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.

 

taft_hartley

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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Watershed Elections – Three

The election of 1960 was the first watershed election after World War Two and the changes that followed directly and indirectly from that war.  As was mentioned earlier, the aftermath of World War II saw the second major change to the world in the Twentieth Century.  That election was a contest between Richard Nixon, the current Vice President, seemingly representing the old Republican administration and way of seeing versus John F. Kennedy, representing a newer, younger generation, even though Nixon was only four years older than Kennedy.

Knowing about the Jupiter-Saturn cycle detailed previously, one could have predicted that the decade just starting would be much different that the previous decade — the Fifties — without even knowing about the upcoming Uranus-Pluto conjunction.  Since President Kennedy was seen as young and healthy, some astrologers at the time, knowing of Tecumseh’s Curse, thought the President would either be assassinated or die in a nuclear war.  For a time in the Fall of 1962, it seemed possible that the second option would happen.  And then the President was assassinated three years into his first term, the first successful Presidential assassination since McKinley over 60 years earlier, thus fulfilling Tecumseh’s Curse once again.

But while the Kennedy administration represented no real change from the previous administration — in fact Kennedy was more of a Cold Warrior than Eisenhower, though many liberals stuck with the dream of Camelot will argue differently — he represented a much different tone than previous administrations had offered, with a bevy of glamorous people and intellectuals in and around the administration.  It is well know that if you please and control the intellectuals who shape historiography — the writing of history — and the perception of the administration, you can get away with a lot, something our current Democratic President is well aware of and has used to his great advantage.  And in fact back in 2008 many people compared the current President to John Kennedy, a statement that was truer than they realized.

But as is often the case, the changes that were most important were on the street, and there is no end of documentation of that fact, and many are still alive who were old enough at the time that their memories still tell of that different decade.  And because television had just come to the fore in the previous decade with the transit of Pluto opposite the Moon of the United States, this was the most heavily documented decade so far in history.  There is no need to go over the changes that occurred in this decade that made it very different than the decade of the Fifties since there is a wealth of information about a decade that has become almost mythical.  But everyone should understand that this decade behaved truly like a waxing decade.

 

1960

 

In this chart for the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction of 1961, we see that the Uranus-Pluto conjunction that defined the Sixties is almost 15 degrees from exact, and Uranus is still in Leo.  Pluto is conjunct the transiting Node, giving an strange appearance to the glyph. Mars has just entered Cancer and is square the MC; it is about to transit over the core planets of the US: Venus, Jupiter and the Sun.  This is suggestive of the Vietnam War which was to inflame the nation for the upcoming decade so much that it helped to define the decade.  And there were many urban rebellions, called riots, that also boiled during the decade, as well as the famous assassinations.  Mars was very well relevant in the Sixties, along with Uranus and Pluto.

But for every revolution there is a counter-revolution, and the decade starting in 1980 was the beginning of that.  While President Ronald Reagan did not start the Neoliberal Revolution that had begun under the previous President Jimmy Carter, Reagan certainly symbolized the growth of Newliberalism (see the November 21, 2014 entry the Neoliberalism and the Cult of the Market for more details).  This period of history in America is justly called the Age of Reagan, since he was one of the few Presidents whose influence and behavior so closely symbolized the changes that were going on in this country.  Not only has the Age of Reagan not ended, but the influence of Neoliberalism has increased down through the years from 1980.  But the 35 years of the Neoliberal experiment has caused so much pain to so many people that it is coming under attack from many quarters, as is seen in the current Presidential campaign.  We shall see if we are witnessing the final decade of Neoliberalism, as I have suggested before.

Though Reagan was shot two months after his first term started, he was not killed, thus not fulfilling the Curse of Tecumseh.  Astrologers make arguments about why the curse was no longer operative, some of which involve the element (Earth) in which the conjunction takes place.  I’ve argued previously that John Lennon took the bullet for Reagan.  Reagan was shot less than four months after Lennon was killed; Reagan survived to lead his revolution, and to become synonymous with modern day conservatism.  The United States has certainly changed since the ascendancy of Ronald Reagan.

 

1980

 

Looking at the chart for the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction for the last day of 1980,  less than two months after the election of Reagan and three weeks after the death of John Lennon, we are struck by all the planets on the East – Ascendant side — of the chart.  A majority of planets on that side indicates an interest in Self, as opposed to Others, and even though the Eighties were not the “Me Decade” (that refers to the previous decade), in the Eighties America “Stood Tall Again” (which refers to a Reagan campaign slogan) and there was increasing emphasis on the “Homeland”, a tendency that has carried on through all of the Age of Reagan.  America has been called the one indispensable nation, as was declared by, among others, a Secretary of State in the next decade, and this is certainly a belief of someone with all the planets in the East.  Oaths to American Exceptionalism have much increased in the Age of Reagan.

The Election of 2000 was a special case, since the President who took office was not the person elected.  The election of 2000 was subject to much dispute, but it was not nearly as contentious as the election of 1876.  However, in that election the defeated party, as in 2000 the Democrats, was able to wrest something desirable from the winning party, in that case the end of Reconstruction, which made a huge difference to the South, the recently freed slaves, and the country as a whole; we are still living with the consequences of that election.  In the election of 2000 the losing Democrats did not appear to get anything but just accepted the loss; the only possible thing that was acquired by the Party was the chance to warn everybody about the danger of not voting for the Democrats, and as a result one of the true liberals in this country, who has done much more to modify the behavior of corporations in a positive direction than all Presidents in the Age of Reagan, has been vilified. That election is held up continually, much in this election season, as a warning to those who would vote for a “spoiler”.

But the tone of the United States changed again after the year 2000.  In fact one can say that the Twenty-First Century is so far shaping up to be different than the Twentieth, which is considered by some historians as the Century of Death.  With the year 2000, and more specifically the date 9/11/2001, American changed into a large booster of the War On Terrorism.  While Ronald Reagan declared terrorism to be an import subject to fight, the Twenty First Century saw terrorism become an every present phenomenon.  And while some may have hoped the election of a Democratic President after two terms of a Republican President would have ended the War of Terrorism, that war has only spread to other venues.  From what we have seen from this century, one could judge this to be the Century of fighting peoples from so-called third world countries, as if that hadn’t been done in previous centuries as well.  I believe when looking back at this century, the first two decades will be seen as an anomaly — there are already many hints already of what is really critical.

