Using traditional techniques is it possible to find “evil” in the natal chart?

EVIL  • adjective 1 deeply immoral and malevolent. 2 embodying or associated with the devil. 3 extremely unpleasant: an evil smell.  • noun 1 extreme wickedness and depravity, especially when regarded as a supernatural force. 2 something harmful or undesirable.

In religion and ethics, evil refers to the “bad” aspects of the behaviour and reasoning of human being – those which are deliberately void of conscience, and show a wanton desire for destruction. The opposite of goodness, which itself refers to aspects which are life-affirming, peaceful, and constructive.

Can evil be seen in a chart? Do certain individuals choose to be evil or are they fated to be so? And do their charts reflect this? And are we fated to live out what is in our chart? These questions are all loaded and profoundly disturb many in our profession.

In this day, when even the ancient descriptions of planets as benefic and malefic elicits fundamental discomfort in contemporary astrologers, it is no longer regarded as correct to think in these terms.  The idea that a planet or person could be inherently bad goes against our accepted standard of judgment. Deviation from acceptable behavior is seen as an understandable reaction to the emotional and psychological experiences that have traumatized or otherwise wounded individuals.

Ironically as we move away from judging an individual as evil we continue to embrace the idea that evil exists in the world. As illustrated by our “war on terror” and our fear of the “terrorist threat”. The concept of evil has always been present but we have confused the doing of evil with being evil.

When our ancestors spoke of a planet bestowing malevolent or benefic influence in a horoscope, we tend to imagine this as being a very cut and dry affair: bad planet cause bad things, good planet, cause good thing. The reality is far richer and more subtle then it appears at first glance.

In the traditional cosmos the so called malevolent planets were Mars and Saturn. At their best both are a necessary and positive force in the chart, allowing us to take righteous action, be responsible and build strong foundations. It is only when they are afflicted that their influence becomes a negative or destructive one.

A planet is at its best when in dignity, in a strong placement and even better with strong reception. A debilitated planet has a really hard time expressing its true nature; they become an exaggerated version of themselves. Mars doesn’t just take action he kills all who stand in his way. Saturn doesn’t just take responsibility he becomes tyrannical. The other planets can also cause trouble when in a debilitated condition, but their affect is unlikely to be thought of as evil.

Whether fate is pre-destined or created by the native’s choices is a tricky one.  The modern paradigm places more emphasis on the free will and choice of the individual then was the case in the past. In previous generations the individual had their place within the social hierarchy and few had any choice about it. Even those at the top of this hierarchy had limited choices. Overseeing all, there was God.

Now we speak of the higher self rather then God. We have become uncomfortable with the concept of a Supreme Being overseeing us all, choosing for us, and allocating our fate. The concept of the “higher self” individualises us, if not in fact certainly in title and allows us the illusion of more power to choose.

Regardless of our modern belief in the power or importance of the individual, fate can not be denied; it is what is bestowed on us. We are born into a certain era or time, a particular body, gender, to a particular set of parents, within a family, culture and nation. We do not consciously choose this, we are given this. This is fate. Our free will to choose is confined to our given fate.

The essential nature of man is both corporeal and spiritual; the integration of the two brings us closer to our essential nature. We can choose to align ourselves with our essential nature or to oppose it. The chart reflects the difficulties an individual may encounter making that choice. The more dignified planets there are in our chart the easier the choice, because the more dignity a planet has the closer to its own essential nature it is.

Essential nature is by definition good. It signifies the most balanced state of being.  Essential nature is aligned with the divine or God, however we define that word. In nature a daisy will grow into the best daisy specimen possible within the environment it is given. It can not do otherwise or choose to grow into a rose. Because nothing in the natural world can stray from its essential nature, there is no evil there. A volcano may cause devastation, yet cruel as this may seem, it is nothing more then the restoration of balance. Nature has no will to choose.

But the human being has free will to choose and can turn away from his essential nature. He must come to know and accept who he is, what he has been given, understand his purpose in the scheme of things and fulfill it.  The further away from his essential nature he moves the more he encounters evil or in the words of our fore bearers; malevolence.

The principle thing that pushes man away from his essential good nature is his desires; desire that stem from his corporeal existence. His desire to possess more then what he has been given, to be more then he is and to fulfill a purpose not of his own.  In modern jargon these corresponds to the ego and remember that the ego is never satisfied.

The Lord of the Ascendant, Pilot of the Soul and Significator of the Quality of the Mind

Using traditional astrological methods we can see in the natal chart how easy or not it will be for an individual to stay aligned with his true nature and how strong the pull of his desires will be. By identifying three planets: the Lord of the Ascendant, the Pilot of the Soul and the significator of the Quality of the Mind, we have the information needed to judge how likely one is to move towards or away from his/her essential nature.

Using the table of essential dignities we can identify the overall ruler or almutent of a particular degree of the zodiac by adding up the amount of dignities the seven classical planets (Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon) have at that degree.  We do not give the modern planets (Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) rulership.

Giving the planet in rulership 5 points, in exaltation 4 points, in triplicity 3 points, in term 2 points and in face 1 point, we simply add up the points for each planet to find the one with the most essential dignity at a particular degree or degrees. It is important to note whether it is a day or night chart and use the appropriate triplicity ruler.

Using this method we can identify the Lord of the Ascendant as the planet that has the most dignity at the ASC degree, in other words the almutent of the ASC. Often this is the planet ruling the ASC but not always. As the ruler of our ASC this planet is most concerned with our corporeal life which is often the driving force in our life. In modern jargon we could say it signifies our ego.

