America’s Birth Chart
I nearly started a food fight at the big American UAC conference once, by disagreeing with that ‘birth’ chart for the nation. It did not help that I am half British, half Australian. I think I may have even heard the phrase “Get outta town!”
It is like arguing with Americans about the correct way to spell colour, favour, labour, doughnut and neighbour. See – this MacBook Air is already underlining those words in red!
At the risk of being banned from American astrology conferences for the rest of the century, here is my alternative take on the nation.
I think she’s an ambitious Capricorn. Why? She has risen from being an unimportant colony, to a global superpower in just over 200 years.
America is Capricorn, because she was actually born on January 2nd, 1776. That’s when we have the first historical evidence for the phrase, the ‘United States of America.’
It turns up in a letter written by Stephen Moylan, Acting Secretary to George Washington. The New York Historical Society Museum and Library is the best source for the letter.
Moylan wrote his way into history, claiming:
‘I should like vastly to go with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain.’
He was writing these words one day after the Grand Union Flag had been hoisted by George Washington’s army at Prospect Hill. To Washington and Moylan, the United States of America was real, long before July 4th.
The astrological chart set for 2nd January 1776 at 12.00 noon in Cambridge, Massachusetts (where Moylan wrote the letter) reveals the Moon, Jupiter and Uranus in Gemini. This is the horoscope of the nation which brought you Google, Apple and Microsoft.
How do you test a country’s chart to see if it works? You run all the major events in its history over the horoscope to see if you get hits. The January 2nd chart has a ton of them.
Declaration of Independence
July 4th, 1776
The True North Node 6 Leo and True South Node 6 Aquarius aspect America’s Moon at 6 Gemini
April 12, 1861
Saturn at 3 Virgo aspects America’s Uranus at 3 Gemini and Chiron at 0 Pisces aspects America’s Mercury at 0 Capricorn.
Slavery – Emancipation Proclamation
January 1st 1863
Jupiter at 24 Libra aspects America’s Neptune at 24 Virgo and Chiron at 3 Pisces aspects America’s Uranus at 3 Gemini.
First World War
April 6, 1917
Neptune at 2 Leo aspects America’s Mars at 2 Aquarius and Pluto at 2 Cancer aspects America’s Mars at 2 Aquarius.
Women Get The Vote
August 18th, 1920
Neptune at 11 Leo aspects America’s Sun at 11 Capricorn and her Chiron at 11 Aries.
1929 Wall Street Crash
October 24th, 1929
Neptune at 3 Pisces aspects America’s Uranus at 3 Gemini.
Pearl Harbor Attack
December 7th, 1941, 2.22pm (New York time, Associated Press documents)
Jupiter at 16 Gemini aspects America’s True North Node at 16 Leo and True South Node at 16 Aquarius. The North Node at 18 Virgo, South Node at 18 Pisces and Salacia at 18 Sagittarius also form a pattern.
June 6th, 1944
Pluto at 6 Leo aspects America’s Moon at 6 Gemini.
November 1st, 1955
Ceres at 20 Capricorn aspects America’s Saturn at 20 Libra. Uranus at 2 Leo aspects America’s Mars at 2 Aquarius. Chiron at 0 Aquarius aspects America’s Mercury at 0 Capricorn.
The Death of JFK
November 22nd, 1963
The True South Node at 11 Capricorn and True North Node at 11 Cancer aspect America’s Sun at 11 Capricorn.
The Death of Martin Luther King Junior
April 4th, 1968
Ceres at 2 Scorpio aspects America’s Mars at 2 Aquarius. Pluto at 20 Virgo aspects America’s Saturn at 20 Libra.
The Moon Landing
July 20th, 1969
Jupiter at 0 Libra and Uranus at 0 Libra aspect America’s Mercury at 0 Capricorn. Ceres at 6 Aquarius and Chiron at 6 Aries aspect America’s Moon at 6 Gemini.
August 9th, 1974
Jupiter at 16 Pisces aspects America’s True North Node at 16 Leo and True South Node at 16 Aquarius. Saturn at 13 Cancer aspects America’s Jupiter at 13 Gemini. Uranus at 24 Libra aspects America’s Neptune at 24 Virgo. Neptune at 6 Sagittarius aspects America’s Moon at 6 Gemini. Chiron at 24 Aries aspects America’s Neptune at 24 Virgo.
October 19th, 1987
The True North Node at 2 Aries and True South Node at 2 Libra aspect America’s Mars at 2 Aquarius. Ceres at 3 Capricorn aspects America’s Uranus at 3 Gemini. Jupiter at 24 Libra aspects America’s Neptune at 24 Virgo.
