In the last post the idea of “stepping stones” was introduced in order to synthesize the disparate astrological events through time into a unified stream of life development. In music (a Brahms symphony, let’s say), each new melody introduced somehow serves to develop the whole story through time; in life, each new development might also serve to flesh out (however gradually) the core purpose of our being.
The life of a symphony may be only 40 minutes, but for human beings these developments take years to occur, until finally the purpose of the composer-creator becomes clear (or it may not, depending on how we play our part.)
I believe it is vital for astrologers to be able to understand each life event in terms of a big picture – the picture may have to do with our relationship fulfillment in this life, or finding and expressing our true vocation – what we have come here to do.
Take Albert Einstein’s life development for instance (here is the chart). Using the Solar Arc approximation of 1 degree per year, we can easily see the Midheaven arcing to the Sun at age 10-11*, and Uranus arcing to oppose the MC at age 11 as well.
Using a shorthand we write this as age 10-11: MC=Sun, Uranus=MC. What happened? At age 10 Einstein was introduced to science, mathematics and philosophy. He began reading Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason and Euclid’s Elements. We can see this period as a major beginning in Einstein’s vocational journey, who began to learn about deductive reasoning and the mathematical tools of scientific inquiry through these books.
Similarly we see Jupiter=MC at age 15. This was when Einstein wrote his first scientific work (titled “The investigation of the state of Aether in magnetic fields.“) There was also a relocation and other things involved (along with more astrological measurements), but in terms of the vocational story we’re developing, we see this first work as a major stepping stone toward his career in science and academia.
At age 21-22 we see MC=Mercury, then MC=Saturn along with Uranus=Sun. At age 21 he graduated from ETH Zurich with a degree in Physics. At age 22 he published a paper in a prestigious physics journal: so now he has a university degree and is a published scholar – more stepping stones.
At age 26 we see a major milestone: Jupiter=Sun, promising major reward; as well as Node = Jupiter suggesting rewarding associations. This was when he published four important papers, later to be called Annus Mirabilis Papers. One of these papers led to his receiving a Nobel prize 16 years later; another one was about the theory of special relativity. He received his Ph.D at this time.
We can see this period as a major moment that pulls together the series of career-related events that began at age 10. This is enough to make a good story; but life continues on, and so does his development.
The Solar Arc approximation of 1 degree per year doesn’t work as well for Spring-Summer births after 30 years of age, but we know that in 1915 SA Pluto was on the Aries Point (highly visible event of empowerment – written Pluto=AP), and Jupiter=Mercury (Rewarding communication). This was when Einstein published his General Theory of Relativity.
Einstein received a Nobel prize in Physics in 1921. SA Nodal axis was on the MC (“being recognized” – Tyl.) Again, this is a major milestone that summarizes the development so far – 32 years after he started reading Kant and Euclid.
Each of these events can be perceived as a stepping stone for Einstein’s vocational development, and at the same time it was a worthy goal at that particular moment in life (when you are in a university, it becomes your goal to graduate; when you are working on a particular scientific problem, the goal is to find and publish a solution.)
Looking back from the vantage point of 1921, we can see these events flow together like one gigantic symphony leading up to the climactic moment of his receiving a Nobel prize. But there is no way Einstein could have known all the things he was going to think and write about when he started studying at age 10. He just kept on doing what felt meaningful and interesting to him at the time, and all the while this impressive story was unfolding.
Maybe the same thing could be happening to each one of us, as we follow our own path of development. When trying to project into the future, it may help to look through past major events in order to identify the unifying developmental themes. This way we are more in touch with the flow of music that is our life story.
(for detailed astro biography of Einstein, this is a work in progress, with transits and a progressed Moon included.)
* Note that MC at 12 degrees & 50 minutes of Pisces is slightly less than 11 degrees away from the Sun at 23 degrees 30 minutes of Pisces – hence the arc will be exact at the latter part of age 10, and continue to be in effect for the earlier part of age 11. Usually you can just think age 11, with the awareness that there may be some overwrap between ages. For a full detail of Solar Arc method, check out the earlier post about Solar Arc progression, as well as Noel Tyl’s book Solar Arcs.