- Maria J. Mateus
A Deeper Look at the USA Chart
Updated: Aug 2, 2022
Part II: Global Financial Governance and the USA
Angular Emphasis in a Chart's Turning
Every chart turns over time, completing a full "turning" (that is, where it returns to its starting point) in approximately 79 years. Where the current emphasis of the "life" lies, depends upon where the period falls as one counts around from the three different starting points mentioned in previous posts: Aries, the Natal Ascendant, and the Sun. That is what is meant by the Triquetra (i.e. the 3 arms of the) Turning. However, as the turning (or counting) is made from the terrestrial arm of the system -- that is, from the Ascendant -- a sort of "new chart" is being created with respect to the placement of the planets in the houses. This terrestrial arm of the system depicts changes brought about through the positioning of events outside of the self, or to use a soap opera name, literally, "as the world turns". Planets at angles of any chart always correspond to its most pivotal life events. (Important Note: The Greek word for the angle of a chart is kentrōn, which Robert Schmidt has translated as "pivot". We can understand the deeper meaning of this if we imagine ourselves traversing the chart as a circular journey: each of these angles corresponds to a cardinal direction that then "pivots" the direction of our journey once we come to it.) Thus, any planets that have been placed in the angles of the newly turned chart will naturally also indicate pivotal events that "turn our direction" in life, during that seven year period. The Triquetra sign emphasis indicates what is most important from three significant metaphysical perspectives: 1) developmentally (Zodiacal - the sign counted from Aries); 2) terrestrially (the sign counted from the Ascendant ); and 3) spiritually (Synodic - the sign counted diurnally from the Sun). In contrast, the angular planets when looked at terrestrially, indicate the most pivotal changes occurring from changes in the world. If any of the planets activated in the three 3 triquetra signs above happen to be in those new chart angles, we know that a pivotal change will occur either developmentally, in terms of terrestrial influences, or spiritually, that is, as a matter of the soul's choosing.
The Current Turning of the USA Chart (~2019-2026)
Around 2019, the United States entered into the 2nd period of its 3rd turning of the chart, since its inception. In other words, it has gone around three times and is currently in the 2nd sign. Let's see where that places the country in terms of its Triquetra emphasis: 1) Zodiacally, the 2nd period corresponds to the sign of Taurus, which the US chart has located over its natal 6th house; 2) Terrestrially, that period corresponds to the sign of Capricorn, which is in the 2nd place of the nation's chart; and 3) in Synodic terms, it places the period in Gemini, which is in the nation's 7th house. Since each "turning", lasts about 79 years, there are similarities about the current cycle that have its starting point in the years 1940-1947, since that is the last time these same 3 signs came up. This was a period during which the country was fighting in WWII. Previously, I examined these three signs as shapers of the current times, and noted how they expressed themes that were echoes of the 1940s period. However, in this post, I'm particularly interested in the question of the nation's economic future and any relationship this has with the rest of the world. But this time, I would like to explore the USA chart's angular emphasis, keeping the Triquetra signs in mind as well as any themes that were established in previous turnings of the same signs.
The USA chart to the left has been turned so that the current Terrestrial sign is now placed as our new Ascendant (I call this the NTA: Natal Topical Ascendant, since it establishes the topic that has come up for a terrestrial rebirth). Currently, the 2nd house of the natal chart has now turned to become the 1st. We know that the 2nd house contains all manner of moveable resources (money, gold, goods, services, etc.) that hold value that a nation possesses. This is why I am interested in the nation's current financial situation. [Note: In our bi-wheel notation system, we like to write this as 2/1, placing the natal house always on the left side of the forward slash and the timed house always on the right side.] What this NTA tells you is that the resources, finances or money of the nation are currently undergoing a major rebirth in their material or terrestrial composition.
The need that's motivating this change is indicated by Capricorn. Capricorn is the sign that Zodiacally activates at retirement age, between 60-67. This represents the developmental stage of life when we complete our long-term work goals and begin to make plans to retire and move onto a different stage in life. It therefore, always signals a need for the completion of previously established long-term goals, and the dismantling of old structures in order to prepare for a new future plan. When the nation was founded and was in its first turning, this same activation would have corresponded to the period 1783-1790. At that time, the financial birth brought about through the completion of goals was the establishment of a national banking system that would aid in paying off the nation's wartime debt to its allies (as was explained in Part I, through Saturn's natal placement in the 11th). Thus, in 1783, the Bank of North America, the nation's first bank, was chartered to mark the preparations for a new financial future of the nation.
Bretton Woods at the Last Turning (~1940-47)
In order to better understand what financial cycle is ending, we need to look back to the last turning when the period's NTA was last in the Capricorn 2nd, which occurred between circa 1940-47. [I apologize in advance, but we will, at times, need to get into a slight technical discussion on monetary policy because the nature of the USA chart—with its emphasis on finance – makes it necessary.] The most significant 2nd house inception of that post-war period was the establishment of an arrangement of monetary management known as the Bretton Woods (BW) system, agreed to by the allies on July 22, 1944, after 22 days of deliberation. (The fact that the USA's independence day occurred during the first week of these deliberations is not a coincidence, but is evidence of an astrological "echo" that we will see occur often.) From the Investopedia.com we read that:
Delegates from 44 Allied countries met in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in 1944 to come up with a system to manage foreign exchange that would not disadvantage any country. The delegation decided that the world’s currencies would no longer be linked to gold but could be pegged to the U.S. That's because the greenback was, itself, linked to gold. The arrangement came to be known as the Bretton Woods Agreement. It established the authority of central banks, which would maintain fixed exchange rates between their currencies and the dollar. In turn, the United States would redeem U.S. dollars for gold on demand.
The US was to play a special role in this new international monetary order of interdependent central banking authorities by exchanging its own currency for gold (which it had a lot of at the end of the war) at a fixed rate of $35 per ounce. Conversely, it was also obligated to redeem dollars for gold on demand, should a nation accumulate too many dollars or lose confidence in the dollar as the reserve currency. Other BW institutions – the IMF and the World Bank, would have the joint task of monitoring, recommending policies, and lending to nations in economic distress, while the precursor to the World Trade Organization (WTO, formerly GATT) would regulate trade.
