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Where Is The ‘Beautiful’ In America?


I grew up in America singing a song called America the Beautiful (whose lyrics by Katharine Bates you’ll find in it’s entirety at the bottom of this article).  Whenever I sang that song I could feel my heart swell and a rush of energy would rise to my throat.  I believed those words as a child in America singing, “O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties, Above the fruited plain!  America! America! God shed his grace on thee, And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea!”

This country called the United States of America is now 235 years old since its inception date of declared Independence on July 4, 1776.  I feel a lot of pain as I write this article today because the gap between the reality and the ideal seems so huge.  Yet I also can still see the beauty of this great land, Turtle Island, which existed long before America came into existence.  Two huge flocks of wild geese just flew overhead heading South.  I heard their crazy honking before I rushed outside to see them high in the sky.  Beautiful!  Earlier today I took a four mile walk through the woods surrounding my home with my neighbor friends.  The morning light was soft, filtering through the pines, and the air was pungent and sweet after a wild storm that blew through here a few days ago.  Beautiful!  My neighbors are good-hearted, helpful people both beautiful inside and out.  These are some of the graces and gifts still present in my life in America today.

Yet all is not light and full of grace, nor has it ever been since the first birthing of this country.  There are many injustices present and growing, and many inequities growing ever more extreme.  Just one example in my orbital field includes the indigenous tribes, such as the Maidu who were practically decimated by the Gold Rush stampede in the Sierras back in the mid-1800s.  This weekend is Indigenous Peoples Days in our County and Friday night we attended a packed Veteran’s Memorial Hall to hear John Trudell speak about being human.

Trudell Family

This is a man whose entire beautiful family was burned to death in a ‘mysterious fire’ after he took a stand against injustice in America back when AIM was getting established.  He is a not just courageous, but incredibly wise, and his words are still indelibly imprinted into my mind.

“I’m just a human being trying to make it in a world that is very rapidly losing its understanding of being human.”  John Trudell

John Trudell

“We are the Earth.  We truly, literally, and figuratively are the Earth.  Any relationship we will ever have in this world to real power—the real power, not energy systems and other artificial means of authority—but any relationship we will ever have to real power is our relationship to the Earth.  Our power comes from the Earth.”  John Trudell

Yesterday they did a ‘Calling Back the Salmon Ceremony’ which is an ancient Maidu ceremony revived four years ago after not being celebrated for over one hundred years.  The Salmon, too, have been decimated in all streams and rivers here in the West.

Much has been lost in this land where I live.  The Gold Rush also tainted our water sources. Our well is contaminated with Arsenic which always accompanies gold, just as shadow exists with light.  Mercury, used in the mining process, pollutes much of the land and water to this day around here. Certain areas of our local Empire State Park are fenced off due to toxic wastes still not cleaned up. There are no more virgin forests around here. In fact, today the old growth redwood forests and 100 year old second growth are being cut down and sent to China to be used as concrete forms during construction in their housing boom.  The cargo ships loaded with these thousands of trees are called such names as ‘Bright Life’.

Our air is some of the most toxic in Northern California due to the pollutants from auto exhausts and big agricultural spraying of pesticides and herbicides that rise from the Central Valley below and settle in these lower foothills. In addition, the skies are no longer a deep blue due to the planes rising from places like Beale Air Force Base near-by, and spraying chemtrails over-head that criss-cross back and forth creating ugly patterns that eventually disperse and turn the sky into a pale, hazy, dim veiled dome.  No one really knows why so many trees are dying; rotting from the inside out.  You see these dried up dead trees everywhere now, dotting the forests.

To top it all off, the neighborhood where I live and walk about in, is now turned into a major construction site for huge cement pipes that are being put underground to carry water from higher regions to not just our own County, but also parts unknown.  The company doing this is not publicly owned completely. They do allow public in-put, but then pretty much do as they please. They have evidently cut a deal with certain towns in the Valley, with high-end homes and several golf courses, to sell the water to them.  Hooking up to these pipes will be enormously expensive for the locals who are monitoring their wells with a certain degree of anxiety.  The very courteous workers are maneuvering those enormous Kumatsus through the trees like something out of ‘Star Wars’.  Wide swaths of red earth now exist where once pretty trees stood tall and serene.

What’s going on in your part of this world?  How has ‘The American Dream’ impacted your life?  What ‘Bright Life’ ironies are present where you live?

