Astrology of Profession or Calling | 4. Jimi Hendrix

Today is the birthday of Mr. John Allen Hendrix, aka Jimi Hendrix.  I’m a big fan, particularly of his final album, Electric Ladyland.  I’ll be doing the normal very brief profession analysis below, and I’ll also add a couple notes about character in the concluding synthesis.

Profession or Calling

Here, I apply a special technique for delineating profession, or perhaps more accurately, skills development, which originated in the Hellenistic period of astrology with developments, modifications, and interpretation by many various Hellenistic and Persian astrologers.  The reader is referred to the brief outline of the technique which can be found here, “Astrology of Profession or Calling | 1. Technique“, in order to better understand my delineation process and the general significance I assign to the various planets.

Jimi Hendrix

A brief biography for Jimi Hendrix can be found on Wikipedia, and his chart is given a Rodden Rating of AA for accuracy on Astro-Databank. His chart is pictured below (CTRL+click to open an expanded version in a new tab).

Jimi Hendrix's Natal Chart
Jimi Hendrix’s Natal Chart

Jimi Hendrix Occupation Analysis in Brief

First, identify the planets with some pertinence to “actions”:

  1. MC: There is no planet strongly advancing toward the MC.
  2. Places: Venus, the Sun, and Mercury are in the 1st, and Saturn is in the 7th.  The Moon and Jupiter are less relevant in the 8th.
  3. Rulership: Mercury rules the 10th and is in the 1st.  Venus rules the sign and bound of the MC, and is the 1st triplicity ruler of the 10th, and is in the 1st.
  4. Phasis and the Lights: No planets in phasis.  Mercury and Venus are assembled with the Sun.  Jupiter is assembled with the Moon.  The Moon is separating from Jupiter and applying to Mercury.

“Testimony” Conclusion: Mercury and Venus have the most relevance to actions, and are together so are particularly important in terms of combined signification. The Moon, the Sun, and Jupiter has some lesser relevance.

Secondly, identify the planets that are strongest in a general way in the chart, as they push their natural significations onto the life in a strong way:

  1. Advancing/Retreating: There are no planets strongly advancing, however, Jupiter and the Moon are advancing with the greatest strength.  Mars is advancing to a lesser extent and the rest of the planets are retreating.
  2. Relationships to Lights: No planets in phasis.  Mercury and Venus are assembled with the Sun.  Jupiter is assembled with the Moon. The Moon is separating from Jupiter and applying to Mercury.
  3. Stationing: No planetary stations.

“Strength” Conclusion: Jupiter is the strongest planet.  The Moon is also very strong.  Mercury and Venus are of about equal strength, being prominent in characterizing the individual and career due to position in the 1st and pertinence to the 10th and the Lights.

Synthesis of Occupation for Jimi Hendrix

As in Trent Reznor’s chart, we see that Mercury and Venus pertain most strongly to development along the lines of profession, and they are strongly tied together.  As mentioned in that post, this combines the intricacy, intellect, and wind/verbalization features of Mercury with the artistry of Venus.  It is common for music, a profession pertaining to artistry in sound waves (wind), but particularly with singing (air, verbalization), as well as composition/arrangement of songs (as well as production – basically the thought-oriented and engineering aspects of things).

In relation to Venus as significator of mastery, al-Qabisi noted, “And she signifies the mastery of all sounds, like music and the rest” (Dykes, 2010, p. 254).  In discussion of Venus with Mercury as significators of mastery, al-Qabisi noted, “And if Mercury is complected to her, it signifies the sound which is used in the composition of verses” (Dykes, 2010, p. 255).

Modern Day Apollo

Venus and Mercury are on either sides of the Sun, both conjunct the Sun within 3 degrees and under its beams.  When it comes to music, the Sun is most associated with stringed instruments, as the Sun god Apollo’s most prominent symbol is the lyre.  Here we find a symbolism of Mercury and Venus, intellect, verbalization, beauty, and artistry, joined with and outshone by the powerful dynamic Sun god and his lyre.  In discussion of Venus with the Sun as significators of mastery, al-Qabisi noted, “And if the Sun is complected to her, it signifies the sound of wood [Dykes footnote: “Ar.: ‘the lute.'”] by which one plays in the presence of kings and nobles” (Dykes, 2010, p. 255).

Jupiter and Character

Interestingly, this cluster of Venus, Mercury, and the publicizing Sun, in the 1st House of the self, are in the sign and bound of Jupiter, which is possibly the strongest planet in the chart overall in a general way.  Jupiter is also the planet most relevant to character as: 1. It rules the 1st (Lords of the 1st are commonly used for character as ruler of the 1st of self, for instance by Masha-allah and Abu’Ali al-Khayyat); 2. It’s the ruler and bound ruler of Mercury (Mercury and its Lords are used for character by Masha’allah, Abu’Ali al-Khayyat, among others, and Mercury signifies the rational mind to Ptolemy).  3. Jupiter is the ruler and bound ruler of the sect light, the Sun (the sect light has a prominent powerful influence in the life, particularly when in a personal place like the 1st, and is colored by rulers, including the bound ruler).  4. It’s assembled with, and the exaltation ruler, of the Moon (the Moon signifies the irrational mind and the body to Ptolemy).  5. It’s generally a strong and pervasive planet, being advancing more than any other planet and being conjunct the Moon, and in Jupiter’s own exaltation and bound (many approaches to character, including that of Abu Bakr, tend to put a stress on the impact of prominent planets on character).  We actually have an adjective in English to best describe the character of a Jupiterian person; “jovial”, which literally means, “of Jupiter”, and denotes one who is jolly and cheerful.  Jupiter tends to pertain strongly to spiritual faith and experiences that step out of the bounds of reason and law, such as expansive spiritual experience (including from psychedelic drugs), as well as synchronicity and luck that often defies logical explanation.

As to Jupiter as ruler of the chart, being the primary indicator of character, Julius Firmicus Maternus (4th Century CE) noted (Bram, 1972, p. 139):

9. JUPITER. Those who have Jupiter as ruler of the chart are always trustworthy, of high spirit, and are impelled toward great deeds.  They spend more than their resources or their inheritance allows.  Commanding in all their acts, noble, famous, honorable, lovers of luxury, cheerful, desiring to please in every way, large eaters, faithful friends, they are simple and friendly to all; successful and accustomed to do everything well.

10. Their body is of middle size but well-formed, handsome, and they are light-complexioned.  Of beautiful eyes and head, with long flowing hair; firm of step.  Their life will be glorious and filled with good fortune and they attain their desires.  Their activities turn out well, and they are protected by the influence of great men […] Their illnesses come from stomach trouble, from wine and from indigestion; death comes from high living, hemorrhoids, or sexual intercourse.

References

Ma’shar, A., & Al-Qabisi. (2010). Introductions to Traditional Astrology. (B. N. Dykes, Trans.). Minneapolis, MN: The Cazimi Press.

Maternus, J. F. (1972). Mathesis: A fourth-century astrological treatise. (J. R. Bram, Trans.). NY, NY: New York University.

Credit for Featured Image:
Jimi Hendrix – One by MadeInKobaia, retrieved from MadeInKobaia’s DeviantArt page.

Solar Eclipse Nov. 25, 2011 in Astrological Images

Nov. 25, 2011 Eclipse
Eclipse from NZ. Credit: Mike Nicholson Source: SpaceWeather.com

Sorry, I won’t be offering any interpretation or predictions. :-)  Just some images and notes.

There was a partial solar eclipse last night.  It was visible across Antarctica, and in New Zealand near sunset.  More about the visibility and astronomy of the eclipse can be found on Wikipedia.

Chart from D.C.

