An Astrology of Religion?
Is a predisposition toward belief or doubt shown in the astrological chart? In this series on the astrology of religion, we have explored the charts of a number of famous believers and doubters. In each chart we look for signs of belief and doubt. Here we explore the astrology of religion in the chart of Billy Graham, the famous evangelist.
The ingredients and recipes for this type of analysis can be found in the first post of the series, which you can view here. The relevant factors were reviewed with additional comments in the last article of the series, on Madalyn Murray O’Hair.
Billy Graham’s Central Belief Indications
Jupiter is strongly advancing in the chart and is in an angle/”stake” of the chart. However, Jupiter did station retrograde 4-5 days before birth which is somewhat weakening to it. When a planet is strongly advancing it is as if the volume is cranked very high on the planet in the person’s life. The planet’s significations are powerful and pervasive, touching upon all areas of life. Therefore, this Jupiter is quite strong.
Jupiter is naturally benefic, and here it is in sect, in a good place, and scrutinized by the Sun (by trine). The Sun is the sect light, so it provides a benefic influence and it confers power and prominence (making Jupiter even more prominent because of its close connection). Additionally, Jupiter is trine Venus (with Venus applying to Jupiter). There are no major indicators of maleficence for Jupiter, so it is very benefic.
Notes on Jupiter
Jupiter is one of the most prominent planets in the chart (the Moon, and to a lesser extent Mars, are also very prominent). There is also an identification with Jupiter. This self-identification is because of Jupiter’s strong connections with the Ascendant which symbolizes the self in the chart. Jupiter is the term ruler and triplicity ruler of the Ascendant, regards the 1st Place, and rules the Lord of the 1st (Mars). Religious identification is strong, and religion represents almost purely good things in this person’s life.
The 9th Place:
Extremely strong and Lunar, Martian, and Jupiterian
The 9th place, Sagittarius, is ruled by Jupiter, characterizing it as open and expansive in orientation. Planets in a place have a more direct effect on the place’s dealings. The planet ruling a place provides a more overall characterization. The presence of a Light, the Moon, in the 9th is enough to make the 9th very strong. That the ruler of the Ascendant, Mars, is in the 9th, makes the 9th even stronger, and very strongly tied to this person’s sense of self. Additionally, the Moon is within 5 degrees of the MC, thus is quite prominent, and Mars being tightly conjunct the Moon and just over 5 degrees from the MC, is also quite strong. Jupiter rules the 9th, and again is quite strong. Rarely do we see such a prominent 9th house, and one so strongly tied to the individual.
Mixed, somewhat benefic
–The benefic Moon is in the 9th, and the most benefic planet in the chart, Jupiter, rules the 9th, so there are strong associations of the 9th with beneficence. However, the out of sect malefic, Mars, is also in the 9th, and both Mars and the Moon are overcome and scrutinized (in this case a right-side trine) by Saturn. Saturn is not the ruler of the 9th, nor is Saturn in an angle or stake of the 9th, so the 9th is not Saturnine in nature though.
Notes on the 9th Place
The 9th is Lunar (powerfully and vividly subjective, personal, even irrational) and Mars-y (competitive, contentious, aggressive), in sometimes unpleasant or difficult ways. However, its overall characterization is that of religious and spiritual expansiveness (Jupiter). There is extreme self-identification with matters of belief, and Jupiter plays a major role in the belief-system.
Saturn is arguably the weakest planet in the chart (Venus is also very weak). The Moon and Mars are conjunct the MC, Jupiter is strongly advancing, and the other planets are advancing (Mercury is also in phasis). However, Saturn is just barely advancing, with no other major strength indications.
Quite mixed, somewhat benefic
Saturn is naturally a malefic so will indeed have some negative significations, but Saturn is in sect and in a very good place, the 5th place. It is also being scrutinized by the Moon by trine. These are all indications that Saturn can also have positive significations. However, Saturn is also scrutinized by Mars by trine (in fact, exactly), showing maleficence. Therefore, we have quite a broad range for whether Saturn’s significations are more positive or negative. A fair characterization would be to say that Saturn overall serves to improve life circumstances, but in ways that are constrictive or challenging.
Notes on Saturn
Saturn’s significations are not prominent in Billy Graham’s life, nor does he really identify with them. Saturn has little influence on matters of belief, but does characterize some of the planets with direct influence on belief as more Saturnine. Overall, Saturn is more geared towards its positive significations (duty, tradition, discipline, tangibility), than negative ones (fear, depression, death, loss).
Mercury is just barely advancing, but Mercury is in phasis, so Mercury has some strength.
Mercury is somewhat malefic in the chart, as Mercury is neutral, and so easily swayed, and here Mercury is out of sect, in a bad place (the 8th), and dominated by Saturn, which scrutinizes it (right-side square within 3 degrees). Mercury is assembled with Venus and overcome by Jupiter though, so we expect some positive associations with Mercury also.
Notes on Mercury
There is not an identification with Mercury’s significations as Mercury neither rules, nor even regards, the 1st place. Intellectualism and communications have a somewhat strong influence upon the life, but they also have primarily negative associations in the person’s life. Mercury’s assemblage with Venus may show an artistry with communication, or a “way with words”, and Mercury’s ruler is in the 9th of belief, putting Mercury in its service.
Strong Spiritual Belief with Crusading Energy
In conclusion, Billy Graham has one of the most belief-oriented natal charts one can find. Doubt and intellectualism are eclipsed by a strong personal relationship with belief systems (Jupiter and the 9th), and a pervasive spiritual influence (Jupiter), particularly upon matters of belief. We also see a strong Mars influence upon belief that is characteristic of evangelizing or “crusading” for one’s beliefs (even characteristic of crusaders for atheism).
Featured image is in the public domain.
Chart images produced using Morinus software.
Billy Graham in 1966 is in the public domain.