Presidential Twenty-Year Death Curse

As a follower of Astrology, I recently mentioned the twenty-year cycle of Jupiter and Saturn, a new cycle beginning on December 21, 2020. I looked at Snopes to see what they had to say about it and discovered the following article:

Claim: Does a death curse threaten U.S. presidents elected in years evenly divisible by 20?

Origins:   With two exceptions, since 1840, U.S. Presidents who have been elected in years ending in zero have been killed or have died of natural causes while in office. And one exception literally came within an inch of death.

It’s hard to know what to make of such a sequence, but folks have certainly tried over the years. Such a string of presidential mortality is deemed too improbable to have occurred naturally, giving rise to rumors about a fatal Indian curse among those unwilling to recognize that chaos sometimes takes the form of coincidence. Randomness is disquieting; Indian curses are, in comparison, the lesser of the evils because they at least support the illusion that there is order in our universe. In this odd way, belief in predestined fatalities is comforting.

1840 … William Henry Harrison
1860 … Abraham Lincoln
1880 … James A. Garfield
1900 … William McKinley
1920 … Warren G. Harding
1940 … Franklin D. Roosevelt
1960 … John F. Kennedy

William Henry Harrison, who was elected in 1840, died of pneumonia at the age of 68, exactly one month after his inauguration.

Abraham Lincoln, first elected in 1860, was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth just after embarking on his second term in office in 1865.

James A. Garfield won the 1880 election. He was shot in the back in a Washington railroad station waiting room in July 1881 and died of his wounds in September 1881.

William McKinley was re-elected in 1900. In September 1901, after giving a speech at an exposition in Buffalo, he was shot while shaking hands with wellwishers. McKinley died of his wounds a little more than a week later.

Warren G. Harding, elected in 1920, expired of a stroke or heart attack in 1923. It was long rumored his wife had poisoned him.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, re-elected in 1940 for a third term, suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage and died just after having started an unprecedented fourth term in 1945.

John F. Kennedy was elected in 1960 and assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963.

Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980 but managed to cheat the Grim Reaper by a matter of an inch, the distance by which would-be assassin John Hinckley’s bullet missed his heart in 1981.

Maybe Reagan also broke the “every 20 years” curse. Or maybe it’s just sleeping.

Those who look to make sense of eerie coincidences have come up with an explanation to account for this string of deaths: an ancient Indian curse, supposedly administered by Tecumseh himself after suffering defeat at the hands in William Henry Harrison at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. (Tecumseh died in the 1813 Battle of the Thames, again fighting troops led by Harrison.) According to lore, the famed Indian chief cursed the Great White Fathers. No explanation is given for why the chief’s curse would only affect one presidency in five, but one cannot, after all, expect the fanciful to cover everything.

Another version attributes the curse to Tenskwatawa (also known as “The Prophet”), a Shawnee medicine man who was half-brother to Tecumseh. The hex was supposedly his revenge for the death of his half-sibling.

“Harrison will die I tell you,” the Prophet reportedly said. “And after him, every Great Chief chosen every 20 years thereafter will die. And when each one dies, let everyone remember the death of my people.”

Stirring words indeed, but there’s no reason to suppose they were actually uttered. No record of either Tecumseh or Tenskwatawa laying a whammy on American presidents has yet surfaced — it’s all undocumented folktale at this point and is as likely just someone’s imaginative backstory to the inexplicable as it is anything else.

Folks have been taking note of this string of presidential deaths for quite some time — it’s not a new snippet of spooky information recently dropped into the lap of the American people. A Ripley’s Believe It or Not book published in 1934 noted the coincidental twenty-year pattern of presidential deaths between 1840 and 1920, with question marks in place of a name for the upcoming 1940 entry indicating the presumption of a continuing pattern. The pattern did, of course, hold true again when Franklin Roosevelt, who had been re-elected in 1940, filled in that blank by dying in office in 1945.

