Excerpted from In Search of Destiny: Biography, History & Culture As Told Through Vedic Astrology
The third sign of the zodiac is Gemini. The Vaishya class – merchant or trading class – is equated with all three air signs in ancient Vedic literature. Gemini is a dual air sign with the Vedic aim of Kama, or the desire to interact with other human beings. At times this can be motivated by the desire to do business or by sexual desire, as Mercury (its ruler) frequently has its mind focused on sexual union. We may not think of Gemini as sexual, especially as Mercury itself is a neutral and mental planet signifying the intellect, logic and discrimination. But it is colored by whatever is near to it, specifically the qualities of the planets that are either in the same sign or aspecting it.
The intertwined couple is a symbol for Gemini, though it is more generally known for the twins, which is the literal translation of the Sanskrit word for Gemini: Mithuna. The myth of Soma and Tara helps in understanding this sexual orientation.138 In the Puranic myth, Mercury is born to Jupiter’s wife Tara, but is not his own child – though he is later forced to accept him as his own. Mercury comes from the union of Tara and Soma – the Moon in an incarnation as a man in this story. Mercury is finally accepted by Jupiter in large part to quell dissent among the gods, and also because the child Mercury is so witty and clever; thus the association of Mercury with youthfulness, mischief, and sexual desire, sometimes bringing messy relations due to the inability to settle for one choice and the discomfort with an abundance of confusing choices.
Another understanding from this teaching myth is Mercury’s relationship with both Jupiter and the Moon (Soma). Though Mercury is heavily dependent on Jupiter for higher knowledge, and Jupiter’s aspect to Mercury is considered the blessing of a guru, even so there is an uneasy relationship between them. For Jupiter, Mercury is the surrogate child. The same is true to some
138 The Introduction to Chapter 6 (Cancer Ascendant) also discusses this myth.
extent between Mercury and Moon, in spite of Moon’s acceptance of everyone. (The Moon has no planetary enemies, whereas for Mercury – Moon is its enemy. Soma is the interloper in the myth.)
With such mental focus on human interaction in Gemini, and at times sexual interaction, the Gemini Ascendant person may face more challenges deciding on a mate or a career, and when confronted with going only one route with any endeavor. There is a natural versatility which in turn often brings a variety of choices. Career-wise it is best to seek at least two directions or approaches. Saturn’s influence in the chart shows how well self-discipline works in dealing with such a range of choices.
Vedic scriptures emphasize the need for constant awareness of the contents of the mind. Likewise in Vedic astrology we pay close attention to the Moon and Mercury to examine the emotional and intellectual aspects of the mind, respectively. As the ruler of Gemini Ascendant, Mercury represents not only the physical body but the workings of the rational mind and the architecture of the brain; also, the nervous system and its capacity to make connections throughout the body. As the planet of speech and communications, Mercury rules over the lungs. Mercury is associated with neurotransmitters in the brain, which are so vital to keep healthy and viable in order to have an empowered brain. Thus if Mercury is diminished in an astrological chart, there is potential for the person to suffer damage to the nervous system, and
– if that connection adversely affects the Moon (memory) – there can be short or long-term memory loss. Therefore, just as we count on our computers to hold vast quantities of memory and respond to our touch pad commands, we count on a strong Mercury to give us access to our nerve-command systems. All of these functions are ruled by Mercury and are related to the sign of Gemini.
“Gemini constitute[s] a pair of human beings bearing a harp and a mace.”
Jataka Parijata, Chapter 1, Shloka 8.
“Gemini Described: The sign Gemini … represents a male and a female holding a mace and lute.”
Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra, Chapter 4, Shloka 9-9.5.
These images of Gemini from Vedic astrology classics remind us of the contradictions inherent in any given Ascendant chart, ones that become especially notable in the dual sign Ascendants
– Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces. Perhaps the most iconic example of this phenomenon of “bearing a harp and a mace” is Albert Einstein (Chart #11), whose scientific discoveries led to the making and use of the atom bomb, but whose later years were spent as a passionate peace activist – so much so that he was on the F.B.I. “Watch List.” This obvious paradox is also a tribute to the intellectual curiosity of Mercury and its desire to make its discoveries accessible. But with the application of Jupiter’s higher knowledge, Mercury may discover how its mundane activities in the realm of science or commerce may have much larger unintended consequences – in this case, the unleashing of man-made weapons of mass destruction.
Especially because it is ruled by Mercury and is an air sign, Gemini is concerned with the rational mind in its most expansive mode. (In its exalted and ownership sign of Virgo, Mercury works in its most practical mode.) Planets in air signs and houses like to interact with other humans, and if the natal Moon is in an air sign, the person often prefers a more urban environment, close to the social, cultural, political and economic interplay with other human beings. But
while Moon can thrive in Mercury’s sign, the reverse is not true, as Moon is a planetary enemy of Mercury, and water signs in general are difficult for Mercury, adding an emotional (even if intuitive) component where neutrality and logic are needed. The same holds true if Moon contacts Mercury, or is in a mutual Kendra. Being the first of the air signs, Gemini is especially focused on developing mental and communication abilities. Gemini is concerned with language itself, literacy and numeracy (efficiency using numbers), and thus mathematics and music, as well as astrology. Each has a complex manipulation of a vast array of numbers and/or symbols. Not surprisingly, both the 3rd house in the astrological chart and the 3rd sign of Gemini are associated with music and the dramatic arts.
Gemini is focused on knowledge of the abstract and education in general, or the cultivation of the mind and intellect. Being colored by whatever it is near – Mercury-ruled Gemini is like the process of education itself. Sometimes the planet acts like a benefic and sometimes like a malefic, depending on the planets with which it associates. The Sanskrit word for Mercury is Buddhi. Lacking the higher powers of Jupiter, it is dependent on Jupiter for its higher knowledge and greater breadth of learning. Gemini can be obsessed with making knowledge accessible. Whether it takes that tendency too far, thus lowering the cultural level, will depend on various factors – including whether classic benefic planets Venus and Jupiter are well aspected and well situated. Have Venus and Jupiter added refinement to this picture, or subtracted it?
Being also a sign of commerce, especially at a local level, a Gemini Ascendant or a planetary emphasis in Gemini can make one a very successful marketer of one’s ideas, whether selling Coca- Cola or a set of Sanskrit learning disks for a larger public.139 A frequent theme of the Gemini Ascendant chart is that the person often does well without the traditional or formal education. There may be an obsession to learn particular subjects and an unwillingness to study other more conventional subjects, or ones expected of them. We see this to some extent with each of the Gemini example charts. Bill Gates and Peter Jennings chose to cut short their formal higher education in favor of commercial experience or research in the fields that interested them the most. With an auspicious configuration around the Gemini Ascendant, as well as around Mercury and the Moon (both planets of the mind), there is often a unique ability to focus completely on a specific area of learning that fascinates the individual. This can be accompanied by a dislike for formal schooling and the necessity to master a wide range of other subjects that are not compelling. Often this is compensated for by self-study, self-mastery of a subject – opening the way for a unique perspective.
The Gemini Ascendant person is often extremely curious about many subjects. With the dual nature of the sign they adapt easily to many modes of being, including different cultures and/or languages. Even if they have just one career, they will have at least two strong activities within any given field. Otherwise, boredom sets in. Dual signs can bifurcate, which is their strength and their weakness. With a zest for a high influx of information, they can easily handle the increasingly omnipresent information technology. A person with Gemini Ascendant or planetary emphasis tends to embrace the benefits of constant marketing and accessibility of information. Whatever its flaws, Gemini can usually sell anything, as it will find a way to make it compelling and interesting. To compensate, they also need to learn how not to be scattered,
139 The USA chart has four planets in Gemini in the 7th house: Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Sun. This chart is discussed under Chart #2 (Robert F. Kennedy) and under Chart #25 (John F. Kennedy). See also Appendix.
since everything interests them at some level. Exhaustion arises from too much enthusiasm and non-stop mental activity. The mind becomes overloaded and stressed with too much information.
Add all these components to the portion of the zodiac associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, beauty, and auspiciousness (both material and spiritual). Her association with abundance extends also to fertility, and chances are there is a fertile imagination in advertising and in the dramatic arts, and in stretching the parameters of what the public thinks of as possible. The capacity of Mercury to focus its energies successfully will be further described by how Mercury is configured in the chart: its house and nakshatra position, and aspects to it as well as to the Gemini Ascendant. By comparison to the fixed earth sign Taurus, the oscillating nature of Gemini, a dual sign, with its airy curiosity and mental dexterity, we now have an orientation that may seem less stable, but is capable of adjusting quickly to new circumstances and making its influence more widespread. The Vedic classics have even declared that the dual signs are stronger than the fixed signs, and the fixed stronger than the chara signs. The power of a dual sign Ascendant chart is enhanced if it is well aspected and if the planets are well placed from the Ascendant and from each other. Since Fire and Air signs are naturally complementary, fire and air can work well together. However, information (air) spread like wildfire can bring very negative results if the contents of the information and the motivation for spreading it are not dharmically pure.
Basic questions for a Gemini Ascendant person are: What fascinates me the most? How can I learn about it and go deeper into it? How can I share that information with others? In fact, how can I share it with the maximum number of people? Who can I meet partner-wise who will be interesting both sexually and mentally? Since I want to have both, will I need more than one partner? How can I avoid boredom in my relationships and career? How can I be in command of all the many interests I have?
The best planet for Gemini Ascendant is Venus, which is also Nadi Yogakaraka. The Sun is also considered friendly to Gemini Ascendant. Since Saturn rules the 8th house, its benefic role as 9th lord is significantly reduced. Thus, classically, Saturn is considered neutral to Gemini Ascendant, along with Mars and Jupiter, although Mars and Jupiter can be problematic to Gemini Ascendant. Jupiter, in particular, can cause difficulties for the Gemini Ascendant person, as it owns two angular houses (Kendras), and due to rules of Kendradhipatya Dosha (See Glossary), Jupiter’s auspiciousness as a classic benefic is removed and it is rendered neutral. And as lord of the 7th house and thus a Maraka planet, Jupiter can inflict damage. There is also unease between Mercury and Jupiter, reflecting the myth of Tara and Soma. But as always, Jupiter’s house position, sign and nakshatra need to be examined, along with aspects to it.
