The birth chart is a map in which the planets, which symbolize the psychic functions, describe our trends and potentialities. If Heraclitus was right in stating that character is destiny¹, then we could say that the qualities with which we are born suggest the course that our life will take.
Quite often we believe that this destiny is individual, that our life is entirely ours. But in truth we carry the weight of our family and cultural inheritance, a legacy that in spite of being for the most part unconscious, has enormous influence in our daily life. There are many occasions in which we believe we are approaching a personal and unique experience when in fact, if we look closely, we’ll see that this sort of event has already come up in previous generations, probably camouflaged in a different costume but essentially the same. We frequently see families in which alcoholism appears to be hereditary, or whose members seem doomed towards hostile behavior.
A general misconception is to believe that an inheritance is only made up of those material assets we receive once our ancestors have died. But the truth is we are given the most important bequest at the very moment of childbirth and it is constituted by what the previous generations have left unresolved. Carl Jung said that the greatest psychological influence in the life of the children is the unlived life of the parents.² In this way we are forced to deal with dilemmas that were transmitted to us by those who preceded us, and if we do not solve them, they later pass on to our children. The past, disguised as new circumstances but always the same in essence, insists on returning, constituting a vicious circle.
The importance of transcending our inheritance
While it is true that we are carriers of what was unresolved in our family, we are called to transcend this inheritance in order to conquer our own destiny and live fully. But how to twist the path that was traced by our ancestors, how to get out of the family maze? Probably the starting point is to shed light on what is still unresolved. By bestowing consciousness we can attempt to give a new and creative answer that will help transmute the vicious circle into an evolutionary spiral.
The unresolved issues present themselves as incompatible energies, expressed by planets making difficult aspects, so the person generally goes from one extreme to its opposite. This pendular movement was referred to by Jung as enantiodromia,³ a term that means that all psychological extremes contain their opposite, and the more extreme a position, the more we expect it’s conversion to the opposite. This idea comes from the ancient Hermetic Philosophy, which states that the pendulum-swing manifests in everything; the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left.⁴
Ideally, when confronted with what appear to be conflicting trends, one should strive to establish a balance between them, since both represent valuable and necessary aspects of our personality. Even though achieving this can be the task of a lifetime, we can seek to the best of our ability to develop the kind of awareness that will allow us to be in one pole while keeping the other in mind, to apprehend opposites not as antagonistic but as complementary. By achieving this kind of insight, we could find new meanings to external conflicting events, and see them as necessary footholds to help us become acquainted with our internal dilemmas.
The natal chart makes it possible to unravel the circumstances and family conflicts still unresolved by our parents, at least at the time of our birth. A way of doing this is by deriving or turning houses in the chart. To do so, one identifies the house that represents the person one needs to get information about, for example the 3rd for siblings, and sets it as correlative to the first house of the chart. The subsequent houses follow in order with their accustomed meaning. In the same example, the radical 4th becomes the sibling’s turned 2nd representing his money, the radical 9th is the sibling’s 7th and so forth.⁵
Turning the chart makes it easier to see what was going on with the rest of the family when we were born. For instance a stellium in the 7th makes one wonder what issues were coming up for the person’s mother in terms of career and social status (radical 10th is the mother’s 1st in the turned chart, and radical 7th is the mother’s derived 10th). The inharmonious aspects in the turned chart show which energies were not merged in an balanced way by our predecessors, and it will be our task to find new answers to those dilemmas.
Carl Gustav Jung was born on July 26th, 1875 in Kesswil, Switzerland. He was a pioneer in the field of psychotherapy and founded the School of Analytical Psychology. He died in June 1961.
The following example aims to show how parental issues can be identified in a chart, and only some parts of the chart have been taken into account for this purpose. An exhaustive analysis has been omitted
The chart was obtained from astro.com Ascendant: 28°45’ Capricorn
Sun: 3°18’ Leo Moon: 15°26’ Taurus
Sun in Leo in the 7th
The Sun represents our identity, it refers to our inclinations and goals, and is related to the father. In Leo, it has the ability to stand out: Jung was known for his charismatic personality, his incredible professional achievements and is considered the most famous Swiss citizen.
