Hindsight and the Roberts
The Hindsight project has been described in past issues of The Mutable Dilemma, but for some time I have been thinking about doing a brief analysis of the three Roberts who were the initiators of the project. I got permission to write about their charts from Robert Schmidt and Robert Zoller at conferences, but did not remember to check with Robert Hand. Space constraints in this issue of The Mutable Dilemma will probably limit this article to one chart, so we will postpone Rob’s chart until I have talked to him about it and probably do Schmidt in the same article.
I think that Rob Hand was the prime mover in the effort to recover astrology’s western roots by translating and publishing ancient texts. Rob is one of the translators, the main editor, and general overseer. With his university training in history, he feels that this project is part of his karmic destiny. I think that Robert Schmidt is doing most of the Greek translations and that Robert Zoller was doing the Latin translations at the beginning. Zoller is no longer working with Project Hindsight, but he continues to lecture and offer workshops which discuss some of the material which is coming out of astrology’s past.
My initial major in the university was history, and even when I switched to anthropology, it was archaeology, the study of early humans, mostly preceding writing, which most fascinated me. All of the social sciences seek similar goals. Though they subdivide human activities into economic, cultural, psychological, material, etc. concerns, they all seek to understand why people do what they do. History deals with all of these human concerns, looking for how people changed in the past, how they got to be what they are now.
Modern western science still functions within the paradigm of materialism, believing that unchanging, non-conscious natural laws rule the world through chance—probability theory. In this belief system, events are random and meaningless. Only physical matter/energy is “real,” and through the random activity of matter/energy, somehow life and consciousness evolved.
This world-view cannot deal with astrology, which sees meaning rather than chance everywhere we look. Consequently, few writings of ancient astrologers have been translated. They are not even considered as interesting as ancient religious beliefs. The few translators such as Neugebauer, who did some work with ancient astrology, were totally ignorant of the field and unable to deal effectively with the material they were translating. Project Hindsight is being funded by astrologers and the translations are being done by people with astrological knowledge who value the field. Despite this major advantage, the material is often obscure and hard to understand. The beliefs of the ancient world often seem very foreign. But for those who are intrigued by philosophical theories, who are curious about the beliefs which drive life, the knowledge coming through the exploration of different ways of understanding oneself and life is worth the effort.
My main concern from the beginning of the project has been the need to test the theories being revealed. Probably the only “fact” on which all astrologers everywhere would agree is that the patterns in the sky are meaningful, not random or chance. But even a casual look at astrological theories around the world demonstrates enormous variations among the concepts and techniques. Chinese astrology works with five elements rather than the four of the west. Hindu astrologers and some westerners work with a variety of so-called sidereal zodiacs instead of beginning the zodiac at the intersection of the ecliptic and the equator. Hindu astrologers also use “whole-sign” houses while the west argues over which of many ways of dividing the sky into sectors is the “best.” If the correlations between earth and sky were truly obvious, we would not find such vast differences between different systems. Yet, we all agree that there are correlations and that the information can help us handle life more effectively. The old but “new to us” information coming from Project Hindsight must be added to the rest of the array of theories accumulated by humans from many lands and periods of history. Some cultural bias is inevitable. Familiar ideas are like old and comfortable shoes. But as long as we acknowledge that we do not have final truth, as long as we are willing to examine and test all theories against our experience, we can keep on learning and growing.
Turning to our human subject, Robert Zoller was born on January 25, 1947 at 8:59 A.M. EST in Mount Vernon, NY. His chart strongly emphasizes the transpersonal side of life with most of his factors in the last four signs of the zodiac. Even Zoller’s house emphasis tilts toward a focus on the transpersonal, which includes the search for the Absolute (Sagittarius more consciously and Pisces more subconsciously), learning to handle the “rules of the game” here on earth (Capricorn), and learning to go beyond the limits (Aquarius). Many signs are in their “natural” houses, which can make integration easier, though a few are displaced into adjoining houses. Several factors are close to house cusps to add emphasis, including Jupiter which has recently stationed and turned retrograde on the cusp of its own ninth house, highlighting the search for “Truth with a capital T.” When a progressed planet stations and turns either direct or retrograde, there is usually a change of some sort in that part of the individual’s life. In this case, the change might have been the decision to separate from the Hindsight project despite Zoller’s interest in the work. He described it as due to his desire for autonomy and new challenges.
