Harper Lee

The story of the author Harper Lee, her early success in writing “To Kill a Mockingbird” (the most highly praised book in American literature), her withdrawal from publicity and chosen life of seclusion, her protection by her older sister Alice, then at the end of her life publication of the original text of her book (remarkably dug up by the publisher) and controversy about her own wishes – all that has intrigued me this year.  Her second book Go Set a Watchman will be published on Tuesday.

Birth Chart Essentials

Harper Lee has Sun in Taurus in 7th House, Ascendant in Libra, and Moon conjunct Saturn in Scorpio in 1st House.  Her North Node is in Cancer. The sharpness of her writing style is graphically shown by Mercury conjunct Mars.


Her 5th House of creations is interesting, representing her book(s).  She has Mars at the beginning of the House (representing her first born, early in life) and Venus at the end of the House, representing the sequel at the end of her life.  Of course, the uniqueness of this situation is that they are interchangeable in a sense, as she wrote the current book before the original publication of To Kill a Mockingbird.  It was rejected by her publisher, and she was asked to go and re-write it from an earlier perspective, and the result was To Kill a Mockingbird.  Go Set a Watchman is being published by Harper publishing house.


There are acknowledged elements of Harper Lee’s own life in her classic novel.  Her own father Amasa Coleman Lee was a Lawyer, as was the main character Atticus Finch in her novel.  Her father defended two black men on a murder charge, while in the book Atticus Finch defended a young black man Tom Robinson on a charge of rape.  The absence of a mother figure (Atticus Finch is a widower) is reflected in Harper Lee’s own Moon in Scorpio conjunct Saturn.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Pulitzer-Prize winning To Kill a Mockingbird paints a picture of racial attitudes in Alabama before the Civil Rights Movement of Martin Luther King.  Harper Lee was born in Monroeville Alabama, and resides there to this day.    The book raises issues of justice, class, integrity and equality, and many issues central to the meaning of life and society.

It was published on 11 July 1960.  Its Jupiter in Sagittarius is right on the Galactic Centre at 26 degrees.  That may be one of the secrets of its ability to capture something so intrinsic to humanity.  It is said to be one of the books people must read in their lifetime.

At that time, Uranus at 19 degrees Leo was exactly square Harper Lee’s natal Moon in Scorpio in her 1st House.  This demonstrates the measure of how much of a shock to her lifestyle the resulting celebrity brought.  She told a close friend Dr Thomas Butts: “You ever wonder why I never wrote anything else?…Two reasons: one, I wouldn’t go through the pressure and publicity I went through with To Kill a Mockingbird for any amount of money.  Second, I have said what I wanted to say and I will not say it again.”

The book has inspired Americans throughout the years, but also readers worldwide.  Shami Chakrabarti, head of “Liberty” the human rights organization, writes in the Guardian: “I wasn’t the first led into law by Atticus Finch, and I won’t be the last…The message is hope; for real progress towards a society based on individual human dignity, equal treatment and fairness.”

In 2013, while her sister Alice was still alive, Harper Lee raised a lawsuit against a literary agent alleging that he tricked her into signing over the copyright on To Kill a Mockingbird.  Her sister Alice died last year (2014), and in some way her death may have paved the way for the current publication, which she probably would not have allowed.


The narrator of To Kill a Mockingbird is a tomboy daughter of Atticus Finch called Scout.  It has been widely assumed that she represents Harper Lee’s own character, but Harper Lee herself says she identifies most with the reclusive Boo Radley.  Two of the characters from the book stand out starkly as parts of Harper Lee’s psyche and life from her birth chart.  The first is Boo Radley, who has the Moon in Scorpio, conjunct Saturn.  And the second is Atticus Finch, the lawyer and defender of the underdog, seen in her conjunction of Jupiter and Mars in Aquarius.

She told Oprah Winfrey, privately:

“You know the character Boo Radley?  Well, if you know Boo, then you understand why I wouldn’t be doing an interview.  Because I am really Boo.”


The film of To Kill a Mockingbird was released on 25 December 1962.  It is hailed as faithful to the essence and message of the book, and would reach people in a different way.  The success of its vision is reflected in the transit of Jupiter sextile Harper Lee’s natal Sun to the minute (both at 7 degrees 54 minutes), a fulfillment of her requirements for it.  Moreover, the film has a healing purpose, in that Chiron is conjunct Jupiter (by 1 degree) in Pisces (the sign of film, and compassion).

Gregory Peck possessed the authenticity and integrity within his own internal cast of characters, in Sun/Jupiter/Mercury in Aries trine Mars.  His Mars and Jupiter were exactly trine, reflecting Harper Lee’s own Mars conjunct Jupiter but with bells on.  For the humanitarian element, he had Midheaven and Uranus in Aquarius.  No wonder Atticus Finch is the role he is most known for.

