America's Racist Legacy: Pluto Transits in the American Natal Chart and the Black Lives Matter Movement
This month we are featuring a powerful analysis of Plutonic influences current in America's natal chart, the history of American racism, and the state of the Black Lives Matter Movement sweeping the nation, written by Esoteric Astrologer Malvin Artley, who has been a good friend and contributor to the Satya Center website for many years.
Malvin has one of the most extensive astrological tookits of any practitioner we have met, and his astrocartography readings played a key role in helping Jane and myself relocate to Winston Salem from Florida. Malvin practices both Western and Chinese astrology. Malvin is also a perceptive geo-strategic analyst and his writings are always informed by prodigious research and an unfailing ability to exercise discernment in a fractured and contradictory media environment.
Here is Malvin's article, in full, below.
Is it a question of race or class with the Floyd protests?
In the midst of a still ongoing pandemic, the focus in the US has shifted to ongoing protests and incidents of violence since the death of George Floyd. These protests come just over 50 years after J. Edgar Hoover called the Black Panther Party “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country”. Why that was will become apparent later. Membership in the party reached its peak in 1970. Some comment has asked whether the Black Lives Matter movement are picking up where the Panthers left off. The protests today do reflect many of the same issues that motivated the Black Panthers to form in 1966. The question is, are the current protests in the United States about race, or are they simply a question of police policy, or is there something more to them?
Photo courtesy of the Brooklyn Paper
This is a follow-on post from a previous post on the Floyd riots. It is also an examination, astrological and otherwise, of what is really at stake for the public in the US and how that public is manipulated to keep the status quo in place and in play. In anticipation of what is to follow, blacks in America have legitimate grievances, given the protests we are seeing. There is more to it than a simple matter of race, though, which actually goes to a fundamental fault in the economic system of the US, one as old as the ‘West’ itself, speaking of Europe, the US and many Commonwealth states. We’ll start with a little astrology.
There is a particular transit in progress in the US chart that has been in effect (i.e. within a 1° orb) since its first touch in April of 2019 at its retrograde station. We are speaking here of the Pluto transit opposite the US Mercury. Transiting Pluto will play a strong hand in the American psyche for at least the next two years. It will start to wane in obvious influence at the end of 2023 when it fully enters Aquarius. To see why it is of such prominence at the moment, we’ll have a look at what Pluto is opposing and conjoining in the US chart. It is quite a potent combination of factors.
The US (Sibly) chart is below (bigger):
There is a particular, yet not widely used axis in the US chart that would make for a study in itself, which is the Vertex axis. In the US chart it lies across the 2nd/8th house axis, which is the prime financial axis in any chart. That latter axis also says a lot about a person’s or nation’s values and esteem. To have the Vertex axis in those houses further accentuates those fields of experience. Planets on the Vertex axis bring forward those factors even further.
Looking at the chart above, we take note of the midpoints in the red box at the center of the chart wheel. In that, we see that the Mercury/Pluto opposition lies on the Vertex axis, with Mercury on the Vertex and Pluto on the Antivertex. Those are shown in the blue boxes. In that regard, we also need to note what Mercury and Pluto rule in the US chart in reference to the house rulerships and then we can get to what is really at stake in the US.
Mercury has co-rulership over two houses in the US chart – the 7th (primary – partnerships, litigation, open enemies, contracts, rules-based order) and the 9th (intercepted – foreign relations. the judiciary, ideals, religion, higher learning, virtues). The Sun has primary rulership over the US 9th house, and is conjunct Venus and Jupiter, showing the high-minded, moralising and judgemental aspect of US foreign policy and idealism. That also relates to domestic policy, resulting in one respect in what we now call ‘identity politics’, the Sun being intimately connected with one’s sense of identity.
