Saturday, December 10, 2016

Saturn and the fear of death in 1953

The year 1953 marked a phase-shift in the Cold War when the Soviet Union (USSR) caught up with the USA in terms of nuclear destructive power. The threat of sudden destruction and death by nuclear exchange became a more real prospect for the American public than before, reflected also in the geopolitical developments in 1953, when communism became a more established threat around the world. As a result, the Cold War, and especially the nuclear arms race, began to weigh more heavily on the US government, military and public. This development coincided with the onset of the Saturn major period in the SAMVA USA chart from April 1953. While the major period lasted to April 1972, it was the additional influence of the initial three-year Saturn sub-period that created more intensity. This historical geo-political development and its correlation with this astrological period is remarkable as Saturn is 8th lord in the chart, ruling over death and death-like situations. Similar unique shifts in the national emphasis and experience have been observed at the outset of other periods, like in 1972 or 2016.

Historical background
Following the conclusion of World War II, the US military enjoyed military superiority on all fronts, especially after the development and use of "fission" nuclear bombs in Japan in August 1945. The mass destruction and deaths brought the war in the Pacific to a decisive end. As WW II ended, however, the Cold War began. On one side were the market-oriented democracies of the West and on the other were the totalitarian communist states of the East. Both sides were determined to spread their ideologies and preserve their respective areas of influence. The mutually hostile stance quickly led to an accelerating arms race. In November 1952, the US tested a "fusion" based hydrogen bomb that was fifty times more powerful than the already deadly Hiroshima bomb of 1945. Under Stalin's command, the Soviet Union also put enormous resources into catching up with the Americans in the sphere of nuclear capabilities. In 1949, the Soviet's tested their first fission nuclear device but still lacked the means to deliver it. Nevertheless, some sense of danger began to be felt in the USA. In 1951, the "Duck and Cover" film was released to educate the American public about how to survive a surprise nuclear attack.[1] 

In 1953, after several geopolitical events had led to an entrenchment of communism in the world, the military balance of power suddenly shifted in the favour of the USSR, with its successful test of a fusion bomb on August 12. What is more, the Soviet's claimed to have a delivery capability for the powerful bomb, putting the American's to shame, as they had yet to achieve that. As a result, newsreels of the powerful explosion served to increase the sense of 'fear' in the American public.[2] In effect, a situation later termed "Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) was developing.[3] The newly elected President Eisenhower set about to manage the situation.[4] Given the destructive power of hydrogen bombs, involving both a deadly initial blast followed by lethal radioactive contamination, the emphasis shifted to countering the Soviet advances and the building of nuclear-fallout shelters. In 1956, the new Soviet leader, Nikita Khruschev went so far to threaten to "bury the West". The fear of annihialation likely peaked in the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. In 1963, the USA and USSR agreed to ban nuclear testing in the atmosphere.[5] In 1964, Stanley Kubrick's comic movie "Dr. Strangelove; How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb" also began to defuse the concerns.[6] Khruschev was replaced by Leonid Breshnev as USSR Premier in 1964, and an era of "peaceful competition" with capitalism began. The Space race was increasingly led by US successes. The Cold War continued in 1964 in terms of the war in Vietnam which was seen as defusing the nuclear threat by focusing on non-nuclear means of destruction. The Saturn period ended in 1972 when the Mercury major period began. Shortly afterwards, the Vietnam War was brought to an end and more peaceful cooperation, termed Detente, began.

Key events of 1953
  • March 6, 1953: Joseph Stalin dies, paving the way for a new leadership of the Soviet Union
  • April 1953: The Vietminh invade Laos, underpinning the Domino theory [7]
  • April 16, 1953: President Eisenhower delivers his “chance for peace” speech, identifying the Soviet Union as the sole threat to the USA
  • June 19, 1953: The Rosenberg's are executed in the USA for passing on atomic secrets to the Soviet Union.[8]
  • July 27, 1953: The Korean War ends with Armistice Agreement leaving a divided Korea and a Communist stronghold in the North
  • August 12, 1953: The Soviet Union test their first hydrogen (thermonuclear) bomb
  • September 7, 1953: Nikita Khruschev becomes new Premier of the USSR. His chief opponent Lavrentiy Beria is executed.
  • December 6, 1953: President Eisenhower delivers the “Atoms for Peace” before the United Nations to warn the world and the American people of a protracted Cold War with the Soviet Union. “The Eisenhower administration wanted to address simultaneously the increased levels of fear domestically while responding strategically to the Soviets' scientific and military advancements.”[3]
Astrology of the Saturn major period
This shift is remarkable for the fact that the second Saturn major period had begun in the SAMVA USA chart on April 19, 1953. In the 20° Cancer rising chart, as Saturn rules Aquarius, which falls in the 8th house of the chart, it becomes the 8th lord, ruling over death and death-like experiences. The outcome is determined by Saturn's placement, strength and influences in the chart. Saturn is well placed and reasonably strong at 26° 46' Scorpio and 5th house. The 5th house rules e.g. creativity and young people. In the chart, Saturn aspects the 2nd lord Sun at 23° 44' Capricorn and in the most effective point of the 7th house. This aspect creates concerns for the leader of the country (ruled by the Sun) but also communal harmony (2nd house), and is felt in the foreign policy arena (ruled by the 7th house). The energy of Saturn as 8th lord is also affected by Ketu at 18° Libra and in the most effective point of the 4th house, as it aspects the 8th house. This adds to the sense of fear in Saturn's functional indications. 

Transits in the SAMVA USA chart 
Transit influences on August 12, 1953 are revealing. The first transit to examine is that of the major and sub-period lord, Saturn. In the SAMVA USA chart, both transit 8th lord Saturn at 29° Virgo and 3rd house and natal Saturn at 27° Scorpio and 5th house were under an afflicting aspect from 6th lord Jupiter at 27° Taurus and 11th house. The actions of adversaries to explode a powerful bomb was threatening Americans. Additionally, the nodal axis of transit Rahu and Ketu, was afflicting natal 3rd lord Mercury at 12° Capricorn and 7th house, suggesting uncertainty concerning their freedom of movement abroad. Moreover, transit Ketu at 10° Cancer and 1st house was aspecting natal 10th lord Mars at 10° Scorpio and 5th house. The military felt it had been deprived of its advantage. Finally, transit Venus, as 4th lord of home, was at 15° Gemini and 12th house, under the aspect of natal Ketu at 18° Libra and the most effective point of the 4th house, suggesting a shock to the American's due to a loss of their sense of safety at home. 

References
[1] Duck and Cover film of 1951
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKqXu-5jw60
[2] The Soviets explode first H-Bomb on August 12, 1953
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0dUIq8gHgc
[3] Wikipedia: Mutually Assured Destruction
[4] Parry-Giles, Shawn J. (2006). Dwight D. Eisenhower's Atoms for Peace (December 8, 1953). University of Maryland.
[5] Walbert, David. Living with the bomb
[7] Wikipedia: Domino Theory

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