"A really good chart should consistently astonish
any discriminating astrologer who puts it to the test.
A good chart will always astonish you. Anything less
than astonishing is a clue that there is a better chart
hiding in some year's ephemeris and waiting to be found"
[Jimm Erickson, American Astrology June 1991, p.58-60]

- for the chart's data and details, please go to Lois Rodden's compilation of the main U.S. charts at Astrodatabank.
- for an updated, first-hand examination of the original sources, including an important change (by Gary Noel) in the time used to build the chart based on original documents of 1775, go to Kenneth Irving's 'Planet Lines Crossings'.


The "Declaration of Taking Up Arms", issued by Congress on July 6, 1775, is the basis of the so-called "Boyd" chart for the U.S., often called the "Declaration of War" chart, an unfortunate label that has caused a lot of confusion and hostility in the astrological community, since the historical document is certainly not a declaration of war. Nevertheless, the document very explicitly refers to a context of war, of open military conflict, and its passionate wording is a vehement moral, religious, philosophical, and legal justification for "taking up arms" against England. It is "the" legal document in American independence history that explains the reasons for waging war against another country.

There are 3 points at stake here:

1- Nations do not have only one valid "birth" chart. It is always possible to establish the significance or transcendence of other historical moments that can be used effectively as radicals, since what constitutes "the birth" of a nation is a question of interpretation that can be seen from many different points of view. One point of view --one chart-- will prove better than the others within the limitations of a specific context of analysis.

2- Historical reasoning alone must not over-ride empirical testing. Some charts work better than others, and once the relative significance of a historical moment is established, it can prove to be a better radical than some other chart that would seem historically more appropriate. Sometimes, the real link in the chain, the key astrological moment, may be historically less dramatic than other moments. "Historically significant" should not substitute "astrologically significant"

3- Corrections for precession produce totally different results in the timing of events when analyzing the charts of nations that are over 1 or 2 centuries old, so no conclusion about the validity of any chart can be definitive until a comparison has been made between the tropical and sidereal reference frames, regardless of the signs of the zodiac. This is particularly the case of the Boyd chart, which has been validated using sidereal techniques.

The point in time that one chooses to establish when something is born in the continuous uninterrupted flow of history is mostly arbitrary. What is important is that one defines the criteria for making the choice. But nobody has ever dictated that the significant moment must be the one when the "full-blown" or mature thing appears. A small baby is not yet a mature man, he is very fragile and cannot articulate himself, but he is already a man nevertheless.

There is always one cause behind the other, i.e., every cause is the effect of a previous cause. The "Federal Republic of the United States of America" did not appear all of a sudden, and there are different moments in the process that other astrologers and historians with a different mindset will find more interesting or significant to define what could or should be used to astrologically represent the US, depending on what they are looking for.

For example, many are not interested in arid political definitions but in what people feel and believe, and it is very easy to argue what constitutes the US for many is all those high ideals and clear intentions put in the Declaration of Independence, and what came later in terms of political structuring is only secondary. I personally think that the identification with the Declaration of Independence is sheer mythology, but this is what a lot of people feel, and therefore this moment is or should prove to be astrologically very significant.

By the same token, using another set of criteria, others will find that the significant events that defined the US as independent from Britain are to be found in the first violent clashes in early 1775 between British troops and colonial militiamen. That is where it all started, when the first shots were fired against each other, and there is a historical document that resulted from this and which contains the feelings of those who dared to do it. Psychologically, these clashes, and the document that resulted from them, is the fundamental "break" with the motherland, and everything that came later was a consequence of this.

I had not read the July 6 1775 document before. Now I have; it is found in many places in the Internet, under the name "Declaration of Taking Up Arms". I would like to give you my impression now.

This document is a denunciation of British imperialism and a call to fight against it with arms. Reading it, I can understand why a chart made for that moment has been so effective to many astrologers in the past when there is a US armed conflict. Since it is well-known that the US has the habit of militarily intervening in many countries around the world (I am from a region with a long history of these interventions), it is no wonder that some very critical political astrologers like Jim Lewis and Jimm Erickson considered this to be the US national chart.

