I’m a bit intrigued by the chart of Sara Jane Olson, who was recently released from prison on parole, and then re-imprisoned when the authorities decided they had miscalculated her release date (a reversal which may have been politically motivated.)
She was born Kathleen Solia on January 16 1947 in Palmdale, California, time unknown. She was involved with the Symbionese Liberation Army in the 1970s (as was the heiress Patty Hearst, after the SLA had kidnapped her). In April 1975, she was alleged to have been part of an armed robbery in which a bank customer was killed. And in August 1975 she was alleged to have planted a pipe bomb aimed at killing police officers.
In 1976 she was indicted by a Grand Jury in the bombing case. She went underground, changed her name and raised a family in Minnesota. She was active there in community issues and human rights campaigns. She was finally discovered and arrested in 1999, and was eventually convicted of charges relating to both the bank robbery and explosive cases.
It’s a strange story, and at no point does she seem to have expressed remorse for her earlier actions. It also seems that her earlier life, in its own warped way, was an expression of the same idealism that informed her later life.
What is remarkable about Sara Jane Olson’s chart is that there are no squares or oppositions. It is a very nice chart: Sun, Mars, Mercury conjunct in Capricorn, sextile to Jupiter and possibly Moon; Venus sextile Neptune sextile Saturn-Pluto trine Venus.
Normally in the chart of a violent activist you would see squares and oppositions; in fact it is rare in any chart to find no such aspects. It is said that you often find Grand Trines in the charts of serial killers, it’s as if they expect everything to go their way. And it’s as if compassion for others comes out of our own inner struggles and the realisation of our own limitations: this is part of the function of squares and oppositions.
So it is as if the lack of challenging aspects, and Sun conjunct an exalted Mars, made it easy for her to commit violence as a young person. But this would also have made it natural for her to be a campaigner for human rights as she got older, as there is a lot of good feeling and idealism to the chart. But somewhere she hasn’t joined the dots, as her lack of remorse shows.
It may be that she has, say, Pluto Rising, which we cannot know due to the lack of birth time. But even then it is nicely aspected to Venus and Neptune. There is one odd factor in the chart, though: her Uranus is unaspected. An unaspected planet can operate in isolation from the rest of the personality, and the person is not necessarily aware of the inconsistency that can lead to. Like Eliot Spitzer, the scourge of prostitution in New York State who also used prostitutes: he has unaspected Sun in Gemini. George Bush, who has unaspected Mars, is a devout Christian who has no problem, even a zeal, for going to war.
So this is my theory: Olson’s radicalism (Uranus) doesn’t fully connect with the rest of her personality. So that on the one hand she can be involved with a pipe bomb (Uranus again) as an act of revenge against the police; and on the other hand she can be a loving mum who does campaigning work for the community (also Uranus). She doesn’t appear to see a contradiction, and perhaps the lack of squares and oppositions in her chart means that in some ways she hasn’t learned to work on herself and understand herself. As one (supportive) profile says, she is the same person now as she was then.
Neither the 1975 violence nor the arrest in 1999 involved outer planet transits to her Sun or Moon, suggesting that these were not major personal transformative events for her, that what she considers to have been the formative events of her life may have little to do with what she did in her twenties, and her imprisonment and notoriety all those years later.
What she did have was Neptune conjoining her Sagittarian Venus in 1975, and Pluto conjoining it in 1999. Sagittarius, the archer on horseback, was the most feared warrior in ancient times. Venus is also associated with warriors, and is said to be frequently prominent in the charts of army generals (along with Mars in Capricorn, which Olson also has).
Her North Node at 9 Gemini is almost exactly opposite Venus (OK this is an opposition, but the Node is not a planet). So we could read this as the need to move from militant fundamentalism (Venus conjunct South Node in Sag) to the use of reason and dialogue (North Node Gemini). Neptune and Pluto of course opposed her Node in 1975 and 1999, suggesting there has been an important karmic lesson for her in these events, even though she appears to have no regrets.