First Man on the Moon

Since this week has seen a celebration of the 45th anniversary of the landing on the moon, I thought  it fitting to look at the chart for that event.  It must be stressed that this is a geocentric chart for the event, which took place on the moon.  Perhaps we should be looking at a selenocentric chart for the event, that is one based on the moon.  Such a chart was published in a British journal in the Fall of 1969.  But since most of the people involved were here on Earth, and the ramification of the event were here on Earth, I’m going to look at a standard geocentric, that is to say earth-centered rather than moon-centered, chart.


Touchdown on theMoon

At second glance, we notice that there is still a loose conjunction of Uranus and Pluto, but Uranus is separating from Pluto and is now  almost 8 degrees away.  The Sixties are just about over.  But what does stand out is the tight Jupiter-Uranus conjunction (black arrow), at about 6 minutes of arc.  Richard  Tarnas describes Jupiter-Uranus cycles as involved with “Creativity and Expansion”, see Cosmos and Psyche Section VI for a full description.  Also note that the fabled Woodstock Music and Arts Festival took place some three weeks later under the same conjunction, though it was wider by that time.  The tight Jupiter-Uranus conjunction was also loosely conjoined with Pluto — this was sort of an expansion (with Jupiter there) of the Uranus-Pluto principle.

But this conjunction is at the Midheaven of the United States chart, representing a culmination of the dream to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade as announced by President Kennedy at the beginning of the decade, perhaps to highlight America in the world – the country had lost a little glamour with the Soviets being the first into space back in 1957  while the Americans could not launch a successful satellite into orbit.  This event certainly was a highlight to America’s image in the world. And during the Cold War image was  everything, in an attempt by both sides to influence nonaligned nations to join their side.

Since this is a timed chart, we can look at the position of the moon, which is near the top of the chart and passed over the MC early in the morning. (For the selenocentric chart, the Ascendant is 8 Leo and the Earth is at 8 Aries.)  This was an  event listened and  watched by many people around the world, one of the reason we are celebrating the anniversary this year.  At the time of this event, the transiting Moon was making an aspect — a sesquiquadrate — to the natal moon (green arrow), reinforcing the idea that the people of America were paying attention and being effected.

Next notice that the transiting Sun — representing the day — is conjunct Mercury (red arrow) and both are aspecting the Ascendant.  This speaks to the massive communication and attention paid to this event in, at the very least, the United States,  and that again this affected the nation’s feeling about itself (Ascendant).  As   we’ve seen before, communication is highlighted, and many networks carried live pictures of the first steps onto the Moon by Neil Armstrong.  It was probably the most universally covered event up until the 9/11 attacks 32 years later.  But of course at the time there were not the multiplicity of cable networks, but only the big three television networks, not even Fox existed.

Finally notice (blue arrow) the Pluto is conjunct the natal Neptune with an orb of 36 minutes.  At the same  time,    transiting Neptune is square the natal Moon. Both these aspects highlight the Neptunian nature of this event, and in this case I don’t mean illusion (though some still think that the Moon Landing was staged on some Hollywood set)  but rather dream.  In the Sixties, especially after Kennedy’s speech announcing the intention of putting a man on the Moon before the end of the decade, the dream of space flight and humans on the moon was quite real. Since so many things have happened since them, most forget the sense of dream of space flight had on people, such as when Life magazine, long forgotten, had major stories whenever a satellite was put into space.


Lunar Landing — Fourth Harmonic

The  fourth harmonic chart reveals how close the main conjunction is.  Notice how tight the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction is  to the MC, and how also this conjunction is sesquiquadrate (black arrow — in fourth harmonic, this is a hard aspect which is a   multiple of 11 1/4 degrees) to the Moon with orb of 31 and 52 minutes.  There is also a transiting Mercury sesquiquadrate natel Neptune again emphasizing the element of imagination and the use of science fiction (Mercury-Neptune) which informed many space scientists.





The Virtuous Nation — Part III



Venus conjunct Sun

The United States also has Venus conjunct its Sun. This clearly manifests itself in two ways, illustrating two keywords for Venus and the Sun.


