Watershed Elections – Three

The election of 1960 was the first watershed election after World War Two and the changes that followed directly and indirectly from that war.  As was mentioned earlier, the aftermath of World War II saw the second major change to the world in the Twentieth Century.  That election was a contest between Richard Nixon, the current Vice President, seemingly representing the old Republican administration and way of seeing versus John F. Kennedy, representing a newer, younger generation, even though Nixon was only four years older than Kennedy.

Knowing about the Jupiter-Saturn cycle detailed previously, one could have predicted that the decade just starting would be much different that the previous decade — the Fifties — without even knowing about the upcoming Uranus-Pluto conjunction.  Since President Kennedy was seen as young and healthy, some astrologers at the time, knowing of Tecumseh’s Curse, thought the President would either be assassinated or die in a nuclear war.  For a time in the Fall of 1962, it seemed possible that the second option would happen.  And then the President was assassinated three years into his first term, the first successful Presidential assassination since McKinley over 60 years earlier, thus fulfilling Tecumseh’s Curse once again.

But while the Kennedy administration represented no real change from the previous administration — in fact Kennedy was more of a Cold Warrior than Eisenhower, though many liberals stuck with the dream of Camelot will argue differently — he represented a much different tone than previous administrations had offered, with a bevy of glamorous people and intellectuals in and around the administration.  It is well know that if you please and control the intellectuals who shape historiography — the writing of history — and the perception of the administration, you can get away with a lot, something our current Democratic President is well aware of and has used to his great advantage.  And in fact back in 2008 many people compared the current President to John Kennedy, a statement that was truer than they realized.

But as is often the case, the changes that were most important were on the street, and there is no end of documentation of that fact, and many are still alive who were old enough at the time that their memories still tell of that different decade.  And because television had just come to the fore in the previous decade with the transit of Pluto opposite the Moon of the United States, this was the most heavily documented decade so far in history.  There is no need to go over the changes that occurred in this decade that made it very different than the decade of the Fifties since there is a wealth of information about a decade that has become almost mythical.  But everyone should understand that this decade behaved truly like a waxing decade.

 

1960

 

In this chart for the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction of 1961, we see that the Uranus-Pluto conjunction that defined the Sixties is almost 15 degrees from exact, and Uranus is still in Leo.  Pluto is conjunct the transiting Node, giving an strange appearance to the glyph. Mars has just entered Cancer and is square the MC; it is about to transit over the core planets of the US: Venus, Jupiter and the Sun.  This is suggestive of the Vietnam War which was to inflame the nation for the upcoming decade so much that it helped to define the decade.  And there were many urban rebellions, called riots, that also boiled during the decade, as well as the famous assassinations.  Mars was very well relevant in the Sixties, along with Uranus and Pluto.

But for every revolution there is a counter-revolution, and the decade starting in 1980 was the beginning of that.  While President Ronald Reagan did not start the Neoliberal Revolution that had begun under the previous President Jimmy Carter, Reagan certainly symbolized the growth of Newliberalism (see the November 21, 2014 entry the Neoliberalism and the Cult of the Market for more details).  This period of history in America is justly called the Age of Reagan, since he was one of the few Presidents whose influence and behavior so closely symbolized the changes that were going on in this country.  Not only has the Age of Reagan not ended, but the influence of Neoliberalism has increased down through the years from 1980.  But the 35 years of the Neoliberal experiment has caused so much pain to so many people that it is coming under attack from many quarters, as is seen in the current Presidential campaign.  We shall see if we are witnessing the final decade of Neoliberalism, as I have suggested before.

Though Reagan was shot two months after his first term started, he was not killed, thus not fulfilling the Curse of Tecumseh.  Astrologers make arguments about why the curse was no longer operative, some of which involve the element (Earth) in which the conjunction takes place.  I’ve argued previously that John Lennon took the bullet for Reagan.  Reagan was shot less than four months after Lennon was killed; Reagan survived to lead his revolution, and to become synonymous with modern day conservatism.  The United States has certainly changed since the ascendancy of Ronald Reagan.

 

1980

 

Looking at the chart for the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction for the last day of 1980,  less than two months after the election of Reagan and three weeks after the death of John Lennon, we are struck by all the planets on the East – Ascendant side — of the chart.  A majority of planets on that side indicates an interest in Self, as opposed to Others, and even though the Eighties were not the “Me Decade” (that refers to the previous decade), in the Eighties America “Stood Tall Again” (which refers to a Reagan campaign slogan) and there was increasing emphasis on the “Homeland”, a tendency that has carried on through all of the Age of Reagan.  America has been called the one indispensable nation, as was declared by, among others, a Secretary of State in the next decade, and this is certainly a belief of someone with all the planets in the East.  Oaths to American Exceptionalism have much increased in the Age of Reagan.

The Election of 2000 was a special case, since the President who took office was not the person elected.  The election of 2000 was subject to much dispute, but it was not nearly as contentious as the election of 1876.  However, in that election the defeated party, as in 2000 the Democrats, was able to wrest something desirable from the winning party, in that case the end of Reconstruction, which made a huge difference to the South, the recently freed slaves, and the country as a whole; we are still living with the consequences of that election.  In the election of 2000 the losing Democrats did not appear to get anything but just accepted the loss; the only possible thing that was acquired by the Party was the chance to warn everybody about the danger of not voting for the Democrats, and as a result one of the true liberals in this country, who has done much more to modify the behavior of corporations in a positive direction than all Presidents in the Age of Reagan, has been vilified. That election is held up continually, much in this election season, as a warning to those who would vote for a “spoiler”.

But the tone of the United States changed again after the year 2000.  In fact one can say that the Twenty-First Century is so far shaping up to be different than the Twentieth, which is considered by some historians as the Century of Death.  With the year 2000, and more specifically the date 9/11/2001, American changed into a large booster of the War On Terrorism.  While Ronald Reagan declared terrorism to be an import subject to fight, the Twenty First Century saw terrorism become an every present phenomenon.  And while some may have hoped the election of a Democratic President after two terms of a Republican President would have ended the War of Terrorism, that war has only spread to other venues.  From what we have seen from this century, one could judge this to be the Century of fighting peoples from so-called third world countries, as if that hadn’t been done in previous centuries as well.  I believe when looking back at this century, the first two decades will be seen as an anomaly — there are already many hints already of what is really critical.

 

2000

 

If we look at the chart for the first Jupiter-Saturn conjunction the most notable feature is Pluto conjunct the Ascendant.  Not only was this the case for the 9/11 chart  but it suggests the nature of the next two decades as well.  Note also that Pluto is semisquare the natal Pluto, thus emphasizing the natal Pluto semisquare Ascendant, the tightest aspect in the chart, which can be described briefly as “My Way or the Highway” — America acts like it is (which was true for much of the last century) the most powerful and intimidating country in the world and can get away with literal murder.  The Pluto on the Ascendant foreshadowed the Global War on Terrorism which is such a prominent feature of the first two decades of the new century.

