Author Archives: Gary Lorentzen

About Gary Lorentzen

Vietnam Vet, B.A. The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA. 1975. Teacher Certification/History, Univ of Wash, Seattle, 1978. German major, Portland State Univ. 1986 (Deutsche Sommerschule am Pazifik), M.A., Germanics, Univ of Wash. 1989. German Instructor, Portland State Univ + Chemeketa College (Salem), 1991-92. Retired high school German teacher, 2013, Vancouver, WA. Married to Dan Koperski; we live in Portland OR.

Saturn-Neptune Conjunctions and the Next Existential Crisis for Russia

Generally, mundane astrologers understand and accept that there is a strong historical connection between Russia and the Saturn-Neptune cycle. In modern history, we can point to their conjunction in 1846 and the circumstances that led Russia to attack the Ottoman Empire in 1853 creating an international military action against them called the Crimean War. Russia suffered a humiliating defeat by 1856 that seriously upset both the domestic political landscape regarding ethnic Ukrainians, Russian Jews, and the peasantry, and foreign relationships with Europe with the rising tide of nationalism. The 1881 assassination of Tsar Alexander II, who had been a liberal reformer, occurred as Saturn was in the Balsamic Phase with Neptune just prior to the 1882 conjunction. It brought hyper-nationalist and conservative Alexander III to power, who targeted Ukrainians, Jews and ethnic Germans in the Empire. In 1917, the conjunction coincided with the Russian Revolution, and specifically, the Bolshevik take-over of the government. In 1952-53, the conjunction coincided with the death of Stalin, and then in 1989 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. These remarkable historical events all happened under Saturn-Neptune conjunctions. The current cycle once again has Saturn in the Balsamic Phase with Neptune, both planets in Pisces as they approach their next conjunction at 0 Aries.

Given the history, it is no surprise that Russia is currently struggling, fighting an inhumane, criminal war against Ukraine and suffering serious diplomatic and economic isolation from the rest of the world as a result. Based on the astro-history, I think it’s more than possible that the Putin regime will come to an end around the time of the next Saturn-Neptune conjunction in 2026. Whether Russia will go through another constitutional crisis and systemic change, is harder to predict, but Putin’s illiberal, authoritarian system has Saturn in Taurus and will experience a Saturn return in 2030. I suspect we will know as soon as Saturn makes its ingress into Taurus whether the system will survive or be abandoned. However, post-Soviet Russia, founded December 25, 1991, 07:25pm, Moscow, has Saturn at 5 Aquarius, and the next Saturn-Neptune conjunction in February 2026 has Pluto at 4+ Aquarius, so we can expect a serious crisis related to their government structures and institutions of authority beginning around that time. Time is running out for Putin as Pluto is once again direct at 29 Capricorn and, once it re-enters Aquarius, it will stay there for the duration. As transiting Pluto gets closer to 5 Aquarius and Saturn gets closer to Neptune over the next year and half to two years, we should see the conditions in Russia really begin to deteriorate.

We also have to consider transiting Uranus, which is now at 19+ Taurus, conjunct the Putin regime’s Saturn at 20 Taurus. (Putin’s first inauguration ceremony began at 12:00pm and he accepted the position at 12:23pm, May 7, 2000.) This is another indication that Putinism is in crisis and it is in the middle of a shock to the system. However, it also indicates how much Putin is becoming even more radical and reactionary, passing laws that more strictly limit personal freedoms and criminalizing political opposition. It remains to be seen how long the Russian people can put up with this extreme, illiberal authoritarianism. I suspect, not much longer based on the history.

Although most people around the world would probably welcome a regime change in Russia, if the system collapses, the results could bring a serious international crisis. The U.S., the E.U. and even China may have to involve themselves in Russia’s domestic problems in order to stem the tide of violence and anarchy. Most importantly, such a collapse of the civil order would risk the security of the nuclear arsenal. It would also likely lead to serious economic and political problems for the Russian Federation’s component republics, namely, those in Siberia, in the Ural region, in south central Russia and those near the Caucuses. The ethnic rivalries that exist in the Russian Federation bring to mind what happened in the Balkans with the collapse of Yugoslavia. I would hope the world community learned its lesson with Yugoslavia and they’ll strive to soften the landing should the Putin regime begin to collapse in violent revolution.

Without any doubt, if the end of Putinism is accompanied or instigated by political violence, the world will have to figure out how to secure the Russian nuclear arsenal that is spread across various republics in the Federation. And even if the Federation collapses in a relatively peaceful way, those republics will most certainly not turn over their housed nuclear weapons to Moscow, given that Ukraine did just that with a promise of sovereignty, but Moscow invaded anyway. The risk to the world’s safety is obvious. There will have to be an international initiative to solve that problem.

I realize this sounds very ominous, but then Saturn-Neptune, in principle, is not known for risk averse or rational behavior. Their conjunction is often accompanied by paranoid, fear-driven, nationalistic political movements—the Red Scare of 1917-1919, and another Red Scare with McCarthyism in the early 1950s coincided with Saturn-Neptune conjunctions. The beginnings of the German Nazi Party happened at the same time as the 1917-1919 period with the revolution in Germany at the end of WWI. Consider also the elements of McCarthyism with its accompanying ‘Atomic Diplomacy’ and Mutually Assured Destruction, and we get a clear indication of how things can develop in a nuclear armed world under Saturn-Neptune.

We can find corroborative evidence for such an international crisis in the horoscopes for the U.S., especially those for independence in the first week of July 1776, and the horoscope for the coronation of Ivan IV, January 16, 1547 (OS), noon, LAT, in Moscow. Ivan IV is considered to be the founder of Russia as an early modern, monarchical nation-state in contrast to Peter the Great (1721) who created Imperial Russia. The US independence charts have the Moon’s Nodes at 6 Leo/6 Aquarius and Ivan IV’s coronation has the Sun at 5 Aquarius. We can see the havoc that was wrought for both the U.S. and Russia during WWII in the early 1940s when Pluto was last at 4-6 Leo conjunct the US North Node and opposing Russia’s foundational Sun. We are now looking at Pluto transiting 4-6 Aquarius again, hitting the same sensitive points that were hit in WWII, this time conjunct the U.S. South Node and Russia’s Sun. As previously mentioned, this will happen at the same time as the 2026 Saturn-Neptune conjunction.

A Retrospective on a Lost Generation of Queer Astrologers

                                                                                                          By Gary Lorentzen

In the Spring of 2013, I was in San Francisco and attended a preliminary outreach and exploratory meeting regarding ‘Queer Astrology’ held at the California Institute of Integral Studies. The meeting led to the organization of the first Queer Astrology Conference. It was a fascinating discussion and presentation but, although it seemed a novel idea to most everyone there, the idea was not at all new to me. I am a gay man in my seventies, have been active in the world of astrology since 1972, and, although this idea of queering astrology is only now taking hold, the conversation took me back some thirty to forty years.

There was a significant group of gay astrologers who were very influential in the 1970s-1990s, and we had the same discussions, the same thoughts, ideas and came to the same conclusions four decades ago that I heard in this initial Queer Astrology presentation. The difference is that this new generation of astrologers who had gathered there felt liberated enough to take the discussion beyond conceptualization and make something happen. I suppose this speaks to the success and awareness of gender, feminist, and queer theory as intellectual pursuits that have developed since the 1970s and become mainstream academic interests. In itself, this is both a testament to the social changes regarding acceptance of alternative sexualities, as well as to the attitudinal changes within the astrological community regarding its own LGBT members.  This new generation of astrologers is apparently well-versed in ideas like queer theory and this opens the possibility that they actually begin ‘queering’ astrology. Our community was not so open and accepting thirty to forty years ago. There could never have been a Queer Astrology Conference in 1980 for many reasons, but, in general, minds were just not open to the idea.

So, I would like to present to you some of the ideas that we older gay astrologers had about queering astrology, but really didn’t have the wherewithal to do anything about. That is, the world of astrology had not changed enough yet to embrace a queer approach to the practice, but gay astrologers were still creating among themselves a theoretical basis for what now is being called ‘Queer Astrology.’ Then I would like to introduce many of these gay men all of whom may not have been ‘out and proud’ because they didn’t feel safe, but nonetheless, they had a significant influence in changing astrology in its study, practice, application and professionalism over the last forty years.

There were a few of us who talked about gay issues just among ourselves, but we were reluctant to open up the discussion to others. I remember, whenever I tried, the reaction was always a nervous glance, hesitation, then an immediate change of subject. So, it was something that we talked about quietly together at conferences or, in my case, with my friend, Bruce Hamerslough—one of the first astrologers to just matter-of-factly come out and even say he was HIV positive—we sat down and decided to prioritize issues we wanted to know more about. Our clientele in Seattle was increasingly gay, and neither of us felt that we had any meaningful way of approaching an astrological counseling session with them without coming out to them ourselves in order to make them feel more comfortable. But we were concerned that doing so would make the session more about us than about them, so there had to be another way. We began to realize that there was something wrong with the astrology, or at least with the approach and interpretations in which we had been schooled. It was a little disconcerting to think that we had no theory or interpretive framework for dealing even with ourselves much less with gay clients.

One of the first issues I remember studying with Bruce was the idea of a ‘gay signature’ in the birth chart. Based on the literature, there were many different ‘signatures’ suggested by the astrologers of the day and those from earlier in the century, all of which reflected the misinformed opinion that there was something pathological with homosexuality. For example, there was the commonly held belief that ‘hard’ aspects between Venus and Saturn in a man’s chart made it difficult for him to relate to women, so his sexuality would constellate around an erotic attraction to a father figure. The same sort of ‘interpretation’ was given to ‘hard’ Moon/Saturn aspects. Another was any ‘hard’ Mars/Venus/Uranus aspect pattern perverted the sexual impulse and redirected the ‘natural attraction’ away from women and towards men. Lesbians suffered from Mars/Neptune ‘afflictions’—they were simply confused and sought sisterly affection from their female friends, but with the right man, all would be well. You see the problem immediately looking at it from today’s experience and perspective!  Somehow, it often escaped astrologers that even heterosexuals have such aspects in their charts and they weren’t considered as signatures for heterosexuality. I often heard these offensive interpretations at conference presentations and read them in articles as well as in sections of books. Yet, in spite of the fact the American Psychiatric Association had de-pathologized homosexuality in 1973, attitudes and interpretations were very slow to change in the astrological community.

Even within my Boomer generation of astrologers, many of whom were influenced by Jung and archetypal approaches stemming from Joseph Campbell’s work in mythology, there was difficulty in reconciling concepts like ‘syzygy’ (reconciliation of opposites, i.e., male and female archetypes in the psyche) and its manifestation in male-female sexual attraction, and the realities of same-sex attraction. The late Tony Joseph and I had conversations about this problem and even he, as an archetypal astrologer and gay man, could not comfortably conform Jungian theory to a homosexual orientation. But then, within Jungian circles, there was also controversy over how to explain homosexuality within the limits of Jungian theory. If depth psychology was going to be used for astrological work, then theories like analytical psychology had to be applied. At least that was the conventional wisdom.  Freud’s idea of a universal ‘latent  homosexuality’ was being discredited in academia, so for astrology the Jungian archetypal approach seemed a better fit, but it didn’t provide any real answers either.

Thus, chart interpretations were (and often still are) hetero-centrically biased and ignorant in their assumptions about sexuality. It is no wonder that astrologers didn’t feel comfortable openly discussing queer and gay issues. There was no theoretical basis within the literature or schools of thought for doing so. Astrologers all too often, like psychologists prior to the 1970s, conflated the effects of society on the emotional lives of gay people with their sexuality. That is to say, the depression, anxiety, emotional stress and self-loathing that actually come from being closeted in an intensely homophobic society, were rather seen as a result of a pathological sexuality, and not seen as stemming from the oppression of living in a frighteningly hateful world, in which, until the 1970s, gay men were subject to ten years imprisonment and sterilization in many states. Some of that ignorance is still around because astrology is too often a self-study and the old materials and books with questionable interpretations and assumptions are still available and being used.

Obviously, at this point in time, it is pretty well established that there is no astrological signature for homosexuality. Sexuality is now seen more as an identity and orientation to the world based on a multiplicity of factors from genetics to very early responses to the environment, not unlike culture, nationality or gender, none of which can be ‘found’ in the planetary placements of the birth chart. There are probably as many different ‘signatures’ for sexuality as there are people, and this fact requires us all to be acutely sensitive to our clients’ individual sexual orientations and gender identities.

Yet, gay people who go to astrologers often experience the same old prejudices that I experienced in astrology forty years ago. In general, we still too often see the Uranus/Neptune/Pluto/Venus/Mars combinations as potential indicators of homosexuality, rather than seeing the client simply as a sexual being, whether gay, straight, bi, or transgendered, and interpreting the planetary dynamics as to how they come to know and deal with their sexuality. But this is exactly what gay astrologers were beginning to formulate back in the early 1980s and what today’s younger astrologers, whatever their sexuality, are trying to do today with their ‘Queer Astrology’. There needs to be a body of work on the subject that becomes the basis for a new, less hetero-centric approach, in order to make this somewhat separate queer branch of interpretation more accepted and generalized in common practice.

There is an important, oft forgotten reason for the lack of a body of queer astrological work from the 1970s through the 1990s. Aside from the historical, theoretical and interpretive problems in astrology regarding sexuality, dealing with gay clients and acknowledging gay practitioners, there was also the added terror of the AIDS epidemic that began in the early 1980s and made the situation much worse for gay astrologers. Although I would like to believe that my astro-colleagues were, for the most part, less paranoid of their gay counterparts than, say the general population was, it was still problematic. People mentioned ‘gay’ only in side conversations and whispers, which made many of us very uncomfortable. But then our colleagues started dying of AIDS, and it simply couldn’t be ignored anymore. Some of us began to realize staying quiet (i.e. closeted) was not a good idea. My friend, Bruce, and I had long heart-to-heart conversations about coming out, making the astrological community more aware, and imploring them to be more compassionate as we began losing many of our best and brightest astrologers.

I first met Bruce Hamerslough in Atlanta in 1978. Originally, from New York, he was living in Athens, and I had just moved to Atlanta. I immediately joined the Metro Atlanta Astrological Society, for which Bruce then was the Vice President, and we started a congenial professional relationship. I moved back to Seattle in late 1979 and Bruce moved there in the early 1980s. We became good friends, and I spent a lot of time with him and his business partner and fellow astrologer, Dennis Flaherty, before Bruce died. Bruce believed he had been HIV positive probably since 1980 or ’81, so the subject was emotionally close to him. He and I discussed at length the issue of HIV and sexuality in astrological interpretation, and we wanted to have open discussions about the AIDS crisis with others, but it wasn’t at all a welcome conversation. We realized then it felt too risky to promote such a thing in the community-at-large, because there was so much fear and confusion around the subject. As a result, our notion of ‘queer astrology’, that is, making the community open and welcoming to gay practitioners, dealing appropriately with gay and lesbian clients, and publishing articles and perhaps even books on sexuality, never went anywhere except as an interesting topic of conversation among ourselves and a few other gay astrologers. The very idea of researching and creating a body of work around the issues of homosexuality was becoming less and less likely.

During the 1980s, because of the slow response to the crisis, gay people all over the world started getting angry and holding massive protests regarding gay rights and AIDS. Governments simply dismissed the diseased initially as a ‘gay disease’ and there was not much of a concerted effort to deal with it. It took a great deal of ‘acting up and out’ to get their attention. Finally, there was an appropriate response to the epidemic, but the delay meant the death of millions. Within the astrological community, men started dying of AIDS and AIDS related problems, which Bruce and I thought required some kind of response from astrologers. At least, the gay astrologers needed to stand up and make it known. Bruce and I decided we would not stay closeted, but we were both a bit shy about it because we were concerned about our reputations in the community. We didn’t make any dramatic announcements, but starting in 1983, we simply let it be known through normal communication with others that we were gay. Of course, no one seemed to care. Yet, at the national level, many of our best astrologers, who also happened to be gay, were not coming out, and they were dying. It was a terrible situation, yet no one was talking about it or dealing with it. I believe it was in 1986 at NORWAC that Bruce outed himself publicly during a keynote speech, or something similar, in which he told the audience he was gay, HIV positive and had AIDS.

It turned into a tragic period in the history of modern astrology, because we lost many brilliant young astrologers to the AIDS epidemic in the late 1980s and 1990s, including my friend, Bruce. It was a devastating blow to the global astrological community, and many of us lost close friends and teachers, not to mention the loss of continued research, writing and general contributions to the discipline and profession, and most specifically in the area of sexuality and queer theory. I think it is time to remind ourselves not only who these men were and that they were very important to the global community, but also of what we were trying to accomplish in the field of astrology. Since the movement for a Queer Astrology is gaining momentum again, I would like to introduce these gay men to remember and examine what came before the current movement, to be inspired by their work, and, if nothing else, just to appreciate them.

Here is a list of American astrologers who paved the way for what is happening today in astrology, and who ultimately died of AIDS related illness or complications:  Robert Cole, Frederick Davies, Jack Fertig, Bruce Hamerslough, Jesse Portis Helm, Richard Idemon, Tony Joseph, Richard Lovell, Buz Myers, Marc Robertson, Howard Sasportas, James Farrell, Stephen Wirmusky, and Johnny Lister. I don’t know how complete this list is. These are the names that I am aware of, and I certainly hope there aren’t more. If you did not know or were not aware of these men, then perhaps it is time to become acquainted at least with their names. To that end, here is a short biography and commentary, as much as I could find or remember, for many of those listed above. Where it was possible, I included the birth and death data. I wish I had known all of them, but for those I knew or with whom I was acquainted, I offer my impressions and memories.

Robert Cole (May 7, 1948, 5:18AM PDT in Henderson, NV) was an astrologer from the Bay Area who was best known for his book, The Book of Houses. He was a bit of a controversial figure who often poked at the flimsy professionalism of some astrologers and whose letters to the astrological publications were often confrontational and provocative. But he made us think and reflect on what we were doing and what we were saying to our clients. He played the role of our conscience in many ways, and helped us with our integrity. He died of AIDS on August 13, 1992.

Jesse Portis Helm (August 31, 1947, 10:35AM EDT in Brooklyn, NY) was a working astrologer who was known for his acute observations and solid, common-sense advice. As a result, he had a large practice and lectured and taught in Manhattan most of his life. Later, he moved to the Raleigh-Durham area and toward the end of his life he went to Miami. He was also a gifted Tarot reader and a student of the Kabbalah. He never really promoted himself much on the national stage, preferring instead always to focus on the people in his locality, many of whom were LGBT. It is assumed he shied away from the national scene because he was very ‘out’ in New York and the national astrological community was not perceived as very gay friendly at the time. His writing career included a culture and entertainment column for Gentlemen’s Quarterly, and although he never published an astrological book, his writings for his classes, lectures and workshops were legendary. His lasting legacy in astrology is the human face he brought to the discipline with his openness and compassion for his clients and students and probably some of the best teaching and self-generated astrological materials of his day. Jesse died in Miami in June of 1989 and was preceded in death by his husband of many years, Phillip Weathers, who also died of AIDS.

Richard Lovell (no birth data are available) was also from Brooklyn, NY, and was known for his sardonic wit and his one-liners about the male and female stereotypes of each sign. Richard is probably one of the least known astrologers of the era, but he used to go to every possible conference and often rattled our cages with his irreverence and his obvious attempts to deflate egos, yet he never made people uncomfortable with his humorous attacks on self-importance.  He became ill with AIDS fairly early on and spent nearly a decade struggling with his health, which took him away from his astrological practice and the lecture circuit. He died in 1993.

Howard Sasportas (April 12, 1948, 1:46AM EST in Hartford, CT) was one of the most influential astrologers of his day. He received his MA in Humanistic Psychology from Antioch University-NYC and in 1973 moved to London to study astrology at the Faculty of Astrological Studies. He received his FAS Gold Medal in 1979 and began teaching for them. He also studied for a degree in Psychosynthesis and in 1983, together with Liz Greene, founded the Centre for Psychological Astrology in London. He had a reputation for being a very kind, approachable professional who touched many people’s lives and for his body of work that integrated psychology and astrology so well. Howard died on May 12, 1992 at 05:12PM in London, England. Here is a list of his published works:  The Twelve Houses; The Gods of Change; The Inner Planets; The Development of the Personality; Dynamics of the Unconscious.

Tony Joseph (December 7, 1946, 12:35AM in Cleveland, OH) was also a hugely popular and influential astrologer of the 1970s and early 1980s. He was especially known for his vast knowledge of mythology and its relationship to astrology, and together with Eleanor Bach and Demetra George, probably the most knowledgeable about asteroids. He was one of the first ‘archetypal’ astrologers who were intellectually influenced by Joseph Campbell and C. G. Jung. Tony was charming, handsome, collegiate and very articulate. His lectures were always inspiring and his ability to connect with people whom he met for the first time was amazing. He often wanted to let people know that he was gay, but he would do so with a touch of humor and euphemism. For example, when I first met him, he asked me grinning slyly and with a sparkle in his eye, whether I was also ‘puer aeternus’ (Latin for ‘eternal youth’ or ‘forever young’), which made me laugh. We became good professional acquaintances at that point, and he stayed with me when he came to Seattle for presentations, lectures, and workshops. Tony became the Director of the National Council for Geocosmic Research in 1979 and was active in the organization of astrology along new intellectual lines until his death. He died on June 6, 1986 at 3PM in San Francisco.

Steven Wimursky (June 27, 1956, no time available) was a New York astrologer who had a passion for the theater. His professional life encompassed both astrology and the theater, and he was enthusiastic about both. Steven took astrology and his practice seriously, and he wanted to see the field become more professional and more legitimate. He always sought to improve his knowledge and his skills both with techniques as well as with his clients. He studied for and passed his professional certification from NCGR-Professional Astrologers’ Alliance. He had a significant astrological practice which included consciously and purposefully serving the gay community, but he was also the Director of Operations for the Circle in the Square Theater. Many older astrologers might remember him from the UAC conference in Washington DC in 1992 when he was the stage manager for Michael Lutin’s ‘Alien Follies’. Steven began exhibiting HIV related symptoms shortly thereafter, and he died November 22, 1993 in Brewster MA.

Bruce Hamerslough (October 26, 1948, 06:45PM in New York, NY) grew up in Scarsdale NY, studied biology and education in college, and did his student teaching and became a public school science teacher in Vermont. But he had a passion for astrology and abandoned his teaching profession to become an astrologer. He moved to Athens, GA where he opened a metaphysical bookstore and practiced his astrology. He was instrumental in the early days of the astrological association in Atlanta, serving both as Vice President and President of that organization. He studied for and received his professional astrological certification in 1983 and moved to Seattle. There he formed a business partnership with Dennis Flaherty, and they opened the Greenlake Metaphysical Center.

Bruce was one of the first openly gay astrologers to come out as both gay and HIV positive. He had a successful practice in Seattle and he often expressed concern about gay and ‘queer’ issues in astrology, especially when it came to serving his gay clientele. Bruce was known for his sense of humor and ability to laugh at himself as he became more ill. He developed pneumonia in late 1995, and realizing his body couldn’t fight off the disease, he refused further treatment so as not to prolong the inevitable. Before he died, he asked to have this as his epitaph: “Having a wonderful time! Wish you were here!” He often said that you can lose your health, but you should never lose your sense of humor. He lived that philosophy to the end. He died December 27, 1995 at about 07:30AM in Seattle. Bruce published two books, Forecasting Backwards and Forwards and The I-Ching Manual.

Robert “Buz” Meyers (November 9, 1941, 06:48PM in Painesville, OH) was another incredibly influential and popular astrologer the 1970s-1990s. He had a passion for Native American philosophy and spirituality and often infused those perspectives into his work. He was a standard fixture at all the conferences both national and international, had a very popular tape series, and wrote books that had such a unique perspective on astrology and its applications that it was hard not to read his material from cover to cover in one sitting. He was known for his sharp insights, wit, and brilliant ideas. He was dynamic and charismatic in public, yet a quiet shy man in private and often preferred the limelight shine elsewhere. Buz was one of the few astrologers who did great deal of work in sexuality, sexual identity and orientation. His groundbreaking lecture series and resulting book, simply titled, Sexuality, turned out to be one of the first attempts to ‘queer’ astrology and move beyond stereotypes and pathological descriptions, although Buz would probably not have labeled his work ‘queer’ at the time. Other publications include Getting On-Time with Your Life and The Moon as Trigger for Transformation. Buz died March 12, 2000 at 08:38PM in Portsmouth, VA.

Marc Robertson (February 8, 1937, 05:48AM PST in Mount Vernon, WA)  I am including Marc here, although his ‘reported’ cause of death was heart failure. I knew him personally; he and his colleague, Joanne Wickenburg, were my teachers at the old Astrology Center of the Northwest. He probably had more influence on my understanding and application of astrology than any other astrologer at the time. He was a very quiet, withdrawn, shy man who was a brilliant astrologer and, in spite of his reserved nature, could give a terrific public lecture. He could also be a bit of a tyrant and a diva to those around him. His body of written work, however, is incomparable and his contribution to astrology with his ‘cosmopsychology’ can’t be underestimated.

He had a fascination with human sexuality and he and I had a couple of in-depth conversations about the subject, in which he hinted at his sexual orientation, but never said he was gay. But then he never revealed anything about his personal life to anyone, ever, not even inconsequential little details that people normally discuss with others in general conversation. His book, Using the Birth Chart to Determine Sex, Mind and Habit, is a significant early contribution to Queer Astrology, but Marc’s social conditioning and closeted nature are still evident even in his attempt to move beyond such personal limitations. Other important works include Transit of Saturn; Engine of Destiny: Planets and Personality; Not a Sign in the Sky but a Living Person; Time out of Mind: The Past in your Astrological Birth Chart and Reincarnation; Eighth House: Sex, Death and Money.  Marc Robertson died September 26, 1984.

Richard Idemon (There are no birth data available for Richard because he never revealed his birthday, and even those who know still respect his wish that no one knows his birthday and time.) Richard was the charismatic astrological educator par excellence during the 1980s. He was famous internationally for his incredible lectures, depth of research and, probably most significantly, for his work in depth psychology together with Liz Greene. He was also the teacher for many of our most successful astrologers today. He had a tape series which was very popular both in the States and in Europe. He never wrote a full astrological book while he was still alive, but thanks to the work of Gena Ceaglio and the late Howard Sasportas, two books were published posthumously based on transcriptions of Richard’s lectures, workshops and other written work:  The Magic Thread and Through the Looking Glass. Richard was one of the most popular and influential astrologers and teachers of the 1980s. He died in San Francisco around noon on February 22, 1987.

