THE INTERPENETRATING CYCLES
OF URANUS, NEPTUNE AND PLUTO
The fact that the periods of revolution around the Sun of the three trans-Saturnian planets are related in the simplest arithmetical way is highly significant. The Neptune period is twice — and the Pluto period three times — that of Uranus. Uranus therefore represents the basic unit in the already mentioned three-pronged challenge to the Saturn-Jupiter and the Mars-Venus-Mercury combinations. What Uranus begins, Neptune complements and extends, and Pluto finalizes the process. In most systems of symbolization, a thrice-repeated operation (or experience) is said to have reached a condition of irrevocability. It is so at least at the archetypal level; but when a material system opposes a strong inertial resistance to change this three-beat rhythm may have to be repeated for a long time before its purpose is concretely achieved.(1)
1. If one might interject here a note of whimsy, the process can be seen as similar to an old fashioned waltz. After rapidly whirling around a sufficient number of times, the dizzy man and woman completely fall into each others arms and accomplish what they were intended to do from the beginning of the cosmic dance.
From the galactic point of view presented in this book, the basic fact is that we are dealing with one vast process of transformation; and one should be able to time its development by studying the interrelations linking the cycles of the three planets. There are years during which the three planets are in conjunction, or at least near-conjunction, although the exact years during which such a triple conjunction occurs are still uncertain, because the pattern of Pluto's revolutions is not precisely determined, and trans-Plutonian influences are likely at work over long periods. It seems fairly certain, however, that during the springs of 576 and 575 B.C., Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto were very close to conjunction in mid-Taurus. In 1082 B.C. they were apparently all three in Aries — but a number of degrees apart. A triple conjunction or near-conjunction may have occurred in 4517 B.C. and could be expected to recur around A.D. 2800. It is to be hoped that a truly reliable picture of the threefold cyclic interractions of these planets will soon be available, but this requires the accurate programming of computers, and the formulas which have been used seem to vary slightly. If definitive data were obtainable, we could gain a more objective overview of the development of mankind, especially during the brief period of five thousand years with which most of the study of history deals today.
It may be well to mention here that what is called "history," especially in the quasi-mystical sense which some philosophers last century gave to the word, refers only to the present-day consciousness of Western man as he seeks to bring into some sort of ordered, and to him significant, sequence the racial memory embodied in its particular culture. History deals with the collective subjectivity of a culture, or even of a special community or religious group. It embodies not merely so-called facts and records, but their interpretation. In ancient cultures, history had an essentially archetypal character, as it dealt primarily with transphysical and transfactual processes, for instance, the great yugas and mahayugas of Indian philosophers-seers. Today in our materialistically oriented Euro-American culture, history has mainly become a scholarly search for and "critical" interpretation of physical records of so-called facts. But what exactly is a "fact"? Is it not only what most people agree to accept as such, very often in the ignorance of unseen or unacknowledged forces or operators which are the real actors?
Astronomical cycles should help us to understand not only the vast tidal rhythms of man's evolution underneath all the different waves accompanying the forming, culminating, and disintegrating local cultures, but the place which our present period occupies in the planetary tide of the development of human consciousness. The start of the particular phase of human development which today seems to have reached a crucial turning point can be traced to the triple conjunction of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto during the sixth century B.C.(2) This was the century during which Gautama, the Buddha, Pythagoras, Zoroaster (the last of a series of prophets by the same name — according to the esoteric doctrines of the Parsis), Lao-Tze, and other great personages lived and taught. It marked the concrete beginnings of our Western civilization, even if one might speak of earlier roots related to the theism of the Bhagavat Gita, and to Chaldean, Egyptian, and Mosaic prenatal influences.
2. In The Secret Doctrine (Theosophical Publishing House) H. P. Blavatsky mentions, without explanation, the year 607 B.C. as being "the end of the Archaic Ages."
The Neptune-Pluto Cycle
In the course of some twenty-five centuries, there have been several conjunctions of Neptune and Pluto: during the spring of 82 B.C. (with Uranus then entering Aries, and with Jupiter and Saturn being conjunct in 84 B.C. in square to Neptune and Pluto); in A.D. 410; in 903; in 1397 — apparently the first conjunction in Gemini; and in 1891-92. This means that five such Neptune-Pluto cycles have occurred between 576 B.C. and A.D. 1891, and that we are now in the sixth. According to their esoteric character, these numbers are quite revealing.
