Astrological Musings

Rep. Jack Murtha is an unlikely hero for the anti-war movement.

Of all the Democrats calling for an end to the Iraq war, Rep. John P. Murtha is an anomaly. Unlike Sens. John F. Kerry (Mass.) and Russell Feingold (Wis.), he doesn’t want to be president. He’s no liberal, like his House colleagues Dennis J. Kucinich (Ohio) and Maxine Waters (Calif.). He’s certainly the only one to call Vice President Cheney a friend.

The About-Face of a Hawkish Democrat (WaPo article)

Rep. Murtha has been a hard worker and loyal follower since his early days as an Eagle Scout in Pennsylvania. He quit college in 1952 to join the Marines during the Korean war where he earned an honor medal. He became a drill instructor and worked his way up to become an officer, taking control of the 34th special infantry. He volunteered for active duty in Vietnam where he received more medals including two Purple Hearts, and retired as a colonel in 1990. (Source: Wikipedia).

Mr. Murtha is a Gemini, a mutable (flexible) sign that is adept at moving through life at quicksilver speed, experiencing as many different lifestyles as possible. Geminis are typically not born with their identities fully formed; they experiment with personalities like some people try on coats. They tend to be bright and intelligent and learn easily and quickly. Mr. Murtha is not a typical Gemini, however: he has been married to the same woman for 50 years and has demonstrated a stubborn resolve and commitment in service to the country. We can see this in his Mars (aggression, defense of boundaries) which is in the fixed sign of Taurus. Taurus is an earth sign signified by the image of the Bull whose main focus is on physical security. Mars in Taurus is the brave soldier (Mars) who marches on relentlessly and does not deviate from the prescribed path (Taurus). Mars in Taurus is the perfect emblem for wars (Mars) to protect national security (Taurus) and also shows someone who does not like change in their personal life. Taurus is antithetical to changeable Gemini, and no doubt Mr. Murtha experiences a fair amount of inner conflict between his desire for continual change (Gemini) and the need to establish that deep-rooted security.

Murtha has both Mercury (thought process) and Venus (relating to others) in sensitive Cancer. This is someone to whom family ties is very important, and someone who will always take care of the needs of others (Mercury), sometimes at the expense of caring for himself. This would make him an excellent military officer who cares deeply about the troops.

Like McCain, Saturn (self-doubt and hard work) is retrograde (turned inward) in his chart, showing a person whose inner critic speaks loud and clear and fairly consistently. Saturn retrograde people are driven from an internal need to prove themselves as a result of their relentless self-criticism, and they are difficult to influence because their motivation is so internalized. As a result of this intensified focus, they often become very successful in their fields and develop an extremely strong conscience, but they will not change their course unless absolutely forced to by external events.

Back in the spring of 2004 when Saturn (discipline and hard work) made a square to Uranus (liberation) Mr. Murtha began feeling some conflict in many areas of his life. Under this transit, we feel hemmed in by Saturn’s restrictions, and the part of us that longs to be free (Uranus) begs for expression. At that time he began expressing his concern about poor planning in Iraq and raising the unpopular opinion that the war was unwinnable. This influence remained in play through May of this year and was facilitated by Saturn’s concurrent harmonious transit of Mr. Murtha’s Mars, helping him to begin to put his goals (Saturn) into action (Mars).

In addition, Pluto (transformation and rebirth) has been making a trine to Uranus in his chart (opening to new possibilities) throughout this year. This is an exhilarating and highly energizing transit that would help someone like Mr. Murtha, who is tightly wound and highly controlled, to more comfortably begin to change and liberate areas of his life that are stagnant. In addition, the harmonious transits of Pluto bring a greater sense of personal power, and we often find the courage to do things we normally would not be able to do .

Luckily for us, Mr. Murtha’s personal transformation has given him a voice. In early 2006 Pluto will oppose (180 degree aspect) his Sun. This can be a challenging time that is fraught with tension over issues of power. Watch for him to take a larger role in the battle to end the war, and possibly be put forward next spring as a presidential candidate.

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