Lunar Notes

Rhode Island in the Stars: A lively experiment

Just like people, cities, states, countries, and corporations have horoscopes. A horoscope captures a moment in time that is significant in the creation of any entity. The State of RI was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, whose radical beliefs got him banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He believed that all should be able to worship freely according to their own conscience – this put him in the hot seat.
It wasn’t until 1663, with the granting of the Royal Charter by King Charles II, that RI gained official, legal status. The Royal Charter granted religious freedom to Christians and non-Christians alike. This “lively experiment” was remarkable for the times, guaranteeing the separation of church and state. A number of historical events coincide with planetary transits to the chart of that founding date.

RI’s chart has Jupiter and Saturn together in Sagittarius. Jupiter signifies religion, law, and banks. Saturn signifies how societies are constructed. It represents law, in how laws restrain and control. Sagittarius signifies a connection with law and religion. Mars in Gemini sits directly opposite these two, guaranteed to stir up these principles as time unfolds. Once-radical religious freedom being written into RI’s Charter comes as no surprise to an astrologer looking at a chart that has Mercury in Leo opposing Uranus in Aquarius. Mercury rules that which is written, while Uranus rules the rebellious and forward-thinking among us. This aspect is given added pump with Uranus in Aquarius, Uranus’ home sign.

With this planetary signature, it is a given that RI would declare its independence on May 4, 1776, a bit ahead of the rest of the country. At this time, revolutionary Uranus activates the Jupiter/Saturn/Mars configuration in the Royal Charter horoscope. Mars is war and the warrior. When Uranus comes along and joins, the order of the day is, “Let’s kick down these walls,” for good or ill. The cry for independence moves from a theme song to action under the influence of these two.

While this Charter was ahead of its time in some aspects, in others it was just as hide bound as previous governmental bodies in that voting was only granted to white, male landowners. Enter Thomas Dorr, who led a movement to broaden democracy by granting the disenfranchised the right to vote. His efforts, known as the Dorr War, failed but proved fruitful in the end as RI adopted a new constitution in 1843. While not perfect, it expanded suffrage to include those who were not of the landed class.

Thomas Dorr was born on November 5, 1805. In one of life’s curious serendipities, his horoscope has Mars and Jupiter together in Sagittarius, sitting on the Jupiter/Saturn/Mars configuration in the Royal Charter horoscope. Mars to Mars, he was born to make war on the government of RI. Law and justice being the province of Jupiter this war was about broadening democracy by granting voting rights to the disenfranchised. Thomas Dorr’s actions ultimately altered the fabric of life in RI.

Another parallel of the Royal Charter horoscope is the shocking closure of RI credit unions that were insured by RI Share and Deposit Indemnity Corporation (RISDIC). On January 1, 1991, hours after his inauguration, Governor Bruce Sundlun ordered the closing of those credit unions insured by this entity. RISDIC had been on shaky ground for a while, but with the collapse of Heritage Loan and Investment, it too collapsed. At that time in the sky, Jupiter (banks) triggered the Mercury/Uranus opposition in the Royal Charter horoscope. Mercury rules trade and transactions of all kinds. Uranus, the rebel, is also the master of sudden and shocking events. At the closure of these credit unions, a third of RIers lost access to their funds.

Adding fuel to the fire of these events was the planet Neptune. On this date, the Royal Charter horoscope was receiving a Neptune return. Neptune was at the exact degree and minute that it occupied at the signing of the charter. Neptune can be spiritual and take you away to the higher realms and it can also bring you down to the dregs. In its negative aspect, it rules treachery, underworld crime, and financial scandal. Certainly fits the bill in this instance. Heritage Loan and Investment collapse was due to embezzlement of funds by its chief executive. In the fall of that year many of those “in the know” managed to withdraw their funds from the affected institutions.

The Jupiter/Saturn configuration present in the Royal Charter horoscope speaks to the founding principles of religious freedom. This combination will be triggered once again in June/July 2024 when Jupiter, traveling through Gemini, will oppose that position while joining forces with the Royal Charter’s Mars. Jupiter can bring prosperity, peace, and also too much of a good thing. Jupiter represents the clergy, churches, judges, law, banking, and insurance. Mars rules trades and engineering. The downside to Mars can be violence and fevers. With Saturn in the picture expect authority, restraint, and constraint resisting the exuberance of Jupiter and Mars. It should be a fun time as we celebrate our Independence in 2024.