The Martialization of America: Red Planet Blues by Mark Lerner


DATELINE NOVEMBER 14, 2001 10:13PM PST Eugene, Oregon... I write Part XII of our series as a New Moon at 23 Scorpio is about to occur. Many astrology students consider Pluto as the ruler of this zodiacal sign, but that is making a major mistake. Pluto shares a kinship with Scorpio, has similar qualities, but doesn't rule in the traditional sense of rulership. Why? Because Pluto takes 248 years to make a full cycle through the zodiac. Mars -- the traditional ruler of both Aries and Scorpio -- orbits the Sun completely in about two years. While Mars makes every astrological aspect possible in that two-year span, Pluto may only move 3 degrees! Thus, anyone or anything born with Scorpio rising has Mars as main ruler and Pluto as an associated ruler or affiliated planetary influence.

With all the hoopla in recent decades about the three outer planets, 4 main asteroids (and other asteroids), the amazing influence of cometary Chiron, the power of midpoints, relocation astrology and the explosion of software programs, sometimes we forget about the power of the good, old original 7 main celestial bodies (the two lights -- Sun and Moon -- and Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn). And within this group, Mars is often not recognized for its enormous life-giving and life-stealing energy. I am writing about Mars now because America is about to be hit by a force it has never felt in its 225-year evolution as a nation. Before exploring what will occur in the near future, here are some ideas about the importance of Mars.

Mars has always been known as a planet associated with war, strife and violence. Clearly, this is when Mars is emphasized in the extreme -- perhaps intensified by challenging links to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or Pluto. On a day to day level, simply action itself, moving your muscles, emoting and being "on the go" are connected to Mars. Mars can give life as it is identified with the element of iron -- the cornerstone of hemoglobin, which also is a basic ingredient of our red blood. In fact, the hemoglobin molecule is identical to that of chlorophyll (the molecule that turns plants green) -- except for one item: At the core of hemoglobin is an atom of iron; at the core of chlorophyll is an atom of magnesium. The difference between the red blood of humans and the green, flowing life in plants is the atomic nature of iron vs. magnesium!

When Mars is functioning well, we see courageous and heroic leaders rising to power, we witness brave actions, and people striving on the athletic field to do their best, win victories and outdo competitors. When discordant, Mars can mean expressions of anger, debates that degenerate into shouting matches, rash decisions leading to disaster. It is interesting to note Mars as connected to agriculture in ancient Roman mythology. Perhaps this occurred because of Mars ruling Aries, the "seed time" in nature. Seeds sprouting in the soil and beginning their process of development into leaves, plants, flowers, fruit, vegetables, shrubs and trees is traced back to a Mars rulership. In traditional astrology, Mars and Saturn were considered the two "malefics." They were usually prominent at the time of death. On a practical level, anything acute and inflammatory will be martial while anything chronic, slow-moving and cold will be saturnian. If you have an accident -- particularly one involving blood-loss -- look to Mars as the culprit. If you burn yourself fixing dinner, have a fever during an illness or become "mad as hell" at a boss, friend or loved one, Mars will be the provocateur.

Mars also gains its meaning based on its being the first planet from the Earth outward in the solar system. Whereas Venus symbolizes the search for love, peace and unity because it is the first planet from the Earth inward toward the Sun, Mars is the urge toward individuality, adventure, assertion and independence. As the great astrologer Dane Rudhyar put it, Venus is "centripetal" motion (toward the center) while Mars is "centrifugal" motion (away from the center). Venus unites; Mars separates. As the ancient symbols of the feminine and masculine forces, their glyphs were actually opposites. Venus was represented by the circle of spirit over the cross of matter while the original glyph of Mars was the cross of matter over the circle of spirit. At some point in the past, the image of Mars was altered -- to the circle with the arrow coming out of it. This was probably due to the major link between warriors and soldiers with Mars.

