Where transits and progressions to the Ascendant represent a current mood or lifestyle sweeping through the country, the Midheaven represents the President himself, and the actual structures and parties controlling the government. Nothing of historical importance ever happens to a nation without major activation of the Midheaven. The Midheaven denotes the country's destiny, its ultimate purpose, and its reputation in the global community of nations. It also shows the nation's highest aspirations which the society consciously cultivates and rewards.
Leo is associated with entertainment, speculation, and sports, industries for which the United States has become renowned. When transiting Neptune passed through Leo in the 1920s, the stock market experienced an inflationary bubble, as dreams of instant wealth swept through the country.
The most famous and mysterious cycle in American history is the death of the
President every twenty years. With the exception of Ronald Reagan, every President beginning with William Henry Harrison who was elected in a zero year (1840, 1860, 1880, etc.) died in office. Most astrologers attribute this cycle to the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction, which takes place about every twenty years, and very close to the infamous zero year. But this cycle doesn't explain the exact timing of the President's death, only coming within 3-5 years. The Scorpio Rising horoscope is unique in its ability to explain the natal potential and the precise timing of these tragic events.
The most important transitions in American history must, if political astrology's
principles hold up, involve the Midheaven (MC). The MC is the point of destiny, its international reputation, and also represents the nation's leadership. Each President's death has corresponded very precisely to the eighth harmonic transit of Neptune to the MC. The eighth harmonic includes the conjunction, square, opposition, as well as the so-called minor aspects of the semi-square and sesquisquare (which I prefer to call the octile and trioctile aspects because they are more descriptive and a lot easier to say). The octile aspects are important in the U.S. chart because there are so many of them in natal configurations. The Moon applies to trioctiles to both the Sun and Saturn (so it's not void of course), and Uranus is octile the Mercury-Pluto axis.
William Henry Harrison died of pneumonia one month after taking office when
Neptune was at 16° Aquarius (aspect orb to the MC was less than one degree). John Kennedy was assassinated when Neptune was at 15°55 Scorpio (aspect orb less than 1/4 degree to MC). Each of the sacrificed Presidents between these two died when Neptune was closely aspecting the U.S. Midheaven. The wartime Presidents Lincoln and FDR died a bit after their Neptune-allotted time, probably due to their higher mission of leading the country through war. But as soon as the war was finished, they both died suddenly. The only President to escape this cycle was Ronald Reagan, and he had an astrologer, Joan Quigley, who was very much aware of this schedule, and who arranged his every appointment so as to avoid calamity. Still, Reagan was rendered ineffective in 1986 (when Neptune was trioctile the MC), the victim of incipient Alzheimer's and IranGate.
A Leo Midheaven describes astrologically how American culture is dominated by entertainment, sports, and Hollywood movies. Go into the farthest, most obscure corner in the world, and you can find American idols placed prominently in villagers' minds. The two best known heroes in the sparsely populated deserts of Western China, for example, are Mao Zedung and Michael Jordan.
Leo at the Midheaven emphasizes the heroic roles many Americans feel the
country plays in international affairs. Americans saved the British and French in World War II, and made the world safe for democracy. The U.S. alone held the Communist Menace at bay; "Walk Softly and Carry a Big Stick" was Scorpio Teddy Roosevelt's slogan. John Wayne's celluloid image as cowboy and soldier portray the independent, strong, courageous, romantic lead role typical of the Leo archetype. Whether it's in the movies, on the battlefield, or in international diplomacy, Americans tend to see their higher destiny as being bigger, better, faster, bolder, more generous, and friendlier than any other nation. It's an arrogance that defies logic, but befits the Leo grandiosity. And as often as not, the fiction becomes the reality.
When transiting Neptune arrived at the U.S. Midheaven in the early 1920s,
Hollywood movies were just starting to become popular. Neptune, the natural ruler of cinema, sparked a fad that grew into the image-factory of feature flicks. Naturally, the symbol for the Leo archetype, the Lion, became the emblem for the MGM studios, the film company which totally dominated the industry, which it maintained through the 1950s. In the late 1950s, when transiting Uranus reached the U.S. Midheaven, a revolution in the film industry broke up the MGM monopoly, and the actors themselves gained more control over their contracts.
