The Seventies

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

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





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

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

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



end of Bretton-Woods


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

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

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




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

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



Watergate Break-In


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



Nixon Resigns


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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



First Ad for 4004


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

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

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

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



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

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



Joseph McCarthy


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





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

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




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


End of Army-McCarthy Hearings


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

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

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



Trial of Helen Gurley Flynn


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

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

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



Harvey Matusow


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



Operation Abolition


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

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



Taft-Hartley Act


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

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

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

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




Marshall Plan

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



Watershed Elections – Three

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

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

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

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




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

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

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




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

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

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




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





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

Saturn on the Ascendant

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




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




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




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




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




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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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



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




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

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




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

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.


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.


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.


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.


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



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.


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.


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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.




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.



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.



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.