Not only is the United States a popular country, but its products are popular also. This popularity is so strong, as suggested by this natal conjunction, that it will take some special actions to harm this popularity.

In the decades before the Civil War, the United States exported about 80% of the cotton in the world, and tobacco was also a major export from this country. These crops, grown largely by slave labor, were extremely popular around the world, and led to the growth of the American economy. At one time, cotton exporters were in general the second wealthiest people in the world, the wealthiest being the owners in England whose factories made clothing from the Southern cotton.

American movies, television programs, music, and celebrities, are extremely popular around the world. All these things are ruled by Venus. People may know nothing else about America, and in fact they may hate America, as many citizens of Arab countries do now, but they still love American culture. Action movies are especially popular overseas, because no translation is needed for a car chase or a gun fight. This causes a tendency in Hollywood to make movies that will be popular overseas, despite what an American market might want.

During the Cold War, blue jeans were neither manufactured nor imported by the Soviet Union, but nevertheless, or perhaps because of this, they were very popular in the Soviet Union. While some were brought in by diplomats, blue jeans were long considered a valuable commodity that could be traded for much by visitors to the Soviet Union.

America has always been popular to immigrants and attempted immigrants. Currently in the United States there is much debate about immigration, since millions of people from south of the Rio Grande River have come to this country illegally. The country is so attractive to them that they would risk their life to enter. And hundreds die a year attempting to come to this country.

And America has always been attractive to immigrants from foreign lands. It has, after all, been considered the land of opportunity, where the “streets are paved in gold.” As we’ve seen above, there were reasons for this belief. The only native people here were the Indians, and they had merely immigrated a much longer time before the rest of the settlers. And America has always gone through periodic attempts to curb immigration.


Americans also love their comfort. Americans are notorious for their lifestyle, which is more expensive and excessive than what almost everyone else in the world would consider. Americans are famous for their lack of physical exercise, and stories are often told of an American driving a block or less to go to a store. Interestingly enough, when skinny families from other countries move to America, they or their children find themselves adopting this love of comfort and putting on weight. But of course, as other countries get wealthier, they also adopt the American lifestyle which they see as the hallmark of a civilized people. Notice how China, as it gets a bigger middle class, replaces the bicycles on its streets with automobiles, and American automobiles are most popular because they suggest that the owner has “arrived”.

Another way of observing the excessive lifestyle of Americans, or the dream that such a lifestyle has on those Americans – the vast majority – who don’t have lives of such excess, is to note the popularity of the television series “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”. The show is gone, but we still pay extraordinary attention to the lives of celebrities, who almost by definition are wealthier that we are, as picking up an issue of People magazine or a brief scan of the cable news shows at almost any time will reveal. But of course the people that make up these video encounters aren’t the really wealthy: those people, in the top one-half of one percent of the population, prefer not to be well known, and usually live behind gated walls. They are the people whose wealth is really beyond sight, but they still serve as an inspiration to those who aren’t nearly as rich. Thus the American Dream survives [This is discussed in great detail in Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich, Robert Frank, Crown 2007].

Consider the ratio of pay for the CEOs of companies to the pay of the workers of those companies. The figures increases from year to year, but what is most interesting is that this ratio has increased drastically in recent years. A current study shows that executive pay is more than 400 times as high as that of the average worker, nationwide; this ratio was only 42 as recently as 1980. Obviously, excess has gotten more excessive over the last few decades.

But this is not the first time that such excess has been prominent in the United States. In the decade of the Twenties, the rich were famously wealthy. The Twenties were notorious for the great spread between the income of the extremely wealthy – such as Henry Ford, the second richest man at the time – and the average worker. Partly this great imbalance of wealth was due to the monetary policies of Andrew Mellon – the third richest man – who was Secretary of the Treasury between 1921 and 1933, under three presidents [Or as the contemporary joke had it, those three president served under Andrew Mellon]. By present day standards, Henry Ford was earning $345 million a year. These extremities of wealth of the Twenties are often compared to the situation today.

