Election 2016

In this election season I am reminded of a story Rob Hand told about astrologers in the Thirties.  Astrologers at the time, unlike now, tended to be conservative.  Even though there was an accurate chart for Franklin Roosevelt, which put his Uranus in the Twelfth House and thus not prominent, many astrologers refused to accept that and were sure his Uranus was in the First House, because such a radical person must certainly have a prominent Uranus.  They were letting their political beliefs overrule their astrological knowledge and thus they drew the wrong conclusion.

I need to do a lecture in this month about the election, and make some charts, so this will just be a display of those charts and a brief interpretation of them.  I will try not to draw any conclusions — and you can draw you own.  This is the most controversial election in recent memory, as several commentators have said, and since I value my life and friends, I will not take a stand.

 

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The first thing we must do is look at the overall tenor of the times.  From this graphical ephemeris we can see that Pluto was running opposite the Sun of the United States between 2013 and 2017 (top of graph), with the tightest periods 2014 and 2015; there is a close pass in October of this year right before the election.  Also note that Uranus was square the Sun and thus Uranus was square Pluto, both transiting during part of this period.  Also note (just to the right of the center bar and in the lower half of the graph), and to make it even more interesting, that there is a Saturn square Neptune (discussed previously) happening during 2016, and exact a couple of months before the election.  The Sun in the US chart represents the government and the President; the Pluto opposition indicates that the people of the country are not happy with the government and this has been growing for awhile.  One can see this in the primary elections candidates of both major parties — people are unhappy. Even though this has been going on for decades, since the beginnings of neoliberalism it has now reached a critical point.  Politicians who pretend that things are rosy and even getting better are ignoring the mood of the country.  While the news media can’t totally ignore such a crisis, they do their best to put on a positive face. While the Pluto transit is just about over, this crisis of confidence has reached a critical stage during the passage of Pluto, and it will have to be dealt with.  When things are left hanging, they often work themselves out finally in ways that are not pleasing to most people, but that seems to be the way things operate — ignore a crisis for as long as possible and then try an ineffective way of squelching it.

We have an accurate timed chart for Donald Trump, which was discussed before. Unfortunately we do not have the same accuracy for his opponent, Hillary Clinton.  One would think that after all the years she has been in the public eye there would be a accurate chart.  The best is a time from her mother’s diary, about 8AM. I will use 8:02. There is also an 8PM chart floating around so that is a possibility.  With two charts 12 hours apart, the actual chart time could be anything.

 

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October Surprise

 

 

Traditionally, there occurs before a Presidential election what is called an “October Surprise” which is exactly what it sounds like.  And from astrological indications, there will be an October Surprise this year.  In this chart for October 19 (this is only the day it is exact), we have a Mars Pluto conjunction opposite the Sun of the United States and also square natal Saturn.  Also transiting Saturn is conjunct the Ascendant of the United States, Neptune is sesquiquadrate Mercury and square Uranus, and even transiting Uranus, the third outer planet, is making a loose aspect to natal Mercury and Uranus.  A lot is happening. The Mars-Pluto conjunction is problematic to say the least.  Some think that this portends some type of terrorist incident, while others think this chart suggests the long-rumored financial meltdown which is the second act of the Great Recession of 2007 and 2008.  But of course a war could break out between the United States and Russia or China since we seem to be itching for one, or a war  between India and Pakistan.  Or it could be a surprise, something that we can’t see happening.  Since Clinton  has a tight Mars-Pluto conjunction in her natal chart, this transiting conjunction could be a harbinger of her success in the upcoming election.  The hard aspect between Mercury and Neptune suggests deception or outright lying, but predicting that at this time is like shooting fish in a barrel, as the saying has it.  Finally, Saturn on the Ascendant has been talked about before, and says that America’s self-image could take a hit.

 

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US Lunar Return

 

 

It turns out that election day in the United States is also a lunar return — the transiting moon returns to the position of the natal moon — and so I thought it would be interesting to look at the lunar return for the US, to get an idea of what the next month for the country has in store.  In the lunar return, the Sun is at the Midheaven, indicating the importance of the month starting with the election.  The other important feature is Mars and Pluto conjunct the Ascendant, with their midpoint on the Ascendant.  I’ve already talked about Mars and Pluto before, and this location in the lunar return only emphasizes the point and again the importance of this month following the election, and that there may be a (unpleasant?) surprise in store.

 

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Clinton Solar Return

 

 

Hillary Clinton has a solar return — where the Sun returns to the position  it was at birth, and is a forecast for the next year — just before the election, so I decided to look at it to see if there is any indication of her success in the election less than two weeks after her birthday.  Note that these solar returns are done for the place of birth.  I’ve done experiments with solar returns and been convinced that the return at the location of birth is accurate whereas the one set for the current location is not.

In the solar return for Clinton, less that two weeks before the election, we see the Moon closely conjunct the Ascendant and Neptune just above the Descendant in the Seventh house, and square Venus.  Moon on the Ascendant does not seem terribly strong for taking office.  Since the Moon represents women, it could signify her role as the first woman candidate for President of a major political party.  It may also show the emotions she has invested in this candidacy.  Neptune near the Descendant may indicate the deceptive nature of her race for the position of President, or that she is being deceived by people close to her.

 

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Trump Solar Return

 

Having done the solar return for one candidate I decided to do one for the other candidate, Donald Trump.  In this one the most obvious significator is Uranus on the Midheaven.  The obvious meaning of this is a change (Uranus) in career (Midheaven).  It was suggested that this could indicate being sent to prison.  There are always alternate ways that an astrological forecast can work out, so one can interpret this however one wishes, or whatever your political desires demand.  Every election season reality is interpreted according to one’s political leaning, more so than at other times when the cues are not as obvious.

One idea that has been used to predict a successful election is to see if there are transits involving Saturn to a personal point, Sun and Moon, of the candidate after the election. While Saturn gets a bad press by many astrologers, it is obviously a needed planet, like all the others.  In this case, the Saturn transits indicate the responsibilities incurred upon taking office.  An alternative explanation is that Saturn would indicates that the candidate is extremely depressed upon losing the presidential election.

