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Aster-Obit: John Lewis

On July 17, 2020 US Representative John Lewis (D-GA), known as “the conscience of the Congress”, passed away at the age of 80.  A former associate of Martin Luther King Jr, Lewis was an influential civil rights leader and had served his district as representative for more than thirty years.  Lewis, one of the organizers of the 1963 March on Washington and the last surviving speaker at that rally, was a leader of the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965, which protested suppression of black voting rights, when he was viciously beaten by Alabama State Troopers at the crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge.  Members of this same organization now saluted his remains when Lewis’ casket was conveyed across that bridge one final time, as part of a protracted funeral process.

 

The five-day official commemoration of Lewis’ death focused on Alabama, where he was born; Georgia, where he represented the state’s 5th district; and Washington DC, where he had served in the House, highlighted in a funeral and lying-in-state at the Capitol Rotunda, first African American to be given that honor.

 

An aspiring preacher who graduated from the American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville, Tennessee and was ordained as a Baptist minister, John Lewis found himself called as a civil rights activist instead.  He was one of the original thirteen “Freedom Riders” in 1961, protestors against policies which enforced racial segregation on public transportation.  A founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Lewis headed that organization for three years during the height of the civil rights movement, and coordinated the group’s efforts to register black voters across the South.

 

In 1969 Lewis entered politics outright with a seat on the Atlanta City Council, and in 1986 mounted a successful campaign against fellow civil rights icon Julian Bond for US Representative of Georgia’s 5th district.  He remained in Washington for 34 years, where he continued his tradition of activism, being arrested three times in protests during his congressional tenure.   John Lewis died after a six-month battle with pancreatic cancer.

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An Alabama State Trooper swings a billy club at John Lewis (right foreground) during the Selma to Montgomery march on Bloody Sunday in 1965, at the Edmund Pettus Bridge; natal asteroid Bridges conjoins Saturn (police, repression) trines asteroid Toro, noted for brutality, and is inconjunct asteroid Edmond

Born 21 February 1940 (no time available) John Lewis’ 1 Pisces Sun is sextile Mars at 3 Taurus, squared asteroid Black at 0 Gemini and exactly inconjunct Pluto at 1 Leo, symbol of an activist (Mars) with a core (Sun) of authority and gritty determination (Pluto), a champion (also Mars) for African American (Black) empowerment (Pluto).  The Sun conjoined both asteroid Copland at 26 Aquarius and Polizzi at 8 Pisces (for “police”, cognate with Italian Polizia and German Polizei) confirms Lewis’ not infrequent brushes with the law and authority, as he struggled with the powers that be to bring equality to his race.  Asteroid Georgia at 22 Aquarius conjoined the Sun and Washingtonia at 16 Aries in exact semisquare define Lewis’ career’s geographic field of operations, the state he represented at the nation’s capital.

 

Asteroid Johnny at 20 Pisces conjoins Mercury at 17 Pisces, which rules the naming function, while asteroid Lewis at 12 Taurus is in sextile, common placements for one’s own PNAs in the birth chart.  Asteroid Black in square grants a nod to his race, while asteroid Brown at 5 Aries conjoins Venus, ruling skin complexion, at 11 Aries.

 

John Lewis rose to national prominence following two iconic civil rights events:  his role in the original Freedom riders and his brutal beating on Bloody Sunday at the hands of Alabama State Troopers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.   This is prefigured in the nativity by two asteroids, Bus and Bridges, which represent those moments symbolically, and are interlocked with each other.  Bus at 27 Libra is stationary, having turned retrograde on February 12th at that degree, with Bridges at 28 Aries in opposition.

 

Bus indicates the mode of transportation the Freedom Riders infiltrated for their protest, and is trine the Sun and exactly opposed Saturn at 27 Aries, ruling career, government service, police and civic authority.  Bridges conjoins Saturn and is trine to asteroid Toro, ruling brutality and physical violence, exactly on the Galactic Center at 26 Sagittarius, which conveys global notice and attention.  Bridges is also exactly inconjunct asteroid Edmond, for the Edmund Pettus Bridge, at 28 Scorpio, and exactly squared asteroid Grieve at 28 Cancer, intimating the final horse-drawn progress across that bridge which formed a key part of Lewis’ funeral ceremonies.  Centaur Hylonome, also noted for extreme displays of grief, conjoins Washingtonia from 15 Aries, for the first African American to be honored with a state funeral in the Capitol Rotunda.