The previous three paragraphs are meant as a brief summary, so you pick up on the flavor of Mars for the rest of this article. What I am about to share is momentous and it will come to pass, although in stages. Since the founding of America (July 4, 1776) and in the 15 months before America declared its independence from Mother England, the planet Mars was moving forward in the zodiac. Its previous stations (stoppage in the zodiac) -- retrograde and then direct -- had occurred in January and April 1775, at 15 Virgo and 26 Leo, respectively. Mars can move a little over 2/3 of one degree of the zodiac in a day when it is moving at its fastest. It was speeding along for several months before America came into being and even at out birth, Mars was moving at a daily clip of 41 minutes of arc. Now I have shared with you about the significance and power of a nation's Secondary Progressions in previous articles in this series. Progressions and Transits are the main systems used to update charts and determine future events -- whether for a person, business or country. In the 225 years of our history (equating with the 225 days after the birth of America on July 4, 1776), several planets have made progressed stations -- radically influencing the "inner life" of our nation. In fact, within just the last 7+ years, three progressed planets in America's chart have stopped. In 1994, Mercury ceased going forward and turned retrograde at 5 Pisces. In 1997, Saturn stopped going direct and reversed its motion at 4 Scorpio. Then in 1999, Uranus stopped going backward and turned forward at 6 degrees and 57 minutes of Gemini. It is extremely rare for three progressed stations to occur in such a short period of time. Did anything momentous happen in the approximate time of these progressed stations?

Nationally, the years around 1994 (Mercury motionless), 1997 (Saturn motionless) and 1999 (Uranus motionless) have fascinating historical events. The Fall of 1994 coincided with major Republican victories in the mid-term elections, creating a massive crisis for the Clinton-Gore Administration, temporarily raising Speaker of the House, Republican Newt Gingrich to superstar status, and showing the extreme vulnerability of President Clinton for the next election in 1996. However, because Mercury shifts relatively quickly -- compared to Saturn and Uranus (slower-moving outer planets) -- President Clinton recovered in the next two years to defeat a weak candidate, Bob Dole, and retain hold of the White House for the Democrats. Then, at the inauguration in January 1997 (which I wrote about extensively in December 1996 in Welcome to Planet Earth -- a feature still existing further down on this Index Page of the web site), President Clinton and Vice President Gore took their oaths of office during a "Void Moon," indicating a very precarious and perhaps "do-nothing" next four years as executive leaders of the country. Coinciding with this event and 1997 was Saturn stopping its progressed motion for America in the sexually-active sign of Scorpio. What happened? Only the second impeachment in the history of our nation! The Clinton-Lewinsky sexual scandal -- which erupted in the beginning of 1998 (as Pluto crossed America's Ascendant degree in Sagittarius) -- was definitely connected to the very rare Saturn progressed station in Scorpio for America. [Keep in mind that while a planet may exactly station in a particular year, its motion slows down sharply in the year or two before and after the precise progressed station. This may mean 4-5 years of extended influence!] On the Uranus direct station in 1999, it is astounding that just before it took place, I began investigating the history of America's major progressions. I found that in 1849, Uranus made its previous station, a retrograde one at 10+ Gemini. I realized that 1849 was the key time of the California Gold Rush. Because of this connection, I had a strong feeling that America would experience a new "gold rush" economically starting in 1999 with Uranus once again motionless by progression in our national chart. Lo and behold, that term -- "gold rush" -- which I had been thinking about, actually started being used in the media in reference to a "gold rush" in Internet stocks. This began to gain strength in 1999 (Uranus stationary), building in 2000 and ending around the Spring of 2001, with the beginning of the general bear market, economic downturn and crash of the NASDAQ and Internet-related stocks and companies. As you probably know, Uranus rules shock waves, surprises, topsy-turvy conditions and revolutionary changes. If you don't think America's stationary progressed Uranus was in control of our inner life as a nation during 1999-2000-2001, then you are missing something very important about how mundane astrology works.

It is very clear from the foregoing that years when a progressed planet stops in a country's horoscope are crucial to recognize and watch. We have just been shell-shocked (Uranus) in Sept. 2001 by the terrorist crashes of 4 jetliners (Uranus again, as ruler of aviation) into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field that may have been headed to the White House or Capitol building. So, what's on the horizon? In the last few decades, the planet Mars has been slowing down in motion. Remember -- it can move over 40 minutes a day. Now it is nearing a retrograde station and only moving at 3 minutes of arc per day. This will shift to 2 minutes a day and then 1 minute a day in the next 2-3 years. From 2005-2007, Mars will in effect not move! Using the Matrix astrology software program Win*Star 2.0 Plus, the official date for Mars stopping and going retrograde is July 22, 2006. At that time, the USA Progressed Mars will be located at 18 degrees and 42 minutes of Libra. This coincides with an actual Mars station in the real sky which occurred on February 19, 1777 in the late afternoon (EST). This happened around 230 days after the Declaration of Independence. Now that you have the facts, what will this mean?

