by Boots Hart, CAP

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

CHART USA (Pt. 7): Transits and a Nation in Transit

A map of the United States and Terrirorites

One of the truly useful things about astrology is in the fact that from the time/space map which any natal chart is, we can then look at transits - prescribed angles being struck by celestial objects as they continue their orbital path around the Sun.

For those who wonder why this might be a valid consideration from a scientific point of view, the answer is fairly simple, if entirely metaphysical. Working from the concept that the entirety of Existence is energy (the 'E' in E=mc2'd), then we are each born as manifestations of energy - energy bundles, if you will (shades of kiddihood) - which are 'hallmarked' by the moment and position in that All of Existence-time/space in which we were born. And much like any other 'bundle' of energy, we would be reactive to harmonics as energy frequencies (time/space) marches on.

Those harmonics are created (physically and metaphysically) by the continuing movement and reorientation of time/space as a whole - in which celestial objects are a very convenient set of markers. They do not thus 'do' anything except what all celestial objects do: they move through space, they exude magnetic waves, they disrupt the general field of space-time by moving through it.

Astrology simply reads when those waves reach Earth. And for those who say 'yes, but astrology started back in Babylon' the answer to that would be yes. And obviously back in Babylon, people weren't all that up on Relativity and magnetic resonance and the like.

But we were still human. And one of the great things about human beings is their unceasing curiosity which, when coupled to the human power of observation often leads to great discoveries. (When we're in the mood to be observant, that is.) As it happens, people evidently started observing and correlating movement of celestial objects with things here on Earth back in Babylon. People probably would feel better about astrology if such observations had begun in modern times, but that's not the way it worked. Nor does astrology's origin in antiquity make it any less correct, as discussed in a different blog post touching on some correspondence I had with that most successful and open-minded of planet hunters at CalTech, Mike Brown (link).

In any case, despite the to-be-expected debates among astrologers about transit nuances (what, you think astrologers should debate less among themselves than  politicians, lawyers, clergy and doctors do? Why should we miss out on all the fun?)....despite that, transits remain an interesting and often dispassionately reassuring source of information.

How so reassuring? Well, one of the things about being an astrologer is that you tend to hear from people when they're having a really bad time. And when you're having a really bad time, that bad time is usually marked by a transit which has a beginning and ending date. By giving those dates to a client, I provide them with a sense of when they're going to see 'the light at the end of the tunnel.'

Not that the tunnel always lets out onto their land of milk and honey, mind you - but most people would rather be able to see what they are dealing with rather than stumble along in the dark.

So where are we with Chart USA when it comes to the big and wonderful world of transits?

Starting with the broadest of big brush strokes, the karmic and evolutionary powers of transformation (symbolized by Pluto) moved across the IC/Nadir (foundational bottom) degree of this chart in 2002. As discussed elsewhere in this series, the IC degree of the Appomattox chart (17 Sagittarius) is one which displays a native and innocent (rather purist) belief in God - or what one believes in, even if that is a belief in nothing.

That this time corresponds to when the United States began its recent, rapid and highly polarizing/polarized  radicalization with regards to religion(s) is notable. Given this idea, we can also say that this trend will continue until Pluto moves out of the 4th house that the IC serves as cusp to. That will not happen until 2019, so enjoy the debates. 

As of 2006, Pluto also opposed Uranus, a Uranus positioned in the governmental and most worldly house of the chart - the 10th house. For astrologers/readers who time a transit uptick when a major planet comes within the standard 5-degree conjunctive orb, that moves the date back to January of 2004, suggesting that domestic and foreign difficulties ranging from the war in Iraq to governmental disorganization when greeted with the ravages of Hurricane Katrina were part of a more karmic 'shakeup' of the nation.

Uranus - source: NASA

Uranus in the 10th asks a government not to be too rigid, points to the people's need not to allow their government to be too rigid, too inaccessible, too erratic, too detached from the national mood, or too polarized/polarizing in its politics.

By 2006, a lot of these challenges had become rather obvious. And with Uranus opposition Jupiter in the natal 4th, the division and divisiveness which began in the halls of government and all it was up to would then shift to the people, as Pluto moved on from 26 Sagittarius to 28 Sagittarius, conjuncting Jupiter.

Jupiter - source: NASA

As with all things astrological, there are pluses and minuses to everything. Depending on your politics, you saw the election of Barack Obama as either a big improvement or a wholesale detriment. Whatever it was on a purely political basis however, Obama's election (and the very serious bid Hillary Clinton made in that election) did represent a clear 'broadening' of the public view on presidential politics. With this being neither a  referendum on good or bad, it is wholly Jupiterian, since Jupiter represents 'expansion' and in the house of the people denoted the 'expanding' of the popular and populace point of view.

Currently, Pluto is in the process of opposing the national 5 Cancer Mars, a symbol fraught with disruptive energy when not used in a truly universal manner - the United States' 'We the People' credo. With this transit having ratcheted into full effect in May 2010 (and running through October of 2011) its 'orb effects' where witnessed as soon as Pluto entered Capricorn.

Interestingly, given Pluto's yearly retrograde patterns, Pluto first entered Capricorn in late January 2008, just after political caucusing had begun to greatly thin down the list of candidates. As Pluto turned direct during September in the midst of a crumbling economic situation, the nation prepared to head off to the polls in early November. Duly elected if not yet sworn in, Obama's team began taking over the reins of power as Pluto committed to its transit of Capricorn in late November and the GW Bush administration appeared to have all but left the field.

