So, for fun, I decided to have a look at Jamaica’s astrological chart – cast for August 6, 1962 (12 p.m.) when we became an independent nation, and separated from Britain. What a fitting time for nation-building it was, with Saturn in Aquarius, right there on the IC. We were forming/crystallizing (Saturn) a new collective identity (Aquarius), a new nation (IC – 4th house). There’s a reason why both Saturn and Uranus rule Aquarius. Aquarius reforms and changes a system (its Uranian side), but it also builds (Saturn) a new more progressive collective structure. In this case, we were throwing off colonial rule (Uranus), and building a nation (Saturn-IC) founded on new values.
Jamaica has its Sun at 13 degrees Leo, right up there on the Midheaven with Mercury and the North Node also in Leo. What is Jamaica known for? Our performance and our creativity (Leo) – whether that performance or showmanship is in sports, or music. With the Sun right on the Leo MC, this is what we contribute to the world. We gift the world with our creative self-expression. Leo/Sun on the MC also reinforces how, for such a small country, our public image and the extent to which we are globally recognised are so strong! North Node in Leo conjunct our MC lets us know as Jamaicans that our highest path and destiny, the highest expression of our collective soul is the contribution of our creativity to the wider global collective.
On another more psychological level, anyone who is Jamaican understands our deep need for individual respect. This is such a key cultural trait – the need to be recognised and respected (Leo emphasis). Acknowledging and respecting people for their inherent dignity (Leo) is a cultural currency. Indeed, the phrase “risspeck…” is one our passwords…
I personally really enjoy how expressive we are as a people…we have this flamboyant and stylish way of communicating (Mercury in Leo). Our language and speech (Mercury) is colourful (Leo), and we are known not to mince our “claats.” (For any non-Jamaican reading this, “claats” are Jamaican swear words). This is amplified by Mercury’s sextile to Mars. Not only is our language colourful, but language is deeply tied up with our self-assertion (Mars) as a people.
Speaking of Mars, guess where Mars is? In Gemini – the sign of communication. What is energised here is our communicative wit and cleverness – which is readily recognisable in the lyrical geniuses that this country has produced in music. (Fun fact: Dancehall icon, Bounty Killer’s Sun is conjunct Jamaica’s Mars). Mars in Gemini is disposed by Mercury in Leo – so what we have is performance and showmanship through lyric, through communication and creative command of language.
Not to mention our assertiveness in communication….generally. We are known as Jamaicans to express our anger (Mars) through a certain linguistic adeptness (Gemini). Just listen to any angry Jamaican. I challenge anyone else in the world to “trace” and “cuss” with such adroitness!
All of that being said, and with a collective need to be nice, sociable and friendly (Moon in Libra – what our tourism image projects) we still grapple with our collective shadow. Our lower Plutonian/Scorpionic side is violent, criminal and cruel…this is our underbelly that we reveal to the world too – the parts of our collective Jamaican soul that desperately need integration and healing. The ruler of our ascendant (Pluto) is found in the 10th house underscoring how violent criminality is part of our collective projected image. Unfortunately, we are still up there in the rankings as one of the murder capitals of the world. Mars (the traditional ruler of our Scorpio ascendant along with Pluto) in the 8th house doubly emphasizes the Scorpionic theme, and underscores the
subterranean current of violent aggression and death.
With Taurus on our descendant, opposing Neptune on our Ascendant, we’ve dealt with a lot of disillusionment and disappointment (Neptune) as a result of being in relationships (Asc-Dsc axis) with international creditors (Taurus) who have partnered with our successive governments. Neptune here seems to emphasize the wool over our collective eyes as far as these partnerships have historically played out. We’ve always seemed to get the short end of the stick, as these arrangements have promised far more than they have ever delivered, and Jamaicans have been left with a hollow sense of always getting “a six for a nine”. Jamaica remains heavily in debt – the subject of a film by Stephanie Black, called Life and Debt. How fitting a title for an 8th house Mars.
But in all of this, we have consistently fallen back on one cultural value that cannot leave us : our pragmatism. With Venus in Virgo, we “tun wi han mek fashion”.
As Jamaicans, we cope, and we go forward.
P.S. There is so much to be said here – we have not even scratched the surface. Perhaps I may think about doing other installments to be published right around Jamaica’s independence holiday.
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