Controversial Genius—Carl Gustav Jung As Seen Through His Horoscope

Zip Dobyns

All three of the psychological leaders who have been featured in recent issues of The Mutable Dilemma have had their share of controversy, including arguments over birth time and even birth place. The place listed here is given in Jung’s autobiography and in the current Encyclopaedia Britannica: Kesswil, Switzerland. The time used is reported to be from Jung’s daughter, Frau Baumann-Jung, who is both a Jungian analyst and also a serious student of astrology. But using this basic information produces an Ascendant of 0 Aquarius 1, which means that a fraction of one minute earlier or a birth on the edge of the town could change the Ascendant back into Capricorn. So, who knows? I have not tried to rectify the chart by events; someday, I’ll take a look.

A first glance at the horoscope shows a fixed emphasis by signs, with the first house Aquarius, 7th house stellium in Leo, and Taurus grouping in the 3rd house. Mutable houses are marked (3rd and 6th) and Mars is in Sagittarius. With a focus in fixed and mutable factors, we often find a relatively stable basic life with a mind that never stops, and this certainly fits Jung. He was a prolific writer, a lifetime student and teacher, a world-traveler, but especially an explorer of the depths of the mind, interested in archaeology, ethnology, history, oriental thought, mythology, etc. He drew ideas from many sources, and his innovative conceptions have been disseminated as widely as have the defense mechanisms of Freud and the inferiority complex and sibling rivalry of Adler. Jung is known for the concepts of introversion-extroversion; for the collective unconscious; for archetypes; for the anima-animus, shadow, and other components of the psyche; for the four functions and a variety of techniques in psychotherapy including waking fantasy, drawing, work with mandalas, and many more creative developments. The article by Tony Joseph discusses Jung’s thought in more detail. Here, we are searching for the keys to his fertile mind in the symbolic patterns of his horoscope.

We might start with the whole concept of fixity in astrology. To read the average textbook, the fixed quality is presented as nearly unchanging. But these same books will mention the creativity of Leo and Aquarius, with the latter associated with invention and resistance to limits; e.g., the essence of revolution and change. Somehow, the books never seem to note the contradiction in these concepts. In my book, Finding the Person in the Horoscope, I suggested that the fixed quality in astrology represents “enduring self-will.” This does not mean that a person with such an emphasis will not change, but that they change on their own terms. No one else can make them change! Since earth and water are the elements of security, they are likely to hang on to the status quo and be relatively less changeable. Fire is the essence of creativity, always driven by the urge to do something new and creative out of the individual’s own center. Air sees the broad perspective, and has a relatively unbounded quality about it. It is hard to pin it down and contain it. Aquarius especially does represent the urge to transcend the limits so highly structured in Capricorn, and if we have properly internalized those Capricorn “rules of the game” in a functional conscience, then we can go beyond the “outside” limits that have to be imposed by authority figures.

So Jung’s Aquarius-Leo emphasis, especially placed in fire-air houses, does represent the capacity to be highly creative; to lead beyond traditional ideas; to innovate in the world of the mind. His Mars in Sagittarius shows that his instinctive self-expression was as a philosopher, student, teacher, writer, etc.; all the Sagittarius ways that we search for Truth, and share it with others. The placement of Mars in the 11th house is a further statement of the instinctive urge toward Aquarian action, similar to Aquarius in the first house. Jupiter, planetary key to the search for Truth, in Libra in the 8th house, supports the search inward, into the unconscious, done partly with others. Libra, sign and house, seeks shared action, and counseling or consulting are frequent forms of such action. The loaded 7th house, including Pallas and Juno as potential keys to Libra, further supports this possible involvement in counseling.

The mental nature of Jung’s work is further suggested by the placement of Saturn, natural ruler of the 10th house, in Aquarius; by Pluto, ruler of the Scorpio MC in the 3rd house; by Mercury in the 6th house; by Moon, ruler of the Cancer in the 6th house, being in the 3rd house; by Venus, ruler of the 3rd house being in the 6th house, etc. The link between conscious and unconscious aspects of the mind, which can mean actual psychic ability or simply interest in the unconscious, is shown by the 3 water planets, all keys to the unconscious, being placed in the 3rd house which symbolizes the conscious mind, and by Mercury placed in a water sign, as well as Venus, ruler of the 3rd house, in a water sign. Although its position is not dependable for Jung’s birth date with the program we use (it could be anywhere from 1 to 3 Taurus), even Chiron reinforces the mental emphasis in the chart, appearing in a close conjunction with Neptune on the 3rd house cusp. Both Chiron and Neptune in this position suggest a high value placed on the mind; that knowledge is a key to ultimate faith and meaning in life. Initial work with Chiron suggests that it has Sagittarian overtones; see the small article on it in this issue.