But the Twenties was not the only time in American where the wealthy were so extreme. Another period was the Gilded Age – -whose name betokens tawdry excess – in the last third of the Nineteenth Century.[Jack Beatty, Age of Betrayal: The Triumph of Money in America, 1865-1900, Knopf, 2007. The subtitle says it all.] At one time during this era, the extremely wealthy J.P. Morgan had to loan money to the United States for it to survive during what was called the Panic of 1893. This was the era of the Robber Barons, whose great wealth was legendary.

But excess and love of comfort is not reserved just for those in the upper incomes. The incidence of type 2 diabetes has increased greatly in this country recently, and some are even calling this a diabetes epidemic. Diabetes was previously a disease of middle age, but is now being seen more and more in young people. Diabetes is a disease ruled by Venus, and one of the main causes of diabetes is excess weight, the Jupiter principle. The diabetes rate in the United States is 6.3%, and the country has the third largest number of diabetics in the world, only surpassed by India and China. The rate is only surpassed by Russia, at 6.8%, and that country has seen its standard of living and health care plunge drastically in the last 15 years. The number of diabetics is expected to increase worldwide as American diets and automobiles become increasingly popular overseas.

There is one more example of the excess of America that needs to be told. Recently it was reported [New York Times, p A1 4/24/2007] that the income of the top 25 hedge fund managers totalled $14 billion, with the top three earning an annual compensation of over one billion dollars each, and the top earner getting $1.7 billion. These incomes dwarfs Henry Ford’s adjusted annual income of $345 million. This is certainly Venus excess carried to a high level.

The Summit Crisis of 1960

The summit crisis of 1960, caused by the Soviet shoot-down of a U-2 plane carrying Gary Powers on May 1, 1960 had important ramifications for the progression of the Cold War, but is little know these days. Recent events in the Ukraine possibly leading to a new Cold War give us more perspective on how governments and media operate in times where the Official Enemy can be blamed.

In the last quarter of 1957 the Soviets launched two satellites into space, the first time in history that this had happened, and that act caused much fear and changes in the United States. Shortly thereafter NATO met and decided to put offensive missiles into Europe, after which the Soviets called for a summit meeting between the Soviets and the NATO countries. They followed this up with visits to the United States by two high-ranking Soviet officials. At this time President Eisenhower visited India where he was hailed as the “Prince of Peace” and there made a conciliatory speech laying out the problems in the Cold War. The Soviets announced they were reducing their armed forces by one-third. Things in the world were looking positive for peace, after 15 years of the Cold War.

The summit was scheduled for early 1960. Though well-meaning, Eisenhower (a Libra whose mother was a member of a pacifist church) seemed to have little control over his subordinates, especially the new Secretary of State. His administration seemed to be sending mixed signals about the desirability of the upcoming summit, though the people of the United States were in favor of it. This had been pointed out by no less than Adlai Stevenson, who Eisenhower had defeated in the last two elections. He pointed out that the United States always insists on unconditional surrender from the Soviet Union, which is not very popular with that country.

A high-altitude U-2 spy plane took off on May 1 to surveil the Soviet Union, flown by Francis Gary Powers. It was shot down. Some at the time thought that the overflight so close to the summit was an attempt to sabotage of the summit by the CIA, and considering what we have learned about the CIA in the half-century since this would not surprise me in the least.  In any case it was extremely bad timing.  Before the United States knew that Powers was captured (he had a suicide pill), several government officials, including the President, lied and said it was a NASA experimental plane. When it was revealed that Powers was alive, America had egg on its face. The Soviets then gave Eisenhower a chance to back down gracefully and say it was a mistake by his subordinates. But Eisenhower, instead of admitting that it was a mistake, doubled down and claimed that America had a right to fly planes over the Soviet Union, something in violation of international law, and if it happened to America one can imagine that we would seek revenge. At this point, since it was rubbed in their face, the Soviets had no choice but to make a big deal of this incident.

