The battle of Antietam, also called the Battle of Sharpsburg since it was fought near Sharpsburg, Maryland, was an important battle in what is commonly called the Civil War of the United States.  The Civil War is a term mostly used by descendants of the Union side; the preferred term for the descendants of the Confederacy is “War Between the States”.  In actually, this wasn’t a real civil war, since in the case of a civil war two powers are trying to take over the government; but in this case one power wanted to leave the government.  We see many of these in current times, resulting in Eritrea and Ethiopia, South Sudan and Sudan, and potentially Scotland and Great Britain and Basque and Spain.

The Battle of Antietam is considered the bloodiest day in American History, though a natural disaster in Galveston did claim more lives thought over more days.  It was fought in the state of Maryland on September 17, 1862.  The battle was started before dawn on that day, which gives us a time upon which to draw a chart.  Twenty thousand men were killed, wounded, or missing as a result of that battle.  Even though the battle is seen now as a draw, neither the Union or Confederate sides getting a victory, it was enough to cause the President Abraham Lincoln to feel confident enough to issue a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, that at last reveled the true nature of the Civil War.  This document allowed Great Britain, who had been thinking of recognizing the Confederate side, even though the UK had emancipated its slaves in 1833, to finally decide that the Union side was the one to back in the country that had been its colony less than 100 years previously.

Sharpsburg is on the Antietam creek, a tributary of the Potomac; it is about a mile north of the Potomac and about fifty miles west of Washington, DC so it was very close to the seat of the Union government and home to President Abraham Lincoln.  Antietam was the first large scale battle to take place in the East where the Confederate soldiers had invaded the Union territory.  This was one of the reason it is considered a important battle, and why it was considered Union victory, even though it wasn’t.  The leaders of the two side were George McClellan of the Union side and Robert E. Lee from the Confederacy.  Even though Lee’s forces were outnumbered, McClellan thought that his forces were outnumbered.  Because of McClellan’s lack of aggressiveness in this and other battles, he was soon relieved of his duties by Lincoln.  The battle is famous for another, more gruesome reason.  Photography had been invented during the Uranus-Neptune conjunction forty years before, and Mathew Brady is famous for photographing scenes from the Civil War.  The photographer Alexander Gardner was working for Brady and in this battle he captured the first photos of dead people where they fell in battle. These were shot in 3-D, Gardner’s standard at the time, and they were shown in Brady’s gallery in New York City and were available by mail order from a catalog.  One can try to imagine the sight of dead American bodies seen by citizens in their parlors — it was quite a shock and truly brought home the carnage of the War to people.


The Battle Starts


This first chart is an event chart for the beginning of the battle.  According to accounts, the troops started before dawn.  I’ve set this chart for a few minutes before the Sun hit the Eastern horizon: 5:40AM.  I did not see before I did the chart that Uranus was exactly on the Midheaven at that time, which is certainly appropriate for a battle where there is much excitement and changeability.  Mars, of course, is in the Seventh house where the enemy would be met.  Neptune is also there — the fog of war and McClellan’s mistake about Confederate troop strength.  The Sun is square Uranus, which would occur all day.  There is a very tight (under one half degree) sesquiquadrate between Saturn and Pluto.  We have discussed before the tragic consequences that befall the nation and the world under a hard aspects between Saturn and Pluto, and here we see it again.  The Sun is conjunct Saturn — much hard work on that day, but Jupiter is in the first house, and indeed the outcome — the Emancipation Proclamation — was positive.  There are two clear oppositions from the first to the seventh houses — Mars opposite Mercury — angry words — and Jupiter opposed to Neptune — apparent happiness.


Later That Morning


Here is a chart drawn for 7 that morning.  You can see that the Sun has already risen, but it is still square Uranus.  This chart shows that the last quarter Moon is at the Midheaven in the early morning, where it would be visible.





And here is a chart for this event within the USA natal chart, where we can see the effects of the battle on the country.  That sun conjunct Saturn is near the top of the chart – the exact conjunction of the Sun with the US Midheaven is about a week later — this is high noon for America for the year.  Neptune is opposite the MC, indicating the the Civil War is a generational crisis of the country.  Probably the most obvious aspect is transiting Uranus conjunct the Mars of the United States, Uranus inflaming the martial spirit of the country, and it has been pointed out this was an important battle where the Confederate troops first invade the North and got near to the capital.


Emancipation Proclamation


And finally here is a chart for when Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.  You can see the Sun has now moved to be conjoined with the MC — this is the crowning point of the year for the US.  And we can see that Venus is conjunct the Moon at 12 noon, which is a good guess for when the bill was signed.  In this case Venus represents Justice, which by signing this bill Lincoln was assuring for the slaves that were affected — those living in states which were in conflict with the Union.  The Moon is almost New — which would happen in a little over a day — signifying  as New Moons do the start of a new cycle.

The Golden Spike Heard Around the World

In today’s interconnected world, we are used to hearing about events that happen elsewhere almost immediately, and this trend has been going on for some time.  Depending on your age, you will have been asked “Where were you when you heard that 1) Pearl Harbor was attacked 2) Kennedy was shot 3) the World Trade Center was hit 4) Donald Trump was elected President”.  All of these events were announced almost immediately to the world.  But it has not always been that way, and in fact we can identify the first such event: The driving of the last spike to complete the Transcontinental Railroad joining the West and East Coasts of the United States.  This happened at twelve noon at Promontory Point in Utah on May 10, 1869.

This was important for a number of reasons: The Civil War, called the Second American Revolution by some people, had just ended, and as a result Americans were feeling more confident after the crisis that “sounded like a fire bell in the night”, to quote Thomas Jefferson shortly before he died, was at the end, or so it was thought at the time, and this “Golden Spike” symbolized the joining of the whole United States almost in its current form.  Now that Americans could easily travel from coast to coast, the remaining native Americans who more occupied the West than the white settlers from the East, could now be hunted down and eliminated as a threat to the expansion of the American experiment.  And this completion of the Transcontinental Railroad was an exhibit of what was becoming the dominant financial power — similar to Silicon Valley in these days — of the country.  Railroads were very important in the growth of the West, the growth of American power, and the growth of financial power that became large scale corporations which were to dominate America towards the end of the Nineteenth Century, a dominance that has by no means receded in the following centuries.

