The Fourth Turning is a 1996 book by William Strauss and Neil Howe that was recently popular during the election of 2016. It postulates a crisis for America soon, because previous crises have bedeviled America ever 80 to 90 years since the Revolutionary War. As astrologers, that time period should ring bells, and in fact the cycle has extended longer than Strauss and Howe imagine. As has been suggested by this blog, it is unfortunate that historians don’t know astrology. If they did, they would realize that this pattern extends from before the Revolutionary War and corresponds to planetary periods. By looking at the astrological pattern, we can see this cycle has been occurring since the nation was founded, and is getting more intense with each succeeding cycle. The period of 80 to 90 years is one Uranus cycle and one-half of a Neptune Cycle. Let’s look (again) at what happened every 80 to 90 years in American history.
The first successful colony in what has become the United States was in Jamestown in what is now the state of Virginia in May of 1607. The Winter of 1609-1610 is called the Starving Time: Of the 500 residents of Jamestown in the Fall, only 60 were left by the time Spring rolled around. Domestic animals were killed for food, and some cannibalism took place, as shown in (for example) a New York Times story about a current archaeological discovery on the James River. A fleet from England did finally come, but it had only more colonists and not food. In the summer of 1610 (July 7) as they sailed away, another ship with supplies came and they all returned to the colony, which then was firmly established. This was the first crisis of America. If we look at chart for November 24, 1609, that winter of the Starving Time, we see that Uranus is on the Descendant of the United States. However, looking at the next chart for November 24, 1614, when Neptune first came to the Midheaven, we see that it is a full five years after the crisis, and so this does not seem to fit the pattern. Of course, in this example the crisis only lasted a few months, not nearly as long as the others did. Or perhaps since there was no government (represented by the MC axis) there was no transit of the MC. Note that in this case the Uranus conjunction occurred before the Neptune conjunction/opposition, but those two will exchange places over the cycles.
Several wars occurred in the early colonies, called in general the French and Indian Wars, since both were involved, and each war got a name in the colonies depending on who was the ruler of England at that time. They had different names in Europe, since France was also involved. Both France and England had colonies in North America, and the French were allied with the Native Americans, and those two overseas powers were involved in several wars to determine who would have possession of the New World. Spoiler: England won and would become the dominant force in the world for 150 years.
In 1688, there was the Glorious Revolution in Great Britain that replaced the Catholic King James II (son of King Charles I who was executed in the English Civil War) with Protestants William and Mary from Holland. Thus the first such war in America was called King William’s War, and it was fought in 1689-97 with England, France, the American Indians, and the American colonists. This was about 80 to 88 years after the Starving Time, and from the chart we can see that Uranus was at the Descendant during the War, Neptune reached the IC of the United State (not yet born) in 1697, three months before the end of the war.
Eighty to ninety years later, after all the French and Indian wars had died out, and after the important Seven Years War (1756-1763), which saw England defeating France to become top dog in the world, it was time for the Revolutionary War, and sure enough those two planets were in their correct spots.
The official dates for the Revolutionary War are from the Battle of Lexington and Concord (April 19,1775) to the surrender at Yorktown (October 19, 1781). This first image is for June 23, 1777; that date is not, as far as I know, a stand out date in the Revolutionary War. Notice that all three outer planets are near their birth locations. This is not surprising, considering that this chart is less than a year after birth. What the chart does show is that Uranus is passing over the Descendant and on this date is exactly opposite the Ascendant for the first time since birth. Again, not surprising since the natal position of Uranus is close to the Descendant. Whereas the Ascendant relates to the personal projection – a good synonym is persona – the Descendant is the opposite point, and indicates how we relate to the outside world. In personal astrology, this often is used to refer to the partner or people one draws to oneself or open enemies. In either case, it refer to energy coming to us from outside, which can easily be seen as a war which also comes to us.
In the second chart, for November 23, 1778 we see that Neptune has come to the Midheaven of the United States. The Midheaven refers to the way the country relates to the outside world or vice versa; one can see it as a public persona as opposed to the private persona of the Ascendant. Perhaps this suggests that a war, which involves the government (MC axis) of the United States is always started under the illusion of good intentions and a peaceful outcome.
