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Neptune (left) is all over America's chart (shown above 11/2/10) and it's got everything all fouled-up

...Outer Planet Leads America Astray

By John Townley, October 2010

The final passing of the gridlock cardinal T-cross/grand cross of Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto and associates has been welcome worldwide, but America doesn’t seem to be benefitting from the new freedom from celestial afflictions. Perhaps that is because it is undergoing a multiple set of its own astro-genetic problems, spearheaded by a triple dose of Neptune that has induced something of a delusional, drug-like paralysis that is preventing progress and encouraging all sorts of destructive behavior.

A quick look at the U.S. chart progressed to this fall shows three heavy Neptune influences:

One by transit: Neptune is conjunct the national Moon. On the good side, this might mean the people (Moon) are aspiring to greater dreams and ideals (Neptune), but equally they are just confused and drifting in an unreal state.

Two by progression: progressed Moon is conjunct progressed (and months earlier, natal) Neptune, and progressed Sun is in Pisces, ruled by Neptune. The former has a closely similar meaning to the Neptune transit, and the latter puts the national character (Sun) unduly under the influence of ruler Neptune. The effect of the progression of the national Sun through signs since 1776 has been a wonderful clocklike display of evolving phases, including this latest, which are worth a look here. Certainly it will mean some sort of more spiritual uplift and attunement by the time the Sun works its way toward the end of Pisces over the next couple of decades, but it’s still only at degree 5 and thus definitely in the lower regions of Neptune manifestation at the moment.

Further, Mars is square Neptune natally and now-retrograde progressed Mars is about to be transited by Saturn. Throughout the nation’s history, the progressed U.S. Mars has been direct, but in 2006 it turned retro (for an 80-year period), withdrawing its formerly expansionist energy and marking the high-water point of outgoing American influence in the world. Whereas America has always been somewhat unclear about how it should extend itself (it gets into wars too late, or too early, picks the wrong ones or misses the right ones), now the energy to do it at all is on the wane, further enervated by Neptunian confusion and misdirection. The effects of this, along with the effects of progressed Moon chasing transiting Saturn throughout the coming teens decade and the transits of Pluto all spell difficulties for the country and are well-covered separately here.

But back to Neptune: by itself, it is providing much of the difficulties that afflict the country right now, and if you live there, it’s afflicting you, so it’s worth a further look, with some historical antecedents. The themes involve alternating idealism, illusion, and above all uncertainty, all Neptunian in nature. Let’s look at some.

Misty mountains of Mexico had America in military thrall in 1846-47 as Neptune saturated its chart...

First, the progressed Moon to natal and progressed Neptune. This has occurred eight times before:

1791-92 – The Bill of Rights. Chalk one up for the idealistic manifestation.

1819 – The Panic of 1819, first major economic crisis for America, economic uncertainty.  Bank of the United States founded. Acquisition of Florida (part of a Spanish theme)

1846-47 – Mexican War – Manifest Destiny at its most manifest, more Spanish, first national news-driven war. More Spanish. Also coincides with the only other transit of Neptune (along with Saturn) to the national Moon.

 1873-74 – the panic of 1873, economic uncertainty, the beginning of the end of Reconstruction, as black serfdom replaces slavery, illusion

1901 – Mckinley assassinated, Theodore Roosevelt new president, uncertainty along with new ideals arrive, Spanish-American War finally ends in Philippines. Can't leave the Hispanics alone...

1928 – totally delusional height of boom-time before stock market crash and onset of Great Depression

1956 – height of Cold War, Hydrogen bomb at Bikini, illusionary ‘50s culture, WWWIII uncertainty

1983 – beginning of return to a market-driven, unregulated economy, reversal of government social involvement, the illusion/delusion that led to the Great Recession.

2010 – The Great Recession continues, an upstart Tea Party, political and religious extremism, and rising xenophobia, drug wars along the Mexican border, where else?...