One of the first things we need to realize is that when you work with progressions for an individual, it is very common for this kind of Progressed Mars Station to never happen. That's because with human beings, we usually deal only with about three months of time after birth for progressions -- equating with about 90 years of life (equal to the 90 days in three months after birth). Because Mars only stops its motion in the zodiac approximately every two years, millions of people (a large percentage of the human population) never experience a Progressed Mars Station. So -- this is rare. Because nations have a longevity that humans don't have, all countries that exist for a couple of hundred years will experience a Mars stoppage. Now realize that this has never occurred for America. So what's about to happen in 2005-2007 is something unfamiliar to the American people. Certainly, we have to prepare for more war and perhaps a kind of battle and fight that we have never experienced before. Because the Mars station appears in Libra, America may have a hard time with traditional allies. (Libra and the 7th house in mundane astrology usually connect with one's international friends.] But Libra can also suggest adversaries, too. Since we are already in a war against terrorism and our current national administration has indicated this may be a prolonged effort over 8 years or longer, this Mars shift from direct to retrograde may be happening right in the midst of a crucial turning-point in the overall struggle against a variety of enemies. If we are still fighting Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, this could mean the USA at war in places like Somalia, Iraq, Sudan, Indonesia, Syria and even the Philippines (an ally). However, there is another aspect of Mars that we will have to watch very carefully.

There is something that has occurred in many countries that America has been fortunate to avoid in its 225 years of life. Even a nation like France, which helped give us life during the American Revolution, has succumbed to this evil when Napoleon reigned as Emperor. Currently, one of our strongest allies in Central Asia (Pakistan) is connected to what I am about to suggest. What is it? Martial Law and, what may be its corollary, a military dictatorship. Whoa! Let's just pause right here and stop in our tracks. Could such a collapse of democracy ever occur in the greatest democracy on Planet Earth? The first thought is a resounding NO! Of course not. But right now, in the attempt to combat a virulent and often invisible enemy -- in Afghanistan, perhaps 60 countries in the world (where Al Qaeda terrorists may live and train), and also here in America, in our midst! -- we already have ominous signals that we are losing our democratic way in the fight to destroy the enemy. Our Attorney General detaining hundreds of foreign nationals without them being charged because they may be linked to the terrorists is creating alarm within many upstanding and patriotic legal circles within America. The recent executive order by President Bush (on Nov. 13) creating military tribunals to try and possibly execute foreign terrorists (and also foreign nationals!) is setting off even greater shock-waves in the public -- and not just with typical left-leaning writers, scholars and pundits. The esteemed and highly-conservative writer for The New York Times -- William Safire -- a former speechwriter for President Nixon and definitely associated with the hawkish elements in the Republican party has come out squarely and articulately against President Bush and our national leaders, in regard to this executive order. [Note: I will focus on this executive order in a future article because it is so important.] He has written so eloquently that it is impossible to dismiss his words as just some kind of error in judgment.

We desperately want and need to preserve our Bill of Rights, Constitution and democratic way of life -- otherwise, the terrorists win. Even President Bush has clearly announced this in his recent speeches. But we also have to reveal the cornerstones of American law, justice and freedoms to the world-at-large in this battle against terrorism. If we don't, then we cease to be the America we are battling so hard to maintain. In the effort to root out terrorism at home and strengthen our internal security, our Attorney General has also proposed to the Congress more extensive laws that would enhance wiretapping and surveillance throughout our society that would truly install "Big Brother" in every community and on every Main Street in America. If this trend continues and if our citizenry misreads the current impulse of patriotism as a complete, gung-ho push on the side of security rather than freedom, we could literally reach a point around the Mars Progressed Station (2005-2007) when we even vote in a military-type rule in society because we are so afraid of internal terrorism, nuclear threats, germ warfare and the like. However, the more likely scenario is that gradually, month by month, and with each year of 2002, 2003 and 2004, as our war against terrorism grows (as our leaders expect it will), our society will become more accustomed to seeing the national guard patrolling our airports and military figures being honored for their heroics on our TV screens.

