The Birth of the United States
as a Collective Person
If we decide to take the time of the vote
accepting Jefferson's Declaration of Independence as the moment of the symbolical "first breath" marking the true birth-time of the United States of America, from an astrological point of view a serious difficulty remains because of the imprecision of historical records. How can we determine exactly when this vote was taken?
A very peculiar and, as far as I know, totally unsubstantiated belief has existed among astrologers that the Declaration of Independence was voted upon at about 2 A.M. in the morning of July 4 — giving the birth chart of the United States a Gemini Ascendant. Other astrologers, apparently on the basis of an entry in Jefferson's diary' claim that the vote on the Declaration was taken at noon. Several records refer to some time "in the evening," but it is pointed out that "evening" in those days was understood to begin after a main meal usually taken around four P.M.(6
) In his book The True Thomas Jefferson
and quoted in Internationalism
by St. John Tucker (Chicago, 1919) Eleroy Curtis tells an amusing story that provides a very human touch to the adoption of this most famous document:
The Convention met in a hall adjoining a livery stable and the day was hot. Jefferson's production met with sharp criticism, at first. A phrase here and there was pulled out, a word changed, and the punctuation altered. But in the heat of the day a swarm of green livery-stable flies entered the window and began to bite the silk-stockinged legs of the delegates until the blood came. Under these conditions debate became impossible and the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration as it stands.
A much more inspiring story is found in Manly P. Hall's book The Secret Destiny of America
, in which it is said that the weary delegates were rather aimlessly discussing unimportant points when an unknown person present in the hall suddenly made an impassioned speech urging the adoption of the Declaration. This moved the delegates to vote at once; but when they turned to congratulate the speaker he had mysteriously disappeared. An interesting story; this nevertheless is hardly credible, for the hall of the Congress contained only a small number of men who must have- known each other very well after months of arduous deliberation, and they would certainly have noticed a stranger and inquired about his identity — unless it were a case of mass hypnosis, which of course is not impossible.
I have chosen a voting time just past 5 P.M — on which to calculate the chart presented in this book. The basis for this time seems to have been a book by Dr. Sibley, a well-known English astrologer of the late eighteenth century who wrote about "the time the Americans chose to declare their defection from the mother country." The chart he calculated for that time gives 10:10 P.M., but the calculation of the Ascendant in the chart he gave is for the latitude of London
. Taking into consideration the five hours of time difference between London and Philadelphia, we come to a time in Philadelphia
of 5:10 P.M. I have rectified the time to 5h. 13'55" for reasons I will discuss presently. It is this chart, with Libra 2°08' at the Mid Heaven, and Sagittarius 13°10' at the Ascendant which I consider to be the "seed-pattern" of the individuality and destiny of the United States of America as a collective person
." [Note to the second, paperback, edition: See the Appendix
for important material based on historical documents held in the Library of Congress affirming a 5:00 PM signing of the Declaration of Independence. This material was not included in the first edition of The Astrology of America's Destiny
Cf. The Liberty Bell
by Charles E. Keyser (Philadelphia, 1901 and George Bancroft's The History of the United States
. Another time also given is about 2 P.M., after which a committee was placed in charge of preparing a device for a seal of the United States of America (cf. History of the Seat of the U.S.
by Gaillard Hunt, 1909). Return
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