Recently, the local PBS channel ran a biography of Dolley Madison, a woman who ruled Washington, D.C. in her day and still lives in our folklore (and kitchen cabinets in the form of cupcakes) to this day. This First Lady, married to one of the most reserved and bookish of our Presidents, transformed the White House and Washington society both physically and psychicly, twice.
While watching the show I chuckled when the spoke of how she scandalized her Quaker family by wearing dresses that were low cut and revealed what they felt was too much of her bosom. “Taurus” I said to myself. “She had to have a lot of Taurus in her.” Taurus rules the chest and many people with Taurus ascendants and Suns have strong well-developed bodies and chests. When I looked at her chart, I was stunned at how strong was the Taurus influence on her!
Born May 20 1768 at 3:45 AM at Guilford, North Carolina – we see the first taste of Taurus in her Sun Sign, which was in the first house of her chart. In addition, her rising sign – the sign on the first house cusp – was also in Taurus. Remember that the ancients paid much more attention to the rising sign (or ascendant) than the Sun Sign. So even had her Sun been in another sign, they would consider her a Taurus. In addition, her Mercury, Ceres, Venus and Uranus were all in Taurus and all clustered around the first house and first house cusp. She could not help project Taurean qualities!
Taurus rules the second house, the house of possessions and how they relate to our self worth. Taureans seek comfort and warmth in their homes — the key is comfort. Think of the Bull (the symbol of Taurus) sitting in the pasture on the comfortable grass just soaking in the beauty of life and nature.
Yes, she was a sparkling hostess but look deeper. What was the first thing she did as First Lady? She charged James Hoban, the architect of the White House to redesign all of the public rooms. It was she who made the Blue Room blue – the Red Room red -etc. and who decorated them to ensure the best use for socializing and the comfort of her guests. Do you see the Taurus influence? She was not just a great hostess who made her guests at ease and then introduced them to her shy husband; she transformed the possessions around her. She changed the surroundings.
When the War of 1812 broke out and the British were marching toward Washington with torches in hand, Dolley reacted in a total Taurean way. She ordered the dinner table set with the finest of china. She was not going to appear afraid and harried. According to William Seale’s “The President’s House”, “Several kinds of wine in handsome cut-glass decanters were cooling on the sideboard; platters stood by the fireplace, filled with dishes and plates awaiting immediate use; everything in short was ready for the entertainment of a ceremonious party.” No matter how terrified she was of capture, Dolley Madison would not betray those fears to the British and reminded them that this was a home of comfort and grace.
Of course, before she left the White House, she had the Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington taken from its frame and removed. That was the most prized possession of the White House – and that good old Taurus knew how to save it! She had a sixth sense about what had value. (Of course, she also stuffed silver and china in the carriages before they escaped but hey, a girl has to have her bling.) That too was Taurean- she was not saving papers or mementos — she was saving the good stuff.
When the War was over, and the White House just a shell, she and Hoban started from scratch and redid the interior. Could we have had a better-equipped First Lady to do the job?
Sadly, Dolley would lose all of her possessions to an unscrupulous son and his gambling debts. She lived long enough to see the invention of photography and in all of those shots, she is wearing the same dress and blouse -he literally took the clothes off her back. She has an intercepted fifth house, which vibrates to creativity and children. That means that the sign on the cusp of the house does not extend through the whole house and another sign cuts the house in half. That is always a pause for karma. She has Leo intercepted in the fifth house indicating in past lives she was placing her needs about others and always got what SHE wanted regardless of how. There was no idea of WE it was all about ME. Sadly, her son chose to pay back that karma in spades. I just hope they do not continue on that cycle.
With her Moon in Cancer, the ultimate sign of mothering, gave into him and smothered him with a love that did neither one of them any good. It was not until the very end of her life when her friends in Congress passed legislation to pay for her memoirs on the condition that he could not get access to that money did she wise up. Her son was furious about losing the gravy train and when he attached her verbally for it, she finally had enough of him. I just hope that at some point they get over this tit-for-tat anger and stop following each other in lifetime after lifetime playing the game of give me your money!
Dolley’s North Node (the indicator of where a soul should progress) is in Capricorn in the ninth house and boy did she progress into it. Capricorn is the sign of the government power – power structures in general – and the ninth house is all about reaching out to people beyond our immediate environs. Stories are legendary about her diplomatic efforts. Again, I quote Seale. “Washington life was greatly spiced by the diplomatic community…the diplomats entertained frequently…touches of foreign finery came to characterized Washington interiors.” She brought the world to Washington and Washington to the world – bingo –North Node Capricorn ninth house.