by Boots Hart, CAP

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

CHART USA (Pt. 5): Planetary Picturing America


When astrologers refer to the term 'planetary pictures,' they're talking about 'pre-fab' images which appear in charts because planets fall into specific patterns.

For instance, look at Chart USA (above). See that equilateral triangle drawn in blue? That's a 'grand trine' - three interlocking 120 degree aspects which in joining, make an equilateral triangle more exact than those rather glorious pyramids of Giza. 

Pretty amazing, those pyramids. Though having been there, I'm not sure why travel agents don't feel the need to tell you how hot it is hot inside said pyramids even during Egypt's mild season.

Back on planetary pictures, the patterns astrologers refer to...the grand square, grand trine, t-square, yod, t-square, magic rectangle, etc. Whatever it is, it has a specific meaning which has specific pros and cons.

No, nothing is perfect - this is life, remember?

In Chart USA, we have several pictures, the most important of which (just an opinion) is the cardinal (proactive) sign t-square:

Most (like, maybe 90%) of t-squares connect signs of like modality...which is to say, the mode in which they operate. This one being in proactive signs indicates active energy on all sides - which yes, can be sort of leap before you look. Or think you know before you actually do know.

You know, that speaking before you have all the facts. Or in spite of them, even. The good, the bad and the outspoken, call it.

Considering this entire t-square is in early (1st decan) degrees, there's a who 'what I do' and 'who, me?' speak-or-do, then learn from the results sort of vibe too. Which when you're talking about a t-square (a construct all about accepting the full picture before you act if you hope to get anywhere)...that can be tough.

But then, the USA can be a tough little nation. See that Uranus and Cancer Mars up in the top of the chart - that 10th house? That - in part - is the US tendency to be one part hero, one part loud mouth and one part own worst enemy. But shy? Heck no - America stopped being shy when it got rid of its original be-wigged, politely intellectualized but hardly universally fair founding father's chart.

The Signing of the Constitution of the United States
by Howard Chandler Christy

With Neptune/Psyche in the USA's 7th 'what I put out there and get seen by' house, the nation is greatly blessed with altruism and highly cursed by its ability to confuse inspiration with actual ideas.

And then there's that issue of boundaries Neptune-Psyche suggests is such a problem. The 7th always being where we directly interact with 'others' (as a performer might do with their audience) this is the US' famous 'give me your tired, your sick...' along with its porous borders and a national neurosis entitled "there's a monster under my bed!" Periodically, the US just goes off on some tangent of group paranoia which apparently crops up with transiting Neptune affects the natal Jupiter-Uranus opposition.

And whether it's commies or those of Japanese descent or fundamentalist Muslims or anyone else, the sheer mass market(able) aspect of such national 'moods' is very 'the popular/populace mind' (Psyche) being under some illusion (Neptune). We know that since common sense says it's not every Muslim person who wants to blow up the World Trade Center and not every person of Japanese descent living in the US who might have been spying for the Emperor of Japan during WWII. 

But such dynamics are very much about this t-square. The 'ideal illusion' which is put out there and taken up in the national imagination (Neptune/Psyche) comes from a national altruism both about the nation as a whole and what the nation wants from other nations.

And that, of course, leads to a lot of (Neptune) confusion plus a lot of (Neptunian) disappointment.

Yet this isn't all about just Neptune on its own. Or even Neptune-Psyche being America as the 'let me help' nation - not to be confused with the 'let me butt in' nation, which Neptune/Psyche also says a lot about. Why? Because boundary problems aren't just one-way, and if astrology is good at anything, it's at laying out these polarities.

The 7th house is not only what what I put out there (the 'me' part) but also the 'how you see me' part. PLUS it's also the 'what you do/give to me' thing along with 'how I react to you.' Where we interact is where we interact whether I initiate and you react or you initiate and I react and thus how we are bound together. The audience enjoys the performer and the performer would neither have a job nor be able to succeed in their craft if there was no audience to play in. And when it works, it's magic - the actor feeds on the audience appreciation and the audience is moved and inspired by the performance. 

So it is with the US and its people: the government-populace dance. So it is with the US and other nations,  how the US responds with such charity in one moment and with bombs in a next. 

That the US is so polarized in its response to others - and even as it responds to its own is all about this t-square. Given that planetary pictures are always 'read' in zodiacal order (counter-clockwise), the last piece of this configuration - the 'pictured' goal if you will - is Moon/Quasar in egalitarian Libra, the very heart and soul of America's belief in equality and human dignity,  discussed in part two (link) of this series.

To finish up here before moving on - there is in this 7th house a Mnemosyne conjunct that US Neptune/Psyche. Mnemosyne being 'memory,' that would be the US' own history and the memory of its people. On one hand there is that American expertise in idealizing the past. You know, those good old days. That's about as Neptunian as the fact that we all know how memory tends to be incredibly selective.

And we know it when someone else is editing the mental tape, but let it be us....? Oy!

And while we're on the subject of selective Neptunian idealism, let's remember that with Neptune, when the real reality isn't your imagined reality, all sorts of rancidly disillusioned disappointment is the result. And this is not just about the US and its citizens - this is also about how other disappointed other nations can often be in America for not being what they imagine the US is. Or even that the USA doesn't always live up to its own ferociously altruistic PR!

