Clara Barton: Founder of the Red Cross

December 25, 1821, Oxford, Massachusetts, 12:00 PM LMT or 11:40 PM (rectified), LMT (Source of 12:00 PM time Sabian Symbols. Source of 11:40 PM, T. Pat Davis from Barton’s autobiography, Story of my Childhood, “just before noon”.) These two times result in either a Pisces or Aries Ascendant, and either a Sagittarius or Capricorn MC —which are most significant differences. Died, on April 12, 1912, Echo Glen, Maryland.


(Ascendant, either Aries of Pisces with Jupiter conjunct Saturn in Aries in H1; Sun conjunct Uranus conjunct Neptune all in Capricorn and conjunct either the Sagittarius or the Capricorn MC, with the Moon also in Capricorn; Mercury in Sagittarius; Venus in Aquarius; Mars in Virgo, a powerful singleton in the sixth house; Pluto in Pisces conjunct Chiron in Aries) There are many indications of character suggesting that the Aries-rising chart is correct.  At 11:44:33 AM the Ascendant moves to Aries, so the case must be examined very closely. Barton’s words were “just before noon”. Perhaps this means closer than 11:40 AM.

Clara Barton was the founder of the American Association of the Red Cross. Her chart demonstrates that she had the initiative, power and compassion to do this. As so many Capricorn individuals, she followed her conscience (Sun, Moon and two synthesizing planets in conscientious Capricorn at the “dharmic point”—the MC), and undertook the necessary strenuous labor—Mars in Virgo, the exoteric ruler of her Ascendant in the sixth house of labor and duty.

“The Tibetan Teacher interests himself very much in the work of the Red Cross, and so there must, necessarily, be a connection between Him and its founder, who, reasonably may be considered to be on the second ray of Love-Wisdom, in her soul. “He works with those who heal, and co-operates unknown and unseen with the seekers after truth in the world’s great laboratories, with all who definitely aim at the healing and solacing of the world, and with the great philanthropic world movements such as the Red Cross.” (IHS 57-58)

But clearly, the first ray, sixth ray and seventh ray were also abundantly present—at least they are conferred by the astrological positions. Aries and Capricorn confer the first and seventh rays, and Mars, as a singleton, emphasizes the sixth ray and also expresses through the sign Virgo, through which the sixth ray expresses (as well as the second). This singleton Mars is unusually powerful, focusing the considerable energies of the chart into that area of the chart which governs caring for those who are sick, disabled and in need of medical attention.

Clara Barton was possessed of visionary qualities (Mercury in Sagittarius, Neptune on the MC, both in the ninth house of vision and higher understanding). The Sagittarian Mercury is the esoteric ruler of the Ascendant, Aries, emphasizing its prophetic importance. She also had the power to transform and reform (Uranus on the MC exactly conjunct the Sun). Note that two of the synthesizing planets (Uranus and Neptune) conjunct each other and the Sun—an unusually powerful blend of transpersonal, supra-personal energies, conferring both a high level of innovative executive ability as well as compassion. She could initiate activity (Aries) both carefully (Saturn in Aries) and, yet, expansively (Jupiter in Aries). Hers was also the power to produce group harmony and community (Venus in Aquarius). As well, a deep karmic factor must necessarily have been at work with Pluto in its own esoteric sign (Pisces) conjunct the healing planet Chiron, in the sign of initiative, Aries, both in the twelfth house.

The chart is balanced between hard line and soft line reinforcements. Six major planets (Sun, Moon, Uranus, Neptune, Jupiter and Saturn) in the two signs Capricorn and Aries certainly emphasize the first and seventh ray potentials. Sun conjunct Uranus is powerfully organizational, and a Saturn/Jupiter conjunction only reinforces these executive abilities. However, the three signs which distribute the sixth ray are also emphasized (Pluto and Chiron in Pisces, Mercury in Sagittarius and singleton, sixth ray Mars in Virgo), all contributing significantly to a highly motivated and intense idealism. Behind the scenes however, and permeating this unusually potent collection of energies, one senses the presence of the compassionate ray of Love-Wisdom, presumably the soul ray, for which an elevated Neptune provides a means of expression.

All in all, this is an extremely powerful and focussed chart through which a strong and definite piece of work for humanity and Hierarchy could be accomplished.