The railroad itself had first been developed in England at the beginning of the century, and that development itself represent a major change from what had been the norm of the world for the millennia before that time.  As long as there had been any type of people on the Earth, it had only been possible to travel from one point to another by either moving yourself by foot or depending on some animal such as a horse to carry you or to travel by a ship whose speed was dependent on either the wind or sailors with oars.  This top speed was limited and there was not really anyway to go faster.  With the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution a power was developed that could move faster than dependence on muscle power alone.  This was a major change.


Driving the Golden Spike


In the event chart for the Golden Spike, we see first that the Sun is on the Midheaven.  This is perfectly normal, since the ceremony for the placing of the golden spike was scheduled for noon, and since this was before time zones, the Sun by definition is at the Midheaven at noon. Mars is on the Ascendant, and indeed the coming of the railroads would lead to a great increase in movement — Mars — in the environment of the United States.  Other than several conjunctions — look at the traffic jam of Sun, Pluto, Moon, and Jupiter — there are very few aspects.  Saturn is the only planet below the horizon, attempting to anchor this event to the earth symbolizing the spike driven Into the soil of Utah.  The Sun is conjunct Pluto with an orb of three and a half degrees, and this was indeed a transformative event.  The tightest aspect here is Mercury semisquare Neptune — confused communications.




Spike – USA


In the chart for transits of this event within the USA chart, we see that Uranus is conjunct the Sun of the US, and this event was hastening the expansion of the country into the west (tough luck for the natives that already lived there!) and brought much change to the country.  Uranus also tightly square the US Saturn, and this is event leads to more conflicts between the old established orders and the New.  Mars is opposite the Moon of the US — the people of America would now be on the move, and they wouldn’t stop.

But the news of the event would not have reverberated around the world so quickly without another development which had happened a quarter century earlier.  That development was the telegraph.  Up until this point, messages over long distances, farther than the human voice could carry, were limited to the transportation under muscle power as indicated above, or with a carrier pigeon or balloon.  But the last two were very sporadic and dependent on others, not dependable, and certainly not remotely instantaneous.  The telegraph changed all that.

There were many early attempts to create telegraphy, documented in, among other sources, The Victorian Internet by Tom Standage, which as the tile suggests that invention was akin to the development of the Internet in our age.  At last information could be transmitted at the speed electrons traveled along a wire.  While we don’t have a date when the telegraph was first invented, there is a famous first telegraph message.  It was sent by the erstwhile painter Samuel F. B. Morse to an assistant in Baltimore with the message “What Hath God Wrought” from the book of Number in the Bible.  This “first telegraphic message” happened on May 24, 1844.



What Hath God Wrought?


In the chart for this event the Moon is opposite Neptune, which would be discovered in a little over two years from that date.  To me this opposition suggests the stretching of the imagination that the telegraph and the succeeding electronic communications marvels would bring to the people, represented here by the Moon.  The essence of Neptune is captured by the word “virtual.”  The tightest aspect — almost exact — is the Sun semisquare Venus.  Since Venus travels around the Sun within the orbit of the Earth, Venus can never get much further from the Sun, as seen from the Earth, than it is in this chart.  The Sun is an evening star in this case, setting long after the Sun, known as Venus Hesperus.  This suggests that the meaning of events — in this case telegraphy — would be realized or understood long after the fact.  Since the telegraph directly involves Mercury functions– communication — it is interesting to see that Mercury is Retrograde for the important first telegraph communication. This further  augments the Venus Hesperus position — the results of this invention would be revealed long after the fact.



Telegraph — USA


In the chart for the first telegraphic communication on the US natal, Jupiter, loosely conjoined with Uranus, is on the IC of the chart.  Uranus transiting over the IC of the United States by itself indicates that profound and deep seated changes wee already happening to the society of the country, one example of which is the sudden desire to express Manifest Destiny by expanding to the West Coast of the continent, which at that time was not part of the United States.  Richard Tarnas has dealt at length with Jupiter Uranus hard aspects and invention (see Section VI of Cosmos and Psyche) and this invention would bring further long lasting changes to the society of the United States, and of the World.  We also see Neptune approaching exact conjunction with the Moon.  Unlike previous forms of communication – think voice or letter – the communications by telegraph are quite Neptunian, involving bursts of electricity transmitted down a wire, a level or more removed from reality.  This was the first form of “virtual” communication.  The influence of Neptune is reinforced by the tightest aspect of transiting Saturn sesquiquadrate the natal Neptune.  The reality of communications is transmitted by a Neptunian — almost illusory — means of the telegraph wire.


War of the Worlds

The British writer H. G. Wells — a Virgo — is best known for his science fiction stories, and in fact Wells and his contemporary the French writer Jules Verne basically set the prototype for most science fiction written in the succeeding centuries.  The story of time travel was essentially created by his story The Time Machine.  This theme has been popular down through the ages and there is even a contemporary television drama based on this very theme.  The Mad Scientist trope was originated by his novel The Island of Doctor Moreau.  And then there was his story The First Men in the Moon which is about just what the title suggests.  But the theme of alien invasion which has been richly explored was originated by his novel The War of the Worlds (serialized in 1897, published as a book in 1898), which tells of an invasion of the Earth by Martians.  This story was written in the last decade of the Nineteenth Century, under the Neptune-Pluto conjunction, when Modernism was just beginning to shape Western civilization.  He predicted World War II in his work The Shape of Things To Come, written in 1933 (arguable not an extreme prediction at that time) which later became a film which he wrote.  Wells was a forerunner in his science fiction.

