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The Mountain Astrologer

1905: The Greatest Single Achievement in Human Thoughth

by Gary P. Caton

EinsteinMore than one hundred years after Einstein published his famous theory of special relativity, it remains as the pinnacle of science, the Everest of intellect. Even Einstein's self-professed biggest blunder, the "cosmological constant" — thought to have been disproved by Edwin Hubble's discovery of an expanding universe — has been re-examined in the context of "dark matter."1 Yet, as undeniably as our world has been forever altered by E = mc2, it remains an incomplete puzzle. Despite the staggering implications of this theory of special relativity, that tremendous amounts of energy reside in even the smallest specks of matter, humanity remains chained to the fragile, fluctuating, and undeniably unsustainable sources of fossil fuels to power our world, having unleashed this new force in destructive and dangerous fashions. As an astrologer, I couldn't help wondering what the planets might have to say about this conundrum, particularly since Einstein had used predictions of small deflections in the orbit of Mercury to prove his theory.

The year 1905 was Einstein's "miracle year"; he published five separate papers in The Annals of Physics, which included not only his most famous theory but also the theory on the quantum of light that won him the Nobel Prize (in 1921). Ten years later, in 1915, Einstein figured out a way to prove his theory of special relativity. He predicted a specific amount of deflection in the orbit of the planet Mercury, which astronomers confirmed during a total eclipse of the Sun in May 1919. Many interesting transits and progressions correspond to these revolutionary ideas, but first we must do justice to the nativity of this intensely curious, nonconformist, socially progressive genius.

Charting a Genius

Einstein natalAlbert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879 at 11:30 a.m. in Ulm, Germany. With the water Sun and Ascendant, four planets in fire, and only one in air, at first glance we see, not the chart of a physicist, but that of a poet. (Einstein's theories were often compared to poetry.) The air houses (3, 7, and 11)2 are all occupied by planets in earth signs, however, which are capable of grounding the intellectual energy. The preponderance of planets in the southern hemisphere, above the horizon, indicates an individual with natural self-confidence and leadership powers.3 This confidence enabled Einstein to consistently shun the intellectual establishment and develop ideas that challenged conventional wisdom with their elegant simplicity. Obviously, we can sense the presence of the rebel planet, Uranus. Here, Uranus is not just one of only two planets in the subjective northern hemisphere — it is also the sole retrograde planet in the chart. Uranus opposes the traditional ruler of the Midheaven, Jupiter, from the 3rd house to the 9th, indicating an expansive ideology. Uranus is in angle to Mercury — the classic "genius aspect" — by closing quincunx from the 10th to the 3rd. Some would consider this a minor aspect, but thus begins a pattern that reveals the true magic of Einstein's chart.

I have found that whenever one is delineating the chart of a public figure, a close examination of the Midheaven (MC) and its ruler becomes paramount. Often, there is a harmonious relationship between the Ascendant and the MC and their rulers. Using these guidelines, we can see the natural harmony of this soul with the public eye, extending from the dominance of elevated planets to the Ascendant–MC trine, with magnetic Neptune close to the midpoint. Although the rulers (the Moon and Jupiter, respectively) are in harmonious elements, no specific aspectual relationship is immediately apparent. However, the true subtlety, symmetry, and genius of Einstein's chart are fully seen only in the fifth- and seventh-harmonic aspects.

Around the Jupiter–Uranus opposition is a collection of quintiles involving the ruler of the Ascendant and both rulers of the MC. Jupiter is at the midpoint of a Moon–Neptune bi-quintile and is therefore quintile to both. Einstein's chart contains about twice the number of quintile-family aspects that one would normally expect. According to some interesting research, quintiles represent the "Eureka!" type of scientist whose discoveries come in a flash of intuition.4 The tightest orb of any aspect is the quintile of Pluto to the Midheaven, and the next tightest orb is the Mercury–Pluto septile. The same research shows a correlation between septiles and scientific discovery. The septile of Mercury to Pluto echoes the irony (along with the "minor grand trine" of the Sun, Mars, and Pluto) that the ultimate legacy of Einstein's beautiful theories became the Plutonian annihilation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Genius Flowing through the Chart

Solar Return 1905Einstein's solar return chart for 1905 (March 14, 1905; 7:12:55 p.m. CET; Aarau, Switzerland) shows an interesting continuation of these themes. The Ascendant ruler, Venus, is septile the MC ruler, the Moon. There are twice as many septiles as might be expected to occur by chance. Also, the Uranus–Neptune opposition is the focus of some interesting formations. Straddling the MC/IC axis, the opposition forms a "mystic rectangle" with the nodal axis and serves as the spine of a kite formation, which includes a grand trine from Uranus to Jupiter–Venus and the North Node.

