IntroductionWhat are secondary progressions? Progressed Mars in the 9/11 attack in the U.S. Scorpio Rising horoscope

Mars in the U.S. Horoscope: What Mars signifies in the U.S. natal horoscope, especially in the eighth house.

Pluto Transits to MarsThis important cycle correlates directly with wars and major disasters to U.S. cities.

Progressed Mars in Action: What has progressed Mars brought us over the history of the nation? Presidential deaths, wars, and much more... 

The Critical Degree: 18º of Cardinal Signs: The U.S. progressed Mars is now at 18 degrees Libra, making this an exceptionally important degree zone.

The Next 80 Years: Mars in Retreat: Now progressed Mars is retrograde. What will this bring? 
The Next 80 Years: Mars in Retreat

It's difficult not to be an alarmist under the current astrological conditions. Transiting Saturn and Neptune oppose each other on August 30 at 18º Leo/Aquarius. While this does not form a hard aspect to progressed Mars, it is in the critical degree, and it is aligned with the U.S. Midheaven. Many presidents have been undone by Saturn-Neptune aspects, and the astrologer might expect Bush to be in political hot water, if not actual physical danger. With global warming accelerating, one might also expect a variety of natural disasters, including hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanoes. Economic problems related to oil shortages (Neptune) may also be on the horizon.

These potential scenarios may be coming soon, but it's important to note that progressed Mars will remain retrograde until May 9, 2086 when it turns direct at 0º01' Libra. When Mars is retrograde, and especially when in the twelfth house, military action tends to backfire, or is ineffective. Unexpected consequences can become worse than the original problem. Already, we have seen this in Iraq, and as Mars turns retrograde, most Americans have realized that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake, and the sooner we get out, the better. The projected future for the Pentagon is one of growing insecurity, bloated budgets, and an inability to confront global terrorism head-on. Expect increased efforts in covert activities, as symbolized by the twelfth house. 

And to be sure, terrorist activities against U.S. interests are highly probable, especially when progressed Mars is under stressful aspects from other transits or progressions. 

While Mars remains retrograde for 80 years, the U.S. progressed Midheaven in Aries encompasses a 30-year cycle that began shortly after 9/11. With the progressed Midheaven now in Aries, the U.S. has become a militant, action-oriented nation. Mars, as the ruler of Aries, suddenly became the premier planet in the national horoscope, and this will remain true through 2032 when the progressed Midheaven enters Taurus. So even though progressed Mars is retrograde, it remains the nation's most important significator, and describes the Pentagon as a huge problem area over the next few decades. The relevant geopolitical issue is, how does the world's sole superpower prudently manage its own military? And how does it deal with potential competitors, such as Iran or China? Any action will be seen as being too aggressive, too weak, or in the wrong direction. Finding the right balance (Libra) will be the Pentagon's most challenging task. 

In the economic sense, since the U.S. Mars governs the transportation, manufacturing, and steel industries, Mars retrograde refers to the declining stature of these sectors. The major airlines are on the edge of insolvency, and only the strongest, most competitive can be expected to survive. The Big Three automakers have either been bought out by foreign interests (Chrysler by Germans), or are verging on bankruptcy (GM and Ford), as are the major steel plants. Manufacturing sectors are being overtaken by China, Mexico, and other growing economies with a cheap labor force. 

As Mars, the natural ruler of sports heroes, turns retrograde, many of America's baseball stars are getting asterisks by their names for steroid abuse. The American male himself is becoming uncertain, as the John Wayne types fade away, and Hollywood promotes homosexuality as normal, acceptable behavior. Mars, the primary symbol of masculinity, is in the relationship sign of Libra. As Mars turns retrograde, men can become insecure, and go this way or that (Libra is famously associated with uncertainty); it's easy to see how sexual orientation has recently become a major topic of interest. Expect gay marriage and other same-sex issues to be fought out in the schools, churches, and across the political landscape. Elections may be won or lost on this single issue.

