In the United States chart used in this blog, known as the Sibly Chart, named for Ebenezer Sibly, an astrologer at the time of the American Revolution who created it, there is a conjunction of Jupiter and Venus that is conjunct the most important point of any astrological chart, the Sun. This conjunction occurs in any chart drawn for early July 1776. That the Sun is the most important point should be clear from the prevalence of “Sun-Sign Astrology” in newspapers and cocktail party chatter around the world. As has been mentioned several times, the conjunction of Venus — the Lesser Benefic — and Jupiter — the Greater Benefic — can be thought of as double-plus good, as George Orwell might have called it in his most famous novel.
Having this wonderful combination – Sun, Venus, Jupiter — together can make one wonder if the time for the official birth of the United States was planned in advance, since it is certainly the most auspicious combination one can imagine. Or maybe America is just that lucky!
This triple conjunction has proved to be very beneficial to the United States: It has made it a very popular country with the rest of the world, attracting many immigrants and producing popular movies and computer products. The Internet was developed in the United States. And we could go on and on. If you live in the United States, you know the drill. As time has passed, the United States has not been the only source of these things as other countries developed. And of course the country was protected by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans from much of the death and destruction that took place in Europe, certainly very beneficial to the development of the United States. This allowed the US to become the world’s most powerful country after World War Two.
But other, not so desirable characteristics come from having this triple conjunction. For example, it is possible for a country with this combination to think that it is special, God’s gift to the world, the only indispensable nation, perhaps even exceptional. As President Obama said in an address to the UN in 2013, “I believe that America is exceptional” which only repeated what all Presidents must say. With this, shall we say, heightened self worth, such a nation would take great umbrage if someone threatened that self conception of being exceptional. And such a threat could be indicated by a hard aspect of Saturn, that wily taskmaster, to that triple conjunction.
During these transits we can see two possible responses. One is an attempt to expand the limits of American behavior: We are the most important country in the world and so let’s push the bounds, to see how much we can get away with. Let’s invade some other country or foment a coup! The other response is to feel that the world is attacking the United States (How Dare They!!) and to fight back or to remind the citizens of how noble their country truly is. Perhaps something has happened either internally of externally to rain on the parade of the United States, to make it doubt its self-worth — with Saturn square the Sun natally, this is easy to do.
I talked about this in a recent post. Here I want to explore that transit in more depth, showing the cases of Saturn conjunct or opposite to the US core triple conjunction. These transits of Saturn take two or three years to complete. For the charts below, I chose the time when Saturn was conjunct or opposite the middle of the three planets involved, Jupiter, so one can extend the time period to 18 months before and after the date shown in the chart. The accompanying graphical ephemerides will make the period clear, with the first contact/close approach with Venus indicated with the black arrow and the last contact/close approach with the Sun shown by the red arrow, although the orbs would allow a few months before the first and after the second, as you can judge from the images. Since Saturn takes just under thirty years to go around the Sun once — think Saturn Return — these periods of conjunction/opposition take place every 15 years or so. There may be things happening to America during these periods that make the citizens of the country depressed, feeling that they are not worthy or having troubles. Or perhaps the “leaders” of America decide that now is the time to show the force America can bring to bear. We will see examples of all of these responses in the cases below from the Twentieth and early Twenty-First Centuries.
Right now America’s “chattering classes” are having a collective conniption fit because Donald J. Trump is President of the United States. This can not be, they keep telling themselves. He’s so blatant! He’s not polite! Before the election, people were warned that he is not a politician. And with the death of George H. W. Bush, we can see what they mean. This Bush was certainly racist — witness the Willie Horton ad — and started more wars than Trump has so far done. Who can forget the little excursion into Panama that killed 3000 people (not the “official” number) in an attempt to remove a CIA operative (remember that H.W was the head of the CIA for a year in the Seventies — though of course he is never referred to as a “CIA thug”) who no longer took orders. And who can forget the first Gulf War, moved forward by the lie that Iraqi soldiers were dumping babies in incubators on the ground to die. The person who delivered this warning to Congress was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador, and thus far from an unbiased observer, but never mind. And then, in what must surely rank as an immense war crime, action was performed by troops under Commander in Chief Bush on what is called the Highway of Death. Retreating Iraqi soldiers and civilians were trapped on a road back home from Kuwait City after planes exploded cars at both ends of the highway. These were retreating people after the war was over. There proceeded to be a rush of planes (there was even a traffic jam over the highway as so many wanted to get in on the action) that destroyed every vehicle and human being on the highway. The cliche “Shooting fish in a barrel” was never so apt. Certainly a noble mission for America.
