There is much debate over how Sandra Bland died. Did she commit suicide or was she murdered behind the scenes by the police? Situations such as this one are rife with controversy and it is very easy to become blinded by emotion whilst investigating this situation or even talking about it with others. 


I asked the question and thus Sandra is shown by the 7th house because this house shows other people generally (it is not restricted to enemies, buisness partners, and marital partners). Leo is on the cusp so the Sun is our primary significator of Bland. It is in the turned 12th house of imprisonment and self undoing. Mercury, L8 (Death), is separating from a recent conjunction with the Sun. Jupiter (turned L8) is also separating from a conjunciton with the descendent. Both these planets show that she recently died, and thus we have verified thus far that the chart makes sense with the events of what happened. The turned L12 is the Moon, and it is recently separating from a trine to Mercury. Therefore I conclude that whatever the Moon represents had something to do with her death. This is confirmed also by Jupiter being the exalted ruler of Cancer, the sign on the cusp of the turned 12th house. It was reported that Bland has had a history of mental illness and emotional problems. She had supposedly already attempted suicide once before and has suffered from epilepsy. The 12th and its lord show us psychosis and psychological complexes in addition to isolation and imprisonment. The chart suggests that these things contributed to her death. In addition the Moon itself deals with the inner world and the emotions of a person. The police are most likely shown by Mars, who is debilitated in Cancer. This accurately reflects the officer that arrested her. Mars in Cancer describes a person who is violent, impotent, emotionally unstable, pent up perhaps. Yet Mars makes no major aspects with any of Sandra's key points or planets. Of note is the fact that its antisica is opposite the Moon. To me this shows only that the police officer contributed to her self undoing (Moon as L12), but does not show in a clear cut manner that he or any other officer killed her. Saturn retrograde in Scorpio is opposite the antiscion of the Sun and the Sun is also opposite Saturn's antiscion. This may very well repeat the theme of isolation and psychological struggles contributing to her death. Other astrologers might be tempted to suggest that it shows that there was shadowy activity involved in her death. I don't doubt that this is still possible, but thus far the greater number of testimonies present in the chart do not solidly suggest this. Instead I interpret this Saturn as being symbolical of the constrictions and limitations she found herself subject to being in jail for 3 days, not to mention the judge setting the bond at the innapropriately high sum of 5000 dollars (a judge is very Saturnian - Saturn is exalted lord of Libra). 


Psychological Commentary:


There are many inflammatory statements circulating amidst the internet. People are saying that there is no way that this woman would have killed herself because she had just landed her dream job or she wasn't that disturbed or "insert reason here"... Yet anyone with even a basic understanding of human psychology should be able to understand that if a person with psychological trauma, especially trauma that has been repressed or hasn't been dealt with in a healthy and holistic manner, is faced with a life threatening (8th house) or in this case sanity threatening (12th house) crisis then these psychological traumas, without fail, become magnified, and all of the sudden a person is forced to deal with all of these things in an unsafe environment all at once. Things can go from good to bad in a manner of moments, and she was in that jail cell for three days. Let us examine the horary chart as a window into Sandra's psychological state.


The Sun, as L1, is extremely powerful in Leo, yet is in the 12th house, where even self confidence or pride can easily become unwound. Mercury and Venus both have some rulership over her 2nd house of self esteem. Venus is debilitated by retrograde motion and resides in the sign of its fall, Virgo, which it had recently entered, implying that her self esteem had deteriorated rather dramatically while imprisoned. Mercury is combust, which in this case we take as a debility, reiterating what Venus shows. Mercury is also the faculty of critical thought and objectivity. Being combust the Sun means that this faculty (and self esteem) are overshadowed by the self image or pride (a Leonine/Solar quality). Thus when this pride was lost due to the imprisonment, the self esteem went with it (Venus had also recently went out of Leo, the sign of the Sun). Jupiter, denoting faith and, as L4, individual foundations, is afflicted by a square to Saturn, lord of boundaries, constriction, limitation, depression etc. The square is applying, showing that this intensity was steadily increasing for her, as it was and still is in the mass consciousness of humanity. This lack of faith is also reiterated by the fact that Venus is L9.


Upon first watching the disturbing video of her arrest I couldn't help but notice that, in addition to the officer being very violent and angry, there was a lot of violence and anger within Sandra, and that this situation caused it to manifest in a more powerful form than it normally would in daily life. Mars is in Cancer, showing a sense of impotency (probably related to her struggle as an African American activist) and emotionally charged anger. This kind of anger is often directed inward, rather than outward. Mars is very near the 12th house cusp, and arguably in the 12th, illustrating that these feelings of isolation were already present and strongly influencing her psyche. The Moon disposits Mars and is placed conjunct the 4th house cusp in Sagittarius. Many of these emotional issues had not only to do with the sociological level (Sagittarius) but also with her personal past, her domestic life, perhaps her family life or even her roots as an African American in what is still a very racist American society. 


The Part of Fortune falls in Aries, in the 8th, and its dispositor is Mars. This shows that anxiety and anger were preventing her personal happiness and inner security. I again connect her psychological problems with sociological and racial issues. There is more to it but I do not know enough about her past to comment further. The impersonal and potentially mind shattering nature of her problems are shown further by the square of Uranus to Mars and Neptune to the Moon. These planets urge one toward an impersonal level of functioning, one that often times shatters the ego, only because it is resistant to this fundamentally impersonal level of consciousness. The Mars/Uranus square is separating, showing the violent confrontation between her and the officer, while the Neptune/Moon square is applying, showing the gradual deteriorization of her inner world and sense of self. Faced with the need to go beyond oneself, to an impersonal level of consciousness, most do not make the change, and what ensues is merely a logical conclusion relative to the person, their attachements, their ego, their life etc. 


Lars Panaro
© 2017 Lars Panaro
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