In the Scorpio Rising horoscope, Mars is the chart's co-ruler, and can represent the "face" of the nation. With natal Mars in media-oriented Gemini, Mars symbolizes those who present the news. However, now that progressed Mars is turning retrograde, the network news anchors  Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, and Dan Rather  have all simultaneously left their posts after decades of service. At ABC, the male replacement for Peter Jennings was blown up while reporting in Iraq, and was replaced by Elizabeth Vargas. And Katie Couric will become the CBS anchor in September, precisely as Mars turns retrograde. 

Venus, representing the female archetype, is now progressing through assertive Aries, and currently forming a success-oriented trine to the U.S. Midheaven. In politics, this indicates that California Congresswomen Nancy Pelosi will likely become the first female Speaker of the House after the November elections. Hillary Clinton is now the Democrat's first choice for president in the 2008 election. So as men leave the limelight, women are on the riseWe can expect this trend to continue over the next 80 years.
The Critical Degree: 18º of Cardinal Signs

By now, it should be apparent that progressed Mars has an enormous influence over America's evolutionary path. Virtually every major war and presidential assassination can be traced to dynamic aspects featuring progressed Mars. The more harmonious progressed Mars aspects generally correspond to industrial expansion, while Pluto transits to natal Mars bring devastation to major American cities. The reader is encouraged to investigate what happens when other outer planets align with the U.S. Mars. For example, transiting Uranus to Mars generally features scientific breakthroughs, as well as generals and the commander-in-chief being busy with military posturing. 

Mars is no longer progressing forward in the U.S. horoscope, but is now heading backwards. It's never happened before in U.S. history, so what follows here is speculation. Perhaps it means an end to the presidential death cycle, perhaps not. No one knows for sure on this score. Consider that the Mars-Neptune square is the primary signature for this mysterious cycle: Mars in the eighth house of death, square Neptune in the eleventh house of ideology (each assassin adhered to some political ideology). Mars and Neptune have been the primary timers for each of the presidential deaths, which occurred as transiting Neptune made hard aspect to the U.S. Midheaven as progressed Mars made challenging hits to natal planets. 

With progressed Mars now at a basic standstill, action takes place as transits and other progressions hit this zodiacal location. 18º Libra becomes an extraordinarily sensitive point, as do the quadrature reflections at 18º Cancer, 18º Aries, and 18º Capricorn. Individuals with their Sun or other prominent planet at this degree can take the lead in expressing the current Mars archetypal energy. In the U.S. chart, there are no planets at 18º of the cardinal signs, but there are two important midpoints, which further define what this degree is all about.

The U.S. Sun/Mercury at 18º43' Cancer is the precise location of progressed Mars's current position (orb 0º01'). Sun/Mercury describes the voice (Mercury) of the leadership (Sun), which in its simplest manifestation, is the press secretary. It's also the agents who represent the president, the executive branch's agenda or policies, and any news story that spotlights the nation's leadership. 

The other midpoint is Mars/Midheaven, which coincidentally, is also located at 18º43' Cancer. This combination is much more troublesome, since it involves Mars, which corresponds to military affairs and devastation to cities. The Midheaven is the nation's status, destiny, and international image. Mars/Midheaven can be seen as fateful devastation; it's not an easy-going or mild combination as the Mercury/Sun signifies, but these two midpoints are in the same place, so their energies fuse. Together they represent the messages or tactics coming out of the White House during or following a major military action or natural disaster.

Since progressed Mars has been in 18º Libra for over a decade, the Mars/Midheaven at 18º Cancer assumes greater significance in the unfolding of American history. The 9/11 terrorist attack took place as the U.S. progressed Ascendant was at 18º10' Cancer and progressed Mars was at 18º33' Libra. Progressed Mars was, and is, in the twelfth house of secret enemies, so that this position highlights the ongoing concern about terrorism. It's a long-term state of affairs, and whenever a major transit arrives at 18º of the cardinal signs, we can expect terrorism to be in the news.

