Constitution Summer

The Constitutional Convention was called for on February 21, 1787 to start May 14, 1787 but there wasn’t a quorum. A quorum was reached on May 25. It was finally signed on September 17, 1787. So you can see that that summer in Philadelphia was spent planning, writing, and arguing about the document that would eventually be called the United States Constitution.


The Constitutional Convention was called as a way to amend the Articles of Confederation under which the country operated up to then. The Article of Confederation required a consensus of the states to amend it. However, only nine states had ratified the Constitution when it took effect, and two states ratified it after the first President was elected.


If we look at the chart erected for the opening of the Convention on May 25 we see that Saturn is on the Moon. By looking at the graphical ephemeris for that summer we see that Saturn went back and forth over the moon, and back and forth sesquiquadrate to the Sun of the United States. Now the United States is a very Saturnine nation, as we shall talk about at a different time; one indication of this is Saturn square Sun in the U.S. Chart. But the Constitution is also a document seeped in Saturn. What does this mean for the country and our system of laws, based on that Constitution? Saturn is limits, definitions, concrete reality. It is by nature conservative, possibly pessimistic, expecting the worse. Saturn in this case covers three area: conservative, lawyers, property. We shall discuss each in turn.




Constitutional Convention


Of the 55 men (no women allowed!) at the Constitutional Convention, fully 35 were lawyers or trained in the law, or 63%, almost two-thirds. So from the beginning America was dominated by lawyers. (Insert any lawyer jokes you have here.) And it has only continued that way. A majority of the members of Congress are lawyers, and many have commented on the litigious nature of our society. There are so many laws (written by the lawyer-dominated Congress and state legislatures) that one needs a lawyer to navigate it all. As one who has availed himself of lawyers from time to time, they are extremely valuable and helpful. But again, many have commented by how lawyers dominate our society.


Many think that the Constitution came from God, especially the Second Amendment which Moses brought down with the Ten Commandments, and so it can’t be criticized. But in reality the Constitution is a conservative document that was designed to slow down the process of law making (consider checks and balances) which has lead to many of the problems with government we face today. Just think of the Electoral College, two Senators from every state so that Wyoming and California have the same number of Senators, and lifetime appointment of Supreme Court justices. Daniel Lazare in his books The Velvet Coup and The Frozen Republic has outlined well the problems with the Constitution, and George Kenney on has talked often about the need to rewrite the Constitution.


Harmonic 8 Graphical Epheremis
Constitution Summer

An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States by Charles Beard is possibly the most controversial history book of all time. Beard, a Progressive historian of the early Twentieth Century, gives an alternate view of why the Constitution was created, to protect the economic interest of the Founders and their friends, most of whom were wealthy. John Hancock, for example, was one of the wealthiest men in the colonies. Another alternate view is that of Staughton Lynd in Class Conflict, Slavery, and the United States Constitution, that argues that protecting slave owners was an important part of the Constitution. (Interestingly, George Kenney just interviewed Staughton Lynd about this book. Kenney’ s show – electric politics – is interesting because he not only covers politics but also less mainstream topics such as UFOs, ESP, and reincarnation. I suggested to Mr. Kenney that he interview Richard Tarnas about subjects similar to what is covered in this blog. Tarrnas is an academic who has written a standard undergraduate textbook, The Passion of the Western Mind, and who was introduced to astrology by Rob Hand when they were both at Esalen. I was shot down and realized that among the intellectual class interest in astrology is considered only slightly above an interest in child pornography.) The theories of these books go in and out of fashion; sometimes they are condemned and at other times a restatement of them is published.



Another important aspect of Saturn-dominance of the United States is the high esteem property is held in these United States, one can almost say worship. Even though the term “property” is not used in the Constitution, its function is hard to miss. The Commerce Clause (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3) is the most obvious, but there are others that relate. And this worship of property is put in so-called Free Trade Agreements, such as NAFTA and the current Trans Pacific Partnership – TPP — which allow business to sue for loss of value of their property because of, for example, environmental regulations. And of course the whole subject of regulations of business is considered as evil because they interfere with the right of property, which are considered to have higher rights than that of people. Many Supreme Court decisions relate to the rights of property such as the Citizens United decision. As I write this there was recently a standoff in Nevada between a cattlemen and the Federal government that comes down to property rights.