November 2011 Solar Eclipse DC (ctrl+click to enlarge)

Eclipse is in the sign and bound of Jupiter, at night, with Jupiter as first triplicity ruler of the eclipse.  Mercury and Venus in the sign of the eclipse.  In DC, Mars is in the 1st, rules the bound of the Ascendant, is the participating triplicity ruler of the 1st, has the Moon applying to it, is in sect, in a good place, and overcome by Jupiter by trine.  Mars also rules the bound of the MC.  Mercury is domicile and exaltation lord of the 1st, scrutinizes the Ascendant, is in the 4th, is in phasis, conjunct the IC, in 2nd station (just stationed retrograde), in its own term, in sect, assembled with Venus and the eclipse (Sun and Moon), dominated by Mars, and overcome by Saturn.  Mercury also rules the 10th and is the 1st triplicity ruler of the 10th.

Eclipse Path Map

November 2011 Solar Eclipse Map
November 2011 Solar Eclipse Path Map

 

 

Astrology with Free Software | 1. Best Options

Free stuff for the astrologer!  In this post I discuss good free software resources.

You don’t need expensive astrology software to do great astrology.  In fact, astrology programs are often loaded with various interpretive modules and poor out-of-the-box settings that they often make it harder to think for yourself, turning the program into a very bad “astrologer”, rather than a tool to make things easier.  Some of this is inescapable when using any software program for astrology, free or not, and there are those rare individuals that draw their own charts.  However, I’ve drawn my own charts before, and I find the practice to be very time consuming, and not particularly helpful to the process of understanding the chart, contrary to the claims of some that advocate it.  Therefore, I think that charting should be done with software, but that it should be free software whenever possible, and it is even better if open-source, because then it can be more freely modified to fit the needs of particular astrological practices.

Morinus

I particularly advocate the use of Morinus, a free open-source astrology program with a plethora of settings, the ability to do accurate primary directions, and a traditional version that cuts out some of the clutter.  It is written in Python, which is itself a very popular open-source programming language, so powerful and intuitive that it is the programming language used by NASA, CERN, Google, Yahoo!, and other big names.  Nearly always, the charts on my blog will be from Morinus.  There is a slight learning curve with initial chart entry, compared with other programs that have better built-in atlases, but I addressed installation and chart entry in a past post, which I urge the reader to check out.

Astro-Databank

Additionally, I advocate the use of Astro-Databank for researching celebrity chart data.  However, on Astro-Databank, be careful of using anything that doesn’t have a Rodden Rating of A or AA (at least B), and even then understand that the ratings are a bit subjective, so check the source notes.  For instance, James Randi’s birth data came from James Randi who was quoting his birth certificate but is given a C, because the people writing the entry just don’t want to believe him.  Another example, David Bowie’s mother and ex-wife give 9:00am as a birth time, and one other source gives 9:30am, yet the chart on Astro-Databank shows 9:15am, which is not given by any source, and still an A rating is given.  In another astrology program that I have which I purchased long ago, and which had the Astro-Databank already pre-installed in the software’s database, it gives 9:00am for Bowie, suggesting that someone later switched the time to 9:15am (a time with no source).  In my opinion, Bowie is most likely 9am, with an A rating because it’s from 2 reliable sources.  The 9am time would also put Venus conjunct Bowie’s MC, making good sense as a professional indicator.  So, I advocate the use of Astro-Databank, but I caution against uncritically taking the rating and chart data at face value without reviewing source notes.  In the next post in this series, I will show how to use Astr0-Databank as an aid for building up a chart database in Morinus.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab’s HORIZONS Interface

The HORIZONS web-interface is a generous offering by NASA.  This is a great resource for generating ephemerides.  It is of particular value to astrologers who use asteroids, but of less value to traditional astrologers.  The reason it is so great for asteroid astrologers is that pretty much every asteroid with an identifying number and/or name can be found, as well as it’s orbital dynamics, and the ability to generate ephemeride tables.  Astrologers are particularly interested in the current position and the position when making a station of a planet or celestial body makes, so be sure to change the “Table Settings” in order to be sure that #31 is checked, so that the table gives the Observational Ecliptic Longitude and Latitude of the planet.  The observational ecliptic longitude is the position in the zodiac, so a position of 270.5* is 270 degrees past 0 Aries, which is 270/30 signs into the zodiac, or has exactly traversed 9 signs already (1. Aries, 2. Taurus, 3. Gemini, 4. Cancer, 5. Leo, 6. Virgo, 7. Libra, 8. Scorpio, 9. Sagittarius), so it is at 0 degrees Capricorn, plus 1/2 a degree, or 0*30′ Capricorn.  I won’t be working with this interface much on this site, but it can be very fun, particularly for those that work with asteroid.

As an exercise, try to find where asteroid Linux is today (9* Capricorn), and try to find the degree of its last 1st (i.e. direct) station by changing the time settings to encompass a much larger past period and finding the day when longitude switches from descending to ascending (July 21, 2011 at 4* Sagittarius).  One day when I spent hours installing Linux operating systems on about a half dozen computers for friends and family, I got a real kick finding out that asteroid Linux was conjunct my MC within a degree the whole day.  Now go find out where asteroid 911 Agamemnon was on 9/11/2001.  And where was the Sun on that day?  Yes, there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your traditional astrology – but you’ll find the traditional astrology (at least the Hellenistic and Persian varieties) most useful – trust me on this!

Astro.com

In addition to offering some of the worst new age chart interpretation packages available, Astro.com also offers a very cool online chart calculator and drawer, and the ability to store a short database of chart on their website for easy retrieval from anywhere with internet access.  I’ll address this at greater length in a future post on calculating and storing charts with their online software. Another awesome resource on their site is the section with free ephemerides for 6,000 years.  Every astrologer should print (or even buy) an ephemeris, because it makes it easy to scan and track the planets, observing when stations, eclipses, important aspects, and other such stuff occurs.  Astro.com is also the host for the Astro-Databank, so their contribution to providing free astrological resources to astrologers is a great one, for which I’m very thankful, even though I make fun of the computer-generated readings they sell which help fund their site.

Others

Those above are just my most highly recommended free charting resources.  There are many additional free resources out there for astrologers.  The comments area is a great place to help draw awareness to other free resources that are out there.  Thanks!

Astrology of Profession or Calling | 3. Steve Jobs & Bill Gates

Technologists, businessmen, and scholars all share a strong emphasis upon Mercury, planet of intellect, reason, wind. speech, and symbol. We often see a lot of overlap between academic prowess, technological proficiency, and financial acumen (though not always).  For instance, the founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin were scholars of technology, turned business leaders.

Here, I apply a special technique for delineating profession, or perhaps more accurately, skills development, which originated in the Hellenistic period of astrology with developments, modifications, and interpretation by many various Hellenistic and Persian astrologers.  The reader is referred to the brief outline of the technique which can be found here, “Astrology of Profession or Calling | 1. Technique“, in order to better understand my delineation process and the general significance I assign to the various planets.

Steve Jobs

A brief biography for Steve Jobs can be found on Wikipedia, and his chart is given a Rodden Rating of AA for accuracy on Astro-Databank. His chart is pictured below (CTRL+click to open an expanded version in a new tab).

Natal Chart - Steve Jobs
Natal Chart – Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs Occupation Analysis in Brief

First, identify the planets with some pertinence to “actions”:

  1. MC: There is no planet strongly advancing toward the MC.
  2. Places: The Sun is the only planet in a “stake” being in the 7th.  Mercury is in the 6th.  Then we have Jupiter and Venus in the 11th and 5th respectively.  Less pertinent are the Moon and Mars in the 8th.
  3. Rulership: Mercury is ruler of both the 10th and the 1st, and is the 1st triplicity ruler of the 10th, and exalted ruler of the 1st.  Mars is bound ruler of both the Ascendant and MC, while the other planets have less relevance as they all have triplicity in either the 1st or 10th, but not both.
  4. Phasis and the Lights: Mercury is in phasis, coming out from the beams less than a week before birth.  Mercury is the planet receiving the next application of the Moon.  Mars is assembled with the Moon.

