1.20.2011

The 8th US Saturn Return - Part 2

In The 8th US Saturn Return - Part 1, I reviewed the previous seven US Saturn returns and the events that coincided with them in order to illustrate the nature of Saturn returns in the US natal chart. In this, part 2, I will review some of the planetary placements during these previous returns, hopefully shedding some light on the other factors that shaped the events and gave each return it's own unique flavor of challenge.

To avoid too much analysis, and keep things more to point, we'll look specifically at the 3 outer planets beyond Saturn: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Pluto, the slowest moving of the 4, plays the largest role in each Saturn return, especially when looking at national charts, coloring the events of each return with both it's sign, on a global level, and by house placement for entire generations of Americans. The transit position of Pluto during each of the Saturn returns tells us exactly what area of life, and through what means, the US itself is being challenged to transform.

US Natal - July 4, 1776
US Natal - July 4, 1776
Neptune, also, gives us important generational markers, showing us what the "American Dream" looks like during a given time. For example, its natal placement in Virgo tells us that the original "American Dream" was that of structured work ethic and a more conservative spiritual or religious ideal. The highest ideal was a job well done. Being in the 9th house, this also gives us clues about a more joyful, freedom seeking spirit, with deep philosophical undertones, through the eyes of which the words "pursuit of happiness" make much more of an impact. As we follow Neptune's travels through the houses and signs, we can see the attitudes and values of the masses shift on a national level, giving us a barometer with which to judge the public sentiment and, for lack of a better term, cares.

And Uranus, the revolutionary of the chart, also gives us some key details in deciphering each of the returns; namely, its placement shows where the new systems, to replace the old and outdated ones, are rooted. The natal placement of Uranus, in the sixth house and at approximately 9 degrees Gemini, tells us that when the Constitution was signed, the revolutionary spirit of the first Americans dealt directly with a new type of or approach to work, or service, itself. A different way of thinking, about communications and the philosophies of science, was necessary to bring forth a new paradigm. The darker side of its placement, however, tells us also where dangers may lurk or what the wrong decisions to make may be. By tracking the progress of Uranus through the houses and signs, we can further pinpoint the source of the challenges faced during a Saturn return, as well as divine the new systems that may evolve from them.

December 16, 1804
December 16, 1804
The Saturn return of 1804-1805 was hallmarked firstly by Pluto's transit of Pisces, showing a certain interest in the secret affairs of the ruling class. This also highlights an attitude of heightened public awareness of the original Neptunian "American Dream" itself, which would not only be in danger of being dissolved through controlling power structures, but also would be primed for a transformation into something greater and more powerful in itself. In transiting through the 3rd house of the US chart, Pluto was emphasizing the need to transform areas dealing with communication as well as organizational structures, and the way of thinking that underlies them. Combined with Neptune's transit through Scorpio and the US natal 12th house, much of this was brought to a spiritual, though unconscious, level. The values of every day Americans had a more open, mystical or spiritually "transformational" tone. The people wanted to know the truth, by whatever means was necessary, and were willing to put in the hard work to discover it.

Uranus, transiting Libra and the 10th house, was pointing to a need for judicial reforms specifically, as well as a visible revolution in the existing political structure. This was exemplified in the ousting of the Federalist party, which had become predominately bankers and businessmen, by the much more popular "Jeffersonian Republicans". The Revolution of 1800, as it was later called, led to the major reforms during the Saturn return which were largely founded upon issues of the elitism among the Federalists as well as a push by them to stifle dissent, especially from the newspapers of the time. Darker paths for this Uranian drive would have been for a restructuring of the existing party, providing a false paradigm shift, or for the newly empowered party to take a tyrannical or monarchical approach themselves (which, in fact, almost did occur through the "witch hunt" impeachment trial of Justice Chase).

