In 2006 the world commemorated the 150th anniversary of Sigmund Freud's birth, one of the 20th Century's most influential thinkers. As a pioneer in the field of unconscious mental activity and psychoanalysis he dared to go to the undiscovered unconscious mind and contributed to our self-standing -- of who we are and how we get there. You may not agree with his ideas and theories but, more than any other thinker, he offered you new ways of thinking about your mental life and changed the way you think about your mind.
Sigmund Freud was born May 6, 1856 at 6.30 pm LMT. The place was Frieberg, Moravia (18E09; 49N38) -- now Pribor in the Czech Republic. The data is from his father's diary. The birth time won't be precise -- it probably occurred sometime between 6.20 and 6.40 pm. This means that the astrological birthchart presented won't be 100% accurate, but it will provide a wealth or data about Freud's unconscious not otherwise attainable. Controversy over the birth data dates back to 1954 -- not the time but the date. Apparently the various archaic German letter forms and abbreviations used by his father are confusing and misleading and while some researchers claim the birth took place on March 6, 1856 most scholars and biographers overwhelmingly support the May 6 birth date -- (see page 656 Freud: A life For Our Time by Peter Gay.)
His life and times:
Sigmund Freud like all human souls was a victim of social circumstance and astrological events and in 1881 a momentous astrological event took place. On January 19, 1881 the Age of Aquarius was born and the astral thought-force influencing mundane developments on planet Earth experienced a radical intellectual shift. Aquarius, the sign of humanity and scientific inquiry, not only stimulates the need to know about the mind, body and soul it demands knowledge supported by evidence-based research. Thus the mind and body have been put under the scientific microscope, ushering in the age of scientific self-research. Freud, who was psychologically in tune with this new-age vibration, responded to the need to know and his interest focused on the scientific investigation of the human mind.
Early in his life Freud, the first born of eleven children, displayed ambition and academic brilliance and his doting parents ensured he got the best education. In 1873 he entered the University of Vienna as a medical student (he wanted to be a doctor) and between 1876 and 1882 worked at the Institute of Physiology in Vienna. Then, between 1884 and 1887, he did research into the clinical use of cocaine and his own use of the drug damaged his reputation. During 1885 and 1886 he studied hypnosis in Paris. He was thirty years old and his own mind was becoming more and more intrigued with the complex workings of the human mind. When his attitude changed from an inquisitive explorer to a resolute mind detective he set his sights on unraveling and solving one of nature's most occult mysteries. He first used the term psychoanalysis in March 1896.
His idea that dreams provided clues to the unconscious and how it worked resulted in The Interpretation of Dreams, published in 1900. In 1902 he became a professor of neuropathology in Vienna and in 1905 published Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality. The Vienna Psychoanalytic Society was formed in 1908 and Freud formed friendships with other mind researchers -- notably Carl Jung and Alfred Adler. Freud and Jung started a seven year friendship in 1906, but a radical mix of revolutionary ideas finds it difficult to merge and collaborate and these early mind explorers went their separate ways -- Jung to pursue his idea of a 'collective unconscious' and Adler to focus on personal power and superiority as the primary unconscious driving force.
When organizing his research work into a systemized group of facts Freud was orderly and thorough, yet he hated to be constrained by precise definitions. His mentality longed to think and write freely -- his thoughts loved to speculate -- while at the same time there was a deep concern for objectivity and proof. He displayed an ardent single mindedness combined with a cautious need to check and recheck. He was an original thinker. His mood varied between elation and self-confidence and doubt, depression and inhibition. The doubt and depression adversely affected his capacity to concentrate.
Freud, the aggressive atheist (it was and still is scientifically trendy) regarded speculations about the purpose of life as pointless. He observed human behaviour as simply a search for happiness. He saw pleasure and pain as temporary episodes -- contentedness being a continuation of pleasure. With God out of the equation his own reasoning powers had to solve all the problems -- an impossible burden that resulted in depression -- a mental health problem and his own personal black-hole.
