The United States was born while both Mercury and Pluto were in Retrograde motion. Mercury and Pluto both identify mental processes; Mercury by its thinking and decision making, as it oversees personal and more narrowed perspectives and objectives. And Pluto by its collective channeling capabilities, as it encompasses the nature of broader idealism, and contributes universal principles to the overall society represented by the entire chart. The two planets being Retrograde in the inauguration of the nation indicates that the mental processes are unique and stem from an internal impulse primarily, that guarantee an independence from outer pressures that would otherwise mold its character. That is to say, the American people are not easily influenced as they feel compelled to stand alone on their own principles.
Since Mercury moves faster than Pluto, its Sabian Symbol degree is more fleeting and therefore more revealing in terms of the psychological portrait of the people of the United States. The Declaration of Independence states what the founders had in mind for their new nation’s future, and the chart for July 4, 1776 clearly mirrors its projected intent. Sabian Symbols give an in-depth look into the psyche of individuals and collectives, and Mercury’s Sabian placement does not fall short of impressive when revealing the nuances of that mentality.
From Sabian Symbols in Astrology, by Marc Edmund Jones – Mercury in 25 Cancer:
CANCER 25 A dark shadow or mantle thrown suddenly over the right shoulder This is a symbol of the irrevocability of man’s obligation to the reality of which he is a part, with the emphasis on his capacities of leadership as a revelation of racial stewardship on the more personal or spiritual side. Self-expression here is a release of his inner potentialities, and it becomes both an individual gratification and an expanding responsibility to all other individuals making up the social complex. The keyword is DESTINY. When positive, the degree is some dramatic manifestation of genius vital to the general welfare of man, and when negative, a tendency to unwarranted presumption if not outright megalomania.
Original degree: A leader of men erect and fearless suddenly finds thrown across his right shoulder an invisible mantle of power.
Through the last few centuries, the people of the United States have proven this symbol to be literal. Its leadership has felt a superiority in its example of democracy, and its desire to spread that message has resulted in a global domination; not in the nature of colonization, but through diplomacy and military might.
Mercury and Pluto are the only retrograde planets in the chart and they are in Opposition to each other. This defines the challenges the country almost always faces when projecting its concepts onto others. This Opposition is also the aspect that shows the “house divided against itself” syndrome, witnessed through the Republicans and Democrats at perpetual odds with each other.
If it were not for the Moon close by, Pluto would be a handle of a Bucket or spout of a Funnel, thus giving it High Focus status and Probity would be its keyword. But the Temperament Type of the chart is a See-Saw and this means it is profoundly dependent on communication; especially between opposing camps. There has always been a reliance on communication between the people themselves and their representatives in government. Examples are the comforting and encouraging fireside chats of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, to the up-to-date and sometimes unsettling Tweets of Donald J. Trump.
There are several “birth” times given for the inauguration of the United States, and because of that the house placement of the planets will be ignored. But there is a definite Square to the Mercury/Pluto Opposition by Saturn, giving it a Point Focus indication in a T-Cross configuration. From what would be Saturn’s keyword Sensitiveness when not in prominence, to Shrewd as the keyword when attention is drawn to it, the effects of this featured planet point to periodic “behind-the-scenes” corruption and scandalous activities that have marked its history since its beginnings. Examples come as early as the 18th century to more modern times with the notorious Watergate of the 70’s, the Clinton Lewinsky sex scandal of the 90’s, and the present probe into the Trump administration’s Russian involvement. Saturn’s meaning also includes sensitivity, morality, personal maturity and integrity, and that is what makes the populous so demanding of proper behavior and an adherence to the Law.
But Pluto raises the bar to a demand for a probe into the causes and details of any wrong doing. And the present investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 US elections establishes one of the most disturbing alleged scandals ever to occur within our democracy. Transit Pluto is heading toward its first 248 year cycle of return to its Natal position. There will be periods of Stationary and Retrograde motion opposite both its Natal Sun and Natal Mercury to add great emphasis to an already penetrating reevaluation of its founding principles.
Pluto’s Station Retrograde on April 21, 2017, at 19Cap24 is in the Sabian degree of A hidden choir singing. This is still at a distance from Pluto’s natal location at 27Cap34. Pluto will be in its exact Return in 2022 and 2023 and the Sabian Symbol for 28 Capricorn is A large aviary. The keyword is COMMUNITY. “When positive, the degree is exceptional success in making all personal concerns a matter of common welfare, and when negative, loss of all character in sheer officiousness.” Let’s hope the positive description is the predominant manifestation.
There are other important times of the Pluto Transit of its Natal position, and those are listed at the bottom of the chart. Click on the chart for an enlarged view.