This second midpoint, unlike the first and third midpoints of the Twentieth Century, was a Pluto apex midpoint. And, as we shall see, Pluto was very appropriate.
This midpoint was only exact once, about a week after German surrendered, called VE-Day, for Victory in Europe. That holiday is still celebrated in Russia, which lost 20 to 30 million people in World War II.
From this graphical ephemeris we can see how the midpoint — Uranus/Neptune is indicated by the blue line near the Pluto line near the top –got tighter in 1944 and the separated in 1946.
Of course there were many changes because the Second World War ended. Europe had to be reconstructed; war criminals had to be tried; much territory of many countries had been devastated. But there were other changes as well. Decolonization broke out around the world: India became its own country and not a colony of Britain . The Korean peninsula, which had been one country for a long time was divided into two along a parallel of longitude. The new country of Israel was created in the Levant as a home for those Jews who had not perished in the preceding war. Within the United States new forms of painting were developed, such as abstract expressionism and color field painting. Whereas before this period American artists had always placed second compared to European artists, with these movements America was recognized as offering a superior new artistic style, one that was followed elsewhere.
Another extremely important change, that has only gotten more important as time has passed, was the introduction of the first electronic computer. The idea of a stored program computer had existed since the Nineteenth Century — see for example George Babbage, Ada Lovelace (who had a computer language named after her) and the difference and analytical engines — but the first electronic one is considered the ENIAC, developed in Pennsylvania in 1946.
Here is the chart for when it was dedicated; probably the first operation happened earlier. The most noticeable aspect to me is the tight conjunction — quarter degree — between Mercury and Venus at 0 Pisces. Since obviously Mercury in this chart represents the computer, this chart promises the extreme love, even addiction, that people in the future (i.e now) have for computers.
It was a new world in more ways than one, and many problems that later became manifest originated in this period. The afore mentioned separation of Korea is still in the news and causing problems. Israel and its relationship with its Arab neighbors and with the native occupants who were scattered with the arrival of Jewish settlers is still a prominent feature of today’s world. The fact that French colonies in Southeast Asia were, when the Japanese had been defeated, handed back to the French resulted eventually in the Vietnam War that tor America (not to mention the lands of that part of the world) a part of the Sixties and Seventies, and had effect in following years.
But I want to talk about only three of the changes that occurred with this second midpoint, but these three strongly influence the shape and behavior of the world today. Fortunately for astrologers, we have charts for the beginning of two of these changes.
If no other event happened in the time of the second midpoint, the dropping of the first atomic bomb in wartime (there was a previous nuclear test call Trinity in New Mexico about three weeks earlier) would be significant enough to indicate a zeitgeist change. And at the time many people commented that the dropping of the atomic bomb cleaved all of history into before the bomb and after the bomb. They could realize at the time that this was an event of tremendous importance. People also realized at the time that the world after this event would be different than the peaceful world before. This is something that we are living now, long after the bomb was dropped, and when nuclear weapons, most far more powerful than the ones dropped on Japan, exist in numbers unimaginable to those of the early postwar years. We don’t appreciate now how drastically the world has changed from that 80 years ago.
When the bombs were dropped, many thought that it was not necessary. Both Generals Eisenhower and MacArthur thought so. Most of the Joint Chiefs did not think that the bombing was necessary or desirable. The United States Strategic Bombing Survey, a study of the results of US bombing during World War II, predicted that the conflict with Japan would end by December 31, 1945, and most likely by November 1, without a ground invasion, without the atomic bomb, and without the Soviet Union entering the war against Japan, which Stalin said the Soviet army would do three months after the end of the war in Europe, which was on May 8. One can imagine what the Soviets thought after they saw the US use the atomic bomb on a defeated country that was all set to surrender. The bombing of Hiroshima should be seen as the opening act of the Cold War and not the closing act of World War II. Attributing the surrender of Japan to the dropping of the atomic bombs does a great disservice to the troops of the United States (and other allied countries) whose long fight to take back the Pacific areas from Japan should be seen as the act that won the war in the Pacific.
