Planetary Cycles - 4
The nodes of a planet are the two ends of the line of intersection
between two planes, the plane of the earth's orbit (the ecliptic or zodiac) and the plane of that planet's orbit. The planetary nodes are thus heliocentric factors; or more significantly stated, they are produced by the interactions between the whorls of activity generated by the planet's and the earth's motions around the common focus of their two elliptical orbits. From our terrestrial point of view these interactions have been given a twofold or bi-polar valuation. The north node brings to a focus the more positive or active aspect of the planet in its relation to our earth and its humanity. The south node, on the other hand, focalizes the basic reaction of the earth and of men to the other planet's activity.
In our present historical period, the north node of Uranus being in mid-Gemini, the creative and transforming action of Uranus upon earth-life and the planetary mind of Man is focused at the Gemini level of intellectual activity. Man's reaction is focused in Sagittarius. Thus the Uranian factor in human consciousness and behavior takes often the form of an expansive and at times fanatic or at least religious and self-righteous activity. The interesting thing in the Sagittarius rising chart for the American people
(as differentiated from the American Government
) is that the most likely Ascendant is at about 13° Sagittarius, thus very close to the South Node of Uranus. For a multitude of reasons which I have discussed in many articles and lectures,(2
) this Ascendant and the Libra 2°
Mid Heaven fit remarkably well the American character and typical way of life ("the abundant life" with a golf course in every center of population!) The U. S. as a whole embodies the reactions
of Western man to the Uranian forces released creatively in Europe since the Renaissance — and before in Greece. These Uranian forces within restless Europeans who had been frustrated by the old feudal structures of the Middle Ages found in the "virgin soil" of America a fertile field for their unparalleled development. But what we witness here are results, much more than initiating causes. Relatively very few new inventions were really "discovered" in America, i. e. discovered as transforming ideas in the creative mind of Man. They were "applied" here by remarkable technological intellects expert in management
and in making opportune and daring executive decisions.
In the U. S. chart with a Gemini Ascendant, Uranus is rising in the first House; and the majority of astrologers still consider this a characteristic expression of American inventiveness, yearning for change and restlessness or rootlessness. But I have come to realize that the Uranus character is even more marked — and more fatefully
marked — when the horizon of a birth-chart is practically identical with Uranus' lines of nodes, than when Uranus, the planet, is rising. The rising planet suggests that the person will discover his true nature and character through Uranian events and activities; but when the natal horizon is identical to the line of Uranus' nodes there is an absolutely basic, karmic or structural identification between the person' s individuality and Uranus. Indeed the individual person is born indelibly stamped with Uranus' power, and fated to act as a transforming force in society, as an "agent" of Uranus.
But, to return to the problem of what constitutes the most valid starting point of the 84-year Uranus cycle: it seems logical to say that, if one seeks information about these transforming forces and pressures which refer to Uranus considered in themselves
, one should consider the passage of the planet over its north node as the relevant point — and this would be true in any planet's case. However, if one seeks to establish the larger rhythms of the solar system as a whole, as these affect our earth and especially the biosphere in which all living organisms interact, are born and die, then it seems best to use the equinoxes as the basic starting point of everything.
At the equinoxes the sun moves from south to north, and north to south declination
as it crosses the celestial equator — an extension of the earth's equator plane. The sun has never any celestial latitude; for celestial latitude is measured north or south of the ecliptic's plane, which is the plane of the sun's apparent yearly motion (i.e. the plane of the earth's orbit in modern astronomy.) "Solar" values -from the geocentric point of view — are fundamental whenever the whole solar system is considered in its effect upon life on earth. Thus declination is more important in this sense than celestial latitude.
However, the orbit of every planet is an ellipse, not a circle; and an ellipse has two foci, instead of one center. All planetary orbits have one common focus, at which the sun stands; but each planetary orbit has also its own independent focus. This focus symbolizes the planet's individual character; and we might also infer that the latitude cycle of each planet especially refers to the development of this individual character — or more exactly it represents the process by which the energies symbolized by the planet affect life on this Earth.
When Uranus passed over its north node in 1945 the first uranium-powered atomic bomb was released. This was a strictly Uranian event with vast consequences for the Earth's biosphere and all men. But this event was part of a larger pattern of global transformation for mankind, and this pattern began to be clearly revealed earlier when Hitler, released from prison, emerged as the future leader of aggressive Nazi Germany. This emergence occurred around the year 1927 when Uranus reached heliocentrically the first degree of Aries — and it began to have a north declination (1927-28).
Editorial Note: Five years after Astrological Timing
first appeared, Rudhyar wrote a volume devoted to the birth-chart of the United States. Long out-of-print, Rudhyar's The Astrology of America's Destiny
is now available online at CyberWorld Khaldea's Rudhyar Archival Project. Return
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