggests problems in communication.  An election to remember!

Road Trip!

A perfect synecdoche — the part that symbolizes the greater whole — for the crisis of overshoot that is currently bedeviling the world is the popularity of that personal transportation device known as the automobile.  That popularity formed at the beginning of the Twentieth Century because of two developments.  This timing also corespondents with an outer planet midpoint as mentioned previously

The (internal combustion) automobile was invented — using the date of the patent — on January 29, 1886 by Carl Benz, whose name is still present in the brand Mercedes Benz.  This was after the internal combustion engine, so important to the automobile — even though the early ones were powered by other means, such as electric batteries or external combustion engines more commonly known as steam power, eg the Stanley Steamer — was invented over the previous decades.





Looking for the chart of this event, we see it is near the conjunction of the two outer planets Neptune and Pluto which was exact in 1890 and so colored the end of the Nineteenth Century and set the stage of the great change that would happen 100 years later with the conjunctions of Uranus and Pluto and Uranus and Neptune, which would complete the three conjunction of those three outer planets, indicating a 500 year cycle, which has been discussed in this blog many years ago.  The most notable aspect at the time of this invention was the tight Jupiter-Uranus conjunction.  Richard Tarnas calls this aspect one of creativity and expansion, and shows how many inventions have been developed under aspects of these two planets.

The automobile started out as a rich man plaything, because the first automobiles were quite expensive but later were later greatly reduced in price.  This is similar to the development of cell phones, which once were quite expensive (and large) but soon became so inexpensive that almost everyone had one.  But there were two events that changed that all and made automobiles and driving a common phenomena.

The first was the discovery of oil in Texas.  On January 10, 1901 oil was discovered on Spindletop Hill in southeastern Texas.  Oil had been known for centuries, and oil ls considered to have been discovered in Pennsylvania in 1859, but the discovery at Spindletop was different, it was the first gusher.  The gusher at Spindletop was producing 100,000 barrels a day at the beginning.  Suddenly there was plenty of oil for whatever was needed.  And this led to the discoveries of other gushers also in East Texas and the Permian Basin.





In the chart for this discovery, one aspect stands out: the opposition between Jupiter and Neptune.  One of the many items that Neptune rules is oil, the very substance that so controls the present world and is an important subject of this essay.  When we combine Jupiter with Neptune, we have a lot of oil, which is exactly what this discovery represents.  The orb is less than one degree.  There is also a Uranus opposition to Pluto, which was one of the astrological highlights of the first decade of the Twentieth Century, and has been discussed before in the Birth of Modernism.

The second development was the Model T Ford.  The first model T was produced on October 1, 1908.  This was the first car for the masses; it was a relatively inexpensive car that real people could afford, and not just the wealthy.  And Henry Ford, who was to become the third most wealthy individual in America in the early Twentieth Century, realized that he needed to pay his employees enough so they could afford the automobiles that they were making.



Model T


The first Model-T’s were in the first decade of the Twentieth Century, a period which I have previously called the birth of Modernism when many things changed, such as the popularity of movies and the first airplane flight.  In this chart we have Pluto square Mars — transformative energy — and Saturn opposite the Sun — on this day there is some limitation, but of course we would not realize what the limitation was until many decades later.

Automobiles change their environment in so many ways.  There is obvious pollution from first the construction of the vehicle from metals, plastics, and with the increasing addition of electronics to automobiles, certain rare elements such as lithium.  Then there is pollution from car exhaust and wheel dust.  Next consider the number of people and animals killed by these high speed devices, not only people outside the vehicles but also often drivers and passengers are killed or severely injured.  Automobiles extend the range for humans greatly since they travel at high speeds, allowing the colonization of areas previously unavailable to human exploitation.  This has caused the limitation of habitat for wild animals; also, the increasing spread of roadways necessary to deliver the humans to their new dwellings make travel for animals increasingly precarious.  The term ” road-kill” is now a common one and that term came in to existence only because of the deaths caused automobile and the highways on which they travel.

There are several events that can be considered the first death due to an automobile: the death of a diver, the death of a passenger, the death of a pedestrian.



First Car Death – Mary Ward


The first death from an automobile happened long before the first internal combustion automobile was patented.  Mary Ward was a Irish woman — astronomer, artist, author — who was killed when she was tossed from a home-made steam car built by her cousins and trapped under its wheels.  She is considered the first traffic fatality.  Steam (external combustion) was at the time considered suitable for cars, but it was not until the development of the internal combustion engines that the idea of the automobile took off.

In the chart for this event, the most obvious aspect is the conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto at the Descendant (but note this is a chart set for noon).  Jupiter Pluto aspects are fairly common, and I haven’t gotten a handle on them.  From the symbolism, one would expect a plenitude of transformation.



First Pedestrian Death – Henry Bliss


The first death of a pedestrian occurred when Henry Bliss was hit by an automobile on September 14, 1899.  Henry Bliss was killed by an electric taxicab, proving that both electric cars and taxicabs existed early on in the development of the automobile, and in fact this happened in the Nineteenth Century.  In this chart the most notable aspect is the opposition between Saturn and Pluto, an aspect that was also prominent in the Spanish-American War chart.  Those two planets — whose conjunction will highlight January 2020 — are always ominous.

One result of our increasing fascination with the automobiles is increased death and destruction.  The more obvious deaths and maiming are of automobile drivers and passengers rather than of pedestrian and cyclists.  There were about 36000 people killed by cars in the last year, which is a slight decrease from the year before, but this was accompanied by an increase in the number of deaths of pedestrians and cyclists.  A recent case in Germany that inflamed the public was a SUV that jumped the curb and killed four people on the sidewalk, prompting demands that SUVs be banned in that country.  SUVs are now among the most popular of vehicles (other than large pickup trucks, which often are built on the same chassis as that of SUVs), driving to extinction the venerable station wagon, even though SUVs are not only more deadly to people outside the vehicle, but also, contrary to popular opinion, more dangerous to drivers because of increased probability of rollover.  But people do like to feel that they are safe in their armoured vehicles high above the common driver.

But usually not taken account of, cars are deadly to wildlife and domestic animals.  Think of the number of dead cats and dogs in any urban environment.  And, if you live in a rural area, you are aware of all the roadkill populating the side of highways where the dead deer end up.  Roadkill provides meat to those of rural areas too impoverished to afford a decent supply of store bought meat, so that can be counted as a plus for the increasing use of cars and the increasing inequality.

But besides all the death from automobiles, think of all the accidents that do not result in death but result in injuries ranging from minor to severe that may change one’s life forever.  Doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and auto repair shops are provided with business by all these accidents, thus helping the economy.  All these events that harm individuals increase the GDP of a country.

Before the popularity of cars, cross-country walking was a thing.  Nowadays, people who walk are called “pedestrians”, a term that also means mundane or commonplace, dull.  With the rise of the automobile, the increasingly few who depend on their feet for travel are considered plebeian or commonplace when compared to those who travel with cars.

