The creator of Psychoanalysis was born on May 6, 1856, in Pribor, Czechoslovakia which at that time was called Freiberg, Moravia. Ernest Jones, his long time student and official biographer, gives Freud’s birth time as 6:30 P.M., and at that date, it would be local mean time. I have not attempted to rectify the chart, though it is possible that the time was slightly rounded off. I prefer using recorded birth times unless there is very strong evidence to counter them. The chart seems appropriate for his life, as we see it from the perspective of history.
The first theme to strike one is the massive emphasis on Taurus, with the Sun, three planets, and two asteroids all in the sign. They are scattered through the Sixth and Seventh Houses, and include Pluto, the primary ruler of the Scorpio Ascendant. Concern for the material world and the need to see tangible results and enormous tenacity of will are expected with this focus. But with this tendency toward “I know what I enjoy, and I’m going to do it, no matter what” is included a strong identification with work, since Pluto is in the Sixth House closely conjunct Vesta, our super-Virgo asteroid, in addition to Aries in the Sixth House. A personal search for an Absolute is also part of the identification, with Sagittarius in the First House and its ruler, Jupiter, in Pisces, widely conjunct Neptune. Mars, natural key to personal identity, in Libra in the Eleventh House, adds the drive toward new knowledge and a sharing of it with other people.
To further support the importance of the conscious mind knowledge, we note that Freud’s Sun is closely conjunct both the North and South geocentric nodes of Mercury and Mercury’s heliocentric North Node. Twice each year, the Earth sees the Sun lined up with the Mercury nodes, symbolizing the ego-involvement with mind, including both the potential creativity of the mind and energy focus into mental efforts to attain a sense of personal pride and self-worth and power. Jupiter, key to the search for absolute truth, in the Fifth (Sun’s) house further supports the link between self-worth and knowledge.
Another facet of the quest for knowledge appears in the Ceres-Moon- Saturn positions in Gemini in the Eighth House. Here we have two keys to work in addition to the Moon representing our emotional security needs, all seeking expression through both breadth and depth. Gemini is simply insatiably curious about everything. The Eighth House, like Scorpio, probes in depth, driven by the goals of self-knowledge and self-mastery. With Scorpio rising, such action is instinctive and automatic from the beginning of life. The air-water mixtures, such as Gemini in the Eighth House, fit Freud’s efforts to bring the unconscious up into consciousness. They also fit his professional career as a kind of voyeur and commentator on others’ sex lives.
The combination of a personal inclination towards mysticism (Jupiter ruling the First in Pisces) and a heavy commitment to materialism (Taurus and the Sixth House) can signal possible conflict. An additional clue to potential conflict occurs in the Jupiter square to Saturn, the latter a kind of acme of materialism and skepticism. We can also note that Mars is opposite Jupiter and more widely square Saturn; Moon and the Vertex axis are square Neptune; Ascendant is tri-octile (sesqui-square) the midpoint of Neptune-Jupiter; Pluto-Vesta-Pallas are octile (semi-square) Neptune while both Sun and Juno are octile Jupiter. The potential is certainly present for conflict over faith, both internally and involving associates, as occurred in the well-known break with Jung. Freud clung to his scientific materialism, was disturbed by Jung’s involvement with the occult, yet at the end of his life, Freud said that if he had it to do over, he would investigate parapsychology.
Another strong focus in the horoscope centers on letters seven and eight. Scorpio rising and Mars in Libra have been mentioned. The Seventh and Eighth Houses are very active. Pallas is closely conjunct the ruler of the Ascendant and Venus is there more widely. In general, such emphasis implies a need for peer relationships, including marriage and business associates. In my experience, I also find a focus on seven and eight in many counselors and consultants. Aries-Libra nodes are also common in such professions. There is a constant interaction with others, but also a turn-over in the clients. Some degree of insecurity is often present, especially if a key to identity (in this case, Mars) is in Libra or Scorpio, signs or houses. Personal power is tied to others, and we may react to this by giving in and placating; by controlling them for personal security; or by retreating and avoiding close commitments. On the positive side, we can share the power (compromise); have rivalry and competition in appropriate ways (sports, games, business); and help people. The latter is the chosen route of many counselors and is fine as long as the other two positive forms of expression are also allowed some manifestation. When we can only deal with weak people, we end up in the Atlas position, wondering why no one does anything for us.
The probability of some insecurity in Freud is further suggested by the stress aspects of different keys to the identity with each other and with Saturn. The Mars-Jupiter-Saturn T-square has been mentioned, with both Mars and Jupiter part of letter one. Mars is also quincunx Pluto—again both keys to personal identity. These are “self-against-self” aspects. They can produce self-blocking and consequent anxiety since blocking personal power leaves us more vulnerable to others. They can lead to illness if the pattern is not altered. In spite of Freud’s vigorous fight for his theories, he was obviously also doing considerable self-blocking since he died of cancer. There are many stories describing Freud’s insecurity from Fritz Perls’ account of his meeting when Freud barely shook hands and then sent Perls to dinner with his son, to Freud’s insistence on patients lying down where they could not see him during therapy because he got too nervous when they looked at him.
The March 1979 issue of Human Nature includes an essay about Freud by Peter Drucker that offers further evidence concerning Freud’s own “obsessions.” Drucker indicates that Freud complained constantly about near-poverty, about anti-Semitic discrimination, and about being ignored by the Viennese medical community. The truth, according to Drucker, is that Freud was always in upper-middle class financial security; that he was offered the University chair under the same conditions as other, at an even younger age, but he called the “normal” conditions anti-Semitic; that half the doctors in Vienna were Jewish and they did not ignore him; they considered his theories seriously and rejected them. It was his own insecurity that felt poor. (How much money is enough for that much Taurus?) It was his vulnerability that could not tolerate rejection and blamed his religion for his failure to convert the world to his own personal metaphysics.
I think that he was a genius, and that his insights into the unconscious and his descriptions of the defense mechanisms will live on into any foreseeable future. Perhaps it was partly his own defensiveness and anxiety that drove him to seek greater understanding of the unconscious, to make his major contribution to human wisdom. His metaphysics are dying as his followers evolve and the world moves into the realization that mind, not matter, is the ultimate power. But in a real sense, he was a fore-runner of that realization. He found meaning rather than chance in the world, and he recognized the power of the unconscious. His greatest tragedy was in never fully dealing with his own Sagittarius and Pisces nature; in trying to reduce human spiritual aspirations to sexual drives. But then, he has Jupiter in Pisces in the Fifth House. What could be more natural than to deify sex when we add that to Sagittarius in the Second House and a stellium in Taurus? Rest in peace, father Freud, after taking your place in our series of missionaries with your one-nine-twelve mixtures.