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We previously discussed the position of Saturn in Donald Trump’s chart after the election, but I will go over it again.  Saturn crosses his moon, and thus opposes his sun, shortly after the election.  In the first image we see Saturn exactly on his Moon at the end of 2016. After it has moved a ways beyond his Moon, it turns retrograde in April of 2017, as shown in the second image, and then moves back to a close conjunction with his moon again. In the third image we see that finally Saturn turns direct on his moon in August of 201 7, having been stationary on his Moon, and opposed his Sun, for a while earlier in 2017.  It then moves away.  All told, Saturn is on both his personal points for many months following the election.  Either Mr. Trump has an awful lot to learn (Saturn) about the office he has just assumed or he is extremely depressed about having lost the Presidency.

 

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Trump Election Day

 

On election day, transiting Jupiter is approaching its natal position, and is only five degrees away. The exact return is almost a month after the election.  A Jupiter return is a time of opportunity.  Jupiter was on his Neptune in early October (as is Clinton’s Jupiter on election Day) and is half way between the two planets.  This suggests a change from the delusion of Neptune to the promise of luck that is Jupiter.  On election day it is at the midpoint of the two planets; perhaps this suggest his delusion about his fortunes in the election that day.

 

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Clinton Election Day

 

 

For Hillary Clinton, Saturn hangs out in her first house for the end of 2016 and much of 2017, making no obvious aspect except an opposition to her Uranus, which is not considered a personal point.  In general, Saturn opposite Uranus indicates a conflict between the old and the new.  Clinton also has a hard aspect between Pluto and her Ascendant, in this case it is a semisquare and it is to her relocated (Washington, DC) Ascendant and not her natal Ascendant.  This is similar to the Pluto semisquare Ascendant in the natal US chart and perhaps reflects her paeans to American Exceptionalism, most notably in her speech before the American Legion.  Saturn is making a trine to her Mars-Pluto conjunction.  Perhaps this will give restraint to her bellicose proclivities that are indicated by that conjunction and in that speech.  But here again neither Mars nor Pluto are considered personal planets.  Mercury has come to her Ascendant on election day, and Venus is opposite her Uranus  — perhaps this indicates change in fortunes for a woman.

On election day, Clinton has Jupiter conjunct her natal Neptune.  Apparent happiness is what Ebertin says about this combination.  Neptune tends to delude one about whatever it touches; it this case the good times promised by Jupiter is what is not seen clearly.  Perhaps she sees a victory but it is just an illusion.  Hand also suggests happiness (Jupiter) through seclusion (Neptune) for this conjunction.

I imagine whichever candidate loses there will be an awful lot of bloodletting going on.  As I write, the consensus of the chattering classes is the Clinton will win, and the loss by Trump will further weaken the Republican Party, but his loss is expected.  Her victory will assure the elite classes that their program for America is going swimmingly.  Conversely, if Clinton loses it should strike many Democratic leaders that perhaps they put their money on the wrong horse and perhaps they should change their ways.  Possible, but not likely.  They will consider that all those deplorables who voted for Trump  just didn’t like a woman.  Or perhaps it will be blamed on Putin interfering with the election.  Since every pundit has predicted a Clinton victory, her loss should provoke a major rethinking of America’s democracy.

Looking at the transits on Election Day, we see that Trump has hard aspects between Pluto and the Ascendant: Trump has a sesquiquadrate between Pluto and his Ascendant, with orb of 25 minutes. Pluto is stationary and right on his Ascendant for all of September and the first part of October and then it gets farther away though still by election day it is less than one half degree from exact.  Pluto Ascendant hard aspects can either be read as charisma — someone who is immediately noticed when he walks into the room — or increased bellicosity and a desire to control things.  Both seem to be playing out for Mr. Trump.

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Watershed Elections — Two

Elections, as do many other things, follow a twenty year cycle.  We are now in the closing period of the current twenty year cycle that started with the beginning of the new century, and what happens in the United States, and the world, over the next four years will set the stage for the massive changes that are coming in the next twenty year period.

This twenty year cycle corresponds to the synodic cycle of Jupiter and Saturn, from conjunction to opposition and back to conjunction.  The conjunctions correspond to the beginning of an even decade, such as 1960, 1980, 2000.

Below is a continuation of a discussion of the Watershed Elections in the period between the Civil War and World War Two.  As has been discussed earlier, this 84 year period is similar to the period for humans between the first Saturn Return and the second.

 

1880

 

The election of 1880 was not much of a change from other post-Civil War elections: the Republican candidate won.  But the winner, James Garfield, was shot four months after he took office, another example of Tecumseh’s Curse, and his Vice President, Chester A. Arthur, took office as the President.

Arthur is what I call a cliché Libra — his life seemed to be about living up to the stereotype of a Libra sunsign.  He was called “Gentleman Boss” and would drive around Washington is a carriage with his coat of arms on it; he dressed well and liked fine furnishings for the White House.  He even died of a kidney disorder, Libra ruling kidneys.  He had been a fixer in the New York Port, having been placed there by New York’s Senator Roscoe Conkling, and had derived much profit from running the port, the busiest entry point to the United States.  Arthur had represented a different faction of the Republican Party than Garfield, which is why he was put on the ticket for balance.  He surprised many by having a decent term, which saw the passage of civil service reform, something that had been long desired.

Arthur had been born in Northern Vermont, and there was much controversy during the election whether he had actually been born in Canada, and thus could not run for Vice President.  This was the first example of questioning the nativity of a candidate.  It is not recorded if he showed his birth certificate.

But what was happening in the United States at this time was much more interesting, and shows a country changing from a nation with a strong South dependent on slave labor to a country on the verge of the modern world as we currently know it.

1876 saw the Centennial of the United States birth, and there was a big exposition highlighting the wonders of modern industry and machines.  That was the year that Custer had his last stand, which dampened a bit the celebration of America’s birth. Reconstruction, the attempt to fix the problems in the South after the Civil War, was ended with the election that year with not nearly enough accomplished, but at least Northern whites could forget about the War and go on with the business of making money.

