Early British History

The Battle of Hastings in 1066 was an important turning point in British history, and thus also in American history.  It was discussed in this blog a long time ago pointing out that the split between the”Red States” and “Blue States” extends back to the Norman Invasion and the Battle of Hastings.

With the Norman Invasion, French royalty who believed that they were the proper inheritors of the British crown invaded England and the Norman prince William battled with the current ruler of England, Harold Godwinsson.  So we had a Anglo-Saxon army of traditional English peoples battling the invading army of the French-Normans.  These two groups had two different mindsets that influenced English, and thus American, thought down through the ages, now almost 1000 years.

The Normans were philosophically descended from the Romans and their idea of a Republic, that is to say representative democracy, and also of course the Catholic Church. The defenders, though Christian (and thus Catholic) at the time, were descended from the paganism of the early English and Scandinavians, who had invaded England over the last few centuries.  These people were believers of Democracy, which is to say direct democracy.  See the article at the link for more details.  The democracy of the Anglo-Saxons is today more visible in the town democracy of New England, which was originally settled by the descendants of the traditional English (for more details see Albion’s Seed by David Hackett Fischer) whereas the national government of America runs on a republican form of government which was represented by the French Normans. Most of the early government was designed by politicians from Virginia, who were descended from the Royalists who settled in the states and were from the Cavilers in England, descendants of the French Normans.

 

Hastings

Battle of Hastings

 

Though the battle of Hastings lasted all day, we do have a time for when it started: 9 am.  Here is that chart.  The most prominent feature is Saturn at the Midheaven — a little over one degree away.  While Saturn is often associated with bad outcomes, and this was certainly true for the defenders under Harold, Saturn more particularly refers to the long lasting implications of this battle — it influenced British history for the next millennium.  Neptune, which of course was unknown at the time, is placed on the Descendant: Things coming from outside the immediate environment — that is from France on the other side of the English Channel — were not seen clearly.  Mars is square Saturn and the Midheaven, certainly appropriate to a battle whose result would influence England and the world for a long time to come.  Also note the formation involving Moon, Midheaven, Saturn, Sun, Venus, Mercury, and Mars, five of the seven planets known at the time.  If we look at the fourth harmonic chart of this event, it is more clear.  Saturn, Mars, Midheaven are opposite Sun, Moon (it was a last quarter Moon) with Venus loosely conjoined.  This was a major event involving battle and, with the connection to the two lights — the Sun and Moon — this event was quite important.

 

Hastings4

Battle of Hastings Harmonic 4

 

William founded a dynasty of kings.  His granddaughter, Matilda, married Geoffrey, Count of Anjou, who liked to wear as his personal symbol a bit of flowering broom, whose Latin name was Planta genista.  Their son became king Henry II, the first of a long line of Plantagenet kings.  That dynasty lasted until it ended at a battle at Bosworth Field, and the victor became Henry VII, the first Tudor king, in 1485, who defeated the notorious Richard III.  In the years before that the English rulers were engaged in a civil war between two families of the Plantagenets in what was called the War of the Roses, a popular theme in the plays of Shakespeare.

Another important event of early British history is called “Murder in the Cathedral” — the killing of Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, by forces loyal to King Henry II. There was a movie made about this event called (big surprise) Becket, staring Richard Burton in the title role, released in 1964, and a poem/drama by T. S. Ellot called “Murder in the Cathedral” written in 1935.  We have an approximate time for this murder: Thomas had just gone to vespers, which is approximately at 6:30 in the evening, when he was killed.  Four knights thought the King wanted Thomas killed, though perhaps they misunderstood what the King said.  As a result all four were excommunicated.

 

becket

Killing Thomas Becket

Several things stand out: Mars conjunct Jupiter — plenty of violence.  Moon opposite Uranus: Unexpected events at this time.  The Moon moves one degree in two hours so the exact opposition would take place two hours later.  Of course the time of this event is only approximate, since all we know is that the Archbishop was at vespers when the murder occurred.  Mercury conjunct Neptune: confused thoughts.  And Venus on the Descendant: Venus (justice) was setting and it would be below the horizon in about 10 minutes.