The period 576 to 82 B.C. has the Number 1 characteristic of a new beginning. It was unfortunately a beginning fatefully haunted and distorted by the ghosts of the past, yet at the same time reacting intellectually against this past and unable to realize how the new creative impulse was related to the spiritual harvest out of which it had emerged. This was the tragedy of the Athenian culture, still based on slavery while dreaming of democracy and trying to integrate the experiences of the Eleusinian and Orphic Mysteries with the new skepticism of Socrates and the intellectualism of the Sophists.
The second period witnessed the development and power of the Roman Empire, which left ineradicable marks upon European civilization. What had been the Greek ideal (No.1) took the form of the Roman citizen (No.2). The concept of "legal person" (collective as well as individual) found its spiritual correlate in Jesus' ideal of every man being a "Son of God" and thus endowed with an immanent spark of divinity — the God-seed within.
The third period saw the triumph of Christianity and the decay of imperial Rome (Alaric destroyed Rome in A.D. 410 about the time of the Neptune-Pluto conjunction). When phases 1 and 2 contain too much of unredeemable darkness, Number 3 turns destructive and produces the chaos from which the roots of a new attempt can draw sustenance; but this new attempt has to operate through a heavy cloud distorting the original sources of the culture. Islam, a response to the relative spiritual failure of Christianity, conquered most of the southern countries once dominated by the Roman Empire. The Papacy acquired political power, and this led to a second area of conflict during the Number 4 period, from A.D. 903 to 1397. This was the period of the Crusades, and of the great Medieval European Order dominated by a powerful Church fighting against ambitious Holy Emperors as well as against Near Eastern ideas introduced by the Arabs.
The fifth period began with the Humanist Movement, the Renaissance, and the colonization of the Americas. It saw the triumph of rationalism, empiricism, mechanism, and materialism. No.5 is the symbol of mind, but when the mind develops on the foundation of a formalistic, personalistic, and rigid approach to spirituality it is compelled to become equally dogmatic in its attempts to deal with whatever the still powerful religious heritage had downgraded and left uncultivated. It therefore becomes the empirical and rationalistic mind, so intent on dealing solely with the material world that it becomes moulded by the rhythms of matter.
The sixth period began in 1891-92 with the discovery of X-rays, radioactivity, the quantum, and Einstein's famous formula reducing matter to energy, and making of light the soul of space. As the twentieth century opened, an opposition of Uranus (and all other planets) to the conjunction of Neptune and Pluto symbolically announced an era of ideological conflicts as well as of brutal and global wars — the "Civil War of Man." We are now at the start of the last quarter of the century and the relationship of Neptune to Pluto is about to assume a very special character.
Because of the very elongated shape of Pluto's orbit, during a few years in each revolution of the planet around the Sun it comes closer to the Sun — and as well to the Earth — than Neptune ever does. As this occurs we can say, at least symbolically, that Pluto penetrates Neptune's orbit. I have interpreted this penetration as a kind of interplanetary process of "fecundation." This occurs about every 248 years and (according to the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.) it will take place between 1978 and 2000. Pluto will be at the point in its orbit closest to the Sun (perihelion) in 1989, presumably at Scorpio 13°.
These periods of fecundation of Neptune's orbit by Pluto have proved very significant in European history. They marked rather crucial, long-term events in the mid-eighteenth century, at the time of the "discovery" of America by Columbus and the Renaissance (1481-1503), during the great period of the Gothic cathedrals and the struggle between popes and emperors; at the critical time of the year 1000 which Europe expected to be the end of the world; during the apex of Arabic culture in the eighth century and the reign of Charlemagne which established the root-pattern of the European cycle; around the time of Clovis' conversion to Christianity, which marked the acceptance of the new religion by the main leader of the Germanic tribes; in the late third century; and presumably during Christ's ministry and the early growth of the churches under Paul.
Since Pluto, at the time it nears its perihelion in Scorpio, moves a little faster than Neptune, the aspect made by the two planets before their orbital interpenetration tends to be many times repeated. One can say that it lasts — "within orb" — as long as about ninety years. When Neptune entered Libra in October, 1942 (first sustained atomic reaction in Chicago, December 1942), Pluto was at Leo 7° — thus the two planets formed a broad sextile aspect (60°). If we give an 8-degree orb (maximum distance) to that aspect, it will last continuously until about the year 2038 when Pluto will reach the 17th degree of Aquarius and Neptune the 24th degree or Aries — thus, during a ninety-six-year period. During that time, there will be several years which will witness repeated exact sextiles of the two planets.
