Listeners to Planet Waves FM — here is this week’s edition, covering Mars in Libra, yesterday’s Full Moon and the USA chart. I also read the Declaration of Independence. To Americans and Amerophiles — happy 4th. –efc
Note: Eric first published this article in our premium subscriber issue on July 2, 2010. It may be two years old, but it contains a wealth of insight regarding the astrology of the USA. Some of our frequent commenters refer to the Sibly chart regularly; you may want to bookmark this post so you can refer to the charts in the future. The image above 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.- amanda
The United States is having its 234th birthday this weekend [236th, in 2012] — 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.
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.
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:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
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.
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,