Category Archives: Character

Biopic Shorts | Karl Marx

I recently read a couple books on Karl Marx and found that his chart very vividly reflected his life.  In my own personal opinion Marx was a great economist who is too often overlooked and helped to inspire many important positive changes in labor conditions and the regulation of business.  Drawing on Hegelian dialectics, while critiquing its spiritual aspects, his “dialectical materialism” helped to expose inherent contradictions in competitive enterprise that could lead to its necessary dissolution or transcendence, such as competition itself fostering economies of scale and mechanisms of cohersion that result in anti-competitive monopolies.

While the importance of his analyses is often overlooked, being buried under propagandistic hype and his being scape-goated for the abuse of his ideas by those in power (with a focus on Stalin without a similar critique of the mass genocide in the U.S. and other such atrocities committed to help pave the way for liberal enterprise), he also seemed to be a bit unsure of his own theoretical and pragmatic stances, very frequently reversing positions, often pardoxically, but then perhaps in a way that may be expected of someone whose philosophy was so strongly based in dialectics.  He was adamant about philosophy being used to transform the world rather than just to think about, but in that there is something propagandistic, as if the need to transform to what one feels is just or right is a priori and then the philosophy can work to justify that.  For all his urgings for transformation, he was known to advocate revolution and then do an about-face and oppose revolutionary action, and was an ardent critic of revolutionaries and “Marxists” in his own day.  He exhibited a rebellious zeal against capitalist powers but was from a wealthy bourgeois background, recklessly spent his ample allowance given to him from his friend Engels (from Engel’s family industry) even speculating in stocks for a time with his wife retaining her baroness title and them both keeping on a housekeeper, and while advocating ardently for the working class he refused to stoop down to labor work himself and seems to have been a somewhat irresponsible, with 4 of his 7 children dying in childhood in part from very poor living conditions despite his receiving more than a typical clerk’s salary in regular money from Engels, and with him possibly fathering a child with his housekeeper, and constantly avoiding paying his bills/rent. All in all, I found him to be a good-humored somewhat selfish, impulsive, and irresponsible person, though one with a strong sense of social justice and a keen mind for abstract economic analysis.  His most mature work, taken up late in life, is the three volume Capital, which is also known to be terse and somewhat prone to ambiguity.

I’d like to take a look at his chart, with an eye toward teaching the basics of chart interpretation in the ancient, original (as in first horoscopic astrology), manner of Hellenistic astrology, which differs greatly from that of modern astrology.

A Little Background in Chart Reading

The horoscope, or astrological chart, is named for the horoskopos, the point where the Sun rises on the horizon (i.e. intersection of local horizon and ecliptic plane), which is the most important point of the chart as it localizes the arrangement of the heavens to a specific time and place (with a change of about 1 degree of the 360 degrees of ecliptic space about every 4 minutes of regular clock time, i.e. 360 degrees in 24 hours).  This rising point is sometimes conceptualized as like the helm of a ship.  I often conceptualize it as being the point where sky, which is distant, evocative, abstract ratio-oriented (rational), seemingly infinite, and full of lights, being akin to the soul or mind-stuff of our reality, is seen to reveal itself, to stream out or peer out from the Earth, which is close, finite, solid, and manifest, being akin to the body of our reality.  While in modern astrology the Sun particularly, and to a lesser extent the Moon and other planets, are seen to be representative of the self, it is this point that represents the self in ancient astrology, and with much clearer analogical reasoning.  Likewise, in ancient astrology the Sun represents power, vibrancy, rule, egoism, and stuff of that sort, rather than “the ego” of an individual, allowing for the possibility that someone is more or less solar in temprement and life situation, and for the Sun to take on greater or lesser significance in relation to the individual depending on its relationship with those things that signify the self in the chart.  This allows for a much greater ability to capture life’s complexities in the chart and move further away from the over-generalization and stereotyping so commonplace in the popular astrology of today.

The chart as a whole is oriented to the horoskopos or Ascendant, representative of the self, with the rest of the circle signifying its circumstances.  The Ascendant lies in a specific degree of a specific sign of the tropical zodiac, and each sign is the “house” of a planet in the sense that some planet is in a sense evoked in connection with matters of the house and has some responsibility for them.  In addition, the signs are divided into “room-like” divisions called bounds which are also under the dominion of specific planets, and there are additional rulerships related to specific signs and houses, and the planets themselves have certain affinities for specific matters directly, called their natural rulerships.  Finally, there are certain derivative points which are used to gather further indications of various matters.  In this way, there is in any natal chart a number of planets and other factors that are relevant to any specific matter, and each has its own relations to other topics and tendencies toward pleasant/unpleasant and prominent/backgrounded effects.  Reading a natal chart helps to clarify the most prominent indications and gives you a very rich and complex jumble of possibilities, while timing techniques help to focus things by showing which planets are more active at a given time in relation to different things and to modify their indications in important ways.

To learn more about the basics of Hellenistic astrology, check out my (unfinished) series on basics and consider taking the Hellenistic astrology course offered by Chris Brennan which is affordable and is a great springboard into direct readings of translated texts from the first thousand years of horoscopic astrology (roughly the first millennium CE).  The rest of this post will illustrate some chart reading with Marx’s chart.

The Natal Chart of Karl Marx

The Ascendant is the point most symbolic of the individual in the chart and it shifts by an entire zodiacal degree about every 4 minutes of regular clock time, so horoscopic astrology is missing the most important symbolic ingredient when the birth time is unknown or inaccurate.  Thankfully, the birth time of Karl Marx is from his official birth record, so we have good reason to believe that it is very accurate (given a Rodden Rating of AA for accuracy on AstroDatabank).  He was born at night with 23 Aquarius rising.  Aquarius is the day house of Saturn, and is a fixed air sign, fixed signs being known for tenacity/focus/steadfastness, and air signs associated with the humanities and movement, and having Mercury, planet of movement, rationality, and commerce, as its primary triplicity ruler by night.  The Ascendant is in the bound of Mars, planet of aggression and inflammation.  The twelfth-part of the Ascendant (not shown) is at 6 Scorpio, the night house of Mars, a fixed water sign, with water signs being ruled by Mars at night (principle triplicity ruler), and in the bound of Mars, while in the 10th house of the chart, which is that of heights, achievement, authority, and rule.

Natal Chart of Karl Marx (CTRL+Click to enlarge)

The rulers of the Ascendant and 1st House inform us of the particular importance of Saturn, Mercury, and Mars in relation to studying Marx, but rulers of the 1st House are not the only factors of relevance to the self in ancient astrology.  Planets in the 1st, and those aspecting or “regarding” the 1st, particularly in more influential ways are very relevant, as is Mercury because of its special significations of rationality, and prominent planets for being influential, including the Sun and Moon which are naturally prominent.  There are also certain lots (derived points) which many astrologers (e.g. Vettius Valens) considered very important for particular matters of personality and character, but here I will try to stick just to the seven planets.  One important distinction often made is that the 1st house has more relevance to the body/temperament, as does the Moon, while the ruler of the 1st house has more relevance to the mind/direction, as does Mercury (and the Sun).

