In ten weeks or so, we will have completed six years of the Bush Regimeï¿½s strangling hold on America. In these times of dark uncertainly, desperate concerns about the nationï¿½s future reverberate through the hearts and minds of many.
Like a dreadful disease settling ever more deeply into the soul of the nation, this administration is relentlessly sucking the lifeblood out of our democracy, whittling away at our most cherished freedoms under the cover of bogus claims of threat and smashing the delicate tripartite balance of power so carefully crafted by our Founders.
It is a seductive temptation, however, to believe that all will be well if we can just get rid of Bush and Cheney, the main perpetrators of the current depredations. For not only have these culprits instituted many structural changes in the system, including a very aggrandized Chief Executive function and an endless war, but the corporate power that increasingly stands behind all government policy and decision-making exercises a grip of steel over our institutions that has been decades in the making.
In order to better understand the current situation, it is useful to step back and examine the nationï¿½s evolving as described in the symbols of its astrological chart. Beginning with the onset of George W. Bushï¿½s first term, when the ripening national glow of the long-ago 1990ï¿½s began to turn sour and when the lush fruit of Americaï¿½s secure economic expansion and towering international prestige began to rapidly decay, we find Pluto crossing the US Ascendant for the first time.
In the US chart, Pluto, the planet of the obsessive accumulation of power and the struggle to maintain it, is in the second house where it signifies the compulsive materialism of this nation and points to the fact that power resides in the realm of huge accumulations of material wealth and resources (2nd house).
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 Bushï¿½s 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.
The third crossing of Pluto to the US Ascendant brought the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Again we find the intensity of the quintessential Plutonian power struggle, but not so much based in finances as in the sheer sense of the battle to survive. All of the ï¿½us versus themï¿½ terminology and the stoked paranoia of the post-9/11 period relate to the increasing Pluto strength in the US chart. The nation was increasingly polarized, obsessive about terrorism, and alternated between a feeling of overwhelming fear of the terrorists and a sense of the overwhelming power of the American behemoth. As Pluto moved further into the first house in the following years, the intensity of these feelings began to dissipate, but an awareness of the corporate stranglehold over our government has remained for those who have been paying attention.
Another factor of the past few years has been Saturn. It opposed Pluto and crossed the US Descendant around the time of and for a few months following 9/11, signaling a time of national grief compounded by the Pluto/Ascendant power dynamic in the response to terrorism.
Eighteen months later, the difficulties and stress associated with Saturn returned to plague the nation, just after the beginning of the invasion of Iraq when, in June 2003, Saturn entered Cancer and began a three-year period during which it crossed the US Venus, Jupiter, Sun, Mercury, and Node (in Leo). In addition, progressed Venus in the US chart was square to natal Saturn in 2005, and was strongly activated by transiting Neptune in September and October 2005 after the devastation of Katrina.
Thus, the period from June 2003 through June 2006 has been a time when the US was mired in insurmountable difficulty and burden, a time of frustration and a general sense of shrinking influence and prestige, a time when discipline, focus, compromise, and a minimizing of expectations would have been most beneficial.
Although other issues will now come increasingly to the forefront, the reining in and contracting quality of Saturn has done its work for the moment. The US can no longer parade its superpower status as a ticket to do whatever it pleases on the world front. Its international prestige and power has been drastically reduced in the past few years, in particular due to the draining effect the Iraq war has had on its military, its treasury, and its reputation, but also due to the generally incompetent and thoughtless policies of the Bush administration on numerous other fronts. In addition, the recent Saturn transit to Bushï¿½s Leo stellium has managed to rein in his grandiose and dangerous definition of executive power.
As we move further into Bushï¿½s second term, with a far more circumspect understanding of American power, the upsetting, transformative, and unexpected forces of Uranus will come increasingly into play. At present, Uranus is square to the US Ascendant (12Sagittarius59). The first crossing in March and April 2006 brought the sudden emergence of the Latino civil rights movement and a renewed focus on American civil rights in general in the face of the growing repression of the Bush Regime.
The current Uranus station, less than two degrees past the exact square, has brought a range of severe weatherï¿½related events, upsetting events in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the recent sudden and transformative explosion of violence in the Middle East. As Uranus comes back across the square of the US Ascendant in August 2006 and again in January 2007, we can expect powerful events that have an impact on US citizens directly, and, in some instances, on the actual, physical aspect of the country, possibly through forceful weather-related or other natural events.
