Soul-Sick Nation:
An Astrologer’s View of America

Soul-Sick Nation by Jessica Murray

For anyone dismayed by the current state of the world, Soul-Sick Nation provides a visionary perspective as extraordinary as the times we are living in. Using the principles of ancient wisdom to make sense of the current global situation, this book invites us to look at the USA from the biggest possible picture: that of cosmic meaning. With a rare blend of compassion, humor and fearless taboo-busting, Soul-Sick Nation reveals America’s noble potential without sentiment and diagnoses its neuroses without delusion, shedding new light on troubling issues that the pundits and culture wars inflame but leave painfully unresolved: the WTC bombings, the war in Iraq, Islamic jihad, media propaganda, consumerism and the American Dream. This keenly intelligent book elucidates the meaning of an epoch in distress, and proposes a path towards healing-of the country and of its individual citizens. This book will leave you shorn of illusions and full of hope.

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“The most riveting part of the book is her analysis of the WTC bombings on 9/11 … through the lens of astrology… She also discusses the upcoming transits (planetary triggers) that are ahead of us. …To her credit she doesn’t simply diagnose the problem; she shows us how to move forward. The last part of the book is inspiring and genuinely hopeful as she lays out a strategy for healing both as individuals and as a nation. ….Even if you are not a fan of astrology you can’t easily dismiss Ms. Murray; her book is well researched and well written; she is politically astute, and deeply passionate about America. Her book may not have all the answers but it does ask the right questions, and points us in the right direction. .. In these uncertain times that is no small thing.”

~Virginia Bell, Huffington Post, 10/26/09

“Soul-Sick Nation: An Astrologer’s View of America is a brilliant analysis of the crisis confronting America and all Americans. I urge people to read this book and gain a cosmic perspective on the ingredients in our collective nation’s soul.”

~Caroline Myss, author of Entering the Castle, Anatomy of the Spirit, and The Sacred Contract of America

“One of the most important books you may ever read.”

~Gary P. Caton, in The Mountain Astrologer Magazine

“Jessica Murray… a choice-centered, psychospiritually-oriented astrologer, has quietly made a real difference in the lives of her clients, one at a time. In Soul Sick Nation, she applies exactly those same skills to understanding America as a whole. Starting from the premise that the United States is currently a troubled adolescent, she applies an unflinching gaze to reach an ultimately compassionate conclusion about how we can heal ourselves and grow up.”

~Steven Forrest, author of The Inner Sky, The Changing Sky and Skymates

“[W]hat Jessica writes … is so well written, so well laid out, with very small sections – pithy, meaty, meaningful paragraphs, easy to absorb, full of information – with headings in each chapter that address specific issues and the conditions in which all of us now live. … Ms. Murray … introduces her topic slowly and instructively in the first four chapters, using her comfortable understanding of collective/individual psycho synthesis… The book strikes deep chords of truth without actually becoming condemnatory nor polemical … it isn’t about blame … the USA and its leader/s are part of an even greater whole, the epoch itself.”

~Erin Sullivan, author of Saturn in Transit and Retrograde Planets

“Jessica Murray’s new book on America is as smart … as they come. Her depth of psychological understanding, combined with an astute awareness of current social and cultural events, makes it relevant; and her wry sense of humor and scathing critical eye make it an energizing read. Pluto and Saturn have never made more sense!”

~Vicki Noble, author of Motherpeace, Shakti Woman, and The Double Goddess

“Jessica Murray’s Soul-Sick Nation raises the symbol-system of astrology to the level of a finely-honed tool for the critical work of social insight and commentary. … Just breathtaking!”

~Raye Robertson, author of Culture, Media and the Collective Mind

“Jessica Murray’s take on what’s wrong with America…reads a little like an astrological version of… Michael Moore, including a wonderful sense of wit, ironic contrast, and literate outlook.”

~John Townley, AstroCocktail.com

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“The erudition, political savvy and depth of consideration in this book is stunning, it is what I call a real page-turner. A thumping good read, and brilliantly prophetic.”

~Erin Sullivan, IA Journal, ISAR. Read the full review.

“No one can write like Murray. Funny and poignant, knowledgeable and enquiring, able to turn a phrase, illuminate a point with just the right analogy or metaphor, Murray offers anyone who loves books a really great read… a classic of our times.”

~Katherine James, Star IQ. Read the full review.

“Soul-Sick Nation is a truly remarkable book which will reward any reader who takes the time to read (and reread) it… In the light of [Murray's] deep understanding … we see past the veil… I loved this book…”

~Andrew Palmer, Psychic and Spirit Magazine. Read the full review.

“Jessica combines her monumental skills as a researcher, writer and artist to paint a brilliant, creative, courageous… and powerfully realistic portrait of America’s true nature—its purpose and its promise—and what is required for the promise to be fulfilled.”

~Sao, Shamanic astrology, Sedona, AZ. Read the full review.

“Jessica Murray has done the impossible: used astrology to explain America’s current state of affairs. And she’s done it with wisdom, wit, insight, and intelligence…”

~Paula Grace, consultant and writer. Read the full review.

