Tonight’s post is about a woman I met and one I would have loved to meet. They both have 4/10 as their birthdays. The first is Joan Quigley, astrologer to the Reagan’s, sister of Carroll Quigley, a professor of Bill Clinton’s at Georgetown University. Carroll Quigley was the author of “Tragedy and Hope” which became a sort of “Rosetta Stone” for a generation of conspiracy theorists. Quigley knew and associated with Fabian Socialists that were connected to Cecil Rhodes and Alfred Milner. Quigley chronicled an inner circle of elite power called, “The Society Of The Elect” (also known as The Round Table Group) which was headed by the aforementioned Rhodes and Milner. The outer circle was called, “The Association Of Helpers.” People like Cleon Skousen, Gary Allen and even Jim Marrs used the framework of Quigley’s research to expand their own theories.
While Quigley was no whistle-blower, he also wasn’t in complete agreement with the plans of Rhodes and Milner. Quigley though was an insider, who was privy to the inner workings of an elite order.
He didn’t take kindly to the likes of Skousen and Allen piggy backing on his scholarly summations. However, as Quigley advanced in age, it was said that he was closer to Allen’s interpretation of the groups influence on human affairs, which was far more malevolent than Quigley had earlier surmised, with far less judgment.
I met Joan Quigley, briefly, one day in San Francisco, back in 1988. She had just left the Reagan White House as Nancy’s personal astrologer and was on a book tour. We were told that we could not ask any questions about the Reagans or her time in the White House.
I remember her skin being very pale, eyes large, hair dyed, bits of wiry gray shooting through. She had the look of someone that had seen a lot–maybe too much. Even in the placid and tony confines of the St. Francis, she seemed nervous and unable to find that sweet spot in the oversized chair across from us. I’m not sure if we talked about anything of note. I was simply there for the ride. I remember thinking long after that meeting, for all her starry wisdom, she seemed anything but happy. Years later though, after learning more about her brother and the world that the Reagans occupied, The Bohemian Grove and the asphyxiating orbit of one George Bush, its easy to see why the first lady of astrology looked just a little traumatized.
Gazing at Quigley’s chart we can see the call to be engaged in a fairly public life (even though her Sun is the 8th House). Her Mars in Gemini at 26 degrees is in her 10th House. Just between her MC and her Mars lies the US Mars in Gemini at 21 degrees. So the US Mars hugged her mid-heaven, conjuncted her own. Mars in Gemini is notoriously restless and it traffics in information and intelligence gathering. Mars in Gemini is the aspect of spy craft and clever use of deceit (remember her brothers connections). Quigley’s North Node was at 1 degree Cancer, also in the 10th House, it too had a significant connection with a US aspect; Venus in Cancer at 3 degrees and Jupiter in Cancer at 5 degrees. She also had Pluto in Cancer, exactly conjunct the US Sun in Cancer at 13 degrees. Her life work was destined to be intertwined with that of the United States. I’m guessing that she had a significant hand in shaping policy during the Reagan admin, a lot more than I think people realize.
Her connection to the White House was of course Nancy Davis aka Nancy Reagan. Reagan’s Sun was at 14 degrees Cancer, also conjunct Quigley’s Pluto. They both shared Leo Moons (11 degrees for Quigley, 0 degrees for Reagan). Her North Node and her Pluto, both in Cancer were sheltered in the shadowy occult regions of the U.S. 8th House. Her power and influence was behind the veil (see that 8th House Sun again).
I wonder if she ever did a chart for the Jimmy Carter clone?
While Joan Quigley casted charts in the darkened corridors of power, another woman, born on the same day stood out and died in the harsh light of a foreign land under the wheels of American steel. She might be one of the most heroic people of our time. Her name is Rachel Corrie.
“I have bad nightmares about tanks and bulldozers outside our house and you and me inside. Sometimes the adrenaline acts as an anesthetic for weeks and then in the evening or at night it just hits me again – a little bit of the reality of the situation. I am really scared for the people here. Yesterday, I watched a father lead his two tiny children, holding his hands, out into the sight of tanks and a sniper tower and bulldozers and Jeeps because he thought his house was going to be exploded.”
Rachel Corrie’s nightmare became a reality. She was crushed by one of the phantasms of her sleep, metal gears, smooth-shifting, clean, armored sides and desert paint, grinding earth and bone with scaly, flesh-eating-treads. It was her flesh that was standing guard over a hovel that would soon become rubble. Corrie had decided to face her nightmares on that fateful day in Gaza, thin, feisty and freckled, fresh with a progressive degree from Evergreen College in Olympia, ready to lay her life on the line for social justice. Bulldozer vs Rachel Corrie? Corrie didn’t stand a chance. She died quickly from internal injuries. She had the great misfortune of getting in the bulldozers way.
