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Going Through Changes: the USA Sibly Chart

Dear Fellow Traveler:

The United States is having its 234th birthday this weekend -- a good time to check with something called the Sibly Chart. This is the best-accepted chart for the United States, dated July 4, 1776 and with a time of 5:10 pm local time, Philadelphia. The time of the chart has been debated; if you're curious about the backstory you may check out the page in Astrodatabank that discusses the issue. I was a bit skeptical of this chart until the Sept. 11, 2001, incident, which basically proved the time is accurate -- that ascendant degree of 12+ Sagittarius turned out to be pretty sensitive, confirming that this is a working chart to within a few minutes of accuracy.

Planet Waves
The Sibly Chart is the Sagittarius rising chart for July 4, 1776. The time the Declaration was signed is in debate (it took a while), but the 12+ Sagittarius ascendant of this chart (next to the horizontal line on the left side) has been confirmed by historical events. Click for larger version.
To sum up the transits the U.S. chart is now taking: every aspect of American life is in the process of profound and sweeping changes that we can barely imagine. It's hard to counsel a whole nation, but if this were a client, I would prepare them to go through a series of transformations, inner and outer, that create an entirely different life in just a few years. The chart aligns exactly with the cardinal T-square that we've been discussing. Were the United States a person, the angles of American life that would be most affected over the next two years are sense of identity and perception in the world (ascendant), personal resources (2nd house) home and security (4th house), marriage and partnership contracts (8th house), and reputation, career and goals (10th house).

The Sibly Chart has Sagittarius rising, which describes our sanctimonious, religion-obsessed, expansion-obsessed nation. We love to spread out, and for the first couple of hundred years of our existence we did quite a bit of it. We still think that's what we do, even though at the moment we're shrinking both in influence and in economic strength. Our military is mired in two wars that have no goal and no limit to their expense; that is not growth, unless you supply guns and hamburgers to the troops. Our treasury borrows every day, taxing the distant future, to wage these wars, and there are no protests against them. This week Republicans in the Senate blocked renewal of unemployment benefits to more than a million Americans while it will spend billions to kill people in Iraq and Afghanistan under a false pretense of being at war with Al Qaeda.

There is a story to how this came to be, in the form of a transit that happened a while ago.
A transit is when a real-time planet makes an aspect to a planet in the natal chart. The Sept. 11 incident involved the opposition of Saturn and Pluto exactly -- to the degree -- across the 1st and 7th house cusps of the Sibly chart (Pluto in Sagittarius, the ascendant, and Saturn in Gemini, the descendent). This high-pressure meeting, which first occurred in the mid-summer of 2001, inflicted serious damage to our society and in turn, to many other societies. Rather, how we handled the whole thing inflicted the damage. It's possible to thrive under a combined Saturn-Pluto transit (most of us did), but that would necessarily come with raising awareness, meeting the challenges of growth and changing one's ways when necessary.

Instead, with the blessing of an American public humiliated, terrified and bent on revenge, the United States commenced the 21st century with an agenda of nonstop war, which we are now paying for with our unemployment rate and the sad fact that we cannot afford basic services for our people.

This is a lesson, and one we would do well to learn, if learning is still possible: we get a choice how we respond to national and global events, and how we respond actually matters. The transits that we're having now are significantly more powerful than those of 2001, which is saying a lot. Each of these transits suggests some outer manifestation, as well as a decision and growth process that we can go through as a nation; if, that is, we consider ourselves part of a nation. We tend not to talk to our neighbors in the United States. We don't usually sit in cafes and have conversations; we grab a Hot Pocket on the run. If we consider ourselves part of a group, we think of ourselves as factions, as special interests, or as viewpoints.

Yet we rarely question our viewpoint, and most people lack the critical-thinking skills to dismantle what they see on Fox News.