With an air sign rising, Saturn and Mercury will be important by default, but they are made even more important here by the fact that Saturn rules the house itself and Mercury is the primary triplicity ruler while also in his own house and bound (Mercury is in Gemini in its Mercury bound, in an air sign by night, so there is a sense of great reinforcement to Mercury which makes it more prominent).  There are no planets in the 1st house, and while the Sun, Moon, Venus, and Mercury all regard the 1st house, they do so from an inferior position so I don’t consider their influence to be particularly pronounced.  The Sun and Moon, while prominent, are in the house of family and origins (the 4th), being particularly relevant in relation to the parents, and are in the bound of Mercury further signifying Mercury’s importance in the life.  Mercury is also in phasis (crossing under the beams of the Sun within 7 days of birth, another mark of planetary prominence).  Mars provides noteworthy indications for the self but these are more covert.  Therefore, an astrological analysis of Karl Marx’s life and character should focus upon Saturn and Mercury in the chart, rather than on his Sun and Moon in Taurus as might be done in a modern analysis.  This makes good sense as Saturn is the planet of doubt, loss, fear, constriction, critique, poverty, and imprisonment, while Mercury is the planet of commerce, movement, theory, writing, and all forms of rational analysis.  Also, as was noted in my series on the charts of atheists, an identification with air, Saturn, and Mercury is rather characteristic of a rational worldview tending towards physicalism and materialism with a particular doubtful disdain for spiritual and mystical elements (Marx was irreligious and critical by sympathetic to religion, seeing it as serving a function for the oppressed but also as deluded).  We see many of the typical marks of an atheist chart, with Jupiter even being in the 12th house, in fall, stationing retrograde, and opposed by the malefic Mars (with Mars in “domination” over the 9th).

Saturn, besides being a key point of identification for Marx, is also one of the “loudest” planets in the chart, as it is the planet most advancing, being about 20 degrees from rising.  In this sense, Saturn has a sort of general prominence and persistence in the life, shedding something like a dark cloud over it with Saturn’s natural significations of doubt, negativity, death, loss, poverty, and stern cold authoritativeness.  Saturn is a complex planet in the chart.  Most noteworthy, Saturn is in the 2nd house of the chart which is that of money matters, directing Marx persistently into this sphere of life.  The 2nd house is directly impacted by its occupant Saturn, some indications of which can be poverty, loss of capital, obstructed capital, money worries, and criticism or challenges to wealth and possessions.  Here it is Marx who identifies in some ways with being the Saturn in the house of money, and coincidentally feeling a need to consistently challenge and critique those with the means of production was one of the most persistent and certain things he identified with in his life, even before his philosophical thought and analysis was well-developed.  The 2nd house itself is buried deep in paradox, akin to his own monetary paradoxes in his life, being from a wealthy background, choosing to live in poverty, while at the same time constantly begging for money from his friend, receiving money in generous amounts, and eschewing his responsibilities with money.

The 2nd house is Pisces, a water sign, which can connect it with emotional and familial ties, while a mutable sign which tends to signify fluctuations between two poles and possibly multiple sources of income (for much of Marx’s life he was receiving income from writing articles and from Engels, the bulk from Engels).  That both Saturn and Mercury are in mutable, or double-bodied, signs, would also signify a certain back-and-forth quality to his manner of thinking which would make him prone to reversals/flip-flops, and would likely be related to the great appeal that dialectical theories held for him.  The 2nd house, while mainly and most directly impacted by Saturn, is then ruled by Jupiter (and Saturn is in the bound of Jupiter), with Jupiter overcoming and actually connected with Saturn (aspecting within 3 degrees), while Jupiter is in a bad place (that of the “bad spirit” pertaining to negative social and mental afflictions, such as poverty and imprisonment) and is itself ruled by Saturn, creating a bit of a bounce back between Saturn and Jupiter, the planet of constriction, poverty, and doubt (Saturn), with that of expansion, wealth, and belief (Jupiter), with Saturn holding this upper-hand in this strong association and being the planet Marx identifies with more strongly.  In any case, Jupiter’s role there does add some indication of aid and luck connected with money matters (and Jupiter rules the 11th of friends, in addition to the 2nd of money, connecting the two), but overall there is the sense of such wealth going sour. Saturn is additionally out of sect, which tends to increase Saturn’s tendency toward malice, such that we are to expect Saturn to have much more vitriol in the darkness of its many significations, including those in relation to money, such that the doubt is deeper, the negative associations more intense, the difficult events connected with Saturn more painful (though again, Saturn is very mixed, so we see a difference depending on the timing of activations, with Jupiter’s activations providing more beneficent connections with Saturn abating the general difficulty signified). Finally, the twelfth-part of Saturn (not pictured), is in the 8th house of death, together with the twelfth-part of the Moon, a significator of physicality and mothering, emphasizing Saturn’s association with actual deaths, which no doubt had a big impact on Marx.

Mercury in Marx’s chart is in the 5th house which is that associated with pleasures, performance, and children.  I have personally found that a strong association of Mercury with the 5th connects with someone and the person in the chart shows someone who is involved with writing/oration/analysis as a pleasurable pursuit or “art”/”sport”.  Mercury in the sign, bound, and triplicity of Mercury, in an air sign, with Marx having an identification with Mercury, also shows an identification cleverness, intellectuality, and a bit of the trickster or even con man (enjoyment in deceiving people by mental means), as Mercury’s quick and elusive nature is very much ramped up, such that you would expect a Mercury that will do anything to avoid being to narrowly defined or pinpointed (though Mercury in Gemini was not considered good for the intellect in ancient astrology, as it is a wandering mind and prone to unpredictability and anger – while he was a middling student, unpredictable, provocative, frequently in trouble, flip-flopping, and prone to misinterpretation, there were also some additional significations in the chart for depth of thought).  The identification with Mercury shows an overall preoccupation with the world of thought, ideas, and communications.  In addition to the connections with wordy or commerce-oriented art, the 5th house is showing something of the close connection with his children too, and that such is likely to be playful and to inspire intellectualism in them.  Mercury is a duplicitous planet, and is here in a duplicitous sign, which can signify many children, and may also pertain to the possible fathering of a child with his housekeeper (two women).  Although the relationship indications in his chart show steadfast focus on one partner, with Venus, the 7th, the Moon, and all their rulers in fixed signs.  While Mercury is rather neutral (here, in sect and in a good place so tending to associate with more pleasant occurrences in the life), the 5th house is also dominated by the out of sect Saturn, which is one of the important connections between children and death that is in the chart.

