Claudia Alta Taylor was born on December 22, 1912 in Karnack, Texas that lies east of Tyler (see the map below). She was named after her mother’s brother Claud but got the nickname lady bird as her black maid thought she was a “purty as a lady bird: ” it stuck.
Her family was descended from of Rowland Taylor, an English Protestant who was martyred during the Queen Mary’s persecutions for those that supported the alternative Lady Jane Grey (“the nine days Queen”) ascension to the throne. Taylor not only a contemporary of Martin Luther but through his wife, Margaret, the niece of William Tyndale, a near relation to the creator of the first non-Latin bible. Alas, both Taylor and Tyndale were burnt at the stake for their support Protestant Grey over Catholic Mary. In an interesting turn of advents, Lady Bird’s second daughter, Luci Baines, converted to Roman Catholicism when she was 18 in 1964 when her father was running for President.
The Astrological Claudia
Astrologically, the former first lady is a complete split see saw: half at the ascendant and the other half at the descendant, or so the official time and chart says (we did not rectify this one). What is striking here is has no planets on the bottom or top of her chart except for the two nodes in the nadir and midheaven of her chart.
The many mansions of LBJ
Marc Jones in his sixteen points discusses his idea of “nodes” and calls them the lunar equinox because they are the moon’s mansions with the Ascending Node, in Mrs. Johnson’s chart in the fourth house, being what she wants to bring forward into her outer life — i.e. creating a garden and restoring native wildflowers throughout the USA. This culminated in her Wildflower Center in Austin Texas that she co-founded with actress Helen Hayes that has over 900 species of native Texas plants in a garden landscape and natural setting.
For her work in wildflower repopulation and conservation, Lady Bird received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Republican President Gerald Ford. .
The south node is calling
While her north node in the fourth house gave her wildflowers, it was her south node at the tenth house in equitable Libra that made her a fortune and without which her husband may have never reached the pinnacle of US politics and become its president, for it was Lady Bird who provided the finances for LBJ to launch his career.
Jones writes that the south node the point of future opportunity. For Lady Bird, it is in her tenth house is essentially traditionally associated with Capricorn and ruled by Saturn. In the modern era Capricorn thought gets the co-ruler of Uranus — the electronics maven. That is a perfect blend for the sea goat native who while her Sun is squared the South Node causing some amount of disruptions in her desire to exert herself, her strong will ignored that and in 1943, against her husband wishes, Lady Bird made a superb forward call spending $17.5K of her inheritance in purchasing an Austin radio station that was by the time of her repose worth approximately $105 million.
It also was the vehicle that propelled her husband into Texas as she able to finance his dreams and make them tangible, a key idea of tenth house.
If that was not enough, again over Lyndon’s protestations, she signed in 1952 a contract for a VHF franchise with the local CBS affliate that became the voice and sole news representative of south Texas, not to mention generating thousands of dollars yearly in cash dividends. Eventually, through her husband’s Congressional efforts, she was awarded a legal monopoly license that is still extant today and upon which that cable franchises base their regional hegemony.
Rahu and Ketu
In Vedic Astrology these applications change. While the North Node (Rahu) is more favourable than the South Node (Ketu) , the South Node bogs us down and represents what we are unduly attached. In LBJ’s horoscope this would be that her attachment to money and the radio station retarded her potential because it kept her tied down to what was physical and concrete. While Rahu would be what LBJ should have been striving for all long. The problem is, how do we know that she was not?
Vedic astrologers have an answer. They see the South Node as the karmic ego and the North Node as the dharmic ideal where the balance is between the two. For Lady Bird, her karmic link is the South Node where she was was most secure — her intuition told her she could do this and make a go. She took no one’s advice and plunged ahead because the South Node tapped into her natural abilities and gifts.
But that North Node breaks that patterns and instead is about her discovering and exploring a new ideal. While this ideal would make her happiest it was also the most frightening because it was unknown and an untapped potential within herself.
Lady Bird died on July 11, 2007 in West Lake Hills, Texa at 94.
Posthumously, the United States Postal Service announced the issue of a souvenir Forever stamp sheet honoring Lady Bird Johnson as a tribute to her legacy of beautifying the nation’s roadsides, urban parks and trails.
Five of the six stamps feature adaptations of stamps originally issued in the 1960s promoting gardens in public spaces. The sixth stamp though, is her official White House portrait by Elizabeth Shoumatoff and our header picture.