The Shot Heard Around the World


The phrase “The Shot Heard Around the World” most often refers to the Battle of Lexington and Concord, which was the opening battle of the American Revolutionary War. I’ve noticed that events in colonial America, before the “birth” of the country on July 4, 1776, also show up as relevant transits to the birth chart of the United States. I’ve even gone back as far as Columbus’ first sighing land and seen that that also shows up in the chart of the United States. But in this case the event in question took place a little over a year before the birth. This particular chart is an example of what I call “astrological cliché” since it appears to have been made up to fit the event in question. Another example of an astrological cliché is the life of that Libra President, Chester A. Arthur, who was called “Gentleman Boss”.

From accounts, it appears the first shots were fired shortly after sunrise, about 5 AM on April 19, 1775. The first chart is an event chart, set for the time of the event. We see that the sun has just risen and is about five degrees about the horizon, about 20 minutes after sunrise. The tightest aspect – Sun sesquiquadrate Moon – is almost exact, presages the Sun-Moon sesquiquadrate in the natal chart and thus the continuing conflict between the people and the government, as can be seen in many things such as the rise of the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists at the Constitutional Convention.


Lexington Event Chart

But what is really interesting is the second chart, the transits of this time in the natal chart of the U.S. Since this event is near the birth, the outer planets are already in the position or close to the positions they will occupy in the natal chart. The first thing you may notice is that the Moon is on the Ascendant and rising as this event happens. This suggests the beginning of a process, as the Moon is suddenly visible and its visibility will only increase. This event is a beginning of the Revolutionary War, which is the beginning of the country of America.


Battle of Lexington and Concord

But notice the position of Mars opposite the natal Moon. Mars is literally gunfire – a shot – and its position opposite the Moon indicates that this is something that the people will be aware of. But then look at Mercury, representing communication, which can be read as “heard”. This is opposite the Midheaven, which represents the public impression of the country in the outside world. So the chart of the start of the Battle of Lexington and Concord, when looked at with the natal chart of the United States, says this event is the shot heard around the world.

Now I hear some critics asking could you predict what event happened with this chart before the event. Of course not. If you notice these minor transits at all – Mars goes around the zodiac every two years and Mercury in less that one year – this is not what you would have predicted. But of course the fact that both Marts is in that position and Mercury is in that position at the same time is much more rare. But not even if you did notice this could you predict the corresponding event. But is is very interesting that on hindsight the astrological conditions were so prefect that the event is called by what the astrological configuration suggests.



The Vietnam War: Another Fiftieth Anniverary


Another fiftieth anniversary is coming in August, the fiftieth anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that passed the Senate on August 7, 1964 with famously only two senators, from Oregon and Alaska, voting against it. The Vietnam War was a multi-administration project, with the start of our involvement under the Truman administration, as he increased support for the French in Vietnam at the same time as he engaged in the Korean War; and it picked up under Eisenhower; and all the basics of the Vietnam War we know and love were set by the Kennedy administration; but the “crossing the Rubicon” moment is the passing of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in the first year of the Johnson administration. Supposedly the North Vietnamese attacked two U. S. destroyers that were near the country, and this was the casus belli need for the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, but it was later revealed that the two destroyers were spying on North Vietnam and that at least one of the attacks did not happen. As has happened so often in American history (cf. USA PATRIOT Act) things are rushed through Congress in the heat of the moment with no reflection of the consequences.

The tightest aspect in the chart of the United States is Pluto semisquare Ascendant. The epithet I give to this aspect is “My Way or the Highway”. It is worth quoting at length what Ebertin says about this combination of planets. Keep in mind that Ebertin was basically talking about human beings, and with a semiquare the negative interpretation is the more likely one: Ebertin’s mother famously did a horoscope for Hitler so he knew what he was talking about.