His classic novel The War of the Worlds, also serialized in an American magazine in the late Nineteenth Century, tells of an invasion by a Martian space craft into the Southern English countryside and the subsequent destruction of parts of London that were familiar to his readers.  When this theme was brought to America, as the films and the radio play discussed below did, the setting was changed to America, which was much more meaningful to the American viewers and listeners.  It was made into a film several times, the latest in 2005, directed by Steven Speilberg.

This novel was set into radio play by the famed actor Orson Welles (note the last names are similar but not the same) and his group the Mercury Theatre near the end of the Great Depression and before the official start of World War Two, less than a year later with the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939.  The play was performed by Welles and adapted from the novel by a playwright who was later blacklisted in Hollywood.  The play was considerably different from the novel.   In Welles’ play, an orchestra was playing music of the kind people danced to in 1938, but this seemingly innocuous radio performance was interrupted by breathless announcements of an landing of an invasion party at a farm in New Jersey, close to New York City where the broadcast originated. Americans were in a fairly fragile state at the time, which may explain the famous reaction to the radio broadcast.  About 50% of the people who heard the radio broadcast on the eve of Halloween though that it was a true report of an invasion of this planet, in New Jersey, and of those 40% panicked.  There were, however, no deaths on this occasion; the same can not be said when the same performance was tried in Peru in 1949.  Welles’ Mercury Theatre would often base their plays on works of literature, and in fact just a week before this broadcast they did a radio performance based on Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days, so people familiar with this CBS show should not have believed in was true.  It seems “fake news” is not just a contemporary phenomenon.  At this time radio was a relatively new medium, and Welles used it masterfully.  He was up against a show — ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy — that was ten times as popular as his show.  Much of Welles version of War of the Worlds was with an orchestra, with interruptions of announcements of the invasion timed to match the commercial breaks of the competing show.  Those who just tuned to his show from Bergen’s continued to listen after being entranced by the invasion.  As the invasion got worse, a “Secretary of the Interior” who sounded an awfully much like current President Franklin Roosevelt, urged listeners to stay calm.  By the end of the show, as in the novel, the aliens are killed by the bacteria of Earth to which they have no immunity.  However, many did not listen to the end of the show, but made panicked calls to their relatives or their local police departments.

By the next days, those who had realized that it was simply a radio drama congratulated themselves at their wisdom and thought Welles was a genius, while those who had believe the story were outraged and there were many lawsuits, all of which were eventually dismissed.

After people settled down, the results were beneficial for both Wells and Welles. More people started to read the original novel and H. G. Wells changed his opinion of the radio adaptation.  Orson Welles received a large contract from a movie studios and went on to direct and star in Citizen Kane, which even today is considered one of the best movies ever made.



War of the Worlds Broadcast


We have two charts to look at.  It is convenient that we have an actual time for the performance, the time of that the broadcast started in the studios in New York City at 8 in the evening the day before Halloween.  If we look at the chart we see that the Moon is just beyond an opposition to Pluto: the opposition was exact about fire hours before the broadcast. In this case the Moon opposition Pluto indicated that the populace (Moon) was already primed to overreact and panic (Pluto) to this event.  Now obviously it helps that we know what event resulted.  Moon is opposite Pluto once a month, so while this always indicates that the people might be more prone to panic at this time, usually nothing occurs for people to act on the latent urge to panic.  The moon also make a tight trine to Mars which was exact a half hour before the broadcast.  Mars of course rules war, a very appropriate symbol for the event.  Then we have a loose opposition between Mercury — communications, such the radio — and Uranus– upsets.  Since the Moon is a fast moving planet, traveling about twelve degrees a day, its transits are not very consequential in the long, or even medium, run, but they are indicative of evens that happen at a certain time of that day.



Broadcast Transits to USA


For the chart of these same transits within the chart of the United States, we first of all see an exact Neptune Return of the US.  This is the first time that Neptune had returned to its natal position.  For human beings planetary returns are important for some “crisis” (not a negative term) in the nature of the planet involved.  For people, the most notable return is that of Saturn, which occurs ever 29 years or so.  At one time this led to the saying, among those who had not experienced their first Saturn Return, of “Never trust Anyone Over Thirty”.  In biographies we can notice that people often change around thirty, an you may notice that in your own life.  People truly become adults at that time.  The second Saturn Return is at age fifty eight, and a change occurs then that many do not recognize.  A third Saturn Return, which also corresponds, more or less, to the Uranus Return, occurs at age 85.  This is important but not much talked about.  But humans never have a Neptune Return (or a Pluto Return, which is very important and coming up for the United Sates) which occurs at about 160 years.  This Neptune Return of the US involved some Neptunian examples of illusion and deception, though perhaps not intended.

In addition, Mars has just passed over the Midheaven of the United States.  This happens every two years, so it is not uncommon, but its position shows that Mars-like things, especially War, occupied the consciousness of the United States and thus the citizens of that country.  We also see transiting Saturn aspecting the Sun, Moon, and Ascendant of the United States, as well as opposing its own natal position, reflecting the still depressed state of the populace in these waning days of the Great Depression, and also the further repression that was currently happening because of Roosevelt’s tightening of activities that ameliorated the Great Depression, resulting in what is called the Roosevelt Recession. One can see that a number of astrological factors occurred at the same time that permitted the panic following this radio broadcast to take place.  While obviously the combination of these factors, all minor, would not allow someone to forecast the consequences, upon hindsight it is possible to “hindcast” what in fact did happen.

