Every 80 to 90 years in American history there has been a crisis. These crises started very small and local but each succeeding crisis was larger and involved more people, not just in the United States but in the rest of the world. To astrologers, the year range of 80 to 90 should ring a bell: The period of Uranus is 84 years and that of Neptune — at 168 years — is exactly double that. As we will see the motions of these planets interact with the chart of the United States in ways such that there are five different cycles that all come due within a period of 5 to 10 years. These cycles are Uranus coming to its natal position — called a Uranus Return — and Neptune coming back to either its natal (return) or opposite (demi-return) its natal position. These two cycles occur for any chart drawn for a birth in 1776. The next two cycles are transiting Neptune coming to or opposite to the Midheaven in the Sibly natal chart for the U.S. and Uranus coming to the Descendant of the Sibly chart. These two cycles involved a certain chart of the United States. The fifth cycle is Neptune coming to the Aries or Libra point; this cycle does not involve the United States at all, but holds for the world at large. I’ve also noticed — as you will see from the graphical ephemerides shown below — that there is also a hard aspect between the Pluto and the natal North Node of the Moon each time these other transits are happening. I’m not sure what to make of this, but Ebertin’s description of the principle of these two points is intriguing. Ebertin says the principle of these two points is the common destiny of a large mass of people.
The first crisis in American history is called the Starving Time. This took place in the recently founded colony of Jamestown. The colonists weren’t on great terms with the people that already lived on this land that was new to them and also the colonists made many mistakes. The winter of 1609-10 was for them the final reckoning. They didn’t have enough food to make it through the winter and so almost 90% of the population died over that winter. Some were so desperate that they removed bodies from their graves for food. The required supply ship from England was late in coming so they were not rescued until the following spring and it took years to finally recover from the Starving Time. So while the severe crisis only lasted the season the recovery took years covering the period when Uranus and Neptune were making the appropriate aspects.
Here is when the various transits mentioned above played out for this crisis. You can follow all these in the above graphical ephemeris. Neptune was conjunct its natal position (one full Neptune cycle before the birth of the country) in 1610-11, Neptune was conjunct the Midheaven of the not yet formed United States in 1615-16. Neptune crossed zero Libra in 1614-15; Uranus conjoined its natal position in 1608-1609; and finally Uranus crossed the Descendant of the not yet born United States in 1609-10. In this case the transit of Uranus over the Descendant was the closest in time to the actual crisis, but since it took several years to recover from the damage and the almost loss of the colony important actions related to the crisis were occurring when Neptune crossed those points.
The second crisis was called in the colonies King Williams’s War and other names as well; this was just the North American part of a larger war called the Nine Years War. In North America this war involved England (including the English colonists), France, and Native Americans. This was the first of several wars in North America involving those same parties. In North America, this war was fought from 1688-1697.
Many other things were going on in this period. For the British — and America was a colony of Britain at this time — 1688 was a very important year for what is called the Glorious Revolution. This was a non-violent change to the governing of the country, which at the time meant the king. The king of England at the time was James II, younger brother of Charles II who was the restored king after his father, Charles I, was executed during the English Civil War in the middle of that century. James II of England was Catholic and was hard on the Church of England which had been established by an early Tudor king. He was replaced in this Glorious Revolution by his daughter Mary and her husband William, who was also King of Holland and a Protestant.
Four years later an event happened in America that is still talked about today: the Salem Witch Trials. These occurred in 1692 and 1693 in the village of Salem, Massachusetts. Two hundred people were accused of witchcraft and 19 were eventually executed.
Also in this period the slave trade experienced a big boost. Perhaps it was the elimination of a Catholic king in England that allowed this expansion to take place. This is discussed more fully in the book Freedom’s Debt by William Pettigrew. Of course, this meant a big increase in slaves brought to America. Perhaps those who support the 1619 Project concerning when slaves were first brought to America should pay more attention to this milestone.
Starting in 1689 there were a number of rebellions in America that in ways presaged the Revolution that would happen at the next crisis. The book to read about this is The Glorious Revolution in America by David Lovejoy.
Here is when these planets made the appropriate aspects for this second crisis. Neptune was opposite the natal Neptune in 1693-94. Neptune was conjoined the Aries point and the IC of the United States in 1697-98, just as this war was ending. Uranus returned to its natal position in 1692-93; Uranus crossed the Descendant in 1693-94. So here we can see with a longer event — not just one winter as in the first crisis — that all five of these planetary indicators line up with the crises.
The third crisis was the American Revolution. This war went on from 1775 to 1783. By definition, Neptune was conjoined the natal Neptune and Uranus was conjoined the natal Uranus at this time since the birth chart is set for a date shortly after the start of the war, which is said to be the Battle of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. But both Uranus and Neptune crossed the angles that they are close to in the natal chart while the war was being fought. Note that other countries than England and its colony were involved in this war, most notably France that may have saved the bacon for America and indirectly caused its own revolution.
The fourth crisis was the American Civil War, which is sometimes called the second American Revolution (e.g. historian Charles Beard). It officially started with the firing on the Federal Fort Sumter, a military base in North Carolina, by the Confederates. This happened on April 12, 1861. But events leading to that civil war had occurred for years if not decades before that event. One important occurrence was the raid by John Brown and his followers on the Harper’s Ferry military depot in the middle of October 1859. The Dread Scott decision of the Supreme Court, announced by incoming President James Buchanan in March of 1857, was another prominent forerunner.
The American Civil War did involve more than just the North and South. The nationals from many other countries enlisted and fought in the Civil War, which was seen as important by them for the causes of anti-slavery and state’s rights. Both England and France were considering recognizing the Confederacy but the timely intervention of the Russian Navy prevented this from happening. The crises was already becoming international.
As can be seen in the above graphical ephemeris, here is when the appropriate transits took place. The Neptune demi-return occurred in 1857 and 1858; the Uranus return was in 1860 and 1861; Neptune was positioned at 0 Aries in 1861 and 1862; finally Uranus crossed the Descendant of the United States (Sibly chart) and Neptune crossed the IC of the US in 1861 and 1862.
The fifth crisis was World War II. The official start of this war was on September 1, 1939 when the German forces invaded Poland, but there were many events in the years before that that presaged a world-wide war, such as the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931 and then their invasion of China in July of 1937. For Americans the war started when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, an American military base on the American colony of Hawaii, in December of 1941.
These were the appropriate transits: Neptune returned to its natal position in 1938, 1939, and 1940 — it was exactly there in early September 1939; Neptune was at the Libra point in 1941, 1942, and 1943; Neptune was at the Midheaven in 1943 and 1944; both the Uranus return and Uranus crossing the Descendant were in 1944 and 1945.
After this war there were many changes, the most in American history. We will discuss this more fully in the next post. This time is considered the start of the Anthropocene, that geologic age that is determined by the force of human beings. Also this time was the start of the Atomic Age. The use of plastics, which was fairly limited before the war, exploded afterwards and has grown immensely since: as a result women could finally wear nylon stockings and the plastic ball-point pen proved popular.
For the sixth crisis, the one we are starting now, the Neptune demi-return is 2021 and 2022; Neptune crosses 0 Libra in 2024 and 2025; it crosses the Sibly IC in 2025 and 2026; the Uranus return is in 2027 and 2028; finally Uranus crosses the Sibly Descendant in 2028 and 2029. It appears that this crisis will last most of the decade.
Dedicated to Enid R. Leonard who has been an editor for many of these blog posts.
Thanks to Doug Kellogg for this article, originally posted at https://500yearparty.wordpress.com