A Day of Infamy – Madison, WI University Riot

by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA

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October 18, 1967 is a day of infamy in America’s history, one that got by me as a young mother raising several children. As I have watched the political and emotional drama unfolding in Ferguson, MO this last week, I saw a segment on the Rachel Maddow evening news show where she looked historically at the Kent State riot and an earlier university riot at Madison, WI. I have been compiling a research log of school shootings and disturbances over the years and could not recall the Madison incident. So, I went on a search that led me to this article.

Date and place were easy: October 18, 1967, Madison, WI. Time took some digging in our vast internet library. The closest I could find through several reports from various sources was about two hours prior to 1:20 pm, and so I set the first chart for 11:20 am, my ballpark for the moment. There it was, a Full Moon about three degrees past perfect, tightly conjunct the nodes. This was not just a Full Moon, this was a Lunar Eclipse and it was Total. Excited, I found the specific eclipse maps and data online and just about blew my own socks off. The image that appeared on my screen was a perfect Blood Moon, very apropos. I then looked to the path to see if it was visible in Madison, WI (visibility makes the effect of the eclipse stronger). There is no problem seeing a Full Moon at any location on the globe, as it is a sunset/moonrise feature. The eclipse itself is visible only at specific areas of the globe. It was visible in Madison.

A Lunar Eclipse with all its shadows and phases can last six hours on the clock. In this instance the penumbral phase (partly shadowed) began at 7:14 am UCT and ended at 1:18 pm UCT. The ending penumbral line traveled through Madison IF the tiny eclipse path map can be trusted. Maximum eclipse was 10:16 am UCT and my ephemeris lists it at 24 Aries 21. Madison is on CDT.  For those of you who are looking this up, know that the exact opposition between Sun and Moon in the ephemeris can be a very few minutes (five in this instance) different from the time of maximum eclipse because they are two distinct measures for differing applications. For our purposes, the eclipse occurred during the early morning hours on the day of the riot.

Next came the historical search to try to pin down the time of the riot. That is when the universe provided me with yet another education on looking at process and not just event. Something formed that culminated at a point, went through a deteriorating process and eventually collapsed into chaos. And, of course, there were ongoing results. Process! What was going on at the campus that led to the riot?

This was America’s disastrous Viet Nam war era with countless demonstrations and disturbances. Passions ran high, both pro and con. One key issue was the use of napalm and Agent Orange, products of Dow Chemical Company. Dow had come to the university campus to recruit. Many students took issue, aggressively and loudly.  There had been some activity the day prior (October 17th), but nothing that rose to the stature of rioting. School was in full swing. Many students were not political, they were happy just to be students.

The 11:20 AM time came from a student’s report who had attempted to get to her class that was to begin at 1:20 pm. When she got to her classroom, she realized no class was possible and went out a window to get away from the crowds of demonstrators (this was not hundreds of students, but it turned out to be thousands according to the reports I read). The remark in that article was that the demonstrations had been underway for about two hours or approximately 11:20 am. As I read, I realized the recruiting itself probably started earlier and guessed at 9:00 am as logical. I set chart after chart, trying various possibilities until it dawned on me that I could see aspects and angular activations that actually had a pattern. I had run into this type of “process” on prior Chernobyl and Hillsborough Stampede researches. A cascading effect…back to the beginning.

There are 13 charts in this series, all placed at the end of this article, view the cascade.

7:19 AM The Blood Full Moon pairing showed the Sun on the Ascendant within 2 minutes of exact with the Moon about 1 ¼˚ separating. Fermenting might have gone on throughout the hours of darkness, under cover. The South Node was rising. I see the nodes as cultural relating issues, sort of knee-jerk, reactive rather than pro-active with the north as new relational skills emerging. At 7:37 AM the south node was crossed by the ascendant and moved into the 12th. I thought this was a little early for recruiting.

9:00 AM The ascendant was approaching Mercury rising, with perfect conjunction at 9:15 AM.

Also, at 9:15 AM the midheaven was conjunct Jupiter in the 10th house almost perfectly. By 9:20 Jupiter had slipped into the 9th. This strikes me as a perfect combination for the beginning of recruiting (Mercury), which should include a stellar presentation of Dow Chemical as a great workplace (marketing is a Jupiter issue). At 9:30 AM the ascendant was 19 Scorpio, the evil fixed star Serpentis on the midpoint between Mercury and Neptune.