 

2000

 

If we look at the chart for the first Jupiter-Saturn conjunction the most notable feature is Pluto conjunct the Ascendant.  Not only was this the case for the 9/11 chart  but it suggests the nature of the next two decades as well.  Note also that Pluto is semisquare the natal Pluto, thus emphasizing the natal Pluto semisquare Ascendant, the tightest aspect in the chart, which can be described briefly as “My Way or the Highway” — America acts like it is (which was true for much of the last century) the most powerful and intimidating country in the world and can get away with literal murder.  The Pluto on the Ascendant foreshadowed the Global War on Terrorism which is such a prominent feature of the first two decades of the new century.

 

2020

 

 

The next watershed election is scheduled for 2020.  Looking at that chart, we see that Pluto has moved on from its position twenty years before, and now is approaching a conjunction with the natal Pluto.  As well, the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction is just beyond the natal Pluto, so that the midpoint between that conjunction and the transiting Pluto is exactly on the natal Pluto.  All of this emphasizes the United States Pluto Return, which will be discussed in detail at a later date.  This will be the prominent aspect of the first part of the third decade of this century.  No nation has lasted long enough to have a Pluto return, which takes about 250 years.  Usually constitutions are rewritten before 250 years have passed; our constitution, which was based on an unwritten constitution of our mother country, was old at the time (see The Frozen Republic by Daniel Lazare for details). What does a Pluto Return mean?  In an individual human being, Saturn returns are important.  We’ve mentioned before Uranus returns in the United States.  This Pluto return will be a make-it-or-break-it time for the country.

Saturn on the Ascendant

Saturn is a relatively fast moving planet, compared with the three outer planets of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.  Saturn was the slowest moving known planet through all of history before the Enlightenment, and circles the Sun in about a third of the time as the next outer planet Uranus — Saturn takes almost 30 years.  So transits of Saturn across the angles of the US chart are not nearly as impressive as those of the slower moving planets, but there is something noticeable.  This is important to discuss now, since we are seeing another case of this transit, along with a slower moving transit.  As two examples below indicate, when Saturn transits an angle combined with a transit of an outer planet over the same angle, the results can be especially impressive.

 

saas1898

 

The first Saturn Ascendant case we will explore is the Spanish American War, when Saturn was conjunct the Ascendant of the US, and to make this more important, Pluto was on the Descendant and thus opposite Saturn at the same time, as was explored in an early entry on this blog. The Spanish America War is considered important to the development of the imperial United States because it was the first time that the US took a colony, and in fact several, outside the confines of continental North America.  Not only did the US take Cuba from the Spanish, and it was a “colony” of the United States until it was overthrown by Fidel Castro in 1959, but also an even larger colony of the Philippines, which necessitated a bloody war to put down a rebellion.  The American Anti-Imperialist League was founded in 1898 to oppose annexation of the Philippines.  Among the prominent members were authors Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, Henry James, and William Dean Howells, as well as ex-president Grover Cleveland and industrialist Andrew Carnegie.

 

saas1942

 

Saturn was opposite the Ascendant of the United States in 1942 and 1943, when the US had just entered World War II, despite strong reservations about entering the war among the populace, and the war was not going in the Allies favor.  The Soviet Union had been invaded by Germany the previous year, and large scale fighting was happening on the Eastern Front, with millions killed.  The beginning of the Holocaust was happening, though few in America had an inkling of what was going on.

 

saas1957

 

The following conjunction of Saturn to the Ascendant was in 1957 as the first earth satellite, Sputnik, was launched by the Soviets on October 4.  The beep, beep, beep that the satellite put out was a sign of fear in the United States; this was the height of the Cold War, when America, which had survived the Second World War with little damage or loss of life, thought that they were far beyond the Soviets, who had much of the war fought on their territory and had lost tens of millions of people.  The Americans had real fears when the Soviets were ahead of them in the “Space Race”.  The fact that early American attempts at launching a satellite failed did not help the mood in the country.  The thought was that the Soviets could launch nuclear-armed ICBMs (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles) at America with their missile technology.  As a result, much like the current emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) studies, there developed after this event a push for more science and mathematics education in the US schools, which probably resulted in many computer people who made their mark on the country in the last decades.

 

saas1972

 

The next opposition was in June 1972, just as the break-in at the Watergate Hotel was happening (June 17, 1972).  This seemingly minor break-in, before a Presidential election, would have profound repercussions for the United States in the next couple of years.  In the following years, this seemed like a traumatic event, and the nation’s peoples were rooted to their television sets (no social media at the time, since the Internet was only some three years old and not available to the public) following the preceedings of the Watergate Committee of Congress.

 

saas1986

 

The next Saturn conjunct Ascendant was December 1986 as the Iran-Contra Affair was unfolding.  In normal cases this incident, which involved the US government trading arms illegally to Iran in exchange for the Western hostages that were held by allies of Iran in Lebanon, would have resulted in the impeachment of President Reagan.  But the “Teflon” President scraped through, arguing that he was unaware of the incident.  This exposure made many Americans more doubtful about their country.  Eugene Hasenfus, an American pilot, was shot down over Nicaragua on October 5, 1986, while carrying weapons to the US-supported Contras which were fighting the government of Nicaragua, thus exposing the whole scheme.

 

saas2001

 

The next opposition, when Saturn was on the Descendant and Pluto was on the Ascendant, the opposite of the Spanish-American War configuration, was when the Twin Towers in New York City were taken down by airplanes, known as 9/11.  This was discussed in more detail here.

The next conjunction is in this year, 2016, but there is also at the same time a transit of the outer planet Neptune square the Ascendant, and thus this is the transiting Saturn square Neptune aspect also which has been discussed at least twice before.  Briefly, this aspect occurs when the people are getting tired of something that seemed like a good idea when it was started.  While you can see the link for a full discussion of these events with charts, I will summarize them again.  These words were written before the Brexit vote in Great Britain, but the results of that vote are entirely in keeping with the meaning of Saturn in hard aspect to Neptune.  The European Union, which a majority of United Kingdom voters chose to leave, is primarily a neoliberal institution, despite the hopes of those who initially had the idea of a united Europe.

These quadrature aspects — conjunction, opposition, square — of Saturn and Neptune often happen near the end of long wars.  This is especially true with our current two long running wars — in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Of course, America is now involved in so many wars around the world, and attempting to start more wars, that as the saying goes it is difficult to keep track of them all without a scorecard.  In fact, the New York Times recently noted that President Obama is the first President during whose entire eight years in office the US was at war.  That fact alone says an awful lot about the times we live in.