The first road trip, that is across the country from one coast of the United States to the other, was a trip from San Francisco, California to New York City.  It started in San Francisco in the afternoon of May 23, 1903 and finished in Manhattan on July 26 at 4:30 in the morning.  Horatio Nelson Jackson, a retired doctor, was bet $50 in an upscale San Francisco bar that a car could not cross the country in less than 90 days (shades of Jules Verne).  He got bicycle mechanic Sewall Crocker to accompany him in a 20 horsepower Winton touring car (certainly appropriate) which they named Vermont.  Since there were no motels, gas stations, or roadside diners along the way, they packed sleeping bags.  Automobiles were considered by many at the time as a fad that would not last and certainly too unreliable to make it across the country.  At times they needed horses to pull the stranded car and blacksmith shops to perform the repairs.  For most of the trip the were accompanied by a dog names Bud who wore motoring goggles to protect his eyes.  The story soon proved popular to the general public, and after they finally reached Chicago they had put the hardest part of the trip behind them, and arrived in Manhattan early in the morning.


Road Trip Start


Road Trip End


Looking at the two charts representing the start and end of this first road trip shows nothing very spectacular.  The Descendant represents (for charts in the Northern hemisphere) the West, where the trip started, and the Ascendant represents the East, where the trip ended.  In the first chart, the Moon is setting in the West, where the trip began.  In the second chart, the Sun is rising in the East, where the trip ends.  So symbolically these two charts capture that start and end of the first road trip.

The mass usage of automobiles, having enough gasoline because of the discovery at Spindletop, started in the first decade of the Twentieth Century and has grown with each passing year.  This has allowed humankind to expand, covering more and more of the land needed for mammals, insects, birds.  Houses and buildings have been built on more and more land, reducing the area for wild animals.  This expansion has allowed people to live in remote areas previously unavailable to all except the most intrepid explorers.

Automobiles have increasingly polluted the environment.  First because of burning of a petroleum product has added carbon dioxide and aerosols to the atmosphere.  But another major pollutant has been tire dust.  It was recently discovered (recent article in the Los Angeles Times) that one of the major sources of micro-plastic pollution in the San Francisco Bay was particle from the tires of all the automobiles driven in the Bay Area.  The amount produced by tire dust was many orders of magnitude greater that which came from other sources, such as the laundering of synthetic fabrics.

If one were an outside observer of the planet — the prototype is a typical Martian — the dominant life form of the planet Earth would be the automobile.  These creatures would be seen to have a symbiotic relation with small creatures that feed them, clean them, and buy them fuzzy dice as decorations.  In turn the automobiles take their symbiotes to places.  Notice that much of the world is taken up with areas for this dominant life forms: Highways, parking lots, and personal parking lots called driveways with attached small homes called garages that are filled with possessions of their owners and not with the cars that they were originally designed for, have increasingly covered the surface of the planet, changing the climate, breaking up areas of land so that creatures can no longer move as widely as before, and allowing people to occupy more and more land.

The introduction of the automobile, as a recent book (Policing the Open Road: How Cars Transformed American Freedom — Sarah A. Seo) has shown, has allowed the police to intervene in our lives much more often that was previously imaginable.  The idea of police stopping people of a certain race was unusual but now “driving while black” is still a common occurrence.  Being stopped for such a thing as having an outdated sticker on your license plate is an almost normal occurrence.  People think that when police stop them they are allowed to search the vehicle (not true) which causes many to be arrested for something other than a traffic  violation.

With the population increase expected in the upcoming years, and the increasing demand for a car by the impoverished masses who are increasing their wealth, one can expect that the automobile and the trends outlined above will become increasingly dominant in the world, resulting in more and more death and destruction.  That is the future we can look forward to if nothing changes!


This year we are seeing many celebrations of events that happened 50 years ago, such as Woodstock and the Moon Landing (but no celebrations of the Manson murders or the Altamont concert).  This year is also the one hundredth anniversary — a centennial — of the year 1919, and I have yet to hear of any celebration of that remarkable year and I don’t expect to hear any.  But 1919 was a very important year, setting some trends that are still alive today.

To understand all that was happening, we must first reflect on the context for that year.

World War I tore up much of Europe and had countries from all over the world involved, thus the appellation “World War”.  Four empires that had existed for centuries — German, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, and Russian — collapsed as a result of the War.  Many new countries were formed that are currently in the news, such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Syria.  There was also a large scale epidemic that killed more than four times the number that died in the War.  America went through many changes, some of which were not directly attributable to the war.





First let’s look at the major aspects of the chart, not only the World transits that affect everyone but also the transits to the US chart.  The most prominent aspect, which colored much that went on in the world, was the opposition of Saturn and Uranus.  As you can guess from the nature of these two planets, that opposition is very combustible.  The two planets, one that was the limit of the known solar system for millennia, and the other the first planet discovered with the aid of a scientific instrument, a discovery that captured the new world people were moving towards, one ruled more and more by science, have distinctly contradictory natures.  Saturn represents limits and conservatism (among other things) while Uranus represents the new and revolutionary, so those two planets can be seen as representing the old established ideas versus the new more modern things that are coming into focus — conservatism against change.  With those two principles in opposition, one can see a very major conflict.  The United States was especially affected by this aspect, because Uranus was on the Moon of the United States, and thus Saturn was opposite the Moon.  The people (represented by the Moon) would be an instrument of this conflict.  Other aspects involving the US chart were Neptune on the North Node and Pluto on Jupiter, which is one of the core planets of the US and thus very important to the self-image of that country.  All of these aspects are slow moving ones that involve the four outer planets Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
The cinema was becoming increasingly popular by 1919, and so actors finally took the business side of the movies into their own hands.  In what I call an “Astrological Cliche” we have the tight conjunction all year of transiting Neptune and US natal North Node of the Moon.  Neptune is associated with illusion, things that aren’t actually real, and as a result it is connected with artists and especially movies, which by their vary nature are not real.  The North Node has many meanings; the one I like is that of groups or associations.  The famous event of 1919 involving Neptune was the formation of United Artists (read Node-Neptune), a group for production of movies started by some of the most well known people in that field at the time: D. W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and Mary Pickford.  The idea originally was to involved those making movies to control things, instead of allowing business owners to control things.  United Artists still exists 100 years later, though it has gone through many owners and purposes.

Starting in 1918 and continuing until 1920 was the largest pandemic of the modern world, a large outbreak of influenza known a the “Spanish flu” though Spain did not have anything to do with its origins.  The month with the most deaths was October of 1918, but there were more deaths after that month than before.  Unlike most influenza which kills mostly infants and the elderly, this flu struck down mostly those in the middle.  And aspirin — which had only been sold for twenty years — was recommended for treating this flu, which made the death toll worse.  Research has found the homeopathic doctors saved more lives than allopathic doctors because of the problems with aspirin.