The Seventies

The simplest way of defining the decade that is the Seventies, which is both self-evident and contains truth, is that it is the decade between the Sixties and the Eighties.  That is to say, this was the transition between the revolutionary furor of the Sixties and the successful counter revolution of the Eighties.  The beginning of the Eighties and the Age of Reagan were discussed before, and the onset of it was the outer planet midpoint of Uranus equals Neptune/Pluto which took place in 1978-1980.  The Seventies is what came before that, and led to that climax.  And there is also in the early Seventies a foretaste of what is to come in the next four years after 2016, because the dominant aspect of the early Seventies (of course, there were other things happening in the sky as well) is going to be repeated soon, with the exception that the Seventies saw the closing of this aspect before a conjunction (to be discussed later in a post on the Nineties) and we are about to see the opening of the same aspect.  Perhaps this upcoming period will be like the one discussed here, but in a different direction, to be cryptic.  The other important, indeed world-shaking, aspect was the conjunction of the outer planet Pluto with 0 Libra, called a Libra Ingress, and also a conjunction with the Midheaven of the United States.  We have discussed the importance of Pluto Ingresses to Cardinal Signs before and this one was no different, and it helped make the character of the early Seventies.  The late Seventies was taken up by the approaching midpoint configuration mentioned above, so we will focus on the early Seventies

The Rock Concert at the Altamont Speedway on December 6, 1969 was widely called the death of the Sixties right after it happened, famous for the killing by the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang within all the people watching a free rock concert headlined by some of the biggest names of the time, such as the Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead.  The latter group musically responded to this killing with a song called “New Speedway Boogie”.  But of course this was shortly after the Manson Family killings that were a little further South but also in California, on August 8 and 9 of the same year; these killings were also considered a death of that decade.  1969 was a busy year, which also saw the Moon landing and the Woodstock Music Festival.





First let us look at the overview chart.  Here is a graphical ephemeris that shows both the Libra Ingress and the semisquare between Uranus and Neptune.  We can see that Pluto entering the sign of Libra (black horizontal line near the top of the graph) occurs in Fall of 1971 (black arrow) and Summer of 1972.  The Uranus Neptune semisquare first come close in late 1971 (red arrow), is exact in 1972 and 1973, and the last final close approach is in the middle of 1974 (green arrow).  Let us look at some of the notable events during that period, and then try to connect them to the aspects.

A monumental event of the time, that is still affecting the United States and the World, though few realized the importance of the event at the time, was the end of the Bretton Woods Convention that had been established near the end of World War II in July 1944.  An international monetary system was set up in this conference for 44 Allied nations at a resort in New Hampshire.  Most notable outcomes of the conference were the establishment of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is famous for loaning money to counties in need and then requiring austerity measure from their economy.  At this conference a Gold Standard was again established for world currency.  American currency was set to the Gold Standard, and this continued until Nixon’s speech on the evening of August 15, 1971.  With this event, the exchange rate between US currency and the currency of other countries would change over time, allowing smart investors to make money by buying currency when it was low and selling when it was high.  If this was done fast enough and often enough a large profit would be accrued. This set the stage for “derivatives” and other monetary instruments that were only based on or derived from read goods.  The Great Recession of 2007-2009, which happened as Pluto entered the next cardinal sign after Libra, Capricorn, was one notable result of this decision, which was made partly as a result of the Vietnam War, which required a lot of American money and equipment over the previous decade and had produced a weakened economy in the United States.

In the same speech, Nixon announced wage and price controls, in an attempt to control the America economy.



end of Bretton-Woods


In the chart for this important speech, we see a tight — about one degree — conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune.  Jupiter promises expansion — and indeed this happened — but Neptune suggests that there will be much delusion behind the economic growth, that things will not always be as they seem.  And indeed Neptunian illusions played a big role in the economic expansion that followed from that fateful announcement.  But of course it would take a long time for the truth behind the developments starting with that speech to become apparent, and perhaps that hasn’t yet become fully visible over forty years later. One keyword Ebertin gives for these two planets is speculation.

Lewis Powell, a lawyer who was later appointed to the Supreme Court by President Nixon, replacing Hugo Black, wrote a famous memorandum on August 23, 1971, which gave a start to rolling back the revolution ushered in by the Sixties.  In this memo Powell warned business owners that the free enterprise system was under attack (by forces unleashed in the Sixties) and that a counterattack was needed to preserve the sanctity of the free enterprise system.  The letter was initially sent to the Chamber of Commerce of the United States.  This organization is famous for its support of most anything that could be called “pro-business” even if it harm the rights of ordinary citizens.  One early result of the Powell Memo was the formation of the American Legislative Exchange Council – ALEC – in September of 1973.  That organization, which has been in the news much recently, had the purpose of coordinating legislative actions with business desires.  It has now been in operation for more that forty years, and has seen increasing success in introducing more business legislation into government.  Another result was the formation of the Heritage Foundation of February 16, 1973, which was to  create the basis of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) which designed to kill any attempt to have a Single Payer health insurance plan in the United States.   The chart for the Powell Memo is much the same as for the Nixon speech, just about a week earlier, and with the same Jupiter-Neptune conjunction, which can be seen as a forecast of the whole neoliberal experiment that we are still living with, though discontents are beginning to be seen,

Ever since the end of World War II, wages had been rising for those who earned an hourly income.  But in this period that growth stopped, as shown in the graph below.  The hourly wage for 2014 — latest we have figures for — in adjusted dollars, is almost two dollars an hour less than the average reached in the early Seventies.  Again, a great example of how the Neoliberalism that developed after this point in time has affected society.  Obviously, Powell’s Memo has been followed and the outcome has been highly successful for those for whom the message was intended.




Because of a Supreme Court decision involving Timothy Leary, the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 of declared unconstitutional, and as a result the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) was passed on October 27, 1970, followed by the creation of the Drug Enforcement Administration on July 1, 1973.  These two provided the basis for the modern drug war in the United States.  Responses would show up later.

During this period the United State was roiled by the Watergate revelations that were coming out of a Congressional Investigation Committee, and carried on national television.  This dramatic event started with a break-in of Democratic National Committee Offices in the Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC early in the morning of June 17, 1972.  This was in an election year that would see the election in 5 months, and at the time few thought this break-in was of much importance.  But after the election the Senate investigated this matter over 1973 and 1974, resulting in the resignation of President Nixon with a speech on August 8, 1974.



