Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of Nov 19th - Nov 25th, 2004

A Second Look

Columns Archive

Last week we took a look at a Pluto's rendezvous with history, uncovering what the pages of yesteryear had to say as our outermost planet made hard alignments to Mars in the US chart. This last took place in 1967 and 1968. This week we'll take another look at those turbulent times, our objectivity secure when guided by the aid of hindsight.

Planetary alignments work much like waves coming in off from shore. We can see them starting to build and watch their progress as they gather power, only to curl and crash over the outgoing tide or onto the beach itself, spewing its spent force across the sands. The further from the Sun a planet is, the slower and longer its build time. That is why we so often watch where Neptune or Pluto is in our charts. In many instances, we can watch the roots of the situation growing for up to a year ahead of time, but the closer we get to the date, the more powerful it becomes. Agnew and Nixon
Agnew and Nixon Pluto is the Lord of the Underworld. He is lust, loss, and passion. His Underworldly character evokes images of the rise of Nazism and the bootleggers of the '30s as Pluto was discovered. There is much money to be made while under the influence of Pluto, but there is also a high price which needs to be paid. This is what takes place in the back alleys, behind closed doors and in back rooms. It can be as innocent as a stolen kiss, or as heinous as well... unfortunately, examples are all to easy to find. When Pluto makes strong aspects in a chart, the desire levels rises, for good or for ill.
Pluto moved into its first square to Mars on October 9th, '67. During the Spring tensions were building as the Vietnamese conflict heated up. In April, hundreds of thousands of anti-war demonstrators marched in San Francisco and New York. One week later the US opened up an offensive in North Vietnam by bombing Haiphong for the first time. From May 21st to the 27th, there were 313 deaths and 2616 wounded, the greatest weekly casualty toll of the war. In July, the worst race riot in US history erupted in Detroit, MI, killing 43 people and causing some $200,000,000 in damage in five days of violence. At the end of the month, an accident of the flight deck of USS Forrestal leads to a conflagration which lasts for 18 hours, destroys 21 aircraft, and kills 134 men. From September 1st through October 4th, a siege of the US Marine base at Con Thien, south of the DMZ in South Vietnam, raged for more than a month before US firepower finally forced North Vietnamese gunners to withdraw from their artillery positions in the DMZ.
The second pass of Pluto to Mars was on March 18, '68. Two days ahead of this alignment, just as the My Lai massacre was taking place, Robert F. Kennedy announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. On March 28th, ten days after the second alignment, MLK marched in Memphis in support of a sanitation worker's strike. One marcher was killed, the National Guard was called out, and Dr King called for calm. He vowed to return, did, and was gunned down on April 4th. RFK button

On the day before the final Pluto trigger to Mars on August 8, 1968, rioting in Miami, FL broke out in the city’s black section. Three people were killed and hundreds injured before National Guard troops could restore order as the Republican National Convention choose their nominees. Spiro Agnew and Dick Nixon cast their vote on the exact day of the alignment, and neither were to see an honorable end to this nomination. At the end of that month, the DNC in Chicago nominated Vice Pres Hubert H. Humphrey for the presidency. The August 26th convention was the most violent in US history. Antiwar protesters clashed with police and national guardsmen. Hundreds of people, including bystanders and members of the press, were beaten by police, some in full view of television cameras.

It's fascinating to watch the rise and fall of these waves, to observe life's passion in various hues. Major events often take place on the day of the exact alignment, but general trends can be witnessed both before and after the precise aspects.

Mars may be the God of War, but confrontations can take place in locations other than the battlefield, as they did in Detroit, Chicago, Miami and Memphis, and many other US cities as Pluto squared Mars during these turbulent times.


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