Robert Schmidt—A Hindsight Founder
Project Hindsight has been described in previous issues of The Mutable Dilemma. It is translating ancient astrological books and manuscripts into English and making them available to modern students of astrology. The original founders of this effort were Robert Hand, Robert Schmidt, and Robert Zoller, so they were known as the "three Roberts." Robert Zoller's chart was analyzed in a previous issue of The Mutable Dilemma. Both he and Robert Schmidt gave me permission to discuss their charts when I had a chance to chat with them at astrology conferences. Robert Zoller has moved on to other projects, but the two remaining Roberts are still totally committed to and immersed in the efforts of Hindsight. In addition to the initial focus on translating early Greek and Latin texts, they have more recently added Sanskrit and Arabic and Hebrew to the list. The translations are being printed as small booklets and sent to supporting subscribers as soon as they are completed. Ellen Black calls herself the General Factotum of the project. For information, write to her at Project Hindsight, P.O. Box 002, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411. FAX: 304 258 5873.
Robert Schmidt is the primary Greek translator, though Rob Hand has been learning Greek to help in understanding the often challenging philosophical concepts in the ancient texts. Robert Schmidt was born on December 22, 1950 at 8:22 P.M. CST in Rock Island, IL. He currently lives in Berkeley Springs, WV where the translated booklets are printed. His chart certainly fits his intense commitment to the Hindsight goals of uncovering the past. Pluto was rising at his birth, and it retrograded into a one-degree conjunction with his Ascendant which will remain in orb for the rest of his life. One of the drives symbolized by Pluto (and other forms of letter eight of our astrological alphabet) is the urge to go behind the surface, to discover the motivating roots of life and passion. We may do this with psychology, history, archaeology, or research in any field. In contrast to the letter eight drive to look back or within, letter nine (Jupiter, Sagittarius, and the ninth house) look out and up for knowledge, seeking Truth with a capital "T." Robert has Chiron, which I interpret as basically like Jupiter, and Pallas, a key to shared efforts, in late Sagittarius on his Sun in zero Capricorn in the natural house of the Sun. The combination connects the search for final truth to creativity and self-esteem. With letter five, we want to shine, to offer our creative gifts to the world and to be recognized for them. Vesta, the ultimate Virgo, is in the ninth (natural Sagittarius) house within two degrees of the MC. This connects the Virgo details of one's job to the ninth house search for knowledge and the MC which, like Saturn, symbolizes our career in the larger sense of our status or role in the society.
The letter ten principle, symbolized by Saturn, Capricorn, and the tenth house, represents the "rules of the game," the structure or foundation of things, from the bony skeleton which makes it possible for heavy animals to function in the air milieu, to the bureaucratic systems of governments and businesses, to the inner conscience. The natural tendency of letter ten is to respect and conform to the past, to what has "worked" before. An emphasis on letter ten can manifest through a focus on tradition with the usual wide range of possible details from antique dealers, to genealogists, to historians, etc. Earth deals with the tangible world and wants tangible results. Robert's four factors in Capricorn are all in the Leo house, so the fire creativity shown by the house position seeks the lasting results in new ways. Mercury in this Leo-Capricorn group shows the potential for the efforts being mental. Ceres is also in the group with a conjunction to Mercury. Ceres seems to be a Cancer-Virgo mixture, connected to work but preferably work that helps people. Venus is also there, bringing in the potential of artistic ability and pleasure in the work. Venus also trines Vesta and the MC which are in the Venus sign of Taurus to reinforce the artistic talent and the potential for success.
The factors mentioned so far are mostly fire and earth, a powerful combination with the fire ability to initiate action and the earth capacity to follow through to get results. The south lunar node in Virgo in the second house adds to the earth ability to cope with the material world, and Saturn is also in the same house in Libra reinforcing artistic potentials and the capacity for cooperative efforts. Mars in the Virgo house strengthens the practical earth and its trine to Saturn repeats the message while their placement in air signs supports the ability to work with others and with the conscious side of the mind. Uranus, another mental planet, is very strongly placed in its own house to reinforce the cognitive mind, with a close conjunction to the Antivertex (an auxiliary Ascendant showing tendencies present from the beginning of life) and a trine to Jupiter in the Libra house. Jupiter, Uranus, and the Antivertex are in water signs, bringing in the subconscious side of the mind with its intuitive ability. The psychic potential is also shown by Juno, another Pluto, in Scorpio in the natural house of Cancer with a trine to the north lunar node in Pisces in the Scorpio house. The verbal facility of the conscious mind is repeated by the trine of the Moon in Gemini in the Aquarian house to Neptune in Libra in the Gemini house.
