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THE BEST ELECTION MONEY COULD BUY,
THE U.S. SATURN RETURN & SATURN ASPECTS TO THE U.S. CHART

by Gary Brand - written November 11 & December 15, 2010,
published in the December 2010 & January 2011 editions of Echo* newspaper
U.S. Chart with the December 3, 2010 Saturn return The U.S. birth chart (planets in the inside wheel and the houses) with all of the transiting planets on December 3, 2010 (in the outer wheel), when Saturn made its first of three exact conjunctions to its position in the U.S. birth chart.  Each Saturn return consists of four phases:   (1) the initial approach to the first exact conjunction is the first phase (which began in September 2010), (2) the second phase is from the first exact conjunction of Saturn's position in the U.S. chart to the second (retrograde) exact conjunction, (3) the second exact conjunction marks the beginning of the third phase, which continues until the third exact conjunction, and (4) the separation from the third and final conjunction is the fourth phase, which ends in November 2011.  At the time of the U.S. election on November 2, Saturn was at 11°40' of Libra so the current U.S. Saturn return was well underway.  When transiting Saturn is conjunct or returns to its position at the time of the birth of the nation, it is also square the Sun in the U.S. chart.  This simultaneous pair of challenging aspects in the U.S. chart is what makes every Saturn return so difficult for the U.S.  Another very significant transit at the time of the 2010 election was Neptune conjunct the position of the Moon in the U.S. chart.  This indicated that the American public (Moon) was disillusioned, gullible, and living in a fairytale (Neptune) because they thought that the election results would change American politics for the better!  The second phase of the U.S. Saturn return, which began on December 3, 2010, continued until the next exact conjunction of transiting Saturn with the position of Saturn in the U.S. chart on March 22, 2011 (shown below).

U.S. Chart with the March 22, 2011 Saturn return The U.S. birth chart (planets in the inside wheel and the houses) with all of the transiting planets on March 22, 2011 (in the outer wheel), when Saturn made its second (retrograde) exact return to its position in the U.S. birth chart (during the current Saturn return).  The transiting Jupiter-Saturn opposition at the time of this conjunction, signified the deep divisions and polarities in American politics.  One example was Republican threats to shut down the U.S. government if their demands for Federal spending cuts were not met.  Because Republicans represent the wealthy, they adamantly refuse to raise taxes on themselves and other rich Americans.  The chart for March 22, 2011 began phase three of the current U.S. Saturn return, which continues until the next exact conjunction of transiting Saturn with the position of Saturn in the U.S. birth chart on August 28, 2011 (see below).

U.S. Chart with the August 28, 2011 Saturn return The U.S. birth chart (planets in the inside wheel and the houses) with all of the transiting planets on August 28, 2011 (in the outer wheel), when Saturn makes its final exact conjunction to its position in the U.S. birth chart (during the current Saturn return).  August 28 marks the beginning of the fourth and final separation stage of this Saturn return, which lingers but steadily weakens until it is over in November 2011.  The next exact return of transiting Saturn to the position of Saturn in the U.S. chart is in October 2040.

Federal Revenue from Personal Income Taxes 2005-2009 This graph demonstrates that Federal revenue from personal income taxes plummeted in the two years since the economic bubble burst in late 2007 - down 50.4% in just two years!  Most of this plunge was from fiscal year (FY) 2008 - 2009, when revenue from personal income taxes was down by an amazing 44.4% (from $984 billion in 2008 to only $547 billion in 2009)!  This one-year dive illustrates, more than any other figure, the depth, seriousness and sweeping extent of this financial crisis.  It also reflects the huge number of Americans who are unemployed, underemployed, or have given up looking for work, all of which have resulted in this incredible drop in collective personal incomes.  Source of the above: IRS.  From 2007 to 2009, the "official" government unemployment rate (which is woefully underestimated) more than doubled - from 4.8% to 10.0%, an increase of 108%!  Source: Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern Univ., Boston, MA.

Federal Revenue from Corporate Income Taxes 2005-2009 This graph vividly demonstrates that Federal revenue from corporate income taxes plummeted in the two years since the economic bubble burst in late 2007 - down 74.8% in just two years (graph data source: IRS)!  This did not occur because corporate income plunged during this period.  Although pre-tax corporate profits declined by 18% in 2008, they increased by $572 billion in just one year - from 4th quarter of 2008 to 4th quarter of 2009 (source: Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern Univ., Boston, MA)!!  So while a huge number of Americans remain unemployed, underemployed, or have given up looking for work and while personal income of the vast majority of Americans has declined sharply, huge corporations are making incredible profits and paying much less in taxes!!!  This is what happens when the U.S. government is controlled and run by corporate interests.  There are more than 26,000 lobbyists in Washington, DC - how many of them do you think represent your interests?

