A Christmas Fantasy

Zip Dobyns

A letter waiting for me when I returned from my fall tour to Houston and Denver is responsible for this exercise in fantasy. The letter was from an old friend who frequently “channels” psychic material. He had received what was purported to be birth data for Jesus, and wanted me to delineate the horoscope. Unfortunately, I was not impressed by the chart, but it restimulated in me the long-held desire to find a reasonable chart for the person responsible for so many of our western world’s deepest ideals and beliefs.

Many astrologers have speculated about that event. Many have published their preferred versions of a possible chart. Periodically, over the years, I have spent time exploring some of these, but have never been satisfied. I can’t claim that I am satisfied with the present offering either, but it seems more reasonable than the others which I have seen. It fits most of the early accounts, but is in conflict with one; the statement by Luke that Jesus began his ministry around age 30 and the tradition that his public life only lasted three years before he was crucified.

We have no way of knowing which of the traditions are based on fact and which are part of the myth which inevitably grows up around a remarkable person, so in one sense, this whole article is an adventure in mythology. The Gospels place the birth of Jesus during the reign of Herod Antipodes and his death during the rule of the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. These dates put some constraints on us, but still leave a wide range of time. Matthew speaks of astrologers (wise men) coming from the East, searching for a child born to be King of the Jews, after seeing “the rising of his star”. Luke says that shepherds had their sheep in the fields at night. The latter, if true, eliminates the whole period of mid-fall to mid-spring since the weather was too cold to be out with herds at night. This account in Luke puts the birth in the middle of the night, somewhere near midnight when angels announced the special birth. The birth is said to have occurred at Bethlehem, though even that is in question. A recent scholar has suggested another place with a similar name.

We have a little more solidity about the crucifixion, as was reported in an article in the scientific journal, Nature, reprinted in Science News in the January 21, 1984 issue, Vol. 125, #3. The original authors, Humphreys and Waddington of Oxford University, use the information about the event coming just before Passover, on a Friday, so they claim that it had to be in either 30 or 33 A.D. 27 A.D. would have been a candidate, but John the Baptist’s ministry (which preceded Jesus) is only said to have started in the autumn of 28-29 A.D., so 27 is too early. Pilate’s rule in Judea covered the years 27 to 36 A.D. Humphreys and Waddington cite a statement by Paul suggesting an eclipse on the date of the crucifixion, and conclude that it occurred on April 3, 33 A.D. Luke puts the time of death at 3 P.M.

[Note: Julian calendar]

The enclosed speculative chart of the crucifixion fits the traditions and the modern scholarship. It is a reasonable chart for a violent death at the hands of the authorities with issues of religion involved, with Mars and Jupiter in the tenth house opposite Pluto in the fourth house in Sagittarius and all square Mercury (ruling the Ascendant) in Pisces in the seventh house. Neptune is octile-trioctile the mutable T-square, and Uranus in the Pisces house is quincunx Mercury in Pisces. The Pisces-Virgo potential for martyrdom is present, and a power-struggle is also suggested by the cardinal T-square in fixed houses, including Saturn on the Antivertex square the Sun-Moon opposition. Saturn is octile the MC and Ascendant to further connect the patterns.

Yet, there is also a grand trine in fire signs in water houses which fits the impact of the new religion on the unconscious minds of humanity. The grand trine in air signs, mostly in earth houses, also fits the ideas expressed at that time having a lasting effect on the material world. Oppositions and/or quincunxes to planets in or ruling the fourth and eighth houses are common patterns at death or other acts of separation. In addition to the Uranus quincunx to Mercury, Neptune and the north node of the Moon are in a yod or double quincunx to the Ascendant with Neptune also quincunx the East Point. Neptune is within a half degree quincunx to both the East Point-Ascendant midpoint, and the Jupiter-Saturn midpoint, forming a yod or double quincunx. A new direction in religious thought, personal action, and handling power is certainly suggested.

Many other aspects might be mentioned. The Koch and Campanus Parts of Death fall on the West Point (like another Descendant), opposite the East Point. Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Antivertex are all parallel each other, an aspect I tend to neglect yet consider a useful part of the picture. The combination links faith, personal action, and role in society or dealing with the LAW. I interpret a parallel as similar to a conjunction. The opposed Sun and Moon can produce a lunar eclipse when they are near the nodes which means they are close to the ecliptic so the earth is lined up between them and able to block the Sun’s light from reaching the Moon. The Sun and Moon are also contraparallel, interpreted like an opposition. But the contraparallel can also occur when the factors are not opposite each other in longitude, as is seen by Neptune and MC being contraparallel though they are trine in longitude. The Neptune-MC aspect further connects the event to religious or sacrificial connotations. A combination of opposition and trine would fit the initial rejection by the Establishment but the eventual support by it as rulers became Christian at least in name though seldom in deed. As our readers know, I interpret the south node of the Moon as a lesson and, once we have learned it, as an obligation to give something to the world. Pisces, and Neptune after its discovery, have been recognized as the keynote of Christ’s teaching. In this speculative chart, the IC falls on the midpoint of Neptune and the south node.