Of course, every chart has a mixture of harmony and conflict aspects, but Robert's chart is quite harmonious. Mars does have a close square to Vesta and a wider opposition to the East Point in addition to octiles and/or trioctiles to the lunar nodes and Chiron. The mixture of practical earth and idealism in this configuration would probably be experienced as a need to integrate the ideals with the limits of what is possible in this physical world. Several quincunxes, including a yod (double quincunx) of Jupiter to Saturn and the East Point, repeat the theme and add to the mental restlessness. With a chart showing intense focus and persistence (Pluto and Vesta in fixed signs on the major angles for high prominence, additional fixed signs and houses plus Capricorn), the tendency is to keep going to the "end," however this is defined by the individual. At the same time, the strong fire and mutables and the dominant Uranus on an angle show the desire to keep exploring something new and different, constantly looking for a new intellectual challenge. Robert's work provides an appropriate mixture of these potentially conflicting drives. The most common handling of such combinations is a tendency to stay overextended, always trying to do more than is humanly possible. This need not be a serious problem as long as we get adequate sleep and provide for other physical needs, and as long as we enjoy the journey toward the ideals and do not kick ourselves until we get there.
Several asteroids have been named for famous Greek philosophers, some of them fairly recently. Naturally, I was eager to check them out in Robert's chart. Ptolemy was perhaps the most famous ancient astrologer; an Egyptian whose writings dominated astrological thought from the second to the sixteenth century. The asteroid named for him, using his Latin name, Ptolemaeus, was retrograding in 18 Leo 18 when Robert Schmidt was born, on his Ascendant within the one-degree orb I use, so his P Pluto remains on it for years. P Ptolemaeus is in 8 Leo 44 as this is written, with a continuing conjunction to P West in 9 Leo 4. The two asteroids are retrograding together as Robert brings ancient astrology to the modern, western world. Both of these asteroids are also square Robert's natal MC and will move in some years into oppositions to natal Mars and squares to natal Vesta. The T-square in fixed signs suggests a confrontation between the past (water and earth in general) and the future (Aquarius and the ninth house where Vesta is placed). The mutable houses describe the mind, especially beliefs and values when letters nine and twelve are involved.
I continue to support the work of Project Hindsight and have all of their publications, but I also emphasize the need for research to test the ancient theories. The potential for conflict is obvious between the belief that external forces have created our character and continue to control our lives and the belief that we have created our character (habits) in past lives, that we are reborn when we fit the patterns in the cosmos, and that we can change our destiny by changing our habits. The psychological view of astrology holds that the horoscope shows psychological principles which can be manifested in many different details, depending on our choices. Self-awareness, insight into our subconscious drives/desires which can be gained through a psychological understanding of astrology, can help us see our options. The ancient world (as well as many regions today) was a far more determined world for most people, so fatalistic beliefs were reasonable. The western democracies today offer more scope for self-insight and self-improvement.
Some of the asteroids named for Greek philosophers are Plato which Robert has in 19 Libra 37 closely conjunct his N and P Neptune; Sokrates in 29 Aquarius 51 sextile Pallas and the Sun, Diotima, a teacher of Socrates, in 7 Gemini 20 retrograde conjunct Astronomia (astronomy) and Hestia, the Greek name for Vesta which carries the same theme of devotion to duty, the urge to do something worth doing and to do it well. Diotima is also semisextile Uranus to connect Robert's work to astrology. Herakleitos was noted for his emphasis on change, including his famous comment that we cannot step into the same river twice. Robert's Herakleitos is in 17 Sagittarius 34 trine his Ascendant. Anaxagoras suggested that astronomical events, including eclipses, were natural phenomena rather than supernatural. He was exiled for his lack of piety. Anaxagoras wrote that a portion of everything is in everything, which sounds similar to modern holographic theories. He also wrote that everything, including mind, was made of tiny particles, but mind was not mixed with other things and only mind was self-moving. Robert's Anaxagoras is in 5 Sagittarius 48 sextile his Mars. Anaximenes was a friend and student of Anaximander and they offered similar theories. Anaximander suggested that all things gain their natures, come out of and return to, an eternal uncreated "boundless" which is characterized by constant motion and restlessness. Robert's Anaximandros (the asteroid named for the philosopher), is in 24 Libra 2 sextile Chiron which is, like Jupiter, a key to the search for Truth. Anaximenes said all things come from air which he identified with the breath of life. Air, to him, was a divine principle, the key to change which holds the world and human life together. Robert's Anaximenes is in 15 Aries 11 sextile his Moon in an air sign and house.
