by Boots Hart, CAP

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mahatma Gandhi: Peacful Strife, Iconic Life

 Mohandas K. Gandhi

With Sun at 9 Libra, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is for many, the quintessential Libra peacemaker.

Known as a degree endowed with 'a critical mentality', 9 Libra endows whatever symbol is posed at this degree with the ability to chose and discern between criticism and leadership. So many forget that both have their place and to stay in one 'mode' isn't always all that useful.

Not Gandhi. But then, he wouldn't. Any planet positioned in the 8th house of a chart is under continual pressure to reassess, adapt to and create new conditions.

 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (natal chart)
October 2, 1869 - Porbandar (Bombay Presidency), British India

It's an apt description of Gandhi's life. With his Sun inexorably tied by trine to the social 'ease' of an Aquarian South Node/Ascendant, in his lifetime he would tackle questions of (Aquarian) privilege and social ease of some (the South Node) at oppressively unjust cost to others, here aptly symbolized by a courage-of-conviction Leo North Node conjunct the Descendant, the Descendant being as apt a symbol of our talking about others as talking to them.

Gandhi was obviously all about the greater Aquarian society and (nodal) forces which shape same. The Sun in the 8th house of emotional connections and risk truly pictures him s someone capable of deeply felt conviction and deep connections with and to the emotions of others. The 8th as a house of transformations makes his life all about enacting and embodying change. With Sun conjunct Medea (a sorceress whose love was so powerful as to lead to self-destruction) Gandhi was capable of, and driven to hunger strikes which would eat away at his own physical body (Sun trine Ascendant).

And how poignant is it that this same greatness of spirit so willing to sacrifice self forth others (Libra Sun in 8) would also - ultimately have the Aquarian polarity of freedom/virtue-versus-anarchy/evil turned against him when on January 30, 1948, an assassin ended his life.

From most reports, Gandhi's childhood seems greatly unremarkable, if well placed. He grew up in a town along India's coast, with a mother who was devoutly religious and a father who served as the diwan (Prime Minister) of the 'princely state' of Porbandar well defined as such given the British rule of India.

Gandhi's childhood home in Porbandar

This civil servant/religious combination is interestingly described in Gandhi's chart; the 10th house is always the house of career and the government, which images his dad. Modern astrology also increasingly sees the 10th also as the house of one's mother (as distinct from 'family') because it's from our  mothers that we get much of that internalized sense of structure which in time we live out in our public life and career.

In this 10th house of Gandhi's chart we have Saturn at 13 Sagittarius. Sagittarius being given to learning better we get a message that Gandhi's whole life would be about learning better and his Saturn career about teaching others to 'learn better.'

That a Sagittarian Saturn is also a hallmark of ethical structure is here compounded by service-oriented Vesta at 12 Sagittarius (Gandhi as servant of the world's people) and a 13 Sagittarius Charybdis which perfectly conjunct Saturn is literally a description of Gandhi's life purpose being all about do or die - on every level. 

That this Saturn is so highly elevated in the chart literally 'elevates' Gandhi's mother's Jain belief in perception, knowledge and conduct as expressed through non-violence, respect for all living things, truth and fair trade, refusal to indulge in greed or take that which is not freely offered.

But it's Venus/Child at 16 Scorpio, the patience of enduring Sphinx at 17 Scorpio and Mars at 18 Scorpio as the highest planets in Gandhi's chart which really tells us why Gandhi wasn't just 'some guy' with strong beliefs and instead a lasting world-wide icon of non-violent resistance and forms of peaceful protest where 'violence' is taken upon one's self through self-sacrifice (Sun/Medea in the 8th).

This starts with Gandhi having been born during the day - when the sun is our 'guiding light.'

Astrologers call this day/night teaching "Sect," which leads to unfortunate comments about planets being 'in Sect,' but sometimes such things can't be helped. In any case, what Sect tells us is that being born in the day or in the night in essence "turns up the volume" of given symbols.

