Sagittarius 2013: Nelson Mandela. Zodiac Sequence. Mars and Emotion.
“I see the goal.I reach the goal and see another.”
(Full Moon: December 17, 2013. 9.28 am. London, Britain.)
The Sequence of the Zodiac
Sagittarius, Mars and the Emotions
A Tribute to Nelson Mandela: Sagittarius Rising
The Sequence of the Zodiac
As the Sun moves from Scorpio to Sagittarius, it continues the sequence of humanity’s annual, ‘evolutionary exposure’ to the zodiac signs – our ongoing revelation about ourselves and our relationship with one another and the world.
All of the signs are related through the three zodiacal crosses, but also sequentially as the graded steps crucial to the unfoldment of consciousness. One is reminded of the trunk-to-tail, trail of elephants and their inherent strength and wisdom. Indeed, the elephant is a great symbol of Sage-ittarius and its larger-than-life ruler, Jupiter.
There is no definite cut-off point between the signs, their various frequencies merge one into the other, expressing themselves as a glorious mandala of luminous colour. The same frequencies from these living zodiacal beings are also expressed as the celestial music of the spheres.
The zodiac is the musical score and the planets are the players in this cosmic orchestra, whilst the conductor is the Sun, who takes his cue from the Master Musician, Sirius.
Hence, the sequence from Scorpio to Sagittarius, sees one planet in common, Mars; it is the personality and soul ruler of Scorpio, and hierarchical ruler of Sagittarius. As quoted last month, “Mars establishes relations between the opposites and is a beneficent, not a malefic factor.”
The dire testings of Scorpio lead to unwavering direction in Sagittarius, toward the mountain top of initiation, in the following sign of Capricorn. The broader sequence is,
(See fn. for a fuller explanation of this sequence.)
Sagittarius, Mars and the Emotions
The following explanation has great relevance in the horoscope of Nelson Mandela, that will be discussed later. There are some quite esoteric concepts to grasp, that have been touched upon before in other newsletters, so the reader is urged to reflect upon these unfamiliar ideas, as they are foundational to understanding esotericism and the Ageless Wisdom teachings.
Sagittarius is a fire sign, the element associated with manas or mind. The fiery one-pointed archer of Sagittarius directs the arrows of thought and the aim is true. Truth is one of the keynotes of this sign and is realised through the ‘returning arrow of intuition’.
Yet, Sagittarius is one of the most volatile and emotional of the fire signs; consequently, its arrows can fire indiscriminately in all directions. Sagittarians can be a ‘loose cannon’ at times, lacking clear direction, a danger to themselves and others.
So where does the emotional force emanate for this enthusiastic and engaging sign? In Esoteric Astrology there are three planetary rulers for each sign – personality, soul and hierarchical. Depending upon the subject’s stage of evolution, they will respond to ruling planets in varying degrees.
A large proportion of humanity express almost exclusively through their moon sign. The moon is the dweller and everyone has one! Most individuals simply respond to the personality ruler of their sun sign or rising sign. Those who are just awakening or who have ‘awoken’, are responding to the increasing vibration of the soul ruler.
Some rare few who are starting to build the antahkarana from the soul to the monad, are responding to the hierarchical ruler. The first three initiations correspond approximately to these rulerships. (The science of initiation is one of the sub-sciences of Esoteric Astrology.)
As has often be stated in these newsletters, the degree of response to the influence of a planet is dependent upon an individual’s “vehicles of response”, or the three-fold personality: etheric-physical, astral and mental bodies. Common examples of are Neptune’s influence upon the unredeemed astral body, resulting in addiction; or Uranus’s revolutionary force in the rebel without a cause, focus or direction.
Hence, humanity respond to all three rulerships of the signs, for the most part in an approximate way, due to the three filters of the not-yet-perfected personality; this brings us back to the point about emotional Sagittarius – because of its hierarchical ruler, Mars – ruler of the solar plexus centre:
“Mars … rules … the individual … as that individual responds to mass vibration in Sagittarius … Mars [rules] … the lunar lords of the form nature who must eventually be sacrificed to the higher spiritual aspect and brought under the control of the solar Angel [the soul]. The effect of Mars is, therefore, largely mass effect and group results, producing great struggles but leading finally to great revelation.”
Mars is the planet of discipleship because it co-rules (with Neptune), the solar plexus centre, seat of the astral body. This fact is reiterated constantly in these newsletters because the solar plexus is the main ‘burning ground’ for most aspirants to the spiritual life; it is the source of obscuring glamour. Mars as the Lord of Battle, reveals what is at odds within ourselves. Esoterically speaking, Mars, as hierarchical ruler of Sagittarius, has jurisdiction over the ‘daevic’ lives that constitute the astral body.
