Over the last four years of the second decade of the Twenty First Century there have been a couple of significant transits to the United States chart and an important world transit — one that affects everyone. All these transits involve Uranus and Neptune. The transits can most easily be seen in the first harmonic chart for the United States at a given moment, but to examine the activities of these transits over the entire period we must examine the twenty-fourth harmonic. How do we come to the twenty-fourth harmonic?
The twenty-fourth harmonic represents all aspects that are multiples of fifteen degrees, such as 45 (3×15) and 120 (8×15). These “minor’ aspects have been used by German astrologers for years. One of them, Edith Wangeman, used all aspects that are multiple of 7.5 degrees to the Ascendant to determine various features of the subjects face. So “minor” aspects have long been used in astrology. In this case we have on the surface a square (harmonic 4) to the Ascendant from Neptune, a sesquiquadrate (harmonic 8) from Uranus to the Ascendant, and a trine (harmonic 3) from Neptune to the Sun. The lowest common denominator of those harmonic is 24 (3×8).
Here is a example chart from September 24, 2017 when the square from Neptune to the Ascendant, the sesquiquadrate from Uranus to the Ascendant, and the trine from Neptune to the Sun were all within orb. But since the planets move those three aspects were in and out of orb over the period stating from summer of 2016, as you can see from the graphical ephemeris. The first approach of Neptune square the Ascendant happened at the black arrow. Notice that both Neptune and Uranus hit the Ascendant, but Neptune hits first. The last approach of both Uranus and Neptune to the Sun is indicated by the green arrow. Notice how both the Uranus transit line (blue) and the Neptune line (violet) are close together during the whole period. Black arrow points to Neptune line, red arrow points to Uranus line.
Neptune involved with both the Ascendant and the Sun has been displayed over the last two plus years in the faux scandal known as Russiagate. A prominent Neptune also appeared in several Capricorn Ingress charts set in Washington, DC that project the year ahead. Some people are comparing this to the ruse that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) before the second Gulf War (eg. Matt Taibbi). But disinformation campaigns have always been used when America has wanted to go to war against someone who is not overtly aggressive (which is usually the case), witness the Tonkin Gulf activities that got American full bore into Vietnam and the current attempt at regime change in Venezuela. Russiagate is of a different order of magnitude, something that doesn’t happen often. The best discussion of this type of event is in the book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay published in 1841. These delusions that sweep a country (like a Neptunian fog) occurred in for example the Dutch Tulip Mania, the South Sea Bubble, and the Salem Witch trials. Also similar is what is called the Great Disappointment which occurred in America at about the same time as Mackay was publishing his book. The followers of preacher William Miller, called Millerites, expected Christ to return to earth on October 22, 1844. When somehow that did not happen, the date was advanced, but the return still did not occur. After that many followers of Miller gave up even though more excuses were offered. This incident also reminds me of the book [Invasion of] the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney first published in 1955 and obviously influenced by the McCarthyism that had swept the United States in the years before. The book has also been made into two movies. The protagonist of the book discovers a town where all the citizens have been replaced by “pod people” that resemble the former citizens but hold strange beliefs. Claiming that the President of the United States is a traitor and taking instructions from a foreign country with which we are at war is not something that has been been done before in American history, at least not by people considered reliable. It is amazing that various Democrats echoed claims similar to that of the John Birch Society that President Eisenhower was a Communist agent, and they are not in the least bit embarrassed by that.
Russiagate says essentially that 1) Russia interfered in the American election of 2016 to get its favored candidate — Donald J. Trump — elected president of the United States, and 2) that Trump and his associates “colluded” ( a non-legal term) with the Russian government to take advantage of their aid. After the Mueller Report makes clear that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians the argument still goes that the Russian government sought to put Trump in the White House and is interfering with elections around the world in the past and future. There is no evidence of this, and in fact the primary evidence — a server or servers of the DNC that contained emails — has not been examined by the FBI, even after three years. This attack by the Russians has been called another Pearl Harbor, 9/11, or Kristallnacht. And it appears the Mueller Report accepted this “attack” as a given, so the news media is running with it, not realizing that the show is over and that most citizens have moved on, thus displaying once again how cut off the elite are from the concerns of ordinary people. That kind of ignorance can leads to serious consequences, as Louis XVI found out with the French Revolution.