October 15, 1834
October 15, 1834
As we reach the second US Saturn return, we find Pluto in Aries, traversing the 4th house. Pluto here signifies a truly global time of struggle in forming a new beginning, if need be through extreme actions. The fear of relying on other nations became a real concern, and a drive to return to the principals of the "founding fathers" through complete reformation was at play. Of special concern would be homes and property, as well as family and traditional values, as signified through Pluto's 4th house placement. Neptune's placement in Capricorn and the 2nd house, loosely conjunct the natal Pluto placement, showed an even stronger drive to reform monetary policy to that put forward originally by the US Constitution, the literal "birth" of the nation. There was a sense of disillusionment with the economy and government finances, with the American Dream being an individual's own accumulation of wealth and property, guaranteed them as a God given right.

Uranus is seen transiting the 2nd house as well, but placed firmly in the sign of Aquarius. It showed a strong need for revolutionary reforms specifically in money and wealth of the individual, especially relating to the debts of the masses and the establishment of a humanitarian aid of sort. The failure of the US to fully restructure the financial system, instead opting to just pull government monies from the Second Bank of the United States, allowed the bank to "call in" all its loans led to the "popping" of the debt bubble. The ensuing "Panic of 1837" was followed by a severe, 5 year long depression and massive unemployment.

November 25, 1863
November 25, 1863
Moving forward to the Saturn return of 1863-1864, we see Pluto in Taurus and the 5th house, Neptune moving through the 4th house in Aries and Uranus transiting the 7th house in Gemini. Pluto's placement in the 5th house shows a lot of issues regarding gambling or speculation, and it's placement in Taurus shows issues regarding monetary systems in general and agriculture specifically. Neptune's placement in Aries gives us signs of people working toward anarchic goals as well as a blurring of the lines between religion and war. The American Dream was being "born again", in a sense, as something entirely new. From the synthesis of these factors, it's truly hard to imagine a nation going to war with itself, but that's exactly what had happened as the South gambled it's money and property to hold on to the traditions of their fathers.

Uranus placed in Gemini tells us of the needed revolutions in not only communications and new ways of thinking, but in learning to deal with opposing points of view. It took a revolution in the approach to waging battles, as well as the way of thinking by those in power, for the North to finally win the war. However, both sides had aggrandized the respective battles won and their war heroes to the point of blurring the lines between that of religion and war, making it harder to find common ground even after the war was over. The new way of "dealing" with one-another, 14 years later, still was not acceptable by many.

September 30, 1893
September 30, 1893
The Saturn return of 1893 has Pluto and Neptune conjunct on either side of the US Descendant in Gemini. This placement of Pluto shows a chronic, long-term "illness" that has built up over the years becoming an acute problem. Specifically, this illness dealt with ideas and ideologies as they related to work ethics, much of which was legacy from the Civil War period and the Reconstruction Era. Neptune here screamed of the want for scientific breakthroughs, industrial revolutions and the geniuses that rose later to prominence. Americans all wanted to be the next great inventor. However, the past 15 years had been full of Neptunian issues regarding the avoidance of monetary issues. The culmination of this resulted in the Panic of 1893, who's resolution lay in the placement of Uranus as it transited Scorpio in the 11th house.

Specifically, Uranus here foretold the need to use its political allies in a truly unusual way to regain footing. The US needed to firstly become more outspoken, and secondly to give up the resentment it had held for European countries up to this point. By preferring to stay isolationist and not tapping the resources of its allies, breaking the paradigm seen up to this time, the US quickly fell into another panic. Before the next return of Saturn, the US will have had to endure its place, finally step up on the world stage and becoming a key player in one of the most horrific and bloody wars to date.

November 8, 1922
November 8, 1922
The fifth Saturn return, in 1922 and 1923, placed Pluto in Cancer and the US natal 7th house. Here, it showed an absolute need for transformation of both home and family, as well as the security of the nation itself, through relationships to other nations. Neptune, moving through the 8th house in flamboyant Leo, warned of dramatic issues with taxes and "other people's money". At the same time, an illusory, theatrical "dreamer" mentality was given free range to run amok throughout society. The American Dream had transformed into a drunken collage consisting of art, music and just "having fun". This, at a time of prohibition, was an explosive thing. Even the Federal Reserve, set up in 1913 during the first world war, inflated the money supply by some 60% during this period. Many of these added dollars went directly into the markets, which inflated stocks to truly unprecedented levels and gave the whole nation a false sense of wealth and optimism.

