Independence of India – Part I

A Maharaja meets Vishnu in the Forest of Illusion - Rajput painting 19th C.

A Maharaja meets Vishnu in the Forest of Illusion – Rajput painting 19th C.

We have had occasion to discuss the chart for the Foundation of Pakistan and briefly touched on the role of India. There are two charts for India: the first is the chart for Independence and the second for the Republic in 1950. I will be concentrating on the first of these only.. It gives one pause to comment on a country of 1.241 billion souls as of 2011. It’s the largest Democracy the world has ever know or is ever likely to see.  It is the most diverse country in the world by most standards, yet one of the most cohesive. One needs to tread very carefully when making generalized statements.

Before we continue, I would like to bring your attention to a common but not universal chart used by many Indian astrologers. This is for the midnight speech of Nehru on 15 August, 1947. That was the time that England declared India to be fully independent and not necessarily the time of the signing of the document. Taking time zone differences into account and the general chaos of that any event of this magnitude inevitably creates, there is no evidence that this was the time of signing the document.

The admittedly controversial time of 12.00 or 21.10 pm is also used. I will be making my case for this chart and trust others will make their cases for any variants. No chart has been used universally however.  The term Children of Midnight has become evocative of euphoria followed swiftly by carnage and devastation in the light of sectarian violence as the Sub Continent’s boundaries are re-drawn without adequate consideration. That chart certainly deserves a place, but I’m using the latter time to see what it can tell us.

It would however be irresponsible not to point out that the Midnight Chart has the Moon Void of Course dispositing Mars in his Fall. Moreover, both lights are below the horizon. For those championing this chart should be aware of this and be able to explain why it would be chosen

There is however one thing that is very plain. The spirit of the Indian people is indomitable. But democracy lacks much meaning with high levels of illiteracy, extreme poverty and a seriously corrupt bureaucracy.

For most rural Indians, very little has changed for millenia

For most rural Indians, very little has changed for millenia

The chart must be seen for what it is. On July 18 1947 the UK Indian Independence Act received the royal assent. This was primarily a British Initiative and some have seen this as a successful attempt not only to create two Muslim states, but to fragment others within India as well. However, this would make the likes of Nehru and Gandhi complicit in a ‘neo-colonialist  plot to assist the British in making it easier to manage South and Central Asia. Those who take this view must question the Indian authorities who signed the Legislation because it gave them what they wanted.

indepence_indiaFollowing so soon after the publication of the UK Indian Independence Act of 1947, it seems unlikely an astrological  election was called for. If there was, the astrologer would probably have to work within a fairly narrow time frame. In that case, the chart would have been precessional or sidereal. This would produce a charts with a very similar configuration, but with most elements set back one sign.

I drew up a chart using sidereal and the result was indeed interesting. But again, one must give credit to the number of impatient fanatics involved. There was really no time to draw up an election and the sidereal doesn’t fit. With so many impatient zealots on the scene it looks as if there was no electional chart.

Of course the Cancer Moon is better in the sidereal chart, but at the end of the day the  western chart is more descriptive of India since separation. Because I doubt very much that an astrologer was consulted, I’m reading the chart as a Western astrologer. You will recall that Pakistan was born one day prior on 14 August 1947.

The chart is for the Independence of India 12.00 (noon) 15 August 1947 at New Delhi

This occurs in the Year of Mars on the Day of Venus and the Hour of Mars   Probably the most compelling element of the chart is the powerful Solar presence in the Tenth House. The Sun is Lord of the Geniture

However I would like to begin with the Ninth House Mars first of all. He is Free and Oriental, but in his Fall in Cancer. I think if this had been planned astrologically, the chart could have been drawn up two days earlier when Mars would have been in Gemini in the Eighth and the Moon in her Domicile in the Ninth.

