Discovering Hidden Astrological Influences

The Examination of the Sharp and Loose Destiny and Progressed Planetary Stations

The Sharp or Loose Destiny aspects present in a natal chart, and planetary stations in secondary progressions, are among the powerful yet little-known techniques available in the practice of astrological analysis. An examination of the horoscope of Czech-born psychiatrist, Stanislav (Stan) Grof, will illustrate how his Sharp Destiny and progressed Uranus station provide penetrating insight into one of the most profound existential events of his lifetime.

During his residency, at Charles University in Prague, Grof assisted in experimentative LSD sessions with volunteer professionals as well as his own clinical patients. Ampules of LSD were sent from Sandoz laboratories in Switzerland to the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague, and to research clinics worldwide, for the purpose of having psychologists, experience from the LSD, what chemist Albert Hofmann believed to replicate the states of mind suffered by psychiatric patients.

Upon graduation in 1956, Grof was able to experience his own LSD session where he discovered the unconscious to be a treasure-trove of personal and archetypal knowledge and a powerful ally for psychological and emotional healing. The event’s transformative effects diminished his regard for traditional precepts of psychiatry which he then replaced with a quest for a deeper understanding of what he calls “non-ordinary states of consciousness.” Grof’s immersion into the depths of mind through psychedelics and intense breathing techniques inspired him to formulate his theories on transpersonal psychology and to establish his therapeutic, drug-free Holotropic BreathworkTM practice.

Experimentation with LSD was legal until rebellious youths of 1960s America used the substance irresponsibly. Timothy Leary, the controversial Harvard University psychology professor, was among the revolutionaries who encouraged the wide use of the mind-expanding agent. During that time the misuse of LSD was the cause of many casualties on the way to its becoming the requisite sacrament for the more serious-minded nonconformist.

Chemist Albert Hofmann, who first synthesized LSD, wrote of his creation:

I was aware that LSD, a new active compound with such properties, would have to be of use in pharmacology, in neurology, and especially in psychiatry, and that it would attract the interest of concerned specialists. But at that time, I had no inkling that the new substance would also come to be used beyond medical science, as an inebriant in the drug scene. Since my self-experiment had revealed LSD in its terrifying, demonic aspect, the last thing I could have expected was that this substance could ever find application as anything approaching a pleasure drug.1

Aside from its use as a “pleasure drug” as Hofmann put it, LSD also had a nurturing effect on society in contrast with its labeling by the mainstream as a threat to the establishment. Through the provocative LSD experience, Americans were exposed to lifestyle alternatives that included communal living with greater accessibility to healthier foods and natural healing methods. More significantly, it ignited the pursuit of spiritual truths explained in Eastern philosophies and introduced the practice of yoga and meditation. LSD was the chemical agent that opened a channel for the energy/intelligence of the powerful planetary conjunction of Uranus with Pluto throughout a major portion of the 1960s.

Stan Grof “turned on and tuned in” but he did not completely “drop out” as did his American counterparts Timothy Leary, who popularized the slogan, and Richard Alpert, aka Baba Ram Dass, who wrote Be Here Now, which became the counterculture’s guidebook. Instead, in 1967, Grof was accepted at John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, and later became chief of psychiatric research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center where he continued investigating the virtues of LSD. In 1973, Grof met with one of the founders of Esalen Institute who then invited him to serve as scholar-in-residence at the institute in Big Sur, California. It was during his residency that he and his wife Christina developed their Holotropic Breathwork techniques.

Albert Hofmann visited Esalen Institute in 1984. Grof interviewed the notable chemist and expressed his gratitude in the following statement:

“Dr. Hofmann’s discovery of LSD and his work, in general, have had a profound impact on my own professional and personal life, for which I am immensely grateful. My first LSD session in 1956, when I was a beginning psychiatrist, was a critical landmark and turning point for me and since then, my life has never been the same. So, this interview gives me the opportunity to express my deep appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Hofmann for the influence he has had on my life.2

On a Tim Ferris podcast interview,3 Grof candidly described the results of his first LSD session:

“I was one kind of person in the morning, another walked out of there in the evening. This was my first LSD session . . .   I was physically open to the mystical world that I saw there. It was a much deeper understanding . . .”

GROF’S TRANSFORMATION IN ASTROLOGICAL TERMS

Grof’s description of his unexpected and radical life-path transition is associated with two significant astrological factors. They are the Sharp Destiny present in his natal chart and the station of Uranus in his secondary progressions. The “hard” and “easy” major aspects between Jupiter and Saturn categorize a native as either endowed with a Sharp or Loose Destiny.4

The Sharp Destiny

When Jupiter and Saturn are in challenging conjunction, square, or opposition aspect, the life direction is defined as fateful or “Sharp.” Experience is guided by a narrowed course with strict adherence to discriminating conscience and a lean toward intense self-scrutiny. (If the indicators form the easier sextile, trine, or are not in major aspect, the destiny is “Loose” and suggests a minimal concern over moral considerations of right and wrong.)