As to what to make of the “curse,” it’s interesting to note that since 1840, only one President other than those supposedly felled by this ill-wishing has died in office: Zachary Taylor, who was elected in 1848 and died in 1850 of a stomach ailment. (Taylor’s body was exhumed in 1991 to investigate a theory that he had been poisoned with arsenic, but the results were negative). Also interesting is the notion that the curse is a prescient one, as two presidents who won elections in years ending in ‘0’ — Lincoln and Roosevelt — did not die until after beginning subsequent terms in office. Apparently the curse foresaw re-election for both of them.

The key to all this presidential demising possibly lies more within the realm of the stars than the rumored words of a dead Indian chief. Or at least so the astrologers would have us believe. According to Mark Dodich, an astrologer who has attempted to analyze the Curse of Tecumseh, the reason behind this force is one of “cosmic coincidence,” not Native American hexing. Dodich claims the curse’s effects overlap with the alignment of Jupiter and Saturn, whose orbits have lined up every twenty years.

One of the two 20-year pattern’s failures — President Ronald Reagan — is explained by the sign the alignment of these two planets occurred under. Alignments under the earth signs (Taurus, Capricorn, and Virgo) have led to dead presidents, but Reagan’s term of office occurred during an air sign, which accounted for his survival.

(My note: Nancy was consulting an Astrologer daily about his movements while they were in the White House – I believe the person in charge of his schedule was really confused about the odd directions she gave!)

According to Dodich, year 2000’s Jupiter-Saturn twinning once again occurred under the earth sign of Taurus, a phenomenon he says won’t happen again for another 600 years. It thus marks the end of a deadly cycle, but if Dodich was right about this curse thing, it would have sound the death knell for another president first. However, George W. Bush, the president elected in the supposed “curse” year of 2000, finished out two terms in good health.

I copied the preceding information from Snopes, but found the following information later, online. “The closest Bush came to death, thankfully, was on January 14, 2002, when he fainted after choking while eating a pretzel.”

Maybe he had a guardian angel watching over him.

The following is an excerpt from my post of Feb 27, 2008, over 12 years ago, about the Spiritual Reality of Astrology:

“For the past while, a series of aspects between the planets corresponding to what Astrologers call irrational degrees has been occurring, creating an opening between worlds, allowing alternate realities to disrupt our lives. Disruptive because they’re early precursors of accelerated changes that we know are coming although Astrologers cannot predict the outcome. On a personal level, when the forces of change seem to be trying to sweep us into deep waters, it is time to eliminate non-essentials from our lives, ridding ourselves of the poisons we’ve let creep into our bodies and minds, which have been steering us away from our inner truth and enlightenment. An activity that would help us to do this is chanting or singing, even if only in our minds, the simple words of a song written by Hal David and set to music by Burt Bacharach. “What the world needs now is love, sweet love, it’s the only thing that there’s just too little of. What the world needs now is love, sweet love, not just for some but for everyone.” 

“I believe this is the message the Universe is trying to send us.  Because we have free will, it is up to us how we respond.  But we also know there are two sides to everything – will we respond by loving our fellow man and trying to do what’s best for the entire world, or will we grab all the glitter we can hold and run?  Either way is synchronistic, but please may we all make the better choice.

“If we can hold onto the best that is in us, if we can banish hatefulness and intolerance from our lives, we can claim the positive side of the coming world changes.”

An Old Post About Pluto (Still relevant!)

WHAT’S THIS ABOUT PLUTO?

Regardless of what we learn in life, through testing the belief systems passed on to us by first our parents and then the larger environment, what we learn is meaningless unless applicable to our own circumstances. Knowledge of people and things twirls through our heads in a never ending dervish as we take on the second-hand beliefs of others. We can allow ourselves to be sabotaged by them until we learn to question. So the test of new knowledge becomes – how does this work for me?

