by Alex Miller-Mignone
I dont understand it. It would be like having Murderers Pride Day.
Ted Haggard, regarding gay pride parades, as quoted in The New Republic, 1996
We dont have to debate about what we should think about homosexual activity, its written in the Bible.... Homosexual activity, like adulterous relationships, is clearly condemned in the Scriptures.
Ted Haggard, sermon, autumn 2004
Hi, Mike, this is Art. Hey, I was just calling to see if we could get any more. Either $100 or $200 supply. And I could pick it up really anytime. I could get it tomorrow or we could wait till next week sometime, and so I also wanted to get your address. I could send you some money for inventory, but that's probably not working, so if you have it, then go ahead and get what you can and I may buzz up there later today, but I doubt your schedule would allow that unless you have some in the house. OK, I'll check in with you later. Thanks a lot, bye.
Ted Haggard, voice mail to male escort
Mike Jones, 4 August 2006
"The fact is I am guilty of sexual immorality. And I take responsibility for the entire problem. I am a deceiver and a liar. There's a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring against it for all of my adult life.... [B]ecause of pride, I began deceiving those I love the most because I didn't want to hurt or disappoint them.
Ted Haggard, letter to New Life Church congregation, 5 November 2006
On Thursday, 2 November 2006, Americas evangelical community was thunderstruck by the news that a leading light of their movement had been accused of having a business sexual relationship with a male escort, and using methamphetamine to heighten his experience. Mike Jones of Denver made the allegations on a local radio show, stating that for the past three years, on an approximately monthly basis, he had been having paid sexual encounters with Ted Haggard, the founder and pastor of Colorado Springs 14,000 member New Life Church, a man he knew as Art.
Known to his flock as Pastor Ted, Haggard founded New Life in 1985, in the basement of his home. The church expanded into strip mall space and eventually into the stadium-sized house of worship it has become, the largest such space in Colorado. Since 2003 Haggard has been the head of the 30-million-member National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). Listed in a 2005 TIME article as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America, he was instrumental in mobilizing that voting bloc for the 2004 presidential election, and has participated in weekly conference calls with the White House during the Bush administration. He jokes that the only ideological differences between himself and Bush are automotive: he drives a Chevy and Bush prefers a Ford.
Jones was unaware of Haggards true identity for three years, until the spring of 2006, when he saw him on television and recognized him as his client Art (Haggards middle name). Haggard was organizing and pushing hard for a November ballot initiative in Colorado, Amendment 43, which would ban gay marriage. Jones was shocked and incensed: "I had to expose the hypocrisy. He is in the position of influence of millions of followers, and he's preaching against gay marriage. But behind everybody's back [he's] doing what he's preached against." At that point he began recording Arts voice mail messages, and contacted the press on November 2.
Haggard initially claimed not to know Jones, and denied the allegations, but a day later admitted that some of the charges were true, and voluntarily resigned both his pastorate and his position with the NAE on November 3. He stated that he had been referred to Jones by his hotel in Denver, but that he had only gone to him for a massage, and had purchased the methamphetamine because he was curious, but had not used the drug, and thrown it away. On November 4, the New Life Church oversight board formally dismissed Haggard, citing clear evidence of sexual immorality without providing specifics, and on Sunday the 5th a letter of admission and apology from Haggard was read to the church.
Similar to the earlier scandal involving US Representative Mark Foley, a leader in Internet predation legislation who IMed underage male congressional pages to solicit sex, Haggard preached long and hard (no pun intended) against the very activities in which he regularly engaged, a hypocrisy which seems strongly rooted in conservatism in America. And as with Foley, the birth chart shows clear sexual ambivalence, and transits for the period of Haggards exposure reflect his stunning fall from grace.
Born 27 June 1956, Haggards 6 Cancer Sun conjoins the Black Hole at 4 Cancer and a Quasar at 8, and opposes a second Black Hole at 5 Capricorn. This cosmic push-me/pull-you of a Sun torn between a Black Hole and a Quasar says much about Haggards life pathon the one hand, rising from relative obscurity in Indiana to found and lead one of the countrys largest megachurches, and to head the National Association of Evangelicals; while on the other, regularly slipping his leash and sneaking off from his wife, five children and congregation to indulge in drug-fueled paid sexual trysts with another man. The Quasar promotes success and accomplishment, and high visibility, while the Black Hole tends toward fragmentation and the leading of a double life, one secretive, at total odds with the public face, and incomprehensible to those who know him best. In this almost Manichaean struggle between Light and Dark, Quasar and Black Hole, Haggards Sun was the prize.