Mars is very important too, and when identified with shows a certain domineering competitiveness and desire to get rowdy and stir up trouble.  Marx was an avid drinker and smoker from his teenage years and was very frequently in trouble with the law, to a notorious degree.  Additionally, the twelfth-part of his Mars is in the 2nd house, possibly showing a desire to irk those with money and to damage others’ property, all things he was known to do.  Mars is in sect in the chart, so some of its inflammatory tendencies are tempered and can be channeled productively, but its location in the 6th house of illness and maintenance (and labor?), ruled by the Moon (who pertains to physicality among other things) can indicate bothersome difficulties with accidents and disease, particularly of an inflammatory nature.  Its position in the 6th and his identification with it may also have had something to do with his identification with workers, as the 6th is traditionally a house of servants, and workers are the servants of the industrial infrastructure.  Its location in the bound of Jupiter and dominating the 9th house connect it in an incendiary way with spiritual belief, one of many indications of his ardent atheism.

I hope you enjoyed this brief look at the natal chart of Karl Marx and I hope it leads you into further fruitful explorations of ancient astrology.  – ant

Biopic Shorts | David Lynch

Industrial Symphony No. 1 is a very ethereal musical play created by David Lynch with music by Angelo Badalamenti and singing by Julee Cruise, which was performed in 1989, after Wild At Heart and foreshadowing, musically and thematically, the Twin Peaks series. I missed it on its release to VHS in 1990 but it’s also been released in the Lime Green Box Set and a lower quality version floats around on YouTube, as seen below.

 

The Moon through a Loud Speaker

The irrational is pervasive in Lynch’s work.  Watching his films is akin to a swim through the sphere of Yesod on the kabbalistic tree of life.  It is of little wonder to find the Moon as the loudest and most influential planet in his life: the sect light (Lynch was born at night), above the horizon, and in a feminine sign (i.e. in haym); strongly advancing to culmination on the MC (conjunct MC within 2 degrees); in the place of the Good Daimon or Spirit (the 11th house; pertaining to mental, spiritual, and social benefit); in the place of Love (i.e. place occupied by the Lot of Love, one of the 4 principal lots, and actually within 2.5 degrees of the lot); with her twelfth-part in the most important place, the 1st House; with some testimony in the Ascendant (participating triplicity and regard by sextile) and regarding and ruling the lord of the Ascendant (Mars in Cancer); also conjunct the twelfth-part of Fortune. Some of these indications make the Moon more prominent in a general way in the life as a whole, as if her volume has been turned up and she influences all affairs, while other indications pertain more to identity and personal influence.

Lunar themes of vivid depths of subjective experience, the emotive instinctuality and irrationality of the natural world, and the affection of the familiar and habitual (i.e. sentimentality) are also very apparent in his life and work.  I am thinking particularly of his repeat use of familiar actors, the non-linearity of his work, the thematic grappling with the gap between the role we create for ourselves and the role we actually play, the complex and paradoxical subconscious evocations of rural life and the wilderness, and the influence of dreams, visions, coincidences, and spiritual experiences on our life events and states of mind.

His birth data is rated AA for accuracy and his chart is shown below with twelfth-parts and then with lots.

David Lynch Natal Chart with Twelfth-Parts
David Lynch Natal Chart with 4 Principal Lots

The Moon is in Virgo, a mutable sign, thus the Moon tends to express through transitory combination and interaction, as if between players, rather than having her primary mode of action through powerful changes (cardinal) or stable developments (fixed).  Virgo is an earth sign, evoking the land, tradition, and the body.  Virgo’s ruler, Mercury, is the messenger, and is in the 3rd House, the Joy of the Moon, herself a traveler, while Mercury delivers and communicates, adding a lot of movement, interaction, communication, and consultation to the prominent relationship between the Moon and Mercury.  Mercury is in phasis and is most directly influenced by Venus and the Sun, with which he is assembled in the third house, Capricorn; Venus pertaining to love and art; the Sun to influence and publicity.  This is especially so with Venus, as she is most closely assembled with Mercury and rules his bound (as well as being a triplicity lord of Capricorn).  The combination of Venus, Mercury, and the Sun in a place of connection and conveyance is evocative of many important professional aspects of Lynch’s life, from artistic direction of important projects to bold use of music. While the 3rd house is most directly benefic, being occupied by the sect benefic and dominated (right-side square) by Jupiter, Mercury’s applying opposition to both malefics, and rulership by the out of sect Saturn, in the House of God, lend an aura of foreboding ethereal terror over matters of Mercury, Venus, the Sun, and the 3rd House.

The Moon pertains to family and childhood, especially the mother, and the Virgoan Mercurial influence and prominence of the 3rd house fits with Lynch’s mother being an English tutor and his father and agricultural research scientist.  The prominence of the 3rd House, the Moon, mutability, and Mercury, all evoking travel and movement also fits with his experience of moving a half dozen times with his family as a child, and embarking on some formative trips as a young adult.  The land, tradition, the elderly, fear, and emotional or physical handicap are all very Saturnine themes evoked in his work, as in his chart, as supernaturally lurking in the shadows of, and contrasted with, human innocence.

Malefics in the Lunar House of God Tugging on Venus

When it comes to Lynch’s personality, the main indicators are the lord of the Ascendant (Mars), Mercury, and the Moon.  Mars is in sect and in a good place in the chart, but conjunct the out of sect malefic, Saturn, while strongly influenced by both benefics (benefics are in the stakes of Mars), and ruled by the very benefic Moon while in the bound of the benefic Jupiter.  The overall sense with Mars is of an ambitious nature and one which can be irritable and rebellious, but is heavily influenced by goodness (sect, good place, benefic influence), and yet touched by the dark, dreadful, or macabre (Saturn).  All in all, there is incredible complexity to the character because of all the planetary influences on the lord of the Ascendant.  Mars additionally occupies the 9th Place, the House of God, drawing Lynch to spiritual matters.

Spirituality itself is a complex and prominent matter in Lynch’s life.  On the one hand, their would seem to be much animosity toward religion given the strong association between spirituality and evil, signified by the presence of both malefics in the 9th, the retreat of Jupiter in the 12th house of the Evil Daimon or Evil Spirit, and the identification with rebellious Mars and intellectual Mercury.  However, there is an overwhelming prominence and personal investment in matters of spirituality, truth, belief, and dream in his life, symbolized by 5 of 7 planets occurring in the 9th and 3rd, including both Mars and Mercury, and with rulership of the 9th by the sect light, the Moon, despite their dark associations.  While Mercury is strong in some ways, it lacks the overwhelming pervasiveness of the more subjective and irrational lunar influence over the life.  Through twelfth-parts we also find the identification with the Moon and Venus, as their parts are in the Ascendant, and we find Jupiter, planet of faith and spirit, playing a more prominent role in career and administrative aspects of the life, being positioned in the 10th of actions and authority.

