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The Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

With the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s death (Apr. 4) approaching I thought it would be interesting to look at his chart and that of the man generally considered to be his assassin, James Earl Ray. The birth data for James Earl Ray comes from his birth certificate. According to his mother, Martin Luther King Jr. was born at noon. Rectified times have been offered, but I’m sticking with a chart done of 12:00 PM on Jan. 15, 1929.

Of course, the first question to be addressed is whether or not James Earl Ray was the man who killed Martin Luther King. Ray at first pled guilty to the charge and then recanted, claiming that he was not the shooter and that the assassination was a conspiracy involving federal, state and local government agencies along with a mystery man named “Raul.” Even though two investigations and a lie detector test indicated otherwise, Ray was able to convince the King family that he was telling the truth.

Personally, I’ve never been one for conspiracies. I’ve seen how difficult it is for one person to keep a secret. It seems unlikely to me that a secret that involved scores of people in a variety of government agencies would have lasted five months, let alone 50 years. With that in mind I’m proceeding with the assumption that James Earl Ray was Dr. King’s killer.

This assumption is confirmed, at least to my mind, by the transits impacting Ray’s natal chart at the time of the shooting. (Click here to see a double chart with Ray’s in the middle and the transits for Apr. 4, 1968 on the outside.) The first thing that stands out is transiting Jupiter conjunct Ray’s Neptune in the 1st House and opposed to his natal Mercury. People born with Mercury opposed to Neptune are prone to confused ideas and misplace priorities. Jupiter was activating that fuzzy thinking on Apr. 4th and adding a touch of boldness.

Meanwhile, transiting Pluto was opposed to Ray’s natal Sun. With this aspect we tend to feel blocked, ineffectual and overwhelmed. These often leads to dramatic displays of frustration and extreme behaviors. Finally, at the time of the shooting transiting Mars was conjunct Ray’s Midheaven. Since the Midheaven represents how the world sees us, could there be a better descriptor of becoming famous because of an act of violence.

Also of interest is a double chart with King’s in the middle and Ray’s on the outside. (Click here to see that double chart.) Here we see Ray’s Sun is conjunct King’s Moon, indicating that under different circumstances the two might have been compatible. However, at the same time that it conjuncts King’s Moon, Ray’s Sun is square King’s natal Mars. Connections between the one person’s Sun and another’s Mars often indicate antipathy. There is ample evidence that Ray, a lifelong racist, deeply disliked Martin Luther King.

Another interesting connection between these two charts is the way in which Neptune in Ray’s chart squares the Nodes of the Moon in King’s. The Nodes are frequently associated with reincarnation and life after death. This connection seems to predict that the aftermath of Martin Luther Kings’ death would be clouded by confusion, misrepresentation and conspiracy theories.


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