Neptune is now rapidly rising towards the ascendant, perfect at 9:47 AM, and the situation is changing from a recruitment scenario to a Neptune-inspired idealistic crowd forming and growing. Through Neptune (chemicals), recruitment produced the miasma that deteriorated into bloodshed. The ascendant is now 25.5 Scorpio, with the descendant on the fixed star Caput Algol, the most malefic fixed star. Algol’s ancient reading is “death by decapitation”, more modernly known as violence and figuratively losing one’s head or senses. Venus culminates at the midheaven offering some protection. By 10:00 AM she has passed into the 9th house, joining Jupiter, their benefic rays no longer angular. Détente is history. Recruitment efforts are futile.

At 10:41 AM, Pluto culminates at the midheaven, the beast has awakened, and it will be relentless in its efforts. Somewhere along the line of events, the police were called – this stands out as a good possibility. I do not think they were on the scene at this moment, but this combination could have precipitated the emerging need for the police. Within ten minutes, Uranus culminated at the midheaven, and insurrection reared its ugly head. What may have started as a reasonable protest erupted into full-scale rebellion. What happened next astrologically will take a little time because Pluto and Uranus are in charge and there is no law or order.

The next astrological connection occurs at 12:31 PM as the Sagittarian ascendant conjoins rising Mars. I do not believe people were merely talking and yelling – I think this is when it started to get physical. Not finding an actual time, this would strike me as the point at which the police were on campus trying to get a grip on what was going on, with no instruction or experience. You can tell where this is going. Also 26 Sagittarius at that time was the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, a black hole swallowing any light that dared to enter its realm. When the police surged into the thousands of students blocking access to Commerce Hall, they used their night sticks on the unarmed students. Between 12:31 and 1:20 the Sun/S Node had crossed through the 10th. Talk about public attention (Sun) of the negative type (S Node). This is infamy in action.

Remember our student’s story about having to climb out a window to get away from the melee? At 1:20 PM, 7 Capricorn 49 was rising, square the chart ruler 7 Aries 48R in the 3rd of communication. What communication? Not even the police bullhorn got through to the crowd. This was a mob of students and baton-wielding police in full battle, with that Blood Full Moon doing her black magic in that same 3rd house. Hopefully reporters were on the scene and reporting… No one was listening. 

I don’t know how long it lasted or when the tragedy ended from reading several versions, but the astrology aspects were still manifesting one right after another throughout the afternoon…

At approximately 2:09 PM the midheaven conjoined culminating Mercury, followed shortly at 2:33 PM by culminating Neptune of absolute confusion. Somewhere in all this, reporters must have gotten some information out in some fashion. If you look at those two charts you will find Uranus and Pluto in the 8th house of disaster, catastrophe and potential death, and there was a lot of that. By 3:02 PM, they moved into the 7th house still close to the 8th house cusp. Angular is not necessarily better, but both of those planets out of the death house strikes me as a good idea. 

At 4:40 PM the Moon slid into Taurus. At 4:56 PM Mars conjoined the midheaven and passed into the 9th house. Pluto moved into the 6th house at 4:54 PM and Uranus followed at 5:03 PM… no longer angular. At 5:27 PM the ascendant conjoined Saturn, and some organization or order must have been established. At 6:13 PM, the ascendant passed over the North Node and that I believe signaled the end of the disruption. The aftermath was awful, but the physical activity was done. Forty-seven students and eighteen policemen were taken to the hospital. …Process.

Soures: Eclipse websites:



Source for injured: http://classroom.synonym.com/highest-profile-campus-riots-during-vietnam-war-21064.html

Published in AFA Today’s Astrologer Sep 2014 vol76#10, republished with minor editing.

Teaching tool: Do you remember as a kid when you could do drawings on paper, each one slightly different due to a pattern of motion, then pad them together in order, and fan thru them to watch the drawing simulate motion? You can do that with charts simply by casting each one separately then watching the unfolding motion of both houses and planets (particularly the Moon) as events develop… a cascading process! Particularly watch the angles.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.