When was the Declaration of Independence Really Signed?

by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA

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There are several charts to choose from for the birth of the United States of America (USA). Many qualified astrologers from all walks of life and all parts of the globe have put their best efforts forth to determine the correct chart for the USA. We were born in conflict, and that is why our birth was called the Revolutionary War. War seems to be our history and experience, including declaring the potential for war at the time of our birth.

All the land on the west side of the Atlantic Ocean that is called the Americas was settled primarily by explorative or dissatisfied Europeans looking for a new and better way of life. Even though they thought of themselves and have been recorded by history as “settlers” and the “first” Americans, that view discounted both the existence and the rights of the indigenous people who inhabited both continents, the land bridge that is termed Central America, and the islands that lie between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. I am sure that the inhabitants of that vast territory felt exploited and not explored, as their rights, their lands, their way of life, and their people were invaded, discounted and discarded or worse by the explorers and settlers who arrived on waves of ships from their east over many years.

Sure the indigenous population had seen battle before, between tribes, but never on the scale of or with the weapons of the invaders. Some Indians tried to provide welcome, some resented the intrusion, some were friends, then victims, then enemies as the European settlers dominated the playing field. After that, European nation fought European nation for control over the new territory. Settlers fought Indians, Indians fought settlers, sides were chosen and Indians even attacked Indians. Some Indians were for hire by these nations, lured by false promises, false hopes, and dying dreams. Nothing bettered the plight of those original inhabitants over centuries of trial and tribulation. A way of life was under attack by those who thought their rights were superior to the rights of another, which is a sad commentary on humanity’s treatment of humanity.

War was intrinsic to the process of invasion, exploration, the brokering of power, and the building of empires. Within a relatively short time, the invaders were the settlers, the old nations controlled life and living, and the new land squirmed under perceived shackles and eventually rebelled against their distant but powerful controlling nations. Europe fought back, European nation against European nation, then those victors fought against the emerging society of the new land. Misunderstanding flourished, tit-for-tat tactics made the misunderstandings worse. Aristocrats were horrified by the antics of their minions and the minions became more determined. Before the Declaration of Independence was declared in 1776, there had been years of festering wounds and escalating skirmishes. As the will of the colonies grew against the will of their European “masters” the rhetoric and confrontations grew more determined until the word “misunderstanding” did not remotely cover the problem. The Crown saw the colonists as subjects of the Crown. Initially the colonists saw themselves as citizens of the Crown as well, but eventually the theme of freedom and independence rose to the top (just as Uranus was being discovered) and the die was cast for revolution.

This was a process that occurred over more than a decade. From the moment of the First Continental Congress in 1774 to the Inauguration of the first president 1789, it was a period fraught with magic moments, all of which deserve their place in history. But the moment that has come down in history as the start of our individual country is the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Now that we have isolated a year, we will need to isolate a date. Of all the months in 1776, summer stands out for the meeting of the Second Continental Congress. The arguments over what would and would not be included in that Declaration of Independence and its motivating principles were decided July 2nd, but the words – oh the words – those took more time, each change had to be re-set by hand for the printing presses of that day.

John Adams, a pivotal Founding Father at the center of the revolution and the declaration, saw July 2nd as the critical date. This July 2nd view is supported competently by modern astrologer Ray Merriman. When I did my research for my book Presidents of Hope and Change, I did not feel that chart met my personal challenge.

The USA birth chart that was passed around at that time was by Sibley. It was a Gemini rising chart that is probably the most popular choice of astrologers. It placed Uranus of revolution on the ascendant. I used it myself for decades. It worked well at times, but not at others. I encountered a couple of puzzles while researching this chart. First, the chart was cast by an English astrologer with its original coordinates in England. Now, he was probably a pretty good astrologer – that is not in question. But…an Englishman would have a much different perspective than a colonist as to motivation and intent as well as to conclusion. The second puzzle was that this chart is set in the middle of the night (about 2:30 am) at a point where the basics of the declaration had already been decided and semantics were being argued. No approaching enemy was at the gate; it was the middle of the night in 1776 when everyone should be in bed unless there was a really good reason not to be in bed. Congress usually met from about 9 am to about 4 pm, dinner was usually scheduled for 5 pm. Why in the world would our Founding Fathers be up in the middle of the night? That made no sense to me, so…I checked it mathematically.

I found many other charts, with much astrological research invested with many differing results. I examined a lot of them, reduced the choices to four (including the very popular Gemini rising version) and then dug in with my own personal research. I did not re-do all that effort done beautifully by decades of astrologers. I used my own technique on those four potential natal charts along with the inaugurations of the first ten presidents, all individually cast and read for each of the natals, using both progressions and diurnals. This was the system that had worked for me in correctly predicting several prior elections, including the 2008 election, and it was a system I carefully developed in my research on the executions of serial killers. It was a reliable system and the application in the decision of which of the four charts would serve as the basis for the research for my book on the presidents. The one which measured up best to its own inherent potential was the Virgo rising chart. Master astrologer Michael Munkasey’s original research and conclusions were my further astrological backup.  He and I reached the same conclusion via two different research methods, The Virgo rising chart worked best as the birth chart of the USA and therefore became the basis of my book. The time of day: 9:36 am.

