As the world knows by now, Jerry Falwell died yesterday from a heart attack. Falwell was a wildly controversial religious figure who through his Moral Majority movement sought influence and power in the Reagan White House. It can be argued that in many ways Falwell’s movement was more political than religious and he has been quoted as saying “there is no separation between Church and State” and “The idea that religion and politics don’t mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country.” (For an astrological view of the rise of the religious right, see this rather lengthy article.)
There was very little mention of Christ-like brotherly love in Falwell’s teachings; in fact, his message appears to be more about hate and bigotry:
- If you’re not a born-again Christian, you’re a failure as a human being.
- (re: 9/11 attacks) “..I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who try to secularize America…I point the thing in their face and say you helped this happen.””
- God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve”
- The Jews are returning to their land of unbelief. They are spiritually blind and desperately in need of their Messiah and Savior.
Falwell (see chart) was born with the Sun in Leo, the sign that celebrates the individual ego. Leos have a strong need to be in the public eye and to gain admiration for their good works. Falwell’s Sun is opposed by Saturn, the planet of restriction and self-doubt, pegging him as someone who was plagued by insecurities and loneliness throughout his life. The Sun correlates to the physical heart, and a Saturn/Sun combination can indicate heart troubles in an individual who has not worked through his emotional issues. Falwell had a history of heart problems and in 2005 was hospitalized with blocked arteries and other heart-related issues.
The fact that Falwell’s arteries were 70% blocked is a metaphor for this block from Saturn to his Sun. The fact that Saturn in his chart was in retrograde motion (appearing to move backwards from our perspective on earth) shows that Saturn operated on a more internal level in his life and created a strong pressure on Falwell to always do more, to always be better because of a deeply innate sense of not being good enough.
Mars in Falwell’s chart was in diplomatic Libra, but it was opposed by Uranus, the revolutionary. Mars (our aggressive urge) in Libra gave him the ability to work with others, but the pressure from Uranus on Mars tends to create a competitive and rebellious nature that is always fighting against something. Uranus seeks to break free of restrictions and destroy the established order, and Mars provides the energy to do so.
Mercury (the thought process and communication) in Falwell’s chart makes no aspect to other planets which would add depth and dimension to his thinking. An unaspected Mercury shows a strong mental function, but it can also show a one-track mind that is not influenced by reasoning. Mercury in his chart is in Leo where it tends to be stubborn and prideful in one’s opinions, and without aspects those opinions and ideas can become overly rigid since Leo is a fixed sign.
Saturn began a cycle of conjunctions to Falwell’s Sun back in September and was exactly conjunct his Sun at the time of death. Chiron (representing the wounding and healing process) was also involved, having begun a transit over the Sun/Saturn opposition back in March.
We often see transits of Jupiter, the great Liberator, at the time of death and Falwell was no exception. Jupiter began a trine to Falwell’s Sun back in March, and was retrograding back over his Sun at the time of death.
Regardless of what we think about Jerry Falwell, there is no denying that he said out loud what others only thought and therefore brought many issues out into the public arena for discussion, for better or worse.