This deva evolution that is parallel to human evolution, is part of the mystery of incarnation. There are the lesser unconscious daevic forces that respond to the command of any of our thoughts or feelings; there are the more evolved ‘conscious’ angelic beings who exist in many grades and hierarchies, as described in the ancient wisdom teachings.
The so-called ‘lunar lives’ within all sheaves of the personality are to be tamed and directed by ourselves; they can only respond to our ‘command’ and so are shaped accordingly. Hence, each individual is responsible for chaos or harmony created in their life. “You are what you think” is the esoteric axiom, it is the foundation of ‘positive thinking’ or the refraining from certain thoughts or feelings; it is the ABC or occultism 101.
Hence, the Mars influence ‘trickles down’ to Sagittarius and impacts upon the unredeemed form, resulting for some in a wild (yet endearing) enthusiasm, aggressive and boisterous behaviour, religious idealism, fanaticism and fundamentalism. The latter fundamentalist tendency is due to an emotional clinging to outworn ideas – the fixation of kama-manas or desire mind: The idea becomes the ideal (idealism) and at its worst, the ‘idol’:
However, for those seekers of the mysteries, who have almost completed building the antahkarana (the rainbow bridge to the soul), the emotional body has been tamed, relatively speaking, “a sense of duality is ended, fusion attained, a one-pointed directed life, the stage of Discipleship.”
Many of the preceding descriptions of enthusiasm, idealism, fanaticism etc., are keywords for the Sixth Ray of Devotion and Idealism, also ruled by Mars. In this current cycle, the sixth ray finds its most potent expression through Sagittarius.
The sixth ray is cycling out of incarnation, at the end of this Piscean cycle, also a powerful conduit for the sixth ray. As a result, many entities, individual or collective, who are ruled by this ray, are experiencing crises: Christianity, Islam, nations ruled by the sixth ray such as USA, Russia, Italy, Spain etc.
As rulers of Sagittarius, Mars is the wind that billows-out Jupiter’s big sails, pushing it toward undiscovered horizons, whether that is the vast ocean of consciousness, the physical ‘ends of the Earth’, or the many areas of human expression in between. Sagittarius is the explorer and it does love a rollicking good adventure!
Nelson Mandela’s passing virtually stopped the world, to celebrate and reflect upon his legacy, yet Madiba’s light shines on. He chose to leave whilst the Sun was in Sagittarius, also the sign his Ascendant, his soul purpose.
Sagittarius is the visionary and it was Mandela’s vision, the persistence and kindness of his Cancer Sun, alloyed with the iron determination of his Scorpio Moon, that struck a huge blow against apartheid, for freedom in South Africa and for the entire planet.
Mandela’s Rays His conditioning rays can only be speculated upon; the presence of the first, second, sixth, third and fourth rays, all come to mind. Students must bear in mind that the rays must be ascertained intuitively and that the horoscope is simply an interface for the rays to work through; most particularly the soul ray through the rising sign and the personality ray through the Sun sign. It can be difficult to ascertain a ray at times because it might be explained by certain astrological positions. The following are a few possibilities:
Soul: First Ray Many politicians and reformers are on the first ray of will or power, and it is possible that this was his soul ray and purpose. Observers remarked upon his ‘quiet power’, ‘calm power’, a ‘fierce dignity and unbending will’.
The soul ray for South Africa has not been given, but Aries is the soul ruler , a potent conduit for the first ray. What better way for a son of South Africa to be aligned with the same soul ray?
Personality: Second or third rays The second ray for his affable and outgoing personality, although this can also be explained by Jupiter in Cancer in his seventh house. Mikael Gorbachev possessed a similar skill. The third ray for his law profession and tactical skills.
Mental body: Third or fourth rays The third ray for reasons mentioned above. It can be difficult at times to discern the personality ray from the ray of the mental body. The fourth ray of Harmony through Conflict, might well have been M’s personal mantra; it is the most common ray that conditions the mental body; it is also a ray that conditions Africa as a whole. The first ray might even be a contender for the mental body but can also be explained by the position of Mercury in first ray Leo.
