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Ronald Reagan Bows Out to Celestial Accompaniment

"Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know." — John Keats

For months in advance, astrologers of various stripes warned that the potential existed in the second week of June 2004 for an event that could “bring down the house” (the White House that is) or result in the death of a president. Most predications were of an assassination. (No doubt, noting the Saturn conjunction to George Bush’s and the USA Suns.) Why was no one entertaining the possibility of the death of Ronald Reagan, our most senior elder statesman? No Saturnian trauma—instead the benefic influence of Venus was everywhere to be seen. The fortieth president’s funerary rites, a week-long event, eclipsed all other media coverage. The “Goddess of Love and Beauty” blessed the occasion as she delivered a spectacular performance both above and below.

The passing of Ronald Reagan was the defining event of the Venus solar conjunction week and as evidentiary of celestial orchestration as the Venus transit. The funeral was a focal point for the reflection of numerous astrological influences. An examination of transits and aspects to the US chart gives a good picture—the coincidental closing of the country’s Saturn square (transiting Saturn in Cancer in the Seventh House squaring the Tenth House natal Saturn in Libra), the Saturn conjunction to the US Sun, and the conjunction of transiting Venus to the US Mars in Gemini in the Seventh House opposing Pluto in Sagittarius transiting the First House. Among the mundane matters these various planets govern are power and authority, love, death, relationships, family, Alzheimers, communication, optimism, patriotism, the military, the west, airplane travel, horses, public image, etc. Could anyone who was watching (or listening) possibly have missed these signs?

The Love Connection

Under Venus’ shining star, millions of Americans opened their hearts in a huge outpouring of love as they paid homage to the 40th US President and to the woman he referred to as “the love of my life”. The Reagans’ half-century love affair became the centerpiece of media coverage. Theirs was truly a match made in heaven, as their charts attest. His Taurus Moon certainly attracted an extraordinarily devoted mate. She supplied what he lacked, and vice versa. His stoicism and emotional distance (stellium in Capricorn, Aquarian Sun and Pluto in Gemini) are matched by her emotional vulnerability (stellium in Cancer). These horoscopes no doubt allowed Ron and Nancy to maintain strong traditional male/female roles in their relationship and to be extremely comfortable within the conventional structure of marriage that was socially appropriate to their generation. They also shared power. Her stellium in Cancer, which includes Pluto in the Ninth House (preceding the Tenth House of authority) shows her unequivocally as the “power behind the throne”. Her Leonine Tenth House far overshadows his Tenth House “empty nest” (surprising for the chief executive of a world power). However, her Neptune placement relegates her to manifesting her Leo Moon in a supporting role (in the movies and in real life)—“First Lady” instead of “Queen,” a sacrifice she “settled for” in this lifetime. She had to content herself with being worshipped by her husband and exerting considerable influence behind the scenes. Let us not forget that Nancy brought an astrologer into the White House—a move that could have meant political suicide to a less popular leader. Even those who disagreed with Reagan’s politics (and there are many) can appreciate their “love connection.” (Editor's note: There are many different birth times for Ronald Reagan. See the author's comments below.*)

Symbolic Unity

The bi-coastal ceremonies, as well as the repetitive recounting of Reagan’s youthful years in America’s heartland, were symbolic of a desire (Venus) for national unity at a time when the country is highly polarized (Pluto). Although America’s relationships with other nations are currently strained by war, the ceremonies attracted (Venus) a large crowd from the international community (Sagittarius). Reagan’s send-off, described by Time Magazine as a “funeral fit for a king” was tasteful, elegant, beautiful and hit all the right notes. (Venus would approve.) All arrangements had been meticulously laid out in advance (down to the minutest detail and the camera angles) by Venus’s handmaiden on Earth, Nancy Reagan. All branches of the (Mars ruled) armed services participated in bidding farewell to their former Commander in Chief. In a spectacle of great dignity, military drills were perfectly choreographed and executed with pageantry and song. In deference to both Venus and Mars, the eulogies were musically framed by an opening Ave Maria and a closing Battle Hymn of the Republic. Multiple references compared America to the biblical “shining city on a hill” (a Reagan favorite and a quintessential symbol of a melding of Gemini and Sagittarius). The services closed with Amazing Grace, a poignant expression of the intercession of divine love, the realm of Neptune. Neptune (which coincidentally retrograded on the same day last month as Venus) is considered to be a higher octave of Venus, the goddess of mere mortal love. In an appropriate ( Neptune retrograde) sentiment, the hymn’s closing line, “grace will bring me home”, evokes the Saturnine image of a president and father, returning to God the Father in his heavenly home—the ultimate unity principle.

