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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mary Todd Lincoln: a paradox for all time


Mary Todd Lincoln was born December 13, 1818 to a wealthy planter/businessman and slave owner in Lexington, Ky, time of birth unconfirmed. Her father owned slaves but was said to actually be against the concept of slavery and politics were often discussed in the Todd household. It was here Mary developed her knowledge of the politics of the day and learned how to speak the language and participate in the many discussions revolving around the political themes of the day.

 By knowing the time of a person's birth astrologers can gauge the placement of the ascendant and the moon. Without the time, astrologers create a Sun sign chart which works well, but does not give us as much detail the time of birth would, especially if the moon changes signs that day. By looking at events that occur in a person's life astrologers can rectify a chart, and glean the time of birth according to events we know have occurred, but it is not an easy process to do so.

Mary was the third of six children and was six years old when her Mother died in childbirth. Her father subsequently re-married and had eight more children but the step Mother was said to be disliked by all of the Todd children, and Mary's life was never the same after this first trauma.

The moon was in two signs the day Mary Todd was born: Gemini into Cancer. Mary was known for being extremely emotional and this is indicative of someone with a Cancer moon and/or Cancer ascendant, Cancer being the most emotional of signs.  She was very attached to her son, Tadd who died at a young age, and after he died Mary is said to have gone into a great depression, and this was one of the major turning points in her life. She suffered many traumas in life including the death of four out of five sons, the early loss of her Mother, health issues, depression, marriage problems, spending problems, political enemies, loss of family during the Civil War and of course the murder of her husband in 1865.

After Lincoln's death she found herself greatly in debt with not enough resources to pay it, and like many people today had a bad habit of living far beyond her means, and what her purse could support which proved to be a problem throughout her marriage, and even more so after her husband's death.

The moon represents our emotional life and temperament. If Mary was born between midnight and 6 a.m she has a Gemini moon opposing Neptune in her 7th house.

Moon-Neptune individuals are known to suffer from depression or lack of clarity at times, and the moon in her seventh house would signify her marriage to Abraham Lincoln, and an overall confusing or discouraging marriage situation on an emotional level in some respects.

History tells us Mary and Abe had their share of marital problems, with Mary often portrayed as flying into rages at the drop of a hat. After the death of their first son, it is reported Abe threatened to have her committed after the death of a son, but, they stayed together(divorce was not acceptable in those days) and she was his strongest political advisor and ally in his life.

Sometimes these individuals (Moon-Neptune) have an interest in the metaphysical world and Mary was known for holding séances in the White House. They (Moon/Neptune) can also have a lack of emotional objectivity or can suffer from mental disorders at times, depending on what else is in the chart.

After President Lincoln was murdered, Mary's son, Robert, had her committed, so there is a case to question if Mary had a Gemini moon opposing Neptune. At the time of her death she was said to be addicted to drugs, another indication of a Moon-Neptune.

This time of birth-6:00 a.m. could be seriously considered due to her alleged proneness to depression and delusions, but you are best known in life (and history) for cardinal planets and angular houses. Angular houses take on more importance (1, 4, 7,10 ruling the self, the home, marriage and career)  and cardinal planets take on greater importance as well, as these planets/houses tend to cause energetic reactions and changes in one's life when aspected. (Cancer, Capricorn, Aries, Libra are the cardinal signs)

Using 6: 30 p.m. as a birth time, Mary has  Jupiter in Capricorn, in her 7th house of marriage. The sign Capricorn ruled by Saturn would represent the older Saturn-like Abe Lincoln she married, so taking the above mentioned and other situations into consideration there is a stronger case for a Cancer moon and placing her time around 6:30 p.m. or so,  placing her moon in the 12th house, sometimes called the house of 'karma,' and of troubles, and Mary's life was peppered with troubles from beginning to end. Her Sun and stellium of Sagittarius planets fall in her sixth house of health-work/service to others.

Abe's moon is at 24 degrees of Capricorn, falling in her 7th house of marriage. Abe's Sun would fall in Mary's eighth house at 23 degrees of Aquarius. The 8th house rules death and the Sun represents the husband and this combination falling in her 8th house shows a husband whose accomplishments will live on past death, as well as her own accomplishments being remembered.

Using this chart we see a woman who was destined to be known for her marriage to a husband who would die.