Watergate Break-In


For the chart for the break-in at the Watergate Hotel, we see Pluto at the Midheaven, as it was during much of this period in the early Seventies, but in this case it suggests the shaking of the government of the USA that will be the result of this break-in, though as I mentioned no one thought that when the break-in was discovered, and it was discovered only because of sloppy work by the Watergate burglars.  Saturn has come to the Descendant of the United States, exactly one Saturn cycle before its similar position for the events of September 11, 2001.  In this case that position also indicates that something limiting — a Saturn keyword — is coming to the country.



Nixon Resigns


In the chart for the date of Nixon’s resignation, we see that Saturn has come to an exact conjunction with the Sun of the United States.  The Sun represents the President, and Saturn is the shadow that was thrown of the office of the President by the resignation.  A President had never resigned before, but it was something he felt he had to do to avoid impeachment, which he was warned would be forthcoming after all the revelation brought up by the Watergate Committee.  Since the Watergate scandal, the suffix “gate” has been affixed to many nouns to indicate a potential scandal developing.

The early Seventies was the time when people in the world, and especially Americans, realized for the first time that oil was not infinite, that it could be cut off, and that thusly problems would follow.  Because of the You Kipper War of 1973, several members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries had a boycott of sales of oil to the United States, Japan, Canada and some European countries.  This caused the price of oil to spike from $3 a barrel to the unheard of $12 a barrel (please contain you laughter).  As a result, gasoline became harder to come by, with sales happening on different days depending on ones license plate number, difficulties finding an open gas station, and fights breaking out in the long lines of people waiting to buy gas.  In the United States a universal speed limit of 55 MPH on the open road was mandated, since this was the speed where internal combustion engines were most efficient.   However, it seemed that American’s no-limit approach to driving was being constrained, putting a damper on America’s faith in the future.

The book The Limits of Growth was published in 1972.  This book stated that there are limits (Saturn) to Growth (Jupiter) a message that did not set well with many Americans and seemed to go against the “god-given” right to exploit as much as possible — after all, Jupiter is conjunct the US Sun.  Over the next few years there were attacks on that book, and most refused to believe it, though as current articles show, the trends given in the book have held up quite well in the last 49 years.

Another famous event of the early Seventies, that set the stage for the world we know today, has been called Nixon Goes to China.  This was a very big deal at the time because Communist China, the most populated country in the world, had been considered a non-state by the United States ever since the Chinese Revolution of 1949.  It had been kept out of the United Nations.  Nixon, who was a hard line ant-communist, was considered the last person who would ever talk to a Communist nation.  After this, the phrase “Nixon Goes To China” has been used to describe a event that was not expected from a person, one that goes against his seeming beliefs, especially for politicians.

There were several happenings in the early Seventies which I will categorize as “Electronic Drugs”.  These are technical innovations that become so popular, perhaps even mesmerizing, they could be called “drugs” even though they are neither based on plants nor created in a laboratory.

These have corresponded to Uranus-Neptune hard aspects, from the Uranus-Neptune conjunction of the 1820s that saw the development of photography, to the opposition of those two planets in the first decade of the Twentieth Century which saw the extreme popularity of cinema (which had been developed earlier) and the introduction of film cameras by George Eastman, to the rise of television in the Fifties under the square of those two planets.  A semisquare is not as important an aspect as the square, and the drug of choice at this time was not as powerful either, but basically modified the effect of the Television drug.  The developments of importance in this period were the Video Tape Recorder — the first were big Betamaxes from Sony — so one could watch a television program after it aired, and Cable Television, originally developed so that people distant from major cities could watch a large number of channels previously available only to citizens of major cities.

Another appropriate development of the early Seventies, and one whose true import we have yet to fully grasp, was the first microprocessor, the Intel 4004, a four bit computer in a single integrated circuit.

Before this development, there were mini-computers, computers much smaller than large mainframes from IBM and five other large computer companies which were called the BUNCH, which included Burroughs (started by the grandfather of writer William S. Burroughs), Univac, a company which made the first commercials computers, National Cash Registers, who made other business machines, Control Data Corporation (CDC), a spin-off from IBM, and Honeywell, still a big company.  The large mini-computer companies of the time were Digital Equipment Corporation — DEC — and Data General both of Boston’s Highway 128.  These minicomputers cost a fraction of the price of mainframes, and so became much more popular and could be used in many science labs, but were still not nearly cheap enough for everybody to have.

But all this changed with the rise of the microprocessor, which would allow anybody to make a computer, even in their garage — there was a Homebrew Computer Club in the San Francisco Bay Area.  At first four bits really hampered what could be done, since four bits can only represent sixteen possible values, but eight bits came along later in the decade, and now 64 bits are fairly common.  But it all started with the 4004.  The first ad for this chip appeared in 1971, and those in the trade who saw that ad could begin to picture a future where computers were everywhere.  Then it was with the January 1975 issue of the magazine Popular Electronics that the first personal computer was actually shown.  This issue went on sale late in November of the previous year.  A young Paul Allen showed the issue to friend Bill Gates and eventually a new company was born.  This first commercially successful microcomputer — though the term did not exist yet — was the Altair 8800.





