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The fourteenth Dalai Lama is making a teaching tour in the United States, with appearances scheduled in five cities between May 8 and May 26. As the religious and political leader of Tibet's government-in-exile, the Dalai Lama has long been a thorn in China's side, and now his arrival comes at a pivotal moment in Chinese-U.S. relations. His message of tolerance, mutual respect and compassion has earned him worldwide respect and recognition, but most Americans tend to disconnect when they hear how he was selected as the reincarnation of the thirteenth Dalai Lama.*

Astrologers generally don't have a problem with the concept of reincarnation. Difficult or dynamic planetary configurations are often explained in terms of karma, or lessons that need to be learned. The more favorable placements indicate mastery over certain areas, or gifts resulting from right living and good deeds. The Dalai Lama's horoscope shows a powerful dichotomy between what might be called a cosmic blessing and a pattern of victimization and violence.

Astrology Horoscope: Dalai LamaCoincidentally, the Dalai Lama shares a birthday with George W. Bush. Both world leaders were born on July 6 when the Sun was in the family-oriented sign of Cancer. According to his mother's account,** the Dalai Lama was born just before sunrise, attended by auspicious signs and omens indicating he was the reincarnation of a prominent holy man. His birth chart likewise shows many signs of a spiritual life, but primarily by the positions of Jupiter and Saturn and their harmonious links to the Sun.

Saturn, the planet symbolizing authority, is found in the Ninth House of religion, and is given mystical tendencies by being in otherworldly Pisces. Saturn's position translates into the easy assumption of religious authority by being in a favorable 120-degree angle (trine) to the Sun. The Sun is also trine Jupiter, the planet naturally associated with religion, which in turn is trine to Saturn. Together, these three planets create what astrologers call a grand trine. The Dalai Lama's grand trine is a cosmic blessing denoting wisdom, mastery of inner silence and spiritual protection. Jupiter and Saturn, the biggest planets in the solar system, are also symbolic of larger social and political issues. Their relationship with the Dalai Lama's Sun (personal identity) strongly links his personal destiny with the cause of his nation.

The Soul's Path

The natal pattern that shows violence and victimization begins with Pluto, the planet often associated with trauma and cataclysmic events. Before exploring Pluto, it might be helpful to look at the previous Dalai Lamas. The ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth Dalai Lamas all died before they were twenty years old. Scholars suspect that Manchu Chinese seeking to weaken Tibetan leadership killed them.

Then, the thirteenth Dalai Lama was born in 1876 and died on December 17, 1933 after a life-long struggle to maintain Tibetan independence from China. The thirteenth Dalai Lama was forced into exile twice and survived invasions from both British and Chinese armies. Just before he died, the Chinese communist army was poised for another, final invasion.

The fourteenth Dalai Lama's chart reflects the oppressive tension concurrent with the thirteenth Dalai Lama's exit and the tenuous circumstances of Tibet's independence: Pluto is conjunct the Moon's South Node. Astrologers use the South Node to describe where a person came from in the previous life. It's not a planet, but a point in space marking where the Moon's orbit crosses the ecliptic (Earth's path around the Sun).

The celestial mechanics of the South Node, and its polar opposite, the North Node, aren't as interesting as their use in determining the evolutionary journey of the soul. As explained by astrologer Jeffrey Wolf Green,*** Pluto conjunct the South Node is specifically correlated to an unresolved emotional or psychological trauma.

The nature of this trauma is clarified by Pluto's conditions within the horoscope, beginning with its location by house and sign. Pluto resides in the First House of self-determination and gives an instinctual drive for a special or unusual mission in life. Pluto is modified by being in the sign of Cancer, which is associated with the home, or for a political leader, the nation. From this we can see his past lives have been largely motivated by the desire for Tibetan independence.

Pluto is further conditioned by a difficult square to Mars, making the patterns constellated around the South Node the source of a lifelong struggle. During the 1959 Tibetan uprising, the Dalai Lama escaped to India, where he heads the government-in-exile to this day. Since then, an estimated one million Tibetans have been killed under Chinese rule, 6,000 temples and religious sites have been destroyed and the land used as a dump for China's radioactive waste and other environmental degradations.

