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The Dalai Lama and the President

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The Dalai Lama and the President

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama met with President Obama on Saturday, July 16th. Dalai Lama translates as “Ocean teacher“ or “Ocean guru.”

“In religious terms, the Dalai Lama is believed by his devotees to be the rebirth of a long line of tulkus who are considered to be manifestations of the bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokitesvara.” (1) The “bodhisattva of compassion” can be seen as a demonstration of superlative qualities of the water element: the natal Sun in Cancer is connected by harmonious trine to Jupiter in Scorpio and Saturn in Pisces. (The Sun is disposed by the Moon in Virgo, which is conjunct Neptune.)

For this week’s blog, my idea was to get away from my current fixation with Nessus and Pholus and look at the Dalai Lama’s composite horoscope with President Obama. This horoscope of their relationship has the Sun and Moon in Cancer, placed directly at the IC.

The day of the private White House meeting, Saturday the 16th, the transiting Sun was at 24° Cancer, conjunct the Moon, Sun, and IC of the composite horoscope —  a lovely omen for a fertile and nourishing connection between them.

But then, to my surprise (thinking the Centaurs were only rummaging through my personal chart files), here comes Pholus — it is exactly conjunct the Midheaven (and opposite the Sun and Moon) in the composite. Both gentlemen were born with the Sun opposite Pholus; some essential patterns in their respective lives carry the signature of the Centaur Pholus.

Barak Obama natal

One description of the Sun opposite Pholus could be that the life path or character is developed by consistently meeting unusual experiences, experiences of a “different order,” or events that catalyze radical change.

One theory about the astronomical Centaurs is that they come from outside our solar system, perhaps the Kuiper belt. Like Chiron, they are visitors from “somewhere else.” They all have unstable orbits and are influenced by the larger planets, whose paths they cross. (Chiron links the orbits of Saturn and Uranus; Pholus links Saturn and Neptune, while Nessus links Saturn with Pluto.) This “cross-orbiting” phenomenon is part of their distinctive astronomical classification.

Some early keywords for Pholus — as listed on Juan Antonio Revilla’s website — are exodus, nomad, and homeless. (2)

We know a lot about the President’s mixed heritage and early travels, (i.e., some years in childhood spent in Indonesia). (3) His birth in  Hawaii has been tirelessly chronicled by “the birthers” — who seem, at last, to have lost steam. A new book, The Other Barack, The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama’s Father, suggests that before he was born, “his parents may have considered putting him up for adoption.” (4)

The Dalai Lama was born to a poor family in Tibet. When he was two he was recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. He began his monastic education away from his family at the age of six and fled his homeland in 1959 to India to escape Chinese oppression.

To our modern thinking, the mythical centaurs signify transformation — changing from one state to another. The gods are immortal, but the centaurs are mortal. In the myth, Pholus is curious about the arrow that has wounded Chiron. In trying to help, he pulls the arrow from another injured centaur.  The poisoned tip of the arrow kills Pholus. He dies quickly, not lingering like Chiron — thus, his connection to events moving very quickly and turning points in life whereby circumstances and consciousness transform suddenly. (That such a small arrow creates such devastation also shows Pholus’s association with the “small event, big results” theme.)

Nick Anthony Fiorenza, on his website, The Astronomy and Astrology of the Centaurs, writes: “In this light alone, it might be worth watching tendencies to help others who may be wounded or in dire trouble, but at the cost of unexpectedly and severely hurting self, even mortally.” (5)

In his religious life, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was in Washington last week conducting the Kalachakra Empowerment, which was attended by 10,000 people. “His Holiness reminded the attendees that his favorite prayer was that of Shantideva: ‘For as long as space endures, and for as long as living beings remain, until then may I too abide to dispel the misery of the world.’ “ (6)

Pholus has a 92-year cycle, and it is now at 14° Sagittarius. Strangely, it was at 12° Sagittarius, conjunct the U.S. Sibly Ascendant, on January 20, 2009, when Barak Obama was inaugurated. I guess that somehow the subtle and curious Pholus is part of the quality of this administration.

Here’s a webcast of the Dalai Lama’s comments on the meeting with the President.


(1) Wikipedia

(2) Juan Antonio Revilla’s website

About the Centaurs, Juan Revilla writes

“We must make new myths for the 21st century,
and the Centaurs are here to teach us that.
We have to be creative,
we have to cross barriers and break paradigms.
We are the whales, we are the dolphins,
we are not afraid of chaos.
There’s a new pact, a new covenant
between mankind and Earth in the making…”

(3) “Of his early childhood, Obama recalled, ‘That my father looked nothing like the people around me—that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk — barely registered in my mind.’ “ Wikipedia

(4) “The excerpt of the book says it is unclear whether Mr. Obama intended to have his son adopted or if he was fabricating the story to appease immigration officials.” New York Times

(5) The Astronomy and Astrology of the Centaurs

(6) Dalai


  1. Hi Mary-this blog was interesting. Do you think I can get an ephemeris for the centaurs online?

  2. The Pholus angle is a fascinating one. I continue to learn so much from you. Thx!

  3. Hey Mary,

    I always delight in articles about the centaurs and the asteroids, so thank you. What about the fact that “Earth” is found opposite the Sun in a chart? That would add some interest in Pholus’ meaning and also in Juan Revilla’s last two lines:
    “There’s a new pact, a new covenant
    between mankind and the Earth in the making. . ”

    I would suppose that where Earth is located in one’s own chart would be the area where one would have the greatest sense of Earth, and/or where one would make the greatest impact on Earth. If Pholus were to be conjunct Earth in a chart (and opposite the natal Sun) it might lend an “other world” element to the life whose chart it is and that might include the artistic, glamorous, boundry-less, spiritual or escapist aspects of Neptune. As I have Sun opposed Pholus myself and that puts him in my 10th house, I can see how it compliments or emphasizes other aspects of my chart. Especially the escapist part!!

  4. Interesting article but please note that He is the 14th Dalai Lama, not the 13th … !

  5. Thank you Martin..

    I corrected that error..


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