Raymond Buckey Faces the Law

Zip Dobyns

Much of the following article appeared in Kosmos, the quarterly journal of the International Society for Astrological Research. We did not have enough contributions for the journal so I ended up writing a long article on Raymond Buckey. Now, I am out of time, scheduled to leave for my seminar in Montana, so a slightly revised version of Raymond is going into The Mutable Dilemma. I am just leaving out a little on current patterns and adding some asteroids to the Kosmos version. A few people are subscribers to both journals, but I think not many.

The McMartin school case may not be famous in the rest of the world, but southern California has been reading about it for seven years. Opinions are deeply divided as to the guilt or innocence of the McMartin family, and so was the jury at the end of the first trial. The McMartin preschool had been quite successful for many years. It was a family affair, founded by the grandmother, Virginia McMartin. Her daughter, Peggy McMartin Buckey, and her grandson Raymond Buckey, were part of the teaching staff. Virginia McMartin was born on July 23, 1907 and Peggy Buckey was born on November 18, 1926, but we have no birth times for them. Raymond was a teacher’s aide from his teen years, and he began working full time at the school in 1981 after a year of college. The first complaint of child molestation by Raymond was made on August 12, 1983 by the mother of a 2 1/2 year-old boy who attended the preschool. Over a period of six years, the parents of 125 children brought complaints against Raymond, his mother, and seven other current or former staff members. Over the years, the other defendants were released, but Peggy McMartin Buckey and Raymond Buckey continued to be charged with both the sexual molestation of many young children and also with the performance of satanic rituals with the children which included both human and animal sacrifices. The family lost everything to pay for their legal defense, and the trial holds the record in California for duration and expense. On January 18, 1990, the jury found Raymond Buckey innocent of 40 of the more lurid charges. Peggy Buckey was found innocent of all 12 of the charges brought against her. The jury was unable to come to a unanimous verdict on 12 of the sexual charges against Raymond. They accepted the evidence that the children had been molested but did not feel that there was conclusive evidence that Raymond had done it. Hence the new trial at which Raymond is the only defendant, facing the eight out of 12 counts on which the District Attorney sought a new trial. Raymond is charged with the abuse of three girls between 1979 and 1983.

On April 13, 1990, as the date for the new trial approached, relatives of the children who claimed they were molested started frantically digging under the former school, looking for the tunnels described by the children through which they were supposedly taken to the sites of the rituals and sexual activity. The district attorney’s office had drilled down only six inches and found nothing. After the parents began their dig, a former FBI chief and close friend of one of the McMartin parents agreed to oversee the search. He got help from a research archaeologist, Gary Stickel, who dug down seven feet and actually found some apparently filled-in tunnels just before the school was bulldozed to be replaced by a three story office building with an underground parking lot. The bulldozers arrived on May 29, so any remaining evidence is now lost forever. Among the artifacts found by the archaeologists was a plate with a pentagram which is often used in witchcraft rituals. The evidence of tunnels and witchcraft is of little use in the new trial since all of the ritual charges were dismissed by the jury, but the parents of the children wanted to vindicate their claims even if nothing more could be done legally. On June 1, 1990 the prosecution rested its case, having presented only 11 witnesses in a period of 13 days in contrast to the 15 months of the initial trial.

Physical examinations of the children are reported to have substantiated their claims of sexual abuse, but the children were very young and some of the jurors felt that the psychologists who worked with them to bring out their experiences had asked leading questions and gotten slanted information. Some of the children also presented contradictory testimony on different occasions, or were simply unable to remember what had happened a full ten years earlier. A local Episcopal church which some children claimed was the site of some of the animal sacrifices was tested for possible blood stains but nothing was found. In a further complication, the mother who first claimed that her child had been molested and who started the case was later declared to be somewhat mentally unbalanced and she died while the case was being tried. So the whole affair remains clouded with uncertainty as to what really happened.

