Recent Saturn-Pluto Cycles

The prototype of a planetary cycle, the period between one conjunction to the next of any pair of planets, is the lunar cycle, something that humanity has been intimately familiar with for millennia.  The lunar cycle starts with the New Moon — a conjunction the Sun and the Moon — then precedes through the opposition of the Sun and Moon — called the Full Moon — and then goes on to the next conjunction, that is the next New Moon.  Symbolically, the cycle starts at the conjunction, and whatever the cycle represents reaches a culmination at the opposition and then precedes to gather resources in preparation for the end of this cycle and the beginning of the next cycle with the next conjunction.  This “Lunation Cycle” has been spelled out in detail by renowned astrologer Dane Rudhyar in a book of the same name.

But this cycle from conjunction through opposition to conjunction can be looked at with any two planets.  The Jupiter-Saturn cycle was explored in a series of posts about Watershed Elections a couple of years ago.  Since we have recently explored two Saturn Pluto oppositions in a post called “Bookends of the American Empire“, I thought it would be interesting to explore recent Saturn-Pluto cycles, especially in light of the fact that we are ending one of these cycles and thus startling a new one in a year.

After the Saturn Pluto opposition in 1898, which was discussed previously, and which saw the Spanish-American war, the war in which the United States divested Spain of its colonies in the Caribbean and Pacific, the next conjunction of Saturn and Pluto was in 1914 at 2 Cancer, that is near the Cardinal axis.  This Saturn-Pluto conjunction saw the start of World War One.  (Of Interest, the closing square of those two planets corresponded exactly to what is called the Panic of 1907 in the United States, where the stock market lost 50% of its value in three weeks and a wealthy individual had to bail out the US.)  This is illustrated in the chart below.  This is only one of many examples as to why Saturn-Pluto has such a fearsome reputation.

 

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World War

 

When these Saturn-Pluto aspects are looked at in light of the relations between Russia and the United States, this conjunction heralded the first Cold War, after the Russian Revolution of 1917.  Immediately after that revolution a civil war broke out in Russia and American President Woodrow Wilson, along with many European nations and Japan, sent troops to fight on the non-Communist side in that Civil War.  After that the United States refused to recognize the Soviet Union until President Franklin Roosevelt took office in 1933, near the time of the opposition mentioned below.

This Saturn-Pluto cycle lasted until the end of the Second World War, in 1947, so it covered the period of both World Wars.  This particular Saturn Pluto cycle can be considered the “World War Cycle”.  Some authorities consider the Second World War to be merely a continuation of the First World War, with a brief intermission — the “Roaring” Twenties — between the segments.  For America, which only got involved in the First World War in the last year, the Second World War did not start until Pearl Harbor was bombed at the end of 1941.  But officially the Second World War started on September 1, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland.  But the war had been raging long before that, though it wasn’t called a war: Japan invaded China early in the Thirties; in Spain, Franco, with the aid of Hitler, was fighting the Spanish Civil War in the middle Thirties.

 

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“Full Moon” for Saturn-Pluto

 

The midpoint of this “War” cycle happened in 1931.  This was the equivalent of a Full Moon in the lunation cycle, the peak of the energy that started at the conjunction.  The culmination of this cycle, with the opposition of Saturn and Pluto, is illustrated in the above chart.  The first obvious event happening in 1931 was the worldwide Great Depression that was reaching its depths in the early Thirties.  This year also saw the rise of fascism in Europe, with for example Hitler being elected Chancellor of Germany in January of 1933.  In Asia, Japan took over parts of China with the invasion of Manchuria on September 19, 1931.  So the clouds of war were gathering at the opposition which would result in the Second World War in a few years.  Notice that Uranus is square Pluto, Uranus is sesquiquadrate Neptune, and, though the orb is very large, Pluto is semisquare to Neptune, the three aspects that highlight the Great Depression, though all three are not always in orb for the whole period.

 

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Great Compression

 

The next conjunction followed directly the end of World War II in 1947.  This corresponds to, among other things, the rise of the Cold War (or the Second Cold War, if we consider the First to be the one after the previous Saturn Pluto conjunction) between the United States and the Soviet Union.  In the United States, this Cold War is seen as exclusively the result of the expansionistic tendencies of Stalin and the Soviet Union (see for example any book by John Lewis Gaddis), but a more balanced appraisal would see that a badly crushed Soviet Union, whose territory had been ravished by the Germans and had lost on the order of 27 million people, was hardly in the same league as the United States, which had recently dropped two nuclear weapons on a defeated enemy.  The Soviets desperately wanted the security that could be provided by a border of friendly nations, which just happened to be those invaded by Soviet troops during World War II since the West was in no hurry to come to the aid of the Soviet Union in its fight with Germany.

The next Saturn-Pluto Cycle lasted from 1947 to 1982.  This was a period called by the French Les Trente Glorieuses – the thirty golden years following the Second World War (see for example Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century) when inequality in many countries of the world was reduced.  So I believe that this second Saturn-Pluto Cycle of the Twentieth Century was a period of economic compression, called the Great Compression by some economists.  This was a period when the views of such people as Lord Maynard Keynes of Britain were given credence, and activities like the Bretton-Woods Conference set up an economic program for the whole world.  Major decolonization took place, such as India becoming an independent nation, and the State of Israel was proclaimed out of what was formerly part of the Ottoman Empire before World War I.  Victory in the Chinese Civil War for the Communist side was only two years off and that victory caused repercussion among the masses of Southeast Asia who had just thrown off the yoke of European colonial powers.

 

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Sixties

 

The culmination of this cycle, when Saturn was opposite Pluto, was in 1965, just as the Vietnam War was starting to heat up — the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was passed in the US Senate August of the previous year.  This was an obvious manifestation of the Cold War which had started with the conjunction eighteen years earlier.  There were many urban riots in the United States, such as Watts Riot in August 1965, Detroit Riot July 1967, Newark July 1966.  Civil rights leader Medgar Evers was killed in June 1963 in Mississippi; the Birmingham, Alabama church bombing occurred September 1963; Chaney, Goodman,and Schwerner were killed in June 1964, also in Mississippi.  There was a coup in Indonesia October 1965 that killed between half a million and a million and a half and set the stage for a dictatorship in Indonesia that lasted over thirty years, almost until this century.

 

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Neolibealism

 

The next Saturn-Pluto cycle, which started in 1982, and which we are still in, was totally different.  No longer a great compression, but rather a great expansion, as Neoliberalism started to take off under Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom and Ronald Reagan in the United States.  This was a period where the wealthy 10%, 1% and most especially 0.1% increased their share of the wealth.  While their share of the wealth increased from the early Eighties, this increase in inequality really took off after the Great Recession of 2008.  This can be seen as the Neoliberal cycle.

 

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War on Terrorism

 

The culmination of this cycle was discussed previously.  There were three Saturn-Pluto Oppositions.  Here is a chart for the second, on November 2, 2001.  For any astrologer at the time, it should have been obvious that something momentous was going to happen in late 2001.

Mea Culpa: I did not see this happening myself, since at the time I favored the Gemini Rising USA chart, if I even thought about a chart for the United States, and even though I had read the Dane Rudhyar book (Astrology of America’s Destiny) that promoted the Sibly chart, and at the time I thought little of Saturn and Pluto transits, and hadn’t looked at any past transits.  But 9/11 seemed such a big event to the United States that it must surely show up in the natal chart for that country, and show up in an appropriate way.  Jupiter transits wouldn’t cut it.  The aspects to the Sibly chart, as shown in the last post (and very similar to the chart above) are the most appropriate transits possible.  If one were to make up the transits for such an event, nothing would be more fitting than the actual chart.  Pluto on the Ascendant describes 9/11 to a tee.