The recent demotion of Pluto from its planetary status is a case in point. When I first began studying astrology twenty-eight years ago, I was satisfying a curiosity that had been with me for a number of years. It was fun and it gave me a “hobby”, as I was a divorced mother of four children going through their teenage years. Our home was a gathering place for their friends, which pleased me because I knew where my children were and could supervise them without intruding. Taking my new astrology books I escaped to my upstairs bedroom and spent many hours studying while the music and laughter from downstairs floated up the staircase

My teacher had said to look at past transits to our natal chart and “what happened at that time?” I had natal Pluto in the 10th house at 0 Leo, forming a yod to Mercury at 5 Capricorn sextile Jupiter at just under 4 Pisces. Later, I learned these were not true quincunxes, Mercury actually formed an almost exact tri-septile to Pluto, while Jupiter formed a bi-quintile to Pluto. But I had no doubt with the meanings behind them I had a yod.. Added to the mix was the opposition of natal Pluto to my natal Sun of just under 5-1/2 degrees.

I had lost my father (who had fallen to his death) when I was eight years old. At that time transiting Saturn was conjunct my natal Pluto in my natal 10th house. Twenty-nine years later (before I had begun my study of astrology) my first husband and I were divorced – while transiting Saturn was, once again, conjunct my natal Pluto (another man leaving my life and natal Saturn sits in my 7th house making a tredecile of 108 degrees to my natal Pluto). I had my final transit of Saturn to Pluto a year ago, when I was hard at work finishing up a book about my family and our ancestry. I had the book self-published and copies distributed to family members with a print-on-demand publisher to make it available to other family members or anyone else who was interested..

So, whether Pluto is a planet, a dwarf planet, or something else entirely I have no doubt its energies are very representative in my own natal chart. “As above, so below” does not, of course mean that my father would die when I was eight, that I would divorce my first husband at the age of thirty-seven, or finish up several years of research writing and self-publishing a book about my family. The first transit, when I was eight, indicated the environment bringing something of a Plutonian nature into my life, over which as a child, I had no control. So I wonder how many of our childhood transits are preparing us for something later in life – or serving as a direction finder? It would be interesting to do research in this area. Perhaps those major transits of childhood have a soul purpose, to help prepare us for the onset of adulthood and the age of free choice.

THUNDER ON THE MOUNTAINS

If you wonder how the modern world evolved to the point where we’re allowing the beautiful mountans of Appalachia to be blown off and discarded like trash in order to more profitably and easily extract the coal—-perhaps this long quote from Richard Tarnas’s book COSMOS will provide you with the answer.


RICHARD TARNAS:
“…the course of history brought about a deep schism between humankind and nature, and desacralization of the world. This development coincided with an increasingly destructive exploitation of nature, the devastation of traditional indigenous cultures, a loss of faith in spiritual realities and an increasingly unhappy state of the human soul, which experienced itself as ever more isolated, shallow and unfulfilled.
In this perspective, both humanity and nature are seen as having suffered grievously under a long, exploitative, dualistic vision of the world, with the worst consequences being produced by the oppressive hegemony of modern industrial societies empowered by Western science and technology.
The nadir of this fall is the present time of planetary turmoil, ecological crisis and spiritual distress, which are seen as the direct consequences of human hubris, embodied above all in the spirit and structure of the modern Western mind and ego.
This second historical perspective reveals a progressive impoverishment of human life and the human spirit, a fragmentation of original unities and ruinous destruction of the sacred community of being.
Something like these two interpretation of history here described in starkly contrasting terms for the sake of easy recognition, can be seen to inform many of the more specific issues of our age. They represent two basic antithetical myths of historical self-understanding: the myth of Progress and what in its earlier incarnation was called the myth of the Fall. These two historical paradigms appear today in many variations, combinations and compromise formations.
They underlie and influence discussions of the environmental crisis, globalization, multiculturalism, fundamentalism, feminism and patriarchy, evolution and history.
One might say these opposing myths constitute the underlying argument of our time: whither humanity? Upward or downward? How are we to view Western civilization, the Western intellectual tradition, its canon of great works? How are we to view modern science, modern rationality, modernity itself?”

