Anne Asks:

“Could you talk a little about the U.S.A. chart. I’ve noticed that astrologers love to debate whether America is Scorpio or Gemini rising. Would this debate be indicated by Pluto opposite Mercury on 7/4/1776? Also, since America is so wide (3000 miles), shouldn’t it have a relocated chart for different states?”

Kevin Answers:

Anne,

Mundane Astrology is the branch of astrology that interprets world events, global cycles, political changes, and generally takes a far more impersonal and historical perspective. Mundane Astrology works with eclipses, with Ingress Charts for a given location (usually the Cardinal Ingress charts, and particularly the Aries Ingress—the chart for when the Sun reaches 0°00’ Aries each year), and with the birth charts of political figures and leaders. But one of the most important and also the most confusing tools that Mundane Astrology uses are birth charts of countries.

Birth charts for countries are very difficult to work with because there is much debate as to when a country is actually “born.” It’s rare enough that a single date can be pointed to with confidence, let alone an exact time. The debate about the U.S. Chart has to do with the fact that no one can agree to the time that the United States of America officially became its own entity, separate from the jurisdiction of England. Just about everyone agrees that the date was July 4, 1776; however, the agreement stops there. And those who agree on the date, have more difficulty agreeing on what event to time: certainly the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but whose signature? The first? (John Hancock). The last? (it took several months to obtain all of the required signatures; not all delegates were present). And even if some consensus could be reached on this point, the fact is that history did not bother to make an accurate and definitive record of what time the Declaration was signed.

Because of this, the two most popular charts for the U.S.A. are more or less rectified. As I don’t practice much Mundane Astrology, I don’t know which chart currently has the most favor. Zip Dobbins has one that she uses (I think it’s the Gemini rising chart, but I’m not certain); I’ve also seen a Sagittarius rising chart and a Scorpio rising chart.

And of course, there are those who argue that the U.S.A. didn’t officially come into being until the Constitution was written (or ratified) several years later, and they use that chart.

The location for the natal chart of a country is the location where the event or act that created the country occurred; in the case of the U.S., it was Philadelphia, PA. Relocation of a chart is only necessary when a person (or country) changes its geographical location from the location of birth. Therefore, despite the size of the U.S., the chart does not need to be relocated…at least not based on size, anyway.

Theoretically, the “location” of a country’s chart is taken to be the Capital of the country; wherever the leaders and government reside. The U.S. Capital has moved several times in its history, until it reached its current home in Washington, D.C. Even so, since all of the various interim governments were at approximately the same longitude, the relocated charts would not be terribly different from the natal chart.

Each individual state, however, does have its own birth chart, and that is the chart that would be used when looking at matters of local (state-level) politics and events.

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