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Breyer Resigns

A huge sigh of audible relief went up from progressive circles on Wednesday, 26 January, 2022, when the story broke that Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court, would resign at the end of this term.  Breyer, 83, had been balking at political pressure to remove himself from office while the Democrats still marginally control the Senate, so his seat would not pass into conservative hands at a later date. 

The balance of the court has been dramatically shifted over the past five years by Republican hardball, when then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refused to fill the seat for almost a year after Justice Scalia’s unexpected death in March 2016, citing the upcoming presidential election as a reason for delay.  Of course, when Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in office just weeks before the 2020 election, McConnell tripped over his own hypocrisy in a rush to fill the seat, giving conservatives a solid 6-3 majority. 

Appointed by Bill Clinton in 1994, Breyer has been a stalwart progressive voice on the court, supporting reproductive rights, voting rights, the Affordable Care Act, and environmental issues, and opposing the death penalty and partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts.  Born 15 May 1938 at 7:40 AM PST in San Francisco, California (Rodden Rating AA), Breyer’s path to the SCOTUS was mapped in the stars. 

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Stephen Breyer’s path to the Supreme Court was laid out from birth, with asteroid Justitia at station and trine the Sun conjunct asteroid Stevin

The Sun at 22 Leo conjoins asteroid Stevin (one of three PNAs that can be used for “Stephen”, for which there is no exact match), signaling that Breyer conforms to the typical placement of one’s own PNA (Personal-Named Asteroid), commonly aspecting the Sun, Moon or Ascendant.  This forms the point of a Grand Trine Kite pattern, with trines to asteroids Brouwer at 25 Sagittarius and Brewer at 4 Capricorn (two of three asteroids that are closest to Breyer, for which there is no exact match; the third, asteroid Breuer, squares the Sun from 17 Taurus) and Justitia at 27 Aries, with the String of the Kite being Jupiter at 27 Aquarius, opposing the Sun.  Jupiter rules the judiciary generally, while Justitia is named for the Roman goddess of justice and the root of our word “justice”, which became Breyer’s job title for almost thirty years. 

In addition, Justitia is embedded at station, turning retrograde eight days after Breyer’s birth.  Stationary bodies form entrenched elements of the psyche, and exert much greater influence on character and biography than would normally be the case.  Brewer and Brouwer are also stationary, turning direct two and six days after his birth, respectively (thus both also fit the pattern of PNAs aspected to the Sun; as well, asteroid Stephania, a feminine variant of Stephen, is semisquare from 7 Libra).  Natal Saturn at 17 Aries, ruling career, is just within orb of Justitia, also conjoined the Moon at 12 Aries and exactly sextile the Midheaven at 17 Gemini.  This sextile forms the base of an exact Yod, or Finger of Destiny, with inconjunct aspects to asteroid Washingtonia at 17 Scorpio on its Apex.  The implication is of a career path (Saturn) which is destined (Yod) to bring status and reputation (Midheaven) in the nation’s capital (Washingtonia), which he will also make his home (Moon).

Washingtonia also exactly opposes asteroid Breuer with Uranus at 17 Taurus, reminiscent of Breyer’s somewhat quirky (Uranus) demeanor, and forms a loose Grand Cross with Jupiter and the Sun/Stevin conjunction, including Mars at 15 Leo and asteroid America at 10 Leo.  This identifies Breyer (Sun, Stevin, Breuer) as a champion (Mars) for the progressive cause (Uranus) in the nation’s (America, Washingtonia) highest court (Jupiter).  We should also note the exact opposition from natal Pluto at 0 Leo to asteroid Themis, named for the Greek goddess of justice, at 0 Aquarius, suggesting augmented personal power (Pluto) as Associate Justice (Themis).

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Bill Clinton nominated Breyer for SCOTUS Associate Justice in 1994; when confirmed by the Senate, the Sun conjunct asteroid Senator opposed asteroid Brouwer, one of three asteroids that can be used for “Breyer”, with asteroid Brewer trined Justitia and asteroid Breuer conjoined Themis, named for the Greek goddess of justice

When Stephen Breyer was confirmed by the US Senate in a vote of 87-9 on 29 July 1994, the transit Sun at 6 Leo conjoined asteroid Senator at 7 Leo, highlighting the proceedings of that legislative body, opposed asteroid Brouwer at 5 Aquarius with Jupiter (ruling both the judiciary and the Senate) at 5 Scorpio on the fulcrum of a T-Square.  The vote itself is represented by transit Mercury, which at 21 Cancer conjoins asteroids Stephania and Stevin (two Stephen referents) at 16 and 19 Cancer, and squares asteroid Brewer (for Breyer) at 27 Libra (which also broadly conjoins Jupiter).  Brewer trines transit Justitia at 26 Gemini, bringing the wheel full circle.

Transit asteroid Stevens at 16 Taurus conjoined natal Washingtonia and activated that Grand Cross’s potential to elevate Breyer to the SCOTUS, in real time.  Transit Mars at 17 Gemini was an exact match for his natal MC, energizing his career.  A cluster of transit asteroids Karma, Themis and Breuer with Saturn, at 7, 8, 9 and 11 Pisces respectively, depicts a fated (Karma) career move (Saturn) as Associate Justice (Themis) for Breyer (Breuer).

