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Happy Birthday Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi was born on June 19, 1945, in Rangoon, Burma (now called Myanmar). There is no known birth time, so I will be looking at her sunrise chart and the eclipses surrounding her birth to trace some of the highlights in her life.(1)

natal sunrise Suu Kyi

I have included astrological keynotes, but will not be interpreting the symbols in any detail. Said another way, this blog assumes a familiarity with astrological symbolism. I look forward to your comments.

As per Carl Jansky, I like to look at the prenatal solar eclipse set for the birthplace, especially useful when there is no known birth time. This can show themes and degree sensitivities that are carried throughout the life. The prenatal solar eclipse was on January 16, 1945.

lunar eclipse, set for Rangoon

This was a South Node eclipse with the Sun and Moon at 24° Capricorn in the 10th house, suggesting a politically prominent family, and a life replete with a sense of responsibility and duty. There is a tight square between Venus in Pisces and Uranus in Gemini, and an angular cardinal t-square between Mars in Capricorn, opposite Saturn in Cancer, both square to Neptune in Libra. (One visible Venus-Uranus theme in her life is separation from loved ones. Exalted Mars is opposite Saturn, which is disposed by the Moon; both are squared by Neptune — a pronounced commitment to fulfill obligations to family and country, fueled by personal sacrifice or a spiritual point of view.)

(The prenatal solar eclipse is also the waxing square of Mars to Neptune; the prenatal Mars-Neptune synodic conjunction was on September 2, 1944, at 3°05’ Libra, further strengthening the themes of altruistic action, spiritual warriorship, etc., of those degrees.)

The eclipse closest to birth is a lunar eclipse on June 26 at 3°39’ Capricorn/Cancer.

This lunar eclipse is marked by an exact square from Neptune, which suggests loss, sacrifice, and spirituality as strong themes in her life. The lunation on the Cancer/Capricorn axis points to her connection to both family lineage and her country.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s father, Aung San, was the architect of Burma’s independence from the British Empire in 1947. He was assassinated on July 19, 1947 when his only daughter was two years old. On that day, transiting Mars was at 13-14° Gemini, conjunct the child’s Uranus. She had two brothers. Aung San Lin, the brother closest to her in age, died soon after her father; he drowned when he was eight. I could not find a date for that event, but we can see the symbolism of loss in the family (through drowning) in the lunar eclipse chart.

On January 1, 1972 Suu Kyi married Michael Aris, a scholar of Tibetan and Himalayan studies, in England. They had a Buddhist wedding ceremony, “but it was always on the understanding that they would have to be apart if the Burmese people needed her.” (2) In one of many letters she wrote to Aris before they married, she said: “Sometimes I am beset by fears that circumstances and national considerations might tear us apart just when we are so happy in each other that separation would be a torment.” (3)

Suu Kyi and Aris photo

On the wedding day the transiting Sun (the husband in a woman’s chart) was at 10° Capricorn, conjunct her natal South Node (9° Capricorn). Transiting Mars at 4° Aries was opposite her natal Neptune at 4° Libra, and square the lunar eclipse (3°39’ Cancer/ Capricorn) after her birth.

Suu Kyi natal & wedding

There was a solar eclipse at 25°24’ Capricorn on January 16, several weeks after the marriage, repeating the prenatal eclipse. She was 27. The couple had two sons, born in 1973 and 1977. (In 1986, both sons took part in the traditional Buddhist ceremony of initiation into monkhood.)

The year 1988 was a pivotal one: Saturn and Uranus were conjunct in the sky all year in late Sagittarius and early Capricorn. Burma was in turmoil. The long-time military dictator resigned in July and popular demonstrations for freedom from military rule filled the streets.

Suu Kyi’s fateful nodal axis was again triggered: Mars and Neptune began a synodic cycle on March 8, 1988 with a conjunction at 9°52’ Capricorn, the degree of her natal South Node.

The total solar eclipse on March 18 (27°41’ Pisces) squared her natal Sun. On March 31, Suu Kyi’s mother, who was a prominent political figure in the Burmese government, had a severe stroke; the Sun had moved to 11° Aries, which is square Suu Kyi’s natal Saturn and her nodal axis. (See Suu Kyi’s natal chart above.) Years later, her husband said about that day, “I had a premonition that our lives would change for ever.” (4)

On August 3 Mars in Aries made a waxing square to Neptune in Capricorn. Several days later, there were mass uprisings throughout the country, followed by a violent suppression by the military that killed thousands of people.