If, in order to simplify the picture, we consider the heliocentric positions of the planets, the first exact sextile occurred around January 1952 (from Leo to Libra 20°) and was repeated until January 1955; then Neptune forged a little ahead until 1979, when other exact sextiles will occur. After 1984, Pluto entering Scorpio begins to move definitely faster than Neptune entering Capricorn. The two planets will be about 68 degrees apart in 1997; but Pluto then begins to slow down a little and Neptune gradually moves ahead. In about 2065 Pluto in late Pisces should square Neptune in late Gemini. This is approximately the time which I have given for the start of the precessional Age of Aquarius — A.D. 2062.(3)
3. Cf. Astrological Timing: The Transition to the New Age, Chaps. 7-9.
The beginning of the "long sextile" between Neptune and Pluto during which we are now living, occurred some fifty years after the last conjunction of the two planets in 1891-92. It occurred also after the conjunction of 1397-98 and lasted from about 1450 to 1540. This was the period of the Renaissance, the Elizabethean Age, and in 1517 Luther's Reformation. The two planets had formed a semisquare aspect during the Hundred Years' War and the burning of Joan of Arc. They reached their "waxing" square around 1571-73 (wars of religion), their trine (120° aspect) at the close of the sixteenth century (the revocation of Nantes Edict which brought a small degree of religious tolerance). The opposition occurred in 1645 — the Cromwellian era and the start of the classical period in France during the reign of Louis XIV. Neptune was at Sagittarius 5°, Pluto at Gemini 5°.
During the new Pluto period of some 248 years duration which followed — thus, until the Neptune-Pluto conjunction of 1891-92 — a long aspect occurred when Pluto came near its perigee around 1740-41. As Neptune was then in Cancer, the long aspect was a trine. It lasted from about 1698 to 1798 — ending at the time of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. Such a "long trine" occurred also during the last Crusades which had begun before an opposition of Neptune and Pluto. This was a great turning point in European history, as it brought the nobility of Western Europe in contact with Near-Eastern traditions and particularly with the Sufi influence. A "long trine" follows the opposition of Neptune and Pluto, while a "long sextile" (60° aspect) occurs some fifty or more years after their conjunction. However, as the conjunctions of the two planets move ahead in the zodiac, cycle after cycle, but Pluto's perigee presumably remains almost stationary, the character of the "long aspect" will change. The long sextile will be replaced by a long septile (51½°) and long semisquare (45°). The nature of the long aspect is determined by the length of the period separating the conjunction from the time Pluto begins to move almost as fast as Neptune and, a few years later, reaches its perigee. It seems that of late each conjunction has occurred about 5 degrees ahead of the preceding one; but this probably is not a constant value.
The Uranus-Pluto Cycle
Conjunctions of Uranus and Pluto have been said to take place every 127 years; but a thrice-repeated conjunction occurred in 1850 and late April 1851 on the last degrees of Aries — with Mercury, then Saturn in May 1851, and Mars and Venus a few days later, joining the pair — and the last conjunction (also thrice-repeated) took place on October 9, 1965 (18th degree of Virgo), and on April 4th, and June 30th, 1966 (17th degree). The interval between the two sets of conjunctions was therefore 115 years. Saturn played an important role in these conjunctions; it was conjunct to Uranus and Pluto in 1851 and opposed to it in 1965-66. Jupiter squared this opposition in May 1965 and remained squaring it, but less precisely, in March 1966. Mars was also involved, being in Virgo in 1965 and in Pisces in 1966.
In my recent book The Astrology of America's Destiny I stressed (pp. 119-127) the importance of the 1965-66 period, for this also was the time of the last "progressed New Moon" calculated from the U.S. birth chart for July 4, 1776. Progressed New Moon occurs at about thirty-year intervals; thus for the U.S. in 1787, 1816, 1846, 1876, 1905, 1935, and 1965. They produced a rhythmic pattern of growth in the collective person, which the United States, its people, and its land, constitute. As the progressed Lunation Cycle (from a progressed New Moon to the next) lasts thirty years, and as the last tenth of every cycle constitutes always a period of transition (or "seed period") leading to the next cycle, the three years from 1962 to 1965 have had a particular importance. They were marked by our progressive involvement in the undeclared Vietnam War, the confrontation with the Russians in Cuba, and the election and assassination of President Kennedy. During these years LSD became more widely known and used, especially by young people. The college youth's rebellion against the way in which universities were run began at the University of California in Berkeley during December 1964. It soon spread throughout the world. The revolt against the draft followed. The year 1965 witnessed also the Civil Rights Movement and the Watts riots in Los Angeles.
Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated in 1968 under rather suspicious circumstances somehow linking the murders — at least in many people's minds — to the assassination of President Kennedy.