The soul's evolutionary path can be described by the conditions of the North Node, which for the Dalai Lama lies in the Seventh House of partners. Evolving personally, and for Tibet, means working out a mutually agreeable relationship with China. China's present state of intransigence means this road is blocked for the time being. The Dalai Lama announced on the occasion of his 65th birthday that he didn't think he could accomplish his goal of autonomy within China during this lifetime. "Logically," he says, "the previous life escaped from Chinese hands, so the next life should also be out of Chinese control."

Compassionate Moon

The Moon represents one's instinctive responses to daily life. The Dalai Lama was born with the Moon in the modest and service-oriented sign of Virgo. The typical "dryness" of Virgo, however, is strongly modified by the close conjunction of Neptune with the Moon. This idealistic and spiritually sensitive planet perfectly reflects the compassion for which the Dalai Lama is known. Neptune with the Moon also symbolizes the orphan or abandoned one. Over 40 years in exile make this an essential theme of his life.

Restrictive Saturn opposes the Moon-Neptune conjunction from the Ninth House. The repression of religious practice is one interpretation of Saturn in this house. However, it also represents highly developed spiritual teachings. While this opposition is another mark of exile, it led to a wider distribution of Tibetan Buddhist teaching than would have occured without the Chinese invasion. That something positive could come out of something so negative corresponds perfectly with the non-judgmental nature of these teachings. We learn, then, that valuable lessons can come in many forms.


*See the movie Kundun, directed by Martin Scorsese with screenplay by Melissa Mathison for a docu-drama of these events.

**Rectified to 4:38 am; Tengstar, Tibet. See Diki Tsering, Dalai Lama, My Son.

***Measuring the Night, Evolutionary Astrology and the Keys to the Soul by Steven Forrest and Jeffrey Wolf Green.



Michael WolfStar O'Reilly is a professional astrologer and columnist living in Oregon. He has been writing his column, NewsScope, continuously since August 1997, and also writes regularly for Dell Horoscope and as a freelancer.
View the entire NewsScope Archive.

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For more information about Michael WolfStar O'Reilly, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Michael WolfStar O'Reilly:

  • NewsScope October 30, 2007   10/30/2007
  • NewsScope October 2, 2007   10/2/2007
  • NewsScope September 18, 2007   9/18/2007
  • NewsScope September 11, 2007   9/11/2007
  • NewsScope August 14, 2007   8/14/2007
  • NewsScope August 7, 2007   8/7/2007
  • NewsScope October 17, 2006   10/17/2006
  • NewsScope 11-20-2001   11/20/2001
  • NewsScope 11-13-2001   11/13/2001
  • NewsScope 11-5-2001   11/5/2001
  • NewsScope 10-23-2001   10/30/2001
  • NewsScope 10-23-2001   10/23/2001
  • NewsScope 10-16-2001   10/16/2001
  • NewsScope 10-9-2001   10/9/2001
  • NewsScope 10-2-2001   10/2/2001
  • NewsScope 9-25-2001   9/25/2001
  • NewsScope 9-18-2001   9/18/2001
  • NewsScope 9-11-2001   9/11/2001
  • NewsScope 9-4-2001   9/4/2001
  • NewsScope 8-28-2001   8/28/2001
  • NewsScope 8-21-2001   8/21/2001
  • NewsScope 8-14-2001   8/14/2001
  • NewsScope 8-7-2001   8/7/2001
  • NewsScope 7-31-2001   7/31/2001
  • NewsScope 7-24-2001   7/24/2001
  • NewsScope 7-17-2001   7/17/2001
  • NewsScope 7-10-2001   7/10/2001
  • NewsScope 5-08-2001   5/8/2001
  • Harrison Ford and Melissa Mathison: Their Seventeen-Year Love Fades   12/4/2000
  • Prozac Gets Competition   8/30/2000

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