The system enacted was a compromise between the American plan of Harry Dexter White and the British plan of John Maynard Keynes. This collaboration with our allies is shown by Saturn in Libra, a sign of collaborative partnerships and the compromises that they demand. We can also see through Saturn's placement in the 11th, that any completion of the nation's financial goals is always tied to external influences, particularly those involving commitments to its allies or partners. As we also mentioned in Part I, the nation's path and mission (as shown by its Ascendant, its Sun, and its imprinting historical events at its founding) is completely intertwined with the financial interests of its rivals. Of particular interest to the "founding fathers" of this new monetary system, was the goal to keep currencies from devaluing through controlled (Saturn) exchange rates. This was a rigid system (Saturn) but was deemed necessary to rebuild (Saturn) post-war ravaged Europe and promote its unity. Essentially, as in individual retirement, this Capricorn period consisted of the closing phase of a period of toil in which plans were made and structures were erected in the hope of a brighter future.
Kennedy's "New Frontier" (~1960-67)
From any starting point (inception), whatever is born at that time can be traced along the pivotal points of its cycle. Thus, it is my expectation that we may trace the nation's responsibility to manage the BW financial system through the pivot points of this Capricorn cycle, which began between 1940-1947. However, trying to birth something new under Capricorn is not usually advisable, since this is a sign more given to completions and planning for a rebirth, than for the birth itself. And as we will see, the system was unstable from its inception.
Roughly 20 years later, when the USA chart turned to its next pivot point in Aries, between 1960-67, its NTA came to the natal 5th house. Because of unemployment, the nation was requiring increased autonomy, activity, and "a fresh start". The 5th is a house of children, hobbies and leisure and in a mundane context, often translates into unemployment, education, national fertility, and other impacts upon youth. It is also 2nd from the 4th, which can also manifest as national resources or value from land and property. At this time, relative to the matter of finance, this Aries NTA placed the Taurus 6th, in the turned 2nd, which indicates that our financial obligations were suffering from a lack of value. In November of 1960, during Kennedy's election campaign, the unemployment rate was at a historical high of 6.6%, and the nation was in a recession. As befits Aries, his campaign slogan was "Get America moving again." In his acceptance speech, Kennedy (who was himself running an Aries NTA in his own birth chart from 1957-1964) sought to inspire growth through an expansive domestic program marketed as the "New Frontier" (truly Arian!). This was a time for expansion, both in the size of city suburbs, but also in terms of our forays into outer space. Kennedy wanted to grow his way out of the recession. Since Mars rules this sign, those in charge with meeting its need will tend to turn toward innovations, competition, and the ability to look outside the box for solutions. The presence of Uranus together with Mars is also communicated in the space race that ensued under Kennedy, since Uranus tends to bring in new technologies, especially those that involve the bridging of large distances.
All that said, does Mars have an impact upon the global financial system established at Bretton Woods? Yes. We can see that from its dignity relationship to Capricorn. Aside from being lord of Aries, Mars is also the exaltation lord of Capricorn. So we may understand this need for autonomy as also having an impact upon the global financial governance and the nation's commitments to the existing rigid monetary system. In order to understand these financial problems the nation was running into in the 1960s, we can briefly summarize its role thusly: The US had to run a balance of payments current account deficit (that is, when it imports more value than it exports) in order to provide liquidity for the conversion of gold into dollars. However, in order to maintain international confidence in the value of the dollar, the US also had to run a balance of payments current account surplus. It is obviously an impossibility to run both a deficit and a surplus simultaneously! Thus, this situation constitutes a financial flaw inherent in the system for the nation tasked with holding the global reserve currency. This problem is now known in financial circles as Triffin's dilemma and was anticipated by Keynes, during the BW meetings. But his solution to institute a neutral global currency (the Bancor, remember this name) was overruled. So by 1959, our recurring trade deficit with Europe was making it difficult for the US to honor its commitment to convert dollars to gold.
This history is well-known. But what is less well-known is that this was one of the most pressing issues during Kennedy's presidency because it involved his having to choose between the soundness of the domestic economy and the security of Europe, which had been the catalyst to institute the system in the first place! In Francis Gavin's paper entitled: The Gold Battles within the Cold War: American Monetary Policy and the Defense of Europe, 1960–1963 we are told that Kennedy himself used to tell his advisors: "the two things that scared him the most were nuclear weapons and the payments deficit". Because in fact, these two things were linked. For three years, Kennedy's administration tried to bridge the trade deficit with the Germans through several innovative (Aries) trade offsets negotiated by his undersecretary for international monetary affairs, Robert Roosa. Kennedy wanted the Germans to use their trade surplus to take responsibility for their own security and allow the US to reduce its military expenditures in NATO to offset its trade deficit. When the Germans proved unreceptive and teamed up with the French, who were more intransigent and threatened a run on gold, Kennedy doubled-down and arranged to pull American troops from Germany. This caused a diplomatic crisis within the State Department, who were equally unreceptive to Kennedy's plan. After much tension and diplomatic pressure, Germany in the end acceded to a financial solution that allowed the US to offset its balance of trade. But this did nothing to change Triffin's Dilemma in the long run; the writing was on the wall for the demise of this version of Bretton Woods.
Let's look at Mars: it is placed in Gemini, which at the time, was in 7/3, implying a communications conflict with one's rivals – two nations (France and Germany)—since we are speaking about Gemini. [This Gemini combination is why it is typical for the US to fight its wars on dual fronts: Germany/Japan; Afghanistan/Iraq; civil war; etc.] Mars with Uranus in the natal 7th can indicate not only a conflict or separation from one's collaborators or rivals, but also a separation that is liberating and/or involve nuclear threats. In fact, coming on the heels of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the State Department argued that a removal of US forces from Germany would put pressure on the Europeans to create their own nuclear strategies and lead to a more aggressive nuclear-empowered Soviet Union.
But why didn't this stand-off with our collaborators/rivals result in a fracture with Europe? Because the US's financial rivals are shown by Venus, which was angular at the time. Venus signifies the nation's allies in opposition to us during this period (Libra 11/7) and our financial obligations to them (Taurus 6/2). In addition, Venus disposits Saturn in Libra, which is also angular at this time. Thus, it is receptive to keeping the commitment (receives Saturn). In addition, Venus is in sect, since the turned chart is nocturnal at this time (Sun is at the IC). Paraphrasing Schmidt's very accurate sect delineations, a nocturnal Venus tends to provide support to what's been included under the Moon – which happens to be in 3/11 and therefore indicates receptivity to the alliance's agreements.