During this whole period the Versailles peace conference was happening to settle World War I which had ended in November of 1918.  The conference started in January of 1919 and lasted for exactly a year, though parts went on for several more years.  Sections of the German and Ottoman Empires were awarded to the victors, Britain and France, so those counties got possession of among other things, Palestine, Syria and Iraq.  The League of Nations was formed, an idea of American President Woodrow Wilson, even though the US did not join.  Large reparations were demanded of Germany.  The harsh treatment of Germany that resulted did much to upset the German populace and helped lead to World War II.




As we can see from the above graphical ephemeris, the opposition of Saturn and Uranus started in late 1918 — far left of the graph — and ended in early 1920 — far right of the graph.

The Summer of 1919 is known as Red Summer (the term from a NAACP leader) because so much blood was shed in various “race riots” which happened around the country.  But it also showed that the black people living in the United States were no longer willing to take hostility — resulting in violence — from the white population, and they fought back.  Remember the context: The Supreme Court decision of Plessy v Ferguson which had happened at the end of the previous century had allowed Separate but Equal laws to take place around the United States, resulting in wide spread sanctioned segregation of the races.  After that was the Great Migration in which a half million black citizens from the South moved north seeking work in industry.  The end of World War I allowed many black soldiers to return to the United States and they began looking for work.  The result of all these were attacks by white mobs in dozens of cities and hundreds of deaths.  As the Ku Klux Klan put it in flyers posted in black neighborhoods: “The war is over, negroes. Stay in your place. If you don’t, we’ll put you there.”

In order to get Americans, who did not want to go to war (Wilson ran the second time on the slogan “He kept us out of war”) to be willing to fight, extreme nationalism/patriotism was promoted by ardent propaganda.  Sauerkraut was renamed liberty cabbage and hamburger was called liberty steak.  One result of this was the fear among many of anyone different.  A. Mitchell Palmer was the Quaker Attorney General under President Wilson, and he (called the “fighting Quaker”) imprisoned and deported many people whom he considered Communists or anarchists.  The Russian Revolution had occurred in 1917, and many government officials (such as the new democracy of Germany as well as in America) were mortally afraid of a Communist Revolution in their own back yards.  There were many foreign born radicals in the United States as well as anarchists.  So Palmer instituted what was called the “Palmer Raids” (also known as the First Red Scare) wherein Palmer organized a round up and deportation of those suspect of left-wings feelings.

The Russian Revolution of November 1917 resulted in the Russian Civil War between the Red (Bolsheviks ) and the White Russians.  There was an invasion of Russia by troops from a dozen countries (such as England, France, United States, Italy, and Japan) on the side of the White Russians in 1918.  Though most troops, except for the Japanese, were withdrawn in 1920, this invasion extended the Russian Civil War and caused hard feelings between the West and the Soviet Union, which extended to the Cold War after World War II and even today.

On January 16, 1919 the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified by Congress, which would result in the prohibition of the sales of alcoholic beverages starting at the beginning of the next year, leading to the the folly of Prohibition for the next 13 years, and thus to a widespread lawlessness and an empowerment of criminals.  During the Twenties much alcohol was consumed, but instead of a lot of beer and wine, much more potent distilled spirits were drunk, since those were easier to conceal.  There was also corruption developed among those law officers charged with upholding Prohibition, as is always the case when laws differ from the wishes of people.

Another amendment was passed by both the House and the Senate in the United States, and that was the Nineteenth Amendment which gave women the right to vote.  This amendment was finally ratified by enough states in the middle of 1920.  There had been an active suffragette movement before World War I in several countries of the world, such as Great Britain and the United States. Women were able to vote for President in the United States 1920 election.

Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany (who was related to Queen Victoria of England and Tsar Romanov of Russia), after his country was defeated in World War I, abdicated and moved to the Netherlands, which refused to extradite him for war crimes.  The government of Germany was replaced by the beginnings of a democratic one, and the government of German was called the Weimar Republic from the city where its constitution was drafted.  But there was much upset about the way the government was going, and a strong Communist movement in Germany developed.  In 1919 there was a civil war between the Communist Spartacus League and the newly installed government.  The government crushed the uprising and put some leaders of the Spartacus League to death, including one of its founders, Rosa Luxemburg.

An international Workers Union called the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW – Wobblies) had been formed in the middle of the last decade, and after the Russian Revolution and World War I, there developed much hostility between the established citizens and the Wobblies.  This resulted in the Centralia (Washington) massacre.  In Centralia on November 11, 1919 — exactly one year after the end of World War One — there was an armistice march including veterans from neighboring Chehalis.  There had long been a conflict between the American Legion, prominent in Southern Washington state, and the radicals of the IWW, but with that march these conflicts flared into the open.  There are conflicting stories of who fired the first shot, the American Legion or the Wobblies.  As a result six were killed and more wounded and several Wobblies were convicted of murder in a later trial.
During the just ended war, there was an agreement between industries — especially the steel industry that made something that was extremely important for the war — that there would be no strikes and that the industries would treat the workers decently, unlike before the war.  But after the war ended the agreement was no longer in effect.  So by late 1919 the workers decided to strike the steel industry, in what is called the Great Strike of 1919.  But it did not turn out well for the workers.  The general public was afraid of “Bolsheviks” taking over the country; the atmosphere, as detailed above, was hyper-patriotic.  The heads of the steel industry painted the strikers as possible bolsheviks and thus the strikers lost almost all public support.



Seattle General Strike

The General Strike in Seattle started on February 6 and lasted for only six days, but army troops were called in on the second day of the strike by a nervous mayor.  One hundred and one different AFL — American Federation of Labor — unions joined the strike to show solitary with the shipyard workers who were on strike.  There was no violence, the general strike was entirely peaceful.  Many other workers stayed home and the streetcars stopped running.  But police raided some union halls, and there was worry about Bolshevik Revolution in Seattle.  By the time the strike was over, newspapers were cheering the fact that Seattle had been saved from the Reds. But it was a momentous event in the history of labor solidarity, and the University of Washington has a web site dedicated to this event.  In this chart above we see of course the Saturn opposite Uranus, but also a Mars trine Pluto —  a  transformative confrontation, but (trine) not violent —  but also Neptune opposite Mercury, suggesting that the newspapers (Mercury) were somewhat deceptive about the nature of the strike,

Another scandal of note during the year was the fixing of the 1919 World Series by the Chicago White Sox, who came to be known as the Black Sox for their cheating.  In this incident eight members of the Chicago team were accused of losing the World Series on purpose so they would get money from a gambling organization.  There was a movie made about this incident in 1988 called Eight Men Out.

One other incident in 1919 deserves mention.  President Woodrow Wilson had a stroke on October 2, after a grueling tour to promote his League of Nations.  His second wife, Edith, was very protective of him and few knew that Wilson was quite ill.  She even signed his name on some official papers, and in fact many call Edith Wilson the first woman President.  While Wilson’s health did improve he remained paralyzed on one side which reduced his ability to campaign for his League, and any thoughts he had of a third term were dashed.  He died in 1924.

So during the year of 1919 we see many variations of that basic conflict of humanity, the old order versus the new, as represented by the opposition of Saturn and Uranus, and that conflict played out in many different venues. But there was also a formation of a business for the making of movies, something at the time as becoming increasingly popular.  The basic core of America was beginning to be transformed, as symbolized by the transit of Pluto across Jupiter, an important planet conjunct the US Sun.