Astral Body: Sixth ray Possibly also his personality ray. Mars rules this ray and is most prominent in his horoscope, as will be seen later. The sixth ray is devotion and idealism. He wrote an article in 2007 for the Guardian newspaper titled, “An ideal for which I am prepared to die.” This was a statement made from the dock at the opening of his trial on charges of sabotage in 1964. (This inspiring and erudite article contains the essence of his political thought and dispels some misconceptions.)
Physical Body: First ray Mandela was quite tough physically. He was sentenced to hard labour in prison, breaking rocks, sleeping on a thin mat and eating cornmeal porridge. Vulcan is the co-ruler of the first ray and its symbol is the hammer – the smithy who forges upon the anvil. No doubt Mandela was forging his ideas with every drop of the hammer, ever more acutely, if his mind was on the first ray. A first ray etheric-physical would provide an excellent alignment with a first ray soul. Mandela was also tall, a common feature of Sagittarians.
In his youth he was a boxer and later in prison kept himself fit, boxing. One might say that he had been through ‘the school of hard knocks’. In his autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom”, Mandela wrote,
“Boxing is egalitarian. In the ring, rank, age, color, and wealth are irrelevant … I found the rigorous exercise to be an excellent outlet for tension and stress … It was a way of losing myself in something that was not the struggle. After an evening’s workout I would wake up the next morning feeling strong and refreshed, ready to take up the fight again.”
Friend and fellow boxer, Muhammad Ali, had met Mandela on several occasions, stating after his passing,
“What I will remember most about Mr. Mandela is that he was a man whose heart, soul and spirit could not be contained or restrained by racial and economic injustices, metal bars or the burden of hate and revenge. He taught us forgiveness on a grand scale. He inspired others to reach for what appeared to be impossible and moved them to break through the barriers that held them hostage mentally, physically, socially and economically. He made us realize, we are our brother’s keeper and that our brothers come in all colors.”
Cancer represents mother, family and home – or the homeland. Mandela shared his Cancer sun with another homeland freedom fighter, His Holiness, The Dalai Lama. The keynote for Cancer is,
“I build a lighted house and therein dwell.” Is the house you are building yet lit? Is it a lighted house, or is it a dark prison?”
Mandela fought for the freedom of his homeland, plundered and controlled for centuries by the colonial influence of the British and especially the Dutch, the Afrikaners. He stated that the African National Congress “freedom charter” was,
“… by no means a blueprint for a socialist state. It calls for redistribution, but not nationalisation, of land; it provides for nationalisation of mines, banks, and monopoly industry, because big monopolies are owned by one race only, and without such nationalisation racial domination would be perpetuated despite the spread of political power.”
The Cancer-Capricorn axis is accentuated in his horoscope, through the second and eighth houses, hence the issue of the fair sharing of money and resources would have been felt intensely.
Mandela’s Cancer Sun aspects revolutionary Uranus – in its own sign of Aquarius, having a constant influence in his life. In 1962, just before his arrest and imprisonment, he had transiting Uranus opposite natal Uranus, the so-called ‘mid-life crisis’. He also had transiting Pluto conjunct his progressed Sun and was cast as a trouble-maker, revolutionary, a threat to social stability:
“I started to make a study of the art of war and revolution and whilst abroad, underwent a course in military training. If there was to be guerrilla warfare, I wanted to be able to stand and fight with my people and to share the hazards of war with them.”
This passage also reveals the potency of Mars, ruler of the sixth ray, which by solar arc progression, had moved from peacemaker Libra into warrior Scorpio, edging into a close square with natal Uranus. Uranus, as the planet of freedom through revolution, would play an increasingly powerful role in Mandela’s life.
If the ascendant degree is taken into account, a yod formation lies between Uranus-Ascendant with the Cancer Sun at the apex. The yod is the ‘finger of destiny’ and his Sun was in the eighth house, complimenting his Scorpio moon, to which it was harmoniously aspected, by trine. This combination of water signs through the two ‘lights’ of Sun and Moon, goes a long way to explaining his deep empathy and compassion.
Mandela also shared this Cancerian force with Myanmar freedom fighter, Aung Sun Suu Kyi, also a political prisoner, for 21 years. She has often been referred to as ‘the Nelson Mandela of Burma’ and has Cancer rising with Saturn in Cancer. Their horoscopes have some close synastry, most notably her Libran Moon on Mandela’s Mars. She was an honorary member of The Elders, a group of eminent global leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela.
Scorpio Moon square Uranus
Nelson Mandela drew great strength from his Scorpio Moon, yet it was also his Achilles heel – as the Moon is in any horoscope, the dweller – the ‘prison of the soul’. The Moon is in the twelfth house, also known as the house of prisons, institutions and monasteries.