1877 saw the Great Uprising, a massive strike with violence that set the stage for the labor revolts of the next decades.  The year 1877 was the opening square of Uranus and Pluto, much like the opening square of those same two planets seen in the last few years.

By 1880 the Civil war was as distant as 9/11 is to us now.  The telephone had been developed by Alexander Graham Bell a few years earlier, and two separate people had a preliminary incandescent light bulb in 1880.  Nobel prize winning physician Robert Koch had discovered the cause of anthrax and insulin was discovered in 1876, which would change the lives of diabetic Americans.  The phonograph was invented in 1877, AC current in 1880, and the dry photographic plate was developed in 1879 by George Eastman, and in 1880 he developed roll film.  The two cycle engine was developed in 1877, and by that year Standard Oil controlled 95% of oil refining.

In 1876 there was a massacre of the Sioux Indians, and in 1877 Chief Joseph was defeated, and the Americans more and more took over the continent from the peoples who had lived there before they had arrived centuries earlier.  The last attempt to restrict the American Indians was coming to a close, and in fact the Census Bureau would in 1890 declare that the frontier was closed.  A historian at the University of Wisconsin would a few years later write a ground-breaking paper — later a book — explaining how the frontier had shaped democracy of America.

 

1900

 

The election of 1900 saw the second term for William McKinley, the 25th President of the United States.  Like all other Republicans elected after the Civil War, he had served in the Union Army, and all but one of the Presidents after the Civil War were Republicans.  The one Democrat, Grover Cleveland, served two terms, and he is now only known as a subject for Presidential trivia.  He was the only President to serve two non-consecutive terms, the Republican president between his two terms was Benjamin Harrison, the grandson of the President elected in 1840 and discussed previously.  His other claim to fame was a candy bar named after his baby daughter, born after he married a much younger women — the youngest First Lady ever — in his first term, with a wedding at the White House.  His baby’s name was Ruth.

But McKinley selected for his Vice President on his second term an up and coming Republican from New York who had not served in the Civil War by the name of Theodore Roosevelt. McKinley’s adviser Mark Hanna had warned against putting someone as radical as Roosevelt on the ticket; perhaps he was aware of Tecumseh’s Curse.  In any case, McKinley was shot six months into his second term, on September 6, 1901, and Theodore Roosevelt was President of the United States just as the Twentieth Century was beginning.

The first two decades of the Twentieth Century in America was the Progressive Era, and all of the Presidents that served in that period, both Republican and Democrat, were considered Progressive.  As mentioned before, the first 15 years of the Twentieth Century was the Birth of Modernism, and there were many important transits.   Also during this period, there was a Uranus transit over the Ascendant of the United States, just a there had been in 1820.  This combination of ingredients resulted in the period of the Twentieth Century before the First World War was a completely different United States.

 

1920

 

The election of 1920 saw a very different America again.  The First World War was over, an influenza pandemic had killed millions around the world, and the Russian Revolution and an ongoing Civil War in Russia caused Americans to cower in fear at radicals attempting to overthrow their government; this is called the First Red Scare in the United States.

The winner of the 1920 elections was Warren Gamaliel Harding, a Scorpio, the first of three Republican Presidents to serve, as the saying goes, under Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, the third richest person in the country.  After the war people just wanted to unwind and have fun, and the government in its infinite wisdom passed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution that prohibited the sale, but not the use, of beverages containing alcohol.  One should have seen at the time the disaster that would result.

Harding is famous for having sex in closets of the White House, and had a child by one of his mistresses, as has recently been confirmed by DNA tests.  Harding is often considered one of the worst presidents, because of scandals surrounding his time in the office, but unlike more recent examples, he did not wage illegal wars of aggression on other countries, torture people, or drop drones on wedding parties.  Harding died mysteriously on a tour of the West Coast, thus again fulfilling Tecumseh’s Curse.

Besides the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn being important, the opposition aspect is also important for a culmination of things started at the conjunction, and the preparation for the next conjunction in ten years.  Such was the case of the start of what is called the Great Depression half way through the twenty year cycle that started in 1920.  The love of money and of the stock market are the highlights of what is called the “Roaring Twenties” which came crashing down with the stock market falls of late October 1929.

 

1940

 

The election of 1940 saw the unprecedented third term of Franklin Roosevelt (Aquarius), cousin of Theodore, and the removal of as many of the effects of the Depression as was possible before the entrance of the United States into the already happening World War Two.  By the end of the War the United States, which was almost completely untouched by the immense ravages of the War, became the dominant power, known as a Super-Power, in the World for the next 60 years.  The promise started with the Spanish America War finally came to full fruition.  This election resulted in a major change for the United States and the world, a change that is still affecting us.

Franklin Roosevelt was elected to four terms, including one that corresponded to the strictures of Tecumseh’s Curse, the one which is a Watershed Election.  He died of a cerebral hemorrhage shortly into his fourth term, just before World War II ended in Germany, and a few months before the War ended in the Pacific.

Capitalism

Many people have theories about capitalism, its meaning, origin, and history, so I figured I might as well give mine.  Capitalism is not just markets or the selling of something for a profit but a complete system. Actual existing capitalism that we now see in the world did not spring into existence in its current form, but went through several stages to reach the pinnacle we see today!  The names for the first three stages of capitalism I’ve gotten from William Appleman William’s book the Contours of American History.  Since the book was published I  have identified two more stages of capitalism.

We have previously discussed neoliberalism, a world-view that became popular in the late Seventies.  This is not a separate state of capitalism, as discussed below, but rather a profound appreciation of all the goodness of capitalism and how the principles of the market can be, and should be, applied to every human endeavor.

Capitalism is ruled by the planet Jupiter.   Jupiter without any limiting factor will expand to fill the Universe.  Capitalism  needs to grow, to expand.  And that is being seen as increasingly impossible.   Capitalism has reached its limits.   What will replace capitalism?  We are so attached to the term “capitalism” that it could be something called “sustainable capitalism”,  which, as Herman Daly suggested, is the ultimate oxymoron .

