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Posted October 11, 2007

A New Kind of Patriot
by Mary Plumb

Brandon Mayfield is an American convert to Islam who lives in Portland, Oregon. Married with three children, Mayfield and his family were placed under surveillance by the FBI after the train bombings in Madrid, Spain on March 11, 2004. [1] Under provisions of the United States Patriot Act, he was arrested — based on an incorrect fingerprint "match"— on May 6, 2004 for being a material witness to the Madrid bombings. He spent more than two weeks in prison.

According to Mayfield, he was “subject to lockdown, strip searches, sleep deprivation, unsanitary living conditions, shackles and chains, threats, physical pain and humiliation." [2] However, he was never formally charged, and an internal review by the FBI acknowledged serious errors in their investigation.

Mayfield, who is an attorney, filed several lawsuits after his release from prison, and on November 29, 2006, the federal government awarded him a partial settlement of two million dollars. As part of the settlement, the U.S. government issued a formal apology to Mayfield, and he also retained his right to pursue legal action against the Patriot Act.

Ten months later, at the Full Moon on September 26, 2007 (at 3°21' Aries–Libra), U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken ruled in his favor and declared that the two Patriot Act provisions the government had used against him are “unconstitutional because they allow search warrants to be issued without showing probable cause.” [3]

Although this decision is expected to be vigorously challenged on appeal, this high-profile case could bring greater accountability and, at least, more public attention to U.S. government actions and “the Bush administration's contemptuous treatment of the Constitution and the courts.” [4]

I live in Oregon and have been following Brandon Mayfield’s story because of my ongoing interest in human rights and civil liberties. (My personal draw to him may be symbolized by his nodal axis falling exactly across my Ascendant/Descendant axis.) I do not have a birth time for him, so I’ve used a sunrise chart herein.

Brandon Mayfield was born on July 15, 1966 in Coos Bay, Oregon. (Chart 1) Although the Ascendant cannot be determined, the Moon was in Gemini the entire day, somewhere between 14° and 27°. He has the Sun, Jupiter, and Mars in Cancer, Mercury stationing retrograde in Leo, and Venus in Gemini.

The U.S. Patriot Act was passed on October 26, 2001. (Chart 2) Both Mayfield and the Patriot Act have Jupiter at 15° Cancer, the sign of its exaltation. (Another way to interpret this is that Mayfield was having a Jupiter return when the Patriot Act was passed.) I believe this indicates that Mayfield has both the status (as an attorney and former Army lieutenant) and the moral stature — signified by an exalted Jupiter — to successfully contest the Patriot Act.

Cancer is, of course, the U.S. Sun sign as well, and it is associated with patriotism and loyalty to one’s clan or country. Mayfield has Jupiter conjunct the U.S. Sibly Sun at 13°19' Cancer. (Chart 3)

There are further strong connections between Mayfield and the Sibly chart: Mayfield’s natal Mars at 3° Cancer conjoins the Sibly Venus at 3° Cancer, and his natal Venus at 22° Gemini conjoins the Sibly Mars at 21° Gemini. With Mars–Venus conjunctions both ways, it doesn’t take a great symbolic leap to see that this is a man who loves his country — an interesting picture of one who is challenging the constitutionality of the Patriot Act. Also, Mayfield's Sun at 23° Cancer is conjunct the Sibly Mercury at 24° Cancer.

When Mayfield was arrested on May 6, 2004, he was having a Venus return (23° Gemini), and Pluto at 22° Sagittarius was in opposition. (Chart 4) Of that time, Mayfield has said: "I, myself, have dark memories of stifling paranoia, of being monitored, followed, watched, tracked." [5] The Moon was in Scorpio, the sign of his natal South Node, on the day he disappeared from view.

He was released from prison on May 20 and stated: “This whole process has been a harrowing ordeal. It shouldn’t happen to anybody. I believe I was singled out and discriminated against, I feel, as a Muslim.” [6] (It is interesting that Mayfield had a Mars return while he was in prison; the powerful tenacity and emotional motivation of natal Mars in Cancer were apparently quite invigorated.)

After his release, Mayfield filed several lawsuits. A few months before the settlement, there was a solar eclipse at 29° Virgo (September 22, 2006) opposite Mayfield’s natal Saturn at 29° Pisces. The last degree of the last sign is strongly suggestive of sacrifice and martyrdom and also hints that things are not quite complete. As mentioned above, Mayfield received a substantial partial settlement on November 29: This Pisces Saturn is not a victim, nor is the matter finished.