As with Aries Ascendant, Jupiter and Saturn are said classically not to be able to produce full Raja yoga as 9th and/or 10th lords.140 These planets are also neutral to each other. But several notable examples in this chapter (Albert Einstein and Peter Jennings) show us that when Jupiter and Saturn are placed in the 9th and 10th houses from the Ascendant, especially in a mutual exchange of signs (Parivartana yoga), some extraordinary results can occur, if there are not a lot of afflictions to the chart. This is helped further by the Raja yoga created by Jupiter and Saturn from natal Moon in
140 Parashara, Laghu Parasari (Jataka Chandrika), Translation and notes by O.P. Verma, Ranjan publications, 2002, Chapter 5, “Auspicious and Inauspicious Planets,” pp. 133, 140.
each case.141 From Gemini Ascendant, both men have natal Jupiter in Aquarius in the 9th house and natal Saturn in Pisces in the 10th house in a Parivartana yoga. Jupiter is the classic planet of Dharma (9th house), just as Saturn is the planet of Karma (10th house). The 9th house is also the most powerful Dharma house while the 10th house is the most powerful Karma house, so this too adds to why planetary exchange between these houses brought great achievement and visibility in their respective fields.
Nakshatras contained in Gemini are: Mrigashira (starting from 23:20 Taurus, in the previous sign) 0 – 6:40 Gemini (ruled by Mars), Ardra 6:40 – 20:00 Gemini (ruled by Rahu), Punarvasu
20:00 – 30:00 Gemini (ruled by Jupiter). The Gemini Ascendant, or any planet situated in one of these three nakshatras is colored by being: 1) in Gemini, ruled by Mercury; 2) in one of these three nakshatras, ruled by Mars, Rahu, or Jupiter, respectively; and 3) by aspects to the Ascendant and Ascendant lord Mercury.
Again, Venus is the best planet for Gemini Ascendant and is Nadi yogakaraka.
Chart 10: Srinivasa Ramanujan
Birth data: Thursday, Dec. 22, 1887, 18:00 LMT, Erode, India, Long. 77E44 00, Lat. 11N21 00, Lahiri ayanamsha: -22:17:20, Class B Data “soon after sunset.” [Sunset: 5:48:49 PM LMT] from the biography: The Man Who Knew Infinity, 1999, p. 11, by Robert Kanigel. Gemini Ascendant from 5:14 PM to 7:24 PM LMT, thus Gemini Ascendant known. Birth time rectified by the author. Ascendant: 10:40 Gemini.
Biographical summary: His full name was Srinivasa Ramanujan Iyengar, but he was commonly known as Ramanujan (Rah-MAN-ooh-jan). He was a genius at mathematics and though of Brahmin class – he came from a poor family and had many gaps in his education. In addition, he often suffered from malnutrition or starvation. Thus it was even more remarkable that after years of working alone in obscurity, he became arguably the most creative and original mathematician in the history of the world, and an inspiration in India and worldwide. Unfortunately, his early struggles and nutritional deficiencies probably cut short the unfolding of his brilliance, as mathematical genius usually flowers in the early years of life, and he died young at age 32.
As a student, Ramanujan was fascinated with mathematics, especially prime numbers, equations, patterns and sequences; but he was not motivated to study the other required subjects. This made it difficult for him to complete his schooling and attain the required credentials. At age ten he entered the local town school at Kumbakonam, and probably first came into contact with higher mathematics at that time, though his mother was gifted at math and may have been an early influence. By age twelve he had mastered trigonometry, and by age fourteen his brilliance was becoming apparent.
141 Einstein’s natal Jupiter and Saturn are placed in the 4th and 5th houses from natal Moon in Scorpio, creating a Raja yoga there as well as from the Gemini Ascendant. With natal Moon in Leo, Peter Jennings has Jupiter and Saturn forming a Raja Yoga from the Moon, being both 5th and 7th lords from the Moon.
But it would be another twelve years before there would be teachers, professors, or sponsors who fully recognized this brilliance. In the meantime Ramanujan suffered intermittent ill health, undergoing surgery in April 1909. He married July 14, 1909 and soon after began searching for work as a cleric or accountant. He was hired March 1, 1912 by the Madras Port Trust as an accounts clerk, and worked there for two years while continuing to pursue his mathematical ideas. He also received several scholarships from the University at Madras. Then in late 1912 and early 1913 he wrote to several academics in India and in England. Only G.H. Hardy, a top mathematician of his day and professor at Trinity College, Cambridge recognized his genius and invited him in the spring of 1913 to take a degree and study with a team of mathematics professors there. It was not an easy decision for Ramanujan to go, as orthodox Brahmins considered they lost their caste by traveling abroad. The issue was apparently resolved when Ramanujan’s mother had a dream in which the family goddess Namagiri told her not to forbid her son’s travel. Thus he went to England, leaving his family and young wife behind. He spent the years 1914-1919 there, leaving India by boat March 17, 1914 and arriving in London April 14, 1914. On March 16, 1916, he graduated from Cambridge with a Bachelor of Science by research, called a Ph.D. from 1920. (Except for the first four months, his stay in England coincided with the entire length of World War I. England declared war on Germany Aug. 4, 1914 and hostilities continued through Nov.
11, 1918, with the Treaty of Versailles signed June 28, 1919.)
There were many difficulties for him living outside of India, which greatly compromised his strict
vegetarian diet and spiritual practices as a Brahmin. Food shortages in England during the war no
doubt contributed to his general malnutrition and the rapid deterioration of his health. He became
ill in England in 1917 and tried to commit suicide by throwing himself under a train in Jan. 1918.
After numerous struggles, he was able to return home to India, leaving England Feb. 27, 1919, and
arriving in India March 13, 1919. Upon his return to India in spring 1919, having received numerous high honors, such as Fellow of the Royal Society and other prestigious British societies, it was both an intellectual triumph and a religious dishonor for a Brahmin who left his country. Suffering from tuberculosis, he died April 26, 1920 at the age of 32. As his legacy, Ramanujan left behind numerous collected papers and notebooks which continue to inspire generations of mathematicians. His widow, who was nine years old when they married, lived for many years outside Madras, and died in 1994. She was devoted to him in their eleven years of marriage, enduring his absence for five years. By local custom, they did not live together until she was twelve.
“An equation for me has no meaning, unless it represents a thought of God.”
Ramanujan credited his acumen to his family goddess Namagiri and looked to her for inspiration in his work. Namagiri was a consort of the Lion God Narashima, Lord Vishnu’s 4th incarnation. Because his British patron G.H. Hardy was an atheist, Ramanujan was unlikely to have shared with him his devotion to Namagiri and his general spiritual orientation to life. But though emotionally aloof, mathematician G.H. Hardy appeared to be Ramanujan’s greatest champion during his short lifetime. In an anecdote about his brilliant protégé, he says:
“I remember once going to see Ramanujan when he was lying ill at Putney. I had ridden in taxi cab number 1729 and remarked that the number seemed to me rather a dull one, and that I hoped it was not an unfavorable omen. ‘No,’ he replied, ‘it is a very interesting number; it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways.’” [The number 1729 turns out to be of huge interest in other mathematical ways, including being divisible by the sum of its digits.
Workings of the mind of a math genius: To examine mental qualities we study the karakas Mercury and Moon, as well as the 4th and 5th houses and their lords. For this we will shortly discuss the powerful, but also problematic Parivartana yoga between Mercury and Mars, 4th and 6th lords respectively. We also note the Sarva Ashtakavarga bindus in those houses. (See Glossary) Higher than average numbers of bindus (30 and above) may show mental brilliance. In Ramanujan’s case, the 4th house is ranked 37 and the 5th house 29. Thus, innate mental qualities are high, as are the possibility of higher educational degrees. The 5th house contains Venus in its own sign in Libra – excellent for Gemini Ascendant, and the best planet for this chart according to Nadi principles. But Venus would be much stronger here if not in a Jupiter-owned nakshatra. Jupiter can cause problems for the Gemini Ascendant chart, for reasons stated in the chapter Introduction. In this case, Jupiter is also located in the 6th house of conflict and health issues.
Moon in a watery dual sign (Pisces) and Mercury in a watery fixed sign (Scorpio) give good
intuitive abilities. By his own admission this is the source of Ramanujan’s originality. Moon in the
10th house aspected by Jupiter allowed him to receive some public attention for his extraordinary abilities, and in Ketu Dasha (July 7, 1913 to July 7, 1920). Ketu is placed in Moon-owned Shravana nakshatra. Its symbol is “the ear” and it gives a special capacity to listen.
Mercury and its attributes become a dominant theme for the Gemini Ascendant. We ask:
How is the mind working? What is the nature of the mental capacity? What is the nature of the
education? In this case, his education is incomplete and unconventional, lacking in substance for the most part. Yet somehow Ramanujan had enough extraordinary brainpower to come up with unique advanced ideas well beyond those of the leading mathematicians of his time.
Mercury is the planet most associated with mathematics, and in this case his intense obsession with mathematics is shown by Ascendant lord Mercury in Scorpio (a fixed water sign and the most obsessive sign), which, since it is also in the 6th house of conflict, accounted for his problems in neglecting other areas of his education and his difficulty finding colleagues who could understand his genius. The latter is also impacted by the isolation of natal Moon in Kemdruma yoga, with no planets in houses adjacent to the Moon, though this yoga is largely corrected by two factors (Jupiter’s aspect to the Moon and Sun in a Kendra from the Moon). The inspirational effect of the family goddess on his intellectual mind, her direct whisperings in his ear of entire equations, he said, can be attributed to the five planets in water signs, especially Ascendant lord Mercury, Moon, 9th lord Saturn (divine powers are in the 9th house), and Jupiter (Dharma planet and classical lord of the 9th house). The fact that these whisperings would materialize into something more tangible, even in posterity in this case, is shown by Mercury in its own nakshatra of Jyeshta, situated in the Navamsha Lagna in its friend’s sign of earthy Capricorn and receiving no malefic aspects. Navamsha Mercury is well placed (Digbala) and provides some much needed grounding for Mercury in Scorpio in the birth chart. It allows for the retention of numbers in the memory, as numeracy in this case was combined with the ability to memorize and recognize instantly a wide variety of numbers and combinations of numbers. In addition, we know the karmic fruit of Mercury would come due during Mercury Dasha (July 5, 1896 to July 7, 1913). Indeed, this was the most pivotal formative period for his mathematical genius.
This Mercury is also in a Parivartana Yoga with 6th lord Mars in the 4th house in Virgo. It
makes Mercury’s energy very intertwined with Mars as well as with Jupiter in the same house.