Cancer is ruled by the Moon, symbol of populace and economics. With the Moon of this Chart USA also at 5 degrees, it is no wonder that the people and American government are entrenched in a debate of economics and citizens rights. From immigration to health care to national debt and so on, we can expect these heated debates to continue through October 2011, and the discussions involved therein not to be even half-way sorted out until December of 2013. 

With all of this noted however, one thing is good to know: given how the IC of any chart represents one of its biggest tests, Pluto's passage over this point tells us the United States is moving through its most internally volatile period to be seen in the roughly 150 years since the nation was re-birthed, rising like a Phoenix from the ashes of the Civil War. (Which is a very 8th house image and thus much in keeping with a national 8th house Sun!)

Yet there is no question that the US is really hard up. The Appomattox chart shows a natal Saturn in the 2nd house of talents, abilities, resources and the national coffer. This is clearly a 'what you earn you reap' symbol. Not only that, but natal Saturn sits in a grand trine with Uranus in 10 and Juno in the 6th house of employees, jobs, health, civil servants and the military.

A computer-generated image-map of Pluto - source: NASA

This means that when Pluto first started afflicting Uranus, it also began afflicting the whole Uranus-Saturn-Juno system. So we shouldn't be surprised to look back and track the roots of fiscal (Saturn) problems which entangle everything from military expenditures to health care to Wall Street, big oil and the rest of it back to that time. Saturn moved across the national Vesta (service) potently placed behind the Ascendant as the economy collapsed and rolled across that Ascendant on November 2nd, 2008 (a day before the Presidential election).

That would make the election a Saturn call for dealing with the public's economy, recalling pundits tossing around the slogan 'it's the economy, stupid!' Beyond that, it would also say that everybody would be highly disgruntled no matter who was President during the period Saturn was to transit the national 1st house. This having begun on Election Day 2008, it will continue until August 2014.

Currently, the whole of the nation is highly disgruntled and about to get even more so: with Pluto squaring the national Moon and opposition its willful (loudmouth) Mars by long-term transit, Saturn is also posed to square Mars on September 8th and conjunct the Moon on September 14th. (Those who are political junkies may also want to mark their calendars for September 27 and 28, when the Sun reaches 5 Libra, setting these transits off.)

Having moved into the national 6th house of health-work/jobs-service in May 2007, Neptune's continuing presence in this house until somewhat after 2050 suggests the United States is in a period of long term discussion and development of its own understanding of what the term 'universal' means. And what it doesn't or even can't mean to a nation. Nations have boundaries - Neptune doesn't.

 Neptune - source: NASA

This isn't an easy question, though in time the United States is likely to invest in tougher standards for citizenry and foreign aid. Why? Both reasons come down to the Mars/Ixion/Uranus sandwich in the national 10th house. For one, no nation can be in all places. Secondly, other nations don't think the way the United States does. The US is likely to get very sulky as it concludes (reluctantly) conclude that they don't get to play (Cancer) parent to the world (amidst grumbles about other nations acting like ungrateful Ixion children). Yet in the end, the nation will either pull itself back within its own boundaries or like the mythic Ixion, get roasted for sticking its nose into something totally and entirely none of its business.

It rather gets back to the boundary thing: like many parents, the US wants to protect the whole world. This is emblematic and symptomatic; parents are supposed to be models of behavior which children emulate - a nation which demonstrates war-like behaviors should not be surprised that the world and its own youth pay more attention to winning than the quality of life.

More rough waters are expected in the short run as Uranus moves through the early degrees of Aries, squaring the Cancer Mars and opposing the national  Moon.

We've already felt the entrees of these effects as Uranus hit Aries in late May 2010; considering this is Uranus in action, the center of the dispute is governmental, whether domestic or international. These transits will come into full force as of April 2012 and extend through February 2013, suggesting among other things that the next Presidential election cycle will make this last one look like afternoon tea in the Queen's most secure, demure study.

These being only the most sweeping of broad brush strokes we could go on endlessly, defining and refining transits to this chart for the United States as a modern nation forged and essentially reforged at the end of the Civil War. Just to note that the calamity most people know simply as 'Deepwater Horizon' was marked to the day by a Venus return to the Appomattox chart shows how accurate the chart is.

As this series started out, between all the intriguing explorations of the chart has remained the essential question: what is the real chart for the United States of America? Astrologers have been debating this one for at least the thirty years I've been involved in astrology and probably for more than that.

It seems pretty astonishing to this researcher that no one ever stepped back and took the time to think of the nation not in terms of where it started out (working forward), but as the nation it is today. Starting from today, working back through the tale of years, there is only one point at which the nation came apart. That's what defines a national chart - a nation which comes together and is forged from disparate parts.

During the time these blogs have been being posted, I've heard from astrologers protesting that the Union never accepted the Confederacy's breaking away. To my thinking, that simply doesn't matter. The Confederacy was enough of an entity to have its own legal tender, it's own government, its own standing army, its own constitution and other nations recognizing its existence (though granted, they dallied with whether they wanted to go public on that score.) What more can anyone ask? So what if the North didn't like it - that's why the war got fought.

 Cemetery at Shiloh National Military Park
Ask a hard core southerner whether the nation fractured. You'll get chapter and verse on how it did - and by some, why that was a very good idea. 

As a researcher, the feelings can't matter. What has to be accepted are the facts. In this case, the South ceded and created its own nation. The North invaded, conquered, and subdued its former territories.

The chart which came out of that was the chart erected for General Robert E. Lee's surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant in a little borrowed farm house in Appomattox, Virginia. The date was April 9, 1865 - the time (as near as we can make it) was 3:53 pm, which produces the following chart for the United States of America as the nation which exists today.

Chart USA 
April 9, 1865 - 3:53pm - Appomattox Court House, VA


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