Russiagate is a similar delusion, but the ramification are stronger. When boiled down, one can see that the intelligence communities, the Democratic Party, and the news media attempted to prevent a President from being elected, and when that failed attempted to prevent him from governing. He was prevented from having his own foreign policy (cries of treason certainly effected the notoriously thin-skinned Trump). The ramifications are chilling. What if some other President is elected, for example Bernie Sanders, who also displeases the intelligence and defense communities. I hope he watches his back.
An interesting question, which will be fodder for many books and PhD theses in the future, is why did this happen. The transits of Neptune did not cause this, but only symbolized what happened. Previous relevant examples are displayed in the collection of essays called The God That Failed about ex-Communists disillusionment with Communism, and also in the Millerite saga mentioned above. After all of the media told voters that Clinton was a shoo-in to win the election and that Trump was the new Hitler, there had to be some explanation for Trump winning. And since Clinton was such a desirable candidate, a great campaigner, and the previous eight years brought roses and ponies to all of the electorate, it could only mean that some external force put their thumb on the election scales. And since Clinton had previously said that Trump was Putin’s puppet and it was decided (see the book Shattered by Jonathan Allan and Amie Parnes) to blame the lost on the Russians, it was a slam dunk to force that outcome. Essentially we see that a political party used a coverup story for the fact that their candidate lost to a reality tv show host and that they rigged their primary to prevent a competitor to the anointed one from winning. Neither items are much discussed anymore with everyone fixated on the Russians. The result, represented by Neptune which can be illusions or delusion, is what has been called Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) wherein normally intelligent people lose all critical faculties. There was always a bit of religious mania/obsession (Neptune) in the support of Russiagate, witness the Mueller prayer candles and other tchotchkes. Everyone was waiting for the Mueller report which would turn all things right, just like the Millerites thought.
Another pernicious result of Russiagate, though it had been aborning for years, is an increase in Russophobia wherein things are said about the Russian people (for example, that they are almost genetically driven to co-opt or penetrate — James Clapper) that if said about any other group would produce instant rebuke. Since much that needs to be managed in the world involves cooperation with the second biggest nuclear power, this Russophobia puts brakes on any attempts to deal with many situations confronting society, such as terrorism and nuclear proliferation.
Trump promised to “drain the swamp” while campaigning, something that resonated to many, but instead he invited the swamp in, with neocons like John Bolton, Mike Pompeo , and convicted liar Elliott Abrams running things. As during the Eisenhower administration many decades ago, it seems like the Secretary of State is calling the shots as far as foreign policy is concerned. Would he have hired these rogues without the pressure from Russiagate? One can only speculate.
And what was most disappointing is that liberals in the Democratic Party, who are “supposed” to be concerned about such affronts from the intelligence community, were the strongest backers of Russiagate. One remembers a time when the CIA was thought as a band of liars — as ex-CIA director Mike Pompeo recently admitted — and the FBI was known for setting up Muslims as terrorists. And now it appears to many — but not those hard-core Democratic loyalists — that they were trying to bring down an elected President. That does not set a good precedence for future Presidents.
One feature is the hardcore dedication of major news media — New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSDNC — to Russiagate, so much so they would report false stories if it helped the narrative. After this it seems obvious that the major media is compromised by the intelligence services. The legacy media was suffering from layoffs and lack of readers/viewers until Donald Trump energized their reader/viewership; one wonders what the result will be if they lose their golden goose. One guess is that the media will continue with some variant of Russiagate as long as they can. They will probably find something in the Mueller Report that they can run with.
One repercussion is that the news media won’t be believed after this, especially when they report something about President Trump. They have squandered their credibility, just like in the tale “The boy who cried wolf”. In fact so many in the media were such strong supporters of the Russiagate narrative that many people will not trust any of those sources ever again about anything. Perhaps the media bosses don’t care, as long as their readers will believe what they print. And after Trump complained about “fake news” and was proven so fully right, one wonders if the media will survive among those who still practice independent thought.
That mostly Democrats pushed Russiagate is a big win for Trump in the next election. I don’t remember when a political party gave such a big boost to the opposition party’s presidential candidate. After they derided his complaints about a witch hunt and his statements that he did not collude with the Russians and he was rebuffed and laughed at by the opposition party and the media, Trump has now been proven correct, and to say the media now has egg on its collective face is a understatement. But will anyone apologize, or just continue to try and gin up some controversy? One consequence is the demonstration that liberals can be just as malleable by deception as conservatives. Perhaps partisan politics overrules the truth.