These astrologers left a remarkable legacy and their deaths were hard to comprehend or accept. They were our colleagues, friends, teachers, mentors, and heroes, but their memories live on, their works are still here to be read and studied, and their influence will reach far into the future.  Collectively, they formed the basis for what we are now calling Queer Astrology and the door is now open for the next generation of astrologers to complete the work and fulfill the promise of an astrology stripped of its narrow stereotypes, judgments, prejudices and misinformation about human sexuality and relationships.

Acknowledgement and thanks go to Erin Sullivan, Donna Cunningham and Alan Oken for their insights and input in helping me remember and reminding me of some of the details about these men and events since the 1970s.

Planetary Pairs and the Aspects in the Eight Phases of their Synodic Cycles

Part One—The Methodology

In Mundane Astrology and Astro-History (astrological analysis of History), the conjunctions, squares, and oppositions of the outer planets, Saturn to Pluto, are usually seen as important inflection points in historical time. As such, they correspond to important shifts, changes, crises, etc., in the history of polities, nations, cultures, or even civilization itself. However, it is often the case that these critical aspects between two outer planets are viewed in isolation and out of context of the planetary pairs’ synodic cycle from conjunction to conjunction. Tony Dickey’s ‘Planetary Wave Theory’ corrects that problem, creating a graph of the cycle showing the relationship between the two planets on a sine wave. But in his theory, there’s no specific interpretive difference between a waxing first quarter square and a waning last quarter square, for example. There is room within the theory to plot historical moments in time corresponding to the waxing and waning semi-square, sextile, sessquare, etc. Again, though, there’s not much discernment between waxing and waning aspects. This is understandable, since without the context of the phase relationship between the two planets, there’s little reason to think of the waxing and waning aspects as all that different from each other.

We can, however, see these cycles through the phase relationship of the two planets in question, which then provides a fundamental difference in interpretation of the waxing and waning aspects. Modeling the phases after the eight phases of the Moon and their interpretations, we can adjust accordingly the interpretations of the waxing and waning aspects of any planetary pair for socio-political purposes. The waxing phases are New, Crescent, First Quarter and Gibbous. The cycle culminates with the Full Phase and the waning phases are Disseminating, Last Quarter and Balsamic. Each phase is 45 degrees in length. The aspects between the two planets can then be placed within the context of the phase relationship, providing important, broadened interpretive insight into the meaning of the aspects. For example, if we are looking at the Jupiter/Saturn cycle, the Crescent phase begins when Jupiter reaches 45 degrees ahead of Saturn (waxing semi-square) and the First Quarter phase begins when Jupiter reaches 90 degrees ahead of Saturn (waxing square), and so forth. If we understand the meaning of the Crescent Phase and the First Quarter Phase, then we can also understand that the semi-square and square that mark the opening of the phases should be interpreted within the context of the phase. That means there’s a fundamental difference between a waxing semi-square in the Crescent Phase and a waning semi-square in the Balsamic Phase, because those two phases have very different interpretations.

The reason for the difference isn’t just because the aspects fall in different phases, but also because the phases are really ‘developmental and dynamic’ through the cycle and not static, and therefore, neither are the aspects. In other words, what happens in the New Phase determines what happens in the Crescent Phase, which in turn influences what happens at the First Quarter Phase, and so forth. Therefore, what happens at the conjunction will inform us how to interpret what happens at the semi-square, which in turn, tells us how to look at the Crescent Phase Septile, Sextile, Quintile, and then they in turn, inform us how to approach the First Quarter Square. And so it goes throughout the cycle from conjunction to opposition back to conjunction, and it seems very much to be an ‘if this…then that’ scenario. You’ll understand what I mean by ‘if this-then that’ below in the interpretive guidelines or rubric for the aspects.

This method of analyzing aspects and using the phase relationships of planetary pairs is not my original idea. I was first introduced to the method in the mid-1970s by the late Marc Robertson in Seattle. What is perhaps my original contribution to the method is using it strictly for Mundane and historical work, re-imagining the interpretive framework for politics and social processes. I developed this over the decades, watching these cycles of outer planetary pairs in their phase relationships and aspects and associating them with specific historical events and periods of time. From that observation, I developed a dynamic interpretive framework for the aspects in their phases. Here’s a graphic of the eight phases with some of their aspects.

Of course, the principles of the two planets involved are the basis for interpreting their cycle. So, let’s take a look at a basic guideline of interpretation for each planetary pair from Saturn to Pluto. (For brevity, I’m leaving out Jupiter in the descriptions, but Jupiter’s conjunction with any outer planet also marks the opening of an important cycle, and its phase relationship to the outer planets is just as important as those starting with Saturn.) These interpretive suggestions are not meant to be complete or comprehensive, but rather just a guideline for understanding a couple basic principles in the pairing. Included in parentheses are the most recent years of the planets’ conjunction, setting off their cycle.

  • Saturn/Uranus: reform and/or disruption of social and political structures, agencies and institutions; political realignments. Radical shifts/shocking events in politics/government. New statements of intent regarding political and legal reforms. (1988)
  • Saturn/Neptune: governmental chaos, demise or dissolution of old government agencies/forms; ideological shifts in politics/government, idealized cultural past; ideological attacks on government systems. New statements of intent regarding social/political traditions and values. (1989)
  • Saturn/Pluto: transformation of governmental institutions and agencies; extreme political power struggles; epidemics; new statements of intent regarding economics and the powers of government in controlling the economy. Historically this conjunction has been accompanied by large losses of life. (1982/2020)
  • Uranus/Neptune: realignments of political alliances; social agitation/upheaval and/or revolutions. New statements of intent and sweeping changes in political ideologies. New technologies that shape the future. (1993)

    Uranus/Pluto: radical agitation for civil rights; transformation of governmental and political institutions; deep cultural, social and political transformation with new statements of intent regarding equality under the law, the rights of individuals to live free of traditional culture and life-styles, and to have their own erotic life free from government or religious intrusion. (1850/1965)

  • Neptune/Pluto: dramatic, fundamental changes and transformations in culture and civilization. Long-term (495 year cycle) shifts in cultural paradigms and scientific/technological advancements. (1892)

Now let’s go through the eight phases and the aspects within those phases and some key interpretive phrases to illustrate how they work. These interpretations are generic and not related to any specific planetary pair, although they are still within a mundane, political framework. An important thing to keep in mind while reading through them is the dynamic, developmental nature of the aspects within their phases. Each phase begins with a ‘hard’ aspect and contains 45 degrees of arc. Each phase can generally be described by the conjunction, semi-square, sessquare or opposition that ‘opens’ it.

New Phase–0-45 deg: Conjunction—This phase marks the beginning of the new cycle complete with a shift in political direction. New statements of social, political and economic intent are made, with new goals and policies.

30: Semi-sextile—awareness that the new intentions or policies need compromise and adjustments to real world circumstances. Rigid ideological positions only lead to conflict.

Crescent Phase–45-90 deg:  Semi-square—there’s a risk of waning energy to maintain the new policies among those who supported them at the conjunction/New Phase; mobilization of energy and support is necessary to keep the vision and goals alive as there’s push back from those opposed to the new intentions and policies.

51+:  Septile—if there was mobilized energy to push forward at the semi-square, this aspect provides unexpected support. If there was difficulty with the semi-square period, some outside influence such as the Courts could step in and thwart the intentions. Some consider this a ‘fateful’ aspect, and, indeed, “Fate” may step in, but not in a kind way. However, I’m inclined to see it in political terms as a period of self-defeat because of mistakes made at the semi-square. Political opposition can gain traction, but they can also lose ground, if the challenges at the semi-square were met by those who support the new policy agenda set at the previous conjunction.

60:  Sextile:  If the new goals and intentions have worked thus far, expect opportunities to appear to give the goals some practical form. Caution—the ship may have come in, but it’s anchored in the harbor and effort is needed to go after those opportunities. If there were difficulties at the semi-square and septile, the political opposition can now successfully take advantage of the situation.

72:  Quintile:  If things haven’t worked out thus far, expect opponents to reject, oppress and/or use some authority to force a change.  If things are going well, now is the time to find creative ways to keep moving forward.

First Quarter—90-135 deg:  Square—this marks a period of the first substantive challenges to the original intentions set at the conjunction. Many people suddenly don’t like the beautifully constructed plans and goals anymore. Political opposition will most certainly launch a major effort to derail the policy agenda. There will have to be a concerted effort to fight to keep the statements of intent and new policies alive. In confronting the opposition, with a lot of effort and political will, much can be accomplished. Supporters of the agenda must resist intimidation and pressure and stand up for the policies. It’s a time to fight back in order to keep the vision alive. If not, the original policies and intentions will simply fade away and the political opposition will gain political traction among the electorate.

120: Trine—if the challenges were met at the square, now is the time for some reward. It’s often an era of ‘good feelings’ as there’s a majority acceptance of the original goals and intentions and a rejection of the opposition. If those who oppose the new intentions and policies find success in thwarting further development of those policies at the first quarter square, they will now find popular support and continuing success.

Gibbous Phase—135-180 deg:  Sesquiquadrate—here’s the last challenge to the goals/intentions/plans in the waxing cycle. No resting on laurels here; it requires work to keep the momentum alive. With continued political activism and support for the original statements of intent and new policies, this aspect can give them a boost as the planetary pair moves to fruition and complete success at the opposition. But often those who were receptive and supportive at the trine can suddenly become skeptical and it takes effort and work to keep and maintain public support.

Opponents will likely try again to put an end to the new intentions and policies, or, if they were successful at the square and gained support at the trine, now at the Gibbous phase sessquare, they will be motivated to keep their momentum going. But they will find increasing push back from those who still support the original statements of intent and policies.

Full Phase—180-135 deg:  Opposition—here’s the proof in the pudding. The original statements of intent at the conjunction now reach a period of ‘fulfillment’ or maximum success. Goals and intentions receive recognition and become operationalized within governmental and political systems. If things haven’t been going right and wherever opponents have been able to thwart the continued development of the goals/intentions, now is the time when the cycle simply shuts down, the effort to actualize the plans/intentions/goals fails. It’s harder at the Full Phase to start over and any new or alterations in the plan may have to wait until the next New Phase/Conjunction before they gain traction. If the political opposition found success in the First Quarter and Gibbous phases, then they will win the political argument at the Full Phase and their policies will replace the original, new policies set at the previous conjunction.

Disseminating–135-90 deg: (waning) Sesquiquadrate/Sessquare:   If all went well during the Full Phase, this aspect opening the Disseminating Phase will be another reminder not to rest on laurels.  More energy is needed to keep the plans in motion. There’s a need to disseminate the ideas and broaden the scope of the plans/goals/intentions. If things fell apart at the opposition, and political opponents were able to take control, then at this sessquare, they will expand and disseminate their message and plans.

-120: (waning)Trine: Once again there are political gains, rewards and popular support, but it’s important not to take the success for granted, for the next square is just around the corner.

Last Quarter–90-45 deg: (waning) Square—this is a point of reflection and crisis in awareness of everything that has gone wrong in the cycle, and a time to take stock of everything that’s gone right. The implemented goals and intentions are now facing changing circumstances that could render them obsolete. Popular support could wane as the public becomes aware of problems that weren’t dealt with, or if it is perceived that things became too extreme. There’s a general sense of the winding down of the cycle and there’s a need to start developing new plans and intentions for the future that fix previous problems and support what has become an integral part of the body-politic.

-72 (waning) Quintile:  If there is too much that’s gone wrong and political opposition intensified at the square, and the effort to resolve those issues hasn’t been productive, then the waning quintile will make hard demands regarding a shift in direction. If the challenge at the Square was met, then now is the time for creative and collaborative work in creating future plans.

-60 (waning) Sextile:  If the Last Quarter issues are creatively resolved at the Quintile, now is the opportunity to purposefully wind down the cycle in preparation for the future New Phase. Again, caution is required, opportunities in moving forward can be overlooked. If the opposition was able to gain traction at the Square and force changes at the Quintile, then they will now have the opportunity to develop an alternative vision for the future.  

-51+: (waning) Septile–If things have fallen apart and the opposition has been successful in this phase, once again ‘fate’ steps in, interrupting the process. There’s a big wrench in the works and the political atmosphere devolves into serious conflict. If the process has continued positively in this Last Quarter, then there’s more support coming with the Septile.

Balsamic–45-0 deg:  (waning) Semi-Square—Last challenge before the new cycle begins at the next New Phase conjunction. Here there’s often a last-ditch effort for the political opposition to establish its plans for the future. Political conflict can intensify and chisel away at proposals for the future. This can be grievous and unsettling, because those future plans are not yet fully formed and if the opposition is powerful enough, they could subvert the future plans. Regardless, this is one of the most difficult phases and aspects in the entire cycle. Those who are losing the political argument will often make one last, serious effort to remain dominant and relevant. The future is still up for grabs and they know it. Even in relatively stable political systems or a political party, there’s often an attempt to grab power that turns violent.

-30: (waning) Semi-sextile—Now there’s a collective sense of what new statements of intent are being proposed for the future, so there’s a growing sense of what the future will bring. Yet the last little adjustments are necessary to pave the way for the new beginning at the next conjunction. During these last 30 degrees in the cycle, for those who are winning the political argument, there’s a collective sigh of relief. Those on the losing end are often a bit chaotic as they scramble to re-orient themselves. There’s often political in-fighting as they try to put together an agenda that has broad public appeal in hopes of resetting the politics in their favor at the coming conjunction.

Part Two—Uranus-Pluto 1850-1965

As you can see, I am presenting the cycle of a planetary pair, the phase relationship and aspects between them as dynamic and developmental in an ‘if this, then that’ scheme. You can do this with any planetary pair, but for our purposes here, the interpretive framework is strictly social/political, so we’re not looking at the ‘personal’ planets. You can use this frame work for any of the planetary pairs mentioned above, keeping in mind the principles of the two planets you’re watching through their cycle.

It is also important to apply the method to the foundation chart of whatever entity, jurisdiction, country, etc., you are studying, as transits. They are effectively ‘transits’, but instead of looking at them as static, discreet aspects of one planet to a foundation chart, you now have to change that traditional way of seeing transits and view them as part of the dynamic and developmental cycle of two paired planets.  

By way of example, let’s look at the historical cycles of Uranus and Pluto in relation to the United States, beginning with their conjunction at 29 Aries in 1850. We will walk our way through that cycle, then take up their last conjunction at 16-17 Virgo in 1965-66 and bring us up to date in 2023. Remember the interpretive principles of Uranus and Pluto together: “…radical agitation for civil rights; transformation of governmental and political institutions; deep cultural, social and political transformation with new statements of intent regarding equality under the law, the rights of individuals to live free of traditional culture and life-styles…”

I use the so-called ‘Powell Chart’ for U.S. independence, which is based on the congressional majority vote for independence that, according to the historical record, took place on 1 July 1776 at 07:00 pm, LAT. And allowing for a few minutes to take the vote and acknowledge the results, I use 07:03 pm LAT (Local Apparent Solar Time). Here’s the chart with the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of 1850.

Immediately, you see the conjunction falls on the I.C., there’s a repeat of the radix Moon-Saturn square in cardinal signs, although the Moon is now at the cusp of the Last Quarter square, not First Quarter, and there’s an imminent Nodal return with Mars near the North Node. This looks rather ominous, and indeed, it was. The key political arguments of the time were women’s rights and the abolition of slavery. But over the decade of the 1850s, women’s rights were put on hold because of the slavery issue. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 involving slavery and statehood had reached its time limit and there was an effort to create a new compromise. The country was in serious turmoil over the abolition of slavery and without a new compromise it could have turned into a civil catastrophe. On 29 January 1850, Henry Clay proposed a package of eight bills that would settle most of the pressing issues before Congress. Clay’s proposal was opposed by President Taylor, anti-slavery Whigs like William Seward, and pro-slavery Democrats like John Calhoun. Congressional debate over slavery and the admission of new territories continued into early summer at the time of the Uranus-Pluto conjunction. The debates over the bills were the most famous in Congressional history, and, as shocking as it sounds, the divisions devolved into fistfights and drawn guns on the floor of Congress.

From an astrological perspective, this was not unexpected with Uranus-Pluto conjunct the country’s I.C. in Aries, square radix Pluto, with Mars near the North Node in the Eighth House. The foundational principles of independence were being challenged. There is no single date for the passage of the Compromise of 1850—it was a series of bills passed over a few weeks at the end of summer, the last of which, the Fugitive Slave Law, passed on 18 September 1850. It was a brutal, grueling congressional session, and President Taylor even died in office on 9 July. However, the new president, Millard Fillmore, unlike Taylor, supported Clay’s compromises, and signed off on all of these bills on 20 September, so we might use that date as the final date in the process. On 20 September, Uranus and Pluto were both retrograde, but still at 29 Aries. Saturn Rx was still at 19 Aries but Mars had moved into opposition at 18 Libra. Clearly, the agreement/compromise wasn’t going to go well starting with Mars opposing Saturn and Uranus-Pluto conjunct the I.C.

Essentially, the Compromise covered the admittance of California to the Union as a free state, the formation of the Utah and New Mexico Territories where the residents could decide for themselves, free or slave, and the boundaries of Texas established. The slave trade was abolished in Washington D.C., but slavery was still allowed, and the Fugitive Slave Law required northerners to return run away slaves. The objective of the Compromise was to create a balance of free and slave states, basically drawing a line across the country, south of which would be slave and north would be free.

Unfortunately, given the Uranus-Pluto conjunction was on the U.S. I.C. and the Compromise went into effect with a Mars-Saturn opposition, it couldn’t be maintained and key elements were ruled unconstitutional seven years later in 1857 in the Dred Scott case. The most ominous was that the political line drawn across the country dividing slave from free states disappeared. That meant a future imbalance in slave and free states and territories, with new territories in the West all rejecting slavery. The South wouldn’t accept that.

The U.S. was on the road to Civil War as Uranus reached its New Phase semi-sextile, 30 degrees ahead of Pluto in 1860-61. Referring back to the aspect and phase relationship rubric, you can see the results of the lack of compromise and holding to untenable positions with this aspect. “…Semi-sextile—awareness that the new intentions or policies need compromise and adjustments to real world circumstances. Rigid ideological positions only lead to conflict.”  

The Civil War ended and Lincoln was assassinated in April of 1865 just as Uranus was within a degree of reaching semi-square a month later, 45 degrees ahead of Pluto, opening the Crescent phase (29 May 1865, 2:00pm LMT). On 9 April 1866 the first Civil Rights Act was passed. Uranus and Pluto were still in a Crescent semi-square, Jupiter was at 29 Capricorn square the 1850 Uranus-Pluto conjunction, and, unfortunately, Mercury was retrograde at 27 Aries, nearly conjoined with the 1850 conjunction and squared to the U.S. Pluto at 27 Capricorn. (I won’t go into the Mercury-Jupiter cycle of that year in this article, but the readers can examine it themselves to see the effects of the Mercury-Jupiter First Quarter square in this situation.) For those of us familiar with Mercury Rx in difficult aspect to other planets, the possibility of this Civil Rights Act failing in the future was fairly high. Given this Act was also passed at the time of the Uranus-Pluto Crescent phase semi-square, its failure came during the First Quarter phase square. I’ll discuss that in a bit more detail later.

In 1868, as Uranus and Pluto were hovering around their Crescent Phase sextile, Uranus approximately 60 degrees ahead of Pluto, the 14th Amendment was ratified—”…Sextile: If the new goals and intentions have worked thus far, expect opportunities to appear to give the goals some practical form.” The text of the 14th Amendment is simple and direct: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Secretary of State, William Seward issued the proclamation that the Amendment was a permanent part of the Constitution on 28 July, 1868 about 10:45am LMT, after the last needed state ratified it on 9 July. In regards to civil rights, the 14th Amendment has become one of the most important constitutional supports that came with the Uranus-Pluto Crescent phase waxing sextile.

Remember when I said the Uranus-Pluto cycle also began as the women’s movement was getting started? The Seneca Falls Convention of 1848, the first women’s rights gathering, took place before the actual conjunction, but both Uranus and Pluto were in Aries approaching conjunction. Three important things came out of Seneca Falls: 1. The Equal Rights Amendment was drafted. 2. Suffrage was established as the first priority in achieving civil rights, and 3. Reproductive health was to be supported within the limits of the law. Progressive women began using the U.S. Post Office to distribute information on reproductive health, contraception, etc. When Comstock, the head of the U.S. Post Office found out, he pushed for a law banning the distribution of such information, calling it ‘pornography, obscene literature and obscene articles for immoral use’. It was passed on 3 March 1873 during the Crescent phase quintile, Uranus about 72 degrees ahead of Pluto. Referring again to what the waxing quintile means in the interpretive rubric above, “If things haven’t worked out thus far, expect opponents to reject, oppress and/or use some authority to force a change.” Women had not been making much progress in their fight for civil rights and suffrage since the cycle started in 1850, and this congressional move against women didn’t help. The Comstock Act of 1873 wasn’t just a devastating blow to the women’s movement, however, but also a direct attack on the 1st Amendment’s free speech clause. Such censorship wasn’t declared unconstitutional until the 1970s. We’ll examine this a little more closely when we look into the next cycle that began in 1965.

The first of the three Uranus-Pluto First Quarter phase squares occurred on 21 October 1876, 06:40 pm LMT. The second was on 12 February 1877, 03:30pm LMT, and the third was on 25 August 1877, 12:07am LMT. The degrees affected were 22, 24 and 25 Taurus and Leo (Pluto in Taurus, Uranus in Leo). The U.S. independence secondary progressed chart had 25 Taurus on the Ascendant, progressed Mars at 23-24 Leo, so the Uranus-Pluto square was taking a direct aim at the progressed Ascendant/Descendant and Mars. 1876 was an election year and the election of 7 November 1876 was the most controversial in U.S. history. There were accusations of voter fraud, partisan corruption, and the role of the Vice President in confirming the Electoral College vote on 6 January was called into question. Twenty Electoral College votes from 4 states were questioned and not counted. That created a potential constitutional crisis that had to be resolved. A bi-partisan Electoral Commission was formed in January 1877, and in the end, they gave those 20 electoral college votes to Rutherford Hayes, the Republican, even though Tilden had won more than 50% of the popular vote, far more than Hayes. The Democrats struck a deal with the Republicans to end the post-Civil War occupation of southern states known as Reconstruction and remove all U.S. troops from the South in exchange for giving the election to Hayes. He was inaugurated in a private ceremony on 5 March, a day after the constitutionally required 4 March date. But there was no criticism of it. All of this history begins to sound more than vaguely similar to the 2020 election and its controversies in this cycle’s First Quarter Phase.

We have to remember that party roles had not yet reversed—Republicans then were considered ‘liberals’ and Democrats ‘conservatives’. Republicans were still the party of Lincoln, civil rights, etc., and the Democrats were dominated by conservative, Southern, former Confederates, known as Dixiecrats. The compromise of 1877 that ended Reconstruction was a major victory for the former Confederates. Thereafter, the re-admitted Southern states would reverse all of the liberal progress the radical Republicans had made during Reconstruction since the end of the Civil War. Under this First Quarter Phase, starting with the square, they would succeed in overturning all civil rights laws and initiatives and present their racism as ‘scientific racism’, which even liberals ended up believing. (Basically, Blacks were allegedly genetically inferior to Whites.) Thus, there was no major political push back to the Southern states suppressing the Black vote, segregating them from Whites, and passing laws limiting their access to White society. In short, Southern states passed Jim Crow laws with impunity, in spite of the 14th Amendment.

But let’s review what the rubric says about the First Quarter square: “…this marks a period of the first substantive challenges to the original intentions set at the conjunction. Many people suddenly don’t like the beautifully constructed plans and goals anymore. Political opposition will most certainly launch a major effort to derail the policy agenda. There will have to be a concerted effort to fight to keep the statements of intent and new policies alive. In confronting the opposition, with a lot of effort and political will, much can be accomplished. Supporters of the agenda must resist intimidation and pressure and stand up for the policies. It’s a time to fight back in order to keep the vision alive. If not, the original policies and intentions will simply fade away.” We’re talking about the Uranus-Pluto pairing—the fight for civil rights. And this First Quarter square always promises a backlash to the plans, policies, agenda and intentions set at the previous conjunction. The Confederacy may have lost the Civil War militarily, but they won the culture war that followed under the Uranus-Pluto First Quarter Phase when the Liberals simply gave up and gave in, allowing the South to ‘rise again’.

Part of the Dixiecrat strategy was to get racist judges appointed to the Supreme Court and by the early 1880s, they had a majority on the Court. Between 1877 and 1883 a number of lawsuits against discrimination and civil rights made their way to the Supremes and on 15 October 1883, the Supreme Court ruled that ALL civil rights acts passed after the Civil War were unconstitutional. Neither the Federal Government nor the states could legislate against a person’s attitudes and beliefs about race. So, forget the 14th Amendment. It was actually never used to protect civil rights as a result, not until the 1920s, and then in only two cases. And the racism extended beyond Blacks to Asians as well. Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882. Uranus reached its First Quarter trine to Pluto in late 1884, and the fight for civil rights simply collapsed. Anti-Chinese riots and mass murders occurred with impunity in Seattle, Tacoma, and Rock Springs, WY among other places in 1885-1886.

On 9 September 1888, as Uranus reached sessquare, about 135 degrees ahead of Pluto, opening the Gibbous phase, President Grover Cleveland declared “…the Chinese are impossible of assimilation with our people and dangerous to our peace and welfare”. On 18 May 1896 the Supreme Court decided in the landmark case, Plessy vs Ferguson, that racial segregation was not unconstitutional. From that moment on, increasing racial discrimination and segregation plagued the country. By the time of the Uranus-Pluto opposition in 1901, segregation was the law of the land, and not just racial segregation. Jews and Eastern European and Italian Catholics were also segregated, and real estate practices made sure Blacks, Asians, Latinos and Eastern European and Italian Catholics lived nowhere near Anglo-Saxon Protestants in American cities. Such real estate practices, Jim Crow laws and segregation were less strict in the North and West, but the 1850 intentions to expand civil rights went by the wayside, even if slavery was abolished by the defeat of the South in the Civil War. Nonetheless, the values of Southern racists dominated American culture at the Uranus-Pluto opposition. But this was predictable from an astrological standpoint, realizing that the liberal intentions of 1850 to extend civil rights met with too much resistance in the First Quarter Phase and the conservative, racist element in the American body-politic gained enough political traction to see their vision of America come true at the opposition.

