We Have Never Been Innocent

“I shouted out, ‘Who killed the Kennedy’s?’
when after all, it was you and me...”

- The Rolling Stones, Sympathy for the Devil

As we approached the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, I did some searching to find out what that day was like. I even found the original CBS episode of As the World Turns, complete with the news bulletins and commercials, on YouTube. In the comments section was written, “That was the day we lost our innocence.”

I thought about that. I recognized the words from the more recent descriptions of 9/11. That, too, was the day we lost our innocence. Going back a bit, I read what some people said years later about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 - sure enough, Americans lost their innocence then as well.

Americans might like to think they are innocent, and with Sagittarius rising in the U.S. chart, they can probably maintain the illusion. Much of the rest of the world sees the citizens of the U.S. as naive, as though being set apart from most of the conflicts of history by immense oceans has sheltered the country from the realities of life. After all, apart from Pearl Harbor, two world wars were fought entirely in other parts of the world. Many Americans died in those - and other - wars, but the country only sees images of these things, not face-to-face realities.

A lot could be said about the charts of the U.S., JFK, the assassination, and the subsequent changes in the United States. Much of the history of the U.S. presidency in the last 53 years can be traced back to the pivotal 1960 election. But I want to focus on the infamous cycle of presidents dying in office when elected on the 20 year Jupiter-Saturn conjunction. That began with Lincoln and ended with Kennedy. Or did it?

Ronald Reagan was shot in March of 1981, shortly after taking office. Of course, he survived the shooting, and seemingly broke the cycle. Astrologers pointed out that the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction that year was in an Air sign, Libra, rather than an Earth sign, as had been the case since 1860.

Yet there was an assassination in the U.S. in 1980: John Lennon. The former Beatle had been keen to live in the U.S., and especially New York, drawn to the place that would eventually kill him. In a radio interview on his last day alive, Lennon said, “The 70’s were something of a drag, and maybe we can make the 80’s better.” It did not work out that way.

While he wielded negligible political power in comparison to a U.S. president, Lennon had perhaps more social and soul power than any political leader. Many feel that he spoke for a generation (Pluto in Leo) that lost their innocence the day he was shot, as they had lost it at Altamont, and many times before.

It is significant, I think, that not only political leaders but also social and spiritual leaders are drawn into the cycle that seems so deadly in the U.S.. It is almost as though we are being told that we cannot have leaders, that we need to go it on our own. Perhaps that is the Aquarian message - one which began to be voiced when Kennedy was elected in 1960 and Uranus was in Leo.

At the 2000 conjunction in Gemini, there was no assassination. But more than 3,000 people lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks as the grim cycle touched the average person, and once again Americans lost their innocence.

As we rocket through the Uranus-Pluto squares of 2012 to 2015, many people look back to the 1960s for their inspiration. This decade would be like the ‘60s, we said. And in terms of political upheaval, war, revolution, and transformation, we certainly have strong parallels. But, we notice, we have no real leaders. There is no great surge of collective creativity (although I would argue that there is an immense surge in individual creativity). There are no focal points that inspire. Edward Snowden may be the central figure of the last two hits of the square, but we have only still photographs of him.

The coming Uranus-Pluto square will land directly on the U.S. sun, and will do so on a week in April that even mainstream media has noted as being a difficult one in the U.S.. Hopefully, we will manifest that energy consciously and compassionately, but failing that, we may find that there is still some innocence to lose.