Let's recap the larger picture: Why am I focused on Aries within the Bretton Woods context and why is this important? Because the nation's NTA is currently in Capricorn, and Saturn is again at an angle. Thus, it is an important time that not only echoes this previous cycle, but will also reboot it. By examining the cardinal cross as "the life journey" of the global financial system created under the previous Capricorn NTA, we can get a better understanding of the parallels that may be going on today. Additionally, the reason we tied natal Capricorn's 2nd house to the global financial system of the 1940s, is because that same placement was also tied to international debt and banking during its foundations in 1783! The Kennedy "gold battles" occurring under Aries/Mars in the early 1960s were unknown to me before I looked at the chart in this manner. It took me awhile to find historical confirmation for what the chart was communicating, since this history is not very well-known, despite its extreme significance to the financial involvement of the nation. But it was confirmed in the journal of Diplomatic History.
The Demise of the Gold Standard (~1966-1973)
While I'm primarily focused on the pivot points of the cycle – in this case the cardinal signs—the following Taurus period (1966-73) bears a special mention because the financial problems noted under Kennedy (as seen in the 6/2), turned into the place of rebirth (6/1) under Johnson and Nixon. This natural clockwise turning reflects the fact that we often implement in the 1st what we had previously seen as valuable in the 2nd. In terms of Zodiacal dynamics, when there is too much need for autonomy and individual freedom (i.e. in late degrees of Aries), the need for stability and security (turning into early Taurus) becomes more imperative.
Thus, when Taurus became the new NTA, the nation faced a need to secure value (remember signs are compensatory, so Taurus implies a need for value) for its labor force (6/1). Financially, this is confirmed by a general consensus by academics that the inflation caused by the Vietnam War, as well as the expenditures of Johnson's Great Society, had a devaluing effect on the dollar and precipitated a lack of confidence in the currency, which led to a further run on the US's gold reserves. To some, the rigidity and flaws of the Bretton Woods system were becoming detrimental to the domestic financial situation. From Investopedia:
Faced with mounting inflation, debt from the Vietnam War, extravagant domestic spending habits, and a persistent balance of payments deficit, the Nixon administration decided in Aug. 1971 to suddenly (and shockingly) end the convertibility of U.S. dollars into gold. In the wake of this “Nixon Shock,” the world saw the end of the gold era and a free fall of the U.S. dollar amidst soaring inflation.
The Moon's current angular placement (3/10) as sect lord and exaltation lord of Taurus, indicates a domestic shift toward the masses and its ability to increase (exalt; raise up) value. However, this Moon also has triplicity and detriment dominion over Capricorn. Thus, while the value of domestic labor (Taurus 6/1) will rise as a consequence of the Moon's governing policies (3/10), the Bretton Woods foreign financial structures (Capricorn 2/9) will be removed by the Moon. Recall that domicile lords generate; while detriment lords remove, and triplicity lords manage. Thus, the Moon will act as manager and remover of the international system (effects on Capricorn), in favor of exalting the domestic (effects on Taurus) situation.
The shock to the system would have been shown by Gemini in the 7/2, where we encounter Mars and Uranus, indicating a freeing break from the nation's financial partnerships. Recall that it was under this sign that we first encountered Kennedy's communicated threat to leave the financial alliance in the earlier period, when the 7th had been in the 3rd. Gemini signals bi-lateral (two-sided) trades, whereas Mercury (deity of merchants) in Cancer in 8/3, indicates financial contracts negotiated out of a need for protection. Investopedia recounts what happened:
Through bilateral agreements with Saudi Arabia beginning in 1974, the U.S. managed to influence members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to standardize the sale of oil in dollars. In return for invoicing oil in dollar denominations, Saudi Arabia and other Arab states secured U.S. influence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict along with U.S. military assistance during an increasingly worrisome political climate, which saw the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the fall of the Iranian Shah, and the Iran-Iraq War. Out of this mutually beneficial agreement, the petrodollar system was born.
Oil priced in dollars allowed the US to control inflation by creating a demand for dollars and by recycling surplus dollars back into the national economy through investments such as T-bills, western bank deposits, and other dollar-denominated assets. As long as people needed oil, it also allowed the US to continue to be the global reserve currency without worrying too much about its trade deficit. Fixed exchange rates were now replaced by a system of floating rates.
During the Ford and Carter years (1973-1980) of the following period, Cancer in the 8th had come to the 2nd. This means that this negotiated need to protect other nations' resources was becoming a source of wealth for us (8/2). The Moon can accomplish this protection through a collection of contracts abroad – actions which both presidents engaged in – since its inclusive Aquarian sign is now in 3/9. This agreement for asset-protection in exchange for military aid and armaments, is similar to what happened with the Europeans in the 50s, except that the value was now underpinned by oil, rather than gold.
Interestingly, the chart of Saudi Arabia, the first OPEC nation to enter into this alliance, has 24 Capricorn rising, making Cancer the sign of the place of partnership (7th). Furthermore, Mercury in the US chart – lord of the NTA when Kissinger struck this deal in 1974 – is at 24 Cancer, exactly opposite Saudi Arabia's Ascendant! Note also that a crescent Moon is the symbol of Islam, the predominant religion of most of the OPEC nations, and that the Sun, ancient indicator of vows and oaths pledged, and lord of foreign contracts (Leo 9/3), is also located in the 8/2, indicating the pledge to turn others' resources into our own. (8/2). The Gemini NTA (7/1) indicates that these agreements were bilateral, in contrast to the global governance set up under BW.
The Rise of the Petrodollar (~1980-86)
With a family of Arab nations all agreeing to sell oil to the world only in dollars, thereby creating a greater demand for dollars, and to recycle these dollars by buying US debt securities, we witness a literal and figurative "rise" in the wealth of the nation in the 1980s.
