Dynamic Astrology VIII

more experiments with time - the power of mars

“The particular biographical events can differ in various ways…character, intensity, consequences…and are not statistically measurable as identical phenomena, yet a coherent underlying archetypal pattern seems clearly evident” Richard Tarnas

Recently I've turned my attention away from Venus and towards Mars as part of the expansion of the knowledge base of dynamic astrology with some wider research. For instance I've taken some time to look at Gauquelin's Mars effect, and I'll avail you with more about that later, but for now I'll cover my most recent Mars research.
About four weeks ago, I was working on a chapter for my next book, when I decided to carry out a little experiment. Having spent a few days looking at English/British monarchs with a few ideas about research (I am primarily an analyst so I'm particularly interested in finding which astrological variables we can reasonably experiment with), but I found myself looking at the personal astrology of dictators and world leaders. Having collected birth data for 540 current and historical world leaders I put them to the test. A number of natal and progressed aspects which are symbolically congruent and also prevalent in the sample caught my attention, so I honed in on these areas. The planets that stand out in this sample are Mars, Saturn and Pluto together with the Sun.

We have to be careful with natal Sun natal Mars aspects because it is a matter of nature that we end up with more Sun Mars aspects of certain types than others in our data samples. Because of the synodic cycle of Mars, when Mars and the Sun are in opposition, Mars is retrograde, and so passes the Sun twice as quickly as when it is in conjunction. The outcome is that any sample of horoscopes is likely to include many more conjunctions of the Sun and Mars than oppositions of the Sun and Mars. For this reason, we have to venture carefully into this field and so my preferred approach is to look at the progressed combinations of these two entities to show what actually happens in dynamic astrology when they meet. This is because their actual presence in the natal chart, while voluminous in the sample of 540 leaders and dictators I collected, proves nothing statistically. Similar results would most probably be present in most random samples. So its a much better idea to try to demonstrate the nature of the aspect in the same way we can demonstrate relationship change - using dynamic collision graphs showing the development and culmination of the progressed aspects we encounter.

Naturally, if astrology is true, the fact that we have fewer Sun Mars oppositions compared with conjunctions might raise a philosophical question, to explore this we must first explore the interpretation of Sun and Mars contacts in astrology and of course, despite the expected lack of oppositions, the established rules of astrology still have to apply in Sun Mars aspects, just as they have to apply in Sun Mercury aspects (the Sun is never more than 28 degrees from Mercury in the natal chart, but they can combine with greater scope in progressed charts and in synastry charts). Sun and Mars involves a combination of creative will (the Sun) and the means to exercise that will (Mars) (note that this is not the only way to interpret this combination).

When the conjunction happens, we should naturally assume that these two areas are combined powerfully and a positive outcome is probable, when the opposition happens we would naturally assume that they are thwarted. The square would create difficult circumstances surrounded the assertion of the will and the trine easy circumstances. So lets take a look at what happened in the progressions of some famous leaders and dictators.

But before we do, lets reflect on the many-dimensioned wisdom of the author Sam Harris:

'This notion of the arrogance of science, there is no discourse which enforces humility more rigorously, scientists, in my experience are the first people to say they don't know. If you get a scientist to start talking off his area of specialization, he immediately starts hedging his bets saying "you know I'm sure there's someone in the room who knows more about this than me, of course you know all the data's not in" this is the discourse in which we are most candid in the scope of our ignorance.' Sam Harris - The Four Horsemen video

'All we need are words like reason and evidence and common sense and bullshit to put astrologers in their place.'
Sam Harris - Beyond Belief conference

OK, enough of the unenlightenment, back to real scientific enquiry. The following two graphs represent the same astrological aspect occurring in the progressed charts of two of the most assertive twentieth century dictators, Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong. Many of you will already know that Stalin took power in 1922 and Mao took power in 1949.


The collision graph is a graphical demonstration of the progress of a dynamic aspect which develops over time, becoming exact at a specific point in time. In the two cases above, Stalin was born with the Sun and Mars 30 degrees apart. Using day for a year progressions, Mars came into an exact 0 degree conjunction with his natal Sun position in 1922. In Mao's case, the Sun and Mars were 37 degrees apart when he was born and using dynamic astrology Mars progressed to reach an exact conjunction in 1949.

Not everyone can experience a Sun Mars conjunction in their lifetime by progression, it all depends on where the Sun and Mars are when you are born. For Benito Mussolini, the most powerful possible Sun Mars progression was a 90 degree square aspect and for Franscisco Franco, it was a 120 degree trine. Coincidentally, these aspects reached exactness the same year these two came to power: 1922 for Mussolini and 1936 for Franco:

Winston Churchill also came to power when his progressed Sun arrived at a trine aspect with his natal Mars:

...And it was the same kind of trine which facilitated the rise to power of Mobuto Sese Seko in Zaire in November1965 :

Harry S. Truman assumed power in 1945 when FDR died. This coincided with the completion of a natal Sun progressed Mars trine aspect.

Fidel Castro on the other hand came to power under very strained circumstances in 1959, in a struggle which still resonates today. His Brother Raul Castro waited many years for a double Sun Mars aspect which was exact in 2008, the year he came to power in his own right.

If we look further back into history, we find the Roman emperor Nero came to power two years after his progressed Sun conjoined his progressed Mars in 52 CE. Emperor Commodus came to power the same year his Sun and Mars became exactly conjoined.