At the very least, the astrologer would have tried to get the malefics in the best possible houses even though the Solar Square to Jupiter would have been tighter.

nehrujinnahIndian Independence Photograph of Nehru and jinnah 1947 british library

Photograph of Nehru and Jinnah 1947- Courtesy British Library

But Mars is prominent as the Lord of the Year and Lord of the Ascendant. Jupiter is ascending in Martian Scorpio and the Sun is separating from a Square to Jupiter. In fact,  Jupiter, the Greater Benefic is at odds with the entire string of planets in Leo.

India is very often associated with a dizzying array of religions although many of them are varieties of Hinduism. and also the home of great spiritual leaders or gurus.

Hinduism is justly known as a religion of pacifism. It is also true that India has never invaded anyone,

However, the Act of Independence was in fact an act of violence as much as anything else. It tore the nation apart as it had never been before. In Vishnu’s Crowded Temple, Misra tells us the Muslims wanted more, stating plainly in the press that this should not be seen as a hand going back in time to relinquish what had been conquered and ruled by Muslims for so long: “The Hindus saw partition as a defeat, the vivisection of Mother India.” (p. 256)

Two Pakistans were created, the second of which became Bangladesh. Communities were split apart, families forced to leave ancestral lands. It is truly extraordinary that the Ascendant is at precisely the same degree and minute as the Lot of “the year to be feared at birth for death and famine” The Ascendant is in via combusta and perfecting a square with Saturn.

The Ascendant here is also the vitality of the nation. It is weakened by these elements, although the Fixed and Angular placements will reach fruition in the long term. In counterbalance though, we have the Part of Spirit and Part of Jupiter as part of the mix. Jupiter is Lord of the Second House and considering the Part of Venus is in the House, the flow of wealth is relatively high for the nation as a whole, but we be better of if Jupiter were not in Scorpio. It could be a great deal worse, however. Military spending is high. India will be among the four largest armies in the world by 2020. In all fairness, Indian are not nearly as influenced by the military as is the case with Pakistan. It is however vulnerable to attack by China and Pakistan or both.

There was what amounts to a bloody civil war between Muslims and Hindus.  Conflict had already begun over who would take Kashmir and that war continues to this day. A country that had known a relatively high level of peace, has essentially been at war ever since, witnessing a nuclear India, followed by a nuclear Pakistan. .

The Mahatma was one of the great marketing delusions of the twentieth century. It has been forbidden to write of Ghandi in a poor light, but the story of post Raj India requires that all elements be openly discussed if we are to learn anything from it. This is most particularly the case when the astrological evidence screams out to be heard.

It seems particularly poignant that Mars would be the Lord of the Ninth House. From a state point of view, religion has perversely meant war. The separation of Hindus and Muslims came at a very high price. The way this chart is configured, India would appear to have a distinct advantage by the Jupiter and Ascendant opposition to the Venus ruled Seventh House. with regard to external enemies. The Node however is conjunct Algol disposited by Venus, which rules Islam.

This is certainly worth considering. Venus is in turn disposited by the Sun which in this situation could be read as nuclear.  A significant nuclear exchange between the two nations is not beyond the realm of possibility as the security of Pakistan’s arsenal has come under close scrutiny.  I realize I’m in danger of succumbing to speculation, but that is often where one finds valuable insights.

Among other things, the Tenth House is the House of attainment, governance, profession,  dignities, office and fame. With three planets and both Luminaries in Leo we see a bright hope perhaps, but also an incredible monopoly of power by ‘luminaries’ or an elite.  The term hubris comes to mind. The Ninth House informs the Tenth, so the military has a lot of sway. It need to be said that the military in India is not like the role of the army in Pakistan, but has needed to be highly vigilant for the survival of the state. That’s understandable, but what of the common people? The Sixth House is disposited by the weak Mars and opposite the Part of Fortune, but of the same Tripicity, so the benefits to the ordinary people are slow to materialize. The Almuten of the chart is Saturn in all its austerity.