The twelfth house also refers to "self-undoing", or events that take place out of foolish or subconscious self-sabotage. Events may seem to be naturally unfortunate, like an act of God. Hurricane Katrina is the best example of this. On August 29, 2005, transiting Jupiter (largeness) passed through 18º Libra to activate the U.S. progressed Mars. Most observers agree that the catastrophe in New Orleans was preventable, but no government official was ready to appropriate the funds necessary to fortify the levees. The bumbling response from the federal government (Sun/Mercury) underscores the twelfth house theme of self-undoing. 

To summarize, the nation's two most devastating events so far this century both took place when the U.S. progressed Mars at 18º Libra was activated. The 9/11 incident was actuated by the progressed Ascendant at 18º Cancer, and Hurricane Katrina rolled in as transiting Jupiter was at 18º Libra. The U.S. Mars/Midheaven at 18º Cancer describes the inherent danger of this degree.
Uniquely in the Scorpio Rising U.S. national horoscope: on September 11, 2001 the  progressed Ascendant was squaring progressed Mars in the twelfth house of secret enemies
Personal Readings
Front Page
Campaign Diary
Personal Readings
The U.S. Mars:
Forwards and Backwards 
and after 9/11
The material on this page was first published in Dell Horoscope magazine's September 2006 issue by NeptuneCafe's resident astrologer, Michael O'Reilly.

As an example, let's look at the most stunning event of the 21st century: the 9/11 attack. Naturally, such an aggressive attack would have to involve Mars. Some astrologers have pointed out that the Solar Eclipse on June 22, 2001 was exceptionally important since it took place right on the Summer Solstice, at 0º Cancer. Transiting Mars came along in early September and hit this eclipse point, triggering the event which the Solar Eclipse had foreshadowed. 

When considering the U.S. national horoscope, transiting Uranus was at 21º Aquarius, where it formed a close trine to the U.S. Mars. This is true no matter which variant one uses for the July 4, 1776 chart. The chart I use, and the one that will be discussed in this article, features 8º Scorpio Rising (based on a birth time of 2:21 pm). For an extensive explanation of the Scorpio Rising U.S. horoscope, I invite readers to explore my book Political Astrology, which also discusses the U.S. Mars in depth. As far as I know, this is the only national horoscope that finds the progressed Mars in a telling position at the time of the attack. 

As mentioned, progressed Mars has been at 18º Libra for some time, and this was true in September 2001. Since the 9/11 attack unfolded 225 years after the birth of the nation, we look at 225 days after July 4, 1776 to find Mars's position by secondary progression. In the Scorpio Rising horoscope, Mars had uniquely progressed into the twelfth house of secret enemies. No other national horoscope reflects this common sense vulnerability to a terrorist attack. In addition, the progressed Ascendant was at 18º Cancer, exactly squaring progressed Mars. The progressed Ascendant advances at the rate of one degree per year, and was momentarily squaring progressed Mars in 2001. On September 11, 2001 transiting Sun and Venus were both at 18º of their respective signs, activating the underlying dynamic of progressed Ascendant square progressed Mars. A variety of other transits to the U.S. horoscope further pinpointed 9/11 as the critical day. 

In essence, secondary progressions describe the evolution of an individual or nation. When a progressed aspect is shaping up, getting close to exact, transits come along and activate the dynamic. This is how progressions and transits work in tandem, and is a solid technique for making predictions in both individual and national horoscopes. Secondary progressions also help validate a rectified national horoscope. If events defined by the progressed planet aligning with an angle don't unfold as the aspect becomes exact, then the chart doesn't ring true. In this way, the astrologer can tell if the Ascendant and Midheaven are accurate. 
The U.S. Secondary Progressed Mars during 9/11

Five years after the 9/11 terrorist attack the U.S. is experiencing a major turning point in its astrological evolution. Mars, the planet associated with war, steel, masculinity, self-assertion, conflict, and the military, is turning retrograde by secondary progression. From July 4, 1776 until now, the U.S. progressed Mars has been in forward motion, as it advanced from its natal position at 21º Gemini to its current position at 18º Libra. Over the last several years, as progressed Mars began slowing down, it's remained in the same degree  18º Libra, a degree which has unusual importance in the U.S. national horoscope.