As a result, the summit did not happen, and both sides grew more hostile in the coming years. This was right before John F. Kennedy was elected President on the basis of a fictitious “missile gap” . The Bay of Pigs and the Cuban missile crisis both happened in the next two years, and Vietnam escalation was a short way off. The hopes of the people of the world, who had been subject to the Cold War and threat of nuclear Armageddon for over a decade, were crushed.

So this event was quite important to the formation of the Sixties. For a bit there it seemed that the Cold War could be modified or perhaps even eliminated, but after a shoot down of the U-2 the Cold War only increased in intensity, with the problems in Cuba, Berlin, and Vietnam a result.



U-2 Shoot Down

U-2 Shoot Down


The first chart is for that day as transits to the US chart. Notice that Mars is opposite the Natal Neptune and square natal Mars, and transiting Neptune is semisquare natal Neptune and sesquiquadrate natal Mars, and, as we will see later, transiting Neptune is sesquiquadrate transiting Mars. So what we have is a lot of Mars/Neptune, which emphasizes the Mars square Neptune in the United States. Mars-Neptune hard aspects indicate that it is difficult to handle ones energies cleanly. Perhaps one may want to do good, but it is easy to delude oneself about ones actions. There is something hinky about the use of energy. This message comes across clearly in this situation.

Then there is the tight conjunction between the transiting Node and the Neptune of the United States. This further emphasizes the Neptunian side of this event. Ebertin talks about a lack of community-sense. Next notice Venus, the planet of diplomacy – this was a summit meeting – is sesquiquadrate, exact at noon, to the Ascendant and square to Pluto. This emphasizes the Pluto-Ascendant semisquare in the US natal chart that we’ve talked about before. This aspect represents the shadow side of America, the US tendency to demand unconditional surrender from our enemies. Then there is Uranus semisaquarte both the Midheaven and Venus, and thus at the midpoint of the two natal planets – there will be upset in our international diplomacy. Finally transiting Jupiter is opposite natal Jupiter: the United States may be over-confident, will push things too far without considering the consequences. All these transits work together to reinforce a picture of what happened that day.


Summit — World Transits



Summit Harmonic 8


If we look at the transits for the day we see two hard aspect, Mars sesquiquadrate Neptune and Saturn sesquiquadrate Pluto. To see how tight these two aspects are, look at the eighth-harmonic of the same chart, in which sesquiquadrates are reduced to conjunctions. Both of these conjunctions are very close, showing they are very powerful at this time. We’ve shown several examples of the bad consequences that happen when there is a hard aspect between Saturn and Pluto; this is also a hard aspect, only not a square, opposition, or conjunction. But it is so tight, almost exact, that the harmful effects are shown as in the start of various wars.

Here was an occasion where the Cold War, that had gone on for 15 years, could have been modified or even ended, to the great support of many people in the world. This, however, would not have been good for the defense industries or the politicians who wanted the Cold War to continue, as Eisenhower warned about in his Farewell Address as the Military-Industrial Complex. But because an illegal flight was discovered in a most embarrassing way, this attempt was thwarted and the Cold War continued for another decade before a successful attempt to modify it actually happened. Then, a decade after that, the Cold War was given renewed energy, which was called at the time the New Cold War, not to be confused with the Cold War II which is happening now, at the same time as we have another Mars sesquiquadrate Neptune for the first half of this year.

Mush of this information is from chapter 20 of The Free World Colossus, David Horowitz (yes, that David Horowitz! He use to be a good historian.) 1965.

The Virtuous Nation — Part II

Jupiter conjunct Sun

Jupiter is conjunct the Sun on July 4, 1776, and several of the meanings of Jupiter are closely associated with the United States. Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system, and Jupiter, by itself, would like to expand until it takes up the universe. Jupiter also loves freedom, and does not handle restrictions well. One motto of Jupiter could be “Don’t Fence Me In.” This conjunction illustrates well several standard meanings for Jupiter and the Sun.


One keyword for Jupiter is Expansion. And the United States certainly believe in expansion, in all its many meanings. The motto of the United States could be “Super-Size”.