Will-power, ambition, the striving for power, the utilisation of magic or psychic forces. The display of an unusual personal influence.

Dictatorship or rule by force. The desire to bring other people under the rule of one’s own will. A repulsive behavior.

The striving for the attainment of power and authority. The tendency to suppress or to oppress others. The attainment of success in life by brutal and ruthless means.

This is not the type of behavior any politician will admit to in this, the most exceptional of all nations. While this behavior was demonstrated early on, it did not reach full maturity until after the Second World War. The Dulles Brothers in that period most demonstrated this behavior and the Vietnam War was one of the most obvious early manifestation. A recently published book The Brothers by Stephan Kinzer details the strong involvement of the Dulles Brothers with the growing Cold War, including Vietnam.

So let’s take a look at the chart for this event.


Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

Since this event only occurred a few months after the Beatles concert, several transits are the same: There is the approaching Uranus-Pluto conjunction – it is the Sixties after all – almost exact in another three months, and there is the Uranus square natal Uranus, showing that it is a quarter Uranus cycle after World War II. It might be tempting to relate outbreaks of hostility by the United States to Uranus hard aspects with its natal position, but since the United States is involved in so many violent conflicts this is a unhelpful search. Then there is the loose Saturn conjunct the natal Moon – the people are still depressed – Kennedy was assassinated nine months previously, as we also saw in the Beatles chart. And Pluto is still sextile the Sun of the United States.

This event took place at a New Moon. Minor perhaps, but New Moons signify the start of a new project. And the project we started at this New Moon turned out to be a doozy! The New Moon was exact at about three that afternoon.

And then there was a transiting Sun square transiting Neptune. This quadrature – squares, opposition, conjunction – to transiting Neptune happens four time a year, fairly common. The Sun moves so fast that the keyword for it is “day of” (just as aspects from the Moon are “hour of” and from the transiting Midheaven are “minute of”) so this particular day could be called the day of deception or the day of illusion. This aspect was exact at about the time of the New Moon.  Thus the Moon was also square Neptune.  Only two Senators saw that, but in retrospect it is obvious. And to further emphasize this we also have Neptune loosely trine the Sun of the United States. And indeed the government was deceived but few knew it at the time. Neptune was also semisquare the Midheaven, which represent the outward expression of the United States.

Another minor point is that Mars – the planet of war – was conjunct natal Jupiter, suggesting “lots of war”. Jupiter is part of the important Sun-Venus-Jupiter triple conjunction that is so important to the American Character. Mars is also square the Midheaven, again emphazing War into the world.

But the “money aspects” are the Mercury-Pluto conjunction square the the Ascendant and sesquiquadrate to Pluto. These tight aspects emphasize the Pluto Ascendant semisquare mentioned at the beginning, the aspect that strongly defines America. The Pluto aspect was exact two weeks before the vote, and it was still quite close. The fact that it is Pluto even more highlights the Plutonian nature – big, brutal – of the whole Vietnam War, and the fact that Mercury is closely conjunct Pluto – less than half a degree — suggests the nature of the war. The Vietnam War is considered the first television (communications, Mercury) war, where the nightly news had graphic images of soldiers wounded and bodies counted. Just what you want to see when you are eating dinner!  This turned many people off to the war, and some even consider a “stab in the back” from the media, which is why we lost the war. The end of the war is assumed to have come when preeminent nightly newscaster Walter Cronkite denounced it.


Thoughts on Astrology as a Revolutionary Science

In  the summer of 1984 I attended a NCGR (National Council for Geocosmic Research) conference at Mills College in Oakland.  One of the speakers was astrologer Rob Hand.  After one dinner he gave a speech about the differences and similarities of science, religion, and astrology.  It was one of the most important speeches given about astrology in the modern world.  He later extended his arguments into an article called “Astrology as a Revolutionary Science” and it was finally published in a book very few ever saw.  It is a very important paper, and it is available here.  After reading this article, I was inspired to write down the following ideas.  The data in this entry were drawn from Albion’s Seed by David Hackett Fischer and the newer American Nations by Colin Woodard.

