A Clinton Half-Brother
Lois Rodden’s latest Data News provides the birth data for Leon Ritzenthaler, a son of Clinton’s father in his first marriage. W.J. Blythe was married a second time (to Leon’s mother’s sister) before he married Bill Clinton’s mother, and he died before Bill Clinton was born. Like Bill Clinton’s mother, Leon’s mother remarried, and both boys took the names of their stepfathers so neither of Blythe’s sons carries his name. Clinton’s younger half-brother, born to Bill’s mother and his step-father, was in the news during the campaign and the inauguration, but Leon was only found by the media when he contacted them after being ignored by Clinton. The data appeared in People magazine which helpfully published the birth certificate.
There may be more information in the original magazine article which I don’t have. Lois included the preceding material, Leon’s birth data, and some additional facts. Leon was a high school dropout at age 17, served in the army for 18 months, then started a small janitorial service business in Paradise, CA. He retired on disability in 1984 due to a heart problem. He adored his stepfather, a police chief, and took his name. Note the contrast in their subsequent lives between the brother who had a presumably loving stepfather and the one whose stepfather was alcoholic and abusive.
Leon’s chart is fascinating, in view of the events just listed. Normally, we would expect a person with the Moon in Leo in the Sagittarius house, Saturn in Aries, and four factors in Capricorn (Mercury, Antivertex, Venus, and the Sun), to be highly ambitious. The first house Sagittarius plus its ruler Jupiter, a key to identity, in the third house in Aquarius, suggest a bright, verbal, and fun-loving individual. Pluto, ruling the rising Scorpio, is also strong in its own house in a trine to the Ascendant. Neptune in the tenth house indicates a tendency to put a high value on reaching the top in a career, and Vesta in the house of Neptune repeats the theme of wanting ideal work. Normally, people with Uranus in the sixth house would rather not take orders in their work.
How do we square these tendencies with his history? Actually, rather simply. All of the listed keys to work except for Saturn are connected to Venus or Neptune which want work that is easy, comfortable, and pleasant. The Capricorn stellium includes the rulers of the tenth house signs, Mercury and Venus, and it is in the Taurus house. Uranus is in the sign of Taurus. Neptune is in Virgo in the house of Capricorn and Vesta, our Virgo asteroid, is in the house of Neptune. Mars, always a key to identity (what we do naturally from the beginning of life), is in Pisces opposite Neptune. Mars is also in the house of Cancer along with Saturn in the Martian sign, Aries. We can identify with either the baby or the parent with letter four. Venus and Neptune support the tendency to take the baby role: “someone else can do it and give it to me.” The identification with the baby side of life is also supported by Pluto in Cancer, and its position in the eighth house can show the projection of one’s personal power into other people. Any key to letter one connected to letters seven or eight can be expressed by giving in, by fighting, or by running. Or we can learn to share the power, to engage in healthy competition, and to help others.
Leon’s emphasis on Sagittarius and Aquarius shows someone who is bright but who may want life on his own terms. “No one is going to tell me what to do.” He may enjoy learning but choose to learn only subjects in which he is personally interested. The combination of wanting to be in control of his own work and wanting to learn on his own terms can produce a school dropout. So he created his own business where he presumably hired others to do the hard janitorial work. Keeping buildings clean and attractive is appropriate Venus-Neptune work as long as you don’t have to do the labor yourself, as long as you are the manager.
The freedom-closeness dilemma also operated in Leon’s relationships. He wanted an ideal marriage with Juno rising in Sagittarius and Chiron in the seventh house. He was identified with a mate with Scorpio rising, Pluto in the eighth house, and Juno in the first house. The lunar node in the first house also contributes to the need for emotional close relationships but the nodal opposition across houses one-seven, especially with squares to the MC and Ceres, shows that staying in one relationship may be a problem. Two keys to identity, Mars and Aries, in the fourth house are additional keys to a need for emotional security with a home and/or family. Leon’s move to California put his natal Moon exactly on the MC, putting still more emphasis on the importance of emotional ties, and Pallas on the local IC repeated the importance of partnership. Leon has had three marriages, the last in 1983.
It is obvious that Leon also has some potential for conflict between his career ambition to play a power role in the world, his desire for his life and his work to be easy with some of his needs met by others, and his desire for freedom from any kind of restraint. What is the most effective way for the unconscious to reconcile the preceding conflicts? One solution is a physical problem severe enough to get a disability pension but not so severe that one can’t enjoy life. “I would have done something more outstanding, but the ticker gave out.”