Looking at the US independence chart with the Uranus-Pluto opposition of 1901 (below) at 17 Gemini/Sagittarius, you’ll see Saturn is conjunct the Moon, setting off the radix Moon-Saturn square. The conservative nature of that transit at such an important time as the Uranus-Pluto opposition, is a good characterization of the country’s lamentable situation, at least as we look back at the historical reality of it, it seems sad and lamentable.

It’s interesting that it isn’t just Saturn conjunct the Moon, but it’s really Mars, Saturn and Jupiter in the U.S. 1st House setting off the radix Moon-Saturn square, and then Chiron in opposition to Jupiter, opening the door to more than 15 million immigrants over the next 14 years. With racial and ethnic segregation, American cities developed enclaves and ghettoes of ethnic and racial groups—Chinatown, Japan Town, Little Italy, Polish Town, etc, etc., and of course all-Black neighborhoods. These enclaves had always existed to some extent on a very small scale, but their populations increased dramatically after the Uranus-Pluto conjunction in 1901 and they became a fixture in American urban life.

Moving forward to the Uranus-Pluto Full Phase quincunx with Uranus 150 degrees behind Pluto, 29 Gemini to 29 Capricorn, which occurred on 5 November 1912, another important event related to civil rights made international news beginning on 8 November in Portland, Oregon. According to police records, the situation began at 07:12pm with the interview of a 19 year old who had been caught shoplifting. The Ascendant was conjunct Pluto at 29 Gemini and the young man revealed information about the gay community in Portland. Notice that Uranus squared the 29 Aries 1850 conjunction as well. That evening it was discovered that there was a large community of gay men in the city with their own hotels, restaurants, night clubs, etc. Over 100 men were caught up in the dragnet that followed, including prominent politicians and civic leaders. In the trials that followed it was revealed that similar gay communities existed in most American cities and they were all connected via the railroads. Many young gay men worked as porters on the trains traveling from city to city. The FBI, which had been founded in 1908, established vice squads that then infiltrated gay communities, effectively shutting them down, arresting gay men, destroying the gay subculture that had heretofore existed and driving gay people underground. And thus, the modern concept of the ‘closet’ was born.

On 10 January 1917, 01:00pm EST, Uranus reached sessquare, 135 degrees behind Pluto, opening the Disseminating phase of the cycle. Uranus was at 18 Aquarius, Pluto at 3 Cancer. The Oregon legislature proposed a law that increased punishment for gay men to 10 years in prison and sterilization and it passed in February. Previously, it had been traditional across the country to sentence gay men who had been caught cruising to a couple months to a year in jail. Sterilization had never been considered. The extreme Oregon law became a model for all states and by 1923 all 48 states had similar, punitive, abusive laws that included the eugenic practice of sterilization. The extreme conservative culture that had taken hold of America now found opportunity to further spread their intolerance and discrimination to yet another group, gay men, in this Disseminating phase. Reviewing the interpretive rubric, it says about this phase and aspect, “…If things fell apart at the opposition, and political opponents were able to take control, then at this sessquare, they will expand and disseminate their message and plans.” And they certainly did. The FBI even infiltrated the military and in 1919 exposed a gay community at the Newport R.I. naval training facilities.

The Uranus-Pluto Last Quarter square first occurred on 21 April 1932 at 09:04am EST. The degrees affected were Uranus at 20 Aries and Pluto at 20 Cancer. There were two more exact last quarter squares on 02 September 1932 at 04:30am EST at 22 Cancer and 22 Aries, and the third square occurred on 08 March 1933 at 01:30pm EST at 21 Cancer and 21 Aries. There was very little to report regarding civil rights at the time of the Last Quarter Uranus-Pluto square other than in the new Democratic administration. FDR took office just four days before the final conjunction in 1933 and he made important changes regarding minorities in the government. For the first time Blacks were allowed to work in the Federal Government and he appointed women to a couple very high level posts. The Democrat controlled Congress also extended citizenship to native, indigenous Americans.

However, it was on FDR’s watch in 1936 that the Homeowners Loan Corporation, basically a large mortgage bank, published ‘residential security maps’ that color coded sections of American cities with green indicating ‘very desirable’, a.k.a., all white; blue indicating not all white but ‘still desirable’; yellow indicating ‘a declining neighborhood’, a euphemism for a growing minority population or an all-white neighborhood that bordered a Black neighborhood, and red for ‘undesirable; hazardous’ meaning all Black. Banks based their lending practices and mortgage rates based on this ‘red-lining’ and it completely destroyed Black Americans’ economic viability. Racial segregation was not a side effect but a feature of federal housing policy around this time. From the 1938 Federal Housing Administration’s Underwriting Manual: “Areas surrounding a location are investigated to determine whether incompatible racial and social groups are present, for the purpose of making a prediction regarding the probability of the location being invaded by such groups.” This was bureaucratese explaining that the Federal Government was monitoring cities and their neighborhoods to preserve segregation.

But there was the beginning of change at the same time. A new vision for America was forming in opposition to the racism, segregation and Jim Crow. It would be helped along by World War II when Uranus reached 72 degrees behind Pluto forming a Last Quarter quintile, as well as by the role women and racial and ethnic minorities played in the war effort. The rubric offers a general explanation for why this was: “[The Last Quarter square] is a point of reflection and crisis in awareness of everything that has gone wrong in the cycle, and a time to take stock of everything that’s gone right. The implemented goals and intentions are now facing changing circumstances that could render them obsolete. Popular support could wane as the public becomes aware of problems that weren’t dealt with, or if it is perceived that things became too extreme. There’s a general sense of the winding down of the cycle and there’s a need to start developing new plans and intentions for the future that fix previous problems…” And then the Last Quarter quintile: “If there is too much that has gone wrong and political opposition intensified at the square, and the effort to resolve those issues hasn’t been productive, then the opposition will make hard demands regarding a shift in direction.” The extreme conservative politics that dominated after the Uranus-Pluto opposition in 1901 did receive strong political opposition with the election of FDR and when the War started, the Government came down pretty hard on the discrimination and racism of the conservatives, especially the radical extremists who sided with the Fascists and Nazis.

It is beyond the scope of this article, but we can also trace the development of nationalism from the 1850 Uranus-Pluto conjunction in Aries, the rise of nationalism in Europe through the 19th century, and the Last Quarter square in the 1930s when fascists and Nazis perverted the positive meaning of nationalism as a recognition and celebration of the various ethnic groups who were artificially forced into large European empires, and the desire of those groups to form their own nations. Under the Uranus-Pluto Last Quarter square that became white superiority and extreme nationalism, resulting in a form of inhumane racism that led to the mass use of eugenics and genocide. The U.S. had to cope with such fascist and pro-Nazi groups as well during the 1930s, but their organizations and media presence were shut down by the Government when the war started, threatening them with sedition and treason—the effects of Uranus in a waning quintile to Pluto.

As Uranus and Pluto approached the last 45 degree waning semi-square opening the Balsamic phase of their cycle, Truman racially integrated the military, but then the U.S. had to put up with the crazy backlash to such liberalization with Joseph McCarthy setting off a firestorm in paranoid rants about communists in the government and accusing Truman and then Eisenhower of being ‘soft on communism’. Part of the McCarthy Era paranoia also included accusations that gay men and lesbians were  hiding in plain sight in government positions as agents of Russia, or some such nonsense. The result was in 1950 right around the time of the semi-square, there was a government ban on gay men and lesbians working in the government. The public was propagandized into believing there was some conspiratorial connection between gay people and Russia, or at least they were ‘pinkos’…communist sympathizers.

But here is where it gets interesting in terms of civil rights. Black men and women who had served in the military during WWII and then integrated into the military for the Korean War found themselves without the same veterans’ benefits as their white counterparts, and they still had to live with segregation and Jim Crow once they returned from military service. During this very last Balsamic phase of the Uranus-Pluto cycle, these young people began agitating for change. On 17 May 1954, the Black civil rights lawyer, Thurgood Marshall, had successfully argued in front of the Supreme Court to end segregation; the justices agreed in the Brown vs Board of Education decision. Uranus was within orb of its waning semi-sextile to Pluto. If I had been an astrologer then, instead of only four years old, I would have seen the proverbial writing on the wall, and understood that when Uranus and Pluto conjoined again in 1965, it would be the end of Jim Crow, and the beginning of a whole new cycle of fighting to extend civil rights to everyone.

The Democrat and Republican parties had begun to switch their conservative-liberal positions in 1932 with the election of FDR. When it came to issues of civil rights, Truman, as a Democrat, completely angered the Dixiecrats when he integrated the military. By 1964, when LBJ pushed for a real Civil Rights Act, the Republicans and Dixiecrats opposed it, but we were right at the cusp of the conjunction and a totally new phase of American social/political life. Both the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts were passed around the time of the new conjunction. The Dixiecrats began leaving the Democratic party to the growing number of liberals and joining the Republicans. That process was complete with Nixon’s Southern Strategy on 5 August 1968, when he invited all the Dixiecrats to join the GOP. They did. The Uranus-Pluto conjunction opening the New Phase of their cycle completely revolutionized America and completed the flip in the political conservative-liberal polarity.

Part Three—Uranus-Pluto 1965 to the Present

The objectives here in writing what is essentially a dissertation on planetary phases and their aspects, exemplified through the historical journey of the Uranus-Pluto cycle, is to 1. Present a framework for understanding outer planetary aspects as a measurement of historical time, and 2. Show the socio-political parallels between the last cycle beginning in 1850 and this cycle that began in 1965. There are, of course, many other astrological factors that need to be considered as well, but the focus here is just on Uranus-Pluto and the phases in their cycle.

Just as the period 1848-1850, as Uranus approached conjunction with Pluto in Aries, was a tumultuous time both in the U.S. and in Europe, likewise the period 1963-1969 was equally tumultuous in the U.S., S.E. Asia and in Europe, when Uranus entered Virgo and approached conjunction with Pluto. Both conjunctions set forth new visions of society regarding national and ethnic identities and civil and human rights. In the last cycle, slavery was finally put to an end and women in the U.S achieved their long-sought after suffrage, even if the efforts to extend and expand civil and human rights ultimately failed, and the U.S. was plunged into the moral turpitude of Jim Crow, segregation, and the persecution, prosecution and incarceration of gays and lesbians. The key moments in history that led to that awful reality were illustrated in the phases of the Uranus-Pluto cycle and their aspects above in Part Two.

Now let’s look at the Uranus-Pluto conjunctions of 1965-1966. Typically, there were three Uranus-Pluto conjunctions: 9 October 1965, 04:19pm EDT at 17 Virgo; 4 April 1966, 3:43 pm EST at 16 Virgo, and 30 June 1966, 05:55am EDT at 16 Virgo. Let’s take a look at the first one, since at least, theoretically, it sets the mold.

For those old enough to remember 1965-1966 and the Civil and Voting Rights Acts, hopefully you also remember how exciting it was that we were finally putting an end to Jim Crow. Segregation had been declared unconstitutional at the end of the last cycle in the Balsamic phase, and immediately thereafter the fight was on to accomplish that and to end Jim Crow. People lost their lives in the struggle. Important civil rights leaders and a president were assassinated. Voting rights and civil rights activists were murdered. It was almost a sigh of relief after the two important pieces of legislation passed that upended about 90 nightmarish years of white supremacy, since the previous Uranus-Pluto First Quarter square in 1876-1877. Through the final Balsamic phase of the last cycle, the fight was on to undo the racism, segregation and lack of civil rights associated with the 1850-1965 cycle and correct course for the U.S.  

Referring again to the interpretive rubric for the phases, the Balsamic phase is “…one of the most difficult phases and aspects in the entire cycle. Those who are losing the political argument will often make one last, serious effort to remain dominant and relevant. The future is still up for grabs and they know it. Even in relatively stable political systems or a political party, there’s often an attempt to grab or hold on to power that turns violent.” And the country certainly experienced that violence from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s. The new Uranus-Pluto conjunction in Virgo completely re-set American politics, especially the politics of civil rights.

The country still had to deal with those who resisted the idea of extending civil rights to the various marginalized groups. Housing policies, bank and mortgage lending practices, hiring practices, etc., still discriminated against women, Blacks, Asians, Latinos and LGBT, in spite of the new laws. It took another three years until 1968 to get rid of red-lining in real estate practice that prescribed where different groups could live in cities. There were enforced Black, Asian, Latino, Jewish, Italian, Eastern European and Gay enclaves. The 1968 law eliminated the Federal Government’s racist housing policies, but local jurisdictions were much more resistant to change. People had become so used to these enclaves in cities, that they became almost ‘charming’ elements of urban culture. The redistribution of urban populations and the elimination of these racial, ethnic and cultural enclaves still hasn’t been accomplished, except in a few U.S. cities. For most, the same neighborhoods that were redlined in 1936 have nearly the same demographics today.

The period 1965-1969 became extremely troublesome because of the changes in law which ultimately forced a significant cultural change in American society. Conservatives resisted those changes and all of the marginalized groups still had to protest in the streets to make things happen for them. It’s not hard to see why with Saturn opposing the conjunction. When faced with straight, white, Anglo-Saxon protestants who still controlled the social, political and cultural narratives, it sometimes took violent protest to get their attention. The LGBT Stonewall Riots in New York City at the end of June 1969 were a perfect example. But Uranus and Pluto were still at the beginning of their New Phase, and it was still taking time for acculturation to the new social realities. At the time of Stonewall in 1969, Uranus was just 4 minutes of arc into Libra, only about 8 degrees ahead of Pluto at 22 Virgo. Leaders of marginalized groups were impatient, but Uranus and Pluto move fairly slowly, so it was going to take time to create more equity and equality for these groups. 50,000 women took to the streets in demonstration for equality and liberation on August 26, 1970. ‘Liberation’ was an important element of Second Wave Feminism and they were demanding, for example, that married women be legally autonomous with a right to their own finances, credit, etc. After the Women’s March for Equality, things began to move in congress and through the 1970s legislation was passed to grant married women an economic life apart from their husbands.

Even in 1973 with the APA removing homosexuality from their list of ‘psychological pathologies’ and Roe vs Wade decided, Uranus and Pluto were still only 17-20 degrees apart. We can add the Griswold case during this time as well, that rendered the Comstock Law, regarding using the US Post Office to distribute reproductive information and contraceptives, unconstitutional. Finally, a Court decision that actually supported in a real way the First Amendment. Uranus finally reached 30 degrees, semi-sextile, ahead of Pluto in 1978 and stayed in that aspect through 1979. They wouldn’t reach the Crescent Phase 45 degree semi-square until 1986-87. The most important civil and human rights issue at the time was the struggle to get the Reagan Administration to respond to the AIDS epidemic. The gay organization called ACT UP was founded on the evening of 12 March 1987 in Manhattan. Their tactics included direct confrontation with politicians and bureaucracies to get them to react and respond to AIDS. With their slogan ‘Silence = Death’, they agitated to encourage every gay and lesbian person to ‘come out’, and they organized the first National Coming Out Day on 11 October 1987. The strategy was to make the country understand that gay people were everywhere, in every community, in every walk of life, in order to counter the growing homophobia as a result of the epidemic. The idea was, the more that straight people were made aware of the gay people in their lives, the easier it would become to get political traction in their efforts to get anti-discrimination legislation. Based on the history that followed, they were obviously correct.

In regards to the astrology, the key issue with the Crescent phase is: “there’s a risk of waning energy to maintain the new policies among those who supported them at the conjunction/New Phase; mobilization of energy and support is necessary to keep the vision and goals alive as there’s push back from those opposed to the new intentions and policies.” The lack of response to the AIDS crisis from the Reagan Administration was, in effect, a cynical effort to let the disease kill gay men. It became absolutely necessary to fight back against the cynicism and what was a clear effort to keep gay people marginalized. The gay community did just that and the gay rights movement gained significant momentum thereafter. It’s the kind of civil and human rights activism one would expect with Uranus and Pluto in the Crescent phase.

Uranus and Pluto reached about 60 degrees, sextile, in 1994 and stayed within orb of that aspect through 1996. The most important civil rights law regarding women, the Violence Against Women Act and its important subsets of rights, Title VII and Title IX, was passed on the morning of 13 September 1994. The sextile didn’t coincide with positive outcomes for the LGBT community, however. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was adopted for the military, which turned into a nightmare for gays and lesbians serving. Also, on 21 September 1996 the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was passed not recognizing long-term, committed gay relationships for federal workers and defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. Marriage equality, as a long-term political objective, was adopted by the Human Rights Campaign, in response to the AIDS epidemic, as a social value that the HRC could promote within the gay community and then in a national campaign. The idea was actually quite ‘conservative’ in that it made the case for committed, stable, gay and lesbian relationships as both a community health issue as well as a way for LGBT to participate more in encouraging social stability. The Clinton Administration’s DOMA was, for LGBT, extremely disappointing. It seemed a bit crazy for the government to demand of gay people more personal responsibility for public health in the face of AIDS and to contribute more to social stability by reducing their promiscuity and developing long-term relationships, but then refuse to create policies and an environment that would lead to those outcomes. Uranus and Pluto may have been in Crescent sextile opening a possible opportunity, but at the time of DOMA, Jupiter was in last quarter square to Saturn, so, although the opportunity was there for extending such civil rights, there was no social or political will to do so. Anti-LGBT conservatives in the Federal Government as well as in state governments simply couldn’t open their hearts and minds to realize the wisdom of marriage equality under the Last Quarter Jupiter-Saturn square.

Moving forward to the Uranus-Pluto First Quarter square, the first of which was on 24 June 2012, 05:12:10 am EDT, Uranus at 8 Aries, Pluto at 8 Capricorn, resistance to the liberalization of the mid-1960s began. The effects of that square began being seen already in 2010 when Uranus first entered Aries. It coincided, of course, with Barak Obama’s first administration, which brought out racist militias like the Oath Keepers and others in reaction to a Black president, and after June of 2015, when the Court decided for Marriage Equality, conservative reaction was extreme.

The backlash to the Great Liberalization of the 1965 Uranus-Pluto conjunction had begun, just like the backlash against the radical Republican’s Reconstruction that started in the late 1870s at the Uranus-Pluto First Quarter square in that cycle. After the exact square, the backlash became extreme enough to elect Trump and a third to 40% of the country supports this MAGA movement. Voting rights have been eroded, women’s reproductive rights destroyed and many states are criminalizing women who seek reproductive health care. They are attacking Trans rights all across the country and attempting to erode hard-won gay rights. The Black community has been under attack from inappropriate policing, since forever, but it became extreme at the Uranus-Pluto First Quarter square, just like the anti-Black racism during the 1870s led to murder and lynching, especially at the hands of the KKK. During the last cycle’s First Quarter square, activist women were also persecuted, prosecuted and imprisoned simply for demonstrating for the right to vote.

And here we are. For those who know the Uranus-Pluto cycle and understand the nature of the First Quarter phase and square, what’s happening now in the U.S. isn’t surprising. Nor is it surprising that a 21st century form of fascism is taking root around the world. No mundane astrologer who has paid attention to these cycles is surprised that someone like Orban has taken control in Hungary, or Putin in Russia, Netanyahu in Israel, Trump in the Republican Party in the U.S., etc., etc. The good news is, this is still the Uranus-Pluto First Quarter phase. Although we’re past the square, we haven’t yet experienced the First Quarter trine and that will tell us much about the future. The trine will occur in 2027. Hopefully, we will be able to avoid a civil war or an existential crisis like WWII over the next four or five years. But it has been clear that the right-wing backlash to the liberalization of the Uranus-Pluto conjunction in the mid-1960s has been formidable.

Democracy, as a principle, is under attack again. Basic democratic and inclusive political principles are characterized by the Right as ‘socialist’. It’s pure disinformative propaganda, but it’s nonetheless effective to a certain degree. There seems to be a large swath of Americans who have no idea what socialism is, and have been propagandized by the Republicans and Fox News to believe any economic policy that isn’t laissez faire is socialist. And any social or political policy that is racially and ethnically inclusive is somehow socialist. Whether it leads to a civil war in the U.S., or a world war is still an open question. Whether the democratic forces in the U.S. and Europe rise up again in direct confrontation with the fascist forces that are so integral to the current backlash, is still uncertain, but it looks increasingly like they will, as we see in the Russo-Ukraine war. For the United States’ domestic problems, the important thing is to stand up, resist and attack the right-wing racist, homophobic, misogynistic and neo-fascist political forces that are trying hard to take control again of the American cultural and political narrative. Resisting the backlash is the necessary behavior recommended in a First Quarter Phase of Uranus and Pluto. We will have a much clearer sense of what the future American society will look like after 2027 when they reach First Quarter trine, Uranus in Gemini 120 degrees ahead of Pluto in Aquarius.

Unfortunately, the U.S. will go through its third Uranus return in Gemini and simultaneously Pluto will conjoin the U.S. South Node. During the two previous Uranus returns at the same time Pluto was in hard aspect to the Nodes, the U.S. went through difficult existential crises, namely, the Civil War and World War II. The results of those crises pushed the U.S. into ever greater positions of power and influence, in spite of the tragedy the country experienced. This is probably due to the Pluto-Node combinations. Every time Pluto in a fixed sign was in hard aspect to the Nodes, the country experienced a crisis, but the crisis always broke in favor of the U.S., not against it. I’m suggesting that will probably happen again, based on the astro-history.

Lest we forget, Pluto in Aquarius in the late 1770s through the 1790s, saw the newly independent colonies successfully conclude the Revolutionary War, establish a new system of government, only to have it fail, and they had to go back to the drawing board, to create a new constitution and a new republican form of government. The independent colonies became a unified nation only after they agreed to ‘perpetual union’ in February of 1781. Transiting Pluto was conjunct the S. Node at 6 Aquarius in the independence chart. The U.S. will experience this transit again in July 2027 at the same time of the third Uranus return. Uranus and Pluto will be in First Quarter trine. The question is, will those who support the liberal policies and intentions regarding the Uranus-Pluto conjunction era civil and voting rights be able to maintain those rights, or was the radical right-wing opposition and backlash that appeared at the Uranus-Pluto First Quarter square successful enough that they will succeed at the coming trine?

I’m inclined to answer the question by pointing to Trump’s 2020 loss as an indication that the radical right-wing has not and will not succeed, but 2024 will prove that point one way or the other. The liberal forces still supporting civil rights must continue to turn out to vote, to promote and advocate for their agenda. There can be no back-sliding during the First Quarter phase. The opposition is looking for every conceivable point of weakness to exploit and they will not back down easily. The hallmark of the First Quarter phase is political division created by the backlash to policies set in the previous New Phase, and the opposition to those policies is always formidable. The lesson in this phase is, whoever stands strong the longest wins the argument at the trine.

I understand that, were I a fascist, I would have a completely different take on the Uranus-Pluto cycle. I would be demonizing democracy, the U.S., Ukraine, and Europe, and promoting and extolling the ‘virtues’ of illiberal systems like Russia and Hungary. I would be an apologist for Tucker Carlson, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis. But that’s not who I am. And that’s not who my readers are. I can only hope that, because we are seeing a serious show of strength against neo-fascist tendencies in the U.S. and the world, the more liberal aspirations regarding civil and human rights associated with the Uranus-Pluto cycle will this time prevail. This is something that didn’t happen during the First Quarter Phase in the last cycle in the 19th century, and as a result, at the Last Quarter Uranus-Pluto square beginning in 1932, the Fascists and Nazis were able to be as successful as they were. One can only hope these retrogressive reactionary political forces are resisted enough to keep them from gaining support at the coming trine. The astro-history is clear, we must resist them.

Post Pluto-Return America and the Third Existential Crisis

The Historical Foundations
For tropical astrologers, in 2022, the U.S. went through its first Pluto Return, when Pluto returned to the exact degree, minute and second that it was on July 1 through July 4, 1776 (Independence). For sidereal astrologers, who also use precessed calculations for planetary returns, the U.S. Pluto Return doesn’t occur until 2025. Historically, Pluto Returns in the charts of other countries have brought significant social, political and economic changes, restructuring the governments and lives of the citizenry. Astrologers have been forecasting for years now that the U.S. is due for such a restructuring and transformation of its democratic institutions, although there’s never been a clear description of what a post-Pluto Return America will look like. One thing everyone seems to agree on, it will be a crisis. It’s my assertion, we can get a fairly accurate sense of the future, if we take into account the coming U.S. Uranus Return and Pluto in Aquarius passing over the U.S. South Node.

This article will be an attempt to present possible (but not necessarily probable) post-Pluto Return scenarios in the mid to late 2020s, starting with the assumption that the Pluto Return, itself, was just a prelude to a potential, approaching crisis. In order to get such a glimpse into the future, it’s important to re-examine the past, especially those periods of time when the U.S. went through existential crises, i.e., the Civil War and World War II, and the astrology of those events. There is a clear astrological pattern with these previous crises that repeats itself between 2024 and 2027, namely a third Uranus Return as transiting Pluto is in hard aspect to the U.S. Nodes and Neptune sits at the end of Pisces about to enter Aries. These transits were in effect for the Civil War and WWII, although for WWII Neptune was in the last degrees of Virgo. Thus, it’s logical to assume a third such existential crisis is likely on the horizon as these same transits visit us again.

In order to do this sort of astro-historical analysis, charts for the United States need to be used and we have to examine and explain the history behind them. But there are different charts that map different events in the process of becoming independent, declaring independence, agreeing to a perpetual union of the states, and establishing a constitutional government. In regards to independence, I will use here only documented dates and times from the writings of John Adams. When it comes to ‘perpetual union’, it’s less certain, because in the documentation for that agreement, it only states ‘in the morning’. However, we do have example schedules for the various colonial and early state governments as well as the Continental Congress and they are fairly uniform. There was always a 09:00am start with an hour provided for prayer, old business and setting the agenda for the day. New business usually began at 10:00am. Lunch began at 12:00pm, at which time they also reset the clocks, because they were using Local Apparent Solar Time (LAT) and not LMT. They returned about 2pm and broke for dinner at 5pm. If it was necessary, they returned at 7pm. Such a schedule was the common practice for all of the colonies. So, when an agreement was reached ‘in the morning’, we can assume with some certainty it was between 10:00am and 12:00pm LAT. In the case of Perpetual Union, Maryland was the last state needed to ratify it, and it was an agenda item that morning. Thus, we can assume the vote occurred after 10:00am LAT and before 11:00am, most likely around 10:30am. In working with this chart, that time, although approximate, seems accurate. Transits and progressions to certain historical events highlight the chart appropriately for the event. I’m going to leave the US Government/Constitution chart for another time and focus just on the July 1st and July 4th charts. I won’t be dealing with Sibly because it is a-historical and doesn’t deserve the attention.