Let's see a few quotes. The complete document can be found in several places, such as:


<<Our forefathers, inhabitants of the island of Great Britain, left their native land to seek on these shores a residence for civil and religious freedom. At the expense of their blood, at the hazard of their fortunes, without the least charge to the country from which they removed, by unceasing labor, and an unconquerable spirit, they effected settlements in the distant and inhospitable wilds of America, then filled with numerous and warlike nations of barbarians... Societies or governments, vested with perfect legislatures, were formed under charters from the crown, and a harmonious intercourse was established between the colonies and the kingdom from which they derived their origin. The mutual benefits of this union became in a short time so extraordinary as to excite astonishment. It is universally confessed that the amazing increase of the wealth, strength, and navigation of the realm arose from this source; and the minister, who so wisely and successfully directed the measures of Great Britain in the late war, publicly declared that these colonies enabled her to triumph over her enemies.>>

COMMENT: As it happens in the psychology of adolescence, conflict with the parents and rebelliousness are strongly tied to the development of personal identity. This paragraph above shows this principle very well. From what I have read, it was written just weeks after the first battles ever with the British, and it already contains the traditional description and feelings about the origins of American identity, which was already there, but the conflict made it come to the surface clearly in a critical and painful way.


<<... His troops have butchered our countrymen, have wantonly burned Charles- Town, besides a considerable number of houses in other places; our ships and vessels are seized; the necessary supplies of provisions are intercepted, and he is exerting his utmost power to spread destruction and devastation around him.>>

COMMENT: Isn't this war? What countrymen? Aren't these words a cry of national identity?


<<Our cause is just. Our union is perfect. Our internal resources are great, and, if necessary, foreign assistance is undoubtedly attainable. We gratefully acknowledge, as signal instances of the Divine favor toward us, that his Providence would not permit us to be called into this severe controversy, until we were grown up to our present strength, had been previously exercised in warlike operation, and possessed of the means of defending ourselves. With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have been compelled by our enemies to assume we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance, employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with our [one] mind resolved to die free men rather than live slaves.>>

COMMENT: These words could have been said by Bush today. They are the same. Don't you think this is significant? Isn't this war? Don't you think this has to do with the spirit of America as a nation?


<<Lest this declaration should disquiet the minds of our friends and fellow- subjects in any part of the Empire, we assure them that we mean not to dissolve that union which has so long and so happily subsisted between us, and which we sincerely wish to see restored. Necessity has not yet driven us into that desperate measure, or induced us to excite any other nation to war against them. We have not raised armies with ambitious designs of separating from Great Britain establishing independent states. We fight not for glory or for conquest. We exhibit to mankind the remarkable spectacle of a people attacked by unprovoked enemies, without any imputation or even suspicion of offense. They boast of their privileges and civilization and yet proffer no milder conditions than servitude or death.>>

COMMENT: These words have been used to make the preposterous accusation that the advocates of the Boyd chart had not read this document all through. It is argued that, if we put the statement above in perspective, "all the rest is complaining that the rulers of their country, Great Britain, are treating them badly." This interpretation is utterly contradicted by the language of the text, which describes the situation vividly. There had been armed confrontations in Lexington and Concorde in April. Only in Concorde, "most accounts say that there were 73 British killed and 247 wounded or missing at the end of the day. The Minutemen lost 93 soldiers in the fighting." [ ]

The significance of this moment is similar to "The Cry of Dolores" chart of Mexico, which is used effectively by Mexican astrologers as a national chart even if the real independence came years later.


