So the die is cast and it appears that the Supreme Court, barring any changes that might happen between now and the scheduled June release of its final decision, is poised to overturn a fundamental right that generations of women have been able to count on for the past 49+ years.
We suspected this was coming because the Court has been systematically stacked by two Republican presidents surnamed Bush and one (impeached) president Donald J. Trump. Importantly, two of these three presidents (G.W. Bush and Trump) did not win the popular votes in their elections, but did manage to swing narrow electoral college victories, so the heavy hand of the Court in this says we’re essentially subject to life under the so-called “tyranny of the Minority,” as it is being expressed in the only self-regulating, lifetime-tenured (and thus the most nearly-authoritarian) center of power in our federal government.
For their part, these electoral college presidents delivered on promises made to the well-funded Evangelical Right juggernaut to add conservative, Federalist society-stamped anti-abortion ideologues to the Court. It’s not just women who stand to suffer from the decision that the Court is apparently prepared to make: it’s the legitimacy of the Court as an impartial arbiter of Constitutional law. The Atlantic captures very well the wake-up call being delivered as we speak in an article entitled “The Conservatives Aren’t Just Ending Roe—They're Delighting in it.” A quick excerpt:
“Something fundamental about the Supreme Court has changed in recent months. It is not simply that the Court has a conservative supermajority, although that is true enough. What is really striking is just how emboldened that conservative supermajority is—how willing to take on a number of deeply divisive culture-war issues; how blasé about making major decisions via the Court’s shadow docket; how open to making rapid, profound changes to long-standing precedent. Last night, when Politico released a leaked February draft of an opinion by Justice Samuel Alito that would reverse Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision recognizing the right to choose abortion, the public got its most arresting taste thus far of just what this conservative bloc could do.”
As the draft decision document leaked to Politico.com and published in May 2nd's late news suggests in no uncertain terms, this newly-emboldened Court has decided that if the original Constitution didn’t explicitly allow for the right to an abortion, then the right must not exist. A lot of rights gained through great struggle over the years were never mentioned explicitly in the Constitution, but prior Supreme Courts upheld them based upon constitutional principles that have long been deemed to cover them. Long story short, abortion may be the first hard-won right that falls, but with this Court, we can probably expect that it won’t be the last.
In my last post here, we considered the April and May eclipses and the possibilities they present going forward, but I have to admit, the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade was not on my radar screen when I interpreted those charts. As I wrote in my “final thoughts” in that post, there’s always more to say about any chart, and in hindsight, how true that was!
So, I will try to be as brief as possible here: my goal here is to discuss the astrology of this legal bombshell and potential social earthquake. Yes, we could have seen hints of this in the eclipse charts just discussed in the prior post but here we will consider a chart timed for last night’s revelations by Politico’s Josh Gerstein. Do we really think child-bearing aged women will simply slink back into the disempowered housewife roles extremist right wing idealogues favor for them? I wonder at the hypocrisy of women in public roles cheering on this violence against their fellow women’s rights: could they carry on their roles if they weren’t able to plan their families around their careers? Not without tremendous, likely expensive assistance.
But that difficulty pales in comparison to what a hardship overturning Roe could be for ordinary working families who are often stretched to the max with little support and scant opportunities. To my eye, this move by the Court is sheer institutional cruelty, plain and simple.
Rest assured, women who can afford to work around the restrictions will continue to get abortions as they need and see fit. Those who can’t--and importantly, the young women among us who are most likely to suffer from sexual abuse, incest and rape—will bear the brunt of this injustice.
Consider where the arguments for eliminating women’s bodily autonomy come from: long years of listening to the arguments suggest to me the common root is found in religious beliefs about so-called fetal personhood, implying the existence of constitutional rights. In a nutshell, that once-conceived, the fetus should be privileged, even over the health and wellbeing of its mother: that its rights somehow supersede the rights of the mother. Whether conceived through rape, through incest and sexual abuse, and whether the mother’s health, or even life is put to risk by the pregnancy.
It’s not like Roe v. Wade and the Planned Parenthood v. Casey case that upheld it in the 1990s ignored this issue: they sought to strike a balance between the needs of the woman and the viability/personhood of the fetus. What the Court is apparently trying to do now would remove any balance, throwing it all back to the states to decide how oppressively they want to treat pregnant mothers.
|Recent "Don't mess with Texas women" rally.|
As anyone watching the news lately knows, several states (Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas come to mind, but there are others) have passed egregious restrictions that basically foreclose upon women’s reproductive rights, criminalizing them and anyone who helps them in any way to get an abortion. In other words, opening the way for the most vicious, egregious treatment State-level politicians can imagine in their politically-motivated quests to appear “tough on abortion.” If we’re sensing a parallel with the so-called “War on Crime,” or “War on Drugs,” it’s because the parallel is real. What we’re seeing unfold now is a true war on women’s rights, and on their health and well-being.