Federal Borrowing to Cover Deficit Spending 2005-2009 This graph vividly illustrates that Federal borrowing to cover U.S. deficit spending skyrocketed during the two years since the economic bubble burst in late 2007 - up 446.5% in just two years, from $154 billion in FY 2007 to $842 billion in FY 2009!  Most of this whopping increase in borrowing was from fiscal year (FY) 2008 - 2009, when Federal borrowing mushroomed - from $379 billion in 2008 to an incredible $842 billion in 2009!  This two-year explosion of borrowing illustrates, as does the graph above this one, the seriousness and sweeping extent of this on-going, governmental problem that began while "W" Bush was in the White House and was used to finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The U.S. government then greatly expanded this borrowing during the present financial crisis.  Note that this graph of Federal borrowing is almost the mirror image of the graph depicting Federal revenue from personal income taxes.  Source: IRS.

Federal Borrowing as Percent of Income 2005-2009 This graph shows the same Federal borrowing to cover U.S. deficit spending as the above graph but as a percentage of total U.S. income!  Most of this whopping increase in borrowing was from fiscal year (FY) 2008 - 2009, when Federal borrowing mushroomed - from 15% of Federal “income” in 2008 to an incredible 40% of Federal “income” in 2009!  Note that this graph of Federal borrowing is almost the mirror image of the graph depicting Federal revenue from personal income taxes.  Source: IRS.
The first part of this article is an analysis of the 2010 election and how the U.S. Saturn return affected it.  The second part includes more about the U.S. Saturn return and the aspects that Saturn makes to other planets in the U.S. birth chart when it returns to its position in the chart of the birth of the nation.

If you are a liberal-minded, compassionate, humanitarian like me, you were probably horrified and dismayed by the November 2, 2010 U.S. election results.  The country took not just one, but three or four steps backward into the past!  Republican, corporate-run puppets in Congress took private interest money, now unlimited because of the January 2010 ruling of the Republican-dominated Supreme Court, and flooded the airways with poisonous campaign ads.  Congressional Democrats also contributed to the flurry of negativity and just as eagerly sought and accepted corporate and private interest money, which resulted in the most expensive election ever bought and paid for by the big money players on Wall Street and in the corporate boardrooms – with a price tag of more than $5,000,000,000.  Just imagine how many jobs that money could have created!  And make no mistake – it was bought!  I must admit that I, too, entertained the thought, “throw out all of the incumbents who allowed this economic cataclysm to happen in the first place.”  But I think such anger on the part of the voters just fueled the flames of partisanship and polarization that now deeply divides this republic (yes, we live in a republic, not a democracy).

Before I delve into how this election was portended in the U.S. birth chart and what it means for our future, I want to explain why I use July 4, 1776, at 2:23 PM, Philadelphia for the chart of the U.S.  Many American astrologers now use the so-called “Sibly chart” (and unfortunately misspell his name “Sibley”!) for July 4, 1776, 10:10 PM, in London (which they adjust to 5:10 PM in Philadelphia) but Sibly’s chart is incorrect for five important reasons:  (1) his date of July 4 is based upon an incorrect calculation, (2) his calculation of July 4th is based upon the assumption that the U.S. and England are represented by the Mars-Saturn opposition in the 1776 spring equinox chart, (3) he used London (instead of Philadelphia, where the rebellion was formalized) for his spring equinox chart, from which his U.S. chart is calculated (using London instead of Philadelphia completely changes the houses involved), (4) the differences between the planetary positions he used and the modern, computer-generated, astronomically correct positions result in a date and time other than July 4th at 5:10 PM, and (5) the most important reason:  his chart is NOT based upon any historical event (in fact, Congress adjourned at 4:00 PM that day)!  Gary has written an in-depth article about the faults of the Sibly chart for the U.S. entitled, What is the Real U.S. Birth Chart?

