by Boots Hart, CAP

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

CHART USA (Pt. Two): The Sun, Moon and Economic Collapse

Having established why the Appomattox chart marking  General Lee's surrender to General Grant at the end of the Civil War should be considered the working chart of the United States, what does that chart say?

Chart USA(ppomatox)

First of all, not one of the standard astrological symbols is in retrograde. This describes the United States as a direct and assertive nation. And boy, that fits. For good, bad and questionable, that fits.

The Moon positioned in the physical 1st decan of airy, conceptual, relationship-oriented Libra works too: the United States is a country all about its international relationships and on an even more basic level, build on the idea that all humans are created equal.

That this Moon is positioned in the “I Am” first house of the chart is the very embodiment of this idea and the “We the People” slogan which is so very American. Libra is a sign about the 'idea' of relationship, specific ideas which bond a group (or a people) together and that ideas can actually be binding. So that this Libra Moon is ruled by a Venus sitting in the (9th) house of law? That totally works. Positioned in the 'public' third decanate of Taurus, that Venus very much embodies the idea that the nation and its people are held to palpable standards.

Interestingly, given that this Venus is in concrete, tangibility-oriented earth sign Taurus and in the 3rd decanate where symbols operate once something is 'put out there' into the public realm? That also says a lot about the United States as a country which holds and is held by the precept that what you think cannot be a crime.

Many people are horribly upset by the fact that people who pose a threat cannot be dealt with on that basis. Yet in the US - as signified by the Libra Moon ruled by the 3rd decan 9th house earthy Taurus Venus, you cannot be prosecuted for potential, only for the real and concrete thing. Which by the way has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt...In other words, it the crime (whatever it may be) has to be made 'real' (tangible) in the minds of a jury.

Conjunct fixed star Diadem (the crowning glory), this Moon also describes that very foundational American ideal: that the United States is a nation of the people and for the people. Libra is the 'us' here, the Moon in any national chart is always the citizenry (thus 'the people') and the first house of any chart is what the chart holds it natively is or is about. Thus, we (Libra) the people (Moon) are this nation. It is our nation and it exists through us and for us. We the people ARE America!

For-and-against this we have the chart's 20 Aries Sun, making April 9th the nation's ‘birthday’ (anyone for hot dogs and fireworks in April?)

More to the astrological point here though, 20 Aries is another third decan 'in the public' (out of private control) symbol. And given that any symbol (in any sign) appearing in a 3rd decanate (degrees 20-29) describes something which the good/bad, success/failure of cannot be known until it's put out there into practice? That paints a picture of the modern United States as a nation which only learns through doing.

And since Aries is a pro-active (cardinal) sign, doing is totally a given. But what that Aries Sun does? Positioned in the emotionally based 8th house, we combine Aries courage and 8th house emotionality and get a lot of fervent conviction. The 8th also being interactive and about making an investment through commitment and risk, that tells us a lot about the US willingness to dive right into things - even where it doesn't belong. 

Given that the Aries is all about the physical body and life itself, when set against a "standard" list of 8th house matters (debt, war, sexuality, investments, control, honor-collusion, power-helplessness, death-birth-resurrection, dominance-submission,  destruction-reconstruction, decay-rehabilitation, surgery, digging things out/secreting them from others) it's no wonder the nation has produced the Federal Reserve system, credit cards and debt as a lifestyle and Wall Street. It's not astonishing that the US is a nation where people critique sexual this and sexual that and then we find out that very people talking about something are the one's doing it.

Psychologists call this 'projection,' by the by - and the 8th house is the house of psychology, so with the Sun here, that fits too.  

An Aries Sun in the 'others are going to see' 3rd decan in this 'emotionally aware of others' 8th house makes it also very easy to why the US has been a nation addicted to 'what things/people look like' (to others). And yet the real solution for this is to focus on the Self. Aries is "I/Me." So the solution for the nation - and for its citizens and native corporations is always, always, always about 'who you are being,' not 'what it looks like to others.' If you're moral, honorable, honest, responsible, reliable and in general, not a selfish pig, chances are that you'll be seen as such.