The Pilot of the Soul, is the planet in the chart with the most essential dignity overall. As well this planet must be placed in a position of strength, in other words a strong house, from which they can act.  Ideally it would also be free of accidental debility such as retrograde or combustion. All angular houses were considered strong with the 1st and the 10th seen as the strongest, the 4th and 7th less so, followed by the 5th and 11th houses, then the 9th, 3rd, 2nd houses finally the 8th, 6th and 12th as the houses of death, illness and self undoing respectively, were seen as the most unfortunate places from which action could not be initiated.

So, a planet in rulership, say Sun in Leo, but placed in the 12th house would not be as ideal as a planet with only triplicity but in the 10th house, like Saturn in Gemini. The Sun is imprisoned and can not act from the 12th house no matter how strongly dignified he is, whereas Saturn with less essential dignity has more opportunity to act because he is in a position of power.

Ideally, the Pilot of the Soul is the planet in charge; this is the planet that could set us back on the right path if we get sidetracked. This is the planet most closely aligned to our spiritual life, most connected with the Divine source. This is the planet we should endeavor to engage and make friends with, for it is most likely to raise us above our corporeal fate.

Finally we find the significator of the quality of the mind by finding the planet with the most essential dignity at the degree of the Moon, Mercury and ASC.  Quality of the mind does not refer to intelligence or being clever, but rather as to how the mind is used.  It relates to conscience and the moral nature of the native. This planet represents how well their corporeal and spiritual aspects communicate and integrate. In other words, do they use their minds for good or evil?

The same planet may fulfill two or more functions, at other times more then one planet may qualify as significator. To understand this better let us look at some charts.



The chart of Adolf Hitler has been studied by just about every astrologer since 1933, redundant as it may seem this chart is still a great example to use. We know that this native’s life was responsible for events that could be described as evil. It is generally agreed that being responsible for the death of so many millions is horrific.  But was he inherently bad? Was the road to evil imposed or chosen by him? Could he have made different choices?

Looking at Hitler’s chart we find that the Lordof the Ascendant is Saturn 13 Leo in the 10th house, because it has both exaltation and triplicity dignity over the ASC degree of at 21 Libra giving him a score of 7 points to Venus 5 point for rulership, Mars 2 point for term and Jupiter sole point for face.

Using the same method for the degrees of the Moon 6 Capricorn and Mercury 25 Aries, as well as ASC we find the significator of quality of his mind turns out to be Mars 16 Aries with 13 points, closely followed by Saturn 13 Leo with 12 points.  These two planets would function very much as a team especially as they are aspecting each other by square as well as by a very tight, almost to the minute antiscia* conjunction. This antiscia allows these two planets to function far more cooperatively then their stressful square aspect would indicate.

*Antiscia – From the Greek, meaning “opposite shadow”. A degree and its antiscia are equidistant from the summer-winter solstice axis (Cancer/Capricorn). Planets related by antiscia have the force of a conjunction.  Contra-antiscia (the opposition to the antiscia degree) has the force of an opposition.

Finally we must find the Pilot of the Soul. In this chart the search is difficult because Mars, Saturn and Moon are all in detriment, Sun and Mercury are peregrin which means they have no essential dignity whatsoever and Jupiter though he has face dignity is in his fall. Of the seven classical planets only Venus in Taurus has any dignity and she is retrograde, conjunct Mars as well as being very close to the 8th house cusp. Yet by default she wins the position of Pilot of the Soul. This would have been the ideal planet for Hitler to follow…But did he?

So we have:

Lord of the Ascendant                                  Saturn in Leo in the 10th house

Quality of the Mind Significator               Mars in Taurus in the 7th house with Saturn in Leo

Pilot of the Soul                                              Venus in Taurus in the 7th conjunct Mars

Lord of the Ascendant, Saturn in the 10th house, is debilitated in his sign of detriment, in other words far from his (Saturn’s) essential best nature. Saturn was seen as the great malefic by the ancients. Debilitated malefics function in extremes, their nature is amplified and exaggerated. This planet could bring great misfortune in ones life unless he was on his best behavior. At his best Saturn is patient, responsible, disciplined and holds a position of authority.

But in this chart he is not at his best, he is at his worst and yet he is positioned in the 10th house to act and act strongly. So he will act in a strongly malefic manner. Remember that as Lord of the Ascendant, Saturn represents Hitler’s corporeal desires and in the 10th he wants it be the boss, in Leo, he probably wants to be king. Saturn’s dispositor (and MC ruler), Sun is peregrin, he has no strength to give Saturn. Saturn receives Moon and Jupiter in Capricorn conjunct the south node. Moon in Capricorn is in detriment and would feel insecure. Jupiter is equally debilitated in his fall, though he has a bit of face dignity this is more to do with fear then an actual strength*.  Both being with the south node only adds to their debility. All this would give Saturn more justification to take control and not let go (Leo fixed).

* “The Faces supply some intriguing leads about those areas where the individual has fear or problems. The point is that most people don’t like fear and would rather cloak fear with hatred”.  From Lee Lehman “Essential Dignities” page 136

The significator of the quality of the mind is Mars working closely with Saturn. Here we find Mars equally debilitated in detriment squaring his ally Saturn.  One of the main meanings of the quality of the mind is conscience, knowing that an action is right or wrong because we are conscious of more then just our individual (ego) desires or needs.  We have already seen Mars’s connection with Saturn, but there is also a mutual reception by exaltation with the Moon. Both of these planets in detriment are receiving each other into their exaltation. They are exalting their detriment so to speak, not very reassuring.