In order to see clearly the astrology of the Civil War and World War II as the two existential crises in U.S. history (other than the War of 1812, but most historians now view that war as the final chapter in the Revolution that began in 1775), the following charts will be the focus: The vote for independence, the approval of Jefferson’s edits to the Declaration, the agreement to print and publish the Declaration, and the Perpetual Union Agreement.

The vote for independence, July 1, 1776, 07:03pm LAT –

Adams’ stated date and time for the first majority vote for independence was 07:00pm, but I’m using a couple minutes after to allow for the motion to pass and take the vote.

The historical background for this vote on July 1, 1776 was the introduction of the Lee Resolution to the Continental Congress on Jun 7, 1776. The colonies had been at war with Britain since the previous June, 1775, and a number of colonies were agitating for some official position on independence. Richard Lee from Virginia wrote a resolution to separate from Britain with a litany of complaints and reasons why it was necessary. The Congress, however, after reading the Resolution, found it much too provocative in its attacks on the British Parliament, concluding it would be treasonous to vote for independence using the reasons given in the Lee Resolution as it was written. There was a motion made to vote for or against independence based on the Lee Resolution on June 7, 1776, but the motion wasn’t carried and it was agreed, instead, to postpone the vote for independence until July 1, 1776. In the meantime, Thomas Jefferson, together with a small committee, was tasked with re-writing the Lee Resolution to make it less provocative, less treasonous and more palatable to both the Colonists and the British.

July 1st in Congress started as a normal day, but it would not end that way. They began, as usual, with prayers, reviewing old business and setting the agenda and calendar for the day. 10:00am was the start time for debate on the question of independence. The Sun was at 10 Cancer and it was just a half hour before the Full Moon (10:30am) at 10 Capricorn t-square Saturn at 14 Libra. The debate lasted nine hours until the Moon exactly squared Saturn, and Hancock called for the end to debate and a vote. I can’t help but see the symbolism here with a Full Moon in Capricorn t-square Saturn, and there’s a move to separate the colonies from the Mother Country, which they then did just after Moon’s exact square to Saturn. According to John Adams, the motion to take the vote was made at 07:00pm, the vote was taken and was confirmed a couple minutes later, 9 yes, 2 no, and 2 abstentions. The motion had passed. The colonies were effectively independent. The Moon was at 15CAP15, Saturn at 14LIB43.

It wasn’t a satisfying vote for Adams. He was anticipating a unanimous yes. But Mercury was retrograde, so it became necessary to review what had happened and deal with the dissatisfactions. Delaware was forced to abstain, because they were missing a key pro-independent delegate who wouldn’t be able to arrive until the next day. South Carolina, who had voted no, made a motion to allow Delaware to change its abstention to yes when the delegate arrived. The motion carried and passed.

John Adams described his reaction to this turn of events as ‘optimistic’. He was very transparent about wanting unanimity for public relations purposes. Once they had agreed to allow Delaware to change its vote the next day, Adams got together with John Dickinson, head of the Pennsylvania delegation, who had voted no, to lobby him to change their vote to yes as well. Dickinson told his delegation they could do as they pleased, since the vote for independence had already passed and changing their vote would not change the outcome. Dickinson then left Philadelphia for Pittsburgh and didn’t return for the July 4th or July 8th events. The vote, as recorded on July 2nd, was 12 yes, but NY still abstained.

No one is really all that clear about the events of July 1 and July 2, 1776. We can probably thank Mercury Retrograde for that. Some historians don’t want to accept that the vote on July 1st was a binding vote. Many accept John Adams’ wish that July 2nd was the actual day of ‘independence’. But there are just as many who say the vote on the evening of July 1st was the moment the colonies separated from Britain. Changing some votes from no and abstentions to yes the next day did nothing to change the outcome of the July 1st vote. From an astrological point of view, there is an argument for using the time the vote was officially recorded and that was sometime on July 2nd, but we really don’t know when. John Adams makes it sound like the July 2nd actions all took place before Noon, but there’s room for doubt. It depends on when the Delaware delegate arrived and there is some evidence it might not have been until around 04:00pm. There just isn’t enough solid proof. If we go with sometime around 04:00pm, we’re looking at the Moon just past conjunction with Pluto at 27+ Capricorn, and about 27 Scorpio Rising—food for thought.

Now it was Thomas Jefferson’s turn to take center stage with his re-write of the Lee Resolution. The Congress reviewed his editing twice, rejected it, demanding more edits, particularly in his criticism of the British Parliament. Finally, on the morning of July 4th, 1776, again according to Adams, after an hour of review that began at 10:00am, they approved the latest version of what Jefferson now called the Declaration of Independence.

The approval of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 11:00 am LAT —

Adams stated the time for approving Jefferson’s edits to the Declaration of Independence began at 11:00am. Based on his language and description, it sounds like they ended the review/discussion at 11:00am. The last degree of Virgo was on the Ascendant. We don’t know if he rounded off the time and it was a couple minutes before or a couple minutes after 11:00. Astrologer, Ronald Howland, using ACG and Local Space lines involving Uranus, estimates 10:55am. Adams describes the moment as one of satisfaction that the Declaration wasn’t going to be perceived as treasonous. The language criticizing Parliament had been completely removed, and what criticism remained was aimed at the King. A motion was made to approve the document, they took the vote for approval, after which the approval was recorded in the congressional record. We don’t know, however, exactly when they voted, or when the approval was recorded—whether it was right at 11:00 am or a little later in the hour. Did they record the vote then, too, or did they wait until after lunch when they presented the document to the whole Congress and then Hancock recorded it? That’s still an open question.

The problem I have with this 11:00am time is, it really doesn’t work as a base or radix chart with important events throughout U.S. history. It’s off. Yet, admittedly, in certain important historical events, the last couple degrees of Mutable figure prominently. (The Civil War, for example, with Neptune at 29 Virgo.) We have no reason to doubt Adams’ narrative of the event, but it’s likely that they weren’t rushed to take that approval vote and record the results right at 11:00. Doing a chart for every four minutes during the eleventh hour of the morning, 11:24 am LAT yields consistent, astro-logical results with important historical events over time, from the War of 1812 to 9/11. But there’s no historical evidence for that minute. It remains pure speculation, and based on the historical record, we really have to use 11:00am with 29 Virgo on the Ascendant.

The important thing to realize here, though, is the Colonies were already de facto independent on July 4th, and approving the language in the Declaration of Independence and agreeing to print, publish and distribute it were more proforma procedural votes than related specifically to ‘independence’. Jefferson even says in his memoirs that the Declaration of Independence was the public relations document that laid out the philosophical and political reasons for why they had voted to separate from Britain. Its approval was not the legislative or legal moment the Colonies made the decision for independence. In my view, however, it was the moment the Congress laid out the mission statement for the new, independent country. Thus, its approval was a pivotal, important moment in the process from July 1 to July 8. It represents the political and philosophical ideals that underlie the U.S.’s democratic institutions. But what it doesn’t do is map the moment of ‘independence’.

The vote to print, publish and distribute the Declaration July 4, 1776, 02:17 pm LAT.

We know they all returned from lunch at 2:00pm to continue the agenda. And we know from eyewitness accounts that one thing related to independence, for sure, was the agreement to print and publish the Declaration. However, both Jefferson and Hancock, in their memoirs, say the adoption of the Declaration occurred that afternoon. But we really don’t know what they meant by that, because Adams was clear that the approval of Jefferson’s final edits to the document occurred beginning at 11:00am and he doesn’t speak of its ‘adoption’ later. Did Jefferson mean they recorded the approval of the Declaration in the Congressional Record or was he referring to the risky agreement to print and publish it? It’s a question, because we DO know that they agreed to print, publish and distribute the Declaration between 02:00-02:30pm.

There is a problem in all this for those who use the 02:21pm time in LMT. That time in LMT, which wasn’t used in the 18th century, has 8+ Scorpio on the Ascendant. But in the actual time used, LAT, it’s 9+ Scorpio at 02:21pm. To get 8+ Scorpio on the Ascendant, the time would have to be about 02:17pm LAT. For those who really like the 8+ Scorpio on the Ascendant, like I do, it’s difficult to reconcile. 02:21pm is important for people, because it’s the time on the clock tower on the dollar bill and there’s some research to indicate that the reason for that time is based in the historical record on July 4th. There is a lot of mythology around the Fourth of July and this 02:21pm time may be just that—mythology. However, strictly from the astrology, I hold to the 8+ deg Scorpio on the Ascendent, so I use 02:17pm LAT (which produces the same degree on the Ascendant as the 02:21pm LMT). The reader will see my reasons when we look at the astrology of the two existential crises in American history.

But why is it important that they agreed to print, publish and distribute the Declaration? Again, we have to go back to the memoirs of the eyewitnesses. It was one thing to vote for independence and approve the language in the Declaration of Independence, it was another thing to incite the colonists by publishing it. In many ways, the vote to print/publish was the moment of no-return for the Congress. If the British Parliament were able to level any charges of treason, it would be for inciting the colonists as British subjects by publishing the Declaration of Independence. This concern was raised in Adams’, Jefferson’s and Hancock’s memoirs. The argument for printing and publishing, however, was in their sense of assurance that they were NOT any longer British subjects; they were de facto independent. They would refuse to accept any charges of treason.

This is an important position that astrologers need to consider. The risky agreement to print and publish was made primarily because they considered themselves ‘independent’ and there was, therefore, no legal basis for the Parliament to level charges of treason. So, although this was a pivotal moment—a moment of no return—it wasn’t the moment of ‘independence’. In fact, no actions taken on July 4th were specifically related to a decision to be independent from Britain. The congressional theme for the day was to explain the philosophical and political reasons for why they had separated from Britain in such a way as to avoid charges of treason.

In Hancock’s memoirs, he said the approval of the Declaration happened in the afternoon and he signed the broadside (template for printing) for the Declaration in the ‘late afternoon’. As with Jefferson, we don’t know what Hancock means by ‘approval’ and we have to parce the meaning of ‘afternoon and late afternoon’. As it turns out, the word ‘evening’ was not the most commonly used word in the 18th century American colonies for after sunset. Evening was either ‘late afternoon’ or ‘afternoon late’. So, there is no disagreement here with Adams’ narrative that they voted in the 2:00pm hour to print/publish; Hancock called in Mr. Dunlap, the official printer, and gave him the task about 2:30pm; it took him more than five hours to complete the broadside. This was the ‘afternoon’. Congress adjourned around 05:00pm for dinner, as usual. They returned from dinner at 7:00pm, so we can figure that the printer brought it back for approval and Hancock’s signature a bit more than five hours later, sometime after 07:30pm, probably closer to 08:00pm. That is Hancock’s ‘late afternoon’.

We still don’t know what Jefferson and Hancock meant by using the phrase ‘approval of the Declaration…’, though. It very well could be that they are referring to the moment they recorded the acceptance of the language and edits. We know that approval was put into the congressional record, but there’s no time for it. One thing is certain, it had to be before they agreed to print and publish it—so either sometime after 11:00am and before Noon, or in the few minutes after 02:00pm and before the decision to print and publish. Perhaps it was at 11:24am LAT and that’s why the chart for that moment seems to work so well across time.

I’m of the opinion, Hancock’s signing of the Declaration’s broadside that evening was a proforma event. They were already de facto independent, and the approval of the edits for the Declaration of Independence had already been put in the Congressional record. The above time line also makes the Sibly-Rudhyar charts historically impossible, in that they had already left for dinner by 05:00pm and returned at 7:00pm. There was no action taken related to independence or the Declaration after 02:30 pm and before 07:30pm on July 4th.

Once the Founders voted for independence, approved the language in the Declaration of Independence and agreed to print and publish it, they set July 8, 1776 at high noon LAT as the first public announcement to the colonies, Britain and the world, to explain what they had done and why. The next step was to create a viable form of government for the thirteen colonies, the first of which was known as the Articles of Confederation, initially presented and passed in November 1777, but not ratified until March 1, 1781. But in order to create this government, they had to have all the colonies agree to their union. It required a separate agreement called the Perpetual Union Agreement.

The language in the agreement was drafted sometime in 1777, but as with the Articles, the Perpetual Union Agreement also needed ratification. That wasn’t accomplished until February 1781.

The Perpetual Union Agreement, Feb 2, 1781, Annapolis MD, 10:30am LAT.

This is something many astrologers don’t even know exists, but it’s a critical piece of the picture in the process from voting for independence to becoming the United States. When they voted for independence and published the Declaration of Independence, they were 13 separate, independent colonies, not a unified country with 13 states. In the 1777 work to develop a form of government for the 13 independent colonies, they proposed the idea of a ‘united states’ under one government, but that required an agreement among all the colonies to do that. So, the Perpetual Union Agreement was proposed; it passed Congress, but the individual colonies needed to ratify it. Maryland was the last colony needed to ratify Perpetual Union, at which time it went into effect. The agreement was then attached to the Articles of Confederation when they were ratified a month later on March 1, 1781 and, although not specifically named in the new Constitution drafted in 1787 and in effect in 1789, historians say it is still in effect. The assumed proof that Perpetual Union is still in effect is in the preamble to the Constitution with the phrase ‘…in order to make a more perfect Union…’. So, it is, in my opinion, an extremely important moment in U.S. history, without which there would be no United States, and although it was wrapped into both the Articles of Confederation and the new effective Constitution of 1789, it is a stand-alone agreement that is still the basis for the Union of states. As such, it seems to me to be the important chart to examine for the Civil War.

The Confederacy, however, believed and promoted the idea that the Perpetual Union Agreement was nullified with the new Constitution that went in to effect on March 4, 1789, and that they had every legal and constitutional right to secede from the Union. They also then believed that it was not a ‘civil war’ between the North and South, but a ‘War of Northern Aggression’. That argument and that point of view were destroyed with the defeat of the Confederacy and President Lincoln’s successful defense of the Union. However, you still hear echoes of the Confederate position on this, even today. There is a sense in the country that, since Trump, another civil war is possible. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s recent wish for red and blue states to file for ‘divorce’, is an example of this echo from the Confederacy. But such a thing would be blatantly unconstitutional and a violation of the Perpetual Union Agreement.

Now let’s go into the issue of the existential crises the U.S. has had to face, the astrology of these events, and the ultimate topic of this article, a possible third great existential crisis.

Previous Existential Crises: Civil War
The astrological signature for American existential crises seems to be the Uranus Return in Gemini at the same time Pluto transits in hard aspect to the Nodes in the Independence charts, whether for July 1st, 2nd or 4th. Both crises began with Uranus at the end of Taurus. Let’s look at the Civil War with the various charts, and then especially with the Perpetual Union Agreement.

I think we have to keep in mind what each of these charts is mapping. The chart for July 1st is mapping independence. The charts for July 4th are mapping the mission statement for the new country in terms of its political and philosophical ideals. When it comes to the Civil War, I’m not sure the chart for independence is where we should be looking for astrological reasons for the war, beyond the obvious Uranus Return and Pluto square the Nodes. Nonetheless, there are bound to be important progressions, arcs and transits that give us some insight into the astrology of the war. Perhaps the approval of the Declaration of Independence and/or the agreement to print and publish it might yield even better information, since the Declaration deals specifically with the reasons for establishing a new nation based on Enlightenment political principles–principles which the Confederacy ultimately rejected and violated. And certainly, the Perpetual Union Agreement would be a good candidate chart to look for the astrology of the Civil War.

There were a couple of very important events prior to the outbreak of violence at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. First, the election itself in early November, when Lincoln won. As soon as the Electoral College confirmed his win in December, South Carolina began debating secession. They voted about 03:30pm on December 20, 1860 to secede from the Union. Thereafter, Southern state after Southern state followed suit and seceded until early February when the Confederacy was formally founded. The transits for December 20th did, in fact, unexpectedly light up the July 1st chart in a serious way. At the time of secession, the Ascendant was 8 Gemini conjunct both transiting and radix Uranus in Gemini in the foundation charts for the U.S. Mercury was in opposition at 8 Sagittarius conjunct the Descendant. Pluto was at 7 Taurus Retrograde square the US radix Nodes at 6 Leo/Aquarius. Transiting Moon was at 5 Aries square the July 1st Ascendant. Mars was at 19 Pisces square radix Mars at 19 Gemini. Saturn was at 9 Virgo square Uranus at 9 Gemini, and of course square radix Uranus at 8 Gemini.

The first American existential crisis had begun and it threatened the very existence of the Union. Since this occurred around the time of the Uranus Return, the situation and condition of Uranus in the radix chart need to be considered. I think the most important aspect in the July 1st chart is Uranus at the midpoint of the Sun/Nodes. In my opinion, this makes the country vulnerable to rightwing radicalism. In the 19th century it was the confederate mentality against the Union and it flared up at the Uranus Return when Pluto was also in hard aspect to the Nodes. (It happened again in the 1930s-early 40s, Uranus Return, Pluto conjunct the N. Node, with the rise of fascism and radical rightwing populism in the U.S., only to be reined in after Japan attacked the U.S. That will be discussed at length later in the article.)

There is more information to glean from the progressions and solar and ascendant arcs, but the transits alone are enough to emphasize in the July 1st chart. The July 4th chart for the approval of Jefferson’s edits in the Declaration is also revealing.

The first thing that came to my attention was transiting Sun conjunct the IC in Sagittarius and square the Ascendant, indicating a serious low point for that year highlighting foundational beliefs about the nature, character and purpose of the U.S. Transiting moon is opposing the progressed Sun, so there was a segment of the population in opposition to the stated purpose of the Declaration of Independence. Neptune is conjunct the progressed Moon at 26 Pisces and opposing progressed Neptune revealing the highly idealized, chauvinistic nature of South Carolina’s legislature, and by extension, of the whole South. Of course, the outer planet transits will cover the same ground here as in the July 1st chart. Saturn and Uranus are in square here as well; the Uranus Return is in effect and Pluto is square the Nodes. The war started in April as Neptune crossed the Descendant at 28-29 Pisces and Mars at 6 Gemini sextiled the radix N. Node and was moving into conjunction with Uranus, but the existential crisis began with South Carolina’s secession breaking the Perpetual Union agreement.

Here’s the afternoon chart for July 4th with 8 Scorpio rising with the transits for South Carolina’s secession. Obviously not much is going to change from the earlier chart, although Pluto is within a degree of conjoining the Descendant, and will be at 8 Taurus conjunct the Descendant in April when hostilities begin. Jupiter is closer in opposition to the radix Moon in this chart. With transiting Moon at 5 Aries, it will square radix Jupiter in all the charts for the first week of July 1776, but only in the July 1st chart does the Moon square an angle.

The most intriguing thing about this chart with the transits for South Carolina’s secession is the role of Pluto. Not only is Pluto conjunct the Descendant of the radix chart, but Pluto is conjunct the IC of the Solar Arc chart (below). Pluto at the Descendant clearly had a destructive effect on the relationships between the states. In the Solar Arcs, Pluto on the IC indicates a serious crisis with the fundamental Enlightenment principles inherent in the Declaration of Independence—the very foundation of the mission statement for the country was being challenged. Interestingly enough, Uranus in this chart is again at the midpoint of Sun/Nodes within a degree (+59 min).

The next chart to look at is the Perpetual Union chart. It’s fascinating, that it, too, has 8+ fixed on the Ascendant—8 Taurus. I would assume a chart for any kind of agreement that remains in effect in perpetuity would have a strong ‘fixed’ quality. Perpetual Union is no exception.

It’s also interesting that its Venus at 14 Capricorn is conjunct the Moon in the July 1st chart—a nice combination that shows the affinity of the people to the idea of union. The unfortunate planetary placement in this chart, though, is Pluto in Aquarius square the Ascendant. And, of course, when transiting Pluto crossed the Ascendant at 8 Taurus in 1861, the Union fell apart with the founding of the Confederacy, at least temporarily, until in the post-war period, when the Confederate states re-entered the Union. Let’s take a look at Perpetual Union and South Carolina’s secession.

Transiting Moon at 5 Aries is in the 12th/4th Quadrant in opposition to Neptune. The secession certainly set off a period of total chaos and confusion in the country. The transiting Mercury/Uranus/Asc t-square Saturn was also creating a grand cross with the Solar Arc Saturn at about 7 Pisces. So, the very structural components of the agreement were being dismantled. Let’s examine the Solar Arc chart with Perpetual Union (below). You’ll see the radix Moon/Jupiter opposition has reached the Sun. And then the Part of Fortune reached the Descendant. So, in spite of the fixed nature of Moon in Taurus opposing Jupiter in Scorpio, when, by Solar Arc, Jupiter conjoined the Sun and the Moon opposed it, the agreement fell apart.

All three of the 1776 charts are valid and reliable for what they map. The events occurred; we have the documentation, and we can see that all three have something to tell us about the Civil War either through the lens of ‘independence’, itself, or through the lens of the stated mission and political/philosophical ideals in the Declaration. I see no reason to argue that one is more important than the others, except to say, all the events related to the establishment of the new country flow from the moment the Founders first voted for independence. The Perpetual Union chart is equally important when it comes to issues of domestic politics that either enhance or threaten the cohesion of the states. So, it is also a chart I think astrologers should keep an eye on.

Now let’s take a look at the second existential crisis during the second Uranus Return and Pluto conjunct the North Node in Leo: World War II.

The Second Existential Crisis: World War II
Although we most often see the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941 as the beginning of the U.S. involvement in World War II, in fact there were two previous events that made it clear to F. D. Roosevelt and to Congress that it was just a matter of time before the U.S. would have to declare war, either against Germany or Japan. The first event was when the German U-Boot 69 sank the USS Robin Moor off the coast of Brazil on May 21, 1941 at 05:25am local time. The second event was in the early morning of December 7, 1941. At 06:37am the USS Ward sank a Japanese midget submarine near the entrance to Pearl Harbor. It was the first shot fired in the attack on Pearl Harbor that morning. I encourage the readers here to take note of these events and chart them. But December 7th is still the day we’re going to work with here. Let’s look at the sinking of the Japanese midget submarine with the July 1st chart.

The first thing that comes into view is the Moon at 27 Cancer in opposition to radix Pluto. Then, Mars at 15 Aries square radix Moon and opposing Saturn. Transiting Jupiter is conjunct radix Mars. And then, of course, Pluto is conjunct the N. Node with Venus near the S. Node in Aquarius. Later that morning a few minutes before 08:00am local time, the bombs began falling on the ships in the harbor.

Below is the chart for 07:55am when the attack began. The only difference in the two charts for Pearl Harbor is the degree of the angles and the Moon. The chart for Japan’s attack on the fleet is pretty stunning, though. Mars conjunct the IC, Sun opposing Jupiter, Saturn approaching conjunction with Uranus, and Venus approaching opposition to Pluto. And the chart reflects the July 1st independence wheel with its 4 Capricorn rising and Libra MC.

In the secondary progressions for the July 1st chart (shown below), you’ll see progressed Pluto conjunct the S. Node on the Descendant. The progressed Moon at almost 5 Aquarius is opposed by transiting Pluto. And then transiting Neptune is conjunct progressed Mars, but there’s a progressed Mars/Neptune conjunction as well. The Moon in a mundane chart most often represents the people, and you can see that, as the news reached the public that afternoon, the Moon was crossing into Leo square progressed Saturn and opposing transiting Venus. At the same time, transiting Mars/IC were square the July 1st Moon in Capricorn and opposing Saturn. This was a grievous event that hurt the body-politic deeply. It would lead to a declaration of war against Japan the next day, December 8th, at 12:39pm EST.

Remembering that the Full Moon/Saturn square in the July 1st chart at 15 Cap-14 Libra was the key aspect in the colonies separating from the Mother Country, transiting Mars/IC at 15 Aries in square and opposition to Moon/Saturn was a direct assault on that independence, given the other transits and progressions also in play. Among the progressions in play were the Moon and Pluto in the progressed 1st quadrant repeating the radix Moon and Pluto in the 1st. And it’s hard not to see that the angles of the attack on Pearl Harbor also repeat the angles in the July 1st chart. From that astrological perspective, the attack on the U.S. in 1941 was, indeed, an existential threat to the country’s independent existence and way of life, which is the fundamental significance of the July 1st map of the vote for independence.

Using the 11:02 am July 4th chart, Neptune conjunct the radix Ascendant is the first thing that stands out. Transiting Moon is just past opposition to Pluto, Pluto is near the North Node, transiting Mars opposes Saturn, the transiting MC is conjunct Saturn, and transiting Saturn is square the Moon. The ideological framework for the American constitutional democracy was attacked, and once again, as with the July 1st chart, there’s a Moon-Mars-Saturn grouping between the radix chart and the transits. There is additional and corroborative information in this chart that the attack on Pearl Harbor deeply hurt and aggrieved the American people and was a direct assault on the U.S. as a liberal democracy by the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Now let’s discuss the July 4th Scorpio rising chart for what Adams said was the agreement to print and publish the Declaration of Independence. The transits to the radix are basically the same as with the 11:02am 29 Virgo rising chart, other than there’s only one direct, close aspect to the angles, namely Mars is trine the MC. Pluto is widely square the Ascendant, but in my work, 3 degrees is a bit wide given the gravity of the event. However, when we also consider the Ascendant Arc Pluto for December 7, 1941, it was at 7Leo42, in square to the Asc/Dsc, less than a degree from exactitude, that changes one’s perspective on the less than exact Pluto transit. I’m inclined to see that -3 degrees transiting Pluto square to the Asc/Dsc as effective. It was also about one degree from conjoining the 6+ Leo N. Node.

Since we are assuming Pluto in hard aspect to the Nodes is one part of the signature for an existential crisis, adding both transiting and Ascendant Arc Pluto in square to the Asc/Dsc, I think we have the astrological basis for this chart indicating just such a crisis. Here is the tri-wheel with the Scorpio rising chart, the Ascendant Arc planets and the transits for Pearl Harbor.