Guernica is the name for one of Spanish artist Pablo Picasso’s most famous paintings, a town in the northern part of the Basque region of Spain, and the name of an important battle of the Spanish Civil War that took place there.





The Spanish Civil War was a conflict between the troops led by Francisco Franco and the recognized Republican government of Spain.  The troops led by Franco, who had been on duty in the Spanish colony of Morocco, attempted to take over the Spanish government.  The Soviet Union (Stalin) backed the existing government and Germany (Hitler) and Italy (Mussolini) backed the Franco faction.  In much the same way that in the present day certain countries back the rump government in Venezuela even though it is not the recognized government, certain countries backed the rump government in Spain in the Thirties.



Francisco Franco


If we look briefly at the chart of Francisco Franco, the Spanish leader most closely connected with the Spanish Civil War and leader of Spain until his death in 1975, we see he was born under a full moon and under the strong Neptune-Pluto conjunction that so colored the early Twentieth Century.  And in fact his Moon is conjunct those two planets, showing that he was a manifestation of the energies of those two outer planets.  He was a strong man who would leave his mark on the Twentieth Century.

Since the United States did not want to takes sides in the Spanish Civil War, while many members of left wing organizations did, there was formed what was called the Abraham Lincoln Brigade of volunteers from America who fought on the Republican side.  America itself, under President Franklin Roosevelt, remained neutral.  Many who became famous later were involved in covering this war, such as Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn (who later would marry Hemingway), George Orwell, and Robert Capa.  Martha Gelhorn was such an important journalist of the Twentieth Century that a prize bearing her name has been awarded since 1999.  The winner of the prize in 2011 is someone who is now imprisoned in a prison in Britain for doing journalism, Julian Assange.  That fact alone shows haw the respect for journalists had fallen in this Century.

The Spanish Civil War broke out in the evening of July 17, 1936, after the details of the attempted coup were discovered prematurely.  The coup leader was Francisco Franco, who was associated with the Falange Party of Spain.



Start Spanish Civil War


Here is a chart for the start of the Spanish Civil War that evening.  The time is early evening and it is set in the capital of Spain.  There are a number of interesting aspects.  First it is just before a New Moon, which would happen in less than a day.  That phase of the lunar cycle has been compared (The Vision by W.B.Yeats) to the fool in Tarot, the suggestion of new beginnings.  And the Spanish Civil War is often seen as the true beginning of the Second World War.  The Sun is conjunct Pluto, again emphasizing transformation on this day, though “transformation” is not always in the direction that we would like.  Uranus is at the lowest point, opposite the Midheaven: hidden changes happening now. And there is a triple conjunction of Moon, Mercury and Mars at the Descendant: Violence and publicity at this location.

The most famous battle of the Spanish Civil War was in Guernica in the Basque region of northern Spain.  This took place about nine months after the start of the War — conception to birth in other words.  Guernica was a town at that time of about 5000 people.  Monday, the day of the attack, was a market day in the town so more people would be outside.  There were about 250 people killed in the raid, but what was most notorious was the brutality of the attack.  The air assault was carried out by allies of the Nationalist Party, Germany and Italy.  The planes of those two countries attacked the town starting at about 4:30 in the afternoon of April 26, 1937.  Since it was a civilian town that was attacked, this was considered controversial and a war crime since never before had civilians only been attacked, but it was to become more common in the ensuing World War II.  The first wave of planes dropped 550 pound explosives to destroy the buildings.  After that came planes dropping incendiary devices burring at temperature to 2500 degrees Celsius.



Start Attack on Guernica


The chart for the beginning of the assault on Guernica which started at 4:30 in the afternoon shows Pluto elevated in the Tenth house.  Pluto was on the Midheaven about an hour later when the bombing was at its height.  The bombing of Guernica took three hours.  Of course, since Pluto transits the MC in any location once a day, this is not terribly unique.  Saturn had just set as the bombing commenced; the most prominent aspect is the Jupiter opposition Pluto, suggesting a wealth (Jupiter) of transformation (Pluto), though the transformation was not the type that would occur to one.  The Guernica attack on civilians was precedent setting at the time, and that type of attack would set the pace for many of the attacks of the upcoming World War Two, as well as future campaigns up to the present day.  Drone attacks are notorious for the number of civilians who are killed.

Spanish artist Pablo Picasso was well known at the time.  He had been commissioned to paint a mural for the Spanish Pavilion at the 1937 Paris World’s Fair.  Living in Paris, he heard the news of the bombing almost immediately.  He had difficulty deciding on a subject before the horror of Guernica happened, but after the attack he knew immediately what he would paint.  As soon as May 1 he had preliminary sketches of what the final work would look like.



Pablo Picasso


Picasso was born about a decade before Franco.  The upcoming Neptune Pluto conjunction is 15 degrees from exact.  Picasso has a close Mercury-Jupiter opposition which suggests a wealth of ideas, demonstrated with the many forms of painting he moved through, most famously cubism which he developed with French artist Georges Barque.  What stood out for me was the close Sun-Pluto triseptile.  Septiles — seventh harmonic aspects – are associated with creativity and inspiration, and Picasso was famous for his creativity.



Sketch for Guernica


The transits at the time Picasso first conceived of the painting of Guernica — about one week after the bombings — show transiting Mercury opposite his natal Mercury and thus energizing that natal Mercury Jupiter opposition.  There is a transiting Sun-Uranus conjunction, which speaks of sudden insights or flashes of brilliance, and this conjunction falls on Picasso’s natal Saturn, suggesting that there will be a concrete and long-lasting result from this blast of inspiration.  This mural is considered one of the Twentieth Century most profound statement on the destruction and brutality of modern war.

Some have suggested that if European countries and the United States had stood up to Hitler and Mussolini at the time, in what was a precursor to the violence of the upcoming war, then Germany and Italy would have backed down, or at least not felt they had the green light to attack other countries, for example Poland in two and a half years.

Picasso said that he did not want the paining shown in his home country until democracy returned, so it was displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City for a long time.  Unfortunately, Picasso died two years before Franco and so the artist was not able to see Guernica shown in his native Spain.



Guernica Tapestry


In 1955 Nelson Rockefeller commissioned a tapestry of Guernica since he could not buy the original.  It was done under Picasso’s supervision, and has been displayed at the United Nations Building since 1985.  But Guernica made news again in 2003.  During Colin Powell’s justification for the upcoming invasion of Iraq in front of the UN Security Council, the tapestry of Guernica, which would have been visible in the background of his speech, was mysteriously covered by blue curtain.  It would appear that a tapestry depicting the horrors of war would not provide good optics for a speaker justifying an upcoming war, though many excuses were offered for the veiling.  So even in the Twenty-First Century, Guernica shows its power.