In The Essentials of Astrological Analysis, renowned astrologer Dr. Marc Edmund Jones formulates the contrasting ways consciousness manages its personal conduct. In metaphysical terms, he explains the difference between the two forms of psychological outlook:

The fundamental distinction is between the life with its course rather well determined at birth or before, and the one where there is little preset in its development.5

In Grof’s birth chart, the relationship between Jupiter and Saturn is the opposition of the two and classifies the native’s conscious functioning in accordance with a Sharp Destiny. This is self-awareness in its most alert capacity with Jupiter the indicator of unrestricted, enthusiastic outreach poised in direct balance or conflict with Saturn and its tendency for deliberate control of attitude and behavior. Jones speaks of the opposition as foretelling self-development and heightened awareness, often occurring as a result of polarized circumstantial factors:

Jupiter and Saturn in opposition aspect indicate an ordering of life’s fundamental motives through which the native is usually compelled to dramatize himself continually in the presence of his fellows, at least if he wishes to participate with them in any course of everyday experience. This necessity often tends to throw a given lifetime into two entirely separate periods, with the latter revealing greater depth and continuity of realization, as perhaps an unsuspected consequence of the mirroring it has given itself through some more superficial role-playing in the former. There may be either a prodigal expenditure of the self’s resources, with their ultimate recapture in a refinement of soul, or a moral vacillation that accentuates every weakness of character, and so encourages a surrender to a final and hopeless ineptitude.6

Grof was and is clearly subject to dramatic and periodic change through the Sharp Destiny’s influence in his chart. His formative years were spent with ambitions for a career in film animation which took an abrupt turn when introduced to Freud’s work in psychoanalysis. Grof, however, eventually rejected psychology’s conventional approach, thanks to his encounter with the transformative attributes of LSD.

The Jupiter-Saturn opposition encourages metamorphosis when transiting planets conjunct either end of the aspect’s poles or when progressions make any “hard” contacts with it. A thorough probe into the dates of activation throughout Grof’s lifespan is beyond the scope of this brief study, however, an astrologer’s independent search of the dynamic aspects7 to the opposition could further validate the influence of the Sharp Destiny in the native’s life.

Progressed Uranus Station

Thorough chart analysis usually includes spotting current transits of the outer, slow-moving planets that activate natal potentials dramatically and over long periods of time. However, sole attention on real-time planetary movements is not sufficient for the comprehensive identification of the forces at play at precise times of significant events. This was the case in Grof’s life and chart at the time of his exposure to the powers of LSD. In mid-November 1956, the transits of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto failed to make either a conjunction or opposition aspect to any planet in Grof’s natal horoscope. Transits Saturn and Neptune were in square to natal placements during this crucial time, however, squares reveal a more remote or subjective struggle rather than direct aspect connections by conjunctions and oppositions when identifying the connections of celestial forces with empirical reality.

The often-neglected secondary progressions are of paramount importance when seeking to identify astrological indicators of consequential shift. They are powerful corresponding activators in the life process, and it is during the years when progressed planets reverse their direction that great modifications in experience are to be expected. When planets pause in their course to turn from retrograde to direct or vice versa, existential circumstances will mirror the progressed planet’s reversal in direction, producing what Jones defines as a time set apart for “a critical regrasp of experience:” 8

The phenomenon in progressions always identifies a subtle or psychological shift in the fundamental course of life, such as requires a critical regrasp of experience and often proves to be an adjustment over an appreciable span of time whether marked by some single sharp event of easy identification or by a complex syndrome of changes of less obvious interrelation.

Grof’s personal LSD experience on November 13, 1956, was sandwiched between prior developing circumstances, where he monitored others taking LSD, and the years thereafter of continuing research on the effects and benefits of the psychotropic substance. Both the long-term, subtle development and the abrupt realization Jones points to in his Scope of Astrological Prediction were active in Grof’s case.

To determine the timing of a planetary station, one counts each day after birth as equal to each year of life. Counting from July 1st in the 1931 ephemeris shows Uranus stationing to turn retrograde twenty-five days after Grof’s birth. The station of Uranus synchronizing with his first LSD session accounts for the major transition of his lifetime at age twenty-five.

The seemingly random progressed stations associated with a particular several years in the lifespan mark the rare occasions when a major disruption of normal activity is likely to occur.  Grof’s Uranus stationed in progressions to turn retrograde on August 20, 1955, at 19 Aries 23, offering him a new paradigm to contemplate. This date closely corresponds with Grof’s initial steps on the experimentative path he was to take and to which he became thoroughly dedicated. The Uranian impulse incites exploration of unknown realms and dimensions, and when positive, becomes the Hero’s Journey. For Grof, it was the revelation of the bountiful assets available at the deeper levels of consciousness that beckoned him. Progressed Uranus turning to go retrograde led him inward to take up the task as an iconoclast in his chosen field, and shaped him into a spiritual leader in the mid-twentieth century’s New Age movement.

Without forewarning, a native can become alarmed by the mental and emotional pressure of stealth-like stationary progressions, with the stress likely to cause an unproductive resistance to the demands of mandatory turning tides. However, when a station is known to be imminent or when a future date is foreseen, the native can prepare in anticipation of yet undisclosed opportunities for reassessment and reestablishment of circumstances. Although taken by surprise, Grof was able to quickly identify the advantages LSD had to offer when challenging, yet auspicious events, synchronized with his progressed Uranus station.

An interesting feature in the planetary patterning of Grof’s natal chart is the relationship between the numerous opposition aspects and natal Uranus as they create a purposeful conduit in the form of a T-Cross. The name of the Cross is derived from the configuration’s resemblance to the letter T, with the horizontal line representing the planets in opposition aspect and the perpendicular pointing to Uranus at a 90-degrees to the planets in the signs of Cancer and Capricorn. Grof mentions his T-Cross in several interviews but it is far more complex than simply the ultra-tight Pluto-Saturn opposition he occasionally references. With a total of six oppositions in the chart, including the Sun with its wide orb of 17 degrees, it is considered a preponderance9 of the opposition aspect as it establishes the ultra-powerful foundation of the Cross.