“Testimony” Conclusion: Mercury has the most relevance to actions. Of the three “actions” planets, Mars is next most significant.  The Sun is very significant.  The Venus, Jupiter, and the Moon are significant to a lesser degree.

Note:  Venus has the closest aspect to the Ascendant, scrutinizing it (within 3 degrees), and by trine.  We’ll see in a future post, that if a planet is scrutinizing the Ascendant (there are 3 in this case – we take the one with square, then trine, then sextile in order of importance) then it will in fact impact skills development, and so our criteria in the technique will have to be modified.  I’ll illustrate this with the charts of Bjork and some other figures.  My own chart also seems to have Jupiter with little to no relevance to skill development, but Jupiter is the only planet in my chart that scrutinizes my Ascendant, and its by trine.  I’ll address this further in a future post in which we’ll modify the criteria to include scrutinization (i.e. aspect within 3 degrees) of the Ascendant by a planet.  Suffice it to say for now that Venus should probably be considered more important or at least as important as Mars in terms of relevance to profession in Steve Jobs’ chart (but still much less relevant than Mercury).

Secondly, identify the planets that are strongest in a general way in the chart, as they push their natural significations onto the life in a strong way:

  1. Advancing/Retreating: The Moon is just about strongly advancing, while Jupiter and Venus are also advancing pretty forcefully.  Mars is also advancing, while Mercury is just barely advancing.
  2. Relationships to Lights: Mercury is in phasis and is being applied to by the Moon.  Mars is assembled with the Moon.  Jupiter and Venus regard both Lights.
  3. Stationing: Mercury is very strong, as it is stationing direct within 24 hours of birth.

“Strength” Conclusion: Mercury is the strongest planet.  Mercury is stationing direct, in phasis, and is advancing.  The Moon is also very strong, while Jupiter and Venus are to a lesser extent.

Synthesis of Occupation for Steve Jobs

Mercury both has the greatest testimony in matters of occupation and is the strongest planet of the chart in a general way.  Intellectual type of development is most relevant to the occupation, such as in business and technology.  An element of publicization (the Sun) is also extremely relevant to the profession, and there is additionally pretty relevant development in terms of aesthetics (Venus), competitiveness and public affairs (Mars), and particular natural human-ness or sense of subjective experience (the Moon – such as accommodation of natural human physical or emotional needs for comfort).  To keep things brief, I’ll only explore one of these planets, Mercury, and let the reader have fun with further delineation.

Mercury: Mercury is in an Air sign, pertaining to more human, social, and ephemeral phenomena, like ideas, trends, news, education, and technology.  Mercury is in a sign of Saturn and is dominated by Saturn (right-side square), while Saturn is the out of sect malefic, so there was many negative associations with Mercury in terms of struggle, death, loss, oppression, and so forth, and Mercury is in the 6th of slaves (more modern definition: employees) and health issues, both of which were critical sore areas in Jobs’ life.  Saturn pertains to solidity, industry, and management, while it is in the 3rd which pertains to communication and transportation.  Mercury’s natural significance in terms of communications is increased and there is an increased association with business management and working with solid resources such as hardware.

Bill Gates

A brief biography for Bill Gates can be found on Wikipedia, and his chart is given a Rodden Rating of A for accuracy on Astro-Databank. His chart is pictured below (CTRL+click to open an expanded version in a new tab).

Natal Chart - Bill Gates
Natal Chart – Bill Gates

Bill Gates Occupation Analysis in Brief

First, identify the planets with some pertinence to “actions”:

  1. MC: The Moon is strongly advancing towards the MC.
  2. Places: The Moon is in the 10th, while Mars and Mercury are in a “stake” (the 4th).  Jupiter is in the 2nd.  The Sun, Venus, and Saturn are less relevant, being in the 5th.
  3. Rulership: The ruler of the 10th is Mars, while the Moon rules the 1st.  Mars and Jupiter have dignity in both places, but Jupiter more so.
  4. Phasis and the Lights: Mercury is in phasis, coming out from the beams just under a week before birth.  Mars is the planet receiving the next application of the Moon.  Venus and Saturn are also in phasis and assembled with the Sun.

“Testimony” Conclusion: Mars, the Moon, and Jupiter have the most relevance to actions. Of the three “actions” planets, Mars is the most significant, followed by Mercury.

Secondly, identify the planets that are strongest in a general way in the chart, as they push their natural significations onto the life in a strong way:

  1. Advancing/Retreating: The Moon, Mars, and Mercury are strongly advancing.  All other planets in the chart are advancing to a lesser extent.
  2. Relationships to Lights: Mercury, Venus, and Saturn are in phasis.  The Moon applies to Mars.  Venus and Saturn are assembled with the Sun.  Jupiter regards both lights, and is in the home of the Sun.
  3. Stationing: Mercury is stationing direct.

“Strength” Conclusion: Mercury is the strongest planet.  Mercury is stationing direct, in phasis, and is very strongly advancing.  Mars and the Moon are very strong in the chart.

Synthesis of Occupation for Bill Gates

Mars has the greatest testimony in terms of occupation, while Mercury is stronger in the chart overall due to being in phasis, stationing direct, in a “stake” of the chart, and strongly advancing, all at the same.  Jupiter in the 2nd of wealth and possessions, as well as strong, is probably connected in some part to both Bill’s immense financial acumen and development of philanthropic pursuits as a vocation.  He is currently working full-time with his philanthropic organization, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  The prominence of the Moon is very interesting, though Gates, like Jobs, worked primarily in adapting technology to natural human experience, more than more straight-forward technological innovation.  The strength of the Moon and Mercury, and the strong connection of the Moon with the 1st, give strong indications of his mental acuity (the Moon and Mercury were the two most important planets for mind or soul in Ptolemy’s astrology – the Moon also pertains strongly to the brain, memory, and intuition).

Mercury: As with Jobs, Mercury is in an Air sign, pertaining to more human, social, and ephemeral phenomena, like ideas, trends, news, education, and technology.  Mercury is in a sign of Venus and is assembled with Mars.  We might expect Mercury to pertain to design (Venus) and the military or domestic public affairs to some extent (Mars). In other words, we see a greater emphasis on involvement in meeting the demands of competitive business, military, and public affairs in this Mercury placement, and less on physical materials, than we do with the Mercury of Steve Jobs.

Mars: Gates was able to secure great success for his company through aggressive strategizing that went over into even unethical means of locking out competition, bringing on multiple controversial anti-trust suits.  His management style was also known to be particularly harsh and abrasive.   Mars is in Libra with Mercury, so many of the same associations with Mercury apply to Mars and they work together.  He participated in the congressional Page program at age 17, so his involvement in public affairs came early and has persisted in his life.  In whole, his career has been centrally about beating competition and coming out ahead in power struggles, to the point that he was even the wealthiest person in the world for 14 years, and has persisted as one of the most powerful.  This technique with the chart of Bill Gates shows similar results as those for many very high-climbing politicians and industry leaders, that for very socially mobile people, Mars does not show “brawn” so much as a development of competitiveness, strategy, and the desire to make a powerful impact in the lives of others.

Astrology of Religion, Atheism, and Belief | 9. Bill Maher

The ingredients for this type of analysis can be found in the first post of the series, which you can view here, and were reviewed with additional comments a couple posts back, which you can view here.