Statistics on American usage change from year to year, and in some case can change as soon as they are published. The following are current, but more importantly they will give an idea of what the trend is like in the early Twenty-First Century.

The United States consumes more oil than the next five largest consumers – China, Japan, Russia, Germany, India – combined, and is the biggest importer of oil in the world, more than the total of the next three– Japan, China, Germany. This is 23% of the world’s total usage. It correspondingly emits more CO2 per capita, and until very recently more in absolute terms, than any other country in the world [China just recently surpassed the United States in the production of this greenhouse gas. But since the population of China is several times that of the United States, America holds the per-capita record.], close to a quarter. The external debt of the United is also 23% of the world total. The defense expenditures of the United States are almost half of the world total.

Another area where the United States is Number One is in prisoners. America has 4.5% of the world’s population but has 25% of the world’s prisoners, some 2.2 million people. While other countries, such as the Soviet Union and South Africa use to surpass America in this area, recent changes in the governments of those countries, and much more punitive policies in this country, have allowed the United States to claim the top position. The United States has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world, at 737 per 100,000 – that is 1 in every 136 people. The next highest is Russia, at 611. Most countries have a rate below 200.

America has not always been first in so many things, and some things that it used to be first in it no longer is, as more and more of the world attempt to emulate America. And while others countries don’t have the birth chart of America, they can still try. The automobile, although invented in Germany and first popularize in France, was mostly produced in the United States until fairly recently. General Motors was the largest automobile producer for 76 years, but in the first quarter of 2007 it was surpassed by the Japanese manufacturer Toyota, though until 2008 and official 2007 figures are available we can’t be sure. Likewise, Americans were the tallest people in the world since records were kept starting in the middle of the Nineteenth Century through the 1970s, but this has changed since then. The Dutch now average three inches taller than Americans.

Americans also work more than those in other industrial countries, 500 hours more a year than the Germans, 250 hours more than the British. This is increasing, as many other Jupiter effects are: The average American man works 100 hours more than he did in he 1970s, and the average woman 200 hours more [ Erza Klein, “Land of the overworked and tired”, Los Angeles Times, July 16, 2007 ]. Jupiter is the planet that drives workaholics.

The expansion can even be seen in the increasing girth of Americans. Americans seem to have taken the Jupiter principle to heart, or to stomach. According to recent figures, the obesity rate (people over 15 with BMI greater than 30) is 31% for America, compared to second place for Mexico at 24%.

However, America was not always big in the ways indicated above, throughout its history. It was something that had to be worked towards. Through the end of the Nineteenth Century, America expanded in a different sense, as indicated below.

American is also an expansionist nation. This is exactly what Jupiter would want. Up until this century the term “empire” was not often used by scholars, even though the expansion of the United States started shortly after its founding. But recently the term empire is back in vogue, and is used by many people who now find it positive. America expanded within the borders of North America starting with the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, and continued on until the Pacific Coast was reached before the Civil War. These various accretions are given names such as the Mexican Cession and the Florida Purchase, though they usually involved more than a simple monetary exchange. 1890 was declared by the government to be the date the frontier ceased to exist, and so after that date, starting with the Spanish-American War of 1898, America started to expand overseas, but not often in ways that traditional colonial powers, such as Great Britain, did.

America is one of the few countries in the world that has military bases outside of its own borders. According to government documents, there are 737 bases in foreign countries, but this number is an undercount, since many bases are not listed, such as those in Iraq [Chalmers Johnston,Nemesis, Metropolitan Books, 2006, p 138-40]. This is not a new trend due to the War on Terror, but has been developing since the end of World War II, when many of these bases were first inserted into other countries. It has been estimated that we have about 1000 overseas bases, and this figure is orders of magnitude greater than any other country.