This is communicated by the Sun, lord of the current 2nd, rising over the horizon. Regardless of political inclinations, when the Sun changes sect like this (thereby becoming a diurnal chart), it indicates a change in the nation's energy that will last 40 years! (Pay attention to that number. 40 years is a human half-cycle and indicates the period of opposition (ages 40-47) for any entity "birthed" 40 years earlier.) A rising Sun is usually a time of greater energy, individualism, and a renewed sense of mission. As one of those magical unintentional linguistic mirrors of astrological symbolism, an iconic TV ad in Reagan's 1984 campaign featured a first line that announced: "It's morning again in America!" And indeed it was. For better or for worse, America was rebirthing a renewed financial mission (see the US mission in Part 1). Note that Jupiter is also rising, and as provider of foreign lands (4/9) and national obligations (1/6), it exalts the Cancer NTA, which we've already linked previously to the "protection" of middle eastern nations. So there are legal (Jupiter) obligations and promises (Sun) being made with these nations.
As a consequence, with the increasing demand in dollar-denominated oil, resource-poor nations in east Asia (such as Japan and China) were forced to increase exports to the US in order to collect dollars needed to purchase oil. This also created a demand for the US currency. As I have pointed out previously in individual charts (See the chart indicators of wealth), when the lord of the turned 2nd comes to the angle of the chart, this is one of the markers of increased wealth; in this case, from foreign places (Leo 9/2). But we have to remember that the 8th which is rising, IS the house of debt. So much of this newfound national "wealth" is artificial, in the sense that it is based upon a manipulated demand for dollars. To put it another way, it is as if a fictional "Eagle Bank" forced you to take out a loan to pay your rent because it owns all the apartments in town and requires all rents to be paid only in its own "eagle dollars". In order to avoid the interest rates of perpetual loans, you decide to work for the income from Eagle Bank in order to pay your rent. This is like China and Japan's trade surplus with the US. But then you have an accumulation of eagle dollars and nothing else to buy with them. So you do the logical thing and deposit those eagles back in that bank. Thus, Japan and China are the largest holders of US debt securities (China currently holds 1.33 Trillion in US reserves). Because of the risk of an overvalued dollar, these nations have an interest in using their current account surpluses to buy something more stable, such as US debt securities (the equivalent to depositing eagle money back in Eagle bank). For these nations, debt securities are a savings account. For the USA, they are a liability. Alas, we've not come very far from the gold-backed dollars of the 1950s. But as long as there is a global demand for petrodollars and the military dependency that secures it, then the existing system can function. But what happens if and when, the demand for oil or petrodollars diminishes?
The Rebalance to Asia (~2000-2006)
At the start of the new millennium, the US's Cancer planets had come to the top of the chart, indicating that the petrodollar financial order – which, let’s not forget, is a reiteration of the BW "dollar as the reserve currency" system -- had reached its culmination point.
Now, the Sun in Cancer will turn and begin its decline. At this time, the Sun is lord of Leo's 9/11 (another curious number at this time), and is now placed in 8/10. Thus, it represents a foreign ally who is making a pivotal decision about that financial order agreed to in the 1970s. This decision will "bring down" or force a decline in the path (1st house) of the United States with regard to its collaboration with a challenging ally in a group (11/1), because Sun is the fall lord of Libra. (When Gemini is involved in the 7th, we tend to get bilateral arrangements; when Libra is involved within the 11th, it often involves a nation within a multilateral arrangement.)
In January 1999, the Euro was introduced to the world's financial markets as an accounting currency. In response to long-lasting US sanctions, on November of 2001, one of the 5 founding members of OPEC, in the person of president Saddam Hussein, decided to switch to begin transacting oil for food in Euros rather than dollars, thereby violating the established petrodollar agreement. Interestingly, the July 14, 1958 chart for the Republic of Iraq, also has a Cancer Sun, Leo rising (indicating its path coincides with this Leo "9/11" foreign ally), and was running an Aquarius NTA from 1998-2005. Thus, the nation was in its 40s and facing its greatest opposition as a young Republic.
We know what happened to Iraq in the early 2000s, but what is less well-known is that this decision set in motion a domino-effect, where by 2009, China, Japan, Russia and other powerful Gulf nations were also threatening to stop buying oil in US dollars. We can see this in the fact that Scorpio had come to the 12/2. In other words: confinement had come to the nation's assets, requiring a need for its purging. To do this, Mars would act in the 7/9; that is, it would sever its former foreign bilateral agreements. Recall that it was under this Gemini sign as NTA, that Nixon and Carter negotiated these early arrangements. But Mars did not signify the US at this time. Rather, because it also rules Aries and was in the 5/7. it showed a young nation, who was currently an opponent. Thus, both the Sun and Mars, signify Iraq's actions during this period.
While these two planets indicate the decisive spark which pivoted our path in a different direction, Libra on the cusp of the NTA might better indicate the US's response to this "turn of events". When Libra is activated, it indicates that something is out of balance and needs rebalancing. There are several ways in which there is a need for the US to rebalance its economic and monetary situation. But let's look at one type of "rebalance" that was specifically worded as such, by our leaders.
In a piece in the journal of International Security, entitled "The Pivot before the Pivot: U.S. Strategy to Preserve the Power Balance in Asia" foreign policy scholar, Nina Sivone argues (emphasis mine)
"…that the United States pursued a strategy of reorientation toward Asia from the mid-2000s onward. The Obama administration’s pivot to Asia was both a belated labeling as well as an extension of that little recognized reorientation strategy. The aim of the reorientation was to dissuade China from making a bid for hegemony and thereby preserve the existing power balance in the region, in which the United States held the superior position."
Simone was referring to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's announcement in FP magazine, on October 11, 2011, of the Obama administration’s strategy toward the Asia.
"As the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were winding down, the United States would “ accelerate efforts” to “pivot” its focus toward Asia. In the United States, the pivot to Asia policy has been much derided for having never occurred. Indeed, the administration itself retreated from the use of the term “pivot” and replaced it with the term “rebalance” in an attempt to tamp down expectations of a major reordering of U.S. priorities."
While this policy was made public only in 2011, the administration's own USCC Report indicates that it was built atop initiatives begun under the Bush administration (see p.3). Thus, our commitment to "Rebalance to Asia" actually coincides with the beginnings of the break-down of dollar hegemony – and the Libra NTA—long before Obama formally announced it to the world. In fact, China was formally admitted into the WTO (a Bretton Woods institution) with the blessing of existing members on December 11th, 2001 (Curiosity: the number 11 occurs quite frequently in connection with this Asia rebalancing policy). The US's commitment would not only involve its collaboration with this new member, but would also involve that member's upliftment.