 

2020

 

 

The next watershed election is scheduled for 2020.  Looking at that chart, we see that Pluto has moved on from its position twenty years before, and now is approaching a conjunction with the natal Pluto.  As well, the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction is just beyond the natal Pluto, so that the midpoint between that conjunction and the transiting Pluto is exactly on the natal Pluto.  All of this emphasizes the United States Pluto Return, which will be discussed in detail at a later date.  This will be the prominent aspect of the first part of the third decade of this century.  No nation has lasted long enough to have a Pluto return, which takes about 250 years.  Usually constitutions are rewritten before 250 years have passed; our constitution, which was based on an unwritten constitution of our mother country, was old at the time (see The Frozen Republic by Daniel Lazare for details). What does a Pluto Return mean?  In an individual human being, Saturn returns are important.  We’ve mentioned before Uranus returns in the United States.  This Pluto return will be a make-it-or-break-it time for the country.

Saturn on the Ascendant

Saturn is a relatively fast moving planet, compared with the three outer planets of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.  Saturn was the slowest moving known planet through all of history before the Enlightenment, and circles the Sun in about a third of the time as the next outer planet Uranus — Saturn takes almost 30 years.  So transits of Saturn across the angles of the US chart are not nearly as impressive as those of the slower moving planets, but there is something noticeable.  This is important to discuss now, since we are seeing another case of this transit, along with a slower moving transit.  As two examples below indicate, when Saturn transits an angle combined with a transit of an outer planet over the same angle, the results can be especially impressive.

 

saas1898

 

The first Saturn Ascendant case we will explore is the Spanish American War, when Saturn was conjunct the Ascendant of the US, and to make this more important, Pluto was on the Descendant and thus opposite Saturn at the same time, as was explored in an early entry on this blog. The Spanish America War is considered important to the development of the imperial United States because it was the first time that the US took a colony, and in fact several, outside the confines of continental North America.  Not only did the US take Cuba from the Spanish, and it was a “colony” of the United States until it was overthrown by Fidel Castro in 1959, but also an even larger colony of the Philippines, which necessitated a bloody war to put down a rebellion.  The American Anti-Imperialist League was founded in 1898 to oppose annexation of the Philippines.  Among the prominent members were authors Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, Henry James, and William Dean Howells, as well as ex-president Grover Cleveland and industrialist Andrew Carnegie.

 

saas1942

 

Saturn was opposite the Ascendant of the United States in 1942 and 1943, when the US had just entered World War II, despite strong reservations about entering the war among the populace, and the war was not going in the Allies favor.  The Soviet Union had been invaded by Germany the previous year, and large scale fighting was happening on the Eastern Front, with millions killed.  The beginning of the Holocaust was happening, though few in America had an inkling of what was going on.

 

saas1957

 

The following conjunction of Saturn to the Ascendant was in 1957 as the first earth satellite, Sputnik, was launched by the Soviets on October 4.  The beep, beep, beep that the satellite put out was a sign of fear in the United States; this was the height of the Cold War, when America, which had survived the Second World War with little damage or loss of life, thought that they were far beyond the Soviets, who had much of the war fought on their territory and had lost tens of millions of people.  The Americans had real fears when the Soviets were ahead of them in the “Space Race”.  The fact that early American attempts at launching a satellite failed did not help the mood in the country.  The thought was that the Soviets could launch nuclear-armed ICBMs (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles) at America with their missile technology.  As a result, much like the current emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) studies, there developed after this event a push for more science and mathematics education in the US schools, which probably resulted in many computer people who made their mark on the country in the last decades.

 

saas1972

 

The next opposition was in June 1972, just as the break-in at the Watergate Hotel was happening (June 17, 1972).  This seemingly minor break-in, before a Presidential election, would have profound repercussions for the United States in the next couple of years.  In the following years, this seemed like a traumatic event, and the nation’s peoples were rooted to their television sets (no social media at the time, since the Internet was only some three years old and not available to the public) following the preceedings of the Watergate Committee of Congress.

 

saas1986

 

The next Saturn conjunct Ascendant was December 1986 as the Iran-Contra Affair was unfolding.  In normal cases this incident, which involved the US government trading arms illegally to Iran in exchange for the Western hostages that were held by allies of Iran in Lebanon, would have resulted in the impeachment of President Reagan.  But the “Teflon” President scraped through, arguing that he was unaware of the incident.  This exposure made many Americans more doubtful about their country.  Eugene Hasenfus, an American pilot, was shot down over Nicaragua on October 5, 1986, while carrying weapons to the US-supported Contras which were fighting the government of Nicaragua, thus exposing the whole scheme.

 

saas2001

 

The next opposition, when Saturn was on the Descendant and Pluto was on the Ascendant, the opposite of the Spanish-American War configuration, was when the Twin Towers in New York City were taken down by airplanes, known as 9/11.  This was discussed in more detail here.

The next conjunction is in this year, 2016, but there is also at the same time a transit of the outer planet Neptune square the Ascendant, and thus this is the transiting Saturn square Neptune aspect also which has been discussed at least twice before.  Briefly, this aspect occurs when the people are getting tired of something that seemed like a good idea when it was started.  While you can see the link for a full discussion of these events with charts, I will summarize them again.  These words were written before the Brexit vote in Great Britain, but the results of that vote are entirely in keeping with the meaning of Saturn in hard aspect to Neptune.  The European Union, which a majority of United Kingdom voters chose to leave, is primarily a neoliberal institution, despite the hopes of those who initially had the idea of a united Europe.

These quadrature aspects — conjunction, opposition, square — of Saturn and Neptune often happen near the end of long wars.  This is especially true with our current two long running wars — in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Of course, America is now involved in so many wars around the world, and attempting to start more wars, that as the saying goes it is difficult to keep track of them all without a scorecard.  In fact, the New York Times recently noted that President Obama is the first President during whose entire eight years in office the US was at war.  That fact alone says an awful lot about the times we live in.

Saturn was opposite Neptune in late 1862 and 1863 when the Civil War was being fought, the bloodiest battle on the Continental United States.  Many people had doubts about the wisdom of this war.  Men in the North could pay $300 for someone to take their place in the Army and many did.

The opposition of these two planets occurred again, three times, in 1899, after the Spanish American War had been stated.  There was growing doubt about this war which was America’s first attempt at colonialism, as illustrated by the formation of the American Anti-Imperialist League mentioned above.

A Saturn-Neptune conjunction occurred in late 1917 just as America entered the First World War, despite President Woodrow Wilson campaigning on the pledge to keep the US out of the War.  The jingoism inspired by this entry to the War changed America and the government in ways that could not have been foreseen.

There was a square of the two planets in 1944, 1945 as World War II was nearing its end, though not all realized it at the time.  The battle had been long and bloody, especially for America soldiers in the war in the Pacific.

These was a conjunction of those two planets in late 1952 and 1953, as the Korean War, which appeared to be an easy victory when it started, dragged on for several years to the increasing disgust of Americans.

There was an opposition of the planets in 1971 and 1972 as there was increasing abhorrence of the long running Vietnam War, which had spread to neighboring countries of Laos and Cambodia.  Many protests erupted on campuses across the nation after the news about the incursions into other countries became known.

There was a square of Saturn and Neptune in 1979 and 1980, which saw the American hostages captured by Iran after the US-supported Shah had been overthrown in a popular uprising.  The American hostages generated continuous headlines in the media and arguably lead to the defeat of President Carter in the election of 1980.

There was a conjunction of the two planets in 1989, discussed further here.  This saw the fall of the Berlin Wall, almost on the date of the third exact conjunction, and the downfall of several other Communist regimes.