Thanks to Lois Rodden’s Data News, we have a recorded birth time for Raymond Buckey. I do not think that one can determine details of a life from the horoscope since any pattern in astrology can be handled well or badly. But whether or not Raymond is guilty, he has had some dramatic experiences during the last decade as he watched his family lose everything and he spent years in jail without being allowed out on bail. Raymond was born on May 24, 1958 at 9:38 A.M. in Hawthorne, California; 33 N 55, 118 W 21.

Problems involving sensuality in general, including sexuality, involve the fixed dilemma. Raymond has Ceres, Uranus and Moon in Leo in the first house with Ceres square the north lunar node and Neptune in Scorpio in the fourth house and Mercury in Taurus in the tenth square all three Leo factors. Leo and the fifth house (and of course the Sun) represent our capacity to procreate children while Cancer, the fourth house and the Moon represent our capacity to care for the children after we get them. Ceres is a key to one’s experience of being nurtured as a child and also of the capacity to nurture others. With both Ceres and the Moon in the first house of personal identity, Raymond was identified with a “mother figure” (which could be a grandmother) as a personal role model and could have been drawn into nurturing others. The fourth house factors also emphasize the potential importance of home, parent, or parenting. But the squares from the first to the fourth house show conflict between the right to do what one pleases (letter one of our alphabet) and being either dependent on or protective of others. The Cancer Ascendant square Jupiter in the fourth house reinforces this conflict. As with all conflicts in astrology (life), they are handled successfully if we can find a compromise which lets us do what we please some of the time as long as we also recognize the rights of others. Juno rising and exactly square Jupiter further reinforces the fixed dilemma since Juno is very like a female Pluto, dealing with joint pleasures, possessions and power, needing to remember that a goal of life involves learning to master the appetites partly out of respect for the rights of others. Letter two, including Taurus, symbolizes our own pleasure, possessions, and power which need to be integrated with the rights of others (letter eight).

Pluto (Scorpio) in Leo in the second (Taurus) house is similar to a fixed T-square, repeating the message of the fixed dilemma, and it is square the Sun (Leo) in early Gemini in the eleventh (Aquarius) house for further emphasis on the need to handle the physical senses and power. Tension in relationships is possible with both the true lunar nodes in early Taurus-Scorpio and the mean nodes in late Aries-Libra, and the nodes also square the Ascendant while Venus squares Juno as well as the Ascendant. The nodes across the fourth and tenth houses, especially in cardinal or mutable and in air-fire signs, suggest changes or stress and sometimes separation involving parents. The south node (as a lesson) in Aries in the tenth (Capricorn) house suggests a contest between self-will and the limits of self-will whether the limits are set by natural or cultural laws, by authority figures, or by one’s own conscience. Raymond’s fire grand trine is a warning of the danger of over-emphasizing self-will and fighting the limits.

Saturn is our other key to lessons and Raymond has it just inside the fifth house in his grand fire trine but also quincunx the Ascendant and square his Mars in Pisces in the ninth house. The house fits a lesson involving children and is an appropriate placement for a teacher whose profession involves children. But the conflict aspects to Mars and to the Ascendant (equivalent to Mars) repeat the issue of self-will (Mars and Ascendant) in conflict with the limits (Saturn). The cardinal signs, houses (angular) and planets reinforce the issue of power. Combinations of the fixed and cardinal conflict aspects often mark a power-struggle life. The individual has to find ways to compete which are healthy, through games, sports, a competitive business, or fighting for causes. If the individual lacks self-confidence (is identified with the helpless child side of Cancer, Ceres, Moon), and feels that the world has the power, there is a possibility of only feeling safe when dealing with weaker people. Also, witchcraft and other shamanic rituals are commonly practiced as ways to gain power over the world.