We are now in the last year of this “Neoliberal” cycle of Saturn and Pluto, and the results of the reign of capital over the previous 35 plus years is becoming painfully obvious.  We are seeing the dregs of our long bout of neoliberalism coming to an end with a strong hangover.  People are starting to vent their anger in many countries, to the obvious displeasure of those elites who profited so handsomely over the Saturn-Pluto cycle now coming to an end.

But another Saturn Pluto conjunction is happening soon, just a year away.  What will the new cycle bring?  My guess is that it will see the end of Neoliberalism, the hallmark of the previous cycle, but we will also see the end of other trends that have manifesting themselves recently.  Whatever it will be, the upcoming period will be different than the preceding 35 years.

 

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In this case the conjunction only happens once.  This is followed by a conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto three times, followed by a single conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn at 0 Aquarius on the Winter Solstice.  This new cycle of Saturn and Pluto, starting in 2020, corresponds to the Zeitgeist Change that I wrote about for several months.  This will be a preview of all the changes coming our way.  One can see that conjunction as the “opening gun” for the big changes to happen in the third decade of the Twenty-First Century.  Since two other important cycles are also stating at about this time, the Jupiter-Pluto and the Jupiter Saturn conjunctions, change will be the hallmark.  The Jupiter-Saturn cycle was discussed at length in post about Watershed Presidential elections and 2020 will see another Watershed Election.  In the chart for the single Saturn-Pluto conjunction on January 12, 2020, we see that both the Sun and Mercury are conjoined Saturn and Pluto.  This quadruple conjunction is also configured with the United States chart, as shown below.  It is trine the US Saturn, opposite the US Mercury, and sesquiquadrate the US Uranus.  So this Saturn-Pluto will definitely affect the US, in ways we can’t see yet.  Not shown is the inconjunct (quincunx – aspect of 150 degrees – separation or adjustment) between the multiple conjunction and natal Mars, suggesting the military and war will be involved.  Also emphasizing this fact is that the antiscia (reflection over the Cancer/Capricorn axis) transiting Mars is on that super conjunction.

 

sapl2020_usa

Upcoming Saturn Pluto Conjunction

 

So what we have is Saturn and Pluto, which can be dire, but then Jupiter comes along, changing the gravity of the situation. My feeling for the Pluto-Saturn conjunction is that it will be the culmination of a crisis already developing, something involving violence or war (viz. Mars).  This crisis will be so close to fruition, only saved by the oncoming Jupiter, that the peoples of the world will be scared out of their standard thought processes and there will be an opening opportunity to explore some new options.  Jupiter will save us from the developing catastrophe signaled by the first Saturn-Pluto conjunction in 38 years.  After the Jupiter-Pluto conjunction comes the single Jupiter-Saturn conjunction that sets the stage for the next twenty years.  The first decade — the 2020s — will be the expansion decade: think the decade of the Sixties — and the second decade — the 2030s — will be the contraction decade: think the decade of the Seventies.  It will be a truly historic two decades for the world, one that will be long remembered, if possibly only by the cockroaches.

All of these transits are shown in the two-year graphical ephemeris below. The single conjunction of Saturn and Pluto happens first, shown by the black arrow at the beginning of 2020.  Then comes the three Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions; the first of these conjunctions is at the red arrow at the end of March.  Finally there is the single Jupiter-Saturn conjunction shown by the green arrow in December of 2020.  2020 will be a packed year!

 

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2020 Conjunctions

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Bookends of the American Empire

While America has always been an expansionist nation, witness the Louisiana Purchase, the Adams-Onis Treaty (which gave the US Florida and defined the border between Oregon and what has become California), the addition of Texas, and most obviously the War with Mexico,  and this was all before the Civil War, America was not an Empire, and it had no colonies overseas, that is outside of North America.

But this changed at the end of the Nineteenth Century, and there was an exact moment when the decision was made within the government of the United States that America should become an empire, only fitting for an up and coming powerful country that was surrounded by other powerful countries that had their own colonies.   If one looks at a map of Africa from around the turn of the Twentieth Century, it is obvious that Africa had been divided up amongst the European countries.  This has been discussed before, about the time when the continent was divided up formally among the European powers.  But America was not part of the game.  Spain had been the first major European colonial power at the end of the Fifteenth Century, and it had been joined by Great Britain, France, Holland, Germany, Portugal, and Italy.

But America finally got its chance, and the name of that opportunity was the Spanish-American War, which was won by America — Spain at that time was a fading power on the world stage — and thus as part of the victory the United States got Spain’s colonies, not only Cuba, over which the battle was fought, but also Guam and the Philippines.  The Secretary of State at the time was John Hay, who had started out in Government as secretary to Abraham Lincoln.  (For an interesting portrayal of the young John Hay, read the novel Lincoln by Gore Vidal.)  Hay, who referred to the Spanish-American War as a “splendid little war”, wrote an important document in US diplomatic history called the Open Door Notes.  In this document, he declared that the rest of the world should allow an Open Door with regards to China, a weak (at the time) power that European colonies had already latched onto.  The Notes, first issued on September 6, 1899, wanted those other powers to make room for the up and coming power of the United States.  This was essentially a statement that the United State planned to become an Empire also.

 

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Open Door Notes

 

Here is a chart for the issuing of Open Door Notes.  There is nothing really spectacular about it.  At noon — a good approximation of when it was issued — the Moon was transiting the Midheaven of the United States, appropriate for something that would influence and color the behavior of the country for the next 100 years.  The important Neptune-Pluto conjunction of 1890 is just starting to separate, but still in the “New Moon” phase.  Saturn is in the First House, a few degrees beyond the Ascendant; this was a legal (Saturn) document that had important consequences for the country, at the time only a generation removed from the Civil War and the technical end of slavery, and facing the future of the Twentieth Century.  A long time depression (Panic of 1873/Panic of 1893) was just ending.

 

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‘An American Century’

 

Henry Luce, publisher of Time, Life, and Fortune, had declared, in an editorial in Life magazine February 17, 1941, almost year before America entered World War II, that the Twentieth Century was the American Century, just as Spain, Holland, and Britain had their places in the Sun.  In the chart for this event, we see that the transiting Sun is conjunct the natal Moon of the US, the “American People”.  This is indicative of the American Century.

But the cause of the Open Door Notes and American’ decision to become an Empire was the Spanish American War.  (For further details of this important decision, see the recently published book One True Flag by Stephen Kinzer).  The start of the Spanish American War was the explosion of the USS Maine in the Havana Harbor.  This gave rise to the statement “Remember the Maine”.  Yellow journalism was popular at the time (unlike now!!) and one of the best of the publishers of newspapers at the time was William Randolph Hearst, who famously told his artist in Cuba, Frederic Remington (who is also famous for his Western paintings) who was worried that there was no real war in Cuba, that “You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war”. And he did.

While it was thought at the time that the explosion on the Maine was a result of Spanish perfidy, it is now thought more likely that the explosion was the result of a boiler on the ship.  But nevertheless, that explosion caused Americans, such as Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders, to invaded Cuba and battle the Spanish.

