The Spanish-American War is widely considered to mark the start of the American Empire. The event that touched off the war was the explosion of the U.S. cruiser Maine in the Havana harbor the evening of February 15, 1898. At the time it was widely assumed, helped by the jingoism of the press, that it was an attack by the dastardly Spanish. Now it is thought to be an explosion on board the ship, but still conspiracy theories abound. This act led America to invade Cuba – which had long been considered “ours” – and the other Spanish colonies, most notably the Philippines, leading to a bloody war which featured American water-boarding.
The last Indian wars were past, the frontier had been declared closed, and many American thought it was time to expand beyond our borders. The Spanish-American War came about at a convenient time. In fact, America was itching for war. Back in December 1895 the United States almost got into a war with Great Britain over Venezuela. Many of the “leaders” of the country, such as Theodore Roosevelt, were for it as a way of increasingly America’s manhood. It had been so long since this country had a war, and it was time for another one.
Looking at the chart, it seems like a mirror image of the 9/11 chart. We have the notorious Saturn-Pluto hard aspect, again an opposition, along the Angles. But in this case Pluto is on the Descendant and Saturn is on the Ascendant, the opposite of the 9/11 chart. This makes sense: on 9/11 the explosion was in the Homeland – the Ascendant – whereas the explosion on the Maine was in a foreign country – the Descendant. Pluto was also on the Descendant during the earlier war scare.
Notice by looking at the graphical ephemeris that Pluto was again stationary about to turn direct and Saturn was slowing down about to turn retrograde. The exact opposition took place a couple of weeks later, on the Ascendant and as both were stationary. At the time discussion was happening in Congress and the newspapers about the upcoming war. Also notice the year long conjunction of Neptune with natal Mars, repeating a similar Neptune-Mars theme which we saw in the 9/11 chart.
Mars had passed over Pluto a week before. I jokingly call this the sign of mass murders (Ebertin says force, brutality), which doesn’t please those with this common configuration; the conjunction happens every two years, but one can see why I call it that: The killer at Virginia Tech had this conjunction. Also notice that Mars passed over the Moon of the United States in another month as people were getting agitated for war, and by late April when war was declared, Neptune was stationary on natal Mars and transiting Mars was opposite natal Neptune and square natal Mars, thus accentuating the problematic Mars-Neptune square in the U.S. Chart.