Thursday, March 31, 2016

Playing Tag with Cerberus: Mars Rx & our revolutionary times

Mars is stationing retrograde on April 17 at 8°+ Sagittarius and will remain retrograde until June 29th when it goes direct at 23°+Scorpio. Big Red will be joining both Jupiter and Saturn in this retrograde tag team...the question is, what will this mean for the nation-at-large and its inborn revolutionary impulse?

Jupiter will be the first to turn direct again in May, Mars following suit at end of June, and Saturn lingering behind until August. The good news with Mars going retro is, we’ll be hitting a “cosmic pause button” for some of the chaos we’ve been seeing this election, but a Mars retrograde pause does not mean total inactivity: it’s all about regrouping around the core purpose for action, and that could dramatically influence election results.

As if to mirror our 3-member tag team, we are seeing a 3-headed Cerberus-type demon guarding the gates of today’s chaotic election: Resentment about the country’s demographic shift away from the white majority to a more diverse mix of peoples—the so-called “majority minorities;” Frustration with an economy that hasn’t worked for millions; Angry blame directed towards minorities and the government for all of the above. 

Long story short, angry millions of people are “not getting theirs” and they’re open to any and all solutions, including a radical move away from the so-called global “free market” of the past 4 decades. Both Trump and Sanders are proposing such a move, albeit from very different directions. But is the Cosmos going to support a true revolution at this time? Or, will we see yet another aborted attempt at real change?

Unfortunately, the two often go hand in hand: in 1789 the French thought they were following in our American revolutionary footsteps, when actually the “powers-that-be” reasserted themselves with swift vengeance, paving the way for Napoleon’s ascendance to power (1804) and a brutal period of warfare (1803-1815). It wasn’t a total loss, however: the desperate conditions created for the French and others across Europe by the Napoleonic Wars seeded the more lasting revolutions of 1848. It’s no coincidence that the young United States was falling apart over the issue of slavery at this exact time—a second revolution was unfolding beneath our feet at that time, as well.

Against other background tensions, the 1848 revolution in France erupted over the lower classes lacking access to the ballot box—could we be seeing a parallel today? Or are we seeing the ascendance of an archetypal “Napoleon” type who fits the “savior” profile for disaffected voters?

The genesis of a revolution

I think Mars’ impending retrograde holds some answers for us—especially in regards to the bigger picture of American democracy: what is this Mars transit, in concert with its tag team partners, likely to mean for the nation at large and its inborn revolutionary impulse?

As it turns out, America’s revolutionary heritage is rooted in that 8th degree of Sagittarius Mars will be triggering. The history tells us something we need to revisit with this season’s retrogrades.

Here’s the genesis: a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction at that 8th degree of Sagittarius in 1603 laid the groundwork for U.S. colonization “due to religious (Sagittarius) oppression[1]”—in other words, as a rebellion against that oppression. That 1603 cycle began what is called a Great Mutation—the first of a series of Jupiter-Saturn cycles in a new element—in this case, the revolutionary element of fire. Interestingly, that conjunction tightly squared Virgo Neptune, and a fiery 25°+Aries Pluto trined the Galactic Center (26°-27°Sagittarius). As we’ll see, the parallels with revolutionary times in the U.S. run deep.

The next major milestone featured a Chiron-Pluto conjunction at that same 8th degree of Sagittarius in November 1752–arguably marking the conception period of our 1776 revolution. Revolutions don’t just happen—they germinate and develop towards manifestation/birth. Let’s examine that conception chart against the eventual 1776 Sibly chart:

      The 12th house gestation. Not surprisingly, the 1752 Chiron-Pluto conjunction fell in the future 12th house (gestation) of the revolution “born” on July 4, 1776 in Philadelphia. In its transformative, evolutionary role, Pluto rules both birth and death processes, so its later position in the Sibly 2nd house speaks to the founding values of the nation, but the path Pluto took through the remainder of Sagittarius and early Capricorn to get there reflects the treacherous journey that infant nation faced in the “birth canal.” Many internal divisions (including Pluto transiting the future Sibly 1st) threatened to derail the revolution, but Chiron and Pluto continued to nurture the revolutionary impulse through a heightened level of British oppression. 

      Britain’s King George III didn’t turn the screws on American thumbs at that time for the fun of it, however—he had enormous debts to pay on the heels of his 9 year (1754-1763) French-Indian War with France, and the net effect was that working class colonists were drafted into that war, paid higher taxes and suffered deeper poverty. The American Colonies were the King’s go-to source of revenue and expendable cannon fodder.

When that fateful war began at the Battle of Jumonville Glen in western Pennsylvania on May 28, 1754, Chiron conjoined the GC at 27°+Sagittarius and Pluto conjoined the future Sibly ascendant at 12°+Sagittarius, preparing the “ground” for revolution. Similar to the rush of hormones that signals an infant that it’s time to let go of life in the womb, Chiron at the GC signaled “enough is enough,” stimulating release of the increasingly toxic relationship with Britain.

Revolutions happen when people feel backed into a corner, with nothing more to lose—certainly a parallel with today. As the revolution’s target, George III was experiencing an equally volatile set of transits: the Jumonville Pluto tightly opposed his Gemini Sun, forming a t-square with transiting Pisces Uranus, while Sagittarius Chiron (then conjunct the GC) opposed his Saturn. That significant 8th degree of Sagittarius fell opposite his natal Chiron. George III had his own “corner” to occupy; his only release in the end was to literally go mad.

