The Astrology of Americas Destiny by Dane Rudhyar. Vintage Books, New York, 1974. Out of print; often available used.
by Maya del Mar
Dane Rudhyar was one of the most esteemed astrologers, and my all-time favorite. He wrote many books, all of which are classics, and together form the backbone of the basic astrology which we in the West now use. Cycles were his specialty, and cycles are the basic stuff of astrology. Dane revived much of the ancient knowledge of cycles, and re-formulated those concepts in modern terms. He was a renaissance person, and his grasp of philosophy and history was very broad. Whenever I return to his work, my mind and my vision are expanded, and I feel like most of us are comparative infants in our narrow little grasp of life and history.
Dane was a transplanted American. He was born in Paris in 1895, on the super-creative Neptune-Pluto conjunction. He had that unique perspective on the U.S. which only is possible for the foreign born or raised. He loved this nation, and had high hopes for its destiny, as have many others. He begins this book with two quotes:
We have it in our power
to begin the world over again.
O America! Because you build for mankind
I build for you.
This book is full of history and dates, correlated with transits and progressions, and with the meaningful evolution of the U.S. Dane also sets the nation in larger historical cycles, including precession, a 26,000-year cycle formed by the earths poles revolving around the zodiac. We are now completing the Piscean Age, and moving into the Aquarian Age, from the Age of Faith to the Age of Technology. This transition itself last a few hundred years, and is, by its nature, chaotic.
That cycle into which Rudhyar was born, the Neptune-Pluto cycle, is 500 years in length. It is a basic cycle of consciousness which defines the times. The twentieth century, then, was only the first fifth of that cycle, the seed-planting period. Rudhyar reminds us that not until first quarter does the new manifestation of a cycle break through. The Pluto-Neptune square, which defines the thrust of that first quarter, occurs in 2063-64, with Neptune in Gemini, and Pluto in Pisces.
In the meantime, the character of this cycle is struggling to emerge from the shell of tradition, of the old. And the old forms, now outmoded, will fight to the death for their survival. This means that the twentieth century, and the first part of the twenty-first century, are battlegrounds for old and new.
In the final chapter, Rudhyar talks about the last quarter of the twentieth century (yet to come, as he writes). He says,
"It has been Europes destiny to provide the intellectual foundation for the emergence of new powers and new social ideals. It seems to be Americas destiny to be the main field within which the two basic possibilities of use and management of these powers have to fight for supremacy.
"Today these two possibilities are taking the form of technocracy and counter-cultureif we understand these terms in their deepest and often not-obvious significance. It is high time for us all to realize that the fundamental issue in the present crisis reaches deeper than the political field.
"What is called for is a third possibility, one that would transform the concept of individualism and would be based on a new philosophy of life, a new sense of the relationship of humans to the planet, and a deeper realization of what is implied in the ideal of service."
This is exactly what is happening in much of the world, including in the U.S. However, the U.S., stronghold of individualism, is the last bastion trying to fight the tide of change. When individualism implies the degree of corporate greed and corruption which is apparent in the U.S., it is obvious that it has gone too far.
Rudhyar helps us see the history of the United States with greater perspective. This is a small book, but every page is rich with thought-provoking material. It brings hope to the heart to put todays events into a larger historical context.