The Grand Cross and the Sibly Chart

Let's take a look at the transits the U.S. chart is under. These are the kinds of events that would happen never or once or twice in the life of a human; many are happening for the first or second time in the history of our country. More significant is the fact that these transit events are all happening simultaneously. And best of all, the U.S. has an Aries Point chart, with both planets and angles in the early degrees of the cardinals signs. In fact it's hard to imagine a chart taking any more high-energy transits at one time than the Sibly chart is having now. The United States is oriented to absorb the full impact of the cardinal T square, described in detail two weeks ago. What an awesome opportunity for cultivating maturity and taking leadership. We can, if we want, design the prototype of a new society with these transits: with a different basis economy, new energy resources and a fair model of governance.

Planet Waves
Western section of the Sibly Chart. The Cancer stellium is the cluster on the top part of the graphic. Venus (blue 'female' symbol) and Jupiter (orange symbol nearby, shaped like a 4) are in aspect to the Aries Point.
In the Sibly chart, Venus and Jupiter are placed at the beginning of a cardinal sign (in Cancer), meaning they are in aspect to the Aries Point. So, too, is the vertical axis of the chart (the dark line tilted a little toward the left, called the MC/IC axis, which is in early Aries-Libra). These highly sensitive points are simultaneously taking transits from Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto.

Notice that streak of natal planets on the upper right, in the sign Cancer. Let's call that the Cancer stellium. That grouping, in the 8th house of sex, death, taxes, banking and transformation, represents our inheritance as a nation: the incredible wealth that we started with. Cancer can have a feeling of collectivism, of populism, of family and of authentic bonding. That 8th house is the one that says: Right now and through the next few years, these Cancer planets are all going to take dozens of transits. These include squares from Saturn in Libra, squares from Uranus in Aries and oppositions from Pluto in Capricorn. In other words, if you think the news is nonstop madness now, we're just getting warmed up. And apropos of the Aries Point, it's all, constantly, going to have a personal feeling. The Moon, as well, is taking a major transit -- from both Chiron and Neptune.

Yet all of these transits are opportunities for change and progress. Because so many are connected to the Aries Point, they will have a tendency to bring people in -- to include us in the experience of growth and change. Let's go over a few of these events:

Saturn over the MC and into the 10th house (2010-2012). Translation: the government (a 10th house entity) is about to go through big changes -- bigger than we've seen in generations. With a Libra midheaven, we have the ability to have a just and fair government, if that is what we want -- so we better get wanting and step up to the challenge. Either we start taking the process of governance seriously (rather than as a place to vent venom and paranoia), or the friendly Libra façade of our government falls to the ground and shatters, revealing what is beneath it. The United States has spent many years inflicting its cruelty on other countries, under the guise of liberty, justice and spreading democracy. We can now rebuild our own country and create a government that is responsive to the needs of the people, and of legitimate business enterprises that will help guide us into the 21st century more smoothly and consciously than we've been seeing so far.

Planet Waves
There is an alternative -- a wind farm in Iowa generates megawatts. Photo from Dewey from Detroit blog.
Pluto opposite the Cancer Stellium (2010-2020). Translation: our values, such as they are, are threatening our wealth. But we can transform our values, on the one hand going back to something simpler, and on the other, making room for necessities that are distinctly about our moment now. We are obsessed by the idea of corporate greed and, as a culture, must openly challenge (for example) the entitlement of BP to do what it is doing to our food supply and to the oceans of the world. Pluto in Capricorn, in the 2nd house, would say we need new values, and one way or another we're going to get them. It's going to start with energy, both how we create it and how we use it. The 2nd house (where Pluto is, in the U.S. chart) is about the resources we have on hand -- and that is what we need to depend on. We have wind, sunshine and a lot of land. We don't need to buy oil -- and the transition has begun. Driving across Iowa two weeks ago, I was stunned at how many massive windmills there are. Pluto in Capricorn (along with other factors) is saying we need to stop letting our values be dictated by television commercials.

Saturn and Uranus square the Cancer Stellium (2010-2017). Translation: we need to recreate our financial sector. Anyone know of a big luxurious island without cable or satellite we can send all the investment bankers to? Our economy needs a deeper basis than greed or survival. We need to set a goal of taking care of as many of our people as we can with the resources that we have -- and that needs to become the basis of the banking system.