Bill Maher

Comedian and talk-show host Bill Maher is a very vocal critic of religion and frequent supporter and publicizer of the “new atheist” movement, serving on the advisory board of Sam Harris’ Project Reason, creating a film spoofing religious belief, winning the Richard Dawkins award from Atheist Alliance International, and frequently featuring new atheist figures on his shows.  Rather inaccurately, he self-describes as an apatheist, though he has shown great interest in religious belief, attacking it often, and promoting atheist causes.  You can read Maher’s biography on Wikipedia by clicking here.  His natal chart is below, and has a Rodden Rating of AA.

Bill Maher's Natal Chart
Bill Maher’s Natal Chart

Bill Maher’s Chart Analyzed in Brief

  • Jupiter:
  • Not strong, not weak – Jupiter is just barely advancing, and so is not very strengthened by advancing.  It does not have any other major strengthening or weakening conditions.  Retrogradation may be mildly weakening to Jupiter.
  • Mixed, somewhat benefic – Jupiter is naturally benefic and is in the 11th (its Joy), but Jupiter is also out of sect, and struck by the rays of Saturn (Jupiter is square Saturn within 3 degrees – actually within 1 degree – and in such a case the overcome planet strikes the planet behind it with rays and afflicts it.  This is part of the Hellenistic aspect doctrine, and the way I imagine it, it’s as if the dominant planet can see the other one better and take some control over it, sort of like with a panopticon, but the dominated planet has a straight enough shot to chuck something in the dominating planet’s eyes.)  So Saturn hits Jupiter hard with its significations.  On a more minor level Jupiter is in the term of Mars and is opposed by the Sun and Mercury.  Overall, Jupiter is benefic though.
  • Jupiter is one of the weaker planets in the chart, though not as weak as Venus, and arguably about equal in strength to Mars and Saturn (though I would consider Saturn, being exalted ruler of the Ascendant, to be stronger than Jupiter; also Venus is ruler of the Ascendant so there is a case for Jupiter as weakest planet, but it’s not clear-cut).  We can expect some spiritually expansive experiences because Jupiter is not very weak and is somewhat benefic, though Maher seems to have chalked these up to his drug experiences on his show, and in any case, Jupiter is struck very strongly by Saturn, planet of doubt. Jupiter does not have a prominent and pervasive effect on the life, but should bring great fortune in terms of 11th place matters of friends and networking. 
  • 9th Place:  
  • Moderately strong, primarily Mercurial and Saturnine  – The 9th, Gemini, is empty, and is ruled by Mercury, planet of reason, intellect, and communication.  Mercury itself is moderately strong, being in phasis, but also weakened from stationing retrograde about 2-3 days before birth.  The 9th is overall quite Mercurial from Mercury ruling, overcoming it by trine, and being the 1st triplicity ruler of Air signs by night.  Saturn and Mars also have a strong effect on the 9th by opposing it from the 3rd, though Saturn has the strong effect, as Saturn is a triplicity ruler of Air, and is a bit stronger than Mars (Saturn also rules the Sun and Mercury, is exalted ruler of the Ascendant, and is in a partile sextile with the Sun).  Venus dominates the 9th (right-side square), but her influence does not seem as strong as that of Mercury nor Saturn, as she is rather weak and has no rulership of the 9th.
  • Mixed, somewhat malefic – Mercury rules the 9th and is overall benefic in the chart, being in sect, and in the very good 5th (of creative performance) though is heavily influenced by Mars and Saturn which overcome Mercury by sextile (perhaps hinting at how Maher’s mercurial performance can be controversially dark, skeptical, and even aggressive, but with some degree of working well or harmoniously for him, as shown with the sextile – Mercury is friendly with Mars and Saturn, though they rub off on Mercury because of their more influential position in the friendship – overcoming – and so Mercury takes on some of the same inclinations).  However, the 9th is made more malefic than benefic by having both malefic opposed to the place (i.e. in the 3rd).
  • Matters of belief-systems and searching for some greater truth have moderate prominence in the life, but are not as prominent as in most of the charts of vocal atheists we’ve seen.  His beliefs tend to be heavily influenced by rationality and intellectualism (Mercury rulership), doubt/skepticism and contentiousness (Saturn and Mars opposition), and also sensual pleasure (Venus domination).
  •  Saturn:
  • Somewhat weak – Saturn is not very strong in the chart, as it is cadent, and just barely advancing.  While Saturn has a strong effect on the 9th, and upon the Sun and Mercury, it doesn’t have a strong effect on the life overall.  So overall the life is not marked strongly by doubt, loss, dreariness, darkness, and negativity as it is in the charts of many atheists.
  • Malefic – Saturn is naturally a mafefic, and here is out of sect, not in a good place (nor in a bad one), and is assembled with Mars.  Jupiter overcomes by trine, but the aspect is actually a scrutinizing square because it is within 3 degrees as such.  Jupiter is expected to ease up some of Saturn’s significations though, but overall Saturn is still quite malefic in the chart, and is the significator of the most difficult challenges in his life.
  • As noted, Saturn does not have a very strong and pervasive influence over Maher’s life.  Saturn does have a strong impact on the belief system, and there is a self-identification with Saturn (exalted ruler and a triplicity ruler of the 1st, while also regarding the 1st), but we don’t expect Saturn encroaching strongly on many areas of Maher’s life.  Saturn is very destructively inclined, signifying the more difficult matters in life, rather than simply discipline and duty or something like that.  In fact, discipline, duty, mortality, and authorities have very negative associates attached to them.
  • Mercury:  
  • Moderately strong – Mercury is advancing, and is in phasis, but stationed retrograde 2-3 days before birth.  The Lights are very prominent in Maher’s chart, but Mercury is at least the strongest planet other than the Lights (the Lights are naturally strong).  Mercury is in the 5th place of creative performance (the Joy of Venus) and with the publicizing Sun, in an idea-oriented Air sign (and one of the “human” signs).
  • Overall benefic – To reiterate: Mercury is overall benefic in the chart, being in sect, and in the very good 5th (of creative performance) though is heavily influenced by Mars and Saturn which overcome Mercury by sextile.  We expect some of the greatest fortune in the life to be associated with Mercury, even though the styling is influenced by the malefics.
  • There is a strong identification with Mercury, as Mercury is strongly connected to the Ascendant.  For instance, Mercury is the 1st triplicity ruler of Air signs, the term/bound ruler of the Ascendant, and regards the Ascendant by trine.  The domicile ruler of the 1st, Venus, does not regard the Ascendant.  There is also something of an identification with Saturn, the exaltation ruler, and another triplicity ruler, of the Ascendant.  There is not a strong identification with Jupiter.  Mercury does have a prominent and pervasive influence upon the life, and has a particularly strong influence on the 9th of belief, which it rules.

With Bill Maher, we see a lot of similarities, and some differences with the charts of other outspoken atheists and skeptics.  For instance, Maher does not have a Saturn that is much stronger than Jupiter, but he does have a Jupiter which is most strongly linked to the out of sect malefic, a 9th place characterized by Mercury and the malefics, and a strong identification with Mercury and Saturn, with Mercury quite strong.

Astrology of Profession or Calling | 2. Trent Reznor

In the first post of this series, I explained an ancient technique for finding the significator of the profession in the astrological chart. In this and subsequent posts, I will apply the technique, so please first get acquainted with the technique by reading the initial article.

Trent Reznor

Trent Reznor is a musician, primarily involved with vocals and electronic composition.  Lately, he has been involved with big Hollywood soundtracks, including that for “The Social Network” and the soon-to-premier “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”.

A brief biography for Trent Reznor can be found on Wikipedia, and his chart is given a Rodden Rating of A on Astro-Databank (though their biography of him has some factual inaccuracies).  His chart is pictured below (CTRL+click to open an expanded version in a new tab).

