I was not exactly stunned to learn that the last time Chiron was in Capricorn, Sen. Joseph McCarthy [click for multimedia files, also pictured below] had dragged our nation into the throes of the paranoid, frantic and hateful religion that bears his name, forcing people to testify against their friends, colleagues and neighbors. We were after Communists, then, and nobody was immune from investigation. Half of Hollywood was blacklisted. An equally rancid man named J. Edgar Hoover [oops, I said Herbert originally] was at the head of the FBI, fanning the flames of McCarthy's fervor, and, moreover, facilitating his escapades with federal agents and money. Just about everybody went along for the ride, unless you were one of the accused. We were, collectively and individually, a nation with our rational minds paralyzed by the idea of Communists and the commie threat around the world, scorning the Russians, looking under our beds for suspects, ducking and covering, trembling at the thought of kidnappers, and terrified, literally of our own shadows.
So, let's review. Looking back one revolution of Chiron, the nuclear bomb was in high production and being tested without limit and above the ground in the southwestern United States, a tragedy which is the subject of the book American Ground Zero. While we were (in the news) racing the Russians for world domination through what would become the Doomsday Machine, there would be 140 blasts of the A-bomb in the open air of Nevada, with our own troops taking the dust (in the name of science), with the fallout drifting first to every corner of our continent, then around the globe. Schools in Nevada would hurry children indoors as fallout drifted their way. Many of those tests occurred in the early 1950s. Las Vegas vacationers would watch explosions from hotel rooftops, nonchalant, fascinated, wearing goggles, or not. The Modern World.
We smoked a lot in those years, no small wonder: circa 1954, 45% of Americans sucked down at least a pack a day. Cigarette companies were facing their first accusations that smoking caused cancer. Kids called cigs coffin nails. Manufacturers of tobacco responded in a 1954 ad appearing in hundreds of newspapers around the country, titled "A Frank Statement to Cigarette Smokers," [text below] in which we learn: "Recent reports on experiments with mice have given wide publicity to a theory that cigarette smoking is in some way linked with lung cancer in human beings. Although conducted by doctors of professional standing, these experiments are not regarded as conclusive in the field of cancer research. However, we do not believe results are inconclusive, should be disregarded, or lightly dismissed. At the same time, we feel it is in the public interest to call attention to the fact that eminent doctors and research scientists have publicly questioned the claimed significance of these experiments."
Along similar lines of gross fraudulent obfuscation, Monsanto Co., founded at the previous Chiron in Capricorn visit as a manufacturer of saccharine, and which by 1951 had recently discovered dioxin, was busy testing what turned out to be the world's most toxic chemical agent on human "volunteers," its own clueless employees in Nitro, WV. These tests, performed by the company doctor, would form the basis for a series of phony cancer studies released decades later, used to prove to the world that Agent Orange was safe, and that Love Canal was a joke. Some people still believe it.
Father Knew Best, but we didn't know what he did at work all day.
What saved this from being one of the darkest eras in human history? If you ask me, I Love Lucy, which broadcast its first show in 1951, the year Chiron's most recent journey across Capricorn began. This program, while teaching us much about how to cook rice, work in a chocolate factory and explode pressure cookers, also inadvertently documented the end of the extended family and the beginning of the nuclear family. The nuclear family, burn during the nuclear arms race, would become the myth of all that ever was, at least on TV and in Life magazine. It would not be long before white middle-class America would grow to shun the kind of relationship that the Riccardos shared with the Mertzs, two couples whose doors were open to one another, reminiscent of urban life in the first half of the century, when people were too poor to go it alone, but had each other.
Chiron's approximate stay in the sign Capricorn is 4 years plus four months out of every 51 years. Chiron will enter Capricorn in mid-December, and will take until the end of 2005 to move into Aquarius. The last time Chiron was in Capricorn was November 1951 through February 1955. (Because Chiron's orbit is a big oval, it stays in some signs as little as 18-24 months, and others up to nine years.)
