by Boots Hart, CAP

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Dalai Lama: Happiness as a Way of Life

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

There are a million places where you can to read about the 14th Dalai Lama. That became obvious when went to Google and typed in his name.

One thing I hadn't (somehow) noticed before is the Dalai Lama's full birth name. It's Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso. (Just try getting that on an ID bracelet.)

Like all Dalai Lamas, this one is considered a reincarnation of the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. And yes, he lives in exile - his whole government-in-exile is seated in Dharamshala, Himachal Prodesh, India.

Like I said...all that, you can read elsewhere. What you come here for is the astrology, so let us proceed to just that.

Born on July 6, 1935 in Taktser, Quinghai (Tibet) at 4:45 (GMT) gives us the following chart...

...and the beauty of the personality written in this picture of the unfolding universe is told like this:

Just behind the personalizing Ascendant of the Dalai Lama is the symbol 'House'...which here speaks to being comfortable in your own skin. Positioned in early Libra, this tells us the Dalai Lama is a man who people feel comfortable with because he's comfortable with himself - and with whoever you may be.

He's willing to experience who you are (Eurydike), be made happier for his encounter with you (Polyhymnia) and to share the struggle we all have as humans to use our gifts for others when in truth, human instinct instills in us undeniable need and at times, a wonderful, frightening want (Sisyphus) which can lead us to our glory or to self-delusion (Diadem/Drakonia).

Interestingly, just at the far edge of conjunction behind House we also have Ixion - the very embodiment of entitlement born of lack of gratitude. And that would seem to be a really odd description of the Dalai Lama except for a couple of things.

For one, when we accept living in our skin, we have to recognize that with comfort comes a discomfort which by working past, creates in us a sense of peace in feeling we actually are ourselves. That we can master who we are and be who we want ourselves to be. Part of this interpretation comes from Ixion being in the 12th house of limitations. Ixion is in Virgo and the Dalai Lama's actual Ascendant is in Libra, giving us a picture of his 'putting Ixion behind him' in a sense.

And yet we live in all parts of our chart. His 12th house is Virgo and Virgo is an earth sign all about doing service. In Ixion conjunct Lust (fixation), we see the Dalai Lama's rejection of life as a materialistic competition. We see his life in exile. We hear him trying to teach us  not to focus on what we don't have - the ingratitude - but to treasure what is given to us with each breath, each day, each bee buzzing by a flower, each chance to be with each other. 

There's also the fact that Virgo is ruled by Mercury. The Dalai Lama's Mercury is in the 9th house of teaching and religion. At first glance this would seem to be a negative, as Mercury in the 9th is famous for haste, sloppy work and arrogant dogmatism.

But a second look at this Mercury reminds us what it means for any symbol to be positioned in the 3rd decanate. Third decan symbols (anything positioned in degrees 20-29 of any sign) have to do with how others react to what we do. With Mercury being about communication and here positioned with Bellatrix (difficulty in reaching goals), Echo (repeating that you are taught), Industria (industriousness), Betelgeuse (ease of effort) and poetic Sappho (love for everyone) we see the Dalai Lama working against the tide.

The depth of what he would so like to convey is difficult to get across (Bellatrix) in a world where people tend just to repeat what they've heard (Echo) amidst the hustle and bustle of life and all they need to get done (Industria). It takes work to really connect ideas in our minds (Industria). And it takes patience and perseverance (Industria) to reach a point where we understand that loving everyone isn't about definitions, roles and functions in each others' lives, but about the privilege of being in each others presence (Sappho) and enjoying the experience of life as a whole...a great rhythmic poem of which we are but part.

When and to the degree that we fall sort of understanding this idea, we all live in exile - from ourselves most of all. The Dalai Lama probably understands this well...just as he's probably long learned that even exile has its purpose.

This is not to say the man is angelic. With Tantalus (temptation) on one side of his IC and Klotho (beginnings) and Circe (the ability to enchant/reduce others to creatures which simply follow by instinct) it would seem the Dalai Lama is well aware of his appeal and charisma. This is a man who knows what he could do - especially with Tantalus opposition Sappho, sexuality is powerful implied.

But with the chart's public end of the vertical 'who I am in my own mind' axis (a Cancer Midheaven) being ruled by a Virgo Moon positioned not merely in a spiritual and often reclusive 12th but conjunct Neptune? Moon/Neptune is one of the clearest signatures of platonic love a chart can present. Strangely, it can also backfire - we will assume there are those who have misunderstood the Dalai Lama's universal affinity for his fellow humans. And there is here also a potential for great imagination, visionary potency and fantastic imagery....but not in public. At some level, the Dalai Lama feels he is one with mankind, and he will not risk himself for to him, that is to accept a risk to all.

This is not sainthood - rather it is an acceptance of human mortality, the strength of frailty in the human spirit, and how both are completely necessary if anyone is ever to by accepting their vulnerability become impervious to spiritual destruction.

The calculated form of a Virgo Lilith standing with this group underscores this idea of the mortal shadow. And in the opposition to a Pisces Saturn/Eros in the 6th house of responsibility, we know this man grapples with the understanding that even in all we think most ill about ourselves lies a measure of our potential.