There was a square in 1998 and 1999, just as the Clinton Impeachment trial was happening.  Americans were disgusted either by the tawdry details of Clinton’s affair or the Republicans hounding of a sitting President for a minor event.  Meanwhile, there occurred the Battle of Seattle where crowds were protesting the World Trade Organization — another neolibereal institution — meeting in that city.

The previous oppositions of Saturn and Neptune were in 2006 and 2007, as the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, promised as quick victories, were still dragging on.  But of course US troops are still fighting in both countries, plus many more, as the upcoming square happens on 11/26/2015, 6/17/2016, and 9/10/2016.

In this case, Neptune is square the Ascendant of the United states as well, and so that aspect has to also be considered, as well as the conjunction of Saturn to the Ascendant as well as the square of the two planets which will be felt around the world.

 

tgsane2016

 

Here is a graphical ephemeris showing the behavior of Saturn and Neptune over this year. Saturn first crossed the Ascendant of the US (dashed golden line) at the black arrow, and then Saturn is square Neptune and they both cross the Ascendant at the red arrow, and on the center line, at June 15 of this year.  Note that the horrific shooting at an Orlando nightclub took place on the morning of June 12.  Then Saturn is again square Neptune at the green arrow, and the final crossing of Saturn over the Ascendant is at the blue arrow on approximately October 13.

While currently there are many things that looked like a good idea when started but are now seen to go badly, the most obvious, because there have been increasing signs of discontent from the populace, is Neoliberalism.

Neoliberalism started in the late Seventies and has grown since then.  This graph will illustrate what has happened, so it is worth discussing in detail.  In all instances, it is common for older people to complain that the world as it is now is not like the world they knew when they were young; this complaint that the world is going to hell in a hand-basket has echoed down through history: there are instances of the ancient Greeks making the same complaint.  But as we shall see in the graph below, now the complaint is real: The world is more avaricious now then it was fifty years ago.  This change has affected everything.  See this link above for more details and what astrological formation represented this major change, and why it was such a major change.

 

gini

The Gini Index is a standard measure of inequality.  A Gini of 0 means total equality of income — everyone has the same income — while a Gini of 1 means total inequality, one person has everything.  This graph shows the Gini in the United States and Great Britain (and Holland to some extent) over the last two hundred fifty years.  Decreasing Gini show that more equality is happening while rising Gini shows that society is becoming more unequal.  From the graph one can see that inequality increased to a peak in second half of the Nineteenth Century and then fell slightly.  Then with the Great Depression inequality in the United States fell sharply until it bottomed out about 1950; inequality remained low through about 1975 when it began to rise and right now inequality is as high or higher than it has ever been in the United States.  This has been the result of neoliberalism practiced over the last forty years.  People in the working class have felt shafted for a long time, and with the Great Recession the middle class, those of that class that are left, have felt it also. But people remained compliant (see, for example, the recent book The Age of Acquiescence by Steve Fraser for details).  But over the last few years we have seen a transit of Pluto opposite the Sun of the United States.  The last time this happened was before birth of the US, when Britain passed various measures to get more money out of the colonies, and the stage for the Revolution was set.  In that case the Sun represented the King and Great Britain.  Now the Sun represents the President and government, and people are not happy with them.  We’ve seen some of this played out on the political stage over the last year. Any politician who is somewhat wise (I realize that may be an oxymoron) should pay attention to these developments, because they are cresting after an incubation period of forty years.  But at best politicians will blame any action against neoliberalism as the result of the deluded thinking of low-information voters.

 

tgplsu

 

This graphical ephemeris, for a seven and a half year period centered on January 6, 2015, shows Pluto’s transit opposite the Sun of the US chart – dark yellow dashed line.  You can see that in the current times, about two grid lines to the right of the center line, Pluto again comes close to the US Sun, about two degrees from exact, but will not exactly oppose it again this cycle.  Depending on the orb you use, Pluto has been opposite the US Sun for five years.

The effects of Neptune squaring the Ascendant are, well, Neptunian.  There is much delusion in the public sphere; to me it seems worse than it has ever been, even in the first Cold War.  The journalist profession has been greatly reduced by the rise of the Internet, but those that are left have engaged in malpractice by their propagandistic reporting.  A couple of examples from the current time is the woeful failure of the news media, supporting the dominant paradigm, in their description of Presidential candidates (Trump is a fascist, Sanders is a socialist, Clinton is a progressive) and their behavior as a stenographer for the government in their covering up of the potential for war (if war has not already started), with a massing of NATO troops at the Russian border, the greatest the world has seen since World War II.  It was 75 years ago that the last massing of troops on the Russian border happened — Operation Barbarossa — which resulted in over two million Soviet citizens killed within three months, and the Russians remember this, even if the West does not.  The news media propaganda ignores facts such as seen in the map below.  Neptune is very heavy in the cover-up.

 

russia-wants-war

 

Another more positive manifestation of Neptune is with drugs.  The whole war on drugs scenario, which has been going on for a hundred years, and not forty some years as people like to claim, is rapidly being called into disrepute in states of the US and countries around the world.  And once people lose their beliefs in the evils of (some) “drugs”, governments may have problems with their populace.  This will cause big changes in the upcoming years, because a major lie of most countries and the United Nations has been exposed. People have yet another reason to distrust what they are told; this is not good for keeping the people in line.

Watershed Elections — Two

Elections, as do many other things, follow a twenty year cycle.  We are now in the closing period of the current twenty year cycle that started with the beginning of the new century, and what happens in the United States, and the world, over the next four years will set the stage for the massive changes that are coming in the next twenty year period.

This twenty year cycle corresponds to the synodic cycle of Jupiter and Saturn, from conjunction to opposition and back to conjunction.  The conjunctions correspond to the beginning of an even decade, such as 1960, 1980, 2000.

Below is a continuation of a discussion of the Watershed Elections in the period between the Civil War and World War Two.  As has been discussed earlier, this 84 year period is similar to the period for humans between the first Saturn Return and the second.

 

1880

 

The election of 1880 was not much of a change from other post-Civil War elections: the Republican candidate won.  But the winner, James Garfield, was shot four months after he took office, another example of Tecumseh’s Curse, and his Vice President, Chester A. Arthur, took office as the President.

Arthur is what I call a cliché Libra — his life seemed to be about living up to the stereotype of a Libra sunsign.  He was called “Gentleman Boss” and would drive around Washington is a carriage with his coat of arms on it; he dressed well and liked fine furnishings for the White House.  He even died of a kidney disorder, Libra ruling kidneys.  He had been a fixer in the New York Port, having been placed there by New York’s Senator Roscoe Conkling, and had derived much profit from running the port, the busiest entry point to the United States.  Arthur had represented a different faction of the Republican Party than Garfield, which is why he was put on the ticket for balance.  He surprised many by having a decent term, which saw the passage of civil service reform, something that had been long desired.

Arthur had been born in Northern Vermont, and there was much controversy during the election whether he had actually been born in Canada, and thus could not run for Vice President.  This was the first example of questioning the nativity of a candidate.  It is not recorded if he showed his birth certificate.

But what was happening in the United States at this time was much more interesting, and shows a country changing from a nation with a strong South dependent on slave labor to a country on the verge of the modern world as we currently know it.

