A Rattled Country

A big topic in the national dialogue as I write this, a few days before the first Saturn-Pluto square, is the tragedy that occurred on November 5, 2009 at Fort Hood, the largest military base in the U.S.

I heard journalist Dar Jamal several weeks ago when he came to Ashland on a tour for his new book about conditions in the very overstretched U.S. military. The U.S. Sibly progressed Mars (which turned retrograde for the first time in the nation’s history in 2006) is still on the degree of its station, i.e., 18° Libra.

The accused man is a major in the Army and a psychiatrist specializing in treating soldiers returning from combat. The symbolism of progressed Mars in the nation’s horoscope manifesting as aggression from a military officer towards his own kind could not be more poignant.

We know the U.S. horoscope is under tremendous stress: transiting Saturn at 1° Libra is conjunct the Sibly Midheaven, and the square to transiting Pluto is nearly exact.

Fort Hood & Sibly

The earliest news reports mentioned the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder amongst soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom are being deployed again and again. At Fort Hood alone, there are 10 suicides a month. The conversation has quickly moved from a focus on the possible mental illness of the accused to a heated media debate on terrorism and Islam.

The chart for the moment of the terrible incident has the Chiron, Neptune, and Jupiter conjunction on the Ascendant at the location.

Fort Hood


The transiting Moon is at 22° Gemini square to Uranus and conjunct the Sibly Mars at 22° Gemini. The country is both rattled and sad: The closest aspect in the Sibly progressed chart at the incident is the progressed Moon at 14°48’ Virgo semi-sextile to natal Saturn at 14°48’ Libra. (This was exact November 9.)

As a signature of Chiron, Neptune, and Jupiter on the Ascendant at Fort Hood, perhaps a result of this terrible incident may be an extended national conversation about the need for increasing mental health care amongst the military.