“Rahu made me do it,” Falwell explains to a packed media scrum, in response to a series of allegations, revelations and speculations that have come spilling out of his now-unzipped private life.
For years, it’s been an open secret at Liberty University, the flagship of Christian evangelical higher education where Falwell was President until this past month, that he liked to talk about his sex life. Talk is cheap, they say, but photographs have lent credence to rumors, and when Falwell posted a pic on Instagram last month showing him at a party on a private yacht with (a) his fly open, (b) a drink in his hand, and (c) his arm around a woman not his wife whose shorts were also unbuttoned, God was probably not amused.
Certainly, the board of trustees at Liberty University were concerned about the optics, so they in their wisdom decided to grant Falwell an immediate and indeterminate leave of absence from his official position so that he could get his act together. As the weeks unravel, it’s fast becoming its own little reality show.
This week, Falwell announced that his wife Becki several years ago had an “improper relationship” with a man who later threatened to reveal the affair “unless we agreed to pay him substantial monies.” So apparently, it’s her fault that Jerry eventually had to unwind on the party yacht. But as more details ooze out, apparently the (pool boy) lover was a regular feature in the Falwell marriage, and he now claims that Falwell watched him have sex with Becki. Is this crazy or what? If nothing else, it’s highly hypocritical, since Liberty University demands of its student and staff that they conform to the Biblical code of sexual behavior inside (monogamy) and outside (abstinence) of marriage.
Witnesses to Falwell’s “upright” character confide that he often shared personal and provocative photos of his wife with other men, including people with whom he worked at Liberty University. Maybe those were just “locker room” Bible classes regarding one or more of the Ten Commandments, or perhaps it was a just a nasty case of hubris running amok.
Falwell’s chart does present some challenges in the realm of lifetime monogamy. For starters, he has Sagittarius rising, and the dual signs are often (not always) susceptible to a certain ambivalence about the marital regime. But any judgment of a person’s relationship dynamics merits a more thorough analysis involving the 7th house, ie, its lord, occupant(s) and karaka.
Falwell’s 7th house is ruled by Mercury in the 6th, rendered strong (to create problems) by virtue of its retrogression, and under duress because it is flanked by malefics Sun and Mars. The 7th house itself is occupied by a malefic Sun, yet stabilized by a benefic Jupiter, both of ordinary status, neither strong nor weak. Venus, the karaka of relationships, is ordinary in the 8th house, but associated with a malefic Rahu, and aspected by malefics Mars and Saturn, both of which are strong, especially Saturn. And there’s the rub.
Falwell has the luminaries, both regarded as sattvik, in the kendras, but even those present a study in contrasts. The Sun is a command-and-control planet, and it may have been this essential disposition that helped Jerry Falwell Sr decide to appoint Jerry Jr, with his aggressive business instincts, to the position of President at Liberty University. Meanwhile, his younger son Jonathan, with a more charismatic and morally upstanding character, was granted the ministry at Thomas Road Baptist Church.
In Falwell’s horoscope, the full Moon occupies his ascendant, and this certainly reflects his substantial public profile. He has been a strong advocate for the Republican Party, evangelicals, the NRA, and Donald Trump. But that Moon is also the lord of the 8th house, which is where scandals are typically born, involving as they do sexual affairs and other people’s money. Indeed, such a Moon may give an intense, passionate, charismatic, secretive, manipulative, obsessive and/or addictive persona, as well as the potential for many changes, upheavals, secrets, obsessions, disgrace, scandals, bankruptcy, misfortunes, other people’s money and/or ill health in life.
Both his Moon and lagna are in Mula nakshatra. Mula is one of the difficult nakshatras associated with problems, losses, and disappointments. Its deities are Nirriti, the god of destruction and misery, and Prajapati, the lord of progeny. The desire of Mula is to find the root of all progeny. This may give the person a powerful desire to procreate, and thereby invoke considerable (uncontrollable) sexual/creative energy.
Central to this latest “reality show” are the patterns in Falwell’s chart that constitute combinations for sexual passion. Although there is a more specific pro forma for this, the basic set-up requires “relations” between certain planets that represent the sexes. The Moon and Venus represent the ladies of the horoscope, while Mars and Saturn are the bad boys of the birth chart. Combinations involving male/female “cross-fertilization” will provoke passion, all the more so if any among those planets is exaggerated in any way, eg, exalted, debilitated, combust, retrograde, or in planetary war. If the participants operate from positive houses, the passions may be socially sanctioned, but if they operate from dusthanas, they are much more likely to provoke scandal. In addition, any involvement of the nodal axis has the potential to blow things up.
