September 1st, 2002
Nancy Lubar Sommers, LCSW
As humankind moves into the 21st Century, the concept of globalization gains a stronger foothold. In its most profound sense, this term suggests that the nations and peoples of the planet are becoming more and more interdependent and are increasingly united in global pursuits, particularly economic and environmental. In striving to move with the onward flow of human evolution, nations struggle to find common ground and common goals that support the greater good of the whole. The founding of the United Nations in 1945 was perhaps the first significant step in this crucial process. More recently, attempts to stem the threat of global warming, such as the Kyoto Protocol, and attempts at instituting some form of global justice, such as the International Criminal Court, have gained momentum.
But this process is in its fragile infancy. Thus, when one nation, particularly the one with the greatest wealth and military power, begins to swim against the global tide, the result can be profoundly disruptive and destructive. When such a nation clings to its own narrow and short-term interests, the entire thrust of modern humankind’s fledgling attempts at unified achievement can be completely derailed, as witnessed recently at the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Even worse, flagrantly ignoring international laws can set a dangerous precedent, leading ultimately to global anarchy.
The term unilateral has been bandied about increasingly in connection with the Cowboy-in-Chief. In the past 18 months, the United States has pulled out of numerous global initiatives, including the Kyoto Protocol, a nuclear arms treaty, and, most recently, the International Criminal Court. The current crusade against Saddam is nothing if not unilateral, since not one nation, other than a wavering Britain, stands behind this action, with most actively opposing, and for multiple reasons.
Despite the glorified rhetoric of installing a democracy in Iraq and deposing a dangerous, ready-to-strike-at-us tyrant, according to many, it is the world’s diminishing oil supply that is the underlying thrust behind the inevitable attack on Iraq. The more puppet regimes the US can install in the Middle East, the more it controls the oil spigot.
A penetrating probe into the current unilateralism of the Bush administration, and into much that ails this country at present, suggests a pattern in the American psyche that must be transformed at both the national and the individual level, or we will become, increasingly, the pariah among nations. In the United Sates chart, Pluto is in the Second House, opposed to Mercury, and semisquare to the Ascendant. The Second House is the domain of national wealth and resources. The nature of Pluto is obsessive, grasping, and controlling. In the Second House, Pluto suggests a gluttonous, grasping, and manipulative attitude toward resources. It is unbridled capitalism at its worst. Because Pluto opposes Mercury, ruler of the Seventh House of foreign affairs, its rapaciousness taints our foreign relations. The semisquare to the Ascendant firmly anchors this voracious appetite into the national character.
Furthermore, Pluto rules the Twelfth House, by virtue of the fact that Scorpio is on its cusp. This suggests that the characteristics of the greedy Second House Pluto take on a Twelfth House quality as well: the potential for self-undoing and the nature of a hidden enemy. Thus, our disproportionate devouring of the world’s resources becomes, unconsciously, the source of our self-undoing, a hidden enemy. It is not a coincidence that the recent transit of Pluto across the US Ascendant, bringing Pluto’s nature in the chart to the level of awareness and acute action, came with two of the most treacherous and traumatic events in American history. Both the Election Coup of 2000 and the attack of 9/11 may, in some aspects, be linked to the compulsive greed in the US psyche. Had the media not been run by mega-corporations attending more to their own bottom line than the pursuit of truth, it is unlikely George Bush would have ended up in the White House. The election would not have been so close that it could have been stolen in Florida. Corporate support for George Bush was given because he had promised massive deregulation, serving to increase already gargantuan profits. No thought was given to the impact of this policy on the country as a whole. Furthermore, many voted for the Republican candidate due to his promise to reduce taxes. Again, no thought was given to the effect this would have on the economy. No consideration was given to the impact on the hard-earned surplus and the future of Social Security. The Pluto transit was very strong during this period, intensifying the acquisitive Plutonian element of the US chart.
