The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 376, titled:
With Chris Brennan and guest Nick Dagan Best
Episode originally released on November 19, 2022
Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: email@example.com
Transcribed by Andrea Johnson
Transcription released December 28, 2022
Copyright © 2022 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hey, my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. In this episode I’m gonna be talking with astrologer Nick Dagan Best about the Uranus returns of the United States, both historically in the past and what they’ve coincided with, as well as what’s coming up in the future. So, hey, Nick, welcome back to the show.
NICK DAGAN BEST: Hey, Chris, nice to be here.
CB: Yeah, thanks for joining me today. All right, so we’re coming off of a Uranus eclipse in Taurus here that just occurred a few days ago during the midterm elections. And it seemed appropriate; this is a topic that’s come up many times before on the podcast. But it’s been such a long time since I did a deep dive into this topic that I thought it would be good, ironically, to return to it again in this episode. So you and I talked about this originally in Episode 11 of The Astrology Podcast way back in September of 2013 after you had just released a book on the Uranus returns of the United States. But there was no video version of that and it was such a long time ago that I don’t think that’s even in the audio feed anymore; you have to like go back and find it on the podcast website. Plus, it’s been almost a decade, so I thought it would be worth revisiting at this point, especially since now we’re much closer to the Uranus return of the United States that’s coming up here later in this decade than we were when we talked about this the last time, about nine years ago.
NDB: Yeah, yeah, a lot’s happened since then.
CB: Yeah, well, what’s funny is relative to our original discussion back then, 10 years ago, it was a little bit more obscure, you know. I was talking about it then in terms of, “Well, I don’t know how this is gonna be relevant.” Because the thing that astrologers always say—the hook for this episode and for this topic—is that basically the planet Uranus spends seven years in each sign of the zodiac. It takes about 84 years for it to come back to the sign that it started in, to where it was when something was founded. And so, Uranus was in the sign of Gemini during the period of the Revolutionary War, at the founding of the United States, then it returned back to Gemini during the period that coincided with the Civil War, which is about 84 years later, and then Uranus again returned back to Gemini during the 1940s, which coincided with America’s involvement in World War II.
CB: So historically that’s it. And then the last thing is that Uranus right now is in Taurus—it’s about halfway through Taurus—and it’s getting ready to go into Gemini again later in this decade.
NDB: Yeah, just to add to that breakdown that you just offered, so the Revolutionary War, 1774 to 1782; so really from the very beginning of the conflict, up until when Britain decides to pull out of the war. The US Civil War, 1858 to 1866. So Uranus ingress is just before the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Those debates helped put Lincoln into consideration for the White House. It is sort of the event that brings him fame and makes him a candidate right up until the end of the Civil War in 1865 and the passage of the 14th Amendment. And then 1941 to 1949, yeah, it’s US involvement in the Second World War but also the early period of the Cold War, from ‘45 to ‘49, when the US was the only nuclear superpower. Because shortly after Uranus did leave Gemini in 1949, about two months after—less than two months after—the Soviets tested their first nuclear bomb, and suddenly the Cold War got a lot more complicated. The Chinese Revolution also was not too long after that. China, with Uranus in Cancer, they seem to have an ongoing cyclical relationship there.
So yeah, so much of what we’re facing today seems to be resurfacing from subjects that are related to at least two, if not all three, of those past conflicts. Internally, the US has sort of grown a schism in its population that in some ways recalls the divisions of the Civil War. And then, you know, the Cold War seems to be freezing up again it’s safe to say in ‘22. So yeah, a lot of these things, you know, everything from the threats of using nuclear weapons to the founding of NATO, which occurred when Uranus was in Gemini, all these sorts of things that are still really central to the news cycle today have their origin from past periods when Uranus was in Gemini.
CB: Yeah, so basically we have two instances historically of the Uranus return of the United States, and one of them was, you know, Civil War and a great period of internal strife, and then the second one was World War II and a great period of external strife of the US fighting a war on, you know, two fronts, the Pacific and the European front. So what I wanted to do in order to contextualize that—we can clearly start to see at this point where we are today—I should give the data. Today’s actually Thursday, November 10, 2022. We started, what, a few minutes ago? About six minutes ago. So at about 1:22 PM in Denver, Colorado with late Aquarius rising. So we can see how at this current point in time, going into the next Uranus return a few years from now, how we have the potential for both internal strife as well as external strife coming up in the country. And I thought it would be good to go back and look at those three periods when Uranus was last in Gemini during the course of this episode, to do kind of a history lesson and an overview of past things; that way then we might be able to learn some of the lessons from that and then project it out into the future to kind of anticipate some of the things that are in store for us later in this decade.
CB: How does that sound to you?
NDB: That sounds good. That sounds like a plan.
CB: All right, so let’s go back to the beginning. Let’s go back to the founding of the country and let’s talk about the first period that we’re gonna talk about, which is the period of American Revolutionary War and what was going on around that timeframe. So I looked up the dates of the Revolutionary War and the general dates that are given are April 19, 1775 through September 3, 1783.
CB: And then Uranus first moved into Gemini June 19, 1774, so about a year earlier. And then it departed for the final time—from Gemini and moved into Cancer permanently for the next several years—April 28, 1782.
NDB: Yeah, the timeline aligns pretty tightly though. I mean, the date you’re citing for 1775, April, that’s Concord, that’s when combat starts, and, you know, that’s technical enough. There are a few events that predate Uranus’ ingress into Gemini in June of 1774, the most famous being the Boston Tea Party, which was about six months earlier; so Uranus still in very late Taurus, you know, and it would soon be stationing direct and moving its way towards Gemini. So there was that, there was some fighting in Virginia, and, you know, the royals, King George, was passing what they called the Coercive Acts, the Quartering Acts, you know, having to put up soldiers; just these things that started to aggrieve the American colonists.
CB: Maybe instead of taking it for granted, why don’t we actually just set the stage and tell a historical story about each period.
NDB: Yeah, okay, sure.
CB: In the period leading up to now, like where Uranus is in the middle of Taurus right now, and we know that it’s gonna go into Gemini in several years. If we take it back to that point in the 1770s, in the country, there was starting to be increasing tensions with Britain, and it was increasingly moving towards basically what eventually became the Revolutionary War, right?
NDB: Yeah, I mean, in some ways we can go all the way back to when Uranus was in Pisces in the 1750s, and it makes a conjunction to the natal Sun of some obscure American soldier in the British army named George Washington who travels to what will one day be our former hometown of Cumberland, Maryland. He puts on his military uniform and heads into the interior and gets into some kind of kerfuffle with some French soldiers, kills one of them, and somehow triggers what becomes known in the States as the French-Indian War; but more speaking it’s kind of a ‘world war’; the Seven Years’ War is what they call it outside of the US. And this is the war, for instance, that takes Quebec away from the French, which the British capture. All kinds of things happen. The British colonization of India really starts to take hold around then.
And then eventually the war ends, a treaty is signed, and one of the agreements in the treaty—because the British used Ameri-Indian allies in the war to fight the French—in return they guaranteed that there would be no settlement beyond a certain line; you know, beyond the Appalachian Mountains. But a lot of settlers wanted to move into those lands and they would get attacked by the Amer-Indians. And British soldiers would have to be garrisoned there to protect these colonists out on the frontier and that was very expensive, and so the British wanted to raise taxes to pay for this protection that the colonists were benefiting from. Yeah, I mean, there were other things that aggrieved them as well. One of them was the famous tax on tea and that would help pay for garrisoning all these soldiers to protect the colonists; but then of course that wound up getting dumped in the harbor famously. There were other things that the colonists objected to besides the taxes and what have you. Quebec, my home province, which had just been conquered by the British during the war, the British decided to let them retain their Catholic religion. And that is the one act that actually happened once Uranus went into Gemini, and that was kind of like the final tipping point on top of all these other grievances that had been mounting for the colonists. So shortly after, like you said, the ingress into Gemini was in June of 1774 and then in September of 1774 we have the First Continental Congress. And even though the war hasn’t started this is sort of the amassing of the first model of a US government, if you will. This is representatives from all the different states coming together and figuring out, you know, what to do about the British and how to handle this thing; ‘cause now they suddenly have shared grievances even though they don’t seem to have much else in common at this time.
CB: So September of 1774, so that’s the First Continental Congress. That’s the first time the colonies are getting together and it’s starting to head in that direction of, you know, “Should we throw off and separate our government from the other government,” essentially?
NDB: Yeah, they’re not quite talking about that just yet, but what they are talking about is, “Well, we need to put together a militia to head this off.” But yeah, it’ll arrive at that conclusion soon enough.
NDB: More so when war properly breaks out and, you know, things snowball.
CB: So part of it is just that there are starting to be more and more grievances and more rebelliousness in general, or starting to push back or wanting to push back against the feeling of oppression or having an ‘overbearingness’ or something like that.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. You know, famously they’re being taxed without having a say in how they’re being taxed. I’d say history kind of comes up on the British side for sort of the motivation behind the tax because it was money they were investing in the colony. They weren’t just, you know, stealing; it was paying for something. But it was the way in which it was done, you know, just that it was sort of imposed on them. The taxes were voted by the Parliament in Britain and the American colonists felt, you know, justifiedly that they should have a say in how they are taxed. You know, when you think about it, that’s a narrative that has just stayed with the country, you know, all through its history.
CB: Right. Okay, so we’re in the very early days of this. That is a pretty close coinciding then with Uranus having first just moved into Gemini, like just a few months before the Continental Congress.
CB: This Uranus in Gemini signature, astrologers often usually focus on it in terms of the two subsequent returns: the notion that the country was founded with the Declaration of Independence and other things like that in the 1770s, around 1776, and then subsequently Uranus returned back to that during the Civil War and then again during World War II. But I think you found at one point that even this ingress of Uranus into Gemini in the 1770s was itself a return of some earlier chart.
NDB: Oh, yeah. 84 years prior to this, in 1688, the British had what they called the Glorious Revolution. Once again the Catholic issue comes up. There was James II who, you know, was a Catholic king, and the British had already fought a civil war over this kind of thing. And that had been when Uranus was in Sagittarius, which tends to be a recurring theme for the British, Uranus in Sagittarius. But the Glorious Revolution was Uranus in Gemini. They deposed James II and put in his daughter and his daughter’s husband—who was a Dutch monarch, William of Orange—and they became the joint regents of England. But what it really was was a triumph for parliamentary, you know, power over monarchical power and an early step towards this sort of ‘government by the people’ idea that the US is gonna really latch onto. You can see that the Glorious Revolution as being sort of an early model and early inspiration for that. It certainly is on the minds of the likes of Benjamin Franklin and Jefferson and what have you when all this is happening.
CB: So maybe part of the signature then for the Uranus in Gemini is just archetypally the concept of democracy itself.
NDB: Yeah, I mean, ‘cause that also comes up in the Civil War as well, you know. In the minds of the Confederates, they’re fighting a very similar war that the colonists had been fighting against the British, you know. There are a number of very interesting parallels in that way. You know, the real reason that the US triumphed in the Revolutionary War of course, and this is no secret, was thanks to France; France came in and intervened. The Americans fought well and hard, but they were fighting a guerrilla-style war that could have just gone on forever, but French intervention really helped put an end to that. And then when you get to the Civil War, in the earliest years, up until the Emancipation Proclamation, right up until then, there was always this risk that Britain and/or France would join in the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy. That was a real concern that could have happened and had that happened the war could have gone very differently. And in the mind of Jefferson Davis—you know, he thinks he is Washington or Patrick Henry—he thinks he’s fighting the ‘Revolutionary War Part 2’, and it’s framed that way in his narrative and the Confederate narrative. And so, there is all this parallel, you know, except the one thing that’s very different is in the Civil War, in the end, the British and the French don’t join in.
NDB: And part of it has to do with the Emancipation Proclamation; some people don’t really realize this.
CB: Right. ‘Cause the British had outlawed slavery not too long before that, right?
NDB: Well, in the 1830s.
NDB: But they were actively, you know, suppressing slave ships. Not suppressing slave ships but boarding slave ships and freeing slaves that were, you know, on their way across the ocean and what have you; they were actively putting an end to global slavery. So with Lincoln passing the Emancipation Proclamation it suddenly made it awkward for the British because he made the war about slavery, and since it was now about slavery Britain and France had to sort of look at it differently.
CB: Right. And some of the states that were part of the Confederacy, wasn’t it South Carolina or one of them that explicitly put in their declaration of breaking away from the United States that part of it had to do with slavery?
NDB: Oh, yeah, seven of the states that broke away made it explicit. Texas as well. South Carolina. I forget all seven. I think Tennessee was not one of them, I think North Carolina was not one of them, but a lot of the other Confederate states did. So yeah, that was on the Confederate side; the Union had never been fighting the war over slavery. I know sometimes Confederate sympathizers want to say, “Well, the war wasn’t about slavery because the Union wasn’t fighting…” That’s true on the Union side but it’s not true of the Confederate side, so that’s a really silly argument for them to make. But, you know, for the Union side it was mostly about keeping the Union together. It was mostly a sort of financially-driven war until the Emancipation Proclamation explicitly makes the war about fighting slavery, you know, as far as the Union is concerned.
CB: Right. Taking that back though, it’s not like that issue just came out of nowhere, but that had been a hot-button political issue for a number of years prior to the Civil War, as well as something even back in the American Revolutionary phase where there were tensions among some of the different founders over that issue.
NDB: Absolutely. In the Revolutionary War, I mean, people like John Adams definitely looked askanced; you know, Massachusetts didn’t have slaves. Thomas Paine helped to outlaw slavery in Pennsylvania when he served in the state legislature there.
CB: Let’s talk about Thomas Paine, ‘cause you actually have an interesting anecdote about him that’s relevant.
NDB: Yeah, yeah.
CB: For those without any background, who is Thomas Paine, and what was his significance in the American Revolutionary War period?
NDB: Thomas Paine was a British man. I forget the name of the town he grew up in but it was the town where executions happened. So he grew up watching any criminal who was executed around the corner or whatever from where he was from. Anyway, while in Britain, he met Benjamin Franklin who was very impressed with him and gave him a letter of recommendation to use back in the US. So Paine got on a boat and sailed to Philadelphia; he got really sick on the boat and almost died. But he lands in Philadelphia, and with this letter of recommendation from Benjamin Franklin, he winds up getting a job in a printing press. And soon after starting work in this printing press all this, you know, kerfuffle between the colonies and Britain breaks out, and he writes this pamphlet called Common Sense which really makes the case for American independence, and this is published in early 1776. It’s a very influential document. Washington will hand out copies to his soldiers, you know; it becomes sort of the rallying call for fighting the Revolutionary War. And this document—I think there’s some disputation over this—but it’s either the first or one of the first uses of the term the ‘United States of America’; that phrase is used in Common Sense. And if it wasn’t the very first time that phrase was used, it was certainly one of the first times.
NDB: And Paine is interesting. Paine’s an Aquarius, an Aquarius Sun. So in all three of these Uranus in Gemini scenarios there’s always this Aquarian figure who’s sort of the voice and the conscience of the battle that’s being fought. So yeah, this is Tom Paine. I don’t know how good the birth time is; it might be okay. But either way, the important thing is you can see he’s got the Sun, Jupiter in Aquarius, and he’s got Moon, Saturn in Gemini. The Moon’s very likely in Gemini. I think no matter what time he was born the Moon will be in Gemini; and Neptune there as well. But the interesting thing about Paine’s chart is his solar return in 1776, right when he’s writing and publishing Common Sense, his solar return coincides with the direct station of Uranus in Gemini. And this is like within a month of him publishing Common Sense; this is just as he’s doing it; He might even be writing it on his birthday; and the Uranus happens to station direct on his natal Saturn which is interesting as well.
But this winds up becoming a pattern. This whole thing about, you know, these men with Aquarius Suns who become sort of the voice and the conscience of the war, this is repeated in the Civil War and World War II, because Abraham Lincoln also had transiting Uranus station direct in his solar return for 1861, the year that the war broke out. And then do you have him there? Sorry, 1860, the year he’s elected which causes the war to break out. He has the same Uranus station, and of course he’s the voice and conscience of this war. And then Roosevelt, in 1941, his solar return. He’s again an Aquarius Sun. He has transiting Uranus make a direct station—in this case it’s in Taurus—on his birthday. It’s in Taurus, but it’s about to go into Gemini. Uranus will go into Gemini in this year, and this is his solar return for, you know, the year Pearl Harbor will happen and all that stuff. So we’re in that zone and once again Roosevelt is clearly the voice and the conscience of American involvement in this war, very much so.
CB: So it’s stationing in the solar return of all three people’s solar return charts. And those stations only happen over a few-day period; the station is a relatively unique phenomenon.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. And some people might live long enough to have the progressed retrograde and direct stations in their solar returns over the course of their life, but it really is, you know, just a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience. Lincoln I believe was born on the Uranus retrograde station. So when he had that solar return when he gets elected president, well, that just sort of adds to the magic and maybe explains why he’s the kind of revered figure he is. But yeah, it’s just interesting to me that this pattern recurs and that these stations happened to happen in the solar returns when they do.
CB: Yeah, so it brings up I guess two points that we can learn or draw from that potentially; one, that what happens in the solar return chart acts as a stamp which can indicate the energy of that entire year.
CB: And especially paying attention to if a planet is stationing retrograde or direct at the time of your solar return, that’s gonna make that planet very potent in terms of that energy for that entire next 12 months for you.
NDB: Yeah, exactly. It really singles out the year. Whatever Uranus is gonna mean to the individual in question, it’ll really come alive that year, you know. I mean, if we were to hypothesize that literally everything in human life is preordained, you know, and that everything is a matter of destiny, if we were just to adopt that hypothetically then you could make the statement that, you know, Lincoln or Roosevelt were born to lead their country through this war, and that Uranus station in their solar returns is just the timing activator for those destinies to be fulfilled—if one chooses to use such lofty language, which I don’t always do.
NDB: Obviously these events, like a lot of big historical events, they take on this air of inevitability after the fact. And with that in mind it’s what makes these three solar returns and the common thread that runs through them really poignant.
CB: Yeah, because in retrospect it always looks so inevitable. But then I’m sure as things are happening in some of these different cases, things as they’re happening seem like they could really go one way or another each time. Like during the Civil War, the US could have…
CB: …or that the Union could have lost the Civil War or won the Civil War, that it could have gone either way. It hinged on a few of those different pieces like, you know, Britain or France getting involved or losing or winning different battles or what have you. Or even in World War II, you know, Roosevelt kind of like dragging the US into the war since the public sentiment was a little bit against it for a long time or was more—what’s the term?
CB: Isolationist, yeah.
NDB: Yeah, yeah, he started off by lending weapons first to the British, and then when Germany attacked the Soviet Union then he also did for the Soviet Union. The first Uranus ingress—most of the time Uranus will make two ingresses; it’ll enter into the sign and then it’ll retrograde out and then it’ll ingress again. The first ingress of Uranus into Gemini for the Second World War was August 9, 1941 which is the exact day that Roosevelt and Churchill meet for the first time secretly aboard a warship, just off the coast of Newfoundland; it was a secret meeting. And they sometimes call it the Atlantic Charter, but that’s a misnomer because there was no charter written. They just sort of talked and agreed, you know, that the US would become more involved; I mean, it just sort of cemented the relationship. But Pearl Harbor still hadn’t happened. What was happening was occasionally Nazi Germany was sinking American merchant ships and things like that, casualties of war. And so, that was mounting the tension a little bit. They weren’t acts of war necessarily, although they were certainly grounds to declare it, but he held off on that.
But then, yeah, December 7, 1941, a day that’ll live in infamy, Pearl Harbor happened, and from that point it was just much easier for Roosevelt to move forward with the war effort. And Germany did him a favor; Hitler declared war on the US. The US did not declare war on Nazi Germany either; that was the day after Pearl Harbor. So yeah, that’s how all that went down. The first Uranus ingress, August 9, was when they had the meeting. At the time of Pearl Harbor, Uranus is back in Taurus but it’s in the regress phase; it’s in between the two ingresses. So to my mind it’s already been introduced into Gemini and it’s part of that process. But certainly by May of 1942, when Uranus goes into Gemini for real with the second ingress, that’s the month of Midway, the Battle of Midway, when the US is really involved in combat proper, because everything between Pearl Harbor and May is just them, you know, getting ready, converting factories to build tanks and things like that.
CB: Yeah, and we can get into the details and I can put the charts of that up once we really get into World War II.
NDB: Yeah, I know I’m going all over the place.
CB: I’d like to go back to the original one, to the Revolutionary War. What have we missed? So we’ve talked about Thomas Paine. We’ve talked about the First Continental Congress. At what point do we get to the Declaration of Independence and that whole timeframe?
NDB: Yeah, that’s in 1776, by which point the war has been going on for a year.