1876 saw the Centennial of the United States birth, and there was a big exposition highlighting the wonders of modern industry and machines.  That was the year that Custer had his last stand, which dampened a bit the celebration of America’s birth. Reconstruction, the attempt to fix the problems in the South after the Civil War, was ended with the election that year with not nearly enough accomplished, but at least Northern whites could forget about the War and go on with the business of making money.

1877 saw the Great Uprising, a massive strike with violence that set the stage for the labor revolts of the next decades.  The year 1877 was the opening square of Uranus and Pluto, much like the opening square of those same two planets seen in the last few years.

By 1880 the Civil war was as distant as 9/11 is to us now.  The telephone had been developed by Alexander Graham Bell a few years earlier, and two separate people had a preliminary incandescent light bulb in 1880.  Nobel prize winning physician Robert Koch had discovered the cause of anthrax and insulin was discovered in 1876, which would change the lives of diabetic Americans.  The phonograph was invented in 1877, AC current in 1880, and the dry photographic plate was developed in 1879 by George Eastman, and in 1880 he developed roll film.  The two cycle engine was developed in 1877, and by that year Standard Oil controlled 95% of oil refining.

In 1876 there was a massacre of the Sioux Indians, and in 1877 Chief Joseph was defeated, and the Americans more and more took over the continent from the peoples who had lived there before they had arrived centuries earlier.  The last attempt to restrict the American Indians was coming to a close, and in fact the Census Bureau would in 1890 declare that the frontier was closed.  A historian at the University of Wisconsin would a few years later write a ground-breaking paper — later a book — explaining how the frontier had shaped democracy of America.

 

1900

 

The election of 1900 saw the second term for William McKinley, the 25th President of the United States.  Like all other Republicans elected after the Civil War, he had served in the Union Army, and all but one of the Presidents after the Civil War were Republicans.  The one Democrat, Grover Cleveland, served two terms, and he is now only known as a subject for Presidential trivia.  He was the only President to serve two non-consecutive terms, the Republican president between his two terms was Benjamin Harrison, the grandson of the President elected in 1840 and discussed previously.  His other claim to fame was a candy bar named after his baby daughter, born after he married a much younger women — the youngest First Lady ever — in his first term, with a wedding at the White House.  His baby’s name was Ruth.

But McKinley selected for his Vice President on his second term an up and coming Republican from New York who had not served in the Civil War by the name of Theodore Roosevelt. McKinley’s adviser Mark Hanna had warned against putting someone as radical as Roosevelt on the ticket; perhaps he was aware of Tecumseh’s Curse.  In any case, McKinley was shot six months into his second term, on September 6, 1901, and Theodore Roosevelt was President of the United States just as the Twentieth Century was beginning.

The first two decades of the Twentieth Century in America was the Progressive Era, and all of the Presidents that served in that period, both Republican and Democrat, were considered Progressive.  As mentioned before, the first 15 years of the Twentieth Century was the Birth of Modernism, and there were many important transits.   Also during this period, there was a Uranus transit over the Ascendant of the United States, just a there had been in 1820.  This combination of ingredients resulted in the period of the Twentieth Century before the First World War was a completely different United States.

 

1920

 

The election of 1920 saw a very different America again.  The First World War was over, an influenza pandemic had killed millions around the world, and the Russian Revolution and an ongoing Civil War in Russia caused Americans to cower in fear at radicals attempting to overthrow their government; this is called the First Red Scare in the United States.

The winner of the 1920 elections was Warren Gamaliel Harding, a Scorpio, the first of three Republican Presidents to serve, as the saying goes, under Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, the third richest person in the country.  After the war people just wanted to unwind and have fun, and the government in its infinite wisdom passed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution that prohibited the sale, but not the use, of beverages containing alcohol.  One should have seen at the time the disaster that would result.

Harding is famous for having sex in closets of the White House, and had a child by one of his mistresses, as has recently been confirmed by DNA tests.  Harding is often considered one of the worst presidents, because of scandals surrounding his time in the office, but unlike more recent examples, he did not wage illegal wars of aggression on other countries, torture people, or drop drones on wedding parties.  Harding died mysteriously on a tour of the West Coast, thus again fulfilling Tecumseh’s Curse.

Besides the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn being important, the opposition aspect is also important for a culmination of things started at the conjunction, and the preparation for the next conjunction in ten years.  Such was the case of the start of what is called the Great Depression half way through the twenty year cycle that started in 1920.  The love of money and of the stock market are the highlights of what is called the “Roaring Twenties” which came crashing down with the stock market falls of late October 1929.

 

1940

 

The election of 1940 saw the unprecedented third term of Franklin Roosevelt (Aquarius), cousin of Theodore, and the removal of as many of the effects of the Depression as was possible before the entrance of the United States into the already happening World War Two.  By the end of the War the United States, which was almost completely untouched by the immense ravages of the War, became the dominant power, known as a Super-Power, in the World for the next 60 years.  The promise started with the Spanish America War finally came to full fruition.  This election resulted in a major change for the United States and the world, a change that is still affecting us.

Franklin Roosevelt was elected to four terms, including one that corresponded to the strictures of Tecumseh’s Curse, the one which is a Watershed Election.  He died of a cerebral hemorrhage shortly into his fourth term, just before World War II ended in Germany, and a few months before the War ended in the Pacific.

Watershed Elections – One

The election of 2016 is being billed as the “most important election ever”  (or at least in a long time) and we must of course vote for the proper candidate.  Of course, each presidential election is billed as the most important one ever, until the next election occurs.  But there is a natural astrological cycle, known for thousands of years, that rules the rise and fall of, traditionally, kings.   And this twenty year cycle just so happens to correspond  to the four year election cycle.  We will explore this cycle through United states history; this twenty year cycle also corresponds to what has been called “Tecumseh’s Curse”, which says that every president elected at the start of this cycle will die while in office.   This election season of 2016 is just the tail end of the previous cycle that started in the year 2000, and is just a preparation for the watershed election of 2020.

This  cycle, which was discussed previously, is the twenty year synodic cycle of  Jupiter and Saturn, the two outermost planets known before a few hundred years ago.  This synodic cycle can be seen as similar to the lunar cycle with which we are all familiar:  New Moon — the conjunction of the Sun and the Moon — is the start of  the cycle, which then goes through the Full Moon — opposition — and back to the New  Moon.  For the case of the Jupiter-Saturn synodic cycle, the cycle starts with the conjunction of the two planets and goes through the opposition ten years after the conjunction and then the cycle ends and a new one begins ten years later at a conjunction of the Jupiter and Saturn.

But very  conveniently, and why we can talk about “watershed elections” is that this cycle has, for centuries, corresponded, more or less, to the presidential election cycle, with the conjunctions occurring near the start of an even decade.  Thus what I’m calling a watershed  election occurs at the start of an even decade and corresponds to the conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn.  In many cases the election is significant for the future of the country or of Presidential elections; in other cases the country was on the verge of a significant change that would be felt in the future;  an in some cases both were true.  We will see examples below as we look at each watershed election.

The charts below illustrate the first Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in each cycle.

