About       Susan       John     Astro*News     Astro*Reports       Contact Us       Order      Music   Articles

Evolving, conflicting traits in the home of Barnum make up the...

American Circus

America's center ring is grand and spectacular, but the other two are very different, sometimes difficult, side shows...

By John Townley, February 2013

When America gets tied in knots over gun control, much of the world is in a quandary to understand the hows and whys of what should be such an obvious, virtually black-and-white issue.  That any otherwise seemingly-civilized nation could or should be awash in deadly personal armament this late in history is a mystery. Usually, that situation only arises in modern nations during civil war or in countries that are backwards, lawless, and primitive, “Third World” at best. Yet, here is the wealthiest nation in the world armed to the teeth, and paying the price of ubiquitous weaponry in the death of countless innocents and criminals alike.

There are lots of historical and cultural threads that attempt to explain it, but astrologically, a single glance at America’s chart lets us cut to the chase: It’s all about an afflicted Mars. And an afflicted Sun. And even an afflicted Venus-Jupiter. All initially hidden from view by an enormous Jupiter-ruled façade.  In brief, it’s a giant and well-intentioned country with a usually-unadmitted problem of self-worth, empowerment, and self-control  – a hemispheric-sized inferiority complex and insecurity that’s in the bones of the nation’s birth and imbued in its citizenry – which is pretending it’s anything but. And, this affects behavior across the board from the level of global power, diplomacy, and war to the interaction of individuals on the street.

The Center Ring: Jupiter, Venus, Moon

It’s a three-ringed circus, and here they are:

In the center ring, what you notice first: Cancer Ascendant-ruler Jupiter conjunct Venus square the Midheaven, along with Cancer Sun quincunx Ascendant. Everything, especially appetite and wealth (Venus) is supersized (Jupiter), and the appearance (Ascendant) and very core (Sun) of it all is big-time ambition and competition. Even the Moon and Mercury are in wide quincunx, to add to the tension. The quincunx is the ultimate aspect of ambition, being halfway between the opposition (conflict and competition) and the trine (fortunate gain). U.S. presidents have something like five times the average expected level of quincunxes.  If you’re not type A in this mix, you’re in trouble. On the surface, this looks like great bounty as reward for aggressive  competition (plus a Cancer tendency to keep what you’ve got), pure capitalism, albeit not without a concern for generosity (ruling Jupiter) and fairness (Moon in Aquarius).

Once past the chart's (l.) Jupiterian grandeur, the insecurities of Saturn-square father issues often cripple and repress.

And, that’s pretty much how America paints itself, as an overweeningly exceptionalist example of fairness, competition, and generosity, where morality and meritocracy rule. In fact, with that Venus-Jupiter square the Midheaven, it has a reputation for painting itself that way loudly, repeatedly, and sometimes overbearingly -- or forgets to do it enough just when it should, typical of the over/underreach of the square aspect. But that’s just the center ring, where the biggest and most immediately desirable show is underway.

Ring Two: Sun square Saturn

In ring two, however, the already quincunx-stressed Sun is tightly square Saturn, which secretly sucks away its joy, ever-reminding it that it is not worthy of the game or the reward, preaching the black, debilitating Puritan self-hatred which is both grasping and denying at the same time. It encourages the much-touted “work ethic” but substitutes the ability to truly enjoy the rewards of your labors with the compulsion to hoard without pleasure, acquisition without return. It is the essence of inner insecurity, so no matter how successful you are, you never feel that way. Children with this aspect often have parental issues of self-worth, particularly inner hate/worship of the father (Saturn), whom they revolt against but can never be as good as. Kind of like what America has historically felt toward Europe, where it originally came from. Now it's grown up big and tall (well, late adolescent), but still small inside (and loathe to admit it).

Mars afflicted by Neptune sometimes makes the extension of personal power a bad dream, or a driven delusion.

In fact, America has long been bigger than any bully on any block, but there's always a nagging feeling that someone's about to kick sand in its face, which encourages a native xenophobia that might seem odd coming from what is, essentially, a nation of migrant strangers come together to promote tolerance and freedom. But that's not only the result of the persistent Sun-Saturn square, it's also the product of an afflicted Mars, which makes action difficult and response to Mars-related issues sometimes ineffectual or even delusional.

Ring Three: Mars Square Neptune

So that's what’s in ring three: Mars exactly square Neptune. Now on a good day (in good aspect) Neptune is the planet of dreams, fantasy, and imagination. But afflicted, it is more like a nightmare of impotence, a bevy of circling fears and illusions always ready to tear down the energy, strength and timing of forceful and sometimes warlike Mars. It marks a national fearfulness of getting involved in issues that require strong effort and commitment, so America has a history of getting into its wars too late (WWI and WWII), or too hastily under false pretenses (Spanish-American War, Vietnam, Iraq II). It finds a well-placed ounce of prevention (or, alternately, forethought) impossible, so always opts for the expensive pound of cure. 