A Summary of Additional Points to Bear in Mind when Interpreting the Astrological Chart of Clara Barton

a.       It is possible to argue for either the Pisces-rising or Aries-rising chart. Certainly Pisces is a sign of great compassion and selflessneshs, qualities which could easily be applied to one who was known as the “angel of the battlefield”. And there would still be plenty of the sign Aries to give her the dynamism required for the strenuous life she lead.

b.       In seeking the Aries-rising chart, however, one must bear in mind that the time loosely given, as 11:40 am, and producing a Pisces Rising Sign, would change to Aries in just a little over four minutes. And she herself was known to speak of her time of birth as “a little before noon”. The margin therefore, is very slight.

c.       Both Virgo and Pisces and signs of healing and nursing. It is clear that Clara Barton as a dynamic force in the field of battlefield nursing owed much to the placement of a singleton Mars in Virgo, in Virgo’s own house, the sixth. This placement contributed to her capacity for tireless, unrelenting labor (greatly reinforced by her Capricorn and other Aries planets).

d.       If Aries were her Rising Sign, Mars would be the exoteric ruler and the connection between soul orientation (as found at the Ascendant) and her singleton Mars would be complete.

e.       As well, Chiron, a planet of healing, conferring direction and mission upon those it influences strongly would be on the Ascendant and in the sign of the Ascendant, strengthening it. Like Chiron, she was indeed one who “went her own way”.

f.        From the very first, Clara Barton was an educator, linking her to the second ray of Love-Wisdom even before she began her work of seeing to the needs of those wounded in battle. The fact that her particular focus was the battlefield, of course, emphasizes the importance of Aries, with Scorpio one of the major signs of battle.

g.       In 1852 she established a free school in Bordentown, New Jersey. It was so successful that the powers that be decided no woman could be in charge of it. She resigned rather than subordinate herself to a male principle. This seems far more an act of defiant Aries than more accommodating, self-effacing Pisces.

h.       As well, later in her career, once she had established the American National Red Cross she was apparently difficult to work with, and “jealous of any interference”. She supervised the work so closely that charges of authoritarianism were brought against her by members of the executive council. Again, this seems to be typical behavior related to Aries, which so often seeks to do everything by itself. One could argue that the Sun in Capricorn and Mars in Virgo could account for this behavior. Surely they would contribute to it, but Aries on the Ascendant, with Mars in Virgo as the ruler would add the “edge”. People do not usually find it difficult to work with a Pisces-rising person. Apparently, however, relations became very confrontational in this incident. She was known for the “arbitrariness “ of her way.

i.         There is also the question of stamina. She had stamina in abundance and worked with great forcefulness. Is this more typical of Pisces on the Ascendant, ruled by Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto, or of Aries ruled by Mars, Mercury and Uranus?

j.         Another point worth exploring is the sign on the MC. Should it be Sagittarius or Capricorn? Given the intensity of her labor and her organizational ability, Capricorn seems the correct choice. But the solution is not so simple, as Jupiter, the exoteric ruler of Sagittarius and Saturn the exoteric and esoteric ruler of Capricorn are conjoined in Aries. The optimism and “can do” attitude of Jupiter in Aries would be regulated by the Saturn conjunction. Further, Saturn is also the ruler of the Capricorn Sun, giving it weight even if Saturn were not the ruler of the MC. But given the tremendous organizational work she performed, and the great assumption of responsibility involved, a Capricorn MC seems the better (if not decisive) choice. Let us remember that the MC would change to Capricorn just a little after four minutes from the 11:40 pm time suggested in the biography. One wonders at this 11:40 time. While it might be correct, it almost seems as if it were placed there by someone determined to see Pisces on the Ascendant. Really, no reasoning of this kind will be conclusive. Only a study of chart timing will determine the most probably truth.

k.       If Pisces were the sign ascending, we could say that the chart of Clara Barton would not belong in the midst of these Aries charts. But even so, Aries is so strongly represented through Chiron, Saturn and Jupiter, that it would not be entirely out of place.

l.         Our problem is further complicated by the fact that the Ascendant is rising relatively fast in late Pisces and early Aries. A short period of time can account for the rather fast passing of degrees. But, perhaps we can use this fast passage as a discriminator.

m.     It should be noted that even if Pisces is the Rising-sign, the last decanate of Pisces (in the chart of a persona traveling on the spiritual or counterclockwise wheel is Mars.) Again Mars. It becomes clear that the ‘breath of Aries’ can already be felt in the final degrees of Pisces.

n.       Two events which might be considered as speaking strongly for the Pisces-rising chart are the eclipses in September 1903 and March of 1904 (the year in which she retired from the organization she built.

Sun SEcl                 (X)       Tr-Tr    Sep 21 1903      13:40                27°Vi01′ D        Sun SEcl                 (X)       Tr-Tr    Mar 17 1904     00:53                26°Pi13’ D

These eclipses are on her Descendant first and her Ascendant in the actual year. Of course, as might be expected, another complication arises, as the Pisces solar eclipse falls exactly on Pluto, which could easily signal the termination of that phase of her work. Of course, Pluto, would be the esoteric ruler of Pisces, were it the Rising Sign.    We also note the presence of Uranus hovering around her MC in late Sagittarius, which would not be the case in any of the Aries-rising charts.

o.       Another bit of timing which weighs in more in favor of the 11:40 chart, is the transit (at the time of Clara Barton’s death) of Pluto in the 28th degree of Gemini very close to the IC at the 29th degree of Gemini yielded by the Pisces-rising chart. Pluto brings death. At the same time the progressing Ascendant of the Pisces-rising chart is also in late Gemini, very close to the Pluto. If we go in this direction. We might even want to make the birth slightly earlier than 11:40 in order to make transiting Pluto coincide with a slightly earlier IC and a slightly earlier progressing Ascendant.