Raymond’s Vesta-Sun conjunction is another relevant clue. I have seen this pattern with many wonderful healers, but also with people with sexual problems. The Sun, as indicated above, shows the capacity to procreate children and is an important key to our capacity to handle sex and love. Vesta can mark the vestal virgin who lives for her work and gives up personal relationships in order to be completely committed to the work, so putting the two principles together can be a problem. Vesta’s octile (semisquare) to Juno (the marriage asteroid) and its trioctile (sesquisquare) to Jupiter (in Libra, a sign of marriage) add emphasis to the likelihood of tension in relationships. The tension could be as basic as wanting to do well in both the areas of work and love and feeling pressured by time. Or there could be self-criticism and self-doubt about being loved and reluctance to risk rejection which results in avoidance of peers. The close involvement of Raymond’s mother in his life and his association of love and sex with mother-child factors could also suggest that he was led into some of the activities by his mother. I really wonder whether the full story will ever be revealed.

To summarize what we have seen, Raymond’s chart shows a focus on power and dependency (his own or children or animals which tend to be relatively helpless). He is identified with a strong mother and/or grandmother and stayed in their orbit, working for them. We can’t say that he is guilty, but the horoscope does fit the psychological conflicts which would be appropriate for the crimes of which he is accused. We will see what the next jury decides.

Astrology offers us many choices when we seek to understand the current issues in our lives. All astrologers use transits; the planetary positions in the sky at the time of an event or future positions which might signal times of opportunity or challenge. Transits are certainly one key to the potentials of any given time, but I have seen many cases where they were not adequate to explain a dramatic event. I think this is because they lack chart angles unless one is looking at a past event with a specific moment of occurrence. Angles (the MC, Ascendant, and to a lesser degree the East Point and Antivertex axes across the horoscope) can be even more important than the planets as keys to major events when lives are really changed. The angles are the height of the cardinal principle, especially the MC and Ascendant axes which are equivalent to the rulers of the cardinal signs; Mars (like the Ascendant), Saturn (like the MC), Moon (like the IC), and Venus (more ambiguously, like the Descendant). The East Point and the Antivertex are like auxiliary Ascendants but only important when they have close aspects to one or more planets.

With the other forms of current patterns, progressions, arcs, and returns, we have current angles which can hold an aspect for months or years in contrast to the transiting angles which move about one degree every four minutes. My preferred system for understanding the unfolding of a life is the “day-for-a-year” system which is usually called secondary progressions. I am including Raymond’s chart progressed to August 12, 1983 when Raymond was first accused of sexual molestation of a child and to January 19, 1990 when he was acquitted of most of the charges. We can see that in the years prior to Raymond’s arrest, progressed (P) Juno, the asteroid which is most like Pluto, wanting sex and a mate, was conjunct Ceres, the asteroid associated with the mother-child relationship, in the sign of Leo (sex and love). P Ascendant was conjunct P Ceres, also in Leo and in the first house. P Ascendant had just ended a conjunction with natal Moon but P Ceres was still in the one-degree orb that is permitted in all systems of progressions and directions. These aspects would be appropriate for marriage and the procreation of a child but could also fit sexual activity with a child. P Saturn remained in a very long quincunx to Juno, showing strain in the areas of love-sex-children (fifth house) and relating to a mate (Juno) which was in Cancer, again bringing in the idea of children or dependency.

P Sun conjunct P Mercury in Gemini fits the blaze of media publicity which followed the case, and the twelfth house position fits the uncovering of hidden facts. Raymond was charged with starting the molestation in 1979 when his P Sun was opposite Saturn, a very appropriate aspect for a lesson involving children, sex, power, the LAW, etc. P Sun would also have formed a grand trine to Chiron and Jupiter, both associated with relationships since Chiron is in the eighth house and Jupiter in Libra. The trines encourage us to feel that we know what we want and have a right to it, especially when fire is involved. Many astrologers focus too much on the signs and houses and forget about the nature of the planets which are by far the most important factors. The Sun is fire. Jupiter is fire. And I think the Chiron is also fire, with a meaning very similar to Jupiter—a search for the Absolute in some form, so this combination is actually a grand trine of fire factors in air signs in water houses. The fire and air would normally be very open in going after what they want, but the water brings in the issue of dependency. We may choose to care for other dependent beings, or we may feel helpless and vulnerable ourselves and choose to get what we want from others who are dependent and helpless.