Saturn was opposite Neptune in late 1862 and 1863 when the Civil War was being fought, the bloodiest battle on the Continental United States.  Many people had doubts about the wisdom of this war.  Men in the North could pay $300 for someone to take their place in the Army and many did.

The opposition of these two planets occurred again, three times, in 1899, after the Spanish American War had been stated.  There was growing doubt about this war which was America’s first attempt at colonialism, as illustrated by the formation of the American Anti-Imperialist League mentioned above.

A Saturn-Neptune conjunction occurred in late 1917 just as America entered the First World War, despite President Woodrow Wilson campaigning on the pledge to keep the US out of the War.  The jingoism inspired by this entry to the War changed America and the government in ways that could not have been foreseen.

There was a square of the two planets in 1944, 1945 as World War II was nearing its end, though not all realized it at the time.  The battle had been long and bloody, especially for America soldiers in the war in the Pacific.

These was a conjunction of those two planets in late 1952 and 1953, as the Korean War, which appeared to be an easy victory when it started, dragged on for several years to the increasing disgust of Americans.

There was an opposition of the planets in 1971 and 1972 as there was increasing abhorrence of the long running Vietnam War, which had spread to neighboring countries of Laos and Cambodia.  Many protests erupted on campuses across the nation after the news about the incursions into other countries became known.

There was a square of Saturn and Neptune in 1979 and 1980, which saw the American hostages captured by Iran after the US-supported Shah had been overthrown in a popular uprising.  The American hostages generated continuous headlines in the media and arguably lead to the defeat of President Carter in the election of 1980.

There was a conjunction of the two planets in 1989, discussed further here.  This saw the fall of the Berlin Wall, almost on the date of the third exact conjunction, and the downfall of several other Communist regimes.

There was a square in 1998 and 1999, just as the Clinton Impeachment trial was happening.  Americans were disgusted either by the tawdry details of Clinton’s affair or the Republicans hounding of a sitting President for a minor event.  Meanwhile, there occurred the Battle of Seattle where crowds were protesting the World Trade Organization — another neolibereal institution — meeting in that city.

The previous oppositions of Saturn and Neptune were in 2006 and 2007, as the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, promised as quick victories, were still dragging on.  But of course US troops are still fighting in both countries, plus many more, as the upcoming square happens on 11/26/2015, 6/17/2016, and 9/10/2016.

In this case, Neptune is square the Ascendant of the United states as well, and so that aspect has to also be considered, as well as the conjunction of Saturn to the Ascendant as well as the square of the two planets which will be felt around the world.

 

tgsane2016

 

Here is a graphical ephemeris showing the behavior of Saturn and Neptune over this year. Saturn first crossed the Ascendant of the US (dashed golden line) at the black arrow, and then Saturn is square Neptune and they both cross the Ascendant at the red arrow, and on the center line, at June 15 of this year.  Note that the horrific shooting at an Orlando nightclub took place on the morning of June 12.  Then Saturn is again square Neptune at the green arrow, and the final crossing of Saturn over the Ascendant is at the blue arrow on approximately October 13.

While currently there are many things that looked like a good idea when started but are now seen to go badly, the most obvious, because there have been increasing signs of discontent from the populace, is Neoliberalism.

Neoliberalism started in the late Seventies and has grown since then.  This graph will illustrate what has happened, so it is worth discussing in detail.  In all instances, it is common for older people to complain that the world as it is now is not like the world they knew when they were young; this complaint that the world is going to hell in a hand-basket has echoed down through history: there are instances of the ancient Greeks making the same complaint.  But as we shall see in the graph below, now the complaint is real: The world is more avaricious now then it was fifty years ago.  This change has affected everything.  See this link above for more details and what astrological formation represented this major change, and why it was such a major change.

 

gini

The Gini Index is a standard measure of inequality.  A Gini of 0 means total equality of income — everyone has the same income — while a Gini of 1 means total inequality, one person has everything.  This graph shows the Gini in the United States and Great Britain (and Holland to some extent) over the last two hundred fifty years.  Decreasing Gini show that more equality is happening while rising Gini shows that society is becoming more unequal.  From the graph one can see that inequality increased to a peak in second half of the Nineteenth Century and then fell slightly.  Then with the Great Depression inequality in the United States fell sharply until it bottomed out about 1950; inequality remained low through about 1975 when it began to rise and right now inequality is as high or higher than it has ever been in the United States.  This has been the result of neoliberalism practiced over the last forty years.  People in the working class have felt shafted for a long time, and with the Great Recession the middle class, those of that class that are left, have felt it also. But people remained compliant (see, for example, the recent book The Age of Acquiescence by Steve Fraser for details).  But over the last few years we have seen a transit of Pluto opposite the Sun of the United States.  The last time this happened was before birth of the US, when Britain passed various measures to get more money out of the colonies, and the stage for the Revolution was set.  In that case the Sun represented the King and Great Britain.  Now the Sun represents the President and government, and people are not happy with them.  We’ve seen some of this played out on the political stage over the last year. Any politician who is somewhat wise (I realize that may be an oxymoron) should pay attention to these developments, because they are cresting after an incubation period of forty years.  But at best politicians will blame any action against neoliberalism as the result of the deluded thinking of low-information voters.

 

tgplsu

 

This graphical ephemeris, for a seven and a half year period centered on January 6, 2015, shows Pluto’s transit opposite the Sun of the US chart – dark yellow dashed line.  You can see that in the current times, about two grid lines to the right of the center line, Pluto again comes close to the US Sun, about two degrees from exact, but will not exactly oppose it again this cycle.  Depending on the orb you use, Pluto has been opposite the US Sun for five years.

The effects of Neptune squaring the Ascendant are, well, Neptunian.  There is much delusion in the public sphere; to me it seems worse than it has ever been, even in the first Cold War.  The journalist profession has been greatly reduced by the rise of the Internet, but those that are left have engaged in malpractice by their propagandistic reporting.  A couple of examples from the current time is the woeful failure of the news media, supporting the dominant paradigm, in their description of Presidential candidates (Trump is a fascist, Sanders is a socialist, Clinton is a progressive) and their behavior as a stenographer for the government in their covering up of the potential for war (if war has not already started), with a massing of NATO troops at the Russian border, the greatest the world has seen since World War II.  It was 75 years ago that the last massing of troops on the Russian border happened — Operation Barbarossa — which resulted in over two million Soviet citizens killed within three months, and the Russians remember this, even if the West does not.  The news media propaganda ignores facts such as seen in the map below.  Neptune is very heavy in the cover-up.

