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Review of America is Born:  Introducing the Regulus USA National Horoscope

original post January 22, 2009
Facebook: Traditional Astrology
reprinted with permission of the author

"Directing through the Bounds: Mundane Style"
by Tom Callanan

The bounds, or “terms” as they are more often called, are a bit of a mystery. Everyone agrees on what they are, an uneven fivefold division of each sign, each division ruled by a planet. Not everyone agrees on which planets rule what sections of each sign. There are Ptolemy’s bounds, (aka Chaldean bounds) and the Egyptian bounds, and Lee Lehman once discussed a Lilly variant of Ptolemy’s bounds. Every student of traditional astrology is taught that they are 4th in importance of 5 essential dignities, but as more than one student new to traditional astrology has said, “What do you do with them?”

“Dr. H” of Regulus Astrology, provides an answer: we rectify with them using medieval astrological understanding. "America Begins, Introducing the Regulus USA National Horoscope" (Regulus LLC, Princeton, NJ, 407 pages $39.95) is a detailed demonstration of the use of (among other things) primary directions where planets and points are directed through degrees of the zodiac and an event in American history is shown to correlate with the particular directions through the Egyptian bounds (his choice). By rotating the chart this way and that, a rectification is achieved and the astrologer, in theory, has a useful chart for mundane prediction. The author does not claim that his rectified July 4, 1776, chart is representative of any particular event. He simply asserts that it is a usable chart

The author uses the bounds in conjunction with Abu Mashar’s system of distributors and participators explained in his work "On Solar Revolutions," one of the oldest, if not the oldest, surviving complete text on the subject. The distributor is the active bound for a given significator (the planet that is moving through the bound). The participator is the planet that has most recently made contact with the significator by body or aspect by primary motion. The participator remains active as a time lord until the next planet meets the significator by aspect or body. This is a lot less complicated than it sounds, and it produced some profound results.

The USA is a relatively young nation. It was first settled by Europeans some 400 years ago, a space of time bordering on insignificant compared to the development of many European, African, and Asian nations. America’s existence as an independent nation is a mere 232 years. Yet within that time the USA rose from humble colonial origins to world dominance. A good deal happened in a short period of time giving the mundane rectifier quite a bit to work with. Dr H claims a large library of historical references, and I know that to be true, even if his book cases all lean over to the left a bit. He used over 300 documented events to verify the angles of this chart.

To be sure, in order to back up his chart, he cites several less than instantly recognizable occurrences in American history that were considered important at the time, but are rarely mentioned in contemporary history courses. Perhaps we never should forget the American role in the Venezuela – British Guiana border dispute of 1895, but it seems that many of us did. Yet history is made of events great and small. The astrology should reflect this, and it does. Events of all magnitudes are mentioned, and line up nicely with the unfolding of this chart.

The big one though, is the most important event in American history: the American Civil War. Dr H calls it the key that unlocked the rectification. I would argue that if any American national chart missed this, or must be stretched to find it, that chart is worthless. A strong argument can be made that the Civil War is shown (“promised”) in the Regulus Chart, and that it was “triggered” by or coincident with relevant directions through the bounds at the appropriate time. Radical Mars (brothers, conflicts) is in Gemini (a dual sign) in the radical 7th (contests, wars, disputes) opposing the radical ASC. Mars rules the radical 4th of the home or foundation. It has become a cliché to describe the American Civil War in terms of “brother against brother,” yet in many cases, that statement is the literal truth. The effects of that contest, both direct and indirect, linger to this day, and in some ways have not been entirely resolved. It is an enormously complex issue whose seeds were planted in the very Constitution the young nation pledged to uphold.

Yet this rectified chart, in a simple, direct manner, gives us the symbolism, albeit without the complexity, in an irrefutable fashion. There will be a violent military (angular, i.e. powerful Mars) and social split (Gemini) in this nation (4th house). Mars is in the 7th house of warfare. The events are triggered or are coincident with directions through the bounds of Mars. The radical ASC is directed through the bounds of Mars/Aries beginning in June of 1860, the time of Lincoln’s nomination as Republican candidate for the Presidency, a signal to the South that secession is the only way for survival. Then it changes to the bounds of Saturn/Aries in July 1863, the time of the Battle of Gettysburg and the siege of Vicksburg, the turning point in the war and, Dr H argues, of a switch in tactics from head to head conflict as at Gettysburg (Mars/Aries) to more defensive or holding tactics of Saturn/Aries such as the siege of Vicksburg. While we might quibble here and there with some of the book’s interpretation of events and the symbolism shown this one is irrefutable historically and astrologically. These observations present a serious challenge not only to the Gemini and Scorpio rising charts, but other national charts where Mars would be in a house other than the 7th and directions of the ASC would take us elsewhere at about the same time. Mars in Gemini in the 7th ruling the 4th of a mundane chart is an unambiguous indication of civil war. Mars in other houses is not.

Dr H acknowledges that the extensive use of national charts is a relatively recent phenomenon. C.E.O. Carter lent his influence and prestige to the idea of national charts because he was miffed that 1930s astrologers, using older techniques, missed the coming world war. Carter blamed the tools (mostly lunations, ingresses, eclipses, and the nativities of the major players), and promoted the use of a “new” one. He didn’t invent national charts. The Sibly chart for the USA was well known long before the 20th century, and is discussed in this volume in some detail. Rather Carter promoted the use of national charts (with other charts; Carter’s contribution is more complex than indicated here) in his 1951 booklet, "Political Astrology," and mundane astrologers have been hooked on them ever since.

But did the pre WWII astrologers miss that significant event because of poor tools or poor eyesight? Probably both. The biggest weakness of mundane astrology is the unavoidable bias the astrologers bring to the charts. Prior to the 1939 invasion of Poland, it is easy to find American and European statesmen and news outlets singing the praises of Adolph Hitler. This sort of misjudgment was and is nothing new. The New York Times, for example, has at least initially, praised every mass murderer of the 20th century, including, but not limited to, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Castro, and Pol Pot. If due to media exposure, the astrologer approaches the charts thinking of Hitler as a peace loving reformer, then it is going to be very difficult to find the outbreak of war with Germany regardless of techniques employed.

Regulus Astrology attempts to overcome the biases by merging the “new” tool of the national chart with medieval astrology techniques to make a case for the American “nativity” and as a result promotes a method that reins in many of the biases. It may suffer, here and there, from the same weaknesses as other delineations, nothing is perfect, but it has the major advantage of being supported by literally hundreds of events. Then the work is placed in its entirety in the storefront window for all to see, study, and judge. This practice is all too rare in contemporary astrology.

What remains is prediction. Can this chart and these methods be used to predict events? This, after all, is what Carter complained of. Dr. H does not offer any predictions. He’s leaving that to others, and why not? This book is the product of an enormous amount of work. The author didn’t stop there, either. In addition to the text, there are ample free charts, worksheets, and tables on his website to assist the researcher in his efforts to test this rectification. The next steps are up to us. We now have a well researched argument for an American national chart – one that goes far deeper than simple transits to an event chart. Whether the mundane astrologer is anxious to accept or reject this chart, he ought to work with it, preferably for prediction, in as unbiased a manner as possible. Accurate prediction will go a long way to validating this figure and one would hope, dispensing with at least some of the myriad of charts used for the “birth” of the USA.


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