<<In our own native land, in defense of the freedom that is our birthright, and which we ever enjoyed till the late violation of it -- for the protection of our property, acquired solely by the honest industry of our forefathers and ourselves, against violence actually offered, we have taken up arms. We shall lay them down when hostilities shall cease on the part of the aggressors, and all danger of their being renewed shall be removed, and not before.>>

COMMENT: This too looks like words said by George Bush today. It is, in a way, as if the actions and the words of today's US president, proclaimed all over the world, are giving validity and vitality to this document, and therefore to the Boyd chart. If we add to this that G.W. Bush was born July 6, 1946, then we have a link between the 2 events. But Boyd's chart and G.W. Bush's birth chart not only share the same calendar date, there is also a repetition of the Sun/Moon positions, which happens because Bush was born exactly 9 metonic cycles (9 times 19 years) after July 6 1775, as was pointed out by astrologer Ed Kohout:

      G.W. Bush Sun and Moon = 19,47 Gemini / 22,43 Virgo
      U.S. Boyd Sun and Moon = 22,40 Gemini / 29,17 Virgo

Using the tropical zodiac the link looks stronger:

      G.W. Bush Sun and Moon = 13,47 Cancer / 16,42 Libra
      U.S. Boyd Sun and Moon = 14,16 Cancer / 20,54 Libra

It is not surprising, then, that the language which has become the absolute axis of G. W. Bush's presidency after September 11, 2001, is so similar to the language used in "Declaration of Taking Up Arms", of which Bush is a a sort of astronomical or calendrical (luni-solar) reincarnation.


The problem, it seems to me, is not that the historical moment of the "Declaration of Taking Up Arms" is not strongly significant in itself, but the incapacity of some --or many-- astrologers to think in terms of symbols and of signs, rather than in an exclusively legalistic, cause-and-effect understanding of historical significance.

Biography and History are not the same thing. The particular perspective of a good biographer is the inner or personal world of his subject, and in order to keep this perspective a lot of historical material must be gathered and organized so as to establish the context in which the biography takes place, but this is only a small part of the biographer's work. Historical events per se are not the focus of the biographer's work, but the often "externally invisible" events that act as pivots or axes of the story.

When we make mundane work, we use metaphors that determine our approach to it. Legal metaphors have their requirements and criteria of validity, but they are not the only metaphors that can be used. Depending on the education and values of the astrologer, he or she will use metaphors that are consisten with the personal paradigms with which "things" are interpreted and given meaning.

So, the biographical metaphor in mundane work uses very different criteria of validity. The criteria of validity and significance of a specific historical moment always differs depending on what one is looking for. Astrological significance is not a function of legal definitions or legalities exclusively; it is also a function of the meaning of an experience in the consciousness of those involved. 

"Consciousness" refers not to deliberate rationalization but to an inner experience that is more related to feelings, to the "sense" of things. In this sense, since all historical events are possible because there are protagonists in it, therefore they are characterized by feelings, emotions, personalities, relationships, personal dramas...

Movies of historical events offer a good view of the biographical metaphor in action. They usually concentrate on the several protagonists, and there is often a strong emphasis on emotions, personality, psychological intensity and dynamics, and on how the personalities interact or clash with one another.

There is always a director or a writer who decides how the story is going to be told, who interprets the historical events and puts them together to form a story and tell it to others. The director will structure the story according to his own criteria, giving special attention to symbols and metaphors. He can do so and still remain "historically accurate".

If we think that films are too fictional, let's think in a documentary. There is always someone who writes the script offering his or her interpretation of those events. When we happen to have witnessed personally the events being narrated, it is very easy to see how partial, biased, or manipulative story-telling can be.

The astrologer-historian is ultimately also a story-teller. When doing any kind of astrological work, mundane or otherwise, we make use of historical data. Historical contextualization, be it personal or of a collectivity, is part of any astrological charting, but the contextualization is done in terms of the particular focus of our work, the particular nature of the moment we are charting. The context is never imposed from outside or dictated by someone else.

To call "historical fact" the argument that the "Olive Branch Petition" sent to King George a few days after the July 6 Declaration eliminates the pivotal historical significance and the very strong sense of national identity present of the 6 July 1775 document and its revolutionary context is an example of how a fact is confused with a particular and biased interpretation of it. The truth is that the Olive Branch Petition, like the apology found at the end of the Declaration to Take up Arms didn't change anything, and this was made very clear in the months to come. The July 6 1775 declaration symbolized a standing fist, and nothing ever changed what was evident in the words it contains and in the military context that caused it.