CB: So the war started in 1775. What were the circumstances surrounding that?
NDB: Well, that was Concord. Basically, you know, the British start marching, Paul Revere gets on his horse and gets the militia, the Minutemen Militia, together, and they stand up to the British, and this is the first gunfire of the Revolutionary War. Well, apart from what broke out at the Boston Massacre a few years earlier, but that’s a sort of precursor to the war; but this—the war begins properly.
CB: So the Boston Tea Party and things like that happen and a series of other events like that. The colonies start getting together and talking and forming militias. Eventually the British try to suppress this and the war breaks out.
NDB: Yeah, yeah, everything sort of takes off from there. And yeah, you know, shortly after that there’s Bunker Hill, the British are bombarding Boston and things just heat up. At this point, you know, things could still possibly be averted; this could possibly still be written off as misunderstanding.
CB: In the early stages of the war in 1775, you mean?
NDB: Yeah, in 1775; you know, because messages have to be sent across the ocean. And I think that what happens is, you know, the Americans send some kind of attempt at some kind of reconciliation with Britain across the sea, but before it reaches Britain or before a response can come back, Britain has already sent a reply saying, “To hell with this. We’re at war.” So yeah, George III basically sort of declines to listen to any of the colonists’ grievances and war is then properly embraced. And the most ironic thing about the United States, obviously it’s the biggest military power in the world by a long shot.
CB: In modern times.
NDB: In modern times. But, I mean, there’s never been a military power like it in history. But, you know, funny enough, they’re always really, really reluctant to fight. They get dragged into wars, these big ones, you know. World War II, they really tried to stay out of, and the Revolutionary War, they really tried to stay out of. A lot of these guys were still loyal to Britain until the minute, you know. Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Jefferson—they weren’t born revolutionaries. They didn’t grow up wanting to be anything other than British, but things just sort of heated up and one thing led to another.
CB: Okay, so that brings us eventually to the Declaration of Independence. You know, I’ve done a whole episode previously about the different birth charts for the United States, and even if you use the Declaration of Independence—whether you use July 2 or July 4—if you use July 4, the open question is about the different rising signs or the different birth times basically. We don’t have to get into that here. I’ll just use the Sibley chart—which is kind of a widely-used chart—which is later in the day on July 4, 1776, sort of later in the evening at 5:00 PM with Sagittarius rising. So we get the Declaration of Independence. At this point all the colonies are on board with declaring their independence from Britain.
NDB: Yeah. What should be said—and this leads us into the next little thread that we can tie through the three conflicts—just prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Virginia declares its independence. And in fact the American Declaration of Independence very closely copies what Virginia has already done a month or two earlier. I think in May of 1776 they passed the Virginia Declaration, so that kind of snowballs into the American Declaration of Independence. What’s especially interesting about that is one of the major political leaders in Virginia at the time of that Declaration of Independence is Patrick Henry who famously is quoted saying, “Give me liberty or give me death.” It’s one of those things he may or may not have said, but it’s certainly the kind of the thing he would have said; he was sort of a fiery orator. And Patrick Henry was a Gemini Sun, and Uranus in Gemini was conjunct his Sun I think right around here in 1776.
CB: Here, let me put it up for the video viewers. There we go.
NDB: Yeah, this is when he’s inaugurated the governor of Virginia, the first governor of independent Virginia. You can see the date, June 29, 1776; so it was just a little before the actual American Declaration of Independence. But he’s a major figurehead behind this, you know. Like I said, he’s a fiery orator. He’s definitely one of the more aggressive proponents of independence. And you can see there natally he’s got four planets in Gemini, including Saturn, Sun, Mercury, and Neptune; and yeah, Uranus is conjunct his Sun. I mean, this is like the prototype of the presidency, right? I mean, what is a state governor but sort of the president of the state. And before there is a US Declaration of Independence there’s a Virginia Declaration of Independence, and he’s the first governor/president of this new, independent republic; that is a prototype, it’s the model for everything that’s gonna follow with American political life and political iconography and all that stuff.
CB: And you said he was a fiery orator. Natally, it looks like he had Mars at 10 Pisces, and his Mercury was at 18 Gemini, so he had a Mercury-Mars square.
NDB: Right, exactly. Yeah, he’s something of a hothead. Like I said, he may or may not have said, “Give me liberty or give me death,” but it’s the kind of thing he would say, you know. If it’s not true in accuracy, it’s true in spirit. And what’s really interesting to me is this thread of Gemini being conjunct the Sun also runs through the lives of major figures going down the road. In the Civil War, it’s Jefferson Davis who is a natal Gemini Sun.
CB: Let’s save some of the later ones for later.
NDB: Oh, okay. Okay, well, just ‘cause of the thread of the conjunction I wanted to illustrate the line between them. But that’s all right.
CB: Yeah, so we’ll get it lined up.
CB: But let’s just wrap up the Revolutionary War part first because I want to make sure we have some material to save for later. So the Declaration of Independence happens finally in 1776. We get the American Sibley chart. This becomes, at least for a lot of people, the base chart for the United States potentially in that you have an almost clear founding chart for the country; if not on this date, within this whole range there’s a bunch of different potential timeframes for the founding of the country. And we find here Uranus at 8° of Gemini and Mars at 21° of Gemini.
CB: Okay, so that creates a natal signature there with Uranus in Gemini, and also, you know, somewhat interestingly Mars and Gemini at the same time.
NDB: Yeah, yeah, especially considering we have Mars in Gemini right now.
CB: Yeah, you said that comes up at other key periods that Mars retrogrades in Gemini.
NDB: Yeah, we’ll get into that in this conversation for sure. But I’ll honor your adherence to chronology here and not bring it up too soon.
CB: All right, so 1776. So the war is already in not full swing, but certainly by this point it’s in full swing after this going forward, right?
NDB: Oh, yeah, yeah. Well, after Lexington and Concord it certainly is, yeah. I mean, by the Declaration of Independence it’s well into the war, well into the war.
CB: Yeah, so where does it go after this point, after July of 1776, where we have this base chart? Uranus—it’s only at 8° of Gemini at this point, so it’s still in the first decan of Gemini.
NDB: Yeah, well, I mean, a bunch of things happened. In 1777, there’s the Battle of Saratoga. One of my ancestors was actually fighting on the British side of that. He was taken prisoner and then escaped and wound up rejoining the British; he was an Irishman. But yeah, you know, the Battle of Saratoga, there’s still a lot of fighting in, you know, the Northeast: New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. A lot of these famous, you know, iconic battles: Christmas of ‘76, Washington sailing across the Potomac to ambush German mercenaries, and like I said, the Battle of Saratoga in 1777. As you get into the later 1770s, the war gets quite brutal in the Southern states. The British military leader down there is especially savage in terms of, you know, the punishment he’s willing to mete out, so that gets pretty ugly in the war. 1779 is when Benedict Arnold famously is caught as a traitor and barely escapes, and then finally we get to Yorkville in 1781. And with the Battle of Yorkville in 1781, again, thanks to French help—the Americans and the British are on the coast and they’re sort of lined up to fight—but then the French navy comes in and sort of blockades the whole thing, and that’s when the British military surrenders at Yorktown.
CB: Right. So some of the people, like Franklin, were successful in getting the French involved in supporting the American Revolutionaries?
NDB: That’s right. And actually—oh, I forgot to mention we’ve left a whole thing out. King George is a Gemini and Uranus is conjunct his Sun in 1778 when the French and the Americans sign their treaty thanks to Benjamin Franklin’s efforts; they sign their treaty and France joins in on the war. So there you are: King George is a Gemini; he’s a Gemini stellium. And this is especially interesting because Uranus is discovered in 1781, just three years after this treaty is signed. Uranus is discovered when it’s in Gemini. Yeah, there it is; it’s March 13, 1781. And when William and Caroline Herschel discover this new planet, it’s not their choice to name it Uranus; and in fact some people probably know Uranus used to be named ‘Herschel’ before that. But William and Caroline Herschel actually named the planet ‘Georgium Sidus’, basically the Latin term for ‘George’s Star’; they literally named Uranus after their king and benefactor. So not only is King George III having Uranus conjunct his Gemini Sun during this Revolutionary War, but the planet is initially named after him.
And that discovery of Uranus in 1781 of course is the same year that the fighting’s gonna sort of come to a stop with Yorktown more or less. It is the battle that brings about the end of the war, but the end of the war has to come in 1782 just before Uranus leaves Gemini, when British Parliament decides not to fight it anymore, but their reason for not wanting to fight it is largely because of how badly Yorktown worked out, so that chain of events. But in the same month that Uranus was discovered in March of 1781, the Articles of Confederation were passed. You know, again, talking about prototypes, this is the prototype of the US Constitution; this is the first document forming an official government of the United States. It was supposed to have passed two months earlier, but I think it was Maryland who was dragging their heels—one of the states was dragging their heels in signing it—and it only finally was signed by all the states involved, or enough states to make it legal. And this is March 1, 1781. You can see Uranus is stationing direct that day, and this is only 12 days before William and Caroline Herschel will see Uranus through their telescope, so the whole thing really ties in.
CB: It’s not just that Uranus is transiting through Gemini, but one of the takeaways is that you have to pay attention to the station dates because important turning points in the story of Uranus transiting through Gemini tend to happen around those direct and retrograde stations.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. I mean, this is true of all planets, but especially the outer planets because of just that gradual way they make their way through the signs; you always want to watch those stations. Yeah, the planets kind of come alive at that time.
CB: What again was significant about the Articles of Confederation?
NDB: Well, it’s like the prototype of the US Constitution, you know. In the same way that I was making the argument that Patrick Henry is sort of like the prototype of the US presidency when he becomes the first governor of independent Virginia, this is the first attempt. I mean, there will be of course the proper Constitution that comes about in the late 1780s, but this is the first time that you have a document that makes it official that you have a United States government.
NDB: Weak as it is and imperfect as it is at the time, but yeah, it’s a prototype. And I think that’s an important thing to consider when it comes to these origins. Like I’m saying with the Declaration of Independence, there was something a little before it and it’s worth knowing that. The Sibley chart is an amazing chart the way it works, and I can’t argue with that. But I just think that, you know, it’s important for astrologers to really know the timeline and not just put all their astrological ‘mojo’ into one nativity for a nation ‘cause there’s just so much more to know.
CB: Right, ‘cause there’s just like a series of really important events taking place in the founding of the country during this entire period essentially of Uranus in Gemini.
CB: All right, and then of course just the fact that Uranus itself was discovered at the same time period in 1781, towards the end of Uranus’ time in Gemini but as the American Revolutionary War was winding down is just really fascinating in and of itself. And a lot of astrologers then associate many of the things that were happening in the world at the time—the Revolutionary War or the revolution in France—with the meaning of Uranus being discovered at that time.
NDB: Yeah, by the time that the French Revolution breaks out, Uranus has moved into Leo, which if you look at French history winds up being a recurring thing for them. It’s funny, it’s like every country gets their own sign where Uranus is just always a big deal. For the Russians, it’s Capricorn. For the French, it’s Leo. But the French Revolution is Uranus in Leo opposite Pluto in Aquarius, like the heavy, heavy part of the revolution, which really kind of speaks for itself. Yeah, it’s one thing to have a little revolutionary war when Uranus is in Gemini and, you know, saves a bunch of rich slave owners from paying taxes, but the French Revolution is a revolution proper.
CB: In terms of like cutting off people’s heads and stuff like that?
NDB: Yeah, and just the total instability, you know. The French Revolution basically brings every country in Europe into war with them, you know. And so, much of the great terror and cutting off all these heads that’s, you know, the paranoia of people who think they’re about to be invaded by all of Europe’s armies any day now, which virtually almost happens. A funny Uranian thing, something that happens just before the French Revolution—actually Thomas Jefferson is in Paris to witness this—is the first launching of the hot air balloon. Now remember Uranus was the god of the sky, and the Montgolfier brothers launched the first hot air balloon in Paris, the first one that went into the open air; I think the Portuguese had done one inside a tent. The first time that human beings actually ascended into the sky in a device, in a created device, was the air balloon; that was in the 1780s. But what happens during the Revolutionary War in 1794 is for the first time the British—sorry, not the British. The French use a hot air balloon for military reconnaissance—I think it was the Battle of Fleurus in 1794—so actually using, you know, the sky to survey where the enemy army is and use that information to fight them, which they successfully did.
NDB: So that’s just another add-in to the fact that not long after Uranus is discovered human beings conquered the sky for the first time. And then when the Wright brothers actually make their airplane a-hundred-and-something years later the Sun is conjunct Uranus in Sagittarius, if I remember correctly, the day they launched the plane. So yeah, Uranus is always sort of in the picture with these things.
CB: Okay, so taking it back, Uranus is only in Gemini until April of 1782.
CB: And the Revolutionary War eventually ends by September of 1783.
NDB: Well, that’s the treaty being signed. But it’s really in February of ‘82 when the British Parliament decides not to go forward. That’s when they say, “Okay, the war is over. We’re just gonna end this and sign a treaty.” So the only thing that is not done when Uranus is in Gemini is the actual signing of the treaty.
NDB: But, you know, the war is effectively over I think February 28, 1782, so about two months before Uranus goes into Cancer.
CB: That’s funny ‘cause Uranus it looks like had made already its first ingress into Cancer. So it did its initial dip into…
NDB: After Yorkville, it did, yeah.
CB: What was Yorkville?
NDB: Oh, sorry. No, it isn’t Cancer for Yorkville, what am I saying. I don’t remember now; it’s been 10 years since I wrote the book. There you are—Uranus is in Cancer. Yorkville’s that last battle, in October of 1781.
CB: Okay, so I see Uranus goes into Cancer for the first time in July and August of 1781.
NDB: By which time the Battle of Yorkville is already well under way. So, you know, it’s gonna last the next two months, and the French come and sort of end it all in October.
CB: So this is the last major battle.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. There would be some skirmishes afterwards because of course, you know, as always happens in these days, news has to sail across the ocean to Britain, and Britain has to respond and decide. So there are some other little skirmishes that are fought after Yorkville, but Yorkville, that’s famous. You’ll see the painting of Cornwallis surrendering to Washington. You know, he wanted to surrender to the French, to Lafayette, he doesn’t recognize Washington as an equal. Lafayette says, “No, you must surrender to Washington.” So that’s a big deal and that’s what ultimately leads the British Parliament to decide to just end it the following February.
CB: In February. And it looks like by January, Uranus retrogrades back into Gemini, so January of 1782. And then a month later is that decision by the British Parliament, you said?
CB: Okay. So that’s pretty straightforward then in terms of the war really ramping up and getting going fully and the United States breaking away and declaring its independence early during the period of Uranus in Gemini, and then the war ramping down and the US successfully breaking away permanently from Britain by the end of Uranus in Gemini.
NDB: That’s right, that’s right. It’s pretty tidy, you know. It’s impressively tidy how it all sort of bookends in that one transit.
CB: Yeah, things are not that tidy. Obviously there are other things that are happening, there’s other, you know, people involved. Does George Washington’s chart play any interesting or compelling role here in terms of all this?
NDB: Well, with regard to Uranus, like I said, he had Uranus conjunct his Pisces Sun when he was this anonymous guy who accidentally started what was effectively the ‘first’ world war, the real first world war, the Seven Years’ War; a war that was fought on every continent on the globe. You know, I’m from Montreal. I would not be an English-speaking guy from Montreal if that war had not happened.
CB: So it looks like he has Uranus at 10° of Gemini, which is kind of interesting.
NDB: Sagittarius, yeah.
CB: Yeah, Sagittarius. So that means the Declaration of Independence, for example, where Uranus was at 8° of Gemini, he was going through his Uranus opposition.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. When you’re 42, you get the Uranus half-return. You know, and he shows up at the Continental Congress in his military uniform letting it be known that he’s ready to take this on.
CB: Okay, so he wasn’t reluctantly getting into it?
NDB: No, no, that’s the presidency; he was definitely reluctant to be president. But to lend his military skills to the war, no, no, he was in. He shows up wearing the uniform, it’s like Herschel Walker with his police badge, except the real deal, you know.
CB: Yeah, and then that’s a whole other story in terms of him becoming the first president after the war is over. All right, so that’s a pretty solid story in terms of phase one of this; basically the war is bookended by Uranus going into Gemini and by Uranus departing from Gemini in the 1770s and 1780s timeframe.
NDB: Yeah, exactly.
CB: All right, so then we have a country, and then basically after that point everyone lives happily ever after and that’s the end of the story, right?
NDB: Yeah, yeah, yeah. There’s no slavery, no, you know, class struggle.
CB: Right. No Nazis in the 1940s.
NDB: Industry is handled very fairly. The railroads are built with no corrupt intervention at all, yeah. Not much more to talk about. How long can we keep this going?
CB: Yeah, it’s the shortest episode of The Astrology Podcast in history; it’s only 59 minutes. All right, so one of the problems it seems is that deep in the founding of the country there were some basic things—especially in terms of getting all the colonies on board with issues like slavery—where compromises or concessions (probably a better or more appropriate and worst term for some of those deals) were made that created some of the basic structural inequalities and even moral failings and other things in the foundation of the country during this Uranus in Gemini period; it seems like it kind of creates a powder keg so that when Uranus comes back almost 80 years later some of that stuff gets unlocked again and kind of explodes.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. Because by the time of the Revolutionary War, yeah, there are states that don’t have slaves and then there are states that do. I mean, if anything, you know, the people in the different states have much less in common with each other than they even did at the time of the Civil War or today. Like you think that it’s a North-South sort of schism in the Civil War, you know, it already existed. People from Massachusetts and people from Virginia did not mix until this common cause brought them together. And they did not have a lot in common and had very different worldviews.
CB: Well, that’s kind of an interesting point then that might be relevant in terms of bringing things together both this Martian impulse that gets activated at those times—which divides things and pulls them apart—but then an alternative impulse that sort of forces disparate things together at the same time.
NDB: Yeah, yeah.
CB: So we’ll get to the Civil War. Let’s start this clean like this is the second phase and this is the second part of our story, which is the Civil War period. What’s the story in the short period leading up to this? What’s the state of the country?
NDB: Where could you start? You could start with the Missouri Compromise of 1820 when they wanted to add more states to the Union as they were moving west, and they decided on this strategy where states above a certain line would be slave-free and states below a certain line would slave states. And there was an attempt to sort of extend this evenly so that for every free state that was added to the union there would be a slave state, and they were trying to maintain this balance.
CB: Right. So the issue was in terms of representation in Congress, because states kept getting added—like new states kept getting added—they would then get new representatives. And there was a tension between the Northern and Southern states of them wanting to have people that would either make slavery less common and get rid of it or others that wanted to keep it; and so they kept fighting over whether states would go one way or another.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. I mean, for a little while this kind of worked. You know, everyone cooperated and you would add a slave state and a new state: Maine, Missouri. I forget the exact running order but it sort of unfolded that way. In 1851, Harriet Beecher Stowe published Uncle Tom’s Cabin during a mega Saturn-Uranus-Pluto conjunction. If you ever look at 1851, the transits are intense then.
CB: So do you know what part of 1851?
NDB: I think I have the chart in my database. Sorry, I didn’t mean to spring that on you.
CB: In reading the chart, 1851. So you’re talking about it’s all in Aries, like late Aries: Saturn, Uranus.
NDB: Going into Taurus, yeah.
CB: Okay. Continue with what you were saying.
NDB: Do I have the—yeah, here it is. June 5, 1851 is the day that it’s published. So you were pretty close to the day there.
CB: Oh, wow, it’s not even just those, but also Mars was right on top of them.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. So this book really blows things up. A decade later, Lincoln will meet Harriet Beecher Stowe—she visits him in the White House in the middle of the Civil War—and he says something to the effect, “So you’re the little lady who wrote the little book that started this big war.” I think that’s the quote. I believe that did happen, you know, ‘cause they have those White House records of who visited and stuff.
CB: Okay, so Saturn’s at 0 Taurus, Pluto is at 0 Taurus. Mars is at 0, moving into 1 Taurus, and Uranus is at 2 Taurus. So tell me a little bit about the significance of the publication of that and what it was about.
NDB: Well, I mean, it’s a story but it centers on slavery and the lives of slaves. The effect it had was that it sort of revealed the inhumanity of American slavery to your white, bourgious audience. And enough of them were scandalized by the accurate information that was imparted in the book that it really sort of blew up the abolitionist movement, you know, which had been small up until that point. So throughout the 1850s…
CB: It blew up in terms of expanding it very rapidly.
NDB: Expanded rather, yeah, yeah. Turned it into a real movement, into a real popular movement that had representation, you know, all over.
