Mars and a Will of Iron: Revisited

On April 23, Jean-Dominique Bauby would have been 57 years old. His destiny and how he mastered it, is an exemplary lesson for us all. I discussed his chart last year in: Mars and a Will of Iron. I would like to return to his radix chart later in this article.

In my last article I briefly discussed hermeneutics. It is now time to go into more detail and to demonstrate what I mean.

Some might understand Aristotle accepting only one level of meaning for each semantic construction. This is possible, but I would like to suggest another approach – one that accepts many levels of meaning instead of following a reductionist view. Aristotle suggests that a word alone is indeterminate in meaning, most likely because it is not given in context. But if we look closer at language we find that even a single word may be suffused with layers of meaning. We must provide the context for one of these layers. It doesn’t mean that only one is possible. But let us begin with a complete sentence – one from the Tao Te Ching:

The Tao that can be expressed is not the eternal Tao

The word ‘Tao’ has many meanings. We see it in the many different translations that have been made of this sentence:

  • The Way that can be taken is not the true Way.
  • The Doctrine that can be told is not the unvarying Doctrine.
  • The Principle that can be named is not the eternal Principle.

This sentence is purposely enigmatic. The intention of the author is to engage his readers’ faculties of intellection. And so essay after essay may be written on this sentence alone. Each one giving an interpretation, but never exhausting it. Such too is the celestial script.

Now to return to Jean-Dominique Bauby. As I have already explored his chart and the relevant solar return charts using a quadrant system it is time to explore them with “whole signs” particularly since I want to demonstrate that each system has something to offer! As a comfort to those readers who prefer to reverse the Part of Fortune for night charts, I have used this particular convention here. First the radix chart:

Jean-Dominique Bauby, 23.04.1952, Paris, 2e20, 48n52

Jean-Dominique Bauby, 23.04.1952, Paris, 2e20, 48n52

The first thing one notices with this method of presentation is how the planets are ‘weighted’. We have the stellium of planets; Mercury, Venus, Moon, Jupiter along with the Ascendant  in the first place in Aries opposed by Saturn in the seventh place. And then there is Mars the lesser malefic in the eighth place opposing Sun and PoF in the second. This chart is notable in that all of the nocturnal planets; Moon, Venus and Mars are above the horizon in a nocturnal chart. They are in sect. The diurnal planets; Sun, Jupiter and Saturn are below the horizon. They too are in sect. That leaves Mercury. As he rises before the Sun he is a diurnal planet. He is not in sect, but he does shine as the Morning Star. He is also in the house of his joy. So we have strong planets. We also have plenty of angular planets. None are in cadent houses. Both Malefics are very stong. Mars is in his domicile and Saturn in his exaltation. Mars is also the ruler of all of the Ascendant and all the planets in the first place. The triplicity rulers of Mars are all in angular houses. So this chart gives the promise of success, of firm and active engagement in life, and an indomitable will. But we have a chart dominated by opposition from the Malefics. And they through their opposition attack the physis and substance of Jean-Dominique. But because of the angularity of most of the planets this will manifest in a pronounced and remarkable way.

Now on to the 1994 solar return:

Jean-Dominique Bauby, solar return 1994

Jean-Dominique Bauby, solar return 1994

The axis of the radix chart shifts 90 degrees, placing the radix IC exactly on the solar return Ascendant. Mars is in the 10th place with Mercury and Saturn is cadent in the 9th place with the MC. In fact Saturn conjuncts the MC. In this chart Mars is not in sect but he is in his own domicile and is angular. He squares the Ascendant and also beholds the PoF in the 6th place. He does not behold any other planet. Something is in the works with a focus on the physis and the nervous system. The Moon, Lady of the Ascendant, is in the 6th place from her dispositor, Mercury, and Mars. Mars and Mercury are in the 6th place from Jupiter, the lord of the 6th house and dispositor of the PoF. The Moon has no dignity, but she is in the house of her Joy, so this mitigates matters. Also Venus and Jupiter both behold the Ascendant from the others house of Joy. This further mitigates matters. So what in the following year is to become actuality, is postponed. The danger of stroke is there, the base has been laid, but the benefics and the Lady of the Ascendant are in helpful places and so help to prevent it.

Now for 1995:

Jean-Dominique Bauby, solar return 1995

Jean-Dominique Bauby, solar return 1995

In 1995 the chart has shifted to the mutable signs, with Virgo in the first place. Virgo is the 6th place of the radix. There are several cadent planets; the Moon, Sun, Mercury and Mars. Of the four, Mars is the worst off. He has no dignity, is out of sect and is in the worst possible place. Mercury is just a little better off, but not by much. He is under the Sun’s beams and is also with the South Node. He is in his terms or bounds but this isn’t enough to offset his weakened condition. He is also conjunct a vicious Mars, Lord 8, by antiscion and also beheld by him. Mercury Lord of the solar return Ascendant is also beheld by Saturn, Lord 6. Saturn also opposes the Ascendant. If Jupiter hadn’t been in an angular house and in his own domicile and hadn’t beheld both Mars and Saturn and the Moon in the 6th, the stroke would have been fatal.

As you can see the charts looked at from this particular standpoint reveal another side of the skein of events that led to Jean-Dominique Bauby’s extreme situation. I would suggest you read Mars and a Will of Iron and compare both approaches. And if you approach these charts with other interpretive instruments, I haven’t even mentioned other Parts or midpoints, etc., even more will unfold and give a deeper insight into and an understanding of a truly remarkable person. No saint, I am sure, but a human being who mastered a truly monstrous fate and showed the power of the human spirit.


2 thoughts on “Mars and a Will of Iron: Revisited

  1. Guten Tag Thomas,

    thank you very much forall these examples.
    I`m not going to discuss hermeneutics, I just wish to know what are your experiences with whole sign houses.

    Wish you all the best,

  2. Hello Trojan,

    I am curious by nature and so I experiment with almost every traditional technique. Each of the house systems can provide another view. With one it is like looking at something from ant-perspective, with another like bird-perspective, and yet another an eye-level perspective. No one argues whether one level of perspective is better than the other. It is just different. The landscape is unchanged but the view is!

    Also the very best wishes,

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