The T-Cross is a Focal Determinator10 in Jones’ parlance with the squaring Uranus assigned the position of Point Focus. The squaring Uranus becomes the focal point of a continuous release of self-expression spurred on by the tension of the axis oppositions. With seven of the possible ten planets forming the foundation of the Cross, the arrangement can be considered the chart’s signature aspect. The Sharp Destiny coupled with the Point Focus Uranus coalesced to represent the genius of the chart and man who stepped out of the norm most profoundly in 1956 when progressed Uranus performed its station.

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A LEGACY

Challenges often arise when one crosses the boundaries of accepted protocols as Grof did in the field of psychology. His own Holotropic Breathwork program could suffer criticism as well, similar to what he outlines in a 2009 interview appearing in The Sun.11 Grof includes the following remarks in answer to the question, “What were the results of that initial LSD study?”:                                             

” . . . at the cradle of all the major religions have been personal mystical experiences of their founders and prophets. When the religions become organized, they tend to lose the connection with their spiritual source and become concerned with politics, money, power, and possessions. . . “

Replacing the word religion with the word movement puts Holotropic Breathwork in a category much like any controversial organization. This exposes Grof’s work to misinterpretation by his peers in the field of psychology and leaves him vulnerable to misunderstanding even among his own representatives and facilitators of the breathwork system. Conflicts over workshop objectives and methods also present difficulties when facilitators’ personal beliefs filter into what should otherwise be a standard and well-regulated program. For a clear understanding of Grof’s intent, one needs only to hear and to read his own words.

Despite all possible obstacles, it cannot be denied, that Grof has developed a valuable program for those who wish to immerse their conscious mind into the deeper states of being that bring to light the motivations and traumas that often stand in the way of the sincere seeker.

A Transit of Import

Transit Pluto stations within a degree of Grof’s natal Moon on April 30, 2022, at 28 Capricorn 36. Pluto’s penetrating influence suggests that Grof’s legacy may then firmly take hold, especially with a conscious effort on his part, or by those in his organization, to manifest the message of his Moon’s Sabian symbol, A secret business conference.12 Following the suggestions of the symbol’s definition may be the key to a successful and long-lasting legacy:

CAPRICORN 30 A secret business conference This is a symbol of the momentary background in human relations as essentially the product of current activities and attitudes, and of a determination to capitalize on any given situation through effective allegiances among the principal personalities involved. The emphasis here is on man’s desire for an inner circle of associates through whom he may exercise a real control over immediate eventualities, and on his realization that in this fashion he may monopolize the resources of his fellows. The keyword is OPPORTUNITY. When positive, the degree is a gift for clever planning and successful administration in every area of life, and when negative, rampant selfishness and rank exploitation of others.

The Moon facilitates an emotional and nurturing connection with others in give-and-take fashion. World history identifies numerous spiritual leaders tasked with the duty to remind humanity of the wisdom accessible to them from within. Each points the way with a vital message for the advancement of current and future generations. Whether Transpersonal Psychology and the more somatic practice of Holotropic Breathwork stand the test of time is yet to be known.

The Jupiter-Saturn Sharp Destiny and the progressed station of Point Focus Uranus are the two main indicators that empowered the shifts in life direction of consciousness-explorer Stan Grof. They are representative of astrology’s bountiful symbolic and archetypal counterparts to the planetary energies that served to establish an innovative path for the native, and that brought self-realization within reach of both himself and all those blessed by his social contribution.

Regarding horoscope analysis, each astrologer has their preferred approach to which they are dedicated, however, the revealing techniques described above can easily fit into any astrologer’s toolbox. The motivational characteristics defined by the Sharp and Loose Destiny technique and the timing of great change throughout the lifespan shown by progressed stations are invaluable when seeking a comprehensive understanding of a native’s life potentials.

 

Notes and References

  1. LSD My Problem Child: Reflection on Sacred Drugs, Mysticism and Science by Albert Hofmann
  2. Interview at Esalen Institute of Albert Hofmann by Stan Grof 1984, https://maps.org/news-letters/v11n2/11222gro.html
  3. 18:51 on the Ferris podcast interview, Grof states that his first LSD experience was on Nov. 13, 1956. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mdYUmvTeig&t=1157s
  4. Essentials of Astrological Analysis by Marc Edmund Jones, Sabian Publishing Society, Stanwood WA, 1970, Definition: Sharp and Loose Destiny, pp. 342-343
  5. Essentials of Astrological Analysis by Marc Edmund Jones, Difference between the Sharp and Loose Destiny, p. 343
  6. Sharp Destiny, opposition aspect between Jupiter and Saturn, pp. 124-125
  7. Dynamic Aspects are the moving transit and progressed aspects
  8. Scope of Astrological Prediction, by Marc Edmund Jones, Sabian Publishing Society, Stanwood WA, 1969, Challenge by Progressed Station, p. 49
  9. Essentials of Astrological Analysis by Marc Edmund Jones, Sabian Publishing Society, Stanwood WA, 1970, preponderance by opposition p. 266
  10. Essentials of Astrological Analysis, Chapter on Focal Determinators, p. 192, for T Cross p. 193
  11. The Sun interview, 2009, https://wintercreativestudio.com/across-the-universe/
  12. Sabian Symbols in Astrology, by Marc Edmund Jones, Sabian Publishing Society, Stanwood WA

 

Oprah Winfrey – Award at the Golden Globes and Life in General

Photo Credit, Jordan Strauss

Oprah Winfrey came from obscure and impoverished roots, but she worked her way to the top through sheer and dogged self-effort. Configurations in her horoscope are testimony to her gifts, stamina and all-around destined good fortune. Her chart also reflects, through strong Oppositions and Squares, the stresses and personal struggles that were her fate to overcome, so that she might manifest the wonder of her potentials “written in her stars.”

