by Boots Hart, CAP

Friday, April 8, 2011

Chart USA: Solar Return 2011


 Chart USA Solar Return 2011
April 10, 2011 - 1:37am EDT/+4 - Appomattox, VA

As an astrologer, it seems obvious - if ironic - that in a moment when political considerations have the United States government posed to shut down that the nation should get a new Solar Return chart.

When? As of April 10th at 1:37am (EDT/+4). Though the United States celebrates its independence on July 4th, there are many reasons why that chart doesn't work - and a whole line of reasoning, not to mention astrological functionality, for why a chart drawn for Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia at the moment when Lee and Grant sat down some hundred and fifty years ago to end the Civil War is the 'real' Chart USA.

If you want to read the whole of this discussion, here's the LINK to CHART USA Part One blog. It's a multi-part series, all of which is posted here at astroPPM; the rest of the segment links can be found in the sidebar.

And yes, this astrologer does find it highly notable that this impending shutdown/budget crunch comes right down to....when? The very date on which the old Chart USA year ends, opening the door to Chart USA's 2011-2012 solar year.

The original chart - dated April 9 1865 - is also posted here...a bit down the blog. To those who aren't familiar with solar returns, it may seem odd that the return is for April 10th where the original chart is dated April 9th. The difference has to do with the fact that the solar year is 365.2422 days long - that quarter day which ever four years becomes our 'Leap Year Day' accounts for the fact that all solar returns move back and forth a bit. It depends on where in any given four-year cycle you were born, and where in the cycle you're now casting a solar chart for.

So anyway...what does this solar chart say?

Let’s start with the idea that 3 degrees of Capricorn is the rising sign. While Capricorn is the 5th house of the Chart USA natal chart, the specific degree falls in the 4th house (of the people and the physical land), where it’s conjunct TNO Orcus (consequences) and Facies. Astrologically treated/known as a fixed star, Facies is actually a cluster of stars (a nebula); considering its ruthless reputation which often plays the victim and aggression cards (conjugate as: the aggressive victim, victimization through aggression, aggression playing on  victimization, etc.)…considering all that we might as well think of Facies as a cluster %$@# point in the zodiac.

And hey, every zodiac must have a couple, considering how much of that energy is around.

Like all other degrees, that of Facies does have a positive side – it can deal with and act to cure every ill Facies points out. But because we’re talking a rising degree, that’s harder to think will happen. The Ascendant of a chart is a calculated point. As such, it doesn’t have mass. A planet, even a tiny asteroid has mass. They’re something you can literally (and thus metaphysically) ‘get hold of.’

A Grizzly Bear fishing in Brooks Falls
photo credit: Dmitry Azovtsev (

But an Ascendant? Like a Descendant, Nadir, MC, Node (etc.) – that’s harder. There’s literally nothing grab onto. Moreover, with the Ascendant, we’re literally talking about the ‘Now.’ And how many of us think through every little living last thing we do in the Now?

With all the good intentions in the world, that’s a really hard thing to do.

Not that the US won’t try. With Pluto at 7 Capricorn and conjunct Facies, it’s likely the USA will spend its year trying to eradicate all the Facies "badness" it finds…including substantial attempts to eliminate such qualities from its own actions.

And this is not just any Pluto sitting just inside the solar Ascendant…no, this is a Pluto on station sitting there in the solar 1st house. That says the United States – as a nation – is at a ‘turning point’ in its existence. With Pluto natally in the national 8th, that energy would be coming from a house which on the national level speaks to the willingness to commit itself to war and attempts to control the destiny of other nations.

Once a year the Japanese cherry trees (Sakura) given to the
United States in 1965 by the country of Japan burst into bloom
along Washington D.C.'s famous Tidal basin - cause enough
for an annual Cherry Blossom Festival, no?
photo credit: Scott Bauer of the USDA

This is also a point speaking very specifically to debt. Classically, astrology would describe this as the United States either going into debt, totally losing its head and spending like there’s no tomorrow or taking control of debt. And while again, it’s hard for a person (never mind a nation) to watch its p’s and q’s in every moment, considering the US is well past starting into debt (ha!) and unlikely (given the political climate) to start spending like the proverbial drunken sailor, that suggests that the US is going to turn towards fiscal discipline.