CB: Right, the movement to get rid of slavery.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. It’s a lot of the well-to-do white people, you know. So people who are sort of safely sheltered from the horrors of slavery but the book sort of forces them to confront it. So that’s part of that, I mean, that inspires the abolitionist movement. In Kansas, in the mid-1850s, you have what’s called ‘Bleeding Kansas’, something of a mini-Civil War that’s fought over the slavery question there between Missouri and Kansas. This is when John Brown makes his appearance on the world stage, or the national stage rather. He gets involved in the Bleeding Kansas battle, and he and his sons execute a bunch of pro-slavery Kansans.
CB: Right. So he was against slavery, but he advocated basically going to war over it or really aggressive methods with it.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. He was the real deal, you know. I mean, the uncomfortable truth is even Abraham Lincoln and Harriet Beecher Stowe were white supremacists, you know, despite their compassion, despite their abolitionist stance; they still were people who really thought, you know, white people were better or whatever. John Brown is not. John Brown is like the real, real deal. It’s not merely just a cause of helping out the unfortunate and being humane, but it’s something much, much deeper about real human equality, so he’s involved in that. And then by 1859, Uranus is in Gemini. I should just say quickly Uranus makes its ingress into Gemini in 1858, just before the Lincoln-Douglas debates; and those are important because those elevate Lincoln to the national stage.
He’s running against Stephen Douglas in the election for governor of Illinois, if I remember correctly. No, senator from Illinois for the national government of course, what am I saying? They’re running for the Senate seat from Illinois, or a Senate seat, and they have this series of debates where they debate the slavery question across different towns; there’s eight debates across Illinois and this happens right when Uranus has gone into Gemini, so this is the beginning. Lincoln loses the election to Stephen Douglas, which is probably good because if he’d been elected senator he wouldn’t have been available as a candidate for the presidency in 1860. And because Douglas is already this really big figure on the American stage, the fact that he debates Lincoln elevates Lincoln’s platform in the country ‘cause he’s totally anonymous, totally unknown up until that point. He had been a congressman for one session back in the 1840s but that was the extent of it.
So then he runs for president in 1860, and because he’s such a vocal critic of slavery, a bunch of Confederate states immediately react to his election and announce their withdrawal. But in between these two things, in between the Lincoln-Douglas debates and Lincoln’s election, in 1859, going back to John Brown and his storming of—God, what’s the place in West Virginia? Very close to where we used to live in Cumberland. Harper’s Ferry. He gets a band of I think 18 men together, black and white, and they storm this armory in Harpers Ferry, Virginia; what is today West Virginia, but it was still Virginia at that point. And he thinks what he’s gonna do is get a bunch of weapons and stir up sort of a slave revolt in the South, but it doesn’t really go that way. It goes pear-shaped eventually, you know, within a short period of time; Brown and all of his cohorts are either killed in battle or executed after the fact. Brown was hanged, but he was sort of this big press figure in between the time he was arrested and he gave all these very aggressively anti-slavery interviews.
Now this is especially important because Virginia was actually kind of a ‘soft’ slave state. There’s a very good argument that Virginia might not necessarily have joined the Confederacy, but here’s what happened; because Harper’s Ferry happens in Virginia, it really freaks out the Virginians. And in fact, there’s a local military guy who’s called in to put down this rebellion; his name is Robert E. Lee. And so, he happens to be the Robert E. Lee who puts down John Brown’s rebellion. And yeah, Virginia was pretty soft with slavery; it wasn’t like a heavy-duty cotton state like a lot of the states further south, although they did have slaves. But the whole Harper’s Ferry thing freaks out Virginians so much that when the time to discuss secession happens they do secede, and it’s only because they do secede that Robert E. Lee becomes their general; because Robert E. Lee would have sided with whoever Virginia sided with. If Virginia had stayed with the Union, Robert E. Lee would have been a Union general. He wasn’t actually in favor of secession; he was loyal to Virginia. Again, it’s one of these cycles of events; Virginia may not have seceded had Harper’s Ferry not happened. So yeah, John Brown actually has a pretty important role even though he doesn’t live to see the Civil War happen.
CB: Yeah, and here’s his chart. I’m not sure about the time, the 3:00 AM time, but it looks like he had Venus-Mercury-North Node conjunction in Aries and a Mars-Pluto conjunction in Pisces.
NDB: Yeah. And Uranus in Taurus had been conjunct his Sun when he famously executed these, you know, pro-slavery Missourians in Kansas in 1856. So yeah, he also has his own sort of Uranus thread going in this story.
NDB: He has an important compadre who declines to go with him to Harper’s Ferry, but it’s another Aquarius and it’s another very important figure, and that’s Frederick Douglas who we don’t have an exact birthday for, but it probably is Valentine’s Day; I forget the exact year. You know, that’s one of the things about being a slave is, you know, birthdays aren’t usually recorded; but I think later he did find a diary. In one of his later autobiographies he did find some kind of document that determined his birthday, I just don’t have it available. But I thought I’d mention that’s another Aquarius who is really central; another voice and conscience of this war. All right, anyway, going onto the election.
CB: Yeah, so the debates were before that?
NDB: Yeah, the debates were in 1858, but that’s just after the ingress.
CB: Let me give people some dates. So the Civil War, April 1861 through April 1865, correct?
CB: Okay. Then Uranus in Gemini during this period is June 2, 1858 through March 26, 1866.
NDB: That’s right.
CB: So basically Uranus goes into Gemini just before the Civil War, a few years before the Civil War begins, and it leaves Gemini just a year after the Civil War ends.
NDB: Yeah, it goes into Gemini about two months before the Lincoln-Douglas debates, so that’s the thing that’s really, really close by.
CB: So let’s talk about that. So here’s the chart: Lincoln-Douglas debates, August 21, 1858.
CB: Uranus at 3° of Gemini.
CB: So what was significant about it again?
NDB: Well, there were eight of these debates, and Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas were competing for a Senate seat in Illinois. Very interesting, Stephen Douglas had courted Mary Todd Lincoln, the woman who eventually became Abraham Lincoln’s wife; by pure coincidence Stephen Douglas had tried to get in there earlier, so to speak. So she could have almost been Mrs. Stephen Douglas instead of Mrs. Abraham Lincoln. So there they are, Lincoln’s debating this very famous politician, Lincoln’s fairly anonymous, and yet, you know, this famous politician is a guy who wanted his wife and did get him. And they have these eight debates where they debate the slavery question. Even though Douglas wins the election these debates are what put Lincoln on the national stage. He becomes a name, you know, really thanks to that, otherwise he was totally anonymous. There’s no way he would have been the presidential candidate in 1860 if these debates hadn’t happened; it’s really the only calling-card he really has.
CB: And Lincoln is arguing against slavery in these debates.
CB: Okay, so that sets up part of the context. And then he loses that, but then it makes him a national figure at this point.
CB: Yeah, okay, in 1858.
NDB: That’s right, yeah. So in 1860, there’s the national election and the ticket’s actually split. I think there’s four guys running for president—two Southerners, two Northerners—and the ticket gets split, but Lincoln’s name isn’t even on the ballot in a lot of the Southern states; but because it’s such a divided election…
CB: Largely due to the slavery issue.
NDB: Yeah, and because there’s four candidates running instead of two, you know, so that splits the vote in all these weird ways; but yeah, he’s elected. And because he’s elected and because he’s such a vocal anti-slavery figure, South Carolina followed by a bunch of other states start seceding from the nation. So by the time he’s inaugurated, you know, a bunch of them have left and a bunch of them are about to leave.
CB: So because of his anti-slavery stance basically, as soon as he’s elected president, a bunch of states just start attempting to opt out of the Union and form their own separate country.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. Now part of the concern, you know, obviously he wanted to keep the country together, but there was this other concern that doesn’t come up much in American history. If the South, if the Confederacy had separated and become its own country, there was then nothing to stop them from expanding southward, taking over the rest of Mexico, maybe even taking over all of the Americas and becoming this sort of superpower that would rival the Northern power. I mentioned France possibly coming in on the side of the Confederacy earlier. Anyone who loves Mexican food has heard of Cinco de Mayo, you know, the 5th of May. The 5th of May, the Cinco de Mayo, celebrates a battle that Mexico fought against France in 1862, which is coincidental with the Civil War. And with France sort of struggling there was this serious concern that the Confederacy could just split southward and take over the rest of the Americas. So that was another one of the concerns and of course that would have been all sort of slavery-driven.
CB: Okay, so here’s Abraham Lincoln’s chart. He was said to be born around sunrise, right?
NDB: That’s what one biographer says, but the biographer who wrote that book, you know, he wrote it in the early 20th century. I mean, the chart works well enough, but I do have my doubts; I don’t swear by it. I think I was clear about it in the book; I think I put sunrise in quotes.
CB: Okay, so he has a Sun at least at 23 Aquarius.
NDB: Yes, he certainly does have that.
CB: Okay, so 23 Aquarius Sun. And in his solar return we had that Uranus station phenomenon in 1860, the year he was elected, right?
NDB: Yeah, yeah.
CB: So what was that again, to reiterate?
NDB: Well, this is his solar return for the year that he’s gonna be nominated for candidacy for the new Republican Party, which had only been formed four years earlier, so it’s still kind of a new fringe party.
CB: Why was the Republican Party formed?
NDB: Well, the old Whig Party had sort of fallen apart over the course of the 1850s, so a new party was founded for the 1856 election. Fremont, John C. Fremont, the guy who would sort of bring California into the Union, he was the first Republican candidate in 1856, but he lost to Buchanan. Oh, yeah, and right when Buchanan was inaugurated—this is important too. Right when Buchanan was inaugurated in 1857 there was the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision, which declared that, you know, no black man was—I forget the wording by Roger Tawney, the Supreme Court Justice—but it was something like, “No black man is worth consideration of white people.” Basically, you know, saying that physical and mental abuse of African slaves was not something that could be condemned by law, if you will; like it was their moral right or whatever the horrible sentiment was.
CB: So that was only a year before Uranus went back into Gemini again?
NDB: Exactly, yeah. But that sort of sets the stage. What that does is that really sort of anchors the abolitionists all the more because you know how it is when the Supreme Court makes some controversial decision, people respond.
CB: Yeah, that seems really important ‘cause if that was in 1756…
NDB: Yeah, 1856 was the Kansas Bleeding War, and he was elected in 1856 but of course the inauguration was in 1857. In those days it was in March, and it was that same week in March of 1857 that the Dread Scott case was announced.
CB: Yeah, okay. So if the Dread Scott case came in 1857 that would have been during the tail-end of Uranus in Taurus.
CB: So really it just shows a lot of the issues that exploded during the Civil War and came to open warfare were really being set up during the later phases of Uranus in Taurus and the sign that just preceded the Uranus return when Uranus came back to Gemini.
NDB: That’s right. And that has always been the case, you know. The same was true in the Revolutionary War. You did have things like the Boston Tea Party and what have you, pre-war, but that are sort of stirring the pot unintended while Uranus is still in Taurus. Same thing, Bleeding Kansas, Dread Scott, these are Uranus in Taurus, but they do sort of anticipate the Civil War coming about. And yeah, the Second World War, well, hey, you know, Uranus was still in Taurus when Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland and everything really, you know, started up. The Battle of Britain, that’s still Uranus in Taurus; everything leading up to Pearl Harbor effectively.
CB: Yeah, and Roosevelt doing the Lend-Lease Program and other stuff like that.
NDB: Yeah, exactly, exactly. So yeah, there is always some kind of, you know, buildup during the Uranus in Taurus years, but it’s when Uranus is in Gemini that the thing really coalesces into, well, a war in the last few cases.
CB: Yeah, just trying to think about that relative to where we are now, and we’ll get into that more later. But it’s just good for people to keep in the back of their mind that Uranus is in, you know, mid-Taurus right now. And so, now this period that we’re in and the next few years are that same equivalent theoretically in terms of the pieces being put in place compared to the lead-up to the Civil War that we’re talking about right now.
NDB: Yeah, when John Brown massacred those pro-slavery people in Kansas in 1856, it was May 24, 1856, and Uranus was at 21 Taurus. So yeah, right now we’re like in the 1855 period, which is still Bleeding Kansas; it’s still, you know, the Topeka Convention. I’m looking here—yeah, Uranus was at 19 Taurus in 1855.
CB: Yeah, and Uranus is at, what, 16; it’ll retrograde back to 14-15 by early next year. But then next year it gets pretty far into Taurus; it looks like it doesn’t station until 23. So it’ll get all the way up to 23 by, what, September of next year 2023.
NDB: Yeah, yeah.
CB: All right, so back to our story. Lincoln is elected in 1860.
CB: And a bunch of states immediately secede and go into open rebellion against the country or the Union.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. South Carolina secedes on December 20. Mississippi, January 9. Georgia, January 19. Louisiana, January 26. I think I’m missing some of them. So by the time Lincoln is inaugurated, March 4, 1861, there have already been six or seven states that have seceded. And shortly after that, April 13 is when war properly breaks out at Fort Sumter, South Carolina.
CB: And what was that date again?
NDB: That is April 13, 1861.
CB: April 13, 1861. There it is, okay. So we see that Uranus is at 9° of Gemini at this point. It’s literally within a degree of that 8° Uranus placement in the Sibley chart of the Declaration of Independence, so this is almost exactly that 84-year return of Uranus. And then weirdly we see Mars there at the same time…
CB: …at 6° of Gemini coming up to a conjunction with Uranus in the sky at that time, as well as 2° off of a conjunction with the natal Uranus in the Sibley chart.
NDB: That’s right.
CB: That’s pretty, pretty striking.
NDB: Very striking. Very striking, indeed. You’ll also notice the battle begins with Neptune in Pisces. By the time the battle’s over the next day, Neptune is in Aries.
CB: Okay. There we go. Neptune shifts into Aries. So another important thing to keep in mind is that there’s other outer planet cycles and other shifts, even though we’re focusing in on one, especially the Uranus return.
CB: There’s other stuff of course going on as well.
NDB: This is what makes 2025 kind of like 1861. You get a year when Uranus ingresses into Gemini while Neptune into Aries.
NDB: I mean, okay, I know Uranus isn’t making its ingress this year but that’s what does happen in 2025; both those planets make these ingresses, you know, within months of each other.
CB: Great. Fantastic. All right, we’ll bookmark that for later.
CB: You know, we do see a recurrence though here of that Mars-Uranus conjunction. And that brings up the concept that I know you’ve done a lot with, of recurrence transits. If we could maybe explain that a little bit; it seems relevant here.
NDB: Well, yeah, it’s just when you have combinations of planets that are repeated. You see this a lot even with natal charts. If you see someone who’s got natal Mercury square Saturn, and then transiting Mercury and transiting Saturn form a square in the sky, even if there’s no zodiacal connection between the transiting Mercury-Saturn and any planets in the native’s chart, it’s the fact that the same configuration is repeated in the sky, just that configuration repetition or recurrence. So it brings out the natal Mercury-Saturn square; some sort of event or something related to that person’s natal Mercury-Saturn square will manifest.
CB: That seems really important because it’s a little different than the concept of transits that we’re usually taught; for a transit to occur, a placement in the sky has to exactly aspect a placement in the birth chart. But here, this is a different type of transit where it’s just a combination or an aspect in the birth chart that recurs or repeats in the sky.
CB: And because that same aspect is repeating in the sky, it’s activating something in the chart of the person in some way.
NDB: That’s right. That’s exactly right. So yeah, Mars-Uranus conjunctions in general, and particularly in Gemini, sort of trigger, you know, those earlier transits from the previous war.
CB: Sure. And so, it’s interesting even just from the symbolism of Mars-Uranus conjunctions because Mars is, you know, the planet of war and has been the planet of war for 2,000 years. And Uranus, dating back to the American Revolutionary Period has become seen by astrologers as the planet of revolutions or of, you know, trying to break away from constraints or get rid of boundaries or other things like that.
NDB: Yeah, that’s exactly right. Which certainly I…
CB: Go ahead.
NDB: I mean, there’s also technology. You know, there are technological innovations that come about because of this war. The Navy being one thing; the famous ironclad ships and stuff. I’m not a weapons expert but I know, you know, the guns and all these different things sort of go way up in their potency, in their ability.
CB: Okay, so technological innovation. I’m just trying to think if there’s any other Mars-Uranus keywords that might be relevant for us in terms of this.
NDB: Well, I mean, I think of explosions and that really is something. The Civil War is the kind of war where, you know, a lot of people are gonna lose limbs. You know what I mean? You don’t just get a bullet through the arm; you get a bullet in the arm and the arm has to come off. Yeah, it’s a different level of war. That’s the important thing to keep in mind that wars had not really been fought like this. You don’t get this kind of combat again until the First World War. And the Europeans don’t expect it because, you know, they weren’t involved in the American Civil War; they didn’t go through that kind of experience. But it really is a brutal level of fighting and not European-style, not like the Napoleonic Wars where you had, you know, soldiers obediently lining up; there was a sort of gentlemanly order to it all. Yeah, it was almost like a 20th century war. It was predating, sort of anticipating the 20th century in the way it was fought.
CB: Okay. So yeah, technological changes, changes in warfare, advancements in warfare, but also advancements in the brutality of war at the same time in some way, if that’s possible.
NDB: Well, sort of a Uranian approach to war. Again, think of the Napoleonic Wars or earlier European wars, you would have these armies and they would sort of line up, you know. They would camp on opposite sides of the field that night, and in the morning, they’d wake up and they’d have their coffee and, you know, brush their teeth and get ready and get dressed, get their arms, and then they would all line up and start firing at each other. Yeah, this is not like this. So the European-style being more ordered, more sort of Saturnian. There was a code, there was a whole structure and a way of going about it, whereas this is Uranus; there are no rules, you know. If you can kill your enemy, you do, that’s it.
CB: Yeah, that reminds me—I mean, the parallel—with the American Revolution, the guerrilla warfare that the colonies were engaging in as opposed to the British.
NDB: Yeah, and that goes back to, again, the French-Indian/Seven Years’ War. Washington of course was a British soldier at the time and he witnessed how that war was fought. He came to learn, you know, American Native battle techniques and it was focused more around ambushes and, you know, camouflage and things like that. Although some of the battles were fought, you know, European-style, a lot of what he did he learned from the American Indians in the Seven Years’ War. By the time you get to the Civil War, I mean, that’s the way everyone’s fighting.
CB: Sure. And we’ll see echoes of that in the future when of course during World War II the speed of technological innovation just accelerates at this crazy level, especially when Uranus is Gemini, and new weapons of war are brought into play, such as the atomic bomb and things like that.
NDB: Yeah, exactly.
CB: And the scale of warfare is expanded.
NDB: Yeah, I was just gonna say one last thing about the style of war just to reinforce the point of how new this all was really. The First Battle of Bull Run is one of the first land combats ‘cause, you know, the Battle of Fort Sumter had involved firing cannon; it wasn’t men shooting guns at each other. But the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run), which is July 21, 1861, this is a battle that happens in Virginia, not too far south from Washington, DC. And this was at least gonna start like a kind of European-style war, you did have the two rival armies sort of, you know, lining up against each other. But people were not used to how the war was gonna go, and there were a bunch of people who went down just to witness the battle, you know, bringing picnic baskets and their Sunday best, and all this kind of mayhem ensues and people are running for their lives. They really thought this was, yeah, like the Napoleonic War, that you could watch all the fighting from some safe hilltop with your picnic basket and your sweetheart and all that. But yeah, it was not gonna go that way.
CB: Yeah. All right, so yeah, changes in war, especially technology and new technologies being developed, and we see that for sure with World War II. And then in the future we can already see the tendencies in that direction with drone warfare and other things like that if there was another major conflict that the US was involved with. We can already see how some of the new technologies that are around today or are starting to be used today will become, you know, used on a much bigger level if there was another large conflict.
NDB: Yeah, drones have been used extensively in the Ukraine war. But also think of what a fantastic tool the internet was for the Ukrainian army to be able to coordinate and what have you. I mean, this is just sort of, you know, unheard of and very Uranian.
CB: Yeah, well, it makes me think also of some of the codebreaking that was done in World War II and how important that was for the war effort with things like Alan Turing and the Turing device, and some of the potential parallels, you know, in the future where you have things like quantum computing that is being developed right now in order to theoretically break codes and being able to break decryption and things like that which would allow countries or adversaries to spy on each other or see what each other is communicating.
NDB: That’s right. And we also had the most beautiful woman in the world, Hedy Lamarr, who designed spread spectrum technology; basically very important technology that would lead to the invention of the cell phone. It’s an amazing story. She’s a movie star from Austria, and she had been married to a man who was a munitions dealer. And so, she sat in on a lot dinners as like the quiet ‘trophy’ wife between her husband and all these Nazi weapons guys, but she had quite a mind on her. And so, she learned how to innovate weapons technology borrowing from what she learned from, you know, the Germans. And she escaped her husband in Austria. She had already been something of a movie star in Austria; she’d actually been naked in a movie, so it made her kind of a, yeah, celebrity of sorts. But then she gets signed to a Hollywood movie contract while she’s sailing to America to escape, you know, the war and everything.