The Mercury connections with the 7th and 9th houses shape quite a bit of American discourse and identity. One of the chief areas is the merging of the two houses via Mercury – law, litigation and ideals, the often combative nature of US idealism as well as its blurring of boundaries and inclusiveness when it functions well. The Gemini of the 7th house tends toward divide-and-conquer in its lower expression, and as a unifying dynamic when functioning well. The Virgo co-rulership of the 9th house tends toward the letter of the law in its lower expression, applying to religious expression as well, and to the spiritual, healing aspect of the law when expressing the best of American thought and discourse. Mercury governs discourse in general.
With Pluto, we have the rulership of the 12th house, ruled by Scorpio, the one everyone loves to loathe. At its best, the 12th house rules the nation’s large institutions, inclusive of its hospitals, civic organizations and its secret services. The 12th house also rules hidden enemies of the state, subversive activities, secret organizations and the public’s fears, to name just a few things.
The Rape of Proserpine: Peter Paul Rubens, Oil on Canvas, 1636-1637
Proserpine, daughter of the earth goddess Ceres, was kidnapped by Pluto, the god of the underworld. Despite the resistance put up by Minerva, Venus and Diana, their relationship would blossom into love, as revealed by the presence of the cupids holding the chariot reigns and urging the horses on. This story of passion was part of the decoration of the Torre de la Parada, near Madrid, and resides in the collection of the Museo del Prado.
Mercury and Pluto together project the concerns of the houses just described through the Vertex axis and the 2nd/8th house axis, affecting relationships of all types with the US. The Vertex is strongly pronounced in relationship charts. With these points in mind we can now begin to parse what is taking place in the US at the moment, because public discourse in the US has become quite heated and divisive, all the while there are growing voices within that who are calling for unity.
The tendency toward subversive discourse, toward propaganda, towards overestimation of the national image, demagoguery, ‘persuasive use of language’ and so forth was built into America at its inception. We see this in the Mercury/Pluto opposition. The opposition, as a general aspect, was described by Marc Edmund Jones as one that promotes or leads to awareness. As a ‘hard’ aspect (challenging or stressful) it tends toward a quick apprehension of facts through opposing points of view, whereas squares create tension and drive and conjunctions demonstrate as intensity.
We cannot really go into all the manifestations of what that Mercury/Pluto has produced in American history, but perhaps two names will illustrate the point: Freud and Bernays. Those two names became famous in the last century, though the latter is now faded into relative obscurity. However, the propaganda he developed became known in the US and later worldwide as ‘public relations’. Bernays’ efforts were directed at getting to the bottom of and controlling the behaviour of crowds. That is what we have today via the media and advertising, but the story goes back further, and is really as old as Western history itself, specifically going back to 1518 and the last Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn. We won’t go into that here, as there is another point to be made. The work of Bernays, however, can be seen in what we call ‘identity politics’.
Identity politics is on full display in America now, having been subverted from its original intent of breaking down divides between groups, as was the message of Martin Luther King, Jr., for instance. Now it has become a very divisive factor in American society and has been promoted to a large degree by the Democratic Party. But identity politics, though now being called that, was instituted long ago in what was to become America, starting in 1676 in Jamestown, Virginia, and eventually resulting in the Virginia Slave Codes Act of 1705. That marked the start of the black-white divide in what was to be the US and the institutionalization of black slavery in North America and the birth of ‘white privilege’.
Settlers Arriving at Jamestown, Virginia
In the early days of European settlement in North America there was no real focus on race. There were two types of slavery then – white indentured servitude and black/red forced (chattel) slavery. The first black slaves were introduced into the Virginia colony in 1619 – a total of around 20 – and were then put to work alongside the indentured servants. That arrival in 1619 has given rise to the recent 1619 Project, which is not without controversy. (For the Project, go here, but there is a paywall.)
What follows is not to take anything away from the discrimination against and mistreatment of blacks in America, which is disproportionate today, but it will go to a larger point, one that will encompass a greater evil that is currently in the process of bringing the nation down. There are also seeds of a more just future ahead, too, as people begin to wake up to what is happening.