CARDINAL  NATURAL DISPOSITION

Defined by the Mercury/Pluto and Moon/Jupiter Oppositions.

Oprah’s horoscope forms ideal planetary configurations in several ways. There is the presence of both Fixed and Mutable Oppositions which causes a dueling demand for attention between the differing interests defined by the two triplicities of the Fixed and Mutable signs. To resolve the dilemma of warring interests the one Triplicity that does not appear though an Opposition Aspect, defines the Natural Disposition, or what the native of the chart should be inclined to make their most important interest in life. For Oprah, it is the missing Cardinal Triplicity of planets that points the way for her to be interested in promoting herself as a personality, and to be politically minded with an interested in solving problems and crises she herself experiences and also to assist others in means and ways of resolving difficulties.

The Mutable Natural Disposition defines a person with an interest in the welfare of others above oneself. The Fixed Disposition inclines a person to rise above both the interest in oneself first or the cares and needs of others, to bring them to an interest in ideas and the meaning of life through a study of principles.

SPLAY TEMPERAMENT TYPE

Defined by the geometric patterns the planets form from the Earth’s perspective.

There is a distinct and highly developed Splay Temperament Type in Oprah’s chart and a Grand Trine that connects the three segments of her pyramiding personality represented by the more evolved Splay pattern. The personality builds with a continuous momentum toward a profound and highly unique self-expression. In Oprah’s case it is an air Grand Trine that moves her in the direction of intellect with a desire to share ideas of great import.

MODE OF SELF-INTEGRATION

Defined by two out of four Planetary Pairs in Major Aspect.

Oprah’s Mode of Self-Integration is Conjunctive Activity, shown by the Sun/Moon and Uranus/Neptune major aspects. Mars/Venus and Uranus/Neptune These allow her to bring all the vastly wide experiences she encounters together to lead her life story.

FOCAL DETERMINATORS

T-CROSS

Oprah’s vital T-Cross has Mars in Point Focus in the Sabian Degree of Crowds coming down the mountain to listen to one man – this being a most literal expression of what has transpired throughout her career.

SCORPIO 24 Crowds coming down the mountain to listen to one man This is a symbol of recognition for intellectual attainment, and of the supremacy of spiritual over other and more tangible forms of authority among men. There is here an emphasis on the fact that any higher realization must be brought to earth both for its initial confirmation and its ultimate sharing among the many, and that aspiration is meaningless until it achieves some practical focus in those realms and events with which people in general are familiar. The keyword is APPEAL. When positive, the degree is an almost spectacular ability to enlist the higher potentialities of everyone for some practical need of the moment, and when negative, indiscriminate and carefree gullibility.

PLANETARY SQUARES

The many Squares in the chart, shown by the red lines and the T-Cross with Mars reveal the chart’s propensity to make use of emotional and physical struggle as way of moving the native toward self-development. In her youth, Oprah experienced abuse of several kinds, that only encouraged her to overcome all the blocks that normally are set-backs to others less endowed with advanced features that Oprah’s natal horoscope exemplifies.

ABSENCE OF EARTH SIGNS

No planets in earth signs creates the need to find a security in one’s self.

Oprah’s life reveals that the potentials given to a person from the horoscope at birth can indeed be fulfilled. Many charts have profound configurations, but there often can be less ability on the part of an individual to manifest good results. In Oprah’s case, her life efforts have been a match for extraordinary features her chart represents.
 

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Master of Emotions – Roy Masters

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The birth time for this natal horoscope was given by Mr. Masters himself in the 1980s. Masters is a radio talk-show host and ex-hypnotist who believes everyone is already hypnotized and needs to wake up and have their lives transformed by a simple method of meditation that leads a person away from anger and resentment to a peaceful inner connection with God. This is accomplished through remembering, as he states in his meditation exercise, to “Overlook and make allowances and be outspoken with firmness, kindness and patience,” whenever one is confronted with stressful and challenging situations. The main thing is not to react with anger when provoked. That is the meaning of “turning the other cheek” as stated in the Christian bible. Anger is actually the true nature of an animal’s response to a threat. Humans on the other hand are meant to transform their responses to a higher mindedness and refrain from emotional upsets, reactions and retaliations.

Roy claims to have never been overtaken by the emotion of anger, and believes that anger is the father of all human difficulties and suffering. RoyMasters Masters teaches that man needs to find God and correct the woman in his life to stop tempting him to fall from Love to need her. Masters believes that a woman tempts a man to need her through offering sex in exchange for personal ego worship and attention. In this way she stands in the place of God and blocks man from a connection with Higher Reality if this syndrome is not corrected. Masters admonishes men to correct women and tell them to “put the apple down!” and stop tempting them away from themselves.

Masters has authored numerous books, one of which is The Adam and Eve Syndrome, which explores the negative interaction between men and women and reveals the substance of the trade-off involved; women giving their bodies in exchange for “love.”  This particular book, among others, offers a real solution to readers with an understanding that all human beings need to be fulfilled from within, by a connection with the Creator, and not to be satisfied by a use of each other that is never a replacement for true understanding and purposeful living. To learn more about Masters and his mission, visit The Foundation of Human Understanding online: fhu.com.

