Some Reflections on the Nativity of Erich Fromm


I wish I could have more time to spend on analyzing the chart of Erich Fromm, especially from the view point of ‘Faith & Religion’, and I hope I will do that in near future. For now, I just want to point several factors that come into my mind in my first look at his chart. Actually, it is not a first look, but first look after some time, to say it like that. You know, the learning process of particular subject is like that, you are looking at the same chart every time with new eyes, with new principles learned in your mind and with new experiences in a slightly different way than was done previously.

Erich Fromm had enormous impact on me in my early 20’s when I started to read passionately about the world we live in. His thoughts are really very often on the spot, whether he analysis the society we live in, or the individual lives of ours and the way we live them.

Erich Fromm grew up in Orthodox Jewish family, family with respectful Rabbis in their ancestry. As a young man he studied with several well known German Rabbis and somewhere about his late twenties he turned completely into the secular philosophy, stepping on the path of becoming one of the world’s most influential humanistic philosophers/psychologists.

The first thing I’ve noticed in his chart is South Node on the cusp of the 9th house. The Medieval astrological delineation of such position [since the SN was regarded like a malefic influence] would be that the native will lose his religion. The common sign on the cusp of the 9th house shows that the native ‘will constantly revise his ideas about God’ and I remember I have read somewhere [I will find the source if in the future I prepare more wider entry for his nativity on my blog] that toward the last days of his life he became kind of religiously inclined, although this may easily be living religiously in a secular way, as living the religious experience as such without the idea of God. The fact that he constantly revised his ideas about God is present in every book of his. His religious upbringing didn’t allow him to completely forgot about the religious life, religious experience and the idea of God; and even though he looked at the idea of God from historical, evolutionary, psychological perspective, the thing is that his thoughts were constantly preoccupied with this idea in one way or another.

One can’t help noticing the accent on 3rd house. We have Jupiter several degrees to the cusp of the third in its own sign, and in 3rd by counting. North Node and then comes the Moon. Saturn is in 4th by counting but in 3rd by division and Saturn is especially important since as exalted lord having its testimony to the sign of the ascendant will govern the affairs of the native [Venus as Lady of Ascendant, being in aversion to it]. This Saturn being in its own sign, oriental to the Sun, in its proper light, Lord of the Fortune in pivotal sign but third by division, gives indications for a deep thinker.

The third is quite an interesting house. Valens associates it with ‘priest or priestess of the great goddess Moon’ [hiereus theas megistēs ē hiereia].
Rhetorius associates the 3rd with religious worship (thrēskeuma).
In pagan societies (outside the monotheistic Judaism, Christianity and later Islam) the word ‘hiereus’ was used to denote priest or one who offers sacrifice to the gods.

Because of the complementarity of the opposite houses, this house was also seen as indicating faith and religion, but because of the opposition to the 9th house, for the Medieval ones, was especially associated to those who oppose the monotheistic regime like different sects, and in modern times, could we say the secular philosophies? It is a very broad subject as to whether we should put the secularistic ideas in to the 9th house, or we should put them in 3rd as opposing the God or the official religions. For this purpose I want to just note that there is accent in this nativity on 3rd house. That he was a ‘priest’ of the modern humanistic sociology, psychology and let’s say ‘religion’, it is without doubt.

Just some morning reflections 🙂

Venus and the Appetitive Part of the Soul

We are accustomed to think of Moon, Mercury and Lord of Ascendant in delineating native’s character, probably the planets in first or aspecting the first house. Then comes the theory of calculating temperament which follows some different parameters including the seasons, summing up the elements, phases of the Moon, etc. Many people think that if Venus is not connected to the personal factors in the chart, like the ascendant and the Lord of the Ascendant, that Venus is representing someone else in our life, or external event, without too much to say about our personality. This is far from the truth. Venus represents the appetitive part of our soul, our ‘carnal desires’, our lust and passions so to speak. Ancient philosophers talked and wrote a lot about the tripartite theory of the soul. Plato speaks of 1) Logical (λόγος), 2) Spirited (θυμός) and 3) Appetitive (ἐπιθυμητής) part of the soul.