Fear-inducing (Saturn) and violent (Mars) spiritual entities (9th place) tended over by the irrational Moon, mistress of nature, night, and instinct, comes cropping up frequently in his work.  It is little wonder that the influence of the malefics figure prominently in his work, as they oppose and rule his Venus, the goddess of beauty, who rules over works of art.  Venus is in the 3rd House, the Joy of the Moon, in the nocturnal house of Saturn (Capricorn), in the bound of Mars, and with the Moon as the primary triplicity lord.  Her twelfth-part is in the 1st House, that of the self, in the nocturnal house of Mars (Scorpio), in the bound of Jupiter.  Venus is the primary planet pertaining to his aesthetic and it is fitting to find her dominated by subjective and spiritually-tinged maleficence (Mars and Saturn in the 9th, in the bound of Jupiter, ruled by the Moon) and irrationality (Venus in the Joy of the Moon, general pervasiveness of the Moon, Venus and Moon twelfth-parts co-present in the 1st of self and identity).  The 3rd house journey/transportation themes also occur frequently in Lynch’s work.  Wild At Heart, Lost Highway, and even The Straight Story are road movies, while main characters are often visiting outsiders.

Years

In my opinion, a pivotal year in Lynch’s life was 1966, when he moved to Philadelphia to attend an art school which held more promise than the last one, got his future wife pregnant, created his first short film (Six Men Getting Sick), and became acquainted with the fear of crime-ridden urban living.

He would have been Age 20 at the time, thus the annual profection would have been to his 9th House, Cancer, occupied by the malefics, Mars and Saturn, with the Moon as lord of the year, all key influential planets in the life and especially in terms of relationship and artistic matters (Venus).  Lunar years are typically quite varied and eventful, as the Moon is prominent and moves quickly.  In this case, the Moon herself profected to the 7th of partnership, ruled by Venus.  It was as if in this year Lynch stepped into the house of the Moon, finding Mars and Saturn there creating fear and violence, but with the Moon lording over things and guiding them, in terms of pregnancy, bonds, and the artistic promises of the 3rd house.

At the time of the solar return the Moon was in the 3rd house, conjunct natal Mercury, putting a spot-light on the work of that house.  Mars and Venus of the return were both in the 4th of home and family, while Saturn was in the 5th of children just as Saturn’s natal twelfth-part is, signalling weight and apprehension in the house of children.

Lynch’s Jan. 20, 1966 Solar Return Transits

The importance of a year in terms of one’s professional objectives is primarily seen through zodiacal releasing of Spirit.  In October of 1965 the 1st Level of Spirit’s releasing made its first transition from its starting period in Gemini to its new period in Cancer where it would stay until 1990.  This started off with a 2nd Level period also in Cancer until October 1967.  Therefore, both of the two main levels of Spirit’s releasing were to the 9th House, Cancer, ruled by the Moon, occupied by both malefics, and additionally activated at the Age 20 profection.

The activations by planetary year were also interesting.  Age 20 is most prominently a Mercury year, while also a year in which Venus-Jupiter (8+12) relationships come into play, such as his Jupiter in sign and bound of Venus and dominating her, signifying artistic benefit and children (both planets confer children, and both are the main rulers of the House of Children, the 5th, Pisces).

There were many other pivotal years in his career but 1990 stands out as particularly important and prolific.  He won the Palme d’Or at Cannes for Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks was hitting TV audiences, he released the Industrial Symphony No. 1, and his early paintings were in exhibition.  Interestingly, 1990 marked another profection to the 9th House, Cancer.  The Moon, lord of the year, was transiting through the 1st house of the Self at the time of the solar return, which was also a Venus return, as Venus was at 27 degrees Capricorn in the return, almost exactly conjunct her natal position at 26 Capricorn, strongly realizing Venus’s artistic birth promises.

David Lynch’s 1990 Solar Return Transits

When we look at the releasing of Spirit for 1990, we find that it marked the next major transition of the Level 1 releasing, from Cancer (the period which started in 1965) to Leo, the 10th house, ruled by the Sun.  Thus this next major transition in his professional life marked a new period, ruled by the Sun, which is with Venus in the 3rd, and emphasizing the 10th house of actions, honors, and authority.  It was as if Lynch had received his throne (the 10th and the Sun both pertaining to rulership/kings).

 

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Character | James Holmes | Advancement and Dignity Revisited

The events of July 20th, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado were deeply disturbing. They were so disturbing that some modern astrologers simply refused to look into the killer’s chart much, believing that something so heinous must be beyond astrology.  I’ve always been very interested in the astrology of the worst experiences in life, not so that I can blame them on the stars as some might believe, but because I view astrology not as causal but as a language, as a system of signs from the gods or some higher intelligence.  Therefore, when something particularly bad happens, I wonder if there was any such indication given by the gods or some higher intelligence through a celestial language of signs.

It is not easy for me to come to grips with the fact that this world creates people like Adolf Hitler, Jeffrey Dahmer, and James Holmes, who commit horrible atrocities.  However, the world does create such people and they are indeed part of our reality, one that ranges from the most sublime expansive spiritual experiences to senseless random unfair cruelty like this tragedy in Colorado.  I do astrology because it’s what I do, but I remain agnostic about my beliefs with regards to a great many things, so events like this repulse me, make me cry, and lead me to pray for the victims and their families and for protection for myself and my loved ones against such idiotic displays of cruelty.

About a week ago, the birth certificate of the Colorado movie theater shooter, James Holmes, was unearthed and his birth time uncovered.  In ancient astrology a valid birth time is essential to character analysis as it sets the rising degree which determines which topics are assigned to which signs, in what is called the houses of the chart.  Now that we have a birth time for James Holmes, I would like to make a couple brief notes about the chart which reiterate some of the important points I’ve raised in past posts about critical factors for character analysis, issues with the use of essential dignity in the community, and the use of advancement in assessing planetary prominence.  This will not be an in depth look at the events and will largely be devoid of timing techniques.  I may delve into such topics at some future point.

Character

James Eagan Holmes was born on December 13th, 1987 at 9:04pm in La Jolla, California (source).  His basic chart is shown below.

James Holmes Natal Chart
James Holmes Natal Chart

Some of the most important factors in character analysis include the Ascendant and 1st house, its lord, the Moon and her separations and applications, the Sun, Mercury, and general planetary strength and weakness.

Holmes has Leo rising, with the Ascendant in the bound of Mercury, so we expect some “self-identification” with the Sun and Mercury, with their placements in the chart being fairly important to the character, even more so than typical.  The Sun would make someone attention-getting, competitive, leading, powerful, achieving, and dominant, but this more so if the Sun is regarding the Ascendant also, strong, and is somewhat prototypical (in a place of its dignity).  Mercury would make someone clever, flexible, complicated, analytically skilled, and possibly a bit mischievous, and again more so if also regarding the Ascendant, strong, and somewhat prototypical.  Both the Sun and Mercury regard the Ascendant and are advancing (see the last post for more on advancement), so we do expect something of the solar and mercurial to be quite evident in the nature of the character.  In his chart these planets are together in the 5th house, that of Good Fortune, which pertains to physical enjoyments and achievements, such as entertainment.  They are ruled by Jupiter which is in the 9th house, which among other things pertains to higher education, and is particularly scholarly here in the bound of Mercury (also stationing direct, bringing very good benefits through higher ed to the native).

