The United States is getting hit with a strong Neptune transit now and through the rest of the year, and also in 2018, as you can see in the graphic ephemeris below. This aspect is a square of Neptune to the Ascendant of the United States. This square was quite close in the summer of last year and will have its first exact aspect next week, and the aspect will be exact again or very close in the Fall and Winter of this year and early 2018. The black arrow indicates where the purple line representing transiting Neptune crosses the horizontal dashed gold line representing the natal Ascendant near the center vertical axis representing March 17.
The United States is already seeing one of the effects of this strong Neptune influence, and when it is exact next week we will possibly see others. The political establishment, which includes the major media such as the newspapers the New York Times and the Washington Post, and cable news channels CNN and MSDNC, have seized on the meme of Russia controlling the Trump administration after having determined who would be the President of the United States. These are extremely serious charges, and nothing like them have been made before, even in the dark days of McCarthyism in the late Forties and early Fifties, though the John Birch Society once charged President Eisenhower with being a Communist agent, but that was considered a laughable minority view. These charges basically claim that the current President is an agent of Russia and its always demonized leader Vladimir Putin. Under this rush to judgement all manner of accusations are possible, and all are believed if it suits the narrative. This is a prime example of the pervasive influence of Neptune. Neptune, remember, especially when in a hard aspect, quoting Ebertin, rules confusion, deception, fraud.
But coming up next week, when the aspect is exact for the first time, are two important but perhaps overlooked items on the National Calendar. The first happens on March 15, when the suspension of the National Debt, put together by the then President Obama, and the then House Speaker John Boehner, in 2015 expires, so that the government can no longer borrow money. All those checks people depend on from the government may no longer exist after that date. This seems like a sure recipe for confusion.
But a few days after that something else is expected to happen. At least everyone, including the person most involved, Janet Yellen head of the Federal Reserve, suggest it will happen. When this happens it will be the third time the prime interest rate has been raised since the Great Recession, the first time being in December 2015 by just a quarter of a percent; then again in December of last year it was boosted by a modest half percent. Evidently Yellen believes that the economy is doing so well we can “afford” to raise the rate. This is an end to the qualitative easing in the United States that supported many large businesses after the Great Recession of 2008. That event will be the raising of the basic lending rate a bank uses to borrow money, which should trickle down to the interest rates for credit cards, home mortgages, and many other things that involve borrowing money. Not only that, but we can expect several more rate increases in 2017 and 2018. I would expect the stock market, which has been going gangbusters since the election, to start to moderate its (irrational?) exuberance. If this rate increase happens it is expected to change many things outside the United States as well. Suddenly there will be capital outflows from countries in the European Union and from China, expected soon to be the biggest economy in the world, into the United States. The United States dollar will be then stronger against foreign currency. But there is an important reason to raise the rate: when an economic downturn hits the Fed reacts by lowering the prime rate. If the rate is already very low, the room to maneuver is very tight. Some analysts suggest that the country has waited too long after the Great Recession for the first hike. But again there will be confusion. Stay tuned.
If we look at this chart for the exact square we see a number of interesting things. The Sun is at the nadir, opposite the Midheaven. This can be read symbolically as that the energies of the entity — the USA — are at their lowest ebb of the year (the highest would be six months later in September). Transiting Mars is sesquiquadrate natal Neptune and semisquare natal Mars, which reflects the Mars-Neptune square in the natal chart, which is accentuated at this time. Mars square Neptune is always problematic. It suggests disturbed or misdirected energies; sometimes (??) the country makes actions that work against its own best interests. With all the Mars-Neptune energies at this time, the country may take rash actions or make incorrect decisions. Saturn is in the first house so the USA hasn’t totally recovered its self-confidence. All of this suggests a very Neptunian period with everyone spouting their own theories of what is happening/will happen. The mass media will certainly be caught of in this Neptunian fog.