I don’t have the date in 1984 when Leon retired on disability so we don’t have the degree of the P Moon, but we can work with the angles which only move about one degree a year. Leon’s P MC opposed P Mars and his P Ascendant opposed the north nodes of Vesta and Jupiter when he got his freedom from working for a living. P Ascendant held a square to P Saturn from mid- 1982 to mid-1984. His P Moon was somewhere in Aries in his fifth (Leo) house. P Antivertex had moved into Aquarius, was semisextile natal Antivertex and reached the conjunction to P Jupiter during the year. P East Point reached natal Venus in the summer of 1984 and P Venus remained sextile it all year. P Venus was also on Mars opposite Neptune. P Mercury squared the East Point and was sextile P Uranus. P Sun had been squaring P Juno for over two years and the aspect ended in 1984. That period would cover the last marriage and possibly the preceding divorce for which I lack a date. As readers will notice, many of the preceding aspects are normally considered harmonious. The local angles in Paradise, CA were also meaningful with P MC and P East Point moving respectively into an opposition and a square to Saturn during 1984, P Ascendant quincunx P Uranus all year, and P Antivertex square P Mars.
Astrology associates the heart with letter five, the Sun, Leo and the fifth house. Charles Emerson, a former New York astrologer, told me that he had once examined the untimed charts of 75 men who had been heart patients of a local heart specialist. The most common aspect was Sun opposite Jupiter, which we could read as insatiable ambition, overvaluing love or recognition from the world, wanting more than we can attain, etc. We can see the potential in Leon’s natal chart with his Leo Moon (made more powerful on his local MC) opposite Jupiter and both of them square Uranus in the sixth house (efficiency in our work and/or our bodies) and Vesta in the twelfth house (the Virgo asteroid connected to one’s unconscious faith with the potential for running away when one’s dreams are not fulfilled). The unconscious runs our bodies, and if we hate our work, it is quite capable of getting us out of it.
An M.D. from India named Deepak Chopra has recently been in the media quite often after writing several books and doing tapes on his theories. His primary theories attack materialism, emphasizing the power of the mind (including both intellect and emotions) to damage or to heal the body. Among the illustrations which he offers, I am especially fond of the story of the rabbits. Experiments conducted in two universities were demonstrating how a high-fat diet caused a buildup of cholesterol in the rabbits’ arteries. But one group of rabbits had 60% less damage. When the study was repeated, they got the same results. Investigation showed that the graduate student who was feeding that particular group of rabbits was taking them out of their cages and petting them before he fed them. Love protected them against massive doses of cholesterol.
Dr. Chopra also reported the experience of a heart specialist who asked his patients why they had their heart problems. Many of the patients knew and told him a variety of stories of personal threats to their love relationships. “My wife wants to leave me.” “My son won’t go to law school.” “My wife doesn’t want to leave our home town and my company wants me to transfer to another city.” I have personally seen similar cases. “I didn’t get the promotion I should have gotten.” “They promoted someone over me.” Etc.
Leon also had appropriate aspects when his mother told him on June 19, 1992 that the man running for president was his half- brother. His P Moon was back in Leo in opposition to natal Jupiter. We can imagine him watching the media (third house) and wonder if he was consciously comparing his life with his sibling’s. Leon’s P Moon reached his natal Moon and his local MC for the election in November 1992. It was quincunx his Antivertex and trioctile Saturn and P Venus for the inauguration. His P Sun had been opposing Neptune and was still in orb into early 1993. Other aspects calling attention to issues around power and fame included P Venus (a tenth house ruler) on Saturn, P Sun sextile Venus, and P MC sextile Mercury, ruler of his natal MC.
Naturally, there were also relevant asteroids. Leon’s P MC was on Xanthus, another name for sun-god Apollo. P Xanthus, P Fama (fame), and P Washingtonia (for our capital) were all on P north lunar node as well as opposite natal Williams for Bill Clinton on his P south node. This listed collection also was sextile-trine natal Saturn and Leon’s MC calculated for Washington, DC. P Ceres was on his Washington IC and natal Saturn when his mother told him about his father and his famous sibling. P Mars was on natal America as he was brought to the attention of the country. P America was sextile his P Mercury, natural ruler of siblings and the media. Also, Leon’s P Ascendant in Washington, DC was on his third house cusp and natal California when he was informed of the relationship and it was still there when he contacted the media. P Williams was on his Descendant calculated in Washington, and P Albertine (for Al Gore) was just one degree farther.
I’m inclined to sympathize with him. Whether or not he has consciously compared his life with his half-brother’s, I suspect that the contrast is not helping his self-esteem. I hope that he has found some kind of artistic hobby or (less likely) some kind of volunteer service that can provide a sense of self-worth through personal accomplishment.