Astrology and Anthroposophy

15 May 2008

Death Horoscope-New Star Wisdom

I have just read a very interesting book in German called Auf dem Wege zu einer neuen Sternen-Weisheit (On the Way to a New Star Wisdom) by Leo de la Houssaye published by Verlag am Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland. The first half of the book gives an overview of how star wisdom changed in relation to changing human consciousness, from Egyptian times up to the present day. The second part of the book on “New Star Wisdom” has to do with the study of the death chart. This is not intended to be a book review but I will share some thoughts since the book is not available in English.

The birth chart can be considered as an image of what the human being brings into this life from the spiritual worlds. The chart is an indication of the sum-total of past experiences that had been gathered up and then worked through in the spiritual world. The death chart or, as Leo de la Houssaye calls it, the spirit birth chart, is an image of the fruits of the life just past. It is what the individual brings to the spiritual world.

Spiritual science views the cosmos as a living spiritual organism that needs nourishment. What the human being brings to the spiritual world at death is the nourishment that the Spiritual World needs. Death can be viewed as a spiritual birth.

People have been studying the effect of the stars on worldly events for over 5,000 years that is, since the time of ancient Egypt and Chaldea. However, the first proper horoscope for an individual person, with place and time of birth, was recorded in 70 BC. in Greece. Houssaye finds it astonishing then how quickly the Greeks developed a system of interpretation for the horoscope. Already by 150 AD the basic elements that are still used today were worked out:

  1. The calculation of the birth constellation worked out for place and time.
  2. The separation of the 12 houses based on the horizon with each house referring to a different area of life
  3. The aspect study, the angle relationships between the planet positions in the horoscope (conjunction, square, triune and opposition)
  4. Working with the 12 zodiac signs of 300 calculated from the Spring equinox instead of constellations

Chart #1: Pascal Death Horoscope

Although the basic approach did not change much, many astrologers have made refinements to the chart interpretation throughout 2 millenia since then. Today voluminous materials are available so that we are very well informed on the subject of the horoscope-birth chart. We now have to learn how to read the heavens at the time of death-the spirit birth chart.

Chart #2:Michelangelo Death Horoscope

Houssaye gives some indications of how to do this. He shows the spirit birth chart of Pascal, who spent his life on an inner path; the chart shows all of the planets to be below the horizon (see chart#1.) This is contrasted with the spirit birth chart of Michelangelo, who led a very public life and his chart shows all of the planets to be above the horizon (see chart #2.)

Another very interesting idea is to view the past life in relation to the spirit birth chart by tracing the path of Saturn backwards through the constellations from the moment of death. Significant times of the person’s life are shown to coincide with the conjunction of Saturn and planets of the spirit birth chart. Steiner has described Saturn as a planet that has no interest in the present or in the future; it is however passionately interested in the past.

Chart#3: Saturn transit to Pascal Death Chart

Numerous examples are given of the transits of Saturn in relation to the spirit birth chart for various individuals. I will show here Saturn transits for Pascal and for Michelangelo (see Chart#3 and #4)

At age 34 Pascal worked on his theory for the roulette wheel which caused fights among the mathematicians of Europe. Also he published his Provincial Letters, a series of eighteen letters that attacked Jesuit doctrines. At this time the planet Saturn was in the position of Mars at the time of death.

Chart #4: Saturn transit to Michelangelo Death Horoscope

Michelangelo at the time he was called to Rome in 1505 to begin his huge project of the Julius II tomb. Chart shows transiting Saturn to be conjunct both Jupiter and Saturn.

Please note! For the purpose of the spirit birth chart, only the classical planets are shown. Also, the zodiac constellations are used and not the signs that are generally used in Western astrology.

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