His Venus at 27 Gemini is also galactically encumbered, with a conjunction to a Quasar, a square to the Black Hole at 28 Pisces, and an opposition to the supermassive Black Hole at the Galactic Center, 26 Sagittarius. The Venus/Black Hole contacts are another indicator of secrecy and split affections, while the GC contact suggests becoming noteworthy or notorious for ones affections or romantic entanglements. Venus is also tied closely with Pluto, by sextile at 26 Leo; with Neptune, by trine at 27 Libra; and with Saturn, by inconjunct at 27 Scorpio. Venus linked with outer planetary energies is often an indicator of homosexual attraction, and Venus/Saturn can indicate blocks to ordinary romantic expression, and severe issues with self esteem.
When we broaden the net to include asteroids of a sexual or gay nature, the picture becomes even clearer. Asteroid Sappho, named for an ancient Greek lesbian poet, closely conjoins the Sun at 7 Cancer, and asteroid Ganymede, named for one of Zeus underage male conquests, at 12 Leo lies in exact inconjunct to Haggards 12 Pisces Mars and closely conjoined a Maser at 13 Leo, a type of deep space anomaly noted for volatility and controversy. Mars is also sextile asteroid Pecker (no explanation needed) at 13 Capricorn, which is also inconjunct Ganymede, the three points thus creating a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, keying on Ganymede at its apex; Yods often indicate fated circumstances, benefic or malefic.
Asteroid Antinous, named for a lover of the Roman Emperor Hadrian who was deified after his death, and thus of particular interest in the chart of a gay religious leader, at 8 Gemini conjoins both the South Node at 7 Gemini and yet another volatile, controversy-provoking Maser at 6 Gemini. Asteroid Lust at 22 Gemini conjoins Venus and ties to the Galactic Center contact, affording a high public profile for Haggards desires, and asteroid Asmodeus, named for a Semitic demon inciting lust, lies at 29 Cancer, conjoined both a Black Hole at 28 Cancer and Haggards natal Uranus at 0 Leo, and squared natal Neptune. This speaks volumes for the rashness of the activities Haggard engaged in, and the mirroring and reversal inherent in publicly condemning what one indulges in privately, as well as the deception and drug use.
Transits for early November are also significant. Both natal Venus and Mars have been receiving outer planet stimulation throughout the past year, with transit Pluto closely approaching exact opposition to Venus (its station retrograde in March was just one degree shy) and transit Uranus crisscrossing Haggards natal Mars twice, with one more conjunction to go in January. With Pluto/Venus exposing his romantic/intimate proclivities and secrets, and Uranus/Mars eliciting the shocking revelations of a sexual nature while simultaneously compelling rash sexual conduct, Pastor Ted didnt stand a chance. Transit Saturn and Pluto at the time of the exposure were in an exact trine pattern from 24 Leo to Sagittarius, with Saturn keyed on natal Pluto at 26 Leo and transit Pluto exactly conjoined a Pulsar, informational in nature and often an agent of media activation.
Transit Mercury and Jupiter at 23 and 25 Scorpio keyed on natal Saturn at 27, itself conjoined a manifestation-evoking Quasar, and inflated (Jupiter) the story (Mercury), threatening and ultimately depriving Haggard of his worldly position and power (Saturn). Transit Mars at 6 Scorpio was conjoined a Black Hole at 7 and exactly trined the natal Sun at 6 Cancer, and transit Venus at 10 Scorpio was in an exact trine with transit Uranus at 10 Pisces, creating a Grand Trine with Mars and the Sun. The transit Sun at 9 Scorpio was exactly squared a Black Hole at 9 Leo, and more loosely squared asteroid Ganymede at 12 Leo.
Transit asteroids also played a powerful role. Transit Ganymede was exactly conjoined natal Saturn at 27 Scorpio, setting off a powerful Galactic T-Square with the Quasar at 28 Scorpio, Black Hole at 28 Aquarius and Maser at 27 Taurus. Transit Asmodeus from 22 Scorpio was bundled tightly with transit Mercury, Jupiter, Ganymede and natal Saturn, and exactly inconjunct natal asteroid Lust at 22 Gemini. Transit Sappho at 15 Scorpio was conjoined transit Sun, Venus and Mars and exactly inconjunct natal Mercury at 15 Gemini and in trine to natal Mars, while transit Lust at 6 Leo ignited natal Asmodeus, Uranus and Ganymede and was in an exact square to transit Mars, closely squared transit Sun/Venus.
Transit Antinous at 26 Aries was exactly conjoined a Black Hole and opposed natal Neptune at 27 Libra, inconjunct natal Saturn at 27 Scorpio and trine natal Pluto at 26 Leo, forming another Grand Trine with transit Pluto and the Galactic Center. Asteroid Pecker at 3 Capricorn was approaching its Pecker Return and opposing the natal Sun at 6 Cancer, as well as inconjunct transit Lust and sextile transit Mars.
Another week, another conservative scandal. And as with Foley (although Haggard is not an elected official) his disgrace is likely to demoralize the conservative base and lower voter turn-out among the evangelical community for the mid-term elections. As for Haggard himself, his life will never again be what it was, but perhaps, some day, it will be more honest.
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 Alixilamirorim@aol.com.