[This article focuses on the death of Freddie Gray (pictured above); for an analysis of Walter Scott’s death, see Part One in the June 2015 Daykeeper Journal.]
On April 12, 2015, Baltimore police arrested and detained 25-year-old African American Freddie Gray on a charge of possessing an illegal switchblade knife. He was manhandled into a van, witnesses stating that he was howling in pain after a “folding” maneuver, where the legs are bent backwards by one officer while a second presses his knee into the suspect’s neck to hold him down.
The van then proceeded to make several other stops en route to the precinct station, in the midst of which Gray was placed in leg irons, ostensibly because he was “acting irate”, though witness cell phone video of that shackling shows Gray already inert and unresponsive. At the station, Gray’s need for immediate medical attention became apparent, and after paramedics worked for 20 minutes to revive him, he was taken to a shock trauma center in a coma. It later transpired that Mr. Gray had suffered severe spinal cord damage, with his spine almost severed at the neck. He remained in a coma and died on April 19.
Protests against his treatment by police began at the local station on April 18, increased citywide after his death, and escalated into full scale rioting by the time of Gray’s funeral on April 27. In several days of rioting, hundreds of protestors were arrested, several policemen injured, dozens of cars burned and several businesses burned and looted. Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake ordered a 10 PM curfew beginning April 28, and Maryland’s governor declared a state of emergency in Baltimore, calling in the National Guard to quell the violence, which did not fully abate until May 1, when charges were filed against six officers involved in the arrest, including a charge of murder for the van’s driver, Officer Caesar Goodson.
As always, events on the terrestrial plane are well represented by celestial factors in play at the time they unfold. In this case, the principals are all prominent in the skies at the time of the fatal injury on April 12th.
Asteroid Gray, for Freddie Gray, is forming its retrograde station at 21 Sagittarius, already at that degree. This puts Gray within orb of the Galactic Center at 27 Sagittarius, a point which when activated confers global notice or attention. Also with Gray are TNO Ixion at 23 Sagittarius and asteroid Toro at 25 Sagittarius. Ixion, named for the first murderer in Greek myth, points us to homicide, while Toro represents violent brutality, the proximate cause of Gray’s fatal spinal cord injury. Close beside Gray is asteroid Goodman, a celestial stand-in for Officer Caesar Goodson, later indicted for Freddie Gray’s murder, at 22 Sagittarius.
Gray made its station on April 18, the day before Freddie Gray died; Goodman made its station May 3, just two days after Goodson was charged with murder. Caesar Goodson’s involvement can also be seen in the placement of asteroid Caesar; at 6 Gemini it opposes Saturn, ruling policemen and the ancient lord of death, at 4 Sagittarius, while forming a T-Square with asteroid Requiem, named for the funeral mass for the dead, at 10 Virgo.
The Sagittarian cluster forms a close trine to the transit Sun at 22 Aries, that day making its annual conjunction with TNO Eris, a point noted for fractious, divisive energies, also representing the marginalized, downtrodden, or disrespected. Mercury is in the mix as well, from 24 Aries, an indicator that the media would be involved, and also suggesting the importance of a car or mode of transportation to the story.
Freddie Gray is also represented by asteroid Fredrick at 22 Capricorn, just pulling away from Pluto, modern ruler of death, at 15 Capricorn, and exactly squared the transit Sun, marking Freddie as pivotal to the day’s events.
Supporting factors include a grouping of asteroids Icarus and Anubis with Uranus, at 12, 13 and 16 Aries respectively. Anubis is named for an Egyptian deity ruling funerary rites, Icarus represents rash, reckless actions heedless of the consequences, and Uranus is violent, disruptive behaviors. Put it all together, and we see a needless death based in ill-considered reactions of a shocking, over-the-top nature. The venue for this tragedy can be seen in asteroid Baltimore, which at 8 Aquarius is conjunct Atropos at 12 Aquarius, another death indicator (named for the Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death), and exactly squared Mars at 8 Taurus, yet another symbol of violence and brutality.