Slavery is as old as humanity. Slavery in the US involved people of all races that were there in those early days of European settlement. One half to two-thirds of immigrants to the early colonies were indentured servants, most all of European descent. They were in debt bondage for various reasons. It was a practice that would continue in the Americas until finally being stopped in 1917. That’s in the 20th century, though when it was ended the number of such servants was quite small.
Those indentured servants worked alongside the slaves before the Slave Codes Act, after which the whites and black slaves were separated. It should be noted here that the various Native American peoples were already being pushed off their land, decimated by war, disease and enslavement, and were the primary chattel slaves by European hands in the Americas before the arrival of blacks in North America. The various Native American peoples kept slaves as well.
Often, the indentured servants in the colonies, who were also treated as slaves, suffered worse physical abuse from the overseers than the blacks, the latter seen to be a better ‘investment’, to be protected, as they and their children were bound for life, whereas the servant was only bound for a set period of time, if they survived. That was usually for between 3 to 7 years. Then things changed in the late 17th century.
Many readers may be acquainted with Bacon’s Rebellion of 1676. It was an insurrection which started against a particular Native American tribe and then the British governor, Berkeley, led by one Nathaniel Bacon, who was not at all happy with Berkeley’s policies and felt he should be able to trade with the indigenous peoples in western Virginia as he liked. To cut the long story short (see link) the black slaves, indentured servants and all colonial classes sided with Bacon against Berkeley and the Native Americans. Jamestown was torched to the ground, Berkeley fled and the insurrection was eventually put down by British forces. What resulted is where we see echoes in the US today and is one reason why US law is set up the way it is.
The Burning of Jamestown, by Howard Pyle, 1905, Public Domain
Artwork depicts the burning of Jamestown, Virginia during Bacon's Rebellion (A.D. 1676-77); used to illustrate the article "Jamestown" in Harper's Encyclopaedia of United States History: from 458 A.D. to 1905 (1905).
The insurrection so alarmed the ruling classes and elites in England leading to the oft animosity we have between many blacks and whites today:
The alliance between European indentured servants and Africans (many enslaved until death or freed), united by their bond-servitude, disturbed the ruling class. The ruling class responded by hardening the racial caste of slavery in an attempt to divide the two races from subsequent united uprisings with the passage of the Virginia Slave Codes of 1705.
Remember that word ‘caste’ as we go along. The Slave Codes Act is where the delusion of white privilege gained a firm foothold in the US. It is one of the worst parts of the divide-and-conquer strategy that exemplifies the synthetic Gemini personality of the United States, as well as the combined 7th and 9th house Geminian emphases in the national horoscope, cited above. So long as the working classes are divided, the elites and ruling classes can maintain control. That is a key to what we are seeing now.
There were two more significant insurrections that led to the 2nd Amendment in the Constitution. What is not generally known is that the right to keep and bear arms (2nd Amendment) was specifically put in the Constitution to protect slavery and to put down revolts by the working classes. The myth that it was put there to prevent a tyrannical government usurping the rule by the people has persisted to this day. It is known in legal circles as the ‘insurrectionist interpretation’. (If the preceding link doesn’t work, go HERE.) The first such rebellion was Shay’s Rebellion and the next was the Whiskey Rebellion. They were both uprisings resulting from debt and rising taxes. The same rings true with the riots we see today, which we will address shortly.
So, here is the point to all the preceding discussion: In the early colonial period of what was to be the US, there was no real racial question or segregation. Workers were workers, chattel slave or debt slave, and then there were a few elites. When the former two groups of slaves united and rebelled against their conditions, shock waves went through the ruling classes, starting with Bacon’s Rebellion, prompting the British to crack down and divide the races. The subsequent two rebellions after the founding of the US had the same effect on the US elites, prompting the 2nd Amendment. The rebellions had to be crushed to ‘restore order’. Hence, we have the term ‘law and order’ rolled out by media and authorities to resurface as soon as there anything that looks like it might be an insurrection.
