Angry faces reddened by torchlight, mouths agape spewing hatred. The sight of those men — and they were almost all men — scarring the beautiful campus of the University of Virginia was stomach churning, horrible, familiar — even on the small screen of this laptop,
You’ve seen that same anger in other groups of men, waving banners, chanting. Maybe the images were in fuzzy black and white, maybe in sharp focus on your TV screen, maybe the language was one you couldn’t understand. The intention and the energy are the same.
We know these people: they are haters. “Purification” is their motivation. Violence is their solution.
But this is in the United States now.
And Americans are responding to this horrible irruption magnificently — with satire and solidarity, with town hall meetings, legal action, vigils, media madness and demonstrations … Americans are active, galvanised, aware, shocked — electrified.
The words of their Uranian President shocked them again — and again — this week. Donald Trump is like a one-man cattle prod. He let the far right out of the box — but he also woke up everyone else.
Over the past few years, since Uranus went into Aries and Pluto went into Capricorn, the whole human population of this planet seems to have had its consciousness raised about inequality and the flaws in our current political and economic systems. In the States this manifested as #blacklivesmatter and Occupy. Remember that the last great wave of civil rights in the US was in the 1960s under the Uranus-Pluto conjunction. We’ve only just had the opening square of that conjunction, which is a flowering of what was seeded then (both good and bad).
The other expression of discontent was the election of Donald Trump — a man who appears to be the physical personification of almost everything that’s wrong with America wrapped up in one neat package. America’s shadow has become flesh, as Pluto, the Dark Lord of the Underworld, opposed the US Sun for the first time in history. This manifestation makes it much easier to identify and confront. That is the purpose of the Donald. See him and see inequality, racism, amorality, hypocrisy, kleptocracy, greed, and blindness. (Could he not see or hear that the chanters in Charlottesville were talking about his own grandchildren? “Jews will not replace us.”)
He is a priest of Mammon, with his golden temple and his halo of golden hair — and Mammon is an American god.
But why Charlottesville?
Charlottesville has one of the loveliest universities in the world at its centre — the University of Virginia founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, author of the Declaration of Independence, a framer of the Constitution, inventor, polymath, Renaissance Man — also Southern aristocrat, and owner of hundreds of slaves.
Jefferson was the best American — smart, imaginative, creative, innovative, inspiring, hard-working, unconventional, generous, idealistic. Jefferson was the worst American — racist, hypocritical, unkind, elitist, greedy. He may not have been personally violent, but he allowed his overseers to be violent for him.
The magnificent house he designed, Monticello, stands on a bluff outside Charlottesville, overlooking the university and town — a reminder of the power, the idealism and the hypocrisy at the heart of the American project. It’s Jefferson’s mind rendered in brick and stone and plaster.
Monticello’s gracious portico is in the neo-Classical style that he deemed appropriate for the new republic. Its reception rooms are grand, as befitted a sophisticated, cultured host. Its library was large. Stuffed down the side of Jefferson’s sleeping quarters is the windowless room where slept Sally Hemings, concubine and mother of Jefferson’s children — it is said, six of them. Down the hill a little, are the slave quarters, humble houses of rough-hewn wood.
Jefferson wrote these words. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”
The powerful preamble to the Declaration of Independence, which still stirs the heart 250 years after it was written, was conceived by Jefferson on that bluff above Charlottesville. From Monticello’s high perch, Jefferson spent the rest of his life working to make America great — by creating a university, making the Louisiana Purchase, strengthening the US dollar, making alliances, writing laws that worked and showing the rest of the world some American can-do.
But of he never abolished slavery (and freed exactly two of his own slaves) — even as it was being abolished in Europe and the rest of the Americas.
The alt-right may have done everyone a favour by coming out and marching in Charlottesville. For they have forced the people to look in the mirror. On that weekend, one of the most precise aspects to the US chart was Neptune’s perfect trine to the US Sun. Neptune is a mirror, and on that night, the Moon crossed Neptune, activating the sea god. This trine is a useful aspect, allowing vision without obscurity.
Those Nazis made ideas that have been circulating for decades manifest. They personified Pluto — armed and dangerous — purification and violence.
There are two Americas regarding each other now — and they have opposite views of what it means to be American, what American values actually are, what words like freedom, individualism and patriotism mean.
In the US natal chart, the Moon in Aquarius represents “the people”. And in Charlottesville there was the best of America that day — peacefully standing up for justice and equality. There was Heather Heyer. This is the Aquarian Moon at its best — a sense of common humanity, of equality.
The Moon is at 27°, opposite the coming eclipse and opposite Trump’s Ascendant and Mars. The symbolism is clear: already the people watch the President eclipse himself. However, an eclipse is a dangerous time, and people are right to be alert. The President will not simply shrug and walk away. Uranus sends a perfect trine to this eclipse. He is here to call up the wolf that swallows the Sun, like the high priest that he is. He has already performed his Uranian work as an awakener, waking up his country to the things that need to change, but will he leave it there? Lure the wolf out and you maybe you can tame it — or maybe not. It’s clear even if Trump goes, there’s much more to worry about.
At Charlottesville, we saw the best America — and what will need to be exorcised.