As an astrologer with a great interest in history, I am always amazed to see birth charts activated hundreds of years after the death of the individual. I wrote previously about Alexander Hamilton — who died in 1804 — coming back to life with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical of the same name.
Although without the sensational cultural impact of Hamilton, Martin Luther has come back to life after over 500 years, with the PBS broadcast of “Martin Luther: The Idea That Changed the World,” which first aired on September 12, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. It is even more amazing that Lois Rodden has an AA rating for his birth time, and that his life is fairly well documented, with exact dates of significant life events, including a time for death. I have just begun researching his life and, in this blog, I will consider some of the current planetary placements connected to his natal chart. (1)
November 10, 1483
10:46 p.m. LMT
Eisleben, Germany (51N20; 11E32)
Whole sign houses
I started writing this on September 20, when the New Moon (27º27′ Virgo) was opposite transiting Chiron (26º30′ Pisces). I noticed right away that Luther is a Chironic figure himself, with his natal Sun at 27º19′ Scorpio trining Chiron (26º58′ Pisces), and that during this lunation, he had a Chiron return. (Chiron returns to its natal position every 50 years, so obviously he has had many returns in the 533 years since his birth, but probably not many so strongly connected to a New Moon, and thus bringing him to our attention.)
Inner: Martin Luther, natal
Outer: September 20 New Moon
The September PBS special acknowledged Luther’s many accomplishments — the proliferation of schools and universities in Germany; the importance of teaching children of both sexes; the translation of the Bible into German from Latin so everyone could read scripture; the unification of the German language; the awakening of people to the concept that one’s conscience is the guide in spiritual matters; faith in Christ and the power of His forgiveness — rather than the performance of certain works — as important for salvation.
According to the program’s producers, Luther was the “first media star,” of history, as he was able to take advantage of Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press (1439). On October 31, 1517, he posted his “Ninety-five Theses” on the wall of the Cathedral in Wittenberg, which railed against the church’s selling of indulgences (to forgive sins and to get the money to build St. Peter’s). Copies became available throughout Germany very quickly, and, soon thereafter, throughout Europe. There are 130 volumes of his life works, both books and pamphlets, and true to his unique understanding of the importance of the printing press, he carefully made sure that each one was visually beautiful and aesthetically pleasing to hold.
Luther, who had been a monk, married after his excommunication by the Pope. He was considered to be an outlaw by the Holy Roman Emperor, who issued a decree that anybody could kill Luther without having to suffer consequences. He did not feel that celibacy was crucial to being a priest, but, rather, saw it as a “gift” that was not for everybody. Luther had a much more enlightened view of the role of women than most men of his time — he deeded his farm to his wife, which was illegal at the time.
Luther was a prolific hymnodist (the author of many hymns and psalms), and also encouraged such figures as J.S. Bach to compose music. He changed the liturgical service to include more music, and wrote a German Mass so that all the parishioners could understand what the priest was saying.
We can think of Chironic people as those singular, lonely figures that are emboldened by their own inner convictions, and — possibly without a conscious intention to disrupt the status quo — do so regardless of their own personal safety. Martin Luther was a maverick, one of those individuals whose calling is to break humanity out of the authoritarianism and tradition of Saturn into the more egalitarian and independent ways of Uranus.
But there must be something more to explain why Martin Luther’s chart has come to such prominence at this time. A few points: His Ascendant is 24º54′ Leo, and the North Node and Venus were conjunct at 23º58′ Leo on September 14th, two days after the PBS special about his life. The North Node–Venus conjunction on his Ascendant was also sextile Jupiter at 24º Libra, suggesting a pleasant event that brings the native into the limelight.
Luther is also having a Jupiter return: Natal Jupiter is at 27º Libra conjunct the South Node, and currently transited by Uranus. Luther, whose work proliferated via the printing press, the technology of his day, is now being exposed via current technology (Uranus) — a television special bringing his life and views into contemporary livingrooms.
Luther’s natal chart has Mercury–Neptune conjunct at 9º09′ Sagittarius. His solar return chart for November 2016 has the Midheaven at 5º Virgo with the North Node at 9º Virgo, opposing transiting Neptune and the South Node, both squaring Mercury at 10º Sagittarius; this repeats the Mercury—Neptune connection in the natal (which is further emphasized by the solar return Midheaven and the transiting nodes.)
set for birthplace: Eisleben, Germany
One last note: There is a very famous event in Martin Luther’s early life. On July 2, 1505, at the age of 22, he was riding back to the university on his horse when he ran into a frightening thunderstorm. Praying fervently as the rain, wind, and lightning plummeted him, he cried out that if God delivered him from the storm, he would become a monk! Upon arriving back at school Luther switched out of law school into theology, becoming one of the intellectual giants of his day, earning two BA’s and a Doctorate in Theology.
On that day, his progressed Jupiter was within 0°12′ of arc to natal Mars at 1º15′ Scorpio. Transiting Jupiter will be there on October 14th, one more aspect signifying that Martin Luther’s life is awakening anew at this time.(3)
There is lots more than can be done with this chart. I have only skimmed the surface. I wanted to look at his profections but have had difficulty in figuring out what house/sign is being activated in his 533rd birthday year!!
(1) Martin Luther, November 10, 1483; 10:46 p.m. LMT; Eisleben, Germany. AA
(2) Biographical material from the PBS program and Wikipedia.
Wikipedia: Martin Luther
(3) For those readers interested in zodiacal releasing, Luther has the Moon at 11º Aries conjunct the Part of Fortune at 11º Aries, squared his Part of Spirit at 8º38’Capricorn. That means every time his Part of Fortune gets activated so does his Part of Spirit which must add great strength to the success of his initiatives.
Releasing from Spirit from 11/10/1483 to 6/21/1510 he was in a level 1 Capricorn time band, igniting both Fortune and Spirit. On level 4 he had a loosening of the bonds from 6/26/1505 to 6/30/1505 from Capricorn to Leo and then on July 2nd (the date of this life-changing experience) entered his 4th level Libra, again triggering his cardinal setup.
Bio: Kate Plumb, “cycles scientist,” is a certified NCGR counseling astrologer who teaches monthly at Joshua’s Place in Southampton and sees clients in her home office. She is also certified in Astro*Carto*Graphy. Website: kateplumbastrology.com. Kate can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (631) 725-9133.