Beyond the approaching Uranus Return and Pluto in hard aspect to the Nodes, there is another fascinating echo here from the Civil War in the above 11:02am July 4th chart. Namely, WWII had Neptune conjunct the Ascendant in the last degree of Virgo. If you remember, the Civil War had Neptune at 28 Pisces conjunct the Descendant in this chart. In thinking about that, using the Virgo rising July 4th chart, both the Civil War and WWII had a strong Neptune influence. Yet, in the Scorpio rising chart we see the influence of Pluto rather than Neptune. Perhaps we can deduce from that a way to characterize the foundational natures of the Virgo rising chart and the Scorpio rising chart as expressions of the purpose of the Declaration of Independence, namely, to explain the philosophical and political reasons for independence.

A Third Existential Crisis?
The overall general planetary patterns for the Civil War and World War II, i.e., Pluto/Nodes, Uranus at the end of Taurus moving toward its Return in Gemini, and Neptune at the end of either Pisces or Virgo, will repeat again beginning in 2024 for the first time since 1941. Knowing the astrology of the two previous existential crises for the United States, it is hard not to conclude there will be a third such crisis as Uranus in Taurus trines the U.S. Pluto, Pluto in Aquarius approaches conjunction with the South Node, and Neptune returns to the last degrees of Pisces then moves into Aries conjunct Saturn.

Although we’ll see the beginning of these transits already in the Spring of 2024, because of retrogradation, the outer planets involved only ‘inch’ forward to the truly critical degrees in early 2026. In late January 2026, there will be a conjunction of the Sun, Mars and Pluto in early Aquarius, near the U.S. South Node, Uranus at 27 Taurus, Neptune at 29 Pisces (along with Saturn at 28 Pisces approaching their conjunction). And then on February 17, 2026, there will be a partial solar eclipse at 28+ Aquarius square Uranus at 27+ Taurus. The exact Saturn/Neptune conjunction at 0Aries45 will occur 3 days later on February 20th, 2026, 11:50am EST.

If there is to be an existential crisis similar to the Civil War and/or World War II, I’m concerned about early 2026. However, Pluto will stay within orb (2 deg.) of the U.S. South Node in Aquarius through mid-2028. In the interim, we’ll also experience the U.S. Uranus Return at 8+Gemini. In all three charts for July 1 and July 4, 1776, Uranus returns three times between July 2027 and May 2028. In all three of the Uranus Return charts for 2027, Pluto is at 6 Aquarius conjunct the US South Node. So, it doesn’t really matter which chart we use, July 1st, 07:03pm, July 4th, 11:02am, or July 4th, 02:17pm (all in LAT). Their Uranus Returns all happen within days of each other between July 2027 and May 2028 at the same time Pluto conjuncts the South Node in each chart.

The question, of course, is, will it be a domestic crisis like the Civil War or an international crisis like World War II? It could be both, if we consider what’s happening now domestically and internationally. We know the history of Pluto in early Taurus and Pluto in early Leo. When Pluto was in early Scorpio, beginning in 1984, Reagan flipped Cold War foreign policy on its head, abandoning the Containment Policy, the Domino Theory, Spheres of Influence, and Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). He proposed instead the ‘Strategic Defense Initiative’, often called ‘Star Wars’. Between 1984 and 1987, as Pluto in Scorpio squared the US Nodes in Leo/Aquarius, the tension between the Soviet Union and the U.S. once again reached crisis proportions. We were getting as close to nuclear war with the Russians as we were at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Gorbachev, however, became leader of the Soviet Union in 1985 and he recognized right away that they could not afford to compete against SDI. He didn’t know, of course, that SDI was still in very preliminary developmental stages and the US didn’t have the technology or the know-how to develop the types of weapons systems proposed in SDI. Full implementation was estimated to be decades in the future. That was top secret information and the Russians didn’t know SDI wouldn’t be a threat to them in the short term. Gorbachev then implemented his Perestroika and Glasnost policies, seeing no future for the economy or Russia’s continued level of world power without structural changes in their system. Their war in Afghanistan was failing and they would have to withdraw by the end of the 1980s. So, although Pluto in Scorpio square the US Nodes was stressful, it broke in favor of the U.S.

It seems like every time Pluto squares or conjuncts the U.S. Nodes, there is a crisis, after which the U.S. comes out stronger with more power and influence than before. In the 1940s when Pluto conjoined the North Node, yes, the country was in a fight for its life, but it also propelled the U.S. into the position of being only one of two world powers left standing, and therefore the leading democracy in the world. With Pluto squaring the Nodes from Scorpio in the 1980s, the pressure on the Soviet system, the other post-war power, ultimately brought the Soviet Union down at the time of the next Saturn/Neptune conjunction, ending the Cold War, with the U.S. in the most powerful position.

Now we will experience our second period of time with Pluto in Aquarius (the first time was in the late 1770s through the 1790s, when the US won the Revolutionary War and created the first modern democratic system in the world). Sure, together with the Uranus Return, and Neptune at the end of Pisces moving into Aries, we are probably on the precipice of a major existential crisis both from within and outside the country. What form it will take, we can only guess. However, given what’s happening with Russia, there is a resonance with the 1980s. I suspect, Russia will create more problems over the next few years until the Saturn/Neptune conjunction in 2027, when it’s most likely the Putin Regime will ultimately fail and Russia will once again have to recreate itself, as they’ve done at each Saturn/Neptune conjunction going back to the mid-19th century.

As for a domestic crisis in the U.S., we are probably already there. That will likely only get more stressful, too, until there is a major international crisis with Russia (and/or China), at which time, I expect even the die hard undemocratic, authoritarian MAGAts and DeSantian fascists will fall in line to defend the country. This weird conservative culture war against democratic principles and civil rights (called ‘woke’ by the Right to insult people who support democracy and civil rights) is reminiscent of the fascist and Nazi movement in the U.S. in the late 1930s and their pro-fascist, anti-democratic rhetoric. Many prominent Americans were promoting fascism and Nazism, including Charles Lindberg, Henry Ford and radio-evangelist Father Coughlin, who had millions of listeners. Once the war started in Europe, though, with Germany’s invasion of Poland, these conservative culture warriors were forced off the air and their activities limited. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, that more or less ended the fascist movement in the U.S. Any public support for Nazism, fascism or Japanese Imperialism became ‘seditious’ and illegal. I have a feeling the same will happen to Fox News talking heads and others of their ilk, the Steve Bannons in the country, et al, if Russia should move against a NATO country or use a tactical nuclear weapon. For national defense purposes, the kind of autocratic, undemocratic nonsense and pro-Russian propaganda spouted by the likes of Tucker Carlson, will be quickly quashed.

The difference in our domestic politics now, compared to the 1930s, is the rise of right-wing domestic terrorism, which, I admit, could completely change the dynamic as we go through the transits, 2024-2027. I’m cautiously optimistic, such terrorism, too, will be ‘handled’ effectively in the near future. Whatever crisis the country faces over the next four years, if history is our guide, the U.S. will struggle, but will eventually come through it all stronger and more powerful than before.

The Queering of America–the Intersection of the LGBTQ Community and the Law

What exactly do I mean by the word ‘intersection’ here? I’m thinking of the history of the LGBTQ community in the U.S. as a current of social movement and the laws that relate to civil rights as another current. These two currents within the flow of American social history began to intersect and create a confluence in the early 20th century—a confluence that turned extremely problematic, violent and oppressive to LGBTQ people.

Since the advent of the modern Gay rights movement in the mid-1960s, there has been a concerted academic effort to examine the history, anthropology, and sociology of queerness, generally, but also specifically in the United States. The Queer historiography makes it clear there was a gay subculture and community at the latest by the 1860s in the US, if not earlier, in the 1850s. The problem was, there was no real term for same-sex relationships other than ‘sodomy’, which only describes sexual acts outside of procreative marriage between a man and a woman. Thus, it was difficult to ‘see’ such relationships within a context of a sexual orientation, identity and community. Much of the same-sex behavior identified in the Western territories and states has often been minimized with the argument that men only consorted with other men because there was a lack of opportunity—much like prison sex. The West was populated primarily by men, especially in the Mountain West and Pacific Northwest.

Take Seattle, as an example. Men outnumbered women more than 4 to 1 in the 1850s and 1860s, which prompted Asa Mercer to recruit women and bring them from New England to Seattle in the mid-1860s. It wasn’t a very successful venture and not that many took the offer. Whether it was opportunistic sex because of the lack of women, a more fluid sexuality for many, or a homosexual orientation is still debated, but Seattle’s downtown south of Yesler, a.k.a. the original Skid Road, was infamous for male only steam rooms, hotels, bars, etc. That didn’t change for nearly a century until, as in other cities where gay men began creating communities in the mid-1960s at the time of the Uranus/Pluto conjunction, gay men in Seattle began their take-over of the westside of Capitol Hill creating a near exclusively gay neighborhood and district. The economic problems created by the near collapse of Boeing between 1968-1975, when they laid off about 100,000 employees, left Seattle neighborhoods like Capitol Hill with abandoned businesses and homes. A group of gay businessmen created the Seattle Gay Businessmen’s Association and they invested heavily on Broadway Ave on Capitol Hill in the early to mid-1970s, creating a Mecca for Pacific Northwest gay men. It was their initiative, as well, to change Seattle’s ‘nickname’ from the Jet City and sometimes the Queen City to the Emerald City. That nickname has prevailed over the last 50 years as both a reference to the Wizard of Oz, ‘Friends of Dorothy’, and Judy Garland as a gay icon, as well as the green forested geography of the Pacific Northwest.  

Washington, D.C. is another documented example. Billy Swann, a former slave, who in the late 1870s became the ‘Queen’ of Washington, D.C. with her drag queen parties and shows, often raided by police. The newspapers constantly complained about these denizens of iniquity related to Swann’s activities, his so-called boarding house and its mixed race all male clientele, which only added to the scandalous nature of the gay community in the city. Nonetheless, Swann became a D.C. celebrity and she was more or less the queen mother of the city’s gay community. The Civil War period saw Washington D.C. literally boom with business and population, and by the time of the Uranus/Pluto Crescent Phase 45 deg semi-square in 1862-63, a gay community had developed and has existed in the city ever since.

Magnus Hirschfeld, the German sexologist and gay rights advocate, noted in his journals that the gay community in Chicago’s Old Town at the time of the 1893 World’s Fair had remarkable consistencies and similarities with the gay community in Berlin. Hirschfeld also noted, like Berlin, the community showed signs of having been around for some time. These similarities and subcultural consistencies were an important part of his view that sexuality included different orientations to the world and wasn’t just one set of behaviors based on a biological imperative to procreate. It was meaningful to him that the gay community in Chicago should look like and behave like the gay community in Berlin when there was very limited contact between the two.

These historical examples make one wonder why straight people generally didn’t ‘see’ these gay people and weren’t consciously aware of the subculture that existed around them. One theoretical explanation is that there was a lack of terminology to identify it. No one yet had a sense that there was some separate sexual orientation to the world, in spite of the fact, such ideas had emerged in pamphlets already in the 1860s in Europe. In Germany, Karl Ulrichs had written on the subject of a universal gay cultural principle beginning in 1862 and presented similar ideas to a German court in 1867 advocating for civil rights for men who were ‘Uranians’, as he called them. He also believed such men were born Uranians, they existed in all human cultures, and were just another manifestation and creation of Mother Nature. This idea, of course, ran afoul of Aquinas’ medieval ‘Natural Law’ that had informed European Christian culture’s primitive and simplistic views on sexuality for six hundred years. German jurisprudence wasn’t going to suddenly shift to Ulrichs’ ‘uranian’ view of sexuality, abandon six hundred years of Natural Law as the basis of the moral understanding of sexuality, and extend any ‘right’ to same-sex relationships.

Given the 19th century scientific developments and the nature of their intellectualism, Ulrichs’ term ‘Uranian’ simply wasn’t going to catch on. There was a growing movement within a new academic discipline, psychology, to examine and understand same-sex behavior, and it was going to take more academic, scientific terminology to get anyone’s attention. The terms homosexual and heterosexual wouldn’t be coined for another few months after Ulrichs’ presentation to the German Court in Munich on the afternoon of August 29, 1867.  Those two terms would be introduced for the first time on the evening of May 6, 1868, in a letter from Karl-Maria Kertbeny to Karl Ulrichs. Kertbeny was a writer and journalist who also wrote pamphlets and articles promoting the legalization of same-sex relationships in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Although those terms eventually became definitive due to the prominent psychologist, Richard von Krafft-Ebing’s, adoption and application of them, they weren’t used in the U.S. for another 30 plus years until the time of the Uranus/Pluto opposition, and then primarily in the psychological/psychiatric professions. The general public-at-large in America didn’t become aware of, or perhaps didn’t take seriously, the queer culture and personalities in their communities until the Oscar Wilde trials in Britain in 1895, but even then, it didn’t seem to capture much of the public imagination in the U.S. outside of intellectual circles. That would soon change with the realization that there was a deeply-rooted gay community in the US as well, not just in Europe. That sudden visibility and the public’s realization of it led to a conflict between the law and the LGBTQ community.

This open clash between the gay community and the law in the U.S. dates back to a gay sex scandal in Portland OR that began on Nov 8, 1912 at 07:12pm. According to Police records, a young man was booked at 07:10pm for shoplifting, and police questioning began at 07:12pm. It’s a fascinating story in itself, but it’s beyond the scope of this article, so we have to skip over the juicy details of it and focus on its general social context and its impact on the country. It’s not that same sex relationships were legal prior to the Portland scandal, they weren’t, but they weren’t really much of a consideration for the general population and the punishments were relatively benign, depending on the specific sexual nature of the crime–usually some time in jail, never more than a year, and that was the end of it. Even in Billy Swann’s case in Washington, D.C., he was sentenced to 10 months in 1888, released early and he was back in business holding his dances and using his home as a space for Black and White men to socialize after hours.

After the gay vice scandal in 1912, however, all that changed. It was brought to the attention of the police that there were same-sex dance clubs, restaurants, bars, cafes and hotels in Portland. And they operated openly, even advertising in the newspaper, the Oregonian. One such advertisement read, “Let’s Go to the Louvre Tonight! Jancsi Rigo, with his Gypsy Orchestra…returned to Portland today and will open a six-week engagement beginning at 6pm tonight at the Louvre. All during the show, ‘she’ will be thinking of that gay little half hour that’s coming afterwards! — The Louvre, a Dialog Place for the Fastidious in the Belvedere Hotel at 4th and Alder.” The ad itself reads rather funny, and you can see the ‘code’ in it meant for gay men, but it’s still a little odd that people generally and the police vice squad didn’t pick up on what this was actually advertising. Apparently, they didn’t, because we now know Portland’s gay community had been around since the 1880s when the transcontinental railroad arrived, and there were bars, clubs, bathhouses and exclusive hotels.

However, on the evening of November 9, 1912, the 18 year-old teenager, who had been arrested for shoplifting, indicated to police that he had had sex with a number of men who had ‘corrupted’ him, which then activated the vice squad in the police department and over the next couple weeks more than 100 men were arrested, including prominent politicians, civic leaders, businessmen, etc. Although there were other gay locations involved, the vice police initially targeted and raided the YMCA and the Louvre all-male dinner and nightclub in the Belvedere Hotel. Here is a picture from an illustrated magazine of the period that illustrates and chronicles the event.

In the trials that followed, a detailed description of Portland’s gay community emerged, complete with graphic descriptions of their sexual behavior and relationships, the subcultural slang/language these men used with each other, and the realization that this was a nation-wide phenomenon, not unique to Portland, with a gay network served by the transcontinental rail system, that extended from Vancouver BC to L.A. on the west coast, across the country to Minneapolis, Chicago, and East Coast cities. This revelation brought the FBI into the picture and the federal vice squads began infiltrating gay communities all across the country including within the military. Military investigations led to the arrest of dozens stationed at the Newport Naval Training Center in Rhode Island in 1919.

By 1917, based on what had been revealed in the Portland trials, draconian anti-gay laws were passed in a number of states, and by 1923 all 48 states had passed similar laws. Punishment included up to 10 years in prison and castration, euphemistically called ‘sterilization’. It was at this point in time that the gay community was also clashing with the racist Eugenics movement that was sweeping the country.

The historical record shows that there was significant influence from the Eugenics Records Office in Cold Harbor, NY, to get states to pass laws allowing eugenics. Their pseudo-scientific research in genetics informed such laws all across the country.  Specifically, the ERO dedicated its resources to pushing for the restriction of immigrants from Eastern Europe, Italy, the Middle East and Asia, who were deemed ‘genetically inferior’ to Northern European, Germanic, Nordic and Anglo-Saxon whites, and the forced sterilization of individuals deemed to have undesirable characteristics, including LGBTQ. These eugenic sterilization laws and the efforts of the FBI vice squads destroyed the gay communities in the U.S., forcing LGBTQ into what became known as the ‘closet’. Men were threatened with a decade of incarceration, electro-shock treatments, and chemical castration or vasectomies, and women with electro-shock treatment in mental hospitals and involuntary hysterectomies or tubal ligations. The persecution became extreme after 1912 and it continued into the 1970s and in some states until homosexuality was decriminalized by Court order in 2003. And even though the ERO was shut down in 1939-40 for its racist pseudo-science, the state laws using sterilization as punishment for LGBTQ people stayed on the books well into the 1970s in most states.

Another reason for the continuing persecution of LGBTQ people had to do with the labels homosexuality and heterosexuality themselves. Religious heterosexuals rejected the idea that sexuality was innate or an orientation, rather that it was a behavioral choice to make. The religious influence behind that suggested that the only moral choice was to follow God’s Will, and in their interpretation of the Bible, His will was we should all be heterosexuals. Thus, there was a concerted effort to educate children both in school and church about the moral evils of homosexuality. The strategy was to repress such expressions of sexuality and relationship and deny that it’s a viable, moral choice, by spreading fear. They propagandized children with films portraying gay men as pedophiles and pederasts, depraved and perverted.

Of course, that dove-tailed nicely with the Eugenics Records Office’s pseudo-science and their efforts to sterilize gay men and lesbians. Ironic and counter-intuitive as that may have been, since it’s pretty obvious heterosexual couples produce gay children. And then, the Eugenics movement and sterilization of LGBT people were intellectually counter to the religious notion that homosexuality was a behavioral choice and not a genetic predisposition. In spite of the incongruencies and cognitive dissonance between the religious ‘behavioral’ view of sexuality and the Eugenics proponents’ view of it as ‘genetic’, both sought to eliminate gay people from society, or at least punish them with physical and emotional torture, segregate them and render them invisible. As with racial and ethnic segregation and Jim Crow, straight, white Anglo-Saxon Protestants were very successful in their efforts to oppress and dehumanize LGBTQ people.

So, what then is the astrological context for all this? In tracing the astro-history of these gay and queer related events and developments, in the big picture, the crises points seem most related to the Uranus/Pluto cycle, as alluded to above. Historical research into the subject reveals documented same-sex relationships and gay communities existed in American cities and in the American West as early as the 1850s around the time of the Uranus/Pluto conjunction at the end of Aries. There were all-male private boarding houses, clubs, bars, etc., in most large American cities and in the West where there weren’t many women. This was not unique to the U.S. The same existed in Europe. However, in Europe, there were pioneering individuals who began advocating for gay rights already in the 1860s, the two most prominent were Karl Ulrichs and Karl Maria Kertbeny.

In the 1860s when Karl Ulrichs was actively writing pamphlets and giving speeches on gay rights, Uranus and Pluto had reached their 45 deg Crescent phase waxing semi-square and he was determined to get same-sex relationships decriminalized. He was a lone voice in the straight wilderness, but he began the mobilization to push for rights. In 1876 at the Uranus/Pluto First Quarter square, Ulrichs was persecuted and prosecuted for distributing sexually immoral pamphlets, and he realized he had gone as far as he could in Germany. The backlash to the idea of gay rights disappointed him. He moved to Italy then and lived there until his death. But he had succeeded in making gay rights an issue in Europe.

By 1901 at the Uranus/Pluto opposition, the terms homosexuality and heterosexuality had become commonplace in intellectual circles, even in the US, and both in European and US cities, gays and lesbians were embracing a ‘homosexual identity’ and creating communities. But it was like hiding in full view. Straight people just didn’t seem to take notice or understand what they were seeing.

However, when Uranus and Pluto reached their Full Phase 150 degree waning quincunx in 1912, the Portland scandal and the revelations to the public about queer sexual behavior, relationships and the extent of their nation-wide networks and communities shocked the country and the world. There was an immediate public outcry to lawmakers to criminalize and punish gay, lesbian and trans people. Over the next 50 years, queer life, for the most part, went underground and LGBTQ, especially gay men, became shadowy creatures of the night, behind darkened windows and storefronts with no advertised names. Long-term relationships were nearly impossible for most for fear of being found out. For gay men, especially, relationships most often had to consist of one-night-stands and cruising. The Closet was imperative in order to stay safe in public, hidden from view, maintaining employment and social and family relationships. Gay bars and clubs in big cities often existed only because of corrupt police and the mafia who would take bribes from gay club owners to stay open and not be raided, or the raids were orchestrated and no one arrested. The days of open advertising for gay venues was over. The 1950s were especially difficult for the LGBTQ community as the McCarthy-Republicans pushed their Red and Lavender Scares on the country, portraying LGBTQ people as commie pinko sympathizers if not outright communists. And once again, there was a conflict with the law and the government. New McCarthy Era policies were implemented in the early 1950s to keep gays and lesbians from working in the Federal Government.

Beginning in January 1962, as the massive February stellium in Aquarius was approaching, sudden changes for LGBTQ people were afoot. It started in Illinois when the state legislature decriminalized homosexuality, The new law took effect at midnight on January 1, 1962, and once again a gay community began to freely develop in Chicago, not in its original location in Old Town, but further north along Halsted, and would become known as Boystown. And even though California had not yet decriminalized homosexuality, San Francisco’s Castro District was taken over by gay men beginning in 1962 and it was a complete take-over by 1965, and within a decade would become a gay Mecca. Similar changes happened in New York in the West Village and Chelsea. Other states began decriminalizing as well by the early 1970s and gayborhoods also developed in the cities in those states.

The agitation for ending homophobic discrimination and oppression, however, became part of the general pro-civil rights and anti-war movements of the Uranus/Pluto conjunction of 1965-66. Leading up to the conjunction in the early 1960s, the country experienced sit-ins, marches, the Freedom Riders, and demonstrations. By 1964 most of the country was ready to finally pass civil rights and voting rights legislation. That was accomplished in 1964-65. And the first demonstration for general civil rights for ‘homophiles’, as the gay community referred to itself then, was held on July 4th, 1965 at 4pm in Philadelphia. However, the more demonstrations for gay rights that happened, the more police began harassing gay establishments, which led to gay resistance in various cities across the country and then finally the Stonewall riots in NYC on the night of June 27-28, 1969 that lasted three days. And the gay liberation movement was born. The actual Gay Liberation Front organized then on July 4, 1969; the meeting was called to order about 12:15pm in NYC. Stonewall is considered to be the pivotal moment in history that marks the beginning of the modern Gay rights movement.

So, with that little trip down history lane, let’s take a look at the charts for some of these important events. We’ll start with the Kertbeny’s letter to Ulrichs where the terms homosexual and heterosexual were first used. Then we’ll look at the Portland Gay Vice Scandal and follow up with the Newport Naval Training Center scandal, because these two scandals brought unwanted attention to gay communities across the country and led to draconian anti-gay laws that persisted into the 21st century in some states. And both resonate astrologically with the chart for the first use of the term homosexuality.

Although we don’t have the exact time Kertbeny wrote the word ‘homosexual’ in his letter to Ulrichs, the fact that evening was a Full Moon in Scorpio rising opposing Pluto is reason enough to use the Lunation itself as the radical chart for our modern sense of homosexual and heterosexual orientations. When examining future events related to queer people, the resonance with this chart, as you will see, is astonishing and confirms, for me anyway, that this is a radical chart we can use. In addition to the Full Moon opposing Pluto on the horizon are the Mars/Neptune conjunction in Aries, Venus and Uranus in Cancer, and Saturn Rx in Sagittarius square the Nodes.

Returning to the Uranus/Pluto cycle and issues of civil rights, we can see they are about 55 degrees apart approaching sextile, but still in the early Crescent Phase of the cycle. Venus is at the Crescent Phase 45 degree semi-square to the Sun and Pluto approaching conjunction with Uranus and their New Phase. The chart here represents a fruition of transformative ideas regarding sexuality and a mobilization of effort and purpose to bring these ideas into common consideration and application. With Saturn in Sagittarius square the Nodes, the religious and legal resistance effectively blocked and limited any associated civil rights that might be considered. The Uranus/Pluto cycle that began in 1850, their first conjunction at 29 Aries on Jun 25, 1850 at 07:15pm LMT (D.C.), is generally a dismal chart for issues of civil rights through the cycle and the tight, partile Moon square Saturn at 19 Aries adds insult to injury. The dynamic between these two charts here is not good, either, with transiting Mars conjunct that 19 Aries Saturn. The overall picture is not a pleasant one and the history of the struggle for gay civil rights in the 19th through the first half of the 20th century reflects these difficult aspects. It didn’t matter which marginalized group it was, the last Uranus/Pluto cycle turned out to be horrendous for women and racial, ethnic and sexual minorities in the U.S. We had to wait for the next Uranus/Pluto conjunction in the mid-1960s to re-set the intentions and start a new effort to correct what went wrong in the last cycle. It started well for racial minorities with the 1964 and 1965 Civil and Voting Rights Acts at the time of the new conjunction, but it still took until 2003 for decriminalization of homosexuality, and that wasn’t done by popular legislation, but rather by Supreme Court order. It’s beyond the scope of this article to delve too deeply into the 1850 and 1965 Uranus/Pluto conjunctions, but I want the reader to be aware that whatever astrology we are looking at in regards to civil rights and, specifically, gay rights, it’s within the context of the Uranus/Pluto cycle.

The next chart to examine is the Portland gay sex scandal. You’ll see immediately how it resonates with the 1868 chart for Kertbeny’s first use of the term, homosexuality.