There have been no successful violent insurrections in the US to this day that have led to any sort of real change. Even the Civil War failed to bring the government to heel in the end. Yet, slavery has persisted, just in sublimated form. The US elites at the founding of the nation were mostly slaveholders. Twelve presidents were slaveholders. Thomas Jefferson held over 600 slaves, George Washington over 300. From a previous link:
James Madison, author of the Second Amendment, was motivated by the concern of slave owners, like himself, that the Constitution could empower the federal government to disarm state militia in the South that were essential for preventing and suppressing slave revolts. The amendment was a concession to the powerful opponents of the Constitution like Patrick Henry, who feared the new document would permit Congress by these means to subvert and abolish slavery. It was adopted to reassure Southern states that the federal government could not interfere with their ability to muster and maintain an armed force to secure slavery.
One wonders how many 2nd Amendment fans realize such a state of affairs. The Founding Fathers are revered in American history, but the fact they owned slaves is rarely if ever touched on when studying American history in schools.
"Five hundred thousand strokes for freedom ; a series of anti-slavery tracts, of which half a million are now first issued by the friends of the Negro." by Armistead, Wilson, 1819?-1868 and "Picture of slavery in the United States of America. " by Bourne, George, 1780-1845, Public Domain
Slavery is ruled by the 12th house (imprisonment), Saturn (bondage) and/or Neptune (ruler of the natural 12th house) in any chart.With the US Pluto in the 2nd house, and ruling the US 12th house, it comes as no surprise that slavery played a part in the economics and founding of the nation. It is also reflected in the Sun/Saturn square in the US chart. In fact, the early colonies depended upon slavery from their inception in one form or another. It is also no surprise that economics is very often at the heart of and underlies most discourse in the United States, and why it is the determinative factor in US elections above all else. We go again to the 2nd/8th house axis in the US chart.
Pluto rules the underworld – the subconscious – that which lies often unrecognized below the surface of our daily thought, yet conditions much of our thinking. In Jungian psychology, the shadow is represented by Pluto, which will result in projecting one’s deficiencies and fears onto another person or group. This is clearly demonstrated by the US in its demonization of nations like Russia, China, Iran and so forth – nations who run counter to or diverge from what the US considers the norms of capitalism and economics in general.
That projection also applies to people within the US who advocate for changes in the system as it has existed since the nation’s founding. It is why the Black Panthers were seen to be such a threat to ‘national security’ and why they were crushed. They were Marxist, you see. Branding Bernie Sanders as a communist is a good example of that projection, too, and why he is constantly sidelined. Those projections are focused through Mercury in the 8th house of the US chart.
In the US there has always been a fight between labor and capital, what we now call the working classes and the 1%, respectively. It is a battle that flares from time to time, but has yet to be resolved. There is a chance at a resolution of that conflict, finally, with the Pluto return for the US. It will be and is being hard-fought. The propaganda machine is in full flight, and we can see it in media focus on minority groups instead of the issues facing the entire populace. We also see it in negative and biased reporting on any nation that runs counter to the mainstream narratives. Projection requires a scapegoat to be successful. Scapegoats have been a feature of US history from the start, beginning with blacks and ‘savages’ – the ‘red man’.
One thing worth noting, regarding propaganda, is that the current media focus on the Floyd protests serves as a distraction from the state of the crashing economy, the poor handling of the COVID-19 pandemic response, the massive theft – the looting of the public purse – that is taking place under everyone’s nose, and with the (il)liberal media focusing on every gaffe and misstep by the present administration. It is worth noting, too, that Trump is a member of the elite, the .01%. He has no interest in seeing the public bailed out from the pandemic, shown by his signing of the CARES Act and his constant focus on the stock market, among other factors.
Donald J. Trump 1/4 oz. Gold Coin
We also see media whitewashing of past American interventions at home and abroad – the black slave markets in Libya, which the US intervention in and destruction of Libya led to. Hillary “We came, we saw, he died” Clinton was the one who pushed for the bombing and no-fly zone in Libya, under the banner of the Obama administration, with the stated purpose of ‘restoring democracy in Libya’, ‘saving’ the Libyan people from an authoritarian regime, thereby destroying their state and infrastructure under the guise of ‘protecting the right of the Libyan people to protest’.