The placement of the Sun in the 7th house of relationships gives us a clue as to how vital associations were for him, and of his tendency of getting involved with important or “solar” people. This house represents alliances but also known enemies (as opposed to the 12th which represents unknown foes).
If we turn the chart, the 7th house describes his paternal grandfather, so the Sun in this placement could very well mean a strong identification with him. Jung’s had been named after his paternal grandfather, and apart from sharing his name they were both doctors. Karl G. Jung senior had been well known for his vitality and enthusiasm, both solar qualities. Also, there was a strong rumor that was Goethe’s illegitimate son⁶. In his book The Aryan Christ, the secret life of Carl Jung,⁷ American psychoanalyst Richard Noll states that Jung knew that he possessed many of this grandfather’s outstanding personality traits (and therefor to some extent Goethe’s) and as a young man he compared himself with him instead of with his father.
Sun square Neptune
The fact that his father Paul Jung was a pastor is a typical manifestation of Sun (father) and Neptune (spirituality). But the square between these planets reveals Paul’s inability to integrate both principles in an harmonious way. He had many doubts about his faith but was afraid to give way to them openly. In the turned chart, Neptune placed in Jung’s 3rd house corresponds to his father’s 12th, the house of unresolved unconscious issues. Jung said of his father that “he had failed to experience the will of God, had opposed it for the best reasons and out of the deepest faith. And that’s why he had never experienced the miracle of grace which heals all and makes all comprehensible.”⁸
Jung was able to integrate both qualities in a most creative way, by exploring the unconscious and the language of symbols. Neptune in the 3rd describes affinity towards mysticism and occultism. His search led him into Neptunian terrains such as astrology, hypnotism, IChing. To him, dreams were the heralds of the unconscious, and his contributions to the analysis of dreams are invaluable. He threw light and awareness (Sun) into the unconscious (Neptune) and expanded his identity in doing so.
Moon in Taurus square Saturn and conjunct Pluto
The Moon expresses the relationship with the mother and the emotional environment of childhood. The Moon in earthly Taurus describes that for Jung those experiences were related to the senses, food and material well being. In fact he describes Emilie as having
“hearty animal warmth, cooked wonderfully and was most companionable and pleasant”⁹
Saturn square the Moon is typical of a solitary childhood in a household with little show of affection between his parents and economic hardships. The Moon Pluto describes his perception of a mother who could be possessive and archaic. Through her, Jung was able to get in touch with the darkest side of human nature. Later on, as a doctor, he insisted that true therapy begins only when the patient acknowledges his secret personal history.
Saturn square Pluto
Pluto is a significator of both his parents, it rules the 10th house of the mother with cusp in Scorpio and is placed near the cusp of the 4th house of the father. This gives us a clue of how influential they were in his awareness of the more obscure side of life.
In fact his father was a pastor and dealt with funerals, and this led him as a child to associate Jesus with someone who “took people and this taking was the same as putting them in a hole in the ground’’¹⁰
As for his mother, in his memoirs he refers to a part of her that was ruthless, and in his adulthood he recognizes this same trait in himself and refers to his ability to see people and things as they really are and to deal with the naked truth.
The square between Pluto and Saturn describes unresolved parental issues. For Paul, Pluto placed in his turned 1st in conflict with the ruler of the turned 9th (religion) expresses the tension he felt because of unacknowledged religious doubts. On the other hand, Saturn placed in the radical 1st which it rules, corresponds to Paul’s 10th, indicating strain through his profession and difficulties with figures of authority.
For Emilie, the square between Saturn and Pluto reveals her conflicts between her identity and her mental development (Capricorn in the turned 3rd). According to her son, she had literary talent as well as good taste and depth, but these qualities remained hidden under conventional opinions.
