Next week, on the 4th of July, the United States will celebrate the nation’s birthday. All across the country there will be parades and parties, hotdogs, watermelon and apple pie. When night falls the sky comes to life with wonderful explosive displays of fireworks designed to instill a feeling of camaraderie and pride in “the land of the free and home of the brave”.
This year I am remembering a conversation from 1999. I was briefly living in Tucson and was speaking with an armature astrologer I met there. The subject of our nations birth chart came up. It seems astrologers do not all agree that July 4, 1776 is the actual birth date of the country. The list of possible dates used my astrologers is as follows:
July 2, 1776: The date of the vote for independence
July 4, 1776: Finalization and signing of The Declaration of Independence
July 4th 1777: the date George Washington signed The Declaration of Independence
November 15, 1777: the continental Congress agreed to the Articles of Confederation
March 1, 1781: the ratification of the Articles of Confederation, all thirteen colonies or states had signed
March 4, 1789: the date the constitution is said to have taken effect
April 30, 1789: the date George Washington became the first president
After reading this list you and taking all these events into consideration you can see where there could be some ambiguity around which date the natal chart is constructed from. Most astrologer’s use the July 4, 1776 chart and set the time at about 5:10 pm on that date. This is based on the note of Thomas Jefferson. This gives the US a Sagittarius rising. Some use a chart plotted for the early morning hours based on a legend that Ben Franklin wanted the declaration signed in then. Still others use a chart based on early Congressional records and the belief that the correct time is 9:36 am on July 4th. This would designate the ascendant as being Virgo.
According to what I have been able to discern the July 4th date is the most popular and the one most astrologers refer to when they talk about our nations chart. It’s the time that is variable. Still most astrologers seem to have adopted the “Sibley Chart” which uses 5:10 pm as the birth time and thus a rising sign of Sagittarius. Certainly there is an audience and fan base for all these choices.
Astrologers use a method called rectification” to help them construct charts when data is in missing or in question. They use planetary transits and progressions to help them determine the time of birth f a person or in this case, a nation. They have used the same method to investigate the various dates for the country as well. Still July 4th, 1776 is the date most often agreed upon.
I am aware some of you don’t give a fig about this sort of information but to those who find astrology deeply interesting, I hope I have given you something to think about. And to all of you I wish you a safe, festive 4th of July!