To fully grasp the significance of this extraordinary astro-event in U.S. history, it's worth exploring what Mars has brought us so far. First, some terms. Astrologers have a variety of techniques to track and forecast events. By far, the most common and generally accepted technique is the use of outer planet transits. When Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto align with an angle or natal planet, they herald major changes according to the nature of the planets involved. Anyone with an ephemeris and a natal horoscope can use this technique.
A more complex but equally relevant technique is the use of secondary progressions, which is based on the esoteric formula that one day after birth is symbolically equivalent to one year after birth. While linear-brained, analytical, educated people generally don't get how secondary progressions work, in the emerging scientific paradigm of the holistic universe, secondary progressions make abundant sense. In this model, the events on a particular day are fractal representations of similarly-shaped events during the corresponding year. Not as many astrologers use secondary progressions as outer planet transits, primarily because they're difficult to calculate. However, with modern astrology software, this is no longer a good excuse. And when considering progressions in political astrology, orbs should be extremely tight. Generally, orbs of 1/4 of a degree (0º15') or less are in effect when corresponding events take place.
Now that progressed Mars is standing retrograde -- meaning absolutely still in its motion -- it becomes exceptionally powerful in its potential manifestation of events, especially those related to the Mars archetype. What can we expect? To look forward, let's explore what Mars signifies in the U.S. horoscope, and then peek into the past to see what Mars has brought us so far.

Mars in the U.S. Horoscope

The U.S. Mars was at 21º Gemini all afternoon on July 4, 1776. Depending on which Ascendant the astrologer uses for the national horoscope, Mars will fall into one house or another. In the Scorpio Rising chart, Mars is in the eighth house, along with Uranus, Venus, and Jupiter. While many astrologers consider the psychological characteristics of Scorpio Rising to be too intense or morose for the national psyche, one may also consider that the Sun and Jupiter in Cancer trine the Scorpio Ascendant, bringing a certain nobility of expression that might not otherwise be present. Famous Americans Billy Graham, Theodore Roosevelt, Julia Roberts, and Bill Gates are all Scorpios with their Sun conjunct the U.S. Ascendant, and these individuals represent some of the most transformative, empowering elements of the nation. Also, Mars becomes the ruling planet (along with Pluto), and since Mars is in Gemini, many of the Gemini traits are definitely part of the national expression. 

More importantly, in a national horoscope, Scorpio is associated with capitalism, the pooling of financial assets to create an entrepreneurial class. Scorpio is naturally associated with the eighth house, and in this sense, each of the planets in the eighth house refers to a specific kind of corporate enterprise. Uranus represents the electronics sector, and anything related to advanced technology, including aerospace, computers, and biotechnology. Venus is associated with the beauty and fashion industries, and includes the giant entertainment industries, women's magazines, retail stores and shopping malls. Jupiter refers to Big Business itself, and specifically those businesses that work with huge capital assets, such as banking institutions, insurance companies, and brokerage houses.

While Mars is most often associated with war and the military, Mars in the eighth house can more readily be identified with the corporations that profit from war and the construction of national defense systems. These include the builders of tanks and bullets, and the entire line of Pentagon contractors, which are some of the most powerful and profitable companies in the nation. Since Mars is associated with metals, it includes all the industries that rely on metal, notably the railroad, airline, steel and automobile industries, and most manufacturing plants. Mars stands for the Pentagon itself, and what has become known as the military-industrial-complex.

Mars is associated with competitive sports, and its activation often brings a prominent sports story, as when someone breaks a significant record, or when an especially fascinating rivalry is unfolding. Mars signifies generals, and its activation can lead to a general in the news, or the elevation or demotion of a general in the national government. All the eighth house planets have a bearing on the national debt, since this house governs long-term debt and budgets. When Mars is activated budgets or taxes are cut (Mars is associated with cutting). Mars in this house also shows that military action is most often based on our "vested interests". 
However, on April 18, 1906 a great earthquake struck San Francisco. It was the worst natural disaster to date to hit an American city, and became worse when fires broke out across the city. The first-rate fire department was rendered helpless because all the water pipes had broken. At the time, transiting Pluto was at 21º03' Gemini, virtually exactly conjunct the U.S. Mars. Again, Americans experienced a major city being demolished, and accompanied by devastating fire (a characteristic of Mars). 

