Revisiting History: The Statue of Liberty

by Marilyn J. Muir, LPMAFA

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The New York City harbor area contains a couple of famous tiny islands. One is called Ellis Island, which at the turn of the century between the 1800s and the 1900s was literally the doorway for immigration into the United States. Thousands upon thousands of people from multiple countries and many walks of life passed through that portal. Nearby is another small island originally called Bedloe, and now commonly referred to as Liberty Island. On that island, Lady Liberty holds aloft her torch lighting the way for those seeking asylum or a new life in what was once called “the New World”.

Three of my own four grandparents were immigrants as were the ancestors of everyone whose family came here from elsewhere. Only Native Americans were indigenous. If you are other than American Indian, you also stem from those immigrants over the decades and centuries of our growth as a nation. One grandmother arrived with her family in the fall of 1888. She told me anecdotal stories about that arrival. The first: her exclamation upon seeing the statue rising out of the waters. My then five-year-old grandmother said, “Look Mum, Jesus Christ standing in the water.”  Another anecdote was about the train ride north to the New York/Vermont region near Lake George where they settled. The children were awestruck by the biggest oranges they had ever seen. It was fall and the “oranges” were pumpkins in the fields. U.S. families are just full of such stories.

A joint venture between France and the U.S., the history of the Statue of Liberty is lengthy and full of turmoil – well worth reading. The idea was originally broached in 1865, but that was the Civil War era. Recovering from that devastating war took decades. Fund-raising was difficult, but eventually the funds were raised, the work done and the dedication of The Lady occurred on Oct 28, 1886.

  • The morning began with a parade initiated at Madison Square; and once the parade passed in front of the Stock Market building, the very first New York City ticker tape parade set the standard for the future. There were hundreds of thousands, perhaps up to a million, boots-on-the-ground viewers. It was presided over by the current U. S. President and former New York Governor, Grover Cleveland.  
  • The nautical parade began at 12:45 PM as President Cleveland took a yacht to the island, with only a select committee allowed on the island for the dedication – not the public and specifically not women (for fear of the crush of the crowd harming women and children). The Suffragettes took great issue with that and picketed in offshore boats. There were speeches by dignitaries, but a premature dropping of the flag sidetracked the plans. The signal was interpreted as dedication, with celebration. The speeches later continued.
  • The torch was lit that evening, but was barely visible from Manhattan. That was to be fixed at a later time.
  • Because the weather was not cooperating, the fireworks display was postponed to November 1st.

What can we as Astrologers do with that history? We can speculate!

  • Parade Assuming a 10:00 AM parade start as a reasonable guess in Manhattan, that chart gives us 8 Libra 36 for a Midheaven with Uranus in the tenth house at 9 Libra 48. Lady Liberty. To me it is significant that the U.S. natal Virgo Rising chart I use has 8 Gemini 52 on the Midheaven and Uranus at 8:54 in the 10th; this guesswork chart is on the money. The rising sign is 17 Sagittarius 38 with Mars on the twelfth house side at 16:38 (separating). Time for action…in the form of a parade works for me! The sheer spectacle is reflected in those chart positions and there is a lovely Venus/Jupiter conjunction in the tenth house, the rulers of the chart angles conjoined for that moment’s mission and its public face.
  • Boat Parade At 12:45 PM (timed by the article), the boat parade from Manhattan to the island commenced with the President leading the way to the Lady awaiting them in the harbor. 21 Scorpio 41 is on the Midheaven with a Mercury/Moon conjunction close by in the tenth house at 23:32 and 24:20. They are opposing retrograde Neptune of the ocean and the waters at 27 Taurus 00 solidly in the fourth house. Can you see the Statue’s foundation in the harbor waters? Plus, that combination squares the U.S. natal Moon at 22 Aquarius 37. The public was not allowed on the island for the dedication. The boat parade rising is 28 Capricorn 20, pomp and circumstance, head of state, particularly because the natal U.S. Pluto is 27 Capricorn 33 retrograde. The political power leading the parade!
  • There were several speakers, but the dropping of the flag prematurely interrupted the speakers because it was the chosen signal for the dedication itself. Speaking resumed after that. I set the speculative chart for 2:00 PM EST on Liberty Island. I love how Astrology works! I am not far off on my guess. This chart provides 9 Sagittarius 39 on the Midheaven, with 23 Aquarius 36 rising. I am a little bit past what is needed. I find   timing is usually strongest just prior to exact. If I back this chart up four minutes on the clock to 1:56 PM, I have a stronger applying position. The Midheaven is now 8 Sagittarius 43 and the Ascendant is 22 Aquarius 06, triggering both the U.S. natal Midheaven/Uranus conjunction and the U.S. natal Moon.
  • Lighting of Torch What about the evening lighting of the statue’s torch? No help with time from the articles. This was fall and it would be getting dark earlier each day. I looked up sunset November 1, 1886 for New York City and it was 4:52 PM (early). The night would have bright moonlight because it was only a day and a half past Full Moon. The torchlight was barely visible in Manhattan. I speculated 7:00 PM, giving me 20 Aquarius 48 on the Midheaven with 15 Gemini 28 on the Ascendant. That also gives Mars at 16 Sagittarius 54 on the seventh house side of the Descendant. Mars for the Manhattan parade is on the Ascendant. Mars of the torch lighting is on the Descendant in applying mode. The torchlight Midheaven is within 2 degrees of the U.S. natal Moon, but the public had trouble seeing the torchlight.
  • Fireworks November 1, again guessing what time, I used 7:00 PM. The Midheaven had moved in three days to 24 Aquarius 51, again within 2 degrees of the U.S. natal Moon (the public), and the Ascendant had moved to 19 Gemini 30 applying to Mars at 19:52 which remained in the 7th house, and also mirroring the initial Parade chart.

I have no way to verify my guesswork, but I am reasonably close… and they say this stuff doesn’t work!


Excellent long historical article:

U.S. natal chart used: Jul 4, 1776, 9:36 AM LMT, Philadelphia, PA

Fun facts from Readers Digest October, 2016 issue: The cost of building the statue and the pedestal was $500,000. The weight of the statue was 225 tons. The copper skin is 1/8 inch thick. The Lady would wear a size 879 shoe and she has a 35 foot waistline. The rays on the crown represent the world continents.  By 1906, the Lady was green from oxidation from head to toe. There are broken chains at the lady’s feet obscured by the hem of her gown. She has a built-in sway of up to six inches in both body and torch arm for winds up to fifty mph. Did designer Berthold sculpt his own Mother’s face? Not provable.

Published in AFA Today’s Astrologer Sep 2017 vol 79#9, republished with slight editing.

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