Maya del Mar's Daykeeper Journal: Astrology, Consciousness and Transformation

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J U L Y   2 0 0 3   F E A T U R E   A R T I C L E

Saturn and the U.S. Birthday

by Maya del Mar

This is birthday month for the U.S., GW Bush, and Donald Rumsfeld, all of whom have Sun in Cancer. New cycles begin on birthdays, and let us take a brief look at what this new annual cycle promises for the nation for the coming year.

Birth data which I’m using:

United States, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m.,
Philadelphia, PA (view natal chart or solar return)

George W. Bush, July 6, 1946, 7:26 a.m.,
New Haven, CN (view natal chart or solar return)

Donald Rumsfeld, July 9, 1932, 5:40 p.m.,
Chicago, IL (view natal chart or solar return)

Let us begin with Saturn, for the ringed planet, who does indeed place rings—or boundaries—around us, is the major influence for the nation. Always—because it’s natally in the tenth house of our goals in the world, and because it squares the U.S. Sun. And this year, because it stations on the U.S. Sun and squares itself.

Saturn has just moved into Cancer, bringing a 25-month Saturnine period for all Cancerian energy. Saturn is a testing period. It is the reality principle, and it inexorably applies the laws of Earth, the planet on which we live. (Science is Saturnian.) Earth is a work planet. We are here to work. Saturn guides us to do our work well and effectively, so that it has meaning on this earth. It is often called the Great Teacher.

Wherever Saturn is transiting, we develop a greater self-authority and competence. It brings discipline, responsibility, and problems to overcome. Sometimes these problems feel overwhelming, and we become depressed. Other times, when we have prepared well, and can accept reality gracefully, Saturn brings us rewards of increased stature and respect in the world, and within ourselves. This is what getting old and wise is about. Saturn is the bringer of wisdom.

Saturn is also associated with completion, and with death. When the assignment is finished, it is time to move on.

The U.S. has four of the ten major planets in Cancer, Rumsfeld has four, and Bush has two. This means lots of lessons for the U.S. during the next two years. Bush’s Cancer planets, Sun and Saturn, are in his twelfth house of hidden things, and this means that his trials may 1) sneak up on him, from "out of the blue," and 2) we may not see them. They will operate behind the scenes, which is Bush’s modus operandi anyway.

Bush’s Saturn is in late Cancer, conjoined the U.S. Mercury. Saturn is a father figure, and the boss, Mercury is communication, and it makes it easy for the U.S. to see him as Big Daddy, and to find security in his pronouncements.

Bush’s Saturn in Cancer means that he will soon have his 29 and one-half year Saturn return. The Saturn returns, which occur around ages 29-30, 59, and 88, define the major cycles of our lives. Our work, our earthly assignment, changes at those times. Bush’s Saturn return occurs from October 2004-June 2005. He will now be preparing for that change—although with his twelfth house Saturn his preparation may not be apparent.

The twelfth house is also where we speak with spirit, and this shows where Bush believes that God speaks to him, and gives him the mission to rule the world. One of Saturn’s archetypes is the Big Boss.

The Bush and the U.S. Suns conjoin, both at 14 Cancer. Bush and the nation identify with one another. And very soon Saturn in the sky enters this picture, and comes on strong. Saturn turns retrograde on October 25. It turns right on the U.S. and Bush Suns, giving the nation a very Saturnian jolt. Planets move slowly around turning times, and Saturn is, in fact, in orb of the U.S.-Bush Suns during all of October and November, putting the pressure on. And Saturn can really feel like pressure, twelfth house or not.

Saturn returns to that place in June 2004, to renew the pressure, and then moves on. Rumsfeld, in fact, has Saturn conjunct his Sun as he begins his new annual cycle at his birthday in July 2004. This means that he has Saturn-Sun for his entire solar year of 2004-2005.

This will be a trying time for the nation, but also a time to correct course. The last time Saturn was in Cancer, from 1973-1975, we had the Watergate scandal and the resignation of President Nixon, the final realization that the Vietnam War was a lost cause, and giving it up, and exposure of CIA covert activities and FBI illegal domestic spying.

Cancer is a sign of the people, and Saturn there encourages the people to speak up. During the last Saturn through Cancer, the Democrats won heavily in the U.S., and Labor parties won all over the world.

Bush has Saturn widely conjunct his Sun. The U.S. has Saturn in Libra closely square its Sun. This means that both Bush and the U.S. have Saturnine natures. They feel insecure, they don’t trust others, and they prefer to go it alone. This is another point of identification.