The tri-wheel here shows that at age 88 Masters will be having a once-in-a-lifetime Pluto Transit exactly Opposite his Natal Pluto, and it will do a Station Direct at 14 Capricorn 56 on September 27, 2016. This is 26 days after the Solar Eclipse at 9 Virgo 21 that will be within the 5 degree orb allowance of a Conjunction with Masters’ Natal Moon in Virgo at 11 Virgo 27. Neptune is Transiting Opposite the Natal Moon, and will Station to go Direct at 9 Pisces 14 on November 20, 2016. Transit Saturn is also approaching its third Saturn Return in Masters’ chart, due the 13th of December 2016. One day later Mars will return to its exact Natal position as well.

roy_at_mike

These aspects described are all strong indications that point to an equally strong physical counterpart. The message has gone out, thanks to Masters’ dedicated teachings. The messenger has done well, playing his part in the lives of all who know him and follow his inspired advice. The Sabian Symbol for Masters’ Venus in oriental appearance and indicator of career approach is 19 Pisces, A master instructing his pupil, and is literally what the man has done for the better part of his life. The symbol mimics his own surname and is uncanny, and an interesting fact is that it was shortened and translated from Obermeister; meaning above the master. Truly, Master is the foundation of understanding and teaches followers to find the same in themselves.

PISCES 19 A master instructing his pupil This is a symbol of the unlimited potentiality of existence in any larger dimen­sion, and of the demand of human intelligence for the self-refinement and self-orientation by which a greater under­standing is possible. Life entreats the individual to employ its privileges and enjoy its bounty, and gives every encourage­ment to that initiative of spirit by which he may be led to do so. He finds that personality comes into its own as it is able to direct its own destiny. The keyword is ELUCIDATION. When positive, the degree is high executive ability through patient investigation and genuine psychological insight, and when negative, a desire to live by rule and a conceit of empty knowledge.

Master’s Sun degree at 13 Aries is An unsuccessful bomb explosion. This symbol shows his destiny and Purpose (keyword for the Sun) is to defuse the anger of humankind. He encourages this through the dialogue in his meditation recordings. His Jupiter degree is Brownies dancing in the setting sun. This is one of the few “elfin” degrees revealing an otherworldliness of character that he shows to those who have “eyes to see and ears to hear.” These special degrees of brownies, fairies and other elfin creatures, reveal a life where the native cannot live for himself alone, but must exist as a special incarnation of some social ideal. Natal Jupiter and natal Sun are Conjunct. Jupiter is the guru, leader, teacher and protector, working alongside the solar-self’s Purpose to transform otherwise volatile situations into peaceful resolutions.

Masters’ Temperament Type is a SPLAY which is the most evolved of the seven possible Types. Saturn is the Reins planet in High Focus. Saturn’s process of meditation brings self-awareness, self-control and wisdom to the practitioner, and it delivers these better attributes through Masters’ lens of traditional, religious perspective. You’ll hear Masters mention Christianity here and there in his message, which the practitioner can either accept or reject, depending on their own personal beliefs. Regardless, the message has a secret ingredient that benefits society in general, far beyond what one would expect and can imagine, and that is centered in Masters’ meditative mantra, with the instruction to “overlook on the spot and be outspoken with firmness, kindness and patience.”

 

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His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama greets an audience before his religious speech in Tokyo, Monday, Nov. 25, 2013. The Dalai Lama is in Japan for a 12-day visit to deliver speeches.(AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Throughout the long history of humanity’s presence on earth, great minds have attempted to give answers to the mysteries of life; its origin, its purpose. As curious and penetrating minds gazed outwardly into the vast visible universe, others searched within with the intent to reveal the nature of reality in their own persons. These are the scientists and spiritualists as we know them today. All that they discovered has developed over several millennia to draw conclusions that are then assumed to be the laws of physics on the one hand and the Dharma on the other.

However, our unpredictable universe defies the status quo and continually challenges us to find ever-new answers to age-old questions. We are constantly on the threshold of new discoveries and so it is to our advantage that we hold off on our final judgments as to the ultimate nature things, and try to live in a flexible, mindful state of awareness; always being receptive to the new, always ready to assimilate unexpected new perspectives.*

Astrologers look for indications in a natal chart that reflect the realities of a person’s life and what makes them think, feel and respond the way they do. One of the most intriguing charts of prominent spiritual leaders alive today is that of the Dalai Lama. How spiritual potentials reveal themselves is a special type of analysis, and the birth chart of the Dalai Lama shows several obvious signs of advanced, personal evolution. The interpretation of the chart of the Dalai Lama will begin with the 16 Point Analysis, outlined in the Essentials of Astrological Analysis by Dr. Marc Edmund Jones. Only a small sampling of the points will be covered. The Dalai Lama was born on July 6, 1935, in now, Taktser, China at 4:38 am.

THE NATURAL DISPOSITIONDalaiLama

The Dalai Lama has Oppositions in both Fixed and Mutable signs. The emphasis of interest, therefore, lies in the missing quadrature and is considered Negative Cardinal because of the lack of its presence in the horoscope. The native’s attention is drawn to immediate and pressing issues, is restless and crisis-oriented. This easily points to the Chinese invasion of Tibet during the very early years of the Dalai Lama’s reign as political and spiritual leader of Tibet. Cardinal individuals are politically-minded, and for many years it fell upon the Dalai Lama to strategize the outcome and governing of his people.

