Two Hundred Years of Growth Through Crisis
But the sidereal cycle of the Moon is not
the most important measuring unit. The fundamental unit in progressions is the lunation cycle
, the period defined by two successive New Moons (the New Moon being a conjunction of the Moon and the Sun).(2
) The progressed lunation cycle establishes an approximate thirty-year period. The progressed planets operate within the cycle and their progressions take on greatest significance when they are related to the four Angles of the natal chart (the Angles generated by the cross of horizon and meridian). There were progressed New Moons in 1787, 1816, 1846, 1876, 1905, 1935, 1965 and 1994. The first two occurred in the eighth House, the third in the ninth, the fourth, in the tenth, the fifth in the twelfth. The progressed New Moon of 1935 occurred in the first House at Sagittarius 19°07'. The 1787, 1816, and 1965 progressed New Moons were based on solar eclipses; the progressed Full Moon of 1802 was based on a lunar eclipse. Generally speaking, eclipses tend to indicate a sharp focusing of issues and stresses in the field of consciousness, if not at the level of physical-actional problems.
The 1787 progressed New Moon correlates with the work of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia a new departure indeed. The progressed Full Moon, in 1802 marked the start of the process which led to the acquisition of the Louisiana Territory from the French Emperor, Napoleon a step that made possible westward expansion of the federal nation which issued from the work of the Constitutional Convention.
The 1816 progressed New Moon coincided with the election of President Monroe. It followed the Peace Treaty of Ghent with England (December 24,1814) which ended a disastrous but cathartic war and began an "era of good feelings" in the country, henceforth intent on building itself and turning its back to international involvements. Under John Marshall the Supreme Court was becoming powerful. A wave of interest in German culture followed the translation into English of Madame de Staλl's book on Germany, De l'Allemagne
, an interest that became increasingly strong up to the beginning of the first World War. The progressed Full Moon of 1831 saw the rise of Abolitionist sentiment. (The first issue of William Lloyd Garrison's The Liberator
was published in 1831) and bitter struggles with Indian tribes relentlessly being pushed westward and destroyed (Black Hawk war, 1832; second Seminole war, 1835-1842).
The 1846 progressed New Moon, falling in the expansionistic ninth House of the U.S. chart, occurred at the time Neptune was discovered. Under increasing persecution the Mormons were moving west, John Fremont was stirring things up in California, the Mexican war which added a vast new territory to the United States was starting. The Oregon Treaty, defining the northwestern boundaries between the United States and Canada, was signed with England, and legislation was passed prohibiting slavery in all new states and territories, indicating that the tensions which would finally lead to the Civil War were coming to the surface. The progressed Full Moon of 1861 brought these tensions to a climax, as Southern states be an to secede from the Union and Lincoln became President on March 4.
The 1876 progressed New Moon occurred as the tragic Reconstruction period, which radically transformed America, was coming to an end. The stage was set for the emergence of an industrialized and power-greedy nation dominated by the "robber barons" of industry. The unavoidable reaction to this was the emergence of organized labor, and with it the awareness of acute class conflicts. Four years before the 1890 progressed Full Moon, Samuel Gompers organized the American Federation of Labor, which he led until his death in 1924. The Populist movement was growing, and the United States was beginning to be a world power with expansionistic goals.
By the time of the progressed New Moon of 1905, President McKinley's ill-fated administration had championed a strong international outlook. Following him, President Theodore Roosevelt's negotiation of the Treaty of Portsmouth (September 1905) ending the Russo-Japanese War, contributed to increasing the hostility on the part of the Japanese which eventually led to Pearl Harbor.
Before the progressed Full Moon of 1920 had matured, World War I had come to an end, the Prohibition Amendment had been passed and ratified, President Wilson's vision had been defeated, isolationism had triumphed, and the "Roaring Twenties" had come to mark a general change of consciousness and a sharp conflict between new and old values.