And with Pluto opposition a Cancer Moon at 4 Cancer, that’s a lot of what the rest of the world is going to hear from the United States. They’re going to hear the American people talking about money. They’re going to hear the American people getting pretty obsessive about their homeland.

But this isn’t going to be pretty. At 4 Cancer, this 7th house Moon has a deeply spiritual quality but then again is on one hand prone to trying to make sense of that which is nonsense even while the sense being made gets chewed up and garbled by others.

Beyond that, this Moon opposition Pluto, while it should be a seizing-of-the-idea and running with it, is likely to be more of a pro/con – con/pro sort of teeter totter, one which gets properly fervent in some moments and fervently nonsensical in others.

Because the Descendant is what others ‘see’ us doing, this also displays the qualities of Moon/Mirzam to the rest of the world – Mirzam being a fixed star which ‘announces’ but which doesn’t always follow through. Considering that this is the Moon we’re talking about, with the Moon of the natal chart being a Libra Moon and conjunct Diadem (the crowning glory), this is a whole ‘will of the people’ statement as well as a ‘democratic process’ statement. So the rest of the world is likely to hear the US and its people (and one supposes, its Congress) going through a whole lot of back and forth and sense and nonsense about all of these subject.

But more than that…when we look to Chart USA in natal form to see what’s conjunct this 4 Cancer Moon (and thus by implication, activated by the people, their representatives and thus seen/heard by others around the world) we see not just Mirzam but the delightful duo (NOT!) of Ixion and Alhena.

 Chart USA
April 9, 1865 - 3:53pm LMT/+5:15:18 - Appomattox, VA

Long known by the great Arab astrologers as a point of immortal destiny, Alhena represents both a great strength and a vital weakness. So the very beliefs of the US may be seen as something of a weakness around the world. Or as something to exploit, perhaps – though with Pluto stationary and in opposition to the Moon that would be one huge sleeping giant to be poking with any stick!

But Ixion…? Ixion is a point of entitlement. So while America and Americans can be expected to be all about eliminating arrogant entitlement in others, they should be aware: they’re likely to be seen as entitled and due for a comeuppance by many around the world.

This is a no-kidding issue, so if you’re not up on the whole Ixion story, here’s the LINK to IXION BLOG. And it’s probably to be aware that with Neptune – the planet which physically controls the orbits of both Ixion and Pluto – having just gone into Pisces spells a lot of exacerbating circumstances on their way not out, but in.

That’s right – we can expect more of the worst of human behavior on the global stage in general. (LINK to blog on NEPTUNE entering PISCES) This is not the fault of the US of A – this is a sign of the times. Old ways of doing and thinking and despot-ing and hoarding and being entitled are on their way out. But let’s face it – those who have been fully dedicated to being ‘have’s in a world of ‘have not’s are not likely to give up their premium status without a tussle! Over the next few years (say, about ten, while Neptune works its way through the first and second decanates of Pisces) divides around the world are going to enlarge. Blindness – particularly willful blindness – is going to be ever-more revealed and ever more relevant as a generative force behind world situations.

After that comes some five years or so of the world reaping what it has wrought. Oh, good times…!

(Yes, I’m being facetious here.)

Speaking of Neptune, in the USA natal chart Neptune resides in the 7th house. It’s part of that ‘land of opportunity’ and ‘world savior’ thing people have long thought about the United States and which the United States has put itself out there as in the world.

The Grand Granyon's South Rim at sunset
photo credit: MeckiM@c (May 5, 2003)

This year Neptune is at 0 Pisces in the solar chart and in the 2nd house. This is the great indicator of the United States as a nation being at a point of questioning its  values to the point that many feel so fervently about their ideals that they're willing to shut down the government, no matter how much havoc that wreaks in the lives of military families, the poor and literally hundreds of thousands of government workers.