We are living in a time of extremes.  These are edgy times and awakening times.  Consciousness has come with a price.  We are leaving adolescence in America.  Another sobering SATURN RETURN has just ended for a country that was once young and full of promises of freedom and endless expansion.  Adolescence is often a time of great turbulence inside and out, an often reactionary time.  It feels like this phase is coming to a sobering end for this young adult nation of 235 years.  Hope dies hard in the face of blatant realities like losing one’s job and home.  The 99% vs. the 1% theme is throbbing wildly now in this land.  As one man, Charles Eisenstein, recently wrote in his article entitled ‘Occupy Wall Street: No Demand is Big Enough’, “Looking out upon the withered American Dream, many of us feel a deep sense of betrayal.”

In a recent Rolling Stone issue from July 7-21 Al Gore wrote a timely article called Climate of Denial, The Media and the Merchants of Pollution.  He writes, “It is now commonplace for congressmen and senators first elected decades ago–as I was–to comment in private that the whole process has become unbelievable crass, degrading and horribly destructive to the core values of American Democracy.  Largely as a result, the concerns of the wealthiest individuals and corporations routinely trump the concerns of average Americans and small business….”

And as John Trudell said two nights ago, “White folk are finally getting the reality of being corralled and controlled in the same manner that we Natives experienced long ago.”

I’ve been curious to understand, through the perspective of astrology, this saga that the world is living out now, for the entire world is somehow connected with ‘the American Dream’. Let’s take a look at the USofA’s birth map.  I’m using the generally accepted ‘Rudhyar’ or Sibley Chart.  My computer software gives a rounded up 13 Sagittarius rising chart, though I’ve also seen a 14 degree Sagittarius Rising used in other versions.

Our nation was formed by a small group of white, primarily land-owning, males.  They declared their independence from the Aries nation of England during the time of Cancer. The sign rising (Sagittarius) meant that Jupiter would be the ruling energy of this nation, and—-wonder of wonders!—-Jupiter was conjoining the Sun in Cancer at the inception date.  Not only that, but Venus was sitting side-by-side Jupiter in the sky at the same time.  This super Jupiter effect meant that, like Zeus of ancient mythology, this nation would be fed on milk and honey and rise to become king of the mountain, the number one ruling nation of the world eventually.  Quite a feat for a Crab!

This huge imprint of the grand benefic, Jupiter, with Venus as entwined love goddess meant that the good life was practically ensured for all who became part of the ‘family’.  A pretty clannish nation began, and not everyone was necessarily sitting at the ‘property owner’s table’. With the Sun barely inside the 8th house of joint resources it eventually was all about aligning the national purpose with those who had wealth and abundance also.  Alliances with other privileged nations would come and go, but some alliances would be ‘unshakeable’, especially such nations who also had Venus in Cancer, such as Israel.  Venus in Cancer values home and homeland, as well as absolute security.  Venus in Cancer is also hungry; hungry for more when combined with Jupiter.  We’re talking insatiable appetite!

Of course, a Jupiter soul is often a generous one and Venus/Jupiter loves to be loved by everyone, feeding on popularity as a secondary reward for all that giving.  This is also a spendthrift combination and a hugely consumer society was spawned way back in 1776.  Nothing was too good for America.  We’re talking about an appetite, first of all, for land  and territory staked out from coast to coast.  Then we’re talking about an appetite for resources such as gold, oil, uranium, etc.   Sagittarius rising is naturally expansive and exploratory and once the quest has reached a destination, another quest ensues.

After the Industrial Revolution began and machines entered the scene and eventually the industrial/military complex, the hunger for conquest began to gradually extend beyond the boundaries of America’s states and territories.  How many military bases does this country have today?  My on-line research says anywhere from 1,000 to 1,200.  That’s called global expansion.

But look at that planet Jupiter.  It’s huge and gaseous.  Maybe it can exist in that state, but here on planet Earth, such states create bloat and bubbles.  Cancer rules nourishment which an infant needs initially to grow.  At a certain point, once an adult, all that milk and sugar is no longer necessary.  Remember that movie, The Three Witches of Eastwick when the ‘wonder god’ they created became a huge, over-blown, bloated baby?  Good analogy for the state we became while the gay, roaring ‘90’s were rushing us towards bubble land.  The New Millennium began with the year 2000.  Two is a number signifying cooperation and sharing.  That lesson is fairly nascent still except in the hearts and minds of those already enlightened or awakening.