Neptune and Chiron Conjunct the Moon. This process has been going on for a long time, and it's going to last for a while longer. It is here to remind us of the incredible denial trip we're on as a nation, and our need to wake up and be honest with ourselves. The Moon can represent the public, in a public chart such as this. Neptune represents a kind of anesthesia: a dreamy delusion that we think of as a comfort zone. We are a country where many parents put their children on antidepressants. We don't want to deal with authentic feelings (instead, we substitute anxiety), and we have a tendency to pretend that things that are happening aren't happening. We do not understand the concept of moderation. As long as we live on corn syrup and mood stabilizers, we won't be able to feel our way through this growth phase. We could spur this whole process by sobering up a little and going back to eating real food.

Chiron conjunct the Moon will feel, to many, like a rude awakening, though anytime Chiron is having a challenging influence you can be sure it's the most recent of many notices -- and that there is an opportunity for healing. This is a calling to awareness, sensitivity and focus. If we pay more attention to facts and less attention to opinions, we might see what we've got going on. And that Aquarius Moon, above all else, says: we're all in this together.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

In 1817, John Trumbull painted the famous portrait of the presentation of the Declaration if Independence to Congress. Note, this is not the signing of the document. This image is a sample; here is the full painting. And here is the full text of the Declaration itself -- a document that is truly relevant to our situation today.

Divided We Stand | Political Waves

Once again I am struck by the sheer absurdity of our political situation. This week Mike Huckabee held forth at FOX News about the 'ick factor' in homosexuality, while Elena Kagan, vetted by Congress as a Supreme Court candidate, insisted that Don't Ask, Don't Tell policies present an unacceptable level of bias in the workplace. General McChrystal retired, and Petraeus changed tactics in Afghanistan to expand the killing rather than pursue the delicate mission of nation building. Unemployment extension failed again; the Republicans called those without work lazy and suggested that those still receiving checks should be tested for drugs.

To fund more war, House Minority Leader John Boehner proposed that Social Security be pushed back to age 70, adding that the proposed financial reform is similar to "killing an ant with a nuclear weapon." Running against Majority Speaker Harry Reid, Nevada candidate Sharron Angle proclaimed that God's plan for those impregnated by rape or incest does not include abortion. Glenn Beck has embraced the real spirit of Martin Luther King, of which the majority of us remain unaware. Oh, and don't forget that Hurricane Alex, the earliest superstorm in fifteen years, is pushing oil in the Gulf onto land with 90 mph winds.

If you're thinking just shoot me now, that's exactly what I think, several times a day. How is it possible that we've come to such a pass? How did the national conversation become so thick with preposterous distractions while real solutions are obstructed? How is it that the progressive policies we so desperately need are thwarted at every turn? You won't be surprised to learn that this was all planned, well in advance of our current crises. "Government is the problem," is a political meme that found its champion in folksy Ronald Reagan.

Our 40th president was once a Democrat, then ran for office as a Republican, but was clearly Libertarian in his heart of hearts. Populist conservatisms can be found in St. Ronnie's vision of deregulation, limited taxes and non-interference from government. His message was pointedly Christian, born in the cradle of white elitism. "We who live in free market societies believe that growth, prosperity and ultimately human fulfillment, are created from the bottom up, not the government down," said sunny, old Ron. "Public servants say, always with the best of intentions, 'What greater service we could render if only we had a little more money and a little more power.' But the truth is that outside of its legitimate function, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector."

Midyear Report from Planet Waves

Dear Fellow Traveler:

Today I'll be working on the 2010 midyear astrology report from Planet Waves. This will be a 12-signs-for-one-price audio product, with an introduction and a conclusion. This report will work for your Sun, Moon and rising signs -- and you can even scope out what's going on with your kids and significant others. Today a reader asked how to work with the rising sign aspect of my reports, and I'll get to that in a moment.