There is a consistent theme in all of these, that of uncertainty, discontent with the status quo, and a variety of either idealistic or fear-driven attempted solutions to social and economic woes. And there is a second, Spanish theme in four of them – it would seem when in travail we too often seek the solution in conflict with our southern neighbors.

The years 1846 and 2010 represent peak Neptune (indeed, the former was the year Neptune was discovered, albeit by a German observatory), as transiting Neptune was also conjunct America’s natal Moon. In the earlier case, progressed Mars was speeding along in Leo and the answer to uncertainty was to take a huge territorial bite out of Spain. Now, with progressed Mars already retro for four years and nearly fourscore more to go, rattling sabers at drug lords across the border and threatening illegal immigrants is hopefully the most the nation is up to in that sphere.

[A further, long-term note on progressed retro Mars: It is rare to find a national chart that’s been around long enough to have the infrequent retrogradation of Mars in its progressions, so it’s difficult to interpret it with confidence. In addition, not that many nations old enough for it actually have an agreed-upon founding day. The most classical example, however, is Rome (founded 753 BC), whose Mars retro period marked the transition from the Republic to the Empire. Whether anything similar could happen to America is questionable, as by the time Mars is direct (2086, three years after China’s progressed Mars goes retro, seven years before India’s goes retro), the whole world government structure may be considerably different.]

Spanish-American War Neptune had America fighting Moros all the way across the globe in the Philippines...

So what are the current symptoms of America being “Neptuned-out”? Aside from the intense economic uncertainty all around, there are other aspects of Neptune that are curious, indeed. The Mexican War period was marked by the first instant media-driven (newspapers using telegraph reports) image of what the country was doing, which deeply affected what happened, often inflaming both pro and anti-war opinion, but largely based on factual reporting. Now the media is even more instant, but at least one network (Fox) is wholly-owned by one political party (or is it the other way ‘round?)  and creating for its considerable viewership a largely fabricated world populated by planted rumor, distortions, and often intentional falsehoods in the guise of factual news. And to confuse matters more, the Internet is populated with information sources that are often dubious as well, so there is a large disconnect between the view of much of the populus and the actual facts in many important matters. Very Neptunian, indeed. Further, religion (more Neptune) is ever more part of the mix, blurring the lines between mainstream beliefs and extremist, terrorist or totalitarian manifestations. And bringing up the rear, drugs are making a comeback as California tries to legalize marijuana, which is effectively legal already in medical guise.

Finally, if you like the birth time of the Sibly chart (shown at top), America’s progressed Ascendant is just about to change sign, from Leo to Virgo, conjunct the fixed star Regulus (sign of the Catholic Church, among other things) and the progressed MC/IC is right in the middle of the degree areas trampled on lately by the transiting T-cross. Clearly change is afoot, but it’s very uncertain just what it is and how it will turn out, and that always is disturbing. The fear of the unknown but vaguely imagined (Neptune) is always greater than of the most terrifying, clearly-delineated reality (Uranus). It’s what you don’t know that’s probably going to hurt you, or so it seems – though draconian cures for uncertain afflictions often turn out to bring on even worse, especially with double-edged Chiron transiting the national Moon right beside Neptune.

So, this Halloween should be an especially scary one, as two days later (after an election day featuring transiting Moon conjunct progressed national Moon and Neptune) at least some of those monsters and hobgoblins will actually be holding elected office. Or maybe not, who knows…in a Neptuned-out country, right about now, there’s just no telling …

P.S. All this is very traditionally arrived-at, using Neptune as one would with a human natal chart. But nations aren’t human – they live a lot longer than we do and may get as many Jupiter returns as we do solar returns. Nations are as different from us as we are from dogs and cats, which never even see a Saturn return. So does Jupiter really mean the same thing to America as it does to an individual living within America? Do nations, living and dying at a different time scale, age and mature at a different rate than ordinary humans? And do planetary cycles that mean one thing to us mean something similar or entirely different to them, or to beings that live much shorter lives than ourselves? We’ve touched on that briefly in Adolescent America (where you will find that the nation has yet to make it to its majority), but more needs to be done. Suggestions appreciated…  


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