Why Labor Day?


image of Peter McGuire

Peter J. McGuire, the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was the first person to suggest that special day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold, ” sometime between Independence Day and Thanksgiving.  He felt that would break up the long period and allow workers to enjoy the beauty of the Creator and rest.

Others contend that it really was a peace offering from President Grover Cleveland, for the killing of a dozen or more striking railway workers in Pullman, Illinois.  We decided to look at the two arguments and see what the Natal Chart of the holiday suggests.

                                   The Original  date

original labour day.png

The first time that Labor Day was celebrated was in New York City on September 5, 1882 according to the United States Department of Labor.  The whole day was announced by the mayor to be in its honor, so we chose midnight for its birth.

                                            Bowling Green

The event’s  temperament type is a bowl.  All ten planets fall cleanly with the parameters of a hemispheric rim, with just Venus in Libra hitting its edge; the four asteroids as well as the part of fortune and other mathematical points do not make up the temperament type — just the ten planets.   Bowl temperament types are rather self-contained/  This Bowl is totally Southern based (notice that the planets are on top of the chart shining forth on the bottom half?).  It is  an exuberant bow, giving and not asking for much in return .

Pluto is shown at the Descendant but it was not discovered at the time, so for charts previous to that, typically Pluto if shown is dropped from the temperament type configuration.  We are showing it just for curiosity’s sake and it appears at 01 Gemini — a glass bottomed boat with the keyword “Curiosity,” which probably was how the original paritcipants viewed the holiday, curious to what to do, and what would be going on.

The Ascendant is 28 Virgo, the symbol of which is a “Bald Headed Man.”  It is true that Grover Cleveland was a bit light on the top, but so is Peter McGuire, so we turn to the enlightening words of Marc Edmund Jones who writes that this symbol is more about “widespread opportunities for richer living.”

Holidays do that.


                                      New York, We have an Interception!

We have an interception in the Ninth House but nothing is really there except Vesta in Leo and Pallas in Aquarius.   When planets are intercepted, they do not exert their natural tendencies but are muted and take on the more benign nature.  Pallas in the 4th house means that this is the beginning of a pattern and Vesta in the Ninth, that many who were gone will return to keep the hearth burning for the winter.   In the US today that does seem to be the case as many feel that Labor Day is the end of Summer — it technically continues until September 21st — and close up their summer homes, end their vacations and return back to work, home and school.

                              Gimme a Line

The Line of Vitality between the Sun and the Moon are sextiled suggesting an effortless time where everyone decides to put off today their chores for tomorrow and just enjoy the bounty that they have sown.

The Line of Motivation, the aspect between Jupiter and Saturn, is missing.  They are semi-sextile and not a major aspect according to Marc Jones’s rules and so they suggest that the spirit of the day is not one of discipline.  Probably true too, as it is has become a major shopping holiday.

Venus and Mars make up the Line of Efficiency.  They are both in the Eleventh House suggesting that the Original Day was so successful that it would gain traction by word of mouth.

And finally, Uranus in the Tenth House and Neptune in the Sixth makeup the final Line of Social Significance (previously the Line of Culture) in a harmonious trine.  Here we see that the spirit of the day is not one of grandstanding and endless parades, but friendly picnics and neighborly gatherings and of course, bbqs.

Thanks Mr. McGuire for Labor Day. We think we’ll take your advice and fire up the smoker and invite all far and near, and we hope our readers do too.  Here’s some recipes to help.

Have a wonderful Labor Day.

Download the Chart for the Original Labour day 1885