Mercury’s exchange with Mars enables Mercury to act as if it is in Virgo, the sign of its exaltation, and Mars acts as if in Scorpio, a sign it owns. Mercury in its exalted sign is far superior to its functioning in Scorpio. Mercury in Scorpio is in the water element, and while good for intuition, it is not a good element for Mercury in terms of retaining information and having a solid factual grounding in the chosen field. In the upcoming case of Albert Einstein, Chart #11, with his Mercury in Pisces, the facts will always be questioned. In Ramanujan’s case, his general education was so incomplete that he was ignorant of other areas of math and culture in general, and thus had little context for most of his findings. This in part accounted for his innovations and in part made it difficult for him to have dialogues with the most advanced mathematical minds of his time. He was beyond them and yet had to communicate with them what he could perceive.
The influence of Mars can create some difficulty as 6th house lord, but Mars can also bring
some benefit in its influence on Mercury. Its flaws involve overheating and overexciting the nervous system and the communications. (For Mars-Mercury problems, please review Chart #5: Jacqueline Du Pré. With her Mars-ruled Aries Ascendant, Mercury is a planetary enemy.) The benefits involve the incisiveness that Mars can lend to Mercury by sharpening its powers of observation and speeding up the mind to make it more adventurous and original. (See also Chart #13: Bill Gates, with Mars-Mercury in the 4th house, and Chart #25: John F. Kennedy, with Mars-Mercury in the 8th house.)
Health problems: It is generally not a favorable house position for the Ascendant lord to be in the 6th house of the birth chart, especially for the longevity of the person and their ability to deal well with disease. In addition, he earned very little when he did make a living – and for one reason or another he was often suffering from starvation throughout his life. The latter could arise from the afflicted 2nd house of income and of eating, as three malefics affect this house (Saturn, Rahu and Ketu), though Jupiter as classical benefic provides some relief by its trinal aspect to the
2nd house as well as to 2nd house lord Moon in Pisces. This provides some alleviation and brings some optimism through challenging years. We have discussed how Jupiter can cause particular havoc for the Gemini Ascendant person. We know it will affect his health, with both Mercury and Jupiter in the 6th house of health maters, even if Jupiter gives benefits to career visibility as
10th house lord contacting the Ascendant lord.
We have spoken of Mercury Dasha as being fortunate for the intellectual flowering of Ramanujan.
But it was also very hard on his health and we know that the condition of Mercury in the chart
would bear that out. Fortunately, Mercury is in its own nakshatra of Jyestha and improves in the
Navamsha chart. This would enable him to survive through Mercury Dasha. He also made it
nearly to the end of the 7-year Ketu Dasha, which is even more demanding health-wise, as Ketu
is located in the 8th house in the birth chart and in the 6th house with Sun in the Navamsha chart.
This shows a potential for upheaval through major life transitions. At least Ketu (the foreigner)
is helped by being in Moon-owned Shravana nakshatra. His five years in England (1914-1919),
all within Ketu Dasha, coincided with war time and war-time food shortages. Ketu, Rahu and
Saturn afflict the 2nd house of eating.
Congenital physical strength is also shown through the Dasha/bhukti at birth. Ramanujan was
born in Saturn-Sun Dasha/Bhukti (because of natal Moon located in the third pada of Saturn’s
nakshatra, Uttara Bhadrapada). Sun is karaka of the physical vitality and Saturn is its enemy.
This would not bode well for having a strong constitution throughout life and also hints at the
difficulties he would have dealing with authority figures in his life.
Lack of formal education: With very little formal education and training, Ramanujan came up with ideas that were considered brilliant in his field. He solved many problems that no one else had ever solved. But it was difficult for him to properly convey the arguments for his math solutions and he had challenges to convey this to both his Indian and British colleagues. Education, especially degrees in higher education, is shown by the strength of the 4th house and by the disposition of both Mercury and Jupiter. The 4th house receives aspects from two malefics, Mars and Saturn, indicating his education would be afflicted in some way. There were delays during Saturn Dasha, up to July 6, 1896. But later, Saturn – as 9th house lord – was beneficial in bringing him an unusual way to enter a university setting, being conjunct Rahu. This signifies anything or anyone foreign. Fiery Mars in the 4th house can show impatience with conventional education; but as 11th house lord (friendships and networks of helpful people) it brought him patrons and sponsors – enough so to continue his work. Venus in its own sign of Libra in the 5th house of intellect has some very beneficial effects on the level of his intelligence and the educational process, but is less stable being in Vishakha, a nakshatra owned by Jupiter – a problematic planet for the chart situated in the difficult 6th house. Nevertheless Jupiter is also the 10th house lord of career.
Mercury’s exchange with Mars, as discussed above, is critical in transforming the early condition of obscurity into the highest form of national and international recognition in his field, though far more recognition would come posthumously. That whole process began during Mercury Dasha.
The Navamsha chart created by my rectified time of 6:00 PM LMT gives a Capricorn Ascendant and provides explanation for his educational reprieve and for his ability to jump from obscurity in India to Trinity College, Cambridge. This is shown astrologically by Navamsha Venus and Mars in Parivartana yoga in the 4th and 5th houses. These houses are pivotal for a successful education and for the development of a first class intellect. This further confirms Venus in its own sign of Libra in the 5th house of the birth chart, giving enormous strength to his intellect and empowering his education, despite the problematic position of Mercury, which is guaranteed to cause health problems and potentially also psychological problems – being over-agitated by the Mars influence. Navamsha Ascendant lord Saturn is exalted in the 10th house conjunct Navamsha Moon, the lord of the 7th house of one’s associates in the sign of Libra showing his career benefits through relationships.
Solutions for major cultural dissonance: The fact that Dharma and Karma lords Jupiter and Saturn are both in water signs shows that there would be a solution to his social, economic, and cultural problems – especially with Ascendant lord Mercury interacting with both of them and in Saturn’s sign in the Navamsha. This can give determination and disciplined persistence. There would be some unusual solution here, enabling him to study abroad and to be among his peers in the field – even if there were racial tensions for a poorly educated Tamil Nadu Brahmin arriving in England and upstaging his colonial masters in academia. His departure from India coincided with the tail end of Mercury Dasha. It was in the Mercury-Saturn-Jupiter period.
Radical changes in the life: The 7-year Ketu Dasha began July 7, 1913. Eight months later he was on a ship travelling to England. Ketu is exotic or foreign: He spent most of Ketu Dasha in England, where he resided for five years, receiving higher education and honors there in mathematics. Since Ketu is located in the 8th house of the birth chart opposite Saturn-Rahu, this is already an indication of a radical change to his life that might be overwhelming. That his health suffered greatly from his years in England is also apparent from Ketu’s position in the 8th house of the birth chart. This included the upheaval of being separated from his wife and family and from his culture of choice. Among other factors, Ketu’s location in a Moon-owned nakshatra enabled him to survive most of Ketu Dasha. He died on April 26, 1920 during Ketu-Mercury-Jupiter period, just ten weeks prior to the start of his 20-year Venus Dasha.
Travel abroad: Natal Moon is in Uttara Bhadrapada nakshatra. It signifies “the latter one with lucky feet.” It is also known as “the warrior star.” Moon in this nakshatra usually denotes a person with a love of travel to faraway places. This 10th house Moon shows the strong influence of his mother, who made it possible for him to leave India. She also apparently had a gift for mathematics, though her formal education was minimal.
Reading the chart from the Moon as Ascendant (Chandra Lagna), there is excellent indication
for foreign travel and study. Ninth house of foreign travel contains Mercury-Jupiter in Scorpio,
with Mercury in a Parivartana yoga with Mars, interaction here between the favorable 7th and 9th
house lords. Lords of the 4th and 5th houses from Moon (Mercury and Moon) are in the Ascendant
and 9th house respectively, with a strong motivation to travel for educational purposes. Lords of
the 4th, 5th and 9th houses aspect each other and are in kendras or trinal houses from the Moon.
Further, by studying these planets both from Moon and Dasha lord Mercury as Sub-Lagnas
(applying to the period of Mercury Dasha only, 1896-1913), you can see a strong 9th house pattern
involving either natal Saturn or natal Jupiter, respectively. Saturn on the Rahu-Ketu axis brought
much hardship during his foreign experience. The same process can be used with Dasha lord Ketu as sub-Lagna, (applying to Ketu Dasha only, 1913 to 1920). From Ketu in Capricorn, Mars in Virgo falls in the 9th house. Since the Parivartana Yoga occurs between the 9th and 11th houses, that helped win the necessary support for his patronage at Trinity College.
Chart 11: Albert Einstein
Birth data: Friday, March 14, 1879, 11:30 AM LMT, Ulm Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Long. 10E00 00, Lat. 48N24 00, Lahiri ayanamsha: -22:10:27, Class AA data, from birth certificate. Ascendant: 19:28 Gemini.
Biographical summary: A German-Swiss-American theoretical physicist who published more than
300 scientific works and more than 150 non-scientific works, Einstein is considered one of the greatest
physicists of all time, and known for his Theory of Relativity. From 1914 to 1933 he was Professor
and Director of Physics at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin, Germany. Einstein was lecturing
in the U.S. when Hitler and the Nazi Party took control in Germany on Jan. 30, 1933. Hitler gained
emergency powers one month later. On his return to Germany in mid-March 1933, Einstein (being
Jewish) suddenly found his life in danger and his residential properties confiscated by the Nazis.
Forced to resign from the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, he aborted his plans and never again entered the country. Instead, he immigrated to the U.S. in Oct. 1933. He became an American citizen in Oct.
1940, though retaining his Swiss citizenship, acquired in 1901. (In 1896 at age 17, he had renounced his German citizenship to avoid military service – with his father’s approval – and only reinstated it in 1914 as a requirement to accept his post at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute.) In March 1933 he renounced it again and in 1945, rejecting Nazi Germany’s role in WWII, he said:
“I am not a German but a Jew by nationality.”142
From 1933 to 1955 he resided in the U.S., holding a position at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, devoting himself to research, with no administrative or lecture duties. By April 1955, he saw himself more as “a human being” rather than as a Jew or an American citizen. But he had always seen himself as a citizen of the whole world.