Bill Clinton is Impeached
December 19th, 1998
Ceres at 2 Gemini aspects America’s Mars at 2 Aquarius. Neptune at 0 Aquarius aspects America’s Mercury at 0 Capricorn.
World Trade Center Attack
September 11th, 2001
The True North Node at 3 Cancer and True South Node at 3 Capricorn aspect America’s Uranus at 3 Gemini. Jupiter at 11 Cancer aspects America’s Sun at 11. Capricorn. Neptune at 6 Aquarius aspects America’s Moon at 6 Gemini.
March 20th, 2003
Ceres at 2 Taurus aspects America’s Mars at 2 Aquarius. Uranus at 0 Pisces aspects America’s Mercury at 0 Capricorn
Barack Obama is President
November 4th, 2008
Chiron at 16 Aquarius aspects America’s True South Node at 16 Aquarius and True North Node at 16 Leo. The True North Node at 13 Aquarius and True South Node at 13 Leo aspect America’s Jupiter at 13 Gemini.
Same Sex Marriage Legalized
June 26th, 2015
Jupiter at 20 Leo aspects America’s Saturn at 20 Libra. Uranus at 20 Aries aspects America’s Saturn at 20 Libra.
Is New York a Virgo?
Choosing a New York horoscope is harder than choosing a New York restaurant. Which astrological chart best shows big events like the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the Twin Towers attacks of 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012? Which one does justice to New York’s huge personality?
That’s my entire excuse for writing this chapter. If you love New York as much as I do, you may also be curious about her birth chart, or personal horoscope. Does the NYC chart ping with your own birth chart? Maybe you belong there.
A Date With NYC
Oh, so many dates to choose from, when it comes to New York City!
If we’re talking horoscope dates, though, we need to start with February 2nd, 1653 when New Amsterdam (the original New York) incorporated. Sy Schofield has suggested January 1st, 1898 when the government became formal.
The meticulous research of Gary Brand also gives us more dates to consider:
- February 12th, 1654
- June 22nd, 1665
- August 27th, 1673
- May 7th, 1686
- August 24th, 1703
They are all crucial in the history of New York, but none of them really ring true. However…
Henry Hudson’s New York
What would happen if New York’s natal chart was set for a powerful moment in history that had nothing to do with councils, governments or paperwork – yet everything to do with destiny? One that showed perfect accuracy with transits and historic events?
Henry Hudson, the famous British explorer, discovered the island of Manhattan, on September 3rd, 1609, in his ship, The Half Moon. This makes workaholic New York a Virgo.
There is no given discovery time, so a 12-noon chart becomes necessary. However, we do have a date, carefully recorded in the journal of Hudson’s colleague Robert Juet, on board the Half Moon with his quill and ink.
“Hudson sailed past the lower tip of a large island whose name would be recorded for the first time in Robert Juet’s journal as Manna-hata, an Algonquin word meaning ‘island of many hills’.” (Henry Hudson: New World Voyager by Edward Butts).
The Hudson River is still a major part of NYC today and its discovery is key if we’re looking for an accurate NY horoscope.
Most importantly, the Hudson Discovery chart points to a city of immigrants. This famous city of differing foreign tribes has an exact opposition between Chiron at 19 Sagittarius, the sign of foreign people and long journeys – and Jupiter at 19 Gemini, the sign ruling short journeys and languages.
The astrologer Dennis Elwell associates Chiron with great chutzpah (a great New York Jewish word). Elwell once wrote of Chiron, “He wants us to challenge life with a shout! This attitude has been called ‘thinking like an immigrant’.”
The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus is a sonnet mounted inside the Statue of Liberty, historically passed by many immigrants on their voyage into New York and onto Ellis Island.
The last lines of the sonnet are famously, “Give me your tired, poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.”
In 1907, Ellis Island processed over 1.2 million immigrants in one year.
The Hudson Discovery chart with Chiron in Sagittarius exactly opposite Jupiter in Gemini describes the mavericks who chose to board ships halfway across the world for Ellis Island.
The Twin Towers Attack
Gemini is associated with twins. Which leads us to New York’s once-proud twin towers and the tragic events of September 11th. I will never forget how amazing the New Yorkers were, for the two weeks I spent in Greenwich Village (having flown in from London on the night of September 10th).
The transits on September 11th, 2001 are powerful in the Hudson New York chart.
Four hours after the first attack that morning, the Sun moved to 19 Virgo, forming a T-square with natal Chiron at 19 Sagittarius and Jupiter at 19 Gemini.
The twin towers, which oddly resemble the Gemini glyph in some photographs and the domestic flight that carried the terrorists, that day, come under the rulership of Gemini. The Sun put a world spotlight on them.