Here are two charts concerning the introduction of the 4004.  It had been in development for a couple of years at Intel, but the first public announcement of it was in an electronics trade magazine on November 15, 1971.  The first chart shows how this event affected the USA.  In this chart, we see Pluto pretty closely conjunct the MC of the USA, indicating that this development would have profound and transformative effects on the public face and national standing of the country.  Jupiter is on the Ascendant of the United States, promising expansion and wealth for the country, or at least the superficial forms of the country, because the Ascendant, while important, is only the surface of the entity beneath.  A third aspect to note is transiting Uranus on the Saturn of the United States: The development of the microchip would further inflame the conflict between the old and traditional ways (Saturn) and the new (Uranus).  There had already appeared articles about robots and computers (called cybernetics) replacing our jobs, but that was before microcomputers even existed.  In the second chart, an event chart set in Silicon Valley, we see a formation called a Kite, with the spine of the kite made up of the opposition of Neptune and Saturn, and with a grand trine consisting of Pluto, Ascendant, and Saturn. There is also an associated T-square formation with a base as the same opposition and the apex of the T-Square being Mars.  There is also a tight Jupiter -Venus conjunction in Sagittarius.  This is a very “nice” chart with a moderately tight conjunction of the two most positive planets (reflecting the same conjunction of the two planets conjunct the Sun in the USA chart) and with the always popular and considered easy going grand trine.  Note that many of the aspects also occur in the previous chart.  Again, this chart promise many good things to come from this development.



First Ad for 4004


One other notable development of the early Seventies were Revolutionary groups — or perhaps as some suggest False Flag operation instigated by intelligence bureaus of governments — that were not especially successful but did cause a lot of fear among the populace and lead to further repression of said populace.

Perhaps the most famous of these group in the United States was the Weather Underground.  This group split off from the New Left group big in the Sixties called Students for a Democratic Society — SDS.  After the police riot at the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968, immortalized in the movie Medium Cool by famed cinematographer Haskell Wexler, and the assassination of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton by the US government, young radicals lost all hope of reforming the country, and went a bit crazy in their urge for tearing down the Beast.  This has been recounted in numerous books and movies.  Also visible on the West Coast was the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) which was most famous for kidnapping the heiress of old-time media magnate William Randolph Hearst, and she participated with the SLA in some actions in California.  Also well know were the Baader-Meinhof group, also known as the Red Army Faction, in Germany, whose activities included bombing, kidnapping, and assassination, the Red Brigades in Italy, who kidnapped a former Prime Minister of that country and eventually killed him, and the Japanese Red Army, which also did bombings and assassinations.  Much of these groups based their existence on revolutionary groups in South America who were battling the dictatorships in various country of that continent imposed with the help of the United States.  None of these activities resulted in a positive change for their countries or the world, but paved the way for the up-welling of neoliberalism at the end of the decade.

But these rebellions/revolts didn’t just occur in developed countries.  As a result of the incessant bombing of the Southeast Asian country of Cambodia a revolutionary group called the Khmer Rouge led by Pol Pot took over in Cambodia, and many intellectuals were killed in that country, an example of mass psychosis at a country level, resulting in one to two million deaths.

The closing semisquare of Uranus and Neptune saw new “electronic drugs”, a realization that intangibles that we depend on daily might not be around forever, the beginning of economic speculation and a lead in to neoliberalism along with movement to a less Uranian time, and many delusional revolutionary groups.  This was preceding the major conjunction of those two planes in the early Nineties which would see these trends reach a climax.


The phenomenon known as McCarthyism was an attempt, when seen at a distance, to purge America of radical tendencies that had developed under the closing Uranus-Pluto square of the Nineteen Thirties and the New Deal Administration of Franklin Roosevelt.  It actually originated long before the Senator from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy, came on the scene with an introductory speech in West Virginia, and some people think that it should actually be called “Hooverism” for FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, who did much to promote an anti-communist agenda in the United States, but without the baggage that McCarthy brought to his confrontation.  Nevertheless, “McCarthyism” is what this direction in the United States was known, so it is the term we shall use.

McCarthyism may seem to be a relic of the distant past, when politics was much less sophisticated than it is in the enlightened Twenty-First Century, but here in this election season in the United States we are seeing McCarthy-like practices being bandied about in a big way, this time by a major political party and backed by the resources of most of the major media sources, such as the New York Times and the Washington Post.  And no one seems to be upset with this.  It is, as the French say, The More Things Change the More They Remain The Same.



Joseph McCarthy


Joseph McCarthy was a Senator from Wisconsin who replaced the son (who had replaced his father) of “Fighting” Bob LaFollette, the man who formed the Wisconsin Progressive Party, and McCarthy was replaced in turn by William Proxmire, a famous liberal Senator during the Sixties and Seventies.  Here is a chart for Joseph McCarthy.  He is a Scorpio, the most notorious of signs (in the New Testament of the Bible there are twelve apostles, each associated with one of the twelve zodiacal signs, and Judas is associated with the sign Scorpio).  Charles Manson and Jack the Ripper were also Scorpios, and it is the second most popular sun sign for Presidents of the United States.  But he also has Aries rising and Mars, the ruler of Aries, near is Descendant.  Both indicate that he could have a forceful, perhaps even abrasive personality.  Uranus is at the Midheaven, in the Tenth House, indicating that he is seen as rebellious, perhaps a maverick.  He was known a “Tailgunner Joe”  because of his lie that he served in World War II as a tailgunner in bombers.  But perhaps Mars can seen as symbolically at the tail of the chart, whereas the Ascendant is the head.





McCarthy first came to the public’s attention when he made a speech to a Republican Woman’s club in Wheeling, West Virginia for a Lincoln Day celebration on February 9, 1950; in this speech he made the statement that he had a list of 205 (the actual number is in dispute since there is no recording) Communists in the State Department.  The media made much of this charge, and McCarthy was off and running.  We are fortunate that we have dates for the events that lead to the rise and fall of Joe McCarthy.  Here is a chart for McCarty’s transit on the day of that speech.  In this chart the most obvious feature is Neptune on the Descendant of McCarthy’s chart.  This could be read as McCarthy is being deceived by others around him (Descendant) or, much more likely, he is deceiving and misleading those around him.  Mars is just below his Descendant and about to rise above it, showing that he is about to unleash his Martial energies on an (unsuspecting) public.