Saturn squares are always areas of stress. They mean hard work and extra tests. In the case of Saturn square Sun, as with the U.S., that work is to establish identity. This is an insecure, ambitious, and defensive aspect. It is difficult to work with others, and working alone is much more comfortable. Grant Lewi says that it is a somewhat Machiavellian position. Sound familiar? Bush has Libra Moon conjunct the U.S. Saturn, and with obvious feeling, he has been able to play this role to the max. And have it recognized by the U.S. people.

Grant Lewi further says, "This position can lead to the top of the heap. The danger is always that pride, and an inability to flex with circumstances will cause your downfall. You stick with the ship till it sinks, less from principle than from pride, and go down with flying colors, arrogant and defiant to the end."

This is the United States, remember. And it explains some of the unwillingness of the powers that be (Saturn), and the people who support them, to embrace the ideas of self-determination which are sweeping the world. (E.g., the U.S. military set up elections—booths, ballots and all-- in an Iraqi village. When they saw that the election wouldn’t go the way they wanted it to go, they canceled the election. I wonder what the soldiers who set it up, in the name of bringing democracy to the Iraqis, thought about that?…)

Well, our Saturn chickens are coming home to roost now. Saturn is about reality, and this Administration’s approach is mainly Neptunian. Neptune is the planet of dreams and visions. Perhaps the U.S. is meant to lead the world, but the rest of the world, and many of us, know that we are going about it the wrong way. We are still in the old world, and a new and better world is rising all around us. We need to hitch our Neptunian dreams to the new visions of dignity and voice for all—which, in fact, have been professed to be this nation’s ideals.

Saturn now will bring us some of the lessons which will help us to do that.

The U.S. Saturn is in the sign of Libra, which is the sign of war AND of peace, of justice for all, of harmony and balance. With GW Bush’s Moon and Jupiter in Libra, he also has the potential to lead us towards peace—if we insist on it. If we realize that security does not come through secrecy and through erecting ever-higher walls—Saturn’s way—but through reaching out in compassion, justice, and respect.

We have that opportunity to shift our attitude during the next two years. This is the nation’s final transiting Saturn square, or the fourth quarter, and this period signals a shift of consciousness.

The U.S. progressed Saturn position does not encourage change. In 1984 (when the right wing of the Republican party swept elections throughout the country), it changed direction, and turned retrograde at 4 Scorpio. It is in a fixed sign, still powerfully stationary by progression, and wants to go back to the past rather than towards the future. In the U.S. chart, Saturn represents the Administration, and the progressed Saturn is in the house of Congress, encouraging the two towards the same goals.

Saturn in Scorpio resists change, due to Saturn’s fears. However, the work of Saturn in Scorpio is to learn to embrace regeneration and transformation. Retrograde makes it want to escape that scary work by returning to the past, in Bush’s case by returning to an imitation of white man plantation rule, which the country has in its past (and present) and which Bush absorbed in Texas. And which, in fact, had the power to put Bush in the Presidency.

It is up to the people now to think seriously about the regeneration of the United States, not to let our plutocracy call the tune, with its clever use of propaganda. As we are reborn, what kind of a people do we want to be? What do we want our image in the world to be? We set that image now for a very long time to come.

Kucinich has his natal Jupiter on that progressed U.S. Saturn. Jupiter conjunct Saturn alleviates Saturn’s fears and insecurities, and allows Saturn to expand in a healthy way. Dennis’ progressed Chiron is at the same degree, showing he can heal those fears and bring that health.

The U.S. has many significant progressions now. Most notable is solar arc Pluto in Virgo, sitting in the ninth house of foreign adventures, squaring the U.S. Ascendant. This means that more information about our reckless adventuring will continue to come to light, and shock our self-image as do-gooders. This will be strong for the next two years, just the time of Saturn’s transit.

For my article on the U.S. Solar Return, its birthday chart, see the June-July issue of The Mountain Astrologer. I also suggest that you read in that same issue a particularly enlightening article entitled "Pluto, Projections, and Projectiles" by Tim Lyons. He talks about the underlying forces at work in the U.S., particularly our projection of destructive power. Saturn now can help us to come to grips with that reality. We are beginning now, with asking such questions as, "Did Saddam really have weapons of mass destruction? Was he really a threat to us? Was he really connected to Al Queda?"

Yet…Although Saturn now is shifting U.S. consciousness, Bush’s progressions indicate willfulness and success this year, particularly in regard to stimulating U.S. fears, as well as an increasingly martial emphasis. Neptune continues to be dominant for him, and it is likely that he can continue to project his vision to the American public. It is up to us to insist that he realize the higher potential of this nation. And perhaps most of all, to not allow fear to rule us, and thereby demonstrate that fear will no longer work as tool to rule the nation.

This is our real work for the next few years, and perhaps for always—to reduce our own fears, which simply feed into the national fear complex engendered through Saturn. Growing up means reducing fear, as we get more and more comfortable with Saturn. And it’s time for the U.S. to grow up.