We have still not exhausted the subject of Jung’s mental capacity. Some of the less frequently used forms of our astrological alphabet also repeat the theme. The north node of Mercury is conjunct natal Venus while the north nodes of Venus and Jupiter are conjunct natal Mercury in Jung’s 6th house. The artistic potential of Venus-Mercury combinations is usually intensified when we find such patterns, and the semi-sextile to Uranus increases the likelihood that the talent will manifest mentally. The sextile of Mercury-Venus to the Moon is another key to the psychic openness: a contact between conscious and unconscious minds.

We could list all of the preceding combinations, and suggest that the subject was highly creative and intellectual, but without earth, there might be few lasting results. But the Taurus in the 3rd house assures us that Jung will carry his mental action into tangible form. That there is also some conflict in the picture is shown by the Taurus squares to Leo; many of them. Taurus is normally content with a rut as long as it is comfortable and pleasant. Leo (and Aquarius) cannot stand ruts. So the fire and air keep moving on while the earth tries to hang on to stability and get some of the innovative concepts into logical structure and onto printed pages. Life is a juggling act, as we try to do justice to all twelve sides of our nature. The Taurus in the 3rd house, especially including Pluto, the Saturn in Aquarius, all symbolize the need to create logical structures, and Jung’s concepts of psychological types, using the four functions of feeling, sensation, thinking, and intuition, illustrate this drive toward mental organization and order. In fact, his presentation of the four functions is a little too rigid for my experience. I find many people who are very high in both of the pairs which are supposed to be mutually exclusive: feeling vs. thinking; sensation vs. intuition. Of course, the goal is integration when we can function in any of the four modalities that is appropriate for the occasion, but in some of Jung’s writing one gets the impression that the goal is very nearly impossible.

Still, Jung was basically an optimist, in contrast to Freud. Jung accepted the spiritual potentials in humans, the possibility of life after death and before birth, saw growth toward one’s full potential as the basic life urge, and in many ways shared with Adler the distinction of leading psychology toward what is now generally called Humanistic Psychology and even farther; Transpersonal Psychology. He was and remains a leader, in the full sense of the word, as befits his Leo emphasis. Plus the powerful position of Vesta exactly on an angle and closely conjunct his Sun offers further testimony to his potential for outstanding success in his work. I continue to be amazed how often Vesta is prominent in the charts of people who make major contributions to the world through their commitment to their work. Personal relationships may suffer as a consequence of the dedication to the job, but the world may be the richer for it. There could also have been some additional alienation in personal relationships (found often with Vesta in the partnership houses) if the stories of Jung’s mistress are true. But at least his marriage lasted up to his wife’s death. The obvious, modern western dilemma of freedom vs. closeness (maintaining a single relationship vs. a more open marriage) could be one way of interpreting the Leo-Aquarius oppositions. But similar patterns are typically found in the charts of counselors and teachers, who work with many people.

The Cancer-Leo emphasis in Jung’s chart can also, of course, indicate a strong feeling for home and loved ones, but the placement of the rulers of the 4th and 5th houses in the 6th house may suggest that the work came first. Alternately, it can mean that he worked in his home and with the public (the 4-6 combination) and that he worked with his children or that they carried on in the same field. The latter has occurred with his daughter, Frau Baumann-Jung.

The general emphasis on fixed signs and/or houses can also be read as strong sensuality, whether it expresses as indulgences or as artistic expression. The south node in Libra in the 8th house might support the story of the mistress, indicating a lesson in the sharing of sensuality or in the achievement of self-mastery over the appetites. But the harmony aspects far outweigh the stress ones. The Jupiter trine to Saturn with Mars sextile both is a strong statement of a clear sense of goals and values and the ability to move toward them, personally and in his work. Saturn in the first house marks a personal identification with one’s work, and a need to work “in one’s own way,” and both were basic in Jung’s makeup. But he also needed other people, and at the same time, he was very ego- vulnerable to them, as is shown by the loaded 7th house with all its Leo. So he reached out, and he retreated to his castle (a literal one of stone which he built and rebuilt over a period of years). He continued to seek Truth, and to revise his concepts to the end, and that is the mark of the true Seeker.

Copyright © 1979 Los Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.

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