There are, furthermore, some indications of increased military activity in the next few years, most notably in May and June 2007 when transiting Uranus (18Pisces41) makes a station exactly quincunx the US progressed Mars (18Libra41), a transit that will also be activating the increasing aggression in Bushï¿½s chart shown by his progressed Mars conjunct Jupiter (18Libra08) from May 2007 through November 2008.
The year 2008, beginning in April, brings the transit of Uranus square to the US Mars, through February 2009. This is also a strong indication of increased and fierce military activity, which is likely to seem highly successful in August and September 2008 when Jupiter stations opposite the US Sun, but then turns very problematic when Saturn stations square US Mars from late November 2008 through January 2009, again pointing to the limits of US power.
It seems quite likely that the end of the transit of Uranus square to US Mars in February 2009 will signal the end of the hyper-militarism that has colored the tenure of the ï¿½War Presidentï¿½ George W. Bush. His eight years in office will have seen transiting Pluto opposite US Mars, progressed US Midheaven quincunx progressed US Mars, transiting Uranus quincunx progressed US Mars, and transiting Uranus square US Mars.
Not only does this string of agitated aggression cease shortly into the next presidential term, but progressed US Mars is also in the process of moving retrograde as of July 2006. This retrograde movement of progressed Mars, which will continue through the year 2087, signifies a more thoughtful, prudent, and less militant attitude for the US in the coming years. After two long wars and much bullying passed off as diplomacy, this will certainly be a welcome change in direction.
The Long View
From late 2009 through 2011, the periodic reining in of Saturn (which comes roughly every 7 years while Saturn is in hard aspect to the US cardinal planets) will be exacerbated by the transit of Pluto square to the US Midheaven and opposite US Venus and US Jupiter. The combined and likely very stressful impact of both Saturn and Pluto suggests some potent and disturbing issues will need to be addressed at that time.
In 1917, when transiting Saturn was conjunct US Mercury and opposite US Pluto, and transiting Pluto was conjunct US Venus, the US broke off diplomatic relations with Germany and declared war. In 1973, as the Vietnam War moved toward its painful conclusion and the Watergate hearings began, Pluto was conjunct US MC and square to US Venus, while Saturn was soon to square US MC and conjunct US Venus. Plutoï¿½s square to US Jupiter and Saturnï¿½s continued conjunction of US Venus brought the Arab Oil Embargo from October 17, 1973 through March 18, 1974. And Nixonï¿½s impeachment came during the first crossing of Saturn to the US Sun and the last months of Pluto square to US Jupiter.
Some combination of the impact of transiting Pluto and transiting Saturn on the US MC, Venus, Jupiter, and Sun will be felt at various times from November 2009 through August 2011. There are likely to be some dramatic difficulties that demand disciplined and focused leadership to bring the nation successfully through.
During this period, the months from November 2009 through August 2010 may be the most stressful, with both Pluto and Saturn in hard aspect to US Venus, suggesting a time of national sorrow or major stress of some kind. Interestingly, progressed US Sun will be trine Jupiter during this same period (10/2009 to 10/2010), suggesting that the president will receive support and have some success in dealing with the issues presented.
Many astrologers have discussed the powerful Uranus/Pluto square that will be present from 2012 through 2016. It clearly heralds a turbulent time for the planet and a time of bold and unexpected transformation and shifting changes.
What is good news for the US is that there are no major Saturn transits in the US chart during this period. The two years 2014 and 2015 will be exceptionally important with both Uranus and Pluto in hard aspect to the US Sun.
We can expect all kinds of changes, possibly directly impacting the president and/or the goals of the nation (the Sun). And although these changes may be dramatic and far-reaching, the lack of simultaneous Saturn energy indicates less a time of national mourning than a time of national mobilization, dynamism, and potency.
Born and raised in Washington, DC, Nancy Sommers has been practicing astrology for 35 years. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and New York University School of Social Work, Nancy is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in Maryland, where she combines her skill in astrology with her training in psychotherapy, imagery, and regression therapy. Known as Nancy Waterman in the cyber world, Nancy crafted her website, Starlight News, as a response to the dismal first days of the Bush administration. Her intent was to offer her readers the unique insight and perspective of astrology when applied to the political realities of the day. You can reach Nancy by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.