All major wars, Presidential deaths in office, and random, but historic turning
points feature major transits and progressions to the U.S. Midheaven. Neptune's octile aspects to the MC coincides with the 21 year cycle of a President dying in office. Progressed Mars aspects, the conjunction and the opening octile, coincide with this country's two biggest wars, the Civil War and World War II. The day the Sun passes across the MC has frequently brought stunning historic events, such as the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, the resignation of President Nixon, and the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which officially opened the Vietnam War.
The Midheaven (MC) represents the nation's destiny, its honor, its standing in the global community. The most important American transitions always involve the progressed MC or progressions to the MC. The greatest American wars, the Civil War and World War II, were both activated by transiting Uranus making its cyclical return, but what about the progressions? The Civil War began as P2 Mars (secondary progression) was conjunct the MC, and World War II as P2 MC was conjunct natal Pluto (along with P2 Venus). The orbs on these progressions are very small, less than a degree.
The secondary progressed Midheaven (denoted as P2 MC) by sign tends to indicate a cycle of psychological weather, lasting about 30 years each. The P2 MC entered Capricorn in 1913, when the government began to assume greater control over society by implementing a Federal Reserve system and an income tax. Capricorn also implied the hardship of the depression, and the beginning of institutional welfare. When P2 MC entered Aquarius in 1943, the U.S. began developing and participating in global organizations, such as the United Nations and NATO. Over the next 30 years, the U.S. sponsored major scientific developments, witnessed the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, and the social revolution of the Sixties - all manifestations of a progressed Aquarius MC.
The Watergate break-in occurred as the P2 MC entered Pisces in 1972. Pisces, along with its planetary ruler Neptune, govern oil, and almost immediately the U.S. was bogged down in an oil boycott. A progressed Pisces Midheaven is filled with uncertainty and doubt about the nations destiny and its leaders. This phase began with the resignation of Nixon, and continued through the Presidents to Clinton. While political factions may praise their particular leader, the pervasive atmosphere is one of great anxiety and lack of faith in the political system. Pisces is also connected with scandals, and this cycle began and ended with major presidential scandals.
This P2 Pisces MC remained in effect until the year 2002 when P2 MC entered Aries. It was just at this point that President Bush began exercising the vast military might of the U.S. Pentagon following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. This cycle will last through 2031, during which time Americans and the rest of the world will have to come to terms with the U.S. role as the global policeman.
Key to the Presidential death cycle is that Neptune is octile the fateful Lunar Node axis on the one hand, and the Ascendant on the other. Neptune also squares violent Mars, located in the eighth house of death. The combination presents a natal potential, unique to the Scorpio Rising horoscope.
Baseball became America's premier sport early in the century, but under the influence of Neptune in Leo was severely scandalized during the 1919 World Series. Only Babe Ruth could revitalize baseball, as Americans sought and found an ideal hero during his 1920s home run romp. Whether its in sports, politics, music, or cinema, America loves its heroes, and the lucky exalted ones are bestowed superstar status.
Simultaneously, American cinema flourished, and gained renewed impetus in the 1930s under the powerful direction of MGM studios, whose famous symbol was the roaring Lion.
The current structure of American government was firmly established during 1947 and 1948 when transiting Saturn and Pluto were conjunct at the U.S. Midheaven.
President Truman signed the National Security Act on July 26, 1947, a comprehensive collaboration between the armed forces, and the primary instrument by which the federal government would wage the Cold War. The tremendous aeronautical, electronic, oil, and related defense industries that prospered during World War II became institutionalized in a government-business partnership that Eisenhower later called the "military-industrial-complex." NATO was formulated in 1949 (as transiting Pluto was still conjunct the Midheaven) to implement a policy of "containment," whereby communist influence could be confined behind an Iron Curtain.
During the post-World War II era, when transiting Saturn and Pluto hovered over the top of the U.S. horoscope, the United States became by far the leading industrial
nation in the world. After the war, this country owned 50 percent of the world's wealth, and controlled both sides of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. With its Sun in Cancer, national security became the over-riding concern, even an obsession. The Marshall Plan was formulated to restore Europe to a capitalist economy, and prevent communist influence among peasant and worker classes. In Japan, Washington put the country firmly in the hands of corporate interests, reversing democratization trends initiated by General Douglas MacArthur. Japan remains to this day a society largely controlled by a handful of its largest corporations. This era also saw the creation of NATO, GATT, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, and the CIA as additional organizational tools to help secure a safe world for the Democratic- capitalist system. The nature of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction is to achieve total control, and as these two planets passed over the U.S. Midheaven, far-reaching policies and institutions were created which would forever shape America's - and the world's - destiny.