Worth mentioning: the Dewey chart

I am sitting here at this meeting and someone suggested that I look at the school’s archive page, and there I found the certificate of occupancy for the new school building, for Monday, Sept. 8, 1969. Classes began at 8:05 am when Module 1 (first mod) or A-band started. And what do you get for that? You get an astrology chart — and once again, I am astonished.

Natal chart for John Dewey High School

Remembering that I haven’t seen the chart till one minute ago: I have described Dewey as a radical experiment in freedom and personal responsibility. It was an educational innovation, full of the spirit of the 1960s.

Dewey opened just weeks after the Woodstock festival and two months after the Moon landing: one of many unusual events of 1969, with the signature of a social experiment. Like both of these events, Dewey was and is a group phenomenon, and also an invention.

Straight away, this chart is a knockout: Uranus occupying the ascendant, to the degree. That degree would be 4 Libra, with Uranus followed by Jupiter and Mercury.

The long aspect is the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction: suggesting something about groups, a worldly feeling and the promise of a surge forward (in the Promethean style of Uranus, and with Jupiter referencing education and knowledge).

The ascendant is the sense of identity; and the self we are growing into. So we get all the creative flare of the Uranus-Jupiter conjunction, the expressive quality of Mercury, the sense of fairness of Libra and the impact of the Aries Point — 4 Libra rising is right in the zone. The Uranus-Jupiter conjunction is described by Cosmos and Psyche author Richard Tarnas as an aspect of great meetings.

There are few high schools in the world that are associated with the work of the person they are named for. Dewey was all about the educational philosopher John Dewey — whose Sun sign happens to be Libra.

Who was he? A major 20th century philosopher, in many fields, but best known for his educational theories. His Wikipedia entry says: “In his advocacy of democracy, Dewey considered two fundamental elements — schools and civil society — as being major topics needing attention and reconstruction to encourage experimental intelligence and plurality. Dewey asserted that complete democracy was to be obtained not just by extending voting rights but also by ensuring that there exists a fully-formed public opinion, accomplished by effective communication among citizens, experts, and politicians, with the latter being accountable for the policies they adopt.”

And that is exactly what was created at Dewey: an environment of participation. For example, we didn’t just get lectured to about the U.S. Constitution — we had our own constitutional convention every year, and redesigned the federal government. In the spirit of the American revolutionaries, we had 11 publications and a regular spattering of leaflets and underground missives.

In the natal chart for this school, Chiron — the maverick — shows up prominently, in early Aries, on the 7th house cusp: Aries Point again, only in Chiron style as a kind of radical quest for identity, with an emphasis on relationship. One way you build a responsible society is by creating conscious relationships.

This is also an eclipse chart. You can tell right away because the Sun is on the South Node, and the Moon is about to make a conjunction to the Sun. Sun + Moon + node = eclipse, in Virgo. If you see the Sun near either of the nodes in any chart, that means an eclipse is in the vicinity. Pluto is right there. A prominent South Node and Pluto say old story, continuation of a story. Dewey was brilliantly innovative but there is something in this chart about an existing ethos; something with a long history: a tradition of academic freedom that was once again taking up existence. My sense of these kinds of things where group karma is involved is that the soul groups involved and the core values embraced can travel over seemingly long distances of space a time and then reappear in a new moment.

Here is the kicker: the first-ever Dewey reunion is happening under the precise Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Aries, a mirror image of the 1969 astrology that gave birth to the school. This spring is going to ripple with a sense of revolution, change and the ecstatic as well as the urgent vibe of imminent progress.

The journey of John Dewey High School certainly rings with that feeling, and this event seems right on time.

2 thoughts on “Worth mentioning: the Dewey chart”

  1. Amazing. It’s just amazing what you can do when you treat young people as emerging adults instead of over-sized children. Or parolees.

    I taught ever so briefly at a school that at one time was very much like Dewey. But No Child Left Behind changed everything. What a waste.

    This chart does a whole lot more than resonate with me. The Uranus/Jupiter/Pluto conjunction IS me. And my degrees are TIGHT. Tighter than this chart. It feels exactly like you describe: group karma seeking an expression.

    Only at a place like the old Dewey would I ever teach again. That sort of thing totally inspires me. But what teachers have to live with today? No way. Not good for the teachers and not good for the kids.

    Have fun planning!

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