There are also two asteroids with the core name "Robert," one with an added "s" and the other with an added "a." Roberts is in 4 Cancer 47 retrograde, holding an octile to Pluto. Roberta is in 26 Aquarius 4 which put it on the local Descendant when Robert moved to West Virginia. His local residence where the Hindsight work is mostly carried out has certainly brought Robert to the attention of many people. His local West Point, an auxiliary Descendant, is currently repeating the message about his increasing public role. Robert has just started a new 30-year cycle with his P Moon reaching his P Sun, and the two lights came together on both his N Descendant and his local West Point with trines to his N Moon. The presence of P Sun and P Moon in Aquarius plus the N Moon in the Aquarius house are certainly appropriate for someone disseminating new knowledge of astrology. P Roberts is now retrograding in 26 Gemini 43 forming a trine to N Roberta and a sextile to the local Ascendant. P Roberta is in 18 Pisces 22 on P north lunar node and sextile Mercury. Though there is a lot of harmony in these aspects, there is also a mix of and potential for conflict between the old and new ideas. P Sun and P Moon are octile N Sun in Capricorn and trioctile N Saturn. Or, maybe the aspects are just picturing the immense amount of time and hard work involved in the Hindsight efforts.
Other relevant asteroids include Philosophia (philosophy) in 18 Aries 23 conjunct Tara in 18 Aries 40. Tara was named for a goddess who symbolized the search for spiritual truth. The placement could not be more appropriate in the sign of Aries for personal, pioneering action in the house of Sagittarius, the natural home of Tara. Chaldaea, the ancient Near-East region where astrology flowered, is in 19 Aries 56, so the Aries group is connected by their trines to the Ascendant, Ptolemaeus, and Pluto. Urania was the ancient goddess of astrology. In Robert's chart, it is in 28 Virgo 21 for his work with astrology. It was direct at birth but turned retrograde and is holding a long conjunction with P Saturn in 1 Libra. In time, P Urania will conjunct N Karma in 0 Libra 20 and P Karma which is now in 3 Libra 41 will retrograde back to N Saturn. Theoretically, Karma is similar to Saturn, a key to the consequences of how we handle life in this world, how we handle the "rules of the game" to quote a phrase I first heard from Robert Hand. I also watch the midpoint of Saturn and the south lunar node as a key to lessons in dealing with the physical world. Robert's Saturn/south node is in 27 Virgo 38 conjunct N Urania. When we have learned the lessons of Karma, Saturn, and the latter's midpoints with the nodes, these points become strengths signaling where we have something to give the world. The clustering of Urania with all three of these points certainly indicates that a major part of Robert's growth and his gift to the world will come through astrology.
Several of the current progressions support Robert's New Moon, showing that this period in his life is highly important and offers much potential for success. P Juno trine N East Point fits the cooperative effort. The East Point is a key to personal action, showing personal creativity and leadership in Leo, while Juno shows close relationships, its sign points to the philosophical goals, and the water houses fit the concern with the past or with hidden things. P Mars is conjunct P Jupiter with an identical message. Mars is equivalent to the East Point, Jupiter to its sign where Juno is placed, and Juno to the 8th house where Mars and Jupiter are placed. The sign of the latter two is water to repeat the tendency to look back or within. P Venus is also in Pisces with trines to Uranus and to the Antivertex, another auxiliary Ascendant for personal action. P Pallas, as asteroid that seems very Libran, is on N Mercury to repeat the joint mental effort. P Ascendant trines P Mercury.
Obviously, there are many more asteroids and aspects which could be mentioned, but the preceding certainly suggest that Robert Schmidt is doing what he came to do with skill and distinction.