The Nineties

The decade of the Nineties is as important as the decade of the Sixties, but it does not get the mythology of that other decade, possibly because the sound track was not as good.  At the time there was even the saying that “The Nineties are the Sixties Upside Down” which was literally true with the shape of the numerals, but also showed some hope among people who said it.  This was the decade between the fall of the Soviet Union and the attacks of 9/11.  Many conservative pundits complained about Americans going soft without the ‘threat” of Communism to goad them forward, and so were happy with the rise of terrorism marked by the attacks on the World Trade Center, itself a synecdoche for the financial capitalism that was ruling the world, and would make its mark felt in another few years.
The Sixties were marked by the conjunction of the two outer planets Uranus and Pluto, and that conjunction certainly indicated the nature of the decade that the august Trilateral Commission called “too much democracy”.  The decade of the Nineties was marked by the conjunction of the two outer planets Uranus and Neptune.  Both conjunctions involved Uranus, but the difference was between Pluto in the Sixties and Neptune in the Nineties.  So in other words the Sixties was a Pluto decade and the Nineties was a Neptune decade.

Pluto is a more dynamic, transformative planet than Neptune.  The previous conjunction of Uranus and Neptune was in the 1820s, thirty years before the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto, so the synodic cycle of Uranus and Neptune is longer than the cycle of Uranus and Pluto at least currently.  Pluto has a longer period — 250 years versus 186 — than Neptune, but sometimes Pluto speeds up as it prepares to go inside the orbit of Neptune.  Just from the difference of Neptune rather than Pluto in these two different conjunctions, you would expect that the Uranus, Neptune conjunct to be less obvious and abrasive.



Uranus Conjunct Neptune

There were a few very large changes that happened in the Nineties.

As we’ve seen in the past, hard aspects between Uranus and Neptune can symbolize times of great development of what I call ” electronic drugs”.  These are technological objects that can become addictive to many people, perhaps in certain cases more so than commonly thought addictive drugs, with heroin being the epitome.  In the first decade of the Twentieth century, with an opposition of Uranus and Neptune, the electronic drug in question was the motion picture, which first became widely and wildly popular in that decade.  Then in the decade of the Nineteen Fifties with the Uranus Neptune square the drug was television, which had existed before that decade but became widely and wildly popular during that decade after World War II.  Then in the early Nineties we saw the conjunction of those two planets.

Just as In the Sixties the conjunction of those two outer planets lasted the whole decade and colored it, even though the exact conjunction happened in the middle of the decade, this conjunction happened in the first half of the Nineties and lasted the whole decade and is indeed the keynote to the decade, even though other combinations made their mark.  The graphical ephemeris below show the slow moving conjunction of these two planets.


Uranus-Neptune Conjunction of Nineties


This was the decade that saw the rise of prominence of the World Wide Web.  Many people conflate the “World Wide Web” with the “Internet” but the Internet has existed for a longer time, and in fact it was a child of the Sixties.  A little history of this dominant technology is in order.

The Internet as a means of communications between two computers was developed during the Sixties, based on progress done during the preceding decades.  The first Internet communications, though it was not called that at the time, was between Los Angeles and Menlo Park, in what is now called Silicon Valley, on October 29, 1969.  This early Internet had basically two protocols (rules governing transfer of data): file transfer protocol (FTP) which was used to move files between two computers in different locations, and which is still widely used, and telenet, which allowed users to log on to a remote computer and do work.  This has been supplanted by secure shell, which allows the same thing but prevents other people from being part of the communication, that is it is secure.  I use both of these myself.  But as the Internet got older, more protocols were developed.  One that was very popular in the Eighties was called gopher, developed at the University of Minnesota whose mascot is the gopher.  Gopher allows hierarchical lists, and you could drill down by selecting an items and see what was hidden below.  Though rudimentary, it was the same function as what you see on a webpage, but text based rather than graphical.

The basics of what we know now as the World Wide Web, or even, using common parlance, as the Internet, originated in the Sixtes by a philosopher named Ted Nelson.  He developed the concept of hypertext.  This concept was invented back in 1963 and published two years later.  The concept was in the air by the Nineties and this important conjunction.  Hypertext was the concept that certain key words should point to a definition and elaborations of those words, that is could be a link.  But at the time it was difficult to successfully implement because of the nature of printed books.  At the time Project Xanadu was developed to show the properties of hypertext, but it was not until the development of the World Wide Web, created by Tim Berners-Lee and others, that hypertext became something that is used daily by a significant proportion of the world’s population.  If you notice the beginning of a address at the top of a browser, you will see “http:” (or https: for secure); this stands for HyperText Transport Protocol.  Berners-Lee laid out his vision in May of 1989, but it wasn’t until August 6, 1991 that he announced the results of his work to a news group.  It developed slowly at first, with there being 50 web servers in the world in January 1993; this increased dramatically so that by October of that year there were 500 web servers.  That number has grown exponentially in in the quarter century since then.

The Fall of the Soviet Union, on December 25, 1991, was one of the major events of the Twentieth Century.  The leader of the Soviet Union at the time, Mikhail Gorbachev, said something to the affect (addressed to the United States) that my country will do something profound to the United States, we will remove your enemy.  And in fact, for a time, the fall of the Soviet Union did just that.  Ever since President Woodrow Wilson sent American troops to intervene in the Russian Civil War after the fall of the czar, America had been guided by a fear of Communism and the Soviet Union.  After World War II and the start of the Cold War, the threat of Communism proved to be a large boost for defense industries which made enormous sums of money by building weapons for the United States, many of which actually worked.  And the Soviet Union and its Communism also served as a warning about the dangers of socialism, which never had the following in the United States that it did in, for example, European countries.  But the Soviet Union also served as a goad to the United States to clean up it acts, for example in the US’s overt racism, so that the country could serve a a better model of third world countries than the Soviet Union.  Historian Gordon Woods suggests that the arrival of the new revolutionary government of the Soviet Union was difficult for the US since it had always considered itself the exemplar of Revolution, and was not happy with an upstart stealing the mantle from them.  But after the disappearance of a country that has been so important in the Twentieth Century, America was a bit lost without enemies.  At first, the scourge of Drugs was seen as a replacement of the missing Communism.  But that did not last long, since drugs weren’t quite as fearsome.  Then, after 9/11, the threat of Terrorism took center stage.  That seemed to be better adversary than drugs, but still the fight against the International Terrorism Conspiracy didn’t require so many big weapons from defense industries as in the old Cold War.  But after the replacement of Washington’s man in Moscow, Boris Yeltsin (resigned December 31, 1999), with the nonalcoholic Vladimir Putin, things changed again.  Putin began to be demonized incessantly by the West, and it was thought that new military weapons needed to be built up for an oncoming war with Russia.

