United States - Which chart?
The analysis of the United States requires that we stipulate first which chart we are using. I have found that Dane Rudhyar's version of the Sibley chart works well for me. It is set for July 4, 1776 at 5:14 pm in Philadelphia, PA and has 13° of Sagittarius rising. I will not endeavor here to give a "reading" on the character and challenges of the United States as revealed in this chart, perhaps I will do something like that in a posting later this year. Here I want to focus upon the relevant transits that explain what the US is faced with in the coming year (and beyond). Often, to help illustrate that, we will look back at other similar times and alignments to give us some relevant frames of reference.
United States - 2011 a look back first
An analysis of what lies before the US in this year immediately raises the question as to what have we just come through. After all, the experience of any entity cannot be neatly divided up by our notion of when a year begins and ends. Moreover, as many of you know, the alignments in a chart may be in effect for much longer than one year as well. So, before we begin to look ahead we must look back. What have we just come through? What were we being asked as a nation to address? And, yes, what can we expect in the year ahead?
(2009-2010) Pluto Opposing Venus
Several major transits were in effect for the United States in 2010. One of these, Pluto in Opposition to Venus actually happened in 2009 and 2010. Pluto rules death and rebirth; it smashes apart what has outlived its time so that the rebuilding can take place. Venus rules value, the notion of what is worthy whether that be in terms of self-worth (or nation-worth) as well as outward physical values like in tangible assets. So, this alignment of Pluto to Venus brought about a fundamental tearing down of the old assumptions about US value and our real values as embodied in our properties and businesses. Moreover, Pluto rules the will and powerful forces arrayed for and against one another. Pluto opposing Venus indicated a great struggle over questions about, and the nature of, what are the values of America. Well this sounds familiar doesn't it? We certainly went through a re-evaluation or our physical assets, (land, stocks, bonds, companies), as well as struggled over the definition of exactly what is to be most valued about America.
The last time Pluto went over America's Venus was 1972-73. The term "Stagflation" was coined to describe a country burdened by debts from the Vietnam War, while at the same time the Arab Oil embargo stoked the fires of unimagined inflation. Meanwhile, in the political arena, there was an incident called "Watergate" that shook the foundations of and threatened the balance of power between the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches.
And, so too in this time, there have been major economic shocks, as well as calls for a fundamental rearrangement of the balance of power between the states and the federal government. Cycles repeat, but the substance of what our challenge is and the characters that play across the stage of history change.
(2009-2010) Saturn Square Venus
While Pluto was opposing Venus, Saturn was at the same time Squaring Venus, (This was one of the Transits to Transits we looked at earlier, of Saturn Squaring Pluto, so that means whatever Pluto was affecting in any chart, so too would Saturn). Saturn last made this same square to Venus in 1980-81, a time of a severe downturn in the US economy. With Venus ruling value, beauty and love, the United States was just not feeling very "lovable" in 2009-10! Our sense of our worth, of our value was diminished. Really, it was a time to reassess the whole question of where does our value as a nation come from, what do we have, what do we create, and how do we consume value? Certainly many, if not all of us, individually and as a whole, have had to reassess our values at this time.
Uranus Squares Venus (Apr. 18, Oct. 7, Feb. 28, 2012)
Well this is a whole New Year indeed! Excitement and stimulation is activating the planet of value this year. It is frothy, dare we say bubbly, and the last time Uranus made this pass, 1927-28, it was a heady time....but we were heading for a fall that few could imagine then. Will history repeat itself, no... Never! But we have to watch out; we must look back to see what challenges were encountered and opportunities missed, and realize we will face new challenges and opportunities that are appropriate to our moment in time.
The late 20's were a time of inventiveness and social experimentation. Boundaries were being broken, records were being set. Our imaginative boundaries were blown outward by the courage displayed, (and technology used), in "The Spirit of St. Louis", as Lindbergh connected the new and old worlds. There was an influence that was energizing new relationships both between one another, and in our nation's relationships with other nations. America was seen as the most "prosperous" of nations, we were the rising star in the world and the way ahead looked glorious. What we failed to see, what we failed to confront, was that the very nature of what we considered to be valuable, how we made and measured value, was in desperate need of transformation. The opportunity was there and was missed and so we fell back...