Although a pacifist for much of his life, he was concerned about Hitler developing an atomic bomb, and he advised President Franklin Roosevelt to begin investigating the new scientific experiments using fission and high-grade uranium to make a totally new level of bomb. Other scientists with a similar view did not have access to the President, while Einstein’s world stature assured that result. Persuaded to convey this information to FDR, he did so in a fateful letter dated Aug. 2, 1939, though not delivered to Roosevelt until Oct. 11, 1939. Einstein sent another letter to the President in March 1940 on the urgency to act on this venture, which was started but not accelerated until after Oct. 9, 1941, when FDR approved a crash program to develop an atomic bomb. Einstein did a small amount of scientific work on it himself in Dec. 1941. The Manhattan Project followed in early 1942 (to 1946), and with it, America’s long-term nuclear weapons program. After Aug. 1945 Einstein changed his views, and saw the bomb as a force so destructive that it had to be contained and stopped. He spent much of the next ten years of his life working on behalf of Zionism and pacifism. He was courted by the Zionists and even offered the Israeli presidency in 1952. To him, pacifism meant establishing world institutions that would preserve international peace by abolishing war and the use of weapons and by retaining control over military power. For this orientation he was considered dangerous by the U.S. government and put on FBI surveillance, along with internationalists such as former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
“Einstein’s pacificism, never doctrinaire, seems to have first developed from his great revul- sion to World War I, and the chauvinistic attitudes that had provoked it. Thus, in March 1915 he wrote to Romain Rolland [the great French writer and pacifist, who resided in Switzerland. Einstein sought Rolland’s support in his efforts to bring the war to an end]: ‘When posterity recounts the achievements of Europe, shall we let men say that three centuries of painstaking cultural effort carried us no further than from religious fanaticism to the insanity of nationalism? In both camps today even scholars behave as though eight months ago they lost their heads.’ … But by the war’s end, he was convinced that it was Germany that had to change [through a process of ‘swift and radical democratization’].”
Bernard T. Feld, “Einstein and the politics of nuclear weapons,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, March 1979, Volume 35, No. 3, p. 10. [Letter dated March 22, 1915 quoted from Einstein on Peace, edited by Otto Nathan & Heinz
Norden, 1960, from the Estate of Albert Einstein, p. 13.]
142 Quoted in Walter Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe, 2007, p. 506. Note #52, p. 634. Letter to Clara Jacobson, May 7, 1945, AEA (Albert Einstein Archives) File #56-900.
Einstein’s early years did not indicate a promising future, especially not as an intellectual. He had language difficulties and was unable (or unwilling) to form complete sentences in his native German until the age of nine. At times he had a violent temper, was fiercely independent, disliked organized sports, and had atypical likes and dislikes. For instance, while his peers were excited by the sight of marching soldiers, he was disturbed by them. His mother taught him to play the violin and piano from the age of five, the same age his father showed him a pocket compass – a seminal event in his life, as he wondered what made it work. From the age of ten, he thrived under the tutelage of an impoverished Polish medical student (Max Talmud, later Max Talmey) who came to dinner every Thursday night for six years and taught him key texts in science, mathematics and philosophy.
His father wanted him to become an electrical engineer and work in his company, but young Albert resisted these expectations along with most conventional education except for what interested him. And since nothing other than physics really interested him, he worked mostly on his own. He had trouble getting an advanced degree and when he could not get a teaching post, he worked in a Patent office for several years. He did not meet many other physicists until he was about 30 years old (1909). In the fall of 1909, after much struggle, he finally obtained a university lecture position in Zurich. An outsider of outsiders, especially prior to 1905, Einstein was considered scientifically “provincial” – just as Ramanujan was seen as mathematically provincial. However, this may have also facilitated greater independence and originality of ideas. Einstein’s non-conformity freed him to look at space and time in daring, new ways. In 1905 he published four groundbreaking works, all while working at the Patent office in Bern, Switzerland. This was later called his “Annus Mirabilis.”
Einstein established some of the major foundations for modern physics and the essential structure of the cosmos, challenging the Newtonian theory of mechanics. One of his major concerns was to understand the nature of electromagnetic radiation. His Special Theory of Relativity (1907) was expressed in the equation E=mc2 (energy=mass times the speed of light squared). Energy and matter are seen as aspects of a single phenomenon. A large amount of energy could be released from a small amount of matter, a principle later illustrated by the atom bomb. In 1905 he developed his Theory of Relativity, in which space and time are no longer viewed as separate, and later also his General Theory of Relativity. He finished work on it in 1915 and published a 46-page paper in
- It expanded on his 1907 Special Theory to include the proposal that matter causes space to curve. Gravity is seen not as an exterior force but as a property of space and time, or spacetime. In his 1916 paper Einstein says:
“Matter tells space how to bend; space tells matter how to move.”
According to Einstein’s theory, it could be known exactly to what extent a light beam would be bent when it passes near the sun – a theory that could be tested by observing a total solar eclipse. Because of the Great War (WWI), this project was delayed for several years until May
1919, when two expeditions set out – both organized by British astronomers Arthur Stanley Eddington and Frank Watson Dyson: one to an island in the Gulf of Guinea (led by Eddington), and one to a town in Brazil (Sobral). Studies of the May 29th total solar eclipse did prove Einstein’s theories correct, and Eddington reported the findings of both expeditions at a joint meeting of the Royal Society and the Royal Astronomical Society in London. The next day, on Nov. 7, 1919, the front page of The Times newspaper called it “A Revolution in Science,” and newspaper headlines
around the world echoed this message. Einstein became an instant celebrity. And though the theory continued to be disputed, experiments in the late 1960s finally provided full validation of the Relativity Theory, showing that the amount of deflection was the full value predicted by General Relativity.
Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 for his work in Theoretical Physics, notably on the Photoelectric Effect. The expected proceeds from the prize were crucial in his lengthy divorce negotiations from 1916 to 1919, and should have gone to his first wife Mileva Marić and their two sons. But Einstein’s family letters (released in 2006) reveal that most of the prize money was invested in the U.S. and lost during the Depression. (Mileva was resistant to divorce, and there is no proof to the rumors that she was responsible for his theories.) After the early 1920s, his scientific work was considered generally less important than what came earlier. He married twice, in 1903 and 1919, and had three children and two stepdaughters. There were many liaisons with women before, during and after both marriages. He died of an aortic aneurysm on April 18, 1955 at about 1:15 AM in Princeton, NJ, at age 76. At his memorial, physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer said of Einstein:143
“He was almost wholly without sophistication and wholly without worldliness . . . There was always with him a wonderful purity at once childlike and profoundly stubborn.”
Extraordinary destiny: An outstanding life – and on the world stage – is shown here by six out of nine planets either exalted, debilitated (with cancellation of debilitation), or virtually in their own signs due to mutual sign exchange (Parivartana yoga) between the best houses: 9 and
- In addition, a 7th planet – the Sun – has Digbala (its best angular house) in the 10th house of maximum visibility, another form of Raja yoga. The Navamsha does not repeat the extent of Raja yogas in the birth chart, though Moon is improved in the Navamsha and there are several Raja yogas from the Full Moon in Capricorn, owned by an exalted Saturn. The Parivartana yoga between Venus and Saturn creates a protective Viparita Raja yoga.
Jupiter is again in the philosophical 9th house aspecting a Pisces Navamsha Ascendant. Jupiter aspects to both chart Ascendants protect him physically, giving a longer life, though not extra-long, as Ascendant lord Mercury is in the Navamsha 8th house. Even with a life full of controversies and conflicts, his ongoing reputation is protected by Jupiter’s excellent placement as 10th lord. As
143 J. Robert Oppenheimer (b. April 22, 1904, d. Feb. 18, 1967), American theoretical physicist, also spent his last years at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, 1947-1967. As technical director of the Manhattan Project (1942-1946), his leadership was essential to its success. He had a key position with the Atomic Energy Commission, Jan.1947 to June 1954, when he lost his security clearance and was betrayed and destroyed for some years by his politi- cal enemies, notably the scientist Edward Teller. They claimed he had “substantial defects of character.” But what they really objected to was his belief (shared with Einstein) that the use of the bomb as a weapon of genocide was “morally wrong.” Scientists with this attitude were on a collision course with presidents and generals who wanted to ignore this issue and saw the building of nuclear weapons as the next logical stage in American military policy. Oppenheimer’s reputation has been resurrected in recent years, when more details have come out on his demise in the McCarthy years, systematic efforts to “ruin” him, and accusations of spying for the Soviets disproved. At the first bomb explosion July 16, 1945 in Alamogordo, NM he recalled a verse from the Bhagavad Gita, which he read in the original Sanskrit: “I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
technology advances, many of his predictions – most of them from 1905 – continue to be proven correct, such as the bending of light in a gravitational field, gravitational waves, gravitational lensing, and black holes. Rahu in the Navamsha Ascendant shows him as ever the foreigner or outsider in his immediate environment.
The sweep of his life is governed by the sequence of the Vimshottari Dashas, and since seven out of nine planets have Raja yoga status (either through Neecha Bhanga or through other means), the Dasha sequence is especially relevant in pinpointing when extraordinary events will happen This revolves around Venus and the Sun. Venus is the best planet for Gemini Ascendant and is also the planet providing correction for the two debilitated planets (Moon and Mercury). These two Dashas were by far his best: Venus from 1896 to 1916; Sun from 1916 to 1921. For Einstein, his most important achievements as a scientist were prior to 1922. His wider fame came on Nov. 7, 1919, when London newspapers announced the validation of his Theory of Relativity. In 1921 he was awarded the most prestigious international award in his field, the Nobel Prize in Physics for the year 1921, though a technicality pushed the ceremonies into 1922. His Vimshottari Dasha sequence supports this result, again showing the karmic fruits – what is likely to be due and when.
The mind and body of a genius in physics: In the birth chart Ascendant lord Mercury is located in the 10th house in Pisces, its sign of debilitation, and in the nakshatra of Uttara Bhadrapada, ruled by Saturn.144 Even in the house of maximum visibility, natal Mercury is isolated and hemmed in by malefics Sun and Saturn on either side of it. Navamsha Mercury is situated in the 8th house in Libra, a much more hidden placement, which can be good for intuition and for research but may also account for some chronic health problems, which he had for much of his life from 1917 onward, starting in Sun-Rahu Dasha.
“I rarely think in words at all.” Albert Einstein
Natal Mercury in the sign of its debilitation shows he would start life with some distinct cognitive disadvantages and would always be balancing a sense of emotional and intellectual disequilibrium. Fortunately, this Mercury is in a Neecha Bhanga Raja yoga, a planetary combination in which the debilitation is corrected over time. In addition, he was born in the Dasha-bhukti of Mercury-Moon, the two mental planets. Considered a planetary enemy of Mercury, debilitated Moon in Scorpio also has Neecha Bhanga Raja yoga status – again confirming a start in life with some problems and disadvantages that he gradually overcomes. (Even the family life was disrupted with a move to Munich six weeks after Albert was born.) Given all these factors and that Einstein was in Mercury Dasha from birth to nearly 10 years old, we know the weaknesses of Mercury will reveal themselves in those specific years and that this condition is likely to be congenital, showing itself in infancy and childhood. He was a non-conformist and had obsessive behavior at times, often unable to deal properly with many social relationships or conventions, and focusing on an issue until it was solved to his satisfaction. Both of these traits could be seen as signs of genius. Others would assign it to a disease such as Asperger’s Syndrome, a mild form of autism not uncommon among gifted people.
