On December 2, 1942, man first initiated a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, and controlled it. Beneath the West Stands of Stagg Field, Chicago, late in the afternoon of that day, a small group of scientists witnessed the advent of a new era in science. History was made in what had been a squash-rackets court. Precisely at 3:25 p.m., Chicago time, scientist George Weil withdrew the cadmium-plated control rod and by his action man unleashed and controlled the energy of the atom.
The birth chart of “nuclear age”
Fixed stars first.
There are several very prominent ones on the key points of the chart – Saturn, the hour ruler/chart almuten (if we take Ptolemy’s above the earth luminary criterion) almost to the minute exactly on Aldebaran, Mars (the ruler of the 7th/12th=enemies/wars) as the strongest angular planet in its heliacal rising phase on Cor Serpentis, Jupiter in the angle of the 4th on Procyon and the degree of the ascendant on Hamal.
I think the weightiest of these is Saturn/Aldebaran combination, precisely because it’s the exactest one (only two arc minutes of difference!) There’s a very clear, literal symbolism embodied in this constellation – Saturn as the ruler of the 9th sign (science/knowledge) which holds the MC (professional action/goal, it’s almuten is Mars!) and the universal significator of natural sciences in a double bodied, Mercury ruled, male sign of Gemini nicely depicts the moment a group of scientists successfully conducts an experiment after years of scientific effort/study. Aldebaran adds an epochal, ground breaking dimension to it, because it’s one of the four royal stars, marking a new, powerful ‘beginning’. As it’s nature is pronouncedly martial, the final purpose of this experiment is to make a revolutionary weapon, to achieve leadership/dominance.
Saturn is retrograde, as usual when opposed to the Sun. Another stunningly appropriate symbolism is embedded in this aspect. The opposition is formed on the axis of two human signs (the first half of Sagittarius belongs to human ones) and Saturn is the natural ruler of revolution/sedition, while the Sun is the symbolic representation of God/ordering principle/hierarchy in the universe. The similarity between the name “Saturn” (whose domiciles are opposite to those of the lights, sources of creation/life) and “Satan” (the opposite of God) is most certainly no coincidence; his name means “adversary” in Hebrew and is known as “corruptor”.
Hence this constellation can be read as man’s ‘challenge’ to God because it symbolizes the capability to use/unleash/control the horrendous energy potential embedded in the basic building blocks of creation. As the superior planets in their acronycal setting phase generally designate mature individuals, this can also be viewed as a symbolic “Declaration of Independence” from God when man deems himself mighty enough to assume power over life and death on Earth. It’s also no coincidence the opposition stretches between the 2nd/8th sign, both of which are in aversion (loss of light & sight = darkness/secrecy/threat) to the ascendant and symbolize death/destruction/loss/fear as well. Even the ruler of the ascendant, Venus is in the 8th, in aversion to its domicile – this “ship” lacks reliable helmsman who really knows what he’s doing/where he’s heading and that doesn’t bode well
To sum it up, all of this can be read as a hidden, ground breaking scientific activity/achievement whose aim is to create a weapon of mass destruction, but also to secure/conquer wealth/resources crucial for one’s survival. Additionally, the ultimate weapon itself is seen as the resource/reliable ally which is to secure the future existence in the world of dwindling natural resources and constant threats (the fixed, earth sign of Taurus is on the ascendant, symbolizing the need for physical stability/security). This is further accentuated by Mercury’s (Saturn/2nd house’s ruler) position in the 8th (the resources of others, ruled by Jupiter), as well as by the Sun/Saturn’s position in Jupiter’s bounds, Jupiter being the natural significator of wealth/substance but also of the wealthy/the elite. He’s also the ruler of the 11th in Pisces (the military). It’s the military that has the experiment under close watch and sets all the rules – bounds/terms are literally descriptive of circumstances/restrictions set for planets which happen to land in them.
It’s no wonder we find Jupiter in its kingdom/bounds on an aggressive fixed star Procyon (Mercury/Mars = science/military) in the angle of the 4th (hidden matters/natural resources/end of the matter), being applied to by Mars, the natural ruler of war/army/weapons, from Scorpio in the angle of the 7th on Cor Serpentis (Unukalhai = Saturn/Mars). Mars/Jupiter applying trine in the angles represents the most pervasive/notable overall influence in the chart, especially if we bear in mind that Mars is in the house naturally signifying war/contest in the sign of its joy and is oriental in its heliacal rising(!) all the while they’re both posited in Jupiter’s bounds, thus representing a very powerful, intense connection between the two.
Therefore, if one planet is being joined to another, if there were the quantity of one-half (or less) of the orb of each of them between them – that is, in front or behind – the signification of their conjunction with each other will manifest…and if in addition it were in one bound, they will be stronger in signification. (Abu Ma’shar, Great Introduction)
Those are actually the only two planets which behold the ascendant. Mars also ‘pushes power’ to Jupiter, and I read this symbolism as a future constant external threat of (nuclear) attack/annihilation fueling the strengthening of one’s own military capabilities – a vicious circle.