Our current days bear a conspicuous, chilling relationship to those years that makes me want to take some Nux Vomica. Communism has been replaced by terrorism; the enemy is everywhere; they are trying to poison us; one can wear anything, but if not wrapped in the flag, is subject to arrest. If we associate with a terrorist, we are one, even if we don't know we're doing it. Wire tapping is a brilliant idea -- it will protect our civil liberties. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength, in the words of George Orwell, whose warning knell, 1984, was rung a few years before.
The Korean War ended in 1953, and in 1955, America gets itself involved in Vietnam, a suicidal, murderous, highly profitable (for banks, arms manufacturers and the government) taxpayer-supported fiasco of pain and poison which would persist for the next two decades. We bought the Domino Theory (that one country after the next would fall to Socialism or Communism or whatever it was, and finally America would go down as the workers rose up in the streets of Cincinnati) and paid royalties on it till the day before the USSR collapsed in a heap of its own impossibility. The biggest lie of all was that the South Vietnamese, the good gooks, wanted us there at all. Everybody got sprayed with a lot of Agent Orange.
At the end of this transit, there was a ray of hope, foreshadowing the Sixties. The modern notion of civil rights was born on May 17, 1954, when the Supreme Court ruled in Brown vs. Board of Education that racial segregation in schools was unconstitutional, declaring unanimously that the "separate but equal" clause in the segregation laws was unconstitutional because it violated the children's 14th Amendment rights by separating them solely on the classification of the color of their skin.
For those of you not up on this tidbit of history, it was law that black students and white students went to different schools, until this time. There were also separate bathrooms in restaurants and theaters, marked "Colored Men" and "White Men," for example. Those finally went out of vogue in the early Sixties. We can safely pee in the same room, and not fear arrest.
In the Brown ruling, Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote that "segregated schools are not equal and cannot be made equal, and hence they are deprived of the equal protection of the laws." It would be more than a decade before the same court ruled that blacks and whites could legally marry -- but Brown sowed the seeds of civil rights and civil unrest in the two decades that followed.
Along a similar line, the first major strides were taken toward the creation of the birth control pill, when in 1953 Katharine Dexter McCormick, an heir to the McCormick reaper fortune, donated a lot of money to Planned Parenthood for this purpose. The pill, as it became known, would catalyze the sexual revolution of a dozen years later. Sex would become available because pregnancy was easily preventable by women.
Wheeling Back One Turn
The prior time Chiron was in Capricorn was in October 1901 through January of 1905. In these years, Monsanto Co. is born, on Nov. 29, 1901. In 1929 Monsanto purchased Swann Chemical, including is receipe for polychlorinated biphenyls, which they maintain are perfectly safe.
President William McKinley was assassinated, and Theodore Roosevelt succeeded him.
Einstein's special theory of relativity was published, in 1905, turning on its head our conception of nature, physics, space and time. Nobody understands it a century later. Okay, almost nobody. Space and time are one thing; squish one and the other bulges. This has a lot to do wth astrology.
How About November 1852 through February of 1856?
Uncle Tom's Cabin. MultiEd.com writes, "In 1852, the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin was published. It is most likely the novel that had the greatest historic impact on American society. The novel depicted the plight of a slave family. It was written by Harriet Beecher Stowe, who was a mother of six. In the first year, hundreds of thousands of copies were printed and ultimately millions of copies were sold. The helped solidify the opposition to slavery in the North. Its success in France and England served as a break in the inclination of the aristocracy in those countries to support the South during the war."
More on slavery in this era: there is a civil war in Kansas over whether it will become a free state or a slave state. In 1956 there was the Massacre of Potawatomie Creek, Kansas, in which slavers were murdered by free-staters.
Then There Was 1803-1807...
"It's just a lot of fighting," says your researcher, Angela with a sigh, as she looks at the Timetables of History.