By 1965, when transiting Pluto was in Virgo and squaring Mars, the Vietnam War was well underway. Many horrific events can be traced to this particular transit, though other major transits were simultaneously in effect. Following the themes of the two previous passages, several cities erupted in race riots, and many were burned. One incident in particular reflects the nature of Pluto to Mars. On October 21, 1967 a peaceful rally against the war was being held near the Lincoln Memorial. Around 2 pm, about 50,000 demonstrators marched across the Potomac and stormed the Pentagon. Federal marshals were called in, which resulted in a violent confrontation. Some had their heads bashed in, and many others, including novelist Norman Mailer, were arrested. At the time, transiting Pluto was at 21º Virgo (squaring Mars), as the nation's capital and defense department were under assault from its own citizens.  

The fourth and final time that Pluto made a hard aspect to the U.S. Mars has just passed. The nation has been inextricably involved in the quagmire of Iraq, plus the so-called War on Terrorism. In this survey of American experiences during Pluto-to-Mars astro-events, an unexpected theme has emerged. In addition to the likelihood of war, we've also seen the abrupt and sudden devastation of major American cities. The most recent Pluto transit is no exception. On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, suddenly and tragically surpassing the San Francisco Earthquake as the most destructive natural disaster to hit an American metropolis. At the time, transiting Pluto was at 21º Sagittarius, exactly opposite the U.S. Mars. 
The essential meaning of Mars in the eighth is modified by aspects to other planets and its conjunction with the first magnitude star Capella. Mars's most prominent aspect is a square to Neptune, since the orb is only one degree. Books may be written about the U.S. Mars-Neptune square, but in essence, it's associated with the spiritual warrior, the soldier who fights because he believes in the cause, the priority of national objectives. Neptune may also bring disillusionment about military objectives, as in the Vietnam War and currently in Iraq. Neptune is associated with the oil and gas sectors, so that Mars-Neptune modifies Eisenhower's original warning about our military. Now it may more appropriately be referred to as the military-petroleum-complex
Neptune is also associated with drugs and the pharmaceutical industry. Mars sextiles Chiron in the sixth house of health, underscoring Mars's association with the health industry. Mars is trine the U.S. Moon, octile (45º) the North Node, and trioctile (135º) the Scorpio Ascendant. This network of aspects, plus its co-rulership over the chart, makes Mars one of the most prominent planets in the U.S. horoscope. The innate strength of the U.S. Mars has found historical expression in the many wars fought, as well as the U.S. emergence as the world's reigning superpower. 

Factor in its conjunction with Capella, a first-magnitude star that since ancient times has been associated with Mars and Mercury. Capella conjunct Mars in Gemini reinforces the basic meaning, which is facility with language, intellectual prowess, adaptability and quickness, and a fondness for knowledge and communication. According to astrologer Vivian Robson, individuals with Capella strongly placed in their horoscopes are promised honor, wealth, and renown. Americans with their natal Sun at 20º-22º Gemini can realistically strive for and expect the best this country has to offer. Some celebrity examples include John Wayne, George Bush (the elder), Nobel Prize winner John Nash (portrayed in A Beautiful Mind), and billionaire Donald Trump. 
Weighing the pros and cons of the U.S. Mars, we have a mixed bag. The square to Neptune is definitely a stressful aspect, and has been associate with the Presidential Death cycle. One of the meanings of the eighth house is death and re-birth, and since the president is the commander-in-chief, one of his symbols is the U.S. Mars. Neptune corresponds to loss and mysterious events, and one of the weirdest cycles in U.S. history is the loss of a U.S. president about every 21 years, which takes place when transiting Neptune makes a hard aspect to the U.S. Midheaven. Neptune involves spiritual matters, and those with a more esoteric view of U.S. history have connected the presidential death cycle with the so-called "Curse of Tecumseh", which arose when Andrew Jackson betrayed the Cherokee nation by signing and enforcing the "Indian Removal Act".