144 This is the same nakshatra where Ramanujan’s natal Moon is located, within minutes of arc, and in the same Navamsha
of Libra. Ramanujan (Chart #10) is the previous chart in this chapter.
Ascendant lord Mercury is placed in Jupiter’s sign, but within 1:03 degrees of Saturn, both planets in Saturn’s nakshatra, Uttara Bhadrapada. This gives Saturn a lot of power in this chart as Jiva, or karmic control planet. Navamsha Mercury recurs with Saturn in Libra, wedding the two planets still further. In the birth chart, Jupiter and Saturn form a powerful Parivartana yoga, uniting both classical planets of Dharma and Karma from the Gemini Ascendant, as well as – in this case – the 4th and 5th houses from the Moon (Chandra Lagna). The exchange between Jupiter and Saturn allows Jupiter (acting as if in Pisces) to have more direct influence on Mercury, bringing the fluency of speech and volume of writing after an initial period of seeming stagnation or stoppage. He was in Mercury-Jupiter Dasha at age five when the violin and the compass entered his life. As a combination, natal Jupiter and Saturn also indicate that despite difficult beginnings with his education and his apparent cognitive faculties, Einstein would overcome all of it and rise to great heights during his lifetime, even if he never lived through his Jupiter or Saturn major Dashas. (The 16-year Jupiter Dasha began in Jan. 1957, less than two years after his death.)
Superior intellect: Intelligence and education are revealed from both Moon and Mercury, as shown, and also from the lords and occupants of the 4th and 5th houses from the Ascendant and the Moon. In each case there are excellent connections between 4th and 5th lords: From the Moon, we have already noted Jupiter in Parivartana yoga with Saturn. Natal Venus aspects the 4th house of education and higher degrees (Virgo), along with the Neecha Bhanga Mercury, which aspects its own house – thus protecting it from damage from early setbacks. From the Ascendant, Mercury (4th lord) contacts Venus in Pisces (5th lord). Because it is exalted and in a Kendra, Venus gives Malavya Yoga, one of the five Mahapurusha (great person) yogas, which distinguishes his Venus in this lifetime. In his case it also demands that his mental capacities be given in broader service to mankind.
Intellectual strength is enhanced by exalted 5th lord Venus within 2 degrees of its maximum exaltation in Pisces. (The 5th house governs intellect, creative intelligence, and education.) Placed in the 10th house of status, exalted Venus also brought Einstein many friends in high places who usually sought him out. The 5th house is aspected by classic benefic Jupiter, though it too would bring challenges due to the rules of Kendradhipatya Dosha. (See Glossary and Chapter Introduction) A superior mind and education can develop, but with early and periodic struggles. Mercury as
4th lord in the Navamsha 8th house of obstruction indicates he might abandon his original family,
family home, and/or country of origin and that he might depart from some previous academic
foundations he himself established.
Capacity for genius/ Problems with childhood language skills: We see that sometimes genius is born out of seeming disadvantage. Ketu in the 2nd house of speech can cause speech problems.145
Even if speech (Mercury) is only an outward indication of a child’s growing language skills, we note that young Albert Einstein was unable (or unwilling) to speak through most of his early childhood. He began to utter some words at age three but was not reasonably fluent in his mother tongue (German) until the age of nine. This process may have accelerated from age seven, when he entered the Mercury-Saturn period (April 4, 1886 – Dec. 13, 1888), forcing
145 Ketu in the 2nd house also occurs with Winston Churchill and Barbara Walters – both noted public speakers with speech issues, Churchill most famously. (See Chapter 8: Charts #24 and #26, respectively)
him to be more concrete in his verbal expression. Saturn gives structure and focus to a subject, even when it is not easy to grasp it. But too much influence of Saturn on Mercury causes Mercury to self-edit, to be self-critical, perhaps dismissing or correcting ideas or thoughts before they have taken shape. Saturn is Shani, the slow-moving planet: it can and did delay language development. As 9th house lord from Gemini Ascendant Saturn is beneficial, but as
8th house lord it can be destructive. Even at age nine he would hesitate a long time before answering questions.
But from the age of ten his educational life was blessed by the arrival of Max Talmud (later Max Talmey), a Polish medical student who dined with the family every Thursday night for six years and gave lessons. (Jupiter is the planet of learning and rules over Thursday. Its full orbit around the Sun is twelve years, with a half-cycle of six years.) These informal lessons continued until the family was forced to move from Munich for economic reasons, and coincided with most of Einstein’s 7-year Ketu Dasha, from Dec. 13, 1888. Ketu is the foreigner or the outcast: Max was impoverished, Polish and Jewish. But he was also brilliant and his teaching captivated his young student, whom he introduced to science, mathematics and philosophy texts. Among the most influential texts were Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason and Euclid’s Elements, which Einstein called his “holy little geometry book.” He was enthralled by analytic geometry and calculus and studied these subjects mostly on his own. After reading Charles Darwin, among others, he moved away from religion, which was another required subject in that era. He did not attend his own Bar Mitzvah in 1892, declaring himself “a free-thinker.” (His parents were non- observant Jews.)
As the Moksha planet, Ketu necessitates detachment during its planetary period and tends
to bring losses or separations, but can also increase divine knowledge, philosophy, and intuitive
perception. Situated in the 2nd House of verbal knowledge and expression, its benefits were clear
at this time. The 2nd house is also the House of Kutumba (happiness from the family of origin).
Ketu here could and did cause problems in this arena, mainly for their finances, which only
began to improve after Albert’s Ketu Dasha ended. The family moved to Milan, Italy in 1894
after repeated failures of the family business – a small shop that manufactured and sold electric
machinery.146 In 1895 Albert went on to finish high school in Aarau, Switzerland, graduating
The water element plays an important role here in assessing genius, especially when we
observe that his Dasha lords from birth to Dec. 1931 – nearly 53 years– were all planets in water
signs (Mercury, Ketu, Venus, Sun, and Moon). After Dec. 1931 his Dasha lords (in the birth chart, at least) are in earth signs – demanding a kind of practicality and concrete logic that water signs tend to resist. We see the challenges in Ketu and Moon Dashas in particular: Natal Ketu is in Cancer in Pushya nakshatra, with sign lord Moon debilitated in Scorpio in the 6th house of conflict, and nakshatra lord Saturn in Pisces in the 10th house, all three planets in the emotional water element. On the positive side, the extensive water influence up through 1931 (especially prior to Moon Dasha) helped him develop his intuition and he continued playing the violin and piano, begun at age five. His early and life-long receptivity to music can be seen from the concentration of six planets in water signs, as music is closely associated with water. On the negative side, he had a violent temper as a child and his parents were concerned about his
146 Albert’s father had invested in equipment using direct current of electricity, and alternating current won out.
rebellious behavior. Most conventional education bored him and he disliked most of the schools to which his parents sent him. When his father asked one headmaster what profession young Albert might adopt, he said:
“It doesn’t matter. He’ll never make a success of anything.”
The rebellious behavior would continue through adulthood in his non-conformist and bohemian ways, and was part of his tendency to see things differently from the mainstream. He would be known for his voluminous and eloquent writing on a variety of subjects, in articles, speeches, and letters. The condition of Mercury in the chart accounts for both these early disabilities as well as his later genius. Having both his cognitive planets Moon and Mercury in water signs (same as Ramanujan), Einstein came upon much of his most important scientific discoveries intuitively, mostly in his case in images or dreams during sleep or daydreams. Even his description of how a scientist works shows the intensive watery nature of his birth chart – combined with the Gemini drive to share it.
“Each [scientist, like a painter, poet or philosopher] makes this cosmos and its construc- tion the pivot of his emotional life, in order to find in this way the peace and security which he cannot find in the narrow whirlpool of personal experience.”
Albert Einsten, in his keynote speech at a 60th birthday celebration for Max Planck in Berlin, April 1918, quoted in Dennis Overbye, Einstein in Love: A Scientific Romance, 2000, p. 337.
But later in life, following his Nobel Prize in 1921, Einstein started to question the validity of some of the ideas for which he was famous, especially after 1925. His 10-year Moon Dasha (from Dec. 14, 1921) was bound to be challenging, since his Moon is: 1) debilitated (though corrected);
2) in a difficult house (the 6th); and 3) relatively isolated. There are no planets in houses either side of it (a Kemadruma yoga), though it receives some cancellation from Jupiter in Kendra to the Moon. (Corrections to debilitated natal Moon and Mercury show his ultimate triumph.) The conflicts of the Moon Dasha became more pronounced when it coincided with 7 ½ years of Sade Sati – also extremely demanding years: Oct. 15, 1923 to Dec. 25, 1931. His financial losses may have occurred in fall 1929 with the N.Y. stockmarket crash, and in 1930 his younger son was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
The relative ungroundedness of Einstein’s natal Mercury, both in the birth chart and in the Navamsha chart, shows even more reason for self doubt and/or a tendency to question ideas that came intuitively or during sleep. Saturn’s heavy influence on Mercury plays a part in this. Libra is a good sign for Navamsha Mercury, but its placement in the 8th or 12th house keeps Mercury in the classically watery intuitive realm. This in itself is not negative, but Saturn’s ongoing contact to Navamsha Mercury (repeated from birth chart) shows that he would not easily accept this type of extraordinary knowing. Navamsha Saturn exalted in Libra is a hard taskmaster and demands concrete evidence. In addition, Navamsha Mercury and Saturn are in a money house (house 8), aspecting another money house (house 2), adding further difficulty to his ability to manage money well or to hang on to it, no matter how many worldly honors he eventually received, including the Nobel Prize in Physics, most of which was invested in the United States and “lost during the Depression,” according to letters released in July 2006 from the Albert Einstein Archives. (Given his astrological timing, a more likely scenario was that his losses came from the 1929 New York stockmarket crash.) Moon Dasha generates more controversy for him financially: how he disposed
of his Nobel Prize money (part of a 1919 divorce settlement), and why he did not deliver his acceptance speech in Sweden until July 11, 1923 (his Moon-Rahu period). This caused a delay in payment of seven months, and his divorce agreement was predicated on it. By custom the Nobel prize money was not transferred until after the acceptance speech.