From this evolves some of the truly wonderful things the US does. It's a leader in medical and surgical fields. The US is among the first to volunteer help when some natural disaster strikes some other nation - though yes, it has been (ahem!) known to trump up reasons to go 'help' someone who doesn't need US help.

That would be the honest, honorable (etc.) part. No one says this has to be 'to others'; the US is as capable of lying to and manipulating its own people as anybody else. And when it does, it suffers.

Following on this we come to the question of foreign aid and the US military as a force stationed abroad.  It's all about purpose. Where aid or the US military is actually there to support and supplement, that would be defined as a positive - the 8th house dynamic here is to meet need with only an equal amount of support. When the US oversteps this bound or does what it does for some hidden reason, the whole thing will eventually go kaput.

That goes for the financial sector too, from Wall Street to the mortgaging of national debt to any other federal instrument or system which the federal system is involved in. And since that would include federal law, hardly anything is exempt.

And in the realm of seeing how this chart actually functions, did you know that the concept of national financing (and thus national debt) evolved in the wake of the Civil War? It’s all in this chart, folks.

With asteroid Lilith at 21 tightly conjunct to the 20 Aries Sun we get a fusion of will and life drive which is so very American and all those things one doesn't want to see, admit to or deal with (Lilith). Isn't that so very like US  national behavior? 

Its an interesting fusions of degrees, actually. The Sun is in a degree all about a search for the 'right' thing which sometimes leads to a 'fools rush in' situation, though sometimes rushing in is exactly what's required.

Against this we have Lilith in a degree which promotes openness and effort because you want to be noticed and get all the applause through demonstration of your willingness and ability to 'get the job done.' 

No nation is very big on admitting it does what it does because it wants to look good, and certainly the United States would far prefer that people think in terms of the dignity of human need - moral and ethical - as the basis of its choices. But let's be real here...we're talking politics. Who really thinks this isn't an international demonstrations of lions on the veldt trying to defend their turf and scare off the lion with the scrawny mane? 

This is all very 8th house - the 8th being all about power struggles. It could be about powerful agreements, but with human society, such things tend to crumble into disputes, only to be resurrected again and yet again. And since the 8th house is also all about rebuilding, rehabilitating, and resurrecting - that fits.

In's a sobering thought: the US as pictured by this chart may in good times need to create some fracas through which to improve itself. 

And let's not forget: these precepts apply not just to the nation. They also apply to its citizens, organizations, practices and various types of entities - such as corporations or financial or health systems. America is  'inbred' with the instinctual desire to ‘be seen’ as the either the magnanimous hero or the biggest, most powerful dog on the block.

And when possible. But it's not particularly good at admitting to or owning the inevitable dark sides which come with same. And when you bring it up? Then America and its citizens and entities get tested – and maybe more than a bit testy!

Moving on...with 'love is about the other' Kalypso at 16 Aries (four degrees behind the US 8th house Sun) there's an understanding that the United States should do what it does in the spirit of the emotional ‘joint assets’ 8th - the nation and its people does best when the nation (or person's) gain comes through caring about others in the terms defined by those others. When the United States/Americans function(s) from that sense of universality, things work and in the end, the US earns respect. When that's not the emotional motivation, things suffer. And in time, people and the nation suffers.

In recent times we've seen this issue beginning to be stirred up for both plus and minus as Pluto (the great  generational pot stirrer!) moved into Libra back into 1971/1972 (retrograde makes this shift a year-long process).

For those who know their US social-economic history, you will recognize this as when the US began moving away from local and ‘mom/pop’ businesses towards corporations. As transformational Pluto then moved into financial investment-oriented Scorpio in the mid-80's, corporations began a festival of merging. And when Pluto reached 'dissemination/things foreign' Sagittarius in the mid-90's, corporations went international.

It was a very Pluto thing to do: Pluto creates and destroys. So as Pluto moved from sign to sign it destroyed one facet while recreating the whole. 

Unfortunately this had repercussions for the nation, not all of which were so good. Pluto traversing through the USA 2nd house of values coincided with the movement towards corporations - an interesting reflection of the Libra 'theoretical' (not tangible) theme. Theoretically, that was fine: people could protect personal assets (a plus with corporations). But when you take the personal threat away, human nature being what it is, often with that goes responsibility, ethics and human morality.

