What is the birth chart for the USA ? Well, there are no less than 18 different charts proposed for America, and these are just the ones for the 4th of July, the date normally accepted as America’s ‘birthday’
‘Though we celebrate July 4 as our official independence day, the “Resolution For Independence” was actually voted on July 2. John Adams wrote to his wife the next day that history would record July 2 as the “great anniversary festival” when the colonies voted to become an independent country, ending their ties to England. After an earlier vote on July 1 got divided results, two delegates from Pennsylvania decided to abstain to swing their colony into the affirmative group, the South Carolina delegates who had objected to the antislavery statement in the resolution said they might change their minds, and Caeser Rodney was sent for to break a Delaware tie. Rodney arrived after the delegates had read many letters and had completed a long, leisurely lunch. The vote for the resolution on the afternoon of July 2 was unanimous with one abstention by New York “for lack of instructions.” Unfortunately, no one seems to have recorded the time of that crucial vote. An afternoon vote could produce a Scorpio or Sagittarius Ascendant, since those two signs were rising between 13:42 and 18:35 LAT (local apparent or sundial time).’1
In Nick Campion’s Book of World Horoscopes the author writes that ‘the crucial vote for independence was taken on July 2nd 1776 … Even the participants in the drama regarded this vote as the vital event,’ and quotes the letter by John Adams: “The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epoch in the History of America – I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by Succeeding Generations as the great anniversary Festival.”’ Of course, the actual signing wasn’t for another two days and Adams’ rhetoric has been forgotten. But it seems the Declaration was in force already on the 2nd of July. At any rate, here is the result:
I’ve analysed this chart (for 16.00 LMT Philadelphia ) and to me it seems to ‘fit’ best for the US, for various reasons. Firstly, we get an ascendant at 26 degrees of Scorpio. Now, the chart which many astrologers favour – cast for the 4th of July – has Sagittarius rising, and some justify this with the archetypal image of the lone pioneer exploring the rich and expansive New World (indeed, redolent of the Archer.) But when we look at Scorpio, what do we have as the national icon (furthermore, adopted by the Founding Fathers themselves)?
The answer is – the eagle, one of Scorpio’s symbols, and officially adopted as the American emblem in 1787 due to its obvious connotations with – according to the Live Science website – ‘authority and statehood’. In other words, great power. John F. Kennedy even commented that: ‘The fierce beauty and proud independence of this great bird aptly symbolizes the strength and freedom of America.”2 (The eagle, with its keen eye, and majestic but deadly swoop as it moves in for the kill is an almost too perfect symbol for what we’ve come to know as America. In short, I fail to see happy go lucky, philosophical Sagittarius rising as America’s ‘face’ to the rest of the world – I see ‘don’t mess with me!’ Scorpio rising.)
When we look at the moon, we see further emphasis on both power and materialism –just look at its conjunction with Pluto, in Capricorn, in the 2nd house. This seems indicative of not only an obsessiveness with material security and resources, but a building up of emotional defences and an intense need to control and manipulate others (which is the consequence of such defensiveness). The authors of American Dream, Global Nightmare, observe that ‘to live in America is to be surrounded by potential harm, enemies and evil intent … for American fear is an original natural condition … of a fragile existence that must be defended’ 3
The authors stress that this state of affairs is not just since the terrorism of 9/11, but that the defensiveness is inbuilt from the beginning. For some, this defensiveness on the part of the powers that be is tantamount to paranoia (remember the McCarthy witch hunts and the fear of communism in the1950’s?). The Plutonic theme also looms large when we consider the overall power structure in the US – for many, a plutocracy (those with money are the only ones with real power). Philosopher Noam Chomsky calls America a ‘plutocracy masquerading as formal democracy.’ This is what often makes the rest of the population uneasy. And defensive. Of course, moon-Pluto in Capricorn isn’t about to relinquish control any time soon!
America is also the current ‘superpower’ (which is just how Scorpio rising/moon in Capricorn likes it.) But, as President Eisenhower once warned: ‘In the councils of government we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence … by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the drastic rise of misplaced power exists and will persist’.4
That potential, in the eyes of many critics, has already been fulfilled. Critics of the US (especially its foreign policy) all note how America has behaved more like an Empire than a Republic (and not always a benign one) what with its involvements in foreign wars (Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and Chile come immediately to mind) and the shady, political machinations of other countries. (In fact, more than 25 separate countries have been bombed by the US since the end of the Second World War).