This commitment to China is indicated by Saturn's placement in Libra 11/1, since Saturn is the exaltation lord of Libra. In other words, while the decision shown by Iraq's embodiment of the Sun, brings down the collaboration with one ally, the commitment shown by the US's embodiment of Saturn would exalt our collaboration with another. And once again, we can confirm that the affiliated nation indicated via Libra is indeed China, because its Oct. 1, 1949 chart (the 8 AM time given in Nick Campion's, Book of World Horoscopes) possesses both a Libra Sun, AND a Libra Ascendant, indicating that both its path and its sovereignty are tied to this sign! It should be noted that Saturn in the US chart exactly conjuncts the PRC's Neptune at 14 Libra, indicating China's less than transparent acquiescence to the US's imposed WTO membership restrictions.
It is important to understand WHY Saturn exalts Libra (instead of just seeing this relationship in terms of some useless dignity score). Libra marks a time of the year when the Sun begins to lose its light (that is why the Sun has "its fall" in this sign). It therefore indicates a time of reduced choices and options, since light – in astrological symbolism – equals choice. A reduction of one's options is called for in all collaborations because the act of collaborating, by definition, requires that we allow for another's will to co-exist with our own. Saturn is a planet that thrives on necessity, restrictions, and the removal of options. Thus, Saturn will exalt or "make greater" the need for bilateral collaboration. Libra is also a sign signaling a time of judgment. Thus, China's entry into the WTO in 2001 involved quite a number of prerequisites and conditions imposed by its existing members – in particular the US – to change its economy and its business policies.
Turning now to Venus, since it is lord of Libra, and also amongst the angular planets at the top of the chart. Venus shows how and with whom, we are uniting in this collaborative effort. Its action indicates the acquisition of investments with foreign governments (Venus in the 8/10-9) that will fulfill this need for collaboration. We can see that these investments are directly related to the removal of the petrodollar, because Venus, Libra's provider, is also the detriment lord of Scorpio 12/2. Venus' action allows for this removal, as well as the removal of a young opponent (via Aries) with property resources (5th is 2nd from 4th). Thus, all four major planets with a dignity relationship to Libra (i.e. Venus, Mars, Saturn and the Sun) signify a culmination (Libra is 10 places from Capricorn) in the BW global financial story which involves an ongoing need for the US to divest financially from its dependence on the middle east and rebalance both economically and militarily to Asia.
Ditching the Dollar (~2006-2013)
When Scorpio became the NTA (2006 -2013) several events made it clear that the dollar was no longer sustainable as a reserve currency and that it needed to be relinquished. This IMF chart clearly indicates that the weakened demand for dollars by central banks around the world, coincides with an increase in demand for Euros. This last nail in the Bretton Woods coffin has been gradually underway since the early 2000s, yet it had not yet been made clear to the general public. But in the Scorpio period, two major developments would continue to underscore the growing loss of value of the dollar. The first, as mentioned earlier, was the increase in the number of bilateral arrangements between nations agreeing to transact for oil in alternate currencies or in gold. In fact, by June of 2010, this transition was so prevalent, that the United Nations itself issued a call for the world to abandon the U.S. dollar as the main global reserve currency, arguing that it has been unable to safeguard its value. The need to "scrap" or "purge" something that has outlived its usefulness is the primary meaning of Scorpio.
The other crucial event that signaled a large financial imbalance was the banking crisis of 2008, whose repercussions were painfully felt as huge financial losses for the middle class and a global recession. The toxic (Scorpio) derivatives blamed for the crisis were really just expressions of a global economy build atop many imbalances.
While Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century (2013), argued that income inequality was the source of the economic woes of the world, noted economist and China expert, Micheal Pettis argued in The Great Rebalancing (2013), that income inequality is really just a symptom of a larger problem of global excess savings. According to him, barring any real productive investment, too little global demand can only be mitigated by a rise in unemployment or in productive investment, that is, of investing in production, instead of speculation, which seems to be more prevalent in the overdeveloped west. When developed economies have too much money and few risk-free places to invest it, explains Pettis, they tend to turn toward speculation, innovation, or expansion into less developed economies. In fact, he explains that one economic theory posits imperialistic expansion as a by-product of excessive savings. This then brings us back to Sagittarius.
A New Environmental Direction (2013-2019)
A recognition of the need for financial wisdom was illustrated by Sagittarius on the nation's 1/2, which would become the nation's NTA around 2013. Sagittarius is depicted by an arrow, and in that symbol lies its meaning: the need for reorientation. From 2006-2013 it was a monetary reorientation that is now being born into the environment. Sagittarius is naturally linked to the 9th place, not because it is the same as the 9th, but because the places located in the 9th are areas in which one seeks direction: foreign lands; colleges; churches, etc. When placed on the 1st of new environments, it is not uncommon to see the entity searching for a new direction in distant lands. Aside from it being the NTA sign of the 2013-2019 period, Sagittarius is also the nation's rising sign, which means the nation had completed another full turning since it was born. Thus, the need for reorientation would create a whole new environmental reboot, with echoes to the last turning of Sagittarius on the 1st, which occurred in 1934. We know that between 1933 and 1939, FDR enacted several New Deal programs meant to uplift millions out of the economic aftermath of the Great Depression. As mentioned in an earlier post, environmental problems caused by dust storms that ravaged crops, played a large role in the creation of the Great Depression. Similarly, the environmental degradation and climate threats are being identified as motivators of sweeping economic reforms. In 2008 (while Sag was in the 1/2), the United Nations announced the need for "a Global Green New Deal", an idea that would be picked up by Obama in his campaign and later by several candidates in the Green Party. The Green New Deal is essentially a series of proposed sweeping economic reforms incentivizing the nation's move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Advocates claim that this transition – just like the 1933 New Deal – would create jobs and revive the economy, essentially producing the much-needed retooling of America that was witnessed during the US's entry into World War II. It is argued that this would create the much-needed productive investment advocated by many economists.