The oppositions in two distinct quadratures draw the mind’s focus out towards several interests and can cause the shifting of attention to the varied pull upon the attention. The dilemma of having to choose between several involvements is resolved through the focus on immediate demands of the present moment which is a Cardinal quadrature characteristic. The Cardinal signs are related to the active 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th houses. These houses represent the present, with its immediate readiness and opportunistic bent. In the Dalai Lama’s case, this allows him to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself to express the principles (Fixed) of Buddhism and to integrate and express the importance of those principles within active relations (Mutable) with others. The excitation of the Cardinal impulse imbues the native with vivacious energy and personal charisma that endears him to all who come in contact with him.

THE TEMPERAMENT TYPE

One’s overall outlook and general response to life are determined by the Temperament Type, also known as planetary patterns. The planets arrange themselves around the horoscopic wheel into seven basic patterns, three of which have been in use since the British astrologer, Charles Carter, identified them. They are the Bundle, Bowl, and See-Saw. In the mid 20th century Marc Edmund Jones added the Bucket, Splash, Locomotive, and the Splay. patterns He went on to define each of the seven in far greater detail than had been known previously. The Temperament Types are discussed in the author’s volume, The Essentials of Astrological Analysis. The Dalai Lama’s horoscope forms a Locomotive Temperament, that along with the Splay is based on a division of the circle by three, making it more complex than the others based on the division of 360 degrees by two.

The Locomotive temperament builds on the Grand Trine in this chart as it encourages a pyramiding development of personality. The soul projects itself through the Cutting planet Saturn so that the Dalai Lama can be seen as following the strict traditions of the very specific doctrine of Buddhism. Those who claim spirituality by discarding the ridged and tight grip of traditional customs are more likely under the influence of Uranus, the planet of detachment and independence.

The Locomotive is characteristic of a powerful driving personal force that is supported and developed by the ever-spiraling and revolving Grand Trine. The open Trine projects the personality and goals out and onto its environment, whether for good or ill. In the Dalai Lama’s case, his mission is to help humanity understand more deeply the way of Buddhism with its focus on disciplined meditation and investigative reason. These attributes closely relate to the meaning of Saturn, and in the sign of Pisces, brings the topic of compassion perpetually into the Dalai Lama’s message to the multitudes.

SELF-DETERMINATION

The ten planets are divided into pairs; the Sun/Moon of Vitality, Jupiter/Saturn of Motivation, Mars/Venus of Efficiency, and Uranus/Neptune of Significance. Mercury and Pluto are supernumerary, with Mercury belonging to Efficiency and Pluto to the pair of Significance. It is favorable to have two of the pairs in major aspect while two are not, so that the individual has only to integrate two modes of being in order to have ease in determining the self’s focus in life. The chart of the Dalai Lama has all planetary pairs in major aspect, causing the psyche to become overfilled with possibilities that create a plethora of outer involvements with which to engage and integrate into cohesive activity. There is often a feeling of becoming inept with too much environmental stimulus and opportunity. However, analyzing the pairs helps to focus the attention on a specific direction so as to counter any confusion caused by overstimulation.

THE MODE OF SELF-INTEGRATION

When a chart has all planetary pairs in major aspect, the determination of the Self-Integration is through symmetry and weight. In the Dalai Lama’s case, the Jupiter/Saturn and Uranus/Neptune pairs are forming an interesting symmetrical patterning. Both pairs are in Trine with their partners and crossing over the north and south segments of the horoscope. Mars/Venus and the Sun/Moon pairs also create symmetry but do not integrate the two separate hemispheres All four pairs form major aspect relationships to create a complex and extremely interesting configuration. Out of the six possible Modes of Integration, the Dalai Lama is categorized as Subjective Function. This means that the Dalai Lama is a person who ultimately follows his own counsel. He turns within to confer with his own conscience and responds to external challenges with a comprehension based upon his own superior wisdom and experience. A person with Objective Function can easily follow the direction of others and is often content with bonding with their work and projects. To be subjective in function is very fitting for one who must play a leadership role in the guidance of others.

FOCAL DETERMINATORS

The Grand Water Trine is a Focal Determinator that has very tight orbs in the chart of the Dalai Lama. The free-flowing water element encourages the native to expand his presence outwardly to absorb and be embraced by all with whom he comes in contact – that is the nature of water, to permeate. When a Grand Trine is present in a Locomotive pattern it gives the leading planet or Cutting Planet the power to project the message of the entire configuration of planets into the open space of the empty trine. Saturn leads all the planetary energies into the empty trine and by that becomes the High Focus planet and the most important Focal Determinator in the chart. Superpowered Saturn amplifies its archetypal meaning coupled with its pyramiding and increasing self-development and self-expression that the native uses to project its psychic onto all who are touched by his teachings.

Saturn and Jupiter are the planetary pair of Motivation. The inner stirrings and conscious sensitivity to moral issues are particular attributes of self-awareness. Saturn’s role is meditative and reflective, illuminating one’s attitudes and behaviors within one’s own mind. When experiencing conscious pain, it is because the planet Saturn’s energy/intelligence is activated within the consciousness. Accepting and surrendering to this humbling process relieves the tension. Suppressing the truth about oneself to avoid a painful conscience is escapism.  When one accepts limitations they become stepping stones and guidelines for future progress. Jupiter as the positive and outward ambassador of the personality works hand-in-hand with Saturn’s double-checking in the continuous correction process of the soul. The Dalai Lama performs spiritual practices, meditation, and self-control which are sympathetic with the meaning of the planet Saturn as well as with Tibetan culture.