As for the religious roots of these bans, they run deep, indeed. I know how deep the Roman Catholic roots run from my own experience (we had five sons and a miscarriage in the space of ten years before my then-husband trusted me to decide that our existing family’s care and well-being were more pressing to us than adding to our numbers). Thankfully, I never felt forced to think about it, but at least I had the right to seek an abortion, if I needed it. Women just know when their families are complete; now we're being told that the federal government knows better than we do.
Needless to say, the church’s position on abortion has always been exacerbated and complicated by its zero tolerance for artificial contraception methods. The Roman church’s history with family-planning of any kind is long and convoluted, but The Conversation published an overview that’s worth a read here.
None of this makes any sense in today’s climate change ravaged world, but of course, churches focus very little on our responsibility to protect this world and far more on what they can do to perpetuate their own institutional power. Wielding power over the role of women in society by manipulating the tricky, fear-laced issues surrounding family planning (the more powerless and pregnant women are kept, the better) has long energized Western religions of many stripes: Katherine Stewart’s The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism says it all, for those who can handle more shocking revelations. It’s a tough read, but clearly, we have ignored the facts it conveys at our peril.
It shouldn’t escape our attention that six of our present Supreme Court justices are professed Catholics, and five of those six are the conservative-leaning justices now poised to overturn Roe (Sonia Sotomayor is the exception). Clearly, there are right-wing factions within the Catholic church that have been as engaged in these power plays as any of their Evangelical counterparts: what better way to distract from generations of pedophilia scandals than to impose fascist-style controls on issues of human sexuality and women’s rights?
According to the article referenced above, prohibitions regarding contraception (and presumably, abortion) first made their way into Catholic theology with a papal bull in 1588, which called for imposing the “penalties for homicide...against those who practiced contraception.” Unfortunately, we’re inching closer and closer to such an extreme position today—one woman who miscarried in Texas was already brought up on suspicions of murder because the State empowered “bounty hunters” to apply vigilante justice against women in their recent abortion ban.
Thankfully, this woman was released without charges, but future women may not be so lucky if the screws keep being turned on reproductive rights. Millions of women miscarry pregnancies every year (I’ve been there; so have some dear friends)--how exactly will they protect themselves? And why is it anyone’s business but their own and their doctor’s that they’ve suffered these losses?
And, perhaps most importantly, why is it that institutional Christianity is hell-bent on forcing women to surrender their bodily autonomy to the whims of the State?
Alito and those who voted with him have also basically argued that the due process clause of the 14th Amendment (the legal basis till now for any rights to privacy we enjoy in this nation) does not apply to abortion rights, thus overturning the entire 50-year Roe precedent that argued it does. Importantly, that due process clause has been used to ensure other key civil rights; will we see those falling one by one now, too?
So, as much as I would like to maintain some rational detachment about the developments revealed in the Politico bombshell, there truly is no way of remaining neutral here. This perfectly suits the hyper-polarized times we’re living in, of course. Naturally, there are real people (and always the most vulnerable) who suffer from such extremism, in the Court or elsewhere. Notably among them are the children who result from unwanted and ill-timed pregnancies. All of society suffers when children suffer; it's hard to imagine a more destructive move on the part of government.
With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at a chart for Politico’s bombshell revelation, which I’ve cast for May 2, 2022, 8:32 p.m. DST in Washington, D.C. The original article containing that released information featured this time on it, so it’s probably as accurate as we can get. At the opening of her 9 p.m. show on MSNBC that night, Rachel Maddow was visibly scrambling to describe what had just transpired, but she was able to get Politico reporter Josh Gerstein (whose scoop this story was) on at the last minute to explain his reporting, so the timing makes sense. Let’s look at the chart.
Chart #1. SCOTUS leak regarding the fate of Roe v. Wade, May 2, 2022, 8:32 p.m. DST, Washington, D.C. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. All charts cast on Kepler 8.0 and courtesy of Cosmic Patterns Software.
Sun conjoins Uranus (both Taurus) in the 6th. This probably speaks to the shock value of the leaked draft document, and perhaps to the public servant (6th) who leaked it, but it could also be construed to represent the more general assault represented here on women because Venus disposes Taurus. Notice that Venus semi-sextiles Pallas (Taurus), which is trailing behind this Sun-Uranus both literally and, in terms of Justice, figuratively. Pallas also squares Pluto (Capricorn): Justice is up against deep-pocketed forces and the destructive institutional Will to Power that has brought us to this moment.