Corrie was more than just an avenger for social justice. She was a talented and prolific writer. She captured her stay in Gaza in a series of emails home and journal entries. Those combined with other, earlier journal entries form the lyrical, powerful and often humorous voice of “Let Me Stand Alone–The Journals Of Rachel Corrie.” To get a sense of Corrie’s gift of language, here’s a snippet from her time in Olympia, a place I’m familiar with, having lived there for two years, just as Nirvana was a small fish getting ready to fly out of the nape of the Puget Sound, thrashing onto the semi-conscious shoals of sleeping punks and fitful dreamers, Pluto in Libra’s children, broken in two by divorce and separation. Here is Corrie’s description of one of those Olympia Saturday nights;
““Graveyard shift out the window looking west: When everybody goes to sleep and I have some time between Data Tracking forms and mopping, I get to peer out at the town and discover more secrets… Tonight you would never know that there are salmon still running underneath all that. Big droopy sarcophagi state buildings. The Ramada. Tonight this town has cast aside its oyster-bed roots. Olympia is a whole new woman on Saturday night after midnight. She’s a sparkly lady, decked out in streams of blinking traffic signals. She’s wearing a full-body jumpsuit. Sequins from here to the Black Hills. Cubic zirconium along what by day is State Street, and emerald earrings gleaming out of the neighborhoods of the west side. I work near the fire station so I know whenever there’s an emergency. I can also watch the siren lights downtown. But tonight Olympia has tossed off her civic duties and siren lights aren’t the signals of emergencies. They are costume jewelry.”
She was raised in the politically correct and ecologically aware environs of the Pacific Northwest, which charged her soul with a radical activism that transcended her convenient and immediate world. Rachel Corrie was about anything other than convenience. She laid it all out in the high stakes freedom game on the streets of Rafah. She had an extraordinary and in old, astrological parlance, a fated chart.
First off, she had a grand water trine; Merc/Venus in Pisces, Jupiter in Cancer, Uranus in Scorpio. Those four planets leant their expressive powers to Corrie, fueled by a deep sense of compassion and care, care far beyond her own borders. Uranus, the planet of radical expression and genius gets full play in that trine. Stationed near the peak of her chart in the free and expansive 9th House, it would be the pole star for her activism abroad. Perhaps the strength of that grand trine manifested in a ship named after her, a freighter with her name that would manifest in the ship that would bear her name in the quest to bring goods to Gaza and the ill fated “freedom flotilla.”
Her Sun in Aries trined Neptune in Sag, separated by one degree. Here we see the theme of freedom, freedom idealized in Neptune/Sag buttressed by the convictions and sense of mission embodied in Aries, underscored by her warrior-like Mars, also in Aries. Rachel Corrie had balls of steel. Her brief life work was embodied in that etheric line, rooted and purposeful in the fixed and grounded soil of the 2nd House, shooting like a beam of light to the peaks of the 10th. Her Sun no matter how triumphant and inspired it was, in its connection to Neptune, it had a far darker and more fateful role to play with Pluto.
As an astrologer, I am always on the lookout for lightly or un-aspected planets. When I see them, I pay attention. They are like a birth mark on an unblemished face. It draws you in and you tend to lose sight of the other features until you zoom back out. In Corrie’s chart, Pluto was in the the 8th House. That’s enough for me to blink once or twice, especially in retrospect. Bruce Lee and Jimi Hendrix both had 8th House Plutos. In her chart, with the exception of a generational sextile of Neptune and a trine with her ascendant, the only other thing it does is oppose her Sun, separated by two degrees. Her Sun, again, connected to the earthy patches and plains of the second house, the root chakra of the chart opposed the planet of sex/death/transformation in the depths of its own house. Something would have to give. With her Chiron in Taurus, also in her 2nd House, it would be her body, her very existence on this mortal coil.
The echoes of her life and words reverberated past her death. Alan Rickman staged an award-winning-play on her life called, “My Name Is Rachel Corrie.” It was based on her experiences and words and it was headed to the US and Broadway, but something happened along the way. It got shut down and snuffed out, just like her life. Even in death she made certain people very uncomfortable.
In the free and unfettered pantheon of heroes, Rachel Corrie is constellation of bravery worthy of having her stars charted this and any other day.