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When when gullible onlookers fall for poisonous potions at entertaining, old-time cure-all medicine shows, little good comes of it.

America's historical patterns of inner

shed light on current chaos...

By John Townley, February 2017

The major astrological tool to measure inner development and growth is secondary progression, a day-equals-year snapshot of the native’s first days/months in existence. Although it represents an evolving, dynamic pattern over the years, most astrologers just look at a single set of positions for a given moment in the life and compare it with the natal chart and current transits, overlooking the lifelong arc of development both past and future. That’s kind of like looking at only one frame in a CAT-scan or PET-scan instead of the whole series – useful at focusing on a local malady, but ignoring its critical context, which is essential in determining true diagnosis and treatment.

If that’s a failing in ordinary natal astrology, it’s even more so when looking at the American national chart. Many have noted, for instance, that progressed Mars has recently gone retrograde, limiting the national reach and its effectiveness. Similarly we have noted that right now, its progressed Sun is tied up with transiting Neptune (one of several types of transit-to-progression chases), confusing everything. And further, the nation has previously  had repeated bouts of Neptune afflictions. But how did it get that way, and where is the nation going with it? That requires a look backward at how America started and the progression rhythms it has gone through to get here.

America's progressed chart shapes have evolved from birth (l) through late 19th century (c) until today (r).

America began life with a natal chart where Pluto, South Node, and the Moon occupy one side of the chart (like a bunched bucket handle), and everything else the rest. Recently it has progressed into a splash chart. In between it evolved into a Pluto bucket and back to Moon-Pluto bucket/see-saw several times, then into alternating Uranus-led locomotive and splash, a brief Jupiter-Uranus see-saw, and finally into the long-term splash we have now. You can see this really graphically by activating the progressed time animations herewith, where the pattern appears similar even when excluding the outer planets (as a Colonial astrologer would have seen it), and even without the swifter minute-hand tick-tock of the Moon. Use your play/pause controls on the video (links directly below) to stop the movement and inspect which historical years featured which pattern – it’s a many-faceted tale unto itself:

Animated Progressions 1776-2100 including outer planets

Animated Progressions 1776-2100 without outer planets

All kinds of implications may be found in the rhythms here, but some trends – and periods of history – particularly stand out. To begin with, the natal chart (even without Pluto) is a Moon/South Node bucket, where the sense of fate and received destiny/duty (both Node and Pluto) drives the chart. But the Moon regularly (every 27+ years) circles the chart, emphasizing or de-emphasizing that impulse, while highlighting other national traits and inclinations. That’s the main picture until the inner planets begin to move out of their natal cluster and eventually (by the 1880s) begin to favor a locomotive pattern (led by Uranus) or bowl (led by Jupiter, if you exclude the outer planets). Clearly the nation is leaving its inner world and branching out to make its mark as international innovator, developer, and world resource. But throughout, the moving Moon brings on a brief splash chart every time there is a large influx of immigration (notably of the Irish, Chinese, and middle Europeans) and subsequent local backlash against the new cultural influx. With true lunar gastric symbology, it’s kind of like the storied "melting pot" gets full and has to digest the latest input, then comes back again for more. And when indigestion reigns, folks get irritable, hostile, and lose their cool over practically anything, especially each other. As long as it lasts, this national dyspepsia is a crippling diaster which can destroy lives, reputations, and threaten democracy itself.

Too much change, without time/room to digest it, has again resulted in a case of windy, acid indigestion, without an easy fix.

From the post-WWII era onward, however, the progressed chart becomes and remains a splash, regardless of the lunar fine-tuning. The passing Moon fills in holes in the splash, but basically the nature of the totality is highly-diverse, regardless of momentary (and perhaps highly local) gluts or glitches in absorption. The nation is for now and at least into the later twenty-first century fundamentally a polycultural pastiche, though by century’s end it apparently will have unified this mix into a single, unique blend of its own, characterized by the return to a primarily bucket chart again.

The prognosis: America is stuck with an irritably-full, upset stomach, can’t just burp it out and return to normal, and must instead adjust to a more thought-out way of accepting and digesting its varietous diet. Extreme nostrums won’t help, as the condition is not currently reversible, and such things will only cause worse indigestion – which they are now doing, as progressed Moon moves from opposing Uranus, goes over the Ascendant, and opposes Mars by year’s end.

Unfortunately, progressed Sun being chased by transiting Neptune lends confusion about real cures (even real truth itself) and the tendency to buy doubtful or dangerous concoctions loudly-touted by patent-medicine salesmen is high, with a result potentially even more sickening to the nation and its populus. The toxic youth tonic imagined to “make America great again” (i.e., bring back its younger, supposedly better days before this latest meal arrived) is probably a dead-end approach. 

Outrageous cures were claimed as instant fixes for all that ailed you -- is American taking the same kind of bait even now?

But, like those who bought its nineteenth-century medical equivalents – such as snake oil, cocaine/heroin tinctures, paregoric, and calomel – it may take worsening, cure-induced illness to wake up the patient, and the nation is already unwittingly being force-fed enough patent medicine to point in that direction. What to do?

The real prescription:

Internally, avoid extreme diets, like total fasting, emetics, or purges. That means don’t further damage already-ill political systems, judiciously repair them – you’re sick enough already. 

With recently-retro Mars, and barely-stationary Mercury, America risks being pegged as a witless, bogged-down paper tiger.

Externally, don’t overreach – Mars is indeed retrograde, and will be until 2086, and the energy and stamina required to sustain attempts to dominate the world militarily and economically will be easily tapped out and counterproductive, if not crippling.  And worse, you can’t fight when you’ve got indigestion. Fierce, unsustainable posturing now will encourage the nation to be judged as a paper tiger struggling in a tar pit – and a mark for leaner, hungrier opportunistic predators at home and abroad.

Now is the time to integrate what’s going on inside, not regurgitate it, to smooth things out and regain unity and strength, not turn to the equivalents of bleeding, trepanning, lobotomy, or electroshock. Progressed Mercury, retrograde ever since 1994’s innovatively-divisive “contract with America”,  has marked political chaos since then, but now has just gone direct (last summer) bringing the opportunity for internal regrouping instead of further disassembly. But it's not moving fast enough to simply swerve and floor the accelerator. Going into unthought-out hyper-overdrive fueled by ill-conceived and intemperate self-medication simply invites disaster, however heady it may seem at the outset.

But, as we have observed earlier, America is neither alone with its problems nor gifted with the time and space to adjust slowly to the effects of internal evolution. Because of the pattern of overall transits, the whole world is headed into a repeat of a vortex of change that will suck everyone in, and not everyone will survive intact – or at all – to tell the tale. One hopes that America will learn to tend more gently and carefully to its own needs, born of its progressions, in order to be healthy enough to ride out what is to come. In the short term, and considering real events on the ground, that doesn’t yet look likely, but by the 2020-21 countdown target, it is still a last-minute possibility.

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