Mars was also receiving Mercury into his rulership. Mercury being peregrine was easily enlisted to do Mars (and Saturn’s) bidding. Hitler was a great orator who was able to stir the emotions of the masses and lead them into war. (As an aside, Germany is said to be ruled by Mars and Aries. Hitler became Germany’s mouth piece.)

We find that Hitler’s quality mind was not going to tame or soften his Saturn’s drive for power and authority. On the contrary the two would work in tandem together and both bring with them the insecurity of the Moon and fear of Jupiter.

So far we have a dire situation, but was it absolutely necessary for Hitler to become what he became? The pilot of his soul may have helped him steer a different path. As Venus in Taurus we see fertility and creativity, but it is retrograde and conjunct Mars. The good nature of Venus is over shadowed by the strong malefic energy working together and feeding off the long term fears and insecurities (Moon, Jupiter conjunct South Node) that are present. The two malefics used the veneer of Venus to camouflage their indent, presenting a more benign face of Hitler to the world.

Remember that Hitler’s first aim in life was to be an artist and then an architect. Unfortunately he was rejected by the Vienna Academy of Art in 1907 and 1908 and didn’t have the educational qualifications to apply for study of architecture. We can only speculate how history may have turned out differently if he had been accepted by the Academy. So his Pilot of the Soul was not given a chance to take the drivers seat. Does this mean that Hitler was inherently bad or evil? I do not think so, but I would say that the odds were stacked up against him. He needed to overcome an awful lot to turn his life towards goodness.

Astrology is about time and we can not look at Hitler’s life or chart without regards to his time. Hitler’s fate was that of Germany’s. Looking at the chart of the man I would conclude that this was a man who was essential weak with little choice then to be carried by the forces of the times in which he lived.

Picking two events that seemed to have been pivotal in Hitler’s life; one mundane and one personal and, we may trace the growing dominance of Mars & Saturn’s influence in Hitler’s life.

Weimer Republic

In 1918 on November 9th the Weimer Republic came into being, shortly followed by the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. This perceived public humiliation of the German nation coincided with the period of Hitler’s Saturn return and marked a turning point in his life. This event planted the seed of his nationalistic and racial fervor that germinated into the Nazi Party and lead the world down the road to holocaust.

On that day the Sun 16 Scorpio was directly opposite Hitler’s Mars, Venus 16 Taurus and in contra-antiscia to his Saturn 13 Leo. The event chart’s North Node was at 13 Sagittarius, conjunct its MC and was on the antiscia degree of Hitler’s South Node 15 Capricorn, whilst The event charts Jupiter 15 Cancer was transiting Hitler’s own North Node at 15 cancer and his Moon 6 Capricorn was being opposed by the destructive and at that point unknown Pluto 6 Cancer. On a more personal front his progressed Moon 8 Aquarius was moving to oppose his Saturn 13 Leo.

The fate of his nation evidenced by this charts MC, Sun and North Node triggered the worst of Hitler’s horoscope promises: deeply malevolent Saturn and Mars in positions of extreme power, fed by the insecurity of his foundations (Moon, Jupiter and South Node).

Another incident that was very pivotal in the development of Hitler’s persona was the death by gun shot to the heart of his niece, Geli Raubal on Sept 19th 1931. Rumoured to have been his mistress, Geli and Hitler had an unusual relationship which in many ways played out the symbolic configuration of his Mars conjunct Venus in Taurus in the 7th house square Saturn. Hitler, twenty years her senior, found happiness with Geli, her presence subdued and relaxed him and yet he was totally controlling and fanatically jealous of her. There were questions as to whether Hitler was in any way involved in her death. The rumours and innuendos were never proved, but her death was to have a profound effect on Hitler.  He became suicidal and never regained the public joy he had exhibited in Geli’s presence.

On the day of this event we see Saturn was 16 degrees Capricorn trining Hitler’s natal Mars, Venus and conjunct his South Node while transiting Jupiter at 13 degrees Leo was right on his Saturn. Mars, ruler of his 7th house was transiting his 1st house, at 1 degree Scorpio applying to square his MC (5 Leo) and oppose his natal Mars, Venus conjunction. His progressed Moon sextiled his Mars, Venus and was conjunct his North Node and on its way to conjunct his MC on the day he took the control of the newly formed Third Reich (January 30, 1933).

Again we see both Hitler’s highly malefic planets; Saturn and Mars being triggered by this event. It is said that after Geli’s death Hitler threw himself ever more into his public life. Having enough influence to ensure that his involvement surrounding the suspicious circumstances of her death never came to light, must have been further evidence of his invincibility.  The ambition of his Lord of the Ascendant, Saturn coupled with the ruthless and destructive Mars, devoid of the balancing force of Venus (possibly symbolized by Geli herself, her death being the final death of Hitler’s Venus) allowed the evil that was festering below the surface to be given full expression.

We can not judge a chart in a vacuum. Hitler’ fate was linked to the circumstances of his era, culture, nation and birth. Hitler did not act alone in perpetrating the evil that was the Third Reich. Yet as the figure head for this movement he became the focal point of its manifestation. Was Hitler an evil man? The answer is that he was a weak man who through fateful circumstances yielded a huge amount of worldly power (symbolized by his celestially weak planets in terrestrially strong placement). What could have been done with this power need not have been so destructive, but it takes a strong individual to resist the allure of the ego.

In the words of the 13th century Saint Thomas Aquinas “The stars may incline, but do not compel.”  Yet even Thomas Aquinas conceded that only when a man’s soul was in communion with God was his will freed from the bondage of his corporal nature – with his physical body and its appetites, needs and desires. The stars may only incline, but your spirit needs to be in touch with a higher power to resist their inclination. Clearly this was not the case with the individual Adolf Hitler.

