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What fuels Greta?

Climate activist Greta Thunberg was born January 3, 2003, right after the Capricorn New Moon. We don’t have a time for her, but the lunation was exact at 9:23 p.m. CET on January 2, so she is definitely a New Moon (not Balsamic) birth. (1) With no known time, this chart is set for sunrise (the Moon traveled from 13° to 27° Capricorn on January 3).

Greta Thunberg
Janary 3, 2003
Sunrise 8:51 am CET
Stockholm, Sweden (59N10 18E03)

Mercury stationed retrograde on January 2 at 28° Capricorn; Mercury is still and steady in the sky and carries the thoughtfulness of its evening star position (i.e., rising after the Sun). In the progressed chart, Mercury will turn direct at 12° Capricorn when Greta is about 20 years old. Mercury returning to the degree of the natal Sun adds more significance to that degree (in the middle decan of Capricorn) — something to explore in a future blog.

Although Greta became aware of climate change when she was eight years old, she started her public activism on August 20, 2018. That year, Sweden had suffered heat waves and wildfires in its hottest summer in at least 262 years; she began her strike alone outside the Swedish parliament, in a call for stronger action on global warming. There was a solar eclipse on August 11, 2018 at 18°34’ Leo — close to her natal Jupiter at 16°40’ Leo, which is trine her natal Pluto at 18°21’ Sagittarius. The next eclipse, also solar, was on January 5, 2019 at 15°31’ Capricorn, the sign of her Sun and Moon.

Greta has Mars square Uranus in fixed signs in the natal chart: Mars at 21° Scorpio and Uranus at 26° Aquarius. In 2018, the year that she began her public life as an activist, transiting Mars in early Aquarius squared Uranus, which had just moved into fixed sign Taurus, three times: May 16, August 1, and September 18.

In October 2018, she spoke at an event organized by Extinction Rebellion and said: “We’re facing an immediate unprecedented crisis that has never been treated as a crisis, and our leaders are all acting like children. We need to wake up and change everything.”

In January 2019, she spoke at the World Economic Forum at Davos: “I want you to act as if the house is on fire — because it is.” And in June 2019, a poll in the U.K. found that Thunberg has “‘pierced the bubble of denial’” of public concern about the environment.

On September 23, 2019, with the Sun at 0° Libra, she addressed the Climate Action Summit at the U.N. headquarters in New York City. (2) A video of her four-minute speech has been viewed many millions of times, and although stunningly inspirational to many, it has sadly opened her to some biting and cruel criticism as well.

Mars is always strong in tropical Scorpio. Mars is also conjunct the stars in the Scales of the constellation of Libra. Zuben Eschamali (18°46’ Scorpio) is the northern Scale; Zuben Elgenubi (15°17’ Scorpio) is the southern Scale. (3) Although these stars are faint, they have a rich history. The Scales of Libra are mythically connected to the goddess Astraea, the last of the gods to stay on Earth. As mankind became more corrupt, she ascended to the heavens and became the constellation Virgo; the scales of justice that she carried became the constellation Libra. Both stars of the scales are connected to social justice and reform, adding layers of meaning to the already powerful Mars in Scorpio. Vivian E. Robson wrote about Zuben Eschamali: “With Mars: High ambitions, success through energy, influential position, forceful writer and speaker.” (4)

The constellation of the royal prince, Perseus, is also notable in Greta’s horoscope. Anne Wright quotes George Noonan in Fixed Stars and Judicial Astrology (1990) on her website: “The constellation is indicative of events affecting large numbers of people, especially those events caused by major meteorological phenomena.” (5)

Capulus (24°12’ Taurus) is a nebula in the sword of Perseus; it is opposite Greta’s natal Mars and Venus positions. Bernadette Brady describes Capulus as “focused, direct, penetrating action.” (6) Algol, the star on the severed head of Medusa that Perseus holds, is the companion star to Capulus. Algol (26°10’ Taurus) has long been seen as a star that carries a fearsome power. Brady encapsulates early sources on Algol by declaring that the star is connected to any “foul, demonic deed that could befall the human race.” (7) Venus and Mars are rising ahead of the Sun in Thunberg’s horoscope, and both are across the zodiac (180°) from Algol. This “demonic deed” is what she passionately recognizes in our world, inspiring such memorable phrases as “I want you to act as if the house is on fire — because it is.” And her concluding remarks from the recent U.N. panel: “We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.”

Note one star conjunct her Sun at 13° Capricorn: Wega (Vega) at 15°19’ Capricorn, a first magnitude star in the constellation of Lyra, the Harp. This star is connected to the musician Orpheus who grieved for his lost wife, Eurydice. (I’m reminded of Greta’s often-expressed anguish and sorrow: “People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction.”) Wega’s association with Orpheus also links it to magical spells and great charisma, and Aleksandar Imsiragic notes that it gives an “outstanding inclination for science.” (8)

One other thing: The Moon was out of bounds in Capricorn on the day Thunberg was born; this suggests emotional self-sufficiency and determinism, a unique awareness of hierarchies and responsibilities, and her unabashed bravery in confronting adults and leaders who “are all acting like children.”


(1) Birth date, biographical material and all quotes from Wikipedia

(2) This is a transcript of her speech and a video of the event (the video cues right to her speech).

(3) Longitude positions for 2000 as noted by Aleksandar Imsiragic, The Pillars of Destiny, astro.lab, 2016.

(4) Constellation of Words: Zubenelshamali

(5) Constellation of Words: Algol

(6) Bernadette Brady, Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars, Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1998, p. 193.

(7) Ibid., p. 188.

(8) Imsiragic, The Pillars of Destiny, p. 191.