This is strongly reinforced by the Sun disposing the officious, late Leo MC (which just happens to tightly conjoin Donald Trump’s natal Mars-ASC)--chart not shown1. Pretty appropriate—none of this would be possible without his record three Supreme Court picks, compounded by Mitch McConnell’s refusal to allow Barack Obama his rightful pick when Justice Ginsberg died. McConnell’s natal Mars-Saturn-Uranus (chart not shown)2 are in late Taurus, so conjunct the 7th house No. Node we see here and square MC (Leo). He’s been working towards this moment his entire political life. Can’t make these things up, can we?
|McConnell "played the long game"--Daily Beast|
Venus disposes Taurus Uranus and No. Node from the 5th house in the detrimental sign of Aries, widely conjunct Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces, and sextile Pluto; indeed, that Venus-Jupiter-to-Pluto sextile forms part of a larger Yod formation with that "authoritarian" feeling Leo MC. Clearly, the rights and needs of women are entangled here in much larger power wranglings. This confluence of things is heavily tinged with Neptune-Pluto--energies that certainly seem capable of disempowering and undermining women, unless we figure out how to leverage that nice Venus-Jupiter conjunction to our benefit. Venus also falls exactly at the Mercury/Pluto midpoint (0°+Aries), which speaks to the “intelligence” that the leaker of this draft document released. Dare we assume the leaker was a woman?
At first glance, the Moon in Gemini in the 7th, widely squared by chart ruler Mars (Pisces), reinforces the general sense of feminine disempowerment in this chart. Yet, the Moon does conjoin Gemini ruler Mercury, perhaps representing the “leak” itself (or the “leaker”). Mercury is not at its strongest at the moment however; it's slowing down and approaching a station Rx as we speak, but it’s quite possible this leak will force some revisions, unless—as some have speculated—the document was deliberately leaked by someone who wanted to force the justices to stick with the basic thrust of this draft.
One way or another, this drama could end up providing women a strong defense narrative: Mercury trines the other chart ruler, Pluto (Capricorn) and sextiles Jupiter (Pisces, making Jupiter widely conjunct Mercury/Pluto midpoint). To say that this powerful story has gone “viral” is an understatement. I’ve heard it described as a “seismic shift,” which seems about right, considering Uranus’s potent role in this chart.
|Who gains from treating women like Others in America?|
We see that in the relentless pressure represented by Saturn (Aquarius) t-squaring the Taurus-Scorpio Nodal Axis, which stretches across the chart horizon (Taurus DSC-Scorpio ASC). Will women now be treated as “Others” (7th) to be “controlled” in this society? Complicating and reinforcing the pressure, these fixed points resonate by rulership or dispositorship with Uranus (Taurus), Venus (Aries) and of course, Mars and Pluto (Pisces and Capricorn). Shocking developments for women delivered by Institution-backed power-players seem to be the story of the day. Maybe the next seismic shift will be seen in November’s elections?
The power-playing accords with the fact that conservative women have been in the forefront of the battle to overturn Roe (Justice Thomas’s wife Ginni comes to mind), so they’re probably celebrating the contents of yesterday’s revelations, even if they loudly object to the shocking “leak” of the Court’s apparent plans. With Moon-Mercury (Gemini) square Juno (Pisces), I suspect that the narrative these “power wives” and others think they had all prepared for the November elections will now be challenged, and deservedly so. Will the limitations these women have helped unleash on other women apply to them? Not likely. Women have repeatedly campaigned against the forever-stalled women’s Equal Rights Amendment, and they militated against Women’s Suffrage in even earlier times: the patriarchal order simply wouldn’t survive without self-righteous, power-seeking women.
Even so, Venus in Aries’ combative energy will hopefully energize women whose futures could be on the line with this Court decision to mobilize, immediately. Against all odds, they simply must.
I can’t help thinking about how we’re trying to help Ukraine defend its democracy at this moment, while our own democracy takes a major hit that we’re apparently just expected to accept because a Supreme Court that—far from representing the American People at large--says we must. This case, if anything, adds urgency to reforming the Court to be a better reflection of the People, and a Court that doesn’t arrogantly assert that it will not be moved by public sentiment. If not by that, then what does move the Court? We should be under no illusions that this is simply a battle for ideological “purity.” This is a battle that could potentially have many “fronts,” and it could effect a radical transformation of what we have known as democracy. Was the original intent of the Court to be an agent of autocratic takeover? That’s the fundamental question that threatens the Court’s legitimacy at the moment.
You may have noticed that there are a few out-of-sign aspects in this chart, among them Pallas-square-Pluto (early Taurus-late Capricorn), Mercury-trine-Pluto and sextile Jupiter (early Gemini-late Capricorn, early Gemini-late Pisces). To my eye, all of this speaks to the utter dysfunction running rife through our institutions at the moment. To my mind, this is what happens when the minority works to impose its will on the rest of us by exploiting flaws and weak points in our democracy’s safeguards. Obviously, there's much work to be done.
Love and Light, y’all!
1 Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, NY. Rated AA: BC/BR.