The Cold War between the United States and its allies against the Soviet Union and its allies started right after World War II ended — we will deal with the exact start in a later post — and supposedly ended with the fall of the Soviet Union on Christmas Day 1991. Some authorities contend that the Cold War started with the rise to power of the Communist Party in Russia at the end of World War I. That was indeed an early version of the Cold War, which involved the United States, Britain, France, Italy, and Japan sending troops to fight against the Communist government in a Civil War that occurred with the fall of the Czar in Russia. And near the beginning of the Second World War several leaders, such as Harry Truman, maintained that we should support Germany if it looked like the Soviets would win, and support the Soviet Union if it looked like Germany would win, in a hope that both countries would destroy each other. Nevertheless, the Soviet Union was allied with the United States during World War II and so the Cold War did not start in all its glory until that war ended
The operative aspect during the Cold War was what is called the Long Sextile between Neptune and Pluto. Pluto is an oddity among the planets since its orbit is very eccentric so that at some times it travels much faster than at other times, and once every 250 years it goes inside the orbit of Neptune so that it is no longer the outermost planet. That happens appropriately when, since Pluto is considered to be the ruler of the sign Scorpio, the planet is in the sign Scorpio. This happened between January 1979 and February 1999, with Pluto closest to the sun (perihelion) half way between those two dates. As the result of this, the sextile between the two planets lasted a very long time, and it will return in another decade, but that is an important topic for another time. As a result, this is called the Long Sextile.
The first two charts illustrate a typical sextile between the two planets , one from 1950 near the beginning of the Cold War,and one for 1980, thirty years later when the Cold War had warmed up again. In both charts notice the blue line representing a sextile between the planets Neptune and Pluto. But the real proof is in the graphical ephemeris shown below. This graphical ephemeris covers a fifty year period, between 1944 and 1994, and shows in the sixth harmonic just two planets, Neptune and Pluto. We know that in a sixth harmonic chart, planets that are exactly sextile show as conjunctions, or lines that are together in the graphical ephemeris. From the graph we can see that the two planet first came close together in 1946 or 1947, stay close together until they finally separate in 1991 or 1992, mirroring the extent of the cold war that lasted all those years. We also notice that the lines get very close together in he early Fifties, just as the Cold War was getting intense with the successful Communist victory in China, the Korean War, the first successful atomic bomb explosion by the Soviets, and in the United States McCarthyism. The other time the planets are very close together is in the early Eighties with President Ronald Reagan, when defense spending greatly increased, when he talked about the military plan called “Star Wars” and helped the fights in El Salvador and Nicaragua.
Also notice that the two lines, representing Neptune — blue– and Pluto — red in the late Sixties, early Seventies are further apart. This is when President Richard Nixon was practicing the policy of détente with the Soviet Union. One important treaty negotiated during this period was called SALT I for Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty. This was in the works between late 1969 through 1972. On May 26, 1972 an Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was signed between Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev. Also in this period was the famous “Nixon Goes to China” moment when Richard Nixon when to “Red” China, something that was unheard of before then, and the subsequent recognition of China by the United States and then the admission of mainland China to the United Nations, something that had been blocked (mostly by the United States) since 1949. In fact, it was because the Soviet Union was not in the United Nations Security Council in 1950 to protest the exclusion of China from that body that allowed the United States to have the United Nations approved the start of the Korean War.
As we’ve seen previously, a midpoint involving the three outer planets represents a watershed moment. For the midpoint that indicates the start of the Cold War, this is certainly true. It was a bifurcation point in the flow of time, where the future was radically different that it would have been without the Cold War. The Cold War has affected the whole world and the way it behaves, in ways unimaginable and not really seen at the time it started. But by now the “official” Cold War has been over for almost a quarter century. We are living in a post Cold War world, but the effects of the Cold War has changed the way we response to most everything.
America has always had enemies, someone it could dominate and rail against, someone that the people at home would draw together against. For much of the early years of the country the enemy was Great Britain, the country it was a colony of for a long time, and finally rebelled against. The US then had another war against that country a quarter century later. But by the time of the Spanish-American War, the enemy was that by then decrepit empire Spain. This served as an enemy until the Huns in World War One intervened. But at the end of that war there was the Russian Revolution and they became the official enemy, a status that has endured even though the official Cold War has supposedly ended. One historian (Gordon Wood, The Idea of America) has an interesting theory as to why the Russians were so hated after their Revolution. For over a century after the American Revolution, America is where anyone considering a more democratic country would look. It was almost as if the definition of revolution was illustrated with a map of America. But after the Russian Revolution, this was no longer the case. After that act, when people though of revolution, they thought of Russia. We were no longer the top dog in the Revolution-definition business. Russia had stolen America’s thunder, and America was not about to allow that to happen.
After the Soviet Union ceased to exist, America searched for another enemy to take its place. The first choice was the menace of drugs, come to steal out precisions bodily fluids. That audition did not go over too well, and fortunately 9/11 allowed America to bring back a bogeyman that Ronald Reagan declared war on 20 years earlier, but this time it seemed more real and was brought home to Americans on their television screens, the window to reality. This new threat was terrorism, and so a War on Terrorism was declared. Some people pointed out the difficulty in declaring war on a noun, and that terrorism was a tactic, and some even pointed out that America was the largest purveyor of terrorism, but none of those arguments held much sway with the American people. In fact, the argument became are you for the country or for the terrorist, just like in previous times the question was are you for us or the Communist. It was a black and white world.
It won’t be for several hundred years, when we are able to look back at the Cold War as a historical period and not as a entity which has just recently passed, and maybe not really, that we can see this period is one of insanity. It changed drastically where money was spent, so that trillions were sent to defense companies, making their owners very wealthy, which reduced the amount of money available for most of the people. As President Eisenhower said “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” These days that certainly sounds like Communist propaganda, and the person who said is not fit to be allowed in society, but Eisenhower was a Republican President and a war hero of the Second World War. That one quote shows how much things have changed in the last sixty years.
We are now in the post Cold War world, but having the Cold War as such a prominent feature of the world for so long — 45 years — has changed the way people think. Our first response to any problem is to send in the weapons, if not “boots on the ground” then at the very least a few bombs, missiles, or drones. The world has developed so that the killing of strangers because they happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time does not seem worthy of comment, and the interception of all personal messages seems perfectly normal. In fact, supporters will often give praise, or at least find an excuse, when their leader does any of that.