 

1800
The first election in the new United States that corresponded to the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction was the election of 1800 — called by one of the participants, Thomas Jefferson, as “The Revolution of 1800”.  This was discussed previously (February 26, 2016) because it corresponded to the transit of Uranus over the MC of the United States.  Briefly this was the first time that a President of one party was replaced by a President of the other party.  Since this had never happened before, many in the country and the world did not know if it would be successful and peaceful, or as in many other situations – the coup of Napoleon in France had just occurred — the losing party would continue to hold power.   Also, because of a bug in the Constitution, there was no winner for months and some were talking about a possible civil war.   But eventually, just in time for the scheduled inauguration, a winner was chosen and it appeared to the world that the United States would be a successful country.  At least, an early crisis had been avoided and the Constitution was changed to correct the bug which had been exposed by the election.

 

1820
There was not much special about the election of 1820.  It was the second term of James Monroe  and it turned out to be the last time a member of the “Virginia Dynasty” controlled the Presidency of the United States.   The Virginia Dynasty was a string of men from Virginia who controlled the office of the President since the first election of George Washington in 1789.  The only exception was the single term of John Adams of Massachusetts in  1796.  All the other Presidents — George  Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe were from Virginia and served  two terms each.  1820 was still within the Era of Good Feelings,  after the War of 1812  (often called the second revolution) when there was not much strife in the country and essentially one political party — the Democrat-Republicans — since the Federalist Party had self-destructed after not supporting the War of 1812.  Monroe was elected by a near unanimous vote in the Electoral College, one vote withheld only because of the desire for George Washington to be the only President elected unanimously.  This term would see the proclamation of the Monroe Doctrine, which has influenced foreign  policy down through the years.  This  document was mostly written by Monroe’s Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams.

But the controversy that became apparent at this time, and was to increasingly shape the country for the next 40 years, was slavery. Here are two markers that this question was coming into public consciousness, at least among whites.  One can assume for slaves this had long been an issue of paramount importance.

In Ohio the first abolitionist newspaper — The Philanthropist — was started.  Whenever something becomes so popular that a periodical is published supporting that tendency, you  know that many people are supporting that tendency.   That paper had been started by a Quaker in September of 1817 and was popular in Ohio and neighboring Pennsylvania.  It stopped publication in 1822, but the banner of abolitionism was picked up by others, most famously by William Lloyd Garrison.

And on the national front, we have the Missouri Compromise which brought the division over slavery out into the open, where it would remain for the next 40 years.  This  action sounded, as an elderly Thomas Jefferson said, like a “fire bell in the night”.  America could no longer pretend that the real division between slave and non-slave states did not exist.

Up until that time, the number of slave states and the number of non-slave (called free) states was the same, and so it was thought they balanced each other out, even though the Constitution had given the slave states unequal power by saying that each slave counted as three-fifths of a human being for  determining  the population of that state and thus the number of Representatives and Electoral Votes.  But then Missouri wanted to join the Union as a slave state, upsetting  the balance.  The immediate solution was to split a new state of Maine off of Massachusetts and allow it to come into the Union at the same time as a free state.  Furthermore,  extending the idea of the Mason-Dixon Line, which had originally divided the Northern — free —  and the Southern — slave — states, it was declared that the Southern border of Missouri would serve as a marker so that only slave states would exist below that line and only free states (except for Missouri) above that line.  This compromise lasted for 35  years, and by that time it was obvious (or should have been) that that division would not hold.

The chart above shows the Uranus-Neptune conjunction square the US MC and also square Pluto.  Big changes were coming to the United States and the world: The Age of Jackson, the Industrial Revolution, the Communication Revolution, the invention of photography, the rise of laissez-faire capitalism, to name a few.

 

1840
The winner of the 1840 election is someone who is mostly forgotten these days, even though he was the son of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and the grandfather of another President.  This man was William Henry Harrison, who was the oldest person ever to hold the Presidency until Ronald Reagan.  Though Harrison came from a distinguished background, he was portrayed as living in a log cabin and drinking hard apple cider.  This  was known as the Log Cabin and Cider campaign, and the Whigs — his party — had many tchotchkes created that usually involved small log cabins and jugs of cider.  Occasionally a large ball would be rolled from town to town supporting his candidacy. And one distiller— by the name of E. G. Booz — created a log cabin shaped bottle of whisky to commemorate the campaign;  his last name became a popular slang for the substance he was making .  This was the beginning of election paraphernalia that parties now make for their candidate.  Harrison also campaigned for himself, something that had never been done before since it was considered not in keeping with the dignity of the office.  But in an age before trains and planes, all this activity was wearing on what at that time was a elderly person.

Harrison and his Vice-President, John Tyler, campaigned on the slogan Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too, Tippecanoe being one of the Indian battles in which Harrison was a commander.  He defeated  Martin Van Buren, the real founder of the Democratic Party and the first President without an English background, who had been raised in humble surroundings, unlike Harrison.  In the campaign Van Buren’s desires for luxury were compared to Harrison’s humble surroundings, an early example of campaign nonsense.   Van Buren was done in by the Panic of 1937, America’s first financial crisis, which was partially caused by previous president Andrew Jackson’s war with the Second Bank of the United States.

This campaign was also one of the first to feature women in prominent roles.  While of course they would not be able to vote for another 80 years, women helped in other ways such as cooking large Tippecanoe feasts.  Some people found the presence of women in the campaign shocking.

And to prove how similar that campaign was to more recent events, Harrison would given different speeches to different audiences.  For example, he would be against recent immigrants in some cases, but when talking in front of a German audience, he would be all in  favor of these recent arrivals.

And there were rumors spread during this campaign by opposing parties: Since the Democratic Vice President candidate was known to be living with a black woman, and raising her children with the education of whites, the story was spread that Harrison had fathered several children with Indians.   And of course the Democrat’s Presidental candidate — nicknamed Martin Van Ruin for the economic disaster his term had  ushered in — was condemned for his silk-stocking high life.

Once in office, Harrison gave his inaugural speech — a long one written by Daniel Webster — on a cold day in March without a top hat, supposedly so he would not emphasize his age.  He got pneumonia and after a month died.  He served the shortest amount of time of any president, and was in fact the first President to die while in office, and also a first example of the Tecumseh  Curse mentioned above.  Harrison had been involved in the military campaign in which  Tecumseh died, but more likely the man who killed him was the Vice Presidental candidate of the opposing Democratic party.

Since this was the first Presidential death, the country was now sure how things would work out.  His Vice President, John Tyler, assumed the office of the President, thus establishing the fact that the Vice President would replace the President if he died.  But at the time this was not a fact, and Tyler was called “His Accidency”.  Tyler was  only nominally a Whig, but he had been a Democrat from Virginia, and in fact his father had been a roommate of Jefferson’s when they were in college.  Tyler was also a slave holder and the number of the descendants from his involvement with his slaves outnumbers those descendants of Jefferson which are more well known.

The  Whigs such as Henry Clay were not too happy with Tyler’s performance as a Democrat.  Tyler wanted Texas, which had become an independent county in 1836, to  become part of the United States, and in fact Congress finally voted for admission of Texas after Tyler had been replaced by James Polk, but before Polk’s inaugural, but this did not hold up.

In the chart above we see Uranus square the US Mars, and also Sun sesquiquadrate that same Mars and a loose conjunction between Uranus and transiting Mars, all suggesting a sudden event, perhaps violent.

 

1860
The election of 1860 is quite famous, and so the story of it does not need to be elaborated here.   The first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, who had been a Whig before the Republicans Party existed, had been elected in November of 1860, and before he became President several states already had withdrawn from the Union and the Civil war was shaping up as  a real possibility.  The previous two Presidents, Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan, had done noting to lessen the impending crisis which had been developing for forty years.  Lincoln was also killed by an assassin shortly after he started his second term, thus again fulfilling Tecumseh’s Curse.