Astrologically, this is suggested by gung-ho Mars in the seventh house, which on a mundane chart pertains to ‘abroad’, ‘others’. Mars is a divisive, ego-bound kind of influence, ready to assert itself and fight if it doesn’t get its own way. (And this isolationism is further reinforced by the eleventh house Saturn – in an individual natal chart it suggests someone who doesn’t make friends with their peers easily, or has a hard time seeing others as equals.)
And yet, much of this heavy-handedness is softened by the eighth house sun in Cancer, which in turn conjuncts Jupiter. This is America’s ‘nicer’ side, and one only needs watch a schmaltzy Hollywood film to see collective sentimentality at work, where the ‘good guy’ always wins and you can count on a happy ending. Added to America’s soft heart is its hard head for commerce. The sun-Jupiter conjunction is in the house of ‘big business’, and America has always prided itself on being a country of rich opportunities to make oneself wealthy – the so-called American Dream with its emphasis on the rewards of mass consumerism.
Of course, as one colleague once remarked to me, one of America’s main motivations is the freedom to expand its business interests globally and put top performing US companies in other countries across the world. (At this it is usually quite successful – the influence of Jupiter, again.) US president Calvin Coolidge once aptly noted that the ‘business of America is business’. Also, the abiding image (by now a cliché) of the typical American attitude is: do it big. All of which is symbolised by that Sun-Jupiter conjunction in the 8th house.
To me, this seems more like how America is really working at the core: that Scorpio ascendant and moon-Pluto in the materialistic 2nd house. Let us move on and – using the July 2nd chart as a basis – see how notable events in US history might be indicated on the Birth Chart of the USA. First off, the American Civil War which, according to Wikipedia, was ‘fought from 1861 to 1865. The Union faced secessionists in eleven Southern states grouped together as the Confederate States of America. The Union won the war, which remains the bloodiest in U.S. history.’
In the aftermath of a transiting Mars opposition to the US ascendant (on March 28th) came the Uranus return (also in the 7th house) on the 30th. According to Wikipedia, ‘after Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory claimed by the Confederacy, efforts at compromise failed and both sides prepared for war.’
I can think of no better image of tensions being released in anger and hostility than the combined presence of warlike Mars and erratic Uranus – here occupying the field of experience associated with compromise and negotiation, the 7th house. Neither planet is very interested in sitting down and talking things through nicely! The first shots were fired soon after on the 12th of April. And note the fact that this was presaged by a Uranus return – something new in the national psyche was attempting to break through, and it changed the face of America as a result (and for some Southerners, not for the better). It was thus a genuine revolution – a Uranian keyword.
The next event we turn to is the famous Wall Street Crash of 1929. The solar return chart from July 1928-29 shows an exact Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in the 8th house of big business and tycoonery. A piece on the Economics Help site typifies this desire for expansiveness and ‘doing it big’: ‘A lot of the stock market crash can be blamed on over exuberance and false expectations. In the years leading up to 1929, the stock market offered the potential for making huge gains in wealth.’5
By the time we get to October, when the crash actually happened, we have transiting Mars (often a trigger of some kind, no matter the type of event) making a square to that moon-Pluto conjunction in the second house of finance. This is significant, since on a mundane chart, the moon symbolises the general populace – and here it is their money at stake, not that of a coterie of wealthy business people. The Mars square makes things ‘overheat’ and by the 29th – the official date of the crash – shares were grossly overvalued and the whole thing exploded. It is highly apt that only seven days later, transiting Saturn entered into America’s second house of personal resources, presaging the long, drawn out financial depression of the 1930’s. This is against the backdrop of the progressed Uranus making a square to the radical MC/IC axis – the sense of security (IC) and faith in authority (MC) of many Americans was being seriously undermined by temperamental, erratic Uranus as they confronted these events.
