There will almost always be a variety of horoscopes, reflecting the evolution of a nation, but the primary chart is the day the people celebrate independence, and for the United States of America, that day is July 4th, which puts the Sun at 13 degrees Cancer close to the fixed star Sirius, the Dog Star. Sirius has the quality of Mars and Jupiter and some astrologers associate with a lone wolf tendency and exceptionalism. (Note 1)
In the national chart, each planet represents a major force in society. The Sun will represent the King, President or Dictator and aspects to the Sun will indicate how easy, or not, it is for the person to rule. In the US, the Sun is square Saturn, so it’s built in to the DNA of the country that the President will find his or her power limited.
USA (Sibley) July 4th 1776 17.11 Philadelphia. AS 12.21 Sagittarius.
The Moon represents the people and popular sentiment, and the Moon in Aquarius in the 3rd House of the US chart reflects that melting pot of people who came to America seeking freedom from poverty and persecution. They came from all over Europe, from China, Russia, Asia – an amazing mix of races and languages. For the Blacks, it’s a different story.
Mercury reflects the communication infrastructure, education, and business environment. The USA has Mercury in Cancer, retrograde and in the 8th house. This could reflect the bonds that people feel to the Old World, with nostalgia for the different cuisines, the families back “home”, and – with Pluto opposing Mercury – the roots that have been lost.
In national charts, Venus represents the feminine idea, and Venus in Cancer is the soccer mom. Family values, and with the conjunction to Jupiter, religious values, are predominant. Venus in Cancer is teddy-bear nightclothes, apple pie, finding land and making a home. Venus is also the power of the dollar, and, with Jupiter, the generosity of the nation.
Mars represents the masculine ideal, and that’s were things get complicated for the USA. Firstly the nation was split in two by slavery, black and white. You can blame it on the square to Neptune, which is probably the source of the native Indian saying “White man speaks with forked tongue.”
Jupiter represents religion and how it affects the ethics of a nation, and it represents the judiciary. In the US chart, it is both exalted in Cancer and the Ascendant ruler, and its position in the 7th house shows its enthusiastic export of democracy, killing with kindness. This is a powerful nationalistic force.
Saturn is also exalted, and powerful in the 10th house, and this represents the government. Saturn in Libra is the system of checks and balances maintained by Congress, and the square to the Sun shows it is at odds with the President, who is often forced to use his or her executive privilege to force things through.
The outer planets in the US chart are no less interesting, each of them playing a dominant role through transits, ingresses and returns – as we shall see later.
Having identified the players in a national chart, the aspects show how they interact. As mentioned above, the Sun square Saturn shows the President growing prematurely old and grey in the 4- or 8-year term of office, dealing with a dominant Congress and all those checks and balances. The Moon at 27 Aquarius is both sesquiquadrate and at the midpoint of Saturn-Sun, so the American people are skeptical of both. They think Washington is a swamp, and the President stole the election – in other words, the people are rarely satisfied with the system; their history is built on the idea of freedom and liberation.
Venus conjoining the exalted Jupiter in Cancer and widely trine the Moon reflects the relative prosperity of the country, and its allure as a destination, testified to by the queues for entry visas in countries around the world. Perhaps Venus-Jupiter can show too much of a good thing. Of developed countries the USA has the highest obesity rate in the world by far; they just can’t resist that junk food. But of course, these two planets do reflect the generosity of spirit of Americans both nationally and internationally. As astrologer Dennis Elwell pointed out in his book The Cosmic Loom, the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of Venus-Jupiter – a large woman made out of copper and shipped from France – this was the first bit of America immigrants saw as they arrived at Ellis Island. The land of milk and honey.
Slavery in the USA can be traced to the Mars-Neptune square, which is equidistant and semisquare the Nodes. This constellation reflects the American Dream, where, theoretically, anyone can create their fortune. It’s an illusion of course, because upward mobility is highest in those “socialist” Scandinavian countries. (The USA is 27th in the world, whilst Canada is 14th. ) Many American presidents have planets falling on this Mars-Neptune square, which reflects, amongst many other things, the glorification of weapons, the film industry, a diffuse sexual identity and predatory evangelicalism.
The Mercury-Pluto opposition from the 8th to the 2nd House reflects the sense that so many things are hidden in US society. From this, conspiracy theories thrive and truth is warped. This influence represents the power of lobbyism and the influence of big money and slush funds on the political system. With Pluto returning to its original position after 247 years, truths and lies are currently being highlighted and exposed with the January 6th Commission, which is unearthing all the secrets connected with attempts to reverse the 2020 election.