Had the US not been in Saudi Arabia protecting our oil interests, it is unlikely the Saudi Arabian terrorists would have been so obsessed with our penetration into their territory and their culture. Had we simply pursued more fuel-efficient cars and saner, more available public transportation from the time these issues first emerged over a quarter of a century ago, we would already have made a huge dent in our gas guzzling habits. But no thought was given to the inevitable future when oil would again be scarce. Short-term, narrow interests prevailed. Control, manipulation, and obsessive grasping, all qualities of Pluto, determined the policy.
Another indication in the US chart of a selfish focus on resources is the South Node in the Second House. This suggests an unconscious habit of avariciousness and desire to accumulate wealth that must be brought into balance in order for a healthy and fulfilling growth to unfold. Resolution comes from a focus on the North Node in the Eighth House, guiding other nations in the development of their resources - for the greater good, rather than for our own self-absorbed reasons.
In a similar vein, the Second House Pluto in the US chart must ultimately be transformed. Wherever Pluto sits in a chart, there is always a dark side of the nature that must go through a painful process of rebirth to a more enlightened approach. Here the goal would be to bring the depth of perception, leadership, and power aspects of Pluto into service of the whole planet, rather than the narrow, short-term interests of an obsessive need for control over all wealth. Again we come to the polarity between internationalism and unilateralism. The first evolves humankind into a higher level of consciousness; the second slings it backward, potentially into anarchy.
Upon examination, one finds that the Bush administration’s unilateral tendencies have consistently fed the gluttony of large corporations for limitless resources at the expense of the environment and the rest of the world. In George Bush’s Inaugural chart there are significant indications of this unilateral bent which plunges ahead with controversial, potentially harmful policies that tend to enrich the big corporations and the wealthiest among us. The central and overwhelming dynamic of this chart is the powerful T-square formed by Uranus, Mercury, Mars, and Saturn. Uranus is the planetary energy that breaks with the status quo. When it is harmoniously aspected, its extraordinarily creative force is likely to be constructive and visionary. When adversely aspected, the Uranian battle to be completely unfettered by tradition can become quite disruptive.
At the center of the Inaugural T-square stands a Mercury/Uranus conjunction. Mercury represents the policies and ideas of the government, which are completely colored here by the willful, contrary Uranus. In square to this conjunction is Mars on the Seventh House cusp, suggestive of the extraordinary disruption and anger elicited by the administration’s policy pronouncements and attitudes. Moreover, Mars square to Uranus suggests violent clashes and very aggressive energies, manifesting through the extensive war activities of the administration.
On the other side of the T-square, we find Uranus/Mercury square to Saturn. This indicates that the administration’s frequent attempts to be unfettered by tradition and expected norms (Uranus) are continually battling with the status quo and those who represent its structures (Saturn). Progressions and transits to Inaugural Uranus are likely to trigger a unilateral thrust (Uranus) followed by anger, criticism (Mars), and attempts to contain (Saturn).
In March 2001, when tertiary progressed Mercury made its exact conjunction to Inaugural Uranus, the Bush administration came out with a slew of policies that caused a furious reaction throughout the country and, in the case of dumping the Kyoto Protocol, the civilized world. Some of these are discussed in Dubya’s Troubled Time:
We have seen how the three transits of Mercury to natal Uranus in the Inaugural Chart caused a great stir during the early weeks of the Bush Residency. The first brought the reinstitution of the gag rule, the second brought the bombing of Iraq, and the third brought the angioplasty of Vice President Cheney with its accompanying denials of seriousness. In each case, the event was sudden and unexpected (Uranus) and was followed by tremendous public concern and criticism (Mercury/Uranus square Mars).