Why would people be willing to go that far? What's the astrological indicator? Easy: this Neptune stands conjunct Hel/Chiron (both at 3 Pisces) and fixed star Fomalhaut, forming a whole little "stellar" parcel of confusion and conviction that something has to be done trine the solar Moon, its apparent the citizenry of the US is going to be seen as incapable in their own right.

Why? Because from that Moon (the people) in the 7th to Neptune (Hel, Chiron, Fomalhaut) in the 2nd is a ninth sign harmonic. And that describes several  things: the US people struggling with one of its premier founding precepts (freedom/tolerance of religion), legalities – particularly in areas of medicine and toxicity/intoxicants - and education.

The whole Neptune ‘we need to embrace this but how to embrace it when I don’t want to pay the emotional and physical cost for embracing this’ is going to be a big US issue now - and for the whole of this year. There is blindness on all sides, blindness enough to go around. Delusion is not the providence of any single party - nor will be the 'Hel' which is to be paid.

Lest we think this is not really about the people of the US (certainly with the Moon in 7 some Americans will argue this is all about ‘them’ (those foreign folks) and not ‘us’ (We the People). And that might seem apt except for the Sun being conjunct Eris at 20 and 21 Aries (respectively) conjunct a 25 Aries Nadir in this solar chart.

Let’s start with remembering that Chart USA has an 8th house natal Sun. Then let’s toss in that Eris is at this moment, in being at 21 Aries, activating the Chart USA asteroid Lilith, which itself is opposition to fixed star Spica with delicious exactitude.

Asteroid Lilith are all those things we want to deny which are equally important to that we’re okay with dealing with. Eris’ activating that natal point is a clear indicator that this year is going to be full of disruption or activism (the Eris choice) on all the many matters Lilith in 8 would indicate. The sure fire bets here? Debt, interest rates, loans, war, sex, issues concerning conception, death and taxation, particularly as that applies to inheritances, trusts and all their merry fiduciary paperwork cousins.

(Can you tell I used to work in finance?)

And as if that’s not something to make your itch twitch, all this is posed right down at the bottom of the chart – this solar return having a 25 Aries IC (Nadir) point.

The bottommost point of any chart being the ‘foundation’ which must be well laid and sound for anything built atop it to stand solid and tall, it’s worth noting that 25 Aries is all about pride. Can the US convert its considerable national pride towards truly constructive ends? The alternative spoken of by this degree is fractious difficulties due to an inability to compromise and through constructive discussion, arrive at positive directives.

So…what does the chart say about what those ‘constructive ends’ might be?

A grand rainbow over the Big Island of Hawaii
photo credit: DB King (March 2007)

The first thing we would do is see where 25 Aries is in the natal chart. Answer: 25 Aries falls in the 8th house of the natal chart conjunct ‘shape shifter’ Haumea at 27 Aries…which is exactly in opposition to Saturn (retrograde) at 27 Libra in the 2nd house.

Part one: the USA is meant to learn limits and limitations on both expenditures and national its values through experience – the ‘experience’ thing being the retrograde attached to the Saturn.

Part two: the South Node is at 0 Taurus in the 8th house (with Haumea as the joiner to 25 Aries) which puts the North Node at 0 Scorpio in the 2nd house (conjunct Saturn). This is on one hand collecting on what is owed to you and not allowing for ‘shape shifting’ in the financial and tax realm. If you know the story of Hawaiian god Haumea, you know that shape shifting didn’t work for her, either. Oh sure, for a while she was able to fool people and have her way with them, but in the end it all backfired.

And when all backfired on Haumea, she was slain. Those Hawaiians, they don’t kid around! Their gods don’t get any immortal get-out-of-Hades-free cards, either!

In point of fact (this is kind of interesting…) Haumea is killed by the Hawaiian ‘trickster’ god – which in astro-planetary terms is Mercury.