For those born during the day you get a 'louder' Sun, and the 'volume' cranked for Saturn and Jupiter too, those being the Sun's astrological 'partners' in the realm of our being thinking beings who plan a life and construct our world. In Gandhi's chart, his Saturn is already exalted by being in one of Saturn's two strongest houses (the 10th), to which we then add the 'outspokenness' of Sect. So this was a man someone was going to hear from.

As for Jupiter, it's posed as the closest planet to the bottom of the chart - and conjunct Pluto, symbol of emotional transformation. They're in the mental-communicative 3rd house, reinforcing Gandhi as a 'big picture' thinker (Jupiter) and a powerful emotional influence (Pluto) with the positioning of these two planets at the base of the chart speaking to the homeland and 'life basics.' And with both planets positioned in Taurus, we know the subject is self worth - which in 'thinking terms' might be better termed as 'human dignity.'

But then we get to the matter of this 3rd house having Aries on the cusp. That makes the whole of Gandhi's thinking 'ruled' by Mars. And with the foundation (IC or Nadir) point being Taurus and the Jupiter and Pluto both being in Taurus, we are pointed to Venus, ruler of Taurus.

So with that we go back to what Gandhi 'held highest' - the precepts described by that Venus/Child, Sphinx and Mars positioned at the Midheaven...the top of the chart.
Many of us would look at that and instantly reflect on Mars/Venus as sexuality. But in a chart which is by Sect diurnal (Sun ruled), Mars and Venus - the Moon's 'Sect partners' are muted.

Thus especially with Venus conjunct Child, we would see Gandhi receiving (Venus) his mother's Jain teaching of chastity when he was a child as a regard for all humans in a 'chaste' light. And his willingness to deal with the passions of the world.

On the flip side of course, this also speaks to Gandhi's 
own passions - a 'chastely' expressed passion for human dignity for all (Jupiter) people and the fact that the world needed to change its emotional thinking (Pluto in the 3rd). A 'quieter' Venus in a Scorpio Venus/Mars drive is the drive for bonding, not competition. And positioned at the top of the chart? It's a perfect picture of Gandhi's belief in a world of people working together and caring about each other in the Jain spirit he was raised in.

Plus let's not forget - this 9th house Venus (ruling the Libra 9th house cusp) would also rule Gandhi's 8th house Libra Sun. That meant no matter how famous Gandhi would become, he would always be approachable, humble, receptive and interested in ideas, proposals and situations as presented to him by others.

 Gandhi as a young man in South Africa

All these influences began coming together when Gandhi went to South Africa as a young man. There he faced various kinds of discrimination - having his first class ticked ignored simply because he was an Indian, getting barred from hotels and even having a court magistrate order him to take off his turban.Gandhi refused.

And when his original date for departure from South Africa came, reflecting Uranus rolling over his Venus-Mars-MC as Jupiter was returning to its natal point and crossing the 'birthright/homeland' 4th house cusp, Gandhi declined to leave. Instead he stayed on in South Africa, initiating his fight against social injustice there with a fight for the rights of Indian people which eventually led to 1894, when Gandhi helped found the Natal Indian Congress.

Through the NIC, Gandhi taught Indians in South Africa the strength of banding together. And when in January 1897 a transiting Saturn/Uranus conjunction sparked white mob violence in Durban and Gandhi was attacked, a vital - and educational - polarity was struck. 

At the time, transformative Pluto, assertive/aggressive  Mars and dissolving/idyllic Neptune were all together in Gemini, sign of choices - hopefully (but apparently not always) thoughtful/thought out choices. In Gandhi's chart, these planets were moving over Medusa - the frightening truth and Gandhi's 5th house cusp (what we do because we just like doing it) to conjunct Bellatrix, a star all about struggles and hard going. 

So if Gandhi had ever thought his life's work was going to be all talk of what he liked to believe was true (Gemini 5th house cusp) with no real physical threat involved (Pluto) that Neptunian veil got lifted - as Neptune's transits tend to do.

Where we have clarity, Neptune's transits cloud things and make them foggy, hazy and unrealistic. Where we are under some idyllic or idolized illusion, Neptune dissolves our illusions, dumping us into comparatively (and sometimes truly) harsh reality.

But through trials such as this, Gandhi became the man we have all come to recall with respect. So transits reveal both what we do...and who we become.

