As Published in Vanity Fair December 2006
HOROSCOPE USA: THE FUTURE OF AMERICA
All alone and more paranoid by the day, President George Bush is getting it from all sides, and despite his bravado, which some people call a defensive, adolescent swagger, he can’t trust anybody, not even his mother, especially his mother. His detractors blame him for the state the world is in. Extremists go one further and say the world is coming to an end. Most of us in this country just want gas prices to go down, the dollar to go up, and America to go back to the good old days.
Astrologers can tell you that that’s not going to happen. They also say that no matter what happens, we’ll never go broke either. They can also explain George Bush’s state by saying that he’s a Cancer, and that in coming years Cancers are going to be challenged to expand their whole world view. Astrologers insist that in order to understand what is happening politically, culturally, and socially in America we all have to gain greater perspective and learn to think long term, and to do that we have to turn to the zodiac, especially the signs of Cancer and Capricorn. For nations, like people, have horoscopes.
America was born on July 4, 1776, when the Founding Fathers decided it was time to separate from England and become an independent entity. That makes America a Cancer nation. Cancer is the sign of fertility, and America sees herself as the world’s nurturing mother. Because of the hostile presence of Mars and Uranus in our solar 12th house, we’re the kind of nurturer that can bomb the hell out of a country one day and then send over sandwiches and coffee the next. That makes rest of the world love us and hate us. We’re like the rich relative everybody is jealous of but still will go to her house for the holidays because the there’s always plenty of food loaded with carbs. It is the sincere and conscious wish of every Cancer, however, including the U.S.A., to make sure that all those under its wing are safe, and if you mess with them, you must be ready to face the Special Forces.
Security and home are primal drives of this sign, sometimes to the point of clannishness and even xenophobia.. America is and has always been about property, taxes, and land ownership.. Of course we conveniently forget that fact that when the early settlers arrived they took one look around and said to the Indians, “What a gorgeous place you’ve got here! Get out!” Territory is everything, and if anyone tells you that the essence of the American dream is just about liberty and freedom, don’t kid yourself. It’s about mortgage rates. It’s a fabulous place to live, though, mainly because you can come here, think up something you want to do and be successful at it.
But are we, in the end, ruthless imperialists doomed to be brought down by our degenerate culture? That is what Pluto’s transit through the sign of Capricorn over the next 19 years will reveal. It will challenge us as we have never been challenged before—until it will seem that the whole world is against us—but it will also reveal the secret of how we need to change.
Though we’re a Cancer nation, the sign of Capricorn has always been strong in our horoscope, and it’s going to get a lot stronger. We were born with Pluto in Capricorn, and now, after 250 years, Pluto is coming back to the same place. The seeds that were sown back in the 1770s are sprouting at last. That’s how Pluto works, over hundreds of years.
Though Pluto has recently been demoted by astronomers to a not-quite-planet, try telling that to any Sadge who’s been to hell and back over the last 10 years, thanks to the passage of Pluto through Sagittarius. The power of the little dwarf is so profound and catastrophic that it doesn’t matter if you call it a planet or not—it’s a killer. But oddly it’s also a healer. When Pluto moves into your sign, it first threatens to wipe you out totally and devastate you emotionally and physically, letting you know along the way that you must stop whatever you are doing. However you were conducting business or your personal life is over. Finito. Caput.
When you come out of a Pluto transit, however, you are transformed forever. In another state. But in the process you don’t realize what’s happening. Life can get pretty dark. With Pluto, you can’t look ahead. You can’t be impatient. Most of all, you shouldn’t be afraid, because in the end there is nothing to fear but the fear of permanent change. You just have to surrender to the mysterious process of complete and total transformation.
This is about to happen to the United States as we all deal with an opposition of Pluto in the sign of Capricorn to our Cancer Sun. And while Cancers and Capricorns will be most strongly affected by this planetary motion, we will all be touched in business as well as in personal life, no matter what sign we were born under. Because of Pluto’s slow motion through the heavens—it takes it nearly 250 years to go through the twelve signs of the Zodiac—it rules over mass movements and great political and social changes. So it might be useful to look at what happened the last time Pluto passed over the position it holds now and will hold for the next 20 years.