In 1830 as progressed Mars opposed Pluto, military conflicts erupted in Texas, ultimately leading up to the Alamo, and war with Mexico a few years later. 
Progressed Mars in Action

Transiting Mars moves too fast to be useful in forecasting, except as a trigger to other dynamics already shaping up. However, progressed Mars moves at the rate of about 2/3 a degree per year, and when it aligns with other progressions or natal planets, the astrologer can expect action. Under favorable conditions, Mars energizes progress, while under stressful conditions, Mars brings conflict and often war. 

Progressed Mars was conjunct Mercury on July 4, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the nation's independence. On that very day Thomas Jefferson  the author of the Declaration of Independence  died, and coincidentally, his chief political rival, John Adams, died on the same day.
The young American nation began its first war in June 1812 as progressed Mars was squaring natal Saturn, and had just completed a conjunction with the Sun. The War of 1812 lasted until January 1815 when progressed Mars squared progressed Saturn. The famous Monroe Doctrine was enunciated on December 2, 1823 as progressed Mars at 22º Cancer was exactly sextile natal Neptune, and in the ninth house of foreign policy.

The U.S. entered World War I, the so-called war to end all wars, on April 6, 1917 when progressed Mars was at 18º13' Virgo. Although the U.S. has no planets at this degree, it has several critical midpoints. 

One of the more important U.S. midpoints is Pluto/Ascendant, since Pluto rules the Scorpio Ascendant. This midpoint is found at 18º04' Sagittarius. In 1917 progressed Mars exactly squared this midpoint, initiating the war effort. In April 1865 progressed Mars was exactly trine this midpoint, bringing an end to hostilities. The meaning of Pluto/Ascendant becomes clear if we think of the Scorpio Ascendant as representing the nation's interests, and Pluto as the planet of death and re-birth. However, considering the harshness of the planets involved, even the trine in 1865 brought catastrophe when President Lincoln was assassinated a few days after the peace treaty was signed. Midpoint structures are a way to refine the interpretation of slow-moving progressions, and become especially helpful when considering progressed Mars. 

Progressed Mars can be revealing when considering the presidential death cycle. President James Garfield was shot on July 2, 1881 as progressed Mars (at 28º11' Leo) was octile the U.S. Sun (orb 0º02'). Garfield died on September 19, 1881 as this aspect became exact. President McKinley was shot on September 5, 1901, and he died 8 days later. At the time, progressed Mars at 9º44' Virgo was squaring progressed Uranus (orb 0º10'), and ½ degree past the octile to natal Mercury. Warren G. Harding reportedly died of poisoning on August 10, 1923 as progressed Mars was squaring natal Mars (orb 0º14'). Progressed Mars was also approaching the conjunction with Neptune, and simultaneously, the Teapot Dome affair (an oil scandal) was under investigation. 

The most important progressed Mars aspect was the conjunction with the Midheaven, located at 16º08' Leo. The bloodiest war in American history began on April 12, 1861, when progressed Mars was at 16º06' Leo, precisely conjunct the U.S. Midheaven (orb 0º02').  The Civil War lasted through April 9, 1865, by which time progressed Mars was at 18º31' Leo and exactly trine progressed Chiron at 18º21 Aries. In the U.S. chart, Chiron is in militant Aries, and located in the sixth house of service; Chiron therefore represents military service. 

Not until World War II would progressed Mars make another major aspect to the U.S. Midheaven. In 1941 progressed Mars had just entered Libra, and was heading into an octile (45º) to the U.S. Midheaven. This aspect became exact in early 1942 when the American military machine was in full gear. 
Progressed Mars was at 9º43' Libra on November 22, 1963 when JFK was assassinated. In the U.S. horoscope, the deadly Mars/Pluto midpoint is found at 9º25' Libra. That day, the underlying progressed Mars position was activated by a rare triple alignment featuring transiting Mercury at 9º44' Sagittarius, Jupiter at 9º48' Aries, and Uranus at 9º48' Virgo. The astrologer using the transits-to-progressions technique could not have missed this lethal signature, especially when correlated to the midpoint structures. 