However, we find that the solar personality is modified quite substantially in the chart by the fact that the Sun is adhering (i.e. applying conjunction within 3 degrees) to the out of sect malefic, Saturn, in Saturn’s bound.  Saturn pertains to darkness, death, the macabre, and cruelty, especially when out of sect, so there is a sense of this solar being staying in the room of a malicious Saturn and powerfully joining up with Saturn over time.  Mercury is also in assembly with this Sun-Saturn (applying conjunction within 15 degrees in the same sign) while under the beams of the Sun, signifying hidden plans or communications.  So overall, from the lord of the Ascendant and its bound lord, which are also two of the chart factors that have some general bearing on the look at the mind and spirit in the chart, we get the sense that James Holmes is a solar-mercurial figure with a somewhat choleric personality belying some darkness, depression, dark malicious thoughts and so forth. Additionally, the twelfth-part of the Ascendant, which can show a hidden emphasis in the mind of the native, is in the 8th place of death and harm (as are the twelfth-parts of Fortune and Spirit, and the regular position of the Lot of Necessity).

Holmes Natal with Twelfth-Parts
Holmes Natal with Twelfth-Parts

Another very important factor for personality is the Moon, which Ptolemy (2nd century CE) regarded as particularly important for understanding the more instinctive or body-linked part of the mind (i.e. the subconscious), as opposed to the rational mind (which he associated with Mercury).  The separations and applications of the Moon were thought to be extremely significant by many ancient astrologers, and are, for instance, delineated by Julius Firmicus Maternus (4th century CE) with descriptions that have bearing on character.

The Moon in this chart is at 29 Virgo, in the sign of Mercury and the bound of Saturn.  So far we are seeing a reiteration of the importance of both Mercury and Saturn in understanding the character, revealing again a sense of intellect or scholarship, as well as possible darkness, obstruction, or cruelty.  The Moon is also conjunct the South Node of the Moon very closely, which is the eclipse point, and often associated with Saturn, suggesting again a sense of darkness.  Turning to the Lots we find that the Moon is also conjunct, in the same degree, the Lot of Affliction, which is the lot which pertains to the worst sorts of evils, afflictions, and problems (more on the Lot of Affliction here).  Also, the Lot of the Moon, called Fortune, which pertains to physical and circumstantial happenings, is very closely conjunct Mars, the planet of violence and aggression.

Holmes Natal with 5 Lots
Holmes Natal with 5 Lots

The Separations and applications of the Moon are also interesting in the chart.  The Moon separates from a square with Saturn, but applies to nothing, being void (i.e. the Moon completes no application within the next 13 degrees of travel, or about a day, thus is not “connecting” with any planets, “connection” being the terminology for a degree-based aspect).  So it is as if we have a Moon fresh off connecting with a rather cruel Saturn from a rather tense square aspect and then just going off aimless, suggesting a personal impulse from cruelty toward randomness, with Saturn (bound lord and last planet connected with) setting the tone.

Advancement

In the last two posts, which were part of my beginner series, I looked at the importance of advancement in assessing planetary prominence.  James Holmes will be particularly well known for his brutally violent criminal actions.  In his chart we find Mars as strong as can be, actually conjunct an angle, the IC at the bottom of the chart.  While I haven’t gotten into the “stakes” of the chart yet, it is also important to mention that Mars is in a “stake”, the 4th house, which also makes it more prominent.  The next most advancing planets are the assembly of Mercury, the Sun, and Saturn.  However, note that the only two planets that are retreating in the chart are both benefics, Jupiter and Venus, which are additionally cadent (i.e. the 12th, 6th, 9th, and 3rd are also weaker houses).  Thus, while the events in the life see the volume turned way up on Mars, they see the volume turned down on the benefics.  Competitiveness, aggression, and violence get “featured” in the life.

Dignity Revisited

It’s probably a good time to revisit the issue of essential dignity and its misuse and general overuse in the astrological community.  As with my polemic on this issue in which I discussed Jeffrey Dahmer’s many highly “dignified” planets, including Dahmer’s very dignified Mars in Aries, the chart of Holmes also warns against using dignity in any sense in which it makes a planet act more benefically or more “dignified” in its expression.  Mars is in Scorpio, both in domicile and with first triplicity (a solid +8 in late traditional dignity pointing systems), yet the display of violence that this person brought into being was anything but dignified.  What we see instead is a Mars that is quite prototypically Mars, as in violent, and in the bound of Mercury adds a sense of cleverness, irony, and weirdness.  A Mars more Mars-y, but definitely not a “better” Mars in a beneficence or honor sense.

Even in terms of strength, we must be careful not to attach a lot of importance to sign-based dignity.  It is worth noting for instance that Michael Phelps has Mars in Cancer, the sign of its fall.  Mars being a planet of brawn, competitiveness, and atheticism, we’d be mistaken to say that these things are weak with Michael Phelps because Mars is in fall.  On the other hand, from an associative point of view, Mars in Cancer fits Phelps well, as it links those things with water, both by being in a water sign and the sign of the Moon, which rules over bodies of water and swift travel.

Conclusion

It’s my hope that this short look at the chart of the mass murderer, James Holmes, will assist astrologers in more quickly picking out those chart factors that matter for character delineation and will encourage critical thought with respect to the status quo manner by which traditional astrologers today tend to evaluate planets by sign-based dignity.

Twelfth-Parts | 3. Dahmer, Turner, and Dignity Revisited

Introduction

In the last couple posts I’ve discussed the use of the twelfth-parts, also known as the dodecatemoria or to some, simply the duads/dwads.  Please quickly read over the first post and the second post on twelfth parts before continuing.  In this and a series of future posts, I’ll be revisiting analyses from prior posts and adding to them with information from the dodecatemoria positions.

The Curious Case of Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Turner

In many of the posts on dignity, I pointed out the folly in relying on sign-based dignity in evaluating the benefic or malefic associations of a planet.  The first of such posts compared the chart of Jeffrey Dahmer (click here to read it), who had a whopping 4 planets in domicile, with only 2 peregrine and only 1 in fall, with that of Ted Turner, who has no planets in domicile or exaltation, 1 planet in fall, 3 planets in “detriment” (detriment was not an actual concept in itself in Hellenistic astrology, the way that fall, domicile, exaltation, and such were, so I don’t agree with its use), 2 planets peregrine, and only 1 planet with what an astrologer using the weighted dignity system (which was invented by a Perso-Arabic astrologer nearly a millenium into the tradition) would call “a positive dignity score”.