Though George H.W. Bush only became director of the CIA in the Seventies (under President Gerald Ford) he had been working with/for the CIA for 15 years, since the early Sixties. Fun fact: George Herbert Walker Bush is one of the few Americans who was an adult on November 22, 1963 who does not remember where they were on that day. He says he was “somewhere in Texas”. This has given rise to many conspiracy theories. In addition, in a recently published article, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh reveals that Bush made the Iran-Contra scandal (where the Reagan administration was selling arms to Iran (which was illegal at the time) in exchange for money for the Contras who were fighting in Nicaragua to overthrow the government there) public in order to avoid damaging a covert operation he was running out of the Pentagon. This is the George Bush so many are now lionizing on his death.
George H. W. Bush is also famous for saying, when he was still vice president, “I’ll never apologize for America. Ever. I don’t care what the facts are”. The occasion for this outburst was when a US Navel ship (the captain later got a commendation) shot down an Iranian civilian air liner over Iranian air space, killing almost 300 people.
But to use proto-punk rocker Neil Young’s phrase, George H. W. Bush had a kinder gentler machine gun hand. He was a politician so he knew how to speak, as was shown in the hagiographies to him. Trump is not a politician, and so he says things without understanding that he is giving away the secrets: you can do horrible things as President of the United States, but you have to pretend that you haven’t. Don’t be blatant about it. And of course always pretend to be polite. I am reminded of the quote from I.F Stone: How do you know if a politician is lying? If you see his lips move. But now the cat is out of the bag. No wonder the War Party is upset!
This extended discussion of George H. W. Bush not only illustrates the complete cover-up of his crimes on the occasion his death during this current transit of Saturn and thus he is being sanctified as a noble representative of the best of America, but will also apply to the activities at the time of the first Gulf War, as we shall see later.
Current events are providing such a wealth of examples of American behavior during this Saturn transit as indicated above that it is hard to limit oneself, but I’ll offer only one other case, since it is so obvious to anyone who is not immersed in the blob (or is it the borg?) of Washington, D.C. But first a little background.
In America’s long running war in Iraq, aka the Second Gulf War, one of the worst massacres occurred in the city of Fallujah, a crime that ranks with Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. The leader of the troops during this assault was a man called James “Mad Dog” Mattis, who is also called the Butcher of Fallujah. Much radioactive dust, in the form of depleted uranium weapons, was dispersed, and as a result the incident of birth defects is much higher in that city than the rest of Iraq. And other things were done a well, such as firing on ambulances and aid workers, and preventing civilians from escaping the city, that are considered war crimes. Under the Trump administration, “Mad Dog” was appointed to the post of Secretary of Defense, with little protest. Recently, “Mad Dog” Mattis was fired from that position, and the howls from the Washington establishment, both Republicans and Democrats, was defeating. Mattis is now being held up as a paragon of virtue, one of the few remaining individuals to uphold America honor. It is a very surprising response to a war criminal, and only shows how out of touch the Establishment really is. Even more strange in this period of the Saturn transit is that people who were once firmly anti-war and now strongly pro-war.
This period occurred after the attack on 9/11/2001, but those attacks were still so recent that people felt that America was under siege by the rest of the world, and allowed strange things to happen, such as the passage of the Orwellian named Patriot Act that curbed civil liberties. But it also saw the invasion of Afghanistan (as Uranus transited the US Moon) and the buildup to and invasion of Iraq. A huge protest around the world happened against the invasion of Iraq at this time. This was back at a time when America was only involved in one war and there was still a large group of people opposed to the upcoming war. America had a real anti-war movement at the time of the Second Gulf War, but the war went on nevertheless.
Like father, like son. We see now the rehabilitation of George W. Bush, who once was considered to have created the worst US war catastrophe in many decades with this war. But no longer. He is now the “partner in crime” (one wonders what that really means) with the former first lady, and he charms people by passing cough drops to her. This is probably an attempt to sanitize his war crimes, which were promoted by the very same media who now promote Russophobia and a new Cold War. But this time it is different!!!
The First Gulf War was started by George H. W. Bush under dubious pretenses as shown above, and afterwards that President said “By God, we’ve kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all” which may have been his hope and intention from the beginning. This war was started at the beginning of August 1990 and lasted 7 months. And there was also the invasion of Panama (“Operation Just Cause”) which was suppose to prove also that America still could invade another country. This was in December 1989. See discussion above.
There was also the Savings & Loan meltdown which was the biggest bank collapse in American since the Great Depression. It had been developing for several years, and finally came to a head in 1989. Over 1000 S&L executives were put in jail. To understand just how large this was, realize that in the even bigger financial scandal in 2007-2009, not one executive was put in jail, just a few low-level people.