And why should a corporation care about human beings? A corporation is, by definition, a business entity. It's not human.

So why did this evolve under Pluto in Libra? The astrology is simple: Libra (the amorphous 'us') opposes Aries (the physical, individual person). There’s an entire generation (Gen X) born under Pluto in Libra and ultimately their global generational ‘task’ is going to be to wrestle with what will be (or maybe already is) an excessively polarized nation. Gen X, in being a driving force in computers, internet and impersonal systems of data collection has set the stage. And well it should: no generation begins to right a wrong until they experience the wrong which needs righting.

That began happening as Pluto moved into Capricorn in 2008/2009 (again, retrogrades) and the global economic collapse was set off. It's an interesting Kalypso sort of dynamic, what with Kalypso symbolizing the fact that love cannot be only self-oriented: if you love someone only for what they can give you, that is not love  - that is narcissism.

So we see an entire nation (indeed, a world) being tested by various forms of narcissism really given ‘voice’ as Pluto moved through righteously opinionated Sagittarius during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

Remember: the order of signs we’re concerned with here is Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn. No matter where you start in astrology, the third sign from any starting point is always its ‘voice’ (the official term is  'derivation').

So what Pluto stirred up in its passage through Libra (sign one) was given 'voice' under Pluto in Sagittarius (sign three). And I think most of us remember those years between 1996 (when Pluto entered Sagittarius) and 2008 (when it began shifting into Capricorn) as a period of high flying excess, entitlement, much preaching, less than enough listening and thinking...and everyone trying on that Sagittarian 'give me/I want MORE!' theory.

And this little progressive derivation thing, the fourth sign in any sequence (this being Capricorn) is where foundations get tested. So when Pluto entered Capricorn, the ‘foundations’ of attitudes begun under Pluto in Libra way back when in the 1970’s got tested.

And there is a very good reason to be thinking very specifically about Libra as a starting point: it's the first sign above the horizontal axis in the natural zodiac (above). Signs in the lower half of the zodiac are personal and private - they would be about how people live. Pluto entered Aries (the first in that group) back in the early-ish 1800's, setting the conditions for America's Civil War, a war all about values: the second step tested in any derivative sequence. 

Just to finish up here on the Libra concept: with Saturn having just committed to its own transit of Libra in July 2010 (after initiating its shift in late 2009), we can expect a lot of shakeouts. Where Saturn goes, problems get shown up and virtues get rewarded: Saturn symbolizes what you reap, you shall sow. Being Saturn is the planet at the limit of human vision, its cycles represent our ‘limits beyond which we cannot see’ or know what we are doing. Within the bounds of what we can see, we can built. This is all about proportion and recognizing our limits and responsibilities.

And where we overstep those bounds? Then the waves of motion and rippling affect we don't see coming (as represented by anything beyond Saturn) hits and cracks our sense of personal stability and safety. With the Saturn of this modern US chart positioned at 27 Libra in the 2nd house of values, resources and assets? That's a strongly marked, if vulnerable statement about the nation's economy - especially in the areas marked by the two signs Saturn rules: Capricorn and Aquarius (where Saturn co-rules with Uranus).

Capricorn (business) is on the 5th house - the house of enjoying taking the risk. Risk plus business = the stock market. Aquarius is on this chart's 6th house of health, work, service. Think: medical, jobs, civil service, government programs, federal systems/networks and the US military.

This all began shifting when obsessive Pluto rolled over the Nadir-IC - the chart's bottom/foundational point - back in 2002/2003 as an echo of what happened (all those changes in corporate structure and swelling of credit and debt) back when Pluto rolled through 21 Libra in the early 1980’s. That was the US sowing seeds.

And one Saturn 'earning' cycle later? As Saturn entered Virgo (sign of responsibilities and jobs) and Pluto moved into Saturn’s primary home sign (Capricorn), it all mushroomed into a financial explosion of fairly atomic proportions. Saturn's precept of 'build or lose' turned into massive job losses. Then came Saturn's 'be responsible for or suffer the consequences' issues with the health care system. And changing attitudes towards, inside and regarding use of the US military.