After Zulus in South Africa responded to new British-imposed taxes with violence resulting in the 1906 Zulu War, Gandhi returned to India. It was 1915: Uranus was crossing Gandhi's Ascendant, indicating a change (Uranus) to what he was doing (Ascendant) - a concept which is made a double-barreled threat in Gandhi's, chart coming from his natal 6th house.

Uranus in the 6th can denote unusual health challenges. With Ghandi's natal Ascendant (the physicality of the body) a 1st decanate (physical) degree of Aquarius, we aren't surprised to see a lean, gaunt man - Aquarian risings often indicate just that.

Another other side of the 6th, how one cares for human physicality is also plain in Gandhi. He was willing to torment his own body through hunger fasts, he was always working to help others and his was a lasting interest in science.

 Gandhi studying leprosy at Sevagram Ashram
in 1940 (source:

On a whole other level, the 6th is the house of necessity and the military. And since many (if not most) of the people we think of as 'great' have greatness thrust upon them, it's not surprising that during the latter part of  World War 1 when Gandhi was invited to a Delhi war conference he brought his experiences of South Africa home by agreeing to recruit Indians to the war effort.

In this, Gandhi showed us an important astrological lesson. Though we revere him as a man of peace, when he did so initially (and because of lack of true Aquarian - Saturn/Uranian - understanding) did so in the taking a stance based on theory in South Africa, his theoretical stand for peace drew a mob.

Through adopting a Saturnine realism about how the (10th house) world works, Gandhi was able to be effective without inciting lack of inhibition (the former mob) in a 'disowned' polarity.

And this evidently really was his aim, as Gandhi wrote the following: "we should have the ability to defend ourselves, that is, the ability to bear arms and to use them...If we want to learn the use of arms with the greatest possible dispatch, it is our duty to enlist ourselves in the army." while simulatanously stipulating that he himself would not kill or injure anybody.

This has struck many  - including Gandhi's close friends and associates, as a painful and discordant contradiction and yet is at its core the great Aquarian question and thus not only important to Gandhi as his Aquarian Ascendant would pose the "what to do?" question to him, but to all of us, since our world is now moving from the illumination-and-shadow era of the Piscean Age of Pisces into the blinding light/nightmare darkness of the Aquarian Age.

The solution to the question seems to be exactly what Gandhi here suggests - knowing how to commit violence is essential. Committing it is not. This has implications and applications far beyond Gandhi's time, maybe the most simple of which is how the bully remains the bully until we learn to stand up to them not with violence, but with will backed by an unwillingness to surrender, or run away.

There is no running away into happiness. There is only running away into delusions which by their fracturing of the greater unity put everyone - the good guys and the bad guys - entirely at risk. This is the Aquarian way. This is what Gandhi knew.

Thus is born the great strength of passive resistance - that which should be born at the end of the Piscean Age and which has been gifted to us by this person we know as Gandhi. In passive resistance is an implacable strength build on communal integrity; the truth which cannot be broken because it belongs to all, not one. It is not the herd, it is not the mob, it is the joining of universal belief. It is humanity's heartfelt want displayed as a willingness to bleed together in an effort to avoid murderous bloodshed.

 A note in Gandhi's handwriting: "God is truth. The
way to Truth is through Ahimsa (non-violence)." (1927)

Gandhi used these precepts in drawing together the Indian people against the British Raj. Along the way there were moments of violence, and when the British became violent, the Indians responded with violence. 

Living in the heart and soul of his his Libra 8th house Sun, Gandhi criticized both. Sun conjunct Medea, he held that being so vested in any need to enforce 'right' with might destroyed the 'rightness' of your position.

And eventually he was heard. In December 1921, as a tribute to his wisdom (Pallas) and hard work (Saturn)...with the world going through a phase of post-war struggle to change its own problems with social and societal immaturity (Sedna conjunct North Node in Aries square Pluto in Cancer), Gandhi was given executive authority on behalf of the Indian National Congress.