 

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”Remember the Maine’

 

This important explosion happened on February 15, 1898, and symbolically at least, it represents the start of the American Century that Henry Luce wrote about less than half a century later.  If we look at this chart, the most prominent feature is the Saturn-Pluto opposition.  This blog has often written about the powerful combination of Saturn Pluto hard aspects which were found at the start of World War I, World War II, the Cold War, and the death of democracy in Chile in 1973, among many other events.  But not only are these planets in opposition, but that opposition is powerfully configured with the chart of the United States: Pluto is on the Descendant of the United States, and Saturn is on the Ascendant of the country’s chart.  This seem appropriate, since the explosion (Pluto) occurred outside of the country, represented by the Descendant.

Within the year, the Open Door Notes was issued, and American had a colony in the Caribbean Sea, only 90 miles from Florida, and colonies in the Pacific.  Unfortunately for the United States, the colony of the Philippines was not working out well for them.  Who could have guessed that the people of the Philippines, having been liberated from their Spanish masters, were not too happy with the New Boss (same as the old boss) the United States.  There started a bloody colonial war between the Philippines and the United States which lasted about three years.  Waterboarding was practiced by Americans on captured Philippine soldiers.  In American an anti-war organization (American Anti-imperialist League founded June 15, 1898) was formed with several prominent citizen at the time, such a the author Mark Twain, industrialist Andrew Carnegie, and psychologist William James.

 

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American Anti-Imperialist League

 

In the chart for the formation of the American Anti-Imperialist League, important things to notice are the Sun-Neptune conjunction (idealism) conjunct the natal Mars (war) of the United States.  Also of note is Jupiter (good intentions) at the Midheaven of the country.  This league, and its diverse members, was a physical statement that there were decent people in the country, even though the actions of the government denied that statement.

Another example of the American Empire happened shortly after the end of that war, when President Theodore Roosevelt sent ships near the isthmus of Panama, then part of Columbia, to prevent the Columbian soldiers from interfering with the revolution in the isthmus to separate it from the country of Columbia.  Once this revolt was successful and a new country was declared, thoughts of a canal between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans were seriously considered.

And of course American troops were sent in to many Central American counties, such as Haiti which was occupied by America for nineteen years and Nicaragua which was controlled by the Americans for more than the 21 years it occupied the county, and when they left the US allowed Anastasio Somoza to control that country.

This was all between the First and Second World Wars; after the second war the United States clearly emerged as the dominant power in the world, since all the other powers had been decimated by the fighting, while the United States, protected by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, suffered no damage whatsoever — the only real exception was the bombing of that base on the Pacific colony of Hawaii (not a state until 1959).

American was the dominant power for decades after the end of World War II.  But then, at the dawn of the Twenty-First Century, the first attack on the homeland of the United States since the British burned Washington, DC during the War of 1812 occurred.  This was the attack on the World Trade Towers on September 11, 2001.  Here is a chart for that event on a Tuesday morning.

 

 

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In this chart we see Saturn is again opposite Pluto, and again this opposition is on the Ascendant-Descendant axis of the United States chart, just as it was in the chart for the explosion of the Maine and the start of the Spanish American War.  But in this case Pluto is on the Ascendant and Saturn is on the Descendant.  This again makes sense, since the explosion (Pluto) occurred in that country (Ascendant) and not abroad.  This represents the closing of the cycle that started with the opposition of those two planets on the United states angles at the end of the Nineteenth Century,.

These two events, the Spanish-American War and the attack on 9/11 — represent the bookends of the American Empire and the markers of the American Century, the Twentieth Century.

The previous 500 years were a time of a unipolar world, when there would be only one power that was dominant.  The first of these powers was Spain that managed to get the first colonies in what was called the New World.  After that Holland was the dominant power; at one time that country had a colony in the New World called New Netherlands, dominated by the city called New Amsterdam which they had purchased from the native inhabitants of that land for some trinkets.  Britain was the next dominant power, and when they got that city from Holland they renamed in after the Duke of York and now it is called it New York City.  Finally America became the dominant power in the world.

But we are in a new 500 year cycle, and the Unipolar moment is over.  We are now in a multipolar world, where several countries are dominant at the same time.  Unfortunately the United States did not get the memo, and so it is behaving as if it is still the dominant power in the world.  This could result in very sticky situations as the United States behaves as if the world has not changed, and the rest of the world realizes that it has changed.

After the opposition of Saturn and Pluto at the beginning of the Twenty-First Century, which represents symbolically the culminating of a cycle which started in 1982, the beginning of the Reagan Revolution and what was called at the time the New Cold War, indicative of Reagan’s increasing hostility toward the Soviet Union, comes the following conjunction of those two planets, representing symbolically the end of the old cycle and the beginning of a new cycle.  In my next post, these Saturn-Pluto cycles of the Twentieth Century will be discussed, looking forward to the upcoming start of a new cycle.

Death of a King

The killing of a King has been considered such a grave crime throughout history that a special word was used for it: regicide.  It is not something that happened often, but there is a case of it English history that has been mentioned before in this blog, so I wanted to look at it since it sheds some astrological light on the times in which it happened, and also shows the difficulty in finding the exact date.  The king that was killed by his own people was Charles I of England on January 30, 1649.  But that date is not what it seems.  This was in the English Civil War.

Our modern calendar is called the Gregorian calendar, after Pope Gregory XII, and it was adopted in October 1582 for Europe.  But not everywhere.  Catholic countries adopted it right away; if the Pope said it was a good idea, that was good enough for them.  The result was a lacuna of 10 day after October 4, 1582.  The next day was October 15.  Astrological ephemerides for those times take account of this.  Dates in the Gregorian calendar are called New Style, as opposed to dates in the Julian calendar, devised by Julius Caesar, which is called Old Style.  By the time the Sixteenth Century rolled around, dates and the actions of the Sun were disconnected, and something had to be done.  The Gregorian calendar has the addition of leap year every four years (with a few exceptions) to allow for the difference between 365 days and one year.  But this new calendar did not necessarily take effect on that date in non-Catholic countries.  For example, the Eastern Orthodox Russia did not “go modern” until after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917.  That is why the date for the Revolution is given both as November 7 (New Style) and October 25 (Old Style).  But Protestant countries did not adopt the Gregorian calendar right way either.  In particular, England did not adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1752.  That is why George Washington’s birthday is listed as two different dates — he was born before 1752 and the colonies followed the time of Britain.  It turns out that the date when Charles I was beheaded is in the Old Style, so we must use the New Style date of February 9.

The English Civil War, for which the execution of the King was a climax, started out as a conflict between the King and the Parliament, which was seldom called into session even though that was one of the things required of the English Crown after the Magna Carta  was signed some 400 years earlier.  This battle can be considered between the Cavaliers, descendants of the Normans who invaded the country in 1066 and the Roundheads, descendants of the native British who lived there before the invasion.  But many other things happened during the English Civil War that were not necessary involved directly with Charles.  It has been called The World Turned Upside Down, by English author Christopher Hill in a book of the same name.  Many sects developed, such as the Quakers, the Diggers, and the Ranters.  It was a time of questioning almost everything about English Society.

 

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The first thing to notice about this chart is the opposition between Uranus and Pluto.  Looking at the graphical ephemeris for this period, we see that this opposition lasted at least four years.  We are all familiar with Uranus-Pluto hard aspects; they often lead to revolution, either figurative — the Sixties — or literally — the French Revolution, also an opposition, or the English Civil War.  There was also a Uranus-Neptune conjunction, as in the Nineties.  This period saw the foundation of the Scientific Revolution, and the actual founding the British Royal Society in November of 1660.  John Locke was born in 1632 and Issac newton in 1643, so they were both growing up during the English Civil War and this Uranus-Neptune conjunction, which as we can see from the graphical ephemeris lasted longer than the Uranus-Pluto opposition and overlapped it.  During this period all three of the outer planets were connected by either opposition or conjunction.  This is a powerful combination.