And guess where Mercury is in this return chart? at 19 Aries, right behind the Sun at 20 and Eris at 21 Aries…and oh yes – Lust (intense focus) at 22 Aries…all leading to that 25 Aries Nadir all about whether the US, as a nation, is capable of ending the political  bickering/posturing in favor of actually being the nation it wants to be.

Or at least the nation is claims it wants to be!

But this is not just the government. For this crowd (which we haven’t yet fully explored) to be lurking down near the IC, influencing the 4th house also clearly says this is about the American people.

With Jupiter at 17 Aries (conjunct Mercury, Sun, Eris, Lilith, Lust) we can count on the United States being home to and the subject of vast splurges in spouting off. But maybe more to the point, all this Aries energy (which includes Uranus/Black Moon Lilith, by the by) is ruled by Mars. And that Mars is also in Aries, though its sitting in a Pisces-ruled 3rd house.

The third house in a national chart would be what? Information. Roads. Infrastructural communications and transport. It’s not a direct indicator of education but since the 3rd certainly covers writing, reading and learning, we’ll toss those considerations in.

The third house is also the traditional house of ‘neighbors’ – hello, Canada? Mexico? Cuba? Jamaica? Haiti? Dominican Republic?

(BTW, we mean physical neighbors here, not philosophical ones.)

The first ruler of that Pisces cusp is Jupiter. So the nation really needs to consider what it chooses to get involved in. Unfortunately, Jupiter in Aries in the 3rd conjunct Mercury is likely to ‘trick itself’ into thinking it can do more than it can do.

And thus we arrive at the ‘outcome’ ruler of Pisces: big blue Neptune, which is sitting in the 2nd house of this house – the house of the national self worth of the nation, and its treasury…not to mention its assets.

In this 2nd house we have Neptune, Chiron/Hel, fixed star Fomalhaut (dreams granted only when uncorrupted, please…) Ceres (intelligent nurturance) and Venus – which in Pisces and the 2nd house is a pretty darn strong Venus!

Cutting through the astrological thicket here, this is a picture of national assets being wasted – and we’re not just talking financial assets, but people assets. This year the US is likely to start realizing that the ‘money for money’s sake’ and ‘riches for status sake’ is not the same as supporting the national interest. Ultimately the people of a nation and that nation's faith in the capacities of its people is a country's most valuable  resource.

San Francisco at sunset
photo credit: Digon3 (September 2005)

Neptune here is an interesting signal. It tells us that the US is about to start figuring this out at the same time as it is wrestling with the idea that some people don't count. Because Neptune is in the 2nd house there is a wide split between the 'if they're 'worth it' they'll make it on their own' perspective and believing that it is the nation's 'job' to provide the fertile ground - the faith in the people - which in essence fosters growth and prosperity.

The really interesting marker here (at least to me) is the Chiron/Hel + Fomalhaut equation. It really talks about those who learn the hard way – through paying a terrible price. That’s not just the nation – that’s its people…which we know because of Jupiter (primary ruler of Pisces) being at the head of that cluster which points at the IC of the chart – the house of ‘the populace.’

With the North Node of this solar chart at 25 Sagittarius in the 12th house activating a natal 28 Sagittarius Jupiter in the 4th house (of the people)…and with this natal chart Jupiter natally in opposition to a Gemini Uranus in the natal 10th…

…In part, this describes the democratic process: the ability of the American people to vote politicians in and vote politicians out. Their ability to mount petitions and repeal things they disagree with as a people.

On another hand, here we have a solar chart with the society should do indicator (the North Node) on Jupiter. That means get informed. That means not just legalities, but fair play. This is an indication of the power residing in the hands of a people, particularly when their government seems to be acting like they don’t care about the needs of the everyday person.

And remember – that’s not just ‘some’ everyday persons, that’s all everyday persons: everyone who is a citizen has the right to have the US as a nation respond to their needs, providing they are contributing to the national welfare at whatever honest capacity level they can.