[Note: Gregorian calendar]

Though the chart of the crucifixion has some slight historical support, the chart offered for Jesus is pure speculation! My reasoning has been that he was probably born in the year 7 B.C. (astronomical year -6) when there were three conjunctions between Jupiter and Saturn. The aspects were exact on May 27, September 29, and December 3. I have long been impressed by the fact that the two planets remained within a one degree orb of each other for over three months in that fall of 7 B.C. If Jesus was born in the early fall, his chart would have had the exact conjunction by progression throughout his life and into the initial period when the religion was being formulated by Paul and other early leaders of the church. The two planets held the conjunction within one degree from September 10, -6 to December 20, -6. Many other astrologers have suggested that the famous “star” associated with the birth of Jesus was a garbled translation of the astrological tradition that world teachers were born when these two planets formed their conjunctions at 20 year intervals. The conjunctions in -6 would have been considered especially important since there were three in rapid succession, and especially because of the lengthy time during which they remained close in the sky. Their presence in Pisces may have contributed to the conclusion of the eastern astrologers that a great spiritual leader would come during that period.

I had read that the -6 conjunctions in Pisces were the last in water signs before the beginning of a new cycle, but this proved not to be true. The conjunctions tend to occur in a single element for about 200 years, continuing through the elements in the normal order, so that a new cycle starts with the conjunctions occurring in fire signs about every 800 years. On checking (see the enclosed Table produced by Astro Computing), I found that there had been one fire sign conjunction in -25 following the period of water signs, and that there was one more water conjunction (also in Pisces) on March 24, 54 A.D. The conjunctions preceding our Table were in Pisces in -65 and in Cancer in -85. As you can see by the Table, triple conjunctions in the same year and sign do occur, but they are not common. In this century, the triple conjunctions in Taurus coincided with the Second World War, while the triple conjunctions in Libra accompanied Reagan.

As already indicated, I favored the fall of -6 as a possible time for the birth of Jesus partly because of the extended one-degree orb conjunction and partly because Christianity seems so clearly a Virgo-Pisces religion. The date I am presenting puts the Sun conjunct Pluto in Virgo widely opposite a Moon-Uranus conjunction and a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction, all in Pisces. The Sun is at the midpoint of Saturn-Moon, Jupiter-Uranus, and Pluto-IC, all within one degree orbs. It is also octile Venus and the south node of the Moon more widely, and sextile Mars. The south node, at the midpoint of Venus and Neptune, trines the Ascendant while Mars trines the MC and Jupiter and Saturn more widely.

The grand water trine in fire houses shows an intense and charismatic nature. The Cancer rising fits his close tie with his mother and to other women followers who stayed with him right to the foot of the cross. The close aspects of Mercury to Ascendant, Neptune, Uranus, Moon and Antivertex suggest a highly active mind and verbal ability. The water emphasis, including Mercury in a water house in aspect to Neptune and Moon, all support psychic power. I see such water-fire emphases often in the charts of spiritual healers. Sagittarius in the sixth house of work, and Jupiter in Pisces in the tenth house of career, along with Saturn in its own house, certainly fit a life devoted to spiritual pursuits.

I consider the chart a total speculation, but it fits our traditions better than the others I have seen. Among the stories about Jesus’ life, one of the most dubious ones is Matthew’s description of Herod’s killing of the boy babies in Bethlehem, and the flight to Egypt by Mary and Joseph. There is no historical report of such wholesale slaughter of infants. But the chart fits an early change of residence with progressed Ascendant coming into a square to Mercury in the fourth house of home. The aspect would fit Luke’s description of a simple return to their home in Nazareth following the presentation of the new-born baby at the Temple in Jerusalem.

Luke also describes a return to the Temple at the age of 12 when Jesus remained to impress the Priests and alarm his parents when they found him missing from the homeward-bound group. Progressed aspects at the time would have included progressed MC quincunx the fifth house Venus which also rules the Libra in the fourth house so it is a key to home, family, and being center stage. The progressed Ascendant sextile to natal Sun also fits the possibility of travel producing a temporary separation from home, and the personal prominence. Solar arcs would put the Moon-Uranus on the MC and Neptune trine it for the precocious spiritual demonstration, a harbinger of his destiny. Solar arc Jupiter and Saturn would square the Ascendant and quincunx Neptune, again symbolic of the tension between tradition and a personal spiritual vision.

Luke wrote that Jesus began his public ministry about the age of 30, but it might have been a little later. Internal evidence from his teaching is very reminiscent of the Essene teachings found on the scrolls buried in caves near the Dead Sea and associated with the Essene communities around Qumran. It is strongly likely that Jesus spent some of his adult life in one of those monastic communities before embarking on his own mission. There are many appropriate aspects for those three or four years of teaching, including progressed Sun quincunx progressed and then natal Jupiter and Saturn, while the latter had progressed back to conjunct the natal MC and trine natal Mars. For years, Mars would have remained square natal and progressed Pluto and then the natal Sun in addition to being octile-trioctile the progressed mean nodes of the Moon. The birth time I selected brought Mars to the square to the MC-IC just in time for the crucifixion.