Saturn square Pluto and his relationship with Freud
This same conflicting pattern between Saturn and Pluto comes up in Jung’s relationship with Freud. This was probably his most important association, at least in terms of his work. They met in 1906 and Jung declared that Freud was the first man of real importance that he had met, and was given, very soon after their first encounter, a protagonist role within the psychoanalyst movement. He regarded Freud as an older, more mature personality and “felt like a son in that respect”¹¹
But the relationship with this father figure was bound to end in conflict and power issues, as is well described by Pluto in the 4th house of the father and ruler of the 10th of authority square Saturn ruler of his 1st. From the onset Jung had trouble ascribing to Freud’s vision on repression (Pluto!). Freud “considered the cause of repression to be a sexual trauma”¹² but Jung had seen that in many cases of neurosis, sexuality played a subordinate part.
In March 1909 Jung was crowned heir to the psychoanalytic movement created by Freud, a title that surely satisfied his need for recognition and professional achievement. Soon after, while they were having a conversation in which Freud was making a stance against occultism (and criticizing Jung’s interest in this kind of phenomena), Saturn square Pluto made its appearance in a most explicit way: in his memoirs, Jung recalls that “while Freud was going on his way, I had a curious sensation. It was as if my diaphragm were made of iron and were becoming red hot…and at that moment there was such a loud report in the bookcase…fearing the thing was going to topple over us.”¹³. One could say that the collapse of the bookcase and books symbolizes Jung’s need to overthrow Freud’s theories in order to seek his own truth.
Freud’s paternal attitude towards Jung and his feeling that Jung was unable to accept his authority, together with Jung’s conviction that Freud placed personal authority above truth¹⁴ contributed to strain the relationship, which ended definitely in 1913. The separation affected him deeply and caused him a nervous breakdown. Pluto rules his 10th house of status, and it describes the relentless inner force that compelled him to shatter the professional position he had achieved. The breakup caused him to be socially ostracized but also led him to explore his unconscious more deeply. It allowed him to better understand the functioning of the psyche and to lay the foundations of the theories which he continued to develop in the course of the rest of his life. Uranus participates in the square between Saturn and Pluto forming a T square, meaning that breaking away from Freud gave him the freedom to explore new ideas and novel points of view which later served to expand Freud’s theories.The fact that the name Jung means young is descriptive of the kind of contribution he made to psychoanalysis.
To wrap up this idea one could say that to live life consciously, to face our internal dilemmas and limitations is the best gift we can bestow on those who come after us. Astrology throws light into our past, showing us where we are coming from, and illuminates the path we need to travel. Jung is a great example of how occult sciences can help us achieve self knowledge. His legacy is enormous, but perhaps his most significant teaching was the courage he showed in exploring his inner reality and giving new answers to unresolved family related problems.
Maria Blaquier was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1967, and has been involved with astrology for the last 30 years. Her studies include draconic astrology, Medieval Astrology and is at the moment studying horary. In 2001 she got a degree as a coach and counselor (The Newfield Network Argentina y Chile). Between 2001 and 2008 she attended the center of Jungian studies Fundación Vocación Humana (Phd Bernardo Nante).
She works as an astrologer and vocational counselor.
3 Progoff, Ira: La Psicología de Jung y su significación social, Paidós, p 54
4 El Kybalion, Ed Kier,Tres Iiniciados, p 21
5 Revolución solar, Ed Kier, Liliana Ortiz, p 71
6 Memories, Dreams, Reflections; Carl G. Jung, Fontana Paperbacks, p 52
7 The Aryan Christ, the secret life of Carl Jung, R. Noll
8 Memories, Dreams, Reflections; Carl G. Jung, Fontana Paperbacks, p 59
9 Memories, Dreams, Reflections; Carl G. Jung, Fontana Paperbacks, pp 65-66
10 Memories, Dreams, Reflections; Carl G. Jung, Fontana Paperbacks, p 25
11-12-13-14 Memories, Dreams, Reflections; Carl G. Jung, Fontana Paperbacks, chapter 5