By Mary Plumb | May 4, 2009
Rachel Corrie was an American activist who died in Gaza in the Palestinian Territories in March 2003. She was a member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Corrie was acting as a human shield to protect the home of a Palestinian family when she was killed by a bulldozer operated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
Although the events surrounding her death are in dispute — her actions are seen as heroic by some, and as reckless and provocative by others — she has gained admiration in many quarters for the bravery of her actions, as well as for her eloquent writings.
There has been extensive international media coverage of her story, “in part because she was an American, and in part because of the highly politicized nature of the conflict itself.” (1)
Her journals and e-mails have been made public and her views on the situation in Gaza have been noted for the compassion with which she viewed the Palestinian’s plight.
Since I don’t have a birth time for Rachel Corrie, I am herein looking at a sunrise chart. I will only mention those things that were in place for the entire day and not speculate on the Ascendant or Moon sign (it did change from Virgo to Libra on the afternoon she was born).
Rachel was born on a Tuesday (Mars’s day) with the Sun, Mars and Juno in Aries, the sign of the warrior. The Sun is in exaltation and Mars is in rulership in Aries. Juno is sensitive to those who are powerless; in Aries she will act bravely (or heedlessly?) for balance of power.
She also had Mercury, Venus and the South Node in Pisces, a signature of her ability to empathize deeply with, and write sensitively about, the conditions in Gaza. The Pisces fish swim in many directions. She has both “been praised as a heroic martyr and denounced as a misguided, ill-informed naïf.” (2)
Rachel was born with the Sun in Aries opposite to Pluto, so being drawn to dangerous situations and events of great magnitude was natural for her. Uranus at 20° Scorpio is exactly inconjunct the Sun as well; aside from the ability to see things in a radical way, this can also be seen as a signature of the sudden and abrupt end of her life.
The Sun at 20° Aries is also trine Neptune at 20°24’ Sagittarius in the natal chart. At her death, on March 16, 2003, transiting Pluto at 19°56’ Sagittarius was conjunct Neptune and trine the natal Sun. We might see this as an indication of a life infused by idealism to a larger cause (Sun trine Neptune) that nevertheless ended tragically and with significant implications (Pluto).
Since there is no time for her birth, let’s look at the prenatal solar eclipse degree. The eclipse was on February 26, 1979 at 8:45 am PST set for her birthplace in Olympia, Washington.
Although I have other degree symbols on hand, I find the Sabian symbol as recorded by Marc Edmund Jones to be the most relevant:
The degree of the eclipse is:
“Pisces 8. A girl blowing a bugle. Keyword: Summons
Theme: A Call to Action” (3)
Corrie’s natal Saturn was at 8° Virgo; she was literally displaying the Call to Action when she died.
Transiting Mercury was at 20° Pisces on the day she died. In the prenatal solar eclipse chart, the South Node at 17° Pisces was conjunct Juno (19°) and Mercury at (22°). Mercury is a teller of tales and Pisces, of course, favors the underdog and the disenfranchised. Along with her own journals there have been many songs written about Rachel Corrie, as well as a controversial play (“My Name is Rachel Corrie”) that was performed in London and New York. This week a documentary film about her premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC. The film, “Rachel,” (which is apparently sympathetic to Rachel and her activist friends) was made by a Moroccan-born Jewish filmmaker. (4)
Transiting Pluto was prominent at her death, as it conjoined natal Neptune. But the less personal side of Neptune seems also to have been strengthened as her story is being told again and again in different venues and from different perspectives.
It is also interesting to see that Rachel’s Sun in Aries is in aspect to Uranus, Neptune and Pluto — she was pulled by the collective issues of the time. She was in a dangerous situation when events moved quickly and her life ended suddenly. Her story, however, continues to be told and her work continues. Her parents have set up foundations and launched projects in memory of their daughter and to continue her work. In an interview soon after Rachel died, her mother said:
“She wanted to open our eyes to this side of the conflict, that Americans, in general, do not understand. She felt that this is an unbalanced conflict between a powerful military force that has the support of the U.S. and people who have no power. She was for all humanity, against the suffering of the Israelis and against the suicide attacks. But she felt the Palestinian side is invisible and that’s why she chose to be there.” (5)
(3) The Sabian Symbols by Diana E. Roche, Trafford Publishing, 1998.