James asked me about what’s next for the United States, and I would say, “Not much that I see as hopeful, at least in foreign relations.” My reasons for this will emerge from this installment, but the brief version goes like this: because the United States has always projected Mars onto others, a pattern we can trace through the past 250 years, I see no reason to expect anything different, particularly with secondary progressed (SP) Mars now retrograde, as retrograde planets often either turn inward or retreat to the unconscious and appear as projections. As of this writing, retrograde Mars done both, with the inward turn evident in the militarized police units turning their aggression on citizens, and as events in the Middle East serve as a perfect hook for the ongoing national projection in which the aggression seems to exist out there.

The nation’s outlook has remained pretty consistent for decades – or, really, ever since 1776 – and received a nice articulation by Madeline Albright (Clinton’s Secretary of State): “The United States is good. We try to do our best everywhere.” Seeing itself as a benevolent dispenser of good, with the plutocratic MSM following in a kind of lockstep, the United States sees itself as acting on principle (Sagittarius ascendant) linked closely to national security needs (Jupiter, ruler of that ascendant, in Cancer, along with the Sun, Venus, and Mercury) obtainable through securing (to put the matter euphemistically) the values of others (Sun, Mercury in 8th house; Jupiter and Venus on the cusp of that house). Mars in the 7th suggests a projection of Mars onto others. Mars’ presence in Gemini reiterates that projection, suggesting as it does a light twin and a dark one, with the light one arising through the deceptive national vision (Neptune in the 9th, square Mars in 7th) concerning the country’s benevolence and the dark twin arising through those purportedly shadowy people who oppose U.S. designs, depredations, and desires.

That no-one in government seems ready to look inward for the roots of the country’s ongoing aggression (Mars) leads me to conclude that the projection pattern will continue. As I will show in what follows, over the next several decades, SP Mars’ movements will retrace, now in retrograde motion, positions covered the past several decades in direct motion. The pattern suggests a re-experiencing of those events, with projection playing a large role, probably in the form of open enemies (N. Mars in the 7th) driven by ideas (Gemini) and seeming like manifestations of the dark twin motif.

One more point before retracing the past – a point I have made before: what I have said above about Mars in Gemini and SP Mars retrograde reiterates other factors in the horoscope, most obviously the opposition from Mercury in Cancer in the 8th over to Pluto in Capricorn in the 2nd and the present opposition from TR Pluto in Capricorn to N. Sun in Cancer in the 8th. Pluto, as lord of the underworld, has much in common with the dark twin, and in my view has a close connection to Mercury, ruler of Gemini. But let’s put that bit of astrological theory to the side and move on to our examination of the past.

The Past

We measure secondary progressions by looking into the ephemeris: a day in the ephemeris equals a year in the life. Thus the position of SP Mars for the 200th year of a country’s existence equals the position of transiting (TR) Mars for the 200th day after the birth. This means that SP planets move rather slowly and mark fundamental patterns in a country’s development.

SP Mars in the United States horoscope has moved almost 120 degrees since 1776: from 22 Gemini to 18 Libra, where SP Mars turned retrograde on July 19, 2006: about 116 degrees in about 230 years. That comes to about half a degree per year, though faster than that during some eras and slower around the time of the station (2006). To give you some idea of the kinds of events SP Mars brings to the fore, consider the following partial list:

  • SP Mars semi-square the midheaven: 1862: Civil War
  • SP Mars squares Mars from the 9th house: 1923: Beer Hall Putsch in Germany; Mussolini dissolves non-fascist parties in Italy; USSR becomes a legal entity (all reflecting the 9th: foreign places; long journeys over water)
  • SP Mars conjoins Neptune in the 9th: 1925: Stalin moves toward power in USSR as Lenin dies (Stalin would have full power by 1926, as would Mussolini); Mein Kampf appears. (More 9th house emphasis.)
  • SP Mars enters Libra in 1940 and conjoins midheaven in 1945: World War II and aftermath.
  • SP Mars squares Sun: 1974: Nixon resigns as Congress draws up articles of impeachment. His resignation followed closely upon his secret bombing of Cambodia.
  • SP Mars conjoins Saturn: 1979: Iran Hostage Crisis; U.S. supported Shah Pahlevi flees Iran.