Reznor's Natal Chart
Reznor’s Natal Chart

As an artist, we can expect Venus to play a major role in matters of profession.  Vocals, as well as composition, are areas of music particularly pertinent to Mercury due to Mercury’s associations to verbalizing and intellectualism, respectively.  His particular style is characteristically dark, with strong themes of pain, oppression, death, and control – things typical of the domain of Saturn.

I will be attempting a very consistent and coherent analysis of indications of profession and skill-development in Trent’s chart, so I urge the reader to refer to my post on the technique itself, to get a better idea of what is going on in the analysis.  To briefly recap, the technique involves finding planets with more pertinence or “testimony” regarding “actions”, which involves the MC, 10th place, and the Lights, and then also looking at general indications of planetary strength, and combining these.  The factors and basics are from Hellenistic and Persian astrology.  I am willing to answer any questions as to the origin of any particular aspect of my technique in terms of Hellenistic and Persian texts.

Reznor Occupation Analysis in Brief

First, identify the planets with some pertinence to “actions”:

  1. MC: There is no planet strongly advancing toward the MC.
  2. Places: No planets in the “stakes”.  In terms of the 2nd and 6th, Venus and Jupiter are most pertinent, as they’re in the 6th.  To a lesser extent Mercury and the Sun are relevant by this factor because they are in the succedent 5th.
  3. Rulership: The ruler of the 10th place is Venus, which is also a triplicity ruler of the Ascendant.  The only planet with a stronger relationship to both the 1st and 10th is Saturn.  Jupiter is the bound ruler of the Ascendant (and Mars is the bound ruler of the MC).  Mercury does not have rulership at the Ascendant but is the first triplicity lord of the 10th.
  4. Phasis and the Lights: No planets are in phasis, though Venus is nearly so, as she is moving out from the beams.  Mars is the bound ruler of the sect light.

“Testimony” Conclusion: Venus has the most relevance to actions. Of the three “actions” planets, Mercury is next most significant.  Jupiter, the Sun, and Saturn may have lesser relevance.

Secondly, identify the planets that are strongest in a general way in the chart, as they push their natural significations onto the life in a strong way:

  1. Advancing/Retreating: Mercury is conjunct an angle within 3*, so I consider it advancing in the strongest sense.  All of the planets aside from the Moon are advancing in the chart (and there are no planets in the “stakes” of the chart, which is also very important for strength, while covered in the first step).  All planets, other than the Moon, are advancing, but the Sun more strongly than the others (besides Mercury).
  2. Relationships to Lights: There are no planets in phasis (though Venus is nearly so and moving out from the beams).  The Moon is applying to Mercury and had separated from Saturn.  Mercury is assembled with the Sun.    Saturn and Mars are the only planets regarded by both Lights.
  3. Stationing: No stations.

“Strength” Conclusion: Mercury is the strongest planet.  The Sun and Saturn also have some prominence in this manner.

Synthesis

Venus is the planet with the most testimony regarding this matter but Mercury is the strongest planet of the chart and has some testimony with regards to actions.  Therefore, we take both Mercury and Venus.  Venus is viewed more in terms of the types of actions the native would like to be involved in as a calling, and Mercury as the type of skill development that tends to dominate and get the most attention.  We expect a desire for artistic work with a strong intellectual component. That Venus is in a house of Mercury (Gemini) and Mercury in a house of Venus (Taurus) further stresses the mutuality of both, rather than them being totally separate skill sets.  In fact, Mercury is in the term of Venus also, and is even in the 5th House, pertaining to creativity, which is the Joy of Venus.  It is as if these planets keep evoking each other and looking for new ways to serve each other.

Venus: Further delineation of Venus finds that she is in the domicile of Mercury.  She is quite fortunate, as she is naturally fortunate (i.e. she’s a benefic), and she’s in sect, assembled with Jupiter while in Jupiter’s term, and regarded by the sect light, the Moon.  However, she is also in the 6th, dominated by Saturn and square to Mars.  The 6th is a bad place considered the place of slaves, accidents, and disease, so that, so there will be negative associations concerning that, as well as violence (Mars, but Venus actually dominates Mars, so she uses Mars more than the other way around and they are of the same sect), but more particularly Venus is colored by Saturn, lord of death, darkness, loss, and oppression.  Therefore, Venus is strongly tied to the sense of faith and spiritual power, shown by the conjunction with Jupiter, while the artistry is characterized by strong intellectual and/or verbal/vocal components and particularly with impact of Saturn (and to a much lesser extent, Mars) on the particular characterization of beauty. While the person likely identifies most strongly with Saturn, there is also a strong identification with Venus, particularly as the sense of higher purpose is concerned.

Mercury: Mercury is in the domicile, term, triplicity, and Joy of Venus.  Matters associated with a Mercury have a strong and pervasive effect on the life, while Mercury is both evocative of Venusian matters and is specifically determined most directly to matters of creative performance (5th place, Joy of Venus).  Mercury is overcome by Saturn by sextile and is assembled with the Sun, so there is both a sense of strong duty and discipline associated with Mercury and of publicity and achievement.

Astrology of Profession or Calling | 1. Technique

Introduction: Actions

Special techniques for the delineation of one’s calling appear early in the Hellenistic tradition.  The Greek word used is “praxis”, which is often translated as actions, though I’ve also seen it translated what one does (e.g. Greenbaum’s translation of Paulus), and the reckoning of the descriptions for varieties of praxis in Greek texts are what we’d call a profession or a calling.

Background

My own strategy for the delineation of the basic nature of one’s profession or calling is best broken down into multiple steps.  I largely follow the special technique developed by Ptolemy, Paulus Alexandrinus, and Rhetorius in my approach to the matter, with a particular emphasis on Paulus and Rhetorius, who actually used the Houses/Places of the chart.  I am far more concerned with accurate use in practice than historical reproductions, so you will find some minor deviations from Paulus and Rhetorius in my technique, much as you see minor differences in the technique as used by Ptolemy, Paulus, Rhetorius, and later Persian authors (let alone later European medieval authors, such as Bonatti, who deviate even further).  As mentioned, I think Paulus and Rhetorius were the best of the Hellenistic astrologers when it came to this technique.

Lords of Actions

For now, I’ll just deal with the most basic aspect of delineating profession, which pertains to identifying the planet or planets that most pertain to the nature of one’s calling. I urge astrologers not to think in terms of there being one and only one true and pure, very specified, calling for each individual human being.  Rather, planets signifying actions will give indications as to where people develop themselves in trying to achieve something or be more.  The 10th place of the chart is the one that pertains most to this reckoning, being the place that dominates the 1st place (i.e. it is in a right-side square to the place representative of the person themselves, like an authoritative influence).  The 1st place will also be very relevant because it pertains to the physical self and affects self-identification.  In addition, the Lights (Sun and Moon), the planets most representative of power, are quite important.

My first step is to identify planets with relevance to actions, second step is to find the strongest planets in the chart, while the third step is to delineate the nature of the profession or calling based on the strongest indications from Mars, Venus, and Mercury from the other two steps.  This is just to assess the basic nature of the profession or calling, according to what I recently saw astrologer Tom Callanan refer to as “brawn” (Mars), “aesthetics” (Venus), or “brains” (Mercury).  These labels for the three main categories are about as succinctly descriptive as you can get.  However, even these descriptions are not without some problems, particularly as concerns Mars.  Mars shows up strongly in the charts of politicians and other leaders.

