Saturn Goes to Church – The Peeling of Life’s Onion – in Layers and Textures: Part 1

Please note, this is a two-part article at this time. It may need to be expanded into more parts, but please do not think the article stops at the bottom of this page. It goes on to part 2, located here. The link under the word “here” is live.


When I was 15, I read a book one of my older brothers owned: The Mind in Chains: Autobiography of a Schizophrenic  by William L. Moore. I hadn’t known a thing about Mr. Moore except by what he wrote in the book. I probably was too young to read it, but I found myself riveted by his descriptions of his having received electroshock therapy treatments at the state hospital here in town. The hospital closed some time ago, in fairly recent years; but I remember being frightened of that place on the hill. I suspect the location was called that because you could see it “on the hill” as you drove by on upper Court Street as you headed to or from town.

The state hospital’s forbidding exterior was enough to scare any trick or treater on a Halloween night–especially the building I seem to remember had been called “The Castle.” On an overcast or New Moon night, one could envision the likes of Christopher Plummer, Bela Lugosi,  Peter Lorre, and whatever ghoulish creatures might suddenly appear out of nowhere, perhaps lurking in the halls–or in what I was convinced was a dungeon somewhere inside that huge grey stone building. During the Sixties, obviously after those years he spent on the hill, Moore spent the rest of his life as a Civil Rights activist. He was murdered in the South, trying to fight for others’ rights.

Moore frequently comes to mind for the impact his words left with me, especially a quote he attributed to Shakespeare. Whether or not Shakespeare actually wrote them, I don’t know. They seem like they might have been penned for lines in either Macbeth or Hamlet. I’m inclined to say the former. Regardless, the words seem fitting here now:

“Who judges the sane sane but the sane? Who judges the insane insane but the sane?”

Those words could have been uttered anywhere, really, as easily as we say, “It takes a village to raise a child.” But whether we’re speaking about the tiny hamlets or communities nestled in mountains, valleys or even on the African plains–or about organizations that take on lives of their own regardless of the wisdom of their doing so–sometimes even villages can go insane. This article is about a type of village created inside a hamlet in upstate New York. I suppose the jury is still out about this village’s sanity. I’ll let you decide.

I had intended to work on another series this week that demands attention. It will take a while, however, to flush out. Meanwhile, I need to address this still-breaking story from earlier in the week. It’s hot, volatile and points to issues we’ve seen in various ways through the last several decades not only in the United States but around the world. This one has a twist: Saturn takes on a church in a variation of the Peeling of Life’s Onion theme.

It’s a rough story. Tonight–Saturday night, that is–after I finished writing this, I saw a lovely photo of a mother catching her little girl. This is how parents should be–loving, holding their little ones close, recognizing their children as Love. This particular photo came to me with a Rumi quote. It’s beautiful and it seems appropriate here as a contrasting thought:

Hold me close, I am Love & I am always yours - Rumi

Hold me close, I am Love and I am always yours. — Rumi

All stories should be filled with love and heartfelt thoughts like these. Tragically, all parents are not the same. This story proves it.

I first became aware of the news on Monday evening because it happened in our local TV viewing area just north of here. The story went national yesterday (Friday, the 16th), from what I can tell, and then it went international either last night or today. What I didn’t have until today, however, were times that would offer me a closer view of the event. When the story first broke, it raised my eyebrows and yet little was revealed in the initial report so I waited to hear what was coming next. To be sure, this wasn’t the local station’s fault. Officials may have simply kept quiet as they continued to investigate. At that point, however, it was just Monday’s breaking news.

WBNG-TV breaking story – “one teenager dead and his brother seriously injured”

The short version said two brothers, ages 17 and 19, suffered similar horrific injuries in what was apparently considered a “counseling session” at the Word of Life Christian Church. Doctors in the emergency room initially thought the older brother, because of the extent of his injuries, had been shot. He was dead. No one knew yet where the younger one was.