And it’s while she’s living in America and she’s now like this big movie star, she’s at this Hollywood cocktail party and she meets this guy, George—oh, what’s his name—Antheil. He’s a movie composer, a film composer, a musician, but he knows how to operate, you know, the technology used for player pianos—those rolls, you put them in a piano and the piano plays itself—he understands that kind of technology. Combined with her grasp of technology, they wind up collaborating and they get a patent for this technology that’s like the early model for technology that would be used in cell phones. So it’s kind of an amazing story, but yeah, speaking of technology and wartime, I mean, that’s exactly the kind of thing. Like you were saying, Alan Turing, we wouldn’t be where we are with computing if it weren’t for him and what he was doing with codebreaking.
CB: Right. He built a sort of mechanical computer in order to break Nazi codes basically.
NDB: Yeah, yeah.
CB: All right, well, maybe we’ll have to come back to him—‘cause I have a birth chart for him—when we get to World War II. So going back we’re basically early in the Civil War at this point. How long does the Civil War last? Initially I guess we should state when all of the states, the Confederate states, break away and Fort Sumter happens and open warfare starts taking place. The war effort is not going well for the Union at first basically, right?
NDB: Oh, no, that’s right. And that’s largely true until Gettysburg in 1863—when things start to turn around—although there’s still plenty of bad days for the Union following that.
CB: So that’s like two years into the war until there’s a turning point.
NDB: Any kind of turning point really, yeah. 1863 is really critical.
NDB: The same time that Gettysburg is happening—this is in July of 1863—Grant has also got Vicksburg under siege. So there’s actually two major, major, major battles happening right at the same time in that period in 1863. Grant taking Vicksburg is important ‘cause that splits the Confederacy in half and does a lot of damage there.
CB: Do you know the timeframe involved in those two dates you’re talking about in 1863?
NDB: Yeah, it’s early July of 1863. It’s right around—where am I here? Yeah, so the Battle of Gettysburg is July 1-3, 1863, and Vicksburg begins, the siege begins on May 22 and it’s still going on through those early days of July.
CB: Okay, I was just looking at Uranus in Gemini earlier in the year of 1863.
CB: It’s kind of interesting; it passes through. So it looks like in 1863 Uranus is at 17° of Gemini. So it’s in the middle parts of Gemini, getting into the 20s by later in the year.
CB: Looks like it stations at 25 Gemini by September-October of 1863.
CB: So once it gets into the third decan—this third phase of Gemini—that’s when things start to shift more in the Union’s favor through victories by General Grant and others.
NDB: Yeah, Grant in Vicksburg, and Gettysburg—I should know the guy’s name; I usually have these generals’ names on the tip of my tongue. The thing about the Union is, you know, by the time that they get around to Grant—and he’s not the commander yet—they go through like five commanders over the course of the war. Burnside is one of them, but I don’t think he’s the Gettysburg one. But Meade—it might be Meade. Yeah, I think it is Meade, George Meade. But yeah, this is when there’s really any hope visible from here on; before then the Confederates do very well.
CB: Okay. And at what point does Lincoln deliver his famous speech, his most famous speech?
NDB: Oh, you’re talking about the Gettysburg Address.
NDB: That happens later in 1863, October—sorry, November 19, 1863. You know, because Gettysburg was so bloody, they set up a memorial there, and so he goes to open the memorial. And he’s only supposed to give a very short speech, and he does.
CB: You said November 16?
NDB: November 19, 1863. Yeah, at 3:00 PM it seems.
CB: Okay, this is not set for the right location.
NDB: Yeah, it looks roughly like the chart I have.
CB: So Uranus is at 24° of Gemini at this point.
CB: And there’s a whole Scorpio stellium going on.
CB: Okay. And it is actually a really brief speech.
NDB: Yeah, it’s less than a hundred words, if I remember correctly. Yeah, less than 200 or whatever. Such a short speech that the exact word count is known and often mentioned, although I don’t recall the exact number.
CB: Yeah, but some people consider this one of the most important or impressive speeches in history.
NDB: Yeah, and he starts off by giving quite a Uranian number, right? He says, “Four score,” and however many years ago; four score means 4 times 20. Basically he’s like, you know, “One Uranus cycle ago, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”
CB: What is the “blah, blah, blah?” What does he say in the Gettysburg Address that’s important?
NDB: I should know it. I’ve got it here—don’t I?
CB: I’m just asking for a summary as if the listener has no background on what we’re talking about.
NDB: “Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” So he’s dedicating this battlefield; he’s tying in the Civil War to the Revolutionary War, which is ironic; I mean, it’s the same thing. We haven’t gotten to Jefferson Davis yet, but Jefferson Davis—he’s the guy fighting the Revolutionary War, and the Union are like the British in this situation. And what Lincoln’s doing with the Gettysburg Address is like, “No, no, no, we’re the Revolutionary Army again, fighting the nasty old British,” if you will.
CB: So he’s flipping the script and also bringing in a moral component…
CB: …that harkens back to the founding of the country and some of the greater ideals that were kind of brought into play back then.
NDB: Right. And he says, “Four score and seven years ago,” ‘cause he’s speaking in 1863 about 1776. But, you know, four score and four years ago was a Uranus cycle, so it’s pretty close. I mean, that’s the funny thing. The opening address is so much about the Uranus in Gemini component to the Revolutionary War and why it does have a relationship with the Civil War.
CB: Okay, so it’s tying things back at this Uranus return period in Gemini.
CB: So it’s pretty perfect and pretty fitting.
CB: When you’re talking about a return, you know, any sort of planetary return, there’s a revisiting of something because the planet has gone around the complete cycle of the zodiac and it’s come back to where it started, and there’s a real sense of revisiting things from the past and reflecting on them and reflecting on what you learned or what you’d like to do differently. And because it’s the end of one cycle, or the closing down of one cycle, there’s a looking back, but then there’s also a looking forward into whatever the next cycle is and sort of setting an intention in some way for where you would like to go over the course of the next period.
NDB: Exactly, yeah.
CB: You know, that’s true for pretty much all returns; it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot. One, we have the most experience, most personal experience with is our solar return which occurs on our birthday each year, and we think about, you know, the past year that we’ve just completed and then we look forward to the next year that’s coming up; but it also occurs with other types of planetary returns like, you know, the Saturn return, for example. I’ve noticed there a lot of nostalgia cycles of different, you know, movies and stuff that have come out recently that were originally from 30 years ago or what have you, and you see people reflecting on and having a sort of nostalgia for the past. But we have something like that here with the Uranus return but on a much larger, 80-something-year cycle.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. I mean, really bringing up sort of the spirit and the conscience of why these wars are being fought, you know.
CB: Which is sort of a little bit of the period of the Enlightenment and some of the other philosophical ideas or thinking around that period from people like Thomas Paine and others, right?
NDB: Yeah, secularism. You know, Thomas Paine was not a fan of organized religion. Yeah, Paine’s so interesting. He writes The Age of Reason, which is an oft-cited atheist tract. Although Paine wasn’t quite an atheist, he was definitely anti-religion. But the story of him writing that book is just crazy. Anyway, that’s too much of a digression; that takes us back to the French Revolution. I know you want to stay on the chronological track. But yeah, definitely separation of church and state. You know, the French Revolution of course was brutal for the clergy and that sort of ties into it.
CB: Yeah, I mean, one of the elements is humanism. Is that essentially the right way to phrase it? There was a real element of humanism around the time, and human empowerment and other ideas like that around the time of the founding of the United States and things that some of the founders drew inspiration from and incorporated into some of the founding documents. But then there was also a fundamental—not a Catch-22—contradiction because then at the same time there were things that were built into things like the Declaration of Independence that contradicted that by not necessarily affording all people the same rights and the same values.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. I mean, you know, it’s a hell of a thing. It takes a lot of ‘cheek’, as the British would say, to declare that, you know, it’s common knowledge that all men are considered equal and have it said with a straight face by slave owners; yeah, it takes a lot of gall to do that. But that’s the thing, it’s aspirational, and it sets the tone, you know, those words. I mean, Jefferson might have been a hypocrite but that’s some very good writing that lasts and inspires a lot of people who, you know, at the same time look askance at his own behavior; so yeah, that’s something to bear in mind.
CB: Talking about Thomas Jefferson, right?
NDB: Yeah, yeah.
CB: Yeah, I was just trying to pull up the chart, but it doesn’t look like I have it for some reason.
NDB: Well, we don’t have a birth time for him. He’s an Aries Sun. One of only two Aries presidents that the US has had. Where is he? Yeah, April 13, 1743.
NDB: No planets in Gemini.
CB: Anyway, but to bring it back to the point, so Lincoln’s harkening back to some of those things in the Gettysburg Address and kind of calling the country to fulfill some of those things in a way that it hasn’t up to that point, and to live up to what he almost saw as the destiny of the country.
NDB: Exactly, yeah.
CB: All right, yeah, so to create a more perfect union I guess was part of it.
CB: All right, so that’s the Gettysburg Address; that’s happening in late 1863. The tide of the war has already started to change at this point, and Uranus is already getting into the third decan of Gemini.
NDB: Yeah, yeah.
CB: So what happens at this point? Or what’s the next turning point as we get into 1864?
NDB: A lot of 1864 is actually really, really, really hard fighting. What ultimately happens is when we get to August-September of 1864, this is when William Sherman, you know, burns down Georgia and then South Carolina. So Union troops enter Atlanta on September 2, 1864.
CB: Let’s see. Mars has just ingressed into Gemini by August 26, 1864, and Uranus is at 28 Gemini.
NDB: That’s right. And not only is Mars in Gemini, Mars will be going retrograde in Gemini in 1864. And there’s gonna be an election in 1864 in which Lincoln is reelected. But he doesn’t think he’ll be reelected; he thinks he’s gonna lose to a red wave. But Mars is retrograde in Gemini, and somehow the red wave does not surface and he is reelected president. Yeah, that’s 1864. Lincoln really does think he’s gonna lose the election. And if Sherman hadn’t been making the headway he was, brutal as it was—remember that’s Gone with the Wind, right? Sherman burning down Atlanta. Yeah, if he’s not doing that, if Sherman wasn’t winning, you know, the way he was in September of 1864, Lincoln probably wouldn’t be reelected in November of 1864 ‘cause everyone’s pretty tired of the war by this point. But because of Sherman’s progress it really looks like, okay, an end will come if they just sort of stick to it, and so that’s what happens. They reelect Lincoln on November 9, 1864, by which point, yeah, Uranus is at 28 Gemini and Mars is retrograde at 16 Gemini.
CB: All right, so Mars and Uranus are co-present again during Lincoln’s reelection.
NDB: Yeah, and they were co-present all through the burning of Atlanta and the whole march through Georgia and all that; that whole thing Mars is in Gemini retrograde.
CB: Okay, so this is the point at which the war is clearly going against and the tide is turned firmly against the Confederate states.
NDB: That’s right.
CB: Okay, so that brings us then into the early part of 1865.
CB: So Lincoln’s reelected. We move into early 1864, looks like Mars stations direct in early Gemini in January of 1865. Re-inauguration?
NDB: Yeah, the inauguration is March 4, 1865. This is a very famous inauguration. In the audience are Frederick Douglas, but also John Wilkes Booth. And Booth hears Lincoln’s speech this day and tells us his buddies that, you know, that’s it, he’s gonna kill Lincoln.
CB: I see Mars is at 17 Gemini, the Moon’s in Gemini, and Uranus is at 24 Gemini.
NDB: Yeah, yeah.
CB: All right, and then the end of the war.
NDB: The end of the war comes with Lee’s surrender at Appomattox on April 9, which is only a week before—less than a week before Lincoln will be shot. There you are, Uranus opposite Jupiter, Uranus trine Saturn.
CB: So Uranus is at 26 Gemini, Jupiter’s 28 Sag, and Saturn’s at 27 Libra.
CB: And Mars has just departed from Gemini after that really long retrograde period in that sign.
CB: All right, so the war is officially over. The Civil War is officially over by April of 1865, and then we have the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
CB: And when does that take place?
NDB: He’s shot on the night of April 14, and he dies the following morning.
CB: Wow, okay. So pretty much immediately after the war is over.
CB: April 14.
NDB: April 14, 10:15 PM is when he’s shot.
CB: Okay. And then when does Uranus leave Gemini at this point?
NDB: It first leaves Gemini on June 26, 1865, which is just three days after the last Confederate general surrenders; ‘cause even though Lee surrendered in April, there was still some fighting down South.
CB: So there were holdouts.
NDB: There were holdouts. Ironically, this is Cherokee general, Stand Watie. He fights in the last, you know, gun battle. I think there was a faulty naval battle after this, but this is the last sort of un-continental US, soldiers firing at each other, June 23, 1865, and it’s at Fort Towson, Oklahoma; so these are Confederate Cherokee fighting the Union. If you go back to the Trail of Tears in the 1830s when the Cherokee were forced to march to Oklahoma from Georgia that split the Cherokee into two camps, so that when the Civil War breaks out you’ve got your Union Cherokee and your Confederate Cherokee. And yeah, this battle actually ends by a ceasefire; it’s not even a surrender. The Confederates don’t surrender, the war ends with a ceasefire and that’s the end of it. Three days later there’s the first ingress into Cancer, then at the end of the year in 1865 the 13th Amendment is adopted. This is with Uranus still in Cancer but about to retrograde back into Gemini and this is when slavery is properly outlawed.
CB: Okay, with the 13th Amendment.
NDB: With the 13th Amendment, yeah.
CB: All right, and I see Uranus dips back into Gemini it looks like in January—or sorry, February of the following year of 1866.
CB: But it just barely goes back in.
NDB: It doesn’t stay there very long. Yeah, it doesn’t stay there very long.
CB: It stations at 29’50” in March of 1866, then it goes direct. And then we see Uranus depart and move into Cancer by late March of 1866. So it’s over by that point; the Uranus transit’s over.
NDB: Yeah, and it’s very brief. I mean, largely the war really did end. You know, Uranus left Gemini that first time on June 26, three days after the last of the fighting. And so, there is this little dip at the end, but yeah, still largely very, very tidy in the way it bookends the whole story.
CB: Yeah, that’s really, really clean. Again, just to reiterate, the Uranus transit, it started April of 1861 when Uranus first went into Gemini, and then Uranus left Gemini April 1865.
NDB: You’re looking at the dates of the war. Uranus entered Gemini in June of 1858—which predates the Lincoln-Douglas debates, setting the stage for all that—and then leaves in June of 1865 after the last of the fighting, apart from that little ingress in February-March of 1866.
CB: Got it, okay. Yeah, so once again it’s pretty clean in terms of the war lining up with the Uranus transit through Gemini.
NDB: That’s right. You know, I didn’t get to mention Jefferson Davis. You remember earlier I was talking about Patrick Henry who was a Gemini, who had Uranus conjunct his Sun when he was elected the first governor of Virginia. Well, Jefferson Davis is a Gemini Sun, and he has Uranus conjunct his Sun when he’s inaugurated, first, interim Confederate president, and then he’s elected like the proper Confederate president. And Jefferson Davis really does think he’s the, you know, Patrick Henry of this war. He sees the Confederacy as the United States of America and the Union as the British oppressors that they have to break away from; that’s his narrative. So it’s interesting that he’s got that Uranus transit to his Sun.
CB: It’s a really interesting theme. Part of the theme is that both sides see themselves as rebelling or trying to stamp out something that’s oppressive.
CB: So they’re both playing into a Uranian theme or a Uranian narrative, and Uranus is coming up as prominent in the transits of the major players that are involved in that; but yeah, they’re coming at it from very different standpoints in terms of that.
NDB: Yeah, yeah, very much.
CB: So that could be important then in the future in terms of Uranian themes and narratives.
NDB: It definitely is. We definitely want to keep our eyes on, you know, important American political figures who have Sun in Gemini or Sun in Aquarius ‘cause they can pop up as key figures down the road ahead.
CB: Right, ‘cause especially the Gemini ones will have Uranus transiting over their Sun or their Gemini placements when this Uranus return occurs. And then the Aquarius one is more…
NDB: The Uranus station. But there always does seem to be an Aquarius Sun, you know, who plays a very central, important role in these things.
NDB: I mean, okay, Thomas Paine wasn’t on the same sort of level as Lincoln and Roosevelt in terms of politically or militarily; but again, being the voice and conscience of the war I think that’s what the three men do have in common in their respective struggle.
CB: Okay. Yeah, and the other two Aquarius Suns you’re talking about are Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt in World War II.
CB: Got it. Okay, cool. Before we go forward, why don’t you plug your book? 10 years ago, you wrote an amazing book, Uranus USA, where you chronicled all of this; it’s like a 100-page book. It was originally…
NDB: It’s an 84-page book.
NDB: I tried to be really cute, which bit me in the ass; I’ll explain why in a minute. But I was trying to be very cute and I published an 84-page book.
CB: Okay, and we’ll go into all the details later, but I just wanted to do a really quick plug. You had a print book; it was really amazing. It’s designed like a comic book with a lot of images and a lot of diagrams and stuff like that. It’s long been out of print, but there is now as of today a PDF version that is available for purchase if people want to learn more about this. And you go into a lot of this stuff in more detail, talking about the Uranus returns of the United States during these three different periods, and people can find out more information about that. It’s available for sale on The Astrology Podcast website at TheAstrologyPodcast.com/UranusUSA. And I’ll put a link to that in the description below this video or on the podcast website in the entry for this. And you’re also gonna be issuing a new version of this at some point in the not too distant future, which will be available on your website, which is NickDaganBestAstrologer.com.
NDB: That’s correct. The next version of the book won’t be that sort of full-color comic book-type thing; it’ll be a proper black print/white page book, but with a lot more detail. I know so much more now than I did then. But yeah, the funny thing about publishing the book, you mentioned at the time it seemed kind of obscure, and even I thought so at the time, 2012-2013, when I was writing the book. I mean, okay, we’d had the Tea Party and we’d had Occupy Wall Street, but that seemed to be as crazy as things could get at the time; it seems quaint now in comparison.
CB: Yeah, those were better times. But yeah, it’s still really useful and really insightful and goes into so much detail and uses so many charts that it’s really eye-opening and helpful. So people can get that as a PDF on those websites. And yeah, I look forward to seeing your revised version at some point here in the not too distant future.
NDB: And hold on to that first edition because I’m not making more. I don’t know how many were printed, but it’s, you know, somewhere like a hundred, give or take a few.
CB: So it’s even more rare than Austin’s 36 Faces, his decans book.
NDB: Oh, God, yeah. Yeah, that’s positively common in comparison.
CB: Yeah, you did not do like a gold-plated edition of it though.
NDB: No, no. Sounds like a nice idea. Maybe with the second edition, who knows.
CB: Yeah, for sure. All right, so we’ll talk about that a little more later. Let’s move into the third phase of our story here. We’ve completed the Civil War, and the issue with the Civil War of course is not all issues related to a lot of the internal strife and the internal tensions, going back to the founding of the country, were fully erased or fixed with the Civil War; and there were a lot of things that happened in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War that kind of kicked the can down the road a little bit in terms of the need to eventually revisit and return to some of that stuff in the future.
NDB: Yeah, I mean, for a little while, you know, for the next decade you had what was called Reconstruction, and the Southern states, the former Confederate states were occupied. Their political office was opened up. There were a lot of former slaves, African-Americans, running for office—well, a number of them anyway—in places where they hadn’t even been considered human just a few years earlier. But then that came to an end largely in 1876, although it had never been perfect in the first place. But there was a contentious election between Rutherford Hayes and Samuel Tilden, and it was eventually decided that the Republicans would remain in office—Hayes was replaying Grant who had served two terms as president—and in exchange Reconstruction would end; you know, the North would leave the South to their own devices to run their own affairs as they saw fit, and of course things went quite pear-shaped in terms of race relations from there onward.
CB: Yeah, in terms of political disenfranchisement and other things like that.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. And then the Supreme Court weighed in again in the 1890s. There was the Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision that upheld things like segregated train cars and segregated water fountains and all that kind of stuff that really put Jim Crow in charge basically until after the Second World War, which we’ll get to now; because the Second World War does a lot to, in some sense, improve the lot of African-Americans in a peculiar way. What happens is when the war ends—well, should I get into this now, or do we want to talk about the Second World War first?
CB: I just want to make sure that we’ve explained everything, all the threads that the Civil War left open.
CB: So Grant—Ulysses S. Grant, one of the most successful of Lincoln’s generals becomes president for two terms after the Civil War ends and after Lincoln’s assassination. There is a period in which they’re trying to fix some things, but then there’s some hesitancy on the part of the Union to impose too many strict things on the Southern states or something like that.