Capitalism started with the influx of gold and silver from the New World into the Old in the Sixteenth Century.  This was the first stage of capitalism called Mercantile Capitalism. Suddenly Europe was awash with much more wealth than it had seen up to this time.  The  Black Death in the middle of the Fourteenth Century had eliminated about 50% of the population, leaving much land available.  It took at least until the Sixteenth Century to recover.  After this fabulous increase in wealth, the triangular trade of trinkets (called pacotille) to Africa in exchange for slaves, which were taken to the New World where they were sold and tobacco and sugar were brought back to Europe  with a profit at all three ends of the triangle led to even more wealth in the Old World.   This  massive wealth lead to the development of a, from our perspective, primitive form of capitalism.

It is of course not possible to say for a specific instant that this is when a certain stage of capitalism started.     There was no specific instant, there was no event.  These stages of capitalism are trends.  We can pick a moment in time when the trend of existing capitalism changed, when  afterwards a different variant of capitalism emerged.   Certain conditions in the world at large “caused” capitalism to be modified.   These beginnings of trends took years to develop, but we can show a certain, long-lasting, astrological formation that indicates these ongoing trends and serves as a good marker of the changed state of capitalism.  I’ve chosen what  I think is a good indication of these astrological formations, but remember that even these formations of slower moving planets took many years to finish.

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Mercantile Capitalism

The indicator of this first stage of capitalism is vague, but I’m using the midpoint that occurred at the beginning of the Sixteenth Century, when exploration of the New World was just beginning. As was mentioned before, this was the Midpoint with Neptune at the apex that corresponds to the midpoint with Neptune coming up in another 10 years, almost 500 years after this one indicating the start of capitalism.  The only other midpoint since involving the three outer planets that had Neptune at the apex was in the second half of the Eighteenth Century, but since this was a grand trine, all three planets took turns being the apex planet, and so this was a special case.

This leads in the Enlightenment – the Eighteen Century – and to classical economists such as David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus, James Mill (father of John Stuart) and Adam Smith, whose publication of The Wealth of Nations in 1776 marked a turning point in capitalism and led to the second stage of capitalism called Laissez Faire Nous by Williams.  This is what I call the mythic stage of capitalism that everyone refers to when they sing the praises of capitalism and maintain that if we could only return to that stage everything would be good again.  But capitalism has long since passed that stage.

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Laissez Faire Nous

This chart for this second stage of capitalism, Laissez Nous Faire (Let Us Be).  Not only is Uranus  conjunct Neptune, but that conjunctions are square Pluto  (so  all three outer planets are involved in the configuration)  but the conjunction is at 0 Capricorn and Pluto is at 0 Aries,  so we also have cardinal ingresses of three outer planets.  A very important time.  It was the start of traditional capitalism in the  Western Word, as a result of, among other things, the publication of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations in 1776. In America this is the start of the Transportation (canals, railroads), Communication (steam-driven presses, cheap books), and Market Revolutions (industrial revolution, more manufacturing).  The Age of Jackson  was soon to begin (Jackson was elected in 1828 but he though he should have been elected in 1824  which is when he began campaigning against the elected president JQ Adams, but the term indicates more than just the President, but rather a mindset of the United States,  as discussed previously.)   Notice also that this chart takes place at a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction, tradition though to be the start of a cycle.

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Corporate Capitalism

Due to the Industrial Revolution,  which was mainly funded be the wealth brought in by the triangular trade, and the growth of corporatism, especially in America,  the  Nineteenth Century saw the third stage of Capitalism, Corporate Capitalism.   This  was no longer the small Mom and Pop sized  operation, but rather  large entities that because of size could  influence the behavior of governments. In America, there are many famous names that are associated with this  stage, such as John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, as well as many railroad barons, who became successful after the Civil War in the United States made heavy use of the railroads.  The rise of industrial corporations after the Civil War in America was similar to the rise of the Military-Industrial Complex after the Second World War.

At the end of World War  Two, which caused a major upheaval in the world’s  economy, several Western powers met in the state of New Hampshire to consolidate the world  economy and form such institutions as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.  The agreements reached in Breton Woods controlled the world economy reasonably well for a quarter century, until the Vietnam War caused the United States, then the largest economic power in the world, to lose control of the situation.

But still leading corporations were mostly confined to an individual nation state.  But with United States President Richard Nixon  going off the gold standard and  repudiation the Bretton Woods agreement from the end of World War II, in 1971, this  was no longer the case.  This led to the fourth stage of capitalism, Global Capitalism, with transnational corporations  which influenced not just country-wide governments but international organizations a  well.

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Global Capitalism

The speech by Nixon was made August 15, 1971.  The chart is drawn for October 5, 1971, when Pluto first came to 0 Libra.  Jupiter is opposite Saturn instead of conjunct as it was in the previous chart.   This was about 10 years after the previous conjunction and 10 years before the next conjunction.   The ramifications of the moves made by Nixon and his advisers in the Summer of 1971 were great and are still being felt.  These moves were the start of a  process that led to the financial meltdown of the world economies that took place in 2008.   Once US dollars were no longer pegged to the price of gold, money could be made by buying and selling money based on changes of the exchange rate between foreign currencies and US currency.  Pluto at the ingress of Libra also marked the high point in American power, that had started when Pluto had hit the previous cardinal axis in 1914.

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Financial Capitalism

This in turn led to the fifth stage of capitalism, Financial Capitalism in the 1990s.   In this much profit was derived  from the exchange of money and not from producing concrete things such as industries did in earlier stages of capitalism.   In the early 1990’s there was a conjunction of Uranus and Neptune in the middle of Capricorn, the first such conjunction since the one in the   1820s illustrated above which marked the second stage of capitalism.  While many things happened in this period, the rise of financial capitalism marked by the massive use of computers was one of them.  As in keeping with the nature of Neptune, financial capitalism is extremely speculative and based, instead of on real objects such as those produced by industry, purely “imaginary” money.  Computers allows this money to be easily manipulated.   This was indeed a fitting result of the combination of Uranus – computers – and Neptune – speculation.  The chart is for the first exact conjunction of the two planets, but of course the effects were felt long before, as the two planets were moving into orb.