Bibliography and References:

J Lee Lehman, Ph.D. “Essential Dignities” Whitford Press 1989 page 136

Benson Bobrick “The Fated Sky: Astrology in History” Simon & Schuster 2005

Thomas Moore “The Planets Within, the Astrological Psychology of Marsilio Ficino” Lindisfarne Books 1982

Ian Kershaw “Hitler: 1936-45 Nemesis” Penguin Books 2000

Frawley, John “The Real Astrology” Apprentice Books 2000

Frawley, John “The Real Astrology Applied” Apprentice Books 2002

Holden, James H. “Abu’Ali Al-Khayyat The Judgement of Nativities” AFA 1988


Adolf Hitler: April 20 1889 NS, 6:30 pm (-0:52:08) Braunau am Inn, Austria (48N15 013E02) Rating AA

Germany Weimar Republic: November 9, 1918 1:30 PM CET Berlin, Germany from Nick Campion “The Book of World Horoscopes”

Geli Raubal’s death: Sept 19, 1931 CET -1:00 Munich, Germany. Date from public records, no time, chart set for 12:00 pm

Published in: on October 1, 2012 at 6:07 pm  Comments (1)  

A Solar Return Story

I have been working with Solar return charts and profections for many years now. I take the ruler of the profected ASC as “Lord of the Year” and look at its position, condition and configuration in the Solar Return chart. When angular the native is more of a driving force behind the events that will take place that year, when cadent things happen through the outside impetus. I have found that the returning of angles in the solar return chart to the same signs as in the natal chart indicate a significant years.

Here is the story of a Solar Return. My son was visiting over the Christmas holidays and he asked me to look at his chart. His birthday being in April I drew out his next Solar return chart. As he had been living abroad in Cambodia for 4 years I could have relocated his SR chart, but I have lately been using the natal position, so set his SR for Melbourne Australia, his birthplace.

This is his natal chart. He has a Sun exalted in Aries ruling his MC, however the 10th place from the ASC is Virgo, ruled by Mercury. I have often found that writers have Moon in the 3rd house and my son has this placement in the sign of Aquarius. There’s an abundance of Taurus giving him a staying power and the ability to work hard.

The Ascendent of the Solar Return was almost at the same degree as his natal ASC, which made this a significant or important year for him. The ruler of that ASC was Jupiter in Taurus on the cusp of the SR 6th house and disposited by Venus.

He was turning 29 so he was in a 6th house profected year, with his profected ASC 21 Taurus. As he has Mercury, Mars and Venus in Taurus in his natal chart my first thought was that he would have a busy year. Since the Profected ASC landed on and was ruled by Venus; Venus was a clear “lady of the Year”.[1]  She rules the natal 6th and 11th houses and the 1st and 6th house by profection.

In the SR chart Venus is cadent in the 6th house in Gemini and conjunct the South Node. The theme of being busy, working hard but getting little recognition or honours during that year becomes more pronounced as the 6th house is emphasized yet again. Especially as Solar Return MC is ruled by a fallen and weak Mercury and Venus is making a partile square to a retrograde Mars in Virgo on the MC, denying any such honours.

The Solar Return Moon in Libra conjunct Saturn, reinforces the sense of hard work and also hints at his forthcoming Saturn return which will impact his 11th house of friends and colleagues.

So I made my judgment: “you will be working really hard, be very busy and may go back to doing something from your past (Venus conjunct the South Node), but you will get little recognition publicly for all your efforts.  The events for the year will be initiated by others rather than by you. It will be an important and significant year which will be fortunate as both profected and Solar Return rulers are the benefics (Venus and Jupiter) and both are in good condition in the natal chart and not too bad in the Solar Return Chart.”

My son could not make much sense of such a reading as he had been working as a journalist for 3 years and freelancing for the past year with quite a bit of success. He didn’t understand how being very busy and working hard would not bring him recognition, nor did the idea that events would be initiated by others make much sense, as it was through his own travel and ideas that he had come up with the material for all the articles he had been writing and selling. And how, he asked could the year be “good” if he was going to be so busy but get little recognition?

A couple month later, about 1 month before his actual birthday, he received a phone call out of the blue from a reputable publishing company asking him if he would be interested in writing a book on modern day Cambodia. He signed the contract in June (a couple months after his birthday) and will be busy writing for at least 18 months. He will be working really hard with little recognition initially. He is also doing research in a manner that recalls his time at the University.

The judgment stands; and my son was duly impressed.

A note of interest:

In most of the traditional text it is said that when Venus is the Lord of the Year or a time Lord of some sort, she will bring events and circumstances to do with relationships, marriage or women in general. It may yet prove to be the case with my son, though I could not see any emphasis on the 7th house to indicate relationship or marriage (and he is currently not in a relationship). It is interesting that it was a woman who called him asking him to write the book!

[1]   For those interested the Distributor of his ASC through the Bounds is Venus (until December 2017) and its partner is Mars, but will change to the Sun shortly before his 30th birthday in 2013.  From Abu Ma’shar’s “On the Revolution of the Years of the Nativities”, translated by Ben Dykes (page 132 – 156)

Antiscia: The Story Behind the Chart


When I first began to explore the world of traditional astrology I came across a term that was puzzling; antiscia and contrantiscia. The definition was clear enough, degrees of the Zodiac equal distant from the cardinal points of 0 degrees Cancer/Capricorn for antiscia or Aries/Libra for contrantiscia, in other words degrees mirroring each other from the cardinal axis.