Chronic health issues: Three planets concern physical health and vitality in this chart: Ascendant lord Mercury, Sun and Mars. Each of them has some affliction in the Navamsha chart. Navamsha Mars is in the 12th house and Navamsha Sun (Navamsha 6th lord) is aspected by Saturn. Einstein was deathly ill throughout 1917, and though he was reported to have recovered fully by 1918, these health issues actually lingered for the remainder of his life – unknown to most of his public
– and attributable to the hiddenness of the 8th house Navamsha Mercury. These have been listed
as liver ailments, stomach ulcer, inflammation of the gall bladder, jaundice and intestinal pains.
(Einstein’s longtime collaborators Phillipp Frank and Banesh Hoffmann and his secretary Helen
Dukas confirmed these details he was not eager to disclose.) Moon rules the stomach, and Einstein’s
debilitated Moon in the 6th house is not favorable for digestion, while Ketu in the 2nd house can
cause inexplicable dietary problems, with the Mars aspect to Ketu compounding the issue. (Nor
did his regular cigar-smoking help matters.) Jupiter rules the liver and gallbladder and is lord of
the 10th house, where four planets reside, including Sun and Ascendant lord Mercury. Jupiter can
create more extreme results, as it occupies Mars-owned Dhanishta nakshatra, and Mars is in the
destructive 8th house of the birth chart. In addition, the 5th house rules the heart, upper abdomen,
stomach, liver, and gall bladder.
Severe illness in 1917: In early 1917, Einstein collapsed and nearly died. A liver ailment and a stomach ulcer coincided with the war years in Europe, as well as the global Spanish flu pandemic causing more fatalities in Germany and Austria than in any other part of Europe. Food shortages were common, and he lost 50 pounds in body weight that year. Prior to his illness there were
2½ years of transiting Saturn in Gemini (to Aug. 2, 1916), contacting his Ascendant, aspecting his four natal planets in Pisces, and adversely affecting his health (and marriage) through aspects to Sun and Mercury as well as 7th house. Adding to this confluence was Ashtama Shani, when Saturn transits the 8th house from natal Ascendant or natal Moon (Moon, in this case), one of the most difficult Saturn transits. Further, tr. Ketu was in Gemini from Nov. 18, 1916 through June 7, 1918, again on his Ascendant, destabilizing health and marital issues. Throughout 1917 and up to Sept.
19, 1918, tr. Saturn was in Cancer in his 2nd house, restricting intake of food and/or income.
For most of 1917 he was in Sun-Rahu, period and in 1928 – when he was forced to recuperate
the entire year from heart problems – he was in Moon-Mercury Dasha/Bhukti. (He was born in
Mercury-Moon Dasha/Bhukti.) In 1928 Helen Dukas was first hired to nurse him through that
year and stayed on as a fiercely loyal secretary and housekeeper, virtually a part of the family, up
to her own death in 1982.147 The Sun rules the heart, and Navamsha Sun is in the 5th house, with
afflictions as stated earlier. Since the 5th house lord of the birth chart is exalted, this allowed him
to recover. But even if exalted, planets in Pisces tend to require acts of devotion and surrender.
In summer 1917 his cousin Elsa Löwenthal got him an apartment in her building in Berlin and
147 Helen Dukas (1896-1982) was devoted to the Einsteins, and immigrated with them to the U.S. in 1933. She lived at their home in Princeton, NJ until her death. Albert Einstein named her as one of two trustees of his estate (with Dr. Otto Nathan): executors of his literary heritage. She also co-authored a biography on Einstein.
nursed him back to health, becoming his second wife in 1919. This was after a delay of seven years from when they began their affair and after much struggle for Einstein to obtain a divorce, a process he joked about to his first wife:
“I am curious what will last longer: the World War or our divorce.”148
Married life and children: Venus rules over marriage and love matters, and since Venus is exalted near the maximum degree in the 10th house of career, this demands great sacrifice and devotion to one’s profession. All other matters related to Venus, including women and children in this case, are surrendered on the altar of career and public responsibilities. Women, including his wives and lovers, would often serve him with great devotion, most especially his long-suffering second wife Elsa, his longtime secretary, Helen Dukas, his sister Maja, and his stepdaughter Margot. Venus is lord of the 5th house of children (also intelligence and learning, which benefited greatly). But except for his stepdaughters his children did not benefit for the most part. He had three children from his first marriage and two stepdaughters from his second marriage. He probably never saw his first child (a daughter, born in 1902 and probably put out for adoption that year in Hungary). As she was born out of wedlock to the woman he eventually married, there would have been barriers to career and respectability in that era. Their younger son was fragile mentally and physically, and he rarely saw either of the two sons after his divorce in Feb.
1919 up to 1933, though he provided for them financially. Nor did he see them much before that due to work or travel, but he saw more of Hans Albert after his older son immigrated to the U.S. in 1938.
Men generally found Einstein to be more detached and complained about it, despite his sociability, kindness, and love of humanity, whereas women saw him differently, perhaps because he showed them more warmth. Thus, he was closer to women and closer to his two stepdaughters,
Ilse and Margot.149 After he had finally obtained a divorce from Mileva in Feb. 1919, his dilemma was whether to marry Elsa or Ilse, as he had fallen in love with the more beautiful daughter, Ilse (1897-1934). And since he could not decide which one to marry, he left it up to them. Elsa won out as Ilse saw him more as a father. When Albert was travelling he wrote daily to Elsa and often to Margot. He gave many details of his love affairs along with other topics. Elsa revered him, was devoted to him for 24 years and liked the benefits of having a famous husband. But even with her large capacity for tolerance she found life with him “exhausting and complicated,” especially due to the numerous extramarital affairs he justified, claiming “men and women were not naturally monogamous.”
The sign lord of Venus (Jupiter) and nakshatra lord (Saturn) are also involved with the 10th
house in the birth chart, again bringing matters of love and children always to the altar of career,
148 Einstein’s letter to Mileva, April 1918, quoted in Dennis Overbye, Einstein in Love: A Scientific Romance, 2000, pp. 340-341.
149 Margot Löwenthal Einstein (1899-1986) was Elsa’s younger daughter, a sculptor, extremely shy, and close to her step- father. She separated from her Russian husband in 1934, divorcing him in 1937. In 1934 she immigrated to the U.S. and moved into the house in Princeton, NJ. In 1938 Albert’s sister Maja also left her husband and moved to Princeton. Along with Helen Dukas, both of them lived at the house at 112 Mercer St. until their respective deaths. (Maja died in 1951.) A fierce defender of Einstein’s legacy, Margot stipulated that none of the ca. 1400 letters (3500 pp.) written 1912-1955 be released until 20 years after her own death. The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, holder of the Albert Einstein Archives, duly released the letters July 8, 2006.
status and public duties. Unpredictability in marriage or partnerships, or marriage to a foreigner is indicated by Rahu-Ketu on the Navamsha 1-7 axis. Also, likely problems in partnership are indicated by his Kuja Dosha (“the blemish of Mars”) in both birth and Navamsha charts. Varied opportunities for partnership come from the Dual sign ascendant, the number of planets in dual signs, and the emotional nature (six planets in watery signs) which can take the form of spirituality, the arts and intuitive gifts, or sexuality, in descending order. The collection of Einstein’s letters confirms his many female admirers and the numerous opportunities he took for womanizing. Navamsha Venus-Mars in the 12th house confirms this further astrologically, especially as the 12th house is the pleasures of the bed.
Einstein’s first-ever romance began in late 1895/early 1896 at the start of his Venus Dasha
when he was enamored of a daughter of the Winteler family, with whom he and his sister
boarded in Aarau, Switzerland. He married the Hungarian Mileva Marić on Jan. 6, 1903 in his
Venus-Mars period.150 They met as students in fall 1896 at the Zurich Polytechnic Institute. She
was a mathematician, aspired to be a physicist and was his intellectual equal. Both their families
opposed the union, which lasted until their separation late June 1914 and their divorce Feb. 14,
- They had a daughter (Lieserl) born in 1902 and two sons: Hans Albert, 1904–1973, and
Eduard, 1910–1965. Hans became a civil engineer, and Eduard was studying medicine and planned
to become a psychiatrist when he had a nervous breakdown in 1930 and was diagnosed with
schizophrenia. From 1932 onward he spent many years in and out of a Zurich mental institution
and died there at age 55. He was gifted intellectually and musically and his illness was very painful for his father to accept.
Einstein’s second marriage was to his first cousin Elsa Löwenthal on June 2, 1919 during his
Sun-Saturn Dasha/Bhukti.151 They became reacquainted at Easter 1912 during his Venus-Mercury
Dasha/Bhukti, and this created difficulties for his first marriage from that time onward, though
Mileva was reluctant to divorce. Elsa died in Dec. 1936, during his Mars-Venus Dasha/Bhukti.
Thus, two marriages over 33 years began with Venus-Mars period and ended with Mars-Venus
period. Planetary “bookends” can appear with major life chapters. Also, his first marriage took
place three months after the death of his father at age 55 on Oct. 10, 1902. His second marriage
took place eight months before the death of his mother at age 62 on Feb. 8, 1920. Both parents
strongly opposed the first marriage.
150 Mileva Marić was born December 19, 1875 in present-day Vojvodina, Serbia and died August 4, 1948 in Zurich, Switzerland. She was one of the first women in Europe to study mathematics and physics. Upon marrying Einstein she gave up any career of her own, and her academic career was first interrupted when she became pregnant in 1901 with their daughter Lieserl. It is unknown whether the child died as an infant or was put out for adoption. The couple resided in Zurich when in spring 1914 Albert accepted a post in Berlin. His affair with Elsa Löwenthal (who lived in Berlin), his new stronger positions on politics and Mileva’s unease being in Germany at the onset of WWI played a part in their separation. He also laid out a new set of harsh rules in their relationship that she found intolerable. Negotiations for their divorce were ongoing from 1916 through 1919, creating bitterness especially for Mileva. This continued until her death, as he did not deposit the entire sum from the Nobel Prize in a Swiss bank account, as promised in the divorce agreement. She would have withdrawn interest payments, but had to keep asking him for more money, including for the care of Eduard (hospitalized for several decades) and for her own medical treatment for tuberculosis. Over the years, however, Einstein did pay her more than he received from the 1921 prize: $28,000 (now worth 10 times that).
151 Elsa Löwenthal was born Jan.18, 1876 in Hechingen, Germany, and died Dec. 20, 1936 in Princeton, NJ. Her first marriage to Max Löwenthal ended in divorce in May 1908. She and Albert began their affair in spring 1912. They lived in Berlin from 1919, together with her two young daughters, Ilse and Margot
Preference for solitude: Married or not, Einstein seemed to require intellectual isolation. Birth chart
10th house placement of his Mercury presented numerous opportunities for visibility and public
stature through his career as a scientist, while Navamsha Mercury does not confirm the sustained
personal visibility, showing instead his propensity for privacy and solitude to do his work. Despite
so many planets above the horizon of this birth chart, usually creating an extrovert, there is a Papa
Kartari yoga to the Ascendant lord (malefic planets on either side of Mercury) as well as an isolated
Moon in Kemadruma yoga, though Jupiter provides some correction being in a kendra from Moon.