 

russia-wants-war

 

Another more positive manifestation of Neptune is with drugs.  The whole war on drugs scenario, which has been going on for a hundred years, and not forty some years as people like to claim, is rapidly being called into disrepute in states of the US and countries around the world.  And once people lose their beliefs in the evils of (some) “drugs”, governments may have problems with their populace.  This will cause big changes in the upcoming years, because a major lie of most countries and the United Nations has been exposed. People have yet another reason to distrust what they are told; this is not good for keeping the people in line.

Watershed Elections – One

The election of 2016 is being billed as the “most important election ever”  (or at least in a long time) and we must of course vote for the proper candidate.  Of course, each presidential election is billed as the most important one ever, until the next election occurs.  But there is a natural astrological cycle, known for thousands of years, that rules the rise and fall of, traditionally, kings.   And this twenty year cycle just so happens to correspond  to the four year election cycle.  We will explore this cycle through United states history; this twenty year cycle also corresponds to what has been called “Tecumseh’s Curse”, which says that every president elected at the start of this cycle will die while in office.   This election season of 2016 is just the tail end of the previous cycle that started in the year 2000, and is just a preparation for the watershed election of 2020.

This  cycle, which was discussed previously, is the twenty year synodic cycle of  Jupiter and Saturn, the two outermost planets known before a few hundred years ago.  This synodic cycle can be seen as similar to the lunar cycle with which we are all familiar:  New Moon — the conjunction of the Sun and the Moon — is the start of  the cycle, which then goes through the Full Moon — opposition — and back to the New  Moon.  For the case of the Jupiter-Saturn synodic cycle, the cycle starts with the conjunction of the two planets and goes through the opposition ten years after the conjunction and then the cycle ends and a new one begins ten years later at a conjunction of the Jupiter and Saturn.

But very  conveniently, and why we can talk about “watershed elections” is that this cycle has, for centuries, corresponded, more or less, to the presidential election cycle, with the conjunctions occurring near the start of an even decade.  Thus what I’m calling a watershed  election occurs at the start of an even decade and corresponds to the conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn.  In many cases the election is significant for the future of the country or of Presidential elections; in other cases the country was on the verge of a significant change that would be felt in the future;  an in some cases both were true.  We will see examples below as we look at each watershed election.

The charts below illustrate the first Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in each cycle.

 

1800
The first election in the new United States that corresponded to the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction was the election of 1800 — called by one of the participants, Thomas Jefferson, as “The Revolution of 1800”.  This was discussed previously (February 26, 2016) because it corresponded to the transit of Uranus over the MC of the United States.  Briefly this was the first time that a President of one party was replaced by a President of the other party.  Since this had never happened before, many in the country and the world did not know if it would be successful and peaceful, or as in many other situations – the coup of Napoleon in France had just occurred — the losing party would continue to hold power.   Also, because of a bug in the Constitution, there was no winner for months and some were talking about a possible civil war.   But eventually, just in time for the scheduled inauguration, a winner was chosen and it appeared to the world that the United States would be a successful country.  At least, an early crisis had been avoided and the Constitution was changed to correct the bug which had been exposed by the election.

 

1820
There was not much special about the election of 1820.  It was the second term of James Monroe  and it turned out to be the last time a member of the “Virginia Dynasty” controlled the Presidency of the United States.   The Virginia Dynasty was a string of men from Virginia who controlled the office of the President since the first election of George Washington in 1789.  The only exception was the single term of John Adams of Massachusetts in  1796.  All the other Presidents — George  Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe were from Virginia and served  two terms each.  1820 was still within the Era of Good Feelings,  after the War of 1812  (often called the second revolution) when there was not much strife in the country and essentially one political party — the Democrat-Republicans — since the Federalist Party had self-destructed after not supporting the War of 1812.  Monroe was elected by a near unanimous vote in the Electoral College, one vote withheld only because of the desire for George Washington to be the only President elected unanimously.  This term would see the proclamation of the Monroe Doctrine, which has influenced foreign  policy down through the years.  This  document was mostly written by Monroe’s Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams.

But the controversy that became apparent at this time, and was to increasingly shape the country for the next 40 years, was slavery. Here are two markers that this question was coming into public consciousness, at least among whites.  One can assume for slaves this had long been an issue of paramount importance.

In Ohio the first abolitionist newspaper — The Philanthropist — was started.  Whenever something becomes so popular that a periodical is published supporting that tendency, you  know that many people are supporting that tendency.   That paper had been started by a Quaker in September of 1817 and was popular in Ohio and neighboring Pennsylvania.  It stopped publication in 1822, but the banner of abolitionism was picked up by others, most famously by William Lloyd Garrison.

And on the national front, we have the Missouri Compromise which brought the division over slavery out into the open, where it would remain for the next 40 years.  This  action sounded, as an elderly Thomas Jefferson said, like a “fire bell in the night”.  America could no longer pretend that the real division between slave and non-slave states did not exist.

Up until that time, the number of slave states and the number of non-slave (called free) states was the same, and so it was thought they balanced each other out, even though the Constitution had given the slave states unequal power by saying that each slave counted as three-fifths of a human being for  determining  the population of that state and thus the number of Representatives and Electoral Votes.  But then Missouri wanted to join the Union as a slave state, upsetting  the balance.  The immediate solution was to split a new state of Maine off of Massachusetts and allow it to come into the Union at the same time as a free state.  Furthermore,  extending the idea of the Mason-Dixon Line, which had originally divided the Northern — free —  and the Southern — slave — states, it was declared that the Southern border of Missouri would serve as a marker so that only slave states would exist below that line and only free states (except for Missouri) above that line.  This compromise lasted for 35  years, and by that time it was obvious (or should have been) that that division would not hold.

The chart above shows the Uranus-Neptune conjunction square the US MC and also square Pluto.  Big changes were coming to the United States and the world: The Age of Jackson, the Industrial Revolution, the Communication Revolution, the invention of photography, the rise of laissez-faire capitalism, to name a few.