Since Mayfield retained his right to pursue a challenge against the Patriot Act, he was further vindicated in the judge's strongly worded legal opinion issued at the Full Moon of September 26, 2007. On that day, when two provisions of the U.S. Patriot Act were declared unconstitutional, transiting Jupiter was at 13° Sagittarius, closely conjunct the Patriot Act Pluto and the Sibly Ascendant (12°21' Sagittarius). (Chart 5) On the day of the court’s decision, transiting Mars (29° Gemini) was conjunct the Patriot Act North Node (28°58' Gemini), and transiting Pluto (26° Sagittarius) was conjunct the South Node (28°58' Sagittarius).

Mars goes retrograde on November 15, 2007 and will cross over these nodal degrees twice more: on January 3 and February 29, 2008. Mayfield also has a Mars return three times during this cycle: on October 5 and December 23, 2007 and again on March 13, 2008 (after Pluto enters Capricorn on January 25, 2008). Besides Mars’s transits over these points (making each side in this legal confrontation bolder), the red planet is also out of bounds now, reaching its maximum declination in January 2008.

Brandon Mayfield, born in 1966, has the exact Uranus–Pluto conjunction at 17° Virgo. The solar eclipse on September 11, 2007 was at 18°25' Virgo, triggering his natal conjunction. Transiting Uranus at 16°38' Pisces was also tightly opposing his natal Uranus (16°40'). (Chart 6)

In addition, the Sibly natal Moon is in freedom-loving, Uranus-ruled Aquarius, and the solar return for 2007 has the Moon conjunct Uranus at 18° Pisces. (Chart 7) One interpretation of this combination is a public awakening leading to general unrest and rebellion. Brandon Mayfield is a distinct player in the story. He has certainly become a voice for the side of Uranus–Pluto that demands freedom and justice. In the eyes of some, he symbolizes the victims of the overzealousness — and even unconstitutional actions — used in the War on Terror.

[1] Biographical material from: wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandon_Mayfield

[2] nytimes.com/2006/11/30/us/30settle.html

[3] huffingtonpost.com/byron-williams/taking-a-small-step-for-a_b_66501.html

[4] salon.com/news/feature/2007/10/03/brandon_mayfield/

[5] cnn.com/2006/LAW/11/29/mayfield.suit/index.html

[6] msnbc.msn.com/id/5053007/

(1) Natal chart: Brandon Mayfield, July 15, 1966; sunrise (5:55 a.m. PDT); Coos Bay, OR, USA (42°N22', 124°W13'); source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandon_Mayfield

(2) Natal chart: U.S. Patriot Act, October 26, 2001; sunrise (7:33 a.m. EDT); Washington, D.C., USA (38°N54', 77°W02').

(3) Bi-wheel: inner wheel and house cusps: U.S. Sibly chart, July 4, 1776; 5:10 p.m. LMT; Philadelphia, PA, USA (39°N57', 75°W10'); outer wheel: Brandon Mayfield, natal.

(4) Bi-wheel: inner wheel and house cusps: Brandon Mayfield, natal; outer wheel: transits for May 6, 2004; sunrise (5:59 a.m. PDT); Portland, OR, USA (45°N20', 122°W41').

(5) Tri-wheel: inner wheel and house cusps: U.S. Sibly chart; middle wheel: U.S. Patriot Act; outer wheel: Full Moon, September 26, 2007; 12:46 p.m. PDT; Portland, OR, USA (45°N20', 122°W41').

(6) Bi-wheel: inner wheel and house cusps: Brandon Mayfield, natal; outer wheel: solar eclipse, September 11, 2007; 5:45 a.m. PDT; Portland, OR, USA (45°N20', 122°W41').

(7) U.S. Sibly 2007 solar return chart, July 5, 2007; 12:28 p.m. LMT; Philadelphia, PA, USA (39°N57', 75°W10').

© 2007 Mary Plumb – all rights reserved

Mary Plumb has been studying astrology since the 60s. She has practiced as an astrological counselor since 1985 and has been the Book Review and Web Editor for The Mountain Astrologer magazine since 1993. She has written numerous articles for TMA over the years. She is available for consultations, in person in Ashland or via phone: 541.488.3048. You can read her blog www.maryplumb.com, or contact her via e-mail at: mary@maryplumb.com


© 2007 The Mountain Astrologer. All rights reserved.