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.*
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.