Gun-control advocate James Brady, who famously was shot during a 1981 assassination attempt on then-president Ronald Reagan while serving as his press secretary, died Monday of undisclosed cause. He was 73.
Born Aug. 29, 1940, at 7:05 pm CST in Centralia, Illinois, Brady’s natal chart is rich with indicators that his would be a life of service. Although he oriented his early career on public service through politics, it was not until a bullet to the head (intended for Reagan) nearly took his life and left him permanently disabled that he found his mission in life — in truly Chirotic form.
Following his recovery, Brady (along with his wife, Sarah, who eventually chaired the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence) lobbied for stricter handgun and assault weapon restrictions. The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, also known as “the Brady Bill,” was signed into law by President Clinton in 1993; in 2000, the White House named its press briefing room after him.
As mentioned, Brady’s natal chart is rich. First up is Brady’s Mercury-Sun-Mars conjunction in Virgo in the 6th hours. Note that the Sun and Mars are exact within 6 arc minutes. Brady’s entire self-concept was about service, that service came with a message, and that message was about service — and Mars ensured he would be motivated enough not only to get the message out there, but to take tangible steps in making change happen.
Virgo is a mutable sign ruled by Mercury, but it’s not stuck in its head or caught up in theory; Virgo is about making thought concrete. You can see Brady’s two other Virgo planets underscoring this process: he has Pallas and Neptune conjunct just inside the 7th house cusp. This is a picture of idealistic vision (Neptune) and political strategy (of the feminine warrior stripe) working hand-in-hand to accomplish a goal. In the 7th, they do so with a focus on ‘the other’: Brady’s gun control work was not going to undo his shooting; it was about preventing the same from happening to others.
When looking at an astrological birth chart, how a person sees himself, expresses himself, and makes his mark in the wider world are indicated by the Sun, ascendant and midheaven. We already know Brady’s Sun is in earthy, detail-oriented Virgo.
His ascendant is in Pisces, a creative, passionate water sign with its own leanings toward serving humanity, though from a more ‘spiritual’, big-picture side of things. And Brady’s midheaven is in late Sagittarius, conjunct the Galactic Core — our galaxy’s ‘homing signal’. Taken together, those three elements describe someone who ‘gets it’ about humanity and having a life’s purpose on a deep (or is it high?) level.
It’s hard not to want to talk about everything in Brady’s chart (not to mention the transits that the chart for his shooting make to his natal chart). Without going into exhaustive detail, I do want to mention his packed 5th house, which includes a Cancer stellium of Venus, the Moon, Juno, Vesta and Chiron all within seven degrees.
The 5th house is about play, pleasure and children (among other things), but also about risk. One could say that for Brady to part from his Republican origins and side with a primarily Democratic cause (gun control) was a political risk of sorts. But in Cancer, it was not cold and calculated; rather, an emotional gamble based in caring for others — that is, all of U.S. society, particularly the children who so terribly often are victims of gun violence. In doing so, he married (Juno) his devotion (Vesta) to service with his own healing (Chiron).
As mentioned, the chart for Brady’s birth and the chart for his 1981 shooting share some striking correlations. I have added the chart for the assassination attempt on Pres. Reagan below, after Brady’s natal chart, and have invited Len Wallick (who has assisted with researching the astrology and uncovered some brilliant gems linking the two charts) to add his commentary below. Notice in particular the presence of both a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction (a generation-defining event) and a Sun-Mars conjunction in each of the charts.
Rest in peace, Jim; you’re finally out of reach of the “physical terrorists” (as he once described physical therapists in an interview). We’ll do our best to carry on your legacy.