1752 Uranus in Aquarius lights up our 3rd house Sibly Moon. Aquarian ideals were essential for the success of the coming revolution. Chief among these was what Aquarius Now author Marilyn Ferguson calls “a return to radical common sense”—“…the growing realization that individual good sense was not enough—that society itself must make sense or decline.”[2] The system of hereditary monarchy made no sense to revolutionary Thomas Paine (our original “spin doctor” and author of the influential pamphlet entitled Common Sense), whereas the principles of constitutional democracy did. The 1750s were the height of the Age of Enlightenment in Europe, a time when great thinkers like Voltaire, John Locke, Adam Smith and Jean Jacques Rousseau were seeding the democracies to come. Our founding fathers studied these men and modeled our Declaration of Independence and Constitution on their ideas.

1752 Saturn in Sagittarius opposes Sibly Mars in Gemini and squares Sibly Neptune in Virgo. This volatile t-square certainly amplified the growing discontent and destabilized the existing order. Things broke loose seriously in the 1760s and 70s, with mob violence, the Boston Massacre and finally the Revolution itself.  The parallels between this aspect and the 2016 Mars retrograde chart (below) are stunning!

1752 Jupiter-As in Cancer trines 1752 Mars-Node in Scorpio and conjoins Sibly Sun.  Both dignified by rulership, Jupiter and Mars appear to bless the future nation’s revolutionary birth with this nice trine spanning the 8th-12th houses of that nation. The Mars-Node conjunction reflects the stamina and vitality of the revolutionary impulse and its alignment with destiny. Jupiter’s position foreshadows the generosity that France extended to our leaders during the Revolution—we would not be alone in this quest.

A new revolution ahead?
So, returning to the question posed early on: assuming there’s popular support for one, is the Cosmos going to support a true revolution at this time? Or, will we see yet another aborted attempt at real change? Given the history of that fiery 8°+Sagittarius point, chances are good that the Mars Rx chart for April 17, 2016 will tell us something. Let’s examine that chart, set against the Sibly chart:

Biwheel: (inner chart) Natal, U.S. (Sibly), July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m., Philadelphia, PA; (outer wheel) Mars Retrograde, April 17, 2016, 8:14:40 a.m., Washington, D.C. Equal houses, true node.

Cross our heart and hope to …?

Incredibly, at the heart of this powerful interchart relationship is a mutable Grand Square that stretches across the Sibly chart axes (using Equal houses). Included are the following aspects:

Transiting Mars Rx and Saturn Rx conjoin in Sagittarius at the Sibly Asc; both points oppose Sibly Uranus (Gemini) at the Sibly Dsc.

Transiting Jupiter Rx (Virgo) at the Sibly 10th cusp opposes Transiting Neptune (Pisces) at the Sibly 4th cusp; both points square the Asc-Dsc axis.
·      This amazing configuration offers the American people a chance to reconsider national priorities and direction, and to—importantly—take a breather. This election year, coinciding with an accelerated number of terrorist events and other geopolitical turmoil, has been too shrill, too chaotic and too demoralizing to continue as-is. Mars here seems to say that we need to revisit the truth (Sagittarius) underlying today’s revolutionary impulse. The remaining tag team members seem to be counseling a long, unvarnished, “spin-free” look at the real oppressor(s) we need to overcome before we work to manifest a better, more all-encompassing alternative (Saturn-Jupiter-Neptune).

Not that a grand square’s built in tension should be underestimated: Revolutions explode out of pent-up situations, and this one’s a doozy. It’s no wonder we’re seeing a rash of terrorist incidents that defy intelligence networks (Sibly Uranus), and accidents involving collapsing structures, like the Kolkata overpass (India) today. 

Even so, I believe this configuration says that revolution—for all its romanticism—isn’t what it used to be. The “oppressor/enemy” is more woven into everything we touch, including the very products we consume. It’s the result of the long erosion process our legislation process and system of justice have undergone, flooded with corporate rivers of money (Neptune). Our checks and balances are sorely out of whack.

This oppressor is a true creature of our own making, more systemic than personal, and one election cycle is not going to reverse its effects, even if we burn the world down in protest. Still, the situation wasn’t created over night, so we have to start somewhere—perhaps taking a hint from other points in this Mars Rx chart:

Interchart T-square: Transiting Uranus (Aries) conjoins Sibly Chiron (Aries), opposes Sibly Saturn (Libra) and squares Pluto (both transiting and Sibly). Revolutionary potential is strong, and will find an outlet—unfortunately, there will be no one-size-fits-all plan of action, so wounding and healing will be flip sides of the same path to some sort of restored balance.

Transiting Chiron (Pisces) opposes Sibly Neptune (Virgo). Recalling that Neptune was also in Virgo in that 1603 chart we first considered above, it’s not hard to see the historical echoes at play here. It’s also worth considering that transiting Neptune will oppose its Sibly position in the 2020s (first exact in May 2021), so we might want to act before even rockier times ahead. Few would argue that the so-called “American Dream” has lost its luster lately—the challenge here is to learn where the breaking points are so we can prevent future catastrophes. 

Revolutions are always preceded by some triggering event that pushes people beyond their limits—Hollywood might picture people pouring into the streets, pitchforks in hand, running the greedy banker out of town. This aspect, however—foreshadowing the later Neptune-Neptune passage, perhaps—suggests a rising tide that either “lifts all boats” or leaves them capsized and lost at sea. It’s a metaphor that any politician worth his/her salt should be contemplating.

More on individual Candidates and Mars retrograde coming soon!

[1] Michael Baigent, Nicholas Campion and Charles Harvey, Mundane Astrology, Thorsons, 1984, p. 185.
[2]Marilyn Ferguson, Aquarius Now, Weiser Books, 2005, p. 12.

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former university English instructor. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years. Raye can be contacted by comment here, or at: 

© Raye Robertson 2016. All rights reserved.