Uranus at this time was moving through Pisces, showing itself as another sort of drunken revolution where too much was never enough. It called for a return to tried and true systems, and conservative attitudes, to avoid too much excess. The challenge of Pisces is always to find a balance in the middle rather than allow yourself to live in the extremes. As well, Uranus traversing the 3rd house called for a renewed sense of concentration and maturity. These struggles presented in every arena of American life, and the failure of the US government, as well as the Federal Reserve System, to renew a sense of conservative responsibility, led the country down the path of hedonistic decadence. The crash of 1929 and the start of the Great Depression occurred 7 years later.

January 10, 1952
January 10, 1952
In 1952, upon the sixth return of Saturn to its natal US placement, we find controlling and transformational Pluto has taken Neptune's place as it traverses Leo and the 8th house. Here in Leo, it sows the seeds of extreme nationalism, and placement in the 8th the seeds of secrecy. Indeed, the times were that of intense political drama and power plays. Neptune is seen making its way through Libra and the 10th house, putting its emphasis on careers made up of the illusion of justice. A sort of Neptunian dream fog had fallen over the country's public image and it was hard to tell what was really up and what was down. Neptune's American Dream was that of being in the spotlight and being important - of becoming the boss and shaking all the right hands. Idealism can run rampant with this placement of Neptune, and deception is not only easy, it's expected.

With Uranus moving through Cancer and the 7th house, we can see a great need to start going it alone when it came to public image, and to become much more "choosy" when it came to close allies and partnerships. In fact, any allies or partners of the US should have been allowed to do as they would during this time, as a large allowance for freedom was called for. This allowance for freedom was most emphasized in the domestic sphere, in order to avoid potential hysteria. As we know, however, the "Second Red Scare", McCarthyism and even "blacklists" came to the forefront during this time. From the proxy war in Korea and the first joint military exercises with NATO, to 7 years later, Vietnam, it's clear the correct path was not chosen. Covert and dishonest wars were fought, the people were lied to, and the hysteria eventually brought the people of the US to a fever-pitch of anger and resentment that nearly resulted in a revolt 14 years later.

October 22, 1981
October 22, 1981
And finally, when we look to the last US Saturn return, in 1981, we see this time Pluto in Libra and the 10th house. This signifies a time when being "top dog" is of the utmost importance in the US. Balance in relations, justice and cooperation, however, also took on a sense of urgency. The potential for power plays was high, but more likely was just outright sabotage in efforts to "level the playing field". Neptune, transiting the 1st house in Sagittarius, gave the American Dream a renewed sense of optimism about the future and a strong yearning for individual freedoms. Dreaming big became the norm, and this was to be expressed in every aspect of the American life. However, it also gave many the option of fanaticism in regards to spiritual or emotional matters, and it made it difficult to discern where the US ends and the rest of the world begins. This gave the US public a feeling of obligation to help the rest of the world, along with a lack of true sense of self.

With Uranus in Scorpio and the 12th house, there was a need to be truly focused as a nation, like the stinger of a scorpion, and to dig up the truth wherever it lies, by whatever means necessary. This was the proper resolution to the problems put forward during this return. Instead of this, however, investigations were half-hearted. The fraud and corruption was allowed to continue, leading to much larger problems down the road with politics, the markets and the economy. The corruption later uncovered throughout big business during the late 80s and early 90s should still be fresh in the minds of most of us.

In The 8th US Saturn Return - Part 3, I take a closer look at the current Saturn return, including the US natal "personal planets", which I have left out here for sake of brevity, and offer an analysis of what challenges may be in store for the US, as well as potential solutions to the problems the nation faces.

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