        From a physiognomical point of view, we do notice a rather strong dimple in the chin. This is frequently found in relation to Taurus and Scorpio. If the last degrees of Pisces were rising, the third decanate would be rising, and the third decanate is ruled by Scorpio. These physiognomic features appear not only in relation to whole signs but in relation to signs which rule decanates.

q.       Perhaps some quite conclusive evidence arises when we consider the year she resigned her position from the free school she had started, rather than be a subordinate to a male principle, for no other reason than that he was male. On January 21st 1852 there was a solar eclipse at one degree Aquarius, the same degree in which her progressing MC was to be found. This is most indicative, as the MC has to do with career and Aquarius with freedom. Further just a little later, on June 17th, 1852, there was another solar eclipse at 26°Gemini34’, very near the IC. If, as stated above, the birth were even slightly earlier than 11:40 pm, the eclipse would be even closer to the IC and (as stated above) the death chart for an Ascendant of Pisces would work out even more closely.

Sun SEcl          (X)       Tr-Tr    Jan 21 1852 NS             16:11    00°Aq28′ D       Sun SEcl          (X)       Tr-Tr    Jun 18 1852 NS             02:00    26°Ge34′ D

The evidence is now weighing in for the Pisces-rising chart, as much as the author had argued (qualitatively) for the Aries Ascendant.

r.        Of course, there is no need for us to go all the way to noon to produce a chart with Aries Rising. We could have the chart we need beginning at 11:44:33 pm. But the MC/IC would still be Capricorn/Cancer, and the eclipses in late Pisces would touch the angular points acceptably, but still be “out of sign”. Further at the end of her life, Pluto would neither be touching the progressing Ascendant, which already would be in Cancer, nor would it be near enough to the to the IC angle to make the decisive difference.

s.       The author has left the argumentation (as it occurred to him) intact in this analysis of Clara Barton, in part for heuristic purposes, in order to demonstrate to readers how subtle the matter of deciding the correct Ascendant and MC may be, and how easy it is to find justifications for either or two contending possibilities. The matter is not yet solved, but there is increasing ‘cyclic reason’ to accept the Pisces-rising chart as accurate, rather than the Aries-rising chart (which has as strong a qualitative appeal, if not stronger, that the Pisces-rising chart).

t.        If, indeed, Pisces is the Rising Sign, then the angular Pluto in Pisces, the sign of saviorship, is very strong, indicating one who is willing to make all manner of sacrifices (even of life) to carry out a mission of salvation. Neptune and Jupiter will also be rulers. Neptune will confer idealism for the humanitarian organizations she supported and founded, and Jupiter, exoteric ruler, will make all things seem possible.

u.       Of course, these placements would still be effective no matter what the Ascendant, but Pluto, Neptune and Jupiter are given greater weight in the case of a Pisces Ascendant. As far as the exact extent of quantitative weight, that cannot at this time be determined.

v.       The feel of this chart speaks of an initiate. There is something here which resembles the life of Dr. Albert Schweitzer (almost certainly an initiate of the third degree). As in the case of Schweitzer there is the assumption of extreme responsibility followed by great renunciation and selfless sacrifice.

w.     We can easily view Clara Barton as a “world disciple”. Even in her day (when communication and travel was not so easy) she made her impact not only in the United States but abroad, and was even awarded by the conservative German government and the Kaiser for her selflessness and bravery. This represents a tremendous evocation; there was a response even from that group around Bismarck and the Kaiser which was responsible, a bit later, for ‘opening the door where evil dwelt’.

x.       If we think of Clara Barton as essentially a second ray soul, and choose Pisces for her Ascendant, we see an easy flow of second ray energy through the soul-orienting Ascendant.

y.       If that is the case however, the personality ray is almost certainly the first, and it would not surprise the author if the mental ray were also the first. She was so determined, so practical and so executive in her approach to the humanitarian responsibility she had undertaken. A close study of her writings, perhaps, would reveal the story. Mercury in “straight shooting” Sagittarius would contribute some first ray straightness to the mental process, but the situation is complex as there are harmonious aspects to Mercury from Venus, Saturn and Jupiter. No doubt she could be very persuasive.

z.       The astral body would appear to be the sixth, especially in consideration of the vigilance of her life, and the “jealousy” with which she guarded her prerogatives and her control of the organization she founded.

aa.   The physical body would seem to be on the seventh ray, giving order and executive ability, but strengthened by the first ray personality to withstand the rigors of the battlefield.

bb.   One senses the presence of some form of greatness here, and yet of humility. There is courage, sacrifice, a very strong will, persistence, compassion, selflessness—in short the makings of an initiate.

cc.   It would be reasonable to view this chart and the life it represents in the same way one views the life of Albert Schweitzer. It is the chart of a great humanitarian who contributed immensely to the alleviation of human suffering. It is very probably the chart of an initiate, not just of the threshold, but an initiate in fact.

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