Actually, all 7 planets are relevant to this matter, and in the exposition of Rhetorius (Holden, 2009, p. 134-145) he does look at all of them and give indications for all of them, but also stresses the importance of Mars, Venus, and Mercury.  It is helpful to think of the reckoning more in terms of skill-development than in terms of finding the category of profession or calling.  For instance, Mercury will show a developmental stress along intellectual lines, whether it is in academic, business, or mystical study, there will be intense mental development.  Venus will show development along aesthetic lines as well as that pertaining to women, attraction, and sexuality, so there is likely to be some sort of artistic discipline, such as playing an instrument or creating art.

Mars does not just show more physical activities, pertaining to things like athleticism, building trades, mechanical work, or dangerous work, but also tends to show development of competitive skills, such as those involved in leadership.  There are other techniques pertaining to eminence or “social-mobility”, so the significations will often depend on that, as very few of the typical Mars professions apply to those of high social standing, which are more likely to channel that development of brawn into political maneuvering and competitive strategy (for instance, nearly all popes have Mars connected with profession). Along this vein, Rhetorius does make a statement connecting the signs of Mars with “weapons or fire or iron or iron-working or public affairs” (Holden, 2009, p. 135).  Similarly, in the commentary on Paulus by Olympiadorus, he associated Mars as professional indicator with the typical building and metal-working type of trades when less authoritative, while with positions of command, especially military ones, like generals and professional soldiers, when more authoritative (Greenbaum, 2001, p. 124). When very malefic, however, Mars can show those who engage in criminal acts for a living.

Jupiter will tend to show development of a quest for truth.  Law may be indicated, but if Jupiter is more prominent then in my experiences there is more development along religious and spiritual lines.  For instance, there may be great study of religious texts and practices, and spiritual matters like divination or astrology.  In either case, there is a sense of a commitment towards the ideal which is being worked upon.

Saturn is associated with land, farmers, sailors, the soil, natural resources, the dead, misery and poverty, as well as discipline, control, and management.  I am not just adding management in there from my own experience, but Rhetorius also associates Saturn in connection with the 10th and actions (when stronger and more benefic) with public service and management (c.f. Greenbaum, 2001).

In my opinion, both the Sun and Moon in relation to profession show prominence, due to the association of the Lights with power.  The Sun is associated with things being more public or publicized, while the Moon is associated with things being more idiosyncratic/original/self-taught, humane, subjective, and/or group-oriented (counseling is something I often see strongly connected to the Moon).

Steps to Reckoning Actions

First, identify the planets with some pertinence to “actions”:

  1. MC: A planet strongly advancing towards the MC (see Advancing/Retreating below) will likely give stronger indications even than a planet in one of the above places, and even if it is not in one of the above places.  This is because the MC itself is the point of culmination, and as such is the point of loftiness.
  2. Places: The planet should be in one of the following places (which include all but the 12th, 9th, or 3rd), in the following order of relative importance:  10th (place of actions), 1st, 7th, or 4th, (i.e. the “stakes” of the 10th), 2nd or 6th (i.e. the trigon/triplicity of the 10th), 11th, 5th, 8th (i.e. succedent places).
  3. Rulership:A planet will be more relevant to the profession if it has some dignity at the 10th place or the Ascendant, but especially the 10th.  If the planet does not have any dignity at either place, consider it much less important.   The domicile ruler of either, and/or a planet with some minor rulership in both places (especially if the term ruler of the Ascendant) is preferred.
  4. Phasis and the Lights: This is reiterated below with strength, but there is a special relevance to actions when a planet is in phasis (particularly, if moving out from the beams rather than in towards them), as well as if the planet is the ruler of the bound of the sect light (and to a lesser extent the other light).  Orientality/occidentality considerations, particularly relative to the Sun, also often show up in the literature, although I don’t stress them here, as I haven’t yet found them to be consistently strong indicators in this matter.

Secondly, identify the planets that are strongest in a general way in the chart, as they push their natural significations onto the life in a strong way:

  1. Advancing/Retreating: Look at the Ascendant, Descendant, MC, and IC. If a planet is more than 1/3 of the distance from one to the next it is “advancing” and strengthened, while if not it is “retreating” and weakened.  The closer the planet gets in its approach to the angle (Asc, MC, Dsc, or IC), the stronger it is in a general way, as if the volume is being turned up on the planet.  By contrast, when a planet passes the angle it is as if the volume quickly turns down on the planet.  A planet that is approaching the angle within about 15 degrees is particularly strong, and should be considered “strongly advancing”.  If a planet is conjunct an angle within about 5 degrees (even if separating, I use about 10 degrees for considering a Light to be conjunct an angle) then that is also extremely strong.  Remember that the planets move clockwise in this regard, rising in the east and setting in the west (i.e. this movement is contrary to the movement through the zodiac, so for instance a planet ten degrees clockwise of the MC would be retreating and weakened, while one ten degrees counter-clockwise of the MC would be strongly advancing).  These points represent where a planet lines up with your specific location, as in your local horizon and meridian.  It is a great metaphor because it really is as if the planet advances towards your world then retreats away from it.
  2. Relationships to Lights: The following relationships to the Sun or Moon will make the planet more relevant to profession: the planet the Moon is separating from or applying to, a planet in phasis, and to a much lesser extent a planet regarded by a Light (more so by trine or sextile, and/or if from the sect light, and/or if closer to exact).   There are other relationships to the lights that are sometimes looked at but I think these are most important.  It is rare, but if a planet is cazimi the Sun it may be extremely strengthened.  By contrast, a planet within 8 degrees of the Sun at birth, which is not in phasis, is likely to be quite weakened.
  3. Stationing: Look 7 days before the birth and 7 days after to check for planetary stations.  This is very important.  A planet stationing direct within about 7 days of the birth will be extremely strengthened.  The closer the station is to the time of birth, the more powerful.  By contrast, a planet that is stationing retrograde is quite weakened, particularly if the station occurs closer to the birth.

Finally, of Mars, Venus, and Mercury combine their relative pertinence to profession from the first step with their relative overall strength or prominence from the second step, and you will find that one planet tends to draw development towards itself more than the others, while the others may or may not also show skill diversity in skill development or other desired callings if they are very pertinent to actions (such as in the actual 10th) or very strong with some pertinence to actions (such as a very strong ruler of the 10th or 1st).  As noted above, the other planets influence profession as well.  In any case, stress should be placed on Mars, Venus, and Mercury – significators of actions because they are swift moving and active.

Note

While this type of special technique shows up very often in Hellenistic and Persian astrology, there were also a large number of special, career-specific indicators.  Maternus, Rhetorius, and many other authors give indications specific to many professions, that are aside from this method.  I find this technique more reliable then most of the more specific indicators given, but still this technique is just a start.

In a sense, what this special technique is attempting to do is to connect together significations of general planetary strength, with significations of strength in relation to actions and achievement (10th/Lights), as well as the self (1st). If you understand the importance of these three matters and how to look at them, then you get the heart of the technique and need not stick to it in a mechanical fashion.  I lay things out in such a fashion to set the rules which I’ll have to stick to with consistency, as I analyze charts in future posts of the series and compare the accuracy of the method with other popular methods often advocated by both traditional and modern astrologers.

 

References

Alexandrinus, P., & Olympiodorus. (2001). Late Classical Astrology: Paulus Alexandrinus and Olypiodorus. (D. G. Greenbaum, Trans.). Reston, VA: Arhat.
Rhetorius of Egypt, & Teucer of Babylon. (2009). Rhetorius the Egyptian. (J. H. Holden, Trans.). Tempe, AZ: American Federation of Astrologers.

Astrology of Religion, Atheism, and Belief | 8. Pope John Paul II

The ingredients and recipes for this type of analysis can be found in the first post of the series, which you can view here, and were reviewed with additional comments in a past post of the series, which you can view here.

Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II was the last pope before the current Pope Benedict XVI.  He was one of the more tolerant and well-liked popes, helping to encourage much interfaith dialog, in pretty sharp contrast to the current pope who has made public derogatory remarks about other religions.  Pope John Paul II also heavily engaged in that other 9th House activity, travel.  You can check out his biography on Wikipedia by clicking here.  His natal chart is below, and has been given a Rodden Rating of A.

Pope John Paul II's Birth Chart
Pope John Paul II’s Birth Chart

Pope John Paul II’s Chart Analyzed in Brief

  • Jupiter:
  • Extremely strong – Jupiter is extremely strong, strongly advancing on the MC.  That Jupiter is overcome by the Moon, dominated by the Sun, and in the domicile of the sect light, The Sun, also confers strength and prominence.
  • Extremely benefic – Jupiter is naturally benefic, and here is in sect, in perhaps the most benefic place, the 11th (the Joy of Jupiter).  Jupiter is also dominated by the benefic Venus, and overcome by the Moon by sextile.
  • Jupiter is one of the strongest planets in the chart, and the most benefic.  Lofty spirituality has a profound influence over the life, and is associated with very fortunate matters.  While Jupiter is only a triplicity ruler of the Ascendant, there is still likely to be a strong identification with Jupiter because Jupiter dominates the Ascendant and has some dignity, while the domicile and exaltation rulers (Venus and Saturn) are both in aversion to (i.e. don’t regard) the Ascendant.  Jupiter, Venus, and Mars, all have a strong effect on the character.
  • 9th Place:  
  • Very strong, Lunar and Mercurial – The 9th, Gemini, is ruled by Mercury.  Most importantly, the Moon is in the 9th, bringing much prominence to matters of the 9th.  The ruler of the 9th, Mercury, is advancing and in phasis, so is very strong also.
  • Quite benefic, some mixed indications – The benefic Moon is in the 9th.  The ruler Mercury is also benefic overall, despite being in a bad place (the 8th), as Mercury is in sect and conjunct Venus (as well as ruled by Venus).  Saturn squares the 9th, so more negative associations can also be present, particularly with Saturn’s activation.
  • Matters of belief are very prominent in the life, and overall associated with fortunate happenings.  The 9th is most directly Lunar (powerfully and vividly subjective, personal, even irrational).  The 9th is also quite Mercurial, and in fact, John Paul II put a strong emphasis on reason during his papacy, and drew on St. Thomas Aquinas in stressing how reason and faith can be mutually supportive of each other.  The Moon is the natural significator of journeys in ancient astrology, and Mercury also pertains to movement, so it is little wonder that with the Moon and Mercury so strongly associated with the 9th, which besides religion also pertains to travel, we saw such a globetrotting pope.
  • Saturn:
  • Mildly strong – Saturn is mildly strong, as it is advancing, though also cadent.  However, Saturn is arguably the weakest planet in the chart, as it is the only cadent planet.
  • Quite mixed, somewhat malefic – Saturn is naturally a malefic so will indeed have some negative significations, particularly as it is in the 12th place.  However, Saturn is in sect and is overcome by trine by Venus, as well as overcome by both Lights, so we can expect things to be quite mixed overall.
  • Saturn’s significations are not nearly so strong as those of Jupiter, nor of most of the other planets in the chart.  However, Saturn does make itself felt, and with mixed results.  Saturn is the exalted ruler of the Ascendant, but we don’t expect as much identification with Saturn because Saturn doesn’t regard the Ascendant.
  • Mercury:  
  • Quite strong – Mercury is advancing, and is in phasis, so Mercury is quite strong.
  • Somewhat benefic – As mentioned, Mercury is overall benefic because it is in sect and assembled with a benefic.  There may be some difficult associations on occasion due to the fact that Mercury occupies the 8th, which is a bad place.
  • There is not a strong identification with Mercury, but there is a little bit of one, as Mercury is a triplicity ruler of the Ascendant and is conjunct the Ascendant Lord, Venus.  Mercury is quite strong, and has mostly benefic associations, so there may be an overall pleasant relationship with rational intellectualism.

In conclusion, Pope John Paul II, like most religious leaders, had an extremely strong Jupiter, an emphasis on 9th house matters, and a relatively out-of-focus Saturn.  Through the Lunar and Mercurial characterization of the 9th, we see the stress on humanity and reason which characterized his particular brand of religion, as well as his propensity for nearly constant travel.

 

 

Featured Image Attribution:

José Cruz/AbrAgência Brasil

Astrology of Religion, Atheism, and Belief | 7. Arthur Schopenhauer

The ingredients and recipes for this type of analysis can be found in the first post of the series, which you can view here, and were reviewed with additional comments a couple posts back, which you can view here.

Arthur Schopenhauer

Schopenhauer’s beliefs were quite complex, and belief certainly played a major role in his life.  You can check out his biography on Wikipedia by clicking here.  His natal chart is below, and has been given a Rodden Rating of AA.  While he was an atheist, he was also heavily influenced by Eastern religious thought.

Schopenhauer's Birth Chart
Schopenhauer’s Birth Chart

Schopenhauer’s Chart Analyzed in Brief

  • Jupiter:
  • Very weak – Jupiter is retreating and cadent, so it is very weak.
  • Mixed, somewhat benefic – Jupiter is naturally benefic, and here is in sect and overcome by Venus by sextile, so Jupiter has some positive significations.  Jupiter is in a bad place (the 12th) and is dominated by Saturn (right-side square) so there are negative significations with Jupiter as well.
  • Jupiter is the weakest planet in the chart, so there is not a pervasive influence of spiritual expansion and positivity in Schopenhauer’s life.  There is some identification with Jupiter as it is the exalted ruler of the Ascendant.  Jupiter overall signifies fortunate matters in the life, but does have negative associations and is dominated by the planet of doubt. 
  • 9th Place:  
  • Very strong and Saturnine, Solar, Mercurial, and Jupiterian  – The 9th, Pisces, is ruled by Jupiter.  However, planets in the place will have a more direct effect on the place’s dealings, while the planet ruling will have a more overall characterization.  The presence of a Light, the Sun, in the 9th (the Joy of the Sun) is enough to make the 9th very strong, and one signification can be in terms of honors and achievement related to matters of belief (religion, philosophy, science).  Saturn and Mercury are also in the 9th, characterizing it as a place of much doubt, skepticism, and intellectualism.  Jupiter rules the 9th, so there is a sense of religion and spirituality influencing the 9th in more of an overall sense.  The 9th is very prominent and very complex.
  • Benefic – While Saturn is in the 9th, it’s in sect, in a good place.  Having the sect light (the Sun) in the 9th, Jupiter ruling the 9th, and both Jupiter and the Moon in stakes of the 9th, makes this place a place of very positive significations in this life.
  • The 9th is a very complex and prominent place in this life and one that is accompanied by overall very fortunate significations in the life.  Doubt (Saturn), Achievement/heroism (Sun), and Intellectualism (Mercury) very directly impact matters of belief in Schpenhauer’s life, but there is an overall influence of religion and spirituality (Jupiter) upon these matters.
  • Saturn:
  • Strong – Saturn is very strong, despite being combust and in a cadent place, because Saturn is not only Strongly Advancing but actually conjunct the MC within 2 degrees.
  • Somewhat benefic – Saturn is naturally a mafefic so will indeed have some negative significations, but Saturn is in sect and in a good place, the 9th, so indeed signified some fortunate matters in Schopenhauer’s life.
  • Saturn is a very prominent and pervasive influence in Schopenhauer’s life, and is particularly strong in relation to belief.  Saturn is made somewhat benefic, so is not necessarily inclined to connect a lot of destructiveness and fear with matters of belief, but will add considerable skepticism and critical thinking (common among scientific seekers of truth, as opposed to religious seekers).  The strength of the 9th and its beneficence shows considerable comfort with matters of belief and attainment of wisdom.
  • Mercury:  
  • Strong – Mercury is strongly advancing, so while combust and in a cadent place, it still is strong overall.
  • Mixed, somewhat malefic – Mercury is somewhat malefic due to being out of sect and assembled with Saturn, but Mercury is in a good place and is naturally neutral, so Mercury’s capacity to signify unfortunate matters is limited.
  • Interestingly there is not a strong identification with Mercury, the planet of intellectualism, though Mercury does have a strong influence upon affairs in the life.  There may even be some degree of negative association with intellectualism due to Mercury’s capacity to signify unpleasant or unfortunate states of affairs.

