Revolutions and Revelations
An Interview with Jessica Murray
by Tony Howard
This Interview was first published in the December 2010 issue of The Mountain Astrologer magazine
Born in 1968, I’ve been endlessly fascinated with that iconic time period that left its imprint on my birth chart. I made its study a main focus in college, and have continued to be inspired by the many revolutions – both individual and collective – that were exploding with energy then, and now. We are experiencing a cultural revisiting of that energy in the current times that feels palpable, and viewed through the lens of astrological analysis we can verify the connection.
Richard Tarnas’ groundbreaking Cosmos & Psyche is a monumental contribution to current astrological discourse. And one of its most exciting lines of thought is that of diachronic cycles. Tarnas identifies these as any two time periods linked by a similarly referential astrological cycle, which can be analyzed sequentially throughout history. When we look back, we see a dialogue that arises, linking the birth of a woman in one cycle, to the birth of her great work in the next cycle; linking the spark of a new idea in one cycle, to a full social movement in the next.
Right now we are in the midst of such a dialogue between the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction cycle of 1968-69 and that of 2010-2011. Among other things we could say, these are cycles of revolution – in thought, body and spirit.
The generation born during the late 60s burns with the mark of that energy and we have been charged with furthering the goals laid out by the revolutionaries of those times. And since we now have the insight to use astrology as a roadmap to decipher the way forward, one clear place we can look for answers is to those who truly lived the revolution in the previous cycles. Those feisty few who have maintained that spirit can now be mentors to those of us now carrying the same torch, furthering the goals of freedom and individuation expressed through the Uranian archetype.
Jessica Murray is one such mentor in the astrological community. Murray was born in 1951 in Nyack, New York. She became involved with Students for a Democratic Society while an undergraduate at Brown University. Frustrated by the sexism within the anti-Vietnam War movement as well as the need for more female faculty members at Brown, Murray joined the emerging Women's Movement. In 1973 she helped found the Rhode Island Feminist Theater, where she acted and wrote plays collaboratively. In 1975 Murray moved to San Francisco. Since then she has practiced and taught astrology.