 

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But in regards to the death of Charles I, notice the Saturn-Pluto conjunction.  The hard aspects of these two planets are notorious, and a most obvious example is the opposition of those two on 9/11/2001.

But another Uranus-Pluto opposition occurred in the death of another king:  This is the  famous killing of a king that happened during the French Revolution.  And fortunately for us, someone was there to record the exact time that Louis XVI had his head cut off, but with a different instrument than that used to sever the head of Charles I.  The French invented a “more humane” way of executing a person than that of chopping of the head off with an ax.  It was well know that one was supposed to tip the executioner so that he would remove your head with a single blow.  But with the newly developed guillotine there was no need to worry: gravity would ensure that the blow of the blade was clean and did its job.

 

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For the very public execution of Louis XVI the Uranus Pluto opposition is exact, with an orb of two minutes.  Mercury is on the Midheaven, and indeed this was carried out with much notice and talk by the populace of Paris; there was even someone who recorded the exact time, which is beneficial to astrologers.  There is also an opposition between Moon and Jupiter, and since we have an exact time this is indeed a valid aspect.  These two planets are also in fixed signs as are Uranus and Pluto, but the orbs are not close enough for a grand cross.  Uranus is sesquiquadrate Mercury, and square Neptune, Mars semisquare Ascendant, Mars conjunct Pluto (more violence); there are many aspects in this chart.

 

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Uranus and Pluto can also cause revolution without the death of the leader, as was seen during the Uranus-Pluto opposition in the first decade of the Twentieth Century.  Here is a chart for the start of the first Russian Revolution of 1905, and the event known as Bloody Sunday, when many protestors were killed.  The Uranus Pluto opposition is very wide at 12 degrees, but it was closing, and the events certainly bear the hallmark of Uranus and Pluto.  The protestors wanted reforms and a parliament, and presented a petition to Nicholas II.

The time for the chart is set when first shooting started.  Many unarmed protests gathered in front of the Winter Palace, and they were shot by Imperial soldiers representing the Tsar.  Note that the date is January 22, but since Russia was still on the Julian calendar at the time of this event, the date was January 9 in the calendar being used.

Note that Mars is on the Descendant, showing the gunfire coming from the troops; about 200 people were killed.  Mercury was on the Midheaven, and this event was very public;  people around the nation heard about it, only increasing their anger.

This bloody Sunday is considered the start of the First Russian Revolution, which was not successful.  But it showed the anger of the populace towards the Tsar.  After Russia fought, and lost many troops, in the First World War, that anger increased and the result was the Second Russian Revolution, which was successful and, among other things, resulted in the execution of Nicholas II and his family.

 

Birth of the Microprocessor

You are probably reading this on a device that has a microprocessor, which is the main processing unit of most computers used these days, including the one on your desk, in your lap, or in your hand.  Many of these use a CPU (Central Processing Unit) that is based on Intel architecture, whether or not it is actually “Intel Inside” as that company likes to say.  But in any case, there is a microprocessor in whatever computer you are using right now.  And in today’s world, computers are omnipresent, from the obvious ones in a laptop computer, to the not quite so obvious one in a smartphone, to the various “smart” devices that surround us from smart TVs to smart baby monitors.  But the point is that each of these devices has a microprocessor to give it its smarts.

Many people think that microprocessors have always been with us, or at least all of their lives, but they did come into existence at some point, and that is an important birth point to look at, since so much of the modern world has derived from that.

Electronic computers, when they were first born, operated with vacuum tubes.  Later on, in what is called the Second Generation of electronic computers, transistors were introduced to replace vacuum tubes, and the computers got smaller.  At one point minicomputers were introduced, such has the famous VAX of mid 1970s.  This was a fabulous 32 bit computer very popular in universities and industries at the time.

 

Eniac

 

 

Most people consider the Eniac as the first electronic computer.  It was manufactured in Pennsylvania and dedicated on February 15, 1946.  Here is a chart for the dedication (of course the birth was earlier) drawn for noon which seems reasonable, and also a chart for that time as transits to the US chart.  While Enaic was advertised as a “giant brain” at the time, it would have far reaching consequences on the USA and the world.  For the birth chart of the first electronic computer, we see a conjunction of Sun, Mercury and Venus, with the conjunction of Mercury and Venus very tight, within a quarter degree.  As we shall see later, this Mercury Venus conjunction is important, and indicates love (Venus) of computers (Mercury) to put it in simple terms.  Jupiter trines the Sun, suggesting that many benefits will accrue from this new machine.  A Full Moon is approaching, and was exact at about 11:30 that evening, indication of a culmination of some cycle.   Not a very impressive chart.

 

Eniac_usa

 

But there is one thing to note when we compare this chart to that of the US.  From the US transit chart, we see that the Sun — that day – is conjunct the Moon of the United States, representing the people.  This event would have great significance for the people of the country, though at the time few realized it.  But looking backwards, we see that this is indeed a seminal event.  One other aspect to notice is that the retrograde Mars is on the US sun.  Perhaps this means that the outcome of this event — introduction of electronic computers — would be long in manifesting.

But still no personal computer.  Minicomputers were smaller than the large mainframes that had dominated the industry before, but you would need a very large desk to hold one.  The birth of the desktop computer was  started with the introduction of the Intel 4004 microprocessor, and the story of its introduction shows how hard it is to get a birth date, let alone a birth time for this seminal occasion.

At the end of the Sixties a Japanese company asked the American Intel Corporation to develop a chip to run its new line of electronic calculators.  The result was a integrated circuit called the 4004, since it was a 4 bit processor.  Today most computers run with 64 bit processors.  The difference is that a four orders of magnitude bigger data size can address more memory and run faster.

Four bits is not really much to do any kind of real world processing, so the first microcomputers that are known used an eight bit processor.  The first was the 8008 (introduced April 1982 from Intel), followed by the 8080 (April 1974) which was better and more widely used.  Also popular was the Z80 (1976) developed by Zilog, a company started by the initial developer of the 4004.  Another chip popular at the time was the 8 bit 6502, developed by someone other that Intel.  The Z80 was used by the Radio Shack TRS-80 (hence the ’80’ moniker) and the 6502 was used by the Apple II.

The data I can find for when the 4004 was completed by Intel is sometime in late January 1971.  The head designer of this chip for Intel Federico Faggin (who later went on to found Zilog which made the Z80) found that he got the wafer of the chip at 6pm, as reported from an official Intel website.  Obviously they though it important if they gave the time, but unfortunately for us they did not give a date, other than January 1971.  So we have no date.  The Japanese company, called Busicom, got the intel 4004 in late March 1971.  I couldn’t find an exact date either.   But what turns out to be most important, and what we have at least a date for, is the time that Intel realize that this device — the 4004 — was a real life “computer on a chip” and could be used for many other things than running a calculator.  This event was an ad in the magazine Electronic News announcing that this chip was available.  That date was November 15, 1971, and the chart for that event (set at 12 noon, which seems fairly reasonable) actually has a lot to say. as opposed to the other possible charts.