On August 15, with transiting Mars at 11° Aries (again, square natal Saturn and the nodal axis), Suu Kyi took her first political action. She sent an open letter to the government “asking for formation of an independent consultative committee to prepare multi-party elections.” (5)

On August 26, the day before a lunar eclipse at 4°28 Pisces, Mars stationed retrograde at 11° Aries. On this day Aung San Suu Kyi gave her first public speech. She addressed several hundred thousand people and called for a democratic government. Her husband and sons were in attendance.

Following the lunar eclipse, there was a solar eclipse at 18°39’ Virgo on September 11.

On September 24 the National League for Democracy (NLD), with a policy of non-violence and civil disobedience, was formed. Suu Kyi was general-secretary and was now fully committed to carry on her family’s work on behalf of democracy in Burma.

bi-wheel natal & Sept 24, 1988

Transiting Mars retrograde was at 6° Arie, square transiting Neptune at 7° Capricorn. The Sun at 2° Libra was conjunct Suu Kyi’s natal Neptune at 3° Libra, also Neptune’s place at the bending of the lunar eclipse after birth — June 26, 1945 — and the degree of the prenatal Mars-Neptune synodic conjunction. (See lunar eclipse chart above.)

(Suu Kyi’s mother, who had suffered a stroke with the transiting Sun at 11° Aries, the degree of Mars’ station, died on December 27, 1988. The transiting Sun was with Saturn at 6° Capricorn, within a few degrees of Suu Kyi’s natal South Node.)

The following year, 1989, transiting Jupiter was conjunct her natal Sun on July 17. On July 20, 1989, she was placed under house arrest for the first time; transiting Saturn was at 9° Capricorn, directly conjunct her natal South Node. She was offered freedom if she left the country, but she refused. She remained in Burma, essentially under house arrest and separated from her husband and children, until November 2010.

Suu Kyi has received countless international awards and honors for her efforts to promote democracy peacefully, including the Nobel Peace Prize, which she received on October 14, 1991.

She was 46 years old; this was a half nodal return, precise several months later on December 21, 1991, the lunar eclipse at 29° Gemini conjunct the natal Sun.

bi-wheel natal & eclipse chart 1991

Suu Kyi saw her husband Michael Aris for the last time on Christmas 1995 when transiting Jupiter was opposite her natal Sun. The transiting Sun was at 3°- 4° Capricorn, again the fateful degree of the Moon at her birth lunar eclipse. Aris was diagnosed with cancer in 1997. “Despite appeals from prominent figures and organizations, including the United States, UN Secretary General Kofi Anan, and Pope John Paul II, the Burmese government would not grant Aris a visa, saying that they did not have the facilities to care for him, and instead urged Aung San Suu Kyi to leave the country to visit him. She was at that time temporarily free from house arrest, but was unwilling to depart, fearing that she would be refused re-entry if she left, as she did not trust the military junta’s assurance that she could return.” (6)

Michael Aris died of prostate cancer in London on his 53rd birthday, March 27, 1999, “without realising his wish to see his wife one last time.” (7)

On the day of her husband’s death, transiting Juno was conjunct transiting Pluto. Born five days after a Juno-Pluto conjunction at 8°33’ Leo, Suu Kyi has this aspect in the natal chart. The two traveled together again the year her husband died, conjunct (for the first of three times) on March 7, 1999 at 10°29’ Sagittarius.

Suu Kyi had a Venus return on her husband’s death day as well. Transiting Mars at 11° Scorpio was opposite Venus at 11° Taurus (her birth Venus), and both were square to natal Juno. Suu Kyi has a Venus-Mars conjunction at birth.

bi-wheel Suu Kyi natal & husband’s death

On November 13, 2010 Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest. The transiting nodes were at 3°39’ Cancer/Capricorn — the exact degrees, again, of the lunar eclipse after her birth. (The Sun was at 3°39’ Capricorn, and the Moon at 3°39’ Cancer.) This was a month before a lunar eclipse conjunct her natal Sun — December 21, 2010, at 29°22’ Gemini. This is a metonic (19-year) cycle, mirroring the eclipse in December 1991 that heralded her Nobel Peace Prize.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s natal Sun is at the degree of Betelgeuse, the brightest star in the constellation of Orion. It is known as a star of great success and honor.

