Revisiting History: Declaration of Independence: What Could the Founding Fathers See?

by Marilyn J. Muir, LPMAFA

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My mind is a monkey, coming up with the most implausible things at times. Here is my most recent aberration. There are many U.S. birth charts, generally centering on July 4, 1776.

  • There is an opinion from John Adams, Founding Father and our second president, who thought July 2nd was the day that would go down in history.
  • The most popular is the Gemini rising chart set for 2:13 AM LMT on July 4th. Why the Founding Fathers would be up in the middle of the night waiting for the printer to make word corrections makes no sense to me. It was 1776; life was primitive by comparison, transportation difficult at best. Personal safety was always an issue.
  • The popular Sibley chart is set for 5:19 PM on July 4th. It helps to note that Sibley was a British astrologer who originally set the chart for England. Since it would have taken five weeks for a ship to get to England (actually August 10, 1776) to provide the info that the Declaration of Independence was enacted, this would be an after-the-fact chart set for another country, because Sibley’s interest was how the activity would affect England.
  • There are other charts that have strong support from many astrologers. In my research, I settled on the Virgo rising chart for July 4th at 9:36 AM. I chose it because various other charts at that tumultuous time dovetail with the 9:36 AM chart best – rectification. Also, Astrologer Mike Munkasey has done serious research on the documents that were available. Remember that our forefathers were committing an act of treason against England and they were not keeping copious notes to incriminate themselves! Mike chose this chart as well.

The 7-planet chart of the U.S. (not including Uranus, Neptune or Pluto) is, in itself, not that rebellious. It is my understanding that some founders were Freemasons and did know astrology. However… and here is the point to this article…the three outer planets were not known at that time. Although the planetary energy was active (they were not “invented”, they were merely awaiting discovery), they were still influencing the overall energy. They were in existence and active, just not visible. “Not known” describes the unconscious. Uranus was on the verge of being discovered, seen but misidentified, and later corrected. Neptune and Pluto were totally unknown. Any chart that was constructed or consulted would have only the seven original planets and their original rulerships. I wondered about their choice of charts from what we now know to be a limited astronomical/astrological perspective. Not inserting Uranus, Neptune and Pluto or their rulerships provides the 1776 perspective of the Founding Fathers. The main aspects are:  Sun square Saturn, Mercury retrograde, Mars trine Saturn, Cancer stellium, Venus/Jupiter conjunction and Moon void of course, trine Mars and Saturn (wide).