2011 The US and Venus/Uranus, Our value and purpose.
In 2011 we face a similar challenge and opportunity. The challenge with Venus and Uranus is met when we raise to a new level our experience of value in our relationships with one another, and with the world. The US has its Venus, (and Jupiter and Sun), in the 7th house, the house of relationship. Our values and self-worth (Venus), our principles, generosity and good fortune (Jupiter) and our very being and purpose (Sun), is revealed, realized and shared by the nature and quality of our relationships to one another and with the world.
A New Order
The founding fathers hinted at this, (and much more), when they put forth as the motto of our country, and which is inscribed on the Great Seal of The United States, "Novus Ordo Seclorum" which means "A New Order for the Centuries". They understood that what they were creating was something new, something heretofore unfamiliar because it represented a break with the past. Here, in this nation, we would come together and freely determine our relationships with one another. We would surrender all title and privileges, and stand as equals to one another and be subject to no King, or Prince, or Clan or Class, but to what we had all agreed upon as our compact with one another. This sacred compact is sealed and protected by the one and only true ruler in America, the Rule of Law, (which is why the US has Saturn (order), in Libra (scales of justice) in our 10th house (authority). In the United States, the law is King, no one is above the law.
Embodied in our "Law" are the values that we have so far evolved to in our conduct with one another. Those values are made into rules which we have agreed upon, so that we know how we are expected to conduct ourselves with regard to one another. In other words, we have established these laws as the crystallized form of values with and between one another.
But unlike some, who believe that those original laws, our first rules, the Constitution, to be a finished piece and not to be altered, most of us find that the story of human fulfillment is an unfolding one that is far from over. And, so, we must keep improving upon and adding to our values and our rules. The Founding Fathers knew this work was not finished or done with them. They sought to go beyond what had been, yet they could not reach or agree beyond a certain understanding. They struggled over issues and did not overcome some of their own challenges, and so left it to other generations to face the glaring injustices embodied in our first set of "rules". How could it be otherwise?
Our Challenge, Our Opportunity
In 2011 the challenge we face is to examine to what extent we are ready, willing and able to fulfill and incorporate the message of Uranus into Venus. Uranus in Aries is shaping our Venus in Cancer by challenging us to conduct ourselves at the next necessary level of individual fulfillment and social integration. There are always forces, (and distractions), pulling us apart and drawing us together.
Venus in Cancer speaks from the Truth that we must honor where we have come from; we must remain and find value in our common heritage and so secure and bind ourselves one to another. Uranus in Aries is challenging Venus as to exactly what constitutes "roots" or "heritage" or "security".
There is a constant tension between our nation's desire to return to a simpler time, to our root values (Venus), and the incessant force of spiritual (and technical) advancement driving us forward into new expressions of value (Uranus). The answer is to be found in honoring the spiritual essence of our roots, our common heritage and value that binds us one to another, (but not being bound to the mere letter or the law or form of that value), while at the same time integrating into those values a new understanding of the message of Uranus in Aries which honors, affirms and asserts the essential dignity of the individual within the group order, (without going so far in asserting "individualism" that we break our social contract with one another).
Of course, to many who have seen the abuses of power, and the manipulation of the law to serve the powerful and not defend the weakest of us, to many the hope that we can restore let alone move forward the dream of America and its essential value or worth seems distant at best. Just as in the late 1920's, we too now find ourselves at a moment in history where the greatest inequities exist in the distribution of the wealth in America, a value that we all have created with and through one another.
Nature, (and Spirit), move whatever ordered system from a state of imbalance to balance. It seems most systems have "mechanisms" integral to their nature that bring about a re-balancing eventually. In our social order we must find our way back to "normal" by being courageous enough to face what we have wrought and bring us back and forward to a better world, before the forces in and around us bring about a more painful, because "forced", adjustment.
Time to Act
We have a choice....but not for long. For there are more alignments happening in the world generally, (those Transits to Transits) and to our country specifically (Transits to Natal), that are to meet us this year and in the next many years to come. We have a destiny, but we must understand, decide and act as those brave men (and women) acted in their hour of decision in 1776.
First, we must face what is here before us now; there is more that we must understand about the forces bringing about the changes we will grow through in 2011. So let us turn our attention to the greatest of these in the next posting, the alignment of Pluto with Jupiter. Then we will look at some other lesser, though no less important, alignments for 2011.