The beginning of this period, “the End of the Cold War” saw a tremendous change in the US government (by which I mean what was once called The Establishment, the people both inside and outside of government and its intelligence agencies, who shape what good people are suppose to think). Now America was indisputably Number One.  And the country was going to take advantage of it . There was a change: NATO — the unofficial arm of American empire — expanded, despite a pledge to Gorbachev that this would never happen, to include a dozen more countries, including those that had been in the Warsaw Pact — the opposite number to NATO — and countries associated with the Soviet Union, and also countries that had been split from the Soviet Union when it fell.  Now the United States and NATO felt confident to take on all comers.
The Eighties – the previous decade — saw the rise of Neoliberalism and the Age of Reagan.  It was a program that was mostly adhered to by the Republicans.  But the Democrats — the other dominant political party in the United States– were not fully on board.  That changed in the decade of the Nineties. President Bill “Slick Willie” Clinton became President as a Democrat in 1992 and influenced the shape of the Democratic Party in the years — and decades — following.  Bill Clinton (along with his “Coequal” president Hillary) became the dominant force of the Democratic Party, and strongly influenced those who came of age as Democrats of the Nineties and the first decade of the next century.  Clinton’s idea was “triangulation” (also know as the third way, again stressing the number three). This concept was that we should have a policy that is neither right nor left (two opposing poles) but rather a third option that is distinct from the two.  One is reminded of the old Texas aphorism that the only thing in the middle of the road is a dead skunk.  But that became the dominant paradigm for the Democratic Party at least through the Obama Administration.



Bill Clinton


Bill Clinton was a dominant personality in the Nineties, and a brief glimpse at his chart is warranted.  A most prominent feature of his chart is the triple conjunction of Venus, Mars, and Neptune at the Ascendant.  Venus Mars conjunctions can be read simply as sex, and this President was well associated with sex in the Nineties, as well as before and even now, with his connections with financier Jeffery Epstein.  But the Neptune is there also, making him the perfect representative of a Neptune-soaked decade.  Neptune can also be associated with the word “slick”.

Since the World Wide Web was invented in the early Nineties, commerce followed the lead and took advantage of the Web to start new businesses.  It seemed for awhile there that every new business had “.com” in its name.  At the end of the decade the inevitable shake out occurred with the “Dot com” bust which happened in the year 2000.  This financial meltdown was typical of the financialization that was characteristic of the Nineties.



Neptune was involved in this primary conjunction of the Nineties, and Neptune was certainly indicative in the speculative bubble that took place in the financial industries.  During this decade the money made from finances surpassed for the first time in history the money earned from manufacturing.  One could tell that the reign of FIRE – Finance, Insurance, Real Estate — had truly come to ruled the roost.  This allowed some people to became very rich, and as a consequence, many people poor. The graph above illustrates this.

The effects can be seen in these two graphs.




From this first graph, we can see that the wealth of the top one percent grew fast in the early Nineties, so much so that the share of wealth of the next 9% fell temporarily.  And of course the share held by the lower 90% fell during that period and continues to fall.  The second graph emphasizes what is shown in the first, that the share of wealth owned by the upper one percent took off after the Nineties.  One can see why people in the bottom 90% were increasingly angry.




Another important event of the Nineties was the Rwandan Genocide, which began in April 7, 1994.  It had been preceded by an exact Saturn-Pluto square in January of that year with Mars at the midpoint of those to planets and semissquare both of them.  This was just as the Uranus-Neptune conjunction was separating for the last time.  Between a half and one million people were killed in 100 days.


Rwandan Genocide


As a result of this genocide, which the President of the United States and many of his government were upset that they could not prevent, the US intervened in the Serbian civil war at the end of the decade, claiming they were preventing genocide, thus reinvigorating the American need to intervene in the affairs of other countries and also destroying one of the last Communist states in Europe.  This intervention set a good precedence for the upcoming Bush administration of the next century.

By the Nineties the cell phone had been in existence for several years — the first cell phone call was made on April 3, 1973 (under the Uranus-Neptune closing semisquare) and had gained popularity in the Eighties, but were still large and very expensive, not something that most people had.  In the early Nineties the second generation of cell phone technology (2G) was developed, and along with that what could be called the first smartphone, the Simon from IBM, became available.  This was a combination of a cell phone and a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) which was a small hand held computer.  The Simon sold well, considering its price and size.  The Simon was first announced at the Las Vegas computer trade show COMDEX on November 23, 1992.

As the world entered the Twenty-First Century, it saw that the Soviet Union had broken into several countries none of which were Communist, the World Wide Web had grown increasingly widespread and popular, the smartphone had come into existence, and financial capitalism became the dominant way of making money.

Pluto Return

Since America has a unique Pluto return coming up in two years I thought it would be useful to look at the previous hard aspects — multiples of 45 degrees — of Pluto to its natal position over the course of US history.  As we go through these seven periods, one notices that events do not necessarily happen on the exact date of the return, but rather the hard aspect signals a shift in the future direction of the country that can be appreciated by looking backwards.  Sometimes these important changes had already started before the exact Pluto aspect, but the changes set in motion will be amplified in the years following the exact aspect.  And these shifts, as can be suggested by the involvement of Pluto, can be seen as a “transformation” in America.  Note that in the following Pluto makes either three or five exact aspects over the course of a year and I have chosen for illustration the one in the middle, with Pluto retrograde if there are only three.  The first aspect discussed is the opening semisquare with its natal position.




Opening Semisquare



This period saw the first wave of Americans who had been born after the Revolutionary War come to maturity.  It also saw three important changes which all bear the name “Revolution” and which were to change the face of the new country of the United States.  Since these were long lasting trends, it is impossible to give exact dates for them, even though a couple do occur.  These “revolutions” continued until the Civil War.

The Transportation Revolution was to change the way people moved about the country, most important to farmers — and most people were farmers then — who needed to get their crops to market in a timely manner.  The transportation revolution saw roads built to allow horse drawn vehicles to move swiftly to new regions, canals built, the most famous one being the Erie Canal in New York State, and most importantly the development of the steamboat which allowed quick transportation in both directions along that major waterway in the center of the country, the Mississippi River.  One landmark event in this transportation revolution was the first commercial steamboat trip at about 1pm 8-17-1807 by Robert Fulton, who had been developing the steamboat in previous years.  The trip went along the Hudson River from New York City to Albany and back.

There was also the building of roads, which was important if the people who lived in the West (that is to say west of the Alleghenies) were able to get their products to market and to get products from the East Coast so they did not have to be totally self sufficient.   The most famous of there roads was initially called the National Road and later the Cumberland Road (and it finally became Highway 40 — the Man Street of America that ran from Atlantic City, New Jersey to San Francisco, California). The National Road was created by an Act of Congress in 1806 but it took a few years before construction actually started.

The Communication Revolution changed the way people thought about daily happenings.  There were produced an increasing number of newspapers in the early years of the Nineteenth Century.  Steam powered presses were initially developed in England; those presses allowed many more copies of a newspaper to be printed in a given period of time, and so many more people could read that newspaper.  Photography was developed in a few years after the date shown, and that changed the way people saw their world.  Telegraphy was developed in a couple of decades, allowing near-instantaneous communication, a development as far reaching as the Internet is in the present day.

