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Star Signs and Stripes: Examining America's Birth Chart

In honor of the birthday of the United States, our staff astrologer takes us through the country's star chart. (We are such a typical Cancer.)

Happy Independence Day! It's America's birthday, and, just as you have a birth chart, so does the US. Because our country was born on July 4, its star sign is Cancer. Fittingly, Cancer is the sign that rules family, home, and patriotism.

What does a birth chart do? It tells us where all the planets were at the time of someone's birth—or the incorporation of a business, or the founding of a country. The positions of these planets suggest personality traits and possible life experiences.


We don't know for sure what time the US was "born," but several astrologers have suggested star chars for the country. One of the most prominent charts comes from Ebenezer Sibly, an 18th century physician and astrologer, who suggests that America has a Sagittarius rising; the other comes from Evangeline Adams, an early 20th century astrologer, who suggests a Gemini rising for our great country. Many astrologers say that one's rising sign is as important as their sun sign: While the sun sign rules personality and ego, the rising sign shows how people view the person (or country) in question.

Both Sagittarius and Gemini are mutable signs, meaning they arrive at the end of season. Mutable signs symbolize flexibility and communication. It's hard to pin down a mutable sign—they're always on the move. They can sometimes be flaky, they're often pranksters, and they're information fiends.

These two mutable signs are double-bodied (Sag is half man, half beast, while Gemini is a pair of twins). With either chart, America is perceived as two-faced or somehow contradictory: part progressive, hardworking, and generous; part arrogant, racist, and, of course, behind on women's health (which is a shame, since Cancer symbolizes the mother archetype).

With the Gemini rising chart, Mars, the planet of war, is placed on the ascendant, which is the sector of the chart that symbolizes how we appear to the outside world—and we're certainly seen as aggressive!

Fortunately, America has a cool, logical Moon in Aquarius, which is the sign of friendship and community. In both the Sag and Gemini rising charts, the Moon is occupied in very communicative sectors of the chart, so when American needs to get diplomatic, our Moon kicks in. The Moon is a symbol of safety, so whatever sign it's in will suggest what makes the person—or nation—feel secure. Aquarius is high-tech and futuristic: Having weapons on the cutting edge and having our privacy invaded through our electronic devices fits this archetype.

The Sagittarius rising chart places unruly, electric Uranus on the descendant. This speaks to the uniqueness of the American identity, our turbulent relationship with other nations, and our ability to constantly innovate. Uranus is the planet of invention, after all. Fingers crossed that our inventions and innovations will continue to be helpful, not harmful. Again, the US's sun sign is Cancer—Cancer is the crab, an animal with a hard shell, and this sign is all about protection and armor.

A new moon falls on Independence Day this year. Because new moons symbolize new beginnings, I hope the US will experience growth and a fresh start, as well.