Einstein's Eureka! moment came on May 20, 1905, when he made his breakthrough by looking at a distant clock tower while hiking with a friend in the Swiss Alps. His transits for that day continue to echo the theme of "minor" aspects in his nativity (see Chart 3, outer wheel, below). Transiting Mars is at the natal Mars/Uranus midpoint, forming a quintile to both ends of the natal bi-quintile. Transiting Pluto is aspecting the same pair: quintile Uranus and bi-quintile Mars. Of course, this means that there was a transiting Mars–Pluto bi-quintile forming at that time.

Another theme in transits revolves around the work of the legendary Grant Lewi, who elucidated a technique for following transiting Saturn through the quadrants of the chart. Lewi reported that he often observed Saturn crossing the Descendant into the third quadrant as the "rise" of the individual into public consciousness — and the culmination of transiting Saturn crossing the MC as a high-water mark.5 Accordingly, we see Saturn culminating in the 9th house and, interestingly, transiting Uranus ready to "rise" from the 6th.

triwheelThe progressions for May 20, 1905 also show Saturn culminating and progressed Mercury stationary retrograde square the nodal axis (see Chart 3, middle wheel). As we might expect, progressed Mercury stationary retrograde signals another time of introspection, when Einstein eventually devised a plan to test his theory.

On November 18, 1915, Einstein unveiled a hypothesis that predicted a specific amount of deflection in the orbit of the planet Mercury (chart not shown). Transiting Jupiter in Pisces had culminated, transiting Saturn had moved across Einstein's Ascendant to the "obscure" sector, and transiting Uranus in Aquarius was on the rise — halfway through the third sector.6 The septile signature of scientific discovery was also active. Transiting Uranus was septile and transiting Saturn was bi-septile Einstein's natal Mercury. The transiting Moon was (briefly) septile natal Jupiter, and transiting Uranus was bi-septile natal Pluto. By this time, progressed Mercury in Aries had completed the inferior conjunction to the Sun — the midpoint of the retrograde cycle represented by the archetype of Prometheus, who defied the gods and gave humans the gift of fire.7

Scientists soon realized that they would have ideal conditions for observing Mercury and testing Einstein's predictions during the solar eclipse on May 29, 1919. Of course, we know that Einstein was proven right, that space and time are intertwined, and that gravity acts not so much as an invisible attraction but as an actual warping of the space–time continuum. In many ways, this moment of proof was much bigger for the world, and for Einstein, than 1905. Fittingly, transiting Uranus was now beginning to culminate in his 9th house (conjunct natal Jupiter) — à la Lewi's analysis of Saturn through the quadrants (chart not shown). Einstein would soon win the Nobel Prize and tour the United States as a celebrity.

As a small contribution from my own research, I decided to search the AstroDatabank database to see whether other scientists' charts would share the theme of Uranus culminating. I hypothesized that anyone born with Uranus in houses 2, 3, or 4 would have transiting Uranus culminating sometime around midlife. By comparing the number of scientists with this placement to the rest of the charts in AstroDatabank, I could determine whether scientists were more likely to be born with this Uranus placement. I found that scientists who were public figures were indeed 33% more likely to have this placement than average; scientists in the field of physics were 42% more likely.

Another interesting synchronicity is that progressed Mercury, the same planet that helped Einstein to prove himself, was culminating in his chart in 1919 as well (conjunct the progressed MC). Some more ominous configurations that point toward the ultimate use of this "greatest achievement in human thought" — the development of the atomic bomb by Oppenheimer's Manhattan Project — include progressed Mars conjunct natal Jupiter, plus the progressed Moon, along with transiting Sun–Mars, conjunct natal Pluto. The final, and (to me) the most profound, synchronicity is seen by progressing Einstein's chart to August 6, 1945 — the bombing of Hiroshima, the "day the Sun rose twice." Uranus rises just above the Ascendant and Sun–Pluto culminates in the progressed chart (not shown).

