A Birth Chart for the United States of America
Uranus, Neptune and Pluto
and Changes Caused by Their Discovery
Before discussing the positions of and the aspects between the planets, I wish to bring to light a matter which is particularly significant in relation to the U.S. chart.
When we approach the interpretation of a chart from a holistic point of view, rather than analytically by considering all the components of this chart one by one and giving them traditional individual meaning, much reliance is placed upon the general pattern, or gestalt, formed by all the planets. We look at the chart as a whole, just as we look at a painting, or more significantly still, a mandala. The ten astrological "planets" (which include the Sun and the Moon) are points which when linked together form some kind of picture, or geometrical symbol, within the basic framework constituted by the natal horizon and meridian.(4
) In this "gestalt," a number of possible patterns are produced which represent the structure of the solar system as seen at the time and place of birth
A problem arises if we seek to determine this planetary pattern in old birth charts, and particularly in the case of a national entity like the United States of America. This problem is caused by the fact that in 1776 the three trans-Saturnian planets — Uranus, Neptune and Pluto — had not yet been discovered by astronomers. As it appeared to the astrologer of that year, the chart included a massing of planets. between Gemini 21° and, Cancer 24°, except for two isolated planetary factors, Saturn — in mid-Libra and the Moon in late Aquarius — both factors referring in a natal chart to the "past" and particularly to the relationship of the newborn to the father and the mother. This chart belonged to what I have called the Tripod
category. It had three centers of activity loosely connected by a trine (120°) in Air signs (Mars, Saturn and the Moon), but with a strong counter-pull related to the four planets in Cancer.
After the discovery of Neptune in 1846, just before the gold rush and the large-scale conquest of the West, the chart took on a different aspect: the Moon in Aquarius stood alone, pitted, as it were, against the spread of planets within the trine aspect of Uranus to Saturn. The overall planetary pattern belonged then to what I call the Funnel
type. Then when Pluto was recognized as a planet in 1930, during the first stage of the Great Depression, its position with regard to the Moon and its opposition to Mercury produced a new type of overall pattern, the Seesaw
type. These changes of gestalt are significant, for they reveal important turning points in the growth of the collective person calling itself the United States of America.
It is evident that Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were part of the solar system before men became consciously and publicly aware of their existence. Uranus may have been "seen" — physically or otherwise — by ancient astrologers, but if it was, they kept its existence secret. There may be a number of planets in the field of the heliocosm which we do not perceive today because the matter they are made of vibrates at a rate (or in a dimension) to which our eyes, or even our radio telescopes, are not able to respond. There probably is at least one planet beyond Pluto whose existence has long been suspected and which, forty years ago, I suggested calling Proserpine. This planet and several others are used in some systems of astrology in Germany and Holland. A few astrologers also believe in the existence of an intramercurial planet, which they have baptized Vulcan; others, in a mysterious moon called Lilith.
My stand on such matters is that a planet becomes publicly recognized by astronomers at a time when what it symbolizes because of its position in the solar system — that is, its distance from the Sun — becomes matter of public concern for human beings. It then constitutes a new word
added to the vocabulary of the celestial language (astrology), in which messages are conveyed to those ready to receive and able to interpret them. Mankind invents words like "automobile," "radio," "television" or "psychological complex" when they are needed to communicate new kinds of experience. When mankind developed new intellectual capacities, enabling it to build big telescopes and discover new planets, it also found that concentrating on the new mental powers generated a type of complex way of life and psychological pressures which in turn produced the need to understand how the new factors acted upon the old patterns of behavior, feeling and thinking. New words came into the language; a new psychology and many social sciences were developed with an entirely new vocabulary, and astronomy gave us new planets — new "words" essential to an understanding of what was happening to mankind.
The planets had been "there" all along, but not in that sky to which man's consciousness
could respond. This does not mean that there was no response, but that the, response was unconscious
, affecting the life-patterns
of the human organism and of the Earth as a whole, but not the mind-patterns
normally dominated by an ego (Saturn) which sets rigid limits to consciousness (except in cases in which an individual had become attuned to supernormal "vibrations").
Uranus was discovered in 1781, during the period between the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the adoption of the Constitution, and before the French Revolution. The visionary minds of the eighteenth century sensed a new, radical power of transformation coming into the daily existence and consciousness of humanity. At this time, Uranus appeared in the human
sky — the sky, after all, being only a projection or objectivization of a particular stage of human evolution, and therefore of man's physio-psychological ability to see. Uranus' appearance did not change the planetary pattern of the U.S. chart. It merely strengthened the broad trine aspect between Mars and Saturn, since the Uranus-Mars midpoint (the point halfway between the two planets, Gemini 15°09) is practically in exact trine to Saturn.(5
For the discussion and interpretation of such planetary pictures,
see my Person-Centered Astrology
(C.S.A. Press, 1972). Return
The midpoint between two planets appears to be a point at which the relationship between them, and what derives from such a relationship, are particularly focused. The "Uranian Astrology" of the Hamburg School and more recently Ebertin's "cosmobiology" enormously emphasizes the power of midpoints. I use them only in more limited instances. Return
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