The 1850-51 period was probably not as crucial for our country as 1965-66. In 1851 Cuba was declared independent; and Napoleon III's coup d'etat started the ill-fated Second Empire in France which had drastic repercussions in Mexico, and eventually led to the formation of the German empire. The process of industrialization became more strongly set than ever, and it resulted in the spread of colonialism. The first submarine telegraphic cable was laid between England and France in 1851, an appropriate symbol of electric communication soon to link all continents. In our country in 1850, the Henry Clay Compromise made history, and California became the thirty-first state of a Union soon to be radically challenged by the Civil War.
The opposition between Uranus and Pluto was of great historical importance when it occurred in 1901 and 1902. These years marked the close of the long reign of Queen Victoria, the end of the South African War, the foundation of the Commonwealth of Australia, the beginning of acute conflicts between colonial powers and of Germany's colonial ambitions in Africa — one of the two or three main causes of World War I. In the Far East, the Boxer rebellion in China and the invasion of Manchuria by Russia led to the Russo-Japanese War, the rise of Japan, and indirectly to World War II in the Pacific. In America, the assassination of President McKinley on September 6, 1901, preceded by about three months the opposition of Uranus to Pluto; but as Uranus was crossing the U.S. natal Ascendant (the 14th degree of Sagittarius), the aggressive new President soon brought to a focus the international ambitions of our nation in a variety of Uranian actions.
Thus what had begun around the time of the Uranus-Pluto conjunction was becoming fulfilled at the time of the opposition. Industrial power and the ambition of modern nations backed by military force were becoming decisive factors in an international pattern of conflicts which could only lead to the two world wars and eventually to the events of the last sixties. These may actually represent the beginning of a "revolution" in consciousness which may come to full maturity at the time of the next opposition between the two planets. Around 2048, Pluto will be in early Pisces and Uranus in early Virgo. Two years later Uranus will have returned to its zodiacal position at Virgo 17°-18°, the degrees that saw the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of 1965-66.
During Teddy Roosevelt's inauguration, Uranus was crossing the Ascendant of the U.S. birth chart; and in 1976 the Presidential elections (just after the Bicentennial celebration) will take place with Neptune crossing that Ascendant. Pluto will reach the same point as the twenty-first century opens. At that time seven planets will be gathered in the zodiacal sign Taurus, repeating a similar congregation also of seven planets in that sign which occurred in 1881 and 1882. However, in May 2000 the three planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto will not be in the Taurus area, as Uranus and Neptune will square the planetary stellium from Aquarius. They may be challenging (after a period of chaos and scarcity) a new preoccupation with the acquisition of material resources. The years surrounding the Taurus emphasis of 1881 were marked by an intense effort to colonize Africa in a search for raw materials and new markets.
The Uranus-Neptune Cycle
This cycle lasts about 172 years. We are now in the last phase of the one which began on March 22, 1821 with a conjunction at Capricorn 2°59'; and which will end in 1993, with conjunctions at the 19th and 20th degrees of the same sign. This emphasis on Capricorn, Saturn's essential domain, should be significant as it presumably will not be repeated for many centuries. The year 1821 saw the death of Napoleon I in his St. Helena exile and monarchic reaction dominant in Europe, but not for long. The long opposition between Uranus and Neptune began in 1905 after Uranus entered Capricorn, thus reenergizing the place of the 1821 conjunction. The Russo-Japanese War had started leading to Russia's defeat and aborted revolution. The opposition was in force until Uranus left Capricorn early in 1912. During these seven years pressures were building which led to the Balkan War, Turkey's collapse, and eventually, in 1914, to the murder of the Austrian Archduke at Sarajevo, and World War I.
The "waxing" square of Uranus and Neptune began to operate just after Lincoln's assassination, when Uranus entered Cancer. This was the Reconstruction period, which marked a basic alteration of the character of our nation — an alteration which led to the economic imperialism which began to be displayed as Uranus opposed Neptune under Theodore Roosevelt. The "waning" square between the two planets began around 1950 when Uranus entered Cancer; it became exact in 1953 as Saturn joined Neptune in Libra and lasted until 1957. The Korean War began in 1950; hydrogen bombs were released; Stalin died; Eisenhower was President and Dulles his right hand. The Israel-Egypt War and the crushing of the Hungarian revolt occurred in 1956 — and the McCarthy era lasted until 1954.
During the 1965-66 period Neptune was in harmonious sextile to the above-mentioned Uranus-Pluto conjunction; this beneficent influence can be related to the youth movement and the LSD oriented idealism of the first hippy groups in San Francisco. With all its faults and confusion, that movement may still herald what should be developing sometime next century. On the other hand, the semisquare of Uranus and Neptune coincided with the Watergate affair and the renewed Arab-Israel conflict. Nixon was elected when Uranus at Libra 20° was 44 degrees behind Neptune at Sagittarius 4° — a tense semisquare aspect.
