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  < BACK TO BOOK REVIEWS April 2007  

Soul-Sick Nation
by Jessica Murray

Soul-Sick Nation: An Astrologer's View of America by Jessica Murray, AuthorHouse, 1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403, USA, 2006. Paper - 222 pp.- $13.95 (ISBN 1-4259-7125-3). Available from: www.authorhouse.com

It's on: The first of this year's three squares of Jupiter to Uranus occurred on January 22, 2007. This has activated what I have dubbed the "Coming Storm" of the opening Uranus-Pluto squares (2012-15) that, I believe, promises to re-awaken the counterculture movements of the 1960s. Tens of thousands of people marched in Washington, D.C. on January 27 and on March 17 and 18 to protest the decision of the United States government to "stay the course" in Iraq. At the January rally, a 12-year-old stood up to say that our leaders either lied to us or hid the truth, and because of our actions, the rest of the world sees us as a bully and a liar.

Evidently, even a 12-year-old can identify the "cult of immaturity" that, Jessica Murray points out, pervades U.S. culture and policies. In her new book, Soul-Sick Nation, this humanist astrologer takes a long hard look at the chart of the U.S. She examines the chart of this entity piece by piece, in a way that even a relative beginner can grasp and understand. Soul-Sick Nation dives particularly deep into two often-misunderstood planets - Saturn and Pluto - and their corresponding psychological functions. Murray's conclusions, after much reference to contemporary and historical facts, are: "The USA lacks a maturity of mind and soul" and "America's Pluto casts a long shadow." This shadow manifests itself in imperialism, corruption, materialistic obsession, and a "throwaway culture."

In Soul Sick-Nation, Jessica Murray puts all the cards on the table. To whatever extent you have bought into consensus reality, you are quite simply playing a losing hand. This may not be such surprising news for many, but if you think that Denial is just a river in Egypt, this book will rock your world. Whatever your level of socio-political awareness, you can certainly learn something here. Murray lays out her case with humorous facts - each one worth examination and many worth follow-up. She illustrates the extreme irony of the current socio-political morass with quality information, the kind you can't find on the six o'clock news. Page after page, the irrefutable, incontrovertible evidence piles up: Today's dominant worldview is quite sick; in fact, it is dying. The U.S., as the current global political and cultural hegemony, is the poster child for this sickness. The author's prescription is that each individual take responsibility for resisting this "cult of immaturity."

In the chapter "A New Era," Murray writes: "Gradually, this sense of responsibility starts to feel inner-directed rather than outer-mandated. We begin to conduct our lives as if everything we do matters." She further states: "The goal of the seeker should be to tune into this role, commit to it, and pump energy into people, ideas and activities that match it."

This is an important work, in part because formulating a response to Murray's assertions could be vital to personal awareness in these complex times. There may be nothing more important to your personal growth than a challenging viewpoint such as this. As Jupiter continues to interact with the upcoming Uranus - Pluto squares (squaring Uranus and conjoining Pluto) throughout 2007, we will continue to be challenged on issues requiring us to take a moral stand. Saturn's current opposition to Neptune is giving us pause to ask, "Is there a higher path?" Is the suspension of habeas corpus and indefinite detainment of people the "higher" or the "lower" path? Is an indefinite state of war a real answer, or just an Orwellian justification of a primitive worldview? Whatever your political leanings, you can certainly find a bone of contention here!

I personally recommend Soul-Sick Nation as possibly one of the most important books you may ever read. Indeed, if I suddenly had a million dollars to donate to charity, I would hand out copies of this book and pay people to read it. By gaining a grasp on just how widespread and deeply rooted the present sickness has become, readers will then be able to better define their personal role in the collective. As we move into the Saturn-Uranus oppositions next year, the kind of awareness gained by reading books like Soul-Sick Nation is going to be increasingly valuable, as we will no doubt be consistently challenged to take a stand on the issues of our time. My sense is that we are at the threshold of some very exciting times, and works such as Soul-Sick Nation can serve as the impetus to propel us from the sidelines into the fray.

— reviewed by Gary P. Caton


© 2007 The Mountain Astrologer. All rights reserved.