Progressed Mars was still conjunct the powerful Mars/Pluto midpoint in August 1964 when U.S. involvement in Vietnam dramatically escalated following the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. As progressed Mars squared the U.S. Sun and was nearing a conjunction with natal Saturn, the Watergate scandal broke out. Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974 as progressed Mars was nearly exactly square the U.S. Sun (orb 0º07'). 

Since 1974 progressed Mars began slowing down in its forward motion. It's as if citizens began feeling less gung-ho about their confidence in American assertiveness, and especially in the commander-in-chief. In 1995 progressed Mars entered 18º Libra, and has been in this degree ever since. 

On September 1, 2006 progressed Mars turns retrograde at 18º42' Libra.
Jackson was the first president to be shot, in fact twice at point blank range. Strangely, both pistols misfired, and he wasn't assassinated. On the date of this incident (January 30, 1835), the U.S. progressed Ascendant was at 21º Sagittarius, exactly opposite natal Mars. Jackson may have been protected by the concurrent Jupiter trine Neptune transit, and the fact that Neptune hadn't reached any critical aspect to the U.S. Midheaven. A few years later, when transiting Neptune was exactly opposite the U.S. Midheaven, William Harrison died shortly after his inauguration, and this began the first in a series of cyclical presidential deaths. Astrological factors that help explain this eerie cycle include Mars's octile to the North Node, which adds elements of fatefulness and karma. 
Pluto Transits to Mars 

The transits of Pluto are generally some of the most deeply transformative when considering the U.S. horoscope. The intrinsic nature of Pluto in changing a nation's direction becomes most evident during the major conjunctions, squares, and oppositions to natal planets and angles. When considering Pluto's transits to Mars, naturally the astrologer first expects to see war. Over the course of U.S. history, Pluto has not quite made one complete orbit, but it has made four major hits to the U.S. Mars. In three out of four cases, the U.S. has been involved in a major war.
Another major factor is the Part of Fortune, which in the U.S. horoscope is located at 20º51' Gemini, in a nearly exact conjunction with Mars (21º17' Gemini). As described by horary astrologer Ivy Jacobsen-Goldstein, the Part of Fortune, when afflicted by Neptune or Pluto, or located in the eighth or twelfth houses, becomes known as the Part of Misfortune. In the Scorpio Rising chart, this Arabic Part is both in the eighth house and squared by Neptune, and so justly may be called the Part of Misfortune. Yes, Mars is conjunct the beneficial star Capella, and yes, Mars trines the Moon. These are favorable connections. But Mars is also conjunct the Part of Misfortune, and so may be associated with spectacular events of loss and devastation. 
The next hard aspect from transiting Pluto to Mars was the conjunction, which was in effect from 1904 to 1906, and it did not bring war. To the contrary, it corresponded to an industrial boom in the communications and transportation industries. This is perfectly in tune with Mars being in the transportation and communication sign of Gemini, and in the eighth house of corporations. At the time, the manufacturers of 

The first incidence of Pluto making a hard aspect to the U.S. Mars corresponded to the War of 1812, which lasted from June 1812 to January 1815. At the time, Pluto was in seaworthy Pisces, making a square to Mars and an opposition to Neptune. Many of the battles between the British and American forces involved the naval forces along rivers, lakes, and port cities. The most disastrous moment, from the American perspective, was when the British fleet moved up the Potomac and captured the nation's capital. The White House itself was torched, along with other major public buildings. On that catastrophic day  August 24, 1814  transiting Pluto was at 21º10' Pisces, and only 0º07' from the exact square to the U.S. Mars.
automobiles, airplanes, radios, highways, and steel were going through metamorphic growth, perhaps because transiting Neptune was conjunct the U.S. Jupiter at the same time. This allowed the visionary entrepreneurs (Neptune), plenty of start-up capital (Jupiter). The other outer planet transits and progressions were benign, so that the U.S. did not engage in warfare, but did experience a spurt of industrial growth. 
Editorial note: The Saturn-Neptune opposition described here corresponded to the end of the housing market bubble. For details, see economy