The 300th anniversary of a sadistic missionary in America

November 24th is the 300th anniversary of the birth of Junipero Serra, a missionary who enslaved the native peoples of California in labor camps and treated them with sadistic brutality to force them to accept his brand of Christianity.  Serra’s methods are directly responsible for the death of tens of thousands and native Americans.  Writing in The Guardian, George Monbiot says of Serra:

“Working first in Mexico, then in Baja California (which is now part of Mexico), and then Alta California (now the US state of California), he presided over a system of astonishing brutality. Through various bribes and ruses Native Americans were enticed to join the missions he founded. Once they had joined, they were forbidden to leave. If they tried to escape, they were rounded up by soldiers then whipped by the missionaries. Any disobedience was punished by the stocks or the lash.  They were, according to a written complaint, forced to work in the fields from sunrise until after dark, and fed just a fraction of what was required to sustain them. Weakened by overwork and hunger, packed together with little more space than slave ships provided, they died, mostly of European diseases, in their tens of thousands. … Felipe de Neve, a governor of the Californias, expressed his horror at Serra’s methods, complaining that the fate of the missionised people was ‘worse than that of slaves’.”

Despite the historical evidence that Junipero Serra was one of the most evil Europeans to inflict his warped methods and beliefs on American soil, there is a movement among some Catholics to canonize him as a saint.  Go figure!  Serra’s time of birth is unknown.  He was born on November 24, 1713, in Petra, Majorca, Spain.  Various sites suggest a birth time of 1 AM, but I have been unable to find a verifiable source for that time.  Here is his generic Noon chart with Sun Sign Houses:

Birth chart of Junipero Serra, cast for Noon with Sun Sign houses.


Is there evidence in this chart of Serra’s egotism, sadism and brutality?

The Sun in Sagittarius closely squares Jupiter in Pisces.  Jupiter squaring the Sun could certainly indicate a large ego, especially because Jupiter rules Pisces and receives the Sagittarius Sun.  This square is closely tied to Pluto in Virgo, so that Jupiter opposes Pluto and squares the Sun, forming a highly stressful T-square pattern.  Pluto, of course, is a planet closely linked with sadism and brutality.  Hades (Pluto) abducted Persephone and enslaved her in the underworld, much as Serra enslaved the native Americans of California in his labor camps where they were totally under his sadistic control.

Pluto conjoins Saturn and Uranus in Virgo, and this triple-conjunction squares Serra’s Sun and Mercury in Sagittarius, so that his manner of thinking is highly influenced by the self-willed brutality and conservatism of the Pluto/Saturn/Uranus conjunction.

Jupiter makes a partile sextile with Neptune, suggesting a strong interest in religion and the potential for a vocation in the priesthood.  Mars is exalted in Capricorn and forms a trine with the planets in Virgo and a sextile with Jupiter in Pisces.  Thus, the tension of this brutal T-square finds an outlet in his missionary work at which is is able to be very successful.

It is ironic that Junipero Serra was a Franciscan friar who theoretically modeled himself after Saint Francis, whose name the new Pope adopted for his papacy.

Serra’s student and accomplice in setting up the labor camps for American indigenous peoples was Francisco Palou, born January 22, 1723, in Palma de Majorca, Spain, possibly around 6 AM.   Palou’s chart nicely complements that of his mentor, Junipero Serra, and contains an even more brutal Mars/Jupiter/Saturn conjunction square Pluto, with Uranus square the conjunction of Mercury/Sun/Venus.

Francisco Palou assisted Fra. Juniper Serra in running the "missions" which enslaved and brutalized native Americans in California.

Francisco Palou assisted Fra. Juniper Serra in running the “missions” which enslaved and brutalized native Americans in California.