Planet Waves
Photo by the Dutch photographer Govert Schilling.
As you know, we're in the midst of one of the most unusual alignments of our lifetimes. This is the cardinal T-square that is synonymous with 2012. At the heart of the matter is the square of Uranus and Pluto, the one that will make the Sixties look like a walk in the park. That square is within three degrees now, joined by Jupiter, Saturn and a pair of eclipses. All of this is lined up with the Aries Point, which is like a magnifying/focusing effect. Everyone is affected by this astrology no matter what their sign.

Some people are experiencing this as calm weather, and by the way, I don't suggest you worry about that. There are some individuals and some charts aligned harmoniously with the current process of rapid change. When you look back on these years you will be amazed at what you experienced, who you became and what you accomplished.

For others, there is quite a bit of unrest, turbulence, pressure and weirdness, and you may be wondering what is next. This report will be applicable to both perspectives, because they are two sides of the same process.

The audio introduction is about half an hour, then each sign gets about 10 minutes devoted to it. I will also do a wrap-up segment summarizing what I learned doing the 12 signs, covering the eclipses specifically. I plan to have this ready Monday, July 5 well in time for the total solar eclipse on July 11. We're offering this as pre-sale to existing clients only for $19.95. For last year's Midyear Report, we divided the signs in half -- this year we are offering them together.

What About my Rising Sign?

I write Sun-sign horoscopes and detailed reports that work whether you know your natal chart or not -- that is my specialty.

Planet Waves
Now for the reader question, which pertains to how (for example) the Aquarius birthday report relates to Aquarius rising; or how any one of the signs in the Midyear Report works for your rising sign.

The great Patric Walker, one of my spiritual mentors, once said of astrology: "It's all about the houses." He was a newspaper astrologer, so he meant the solar houses of a horoscope column.

He meant it for natal charts as well. It's possible to take a chart with an accurate ascendant (based on your birth time) and strip out all the planets and just read the house pattern -- that's how well houses work. So when I think through your astrology, about 51% of my energy goes into what house an influence (such as an eclipse) occurs in. For your Sun sign, I use the solar house system, which works beautifully. I also suggest you know your rising sign and pay as much attention to my interpretation for that sign as you do for your Sun sign. And as a Cancer rising Moon child, I pay attention to lunar energy all the time. So the better you know your chart, the more information you'll have available from my work -- and the better the value.

To find your rising sign, all you need is your birth time and a five-minute trip to Astro.com. If you don't feel like doing that, your Sun sign (also called your birth sign) will give you the information you're looking for.

Here is the link to pre-order your Midyear Report from Planet Waves. Giving myself a little extra time, I plan to have this ready by Monday, July 5, when the price will go up to $24.95.

For readers who have not subscribed to Cosmic Confidential, here is a combined offer for $44.95 -- all 12 signs of Cosmic Confidential plus all 12 signs of the 2010 Midyear Report. If you purchase the combined offer, you will receive instant access to Cosmic Confidential, your confirmation letter will contain access info for the Midyear Report, and you will receive an email notice when the Midyear Report is done.

You can also order by phone by calling Chelsea at (206) 567-4455. Thank you for doing your metaphysical shopping at Planet Waves.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

Planet Waves
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, July 2, 2010, #822 - BY ERIC FRANCIS

Aries (March 20-April 19)
You may have an urgent need to break free from emotional patterns, though this may be showing up many different ways: a struggle in a relationship, a sense of confinement, the need to live someplace new or a burning desire to sever from history. Here's the thing. People aren't computers; we cannot just push the 'restart' button. We have to guide ourselves through an inner journey. Resolve and persistence can help when it comes to changing our psychological makeup, yet what typically happens is that when it's time, it's time; and it is time. You can facilitate your process by being honest about the past. One of the truly significant problems that often banishes growth is our struggle to do just that -- though at this point you must observe and feel what you're letting go of. There is a lot -- and I do mean a lot -- about letting go of the original impression of marriage or male/female relationships that you got as a child, and I suggest starting journaling a clear description of what those relationships were and how they felt.