As discussed before, Uranus at the Descendant and Neptune at the MC are highlights of this first major crisis of the United States.

The Civil War represented a major change in American culture and society, even though 150 years later the country has not seemed to have absorbed the ramifications of the Civil War and  its aftermath.

Rationalism and Damned Facts

To be thought “rational” is considered the ultimate good.  If you are “irrational” you are considered wrong, not worthy of mature conversation.   Rationalism is considered a product of the Enlightenment which has changed our politics and made civilization more sane.  To reject the learning of the Enlightenment is considered just wrong.  Rationalism is ruled by the planet Uranus.  Considered a higher octave of Mercury, it was discovered in 1781, during the Enlightenment, and the first planet discovered in modern times.  It is not normally visible without a telescope.  The previous years, in Europe the Dark Ages, were a product of Neptune: irrationality.  While the Europeans were suffering under the so-called Dark Ages, considered the period between the Fall of Rome, also rational, and the Renaissance, other civilizations, such as those in Persia, India, and China, were not suffering under a Dark Age and continued to be rational, but they still had a element of irrationality.  But in the 1000 years preceding the Sixteenth Century, there was much “irrationality”  – symbolized by Neptune – sweeping the Western World, while much of the rest of the planet still adhered to some measure of Rationality, thus keeping that alive while it was hidden in the West.

But rationality in the West (re)starts in the Sixteenth Century.  The Polish mathematician Nicolaus Copernicus is considered a father of modern science with his theory of the heliocentric solar system that was published at his death in 1543.  But the idea did not catch on for fifty years, partly since he went against the popular notions of how the Universe worked as put forth by the Greek philosopher Aristotle, and also against the teachings of the Catholic Church. This breakthrough started with the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of the late Sixteenth Century.

Five men are considered the fathers of modern science: Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Johann Kepler, Galileo, and Newton.  The first four were astrologers (but many like to claim that they didn’t believe the stuff, but merely had to make a living) and Newton was an alchemist. And in fact if you examine the  early writings in the scientific community there is plenty of room for “non-rational” ideas.  It was only in the Eighteenth Century that a more orthodox position was developed.

The discovery of the first planet by scientific means – a telescope – was Uranus in 1781  by amateur astronomer William Hershel.  Below is the chart for that discovery on March 13, 1781.  Interestingly, the  planet Uranus in late Gemini is square the Sun, representing the day of discovery.  One reason Uranus is associated with Revolution is that it was discovered between the American and the French Revolutions.  Uranus also represents Rationalism, and by the time of its discovery, rationalism had come to dominate the Western world.  One symbol of this increasing dominance of rationalism was shown by the French philosopher Rene Descartes, who famously said “I think, therefore I am” and gave us Cartesian mathematics and a Cartesian world-view.  Thus began the rise to dominate the world of a more materialist, mechanistic way of thinking.  The world has been disenchanted (entzauberung in the original German), as German sociologist Mex  Weber famously suggested, and it is leading to our downfall.  We need to become more irrational, to re-enchant the world.  This, I believe, will be a project of the next 500 years.

 

uranus

Discovery of Uranus

What I contend is that the last 500 years in the Western World has seen increasing rationality, and that trend is now over.  What we must do is combine the rationality  of Uranus and the irrationally of Neptune into a synthesis.  We can see how the increasing rationality of the last 500 years has come close to destroying the Earth, and attempts to offer a totally rational solution  to these crises will only fail, party because the rational attempt to reduce the crises to a simple, rational solution is irrational.  As mentioned, we now live in a totally disenchanted world, and as the rulers become increasingly technocratic  and machines of all kinds more dominate the world, this trend has become overwhelming.  Nature is something that people in the West, and most assuredly the United States, see only on their screens, a mode becoming more dominant since the Uranus-Neptune conjunction of the early Nineties, to be discussed more at a future date.  Extreme rationalism is killing us all.

There are many facts out in the field which are what the American writer of the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century Charles Fort called “damned facts” and he collected many of them in his books, one of which is called The Book of the Damned.  Damned facts are those that can not be explained by Rational means, they are thus arational.  There are many such events, and there are books and television shows that collect such damned facts, those that can not be explained by science. As far as this blog is concerned, the most important and obvious damned fact is astrology.  Much as we want to believe it, astrology can not be explained by science as it is presently constructed.  Thus, according to many scientists, astrology can not be true.  They occasionally sign letters condemning the belief in astrology as bunk.  When once asked to sign such a letter, Carl Sagan refused because he had not studied astrology.  Would it be that others were so honest.  Currently, it appears scientists are just ignoring astrology, hoping that it will go away.

Scientists consistently disbelieve – that is a mild term for it – in astrology.  I think part of this strong feeling is their realization that if astrology were true, the whole nature of the Universe, something they believe strongly in, would be undermined.   Astrology can not possibly be true in the Universe that they know.  I think that in this way they are more realistic that the astrologers who believe that astrology is a science in the narrow terms that are used today, and that eventually Science will recognize that.  They, the astrologers, don’t realize that astrology strongly suggests that the Universe is much stranger that we know, and perhaps is much stranger that we can know.  There is a new paradigm out there to be discovered, but as Thomas Kuhn famously suggested in his The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, this new paradigm won’t be accepted until the believers in the old paradigm die off.

Probably the most statistically convincing display of the meaning of the planets in astrological terms was demonstrated by research and a series of books by the husband and wife team of Michel and Francoise  Gauguelin in the Fifties and Sixties.  (Full disclosure:   I once took a course in statistics from Francoise). The full results can be found in their books (such as Cosmic Influences on Human Behavior) or online sources.  Essentially what they found was there was a Mars, Jupiter, Moon, and Saturn effect determined by the position of one of these planets in the birth charts of prominent individuals.  These statisticians lived in Europe, and many of those countries have better and longer recorded birth times than does the United States; the Gauquelins would spend their vacations gathering birth data and constructing birth charts.  They found that individuals prominent in certain fields tended to have certain planets placed in certain locations – such as just above the Ascendant – much great than by chance.  While in most experiments if something happens that is likely by chance only 1% of the time, that occurrence is not considered random but connected to something else; in the Gauquelin research, they found the likelihood of their result being by chance were 1 million to one or smaller.

This was very controversial, especially to scientists, since it proves by statistics something that is impossible, and many attempts were made to prove the Gauquelin results wrong.  One famous case was called “(S)tar Baby” wherein scientists were caught fudging the results to make the Gauquelins look bad.

They found a “Mars Effect” for soldiers and athletes, and in fact both those types of people use Mars – directed energy –- more than your average individuals.  The Jupiter effect was found in  politicians and actors, both of which need to be public and extroverted (Ronald Reagan shows the Jupiter effect), and a Saturn effect was found in scientists;  in fact, many scientists, more than average, are notoriously Saturnine, which may be read as introverted, not publicly effervescence, sort of the opposite of Jupiter; and the Moon was found prominent in writers and poets.