We next move to the JFK assassination: ‘John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time (18:30 UTC) on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas.’ This comes directly in the wake (only a few hours previous) of a transiting Mars-Mars opposition, which in anyone’s book means an act of violence. What also seems uncanny is how, only days after this, the conspiracy theories got underway when Lee Oswald (up until then the official suspect) was murdered by Jack Ruby on the 24th. The transiting Mars which squared Neptune on the 25th seems to chime perfectly with the smokescreens, deceptions and outright lies that were maintained as people tried to get to the truth. Nothing in the official version of events (the so-called Warren Report) it seemed, could be trusted. The Mars square was to natal Neptune in the 10th house – that of the governing body and ruling powers, or, those that write the narrative of what we’re supposed to believe. Neptune is famous for its illusions and deceptions.
And we can find other indications here – since JFK’s murder was such a momentous event in American history. Indeed, there were much bigger reverberations in the American psyche. The total and absolute shock felt by the public is indicated by the progressed moon’s approaching opposition to (you’ve guessed it) Uranus. The combined effect of a hard moon-Uranus aspect so often means a kind of disruption to one’s routine or sense of safety – in short, emotional shock, and this is exactly how the public felt. No one could quite believe their President had been killed.
Then there was Watergate: ‘Watergate was a major political scandal that occurred in the United States in the 1970s, following a break-in at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. in 1972 … The scandal led to the discovery of multiple abuses of power by the Nixon administration, an impeachment process against the president that led to articles of impeachment, and the resignation of Nixon. The scandal also resulted in the indictment of 69 people, with trials or pleas resulting in 48 being found guilty, many of whom were Nixon’s top administration officials. The affair began with the arrest of five men for breaking and entering into the DNC headquarters at the Watergate complex on Saturday, June 17, 1972.’ (Wikipedia.)
The progressed chart for the date given above yields shady and power-driven Pluto opposite the North Node, as its winds its way backward through the zodiac. Nodes certainly have their place in astrology and often pertain to our connections with other people – how we come to form ties and what those ties are like. There is a little of the ‘like attracts like’quality about the North Node – one meets with others who share one’s own views, values, interests. Pluto opposing the North Node (and conjoining the South) indicates, as Robert Hand put it in Horoscope Symbols ‘subversive connections’ or ‘connections that may result in power struggles with others’.
This can aptly describe what happened with Watergate – the ‘burglars’ (dispatched, ultimately, by Nixon himself) were attempting to subvert the course of the Democratic Presidential campaign by digging up whatever ‘dirt’ they could find on certain Democrats. And most certainly, it ended in a ‘power struggle’, when Nixon did all in his might to avoid being impeached. In the end, as if admitting guilt, he resigned in ignominy. At the time of his resignation, progressed moon (10th) was opposing Saturn (4th) suggesting an unbearable burden carried by the public – they’d simply had enough of him! Plus, progressed Neptune was opposing the MC – harsh Neptune aspects to the Midheaven often pertain to a public scandal or deception of some kind. (And also the way in which Nixon would go on trying to deceive others into thinking that none of this had really been his fault. His photo-op ‘victory’ pose as he waved to the American public for the last time was yet another deluded gesture.)
Lastly we turn to the attacks on the World Trade Centre. The first actually happened in 1993 and the solar return chart ably shows a Grand Cross involving Mars (on the IC) opposite Pluto on the MC. (The other opposition entailed Saturn and the Moon.) The Mars on the IC alone is significant – the bombs were placed in the basement of the building, corresponding to how the IC shows the roots and foundations of any chart. The better known event was the ‘twin towers’ attack on September 11th 2001, for which only the solar return gives any broad indications. In such an event we would at least expect Mars (aggression) and Pluto (subversion) to be involved, and so it transpires.
Saturn is in the second house opposite the moon, Pluto and Mars all conjunct in the eighth which – if nothing else – suggests an enormous amount of hidden tension waiting to be released (the eighth also being the ‘house of death’). But there were soon to be unlovely consequences for the American public when a new raft of security measures were installed (like the Patriot Act) and which were criticised as being overly draconian and threatening to individual or civil liberties. This is symbolised by the presence of a Saturn square to the natal MC and a conjunction to Uranus. Straight away, this suggests an oppressive governmental power interfering with human freedoms.
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3. Sardar and Wyn Davies, Icon Books, 2004.
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