Watergate was the scandal that occupied American in 1973 and 1974, leading to the resignation of Richard Nixon from the Presidency, and so Gerald Ford, who was never elected on a Presidential ticket, became President of the United States, a historical first. And following this resignation, there was the Church committee (and later the Pike committee) to investigate crimes of the CIA and FBI. Americans were feeling bad about their country, and then in April of 1975 there was the wholesale retreat of American soldiers, and any civilian they could take along, from Vietnam. America felt it had lost its first war, and all kinds of reasons were offered to explain this terrible defeat. The “Vietnam Syndrome” arose, causing Americans to be cautious about entering another war in a far-off land.
There was a recession running from late 1973 to early 1975, which certainly fits this period. Some of the causes were the oil crisis of the early Seventies, which caused a 55 mph speed limit to be instituted in the United States (to much consternation), and gas was hard to come by, with some customers only being served on alternate days based on their license plate. Americans for the first time realized that there was not an infinite supply of “stuff” they needed for their daily routines. President Richard Nixon had taken the US off the gold standard and essentially ended Bretton-Woods with a speech in August of 1971 which caused further economic shocks whose repercussions lasted for a long time. New York City was close to declaring bankruptcy, and the headline in the Daily News for Oct 30, 1975, the day after Ford made a speech denying funds to New York City was: “Ford to City: Drop Dead” . And there was “stagflation” and high oil prices. America was at a low ebb.
On October 4,1957 the first satellite was launched into Earth orbit, and this satellite — Sputnik I — was not launched by the Americans. After that followed several American attempts to launch satellites that failed, resulting in further humiliation for America. Here was the greatest country in the history of the world, one thought, and it was not able to launch a space satellite. And this feat had great implications for America’s imposing defense system: If we couldn’t even launch a satellite, we must be fairly weak when it comes to launching a missile or fighting a war was the obvious conclusion.
Then there was supposed to be a summit meeting between the American and Russian leaders, but the shoot down of a US spy plane — the U2 — over the Soviet Union put a kibosh to those plans. Again, a typical citizen thought, how could the most exceptional country lose a plane over the supposedly primitive Soviet Union. The world was not working out a it was suppose to, Americans thought.
The Fifties were coming to an end, and there was restlessness in the populace. This was soon to be displayed by the election of a new President. Shaggy people called beatniks (after sputnik) were seen lurking in coffeehouses and reciting obscene poetry, such as “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg. This too was upsetting to some Americans, making them wonder what was happening to their country.
World War II had already gone on (as far as Americans were concerned) for several years, and still there was no noticeable progress until D-Day in 1944. Most did not realize that the Soviet Union had done the heavy fighting with Germany for several years. And the Japanese seemed intractable. But there was a steely determination on the home front to win the war.
But at a larger scale, FDR saw that this was a chance to display America’s dominance of the Post-War world. But in April of 1945, Franklin Roosevelt, who had been President for a dozen years, died and an untested Missouri politician was put in his place. Americans were not sure how this would go down.
And then the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan made made Americans wonder if the world would survive. This was a shock to those Americans who thought that once the war was over everything would go back to “normal”. The new world after the war turned out to be anything but normal.
This was certainly a crisis for the American spirit; we’ve all seen the photos of people on the breadline or trying to sell apples. The Depression for America officially started in late October of 1929, and over the next few years, under President Herbert Hoover, things really did not improve. But there was much revolutionary activity on both the left and the right, as the populace got increasing disgusted at the way things were. There was a strong Communist party in America, and a strong semi-fascist movement such as radio preacher Father Coughlin and Huey Long the governor of Louisiana. America was at a crossroads, and the election of Franklin Roosevelt saved the capitalist system in America.
As you can see from the graphical ephemeris, this Saturn transit lasted from the beginning of the war through the election campaign for Wilson’s second term. He campaigned on “He kept us out of War”. But the Lusitania, a large British ocean liner carrying many US citizens, was sunk by German U boats in 1915, and that was a downer for Americans. Until 1982, it was believed that the Lusitania was only carrying passengers and not munitions as well, thus the sinking of the Lusitania was a war crime committed by Germany. This loss of American citizens due to German hostility angered the US public. The sinking put further pressure to enter the war, but not until the last few months of the war did Americans see combat.
In the early phases of this transit, American, as detailed previously engaged in a war with Spain and decided to become an Empire. But then the President of the United States was assassinated and a new, quite different leader took over. This was after two previous Presidents had also been assassinated in the last 35 years. A war was being waged in the far off Philippine Islands, and it was quite brutal. And then a new Century was dawning, and this also caused Americans to feel apprehensive. Cinema and the automobile were just a few of the inventions that were threatening the old established order that people had known for so long.
Saturn had been on the Ascendant and opposite Pluto a few years before this period took place, just like Saturn had been on the Descendant and opposite Pluto a few years before the period described under “2003” above. In some ways that period is an echo of this one, with an entirely new Century opening up once again.