This short paper uses a priest’s chart to develop further our understanding of forefront saturn and pluto.
This paper can stand on it own, but two papers listed on the Home Page, the one on
autism and the one about the Unabomber, should be read first. The former explores the
meaning and resultant influence of saturn and pluto as planets and shows their
application in autistic charts (those links are above) ; the latter, their devastating effect on one
individual. Here is that links: Paper on Unabomber
The priest, labeled “Hermit 36422” in my data collection, will henceforth be referred to as “Hermit.” He comes with very little information. He was born on June 28, 1917 in Koekelare, Belgium. On May 1, 1943, when he was 25 years old, he was ordained a Catholic priest. At some point, date unknown, he left the church to live “life in the bush.” He was “homeless still in May, 1976,” so he had to have disappeared some time before then. I do not know if he simply winged it, or if he set himself up in a cabin of some sort. I do not know what he told himself he was doing.
I have used that one dated piece of information about him--his ordination--to rectify his chart. One piece is not enough to consider a chart rectified, but the change made me more comfortable working with it. He was born at 6:30 a.m. Middle European Daylight Time (MEDT). European births are recorded to the nearest 15 minutes. His rectified time was 6:36 a.m. MEDT. This is a reasonable change. Whether it is correct or not is another matter. In the end, at least for this paper, the change is not paramount. Both birth times yield similar aspects to Angles in the various charts below. Furthermore, his ultimate break from the church and society is based on astrological conditions that are not so Angle-sensitive. They have the same impact with either birth time.
For those who want to compare, the Angles for his un-rectified chart are:
The illustrations below are all taken from his rectified chart.
So little biographical information makes it easy to dismiss Hermit as just another social fatality. He was an individual, a son, perhaps a brother, who became a priest. That priest became completely alienated from society. In order to build up some idea of him as an individual, his vocational indicators are examined. I hope that makes him more a person, less as a statistic.
Vocational indicators--I have found after years of hard confusion--can show up in a number of charts. They occur most frequently in the 7th and 10th charts, but can be in the 1st and 3rd. Any chart that is powerful (for better or worse) can have vocational implications if it does not conflict too much with those in the 7th and 10th. I wrote “for better or worse.” A positive career chart comes into play when one has finally decided, or been allowed by timing, to “follow one’s bliss”--assuming such powerfully good indicators exist. A negative career chart comes into play when one is working through deficiencies, sometimes called karma. People do not always have clear vocational indicators. Sometimes they do but they are in conflict with other parts of the chart. A personal trait that is a defect in one vocation can be an asset in another.
Signs are important vocational indicators. Planets are, too. Having stated that, I will go no further here than analysis of Hermit’s 7th chart. It shows the importance of planets and signs as vocational markers. His 7th chart is clear enough in explaining his choice of the priesthood.
Before showing his chart, I should state some things about this method, which is quite diffferent from the traditional, Western tropical chart :
This method is not traditional. It uses a birth and conception planets and their harmonics and houses, all of which share the same axis. :
This astrology uses the sidereal positions of the planets based on the Fagan-Bradley’s SVP. My view of the practical differences between the tropical (Western) and the sidereal (Eastern) zodiacs can be found at Tropical vs. Sidereal Zodiac.
Harmonics are taken from the sidereal position of the planets. The Egyptian harmonic, discussed in the paper “About This Method” (link just below), is used.
”Lights” include suns, moons, and moons nodes. When mercury rules one or two Angles, it also acts like a light and has the same orb as the other lights. The MC or Asc also acts like a light, but one with only a 2° orb, because when a set is on an Angle it does not need a light to be active.
This method uses only conjunctions, applying and separating squares, and oppositions. Orbs for static planets with lights is 5°; without lights, about 2.5°. Orb for MC/planet or Asc/planet is 2°. Planets so related to each other are referred to as in the same “set.” A set, then, is two or more planets (or an Angle) connected to each other through conjunction, square, and opposition within the defined orbs. Sets without Angles are more active when they contain a light, and less active without one. Learning to look in terms of “crosses” can be helpful in rapidly finding planets that are in the same set.