What was happening in the U.S. chart at the time of this election?  Answer: the country’s Saturn return, which is the periodic return of Saturn to the place where it was at the time of the U.S. birth.  This occurs every 29-30 years so when the historical periods of the last few Saturn returns are examined, a political pattern emerges.  The last Saturn return began at the time of the election of 1980 and continued in 1981-1982.  Reagan was elected in a landslide over incumbent President Carter and Reagan’s “voodoo economics” took hold of the country in 1981-1982, when we suffered a deep, major recession unrivaled until 2008.  In the 1980 Congressional races, Republicans made substantial gains in the House and took control of the Senate, the first time they controlled either chamber since 1953.  The next previous Saturn return was 1951-1952 and the 1952 presidential election was another Republican landslide.  They made substantial gains in both houses of Congress and they took control of the Senate away from the Democrats (after this election they controlled both chambers by narrow majorities).  Are you beginning to see the pattern here?  The next previous Saturn return was 1921-1923 and the election of 1922 resulted in an unusual split: significant Republican gains in the U.S. Senate but a very large gain in Democratic seats in the House.  Republicans retained a narrow majority in both houses but the Republican Party was badly split.  All of these were ineffective Congresses, for the most part.

From the above pattern, it is apparent that the U.S. Saturn return brings a turnaround, the voters choosing conservatives (Saturn) over liberals and Republicans (Saturn) over Democrats (in recent history), the Republicans obtain a narrow control of one or both chambers of Congress, and such Congresses have been largely ineffective.  The election results during U.S. Saturn returns reflect the deep divisions and polarities in the country at these times, the lack of bipartisanship, and an inability of politicians in Congress to pass legislation that is in the best interest of the citizenry.  As a result, we can expect gridlock of the opposing factions and incompetence when confronting serious threats to economic growth during this U.S. Saturn return (as during previous Saturn returns), accompanied by constant bickering and blaming their opponents for the stalemate.  The good news is that Republicans will be blocked in most of their efforts to repeal progressive laws (like healthcare reform) or reduce funding of programs important to the public.

The Saturn return in the U.S. chart is a time of reckoning.  The nation's cultural, economic and political mistakes (Saturn) return to haunt us.  It is a time of contraction (Saturn) in the economy or lackluster performance (Saturn), because Americans tend to be more fearful (Saturn) during these times and the rate of savings (Saturn) goes up while spending is moderated.  Simplicity, self-control, thrift, tenacity, common sense, cautiousness, conservatism, denial, discontent, fear, mistrust, constraint, reluctance, cowardice, bankruptcies, foreclosures, losses, envy, failures, feuds, greed, retrogression, resistance, materialism, and recession are all Saturn keywords and they characterize the 2010-2011 U.S. Saturn return, as well as those preceding.  Employees can expect to work harder and longer for less money.  What’s the bright spot at the end of a Saturn return (there is none during one)?  Things tend to get so bad that the public demands positive change and will hopefully gather in large numbers to demonstrate their unhappiness.

The above portion of this article appeared in the December 2010 issue of Echo* newspaper.  The following segment appeared in the January 2011 edition of Echo and includes the meanings of the squares that transiting Saturn makes to the positions of Venus, Jupiter and the Sun in the U.S. birth chart, from November 2009 – October 2011.  First, an explanation of the U.S. chart that I use.

In the third paragraph of this article, I listed the five reasons why I do not use the so-called Sibly chart (his name is misspelled “Sibley” by some astrologers).  The time that I use is 2:23 from the clock of Independence Hall as it is depicted on the back of the U.S. $100 bill.  This engraving is from a painting by a personal friend of Ben Franklin’s and it begs the question, “why would the artist illustrate such an odd time, unless it was to convey a message?”  Furthermore, Franklin was a Freemason who knew astrology.  He made astrologically-based predictions in his “Poor Richard’s Almanac” and he chose the time of Washington’s first inauguration using an astrological “election chart.”  Hence, it is not a great leap to presume that Franklin asked his friend to paint 2:23 on the clock because that was when the approval and signing of the Declaration of Independence was completed.  More concrete evidence is in the form of John Hancock’s diary entry for July 4th, which states that he signed the Declaration as President of the Congress shortly after 2:00 pm and, if other members signed it that day (this is disputed), it would have taken a brief period of time (20 minutes perhaps?) for them to do so.  Astrologically, the time of 2:23 PM yields a most amazing and probably intentional correlation:  the Sun is in 13 degrees and 13 minutes of Cancer!  Thirteen is the number of original colonies and it is symbolized more than any other number on the U.S. Seal.  You can read more on this subject in Gary's in-depth article What is the Real U.S. Birth Chart?