A twelfth house moon might actually be reasonably ‘comfortable’ here. The Scorpio moon also takes on a very Piscean quality, placed in the twelfth house. Forgiveness is one of Pisces’ greatest themes and Mandela was an exemplar of the Path of Forgiveness. Water signs and the twelfth house are well known for psychic sensitivity. Mandela has been called prescient, the ability to know beforehand.
The Scorpio moon was also his warrior spirit, his intensity of feeling, great persistence and staying power. The fact that Mandela chose not to harbour any bitterness toward his enemies, is an extraordinary example of a transformed Scorpio moon.
If there was ever a Moon sign that might become ‘bitter and twisted’, it is this position in Scorpio. Mandela transcended this point of least resistance for most individuals, using the Scorpio force of discipleship, to utterly and ruthlessly root out of himself any vestiges that threatened to be an obstacle upon his Way. Again, Scorpio ruler Mars, placed in Libra, must have greatly assisted an inner prompting relinquish bitterness, hate and anger toward the system that held him captive.
Muhammed Ali’s comment, ‘held them hostage’, springs to mind here, referring to the liberating spirit of this Moon square Uranus aspect. Mandela freed his own internal hostages (those daevic lives referred to earlier), and inspired thousands of others to free themselves. When we sing the universal mantra of ‘free Nelson Mandela’, it is an impassioned plea to free our own self-sentencedsituations and to see that effected upon a global scale.
Moon square Uranus, created a triangle with the Sun, a very dynamic combination; similar to another rebel, who has not been accepted by the mainstream, Julian Assange, with a Scorpio moon and Cancer Sun square Uranus. (Although there is no real comparison between them, the astrological analogy is there.)
This Moon square Uranus samskara was the real rock-breaking that Mandela had before him. A samskara is a latent karmic tendency that shapes one’s present life. Everyone has some sort of samskara to chip away at, to use a stone-breaking term!
A samskara usually comes in the form of a square or T-square formation in the birth chart. Traditional Hindu samskaras ceremonies help bring a sanctification and purification, leading to regeneration.
However, the modern, conscious pilgrim dispenses with these outdated rituals that have degenerated in many cases to the realm of superstition, not unlike a Catholic confessional. The entire life is the ‘ceremony’ and after 27 years, Mandela had transformed any residual bitterness, hatred and violence inherent in his Scorpio moon, to one of forgiveness and triumph over the heads of the Scorpio hydra.
Much of this achievement was brought about through Scorpio’s ruler Mars, placed in Libra, also the hierarchical ruler of his Sagittarian ascendant. (As described in the “Sagittarius, Mars and the Emotions” section of this newsletter.)
Uranus is the planet of freedom and naturally rebels against what it perceives as suffocating freedom, usually symbolised by Saturn and Capricorn, the status quo. Mandela said in his auto-biography that he, “… inherited his father’s ‘proud rebelliousness’ and ‘stubborn sense of fairness’. Here we have allusions to not only Moon square Uranus, but also the ‘fairness’ of Scorpio ruler, Mars in Libra.
In The Destiny of the Races and Nations I , is an essay titled, “Liberation of the Nations: The Role of Sirius, Aquarius and Uranus”. Mandela had Uranus in Aquarius and was an advanced soul appropriating this god-given force. Part of his work was to bring about the emancipation of slaves, one of four themes of the ‘planetary plan’:
“1. The life of Christ Himself.
2. a. The signing of the Magna Charta.
b. The founding of the French Republic.
c. The Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.
d. The Atlantic Charter and the Four Freedoms.
3. The Emancipation of the Slaves.
4. The Liberation of Humanity by the United Nations.”
Even though the slavery problem has not been solved – in its various guises, Mandela made a massive contribution to its solution; it had reverberations around the world, especially in the USA. Writing in 1949, The Master DK makes somewhat of a prophecy, using the language of the day:
“In the southern states, the Constitution of the United States is infringed every day by those who believe in white supremacy—a supremacy which will be put to a crucial test when Africa awakes. This attitude of the United States and their failure to live up to the Constitution where Negroes are concerned, have greatly weakened the faith of other countries in the wonder of America, and the situation in South Africa is not honoured by thinking men.”
Now, since Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and others, this situation has changed remarkably from seventy years ago. Racism and discrimination still exist in many ethnic persuasions, but there is now a much higher awareness of the problem than at any other time in history.