Schopenhauer is considered to have been an atheist as he was critical of religion and objected to the notion that a god or gods created this world.  However, he was not an outspoken atheist in the sense of actively speaking out against religion and all things supernatural.  Rather, Schopenhauer was strongly influenced by the Upanishads and Buddhism, and was a strongly advocated compassion. The Full Moon in its Joy in the 3rd, also reflects a component of the belief connected with powerful vivid subjective experience.

As typical of those who are skeptically inclined and averse to uncritical and/or jubilant spirituality, he had a very strong Saturn and a Jupiter that was not so prominent (actually, quite weak).  Additionally, his 9th place  and Jupiter were both under the strong influence of Saturn.  Mercury was also quite strong.  However, what made Schopenhauer so complicated on these grounds is that the prominence of the 9th place with all of its pessimism, intellectualism, and achievement, appeared to nevertheless evoke a spiritual purpose and sense of goodness (shown through the ruler Jupiter) which Schopenhauer most likely identified with much more than he did with doubt or intellectualism.

Astrological Sign Classifications | 2. Sect and Sex of the Signs

Manilius and the Three Opinions on Sign Sect

In this installment of this series, I want to just briefly touch on an indication that there was diversity in opinion regarding the classifications of signs into diurnal or day signs and nocturnal or night signs, also known as the classification of the signs by sect.  Interestingly, Marcus Manilius, one of the earliest astrologers of the tradition who composed his Astronomica in the 1st Century CE, noted (in Book II, lines 203-222) a diversity of opinion regarding the sect of the signs and he himself favored a sect classification that is no longer used by traditional astrologers.

Fail not to perceive and from true rule deduce what signs are nocturnal, and what diurnal: they are not those that perform their function in darkness or daylight (the name would apply to all alike, since at regular intervals they shine at every house, and now the nocturnal ones accompany the day, and now the nocturnal ones accompany the night), but those one which nature, mighty parent of the universe, bestowed sacred portions of time in a permanent location.  The signs of the Archer and the fierce Lion, he who looks round on the golden fleece of his back [Aries], then the Fishes and the Crab and the Scorpion of stinging lash, signs either adjacent or spaced at equal intervals, are all under like estate termed diurnal.  The others, identical in number and in the pattern of their spacing, for they are inserted into as many places, are called nocturnal [i.e. there is six of them opposite the six diurnal signs and with the same pattern].  Some have also asserted that the diurnal stations [signs] belong to the six consecutive stars [signs] which begin with the Ram and that the six from the Balance [Libra] count as nocturnal.  There are those that fancy that the masculine signs are diurnal and that the feminine class rejoices in the safe cover of darkness.  (Goold trans., 1977, p. 99-101; bracketed notes added by me)

We find that by the first century CE, already there were three different means of classifying the signs as diurnal or nocturnal, and Manilius appeared to favor the one that didn’t survive at all.  His favored classification is by triplicity, with two triplicities as diurnal (those we associate with Fire and Water, though Manilius does not associate elements with triplicities), and the other two as nocturnal (those we  associate Earth and Air).  The pattern for this scheme which Manilius favors is two adjacent diurnal signs, then two adjacent nocturnal signs, and so forth; an alternation in pairs, from a Pisces-Aries diurnal pair, to a Taurus-Gemini nocturnal pair, and so on.

Marcus Manilius
The Sphere

Sex of the Signs

The sect classification of the signs that came to dominate in Hellenistic astrology and through later strands of the tradition, is that which Manilius mentioned last, in which the masculine signs are diurnal and the feminine signs are nocturnal. All ancient astrologers appear to agree that the masculine and feminine signs alternate through the zodiac; Aries masculine, Taurus feminine, Gemini masculine, and so forth.  A convenient way to remember which signs are masculine and which are feminine, is to know that the Fire and Air triplicities are masculine, as fire and air have a propensity to stir and rise, while the Water and Earth triplicities are feminine, as water and earth have a propensity to fall and settle.

It is most common for ancient astrologers to simply conflate sect and sex.  However, this does create some odd conflicts.  For instance, it was considered beneficial for a planet to be in a sign of the same sex or sect as itself, but Mars being a masculine planet of the nocturnal sect would not have one of its domicile of both its same sex and sect as the other planets do.  However, in the sect arrangement favored by Manilius, the same situation holds for Mars, as both Aries and Scorpio become diurnal signs, but Mars is a nocturnal planet (Corrected 11/21/2011: previously the sentence said that Mars was in sect and sex in Aries, which is not the case, as Aries is diurnal in this arrangement).

Still, I favor the third sect arrangement given by Manilius, in which sect and sex are conflated.  Perhaps Mars is so agitated all the time because he simply cannot achieve full comfort in either of his houses. :-)  My own approach to astrology is not strongly influenced by Manilius, being more influenced by other Hellenistic astrologers and the Persians.  Manilius put a particular emphasis on the signs and actual fixed stars and constellations in his methods, making extensive use of extra-zodiacal constellations, parans, and so forth.  Stargazing traditionalists may want to explore his methods in more depth, as there is much material not found elsewhere.

Northern and Southern Signs

The second classification which Manilius gives has the signs from Aries through Virgo as diurnal and those from Libra through Pisces as nocturnal.  This is logical from the perspective of the tropical zodiac in the northern hemisphere as Aries begins with the Spring Equinox, a moment where the quantity of day increases over the quantity of night, while Libra begins with the Autumnal Equinox, a moment where the quantity of night increases over the quantity of day.  In other words, in this classification, the Sun is in diurnal signs when the length of the day exceeds that of the night, while the opposite is true when the Sun is in nocturnal signs (at least in the northern hemisphere, with the opposite holding in the southern hemisphere).

Equinox Solstice
Equinoxes and Solstices

In Persian medieval astrology this classification is noted, but is referred to as the classification of the signs as Northern or Southern (c.f. al-Qabisi, Dykes trans., 2010, p. 59).  This is because the passing of the Sun into Aries, is also the point when the Sun passes north of the equator of the Earth (i.e. the north pole is inclined toward the Sun), while when the Sun passes into Libra, the Sun goes south of the equator (i.e. the north pole is incline away from the Sun).  Some may not realize that this apparent passing of the Sun north and south of the equator, due to the tilt of the poles relative to the Sun, is what creates the seasons, not an orbital closeness to the Sun.  The Earth is actually closest to the Sun (i.e. at perihelion) around January of each year, during winter in the northern hemisphere.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there were 3 methods of classifying the sect of a sign, and while the method favored by Manilius has all but disappeared, the common method of conflating sign and sex was at least present in some of the earliest strains of the tradition.

 

References

Ma’shar, A., & Al-Qabisi. (2010). Introductions to Traditional Astrology. (B. N. Dykes, Trans.). Minneapolis, MN: The Cazimi Press.
Manilius, M. (1977). Astronomica. (G. P. Goold, Trans.). Cambridge, MA: Loeb Classical Library.