Because this approach uses both a birth and conception chart and they share the same axis, birth houses usually overlap different houses of the conception chart. These are called “house overlaps.” As it turned out in this paper, house overlaps were not significant. They can be for some other conditions. Throughout this paper I use the convention when writing about house overlaps of putting the birth house first, then the conception house. So, for instance, a “5th/1st” overlap refers to an overlap of birth 5th house with conception 1st house in that order.
Birth planets (including their harmonics) rule only birth houses. Conception planets (including their harmonics) rule only conception houses.
For a more thorough explanation of this astrological approach, refer to the following papers:
About This Method
Empirically-Derived Chart Reading Rules
In the partial charts shown below, birth planets and their harmonics are inside the circle. Conception planets and their harmonics are outside the circle. Conception sidereal planets are red; conception harmonic ones, black. Birth sidereal planets are blue; birth harmonic ones, green. Occasionally, because of space limitations, I have had to violate this inside/outside arrangement, but the color coding remains constant.
Abbreviations used are b = birth, c = conception, and t = transiting. Even though the harmonic used for each chart is always two more than the chart’s number, in these papers—for ease of reading—I write the harmonic number the same as the chart number. For example, the 5th chart uses the 7th harmonic, but I have established the convention of writing harmonic planets for the 5th chart as, e.g., c5 mars, which reads, “the harmonic for the 5th chart for conception mars.” Pc3 mars stands for the harmonic for the 3rd chart of its progressed conception mars. T5 pluto represents transiting (at the time of the event) pluto for the 5th chart.
Now we can look at his partial chart, the harmonic for his 7th house.
I set the time, that is, rectified the given time of birth, of Hermit’s chart on progressed C Asc to 10 Cancer 10, square c jupiter and conjunct c neptune (figure above) for his ordination. They do not rule the right houses, but jupiter is natural ruler of the 9th (higher mind) and it is in c 9th house. Jupiter/neptune represents “expansion (jupiter) through mysticism (neptune).” Or, “creativity (neptune) through religion and higher mind (jupiter/9th).” At that same time Hermit had progressed B MC at 17 Pisces 30, conjunct his birth NN (North Node) in Sagittarius (Figure 1), conjunct progressed c7 venus at 17 Sagittarius 10. Venus rules C MC and c 3rd house--the combination often indicative of vocational choices. These together sum as Angle/jupiter/neptune plus Angle/node/venus. With the greater and lesser benefics on Angles, his ordination was a happy one, a time of feeling fulfilled.
Hermit also had progressed C MC at 10 Gemini 01, conjunct both non-harmonic plutos and opposition his c7 saturn (Figure 1) for his ordination. Ostensibly this set, fostering withdrawal as it does, has nothing to do with such a happy time. But a certain kind of withdrawal, renunciation, occurs with commitment to the priestly life. C7 saturn (denial, deficiency) even co-rules (23 of 32°) his c 5th house (sexuality).
I do not know how long it takes to become a priest. Perhaps Hermit decided in childhood that the priesthood was for him. He has three jupiter/neptune sets, implying religious affiliation, but none are lighted or forefront. They are not enough to influence him to a religious calling. His birth North Node is in Sagittarius in b 6th/c 4th houses. It interprets as growth (NN) through religious (Sagittarius) service work (6th house). He also has both harmonic mercuries in Sagittarius. One of them, b7 mercury in b 7th house, rules B Asc, making it a forefront influence. It is in the same set with c7 venus in Pisces (also ruler of C MC and c 3rd house). It represents love of or tenderness (venus) toward suffering (Pisces), a nice quality for a priest if he does not get too entangled in the suffering of others. In Pisces in c 8th/b 10th houses his venus shows the use of his sympathy in counseling (8th) and his career.(10th).
Four and one-half years before his ordination, Hermit’s progressed b mercury, ruler of B Asc, was at 10 Cancer 17. It was entering the same jupiter/neptune set (Figure 1) that was Angular for his ordination. At that time, progressed B Asc had already passed through c saturn (May, 1934), progressed c saturn (September, 1936), and b saturn (February, 1938). It had arrived at 7 Cancer 38, leaving only progressed b saturn yet to be experienced.
C saturn co-rules his c 5th house (23 of 32°), with potential implications of little sex (saturn/5th). His c saturn is conjunct b7 and c South Nodes (Figure 1), both of which are lights and thus strengthen the indications of his 5th/saturn--he will have little or no sexual activity.
