Have we been here before? Thoughts on the astrology of the Boston Tea Party

Trade wars and trade deals are not new. Nations and colonies have been negotiating over the exchange of goods since nations and colonies ever existed. Since colonies were, by nature, created by one group of people invading another for commercial gain (land, goods, natural resources), it is not without irony that certain colonies should have themselves been so vociferous in defending the rights of fair trading.


The Boston Tea Party was both a political and mercantile protest by that took place in Boston, Massachusetts on December 16, 1773. The target of this action was the Tea Act of May 1773 which enabled the British East India Company to sell tea from China in the American Colonies without paying taxes beyond those imposed by the Townshend Act. This act, opposed by the American Patriots, placed indirect taxes on glass, lead, paints, paper, and tea — all goods which had to be imported from Britain since they were not produced in the colonies. This form of revenue generation was Britain’s response to the failure of a previous Act, the Stamp Act of 1765, which was a form of direct taxation imposed upon the colonies. In the Tea Party, patriots disguised as Native Americans destroyed a shipment of tea by dumping it into the harbor, as depicted in the above period engraving.

Screen Shot 2019-03-16 at 09.33.33


I wish, here, to draw attention to the fact that the Tea-Part is currently experiencing its Pluto return, at 21° Capricorn. It is interesting to note that in this particular chart, there is a Grand Earth Trine, with Uranus in Taurus (fixed Earth), Saturn in Virgo (Mutable Earth) and Pluto in Capricorn, (Cardinal Earth).

It is also worth noting that America is in the process of reaching its own Pluto Return (Pluto at 27° Capricorn) in 2022/2023. More on this in another post!

Returning to the above chart, two other aspects are of note. First, the Sun squares the Nodes (Sun at 24° Sag, squares SN at 26° Pisces, and NN at 26° Virgo). South Node in Pisces refers to past lifetimes in which the individual has experienced, in the words of Steven Forrest, a hallucinatory loss of self. He says that for many individuals this will be linked to monastic or devotional practice. It is interesting with respect to the Pilgrim Fathers, who set out for Plymouth, Massachusetts and were the first permanent colony in New England (1620). Of the 102 colonists, 35 were members of the English Separatist Church (a radical faction of Puritanism) who had earlier fled to Leiden, the Netherlands, to escape persecution at home. The North Node in Virgo, an Earth sign, is literally about grounding. These people were learning to think, to function, in more orderly and efficient ways. The skill-sets here are not associated with servitude, but on the contrary that more sixth-house sense of skills which are of use to each other. We can see this in acts of nation-building as the colonies will soon seek independence.

It is also worth noting that in this chart, the Nodal axis is squared by the Sun. In Evolutionary Astrology, the Sun squaring the Nodes is associated with the individual being pulled into the orbit of another powerful individual. In this case, that other individual would surely be the British State? This loss of self can lead to feelings of being lost ones-self, or the feeling of a compensatory compulsion to aggrandize the ego. In the historical sense, one can already feel the building up of the identity of a nation, before the War of Independence, which began in April 1775.

Second, a Mars/Mercury conjunction in Capricorn, squaring Chiron and Jupiter in Aries. This square is powerful and if we are talking communication, it is clear that the Tea-Party was not a negotiation but a bellicose act, linked to Aries, through the rulership of Mars. Mars and Mercury are in Capricorn underlying the legal nature of a dispute over material goods and duties. Chiron invokes the sufferance of paying what was considered to be unjust taxation — taxation which would later be thrown off. Clearly the jettisoning of the Tea was an act of great political consequence. Clearly, the colonies were on their way to writing their own new story, fully embodying their Chiron in Aries. We all know what follows.

The rest is surely history…


I believe that the astrology of the Boston Tea Party offers profound insight into the karmic patterns underlying this key event in America’s history, and indeed, certain karmic wounds underlying the American identity. The astrology also reminds us that unresolved karma returns. I do not believe it to be pure chance that trade-wars and tariffs have come back on the international political agenda, as the Tea-Party reaches its Pluto return.




Thanking wiki commons for the image of the Tea-Party
under the creative commons license.

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