Mother Teresa

Zip Dobyns

Lois Rodden says that the data (from her latest book of astrological data) is questionable. One hesitates to talk of “dirty data” when discussing a modern saint. But in many ways, the chart seems appropriate. Sagittarius rising with the ruler, Jupiter, in its own ninth house and Mars (natural key to identity) on the cusp of the ninth house, certainly fit a life dedicated to God. In fact, Jupiter in Libra and Neptune in the seventh house fit the tradition of being the “bride of Christ”.

[Note: the “dirty data” question is whether the day is August 26 or 27.]

Saturn and Vesta (our super-Virgo asteroid) in Pisces suggest the spiritual career, while their placement (along with Ceres) in the fourth house points to a career in the home or dealing with the public. Mother Teresa oversees spiritual homes for a great many ill, destitute, and/or dying people in a number of countries. Normally, Ceres in the fourth house would indicate someone who is likely to want to have her own children, but it is common for Ceres in Aries to have only one or no children, especially likely in this case since it squares the first house Uranus, a key to ambivalence about close attachment and to the need to maintain some kind of personal freedom. Vesta and Saturn in the fourth house of home and family may indicate a person whose whole life-work is wrapped up in her children, or one with a commitment to a larger “family of humanity”. Vesta-Saturn conjunctions often indicate an incredible devotion to one’s chosen work, but sometimes it is at the expense of close, personal relationships. Where badly handled, as with Jim Jones, there can be appalling alienation of others; the work is pursued almost without any awareness of what it does to others. In charts emphasizing the Pisces-Virgo polarity, we are more likely to find saviors or victims, though artistic expression is also an option. Progressed (P) Vesta and P Saturn were just a half degree from each other and sextile to natal Pallas with Vesta still in the trine to natal Sun-Juno when Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize on October 17, 1979. Of course, the money went to support her charitable efforts.

Pallas is often highlighted in charts of people involved with social causes or politics or counseling. Mother Teresa has it in Pisces, conjunct Chiron which I usually see as similar to Jupiter, representing a search for knowledge. However, Chiron in Pisces may mark a feeling that one already has ultimate knowledge of the truth through mystical awareness, so there is no need to search further. The myth of Chiron describes him as the wounded healer, and many astrologers feel that Chiron is a key to healing. In this case, the association is certainly accurate, but I have seen charts with a prominent Chiron where healing was not a central issue in the life. The Gemini Moon, indicative of insatiable curiosity, squares the early Pisces; objective reason vs. unquestioning faith. But a mutable emphasis, especially involving Gemini and Pisces, often also points to people with skills in language. The Moon trine to Mercury in the ninth house is an additional support for language skills.

Other aspects at the time of the Nobel Prize included P Mars conjunct P Jupiter in the tenth house and octile natal Mars, trine P Chiron. P Mercury was conjunct P Venus, also in the tenth house, and semisextile P Moon in Sagittarius on the cusp of the twelfth house. Like the ninth house, the twelfth can mark the fulfillment of one’s heart’s desire, gifts from the Infinite in response to deep, often partly unconscious faith. Natally, Mars and Jupiter are semisextile, a potentially harmonious aspect, so the octile can mark a rewarding event rather than a challenge. Of course, if we learn to handle our inner conflicts and to be realistic about the world, any aspect can be manifested in constructive ways. P Sun was also in the tenth house with mostly stress aspects. It was just about to end an octile to natal Ascendant and a square to natal Venus and it had just started an opposition to natal Vesta. In the natal chart, Sun and Ascendant were widely trine suggesting a successful integration of those principles of life. But the money and the fame, however helpful to Mother Teresa’s work, must also have posed an ego challenge. Her strong Virgo undoubtedly helped her to resist what is often the downfall of a spiritual life; a takeover by the ego. We need a healthy sense of self-esteem but in balance with awareness of our human limits. The local angles were also fascinating. In Stockholm where she received the Nobel Prize, Mother Teresa’s P Ascendant was 2 Pisces. In Calcutta, India, a primary center for her work, her P MC was 2 Pisces. Her natal Sun in three Virgo was thus on a progressed angle in both places, pointing to the personal prominence.

The asteroids repeat some of the same messages. In Mother Teresa’s natal chart, Hybris (variant spelling for hubris) was on the Ascendant along with Anubis, Egyptian god of the dead. The asteroid named for the great healer, Aesculapia, was on her first house Uranus. Aten, an Egyptian sun god, was on her natal Mars. Apollo and Helio, Greek sun gods, were conjunct each other and Paradise, all three in a trine to her Uranus and a sextile to Neptune. When she received the Prize, P Helio and P Abundantia were both conjunct her natal MC. P Panacea was on her P MC. P Paradise was on her P Mars-Jupiter. P Pax was on her natal south node of the Moon. She earned that peace prize. P Fama was sextile her natal Jupiter and square her natal Mars. P Vaticana at 20 Sagittarius aspected Neptune, P Venus and P Mercury, was just past an aspect to the MC, and was at the midpoint of natal and P nodes. I suspect that dealing with someone as strong, as successful, and as famous as Mother Teresa may produce an interesting dialogue in the seat of Catholic Power.

All in all, for potentially “dirty data”, the chart looks impressive. If it isn’t right, it at least fits our theories. For those who would like to check aspects for other major events in Mother Teresa’s life, she went to Ireland in 1928 to join a religious Order, and just six weeks later, went on to India as a teacher. She founded her own Order in Calcutta in 1948. In 1968, she was summoned to Rome to found a home there, staffed primarily with Indian nuns. In 1963, she was honored by India for her work there, and on January 6, 1971, Pope John XXIII gave her his first Peace Prize, proclaiming her “an example and symbol of the discovery ... that man is our brother.” (from the Encyclopaedia Britannica, p. 986). Our current greedy and self-absorbed world needs more Mother Teresas.

Copyright © 1986 Los Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.

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