His b7 saturn is in Capricorn in b 5th/c 7th houses. It is in the same set as c saturn by opposition. Saturn in Capricorn conjunct two North Nodes in the 5th house suggests growth (NN) through control or mastery (Capricorn), severe restriction (saturn), or even total denial (saturn) of his sexual inclinations (5th house). That can mean limited (saturn) pleasure in sex, limited sex, and/or successful (NN) sublimation of his sexual energy.
Hermit’s 5th chart (see 5th below) also has saturn on an Angle.
All these permutations of saturn relative to the 5th house imply no sex life. Ordinarily that would be unfortunate. In the chart of a priest it turns a defect into an asset. (Not that all priests have to be sexless, just that, by definition, they are not supposed to be practicing sex).
Hermit’s b saturn is also conjunct b7 and c South Nodes. It rules b 8th and 9th houses. Its 8th influence has Scorpio (8th house) overtones. Like his c saturn, his b saturn is in Cancer in his b 1st house. Saturn in each of these signs--Cancer, and with Scorpio overtones--implies defective feelings introduced in early childhood (1st). Of the four elements--air, earth, fire, and water--portrayed through signs, water signs are most like feelings. Like the difference between water and solids, feelings operate under different laws from those of the mind. Saturn (lack) in water signs (feelings) rigidifies or shrivels feelings.
Along the same line, Hermit’s 1st chart has both harmonic saturns in Scorpio on Angles (see 4th below). We first share our feelings with our parents and siblings, who are our first group and first teachers. Hermit was “taught” (8th sign, Scorpio, collective feeling) as an infant (1st) not (saturn) to feel (Cancer, Scorpio). More likely, it was drummed into him. Maybe Mom could not relate to little boys. Maybe Dad thought boys who feel are sissies. There are many possible parental rationalizations. The net result was he did not have to worry about (sharing) feelings, which was forbidden, because, besides feeling empty, he felt very little.
After early childhood Hermit’s emotional narrowness originated in himself and ramified throughout his life in his interactions with others. It was, however, hidden beneath his surface. In his 7th chart, the one which most shows our relationships with others, Hermit’s venus conjunct jupiter in Gemini is closer to his Ascendant than his saturns. It made him charming, witty, and gracious. He was not, this behavior promised, empty, but full, even overflowing. A deep relationship would have exposed his emotional problems. By entering the priesthood, however, he increased the likelihood of keeping his emotional vulnerability hidden.
His two benefics in Gemini are in the same set with three mercuries (Figure 1), with b7 mercury ruling his B Asc. It shows him to be spirited, active, communicative, intelligent. Again, witty, charming--a bon mot man if there ever was one.
When his progressed b mercury, ruler of B Asc, hit jupiter/neptune (December, 1938), it was following on the heels of three consecutive progressions of Asc to saturn. He was looking for a way out, and it appeared. Mercury/jupiter/neptune has an aspirational quality. It helped him believe he could overcome his barrenness through the belonging (11th, the priesthood) and sacrifice (neptune) of the religious (jupiter) calling.
Hermit has other sets helpful to a priest. His c moon at 1 Gemini 44 is in c 10th/b12th, conjunct c7 NN at 2 Gemini 22, suggesting need and reward (NN) through communication (Gemini), in isolation (12th, confession) as well as in public (10th, preaching).
His b7 saturn at 1 Capricorn 36 conjunct two nodes in its 7th house placement of the 5th/7th overlap suggests prestige and acceptance (NN) from considered (Capricorn) and essential (saturn) relationships with others (7th) (as well as the sublimation of his sexuality discussed earlier).
Those are some of his vocational indicators. We can now turn to saturn and pluto as they play through Hermit’s charts.
In the charts listed below, I looked for saturn and/or pluto on Angles. Briefly, those charts represent the following forms of information:
My purpose was to isolate certain information from all other information in these chart. This sweep revealed that Hermit had a high number of Angular occurrences of saturn (maybe pluto). That is interesting because Angle/saturn sponsors various types of withdrawal, disconnection, feelings of inferiority and failure.
An orb of up to two degrees was used to judge whether a planet was in a set with an (un-progressed) Angle.