Sometime in the 1760s, various papers and pamphlets began to circulate in the colonies, exploring new ideologies and belief systems concerning individual liberty and personal freedom. Harmless enough. Just philosophers spouting off rehashed versions of ancient Greek and Roman notions. Nothing threatening. But the Crown over in England looked upon such doings as seditious. Mother England, once the great protector, was beginning to be the great drag. She wanted payback for all the protection she’d provided. That was when the colonists, starting to exhibit the collective traits of a Cancer nation, came to resent their mother’s hold on them. She was getting a little too bossy. And greedy.
Clearly, something was happening up in the heavens. Pluto was just about leaving the sign of Sagittarius and entering the sign of Capricorn. A transformation was taking place. And so the United States of America was born.
Something similar is happening again, 230 years later, as Pluto is coming around to the same spot. This time, however, it’s the American government that is putting the squeeze on the people. A Pluto-style transformation doesn’t happen overnight, and events that seem at first random and explosive don’t come out of nowhere. They have been brewing and simmering for years. While many people will probably be nervous wrecks during the two turbulent decades ahead, many old hippies will come joyfully out of retirement, thankful that the revolution they quit their jobs for 40 years ago may finally be happening. And their kids, born in the 60s and 70s, who grew up embarrassed by their hippie parents, will be shocked to see how right their parents may have been.
When Pluto goes direct in September of this year, the religious zeal, or madness, that has taken hold since it entered Sagittarius in 1994 will reach a giant crescendo, ushering in a 20-year period dominated by the sign of Capricorn. Over the next 19 or so years, America as a Cancer nation will have to deal with troubling confrontations and competition such as it has never known, as well as an internal political struggle, which will shake us to our very core.
Capricorn can be pictured as the mustache-twirling landlord in a black cloak pointing outside toward the blizzard while a poor pregnant wretch begs for mercy. Capricorn forces one to grow up, face life, recognize it’s a tough world. It lends you a dime and asks for a dollar in return. It can be the sign of an inspired leader or controlling dominating fascist. It can support your existence or threaten it completely . It is not only the conservative element in all of us but also a necessary component of any business. The presence of Capricorn always indicates big business. And what else is America about?
Capricorn represents the supremacy and power. And if Capricorn is not the most humanitarian sign of the Zodiac, it always means stability. Capricorn supports organized society, not rabble-rousing anarchy. It is often perceived as uptight and reactionary, mainly because its function is to uphold existing law. It is not progressive or forward-thinking in its attitudes and measures.
It clearly represents the streak of deep conservatism that has always existed in the United States but that seems to be taking over at the moment. This is the backbone of the American spirit. If Capricorn protects the status quo, how did it help sow the seeds of revolution for the United States? There’s the problem. And the answer? It was not just the presence of Capricorn in America’s horoscope; it was the presence of Pluto in that sign that sparked the fight for freedom.
If you think that things are tough and tight now, and that privacy and personal liberties are being infringed upon, just wait. During the next 19 years, things are going to get much tighter. Controls and laws will become more stringent. Pluto in Capricorn will demand conformity, born out of fear that different is dangerous. The words “patriot” and “treason” will lose their meaning, and in some cases they will become interchangeable—mainly because what is treason to one person will be patriotism to another—just as they did back in the 1760s and 70s. The country’s mood will become darker and much more conservative. It’s not going to be a matter of Democrat or Republican anymore, because the new ideologies will bleed across party lines.
Fortunately, something else is going on at the same time. While Pluto is in Capricorn, Uranus will be leaving the sign of Pisces, and sometime between 2009 and 2011, the dam is going to break. When Uranus is in the sign of Pisces, it will reach the end of the Zodiac. The last time it was there was at the end of the 1920s. When Uranus comes to the last degrees of Pisces, it will spell the end of an era. People will figure, “Aw the hell with it. The end is coming anyway, so to hell with my liver. Give me a double martini.”