NDB: Well, it comes up to being a compromise for this contentious election in 1876, otherwise, you know, it might have kept going. When Grant was president, you know, this is when the Ku Klux Klan is formed. You know, in the wake of the Civil War ending, it’s former Confederate soldiers who get together and form this new group. And Grant does do things like send the National Guard to fight the Klan and stuff like that. But yeah, that all comes down largely through a political compromise because of this very close election between Hayes and Tilden.
CB: I wonder if that’s part of an issue with the Gemini periods. I know we’re talking about the periods after that and the decade after that, but also it seems like there’s compromises sometimes that were made, for example, in the founding of the country in order to keep things together or unify it that are sometimes moral compromises that then end up having to be revisited at later times because they create a sort of imperfect union essentially.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. And similarly the post-war years will produce a similar kind of result as well.
CB: Right. So we get into the era of segregation and other things like that moving forward after the Civil War, as well as attempts to suppress the vote of African-Americans and other people.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. All that stuff that’s very familiar to us.
CB: Got it. Okay, so that’s the Civil War period. Then we get to the comparable period where we’re at now, the 1930s, as we enter into our third and final phase in the lead-up to the second Uranus return of the United States relative to the founding and the Declaration of Independence. So the next time Uranus comes back around to Gemini puts us like right in World War II.
NDB: Yeah, exactly.
CB: So the dates on that that I have written down is American involvement, at least in World War II, is December 7, 1941 officially through September 2, 1945; and the dates for Uranus in Gemini are August 9, 1941 through June 9, 1949.
CB: Okay, so we’ve got a pretty, again, close parallel there. Although interestingly with this one it’s a little complicated because we’re talking about a world war at this point. By the time the Americans gets involved in December 1941, you know, this has been going on for a while.
NDB: Yeah, it’s been going on for a while. I mean, most people attribute the beginning of the Second World War to Germany’s invasion of Poland, September 3, 1939, but there is a case to sort of attach the Spanish Civil War, which was 1936 to ‘38, as a sort of precursor to the Second World War because it sort of brought together a lot of the players who would be fighting each other. And this is when Germany sort of introduces the Blitzkrieg, you know, and they bomb Guernica and things like that. The Soviets are involved, the Nazis were involved in relative support. American soldiers. British soldiers. You know, George Orwell, Ernest Hemingway, they’re there not just writing about it but fighting, so it sort of anticipates. But yeah, American involvement in the Second World War, December 7, 1941. Ironically, like right off the bat, the US is attacked by Japan.
CB: Yeah, let’s set the stage before we even get to American involvement because what’s so important is just understanding the lead into that.
CB: Especially if we’re talking about now as a parallel. So a lot of World War I goes back to World World II, which was in like the second-half of the 1910s essentially, right?
CB: World War I.
NDB: World War I was the second-half of the 1910s, yeah. 1914 to 1918, yeah.
CB: Okay. And long story short, Germany is defeated, the powers that defeated them imposed really stiff sanctions. In Germany we get inflation, like runaway inflation really bad in the early 1920s, right?
NDB: 1923, yeah.
CB: Okay, so that makes the German economy just tank. We also have groups that start rising up, like the Nazis, that are increasingly important political powers but originally are very small groups essentially, right?
NDB: Yeah, and they’re fiercely anti-Communist. This is the thing to remember just to tie that all in; you know, Karl Marx was a German. And when he wrote about, you know, an impending revolution, he thought it would happen in Germany, but then the Russians decided to try and make it happen with them first, so that by the time it did try to spread in Germany, the Germans were ready, and German Communists were quickly snuffed out in what would have, you know, otherwise possibly been a German equivalent of the Russian Revolution. So yeah, you get groups like the Nazis who are these anti-Communist thugs, counterrevolutionaries.
CB: Hitler was originally sent as a spy to spy on them.
NDB: That’s right.
CB: But he ended up joining the party and then quickly rising through the ranks to become its leader.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. He was sent as a spy and then he asked for permission to join the party from the people who sent him to spy, and then he winds up taking the group over.
NDB: Sly dog.
CB: And he fought in World War I, and he was injured, but he was like a war veteran essentially.
CB: And there’s a lot of other war veterans surrounding him in that group.
NDB: Yeah, and this really is a calling-card. I mean, think of it, he’s got medals, you know. He was really brave during the First World War; he was like a messenger. So he was running from trench to trench carrying messages, so he’s very well-decorated. He’s an Austrian in Germany. He’s this Austrian bum in Germany, but the only reason he’s taken seriously is he’s this decorated German war hero. He had immigrated into Germany, into Munich from Austria in 1913, only about a year before the war broke out. And apparently the Austrians didn’t want to draft him, but he didn’t want to fight for the Austrians, he wanted to fight for the Germans; you know, he was a believer in the German race state and all that stuff. The Austrians were sort of light, airy, fairy, artistic Catholics, whereas the Prussians were these guys with the steel thing on the helmet, all about war and all that stuff, so that appealed to him I guess.
CB: Yeah, and we’re dealing with the post-World War II period—World War I period—where there’s a huge strain on the German psyche from having lost World War I, and people start pointing fingers and blaming each other about why they lost the Great War.
CB: And Hitler’s group, he starts scapegoating essentially minorities in Germany, which were the Jews, and starts sort of getting involved in conspiracy theories about the Jews undermining Germany or controlling the world and other crazy stuff like that.
NDB: Yeah, yeah, blaming them for the surrender. You know, ‘cause some of the German diplomats who negotiated at Versailles on Germany’s behalf—when they were dealt this, you know, really strict reprimand, if you want to call it that—some of them were Jewish; but, you know, it’s one thing to have that fact and then blame it on millions of people. And there wasn’t anything these guys could have done. They showed up at Versailles and the Allies told them, “Okay, this is the deal. You lost the war and this is the deal.” So yeah, it’s not like they engineered it. And Hitler’s got his own Uranus transit in this story; he becomes chancellor of Germany in January of 1933. But chancellor is not the top position in Germany, the top position is the president, and that’s held by von Hindenburg who was this big general in the First World War.
CB: First, before we even get there, Hitler rose to power really quickly in the Nazi Party in the early 1920s.
NDB: Early 1920s.
CB: And he attempted a coup.
NDB: In 1923, apparently anticipated by Elsbeth Ebertin two months earlier in a print magazine then.
CB: A famous German astrologer.
CB: Attempts a coup, it fails spectacularly, and Hitler is thrown in jail…
NDB: That’s right.
CB: …with some of his…
NDB: With some of his compatriots, and he dictates this book, Mein Kampf. He’s given a really light sentence, you know. He’s in this prison, he has dinner with the warden; you know, it’s a prison only in the sense that he’s not allowed to leave, but he’s got it pretty good.
CB: Right. And it’s because he had amassed so much political power at that point and that’s why they didn’t punish him as strictly as they could have.
NDB: Yeah, and there’s some sympathy for his cause, you know, because Germany has just gone through this terrible—1923 was the year where you would need a wheelbarrow full of cash to buy a loaf of bread and things like that.
CB: So inflation is runaway.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. So, you know, the fact that this guy tried to like, you know, do something about it, yeah, didn’t turn off people just yet.
CB: Okay, so he writes his manifesto while he’s in jail. He publishes it; it gets published and then it’s wildly successful in Germany.
NDB: It’s widely successful. He is forbidden to speak in public for a few years, I think it doesn’t happen until 1927, but when he does, he comes back with a vengeance. And yeah, you know, look, at first the Nazi Party is still fringe, even though Mein Kampf sold well, and, you know, he’s kind of a famous figure, the Nazis are still fringe. But then the stock market crash happens and there was a real depression coming and then his cause suddenly takes on more relevance again.
CB: That’s in 1929?
NDB: Exactly. Because the economy recovered somewhat and then this second half of the 1920s is this sort of renaissance, right? This is the wild Berlin, jazz music. What was that movie with Liza Minnelli? Cabaret. You know, if anyone sees the movie Cabaret, I mean, that’s what it was like. You know, Kurt Weill and Threepenny Opera and all that stuff, Bertolt Brecht, lots of amazing music and art and cinema, amazing cinema coming out of that era; and then, you know, Hitler comes along and puts an end to it.
CB: Okay, so he’s amassing more and more political power. One of the things that’s always hard to understand is that he was persuasive as an orator, as well as, evidently, as a writer if the book was that successful, and that’s part of what was happening as he was amassing political power and influence in society throughout the mid-to-late 1920s.
CB: And his political party that he, you know, was leading was gaining more and more power.
NDB: Yeah, but it was still quite fringe, you know. There was an election in I think it was 1930 or ‘31 and the Nazis only got a handful of seats, but it’s when the Depression really sort of sets in proper. The next election, in 1932, which is then contested, finally one thing leads to another and he’s finally, you know, against great reluctance appointed chancellor of Germany by von Hindenburg in January of 1933. You know, that’s the funny thing, Roosevelt is elected president in November of ‘32, and inaugurated in March of ‘33; so the two of them, these two future nemeses, mutual nemeses, are coming to power at pretty much the same time.
CB: That’s really fascinating in terms of that parallel.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. Books are written just about that. Now Uranus is in Aries. But what’s gonna happen, Hitler is chancellor, and he’s powerful; he builds Dachau for his political enemies by like April of ‘33 after the burning of the Reichstag.
CB: Yeah, ‘cause it’s like a weird political compromise where he’s not the one in power, but he’s gained enough political power that they reluctantly make him chancellor and give him pretty high-level power.
NDB: That’s right. And a chancellor at this point is sort of like ‘second banana’ to the president, but the president is more of the head of state and the figurehead. So the chancellor is still effectively the prime minister, the actual political leader of the country. So it’s not unlike what you have in France today where you have a president and a prime minister, although the French president has even more power than Hindenburg had in Germany. But what’s important—and this is where Uranus comes into play—Uranus finally makes its ingress into Taurus. Hitler has a 0° Taurus Sun, and Uranus makes its ingress into Taurus in 1934 right when, number one, he does what’s called the ‘Night of the Long Knives’ where he has a bunch of his political rivals murdered over the course of a weekend so he can consolidate power. And then a few weeks after that in early August 1934 Hindenburg dies, and as soon as Hindenburg dies Hitler basically either shuts down the presidency or he just sort of merges the presidency and the chancellorship. And he’s the Fuhrer; he’s like the absolute ruler of Germany from that point right when Uranus is conjunct his Sun.
CB: Yeah, it’s like as soon as became chancellor, he started moving really quickly to consolidate power in 1933 and to shut out rivals..
NDB: Yeah, the Night of the Long Knives is I think June 29, 1934, if I remember correctly; and that’s when he, you know, really, well, pulls out the long knives.
CB: And when was the Reichstag fire?
NDB: That was in ‘33, not long after he’s made chancellor; that’s a little earlier.
CB: That’s what I thought.
NDB: It’s February 27. February 27, ‘33.
CB: But what’s the analogy? He used it as a political thing in order to amass more power by using an emergency and blaming it on political…
NDB: Declaring emergency powers which he never rescinded. You know, like, “Oh, there’s a crisis. Germany’s got internal enemies, so we have to have a police state.” It basically comes down to that. Dachau is founded on March 20, 1933, which he immediately starts sending his, you know, enemies. Communists, you know, or anyone like that gets sent there right away.
CB: Okay. Yeah, then basically his political superior dies the following year.
CB: Hitler has transiting Uranus, transiting Uranus goes into Taurus and hits Hitler’s Sun at 0° of Taurus, and then basically he takes over full power at that point.
NDB: Yeah. There’s, you know, the famous movie of the Nuremberg rallies, Triumph of the Will; that’s filmed September 5, 1934 just after he’s taken absolute power with Hindenburg’s death in early August. If you ever see Triumph of the Will, I mean, it’s like watching a rock concert, you know. I mean, it’s filmed amazingly, the whole stage setup with the lights. Remember, speaking of Uranus…
CB: In terms of just its propaganda influence, you mean?
NDB: Yeah, but very modern-looking. Remember, Hitler is of course a gifted speaker. I mean, it’s virtually the only nice thing I have to say about the guy, but he was clearly very good at that; but he’s got, again, technology. He’s using a PA system; this is brand new, you know. I mean, when I say ‘rock concert’ it’s not sort of just, you know, a loose analogy. If you see Triumph of the Will, he’s speaking into this microphone into a PA system in front of I think tens of thousands of people it looks like. That was something that couldn’t be done even 10 years earlier, you know, 5 years earlier; this is new.
NDB: Movies have only started to have sound in the last few years. So yeah, there’s so much about that Nuremberg rally that recalls or anticipates a lot of how everything from rock concerts to hockey games are gonna look and sound in the 20th century.
CB: Yeah, and at least if the time is roughly correct, and if he was widely believed to be born with Libra rising then he was born with Uranus in the 1st house or possibly conjunct the degree of the Ascendant.
NDB: Yeah, yeah.
CB: All right, and so that Uranus ingress is really important: it goes into Taurus, he takes power. And within a few years of that he’s rearming Germany and starts preparing Germany for war and for military expansion.
NDB: Yeah, I wanted to make one quick mention. It’s just an aside but it’s very interesting in terms of the Uranus thing. Hitler has a 0° Taurus Sun, and when Uranus is in Taurus in 1934, he stages this sort of coup. Even though he’s been a chancellor, he stages a coup and takes absolute power and becomes Fuhrer. One Uranus cycle earlier, you remember when we were talking about Harriet Beecher Stowe and Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1851?
NDB: There was like Saturn, Pluto, and Mars and all that in early Taurus. Well, at that time, in 1859, actually when Uranus was still at 29 Aries, Napoleon III—the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte—was president of France, but he staged a coup and made himself emperor when Uranus was at 29 Aries conjunct his Sun at 29 Aries; which to me is a total anticipation of Hitler’s rise to power. I mean, Napoleon III will be in power for 20 years, and when he loses power, it’ll be in a war against Germany that literally unifies itself at Versailles in 1871. And this is when Germany takes Alsace-Lorraine from France, which of course will become something of a ping pong ball between France and Germany. France will take it back after the First World War, Hitler will take it back in the Second World War and that kind of thing; so even there there’s this anticipatory thing. I know this isn’t related to Uranus in Gemini, but just to further advance the point these Uranus returns tend to operate in a fashion that draws threads through, you know, one return to the other in history, not just American history.
CB: Yeah. And we’re not gonna get into all of it, but it was just interesting thinking about, you know, Hitler having Libra rising with Uranus in Libra in the 1st whole sign house. It just reminded me actually that, you know, we have a birth time for Emperor Hirohito who was the head of Japan, and he had Sagittarius rising with Uranus in Sagittarius in the 1st whole sign house. That’s kind of a weird and interesting sidenote in terms of both the leader of Japan and the leader of Germany in World War II having Uranus in the 1st house.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. And he’s also a Taurus, and Uranus would also make the same conjunction to his Sun.
CB: Okay. Yeah, good point.
NDB: He’s not totally analogous to Hitler because he’s more of a figurehead. He’s less involved in the day-to-day planning of the war than Hitler is, but yeah…
NDB: …point well taken. Yeah, absolutely, there is a similarity there.
CB: All right, so eventually Hitler remilitarizes Germany. He starts expanding basically in Europe and taking over other countries.
NDB: First, he annexes Austria, the Anschluss. Remember, he’s Austrian; so that was a long dream to have the big German state as opposed to the small one which is what Bismarck had designed.
CB: Right. And there was a philosophical argument about that belonging to Germany or something like that.
NDB: Yeah, I mean, Hitler doesn’t believe in nations, he believes in races, so he just thinks a nation should be a racial state. So it only makes sense in his eyes to have all Germans living under the same state; that’s his logic, if you want to call it that.
CB: That’s a little important just because there’s some parallels now in modern times where you’ve got similar arguments going on about parts of other countries being annexed based on supposed ethno-geographic motivations.
NDB: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So first he annexes Austria then he takes a strip of Czechoslovakia called the Sudetenland where a lot of German-speaking people live, even though it’s in the Czech borders. And that’s where the famous appeasement episode occurs. There’s a big conference in Munich; Neville Chamberlain, the prime minister of Britain, the president of France, Hitler, and Mussolini sort of negotiate. Hitler promises not to take anymore land, but he’ll get to keep the Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia has no say in it.
NDB: Then a few months later he annexes the rest of Czechoslovakia and then people really know he’s not to be trusted. When he annexes the rest of Czechoslovakia that’s in early ‘39, and then it’s only a matter of time before he invades Poland after he signs the nonaggression pact with Stalin.
CB: Right, but this period’s so important and is such an interesting parallel now to some extent possibly. I mean, I hope not, but we’ll see. But with Europe being so reluctant—you know, World War I only being, what, 20 years earlier at that point—nobody in Europe wants to get back involved in another world war again.
CB: And so, even though Hitler comes along as essentially being a bully, and he’s just like taking over, you know, parts of other countries, and he’s remilitarized and gone explicitly against the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I, people in Europe and the leaders of Europe are so reluctant to get involved in another war that they don’t necessarily check or stand up to Hitler or put him down early when they could have or when it might have been easier, but instead sort of keep kicking the can down the road hoping that it doesn’t come up to full-on war, and hoping that he can sort of be appeased and then will just stay in his limited area, but he doesn’t.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. He keeps pushing his luck.
CB: That’s in the late 1930s, mid-to-late 1930s. So we’re talking about the period when Uranus is getting into that; it’s basically going through the second-half of Taurus.
CB: So there it is, 1937. Uranus is mid-Taurus, like 17°. By 1938-39, it’s getting into the third decan, into the 20s. So that’s kind of interesting and important. One little thing that makes me nervous in terms of parallels today is that this would be the timeframe we’re in now. Uranus getting into the second-half of Taurus would be the equivalent of the 1930s if we were looking at, you know, the Uranus in Gemini period where World War II happened and the US is involved when compared to today.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. We’d be somewhere in the middle of the Spanish Civil War, and yeah, the appeasement crisis.
CB: Right, of just like hoping.
NDB: Hoping everything works out.
CB: Hoping everything works out and not going into open warfare in the hopes that it won’t come to that, but then eventually it does.
CB: Or it ends up emboldening Hitler and then eventually he just keeps taking more and more land until there is open warfare.
NDB: Yeah, exactly.
CB: And when does Poland happen? When does he annex Poland?
NDB: Well, he invades September 3, ‘39. Sorry, he invades September 1 and then war is declared September 3. Previously, a week earlier, August 23, 1939, just as Mars is stationing direct in Capricorn, the Soviets and the Nazis sign a nonaggression pact, and that is what paves the way for Hitler to be able to invade Poland without worrying about what the Soviet Union’s gonna do on the other side. The Soviet Union had just fought a war with Poland in 1920 after the Russian Revolution, so they were quite eager to get back at Poland. And so, even though the Nazis and the Soviets were sworn enemies—I mean, so much of Mein Kampf, he declares what he wants to do is to move Germany east and take over all this farmland, you know, in the Ukraine the Soviet Union has dominion over. So yeah, the Soviets and the Nazis decide to invade Poland from opposite sides and partition it. Just like back in the 1700s there had been a partition of Poland between Prussia, Russia, and the Hapsburg Empire; so they’re trying to make history repeat itself there.
CB: Okay, but as soon as Poland is invaded a bunch of the European countries that have pacts with Poland immediately declare war.
NDB: Yeah, yeah.
CB: Okay, so in terms of Europe, World War II begins by this point in September of 1939.
NDB: Yeah, although nothing really happens for a while. That’s not true if you’re in Poland, and it’s not true if you’re in Finland. The Soviets fight a war with Finland over the course of the winter of ‘39-‘40, which they don’t do very well in ironically enough, which in turn emboldens Hitler to decide to later invade the Soviet Union. But the Second World War as we know it in terms of combat really breaks out in May of 1940 when the Nazis bomb the Netherlands and invade France through Belgium and things kick off properly.
NDB: The British Army has to retreat and abandon Europe and they’re shipped back to Dunkirk, and they won’t be back until D-Day three years later—four years later.
CB: And because Britain’s involved now with open warfare with Germany then Britain’s getting attacked. And in order to bring this back to the Uranus in Gemini/US involvement, Franklin Roosevelt has been president since 1933. Britain’s trying to get the US involved, but the US is still in a very isolationist mode going back to World War I. And Roosevelt tries to send as much help as he can sort of covertly without having the political ability essentially to declare war or to do any of that ‘cause he doesn’t have the political capital.
NDB: But he knows, you know, it’ll have to be done.
CB: He knows it’s inevitable.
NDB: He knows it’s inevitable even if the American public is in denial. But think about the irony here. The United States wants to help Britain, the same country that they fought against two Uranus transits ago. So it’s really interesting to me that it’s, you know, the US and Britain again, but this time on different sides. That’s the thing—these returns bring these parallels where it’s not the same situation, but that there’s some kind of variation on previous themes, you know.