Well, okay, in 1803, Christian Johann Doppler predicted what is now known as the Doppler effect, which is how speed trap radar works, and hey, Doppler weather. Woo hoo!
In 1804, Thomas Jefferson, an astrologer, begins second term as President of U.S.
In 1805 we see the official end of Holy Roman Empire. The Holy Roman Empire? In 1805? Did I sleep through that class in high school?
What Astrologers Have Written of Chiron in Capricorn Natally (people born between Nov. 1951 and Feb. 1955). You are all having your Chiron returns some time between the ages of 50 and 51. This is a big moment. Check Planet Waves for more details.
Zane Stein writes, "These people need to create some type of order or structure what will not fall apart when other things do, and which, it is hoped, will function after they are gone. They need to feel that they are on THE right path for them, and they deeply believe there is one specific path they must find for themselves. They also believe this is true for others -- that each person has a correct path for himself. The more evolved types believe that each person's path is totally his own; the lesser types believe, once they find a path, that it is for everyone to follow. They hate anything that can sway them from their course, and feel the same is true for others. They have a strong need to succeed at their unique path, and can't stand failure."
Richard Nolle writes, "This Chiron position signifies a survivor, one whose aim is to prevail (and if possible, prosper) despite any adversity. Power and status are important to these people, who measure their own self esteem through the eyes of others. If they seem traditional or conservative in any way it is because of their desire to conquer time, to preserve some element of their lives despite the transience of the human condition. If they seem radically revolutionary, it is because they fear losing their own identity in the morass of the status quo. If they seem ruthless or desperate, it is because they know full well how brutal and tragic life can be."
Melanie Reinhart writes, "With Chiron in Capricorn or the 10th house we often experience difficulty in setting and achieving goals, and finding our place in society. We may have to be patient in our longing for a vocation through which to contribute to the world, as it may only come later in life, preceded by many false starts. On the other hand, we perhaps find it difficult to enjoy the prestige which others perceive us as having, and are plagued with feelings of failure no matter how successful we appear. It is usually helpful to examine some of the deeper reasons behind this: we may be setting ourselves impossible standards, or hoping that each new mountain we climb will be the last."
Barbara Hand Clow writes, "When Chiron is in Capricorn, there is a karmic crisis about succeeding in one's quest and balance in life between success and nurturance. This is a complex position because the natives are personally invested in their own success while they are still relatively unevolved. They have great difficulty being open to any path outside of their own. This path is understood to be a path of the higher self as well as the normal desire for success and power; thus the individual invests this quest with spiritual significance. The result is a great difficulty hearing or seeing the way of other people, resulting in the loss of the mirror or sight offered by feedback from others. This position is the essence of the Capricorn goat on the top of the mountain."
Jan. 4, 1954 Tobacco Industry Research Council (TIRC)
RECENT REPORTS on experiments with mice have given wide publicity to a theory that cigarette smoking is in some way linked with lung cancer in human beings.
Although conducted by doctors of professional standing, these experiments are not regarded as conclusive in the field of cancer research. However, we do not believe results are inconclusive, should be disregarded or lightly dismissed. At the same time, we feel it is in the public interest to call attention to the fact that eminent doctors and research scientists have publicly questioned the claimed significance of these experiments.
Distinguished authorities point out:
That medical research of recent years indicates many possible causes of lung cancer.
That there is no agreement among the authorities regarding what the cause is.
That there is no proof that cigarette smoking is one of the causes.
That statistics purporting to link cigarette smoking with the disease could apply with equal force to any one of many other aspects of modern life. Indeed the validity of the statistics themselves is questioned by numerous scientists.
We accept an interest in people's health as a basic responsibility, paramount to every other consideration in our business
We believe the products we make are not injurious to health.
We always have and always will cooperate closely with those whose task it is to safeguard the public health.
For more than 300 years tobacco has given solace, relaxation, and enjoyment to mankind. At one time or another during those years critics have held it responsible for practically every disease of the human body. One by one these charges have been abandoned for lack of evidence.