Astrology of Religion, Atheism, and Belief | 6. Billy Graham
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 is one of the most prominent Christian evangelists. You can check out his biography on Wikipedia by clicking here. His natal chart is below, and has been given a Rodden Rating of AA.
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.
6 thoughts on “Astrology of Religion, Atheism, and Belief | 6. Billy Graham”
Hi Anthony! Nice to meet ya!
Well, the question for now, is regarding your analysis for the 9th house:
-How the angles and stakes, for the 9th house could differ?
When you tell “stakes”, the idea that I can imagine, includes all the quadruplicity, or in other words (in this case), the mutable or common signs. Is that correct?
– How determine angles to the 9th in whole signs?
I am working throughout all the charts for belief, from the first to this one, “playing the game” and learning, doing some mistakes, forgetting to see some points, and doing that, learning a bit more about astrology.
It was a good experiment in trying to get some narrow information out of very general methods. I’ve been meaning to return to the thread using some additional factors and special configurations.
And yes, you are correct, the stakes of the chart are the same as the “angles” of the chart, and are all the signs of the same quadruplicity. The stakes of any other planet or place are the signs of the same quadruplicity.
Thanks for your notes Anthony. Like yourself, I have supplemented Zoller’s course with research by Chris Brennan and Ben Dykes. Chris has contributed to my literature review on the predominator, kadukhudhah, and victor which I will probably post in another month or so; am familiar with all the variants in the Hellenistic tradition and have gone through all of Ben’s translations as well. For character I am gravitating towards rulers of the Moon and Mercury as Ptolemy suggests; right now, not sure which is the best scoring system for the ruler of a single planet or point. As for rectification, this is a controversial subject; my first book was a 700+ page monster covering all the US Presidents and First Ladies. I outline my approach there and have stuck to it consistently. I am quite skeptical of so-called ‘AA-rated birth times’ so much so that I have personally found that 15-20% of them have the wrong Ascendant sign. When I work with any horoscope, I read a biography, compile an event list (usually at least 200 events) and spend a few days testing the chart against events using a variety of predictive techniques. Fidaria, for instance, is a very powerful took in rectification (see Hitler and M. Monroe). An important finding from my study on the victor has been the ability of Fidaria periods to time when the victor delivers its promise, even more so than I originally expected.
See you around.
Hi Doctor H,
I know what you mean about AA-rated birth times. I’ve noted some issues with that in my post on astrological software. For instance, James Randi gave birth time from himself, supposedly from his birth certificate, but it gets a C rating, while there is no source giving 9:15am for Bowie, but a couple giving 9am, yet somehow 9:15am gets an “A” rating. I can see how it would be worth checking out.
have also done some work on graham. post is here, one of 40 horoscopes just posted on testing methods of antiochus/porphyry and ibn ezra on the victor of the chart. fellow zoller grad here – contact me through my site if you want to connect. cheers.
Very cool. Thanks Doctor H! Below are some notes I made in reading your analysis. I’ve been through the Zoller course a few times, and paid him for personal tutoring too, but he disappeared, so I’m not sure I’d be considered a technical “graduate”. My astrology is most informed by the work of Ben Dykes on Persian material, that of Chris Brennan on Hellenistic material, and my own critical study and chart work, but not much by Zoller or any late medieval astrology. I’ll keep in touch.
Lord of the Chart
I don’t do much victor of the chart stuff. There were more than 2 competing methods in ancient astrology though, even prior to Ibn Ezra’s method. Maternus gives many methods that he said were present in his time (then he chose the dumbest – use the lord of the sign after the sign the Moon is in at birth, unless it’s Cancer or Leo, then skip to Virgo, and use Mercury). Even in the Porphyry material, which I think is spuriously attributed to Antiochus by Schmidt (Schmidt didn’t include that passage in his original reconstruction of Antiochus, and Porphyry drew on more than just Antiochus, with this passage very different in tone than the Antiochus ones), there is a lot of “some say”, “they say”, “I say”, and so forth, indicating a diversity of opinion. In fact, Porphyry said, “For there is much dispute about this, and almost all of it is very difficult [to understand]. Sometimes, however, it happens that the same [star] is found to be both Ruler and House-ruler, whenever the Ruler that is found is the House-ruler of the dominant Light [i.e. sect light], which same will preside over a great destiny.” (Porphyry, & Serapio. (2009). Porphyry the Philosopher. (J. H. Holden, Trans.). Tempe, AZ: American Federation of Astrologers.) There is a tendency of some Hellenistic astrologers, particularly Schmidt, to present Hellenistic astrology as much more homogenous, uniform, and systematic than it was – the diversity of opinion and presence of conflicting indications and different styles is already immense in the earliest surviving texts, and it is actually later in the medieval period that astrology becomes more homogenized. This is a common theme I’ll be harping on with this blog, as there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding in which people think that a single true reconstruction of the Hellenistic “system” is either possible or has been done, and that there was a single Hellenistic “paradigm”, “philosophy”, etc. This is all just marketing and couldn’t be further from what we see in the texts themselves.
I prefer using the Ascendant Lords (used by a great many, incl. Masha’allah and Abu’ali), Mercury (also used by Masha’allah and Abu’ali, and signifier of the rational mind to Ptolemy), the Moon (used by Ptolemy for the irrational soul), and the strongest planets in the chart with a relation to the person (more along the lines of Abu Bakr’s method) for character delineation, and they show different things. I particularly dislike the Ibn Ezra method and others that count dignities using a weighted system. Those are the types that Zoller heavily endorses in his course and they simply don’t work well and I don’t find it helpful in terms of understanding the complexity of character to pile so many indications on one planet.
You’re rectifying an AA Rodden Rated chart that has 4Aries Ascendant (in bound of Jupiter) with that time to more than a half hour later with a 17Aries Ascendant (in bound of Mercury). Why rectify at all? Your rectification actually pushes Jupiter from strong advancing in the original chart to retreating in the new chart. l particularly wouldn’t rectify based primarily on lots, decans, antiscia, outer planets, convoluted victor techniques, and a grab bag of different primary directions (Regiomantus and Placidus?), so I have a hard time buying the rectification.
Mars Firdaria Subperiods
This is interesting. It’s cool that you pointed out the intensification of his evangelical activities during Mars subperiods. It fits with his Mars ruling the 1st in the 9th, Sagittarius. Very cool!