The keyword for Saturn in normal strength is Sensitiveness, but when emphasized by being Point or High Focus, the keyword becomes SHREWD. The Dalai Lama has had to use his subjective ingenuity toward Chinese officials who oppose his birthright. His Holiness has had to be shrewd in the way he approaches his “enemies,” applying Buddhist principles of forgiveness, non-violence, and compassion toward those who have violently infringed upon his domain. True to the nature of the expanding water element, the Dalai Lama’s exile has worked to the world’s advantage. Had he been able to rule and lead in his own remote country, without interference from outside sources, he would not have been such an overwhelming influence for good.

Often astrologers believe that the Grand Trine can be a detriment because of its nature to groove into patterns of negativity as well as to positive habitual behavior. What the Grand Trine actually represents is a degree of harmony achieved from past incarnations. With the Dalai Lama’s practice and deep understanding, this Focal Determinator gives him an outlet for the continuous manifestation of enlightening reason as the first response to daily challenges that the opposition from Saturn to Moon and Neptune present.

The Grand Trine endows flowing ease and approachability and creates a driving force of personality, backed by the power of the Locomotive pattern, and the caution of Saturn at the helm allows for precise dissemination of wisdom. The water signs are permeable, receptive, and sensitive to feeling and compassion especially with an emphasis on the sign of Pisces.  As the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people in exile, he must remain strong in his beliefs and practices and present a message that encourages his people to adhere to their ancient roots. If the birth time is correct then the placement of the Leading planet and sign are in the all-important 10th house of Authority among men. Revealing a true leader of mankind.

Saturn as the unchallenged focus of the chart is in Trine with Jupiter and creates a Loose Destiny (a feature of self-determination) that allows the Dalai Lama an easy association with everyone effortlessly. This one of the planetary pairs is in company with the other three pairs in major aspect which has been mentioned above.

Age 6 Dalai Lama's Jupiter Stations Direct - corresponds to enthronement ceremony held in Lhasa
Age 6 Dalai Lama’s Jupiter Stations Direct – corresponds to enthronement ceremony held in Lhasa

The Dalai Lama was discovered and enthroned when he was just five years old, corresponding to progressed Jupiter station-direct, shown in the ephemeris of July 1935 – five days after birth, corresponding to his fifth or sixth year of life. The station of Jupiter symbolically represents the donning of responsibility as the protector, benefactor, on the mere child, the paternal leader-to-be. Stationary Jupiter proclaimed the coming stewardship of a man who would shine light, good fortune, and compassion on all people everywhere.

Progressed stations represent a pause in time and space to rearrange things, within and without, in the greater journey of continuous growth. The official enthronement ceremony, however, as the spiritual and political leader of Tibet took place on November 17, 1950, in Lhasa when Lhamo Thondup was to become the Dalai Lama. The progressed Saturn at the time was completing its opposition to the birth Moon as foreseen in the natal potentials. The exact aspect brings the leader into his responsibilities at the tender age of fifteen.

The Sabian Symbol for the High Focus Saturn Leading in the Locomotive pattern of the Dalai Lama’s chart is Men seeking illumination. This is an uncanny example of how the symbols can at times manifest in literal fashion. A portion of the symbol from Sabian Symbols in Astrology:

Pisces 11 Men Seeking illumination This is the symbol of the immortality of man as dramatized in some form of an apostolic succession, or living tradition of spiritual achievement. The divine spirit is fundamentally a matrix of itself, since its continuance depends on its unswerving maintenance of the purity of motive and expression it has contributed to the humanity it has created in its own image. . . . When positive, the degree is high accomplishment in an effective alignment with ultimate reality.

The “apostolic succession” mentioned in the symbol’s definition gives conformation to the way in which Dalai Lamas are chosen. They are assigned their lofty position directly from descending spiritual forebearers, and it is stunning how the symbol describes Tibetan culture’s lineage procedure.

DLPeacePrize2 July 17, 1989, was the year representing the culmination of a life’s work when the Dalai Lama won the Nobel Prize for Peace. This was a very special year for the Dalai Lama in that the very important Progressed Lunation is in its exact core and very close to a following Progressed Lunar Return. These aspects are also conjunct his natal Part of Fortune at 5 degrees Virgo, A man dreaming of fairies. 

According to Marc Edmund Jones; “the Part of Fortune is your special horizon of success and it will give a significant insight into the potentials of accomplishment through the sign, house and symbolical degree where it is found.”

5 degrees Virgo is unique in the 360-degree possibilities, as this particular one is a member of a handful of degrees that reflect an other-worldliness because they are represented by images of imaginative creatures such as fairies, elves, and the like. They are referred to as Elfin degrees by Marc Edmund Jones, and in this case, they point to an incarnation of a spiritual soul, not able to live for himself alone, but as manifestations of something greater than themselves. Natives with these degrees are often obligated to be of service to others, and the Dalai Lama is a great candidate and representative of that purpose. Not all individuals understand the calling and may fall short of the required sacrificing attitude. However, the Dalai Lama not only is qualified to be a leader in the furthering of human goodness, but because of it, he won the world’s recognition for his great example of compassionate living.