As I have mentioned before this scandal will not die down, but the ramifications of it will be the cause of our Pluto Return. Since there has never been a Pluto return for a country before, we do not know what to expect. But it seems like a Saturn return — which indicates a new maturity — but more Plutonian, which suggests transformation of the entity in question, the United States and its government. In fact, the Pluto Return is already starting, we just don’t notice it yet without the benefit of hindsight. Here is a chart of the first of three Pluto returns, where transiting Pluto returns to its natal position. There is also a close passage of transiting Pluto to its natal position without being exact at the end of 2023.
But Uranus is also making aspects to Ascendant and Sun, though in this case the aspect to the Sun is not commonly recognized, an aspect of 75 degrees (eg., 28 Aries to 13 Cancer). We can also see the Uranian influence though this has been drowned out by the hubbub about Russiagate.
Uranus aspecting to the US Ascendant have long indicated progressive trends. Uranus transited the US Ascendant at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, and this period is called the Progressive Era because of Progressive politicians like Theodore Roosevelt, Progressive architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, Progressive composers like Aaron Copland (who was born at this time) and Progressive historians like Charles Beard, changed the way America operated after the Gilded Age of the latter Nineteenth Century. When Uranus next transited the US Ascendant in 1984, we saw such things as the Nuclear Freeze movement, Harold Washington as mayor of Chicago (1983-87), Jesse Jackson running for President (1984, 1988), and the agreement by Soviet Premier Gorbachev and American President Ronald Reagan banning a type of nuclear weapon in the INF treaty (signed December 8, 1987).
So here we have another hard aspect of Uranus to the US Ascendant, not as strong as a conjunction but nevertheless things are already changing in a more “progressive” direction. Some examples on the political front include the election of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as a representative from New York and Ilhan Omar from Minnesota. A Congresswoman from Hawaii has been calling out the many wars America is fighting abroad. People in Congress and, surprisingly, even in newspapers are beginning to talk about Israel in less than flattering terms. And then there is the #MeToo movement that has developed and grown over the last couple of years.
But the controversy and investigations spawned by Russiagate will cast light on the strong influence of what has been called, among many other things, the Invisible Government (book by David Wise and Thomas Ross 1964), a powerful force in the country that is not elected. Eisenhower referred to it as the Military Industrial Complex. This is something that has been growing since the Second World War, and finally people are starting to recognize how strong an influence it plays even in elections. This “organization” involves the intelligence community, the defense industries, and the mass communications. More people should become aware of the noxious influence of these organizations.
Also because of Russiagate there is increasing skepticism of the national news media, something that should have been obvious after the Iraq War debacle, but somehow (perhaps the stars weren’t aligned properly!) those lessons were forgotten.
And part of the progressive shift is a result of President Trump, who has Uranus conjunct his Sun and opposite the Moon — truly Uranian. For a long time, America has been guilty of crimes against its own citizens and the rest of the world, but those were always covered up by “politicians”. But finally the mask has been removed and people can see what is really going on, as I discussed previously. Few realize that Trump is merely a symptom of the rot that has infected America and instead believe that it is only he that is rotten. Some think that all will be well if we return to the good ol’ days when they did not have to look at crimes of their own country and fully believed in American Exceptionalism. Ignorance is Bliss, as George Orwell didn’t say.
Another thing driving this move in a progressive direction is the rise of Internet. There are now blogs, podcasts, and YouTube videos that explore themes that are not allowed in the mainstream media. While this ability always existed since the invention of the printing press — witness the phenomena of the Underground Press in the Sixties and Seventies — with the Internet these sources are available to many more. But in a twist of historic irony, those who read the Underground Press back in the day are now the age group that is the biggest consumers of cable news and eschew the Internet news offerings that conflict with the tales on cable news. And so we turn to what may be the largest consequences of Russiagate, the censorship by private entities of what can be seen on YouTube or read about on Facebook or Twitter. And since these are private companies the First Amendment doesn’t apply. For example, Facebook is using the Atlantic Council to give them guidance on what is “Fake News”. The Atlantic Council is essential a Think Tank for NATO. What could go wrong?
The larger context to all this is the Uranus-Neptune opening semisquare that is the overriding aspect of the these four years. The corresponding closing semisquare was in the early Seventies — 1971 through 1975 — as shown in the graphical ephemeris below. This was the aspect just before the conjunction of those two planets in the Nineties.
