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Astrological Musings

Grand Canyon photo by Tony Howell.

Nancy Waterman has written an excellent article looking at the past few years of US politics and the planetary cycles that have affected the country. Many of us who feel that the Bush administration has driven the country into the ground would like, as Nancy says, to believe that all will be well if we can just get rid of Bush and Cheney. But living on Planet Earth means going through cycles that are challenging as well as harmonious, and this is true for nations as well as for individuals.

I had a very difficult childhood that included an oppressive father who had no boundaries (Saturn and Neptune conjunct my Sun) and a mother who had a rage problem (Pluto conjunct my Moon), as well as difficulties with sibling rivalry (Pluto in the third house). When I began to really understand the astrological chart and to see that these principles were actually embedded in me and that I had constellated the family that mirrored these principles, it became more difficult and really impossible to blame my family. They say we choose the family that we are born into, and many of us find that hard to believe. But as we age and process our experiences, it is often those very difficulties that, if they don’t kill us, make us wiser.

The chart commonly used for the US is the Sibley Chart, showing an ascendant of 12 degrees Sagittarius. As Nancy writes, in its recent cycle transiting Pluto first crossed the US ascendant in January of 2000 as George W Bush was inaugurated (Pluto was within orb of the conjunction to the ascendant in the fall of 2000 during the election). Pluto remained stationary at the same degree of the ascendant through May of 2000 in preparation for its retrograde turn. Pluto returned to the degree of the US ascendant in November/December of 2000 but was within 2 degrees of an exact conjunction, and was stationary again during the period from July through September that led up to the attacks of September 11. Nancy writes:

At the end of the year 2000, Pluto moved from the hidden, behind-the-scenes realm of the 12th house into the in-your-face immediate environment of the first house. From the beginning of Bush’s reign, the overwhelming power of corporate money in politics and the reach of the corporate agenda into government policy have become increasingly apparent. This does not mean they did not exist previously, but they were far more hidden. Pluto crossing the Ascendant has made them very visible.

Saturn opposed the US ascendant during that same period leading up to September 11 and the combination of Saturn and Pluto is extremely difficult. During this period in particularly, both planets were “angular,” meaning transiting Saturn was crossing the US descendant (cusp of the seventh house of partners and open enemies) and Pluto was on the US ascendant (cusp of the first house of identity and personality). There is no doubt that the persona and identity of the US was changed after this period (Pluto 1st house), and alliances (7th house) were certainly tested (Saturn) and open enemies (7th house) revealed.

Nancy’s article goes on to discuss upcoming cycles and I suggest you read her entire article. It does remind me, though, that the planetary cycles are teachers and the characters that embody the lessons have little to do with the story. In our personal lives, the more authentically true that we can be to ourselves, and the more fearlessly we are able to face the cycles of change, the less difficulty we tend to encounter in the outside world and the better we are able to manage times of crisis. We can extend this philosophy to the fate of our nation as well: to take a longer view and resist the cycle of blame that keeps us from understanding the deeper energies of change.

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