A Controversial Guru

Zip Dobyns

In the past couple of years, especially on the west coast, there have been a series of stories about a Hindu religious leader who calls himself Rajneesh. I think the name can be roughly translated as “Sir God.” People who have followed his career can be divided into the followers who consider him a great teacher, perhaps even an Avatar (a special incarnation of God with a message for the current age) and the non-followers who rate him as a skillful con-artist. Among the latter would be a large part of the population of the town in Oregon that has been taken over by his followers. Anyone who stirs up that much controversy and who impacts as many people as has Rajneesh must have an interesting horoscope. I was very pleased to get the data from one of his former followers, and trust that our readers will find it instructive.

We can note that there are some appropriate patterns for his choice of a religious vocation. He has Sagittarius in the sixth house (the details of the job) and Pisces in the tenth house (our role in society, handling of power, career in the larger sense of our status in the world). Besides the presence of the signs of the quest for the Absolute in the houses of work, he has Ceres, one of the Virgo asteroids in Sagittarius, and Vesta, the other Virgo asteroid, in the house of Sagittarius (the ninth.) Neptune is also in Virgo (though of course everyone had that for fifteen years so it can only be considered an additional indication if the chart shows the theme in other ways). In addition to his religious vocation, the mutable emphasis fits the prolific writing that has brought Rajneesh’s teachings to millions of people all over the world.

A contrasting message comes from Mars, one of the rulers of the tenth house (since part of Aries is in the tenth) and from Saturn, the natural ruler of the tenth house. Both Mars and Saturn are in Capricorn in partnership houses. The Capricorn shows the drive to be in an executive position, running his own establishment, but the seventh and eighth houses suggest working cooperatively with others as equals. Jupiter, co-ruler of the Pisces in the tenth house, has a similar message. Its presence in Leo suggests wanting to be in charge but the third house (air) ties the career to communication with peer relationships. When we see such contradictions in a chart, the person may successfully blend the two or may focus more on one side and repress or project the other side. Until we see what the life is manifesting, we only see the issue in the chart. The details depend on the choices of the individual.

Since the question of power vs. equality is clearly an issue, we can examine other details in the horoscope to clarify potentials. Mercury and the Moon are rulers of the first house where we find Gemini and Cancer, and both, along with Mars, the natural ruler of the first, are in Capricorn in the seventh and eighth houses. Keys to personal identity (letter one) in the seventh or eighth houses (to a lesser extent in the seventh or eighth signs) remind us of the six ways we can handle the issue of our own power involved with other people. The three painful ways to handle that feeling of potential loss of personal power to others are to give up and just give the power away; to try to keep all the power for ourselves, and to retreat from any real closeness which might demonstrate our vulnerability. Five planets in Capricorn, including Saturn, the natural ruler, would have to be self-blocking to the point of serious illness to give away that much strength, so in this chart there is more danger of keeping too much control or of putting up walls to avoid closeness.

The three positive ways to handle the issue of personal power felt to be in the hands of others are to be able to share the power (compromise and team work); to have healthy, game-playing competition; and to help people. The Gemini Ascendant might support the capacity for peer relationships (air is the element of equality) but it is in the Scorpio dwad repeating the emphasis of that strong Scorpio house where we want self-mastery and are learning to share power. The north node of the Moon and Uranus in Aries support self-will and independence. Pluto in the second house repeats the issue of personal desires vs. sharing pleasure and possessions. The south node of the Moon, a lesson to be learned and then an area where we have something to give the world, is in Libra in the fourth house. The lesson is in closeness, dependency or nurturance and equality. The Sun in the seventh house further emphasizes the issue of personal power (ego-vulnerable with the Sun) and give-and-take relationships. Moon and Saturn conjunct, even though widely, are often a key to insecurity until we gain a sense of our own power.