Right after the announcement of the bombing, many people were scared. Even though only the US had the atomic bomb at the time, many could imagine what it would be like if such a bomb were dropped on NYC. Scientists pushed the danger also, and suggested that World government was the only thing that would prevent the destruction of the world. Others pushed the benefits of nuclear power for the country, and painted pretty pictures of the Utopia that would exist once the peaceful atom was harnessed. For more details of this period see By the Bomb’s Early Light by Paul Boyer.
By the end of the decade, attitudes had changed, partly due to the Soviet Union testing its own bomb in 1949. Many believed you could survive a nuclear war with fallout shelters, and elaborate plans were made for civil defense and evacuation. Fallout shelters were a home improvement craze for a few years.
The present belief that the bomb was necessary to end the war in the Pacific without a ground invasion by the United States that would cost a million lives was first started by two articles at the beginning of 1947, the first one in the Atlantic and a more definite one in the February 1947 issue of Harpers by Henry Simpson, who was the Secretary of War. This proposed that a million soldiers would die in a ground invasion of the Japanese homeland. This article was necessary because the public was beginning to wonder if dropping an atomic bomb — let alone two of them — was really necessary. But the two bombs were different: the first one, called Little Boy (what a sweet name for an awesome weapon) was a uranium bomb. Uranium — named for the planet and god — is the last naturally occurring element. The elements after that have been created in the laboratory and are thus artificial, even though a couple of them have been found in nature, produced by naturally occurring radioactivity. The next element after uranium is neptunium, and the one after that is plutonium. The bomb dropped on Nagasaki — Fat Man — was a plutonium bomb, and there has been speculation that it was dropped because the newer device needed to be tested in the real world.
This is the chart for the time the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima at 8:15 in the morning. It is most appropriate that Uranus was on the MC, and because of the motion of the earth this conjunction would be exact two minutes later. Uranus is also square the Ascendant with orb less than half a degree. There was definitely change in Hiroshima on that day and at that time! Mars is also near the top of the chart. The Moon is conjunct Saturn, and the conjunction will be exact in twenty minutes. This conjunction suggests restrictions and limitation on the people, and maybe suffering of women. And then Pluto is conjunct the Sun (it was exact a few days earlier) which suggest the nature of the event.
The second important event was the passage of the National Security Act of 1947 (passed Congress July 26,1947) creating the National Security State. The NSS (Marcus Raskin 1967) goes under various names such as the Military Industrial Complex (Dwight Eisenhower 1960) the Power Elite (C. Wright Mills 1956) and the term that has currently become popular the Deep State. This NSS has caused America to become a militarized State. Currently, the United States spends 60% of its disposable income for past, present, and future wars. One imagines that this is like a father who spends a majority of his income on firearms and his children are starving and his house is falling apart. In this case that father would be judged as being quite deficient in his fatherly duties, and if you were a family member an intervention would be considered important to get him to change his ways.
The National Security State was developed during the Truman Administration and the rise of the Cold War, right after the end of World War II. Instead of returning the defense expenditures to the lowly amount that it was before the United States entered the War, the leaders of the country remembered that the one thing that finally licked the Great Depression was the increased defense spending that was needed to fight the War, and they decided to use “Military Keynesianism” to prevent a return to depression. But Truman was warned that in order to have major expenditures for the military, he would have to “scare the hell” out of people. And to do this he ramped up fear of communism and of the Soviet Union, a country which had lost so many people and whose country had been devastated in the War. The Cold War was born out of loyalty oaths and the Truman Doctrine, which gave rise to McCarthyism and many other things that marked Fifties America. With the passage of the National Security Act, America became a militarized country. The graph below show where the discretionary expenses of the Federal government go. Notice that 54% goes to the military, and another 6% goes to veterans. Thus, at least 60% of the US budget goes past, present, and future wars. This would once be considered impossible, unbelievable, and insane. But since the zeitgeist has changed, people assume that spending this money for “defense” of a country that is mostly surrounded by oceans is perfectly reasonable.