At this point, we need to study Sagittarius more closely because its historical associations may be relevant to its 1st house period (that is, when it returned to its natal place in 2013). As stated, Sagittarius is associated with a search for "wisdom". In antiquity, looking for "wisdom" really meant searching for knowledge. Some biblical archaeologists have argued that knowledge of metallurgy in particular, is what was referred to as "wisdom" in the ancient Near East and in wisdom literature from as far back as the Bronze age. In the story of Gilgamesh, when the hero comes to the tablet connected to Sagittarius, (coincidentally also after having passed through a dust-storm) he encounters a foreign land where he sees a garden of jewels and precious gemstones. It is in this land that he is told to search for Siduri (wisdom), the alewife. In previous talks on the astrology in Gilgamesh, I've explained that the hero's journey while in the 9th tablet takes him into the Arabah Valley, in what is today the border between southern Jordan and Israel. Archaeological and historical studies have found in this region, some of the earliest copper and turquoise mines, two resources that shaped the wealth of the region in those days. This probably explains why western astrology still associates the gemstone Turquoise with Sagittarius. There is evidence than to associate more broadly, a powerful astro-historical link between the sign of Sagittarius and the mining of precious earth metals and stones in general. While Scorpio was NTA and nations were relinquishing their dependence on the dollar, might the US have been searching for a financial reorientation (1/2) not only abroad, but within the earth for some other resources considered valuable today? This is supported because when Sagittarius becomes the NTA in 2013, we find Pisces – the other Jupiter sign – on the 4th house, indicating a need to transcend the limitations of our own homeland geography; and Leo on the 9th cusp, indicating a need to find our identity abroad. Since Jupiter and the Sun are both together in the 8th house of other nations' wealth, we can safely say that the US's environmental reboot (1st house return) once more will involve an expansion abroad to other lands. However, we can also see that to elevate the significance of that wealth via Jupiter, it will involve the downgrading of the nation's own resources, since Jupiter is fall lord of Capricorn on the 2nd. This dynamic of a lord uplifting the 8th and downgrading the 2nd typically occurs when an entity invests its own resources expecting future gains from that investment.
At this point in the story, we need to briefly bring in another relevant cycle. The planet Uranus has an 84 year cycle, similar to that of humans, and to "the turning cycle" we rely upon in this timing. It was discovered in 1781, (while passing through Gemini) around the time that scientists were first making inquiries into electromagnetism. And many significant innovations in electricity occurred when it first entered Aries. Thus, for astrologers, Uranus has since had a strong association with energy in general, and electricity in particular.
Between 2010 and 2013, Uranus was again in Aries, indicating a strong impulse toward innovation and a fresh start in energy. Note that this sign is the exaltation of the Sun, which should give us a clue as to which energy source we'd be "exalting". It is at this time that we see a reorientation toward renewable energy, ushered in by the much publicized 2010 BP oil Rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, and the 2011 earthquake which damaged a nuclear reactor at Fukushima, Japan. Shortly after these events, the EPA's clean air Act is announced, followed by Obama's Climate Action Plan. In February 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy launched the SunShot Initiative to reduce solar energy costs and make it competitive with other forms of energy. And in 2014, Ivanpah went online, becoming, the world's largest concentrated solar power generation plant. Throughout much of the 2010s technological improvements continued in photovoltaic cells used in the conversion of solar energy to electricity. And in 2019, according to The Economist the world record for solar cell efficiency at 47.1% was achieved by using multi-junction concentrator solar cells, developed at National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. This is above the standard rating of 37% for polycrystalline photovoltaic or thin-film solar cells achieved in 2018.
This brings the story back to minerals and rare earth metals. According to the US Geological Survey, several critical mineral commodities are vital to renewable energy infrastructure. They stated in a report: "The United States does not have any domestic production of them and relies completely on imports to supply its demand for 14 critical minerals." In 2017, Trump issued Executive Order 13817 , entitled, "A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals" and in 2018, he issued EO 13806: "Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States". An interactive agency came up with a strategy for fulfilling this last order, which involved, aside from several transparent proposals, a Classified Action Plan from the Department of Defense. We don't know what is in that action plan. But we can guess based on what we've seen so far in the chart that it involves geopolitical competition.
During this period, we find Mars and Uranus are again angular in the 7th and that Mars is the exaltation lord of the 2nd. (Note: when the chart returns to its natal rising sign, we do not have overlaid houses, but rather the order in which they appear natally. ) Thus, we can interpret, just as we did at the founding, that a rivalry with another nation has the potential to increase the nation's resources, if Mars is expressed into action. This occurs similarly between 1933-1940, when the world is setting itself up for global war. As in the past, Uranus together with Mars can indicate a nuclear rivalry or conflicts over energy resources. When we want to assess the propriety or impropriety of Mars's action, we need to consider sect. Mars – probably more than any other planet -- is particularly problematic when in a daytime turning, since according to Robert Schmidt, it signifies accusation or excision; that is, it either shows a tendency "to single out others for blame", or to excise itself in order to avoid doing so. But because Mars is in the 7th, the US will tend to engage in the singling out of other nations – and in the case of a double-bodied sign, there are usually two nations involved. We also find Neptune in the 10th, whose Mercury dispositor points toward a lack of transparency and coherence with regard to financial deals negotiated by our executive office at this time (under both Obama and Trump).
Since we are speaking about resources, we also see that Saturn once more rules the 2nd and is therefore important, since it will become angular in the Capricorn period. Recall that Saturn, as we saw during the Libra NTA period, indicated the nation's commitment toward rebalancing to Asia, both commercially and militarily. However, because Mars is angular now and detriment lord of Libra, we can deduce that its rivalry in the 7th is not only tied to those prior commitments, but in a manner that may deter or remove them. In other words, there had been a change of intent with regard to our relationship to these earlier commitments, particularly to China, which has a Libra path and mission. Concretely this manifested in the trade wars against China that ensued under Trump, but also with the harshest ever sanctions levied against Russia on the heels of the Russia/Ukraine crisis. It is clear that Russia is the other rival nation placed in the Gemini 7th house because Russia's June 12, 1990 (9:45 AM) chart has its Sun at the exact same degree as the US chart's Mars!
Why the intensification in geopolitical rivalries with China and Russia, just as there is a commitment to shift to a new type of energy? It has been known for decades that Central Asia is rich in rare earth elements (REEs). "In 2010, the HuffPost and others reported that Afghanistan in particular, may be "the Saudi Arabia of lithium". The World Bank (a BW institution) has identified 6 countries in Eurasia, which are rich in these minerals, urging them in 2014 to "make the most of their natural resources". In addition, China produces 97% of the world's supply and a Congressional Report in 2019 admitted that the trade dispute with China puts the US economy and military in a vulnerable position due to its dependency on Chinese REEs.