But what we call McCarthyism did not start with that speech. Though there had been waves of anti-communist thought in the America before, most notably after the Russian Revolution in 1917, it had really become serious with the start of the Cold War after World War II.  The Cold War grew after the watershed moment in world history represented by Pluto at the midpoint of Uranus and Neptune as has been discussed before .  That midpoint configuration had set the ground work, but then there was the Saturn-Pluto conjunction of 1947 which started the Cold War with McCarthyism as its handmaid.  The importance of hard aspects of Saturn and Pluto have been discussed before.  But a third aspect showed the length of McCarthyism, even though those residual effects lasted until the mid-Sixties.  That aspect was the transiting Pluto on the Sun-Midheaven midpoint of the United States.  Pluto can stand for, among other things, repression, as seen in the Saturn-Pluto aspects.  In this case what was repressed is that represented by the combination of Sun and Midheaven, the true personality or government as filtered into the public world. The Sun/MC midpoint is very important to the nature of the country as expressed.  It was discussed early on in his blog that Neptune was transiting this midpoint during the campaign and election of Barack Obama, showing the amount of self-delusion and illusion that was seen in that election.




This five year graphical ephemeris shows Pluto transiting that midpoint; the black arrow indicates one place that the midpoint conjunction was exact.  The curvy red line representing the transiting Pluto intersects the dashed line representing the Sun/MC midpoint, just above the natal Moon line.


End of Army-McCarthy Hearings


The end of Joseph McCarthy, though McCarthyism itself would last until the middle of the next decade, happened of June 9, 1954.  McCarthy was hassling the Army — he had charged the Army with promoting a Brooklyn dentist who had taken the Fifth Amendment (which prevented self-incrimination) when signing the military loyalty oath.  As a result, there was what was called the Army-McCarthy hearings held in the Senate.  There was massive coverage of these hearings on the newly popular television. The dénouement of the hearings, and the end of McCarthy’s career, occurred when McCarthy charged an associate in the law firm of Joseph Welch, who was counsel for the Army, with suspicious activity — he had been a member of the National Lawyers Guild, which was considered dominated by Communists.  Welch asked of McCarthy “Have you no sense of decency”. After that McCarthy was increasingly seen as a pathetic figure, and he died of alcoholism three years later — May 2, 1957.  In the transits to McCarty’s chart for this day, Neptune has come above the Descendant into the Seventh House and is closely conjunct his natal Mars.  The Mars-Neptune combinations can be ugly — a weakness or lack of energy according to Ebertin.  Mars, which was at the Descendant in the earlier chart is now at the Midheaven, after having gone around the chart twice.  Symbolically, Mars — his directed energy — is at the highest it will lever reach.  Saturn is on his Mercury — depressed or solemn thoughts — and during the day the transiting Moon has been opposite his Saturn, indicating more Saturnian energy.  Mercury is opposite his Uranus, suggesting changed thoughts; transiting Pluto is square his Sun — the oppressor has become oppressed.

But the precedents, influences, and resultant changes to the culture of the United States as a result of McCarthyism are is some ways more important. Here are a few of those stories.

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was one of the founders of the ACLU, along with her chief antagonist Morris Ernst.  She had been an organizer of the International Workers of the World (Wobblies) before helping to form the ACLU in 1920.  Flynn had joined the Communist Party of the USA in 1937, and had told her fellow board members about this, with no objections.  In the early days the ACLU was spending most of its time defending anti-war protesters during the first Red Scare that happened around the time it was founded.  On the evening of May 7, 1940 until 2:30 am at a New York City men’s club there was a “trial” of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn by the executive committee of the ACLU.  This was a forerunner of McCarthyism that involved the anti-communists of the ACLU, not right-wing Republicans, attempting to water down the ACLU’s policy of defending unpopular opinions.  This set the scenario of later attacks on Communists.  As a result, Flynn was thrown off the board of the ACLU.



Trial of Helen Gurley Flynn


Here a chart for the start of that event.  You can see that Pluto is sextile the Midheaven. During the course of the evening, Mars passed over the Descendant at about 11 and Pluto passed over at about 1:15 the next morning.  This trial occurred just after the New Moon in Taurus.

Liberals like Morris Ernst (and Americans for Democratic Action, founded at the start of the Cold War in 1947) had good intentions, those paving stones of Hell.  They assumed, rightly, that other liberals would not support the ACLU (or other organization like the National Lawyers Guild that Ernst was also involved in) if they allowed Communists to be part of the organization.  Unfortunately, they went against the basic credo of the organization by banning those with whom they disagreed.

During McCarthyism there was an informal association of anti-communists, who did everything that could to battle Communism and were often called to testify against someone accused of the mortal sin of being a member of the Communist Party.  One of these was Harvey Matusow.  A Communist who that began to work for the FBI and later testified against various people, he is notable for finally recanting his testimony, thereby casting doubt on the testimony of many other ex-communists.  His book in 1955, False Witness, led to his jailing for perjury, since the FBI and HUAC were not very happy that he had lied for them.  Later he worked with a “hippie commune” in the Seventies, and later became a Mormon.  A very interesting life and I am surprised more has not been written about him.  In his solar chart — no time of birth — the most prominent is Uranus opposite Venus — indicating his changing affections.



Harvey Matusow


Another important pillar of McCarthyism was HUAC — the House Unamerican Activities Committee.  This was created in 1938 and existed until 1975.  In the early days, under chairman Martin Dies, its main concern seems to be to bedevil Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal.  In succeeding years, it would call purported Communists in front of the Committee and force them to name other Communists (called “Naming Names”) or refrain from doing so and then stand in contempt of Congress.  A no-win situation.  This result in the naming of Alger Hiss (helpful for a rising Congressman from California) and the blackballing of the Hollywood Ten, ten artists that were prevented from being involved with Hollywood productions, at least under their own name.   HUAC also had an important role to play in the rise of the New Left (as opposed to the Old Left of the Thirties, Forties, and Fifties that was spoiled by the Communist influence).  In fact, a movie called Operation Abolition has been made about this event.  HUAC had a committee meeting in San Francisco in 1960 (bad idea!) and many from the surrounding Bay Area turned out to protest the event.  On May 13, 1960 police officers used fire hoses to sweep the protesters down the step of the building where HUAC was meeting.  This action cause many of the students, such as those from UC Barkley, to become more politically organized and to start protesting the Vietnam war, which was only just beginning to percolate into the consciousness of some knowledgeable Americans.  The growth of the Free Speech Movement in Berkeley and many anti-war protests were a result of that anti-HUAC action. In the chart for this event against the US chart, the most noticeable aspect is Mars at the IC, the lowest point of the chart from which it can only rise; this was the beginning of the rise of those people opposed to HUAC and the things it stood for.



