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Black, Red, Gold - the German Stripes and the Stars

An Astrological Inquiry into the Meaning of National Colors

Historically, as symbol of national identity, the three colors' combination definitely emerged in the beginning of 19 th century. Some people even trace them back to the Middle Ages' Staufian empire. Anyway, black, red and gold illustrate typical German features; the colors stand for characteristic national traits.

Black (in astrological terms Capricorn/ Saturn) is symbolic of the well-functioning political and social order in Germany, the country's exemplary civil service and legislation. Everything looks perfectly organized, every detail seems to be under control (in the GDR personified by the omnipresent secret service). Unlike Italy (for example, reigned by Cancer) the political situation usually is a stable (not to say a rigid) one, German citizens being extremely obedient to the authorities, honestly paying their taxes, etc.
The Germans are conservative, they stick to traditions (Freud might state "in an anal way"). They are severe, clean, punctual - and melancholic. On the other hand they are provided with perseverance, seriousness and reliability, some great sense of duty... In astropsychological dynamics we know that Capricornian virtues become quite problematic and critical, whenever - underneath a cloak of so-called "responsibility" or "law and order" - individual and/ or emotional needs get ignored or suppressed.
Separation seems to be Germany's historical fate. The Romans were the first to build a wall - the so-called "limes" - in between the "barbarian" Germanics: a barrier, which was more than 300 miles long and which lasted for 170 years. That division generated two Germanies, called "Germania cis" and a "Germania trans". In the 14 th century Germany became dispersed into a multitude of small countries (literally looking like a patchwork); Luther's Reformation reinforced that process of particularisation, adding a religious cause of separation to the political ones..
The disaster of World War II and the global conflict between communism and capitalism brutally tore Germany apart. Even after the reunion of East and West Germany in 1990 more than 12 million German speaking people still remain outside (mainly living in Austria and Switzerland). Yet, worse and most impressive are those strict delimitations we find within the country itself. There is a bulk of enmity, antipathies and lack of appreciation between the different groups, parties and generations of German society. What the ominous monument of the Wall and the barbed wire had depicted on the macro-level still can be noticed in those many fences and small boundary walls in between the private houses and neighboring gardens...
Nazi-propaganda: Margarete's dark - Jewish - sidePsychologically, splitting off and repressing your needs usually is accompanied (and compensated) by the mechanism of phantom-projection (cf. Jung), which functions this way: all the wants you don't allow to yourself, all those features you cannot accept as integral parts of your soul, are (distortedly) perceived (as "excessively" practiced) in the world outside. Those hated traits of yourself usually get embodied by specific persons - who surely are due to your moral condemnation (the relationship of G. Bush and S. Hussein being a recent example). It then seems to be your "right to resist" and interfere, you feel legitimated to defend yourself against all those "wicked guys". Correspondingly, as a social group or nation you intend to guard and assert your "natural interests", keeping your "enemies" (e.g. hostile races) within their borders, maybe Saturn-like concentrating them into camps, subjecting and - if feeling "forced to" - even eliminating them...
In typical Capricornian way ordinary German consciousness is located in great distance of its essential needs. And the nation's soul and identity additionally has been suppressed since 1945's capitulation. So for the Germans to realize their wrong deeds is a pretty hard job. Most of them cannot really comprehend the obvious facts of the Holocaust (the confrontation with East Germany's Stalinist past seems a comparatively "easy" task). But that gloomy, dark chapter of history has to be integrated into Germany's collective consciousness - it's the crucial test and inevitable destiny of a true Capricorn. Working off gathered karma, dissolving and withdrawing projections is the preliminary condition of the nation's consolidation and maturity. Such process demands every single German to release his strong inner armors, to give up his permanent control of subconscious impulses and needs. On a big (nationwide) scale the necessary change would mean more liberalism, trying to coexist with all those subversive ("Jewish" or "Gypsy") elements, somehow managing modern world's asylants, etc...
Coming down to some astrological facts/ exemplifications: we have a Capricorn Sun in the chart of Prussia (1/18/1701), the Second Reich (1/18/1871, 13 h LT, Paris) and West Germany's first chancellor Konrad Adenauer (1/5/1876, 10 h 30 LT, Cologne). The Moon is located in Capricorn in the charts of Weimar Republic (11/9/1918, 13 h 45 CET, Berlin), Otto von Bismarck (4/1/1815, 13 h 30 LT, Schoenhausen) and Adolf Hitler (4/20/1889, 18 h 30 LT, Braunau).
If Germany realised this Capricornian archetype in a positive, refined, constructive way, it could mean something like "honest consciousness of responsibility" (= Capricorn at its best). The Germans are truly able to design promising strategies and lasting standards for the European community, they could provide an organisational frame for all national groups of the continent to evolve creatively - i.e., if they are not personifying others' bad conscience but living the primordial principle of Capricorn in a serving, selfless way.

