Mundane Astrology: Sun enters Aries

Figure 1: The chart for Washington DC on March 20, 2021 at 5:38 am EDT

The following is an excerpt from my 2021 Almanac, written in November 2020 before the events of January 5, 2021 or the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States. If this makes you want to buy my Almanac, it’s still available: now at the low, low price of $10 — you get nine months for the cost of twelve!

After the break, below, follow some new thoughts on the mundane astrological chart for the US in 2021.

I write my mundane astrology column ‘for free’, in part because it’s such a risky thing to do. Yet if you find it helpful, donations through Ko-Fi, PayPal, or Patreon are always welcome.

The most important chart in any year is considered the chart for the Spring Equinox over a nation’s capital, which this year in the United States occurs on March 20, 2021 at 5:37 am. This is the chart most often used in judicial astrology, meaning the kind of astrology that predicts the events of nations and kingdoms and empires.  This chart is created by examining the moment that the Sun enters the sign of Aries, which in tropical astrology is the moment that the Sun also appears to cross the terrestrial equator from South to North.  That chart serves to set in motion certain themes that affect the whole course of the year ahead.  According to traditional rules, if the Ascendant is in a fixed sign, the chart is good for the full year; if it’s in a cardinal sign, the chart is good for six months; if it’s in a mutable sign, the chart is good for only three months.  The morning of March 20 reveals the Ascendant in a fixed sign, indicating that the chart is good for the whole year.  That chart is shown here in Figure 1 for your consideration.

By the time this almanac is available for public sale, the question of the 2020 presidential election in the United States should be settled, and by the time of the Aries Ingress Chart, the new or re-elected president will have taken the oath of office.    Thus, the question on everyone’s mind for 2021 in the United States is of course going to be COVID-19. Will the plague abate, and will it be possible to do without masks?  Will there be a vaccine or a cure, and will it be possible to solve the problems that the plague has caused in my country?

Aquarius is a fixed air sign: that is, stale breath — one of the key indicators or symptoms of the corona virus outbreak.  Saturn rules Aquarius, and here he is in his own principality. This is a place where the Sun has little direct control.  It appears that the plague will continue to be a significant cause of harm to the people of the United States, and a challenge to both the political and economic establishments throughout the entire year.   Conditions are likely to be sunnier — that is, more positive — elsewhere in the world than in the US.  We can expect that COVID-19 will be the dominant story for most of the silent part of the population in 2021.  

Judicial astrology ranks the Sun as being the planet of the ruler or the chief executive.  With the Sun in Aries, where he’s an honored guest, the US president (whoever they are [update 21 March 2021: Joe Biden is]) is likely to be concerned with questions related to logistics and supply lines and communications. These are unusual matters for a President to deal with directly, but there is a suggestion that he will have considerable favor with the legislature and with the states in pursuing this agenda.  At the same time, though, the third house is cadent, and there will be a substantial part of the institutional framework of the country (particularly the courts and the more militant parts of law enforcement) that will cause him significant difficulty.  Supplies of important consumer goods may be difficult to find at times, and the more-toxic sides of law enforcement and America’s prison culture will be even more visible than usual.   

The Moon is said to represent the more-vocal part of the population, and she is in Gemini in the fifth house.   This placement is associated with the media and fashion industries, and with the concerns of the elite or upper classes in society. Whether by propaganda, design, or genuine economic interest, a strong and growing percentage of the population is going to be vocal and pleased with the outcome of the election, and loudly siding with the economic interests of the upper classes.  The news we read is likely to have a strong slant toward financial incentives for the rich, and social gossip around popular media figures and personalities.  Owing to the Moon’s proximity to the North Node, this will be more pronounced than usual.  