Freud, the loyal follower of the 19th Century positivists, drew a sharp distinction between uncheckable religious faith and checkable scientific inquiry. The scientific method denied religion any capacity to provide evidence-based truths -- and as instinctual urges were considered biological he was also committed to a biological foundation for the unconscious. His essay Civilization and its Discontents (1930) explained his political position -- the human animal with its biologically produced drives and needs must be held in check by the rules and regulations imposed by organized society. Freud reduced civilized living down to a mental conflict, where mental harmony and peace of mind were virtually unattainable. No wonder he's so disliked and criticized -- and yet an understanding of the mind is the essential first step when it comes to harmonizing these mental conflicts.
Freud gathered data from his patients and scientifically assessed and arranged his observations. He was scientifically minded and employed the scientific method in his research work, but he was trying to explain, what many considered was an unscientific unprovable hypothesis -- and his radical ideas naturally attracted great opposition. Many people find the contemplation of mental disorders, their causes and the importance of childhood experiences very unpalatable -- the psychological damage caused by civilized life in its thoughtless pursuit of happiness is better left alone. But mental health issues, once denied and ignored, are now being given the same status as physical health issues.
In September 1886 after a four year engagement that involved much separation he married Martha Bernays. Martha was not an intellectual and liked house work and family matters. Their marriage produced six children. Sophie the second daughter born 1893 died in 1920 and Anna born 1895 became a famous analyst in her own right. From 1886 to 1938 Freud had a private practice in Vienna and his theories and writings were the result of his work with his patients. During his life he experienced much poverty. He lived a simple financial life and regarded money as a commodity to satisfy his own needs -- and not to be thoughtlessly accumulated. He borrowed and was generous, but didn't worry about not being able to give his wife expensive gifts. When a bonfire was made of his books in Berlin in May 1933 Freud was unperturbed. 'What progress we are making' he commented. 'In the Middle Ages they would have burnt me. Now they are content with burning my books.' He left for London on April 6, 1938 and died there on September 23, 1939.
All progressive thinkers do battle with the status quo and established custom
Chances are you're rather moderate, even conservative, but every now and then nature produces a dynamic original thinker. These thinkers upset the status quo. Their new and original ideas often provide amazing new insights that upset the belief systems of the dominant culture -- and the voice of authority will say and do anything to protect its position of privilege. This explains why original thinkers are very often attacked, criticized, vilified and demonized by special privilege and vested interest -- whose short-sighted stupidity and selfishness is a major barrier to human progress. Humanity owes a great debt of gratitude to the original thinkers who, in the interest of truth, dared to break with established custom in their pursuit of truth and human understanding
But a radical thinker who espouses progressive ideas and radical sex theories is bound to upset the status quo more than most. S/he naturally attracts great opposition. And any attempt to explain human nature in terms of unconscious driving forces is bound to be controversial. After all, what is the unconscious? And science, unable to measure it, finds it easier to deny its existence.
Freud's astrological profile
The astrological birthchart is a map of the unconscious mind's thought structure and Hermetic Astrology provides a methodology for explaining the unconscious mental activity and its functional integrity.
The Sun in the birthchart is the astro-marker for the unconscious drive for personal power and significance and its house position marks for the environmental cues that will influence the drives formation and development. The Sun in Freud's birthchart is the strongest (dominant) planet and his unconscious desire for significance and personal importance was his strongest driver. He wanted to be somebody and with the Sun in the 7th house (the public) his desire for social status was cued to the needs of people in general.
The Sun was in Taurus -- the astro-marker for routine, thoroughness, the perfecting of small details and stability. It was in the second decanate where the sub-influence of Virgo gives the fixity of purpose (Taurus) an analytical trend. This decanate marks for struggle -- and there was much poverty, delay, sacrifice and opposition, but his unusual supply of electro-magnetism and his own mental force -- focused on the unconscious -- were able to cause many of the obstacles to crumble. The conflict that resulted brought a battle for intellectual and scientific supremacy. Thus he made a challenge out of life and rose above the physical limitations it imposed and the need for material pleasure.
