For those of us of a certain generation, the song “Hurricane” by
Bob Dylan served both to immortalize the story of Rubin “Hurricane”
Carter and to symbolize the injustice of racism. In 1966, against
the backdrop of the civil rights movement, the up-and-coming boxer,
Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, was accused and convicted of the murders
of three whites in a Paterson, New Jersey bar. The subtitle of Carter’s
autobiography, The Sixteenth Round, says it all:
“From Number One Contender to Number 45472.”
release of Hurricane Carter, who was serving a life sentence
for three murders he did not commit, became a cause celebre
for Dylan, Muhammad Ali and other members of the radical
chic in the 1970s. However, it took the devotion of a
teenager from a Brooklyn ghetto and his “adopted” Canadian
family to finally bring about Carter’s freedom in the
1980s. The current hit film Hurricane, starring
Denzel Washington, tells the story of Carter’s life, his
wrongful imprisonment and his eventual release.
in Taurus: Strength and Endurance
was born with the Sun in Taurus on May 6, 1937, at 11:45
am in Passaic, New Jersey. Each sign of the zodiac is
said to correspond to one of the Old Testament Twelve
Tribes of Jacob, and the tribe of Reuben is assigned to
Taurus. So, Carter is, in a way, twice a Taurus: once
by birth and once by name.
the sign of the bull, is noted for being strong and persevering.
Some might even characterize Taureans as stubborn–an astrologer
I know quips that they “nod in all the right places.”
Of course, Carter is physically strong, but he is also
strong in will and spirit. He became legendary for refusing
to wear prison garb because he would not put on the clothes
of a “guilty” man. Not even time in solitary confinement
could change his mind.
to the film, a guard finally offered a compromise that
Rubin could live with–he put on “hospital” prison whites.
Carter never did succumb to wearing jailhouse stripes.
He is described in a 1975 Penthouse interview in this
way: “His meticulous attire—clean khaki slacks, an immaculate
white turtleneck shirt and a black turban adorned with
a pearl pin—clearly testifies to his determination to
preserve identity and self-respect in the face of the
conformity of prison life."
a recent appearance on Oprah, Rubin Carter
disclosed that the way he gets in touch with his “spirit”
is by working in his garden. This is typical of Taurus,
a Venus-ruled earth sign. Many Taureans find great solace
by working with the earth, cultivating flowers to beautify
their home and vegetables to satisfy their discriminating
in Leo—Radiant Leadership
Taurus is the immovable object, then Leo may very well
be the irresistible force. Those with Leo rising, in short,
have presence. They are courageous and proud and will
seek to preserve their dignity at all costs. Here again
we see where Rubin Carter got the strength to hold onto
his beliefs and individuality in a system intent on conformity.
Leo’s ability to lead is unquestioned—be it a family,
a corporation or a nation. Carter now heads the Association
for the Defense of the Wrongfully Convicted and speaks
out on this important issue all over the world.
Retrograde Planets—A Spiritual Influence
planetary motion is an astronomical phenomenon whereby,
from the viewpoint of earth, a planet appears to be moving
backward through the zodiac. When planets are retrograde,
astrologers say that the energy usually associated with
that planet is internalized, or acts differently than
when the planet is in direct motion. Carter was born with
four planets retrograde: Mercury, Venus, Mars and Neptune.
The late astrologer John McCormick did a 100-year study
of retrograde planets and found four planets were retrograde
only 12 percent of the time. It is even more unusual when
three of the four are the so-called inner planets of Mercury,
Venus and Mars. To internalize the energies of the planets
of communication, love and action inevitably leads one
to a very spiritualized existence. McCormick noted this
signature was often found in the charts of writers.
spent his time in prison studying religion and philosophy.
It was Rubin’s own words in his autobiography, The
Sixteenth Round, that reached out and touched
the heart of Lesra Martin, the teenager who fought for
his exoneration and who bought the book for a dollar at
a used book sale. It was the first book the boy had ever
read! And, it was Carter’s writings that attracted Bob
Dylan and others to his cause. It isn’t just his talent
as an author that stirred those who read his work—it is
the spiritual truth that his message carried that won
their belief in his innocence.
and Pluto: A Rebellious and Powerful Nature
incarceration for the murders at the Lafayette Bar and
Grill was not his only brush with the law. He spent time
behind bars on several occasions in his youth. In fact,
many suppose that it was this history coupled with his
outspoken opinions on police brutality and civil rights
that led to his unjust arrest. There are a number of astrological
aspects that speak of rebellion and problems with authority
figures. His Uranus falls in the Tenth House and is square
to his Ascendant, making personal freedom and the need
to do things his own way an integral part of his personality.
He is not likely to placidly accept the rules of the “powers
that be.” This aspect also bestows a good amount of creativity
and originality, which eventually Rubin was able to use
for writing, speaking and influencing others.
addition, Pluto squares the Midheaven, giving Rubin a
tremendous amount of personal magnetism and an overriding
need to transform societal norms. The lessons of Pluto
also have to do with the use and abuse of power. During
his life, Rubin was at the mercy of a justice system that
sought to keep him in jail despite contradictory and exculpatory
evidence. At times, Rubin did use his physical power in
anger. Later, he directed this energy positively through
his career in boxing. Since his release from prison, he
has been able to use his formidable personality and charismatic
power to fight for justice for those who find themselves
unfairly imprisoned and powerless to do anything about
Hurricane—Free at Last!
horoscope is as complex and compelling to the astrologer as his
story is to the millions who have been moved by it. An innocent
man spends nearly twenty years behind bars and, on release, chooses
to bring his message of hope to the world. It is in this extraordinary
act of forgiveness that Carter has finally found true freedom and
redemption. A lesser man might have found himself a prisoner of
his own resentment and rage. To paraphrase his own words, “Hate
put me in prison but love is gonna bust me out.”