 

1840
The winner of the 1840 election is someone who is mostly forgotten these days, even though he was the son of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and the grandfather of another President.  This man was William Henry Harrison, who was the oldest person ever to hold the Presidency until Ronald Reagan.  Though Harrison came from a distinguished background, he was portrayed as living in a log cabin and drinking hard apple cider.  This  was known as the Log Cabin and Cider campaign, and the Whigs — his party — had many tchotchkes created that usually involved small log cabins and jugs of cider.  Occasionally a large ball would be rolled from town to town supporting his candidacy. And one distiller— by the name of E. G. Booz — created a log cabin shaped bottle of whisky to commemorate the campaign;  his last name became a popular slang for the substance he was making .  This was the beginning of election paraphernalia that parties now make for their candidate.  Harrison also campaigned for himself, something that had never been done before since it was considered not in keeping with the dignity of the office.  But in an age before trains and planes, all this activity was wearing on what at that time was a elderly person.

Harrison and his Vice-President, John Tyler, campaigned on the slogan Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too, Tippecanoe being one of the Indian battles in which Harrison was a commander.  He defeated  Martin Van Buren, the real founder of the Democratic Party and the first President without an English background, who had been raised in humble surroundings, unlike Harrison.  In the campaign Van Buren’s desires for luxury were compared to Harrison’s humble surroundings, an early example of campaign nonsense.   Van Buren was done in by the Panic of 1937, America’s first financial crisis, which was partially caused by previous president Andrew Jackson’s war with the Second Bank of the United States.

This campaign was also one of the first to feature women in prominent roles.  While of course they would not be able to vote for another 80 years, women helped in other ways such as cooking large Tippecanoe feasts.  Some people found the presence of women in the campaign shocking.

And to prove how similar that campaign was to more recent events, Harrison would given different speeches to different audiences.  For example, he would be against recent immigrants in some cases, but when talking in front of a German audience, he would be all in  favor of these recent arrivals.

And there were rumors spread during this campaign by opposing parties: Since the Democratic Vice President candidate was known to be living with a black woman, and raising her children with the education of whites, the story was spread that Harrison had fathered several children with Indians.   And of course the Democrat’s Presidental candidate — nicknamed Martin Van Ruin for the economic disaster his term had  ushered in — was condemned for his silk-stocking high life.

Once in office, Harrison gave his inaugural speech — a long one written by Daniel Webster — on a cold day in March without a top hat, supposedly so he would not emphasize his age.  He got pneumonia and after a month died.  He served the shortest amount of time of any president, and was in fact the first President to die while in office, and also a first example of the Tecumseh  Curse mentioned above.  Harrison had been involved in the military campaign in which  Tecumseh died, but more likely the man who killed him was the Vice Presidental candidate of the opposing Democratic party.

Since this was the first Presidential death, the country was now sure how things would work out.  His Vice President, John Tyler, assumed the office of the President, thus establishing the fact that the Vice President would replace the President if he died.  But at the time this was not a fact, and Tyler was called “His Accidency”.  Tyler was  only nominally a Whig, but he had been a Democrat from Virginia, and in fact his father had been a roommate of Jefferson’s when they were in college.  Tyler was also a slave holder and the number of the descendants from his involvement with his slaves outnumbers those descendants of Jefferson which are more well known.

The  Whigs such as Henry Clay were not too happy with Tyler’s performance as a Democrat.  Tyler wanted Texas, which had become an independent county in 1836, to  become part of the United States, and in fact Congress finally voted for admission of Texas after Tyler had been replaced by James Polk, but before Polk’s inaugural, but this did not hold up.

In the chart above we see Uranus square the US Mars, and also Sun sesquiquadrate that same Mars and a loose conjunction between Uranus and transiting Mars, all suggesting a sudden event, perhaps violent.

 

1860
The election of 1860 is quite famous, and so the story of it does not need to be elaborated here.   The first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, who had been a Whig before the Republicans Party existed, had been elected in November of 1860, and before he became President several states already had withdrawn from the Union and the Civil war was shaping up as  a real possibility.  The previous two Presidents, Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan, had done noting to lessen the impending crisis which had been developing for forty years.  Lincoln was also killed by an assassin shortly after he started his second term, thus again fulfilling Tecumseh’s Curse.

As discussed before, Uranus at the Descendant and Neptune at the MC are highlights of this first major crisis of the United States.

The Civil War represented a major change in American culture and society, even though 150 years later the country has not seemed to have absorbed the ramifications of the Civil War and  its aftermath.

Change Will Come: Uranus Pluto Hard Aspects

 

urpl2015

Last Uranus Square Pluto

 

We are currently witnessing a square of Uranus and Pluto; the last exact square was on March 16, 2015.  Variants of this aspect have occurred before, and various commentators recognize this fact, even though they are unaware of the underlying astrology.  During the Arab Spring, the various Occupy movements, the sit-ins in Wisconsin, several people compared those events to the Sixties, the unrest of the Thirties, the  actions in the first part of the Twentieth Century, and even  to the wave of revolutions that swept Europe in 1848.  No one that I know of compared those events to the French Revolution or the English Civil War.  And no one remembers the Great Railroad Strike of 1877.  But all these have something in common.  And then I heard Glen Greenwald – who helped release the Edward Snowden revelations – complain that the information released was known years before,  but suddenly it became a topic of interest.    And then he said that it was like “something in the ether changed”.  And as we shall see, if not exactly something in the ether changed, something in the heavens changed.

 

urpl1966

The Sixties

Before this opening square of Uranus and Pluto, the last quadrature aspect of those two planets was in  1964, 1965, 1966.   Those were  the years it was exact, but of  course the influence extended beyond those years.  The first noticeable “Sixties” action that I  have been able to find is the lunch counter sit-in at a Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina on February 1, 1960.  Part of this lunch counter is in the Smithsonian.  Lunch counter sit-ins had been done before, but this one was different.   More people came to sit-in on following days.  The idea spread and was practiced in other communities.  In hindsight we can see this was the start of something big, and it is justly celebrated.  Another event took place that year – the release of the movie Psycho.  This was an unusual kind of a movie from a famous director – the main star appeared in her bra in the opening scenes, and this main star was killed well before the movie ended.  These things were not done in mainstream movies, and suggested (again, hindsight is very helpful) that a major changes in the cinama of Hollywood  was in the offing.

I  could go on and on about the Uranus/Pluto nature of the Sixties, but the phrase has almost become a cliché, and many people either love  or hate – neutral is hard to find – the decade.  But the things that people either love or hate about the decade very well show the influence of Uranus and Pluto, so when you think of the two planets together, think of that decade.