For Hermit’s 1st chart, he has:
|(a)||C MC||13 Taurus 49|
|c1 saturn||13 Scorpio 24||ruler of c 6th, co-ruler of b 5th (23 of 32°) houses|
|(b)||C Asc||19 Leo 08|
|b1 saturn||20 Scorpio 32||rules b 8th and 9th houses|
For his 3rd chart:
|(a)||B MC||23 Aquarius 00|
|b3 pluto||21 Scorpio 54|
|(b)||B Asc||23 Gemini 19 00|
|c3 saturn||22 Pisces 19||ruler of c 6th, co-ruler of b 5th (23 of 32°) houses|
Note he is not autistic, that is, he does not have lighted saturn/pluto in the same set influencing Angles and a 3rd house in his 1st and 3rd charts. His differences are (1) his saturn and pluto are on separate Angles (so not in the same set), (2) they are unlighted (they do not include sun, moon, or nodes), and (3) they are in his 3rd chart, but not his 1st, that is, he has no pluto/Angle in his 1st chart.
Hermit’s 7th chart contained neither saturn nor pluto to Angles. He was not like the Unabomber, who had moon/saturn/pluto in the same set with B MC.
Nor is Hermit like Arthur Shawcross, serial murderer. Shawcross has Angular and lighted saturn/pluto in his 1st chart, but not his 3rd or 7th charts. Shawcross’ thus afflicted 1st chart was, I suspect, the basis for his diagnosis as a sociopath. He was half-”autistic”. The similarity between his behavior in infancy and that of many autistic children is worth quoting:
’”As an infant, Artie was a doll,” a cousin remembered. “He had brown hair and big beautiful dark eyes. His baby pictures didn’t look quite normal. Most babies, they’re smiling or in tears because they’re aware of the photographer, but Artie had a blank look--straight ahead, no expression. Something else odd about him: he almost never cried, but when he did, one eye stayed dry.” ...In an early school interview, his mother reported that he caused “no problems as a baby.” She observed that he spent most of his time in a crib.’ [Italic emphasis mine.] (from The Misbegotten Son, cited below, page 182, the paperback.)
For Hermit’s 5th chart:
|(a)||C MC||13 Taurus 49|
|b5 pluto||12 Aquarius 39|
|(b)||C Asc||19 Leo 08|
|b5 saturn||17 Leo 55||ruler of b 8th and 9th houses|
His c 5th house in his 7th chart was already under saturn’s influence (above, the discussion with Figure 1). (b) just above, brings his 5th chart also under saturn. Moreover, this saturn is in Leo--the 5th sign of Leo correlated with the 5th house--conjunct his Ascendant, which is in b 3rd house. Even the idea(3rd) of sex (5th/Leo) could be distasteful (saturn) to him.
For his 6th chart:
|B Asc||23 Gemini 19|
|b6 pluto||23 Pisces 02|
For his 8th chart:
|C MC||13 Taurus 49|
|c8 saturn||14 Aquarius 39||ruler of c 6h, co-ruler of c 5th houses|
For his 10 chart:
|B Asc||23 Gemini 19 00|
|c10 saturn||23 Gemini 35||ruler of c 6h, co-ruler of c 5th houses|
Hermit’s b sun does not rule an Angle (unless I consider the I.C. an Angle, which it is, but I.C.’s are Angles which function most late in life), but it turns out to be important. B sun rules his b 4th house. As a light, it strengthens any planet in the same set, so its condition reveals much about the latter part (4th house) of Hermit’s life .
Looking for saturn and/or pluto with his b sun:
In Hermit’s 4th chart
|c pluto||10 Gemini 47|
|b pluto||10 Gemini 23|
|b sun||12 Gemini 18||ruler of b 4th, co-ruler of b 3rd (23 of 25°) houses|
|b4 saturn||11 Gemini 04||ruler of b 8th and 9th houses|
C pluto, the closer of the two to the sun, is retrograde. But progressed b pluto is at 11 Gemini 31 on May 1, 1970 (his possible period of disengagement, when he was 52-53 years old, see Timing, below), which I’ll use for the last two sets.