With the Sun conjunct Uranus Freud's desire to be somebody formed a prominence thought-compound with his desire for individuality and originality. This aspect marks for the dominant thought structure in his unconscious mind -- and the ability to deviate from the cut and dried tradition of the accepted script. He was a radical change-agent and he changed the way we think about ourselves. This unconscious thought-compound sourced Freud's original ideas on the unconscious. The intellectual planets, Mercury and Uranus, were both prominent in the third decanate of Taurus -- the astro-marker for mastership -- and in Freud's case full knowledge of the unconscious and how it works. It marks for a capacity to use physical means to attain spiritual ends, slow progress, but a sure and steady climb. Unbeknownst to Freud his spiritual growth (also Pluto in the 6th house) was largely determined by his personal power to help his patients overcome their psychological problems. With the Sun conjunct Mercury and Uranus -- and all three planets prominent, Freud's outstanding mental behaviour was his intellectual originality. He was psychologically designed to tread new paths.
The non-prominent (weak) Moon was in the second decanate of Gemini and his wife raised the children. Freud had other things on his mind. It marks for fidelity and enhances the chances of finding a congenial mate. There's a singular and admirable faithfulness to human companions or some high ideal; and by championing the unconscious mind and working to get it generally acknowledged and accepted Freud made the most of his life.
Finally, the Ascendant in the first decanate of Scorpio holds important astro-data pertaining to Freud's own personality and sex drive. Scorpio marks for intense likes and dislikes and a strong sense of duty. The first decanate accentuates resourcefulness -- and the capacity to live a strenuous life to the maximum. It marks for very strong sexual impulses and Freud knew, from personal experience that his own unconscious possessed powerful sex impulses that influenced his conscious mental life. He could only experience his own inner mental life and concluded that it was a storehouse of wild unruly sexual impulses -- and he was right. What he didn't know was that only a portion of the population have this decanate on the Ascendant or prominent in their birthcharts. No wonder his fundamental idea of an unconscious where potent sexual and aggressive drives struggle for supremacy is so controversial -- yet to him it was obvious. His own sex drive provided him with an excess of creative energy and a natural ability to heal. It also sourced a fertility of ideas and stimulated his creative imagination. By guiding his surplus sex-energy into socially useful work he was able to develop an understanding of the unconscious mind and how it functions. This doesn't mean he got it right, but he did pave the way for other thinkers who will stand on his shoulders. This decanate pictures the eternal struggle between the human soul and its animal impulses -- an important personal issue for Freud. It needs to be pointed out that a discordant Scorpio marks for troublesomeness and there are many people who would label Freud a troublemaker.
The dynamic psychological drives and impulses that influence the conscious thinking and behaviour reside in the unconscious portion of the mind and the astrological birthchart allows us to see what these unconscious drivers are doing. Mars is the astro-marker for the aggressive urge and sex drive and Mars in Freud's birthchart allows us to see what the aggressive urge in his unconscious mind was doing.
The struggle Freud had with his own sexual impulse is clearly detailed by Mars in his birthchart. It provides an evolutionary account of his sex life experience -- stored as memory in his unconscious soul-mind. Mars -- his sex impulse -- in the 11th house (friends) forms a sesquisquare (agitation) aspect with the Sun -- his self-esteem in the 7th house (open opposition); a square (obstacle-frustration) aspect with Saturn the astro-marker for fear, guilt and remorse in the 8th house (death) and an opposition (separation) aspect with Jupiter -- the planet of religion -- in the 5th house (sex, pleasure and fun). This high discord merger of sex, God and fear reveals a high level of unconscious mental discomfort that displayed itself as a personal sexual conflict. Yet if his claim that much illness and disease results from unresolved unconscious sexual conflict is true, then his own health problems must have been caused by unconscious mental conflicts that were able to turn on disease-specific biological mechanisms. Fortunately with Mars forming a high-harmony luck (trine) aspect with Mercury -- the astro-marker for deductive reasoning -- his was able to relieve much of the Mars-Jupiter discord by making rational sense of his own sex drive and what was going on.