 

urpl1933

The Great Depression

The square of those two planets, the closing square before this conjunction, was in 1932, 1933, 1934.  This  was the depth of the Great Depression.  In the United States, people were extremely upset, and we had  a near Revolution that leaders were worried about.  Huey Long was making waves in Louisiana.  Roosevelt took office  in the midst of this and was able to relieve some of the pressure and “save capitalism from itself”.  Also in America there was another potential revolution that very few people know about.  This  is a fascist revolution that would replace the government of the United States.  See, for example, The Plot to Seize the White House by Jules Archer  (republished a few years ago as a paperback) and The Plots Against the President by Sally Denton.  But in several European countries,  things took a different course, with the rise of Hitler in Germany, Mussolini in Italy, and Franco in Spain.  In the Soviet Union, Stalin gained power the same year the the Depression hit and Japan was invading China.

 

urpl1902

Birth of the Twentieth Century

The opposition before this square took place in 1901 and  1902.  Many events happened in this period before World War I, which has been discussed  more in a previous post.  The Progressive Movement in the United States, the formation of the International Workers of the World – Wobblies – the First Russian Revolution, which  was  not successful and led to the second, more well know revolution, and  Gandhi’s  development of non-violence, announced on September 11 in South Africa, were some of the appropriate events of this period.  There was a rise in feminism at the time, and rebellions appear in several countries.  The book Vertigo World  by Phillip Blom outlines the changes that went on at this time.  There were other important aspects at the same time, and as  a result the changes in this period at the start of the Twentieth Century were quite complex.  In the United States this decade saw the rise of the Progressive  Movement, that claimed politicians such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, architects such as Frank Lloyd  Wright, and historians such as Charles Beard.  Possibly the most important development in this period for the future of the world was the rise in popularity of the automobile, which has been developed several years earlier.  Spurred by the availability of Henry Ford’s Model T – unveiled on October 1, 1908 – America started its continuing love affair with the automobile, but Europe, where the automobile was invented, had loved cars even earlier in the decade.

 

urpl1877

The Great Railroad Strike

The square before this opposition was  in 1876, 1877, 1878.  The Great Railroad Strike of 1877  was the biggest labor action of that year.  There was many other labor actions in these years, partly because the Panic of 1873, a major financial depression which  may or may not have ended before the Panic of 1893 hit America.  Even though this was called the Gilded Age for wealthy America, for most of the others – the 99% of that age – life was not so rosy.

 

urpl1850

Year of Revolutions

The previous conjunction was in 1850, 1851, and 1852.  Mostly famously, 1848 was known as the Year of Revolutions in Europe, in which almost all countries in Europe underwent revolutions, though most were short-lived.  This was the year that a journalist named Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto.  In the United States there was the Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention, which marks the first stage of feminism.  There were revolutions in other countries around the world in the next few years.  Hardly known by Americans, but extremely well known in China, was the Taiping Rebellion, which  started in December 1850 and went on for almost fourteen  years.  The Taiping Rebellion is considered one of the most deadly violent events in history, with an estimated twenty to thirty million civilians  killed.

urpl1794

French Revolution

The opposition before that was 1791 through 1795.  This marked most famously the French Revolution, especially the Time of Terrors which occurred when the conjunction was most exact.  There was also a rise of feminism, indicated by the publication of the book A Vindication of the Rights of Women by prominent feminist Mary Wollstonecraft,  who is  not as well known among among the general population as her novelist daughter, also named Mary.

urpl1710

Beginning of Industrial Revolution

The conjunction before that was 1709 and 1710.  This marked the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in England.  The English restricted any release of the ideas that they developed into the outside world, so the Industrial Revolution did not exist elsewhere for almost 100 years.  During this conjunction Thomas Newcomen developed the first steam engine, that was later refined by the more famous James Watt.  Abraham Darby developed a way of making  pig iron using coke (instead of charcoal), which paved the way for complicated machines.

 

urpl1649

English Civil War

The opposition before that 1648 and 1649, which saw the height of the English Civil War.  Many radical groups formed  at this time, such as the Ranters, the  Diggers, and the Quakers.  Elsewhere in Europe saw he end of the Thirty years War, a shockingly brutal war that lay waste to much of the continent, especially Germany, and marked the end of religious conflict that had  grown out of the Reformation.  This war ended with the Peace of Westphalia, whose notion of sovereign states has been a basis  for international law in the centuries since.  The organizational work for the Royal Society (of London) was done during this  period, indicating that the Scientific Revolution was truly established.

 

urpl1597

Beginning of Scientific Revolution

The conjunction before that was in 1596, 1597, 1598.  This marked the beginnings of the Scientific Revolution, with Kepler and Galileo introducing Copernicus’ theories to a Europe that hadn’t know of them, and Galileo using a telescope to lead to a new understanding of the solar system.  Francis Bacon laid down the basics of Science, essentially advocating for what is now called the “scientific method”.  This time also saw the height of drama in Elizabethan England  with such writers as Shakespeare, Jonson, Marlowe, and Spenser.  At this time people’s way of looking at the world changed, as shown in a recent book by Philip Bell titled Curiosity.

 

urpl1456

Beginning of Printing Revolution

The conjunction before that was in 1454, 1455, and 1456.  This saw the end of the medieval Hundred’s Year War between England and France, the beginning of the War of the Roses, a popular subject to Shakespeare  and the first war of the modern era,  the fall of the Byzantine Empire, which sent many Greek scholars to the West, and the publication of the 42-line Gutenberg Bible, which was the first major book printed in the West.  It is hard to overestimate the importance that printing had to the developments of the next 500 years.

More details can be found in the book Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas, Section IV.

The First Red Scare

Red Scares are a prominent feature of American life that have happened before there was a Communist Party in the United States.  But the first full-scale red scare took place in the aftermath of World War I, under a Democratic Administration. This happened with Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, who was Quaker and had great concern for the underprivileged in keeping with the progressive Democrat under whom he served, Woodrow Wilson.  The Palmer raids of 1919 and 1920 were notorious, but their longest lasting legacy was that Palmer’s young assistant, J. Edgar Hoover,  learned the basics of Communist perfidy at the time.

