HOROSCOPE No. 2 gave us a pretty clear instance of the baneful effects of bad aspects between Saturn, Mercury, Mars, and Neptune. But the strangest case I have met was that of a perfectly sane person who landed in an asylum after a course of hopelessly erratic conduct, owing apparently to a square between Mars and Uranus, the latter in the ninth and also squaring Mercury. These aspects seem to me the most insidious and dangerous in the whole planetary chain. But in the present case they are exceptionally interesting because they represent the one flaw in an otherwise strong and indeed beautiful character; and so powerful are the indications of sanity and good judgment that one would never have predicted the harm caused by these afflicted planets. Nevertheless, at a critical time when the Sun arrived at the square of the radical Moon (a weak Moon in Pisces), the moral bulwarks were weakened, and tragedy ensued. There was not actually insanity in the family, but on the father’s side there was a long heredity of great talent running into eccentricity. The mother was perfectly normal, but perhaps a little imprudent owing to an afflicted Mars; and so this child arrived with Uranus in the ninth, markedly original and a “law to herself” like all Uranian natives.
An examination of the horoscope shows at once some other salient characteristics.
First, the fatefulness of the life. The majority of the planets are cadent and setting. When this is so, mistakes are dangerous things. An action once set on foot may soon pass beyond the native’s control, and the pluckiest fight against circumstances may only end in disaster. In this case the Moon afflicted by Saturn brought inevitable troubles, but an equable temperament and a fine intellect always stood the native in good stead. Venus again in the ninth, and ruling, with a trine to the Ascendant, gave the mind its prevailing tone of kindness, gaiety and refinement, while the trine of Uranus to the Pisces Moon inclined to Science and also to a contemplative Mysticism. Finally, the good aspects of Jupiter to Mercury and Saturn complete the testimony for a sound and balanced judgment.
But there was that square of Uranus from the ninth to an Aries Mars and Mercury in the sixth house.
The square of the progressed Sun to the radical Moon was ushered in by a visible total eclipse of the Sun upon the native’s birthday. There were no other important directions, except—and this was curious—a sextile between the progressed Mercury and Uranus, thus weakening the force of the birth square.
(Uranus, by the way, had now progressed to the eighth house. If it had not been for this sextile, death might assuredly have been the result of the extraordinary experiences now embarked on by the native. The progressed Sun, moreover, was squaring the Moon also from the death house.)
Well, the trouble began with an estrangement from a beloved friend. The powerful influences of Uranus upon a Libran temperament always brought very intense and passionate attachments, so that this trouble struck at the very root of the personality, Money troubles and other losses followed. After this, there seemed to be a disintegration of the character. The native began to drift into an extraordinary series of adventures, all more or less dishonourable, including forgery and impersonation, all with the one and only motive of restoring the broken friendship by fair means or foul. She kept it all up with a cool daring which deceived everyone and shrank from no hardship and no risk. (The square of Uranus and Mars inclines to the most insane rashness.) Finally, the whole plot was discovered—a thing which had apparently never entered her calculations; and then there followed several attempts at suicide stranger even than the events which had gone before; but as this touches another subject, I want to deal with it in a separate chapter. The point I want to emphasise here is, again, the deadly effect upon such a case of the asylum treatment. It is difficult to blame the physicians. Certain symptoms baffled and exasperated them. The patient refused to speak the truth, and was obviously still playing a game with everybody. They certified her as a last resource. Once in the asylum, she devoted herself (as so many do till hope leaves them) in trying to prove her sanity, while the doctors spent their time most unprofitably for a year in trying to understand the case. Meanwhile her keen sympathies ranged her on the side of some unhappy patients whose cause she espoused. In the eyes of the staff there is no deadlier sin on the part of a patient; and she finally left at war with everyone, and grievously battered in mind and body by the whole experience. Because, despite the outrageous conduct, she was never, as the nurses knew well enough, really insane. There had been a temporary invasion of the mental balance, as the horoscope indicated, but with such a birth map it could not have been very prolonged. Meanwhile it occasioned severe suffering both to herself and others, and it was much too subtle a case to gain anything from treatment in a hospital.
What shall we say, then, in judging a horoscope where Uranus, elevated, squares Mercury and Mars? We may judge that, at some unfortunate period in the life, the native will possibly “run amok” in some way; but if there are counterbalancing tendencies, there need be no fears for their ultimate recovery. There is another characteristic illustration of the Mars □ Uranus influence in the map of Stanley Condor, given in a little book, “1001 Horoscopes.”* Here it no doubt contributed to the boy’s notorious rashness, and his wild and daring adventures. Also Saturn was conjunction Mercury in the ninth. If he had lived, these aspects would certainly have brought trouble. But the point is, we have to learn how to counteract these things, and work through them, casting them behind us with all things expiated or outworn as this life brings us fresh opportunities. Instead, we usually wait till the trouble declares itself in other people, and then abandon the person to his fate.
We need more understanding, and more intelligent methods of education whereby the helpful influences of a birth map shall be brought into play. Then, when the purifying test comes, the native might be strengthened to meet it; and the more ready to learn that deep lesson of Life that these bitter times and dangers may be transmuted by the understanding soul into a greater strength and wisdom.
* The above booklet is published by “Modern Astrology.”