When Pluto entered Capricorn by March of 2008, the bubbles began to pop.  First to get hit was Venus in Cancer.  Pop went the American Dream that everyone could have a home of their own. Pop went the American Dream that financial buying power was assured through ever-expanding credit card debts and nifty financial packages. Pluto, in financial astrology, signifies debt.  America, along with a great portion of the developed world was riddled, by then, in debt.  Pluto is the great destroyer.  It breaks things down so that transformation can occur.  When Pluto was in the sign of Cancer way back in the 20s and 30s of the last century, American endured another hard lesson hitting core issues of values and security.  There are many theories about how and why the Great Depression occurred.  I’m not a historian.  I’m only looking at these great transpersonal cycles right now.  Pluto wasn’t even discovered until 1930 and then we began to peer into the darker recesses of human shadow-land.  We began to learn about fascism, even though totalitarian types of power had existed prior in the form of monarchies, wealthy land-owner/feudal lords, and the ‘Church’ for centuries.  The Inquisition wasn’t a light stroll in the park for humans.  There have seemingly always existed power rapacious people who wanted to have power OVER other humans.  After 1930, with the onset of depth psychology and new ways to probe into the unconscious, we were finally beginning to shed light on the ‘Dark Lord’ way out there at the edge of our solar system.  Today we know a lot more about our internal shadows and can now grapple with shadow lords who continue to rule from hidden enclaves as well.  Today they are called ‘the 1%’, but I rather think it is actually the .001%

So Pluto in its opposition to Venus first, and now  Jupiter as well, can be seen in a two-fold manner: as the hidden powers attempting to get stronger, as well as the beginning of an enormous transformative process. One way of looking at Pluto in the USofA chart is that it was there from the get-go:  Pluto in Capricorn retrograde in the Second House, widely conjoins the South Node (the line of least resistance, and the past).  The shadow-rulers were with this nation from the very beginning with their ‘right to rule’ and bigotry.  The tyranny that people tried to escape from as pilgrims seeking religious freedom followed and became the forces that could conquer and kill those already here, enslave Africans and haul them over here to do the hard labor, and gradually become the great land barons and tycoons who created a hidden ‘ruling class’ in the heart of Democracy.  And what is this ruling class called?  A PLUTOCRACY.

So we have this small group of families/clans/blood-lines who have had a very long time to accumulate wealth and power pulling more strings to keep their status and power at the expense of ‘common, hard-working folk’.  They can afford to create think-tanks, propaganda machines, political puppets, and mercenary warriors/lawyers to defend their stakes.  They are now playing a very ‘high stakes’ game indeed.  As Al Gore says, “The climate crisis, in reality, is a struggle for the soul of America.  It is about whether or not we are still capable–given the ill health of our demorcracy and the current dominance of wealth over reason–of perceiving important and complex realities clearly enough to promote and protect the sustainable well-being of the many.  What hangs in the balance is the future of civization as we know it.”

But think about this, too: Pluto, in its great 248 year cycle around the Sun, is in what is called its 12th-House phase now, where America’s chart is concerned, that is.  This is a rather karmic phase where the past must be dealt with and a kind of unraveling is going on.  Pluto is in what is called the Immanent Phase, or what Rowena Pattee Kryder calls The Mother of Compassion’ phase. “You can be very prophetic and visonary at this time, not by just using imagination or inspiration, but you can have a clear vision ito the future.  The boundaries of your ego have the potential to being dissolved… can be a fountain of love and abundance for others as well as yourself.”  Remember, no planet is good or bad.  Planets are only symbolic of energy.  Pluto represents condensed power.  It also represents the power of transformation.  Something is ending as something new is being born.

Along with this cycle we have the Mayan Calendar coming to an end, and other cycles near or entering conclusions, such as ‘The Age of Pisces’.  John Trudell kept hammering in his point that we humans have been created with intelligence and we need to use that intelligence to think clearly and coherently (he kept using that word).  We need to stop blindly believing because that is how we have been enslaved by those who wish to control us.  Doesn’t this sound like the ‘Age of Aquarius’ that has been a buzz word ever since the ‘60s?

So Pluto is destroying old VALUES AND BELIEFS (Venus and Jupiter), along with—yes, wealth and materialism, and the worship of money in order for what?  What is going to rise up out of the ashes of this time?  Those who aspire for a kinder, more cooperative world are not buying into the fear trap.  Shame and fear are old Piscean methods of perpetuating victim-sadist scenarios.  Yes, we are seeing a continuation of torture and enslavement even today.  Yes, it is still going on.  But we are shedding increasing light on all the twisted and distorted forms these darker forces continue to try and implement to destroy and enslave humans,and—quite frankly—-all creatures of the Earth.  Holding something into the light is a good way to shrink its effectiveness.  MORE LIGHT PLEASE!

