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America Quo Vadis? The Stars Speak:
by John Townley

At the end of the last millennium, I recall trying to raise some alarm in print and on the Internet about the coming transit of Pluto to the U.S. My point was that this first-ever transit would change the image of the U.S. by shutting down its previous image, setting it apart from allies and the world market, and generally giving it a more power-driven and less cooperative face, with bad economic repercussions. The same transit to New York City's chart had resulted in the city's worst financial crisis and a takeover by the state during the mid-1970s. What actually has happened to the U.S. is certainly similar. Few would have predicted 9/11 specifically, but the rest seems definitely coming to pass.

It is sometimes arrogant for astrologers to predict world consequences of outer planetary shifts, since their effects vary so widely geographically and culturally. Still, for instance, Neptune in Aquarius has coincided with many especially widespread plagues, and the last time it was proceeded by Pluto in Scorpio, the Black Death occurred. So, it was not hard in the 1970s to predict a coming world plague of huge proportions, which turned out to be AIDS. Similarly, Uranus in Pisces now alarmingly adds suddenly appearing and disappearing diseases (SARS, avian flu, mad cow, anthrax, and more yet to come). Having both Neptune and Aquarius in their most uncomfortable dress can only disturb.

Another good astrological view of the larger social trends of the U.S. comes through secondary progressions. Secondary progressions are an additional, fractal way of looking at how a chart develops, in which the positions of the planets each day after birth are considered to represent the developments for each year after birth. That's a 365:1 ratio. So, in 1776, we started with Sun in Cancer, and have proceeded onward in approximately 30-year chunks of time, which roughly coincide over comparatively few cycles with progressed Lunar and transiting Saturn cycles, two other astrological windows on events. Was there a pattern? Will it continue? It's probably of real interest, as the U.S. Sun progressed into Pisces right on Election Day 2004. Let's look back at when the Sun progressed into new signs:

Leo (Christmas, 1793) - A surprising (to the whole world) expansionist period where the U.S., just barely escaped from England's control thanks to the help of France, flirted with war with France, established power in the Mediterranean, went to war with England again, and finally declared total discretionary power over all the Americas (the Monroe Doctrine).

Virgo (April Fool's Day, 1825) - A total retreat into domestic expansion that opened up agriculture and trade across the continent and around the world. From supplying unique flour for around the Horn to relieving the Irish famine, the breadbasket came to the fore.

Libra (Groundhog Day, 1856) - Opposing social and economic forces made leveling the playing field and leveling the enemy the main focus, followed by bringing the leveled fields back to life again after the Civil War.

Scorpio (July 1, 1886) - Internal resources -- capitalism and labor, mining, industrialism, railroads, oil - became the national focus. From trustbusting to unionbusting, to the foundation of the world oil economy and technology. Power plays all the way.

Sagittarius (April Fool's Day, 1916) - A previously internalized nation, pausing for six months to pretend isolationism, launched into world economic expansionism that engaged us in two world wars, a world depression, and an irrevocable position as a superpower on the world stage. Very Jupiter, brash, foolish, but idealistic and unstoppable.

Capricorn (Oct. 10, 1945) - Establishing the U.N. that very month, we settled into the business of running the world like a business. Although the rest of the world sometimes balked, it was an organizational fest from the Marshal Plan to the worldwide plan to defeat Communism. The concrete ruled - whether buildings, cars, appliances. Buy it, sell it, you win.

Aquarius (March 21, 1975) - two weeks before the incorporation of Microsoft, the birth of the computer age. Who needs concrete, when it's really all a concept in cyberspace? It started with Pong, ended with the Internet. Solutions were sought in statistical consensus, marketing, focus groups, whether in business or politics. But lately it's become daily fare, a little repetitive, and we're looking for new horizons that satisfy more…

Pisces (Election Day, 2004) - What to say? We generally start with the simple version (such as Pong) and end with the very subtle and complex (such as the Internet). How simple can you make the spiritual, intuitive, and gullible sides of Pisces? Are Mel Gibson's Christ and the gratuitous, self-serving violence of "The Left Behind" representative of a momentary popular peak, or a serious peek of what's to come? And, eventually, how subtle and complex may it mature into over the coming thirty years? We may start off buying anything that idealistic or religious P.T. Barnums have to sell, at great cost, and wind up with spiritual creations we hadn't dreamed of, to the elevation of all - hopefully in this world and not only the next. Under any circumstances, our beliefs in the spiritual, the non-physical, and our actions to try to enforce them on ourselves and others will be the news stories of the coming three decades.

The U.S. is not living in a vacuum, however, and the worst side of religion is also fueling the fray all around us - and, some say, we have too eagerly jumped into it ourselves. There is no war like a religious war, and pulling the trigger on a perceived spiritual enemy is often the equivalent of social suicide. How will we fall into the picture? The biggest mistakes usually come first, and whatever they are, they are staring us in the face, following the actions we have already taken. But, Neptune-like, we may not see them at all until afterward. Our nation is diving headfirst into an unexplored ocean, and perhaps the best advice is to take a deep breath before we take the plunge. That breath may need to be deeper than we suspect, as 0 Pisces is also the degree of the USA's prenatal eclipse, adding an extra emphasis of fate and sensitivity to the mix.

But, like a ship with flapping sails in unknown waters, without a sure wind, we are floundering about and all too willing to run with the latest gut-level hunch rather than rely on any long-term weather forecast. Any sea captain can tell you that's no way to set your sails, but it is, in fact, what we seem to be doing - following ever more short-term thinking into a spiral of confusion and self-defeating moves while the world watches in amazement, some regretfully, some eagerly sharpening their knives.

Adapted from an article originally published in The Mountain Astrologer, summer 2004

Cycles of the Moon & Sun

From Lunar Returns — Meet The Moon.

Seize The Day

Of Time And Tides

Paul Kammerer: The Law Of Seriality (fr. Fortean Studies - .pdf)

Professor Seward's Foray From The Beyond

Toward a Physical Basis for Astrology

Heavenly Vacations

Your Birthday Headlines

America Quo Vadis

  Copyright © John Townley 2005. All rights reserved.
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