A case-history of Freud's
health problems and their astro-markers
Sciatica -- Mars is opposition Jupiter and sesquisquare Uranus. Over mental activity and a dietary deficiency of calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B-1 cause a dysfunction of the parathyroid gland.
Bronchial neuritis -- Mars is sesquisquare Uranus. Heavy duty thinking in response to an emergency fight (Mars) situation results in parathyroid gland dysfunction and adrenal gland exhaustion. A deficiency of calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B-1 in the daily diet aggravates the situation and the nerves become inflamed.
Rheumatism of the back and arms -- Mars in Libra (the lumber region of the physical body) is square Saturn in Gemini (the arm and shoulder region). The discordant Mars (anger)-Saturn (fear) thinking disturbs the functional integrity of the adrenal gland resulting in a chemical imbalance. There's usually an excess of acid producing foods in the diet.
Nasal catarrh and sinus -- Uranus and Neptune are prominent, Jupiter is square Saturn and the Ascendant is in Scorpio (the nose). Neptune particularly causes the nerves to become hypersensitive. The daily diet is lacking in calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B-1.
Indigestion -- Moon is square Neptune and Mercury is square MC. Discordant heavy-duty thinking causes the secretion of adrenalin and this hormone withdraws the blood from the digestive tract resulting in digestion problems.
Constipation (due to a deficiency of fiber) -- Saturn is square Mars and Jupiter.
Cancer of the throat, mouth and jaw -- Moon is square Neptune, Jupiter is square Saturn, Mercury (the jaw) is prominent and Taurus (the throat) is prominent and discordant. The discordant Moon-Neptune, Jupiter-Saturn thinking causes a biochemical event that supports the development of cancer. The disease first occurred in 1923 and Freud had an operation that year. He suffered from cancer of the mouth for over 20 years.
Freud's aptitude profile
Freud had a unique and possibly rare prominent planet profile. Four planets had above average power -- Sun, Uranus, Mercury and Neptune.
They represent aptitudes that could, with training, be turned into ability. Freud was more than a practicing psychoanalyst and it is unlikely that these four planets will represent the astro-markers for that profession. It's important not to confuse attitudes and behaviour traits (the zodiac signs) with ability.
The ability to lead and attain social status -- prominent Sun
The ability to attain a position of authority -- prominent Sun
Executive ability -- prominent Sun
The capacity to exercise power and take personal control -- prominent Sun
The ability to understand unconscious thought processes -- Uranus
The ability to view things in a very different way -- Uranus
The ability to originate new ideas and new ways of doing things -- Uranus
The ability to engage in radical upside-down thinking -- Uranus
The ability to explain occult processes -- Uranus
The ability to depart from established custom -- Uranus
The ability to experience fresh insights, new ideas and spectacular revelations -- Uranus
Intellectual ability -- Mercury
Studiousness and ability to learn -- Mercury
Attention to detail and deductive reasoning -- Mercury
Writing ability and clarity of thought and expression -- Mercury
The capacity to disassociate and develop original ideas -- Mercury conjunct Uranus
Empathy for the human emotional condition -- Neptune
The capacity to access the astral planes for psychological insights -- Neptune
The capacity to promote his own ideas and theories -- Neptune
The spark of genius -- Neptune
Deep, abstruse mysteries like the unconscious mind can only be unraveled by extraordinary minds possessing extraordinary intelligence -- and Sigmund Freud without a compass, roadmap or travel guide went in search of the unconscious mind. He had no predecessors to provide him with guiding lights. He probed the secrets of the unconscious and his findings still cause bitter controversy and conflict. Today they are constantly challenged, criticized and discredited.