We would expect natal or P Mars to also be prominent in someone involved with power issues since Mars represents our sense of having the right to do what we please. The natal Mars position in Pisces in the ninth house connects it to extreme idealism, whether the person is driven by the identification with God to only do the right and perfect thing, or the person feels (often unconsciously) that his will is Absolute and he has a right to do whatever he wants. A strongly sexed person (as suggested by the fixed sign emphasis) but one who sees females as more powerful (Venus in Aries in the tenth house and Moon in Leo in the first house) may look for sensual satisfaction from powerless individuals (children or animals). As already indicated, the square of Mars to Saturn shows some form of conflict with superior power (the LAW, authority figures, or one’s own conscience). At first glance, P Mars seems also unaspected with only an octile (semisquare) to Chiron, but it is also closely square the Sun/Moon midpoint (which carries the same meaning as a square to both the Sun and the Moon), and it opposes the Juno/Saturn midpoint (equivalent to an opposition to both Juno and Saturn). Since natal Saturn held conflict aspects to both Juno and Mars, the potential of problems is present during any progressed aspects between them. P Mars had just reached a trine to natal Moon when Raymond was acquitted of many of the charges, but its coming aspects are less encouraging since it is moving into a conjunction with the MC (equivalent to Saturn) and a trioctile (sesquisquare) to Pluto.

P MC was square Uranus and approaching Mercury when Raymond was first charged with molesting a child and his and his family’s lives revolutionized and subjected to the media. P Pallas, an asteroid often associated with Libra whether with the cooperative or the competitive side, was square the MC. I find Pallas emphasized in the charts of lawyers, consultants, politicians, etc. as well as temporarily emphasized when individuals are involved with such activities. P Pallas was also octile Pluto which had held a trioctile to the MC for most of Raymond’s life. One of the real values of secondary progressions is the long-term progressed aspects which remain in the one-degree-orb for many years and mark basic talents or problems in the individual’s character. A Pluto conflict aspect to the MC (or to Saturn or to any planet in the tenth house or in Capricorn, to list some of the various ways that astrology can “say the same thing”) shows a lesson involving the sharing of possessions, pleasures or power (Pluto) and the LAW in some form. We may give or take too much or too little or just have difficulty sharing as an equal.

Another of Raymond’s long-term aspects was his P Uranus square to Mercury and trioctile to Saturn. Leo, the tenth house placement of Mercury, and the fifth house placement of Saturn, connect the pattern to power. Taurus represents personal physical pleasure while Leo and the Leo house again bring in the possible associations with sex, children, and fame or notoriety.

Raymond’s P Moon, like P Mars, seems less involved until you look at the midpoints. They are really meaningful and useful in astrology. The center point between each pair of factors in the chart carries the same meaning as if the two factors were conjunct at that point, so aspects to the point are similar in meaning (though not as intense in power) as aspects to the factors themselves. P Moon at the time of Raymond’s initial accusation was conjunct his Sun/Pluto midpoint, his Pallas/Ceres midpoint, and his Juno/East Point midpoint. P Moon was also square the Uranus/Saturn midpoint. The meaning of all of these factors has been discussed and the combination fits an intense issue involving the parent-child relationship, the sharing of sex and power (or lack of it as a problem), and dealing with the LAW.

Where progressed systems look at the patterns which were really in the sky at some period in the person’s life, “directions” produce a set of patterns which never have existed or will exist during the person’s life. With the different arcs of direction, everything in the chart is moved the same amount, regardless of the natural speed of the factors or whether they were direct or retrograde in motion. The whole chart is turned like a wheel with all factors maintaining their natal distances from each other. As with progressions, aspects must be within one degree of exact, but unlike progressions, aspects can only be formed from directed planets to natal planets since the directed planets maintain the same distances between each other as was held by the natal planets. Of course, any natal aspect which is exact within one degree becomes a lifetime aspect and hence very important.

