As I leafed through Robert Hand’s Planets in Transit to get some insight into the past year’s transits, I decided to see how Hand’s descriptions of the transiting aspects could apply to the Sibly chart for the United States of America, a chart which is not definitive for the founding of the US, but it has proven to be revelatory.
The Pluto return has been the big story of 2022 and will continue in 2023. Given that no individual has ever experienced this, Hand does not describe its effects. He does, however, provide us with a marvelous description of Pluto transiting the second house, where it has been in the Sibly US chart since 2008. He tells us that the entrance of Pluto into the second house sets off a “breakdown phase,” where we have to do with less than we had before. This was the beginning of the financial crisis which led to “the Great Recession,” heavily impacting the country’s financial system. This breakdown could lead, Hand writes, to an evaluation of personal values which could change one’s attitude towards personal property altogether. “Considering how little control we have over the material universe, it is a little ridiculous that we put so much stock in it, thereby putting a large part of our lives at the mercy of fate,” he instructs us. As we see Pluto move in and out of Capricorn for the next two years, it should be interesting to notice whether Americans are less materialistic than they were in 2008!
Another striking aspect, hiding in plain sight, has been Neptune’s opposition to itself. It’s been ongoing throughout 2022 and makes its final pass in January 2023. This could be, Hand warns, a time of “confusion and defeat” if we do not let go of old ideas. We could withdraw from the world at this time, or, if we could find this to be a time of heightened consciousness and empathy. With Neptune in the US whole sign 10th house of leaders, this Neptunian opposition could suggest elderly leaders, and confusion around their leadership. It could also indicate a growing empathy among the American people for those who have been sidelined or excluded from society in the past. But with the 4th house – 10th house dichotomy emphasized, we can see those in power flourishing as thousands of American citizens are homeless – a signature of Neptune in Pisces in the 4th house.
Mars has been in a long retrograde through Gemini, the chart’s 7th house. It will station at 8 degrees of Gemini to go direct again on January 12. This is the degree of the US Uranus. Because the planet slows down to change direction, Mars will be conjoined with the US Uranus from January 2 until January 25. Hand writes that “no other transit is more conducive that this one to sudden upsets, rash behavior and surprising incidents.” In other words, expect the unexpected. While we can watch the news for manifestations of this energy, Hand reminds us that we can work with the positive side of this transit. It’s a great time to begin “a new and innovative” project. It’s a highly inventive aspect, so watch for some new technological wonder to emerge.
And, finally, we end this year with Jupiter, fresh and new in Aries, passing over the US Sibly chart’s IC. Hand states that we yearn now “for inner peace and security in order to move out into the world.” We think less of what we want from the outer world and more on the growth of our inner life. Let us hope that this yearning lives in the hearts of all Americans as we end the year, and may the peace and joy of this season be with you all, my dear readers.