I don't have a crystal ball regarding an American future that includes martial law. I hope it never happens, but how do we prevent it? Keep in mind that this new, internal battle (Mars) developing inside our society about how far we go to prosecute this war -- in essence the old fight between freedom and security -- is just in its infancy. But we do have a rising chorus of discontent in America -- in the press, legal field and universities -- extremely concerned about using the cover of war to restrict our freedoms at home. Even Spain, which recently jailed 8 individuals because of their links to the terrorist events of Sept. 11, has declared it will not extradite those suspects to America because of our death penalty (eliminated in most of Europe) and President Bush's new executive order about trying terrorists in secret, military tribunals. Thus, the first echoes of dissent with our allies are beginning to ripple around the world. It is also unsettling that when President Bush took his oath of office, one of the strongest planetary aspects was Mercury in mid-Aquarius closely squaring Mars in mid-Scorpio. At the time, I thought of this as indicating danger to the President in the future. Other astrological writers have referred to this as well. And certainly -- now that our President has become a war-time leader -- he has to have even greater protection by the Secret Service than any President has ever had before. But this Mercury-Mars face-off at the birth of the current Bush Administration -- in fixed, power signs -- is disturbing now that we see the growing dissension between the free press (Mercury in Aquarius) and an increasingly, secretive military and Federal leadership (Mars in Scorpio).

While I am deeply concerned about our new slide toward martialization, I am hopeful that because the Mars station will occur at 18+ Libra (trining our natal Mars at 21+ Gemini) our nation may not stumble into an internally-violent Mars struggle continuing for many years. [Note that the USA Progressed Mars will remain retrograde for approximately 80 years!] I will be writing several more articles in the near future about what's about to happen in December, more on Mars, President Bush and Saddam Hussein. In addition, there will be a focus on Attorney General John Ashcroft (born May 9, 1942) and his intimate connection to America's natal Vesta (national security and safety themes) and the Heliocentric Orbit of Mars. Several dynamic events are due in March 2002 when President Bush experiences Progressed Mars (13+ Libra) squaring his natal Sun (13+ Cancer) in an extremely rare alignment, the transiting North Node of the Moon (fate/destiny) conjuncts America's natal Mars (21+ Gemini) for the first time in 19 years, Pluto stops at 17+ Sagittarius (squaring Venus -- peace, harmony and social issues -- exactly from President Bush's Oath of Office), Jupiter stations on its own zodiacal degree (6 Cancer) in the USA chart, Saturn conjuncts America's Uranus (8+ Gemini), Uranus makes the first of three crossings over our natal Moon-Pallas conjunction in Aquarius, the USA Progressed Moon conjuncts our Progressed Uranus at 6+ Gemini, and Mars crosses the USA Vesta (19+ Taurus) and its own Heliocentric North Node. Wow! March 2002 will be quite a month. However, before then we will have to contend with the Sun reaching 15+ Sagittarius on December 6-7, 2001 (the 60th anniversary of Pearl Harbor). When we reach December 6-7, the Sun illuminates the Pluto and Mars stations from March and July 2001, respectively. Along with that, Mercury will conjunct Pluto and the Sun will conjunct Pluto. Even if we don't see the face of terrorism all over our media at that time, there will likely be increased fears related to the war abroad and the war at home.

Our homework assignment? Study Mars. Learn its many meanings. Look at your own natal Mars and watch its coming transits in late Aquarius and Pisces as we move into a new year. We can no longer overlook the power of the Red Planet. It is stirring up what may become a new American Revolution -- in our cities, with our neighbors, in our cafes, restaurants, malls, schools, national landmarks and museums. Will our country remain the bastion of freedom, civil liberties and beacon of light to the world which it has been since October 17, 1781 and the surrender of General Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia? Even then, Mars conjoined Pluto in Aquarius -- with both war-like planets squaring Mercury (freedoms of speech, press, religion, assembly and petition) in Scorpio. History has a strange way of repeating itself. We need to be vigilant while the ancient God of War tries to obscure our ability to think clearly and make ethical and moral decisions.

Copyright 2001 by Mark Lerner and Great Bear Enterprises, Ltd. All rights reserved.

[Mark Lerner is the publisher of Welcome to Planet Earth journal. You can reach him by sending an e-mail to or by writing to Mark Lerner, The Great Bear, PO Box 12007, Eugene OR 97440. Please see our "Special Offer on Consultations and 2002 Cosmic Kalendars" near the top of the Index page which indicates a variety of astrological services which are available.]