Working on the frontiers of mental science Freud forced humanity to confront the source and incomprehensible intrigues of its thinking and behaviour. He not only sought to provide a complete picture of the mind and how it functions he wanted to develop and explain the rules of psychoanalysis -- to explain human nature in its entirety. To do this he coined psychological jargon -- words like id, ego and superego -- each representing a psychological process serving a different function. He claimed that environmental conflict results in anxiety and distress and people develop individual ways (defense mechanisms) for dealing with their conflicts.
Sigmund Freud more than any other mind-explorer has influenced the way we currently think about our mental selves. His fundamental idea -- that hidden behind the conscious awareness there's an unconscious where dynamic sexual, aggressive and other impulses influence the mental and physical health -- is difficult to grasp, and being forced to confront unsavory personal truths requires a level of honesty that few human souls possess. Yet we all struggle to make sense of, and come to terms with our own animal impulses and Freud simply observed this unspoken truth. At the start his audience was small, but now everyone has heard of Sigmund Freud. But many people don't like what he has forced upon them.
Freud's contribution to understanding human nature
Freud discovered how unconscious thought-forces influenced the conscious thinking and behaviour. He developed the method of free association and dream interpretation -- the basis of psychoanalysis. He developed concepts of the id, ego and superego. His sexual theories -- the Oedipus complex, penis envy, castration anxiety -- remain controversial. His work has made us re-think human nature and now we attempt to understand antisocial behaviour in terms of unconscious forces, and their socialization.
Because we are all different there can be no one-size fits all when it comes to understanding the unconscious mind. Maybe Freud did overplay the role of the sex drive for no doubt individual soul's have sex drives that vary in their strength and functional integrity. The external environment in which the sex drive must express is also subject to cultural change but the evidence suggests that the impulse that causes a great deal of pleasure also causes a great deal of pain. Freud was emphatic: 'I am quite sure I made no mistake when I emphasized the predominance of the sex instinct.'
The sex instinct is a universal impulse -- every human soul has a sex drive -- yet the strength of the drive varies greatly between individuals and so does its functional integrity. Freud was unaware of this. He was also unaware that the individual's birthchart provides an evolutionary history of their sexual-life experience -- and that past experience determines current conduct. Some things take forever to understand. It's no wonder that many people can identify with his claims -- and many people can't!
Freud was an enormously influential thinker. He introduced the concept of an unconscious mind and emphasized dream analysis and the theory that mental disturbance was rooted in early childhood experience. He understood that human behaviour was largely governed by unconscious drives -- so celebrate your mind and mental life. He commented: 'We are only at the beginning of a new science. I was successful in digging up buried monuments from the substrata of the mind. But where I discovered a few temples others may discover a continent.'
Freud started a revolution in the way we think about our personality development and mental selves. His influence is incalculable. He helped humanity to understand its mental self. We should be grateful. Freud claimed to have 'discovered some important new facts about the unconscious psychic life, the role of essential urges and so on.' Other minds will add to our self-knowledge. Elbert Benjamine made a gigantic leap in human understanding when he explained these fundamental urges in a personal evolutionary context. He discovered that your birthchart is an evolutionary record of previous experience and, in the Hermetic System of Astrology, explains how you can use the astro-data provided by the chart to make your life better. His discoveries will take your breath away.
The astrology of original, innovative thought
Individual's function on a mental level that is astrologically determined. The foundation of God's great evolutionary plan is mental diversity. All intellectual activity originates in the unconscious soul-mind and researchers claim that the least common mental behaviour is original thinking. Maybe 1 person in 15,000 has an innate potential to engage in dynamic original thinking -- and then the drive to conform (Sun) and the fear of being different (Saturn) can easily quash the impulse. The truly original thinker is best viewed as an evolutionary oddity. Their mental make-up is the result of an unusual developmental experience that programs them to think differently and to function on a mental level where new and original ideas are the norm. They have a biochemical profile that produces an electrochemical condition that permits original thinking.