I found Dahmer and Turner to be the perfect minimal pair for explaining the trouble with dignity, not just in terms of beneficence and maleficence, but also for strength.  I do use some sign-based significations like domicile, exaltation, fall, triplicity, and bound, for strength myself, but I tend to put less stress on those dignity-oriented significations than I place on advancing/retreating, being in a stake, stations, phasis, and relationship to the lights (including being in a domicile of a light).  Obviously, Dahmer’s life was not filled with more joy, goodness, and positive productivity than that of Turner, as might be expected if dignity pertained to beneficence and maleficence.  Similarly, while Manetho, Maternus, and other Hellenistic astrologers suggested that one’s stature and power depend to a great deal on the number of planets in domicile in one’s chart, it is clear that this also cannot be the case, as we would expect the lack of dignity in Turner’s chart to suggest he is very much held back, while we would suggest that Dahmer has immense social mobility.  Therefore, while I believe that being in domicile, exaltation, triplicity, or bound is strengthening and reinforcing of a planet, it is obvious folly to depend too heavily on dignity for planetary strength and particularly for evaluating social status and mobility.

Enter Twelfth-Parts

With the above said, it is interesting that the twelfth-parts tend to reveal much more strength and beneficence in Turner’s chart, including strength attributable to sign based dignity, while the twelfth-parts reveal additional weakness and maleficence in Dahmer’s chart.

Ted Turner's Natal Chart with Twelfth-Parts on Outside of Wheel
Ted Turner’s Natal Chart with Twelfth-Parts on Outside of Wheel

The 3 planets in “detriment” in Turner’s natal chart shift to being in their own domiciles in the twelfth-parts, and Saturn in fall shifts to being in “detriment” (actually into being in triplicity and the sign of the sect light, as detriment is a spurious label in my opinion – being in triplicity and in a sign of a light, especially the sect light is quite strengthening).  Additionally, the Sun, which was peregrine and retreating in the 12th, in a sign of Mars and the bound of Saturn, ends up in the 10th with the Moon, in a sign of Mercury and the bound of Jupiter.  Both lights being in the 10th provides a very strong indication of attaining power and influence, and generally being socially mobile. Additionally, the twelfth-part of the sect benefic, Jupiter, falls into the 12th of the natal chart which is the place of the Sun and Fortune (as well as Venus), indicating fortunate circumstances very strongly.  The other benefic, Venus, lands in the 11th, her domicile, the place of the Moon (and Mars).  Thus both benefic twelfth-parts occupy the places of the lights; very fortunate!

Dahmer's Natal Chart with Twelfth-Parts along Outside of Wheel
Dahmer’s Natal Chart with Twelfth-Parts along Outside of Wheel

We find the opposite type of thing happening with Dahmer’s chart when we look at the twelfth-parts.  We go from 4 planets in domicile and 1 in fall to 3 twelfth-part planets in fall (and 1 in “detriment”), while no twelfth-parts are in domicile or exaltation.  Additionally, the twelfth-part of Mars, in fall, occupies the powerful 10th place, square to its natal position, thus increasing its malice (see quote in last post referring to twelfth-parts that square or oppose their natal positions).  Mars-Moon combinations, such as the one in the natal chart, have significations that relate to bodily violence, and the twelfth-part of Mars in the sign of the Moon, and square to the natal Moon and Mars further accentuates this signification, as does the occurrence of the twelfth-part of the Moon in Scorpio, a domicile of Mars, in the bound of Saturn (significator of death), and in the 2nd place (one of the dark places).  The Moon is relevant for character, especially in terms of irrational impulses and instincts, as Ptolemy identified it with the irrational part of the soul (see Tetrabiblos, Book III, Ch. 13).  While the Ascendant and Mercury, two of a handful of factors relevant for character delineation, are in the bounds of Jupiter in the natal chart, their twelfth-parts are in bounds of Saturn, and the twelfth-part of Mercury is additionally with the twelfth-part of Saturn in the 11th, pertaining to friends and networking.  Additionally, the ruler of the Ascendant, the twelfth-part of the Ascendant, and the ruler of the twelfth-part of the Ascendant are also very important for character.  We find the ruler of the Ascendant, Venus, to be in the 8th pertaining to death, fear, and harm, in the bound of Saturn, and we find the twelfth-part of the Ascendant in that same place and bound, ruled by Venus, thus piling three important character significators into the bound of Saturn, planet of death, in the 8th place, the place of death, ruled by and occupied by Venus, planet of sexuality.

Conclusion

Twelfth-parts give very important additional information about planets and points in the natal chart.  While dignity is not the most important factor in planetary strength, we see that it can play a role in strength so long as we are diligent enough to examine both natal and twelfth-part positions.  The ancients stressed how the twelfth-parts are responsible for major modulations in planetary signification within a sign that would be missed from looking at the natal chart alone.  In this sense, perhaps dignity relating to twelfth-part positions is even more important than that related to natal positions, but more work would have to be done researching in this area to be sure.  In any case, the twelfth-parts positions reinforce or contradict significations in the natal chart, helping us to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Character | 1. The Curious Case of Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Turner Revisited

In an early polemic on the overuse of dignity in traditional astrology, called “The Curious Case of Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Turner“, I discussed how dignity is definitely not a good indicator of a planet’s tendency towards more positive or negative elements of its significations, taking a quick look at the charts of Jeffrey Dahmer (4 planets in domicile) and Ted Turner (4 planets in fall or detriment) as cogent reminders of how inaccurate the use of dignity for beneficence can be. However, now that we know how little dignity tells us about the “goodness” of planets, and particularly about the goodness and the level of success or social mobility of a person, the question remains as to how one should judge such things.  As one might suspect, these are difficult issues, pertaining to delineation of character, morality, and eminence.  Of those, character is the easiest to delineate, and traditional astrological methods will tell you far more in this regard than modern psych-astrology approaches.  Eminence is a much messier can of worms, and in application of eminence techniques, I often find more relevance in terms of social mobility, than in terms of a pre-ordained hierarchical “rank of fame”, as some traditionalists describe it. Eminence will be explored at some later time.

Let’s look briefly at Dahmer’s and Turner’s charts in terms of character/morality.  Due to constraints of space and time, both analyses must be considerably abbreviated.

Character Basics

Abu’ali on the Lord of the Ascen­dant and Mer­cury: “these sig­nify the mat­ters of the soul, and the morals of the native, just as the Moon and the Ascen­dant sig­nify the body” (The Judg­ment of Nativ­i­ties, Dykes trans., 2009, p. 236). Abu Bakr on the other hand has us look at dom­i­nant plan­ets in the chart, par­tic­u­larly in the 1st or 10th, which I feel is in a similar spirit as “vic­tor of the chart” approaches. Ptolemy looks at Mer­cury for the ratio­nal mind and the Moon for the irra­tional, mir­rored in the modern-day notion of a con­scious and uncon­scious mind.  I should note that overall, in character analysis, I tend not to lean heavily on delineation of the Moon just in herself, or even Mercury as such.  I find the Ascendant Lord(s) and the dominant planet(s) to be the most important starting points of the delineation.