 

4004-usa-better

 

Here is a chart for the transits for that date on the US chart.  The first thing I notice is Pluto at the Midheavern — transformation of the social and public setting of society.  I would say that is a pretty accurate description of the effects the “microcomputer revolution” has had on United States society . But notice also that Pluto is on the Cardinal axis at 1 Libra.  These effects would be on the world at large also.  Again, there should be no argument.  Jupiter is on the Ascendant of the United States on this day.  And it should be obvious that the developments of the microprocessor has led to the expansion of the (economic) power of the United States.  Of course, all other countries now have access to the microprocessor also.  But it is not just Jupiter: a triple conjunction of Mercury, Venus and Jupiter is at the Ascendant.  Mercury is communication and among other things computers; Venus shows the love (even obsession) we have with them; and Jupiter indicate that his love affair with computers (which wouldn’t be possible without microprocessors) is huge and possibly overpowering.  Also note that the Mercury-Venus conjunction in this chart is a bit tighter even that that conjunction in the Eniac chart.   Another aspect, not so obvious, is transiting Uranus conjunct the United States Saturn.  This shows how the forces of change (Uranus) are challenging the forces of the status quo — Saturn.  That was the start of the microprocessor revolution, at the tail end of the Sixties, more than 45 years ago.  It took a while for this revolution to fully manifest itself, but by the time that the Twenty-first Century came along, the revolution was clear.

Zeitgeist Changes – Part 6

Another important cycle to discuss is that of Saturn and Neptune.  That combination can be looked at in two lights.  Neptune is illusion and Saturn is reality, so the combination allows one to see the reality beyond the illusion.  Neptune has many positive meanings when talking about a human being, but when talking about a collective, such a a nation-state, it is very hard to manifest a positive meaning.  Since much of the world is governed by illusion, with Saturn connected one is able to break through the illusion and see the reality beneath.  But that is not always comfortable.  Illusion is much more comfortable, which is why we like to spend time with movies and television, an obvious example of illusion (and Neptune), to allows us to escape from reality.  Saturn and Neptune also allows one to renunciate worldly reality; Saturn and Neptune together allowing one to avoid worldly charms.

Some example of the conjunction of these two planets will make the preceding more clear when seen in the world and not in an individual person.  Richard Tarnas mentions that Saturn Neptune hard aspects often occur in the later stages of war.  We will see a few examples of that below.  One good phrase for Saturn Neptune is “Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time”.  In other worlds, the illusion that starting a war (or some other project, as in the first example) is glorious happens at the start.  Often propaganda (a Neptunian institution) is used to make the populace feel that everything will be great if we just have this war.  But after a few years of actual war, the reality of the situation sets in.  There is death and destruction and lack of progress.  What seemed like a good idea at the start now seems horrible.  Those realizations often happen under hard Saturn-Neptune aspects.  We will take a look at some conjunctions of those two planets.

 

 

berlin_wall_falls

Fall of Berlin Wall

 

The last conjunction of these two planets was in 1989.  The notable event of that year was the fall of the Berlin Wall, which had been built a Saturn cycle before (that is, it fell as Saturn was approaching its natal position, and still 14 degrees off); many Communist countries in Eastern Europe also dissolved at the time.  In fact, the fall of the Berlin Wall was just four days before the exact conjunction shown in the chart, on November 9, 1989.  For the German people, November 9 marks another important anniversary of an event 45 years earlier.  Kristallnacht happened on the evening of November 9, 1938.  This was a wave of pogroms in German that was a foreshadowing of the Holocaust to come in the next decade.  It is also called the Night of the Broken Glass since the shop windows of so many Jewish owned businesses were broken.

 

sane1989a

Saturn Neptune Conjunction 1989

 

French astrologer Andre Barbault has written a nice mini-history of the Soviet Union on the basis of hard aspect of Saturn and Neptune.  In this description, we will only touch on the conjunctions.  And obviously, we have started at the end of the complete cycle, with the fall of Communism in Europe, to followed by the end of the Soviet Union two years later.

 

 

SaNe1953

Saturn Neptune Conjunction 1953

The previous conjunction of those two planets was in 1953, about one month before the Korean War ended.  The Korean War started in June 1950 and was essentially won within a few months as the invading North Koreans were driven back across the border with South Korea.  But General Douglas MacArthur, the leader of the “United Nations ” troops, wanted more, and he drove into the North and up to the Chinese border.  MacArthur was fired by President Truman in April 1951.  The Chinese then fought against “United Nation’s” troops and the war became bloodier and longer than anyone had expected.  MacArthur wanted to use many nuclear weapons in the battle, and most towns and large buildings were destroyed in the North.  Americans pilots complained about no targets left to destroy.  Approximately 20% of the Northern population was killed.  Dikes were destroyed, and rice paddies were then flooded, a war crime when committed during World War II.  Many in the United States were getting unhappy with the war that was promised to be short, and when General Dwight Eisenhower ran for the President in 1952, he vowed to go to Korea to see what could be done about the War.  He went to Korea on November 29, 1952 shortly after he was elected President.  The war itself was ended in July 1953, though of course a peace treaty has never been signed with North Korea so technically the war has still not ended.

On March 15, 1953, about two months before that exact conjunction, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin died.  He had ruled the Soviet Union since the death of Lenin in 1924.  Soviet citizens had long suffered under the ruthless leadership of Stalin.  He was replaced by Nikita Khrushchev, who made a secret speech to the 20th Party Congress denouncing Stalin and his crimes, and instituted a policy of destalinization, which of course angered hard liners that had served under Stalin.  This policy lasted a few years until the hard-liners were able to regain some control.

 

SaNe1917

Saturn Neptune Conjunction 1917

 

There was another conjunction in 1917, a little over a year before World War I ended.  This was about four months after the US entered the War.  By this time there was widespread disillusionment with the war, which had started with such great hopes that it would be over quickly.  At the beginning, troops believed they would be home by Christmas of 1914.  In Russia, the Tsar had been overthrown, partly because of war-weariness, but still a major battle called the Kerensky offensive was started, named after the leader of the Provisional Government that had replaced the Tsar, and its failure led to the Russian army falling apart, the Bolsheviks seizing power in November, and the withdrawal of Russia from the war.  This caused some in Germany to think that the war should be ended now that a major force against them had disappeared.  In Germany, socialist Rosa Luxemburg led opposition to the war and was jailed because of that.  British lieutenant Siegfried Sassoon protested the war as being prolonged on purpose by those who could end it; many in combatant countries felt the same way.  Socialists attempted to hold a peace conference in Stockholm in July, but counties refused to issue passports for those wishing to attend.  In general, many were upset that the “War To End All Wars” hadn’t ended.  Again, the war started as seemingly a good idea but by the time of the Saturn-Neptune conjunction, many wanted the war to be over.

 

mexwareal

Mexican American War Starts

 

Here is chart for the start of the Mexican-American War in 1846, a war that saw the first anti-war movement in United States, with among other people a young Whig congressman by the name of Abraham Lincoln.  In this chart we see the conjunction of the two planets on the US Moon, representing the people of the US.  And the war was certainly controversial.  The Democratic President James Polk (a Scorpio) was all for expanding the United States, and the concept of manifest destiny had just become popular.  He sent troops beyond the border recognized by Mexico hoping for the response which he got.  But many people, including most of the Whig party, which was the alternative to the Democrats of Andrew Jackson, opposed the War.  The exact conjunction on 4/3/1846.  Despite the large number of people against the war, it went on with many questionable activities from the American troops.  This has been discussed in more detail in a previous post.  The war finally ended in February of 1848, and resulted in the United States adding California, Nevada, Utah, and most of Arizona and New Mexico, the biggest expansion of the country since the Louisiana Purchase.