The purification of Pluto will continue, my friends, for a while longer where the USofA is concerned.  Pluto has yet to oppose the Sun and square Saturn (for the Sun and Saturn form a tight square in the natal chart).  That won’t be done until December of 2015.  The final piece will be what I consider the most important, the opposition of Pluto to Mercury, and the Pluto Return unfolding from 2020 to 2022.  That completion will show where consciousness has developed and how much of a ‘Phoenix trip’ America is willing to take.  Obviously, the range and description of this is beyond the scope of this article.

I do want to now, however, address the impending URANUS SQUARE PLUTO phase which is beginning to appear finally in America.  This is a WAXING SQUARE whose cycle really began in 1966 with the Uranus/Pluto conjunction.  That revolutionary period was contained and controlled quite easily by the Plutocracy through various methods of mind-control (Virgo).  However, the seed was planted then and now with Uranus in Aries, the sign of new, spontaneous combustion, it’s not likely that the old guard will be able to contain the rising movement of the masses afoot.  We’re talking about a potential 99 +% remember.  That is the slogan we are now hearing.

The word awakening is everywhere, and Uranus in Aries most epitomizes that word.  Uranus is the great awakener.  It is the planet of inventiveness and innovation.  It is the planet of birth!  The waxing phase is described as an enormous momentum of energy that is rushing forward full force.  These two transpersonal forces will square off exact five times between now and March of 2015.  So we’re in for a wild ride between now and then.  Here are the exact dates, as close as I can figure.  Please correct me if you find me in error:  June 24th, 2012 at 8 degrees (Aries/Capricorn), September 19th, 2012 at 6 degrees, May 21st, 2013 at 11 degrees, December 16th, 2014 at 12 degrees, and finally March 17th, 2015 at 15 degrees.  Check those degrees in your chart to see where this energy will hit.

The revolutionary spirit that gave birth to America is likely to arise enmasse during this time.  The forces that attempt to control and pervert will also likely be in full force.  America is a numerological 32/5.  Freedom doesn’t come without struggle and discipline.  It’s the discipline, the intelligence that will be needed in addition to the spontaneous combustion.

Steve Jobs

I think it is in order now to give homage to Steve Jobs who was born in 1955 when Uranus was conjunct Jupiter in Cancer.  The mid-50s were post-WWII years for America and many souls were born during those years that would bring in the innovation and change that was dreamed of.  Remember Tomorrow Land in Disney Land?  Those dreams seem rather antiquated by contrast to what was birthed by the likes of Mr. Jobs.  An orphan born with Arab blood–his father was Syrian==, he fulfilled the American Dream that milions of immigrants desired in their longing for a better life in the new world.  He was adopted by blue-collar workers and rose, without ivy league school education or connections, to become the head of a company worth $100 million by the time he was 25 years old.

His life reads like a fairy tale with Sun in Pisces trine Neptune.  Yes, that is the mark of a true visionary!  His genius gave rise to so many accomplishments as dynamically represented by his Uranus/Jupiter in Cancer, conjoining America’s Mercury in Cancer, and forming a Grand Cross in Cardinal signs that were ever keeping his life stressed and action-packed.  His untimely death comes at a pivotal time in America as the nation begins to see what it is really made of in a sink or swim scenario, but we all have Mr. Jobs to thank for how we now communicate and gain access to each other in this global network that brings the One World concept closer and closer to home for each of us.  May his great spirit be free and blessed wherever he now soars.

This brings me to the conclusion of what will have to be continued in future articles. I want to look at the nation’s Moon in Aquarius, which truly represents ‘by the people, and for the people’.  I want to look at the long illusionary sleep-walking that ensued as Neptune crossed over that Moon.  I want to look at the Sun square Saturn in Libra which represents a mighty struggle for discipline, law and order yet is also a quest for mature confidence, as well as a powerful staying strength to endure.  I want to look at Mars in Gemini.  Oh yes!  Fickle, techno-savvy Mars with the ability to out-fox and outmaneuver all enemies real or imagined in that 7th house of partners and ‘open enemies’.  Mars square Neptune and all the fogs of wars America has entered and gotten lost in.  I want to look at that Neptune in Virgo, high in the sky, and the dreams and fantasies that were planted at that nascent beginning in 1776.  And I want to continue to look at that Stellium in Cancer which describes a purpose of nurturance, and a shadow of insecurity and greed.  My curiosity will continue to motivate me to keep looking and writing.

