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Happy Birthday, Astrodienst
A look at the company's birth chart
by Liz Greene

Everything that comes into being at a given moment bears the qualities of the moment, and a company, like an individual, has a birth chart. The planets in their signs, houses and aspects reflect the same archetypal patterns as they do within an individual, and operate according to the same psychological laws, although obviously their expression in the outer world will not be the same. So what kind of "person" is Astrodienst, and what kinds of potentials might be awaiting expression in the future?

Here we see the paradox of an airy entity powerfully focused on understanding and delineating the hidden depths in life and in human nature.
This is an air-dominated chart, with the Sun in Libra trine an Aquarius Ascendant and only one planet in water.
Astrodienst's Chart

Astrodienst, 4 October 1983
04.00 PM, Zürich, Switzerland

This combination befits a company whose function is to share new and innovative ideas with the wider community through intellectual and technological expertise. With the Sun in the 8th house, what is shared, however, is the wealth of Pluto’s realm, for the natural ruler of this house is Scorpio. This, too, is fitting, because the ideas and themes which Astrodienst communicates utilise astrology to explore the deeper levels and motivations of human nature. A person born with the Sun in the 8th needs to consciously choose the inner world as a realm of commitment and exploration; that is their "destiny" or deepest motivation. The same applies to a company, although the "motivation" is not attributable solely to one individual’s choice, and has its own momentum and energy. Astrodienst was also born under one of the great generational markers, the Saturn-Pluto conjunction of 1982-1983, and this emphasises the need for delving into the depths - not only as a means of fulfilling the company’s "purpose", but also as a means of survival. Saturn-Pluto conjunctions, when they appear in an individual’s chart, often reflect psychological interests and gifts, and it is not coincidental that the first Jung Institute was founded in Zürich under an earlier Saturn-Pluto conjunction. In Astrodienst’s birth chart, Saturn is in Scorpio, Pluto’s sign, and Pluto is in its own natural house. Here we see the paradox of an airy entity powerfully focused on understanding and delineating the hidden depths in life and in human nature. That is the core and primary life-theme of this birth chart, and everything else orbits around it.

The language of Astrodienst is a language not entirely acceptable to the outside world: Chiron usually reflects difficulty in acceptance by the collective, and its placement in Gemini underlines the fact that astrology is a language not yet acknowledged by the larger collective in which we live.

The 7th house - connected with relationships and the public - is also strongly emphasised, and here we find a Venus-Mars conjunction as well as a Moon-Mercury conjunction in Virgo. The 7th house focus tells us that this entity is deeply involved in communication with the public. Venus and Mars together suggest that this involvement is expressed with passion and considerable emotional energy, arousing both admiration and competition from the outside world. Mercury and the Moon together in Mercury’s sign reflect precision and accuracy in communicating ideas, as well as technological expertise and a strong relationship between words and imagery. This admirably suits any dissemination of astrological concepts as well as any company which utilises the visual potentials of the internet. From its inception, Astrodienst has always been involved in communicating astrological images and ideas, and the fluency of the Moon-Mercury conjunction in Mercury’s sign may also reflect the fact that the company web site and its products are available in so many languages. Interestingly, the Venus-Mars conjunction is square Chiron in Gemini in the 3rd house. The language of Astrodienst is a language not entirely acceptable to the outside world: Chiron usually reflects difficulty in acceptance by the collective, and its placement in Gemini underlines the fact that astrology is a language not yet acknowledged by the larger collective in which we live. An individual with such a configuration might feel pain or distress at this kind of struggle to make ideas understandable. A company does not experience such emotional reactions. But an individual’s pain might motivate him or her to excel in communicating, and this same energy may fuel Astrodienst’s constant efforts to improve and enhance, through language and technology, the ideas which are being expressed.

Jupiter within 1º of the MC also reflects the success of the company and its ability to adapt to changing economic challenges according to the time.

This powerful and angular Chiron in Gemini is also trine the Sun. Chiron is the only planet below the horizon and is therefore a "singleton", occupying a position of special importance and emphasis. The need to articulate a complex and often misunderstood language - for astrology is, after all, a language which expresses in symbolic form archetypal patterns at work in human beings and in the whole of life - has always been a source of enormous energy and inspiration for the company, and it is one of the deepest "reasons" for Astrodienst’s existence. Sun-Chiron aspects in an individual often describe the need to heal, to contribute actively to alleviating some of the unhappiness in the world; this is why so many Sun-Chiron people work in the helping professions. The Sun also forms benign sextiles to a Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Sagittarius, which is in the 9th house close to the MC. The important configuration of Sun-Chiron-Jupiter-Uranus encapsulates the special "talents" of the company, in the same way that solar aspects encapsulate the special "talents" of any individual. Jupiter and Uranus together in Sagittarius, in the house naturally ruled by that sign, emphasises the pursuit of meaning, and also the expansion of the company into many languages and cultures. It is an innovative, inspired and intuitive configuration, reflecting a constant flow of new creative ideas and a refusal to be static and "rest on its laurels". Jupiter-Uranus conjunctions historically often reflect major scientific and technological advances; the first landing on the Moon coincided exactly with an earlier Jupiter-Uranus conjunction. Jupiter within 1º of the MC also reflects the success of the company and its ability to adapt to changing economic challenges according to the time.