On February 11, 1990, whilst the Sun was transiting through Aquarius over Mandela’s Uranus, the South African government freed him. At the time, transiting Pluto was heading toward his Moon in Scorpio in the twelfth house, symbol of his imprisonment all those long years. It was also his Jupiter return (exactly), signifying the power and beneficence of his Sagittarius ascendant ruler.
Sagittarius Rising: Soul Purpose
“In Sagittarius, the disciple has two things to discover within himself; these are the power to make progress upon the path and to walk the Way, and also the ability to create in the higher and spiritual sense. This concerns the relationship between the sacral and the throat centres. These powers (the higher powers) are as yet embryonic in the earlier Sagittarian experience of the disciple, but they become more developed and potent as he cyclically returns to life experience in this sign.”
Mandela first came to prominence when he led the newly launched ANC Campaign for the Defiance of Unjust Laws, a program of non-violent mass resistance. At that time his progressed solar arc Moon was passing over his Sagittarian ascendant, his soul purpose. Sagittarius is also the sign that rules South Africa’s personality expression, which its broad landscapes of stunning natural beauty and colour, are but one expression.
Sagittarius is the visionary, the philosopher, one who reaches toward the highest spiritual principles. Archbishop Desmond Tutu described his friend as a “… moral colossus … an icon of forgiveness and reconciliaton…”. Other quote-worthy observations note, ‘ahead of his time’, a ‘champion of human dignity and freedom’, ‘when I see Mandela, I see god’.
Jupiter in Cancer
Sagittarius’ personality ruler is Jupiter, placed in Cancer, the sign of its exaltation, in the seventh house of relationships. This position of Jupiter accounts for much of Mandela’s warmth and charm. The warmth of the nurturing quality of Jupiter in Cancer, also the ruler of the second ray of Love-Wisdom; the charm of a seventh house planet emulating the seventh sign Libra and, complementing his all important Mars in Libra. Mandela always went out of his way to put people at their ease, whether it was the most humble tea-lady or foreign dignitaries and politicians; he was really a stealth Libran!
Jupiter is in Cancer, a sign of rebirth where esoterically speaking there is a successful development and use of the three-fold personality (the ‘form’), particularly psychic sensitivity, both in the higher and the lower senses:
“These are important developments for the soul who has chosen to incarnate. The building of adequate forms and the use and control of form are essential if there is to be wise and right cooperation with the Plan of God. Jupiter guarantees this in Cancer from the very initial stage of birth.
Love as relationship to divinity and wisdom as relationship to form lie behind the soul’s intent. In space and time, for long aeons, form controls and hides the soul. This is equally true in regard to the fluid psychic nature … the form aspect and the psychic nature reach an eventual concrete perfection in Capricorn to become again in Cancer the perfect instrument of service which the initiate wields as he seeks to render mass service instead of being involved and lost in the mass.”
The latter part of this passage is an apt description of what Mandela achieved, “… the perfect instrument of service which the initiate wields as he seeks to render mass service”. It is highly likely that Mandela came in as an (at least) advanced disciple and left as an initiate. He left his mark upon the world as only an advanced soul can.
Words like ‘colossus’ and ‘a giant among men’ are frequently used to describe Mandela, indicating his initiate status. ‘Mark’ is an esoteric term for the third degree initiation, where the initiate leaves their mark in the realm of thought and ideas. He achieved a similar goal to Abraham Lincoln, known esoterically as a ‘racial avatar’ and also an emancipator of slavery. Indeed, President Obama, in his speech at Mandela’s memorial service said,
“Nelson Mandela stands among the great world leaders and revolutionaries of history, including America’s founding fathers and Abraham Lincoln … Like Gandhi, he would lead a resistance movement, a movement that at its start had little prospect for success … Like Dr. King, he would give potent voice to the claims of the oppressed and the moral necessity of racial justice…
… Emerging from prison, without the force of arms, he would—like Abraham Lincoln—hold his country together when it threatened to break apart … And like America’s founding fathers, he would erect a constitutional order to preserve freedom for future generations—a commitment to democracy and rule of law ratified not only by his election, but by his willingness to step down from power after only one term.”
Numerology Mandela was reduced to slavery in prison, breaking rocks for ‘the man’, no doubt burning off a large chunk of karma! The 27 year figure for his incarceration is an interesting one because nine is a number of initiation (3 x 9 = 27), hinting at the fact that he may have been a third degree initiate, or took this initiation in that life.
