As part of our study on Mars-Ascendant patterns, Rosa’s t/Moon-to-n/Mars chart of Nov. 19, 1955 presents us with a great example of the power of Mars within a Return chart. t/Moon represents the changes that seem to intrude into our life, the ebb and flow of emotions and feelings which may affect our judgement and attitude. n/Mars, once we have become adults, represents our developed approach to action, our force behind commitment, the level of energy we throw into expressing ourselves. The Mars energy may be lashing out, controlled, skillfully used, brutal or subtle — it depends upon us as to how we choose to use it or let it use us.
t/Moon-to-n/Mars is on the IC angle; a basic sense of outrage or expression over a ‘root cause’ or issue is indicated. Mars is “doubled up” in that t/Mars is at the Ascendant. This has been a the defacto pattern within the natal charts we have studied in this series. If we view this chart as a picture of a transiting Moon to natal Mars ‘cycle’ then the placement of transiting Mars on the Ascendant while squaring the Moon-Mars pattern at the IC, would portray a generic explosive situation. It was explosive in terms of its national impact, it was downright devastating to the southern cultural system that was in place in Alabama and other states in 1955.
For Rosa Parks, on a personal level, her natal chart’s Mars-Asc. pattern led a first house grouping of Mars-Moon-Uranus-Mercury-Sun, all opposed by Neptune. In a general sense, this 7th house Neptune drew her personal energy and life-direction towards higher ideals and social sensitivity.
We can fold another technique into our understanding of Rosa’s natal Mars bu using the “Planets in Containment” approach advocated by Sandbach and Ballard. They consider the patterns of three planets in sequence, in this case Jupiter-Mars-Moon. “These individuals may try to accomplish too much and find their energies waxing and waning with their moods. They seem to envision their actions as encompassing a great area, and experience difficulty in establishing step-by-step routines to accomplish the tasks. Potentially they can generate the enthusiasm necessary to sustain initiative within the context of their daily activities. They approach their work optimistically which is the key to meeting the mundane tasks of life.”
At this point in her life, Rosa Parks was 42 years old. Saturn was making its second opposition to its natal position, recognized as a time of personal crises for just about everyone. Uranus was making its first opposition to its natal position. And Mars was squaring its natal position. Rosa’s work within the NAACP had already placed her in the mindset of being a professional activist. So, let us return to this ‘Return’ chart.
t/Mars-t/Neptune-Asc. The broad opposition between n/Mars and n/Neptune across the horizontal axis of the natal chart is now magnified in this Return chart. It is time to fight for the ideals she has held. I suspect that this ‘event’ of confrontation over bus seating didn’t just happen by accident! Knowing which bus routes were crowded at certain times of the day, Rosa chose that bus to ride in. She may have ridden in many buses over the prior several days, waiting for an overcrowding situation. She knew, most likely, that the bus driver would move black people around to make room for white people. She chose this battle, I am sure. With her sweet calm demeanor, she would be the perfect ‘victim.’ Her natal promise was going to be fulfilled, she was going to gain her ‘larger’ vision.
Advancing the prior chart to Dec. 1, 1955, we see that t/Mars conjoins t/Neptune. This is close to the natal MC point. The goal has been reached, it is time to execute the plan.
The bus driver stopped the bus, people boarded the bus. There were no more seats for a white passenger. Rosa was told to move. She refused. She was arrested. The revolution was started. A bus boycott ensued. The national news focused great attention on Montgomery, Alabama. People marched.
Note t/Chiron on the IC with n/Uranus, t/Uranus on the MC in opposition. A revolutionary pattern made personal. Another factor to note; t/PoF conjoining n/Saturn in the 7th-8th house, and opposing t/Saturn. Structures and rules were being broken down. Rosa was the focal point of a very wide scope of others sharing in her feelings and frustration with the social system. To add more to this astrological picture note t/Moon activating natal Pluto, all opposing t/Venus-n/Part of Fortune. Moon-Pluto shows the depth of feelings, the need to make any sacrifice needed. The opposition to Venus-PoF points to her willingness to be the catalyst for change.
Rosa Parks died recently. She was a revered icon within the civil rights movement, an example showing that fame comes to whoever is in the right place at the right time with the right intent — and, perhaps, the right preparation. It is my view that she was well prepared for this seemingly unexpected event. Dave