  • Sun occupies the 11th (groups and associations – a country) ruling the 12th (self-undoing, how do I shoot myself in the foot?). Try setting up a Democratic Republic in which the citizens run the show via electing representatives. Think about herding cats! Our democratic country is run by committee. Ever sat on a committee? Try running a government that way! That Sun is square (problems, challenges, obstacles: we can’t get out of our own way) Saturn (the great teacher, rule of law, structure, practicality) in the 2nd of value systems (not just money – there are many value systems that govern human experience). Saturn rules Capricorn on the speculative and very creative 5th and also rules the Aquarian work/service 6th. Our creativity manifests only by full participation in working for what we value. Our nation was founded by craftsmen and tradesmen. They did not start out as politicians, but it didn’t take long for politics to control the outcome.
  • Mercury in the 11th retrograde – the planet of communication and decision-making is chart ruler for the Virgo Ascendant (the face we present, our coping skills) plus the Gemini Midheaven (the country’s goal or mission). The angles are in square (conflict, challenge, obstacle). Who we are as a people is in direct conflict with what we must accomplish as a country. Note that Mercury as ruler is on the midpoint of that angular square, a double semi-square within the square. The chart ruler is retrograde. What were the Founding Fathers thinking? Were they even aware of retrograde chart rulers for something as significant as launching a new country against the military world power of that time? This was the mouse challenging the elephant in the room!
  • Mars in the 10th house of goal or mission trines that Saturn in the 2nd house (nice trine), ruling the Aries 8th house of other people’s money: we were a British colony, what we thought was ours was theirs, and also rules the Scorpio 3rd house of communication.
  • The Venus/Jupiter conjunction in the 10th house of goal or mission, prestige and reputation, ruling the Taurus 9th house of foreign countries, the Libra 2nd house of money, the 4th house of home, hearth and family (read clan or citizenry), and the Pisces 7th house of cooperation, networking, “others,” as well as open enemies. This is a lovely, strong aspect that offered economic strength to a country that wanted to become.
  • The void of course (spinning one’s wheels or “much ado about nothing”) Aquarian (the brotherhood of man, all for one and one for all) Moon in the 6th house of work and service ruled the 11th house of friends and associations as well as the four Cancer planets spread through the 10th and 11th houses. Again, was void of course recognized at that time? Note that the July 2nd chart would possess a late Capricorn Moon. Which Moon to you exemplifies the U.S. of A.?
  • The four-planet Cancer stellium was the glue of this chart… our clan, our bonded extended family, my country, right or wrong, our national pride and heritage. That Moon is closely trine our Mars and had recently been trine Saturn, a grand air trine that had occurred sixteen hours earlier on the clock. Look at the degree for Saturn – 14 Libra 48. The 4th of July Sun was 13 Cancer 01. Our election day is the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November (first week). Our original inauguration day was March 4th. Those three dates birth/election/inauguration were always in close grand trine until Congress in its infinite wisdom (or is that infantile wisdom) changed the inauguration date and threw out the grand trine bestowed upon us by our Founding Fathers!
  • The chart shows lots of emphasis on money or assets and reputation.  Five (of seven) planets are cardinal, one is fixed, one is mutable: action oriented, not much stability. Four planets in water, three in air, none is earth or fire: lots of emotion and idealism.

What was invisible to the Founding Fathers? Can what we don’t see (know) hurt us?

  • What they didn’t know and what would definitely bite (affect) us was Neptune rising in the 1st house, ruling the 7th. Who we thought we were projecting, the Virgo Ascendant, was complicated by Neptune’s dreams, inspirations and at times illusions. Our relationship with our open enemy (7th ) involved our relatives at home and abroad. Most people don’t realize our Revolutionary War was at heart a Civil War. Also, the problem of slavery (a Neptune concept) was on the table, causing much argument and dissent. They could not fix slavery at that time, but they did try. Slavery was tabled for a later solution by the descendants of our country. We can see how well that worked. Wonder why we keep chasing the same issue? Invisible Neptune square Mars, an ongoing source of confusion and frustration for 241 years so far. Will we ever figure it out or are we doomed to repeat ad infinitum?
  • Lovely Uranus is conjunct that Gemini Midheaven within 2 minutes. We were born in revolution and it swirls around us continually as we fight for the future and the rights of all citizens as our mission and goal. This was the energy of that time; Uranus was emerging into consciousness, and our war plus the imminent French Revolution(s) were primary examples for that energy. Uranus was trine Saturn and that sounds good, doesn’t it? You do know the mythological history between Uranus and Saturn, don’t you? Not easy to experience, regardless of the nature of a trine.
  • The telling story to me is Pluto in Capricorn, retrograde. Retrograde means “been there, done that, going to try it again”!  Plus, it is opposition chart ruler Mercury, which is also retrograde. Communication, power and control, confrontational, repeating itself until we listen and learn, use and misuse, lies and truth… sound familiar? Think:  manipulation of communication. Pluto has a 248-year orbit and is returning to its natal position of 27 Capricorn 33 for multiple passes in February of 2022 direct, July of 2022 retrograde, and December of 2022 direct. It does swing back into the vicinity in October of 2023, missing direct contact by about twenty minutes. You don’t suppose Pluto is determined to uproot our national unconscious psychological systems and put all our national nonsense on the front porch for everyone to see, do you? Do you think we could look, listen, learn and perhaps wake up and fix our broken system?

Published in AFA Today’s Astrologer Feb 2018 vol 80#2, republished with slight editing.

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