One important financial development of the Nineties was derivatives, the ultimate in Neptune.  Derivatives are based, or derived, on something else, and by their nature they are not real.  The story I have heard about the invention of derivatives involves a pool party for bankers.  At that party they invented derivatives.  They were meant to be complicated because financial instruments cannot be patented so the bankers wanted derivatives to be complicated so that no one could duplicate them.  Mission accomplished,  but the hopefully unintended consequences came to haunt the world.  The current worth of global derivatives is estimated to be over 1 quadrillion dollars, a number I learned as a kid (1 quadrillion = 1000 trillion) but never expected to see in real life.  This is some twenty times larger than the entire global economy.  What could possibly go wrong?

“Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”

The killing of a black man Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri by a white policeman on August 9  has set off a flurry of demonstrations across the country in protest.  It is interesting that this event has triggered such a response, since previous events that were much more blatant did not result in such sustained protest.  Two example that occur immediately are the killing of Sean Bell in Queens (New York City) on 11/25/2006 while he was at his own bachelor party, as well as the wounding of two of his friends.  It appears that he backed away from an undercover police officer who came at him brandishing a gun, and that resulted in this death, though the police give another explanation.  Another case was that of African immigrant Amadou Diallo who was shot 41 times — though only 19 (!) bullets found him — while reaching for his wallet in a darkened stairwell on 2/4/1999 in Bronx (NYC)  just after midnight. In both these cases police officers were indicted and stood trial, but were acquitted, unlike the Brown case where the police officer was not indicted by the grand jury.  Shortly before the Brown shooting  Eric  Garner was strangled by police officers in Queens.  It was caught on video and  the officers involved   were  also not indicted.  Since the No True  Bill retuned by his grand jury was after Brown’s non-indictment, the protest continued to spread.

Many of these cases of police shootings involved young black men, so many that parents warn their children to be aware of police officers, but not always.  Consider the case of reclusive white millionaire Donald Scott, 61, who was killed on 10/2/1992  at his 200 acre ranch in Ventura County, California.  His ranch was invaded by Los Angles police forces and DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) agents but no Ventura County officers on the charge of having a marijuana plantation.  He was shot when he entered the room having just woken and recovering from a cataract operation and holding a pistol.  It turned out that the police were interested in gaining his ranch because it had a high resale value.  No marijuana was found. Very little  protest resulted.

But many other issues surrounding the use of police in the country have also come to the fore recently.  The militarization of the police, wherein the police departments of all major and many minor cities get surplus weapons that were designed to be used by American military forces, is one such issue.  And like the old saying that if you have a hammer everything looks like a nail, when police have military weapons they tend to use them in involvement with civilians. The heavily armed response to the killing of Brown is an example.   Then there is the issue of asset forfeiture.  This was originally a policy where the “ill-gotten gains” of criminals could be seized, but it has turned into a way that police can seize the property of an individual that they suspect of a crime, no matter how tenuous the connection to a crime could be.  It is as if the property itself is guilty, and no trial is needed.  The case of Donald Scott, above, was a case of forfeiture gone wrong.  The Washington Post recently (Sept 6. 2014) had a major series about the problems with asset forfeiture.  Another issue also being brought up, and one that was also at play in the case of Donald Scott, is the whole edifice of the so-called War on Drugs.  That policy is coming in for much more criticism these days than ever before.  One reason for all this uproar is that we are in a Uranus-Pluto square, and  people are more protest-worthy.  This recalls  all the protest seen during the previous Uranus-Pluto conjunction in the Sixties.  As a result of many riots from black communities in 1967, a report chaired by the governor of Illinois and thus called the Kerner Report in 1968 famously declared that our  nation is moving toward two societies, one black and one white, since the dominant white culture does not understand black culture.  We can all see how much attention was paid to their warning.

But the watching of blacks by police has been a long tradition in this  country, going back to 1704 and what were called “slave patrols”.   This first happened in the colony of the Carolinas. This was before that proprietary colony was split into two royal colonies with the names we know today.  These slave patrols developed into police.  For some reason the white owner of black slaves in America was  frightened of a slave revolt.  This fear got even more frenzied  after a successful slave revolt.  For example, the freed slave Denmark Vesey wanted to lead a slave uprising in South Carolina called The Rising.  When he was caught he was hung on July 2, 1822.

Another slave rebellion was that of Nat Turner: he and his followers killed 60 whites on August 21, 1831.  This scared the white slaveholders of Virginia.  Virginia was different from South Carolina: it had been settled by Cavaliers, the losing side of the English Civil War, whereas the Carolinas were settled by people from the sugar islands in the Caribbean, especially Barbados,  that had already dealt harshly with their large black population. The slave  holders in the Caribbean made the Chesapeake slave holder look like kindly gentlemen.

Now let’s look at charts representing these events.  None of them are especially definitive, and in some cases exact times and even dates are difficult to come by.  But notice that Neptune, representing confusing and deception, is prominent in many of the charts, and often Mars — violence — and Saturn — difficulty are also.  Mars and Neptune together are often prominent.  These two planets are in square aspect in the natal  chart of the United States, suggesting that that country has problems in dealing with violence and the military, the prime extension of the violence of the US into the outer world.

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Nat Turner Event

The year 1831 started with a solar eclipse, and that year is described  in Louis Masur’s book 1831: Year of Eclipse; the year featured President Jackson’s harsh attitude toward the Cherokees,  Nat Turner’s rebellion, and many other things that helped to put the slavery issue into high relief.

Mars conjunct Saturn indicates harmful or destructive energy, blockage of proper expression of energy.  That was certainly true, since nothing much came of this event except more anger.  Jupiter-Uranus (Moon over conjunction some time that night): Optimism that things would work out, lucky.  The Turnerites thought things would work out so they went for it; unfortunately they were wrong.

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Nat Turner USA

Transiting Mercury is conjunct natal Neptune with a small orb —  not thinking clearly, confusion. The Jupiter-Uranus conjunction mentioned above is sesquiquadrate the US MC, showing this was an event that would have meaning for the country.  And it still does: In 1967 William Styron wrote the Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Confessions of Nat Turner.  This is further emphasized by the fact that the transiting Sun — indicating the day — is opposite the US Moon.