That the wisdom (Pallas) and hard work (Saturn) was in some great measure Gandhi's for him to be rewarded with this new (Saturn) responsibility? That we know as both Pallas and Saturn were at that time conjuncting Gandhi's Sun. His life was coming into focus as the focus was coming to be on his will, his insights, his ability to serve as a leader and exemplar of what a person should be.

Gandhi certainly took the post. And under his leadership the new constitution made membership in political parties possible to many who had up until now been shut out. Rules and new disciplinary checks and balances transformed politics from domination by a limited elite into a truly national process.

It was all very Aquarian Ascendant, Aquarian South Node, seeing as Aquarius is the heart and soul of elitism versus universality. It is one thing if people choose not to be involved - another if they are barred from participation. Aquarius prescribes choice...then requires choice...then thrusts choice upon us. And the barriers are only and always ours as life never resists change - people do.

Gandhi took on the other side of Aquarius during this time too, by setting up a policy called swadeshi, the boycotting of foreign made goods. Specifically aimed at British imports, it was the quintessential commerce-as-income (Saturn/Uranus as rulers of Aquarius) way to dislodge British control of India.

But that at the same time Gandhi encouraged every Indian to wear khadi - homespun cloth - and thus get people involved, promote diligence and productivity and wipe out 'exclusivity' and 'elitism' of dress? That was Gandhi Libra/8th house Sun/9th house Venus-Mars genius: a common dress which created a level emotional playing field. Thus the people of India could meet up on an everyday basis without preconceptions or feeling ostracized by class - India had struggled long enough with matters of cast and class. Every person was given individual (8th house) control over providing for themselves. And that this effort for the first time included women in a role they had long understood  (weaving) created a whole other kind of Libra equality very much in keeping with Gandhi's Sun, the 8th house being the house of intimate relationships and the power divides or unities which come of that. 

On a broader level Gandhi urged Indians to also give up British titles and honors. And though the whole of this took time to catch on, the core thought - the "non-cooperation" (peaceful rebellion) against British rule took hold with Indians at all levels of society, increasing the sense of Indian identity and validity at the same time it fostered independence of a people and amongst the individuals making up that people.

Yet all was not yet won. As February 1922 came to be and emotionally transformative Pluto moved in on perfecting its challenging square to Gandhi's sun, violence broke out in the town of Chauri Chaura, creating yet another lesson in essential polarization.

Convinced this uproar could spell big trouble for his campaign of peaceful protest/mass civil disobedience (Pluto conjuncting-blocking Gandhi's Polyhymnia-optimism spelled that rather clearly), Gandhi canceled everything in the works. And that created an energetic  vacuum into which - seeing that nature abhors a vacuum - came the state. Having inherited Gandhi's power by virtue of his having given it up, state forces had Gandhi arrested as of March 10th, 1922 - just as a Lunar Eclipse at 22 Virgo was setting off Jupiter, Pluto, Juno and Uranus in Gandhi's chart: the exact planets which had long marked Gandhi's forward momentum.

And this makes astrological sense too, as all these planets are 3rd decanate planets. Anything in the 3rd decanate of our charts represents forces which we use, and may use well, but which ultimately others get to 'vote on' or react to. They're not purely about "us" in other words...they're about "us in the world." So when we 'refuse' to act on being ourselves, the world takes over. 

In Gandhi's case, his 'world' convicted him of sedition and gave him a six year prison sentence on March 18, 1922...just as Uranus conjuncted natal Eris, which seems astrological karma indeed! Astrologer Robert Hand once spoke of transits as moments in time when we 'either use the energy wisely or are used by the energy unwisely,' and so as Uranus (change) teamed up with Eris (discord), so the Gandhi who had backed away from his course of peaceful disruption found his own life being disrupted.

Fortunately he only served two years. Released in February 1924 as Pluto cleared the square to his Sun and expansive Jupiter was conjuncting Vesta/service, he was past the (Pluto square Sun) crisis and the way forward opened (Jupiter). Though technically released for an appendicitis operation (Uranus in 6) on a karmic level Gandhi had obviously (Vesta) "served" his time.

Yet in his absence breakdowns in his movement had taken hold. The cooperation between Muslim and Hindu factions Gandhi had forged prior to his incarceration were coming apart. Setting to work on this as Saturn - the planet symbolizing Gandhi's powerhouse work ethic and tireless belief in what could be set about fixing this, Gandhi was nonetheless greatly stymied.