The NSS has a distinct origin in the National Security Act of 1947, which created the CIA (an extension of the wartime OSS — Office Strategic Services — which coordinated spying), changed the War Department to the euphemistically named Defense Department, and created the Air Force as a separate military branch. Books have been written (cf William Blum) about all the covert acts of the Central Intelligence Agency. They fomented their first coup in 1948 — only a year after their birth — in Thailand, and then another coup the next year in Syria. Syria has always been a popular country for the CIA to be involved in. In fact, the United States just ended the most expensive CIA operation in history — called Timber Sycamore — which was an attempt to overthrow the elected government in Syria.
Here is a chart for when most the National Security Act of 1947 became realized. For a chart such as this one the 12 noon time is correct. We see that Saturn and Pluto are conjunct. As noted before, hard Saturn Pluto aspects are not nice, and are often seen at the start of wars. Here we see the start of the First Cold War. Mars is semisquare the MC, suggesting war or violence. Jupiter is conjunct the Ascendant, showing the expansive powers of the National Security State, and in fact it has swallowed up the government. Mercury is conjunct Neptune, showing the propaganda and false stories (called in better times lying) that is a hallmark of the National Security State. But the closest aspect is the square between Moon and Pluto with a zero orb. Pluto semisquare Ascendant is a prominent feature of the US natal chart, and here Pluto again comes to the fore. Pluto indicates overwhelming power, the kind that the “exceptional” country the United States of America is so willing to use. As I have mentioned elsewhere, this shows the meme of the US: My Way or the Highway. Just a brief listing of some of the operations the CIA has engaged in will give an idea of the scope of its operation. As exposed by the Church Commission in the Seventies, the CIA tried to assassinated several foreign leaders, such as Fidel Castro, who was target perhaps hundreds of times. Nelson Mandela of South Africa was turned into the South African police by the CIA. In the early Fifties there was operation call MK-Ultra (see Acid Dreams by Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain) which besides introducing LSD to America, gave unsuspecting people doses of that substance. In one case, they gave LSD to customers of prostitutes and then watched hidden to see how the subject behaved under the influence. Another CIA operation was called Mockingbird in which CIA got journalists to plant stories which would make opponents look bad. And the CIA is still very active in the public sphere, with news that the former director of the CIA (who supported the drone program and voted for the Communist Party in 1976) will be a national security correspondent for NBC and MSNBC, and that 50 ex-CIA employees are running in the 2018 primaries as Democrats. And of course this year’s most hyped film, Black Panther, has an important role for a white benevolent CIA agent. Thus the CIA and the National Security State will have even more influence on the public.
Another important feature of this period is called the Great Acceleration, which can be seen as the beginning of the Anthropocene Era. The chemical industry, that had greatly developed during WW II, spread out after the war with a range of consumer products, since the military would no longer be buying. These chemicals, like many of the new foods that were developed to sate the increasingly complex American palate, became more widespread, and what was good for America was good for the rest of the world that wanted to become Americans. So large quantities of pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers were used on the increasingly large crops needed to feed a hungry America.
Plastics had first been developed in the middle of the Nineteenth Century, but little used. In the Twentieth Century plastics had usually mean Bakelite before the War, expanded again and again after the War. After the war commercial needs required plastic. And plastics were based on petroleum. More and more products were made plastic. The plastic component of just about everything led to plastic that was no longer used to be just about everywhere, including five plastic “patches” in ocean gyres as shown in the map below.
The pesticide industry also expanded greatly after the War. Before the war, most foods could be considered basically organic. But after the War, more and more farmers considered that they needed chemical help to beat down the weeds.
Humans expanded to cover more and more territory. The Baby Boom, that produced so many children starting after the War, required more and more houses to supply more and more families. And those new families required automobiles and roads to hold the increasing traffic. And eventually the children of these families produced yet more children and the cycle was repeated.
And there was more and more production of things and wastes. Nuclear bomb required nuclear testing. And the use of atomic power to generate electricity required nuclear power plants along with the danger of radiation. This produced nuclear fallout and then contaminated areas around each failed nuclear planet; those that hadn’t failed were potential danger zones. Besides more faming to produce more food for the growing population, there was more fishing using larger tools that would deplete the sea’s population (already inundated with plastic waste), and more and more consumer items were manufactured that required more “rare” materials, and some not so rare, such as phosphorus and oil.
We are living with the results of the Great Acceleration.