An Astrology of Religion and Atheism
Is there an astrology of religion? Can we look at a birth chart and tell if or when someone will come to believe in God or the supernatural? In this series, I critically ask that question by looking at the charts of more extreme cases (religious figures and outspoken atheists) using the basic symbolic tools of ancient astrology. The rules of the game for this analysis can be found in the first article.
In the last article, I looked at a prominent skeptic, James Randi. I will give analyses of very religious people as well, to make sure we’re consistent and are not over-predicting religious doubt. In this article, we look at faith and doubt in the chart of the fourteenth Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama
For obvious reasons, religion is an extremely important part of his life. The Dalai Lama has also experienced extreme hardship associated with his own religion. Within his lifetime and reign, he’s seen his country taken over and has had to flee for his life into exile.
The Dalai Lama’s natal chart is below and has been given a Rodden Rating of A.
The Dalai Lama’s Chart Analyzed in Brief
Jupiter is advancing and it is stationing direct in the chart.
Jupiter is naturally benefic. It is out of sect but it is regarded on the right side by the sect benefic, Venus. Additionally, Jupiter is in one of the most benefic places, the 5th, and is not regarded by a malefic from the right side.
Notes on Jupiter
Our initial expectation from Jupiter is that expansive spirituality and positivism is a powerful, pervasive, and mostly beneficial force in this person’s life. Jupiter is the exalted ruler of the 1st, and is regarded by both the sect light (the Moon in the 3rd of communications) and the Sun in the 1st. Therefore, spirituality (Jupiter), power (the Lights), and the self are strongly and harmoniously connected. The Sun in the 1st is applying an overcoming trine to Jupiter within 1 degree, so authority/recognition (the Sun) has a powerful impact on the nature of spirituality (Jupiter) in a beneficial way.
Very strong and Jupiterian but also directly affected by Saturn
The 9th is occupied by a planet which gives it some increased prominence. Jupiter is the ruler of the 9th, and as analyzed above is very strong. Therefore, 9th place significations are very powerful and pervasive in the life. Jupiter’s effect on the 9th is to align it with loftiness, expansiveness, fortune, and spiritual experience.
Very mixed, overall benefic
The 9th, Pisces, is occupied by Saturn, which connects religion and long distance travel to trying and difficult circumstances. The relationship with religion is consistently tied to challenges and responsibilities. Jupiter is very benefic, so 9th matters are likely to be quite prominent and fortunate despite more direct misfortune. Jupiter regards Saturn by trine from the right-side, which in Hellenistic astrology is called Jupiter “overcoming” Saturn. This is the keynote theme here as a benefic overcoming a malefic is said to take away some of Saturn’s evil. Additionally, Jupiter is much stronger than Saturn in the chart and rules Saturn.
Notes on the 9th Place
The 9th place is prominent as it is occupied by Saturn, ruled by the exalted ruler of the Ascendant, and has both lights in aspect, with the sect light (the Moon which is also Ascendant lord) and Mercury in its stakes. There is an identification with matters of the 9th place as it is ruled by the exalted ruler of the Ascendant and has the Ascendant lord and sect light (the Moon) strongly in aspect (opposition). The 9th is mixed in terms of beneficence. It is most immediately malefic (due to the presence of Saturn) but overall benefic, due to the rulership by Jupiter who overcomes the 9th and Saturn by trine
Saturn is not very strong in the chart. Saturn is retreating and cadent (and is not stationing). The afflication of the Moon by opposition and the close trine with the Sun, as well as placement of its twelfth-part in the 1st house, do give it great significance in the life, but it is not pervasive.
Saturn is the out of sect malefic, and that alone entails some malefic significations. However, Saturn is regarded on the right side by trine by Jupiter and is in a good place (the 9th), so Saturn will have positive significations at times as well.
Notes on Saturn
We don’t expect doubt and/or fear to be a powerful and pervasive influence in this person’s life. We expect the most trying experiences from Saturn to be directly related to religion though.
Mercury is retreating and cadent, but Mercury is also in phasis and stationing direct. Therefore, Mercury has a somewhat strong and pervasive influence over the life. The prominence is particularly related to the career and authority (twelfth-part of Mercury in the 10th, phasis). The twelfth-parts of Mercury and Jupiter are in the 10th of actions and authority, illustrating the important role of spiritual (Jupiter) communications (Mercury).
Mercury is malefic in the chart, as it is out of sect, in a bad place (the 12th), and dominated by Saturn (overcome by square from the right side). However, Mercury is scrutinized by Venus, the sect benefic (i.e. Venus aspects Mercury by sextile within 3*). Rationality and intellectualism will have some strong associations with negative matters in the person’s life, and are not very strongly connected with the person’s sense of self (no rulership at Ascendant).
Notes on Mercury
This person does not strongly self-identify as an intellectual or as the voice of rationality. He may even see over-intellectualism as a vice. There is much exposure and involvement with intellectual activity and communication in the life though. Mercury has prominence on account of being in phasis and stationing direct. Betrayals and secret enemies (12th place) will probably be of a Mercurial character. For instance, the press and bureaucrats. Mercury may have other associations to unpleasant circumstances that occur in the person’s life.
Parting Notes: Illuminated Jupiterian Overcoming Saturn in the House of God
In conclusion, in the Dalai Lama’s chart we see someone with a very strong Jupiter and 9th place. Furthermore, Jupiter and the 9th are strongly tied together, providing a more spiritual view of truth and wisdom. With Saturn in the 9th, we expect difficult experiences with religion, even possibly strong doubts. In the chart, we see spiritual experience (Jupiter) overcoming such difficult experiences.
Skepticism does not play a generally significant role in the person’s life (Mercury and Saturn are retreating and cadent, with no rulership at the Ascendant). Skepticism and doubt are also not identified with as they Mercury and Saturn lack dignity at the Ascendant. Therefore, we not expect their influence on the identity to be sustained or forceful.
Rationality does play a role in the person’s life (sect light in Virgo). However, it is associated with unpleasantness (out of sect Saturn dominates Mercury and rules its bound). The identity is impacted by the Sun (occupies 1st), the Moon (rules 1st), and Jupiter (exalted ruler of 1st). Therefore, the identity is connected with leadership (Sun), social power and subjectivity (Moon), and fortune and religious experience (Jupiter).
Featured image is in the public domain.