So it appears that Saturn-Neptune conjunctions are positive in the sense that people turn away from bad circumstances, such as war; the problem was finally revealed but the bad circumstances were allowed to go on for a long time.

Zeitgeist Changes — Part 5

The Fourth Turning is a 1996 book by William Strauss and Neil Howe that was recently popular during the election of 2016.  It postulates a crisis for America soon, because previous crises have bedeviled America ever 80 to 90 years since the Revolutionary War.  As astrologers, that time period should ring bells, and in fact the cycle has extended longer than Strauss and Howe imagine.  As has been suggested by this blog, it is unfortunate that historians don’t know astrology.  If they did, they would realize that this pattern extends from before the Revolutionary War and corresponds to planetary periods.  By looking at the astrological pattern, we can see this cycle has been occurring since the nation was founded, and is getting more intense with each succeeding cycle.  The period of 80 to 90 years is one Uranus cycle and one-half of a Neptune Cycle.  Let’s look (again) at what happened every 80 to 90 years in American history.

 

starve1

Starving Time

 

The first successful colony in what has become the United States was in Jamestown in what is now the state of Virginia in May of 1607.  The Winter of 1609-1610 is called the Starving Time: Of the 500 residents of Jamestown in the Fall, only 60 were left by the time Spring rolled around.  Domestic animals were killed for food, and some cannibalism took place, as shown in (for example) a New York Times story about a current archaeological discovery on the James River.  A fleet from England did finally come, but it had only more colonists and not food.  In the summer of 1610 (July 7) as they sailed away, another ship with supplies came and they all returned to the colony, which then was firmly established.  This was the first crisis of America.  If we look at chart for November 24, 1609, that winter of the Starving Time, we see that Uranus is on the Descendant of the United States.  However, looking at the next chart for November 24, 1614, when Neptune first came to the Midheaven, we see that it is a full five year after the crisis, and so this does not seem to fit the pattern.  Of course, in this example the crisis only lasted a few months, not nearly as long as the others did.  Or perhaps since there was no government (represented by the MC axis) there was no transit of the MC.  Note that in this case the Uranus conjunction occured before the Neptune conjunction/opposition, but those two will exchange places over the cycles.

 

starve2

Starving Time 2

 

king_wm_war1

King William’s War 1

 

Several wars occurred in the early colonies, called in general the French and Indian Wars, since both were involved, and each war got a name in the colonies depending on who was the ruler of England at that time.  They had different names in Europe, since France was also involved.  Both France and England had colonies in North America, and the French were allied with the Native Americans, and those two overseas powers were involved in several wars to determine who would have possession of the New World.  Spoiler: England won and would become the dominant force in the world for 150 years.

In 1688, there was the Glorious Revolution in Great Britain that replaced the Catholic King James II (son of King Charles I who was executed in the English Civil War) with Protestants William and Mary from Holland.  Thus the first such war in America was called King William’s War, and it was fought in 1689-97 with England, France, the American Indians, and the American colonists.  This was about 80 to 88 years after the Starving Time, and from the chart we can see that Uranus was at the Descendant during the War, Neptune reached the IC of the United State (not yet born) in 1697, three months before the end of the war.

 

king_wm_war2

King William’s War 2

 

Eighty to ninety years later, after all the French and Indian wars had died out, and after the important Seven Years War (1756-1763), which saw England defeating France to become top dog in the world, it was time for the Revolutionary War, and sure enough those two planets were in their correct spots.

 

Rev_war2

Revolutionary War 1

 

The official dates for the Revolutionary War are from the Battle of Lexington and Concord (April 19,1775) to the surrender at Yorktown (October 19, 1781).  This first image is for June 23, 1777; that date is not, as far as I know, a stand out date in the Revolutionary War.  Notice that all three outer planets are near their birth locations.  This is not surprising, considering that this chart is less than a year after birth.  What the chart does show is that Uranus is passing over the Descendant and on this date is exactly opposite the Ascendant for the first time since birth.  Again, not surprising since the natal position of Uranus is close to the Descendant.  Whereas the Ascendant relates to the personal projection – a good synonym is persona – the Descendant is the opposite point, and indicates how we relate to the outside world.  In personal astrology, this often is used to refer to the partner or people one draws to oneself or open enemies.  In either case, it refer to energy coming to us from outside, which can easily be seen as a war which also comes to us.

 

rev_war_i

Revolutionary War 2

 

In the second chart, for November 23, 1778 we see that Neptune has come to the Midheaven of the United States.  The Midheaven refers to the way the country relates to the outside world or vice versa; one can see it as a public persona as opposed to the private persona of the Ascendant.  Perhaps this suggests that a war, which involves the government (MC axis) of the United States is always started under the illusion of good intentions and a peaceful outcome.

 

civil_war_i

Civil War

And 80 to 90 years after the Revolutionary War, along comes the Civil War, sometimes called the Second Revolutionary War, for different reason depending on which side the speaker is on.  The dates for the American Civil War are from the firing on Fort Sumter (April 12, 1861) to the surrender at Appomattox court house (April 9, 1865).  For the the Civil War there is only one chart, for March 11, 1862.  The war had started almost a year earlier.  We see both Uranus opposite the Ascendant as in the first Revolutionary War chart, and Neptune conjunct the IC (Imum Coeli –the Bottom of the Sky) of the United States chart, opposite the Midheaven.  This is about one Uranus cycle, 84 years, after the first chart.  The fact that Neptune is now opposite the earlier position (the second chart for November 23, 1778) is not surprising since the period of Neptune is almost exactly double that of Neptune.  Note also that since the natal Uranus is close to the Descendant and the natal Neptune is close to the Midheaven, these periods are also close to a Uranus return and a Neptune bi-return.  But we do see a pattern.  Notice by this time both Uranus/Descendant and Neptune/Midheaven axis aspects occur at the same time.  We will notice later that the Neptune aspect will occur before the Uranus aspect.

 

WW2_1

World War II 1

 

The dates for American participation in World War II – the Americans were definitely late to the party – is measured from the attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941) to the surrender of Japan (Germany had surrendered 4 months earlier) September 2, 1945.  One notices that the wars get larger – more participants and over a larger area — and more bloody over time.  Starving Time in Jamestown only lasted one winter and less than 500 people died, though of course by percentage of population it is very huge.  Compare that to World War II, which lasted for the Americans four years and less than 500,000 Americans died, though it was a world war and many people from other countries, especially the Soviet Union that bore the brunt of the German invasion, died.

 

WW2_2

World War II 2

 

Let’s look at the World War II charts.  The first chart is for November 5, 1942, the first time Neptune conjoined the Midheaven of the United States in this cycle.  Then the second chart for World War II for August 6, 1944, one year to the day before the dropping of the atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, the first pass of Uranus to the Descendant of the United States.  Also Neptune is very close – one degree beyond – the Midheaven.  This was again one Uranus cycle, and one-half a Neptune cycle since the Civil War.  The pattern repeats itself.  Notice how the Neptune aspect now takes place before the Uranus aspect.  The Descendant is where energy comes in to you from outside, and so Uranus on the Descendant suggests disturbance, upset coming into the country, like for example a war.  At least it was in the four cases we looked at.  Since we have only the United States as an example, and only five cases to draw upon, we can’t draw a definite conclusion.  But in every case there was, the correlation was exact.

What we have seen are five crises, starting at the birth of the colony at Jamestown and occurring every 80 to 90 years with increasing death, violence, and geographical spread, involving the United States.  The obvious question is when will this pattern happen next.  As you may already suspect, this is coming up soon, and this is one of several cycles that are coming due at about the same time.  We will leave for later the exploration of the exact date; but first, we must look at another cycle of great importance.