The announcement of Breyer’s retirement was unexpected, and came in the form of a leak, before the White House had received his formal letter of resignation (though Breyer had verbally informed the President earlier that this was his intent).  NBC’s Pete Williams broke the story at 11:56 AM EST on January 26th, 2022, a chart for which ably reflects the startling nature of the news.

Breyer’s retirement was announced with asteroids Brewer, Breuer and Stevens all at station, signaling a literal “turning point” for the Justice; Justitia opposed Breuer, while Themis trined Brewer

The surprise announcement is part of the developing square from the Sun, here at 6 Aquarius, with Uranus, which at 10 Taurus has just risen from the 20 Taurus Ascendant, with the Moon setting at 21 Scorpio on the 20 Scorpio Descendant.  The Sun is at the 0 Aquarius MC, and with it are asteroid Whitehouse at 8 Aquarius, Saturn (resignation, retirement) at 14 and asteroid Themis (Justice) at 15 Aquarius.  With Uranus is asteroid Williams (for Pete Williams, who broke the story) at 5 Taurus, opposing asteroid Washingtonia at 3 Scorpio, forming a T-Square with the Sun.

Washingtonia is also in a Grand Trine, with asteroid America at 6 Cancer and Jupiter at 6 Pisces, conjoined asteroid Peter at 2, again representing Pete Williams and linking him directly with the SCOTUS beat he covers (in the form of Jupiter, ruling judges), DC (Washingtonia) and a story of national importance (America).  Just to drive the point home, Jupiter/Peter also squares asteroid Justitia at 8 Sagittarius, which itself is exactly squared the Themis degree for Breyer’s confirmation in 1994.

Both asteroid Breuer and Brewer are at station, indicating a literal “turning point” for Breyer.  Brewer at 9 Libra turns retrograde four days later, squared transit Stephania at 12 Capricorn and conjoined natal Stephania at 7 Libra, opposed natal Moon at 12 Aries, and squared its natal degree of 4 Capricorn, from where it was stationary direct.  Therefore, Brewer is moving forward at birth, retreating at retirement.  Breuer will turn direct from 16 Gemini on February 6th, but is already at that degree, opposing Justitia and T-Squared Brouwer with Stevens, at 15 and 19 Virgo.  Stevens is still at its retrograde station degree of January 11th, while Brouwer stationed retro at 6 Virgo on January 1st, but has moved back to 15 Virgo for the announcement.  Reporting indicates that Breyer has been contemplating this move since the beginning of the year, prompted no doubt by successive directional changes of celestial markers that represent him.  (And this announcement came early – it’s entirely possible that it would have been made closer to Breuer’s station, had Breyer been able to adhere to his original timetable.  Thus the entire process, from deliberation to enactment, would have spanned Brouwer’s station to Breuer’s.)  Neptune at 21 Pisces also feeds into this pattern, another symbol of withdrawal and retirement from the world.

Joe Biden confirmed Breyer’s departure the following day at 12:39 PM EST, with the retiring Justice in attendance at the White House.  The transiting Moon (the public) at 6 Sagittarius was coming to conjoin Justitia at 9 Sagittarius, while the MC at 12 Aquarius swept across Whitehouse at 9 Aquarius and Themis at 16 Aquarius, and the 4 Gemini Ascendant prepared to oppose the Pisces stellium of Karma, Themis, Breuer and Saturn from Breyer’s 1994 confirmation.

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Breyer’s replacement may be DC Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson; when his retirement was announced, asteroid Brown conjoined the Sun and asteroid Whitehouse, squared asteroid Jackson exact with Uranus, suggesting she’s forefront in the President’s mind

During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden promised to fill any SCOTUS vacancies during his administration with an African American woman, and leading the pack of candidates is Ketanji Brown Jackson, 51, currently a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the second-highest court in the land.  Jackson has the advantage of having just been confirmed to that post last June, with bipartisan support.

That she is front and center in the President’s mind as a replacement for Breyer is hinted at by asteroid Brown at 7 Aquarius, straddling the gap between the Sun and asteroid Whitehouse; and asteroid Jackson, exact with Uranus and squared Sun/Whitehouse.  Born 14 September 1970, Jackson’s chart exudes a SCOTUS nomination at some point, with its natal Justitia at 18 Virgo conjoined the 21 Virgo Sun and squared both Brown and Jackson, at 13 and 24 Sagittarius.  Asteroid Themis at 8 Scorpio conjoined Jupiter at 4 Scorpio and Venus at 6 also spells “female (Venus) Supreme Court (Jupiter) Associate Justice (Themis).”

Another likely choice is Michelle Childs, 55, currently judge for the US District Court for the District of South Carolina, and a protege of Representative Jim Clyburn (D-SC), who was pivotal in Biden’s election in 2020.  Childs’ cosmic judicial creds are also impeccable, with a 12 Leo Justitia at station trine the 3 Aries Sun, and in a T-Square with Themis at 9 Aquarius, asteroid Child on the fulcrum at 7 Taurus.  Themis is also trine asteroid Michelle at 6 Gemini.  Asteroid Child appears at 10 Taurus in the resignation chart, exact with Uranus and asteroid Jackson, squared Sun/Whitehouse, so the two may be neck-and-neck for the position.

Time will tell…

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.

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