Antonio Montulmo and later on Regiomontanus (hence Schoener and other medieval ones) payed close attention to delineation of the appetitive part of the soul and they ascribed Venus as to represent this part of our soul. Not that the earlier Hellenistic and Perso-Arabian astrologers didn’t speak of this, they did (read Ptolemy and among the lines you can find this in Valens too), I just mention Montulmo because I am studying closely his chapter on the delineation of Soul these days, so he is on the tip of my tongue at the moment. He asks from us to see in which sign Venus falls, that sign alongside his analogy/representation in human’s body, will have a say for particular nature of the appetitive soul of the native. For example, if Venus is in Leo (the heart), the native will be “infatuated” (be inspired with an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for). Native will be intense lover.” Of course, Venus in fiery sign gives intense passions. Valens says that if the sign is that of the passionate (licentious) ones, then the native is successful in gaining the object of his passions (p.50). I would also say that if Venus is particularly well situated in good house, then the passions are fulfilled (manifested in the desired goal) more easily (especially if Venus is not afflicted and in a night chart). If Venus is in bad place, cadent and otherwise afflicted and weakened, then these passions can bring problems or the there is difficulty in controlling the passions, fulfilling the need for that carnal desires, the native may be a wishful-thinker, someone who is longing for someone (let’s say romantic love and sexual desire) but is not able to fulfill these desires for many different reasons.

ἐπιθῡμητής (epithumētēs) means “one who longs for or desires, one who lusts”. This is the Greek word that stands for the appetitive part of the soul. This is the part of the soul that is opposed to the logic, to the reason. Not only erotic love, but hunger and thirst also. The appetite for erotic love is not so different then the hunger and thirst, it is the one that can be transformed, ‘energy’ that can be successfully invested in some different activity though, say many mystics and hermits.

So next time when you look at natal chart, pay closer attention to the position of Venus and think in terms of the appetitive part of our soul. Analyise the sign in which she is, look for the Lord of that sign, because the signs share the characteristics of the Lord that is ruling the sign. Pay close attention to the aspects Venus receives and the house in which it is found. Venus poorly positioned in 6th or 12th, in fiery sign, may give indications for passionately longing nature, but finding it difficult to fulfill those desires, to manifest them in life, and probably passions hard to control. Venus in licentious sign, especially connected to Mars may give indications for very licentious person, if the sign is bi-corporeal, involved in many different relationships and promiscuous.

There are other things pertaining to the delineation of the appetitive part of the soul, like for example the decanic face rising on the ascendant, but for this, more in some other occasion.

Michael Jordan’s Chart (Dignity & Honors)


Let’s look at the dignities and honors of this truly amazing nativity.

New birth time (from Birth Certificate) of Michael Jordan was announced today and posted on astrodienst forum. For the corrected birth time look at this astro databank entry. The time used till now was giving him Taurus rising, while with the new time Cancer is rising on the east, and in a minute we will see how this chart shows his success very clearly (which was not the case with the Taurus rising chart). This is why the rectification process is always a tricky thing, I have seen several rectified versions of his chart and no chart of these match Cancer rising even closely which makes me laugh and cry in the same time. This is why I am always skeptical regarding the rectified charts and this chart of Michael Jordan and its rectifications in the past, actually proves me right (his chart with Taurus rising was of DD rating on astro databank).

OK let us look briefly at his chart with the BC time and Cancer rising. Valens says:

“For forecasts of occupations, livelihood, and work, we will start with [look at the] MC.”

“For forecasts of good fortune and success in life, we will start with [look at] the Lot of Fortune.”

We find the MC in the 9th sign with the ruler Jupiter just 3° before the MC in zodiac motion. Jupiter will touch the MC point very soon which shows that will confer his dignities early in life.
This Jupiter is in good essential dignity, in diurnal chart above the earth, close to an angle, not aspected from malefic planets (in sextile to benefic Venus and square with reception with Asc Lord Moon: pretty good Jupiter!

From the earliest time of horoscopic astrology , the position of the MC was regarded as special point which reveals things pertaining to work, actions, dignities and honors, even when it happens to fall in some other sign then the 10th whole sign. Valens was observing this phenomenon which has giving him doubts in his practical astrology:

“Our situation is as complex: we must attend to our studies and come to the art of forecasting as if we were traveling by many roads. For many thousands of events happen to men, events which cannot be grasped through the use of one method or star, but through the use of many. Knowing that twelve Places are indicative for each nativity and that very many configurations can be derived from these Places and from the nature of the stars, we must observe the position of the angles and the interchange of the Places. Often two Places fall together in one sign, or a presumed angle really just preceeds the <true> angle (Schmidt reads “pivotal figure is shown in the manner of a declining figure”). This also occurs with the events indicated by the Ascendant.”

If I understand Valens correctly here, exactly this kind of example we have with M. Jordan’s chart where MC actually precedes the ‘true angle’ that is the 10th Sign and falls in 9th (declining/cadent) sign from the ascending sign. In this case, that sign according to Valens, would give both significations: that of the MC/10th house, and those of the 9th sign/house. I wrote in one of my earlier posts that this may be the first usage of the divisions as topical indicators, although we have a testimony in Valens for such usage only in regard to the angles.
So MC in this chart would give indications for occupations [actions], work, rank; but the Pisces as 9th sign would also give indications for Foreign Travels and God.