Placing Mary's time at 6:30 p.m.  gives Mary a 16 degree Cancer ascendant and 5 degree Cancer moon. It places 3 Cardinal planets, Jupiter, Venus and Mercury in Capricorn in her 7th house (angular) house of marriage or on the cusp. Had she not married Abe Lincoln, it is likely she would have married another prominent man, which is what her chart shows.

Mary's constant tantrums and spending proved to be a source of trouble throughout her marriage to Abraham Lincoln, but her Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter in Capricorn sextiled his three planets in Pisces that included his Mercury, Pluto and Jupiter. These transits are indicative of love and tolerance. Her Uranus and Sun sextiled his 23 degree Sun in Aquarius showing a exciting connection between the two of them. They has a Mars/Venus trine indicative of attraction and romance. So, while there were problems, there was an underlying tolerance and love of each other that kept the union together.

In Lincoln's chart, his Moon at 23 degrees of Capricorn squares Mars at 25 Libra. This is indicative of many upsets in life and a wife that could cause turmoil, and at times it would show an argumentative and unhappy union. This transit also shows his death as Mars in the 8th house of death square is his moon in his 12th house of secret enemies, which John Wilkes Booth was.

The biggest conflict in the two charts is shown by Mary's Saturn/Pluto opposing Abe's Jupiter which reveals a money issue or differences in values concerning money, and Saturn opposing Mercury can reveal harsh words and speech between them. Her four planets in Sagittarius square his three in Pisces and this combination would bring conflicts.

Mary was born with a Venus in Capricorn and these individuals sometimes marry for money-security, or chose individuals who they believe will be successful. Mary is reported as having said many times she married Lincoln because 'she knew he would be President one day.' Lincoln is reported to have said he 'fell in love and never fell out.'

When Lincoln was assassinated in the Ford theatre the night of April 14, 1865, this places transiting Mars (ruler of guns) at 8 degrees of Cancer close to Mary's moon and ascendant opposing her 3 planets in her marriage house.

Uranus was in Gemini opposing her Neptune on this infamous date in history, square Pluto in a T-square close to the cusp of her house of marriage, and Uranus rules sudden, unexpected and explosive events, and Uranus-Pluto can be indicative of sudden violence.

The assassination of a President would be accompanied by some very heavy and intense planetary combinations. Looking at the event chart for the morning on Lincolns death at 7:22 A.M April 15, 1865, Jupiter is opposing Uranus in the last degree of Sagittarius-Gemini. The 29th degree of any planet is considered a critical degree by many astrologers. The moon was also at 19 degrees of Sagittarius and as the moon conjuncted Jupiter that day opposing Uranus, word of his death must have spread like wildfire with details being sketchy.

Mars squared Neptune that day at 8 degrees of Cancer-Aries. Mars rules guns and weapons and Mars was in the sign of the homeland. Mars-Neptune transits often indicate confusion and depression as well as discouraging circumstances, and the country went into mourning.

Mercury was next to Pluto at 14 degrees of Taurus in the 8th house of death. The Sun, which represents the President in mundane astrology was opposing Saturn from the 12th house of secret enemies, showing us a major event was destined to take place that would involve the President and government at that time.

History portrays Mary as being moody, outspoken and sometimes difficult to deal with, but this was during a time in history when ladies were not encouraged to speak their mind at all. Women with a moon in Cancer often wear their heart on their sleeve. They can be moody at as well as sensitive and loyal as she was to Lincoln. A woman as outspoken as Mary, and as emotional, might well have well been called crazy by men of the time who believed women were to be seen and not heard, much like children in that day. She could well have had a nervous breakdown at some point with the loss of 4 sons, brothers and family members, and ultimately almost everyone she ever loved, along with the financial stress she got into, which today would be called a compulsive shopping/spending disorder and she would have been able to seek counseling had it been a different time.

Mary has a stellium of 4 planets in her sixth house ruling health/work or service. These planets include the Sun, Neptune, Uranus and Mars, all in Sagittarius.

Sun-Uranus individuals often come across as erratic, changeable and sometimes even charismatic and ahead of their time. Uranus-Mars individuals can be changeable on a dime, often considered moody, in a bad mood, or they can become volatile at a moment's notice, which was something Mary was known for. They often have a hard time reigning in their energy and are usually known for their temper. Uranus is the planet of freedom and Uranus next to Mars in a chart can indicate someone who wants total freedom of action and is determined to get it. This trait would not bode well with the public in a First Lady during the 1860's. These people (Uranus-Mars) are often considered rebels by society and refuse to be told what to do, and are often seen by society as too ahead of their time or unsafe. Mary was heavily criticized during her time as First Lady to the 16th President.

