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.

                              first labour day.png

The Original  date


The first time that Labor Day was first 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 tilted hemispheric rim angling from the Fifth House of play and sport to the Eleventh House of the public.  The rim makes sense for the original Labor Day as Mr. McGuire intended. Later, the more widely accepted Labour Day, takes on a different angle and becomes more political.

Pluto is shown on the map thought it was not discovered for another fifty years.

Bowl temperament types are rather self-contained and this one is primarily Northern based, most of the planets are shining upwards towards the southern hemisphere, telling that the original Labor Day was indeed a familiar one.  The 06 Cancer Ascendant supports this with the Hyperion Symbol of a “boxer skipping  rope” i.e. resting up by taking on some idle exercise to be in better shape.  It is conjunct Jupiter and via a translation of light, the Moon, both in Gemini.  This is an excellent combination as Jupiter is exalted in Cancer and encourage good-naturedness and enthusiastic enjoyment of things undertake.  An interesting note that this conjunction in the First house  denotes indulgence and patronage — as this holiday was a paid one bestowed by the employer.

                              Gimme a Line

The Line of Vitality, that aspect between the Sun and the Moon is 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, is the aspect between Jupiter and Saturn, but here is missing.  While semi-sextile, that is not  major aspect according to Marc Jones’s  planetary rules and  suggest that the spirit of the day is undisciplined.  Probably true too then as it is now, as it is has become a major end-of-summer shopping holiday.

The third line on the chart is that Social Significance (previously the Line of Culture) and appears  in a harmonious trine.  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, barbecues.

Thanks Mr. McGuire for Labor Day. We think we’ll take your advice and fire up the smoker and invite all far and near —  we hope our readers do too.  Here’s some recipes to help.  Whether it’s on the beach, the backyard or at the parade, have a wonderful one.  The chart for the First Labour Day 1882 can be obtained here.