Likewise, his prisoner number 46664, may point to some of his vehicles upon the sixth and fourth rays, and of course, it contains the 666 ‘number of the beast’ – the threefold lower self, the number of matter on the physical, astral and mental planes. Mandela it seems, subdued his beast whilst in prison – a virtual ‘monastery’ where he lived like a monk.
The number 8 was also prominent in Mandela’s life. His prisoner number resolves to 8: 46664=26/8 and his birth date, indicating the life path, also adds up to 8: 18-7-1918=44/8. 44 is a ‘power number’ and is essentially the numbers 11 x 4. Eleven is also a number of initiation, hence 44 is symbolic of the fourth initiation, bearing again a close correspondence to Abraham Lincoln, an advanced initiate, most likely of that standing:
“Forget not that eleven is the number of the Initiate and that today it is the eleventh house which is so dominant; forget not that Aquarius, the eleventh sign, is the sign of universal relationships, interplay and consciousness.”
It is also noteworthy that Mandela spent 18 years (2 x 9) at Robben Island. Perhaps during that time, he passed through the second initiation, or a recapitulation of that stage. Scorpio is the generic ruler of this initiation and is so prominent in his horoscope. The last 9 years of his sentence may symbolise taking the third initiation. His time in two other prisons in that 9-year period, saw a definite shift toward greater freedoms, more contact with politicians and a broader global exposure that ultimately led to his release in 1990.
“In studying Sagittarius, it becomes obvious that one of the major underlying themes is that of Direction. The Archer is guiding his horse towards some one specific objective; he is sending or directing his arrow towards a desired point; he is aiming at some specific goal.
This sense of direction or guidance is characteristic of the enlightened man, of the aspirant and disciple, and this is a growing recognition; when this faculty of sensitive direction is rightly developed it becomes, in the early stages, an effort to identify all soul and personality activity with God’s Plan, and this is, in the last analysis, the ordered direction of God’s thought. There is no true direction apart from thought, and I would have you remember that thought is power.”
Earth in Capricorn The Cancer-Capricorn axis is very important, as his Cancer Sun indicates, but also the position of the Earth in Capricorn, and the soul ruler of Sagittarius. (The Earth is always directly opposite the Sun in a horoscope.)
All three rulers of the rising sign are important, for most of us lesser mortals, the personality and soul rulers by sign, aspect and house, indicate where most of our work lies.
As soul ruler of Sagittarius, Mandela’s Earth in Capricorn indicates that a large part of his field of service would be in dealing with The Establishment, the status quo, the presiding social structure and culture. Hence the need to acquaint himself with law. Like Libra, Capricorn and Saturn are deeply connected to the law, that create a stable social structure.
This Earth-Sun opposition makes a T-square to the asteroid Hygeia (in Aries), an extremely important influence with regard to health and hygiene on all levels. Mandela ‘cleaned up’ a lot of accumulated dirt in the realm of apartheid, with its accompanying pain, misery and injustice; not unlike Hercules’ labour in Aquarius, where he diverted a large river to flush out the filth of the Augean Stables. Again, we see the power of his Uranus in Aquarius.
Mars in Libra Mars is the hierarchical ruler of Sagittarius, as indicated in the “Sagittarius, Mars and the Emotions” section of this newsletter. Very few souls accurately invoke the force of the hierarchical ruler, particularly in Mars’ case. Here follows a brief paraphrase of the previous description,
“Mars rules the lunar lords of the form nature. (A theme mentioned with regard to Jupiter in Cancer.) This form must eventually be sacrificed to the higher spiritual aspect and brought under the control of the soul. Mars is largely mass in its effects, producing great struggles that lead to revelation.
Mars is the planet of discipleship because it rules the solar plexus centre, seat of the astral body. For those disciples and initiates who have almost completed building the rainbow bridge, “… a sense of duality is ended, fusion attained, a one-pointed directed life, the stage of Discipleship.”
Along with Mandela’s seventh house placements, which include a Jupiter-Pluto conjunction, Mars in Libra accentuates the ‘stealth Libra’ quality in the entire horoscope. Many Libran themes are echoed in such praise as, ‘the epitome of humility, equality and justice’, ‘a giant for justice’ and, ‘charming, funny’.
Mars in Libra points to his acute sense of fairness and justice; it is placed in the eleventh Aquarian house of group work and community co-operation and this factor should not be forgotten. Mandela was not an isolated individual who did this work all by himself, he was the head of a group of individuals within and without South Africa, many of whose names the world will never know. He was the pinnacle of that group, the a senior member of the inner ashram dedicated to creating a new architecture.