The first thing we see is the New Moon conjunct Mars in Scorpio in the same degrees as the Kertbeny letter’s Full Moon opposing Pluto, adding evidence that the Kertbeny Letter Chart is a radical chart for the modern conception of homosexuality. The next obvious aspects are Pluto at 29 Gemini conjunct the Asc in a Full Phase waning quincunx with Uranus at 29 Capricorn in the 8th House. (Note: the founding chart for Portland, Oregon is Nov 9, 1843, 12:01pm, according to the founders’ journal entry for that day. Its Sun is also at 16+ Scorpio.) The Full Phase quincunx is an 8th House aspect as well (150 deg from/behind the Asc) doubling down on the theme of sexual relations that are hidden but revealed in a sudden and shocking way (Pluto Rising quincunx Uranus in the 8th, New Moon in Scorpio conjunct Mars in Scorpio in the 5th).

The Oregon legislature immediately began to draft an anti-Gay law that passed in one of the legislative chambers in January 1913, but the citizens of Portland launched a major campaign to stop it and they succeeded. However, the state legislature revisited that law in 1917 and passed a draconian anti-Gay law on Feb 19, 1917 about 10:00am. The law included 10 years incarceration and ‘sterilization’. It became the model that all the other 47 states would use to draft their own anti-Gay laws, some worse than others, over the next seven years. In Oregon, sterilization was primarily vasectomies for men and tubal ligation for women, but in other states, it was castration, usually chemical in the form of a pill, and involuntary hysterectomies for women.

Once again, we see 15-16 Taurus/Scorpio prominent, this time on the horizon. Then there’s a strange aspect configuration involving Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto, all about 2 degrees of their signs. Include the Sun in conjunction with Mars trine to Pluto, and male castration/sterilization comes to mind. The t-square to Jupiter in the 12th probably indicates the long-term imprisonment. Saturn conjunct the IC doesn’t help the overall tone of the chart with its heavy handedness and oppression. Uranus and Pluto were in their Disseminating Phase, Uranus having reached its Disseminating sessquare 135 degrees behind Pluto on Feb 17, 1916. Oregon wasn’t the first state to pass eugenic sterilization laws, but it was the first to specifically target LGBTQ people using eugenic sterilization as punishment. It was also during this Disseminating phase of Uranus and Pluto that the FBI infiltrated gay communities in cities across the country, essentially shutting down all bars and clubs, driving gay community activities and people underground or more euphemistically known as into ‘the closet’.

The military was also a target of FBI infiltration and investigation and after months of investigation of the Newport Naval Training facilities in Rhode Island, they blackmailed local civilian gay men to entrap sailors from the naval base. The Newport YMCA was often the central meeting place for gay men in the area, including those from the naval station. On the evening of March 19, 1919, the FBI staged a raid on the YMCA beginning at 9:00pm. FBI agents were posted in strategic areas in the building to observe who was coming and going where, setting a successful trap using civilian gay men inviting sailors into their rooms. The first arrests occurred beginning at 9:55pm.

And once again, 16 Scorpio/Taurus is on the horizon, adding more evidence that the 1868 Kertbeny Letter Chart is a radical chart to use for the modern conception of homosexuality. Key events in queer history seem to resonate well with that chart. Uranus and Pluto are still in their Disseminating Phase approaching trine. Although women will finally get the right to vote with the 19th Amendment under this aspect, male politicians thwart their efforts to gain constitutional enfranchisement, the persecution and prosecution of LGBTQ continues and gets worse, and the racist laws that have been in place, especially since the 1901 Uranus/Pluto opposition, continue to disadvantage and marginalize Latinos, Asians and Blacks. The second incarnation of the KKK happened on Nov 26, 1915 at 12:00am, Stone Mountain, Georgia, and during this Disseminating UR/PL phase, they made significant inroads into mainstream American politics.

Ultimately, this UR/PL Disseminating period, 1916-1932, is when the racists, white supremacists, homophobes and misogynists won the culture war that began in 1850. The North may have won the Civil War militarily, but the South won the culture war that followed beginning with the end of Reconstruction in 1876 at the waxing First Quarter Uranus/Pluto square. These conservative culture warriors gained political success at the First Quarter trine, politically and legally attacked civil rights legislation, got all of the civil rights laws overturned, established racial and ethnic segregation, barred Asian immigration during the UR/PL waxing trine and then Gibbous Phase sessquare, ending all hope of expanding civil rights by the Full Phase opposition in 1901. The gay issue became a problem with the Portland sex scandal at the time of the Uranus/Pluto quincunx and the laws that were passed in the years that followed between 1917 and 1923 added LGBTQ to the list of legally marginalized people. They could legally be denied housing and employment and were at risk of persecution, prosecution, imprisonment, torture and ‘sterilization’ if discovered.

As one might expect, it was during the Last Quarter of the Uranus/Pluto cycle, 1932-1965, that the old cycle and everything it wrought and brought began to be resisted and people began advocating for their rights, especially in the post-WWII period. Blacks first, then women, then LGBTQ and it all came to a head at the Uranus/Pluto conjunctions of 1965-1966, as new statements of intent were made regarding the expansion of civil rights to marginalized groups.

The first general demonstration for Gay rights occurred on July 4, 1965 beginning about 4pm in Philadelphia. Over the next four years, these demonstrations continued both in Philadelphia and in Washington, D.C., then gradually in other cities as well. Very little political traction was gained by these demonstrations though and, as previously mentioned, the more agitation for civil rights, the more harassment they received from local police. It all came to a head with the raid and resulting riot at the Stonewall Inn in New York beginning at 01:20am, June 28, 1969—‘the hairpin drop heard around the world’.  Let’s take a look at these two charts.

And surprise, surprise! 15+ Scorpio is on the Ascendant! There is something really uncanny here about the mid-fixed sign degrees in these charts. The Newport Naval sex scandal in 1919 basically had these angles, and you find with the Supreme Court decisions decriminalizing same-sex relationships (2003) and granting marriage equality (2015), 26 Leo is on their Ascendents, whereas that degree is on the Midheaven here. The resonance between all of these charts is undeniable.

The Stonewall chart is somewhat of a departure in aspect and degree patterns from all the other charts. Nonetheless, it is considered to be the moment that historians say is the ‘birth’ of the gay rights movement that has led to the current level of acceptance and socio-political integration in the country. I think the real difference here from previous gay-related events is that Stonewall became the catalyst for the world culture to change regarding LGBTQ people. The Rainbow flag, Pride events, decriminalization, etc., have become global phenomena on every continent. Uranus and Pluto are still in their New Phase after conjunction here, but Uranus has entered Venus-ruled Libra, promising some radical changes in the way we understand human relationships and social contracts, with the expansion of civil rights as the underlying principle, empowering previously marginalized people. One important progressed aspect in this chart that proves the point is the secondary progressed New Moon that occurred at 20 Leo in June of 2015 at the time the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of Marriage Equality.

You can see that transiting Jupiter was conjunct the progressed New Moon, and transiting Uranus was conjunct the radix Asc at 20 Aries. The transiting MC was 20 Taurus conjunct the radix Venus and progressed Venus was conjunct the radix IC. There are other indicative aspects, but those stand out. The success of the gay rights movement at this moment can’t be denied, and the astrology of the moment clearly shows that success.

Let’s look at the individual charts for Lawrence v. Texas, the decision that decriminalized gay sex and Obergefell v. Hodges that gave LGBTQ the right to marry.

The first thing that comes to mind is the Mars/Uranus in the 7th trine Sun/Saturn and the Moon in the 10th conjunct the N. Node. The symbolism of the moment seems pretty clear. We also see 26 Leo and 20 Taurus on the angles again suggesting there is continuing resonance and continuity between these related historical events. Think back to the Portland gay sex scandal and its Venus/Jupiter conjunction in Sagittarius—transiting Pluto is sitting right on that conjunction. Keeping in mind, that sex scandal led to draconian laws against same-sex relationships, this Court decision eliminated those laws where they still existed, transforming at least the way the federal and state governments treat sexual minorities.

Same-sex marriage was approved by the Courts in their decision Obergefell v. Hodges, 2015. It was a logical extension to Lawrence v. Texas. If two men or two women can legally have consensual adult sex, and there is legislated laws regarding sexual discrimination, there’s nothing standing in the way of same-sex marriage, especially, if the 14th Amendment is the underlying constitutional framework of the precedents for it (Loving, Griswold, Roe, et al.). Again, we see a Venus/Jupiter conjunction in a fire sign, Leo, trining both the Portland gay scandal chart’s Venus/Jupiter, and Lawrence v. Texas’ Pluto in Sagittarius. And identical to the Lawrence decision, 26 Leo is on the Ascendant and 20 Taurus on the MC.

If we want to ask the question, though, how and why did ‘America’ as a social, political and cultural space go through this really profound change that completely altered their history of homophobic discrimination, we have to look at something other than the events themselves. We have to look at a chart for this political and cultural space called ‘America’. Those of you reading this certainly have your charts of choice for the founding of the United States and you will probably want to look at those charts in relation to the charts I’ve provided here. I’m not so sure, though, that a founding chart for the country is where we want to look. The issues here are civil rights issues, and as such, they relate directly to the U.S. Constitution and Government in as much as the equality and social integration were achieved through Court orders/decisions, and not popular legislation. Perhaps then, the March 4, 1789 12:00am LAT, Philadelphia, is the chart to use. Especially, since the decisions regarding same-sex relationships and marriage were based on the 14th Amendment.

On the other hand, Congress’ approval of Jefferson’s edits and final draft of the Declaration of Independence, especially its preamble, as an aspirational mission statement for the new country with its ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” might also yield some insight as to these important changes in attitude. John Adams wrote that the vote to approve Jefferson’s final draft took place at 11:00am LAT on July 4, 1776. That chart might also be worth examining. But for the sake of avoiding any possible controversy with which U.S. chart to use, let’s stick with the US Constitution and Government.

Here’s the Government/Constitution chart with the transits and secondary progressions to the Obergefell decision.

The most obvious planetary aspects are the progressed Venus and transiting Saturn conjunct the Ascendant and the progressed Sun/Neptune conjunction trining Venus/Mars in Aquarius in the radix chart. This provides us some insight into the underlying values of the Obergefell decision. LGBTQ as ‘queer folk’ had always been marginalized in society. They, themselves, for a long time didn’t want to ‘fit in’ or ‘mimic’ straight relationships. They had grown accustomed to the Closet and all it meant for their lives. They had their gay communities, families ‘of choice’, social circles, etc. This worked for decades, both for the gay community and straight society. LGBTQ could live their lives in the closet, but in ‘protective’ communities like gay neighborhoods, working in gay friendly professions, frequenting gay-friendly and gay-owned bars, clubs, hotels, etc. The AIDS epidemic ended that reality both for the gay community and straight society. LGBTQ people began shifting their attitudes to accept that long-term, committed relationships would save their health and lives. Advocating for same-sex marriage was, in fact and in deed, a conservative position to take. Marriage is socially stabilizing and significantly reduces sexually transmitted diseases. The Government has every interest in protecting the health and stability of the country. Extending the right of same-sex marriage was a Saturn/Venus/Asc development—conservative, stabilizing, and protective.

Beyond these transits and progressions, the Government’s Solar Arc Uranus crossed radix Mars at 28 Aquarius when homosexuality was decriminalized in 2003. During its one degree per year journey through the chart, Uranus crossed Saturn, Sun and the IC, which, I think, has a lot to do with the change of attitudes and growing acceptance of the LGBTQ community in society since 2003 as the Federal Government and the Courts changed their attitudes, setting the example.

Over the last 20 years, the cultural currents, Gay Rights and the Law, have more or less been flowing together without whirlpools, eddies, and white water. The turbulent waters of the 20th century have calmed at this point. A few individual states still have questionable laws regarding protecting employment and housing, for example, but for the most part, there have been giant strides in acceptance and integration. As a movement that began with the Uranus/Pluto conjunction of the mid-1960s, there is nothing yet completely set in stone. We are still in the First Quarter phase of their cycle, so it’s still a bit early to say for sure if the peace and calm will prevail when the two planets reach the Gibbous Phase sessquare in the early 2030s. I’m cautiously optimistic.

The Astrology of American Independence

Throughout most of the 20th Century astrologers tried (mostly in vain) to establish a national horoscope for the United States of America. When I first started studying astrology in the early 1970s, one of the more popular charts was set for two something in the morning with Uranus rising in Gemini. I had to wonder then how such a time and chart could be possible. It did not seem particularly likely, probable or even possible that the Continental Congress was in session at two in the morning on July 4, 1776. I rejected the very idea and the chart as a-historical.

In the mid-1970s, the eminent astrologer, Dane Rudhyar, published his book ‘The Astrology of America’s Destiny’, in which he promoted his rectified version of what is known as the Sibly Chart. The time for both was set for shortly after 5:00 pm LMT on July 4th. That seemed much more plausible to me and many others. I began using Sibly, or more accurately, Rudhyar’s few minute rectification of it, as the chart for the U.S.A., and found it generally ‘worked’ with transits and progressions to most important historical events. The key word here being ‘most’. I found a number of questionable planetary patterns with certain events that just didn’t seem plausible. However, for the most part, I ignored those discrepancies, and in a typical ‘appeal to authority’, relied on the astrological expertise of Dane Rudhyar. That would change after studying the history.

In 1978, I went back to university to get another degree in American History. In my studies and research into the founding of the country, I was introduced to the two primary sources most often cited in the historiography, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. University history professors generally ignored Jefferson’s account because it had been written many years after the fact and didn’t always agree with Adams. They told us students to pay more attention to John Adams’ account, since it was written contemporaneously. Secondary sources written by historians tend to emphasize Adams over Jefferson as well.

In studying and researching these primary and secondary sources over the years, the following events and dates stand out in 1776:

*June 7th–The Lee Resolution, a motion to vote for Independence with a rationale for doing so, had been presented to the Congress earlier and the first week of June the Congress took up the issue. In the late afternoon of Friday, June 7th, as the Moon entered Pisces squaring a stellium of Sun, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Uranus in Gemini, with the Moon square Venus both sessquare to Saturn Rx in Libra, Congress decided to table the Resolution until members could seriously consider the Resolution and its consequences. The Colonies had declared war with England on the previous July 7, 1775, so such a Resolution as proposed by Lee from Virginia was not a surprise, but it required very serious consideration and the correctly stated political and philosophical reasons for independence. The Congress deemed Lee’s language in his Resolution too provocative and impolitic and voted to postpone the vote on it until July 1, 1776. Congress adjourned with July 1st set as the next session and in the interim, Jefferson and a couple others were tasked with reworking the language in the Lee Resolution to protect them from accusations of treason.

*July 1st–according to John Adams, Congress reconvened at 9:00 am, did their normal preliminary activities reviewing old business and setting the agenda for the day, for which an hour was usually reserved. In his account, the Lee Resolution was the first item on the agenda that day and they began debating the merits of it starting at 10:00 am, just prior to the exact 10:30 am Full Moon at 10* 12′ Capricorn squaring Saturn at 14 Libra. They debated for nine hours. After exhausting the pros and cons already by 06:30 pm, they put their coalitions together, and promptly at 07:00 pm, with the Moon at 15+ Capricorn just minutes past the exact square to Saturn at 14+ Libra (06:11pm), John Hancock, the President of the Congress, made a motion to end the debate and take a vote to agree to separate from England or not. The vote was nine Yes, two No, and two abstentions. The motion had passed. 5+ Capricorn was on the Asc, opposing Jupiter at 5+ Cancer, 29+ Libra on the Midheaven trine to Venus at 29+ Gemini.

Pennsylvania and South Carolina voted No. Delaware and New York abstained. Delaware abstained because a key pro-independence delegate, Caesar Rodney, had not yet arrived in time for the vote. Mercury was retrograde. They were dismayed that they had to abstain and their vote was not in the Yes column. South Carolina then made a motion to take a second vote when Caesar Rodney arrived, in order to accommodate Delaware. John Adams had been dismayed because the vote wasn’t unanimous, and saw the opportunity with South Carolina’s motion, to lobby Pennsylvania, South Carolina and New York to vote Yes on the second vote. He admits in his account that he wanted a unanimous vote for public relations and political purposes and therefore promoted the motion for the second vote. John Dickinson, the head of the Pennsylvania delegation, also agreed to a second vote, and told his delegation they could change their vote to Yes since the decision for independence had already been made. Dickinson then left and didn’t return for the second vote.

*July 2nd–Congress convened at their normal 09:00 am time and conducted their normal routine until Caesar Rodney arrived in the 11th hour of the morning. A second vote was then taken sometime between 11:30 am and noon as the Moon at 25+ Capricorn opposed Mercury Rx at 25+ Cancer. The vote was 12 Yes and 1 abstention, New York. Adams was disappointed, but he had successfully lobbied Pennsylvania and South Carolina to change their vote to Yes. Adams believed July 2nd would become the national holiday celebrating Independence. Historians have traditionally agreed with Adams’ sentiment and, therefore, have usually ignored the vote on July 1st. Yet, according to Adams, the first vote was a binding decision and the second vote was meant primarily for public relations purposes. It also didn’t change the outcome of the first vote. Pennsylvania’s delegation leader, John Dickinson, didn’t even appear for the second vote, which is an important fact that supports the idea that the first vote was binding.

In the afternoon of July 2nd, the issue of a formal document declaring independence and explaining their reasons for it was raised again. Thomas Jefferson was the head of a small committee tasked to edit the Lee Resolution between June 7 and July 1. They reviewed the small committee’s draft document and it was collectively decided it needed more serious editing. Jefferson left and wrote a version that evening. He brought it back on the morning of July 3rd for review. It was rejected with more edits required. He made those edits and re-writes on the evening of July 3rd and brought it back on the morning of July 4th.

*July 4th–The session began as usual at 09:00 am, and at 10:00 am, Jefferson presented his most recent edits of what would become known as the Declaration of Independence. The document was reviewed and the language debated for about an hour, at which point, according to Adams, about 11 am, a motion was made to accept the Declaration as edited. There are a number of rectified charts for that 11th hour of the morning, but I have come to accept Adams’ 11:00am LAT (11:04am LMT).

They adjourned about noon and reassembled at 2:00 pm. At that point, the Declaration was more or less just ‘hanging there’, approved as it was, but a decision had to be made that would alter their lives forever. The question was whether they should or shouldn’t print, publish and distribute the Declaration. To do so, could have well been considered an act of Treason and every head in the Hall risked being put in a noose, if things went badly. It was truly a point of no return, if they agreed to publish it. They made the motion, it carried and passed. Astrologers who use this moment usually use 02:20 or 02:21 pm. 8+ Scorpio was on the Asc,16 Leo+ on the MC, the Moon was Void of Course at 25 Aquarius. (I interpret that to be a ‘safety’ factor for the Founders–nothing bad would come of printing and publishing.) The official congressional printer was then given the task of creating a ‘broadside’ or ‘fair copy’ of the Declaration (a template for printing). He left immediately for his print shop, and according to Adams, it took him more than five hours to create it.

From here on, things get murky. Sibly and Rudhyar place the time at 05:10-05:14pm that ‘something’ happened–ostensibly a declaration that the Colonies were independent. There is nothing in the historical record to support or confirm that. In 2015, while in Philadelphia, I took an official tour of Independence Hall with the official, federal historian. I asked him what he knew of the timing of events on the afternoon of July 4th. He said, they adjourned for dinner sometime ‘before 5:00 pm’ and returned at 07:00 pm for the presentation of the printer’s ‘fair copy’. Based on the record, we can assume the printer returned sometime between 07:30-08:00 pm, at which time, according to the historian at Independence Hall, John Hancock formally accepted the Declaration, read it out loud, then affixed his now famous large signature to it. There’s no time recorded, but it most likely happened between 08:00-09:00 pm. It was also decided that evening that they could print enough copies and get them distributed by July 8th. They then scheduled the formal public presentation and planned celebrations for ‘high noon’ on that date.

So, based on the historical record, both primary and secondary sources, nothing critical to Independence occurred at the time used for the Sibly/Rudhyar charts. If the official historian is correct, they had adjourned for dinner and weren’t even present in the Hall at that time.

*July 8th--I think it’s important to note that the official record states ‘high noon’ and not 12:00 pm as the time of the official public presentation of the Declaration of Independence. High Noon is when the Sun is directly over head 90 degrees to the horizon. In Philadelphia on July 8th, that would have been at 12:04pm LMT, 14+ Libra on the Asc, 16+ Cancer on the MC, Moon at 21+ Aries in the 7th. It takes approximately 10 minutes to read the Declaration of Independence out loud, and the celebrations began immediately after it was publicly read. I place the time about 12:10 pm LAT or 12:15pm LMT.

To review quickly, this is the calendar of events with approximate times in LMT according to the historical record:

July 1, 07:08 pm, the first majority Yes vote for Independence.
July 2, 11:30 am-Noon, the second vote.
July 4, 11:00 am-Noon, the approval of the language in the Declaration.
July 4, 02:20-ish pm, the agreement to print and publish the Declaration.
July 4, 07:30-09:00 pm, John Hancock formally accepts the Declaration and signs it.
July 8, 12:04 pm, the formal public presentation/reading of the Declaration
July 8, 12:15 pm, the first celebration of US Independence.

The question, of course, is which one is the ‘founding horoscope’ for the U.S.A.? In order to sort that out, we have to ask ourselves what each one is actually mapping.

Let’s consider the first majority Yes vote on July 1. The Founders made clear at that moment their intention to separate from England and be independent. All events that followed flow from that ‘moment of intent’. The chart should then map the nature and character of the country, its appearance and reputation in the world, its economic potential, and as such, its ‘destiny’ in so far as character is destiny.

The July 2nd vote, re-confirmed the first vote, but more importantly, the chart should show the unity of mind and intention–it’s a political statement of their collective action and thus should show us the realities of the American ‘body-politic’.

The July 4th approval of the Declaration of Independence gives us a chart that lays out the political and philosophical reasons for their decision to separate from England. As such, the chart provides a clear picture of the ideals to which Americans aspire, but which might or might not be born out over time, and perhaps not without a fight or struggle, based on the July 1 chart for the moment of intent to become independent.

The July 4th agreement to print and publish the Declaration, the moment of no possible return, seems an important critical chart to examine. It’s certainly a watershed moment in the process. It might well be more important than the moment of approval of the Declaration as a statement of political and philosophical idealism.

The July 8th formal public presentation of the Declaration and the following ‘national celebration’ maps the public awareness and acceptance of their Independence. As such, it’s more about the American people than anything else–their collective character, their destiny and their relationship with each other, politically, culturally and regionally/geographically.

Here are the charts with the times that I use for each.

Early Family History

Merrill-Force-Lorentzen Family History, Part 1:  19th Century and early 20th Century 

The earliest information that I can find begins with Amos A. Merrill, born February 7, 1836, in Franconia, New Hampshire. Amos married Mary Anne Farmer, born April 28, 1845 in Findley, Ohio. They were married in Findley OH on December 19, 1864. They had eight children. The oldest was Nancy Jane Merrill, born October 7, 1865 in Fontanelle, Iowa.

I have no birth and death information for Edward Force, except that he died of dysentery some time near the end of the Civil War. He was married to Abbey Maddock, but I couldn’t find the birth and death information for her either. I did find a hand-written note mentioning Vermillion, Minnesota, but I don’t know if Edward and Abbey had lived there, or if one or the other was originally from there. They had one son, Levi Ebbert Force, born after Edward’s death, March 13, 1865 in Kankakee, Illinois.

It’s a mystery to me as to how and why these people moved around so much, but somehow Levi Force and Nancy Merrill met and married on October 21, 1883 in Momence, Illinois, just east of Kankakee near the Indiana state line.

Levi and Nancy had twelve children. Their fifth child was Theodore (Ted) John Force, born December 11, 1892 in Weller, North Dakota. He married Martha Magdalene McAdoo, born June 15, 1908 (no location that I can find, but she must’ve been from the area in central-west North Dakota). Ted and Martha had five children; their first was Elizabeth (Betty) Jane Force, born September 16, 1930.  

Levi’s and Nancy’s sixth child was Lulu Etha Force, born January 7, 1895 in Washburn, North Dakota. Lu married Jack Emil Lorentzen, December 8, 1915 in Manning, North Dakota (county seat of Dunn Co.) Jack and Lu had six children: Lorene Lillian (Sept 27, 1917) , Leonard Levi (May 15, 1919),  Norman Jack (April 12, 1921) Lyman Lloyd (February 4, 1923), Rosemarie (July 9, 1925), and Gaynor Earl (April 27, 1929).

Lyman Lorentzen married his cousin, Betty Force, August 28, 1948 in Casper, Wyoming, sort of ‘doubling down’ on the Merrill-Force connection in the family, and adding the McAdoos.

Jack Lorentzen was born January 13, 1885 in Peoria, Illinois to a Danish immigrant family and spent his childhood in Lincoln, Nebraska. He had an older brother (don’t know his name), who as an adult moved to Stanley, North Dakota. The boys’ mother died when Jack was 13-14 years old. His father went back to Europe, reportedly to Sweden, and took Jack with him. The timing gets lost here and we don’t know when Jack returned to the U.S., but apparently his father stayed in Sweden. When Jack returned, he went to visit his brother in Stanley, ND, but whatever happened between them, they never had anything to do with each other after that. Jack went south across the Missouri River and settled in Werner, only a couple hours from Stanley.  He was 30 yrs old when he married Lu Force, who was only 20 at the time. 

The Jupiter/Neptune Cycle and the Deconstruction of Truth in the United States 2009-2022

The current Jupiter/Neptune cycle began on 27 May 2009 at 04:07 pm EDT set for Washington, D.C., the conjunction occurring at 26’29” Aquarius (Tropical). In principle, the Jupiter/Neptune conjunction refers to new statements of intent regarding the current expressions of both legal theory and practice and religious thought and practice (Jupiter) in the context of the institutionalized social and cultural values of the time (Neptune). In this sense, when applied to the United States, the conjunction has everything to do with ‘truth, justice and the American way’ and how those principles are nudged in new directions over time. 

In this American context, the conjunction always has something to do with the perception and treatment of certain groups in a very diverse society. In the sign of Aquarius, it was sure to bring awareness to the social, political and judicial currents in the society related to previously marginalized groups who were not yet fully integrated into mainstream social and political processes, as well as radical elements in the culture and society who were, for whatever reason, not fully enfranchised in the political and economic life of the nation, now with the potential for inclusion and/or political power. Two groups stand out in the American political landscape:  the LGBT community and those left behind by the technological revolution and the collapse of the heavy manufacturing sectors in the economy. Both of these groups found success in this cycle—the former through the Courts, most significantly with marriage equality, and the latter through politics, albeit radical populism. Other minority groups, including women, Hispanics, Native Americans and African-Americans, found themselves faced with overt institutional discrimination, and yet, at the same time, growing political influence through activism and political engagement to counter the social currents moving against them.

