Sunday, November 09, 2008

Drive-by Astrology: Cory Booker

Drive-by posts are supposed to be brief - this one's a slow, Sunday drive-by!

Bill Maher, on "Real Time" last Friday night interviewed Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. Now, I know absolutely nothing about New Jersey, except that when, from my UK home, I first started US immigration procedures I used to read a British Expat's help forum. One of the contributors, an ex-pat who already lived in New Jersey had a motto, beneath his avatar which made me grin: "New Jersey, where strangers are killed and eaten". Having read a few articles about Cory Booker and his city, I realise it wasn't that far from the truth!

A description of the city of Newark, population 275,000, from Scot Raab's article in "Esquire" (link below):

"Lousy housing? Check. Rampant unemployment? You bet. Shitty schools? Bingo. Gang warfare? My, yes. Newark may have only one movie house -- and zero new-car dealerships and big-box stores -- but it has what might be the world's only Toys "R" Us knockoff Ebonically named Wee Bee Kids, close to City Hall. Everybody with the means to flee fled long ago -- and by "everybody" I mean the white folk and nearly all the middle-class blacks -- and what was surrendered on the way out of town was any sense that the people left behind truly matter"

Mayor Booker was impressive in Friday night's interview. He clearly impressed Bill Maher, and he definitely impressed me. Bill commented to the effect that, if a new President Obama does a good job, Americans might think "Wow, African Americans are good at this - let's have another!" Cory Booker would be a shoo-in in those circumstances! He lit up the screen with his smile and his enthusiasm. This is definitely one to watch, I think we'll be seeing a lot more of him in coming years.

Born 27 April 1969 in Washington DC. No time of birth available. 12 noon chart below, so ascendant and exact Moon position not accurately shown.

His natal Sun and Mercury are in Taurus - fixed sign, determined, solid, dependable, pragmatic.

Saturn, in the last degree of Aries (the anaretic degree, thought to be particularly strong) is conjunct Taurus Sun, although in different sign. Aries brings in energy, impulsive brightness, and extra enthusiasm to that somewhat staid Sun. This came across very clearly in the TV interview. He's a law-maker (Saturn) of sorts in his own realm of Newark, but staid and stodgy, as Saturn can be, he definitely is not - thanks to Aries. Venus is also in Aries, intensifying a go-ahead, get-ahead enthusiastic approach to life.

Bringing things back down to Earth, and adding organisation, discernment and critical thinking: Virgo. Moon will be somewhere in Virgo, with Jupiter and Pluto, Uranus had just moved to 00 Libra, here again two planets conjoin from different signs, this conjunction with Jupiter draws in the social reform and rebellious nature of Uranus to somewhat shake up Virgo's tendency to nitpick.

I like this quote (from New Yorker article linked below)
"His earnestness can at times be confounding. Upbeat, chatty and competitive, he drops quotations into conversations like a professor seeking tenure. Even when campaigning, he occasionally corrects people over minor mistakes." (that last sentence - very Virgo!)

Mars is in ebullient, optimistic Sagittarius in harmonious trine to Venus in energetic Aries, more reflection of this almost pulsating character who comes across to spectators.

Two more things I'll note in this chart~~
1. A Yod (finger of God, or Fate) - an arrow-like pattern formed by two quincunx aspects and a sextile.

Here the point of the arrow hits Saturn - law maker. Astrologers say that the planet at the arrow point indicates a compelling focus on the energies of that planet, driven by the combined energies of the two in sextile, here it's Uranus/Jupiter and Neptune. So this Yod can be translated thus: optimistic dreams of social reform brought into focus via laws and hard work. Another quote, which illustrates the above quite well ~~
Cory Booker's current aim in life is to heal Newark and make it "a national model of urban governing by employing a mix of discipline and openness to new ideas."


2. This one I don't much like: Mercury on the degree of Fixed Star Algol.
I wrote in a recent post, (here), that Algol's very bad reputation doesn't always manifest in a life. Sometimes it's negligible or non-existent. Sometimes though in the lives of those with this traditionally malefic star prominent in their natal chart, some kind of disaster occurs. It's a potential, no more.

More reflections of his style from links below:

(Booker)"For me, it's a leadership issue -- and if I have to stay out on the streets till four o'clock every morning, I'll do it. I know we can do this. The city as a whole, I know we can solve our problems -- they're not bigger than we are. I believe in my heart -- and I have no right to believe otherwise, because human history is a testimony to it -- that we can change things. The question is, can we muster the collective will? King said it more eloquently: The problems today are not the vitriolic words and the evil actions of the bad people, but the appalling silence and inaction of the good people."

The author describes how Cory Booker and two security guys travel the streets of Newark in an SUV, talking to gang members, down-and-outs, a cross-section of Newark's night people:

"Booker powers down his window, and the man -- small, red-eyed, ageless, shriveled with cold -- squints at him and says, "CoryBooker," a single word, like Tinkerbell, with gravel and wonder in his voice.

"How ya doin', man?" Booker says. "Why are you out here in the freezin' cold in the middle of the night?"(He gets out of the vehicle talks to the man, hands him a card with an address to contact.)

When he gets back in, I ask if he ever felt called to preach.

"Yeah. I debated between law school and divinity."

How long was the debate?

"It was long in the sense that I think I've always wanted to be a part of a spiritual revolution. You can't have a physical transformation until you have a spiritual transformation. But my views of religion are very expansive, so I still feel like I'm -- hopefully -- living a life of spirit."

Preachers wear better suits.

"I've ripped a lot of suits recently," he laughs. "And in ignominious ways. I caught one on a door and ripped the pocket. This one, the crotch wore out, so we had to send it out to put a patch on. The truth of this is, it's just not high on my priority list."


From New York Times, 2006, by Damien Cave.

Scott Raab at "Esquire" wrote a very engaging article following an interview with Cory Booker, back in July. "The Battle of Newark, Starring Cory Booker". It's a long but rewarding read, Mr Raab has great, energetic writing style.


Kalimah Priforce said...

An awesome astrological assessment. Thanks so much for analyzing a man who I think is simply incredible.

Twilight said...

Kalimah ~~~Hi there - I'm glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks so much for your kind comment.

I too think he's an amazing guy - and wish we saw more on him on the national scene.