Last week, in the wake of a failure to indict the police officer who murdered Eric Garner, the nation responded with widespread protest and anger. Even the expected apologists, who usually manage to obtusely rationalize the worst of police behavior, were shocked at this blatantly egregious miscarriage of justice. In an unusual twist, the abuse of the system was so apparent and so extreme that it mobilized the potential for real transformation. We may actually see police cameras become more common and independent prosecutions of police misconduct more prevalent as a result of this situation.
This week, the Senate released its study of the CIA’s Bush-era torture practices. Again, there is widespread upset and shock over the extremity of the revelations, depicting abuses more widespread, pervasive, and brutal than anyone had anticipated. The apologists claim that the perceived threat justified any and all deplorable behavior, sounding much like the self-serving grand jury testimony of Darren Wilson, the infamous policeman who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. It is the hollow rationalization of bullies everywhere.
Once again, there are calls for accountability in what is largely recognized as out-of-control behavior by those legally authorized to protect us. Once again, we are called to compare our ideal of what America stands for with what it is actually doing. Once again, we are shamed and found wanting.
In the US chart, the Sun (13Cancer19) is conjunct the fixed star Sirius, the brightest star in the Northern hemisphere, located in “the Neck of the Great Dog”. In the sky, the Great Dog, or Canis Major, depicts a large dog jumping energetically at the feet of the mighty Hunter, Orion. This dazzling star is said to be indicative of fame, honor, and riches, as well as the potential for violence and aggression.
Also in the US chart, natal Saturn (14Libra48) is in a tight square to the Sun, acting as a leash, as it were, to the more exuberant or ferocious proclivities of the Sirius/Sun combination. Saturn tends to bring discipline, structure, and caution to situations that might otherwise become unmanageable. Its position in the 10th house points to lessons in humility and the limitations of power, as well as a drive to serve the greater good. It moreover forces an awareness of when appropriate boundaries have been breached, often eliciting sorrow, difficulties, and frustration in order to restore balance. This recalibrating process is most obvious when transiting Saturn impacts the US Sun.
Recently, from November 29 through December 9, Saturn made a sesquiquadrate to the US Sun. Due to the natal square between these two bodies, even a minor hard aspect such as a sesquiquadrate is noteworthy. And indeed, we find that both the Eric Garner decision and the torture report happened during this recent transit, both resulting in a drive to bring discipline and accountability to what are largely perceived as out-of-control situations. This Saturn transit followed the Saturn/Pluto combination impacting the US Moon from November 20 to November 29, discussed in previous articles, which heralded the national upset over the lack of indictment in Ferguson, Missouri, for the police killing of Michael Brown.
Of more long-range significance, transiting Pluto is presently in an opposition to the US Sun, spanning from January 2014 through October 2015. As of December 6 through January 8, it has returned to within the potent one-degree orb, actually joining Saturn’s impact on the US Sun for a few crucial days during the release of the torture report on December 9. Pluto tends to bring situations to such an extreme that transformation is inevitable. We saw this recently in both the deplorable video of Eric Garner’s murder and the severity of abuse documented in the Senate report. Both situations were so egregious they could not be ignored.
Indeed, this inherent struggle in the US chart between aggression and restraint, between how far to push goals and when to hold back, will be an unrelenting theme over the coming year. The US Sun/Saturn square will be visited by hard aspects from both transiting Uranus and Pluto, and minor hard aspects from transiting Saturn. This suggests the nation will feel itself embroiled in significant power struggles that include enormous tension and anxiety (Pluto) and sudden shifts of direction likely sparked by unexpected dramatic events (Uranus), as well as periods of serious setback and forced containment when goals are hindered and limitations of the use of power must be accepted (Saturn). These conflicting energies are likely to be experienced in the burgeoning war being waged with ISIL, in the building tensions with Russia, as well as in bitter partisan political clashes and the latest iteration of the civil rights movement at home.
In particular, the transit of Pluto square to US Saturn when it overlaps Saturn’s transit quincunx the US Venus (3Cancer06) and opposite President Obama’s Moon (3Gemini21) during the second half of January and again during the second half of April 2015, portends some tragic and painful national stories that point to the limits and price of our national power in a dangerous world. Additionally, the protracted station of Saturn sesquiquadrate the US Sun from June 27 through August 10, 2015, which is almost completely overlapped by the Pluto station opposite the US Sun (July 7 through November 2, 2015) promises to be an exceptionally stressful period. The summer of 2015 may prove the most treacherous stretch in the entire war against ISIL, and may also bring other very difficult national challenges, including the possibility of some economic stress. Pluto and Saturn combined suggest intense anxiety and a strong push toward increased effort and vigilance in some area. Once Pluto moves past the opposition to the US Sun and past its square to US Saturn by late 2015, we can probably breathe a collective sigh of relief.