The murder of Stephen Lawrence – an astrological perspective

On the evening of 22nd April 1993, as he was waiting for a bus with his friend Duwayne Brooks in Eltham, South East London, 18-year-old Stephen Lawrence was murdered by a gang of white youths in an unprovoked racist attack. After an initial police investigation, five suspects were arrested but not convicted. Over the following 25 years, due to the determination of Stephen’s mother and family, layer after layer of police negligence, incompetence and corruption were uncovered.

A public inquiry into the handling of Stephen’s case was held in 1998, leading to the publication of the highly influential Macpherson report, an important moment in the modern history of British criminal justice.It made seventy recommendations to policing and wider public policy in law and education.

Following a change in the “double jeopardy” law that had prevented suspects being tried twice for the same crime, and with the help of new forensic evidence, Gary Dobson and David Norris were found guilty of the murder of Stephen Lawrence in January 2012. Further evidence of police corruption in dealing with the case has continued to emerge since.

The birth chart of Stephen Lawrence

According to Doreen Lawrence in her book “And Still I Rise” (2006), Stephen Lawrence was born at 9.30 pm on 13th September 1974 at Greenwich District Hospital. His natal chart shows Sun in Virgo, Moon in Leo, four planets in Libra and a fairly even distribution of planets in the four elements.A Venus-Neptune-Jupiter T-square in mutable signs stands out. As part of the T-square, the square between Venus and Neptune (the closest major aspect in the chart) is a potentially visionary combination, often found in the charts of artists and musicians. It indicates a challenge to express love, harmony and beauty (Venus) in a transcendent or universal (Neptune) way. The 11th house Jupiter in Pisces shows the potential for high ideals and compassionate service to society.

According to all accounts, Stephen Lawrence was a well-rounded and popular young man with everything going for him. Before his murder, he was an A level student with a wide number of interests and dreams of becoming an architect.

The chart for the murder

The original police appeal for information and witnesses states 10.39 pm as the time of the attack. A troublesome square between Pluto in late Scorpio and Saturn in Aquarius, closely aspects the Ascendant-Descendant axis. Astrologers have long associated the combination of Saturn and Pluto with dark power, intense suffering and tumultuous struggle. The connection between the Saturn-Pluto square and “institutional corruption”, together with behind the scenes police collusion with criminals (Pluto in a murky Scorpio 12th house), is not hard to make. In addition, astrologers have long associated Pluto with the power of black men and women.

Mars in Cancer and 8th house forms a trine to Pluto and the Ascendant. A criminal (8th house) gang (Cancer) of young men (Mars) murdered Stephen, using a knife (Mars). Stephen Lawrence’s natal chart also shows a natal Mars-Pluto aspect, the conjunction, a powerful and potentially explosive energy. Mars-Pluto individuals have been known to attract violence or loss of power in circumstances beyond their control, although there is usually some degree of choice as to how this is experienced.

In 1998, Doreen Lawrence founded the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust to give young people practical help in fulfilling their dreams to work in architecture and building (Mars in Cancer and 8th house). The Trust has received lottery funding and substantial donations from many sources (the murder chart’s Moon in Taurus indicates potential financial abundance as part of the unfolding story), enabling it to help many young people through bursaries, work placements and career advice.

The long-term outcome of Stephen’s murder has been an awakening of a new awareness (Uranus and Neptune both close to being stationary) for the police and establishment authorities (Capricorn), with corresponding action and legislation to remove “institutional racism” having been successful. Or maybe not. Some have argued that much progress has been illusory (Neptune), with more fundamental change still required.

Midlife transits for Doreen Lawrence

Doreen Lawrence

At the time of the murder of her son, Doreen Lawrence (born 24th October 1952, Scorpio Sun and Capricorn Moon) had just moved into experiencing an intensified version of the astrological midlife transits that everyone has at around the age of 41 or so. The conjunction of consciousness-raising Uranus and Neptune in Capricorn, exact three times during 1993, played a key role. Shocks and awakening from Uranus, together with disillusionment and an expanded vision from Neptune, meant that her life would never be the same again.

Nelson Mandela and a Jupiter-Pluto transit

Nelson Mandela with the Lawrences

Initially the murder gained little attention. However, after a press conference the Lawrence family met Nelson Mandela in London and Mandela’s supportive words were widely reported in the media. Co-incidentally, Nelson Mandela (born 18th July, 1918) was experiencing a Jupiter square transit to his own natal Pluto in Cancer at the time – nicely symbolic of a positive intervention in the name of black familial power. The very next day, three of the prime suspects were arrested. However, the Crown Prosecution Service later dropped the charges, saying the identification evidence from Duwayne Brooks was unreliable.

 

The Daily Mail and Jupiter conjunct Uranus in Aquarius

At the Coroner’s Inquest in February 1997, the five accused young men took the witness stand. Sneering and arrogant, they refused to answer any questions. Amongst many others, Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre was not impressed. By an extraordinary co-incidence, Dacre also knew Neville Lawrence (Stephen’s father) who had done some plastering work on his house.

As Jupiter and Uranus moved to an almost exact conjunction in Aquarius on the day, Dacre and the Daily Mail published the now famous headline across its Valentine’s Day front page: “MURDERERS. The Mail accuses these men of killing. If we are wrong, let them sue us.” Below the headline were photographs of Gary Dobson, Neil Acourt, Jamie Acourt, Luke Knight and David Norris. (Above the headline was an advert for astrologer Jonathan Cainer.)