Some notes about the above list:
– The aspects in 1923-5 come from SP Mars in the 9th; thus the events have to do with foreign countries.
– The midheaven, relevant to 1862 and the 1920’s, has to do with public presentation, Mars with the military. Any movement involving the midheaven also involves the nadir (the homeground). The Civil War involved both.
– SP Mars at the midheaven in 1945 symbolizes a public display of military might, ostensibly to protect the homeground: WWII and its aftermath. (SA Pluto contributed, a matter we will put aside for now.) As the U.S. publicly strove for military domination, the U.S.S.R. arose as a virulent projection (N. Mars in Gemini in the 7th)
– The US N. Sun-Saturn square symbolizes the national tendency to play authority roles, particularly regarding situations connected to others’ resources ( 8th house N. Sun). Thus the conflicts in 1979 having to do with the U.S. attempt to extend its authority over Iran, with the Shah as proxy, and the Iranian resistance to that process. Though the bombing of Cambodia obviously differs in myriad ways from the situation in Iran, the two have this in common: in both areas, the United States wanted to extend its military (Mars) and economic (8th) control over “enemies” (7th) in relation to a delusional national ideology (N. Mars’ square to N. Neptune in 9th, a house connected with ‘long journeys over water,’ among other things).

Though SP Mars does not have a clear connection to all of the wars the United States fought, for other aspects, particularly involving directions, account many others. We must put off that discussion for another time and concern ourselves with these observations:

  • As SP Mars has slowed down, the United States has had less and less success in its military (Mars) ventures. In entering Libra (1940), SP Mars entered the “shadow of the retrograde,” so the period after that, with SP Mars slowing down, would prove particularly shadowy. Thus the increased secrecy regarding U.S. military operations and motives.
  • SP Mars will go through the aspects to the Sun and Saturn again in 2031 and 2035. I would expect that period to bring back the long-term results of actions taken in the early 1970’s. As Ward Churchill said, chickens come home to roost, and though Mr. Churchill connected that with the events of 9/11, I would take it further, suggesting that as the earlier (1970’s) events mark nodal points in the United States’ eventual failure to exert international power, so the later events (2031-5) will show the United States in much more difficult position, probably feeling that the “terrorists” exist within and thus turning its attention more and more toward the home front. There, the N. Sun-Saturn square symbolizes law and order (Saturn) ostensibly to preserve security (Cancer, position of the U.S. Sun).
  • The stationary period of SP Mars has brought quagmires: the U.S. stuck in Iraqi sand; the U.S. later forced to witness the depredation of the Islamic State, the rise of which has a clear connection to U.S. aggression in the region. It seems quite possible that by 2031, the United States will finally have the pervasive security threats so much talked about now. I expect that the national tendency toward delusions about foreigners and darker-skinned people, a theme in U.S. history, will by then reach a kind of crescendo, at least in the inner circles of government. I expect, further, increasingly psychotic reactions from those moving in those circles.
  • In the more immediate future, I would expect to find the United States with its hands tied (the stationary and retrograde periods) in all matters related to military. We see signs of this already. Though we hear some sabre-rattling by the usual cast of blind men inside the beltway, the United States has so far refrained from committing new troops to the Middle East. Perhaps someone has realized, at long last, that any action the U.S. takes will only make things worse.

NEXT TIME: PUTTING SOME THINGS INTO PERSPECTIVE: A LOOK AT SOME LONGER-LASTING HISTORIAL PATTERNS. (For more on that subject, read The Machine Stops, by your friendly astrological blogger.)


  1. Thank You Tim. It makes me feel that much better about my hideout in Nova Scotia, Canada. Although, Canadians wonder…but not particularly out loud. That will hardly do when one lives next to the giant.
    I heard you mention that the US was facing a period of economic decline, as well. Is China the next big thing that the US will face (perhaps in 2031). China is under precipitous decline at the moment: is the US under precipitous decline as well-in tandem with China?

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