NDB: In the 1700s they were enemies and in the 1940s they’re allies.
CB: Yeah, maybe almost like similar synastry contacts getting reactivated or something like that.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. Churchill’s mother was American. Even though he’s like the quintessential sort of British bulldog, he has this great sort of rapport with Americans, you know, or at least he can pretend to have one. You know, it’s interesting that, yeah, Britain has a prime minister who’s actually half-American.
NDB: Just to compound it all.
CB: There’s Churchill’s chart. Anything worth mentioning briefly?
NDB: Well, he’s a Sagittarius, so Uranus in Gemini will involve an opposition to his Sun; that’s interesting enough. And in his own case, his Uranus transit to his Sun was very interesting because it’s what made him famous. In 1899, the Anglo-Boer War broke out and he was a journalist; he was about 25-years-old. And even though he was a journalist covering the war—he’s British—he’s taken as a prisoner of war and he escaped and there was a manhunt out for him, but he managed to escape to Mozambique and get on a ship and get back to Britain where he was suddenly this huge media figure. And he had tried to run for Parliament once before and failed, but now that he’s this, you know, brave journalist who made international headlines escaping from this South African prison camp, you know, and he’s elected to Parliament in 1900 and remains there until 1964, shortly before he dies. And Uranus was conjunct his Sun when, yeah, when this 25-year-old anonymous journalist becomes this big media figure for escaping from the camp.
NDB: Yeah, just a little aside there. Like I said, with Uranus in Sagittarius, that’s always big for Britain too. The next time Uranus would be in Sagittarius would be when Thatcher was in office and she invaded the Falkland Islands.
CB: Got it, okay. And then going back to Uranus, the Uranus story, it’s funny, by 1941 that we get to the tail-end of Uranus going through Taurus, and Uranus goes into Gemini in August of 1941.
NDB: Yeah, right when Roosevelt and Churchill meet in person for the first time in what’s called the Atlantic Charter. They meet and basically agree to cooperate more closely on the war effort.
CB: Okay, so basically the head of the US—even though it’s not openly declared yet—is getting the US involved much more closely in this war under the premise that it’s inevitable at this point.
NDB: Yeah, at least by this point Nazi submarines are starting to sink American merchant ships. So Americans, even though they’re not totally onboard, you know, they’re getting mad that their ships are being attacked; so, you know, it’s greasing things up a little for what Pearl Harbor will really set in motion later.
CB: Right. And then Pearl Harbor happens later that year.
NDB: Yeah, December 7.
CB: All right, so here’s December 7, 1941. So Japan had been basically expanding all over the Pacific and taking over parts of China and other areas for a number of years and growing an empire in the Pacific. And the US had cut off their access to oil or oil exports to Japan at some point, right?
NDB: Yeah. Well, the Japanese story is really interesting, if I may, because there’s a whole Uranian thing involving them as well.
NDB: We go back to the 19th century; this sets this up so beautifully. Yeah, I mean, if anything, Uranus in Gemini has as much to do with Japan as the United States because—I’ll just find the exact date for you here. In 1858, the same year of the Lincoln-Douglas debates—where are we here? Yeah, here we are. Well, a few years earlier, I think 1854 was the year Matthew Perry basically forced Japan out of isolation at gunpoint. July 29, 1858, just after Uranus has entered Gemini, the US and Japan sign a treaty of commerce, a Treaty of Amity and Commerce, and this is the treaty that Matthew Perry has sort of forced to happen. Japan had been this isolated island—you know, a series of islands—nation totally cut off from the rest of the world. There was like one little section where some Dutch traders were allowed and that was it for the last few hundred years. And the US basically forced Japan into the modern world with first the ‘gunpoint diplomacy’ of 1854, but really this treaty signed in July of 1858 just as Uranus has gone into Gemini. So just imagine if you will, it’s 1858, Japan is a country that’s, you know, medieval in terms of technology and connection to the world. And in one full Uranus cycle they’re gonna go from that—which they were forced into, one full Uranus cycle—to bombing Pearl Harbor with airplanes.
CB: In terms of becoming one of the most technologically and militarily complex countries in the world.
NDB: Yeah, over the course of one Uranus cycle. You know, talk about modernizing; you know, talk about that sort of speed. So yeah, there’s this very interesting sort of full circle thing that comes around from Matthew Perry forcing Japan to open up to, yeah, Japan’s pretty open by this point.
CB: Every time you say Matthew Perry I keep thinking of like Chandler. Yeah, this is before his role on Friends.
NDB: Yeah, that’s right.
NDB: It was all the drugs he was taking; no, that’s a terrible joke. Anyway, yeah, there’s something to that. You know, the other thing to bear in mind is at Versailles, going back to the First World War, you know, Woodrow Wilson, in order to sort of counteract the Soviet Revolution, the Russian Revolution, he wanted to end the war by promising all nations self-determination. Now Woodrow Wilson of course, he was a Southerner. He grew up in New Jersey, but he had a very Southern mentality; his parents were Southern. And he was quite racist; he’s the guy who segregated Washington DC. And when he said nations should have self-determination, he wasn’t talking about non-white nations, he just meant, you know, European nations, but all the nations of the world really took that to heart.
Wilson’s Fourteen Points inspired, you know, Indian separatists and African separatists, and Japanese. And Japan wanted to write into the Versailles declaration, you know, and sort of address the problem of racism. You know, they wanted real human equality, this is something that they wanted at Versailles, and Wilson turned them down; Wilson wasn’t having it, so there’s all these things. Japan, by the time they bomb Pearl Harbor, they’re monsters. What they had been doing in China for the last few years is just absolutely on par with anything the Nazis or the Soviets would get up to, but it is interesting to see how they sort of fell into it. And they were doing what they were taught; they were taught how to be imperialist; they were taught how to be colonizers, you know. That wasn’t who they were; just they learned their lesson very, very well, too well. There you go, that’s their Uranus story.
CB: Yeah, in the Pacific. There was some story though that in their expansions they were heavily dependent on US exports of oil in order to fund the war machine in like the late 1930s and early 1940s, and at some point the US cut off the supply of oil.
NDB: Yeah, yeah.
CB: What was the motivation? It was a preemptive thing, or what?
NDB: I think it’s ‘cause of what they were doing in China, you know, really, really horrible stuff in Nanking and other centers. No, they were being too brutal even for, you know, that day and age even amongst other imperialist nations.
CB: Do you remember the timeframe though? I can’t remember the timeframe of, you know, where Pearl Harbor was in December of 1941 relative to whatever that was. ‘Cause I thought that Japan used that partially as a motivation to attack, or not a motivation, but as an excuse to attack.
NDB: No, it was. I forget exactly when the fuel was cut off, but they invaded China in 1937. And there was even an incident in 1937 where a Japanese general or major or something slapped an American diplomat and it was a bit of a, “Hmm, what are you gonna do?” but that was sort of smoothed over. But yeah, it didn’t happen right away, but that’s effectively what happened. I mean, what was happening in China was—yeah.
CB: Okay, so China though makes a pact with Germany secretly?
CB: Sorry, Japan.
NDB: Yeah, well, that happens a little bit later.
CB: After or before?
NDB: Before Pearl Harbor, at the end of the 1940 I think.
CB: Right. Okay, so 1940, Japan has a pact with Germany. Japan attacks the US in December of 1941 then immediately the US is involved in World War II basically.
NDB: Yeah. Yeah, Germany declares war on the US the day after Pearl Harbor, so that makes it really convenient.
CB: So Uranus is actually in late Taurus at this point by December of 1941. But as we had seen earlier, a few months earlier it had done its first dip into Gemini when that treaty was signed between the US and Britain.
NDB: Yeah, exactly.
CB: Got it, okay. And then it looks like Uranus finally returns and goes back into Gemini permanently the following year in 1942.
NDB: Yeah, right around when proper combat really starts.
CB: In terms of the US?
NDB: Yeah, yeah.
NDB: Look at Mars in Gemini.
CB: Yeah, so Mars is in Gemini March of 1972, or 1942; in April and part of May of 1942.
CB: And then Uranus goes in right after as does Saturn.
NDB: Yeah, and first I’ll just give you battles.
CB: Yeah, but maybe it’s good—so anyway, the US is fully involved. Again, weirdly, even though, you know, World War II was going on for a couple of years up to that point in terms of the European involvement or what was happening with Japan in the Pacific, Uranus’ ingress into Gemini really does coincide pretty closely with US involvement essentially in World War II.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. There’s one other factor. Remember I said when war broke out in ‘39, it was just after Mars stationed direct in Capricorn, August of ‘39; and of course Pearl Harbor is two years and a few months after that. And Pearl Harbor occurs not long after Mars stations direct in Aries, which tends to be a pattern with the US. 9/11, the attack on the Capitol in 2021—all these things tend to happen, you know, within a month or so after Mars stationing direct. And you can sort of follow the next Mars retrograde—well, we’ll get to that in a minute—but there’s a thread between Mars retrogrades over the course of the war that is also interesting.
CB: Okay. Yeah, so I’m trying to think of anything else. I mean, you know, World War II—what are some of the themes? I mean, obviously we’ve talked about huge technological innovations.
CB: And one of the things that the US does is it puts like a huge amount of money and research into funding and developing the atomic bomb, which it then eventually is successful in developing and uses in 1945.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. There were two uses of the bomb in August of ‘45 and Japan surrenders shortly afterwards.
CB: And wasn’t there the Trinity chart or something that had Uranus on the Midheaven? Do you know what I’m talking about?
NDB: I don’t know what you mean by ‘Trinity’.
CB: One of the atomic bomb testing charts. I thought there was like some…
NDB: Oh, that, okay. Yeah, I’ve got Los Alamos. I’ve got a bunch of books about the development of the nuclear bomb, but I haven’t worked them into the database yet, but there is Los Alamos in July of ‘45.
NDB: You know, with the test, the bomb test not too long before.
CB: So the atomic bomb is first tested in 1945?
NDB: Yes, the successful test.
NDB: At which point, you know, what’s his name, Truman is at Potsdam—which is the followup conference to Yalta—with Stalin and Churchill and Attlee.
CB: We should end Roosevelt’s story first.
NDB: Oh, okay, yeah, yeah.
CB: So Roosevelt, he gets reelected to a third term in office, what year?
CB: Okay, so his third term’s 1940. And then he basically survives all the way up until the very end of the European war.
NDB: Yeah, he’s elected again for a fourth term in 1944, and this is the election where he brings in Truman as his VP.
NDB: Who he’s had lunch with once. I mean, he tells Truman nothing, which becomes kind of a problem later.
CB: Yeah, and one of the interesting things about his chart is he has Gemini in the 10th house, in the Midheaven, ‘cause we have a timed chart for Roosevelt. And he has Gemini in the 10th house, the Midheaven at 22, and Mars at 27. And I often think about that Mars in his 10th house and how it seems like his entire career and life and everything just built up to being the guy that was in charge and that was running things during World War II.
NDB: Yeah, and just like Lincoln, he’s an Aquarius with a Mars retrograde.
CB: Yeah, ‘cause Mars, it was only two days away from stationing.
CB: It had just stationed two days before he was born.
NDB: Yeah, yeah.
CB: So that’s pretty impressive. And then he becomes the longest-serving US president, but then he dies. The war in Europe is won and Hitler commits suicide in April of 1945, right?
NDB: Yeah, but Roosevelt dies two weeks before that.
NDB: Roosevelt dies before Hitler. Roosevelt dies almost exactly 80 years after Lincoln died during the same Venus retrograde, I’ll have you know.
CB: Well then speaking of ‘Uranus’ people, Roosevelt had Virgo rising with Uranus in Virgo in the 1st whole sign house.
NDB: Yeah, yeah.
CB: So it was Hitler, Hirohito, and Roosevelt that all had Uranus in the 1st house.
NDB: Yeah, and we don’t know Stalin’s time of birth; de Gaulle and Churchill don’t figure in there, but yeah, that is interesting.
CB: Yeah, it’s kind of notable.
NDB: And Roosevelt’s birth time is good; it’s solid, you know. That’s the nice thing about having aristocrats; they do record their birth times. If they’re not good for anything else, they’re good for that.
CB: Yeah. So Uranus by this point, by 1945, is, what, towards the middle of Gemini?
NDB: Yeah, mid-Gemini.
CB: Okay, around 17. So Roosevelt dies, Germany is invaded, and Hitler kills himself basically as the Russian troops are starting to get close. So the war is pretty much over in Germany and then it pretty much shifts to the Pacific theater.
NDB: Yeah, as the comedian Norm Macdonald, the late comedian Norm Macdonald said, “You know, you’ve got to give Hitler some credit. He’s the only guy who managed to kill Hitler.” Anyway, moving right along, I couldn’t let that one go. Can’t talk about Hitler without some jokes.
NDB: Yeah, so then it moves on to Japan and of course the atomic bomb is used; and that’s a game-changer.
CB: What was the first date, again?
NDB: It’s August 6 and August 9 with the two bombs. Hiroshima August 6 and Nagasaki on August 9.
CB: There we go. And we see Mars back in Gemini.
CB: On August 6, Mars is at 9° of Gemini. So it’s just a degree off of that Uranus at 8° of Gemini in the US chart.
NDB: That’s right.
CB: But we see again a recurrence of the Mars-Uranus co-presence or conjunction in Gemini that’s in the United States birth chart going back to 1776, the Declaration chart.
NDB: Yeah, actually I do want to backtrack slightly just quickly. If we go back to 1943, on October 28, 1943, Mars stationed retrograde at 22 Gemini, and it was retrograde in Gemini. The Soviet Union—this is the period when they really sort of overcome Germany—actually in Kyiv of all places—and, you know, start to push the Germans back. And it’s also when Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt first meet in Tehran, November 28, 1943; Mars retrograde at 15 Gemini, Uranus at 6 Gemini. And remember, Roosevelt had a natal Mars retrograde in Gemini. And another thing he did with this Mars retrograde in Gemini is what’s called the Second Bill of Rights. He gives a fireside speech on January 11, 1944, Mars is just coming out of the retrograde at 4 Gemini, Uranus at 5 Gemini, Saturn at 21 Gemini. You know, we don’t have to get too far into it, but he’s looking towards sort of improving on, you know, American social life and the problems of equality and what have you. Yeah, he declares a sort of a ‘second bill of human rights’ that he wants to put into place. Unfortunately, he doesn’t survive to execute it, but people still talk about it as an important sort of goalpost.
CB: And when was that? You said early ‘44?
NDB: Yeah, yeah. The Tehran meeting was in November of ‘43, November 28, ‘43, and then his fireside chat, January 11, 1944, is what they call his Second Bill of Rights speech.
NDB: Yeah, I just wanted to point out that Mars retrograde in Gemini ‘cause remember, in the Civil War, there was a Mars retrograde in Gemini co-present with Uranus; these really are the periods where there’s a turn. In the Civil War, it was Sherman and the march on Atlanta, and in ‘43 it’s Stalin pushing back the Germans at Kyiv and pushing them out of Eastern Europe and eventually following them to Berlin.
CB: Yeah, and the two-front war that Germany has to fight that it eventually loses.
NDB: Yeah, well, it’s at Tehran, on November 28, ‘43, when they meet in Tehran, that’s when they plan D-Day. Stalin has been wanting them to open up the second front for a while; you know, even got really mad at Churchill at one point in an argument. But at Tehran they agree, “Okay, in a few months’ time we’re gonna launch a landing in France somewhere and open up a second front,” and that’s where it’s decided; so yeah, pretty critical on the whole war thing.
CB: Yeah, for sure, and the turning point for the war. So back to 1945, Germany is out by May-ish of 1945 and then Japan surrenders in August of 1945.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, the formal surrender is aboard a ship on September 2, 1945, but Japan announces their surrender I think August 14, my birthday, 23 years before I was born. But it’s game-over after the bombs are dropped.
CB: Let me see. Mars is almost exactly conjunct Uranus by then, by August 14. Mars is at 15 Gemini and Uranus is at 16.
CB: So thus ends World War II. But interestingly, you know, Uranus is only 16° through the sign at that point. It’s only like about halfway through its transit through Gemini and it still has another, what, four years of that transit left.
NDB: Yeah. Now this is the interesting sort of deviation from the pattern, ‘cause the other wars really sort of began and ended more or less—well, I guess the Civil War began a little after the ingress, but still, you know, it’s nicely bookended.
NDB: What’s really consistent with these three transits, it’s not just that the US fights a war, it’s that the United States winds up reinventing itself, becoming an entirely different country after the war is over, after this period is over. So the Revolutionary War obviously, you know, after that war they established themselves as an actual country. The Civil War famously centralized the nation, right? The people never talked about ‘the’ United States of America. They talked about ‘these’ United States of America until after the Civil War and then it became ‘the’ United States of America. You know, there’s the greenbacks and there’s, you know, much a stronger, central federal government than had been intended when the country was founded.
So now when you get to this war, in 1939, the American army was training using these wooden guns that fired—I forget what it was—shaving cream or something; that’s how unserious they were, you know. And they were certainly not trying to become a global superpower, but within a few years that all just sort of happens, you know, one thing after another. And with the British Empire collapsing and, yeah, the paranoia about resources and, you know, political influence falling under Communist dominion or what have you, America decides to sort of become this global superpower; well, it just kind of happens.
CB: Right. Well, it partially happens because Europe is just decimated after World War II. You know, the Pacific, the US basically becomes in charge of the Pacific and in charge of Japan and implements its own terms for what they have to do in the reconstruction period. But the US is like the one global superpower—or it becomes a superpower ‘cause it’s the one that’s left standing, that geared up its entire economy and everything for the war.
CB: And then that just sort of carries through afterwards, whereas everybody else is having to rebuild.
NDB: That’s right. That’s right. You know, they’ve got a great economy. Their country hasn’t been trashed, you know. And there’s the GI Bill. You remember earlier I was talking about African-Americans. The GI Bill passed by Truman—well, by Congress when he’s president—that really does something that is really important. The GI Bill gives all these veterans—white or otherwise—access to a college education and low-interest loans to buy houses. And so, you know, a fair amount of these African-American soldiers go to university, get a good education, become dentists or, you know, engineers, what have you. And they get a little money and they start buying houses, but in neighborhoods where African-Americans traditionally lived but in ‘nice’ neighborhoods where white people live. And so, suddenly neighborhoods are desegregating and there’s pushback from the whites, and then in turn African-Americans get more militant and one thing leads to another. You know, on top of everything else that happened in terms of fighting Jim Crow and all the other things that African-Americans had to deal with of course there was still segregation in the South. The result of the GI Bill and what it did in terms of elevating people—white or otherwise—you know, really set a lot of the change that would follow and a lot of the Black consciousness that would emerge in the ‘60s. You know, it comes from young people who could see how, you know, their older brothers or their dads who had fought in the war were making something themselves and how the country was pushing back on that. So yeah, there’s a whole sort of chain that comes out of that phenomenon as well.
CB: Yeah, I’m really curious about that ‘cause the one thing that doesn’t track as well about this is with the Civil War return there was so much more clearly a focus on that component in returning and revisiting it and a greater push for equality and civil rights. And with the second Uranus return during the 1940s while you have some of that, it doesn’t seem as stark or as clear as the Civil War one. And it almost seems like there’s a delay of a couple of decades, ‘cause really the 1960s seems like the focal point of the civil rights movement in terms of the 20th century and so much change. And interestingly, that was Uranus in Virgo and the Uranus-Pluto conjunction in Virgo which is square to the United States, you know, Uranus in Gemini, but it’s still interesting that there’s a bit of a delay there.
NDB: I think where you do get the tracking, keep in mind in the Civil War, the Union armed African-American soldiers as early as July 1863 in Massachusetts, and they fought, you know, really amazingly well. And even at the very end, at the tail-end, something like February of 1865, even the Confederates finally decide they’re gonna arm their African-Americans who are obviously their slaves. So, you know, there is something in terms of black participation in these, you know, otherwise very ‘white’ wars that does change things in little ways. Now obviously, you know, we know how the Civil War went down and Reconstruction wasn’t very successful. But in the North I think, you know, some of those African-American veterans, you know, the fact that they did serve was acknowledged and probably helped improve their standing in society somewhat, as limited as that might have been.
CB: Yeah, I mean, that’s huge and seems very obvious in the Civil War period. It’s the World War II one that’s less clear to me.
NDB: You know, remember, again, I was talking earlier about the gall of slave owners declaring all men are considered equal. In the Second World War, there’s some gall in terms of sending African-Americans to fight in Asia and Europe for freedom when they don’t even have that freedom themselves; that becomes this, you know, unavoidable hypocrisy that also comes up. The world wars do that all over the world, you know. Britain has soldiers from Ghana who are serving in India, and they see the Indian independence movement, and then that inspiration, they take it back to Ghana and they trigger a whole African independence movement. So these things catch on like wildfire, and obviously African-Americans, you know, they understand very well they’re being sent to these places to fight for other people’s freedom when they don’t have the freedom themselves. So I think there’s something really central. I wouldn’t underestimate how American race relations are transformed in some sense by the Second World War in ways that are comparable I think to the Civil War and the Revolutionary War in their own ways.