In this particular paradigm, the Moon is out of play, since it’s influenced by neither Mars nor Saturn. But Venus is involved in a ménage à trois. It’s aspected by both Mars and Saturn, each strong in its own sign. Furthermore, Saturn is exaggerated by virtue of its retrogression. On top of that, Venus is associated with Rahu, whose essential nature is Saturn-like, and only adds fuel to the fire. To top it off, Venus is in the 8th house, a dusthana which is virtually synonymous with scandal.
Falwell is running Rahu dasha, which in his rashi invokes the conjoined influence of every planet with which Rahu has a relationship – its association with Venus, its aspects from Mars and Saturn, and its being disposited by a full Moon. If we dig deeper, note that Rahu’s nakshatra dispositor is Mercury, his 7th lord in the 6th.
Fallwell is running Mercury bhukti. Since Mercury in the rashi is 12th away from the 7th house which it rules, this is when things can get uncomfortable in the martial bed. Since every dasha and bhukti lord also invokes the effect of its nakshatra dispositor, Mercury in Rohini also serves that full Moon ruling the 8th house of scandal.
If we examine Falwell’s D9 (navamsa), we can find further astrological evidence of discord on the home front, but also hope for a recovery. As per Seshadri Iyer’s protocol, we first examine the status of dasha lord Rahu. Here, it occupies a dusthana, so that’s a negative. Rahu is aspected by both Mercury and Saturn, both strong via retrogression, but benefic Mercury tips the scale in its favor since it’s in its own sign. Finally, Rahu’s dispositor Jupiter is strong in its own sign in a trikona, and that’s so positive that the lone aspect of malefic Saturn can’t take it down. Overall, a bit of a mixed bag for Rahu dasha, but solid enough to persevere.
Examining bhukti lord Mercury the same way, we see that Mercury is in a dusthana (bad) but in its own sign (good) but associated with Saturn and Ketu (doubly bad). And it’s this combination of being in a dusthana associated with two malefics, absent the salvation of any benefic coming to its support that makes Mercury bhuktis the worst of any in his life.
Recent transits have conspired to further shake things up in Falwell’s life. Transiting Jupiter through Sagittarius aspects both Falwell’s 5th/9th houses, and simultaneously their lords, Mars/Sun, respectively, thereby invoking issues of dharma, and good old evangelical debates along the lines of, What would Jesus do in times like these? Transiting Saturn is in Capricorn this year and next, setting Falwell up for his 2nd Saturn return. Since both natal and transiting Saturn aspect the 11th house and its lord Venus in the 8th, we can expect some fallout in his social network and in his income.
The trigger for this tabloid-grade scandal would seem to have been the solar eclipse of June 21st which occurred at 05GE19. That was just 2deg19 from Falwell’s Sun in the 7th house, 2deg45 from exact opposition to his 8th lord Moon, and just 6deg31 from opposing his ascendant. This triple whammy eclipse on the trinity of Udaya-, Chandra– and Surya-lagna will not allow Falwell to go quietly into the night.
Praise the Lord and pass the popcorn!
For an alternate discussion of Jerry Falwell Jr’s chart, go to YouTube. Please subscribe to my channel to see more videos as they are posted.
Alan Annand studied with Hart de Fouw, and is a graduate of the American College of Vedic Astrology. He’s also a former tutor for the British Faculty of Astrological Studies, and the author of several books.
Kala Sarpa is a first-of-its-kind reference book on a unique pattern in jyotish that is not discussed in shastra yet is part of India’s rich oral tradition.
Stellar Astrology, Volumes 1 & 2, offer a wealth of time-tested techniques in the form of biographical profiles, analyses of world events, and technical essays. Parivartana Yoga is a reference text for one of the most common yet powerful planetary combinations in jyotish. His Mutual Reception is an expanded companion volume written for western astrologers, covering planetary exchange as seen through the lens of traditional astrology. Likewise, his book The Draconic Bowl is a reference text for western astrologers for whom the extensive delineations of the nodes by house position and planetary influence will provide a wealth of information.
His New Age Noir crime novels (Scorpio Rising, Felonious Monk, Soma County) feature astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”
Websites: www.navamsa.com, www.sextile.com