Da Lovananda: New Age Guru
The birth data for Da Lovananda was obtained from one of his leading disciples and I think it is also given in his first book, The Knee of Listening. I have had the data for some time, but had expected to get more information about his current activities before including him in the list of spiritual leaders covered in The Mutable Dilemma. Since I wanted to include a “guru” in the Sagittarius issue of The Mutable Dilemma, I decided to go ahead with my limited knowledge. Some of our readers may know how his island retreat is working out.
Franklin Jones was born on November 3, 1939 at 11:21 A.M. EST in Jamaica, N.Y. He later changed his name to Bubba Free John, then to Da Free John, and finally to Da Lovananda. Mystical experiences led to his writing and teaching, and he gathered a band of devoted followers in a religious community. The last that I heard of him, the community had moved to an island in the south Pacific. Christopher Lane, the San Diego sociologist who has debunked many of the self-appointed new age gurus, is impressed by Lovananda’s writing and thinks he is one of the more authentic spiritual leaders of our time. I have never met him, but was impressed by the intelligence and sincerity of two of his followers with whom I was able to talk at some length during a five day psychology conference.
The first and obvious theme that I would note in the chart is an emphasis on power. Capricorn rising and Saturn in Aries are variations on the one-ten combination. We can manifest this mixture as “my will is law,” or as “the world has all the power and I might as well give up and not try,” or as “if I can’t do it my way, I won’t play,” or as “I have to be in control because no one else will do it right.” Or we can find a workable compromise in which we do our share but voluntarily live within the limits of universal and cultural Law. If we consider Mars to be a co-ruler of the Scorpio MC, the first house Mars is another one-ten mixture.
The Sun in the tenth house adds a one-five combination, connecting the personal ego to the Law. Pluto rules the Scorpio MC so its placement in Leo provides another blend of letters five and ten. The Sun’s presence in Scorpio connects the power instinct of the king to the challenge to share power with a mate. Letter eight is theoretically learning to direct the personal power into self-knowledge and self-mastery. Since Saturn, the tenth house, and Capricorn, like all forms of letter ten, can indicate a lesson in the handling of power, one-ten and five-ten combinations call for some caution in the use of power. The likelihood of a lesson is strengthened by the presence of the Moon’s south node conjunct Saturn in Aries. The progressed node holds the exact conjunction for nearly forty years, with the mean (average) node retrograding just three minutes a year.
The first house Mars in Aquarius offers a variation on the power theme. It is a strong statement that no one else will be allowed to dictate to the individual. Pluto, as ruler of the MC, placed in the seventh house and Venus, natural ruler of the seventh house, placed in the tenth house, add seven-ten combinations to the power issues in the chart. When should power be exercised and when should it be shared? There are no obvious or easy answers to such a question. We do what seems right and watch the consequences. Feedback from the world lets us know how we are doing.
Vesta conjunct Saturn in Aries supports the identification with work shown by the one-ten mixtures, while Uranus (ruling the first house Aquarius) in Taurus repeats the strength of will shown by all chart features mentioned so far. The fourth house position of Uranus offers a different message; a need for emotional security which is repeated by the Moon, Chiron and Pallas placed in Cancer in the seventh house in a reasonable close conjunction to Pluto in early Leo. Juno conjunct Mars and the Antivertex in the first house, like the seventh and eighth house and Libra and Scorpio factors shows a need for close, continuing associates. The freedom need is reinforced by exact aspects between Mars, Uranus, and Chiron. Obviously, there is a freedom-closeness issue in the chart along with the question of keeping versus sharing power. The role of religious leader may be a reasonable solution, offering personal power and independence along with emotionally attached followers. I’m not sure whether there is any equality in the situation. The placement of Saturn and the south node in the third (air) house square the planets in the seventh (air) house suggests a challenge connected to the principle of air.
So far, we have looked mainly at the cardinal and fixed factors, but Lovananda has been a prolific thinker, speaker, and writer, all of which call for mutables. The nodes of the Moon in the third-ninth house axis mark the perpetual student, teacher, writer, preacher, traveler, etc. And though there are only three planets in mutable signs, it is interesting that they are the three mutable planets, thus reinforcing the principles. Jupiter is strongly aspected with a wide opposition to Neptune and trines to Mercury, Venus, Pluto, Moon, and Pallas, a semisextile to Saturn-Vesta-south node, and a wide trioctile to the Sun. The grand trine in water signs and air houses suggests above average psychic ability, connecting air which symbolizes the conscious side of the mind with water which symbolizes the unconscious side of the mind.
This month (December 1988) has been marked by an unusual amount of violence, some of it connected to Saturn-Vesta-Mars-Pluto-south node aspects which often lead to ruthlessness. But it is possible to manifest power in constructive ways. Readers will remember that the Polish healer and his wife who were featured in an earlier edition of The Mutable Dilemma also had similar combinations. It is important for astrologers to remember that humans have choices in how they express the astrological principles.