Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of Nov 12th - Nov 18th, 2004

The US at War

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There are a series of alignments coming up for the US in 2005 which are quite dramatic. Born on July 4th, 1776, the US has its Sun in Cancer, a Moon in Aquarius and Sagittarius rising. Those are the big three, and in the past we've explored each in turn. But we also have a natal Mars Neptune square, with Mars at 21 degrees Gemini in the 7th, and Neptune at 22 degrees Virgo in the 9th. On Friday, when this article comes out, transiting Pluto will be at 21 degrees of Sagittarius, just getting ready to oppose the US Mars on Thanksgiving day. Later in the year it squares Neptune, and it will also make some hard aspects to the US Midheaven and Mercury in 2005. For now, we'll focus on the Pluto trigger to Mars and try to make some historical sense out of it.

Jackson and Bush Mars is the God of War. Mars in the 7th house deals with our relationships with others. We like to come from a position of strength. It represents those with whom we have relations, but it is also the house of open enemies. Although Pluto has never before been in Sag in an opposition to the US Mars (we are only 228 years old as a nation, and Pluto has a cycle of 248 years), we can look back to when it squared Mars from Virgo in 1967 and '68, conjuncted it in Gemini in 1904, '05 and '06, and squared it from Pisces in 1814, '15 and '16. In examining these historical passes, we can gather a better sense of how it manifested before, and obtain a better notion of how it is likely to manifest during this passage.
Pluto's passage to Mars in the late '60s was one of its most dramatic as it was conjuncting Neptune and getting ready to conjunct the US Midheaven. Specifically, we were building into the period of some of the bloodiest fighting in Vietnam. The summer leading into the first Pluto Mars opposition saw the highest weekly casualty rates of the entire war, and throughout this time race riots (Pluto's passage through Virgo deals with discrimination, which at its worst can be a real bigotry) were happening all across the land. The Tet Offensive of early 1968 was neatly tucked in between the first and second pass of Pluto to Mars that year, and the My Lai massacre occurred just 48 hours before the second pass was exact. You might recall that the second pass of Pluto to Mars this past year coincided with the widening prisoner-abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib prison, outside of Baghdad, with US soldiers and brass totally disregarding the provisions of the Geneva Convention. What is interesting in that on October 14, 1967, just five days after the first pass of Pluto to Mars in the cycle of the late '60s, the US was claiming that the North Vietnamese were mistreating US prisoners of war, in violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention. How soon we tend to forget that in the Temple of Mars, issues can quickly swing from one pole to another. On THE DAY of the third pass of Pluto to Mars in 1968, the RNC nominated Richard M. Nixon for President, and Spiro Agnew as Vice President. We know how that turned out.

During the 1905 pass of Pluto to Mars, Pres. Theodore Roosevelt sent a note to Russia and Japan and offered to mediate a peace deal between the two waring nations, for which he was later received the Nobel Peace prize. The 7th house, where both our natal Mars and transiting Pluto were at that time, was used in this instance as an instrument of peace. Other powerful legal matters over which there was intense debate, high finance, and personal passion (all Plutonic themes) were the dissolution of the Northern Securities Company in 1904 and a complete legislative program to reform the life insurance business which was implimented at this time. Pres Roosevelt made his reputation as a trust-buster in the former instance based mainly on the angry feedback from JP Morgan, who controlled the railroad holding company. During the 1814-1815 Pluto passes, we concluded the Creek War, had our capitol burned by the British, and dispatched Algeria, Tunis and Tripoli in the war with the Barbary pirates.

That's a very brief sketch of the passion of the God of War once it's been triggered. We can expect some new manifestation of this combination as the War on Terrorism continues to unfold.


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