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Venus, the Sibly USA chart, and the “Debt Crisis”

Currently Venus has entered a phase where she is invisible to the naked eye for 60 days or more, as she closes in on superior (also called exterior) conjunction with the Sun. Any planet close to the Sun is outshined by the solar glare. When the inner planets travel on the other side of the Sun from Earth, this invisible phase lasts much longer than when they pass between the Sun and the Earth. Venus is only invisible for a couple of weeks when she passes in front of the Sun while retrograde. It takes much longer when Venus is on the far side of the Sun because she has to catch and pass him in zodiacal longitude.

Currently, Venus is within ten degrees of an applying conjunction with the Sun, and therefore is invisible. This is the same basic phase she was in on July 4, 1776. Venus stands out in the Sibly chart for the U.S. as a very important planet because it is closest to the cardinal axis, conjunct the ruler of the Ascendant (i.e., Jupiter), and also in “phasis” (heliacal set). In the Sibly chart, Venus is exactly at ten degrees of separation from the Sun, and therefore near what is called “heliacal setting,” where she disappears from the morning sky and is swallowed by the Sun’s rays. Right now, we have what is called a “phase return” or a phase-angle return. Venus is near the same relationship with the Sun as when this country officially began.
Simultaneously, the U.S. is going through a Saturn return, and both of these returns are happening in financial houses — the 8th and 11th “whole signs” from the Sagittarius Ascendant. (The exact phase-angle return of a ten-degree applying conjunction between Venus and the Sun happened in early July, when both planets were in Cancer, the 8th sign from the Ascendant). So, astrologically, it is really no surprise to this astrologer that we are still going through some major financial adjustments even though it has been nearly three years since the first Saturn-Uranus opposition popped the financial bubble (in November 2008, quite close to the Sibly natal Neptune).

Our country has a long complicated history of financial crises. What’s that all about, anyway? To this astrologer, the history of banking in the U.S. reads something like a Tom & Jerry cartoon. Round and round she goes, and where she stops nobody knows. First, there was a government-run central bank. Then Andrew Jackson did away with that and instituted the “free banking era” of state banks. After the Civil War we went to a system of “national banks.” The Panic of 1907 induced the creation of the Federal Reserve, the central regulatory agency on banking. And now we have a situation where the U.S. government bought up the bad debt of the investment bankers to stave off another Great Depression. Does this mean we are right back where we started — back to having a government-run central bank? If unregulated “too big to fail” institutions are the backbone of our banking system, how are they not de facto central banks, in practice if not in name? These banks, after all, are backed by the government itself, while being poorly regulated by the government at the same time.

Unregulated de facto central banks would still be running our financial system if it weren’t for The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act passed by the Democratic Congress and signed into law by President Obama a year ago. This was the most sweeping change to financial regulation in the United States since the Great Depression. (1) However, the President tells us there are armies of lobbyists spending huge amounts of money to water down these important regulations, which were intended to put an end to “too big to fail.” (2)

In a country purported to be the greatest in the world, what would speak to this round robin, cartoonish style of managing our money? In the words of Dana Carvey’s old Saturday Night Live character, the Church Lady: Could it be….SATAN??? Well, in fact, the Sibly chart does speak to just such an arrangement! The Sibly chart has an opposition between two retrograde planets — the Lord of the Underworld (Pluto) and Mercury, from the 2nd to the 8th house, forming a “wedge of delusion” (by trine and sextile) to an angular Neptune in the 10th house. And it was the Saturn-Uranus oppositions crossing that Neptune (in 2008-9) that started this whole mess.

Now that transit Pluto opposes the exalted Sibly natal Jupiter in the 8th whole sign, we have an 8th-house crisis of huge national debt on our hands. The question of what to do about this debt remains unanswerable by lawmakers who refuse to compromise. Congress is symbolized by the 11th house, where we are having a transit Saturn return.

The new radical wing of the conservative party, the so-called “tea-party” Republicans, are adamantly refusing to raise the debt ceiling. Conservatives as a whole do not seem to be able to support any measures other than massive spending cuts to address the debt issue. Any kind of revenue increase seems to be highly objectionable to them. Are they correct? Do we simply have a spending problem? What can astrology say about this?

The succedent houses (the 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 11th) follow the angular houses and are said to be the financial houses of any horoscope. The 2nd is your money. The 5th is where you spend your money (and take other risks). When you spend your money it goes to other people, and so the 8th house is other people’s money (and collective resources such as taxes and debts). And finally, when other people spend their money, it comes back to you, so the 11th house is a place of acquisition.

Does the U.S. have a spending problem? Yes, transiting Uranus in the 5th house is here to shake up the old ways of spending to help us seek newer, more progressive ways. However, is this the sum total of the problem? Hardly. Every financial house in the Sibly chart is currently being activated by transit.