It takes more than a Sun making a brief T-square to trigger a crisis, though. So, what else was going on?
New York’s natal Saturn at 6 Aquarius was under an exact conjunction from Neptune at 6 Aquarius on 9/11 if you use the Hudson chart. Saturn is New York’s fear. Her terror, perhaps, during an act of terrorism.
Neptune in Aquarius describes a group. And not just any group. A particular group of men who can operate below the surface. Without being seen. The Neptune- Saturn conjunction on September 11th, 2001 uncannily describes the terrorists who submerged themselves in American life, to the point of becoming invisible.
Transiting Pluto at 12 Sagittarius that day was also very close to an opposition to New York’s natal Uranus at 13 Gemini. It was just one degree away from being exact – and explosive. Again, note the emphasis on Gemini. The twin towers and the domestic flights. Foreigners and religion.
On September 11, 2001 transiting Saturn was also at 14 Gemini, in a trine with transiting Mercury at 14 Libra. We associate Libra with partners. The British stood shoulder to shoulder with America.
Saturn and Mercury at 14 Gemini and Libra, triggered New York’s Ceres at 14 Scorpio. Scorpio is the finance sign. It rules the NY Stock Exchange and Wall Street. Trading collapsed.
As Hurricane Sandy (renamed Superstorm Sandy) approached New York on Saturday, October 27th, 2012, schools and subways shut.
Mercury Retrograde Shadow passed through 28 Scorpio creating a square to New York’s natal Mercury at 28 Leo, which is also retrograde. Double Mercury RX disaster!
Saturn at 2 Scorpio was exactly opposite New York’s Pluto at 2 Taurus over the course of Hurricane Sandy.
The New York Stock Exchange with its famous charging bull, was shut Monday October 29th and Tuesday October 30th as the hurricane hit.
The economic cost of Sandy was estimated in the billions.
New York People
What about famous New Yorkers? Who gives the city her big personality? Uranus and Jupiter in Gemini in the New York chart describe the writers, singers, actors, screenwriters, poets, wits, authors and lyricists that have made the city famous.
From the Chelsea Hotel to the Tribeca Film Festival, from Dorothy Parker via Woody Allen and Seinfeld, New York has a much-loved Gemini signature.
Cities often sign themselves in concrete. The twin towers (Gemini) may have gone but the twin lions outside the New York Public Library remain. They are nicknamed Patience and Fortitude. The lions live outside the world’s most iconic library – a Gemini temple to books, magazines, newspapers and media. To cap this, in the 1609 New York chart, Mercury is also in Leo, the sign of the lion. There is a lot of poetry in this horoscope!
Gemini is also planes and trains. New York is the home of Grand Central Terminal and Pennsylvania Station. And of course, JFK. Nylon (NY-London) is a nickname for that Gemini trek across the pond. The Gemini horoscope signature also shows up in the city’s name – New York, New York. The city so good they named it twice. It’s a twin name for what used to be a twin-towers town.
The Chelsea Hotel, an iconic part of New York, famously hosted Patti Smith. Bob Dylan. Tennessee Williams. Arthur Miller. Simone de Beauvoir. Charles Bukowski. Leonard Cohen.
Sir Arthur C. Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Chelsea and Jack Kerouac wrote On The Road there.
Allen Ginsberg was also an intimate of the hotel. Madonna, another New York resident, shot photographs for her book Sex in room 882. Passionate diarist Andy Warhol shot his 1966 film Chelsea Girls there and Dylan Thomas died in the hotel.
Woody and Manhattan
Allen was born on December 1st, 1935 at 10.55pm. Woody’s Uranus at 2 Taurus is on New York’s Pluto at 2 Taurus. His Chiron at 13 Gemini is on New York’s Uranus at 13 Gemini. He has the True North Node at 13 Cancer and True South Node at 13 Capricorn. He happens to like New York.
The NYC Blackout
The 1977 blackout that shut down La Guardia and Kennedy airports and saw 4000 people evacuated from the NY subway system occurred on July 14th, 1977. Neptune at 13 Sagittarius was opposite New York’s natal Uranus at 13 Gemini that day.
Mars was also at 28 Taurus square New York’s Mercury at 28 Leo. Even the famous NYC public library lions – that perfect manifestation of Mercury in Leo – were left in darkness.
Looking at New York’s many potential astrology charts took me a lot longer than a New York minute, but I can’t wait to get back there to see what happens when lucky Jupiter goes into Sagittarius in 2019 and gives the city a big, brilliant relaunch.
Edited extract from 2020 Astrology: Your Five-Year Horoscope Guide by Jessica Adams.
Images Courtesy of Unplash.com