If the seven princes that are the visible planets are the ordinary rulers of astrology — Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury and the Moon — then Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are the interlopers or invaders. These three planets will indicate where upheaval, trouble and difficulty will appear in the national life, and where the ordinary rules of the social order will face challenge.   Uranus is in Taurus in the fourth house, which in a national chart represents the farmland and agricultural fabric of the country — the key disruption is going to be in the US food supply: both in growing the food, and it getting it to market. This may explain why the President is focused so much on logistical matters throughout the year. Neptune is in Pisces in the second house, indicating a lot of financial chicanery and fraud, and great difficulties with cash flow problems in US stock and bond markets.  Many of these difficulties will be associated with a series of false starts and complicated news around the “race for a cure” for COVID-19.  Again, Saturn in Aquarius in the first house indicates that the plague is likely to be troublesome for the entire year, and any effort to land a cure is going to be at least partly illusory [update 21 March 2021: 60-ish days into his presidency, the Biden administration has successfully vaccinated at least 100 million people].   We also find that Pluto is in the twelfth house in Capricorn, where he spews toxins and absorbs riches — his key disruptions reveal the ugliness and misery in the US law enforcement systems, in the prison-industrial complex, and in the medical establishment… [as well as ongoing trouble in the retail sector, where Amazon is the $176 billion-dollar gorilla in the room].  One way or another, the country is likely to need to spend a lot of time and treasure on solving these problems, and they will not go away this year.

We can look to the other visible planets to examine what might be going right in the national business. Mercury in Pisces in the second house indicates that financial matters will be fluid and with many ups and downs, particularly for tech companies once thought of as reliable growth stock opportunities.  Venus in the same sign, and sharing a decan with Neptune, indicates that large media conglomerates are also likely to have a hard time in the coming year as they chase illusions of success.  Movies exploring body horror with buckets of blood are more likely to be successful than serious dramas; look for a zombie movie to be the year’s potential break-out star.  Women are also more likely to have an impact on the state of the stock markets and the fate of the country’s financial future.  Women’s health and its effect on the economy is a significant but not overarching factor. Meanwhile, Mars in Gemini in the fifth house points to a military propaganda drive largely driven by elite or aristocratic concerns; this may manifest in fashion and media industries, but it will also be segmented, with part of the appeal directed toward self-defense for women and part of an effort to get militants to deal with their gun issues.

Overall we find that economic matters largely drive political decisions. Although the legislature and state governments will be both often in the news, they’ll also be clearly hamstrung or deadlocked by the varying interest groups in the United States.  It’s not fair to call these special interests, although that’s a favored term among politicians — no one industry or sector obviously dominates the American economy, and all of the sectors have legitimate and reasonable requests for the state and national government. Not all of those goals can be fulfilled at the same time, yet in the immediate aftermath of an election, some of those groups have to be given what they want, as a gift for their support; and some of those groups must be left wanting.  Everyone must fight [argue], through the legislatures, for their specific goals and against their likely losses. The result is a deadlocked legislature that has the power to get the country’s fortunes moving again, but can’t do so with any ease or grace. 

[This is the end of the Almanac forecast]

Yeah. So — that was the forecast when I was still uncertain about who the President was going to be, and I was uncertain if we were going to have an attempted coup or not. We did have one, by the way, and I happen to think that it will be considered a ‘practice run’ for a worse attempt further down the line.

Here’s what I think is true now.

The chart still has Aquarius as the sign of the Ascendant — we’re still looking at a chart that is largely stable for the next twelve months. Aquarius is still fixed or stale air, and Saturn is in the sign of Aquarius all year, acting as monarch of the year; we can expect limitations, obstacles, and decline to define the year in many ways. AT the same time, we should remember that Saturn was considered in ancient mythology to be the ruler of the Golden Age. An era of limitations and boundaries and decline can also be thought of as a high point of perfection, when the powers that be can still do everything right. It just… costs a LOT, in time and energy and resources (not just money) to do things right. Golden Ages are historically expensive, and collapse happens a lot faster right after them, simply because it takes everything a society has to make things that good for that long. Athens, Rome, Egypt, Persia, Mughal India, Pre-Revolutionary France… if you have a Golden Age, you have a cliff edge somewhere in the decades immediately following. Saturn rules the heavens from Aquarius (which is already a more positive sign than Capricorn) for most of the next two years… and after that, we’ll see.