In his 8th chart
|progressed b pluto||11 Gemini 31|
|b sun||12 Gemini 18||ruler of b 4th, co-ruler of b 3rd (23 of 25°) houses|
|b8 saturn||8 Pisces 27||ruler of b 8th and 9th houses|
In his 7th chart
|progressed b pluto||11 Gemini 31|
|b sun||12 Gemini 18||ruler of b 4th, co-ruler of b 3rd (23 of 25°) houses|
|c7 saturn||10 Sagittarius 11||ruler of c 6th, co-ruler of c 5th houses|
He has lighted saturn/pluto in the same set influencing the 4th house in charts 4, 7 and 8. Of the three, his 7th chart is most destructive. It undermines even his superficial connection to others.
As noted in the Introduction, the date Hermit left for the bush was not given. His general timing--latter part of life--comes from his 4th house lighted saturn/pluto influence.
I figured his tentative date this way:
”Still in the bush in 1976” meant to me there was still some hope, for the individual who reported his data, that Hermit would return . Otherwise, he would have been listed as “never seen again.” To me that implied in 1976 he had been gone less than ten years, probably closer to five. That means he disconnected some time in his late 40’s or early 50’s. In 1976 he was 59 years old. Five years before that he was 54. Five years before that he was 49 years old. Since he was ordained in his early twenties, he worked in his capacity as priest for 20-30 years--quite some time.
The table below explores the progressions which inaugurated his entry into “late life influences.”
|Date||pb7 pluto||pc saturn||May 1, 1955||11 Taurus 14||11 Cancer 39||May 1, 1960||12 Taurus 07||12 Cancer 17||May 1, 1965||12 Taurus 56||12 Cancer 56||May 1, 1970||13 Taurus 43||13 Cancer 33||May 1, 1975||14 Taurus 25|
Discussing the table above, in 1970, a little earlier or later, Hermit’s 7th chart acquired progressed harmonic pluto to his C MC at 13 Taurus 49. At that time he would have been 53 years old.
His progressing c saturn, in column three above, was moving in on his c mars at 13 Libra 25 conjunct b7 moon at 13 Libra 26. Mars rules c 4th and 9th houses, giving him moon/mars/saturn (struggles, dissonance, difficulties, pain) influence to 4th (home, late life) and 9th (religion). If we add in progressed b neptune, at 11 Cancer 51, he has moon/mars/saturn/neptune influencing his c 4th house (see footnote 1, below). Lighted, forefront mars/saturn/neptune represents siege conditions. Hermit’s b 4th house was already influenced by sun/saturn/pluto. Together moon/mars/saturn/neptune and sun/saturn/pluto show an astrological excess describing pain, fear, and alienation. Long-term, a state like that would make a mature man, an experienced priest, believe he really belonged alone, in the bush, living from hand-to-mouth, where outer conditions would be consonant with inner ones.
In table form, his charts yield the following information:
|Chart||Saturn/Angle||Pluto/Angle||Saturn Angle + Pluto/Angle||Saturn/Pluto Angle|
Charts 2, 4, 7, 9, 11 and 12 do not contain Angle/saturn or Angle/pluto. Of those, his 4th and 7th have a sun/saturn/pluto influence.
The harmonic saturn in his 7th chart is from c saturn. C7 saturn co-rules c 5th house (23 of 32°). It came into play the first time when he renounced his sexuality and dedicated his life to the Church. It came into play the second time in its 4th house function when he left civilization.
The harmonic saturn in his 4th chart is from b saturn. B7 saturn rules b 8th and 9th houses. I could correlate its 9th influence with Catholicism, with its long tradition (saturn) and its emphasis on religious ritual (saturn). Its 8th house, influence, however, could not have come into play (as a realization of lack of group belonging) until later in his life because who would go into something on purpose to discover his defects? (see footnote 2).
Charts 7 (interpersonal relations), 9 (religion), and 11 (groups), not afflicted by Angular saturn or pluto, ended up being quasi-vocational indicators. Each is in frequent use by a priest. I do not know about chart 12.
None of Hermit’s Angles with saturn or pluto included a light. They are weaker without a light than with one.
Of the Angles with planets on them, all but one have either saturn or pluto. Saturn and pluto are strongest when in the same set, weaker when not.
Totaling saturn/Angles (regardless of whether or not pluto is there), Hermit has five saturn/Angles--almost half his (12) charts.
Totaling pluto/Angles (regardless of whether or not saturn is there), Hermit has three--only one-fourth his total number of charts.