The color Red can be connected to Aries, which is Germany's traditional astrological label. Maybe the Germans think of themselves as self-assertive, courageous, etc. To a foreigner the people's Arien characteristics very often just look like aggressiveness! So both Prussia's and especially emperor Wilhelm's militarism weren't well reputed. And the GDR became the heir of those values of drill and "fighting for a just cause": the East German society of workers and farmers felt at war with "imperialism" (whereas the West Germans felt the other way round). The GDR's factories and even schools were organized like small battle units, with regular roll calls and exercises in shooting going on. Many Germans are still fond of that military type of music (they love "marches"). Further analogies are the impressive results in sports, especially in former East Germany (e.g. in soccer, swimming or fencing). Also typical of Aries is the importance of steel production and all the arms manufacturing in Germany, not to forget the automobile industry (by the way, there is no speed limit on the German autobahn, cars racing over the narrow lanes at 100 mph being not unusual).
Some data: the Sun is located in Aries in Bismarck's, Helmut Kohl's (4/3/1930, 6 h 30 CET, Ludwigshafen, he is also Aries-ascendant) and Richard von Weizsaecker's chart (4/15/1920, 18 h 30 CET, Stuttgart). In both East and West Germany we could find an Aries Moon (forming a in conjunction - GDR: 10/7/1949, 13 h 17 CET, Berlin; FRG: 5/23/1949, 17 h CDT, Bonn), also in the Third Reich's chart (1/30/1933, 11 h 30 CET, Berlin) and in Adenauer's.
The combination of Capricorn and Aries (equivalent to Mars-Saturn) stands for enormous zeal and diligence, the Germans' capacity to work really hard (think of the "wirtschaftswunder" in the fifties). But, symptomatically for Mars-Saturn, all those virtues in achievement and performance easily conceal unfulfilled national wants. Both the nation's economical power and success in sports may be seen as some psychological shift of energy (some kind of sublimation or compensation in Freudian terms) - the spatial, geographical level being prohibited for German "knights and soldiers" after the defeats in the World Wars.
Mars-Saturn can be described as "some really strong ambition and fitness". But it also means to be "permanently in search of an opposition". One "bitter fruit" or shadowy aspect of the constellation is the blitzkrieg, i.e. German troops (by way of phantom-projection) running down neighboring nations and suppressing them. The lost wars had been a heavy (Saturnine) blow to the Germans' self-image of being a hero (Mars). Capitulation and occupation forced the brutal Martian factor to disappear into the subconsciousness.
In order to get into contact with that repressed power and energy again, to invest this productive capital of Aries in an adequate and profitable way (to the use of all nations), Germany first must be confronted (= Capricorn) with its bad deeds of the past. The country's most urgent duty is to - honestly and consciously - deal with itself, to clear off those abysses and disgraceful aspects of the national soul. On a higher, less material level this specific combination of zodiacal signs (Capricorn - Aries) could be some kind of "deliberate self-restriction" or some "intentional self-discipline", holding back impulses in the knowledge of a "good purpose"... The German war-resisters and the movement of peace in the eighties indicate that some inner growth of the nation's psyche actually had happened.

Gold, the last color of Germany's flag, is a hint to Leo/ the Sun. This third primordial principle effective within the nation's soul becomes evident in considering the country's central location - amidst, in the heart of Europe. During the Middle Ages this Leo factor had been embodied by the "Holy Roman Empire of German Nation", its emperor representing the sunlike ruler of the occident. In rural areas we still have that folk-tale or solar myth going around, saying that Friedrich Barbarossa is asleep in a mountain's cave (inside the Kyffhaeuser Mountain or the Untersberg). This red-beard emperor of 12th century is supposed one day to rise again - and after his resurrection to start another Golden Age... This Leo aspect - Germany's potential of a just reign over Europe - today is the most latent and subconscious (dormant, "slumbering") element of the national identity (so we don't find many charts whith the Sun or Leo emphasized).
Hitler and the National Socialists magically appealed to this primordial force of the nation's soul - thus becoming megalomaniac, in a demonic way obsessed by the collective archetype. In looking at the swastika, Third Reich's eminent emblem, we can understand both the solar principle's importance and its perversion by the Nazis:
First of all, this dynamic cross is an ancient, universal - mainly Indogermanic - sun-symbol; a symbol of life's endless circulation, particularly in red color:

Let there now be some wind and look southward - so you can imagine the sun's wheel rolling along the firmament!