An important fact to consider, if one tries to assess and understand the entire Uranus-Neptune-Pluto process at the present time, is the manner in which each one of these three planets stirs certain important points in a particular chart — for instance, the Mid-Heaven of the U.S. chart at the 3rd degree of Libra. Neptune passed and repassed over that degree during World War II as the atom bomb project was unfolding its world-transforming potentiality. Uranus repeated the transit when Nixon was elected in 1968; and Pluto did the same during the fateful 1972 campaign. As already mentioned, the Ascendant of the U.S. chart will experience the threefold wave of transformative energy in the same order: Neptune crossing the 14th degree of Sagittarius in 1976, Uranus in 1984, Pluto in 2000 or 2001. First comes the Neptunian dissolution of obsolete socioeconomic and psychological-personal structures, and the devaluation of no longer adequate or relevant ideals; then a Uranian challenge to face reality in a new way follows — a challenge which often takes at first the form of a temporary exaggeration of old desires, fears, and values so that they may be shown pitilessly for what they are. Finally Pluto takes away the glamour surrounding the old images, and exposes the futility and ugliness of what one had so long believed valuable or holy. Seen in this light the coming of Neptune to the Ascendant of the U.S. chart at the time of the national Bicentennial takes on a deeper and somewhat ominous — even if in the end exalting meaning.(4)
4. As I am writing this, I notice that a few hours ago there has been a lunar eclipse squared by Jupiter, with the Sun very close to Neptune in Sagittarius (November 29, 1974).
If one wishes to understand as clearly as possible the manner in which the three-pronged process of transformation operates (or rather should operate) in a particular birth chart and in a whole life, he should study the positions of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto in zodiacal signs and Houses, and the aspects they make between themselves and in relation to Saturn, Jupiter, and the smaller planets. One can also obtain added information by considering the so-called "Arabian" Parts. These are produced by the interaction of the trans-Saturnian planets as they move along their orbital paths, and by referring these interactions to the four Angles of the birth chart — especially to the Ascendant, but also in the case of public figures, to the Mid-Heaven.
This technique of analysis is rather fascinating; but it should be handled with great care and not given undue importance, as it often refers only to psychological subtleties; yet at times it is most revealing. This is not the place to discuss the matter at great length, and the reader is referred to my book The Lunation Cycle for a study of the Parts most often used by astrologers. These Parts are generated by the combined motions of the Moon and the Sun — particularly the Part of Fortune — but any two planets moving at different speed, and therefore whose combined movements can be analyzed in terms of their "cycle of relationship," produce Parts when their constantly changing zodiacal positions are referred to the natal horizon and meridian.
If one takes the cycle of relationship produced by the Moon and the Sun, the Moon is the faster-moving celestial body. By adding the longitude of the Moon to that of the Ascendant, and subtracting from the sum the longitude of the Sun, one obtains the longitude of the Part of Fortune. At the conjunction of the Moon and the Sun this Part is quite obviously found conjunct the Ascendant; at Full Moon (opposition aspect) the Part is at the Descendant of the chart. If one considers the birth chart as an unchanging frame of reference, during a complete "lunation cycle" lasting thirty days, the Part of Fortune will move counterclockwise through the first, second, third, etc. Houses and return to the Ascendant at the next New Moon.
However, instead of adding the longitude of the faster body (the Moon) to the Ascendant and subtracting from the sum the longitude of the slower body (the Sun), one can reverse the procedure. What has been called the Part of Spirit (a rather inadequate and confusing term) is produced by adding the Ascendant's and the Sun's longitudes, and subtracting from the sum that of the Moon. This Part is also conjunct the Ascendant at New Moon, and the Descendant at Full Moon, but it moves clockwise passing successively through the twelfth, eleventh, tenth, etc. Houses. Its motion is therefore "retrograde." The Part of Fortune is "direct"; the Part of Spirit, "converse."
One can use exactly the same procedure with Uranus and Neptune, relating the cyclic motion of these two complementary planets to the Ascendant and the Mid-Heaven of a birth chart the other Angles being less important. What these Parts will reveal in a general way is how the process of transformation operates, or should best operate, in human beings born at any particular phase of the cycle of Uranus-Neptune relationship. Persons born just after 1821 had the Part close to their Ascendant if one studies this Part referred to that Angle. People born from 1903 to 1912 had these Parts in their sixth or seventh Houses because Uranus and Neptune were coming to or past their opposition. Any particular generation can thus be characterized according to this technique. In the generation born before the Uranus-Neptune opposition, and therefore having the direct Part in their sixth House, the tendency to exteriorize the transformative process through sixth House activities (work, service, health matters, retraining, etc.) should have been in evidence. In the people born after the opposition this same tendency should have been focused in the field of close relationship: partnership, social association, class, and color problems, etc. (the seventh House).