The balance between the airy and fiery emphasis and these earthy planets means that dreams and ideals are put into solid form, and are balanced with the ability to survive in a tough world.

Finally, we need to consider Neptune, also in Sagittarius, placed right on the cusp of the 11th house and forming trines to both Venus and Mars. The 11th house is the house of the collective itself, and Neptune here describes great idealism and a longing to make a constructive contribution to the group. Astrodienst has made an enormous amount of information available free on the internet for the benefit of the astrological community as a whole, perhaps reflecting this intense idealism. Three planets in earth signs in this birth chart mean that there is enough common sense and practicality in this entity to recognise that idealism without a reasonable relationship with the material world may be well-meaning but does not guarantee continuing viability. The balance between the airy and fiery emphasis and these earthy planets means that dreams and ideals are put into solid form, and are balanced with the ability to survive in a tough world. Although there will always be some individuals who believe that they are entitled to everything in life free, many more recognise that this company has been able to ensure its survival while generously making an enormous amount of information and support available to thousands of people without cost.

Saturn’s tendency to crystallise things in form seems to have reflected the physical embodiment of the deeper purpose of the company.

Transits and progressions are as relevant to the chart of a company as to the chart of an individual. They reflect the times when particular innate patterns and qualities are ripe for expression in the outer world. Whether these transits and progressions are "hard" (difficult aspects) or "soft" (harmonious aspects), there is always an opportunity for greater consciousness and the opening up of new levels of expression for the natal planet. For example, when the first of the Astrodienst computer-generated report - the Psychological Horoscope Analysis - was launched in 1987, the progressed Sun moved into exact trine with the natal Ascendant, reflecting a harmony or coming together of the deeper "purpose" of the company (Sun) with how it expresses itself to the outer world (Ascendant). This kind of progressed aspect in an individual chart usually also reflects some new creative expression which defines the person in the outer world’s eyes. Also in 1987, transiting Saturn was aligned on the axis of the Moon’s Nodes. These mysterious points are often associated with "fate" because they represent the intersection points of the Sun’s and Moon’s orbits: a combination of "destiny" (the Sun) and "embodiment" (the Moon). Saturn’s tendency to crystallise things in form seems to have reflected the physical embodiment of the deeper purpose of the company, not surprisingly through a medium reflecting the Gemini-Sagittarius axis: the communication of ideas related to meaning and spiritual or philosophical concerns. When the Astrodienst web site was launched in August 1996, transiting Saturn was in Aries, trine the company’s Jupiter, Uranus and MC. There could be no better image of the crystallisation of that Jupiter-Uranus impetus to disseminate knowledge in new and inspired ways than this powerful transit. At the same time, transiting Chiron and the transiting Moon’s north Node in Libra were exactly on the company’s natal Sun. This triggered the natal trine between Sun and Chiron and emphasised both the need and the capability to communicate astrology’s language to a wider public.

Astrodienst was always "an idea ahead of its time", but it would seem, from this glimpse of what is coming in the chart, that the time may at last be beginning to catch up with the idea.

So what lies ahead? In the progressed chart for 2003-2004 - Astrodienst’s twentieth birthday year - progressed Mercury is exactly sextile Neptune, suggesting new and imaginative forms of communication (Mercury) which fulfil the ideal of contributing something helpful and valuable to the community (Neptune in the 11th). This theme is repeated by the progressed MC on natal Neptune and lining up on progressed Neptune: Astrodienst’s role in the collective is in some way coming to fruition in the public eye. Progressed Venus and Mars are lining up with the company’s natal Moon in Virgo, suggesting a greater emphasis on contact with the public (Moon in the 7th) and perhaps a wider public profile - something which might bring battles in some quarters (Mars) as well as appreciation and respect (Venus). It may be that all this is connected with new collective attitudes toward astrology. After all, Uranus has just moved into Pisces after its 7-year sojourn in Aquarius, and this suggests an emphasis on the creative imagination and on the invisible dimensions of life. The last time Uranus went into Pisces, the jazz era was born and some of the greatest literature in the world was published in just seven short years. As Uranus changes signs, our visions of progress also change, and the emphasis on technology and "social engineering" so evident while it moved through Aquarius is now likely to generate a powerful need to connect with higher and deeper realms of existence. Such a collective shift would involve not just Astrodienst, but the field of astrology as a whole. The academic world has finally accepted astrology in the United Kingdom, and postgraduate degree courses are now available at British universities; this process is also occurring in the USA and in the Netherlands. This may reflect a much wider acceptance of astrology, and if so, Astrodienst is likely to be at the cutting edge of such a change. Individuals born with the Sun in aspect to outer planets are usually in tune with new ideas and visions long before they become recognised and acceptable to collective consciousness, and Astrodienst’s birth chart has the natal Sun sextile Uranus and trine Chiron - both outer planets. Astrodienst was always "an idea ahead of its time", but it would seem, from this glimpse of what is coming in the chart, that the time may at last be beginning to catch up with the idea.

© Astrodienst / Liz Greene, 2003

 

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