In this article Rob Hand compares what he calls Type I religions and the newer Type II religions. Science, he says, is a Type II religion. But the distinction of Type I and Type II religions can be extended further, and applies to the origins of the United States.

American society is widely thought to be divided into two main factions. In contemporary parlance, these are the red states and the blue states. But this dichotomy goes back much further than our current political divisions.

A major split within the United States, seen throughout its history, has been between the Yankees and the Confederates. While there are other factions within the United States, such as the Scotch-Irish people who settled in Appalachia and the Dutch based colony that formed in New York, these other groupings would join one or the other with the Yankees or the Confederates. In general, those states considered blue were settled by Yankees and those states considered red were settled by Confederates or their allies, such as the Scotch Irish.

The Yankees of New England arrived in this country from England starting about 1630 and came from the Southeastern part of England. These were the Roundheads or Puritans – supporters of the Parliament — side of the English Civil War, and they came to American to start a colony based on their beliefs, since they wanted more freedom for their religion than they felt they got in England. In England, the Roundheads were against the absolute monarchy of the King.


Death of Charles I

The Confederates came over from the South and West of England starting about 1649. These were the Cavaliers, the other faction of the English Civil War. In 1649 their King, Charles I, was executed by the Roundheads, and it was seen as an inhospitable time to be a Cavalier in England, so they decided to emigrate. In the chart of the United States, which was part of England at the time, 1649 shows Pluto conjunct Saturn near the Descendant of the United States (Sibly chart), showing that a powerful event had taken place external to the incipient United States; it was certainly lese majeste when the King was executed. This conjunction was opposite Uranus-Neptune conjunction on the Ascendant. (I have found that the natal chart of the United States responds to transits before its birth, as well as after birth. While I hypothesize that this also applies to humans, it is difficult to find much evidence to support this.)

But these two factions of the English Civil War — the Roundheads and the Cavaliers — go back even further. The Cavaliers – the upper classes of English society, close to the aristocracy and even the king – gave royal names to colonies in America, such as New York which was initially a gift to the Duke of York from his brother King Charles II, son of the executed King, after it was liberated from the Dutch; Maryland was named after the wife of Charles I; and Virgina was named after Queen Elizabeth. The Cavilers are descended from the Normans who invaded England in 1066 from France. These were Christians – Catholics – a religion that came from Rome.

The Roundheads are descended from a different group, however. They are the descendants of the Angles, Saxons, and others that were in England before the Normans invaded. Theses people practiced a nature religion that was common in the British Isles before the Normans invaded, and was also practiced by many people as an underground religion thereafter, as witnessed by the witch burning of the Sixteenth Century and later.

The Normans go back to Rome and the original Christianity; In the Fourth Century Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, solidifying for all time the impact of the Roman politics on the new religion. Rome was interested in the republic, and many of the founders of the United States were deeply interested in the Republic as a form of government and with a House and Senate they were drawing ideas from the Roman Republic. Even a statement on the Great Seal of the United States is drawn from an epic poem of Rome. To this group what was important was liberty, something that was given to you.

The Anglo-Saxon and earlier English were however using a different form, a democracy that is still practiced in New England with the town meetings. This sprang from the belief that all individuals were born free, that this is not something that could be given to you, and so the concept of freedom was important to these people and their descendants.

Thus we have the conflict in the United States between freedom and democracy, which many of the founders were afraid of and tried to prevent, and liberty and a republic, which was seen as protection from having too many people with a say in the running of government. But we see that these two forms go back native people of England, many who came from Europe, who were pagans, and to the Normans from France and Christians which ultimately came from Rome. So the two are extensions of Type I religion, the paganism of the settlers of the British Isles, and Type II religion, the Christianity of the Normans who invaded England.