The Rod King Case
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has struggled for years with unprovable complaints of police brutality in Los Angeles, especially brutality directed against minorities. The incident which has electrified the whole U.S. occurred on March 3, 1991 in Lakeview Terrace, not far from Los Angeles. After a high speed chase on the freeways, an unarmed black man named Rodney King stopped his car and was severely beaten by several officers as he lay, unresisting, on the ground. A couple in a nearby apartment were awakened by the noise and they filmed the episode on video. The beating started shortly before the time of 53 minutes after midnight which was registered on the video film, but the latter marks the beginning of the enormous publicity about the case, so it provides a valid chart. The locale is about 34 N 16 and 118 W 23. King has been accused of being drunk and/or on drugs on the night of the beating, and his past record includes one or more crimes. The video has been shown all over the U.S. Even President Bush saw it and said that he was “sickened” at the sight.
Judy Johns, a local astrologer, has obtained the birth dates of the victim, Rod King, and of the embattled police chief of Los Angeles, Daryl Gates. Even without their birth times, we can use the asteroids which move more slowly than Mars, and since there is an asteroid King, named for civil rights leader Martin Luther King who fought for the rights of minorities, I had to check the charts. There is also an asteroid named Bradley, the same name as the mayor of Los Angeles. Mayor Tom Bradley was caught in the middle in the furor. Eventually, he tried to force the resignation of Gates and was blocked by an appointed police commission. So far, the guilty policemen are being tried and Gates is hanging tough.
To avoid confusion between the asteroids and the people, I will refer to the asteroids as King and Bradley and will use the first names of the men involved; Rod for the victim, Daryl for the police chief, and Tom for the mayor. In the chart for the beating, Mars was just setting and King had set a little earlier so the Ascendant axis was on the midpoint of Mars/King: Mars action applied to Rod. King was in the sixth house, an appropriate position to describe the serious damage done to Rod’s health by the beating. He ended up in the hospital. Bradley in Scorpio in the eleventh house was quincunx King, fitting the public outrage over the abuse and the power struggles of different political groups with each other and with the public. Helio, a Sun god for fame and power issues, was on the tenth house Moon; again, a picture of the public in the limelight and dealing with the bureaucratic structure. The Moon’s sign of Libra is associated with ideas of fair play and social justice and with politics. I only mention asteroid aspects which are exact within one degree, but there were many relevant planetary aspects with slightly wider orbs. The Moon was square Uranus and Neptune (exact to their midpoint), quincunx Sun-Mercury, opposite Venus, sextile the Ascendant, and trine Mars. The Sun-Mercury placement in Pisces in the third house fits the immense media attention and the hidden grievances involving past police brutality which came out of the woodwork. Saturn opposed Jupiter and both squared Ceres, bringing in the questions of executive power, morality, and public health. Pallas squared Mars and (more widely) the Ascendant, with Mercury and Sun completing a mutable cross to repeat the issues around morality. But Vesta formed a grand trine to the MC, north lunar node and Antivertex in earth signs and houses, an indication of the ability to handle the material world, and Daryl has managed to stay on top of the challenges.
The beating chart is reasonably appropriate for the event, but the really mind-blowing patterns appear in the horoscopes of the two major actors; Rod and Daryl. Rod has a close mutable grand cross with the nodes across Gemini and Sagittarius square Mars-Uranus-Pluto in Virgo and Saturn-Chiron-P Ceres in Virgo. Natal Pluto and P Ceres, P Saturn, and the P true nodes are all in exact aspect in 14 degrees of the mutable signs. Saturn and the south lunar node are in the signs of faith and ethics, Pisces and Sagittarius, so the chart points to major lessons in dealing with power, power figures, the Law (Saturn) and with beliefs and judgments (Sagittarius). King is at 14 Sagittarius, precisely conjunct the south node and participating in the grand cross!!! P King was retrograding within one degree of its natal position and holding an exact square to P Pluto, P Saturn and natal Herbert for President Bush. Natal Bradley was semisextile the mean south node and quincunx the mean north node. P Bradley was conjunct P Siva and trioctile natal Mars and P Niobe, a prototype figure associated with grief. P Tezcatlipoca, the Aztec war god who demanded a human sacrifice every day, was conjunct P Mars. P Halley’s Comet had retrograded to form a trioctile to natal Saturn. Halley seems connected to fame and power, like a little sun. Natal Psyche (often aspected when people feel helpless) was on Venus. P Amnestia had joined it and P Aesculapius opposed both Psyche and Venus. Clearly, there was no amnesty for Rod, and he needed the healing of Aesculapius. Even though the asteroids are far more specific than the planets, they still can manifest as the presence of the asteroid meaning or the lack of it and need for it.
Turning to Daryl’s chart, we see a T-square in fixed signs with Saturn in Scorpio square King and Mercury in Leo and Jupiter in Aquarius. Could there be a clearer picture of the issue of execution of the Law (Saturn) in conflict with morality (Jupiter) exposed in the media (Mercury) by a confrontation with King? But even more dramatically, P King at 14 Virgo fell exactly on Rod’s Pluto, participating in his mutable cross. Natal Bradley at 22 Aries is not quite in a one-degree trioctile to natal Sun. The aspect would be within orb if Daryl was born later in the day. P Bradley was trioctile Neptune which was part of the fixed cross if you use wider orbs. P California at 17 Virgo was quincunx Daryl’s P Jupiter and square Rod’s mean lunar nodes. If Daryl was born near noon, his Moon was at 14 Gemini in Rod’s mutable cross, opposite Rod’s King. A near-noon birth for Daryl would also put his P Moon square his own lunar nodes and Pluto for power struggles involving the public. P Fama was on his P Sun and quincunx P Bradley; again we get the message of media notoriety pitting Daryl against Tom. P Mars is retrograding approaching an opposition to P Sun which will probably mark Daryl’s retirement. He was near his scheduled retirement when the incident occurred, and he seems to be hanging on to the job until the appointed time to step down.
Additional material has continued to surface about past police brutality, and the trial of the accused policemen is ongoing. If we get birth times for Daryl and/or Rod, we will include it in future issues of The Mutable Dilemma.