That failure to 'connect' and be effective again we see astrologically through Saturn being at the time in the process of conjuncting Gandhi's 9th house Scorpio Mercury. Mercury in 9 is simply never favored and not even Gandhi staging a three week fast (a classic Scorpio-as-denial sort of Mercury thought-action) had limited success.

Things didn't look great. So Gandhi adopted the other side of Saturn conjuncting his Mercury - he stepped out of the limelight, limiting (Saturn) his input (Mercury) until 1928 when the British government's elimination of native Indians from India's government became intolerable. India's political parties boycotted the country's ruling commission and Gandhi appeared in Calcutta, pushing through a December 1928 resolution asking Britain to grant India dominion status (recognition as a state).

All this happened as Pallas (wisdom) came to Gandhi's Ascendant - equaling wisdom in appearance and action - and Saturn pushed into Gandhi's 11th house after completing its second return. Gandhi was ready to work for and achieve a 'mass market' effect (Saturn in the 11th). He had learned how to navigate in his world (Saturn's first cycle) and how to build and rebuild as part of learning what he really believed worthwhile (Saturn's second cycle).

On December 31, 1929 the flag of India was raised in Lahore. January 26, 1930 was celebrated as a day of Indian independence. It was a momentous period of upheaval in countries around the world what with Uranus having just entered Aries - as it's doing now in 2010. And Gandhi took this opportunity to launch a new protest against the tax on salt, dramatizing the act while gathering the Indian people into its midst by literally walking the 388 kilometers (241 miles) from Ahmedabad to Dandi. It took almost a month; Gandhi started out on March 12th and arrived at the ocean on April 6 with literally thousands of Indians at his side and a Lunar Eclipse at 22 Libra - a degree known for political statements - lighting up Gandhi's 'pushing back the horizon's 9th house.

The British were so unhappy that literally thousands of Indians were thrown into prison. Fortunately for all however, cooler minds ultimately prevailed. Lord Edward Irwin decided to negotiate with Gandhi, and thus a pact was struck. Signed in 1931 as Neptune opposed Gandhi's Sabine/Chaldea, setting up one of those periods of astrological teeter-totter-tradeoffs where we see Neptune infamously 'dissolve' and make things appear so when they aren't while making things appear gone which really won't go. 

First came some good: the peaceful (Neptunian) protesters were (Neptune) released from prison with all charges against them dismissed (Neptune). But in return for this largess, Gandhi was to suspend (Neptune) his civil mass (Neptune) disobedience movement and leave (Neptune) India in order to attend a Round Table Conference in London as the sole representative of the Indian National Congress.

 Gandhi walking through the London rain in September, 1931

If the British had thought that by bringing Gandhi to London he was going to be cowed, they were wrong. Very wrong - as shown by a relocation of Gandhi's chart to said location, which moves his purposeful Mars/Venus smack dab onto the Ascendant...

 Gandhi's natal chart relocated to London, England

...which would make London the exact and perfect place for Gandhi to voice his beliefs and argue the cause of Indian independence. 

And that this was time to do just that for Gandhi's own sake an that of India? Remembering that Lunar Eclipses play out over the three months after the celestial event, the disappointment of nationalists and the Indian population as a whole at Britain's having failed to transfer power to India and its power transfer was still very much in play.

Yet Neptune's ability to tempt with gains while deluding with trying to undermine with a sense of loss was also in life's shifting winds. No sooner did a first pact with the British get settled on than Lord Irwin was replaced. And  the new guy in charge (Lord Willingdon) was neither pacifist nor seemingly all that tolerant of Indian desires. He clamped down on everyone and part of that was having Gandhi arrested yet again. This time the British (over)lords were determined to isolate (Neptune) Gandhi  from the (Neptunian) masses and thus (Neptune) dissolve the people's will.

Plain and simple, it didn't work.