Mars in Libra, along with Jupiter in the seventh house, were two major factors that led Mandela into the law profession. When progressed Moon was passing over his Sagittarian ascendant in 1952, he started the first black law partnership in South Africa with his friend Oliver Tambo. His progressed Sun was in Leo at this time, the young lion (whelp) was starting to make his authority felt.
Sagittarius and Jupiter are both traditionally associated with the Law, as is Libra, the Scales of Justice. Mandela moved from local national laws into the realm of universal law, from which all earthly laws should be a reflection. With regard to upholding or breaking the law in the early 1950’s, he stated:
“We first broke the law in a way which avoided any recourse to violence; when this form was legislated against, and then the government resorted to a show of force to crush opposition to its policies, only then did we decide to answer violence with violence.”
This statement (as do many others in the Guardian article), demonstrates the restraint of Mars in Libra, traditionally the ‘weakest’ position for Mars, opposite its ruling sign Aries. Mars also rules Scorpio, hence its position in Libra tempered his passionate Scorpio moon.
Esoterically, “…the power of Mars is lessened in Libra; this is the sign of interlude and Mars is temporarily quiescent…” Not so much in Mandela’s case it seems! Likewise for the Dalai Lama, fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner, who has Mars in Libra and is also a Cancer Sun like Mandela. His non-violent resistance to the Chinese take-over of Tibet is a great testament. Gandhi is another figure who comes to mind (a personal inspiration for Mandela), with Sun and rising sign in Libra.
When Mandela accepted his Nobel Peace Prize in December 1993, his progressed Sun was in Libra the Peacemaker, whilst transiting Mars was upon his Sagittarian ascendant. The latter transit of Mars was like an oracle pointing to the fact that the position of natal Mars in Libra had achieved its soul purpose.
It is significant that Mandela departed the world a few days before Mars entered Libra and just before his Mars return in January 2014. Mars will be in Libra until July 2014, reflective of the world-wide reverberations his transition represents, but also how the world can take his cue, with regard to resolving conflict, utilising this god of war in the sign of peace.
Venus in Gemini One of the key factors that contributed to Mandela’s success, is the position of Venus in Gemini, opposite his Sagittarius ascendant. Any planet that aspects the rising sign, has a major role in an individual’s soul purpose, especially if it is sitting on one of the four angles of the chart, in this case the seventh house cusp of relationships, the Libran factor again, which Venus rules.
However, Venus is also the esoteric ruler of Gemini and creates a synthesis from the warring pairs of opposites, the dueling (dualling) brothers, the Twins. Venus in Gemini is able to connect with people from all walks of life and establish a dialogue, leading to friendship and understanding, whether that was with his prison guards, politicians or co-workers.
Gemini rules languages and communication. Mandela studied Afrikaans in prison in the hope of getting mutual respect from the warders. He made an extraordinary amount of studies in prison – law, languages, religion etc. and holds several honorary doctorates and degrees from universities around the world.
Vesta in Gemini The asteroid Vesta is also in Gemini conjunct Venus, both straddling the seventh house angle. Esoterically Vesta is the nun or monk archetype who has raised energies from the procreative sacral centre to the creative throat centre, working primarily in the realm of ideas.
To have Vesta in the seventh house, would be to endure long periods of sexual abstinence or contact with another sexually; this of course was the situation that was forced upon Mandela, denied conjugal visits from his wife Winnie.
This situation also recalls the earlier passage about his Sagittarius ascendant, opposed by Vesta and Venus in Gemini:
“… the ability to create in the higher and spiritual sense .. the relationship between the sacral and throat centres.”
Juno in Gemini The asteroid Juno is also in Gemini – the goddess of committed partnerships and legal unions, a very Libran theme again. When Mandela was sentenced to life in prison for sabotage in 1964, transiting Pluto in the tenth house was square to Juno. This aspect represented the power and authority of the state imposing its will, opting out of engagement or negotiation with Mandela, ‘divorcing’ him, so to speak.
Hence, the extraordinary amount of planets, asteroids and house positions that all contributed to Mandela’s ‘Libran-ness’.
Mercury-Saturn in Leo The Leo-Aquarius axis was marked in Mandela’s life. The “Lion of Africa” had a close Mercury-Saturn conjunction in Leo, giving him great strength of mind, an ability to hold concentration, a powerful unbending will and a mental authority earned through his higher studies and reflections. Where Mercury represents raw ideas and intuition, Saturn’s position here helps to manifest Mercury’s message.