Planets in antiscia relationship to each other were said to act like a conjunction, while the contrantiscia were like oppositions. In fact the contrantiscia point is in opposition to the antiscia point. For the purpose of this article I will only speak of the antiscia point, its opposition being a given.

Now the antiscia was defined as: a shadows point, a reflection or a hidden ally.  My intellectual curiosity was pricked. Whilst investigating the antiscia I found that I had two such planetary pairs in my own natal chart. Now the desire to understand antiscia became far more personal.

It seemed that the ancients put a lot of significance on these points. Some even mentioned mundane antiscia, meaning degrees of the Zodiac equal distant from the angles; a sort of midpoint. Could these points be activated by transits or progressions? This might explain those times when nothing seems to be happening in a chart and yet the life is filled with dramas and activity.

When Pluto transited my Sun, its antiscia point occupied by Venus was also activated. Because my Sun and Moon are in partile square to each other she was also being activated as was her antiscia point occupied by Jupiter. Rather then 1 or 2 planets being shaken by the newly demoted powerbroker Pluto, four planets were involved. All the houses they ruled or had command of were taken along for the ride. Suddenly the potential for what these points could mean became very interesting.

Finding the antiscia point for your ASC and MC can reveal so much about who you are and what you do, especially if there happens to be a planet or other significant point on these zodiacal degrees.

Christina Onassis

As a child I remember reading about Christina Onassis the super rich heir of a fortune. Her life played out in the tabloids as proof that money can not buy happiness. Her life ended prematurely at the age of 37 years and 11 month when she died alone of a heart attack brought on by years of drug abuse and physical neglect.

Christina was born into extreme wealth, into a culture and to a father who had little regard for women. Her mother, reputed to be a great beauty was prone to depression. Some accounts claim that she ended her life in suicide; others say she died of natural causes.

As a child Christina was close to her older brother, Alexandros, the clear favourite of their father. Growing up they had little contact with either of their parents who bitterly divorced in 1960, when Christina was 10 years of age.

She grew into an awkward and conventionally unattractive woman in a world that exalted the beauty of women. By all accounts she was a good business woman who had like her father a natural flair and instinct for business, but she is remembered more for her unfortunate personal life.

Within a 24 month period in the early 1970 she lost her entire family when her brother, mother and then father died. She was left alone in the world. Over the years she married four times, but never seemed to find happiness in these relationships. At the age of 35 she gave birth to her only child. She died three years later.


Christina’s ASC at 25 Taurus has its antiscia point at 4 Leo, conjunct her IC. The IC represents foundation, family and father; in this case it is ruled by the Sun, a universal symbol of Father. Her identity (ASC) was therefore one and the same as that of her father/family. The Sun also represents the sum total of who we are and who we are evolving into. In her case this was forever bound to her foundations and father, forging her own way in the world would have been that much more difficult.

Looking further we see that the Sun is in Sagittarius right on her 8th house cusp. The 8th house is the house of death and also the house of as “other people’s money” or in our modern terms “their resources”. This is the house of inheritance or legacy, particularly through death. The Sun’s placement on this cusp reinforces the antiscian connection between ASC (self) and IC (father/family). It also accounts for the talents and abilities she inherited from her father.

The Sun’s own antiscia point is at 10 Capricorn within a degree of Mercury, which rules her 2nd house of money and her 5th house of children & joy. There is little doubt that her money came through her father’s estate and one of the few joyful events in her life was the birth of her only child: Athina. Because of this relationship between Sun and Mercury her health & vitality would be affected by movements to Mercury as well as the Sun.

Not only was her Sun connected to Mercury by antiscia and in flowing partile aspect (to the degree) to both Pluto and Neptune, but there was also a hidden contra antiscia (opposition) relationship to Uranus. This gives us a hint of the hidden side of her father. Yes he was powerful and mysterious, but there was a volatile and erratic side that was hidden behind closed doors. It could also symbolize the more self destructive tendencies that hovered just below the surface of her life.

Not surprisingly we find that the antiscian degree of her MC is conjunct the DES, the angle of our relationships, traditionally our marriage partner. So who she was in the world was very much defined by who she was in relationship with. Interestingly her DES is ruled by Mars in Capricorn, exalted conjunct and receiving her Capricorn Moon in detriment. With such an insecure and needy Moon exalting Mars, universal significator of men and ruler of her 7th house, we can surmise that she needed relationships, but as Mars also ruled her 12th house it was potentially the road to her self-undoing. The stage for many a disastrous marriage was set.

Through the antiscia connection between her ASC/DES and MC/IC we see how the men in Christina’s life came to absolutely dominate her identity and how she conducted her life. The Sun was not just the ruler of her IC, but also in a secretly ruled her ASC. Mars didn’t just rule her 7th house, but also subverted the reign over her MC.

Antiscia by Transit and Progression

On Jan 23 1973 Christian’s beloved brother was killed in an airplane crash in Athens. On that day her vulnerable Moon at 23 Capricorn was being transited by Jupiter and her progressed Venus, whilst Neptune was on its antiscia point of 6 Sagittarius. This incident fuelled conspiracy theories and suspicion of covert foul play that were never proved. The antiscian Neptune shows us the hidden side of this very public tragedy, which was none the less a very personal loss to Christina.

At this time Christina’s progressed Sun had reached the antiscia point of her natal Sun. Her brother’s death projected her further into the world of business as she became the sole inheritor of their father’s business. Another interesting antiscian connection at this time was the progressed MC at 26 Aquarius and progressed Moon at 4 Scorpio in antiscia conjunction. This is particularly interesting as the Moon rules her 3rd house of siblings. Behind the very public news about her brother was a devastated progressed Moon in the natal 6th house of “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”. Her grief (Moon) was thrown up to public view (MC).