By September 1932 the government had granted untouchables separate electorates (part of the new constitution) but ever the Libra Sun in the 8th house of mergers, Gandhi protested - his gesture of choice at this point being a 6-day fast very much in keeping with Pluto being at that point in conjunction to his 6th house (keywords: health-work-service) Uranus.

Remembering here that Gandhi's natal Pluto is in the communicative 3rd and in Taurus (sign of sustinence) we see why Gandhi would choose hunger fasts. With natal Pluto at a degree specifically about non-violence and the sacrifices of 'saints' is totally apt. That Gandhi's Pluto stands with Jupiter in the very potent doorway to the 4th house which is by tradition not only 'my homeland/my people' but also my death makes the whole statement and threat and vow on Gandhi's part terribly clear. It also underscores why so many would answer his call, as Indians did by the thousands.

And yet Pluto also signs the warrants of our enemies.

During the summer of 1934, three unsuccessful attempts were made on Gandhi's life. Saturn was opposing his courageously Leo 3rd decanate, 7th house Moon ("my life is given to others") as Neptune opposed natal Eris. It was obvious: people were trying to (Saturn) stop him and (Neptune) 'wipe him out' and 'silence' Gandhi's dissenting cry calling for the equality of all humanity.

Seizing the power of these transits for himself, Gandhi instead stepped back out of the limelight - silencing his own voice for a while. His Congress Party had chosen to compromise and Gandhi saw ill in that move. So he decided to let people find things out for themselves for a bit - and oh (by the way) take himself out of the running as a focus for propaganda coming from the offices of the Raj.

There being nothing as consistent as change however, when in 1936 Nehru took the Presidency and Pluto came to oppose Gandhi's 12th house Juno (leader of and for the people), Gandhi re-entered the political arena.

Indian politics were again in turmoil by 1938 as a new President (Subhas Bose) and Gandhi came to be at odds over Gandhi's insistence on the need for Indian democracy and non-violence as a credo. Bose wasn't enthusiastic. That summer's Solar Eclipse would hit in Gandhi's 4th house (of the people) and in striking his 'thoughtful nurturer' Ceres and fixed star Aldebaran sound more than a bad note. In Europe, trouble was stirring and the whole world would react to the 'blacking out' of Aldebaran's call for mortal integrity with the rise of the Nazi's in Germany.  

 Gandhi and Nehru in 1942

As Nazi Germany invaded Poland, Britain "decided" India was going to war. Most of the Indian legislators reacted with offense that Britain would simply decide 'for them.' True to nature, Gandhi stood up and argued for 'non-violent, moral support' of the British cause.

Then, as Uranus moved over his natal Pluto a new (Uranus) way to achieve his longed for aims (Pluto) came to Gandhi's (3rd house) mind. India, he declared, could not fight for democratic freedom (that of Britain) unless India was free itself. As he writes in April 1930: "I want world sympathy in this battle of Right against Might.:

Gandhi's handwritten note of April 5, 1930

Britain fought everyone - the Nazis, the Indians who wanted independence - everyone. In response, Indians joined in a movement known as 'Quit India.' Violence erupted and literally thousands were arrested; with Pluto moving up to conjunct his North Node (and empower doing the 'hard thing never desired') Gandhi declared that Indians would never fight for Britain unless granted the freedom to fight as a matter of rightful, independent choice.

As Uranus conjuncted Gandhi's 'unity cause' nurturing Ceres and inconjuncted his stubborn, sometimes hasty, certainly outspoken and probably on occasion overblown 9th house Scorpio Mercury, Gandhi and the whole working Congress Committee (and everyone connected with it) were arrested on August 9, 1942.

And this time the British were neither kidding around nor in any mood for leniency or negotiations. As a result, Gandhi's 50-year old secretary Mahadev Desai died of a heart attack six days later and Gandhi's wife Kasturba died on February 22, 1944 after 18 months in prison.

Gandhi with secretary Mahadev Desai and Madeline Slade in the 1930's

Pluto was now moving back and forth over Gandhi's Descendant, like as not manifesting in a torturous test of resolve against responsibility, conviction against one human man's ability to endure. Was the aim worth the cost? Could he as a mortal stripped of dignity and primal companionship carry on? Should he carry on?