A prominent Mars in athletes and soldiers certainly corresponds to the astrological symbolism of the planet Mars in the birth-chart.  And astrologer/composer Gustav Holst called the section of his work The Planets about Mars “The Bringer of War”.  And this meaning of the planet Mars derives from the mythological meaning of the Roman God Mars.  And this no doubt derives from the fact that Mars is a red planet, and red was the color of blood.  There is no possible way that this connection can be explained by any possible scientific theory.  It is totally impossible.  But as was said in a much different context, by someone who was also an astrologer – though this fact is often covered up – “and still it moves”, or if you prefer the original Italian, eppur si muove.

This impossible association must be rejected.  But there is a movement among some to expand the scientific field with ideas from ancient mysticism.  One of the first books to explore to topic after the War was The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra, first published in 1975.  These ideas were an outgrowth of the Sixties – see How the Hippies Saved Physics by David Kaiser for details  about the beginnings of this movement.  Many other people have explored the topic since then, often combining the ideas of quantum mechanics with mysticism and ancient esoteric beliefs.  But astrology seems the clearest example that the Universe works in ways beyond what is assumed by the modern belief system, which I am calling Rationalism.  Thus it must be  rejected as irrational.

Change Will Come: Uranus Pluto Hard Aspects

 

urpl2015

Last Uranus Square Pluto

 

We are currently witnessing a square of Uranus and Pluto; the last exact square was on March 16, 2015.  Variants of this aspect have occurred before, and various commentators recognize this fact, even though they are unaware of the underlying astrology.  During the Arab Spring, the various Occupy movements, the sit-ins in Wisconsin, several people compared those events to the Sixties, the unrest of the Thirties, the  actions in the first part of the Twentieth Century, and even  to the wave of revolutions that swept Europe in 1848.  No one that I know of compared those events to the French Revolution or the English Civil War.  And no one remembers the Great Railroad Strike of 1877.  But all these have something in common.  And then I heard Glen Greenwald – who helped release the Edward Snowden revelations – complain that the information released was known years before,  but suddenly it became a topic of interest.    And then he said that it was like “something in the ether changed”.  And as we shall see, if not exactly something in the ether changed, something in the heavens changed.

 

urpl1966

The Sixties

Before this opening square of Uranus and Pluto, the last quadrature aspect of those two planets was in  1964, 1965, 1966.   Those were  the years it was exact, but of  course the influence extended beyond those years.  The first noticeable “Sixties” action that I  have been able to find is the lunch counter sit-in at a Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina on February 1, 1960.  Part of this lunch counter is in the Smithsonian.  Lunch counter sit-ins had been done before, but this one was different.   More people came to sit-in on following days.  The idea spread and was practiced in other communities.  In hindsight we can see this was the start of something big, and it is justly celebrated.  Another event took place that year – the release of the movie Psycho.  This was an unusual kind of a movie from a famous director – the main star appeared in her bra in the opening scenes, and this main star was killed well before the movie ended.  These things were not done in mainstream movies, and suggested (again, hindsight is very helpful) that a major changes in the cinama of Hollywood  was in the offing.

I  could go on and on about the Uranus/Pluto nature of the Sixties, but the phrase has almost become a cliché, and many people either love  or hate – neutral is hard to find – the decade.  But the things that people either love or hate about the decade very well show the influence of Uranus and Pluto, so when you think of the two planets together, think of that decade.

 

urpl1933

The Great Depression

The square of those two planets, the closing square before this conjunction, was in 1932, 1933, 1934.  This  was the depth of the Great Depression.  In the United States, people were extremely upset, and we had  a near Revolution that leaders were worried about.  Huey Long was making waves in Louisiana.  Roosevelt took office  in the midst of this and was able to relieve some of the pressure and “save capitalism from itself”.  Also in America there was another potential revolution that very few people know about.  This  is a fascist revolution that would replace the government of the United States.  See, for example, The Plot to Seize the White House by Jules Archer  (republished a few years ago as a paperback) and The Plots Against the President by Sally Denton.  But in several European countries,  things took a different course, with the rise of Hitler in Germany, Mussolini in Italy, and Franco in Spain.  In the Soviet Union, Stalin gained power the same year the the Depression hit and Japan was invading China.

 

urpl1902

Birth of the Twentieth Century

The opposition before this square took place in 1901 and  1902.  Many events happened in this period before World War I, which has been discussed  more in a previous post.  The Progressive Movement in the United States, the formation of the International Workers of the World – Wobblies – the First Russian Revolution, which  was  not successful and led to the second, more well know revolution, and  Gandhi’s  development of non-violence, announced on September 11 in South Africa, were some of the appropriate events of this period.  There was a rise in feminism at the time, and rebellions appear in several countries.  The book Vertigo World  by Phillip Blom outlines the changes that went on at this time.  There were other important aspects at the same time, and as  a result the changes in this period at the start of the Twentieth Century were quite complex.  In the United States this decade saw the rise of the Progressive  Movement, that claimed politicians such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, architects such as Frank Lloyd  Wright, and historians such as Charles Beard.  Possibly the most important development in this period for the future of the world was the rise in popularity of the automobile, which has been developed several years earlier.  Spurred by the availability of Henry Ford’s Model T – unveiled on October 1, 1908 – America started its continuing love affair with the automobile, but Europe, where the automobile was invented, had loved cars even earlier in the decade.

 

urpl1877

The Great Railroad Strike

The square before this opposition was  in 1876, 1877, 1878.  The Great Railroad Strike of 1877  was the biggest labor action of that year.  There was many other labor actions in these years, partly because the Panic of 1873, a major financial depression which  may or may not have ended before the Panic of 1893 hit America.  Even though this was called the Gilded Age for wealthy America, for most of the others – the 99% of that age – life was not so rosy.

 

urpl1850

Year of Revolutions

The previous conjunction was in 1850, 1851, and 1852.  Mostly famously, 1848 was known as the Year of Revolutions in Europe, in which almost all countries in Europe underwent revolutions, though most were short-lived.  This was the year that a journalist named Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto.  In the United States there was the Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention, which marks the first stage of feminism.  There were revolutions in other countries around the world in the next few years.  Hardly known by Americans, but extremely well known in China, was the Taiping Rebellion, which  started in December 1850 and went on for almost fourteen  years.  The Taiping Rebellion is considered one of the most deadly violent events in history, with an estimated twenty to thirty million civilians  killed.

urpl1794

French Revolution

The opposition before that was 1791 through 1795.  This marked most famously the French Revolution, especially the Time of Terrors which occurred when the conjunction was most exact.  There was also a rise of feminism, indicated by the publication of the book A Vindication of the Rights of Women by prominent feminist Mary Wollstonecraft,  who is  not as well known among among the general population as her novelist daughter, also named Mary.

urpl1710

Beginning of Industrial Revolution

The conjunction before that was 1709 and 1710.  This marked the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in England.  The English restricted any release of the ideas that they developed into the outside world, so the Industrial Revolution did not exist elsewhere for almost 100 years.  During this conjunction Thomas Newcomen developed the first steam engine, that was later refined by the more famous James Watt.  Abraham Darby developed a way of making  pig iron using coke (instead of charcoal), which paved the way for complicated machines.

 

urpl1649

English Civil War

The opposition before that 1648 and 1649, which saw the height of the English Civil War.  Many radical groups formed  at this time, such as the Ranters, the  Diggers, and the Quakers.  Elsewhere in Europe saw he end of the Thirty years War, a shockingly brutal war that lay waste to much of the continent, especially Germany, and marked the end of religious conflict that had  grown out of the Reformation.  This war ended with the Peace of Westphalia, whose notion of sovereign states has been a basis  for international law in the centuries since.  The organizational work for the Royal Society (of London) was done during this  period, indicating that the Scientific Revolution was truly established.

