Jackie Robinson (“42”): Civil Rights Pioneer

Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson is known to many as the man who broke the color barrier in the late 1940s by becoming the first African American to play major league baseball, ending the racial segregation that had relegated black players to the Negro leagues for six decades. He was actively recruited by Branch Rickey, the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Rickey had wanted to find a person of color who could rise above the sustained harassment he was sure to receive, and in Jackie Robinson he found just the man he was looking for.

As a baseball fan, after seeing the movie “42” I became curious to see what Robinson’s chart would show about this trailblazer’s talents and abilities. Not the least of these was the ability to withstand the virulent abuse that he suffered from racist members of the public (and some of his teammates) and the tremendous pressure that he endured to succeed and prove to the world that he deserved to play in the highest echelons of the sport of baseball.

Let me say that Robinson’s natal chart and the chart of his first major league game do not disappoint! Robinson was an all-around magnificent athlete, and (as his chart will show) definitely had the temperament to fulfill his destiny and turn the other cheek in the face of unimaginable opposition.

When an astrologer looks at Robinson’s birth chart, she will notice that he was born at the New Moon.
Jackie Robinson: January 31, 1919
6:30 pm CST
Cairo, Georgia
Source is B: bio/autobiography

Jackie Robinson natal

He has two notable conjunctions in his chart: Venus–Uranus and Jupiter–Pluto. And he has Saturn rising in Leo, which symbolizes public prominence and the hard work and obstacles that must be overcome. Venus conjunct Uranus in the 6th near the Descendant represents doing something new in a public sense. (This conjunction also suggests explosive personal relations.) The several oppositions in his chart, including Venus–Saturn, reflect the push–pull between his private life and his controversial public life.

Robinson’s Aquarius stellium in the 6th (including his Sun and Moon) definitely relates to work in service to humanity. One of the things I had hoped to find in his chart was something to indicate that his fate had been thrust upon him (in this case, by an ambitious and open-minded baseball manager), and his 6th-house stellium represents his true calling. He was here to change the face of this sport forever.

Jupiter exalted in Cancer conjunct Pluto in the 11th gave Robinson good fortune in interacting with groups — but Pluto makes this hard! This man’s life was never meant to be a walk in the park. Because of Saturn in Leo, he was able to subsume his ego to take responsibility for others. And what a huge responsibility he shouldered!
There is a preponderance of fixed signs in Robinson’s chart, so he was stubborn but certainly persistent. And his dogged persistence may have saved him from collapsing under the strain of what he was attempting to accomplish.

There is lots of communication in this chart — lots of aspects. However, Mercury in Capricorn is virtually unaspected (except for a quincunx to Saturn), so he probably needed to make constant adjustments in the Mercurial arena. This means he had the tendency to think before he spoke, which would have been a godsend whenever he was being goaded to lose his temper. Mars in Pisces trine Pluto-Jupiter has backbone, and Mars is conjunct the Descendant, which adds prominence. This watery Mars placement undoubtedly helped him to keep his cool. (If Branch Rickey had selected a man with Mars in Aries, this would probably have been a very short story with a bad ending.)

April 15, 1947 was the day of Robinson’s first major league game, playing first base for the Dodgers in Brooklyn (time unknown); we constructed a noon chart for this event.

Robinson’s first major league baseball game
April 15, 1947
Brooklyn, New York

Event chart: first Major League game
As it happens, the Moon was in Aquarius all day; it conjoined his natal Sun–Moon, so Jackie Robinson was obviously exactly where he was meant to be. Mars is in Aries in this chart, and the transiting Sun is also in Aries trine his natal Saturn and sextile his Venus–Uranus conjunction.

The event chart shows that Robinson was having a reverse nodal return (also called a half-nodal return) which can show a turning point in one’s destiny. Transiting Jupiter formed the apex of a t-square with natal Saturn opposite Venus–Uranus, which indicates powerful conflicting energies during that time, but also tells us that this man had the wherewithal to face the music. (Incidentally, he was selected Rookie of the Year at the end of the 1947 season.)

Besides his cultural impact, Robinson had an exceptional baseball career and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. The irony of Jackie’s legacy is that, today in the early 21st century, relatively few African Americans choose the sport of baseball. (The black players you see are mostly Hispanic.) I have heard it said that baseball is not considered “cool” in the ghetto; most black athletes choose either basketball or football. However, in 2004, Major League Baseball adopted a new annual tradition, “Jackie Robinson Day,” when every player on every team in both the National and American leagues, wears the number 42 on his jersey. What a fitting tribute to a wonderful man!

My sincere thanks to Nan Geary for assisting me with the astrology for this blog.

Bio: Janette deProsse, TMA‘s Managing Editor, has learned almost everything she knows about astrology from editor Nan Geary and from reading and re-reading every single word that has been published in The Mountain Astrologer since the Leo/Aquarius issue (Feb/March 2000). Her extracurricular passions include reading, Latin jazz, baseball, European travel, playing Scrabble, and watching Downton Abbey on DVD. She lives on two wooded acres on Rattlesnake Road with her partner and two marvelous cats.