By 1920 the Communist Revolution in Russia was only a couple of years old, and anarchists and radicals, many from foreign lands, were especially taken with the revolution in that backwards country, Russia, and hoped that such a revolution could happen in more developed countries.  They were extremely enthusiastic with the Revolution that had taken place, and their beliefs had not yet been tempered by the passage of time and experience.

 

palmer_raid

First Palmer Raid

 
The first Palmer Raid took place on November 7,  1919, two years to the day from the Russian Revolution.  This raid set the pattern for others to come, not only in that period but also after World War II.  In the chart for that event, we see the transiting Uranus squarely on the natal Moon; as we have explained before, such a combination indicates that the people are disturbed, upset.  Such a conjunction happened just before the United States went into Afghanistan earlier this century.  We see that Pluto is conjunct natal Jupiter and thus moving through the core of the United States.  But also notice that transiting Saturn is opposite transiting Uranus;  This opposition, as can be seen by the graphical ephemeris below, was exact in early August (black arrow) and would be exact again in late Spring and early Summer of 1920 (red arrow).   This opposition sets two forces in conflict:  Saturn represents law and order, stability, conventional thinking, whereas Uranus represents unconventional ideas and actions, the promise of the new.  This describes the conflict that was going on then, in the conservative times after World War I.  The Amendment to the Constitution requiring Prohibition had just been passed and was to go into effect on January 17, 1920.  Republicans would replace Democrats as President during the decade of the Twenties, lasting until Democrat Franklin Roosevelt took over after the Great Depression had already started.  Another example of the Saturn Uranus opposition took place in 1965 and 1966, when newly elected, as President, Lyndon Johnson faced a “credibility gap” over the increasing involvement of American soldiers in the Vietnam War.

 

1919tg

Saturn Opposite Uranus

 
As a result of the First Palmer Raid, a converted troopship left the United States with famous anarchist Emma Goldman and almost 250 others.   This so-called  “Soviet Ark”  was cheered by patriotic Americans, though the massive violations of civil liberties involved in gathering the deportees was ignored by the masses.  The ship left New York harbor on December 21,1919, and arrived in Finland on January 17, 1920.  The deportees were then conducted to the Russian border where they would hopefully be taken, because America certainly did not want them.

Another famous case from this time involved Italian anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti who were eventually executed for the murder of a guard during the robbery of a shoe company in Massachusetts on April 15, 1920.   This case was a cause célèbre for many years, involving letters from all over the world and many famous jurists and lawyers.  Eventually Michael Dukakis, then governor of Massachusetts, declared in 1977 that the two men had not received a fair trial.

 

socco_v

Sacco-Vanaetti

 
In he chart for this murder,  we see clearly the opposition of Saturn and Uranus;  Uranus is no longer on the Moon of the U. S., but Pluto remains in the same position. There is a close conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune, which Ebertin links to idealism, and indeed there was much idealism and hope for a better world among the radicals that were so active in this period.

Another powerful movement at this time was the International Workers of the World, called the Wobblies, who had grown in the first decade of the new Century.   There was much persecution of them at this time, the most glaring happened in Centralia, Washington on November 11,  1919, which involved the hanging of a Wobblie who had been removed  from his prison cell  and the deaths of five others.  This happened during a parade celebrating the first anniversary of Armistice Day, the end of World War I.  The  newly-formed American Legion was not happy with the presence of the Wobblies.  The chart for this riot shows many of the same planetary placements we’ve  seen before with Pluto and Uranus and  the Saturn-Uranus opposition.   What is new is the position of the two fast-moving inner planets:  Venus,  the patriotic gathering for the parade, is at the Midheaven, and Mercury is at the Ascendant, and indeed this event is one of the more famous and well-communicated incidents of the First Red Scare.

 

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Armistice Day Riot

There was much labor unrest during this period, which further worried the owners of industry.  It has been estimated that 20% of the workers had gone on strike by the end of 1919.  After the war was over, many workers wanted the back pay and raises that they had not received during the war.

Wilson, who had run on the campaign slogan “he kept us out of war” when he ran for re-election in 1916, and then promptly got the United States involved in World War I, did not want dissenters from the war effort, so he got passed the Espionage Act shortly before America entered the War; this Act was designed to prevent talk against the war.  This Act was used to send Socialist Eugene Debs to prison for speaking against the war, and that is where he campaigned for President in 1920.  While the Act has mostly  been against people giving aid to enemies of the United States, this is the same Espionage Act that has been used most against Americans who were not dealing with enemies by our current President to sentence whistle blowers to prison.

 

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Espionage Act

 
In the chart for the Espionage Act, we see that not much had changed in the two years between this  chart and the one for the Palmer Raid.  Saturn is approaching a conjunction with Neptune, signifying the remorse many Americans would feel for the involvement of the country with a European War.  There is also transiting Saturn opposite natal Pluto, always a bad combination which has been discussed before.   A transiting Saturn transiting Pluto conjunction had occurred at the start of this very war.

There was strong dissent among the judiciary to these attempts against free speech. One of the better known was Schenek v United States (Charles Schenek was in the Socialist Party in Philladelphia) in 1919  (where the Court unanimously declared that the Act did not violate the Constitutional protection for free speech), and where Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously declared, regarding other cases, that free speech would not allow a man to shout fire in a crowded theater,  but also declared that the government must show that any speech presents a “clear and present danger” to bring about evil that the government must prevent  before it could be limited.   This decision was handed down March 3, 1919.

Change At The Top: Uranus at the Midheaven

The planet Uranus has transited across the Midheaven of the United States chart three times since the country was founded. From the symbolism of the planet — Uranus — involved and the point of the chart — Midheaven — one would would expect a, possibly revolutionary, change happening to the United States, something that would effect its basic manifest principles and be obvious to outside observers.

 

 

urmc1800

Revolution of 1800

 

Here is a chart for the first time Uranus transited the MC. This date was when the election was taking place – remember that at that time there was no single election day.  The important event that happened at this time was called by Thomas Jefferson, who was intimately involved, the Revolution of 1800. The story of what this revolution was takes us back to those early years of the Republic. The bugs weren’t totally worked out of the Constitution, and there had been only three elections for President, and only two Presidents. The concept of “political parties” had only formed in the last few years, and the concept had not yet fully jelled.