Born 16 August 1989, Freddie Gray’s birth chart reveals the potential for a violent end, one which is very public and garners broad attention. A pairing of Jupiter at 3 Cancer with asteroid Rip (for “RIP”, or “Rest In Peace”, a common tombstone acronym) at 4 Cancer suggests fame or renown (Jupiter) in death (Rip).
The Sun at 23 Leo forms a T-Square with Ixion at 21 Scorpio conjunct asteroid Gray at 19 Scorpio, and asteroid Atropos at 22 Aquarius. This identifies Freddie Gray as potentially involved with murder (Ixion), both in the square from the Sun and also the conjunction of Gray with Ixion, but on its own, does not determine whether this involvement is as perpetrator or victim. The added emphasis on death provided by Atropos in opposition to the Sun shows some death-related incident to be critical to Gray’s core identity as an individual (Sun). Without this manner of his death, the world would never have known of Freddie Gray’s existence. The Sun also fills in the empty leg of a Grand Trine with the transits for his injury, comprised of the Sagittarian stellium of Gray, Ixion, Toro and the GC, and the Sun/Eris/Mercury grouping in Aries.
Natal asteroid Fredrick at 10 Virgo was being conjoined by transit asteroid Requiem exactly at his fatal injury, and in the birth chart conjoins both Mars and Icarus, at 8 and 11 Virgo, another indication of a possible violent death (Mars) based in reckless actions (Icarus) for Freddie (Fredrick). Broadly with this grouping is natal Mercury at 17 Virgo, suggesting that this death could be big news.
Asteroid Toro (brutality) does not make a strong statement in the natal chart per se, but at 22 Libra it is broadly conjunct asteroid Goodman, representing Officer Goodson, charged in Gray’s death, and was also exactly opposed the Sun/Eris conjunction for the day of Gray’s fatal injury, bringing its latent potential into full awareness and fruition.
When the riots in response to Gray’s treatment and death broke out on April 27, Icarus had come to exactly conjoin the transit Sun at 7 Taurus, just off Mars’ 8 Taurus degree for the precipitating incident. More rash, reckless actions heedless of the consequences, ones impacting the perpetrators and their environment more directly and negatively than the provocation, denoting Icarus’ tendency toward self-destructive behaviors.
Astoundingly, this pairing exactly squares Baltimore’s natal Sun/Mercury conjunction at 7 Leo (founded 30 July 1729), with transit asteroid Baltimore at 11 Aquarius forming a T-Square. Baltimore’s own natal asteroid Baltimore falls at 7 Scorpio, exactly squared the Sun of its namesake city, and exactly opposed the transit Sun for the riots, creating a Grand Cross over all. Baltimore’s Sun was also being conjoined by transit Nemesis from 6 to 8 Leo throughout the period of the injury and the riots. Nemesis is named for the goddess of undoing, vengeance and retribution, a role performed by Baltimore’s police force against Freddie Gray, and also one the embittered citizens of Baltimore were attempting to enact in their reaction to that death.
The city’s natal asteroid Fredrick at 22 Aquarius exactly conjoins Freddie Gray’s natal Atropos, cementing the deadly relationship between himself and the city he resided in, while Baltimore’s natal Icarus at 23 Capricorn closely conjoined the transit placement of asteroid Fredrick at 22 Capricorn, bring Gray into direct contact with the city’s own propensity for recklessness and self-destructive behaviors. Baltimore’s natal asteroid Gray at 5 Gemini squares its natal Saturn at 7 Pisces, bringing Freddie Gray into direct conflict (the square) with the police (Saturn).
Yet another senseless death of an unarmed black man at the hands of police. Like Walter Scott, Freddie Gray’s death served to cast a spotlight upon a pattern of abuse of poor and minority populations by the organizations charged with their service and protection. Besides the incidence of asteroid Gray on the Galactic Center at the time of his injury, bringing attention to this issue, Freddie Gray also had a natal placement contacting the GC which may mean more than all the rest.
TNO Varuna, which represents one’s legacy and lasting achievements, falls at 26 Gemini, exactly opposing the Galactic Center in Gray’s birth chart. May his death not be in vain, but yield a legacy of understanding and healing.