Yet while the direct Part "exteriorizes" the combined effect of Uranus and Neptune. the retrograde Part "interiorizes" this effect. What this means in most cases is that the position of the direct Part in a natal House points to the type of experience through which the process of transformation is most likely to, and should most effectively operate. In the U.S. chart — which refers to our entire nation as a "collective person" — this Part is in the eighth House (Leo 29°34') — the House of business (as business is the fruition of human association and contracts) and also that of sharing in depth collective experiences (thus rituals, baseball games, the rituals of business, group-feelings). In 1776 this Part was close to the great star Regulus, which is associated with political power and in general with the keynote of the Piscean Age. Now that Regulus (by precessional motion) is at Leo 29°27' it has come even closer to an exact conjunction.
On the other hand, the retrograde Uranus-Neptune Part usually points to the direction in which one longs for being and one can best become, identified in consciousness (i.e., internally) with a larger whole and involved in it — for better or for worse. In the U.S. chart this Part at Pisces 26°46' falls in the third House — a House dealing with the environment and all manners of communication processes, which in turn involve skill and cunning or cleverness in building and making use of such processes. In the chart of ex-President Nixon, born in 1913 after the opposition of Uranus to Neptune, his direct Uranus-Neptune Part is in the House of partnership and conflict-solving (the lawyer's skill); while his retrograde Uranus-Neptune Part fell in the House of work, service, health, and personal crises or retraining. In my own birth chart the direct Part, at Taurus 20° is in exact opposition to my real natal Uranus, thus stressing a Uranian character and destiny, further emphasized by the fact that my natal horizon is nearly identical with Uranus' nodal axis (heliocentric nodes). The converse Part, at Cancer 7°, falls in the seventh House, thus giving a transformative importance to new ideals of interpersonal relationship.
In some cases at least, the Sabian Symbols of the zodiacal degrees on which these Parts occur prove very significant. In my chart, the direct Part's degree is symbolized by "Wisps of winglike clouds streaming across the sky — The awareness of spiritual forces at work. . . . the blessing of supernatural forces"; and the symbol for the converse Part by "Two nature spirits dancing under the Moonlight — The play of invisible forces in all manifestations of life. . . . Creative imagination."
In Nixon's chart, the symbol for the direct Part (the 23rd degree of Pisces) is:
"A materializing medium giving a seance — The person who believes he or she has a mission or mandate. . . . must substantiate his belief. He has to produce results. . . . It always demands to some extent the gift of some power or value which is deeply one's own. . . . The medium's psychic substance provides the materials visible in the phenomena if the latter are genuine. After the seance, the medium is usually exhausted. The performer gives of his very life to the performance. . . . The display of psychic power. . . . can be interpreted positively or negatively according to the motives that induced the 'medium' to give the seance." (An Astrological Mandala, p. 283.)
This might substantiate the belief that one of the aspects of Nixon's destiny, or karma, was to reveal glaringly what could be wrong in the recent trend to exalt and glorify the executive function in our government.
The symbol for Nixon's converse Part (the 7th degree of Pisces in the sixth House) is: "Illumined by a shaft of light, a large cross lies on rocks surrounded by sea mist." This symbol can be given the positive interpretation of "the spiritual blessing which strengthens individuals who, happen what may, stand uncompromisingly for their own truth." But it can also refer to the inner loneliness of a man who carries as a cross an inner ideal he is not able to actualize, just because of inner complexes and a crude will for "self-assertion." (An Astrological Mandala, p. 272.)(5)
5. It should be clear that such symbols can only be used when the moment of the first breath (thus the exact degree of the Ascendant) is known.
In other cases the midpoint between Uranus and Neptune can also be of great significance — and also those between Uranus and Pluto, and Neptune and Pluto. The value of midpoints has recently been highly emphasized, but in many instances perhaps too much so. They are said to be "sensitive points" at which the radiations from two planets are interrelated in a focalized manner; and if another planet is found at such points, natally or by transit, a further combination and emphasis is said to occur. As two midpoints (in opposition to each other) can be calculated for each two planets — or even for the Angles — a large number of these points exist. In Nixon's chart the midpoints between Uranus and Neptune are located at the 29th degrees of Aries and Libra; thus, in square to the two planets, because they are in near opposition. They fall in the eighth and second Houses, involving money and business — important matters for a young man with the ineradicable ambition to play a dominant role in the greater whole his nation (and even mankind) represents for him.
