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Laura Bush, First Librarian

by Alex Miller-Mignone

“I’m not the one who was elected. I would never do anything to undermine my husband’s point of view.”

“George is not an overly introspective person. He has good instincts, and he goes with them. He doesn’t need to evaluate and reevaluate a decision. He doesn’t try to overthink. He likes action."

“If I’m just at the White House, I have meetings in my office, I sign letters, I plan different things. Late in the afternoon, I’ll quit working and wait for my husband to get home.”

Laura Bush

“I have the best wife for the line of work I am in. She doesn’t try to steal the limelight.”

George W. Bush

Laura BushLaura Bush may be one of the more enigmatic First Ladies the American public has ever known. Who is she, exactly? The power behind the throne, feeding her witless husband his cues? Or the perfect Stepford Wife, glowing on the surface, empty underneath?

A former elementary school teacher and librarian, Laura's West Texas roots were modest, although her classmates included her future husband (one day to be (s)elected President of the United States, whom, although they were in the same class, she did not know in high school), future General Tommy Franks (a year her senior) and future actor Tommy Lee Jones (a year younger). Post-World War II Midland had its share of future stars, but Laura did not seem destined to be among that firmament. She did, however have a rather dramatic moment of notoriety in her teens, but we’ll save that for the grand finale.

An only child, Laura did well academically, earning a BS in education from Dallas’ Southern Methodist University in 1968, which she followed up with several years as an elementary school teacher in Dallas and Houston. In 1973 she returned to college to earn a Masters in Library Science at the University of Texas, and then remained in Austin to work as an elementary school librarian until 1977.

That summer she first met George W. Bush at a backyard barbecue given by mutual acquaintances. A whirlwind three-month courtship was followed by a wedding on November 5, 1977. At age 31, it was a late matrimonial start for both. Their only children, twin daughters Jenna and Barbara, named for each of their grandmothers, were born in 1981. By all accounts Laura was instrumental in reforming her frat-boy husband’s wayward antics, and his subsequent conversion to born-again fundamentalist Christianity in 1988. One longtime family friend quotes a frustrated and long-suffering Laura, now 40, as offering Dubya a choice, between her and Jack Daniels. Imagine what a better world we’d all be living in if George had simply crawled back into that bottle.

But where he crawled was into the Texas State Capitol in 1995, as Governor, and Laura began her first stint as a First Lady. In the Governor’s Mansion Laura played an active role, focusing on women’s and children’s advocacy, with an accent on literacy and library programs.

George and Laura Following the disputed election of 2000, Laura became effectively First Lady of the United States. She has continued along the lines she pursued as First Lady of Texas, emphasizing education and women’s health. After 9-11 she worked with groups concerned by the emotional effects of the attacks on the nation’s children. She has been trotted out globally on several PR tours of the Arab world and Africa, where she met with mixed receptions.

Her response to Hurricane Katrina, which she several times referred to mistakenly as “Hurricane Corinna,” seemed distracted and uninspired initially, but as usual she rallied to the plight of children who had been displaced. She has enjoyed extremely high approval ratings (usually above 80%), certainly in comparison with her immediate predecessor, or indeed, with her husband. She has cultivated a svelte, but cultured and understated, style and generally presents a face that seems charming and pleasant but betrays nothing about her thoughts, except when occasional pique is unmistakable.

So what makes Laura tick? Who is she, really? A look at her birth chart through a galactic lens makes some interesting discoveries. Born Laura Welch on November 4, 1946, at 6 PM in Midland, Texas, the First Lady may not be what she seems to be.

Laura BushBlack Holes dog both Sun and Ascendant. At 14 Taurus her Rising is just two degrees shy of the Black Hole at 16 Taurus, and her 11 Scorpio Sun is exactly square the Black Hole at 11 Aquarius, as well as the Maser at 13 Leo, which her natal Pluto conjoins exactly. Black Hole Sun or Ascendant folks are much the same, so Laura has a double dose of this cosmic complexion. Primarily it shows an individual with vast reserves of energy, and a chameleon-like ability to adapt to circumstances, to blend well into whatever setting she finds herself, and to present whatever image she chooses to her audience. To, in essence, be all things to all people, or to wear the mask and be nothing at all, allowing others to paint whatever features they wish upon her blank countenance. Black Hole energy is very Plutonic/Scorpionic in its nature, and this energy is strongly reinforced in Laura’s nativity by the tight square from the Sun to Pluto, and the mini-stellium of Jupiter/Sun/Descendant/Mars, all in Scorpio.