The tertiary progressed Mercury that reached its exact conjunction to Uranus during the last three weeks of March exemplified much the same pattern. It brought in its wake numerous policies (Mercury) from the Bush administration that were sudden, unexpected, and contrary to the general mood of the public (Uranus) and that were followed by public anger and enormous criticism (Mars). Among these were the abandonment of carbon dioxide regulations, the repeal of arsenic in drinking water regulations, the withdrawal of support from the Korean negotiations, the repeal of ergonomic regulations, and other such pro-industry and anti-humanitarian policies too numerous to list. The most egregious action taken under this progression and the one that produced the greatest outcry from all across the globe was the withdrawal of the United Sates from the Kyoto Protocol, an international process of many years’ duration to halt the destructive process of global warming. This came on March 28 when tertiary progressed Mercury was almost exact in its conjunction to natal Uranus (19Aquarius) and was activated by transits from Mars (19 Sagittarius) and the Moon (19 Taurus).
The secondary progressed Inaugural Mercury is now just beginning its conjunction to natal Uranus (19Aquarius41), lasting roughly from August 2002 through February 2003. In much the same way that the tertiary progressed Mercury was triggered by a transit from Mars in late March 2001, the secondary transit will be triggered by the transit of Pluto (19 Sagittarius) from mid-January through mid-February 2003. We can expect during this six month period, and especially during the Pluto triggering in early winter, an emboldening of Bush’s unilateral tendencies: sudden, unexpected pronouncements and actions that arouse anger, criticism, and resistance.
The beginning of the Mercury/Uranus progression has recently been amplified by the tertiary progression of the Inaugural Sun conjunct Inaugural Uranus from mid-July through mid-August, and its continuation in the tertiary progressed Inaugural Sun conjunct tertiary progressed Inaugural Uranus through mid-September. It is during this period, mid-July through mid-September 2002, that the administration’s determination to create a war with Iraq has gained a startlingly strong momentum and has aroused a powerful resistance throughout the world.
Interestingly, it is shortly after the November election that the next strong energizing of the administration’s unilateralism comes into play. The coming tertiary progressed Inaugural Midheaven conjunct natal Uranus (11/10 to 12/10/02) indicates this renewed impulse. It is possible that the administration will once again make sudden pronouncements about policy or actions that cause a sharp and angry response. However, I think that Mr. Bush will not be able to act aggressively until early January, because of a strong Saturn energy holding him back and frustrating his intentions. In the Inaugural chart, tertiary progressed Mercury will be conjunct tertiary progressed Sun and both will be square to natal Saturn from November 21 through December 2002. This suggests that goals and policies are frustrated and held back and that difficulties are encountered.
It is in January 2003 that the planets come together to suggest the unfolding of dramatic and powerful events. The administration’s unilateral tendencies are strongly indicated. As mentioned above, the Inaugural secondary progressed Mercury conjunct Uranus will be triggered by Pluto from mid-January through mid-February. In addition, the Inaugural tertiary progressed Midheaven will be conjunct tertiary progressed Uranus (12/22/02 to 1/22/03).
Perhaps the most striking aspect in Mr. Bush’s chart during this period is progressed Midheaven conjunct natal Uranus, which will be triggered intensively by transiting Pluto all of January (and, through stationary movement, through mid-May). The Midheaven/Uranus/Pluto configuration in Mr. Bush’s chart suggests a time of great power, determination, and focus, with a driving force that will push through any and all obstacles. It also suggests a situation of great magnitude and challenge, as well as a potential for crisis and sudden, upsetting events. Please note here that Mr. Bush’s natal Uranus (19Gemini08) and the Inaugural Uranus (19Aquarius41) both fall at 19 degrees of differing signs. This means that they are triggered simultaneously by any transit that hits 19 degrees. In January, it will be Pluto from 19 Sagittarius.
Thus, for at least the next several months, the administration is likely to continue with its brazen unilateral agenda, probably accelerating it to some degree in early 2003. Any capacity for harmonizing its goals with those of the international community seems almost nonexistent. Its attempts to circumvent court rulings and bypass Congress are becoming legendary. And its current myopic obsession with military intervention in Iraq is already beginning to look like a runaway train. Eventually, the insanity will stop, but it will be a long process, likely beginning with the increasing Saturn influences in late 2003 and ending not a moment too soon with the 2004 election.