As we get closer to that time, people put all their chips on the table. Stakes will get higher. (Incidentally, America began the war in Iraq when the Sun was at the end of Pisces—a perfectly moronic time to start anything.) Metaphorically, culturally, and sometimes even literally, Uranus at the end of Pisces can seem like a torrential flood that comes out of nowhere. Everything that has been piled up and swept under the rug comes spilling out. To the apocalypticos, it will seem like the wrath of God, because lots of people are going to be headed toward self-indulgence, turning up the music and dancing, even hurrying the end, much as they did in America during the 1920s.
When Uranus hits the 29th degree of Pisces, before it pops into Aries, even the Pope could have a stroke over the upheaval the world will find itself in. Uranus in Pisces washes everything away—every hope, every prayer—and the only thing that saves you is the ability to surrender to the inevitable shift and change. When Uranus hits Aries, people aren’t go to lie down and let the government take over. When the government becomes business and business becomes government, the people will fight back, and the ensuing struggle will lead to the eventual transformation and rebirth of America.
Pluto in Capricorn is going to change America from the inside out, threaten our very existence, challenge our economy, and divide the country politically. The government is going to be so paranoid during those years that it doesn’t really matter who gets in in 2008. When Uranus enters Aries after coming out of Pisces, it’s going to be the 1960s in America all over again. But right through the mid teens of this century, the square of Uranus in Aries to Pluto in Capricorn will create the seeds of revolution everywhere. Forces of repression are going to try to clamp down even harder on those who want to speak their minds. The most compelling and trying time will be while this square is at its fullest, in the middle of the coming decade.
Pluto in Capricorn means the ascendance into overt power of the corporations in relation to the government. But that situation will change when Pluto enters Aquarius, at the end of the 2020s.
Don’t expect the 1950s to return any time soon. The period of turbulence that lies before us all in America is not God’s wrath or the work of radical Muslims, and it has nothing to do with the hole in the ozone layer. It is a necessary and inevitable step in the evolution of this country, which will result in a reworking of the Constitution in the last half of the 2020s. The greatest time of upheaval will be in the mid to late teens, between 2015 and 2019, when the Uranus Pluto square is most active.
Pluto in Capricorn, which produces conformity, will create the need on the part of the government to maintain order in a time of what they perceive to be disruptive chaos. People, however, will resist. The more resistance to government protection, the more protection the government will try to provide. Uranus in Aries is the symbol of rebellion against such protection, and it will make people ferociously dedicated to fighting anything and everything that impede unbridled, personal liberty. This is going to be a period of civil unrest to the max.
Then, in the years 2023-25, the final stages of the Pluto return and the Capricorn effect will reach a climax. Some astrologers believe that an empire lasts no longer than one Pluto cycle, and by 2025, ours will be played out, and no matter how you look at it, the USA is an empire..
Just as England had to face its decline when the fledgling colonies took over, our turn may be coming. The Pluto return of 2025 will demand a redefinition of the United States and create the ultimate identity crisis. We will have to put ourselves on the line as we did 250 years ago.
What is about to happen amounts to a permanent political, social, cultural and economic change, which will mark the rebirth of the United States as a more global nation and a member of the world, if not the leader of the world. This is a very threatening challenge to all the notions of land ownership, security, wealth and supremacy our Cancer nation has enjoyed for more than two centuries. The dollar will not likely go back to its post-WWII strength. The euro and other international currencies will reject our exploitation and demand instead our cooperation. Luckily for us, the horoscope of the U.S.A. contains a strong influence of Venus and Jupiter, so we’ll never go totally broke or hungry. We will, however, have to play ball with the rest of the planet Earth as we have never had to do before. From now on we will have to cooperate, or else.
No one is really to blame. We’ve brought ourselves to this crisis, through a combination of individual freedom and economic gain, as well as a blind, isolating grandiosity. We’ve gotten fat and we’ve gotten lazy. So don’t blame George Bush or Bill Clinton who came before him or any of the elected people in Washington. A country always gets the leaders it deserves, and when we’re ready to rise from the ashes of a fallen empire, we will find the leaders to help us do so. It will happen, but not in 2008. We have to go through the Pluto transit first.
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