Lyndon B. Johnson, a son of Texas complete with a ‘country air’ was an effective President in terms of getting his agenda advanced. As a civil rights supporter, his “Great Society” programs continued and expanded the legacy of John F. Kennedy. Unfortunately, the Vietnam war and the protests held in the U.S. created a great deal of distrust in his leadership. He decided not to seek a second elected term.
On the day that Richard Nixon took the oath of office and Johnson became an ordinary citizen again it was said that he took out a cigarette to smoke. His daughter took it from him, citing its effects on his health. He took the cigarette back, telling her that he had raised a family and been a President, it was now his time to do what he wanted. His health did fail and he died a few years later on Jan. 22, 1973. His political story is fascinating, it should be told astrologically. But, this series is focusing upon Mars. Of all the charts for his political and personal moments, only his Moon-to-Sun Return for Jan. 21, 1973, prior to his death, has a prominent Mars.
This is a “ninth house” theme chart for the t/Moon-to-n/Sun Return. The book’s theme notes “Contacting or visiting distant places . . . “, all of the expected ninth house meanings that we all know. For Johnson, this indicated his passing onward to a new form of adventure. How he felt about dying and the afterlife is not known to me.
Note t/Mars-Asc. opposite t/Saturn, along with t/Pluto near the MC. The broad Sun-Moon inconjunct Saturn in the natal chart points to a constant tweeking of strategies that help him get through life. We see this in hindsight as his mastery of politics. The natal Mars broadly near the Ascendant, but ‘more in the first house’ since it is separated by Jupiter from being next to the Ascendant, suggests that this political maneuvering was the primary expression avenue for his Mars. Johnson was well known for his private hollering and brow-beating sessions with selected individuals as a way of getting the support he wanted for a legislative bill.
Perhaps the Return chart’s t/Mars-Asc. opposite t/Saturn points to achievement of best using the techniques of politics needed to assure his legacy. t/Pluto at the MC points to his life’s status as being subjected to a transformative process. There is a wide opposition from t/Pluto to n/Saturn, emphasizing Saturn’s role. Johnson had always operated within a institutional structure of one type or another. He learned and used the rules with success.
Would we, knowing that Johnson’s health was poor, and if serving as a consultant to him, see this as a period where great caution was needed? Let us look at an Advanced chart.
Johnson passed on from this life on the very next day. Mars remains at the Asc. angle. Pluto is being approached my the advancing MC angle. t/Part of Fortune opposes t/Sun. t/Moon is gaining on the MC angle, having passed n/Sun-n/Moon earlier.
The changes from the previous day’s Return chart involve the t/Moon and t/PoF. t/Moon-n/Mercy-square-t/Mars points to a mental awareness that is physically challenged. Was he surprised or frightened by the heart attack he endured? The attack happened quickly. Chest pains prompted him to contact his Secret Service escort. At the hospital a short time later he was pronounced dead. It was all over very quickly.
Blending Mars-Saturn-Pluto-Ascendant factors we find, quoting Ebertin’s COSI, “destroyed vitality, tests of strength, illness, the intervening of a higher power, death, separation, and related terms.
With Mars conjoining Sun/Moon in the natal chart we see that Johnson’s role in life was built upon his full and constant application of energy applied to his life and his goals. At the time of his passing we see that he now had to meet the challenge (the square to Mars) of a highly restricted (Mars opposite Saturn) level of energy. The fuel for his personal life had been expended.