Operation Abolition


One of the notable members of HUAC was a Representative from California, Richard Nixon.  Nixon was chosen to run for the House from California right after World War Two, when he was opposing the incumbent Henry Voorhis.  He won after charging Voorhis with being influenced by the Communists.  He was a prominent member of HUAC during the late Forties.  In 1950 he ran for the Senate against Helen Gahagan Douglas.  He won again by charging his opponent with Communist influence, saying that she was “pink right down to her underwear.”  Pink was not quite as strong as the color red, which at that time was associated with the Red Menace of Communism, and in fact animated maps in movie newsreels would often show a red tide sweeping over Europe as the Communists in the Soviet Union took over the European continent.  At the time, no one ever doubted that a country that had lost over twenty million in the just concluded war, and whose territory had been devastated by the battle with Germany, had the wherewithal or desire to invade several other countries.  Such was the delusion that existed under the First Cold War and the miasma that was McCarthyism.  Richard Nixon went on to gain higher office as a result of his performance as a member of Congress.

Another important ingredient of McCarthyism was the Taft-Hartley Labor Act of 1947, passed over the veto of Harry Truman, even though he then used the Act numerous times. This law was attempt to roll back the gains labor had made since the New Deal, and unions opposed it.  But section 9(h), which was tacked onto the original Taft-Hartley, required noncommunist affidavits from Unions.  While it was assumed Communists in Labor Unions would just lie (thus opening them up to other charges such as perjury) what most Communist union officials did was withdraw from the Party before signing the affidavit. And Taft-Hartley allowed the anti-communists in the Unions (such as the Screen Writers Guild) to charge that their fellow members were breaking the Taft-Hartley law if they did not sign.



Taft-Hartley Act


In this chart for the signing of the Taft-Hartley Act, we first see that Saturn is close to Pluto, indicating that times are hard as the Cold War and the resultant repression is gaining steam.  Pluto is also approaching the Sun/MC midpoint of 23 Leo. Venus is on the Descendant, perhaps symbolizing that justice (Venus) is setting.  Taft-Hartley is still the law in the United States, but unions occasionally ask for its repeal.  Neptune is just past he MC and in the Tenth house during this period, suggesting the public self was somewhat deluded.

Six days later the Smith Act was passed, that prevented advocating the overthrow of the United States (by force or violence).  It was obviously aimed at Communists, but Communists insisted that they were not advocating the use of force or violence. Opponents of Communist then claimed they were lying (and used a quote of Lenin to back them up) which of course is an argument difficult to prove.

Just before these two Acts were signed, the President Harry Truman introduced what is called the Truman Doctrine, a primary document of the Cold War.  In it he pledged to contain the Soviet threat to Greece and Turkey.  Greece was undergoing a civil war, which Stalin refused to support, wherein the partisans that had helped to defeat the Fascists in the recently concluded War, and were filled with Communists, were fighting the power of the King, who was supported by the British, and as it turned out, the Americans.  The partisans lost the Civil War, but the Cold War gathered strength through the Truman Doctrine.  Many argued that if the Communists were so bad overseas then certainly they were also bad here, thus giving a boost to McCarthyism, even though that man had not yet become famous.

What is called the Marshall Plan (named after Secretary of State George Marshal) gave much money (over $100 billion in current dollars) to help rebuilt Europe after World War II, and incidentally prevent any attraction to Communism by the impoverish people of Europe after the battles of World War II had destroyed much of the infrastructure of the continent.  Part pf the push to get votes to approve the Marshall Plan required Truman to put the fear of Communism into the American people and Congress.  For more details see The Truman Doctrine and the Origins of McCarthyism by Richard M. Freeland.  In the chart for the signing of the Marshall Act, we see that the tighter Saturn Pluto conjunction has been joined by Mars so that Mars is at the midpoint of a retrograde Saturn and Pluto.




Marshall Plan

McCarthyism had many repercussions for the Unites States, many of them still unrecognized.  For example, because of the fear of having “Lost China” raised during the early Fifties, President Johnson during the next decade did not want to retreat from Vietnam for fear he would be accused of “losing Vietnam”.  During the Thirties and Forties, in part due to the influence of the Communist Party, many were interested in internationalism and imperialism, and even mainstream groups like the NAACP would connect the liberation of “Negroes” in this country with the liberation of Africans in the various countries of that continent.  Now much of that internationalism has been lost, and the ne plus ultra of leftwing thought is support for Bernie Sanders.  Woman’s history was first taught in Communist schools, and the Communist Party was fully integrated, at a time when mixing the races happened very seldom, even in the North; the idea of class was a strong component for the Communists but that focus on class has been lost as now identity politics appears to be the only politics for most of the left.  As another example, Henry Hay was an active Communists and a homosexual who married a party member out of attempt to conform.  He later founded the Mattachine Society, the first well known gay liberation organization (though of course the term was not used in 1950) and later helped found the Gay Liberation Front twenty years later.  And the decline of the unions was a direct result of McCarthyism; the highest rate of overall union employment, as seen in this graph, was in 1954 and has declined since. The current rate is the lowest in 70 years. So McCarthyism has had a large effect on the state of America even to this day.



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.




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.




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.




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.





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.




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.




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.




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.




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.




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.




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.




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.



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.




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.




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.