Much of the emphasis may involve power over the physical world with the Pluto in the second house, Moon ruling the first house in the eighth house, and Mars moving into the eighth house by progression when Rajneesh was still young. One common way to try to handle the issue of first house rulers in the seventh or eighth houses is to choose a profession in which we help other people. In the savior role, we clearly keep the power in our own hands. A spiritual profession offers the further bonus that we don’t have to be emotionally close to anyone, to risk vulnerability. It appeals to the unconscious as a good solution, but it comes with a cost. Dependency needs may be too threatening to accept, and we lose true peer relationships. Those of you who have been with us for some years will remember some similarities to the horoscope of Jim Jones.

Of course the dependency-security needs do not go away just because we ignore them or find them too uncomfortable. All the water houses are active, two with water planets in them, and our third water planet, Pluto, is in a water sign. We have water signs in the earth houses and earth signs in the water houses, an indication of intense need for security. Security can be sought from human relationships, but if we have to be in charge, we cannot look to that source. Security can be sought through faith in God; hopefully, Rajneesh has found a measure of that. Security can be sought through money and physical possessions or through power, and the events in Rajneesh’s life point to possessions as an important source of security. He is said to own over 20 Rolls Royces and Cadillacs in a variety of colors. The property in Oregon was purchased for a very large sum of money, and devotees pay $500 a week and up to live in a tent and hear tape recordings of his talks. One wonders whether the devoted followers and the material possessions have been able to buy the needed security and self-esteem.

As his followers line the roads, holding their hands in the gesture of devotion while he drives silently by (he has taken a vow of silence for the time being, as did Meher Baba, an earlier self-proclaimed Avatar), it would appear that Rajneesh had attained all the power and possessions that any human could want. But his south node in Libra and Saturn in the eighth house remind us that the lesson of equality remains unlearned. Their presence in water houses remind of the lesson in dependency and emotional closeness. The U.S. government, meanwhile, has been trying to deport Rajneesh while his followers have reported that he is ill and needs to remain in this country for medical treatment. The power struggle potential in the chart that presumably helped drive him to his position of dominance in the world has drawn a worthy opponent in the form of the U.S. government. Remember that one of the constructive ways to manifest the 1-7 and 1-8 combinations is competition in game-playing ways. It is true competition if we win some and lose some. Both contestants gain strength and confidence in the game. But if we do not consciously choose to play the game, if we are too insecure to risk ever losing, we are apt to end in a competitive struggle in which we are outclassed, to force us to learn to take turns. When we have as much 1-7 and 1-8 as are present in this chart, mixed with the strong letter ten, we have to learn to do all three of the positive ways to handle personal power and interpersonal relationships: we have to have a place to cooperate, a place to compete (win some and lose some); and a place to help people. It is not enough to just do one of the three when the issue is as intense as in this chart.

It will be interesting to see the outcome of Rajneesh vs. the U.S. Money can buy a lot. Added to thousands of devoted followers, some with considerable money and political clout, he may be able to buy citizenship. The illness might be partly a way to avoid deportation, but also it might be the result of repressed dependency needs. When we have an intense need to be in control and a real fear of losing power, sometimes the only way dependency needs can be met is through illness. Natal Vesta which can be expressed as devotion to one’s job and high success or as frustration and illness, is exactly on the fourth house cusp in Rajneesh’s chart calculated for Oregon. The local chart also puts Jupiter and Neptune in the tenth house, supporting the spiritual career.

Some of the newer asteroids are also interesting. Dembowska, which I think is another Saturn, is on Rajneesh’s natal MC, a repeat of the drive to be in control of his life. Diana is exactly on the seventh house cusp, suggesting again the ambivalence about personal relationships. Icarus, like another Sun, is exactly on his Venus while Hidalgo, with some Saturn overtones, is exactly on his Moon. His progressed asteroid “America” made a station to go retrograde in 1982. The year may well prove a turning point for him in this country. Urania, like another Uranus, is also prominent at the moment, on his progressed Antivertex. There are many more asteroids, some of which I am still quite unsure about, but it is great fun to play with them. Progressed local MC reaches the natal “America” in early 1986. Perhaps his situation here will be decided in 1986-7 during the two years of that aspect. As always, even with astrology, we have to wait and see. Astrology gives us issues and timing. The details depend on us.

Copyright © 1983 Los Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.

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