Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of Dec 3rd - Dec 9th, 2004

The Dark Star at High Noon

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      The highest ascent of the natal chart is called the 'Midheaven' (MC). Everything which rises in the east, whether Sun, Moon, planets, signs or stars, rotates in the same direction towards the west and culminates along this 'Midheaven'. It is where east meets west, and runs high overhead due south to the horizon. It splits heaven in half, a line along which the greatest height, visibility and stellar fame may be found. Many temples and astronomical observatories of old measured the exact passage of the stars across the Midheaven. Both time and the heavens are divided into AM (ante meridian) which ascends to this line, and PM (post meridian), which descends from it. When the Sun is on the Midheaven, it is (true local) high noon. The witching hour, midnight on the evening of the Full Moon, is when the bright silvery beacon climbs to the Midheaven.

      We have been watching the dark forces of our outermost planet framing the American psyche during the late '60s, as Pluto set off a series of triggers. This last thread, Pluto conjuncting the US Midheaven, made alignments on Nov. 28, '68, Jan. 26 and Sep 16, '69 and on May 8 and Jul 2, '70. Midheaven in the Sky

      What was happening through those years?

Richard Nixon       Our MC is our chief executive, but also our security and authority in the world. It's the government and their ultimate power. As a nation, it is our standing in the international community, and how we embrace or relinquish those responsibilities. Two weeks ago, in this column, we saw Richard Nixon nominated by his party on the day Pluto squared the US Mars. He was elected on Nov 6, '68, twenty two days before Pluto conjuncted the US MC and inaugurated within six days of the next alignment on Jan 20, 1969. More than most, Dick Nixon was a symbol of the times. He campaigned on getting us out of Vietnam, and then had to deliver. On June 8, 1969, as Pluto was conjuncting Neptune, the first troop reduction of 25,000 was announced by Pres Nixon. In August, the president visited five Asian capitals.

      He suggested to his hosts that the US expected its Asian allies to assume the chief responsibility for the area's security and economic development. On Mar 4, 1970 Sec of Defense Melvin R Laird stated 371 military bases in the US and abroad would be closed or reduced. On April 20, 1970 Pres Nixon announced a troop level reduction of 150,000 by early '71. The US was ending a period of responsibility, power and influence in Asia.

      Pluto conjuncting the MC indicates we recycle our power base, we reconstitute our direction, we see what is black at the pinnacle. In 1968 it was learned that STAR Wars technology contracts worth $87,000,000 for 68 MIRV's (Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicles) had been awarded by the Pentagon without public announcement, even though the president (Johnson) had spoken of a halt to the construction of such weapons. In a self-reflective move, the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence, appointed by Congress condemned on December 1, '68 the riotous police actions in Chicago and warned against a national tendency towards violence in a statement within three days of this conjunction. Within four days of the Pluto pivot in late spring of '69, court testimony revealed that the FBI had tapped MLK's phones despite a 1965 presidential order to do so only for purposes of national security. In 1970 the Army announced it would discontinue surveillance of civilian demonstrations and maintenance of files on civilians who might be involved in civil disturbances, and, as an apparent breach to our securities and landing squarely in the lap of the president, a Cuban defector lands a Mig-17 at Homestead AFB near Miami, FL while Pres Johnson's plane was waiting to return him to Washington, DC.

Nixons in a row       On the government side in '69, this Plutonic wave dumped nearly 3000 tons of bombs on enemy positions near the Cambodian border, and the cost of the war in money, resources and human lives continued to grow. Within a week of either side of Pluto's final retrograde conjunction to the US MC, were several major developments.

      On Apr 30, 1970, Pres Nixon announced on television the US had invaded Cambodia, an event which sparked a nationwide shutdown of colleges and universities, violent demonstrations and deaths on two college campuses. On May 4, four students were shot down at Kent State. On May 8, Pluto conjuncted the US MC. An anti-war rally took place in NYC also on the 8th (where construction workers beat up on a number of the demonstrators), and in Washington DC on the 9th. On May 15th at Jackson State College in Jackson, MS, two more students were killed when police opened fire on demonstrators. And finally, 48 hours after the final pass of Pluto over the US MC on July 2, Honor America Day was observed in Washington on the 4th, as thousands gathered to show support of the administration's war policies.

      The series of passes Pluto made to the US Mars, Neptune and MC were one of the defining factors of the late '60s, through the escalation of the war (Mars), the loss in faith of our moral integrity (Neptune) of our leadership (the MC). We disengaged from Asia, redefined our national attitudes about racial inequalities (Pluto, Neptune and the MC are all in Virgo), and before his first term of office was over, Watergate was already on everybody's lips. Even the president would go down, a president inaugurated under Pluto's powerful pass.

      We now stand in another series of these alignments, as Pluto opposes Mars (now behind us), and squares Neptune and the MC. We are, once again, about to have our faith with those in power redefined.


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