The actions of the US and Europe, the latter under US ‘prompting’, in Libya have produced the flood of Africans into southern Europe in their quest to flee the violence, slavery and hardship such interventions have produced. And now blacks are being scapegoated in Europe because of austerity measures which have cost native Europeans their jobs and security, hence the focus on black lives there as well. That is not the fault of the Africans, by the way. Yet, the US bristles at any attempt by foreign states to hold the Beltway accountable, witnessed by the recent sanctioning the ICC for its investigations of war crimes committed in Afghanistan since 2003. Israel is another nation that avoids scrutiny like the plague.
And domestically, for all our talk of freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and so forth, there was the brutal suppression of the Occupy Wall Street protests under the Obama administration, for example and the militarization of the police under the Clinton and Bush II administrations, the continuing encroachment on our civil liberties, theft of incomes by stealth, and on and on. It is always someone else who is the problem, so we are told. If we could just address them and correct their behaviour, somehow our problems would be solved. The media, controlled by the billionaires, never focuses on problems at home, except when groups stand up and protest. Then, it is those groups who are causing trouble instead of policy.
Going back to the issue of slavery and blacks in America, blacks do have legitimate grievances. They have been marginalized, used, mistreated and targeted since before the founding of the nation. There is another side, though. If the focus of the present protests is solely on redressing racial discrimination, racial targeting and on policing methods, then not much is likely to change. Why? – because the nation has yet to be united in common cause in the past half-century. Black Lives Matter is being played politically, and so long as the issue of ‘white privilege’ is not addressed in kind and the plight of the Hillary’s ‘Deplorables’ and other groups remains unaddressed, then 1705 will remain as the year that gave US elites their power over the working public. The reason will not be easy to hear for some readers.
Race is made up label, a construct devoted to social control. The only real differences between people are external. In terms of genetics, there are no pure races. We are all ‘mongrels’ and at the same time all divine. There is only humanity, where humans are concerned. There are whites and blacks who have taken DNA tests to try to show their ‘whiteness’ or ‘blackness’, for instance, more often than not to be quite (unpleasantly) surprised at what they find. There are also nice surprises, too. But some of the best-known DNA tests often do not go back more than five generations. Anyone born in the US is American, and that is where the story should end.
John Wallace Comer in Civil War uniform with his 'body servant', 1864, Public Domain
White supremacy is a terrible delusion, enslaving the mind of the believer. It is as much a delusion to believe that one’s life is stuck at a certain level, or that skin color should determine one’s place in society. None of this is idealistic. It is simple science. The separation of the races in the US has been one of most successful propaganda campaigns foisted upon an unreasoning public. A little examination exposes it for the fraud that is it. Racism in the US, and in many countries, is in reality a class struggle, a struggle in which people of all races and classes should be united. No one should get a free ride, and at the same time, no one should be left out.
Imagine the hubris involved in calling Trump supporters (largely white) ‘deplorables’. Such ignorance was recently on full display in Italy, too, where a farming family referred to the black migrant workers picking vegetables on their farm as ‘monkeys’. Most Italians were rightly outraged, the offending family nationally shamed on television. In politics, the bottom half of the economic ladder does not matter except as they count for votes at each election. Hence, we get statements from the likes of Mitt Romney with his ‘47%’ gaffe.
There will probably need to be a sustained, massive uprising to change the status quo between the races and the classes in the United States. But if experience (history) teaches us anything, it cannot be violent. It must address the underlying issue, which is economic, and narrative. Our conversations need to change.