Rather than using all strength/weakness and beneficence/maleficence con­di­tions at my dis­posal in the lit­er­a­ture, I’m going to restrict myself, almost exclu­sively, to those which I find of the most impor­tance for this brief look, which I sum­ma­rized in this post in the sec­tions in which I dis­cuss such things.

Per­son­ally, I rec­og­nize at least 3 dis­tinct types of strength, 1. Vol­ume, which per­tains to the extent a planet pours out its nat­ural sig­ni­fi­ca­tions far beyond its acci­den­tal sig­ni­fi­ca­tions (advancing/retreating, sta­tions, pha­sis, apogee), 2. Stability/Prototypicality which in many ways is less impor­tant than #1 (var­i­ous con­di­tions of con­gruity, includ­ing being in a place of “dig­nity”), 3. Per­ti­nence, which is the rel­e­vance of a planet to a par­tic­u­lar mat­ter, such as a planet in the 1st or one of its stakes, par­tic­u­larly the 10th, being per­ti­nent to char­ac­ter­iz­ing the per­son (nat­u­rally sig­ni­fy­ing some­thing; being in a place, rul­ing a place, or regard­ing a place par­tic­u­larly by oppo­si­tion or right-side square or right-side trine). To me these are very dif­fer­ent from beneficence/maleficence which per­tains more to nat­ural sig­ni­fi­ca­tion, sect, place, and plan­e­tary influence.

Jeffrey Dahmer: Malefics through the Moon and Venus

Note: this particular discussion of Dahmer’s character, and the previous two paragraphs on basic character, are primarily a copy and paste job from remarks I made as to how I’d analyze Dahmer’s character in the comments section of the original post.

I recommend watching this fascinatingly candid interview with Dahmer in which he discusses the impetus of his actions.

Ruler of 1st (Com­monly used because of acci­den­tal sig­nif­i­cance, includ­ing by Masha’allah in On Nativ­i­ties, and Abu’ali in The Judg­ment of Nativ­i­ties, among many):

Dahmer's Natal Chart (outer wheel positions are twelfth-parts)
Dahmer’s Natal Chart (outer wheel positions are twelfth-parts)

Venus, a natural benefic, pertaining to beauty, sensuality, and pleasure is made malefic by being out of sect, in the 8th place, regarded on the right-side most closely by Sat­urn (by trine) in the 4th. Sat­urn is the dom­i­nant plan­e­tary influ­ence over Venus, as she is over­come by Sat­urn and in Saturn’s bound (bound ruler of the Ascen­dant Lord is very impor­tant to Masha’allah, in show­ing the native’s involve­ment in some­thing), while Sat­urn, planet of death and the macabre, is in the 4th which has sig­ni­fi­ca­tions related to the dead and buried things, and rein­forces the sig­ni­fi­ca­tions of death and harm of the 8th. That Venus does not regard the Ascen­dant is sig­nif­i­cant, putting the native in con­nec­tion with hid­den or dark ele­ments of life (not nec­es­sar­ily in itself mak­ing the native immoral, as it is com­mon for instance for those involved in social reform and the prison sys­tems, etc. to have the ruler of the 1st in the 6th or 12th, and for those involved in lend­ing and insur­ance to have it in the 8th, depending on the types of sig­ni­fi­ca­tions rein­forced). It also prompts us to look more closely at the influ­ence of other rulers, espe­cially Sat­urn which is the exal­ta­tion and first trip­lic­ity ruler. Sat­urn is in the 4th, and retreat­ing (make it more per­sonal, less pub­lic, but very sig­nif­i­cant by being in a stake), and in the bound of Venus, adding to the sig­nif­i­cant rela­tion­ship between Sat­urn and Venus, the 4th and 8th, in char­ac­ter­iz­ing the native’s per­son­al­ity, i.e. pleasure-seeking, asso­ci­ated with death and dirge, the macabre. Venus made bad, as an impor­tant per­son­al­ity sig­ni­fi­ca­tor, tends to per­tain to shame­less excess. Super­fi­cially, we would think that he’d seem gen­tle, possibly effem­i­nate, some­what depres­sive, and quite shy.

In Dahmer’s case, the Venus in the 8th significations tended toward abuse of alcohol (Venus signifying drinks, made malefic signifying intoxication and harm), compulsive indulgence, and difficult sexuality. He was considered a catch within the gay community and was able to charm and manipulate men into positions where he could harm them. His ultimate motivation for all of his murders was sexual attraction and a desire for sexual possession. The associations of this Venus with death and masculinity are very strong. Venus is not only in the 8th place of death, but is in a very close relationship with Saturn, lord of death and dead things. Venus becomes developmentally activated from the age of 14 to 22, roughly the ages of sexual development. During Dahmer’s adolescence he went from the Mercurial highly curious boy of Mercury in the 9th, to the withdrawn, secretive, Saturnine Venus in the 8th, harboring very vivid sexual fantasies of necrophilia.

Mer­cury (also used by many, includ­ing Masha’allah, Abu’ali, and Ptolemy, among oth­ers):

Mer­cury is not nec­es­sar­ily strong for intel­lect in Virgo or Gem­ini. Mer­cury in a com­mon (i.e. muta­ble) sign, such as Virgo or Gem­ini, was said to sig­nify a small but quick intel­lect, liable to anger, an unstable mind, and with lit­tle per­se­ver­ance, as opposed to the extremely hon­or­able intel­lect of Mer­cury in a fixed sign, and the con­fi­dence, quick grasp, enthu­si­asm, and good-speaking abil­ity of Mer­cury in a move­able (i.e. car­di­nal) sign. This is a rather weak indication though, as there have been a number of great geniuses with Mercury in mutable signs (especially Sagittarius and Pisces due to the positive association with Jupiter signifying gain through intellect).

Dahmer’s Mer­cury is out of sect, and while in a some­what good place, it is apply­ing to Mars, and scru­ti­nized by Mars in a very close appli­ca­tion in which Mars over­come Mer­cury, so there is a vast range with Mer­cury in terms of benefic thru malefic sig­ni­fi­ca­tions. Mer­cury is somewhat weak­ened though, par­tic­u­larly for intel­lec­tual activ­i­ties from the mutability, but also from cadency, and possibly the combustion.

Dahmer was said to be a relatively good student as a youth, though didn’t pursue higher education, and was not an intellectual. Overall, his intellectual abilities were capable enough to allow him to commit murder and cover his tracks over many years, though were particularly maligned. His focus was on deceit, from drugging men at clubs to take advantage of them, to secretly raping, murdering, and even eating men. In a sense, the chart reveals Mercury to be most active as an accomplice of Mars, as it applies to Mars which overcomes it.