Einstein's Continuing Quest for Unity

I hope that, someday, we can find a more fitting use for the genius of the beautiful mind that so elegantly described the awesome power of our universe. If we ponder Einstein's legacy, the simple idea of unity would seem to be the most appropriate. The one overarching theme throughout Einstein's life was his quest to overcome the apparent disparities of existence. This was behind everything he did, from the theory of special relativity8 to his religion9 and politics.10 In the geocentric chart, this quest for unity could best be symbolized by the Jupiter–Uranus opposition and its participation in a loose yod-like formation with Mercury and the North Node. But I believe there is a much more complete astrological picture.

Dane Rudhyar envisioned three types of astrology. He argued that, since there are three basic types of planetary motion (axial, orbital, and precessional), there should be three basic types of astrology.

One type … will function primarily in terms of axial motion (geocentric) and stress the individual (psychological) factor in a man … Another type will emphasize … orbital (heliocentric) revolution … and stress the collective (sociological) factor in the behavior of man.

The third type of astrology is concerned with "the evolutionary process … the polar axis and its motions" [parentheses and emphases mine].11 Rudhyar recognized a specific type of astrology to deal with sociological questions. In fact, he later named heliocentric astrology as belonging to this "Astrology of the collective."12

Rudhyar believed that each person's birth represents a potential answer to a need of the greater whole — the tribe or nation, humanity as a whole, planet Earth.13 Where else but from the Sun would we look for such an all-encompassing vision? Certainly not in a geocentric, locale-specific chart! Indeed, as I began to investigate heliocentric charts, I found a relatively simple vocational indicator. Often, the aspect with the closest orb in the chart — particularly an aspect to a personal planet — reflects the native's "calling." One often finds close Venus or Neptune contacts in the charts of artists, Mars for athletes, Jupiter for philosophers or teachers, Saturn or Uranus for scientists, and (curiously) Mercury or Pluto for politicians.

helioAs expected, Einstein's closest heliocentric aspect, by orb, is the Venus–Saturn semi-square. Further, this aspect is part of what I call a "closed circuit," a mutually interrelated "chain" of aspects to Jupiter, Mars, and the Earth. In fact, there are no aspects in Einstein's heliocentric chart that are not part of such a closed circuit. So, the collective need that Einstein's birth served was the need for connection: a universal view that everything is connected and that disparities fall away when viewed from a higher perspective (heliocentric). Therefore, let us remember "the greatest single achievement in human thought" as a call to transcend our differences by seeking a larger perspective where these differences fall away and reveal the essential unity of all existence.

References and Notes:

1. For more about "dark energy," see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_energy

2. According to the "astrological alphabet" (pioneered by Zipporah Dobyns), the natural zodiac corresponds to the ruling planet–house–aspect associated with each sign: Aries correlates with Mars, the 1st house, the conjunction, and so on. The air houses are thus associated with the air signs: Gemini (3rd), Libra (7th), and Aquarius (11th).

3. Frances Sakoian and Betty Caulfield, Astrological Patterns: The Key to Self-Discovery, Harper & Row, 1980.

4. N. Kollerstrom, "The Eureka Effect: A Study of Scientific Inspiration," see: www.astrology-research.net/researchlibrary/eureka/index.htm. All descriptions of the characteristics and average frequency of quintiles and septiles in this article are taken from this work.

5. Grant Lewi, Astrology for the Millions, Llewellyn Publications, 1969. Lewi called the first sector (1st–3rd houses) the "obscure" sector; the second sector (4th–6th houses), the "emergence" sector; the third sector (7th–9th houses), the "rise" sector; and the fourth sector (10th–12th houses) was for consolidation.

6. Ibid.

7. Erin Sullivan, Retrograde Planets, 2nd edition, Samuel Weiser Inc., 2000.

8. Albert Einstein, "Fundamental Ideas and Methods of Relativity," 1920, as quoted in Gerald Holton, "Einstein's Third Paradise," www.aip.org/history/einstein/essay-einsteins-third-paradise.htm. Einstein "reports that in the construction of the special theory, the 'thought concerning the Faraday [experiment] on electromagnetic induction played for me a leading role.' He then describes that old experiment, in words similar to the first paragraph of his 1905 relativity paper, concentrating on the well-known fact, discovered by Faraday in 1831, that the induced current is the same whether it is the coil or the magnet that is in motion relative to the other, whereas the 'theoretical interpretation of the phenomenon in these two cases is quite different.' While other physicists, for many decades, had been quite satisfied with that difference, here Einstein reveals a central preoccupation at the depth of his soul: 'The thought that one is dealing here with two fundamentally different cases was for me unbearable [war mir unerträglich]. The difference between these two cases could not be a real difference … The phenomenon of the electromagnetic induction forced me to postulate the (special) relativity principle.'"

