Astro Riff: Charles Darwin

"Charles Darwin by G. Richmond" by George Richmond - From Origins, Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

"Charles Darwin by G. Richmond" by George Richmond - From Origins, Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

Astro Riffs is an astrology series in which I look at the birth charts of famous dead people and talk about what I find interesting.  

Will all the world's rational skeptics beat down my door if I talk about astrology and Charles Darwin? What do you think? Should I risk it?

I'm going to risk it because his birth chart is so freaking cool, and I can't think of anyone more fitting to launch a series that looks at the dead through the lens of evolutionary astrology than the dead guy most synonymous with evolution, Charles Darwin.

Whenever you write about the birth charts of famous dead people you've never met, unless you have spent years thoroughly researching your subject, you're only able to compare the birth chart with the legend, which is tricky business, especially when you're talking about someone who's birth time is as uncertain as Darwin's. 

Darwin's chart, though, is so beautiful, I completely brushed aside any concern about his birth time.

So, what's so cool about this chart?

Take a look.

How perfect is that Sun and Moon in Aquarius? Aquarius is the scientist, the revolutionary, and the Sun and Moon are some of the most powerful influences in the sky--the ego and the seat of the emotions. I had no preconceptions when I looked at his chart, but my first reaction when I saw it was, "Of course, this is the chart of a scientist who revolutionized biology." 

And I find so beautiful that his Sun is in the 6th House, and his Moon is in the 5th House. Same sign. Those planets have the same personality, but his ego is concerned with service, and his heart wants to play. We know some personal stories about Darwin's walks and his friendships, but one look at that placement humanized him for me: He wasn't the Lord of Species. He was a person, who probably looked up at the clock and sighed while he was working out something tedious just like the rest of us. 

Then there's that Ascendant in Virgo. His persona was concerned with precision. He needed to have a reputation for getting it right, and it's easy to imagine that perfectionism being bolstered by that Uranus the planet of revolution conjunct his North Node, the path of soul growth. Being radical must have been hard for him, especially expressing radical ideas with all of that happening in the Third House of Communication. They say that Darwin sat on his theory for years and only published it when it looked like someone else was going to get there first with a half-baked idea.

Human, so human.

And then last of all that Midheaven, the most visible point in the sky. If I had to pick an icon for the author of Origin of Species and The Descent of Man, of course, it would be Taurus. Darwin is synonymous with natural science, and Taurus is the most primal of all the signs. 

But, then, as a Taurus myself, I might be a little bit biased.

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