Being that astrological planets (Neptune, Saturn and Moon) trump asteroids (Eros) as asteroids trump anything calculated (Lilith) in a chart, this Neptune/Moon opposition Saturn tells us this man will hold to his vows because vows are an expression of one's faith in the necessity of an ideal. That he will hold himself to first and last, even if on occasion his feet stumble as he walks his long road.

Great as he is in the eyes of the world, that the Dalai Lama is so apparently one of us is a huge reason why we accept him. That he admits his human vulnerabilities to us earns him great respect, which is why we venerate him even as we embrace him as our equal.

His humanity and humanness gives us hope in ourselves.

Another really interesting, thought provoking image is presented in his chart by Eris at the Descendant (article on Eris). It's a picture of discord (Eris), which on the Descendant would be what he presents to us, what he sees in the world, and part of the legacy he will leave as social reformer (discord in positive form), as a spiritual head of state in an ever-more secular world...and as teacher to those who would learn, and example to those who won't listen.

Even more information is found when we follow the astrological rule to see how a  chart house works (and often what it's really 'about') by looking to the ruler of the sign on its cusp. Seeing that in this case the Dalai Lama's Descendant is ruled by Aries, that means we look to Mars.

The Dalai Lama's Mars is in the 1st house of 'what I do and who I am.' It is positioned in an emotional degree of Libra, telling us he cares about others, is an emotional man unafraid of expressing his feelings and that when moved by others, he responds.

And what is his Mars set up to respond to and through? That's directly across the chart: Juno and Sedna in the 7th house, conjunct asteroid Child.

Seeing this, we see how this man is willing to embrace his own emotions in being with us. And how he teaches us to be the child we are. This is the signature of his caring for all of Earth's children, no matter what form their existence may take. In this man is both witness and teacher that we are all caretakers and all needy, helpless people in need of protection and love.

Emotionally, we are all those things. And we should be all those things - that's part of being a human being. Maybe even the better part of being a human being.

As you can tell from his birth date, today is the Dalai Lama's birthday. So here is his solar return chart....

Dalai Lama's Solar Return chart 2010 

This is a particularly interesting chart as it occurs a day after a Uranus station, telling us that there are some changes going on with the Dalai Lama himself - and since his birthday comes just after the station, he is evolving out of events rather recently passed.

With Tantalus (temptation) at the Ascendant opposition Algol (responsive power), Kassandra (lack of belief) and Capulus (cutting focus) we are likely to hear much from the Dalai Lama on the subject of the wrongful use of force this year.

Since the Ascendant-Descendant is an axis, it actually pays to look at both sides. Here the rulers are Mars and Venus, immediately giving us a creative...even procreative image.

The return's Mars sits in the 4th house in a proactive degree - yet in 4, Mars exhibits a lack of 'ability to act.' Conjunct the 5th house cusp, the subject is likely to be creative or having to do with children, and with Eris (discord) in an emotional degree just across that 5th house boundary, this would appear to be the Dalai Lama concerned about the plight of kids...not to mention needing a little time for the kid he is to rest and play and relax!

The actual ruler of the Taurus Descendant being a Leo Venus in the 9th house of education, travel and efforts again votes for children and the 'lighter side of life.' Venus and Mars are in aspect by trine (a 'flowing' connection) and yet Venus is opposed by an Aquarian Jupiter in the 3rd. Are people really too focused on the constructs of this world to be happy? Have we become so much the children of society and not humanity that we have lost some of our ability to free ourselves up to avail ourselves of our full potential and value?

It may be all of this and more. With Venus is sitting between imprisoning sorceress Circe and haunting Mnemosyne, this is an image redolent of not just what happens and what we learns during the early years, but how that continues to affect us. And how we continue to all be so easily persuaded throughout life, for the child within us never dies.

Fortunately for us, the youthful wellspring which is in the Dalai Lama is more than fertile: with Pisces Child, Edisonia and Huya (article on Huya) at the foundational position of this chart this is a year in which the Dalai Lama will perceive that beautiful sweetness which no matter how hard or hardened our lives come to be still resides in our hearts.

He knows, because he can feel it in his. And with this configuration at his Pisces Nadir we may be sure his Holiness understands that love is expressed in billions of ways... and each one of us is a unique expression of that love.

Yet, he will face his tests this year - we all do. And with the initiating ruler of Pisces (Jupiter) in the Dalai Lama's 3rd house of thought/communication, he will be thinking about what innocence is, what humanity means, why we have the problems we have as people...and he will tell us to reside in the gifted blessedness of our nativity...

...which comes to think of it, is what astrology teaches too. The fate we encounter, as challenging as i may be, is an opportunity. Sometimes in disguise, yes. And sometimes it is not the easy thing but that which tries our temper, mind and temperament which enriches us most of all.

We are our efforts, not our acquiescence...we are blessed by our patience, and cursed by that fear which causes us to demand. Only in accepting ourselves can we begin to harness our gifts and only by harnessing our gifts for the good of others and the healing of this world in its own terms (not ours) can we be blessed with ecstatic love which surpasses all personal definition.  

Will the world listen to the Dalai Lama this year? With secondary ruler of Pisces (Neptune) positioned in the first with Ceres Nurturer and Juno Protector, if you ask the Dalai Lama he will probably tell you that all ears can hear, but we don't know how many minds and hearts will listen.

But we can watch. And we can hope. And we can encourage each other by learning to love ourselves enough to free the light within our smile.

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