Astrology: If four (or any number) of charts are cast for a single 24-hour period, there will be major change in only three points, the midheaven, the ascendant, and the Moon. Of course, the layout of the planets or points within the houses will change dramatically. But I looked first at angular positions and events, and then the Moon and events.  To me, nothing else in a chart will change dramatically enough to include or exclude itself within a 24-hour period. I used only the thirteen major points – ten bodies, Ascendant, Midheaven and True Node.  I used conjunctions and oppositions only, tight orbs of 5˚ for all my work. Why restrict my results? For proof, I went to the most significant points and aspects first. If that works, you can do the rest of the research, which will tend to be repetitive, through the other day chart choices. Since my writing was directed at the general reader, I thought it best to communicate at a reasonable level of understanding of a non-astrologer. Now that you know how I arrived at my conclusions, let us meet the…

USA Virgo rising chart

First layer:

The USA midheaven is 8 Gemini 52 with Uranus conjunct the angle at 8 Gemini 54 in the 10th. Our goal, ambition, status, accomplishment, achievement is and was revolution. We were born out of an intellectual revolution, within revolution, and are revolutionaries – forever!

The USA ascendant is 11 Virgo 46, and the colonists were a nation of farmers, merchants, and tradesmen; simple people, whose economic mainstay was agriculture, mercantilism, shipping, living off the earth and its bounty, the breadbasket, practical and hard-working.

The USA Moon is at 22 Aquarius 37, and for a country that Moon represents the family itself, the emotions of a country, its people and its style of nurturing. I own one of these babies myself, so I know exactly what it feels, thinks, and acts. Independence, uniqueness, future-oriented, risk-takers, stand upon your own two feet and make it happen. We are a brotherhood of man.

Second layer:

The USA Sun is at 13 Can 01, the motherland, home, hearth, family, clan, tribe, society, the identity of a proud land and a proud nation that would become (in time) mother to the world. Cancer is more of an isolationist sign, which our country was for the first 100+ years. We became more of a world citizen around the turn of the 20th century. That would coincide with the house of the Sun, right on the 11th cusp, of friendships, groups, and associations. The USA has been a great friend to many countries around the world.

We have four planets in Cancer so it is important to realize that what I just said about the Sun as identity will hold true of our value systems (all types of values) because the USA Venus is at 2 Cancer 43, our expanded cultural drive and sense of largess USA Jupiter is at 5 Cancer 52, and our intellectual, education, communication and decision-making capacity USA Mercury is at 24 Cancer 20 and retrograde.

Our Mercury happens to be in direct opposition to USA Pluto at 27 Capricorn 33 and retrograde as well. The USA natally has a tight Mercury/Pluto opposition. That will give great power and emphasis on the use of that powerful (Pluto) communication (Mercury) urge. I read it as the power of persuasion, for good or for ill. We have experienced the ill of recent years and we are working on restoring the good through truth and transparency.

USA Mars is at 21 Gemini 10 in the 10th house of goals, ambitions, achievements, and status. We are a fiery, passionate nation, but…we’d rather talk incessantly about what we have done or will do. The doing comes after the discussion (Gemini). With Uranus and Mars in Gemini in the 10th, we will speak loudly and carry a big stick.

We have four planets in the 10th and two in the 11th along with the North Node in Leo. The South Node is what we have done in our past and the North Node is what we must do now that we’re here and it is located in groups, associations, and friendships. We had to grow out of our Cancer tendency to draw inward along with the South Node tendency to be I/me (Leo) and reach outward into that 11th arena. What is left?

Neptune is at 22 Virgo 25 in the 1st; the ruler of the 7th is in the first. Partnerships, alliances, treaties will be important to us. We are a spiritually-centered nation and I’m not talking about religion. I’m talking about spirituality, when your actions match your words and you are who you say you are. When we forget that spiritual essence, we as a nation get ourselves in trouble. We must walk our talk. We must act from that spiritual center in order to express who we truly are. We have a practical projection and coping skill (Virgo) with a great spiritual heart (Neptune). We seem to have lost our way, but our chart will tell us truly who we are.

Saturn is at 14 Libra 48 in the 2nd of values of all types including money. You’ve heard about paying the piper – well, the great teacher sits in the house of finance and values and gives us a good spanking financially when we need it. This occurs in the sign of balance, Libra, fairness and equity for all, balanced between spending and common sense. Do you think we just might be in the middle of a lesson on this?

I spoke of Pluto along with Mercury because it is in a dominant opposition, but Pluto itself is in our 5th of speculation, pleasure, children (of the mind and body), with a strong self-identity flavor from being in the 5th, the natural Leo house. Will we use that great power to build up our creations or be consumed by the power? The old saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely turns out to be true. It is our choice to become the power or be manipulated by those in power. Which will we be? It seems the time of testing for that lesson is at hand.

This should substantiate my choice of the Virgo rising chart for my long-range research, but there is always more to read in a chart than what you obtain at first glance. More work on the houses, more on aspects, more on ties between the house position of the ruler of any cusp, etc. It all works. Just start with the really technically tight and then move to the less technically tight to determine the chart of choice. That’s how I did it and it seems to have worked quite well for me.

Published on EZine online October, 2009, republished with slight editing.

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