And yet...with Neptune in the 7th opposing that brilliant (Quasar) egalitarian believe (Libra Moon) in the 1st house of national identity, the US does sound like it should be a pretty darn groovy place. Which it is - certainly comparatively. But there are a few flies in the national ointment...which is where the 't' in the t-square comes in.

Sitting in the middle of this configuration, way up high there in the 10th house we have Mars in Cancer.

Actually Mars in Cancer conjunct a couple of black holes (the "alternate reality" concept) and Ixion, ingratitude incarnate.

Mars in the 10th is all about dynamism. Mars in Cancer is all about being confined by the daily drudgery and the need to make a solid plan before you can go out and look heroic. So Mars in Cancer in the 10th is all about a government and the US commerce sector as a whole, which lives, dies, hisses, vows, spits, finagles, curses and argues by these precepts.

With this Mars squared (separate from the Neptune) by Sedna in the 7th, there's a whole test of maturity involved here. And with Sedna in the 7th, that means the rest of the world looks at the US as 'that kid nation' more than just from time-to-time. Like an irritated, anxious, hopeful family, nations of the world look to a  teenager-ish United States marveling at its lasting conviction of immortality (such as teenagers all have) and yet annoyed as all get-out at the US tendency to treat everybody else like they know nothing.

Yes, the US has youth on its side. With with youth does come that brash courage so typical of America. Like the teen who thinks nothing will ever happen to them, the US charges in to build the Panama Canal after other nations have written the effort off. It's so like the US to say 'okay, in ten years we're going to be standing on the moon' and do it. That's Mars/Ixion square Sedna and (separately) square Neptune used to the good. No, I'm not going to let you say I can't do it - it needs doing, and by gum, I'm going to figger it out and get it done!

Go big and go postal - very much a motto USA !

And without question, there's an older, wiser and somewhat more tired international family which appreciates the US vim, vigor and determination. But not so much the youthful arrogance which comes with same. Other nations love having the USA around to do the heavy lifting, but would like the US a lot better if this  young whippersnapper nation would be just a little more polite.

After all, they've survived a few thousand years and the US been around for a couple of hundred. And yet here's the US telling them how they should live? And all these Americans running all over the world criticizing people because that's now how we do it back home in America like there's nothing else worth anything?

Tsk, tsk...rather rude. And very Mars/Ixion in the 10th with all the attachments implied.

This is the heart of Chart USA's quandary: the difference between assertion and aggression. And the use of power as opposed to using the power of leadership. With two black holes hanging around this begrudged 10th house Cancer Mars, government and commerce are both driving forces for the nation and both responsible for the nation's health and well being. When either one gets aggressive instead of assertive or misuses power, the nation, its people and its reputation suffers.

And when both sectors get out of whack, that's when simple slippage turns into an avalanche, when the trickle of bad news becomes a flood.

If you're just the ordinary US citizen, this Mars/Ixion in 10 is the frustratingly annoying, often off-putting specter of watching your government and corporate sector act like Middle Ages royalty. And yet, at least all the worst of the arguing belongs to them. That there is so much bickering in Washington is highly symbolic of Mars-Uranus in the 10th. And since it's in the 10th, the rest of the nation - by implication - can go about its business more or less bicker-free.

The rule with a t-square is that when you fail the test posed by the 't', you get sent back to 'Go' without collecting $250. Also, when you fail you arrive at 'Go' on the ugly side of the dynamic.

So the US starts out wanting to do the good thing. Then everything hits the public sector - governmental or commerce - and faces the power/greed debate dynamic. All 10th house symbols always indicate a precept which must be earned...

And thus whether you're a company or a government or simply a US citizen wanting to get ahead in your spite of, or maybe in addition to is a better way to put it...if you call yourself 'American' in any sense, you earn what you get.

And when you don't earn, the wages of your arrogance are - in time - public scorn. Disillusionment. Even banishment of sorts, though polite society seems to call that 'retirement' of late.

The issue with Mars in the 10th is not if you will fight, but why you fight and what you fight for. When the 'doing a service' part of earning becomes 'self-service,' it doesn't matter who or what you are, in time your very arrogance and self-absorption becomes either the means by which you are undermined or the blindness which prevents you from seeing you're doing down, baby!

And yes, then nine times out of ten there's a lot of disappointment and disillusionment to contend with - on all sides. For ultimately, this t-square which connects the 1st, 7th and 10th houses is all about a nation tied to its world, a people intrinsically tied to their nation and the fact that life itself is interconnected.

That's the message of this chart - and a fitting message it is too, coming out of the bloodiest of all US wars, the very uncivil Civil War which pitted kin against kin, country against citizen and countryman against nation.

To be American is to not be able to go it alone, that you shouldn't have to go it alone and that indeed, as a people, as a country, as a society...

United, America stands. Divided, it falls. Let all entities American take private and public note.

The Statue of Liberty, standing for liberty and justice for all -
the American ethic, ideal and ultimate necessity.

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