Martin Luther King Jr can seem a remote figure, frozen in time with his death in 1968, but had he lived, he would have been 94 on January 15th, well within range of many current lifespans. King galvanized a movement for civil rights which continues to this day, as more and more minority groups seek inclusivity and equality in America’s quest for a more perfect union. Threats to his legacy abound, but as King himself stated, the arc of the moral universe bends always toward justice. The fifty-fifth anniversary of his assassination will be commemorated April 4th.
Born 15 January 1929 at noon EST in Atlanta, Georgia (Rodden Rating A), Martin Luther King Jr’s natal Sun at 25 Capricorn conjoins the 28 Capricorn Midheaven, symbol of one who can potentially rise to a lofty place in the world, the focus of all eyes. The Sun also squares asteroid Martina, a feminine equivalent of his first name, at 23 Aries, a placement which comports with the most common positioning of one’s own PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroid), which typically intersect with the Sun, Moon, Ascendant or Mercury (as ruling the naming function).
There is also an asteroid Martin Luther, named for the 16th century German Protestant reformer, for whom King and his father were also named. At 12 Capricorn, asteroid Martin Luther closely trines the 13 Taurus Ascendant, while asteroid King at 7 Aquarius is in square to the Ascendant, so all three celestial markers fit the standard rule. King also conjoins natal Mercury at 11 Aquarius, a sign of the rhetoric and oratory for which the Baptist minister and civil rights leader would become famous.
There are also early indicators of his tragic death linked with these very personal bodies. Asteroid Martin Luther conjoins asteroid Gunn at 9 Capricorn, homophone of “gun”, while the Sun squared Martina forms a T-square with asteroid Memphis, the town in which he died, at 29 Cancer. Memphis’ angular placement (on the IC at 28 Cancer) identifies it as a place with prominence in King’s biography. We see here the means of his death (Gunn) and its locale (Memphis) – all we’re missing is its agent. Remedying that defect is asteroid King, exactly conjunct asteroid Lachesis, named for the mythic Greek Fate who determines the span of life; together these square asteroid James at 5 Scorpio, representing James Earl Ray, his assassin.
His killer is also seen as asteroid Wray (phonetic match for “Ray”), which at 23 Gemini conjoins Mars at 21 Gemini, ruler of guns, attacks and violent death. Wray opposes Saturn at 25 Sagittarius, ancient lord of death, itself exactly conjunct asteroid Osiris, named for the Egyptian god of the dead. A T-Square is formed with two additional stationary points – TNO Ixion at 25 Virgo, named for the first murderer in Greek myth, and asteroid Requiem at 28 Virgo, named for the funeral mass for the dead. In addition to its association with death generally, Requiem often refers to a memorable funeral, and more than 100,000 gathered to watch King’s funeral procession in Atlanta.
The scene of his death is further reflected by asteroid Lorraine, which at 29 Taurus is trine the Sun and embedded at station, turning direct the day before his birth. Stationary points exert a much greater than usual influence on character or biography; in this case, King was killed while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. The Sun is bound up in a Grand Trine Kite pattern with these stationary bodies, trine Lorraine and Ixion/Requiem, the spine of which is formed by its opposition to Memphis, combining King’s life story (Sun) with his murder (Ixion/Requiem) and the town (Memphis) and venue (Lorraine) where it occurred.
Martin Luther King Jr, Memphis and the Lorraine Motel are highlighted in King’s assassin’s nativity as well. Born 10 March 1928 at 5 PM CST in Alton IL (Rodden Rating AA), James Earl Ray has asteroid James at 27 Pisces on the 20 Pisces Sun, and asteroid Wray at 16 Aries trine the 14 Leo Ascendant, once again conforming to typical PNA placements. Sun/James opposes asteroid Gunn at 23 Virgo, exact with TNO Ixion, prefiguring Ray’s eventual identity (Sun/James) as a murderer (Ixion) using firearms (Gunn).