This death was the first of many in her family concluding with the death of her father on March 15, 1975. On this day Saturn was at 11 Cancer in opposition to the Sun’s antiscia point of 10 Capricorn and Jupiter was at 29 Pisces transiting the antiscia point of her natal Saturn, ruler of her MC. As well the North Node at 3 Sagittarius right on Mars’s antiscia point. In her progressed chart the Moon had reached the antiscia of her natal Moon whilst the ASC was within one minute of her progressed Uranus’s and 1 degree of her natal Uranus’s antiscia point. This last detail speaks volumes about the final blow her father’s death must have been to Christina, now she was truly alone and abandoned in the world by her family.

In her final days Neptune was approaching a transit to her Mercury, which as a result of its connection to her Sun (her vitality) would have affected her health. Whilst Jupiter (ruler of her 8th house of death) at 2 Gemini was opposite Mars’s antiscia point, her progressed Sun was conjunct Mars and transiting Mars was opposite natal Saturn (ruler of her 6th house of illness). All in all a very Mars death, though she is said to have died of natural causes she had attempted suicide numerous times during her life and her death was finally brought on by years of drug abuse and physical neglect.

There is much more to Christina Onassis chart that could be explored, but limited to looking at the story the antiscia can tell, has given us fascinating insight into a troubled life.

Temperament: An Astrological Look at two Different Educational Methods: through the temperamental nature of their founders

According to seventeenth century master astrologer William Lilly, working out the temperament was the first and most important step of natal judgment. In my quest to learn and capture the insights temperaments gave our astrological forefather, I came upon the notion of identifying the significator of manner as a crucial step in understanding how the temperament would manifest in the life.

Working with temperaments alone, gives us limited information, but identifying the planet that signifies the “manner” seems to unlock the secret of how an individual basic nature will manifest. The significator of manner was also referred to by other authors as the quality of the soul. The temperament shows us the innate nature of an individual whilst the quality of the soul or manner, show us what they want or choose to become.

The significator of manner was identified by William Lilly as either a planet in the 1st house in the same sign as the ASC, a planet conjunct or in partile (to the degree) aspect with Moon or Mercury, ruler of the ASC if aspected by one of his rulers or finally if no planet fits any of the above conditions you would judge the planet with the most essential dignity at the degree of the Moon and Mercury to be the significator of manner, that is the planet through which the temperament is expressed. It is important to note how the planet signifying manner is configured in the chart, what it rules, aspects and its dispositor.

The catch was that only Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn seemed to be eligible for the role of significator of manner. The luminairies and the outer planets (unknown in Lilly’s time) modify the planet(s) of manner and add much to the story it tells, but can not function alone.

That a person’s life work reflects their nature should be a given, after all we can not divorce ourselves from who we are (no matter how hard we may try). Looking at the two educational methods that are Maria Montessori’s and Rudolf Steiner’s legacies we should be able to recognize their founders imprint.

In particular will the basic nature of these gifted individuals as defined by their temperament and the planet that signifies their manner, be reflected in their educational method?

A brief overview of the two educational methods

Maria Montessori developed her method of education through the observation of children rather then by the application of theories. Her medical and academic training allowed her to approach her work in a very structured and intellectual manner. She observed the child’s innate ability and joy in learning and understood it to be a natural result of a child’s interaction with his environment. Many of Montessori’s then radical ideas about children and their education have now become part of the excepted norm.

Whilst Maria Montessori focused her entire working life on education, Rudolf Steiner was far more eclectic. He was a visionary and came to his development as an educator through his profound understanding and experience of the spiritual nature of the world and man. His point was to nurture the spiritual development of the child and to allow it to unfold free from adult (and therefore corrupted) interference.

Both systems have similarities, in that the respect of the child’s ability to learn is paramount and that the learning environment is child centered and focused. Both maintained that children learn only when treated with respect and in a nurturing environment. Both also contained an element of idealism, believing that through the child the world could be changed.

Briefly, the Montessori system emphasizes the prepared and ordered environment in which the child is free to explore, naturally learning through his senses, beginning from the concrete evolving to the abstract. The Montessori system believes that the child’s innate desire to learn will lead him to naturally acquire the skills needed at the point when he is ready. Montessori discourages the exposure to fantasy and fairy tales, believing this to confuse the child and that the “real” world was fascinating enough.

The Steiner method on the other hand encourages imagination and believes that the child comes to understand the nature of the world through colour, play and myth. The Steiner method emphasizes the spiritual nature of the child and encourages its expression through movement, storytelling and play. They advocate not exposing children to the academic subject until the age of eight.

Maria Montessori, her life and work

Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori was born in Italy in 1870. As a child she showed a great interest and aptitude to study and was encouraged by her mother to pursue an academic career. After many difficulties and restrictions she became the first woman in Italy to qualify as a medical doctor. She later went back to school to study psychology and philosophy. In 1904, she was made a professor of anthropology at the University of Rome. She gave up both her medical and academic career in 1906 to focus on the education of children full time. Until her death in 1952 she traveled the world revolutionising pedagogy.

Her personal life was more austere. She had a son, Mario, with a colleague, Dr. Montesano, the couple never married. It was said that Maria and Dr. Montesano agreed to never marry, but eventually Dr. Montesano reneged on his part and married someone else. Mario was raised by a family in the countryside of Rome and his mother would visit every once in a while.