And there is another simple reason why violence will not work: The government controls the manufacture and disbursement of ammunition. This goes back to the 2nd Amendment, too. It doesn’t matter how many firearms people have. They are useless without ammunition. Once the ammo runs out, the armed insurrection is finished. Military people will vouch for the fact. This is why the US supplies arms to rebel groups in various nations where it seeks regime change.
Identity politics, gender issues, race, political persuasion, jingoism, social status, keeping up appearances, religious differences, nationality – these are a few of the things that are gamed and hyped in media and conversations to keep the nation divided. Add to that ‘bread and circuses’ i.e. keeping the public entertained and comfortable enough, then it is not difficult to see how the American public has reached its current stage of impotence, disintegration and polarization. Hollywood is not real life, and neither are reality TV shows. And neither is the infotainment that passes as US news.
If the COVID-19 pandemic was meant to teach us anything, it is that we are all in the same boat. It was also meant to show up all the differences in society in bold relief so that we could gain enough awareness to overcome those differences. Black lives matter in another sense, too, in that they bring one of the biggest faults in the nation up for review once again – the issue of class. The US has its own unique version of the British/Indian caste system, with blacks and whites being set against each other at the bottom of the heap, and with some whites in great fear of becoming the minority in America. Then, there is the following:
Black Lives Matter, the organization and its ramifications, is essentially being instrumentalized by selected corporate interests to accelerate their own priority: to crush the U.S. working classes into a state of perpetual anomie, as a new automated economy rises…When we look at who’s supporting Black Lives Matter – and Antifa – we find, among others, Adidas, Amazon, Airbnb, American Express, Bank of America, BMW, Burger King, Citigroup, Coca Cola, DHL, Disney, eBay, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Google, IBM, Mastercard, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Netflix, Nike, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Sony, Starbucks, Twitter, Verizon, WalMart, Warner Brothers and YouTube…What’s fascinating is how this current strategy of tension scenario is being developed as a classic CIA/NED playbook color revolution…An undisputed, genuine grievance – over police brutality and systemic racism – has been completely manipulated, showered with lavish funds, infiltrated, and even weaponized against “the regime”.
How many people know that the protests are being so richly supported? And by corporations? The aim, again, goes back to divide-and-conquer, to keep the populace destabilized and on edge. For anyone who has looked into the strategies involved in color revolutions, the similarities in the present protests are uncanny. Whether or not there is an actual attempt at such a coup in the US is open for debate, but if so, Trump has not taken the bait, not so far anyway.
We end here with a word on the Vertex axis, with the Vertex itself in the 8th house. The 8th house, aside from being associated with death, is also about victory over one’s shadow and transformation of one’s life as a result. The Vertex has been called the ‘electrical axis’ in a chart. It is in Cancer for the US, the sun-sign of the nation’s founding, and is intimately involved in the transformation of relations within the American public, Cancer being associated with the masses. The Vertex plays a large role in fated relationships.
What is needed for that transformation in the US is shown by the Mercury/Vertex conjunction – the need for a full and involved public discourse, with all sides included. That is opposed by the Pluto conjunction with the Antivertex, in Capricorn and in the 2nd house. That axis shows the fundamental divide and struggle between labor and capital, the elites and status quo (Capricorn) set against the masses (Cancer).
What is needed in the US to correct the injustices in America, to resolve the racial and class struggle and to end once and for all its unspoken caste system is a foundational change. That goes right back to 1705. The elites, ruling class, deep state – whatever you want to call them – will fight hard to prevent such a change. The media will be complicit on the side of Big Money, too.Race should not be an issue in the US, but it has been artificially promoted and institutionalized to be one. Violent rebellions in the US have always produced the same result – division in the public and creeping erosion of individual liberties. We need to remember history, lest we doom ourselves to repeat it. History needs to be stripped of jingoism and sentiment. Tearing down statues will not help, though it vents long frustration and anger. We need to remember our history, warts and all, and use those memories to build a more just society. The sign Cancer represents that, too. Only in unified effort by all groups will US society be transformed to conform with its higher ideals, thereby to see racism, militarism and caste finally disappear from America.