Roudra - Lord Shiva's Dance of Fury

Roudra – Lord Shiva’s Dance of Fury

The ancient Indian love of theatre in all its forms is found in the Fifth House –  in the Exaltation of Venus and disposited by Jupiter. The love of deep traditions and rituals in everyday life are beyond comparison with other nations. This is so closely part of religious life and has sustained the Indian people for millenia.

It is said that India is rapidly becoming a super power. However, only one in ten benefits from the increase in wealth. In fact, farms have been confiscated and given to corporations to further the globalization of agriculture. The gap between rich and poor is extreme. Rape in India has become endemic. She is facing a serious water shortage and most of the water she has is severely polluted. Perhaps what is most miraculous is that such a vast and diverse country is governable at all.

In Part II I will be looking primarily at Solar Revolutions, Firdaria and other simple techniques to show how this event has unfolded over time. We may also have occasion to take a look at Lunar Mansions.

Indian Independence Part II

Mughal Empire

Mughal Empire

In my judgment, this act was one of the most ill-concieved in history. India was the loser in virtually all instances.  To understand the deeper nature of ongoing conflict there are many good books on the subject. I would personally recommend two fairly recent ones: Shadow War: The Untold Story of Jihad in Kashmir by Arif Jamal and Descent into Chaos by Ahmed Rashid.  A fine history of India since the Great Rebellion is Vishnu’s Crowded Temple by Maria Misra. The Hindus: An Alternative History by Wendy Doniger begins 50,000 years ago in the Indus Valley and brings us to the present.  I find it invaluable in understanding the Hindus and how the religion has shaped India’s history.William Dalrymple’s The Last Mughal is a modern masterpiece.

Last Mughal Emporer

Last Mughal Emporer, Bahadur Shah II. The Dynasty fell to the British in 1857.

India has been at war with Pakistan four times since its Independence, althuogh the conflict over Kashmir is constant and ongoing. She has also been at war with China over a territorial dispute initiated by China largely because India had given sanctuary to the Dalai Lama. It is important to note that although India and Pakistan are nuclear powers, only Pakistan has a first strike policy.

It is worthy of note that the Muslim conquests of India were bloody affairs But the establishment of the Mughul Dynasties brought a degree of civility. With 100 million hindus slaughtered over a three hundred year period, its small wonder that India accepted the dynasty. Yet Ghandi was able to say that Islam and Hinduism were the “two eyes of India.” I mention this in part to put the conflict with Pakistan in a larger context, but also to draw attention to what seems like an infinite tolerance on the part of Hindus when it came to religion.

India Prior to Independence & Segregation

Indian Empire Prior to Independence & Division


There is no need to look at all conflicts between India and Pakistan, but let’s take a close look at The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. It was a military conflict between India and Pakistan. Indian, Bangladeshi and international sources consider the beginning of the war to be Operation Chengiz Khan, Pakistan’s 3 December 1971 preemptive strike on 11 Indian airbase. ( The World: India: Easy Victory, Uneasy Peace, Time (magazine), 1971-12-27.

First of all, the name of the operation was highly significant. Ghengis Khan was the great Mongol warlord that laid waste throughout Asia and the Middle East and to India. The Mughuls were descendants of the Mongols and other Turko-Mongolian tribes.  They had become Islamized before their assault on the Sub Continent and subsequently ruled India from 1526 to 1858.

“The Pakistan army conducted a widespread genocide against the Bengali population of East Pakistan, aimed in particular at the minority Hindu population,leading to approximately 10 million people fleeing East Pakistan and taking refuge in the neighbouring Indian states. The East Pakistan-India border was opened to allow refugees safe shelter in India. The governments of West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura established refugee camps along the border. The resulting flood of impoverished East Pakistani refugees placed an intolerable strain on India’s already overburdened economy.” See Time Magazine December 1971firstsr

The Solar Revolution for 1971 gives us Mercury as Lord of the Year and he’s Retrograde in his Domicile and Exaltation in Virgo. He is also in Joy by house. Mars is also Retrograde – in Aquarius in the Sixth House. More crucially, Mars is with the Node and Sirius. Mars is said to be like a tiger in a cage in the Sixth House, but he is disposited by a well placed Saturn.