If one could find a way of at least symbolically synthesizing the activities of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto and focalizing the result upon one constantly moving point, he would have a perhaps very valuable clue to the way the whole threefold process of world transformation is unfolding its potentiality. Several possibilities suggest themselves, but I would not vouch for the validity of any of them. The simplest and most obvious would be to add the longitudes of the three planets and to divide the sum by three. When the three planets are in exact conjunction — granted that this ever happens — the point resulting from this operation (which I shall call the Point of Transformation) would fall on the degree of that triple conjunction. As the planets separate, each moving at its own rhythm, the zodiacal longitude of this Point constantly changes, advancing gradually, but falling back when one of the three planets pass from longitude 360 to longitude 1.
Logically, when planets like Jupiter and Saturn are found conjunct this Point of Transformation, some more or less definite results should be experienced — or at least a clue should be made available as to the meaning of what is happening. The position of this Point in a birth chart is often quite important as an indication of the overall character and effectiveness of the process of transformation in that individual's life. In both cases, the symbol of the degree of the Point of Transformation quite often proves significant. I shall give a few examples.
On the day of the assassination of the Austrian Archduke, June 28, 1914, which precipitated World War I, Pluto was at 0°47' Cancer, Neptune at 27°07' Cancer, and Uranus at 10°55' Aquarius. Adding these three longitudes and dividing the sum by three gives 173° or Virgo 23° — a degree symbolized by A Lion Tamer. The symbol seems significant even if what happened was that the lion ate the man supposed to tame it! Particularly interesting is the fact that in the U.S. birth chart Neptune in the ninth House (diplomacy, travel, foreign involvement) is located on that same degree. The Point of Transformation on that day of June was squaring Saturn at Gemini 23½° which is very close to the U.S. Mars degree in the House of War and Alliances (the seventh House).
When the armistice ended the war (November 11, 1918, 5:00 A.M. at Senlis, France), the Point of Transformation had reached the 4th degree of Libra (Symbol: "Around a campfire a group of young people sit in spiritual communion: The necessity to unite with kindred spirits as one enters unbeaten paths. . . . The urge to create a new society and respond to new values. . . . for the reception of creative inspiration.") The League of Nations' ideal fits well the Libra position; and quite significantly this Point had passed over the U.S. chart's Mid-Heaven during America's participation in the war, a participation inspired by our President, Woodrow Wilson, in the name of a great ideal of peace and world-unity; alas, only an ideal scorned by the political and economic realities of the day. The President signed the Declaration of War on April 6, 1917 as the Point reached the last degree of Virgo symbolized as follows: "Totally intent upon completing an immediate task, a man is deaf to any allurement — Total concentration."
In late October 1929, at the time of the big stock-market crash which ushered in the Depression for our country, the Point of Transformation was at Cancer 4½°, Uranus having recently entered Aries, moving through the fourth House of the U.S. chart. Saturn was about to enter Capricorn, opposing the Point of Transformation and squaring Uranus throughout the winter of 1930. Significantly, Cancer 4½° is very close to the exact midpoint of the Venus-Jupiter conjunction in the U.S. chart, located in the seventh House. That House deals with all forms of social associations, contracts, and partnerships; and the sign Cancer represents the home and its security. Hundreds of thousands of homes had to be abandoned because of the owners' inability to pay the mortgages. The symbol for the 5th degree of Cancer significantly fits the general situation which caused the Depression: "At a railroad crossing an automobile is wrecked by a train — The tragic results which are likely to occur when the individual will pits itself carelessly against the power of the collective will of society. . . . karmic readjustment." The Depression was indeed the collective karma of a Western civilization which had apparently learned nothing from the tragedy of the first world war.
When Hitler invaded Poland in September 1939, the Point of Transformation was on the 6th degree of Leo — the sign of dictatorial power — and getting close to the U.S. Moon's North Node. The symbol of that degree pictures a blatantly modern girl challenging a conservative old lady; and World War II with its advanced technology and atom bomb represented indeed the challenge of a future society to the old European system and the neo-tribalism of the Nazi ideology. Saturn was then entering Taurus and squared the Point of Transformation as Germany invaded France.
Pearl Harbor occurred on December 7, 1941, around 8:00 A.M. as Pluto had reached Leo 5°35', Neptune Virgo 29°42' (the longitude of the Point of Transformation when U.S. entered World War II), and Uranus Taurus 27°38'. The Point of Transformation was then at the 11th degree of Leo in the eighth House of the U.S. chart. Its symbol seems less adequate as it refers to young children's dependence upon a great tradition for their play-activity, but actually the war had already started, and the Pearl Harbor tragedy unified all Americans around their common national source of power — and perhaps war remains the "play" of men who mentally are still children.