Uranus is the planet of original thinking and he's no ordinary thought-force. He marks for the ability to perceive and think differently. Being unconventional and ahead of his time his world-view is usually out of step with conventional thought. Orthodox thinkers, sooner or later, simply play catch-up. Uranus not only marks for an interest in unusual subjects -- biology, psychology and astrology, he sources the capacity to dig deep and unearth amazing new truths. He gives a keen insight into human psychology and how the mind processes experiences into thoughts and feelings. These insights often occur through intuition -- an unconscious (Uranus) mental faculty that can provide a superior perception of reality to conventional, orthodox scientific thought (Mercury). Uranus is the planet of short cuts and quick methods. His thought-cells display inventiveness and naturally work to find new and better ways of doing things -- especially teaching. They also mark for charisma -- a dynamic capacity to impress others and exercise magnetic control. His radical views and insights naturally disrupt the status quo resulting in controversy and dissension -- and in the case of astrology and E.S.P. unscientific accusations and the refusal to investigate.
Those individuals who are born with a strong desire to engage in individualistic originality are astrologically designed to be original thinkers. They are norm violators who can depart from established lines of orthodox thinking and tread new paths. Their Uranus thought-cells tune their nervous systems to an electrochemical state that supports original thinking and scientific investigation. They prefer facts to beliefs and precise figures to vague guesswork. These souls have an astrological predisposition to disassociate mental images and engage in radical upside-down thinking. S/he can view things from a new and unique perspective, but the thinking always operate in a local environment and is conditioned by experience. A prominent Uranus often marks for mental brilliancy and occult penetration. There's an innate potential to understand thought processes, human nature, psychology and astrology.
Sigmund Freud was a genuine original thinker. We can only imagine the intellectual and emotional states he experienced as he slowly unraveled and gained insight into the mysterious working of the unconscious mind. He must have had a most rewarding and meaningful intellectual journey.
Freud's daughter Anna followed in her father's footsteps and became a famous analyst. She was his favorite daughter and colleague, and in 1938 traveled to England with her parents. She started her career as an elementary school teacher and then moved onto the study of the mind. She influenced the field of psychoanalysis specializing in children and child psychology. She established the first day nursery in Vienna and founded the Hampstead Children's Therapy Clinic in London. During World War 11 she worked with orphaned children. Anna Freud authored a number of books and was honoured with many degrees. In 1967 she was named a Commander of the British Empire. She died October 9, 1982.
Anna Freud was born December 3, 1895 at 3.15pm. The place was Vienna, Austria (16E20; 48N13). Data researcher Grazia Bordoni quotes a letter by her father. Her prominent birthchart planets are Mercury, Sun, Jupiter and Pluto. Mercury, the intellectual planet, dominates her chart. It's the planet of mental expression -- in speech and writing and marks for alert reasoning processes and the ability to reason, compare, calculate and write. Its prominence marks for clear cut objective thinking, mental keenness and a talent for expressing information clearly. Mercury is the astro-marker for children and in her chart it marks for her interest in child psychology.
The prominent Sun marks for a very active power thought-cell group. It sourced her executive ability and drive for social status. The prominent Jupiter and dominant Sagittarius mark for a strong religious influence that most likely displayed itself in her humanitarian work with children. When this thought energy blended with Pluto, the universal welfare planet, Anna's thoughts and actions reached truly noble heights.
Father and daughter had several astrological features in common. The Sun and Mercury were both prominent, the Moon was in Gemini, Mercury was conjunct Uranus and the Sun was in the 7th house, but all things considered they were very different people. Uranus, the planet of psychology, was not prominent in Anna's chart, but Pluto, the planet that can understand the inside working of things gave her talents that her father didn't have: And the Neptune-Pluto conjunction in the 1st house marked for an unconscious thought force that displayed itself as a highly spiritual personality.
Her father was the original thinker who dug up previously unknown information and made it accessible to other minds: And the intelligence that discovers and researches previously unknown information is different to the intelligence that can learn what it discovered. Anna stood on her father's shoulders, but then she raised the bar. Her social usefulness and contribution to human understanding were truly magnificent.