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A Birth-Chart for the USA
by Dane Rudhyar, 1974


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The Birth of the United States
as a Collective Person
- 4

Insofar as it operates as an organized and structured whole, a nation can be said to have been born and to grow. It has a collective body rooted in the land, and a developing collective tradition and culture, or interrelated cultures. It has therefore an individual destiny according to which what was potential at its birth consciously or unconsciously seeks to become actualized. Unfortunately many of the participants in the collective life and consciousness of the nation are usually not aware of what that destiny implies. Very often they do not want to be aware, because their minds are focused only upon their own activities and interests, or at best upon a small section of the land, city and population perhaps a family or a socioeconomic class. The nation as a whole may not know, nor care to know, the purpose of its existence as a collective person whose planetary function is to participate in a characteristic and definable manner in the total evolution of mankind. Walt Whitman wrote: "O America! Because you build for mankind, I build for you." But how many of the two hundred million, Americans are consciously and eagerly participating in "building for mankind?"
      In order to understand the premise behind this book, we must accept two fundamental facts: that the United States of America constitutes a collective person that was born and, as any organism does, has grown during the nearly two hundred years since its birth, and that the moment and place of birth of this organism provides us with "information" which, with the proper use of astrological symbols and techniques, can be given a definite meaning. But a fundamental question remains to be answered: What exactly constitutes the moment of birth?
      All astrologers do not agree upon the answer to that question. Some give much theoretical importance to the moment of conception the actual penetration of the female ovum by the male spermatozoon but it is practically impossible to determine the exact moment of impregnation. Besides, conception refers only to the junction of two hereditary lines, not to the emergence of a new organism able to relate himself actively to his environment. It is this ability which, at the biological level, constitutes birth; for no organism can be said to exist until it is able to begin exchanges with all the entities and the energies surrounding it. It is able to do this once it has taken its first breath the environment penetrates the organism, and the organism responds to that penetration.
      As the infant breathes in the most subtle element constituting his environment, air, the fundamental problem of existence begins for him: how to deal with his environment. The first cry (exhalation) constitutes his unconscious and instinctive first answer. His entire life will be a variation on and modification of this original response to what we may call, abstractly speaking, the "form" of the universe at that time, and as this form could be apprehended from the birthplace. Any man's life is a series of responses to his environment; what we call his inner life is the process by which he tries to develop a more effective and theoretically nobler and more inclusive kind of response this is his essential "responsibility" (response-ability).
      We might say, speaking symbolically that the inner life of a man refers to the interval between his in-breathing and his out-breathing. If we understand this, much that might seem obscure in yoga and in the various types of meditation based on breathing either natural, controlled or forced should become clearer. We would also see the reason for the techniques of "delayed reactions" practiced in various systems of personal development and transformation, including Korzybski's General Semantics.
      If I stress this point it is because it should be considered one of the most fundamental in natal astrology: that is, the kind of astrology that deals with the birth charts of individual or collective persons. It is also because the preceding discussion should enable us to discover what kind of event, and collective response to that event, is to be considered the birth-moment of a nation.
      A nation is born when it officially proclaims its ability to respond to its international and planetary environment as an organized whole with a character and purpose defining, or at least suggesting, its purpose for existing. Because mankind is not organized as a planetary organism, it can only be considered the environment in which a new collective person nation asserts its will-to-be. On the other hand, when we deal with a business organization seeking incorporation within a national state which has the power to accept or refuse its corporate existence, the birth-moment of the business or educational foundation is the moment when the state allows this existence to begin. Thus it is the time when the official papers of incorporation are signed.

By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1974 by Dane Rudhyar
and Copyright © 2001 by Leyla Rudhyar Hill
All Rights Reserved.

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