One chart, his 6th, has only pluto on an Angle. Since he went into (religious) service work (6th), just pluto on an Angle appears less debilitating that just saturn on an Angle.
Three charts--Hermit’s 1st, 8th, and 10th--had saturn only on an Angle. His 1st house saturns have already been discussed. His 1st chart saturns in Scorpio have also already been discussed. His saturn-afflicted 8th chart is somewhat superfluous. His 1st chart already contains a lot of “8th” (two saturns in Scorpio) affliction. His 10th chart remains the most open to interpretation. How much did that saturn/Angle affect his career? We know it to be a chart which also represents the mother’s influence. His 10th chart shows some non-acceptance from her. It,. however, is not nearly as negative as his birth and conception saturns in Cancer in his 1st house conjunct nodes two South Nodes. Since c South Node is non-harmonic, Hermit’s saturn/saturn/South Node is in all his charts, in all his b 1st and c 11th houses.
Two of Hermit’s charts--his 3rd and 5th--had saturn on one Angle and pluto on a different one. We do not know what he did with his mind (3rd), but he forsook his sexuality (5th) in early adulthood.
Hermit does not have saturn together with pluto in the same set on any one Angle in any chart.
Returning to lighted saturn and pluto together in one set, they are in Hermit’s 4th, 7th, and 8th charts. They influence late life through his b sun. Hermit’s 8th chart also has saturn on an Angle. All three came strongly into play through his b sun, 4th house ruler, in his late 40s or 50s, probably early 50s.
There was a high incidence saturn on Angles in Hermit’s charts--six of his twelve. They increased the likelihood he would feel worthless, a failure, a burden, and unconnected. Timing for such realizations is not always straightforward. Moreover, saturn has a reputation, if not too excessive, for reward (modest and subdued though it may be) in relation to persevering work on one’s deficiencies. That reward is called growth, but it is not something society usually brings out the marching band for, and it is always relative to each individual’s starting place. By themselves, Hermit’s Angle/saturns could not have sent him away from civilization. True, they were difficult, but they were less than excessive.
Hermit’s b sun/saturn/pluto precipitated his long-term exile. In their 4th influence through his birth sun, they were excessive because saturn and pluto were in the same set and lighted.
Once they began to operate, Hermit’s mental and spiritual states no longer fit his vocation. How could he lead his flock when he no longer felt any connection to them or any one else?
Once they began to operate, he was impelled to find outer conditions which reflected his inner state. Therefore, he, so to speak, divorced humanity and left for the bush.
(1) Lighted mars/neptune influence to a 5th house in the 7th chart is the set I have seen most often in cases of male homosexuality. But in Hermit’s chart, none rule the 5th house. If I add in c jupiter at 10 Aries 49, its rulership of c 5th house brings Hermit’s mars/neptune into relationship with his 5th. He may have had homosexual tendencies. He may or may not have expressed them. With progressed saturn hitting his moon/mars/(neptune), he may have lost (saturn) a long-term homosexual liaison. However, just because America has been going through sexual scandals about the sex life of priests, I am not going to jump to conclusions regarding Hermit’s sex life. He had a strong suppression of his sexuality. He also had some homosexual inclination for whatever sexuality he had remaining. Whether or not he suppressed that is unknown. Only a large, long-term, and completely honest study could even potentially resolve such questions.
(2) It is tempting to see his 8th/saturn influence in his 4th chart as a description of end-of-life conditions. Conditions of b sun, as ruler of b 4th house, also contain some of that information. I have not investigated the 4th chart in terms of its portrayal of the individual’s end-life conditions. It does not contain information about his death. Each individual’s death shows as 4th house (and perhaps other) influence in his 7th chart and in whichever chart plays the strongest role in his death. In, for instance, air plane disasters, the 9th chart.
The Misbegotten Son: A Serial Killer and His Victims, by Jack Olsen. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., 1993.
Birth: 6/28/1917, 6:30 a.m. MEDT, Koekelare, Belgium. From Astrodatabank data software by Lois Rodden and Mark McDonough. Grietje Versavel quotes his birth certificate.
Conception: 9/19/1916, 6:13:23 a.m. MEDT, Koekelare, Belgium.
His respective rectified times for his charts are 6:36 a.m. for birth, and 6:19:33 a.m. for conception.
Astrodatabank’s website: Go To Astrodatabank
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org