9. Holton, "Einstein's Third Paradise," op. cit. "… in his essay on ethics, Einstein cited Moses, Jesus, and Buddha as equally valid prophets … In the evolution of religion, he remarked, there were three developmental stages. At the first, 'with primitive man it is above all fear that evokes religious notions. This 'religion of fear' … is in an important degree stabilized by the formation of a special priestly caste' that colludes with secular authority to take advantage of it for its own interest. The next step — 'admirably illustrated in the Jewish scriptures' — was a moral religion embodying the ethical imperative, 'a development [that] continued in the New Testament.' Yet, it had a fatal flaw: 'the anthropomorphic character of the concept of God,' easy to grasp by 'underdeveloped minds' of the masses while freeing them of responsibility. This flaw disappears in Einstein's third, mature stage of religion, to which he believed mankind is now reaching and which the great spirits (he names Democritus, St. Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza) had already attained — namely, the 'cosmic religious feeling' that sheds all anthropomorphic elements. In describing the driving motivation toward that final, highest stage, Einstein uses the same ideas, even some of the same phrases, with which he had celebrated first his religious and then his scientific paradise: 'The individual feels the futility of human desires, and aims at the sublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought.' 'Individual existence impresses him as a sort of prison, and he wants to experience the universe as a single, significant whole.' Of course! Here as always, there has to be the intoxicating experience of unification. And so Einstein goes on: 'I maintain that the cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research … A contemporary has said not unjustly that in this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are the only profoundly religious people.'"

10. Holton, "Einstein's Third Paradise," op. cit. "As in his science, Einstein also lived under the compulsion to unify — in his politics, his social ideals, even his everyday behavior. He abhorred all nationalisms, and called himself, even while in Berlin during World War I, a European. Later he supported the One World movement, dreamed of a unified supernational form of government, helped to initiate the international Pugwash movement of scientists during the Cold War, and was as ready to befriend visiting high school students as the Queen of the Belgians. His instinctive penchant for democracy and dislike of hierarchy and class differences must have cost him greatly in the early days, as when he addressed his chief professor at the Swiss Polytechnic Institute, on whose recommendation his entrance to any academic career would depend, not by any title, but simply as 'Herr Weber.'"

11. Dane Rudhyar, The Astrology of Personality, Doubleday, 1970, p. 183.

12. Rudhyar, The Astrology of Personality, pp. 186–187; Rudhyar, "Heliocentric Astrology and Human Nature," NCGR Journal, Autumn 1990, reprinted from World Astrology Magazine, August 1944, no. 7.

13. Dane Rudhyar, Culture, Crisis, and Creativity, Quest Books, 1977.

Chart data and source:

Albert Einstein, March 14, 1879; 11:30 a.m. LMT; Ulm, Germany (48°N24', 10°E00'); AA: Ebertin quotes birth record.

Image sources:
Einstein: By Photograph by Oren Jack Turner, Princeton, N.J. Modified with Photoshop by PM_Poon and later by Dantadd. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

First published in: The Mountain Astrologer, Feb/Mar 2007

Author:

Gary P. Caton is an eclectic Astrologer embracing an organic process-oriented approach of spiritual exploration, growth and transformation via the living Sky. After immersion in Shamanism & Tarot, in 1993 Gary was initiated an Astrologer by a magnificent Dream showing him the Sun-Venus cazimi. Gary later earned a BS in Counseling with highest honors and has developed a unique multi-discipline Astrology practice over 21 years. You can listen to Gary's free Goddess Astrology Podcast, book a consult or connect with him on Facebook by visiting him at his website: www.DreamAstrologer.com


© 2007, 2014 Ray Grasse - first published by The Mountain Astrologer 2007

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Current Planets
20-Nov-2017, 06:49 UT/GMT
Sun288'13"19s44
Moon1755'20"18s33
Mercury1937' 7"25s36
Venus163' 5"15s36
Mars1759'27"6s03
Jupiter849'38"13s29
Saturn2634' 6"22s26
Uranus2519'30"r9n15
Neptune1128' 2"r8s07
Pluto1731'20"21s46
TrueNode1826' 8"r15n18
Chiron2425'21"r1n18
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