During the same years, progressed Venus was trine Jupiter-Saturn and opposite the Antivertex. Mercury crossed the progressed Sun, sharing the quincunxes to Jupiter-Saturn, from natal to progressed positions and came in orb to the natal MC just in time for the final confrontation with the establishment and death. At the end, progressed Ascendant had reached the square to Neptune, the quincunx to Uranus in Pisces, and the octile to the East Point. Progressed Moon was on the progressed East Point square progressed Sun but trine Jupiter for the final sacrifice and reappearance three days later to his grieving followers. Progressed MC had just reached the trioctile to natal Pluto, was square the natal eighth house cusp, and quincunx the quotidian (daily) MC. Progressed Antivertex squared natal Sun and progressed Pluto, tying the two together even though progressed Pluto had not quite reached the one degree orb to natal Sun if our positions for it are correct.

Even the transits, shown in the chart for the crucifixion, fit the fantasy. Transiting Pluto is conjunct progressed Mars, opposite transiting Jupiter, with both square the natal MC and progressed Jupiter. Transiting Neptune squares the natal mean nodes of the Moon and is octile-trioctile the Mars-Jupiter combination just described. Transiting south node is just approaching natal Mercury and transiting Ascendant opposes natal Moon-Uranus. Transiting Sun is quincunx natal Sun and progressed Pluto. Transiting Uranus squares the natal Antivertex while transiting Mercury is in the middle of the natal and progressed Jupiter-Saturn pair and transiting Saturn-Antivertex is square progressed Mercury. Throughout, there is a high focus on tension involving power and spiritual issues, with the probability of the life moving in new directions, leaving the traditions of the past.

Although the asteroids are too subject to perturbation (gravitational influences from other planets) to permit reliable positions, I did get them run on the Astro Computing system, and they look reasonable. Pallas and Juno oppose each other within a one-degree orb, across the fifth and eleventh houses in Taurus-Scorpio. The combination fits a separation from a committed, personal relationship such as marriage and children, yet the strong Libra-Scorpio in the fourth-fifth houses shows a deep feeling nature with much personal magnetism. Neptune at the midpoint of Venus and Pallas also fits the relationships centering around faith and a search for the Absolute, with the likelihood of a strong sense of social justice.

The Virgo asteroids, Ceres and Vesta, also look appropriate. They form a grand trine in earth signs in air houses with Pluto-Sun filling in the third corner. As I have written earlier, I have often found combinations of letters six, eight, and ten associated with the capacity to focus, concentrate, and handle detail. They may express as obsessive-compulsive tendencies, or as the potential for psychokinetic powers, including spiritual healing. The ability to affect the physical world directly with the mind seems to be partly associated with the “tunnel vision” ability found with these mixtures. The grand earth trine includes Pluto and Virgo (letters eight and six), Ceres and Capricorn (letters six and ten), and Vesta (letter six), with additional aspects to the planets in Scorpio (letter eight). Chiron’s position in Aries in the tenth house connects the personal identity to letter nine, the search for TRUTH, and to a potential career involving it. It can also be read as a new personally experienced vision of God and as an identification with the Absolute.

We will never know whether anyone was actually born with the horoscope presented here, so this article remains an exercise in fantasy. But the aspects are impressive. Jupiter’s long conjunction with Saturn and the MC certainly could have indicated a spiritual leader, along with Neptune’s lifetime progressed semisextile to Mercury, trine to Uranus and Moon, and trioctile to natal Saturn. Someday, I hope humanity can begin to live up to the great example we received. Let there be Peace and Love on Earth, and let it begin with each one of us.


Some days after this preceding article was written, I had a dream; very short but with considerable emotional intensity. I was standing in an open field in the country, talking to someone. The person was either unknown to me or I have forgotten who it was, but he suddenly pointed and said urgently, “Look at the man in the blue robe!”

I looked, and noticed that the individual was moderately tall, with rather plain features (not the classic looks usually portrayed in paintings of Jesus) but with a luminous quality. Both the robe and what could be seen of the person seemed to glow. But the strange thing in the vision was that in place of a right arm and hand there was only a kind of nub which reminded me of the thalidomide babies. Readers may remember pictures of these children born in Europe without limbs after their mothers took the drug during pregnancy.

The man in the blue robe stretched out his left arm and hand which were normal, and just kept saying “I love you, I love you” and the sense that came with the words was that they were directed to the whole world, not simply to the two of us personally. The words came with intense feeling, and the symbolism of the missing right arm seemed clear though unspoken: “I cannot do it for you (world). I can only love you (world) but you have to work out your problems and experience the consequences of your actions.”

I tried to move toward the man in the blue robe, but he moved back, and at that point, I woke up, with my heart beating heavily. I am enough of a Virgo to consider that my own unconscious may have produced the preceding drama. When we deal with the psychic realm, we can never be certain. I will let you know if there is a sequel.

Copyright © 1985 Los Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.

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