This article continues the series on examining religion, faith, or lack of such in the astrological chart. In the last article, we looked at the chart of atheist and notable skeptic Michael Shermer. In this article, we turn to the chart of the philosopher and esotericist, Rudolf Steiner. The ingredients and recipes for this type of analysis can be found in the first article, on James Randi. The basics were reviewed with additional comments in a few articles back, on Madalyn Murray O’Hair.
Happy precessed solar return to Rudolf Steiner!
In this series, I’ve been alternating between those who are strongly atheist/skeptic and those that are religiously or spiritually devout. Rudolf Steiner is an interesting case of the spiritually devout. He had many profound and guiding spiritual experiences throughout his life. Steiner founded the Anthroposophical Society, an “association of people whose will it is to nurture the life of the soul, both in the individual and in human society, on the basis of a true knowledge of the spiritual world.”.
He was also something of a rationalist, a well-read philosopher seeking a synthesis between science and mysticism. He reminds me somewhat of Leibniz, who combined a profound rational intellect with deep religious convictions, seeking their synthesis in philosophy. Certainly, thinkers like these remind us that spirituality and rationality, while not necessarily conjoined faculties, are not opposed faculties either. This in spite of frequent New Atheist claims to the contrary in our era.
You can read a brief biography of Steiner on Wikipedia by clicking here. His natal chart is below, and has a Rodden Rating of AA. Despite the AA rating, I should note that even the day of Steiner’s birth is not without controversy, so the AA rating should be treated with a little bit of suspicion.
Rudolf Steiner’s Natal Chart
Steiner’s Chart Analyzed in Brief
Jupiter is the strongest planet in Steiner’s chart. Jupiter is culminating in the 10th place, in a sign ruled by a Light, and it is the first triplicity lord of its place. Most importantly, it is actually conjunct an angle (the MC) within 3 degrees. Jupiter is very prominent in the life, being aligned as it is with the meridian through Steiner’s location, in the South, at his birth.
Benefic, somewhat mixed
Jupiter is naturally benefic and is in a good place, the 10th, while very strong. This is a benefic Jupiter overall. Jupiter is out of sect and dominated by Mars (though Mars is in sect). Therefore, while benefic Jupiter can associate with a fair degree of battles, heated situations, and general competitions and contentions.
Notes on Jupiter
Jupiter has an extremely strong and pervasive influence on Steiner’s life. It pertains most directly to the 10th of actions, occupation, and career. Due to its prominence its influence is felt in all areas of life. Jupiter’s expansive, positive, faith-oriented, truth-seeking, and spiritually experiential nature leaves its mark on his life in a big way. Being out of sect and dominated by Mars, Jupiter’s significations are also connected with heated challenge from others at various points in his life.
Very Prominent, Lunar, Saturnine, and Mercurial
The 9th, Cancer, is empty, and is ruled by the Moon, the Light of the nocturnal sect. Generally, the Moon pertains to subjective power, irrationality, instinct, the wild, movement, nurture, and bodies of water. The Moon also regards the 9th place so her influence is strong there. She is with Saturn, adding a sense of fear, control, obligation, and doubt to the significations. The Moon shows an emphasis on the natural and the subjective in the belief system. Her position in the bound of Jupiter, links her to Jupiter’s expansive positivist spirituality. Her house, that of Mercury, links her to rational intellect and communication or teaching. The Moon separates from the Sun and applies to Mercury in his chart. Firmicus associated this configuration (from Sun to Mercury) by night with particularly learned people who publish writings and are concerned with secret wisdom.
Somewhat benefic, mixed
The Moon is very mixed in the chart. She is for the most part a powerful force (the Sect Light), benefic, and in a good place. She is ruled by a Mercury that is itself made benefic by sect, place, and rulership (by Jupiter). So the Moon is primarily benefic. However, her copresence with Saturn, the out of sect malefic, and her being overcome by Mars, both weigh her down and associate her with difficult circumstances and challenges in the life.
Notes on the 9th Place
The Moon’s dominant influence over the 9th adds a particularly idiosyncratic element to the beliefs as well as stress on the role of natural processes, women, nurture, and personal development. The Moon, like Jupiter, has her significations associated with good things in the life, but also attended by difficulty.
Saturn is very strong, as he is strongly advancing in the chart, about 14 degrees from the MC. Saturn has a strong and pervasive influence on the life.
Saturn is quite malefic in the chart. In addition to being naturally malefic, it’s out of sect and overcome by Mars very strongly (applying within a degree). Saturn will tend to destroy, nullify, and challenge. However, it is at least in a very good place, the 11th. There it most directly influences friends and social circles. Saturn’s malefic tendencies are also tempered somewhat by its copresence with the very powerful Sect Light, the Moon.
Notes on Saturn
Interestingly, Saturn is very strong in Steiner’s chart and quite malefic. Steiner’s life was in fact plagued with a good deal of loss, death, sorrow, adversity, and oppression. He was certainly no stranger to doubt and criticism. Jupiter still was a great deal stronger than Saturn in the chart. The influence of Saturn was no doubt part of the reason he strove to make “proofs” of his ideas. He was hoping to make concrete and unbreakable the validity of his own deep spiritual experiences to others.
Mercury is in phasis, copresent with the Sun, in the chart. It is ruled by a very strong and prominent Jupiter. Mercury is also advancing. Therefore, Mercury is quite strong.
Mercury is quite benefic in the chart, being in sect, in the 5th place which is a very good place, and ruled by Jupiter. Mercury is opposed by Saturn though, like a critical weight always pressing on Mercury and challenging during its activation.
Notes on Mercury
Steiner’s Ascendant is in the bound of Mercury, as is his MC, Descendant, Jupiter, and Saturn. There was an identification with Mercury, the planet of rationality, intellect, and scholarship. However, Mercury doesn’t have the same sort of pervasive influence on the life as Jupiter (or even the Moon, Saturn, or the Sun). Mercury is in the 5th of children, entertainment, leisure, and creative products. This place provides Mercury with an outlet for teaching and lecturing. It also connects Mercury with children and the creative arts (esp. with Sun there as well). The strength of Mercury combined with the strong identification with Mercury combine to make Steiner quite the intellectual and rationalist.
Overall, the most immediately striking feature of Steiner’s chart is Jupiter conjunct his MC in Leo. Consider this with its ruler, the Sun, in Pisces, in turn ruled by Jupiter. This says something of his role as a leader and spiritual teacher.
Digging deeper we find that while Steiner’s faith and sense of the spiritual were extremely strong, this was not due to an absence of adversity or a lack of understanding of difficulty and darkness. It was despite his very difficult experiences. It seems to me that he was contending with darkness and doubt nearly constantly. He was always attempting to build up stronger and stronger arguments and works against it.
I think this is at the heart of his desire to fuse mysticism and science, and to make mysticism somehow more objective, verifiable, and concrete. He was a rationalist of immense strength, identifying more readily as a scholar than a religious leader. Steiner was extremely well-learned in philosophy and adept in a broad array of subjects. He was an intellectual to be reckoned with and used these powers intensely to bolster his spiritual cause.