Perhaps most far-reaching was the Market Revolution, which turned the United States into a full-blown capitalist country, and to use historian Richard Hofstadter phrase, changed the country from a democracy of fraternity into a democracy of cupidity.  Laissez-faire capitalism was a relatively recent phenomena at that time, since Adam Smith’s groundbreaking book The Wealth of Nations was published in 1776.

While the Industrial Revolution first started under the Uranus-Pluto conjunction in the early Eighteenth Century, it was jealously guarded by England.  The Industrial Revolution first came to America in 1790s in Rhode Island with pirated technology.  The technology had been brought to America by Samuel Slater, who was called by President Andrew Jackson the father of the American Industrial Revolution.  His design was copied and spread in the following years as America (and the world) joined the Industrial Revolution.

Another, totally unrelated change to America at this time, was the ending of the Atlantic slave trade.  In the years following the Revolutionary War Northern States had abolished slavery.  Then in 1808 slaves could no longer be imported.  But slavery was still a thriving business in the South, and as the nation expanded, it was expected that many of the new states would allow slavery, so the question became where would the slaves come from. Thus in the Southern states a going business arose of breeding slaves to produce more that could be sold for a profit.  For more details of this horrific practice see The American Slave Coast by Ned and Constance Sublette.




Opening Square


The Mexican-American War took place in 1846-48, and expanded the continental United States to essentially the size it is today.  This was a big increase in the size of the country.  Then gold was discovered in California (before the war was over and California was part of the United States) on January 24, 1848 which soon started a huge rush of gold-seekers into California.  Oregon Territory was also added, after settling a dispute with Great Britain that had also claimed the Pacific Northwest, at roughly the same time.  Thus the next few years after 1849 would see a major expansion of the United States, after Texas, California, and the Pacific Northwest were brought in.  This expansion would bring the issue of slavery to the fore, since questions arose whether the new states would be slave or free, and the attempts to deal with that would lead to the Civil War in another dozen years and the birth of a new political party.



Opening Sesquiquadrate


This was a period a long enough after the Civil War that many of America’s leaders were thinking of expanding the country beyond its bounds, to have colonies in foreign lands just like many European countries.  A war of independence broke out in Cuba in 1895 (the third in the thirty years) and soon America got involved fighting Spain over its colony in Cuba, and as a result of the easy victory in that conflict, American found itself with foreign colonies: Guam, Philippines, and of course Cuba.  The decision was made that America was to be an empire, an important change in the consciousness of America.

Alfred Thayer Mahan published his very influential book The Influence of Sea Power Upon History: 1660-1783 in 1890. People like Henry Cabot Lodge and Theodore Roosevelt immediately got the idea of expanding America’s influence to have overseas colonies, like the European powers did, and they saw with the Cuban revolt against their Spanish masters a change to get involved in the Great Game.  The ramification of this decision would bedevil America up unto the present day.

An important Supreme Court decision happened in 1896 which influenced race relations until another decision in 1954.  The was the case of Plessy v Ferguson which was an argument against segregated railroad cars.  The result was that “Separate but Equal” became the standard for the land, enforcing the use of “whites only” facilities.  The ruling of Brown v Board of Education (of Topeka) is widely seen as the first blow against that 1896 decision.

In 1890 the Census Bureau declared that the frontier was closed.  The Native Americans had been subdued and most of the land settled.  In 1893 a historian from Wisconsin named Frederik Jackson Turner proposed his “Frontier Thesis” which stated that the expansion of the frontier made American democracy and shaped American character; this thesis was later expanded to a book, and it altered the way historians and thus Americans in general looked at the past.



Pluto Opposition


This Pluto opposition to its natal position occurred during the New Deal which was the biggest change in the country since the Civil War.  This New Deal of Franklin Roosevelt was a response to the Great Depression which was the largest financial crisis the country had yet seen.  The Great Depression, which began in October of 1929, was not amenable to standard measures.  After Roosevelt took office in 1933, he instituted measures suggested by various third parties, such as socialists.  Laws passed under his administration gave the US Social Security and made it much easier for Unions to do their job.  By 1937 the Depression had been ameliorated so much that FDR held back on some limits, which resulted in a resurgence of the depression; this depression was not  finally ended until the increased defense spending needed for World War II.  This  “military Keynesianism” has never stopped.

The results of this period were to influence America through the administration of Richard Nixon, who was called the last New Deal President by Noam Chomsky. This was more than 35 years after that Pluto opposition, which indicates how strong the effects of that opposition were.  They lasted until the closing square in 1983, as explained below.


Closing Sesquiquadrate


Interestingly, the first of the three exact aspects occurred on October 10, 1963, about six weeks before President John Kennedy was killed.  This Pluto sesquiquadrate occurred just as the Uranus-Pluto conjunction was forming.  The Pluto-Pluto aspects indicates the changes that were coming in this decade, which would alter the way the country saw itself.  Notice also the square between Pluto and the Ascendant: America was trying to force its will on a Southeast Asia country, and the results were not pretty.  The Vietnam War would continue for the next ten years.



Closing Square


This aspect is near the beginning of the Reagan Revolution, the start of the Age of Reagan that we are still in.  There was also a Saturn-Pluto conjunction at the same time, the last one before the conjunction at the beginning of 2020.  There were so many changes that started in this period it is difficult to list them all.  This was the start of neoliberalsim which has been discussed extensively in this blog.  This was the closing square between transiting Pluto and natal Pluto, and the country (and the world) were changed massively by the actions of Reagan and his supporters, which turned out to be most everyone.  If one does not take account of neoliberalism in the years since this square, ones analysis will be as vacant as an analysis of a fish which does not recognize that it lives in water.



Closing Semisquare


On August 23, 2001 Pluto went retrograde within ten minutes of conjunct the Ascendant and also a closing semisquare to its natal position.  This was shortly after the last exact pass.  Not only did this period see the selection of George W. Bush as President by the Supreme Court of the United States, thus avoiding a recount (there was an exact pass on November 29, 2000) but also the beginning of the War of Terror.  At the same time there was a Saturn-Pluto opposition, the middle of the cycle that started under the previous hard Pluto aspect mentioned above.  The War on Terror would be one of the dominant motifs of the next 20 years, not only in America, but in the rest of the world as well.  Many nations used America’s War on Terror as an excuse to also crack down on “terrorism”.

You will notice that the first half of the Pluto Cycle is from 1776 to 1937, a period of 160 years, and the second half will end in 2022, a period of 85 years, or almost half of the first half period.  This is because Pluto has a very eccentric orbit and moves faster when it is close to the Sun.  Pluto was inside the orbit of Neptune from 1979 to 1999 and thus was traveling the fastest at that time.



Pluto Return


This actual return occurs one week after the 246th Fourth of July, the second of three exact conjunctions, all in 2022.  There is also a stationary direct Pluto which is within half a degree of its natal position during the fall of 2023.  From looking at the previous aspects, we can guess several things about this upcoming Pluto Return.