The 2:23 PM chart for the birth of the U.S. puts Saturn in the U.S. 11th house, which represents Congress and I contend that this country has one of, if not the most conservative (Saturn), tight-fisted (Saturn) legislatures in the developed world.  The exception to this is military spending, which is unrestricted because of fear and dominance (Saturn).  The U.S. is the only developed nation without universal healthcare for all of its citizens and it has the highest rate of homelessness in the developed world.  The anomalistic, dysfunctional (Saturn), two-party system that has a stranglehold (Saturn) on the U.S. Congress stubbornly represses (Saturn) the development of a multi-party legislature, which all other developed countries have.  Saturn symbolizes greed and it is no coincidence that more than 44% of members of Congress are millionaires (compared to 1% of the total U.S. population)!  In addition, vested corporate interests (Saturn) represented by 26,000 lobbyists in Washington, provide most of the Congressional campaign money, wield the real power in Congress, and want to preserve (Saturn) the status quo (Saturn) and minimize government regulation (Saturn) that protects the environment and the public.  The reason that the U.S. Congress occasionally passes legislation based on some lofty ideal that preserves nature (e.g. national parks) or that has a humane purpose, is because Neptune is also in the 11th house of the U.S. birth chart and Saturn is near the beginning or cusp of the U.S. 12th house of charity, institutions, and wilderness.

Concurrent with the U.S. Saturn return, Saturn makes a very important series of squares to Venus, Jupiter and the Sun in the U.S. chart when it moves through Libra.  The Saturn return and these squares (especially to the U.S. Sun) coincided with recessions in 1981-1982, 1923, 1893-1894 (this recession included a stock market and banking collapse) and 1833-1834.  The Saturn return and its squares to these planets during the Korean War (1951-1952) and during the Civil War (1863-1864) did not correspond with recessions (probably because of those wars), although the South certainly suffered a recession during the Civil War!  Venus and Jupiter are in the 8th house of the U.S. birth chart, which represents the national debt, government expenditures, and deficit spending.  With these planets in this house, the U.S. government has been lucky, so far, that it has been able to create and maintain a huge national debt and continue deficit spending by selling Treasury Notes to domestic and foreign investors.  However, if the national credit standing or rating were to decline as a result of continued huge deficits and escalating debt (Standard and Poor's lowered its outlook on U.S. Federal debt to “negative” on April 18, 2011), the U.S. government could find itself in yet another economic and financial crisis (8th house) this year.

The Sun in a nation’s chart represents the government in general and its leaders.  The Sun in the U.S. 9th house of national ideals and philosophy represents the lofty principles upon which this country was founded.  But the U.S. was born with Saturn square the Sun, so the government and leaders have lost sight of the founding fathers’ principles and have become self-serving, conservative, and resistant (Saturn) to progressive, humanistic change.  With this square, corporate ambition and greed (Saturn) often dominate government priorities and policies (Sun).  When transiting Saturn squares U.S. Sun during the nation's Saturn return as it is now, conservatives reign, progress is impeded, setbacks or stalemates prevail, and compromisers like President Obama fold under pressure.  Morality (Sun) takes a backseat to pragmatism (Saturn), fear of change (Saturn) trumps creative leadership (Sun), and fiscal conservatism (Saturn) chokes economic (Jupiter) and government vitality (Sun).

Transiting Saturn squaring U.S. Jupiter and Venus is synchronous with economic contraction, less funding for education, fiscal tightwads slashing the Federal budget, court rulings that favor corporations, declining Federal revenue (personal income tax revenue was down 50% 2007-2009 - see the graph above left - dropping from 43% of Federal income in FY 2007 to only 26% in FY 2009), a rollback of regulation, a higher rate of bank failures and foreclosures, politicians clamoring to reduce the national debt, and skyrocketing deficit spending (borrowing to cover the deficit mushroomed from 6% of Federal income in FY 2007 to 40% in FY 2009, a whopping 446% increase - see the accompanying graph).  The good news in all of this is that Saturn will move on after October 2011, when we will face a new and different set of challenges as it squares Mercury and Pluto in the U.S. birth chart.
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*Echo is a monthly newspaper about community, the environment, health, cuisine, and spirituality that is distributed in central Virginia.
Good Timing and Location are Keys to Success

Gary Brand, Traditional Astrologer
Tallahassee, Florida
850-656-5758


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