These yogas provide the key astrological explanation for Einstein’s relative isolation in life, starting
with the early years of not speaking. He was a somewhat solitary person for most of his life, despite
his public fame. He had great devotion to his work, and generally wanted to be left alone to do the
work that he considered helped him know “the mind of God.” Einstein said:
“I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.”
The birth chart has four planets in the 10th house of visibility, while only the shadowy planets Rahu and Ketu are in kendras in the Navamsha. The absence of physical planets in angles of the Navamsha chart makes him less accessible to his public, at least on an emotional level, but also physically. He spent his last 22 years of life at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, estranged from the mainstream of contemporary physics, working on a unified field theory and not at ease with his earlier triumphs or the content of those ideas. He found solace in playing the violin and the piano throughout his life, especially works by Bach and Mozart, which he played most often at the end of his life. Even with a sense of isolation, he received a steady stream of visitors to his house in Princeton, NJ the last ten years of life, 1945-1955. This mainly revolved around his activities supporting pacifism and Zionism and getting other scientists and intellectuals to support pacifism in particular.
Highest achievements as scientist prior to 1922: The first two Dashas of his life (Mercury and
Ketu) were unlikely to bring high achievements or prominence, up to Dec. 13, 1895 (age 16 yrs.
9 months). However, when the 20-year Venus Dasha began on Dec. 13, 1895, it freed him from
military service (at age 17), brought his first marriage and family and his greatest work in physics,
while the 6-year Sun Dasha, from Dec. 15, 1915 brought the rewards for work done mostly during
Venus Dasha. Sun has Digbala, or best house placement in the 10th house. Sun-Venus Dasha/
Bhukti ran for one year: from Dec. 14, 1920 to Dec. 14, 1921. It brought the announcement of his
1921 Nobel Prize in Physics (received in 1922) as well as his first visit to the U.S. as a celebrity (described below) – with some of the wild enthusiasm Americans seem to reserve for celebrities. Spring 1905 was the most concentrated creative era of his entire life, and 1905 was called Einstein’s “Annus Mirabilis,” or Miracle Year. It was his Venus-Rahu-Venus period. (Natal Rahu is in the 11th house from exalted Venus and closely contacting exalted Mars. This brought excellent results, though not immediately. Tr. Saturn in Aquarius was contacting his natal Jupiter in the 9th house and aspecting tr. Jupiter in Aries, triggering his natal Jupiter-Saturn exchange.)
In the early 1920s Einstein started moving in a very different direction. He remained unconvinced
that quantum mechanics could be correct. This cut him off from the latest developments in
physics, as he believed it was only a provisional step on the way to finding the right theory of
atomic physics. He also lacked the same spark and instincts he had previously as a scientist, and
according to many – relied too heavily on mathematics to provide answers to the great questions
“According to Banesh Hoffman, one of his assistants, ‘The search was not so much a search as a groping in the gloom of a mathematical jungle inadequately lit by physical intuition.’”
Lee Smolin, “The Other Einstein,” The New York Review of Books, June 14, 2007, p. 80.
Einstein’s abrupt change and apparent decline within the scientific realm after 1921 is described astrologically by the Vimshottari Dasha sequence, which becomes much less favorable for creative work after the Venus and Sun Dashas, lasting 26 years in all. The Dual sign Ascendant person also needs to do at least two different things, and the strength of his humanitarian interests drew him increasingly towards his efforts to establish world peace. This gives more weight to his political life, which some biographers have tried to minimize. By 1933, he had already parted ways with most of his colleagues in science, though most of modern physics was based on his early work up to
1915 when his Venus Dasha ended. He remained honored but unheeded by scientists, especially once he lost his Directorship of the prestigious Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in March 1933. The Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton could not replace it. But he continued to be glorified by a larger public who did not understand his work. In that role he reached unprecedented superstar status as a scientist.
Venus was the most powerful Dasha, followed by the Sun Dasha. The Nobel Prize in Physics for 1921 should have been presented to Einstein on Dec. 10, 1921, just four days prior to the end of his Sun Dasha. It was for work he did in 1905 on the Photoelectric Effect. Due to a technicality, however, the prize was delivered on Dec. 10, 1922 (in his Moon-Mars Dasha), and the German ambassador gave a speech, since Einstein could not be present. His own acceptance speech in Sweden occurred July 11, 1923. Natal Venus is just over two degrees from maximum exaltation in the 10th house of the birth chart, so it must give extraordinary results, especially as Nadi yogakaraka and best planet for Gemini Ascendant. Venus is less well placed in the Navamsha 12th house in Aquarius, though it can work better when one lives or works outside the country of origin. (He lived in Switzerland for most of Venus Dasha up to April 1914, when he returned to Germany and the maelstrom of WWI.)
Navamsha Venus also shows his ongoing tendency to be a loner, working in isolation from (or excluded by) other scientists until at least 1909, in Venus-Saturn Dasha/Bhukti. (There is some modification and protection with Navamsha Venus in Parivartana yoga – mutual exchange
– with Navamsha Saturn in Libra in the 8th house, also qualifying as a Viparita Raja yoga, protecting against losses and competitors and in his case anti-semitism, which took various forms – including opposition to his Theory of Relativity. His politics was also used by some to attack his theories.) Einstein’s natal Sun is in the 10th house of birth chart and 5th house of Navamsha, well placed in both charts for personal recognition and leadership. During Venus-Mercury Dasha/Bhukti (spring 1914) he accepted the prestigious offer as Professor and Director of Physics at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin. The year of his Nobel Prize was 1921– his Sun-Venus Dasha/Bhukti. Even in sub-cycles Venus has to bring excellent results.
Instant fame: In addition to natal Venus and Sun, his fame is shown by factors such as the favorable 9th house position of Jupiter, 10th lord – of worldly status and position – both in birth chart and Navamsha chart. This helps to maintain a good reputation over a long period, including posthumously. His instant celebrity came on Nov. 7, 1919 (a Solar eclipse at 21:46 Aries), just five
weeks into his Sun-Mercury Dasha/Bhukti: from Oct. 2, 1919 to Aug. 8, 1920. Sun is a karaka for fame, and his Asc. Lord Mercury personalizes it, with both planets situated in the 10th house of status and maximum visibility in Jupiter’s sign of Pisces. Neecha Bhanga Raja yoga to Mercury shows he is elevated out of obscurity or a disadvantaged position. (In 1905 his work was still largely ignored.) Following the publication of his 1916 paper on Relativity, there were several years when fact-finding expeditions to validate his theories could conceivably have happened. But they were delayed by the events of World War I, and results of the May 1919 expeditions to observe the solar eclipse were not announced in London for another five months. These results were also more ambiguous than the ones reported. British astronomer Eddington already believed in the Theory and was looking for an event to prove its correctness, which was not definitively proved until the late 1960s. Nevertheless, Einstein achieved star status from Nov. 7, 1919 onward, during his Sun-Mercury period.
Because of his sudden rise to fame in Nov. 1919, Einstein was courted by many, including the Zionists, who sought funding for their planned Hebrew University in Jerusalem and their dream of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Their leader, Dr. Chaim Weizmann, enlisted Einstein to do a lecture tour of the U.S. (April 2 to May 30, 1921).152 It was Einstein’s first trip to the U.S. and a triumphant but exhausting tour. (Weizmann did not raise as much money as hoped, and Einstein would not become a Zionist or go to live in Palestine, though he was supportive of the Hebrew University for many years and of Israel, from 1947. Offered the Presidency of Israel in 1952, he turned it down.) Einstein’s reception in the U.S. in 1921 was wildly enthusiastic; such was his perceived celebrity and perhaps a welcome relief from the war. This was during his Sun-Venus period: Dec. 14, 1920 to Dec. 14, 1921.
Birth of a new arms race: Nuclear fission was discovered at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin in Dec. 1938. On Aug. 2, 1939 Einstein sent his first letter to President Roosevelt regarding the urgent need for the U.S. to research nuclear fission. As progress was still slow with this work in the U.S., in March 1940 Einstein (along with fellow scientists Leo Szillard and Spencer Weart) wrote again to FDR, urging greater speed with the nuclear weapons program, as they believed the Germans were making progress with their uranium research. In this way Einstein had a significant impact on the speed at which the U.S. undertook its nuclear weapons program, and many mistakenly assumed he was responsible for it, calling him the “Father of the Atom Bomb.” He entered his 18-year Rahu Dasha Dec. 14, 1938, and was in the seminal Rahu-Rahu period for 2 yrs 8.5 months up to Aug. 27, 1941. The triple Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions of 1940-1941 in Aries would also favor weapons programs, the first of the three conjunctions occurring Aug. 7, 1940 at 21:26 Aries. All three of the conjunctions were in Bharani nakshatra, ruled by Yama, god of death and destruction.
As Mars is the planet of war and weapons, we examine Einstein’s exalted Mars in Capricorn in the 8th house of the birth chart. (The 8th house is the house of death and suffering.) There is
152 Born Nov. 27, 1874, Motal, Russia (now Belarus), Chaim Weizmann was the president of the World Zionist Organi- zation, and later the first president of Israel, up to his death Nov. 9, 1952. A chemist by profession, a British resident (1904-1948) and president of the British Zionist Federation from 1917, he worked with British political leaders David Lloyd George and Arthur Balfour to promote the cause of Zionism. This led to the Balfour Declaration in Nov. 1917. He was leader of the Zionist delegation at the Paris Peace Conference (1919), pushing for the British mandate over Palestine at the League of Nations, also in 1919. A major force in the Zionist movement from 1901 through 1952, he met with U.S. President Truman in March 1948.
a very high Sarva Ashtakavarga ranking of the 8th house (41 bindus), and a low ranking of the
9th house at 20 bindus. This shows how Einstein is much more commonly associated in posterity
with the bomb (8th house) than with pacificism (9th house, as a house of philosophy). Navamsha
Mars goes to the 12th house in Aquarius. (The 8th and 12th houses are considered hidden houses,
their contents not easily seen by others, or by the individual with this position in their chart.)