But how will the next turn of the Uranus/Neptune cycle manifest?  One might expect another war, even bigger than World War II.  This reasoning was what caused The Fourth Turning‘s notoriety during the election.   Several possibilities: Aliens from outer space will invade and the nations of the world will band together to fight them.  A bit fanciful, then perhaps it will be an asteroid that will be expected to hit the earth and the nations of the world will band together to fight it.  Or perhaps it will be a world wide fight between the 1% and the 99% since inequality will have become so much worse than it is now.  Several people consider the state of the United States so divisive and contentious – the term used is polarized — that a new civil war is expected to break out, so that is another possibility.  This period could see the Third World War, more horrible that the Second which occurred 84 tears before.  Or perhaps this will see the final collapse of the ecosystems of the world.  But since I’m an optimist (Jupiter conjunct Sun) my best guess is that the nations of the world will finally decide that the global crises are so ominous that they need to band together in a World War II-scale attempt to fight for the survival of the planet.  Of course it should have been done in the 1980s.  There is much more that needs to be said about this period, one of the most important of at least the 21st Century, but we need to have more background.  If this is the type of crises we will face in a few more years, it suggests that many things will happen between now and then to make the countries of the world think that that type of world wide response is finally necessary.  And they are, you need just to look around with eyes unblinded, which is difficult with the constant bombardment of information that we daily receive.  But the signs are all around, we just have to see them through all the chaff.

Zeitgeist Changes – Part 4

There were two main changes in the world with the third midpoint of the Twentieth Century, and we are still living fully with the repercussions of those changes, as well as those from previous times.  One thing that you will notice is that there is no major art movement that corresponds to this third zeitgeist change, unlike the first two.  This is, I believe, because now Art (with a capital A) is a big business.  The major change that occurred at this time — 1978-1980 — was the rise of neoliberalism.  One can not judge anything happening in the world today without accounting for the neoliberalism that rules everything.

Neoliberalism is the doctrine that the markets know all, that only the market is fundamental.  I call neoliberalism Markets Uber Alles, that is Markets above all, reflecting the sayings of the Nazis (Deutschland Uber Alles) and the punk rock group the Dead Kennedys (California Uber Alles).

 

midpoint1979

Third Zeitgeist Change of Twentieth Century

 

Here is the third midpoint between the three outer planets.  In the exact midpoint for September 10, 1979 we see that each of the three planets is at the same degree in consecutive signs, so that Neptune and Pluto are sextile and Uranus is semisextile the two other planets.  Since this is not only a midpoint configuration but also important aspects are involved, the configuration is stronger than if it were just a midpoint.  By inspecting the graphical ephemeris, one can see that, depending on the orb you allow, this midpoint configuration lasted at least from late 1977 to late 1980, which saw the election of Ronald Reagan as President of the United States.  The Uranus-Pluto midpoint is indicated by the reddish line which is intersected by the blue line of transiting Uranus in the top half of the chart.

 

 

1979tg

 

 

Neoliberalism leads to privatization and austerity, which increases inequality; this has main effects on all of the population both rich and poor.  Inequality causes increasing stress among the people, resulting in more gun deaths and racial discrimination, worry about jobs and anger at immigrants.  Now, after 40 years of neoliberalism, things have changed drastically and we don’t remember what came before.  More and more power has devolved into private hands; there has been so much austerity that people are feeling the stress and act in destructive ways, both to themselves and others.  What was once thought as the commons is increasingly controlled by private power.  In several places water, which was once thought as a right of all, is controlled by a business.  Deregulation strips rules that govern the behavior of corporations, since the corporations know best.  Carter started this out with deregulation of the airline industry and the long distance truckers.  We have the greatest percentage of homeless since the Great Depression, and the current wave of homeless started appearing in the early years of the Reagan administration.

Another thing that Carter did that helped get neoliberalism started, even though it cost him the 1980 election, was to appoint Paul Volker head of the US Federal Reserve in July 1979 and Volker soon changed the monetary policy of the country, resulting in bad economic conditions that doomed the Carter presidency.  This policy was carried further on by all succeeding Presidents.

Back in the Twenties, an Italian encyclopedia defined fascism as corporatism, which is the definition that Mussolini adopted for his meaning of fascism.  America is now totally in thrall to corporations, organizations that in early America were chartered by states for a specific purpose, but now are seen as the dominant business form.  Corporations are people, which was “decided” (see this previous entry for the reason of the double quotes) by a Supreme Court decision in 1886, and has only been strengthened by later decisions, such as Citizens United v FCC.  Businessmen and CEOs are heroes of society these days — look at the adulation given to Elon Musk — and it is surprising that it has taken the country so long to elect a businessman as President.  Perhaps neoliberalism is just a further stage of fascism.

Here are some of the signs along the way in the rise of neoliberalism: Margaret Thatcher, the storekeeper’s daughter, was elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1979, and brought neoliberalism to that country with increasing austerity that has never gone away.  She served as a good partner for Ronald Reagan, elected 18 months later, to remake the world in the vision of neoliberalism.  Her motto was TINA — There Is No Alternative.  And she certainly remade England, with her crushing of a coal miners strike being only the most obvious example.  And governments after Thatcher, either Tory or Labor, followed the Thatcher formula.  Even now Britain’s National Health Service, a beacon for the world, is being dismantled and replaced by private practice.  Then Ronald Reagan was elected in the United States, as a perfect complement to Thatcher, and he helped move the neoliberalism agenda (“the problem is government”) along, and all Presidents after have also helped move neoliberalism forward.  In California a referendum was passed in 1978 called Proposition 13, which limited property tax increases and has prevented California from getting enough money to do many things that it wanted.  Passage of this had profound implications for the state, and was a trendsetter for the country.  The major effect of this act was to limit property taxes in the State of California, which hampered the construction of new schools, among other things.  The act also required a two-thirds majority of both houses of the state legislature to change the state taxes.  Since it was difficult to get such a majority in both houses, there became less and less money for such things as education, both for public schools and the state university system, which had been relatively inexpensive for residents and had been renowned for its quality.  Both those things disappears in the aftermath of the passage of this act.  Remember the leader in China that took over in 1978 after Mao died: This man, Deng Xiaoping, is reputed to have said that to get rich is glorious, which is certainly a neoliberal motto, and after that Communist China became a capitalist power.  Notice now how many things are made in China that used to be made in the United States, and how few things are still made in the United States.

 

urne1

The Nineties

 

But neoliberalism did not really get going at full speed until the election of that first baby boomer president, Bill Clinton, and the important conjunction of Uranus and Neptune in he early Nineties, which saw the rise of Financial Capitalism.  In the graph below, you can see that sometime in the early Nineties profit from manufactured goods was surpassed with profits from financial services for corporations.

 

dsc_0129b

 

 

I often think that the Nineties were as important as the Sixties, but they don’t get the credit.  I have an blog post about the Nineties in the works now.  But the Nineties did not have as great a soundtrack as the Sixties.  The Nineties saw the popularity of the Internet, in the guise of the World Wide Web, soar to heights, as well as the rise of financial capitalism.  The aspect indicating all this was the Uranus Neptune conjunction.  In the chart for an exact conjunction of those two planets in September of 1993, notice that in addition to the conjunction Saturn is square Pluto, often a nasty combination, and that the Uranus-Neptune conjunction is square a Mars-Jupiter conjunction.  Much happened at this time. From the graphical ephemeris we see that while the conjunction was tightest in the period 1992 through 1995, it lasted the whole decade of the Nineties.