Does the phase-angle return of Venus in the 8th house suggest we need new sources of tax revenue? Since this only happens in the natal sign every eight years, and the Bush tax cuts were in 2001 and 2003, astrology’s answer would seem to be “you betcha”! Could a reform of our tax laws to eliminate loopholes also be in order? Absolutely. It’s been way more than eight years since the Tax Reform Act of 1986. That’s almost a Saturn cycle. It should be noted that even Republican presidents (like Reagan) raised revenue through raising taxes when needed. (3)

When we consider that we are moving toward the nation’s first Pluto return (2022), we might ask whether The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was an appropriate response to the “too big to fail” dilemma? (Banking is a 2nd-house matter and banking regulations fall under Capricorn.) This is possibly the single most important issue we have recently faced as a nation. The current Congress cannot respond constructively to the debt ceiling problem, while the previous Congress helped protect the economy in the long term. If the government is responsible for bailing out the banks, it should have the responsibility and the means to regulate them. It is only by punishing those who create situations whereby they can greedily prey on consumers that we can avoid yet another financial crisis. If there are no consequences other than being bailed out, why would it be any different next time?

As I mentioned above, Venus stands out in the Sibly chart because it is the planet closest to the cardinal axis; it is conjunct the ruler of the Ascendant; and is in “phasis” (helical set). When I see a planet that stands out in a chart like this, I like to use a technique I adapted from the late, great Robert Blaschke. I draw a chart for the pre-natal conjunction of that planet with the Sun, cast at the birthplace. For the inner planets, Mercury and Venus, who have two kinds of conjunctions with the Sun, I use the pre-natal retrograde conjunction.

In the case of the U.S. Sibly chart, the pre-natal retrograde conjunction of Venus with the Sun was at 1°01’ Scorpio. The sabian symbol for 2° Scorpio reads: “What has been a handsome and valuable bottle lies broken and forgotten, a trail of living perfume leads from it.” Marc Edmund Jones says the negative manifestation of this degree is “witless dissipation of every resource of self and society.” As an astrologer, this symbol confirms what our history tells me: that unless we continue to make and defend the tough choices now needed to reform our financial system and tax laws, we will very likely see the beautiful perfume bottle of our economy once again broken and spilled.


(1) The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

(2) How Wall Street Reform is working for you


Recommended Reading:

Robert Blaschke (2006), Vol V Holographic Transits, Port Townsend, WA, Earthwalk School of Astrology.

Gary P. Caton is an eclectic astrologer who embraces an organic process-oriented approach of spiritual exploration via the Living Sky. Gary has studied spirituality for over 22 years. After exploring shamanism and the tarot, in 1993 his life was changed by a magnificent dream, in which he was shown planetary alignments and became an astrologer. Gary holds a degree in counseling and has developed a unique multi-disciplinary path to astrology over 18 years. Visit Gary at his website:


  1. Gary,

    Thank you for this interesting article and especially for your thoughts on the Sabian Symbol as interpreted by M. E. Jones.

    Next year the conjunction (occultation) of Venus and the Sun will fall very near the descendant of the U.S. Sibly chart and only 1 degree from an exact trine to the Sibly Saturn. Do you think this could mean that we get our financial crisis under control finally? Do you think it could involve money provided by other countries/partners due to its proximity to the descendant/7th house cusp or could it be just taxing the workerbees of the 6th house?

    The Moon is conjunct Pluto in that chart (6/5/12) and tightly squares Uranus so it looks like the citizens will be feeling the shock and awe as well as the pain.

  2. Hi Barbara,

    Thanks for reading and responding. It would be very interesting to do a long term study of the 5 different Venus cycles wrt the Sibly chart. The interior conjunctions of Venus only happen in 5 signs at any given time. These conjunctions happen in the same sign every 8 years, moving backward by 2.5 degrees each time. After 12 conjunctions spanning a period of 96 yrs any particular arm of the 5 pointed Venus star begins making conjunctions in the preceding sign. The whole thing repeats after 144 conjunctions over 1152 yrs.

    Currently the interior conjunctions of Venus happen only in the signs of Aries, Scorpio, Gemini, Capricorn and Leo. These are (whole sign) houses 5, 12, 7, 2 & 9. As you point out, 7 is the only angular house where this is happening and these interior conjunctions began happening in Gemini in 1964. These would seem to point out periods where the need to form alliances with other countries as well as perhaps confront open enemies would be heightened.