Judging her temperamental nature through her natal chart we find a woman whose more external nature (ASC and Sun) were predominantly Choleric, so basically hot and dry, with some Phlegmatic (cold, moist). This means that her natural inclination was to expand and move outwards (hot) and be very structured and defined. There can be a tendency for Choleric people to be dogmatic and stubborn and if biographical reports are to be believed, this was a part of her character. The Phlegmatic quality resided entirely in her Scorpio Moon conjunct her IC (foundations) and ruling her 12th house.

Identifying the significator of her manner, the planet through which her nature is focused, we find that Venus is in her 1st house in the ASC sign of Leo in antiscia conjunction to Pluto in the 10th house.

Venus is powerfully positioned on her ASC and rules her MC, 3rd house as well as Mercury (conjunct the 3rd cusp). Clearly we see career coupled with early learning and children (Mercury, natural ruler of children, despositor of the 5th house ruler Jupiter and PoF in Gemini). Her choleric nature was most clearly expressed in these realms of life through powerfully placed Sanguine Venus, helping to temper her overly choleric nature. Coupled with the influence of powerbroker Pluto, we can symbolically see the incredible transformation of childhood education that she accomplished.

As her the phlegmatic part of her nature resides entirely in her Scorpion Moon and was ruled by Mars in all dignities: domicile, triplicity, term and face. We could judge Mars as a secondary significator of manner. Mars himself is in the phlegmatic sign of Cancer (in mutual reception with her Moon in Scorpio) and conjunct Uranus. Today we may forget how radical some of her ideas on children and education were, as well as how radically she lived her private life.

There is idealism in her educational philosophy that can be seen in the partile trine between her 9th house Neptune and 5th house Saturn: idealizing the structure of the environment. Neptune is also squaring her Mars and is in antiscia conjunction with her natal Sun.

The relative positions of Venus and Mars in regards to the ASC indicate that Mars came to the forefront later, when by direction the ASC and Mars had conjoined, at about the age of 21/22 when she began to fight to attend medical school. This was a woman who fought for and won everything she achieved in her life, beginning with her conservative father, the authorities at University and later other educationalists. Mars rules her foundation and father (4th house) and higher education (9th house). Privately, her life was not as successful as her career. She had a child out of wedlock (5th ruler Jupiter is in detriment) who was raised by another family and she never married. Her personal fights may have ended in a far more phlegmatic manner then her public ones.

Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner

Rudolf Steiner was born into a stable working class family. From a very young age Rudolf was aware of things unseen. As a boy he showed such intelligence and eagerness to learn that his father arranged for him to be educated. Steiner studied far more subjects then was required, doing outside reading on subjects as philosophy, psychology, science and geometry.

He was inspired by Goethe, who he recognized as one who perceived the spiritual in Nature. Eventually Steiner founded the Anthropophy society (a break away faction of the Theosophical movement with more emphasise on the Western mystical tradition, rather then the eastern bent of the Theosophist).

Unlike Montessri he did not dedicate his life to education, but rather to a far more expansive palette of interests, with an overall theme of transforming society through the recognition of the spiritual nature of man. He was extremely prolific, writing some 33 books and delivering over 6000 lectures in his lifetime. His development of the Waldorf school happened later in life at the age of 57 at the instigation of friends.

Rudolph Steiner’s chart indicates a Phlegmatic/Melancholic temperament giving him a predominately cold nature (with equal moist and dry). This means that his movement is down and inwards. This is a man who was able to spend much time alone and in contemplation. The moisture in his nature gave him the ability to connect things together whilst the dryness allowed him the ability to put structure to his insights.

As no planet was in the 1st house, no planet was in partile aspect or conjunction to either Moon or Mercury (though Neptune conjuncting Mercury will be a modifying influence), the ASC ruler Mars was not aspected by any of his rulers, we are left with Mercury as the planet with the most dignity at the Moon and Mercury degrees as the significator of manner.

So his manner was signified by occidental therefore melancholic Mercury, conjunct Neptune in Pisces. The dispositor of both is Jupiter in Leo conjunct this MC. Jupiter is the universal significator of all things philosophical, religious and spiritual. This indicates that his nature was expressed through a dry mind that was able to perceive things unseen (Neptune). He would want or choose to communicate and share these perceptions with the world.

Mercury also tells us about the great variety and amount of interest and work he did. Mercury rules the 8th and 11th houses, Moon, Uranus and Saturn giving us further clues as to how and in what areas of life Steiner’s very cold, contemplative nature would be best expressed.

The Lunar contact, Moon is in opposition and is received by Mercury, supported by Neptune conjunction, indicates the reflective nature of Steiner’s mind. Through his Moon, ruler of the traditional 9th house of dreams, philosophy and religion, his nature is drawn to the unseen. The Melancholic nature of his Moon (and Mercury) gives him the ability to structure his perception of the spiritual world. His desire to awaken humanity consciousness to the spiritual nature of life is clearly indicated by Mercury’s dominion over the 11th house of community and 8th house of death. After all we need to accept the death of the body before we can understand the life of the Soul.

The only heat in the temperament comes from his ASC ruler Mars. It is interesting to note that Pluto is conjunct ASC ruler Mars and is in almost perfect antiscia with MC. This allowed him to bring the energy and power (Mars conjunct Pluto) needed to project his work out to the world as he did.

Natal analysis: Michael Moore

Michael Moore has produced some of the most successful feature film documentaries ever made which have changed the art of documentary film making forever. Editorially he shamelessly presents the world his opinions disregarding the usual pretense of impartiality that is conventionally associated with the reporting of current affair issues.