The First House, here Aquarius, also represents the ‘silent majority’ — the portion of the population that has been unable to make themselves heard in government circles, or in the questions of polity and policy that presently rule them. Ruled by Saturn but also affected by Jupiter’s co-presence, there’s a set of limitations that influence most Americans to continue to stay home, but with a widening circle of risk-taking and opportunism at work.

The Moon represents the part of the population that’s able to make themselves heard in government, and she is speaking from the place of celebrity, entertainment, aristocracies and elites. Here in Gemini, she occupies the Sixth Mansion of the Moon, “The Little Star of Great Light”, promising a message of unity, comity, friendship and peace. Whether movie stars or Gilded Age scions, the media message of the next year is likely to be one of alliance and bipartisanship: whatever the facts on the ground, the story from the media (and from the population they represent) is going to be one of Let’s all come together on the same side. This will tend to obscure the real and abiding divisions in society. Mars’ co-presence here puts a not-insignificant threat of violence into the equation: if you don’t along with our particular version of the modern experience, you may find yourself on the wrong end of brutal behavior from authority figures. This threat has always been implicit in government, particularly government by aristocracy or oligarchy, but the threat may be more openly stated in the future than most Americans are used to. There is a bright spot in all of this, which is that Gemini is a two-bodied sign, and a mutable one — as the year drags on, it is likely to be clear that there are two messages at play, one of which is the “let’s all get along” message, and one of which is a message of appeasement or reconciliation. Although the American elites may not like admitting it, they’ve stashed away nearly $50 trillion or more over the decades since Reagan…. and American schools, American towns, American counties, American workers and factories, and so on, need around $50 trillion in local investment in infrastructure. The last time the US made this kind of significant investment in itself, it led to the significant boom times of the 40s and 50s (though admittedly the war effort helped)… and a prosperous middle class coasted on that infrastructure into the early 1980s. So there’s a growing divide in the elite messaging, with one side continuing to hoard, and another side recognizing that the country may need a new infusion of significant investment for their own fortunes to grow. The presence of the Imum Coeli (IC) suggests that this is where the new dream of America probably lies — anyone got that poster of Amtrak’s high-speed rail lines lying around somewhere?

The second house of the banks and financial institutions shows an ongoing amoral (which is not to say unethical) focus on making money and bringing home the bacon. Mercury in Pisces is not well-placed, so the challenge is that we’re playing off detail-oriented expertise against Jupiter-themed big-picture changes in the functional landscape. It’s easy to attribute this to Bitcoin, Ethereum, NFTs, and other forms of distributed electronic currency. However Neptune is in the same sign and kind of promises ongoing fraud and delusion about the state of the financial realms in the US and overseas. We don’t know as much as we think we do about how money is going to work in the Age of Air that’s just dawning, and what we know is dangerously little on which to build a foundation of long-term success. In many ways, Bitcoin and other distributed digital currencies function more like the giant coins of Yap, or Amsterdam tulips in the 1600s, than they do like traditional mediums of exchange or stores of value: proof that a mathematical operation was performed in the past, is not a guarantee of future value. Venus, the thread-drawer and fashion plate, promises that we’re going to like how our money is spent on medicine and vaccination. But the expense of the nearly $2 trillion in the COVID recovery plan is currently falling on great-grandchildren not yet born to the typical American taxpayer. There’s a blood debt that has been accepted in this chalice we’ve chosen to drink from; by all means, take the vaccine, but know that it comes with an ongoing cost that will be difficult to pay over the long haul.

Overall, the presence of the planets in the lower half of the chart suggests that familial and economic matters dominate and control political matters right now to the exclusion of other factors. However, the North Node-South Node axis gives considerable weight to the opinion of the minority party, which is represented by fifth house operations in the chart. Here, we see that a political-economic and social coalition, apparently backed by a strong voice in the form of the Moon as the speaker of half the population, and the thread of violence, curtails the actions of both state governments and the national legislature in significant ways. Aquarius as the Ascendant suggests that this state of affairs — a uniquely American standoff — is likely to persist into March 2022.

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