When considering the destiny of a country, it is helpful to look at the phases of the major planetary cycles. For example, America was born when Jupiter was about to square Saturn, which links it to the Jupiter-Saturn cycle. This “10th House” square shows the manifestation of the principles associated with this cycle, which are the formation of institutions governed by law. The USA is very sensitive to the conjunction cycle and every 5th election falls on the conjunction – the last one being in 2020.
Another major cycle influencing the USA is the Neptune-Pluto incoming trine, and this stage of the conjunction cycle shows the blossoming of visionary ideas that transform the world – the American Dream. The trine from Virgo to Capricorn and the 9th to 2nd House shows that material advances are a key reflection of these principles. Immigrants came to make their fortune and transform their lives. America will respond to every phase of this 492 conjunction cycle. For example the last conjunction was in August 1891 at 8.37 Gemini… right on the US Uranus at 8.55. This was the key period of immigration in the USA when immigrants streamed into the country and out into the Wild West, with the population increasing by 25% in just ten years. It was precisely in 1891 that the first motion picture camera was created, presaging the American domination of the film industry, television and social media.
Another major cycle is the outgoing trine of Saturn in Libra to Uranus in Gemini. This harmonious phase of the conjunction cycle reflects the benefits of implementing new political and social ideals. This is a key component of the American spirit, where government should be open and reflect the will of the people – something that was completely revolutionary in 1776. This cycle occurs every 46 years, with the last conjunction falling at 28 Sagittarius in January 1988 – the time of the famous Reagan-Gorbachev summits in Iceland which signaled the end of the Cold War. The next conjunction will happen exactly at the opposite degree – 28 Gemini – in 2032. This influence represents an enlightened and innovative political system – the democratic spirit.
Outer Planet Returns: Pluto
One way of predicting major events in the evolution of a country is by following the planetary returns of the outer planets. Looking at historical patterns, the United States is uniquely sensitive, and in my earlier article about the Pluto return, which is happening at the time of writing in 2022 for the first time, I pointed out how the War of Independence stretched over five years, and that Pluto’s ingress into Aquarius marked a revolutionary period both in America and France when the old order was overturned. (Note 2) This suggests that the 2020’s will also be a time of upheaval and transformation for the USA.
Times have changed since 1776, but the threat of overturning the order of things in the USA is still alive and well. The mob attack on Congress on January 6th is the subject of an exhaustive enquiry in 2022, which has all the hallmarks of a Pluto return – the investigation of a conspiracy to overthrow a democratically elected President. The actual breach of Congress took place at 2.13 pm with the Ascendant at 8.15 Gemini conjoining US Uranus. Pluto at this point was at 24.22 Capricorn opposing US Mercury at 24.11 Cancer, and transiting Mercury at 27.12 Capricorn was on US Pluto at 27.32.
What has happened on a deep level is that Trump and the extreme elements of the Republican Party have keyed in to a deep level of resentment at a grass roots level, which is fed by the chasm between what are seen as the elites of the East and West coast in comparison to less privileged elements in the Mid-West and South. All this is bubbling to the surface now, and – as we shall see – Uranus and Neptune are adding fuel to the flames.
The Uranus Returns
In the US horoscope, Uranus is in the 6th house but conjoining the Descendant, which currently brings to mind that Mexican workforce streaming over the southern border. In the first Uranus return in 1860-1861, the Civil War started as the southern colonies tried to secede from the Union. This reflects the potential for polarization of Uranus in Gemini, which was recently actualized by Donald Trump whose horoscope shows at lunar eclipse conjoining Uranus in Gemini. He is like a bolt of lightning splitting the country. The Civil War started in April 1861 with Uranus at 9.20 Gemini.
The second Uranus return took place in 1944. In fact on D-Day – the greatest land invasion the world has ever seen – Uranus was once again at 9.20 Gemini. This time the US was united, and it was Europe that was divided. Hundreds of thousands of American soldiers crossed the Atlantic. The passage of Uranus through Gemini in the early 1940’s coincided with technological advances that enabled massive air raids over Germany.
The third Uranus return takes place from 2027-2028, which will almost certainly also be a time of radical change. With the current polarization in America, there are those who fear destabilizing civil unrest. Certainly the current split in US society is unlikely to improve until the end of this decade. Once again the US government will be applying all its energy to control divisive forces.