Jupiter was natally in the sign and house of Scorpio, adding depth and intensity to the search for knowledge and the urge to share it with others. Chiron, which I think is like Jupiter, is also in double Scorpio to repeat the message. Zoller’s focus on knowledge, faith, ideals, etc. is also accentuated by a close Venus-Juno conjunction in double Sagittarius (sign and house) and by the south lunar node there as well. I am always fascinated when a horoscope shows so much emphasis on one part of life, yet the presence there of the south node points to it as a lesson. The nodes in the Gemini-Sagittarius polarity point to the perpetual student, teacher, writer, and/or traveler. I see the south node as an area where we have something to learn and then something to give, but we may be learning and giving at both ends of the polarity. The Gemini lesson often calls for increased perspective, for learning to take things more “lightly.” The Sagittarius lesson involves our beliefs about the nature of truth and reality. The beliefs, of course, determine what we trust and value in life. Venus in Sagittarius connects pleasure to our search for the Absolute. Both Venus and Juno tend to want company in the area in which they are placed, to do it with others.
The mental emphasis in Zoller’s chart is intensified by four factors in Aquarius, including the Sun, Mars, Mercury, and Pallas. The first two are in the house as well as the sign of Aquarius, and Mars there emphasizes the desire for personal freedom and constant new intellectual challenges. Conjunctions between two fire planets show immense energy, creativity, eagerness, etc. Mercury’s position precisely on the twelfth house cusp adds still more emphasis to the importance of mental activities, and it connects the elements of air and water, which symbolize the conscious and subconscious aspects of the mind, often a key to psychic ability. Pallas conjunct Mercury would fit a career as a consultant.
The last of the transpersonal sides of life is also very strong in Zoller’s chart, with Ceres and the Moon in double Pisces and the three angles which symbolize personal action, the Ascendant, East Point, and Antivertex, in Pisces in the Aries house. Vesta is also in the first house, but in Aries. The Moon is just over one degree from the Ascendant, supporting the psychic ability and showing a mother figure as an important role model, whether mother, grandmother, etc. With both Ceres and the Moon in double Pisces, the mother figure is connected to a subconscious search for the Absolute. Since I do not know anything about Zoller’s early life, I can only discuss the principles of Pisces, illustrating them with a variety of possible details. One of the reasons that astrology is not easily “proved” is the fact that it provides psychological principles which can be manifested in an infinite variety of ways, depending on the habits of the individual. Science wants the prediction of specific details. It wants to know “what” will happen. Astrology tells us “why” it happened, the psychological, emotional drives which lie behind the life results. I think that knowing “why” can help us produce better “whats.”
Pisces is the search for infinite love and beauty, for mystical oneness with the Whole. When connected to one’s mother, the child might have experienced her as artistic, religious in conventional ways, idealistic in the sense of having high standards, and/or very psychic. She might have played savior or been a victim, needing someone to save her. The victim has similar high ideals to the savior but has not found a way to achieve them and feels miserable and helpless. Zoller and his mother might have adored and worshipped each other or either or both might have expected too much of the other and never been satisfied. Sometimes Pisces signifies a “missing” parent and an alternative replaces her. Many of these possibilities are not mutually exclusive, so several might be true, or they could be true at different times in the life. If I meet Zoller at another conference, I will ask him for some of the details and share them with readers in a future Mutable Dilemma. Saturn is normally a key to one’s experience of the father figure, and the rulers of the fourth and tenth houses also picture the parents. In my experience, the fourth house is more often the mother, who usually cares for the helpless infant, while the tenth house is more often the father, the breadwinner whose work often defines the family status, and traditionally the disciplinarian. But these roles can shift in many cases, so I am never sure until I talk to the person which house is which parent. I would tentatively assume a fourth house mother in this case since the Moon is one of its rulers with part of Cancer in the house, plus Mercury, which rules the IC, is in the twelfth house with both Ceres and the Moon.