    These periods were:
    6-19-64 —> 1-26-66
    6-17-72 —> 1-23-74
    6-15-80 —> 1-21-82
    6-12-88 —> 1-18-90
    6-10-96 —> 1-16-98
    6-08-04 —> 1-13-06

    Of course the first period contained the Gulf of Tonkin incident which escalated the Viet Nam conflict. And the second period contained the departure of US troops from Viet Nam.
    The third period contained the end of the Iran hostage crisis. The fourth period saw the fall of the Berlin Wall and the beginning of the end of the Cold War. And of course the final period saw the US involved in two wars.

  3. An excellent analysis of our national condition, thank you.

  4. Excellent analysis.

    Curiously the 2010 Venus Inferior Conjunction with the Sun was I believe around 5 degrees Scorpio (opposed my own Sun btw)- close to the 1775 degree.
    Also, the progressed USA Saturn is currently near 3 degrees Scorpio.

    ‘We the people’ are regenerating values relating to how we use ‘other people’s money’. I hope the Uranus/5H transit means we will be doing it through ‘creative’ revolution.

  5. Thanks everybody

    Carl, Great point about SP Saturn. Also SP Mars is stationary over natal Saturn

    And I’m with you on the creative revolution. May it be so!

    Yes the fact that the previous interior conjunction of Venus was in the same sign as pre-natal is precisely why the phase return also happened in the same sign as natal, and also why the Venus return coincided with the Solar return (which is just another way of saying the same thing). We are in the midst of a time where Venus issues are heightened

    In aristotelian terms, Venus is very moist -she brings things and people together. I think President Obama’s speech last night had a very Venusian quality, in that it sought unity.

    -America, after all, has always been a grand experiment in compromise. As a democracy made up of every race and religion, where every belief and point of view is welcomed, we have put to the test time and again the proposition at the heart of our founding:

    that out of many, we are one.

    We’ve engaged in fierce and passionate debates about the issues of the day, but from slavery to war, from civil liberties to questions of economic justice, we have tried to live by the words that Jefferson once wrote: “Every man cannot have his way in all things — without this mutual disposition, we are disjointed individuals, but not a society.”

  6. Very good analysis of Venus cycles and the USA Sibly chart.

    I wish to point out some other aspects that are of greater concern to me as an experienced astrologer.

    It is this week, the date of your article and President Obama’s speech that Mars has just gone Out of Bounds of the Tropic of Cancer on July 25th and will not return until August 21st. This is indicative of heated arguments and extreme digging in of positions. On top of that, Mars is forming a square to Uranus and an opposition to Pluto from August 2-15th. I think this Congress will be taking this fight between the parties to the mat! The DOW dropped 198pts today. There is a stalemate forming and the markets are already reacting.

    This transiting Mars will be crossing Obama’s Venus at 1 Cancer near August 4th-5th. Will he stand up against the Republicans and veto a distasteful bill and risk looking like the bad guy?

    Having Pluto sq Uranus against the USA Venus is difficult but to add kerosene to the fire with OOB Mars will bring this to a boiling point. I think there could be global consequences to this battle between beliefs systems and parties that are not anticipated.

    Not to mention the civil wars going on in Libya and Syria! Global panic of some type with Mars sq Uranus in cardinals. The solar eclipse last January 2011 started the Arab Spring, the battles rage on and some shocking events are about to unfold. Will Gaddafi finally give up? What about Assad? Gaddafi has Jupiter at 29 Gemini and Assad has Jupiter at 28 Gemini. Does this OOB Mars put them under greater stress or do we have to wait for the transiting lunar nodes hit 18 Sag with a Moon Wobble in October when it squares Assad’s Sun at 18 Virgo and opposes Gaddafi’s Sun at 16 Gemini?

    What a great period of time to watch world events play out with these powerful aspects. We do live in interesting times. We just don’t want them hitting us square in the kisser.

  7. Thanks everyone for this interesting article and the following comments.

    I also have the jitters about the debt ceiling crisis in the U.S.

    As a self-taught astrology buff, I know that we are in for a rough ride even as we speak with the Uranus, Saturn, Pluto in Capricorn squares and oppositions…especially the U.S. chart’s Pluto return in Capricorn in the 2nd or 8th house depending on which chart you use (Gemini or Sagittarius rising).

    I’m a Canadian and this does not mean that as Canadians we can sit idly by as Nero did. Most Canadians are aware that both our economies are tied together. Therefore, whatever happens south of the border will most likely affect us. Our only saving grace is the banking system here which is much more regulated than yours.

    I believe that we are going to have to prepare ourselves for some rough times ahead. The year 2012, notwithstanding, the transformations that are right around the corner will be difficult for everyone rich or poor. We’re all going to advance spiritually. This will have to be achieved at a rapid rate since, as we all know, changes are coming fast and furious at this point. There is no turning back. The Age of Aquarius is upon us.

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