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Re-election Campaign Poster for FDR

Re-election Campaign Poster for FDR

Today marks the 92nd anniversary of the stock market crash that began the Great Depression. At the time, Saturn was applying into a conflictual 90º square aspect with Uranus, as it is today, and as it was at the start of the Civil War. One of the essential themes that tends to arise in correlation with this aspect is an open struggle between forces of oligarchy — the concentration of wealth in the hands of a privileged few — and forces of democracy.

The Great Depression offers us a paradigmatic glimpse: Incumbent president Herbert Hoover tried to recover the economy by cutting taxes and government programs, with the idea that the resulting wealth at the top would naturally distribute into the populace via charity and industrious job growth.

Hoover's approach was a disaster. The situation only got worse as the American people spiraled further into poverty. Thankfully, there was still enough functioning democracy to allow for a new visionary president to be elected, namely Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

As Saturn approached a harmonious sextile with Uranus in 1933, FDR's New Deal got underway. FDR was an Aquarius who focused his administration's efforts on Aquarian ideals of social prosperity, inventing new ways to distribute work, wealth, and purpose to the greater population. The government programs enacted under the New Deal were highly successful at helping the economy recover and prepare the country for its eventual entrance into World War II.

We see a similar crisis and bounce-back of democracy in the 1860s. Just prior to the Civil War, with Saturn and Uranus again applying to a conflictual square aspect, southern politicians were promoting a style of government that deliberately put wealth and power in the hands of a few white, male plantation-owning enslavers. They declared, in common oligarchic fashion, that anyone who was not white and rich was of a lower class whose place was to carry the hard burdens unfitting of their elite masters.

Similar to 1932, while democracy was in real peril, it was still functioning well enough for the people to elect another visionary Aquarian: Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln drove towards a changed government infused with the Aquarian spirit "of the people, by the people, and for the people." As Saturn reached a strongly harmonious 120º trine aspect with Uranus, the war was won and slavery was abolished.

Saturn and Uranus aspects are especially meaningful for the United States in part because of those planets' associations with democratic ideals and the institutions that serve and enforce them, as well as scientific advances and technological inventions. Democracy in particular is an essential keyword of American rhetoric, as it is of the sign Aquarius, where the nation's Moon is placed, a sign governed specifically by the planets Saturn and Uranus.

Moreover, Saturn and Uranus are at a trine aspect in the natal chart of the United States, suggesting what we have already seen many times in the course of history since the country’s founding, that no matter how serious the crisis, American democracy tends to emerge stronger as a result. It's as if each major crisis brings to light deeply dysfunctional patterns that force us as a country to deal with them, as far as we can. This leads to overall improvements that inch us forward towards a more functional democratic ideal, until the next Saturn-Uranus conflict.

Most of America's greatest crises and greatest triumphs have occurred while these two planets were in strong aspect, or during strong planetary transits through Aquarius. Both conditions are true today as Saturn and Jupiter transit Aquarius and Saturn and Uranus make again a conflictual square aspect.

The next major aspect between these two planets will be a more harmonious and cooperative one, namely a 60º sextile. When Saturn and Uranus were at this same waning sextile from 1933-1936, FDR's "new deal for the forgotten man" was deployed throughout America. Democracy flourished for decades as a result of his leadership, until the programs and laws instituted by FDR began to be dismantled in the 1980s by a different kind of Aquarian, Ronald Reagan.

The "Reagan Revolution," begun with Saturn and Uranus in sextile in the early 1980s, embodies a negative dimension of Aquarius: hidden revolution and control of power by a special group. Reagan's oligarchic revolution overthrew Roosevelt's democratic one.

Yet the wheel of revolution continues to turn. Saturn and Uranus reach sextile again in 2025-2026, with Saturn in Pisces and Uranus in Taurus. Coming after a Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in 2024, this sextile aspect evokes a relief to social and economic woes as well as a shoring up of democracy. Similar to FDR's New Deal, structural enhancements that support a better functioning society may very well be burgeoning into the societal strata.

In 2025 we then have the years-long aspect of Uranus trine Pluto, an aspect that consistently correlates with economic booms and cultural renaissances nurtured by a diverse distribution of people, energy, money, and technology. This appears to be a very active and optimistic time, not one that would resonate archetypally with an oligarchic takeover of government.

It is understandable for anyone today to feel great anxiety about where America is heading as a nation. There are still difficult battles to be fought, and there may very well be sacrifices to be made to move us past this moment of collective upheaval. But history and astrology, taken together, give us good reason to remain optimistic for the latter half of this decade. As history has shown many times over, just when American democracy seems overshadowed by a grave threat, we find that there are powers waiting in the wings to fight back and reassert, more openly, articulately, and durably, the basic democratic principles that reflect the best of what America stands for.

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