There is always the sense of hidden power, or the ability to develop something the full effect of
which is initially unknown. Even so, it is a myth that Einstein was primarily responsible for the
atom bomb. His ideas of mass and energy made the concept more possible, but he did not execute
them. His two letters to FDR were in fact his most important contribution to the bomb-making
project, though undeniably timely.
Rahu aspects or contacts to Mars can bring very raw, even ruthless physical energy, as Rahu
makes Mars less steady or predictable. In this case, the power of Mars is even more exaggerated
due to being in its sign of exaltation in Capricorn. Mars-Rahu aspects his 2nd house of speech,
initially cutting it off, then later enabling the power of his ideas or speech to unleash hugely
destructive powers in the world – which he understood fully only after they were unleashed. After
Aug. 1945 Einstein resumed the pacificism he had kept hidden during the years leading up to
and during World War II. Roosevelt died April 12, 1945, and Einstein did not believe he would
have dropped the bombs on Japan and said so in his front page article in The New York Times,
Aug. 19, 1946. The headline was: “Einstein Deplores Use of Atom Bomb.” Here are some other
relevant quotes from him on the subject:
“When the war is over, then there will be in all countries a pursuit of secret war prepa- rations with technological means which will lead inevitably to preventative wars and to destruction even more terrible than the present destruction of life.”
Albert Einstein, in a letter to physicist Niels Bohr, Dec. 1944.
“As long as there are sovereign nations possessing great power, war is inevitable.”
from his article “Einstein on the Atom Bomb”, The Atlantic Monthly, Nov. 1945.
“Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.”
“Shall we put an end to the human race; or shall mankind renounce war? People will not face this alternative because it is so difficult to abolish war.”
Though he had celebrity status as a scientist, Einstein’s pacifism assured his loss of political power leading up to the EARTH dominant era from Feb. 1961. This era would view nuclear weaponry as part of a logistical and lucrative enterprise, and by June 1954 it also brought the political demise of J. Robert Oppenheimer. His deep questioning of the moral issues of genocidal weapons was systematically derailed, sending a strong message to future generations of scientists and/or physicians knowledgeable about the actual destruction caused by such weapons.
Life in danger: From the Vedic perspective, we know the karmic fruit of this powerful Mars-Rahu combination will come due specifically during the Dashas of Mars and/or Rahu, the last two dashas of his lifetime. The 7-year Mars Dasha ran Dec. 13, 1931 to Dec. 14, 1938, and the 18-year Rahu Dasha from Dec. 14, 1938 to Dec. 14, 1956. These covered the years of the rise and fall of Nazi Germany, and specifically when he was about to return to Germany in mid-March
- 1933. His Mars-Rahu Dasha/Bhukti ran from May 12, 1932 to May 30, 1933, and encompasses the time he could have been killed had he returned to Germany as planne Mars-Rahu period also coincides with tr. Saturn in Capricorn (Dec. 25, 1931 to March 16, 1934), thus for Einstein his Ashtama Shani – Saturn’s most difficult transit, in this case following 7½ years of Sade Sati, also extremely demanding years. Tr. Saturn was exactly on his 8th house cusp in mid-March 1933, his planned return to the new Nazi Germany. But after becoming more fully informed of the perilous situation that awaited him, he resigned from duties in Berlin as Professor and Director of Physics. He travelled to Belgium and England before returning to the U.S. on a permanent basis, setting sail from England Oct. 7, 1933 on a 10-day voyage, never to return to Europe. Mars-Rahu period was pivotal in saving his own life and giving him first-hand experience of the real dangers of Hitler’s Germany. Mars in the Navamsha 12th house favored foreign residence, and in his case made it mandatory. He obtained U.S. citizenship in Rahu Dasha, which again favors the foreigner (or outsider) in a foreign land, with Rahu prominent in the Navamsha Ascendant, aspected by benefic Jupiter. He became a citizen Oct. 1, 1940 in Rahu-Rahu-Venus period.
On Aug. 2, 1939, in his Rahu-Rahu-Jupiter period, and with tr. Mars close to an exact return to natal Mars, Einstein sent the letter to President Roosevelt informing him about the current scientific capacity to produce a bomb, along with his concerns that Hitler’s Germany might produce one first. Roosevelt received the letter Oct. 11, 1939, when Einstein was in his Rahu-Rahu-Saturn period. This promoted the physical manifestation of his ideas, though he himself was not involved in the actual making of the bombs. In Einstein’s Rahu-Saturn-Sun period the bombs were dropped on Japan, after Germany and Italy had already surrendered. Saturn-Sun can show conflict with authorities and reflects the inner conflict he would later feel about sharing information with FDR that led to the Manhattan Project.
Mars is also karaka for siblings and as we know is very strong. In 1938 his sister Maria “Maja”
Einstein left her husband in Italy to come live with him in Princeton, NJ. She stayed from 1938
until her own death in 1951, coinciding with the last year of his Mars Dasha and first 13 years
of his Rahu Dasha. Natal Rahu is closely conjunct exalted Mars. Maja was Albert’s only sibling and a close confidante over many years. She was born Nov. 18, 1881 in Munich and died June 25, 1951, Princeton, NJ in the dasha of Albert’s Rahu-Venus-Mars.
Caught between pro-war and anti-war currents: The Moon’s location in the chart shows where the mind is focused in the life. In the birth chart Moon is in Scorpio in the 6th house of conflict and of enemies, while Navamsha Moon is situated in Capricorn in the 11th house of friendships, opposite Navamsha 6th lord Sun. Thus, conflict was unavoidable. His 10-year Moon Dasha identified the period when his political beliefs would become even more of an issue, bringing conflict where he sought unity. This Dasha ran from Dec. 15, 1921 to Dec. 14, 1931. As this Moon is opposite Sun in the Navamsha chart, it would necessarily involve the previous 6-year Sun Dasha as well (Dec. 15, 1915 to Dec. 15, 1921). His political activism began in summer 1914 with the outbreak of war in Europe. He was against World War I and in Oct. 1914 signed an anti-war “Manifesto to Europeans.” (He was only one of four German scientists to do so and considered very daring. It was in response to the pro-war Manifesto signed by 93 German scientists, intellectuals and artists.) For this he was applauded by the pacifists and scorned by the German nationals, who were fuelled by the growing pan-Germanism. Since science and politics were so interwoven, he encountered periodic opposition as a German-born Jewish pacifist and as a scientist espousing his particular scientific theories, including his Theory of Relativity. This reached
such a fever pitch that he considered leaving Germany in the aftermath of World War I. In spring
1933 the Nazis burned his books (among many other “un-German books”) and denounced him,
calling his Theory of Relativity “Jewish Physics.”153 Most of the book burnings occurred in Einstein’s
His Moon Dasha even brought conflict concerning the Nobel Prize in Physics, which came
later than expected, during his Moon-Mars period. It was hotly debated prior to the Nobel Prize
ceremonies in Dec. 1922 as to whether he was primarily a German or a Swiss citizen. The German
Ambassador eventually prevailed, delivering the speech in German, as Einstein was travelling in
Japan. For technical reasons the prize was given in 1922 rather than in 1921, the year for which
it was announced, and for his contributions to Theoretical Physics – specifically for his discovery
of the law of the Photoelectric Effect. Einstein gave his Nobel acceptance speech in July 1923
(during his Moon-Rahu period), surprising all by its exclusive focus on his Theory of Relativity,
which was by then his major passion in physics, though not the subject for which the prize was
given. Similarly, having promoted the bomb in the years 1939-1941, Einstein made another about
face from 1945 onward.
“In November 1954, five months before his death, Einstein summarized his feelings about his role in the creation of the atomic bomb: ‘I made one great mistake in my life… when I signed the letter to President Roosevelt recommending that atom bombs be made; but there was some justification – the danger that the Germans would make them.’ In fact the mistake was a double one. The danger from the Germans never materialized; but in America an almost superhuman technological effort gave the lie to [physicist Niels] Bohr’s [claim it would be] ‘impracticable.’ ”
Ronald W. Clark, Einstein: The Life and Times, 1971, 1984, p. 672.
The extent of his pacifism – even if largely unknown to his public – is shown by exalted Venus in the 10th house. This Venus is hidden in the 12th house of the Navamsha chart in the sign of idealistic Aquarius, along with Mars, planet of war. Thus is described the true legacy of Einstein: his making possible an unprecedented new level of warfare with the atom bomb, a legacy he would spend the rest of his life trying to destroy. But his personal destiny intersected with a collective destiny that favored major advancement of weaponry, since he lived most of his life in the Fire to Earth Mutation period (1901-1961). This was followed by the EARTH dominant period, which would further commercialize these developments.
Though he was primarily known as a scientist, Einstein believed fervently in the necessity of peaceful cooperation between nations and in the power of international organizations to solve problems between nations. The League of Nations was established to do just that, but his association with the organization lasted only three years, 1920-1923, as conflict arose with his French colleagues due to his being born a German Jew, though his family had immigrated to Switzerland and he had been against World War I being fought at all. He was criticized by pacifists for remaining silent in the pre-war years 1933-1939 and for later promoting nuclear bomb research by the Americans after he came to consider World War II unavoidable. Others distrusted his pacifism that re-surfaced after 1945. In his Handbook on Pacifism, Einstein said:
153 Mass book burnings in Germany occurred from April 6 through June 21, 1933, with thousands of citizens participat- ing. At one public book burning on May 10, 1933 in Berlin, 40,000 citizens gathered and Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda, declared an end to “the era of extreme Jewish intellectualism.”
“A human being who considers spiritual values as supreme must be a pacifist.”
In the last ten years of his life he strove to educate the world in how NOT to prepare for war, including persuading scientists NOT to participate in nuclear research. Astrologically, with six out of nine planets in water signs (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Saturn, and Ketu), we observe how what may begin as an emotional reaction to events can evolve into a deeper spiritual perspective. The fact that four of them were in dual signs, along with his Gemini Ascendant, brings more complexity to his views, making him someone not easily categorized and therefore seemingly inconsistent. He promoted Zionism, yet he was not a Zionist; he was a pacifist, yet he was a warrior-pacifist, and did not think Hitler should be the only one with nuclear weapons. He rejected religion at age 17, but reinstated his Jewishness in 1914, along with the birth of his political activism. He did not believe in a personal God, yet he was not an atheist and could accept a God of beauty and harmony (Spinoza). He was against militant nationalism, but actively supported the idea of uniting Jewish people in a homeland. He was admired and celebrated by world leaders, but put under surveillance by the U.S. government for his anti-military stance. His passion for the mysteries of science equaled the depth of his enduring concern for humanity. He believed scientists had a moral responsibility and he acted on that tirelessly from 1914 onward, impacting both World Wars.