Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of January 23rd - January 29th,  2004

The Test of Time

Columns Archive

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Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine

  Thomas Paine described the situation in 1777 to Elbridge Gerry as the country's economic situation grew more dire. "The war," he wrote, "has thrown property into channels where before it never was... Monies in large sums... enable... (profiteers) to roll the snow ball of monopoly and forestalling; and... while these people are heaping up wealth... the remaining part are jogging on in their old way, with few or no advantages."

  We have been examining the essence of what it will mean to have Pluto opposing the US Mars on January 27th, 2004. There's no question that in short order the greatest surplus in US history has been turned into the greatest deficit in US history. Our children will be paying off these debts for years to come. Are you happy with what you have received for your dollar? The parallels to the revolutionary period are obvious under the influence of this similar Pluto/Mars alignment. The tensions among these early pioneers were quite high as the future of the country was being committed to precedent. It was precisely the issue over taxation (ruled by Pluto) which was vexing the country so highly. We had largely revolted from England over taxes. The Boston Tea Party brings these sentiments back to mind. Many people were fearful of a central authority commanding our revenues for their selected purposes, unrepresented (they felt) by the people.

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton

  Pluto opposing Mars in the 7th house polarizes opinions, and folks feel passionately one way or the other about revenues. Disagreement began in earnest when Sec. of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton submitted the first of several major policy statements, a "Report on the Public Credit," to Congress. The Virginia assembly passed a series of resolutions framed by Patrick Henry which basically stated that there was nothing in the Constitution which granted Congress the right to do what it was attempting to do. Hamilton, in response of Virginia's sentiments wrote privately to a friend, "This is the first symptom of a spirit which must either be killed, or will kill the Constitution." This is precisely the passion of Pluto, Lord of the Underworld. They must die. The contest for control of a new government had clearly been joined. Eventually, some of the seeds which were sown at this time (central power vs individual rights) erupted in the Civil War.

Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry

  On the flip side, this young nation's life was at stake. Having incurred serious debt through the course of the war, the Articles of Confederation, the predecessor to our Constitution, gave the central government no power of taxation, a part of the lifeblood of any nation, and the country was in serious economic trouble. It's life was threatened.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

  By the early 1790s, the American people stood sharply divided on almost every significant issue of foreign and domestic policy. Frustrated by the president's growing dependence on Hamilton and increasingly estranged from administration policy, Jefferson resigned as secretary of state in July 1793, with the final alignment between Pluto and Mars occurring in August of that same year.

  On a more mundane note, those who oppose the government on the political, economic, or war fronts are more likely to lash out at this time. It's possible that our infrastructure could be threatened. Let's see what happens as we take on the test of time.




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