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A Zodiac of Founding Fathers: Thomas JeffersonJeffersonImage

If Benjamin Franklin provided Earth sign practicality to the foundation of the United States, and George Washington added the emotional magic of Water sign faith, Thomas Jefferson injected into the character of the new nation the spunk and restlessness of Fire signs. He was an Aries by Sun sign with Mars in Leo trine his Sun. His Moon was in the third Fire sign, Sagittarius, and if his birth time was in the evening hours of April 13, 1743, these three Fire sign bodies would have formed a Grand Trine. (Click here to see a horoscope charted for noon on Jefferson's date of birth)

Despite his Aries Sun, Jefferson was a thinker, not a fighter. He was governor of Virginia during the Revolutionary War and when British troops advanced on the state capitol, he fled. However, even though he was less than belligerent when it came to a clash of arms, Jefferson was extremely aggressive when it came to the battle of ideas, throwing out such sanguinary quotes as “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time by the blood of patriots and tyrants.” There’s no shortage of Aries in that statement.

Of course, the most famous and eloquent expression of Jefferson’s radical ideas was in the Declaration of Independence, a document that has become the cornerstone of American democracy. Fire sign people are not content to just be the thinkers. They must act on what they think. Jefferson might not have been much of a soldier, but with that document he fired a salvo of ideas that rocked the world.

Like all Fire sign people, Jefferson was driven by his passions, and he had little mercy on people who tried to obstruct his way. Dispassionate debate is just not part of the Fire sign skill set. To disagree with them on any important issue is to become their foe, and Jefferson’s foes were legion. When it came to fighting his political enemies, even those who were former friends and allies (such as John Adams), Jefferson was not above throwing off the exalted mantle of philosopher and becoming a pit bull of a politician.

And, as Fire sign people often do, Jefferson provided his detractors with all the ammunition they needed to harry his progress. His long liaison with his slave, Sally Hemings, was one source of this fire power. After the death of his wife, Jefferson vowed that he would never remarry. But he was still a young man and Hemings, who was his wife’s illegitimate half sister, was available. Like many slave owners of his time (and after), Jefferson put aside his ideals and moral prohibitions and took the easy way out.

Many years ago, before DNA test proved that Jefferson was the father of Heming’s children, I heard a man who claimed to be as expert on this founding father say that, after the death of his wife, sex was no longer important to Thomas Jefferson. I looked at Jefferson’s horoscope and saw that he had Venus in the very sensual and very physical sign of Taurus. So much for that expert’s opinion.

Along with Venus in Taurus, Jefferson had Mars in Leo. In sexual relationships, people with Mars in Leo typically want to be the person in control. Taking Hemings, who was essentially his property, as a lover was certainly not among Jefferson’s more laudable acts, but it did fit well with his Mars/Venus combination.

Overall, Thomas Jefferson was a complex and inconsistent man, frighteningly radical on some issues and disappointingly reactionary on others. This is what happens when an intellect, even a mighty intellect, is driven by Fire sign passion. But, we still owe this founding father a tremendous debt, for the way he wove some of those passionate ideas into the fabric of the American spirit.