Another keyword is Enthusiasm: Enthusiasm, when carried to an extreme, can be self-righteousness; self-righteousness can become arrogance, which will offend other people. All these three words are associated with Jupiter which, among other things, represents freedom – Jupiter does not like to be tied down or hindered in any way, it wants to be free to expand. Freedom can be thought of as the ultimate good. This can be seen in such slogans as “Don’t Tread on Me” or “Live Free or Die” (both dating back to the Revolutionary Era). This can become a boundless optimism and the “Can-Do” spirit that America is famous for, the feeling that anything can be accomplished. This aggressive independence is part of what has been called the American Dream. But this militant freedom can also ignore the rights of others; it realizes no responsibility but the responsibility to oneself.

But enthusiasm can also become the love of, and indeed the worship of, private wealth. The current heroes of popular culture are the richest men, such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. But this has often been the case: Henry Ford was a folk hero to the common men of the Twenties [Geoffrey Perrett, The Twenties, Simon and Schuster, 1982, p256]. A magazine even publishes a list of the wealthiest people yearly. Close to 40% of the billionaires in the world live in America, according to the 2007 Forbes Magazine listing. The dark side is also what has been called “the hustle”, that asks “what’s in it for me” and is always looking for more [This is discussed in great detail in Walter A. McDougall, Freedom Just Around the Corner, HarperCollins 2004], another Jupiter word. This is one thing that early visitors to this country from Europe noticed, and found disgraceful.

Another side of this enthusiasm is American Exceptionalism, which was touched on before. This manifests itself not just in the belief that Americans are special people, based on our history, ethnicity, climate, or religion, but also in the belief that the rules that apply to other people, for example the rules against torture, do not apply to Americans. With this mindset, one begins to believe that one is better than anyone else, that things that happen to you have never happened to other people. This is when arrogance begins to annoy the people in other countries.


In the early years of this country, America was described as “the poor man’s best country”[Sean Wilentz, The Rise of American Democracy, W. W. Norton & Company, 2005, p 16]. Perhaps we forget now how unique early America was. Whereas all of old Europe suffered under layers of aristocracy, America, being a new country, was free of the stultifying hand of aristocracy. There was plenty of land for the taking [And they took it from the Indians. One of the forces for “Indian Removal” was the desire of farmers for new land to settle.] and so even recent arrivals could settle a homestead and raise enough food to feed their family. A father could easily expect to have land to leave to his sons. This was completely different from Europe, where the land had been divided so many times there was none left to give.

And the land was so fertile! While much of the land in Europe was warn out from having been planted and harvested for many, many generations, and marginal land was beginning to be brought into production to meet the demand, most of the land in America was extremely rich, and American colonists found it easy to raise large crops. In fact, since a population boom had taken place in Europe during the Eighteenth Century, Americans found their grain much in demand in the old world.[Joyce Appleby, Capitalism and a New Social Order: The Republican Vision of the 1790s, New York University Press, 1984, p 98-99] There was a belief at the time that America should emphasize crops while Europe could export luxuries to America which they could easily afford since their grain was in such demand.

And America has always been known as “the Land of Opportunity” up until the present time. It is certainly one reason it is so attractive to those in foreign lands. No matter what one’s position in the country of origin, in America an immigrant could make a new start, free from the restrictions of the past, with the expectation of material abundance. This was part of the American Dream.

America has always been know as a land of abundance, and this has shaped the way Americans look at themselves and their relationship with the rest of the world. In a British play written in 1605, Virginia was described as having gold chamber pots [George Chapman, Ben Jonson, John Marston, Eastward Ho, William Aspey, 1605. Act III, Scene 3]. Abundance is clearly a characteristic of Jupiter, and when conjunct the sun increases the wealth of the individual involved. One can trace through the history of America numerous mentions of the wealth and abundance of the country.

And the productivity of America was not just due to the rich soil or the labor of slaves. There was something about the laissez-faire economic system that was dominant in Nineteenth Century America that also accounted for this great abundance of material goods, of new and improved products[David M. Potter, People of Plenty, University of Chicago Press, 1954, p 88-90]. Individual entrepreneurs were encouraged to expand America’s abundance, but the ultimate bill wouldn’t be realized for some time.