Once again, a black man has died upon coming into contact with the police in his community. Baltimore, Maryland has a significant black community such as many major cities have. Over the course of time the economy has changed, the work opportunities that existed mid-century has largely melted away. City budgets have cut support for schools, playgrounds and social support programs. The poor have become poorer. And the older male population has died or become imprisoned due to crime, or has disappeared to avoid responsibility for support of their family. Whatever the individual reasons, the family structure has broken down along with the economic structure. Hopelessness rules.
This posting will focus on the tragic story of Freddie Gray, his arrest and death last week. In this endeavor to astrologically explore this situation I will utilize t/Moon-to-n/Sun Return charts, and later, t/Moon-to-n/Mars Return charts. The astrological community does not yet recognize the full value of Return and Cyclic charts, concentrating on natal-progressed-transit charting methods to explore a subject’s life. These cyclic charts provide a different view of one’s life. Instead of focusing on one event (natal-prog’d-transit charts) on one day, we can use Moon-to-Sun Returns to view life’s flow of events and attitudes and actions over several days. We have the tools to have a video in place of a photo. This can be much more exciting.
Freddie Gray was stopped and arrested in his neighborhood by the Baltimore police for having a illegal switch-blade knife in his possession. This is extremely “minor” in nature — if it was true. It was not. A standard folding blade pocket knife was in Freddie’s possession — a completely normal and legal item. Freddie was wrongly arrested. In the minutes to follow his arrest he was hand cuffed, leg shackled, placed into a police van, removed and again placed into the van, transported without being restrained by a seat belt. He asked for medical attention and help several times. More than a half hour later, after four stops to pick up other arrested individuals as well as one stop to deal with his request (which was again ignored), he arrived at the police station. He was unresponsive at this point and not breathing.
Freddie Gray’s t/Moon-opposite-n/Sun Return of April 14, 2015 is shown here. It is a 11th to the 5th house Return with a theme of “Support for a public effort or program, joint ventures, or training of others. Start/completion of financial ventures, losses or gains relating to one’s career or work. The desire to be with friends or active in the community. Balancing the needs of self and others.”
At first glance, this theme does not seem to be applicable to the extreme situation which occurred in the days following. Extreme situations have to interpreted differently after the fact — who could see them ahead of time unless the subject was living within a highly obvious and dangerous situation. What we have in this “theme” is the subject of ‘community’ and ‘losses or gains’ relating to one’s career or work (status in life).
This t/Moon conjoins n/N.Node and t/PoF; Interaction with associates (Node) or those one comes in contact with will involve “chance and change” (PoF) situations, causing fears and concerns (Moon) about oneself. t/Sun-Asc.-n/PoF is a mirroring pattern. One’s vitality and self-interests is very much involved due to inherent risks that seem to just occur (n/PoF). With t/Uranus right behind the Asc.-t/Sun, things are likely to happen suddenty, surprisingly.
We are dealing with events and situations when we work with cyclic charts. We are not so much doing psychological work as many astrologers do with their natal-progressed-transit charting. We are looking at how our daily life is affected by change and how we might seek to re-balance life so that it proceeds the way we want it to proceed. t/Pluto-MC is in close contact to n/Neptune and n/Chiron; we can weasel-word this easily to fit the situation; Chaos and irrevocable change (Pluto) will affect one’s life-status in confusing ways, resulting in injury and physical suffering. Would we see this pattern in the same way before the event occurred? t/Mars squares n/MC; life moves through challenging situations.
The events that occurred on April 19th, just a few days later, are mirrored in this chart. The Advanced chart shows t/Sun-Asc. opposite n/Asc.; this is a “confrontation” pattern if there ever was one. Having both the natal and transiting Part of Fortune close by adds more emphasis. Now, couple this with t/Pluto right on the MC angle. Can a more appropriate chart for a tragic event be found?
This is the nature of cyclic charting. It is very event-situation oriented. Because of this we can (if we choose to) use the words of Ebertin’s “Combination of Stellar Influences” book to interpret these patterns if we feel uncomfortable using our own. Ebertin developed his views on the planets in combinational patterns during and following the first World War with all of its tragedy. Others have since reevaluated his words with more moderate and modern views — yet, Ebertin’s word choices remain more vital and appropriate today. One thing that I would add to this statement: I incorporate Cyril Fagan’s concept of planets at two adjacent angles, while not being in a geometrical square, have to be considered as being in a highly effective square. He called these paran-squares. Two closely angular planets — such as t/Sun-Asc. and t/Pluto-MC — are within a paran-square pattern. Life-situations become intense for Freddie Gray on this day.
It was found, after the fact, that Freddie Gray suffered from a broken neck, a head wound that could be related to a bolt in the police van. Freddie was pronounced dead at the hospital after being delivered there for medical attention an hour or so after his arrest and injuries. The medical examiner ruled his death a homocide. The Baltimore District Attorney brought charges against the six policemen involved. Riots occurred. Freddie was buried on April 27, 2015.
This chart, advanced from the original t/Moon-opposite-n/Sun Return, now shows n/Pluto at the Desc. angle, t/Sun at the Asc. angle (the Sun’s movement and the rate of advance of the angles are quite close).
t/Moon and t/PoF conjoins n/Sun. Balance has finally been restored for Freddie. Not in the form he would have chosen. These charts involve Pluto, one of the planets that can be related to one’s death. Pluto at the seventh angle is considered by some to be a death signature. I tend to view Pluto in a cyclic chart, when at an angle, to be a very serious indicator of irrevocable change. It may be necessary to scale that irrevocable change back to more mundane circumstances in one’s daily life. Even minor daily situations such as a community project or a personal relationship with a neighbor can undergo a serious change that is meaningful. We can’t ignore Pluto at an angle.
In the next post we will look at this situation from a different point of view. Dave.