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Denmark Vesey Hanging

I’m not sure when he was hung, so I set this for noon, when the Sun is at the Midheaven.  This is another event that took place under the Uranus-Neptune conjunction of the early 1820’s, which was discussed in the article about Jacksonian America. Here again  we see a Mars-Saturn aspect, in this case a sesquiquadrate.  There is also a Venus-Jupiter conjunct, which would seem to be beneficial, and we will see this again in the Ferguson chart.

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Vesey USA

Mars conjunct natal Neptune: Low energy, confused motives, difficult like Saturn-Mars.  Transiting Saturn is sesquiquadrate natal Neptune, filling out the Mars-Saturn-Neptune pattern.

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Donald Scott Shooting

This took place early in the morning of October 2, 1992.  The most obvious pertinent aspect is the opposition between Mars (shooting) and the Uranus-Neptune conjunction.  The time is not exact, so we don’t know how close the Mars-Neptune opposition was, or if both were indeed square the MC  of the event, thus forming a T-square.  But in those hours Mars was opposite Neptune, suggesting confused use of energy or firearms.  Between midnight and two, the MC was in Aries.

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Scott USA

Here the thing that juts out is Mars — representing shooting — in on the Sun of the United States.

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Amadou Diallo Shooting

In the  event chart, we see the Moon in aspect (sesquiquadrate) to the  Sun-Mercury-Uranus conjunction at the bottom of the chart, as it should be considering it is just after midnight.      That triple conjunction suggests erratic thinking (Ebertin)  and the Sun-Mercury conjunction suggests that this event will be communicated.  The Moon was high in the sky at this time.  Also notice the Mars-Neptune square, stress and again bad or hasty judgment.

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Diallo USA

This  murder took place shortly after midnight and the Moon was crossing the MC of the United States.   This event got immediate recognition in the country because of the outrageousness of it.   Bruce Springsteen wrote a song about it called “American Skin” with the refrain “41 shots”.   The tight Sun-Mercury-Uranus conjunction, discussed below, was aspecting the United States MC, again indicating this event would be known to the public.

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Saun Bell Shooting

If this killing happen at nine in the evening, the Moon was setting; later and the Moon had already set.  The Uranus square Venus (erratic or unexpected relationship) suggests the nature of this event: it was a bachelor party for a wedding — no one expected the groom to be killed at his own party.  There is also a grand trine between Saturn, Pluto, and the Midheaven.  I’ve talked about Saturn-Pluto combinations before.  This is not a hard aspect, but with grand trines  behavior becomes stuck in a rut.  In  this case the rut was cops killing young black men.

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Saun Bell USA

Neptune once again rears its head — Neptune is in hard aspect to the MC and Venus.  Saturn opposite the United States Moon.

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Eric Garner Death

Garner’s death happened just a  few months ago, and the video of the event has been widely seen.  In this chart again  we have a prominent Neptune (video, movies), at the bottom of the chart and opposite the MC  —  people  (ie., the police) were confused.  And Neptune also represents that the event was caught on video and widely shown.  Notice also Mercury — communication — was aspectng both Neptune and the MC — this is an  event that was communicated to the wider world. Sun square Mars speaks of  possible violence. But Mars is square the Sun-Mercury — that doesn’t promise much good.

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Michael Brown Shooting

Another widely reported event — Sun conjunct Mercury  up near the top of the chart.  Mars is in the first house: possible violence in  the environment.  And the Uranus is trine the Sun-Mercury: expect the unexpected.  And few in positions of power expected  the uproar that was engendered by this shooting.  For them, this was another ordinary thug shot by a law officer, nothing could  be more common.

But here is something I had  trouble coming to grips with: Venus and Jupiter on either side of the MC, which  is opposite the Moon at the IC.  Sounds sweet!  Ebertin says a union between two people that are good natured.  What could go wrong?  But that is the positive meaning of this combination.  Negatively, this combinations can   represent false conduct between two people, a relationship where everything goes wrong.  For Michael Brown this is true.  For the officer that shot him, Darren Wilson, while I’m sure he did not like shooting people, he probably thought he saved  his own life and the grand jury choose not to send his case  to trial.

Nixon Resigns

Coming up, the fortieth anniversary of the only resignation of a US President in history, Richard Nixon, on August 9, 1974. Sure to be a jubilant time! I’ve used this chart for a long time to show that the Sun of the United States chart represents the President – the head of the government. But looking at it again recently showed that it also illustrates a theme that we have seen pop up before.

Richard Nixon has been called the last liberal President (Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore) and the last New Deal President (Douglas Brinkley, Michael Lind). He went to small college in Whittier, California and did not go to Harvard or Yale. But his paranoia got the best of him in the Watergate scandal which erupted after he was elected to a second term in 1972.

 

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US Chart on Nixon Resignation

 

Nixon gave a speech announcing his resignation the evening of August 8, but didn’t actually leave office until the next day, when his Vice President Gerald Ford was sworn in. The time I chose for the chart is two in the morning. Not only does this split the difference between the time of the speech and the actual leaving of office, but it is also the time Saturn was exactly conjunct the Sun in the United States chart (black arrow). This is the first time in this cycle that Saturn was on the Sun of the US; it later went retrograde and was again on the Sun in five months. It had previously been conjunct the Sun – only one time – in late June of 1945 two weeks before the Potsdam Conference took place at the end of World War II.

Notice that Uranus is in the same spot as Neptune in the Brown v Board of Education chart. It squares Mercury (red arrow) and sesquiquadrates Uranus (green arrow) once again accentuating the Mercury-Uranus semisquare that epitomizes the positive side of America – see discussion under the Brown v Board of Education entry for more detail. And indeed, the resignation, to avoid a certain impeachment, proved the glories of America. Many people said that this action again proves that the system works. People even lauded his resignation speech.

But the natal Mercury-Uranus semisquare was further highlighted: Mars is semisquare Mercury (brown arrow) and square Uranus (blue arrow), and even the Moon at this time is square Mercury (aqua arrow) and semisquare Uranus (white arrow). Even Neptune tries to make a match with it opposite Uranus (dark blue arrow) and a loose sesquiquadrate (too wide to be shown) with Mercury. Many of the planets are lining up to emphasize that Mercuty-Uranus semisquare which is so fundamental to the United States self-image.

