Shirley walked so Kamala could run. For this Sagittarius season, we’re celebrating Shirley Chisholm, the first Black womxn ever elected to U.S. Congress in 1968. She also was the first Black candidate for a major party's nomination for U.S. president under the Democratic party in 1972. Born November 30, 1924, Chisholm’s chart is a powerhouse. We don’t have her birth time, so this interpretation will not use houses. Still, there’s a lot to say about her chart.
At eight degrees of Sagittarius, Chisholm’s sun is pretty close to a powerful fixed star called Antares. One of what were called the four royal stars in Middle Eastern astrological traditions, Antares is red in color and derives its name from the Greek “ant-Ares” which means rival to Mars. This was due to its red color. Antares is the heart of the Scorpio constellation, and is therefore associated with the mythology that gives meaning to the Scorpio sign.
Sitting in opposition to the constellation Orion, the scorpion was, as the story goes, sent to teach Orion the hunter a lesson after he arrogantly claimed that he could best any animal on earth. This offended Gaia, the Earth goddess, and she sent the scorpion to defeat Orion. Doing what it did best, the scorpion waited for the right moment to strike, and defeated Orion. Because they are situated opposite one another, ancient astrologers saw Orion literally fleeing the scene when the constellation Scorpio emerges, ducking under the horizon just as Scorpio emerged.
All of the four royal stars are associated with victory, accomplishment, and eminence, but Antares in particular has a lot to do with timing—finding the right moment to strike. When I think about anyone who becomes the first Black (or other marginalized identity) anything, I think about the generations of folks who have fought and died for us who are born now and in recent years to even have the slightest chance at succeeding. In the case of Chisholm (and Obama and Harris and other POC/trans/queer/disabled folks who have achieved forms of power), it’s not about personal timing, it’s about generational timing as well.
While Antares gives Chisholm an extra astrological boost, it’s not the only placement that gives her a little more luck on her side. Her sun is co-present with Jupiter, the ruler of the sign Sagittarius. In its own diurnal sign, the planet of expansion, abundance, and yes, good fortune, is especially auspicious. Anyone with the sun in Sagittarius has an extra dose of optimism, but when the sign’s ruling planet is also in the house, interest in adventure and the willingness to take risks are doubled. Jupiter expands Sagittarius energy, giving people with this placement the resilience and optimism they need to do the work it takes overcome tremendous obstacle.
And Chisholm’s chart has plenty of obstacles, notably related to gender. She has Venus conjunct Saturn in Scorpio, and the moon in Aquarius forming a tight square to both. Venus and the moon represent femmes, and Venus in Scorpio, in the sign of its detriment, often represents femmes who experience difficulty related to their gender or gender expression. Meanwhile, Saturn, which as a malefic planet harms both Venus and the moon, often represents institutions and conservatism—think patriarchy. Think the government. Indeed, as the first Black woman in the Congress, Chisholm’s femininity intersecting with her Blackness presented her with unique challenges that no other Congressperson at the time faced. Still, her resilience and belief that fundamentally, she could do it—we have Sagittarius to thank for that—helped her make history for Black women, all women, and all Americans.