Rachel Dolezal, a woman who was just outed by her own parents for posing as a black person for years but is actually white, is the type of case that send me right to the astrological chart to try to find an explanation of such bizarre behavior.
Unfortunately without a birth time we can’t identify the ascendant, the sign on the horizon at the time she was born, which would provide more details about her relationship to her personal identity which is what this case is all about. The rest of the chart is interesting – three planets in Scorpio and three planets in Sagittarius show a basic duality in the personality between two signs that have nothing in common with each other and don’t understand each other. Scorpio is intense and dramatic and concerned with matters of power – Sagittarius rebels from all that and wants to get unstuck and find freedom to explore new ideas.
Dolezal’s Scorpio Sun conjoins Uranus, the planet of radical behavior so it wouldn’t be unusual for her to be rebellious and want to find her own way. Her Mars – showing her desires and drive – is in the sign of Leo which needs a sense of importance and validation and often seeks fame and attention when the inner validation is not found. Uranus forms a challenging square to Mars, aggravating the rebellious streak and instilling a desire to be different and unique.
With her Venus in Scorpio she is passionate about everything she becomes involved in, but Chiron, the planet of wounding and healing, opposes her Venus and suggests insecurities and a fundamental lack of self-worth. In addition, Saturn, the planet of self-doubt and restriction forms a square to her Sun, further stressing her confidence yet pushing her to achieve.
On the Sagittarius side of the equation we see the Moon conjunct Neptune – an aspect which instills imagination and creativity but potentially also a disconnect from reality if one travels too far into the Neptunian realm of transcendence. The Sagittarius influence encourages her to think big – to yearn to expand beyond the boundaries of a limited life.
Her identity confusion is apparent in several different areas. Dolezal is apparently an accomplished artist, and some of her paintings took the perspective of a black man. She self-identified as black. Yet as a student at Howard University, a predominantly African American college, she tried to sue the university for discrimination against her because she was white. If we had a birth time we would likely see either Neptune or Pisces on the ascendant, clouding the identity question, or perhaps Gemini or Mercury which creates a fluidity of self-identification.
Neptune can play a different role – a darker role, in which the individual is either scapegoated or takes on the role of victim. In any case, this is an individual with a tremendous imagination (Moon/Neptune) who used that imagination to escape (Sun/Uranus) a life of boundaries and limits (Sun/Saturn) and got carried away with the drama.
There is a karmic element at work as well, which we can see with Pluto sitting right on the North Node, the point of destiny. This typically denotes an individual with a very focused path in this lifetime, and Pluto’s destructive and regenerative power suggests that there will need to be significant surrender and letting go in order to continue the growth required. Transiting Pluto is in an exact square to her natal Pluto, the first of the midlife crisis transits for this generation, setting off this karmic quest. And, as several commenters have pointed out, transiting Saturn just moved across her own Saturn for the second phase of a challenging cycle that will force her to face some hard cold realities as Saturn so often does. View the chart here.
Very interesting article on an odd character, thanks for that. Just one point though, could you please put a copy of the chart in your articles so those of us who do know a bit about astrology can have a look for themselves.
Yes, I did just post the chart. thanks!
This young woman has Saturn sq Saturn as well as Pluto sq Pluto. She is going to have to build her life again from this event and this set of transits.
Evidence is now appearing that she was raised in a severely Fundamentalist Christian household, from which at last some of her siblings also tried to escape, inc by legal means. There seems to have been a degree of physical and emotional abuse.
This doesn’t excuse what she has done but it does provide some contest for her actions and choices.
She is a very damaged young woman, and that kind of childhood psychological abuse is hard to deal with and to throw off, as I know having had an abusive parent myself (only one, mercifully).
Lynn, I was guessing that Rachael had a Pisces sun, but your explanation is much better.
She’s obviously delusional and in need of some help.
I hope she gets it.
Nice write up. I kind of am leaning towards Sag Rising perhaps Pisces on the 4th….all that religion in the home. And I agree Neptune near the Ascendent. For sure. And yes, that Mars (Leo) square Uranus (Scorpio) is presenting fantastic hubris. It would be one thing to suggest you are african american (when you are white) to friends or associates…but to put yourself as the head of a local NAACP …is pure ego. And as we know…High Ego equals low self esteem. High self esteem equals low ego.