The Neptune Return
Whilst Uranus has an 84 year cycle, that of Neptune is about twice as long – 165 years. The first Neptune return for the USA took place from 1938-1939. World War II started on September 1st 1939 exactly as the last of Neptune’s three passes over US Neptune took place. The US immediately sent massive convoys of aid to Britain, even though they were not officially at war. This was known as the Battle of the Atlantic, and ship losses were immense – over 3500 merchant ships were sunk. Neptune in the US horoscope highlights the Navy, and the Mars square shows the dangers it faces, not least from deception as illustrated by Pearl Harbor.
In 2021 and 2022, transiting Neptune in Pisces opposes US Neptune at 22 Virgo and squares Mars at 21 Gemini, and this opposition phase reflects the general disillusion undermining faith in government. In the 1960’s 75% of Americans trusted the government to do the right thing. In the last decade only 20% of Americans do. (Note 3). Of course it is highly likely that the Covid epidemic also reflects this Neptune influence. Similarly the hasty exit from Afghanistan reflected the Mars-Neptune square, highlighting the hopelessness of 20 years of American war effort, as the country immediately dissolved under Taliban rule.
Planetary Transits and Prediction
Just like individuals, countries are going to be receptive to important planetary transits. A good example of this is the destruction of the Twin Towers in 2001. At this time Pluto was at 12.38 Sagittarius – exactly on the US Ascendant. There are conflicting views about the time of the Declaration of Independence and the US Ascendant, but this at least is one confirmation of the Sibley chart which gives an Ascendant of 12.21 Sagittarius. The Twin Towers fell with Saturn at 14.45 Gemini opposing Pluto, highlighting the theme of Saturn-Pluto – demolishing structures. The War on Terror began, which did not work out so well in retrospect, just like the earlier War on Drugs – it’s that Mars/Neptune again.
Transits working as pairs, like Saturn-Pluto, are extremely powerful. On July 20th 1969, the USA performed the unbelievable feat of putting a man on the moon. This took place with a Jupiter-Uranus conjunction – the signature for technological triumph – at exactly 0.40 Libra. The Moon most appropriately also conjoining both at the time. This is further confirmation of the Sibley USA chart, because the Midheaven is 1.03 Libra. How about that for timing!
Progressions and the Evolution of a Nation
Progressions are subtle and can both show actual events and stages in evolution. It is curious to see that when Bill Clinton moved into the White House, Venus progressed moved into Aries and conjoined the IC. That seems to suggest a feisty Hillary who did not know her place as a compliant First Lady. Venus slowly progresses through Aries and opposes Mars exactly as Obama became President. Progressed Mars is in Libra and has just become stationary retrograde and it is quite likely that the polarization of the USA is reflected by this progressed opposition of Venus and Mars. The inauguration of Obama took place with a progressed full moon square Uranus – which certainly showed the electorates capacity to surprise by electing a Black President.
The progression of Mars in the US chart is extraordinary. As Mars progressed into Libra and conjoined the MC at 1.08 Libra, Pearl Harbor occurred. (Another confirmation of the Sibley chart). Mars entered Libra in 1939 and entered its retrograde shadow, because in 2086 Mars goes stationary direct at 0.01 Libra, which means it will be within a degree of the US MC from 2070 to 2100 – a period of 30 years of aggressive leadership.
Following planetary cycles, transits, and progressions is a good method for forecasting the evolutionary development of a nation. However, it’s not always that simple because some countries have multiple horoscopes – there are at least five which could be used for England – and each horoscope will show a new iteration of the Idea that informs that country.
For more specific predictions, it is often the case that the Sun and inner planets are triggering factors for major events. For example Sun-Saturn conjunctions often show major international meetings, Venus-Jupiter will often show peace overtures etc. The book Mundane Astrology by Baigent, Campion and Harvey is a must-read for detailed analysis of these and other factors like ingress and conjunction charts.
Finally, stages in a nation’s development will often reflect the leader who rules the country – Donald Trump with his lunar eclipse on Uranus being a case in point. Access to the leader’s horoscope will reveal the strengths and vulnerabilities of that leader, and thereby the consequences for the country. There is probably a strong awareness of this in the Far East, where both the time nor date of leaders like Kim Jong-Un and Xi Jinping are suppressed.
Mundane Astrology is still in its infancy, and so much more can be done with the availability of big data, Astro-mapping and computing, to bring greater accuracy to forecasting the time and place where cosmic influences find expression on Earth.
Adrian Ross Duncan
August 17th 2022
1. See for example Alice Sparkly Kat: https://www.alicesparklykat.com/articles/106/The_Fixed_Star_Sirius