As we gear up for the November elections, let’s not forget two things. First, when astrologers use a birth chart for the country, it needs a time attached: and there lies the rub. If there is one thing that everybody in the astrological community likes to argue over, it’s the USA chart.
While July 4th is the day everyone celebrates (maybe – but isn’t everybody celebrating today, the 3rd, as well?), that’s now — on July 4, 1776, hardly anybody outside the Continental Congress knew that anything had “happened.” this is why some astrologers have even argued for different dates, like July 2nd, or even years later, when the Articles of Confederation were signed – or even the Constitution ratified.
Without a proper chart – and this includes time, and there, coming up with a time for the ratification or signing of the Declaration is not a straightforward process – annual predictions are difficult at best.
What all this boils down to is that this stuff can be incredibly fascinating, compelling and addictive: but probably not very predictive, because there’s too much of a subjective element. This rather reminds me of the problem I have seen with predicting presidential elections. Since I started paying attention to this in 1980, I have noticed the strongest correlation in prediction being that between who is predicted as the winner, and who that astrologer intends to vote for. In other words, predictions are simply wishful thinking! Far too few astrologers are either able or willing to develop truly objective methods that they can use.
So yes: I can Bush-bash with the best of them, and I sincerely hope that he and his cronies get their come-uppance sooner, rather than later. I fervently hope that every day, more Americans realize what an embarrassment he is. But I am reluctant to “read the signs” that way, because I so want it to be true!
The Sibly Chart (Sag Rising) has probably become the new consensus chart over the Gemini Rising chart since Ronald Reagan’s presidency. It’s interesting. What Rudhyar doesn’t tell anyone about the Sibly chart is what it actually is. If you actually go back to Sibly’s work, he derived the date of July 4, 1776 by working with primary directions to get the “perfection” of the approaching Mars-Saturn opposition from the Aries Ingress of 1776. This rather extensive discussion was then illustrated with the woodcut that everybody now assumes was a timed chart.
This idea presents difficulties. The July 4th date was not being bruted about the Colonies as a particularly significant date. The astrologers of the period (who most likely would have been working the dockyards doing “ships at sea” horaries and electing times for sea voyages) would most likely not have been rushing around trying to find a member of the Continental Congress to get a time!
Another factor which I have not seen discussed was that Sibly, like his earlier colleagues, was a notorious (by modern standards) rectifier. Lilly’s natal section of Christian Astrology, like other typical works of the period, gives an extensive section on how to rectify a chart long before he discusses interpreting it. In his Nativities, Gadbury mentions having taken the time of a relative’s birth with a pocket watch – as if this were a truly unusual occurrence, which of course it was!
All this is by way of saying that Sibly’s discussion has all the earmarks of a post hoc derivation, mostly likely because he wanted to illustrate primaries in a mundane example, and his method “worked out” to July 4th. It is at least as likely that the given time was Sibly’s “take” (i.e., rectification) as anything else – especially since the text makes no mention whatsoever of the chart, nor is the chart itself discussed.