The Current Period (2019-2026)
As we return to Capricorn, where we first began this examination, we need to summarize what we've learned so far, so that we can put this 2nd house period into a larger context. Historically, the dollar has been either directly or indirectly backed by some commodity that is in high demand, either because of the latter's inherent value, such as gold, or due to its convertibility to energy, such as oil. This is because fiat money, in and of itself, has no intrinsic value; its value comes from a variety of factors, all of which contribute to GDP growth and confidence in the currency. Inevitably these GDP numbers are bolstered by investment, industrialization and/or access to sources of energy. But it really doesn't matter what, if anything, a nation produces, as long as there are large amounts of money flowing through it to get counted as a measurement of GDP, the primary measurement presumed to indicate the "robustness" of an economy. Knowing this history, and knowing that the energy cycle – as seen through Uranus' placement -- has already reset into a new turning (it entered Taurus in March of 2019 and currently sits at 10 degrees, where it is driven to create economic gain from energy), are we now also entering into a future global financial system underpinned by conflict and the positioning for valuable energy resources? The answer appears to be unequivocal.
Capricorn in the 2nd as current NTA, and Pluto in that sign, is experiencing the nation's first return, occurring in March of 2023. This definitely suggests that the old system is being painfully retired in order to create a new one. Since it was birthed during Capricorn's last turning, this of course pertains to the old BW system, which made the dollar the world's reserve currency. Interestingly, Pluto is the mythological deity of the underworld, whose name comes from the Greek ploutōn, which means wealth and riches. But it means more than this. Saturn, the manner in which we are fulfilling this need, currently in the 11/10, is angular at the top of the chart, indicating that the nation's new multilateral commitments will not only be pivotal, but have now reached their culmination point. Saturn is on the verge (as the Sun is setting during this period) of becoming out of sect, indicating that these commitments involve an improper containment or encircling of other nations. Interestingly, during the Great Depression years, Pluto was opposing its natal position, while now it has returned for the 1st time in the nation's history, to its natal placement.
Given all these astrological convergences, as well as the Moon's placement in Aquarius in the turned 2nd with its drive toward tech and inherent detrimental effect on Capricorn, it is likely we are literally "on the horizon" of the creation of the required infrastructure for a new global digital currency. We can see the legalization and expansion of a new financial system via the exalted Jupiter on the horizon, removing the old structure because it is detriment lord of Capricorn. The Federal Reserve Bank is very much tied to Jupiter in this chart, because it was born under a Sagittarius NTA in 1913. So we can imagine that the Fed may be embodied through Jupiter at this time. Certainly, like this Jupiter, the Fed has been following an extremely expansionary monetary policy since 2008, which has yet to abate.
But is there real world evidence that we are resetting the global financial system with a new global currency? In 2010, the IMF proposed a new global currency that would be adopted as a reserve currency and managed by a global central bank:
"A more ambitious reform option would be to build on the previous ideas and develop, over time, a global currency. Called, for example, Bancor in honor of Keynes, such a currency could be used as a medium of exchange—an “outside money” in contrast to the SDR which remains an “inside money”.
The same thing had already been proposed by a UN commission during the financial crisis in 2008-2009. With Pluto in late degrees of Capricorn, a good degree of force and power-brokering will be used to transform the system behind closed doors, much as it was after WWII. This will not be an overnight transition, nor will it be obvious, as Pluto is the slowest body in the solar system, and is named after a deity with the power of invisibility!
So let's address light, since it is now 40 years since it was "morning in America" and the Sun is about to set over the western horizon of the national chart. As in the 1940s, we have not only entered into a period of "diminished light", but it should be noted that during the next 5-7 years, until the Moon comes to the horizon, there are NO luminaries above the chart. These tend to coincide with periods of national inner unrest and uncertainty, particularly as the Sun, which is disposed by the Moon, is "dying" on the Descendant. Because the Sun is currently the provider of foreign resources (rules 9/8), it indicates the need for our opponents and partners to protect themselves in the face of these financial decisions, which will benefit the US's homeland and people (Aries 5/4). We recall that between 1935-38, dust storms, created by severe drought, literally cast the nation into darkness for days leading to all manner of displacement and economic hardship. The current version of this, since the pandemic was declared in March of 2020, has many confined to their homes for work and mandated safety concerns, literally reducing their amount of exposure to sunlight, and similarly causing displacements and economic hardships.
In the 80s, a rising sun signaled a shift toward greater individualism and energy. But when the Moon becomes lord of the sect, there is greater concern for the collective and for security matters. This was paralleled by the Cold War with the Soviets and the constant threat of nuclear inhalation. The Moon is in Aquarius, which is a technological sign that desires inclusion, and currently in the 3/2, indicating that the collection and gathering (Moon) of information has become a source of value, leading to greater inclusion, but also an erosion of privacy. The Moon, after all, does rule Cancer, whose concern for safety and security now finds itself in opposition to the rebirth of the nation's resources. On the other hand, the Moon here also depicts the means necessary for the people to receive a greater degree of information and to create greater unity and community through it, such as we are seeing with the widespread use of online communications and platforms during the pandemic. As stated (in Part 1), we had another parallel to this during and after WWII, with both the birth of illegal domestic and international surveillance programs, but also with the commercialization and widespread availability of televisions. Similarly, during the War of Independence -- the 1st time around the wheel – we saw the widespread use of newspapers fulfill the need for communication, community as well as a means for widespread propaganda in order to unite the colonies into states.
Another symbolic meaning of Capricorn seems to be important. The sign has been represented by the image of a "goat-fish" since its inception in Mesopotamia. However, it is its horns that make up the constellation in the sky, making the mountain goat the image linked to the sign throughout most of its history. For this reason, the traits of resiliency, persistence, and the ability to reach lofty heights –common to mountain goats – have been attributed to this sign. Capricorn is also the sign that appears in the 10th house of the natural chart, the highest place in the chart. For these two reasons, Capricorn is associated with literal mountains and high places in general, as well as metaphorical heights. This becomes pertinent when we consider the two places where there currently appears to be geopolitical positioning and competition for rare earth elements: The first is in the mountainous central Asian region dubbed the "Roof of the World", which includes the Pamir and Tian Shan ranges, extending across portions of Afghanistan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. And although the US has "withdrawn" from its 20 year war in Afghanistan, its geopolitical and economic interests in the region have not faded. The second place of competition is at the top of the globe itself: the Arctic. From The Arctic Institute Center for Circumpolar Security Studies we read:
"… the rise of China and its unprecedented claims in the Arctic, as well as its self-declared status of being the near-Arctic state; Russian militarization of the Arctic waters; increasing convergence between Russia and China; geopolitical tensions between Russia and the United States; and the global rivalry between the United States and China are all entangling the Arctic in a renewed great power competition."