In looking at the chart for the conjunction, Libra is rising, with its ruler, Venus, conjunct Mars in Aries in the 7th House, sextile to Jupiter/Neptune. Mercury, ruler of the 9th in Gemini and the 12th in Virgo, is retrograde in Taurus squared to the conjunction. Since we are dealing with Jupiter and Neptune, the natural rulers of the 9th and 12th Houses, the placement and aspects to Mercury in this chart, although perhaps secondary in importance, are still critical in the outcome of the cycle.  Mercury Rx square Neptune all but promises difficulty in social and political communication, confusion, deceptions, lies, and subterfuge. Mercury square Jupiter with Neptune suggests an unfortunate, but heightened role of propaganda, misinformation and disinformation that colors the entire cycle from conjunction to opposition and back to conjunction.  Here is the chart for this last Jupiter/Neptune conjunction.

To place this conjunction in its historical context, in 2009 the world was at the beginning of the Great Recession, and, in the United States, both the previous Bush Administration and the new Obama Administration infused massive amounts of money into the economic system and bailed out financial institutions and important corporations in hopes of keeping the recession from sliding into a more serious second Great Depression. Although it took another three years, their strategy did work and the economy turned around in 2012 as Jupiter and Neptune were forming their First Quarter square. However, during that three year period, U.S. manufacturing went into decline, unemployment sky-rocketed, and areas of the country like the Great Lakes region in the Midwest, the South and Appalachia, that were already economically weak, suffered the brunt of the recession.

The people in those regions felt disregarded and abandoned, and rose up in political opposition to the Obama agenda. But the Jupiter/Neptune principle went much deeper than just the economic inequality that lay at the surface of American politics. Regions like Appalachia, the South and Midwest, that were culturally entrenched in pre-1965 Uranus/Pluto conjunction America with its fundamentalist Christianity, racial and ethnic segregation and white supremacy, and still not fully reconciled with the changes that had eroded their privilege to dominate the society after the Uranus/Pluto conjunction, tied their political wagons to the Tea Party movement and rode into the U.S. Congress in the mid-term elections of 2010 as new, more conservative, if not radical Republicans. (Forgive the American Old West metaphor!)

The Jupiter/Neptune First Quarter square occurred on 25 June 2012 at 3:53am EDT, Washington, D.C., less than twenty-four hours after the Uranus/Pluto First Quarter square occurred on 24 June 2012 at 05:12 am, EDT. We were experiencing two critical first quarter squares in two different synodic cycles of the outer planets at the same time. Although the economy was turning around, the U.S. was experiencing a serious political and cultural conflict with liberals and mainstream Republicans on one side and these new radical Republicans on the other, who later would identify themselves as the ‘Freedom Caucus.’ Obama went on to win re-election, which shocked these new Republicans. They believed they had the political upper hand, but apparently the country was not as supportive as they imagined. Obama would go on to win one argument with a national health care plan, but much of his socially progressive agenda was blocked by the new Republicans and he used ‘executive orders’ to put many items of his agenda in place. Of course, there was an immediate reaction from the new Republicans and accusations that Obama was by-passing the Constitutional role of Congress as the legislative body.

Additionally, radical right wing media outlets began gaining popularity among these ‘disenfranchised’ people in the Midwest, South and Appalachia. InfoWars, Breitbart and The Daily Caller all became more influential and began influencing the direction and agenda of the new Republicans in Congress.  InfoWars and Breitbart, specifically, had been spreading propaganda, right wing conspiracy theories, and misinformation that caught the attention and imagination of the new Republican base. Yet, this was foreseeable in the Jupiter/Neptune Conjunction chart with the square to Mercury Rx. But all of this comes down to the Jupiter/Neptune and Uranus/Pluto First Quarter squares.  Both charts have Gemini Rising, so they are very similar, the only difference being the Moon placements in Leo and Virgo.

In the Fall of 2013, things began polarizing in the U.S. Congress and they shut the government down, effective midnight on 1 October 2013. This was at the time that Jupiter and Neptune were 135 degrees apart (sessquare), opening the Gibbous Phase of the cycle. Typical for this planetary phase, it was at this point in time, that the Freedom Caucus and the new Republicans began successfully taking over the House of Representatives. The moderate Speaker of the House, John Boehner, began losing control and the radical Republicans were successful in pushing their agenda. This continued until September of 2015, when Jupiter and Neptune reached opposition, and John Boehner resigned leaving the House in the hands of the radicals. They had achieved their ultimate success—almost.

There was something else happening in the Fall of 2013 when Jupiter and Neptune were sessquared. The exact 135 degree aspect occurred on 28 September 2013, 10:37pm EDT, 21 Gemini was on the Ascendant.  An interesting astrological ‘co-incidence’ is that Trump’s natal Moon is at 21 Sagittarius, pulling him into the Jupiter/Neptune cycle at the time when the radical Right in Congress were gaining political traction and power over mainstream Republicans. And of course, he would eventually become their anointed Leader as a result. Donald J. Trump went to Moscow, Russia for the Miss Universe Pageant on the weekend of 9-10 November 2013, and that night two things happened. He and a couple of wealthy Russian oligarchs made a tentative deal to build a Trump tower in Moscow, and then the infamous events with prostitutes that were later alleged in the Steele Dossier, much of which has proved false.  This became important when Jupiter and Neptune reached opposition in 2015.

Fast forward to 2015. In early March 2015, Mercury was conjunct Neptune in Pisces about 8 degrees. According to U.S. intelligence, they intercepted communications at that time between Trump and contacts in Russia. It is still a secret as to what the intelligence community knows about those conversations.  On 20 March 2015 there was a partial eclipse at 29 Pisces, and within a few hours after the eclipse it was reported that Trump was intending to announce his candidacy for president sometime before summer.  Let’s look at that eclipse with the U.S. chart (1 July 1776, 07:08 pm LMT, Philadelphia).

Jupiter is still in the waxing Gibbous Phase to Neptune, Neptune squares Uranus at 8 Gemini, but the explosive planetary aspect is the tight Uranus-Pluto square exactly triggering the Moon-Saturn square in the U.S. chart, Pluto conjunct the U.S. Moon squaring Saturn, Uranus squaring the Moon and opposing Saturn. I was not using this ‘Powell Chart’ for the U.S. at the time, but had I been, I would have been extremely alarmed. We now know the history over the last four years since these transits occurred, and the divisive, disruptive, unsettling nature of them is hard to ignore. It was also at this time that Russia began organizing its cyber-attacks, campaign of disinformation and anti-Clinton propaganda using social media and the right wing media outlets that were mentioned earlier. Trump declared his candidacy on 16 June 2015 at 11:24am EDT in New York. The Ascendant was 7 Virgo. There was another partial eclipse on 13 September 2015 at 20 Virgo, and four days later, 17 September 2015 at 02:53am EDT, Jupiter reached opposition to Neptune at 7 Virgo/Pisces right on the Ascendant of the announcement that Trump was formally a candidate.  That fall and winter of 2015-2016, Trump and those key players in his campaign were actively engaged with Russians in furthering the Trump Tower deal. There were outside players involved as well—Rex Tillerson and the family of Betsy DeVos, both of whom ‘coincidently’ became cabinet members in the Trump Administration.

So, astrologically, we now see a clear connection between the Trump Campaign, Russia, and the Jupiter/Neptune opposition.  This relationship, and it’s clearly supported by the astrology, was meant to help Trump and disadvantage Clinton, according to the U.S. intelligence community findings.

During the campaign between September 2015 and May 2016, Trump kept the Trump tower deal a secret. He had to. It was a clear conflict of interest. Information did leak out, however, but nothing substantial enough to conclude anything definitive beyond speculation. Trump, though, denied having any financial or other connections to Russians.

In April of 2016, Neptune reached 10 Pisces, conjunct the I.C. of the U.S. Government (4 March 1789, 12:00am LMT). Trump appointed Paul Manafort to manage his campaign on 7 April 2016. Manafort, as we now know, was a paid agent and representative of the pro-Russian Ukrainian government, although he failed to report that status to the Federal Elections Commission. He was also directly involved with a Russian oligarch, Deripaska and owed him a lot of money. As such, he knew about the relationship between Trump and Russia. He indicated to his Russian connections that he could get them ‘inside’ the Trump Campaign. He volunteered to work for the campaign for free. He came on board, and then was promoted to Campaign Manager a couple months later. Other players in the campaign were then given assignments related to campaign fund raising and getting Russians to contribute. In some cases, they did this directly with smaller amounts of cash, but Russian oligarchs discovered they could go through the National Rifle Association, give them millions, and have them contribute to the campaign without raising any suspicions. In short, Neptune was conjunct the U.S. Government’s I.C., undermining the foundations of our democratic institutions and election laws.  Jupiter was at 14 Virgo still in opposition to Neptune, but directly opposing the Government’s Sun/Saturn conjunction at 13-14 Pisces, indicating the influence of a foreign power in opposition to the Government’s purpose and functions (Sun) and its institutional regulations and laws (Saturn).  In addition, transiting Saturn had joined the fray in mid-Sagittarius creating a t-square to the Jupiter/Neptune opposition causing even more damage to the rule of law, although the public was not yet aware of what was happening.

Then, as we all now know, Trump Jr., Manafort and others met with Russian intelligence people in Trump Tower in New York on 9 June 2016 at 4:00pm EDT, because they had promised to reveal ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton. Trump had just met with Putin in Hamburg, Germany, and as per his modus operandi, it was a private meeting, and no one knows what was discussed. He was flying back to the U.S. when the 9 June meeting took place. He did two things on that flight home:  He called the New York Times and told them Putin was not responsible for the alleged interference in the election, and he drafted a memo lying about the nature of the meeting in Trump Tower with Russian intelligence.

Of course, what followed was FBI Director Comey’s public announcement in July that the FBI found nothing illegal in the investigation into Clinton’s email server and usage.  It was at that point, though, that hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee were being released through DCLeaks in June and July, and then by Wikileaks on 22 July. The Russians were planning on hacking the Clinton Campaign as well. On 27 July 2016, with apparent pre-knowledge of what Wikileaks and Russia were about to do, Trump, now the official Republican candidate for president, at a campaign event in Roanoke, Virginia, requested that Russia  find the 30,000 missing emails from Clinton’s server.  He began his request with the words, ‘Russia, if you are listening…’  At the time, of course, no one understood what he was doing. But, within hours of Trump’s public request to Russia to hack Clinton’s campaign, the Russians did just that, capturing emails from Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, and then turned them over to Wikileaks, who published them beginning  7 October 2016. And as we also now know, Trump and his people had been in constant negotiation with Russians over the Moscow Tower deal into November of 2016, at the time of the election, but lied about it the entire time to hide the conflict of interest. The Jupiter opposition Neptune  t-square Saturn was in full force.

Trump won the election on 8 November 2016. Pluto had retrograded back to 15 Capricorn, conjunct the U.S. Moon and square Saturn in the Independence chart, where it was when he announced his candidacy and began his campaign. Uranus was at 21 Aries and triggered the Government chart’s Jupiter/Neptune square at 19 Cancer and 22 Libra in the time leading up the election, which should have sounded the alarm that something wasn’t right with the political campaign. But then American politicians don’t look at the astrology of the political process. However, even American astrologers couldn’t imagine there was something rotten in the process—the presidential election has always been understood to be a sacrosanct, incorruptible democratic institution. It was unimaginable to believe that transiting Uranus square Jupiter and opposing Neptune in the Government chart indicated any level of corruption. But the planetary transits don’t lie. When the results of the election were announced, there was a collective shock, revulsion and convulsion that shook the country and the world. Millions of people poured into the streets across the country and around the world in mass demonstrations against his presidency.

His inauguration on 20 January 2017 at 12:00pm EST had transiting Jupiter conjunct the Government’s Neptune quincunx Mercury, triggering the chart’s Jupiter in Cancer square Neptune in Libra, reinforcing the problems in this Jupiter/Neptune cycle and presenting the country with a level of dishonesty never before seen from a president. Neptune was conjunct the I.C., poised to transit the Sun/Saturn conjunction over the next two years.  There was an immediate corrosive influence of Neptune and the resulting deconstruction of the administrative state and the undermining of political and institutional norms. Adding insult to injury, transiting Mars/Saturn square had directly hit the U.S. Mercury the week before the inauguration, challenging the press and news media, revealing the Administration’s antipathy to honoring the truth and respecting the rights of the news media as a necessary part of the checks and balances in government.   Here are the transits to the Government’s chart at the time of Trump’s inauguration.

Through most of 2019 America will be faced with the Last Quarter Jupiter/Neptune square, that, because of retrograde patterns, repeats three times between January and September—a time of crisis in consciousness and awareness of everything that went right and everything that went wrong through the cycle from conjunction in 2009 until now, but especially since the opposition in 2015. The Last Quarter square is always the beginning of the end. It starts the last quarter of time in the cycle before the new phase begins in 2022. It is a time when it is necessary to evaluate, assess, and admit to what has gone wrong, and to maintain and improve on what has gone right. Objective truth and realism are now required above all things.

The right wing’s extreme, radical reaction to the Obama Administration in 2009 initially formed around the ‘Tea Party’ and the objection to the economic policies in combating the recession at the time of the conjunction. Then the conservative fundamentalist Christians and nationalists joined that movement within the Republican Party at the Jupiter/Neptune waxing semi-square and gained political traction at the First Quarter square, then succeeded in taking over Congress at the Gibbous sessquare.  Unfortunately for the Republicans, they tied themselves to Trump at the opposition, who, because of his financial wheeling and dealing with the Russians, promised them to end the economic sanctions for their transgressions in the Ukraine and elsewhere. In exchange, the Russians ‘donated’ heavily through illegal means to the Trump Campaign and created a massive propaganda and disinformation campaign aimed at the Democrats and Hillary Clinton using social media platforms and the extreme right-wing media outlets in order to help Trump gain the necessary traction in key states.  And the radical Republicans, both the voters and politicians, were willing to believe the lies and deceptions.

Much will be revealed and challenged during the Last Quarter phase over the next year and half, but especially during the period when the two planets are within orb of square.  These coming nine months between January and September will be decisive as Neptune and Jupiter go square, then retrograde, then come back to square, go retrograde, and come back to square again. The reaction of Americans to what is revealed this year under this square regarding Trump’s misadventures, misdeeds, conspiracy and conflicts of interest, will determine what happens when Jupiter reaches 45 degrees behind Neptune, opening the Balsamic phase in the cycle of the two planets in early January 2021.  Because the conjunction occurred squared to Mercury Rx in Fixed signs in 2009, the possibility of a trend to deconstruct the truth and promote mis- and disinformation, if not outright lies and propaganda, was there from the beginning. That the developing cycle hit the US Government chart in such a profound way at the square and sessquare, and then at the opposition it pulled Donald Trump into the cycle, I suppose it was also inevitable that, with the election of Donald Trump, Americans would be faced with the negative side of Jupiter/Neptune in the deconstruction of its institutions and objective truth (Neptune conjunct, Jupiter opposed and Saturn squared  the Government’s  I.C., Saturn and Sun), and an attack on the press and media as ‘enemies of the people’(transiting Mars conjunct and Saturn square the Government’s Mercury at the time of the inauguration), in an attempt to undermine the constitutional role of those estates, and thereby protect Trump’s inherent dishonesty, conflicts of interest and conspiracy with the Russians. 

If the wrongs that have been done are not appropriately dealt with, things will get even more difficult for Americans when the Balsamic phase opens in early January 2021 at the waning Jupiter semi-square Neptune. It will be at that point, with the last gasp of the cycle, that either chaos and disintegration occur and the future looks dark and up for grabs by the most undemocratic, truth-refuting elements in society, or the challenges will have been met, dealt with, and the country will begin to plan for a better future and new statements of intent regarding truth, justice and the American way, fully aware of the issues in the past that have led them to this point.  

There is a potential point of optimism with the Balsamic waning 45 degrees between Jupiter and Neptune, and that is, the next Jupiter/Saturn conjunction at 0 Aquarius occurs just days before the Jupiter/Neptune waning semi-square is exact. Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions always reset the social, political and economic trends. All presidents in the U.S. are inaugurated with the Sun at 0 Aquarius, and, therefore, America will have this new twenty- year cycle of Jupiter/Saturn that will begin directly on the degree of the Sun for all future presidents between 2020 and 2040. I am optimistic these approaching transits will help reset America and the country can begin reconstructing objective truth and integrity in the American system. This experience will not end completely, though, until 2022 when the next Jupiter/Neptune conjunction occurs. Only then can America, and the world, say a heart-felt, collective goodbye and good-riddance to the years of Jupiter/Neptune chaos and political surrealism especially since the First Quarter square. We can still expect a hang-over effect from this last Jupiter-Neptune cycle, though, especially if the Republican Party refuses to distance itself from Trump. If Trump wins the next election, the next Jupiter/Neptune conjunction will indelibly stamp his MAGA movement on American politics for the next 13 years, complete with all the lies, deceptions, grift, corruption, and increasing threats to our national security through inappropriate collusion with Russia. I assume he won’t win re-election. In that event, how these 13 years of the Jupiter/Neptune cycle have changed geopolitics and the world order will have to be assessed by political scientists and historians.

The Jupiter-Saturn Effect in Social, Political and Economic Processes

By Gary Lorentzen

When discussing social, political and economic processes in worldly affairs, astrologers point to the synodic cycles of the planets Jupiter and Saturn as the most important cycles to observe, especially the beginning of a cycle when the two planets come together in a conjunction approximately every twenty years. In a social and political context, Jupiter represents the urge to expand civil rights and diversity within a society, while Saturn represents the social organization, traditions, structures and institutions that sustain a society. This often translates to liberal (Jupiter) and conservative (Saturn) political culture as well. When the two planets are in conjunction, there is always a new statement of intent for the short term (approximately the next 20 years) regarding who in the society is going to continue to have full participation and equal access, and to whom equal protection under the law and access to the established social institutions will be granted.  These conjunctions occur at a moment in time when societies, generally, have just gone through a difficult transition period as the cycle comes to a close in the last couple years just before the two planets come together again.

It is useful to use a lunation cycle model to examine any synodic cycle, which then yields eight periods of 45 degrees in the 360 degree cycle—the New phase from conjunction to 45 degrees, the Crescent phase from 45 to 90 degrees, the First Quarter phase from 90 to 135 degrees, the Gibbous phase from 135 degrees to opposition, the Full phase from 180 degrees back to 135 degrees (to the next conjunction), the Disseminating phase from 135 back to 90 degrees, the Last Quarter phase from 90 back to 45 degrees and the Balsamic phase from 45 degrees back to 0 at the next conjunction. Here is a graphic representation of the eight phases with the standard planetary aspects included.

New Phase
The conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn marks a new phase of short term social, political and economic development. New ideas are brought forth (Jupiter) and put into effect in the social and political institutions (Saturn). Who makes these new statements of intent and politically institutionalizes them, depends on who ‘won’ the political argument during the closing phase (Balsamic) of the last cycle. The New phase encompasses 45 degrees of arc between the two planets and approximately two and half years of time.

Crescent Phase
When Jupiter reaches 45 degrees ahead of Saturn, the Crescent phase begins, and those in political power, as well as those people who now dominate the social narrative, will have to mobilize their energies and their ‘tribe’ or base to maintain what they’ve set in motion since the conjunction. If they maintain their momentum in the society then the next two and half years will be productive and their intentions effective.

First Quarter Phase
However, when Jupiter reaches 90 degrees ahead of Saturn, about five years after conjunction, the First Quarter phase begins, and there is always a backlash to the statements of intent made at the conjunction. It is a crisis in action for those who are in control of the social and political narrative. Their vision for the future is always severely tested because it is a time when any problems with their vision and agenda will become quite clear to everyone, and people will respond critically and push against what is not going well. The positive, viable statements of intent will survive the crisis, but the intentions that are not viable will have to be abandoned, which usually happens then when Jupiter reaches 120 degrees (trine) ahead of Saturn.  In economics, if there are problems that are not dealt with effectively at the beginning of the First Quarter phase, there will be a full-blown economic crisis at the Jupiter/Saturn trine that follows. Those in political power are forced into crisis management as the ‘ship of state’ begins to list.

Gibbous Phase
When Jupiter reaches 135 degrees ahead of Saturn, the Gibbous phase begins, and it marks a time when the efforts to resolve the problems and ‘right the ship of state’ take hold and, when effective, there is improvement in the economy and lessening of any political turmoil. However, if the measures taken violate or somehow run counter to the original statements of intent made at the conjunction, or they are ineffective in solving the crisis, then there will be heightened political tension over the next two and half years. Governments and economies can collapse. New political movements can form to oppose reform measures that have been undertaken since the Jupiter/Saturn trine.

Full Phase
Approximately ten years after the conjunction, when Jupiter and Saturn are 180 degrees apart, the Full phase begins. It is at this time that the positive, viable statements of social, political and economic intent made at the conjunction come to fruition, and those that were not viable are left to the dustbin of history. Those original statements of intent now become fully institutionalized and part of the fabric of society.  If there was an economic crisis during the First Quarter phase, then the Full phase marks a time when the crisis truly abates, if the measures taken beginning at the previous trine (120 degrees) and sessquare (135 degrees) were effective. If there are any issues still unresolved, but they deal with intentions that are still valid and reliable, then there will be some resistance to going any further with those intentions. Within civil societies, those who oppose these intentions will try legal means to remove them. In societies that have few if any democratic institutions or they are not well developed, or economic policies have been too expansive, the Jupiter/Saturn opposition often brings turmoil and governments and national economies can collapse.

Disseminating Phase
When Jupiter reaches 135 degrees behind Saturn, approximately 12-13 years after the conjunction, the Disseminating phase begins. This is the point in the cycle when the political powers mobilize their base and distribute or disseminate their vision and message throughout the body-politic in all areas of the society. Whatever successes were had at the opposition and whatever was made a fixture in the social and political fabric of the nation will now be ‘adopted’ by the whole of society and it is taken for granted that the original intentions and goals are an integral part of the social and political institutions. Those intentions that were legally challenged at the opposition will now either be rejected by the court/legal system or given legitimacy. Whatever previous social, political and/or cultural projects failed or were suppressed by the government causing failure at the opposition, the disseminating sessquare will bring forth objections, demonstrations, and resistance against leaders and governments. Depending on the national horoscope, it could lead to open rebellion or even civil war. And, since it is a ‘disseminating’ phase, in the case of such conflict, people will disperse and migrate for safety and security reasons.

Last Quarter Phase
As Jupiter squares Saturn again, 90 degrees behind Saturn, the Last Quarter phase begins. Once again the society experiences a crisis—this time a crisis in consciousness regarding the whole history of the cycle up to this point.  This two and half year period marks a time of looking back, reflecting on what has happened, and feeling the need for change.  The political opposition to the powers-that-be may gain traction in the body-politic and there is a strong push to make changes. Where there are large pockets of people who have been left behind in the cycle, they will rise up and challenge the status quo. If there is meaningful opposition, they may be successful at the Jupiter/Saturn sextile when Jupiter is 60 degrees behind Saturn.

Balsamic Phase
The last period, the Balsamic phase, begins when Jupiter is 45 degrees behind Saturn. This marks the last two and half year phase before the next conjunction. It is often a bit chaotic and confusing as the old statements of intent seem no longer functional and it becomes clear adjustments need to be made and a new set of goals, standards and intentions needs to be established for the future.  The cycle winds down and the old statements of intent and political successes begin unraveling.  It is often accompanied by extremes in political positions as the liberal Jupiterian and conservative Saturnian elements in the body-politic vie for the advantage and the privilege to set the new standards that will have to be made at the next conjunction.  And yet there is no real, solid vision of what is to come.

The Balsamic phase is often the most politically tumultuous period because the standards and values of the cycle are no longer wholly viable and reliable and a political struggle ensues between those who want to keep them and improve them and those who want to abandon them and start over at the next conjunction. The Saturnian conservative elements will seek to maintain what they value from the cycle whether it has worked or not, while the Jupiterian liberal response is to abandon what does not seem to work and expand or venture off into a new direction. These political currents run counter to each other and often polarize the people into ‘tribes’ of either Saturn or Jupiter, and it doesn’t matter what kind of political system the society has. Even in a parliamentary democracy with multiple political parties, the various parties will come together in their coalitions creating two general camps, one Jupiterian, the other Saturnian.  It should be a time of calm reflection when the political leadership wisely brings people together in order to come to some collective consensus on what to do next. Brainstorming, planning and compromise are the positive political behaviors associated with this phase of the Jupiter/Saturn cycle, which will always happen to some degree. However, politics is always a little dirty and, if it gets out of hand, a country could experience widespread agitation, polarization and political conflict.

The Elemental Pattern
These scenarios depend as well on the longer trend of these conjunctions occurring in specific signs and elements (fire, earth, air or water).  The conjunctions change elements approximately every two hundred years. In Western tropical astrology, this last elemental cycle started in the Earth signs in 1820-21. The mutation to Air will occur in 2020. When the conjunctions change elements it’s often called a ‘great mutation’.  It often happens toward the end of the elemental period that the second to the last conjunction will occur in the next element.  This also happened in this Earth period. The conjunction shifted to the early degrees of an Air sign (Libra) in 1981, however, the next ‘great mutation’ does not actually become a reality until 2020, since the 2000 conjunction, the last of the Earth conjunctions, once again occurred in the late degrees of Taurus.  As it was the last conjunction in Earth signs for centuries to come, it marked the end of the Earth elemental cycle and the 2020 conjunction will bring the beginning of a new Air cycle with the conjunction at about 1 degree of Aquarius.  For the next two hundred years the conjunction will continue to occur in Air signs.  It is probably important to think of these Jupiter/Saturn synodic cycles within this larger elemental pattern.  There are ten conjunctions within each elemental cycle and there is probably some important socio-political-economic progression or evolution associated with each elemental. There needs to be more research on this and more written to add to the body of work on the synodic cycle of these two planets.

The outline presented here is obviously described in very general terms and much depends on where the conjunction occurs in a national horoscope and, geographically, where in the world it falls on the one of the four angles, Midheaven, Ascendant, Nadir or Descendant. so it is important to provide an example to see how the synodic cycle has actually worked in history.  Since most readers are probably familiar with the history since the year 2000, let us examine the chart for the 2000 Jupiter/Saturn conjunction. Key to understanding the effects of the conjunction are the aspects to the conjunction from other planets.