Aries Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.
Taurus (April 19- May 20)
Notice the current paradox of your life, and check whether you have any attachment to it. It's true that existence is often a process of exchange, and we seem to get one thing (or experience) at the expense of another. Or we could describe this exchange as giving up what we don't need in exchange for what we truly want. You have a choice here: both of these options are open. However, you may be experiencing the need for an idealized notion of security or confidence that you don't have yet, and a calling to focus your desire in a way that creates what you want. Simply put, what you want requires that you take a risk, and that risk specifically involves letting go of a notion of security. I suggest that you be extraordinarily specific about your desires. Rather than saying something general like you want to be confident, describe what that confidence would entail, what it would look like and how you would feel being there.

Taurus Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.
Gemini (May 20- June 21)
Financial growth can be about making more money, or it can be about evolving your ideas about money. If you're a woman, you've been inflicted an extraordinary amount of cultural imprinting about your economic fortunes being tied to a husband or partner. If you're a man, you've been imprinted with ideas about who you're supposed to provide for, and why, and how well. It would be a stretch to call any of this 'teaching' -- it's actually branded into our emotional bodies with few alternatives available. You now seem be on the brink of releasing lots of this stuff, though the question is what you're replacing it with. Intuitively you know you can work out a whole new relationship with money, though what you may not recognize is that this breaks down to more than a feeling; you need specific points of decision, and of action, and clearly several of these involve the role of money in your relationships.

Gemini Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.
Cancer (June 21- July 22)
You are poised for some extraordinary new success, and a whole new variety of achievement. One of the ways that you'll be facilitating this is not being stuck in the personality structure of someone who has failed in the past, or who does not deserve recognition. I assure you this has nothing to do with your actual state of being. Once the concept of deserving comes up, you can be sure that there's a defensive reaction somewhere in the equation. I suggest you observe its utter lack of usefulness. Indeed, this concept -- deserving -- may be the bone of contention you have with yourself, and it would help facilitate your happiness immensely if you would let this go. You have a plan, you have a vision, you are not merely competent but a kind of visionary -- and your outer reputation reflects this. Allow these things to get the results you want, and they will.

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)
There seems to be no limit to the hidden layers of a human psyche, or what is contained there. More interesting is the extent to which this can conflict with our outer image: what we project to the world, and how we perceive ourselves in the world. Notice the discrepancies between the two over the next week or so: what you feel, and what you reveal; what you experience inwardly when the lights are off, and how the world sees you. I think you'll learn a lot from studying the differences. The first question you're likely to ask yourself is why they exist. You may run into some conditioning about what exactly makes you worthy of a relationship, which is to say, worthy of love: and which doesn't treat you particularly kindly. Here is a secret: this concept is so old, we have no idea how old -- but it has nothing to do with who you are today.

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)
Devotion is a moment-to-moment activity. The technical details speak for themselves, if you're listening. This time in your life may feel like one that is ruled entirely by necessity rather than by preference, desire or authentic choice, though this calls for some inner reflection. When you get to that point where you know something must happen, or that you know you're doing the right thing by devoting yourself to an experience, the beauty of that moment is in your voluntary response to give yourself over. This applies to your erotic reality as well as any creative endeavor that you're involved with. Rather than concerning yourself with the potential implications of anything you're doing, I suggest you ground yourself in the present. Feel every nuance of your thoughts as they melt. Allow yourself to surrender one delicious moment at a time.

Planet Waves

Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)
You are gradually gathering the presence of mind to fully take part in all that life is offering you, though it looks like some anxiety is getting in the way. There's something inside that fear, though I suggest you evaluate it on one basis: what you are feeling has to do with trust. There's so much energy coming at you that I could see you questioning whether you can feel safe with what is happening, or with the potential for so much change. Anxiety is the shadow side of an experience; the choice to trust is the side that offers light we can see by -- including seeing our fear for what it is. You're being summoned into a new world of experience, and it may seem that this world is entirely untested, unproven and unknown. Really, none of these things are true. But your choice to go beyond what is familiar -- including a particular goal you've clung to for so long -- will take you to a new depth of emotional confidence.