There are subtle vibrations associated with these fairy degrees. It is like the difference between standard broadcasting and cable connections. Cable can tune into higher frequencies, as people with fairy degrees can tune into higher conscious vibrations. The degree should always refer to the planet or point that coordinates with the degree, and if it is a Focal Determinator or simply a random point in the horoscope it will be strengthened or weakened respectively.

A Progressed Lunation is a powerful Aspect with powerful consequences for good or difficult times. There is usually a period of 3 years where there is a closing of old ways and an opening of new opportunities. There is also the tendency for a crisis to arise during this time, because the ego wants to hold on to the past, and the Progressed Lunation is a time of rebirth and new cycles. A new seed of life is being planted. Here in the chart of the Dalai Lama, there is an epic and rewarding moment, and it is further enhanced by the Progressed Lunation taking place in one of the very few Elfin degrees.

When reviewing the findings of the content of the Dalai Lama’s chart potentials, it is apparent that this is an incarnation of special purpose. The native of the horoscope has well expressed the profound potentials revealed by the unique configurations analyzed in this astrological report.

*For an example where the laws of the physical world do not apply concerning the retrograde motion of planets, see blog post: Retrograde Planets Prove Universe is Mind

From NobelPrize.org: https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1989/lama-facts.html

From his exile in India, the religious and political leader the Dalai Lama has since 1959 stood at the head of the nonviolent opposition to China’s occupation of Tibet.

When the Nobel Committee chose the Dalai Lama, it emphasized that he based his Buddhist peace philosophy on reverence for all living things and the idea of a universal responsibility that embraces both man and nature. It weighed heavily in the Tibetan leader’s favor that he had showed willingness to compromise and seek reconciliation despite brutal violations.

The award of the Peace Prize gave the Dalai Lama the opportunity to present a plan for the restoration of peace and human rights in Tibet. In the plan he recommended that the country be turned into an ecologically stable and demilitarized zone that might serve as a buffer between major Asian powers. The object was to set in motion serious negotiations on the future status of Tibet, but this was rejected by the Chinese government.

Update 8/31/16: The Solar Eclipse today will be Conjunct The Dalai Lama’s Neptune and Opposite his Leading planet Saturn. He should be in the news as this is an activation of his 3rd and 9th houses. With Neptune involved, there is a gaining of responsibilities as well as losing them.

Update 12/19/16: The movie documentary, Dalai Lama Awakening, narrated by Harrison Ford has been released. Apparently, there was a movie being made while Neptune was doing its Transit on Saturn, and with the Solar Eclipse, it manifested into something of an important product.

 

Crowds Coming Down the Mountain – Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich-Nhat-Hanh-arrives-by-Kelvin-Cheuk+copy

As I write this post, Transit Mars is Stationary Direct on my Natal Sun position at 23 degrees Scorpio. Mars in Transit is rounded to 24 Scorpio. The Sabian Symbol for Mars at 24 degrees is Crowds coming down the mountain to listen to one man.

Yesterday, I was watching Oprah Winfrey on YouTube in an interview with Thich Nhat Hanh. I had been watching YouTube videos all week about the Dalai Lama, and then decided to branch out and view other spiritual leaders. But it was when watching Thich Nhat Hanh that I wondered if Mars was in the degree mentioned above – and sure enough it was. All of my mentors throughout my life were men; Roy Masters, Ray Johnson and then Marc Edmund Jones, to name the prominent ones. In my natal chart I have Mars Conjunct Saturn and that has brought these wise men into my life. While I was watching The Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh, I felt it was synchronous with Transit Mars so close to my Sun degree and that they were manifesting my natal potentials once again. But I realize now that I am my own teacher, but it is always uplifting to have spiritual souls in my life, even if they are not in the flesh.

ThichNhatHanh

But what makes the Transit Mars so interesting is that Thich Nhat Hanh’s Natal Saturn degree is 24 Scorpio and Transit Mars was passing over the symbol mentioned above: Crowds coming down the mountain to listen to one man. Life brought this person to my attention and I can see the astrological correlations that brought it there.*  It is always a special experience when these “magical” factors arise to be witnessed and wondered about. It is like having a special relationship with the cosmos and being let in on a secret, with confirmation that there is indeed a plan and destiny at work in our lives.

Take note that Hanh’s Uranus degree is A Harvest Moon. The positive meaning of the symbol is: “Self-completion which is successful beyond any possibility of measure.” And this planet is in a loose Grand Trine (GT) with Saturn and Pluto – just 1 degree outside normal orbs for Pluto applying to Uranus. The Pluto degree is, A man before a square with a manuscript scroll before him. This is all testimony to the great potentials, from the past and into the now and future, that a Grand Trine’s presence can herald.

There is a Grand Square that puts challenge into play at every point in life. And thanks to its participation in the Grand Trine with its contact with Saturn, the Grand Square conflicts bring out the Grand Trine wisdom of the man. He stood as a beacon of Light for those who read and hear his message from his prolific manuscripts at the bottom of a mountain of knowledge.

*Some astrologers believe that the planets and life on Earth synchronize, to borrow a term from Jung, and indeed so did Marc Edmund Jones, although he called Correspondence. Others believe that the heavenly bodies dictate our fate through their irrepressible interactions and impulses of magnetic-energies. Without committing to either exclusively, I believe we live within the combined realm of the two ever-present factors. Like a remote control over a television, garage door or any other non-wired device, we dance to the tune of heavenly, tonal vibrations – just as puppets on invisible strings. And yet my daily choices allow me the freedom to obey or disobey according to the dictates of my conscience. It is all happening in mind that is in relationship to its outer projected hologram. 

 

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