"America: love it or leave it." This blunt, black-and-white sentence is an eerily apt summation of the USA's natal chart. Given that there has been much debate in astrological circles regarding the most correct and accurate chart to use, I put forth the proposition that only a nation with Sagittarius Rising would leave the above sentence as its calling card...plus, of course, its currency, which states "In God We Trust." Although this motto was only added to US currency during the Civil War, once again, only a nation with Sagittarius Rising would so overtly endorse this viewpoint.
You may well be asking why specifically Sagittarius on the Ascendant, as opposed to the luminaries (i.e., Sun and Moon) or other planets in this sign, would result in the USA's having a blunt, religious persona. This is because the Rising Sign is the face, the front door, the window dressing, the first impression a native imparts, whether the native is an individual, a business, an event, or a nation. The Ascendant does not necessarily show what lies at the native's heart: first impressions often can be misleading (e.g., we all know people who come across as cold and standoffish, yet have vulnerable, tender souls).
Certainly, the USA has shown the world both the positive and negative traits of its Sagittarian face ever since its birth on July 4, 1776. The freewheeling, pioneering adventurer; the tendency toward excess (in eating, drinking, drugging, gambling, spending, or sexing, depending on the era) combined with an equally extreme self-righteous, moralistic attitude, regardless of political, religious, or philosophical affilation (i.e., "My way or the highway.")
The mutability of the sign of Sagittarius makes possible to give the paradoxical message that you are welcome to come from anyplace in the world to join America's gigantic melting pot, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and succeed on your own highly individualized terms...but only if you come during a time of economic expansion and laid-back goodwill that America periodically cycles through. (Not now, in other words.)
With Sagittarius Rising, the ruler of USA's chart is Jupiter, which is placed in Cancer and conjunct Venus in the 7th House of partnerships. Thus the importance of home, mother, apple pie, and marriage, along with emotional patriotism (Cancer as a sign is extremely loyal and can only be reached via emotional appeals, not logic).
If there is still any doubt that the USA has 13 degrees of Sagittarius Rising, think back to August 2001, when the the Saturn-Pluto opposition fell exactly across the Ascendant and Descendant...setting the stage for 9/11.
Tune in very soon for an extended forecast for Amerca's Solar Return and important progressions for the upcoming year!