In closing, here are the lyrics to America the Beautiful.  This song says so much about the idealism, the dreams, as well as the hubris and naiveté of a country created by escaping from one place and conquering another.  The illusion of ownership is a deception.  Mother Earth has never been, nor ever will be for sale.  When the United States finally acknowledges in humbleness and gratitude that everything comes from the Mother Planet, then perhaps she will arise and serve her true purpose as nourishing care-giver and steward of this beautiful land.  That will have to be a transformation of consciousness from patriarchal power to rule over other humans and the Earth, to a consciousness of love and sharing with all devoid of exploitation.

America the Beautiful

Words by Katharine Lee Bates,
Melody by Samuel Ward

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America!  America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America!  America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America!  America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America!  America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!

O beautiful for pilgrims feet,
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America!  America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through
Wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice,
For man’s avail
Men lavished precious life!
America!  America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America!  America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!

October 10, 2011  9 Comments
Categories: Astrology, Interesting People, United States | Tags: , , , , , , ,


1 Christine Danielle Vierling { 10.11.11 at 1:09 am }

I’m always proud and grateful to be the daughter of such a wise and compassionate mother!

2 Lesley { 10.11.11 at 1:39 pm }

This is a wonderful piece, Genevieve, drawing together threads of history, politics, consciousness and conscience with astrology. I am especially touched by John Trudell’s comments and reminded of a discussion in a Camus novel where one character begs off trying to be a human being, settling instead for being a saint. Yes, far easier. Your thoughtful, clear prose, unclouded by hyperbole or rigidity, allows the message of sadness and of hope to touch the reader deeply. I look forward to the columns to come and hope they will be collected and published in book form when you are done with the cycle. Thank you.

3 Genevieve { 10.11.11 at 3:30 pm }

Ah, Lesley! Knowing how skilled you are as editor and writer yourself, your compliments are very meaningful. Thank you. I will continue to try my best to bring astrology to readers in a clear and simple manner that can be understood.

4 Carolyn Anderson { 10.11.11 at 7:14 pm }

Thanks, Genevieve, for a brilliant overview of the dark and light we are experiencing in America today. The dream of what can be for this once great nation lives in my heart always.

5 Donna Fisher-Jackson { 10.11.11 at 9:09 pm }

Great Article! Genevieve, you really summed up what’s happening right now in the United States so well. It will be interesting to see the impact of these future Pluto transits with the US chart. Your description of the one with Venus is so right on, and now Jupiter. We really are on the brink of an incredible transformation as a country, and as a world. Thanks for your eloquent insights.

6 Astrobie { 10.11.11 at 10:10 pm }

Thanks Genevieve, you have explained and written very beautifully. I would like to do such research for my country as well.

7 Joan Goddard { 10.11.11 at 10:59 pm }

Dear friend….what a clear and moving account of the land of liberty with all it’s shadow sides. Like you, I have always been moved to tears by “America the Beautiful” and hold the possibility of the realization of it’s great destiny.

8 Curt { 11.06.11 at 1:37 pm }

Another great article Genevieve. Thought provoking as always. I’m very sorry I didn’t have a chance to read this earlier, you seem to have a gift for saying things that relate to current happenings in my life anyway, which is to say that a great deal has been happening.

The deep blue sky is indeed beautiful. When I look to the nearby city, the sky is many vibrant colors. Green, orange, red, and yellow. There’s still some blue too. I know the sky isn’t supposed to be green, but I have to say I think it’s pretty. If I didn’t know that some of those colors were the result of dangerous gasses in the atmosphere, all would be well with the world. My piscean soul wonders if beauty can exist without ugliness or joy without sorrow. Sometimes though, I think people are only looking at the shadows. Green, orange, red, and yellow, are beautiful colors too. If we could have a many colored sky, without the toxins, would we still call it ugly?

Speaking of toxins, someone close to me was diagnosed with cancer a short time ago. This person, a retired public servant, has had access to some of the best doctors and treatments available in the world today and is still living a fairly active life thanks to the U.S. healthcare system. As I was researching cancer, I also found that chemotherapy was the result of U.S. military chemical tests. Sometimes even ugly things can yield beautiful results. America is truly a beautiful nation, not only for lifesaving chemotherapy, but also for having the wisdom and freedom to offer many other cancer treatments so that doctors and patients can choose what they think is best.

Whatever the future brings, let’s not forget to take the good with bad.

9 Genevieve { 11.08.11 at 2:49 pm }

I always appreciate your ability to see the positive in life. I’m glad your friend is benefiting from what seems like a very aggressive form of medicine, but I, too, have known many who are now in remission thanks to these treatment programs. The older I get the more I realize I can not judge another’s experience.

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