Many things happened in this period, for example the US went off the gold standard, the Watergate scandal, China was recognized by the larger world, and there was a pushback against “too much democracy” (Trilateral Commission) as a legacy of the Sixties. That grew into the neoliberal revolution. There was the “oil shock” in industrialized countries. We did not know how much changed until much later.
When looked back from the next decade, we will see these four years as a forerunner/ precursor just as the four years of the early Seventies was a precursor, but in this case the opening semisquare will see a reversal of some of the changes set in motion with the closing semisquare of the Seventies.
One big case that determined much of the ensuing years of the closing semisquare was the Pentagon Papers, released by Daniel Ellsberg and first published in the New York Times on June 13, 1971. The Pentagon Papers was an official inside view of the history of the Vietnam War. The chart for that date, below, shows Mercury at the Descendant; Mercury represents the press, and in this case the press was highly visible to the public (Descendant). Pluto was near the MC, and was conjunct both before and after this date; Uranus was widely square the US Sun and was exactly square both before and after this date. This indicates a major upheaval in the government — Watergate and the Church Commission were direct results of the Pentagon Papers being released. And finally transiting Sun was conjunct natal Mars, showing that on this day something involving War happened, which certainly describes the release of the Pentagon Papers.
The decision which allowed the newspaper to publish the Pentagon Papers was a landmark in press freedom. And now, in the opening semisquare, we have shaping up what will be another major press freedom case, with the removal of Julian Assange from the Ecuadorean embassy. If the removal, quick sentencing, and his imprisonment in what has been called the UK’s Guantanamo was done by an official enemy (eg Russia or Venezuela) the outcry would be deafening, but since it was done in the friendly UK, there are hosannas for his capture. This is after he was illegally expelled from the Ecuadorean embassy, but at least that country got more than 30 pieces of silver for this act. Despite protests that “he is not a journalist” (ask Danial Ellsberg about that) this has grave consequences for whatever journalism still exists in the United States. Assange embarrassed the elites and that is unforgivable.
But this case also ties into Russiagate directly. One notices that Democrats, who one would expect to be protective towards First Amendment rights, are vehemently hostile to Julian Assange in this case. Again Russiagate has moved the supposedly liberal party further to the right. Assange is blamed for being an instrument of Vladimir Putin and the person who single-handedly caused Clinton to lose the 2016 election. And the media, which will lose big-time if this case goes successfully for the government, would rather defend some newsclown (to use Philip K. Dick’s phrase) like Jim Acosta than support a real journalist whose scoops should embarrass them all. So even if Trump did not collude with Putin, they think, it is entirely his fault and that of Julian Assange that Clinton lost that election. So the madness goes on. Some people are so tied to the myth of Russiagate (see previous references to religious obsession) that they are unwilling to give the idea up.
The main case which the US government says it wants Assange for involves the release of a video called “Collateral Murder” which was obtained by Chelsea Manning and showed pilots for the US military committing an obvious war crime, the shooting of civilians — including reporters for Reuters — on July 12 , 2007. This is the release that put WikiLeaks on the map, gaining them much attention. Fortunately we have the time of the release, courtesy of WikiLeaks: Here is a chart for that event. The thing that stands out is transiting Saturn on the US MC — restrictions on the display of government. Transiting Sun is also opposite natal Saturn, further emphasizing that planet. Neptune is the US Moon, illusions among the populace. There is a transiting Moon-Pluto conjunction (this is a timed chart) opposite the US Jupiter — changes to the enthusiasm of the US. Notice that transiting Uranus is almost to the IC of the US. These Uranus transits of the angles show long term trends. In this case it is internal (IC) reflection of what was happening when Uranus transited the MC, in 1968. The Uranian characteristics that were so prevalent in that watershed year — there are probably more books with “1968” in their title than any other year — have now been internalized. Unfortunately those who most breathed the air in 1968 have become conservative and unable to smell the Uranian air of this decade.
Another positive outcome of this whole process will be a greater disbelief of the mainstream media, which has long been stenographers for power (see for example Manufacturing Consent by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky), but now it has become so obvious that only those willfully blind would fail to notice it.
Will these four years be an example of the influence of Neptune as people descend further into their rabbit hole of delusion, or will it provide a wake-up call that the elites, which journalists have now become the handmaidens of, are more and more limiting the knowledge we can get, and thus showing the influence of Uranus, which as Richard Tarnas reminds us, is best symbolized by Prometheus, the Bringer of Light?
By Doug Kellogg, reprinted with permission