Jupiter has returned to Scorpio and disposits two angles, the Fourth and the Seventh. The third house is the house of brothers. With Mars dispositing Jupiter and the Fourth House as the end of the matter, it’s quite clear to me that India will prevail. Her hidden enemies are Venus (again the significator for Islam)  combust. The war lasted thirteen days and ended with the full surrender of the Pakistani army.

This occured when India was in her Mercury/Jupiter Fidar. The Lord of the Year and Almuten of the chart is Mercury. Mercury is in the Eleventh Lunar Mansion, the Mane of the Lion.

Indira Priyadarshini Ghandi was the second longest serving Prime Minister of India and the only woman to hold that office. She was the only child of Prime Minister Nerue. She Married Feroz Ghandi.. She was about as establishment as she could be in relation to the forces that brought Indepence to India. She was assasinated by her own bodyguards in 1984. Her son Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated a few years later.

Mahatma Ghandi and Indira - 1924

Mahatma Ghandi and Indira – 1924

She was known as the Iron Lady, just as Thatcher had been. Mahatma Ghandi went to Oxford Law School, Nehru went to Cambridge and Jinna studied at the University of London, succeeding Mountbatten as Viceroy. The point is that all the major players were educated in England and were part of the Raj. unsurprisingly, as the only child of Nehru, Indira was educated at Oxford. All of these people to some extent were deeply influenced by facets of British culture.

In 1937, Indira enrolled at Somerville College, Oxford, where she studied public and social administration, history and anthropology. She joined the British Labour Party and woked as an ambulance driver during the blitzkrieg  Her marriage to Mr. Ghandi – no relation to the Mahatma – was scandalous at the time. She was Hindu and her husband was Parsi. All this completes a picture of a few elite, but well meaning forgers of a post colonial India that fits well with the chart for Independence. They had a great deal in common with British Liberals and they had all grown up in the context of the Raj.

She was exceedingly authoritarian which she said was necessary because India was close to impossible to govern. She had made what looked on the surface to be small land reforms, but this was widely interpreted as a way to conceal the implementation of total authoritarian rule.


Her assassination was particularly ugly. Two of her own entourage, including her Sikh bodyguard shot thirty bullets into her  in New Delhi on without warning on October 31 1984. I’ve drawn up a chart for this day. It’s a Directed Ascendant Arc derived from the Independence chart.

We can see that Mars has slipped into Leo and holds the same position as the Independence Chart. The conflict is religiously based. Her bodyguard and accomplice were Sikhs. All Sikhs use this name and it means Lion ! Mars is parallel Aldebaran and in the Face of Saturn. — quite lethal and unexpected. The Lord of the Seventh is Venus once again The Tenth house Stellium is still there, but in Virgo. Once again Scorpio is a major player.

The full story of Operation Blue Star is long and convoluted, but in it’s simplest form it was a major conflict between Sikhs and the Indian Army. Mrs. Ghandi ordered the Army to arrest radical Sikhs. In the process, she was responsible for defiling the temple.

During this time the chart for Indian Independant is in the Moon / Sun Firdar.

I don’t believe any chart can ever define such an ancient and diverse people.  Hinduism thinks in terms of billion year cycles. Moreover,  the British had ruled India for less than century, the Mughals for considerably more. One of the Indian criticism of Gnadi is that he tried to portray a single Indian identity — the one that doesn’t have any colour ! We think of India as one country because her invaders tried to define her as such. But India is a vast mosaic of tribes, castes and ethnic groups. Hinduism has arguably given India it’s principle identity, but traditionally there are said to be 330 million gods associated with the religion !