One analogy, perhaps, could be to think if the apology or the good wishes of a husband who has raped or beaten his wife for the first time erases the impact that the aggression had in his relationship with the wife, who is not willing to accept it. If the beating was the result of a gradual deterioration of the relationship and was the first time, and if the wife sat down afterwards and wrote a proclamation in her diary --a symbolical raising of her fist--, and if she signed the proclamation and wrote the day and the time at the end of it, it doesn't require too much imagination to see the meaning of such a moment, even if there had to pass may months before the legal divorce or separation took place.

People are trapped unknowingly in the metaphors they use. If they use the legal metaphor to determine what is astrologically significant, they would choose the moment of the signing of the divorce to mark the end of the relationship. But if instead of a legal metaphor they use a biographical metaphor, then they would prefer the moment when the wife signed her "standing fist" proclamation.


Here are is a set of minimum "coincidences" that appear when examining the US Boyd chart. Tropical precession-corrected or Fagan/Bradley sidereal positions are used in order to account for precession.

THE WAR WITH IRAQ (see my compilation Iraq-USA).

Positions in this example are all sidereal.

Iraq Mars = 22,54 Gemini (Baathist coup 17 July 1968)
Boyd Sun = 22,40 Gemini
Bush Moon = 22,43 Virgo

Bush signs U.S. Congress "war" resolution Oct 16, 2002:
war resolution Mars = 5,48 Virgo
Boyd Mars = 5,47 Virgo
decapitation strike Sun = 4,17 Pisces (March 20 2:30 a.m. GMT)
full-blown attack Sun = 5,00 Pisces


Boyd Mercury = 18,35 Cancer (sidereal)
Israel (1948) Pluto = 18,38 Cancer
Mars Kingdom of Iraq = 18,59 Cancer (the Iraqi nation as opposed to the Baath regime)
tr. Neptune 2003 invasion of Iraq = 18 Capricorn

some ideas on Mercury/Pluto:

- U.S. abuse of its veto power to "shield" Israel in the United Nations
- the "complicity" between the two nations in security or strategic matters
- Israel's extensive lobby and very powerful "thinktank" in the U.S.


For the September 11 attack I use 12:46 GMT, for the Boyd chart I use Brigadier Roy Firebrace's rectification to 11 a.m. (16:00:40 GMT) July 6 1775. The accumulated precession from July 1775 to Sep 2001 is 3,09 degrees.

All those positions are different ways of representing the same precessional displacement, which is what I am measuring. Sometimes the positions are "precessed" and other times are "sidereal". They are equivalent; the angular relationships (aspects, orbs, times) are exactly the same, and they differ from the strictly tropical measurements.

Confusion comes to those who pay too much attention to the zodiacal *sign* position and who are not familiar with the concept of precession-corrected transits. Precession-corrected transits (such as sidereal solar returns) are a different way of representing sidereal movements, and the results are the same as if you were using sidereal positions all along.

To avoid confusion to people unfamiliar with precessional displacements, ignore the zodiacal positions and watch only the angular relationships. I present the data and the description fully so that those who understand the technique can reproduce the results or find errors I may have made.

If you examine the data presented, you will see that the dynamical techniques used are always the same:

1- precession-corrected direct transits. Sometimes they are represented as corrected tropical positions, sometime as Fagan-Bradley sidereal positions (they are equivalent -- the same goes for all the others below).

2- the direct sidereal solar return (ssr) and sidereal lunar return previous to the event.

3- direct and converse precession-corrected solar arc directions.

4- precession-corrected secondary progressed Sun and Moon.

5- some significant precession-corrected transiting midpoints "touching" a radical position, or some radical midpoint activated by a transiting position.

When measuring precessional displacement, one can do it either by adding precession to the radical positions, or subtracting it from the transiting or progressed positions. The results are equivalent. In addition, only 1-degree orbs and only the 4th harmonic is used, the 2nd harmonic in the case of midpoints.