The progressed New Moon of 1935, on the 20th degree of Sagittarius, saw the triumphs of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal and his fight against a conservative Supreme Court. The three-:year period preceding a progressed New Moon usually witnesses the seed-formation of what the coming thirty-year cycle will unfold. When F.D.R. was elected President in 1932 the progressed New Moon was in the first House of the U.S. chart, after the progressed Sun had crossed the natal Ascendant during the early spring of 1929. Significantly enough, this occurred just a few months before the stock-market crash of October 24 through 29. This seems to imply that the Great Depression which had already begun in Europe was necessary to build a basically new America, and to teach a lesson to Wall Street speculators a lesson which, alas, seems to have been left unlearned and may well lead to a new catastrophe. Ten years later, World War II began, giving a tremendous boost to the nation's industrial power and to the unchecked influence of the military.
The progressed Full Moon of 1949 occurred as the Sun opposed the natal U.S. Venus. President Harry Truman had begun his new term of office. These were the years of the Marshall Plan, the cold war with Russia, the Korean War (1950-1953) and Senator Joseph McCarthy. The Eisenhower-Dulles combination sowed bitter seeds for the future, and Richard Nixon came to public notice for the first time with the ambiguous Hiss affair, the implications of which are now being reexamined. The progressed New Moon of 1965 which corresponds to the annular eclipse that actually occurred on January 9, 1777, on the 20th degree of Capricorn, began the thirty-year cycle within which the American people are now operating.(3
) The three-year period prior to 1965 saw the gradual intensification of America's involvement in Vietnam under President Kennedy, the confrontation with the Russians in Cuba, and the assassination of the President on November 22, 1963. During these years the psychedelic drug LSD became more widely known, and starting with the free speech upheaval at the University of California in Berkeley in December 1964, American youths, both in the universities and outside of them, began to organize and demonstrate. The civil rights movement grew in intensity, leading to the riots in Watts on August 12, 1965; and in 1968 both Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. These. events, from the astrological point of view, were sparked by the very crucial conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in tense relationship with other major planets during 1965 and 1966. I will discuss these important transits in a later chapter.
Three periods in the development of the consciousness of the American people, each numbering about sixty years, can be seen emerging from these data. The years before 1787 (the first progressed New Moon) constitute a period of struggle for survival and recovery for the new nation after the shock of having claimed individual existence. During the first period (roughly 1787 to 1846), as the two progressed New Moons occurred in the eighth House of the U.S. chart, the American people began to develop a truly national sense stimulated by rapidly increasing intergroup relationships associated with the conquest and development of the country. The War of 1812 with England marked a turning point in this process, since military defeat at the hands of the mother country was only narrowly avoided and the seat of government had to be rebuilt quite a symbolic event, as the eighth House is traditionally that of death and rebirth.
These conjunctions have been a basic measure of time for ages. In agricultural societies in which fertility cults and the worship of life occupied a central place in men's consciousness, what seemed to be the mysterious union of the two great celestial embodiments of the polarities of universal Life was the most sacred event (hierogamos
) and considered to be the source of all manifestations of life on earth. The planets were important, but they acted as modifying forces differentiating for specific purposes the bipolar energy of the two "Lights," the Sun and the Moon. Return
The symbol for the 20th degree of Capricorn is: A hidden choir is singing during a religious service
, and is interpreted in my book An Astrological Mandala
as follows: "The fulfillment of the individual's creative function through his participation in a group performance consecrated to a transcendent realization of unity . . . social participation . . . exalted to its highest manifestation." One might say that this symbol, so interpreted, evokes the archetypal possibility of accomplishment for the American nation at this time. How remote from what appears actually to be happening. Yet, as we shall see, the dream of the true hippies was to realize such a group harmony through love. The "flower-people" have gone, but perhaps they were heralds of a yet distant dawn, at least reflecting in their psychedelicized consciousness something of a wondrous archetypal reality. Return
Web design and all data, text and graphics appearing on this site are protected by US and International Copyright and are not to be reproduced, distributed, circulated, offered for sale, or given away, in any form, by any means, electronic or conventional.
for full copyright statement and conditions of use.
Web design copyright © 2000-2004 by Michael R. Meyer.
All Rights Reserved.