Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Golda Meir

A few women throughout history have broken that legendary glass ceiling and progressed onward and upward to eventually lead their countries, Golda Meir was one of these. She became Prime Minister of Israel 39 years ago yesterday, 17 March 1969.

Golda was born in Kiev, Ukraine and emigrated in childhood with her parents to the USA where she was educated. In 1917 she moved to live in Palestine, after Britain had declared its support for a Jewish homeland there. She and her husband lived on a kibbutz. Continuing with extracts from here

"There, despite her fear of chickens, she became an expert on raising poultry. Soon, she was representing the kibbutz at meetings of the Histadrut, Israel’s General Federation of Labor.

While now an Israeli, Golda’s early years in America shaped her thinking and her career –not to mention her spoken Hebrew --which was filled with English-sounding pronunciations—and helped lay the groundwork for her rapid rise in Israeli politics. In 1928, Golda was offered a job with Histadrut’s Council of Women Workers, which she accepted....... A charismatic speaker, she rapidly became a spokeswoman for Histadrut and later the world Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency, and was particularly effective raising funds from Americans.

When Golda was elected to the Knesset in 1949, David Ben Gurion appointed her Minister of Labor. In 1956, he promoted her to Foreign Minister, the second highest cabinet post. Renouncing the pomp associated with diplomacy, according to Pogrebin, Meir "entertained foreign dignitaries in her kitchen, in an apron, serving them her homemade pastry along with a stern lecture on Israel’s security." Diagnosed with lymphoma, Golda retired from government service in 1966 but three years later she was persuaded by the Labor Party to come out of retirement to serve as Prime Minister.

In the early 1970’s, polls revealed that Golda was the most respected woman in America, despite the fact that she was no longer an American. Nevertheless, Golda’s stint as national leader ended sadly when Israel suffered heavy losses in the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Blamed for Israel’s military unpreparedness, Meir resigned in June of 1974. In the years before her death in 1978, Golda earned the status and affection accorded an elder stateswoman. Golda Meir now ranks as one of the great female heads of state in modern history."

Golda Meir born 3 May 1898 in Kiev, Ukraine (12 noon chart used as no time of birth is known)

This chart has not reproduced well - for clarification: Sun & Mercury in Taurus. Mars in Aries. Neptune, Pluto and Venus in Gemini. Jupiter (and maybe the Moon) in Libra, Uranus and Saturn in Sagittarius. Moon's Nodes and Vertex/anti-Vertex in Cancer/Capricorn.

Without a time of birth, what's to be seen in the chart is fairly limited, but what I see first is the Mystic Rectangle formed by trines, sextiles and oppositions (I've marked it on the chart), closely integrating at least four planets. Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Uranus, with Saturn and perhaps the Moon near enough to be included too. These planets are in Air and Fire signs, bringing a predominantly masculine/positive polarity strongly into focus.
A good explanation of the Mystic Rectangle configuration can be found here

There's a nice combination of signs emphasised in Golda's chart - Sagittarius, Libra and Gemini bring diplomacy, fairness, philosophical outlook and good communication skills. Mars in its own sign of Aries brings determination, energy and strength. The Sun and Mercury within three degrees of each other in earthy, sensible but stubborn Taurus came to mind as I read this in above extracts :"Meir entertained foreign dignitaries in her kitchen, in an apron, serving them her homemade pastry along with a stern lecture on Israel’s security"

Taurus Sun/Mercury are quincunx (150 degrees) Saturn in Sagittarius, which indicates some internal conflict between incompatible elements, perhaps reflected in Golda's concentration on her poltical work rather than home and family, which may have resulted in the failure of her marriage in 1945. She once said hereself:"At work, you think of the children you've left at home. At home, you think of the work you've left unfinished. Such a struggle is unleashed within yourself, your heart is rent."

There's a very brief soundclip of Golda Meir speaking of her hopes for the future HERE

A few more quotes from this great lady:

With regard to President Richard Nixon, with whom she is pictured here
"As President Nixon says, presidents can do almost anything, and President Nixon has done many things that nobody would have thought of doing"

"To be or not to be is not a question of compromise. Either you be or you don't be."

AND - "Don't be humble, you're not that great.”
(But she was both!)


Wisewebwoman said...

I am reminded, T, of that great movie made of her life starring one of my favourites, Ingrid Bergman, did you see it?
Ingrid had to 'ugly up' a bit but gave a great performance in what could have been her last major role before she died of lung cancer.
Lovely tribute, thanks....

Twilight said...

Thanks WWW.

No I didn't see the movie. I've been looking for a DVD of it, without success. Apparently it was adapted from a TV mini-series.
Amazon has some used tapes of the movie and series at anything betweem $62 and $250, so it has become quite rare.