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Read more in Solstice Fire and the Art of Service, by Eric Francis.
The United States of America has another birthday coming up on Saturday. Although nations do not come into the world as people do, there are some countries that can mark their beginning from a specific date. The U.S. is one of them. Yes, one could fairly say that many dates and events could be construed to represent the beginning of America as it now is, but one day stands out.
That day, of course, is July 4, 1776. A day documented with parchment (or paper) and ink by the astonishingly audacious and historically unprecedented Declaration of Independence.
The Declaration of Independence defied what Keith Olberman has referred to as “the alchemy of precedent.” It was a miracle, really, that a nation should seek to initiate its existence in service to principle.
Among the principles cited by the signatories of the Declaration of Independence as they set forth to create a new nation was the notion that “all men” were created equal, providentially endowed with “inalienable rights,” which included “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” In spite of its karmically and pathologically disturbing disparagement of the American First Nations, and also in spite of its male supremacist language, the founding document of the U.S. still inspires absolute awe.
Since its creation, the U.S. has been on a long journey to determine whether it could in reality serve its lofty definition of self. For most of that trip the results have been less than stellar. It was downright ignominious, for example, that a nation made by lofty rhetoric should then set forth to practice overt genocide on the original inhabitants of America, all but exterminating some of the most Earth-friendly people and cultures ever to exist on Earth.
Then there is the undeniable fact that the so-called founding fathers conveniently skated around the issue of slavery, mocking their own principles in actual practice until The People would have it no more. One must also confront the specter of war made intentionally for purposes of profit behind facade after contrived facade of disingenuous righteousness.
Yes, one might fairly say that the U.S. has always been, and with time has more become, a mockery of its ideals. Yet, every once in a while, America defies the priests of precedent and sets forth anew to live up to its principles. Still living and breathing are enough Americans who actually believe that the historically improbable can yet be made possible. As always, however, one would be loathe to predict the outcome.
Hence, looking at the solar return (birthday) chart for the USA this year is enough to remind any thoughtful astrologer that the highest principle astrology might serve is not to predict, but to inspire. Taken that way, the solar return chart for the U.S. this year (whether cast for Philadelphia, where it all began, or Washington D.C., where America’s uneasy empire resides now), is notable.
For reasonable purpose, and based on abundantly resonant correlations, the “birth” chart used here on Planet Waves is the famous Sibly chart. That chart is set for 5:10 pm local time in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.
The 2015 solar return chart for the USA has Virgo rising, celebrating the grounded yet resilient nature of American citizens who continue to insist that their nation manifest its founding principles. Virgo, one is compelled to remember, is the only sign where its planetary ruler (Mercury) is also exalted.
Thus, one is also compelled to look for where Mercury is in the chart — a chart that features the Sun in the exact same degree as it was for the date recorded on the Declaration of Independence. Encouragingly, it is the most elevated planet.
For astrologers, the symbolism of the most elevated planet on any chart founded upon a date, time and place cannot be underestimated. The so-called mid-heaven represents (among other things) both the self-conscious image and any observable discrepancies as regards to that image for the party whose birth is being observed.
But this is not just any Mercury presiding over the birthday of the United States this year. There is more than correspondence with, and thoughtful understanding of, how the U.S. often sees itself one way, and other nations often see it another way. There is also Mercury’s placement and timing.
This is a Mercury recently freed from the thin, confining slice of the zodiac in which it recently paced back and forth in retrograde. This is also a Mercury in late Gemini opposed to (which for astrologers means “reflected by”) the core of our galaxy in the latter degrees of Sagittarius.
For astronomers, any galactic core represents the highest example of a center and an axis. Once you go out into intergalactic space, there are no longer any such reference points in a universe hastening to only expand in all directions. For astrologers, the core of our galaxy has a similar correspondence.
As Eric has put it so many times here on Planet Waves, our Galactic Core represents a “homing signal.” Combine that with the United States’ natal Sun (emblematic of consciousness) and Mercury’s correlation to mind and its means of expression, and you get the picture.
It is a picture of a nation newly conscious and mindful of the homing signal of its founding principles. It is the image of a country that has gone grievously off course, but which is not yet finally lost, thanks to those who serve its most elevated ideals.
As such, Planet Waves asks you to join us as you are able in observing the ideals of a life inspired (not predicted) by astrology. As best as you are able, we invite you to participate in our Art of Service, which includes being liberated from the constant assault of corporate advertising. That liberation is made possible by those of you who become supporting members. Finally, let there be no doubt that all of us at Planet Waves pursue (and find) our own happiness through our practice of service to you.
You might also consider it worth your while to safely and respectfully observe the birthday of what comedian Bill Murray might affectionately call a “knuckle head” country, which may yet keep its promise to posterity.
Offered In Service
Len is available for astrology readings. You can contact him at lenwallick [at] gmail [dot] com.