Mary Badham, who played Scout (the young daughter of the book, assumed to represent Harper Lee) has Sun, Saturn, Neptune and Mercury in Libra, which is Harper Lee’s Ascendant sign.

Friendship with Truman Capote

Harper Lee brought into incarnation with her several members of her Soul Group, undoubtedly her father and sister, but also a childhood friend Truman Capote, whose major work “In Cold Blood” she helped research.  There is a real brother/sister karma there of mental companionship in her Mercury exactly sextile his North Node.  His Mars was exactly trine her Ascendant, giving her fortitude, and perhaps there is something of him in her tomboy character Scout too (at least it would seem so astrologically).

Publication of Go Set a Watchman

Publication is set for this Tuesday, July 14th 2015, only 3 days after the 55th anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird.  You can see the family resemblance, with Sun, Venus and Mercury in Cancer for the original book, and Mercury, Mars and the Sun (and possibly also Moon) present in the chart of Go Set a Watchman.  The quality of the original book as a historical document is shown by these planets in Cancer, and Go Set a Watchman is certainly in the same spirit.

There has been a charge of racism in the character of Atticus Finch as revealed by Go Set a Watchman, which has yet to be fully exposed, but Mars opposite Pluto in the chart of this sequel would make it more explosive and contentious.  Apparently as the character of Atticus Finch develops later in life, he is happy to allow segregation to continue in Alabama.

The Sun in the chart of Go Set a Watchman is even closer (1 degree away) to Harper Lee’s North Node in Cancer, perhaps even closer to her karmic mission.  Uranus squares her Nodal Axis, again disrupting her life.  Her publishers insist she is of sound mind at 88, and publication was entirely in accordance with her will.


When I was studying French literature in the 6th Form, my teacher Miss Robinson remarked that I was capable of giving the impression of knowing more than I did about a subject.  Thus it is I need to confess now that I have not yet fully read To Kill a Mockingbird.  I only bought it in February, piqued by curiosity over Harper Lee’s story.  I will finish it, and maybe leave my impressions under comments at some stage.  But I have now read the first chapter of Go Set a Watchman (courtesy of the Guardian weekend supplement)!  I hope that those readers who have read To Kill a Mockingbird can fill in the gaps of my ignorance, and comment accordingly.


Gird your loins for a challenging week!  The way you respond to this week’s aspects is crucial to how things develop, and to keeping on top of things.  Some of these aspects will be best dealt with by your Inner Warrior, some dealt with as a damage limitation exercise, and still others may require surrender (to the Universe).  The trick is to be very present, and alert to your inner guidance, and make the right choices from moment to moment.

Tomorrow (Monday 13th) the Sun squares Uranus, so you really do need to expect the unexpected.  Battening down the hatches and closing all known loopholes may get you far, but may not completely master this aspect.  You need to use your intuition, anticipate, access your future memory.  Get ahead, with Future Life Progression!

Fortunately, the evening brings a more harmonious touch, in the form of Mercury trine Neptune – there may be a resolution of sorts.  The rational mind joins deftly with the mystical mind, to enhance your perception of reality.

Tuesday (14th) again brings a heavy dose of reality, in challenge number 2: Venus square Saturn.  This brings relationship realities to the fore – the disappointment after heavy expectation, the realization that one person is not able to fulfil all your dreams, and that you are very much responsible for what happens in your relationships.

Wednesday (15th) is even more intense, with an opposition between Mars and Pluto.  This is one where you don’t want to employ your Inner Warrior, but your Inner Diplomat might help.  Keep out of the way of potentially aggressive scenarios, even demonstrations if you are an activist, as it will be difficult to calm down those who are bent on destruction.

Late evening, Mercury opposes Pluto which imposes extra mental strain.  An extra hour’s meditation in the day may help.

Thursday (16th) brings a New Moon in Cancer at 23 degrees which may help to simmer things down, and present a fresh outlook or approach.  It is a good time to attend to matters close to home, and set your intent for constructive perspectives within the family circle or within your society or homeland if you wish to work on a more global level.

Mercury conjuncts Mars in the afternoon, and you may be engaged in some literary task, or some banter.  With tensions perhaps still lingering from earlier in the week, try not to let your words inflame matters.  It is a good afternoon and evening for getting things done.

Lastly, on Saturday (18th) Venus leaves behind the fiery passions of Leo and enters the cooler climate of Virgo.  You’ll be satisfied with subtler displays of affection, quieter colours in your artwork, more studious reading material.  This library atmosphere doesn’t last for long though, because Venus revolves around 0 degrees Virgo for a short while, and then retrogrades back into Leo on Friday 31st.  So if you are researching or writing for a theatre role or screenplay, you will go into seclusion for a while then be back in the limelight at the end of the month.  Use the interlude wisely.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – electrical sparks, then subtlety of thought
  • Tuesday – some sadness
  • Wednesday – conflict plus mental strain
  • Thursday – new beginning, then leaping into action
  • Saturday – quieter artistic pursuits