Concentration is one of the vital stages of meditation, a practice that Mandela certainly engaged in. His long spells in solitary confinement (his forced ‘meditation retreat’), as a result of one punishment or another, gave him ample opportunities to tune into his inner resources, as he states:
“… internal factors may be even more crucial in assessing one’s development as a human being: honesty, sincerity, simplicity, humility, purity, generosity, absence of vanity, readiness to serve your fellow men – qualities within the reach of every soul – are the foundation of one’s spiritual life …. at least, if for nothing else, the cell gives you the opportunity to look daily into your entire conduct to overcome the bad and develop whatever is good in you.
Regular meditation, say of about 15 minutes a day before you turn in, can be fruitful in this regard. You may find it difficult at first to pinpoint the negative factors in your life, but the tenth attempt may reap rich rewards. Never forget that a saint is a sinner that keeps on trying.”
Mandela also wrote to Winnie about meditation when she was herself sent to prison.
Mercury-Saturn tenant the ninth house of philosophy, religion, ethics and principles, complementing his Sagittarian ascendant. Mercury in Leo was his lion’s roar that would not be silenced; it is the most elevated planet in Mandela’s horoscope, the mouthpiece for the enunciation of his spiritual principles and political views. When tapping into higher ideas at Source, Mercury and Saturn provide a crucial link in the sequence:
Sirius Leo Mercury Saturn
Spirit Soul Mind Brain
This energy brings about an inter-relation and an inner awakening which prepares the aspirant for initiation. This higher quaternary is Sirius-Leo-Mercury-Saturn.”
Mercury and Saturn are both important planets on the Path of Discipleship, but also the higher initiations:
“Disciples upon the Path of Discipleship are strongly influenced by Mercury and Saturn—one bringing illumination and the other offering opportunity … At the various initiations, the influence of the planets affects the candidate in a totally different manner than earlier.
Cyclically the energies from the constellations pour through the planetary centres … At the fourth initiation, Mercury and Saturn again bring about great changes and unique revelation, but their effect is very different to the earlier experience.”
Here again, we may have another glimmer of Mandela’s initiatory status. As already noted several times, his Leo-Aquarius axis was very powerful because of Uranus in Aquarius.
When P.W.Botha offered him a “release from prison on condition that he ‘unconditionally reject violence as a political weapon’, Mandela spurned the offer, releasing a statement through his daughter Zindzi stating, “What freedom am I being offered while the organisation of the people [ANC] remains banned? Only free men can negotiate. A prisoner cannot enter into contracts.””
Again, we witness his uncompromising stance, his attunement to the freedom frequency of Uranus, an unyielding resolve. This offer occurred in February 1985, when his Uranus in Aquarius was activated by the transit of Mercury and the Sun, opposed by solar arc Venus in Leo and T-squared by transiting Saturn in Scorpio! Powerful stuff, after nearly 27 years in prison, he could afford to stick to his principles, he now had the upper hand strategically, for his imminent release from prison.
Likewise, at an earlier date in March 1980, when the slogan ‘free Mandela’ was launched, the progressed Moon and Ascendant were both conjunct his natalUranus. At the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday musical concert Tribute on June 11, 1988, progressed Mars in Scorpio was square to natal Uranus. This was of course, just before the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, when dictators across Europe were being toppled, one year before his final release from prison; scoundrels were being incarcerated whilst a hero was released.
Mandela’s legacy will last for many decades. The situation in South Africa is far from perfect, but the enthusiasm and celebration generated from his passing will have a profound stimulation for South Africa and the planet. The world-wide reaction to his passing has been unprecedented and holds great hope for the future, for those who want to ‘live like Mandela’. The Mandela mantra lives on in the hearts of all those who yearn for freedom and equality. Free Nelson Mandela!
Farewell Mandiba … The Lion Sleeps Tonight …
Phillip Lindsay © 2013.
Other Sagittarius newsletters
 Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.211.
 For a complete description of these five phases, see Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. pp.228-9.
 Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.211.
 Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.258.
 The Destiny of the Races and Nations, Alice A. Bailey. p.68.
 Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.343.
 Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.19.
 See last month’s newsletter for Scorpio here.
 By Phillip Lindsay. See here.
 Esoteric Healing, Alice A. Bailey. p.260.
 The Rays and the Initiations, Alice A. Bailey. p.746.
 Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.191.
 Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.342.
 A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, Alice A. Bailey. p.364.
 Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.442.
 Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.190.
 Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.250.
 Excerpt from “Mandela The Authorised Biography” by Anthony Sampson (pg 252).
 Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.299.
 Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. pp.70-1.