Jupiter/Saturn Conjunction, May 2000
The last Jupiter/Saturn conjunction occurred on 28 May 2000 at 12:05pm EDT. This chart is set for Washington, D.C., but readers can relocate it to any location. It is of interest to note that relocating this chart to the Middle East puts Uranus on the IC (4th House cusp) in northeastern Africa (Tunisia, Libya and Egypt), and Pluto on the Ascendant in Iraq.  In 2003 Ba’athist Iraq was attacked by a coalition of countries led by the U.S., the country was destroyed and the dictator, Saddam Hussein, was captured and executed (very Pluto!).  In the winter of 2010-11, Tunisia, Egypt and Libya went into open, violent revolution (Uranus) against their political leadership.  But then in the tropical zodiac the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction at 22 Taurus 43 was squared by Uranus Rx at 20 Aquarius 49, promising a very disruptive, tumultuous, revolutionary twenty year period, complete with radical religious groups (Uranus square Jupiter), authoritarian leaders ousted by the people in open revolution (Uranus square Saturn), economic recession that started in the real estate mortgage banking system (Moon in the 8th semi-square Uranus and the MC), and a serious disruption in the existing geopolitical world order (Uranus square Jupiter/Saturn).

With the conjunction at the MC squared by Uranus Rx, in the United States there was an immediate political crisis when the presidential election in November of 2000 was virtually tied in the Electoral College with Al Gore receiving a very slight majority in the popular vote. The outcome of the election was decided in the Supreme Court and George W. Bush was declared the President even though he had not won the popular vote. The following September 11, 2001 radical Islamic zealots attacked the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, DC., murdering nearly 3,000 people and injuring over 6,000. This became the defining moment for this Jupiter/Saturn cycle, ultimately leading to the protracted war in Iraq, the rise of ISIS, the problems in Syria, and the increasing threat of terrorism in the world. The conjunction squared to Uranus also promised economic disruption and world-wide political repercussions. As you read through the Jupiter/Saturn phases and their aspects over the last twenty years, keep in mind the basic principles regarding each phase as outlined above.

Jupiter/Saturn Phase Relationships-2000-2020
New Phase
The conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn squared to Uranus brought important, new statements of intent in geopolitics regarding radical religious terrorism (Uranus square Jupiter), and in economics regarding an untethered free market (Uranus square Jupiter) with little institutional or governmental control (Uranus square Saturn). Unfortunately, the independent financial and economic institutions in the world didn’t police themselves very well and without much government oversight, they took the world economy to the brink of catastrophe under these planetary aspects.

In regards to geopolitics and radical religious terrorism, at the time of the World Trade Center attack, Jupiter and Saturn were still within their New Phase, but Saturn was then opposed by Pluto, and Jupiter was with the North Node opposed by Mars conjunct the South Node—the violence and terrorism clearly indicated in those combinations. Considering that Jupiter and Saturn were still in a New Phase, the event would shape and inform the world situation for the entire cycle. The original Jupiter/Saturn square Uranus set up the radical threat to the established world order and 9/11 was the first event to make that clear. The world’s response would be felt and seen at the beginning of the next phase as it mobilized against the terrorism.

Another important issue that began with this conjunction in this New Phase was a dramatic push in Europe and the Americas to liberalize laws regarding LGBT people. Individual states in the U.S. offered ‘civil unions’ for same-sex couples, beginning with Vermont. The following year, 2001, civil unions were granted in more states, in Germany, in England, and anti-discrimination laws and ordinances were passed in many countries and states in North and South America. Additionally, there was a legal challenge in Canada against the definition of marriage being only between a man and a woman. That court case was eventually settled and the definition of marriage was expanded to include same-sex couples. It seems the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction square Uranus also set up a revolutionary change (Uranus) that challenged long-standing cultural and religious traditions and institutions (Jupiter/Saturn) regarding sexual minorities and the definition of marriage. This would become a dominant theme in Western countries throughout the cycle as LGBT activists created a new statement of intent regarding their status in society and the definition of marriage.

Crescent Phase
Jupiter reached 45 degrees ahead of Saturn in 2003, marking the beginning of the Crescent Phase, and, true to form, there was a military mobilization of many countries in a coalition that attacked Ba’athist Iraq and took out Saddam Hussein. However, Saturn was still opposed by Pluto, and Jupiter was then opposed by Neptune, so the mobilization effort, although militarily successful, created more confusion and instability (Neptune) and a terrible loss of life with now a stronger reaction from terrorist forces (Pluto).

Issues of national security consumed most Western nations, and in the U.S., a new law enforcement agency was formed, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). It is responsible for investigating crimes involving human trafficking, weapons trafficking, art theft, document fraud, human rights violations, money laundering, etc. But it also has a bureau called ‘Enforcement and Removal Operations’, which hunts down undocumented people inside the U.S., arrests and deports them. It is probably the most criticized and controversial agency in the new Homeland Security Department.

But the Jupiter/Saturn semi-square is all about mobilizing and expanding (Jupiter) safety and security (Saturn), and sometimes the fear-based decisions (Saturn) become exaggerated and non-citizens can become scapegoats and targets (Jupiter). At the time ICE was founded, both Pluto and Mars opposed Saturn, and Neptune opposed Jupiter, indicating perhaps an overly aggressive, militant (Mars/Pluto) agency that runs more on a xenophobic ideology (Neptune opposing Jupiter) than anything else.

Regarding LGBT rights, as Jupiter semi-squared Saturn, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case Lawrence vs. Texas, that state laws criminalizing homosexuality and consensual sex between two adults of the same gender were not constitutional. Homosexuality was no longer a crime anywhere in the U.S. This court case and the decision opened the door for same-sex marriage and adoption. In Canada, the Supreme Court case expanding the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples led to the first gay wedding in the province of Ontario. In Belgium, gay marriage also went into effect and throughout the West, LGBT activists were mobilizing their legal teams to challenge existing laws that discriminated or limited their access to society. Gay activists in Spain filed legal proceedings against the government regarding the definition of marriage, which would then lead to the legalization of gay marriage in 2005.

First Quarter Phase
Jupiter reached 90 degrees ahead of Saturn on 25 October 2006 opening the First Quarter phase. There didn’t seem to be any major developments in the world at the time, except for a couple of important economic warning signs. The New York Stock Exchange reached 12,000 for the first time in its history, and housing prices reached their peak in the U.S. market at the same time. Then a report was released at the end of the year showing more than 1.2 million home foreclosures in 2006, leading economists to warn that there was a ‘bubble’ in the housing market that could not be sustained and the home mortgage banking industry needed to make changes. They did not, which would eventually prove nearly fatal for the industry.

The only other event of note during this time was on 5 November 2006, Saddam Hussein, as the emblem of the Middle Eastern brutal ‘bad boy’, was tried, convicted and sentenced to death by hanging. He was executed at the end of the month.

Jupiter reached 120 degrees ahead of Saturn in 2008 releasing the energy that was blocked at the square. Neptune was still between 21-24 Aquarius continuing its square to the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction at 22 Taurus, the North Node entered Aquarius and moved across Neptune. Neptune has a ‘dissolving’ or ‘erosion’ effect, and when combined with the North Node and the release of blocked energy as Jupiter trined Saturn, the economic warnings that had been ignored and the stubbornness of the financial/banking industry in not making necessary changes at the square brought economic disaster. In 2008, the face of the global economy changed forever. Investment banks, the secondary credit market, and an unregulated
financial market disappeared. As the free market failed, the U.S. government bought a controlling share in banks and insurance companies. The central banks around the world propped up the financial system. In September of 2008, America came very close to total economic collapse. The stock markets started sliding in September and on 24 October 2008, the New York Stock Exchange collapsed losing in total nearly 46% of its previous value.

As might be expected, the movement to liberalize laws regarding LGBT gained momentum everywhere in the world, including Asia and Africa.  South Africa legalized gay marriages; Mexico, Czech Republic and Slovenia legalized same-sex civil unions; Scotland legalized adoption for same-sex couples. There was, however, the beginning of a backlash against this liberalization under this Jupiter/Saturn square. The first Gay Pride Parade was held in Moscow, but it was banned by the government and there were violent clashes in the streets between police, anti-gay mobs and the LGBT marchers. In the U.S., seven states banned gay marriage, although those laws would eventually be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Gibbous Phase
Jupiter reached 135 degrees ahead of Saturn on 30 January 2009. Barack Obama had taken office as president of the United States on 20 January 2009. He continued the economic and financial policies of the Bush Administration to counter the economic recession, and then went even further with government spending to infuse money into critical businesses. These measures included billions of dollars in bail-out funds to support the automobile and banking industries.  There was an immediate reaction from conservatives who objected to government spending to bail out these large corporations that were deemed ‘too big to fail’. But government
central banks all over the world were doing the same, and there was evidence already at this Jupiter sessquare Saturn that measures were slowing down the economic free fall. There was a new optimism that government actions could stop what appeared might become a world-wide economic depression.

However, certain countries did not follow the U.S. lead in the crisis and in Iceland, for example, the economy and banking system completely collapsed which resulted in mass demonstrations that led to the collapse of the government.  In Greece, the economic crisis revealed under-reported debt and the government wasn’t able to make its interest payments on loans. This led to the collapse of the economy, the ‘Greek Depression’, and the repercussion that had on the economic stability of the European Union. In Uganda right at the time of the Jupiter/Saturn sessquare, a bill was introduced to allow the execution of LGBT. It was called the ‘Kill the Gays’ bill. It was eventually overturned by the Ugandan courts, but it marked a new level of resistance to the growing liberalization regarding sexual minorities. However, the momentum gained by LGBT activists around the world was not thwarted or hindered. Norway legalized gay marriage at the time of the sessquare. Iceland elected the first openly gay woman as Prime Minister, the first openly gay head of state in the modern world. Argentina and the Philippines ended the ban on gay men serving in the military and Japan legally recognized same-sex couples married in countries where it is legal. In the U.S. more states were added to the list of those legalizing gay marriage.

Full Phase
Jupiter and Saturn reached opposition on 22-23 May 2010 opening the Full Phase in the cycle. In spite of evidence that government policies to counter the Great Recession were succeeding, there was a strong conservative backlash to the amount of public funds being spent on the crisis. In the U.S., the Tea Party was organizing and gaining political traction as the mid-term elections in November approached. In Europe, the E.U. set demands on Greece that amounted to an ‘austerity program’, if they were to stay within the Euro Zone. In Iceland, a new government was formed that reformed the banking system, arrested the former leaders of these financial institutions and put the country back on a reasonable economic track that would eventually succeed. The economic experts came to the consensus that the Great Recession was now ending, and the governmental interference in the free market was successful in averting a major depression.

In the Middle East, what began with Jupiter/Saturn conjunction squared Uranus, the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and then war in Iraq in 2003, now reached its fruition and completion, and the U.S. announced its intentions to pull ground troops out of Iraq. Within a month after the Jupiter/Saturn opposition, elections were held in Baghdad and their tentative sovereignty as a new nation began.

LGBT rights in the United States were further extended at the Jupiter/Saturn opposition with the end of the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, allowing LGBT to serve openly in the U.S. military. Argentina, Iceland, Portugal and Tasmania legalized same-sex marriage as well. The original statement of intent at the conjunction to expand civil rights for sexual minorities reached a peak of activism and legal success in the world during the opposition.

Disseminating Phase
Jupiter reached 135 degrees behind Saturn on 20 July 2012 at 10:00pm in Washington D.C. opening the Disseminating Phase. On that very evening near Denver, Colorado, there was a mass-shooting in a movie theater, and, although there had a been a few mass-shootings before, there would be from this time on an ever increasing number of mass-shootings in the United States reaching epidemic proportions over the next six years. In the chart for the Disseminating phase, Mars was opposed to Uranus (sudden outburst of violence), squared to Pluto (mass violence), and trined to Jupiter (inflationary, expanding violence).

Another interesting event occurred ten days later in India. Mercury was retrograde, and relocating the Disseminating phase chart to Agra, India, Mercury Rx and the Moon were rising just above the horizon in the 12th House. Ten days later, Mercury still retrograde and Mars still opposing Uranus and squaring Pluto, the electrical grid failed and there was a massive power outage through most of northern and northeastern India. They managed to bring back the grid, but it failed again the next day, 31 July, starting at 01:02pm in the area around Agra. Twenty-two of India’s twenty-eight states were without power, affecting more than 600 million people—the largest power outage in human history.

The aftermath of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings became concentrated in Syria in 2012. By mid-June of 2012, just as Jupiter and Saturn were approaching sessquare, the United Nations officially declared Syria to be in ‘civil war’. Beginning in late July and early August, just at the time of the exact sessquare aspect, the conflict began to escalate, moving into the two largest cities, Damascus and Aleppo. This created a wave of millions of refugees that has continued through the Jupiter/Saturn cycle since then.

LGBT rights were once again expanded in the U.S. in the Disseminating phase when the Courts ruled the federal ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ was unconstitutional. It did not legalize same-sex marriages at the federal level, but it paved the way for the Obergefell case in 2015 that would. On the other hand, resistance to this kind of social liberalization occurred as well. Russia passed a law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’, which effectively bars anyone from speaking publicly about homosexuality. And some countries in Africa strengthened their anti-gay laws as well.

Last Quarter Phase
Jupiter reached 90 degrees behind Saturn on 3 August 2015 opening the Last Quarter phase in the cycle. The civil war in Syria became even bloodier and more destructive; the refugee problem in Europe began to reach crisis proportions creating political turmoil, and out of the turmoil grew a right-wing political movement in France, Denmark, Germany, Italy and Austria that opposed Middle Eastern and African immigrants and refugees.

Likewise, in the U.S., increasing economic problems, corruption and out-of-control violence in Central America, brought a wave of refugees to the border. The U.S. system for taking in those seeking asylum was overwhelmed, forcing refugees to try to cross the border illegally. This led to a policy called ‘catch and release’, where families were detained briefly, given a date to appear in court, then released. As in Europe, the situation created a wave of right-wing anti-immigrant sentiment. Donald Trump, then as a candidate for President, used that to his advantage, promised to build a wall along the southern border with Mexico, to severely curtail both legal immigration and asylum, and to reform the immigration policy to include a ban on all Muslims. Trump’s success was a clear signal that the U.S. was making a sharp turn to the right politically, which created immediate and massive protests. The courts refused to allow the Muslim ban, but a limited version of it, banning Muslims from certain countries and immigrants from Venezuela, was implemented. In Turkey, there was also a swing to the right as President Erdogan began dismantling the liberal, progressive State, limiting freedom of the press and the extension of civil rights, especially to gay people. However, in the U.S., the Supreme Court ruled that the states could not ban same-sex marriages, which made gay marriage legal throughout the country. Ireland, Cyprus, Chile and Slovenia were also added to the list of countries legalizing marriage equality.

True to the nature of the Last Quarter phase and Jupiter in a waning square to Saturn, there was a world-wide crisis of consciousness regarding the largest migration of people since World War II, the ensuing issues of human and civil rights, and how to proceed now that the global war on terror seemed to be achieving some level of success.

Balsamic Phase
Jupiter reached 45 degrees behind Saturn forming a waning semi-square and opening the last, Balsamic phase of the cycle on 22 December 2017. This phase is one of the most difficult periods of time in the whole cycle as the statements of intent that occurred about eighteen years earlier now have to be re-visited, reflected upon and decisions have to be made as to which intentions will be used as a basis for the next cycle. In economic terms, the intentions in 2000 to further globalization and reduce trade barriers between countries are now being severely tested. The United States under the Trump administration has decided open trade has hurt the U.S. and trade barriers are once again being raised in the form of tariffs.

The European Union’s currency and trade policies that came into effect at the end of the last Balsamic phase of Jupiter and Saturn, just before the new conjunction, are now being criticized and attacked by the United States.  China and the U.S. developed bi-lateral trade agreements in 1999-2000 at the time of the last Jupiter/Saturn conjunction and China was admitted to the World Trade Organization in 2001 shortly after the conjunction. As can be expected, now that Jupiter and Saturn are again in Balsamic phase, the trade relationship between the U.S. and China is also strained.  The U.S. is moving towards economic nationalism and a certain degree of isolation from its trading partners, as it applies tariffs to foreign products sold in the U.S. These tariffs are meant as both punishment for ‘abusing the U.S.’ and to protect American manufacturing and labor. However, the E.U., Canada, Mexico and China are responding with their own tariffs on American manufactured and agricultural products. This ‘trade war’ could do serious damage to the world economy. It is still recovering from the Great Recession and the pressures created by these trade barriers could create serious problems at the next conjunction in 2020.

It is also evident in this last phase that the U.S. is attempting to re-align the geopolitical relationships that have been in place throughout the cycle–thus, Trump’s courtship of Russia and North Korea and his increasing criticism of both traditional partners and allies like South Korea, Japan, Canada, Mexico and European countries, as well as new trading partners like China and the E.U. The political situation in the United States has become volatile and chaotic since Trump’s election and the Republican Party has allegedly become the Trump Party, abandoning traditional, conservative Republican economic, trade and geopolitical policies in order to ‘follow and appease’ Trump.  The on-going investigations into his actions during the campaign have yet to be completed. The results of the investigations will create turmoil no matter what the outcome of the investigations is.

Jupiter/Saturn Conjunction 2020
This new Trump Party lost ground in the U.S. mid-term elections in 2018 allowing the Democrats to re-gain the majority in the House of Representatives. This sets up a major political battle within the government between the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch as the behavior and actions of President Trump will be politically and legally scrutinized. Who wins this battle will be made clear in the outcome of the next general election in 2020.

A month after the 2020 elections, the next conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on 21 December 2020, with its Mars rising in Aries exactly squared to Pluto in the 10th House in Washington DC, will most likely lead to extreme social, political, economic and military turmoil and conflict, both domestically and internationally.

Mars as ruler of the chart exactly squared to a 10th House Pluto promises extreme power struggles centered on the executive branch of government and presidential leadership. Trump’s authoritarianism is likely to intensify. If the Democratic Party succeeds in 2018 and 2020, there will still be extreme chaos and conflict within the United States and a serious power struggle that will challenge if not threaten the American system and its democratic institutions. 

Key areas of the world will be strongly affected. The Jupiter/Saturn conjunction along with Pluto falls near the Descendent in Europe squared to Mars at the Midheaven (MC). It is not out of the question that war could erupt in Eastern Europe if Russia once again tries to expand as it did with the annexation of Crimea in 2014. In Asia, and specifically in China, the conjunction, including Pluto, falls at the Nadir (IC) squaring Mars at the Descendent. This could bring natural disasters and disease that take the lives of thousands of people. 2020 through 2022 promises to be a very dangerous time for the world as we experience the next New Phase of these two planets.  The last two and half years in this last Balsamic phase of the cycle will prove critical to what happens at the next conjunction.  But we are, as yet, still lacking the vision to see clearly what is coming. We sense the chaos and conflict, but in this final phase of the cycle the future still looks very opaque and foggy. The overriding challenge of the Balsamic phase is to develop a collective vision for the future as the old structures of the last 20 years are gradually replaced by new intentions, new relationships and a new order. This next conjunction will start an entirely new elemental cycle in Air signs (in Western tropical astrology), and the conjunction at 1 Aquarius promises a disruptive, revolutionary set of social, political and economic intentions for the world, and especially for the West. But there will be extreme power struggles and massive resistance to those intentions based on the 2020 chart.

The Great American Eclipse 2017

Today marks the beginning of ‘eclipse season’ as the New Moon occurs today in early Leo. This will be followed by the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in mid-Leo on August 7th, and then the total Solar Eclipse in late Leo on August 21st, whose path dissects the U.S. from Oregon moving southeast across the Midwest to South Carolina.

There have been two previous total Solar Eclipses in the last century at the same degree of the tropical zodiac at 28-29 Leo: Aug 21, 1914 and Aug 22, 1979. There have been other partial and annular eclipses at the same degree in 1906, 1933, 1952, 1971 and 1998, but I’m going to focus here on the total eclipses. The 1914 eclipse path went through Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The 1979 eclipse path went through the SW Washington, NW Oregon, northern Idaho, Montana, the northeast corner of North Dakota into central and NE Canada to Greenland.

It’s beyond the scope of this blog to examine the charts for all the countries and states directly within the paths of these total eclipses. To make it reasonable and digestible to the reader, I will focus on the U.S. Government’s chart to see the impact the eclipses had and will have this August on the administrative state, i.e. the government. (The U.S. Constitution and therefore the government went into legal effect on March 4, 1789 at midnight. I’ll be referencing the chart for that moment in time.)

The chart for the US Government/Constitution has 27 Scorpio Rising with its ruler, Mars, at 28 Aquarius. All of the eclipses at 28-29 Leo, whether partial, annular or total over the last century or so have stood in direct opposition to that Mars and square the Ascendant, which forces the government into action to deal with emerging crises. In 1914, it was World War I and the Spanish Influenza epidemic. In 1933 it was countering the rise of totalitarian dictatorships in Europe and Japanese Imperialism as well as taking governmental action against the Great Depression. In 1952, it was the growing nuclear threat from the USSR, the agitation to end the Korean War, which forced the newly elected Eisenhower to go himself to Korea and he ended the war shortly thereafter, and the reactionary political environment in the US called the McCarthy Era. In 1971, it was the oil embargo as a result of US support for Israel. In 1979, the eclipse marked the demise of the Carter Administration over its handling of the Iranian Revolution and embassy crisis in Tehran, which forced the government to take military action that failed. It’s also noteworthy, that the 1979 eclipse path through the Pacific Northwest also brought Mt. St. Helens to life which then erupted nine months later and spread layers of ash all along the eclipse path! In 1998, it affected President Clinton, himself, with the Monica Lewinsky scandal and his resulting impeachment. But Al Qaeda also bombed US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania the day before the eclipse, forcing the US to launch attacks against their bases. In all of these examples, the US Government was forced into action as the eclipse opposed its Mars.

This coming total eclipse will once again oppose the Government’s Mars and square the Ascendant. However, as always, it isn’t just about the degree of the eclipse itself, but also the angles and the other outer planets in relation to the Government chart. At the time of this year’s eclipse, transiting Neptune will be at 13 Pisces conjunct the Government’s Saturn/Sun, Pluto opposes its Jupiter, Saturn squares its Mercury, Uranus sextiles its Mars, and the eclipse Ascendant opposes its Moon. These planetary combinations are rather alarming, but as usual we are aware of unfolding events that will reach crisis stage due to the eclipse.

Transiting Neptune conjunct Saturn, for example, has been hovering there since early January when we first heard the words from the Trump Administration, ‘the deconstruction of the administrative state’. Since just before the election transiting Pluto has been opposing Jupiter, and we’ve been hearing about the subterfuge and efforts of a foreign government to wield influence in the election and the possible involvement of the Trump team in that effort. Transiting Saturn squaring Mercury, ruler of the 10th House/Midheaven (leaders, executive branch, etc), has revealed the limitation, ineffectiveness and resistance to the new President. All of these transits are still in effect at the time of the August 21st eclipse, so we can expect increasing tension and mounting crisis as we approach that date. The eclipse itself often indicates a ‘watershed moment’ in ongoing crises, the resolution of which occurs in the months thereafter.

The following charts are the Secondary Progressed planets for the Government with the Solar Eclipse on the outside, and the US Government chart itself with the eclipse planets on the outside.

As you can see in the Secondary Progressed chart, the Government will have a progressed New Moon two days before the eclipse. Total Solar Eclipses literally ‘cast a shadow/shade’ on a chart. That this shadow should also occur at the same time as a progressed ‘darkening of the Moon’, indicates to me that the Government must in some fundamental way ‘start over’ with new statements of intent. With transiting Uranus conjunct the progressed Midheaven and opposing this progressed New Moon, events related to the Executive Branch will be shocking and upsetting. But I think on some level, since Uranus has been opposing the progressed Sun for a number of months now, the foreshadowing for this eclipse event has been more than evident. We can expect more of the same in the Trump Administration as we’ve experienced him over the last six months, but it will reach critical stage as a result of the eclipse. He will continue to attempt to disrupt and disturb the federal bureaucracy. The actions of the President over the next month will determine the depth of this growing crisis. With Uranus in Aries on the progressed Midheaven, I fully expect rash, erratic, unprecedented actions that bring serious, unsettling consequences for the government.

Transiting Mars as ruler of the progressed Aries Midheaven is at 20 Leo in the eclipse chart squared to the Mercury/North Node conjunction in Scorpio in the progressed chart. The actions of the President will be intensely scrutinized by a media that he will continue to attack. If the media and Trump have a difficult relationship now, the eclipse will intensify the animosity. Transiting Jupiter square Pluto sextile to the progressed Mercury/N. Node conjunction will bring even deeper legal scrutiny of Trump and his administration. And that transiting Mars is in a 3+ degree opposition to Pluto in the 7th, so we can expect very serious power struggles between the president and the legal and congressional investigation teams delving into his campaign’s behavior and his finances. I suspect it will turn into open ‘warfare’.

In the final analysis, given that the Solar Eclipse falls right on Trump’s natal Ascendant/Mars conjunction, with transiting Saturn exactly conjunct his natal Full Moon eclipse in Sagittarius in his 5th, and the eclipse’s rather stunning impact on the chart of the US Government, I suspect he will act impetuously and unwisely in open defiance of the ‘administrative state’s’ resistance to his policies and its investigations of his behavior and financial history. If Trump and his supporters ever really believed he could actually ‘change Washington’ in the way he promised by ‘deconstructing the administrative state’, and apparently by hook or by crook, the eclipse will reveal just how valid or invalid those intentions are.

A perennial question regarding eclipses is the length of time of their influence. I personally don’t think there’s a hard and fast rule here, but subsequent planetary aspects to the eclipse degree are important, and from what I’ve seen, there isn’t necessarily an astrological statute of limitation. The summer of 2018 has a repeat of the Leo eclipse this time at 18 Leo (exactly opposing the government’s Pluto at 18 Aquarius) with 13 Leo Rising (at Washington D.C.) and Uranus Rx on the MC. We may not see a substantial expression of this summer’s 2017 Leo eclipse until then. This 2017 eclipse begins the crisis and sets the terms, but transits to the eclipse chart and the government chart over the next year will bring to light for the public exactly what is at stake. The eclipse on August 11, 2018 exactly opposing the government’s Pluto should prove very damaging to the Trump administration, but the damage can be traced back to this summer’s eclipse at 28 Leo.