Consequently, the opposite (mirrored) version is symbolical of the earth (in its daily revolution, moving towards the sun, especially in black):

Standing upright, in Jainism and Tibetan buddhism the swastika illustrates the world's natural order (dharma). The Nazi propaganda took the left-revolving (i.e. earthly) version and, additionally, they tilted it:

Psychologically this turn reflected some fateful shift of the point of reference: namely from the (higher, divine) self to the ego, from spiritual dominance and power (which analogous to the sun or heart always is beyond any partiality) to Luciferan hybris and usurpation. The Nazis' manipulation produced selfishness and vanity; those (conferred) solar energies became abused in a primarily material sense, i.e. in subdueing creatures and creation, aiming at world supremacy instead of spiritual leadership.
The arbitrarily tilted swastika marked the German collectivity's (negative) movement into the subconscious. Without true spiritual guidance all the powers evoked deviated from the right course; the triggered events and dynamics couldn't be kept in balance, on their regular orbit. Soon after 1933 the people's stirred up gigantic energies weren't under control any more. In analogy to the slung hammer of ancient Thor things were running out of order, and in the end the Germanic god's destructive thunder and lightning - allied bombs - fell from heaven...
Hitler stimulated the most powerful, (like kundalini) sleeping archetype of the German soul. The nation answered promptly to his call. People were affected strongly, behaving like being in a mass psychosis. The solar principle which had beeb twisted into material "blood and grounds" caused extremely hypnotical and hysterical effects.
We all know the experiment of a Third ("Golden") Reich failed catastrophically; Germany's reign over the world turned out to be a very subjective illusion. Human evolution never can be realized by mere regression into irrationality/ by way of just following your archetypal instincts. The parable of the sorcerer's apprentice tells us that releasing those primordial forces of the subconscious is quite risky; without your careful attention they easily can turn diabolical. And every madman or person running amok sooner or later will be thrown into prison (as happened to many Nazis after 1945)...
Yet, like every organism, united Europe is in need of a pulsating centre animating the whole, flooding the community with streams of energy. (The centre meanwhile being reunited, formerly restricting armors taken away, the heart (Germany/ Berlin) beating again, Europe's body could be filled with new life - and realize its destiny of union and multiplicity.) In the past decades the Germans did realize this (their) duty primarily in the area of trade and commerce, i.e. on a mere economical level. In this respect they are "the biggest" again, the greatest European power - but also still - now economically - dominating and threatening their neighbors as in the times of emperor Wilhelm or the Nazi terror regime. Undoubtedly, by numbers Germany is Europe's strongest nation; but is there any need of those arrogant and insolent tourists (small Leos!) sent like missionaries all over the world to tell everybody that the kraut is somebody again?
Psychologically, the effects of a predominant, yet subconscious archetype in an individual are rather dangerous to others. In the concert of European nations Germany ought to know its special function of rulership - yet this awareness should be paired with high (Capricornian) integrity. Those negatively lived out energies of Third Reich need to be channeled into some positive direction, i.e., into some service of the whole, fruitful to the other parts of the European organism. The Germans are supposed to play quite an active (Arien) role on the European stage - yet they should primarily be initiative in the domains of culture, in shaping spiritual visions. Germany's leadership is to be seen rather in the fields of arts, music, in philosophy, literature, etc. - not in any physical or economical expansion of its dominion. The country did enrich the world with its "poets and thinkers", not with barbarian warriors.
Goethe's protagonist Faust pacted with the devil, driving his beloved Margarete into mental illness. In order to reconcile with his female counterpart (anima) Faust had to descend to the Hades, there exploring his soul's dark aspects and weak sides. Goethe's drama is describing the German hero's mythological path. In his turbulent process of "growing up" Faust needs a lot of time and (Capricornian) patience; on his road to realize his self he has to accept and confess his failures and vulnerability - not to compensate them in a masculine, patriarchal way any more.

In accordance to the system of Doebereiner (a triple step relationship of the rising sign, the sun and the midheaven sign) I suggest Capricorn to be Germany's ascendant. Thus, the ability to provide generally respected structures is the nations's fundamental disposition. The ascendant signifies what is given - so honesty and truth (mainly towards oneself) are the Germans' starting point to complete their collective mission. The sun in Aries shows the way how that primary intention is going to be realized, how the original impulse (of the rising sign) is brought forth and lived, in this case how Capricornian discipline, order, knowledge of the right direction, etc. get outwardly expressed. Thus the characteristics of the nation's visible behavior are (a.o.) great intensity (in making efforts) and strength of will... Leo at midheaven is indicating the country's ultimate and final goal (its "purpose"); here we may expect the results and fruits of its maturity process. So Germany's (long-term) destiny lies in creatively shaping its surrounding world, being the vitalizing centre of Europe.

(originally written in 1990)

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