The most common system of directions moves everything in the natal chart the same distance that the Sun has moved in secondary progressions, which is approximately one degree per year of life. Summer births will have a slightly slower solar arc while winter births will be slightly faster. When the Sun forms an aspect to the natal Sun, every directed planet will have the same aspect to its natal position. We can see that when he was acquitted of most of the charges against him on January 18, 1990, Raymond had everything semisextile its natal position. He also had directed (D) Venus quincunx Jupiter and sextile Juno (but natally they formed a T-square), D Mars was conjunct Venus, D Neptune was opposite the Sun, D Uranus was octile Jupiter and D Pluto was quincunx the south lunar node, among other aspects.

It is possible to use any factor in the progressed chart to produce an arc of direction. I was curious to see what Raymond’s Mars arc would produce, so had it calculated on our CCRS computer program. The resulting chart not only had interesting aspects; it pointed to some coming aspects which could mark important times of change. The Mars Arc (MA) positions for January 18, 1990 put MA Pluto quincunx Chiron, MA true south lunar node quincunx Saturn, MA Uranus conjunct Pluto, MA Vesta conjunct Pallas, MA East Point conjunct Ceres, MA moon square Vesta, MA Venus square Moon and octile Pallas, etc. In March 1990, starting aspects included MA Pallas square Jupiter and quincunx Chiron. In June 1990, MA Mars will reach Raymond’s local (Manhattan Beach) MC, and a month later, it reaches the natal MC. This pattern is similar in meaning to Mars conjunct Saturn when “personal will meets the limits of personal will.” In September 1990, MA Moon starts an octile to Jupiter, and in December 1990, MA Saturn starts a trioctile to the Sun. March of 1991 bring MA Ascendant to the quincunx to natal Mars, which can also be very important. Of course, the accuracy of the aspects involving angles (MC, Ascendant, etc.) depends on the accuracy of the birth time.

Thanks to computers, we have enough techniques to write a whole book on one event in the life of one person. But since no one has time to do that, each astrologer has to experiment to determine which techniques work best for him or her. As our readers know, my primary fascination is with the asteroids.

I expected that if Raymond was really guilty, Asmodeus, the “demon of lust” should be featured in some way. It turned up in Scorpio in his fifth house with a trine to Juno, a square to Chiron, and semisextiles to Jupiter and Saturn. In fact, it was at the midpoint of Jupiter/Saturn with all of them in the fourth and fifth houses of home and children. It was also trioctile the Sun/Moon midpoint. I have just started to read a new book by Michael Harding and Charles Harvey called Working With Astrology, and they emphasize the importance of that particular midpoint, suggesting that the closest aspects to the Sun/Moon midpoint show the most central and important dynamics of a chart. If this is true, and I have done very little testing so far but what I have done supports their position, Raymond’s Vertex in Sagittarius in the fifth house in a quincunx to the Sun/Moon is crucial since the aspect is exact to the minute. Uranus in Leo holds a semisextile to Sun/Moon that is within 9 minutes of exact, and Asmodeus is next closest with an orb of 11 minutes from exact. It is interesting that these three factors with close aspects to Sun/Moon are all in the sign or house of Leo—sex and children.

Raymond also has an asteroid associated with the Sun on his natal Ascendant. Apollo is rising within 15 minutes of the Ascendant. Another asteroid named for a sun god is Amun which is on Raymond’s Leo Moon within six minutes of longitude. Two other sun gods are Aten at ten Aries and Helio at 5 Capricorn. Their midpoint is on Chiron in the eighth house within 12 minutes of a trioctile of the Sun/Moon. So far, I’m impressed. Raymond has certainly become famous through his power struggle with the law. We will see how it goes when transiting Saturn makes its second pass opposite his natal Ascendant and the Karmic chickens come home to roost.

Copyright © 1990 Los Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.

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