Six weeks later Gandhi suffered a malaria attack and was soon after released from prison - an interesting repeat manifestation of Uranus as a signal of 'instability, breakouts and breakthroughs' which, coming from his 6th house of health provided Gandhi with a means to be released (Uranus) from prison.

He was released on May 6, 1944, as Uranus hit Aldebaran (a core point of integrity) in Gandhi's 4th house of home, giving him back to his life and people.

In Gandhi's absence the Quit India movement had continued being suppressed.  And while the heavy-handed treatment of India's people must have been odorous, by the end of 1943 it had also restored a positive degree of national order.

Moreover - and more importantly - the British had gotten the point. By 1945 and WWII's end the Crown indicated that India would have its freedom. Neptune finished opposing Gandhi's 'sense of purpose' Aries Chiron, 'dissolving' the need to carry on that fight. By January 1946 Neptune would take station on Gandhi's 8th house 'we are in this together' Sun and a hundred-thousand political prisoners were freed.

Unfortunately all was not yet peaceful. With the pluses of Neptune 'taking a turn' by stationing on Gandhi's Sun the "enemy" was no longer the British - now it became native born Indian warring factions each seeking to kill and maim, disrupting the new nation from within.

In August 1946 as Saturn moved into Leo manifesting as a new need for conviction and effort Gandhi took himself to the rioters. It was a classic moment astrologically: his native Saturn, coming from an elevated (10th house) position of great Sect/Sun strength and expressed through the educational, philosophical, theoretically religious sign of Sagittarius began the work of uniting India's Hindus, Muslims and Christians - including the so-called "untouchables" of Hindu society. At the time, Jupiter was also moving into Gandhi's 9th house, a sector where we always learn what's working and what's not working - and why.

In this case, the results were dramatic and drastic. On August 14/15, 1947, the Indian Independence Act was put into place and in the wake of that moment, some 12.5 million people were displaced, many simply British civil/royal servants heading home but most not.

The loss of life in the melee which followed was enormous: estimates suggest anywhere several hundred thousand to a million people were killed.

Neptune was still rocking back and forth over Gandhi's Sun as the violence so long campaigned against rocked his world entirely for the worst.

And yet...some say it could have been worse. Noted  historian Jens Arup Seip suggests that if not for Gandhi's years and years of promoting non-violence the bloodshed could have been far, far worse. 

As Stanley Wolpert wrote: "Their plan to carve up British India was never approved of or accepted by Gandhi, however, who realized too late that his closest comrades and disciples were more interested in power than principle, and that his own vision had long been clouded by the illusion that the struggle he led for India's freedom was a nonviolent one." (Gandhi's Passion: The Life and Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi/Oxford Press)

It's so very Neptune. Where Neptune is concerned, that we think most true so often isn't; that we think so highly unlikely so often comes to be. That this would prove out as Neptune conjuncted/took station and continued to haunt Gandhi's Sun is a lesson to us all.

Mohandas Gandhi was shot while walking to a prayer meeting where he was supposed to speak on January 30, 1948. His 12th house Juno sense of leading purpose had just conjuncted his South Node - that place of ease and chart point so often associated with 'past lives.' Had Gandhi's life now passed? Was his incarnation as an expression of karmic purpose ready to become that 'thing of the past' upon which one builds, or which the soul and spirit is supposed to move forward and out of? 

Evidently. On the day he died the Sun had just crossed his mortal Ascendant; Gandhi would never ascend the steps to the platform from which he was scheduled to speak, but would instead ascend in human memory to a place of reverence where he still serves the greater human race as a shining example of what we can be if and when we put principle before personal desire.

And so we say happy birthday to one of the most spiritual of mortal mankind who ever came among us. From Gandhi we learned that spiritualism is not what you preach, it's what you do with your life - and the regard you hold for all of life and everything in it, whether it's exactly like you or entirely otherwise. 

May we each treasure the light which shone from the incandescent flame which was Gandhi's life. Those who love and revere him call Gandhi 'Bapu,' so happy birthday Bapu...may your spirit be always with us, in our hearts, spirits, minds - and deeds.  

 Gandhi writing - August 1942 (source:


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