For days, the story made international headlines. It was an astonishing breakthrough moment (Jupiter conjunct Uranus), bringing new hope and optimism for those seeking justice for Stephen Lawrence and for anyone with humanitarian ideals (Aquarius). The conjunction formed a trine aspect to both the 6 degrees Libran Jupiter in the murder chart and the 6 degrees Libran Pluto in Stephen Lawrence’s natal chart, with several other planets simultaneously lining up for a striking combination.

Hope from tragedy

Microscopic evidence found on the clothing belonging to the accused led to life sentences for Gary Dobson and David Norris in January 2012 – this coincided with a Saturn trine transit to the murder chart’s Saturn. Video evidence from the 1990s showed Norris talking about “skinning” black people and setting them alight.

Baroness Lawrence

Doreen Lawrence was awarded the OBE for services to community relations in 2013, and since then she has been made a life peer in the House of Lords. As transiting Saturn formed a conjunction to her Mars in Capricorn in April 2018, Baroness Lawrence commented that after 25 years, “It is time to draw a line”.

In the murder chart, the ruling planet Jupiter (faith and optimism) is in Libra (justice) and the 10th house (making a mark on the world). This forms a very close conjunction to natal Pluto (power and darkness) in the birth chart of Stephen Lawrence, a fated (Pluto) young man.

Sometimes, hope is born from tragedy.

The above is an edited version of an article originally published in the November/December 2018 issue of the Astrological Journal magazine https://www.facebook.com/AstrologicalJournal Thank you to editor Victor Olliver. This is the bimonthly publication of the Astrological Association http://www.astrologicalassociation.com dedicated to educating the public on astrology since 1958.

Consultations and readings available at https://www.timburnessastrologer.co.uk

Paul McCartney – astrological birth chart

Thumbs aloft! Sun in Gemini, Moon in Leo

Paul McCartney returned in September 2018 in spectacular style, with his excellent album Egypt Station going straight to Number One in the Billboard chart. It was his first solo Number One album since 1982’s Tug of War. As he sings on the new album track People Want Peace, “I’m not quitting while people are crying for more.”

Born on 18th June 1942 in Liverpool, Astrodatabank‘s currently preferred 2.00pm choice of chart (below) shows a hard-working and modest Virgo Ascendant (rising sign). Whatever the exact time of birth was, most of the main features of the chart stay the same in this case. All the planets are grouped in a small area across five signs of the zodiac, showing a shape somewhere between a Bundle or a Bowl, with strong emphasis on planets in Gemini and Leo.

McCartney is in many ways a typical Gemini. Starting with The Beatles, he has continually explored new ideas and new styles with his music, from pop to rock to classical compositions. There is often an effort to be up to date with contemporary trends and, along with the Gemini twinkle in his eye, a cheeky sense of humour is never far away.

Macca’s chart from https://www.astro.com

Gemini Sun conjunct Jupiter in Cancer

The Sun is at the end of Gemini, forming a conjunction to Jupiter at the beginning of Cancer (both in 10th house if the time of birth is reasonably accurate). Macca is known worldwide for his clever and funny Gemini self and of course he is also well known for being optimistic, romantic, a family man and proud of his Liverpudlian roots – all of which link nicely to a prominent Jupiter in Cancer.

The Sun-Jupiter conjunction forms a close square with Neptune. This combination of planets occurs in the charts of many musicians and artists, as well as spiritual leaders. The Neptunian universal visionary potential was there from birth. Paul’s long-term campaigning for vegetarianism is one expression of his high ideals and compassion. One could even say that McCartney is channeling a higher power – whatever that means! At the same time, his well-publicized use of cannabis is a classic example of Neptunian escapism.

He’s made a few quid…

Venus in its own solid sign of Taurus and Jupiter exalted in Cancer are two of the best basic planetary placements for potential financial success. McCartney has of course done rather well for himself and according to the Sunday Times, he is the richest musician in the UK as of May 2018. His net worth has been estimated at $1.2 billion, according to Celebratory Net Worth.

Moon, Mars and Pluto in Leo

The Moon in Leo gives a warm, enthusiastic and dramatic personality. There is more Leo in the chart from an explosively creative close Mars-Pluto conjunction. A Leo Mars carrying the creative power (and egomania!) of the Pluto in Leo generation, combines smoothly with the inspired intelligence, adaptability and potential mastery of language and communication shown by the Gemini Saturn-Uranus conjunction. McCartney is still fond of describing himself as working class – “I work bloody hard” – and that strongly positioned Mars in Leo is a sure sign that he does.

Egypt Station arrived with a Uranus transit to his Mars in Leo

Looking at recent transits and progressions, and after having allowed for the question mark around his time of birth, one relevant transit stands out. In the couple of months before Egypt Station was released in September 2018, transiting Uranus made (or came very close to) an exact stationary square to Paul McCartney’s natal Mars in Leo.

At that time, McCartney was very busy making unexpected (Uranus) playful promotional appearances (Mars in Leo). He popped up in New York, on the internet, television, in fact just about everywhere! Using the 2pm chart (above), Uranus is transiting from his 8th house, to Mars which is the ruler of his 8th house. Not only has Egypt Station suddenly regenerated (Uranus in 8th house) his career, there are also many more 8th house themes (emotional crises, sex, even some kind of spiritual salvation) in the lyrics than is usual for Paul. The final pass of this Uranus transit is in mid to late April of 2019, so worth keeping an eye out for some more unpredictable and playful Mars in Leo action from him then.

Long live Macca!

This is an edited version of an article originally published in the Nov/Dec 2018 edition of IAM astrology magazine https://infinityastrologicalmagazine.com/

Consultations and readings available at https://www.timburnessastrologer.co.uk