The effects of this Pluto Return — a conjunction to its natal position — will start before the exact conjunction, but we will not be able to see the indicators until after the exact return has happened, with the benefit of hindsight.  This return will be a transformative event for the United States, changing the country in ways that people can not see now, but afterwards everyone will say “it was so obvious, you could certainly see it coming”.  The effects of the return will extend well after the conjunction, perhaps many decades.  And since I believe that the conjunction is the mother of all aspects, this transformation will be greater than those we have seen in the various aspects described above.

Uranian sidebar: For those who use the eight hypothetical planets of Uranian astrology we see an important conjunction coming up.  As illustrated in the graphical ephemeris below, at the same time that the Pluto Return is happening — 2022 and 2023 — we also have the hypothetical planet Kronos conjuncting the Sun of the United States.  In the illustration below, Kronos — whose symbol is a cross with a hat on top — moves very slowly over the golden dashed horizontal line representing the natal US Sun.  The standard meaning of this conjunction is a president or leader, someone with high authority.  The planet by itself represents everything above normal, high up, excellent.  Perhaps this conjunction will mean that America will once again be a force for good in the world, a massive transformation (Pluto return) from what it is now.



Kronos Conjunct Sun

Political Parties and American Exceptionalism

These two concepts — political parties and American exceptionalism — came into popular consciousness at about the same time, shortly after the birth of the United States and the beginning of the French Revolution.  These important changes to the newly born United States are signified by a powerful transit of an outer planet over the Moon that has not been repeated.  The Moon represents the people of a country, but it also signifies something more intangible — the basic concepts/consciousness of the people.

It is well known that political parties were not allowed for in the Constitution.  When that was being written in the latter part of the Eighteenth Century it was not thought that factions were needed, and in fact George Washington was assigned as the leader of the new country.  But that changed, and now we have basically two political parties: the Republican party, established in 1854 out of several minor and dying parties that existed at the time, was considered the “anti-slavery” party at the time of its creation.  The other big party now is the Democratic Party, considered the world’s longest lasting political party, and thought to be the “pro-slavery” party before the Civil War.  Democrats like to say they were founded by both Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, but that myth is only half true.  When Andrew Jackson first ran for President — in the 1824 election — he said he was dedicated to the Democratic party of Thomas Jefferson, but the party formed around him was certainly different than the party of Jefferson.  And in fact this Democratic Party, the one we now know, was essentially created by the Little Magician Martin Van Buren, who was Jackson’s Vice President in his second term and then President in his own right for four years after that.  Van Buren never got a second term, partially because of a financial crisis called the Panic of 1837, which was caused by, inter alia, Jackson’s war with the second Bank of the United States, a concept dreamed up by George Washington’s surrogate son Alexander Hamilton.  Martin Van Buren, as his name suggests, was of Dutch heritage, and was the first President not to have an English background.  He was also the first president born in the United States and not a colony of Britain.

Even though political parties were not in the original plan, there was a division early on over the Constitution.  These two factions were called the Federalists – those who supported the Constitution, which was originally suppose to be an update of the Article of Confederation — and the Anti-Federalists, who were against the Constitution as proposed and wanted more power to the states, which was what the Articles of Confederation — the law of the country before the Constitution was written — provided.  The group that wrote the Constitution were originally chartered just to revise the Articles of Confederation, which could only be changed by unanimous vote, but instead decided to create a whole new document, which of course did not achieve unanimity.

The Federalists considered themselves the elite of the country, and after the citizens of the country voted for a Federalist candidate, it was felt by the elite that democracy was over.  They felt that only special people had qualification that made them suitable to be in government.  To use a current term, the Federalists considered those citizens who were not in the elite classes to be deplorables.

But during the last decade of the Eighteenth Century, and especially during the second term of George Washington, several “political clubs” were formed, often under the instigation of Washington’s Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson.  These organizations were called by such names as the Republican Society, the Democratic Society, etc.  The Federalists, which was the name given to the political faction which had George Washington as its representative, did not like these clubs.  Jefferson had seen political clubs in Revolutionary France when he was an ambassador there, and thought they would be a good idea in his native country.  He saw that the elite ignored the wishes of the common folk and so they needed something to represent them.  Jefferson was aware of the elitist tendencies of the people in power — too early to call them a party — and, along with James Madison, urged the non-elite to take powers into their hands.  The best known of the political clubs in France was called the Jacobins.  These political clubs caused newspapers to form supporting those clubs.  Republican newspapers grew in this period and those newspapers served a a push back to the Federalists.

This ferment and dissatisfaction with the way things were, the control of the government by only one faction of the populace, led to the rise of political parties, and the first such party was the Democratic-Republician Party of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. This party was to win its first election in the hotly contested election of 1800.




This upheaval among the population of the United States, which led to such a fundamental change, is shown astrologically by the very slow transit of Pluto across the Moon of the United States.  Here is a chart for the beginning of those political clubs in 1794.  Note that for this chart Pluto is conjunct the natal Moon with an orb of only two degrees, while at the same time Uranus is opposite the Moon with about the same orb and thus we also have Uranus opposite Pluto.  This Uranus Pluto opposition was also prevalent in the French Revolution which was taking place at the same time across the Atlantic.  In fact, the day Louis XVI was executed (January 21, 1793) the opposition was exact within one minute.  As was seen during the decade of the Sixties, Uranus-Pluto aspects can be powerful.  This opposition was one cycle before the opposition in the first decade of the Twentieth Century and a cycle and a half before the conjunction of those two planets in Virgo in the Sixties.




By looking at the graphical ephemeris for a several year period we can see that the Uranus Pluto opposition lasted for about six years — 1789-1795 — and the Pluto conjunct the US Moon from about 1793 to 1799, that is to say most of  last decade of the Eighteenth Century.

When American was a new country, it really did not have an unifying philosophy, something that could bring the wealthy who essentially wrote the Constitution, and the common folk who populated the country, together.  Thus the concept of American Exceptionalism, the belief that America was a unique country designed to lead the world in a burst of democracy, arose.  It was thought by French revolutionaries, English dissents, and many Americans that the American Revolution was followed by the French and then certainly other nations would follow those two.  Thus there sprang the belief that America was the forerunner and the French were next, and soon the revolution would sweep the world.  America was exceptional, and a model for the entire world, it was thought at the time.

One can say that American Exceptionalism began in Europe.  The revolutionaries of France admired the youth and vigor of the American experience.  One writer, Elisabeth d’Houdetot, wrote to Jefferson in 1790 admiring the Americans for not having an old regime to destroy, as was the case in France.  Granted, the French were unaware of the daily savagery of the use of slaves, and the ill-treatment (that is genocide) of the native population.  This certainly aided the French (and also British dissenters) in picturing America as grand and successful experiment.

American Exceptionalism served as “national religion” that bound together the citizens of this new land when nothing else would.  The citizen were proud that America was a shining light in the world and that it would lead other nations to a revolution.  Thus the populace of the Eighteenth Century America were unified – they had a common purpose.  All the countries of Europe had a common heritage, and while the Federalists were taken by the British, from whom they rebelled, this was not good enough for the deplorables.  So because of the French Revolution, Americans were united in believing that they lived in an exceptional country.