According to WKTV news, “Just hours before a felony hearing in New Hartford Town Court, New Hartford Police Chief Michael Inserra addressed the media with a new finding from the Chadwicks homicide investigation. After interviewing several members of the church, police learned that victim Lucas Leonard wanted to leave Word of Life. Family members had claimed that the victim was a child molester. Several children were taken from the church and placed in the custody of child protective services. Authorities have interviewed the children at length and say there is no evidence to support that accusation.” ©2015 Heartland Media, LLC

CNN reported that Lucas had expressed “a desire to leave Word of Life Christian Church,” possibly precipitating the beatings. But officials are still unclear about why the younger brother was beaten. CNN added that seven children were removed from the church and interviewed, but there was no indication of the teens having committed any crimes.

“During the counseling session involving Lucas Leonard and his brother Christopher,” said Chief Inserra, “the session turned physical. Both brothers were continually subjected to physical punishment over the course of several hours in hopes that each would confess to prior sins and ask for forgiveness.” According to CNN today, “several hours” was putting it mildly, The brothers were severely beaten for nearly 14 hours from 8 pm Sunday night until they stopped at 10 am on Monday. Noting Chief Inserra’s words that Lucas and Christopher were “true victims,” CNN said Christopher is still fighting for his life.

Joseph Irwin, a member of the church described the beatings and said he saw Bruce Leonard, the teens’ father, striking both brothers. “I heard the sound of a strike, stop, then it started again.” When asked why the parents stopped the assault, Irwin replied, “because he was dead,” referring to Lucas. Irwin said he believed the father had used a belt. The teens’ mother, Deborah Leonard, said she’s not strong enough to do this to her sons but admitted to using a cord on them. Apparently, some members of the church held the brothers down while the beatings took place. CNN reported that Irwin has been accused by some of participating in the assault; the District Attorney refused to comment beyond saying that Irwin was cooperating in the investigation. Irwin also refused to comment further.

Asked why the teens were being punished, Chief Inserra replied, “We have not determined what this punishment was for at this point.”

“Multiple contusions of the torso and extremities were noted,” during the autopsy, Inserra said. “It was determined that the combination of injuries and the duration of the assault contributed to his death.” In fact, the injuries were so extensive, authorities revealed that both teens had injuries inflicted on their backs, thighs, abdomens, and genitals. “It took us hours to find Christopher,” said Inserra. “Through the course of interviews, and that was one of our main concerns, Christopher’s well-being, the family members, to be quite honest, were reluctant to share the information.” Despite his own injuries, said CNN, Christopher tried to give Lucas CPR but Lucas was already dead. Nobody, however, called 911. Two more hours had passed before Lucas was taken to the hospital at 12:30 pm on Monday.

While Bruce and Deborah Leonard have been charged with first degree manslaughter, there have been at least another four arrests of church members who include at least one more member of the Leonard family. Bail has been set for each of the Leonards at US$100000 and $50000 each for the remaining four. CNN indicated that authorities are expecting to arrest more church members on additional charges within the next few weeks.

On the map, New Hartford is about three miles (±2 km) from Utica, New York, nearly halfway between the state capital, Albany, and Syracuse. The 2010 census noted 1847 residents. By 2013, the predominantly white (almost 95%) village had lost a few people and had dropped to 1835, and in 2014, it dropped a little more to 1793. The church is actually situated in a hamlet near the southern line of New Hartford. Chadwicks has about 200 less residents.

God and the Angels Left Too 
God and the Angels Left the Church TooI suppose I was a bit surprised to see a Western below-the-horizon second quadrant dominance in this first of the two charts I’ll post. And yet I wasn’t at all surprised. I’d read people in that area had been calling the Word of Life church a cult, and frankly, that’s exactly what came to mind when I saw this: Seventh house Saturn, 9th house Pluto, an intercepted 11th house Neptune and 12th house Uranus are the only planets above the horizon. I am not quite there where I would call Chiron, also intercepted in the 11th house, a planet although I’d be more inclined to see it as a planetoid than I would an asteroid or a planet. It’s perhaps the most important of the Centaurs. Barbara Hand Clow saw this as the “Wounded Healer” and Melanie Reinhart appears to be of the same school.  While I can see the relevance of wounded healing perhaps in the analysis, I have reservations about using “wounded healing” as a likely or potential source of motivation and drive.