Henry had two sons who became kings.  One, Richard I who was known as Lionheart, spent most of his time away from home fighting in Crusades to drive the Muslims from the Holy Land.  His brother was John, the king after Richard died.  John upset his aristocratic barons and they forced him to sign the Magna Carta (Great Charter) giving them more rights.  This was famously signed in the fields of Runnymede – a meadow near the Thames — near Leicestershire, on June 15, 1215.  I haven’t been able to find an exact time, but noon is a reasonable guess.  The Magna Carta is considered the first written constitution, and has served as the inspiration to many in the time since it was written, even though like most good ideas there were many, many times when its promises were not observed.  Still, it is an important landmark.

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Magna Carta

 

 

In this chart we see Sun conjunct Venus — justice on this day — conjunct the Midheaven, not surprising since it is a noon chart.  This conjunction is square Uranus, the planet of change and of revolution, and this document was that.  There is a quincunx, 150 degrees  which indicates a difference between the Sun — King John — and the people, in this case the barons, which needs adjustment.  This quincunx is close, 2 minutes from exact.  Note that the Sun is at 0 Cancer, the first day of Summer.  Since this was the Julian calendar and not the Gregorian calendar that is used today, thee was a bit of slippage between the seasons and the calendar.

 

bosworth

Battle of Bosworth Field

 

Finally, here is a chart for the battle that ended the Plantagenet reign, and ushered in the Tudor dynasty.  The bones of Richard III were recently found in a car park (ie, parking lot) in England to much notice.  The Battle of Bosworth Field is historically very important in England.  This is the most unimpressive chart I have seen of an event, especially one of so much import. The only thing of note is a recent Jupiter-Saturn conjunction, which indicates the beginning of a twenty-year period of a new ruler.  This is all true but not very impressive.

But at a large scale, this year – 1485 — is important.  In November of that year, the planets were bunched as closely as they had been in 500 years (as discussed previously).  This indicated the end of the previous 500 year cycle, and the beginning of the next one, the one I call the 500 Year Party, which ended in 1982.  And indeed, the reign of Henry VII is considered the beginning of the English Renaissance.

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Before The Civil War

Currently we have Neptune in an opening square to the Ascendant of the United States and a trine between Neptune and the US Sun.  Because of the slow passage of Neptune, this pattern was repeated last before Neptune was discovered, in 1853 and 1854.  Thus I thought it would be interesting to look at that period in American history.

 

ne342017

 

In the period 2016 through 2018 we have transiting Neptune making an opening square the the US Ascendant, as has been discussed before, and also a trine to the US Sun.  These two important Neptune transits go on for several years.  The first chart shows a position within this period in which you can see both the square to the Ascendant — red line — and the trine to the Sun — blue line.  Since the square is a fourth harmonic aspect and the trine is a third harmonic aspect, the harmonic which shows both aspects as a conjunction is the twelfth harmonic: 12 = 3X4.  So here is a twelfth harmonic graphical ephemeris allowing one to see when both aspects are coming into orb, exact, and leaving orb.  Neptune first approaches square to the Ascendant in late spring of 2016 — black arrow — and then the trine with the Sun finally ceases in early 2019 — red arrow.  So for about three and a half years the United States is strongly Neptunian.

 

tgne2017

 

But this combination of aspects has happened once before in the history of the United States, that is, after its birth, and that was in the period 1853 and 1854.  The third chart is a wheel showing when both aspects were within orb, and the fourth chart is a graphical ephemeris, like the previous one, showing when Neptune approaches the opening square with the Ascendant — black arrow — until when the final trine with the Sun took place at the end of 1854 — red arrow.  This period was shorter than the current one, but many important things did happen

 

ne341854

 

In 1850, under a Uranus-Pluto conjunction, the South thought about leaving the Union, but in a vote of Southern states, only one state, South Carolina, voted for succession, so the matter was dropped for the time being.  But 1850 did see the Fugitive Slave Act (part of the Compromise of 1850) passed, which required northerners to return slaves that had escaped to their rightful “owners”.  This act was not very popular in many Northern cities, and there was widespread refusal to obey its demands.