Abū’ Ali:

“Look at the 10th sign and its Lord, and the Lot of Kingdom [i.e. Exaltation], with its Lord, and the Sun in diurnal nativities…and you should know which one of them would have more dignities: because if there were an ‘ittisāl or a commingling or configuration between the one which had more dignities and the Lord of the Ascendant, the native will be a royal man, and will get rich from a kingdom, and will obtain a highest honor. And if there were not an ‘ittisāl nor conjunction, nor configuration, the native will be unknown to the king, of middle value, and little power.”

‘Ittisāl means ‘connection’ and refers to applying configuration in same sign or in different signs. So aspect (or conjunction) by degree perfected by application.
If we take the 10th sign then I would have to look at Mars – its Lord. If I take the MC sign I would have to take Jupiter as its lord and governor. Lot of Exaltation falls in Virgo and its Lord Mercury in Aquarius. Sun also falls in Aquarius and Saturn – their Lord also falls here. So two of the planets having dealings with the dignity of the native, acquiring power and success, are welcomed by Saturn in his own domicile. Moon as Lady of the Ascendant is applying sextile to Saturn. Remember what Abū’Ali said:

“Which if the planet who had greater dignity in these things were in its own domicile, and in good aspect with the Lord of the Ascendant, the native will have a kingdom and great power.”

I do not use compound almuten here, I am just looking at the picture that Saturn is welcoming two of the planets associated with dignity and the things signified by the 10th house. However, even if I calculate compound almuten, I suppose Saturn would have won with being domicile, triplicity and term lord of the Sun, and being domicile and triplicity lord of Mercury (Lord of Exaltation) with 18 points (taking MC instead of 10th whole sign).

Moon after the sextile to Saturn, travels in meeting Jupiter up on MC through square in which Jupiter from good position gives reception to Moon. Lord of MC gives reception to Lord of Ascendant: the great one, the King gives affinity to the native (LOA).

Abū’ Ali:

“But if the Moon is in the domicile of Jupiter, the native will be wise, discreet (prudent), and fortunate among powerful lords, and he will be loved by men [this is without doubt, he was exalted by men].”

It is clear that these configurations give indications for exalted nativity, but we would not stop here and would seek further testimony.

Remember that we are looking at the Lot of Fortune for “forecasts of good fortune and success in life, we will start with [look at] the Lot of Fortune.”

Abū’ Ali:

“When the Lot of Fortune is in an angle, it signifies great fortune; in succedents, fortune through labor; in the cadents, no or scarce fortune”.

His Lot of Fortune falls angular both by sign and by division (in 10th).

“When the Sun is aspecting the Lot of Fortune with benevolence (good aspect), fortune is increased”.

Sun aspects the Fortune through sextile and is its exalted lord.

Lord of Spirit – Venus, falls in Descendant which happens to be 10th from Fortune = very fortunate position.

On first glance, there are many testimonies for the exaltation of this nativity, for becoming one of the greatest in the field, almost worshiped by the lovers of basketball, loved by many people through out the whole world.

If we look at the birth chart properly, with the proper techniques and knowledge, I think that the real truth will not be far away from our eyes. Though, we slowly learn day by day, learning has no end. Only by application of what is learned, on practical examples, we contribute to the exaltation of this ancient science in our modern world.

Sometimes a very short look at particular chart is enough to see that the nativity is gifted from Fates, from God, in particular field of life. I didn’t enter into delineating his professional significators and some other nuances of his professional life. I just wanted to give my first impression of this chart in regard to overall success in life; dignity and honors.

Also, remember that when you read the anachronisms of the old masters, you should take the context in which the rules (aphorisms) were given. So, if in that time the King was the one who was giving the honors, today we have honors given by many official organizations (like the Nobel Organizations) and acquiring Kingdom may not mean that the nativity will become King of Prussia, but will acquire some great dignity in the filed in which the native is dwelling, whether professionally or through his occupations/actions (probably hobby, sometimes we can acquire dignity and honor through our hobbies, while the profession may not indicate honors, dignities and fame). So, always take the context and time of the principles given by the ancients, and use them in the context of our modern society.


Vettius Valens – Anthologies as translated by Professor Mark T. Riley.

Vettius Valens – Anthology as translated by Robert Schmidt.

Abū’ Ali – On The Judgments of Nativities as translated by Benjamin N. Dykes, PhD (The Cazimi Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2009)