Being a nation with an admittedly oversized level of desire (Venus-Jupiter) and a Puritan bent (Sun-Saturn), it thus has a huge problem dealing with appetite and the senses -- from food, to drink, to drugs, to sex. Action (Mars) taken in these regards is often ineffectual (a nation of fatties that can't even tolerate a ban on supersized soft drinks), or draconian, as with Prohibition, the War on Drugs, and the lately-abandoned centuries-long attempt to suppress pornography, sexual fantasy, and most forms of consensual sex.  And testosterone-fueled Mars being critical to sexual confidence and delivery, the nation is afflicted by real or imagined sexual ills more than most, a country with big cravings and obsessed with sexual desire that can’t get it up, or fears it can’t – and is afraid it won’t deliver the goods even if it can. That makes for a sad (and often humorous) sex comedy of errors, but too-often turns tragic as the constant need for a sexual and social equalizer (the gun) is the germ of a killing plague that no other modern nation can conceive. America at its worst clings to both its guns and fundamentalist religion not from strength and faith (which it also has), but from fear (Neptune) and weakness (Saturn) that afflict its very core operators.

Is the world out to get America? Yes, sometimes...but the nation's defense mechanisms are often faulty.

If all those fears and delusions were just illusory, it might be more addressable. But just often enough, they turn out to be real. That Mars is in the seventh house, which is enemies as well as friends, and the Mars/Uranus midpoint (sudden, surprise attack) is dangerously close to the seventh house cusp. America’s paranoia about surprise attacks has repeatedly turned out to be not without foundation…not just Pearl Harbor and 9/11, but a history of presidential assassinations that rivals any unstable Third World country. Just often enough to be troublesome, its afflicted-Mars paranoia turns out to be justified.

And partly that’s because a natal chart doesn’t just demonstrate its qualities in a stand-alone fashion. It attracts them, and so America magnetizes those that would mimic both its good and bad qualities. For every brilliant entrepreneur that migrates to its shores, a paranoid madman also finds refuge – or both develop from within, homegrown. While considering Mars/Uranus and Mars square Neptune, try to remember the last drama you read about an Indian or Chinese serial sex-killer (or French, or Danish, or Polish, or…). There aren’t any – it’s an American genre, in fact and fiction. The world-conquering Wild West delusions of grandeur co-exist with the twisted, self-hating and murderous creations of desires and fantasies gone dreadfully wrong. It’s all of a piece, this three-ring circus, the good and the bad, the spectacular center ring and its less-savory side shows.

Right now, the nation is evolving out of an intense period of passing Neptune afflictions, aggravated by a recently Saturn-dominated sky. Further, its progressed Mars only just turned retrograde, so the inclination to shoot first and ask questions later (like Iraq) is beginning to fade a little, along with the terrible fearfulness that goes along with it. And, as transiting Jupiter begins a period of general sky domination, perhaps the greatness of the center ring can begin to work its magic and alter some of the pain and perversity of the patterns in the other two rings.

A melting pot of peculiar characters, when America gets its act together, it's a really big show, and entertaining, indeed.

If there’s a lesson to learn here, it’s that there are choices to be made, and America can and has made them in the past, albeit often too late to prevent terrible damage. One must remember that a horoscope is not character cast in stone, but only a map of initial conditions which, if untended, becomes a web of repeating habits both good and bad. Many of the more obvious evils (like slavery) that were originally embraced have been overcome, simply by resolving to undertake a new set of habits and resist old ones. 

Most of the rest of the civilized world is, for instance, in the habit of leaving gunplay to the government and the criminals, the result of which is generally fewer violent crimes. America is long in the habit of just having guns around, out of a set of real and imagined fears, but that habit can be changed, like slavery before it. But like most forms of real inner empowerment, it doesn’t come quickly, or easily. America's three debilitating squares by nature take a long time and a lot of bad moves and diminishing returns to work out and resolve successfully. And, it’s only by taking a close look at the sideshows as well as the over-attended center ring that such progress can be accomplished.


Not a newsletter subscriber already?    Subscribe Free Here!

Let us know what you think! Write us:  townley@astrococktail.com

And every day, keep in touch with our Astrology In The News section...please take a look! -- Breaking news from around the globe, plus articles, reviews, it's all happening there, changes daily...

  Copyright © John Townley 2013. All rights reserved.
About Us Reports | Readings | John | Susan | Books | ArticlesNewsLinks | Music | Contact | Site Map