Queen Isabella I of Castile – An Exercise in Rectification

Isabel_de_castillaIsabella in the Rimado de la Conquista de Granada, from 1482, by Pedro Marcuello

Isabel de castile in the Rimado de la Conquista de Granada, from 1482, by Pedro Marcuello

The Astro Databank  offers the following natal data for Queen Isabella I of Castile.  22 April 1451 Jul.Cal. (1 May 1451 greg.) at 16:40 (= 4:40 PM ) Place Madrigal de las Altas Torres, Spain, 41n05, 5w0 Timezone LMT m5w0 (is local mean time). Rodden gives it a AA rating. Although I’m comfortable with the date, there is reason to believe the time is off by about two hours.

Rectification is made a bit easier if we have a good image of the person whose chart we are adjusting. Regrettably , portraits of Isabella differ considerably.  That still leaves us with scores of techniques, but I’m going to use just a few of them that work well in situations like this..

Rectification is a core skill for any astrologer. One needs to learn to recognize what I will call astrological discrepancies. For example, it is not a difficult task to recognize whether Saturn is in the First House or the Twelfth. there are physical and temperamental differences. One need only look and ask a few simple questions. The same goes for any planet or luminary. However, other potential house misplacements are more subtle and require other means.

Like any historical character of note, there have been many biographies, commentaries, pamphlets, films and polemics about Isabel. They portray her in a better or worse light and from many points of view However, there are a few core traits attributed to her which are almost universal.  She was an intensely pious Roman Catholic and her religion came before everything, with her duty to the realm as a close second. Nobody has credibly argued she didn’t love her husband, King Ferdinand, but she always made it clear that the realm came before everything but God. For Isabel they were in fact closely related when it cam to purging the Moors and Jews from Spain

She was tenacious, famously stubborn and excessively jealous. She was courageous beyond all expectations. She could also be fanatical, particularly in matters of religion  and it is this trait that has left the darkest legacy. Sometimes our virtues are our vices taken to the extreme.

As a savvy Queen, she was blessed with great statesmen, but the final decisions were very much her own. She was determined to turn a conglomerate of states into a unified, Christian Spain. She was shrewd enough to be the only monarch to supply and offer her patronage to a young Christopher Columbus,. Because of the immense groundwork done by Isabella and Ferdinand, Spain became a united and affluent state.


Below is the chart as shown on Astro Databank. Here we find both Mercury and Venus retrograde in Aries and on the Descendant, disposited by Mars in the Ninth and of course in Mutual reception with Mercury. An Airy Mars dispositing a weak and retrograde Mercury in Venus in Aries. is a recipe for volatile jealousy. However, it would seem to fit better if Mercury and Venus were in the Eighth and Mars in the Tenth. We can return to this chart, but for how I have good reason to consider alternative times. Mercury is conjunct the Pillar of the Horoscope ( Lot). This is true in both charts and draws attention to the importance of Mercury as the Lord of the Ascendant in the rectified chart.

Picture8The suggested rectification is for the same place and date but for two hours earlier. We can refine this, but this is good place to start. Instead of the Sun in the Eight and Libra Ascending, we know have a Ninth House Sun with the Part of Eros (Venus) and a Mercurial Virgo Ascending.

The Sun in the Ninth House of God is in his Joy. The placement accompanied by the Part of Eros speaks of intense piety, as was not shown in the previous chart. Ferdinand and Isabella had seven children;, five of whom survived to adulthood.

Although neither one of the Houses of Children seems to support that, there is in fact an enormous difference. In the rectified chart the Lord of the Fifth House changes from dry, barren Aquarius to Capricorn which is a semi fruitful sign. In itself, this is slight, but when we consider that the Lord of the Fifth is disposited by Venus and that the Lord of the Seventh is now Jupiter and the Lord of the Eleventh is the Moon.