Reagan's Death and Transformation

Were we witnessing the apotheosis of Ronald Reagan—his transformation from politician to All-American legend? Reagan’s persona assumed almost super-human proportions as much homage was paid to his patriotism and optimism. In death, he looms larger than life. Or, is something wrong with this picture? While the week’s events were unfolding according to the script in a spectacle that would make Hollywood proud—up to and including the dramatic conclusion as the hero is flown off into the sunset—Pluto (retrograde in Sagittarius) was hanging heavy on the horizon. Keats notwithstanding (see the opening stanza) Pluto and Venus are still holding beauty and truth as mutually exclusive, an opposition that hasn’t yet achieved balance or integration. The wrappings (or in this case, trappings) may be attractive, but what’s inside the box? The “style vs. substance” debate comes to mind, and in characteristic Gemini/Sag, Venus/Pluto style—the time-worn axiom “don’t judge the book by its cover” seems inordinately applicable. Both Gemini and Venus can be satisfied with superficiality, but Pluto and Sagittarius are angling for a deeper examination of truth. A telling look into Reagan’s Pluto-ruled natal chart supplies many of these answers. (See Part 2 next week.)

New Horizons

Perhaps the death of Ronald Wilson Reagan, conservatism’s “front man” is a harbinger of change and transformation, the death not only of a president, but of a precedent. Looking to the stars—Pluto opposing Venus, dispositing to the Scorpio/Taurus nodes indicates a potential transformation in values. Past Venus transits (for the last 1000 years in the signs of Gemini and Sag—ideology and truth) have heralded tremendous paradigm shifts. The most dramatic of these occurred in 1518 when Magellan circumnavigated the globe and put an end to “flat-world” thinking. A comparable contemporary evolution in consciousness is desperately needed—our belief systems (Sagittarius) are killing (Pluto) us.

Following Venus’ example, will our national dialogue (Gemini) shift? Will Plutonian polarization give way to cooperation? Will Sagittarian truth prevail? The “Age of Aquarius” is inherently progressive, engendering new hope for a better tomorrow. The Baby Boom generation (Pluto in Leo) is rising to prominence in leadership roles (Leo). Hopefully, this greatest generation (in numbers) will embrace its Aquarian shadow and create a new vision for the future (Aquarius). Taking another cue from Venus, “What the world needs now is Love” AND cooperation, reconciliation, common ground and working relationships. The stage is set. Let us raise the curtain on our national illusion and write a new script. Truth is beauty.

*Author's note on Reagan's time of birth: The chart used (2:04 am) was posted on Zodiacal Zephyr. No source was given. It may have been the one rectified to the 1:57 time discussed in the first paragraph below. The only difference is 28 degrees of Scorpio rising instead of 29 (I like the karmic degree) and the interception moves from Gemini/Sag to Cancer/Cap.

Part 2 of Farewell to the Fortieth


Judith Goldberg, MFA has a Master’s Degree in Art Education from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a Certificate in Karmic Astrology from Creative Choices, Inc. Judith writes a monthly column, Star Track: Astrology for the New Age in the Spirit Crossing free online newsletter. Judith is a Vocational Astrologer in private practice in Baltimore, Maryland. She welcomes your comments and questions.

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