And that this economic collapse also coincided with Pluto rolling over Chart USA(ppomattox)’s Jupiter/Chaos in the 4th house of the citizenry, real estate and families?
That also tells us why housing, immigration, inheritance taxes and all such (on theoretical, financial and personal levels) suddenly became a crisis, put the US and its people into crisis mode and beyond all the facts, created a classically Pluto-obsessive power battle over control. (Never mind what works - it was so totally all about control!)

Just to finish here…the reason 21 Libra is sited in this equation is for two very good reasons. The most obvious is because 21 Libra is the chart position of fixed star Spica, a symbol of knowledge and what we come to know, learn, or rediscover.

Secondly, Spica is the brightest (focal) star in the constellation of Virgo. You know...the sign that Saturn began to transit as the economic collapse came upon us all? With Spica in Chart USA's 2nd house it is all about national wealth, be that what's in the coffers, what's in the ground (or offshore, as in mineral rights) or of course in terms of its citizens - that which is any nation's greatest resource.

Theoretically then, the US and its people are thus being asked to remember the conceptual basis upon which it was founded – the truth of the values of the nation, which are not hands off, but very much hands on.

Or didn’t we learn that from the Civil War? Those who think people should just go their own way and that a government and its citizens are not two sides of the same coin might do well to take a hard look at history.

Not just that of the US – pick any country you like; freedom is not anarchy – it is an agreed upon set of standards which actively (not passively) protects the rights of each person to grow, excel and be included in the whole. The astrological Aquarius – which in the US chart is recognized as a (6th house) required necessity which like health is either cared for or the whole falls apart.

The astrological Aquarius is all about finding a place for everybody - not just telling them to find their own place. This is a worldly, social, societal and interactive public responsibility sort of sign. So everybody tries and everybody cares and everybody helps everybody else... or in time all only comes undone, but undoes everything everybody so values.

Aquarius – particularly as presented by this chart – does not support elitism, discrimination, dishonesty, corruption, or perversion of the concept that no one is holy if we are not all holy; that no life is worth any more than another and that justice must exist truly for all whether you be powerful or weak, human, dolphin or bumblebee.

But then, isn't that really just a restatement of the 8th house Sun/Lilith of this chart? AND its Libra Moon?

Yet never fear - there is good news! When Pluto rolled over that Nadir/IC (the bottom point in this chart) and rolled forward over Medea (corrupt love which undermines your own cause) in 2002/2003, a proverbial ‘low point’ was reached.

And it's really just a warning which echoes what the US and its people actually know: whenever the US or anything founded under its flag rank personal desire (the 'what I'm going to get out of this') above the good of all, that leads to bad times.

Plus let's not think the nation would do better to break up and glue itself back together again, either. As astrologer Marion March once observed with great wry definition: there are no perfect charts.

In other words, this is life. Reality always includes the possibility with the test, the ability to lose with each opportunity to succeed.  

As for IC of this chart (17 Sagittarius), the degree is  described in lore as one about ‘naïve optimism,’ a ‘childlike innocence which may not be strong enough to support reality’s needs’ and ‘immaturity’ as the legacy of hardships which have created an ‘unpretentious faith’  which both supports and cripples one’s ability to act with decisiveness. And with Jupiter ruling this point, what would have been ‘set off’ when Pluto rolled over the IC surfaced with Pluto went on to conjunct Jupiter (and sextile Saturn) at the time of the economic collapse.

And as Obama came into office, Pluto moved into Capricorn and hit Chaos – the astrological version of Chaos being about an eternal resource which is endlessly full of possibilities. 

President Obama taking the Oath of Office

As Pluto then rolled over Klotho (new beginnings) and Orcus (accepting consequences for that which cannot be changed) Americans and their government were asked to accept, repair, rededicate themselves to something better and move on. With regards to Obama, this is also how astrology works: when the moment is ripe, someone takes up the call.

That this chart so exactly mirrors what is going on in the US of A is again, the astrological demonstration of why this is actually Chart USA. Or Chart USA(ppomatox), if you prefer.

That's all for today, but we're not done looking at the chart. In fact, we've only begun to scratch the surface of what this chart has to tell us about the USA and it's future. And thus (by implication) some of the future of our world: the whole world and nothing but the world.

And since that's well worth further discussion, said discussion will continue being posted here at astroPPM.

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