 

urne1_tg

 

Here are a few graphs that show the effects of neoliberalism on America.

 

wealth-inequality

 

 

The first graph shows the percentage of total wealth held by the top 1% and the bottom 90% of the US population starting in 1962.  You can see that the amount held by the upper 1% decreased until the late Seventies, exactly when neoliberalism started to take over, and then their share started to increase.  The share for the bottom 90% reached a plateau in the Eighties, and then started to decrease.  In the following years, the two lines are increasingly separating.

 

wealth_dist

 

The next graph reinforces the impressions left by the first.  It shows the wealth of the bottom 90% and the upper 0.1%, that is the upper tenth of the upper 1%.  Again it shows the wealth of the upper 0.1% falling until the late Seventies and then increasing, while the wealth of the bottom 90 % increased until the middle Eighties and then started falling.  As of the last year available for this graph the parentage of wealth for the two groups has almost crossed.

 

income_growth

 

This next graph shows the income growth in 1980, before neoliberalism really took off, and in 2014, after the full effect of neoliberalism had happened.  In 1980, most of the income growth went to the poorest people, those who really needed it.  In 2014, the poorest actually lost income (ie negative income growth) and most of the income growth went to the very, very rich.

 

gini-index-usa

 

Finally here is a graph of the Gini coefficient, the standard measure of income equality. Normally Gini is a number from 0 to 1, but sometimes to avoid decimals it is from 0 to 100.  With a Gini of 1.0, one person has all the wealth (and that person is probably named Jeff Bezos) and with a Gini of 0 the wealth is spread equality to everyone.  Thus decreasing Gini means less inequality, and increasing Gini means more inequality.  We see from this chart that Gini decreased until the late Fifties and then, except for some blips, remained low through the Sixties and even early Seventies, but after that started to take off.  We haven’t reached the heights of Gini we had in the Thirties, but there is still time.  The most unequal country, of modern developed countries, is the USA, far beyond (or below) others, followed by Portugal and Britain.

The effects of increasing inequality are immense, and essentially they destroy society.  There is more violence, racism, teenage pregnancy, mental illness, and everyone is affected, not just those at the lower income.  There are so many changes caused by inequality that a book is needed to document them all, and in fact such a book was published in 2010: The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett.  This is the standard reference for the problems caused by inequality, which has increased because of neoliberalism.  And to add insult to injury, those who are at the upper levels of income condemn those people who act out because of the effects of inequality, calling them such names as “deplorables” and “black predators”.

Another inequality phenomena seen in America is that the average lifespan has decreased for two years running.  Normally, life expectancy always increases, unless something very large happens, such as a major war, depression, or for example in Russia when the Soviet Union fell.  Many of the increased deaths that caused the average life span to fall were suicide, alcoholism, or drug overdose (the opioid crisis).  These are all “deaths of despair”, and despair has certainly increased with the ravages of neoliberalism.

 

bearsterns

Bear-Sterns Collapse

 

In the period 2007 through 2009 the world experienced a major financial meltdown called the “Great Recession”.  One signal of that meltdown was the collapse of Bear Sterns, a chart for which is above.  The most significant indicator of this meltdown was Pluto transiting over zero Capricorn, which has been discussed before.  One would think that such a failure of neoliberalism would indicate that major changes were needed.  And one would be wrong.  An incoming President oversaw the transfer of much money to the financial institutions that caused the crash, and very little to the people truly hurt by the crash.  The joke at the time was “Where’s my bailout.”  And unlike the Savings and Loan crisis of the late Eighties, where hundreds of bankers were put in jail, this time no one was imprisoned.  Truly neoliberalism is now much more dominant than it was in the late Eighties; when you don’t solve an obvious problem but rather patch it up, there are only more problems once the patch falls away, and we know this from our own lives.

 

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Revolt Against Neoliberalism

 

There was a revolt against neoliberalism and the results of the financial crash in the second decade of this century, illustrated by these charts.  Transiting Pluto was opposite the US Sun at the the same time as the opening square (from the conjunction of the Sixties) of Uranus and Pluto.  Thus at the same time as the opposition, Uranus was square the Sun of the United States.  This is even more obvious from the graphical ephemeris, were you can see that Pluto is opposite the Sun (gold dashed line) from 2013 to 2016.  In fact, the last close opposition is just before the election of 2016.  Upon seeing this before the 2012 election, I said that whichever party won the 2012 election would lose the 2016 election.  Whichever party held the Presidency during the Pluto opposition would be so disgraced by the time it was through that they could not hold the Presidency.  The Sun represents the government and the President.  The previous time this aspect happened was before the American Revolution and the Sun represented the King in England.  It was a time after the Seven Years War and Britain was laying taxes on the colonies in order to pay for that war, things such as the Stamp Act and the Tea Act.  The colonists were not happy and the American Revolution eventually resulted.

 

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Pluto Opposite US Sun

 

The other big change under this third midpoint was the birth of Islamic terrorism, which did not really exist before this period.  After Carter’s national security advisor Zbigniew Brezheniski (died May 2017) got the CIA to stir up trouble in the Soviet aligned government of Afghanistan (still considered the best government among those in the country that remember it) the Soviets invaded and the US and Saudi Arabia trained the mujahideen fighters to combat the Soviet invasion.  The mujahideen were guerrilla fighters from various Muslim counties, at first Afghanistan, and they often fought non-Muslim invaders.  Al Qaeda (which means the Base) was developed from that group of which Osama bin Laden was a member.  From those early terrorist groups, all the modern Islamic terrorists are descended.  When these terrorists groups — and that is what they were, even though they were funded and supported by the United States and Saudi Arabia — had driven the Soviets from Afghanistan, they turned to other opponents, such as when the United States set up troops in Saudi Arabia under the first George Bush.  This is no secret, since Brezheniski bragged about it to a French newspaper, and a British newspaper interviewed Bin Laden when he was fighting the Soviets.

At the same time — 1979 — a group of insurgents attacked a mosque Mecca, the holiest city in the Muslim world and called for the overthrow of the Saudi government.  As a result of this attack, the government of Saudi Arabia decided to more support the extreme branch of Islam call Wahhabism, though it had already been a dominant doctrine in that country.

Also in this period there was a revolution in Iran, in which the Shah — who had been installed in 1953 by a coup organized by the US and UK — was overthrown in a revolution from the religious leaders of Iran and many Americans were held hostage.  This started the long antagonism between the rulers of American and Iran, a dispute that we can see played out currently.

In early 2001 a book was published by scholar Chalmers Johnson called Blowback, which predicted that all this support of terrorist activities would blow back on the sponsors of such terrorists.  The book was mostly ignored until the 9/11 attacks happened a short time later, when suddenly Johnson was praised for his prescience.

And of course blowback is what we are facing now, with for example the group ISIS or Daesh.  One can expect even more blowback from the actions of many countries in their attempt to overthrow the government of Syria, which currently seems to be the hot spot of the world.

But remember, all of this flows from the actions of a certain government in Afghanistan in 1979.  One wonders how many deaths, destruction, and refugees have resulted since.

So here we are forty years into the neoliberal experiment, and with the “War on Terror” (first announced by Ronald Reagan, though this is often forgotten) taking place in many countries, mostly in the Middle East.  People tend to forget how much has altered with this third zeitgeist change and they assume that things have always been as they are now, and will always be the same only more so.  They don’t realize that another zeitgeist change is coming, and that it is not that far off.