MAP 4 is an interesting one given to me by a colleague who had charge of the case. It is one of those maps where the environment is more striking than the character. All the planets, except Saturn, are rising or in elevation, showing that the native has considerable power of becoming “captain of his soul” when other things are equal. And he was born into a happy and prosperous environment with the one drag upon the wheel in the mother’s heredity. She was a woman of violent passions, and had twice become unhinged, though only temporarily.
Thus we have the notable positions of the Sun in the Midheaven joined to Neptune, parallel with Mars, and squaring Uranus and the Moon in Cancer—a maternal sign. The passional nature was thus inherited. At the same time there are, as usual, strong counterbalancing influences. The ninth house is curiously tenanted. Mercury is there, weak by sign, yet trine to the Moon and Uranus. He has passed the square of Saturn, and is not in very close conjunction with Mars.
But Mars unfortunately is in the same house—a bad augury for the mental balance. Still, Jupiter is there too, and it is probably due to his protecting influences that no harm came to the boy in his early years. There were several sharp illnesses, and always a hot temper, but no more than that. He was exceptionally clever; and at college for a time carried things before him. Then, at the age of twenty-four, the progressed horoscope brought one of those terrible times of trial and temptation which he was not highly enough evolved to conquer. Mercury came to the square of Uranus. The planets had been in trine aspect at birth, so this progressed position was not in itself sufficient to cause a downfall. But it brought about estrangements; and a time of bitter quarrelling ensued. Then, two years later, came some very critical positions which affected not only the health but—being thrown from the cusp of the Midheaven—disorganised the life and fortune. The progressed Ascendant came to 16° Leo, and received no new aspects; but Mercury, advancing to 15° Aries, was in conjunction with Neptune, while Venus was squaring Mars, and Mars had reached the place of the radical Sun in square to the radical Moon, and in opposition to the cusp of the fourth house. The Moon also was in the twelfth—always a sinister position connected with restraint of some kind.
The boy took to drinking heavily, got involved in a brawl, and was charged with manslaughter. But, before the trial, he died practically insane. (The fourth house, it will be noticed, is ruled by Venus, so that the square between these two planets added its evil influence to the other fateful positions of Mars.)
Could this tragedy have been averted? Perhaps not, though it must be insisted that the map before us is not that of a “criminal.” It is the horoscope of one who met his hereditary burden, so to speak, before he had gained the wisdom to deal with it. There are many such, and there we must leave them, knowing that, having passed through that fire of experience, they will “find it better farther on.” But the most impressive lesson to be learnt from this tragic instance is—astrologically—the power of the progressed horoscope. It is always insisted—and, of course, truly—that the birth horoscope is the Radix of all human fate, and no after “directions” can alter what is found there. I think this needs qualification, because people’s progressed maps differ quite as much as their birth influences. Some go all through their lives without ever meeting that evil aspect–Sun squaring the radical Moon. Others never meet a Saturn aspect squaring the Sun; while others again escape all the crashes of Uranus. But, in other maps, year by year, you will find some trying and difficult aspect cropping up in the native’s path. In fact, with some people their tendencies come to fruition in this life, while with others the tendencies are not called into active being. There is no doubt some underlying reason why this should be so, but it is a fact which the practical Astrologer must never overlook when considering either a native’s opportunities or his temptations through life. It is at least possible that, in the case before us, the insanity following the disruptions of Mars might not have shown out in the native’s lifetime had it not been excited by the directions in force.