One might not expect to find all of the terrestrial bodies below the horizon in this chart, but it does give one pause to consider the dynamics of such a group effort. Dominant quadrants are perspectives of Self as they relate to the entire chart. If the first is dominant, Self relates to Self and how the activities of the chart will benefit or hurt Self. One tends to perceive the other quadrants in similar forms with the third being Self as it relates to and participates in union with a marriage or other long-term relationship through business, law, higher education, research, and so on. The fourth points to Self in its relationship with the public through one’s identity in career or simply in the public eye. In this chart, we are afforded a look at Self as it relates to those closest to Self. This quadrant relates to family, romantic relationships, children, co-workers, habits, and so on. Here, one can see how an organization that can be defined as a cult or a religious group with cult-like tendencies can be working together to achieve a specific goal. The theme of the village raising the child also seems to come to life here as family then too.

Venus-ruled Taurus on the Ascendant with the chart ruler forming an intercepted stellium of Venus, Mars and Jupiter in 5th house Virgo. Venus sits in a 3-minute partile quincunx to the Midheaven, pointing to the probability that everyone needed to adjust at the moment the beatings began rather than allowing one family to dictate what was ultimately going to be good for all. Take note that Pluto sits in the 9th house perfected trine to Jupiter. The warning signs are all here in the early stages of the event that would set the stage for the next several hours of the passage of time in the Word of Life church. They consider themselves family apparently until the time someone speaks of wanting to leave.

I can’t, however, imagine any event in an organized setting like this that would endanger anyone’s life. Okay. I’ve stated the obvious and have probably said what didn’t need to be said. Then again, we’ve seen group efforts that have repeatedly  shocked the world year after year: Holocausts and “ethnic cleansing,” the November 18, 1978 Jonestown, Guyana mass suicide of 911 members; and the February 28, 1993 gunfight between federal agents and members of the Branch Davidians at Waco, Texas that left four federal agents and two cult members dead, marking the ignition of a standoff on April 19 that year, an event that triggered Timothy McVeigh’s decision to blow up the Oklahoma State Office building on that date two years later. Mind you, I haven’t even mentioned–until now–the Taliban, Al Qaeda and the maze of other terrorist organizations running rampant in various areas of the world now. I don’t think we can ignore these things. Each of the events I’ve mentioned in this paragraph with the exception of the bombing of the Oklahoma State Office Building had ties to a particular vein of theological ideas whether or not they were sound. They belonged to someone who believed them.

As simple as the chart may look at first glance, it’s not simple at all. An intriguing Blooming Undecaquartisextile (UQSXT) has formed in the chart with Mercury (making a 21-minute partile conjunction to the North Node) and Venus in semisextile forming a UQSXT to Chiron while the midpoint of the semisextile sits in 50-minute partile opposition to Chiron. But the Virgo stellium also opposes Neptune with Venus forming a 45-minute partile square to Saturn. The square was still present the next day as everything apparently took a turn for the worst and began to spin out of control. Each point of the Venus-Saturn square sits in sesquiquadrate (135°) aspect to Uranus. This aspect appears to have been the key to events as they transpired.

To my surprise, this is significantly longer than I anticipated, so I’m breaking it into another Part 1 and Part 2 article. They’ll be posted together with the mutual links, but I have no choice. This is a long one.

Part 2 coming up!

Not that I think you’ve forgotten, but…
Namaste, I love you.

©2015 Michelle Young

Saturn Goes to Church – The Peeling of Life’s Onion – in Layers and Textures: Part 2

3 comments on “Saturn Goes to Church – The Peeling of Life’s Onion – in Layers and Textures: Part 1”

  1. Pingback: Saturn Goes to Church – The Peeling of Life’s Onion – in Layers and Textures: Part 2 | Michelle Young Astrology

  2. Pingback: The Peeling of Life’s Onion – Next Cut | Michelle Young Astrology

  3. Pingback: Saturn square Neptune 2015 – 2016 | LUA ASTROLOGY

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