Tookie Williams and I both came of age during the era where Power to the People was the rallying cry, where women needed men like fish needed bicycles, and where Black Power thrillingly began to free African-Americans from the shackles of slavery and Jim Crow. As a white girl from the New Jersey suburbs I had never met a black person except the women who might clean our house, but when I got to college I found I related to the black girls in my dorm much better than the whites. Angry with my parents, my family, and the world in general, I found myself in comfortable surroundings with the student revolutionary movements.
A shared revolutionary fervor established a kinship between the radical student groups and the Black Panthers, and the repression of black people helped to stir the boiling pot of resentment on college campuses. Bombings of student buildings were discussed, and several of my friends went underground when plots were discovered and were never heard from again. Fortunately, I discovered meditation shortly thereafter which I found to be a superior method of handling my distress and safely retreated from the world of revolutionaries.
While I was discussing bombing buildings, Tookie Williams was organizing the Crips gang out of smaller gangs that were loosely associated with the Black Panthers. In those days there was a strong Robin Hood mentality, that it was ok to steal from the powerful to give to the poor and weak. ( There is some evidence that the CIA sold assault weapons and cocaine to the Crips and Bloods in order to fund the Sandanista movement in Nicaragua. The side effect of this intervention was to increase the violence between the gangs and help the black community to destroy itself.)
Tookie Williams went to prison in 1979, and in the late 1980s spent 6-1/2 years in solitary confinement for multiple assaults. However, since 1993 he has gained world-wide attention for his work in keeping children from entering gangs and has bee nominating for a Nobel peace price. Tuesday he will be put to death for the murders of four people, proving that our prison system is more about the Judeo-Christian “eye for an eye” vengeance that truly rehabilitating human beings.
The birthchart of Tookie Williams is a powerful one. He has three planets in Capricorn including his Sun, Venus and Chiron, showing a strong focus on the Capricorn virtues of hard work and building something lasting that society will recognize. His Mars is in Scorpio, a placement that reveals a powerful charisma and passionate approach to life. An exact opposition between Chiron (the wounded healer) and Uranus (the revolutionary) tells of a strong karmic need to be an agent for change, to heal the problems in his society, and both of these planets are square to Neptune, forming a “T-square” that is a powerful aspect that is very difficult to manage but generates a great deal of energy and strength. The presence of Neptune here shows a potential for martyrdom, for losing himself (Neptune) in the cause and becoming a scapegoat for society’s greater ills.
This past summer Tookie transiting Saturn (delay, disappointment, discipline) began a difficult cycle for him, coming on the heels of an expansive year with multiple transits by Jupiter and Uranus. However, he is just beginning a harmonious cycle of Pluto, the god of death and rebirth, signifying that his death will evoke not only liberation for Mr. Williams, but hopefully his death and the discussion surrounding it will help to facilitate the revolutionary impact for which he spent his life working.