The Constitution required that, after the Electoral College voted for President, that the top vote getter would be President and the second highest vote getter would be Vice-President. In the previous election of 1796, this had resulted in the candidates of two different parties being elected.  Remember at the time the concept of parties was not very well formed. In that election John Adams, who had been Washington’s Vice-President, was elected President; he represented the Federalist Party.  His Vice-President was Thomas Jefferson, the candidate of the Democratic (or Republican or Democrat-Republican ) party.  He had been Secretary of State under George Washington. This was most unusual, since the two parties had the two different top Federal offices. Adams and Jefferson had been close friends, but they drifted apart (they would later get back together). In fact, they both died on the same day, July 4 (!) , 1826. The rumor has it that the messenger reporting Jefferson’s death, on his way to Quincy to John Adams house, passed the messenger to report Adams’ death on the highway.

Next came the Election of 1800. John Adams, who had served one term, was running again, on the Federalist Party, and his Vice-President, Thomas Jefferson, was running against him as a Democrat. Also running was Aaron Burr, also a Democrat, and Charles Pinckney, also a Federalist. Though it was thought that Jefferson and Adams were Presidential candidates, it was never specified. There was no winner of the Electoral vote, so, as specified in the Constitution, the election result was determined by the vote in the House of Representatives, with each state getting one vote.

This was the last gasp of the Federalist party — they never won another presidential election, and within a decade they would be gone from the political scene — and so perhaps they wanted to make it difficult for the upcoming Democratic Party. In the House the vote for President was 36 votes for Jefferson and 36 votes for Burr, the two highest vote getters. Since it was a tie the House needed to vote again. So for several months during the long winter of 1800-01 — the Inauguration was scheduled for March 20, according to the Constitution until it was amended to move Inauguration Day two months earlier — each vote for President resulted in the same tie between Jefferson and Burr. Things were getting desperate and there was talk of a civil war. Here was the first disputed election in the new country, and it wasn’t turning out well at all.

One needs to look at the political situation at the beginning of the Nineteenth Century to get an appreciation of what was going through people’s minds not only in the United States but in Europe as well. There had also recently been a revolution in France , less than 20 years after the American Revolution, and that had devolved into the Time of Terrors with much use of the guillotine; finally there had been the coup of the Eighteenth of Brumaire a little over a year before by Napoleon Bonaparte. The French had established a Revolutionary calendar, with months corresponding to astrological signs, so that eighteenth of Burmaire (Scorpio) corresponds to November 9, 1799. Since things had gone so wrong with the French Revolution, it was normal to expect things to go wrong with the American Revolution, and this seemed to be an example. People wondered if the American experiment would survived the Election of 1800.

Finally on the thirty-sixth ballot, one state changed its vote so that Jefferson had one more vote than Burr and so there was a new President, selected before Inauguration Day. The country was saved. As I mentioned before, this kerfuffle was due to a bug in the initial Constitution, and the matter was changed with the Twelfth Amendment.

This was “The Revolution of 1800”. At the time it was possibly the end of the United States as whole entity. But the country pulled through, electing the third President of the United States. But it was very appropriate to the first pass of Uranus over the Midheaven of the United States.

Currently, a Supreme Court decision called Citizens United (Citizens United v Federal Election Commission) is considered what made corporation people. But corporations have long been recognized as people by the Supreme Court, using the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Fourteenth Amendment was passed in 1868 to recognize that the recently freed slaves had due process and equal protection under the law, but it spoke of this as applying to “people” rather than “natural people”. Some have suggested that this wording was due to Roscoe Conkling, a Republican Senator from New York who was member of the Stalwart faction of the Republicans and, incidentally, a Scorpio.  Conkling was a major fixer in the State of New York and a power behind Chester A. Arthur, who became the 21st President of the United States. In any case, the 14th Amendment has been applied to corporations more often that flesh and blood human being since it was first added to the Constitution.

But this all started with a Supreme Court decision called Santa Clara County v Southern Pacific Railroad Co. The decision was the result of several attempt by counties in California to tax railroads. The State had lost the decision. But of much more consequence was something the decision did not say. A note added to the decision by a clerk (who had been president of a railroad) said that the Fourteenth Amendment applied to Corporations; this became accepted as part of the decision ever since, even though it wasn’t. This was the first time that corporations were declared as people under the Fourteenth Amendment, and that decision has had great influence ever since. In fact, the Fourteenth Amendment has been applied more often to Corporations than to the Freedmen for whom it was intended. From the beginning of the country corporations had been intended to be limited businesses chartered by the State for a specific purpose, but especially after this Supreme Court decision, that changed drastically. In the intervening 130 years, corporations have transformed to become the dominant social form in the United States, if not the World. This was certainly a major change in the rulers of the country, as signified by he transit of Uranus over the Midheaven of the United States, even if few have realized the immensity of the change. There are now some people agitating to overturn the Citizens United decision, but the cat was out of the bag long before that decision.

 

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Santa Clara County v Southern Pacific Railroad Co.

This is the chart set for the day the decision was handed down – May 10, 1886 – but the case was argued in January of that year and had wound its way to the Supreme Court, originally as three cases, over the preceding years.

The significance of the third transit of Uranus over the Midheaven of he United States will be immediately recognized by most people after the year of that transit is mentioned: 1968 (and 1969). There are probably more books with the year “1968” in their title than any other year, as many recognize it as a truly revolutionary year in the United States. At least many felt that way at the time.  A brief mention of some events of those years will indicate the character: A second place result of Eugene McCarthy in New Hampshire primary on January led to announcement by sitting president Lyndon Johnson that he would not seek another term in office in March.  The assassination of Martin Luther King in April.  The assassination of Robert Kennedy in June.  A police riot around the Democratic Convention in Chicago in August.  The election of Richard Nixon (who has been called the last liberal President by Noam Chomsky and also the last New Deal President) in November.  1968 was an election year in the US, and that always leads to more action and reaction. The next year saw the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival, which was made even bigger by the movie about it the next year in August; that festival followed closely the Moon landing in July.  Also in August of that year a group of people directed by Charles Manson killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate (wife of director Roman Polanski) and others in her group in her house in Hollywood, creating a major uproar. Then there was the little noticed assassination of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton by the FBI in December and the Altamont Speedway Music Festival that resulted in a stabbing that was often called “the end of the Sixties”, also in December.

After 1968 and 1969, the country had changed the Sixties had died, and the Seventies were all set to roll out. This third transit of Uranus had changed the United States for good, and people still recall those years, for better or worse.

 

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1968

 

This third chart is set for the first exact pass of Uranus over the MC in 1968. It also corresponds to the Sun at the Midheaven.