In Guatemala, Jacobo Arbenz was elected president in 1951, then ousted in a US backed coup in 1954. His window of power matches astrologically and politically and came in the form of a trine aspect.

Salvador Allende was also ousted in a US backed coup after being elected president of Chile. His power beginning in 1970 and ending in 1973 the long period of the conjunction is because both planets involved were progressing forwards.

And Yasser Arafat founded Fatah in 1959 the same year of his own Sun Mars conjunction:

Hamid Karzai president of Afghanistan came to power between 2001 and 2004 after the US brought down the Taliban regime. His window of power is open between 2000 and 2005. His predessor, Zahir Shah, who was king in Afghanistan began his reign in 1933, at the time of his natal Sun progressed Mars conjunction.

...and Silvio Berlusconi came to power in Italy in 1994 when his Sun Mars conjunction became exact:

These windows of power can be very narrow indeed, but they coincide most congruently with the facts of history.

One of the most striking astrological signatures is the addition of Saturn to the Sun Mars complex. In the case of Stalin and Castro we have a very similar set of astrological circumstances which, while not the same (and therefore defeating statistical categorisation), create a pattern from an astrological perspective. They were both born with a Sun Saturn square aspect, suggesting a personality that experiences hardship and limitation and which projects these traits as virtues. Rob Hand says of the Sun square Saturn aspect:" This aspect can be difficult to deal with. You may feel that the world is always working against you". In Stalin's case, his Mars progression in 1922 is by conjunction, which consolidates his power and squares up to those who seek to limit him (Saturn). In Castro's case, his Mars progression in 1959 is by square (but one which never became exact), suggesting his power is not consolidated, but neither is he defeated and at the same time his Mars stubbornly and rigidly opposes his natal Saturn (or those who seek to limit him).

As Richard Tarnas notes, astrology is full of coherent patterns which make sense to astrologers primarily because we have learned the language. If people like Sam Harris can't understand the language he should really do what he says science does, avoid arrogance and not pass judgement until the data is in, and it most certainly isn't all in yet.


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Josef Stalin 18/12/1878 12:00 TZ 2hr 59m East in Gori, Tblisi, Georgia, RR: DD Source: Wikipedia Although there is an inconsistency among published sources about Stalin's year and date of birth, Iosif Dzhugashvili is found in the records of the Uspensky Church in Gori, Georgia as born on December 18 (Old Style: December 6) 1878. This birth date is maintained in his School Leaving Certificate, his extensive tsarist Russia police file, a police arrest record from 18 April 1902 which gave his age as 23 years, and all other surviving pre-revolution documents. Stalin himself listed December 18, 1878 in a curriculum vitae as late as 1921, in his own handwriting. However, after his coming to power in 1922, the date was changed to December 21, 1879 (December 9, Old Style), and that was the day his birthday was celebrated in the Soviet Union. Russian playwright Edvard Radzinsky argues in his book Stalin that he changed the year to 1879 to have a nation-wide birthday celebration of his 50th birthday. He could not do it in 1928 because his rule was not absolute enough

Mao Zedong 26/12/1893 07:30hrs LMT Siangtan, China, RR: C Source Astrodatabank Biography by Dr Li Zhisui

Benito Mussolini 29/07/1883 13:10hrs GMT, Dovia Il Predappio, Italy, RR: AA Source Astrodatabank Gauquelin collection

Francisco Franco 04/12/1892 00:30hrs LMT, El Ferrol, Spain, RR: AA Source Astrodatabank Fagan parish record in hand

Winston Churchill 30/11/1874 01:30hrs GMT Woodstock, UK, RR: B Source Astrodatabank John Addey

Mobuto Sese Seko 14/10/1930 no time 12:00pm used, Lisala, Belgian Congo, RR: X date only Source Astrodatabank Jane Drury

Harry S. Truman 08/05/1884, 16:00hrs Larmar, MO, RR: B Source Astrodatabank Lois Rodden

Fidel Castro 13/08/1926 02:00hrs, Colonia Biran, Cuba, RR: DD Source Astrodatabank John McKay Clements

Raul Castro 03/06/1931 no time 12:00hrs used, Colonia Biran, Cuba, RR: XX Source Wikipedia

Nero 15/12/37 no time 12:00hrs used, Rome Italy, Source Suetonius Lives of the Twelve Caesars

Commodus 31/08/161, Lanuvium, Italy, RR XX Source Augustan Histories "he was born it is said on the day before the Kalends of September while his father and uncle were consuls "

Jacobo Arbenz 14/09/1913 Quetalnetango, Guatemala, no time, 12:00 used, RR: X Source Wikipedia

Salvador Allende 26/06/1908 Valparaiso, Chile no time, 12:00 used, RR: X Source Wikipedia

Yasser Arafat 27/08/1929 02:00 EEST, Cairo, Egypt, RR: DD Source Astrodatabank BC

Hamid Karzai 24/12/1957 Kandahar, Afghanistan, no time, 12:00 used, RR: X Source Wikipedia

Zahir Shah 15/10/1914 Kabul, Afghanistan, no time, 12:00 used, RR: X Source Wikipedia

Silvio Berlusconi: 29/09/1936 05:40hrs, Milan Italy, RR A: Astrodatabank Bordoni