Pluto is now beyond the Midheaven, but it had been going back and forth over the Midheaven of the US chart during the whole Watergate incident. The Watergate scandal was one of the largest tests of the United States government in its history But Pluto is in square aspect to both Venus and Jupiter (yellow arrow) which are core components of the US belief system, as we’ve discussed in a series of posts called The Virtuous Nation. This suggests some of the fundamental tensions engendered in America by the Watergate scandal. It was so important that now the suffix “-gate” is attached to any potential scandal in the US government.

Finally, the Moon of the United States, representing the People as opposed to the Government, is receiving sesquiquadrate from Saturn (olive arrow) indicating that the people are being stressed by this scandal. In fact, Americans were rooted to their television sets during what was called “Watergate Summer” (Summer of 1973) when the Congressional Hearings about Watergate were taking place. Interestingly, it was an event that helped bring Americans together. There were many repercussions from the whole Watergate imbroglio, such as the Church Hearings starting the next year which investigated the activities of the CIA, NSA, and FBI. Back in those days the Congress was much more daring than the current Congress.

 

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Nixon Resigns

 

It is only fair to also look at the chart of the man in question, Richard Nixon. Nothing spectacular here. Jupiter had been hanging out – it had gone retrograde – opposite his Ascendant and square his Midheaven (red arrow) for the last two and a half months, and after the resignation Jupiter had rapidly sped away from any connection to the two angles. I’m sure Richard Nixon felt a lot of relief after this whole ordeal was over, that the resignation was a relief. Pluto is a very important planet in Nixon’s chart, up near the Midheaven natally and opposite his Mercury-Mars-Jupiter conjunction, that attests to his skill as a lawyer and his paranoia. At the time of the resignation transiting Pluto is closely sesquiquadrate (14 minutes – black arrow) to his natal moon. Because Pluto had been retrograde and went direct on (sesquiquadrate) his Moon, this aspect had lasted for over four months and was almost exact on the day of his resignation.

The Virtuous Nation — Part III

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Sun-Jupiter-Venus

Venus conjunct Sun

The United States also has Venus conjunct its Sun. This clearly manifests itself in two ways, illustrating two keywords for Venus and the Sun.

Popular

Not only is the United States a popular country, but its products are popular also. This popularity is so strong, as suggested by this natal conjunction, that it will take some special actions to harm this popularity.

In the decades before the Civil War, the United States exported about 80% of the cotton in the world, and tobacco was also a major export from this country. These crops, grown largely by slave labor, were extremely popular around the world, and led to the growth of the American economy. At one time, cotton exporters were in general the second wealthiest people in the world, the wealthiest being the owners in England whose factories made clothing from the Southern cotton.

American movies, television programs, music, and celebrities, are extremely popular around the world. All these things are ruled by Venus. People may know nothing else about America, and in fact they may hate America, as many citizens of Arab countries do now, but they still love American culture. Action movies are especially popular overseas, because no translation is needed for a car chase or a gun fight. This causes a tendency in Hollywood to make movies that will be popular overseas, despite what an American market might want.

During the Cold War, blue jeans were neither manufactured nor imported by the Soviet Union, but nevertheless, or perhaps because of this, they were very popular in the Soviet Union. While some were brought in by diplomats, blue jeans were long considered a valuable commodity that could be traded for much by visitors to the Soviet Union.

America has always been popular to immigrants and attempted immigrants. Currently in the United States there is much debate about immigration, since millions of people from south of the Rio Grande River have come to this country illegally. The country is so attractive to them that they would risk their life to enter. And hundreds die a year attempting to come to this country.

And America has always been attractive to immigrants from foreign lands. It has, after all, been considered the land of opportunity, where the “streets are paved in gold.” As we’ve seen above, there were reasons for this belief. The only native people here were the Indians, and they had merely immigrated a much longer time before the rest of the settlers. And America has always gone through periodic attempts to curb immigration.

Comfort-Loving

Americans also love their comfort. Americans are notorious for their lifestyle, which is more expensive and excessive than what almost everyone else in the world would consider. Americans are famous for their lack of physical exercise, and stories are often told of an American driving a block or less to go to a store. Interestingly enough, when skinny families from other countries move to America, they or their children find themselves adopting this love of comfort and putting on weight. But of course, as other countries get wealthier, they also adopt the American lifestyle which they see as the hallmark of a civilized people. Notice how China, as it gets a bigger middle class, replaces the bicycles on its streets with automobiles, and American automobiles are most popular because they suggest that the owner has “arrived”.

Another way of observing the excessive lifestyle of Americans, or the dream that such a lifestyle has on those Americans – the vast majority – who don’t have lives of such excess, is to note the popularity of the television series “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”. The show is gone, but we still pay extraordinary attention to the lives of celebrities, who almost by definition are wealthier that we are, as picking up an issue of People magazine or a brief scan of the cable news shows at almost any time will reveal. But of course the people that make up these video encounters aren’t the really wealthy: those people, in the top one-half of one percent of the population, prefer not to be well known, and usually live behind gated walls. They are the people whose wealth is really beyond sight, but they still serve as an inspiration to those who aren’t nearly as rich. Thus the American Dream survives [This is discussed in great detail in Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich, Robert Frank, Crown 2007].

Consider the ratio of pay for the CEOs of companies to the pay of the workers of those companies. The figures increases from year to year, but what is most interesting is that this ratio has increased drastically in recent years. A current study shows that executive pay is more than 400 times as high as that of the average worker, nationwide; this ratio was only 42 as recently as 1980. Obviously, excess has gotten more excessive over the last few decades.

But this is not the first time that such excess has been prominent in the United States. In the decade of the Twenties, the rich were famously wealthy. The Twenties were notorious for the great spread between the income of the extremely wealthy – such as Henry Ford, the second richest man at the time – and the average worker. Partly this great imbalance of wealth was due to the monetary policies of Andrew Mellon – the third richest man – who was Secretary of the Treasury between 1921 and 1933, under three presidents [Or as the contemporary joke had it, those three president served under Andrew Mellon]. By present day standards, Henry Ford was earning $345 million a year. These extremities of wealth of the Twenties are often compared to the situation today.