Are You Hard of Hearing?

Did you hear what I heard?  There are many different degrees of hearing loss, from slight to profound. I know I’m lucky that mine, although more than slight, is not profound. The hearing doctor believed it’s a side-effect from having the Measles when I was about eight years old.  I say “about” because my eighth year was the most tragic year of my life. It was the year my dad died, just two months after my eighth birthday.

Until recently, I believed the line between the “before” and “after” periods in my life was caused by the loss of my father. However, I’m now convinced the horror of the time that followed was due to being consciously unaware of my hearing loss, failing to understand. Do we refuse to accept our handicaps in order to cope?

Many years later, in my thirties, I was married with four children when my husband remarked on my hearing. I decided to get tested. Not that I hadn’t been accused of  it before, the crucial difference being “accused”, as though I was willfully refusing to hear. My mother’s most famous line was “You hear when you want to!” Other remarks were more critical “Why don’t you pay attention!” Some remarks were more derogatory.

I’d heard the derogatory remarks aimed at my eldest brother and only sister, the first two children in our family, as both suffered from severe hearing loss. I witnessed people being rude to them and decided I would NOT be hard of hearing. This was more subconscious than not, of course, as I simply incorporated lipreading and close attention in my interactions with others. In fact, the hearing doctor pointed out the soreness in my shoulders, which I thought I’d always had, “Your whole body strains to hear.”

My mother had keen hearing but she thought our dad’s hearing suffered somewhat. If we had a hereditary weakness toward hearing loss it likely came from his side of the family. When the next generation (at least three grandchildren, one deaf in one ear, two others profound) suffered hearing losses, the hereditary factor seemed evident. Of course as children, all of us suffered colds and ear infections, as children tend to do. It appears that for some, they may have led to a degree of deafness. My own son, who as an Air Force Officer, served twenty-some years as a Navigator, near retirement suffered a mild hearing loss. Those planes made a lot of noice!

But, on to the consequences of the hearing loss in my own life, which I can’t claim to be a common occurrence. It’s taken me years to come to these conclusions but I’ll share them as I believe them to be true. Before my bout with the Measles or my dad’s death I was a “straight A” student, afterwards my grades fell drastically. I know that sometimes I didn’t hear the teacher correctly. I also remember somebody talking to me on a phone. I heard a voice but could not understand what it said even though it kept repeating stuff. I was embarrassed and began to withdraw socially.

Think about it, you who are not hard of hearing. You’re embarrassed at having folks around you repeat things to a point that you may pretend to understand (“understanding” wrongly!). They may think you are (gasp!) retarded. Although I worked part-time during high school as a waitress, or in the movie-house as a ticket-taker or usher, and worked in offices later, earning good reviews in all of them, my attention and lip-reading being a big help, I often questioned what I heard. I often repeated myself, not sure if the other person heard what I said.  My hearing loss changed me before I ever knew I suffered from it.

As far as hearing aids go, it’s only been within the past few years that a new one came along which  worked  well for me. I was grateful from the time I began wearing them that they helped but my older siblings were not so lucky.  For years there were no good aids for nerve loss, which is undoubtedly what they also suffered from. They are quite expensive and many lower-income people can’t afford them.

I believe all our life experiences work together to help us become who we really are.  If so, both my love of reading and loss of hearing have led me to express who I really am.

A Wise Quote From a Genuis

I ran across the following quote from Einstein yesterday. “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” – Albert Einstein

It’s not too late to open our minds and hearts to recall the sacred gift of intuition granted to us at our birth. It awaits hopefully to be rediscovered and renewed. How many times have you learned something new and then discovered you had already known it before you learned it. You had just forgotten it for awhile. It had been waiting in the back of your mind for you to remember.