Asteroid Martina at 0 Pisces conjoins Mercury at 26 Aquarius and opposes Neptune at 27 Leo; Ray’s connection with King (Martina) made news (Mercury) and led directly to his imprisonment (Neptune). As with King, born ten months later, asteroids King and Lachesis are conjunct, at 27 Sagittarius and 2 Capricorn respectively, with asteroid Rip between them, at 29 Sag. Rip is a death indicator in the form of the acronym RIP, “Rest In Peace”, a common tombstone inscription. This bundle squares natal asteroid James, tying the two men personally. Note also that these align with King’s natal Saturn/Osiris, opposing his natal Mars/Wray and squaring Ixion/Requiem.
Most impactful of all, natal asteroid Martin Luther at 17 Scorpio is at station, turning retrograde five days after Ray’s birth, making someone of that name a powerful influence on Ray’s life. Martin Luther closely squares an exact pairing of asteroid Karma with Damocles at 18 Aquarius, combining a fated, predestined feel (Karma) with the threat of disaster hanging overhead (Damocles).
In a mirror image of King’s placement, Ray’s natal asteroid Memphis at 2 Taurus conjoins his Midheaven at 5 Taurus (King’s was on the IC), opposing his Moon (ruling motels) at 9 Scorpio and squaring Mars (guns, violent death) at 8 Aquarius. Note that Mars closely aligns with King’s natal King/Lachesis, in a T-Square with his natal asteroid James at 5 Scorpio and Jupiter at 1 Taurus, suggesting King’s status as a churchman and religious leader.
Asteroid Lorraine, the specific motel in question, falls at 4 Aries, conjunct Uranus, which rules shootings generally, at 2 Aries and Jupiter at 10 Aries, ruler of fame and celebrity, albeit of a notorious nature for Ray. Lorraine is also tied to a Grand Cross, exactly opposed asteroid Osiris at 4 Libra, with Lachesis at 2 Capricorn and asteroid Nemesis at 3 Cancer on the crossbars. Nemesis is noted as a point of ruin or destruction, for oneself or another.
Incredibly, when these two men’s lives intersected at the Lorraine Motel, asteroid Lorraine was again at station! At 18 Leo, Lorraine would turn direct two days later, and opposed asteroid Wray at 17 Aquarius. A tight T-Square is formed with Ray’s natal asteroid Martin Luther at 17 Scorpio, while transit Wray also conjoins transit Damocles at 19 Aquarius as well as his natal Karma/Damocles and King’s own Damocles at 16 Aquarius.
When the fatal shot was fired at 6:01 PM CST, asteroid Anubis, named for the Egyptian deity governing funerary rites, fell at 15 Libra on the 11 Libra Ascendant, exactly opposing an exact Sun/Saturn conjunction at 15 Aries: death was in the air. This polarity highlighted Ray’s natal Jupiter/Wray conjunction at 10 and 16 Aries, and formed an exact T-Square with his natal Pluto at 15 Cancer, modern lord of death and planetary ruler of homicide. The Ascendant fell just one degree off King’s natal asteroid Atropos at 10 Libra, named for the Fate who severs the thread of life at death.
The Moon at 2 Cancer conjoins transit asteroids King and Martina at 3 and 8 Cancer, all in square to transit asteroid Osiris at 4 Aries. The IC at 12 Capricorn is an exact match for King’s natal asteroid Martin Luther, while transit Martin Luther at 27 Aquarius conjoins transit Memphis at 28 Aquarius, and both align with Ray’s natal Mercury/Martina at 26 Aquarius and 0 Pisces. Martin Luther and Memphis also connect with Ray’s natal asteroid Requiem at 28 Taurus and Neptune at 27 Leo.
Transit James, Mercury and Lachesis at 25, 26 and 27 Pisces respectively oppose transit Pluto with Uranus at 20 and 26 Virgo, with the Piscean end of the polarity aligning with Ray’s natal Sun/James and the Virgoan end aligning with his natal Gunn/Ixion and King’s natal Ixion/Requiem.
Transit Gunn at 22 Cancer opposed King’s natal Sun at 25 Capricorn, T-Squared natal Martina at 23 Aries, itself conjunct transit Nemesis at 21 Aries, a fitting celestial restatement of the destruction (Nemesis) by gunfire (Gunn) of the life force (Sun) of Martin Luther King Jr (Martina).
I’d like to conclude with these haunting words from Martin Luther King’s final speech, given the night before he died:
“Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”