Mary suffered from headaches throughout her lifetime and Mars in the sixth can indicate headaches, and as Mars lies next to Uranus the headaches could come and go suddenly which they did throughout her life. She also suffered through a carriage accident and a disastrous fall later in life that affected her health.

Mary's Mars-Uranus conjunction in her natal chart squares her Saturn, which lies in her 9th house of religion, philosophy and outlook toward the world. Those with Saturn in the 9th house can be philosophers and spiritual students in their lifetimes. Sometimes they are intellectuals and either take an interest in religion or despise it. Mary as well as Lincoln had a big interest in metaphysical matters. She stated before the assassination that she believed her husband would meet a sudden and violent end. Lincoln was known for his dreams which he shared with Mary often.

Shortly before he died, Lincoln had a well publicized dream he related to Mary and some friends. He stated, ""About ten days ago, I retired very late. I had been up waiting for important dispatches from the front. I could not have been long in bed when I fell into a slumber, for I was weary. I soon began to dream. There seemed to be a death-like stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible. I went from room to room; no living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds of distress met me as I passed along. I saw light in all the rooms; every object was familiar to me; but where were all the people who were grieving as if their hearts would break? I was puzzled and alarmed. What could be the meaning of all this? Determined to find the cause of a state of things so mysterious and so shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered. There I met with a sickening surprise. Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng of people, gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully. 'Who is dead in the White House?' I demanded of one of the soldiers, 'The President,' was his answer; 'he was killed by an assassin.' Then came a loud burst of grief from the crowd, which woke me from my dream. I slept no more that night; and although it was only a dream, I have been strangely annoyed by it ever since."

The 9th house also rules legal and medical events as well. Mars/Uranus square Saturn in the 9th not only would indicate medical issues with headaches, Mars-Saturn individuals often meet with a great deal of frustration in life and often feel they have been abused or suffered at the hands of others.

Mary would eventually be involved in a well publicized trial when her son had her committed for a year, 10 years after Lincoln was murdered. She was released, and never totally forgave her son. She enraged members of Congress trying to raise money to assuage her financial situation as a widow, which included an appeal to the freed slaves for money, and she had to fight long and hard to get a widows pension.

 As the wife of the 16th President of the US she was treated abysmally by those who should have lent support after Lincoln's death and no man of record stepped up to help in a time when women were not concerned for the most part with business, financial affairs or debt management.

Saturn square Uranus individuals are generally known as rebels, those who stray from what is considered safe and conventional. They may experience a great deal of upheaval in a lifetime which she suffered in all the various stages of life.

Mary was known to fly into rages and then become very emotional or melancholy. It is likely that Abe Lincoln felt a sympathy for her as he had a Saturn-Neptune conjunction in his own chart, which would make him melancholy and prone to depression as well.

At the time Mary was considered crazy by some, and the debate over her sanity remains to this day. Looking at her chart I do not believe she was insane. She may have suffered from severe depression at times or even had a nervous breakdown, but her chart shows her to be a high spirited individual with a testy personality, qualities not encouraged in women during her time.

Mary's Sun-Neptune conjunction lies next to Mars-Uranus-Saturn in the 6th house at 21-26 degrees of Sagittarius. This give her an intuitive quality and she used it throughout her life, always warning Lincoln of an assassination attempt she felt likely. She stated before the assassination that she believed Lincoln would meet a sudden and violent end. She told her step sister that her dead son Willie appeared at the foot of her bed at night and she could communicate with him.

Her Sun-Neptune was square Pluto at 24 degrees of Pisces, and this square would guarantee that much of her life would be involved in struggles, but it also gave her great determination and will power to succeed. Her Pluto in the 10th indicates a powerful husband.

She died on July 16, 1882 and the death report stated 'cerebral disease." Her last years were marked with declining health and she was confined to and died in the same house she met and married Lincoln in. After the death of Lincoln she never fully recovered and spent the last 16 years of her life drifting from place to place, often short on funds. She stated  before she died she looked forward to joining her husband in death.

"But one must not think ill of the paradox, for the paradox is the passion of thought, and the thinker without the paradox is like the lover without passion: a mediocre fellow. But the ultimate potentiation of every passion is always to will its own downfall, and so it is also the ultimate passion of the understanding to will the collision, although in one way or another the collision must become its downfall." -- Søren Kierkegaard, for example, in the Philosophical Fragments



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