Throughout 2011 transiting Pluto was on her natal south node. On April 1, 2012 Suu Kyi won the vote for a seat in Parliament; she took office as a member of the National League for Democracy on May 2, 2012.

The past lunar eclipse (June 4 at 14°08’ Sagittarius) was conjunct her natal Uranus at 14° Gemini (the degree of transiting Mars when her father was killed). Suu Kyi is often shown with flowers in her hair. She has said that this is in honor of her father, General Aung San, a hero of Burma, “whom she remembers threading flowers through her hair.” (8)

On June 16, a few days before her 67th birthday, Aung San Suu Kyi gave her acceptance speech in Oslo for the Nobel Peace Prize she had been awarded in 1991. As mentioned above, in 1991 she had a lunar eclipse conjunct the natal Sun. At this weekend’s ceremony Aung San Suu Kyi said: “The Nobel Peace Prize opened up a door in my heart.” (9)

Her birthday is June 19. Many Happy Solar Returns, Aung San Suu Kyi.


(1) All biographical material from http:Wikipedia
and Nobel

(2) BBC

(3) New York Times

(4) New York Times

(5) Nobel

(6) Wikipedia

(7) BBC

(8) New York Times

(9) New York Times


  1. What a woman, and what an interesting piece.

    I note that the Uranus-Pluto square is touching her chart very closely – right now on her nodes, and in the coming years on her Moon-Saturn square. How I wish we had a birth time…

  2. No available birth time? Let’s not give up. What planetary placements and movements make sense in terms of what we know about her life?

    To me, her long, thin body and long face suggest Sagittarius rising, meaning a possible birth late in the day. That puts ruling planet Jupiter (in exile in Virgo) high in the sky. That fits her prominence, stemming in part from family prominence, as well as her long de facto role as opposition leader.

    An obvious key factor in rectification is her marriage to a foreign intellectual, one who bridged East and West. Sagittarius rising puts Leo on the ninth house (I’m using whole sign houses), ruled by the Sun in intellectual Gemini in the seventh. In the Hellenistic system, a planet—such as Mercury here, in Cancer but ruling the adjacent sign Gemini—can be “averse,” indicating a disconnect. That was certainly the case here, tragically enforced both by choice and circumstance.

    I think it’s safe to say that Saturn, in exile in Cancer, has played a heavy role in her life. In this proposed rectification (I’m experimenting with 6:00 p.m.), Saturn falls in the eighth house of fear and death, which fits with losing her father to assassination at the tender age of two, when her Sun had progressed to the last degree of Gemini, indicating crisis and irrevocable change. The depth of and commitment to her spiritual practice is evident in the fact that one of her most famous speeches is “Freedom From Fear”, which began: “It is not power that corrupts, but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”

    Speech-making apparently wasn’t the norm for her, however. But look at what happened by progression in August 1988, when she became politically active and entered a new realm of danger: the Midheaven, now in Mars-ruled Scorpio, was exactly opposite natal Mars. In addition, progressed Jupiter was now exactly conjunct natal Midheaven: potential for prominence fulfilled. Progressed Venus was closing in on conjunction with natal Sun, indicating protection from the worst forms of political fallout. (Note that natal Saturn’s closest aspect is an exact sextile to Venus in domicile, which she expresses as love power calming fearful inclinations.)

    What do others think?

    • Thanks for this, Peter. You may have something there!

  3. I read her book years ago and have been following her progress, especially lately- a personal hero of mine. I had forgotten about the romance/marriage. I bet someone is already writing the screenplay!

    You pick the most fascinating and topical subjects- thanks as always.

    As far as time of birth- the sunrise chart might just be close- house arrest…all those 4th house planets, including Jupiter- her involvement with Justice. North Node is in the 1st…she is now world famous for her struggle to lead her country down the hard road, but the better road for all its citizens. 7th house relationships are troubled by the South Node.

    I find the Mercury at the 0 anoretic degree in Cancer especially and profoundly significant.

    • Thanks Carl, yes, the love story!

      I love the photo of them when they were young..


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