But the Twenties was not the only time in American where the wealthy were so extreme. Another period was the Gilded Age – -whose name betokens tawdry excess – in the last third of the Nineteenth Century.[Jack Beatty, Age of Betrayal: The Triumph of Money in America, 1865-1900, Knopf, 2007. The subtitle says it all.] At one time during this era, the extremely wealthy J.P. Morgan had to loan money to the United States for it to survive during what was called the Panic of 1893. This was the era of the Robber Barons, whose great wealth was legendary.

But excess and love of comfort is not reserved just for those in the upper incomes. The incidence of type 2 diabetes has increased greatly in this country recently, and some are even calling this a diabetes epidemic. Diabetes was previously a disease of middle age, but is now being seen more and more in young people. Diabetes is a disease ruled by Venus, and one of the main causes of diabetes is excess weight, the Jupiter principle. The diabetes rate in the United States is 6.3%, and the country has the third largest number of diabetics in the world, only surpassed by India and China. The rate is only surpassed by Russia, at 6.8%, and that country has seen its standard of living and health care plunge drastically in the last 15 years. The number of diabetics is expected to increase worldwide as American diets and automobiles become increasingly popular overseas.

There is one more example of the excess of America that needs to be told. Recently it was reported [New York Times, p A1 4/24/2007] that the income of the top 25 hedge fund managers totalled $14 billion, with the top three earning an annual compensation of over one billion dollars each, and the top earner getting $1.7 billion. These incomes dwarfs Henry Ford’s adjusted annual income of $345 million. This is certainly Venus excess carried to a high level.

Thoughts on Astrology as a Revolutionary Science

In  the summer of 1984 I attended a NCGR (National Council for Geocosmic Research) conference at Mills College in Oakland.  One of the speakers was astrologer Rob Hand.  After one dinner he gave a speech about the differences and similarities of science, religion, and astrology.  It was one of the most important speeches given about astrology in the modern world.  He later extended his arguments into an article called “Astrology as a Revolutionary Science” and it was finally published in a book very few ever saw.  It is a very important paper, and it is available here.  After reading this article, I was inspired to write down the following ideas.  The data in this entry were drawn from Albion’s Seed by David Hackett Fischer and the newer American Nations by Colin Woodard.

 
In this article Rob Hand compares what he calls Type I religions and the newer Type II religions. Science, he says, is a Type II religion. But the distinction of Type I and Type II religions can be extended further, and applies to the origins of the United States.

American society is widely thought to be divided into two main factions. In contemporary parlance, these are the red states and the blue states. But this dichotomy goes back much further than our current political divisions.

A major split within the United States, seen throughout its history, has been between the Yankees and the Confederates. While there are other factions within the United States, such as the Scotch-Irish people who settled in Appalachia and the Dutch based colony that formed in New York, these other groupings would join one or the other with the Yankees or the Confederates. In general, those states considered blue were settled by Yankees and those states considered red were settled by Confederates or their allies, such as the Scotch Irish.

The Yankees of New England arrived in this country from England starting about 1630 and came from the Southeastern part of England. These were the Roundheads or Puritans – supporters of the Parliament — side of the English Civil War, and they came to American to start a colony based on their beliefs, since they wanted more freedom for their religion than they felt they got in England. In England, the Roundheads were against the absolute monarchy of the King.

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Death of Charles I

The Confederates came over from the South and West of England starting about 1649. These were the Cavaliers, the other faction of the English Civil War. In 1649 their King, Charles I, was executed by the Roundheads, and it was seen as an inhospitable time to be a Cavalier in England, so they decided to emigrate. In the chart of the United States, which was part of England at the time, 1649 shows Pluto conjunct Saturn near the Descendant of the United States (Sibly chart), showing that a powerful event had taken place external to the incipient United States; it was certainly lese majeste when the King was executed. This conjunction was opposite Uranus-Neptune conjunction on the Ascendant. (I have found that the natal chart of the United States responds to transits before its birth, as well as after birth. While I hypothesize that this also applies to humans, it is difficult to find much evidence to support this.)

But these two factions of the English Civil War — the Roundheads and the Cavaliers — go back even further. The Cavaliers – the upper classes of English society, close to the aristocracy and even the king – gave royal names to colonies in America, such as New York which was initially a gift to the Duke of York from his brother King Charles II, son of the executed King, after it was liberated from the Dutch; Maryland was named after the wife of Charles I; and Virgina was named after Queen Elizabeth. The Cavilers are descended from the Normans who invaded England in 1066 from France. These were Christians – Catholics – a religion that came from Rome.

The Roundheads are descended from a different group, however. They are the descendants of the Angles, Saxons, and others that were in England before the Normans invaded. Theses people practiced a nature religion that was common in the British Isles before the Normans invaded, and was also practiced by many people as an underground religion thereafter, as witnessed by the witch burning of the Sixteenth Century and later.

The Normans go back to Rome and the original Christianity; In the Fourth Century Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, solidifying for all time the impact of the Roman politics on the new religion. Rome was interested in the republic, and many of the founders of the United States were deeply interested in the Republic as a form of government and with a House and Senate they were drawing ideas from the Roman Republic. Even a statement on the Great Seal of the United States is drawn from an epic poem of Rome. To this group what was important was liberty, something that was given to you.

The Anglo-Saxon and earlier English were however using a different form, a democracy that is still practiced in New England with the town meetings. This sprang from the belief that all individuals were born free, that this is not something that could be given to you, and so the concept of freedom was important to these people and their descendants.

Thus we have the conflict in the United States between freedom and democracy, which many of the founders were afraid of and tried to prevent, and liberty and a republic, which was seen as protection from having too many people with a say in the running of government. But we see that these two forms go back native people of England, many who came from Europe, who were pagans, and to the Normans from France and Christians which ultimately came from Rome. So the two are extensions of Type I religion, the paganism of the settlers of the British Isles, and Type II religion, the Christianity of the Normans who invaded England.