About Anthony Louis

Author of books about astrology and tarot, including TAROT PLAIN AND SIMPLE, HORARY ASTROLOGY, and THE ART OF FORECASTING WITH SOLAR RETURNS.
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6 Responses to The 300th anniversary of a sadistic missionary in America

  1. james says:

    interesting to see the saturn/pluto conjunction which picks up the sun/mercury in junipero serras chart is also seen in his student via the saturn/pluto square which picks up mars. both include jupiter to this saturn/pluto as well, but other then over the top brutality, it is hard to get any sense of relief from the image you paint on these 2.. perhaps that is the religious zealotry that would define them where brutality is all fine and good when in the name of god..

    last night my wife and i went and saw the movie ’12 years a slave’.. it is a disturbing movie which highlights the brutality of slavery and follows a man who was stolen and sold into slavery for 12 years.. what i found interesting in the movie is how christianity is cast in such a bad light.. these same slave owners typically resort to the bible to justify there brutality.. i thought the movie was extremely well done and not in any way typical of a ‘hollywood’ movie.

    typically astrologers think of jupiter in a positive sense, but if one were to think of it as adding fire or fuel to a particular orientation of a chart, it could be perceived in a much less noble manner.. in junipero serras chart the square might clue us into this while in francisco palou’s chart we see the jupiter/mars tied onto this same saturn/pluto square i highlight.. it would appear that the slower moving planets have an undue influence on the faster moving planets to such an extent that they are overshadowed strongly here.. interestingly both jupiters are strong by sign but it is all for the church and conversion – zealotry essentially..

    • Agreed. I haven’t yet seen the movie about slavery but it does have good reviews. Jupiter tends to expand and increase whatever it touches. These two men appear to have used their brutality and lust for subjugation in the service of the church and the spread of their religion. Many evils have been committed in the name of god.

      • james says:

        it is interesting trying to reconcile traditional ideas of benefics and malefics, but one can also incorporate the idea of planets overcoming others which is what saturn/pluto does in the first chart to the sun, while the sun does the same to jupiter. in the second chart pluto is in the dominant position to the saturn/jupiter/mars conjunction while uranus dominates the mercury/sun/venus triad. this gives merit to the idea that the outer planets operate in a more negative way generally as it seems very few can express their energies in a way that is of real benefit to mankind.. although these 2 men probably thought they were, the means never justifies the end when it necessitates hardship and brutality towards others.

  2. It is possible that both these charts are night charts, though I have been unable to find verifiable birth times. If so, Saturn would be the malefic out-of-sect and particularly nasty. In each chart, Saturn is configured with Pluto and Jupiter. If we view Jupiter as a general signifier of religious zeal and proselytizing, then the manner of spreading the religious would be linked to Saturn and Pluto — restriction, domination and brutality.

    • james says:

      anything is possible. you have a speculative time of 6am Francisco Palou which makes it a night chart..i am more inclined to focus on the reasons for making a chart particularly nasty has more to do with other reasons then an out of sect malefic. for me the placement of the moon is especially important and that applies to a nocturnal chart even more so. generally i think the moon is not given enough significance in traditional natal astrology. one of the characteristics of the idea of sect is how the sun or moon take on greater significance depending on the sect. working with the 6am time that came from somewhere i note the moon is in a 45/135 to the saturn/pluto square directly. a time slightly earlier will make it even tighter while bringing mars closer to the ascendant and of course the ruler of the ascendant would still be saturn which is the out of sect malefic.

      Junipero Serra’s moon in aquarius is an interesting consideration as it applies to a trine of venus in this noon chart with a close 45 to mars the malefic out of sect if it’s a day chart as well.. humm? tough call on that. i still don’t think making the charts nocturnal changes the strength of the saturn/pluto conjunction in the first chart, or the saturn/pluto square in the 2nd chart.

      i think these types of questions plague astrologers generally – “what to weigh and how much weight does it have in relation to something else?” i have always considered planets as much powerful then signs myself which is only one of a few reasons why i am less inclined to get caught up in sidereal verses tropical..

  3. Pingback: Review of Donna Cunningham’s Stellium Handbook | Anthony Louis – Astrology & Tarot Blog

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