Saturn in Leo is on the cusp of the sixth house connecting father with work and/or health along with the strong will of Leo. Jupiter, ruler of the MC, is also in a fixed sign and house, supporting the idea of a strong will and concern with power. Though wide, Saturn is also conjunct Pluto, which repeats the Jupiter focus on some form of joint resources, whether money, possessions, pleasures, and/or power. The chart suggests that both parents were seen as intelligent and emotionally intense, though individuals shown astrologically with a water emphasis are not always able to easily show the emotions. The sixth house/eighth house focus for father could have indicated absorption in his work and in issues around financial security.
Uranus just inside the third house could indicate a sibling coming into the home when Zoller was still quite young. Or there could have been a change of residence, or Uranus could simply point to Zoller’s own active intellect and verbal skills.
Despite the high emphasis on the transpersonal parts of life, interpersonal, face-to-face relationships are also important. Both Neptune and Jupiter, co-rulers of the Pisces Ascendant, are in the signs and houses of a mate—Libra and Scorpio. The placement of keys to one’s personal power, any form of “letter one,” in the seventh or eighth house (less strongly in the seventh or eighth signs) suggests a feeling that others may have power over us. We may respond to the feeling in six very different, basic ways. We may give in and try to please others, hoping that they will like us and take care of us. This is highly unlikely when there is any emphasis on letters one, nine and eleven, which crave freedom. We may try to keep all the power ourselves, but this is unlikely with strong idealism, especially with Pisces. We may run away from closeness to protect ourselves, and this would be possible, but the Moon on the Ascendant and Venus conjunct Juno would work against this option.
The positive alternatives include sharing the power through compromise and teamwork, healthy competition, and helping others. The last is normally natural and easy for idealists. Competition is often less comfortable, but a good form for idealists can be fighting for a cause in which they believe. To be healthy, it needs to be experienced as a “game” and not taken too seriously. If we can win some to demonstrate our power to ourselves, but also lose some and bounce back and try again, it is reassuring.
The fixed signs and houses are sufficiently strong in Zoller’s chart to require attention to the issue of power, even without the added emphasis of first house rulers in the houses of other people. Letters one and five need a sense of personal power, while letters nine and twelve need faith in a Higher Power. We acquire confidence in our personal power by doing anything successful. Our standards for success do have to be reasonable. If we set our standards too high and expect too much of ourselves, as is a danger with Pisces rising, we may never feel good enough. Astrology has been a major support to me for faith in a Higher Power. Seeing that the world is meaningful, seeing people gaining personal insight and achieving more fulfilling lives through that insight, assures me that life is purposeful and that we can participate in a higher purpose.
Our space is running out, but I do want to mention a few asteroids in Zoller’s chart. I was particularly fascinated to find Aletheia, the goddess of truth, on Zoller’s Jupiter while P Aletheia has been slowing moving over his south lunar node for some years. The patterns certainly fit his work with Project Hindsight, searching for Truth and sharing his findings with others. His two “name” asteroids picture two major facets of his nature. Natal Roberts was retrograding in 29 Leo 58, fitting his power issue. In the sixth house, some of Zoller’s feeling of personal power should come from a leadership role in his work. Fire is the element of vitality, really of life itself, and it is essential that we have ways to express it, to be confident, enthusiastic, excited, eager, creative. Natal Roberta was in 2 Pisces 55, repeating the emphasis on idealism and the need for faith in a Higher Power. We need to have a place for all twelve sides of our nature to handle the juggling act of life. Hopefully, astrology can help us understand ourselves and grow to our full potential.