“Murray['s] …depth of insight along with her verbal dexterity gives her the ability to launch a scathing missive against America; however, she resists this temptation, as her words come from a place of deep wisdom and heart-centeredness…”

~Bill Streett, Astro-Noetics.com. Read the full review.

“I didn’t want put the book down … Jessica … has obviously spent a long time contemplating life, and what America has become and why. … So often we fail to remain objective about things in our immediate surroundings; the author of this book did not.”

~Anne Massey, author of Venus, Her Cycles, Symbols and Myths. Read the full review.

“Murray does not stop with her vast breadth of understanding and analysis of the dire troubles we face as a nation and as a planet today. … [she explains] what can be done by each of us as individuals to help alter the course of world disaster…”

~Vidya Frazier, author of The Art of Letting Go. Read the full review.

“Many have criticized America [but] no one has used astrology so adeptly as a piercing laser to provide a backdrop, and historical rationale, to our collective psychology.”

~Eric Meyers, Astrologysight.com. Read the full review.

“Books come and books go, yet the book that can provide both an intellectual and emotional growth experience is rare. Such a book exists in Jessica Murray’s Soul-Sick Nation… Murray’s vivid and precise use of descriptors for planetary archetypes is among the best I’ve encountered.”

~Natori Moore, SoulFoodAstrology.coma. Read the full review.

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Folks of a metaphysical persuasion tend not to resonate to the “political” label, and political thinkers tend not to give astrology the time of day. But it is time to shake off the constraints of both labels.

In its popular usage politics connotes something far narrower than its dictionary meaning, which is the study of systems of power. For many Americans the term evokes no more than the national infighting between two grotesquely stage-managed political parties. Why take it seriously, if it’s just about a bunch of corrupt rich guys posing for photo ops? Meanwhile, the media hypes “politics” at the same time that it oversimplifies and compartmentalizes it, like a promoter putting on a big, meaningless show.

Thus do many Americans justify ignoring the most pressing questions that exist in the world today. Many who would self-describe as “apolitical” seem to believe that the fouling of the Earth’s waterways, or their government’s use of torture, or child soldiers in the Congo are of interest only to those who are “into politics.” This marginalization of political awareness has resulted in America’s failure to face the rest of the planet–and even its own struggling citizens –with empathy, a cornerstone of spiritual health. Neither a person nor a group can opt out of empathy without becoming soul-sick. To begin healing as a collective we must first of all recognize that what is being dismissed here is the arena where critical humanitarian, moral and spiritual dramas are being played out in the world. This isn’t “politics”; it’s real life. To shrug it off is to turn one’s back on this moment in history.

It is time to consider astrology, too, in a larger way. The stakes are too high at this point in human evolution to keep the great truths of the ancients in a stuffy old library, or pursue them as a mere hobby. We need to pull out all the stops right now to see what is really going on in the world, and ancient wisdom confers the perspective without which such seeing is impossible. This book will seek to shed light on difficult and confusing global issues by looking at them from a celestial distance: a point of view that is vastly higher up and farther away than sociopolitical viewpoints alone can offer.

Astrology is a system of symbols that confers meaning on other kinds of systems, and as such it appeals to those whose primary drive is the search for meaning (a search which is, according to the positive psychology movement, far more predictive of life satisfaction than the pursuit of pleasure). More a spiritual language than a science, astrology requires a leap of faith–something astrologers ought not to be shy about asserting. It is an act of trust to believe that our birth-day means something–something very particular and very important– about who we are. It takes unconditional confidence in the cosmos to believe that we were put on the Earth in a specific location for a reason. Astrology is a very useful tool– not the only one, of course; it is one of a multitude–that can steer us back to this meaning, once our leap of faith has been taken.

A deep faith in cosmic appropriateness does not preclude skepticism; quite the contrary. A distinction needs to be drawn between our confidence in human beings and their societies, which are by definition flawed and often undeserving of our trust, and our confidence in that which is eternal and essential–let us call it Natural Law–in which our trust is always rewarded. “Trust in God,” says an old proverb, “but tie up your camel.” Our belief in the workings of the universe can be quite literally unconditional at the same time that our awareness of the imperfections of human agencies can be, and should be, sharp as a tack.

This book will look at the entity that is the USA as a collective soul whose high and noble potential has become dangerously distorted, to the point where the nation is in desperate need of the clear, critical vision of its citizens to turn it around. The airwaves and cyber-sphere are buzzing with critiques already, of course–some creative and some not so creative. Citizen criticism of an ailing society is crucial, but cataloguing flaws without perspective is destructive; and the last thing we need in this fraught scenario is more destructiveness. We need criticism that is intelligent, imaginative and healing.

Astrology is an ideal way to approach issues that are rancorous and frightening, because it is a way of perceiving that is exceptionally pure and abstract. When the state of the world is described in the language of cosmic principles, it helps us remember that the strivings and errors of human beings, as immense and all-involving as they are, are still just components of an immeasurably larger whole. And when we remember this, the folly we see around us takes on a cosmic sense. We start to glimpse the meaning in it, and the meaning of our presence in it.

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