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John Lewis had more than one altercation with authorities, as this mug shot from his Freedom Rider days attests; asteroids Copland and Polizzi both conjoin the Sun, suggesting frequent run-ins with police.  Asteroid Bus, representing the mode of transportation where the Freedom Riders made their protest, is at station and trine the Sun, opposed Saturn

There is one other point which is at station in John Lewis’ birth chart – asteroid Requiem, which at 21 Libra turned retrograde at that degree a week prior.  Stationary points become embedded factors which exert a disproportionate influence on the biography or character.  Requiem is a death indicator generally, but specifically relates to a memorable death or funeral.  Diana, Princess of Wales shared this aspect, with a global audience for her funeral in the billions; Lewis’ stationary Requiem granted him a protracted grieving process, with five days of events and commemorations in Alabama, Georgia and Washington, DC, including a final erosion for Lewis of racial barriers, as the first African America to be honored with a funeral in the Capitol Rotunda.  After the Washington ceremonies, Lewis’ body was transported back to Georgia, where he in lay in state at the capitol, followed by a final funeral in which Lewis was eulogized by three former US presidents and the current Speaker of the House.  Donald Trump did not attend any of the memorials, but allowed the flag at the White House to be lowered to half-staff, for half a day, and tweeted his condolences.

 

The Bloody Sunday incident took place 7 March 1965, with the Sun at 16 Pisces conjoined Saturn (police, repression) at 8 and opposed the volatile Uranus (protest)/Pluto (backlash) conjunction of that time period, then at 12 and 14 Virgo, and currently joined by asteroid Brown (African Americans) at 17 and Mars (violence) at 19 Virgo.  The Sun conjoined Lewis’ 17 Pisces Mercury and 20 Pisces Johnny (highlighting him and his message), with transit Saturn exactly atop his natal Polizzi (the clash with authority).  Transit Johney (another “John” variant) at 29 Pisces conjoined transit Mercury at 27, and this combination allied to the natal activations propelled Lewis (Johney) into the news reports (Mercury) and gave him a lasting voice (also Mercury) for his cause.

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55 years after his brutal beating there, a caisson bearing John Lewis’ remains crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge, this time saluted by Alabama State troopers; asteroid Edmond squared asteroid Grieve and trined asteroid Johnny, while asteroid Bridges was sextile asteroid Lewis

Asteroid Bridges at 4 Cancer formed a loose T-Square with Copland at 12 Capricorn and Toro at 14 Libra, evoking police (Copland) brutality (Toro) in that setting (Bridges), and these last two form a second T-Square with asteroid Lewis at 21 Aries (though Bridges is too wide to create a Grand Cross here), tying John Lewis directly to the incident.  Further, Lewis with Black at 28 Aries forms a Grand Trine with Edmond (on the GC and Lewis’ natal Toro at 26 Sagittarius) and asteroid Nemesis at 22 Leo, which creates a Kite pattern by its opposition to Polizzi at 23 Aquarius.  This again links Lewis with the scene (Lewis/Edmond) in a capacity where he is opposed (Nemesis) by police officers (Saturn), who beat him (Toro) in a globally advertised (Galactic Center) confrontation, just for the color of his skin (Black).  The ‘coincidence’ of Lewis’ brutal beating at the Edmund Pettus Bridge aligning with an exact natal Toro and transit Edmond conjunction is truly stunning, a fine example of cosmic fine-tuning and precision.

 

When John Lewis died on 17 July 2020, two points stood at station – asteroid Johney had turned retrograde at 8 Pisces ten days previously, and remained at that degree; asteroid Georgia turned direct on July 4th at 16 Scorpio, still there for his passing.  These commemorate Lewis personally (Johney), and the state he represented for more than three decades (Georgia), as the still points upon which the day’s events revolved.  Stations are literal “turning points”, and Lewis’ death was certainly that, for himself and his state, suddenly bereft of its legislative champion after thirty years.  Note also that the 8 Pisces degree reiterates the natal placement of Polizzi and the Bloody Sunday placement of Saturn.

 

Asteroid Johnny at 27 Virgo conjoins Nemesis, ruin or downfall, at 25 Virgo and asteroid Brown at 24 Virgo, opposing asteroid Requiem at 1 Aries, establishing Lewis (Johnny) as a black man (Brown) who has died (Nemesis, Requiem).  A T-Square is formed with asteroid Atropos, named for the Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death, at 0 Cancer, and a Grand Cross is created by transit asteroid Osiris, named for the Egyptian god of the dead, at 0 Capricorn, further reiterating the theme of death and personalizing it directly to Lewis.