Laura and Rice This square to Pluto, which conjoins not just a Maser but also Saturn at 8 Leo atop another Black Hole at 9 Leo, shows a core of steel: she’s a woman who knows what she wants and will not think twice about stepping over anyone to get it. She is comfortable with power and wields it effortlessly, albeit she has a Scorpionic predilection to do so from behind the scenes. Her husband’s brothers may refer to their mother Barbara Bush as “the Nutcracker,” but despite a lighter public image, Laura likely has a good go at tightening the vise as well. Sun/Pluto/Maser is a very volatile combination, and may indicate an explosive temper, while Sun/Saturn shows a disciplined, determined approach—she is fully master of herself, always in control, rarely at a disadvantage.

Saturn on a Black Hole reveals access to power, but could indicate a sudden fall from grace, a complete and unexpected reversal of worldly position or power. Jupiter at 8 Scorpio exactly squares this Saturn and also conjoins the Sun. She is confident, self-assured, and the rather genial air she projects, tipped with just a tinge of Saturnine frostiness or aloofness, is very genuine. When interviewed, there is a sort of wry subtext to her remarks, something almost conspiratorial, as if she chafes somewhat at the restrictions she imposes on her free expression, but has endured them for the greater good of her cause.

Mars at 28 Scorpio is another power broker, sitting exactly on the Quasar leg of a Galactic T-Square which also comprises a Black Hole at 27 Aquarius and a Maser at 27 Taurus. There is definitely an issue with anger from this placement, and in Scorpio, that could extend to jealousy, manipulation or revenge. She is not one to take a slight lightly, or to cross with impunity.

The 15 Pisces Moon and Chiron at 29 Libra conjoined a Black Hole both indicate a deep wellspring of genuine compassion, the ability to empathize and a desire to be of help to others in need. Chiron’s teaching/mentoring skills are apparent in her life path, and she does seem to be able to muster at least a minimum of sympathy, something the rest of the Bush clan notably lacks. Venus/Mercury at 1 and 4 Sagittarius, with Mercury exactly conjunct a Black Hole, says much about her love of education and children.

Laura and George Laura shares many outer planet placements with her husband, born just four months earlier, on 6 July 1946. Their Suns trine, and his Mercury at 9 Leo squares her Sun and trines her own Mercury; their life purpose is in sync, and they communicate well, though they do not always agree. Their Moons, however, are tightly inconjunct (15 Pisces to 16 Libra), perhaps indicating some emotional distance, or a difficulty feeling completely at ease with one another. His Venus squares her Mars and his Mars squares her Venus; there is attraction there, but possibly not true compatibility—sometimes their desires and their actions are at cross purposes. These latter contacts might also go a long way to explaining her single pregnancy.

Laura Bush The usually self-effacing Laura stepped markedly out of character in April 2005 at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, where she was a featured speaker. In an unexpected reversal typical of Black Hole Mercury, she delivered a wisecracking critique of her husband, sarcastically referring to the notoriously domestic Bush, who often retires by 10 PM, as “Mr. Excitement,” and calling herself a “Desperate Housewife.” She admonished him that, if he wanted to end tyranny in the world, he would have to stay up later, and pointed up the “All Hat and No Cattle” aspect to his carefully crafted public image as a cowboy with an anecdote about George trying “to milk a horse ... and what’s worse, it was a male horse.” There may have been more than a little Scorpionic sting to the remarks, a rare opportunity for Laura to let off some steam and speak a few home truths under the guise of satire.

So much for what is popularly known about the First Lady. Now for the fireworks.