I-- Boyd chart fixed, WTC attack moving:

precessed transiting WTC Mars = 28,17 Sagittarius
radical Boyd M.C. = 29,29 Gemini
radical Boyd Mars = 27,23 Virgo

precessed transiting WTC Moon = 24,55 Gemini
radical Boyd Sun/Uranus midpoint = 24,35 Gemini

precessed transiting Pluto = 9,29 Sagittarius
radical Boyd Jupiter = 9,37 Gemini

II-- WTC attack fixed, Boyd chart moving:

transiting Uranus/Pluto midpoint = 17,14 Cancer
precessed radical Boyd Sun = 17,25 Cancer

transiting Mars/Saturn midpoint = 23,06 Virgo
precessed radical Boyd Neptune = 23,27 Virgo

III-- secondary Moon:

Boyd direct secondary progressed Moon = 25,26 Capricorn
Boyd radical Pluto = 25,45 Capricorn

IV-- solar arc Moon:

Boyd direct solar arc Moon = 4,50 Gemini
Boyd radical Uranus = 4,54 Gemini

V-- sidereal solar return 2001 (9 July 2001 14:00:08 GMT) and sidereal lunar return previous to the attack (Aug 22 2001 23:45:06 GMT). All positions here are sidereal Fagan/Bradley):

ssr Mars = 21,06 Scorpio (angular, 4th house)
ssr Pluto = 18,17 Scorpio (angular, 4th house)
sidereal transiting WTC Saturn = 20,00 Taurus
sidereal M.C. lunar return, New York = 20,08 Scorpio


For the assassination, I use 23 Nov 1963 12:30 p.m. CST. All positions are corrected for precession.

direct solar arc Moon = 26,35 Aries
radical Boyd Pluto = 25,45 Capricorn

this is very similar to:

converse solar arc Pluto = 20,46 Cancer
radical Boyd Moon = 20,54 Libra

and also:

direct solar arc Mars = 3,04 Aries
radical Boyd Saturn = 2,56 Libra

direct secondary progressed Moon = 11,31 Virgo
precessed transiting Pluto = 11,27 Virgo
13 Nov 1963 sidereal lunar return Mars = 11,14 Sagittarius

precessed transiting Venus = 20,04 Sagittarius
radical Boyd Neptune = 20,17 Virgo

precessed transiting Saturn = 14,44 Aquarius
radical Boyd Sun = 14,16 Cancer

tr. Ascendant assassination = 17,55 Aquarius
1963 ssr Ascendant Washington = 17,23 Scorpio
1963 ssr Moon = 19,41 Aquarius
1963 ssr Saturn = 19,28 Aquarius R.
1963 ssr Ascendant Philadelphia = 18,23 Scorpio
13 Nov 1963 sidereal lunar return Sun = 18,03 Scorpio


According to the Britannica, Nixon announced his resignation to the public on the evening of August 8, 1974, effective August 9. I will use 8 p.m. EDT of August 8.

tr. sidereal Uranus = 29,53 Virgo
radical Boyd sidereal Moon = 29,17 Virgo
1974 ssr Uranus conjunct radical Moon, orb=0,00

tr. sidereal Mars = 13,24 Leo
tr. sidereal Neptune = 12,29 Scorpio
radical Boyd sidereal Uranus = 13,18 Taurus

direct precessed solar arc Neptune = 4,25 Pisces
radical Boyd Uranus = 4,54 Gemini

tr. sidereal Pluto = 10,29 Virgo
radical Boyd sidereal Saturn = 11,20 Virgo
NOTE: this was Pluto's last pass over natal Saturn. It had made exact conjunction with Saturn in Oct 1973.

direct secondary progressed New Moon (was partial solar eclipse) exact 1 month before in 9,08 Cap sidereal (0,45 Aquarius tropical).


For the attack I use 7:55 a.m. (=18h25m GMT), as given by the Britannica.

transiting sidereal Neptune = 5,47 Virgo
radical Boyd sidereal Mars = 5,47 Virgo (orb=0,00)

transiting sidereal Moon = 4,23 Cancer
radical Boyd sidereal Pluto = 4,08 Capricorn

transiting sidereal Mars = 21,37 Pisces
radical Boyd sidereal Sun = 22,40 Gemini
(radical Sibley sidereal Sun = 21,42 Gemini)


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