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)
You seem to be obsessed with service. I mean, it looks really impressive, like at this rate you could end up on a Vatican coin. Yet you have another impulse coming from even deeper in, which looks like a passionate need to create or express something. The service thing may be a distraction, or an excuse to not give yourself something you really need. Or you may be trying to stay visible and connected to a community. I would remind you that your evolutionary fires are burning hot, and in many respects this has nothing to do with any other person. You are in relationship to yourself, and the depths of that are invisible to others -- that is, until you reveal them. I suggest you nurture your inner journey for a little longer before doing so, and please be aware of when you're distracting yourself from something you want and need deeply.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)
Have you noticed how many relationships are better after they break up? Not all the time, but often, the emotional communication is better, the sex is better, the friendship is deeper, and some other element is gone. Now why is that? What is it about the way we structure a relationship when we call it 'a relationship'? What is it about how we have ungrounded expectations or unrealistic dependencies? And what is the whole drama of 'breaking up'? When it works, that is, when the relationship has a solid basis in truth, it's really more like opening up and setting one another free. Then, love is possible. It seems like all of your relationships can go through this transition, and liberate themselves into their next form. You don't need the expectations, you don't need to know the score, but what you do need is the freedom to feel what you feel in the presence of the people who matter to you -- and this you have.

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)
There is loving, and there is being open to love. Both are necessary to relate to other people, and on balance, being open to love seems like the one that people struggle with the most. You have just been through some profound experiences of opening up to yourself. Your charts look like you've made peace emotionally with a process of change that has been pushing you for a couple of years now. It's as if you've accepted and settled into the journey, and the fact that many of the outcomes are uncertain. What you may have experienced is the peace of mind that comes with letting go of an attachment to the past, and this in turn makes embracing the new possibilities that much more appealing. You can be real with yourself about the fact that the potential for real change evokes fear in many people, though you seem to grasp that it's a lot more fun if you can move beyond this obstacle.

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)
There is one aspect of your current erotic life that is all about service. There is another aspect that is about blazing into a new concept of experience that is all about flooding your mind and your senses with passion and joy. Oh, and ideas and a profound desire to liberate yourself and to relate to other people who are free. Do the two have anything in common? Are they directly opposed to one another? And on what basis are you choosing one or the other? You certainly have the option to be obsessed with the details of your relationships. Commitment is a truly significant issue for you. I would, though, caution you against ever thinking you know what is best for anybody but yourself. I don't say that because it's wrong; I say that because people are so good at concealing their agendas, and their insecurities, that it's often very hard to tell.

Aquarius Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)
Two elements of your psyche that are both fully functioning, and close to one another, are ready to be integrated. You're almost there. You haven't quite got the intellectual notion of what they have in common: you still have this idea that they cancel one another out. This involves how you process money and your concept of money; and how, in turn, money relates to self-worth and independence; and finally how this influences the subtler parts of your being: your creativity, your receptivity, your desire to be free. There are still plenty of people who believe that money corrupts everything, and I suggest for your own sake and that of everyone around you that you go to the next dimension with this one. You now have within reach the actual experience of resources enhancing your creative gifts and doing nothing to detract. Deep at the core of both is a common experience, which is valuing yourself. And this is a day-to-day, hour-to-hour journey. Walk lightly.

Pisces Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.

Eric Francis, the founder and editor of Planet Waves, is an astrologer and investigative journalist. He was working in his first job as a municipal newspaper reporter when he discovered that his editor also owned an astrology bookstore. This began a long relationship between astrology and journalism, which has taken Eric through the pages of many newspapers as a horoscope writer, including the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror plus numerous other venues. Today, Eric covers global turning point events through the lens of astrology. He is a specialist in newly-discovered planets.

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