Tom Mooney, baptized Thomas Joseph Mooney, was born Dec. 8, 1882, in Chicago, Illinois. A second generation coal miner, Tom became a galvanizing Socialist union organizer, a tireless activist who convicted of murder and then pardoned.

Industrial Workers of the World

Mooney became committed to Socialist politics after several trips to Europe and joined the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) aka the Wobblies. Their motto One Big Union was a jab at the two unions dominating the United States at the time: the AFL (for trade unions) and the CIO (for unskilled unions). The AFL-CIO did not merge until thirteen years after Mooney’s death in 1955 during the Eisenhower Administration.

Tom Mooney c. 1910

After joining the IWW, Mooney returned to the United States but not to his native Chicago, but San Francisco, where business was booming thanks to the 1906 Gold Rush. He helped to publish Revolt, a Socialist newspaper — no longer in circulation. In 1913, he and Warren Knox Billings, a young drifter from New York, became involved in a long strike of electrical workers (AFL-IBEW) against the Pacific Gas and Electrical Company. The AFL President, Samuel Gompers, decried the strike because of the number of men were being arrested from strike related crimes, and demanded his men stand down; the local IBEW led by James Reid refused.

PG&E Transmission Tower incident

Things came to a head when in September 1913, Edgar Hurley, an IBEW local 151 officer, apparently offered Billings $25 (this is $660.00 in 2020 US dollars) to carry a suitcase with 60 sticks of dynamite to Sacramento. (Hurley later denied any involvement.) Billings was busted on his way to the transmission tower by a Pinkerton agent who tried unsuccessfully to implicate Billings the Sacramento incident.

Billings was convicted on lesser charges and served a brief sentence, but the Pinkerton man got it wrong who was responsible for the PG&E transmission tower attempt, for that was Billing’s friend Mooney. Still, in three separate trials, Mooney was cleared of any wrongdoing; for double jeopardy, or trying of the same crime against the same person seems was not in effect.

Neither man learned from that lesson, or perhaps because of Jupiter in the sixth, Mooney thought he was just lucky, for in 1916 Mooney, his wife Rena Ellen Mooney, Billings, again, and several others were all indicted for the suitcase bombing of the Preparedness Day Parade, to stop entry into World War I (see the headlines above). This bombing killed ten people and injured 40 others, making national headlines.

Mooney got the death sentence, Billings was considered a minor accomplice, his wife went away free, but there was a ferocious outcry (Sagittarius in the eleventh) that lasted for two decades. California Democratic governor Culbert Olson ran his campaign on promising to free Mooney because of the alleged evidence tampering, pardoned him when he took office on January 1, 1939. Mooney died three years later on March 6th, 1942 in Frisco.

The map of a Union man

Ton’s fanhandle is Uranus in Virgo in the ninth, showing his “religion” was not orthodox and probably of modern and not of ancient faiths. As the fanhandle, it drives the rest of the chart as everything therein is either a trine or sextile away.

Born to Serve


No doubt, Tom Mooney has a colorful background, but it is his chart that really makes it come alive. His ascendant is at 28 Sagittarius 51, is at a powerful degree, and gets the keyword of “Dramatic.” All that fire made Mooney an energetic man who could work ceaselessly for the downtrodden masses of his fellow worker, It is the only fire in his chart but with four planets there, it gets support from the midheaven, and some strong aspect from the other six not Sagittarian.

His Moon in Scorpio made him jealous of others, opposite the preponderance in the Taurean fifth, he could be charming ,at least to those liked minded, and that probably helped him a lot with the world of Union politics. That bullish group below seems to pick up on his part of fortune above, giving credence to Carellli’s “many horned ox” — the legendary South Asian oddity the Vu Qiang ox (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis) — as someone born to serve. It also strengthened his purpose with practical creative tasks that he used to express his political goals.

With Jupiter a semi-sextile away, he never lacked for support, and it was there in inspiration (the European trips), air (the newspaper) and earth (the IWW itself). Nonetheless, he needed the fixity of Pluto (the supportive populace) and Saturn (the governor) to get out of jail.

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