 

tgne1854

Before the Civil War

 

Then in 1854 the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed, shepherded by Stephen Douglas who would become famous for his debates with Whig politician Abraham Lincoln, whom he ran against in the election of 1860.  To understand the full import of this act, we will have to explore the history of Congress’s dealings with slavery, which was always a controversial subject in America,

In 1820 Congress passed the Missouri Compromise,  which was suppose to settle the issue of slavery in the country.  Missouri was going to enter the nation as a slave state, thus upsetting the balance of slave and free states in the country.  To avoid this, Maine was broken off from Massachusetts and thus became a free state at the same time that Missouri became a slave state, maintaining the balance.  Furthermore, when other states were made from the vast territory that was the Louisiana Purchase, all states north of the southern border of Missouri (expect obviously Missouri) were to be free states and those south of that border would be slave states.

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Missouri Compromise

 

The chart, above,  for the day the Missouri Compromise was passed, is very interesting. There is a conjunction between Uranus and Neptune, the last one before 1990, opposite the US Venus and square Pluto, which sits on the IC of the United States.  That Pluto position — the conjunction with the IC was yet to happen — indicates  that deep changes to the society of the US were coming in the near future.  This period saw a Venus return for the United States (transiting Venus returns to its natal position), and with that strong opposition, Justice seemed to be in the ascendancy.  This was an illusion but it would takes several decades for this to become clear.

This compromise had lasted for a third of a century, but now that Kansas and Nebraska were about to enter the country, and both of the states were clearly north of the southern border of Missouri and so they should be free states, Douglas, among others, wanted popular sovereignty to be in effect.  This allowed each state to determine its own policies of slavery.  This popular sovereignty passed in the Kansas-Nebraska Act, thus killing the Missouri Compromise and, though it was not initially clear, setting the final stage for the Civil War, which was to come in another seven years.

There were many unintended consequences of this Act.  Because of the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, more and more people became disgusted and disillusioned with slavery and expressed their increasing unhappiness.  Many slave owners from Missouri rushed into Kansas hoping to swell the vote in favor of slavery in that state.  These people were called border ruffians or pukes, and were seen as interlopers by the people who already lived in the Kansas territory.  There were many skirmishes been the pro and anti slavery citizens of Kansas, leading to what has been called “Bleeding Kansas”.  An important preacher from Brooklyn, Henry Ward Beecher (brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, whose novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin had been published in 1852) sent boxes of what were called Beecher’s Bibles and were actually rifles to Kansas that helped with the bleeding.  A man by the name of John Brown killed five pro-slavery people in Kansas in 1856, before his more famous attack on Harper’s Ferry.  The Whig Party, that had formed as a response to Andrew Jackson, essentially disappeared with the passage of the Kansas Nebraska Act, and anti-slavery Whigs joined with members of the Free Soil Party to form the Republican Party in 1954, thus ending what is called the Second Party System and replacing it with the Third Party System — Republicans and Democrats — which the country still has.  So we can see that the passage of this piece of legislation, considered so fine at the time, on hindsight can be seen as one of the final acts that lead directly to the Civil War.  The Missouri Compromise had settled the waters of the slavery antislavery controversy for awhile, but as an elderly Thomas Jefferson said at the time, this was as a fire bell in the night.  It just took forty years for the fire to be acknowledged.

In summary, this period with the multiple Neptune transits for the United States saw the final disillusionment with the status quo opinion that it was possible to compromise with the slave-owning republic that was south of the Mason-Dixon line, but expanding.  This compromise had been in effect for a third of a century, but it was finally rapidly collapsing.  The end, as Neptune transited opposite the MC of the US and Uranus transited opposite the Ascendant of the US, would not be long in coming.

Antietam

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.

antietam

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.

antietan_later

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.

 

antietam_usa

Antietam-USA

 

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.

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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.

spike

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.

 

 

spikeusa1

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.

 

hathgod

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.

 

hathgodusa

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_worlds

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.

 

war_worlds_usa

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.

 

seventies_tg_arr

Seventies

 

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_b_woods

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.

 

wages

 

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_breaking

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

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.

 

4004_usa

4004-USA

 

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.

 

4004

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.

McCarthyism

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.

 

mccarthy

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_in_wheeling

 

 

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.

 

mccarthyism_tg

 

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.

mcc_army

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_flynn

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.

 

harey_matusow

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

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.

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

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