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John Lewis’ casket laid out on the Lincoln catafalque in the Capitol Rotunda, the first African American to be so honored; asteroid Washingtonia is semisquare the Sun in his birth chart, and was conjoined asteroid Lewis for his funeral; a stationary asteroid Requiem at birth granted him a protracted, five-day mourning ceremonial

Asteroid Lewis at 12 Leo conjoined Washingtonia at 11 Leo and sextiled asteroid House at 12 Gemini, also squaring natal House at 13 Scorpio, bringing together John Lewis and the House of Representatives where he served.  Transit Lewis also broadly opposed natal asteroids Lachesis, named for the Greek Fate who determines the span of life, and Rip (“RIP”) at 20 and 22 Aquarius, both additional death indicators.  Transit Lachesis at 3 Virgo opposed his 1 Pisces Sun, with transit Atropos in trine and transit Osiris in sextile.

 

Transit Saturn at 28 Capricorn, ancient lord of death, opposed natal Grieve at 28 Cancer exactly, accompanied by Pluto, modern lord of death, at 23 Cap and Jupiter, arbiter of fame, honors and status, at 21 Capricorn.  A T-Square is formed with natal Saturn/Bridges at 27 and 28 Aries, with the Edmund Pettus Bridge (Bridges) forming a pivotal part of the official (Saturn) mourning activities (Grieve).  Transit Hylonome at 14 Capricorn squared its natal degree at 15 Aries, evoking the protracted expressions of grief.

 

John Lewis’ final crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge that had formed such a vital part of his biography began from the Brown Chapel in Selma at 11 AM CDT on July 26, 2020., with his casket borne on a horse-drawn caisson  The 6 Libra Ascendant closely opposed Lewis’ natal asteroid Brown (for the chapel) at 5 Aries, also squared by the 7 Cancer MC, while the Moon at 22 Libra had just crossed natal stationary asteroid Requiem at 21 Libra, bringing the full public (Moon) acknowledgement of his passing (Requiem).  Asteroid Bridges at 13 Gemini was trine the Ascendant, while asteroid Edmond at 26 Taurus was inconjunct the Moon.

 

A day later, when John Lewis’ casket arrived at the Capitol Rotunda for his funeral at 1:30 PM EDT, the Ascendant at 3 Scorpio was trine his natal Sun, and exactly squared natal asteroid Anubis, named for the Egyptian deity governing funerary rites, at 3 Aquarius, itself conjoined the 8 Aquarius IC of the ceremony.  Asteroids Grieve at 29 Leo and Lachesis at 6 Virgo opposed his natal Sun and transit asteroid Johney at 7 Pisces, T-Squared transit Anubis at 0 Gemini.   Transit Johnny at 1 Libra opposed transit Requiem at 2 Aries, T-Squared transit Osiris at 29 Sagittarius.

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A mural of John Lewis adorns a building in Atlanta, Georgia, the district he served as US Representative for 34 years; asteroids Johney and Georgia were stationary at his death

John Lewis was among the last of the civil rights icons who forcibly dragged the US into the modern world of racial equality in the turbulent ‘60s, and the extended send-off given him by the nation was no more than his due.

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Alex Miller

Alex Miller is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book, detailing deep space points in astrological interpretation, and the forthcoming Heaven on Earth, a comprehensive study of asteroids, both mythic and personal. Alex is a frequent contributor to “The Mountain Astrologer”, “Daykeeper Journal”, and NCGR’s Journals and “Enews Commentary”; his work has also appeared in “Aspects” magazine, “Dell Horoscope”, “Planetwaves”, “Neptune Café” and “Sasstrology.” He is a past president of Philadelphia Astrological Society, and a former board member for the Philadelphia Chapter of NCGR.

3 comments, add yours.

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Trish

Wow. This really nails it.

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Kirsten Wayland

Thank you for this! I really enjoy Dr. Henry Louis Gates’ PBS show Finding Your Roots, and I recently re-watched the very first episode, which features John Lewis and Cory Booker. I highly recommend watching this if you can find it. We have Roku, and PBS has this show, and this is the only episode from season 1 posted. He was truly an amazing man, and this is an exceptional episode,

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Astraea Shakti

WOW, that is incredible Alex; i have been so busy working with the Mythic Asteroids and the Outers – TNO’s and centaurs, that i didn’t give much credence to the “Name” asteroids – What could their use possibly be?!! – well, in the hands of the Master – this is now illumined. thanks for your incredible insight, for opening awareness on every level in the interpretation of Charts.

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