Saturn, the coldest and highest in the chart right now, certainly speaks to multilateral interests at the "roof" and top of the world. Furthermore, it will indicate improper containments in the next period (2026-2033), as it becomes an out-of-sect NTA lord located in the 11/9. Thus, whatever happens now, will set in motion the improper containment of nations abroad toward the end of the decade.
The Other Triquetra Arms
Now that we know the full cycle of the current terrestrial arm from its inception, we can reconcile this information into the other two arms of the current triquetra. Recall that the Synodic arm has to do with the will of the entity and the choices he/she makes. In a national chart, it speaks toward the will of the people, whether that be of larger groups or of those in charge. This arm is currently in Gemini (in 7/6 - we use the terrestrial count in all the arms, since houses are always turned from the natal ASC) where we have Mars and Uranus. In this placement workers will tend toward a voluntary departure from their work, and those in charge may abandon their obligations toward rival nations. An example of the latter is the refusal of the current administration to renegotiate the Phase 1 Trade Agreement that Trump signed with China, which has expired as of the end of 2021. As an example of the former, in the 1940s, we saw young conscripted men voluntarily leaving their jobs to go off to war. Today we see a great number of workers leaving their jobs for reasons which have yet to be fully understood. It is important to mention that the inauguration chart for the Biden administration also has an exact Uranus/Mars conjunction (with Mars out of sect) sitting in Taurus on the Ascendant. Thus, the chart representing the executive office of the nation is resonating with the decision-making arm for this period in the direction for conflicts over money or resources.
Having said this, we must understand that astrological symbols are not fated events. They are communications about potential storms in the space-time fabric. If everything were mapped out in complete detail, what would be the point of living and having solar indicators of free will? However the tendency toward separation plays out, in general, the nation will make decisions involving the option to release previously negotiated financial obligations (Mercury in the 8/7 is dispositor of Mars) to others. We've seen this articulated in the past without resorting to nuclear or other wars. Let us hope sanity prevails…
Lastly, the Zodiacal arm falls in Taurus. For an individual, a Taurus Zodiacal arm occurs when we are very young (ages 7-14) and gathering the resources we will need to support us in our adulthood. Taurus activates the 6/5 (=workers turning to leisure), again indicating a period of unemployment for a great many. The reason for this lies with Venus in the same place as Mercury. Since the 8th, is a place of debt, idleness, and death, and Cancer often brings up the need for shelter or protection, we can surmise that some will leave work because they will pass away during this period, while others may be persuaded to leave because of government assistance, or by relying on the equity they have in their homes as a temporary financial safety net. Under this arm, the workers are being driven by a developmental need to adapt to new ways of earning a living. If they do not, they may not survive these changes. In Taurus, work with the land will become important again and we may see new investments in agricultural production, as we saw after the Dust Bowl of the late 1930s. Just as then, supply chain interruptions may occur and some resources may become difficult to attain. Interestingly, while Gemini, a sign of communication, is in the "decision-making arm, here, we have a mute sign in the developmental arm of the triad. This indicates a conflict between the external and the internal. That is, there is a degree of censorship or pressure to be silent being placed on individuals from external sources, while internally the soul is feeling the urge to liberate and break from that silence (Mars/Uranus in Gemini).
As earthly residents, the NTA sign always appears to be the most pressing, though it is not the most important for our soul or our spiritual development. With an exalted Saturn at the top of the chart, it will eventually become an industrious time in the nation, after we set ourselves to the long-term task of rebuilding our resource environment (2/1) and of our informational tools (3/2), particularly as they relate to one another –that is, in the housing of financial information. An act of improperly acquired resources will precede this rebuilding challenge (out-of-sect Venus in 8/7 disposits Saturn) and it will be the impetus to rebuild these business and organizational structures (Saturn 11/10). However, if we focus too much on these developments, we may miss the real Taurean lesson for our current phase: it is that we must go back to basics and understand that ultimately, everything we need comes from the earth we inhabit. It is the source of our health and our physical survival. The more we remove ourselves from our own industry and means of subsistence, the more we become dependent upon the industry and resources of others and subject to the whims of their intentions. This lesson is playing out right now on an individual, national, and global level. It will not be fully recognized by the nation until the next period (2026-2033) when Taurus comes to 6/4.
Some Procedural Take-Aways
1. The birth of any entity, can be traced from any inception point of any chart that participates in its birth. In this case, we can see the birth of Bretton Woods in the US chart because the nation participated in its creation. As such, its "path/life/journey" can be traced through the turning of the chart beginning in the sign of its creation onwards -- in the same way that the nation's path can be traced from its own Ascendant.
2. The above fact confirms that all astrological indicators are indeed, like words, context-dependent. When we are looking at a natal sign as a significator of something in that house, we can read it as a general topic within the context of the life of the US. But it can equally become a significator of something more specific born under that sign at a different time. This is why Saturn can be used as a general significator of a provider of the nation's money– but also become the specific significator for the architects of Bretton Woods, from the 1940s onwards. Similarly, since the Federal Reserve Bank was born under the nation's Sag. NTA, if we wanted to trace its specific trajectory, we would look to that cycle, rather than to Capricorn.
3. Whether or not a planet has an impact upon an NTA topic can be gleaned through its dignity relationship with that sign. Thus, a pivotal angular planet with a dignity or debility relationship to the NTA sign, will most definitely be related to that house topic and to the actions taken by that sign's domicile lord in an attempt to fulfill the need of its sign. For example, Capricorn in the 2nd may indicate the need to retire the old financial system and Saturn will attempt to do this through its action in the 11th. But the actions of Mars (exaltation), Moon (detriment and triplicity), and Jupiter (fall) also have a bearing on the fulfillment of that need, in their own specific ways according to dignity type. The degree of their impact will vary depending upon whether they are placed at an angle.