This is a man who has created strong and divided reaction and who continues to express his strongly critical views of western political, social and business morals despite conservative backlash. He appears to do so as a means of awakening the people to the corruption and hypocrisy of the powers that be.

From a classical perspective his astrological chart clearly shows us the motivation and ability required for him to achieve what he has done so far. This is a diurnal chart with the leading light high on the MC and two out of the four planets in sect, Mercury and Jupiter given prominence by their fortunate condition of hayz; being in sect, over the horizon and in a diurnal sign. Giving them both more ability to be of service to the native

Temperamentally, Michael Moore is a predominately dry, choleric/melancholic individual with more heat then cold. This makes him very contained and sure of himself, not easily influenced by others. The heat in his nature propels him out into the world. His natal Sun, ruler of his ascendant, sanguine in nature (a seasonal spring Sun) but in a melancholic sign, positioned on the MC supports this natural inclination. The coldness exists in his Moon that is melancholic by sign and cycle and ruled by a melancholic planet, it is the private, reflective and more intimate part of him that is most able to focus inwardly.

The significator of his manner, the planet through which he will most easily express his nature is Mars in Capricorn partile conjunct his Moon and ruling his Mercury. This is the planet of action and is always willing to fight for a cause. Here Mars is in exalted dignity with rulership over Saturn, Mercury, the ninth and fourth houses as well as receiving the Moon into his exaltation.

Choleric Mars adds more heat and dryness to his nature. Exalted Mars is in mutual reception with his dispositor Saturn in Scorpio receiving each other into their rulership. Saturn on the IC may bode well for his ability to bring structure and discipline into his life, but it also shows us that at the root of Michael’s character maybe a fundamental fear or sense of lack. This insecurity is amplified by Saturn’s mixed mutual reception with the Moon receiving Saturn into his fall. Saturn befriends the afflicted Moon only to find that she brings him trouble.

His detrimented Moon rules his twelfth house and exalts his tenth. Secret enemies may be perceived everywhere out in the world but with Mars on his side he is motivated and able to take action in order to purge the power structures that be of their corruption. Moon/Mars are in partile trine to the Sun and sextile Saturn at the IC. The Sun opposition to Saturn clearly shows us how Moore will expose those at the top by shedding light on the secretive and hypocritical nature of their underground dealings, symbolically illustrated by Saturn low in Scorpio.

To help him fight Mars will enlist the help of Mercury in Aries in the ninth house of beliefs and philosophy as well as the house signifying publishing, to get the word out. The tone of his word will reflect the choleric nature of Mercury’s sign placement and the importance of his message can be deduced by Mercury’s position on the bends of the Nodes which are exactly conjunct the sixth/twelfth house cusp, revealing secrets and the disease of society; corruption.

Mercury reigns over Jupiter who though in detriment is placed in the house of his joy and like Mercury is in Hayze (being in sect in a diurnal chart, over the horizon and in a diurnal sign) this gives both more ability to be of service to the native. No one could accuse Michael Moore of acting insignificantly and Jupiter is well used in communicating his message on a grand scale. As ruler of his 5th house of creative endeavours it seems appropriate that Moore has chosen the medium of film, entertainment as well as writing to get his message across. Mercury’s reception by Mars ensures that the message comes across forcefully and with absolute conviction.

As the ruler of his second house Mercury indicates that Michael’s money will come from the ninth house realm which encompasses inspired thought, beliefs, philosophy, intellectual and spiritual quest as well as the more mundane publishing, foreign affairs and long distance and international communication. Though Mercury is peregrin (having no essential dignity) and cadent he is disposited by the Sun in whose exaltation and triplicity he finds himself.

As ruler of his ASC the Sun sits prominently on his MC. Unlike many filmmakers or authors Michael Moore is not a behind-the-scenes man. He does not shy away from the limelight, appearing in his own films, bullishly confronting his targets (Mars is in partile trine). Both Sun and MC are ruled by Venus strongly positioned in the tenth house, in her own sign of Taurus indicating that his career life will be successful and of a creative nature.

His Prime Motivator (the ASC ruler in the best position to take the lead) is a toss up between his Sun conjunct the MC and Venus in the 10th in Taurus. Though Venus only has authority over the ASC by term she is in better essential condition so most likely to take the lead. His main motivation will be his career and communication as Venus also rules his third house. Sun conjunct the MC shows us the importance of shining and together with Venus who conveniently receives the Sun into her rulership, we can see a brilliant career promised.

Venus is associated with creative endeavours and here so highly dignified in earthy Taurus making her ability to bring into manifestation, ideas from the world of the abstract. Michael’s chosen medium is film, a predominantly visual one. Venus is receiving the Sun (the vision) which is informed by Mars/Moon and kept in check by her Saturn opposition. His ability to communicate clearly is helped by Mercury’s reception of Jupiter. S

Venus is within minutes of the antiscia square (6 Leo 20) to Saturn and the MC/IC axis. Jupiter is also within an antiscia trine (6 Cancer 06) to Saturn and IC, adding further motivation for exposing the covert operations of those whose authority underpins society.

The Outers adding their bit to the Story

Positioned in the 3rd house of communication and under Venus’s rule, Neptune contributes his modern association with cinema to the career combination seen in Michael’s chart. Likewise Pluto closely squares Venus from the first house bringing passion and obsession to the professional expression of Venus. The plutonic influence is re-emphasised by Pluto’s close antiscia to the MC. Finally, Uranus is in the 12th house with the South Node, helping to expose the hidden enemies and manure of society. His involvement with the Nodal and Mercury T-square adds an element of the unexpected to his method.