The Moon and the Dom­i­nant Planet:

The Moon hap­pens to also be the dom­i­nant planet in the chart, as she is so strongly advanc­ing, adher­ing to the Descen­dant in the same degree. Mars, Sat­urn, and to a much lesser extent, Jupiter, are also quite dom­i­nant by being in the stakes, but the Moon is in a stake and gen­er­ally strong, con­junct the angle. The Moon is the planet sig­ni­fy­ing the irra­tional mind, or subconscious, as well it today.  She has an extremely strong influ­ence in the life, as if broadcasting from a loudspeaker all over the life, and this makes Dahmer particularly attuned to her very subjective, vivid, irrational influences. The Moon is co-p­re­sent with Mars so her sig­ni­fi­ca­tions are mixed with Mars, and accord­ing to Ser­a­pio, the planet in early zodi­a­cal degree not only over­comes by regard, but also when two plan­ets are in the same sign, it also can be dom­i­nant in the rela­tion­ship.  Mars also rules the Moon, which can make it dif­fi­cult to sep­a­rate out these two mar­t­ian influ­ences upon the nature of the Moon’s sig­ni­fi­ca­tions, but in any case, the Moon is strongly influ­enced by Mars. The Moon is in the bound of Mer­cury, but the dom­i­na­tion by Sat­urn in the 4th, which is scru­ti­niz­ing (within 3*) is a much stronger influ­ence. Over­all, through cop­res­ence with, ruler­ship by, dom­i­na­tion, and scru­ti­niza­tion by the malefics, as well as being out of sect (also the 7th is not a very benefic influ­ence), the irra­tional impulses are pulled along malefic, par­tic­u­larly vio­lent and macabre dimensions.

The Moon is in the 7th which pertains to encounters with others, and particularly with partnerships and significant others.  Mars rules and occupies the place, while Saturn dominates the place.  Both Mars and Saturn are in “stakes” and thus very strongly important to the person themselves, but both are retreating, and thus are private, quickly retreating behind the scenes, avoiding any loud broadcasting of their significations, in contrast to the Moon which is blaring a general lunar energy across the life, and particularly predisposed to channeling the significations of Mars and Saturn.

Interestingly, some focal issues in Dahmer’s early life revolved around his mother’s anxiety and combativeness, and the stress that created in his home. His first murder happened just after high school at a time when his mother unexpectedly left him in the house alone for an extended period of time. The Mars-Moon has some symbolism regarding mental illness, particularly anxiety, and very vividly the mother’s anxiety (Mars shows an overload of energy). Mars-Moon also symbolizes Dahmer’s unconscious need (Moon) for violence (Mars) against partners (7th house).

Conclusion: Dahmer is strongly influenced by the Moon, and pulled by Venus, into irrational vivid experiences and sensual indulgence.  The nature of the irrational mind and sense of beauty are colored predominantly by the malefics, with themes of violence and the dead particularly prominent.  The personality is overall phlegmatic’melancholic, somewhat feminine, with a vividly personal and subjective feel characteristic of the Moon. 

Ted Turner: Aggressively Ambitious and Gregarious Mercury

Ruler of the 1st:

Turner's Natal Chart (outer positions are twelfth-parts)
Turner’s Natal Chart (outer positions are twelfth-parts)

Jupiter is the ruler of the 1st, and is the sect benefic, in the 3rd of siblings, communications, journalism, current events, and transportation.  Jupiter naturally signifies a cheerful disposition, charisma, faith/positivity, and a desire to seek greater truth.  Jupiter is benefic, being naturally benefic, in sect, and dominated by Venus.   Jupiter is influenced by many planets, being very closely dominated by the Sun, closely dominated by Venus, closely overcome by the Moon by trine, overcome by Mercury by sextile, and overcome by Mars by trine.  Jupiter is also in the bound of Mars and the domicile and triplicity of Saturn, therefore, there is quite a bit going on with Jupiter, and most dominantly it is influenced by the Sun, then Mars, then Venus, in my opinion, bringing out a much more choleric or ambitious Jupiter with aesthetic dimensions.  Jupiter is not particularly strong in its own position (cadent, retreating), but is relevant to eminence through its close regard by the Lights, and its weakness is counter-acted by the strong advance of Mars and Saturn, its rulers, in the chart.  Overall, we expect a cheerful, gregarious, likeable personality, that is a bit heated and very geared toward power plays. He values style and sensuality, and is likely to have particular connection to matters of communications and/or journalism (the 3rd) in some way.

Mercury and the Dominant Planet:

Mercury is the dominant planet in the chart, both generally, and in terms of the person, as Mercury is strongly advancing towards the Ascendant in the 1st.  Mercury is in its bound and in the sign of Jupiter, reinforcing Mercury’s natural significations relating to news and communications.  Mercury is also the natural significator of business and commerce.  Mercury is out of sect, and very closely overcome by Mars, so Mercury can pertain to malefic significations, despite position in the very good 1st place.  However, the range with Mercury is great.  Negative significations with this Mercury in the 1st, very relevant to character, are tied to Mars in the 11th of friends and popularity, and so can pertain to a propensity for aggressive speech, words reflecting bad on one’s character or creating problems in friendships, and even a desires to deceive.  It’s most well-known manifestation in Turner’s life has been a propensity to put his foot in his mouth and to publicly make controversial statements, reflecting both a Jupiterian casual humor and a bit of Mercury’s more mischievous side. Mars makes the mind very keen, intense, and aggressive, and makes it difficult to turn off or control the mental and verbal chatter.

The Moon:

The Moon is out of sect, in the bound of Mars, co-present with Mars, and opposed by Saturn, therefore the Moon can signify very difficult matters.  The Moon is in the 11th, which is one of the most benefic places of the chart, and the Moon is naturally benefic so there is a range, but overall the Moon is somewhat torn between an overt hot ambition, particularly for popularity, achievement, and sensual pleasure, shown by the advancing Mars in the 11th and in the sign of Venus, and the weight of obstruction from Saturn with obligation, restrictions, and responsibilities.  The Moon, Mars, and Saturn are in some of the most benefic places in the chart though, the 11th and 5th, but we expect difficulties in mental extremes between surge and weight on a subconscious level, with a very open reactive choleric temperament of great restlessness.  Most problematic from the influence of the malefics may be matters of friends, children, romance, and personal leisure.

Conclusion: Mercury plays a huge role in characterizing Ted Turner as someone constantly involved in media, analysis, and business.  The role of Jupiter is also very strong, but both are also characterized across particularly choleric dimensions.  We expect someone who is fast-thinking and busy, curious, mischievous, and aggressively ambitious, particularly when it comes to opinions, commerce, and technology.  We expect and over-arching benefic sense to the personality of wanting to do good, help out, and expose truth, due to the important identification with JupiterThe combination of Jupiter and Mercury makes for a very gregarious and humorous personality overall, a mix of the sanguine and the choleric. Tendency to domineering speech through Mars overcoming Mercury and the sheer prominence of Mercury, but as it’s in a mutable sign ruled by a cadent retreating planet, there may be a tendency for more chatter than substance.