Yet Mars/Jupiter don’t really like each other because they belong to different sects and are also natural enemies; despite the benevolent, ‘perfect love’ denoting trine, we should expect/see some rather negative manifestations like exaggeration/over-expansion, brinkmanship, etc as Jupiter is accidentally corrupted by being retrograde/out of domain and Mars is contrary to sect/domain and both are under the influence of very negative/aggressive fixed stars of (partly) martial nature. Jupiter actually returns Mars’s light which may be considered pretty dangerous as the natural ruler of wisdom/benevolence/moderation/law can’t handle Mars’s belligerent intentions and lets him do things his own way – the god of war being more than capable of achieving this, by provoking lethal hostilities in the 7th. He gets even more accentuated if we take a closer look at the POF (analogous to the ascendant) in Aquarius – Mars is culminating in the 10th from it while the lot itself is afflicted by being in the same degree with the south node!
The symbolism of an arising, very powerful military-industrial complex imposes itself quite naturally, as well as an enormous potential for future expansion in nuclear WMD production/power because both planets are in fertile, water signs and in the angles which denote everything stable/lasting/effective. I’d also add that this may reflect the attitude “might makes right” which led to “cold war” between the two superpowers right after the WW II on the basis of mutually exclusive ideologies.
According to Ibn Arabi, the angel of Taurus holds the keys of creation of heaven and hell – well, the chart for the birth of nuclear age certainly confirms the potential for the latter to manifest on earth, especially if we bear in mind what’s happening in the Middle East nowadays! In that sense, violent Hamal (Mars/Saturn) on the ascendant adds considerably to an already ominous, threatening symbolism of the chart.
The Moon, as the general significator of the mankind is in the 6th cardinal, male, human sign of Libra in its first degree – again, a clear symbolism of a new (dangerous) beginning for human kind. Again, according to Ibn Arabi, its [Libra’s] angel holds the keys of the creation of states (ephemeral) and of change.
The Moon as the ruler of the IC and its third triplicity ruler (the end of the matter) is cadent/retreating both by whole sign and mundane houses division, and is applying to Saturn by trine with reception from the bad 6th house (affliction/harm/enemies). Since the receiver of the Moon’s disposition is retrograde, he’ll return the light which is in itself always negative/harmful but there’s also hope because Saturn receives the Moon in his exaltation/triplicity/term thus the return is with amelioration/fitness – the matter is made fit after destruction.
Now as the greter malefic Saturn is the natural ruler of death and is in the 2nd which accidentally signifies death by virtue of its opposition to the 8th and as his position on a royal martial fixed star of the first magnitude designates an extraordinary amount of destruction (by fire!), I think this constellation symbolizes that nuclear exchanges of a (relatively) limited scope will eventually take place but the mankind will not be utterly destroyed; there will be several such”events” i.e repetitions because Saturn is in a double-bodied sign of Gemini . A similar conclusion can be reached if we take the testimony of the Moon’s dispositor (Venus in the 8th) into account – she’s still combust in a fire sign(!) but has already left the Sun behind and is in her own terms (somewhat protected by being in her own chariot?) Calamities come, but they will not be totally disastrous. As the Moon’s in her last quarter, I think this aptly marks the beginning of mankind’s ‘last phase’ of ‘life as usual’ existence/attitude, before the sudden/unexpected (application to a retrograde planet) disaster strikes and enforces radical re-thinking and re-evaluation of the road taken thus far.
But there’s one more important reason to mention Mars again. It’s the chart of the SAN (the preceding syzygy)
Mars is the ruler of the ascendant and the ruler of the chart luminary, the term ruler of the full Moon (on Alcyone, a violent/unfortunate fixed star of Moon/Mars [!] nature) and the ruler of the preceding angle but there’s something which makes him even more notable than the rest of the planets – it’s his heliacal rising in an advancing sector of the chart on top of that. He’s exactly fifteen degrees away from the Sun and has just exited its beams. An exceedingly powerful, new-born martial influence is on the stage and it makes itself heard beyond everything else; a new era of warfare potential has arrived. Additionally, an important but unfortunate/violent fixed star is (again) underpinning/fueling its influence – Zuben Elgenubi (Saturn/Mars). As he rules the 1st and the 8th where he’s also located, its significations clearly connect the themes of life and death – particularly the death/destruction which is self-inflicted, caused by one’s own rashness/aggressiveness/assertiveness; this is further reinforced by its twelfth-part in the 1st – yet another factor indicating that the results of this experiment would eventually lead to a great conflict fought with nuclear weapons. There’s one more factor mimicking the constellations from the “experiment” chart – upon changing sign, the Moon will conjoin Saturn. Now it’s true it will encounter Venus’s opposition aspect first, but I deem it less important because
a) she’s combust (returns the light)
b) conjunction is more forceful than any aspect so Saturn is definitely the more prevailing influence
Additionally, both lights squaring the nodes to the degree (“bendings”) make the symbolism of this chart even more threatening
For the days that are drawing near, when the Moon is traversing the ascending [node] at that time, and its squares and diameters, especially when it is traversing its very degrees, one must guard against beginning anything, or sailing, or marrying, or having an encounter, or building, or planting, or assembling, or in general doing anything; for that which comes about will be judged neither stable nor easily brought to completion, but rather inconstant and incomplete and subject to punishment or painful and not enduring.
Book V, chapter 2 – Vettius Valens, The Anthology
To be continued…