 

urpl1597

Beginning of Scientific Revolution

The conjunction before that was in 1596, 1597, 1598.  This marked the beginnings of the Scientific Revolution, with Kepler and Galileo introducing Copernicus’ theories to a Europe that hadn’t know of them, and Galileo using a telescope to lead to a new understanding of the solar system.  Francis Bacon laid down the basics of Science, essentially advocating for what is now called the “scientific method”.  This time also saw the height of drama in Elizabethan England  with such writers as Shakespeare, Jonson, Marlowe, and Spenser.  At this time people’s way of looking at the world changed, as shown in a recent book by Philip Bell titled Curiosity.

 

urpl1456

Beginning of Printing Revolution

The conjunction before that was in 1454, 1455, and 1456.  This saw the end of the medieval Hundred’s Year War between England and France, the beginning of the War of the Roses, a popular subject to Shakespeare  and the first war of the modern era,  the fall of the Byzantine Empire, which sent many Greek scholars to the West, and the publication of the 42-line Gutenberg Bible, which was the first major book printed in the West.  It is hard to overestimate the importance that printing had to the developments of the next 500 years.

More details can be found in the book Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas, Section IV.

The First Red Scare

Red Scares are a prominent feature of American life that have happened before there was a Communist Party in the United States.  But the first full-scale red scare took place in the aftermath of World War I, under a Democratic Administration. This happened with Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, who was Quaker and had great concern for the underprivileged in keeping with the progressive Democrat under whom he served, Woodrow Wilson.  The Palmer raids of 1919 and 1920 were notorious, but their longest lasting legacy was that Palmer’s young assistant, J. Edgar Hoover,  learned the basics of Communist perfidy at the time.

By 1920 the Communist Revolution in Russia was only a couple of years old, and anarchists and radicals, many from foreign lands, were especially taken with the revolution in that backwards country, Russia, and hoped that such a revolution could happen in more developed countries.  They were extremely enthusiastic with the Revolution that had taken place, and their beliefs had not yet been tempered by the passage of time and experience.

 

palmer_raid

First Palmer Raid

 
The first Palmer Raid took place on November 7,  1919, two years to the day from the Russian Revolution.  This raid set the pattern for others to come, not only in that period but also after World War II.  In the chart for that event, we see the transiting Uranus squarely on the natal Moon; as we have explained before, such a combination indicates that the people are disturbed, upset.  Such a conjunction happened just before the United States went into Afghanistan earlier this century.  We see that Pluto is conjunct natal Jupiter and thus moving through the core of the United States.  But also notice that transiting Saturn is opposite transiting Uranus;  This opposition, as can be seen by the graphical ephemeris below, was exact in early August (black arrow) and would be exact again in late Spring and early Summer of 1920 (red arrow).   This opposition sets two forces in conflict:  Saturn represents law and order, stability, conventional thinking, whereas Uranus represents unconventional ideas and actions, the promise of the new.  This describes the conflict that was going on then, in the conservative times after World War I.  The Amendment to the Constitution requiring Prohibition had just been passed and was to go into effect on January 17, 1920.  Republicans would replace Democrats as President during the decade of the Twenties, lasting until Democrat Franklin Roosevelt took over after the Great Depression had already started.  Another example of the Saturn Uranus opposition took place in 1965 and 1966, when newly elected, as President, Lyndon Johnson faced a “credibility gap” over the increasing involvement of American soldiers in the Vietnam War.

 

1919tg

Saturn Opposite Uranus

 
As a result of the First Palmer Raid, a converted troopship left the United States with famous anarchist Emma Goldman and almost 250 others.   This so-called  “Soviet Ark”  was cheered by patriotic Americans, though the massive violations of civil liberties involved in gathering the deportees was ignored by the masses.  The ship left New York harbor on December 21,1919, and arrived in Finland on January 17, 1920.  The deportees were then conducted to the Russian border where they would hopefully be taken, because America certainly did not want them.

Another famous case from this time involved Italian anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti who were eventually executed for the murder of a guard during the robbery of a shoe company in Massachusetts on April 15, 1920.   This case was a cause célèbre for many years, involving letters from all over the world and many famous jurists and lawyers.  Eventually Michael Dukakis, then governor of Massachusetts, declared in 1977 that the two men had not received a fair trial.

 

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Sacco-Vanaetti

 
In he chart for this murder,  we see clearly the opposition of Saturn and Uranus;  Uranus is no longer on the Moon of the U. S., but Pluto remains in the same position. There is a close conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune, which Ebertin links to idealism, and indeed there was much idealism and hope for a better world among the radicals that were so active in this period.

Another powerful movement at this time was the International Workers of the World, called the Wobblies, who had grown in the first decade of the new Century.   There was much persecution of them at this time, the most glaring happened in Centralia, Washington on November 11,  1919, which involved the hanging of a Wobblie who had been removed  from his prison cell  and the deaths of five others.  This happened during a parade celebrating the first anniversary of Armistice Day, the end of World War I.  The  newly-formed American Legion was not happy with the presence of the Wobblies.  The chart for this riot shows many of the same planetary placements we’ve  seen before with Pluto and Uranus and  the Saturn-Uranus opposition.   What is new is the position of the two fast-moving inner planets:  Venus,  the patriotic gathering for the parade, is at the Midheaven, and Mercury is at the Ascendant, and indeed this event is one of the more famous and well-communicated incidents of the First Red Scare.

 

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Armistice Day Riot

There was much labor unrest during this period, which further worried the owners of industry.  It has been estimated that 20% of the workers had gone on strike by the end of 1919.  After the war was over, many workers wanted the back pay and raises that they had not received during the war.

Wilson, who had run on the campaign slogan “he kept us out of war” when he ran for re-election in 1916, and then promptly got the United States involved in World War I, did not want dissenters from the war effort, so he got passed the Espionage Act shortly before America entered the War; this Act was designed to prevent talk against the war.  This Act was used to send Socialist Eugene Debs to prison for speaking against the war, and that is where he campaigned for President in 1920.  While the Act has mostly  been against people giving aid to enemies of the United States, this is the same Espionage Act that has been used most against Americans who were not dealing with enemies by our current President to sentence whistle blowers to prison.

 

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Espionage Act

 
In the chart for the Espionage Act, we see that not much had changed in the two years between this  chart and the one for the Palmer Raid.  Saturn is approaching a conjunction with Neptune, signifying the remorse many Americans would feel for the involvement of the country with a European War.  There is also transiting Saturn opposite natal Pluto, always a bad combination which has been discussed before.   A transiting Saturn transiting Pluto conjunction had occurred at the start of this very war.

There was strong dissent among the judiciary to these attempts against free speech. One of the better known was Schenek v United States (Charles Schenek was in the Socialist Party in Philladelphia) in 1919  (where the Court unanimously declared that the Act did not violate the Constitutional protection for free speech), and where Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously declared, regarding other cases, that free speech would not allow a man to shout fire in a crowded theater,  but also declared that the government must show that any speech presents a “clear and present danger” to bring about evil that the government must prevent  before it could be limited.   This decision was handed down March 3, 1919.