There’s been a lot of conversation about shutting down the government of late too…and this solar nodal layout seems to speak to that rather clearly. With the solar South Node at 25 Gemini conjunct the natal Gemini Uranus in the 10th house in a late degree indicating not a control over matters but the requirement to respond to what others say/feel/require....and with Gemini being ruled by Mercury (which in the solar chart is in the 3rd house and part of the symbol complex asking that (Aries) will of the (4th house) people be the generative and end point...

 The Liberty Bell
photo credit: Tony the Misfit (2008)

...well then, the answer would seem to be not shutting the government down, but shutting down those in the government who are not (Jupiter) honest, who don’t know the (Sagittarian) facts or follow the (Sagittarian) laws and rules of parliamentary conduct...and wresting power from those who in the end, don’t have a workable (North Node) plan which (Uranus) breaks through all the (Gemini) rhetoric.

The aim should be ending discussions of faith and theory (North Node in the solar 12th) in favor of dealing with everyday basics and the structural needs of the (4th house) US nation and its people.

You know..."We the People"?

Will the country get back on track however that happens? According to this chart, probably not - which is to say, not during this solar year. Looking at a  stationary Pluto opposition Moon and Neptune in the 2nd, it would take and external dose of Hel(l) to get the US Congress and its people to pull together instead of against the national interest. Both sides think they have it right. With Neptune in the 2nd the problem is more like the fact that people so believe in 'sides' and 'winning' as a measure of good.

The concept of 'winning' is all about someone else losing. When you apply that to a nation, the nation cannot help but suffer.

That Pluto opposition Moon across the Ascendant-Descendant might be described as a year of a nation playing chicken - within the leadership, with the people,and with the world. Or blind man's bluff, which here might be otherwise known as a major national case of 'blind man, but...'

Fortunately, there's always next year. The US is a big and actually good-hearted country. It's biggest problem may actually be its history of success. To have a nation which cares more about the stock market than the education of its children and more about tax breaks than the survival of its citizens is the description of a nation which though it has a stunningly beautiful heartland, has no real moral, ethical or beating human heart.

And when you get right down to it, isn't federalism versus states rights plus economic profit versus the value of human life really the reason why the Civil War got fought to begin with?


  1. Hi Boots,
    Nice work, I enjoy reading your posts, but this one puzzles me. The SR
    chart has 26 degs Aries on the IC, yet Merc/Sun/Orcus @ 19/20/21 degs
    respectively, appear in the 4th. Your comments refer to them in the 4th.
    My guess is, that your chart program couldn't find room for the greater
    stellium in the 3rd, and let them spill over into the 4th, without your
    notice ...yes?

  2. Just buzzing by the blog...without going and checking the copy (I'll try to get there over the weekend) they ARE in the 3rd house, but the degrees just before the cusp of any of the angles has a pronounced (statistically tested) affect on the dealings of/in that house. Thanks for letting me know this wasn't as crystal-nifty clear as it could have been...I shall look to it and be more careful with explanations in the future.

    There is one 'up' side to this however - because the planet poised just BEFORE the angular cusp is actually (strangely!) stronger than the planet poised just inside that house, the Pluto/Moon opposition poised inside the 1st and 7th houses are a bit more moderated than they would be otherwise - good news for everyone!

    Thanks again, David - blessings unto you and yours, too. (Boots)

  3. Hi again,
    Does the that statistical strength hold up when the planet preceding the
    cusp, is a close participant in a 3rd house stellium? Thanks. Don't mean
    to hog your time & attention, but I always have ?'s ....thankfully for you, I
    can usually answer them myself.

  4. Hi, David...
    It's the proximity to the angle which adds strength. The study was done by Michel Gauquelin - a French statistician. It's been re-published here and there.

    Obviously if you have one planet in degrees (under 5, the closer the stronger) to the angle that's one thing. Having a stellium feed into an angle is amplified and colored by both the Gauquelin effect AND the quality of the stellium, which obviously has a 'sythesized' meaning as well as a this-lead-to-the-next-thing meaning.

    It's a good question and I don't mind answering at all!