With the ruler of her ancestral Fourth House placed in the multi-cultural Ninth House, Cherrie Moraga was born of mixed heritage (a Chicana mother and Anglo father). She describes herself as "La Guera," which means fair-skinned. Moraga earned her B.A. from a nonsectarian college in Hollywood in 1974, subsequently working as a high school teacher in Los Angeles from 1974 to 1977. During this period, she joined a writing class at the Women's Building, producing her first lesbian love poems and deciding to write as a lesbian and as a Chicana. In 1977 she relocated to San Francisco where she completed her Master of Arts in 1980. Moraga began publishing her works in the 1980s.
Mars conjunct the Moon both in the Aries decanate of Sagittarius can indicate a mother who had to struggle through hardships, with a focus on cross-cultural experiences, language & education. During Moraga's childhood her father left home, leaving her mother as head of the household. Moraga's mother had to sacrifice her education because she had to work to support the family. Without a formal education in English, Moraga's mother was considered illiterate in the United States.
The sign and aspects of the Moon also show the type of experience that's passed from mother to daughter. Due to the hardship she experienced (Moon conjunct Mars) Moraga's mother did not pass her fluency in Spanish to her children, hoping that they would integrate better into white society with English as their first language. For the fair-skinned Moraga "passing" as white thus gave her "white privilege," but also had the opposite effect of disconnecting her from her Chicana background and identity. Moraga writes, "From all this, I experience a huge disparity between what I was born into and what I grew to become..."
Moraga has tapped into her Moon/Mars/Sagittarius combination to become a pioneering feminist writer who explores religious and cultural issues & themes. By writing of the prejudices she has survived as a half-white and lesbian woman born into a Catholic, Chicano culture she has paved the way for other minority writers and activists.
Her Loving in the War Years (lo que nunca paso por sus labios) (1983) is the first book of poetry published by an openly lesbian Chicana, while her drama Giving Up the Ghost (staged in 1984 at a Minneapolis women's theater, Foot of the Mountain), is perhaps the first explicitly lesbian play by a Chicana.
In the early 1980s Moraga co-founded the publishing house, The Kitchen Table/Women of Color Press, which did not discriminate against homosexuality, nor by class or race, plus she became involved in organizing women-of-color groups against violence.
Moraga's memoir, Waiting in the Wings: Portrait of a Queer Motherhood (1997) comprises diary entries made during her pregnancy and the first difficult years of her son's life, plus retrospective essays on motherhood, partnership, men and woman, and families. Writing fluidly in mixed English and Spanish she explores the personal, social, and spiritual consequences of lesbian motherhood.
Moraga is currently a part-time lecturer in Chicano Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
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