Claudia Alta Taylor was born on December 22, 1912 in Karnack, Texas that lies east of Tyler (see the map below where Karnac is the pushpin center, and the various points are Dallas to the west, Houston to the southwest and New Orleans to the southeast). She was named after her mother’s brother Claud but got the nickname lady bird because her black maid thought she was a “purty as a lady bird”; it stuck.
Her family was descended from of Rowland Taylor, an English Protestant who was martyred during the Queen Mary’s persecutions for those that supported the alternative Lady Jane Grey (“the nine days Queen”) ascension to the throne. Taylor not only a contemporary of Martin Luther but through his wife, Margaret, the niece of William Tyndale, a near relation to the creator of the first non-Latin bible.
Alas, both Taylor and Tyndale were burnt at the stake for their support Protestant Grey over Catholic Mary. In an interesting turn of advents, Lady Bird’s second daughter, Luci Baines, converted to Roman Catholicism when she was 18 in 1964 when her father was running for President.
The Lady Bird Johnson map
Astrologically, the former first lady is a complete split see saw: half at the ascendant and the other half at the descendant, or so the official time and chart says (we did not rectify this one). What is striking here is has no planets on the bottom or top of her chart except for the two nodes in the nadir and midheaven of her chart.
The polarization of her chart suggests that her life was caught between her duties as daughter, wife and mother (the western hemisphere) vs. her own resourcefulness (on the eastern hemisphere). Despite that obvious break, she has only one opposition from Mercury in the twelfth house to the Moon in the sixth. That does give her a T-Square to the midheaven (also called the MC) at 18 Virgo 04, a symbol of “a colorful gallery on a warm summer day where a swimming race nears its decision, suggesting despite her overtly lady-like demeanor, Lady Bird was a competitive woman who encouraged others to excel.
This midheaven aspect is rather pertinent as conjunct her husband’s, President Lyndon B. Johnson, Moon and semi-sextile his midheaven. If ever a woman was aligned with her husband’s political aspirations, it was she. She wanted him to become President as much as he did, and between the two they could plan and strategize how best to get there.
The many mansions of LBJ
Marc Jones in his sixteen points discusses his idea of “nodes” and calls them the lunar equinox because they are the moon’s mansions with the Ascending Node, in Mrs. Johnson’s chart in the fourth house, being what she wants to bring forward into her outer life — i.e. being First Lady of the Land and then also sprouting wild flowers throughout it. This culminated in her Wildflower Center in Austin Texas that she co-founded with actress Helen Hayes that has over 900 species of native Texas plants in a garden landscape and natural setting.
For her work in wildflower repopulation and conservation, Lady Bird received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Republican President Gerald Ford. .
The south node is calling
While her north node in the fourth house gave her wildflowers, it was her south node at the tenth house in equitable Libra that made her a fortune and without which her husband may have never reached the pinnacle of US politics and become its president, for it was Lady Bird who provided the finances for LBJ to launch his career.
Jones writes that the south node the point of future opportunity. For Lady Bird, it is in her tenth house is essentially traditionally associated with Capricorn and ruled by Saturn. In the modern era Capricorn thought gets the co-ruler of Uranus — the electronics maven. That is a perfect blend for the sea goat native who with her Sun squared the South Node caused some amount of disruptions in her desire to exert herself. Despite those obstacles, or perhpas in spite of them, she ignored them and in 1943, against her husband wishes, made a superb forward call spending $17,.500 1 In 2020 dollars this purchase would be about 275K. of her inheritance by purchasing an Austin radio station that was by the time of her repose worth approximately $105 million.
It also, and this was the most important byproduct, the vehicle that propelled her husband into Texas politics as she able to finance their dreams through a media company that could be always informing the Texas voters of his latest causes.
If that was not enough, again over Lyndon’s protestations, she signed in 1952 a contract for a VHF franchise with the local CBS affliate that became the voice and sole news representative of south Texas, not to mention generating thousands of dollars yearly in cash dividends. Eventually, through her husband’s Congressional efforts, she was awarded a legal monopoly license that is still extant today and upon which those cable franchises base their regional hegemony.
Rahu and Ketu
In Vedic Astrology the North Node (Rahu) is more favourable than the South Node (Ketu) , for the South Node bogs us down, and represents those things that we are unduly attached. In LBJ’s horoscope this would be that her attachment to money and the radio station because it retarded her potential and kept her tied to what was physical and concrete. Rahu, the North Node, would be what LBJ should have been striving for all long. The problem is, how do we know that she was not?
Vedic astrologers, along with the Theosophists, answer that the ego trap of politics was a mistake. They see the South Node as the karmic ego 2 The Karmic Ego is where you make the expected decision to promote your ego and champion it. Theosophists suggest how to determine the correct path is understanding, How much of your ego is being rewarded for this physical display of power? [/mfn. The North Node, or Rahu, is then the dharmic ideal 2 Or the guiding principle of one’s life.
The North Node, or Rahu, is then the dharmic ideal 2 Or the guiding principle of one’s life.. Balancing the two, without using the crutch of ego-driven ambition is the problem that Rahu and Ketu want to answer. That is problematic, as Lady Bird’s chart and life show; her wildlife work would not have taken on the national importance if she had not been the United States First Lady, and without money she could not have afforded the hobby.
But following the Rahu-Ketu insight, we see that Lady Bird’s karmic link, the South Node, was where she was was most secure — she had political connections and money and could help make her husband President of the United States. To make that happen, she took no one’s advice and plunged ahead buying the radio stations, getting the VHC licensing, because the South Node tapped into her natural abilities and gifts — things easy for her.
The dharmic North Node though, suggests that what she thought she wanted, being First Lady and the political wife, may not have been true: it was a false illusion that she had created for herself. Thus Rahu suggests that instead of following them, she should have perhaps bought only one station, not the second license like Lyndon suggested, and use at that point the money she had and promote a new ideal.
But the problem here is while this ideal would make her happiest it is also the most frightening because it was unknown, thus Lady Bird would have had to make use of untapped potential, hence why she could only do it very late in life after fulfilling ego-centric ambitions. Whether that alternative, or even the one she pursued, made Lady Bird happy, we perhaps will never know.
Lady Bird died on July 11, 2007 in West Lake Hills, Travis County, Texas–outside of the Texas capital city, Austin– at 94 years years of age.
Posthumously, the United States Postal Service announced the issue of a souvenir Forever stamp sheet honoring Lady Bird Johnson as a tribute to her legacy of beautifying the nation’s roadsides, urban parks and trails.
Five of the six stamps feature adaptations of stamps originally issued in the 1960s promoting gardens in public spaces. The sixth stamp though, is her official White House portrait by Elizabeth Shoumatoff, who painted over 3000 portraits in her lifetime, and our header picture. It is beautifully done piece.
- 1In 2020 dollars this purchase would be about 275K.
- 2The Karmic Ego is where you make the expected decision to promote your ego and champion it. Theosophists suggest how to determine the correct path is understanding, How much of your ego is being rewarded for this physical display of power? [/mfn.
The North Node, or Rahu, is then the dharmic ideal 2 Or the guiding principle of one’s life.