CB: Sure. Yeah, and I guess there’s some elements that do come up in World War II of the darker sides of trends in the US up to that point, such as tendencies towards fascism or even other types of bigotry; you know, there being bigotry against Jews leading up to World War II and different things that even Hitler took inspiration from that the Americans were doing in terms of some of that stuff. Once the horrors of World War II are exposed and, you know, the US has a hand in documenting so much of that. And once some of the camps are liberated in Europe, maybe some of those elements get recognized or it shines a bit more of a spotlight on American society more.
NDB: It certainly drives the point home that the results of the Holocaust are caught on film, you know. Eisenhower has a big hand in that. He says, you know, “Film all of this, otherwise someday people are gonna deny it happened,” and he’s so right about that. The fact that people go into movie theaters—and TV existed, but it was still kind of a niche thing—but you did have these newsreels; you know, you go to see a movie and there would be a bunch of newsreels before you saw your movie. And you go in, you know, with your date to see some rom-com or film noir or whatever and there’s newsreels, and all these, you know, horribly suffering bodies of Jews in concentration camps are, you know, being shown all over the world. And that’s gonna have an impact, you know; you’ve got to be absolutely psychopathic to not respond to that.
CB: Yeah, so maybe that’s sort of relevant there in terms of that story and some of the broader issues with that or other undercurrents that were present in American society up to that point.
NDB: Yeah. Oh, let’s not forget the internment of Japanese-Americans, you know.
NDB: German-Americans. You know, it was not an easy time if you were the wrong nationality or racial makeup.
CB: Yeah, that’s a really good point. So that was going on during the entire first-half of the 1940s.
NDB: That’s right, yeah.
NDB: Here in Canada as well as the US.
CB: Got it, okay. So then 1945 happens, the bomb is used. Second-half of the 1940s when Uranus is going through the second-half of Gemini basically we get the founding of the United Nations. We get the emergence of the US as a global superpower. Also, Russia starts rushing to build a bomb as well essentially and then is successful just after Uranus departs Gemini.
NDB: That’s right. One thing I want to say, before Uranus leaves Gemini, the founding of NATO in April of 1949. And NATO didn’t do anything until the invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11, but NATO was founded in 1949.
CB: Uranus was at 26° of Gemini.
NDB: Exactly. So Uranus is only gonna be in Gemini for another two months at this point, and it’s already ingressed once into Cancer and regressed back into Gemini, so it’s the tail-end. But, you know, we can’t sit here in 2022 and pretend that the founding of NATO wasn’t rather consequential, you know, one way or another.
CB: Because it’s suddenly being invoked and has become more important in the past year, you mean.
NDB: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Because it’s used as the official reason for the—well, not only the official reason—but it’s related to the invasion of Ukraine for sure.
CB: Right, okay.
NDB: I find it as such, yeah.
CB: Yeah, so that’s potentially important. And then when does Russia eventually successfully—‘cause they sent spies into Los Alamos and were successful actually getting some of the…
NDB: I mentioned earlier Potsdam. When the Los Alamos experiment happened, it’s in the middle of the Potsdam conference. You know, Truman’s informed, and he goes up to Stalin one-on-one and says, “Hey, we’ve just developed this really great weapon we’re gonna use against Japan.” Then Stalin says, “Oh, okay, good. That sounds great.” What we know now is that Stalin already knew. Stalin knew before Truman, you know, because he had such great spies, and he was well-appraised of what was going on. But, you know, a good poker player and didn’t give away what he knew. Uranus leaves Gemini June of 1949, and I believe the date is August 25, 1949 that it’s revealed that the Soviet Union has just tested, you know, their first atom bomb. And a few weeks later in October is when the Chinese, you know, when Mao and the Chinese Communists take over; the new Communist regime takes over in China. So a combination of the Soviet Union getting the bomb and of, you know, ‘losing China’ as it was put at the time. You know, this really sort of amps up the stakes. Up until this point, up until the point when the Soviets get the bomb, the US is the only nuclear superpower at that point. So they’ve got this kind of leverage then suddenly, you know, the game gets a lot more complicated when it’s revealed the Soviets do.
CB: And that Uranus ingress is notable into Cancer, not just because it’s the end of the transit through Gemini, but also, in my mind, ‘cause it seems like the Cancer-Capricorn axis comes up a lot in the history of Russia.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. Well, Capricorn in particular.
NDB: Capricorn in particular has a tremendous relationship with Russia. But yeah, obviously with Cancer you get the half-return and that winds up being, yeah, pretty important as well. Uranus was in Capricorn in the 1820s. It was conjunct the tsar of Russia at the time, Alexander I; he had a Capricorn Sun. Uranus was conjunct his Sun when he sort of turned against the Greek Revolution. The Greek Revolution, which was inspired by the French and American Revolutions, was springing up in 1820-21. And, you know, because Greeks and Russians are both orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, the Greeks wanted Russia to sort of come in on their side against the Turks; the Russians and Turks had always been enemies. But Tsar Alexander I, having just defeated Napoleon a few years earlier, didn’t want to have anything to do with any revolution anywhere, and so he turns against them. And then when he dies, his brother becomes tsar and there’s kind of an uproar called the Decembrist Revolt. And the Decembrists Revolt, these were Russian soldiers who had fought Napoleon and they had seen Paris. This always happens. The same thing happens to Russians in the Second World War where they go to war, they go West, and they see how great life is for Westerners and they wonder why they can’t have things so great, and they go back and they try to change their own country only to get in trouble. So that was sort of the first kind of Russian revolution, if you will, in St. Petersburg in 1826 while Uranus was in Capricorn.
Then the next time Uranus is in Capricorn is in 1905; that’s when the proper Russian Revolution begins. They’re fighting a war with Japan, which they lose, and there’s revolution everywhere, and Trotsky becomes sort of a figure because he’s head of one of these soviets, these committees. And even though that revolution is sort of suppressed at the time, it lives on in spirit long enough, so that when the First World War breaks out a decade later, those same people—Trotsky, Lenin, Stalin, and all their buddies—are, you know, ready to sort of fill in the gap. And then the next time Uranus was in Capricorn was of course the late ‘80s and early ‘90s when the Soviet Union fell. So you see in Russian history there’s this same kind of parallel from Uranus transit to Uranus transit where, yeah, you can see the country going through something that’s kind of circular; kind of like not history repeating itself, but still the same sort of issues coming up and, you know, the same sort of huge changes happening.
CB: Yeah, it’s interesting that all countries could have something like this Uranus signature that we’ve talked about with the United States, but other countries have different variations of that. You could do a whole episode about, you know, different countries like Russia and their relationship to some of these cycles.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. You get something similar with Uranus and France; France and Uranus in Leo. Canada is a very young country, but Uranus in Cancer is a pretty big deal for Canada. Of course Canada tends to change because the US changes, you know; not something Canadians want to admit. But whatever the United States goes through with Uranus in Gemini, Canada feels its consequences with Uranus in Cancer. Like for instance, Canadian Confederation, July 1, 1867. Oh, wow, just two years after the Civil War. How about that? Sun-Uranus conjunct in Cancer. And why did the Canadian Confederation come about? Well, because the Civil War had been happening a few years earlier. And literally when the Canadian delegates came together to decide if they wanted to form a country, it was September of 1864. And they look in the newspaper headlines and they see, “Oh, the Americans are burning down their own cities. We better start a country to protect ourselves from these people.” So it’s very sort of closely, you know, connected. And of course Canada was involved throughout both world wars from beginning to end being a British colony and everything. Yeah, I mean, I could go on and on, but that’s the sense I have: Britain with Uranus in Sagittarius; Canada with Uranus in Cancer; France with Uranus in Leo; Russia with Uranus in Capricorn; and the United States with Uranus in Gemini. And I want to keep sort of exploring this. You know, I’m reading a lot more of geopolitics and national histories and trying to get a global sense of just how far this reaches.
CB: Cool. All right, well, to wrap up this section of things, I mean, one of the things that’s kind of interesting is, you know, the end of World War II, you have the baby-boomer generation, and a lot of the people that are in power now, or at least the people that have been in power lately; especially presidents, for example, of the United States, were a bunch of people born in the 1940s. And just looking through the list, it’s like a bunch of the past several presidents have all been Uranus in Gemini people.
NDB: Yeah, except Obama.
NDB: Trump, Clinton, and Bush II.
CB: Yeah, so George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Trump, and then Biden are all Uranus in Gemini.
CB: All right, so I think that’s good for World War II, and we saw a lot of different themes that came up in World War II and in a little bit of the aftermath of World War II. That brings us up to the present, which is that Uranus is scheduled to go into Gemini for the first time—or to return back to Gemini—on July 7, 2025. So it’s gonna move into Gemini then. We can see that that’s just after, what, the solar return for the country in July of 2025.
NDB: With Jupiter in Cancer, just like it was in 1776.
CB: Nice. We also see other signatures going on, like the Saturn-Neptune conjunction in early Aries. What else? Pluto has moved into Aquarius already and is pretty firmly in Aquarius at this point.
NDB: There’s the Saturn-Neptune conjunction in Aries that recalls the Neptune ingress of 1861.
CB: Okay, back around the Civil War.
CB: Yeah, and there’s even some eclipses coming up in 2024, I believe. There’s an eclipse that goes across the United States. So all of that’s happening of course in the immediate aftermath of the 2024 presidential election; so it’s a little presumably connected with that and whatever’s going on. What are some of the themes if planetary returns bring up either similar circumstances, or even if more loosely there’s just an echo of similar themes or archetypes or dynamics that arise? I guess looking back at these three other instances, we had the Revolutionary War, we had the Civil War, and then we had World War II. I guess one of the things is just potentially just by virtue of the fact that the United States in the Declaration of Independence chart has that Mars-Uranus conjunction, perhaps the idea of there being some sort of fight or some sort of conflict is sort of baked into that as something that comes up as a result of that.
NDB: Yeah, and always sort of very reluctant, you know. Remember, the Revolutionary War, you know, these were not revolutionaries. Even after things, you know, got rocky at Lexington and Concord, they were still trying to smooth things over. You know, things blew up and the next thing you know, they’re revolutionaries. The Civil War, I mean, you know, the South reacted to Lincoln’s election, but they also kind of overblew his intentions; he wasn’t becoming president to end slavery forever. It’s kind of like when you hear people today say, “Oh, they want to take away our guns.” He wasn’t trying to take away slaves from states that already had slavery; it would have been good if he did. But that wasn’t what he set out to do when the war began, he was just trying to keep the country together, and at best limit slavery to the places where it already existed and stop it from expanding; that was about as radical as he was in 1860.
CB: I’m trying to draw something from that. There was an overreaction to a perceived threat on the part of the country or something like that.
CB: Or a perceived overreach of power.
NDB: Well, there’s that, but I’d say the reluctance. Remember, in World War II, like we were saying, you know, everyone but Roosevelt was dead set against getting involved in the war.
NDB: The Revolutionary War, no one was looking for that.
CB: But it is interesting that the head of the country, with Roosevelt, knew that it was an inevitability, and he was doing everything he could do behind the scenes to gear the country up and get it ready for what he thought or what he knew was coming.
NDB: Yeah, I mean, first of all, Roosevelt having been president already for nearly a decade by the time the war breaks out, he’s got very good intelligence. But also, Roosevelt’s an aristocrat. He’s been to Europe, he speaks French, he and Eleanor went on a long honeymoon through Europe when they were young, so he’s more sort of international than your average American. It’s easier for your average, day-to-day American in the 1930s and early ‘40s to have the blinders on towards the war in Europe or to only understand it in very superficial terms. And it’s something that’s happening over there; it’s someone else’s problem. But he understands all too well, you know, that it’s coming anyway. You know, it’s not like he’s looking for it, but he knows it’s coming, and he knows, you know, it’s important to be ready.
CB: Got it, okay. But that’s a good theme of reluctance, but then also a preparing that might be seen ahead of time.
NDB: Yeah. Again, I think another common theme is what we find at the endgame when Uranus leaves Gemini. Like I said, the United States reinvents itself, redefines itself, becomes essentially a new country. I mean, same flag, same Constitution, but there’s something else that has transformed, that has metamorphasized. I’m not even sure what kind of word I would use, but I think, you know, anyone with some grasp of that history will understand how the United States in 1945 is a radically different place than the United States in 1939. You know, in those few years it becomes this other place. America was never looking to be a global superpower. I’ve never heard a single American politician aspire to anything of that sort prior to the Second World War, it’s just sort of something that happened. And yeah, the Civil War and the Revolutionary War similarly, you know, transformed the country from one thing to another thing; upgrades, arguably. But yeah, if this pattern holds, whatever awaits the US when we finally do get to 2032-2033 might be a place that we would never imagine it could be; you know, maybe better, maybe not, I don’t know.
CB: Yeah, so timeframe, July 7, 2025. And then the final departure of Uranus is in 2033, you said?
NDB: I believe so, yeah.
CB: Yeah, so let me write that down; it was May 22, 2033. Yeah, there it is. So Uranus in Cancer. So that’s a solid several-year period there in the second-half of the 2020s and the first few years of the 2030s.
CB: So yeah, in the first Uranus return there was an obvious internal strife; so I guess that’s one, as well as, you know, moral issues and things like that that went back to the very founding of the country. And not just moral issues but also just fundamental incapabilities that went back to the founding of the country that then erupted in open warfare with the Civil War period. So that’s like one scenario, if there was some sort of recurrence of that as some sort of internal divide or some sort of internal division or internal fight basically or conflict.
CB: So that’s one version. And then the other version is the World War II scenario where you have not an internal conflict, but instead you have an external conflict, which is a little bit what happened with the Revolutionary War itself where the colonies are fighting Britain; and then in World War II, it’s the US fighting a two-front war with Germany and Japan.
NDB: Yeah, and alongside Britain as an ally on both fronts.
NDB: With a lot of very close collaboration, you know.
CB: Right. And then I guess there’s a little bit of a weird tail-end in the second-half of the 1940s where after World War II we get the beginning basically of the Cold War between Russia and the United States.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. You know, the Marshall Plan and other facets of the Cold War.
CB: Yeah, and then technological advancements are something we’ve talked about a lot and wild jumps in technology or leaps forward in technology.
NDB: Yeah, yeah, no doubt about it. I mean, even in the Civil War, you know, the telegraph was still pretty new, but it was quite critical in terms of getting news around. If the Civil War had happened 10 years later—or 10 years earlier rather—Lincoln wouldn’t know what battles were being won or lost anywhere until weeks after the fact, whereas thanks to the telegraph, he had it, you know, virtually almost live.
CB: Okay. Yeah, so we can expect developments both in warfare and technology, but also in technology then that might also be incidentally useful in things like communications or other things like that, in the same way that, you know, the development of the atomic bomb was also the beginning of the atomic age in terms of the use and harnessing of nuclear power and things like that.
NDB: Sure. Or like the anecdote I shared earlier about Hedy Lamarr getting the patent for spread spectrum technology, which leads to the development of the cell phone, you know, many years later; and she’s doing it for a weapons system, but it winds up being the thing that we carry around in our pockets to, you know, look at pictures of cats and things like that.
CB: Yeah, you know, it’s been almost 10 years since we last did an episode talking about this and talked about some of this stuff much more briefly and not in as much detail. But the world has also changed a lot in those 10 years, and I think we can see a little bit more clearly some of the pieces for some major conflicts as a potential for an internal conflict in the US as it’s become more divided and where both political parties have started making accusations about the other threatening the very foundations of the democracy, and things have gotten more tense and more vitriolic. And then we’ve also seen a dramatic rise over the past decade I feel like in international tensions and the revival of things that we thought were over like, you know, Cold War tensions between the United States and Russian and other things like that.
NDB: Yeah, I mean, I think what’s right in front of our faces is we’re coming to the close of the globalized era, you know. Globalization was something that the US instituted not for economic reasons but for security reasons, you know, to fight the Cold War. And, you know, the US, unlike a lot of countries in the world, doesn’t really rely on imports all that much—I mean, they use them as luxuries—but it’s one of the more self-sustaining places in the world. The globalized order was created out of, you know, things like NATO and everything that ensued that followed the Second World War; we wouldn’t have a globalized world if it hadn’t been for that war. So as things stand now the globalized order is already breaking down considerably, doesn’t have long to go, and so we’re entering a new sort of phase with that. Either that holds or the Uranus in Gemini pattern takes us through some kind of experience where by the time we do enter Uranus in Cancer in 2033, we’ve got a different globalized order; one that’s shaped very differently than the one that came out of the ‘40s and ‘50s. Or we just continue to sort of fragment and go backwards into being a sort of, you know, scattered planet of blind nationalist states, I don’t know.
CB: Yeah, and the technology has advanced so much, you know, since World War II, and has advanced so much even just with the internet and everything else and computers over the past couple of decades; especially since the 1990s when we had the Uranus-Neptune conjunction, and we had the explosion of the internet with Uranus-Neptune conjunction in 1992-1993. It’s hard almost to imagine—if that’s happened over the past 20 years—with Uranus going into Gemini, how could technology speed up or advance or leap forward further is a bit mind-boggling; although there’s little trends of things that are probably happening now that’ll become blown up into much larger things over the next several years.
NDB: Yeah, I mean, for the first time, one thing that the Ukraine war has introduced is, you know, the satellite internet that the Ukrainians have been using, provided by the new owner of Twitter. So for the first time we have technology being used in warfare where the technology is in outer space. Remember when I was talking about the French Revolution using the hot air balloon for reconnaissance purposes at Fleurus in 1794. And then, you know, the Wright brothers invent the airplane in 1903 with the Sun conjunct Uranus in Sagittarius, and within a decade Italy uses the airplane for reconnaissance and other military purposes in Tunisia. I mean, it’s ironic to me that the Wright brothers invented the airplane and one of the reasons they invented it was they were sure it would end war forever, which is a terrible irony if you think of it. One of them—I forget if it’s Orville or the other one—died in 1948; like literally lived to see their invention drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I mean, think about it. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, they attacked the fleet of planes; you know, not just ships, but also planes, and they used planes. They used America’s own invention against it. 9/11, same thing; using American technology against it. And of course, you know, Russia, with election interference and what have you, had been using the internet—largely an American invention—against it.
CB: Yeah, and other emerging technologies obviously like the internet, mobile phones. One of the ones that’s kind of out there at some point is the question of AI and the development of AI and use of different things like that as a possibility at some point in the future; whether that’s possible or not is one of those open questions that we don’t know at this point, or at what point that starts playing a more major role in society or what have you.
NDB: All I know is that anyone who knows more about AI than I do tells me just how little I know what the potential is, so yeah, that would be interesting. Maybe the wars of the future, we’ll just get the AI and drones to fight each other and the rest of us just, you know, go on holiday, accept those drones kill the other’s drones and live with that.
CB: Yeah, I don’t know if it’s gonna work that way.
NDB: I don’t think it’s gonna work that way; I’m thinking out loud.
CB: I mean, unfortunately, the way it’s working out with the Ukraine war and stuff is you have a merging of the two while still having people involved in conventional warfare; but what you have then is just people getting killed by drones in pretty deadly strikes and uses of technology in that way.
NDB: Yeah, yeah, it’s been interesting that way. That’s the thing about Russia; technologically, they’re always behind. It’s been their Achilles’ heel in warfare forever, and it’s just so weird to see them fighting wars the same way today that they fought 200-300 years ago.
CB: Yeah, well, one of the differences of course and one of the discussions has been luckily, thankfully, since World War II, and since the last time Uranus was in Gemini, there’s never been the use of a nuclear weapon in a war so far outside of World War II. But with the return of that and some of the discussions recently about whether different countries would use tactical nuclear weapons under certain circumstances or other things like that is a little bit scary.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. This is something we really haven’t had to think about for a few decades.
CB: Yeah, I mean, since the late 1980s and early ‘90s.
NDB: Yeah, I mean, I remember being a teenager and it was still kind of a thing. It seemed kind of abstract, but it was this risk in the ‘80s. But you weren’t born yet, you know, like that’s how long ago it is. Yeah, because even in 1986, in April of 1986, when Chernobyl happened, you know, that freaked everyone out. I mean, it’s no accident that not long after that Gorbachev and Reagan really start talking seriously, you know, ‘cause that was scary enough; and that was as scary as things got and that wasn’t even military; that was just an ordinary accident. And after Chernobyl there was never any real, you know, “Oh, dear, someone’s gonna drop a nuclear bomb on us.” But prior to that, yeah, for sure, especially like in the really weird days of the Cold War that I lived through; you know, Reagan’s first time, the Evil Empire and all that stuff. It could have happened, you know. In ‘83 there was a close call.
