Coming up, the fortieth anniversary of the only resignation of a US President in history, Richard Nixon, on August 9, 1974. Sure to be a jubilant time! I’ve used this chart for a long time to show that the Sun of the United States chart represents the President – the head of the government. But looking at it again recently showed that it also illustrates a theme that we have seen pop up before.
Richard Nixon has been called the last liberal President (Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore) and the last New Deal President (Douglas Brinkley, Michael Lind). He went to small college in Whittier, California and did not go to Harvard or Yale. But his paranoia got the best of him in the Watergate scandal which erupted after he was elected to a second term in 1972.
Nixon gave a speech announcing his resignation the evening of August 8, but didn’t actually leave office until the next day, when his Vice President Gerald Ford was sworn in. The time I chose for the chart is two in the morning. Not only does this split the difference between the time of the speech and the actual leaving of office, but it is also the time Saturn was exactly conjunct the Sun in the United States chart (black arrow). This is the first time in this cycle that Saturn was on the Sun of the US; it later went retrograde and was again on the Sun in five months. It had previously been conjunct the Sun – only one time – in late June of 1945 two weeks before the Potsdam Conference took place at the end of World War II.
Notice that Uranus is in the same spot as Neptune in the Brown v Board of Education chart. It squares Mercury (red arrow) and sesquiquadrates Uranus (green arrow) once again accentuating the Mercury-Uranus semisquare that epitomizes the positive side of America – see discussion under the Brown v Board of Education entry for more detail. And indeed, the resignation, to avoid a certain impeachment, proved the glories of America. Many people said that this action again proves that the system works. People even lauded his resignation speech.
But the natal Mercury-Uranus semisquare was further highlighted: Mars is semisquare Mercury (brown arrow) and square Uranus (blue arrow), and even the Moon at this time is square Mercury (aqua arrow) and semisquare Uranus (white arrow). Even Neptune tries to make a match with it opposite Uranus (dark blue arrow) and a loose sesquiquadrate (too wide to be shown) with Mercury. Many of the planets are lining up to emphasize that Mercuty-Uranus semisquare which is so fundamental to the United States self-image.
Pluto is now beyond the Midheaven, but it had been going back and forth over the Midheaven of the US chart during the whole Watergate incident. The Watergate scandal was one of the largest tests of the United States government in its history But Pluto is in square aspect to both Venus and Jupiter (yellow arrow) which are core components of the US belief system, as we’ve discussed in a series of posts called The Virtuous Nation. This suggests some of the fundamental tensions engendered in America by the Watergate scandal. It was so important that now the suffix “-gate” is attached to any potential scandal in the US government.
Finally, the Moon of the United States, representing the People as opposed to the Government, is receiving sesquiquadrate from Saturn (olive arrow) indicating that the people are being stressed by this scandal. In fact, Americans were rooted to their television sets during what was called “Watergate Summer” (Summer of 1973) when the Congressional Hearings about Watergate were taking place. Interestingly, it was an event that helped bring Americans together. There were many repercussions from the whole Watergate imbroglio, such as the Church Hearings starting the next year which investigated the activities of the CIA, NSA, and FBI. Back in those days the Congress was much more daring than the current Congress.
It is only fair to also look at the chart of the man in question, Richard Nixon. Nothing spectacular here. Jupiter had been hanging out – it had gone retrograde – opposite his Ascendant and square his Midheaven (red arrow) for the last two and a half months, and after the resignation Jupiter had rapidly sped away from any connection to the two angles. I’m sure Richard Nixon felt a lot of relief after this whole ordeal was over, that the resignation was a relief. Pluto is a very important planet in Nixon’s chart, up near the Midheaven natally and opposite his Mercury-Mars-Jupiter conjunction, that attests to his skill as a lawyer and his paranoia. At the time of the resignation transiting Pluto is closely sesquiquadrate (14 minutes – black arrow) to his natal moon. Because Pluto had been retrograde and went direct on (sesquiquadrate) his Moon, this aspect had lasted for over four months and was almost exact on the day of his resignation.