We noted above that as a teen, Laura was involved in a rather dramatic incident. On November 6, 1963, just two days after her seventeenth birthday, Laura was driving with a friend, Judy Dykes, to attend a party in Midland. It was about 8 PM, a clear, moonlit, dry evening, according to the police report, finally released in May 2000 (although Laura had previously described the night as dark and rainy, the road surface slick). In an area just outside of Midland with which she was very familiar, Laura ran a stop sign at the intersection of Texas State Highway 349 and Texas Farm Road 868 and broadsided another car. The intersection was a two-way stop from Laura’s direction, but a right of way for the other driver, so both cars were traveling at high rates of speed on the 55 mph stretch of highway. Laura and her girlfriend were badly shaken but essentially unhurt, treated for bumps and bruises at Midland Memorial, then released; the driver of the other car was killed instantly.

That driver, Michael Dutton Douglas, was her ex-boyfriend.

Laura was never cited for running the stop sign, and was never charged in connection with Douglas’ death. The police report was not made available to the public, on the grounds that the principals were minors at the time, until her husband’s first presidential campaign.

Laura has refused to speak publicly about the incident for over 30 years, making just a brief remark in March 2000 to the effect that, "I know this as an adult, and even more as a parent, it was crushing ... for the family involved and for me as well." But her recollections of the incident in private, among friends, show some startling discrepancies. In addition to misrepresenting the weather conditions, Laura has asserted that she did not know who the other driver was, nor that he had died, until after she herself had been released from the hospital. But Douglas’ father had been following in the car behind his son’s, and witnessed the entire scene. Laura knew Michael Douglas, she knew his rather distinctive 1962 Chevy Corvair, she knew his father. It is inconceivable that she did not know Douglas was the boy she had hit.

Douglas, born 16 November 1945, was just ten days shy of his eighteenth birthday when he died. Another Scorpio, with his Sun at 24 exactly opposed a Black Hole and conjunct Laura’s Mars, Douglas’ Mars at 1 Sagittarius also conjoined hers and was an exact match for Laura’s Venus, and his Venus at 5 Scorpio was conjunct a Black Hole and Laura’s Sun. Uranus and Mercury oppose exactly from 16 Gemini and Sagittarius, with another Black Hole at 17 Sagittarius conjoining Mercury. This rather potent image of potential automobile (Mercury) accident (Uranus) was dramatically heightened by transit Saturn on the day of his death; at 16 Aquarius it was exactly sextile his natal Mercury and trine his natal Uranus, as well as being squared the Black Hole on Laura’s Taurean Ascendant. His 11 Leo Pluto lies in exact square to Laura’s Sun, another image of death linking the couple.

For Laura, the day’s transits are also significant. A tight bundle of Sun/Mercury/Neptune at 13/14/15 Scorpio was conjunct Laura’s Sun/Descendant at 11 and 14 Scorpio, with that 13 Scorpio Sun bringing out exactly the natal square to her Pluto and the volatile Maser at 13 Leo. So effectively, we see overlapping Sun/Pluto squares, with transit Sun exactly squared her natal Pluto and her natal Sun exactly squared his natal Pluto. The transit Sun was also exactly sextile transit Pluto at 13 Virgo.

Laura was also experiencing a Venus return that day, and transit Mars at 8 Sagittarius exactly trined her natal Saturn, while also tightly squared transit Uranus at 9 Virgo, itself exactly conjoined yet another Black Hole. It was a day that almost compelled some tragedy involving an old love.

This scenario has got to rank among the most bizarre of First Lady backstories. Even more disturbing than the fact of the incident is the apparent disingenuousness with which Laura has treated it. The chances of being involved in an accident with and killing a former boyfriend must be astronomical, but astrologically, the two were very intensely linked. If the intimate contacts between their nativities were not to play out on a romantic level, perhaps it was inevitable that they should be linked by death’s embrace.George and Laura

Incredibly, 14 years later, Laura married George W. Bush on the day before the anniversary of the accident, with the transit Sun returned to its degree on the day of Michael Dutton Douglas’ death. One wonders what her thoughts were.

Alex Miller-Mignone, photo
Alex Miller-Mignone is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book and The Urban Wicca, former editor of "The Galactic Calendar," and past president of The Philadelphia Astrological Society.

His pioneering work with Black Holes in astrological interpretation began in 1991, when his progressed Sun unwittingly fell into one. Alex can be reached for comment or services at