An interesting phase of the three-sided Uranus-Neptune-Pluto interrelationship developed during most of the second world war, because Uranus and Neptune formed a constantly shifting trine aspect, with Pluto moving near their midpoint in the early degrees of Leo. This configuration began in the spring of 1940 when Hitler invaded France and nearly defeated England, as Neptune late in Virgo was moving back and forth over the place it occupied on July 4, 1776, in the ninth House (foreign affairs) of the U.S. birth chart. Uranus was then passing through the third decanate (20 to 30 degrees) of Taurus. On the day of the Pearl Harbor attack, Uranus and Neptune were still respectively in Virgo and Taurus. A year later, when the first controlled atomic reaction occurred in Chicago under the physicist Fermi's direction, Neptune had moved to Libra 2° and Uranus to Gemini 2°; thus forming an exact trine, while Pluto at Leo was near their midpoint and in broad sextile to both. As a result, the Point of Transformation was at Leo 4° nearly conjunct Pluto.
One might infer from this eminently harmonious configuration linking the three trans-Saturnian planets, that they cooperated closely in the process of transformation, however drastic its results were at the human level. The energy or influence generated by their "perfect chord" could be said to have been released symmetrically through the zodiacal region opposite the Point of Transformation, thus around Aquarius 4°. The interesting fact was that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had his natal Venus at Aquarius 6° and his Sun at Aquarius 11°08'. He had Pluto at Taurus 27°22' (which Uranus was transiting as he strove to prepare a rather reluctant America for what he realized was an impending war) and Uranus and his Ascendant at about Virgo 18°(a degree transited by Neptune during 1937-38 when Hitler was moving forward in Austria). He was thus, astrologically speaking, the "man of the hour." The same Uranus-Neptune-Pluto configuration was still effective when the United Nations organization came to be an official reality after Russia's ratification. At the time (October 24, 1945) the Moon was conjunct Uranus, and Venus on the same degree as Neptune. Jupiter was just ahead in Libra and about to transit the U.S. natal Saturn. The point opposite Pluto was F. D. Roosevelt's Sun — a "coincidence" indeed!
When President Nixon was elected in November 1968, Uranus was crossing the U.S. Mid-Heaven, and the Point of Transformation was located at Libra 18°. It had been passing over the U.S. Saturn in the tenth House (the Executive) during the Presidential campaign! The symbol for the 18th degree of Libra is rather startling, in view of what ocurred after Watergate: "Two men Placed under arrest." This shows the result of a "breakdown in the relationship between the individual and society" and "the fact that two men are pictured under arrest suggests a polarization and a purpose transcending a merely personal fit of recklessness" and Nixon was elected for two terms! The keyword for the degree is given as "facing the consequences." (Cf. An Astrological Mandala, pp. 183 and 184.)
If we look at Nixon's birth chart we find that the Point of Transformation is located at Virgo 19°, in his first House and some 6 degrees from his Ascendant on the 14th degree. The symbol for Virgo 19° is befitting: "A swimming race: The stimulation that comes from a group effort toward a spiritual goal. . . . the personal ego-centered ambitions to succeed and to be 'first' is indeed a sign of expectable spiritual failure."
The Point of Transformation at the time of President Ford's inauguration was located at the 4th degree of Scorpio symbolized by "A youth carrying a lighted candle in a devotional ritual: The educative power of ceremonies which impress the great images of a culture upon its gathered participants." Perhaps also a befitting symbol for our new President upon whose shoulders a responsibility was placed which he was barely prepared to assume.
Whatever the validity of such a technique may prove to be when adequately tested, it shows at least the possibility of synthesizing in one point the threefold operation of the process of transformation and of evoking its focused significance at specific times and in the chart of an individual person who is particularly affected by the process. Astrology is a field rich in possibilities for inventing myriad techniques to deal with the immense complexity of human situations and needs. Each astrologer — like each psychologist — naturally gravitates toward the kind of procedures which are in tune with his basic temperament. The character of the types of psychology developed by Freud, Adler, Jung, and Assagioli, is clearly shown in the birth chart of each of these men. A man's creations are projections of what he archetypally is. Truth is susceptible of infinite variations, for it has to meet the particular needs of all particular phases of mankind's long evolution, of all particular persons, and all particular situations. Spirit is universal in its transcendent essence, but it reaches a focal manifestation only in particular situations. The divine is immanent in the personal. It operates in whatever is able to transform the person on his or her way toward an open-ended and ever more inclusive consciousness of the scope, power, and meaning of existence.
The Sun is Also a Star