James Doolittle became famous as an early aviator of World War II who launched and led a one-way bombing attack on the main Island of Japan. From 620 miles east of Japan, his bomber took of from carriers, bombed their targets and then continued towards China where they crash landed. Most of the crews survived, but not all. There was no way to return to the carriers, certainly no way to land. This mission was a morale booster for the American public in those early days of the war. And, it caused Japan to reallocate resources to the defense of their home territories. We will examine Doolittle’s natal chart, t/Moon-to-n/Sun Return (relocated to Tokyo, Japan) and his Advanced chart for April 18, 1942.
Note that Mars is zero degrees, two minutes of arc above the Ascendant., Neptune is just below by 26 seconds of arc. As a life theme, his most famous achievement was an attack over water during the war. The symbolism is astounding. Sun is in the 7th, he will project himself strongly to others — this is a leadership position. Moon trines the Sun within three degrees, an easy way of relating to others is one interpretation. I find it interesting that the only square aspect in the chart is between Jupiter and Pluto. This suggests success in a big way, the seizing of opportunities. The opposition patterns in the chart include Mars-Neptune-Asc. opposite Sun and Moon opposite Part of Fortune. This latter opposition directly relates to the Sun-Moon trine and the resulting Asc.-PoF trine.
Let us now turn our attention to the t/Moon-n/Sun Return.
We find, in this chart, a heavy population of planets at the seventh angle, the Descendant. t/Moon-n/Sun is found in the first house; the book indicates a theme of “To understand or respond (to a need). Becoming over-involved. Asked (to) support or to provide resources. Family patterns shift because of birth, deat or milestone moments . . .” This is all highly appropriate. Doolittle had made trial runs of his bombers off of a carrier located near land where the planes could be re-loaded upon the docked carrier and then go to sea for another round of test take-offs. The bombers had to be stripped of all un-essential weight, and loaded with the maximum amount of fuel and bombs that would enagle them to both be able to take off from ship as well as reach their targets and landing zones.
Note that Jupiter-Mars transits the 7th house, activating the natal Part of Fortune, Pluto, Mars, Neptune. Again, the symbolism is appropriate. We have a Mars Return, Mars on Neptune, Jupiter on Pluto, PoF on the Desc. angle. All of this is square the MC angle. This was a career challenge.
t/Neptune opposes t/Mercury from the 10th to the 4th, while t/Mercury squares n/Mercury. Travel will be over water within a dangerous situation. The midpoint of these two Mercury’s is 17 Aquarius, where the natal North Node lies. t/Node-n/Jupiter is near the MC and squaring the pattern of planets in the 7th. This like a pile of spaghetti, everything is linked and tangled together. When such patterns occur, they denote great cosmic forces present, even though the interpretive task seems impossible.
Below is the Advanced chart for the day of the plane raid over Japan. These charts have been relocated for Tokyo.
Twelve days after the Return chart, and on the date of the raid, the angles and planets have shifted. t/Mars, t/Jupiter, t/Moon are on the Desc. angle with n/Mars and n/Neptune. t/Neptune is at the MC. t/Pluto opposes the natal Ascendant and Venus. t/Mercury and t/Sun are contacting n/Moon. We can approach these patterns in a ‘free-form’ manner:
- t/Jupiter-Desc.-n/Mars-n/Neptune: An opportunity to reach out to others (Japan) in anger and deception to create confusion and hurt.
- t/Mars passing the return point with n/Mars in the 7th: Activating and demonstrating Mars’ war face.
- Desc.-n/Pluto-square t/N.Node-n/Jupiter: Showing a destructive nature toward another (the adversary) in a big way.
- t/Mars-square t/Neptune-MC: A confrontation from the sea to create a public image of threats.
Now, the natal Mars-Asc.-Neptune pattern was in play in Doolittle’s California place of birth. It came back into play at the opposite angle when a different location and time (Japan, 46 years later) came into play. We are always left with the sense of place and time combining in mysterious ways to make amazing astrological links for us to explore.