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March 26, 2013

Death Knell for DOMA?

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), signed into law by President Clinton on Sept. 21, 1996, codifies prejudice against a certain class of people, namely homosexuals. In a country that prides itself on “freedom and justice for all,” it’s a big black mark, one which the Supreme Court has the opportunity to erase with the case that comes before it on March 27, 2013. Already two lower courts have found it unconstitutional, so it’s not a stretch to think the Supreme Court will uphold their decisions. Even the current (Obama) administration no longer defends the Defense of Marriage Act and the case in the law’s favor is being argued by a Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (acronym BLAG) of the House of Representatives.

A couple months ago, I was looking ahead to the Full Moon just after the spring equinox. I was struck by the quadruple conjunction (union of four heavenly bodies) of Venus, the Sun, Uranus, and Mars in Aries opposed by the Moon in Libra. Uranus is the key planet that indicates non-mainstream anything and when linked to Venus, planet of marriage and relationships, together they signify gay marriage. Add Mars, a planet of conflict and battles, and you get the fight over gay marriage. At that time, I knew the Supreme Court had agreed to hear a case challenging DOMA so I looked up their docket and was astounded to see the case listed EXACTLY on the date of the Full Moon in question. How very appropriate because Full Moons are when things come to a head, and sometimes when they have run their course and end. The Moon’s sign, Libra (ruled by Venus), is the sign of marriage as well as equality and justice. The symbols could not be more fitting!

Looking back at the historical roots of the case, we begin with the USA birth chart (July 4, 1776), where we find Mars at the halfway point between Venus and Uranus. The halfway point (called midpoint) represents a blending of two planets’ influences, as if they were paired up (positioned within a few degrees of one another, called conjunct). From the beginning, this poses the potential for conflicts in our nation about fairness for those who are different from the majority. This is an ongoing theme in our country, not just about gay people but about other minorities as well, such as African Americans and women (actually, women are now a majority but treated as a minority). On the day when DOMA was enacted, Mars was approximately 90 degrees from the Venus-Uranus midpoint in an interplanetary relationship called a square, which signifies friction and a potential turning point.

The plaintiff in the case, Edith Windsor, married her lifelong love, Thea Spyer, on May 22, 2007. Mars was at 5 degrees of Aries. This is significant for two reasons. First, it is within one degree of the location at DOMA’s enactment of Saturn, a planet signifying laws, restrictions and judgment, so this pairing indicates a challenge to that law. Second, the marriage Mars is within 3 degrees of the Venus-Uranus-Sun conjunction at March 2013 Full Moon Supreme Court hearing. You could say the seed of this battle was planted at the time of the marriage. Also that day, Mercury (planet of information, news and making a statement) was at the degree of the USA natal Mars and Venus-Uranus midpoint. Their union is an apt one for testing the constitutionality of DOMA.

After Thea Spyer died, Edith Windsor had to pay the IRS for estate inheritance tax - more than $363,000! – due to the value of their joint property, which a heterosexual couple would not have owed. When the case was first filed (Windsor v. US, Nov. 9, 2010), the Venus-Uranus midpoint was square to Saturn at the time and to the USA’s natal Saturn. This filing put the wheels of the challenge to DOMA in motion. Saturn of the moment being very close to the USA’s natal Saturn is a condition called Saturn Return, which occurs about every 29 years and signals a time when “chickens come home to roost.” The tenets of our existence as a nation of liberty and equality were set to be tested. This was also the approximate halfway point of the Saturn cycle begun when DOMA was enacted, about 14 years earlier. A halfway point acts as a culmination in the same way as a Full Moon (which is the halfway point of a lunar cycle).

The Federal District Court in New York found in favor of Edie Windsor on June 6, 2012, declaring DOMA unconstitutional. On appeal, a second court agreed with the first decision on Oct. 18, 2012. At neither time was there a significant involvement of the Venus-Uranus midpoint, but that is not surprising because neither decision was the last word on the subject. The Supreme Court hearing on March 27, 2013 will be the determining factor and we can see that date shows the peak of the challenge to DOMA. If the theory holds of a Full Moon showing a situation has run its course, the outcome should be the death of DOMA.

It is interesting to note that the first decision came close in time to the occurrence of an intense push for big change signaled by two slow-moving planets (Uranus and Pluto) in that abrasive square relationship. They are roughly in this relationship from 2011 to 2016, making an exact square seven times. The first was June 24, 2012. The second decision happened with Uranus at 5 degrees of Aries, the degree where Mars was when Windsor and Spyer married (see above).

The Supreme Court is expected to reveal its decision in June, 2013. The exact date is unknown at this time, but it won’t surprise me if it comes close upon the heels of the June 8 New Moon at 18 degrees of Gemini, which is just two degrees from 20 Gemini, the location of the USA Mars and Venus-Uranus midpoint. The Sun will cross 20 Gemini on Monday, June 10. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Venus will interact with the Uranus-Pluto square, forming a potent pattern called a T-square, which can mean “the end of the line” (like a T intersection is where the road no longer continues in the direction it’s been headed). Venus is close enough in its approach to the T-square to “count” on Monday, when the Moon passes Venus and is also part of the configuration. Furthermore, Mercury (the planet of announcements) makes a square to the USA Saturn that day, too, so the decision is likely to be against the law of the land, DOMA, in effect ending its reign. That’s my prediction, at least, and now we’ll wait to see.