And 80 to 90 years after the Revolutionary War, along comes the Civil War, sometimes called the Second Revolutionary War, for different reason depending on which side the speaker is on. The dates for the American Civil War are from the firing on Fort Sumter (April 12, 1861) to the surrender at Appomattox court house (April 9, 1865). For the the Civil War there is only one chart, for March 11, 1862. The war had started almost a year earlier. We see both Uranus opposite the Ascendant as in the first Revolutionary War chart, and Neptune conjunct the IC (Imum Coeli –the Bottom of the Sky) of the United States chart, opposite the Midheaven. This is about one Uranus cycle, 84 years, after the first chart. The fact that Neptune is now opposite the earlier position (the second chart for November 23, 1778) is not surprising since the period of Neptune is almost exactly double that of Neptune. Note also that since the natal Uranus is close to the Descendant and the natal Neptune is close to the Midheaven, these periods are also close to a Uranus return and a Neptune bi-return. But we do see a pattern. Notice by this time both Uranus/Descendant and Neptune/Midheaven axis aspects occur at the same time. We will notice later that the Neptune aspect will occur before the Uranus aspect.
The dates for American participation in World War II – the Americans were definitely late to the party – is measured from the attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941) to the surrender of Japan (Germany had surrendered 4 months earlier) September 2, 1945. One notices that the wars get larger – more participants and over a larger area — and more bloody over time. Starving Time in Jamestown only lasted one winter and less than 500 people died, though of course by percentage of population it is very huge. Compare that to World War II, which lasted for the Americans four years and less than 500,000 Americans died, though it was a world war and many people from other countries, especially the Soviet Union that bore the brunt of the German invasion, died.
Let’s look at the World War II charts. The first chart is for November 5, 1942, the first time Neptune conjoined the Midheaven of the United States in this cycle. Then the second chart for World War II for August 6, 1944, one year to the day before the dropping of the atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, the first pass of Uranus to the Descendant of the United States. Also Neptune is very close – one degree beyond – the Midheaven. This was again one Uranus cycle, and one-half a Neptune cycle since the Civil War. The pattern repeats itself. Notice how the Neptune aspect now takes place before the Uranus aspect. The Descendant is where energy comes in to you from outside, and so Uranus on the Descendant suggests disturbance, upset coming into the country, like for example a war. At least it was in the four cases we looked at. Since we have only the United States as an example, and only five cases to draw upon, we can’t draw a definite conclusion. But in every case there was, the correlation was exact.
What we have seen are five crises, starting at the birth of the colony at Jamestown and occurring every 80 to 90 years with increasing death, violence, and geographical spread, involving the United States. The obvious question is when will this pattern happen next. As you may already suspect, this is coming up soon, and this is one of several cycles that are coming due at about the same time. We will leave for later the exploration of the exact date; but first, we must look at another cycle of great importance.
But how will the next turn of the Uranus/Neptune cycle manifest? One might expect another war, even bigger than World War II. This reasoning was what caused The Fourth Turning‘s notoriety during the election. Several possibilities: Aliens from outer space will invade and the nations of the world will band together to fight them. A bit fanciful, then perhaps it will be an asteroid that will be expected to hit the earth and the nations of the world will band together to fight it. Or perhaps it will be a world wide fight between the 1% and the 99% since inequality will have become so much worse than it is now. Several people consider the state of the United States so divisive and contentious – the term used is polarized — that a new civil war is expected to break out, so that is another possibility. This period could see the Third World War, more horrible that the Second which occurred 84 tears before. Or perhaps this will see the final collapse of the ecosystems of the world. But since I’m an optimist (Jupiter conjunct Sun) my best guess is that the nations of the world will finally decide that the global crises are so ominous that they need to band together in a World War II-scale attempt to fight for the survival of the planet. Of course it should have been done in the 1980s. There is much more that needs to be said about this period, one of the most important of at least the 21st Century, but we need to have more background. If this is the type of crises we will face in a few more years, it suggests that many things will happen between now and then to make the countries of the world think that that type of world wide response is finally necessary. And they are, you need just to look around with eyes unblinded, which is difficult with the constant bombardment of information that we daily receive. But the signs are all around, we just have to see them through all the chaff.