CB: Yeah, ‘83 I was thinking about ‘cause one of the things we focused on—we’ve only focused on one part of the cycle, which is the conjunction and the returns. But of course, you know, one of the things that the World War II example brought up for me was that that’s not the entire story, and any planetary cycles there’s gonna be important turning points, especially at the other hard aspects. So it’s like the return is the beginning of the cycle, but then you have the opening square where there’s a turning point, and then you have the opposition, and then you have the waning square. For example, just thinking about the civil rights era of the 1960s when Uranus was going through Virgo as being the opening square of the Uranus return that happened during the 1940s is kind of interesting. And you mentioning ‘83 reminded me, you know, Uranus was going through Sagittarius at that point; so that era would have been the Uranus opposition of that cycle that started in the 1940s.
NDB: Yeah, it also occurs to me now that you’re bringing it up—and I think I’m just about to confirm this, but I’m pretty sure I’m right—every single president who has died in office, it happened when Uranus was in a mutable sign; every single presidential assassination definitely. Lincoln was Uranus in Gemini. Garfield was Uranus in Virgo. McKinley was Uranus in Sagittarius. And Kennedy was Uranus in Virgo again. So that’s interesting. Now that you mention it, I can introduce that. I’m going back to 1840 to look at William Henry Harrison; I forget what Uranus was when he died in office. Harding died in office when Uranus was in Pisces; he wasn’t assassinated. And William Henry Harrison—Uranus in Pisces. So yeah, it’s equivocal. Whenever a US president dies in office, Uranus is in a mutable sign with a 100% consistency rate. That didn’t occur to me until you brought it up, but that’s worth mentioning.
NDB: Harrison and Harding died with Uranus in Pisces; they weren’t assassinated, they just died in office. Garfield and Kennedy, Uranus in Virgo, and yeah, Lincoln, Uranus in Gemini, and McKinley, Uranus in Sagittarius. Okay, even I learned something today. Thank you, Chris.
CB: Yeah, I think it’s just there’s something really tricky about that Mars-Uranus conjunction being baked into the Sibley birth chart just ‘cause there’s violence to that aspect that’s tricky. And maybe that’s part of another broader issue like with some of the debates about guns and things like that; maybe it goes back to some of the things like that or that signature.
NDB: Yeah, I mean, lots of countries have gun laws, lots of countries have gun owners, there’s no country that quite has the relationship with gun ownership that the United States does, you know. Almost everyone in Switzerland has a gun, but the bullets are kept in some armory somewhere or something like that. You know, we have guns in Canada. People defend their homes, they go hunting, but, you know, people don’t have basements full of semiautomatic rifles and things like that. Yeah, it’s a whole other relationship to gun ownership that really is unique.
CB: Yeah, so it’s interesting that that’s tied in there with the birth chart, the Sibley chart, and then some of the fundamental tension there that’s sort of laying there dormant but can get unlocked, especially during certain periods, like when some of those Uranus transits happen. All right, I’m trying to think of any final things we can take from this history lesson that we’ve gone through and apply to the future, or any broader historical inferences or conclusions that we can just make as sort of sweeping generalizations of something we’ve learned from this exercise in general.
NDB: Well, I’m gonna say this. Before the 2016 election—yeah, we can’t not talk about this—I was chatting with Austin, you know, just instant messenger, and we were talking about, you know, the candidates and everything, and neither Austin nor I thought, you know, that Trump was a serious candidate, to our later detriment. But I remember saying to Austin—and, oh, I should explain to the audience why; Trump has natally a Gemini Sun-Uranus conjunction with the North Node; he was born on a lunar eclipse with the Sun conjunct Uranus. I mean, I was the guy who had just written Uranus USA, so I always knew Trump had this weird chart. But despite everything I broke the cardinal rule of astrology, which is I let my rational mind take over what I was seeing in the chart, ‘cause no rational mind would have allowed me to think that that guy was, you know, a serious contestant, and yet he was.
But what I always thought was, you know, I was always looking toward the election of 2024. So one of the reasons I really didn’t think Trump was a viable candidate was, well, you know, if he gets elected now, he serves two terms, he would be out by 2024 and that would throw off the timeline. You know, I wasn’t thinking about, you know, stolen elections or January 6 or, you know, all this other ensuing chaos. I mean, nobody, no matter how good you are at astrology, could really imagine just how strange American political life would be in this last half decade. So, I mean, with that in mind, as we speak today, it looks like the ‘orange one’ has been cut down to size somewhat, but he’s known to be quite resilient. I don’t know if he’s involved in, you know, whatever the US faces with Uranus in Gemini coming up, but even if it’s not him there’s still the mess he’s left behind, and that probably does have something to do with where we’re going in 2024.
CB: Yeah, that was an issue for me actually now that I think about 2016, about the zodiacal releasing; some of his peak periods weren’t picking up until 2024-2025.
CB: It didn’t make sense to me.
NDB: Yeah, you know, 2016 version of me is thinking he’s gonna be too old in 2024, which at this point in 2024, he won’t be as old as Biden was when Biden was elected. I was relying too much on precedent and, yeah, sort of not being an astrologer in some ways. Yeah, that’s his chart, and he’s so plugged into this Uranus in Gemini cycle. I have to suspect that one way or the other, whether he, you know, is elected in 2024 or not, whatever it is that the United States goes through with regards to Uranus in Gemini during this period I think it still has a lot to do with him and his legacy, whether he’s directly involved or not.
CB: Yeah, and in terms of the past ones, you know, we did have some people that just had Uranus prominent, like we said. For example, in World War II, we found out those three main figures all had Uranus rising or Uranus in the 1st house, which is pretty striking.
CB: Or in other instances you had shown how in people’s solar returns the important turning points were often happening when people were having a solar return when Uranus was stationing retrograde or direct around the same timeframe.
CB: So maybe just part of the overall takeaway is no matter what, whether it’s him or other people, there’s probably gonna be different people involved that have Uranus prominently placed in their birth charts and/or that are having Uranus activating their charts in some heavy way at the time. And if you pay attention to the public figures that have Uranus prominent in different ways in their charts over the next few years, you’ll probably be able to see and identify the ones that are gonna be the major players in terms of some of the most important decisions and actions that are gonna be taken.
NDB: Yeah, I think that’s very safe to say, you know. Yeah, I mean, but there are quite a few Geminis in play, so it’s hard to know who just yet. When I put the book out in 2013, it did seem like, “Gee, you know, am I just getting people worked up over nothing?” In the back of my mind I had some doubts, like, “Things don’t seem to be heading towards another civil war,” said I in 2013. In 2022, it almost seems like, you know, stating the obvious or something like that. Certainly it’s something that a lot of people who didn’t read Uranus USA are saying anyway.
CB: Right. Definitely with the internal tensions and different attempts to undermine democracy or to take power and different things like that, so that’s an issue. And then also, you know, over the past year the sudden eruption of major international tensions and different major international powers having almost like a proxy war through the Ukraine and things like that.
NDB: Yeah, I mean, that was a big thing in the Cold War. You know, I’ve been living in South Africa for six years, and living in South Africa I’ve realized, wow, this is one of the places where that proxy war was fought. All the men my age in South Africa, all the white men my age in South Africa, were drafted to fight in Angola. You know, you see they’re shattered in the same way like Vietnam War vets are or Iraq War vets are in the same way; pretty intense. I mean, growing up during part of the Cold War, to me, it always just seemed like an abstract thing. Like, yeah, sure, people go off and fight in Vietnam or places like this, but it didn’t really touch you personally. But living in a place like South Africa I can really fathom how it was a very real war, a very hot war in a lot of parts of the world; and yeah, that’s something we see coming up again.
CB: Yeah, well, the Korean War. One of the things that always surprised me when I learned about the Korean War was how big of an actual proxy war that was between the United States and China.
NDB: Oh, yeah. China got directly involved, you know, at one point.
NDB: You know, at first they were just using the Koreans as proxies, but they did get involved; and yeah, it got pretty ugly. And the timeline—remember that the Communists only too power in October of ‘49. By Christmas, Mao’s in Moscow, you know, talking to Stalin, and then Korea goes to war in June of 1950. So this all happens very quickly on the backfoot of Uranus having been in Gemini and everything that led up to that.
CB: Yeah, so proxy wars and other potentials for that. But also it seems like we’re on a very thin line right now in terms of the US and other countries playing this very dangerous game of about what is a proxy war that’s acceptable vs. what’s crossing the line into like open warfare between the US and Russia or other countries; it’s one of the tricky things right now.
NDB: One of the obvious things is just this—you know, we’ve been talking about Hitler and how, you know, he invaded Austria, but that was only just, and then he took the Sudetenland, but, hey, it’s for the Germans. “But I don’t want any more than this,” and then the next thing you know he’s invading the rest of Czechoslovakia, Poland, etc. And, you know, when it comes to Putin and Ukraine, I mean, the war that Putin’s been fighting in Ukraine, he fought this in Chechnya, he fought it in Georgia. And if he had gone through Ukraine, if there hadn’t been resistance, very likely we’d already be fighting him in Riga and Warsaw and what have you because it’s not merely a matter of Ukraine. Traditionally, Russians have always wanted to protect their frontier, but unfortunately to protect their frontier they have to go all the way to like Warsaw and the Vistula River is a natural boundary because of this kind of geography they deal with. So yeah, Romania would be in trouble, Poland would be in trouble, there wouldn’t be any stopping him; we’d be fighting a hot war by then. Right now as we speak things look okay because the Russians are evacuating Kherson, and it looks like the Ukrainians might even be able to take Crimea back and all this stuff. But, you know, I hope it all ends there, but I doubt it. I think I’d be kind of naive to think it does.
CB: Yeah, I mean, who knows in terms of day-to-day news right now and what’s going on and where things will be in a few years; but yeah, we can certainly see all the tensions that are there and questions about where that’s all gonna go.
NDB: My point being, remember the Revolutionary War, US and Britain were enemies, and then two Uranus cycles later they’re allies; but they were also allies with the Russians in the Second World War.
NDB: Like the same players coming into the story, but in different sorts of variations. I expect Japan to be important in some way for the reasons I explained. And yeah, you know, I think unfortunately this really could involve something bigger between the US and Russia; well, everyone else. If the US and Russia are at war you better believe the rest of the planet is.
CB: Yeah, well, and then there was a whole Pacific focus obviously the last Uranus cycle with Japan and everything. But it seems like the US’ main tension in the Pacific at this point is with China and questions about Taiwan and all sorts of things like that, which presents similar issues with World War II. You know, all the countries in Europe declared war on Germany because they had the treaty with Poland, and then Poland was invaded, and then automatically it just drags in a bunch of other countries
CB: And then you have similar issues that have been discussed recently about the US having treaties with Taiwan and whether the US would intervene if Taiwan was invaded or what have you.
NDB: Yeah, I mean, the thing about Taiwan is Xi Jinping has to be really sort of in a quandary now because I think Chinese expectation would be the same expectation that Putin had when he invaded Ukraine, that the world would just sort of say, “Well, that’s your zone of influence. You do what you want. I’m not getting involved.” But, you know, Russia’s being hurt by the sanctions, but China is a country that imports, you know, most of its food, its fuel, everything; China is a major importer as opposed to exporter. I mean, I know they make those chips and what have you, but they import way more than they export. And if they were placed under the same sanctions that were placed on Russia over Ukraine, I mean, there’d be a famine in China in like months; it would hit them way harder than it hit Russia. At the same time, you know, they don’t seem to be backing down, and they can be just as ruthless with their population as the Russians are with theirs in terms of just, you know, subjecting the general population to famine or as cannon fodder or whatever is necessary to prop up the regime.
CB: Yeah, I don’t know, but we can see just similar tensions then in those two areas. And then just an open question then of if we’re heading into this period where tensions with the US—either internally or externally—are going to ramp up, the question of where those powder kegs in the world are—at least as far as our vantage point now in late 2022—seem to be the two areas that are the most delicate where we can see things spiraling out of control or something happening or what have you.
CB: Yeah, but then, you know, there were surprises sometimes in terms of, you know, 2001 and 9/11 and stuff like that, as well as just the question about the internal divisions issue and what role that plays as another wildcard factor, where we can see there’s plenty of pieces there in place now in terms of the potential for some of that to spiral out of control.
NDB: Yeah, yeah. Fun times.
CB: Fun times. So that is where we leave everyone on a bit of a cliffhanger here, as we’re recording this on November 10, 2022.
NDB: Happy weekend, everyone.
NDB: Look, I hope, you know, 10 years from now we’re dreadfully embarrassed at how much we oversold this whole thing.
NDB: Yeah, I hope we just sort of live in peace and none of what we’re speculating about comes to pass. That’s worth being a shitty astrologer over; excuse my French. But everything sort of points to something else even without the astrology. You know, I think even if we weren’t astrologers, we would sound very naive if we thought it wasn’t some big trouble coming on the horizon.
CB: Yeah, well, that’s the cool thing though about some of what’s happening today. If you go back and listen to Episode 11, you’ll see a smaller version of this discussion where we did the same thing. You go back and you look at past planetary cycles, you see what the correlations were and what the connections were between them, and what the archetypal similarities were or the symbolic similarities; and then you figure out what the trajectory is and you project that out into the future and that’s how you make predictions with astrology.
CB: So it’s a great case study in terms of that, and on a larger scale, ‘cause we’re talking about mundane astrology and we’re talking about world events and countries. And there’s so many different variables and moving pieces that mundane astrology I think is truly one of the most difficult types of astrology to do or to harness correctly or to do predictions correctly because there’s so many moving pieces and so many variables. But, you know, some of the same lessons can be learned and applied to birth charts and natal charts as well in terms of identifying past planetary cycles and then attempting to then make an inference about what will happen in the future the next time that same cycle comes up.
NDB: Absolutely, absolutely. And also, just understanding mundane astrology I find has helped me as a consulting astrologer because I do get clients who are survivors of war or refugees from war. And when I know the transits behind, you know, the wars in Vietnam or Africa or, you know, places where I have read for people who’ve survived these sort of experiences, that helps me as a consulting astrologer. I understand something about how those situations would have impacted these people, and, you know, in most cases it’s like the single biggest changing factor in a person’s life is having to relocate or experience this kind of war in some way. I think these two schools of astrology do inform each other, and it’s worth being, you know, adept at both: the personal and the collective.
CB: Yeah, for sure.
CB: All right, my friend, well, I think that might be the end of our Uranus in Gemini and the United States.
NDB: The end of part one, you mean.
CB: Well, hopefully, if we’re both here, we’ll revisit this again in like a decade and see how things came out, how things turned out.
NDB: Let’s make that a date.
NDB: 2033, God, how old will we look by then? You know, someone just posted an image of my MySpace page from 2006, and there’s like you and Watts; I’m like super young in my friend feed and all this. Anyway, yeah, we’re getting older; it’ll be interesting. 2033, I’ll be 60-something, 65.
CB: Yeah, well, Uranus is Gemini will be my Uranus opposition. So I’ll have a midlife crisis of some sort; we’ll see how that goes.
NDB: You’ll be driving a sports car.
CB: Yeah, a red sports car. All right, so I did want to mention and plug the book. So Uranus USA, the first edition, the PDF is available now at TheAstrologyPodcast.com/UranusUSA. It’s full color, got tons of great detail and charts and text and other things. You did a really amazing job with this. And it’s been out of print for years, so it’s actually really exciting to have it be available again as a resource if people want to go and check it out. And I think it’ll help to whet people’s appetite for, you know, the fuller revised edition that you’re working on now.
NDB: Good. Yeah, thank you for putting it together, you know, putting this episode together and promoting the book. I hope people enjoy it if they do get it. And yeah, I am working on a second edition that’s considerably more in-depth than this first version.
CB: Cool, so that’ll be available. What’s your website URL again?
NDB: I’m at NickDaganBestAstrologer.com. Yeah, when it is on sale it’ll be on sale on my site. But, you know, anyone who wants to get in touch with me for any reason, they can reach me there.
CB: Cool. And you do consultations, and you’re also starting to produce videos on your YouTube channel, right?
NDB: That’s right. Well, you’ve seen one draft of my first video, which I’m gonna put out soon. You can vouch it looks interesting, I hope. Yeah, I’m producing astrology videos. I’m also doing live consultations here in Vancouver. People in the Vancouver area, Kitsilano, I’m doing readings at White Rabbit. It’s a shop on the same block as Banyen Books on 4th Avenue near Alma, and look for me there. The shop doesn’t say ‘White Rabbit’ on the outside, it says something about upholstery ‘cause it’s like this old vintage sign, but it is a little sort of New Age-y shop called White Rabbit, so come see me there. I’ll be there Saturday, November 12 available for readings and regularly from there on.
CB: Cool. All right, well, people can check out your website. I’ll put a link to it in the description below this video or on the podcast website for this episode of the podcast. So that’s it for this episode. Thanks for joining me today.
NDB: Thank you, Chris.
CB: All right, thanks everyone for watching or listening to this episode of The Astrology Podcast, and we’ll see you again next time.
A special thanks to all the patrons that helped to support this production of this episode of the podcast through our page on Patreon.com. In particular, a shoutout to the patrons on our Producers tier, including Thomas Miller, Catherine Conroy, Kristi Moe, Ariana Amour, Mandi Rae, Angelic Nambo, Issa Sabah, Jake Otero, Mimi Stargazer, and Jeanne Marie Kaplan. If you appreciate the work I’m doing here on the podcast and you’d like to find a way to support it then please consider becoming a patron through our page on Patreon.com. In exchange, you can get access to bonus content that’s only available to patrons of the podcast, such as early access to new episodes, the ability to attend the live recording of the monthly forecast episodes, our monthly auspicious elections podcast, or another exclusive podcast series called The Casual Astrology Podcast, or you can even get your name listed in the credits at the end of each episode. For more information, visit Patreon.com/AstrologyPodcast.
If you’re looking to get an astrological consultation, we have a list of recommended astrologers at TheAstrologyPodcast.com/consultations. The astrologers on the list are friends of the podcast that have been featured in different episodes over the years, and they have different specialties, such as natal astrology, electional astrology, synastry, rectification, or horary astrology. You can get a 10% discount when you book a consultation with one of the astrologers on our list by using the promo code ‘ASTROLOGYPODCAST’.
The astrology software that we use and recommend here on the podcast is called Solar Fire for Windows, which is available for the PC at Alabe.com. Use the promo code ‘AP15’ to get a 15% discount. For Mac users, we recommend a software program called Astro Gold for Mac OS, which is from the creators of Solar Fire for PC, and it includes both modern and traditional techniques. You can find out more information at AstroGold.io. And you can use the promo code ‘ASTROPODCAST15’ to get a 15% discount.
If you’d like to learn more about my approach to astrology then I’d recommend checking out my book titled, Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune where I go over the history, philosophy, and techniques of ancient astrology, taking people from beginner up through intermediate and advanced techniques for reading birth charts. You can get a print copy of the book through Amazon or other online retailers, or there’s an ebook version available through Google Books. I also recently published a new translation of The Anthology of the 2nd century astrologer Vettius Valens, which is one of the most important sources for understanding the practice of ancient astrology. You can find that by searching for ‘Vettius Valens The Anthology’ on Amazon or other online book retailers.
If you’re really looking to expand your studies of astrology then I would recommend my Hellenistic astrology course, which is an online course on ancient astrology where I take people through basic concepts up through intermediate and advanced techniques for reading birth charts. There’s over 100 hundred hours of video lectures, as well as guided readings of ancient texts, and by the time you’ve finished the course you will have a strong foundation on how to read birth charts, as well as make predictions. You can find out more information at courses.TheAstrologySchool.com. I also recently launched a new course there called the Birth Time Rectification course where I teach students how to figure out your birth time using astrology when the birth time is either unknown or uncertain. You can find out more information about that at TheAstrologySchool.com.
Each year the podcast releases a set of astrology calendar posters for the coming year, and we’ve just released our 2023 Planetary Alignments and Planetary Movements posters, which are now available on our website at TheAstrologyPodcast.com/store. There you can also pick up our 2023 Electional Astrology Report where we Leisa Schaim and I went through the next 12 months and we picked out the single-most auspicious date for each month using the principles of electional astrology. You can get that at TheAstrologyPodcast.com/2023Report.
And finally, thanks to our sponsors, including The Mountain Astrologer Magazine, which is a quarterly astrology magazine which you can read in print or online at MountainAstrologer.com. Finally, thanks also to the Northwest Astrology Conference, which is happening May 25-29, 2023, just outside of Seattle. This year’s conference is gonna be a hybrid conference where you can either attend online or in person. Find out more information at norwac.net.