PicturebThe overall picture, by no means ideal, is immeasurably better than what we had in the first chart. Perhaps we may allow ourselves to ponder the significance of Pisces in the House of Partners, signifying,  confidante-like relationships, including interaction with priests, marriage and business partners, agreements and treaties, matters dealing with diplomatic relations of all kinds, including open (known) enemies and attraction to qualities we admire from the other partner. I do not think it irrelevant that Ferdinand was a Solar Pisces.

The alternative is Mars as Lord of the Seventh House, complete with Venus in detriment. This doesn’t fit.

Mostly what we’ve done is move the houses over one place, but the results are considerable. Such things as the Part of Fortune and possibly the Hyleg will differ accordingly.

The Lord of Manners is easily identified as Saturn and Isabella was in fact known for her austere demeanor and life in general. Her dominant humour is melancholic., secondarily choleric   ( See Edwards, John. The Spain of the Catholic Monarchs 1474–1520. Blackwell Publishers Inc, 2000, p. 241-260 ). In the previous chart, Saturn would be in the Twelfth House an would radically change her stature and demeanour.

There are a few things that convince me that the second chart is closer to the correct time. In this one, The Sun is parallel Regulus and Aldebaran. The Part of Fortune is conjunct Aldebaran. These are both royal stars of the first degree.

In both charts Mars is overwhelmingly supported by Bellatrix and Betelgeuse and these are conjunct the mid-heaven in the rectified chart. Both are powerful stars. Bellatrix is a bright star in the shoulder of Orion  which embodies the power of the Feminine.

This one, far more than the first, is the chart of a great Queen, with intense religiosity and devotion. We have identified the volatile jealousy, replaced the infertility with far better conditions.  The Lord of the Eleventh House is her Moon in detriment. This tells us that she was largely self reliant.

These are fairly simple techniques for cases such as this one, where the main problem is the house and planetary positions providing a clearly inaccurate description based on what you know about the native.

Appendix I : Solar Revolutions

As stated in the article above, this wasn’t intended to be an exhaustive exercise, but rather to show some basic techniques for detecting an incorrect birth time. This was in part based on house placements that seemed to conflict with our knowledge of the native. I had made it very clear that there were several other techniques that might be applied to back up or fine tune our rectification.

However, in light of recent queries I’m happy to show that the chart is proven closer to the exact time by other means. Again, there is a myriad of tools available. However, I’ve settled on the what is probably the simplest technique. I’m adding the Solar Revolution Charts for the Year 1470, when Isabella gave birth to her first child, who was also named Isabel. The first is the chart for the Rodden data. The second is for the rectified chart.

roddenSRI find it unnecessary to go into great detail here. The charts speak plainly enough. The one from Astro Databank (above) gives virtually no hint of childbirth. In fact had there been one at all, it would likely not have not gone full term. The Lord of the fifth house of children is a Mercurial Venus in the barren sign of Gemini. Morover, the Lord of Venus is Mercury retrograde in the Twelfth House with Saturn. There is mutual reception, but I can’t ss this being of much use in this case. We vcan look at the Seventh and Eleventh House, but we find the Lord of the Seventh also in a barren sign.  The Eleventh tells us next to nothing. The Lord of the Eleventh is Mars in his Fall.

rectifiedThe second chart is very different. Here we have Jupiter in Leo with the Part of Fortune, but in the Fourth House., disposited by the Sun in Venusian Taurus. This gives us some hope.

Mercury, Lord of the Fifth, is still Retrograde, but he’s in his Joy in the first house. This is a very signicant difference. Mercury tends to take on some of the qualities of the sign we find him in. Taurus is a very fertile sign and Mercury can act here.

Over all, the rectified chart is immeasurably better than the original, particularly indofar as it’s signatures of fertility.

Both charts are Void of Course and neither gives us any of the Lots of parenthood as a guide. I’m still far more certain about the rectified chart. Neither chart is ideal, but the unrectified chart is clearly incorrect.

Appendix II : Solar Revolution – Marriagefinal

Finally, as if we needed more evidence, we have a Solar Revolution for the year of her marriage to Ferdinand. I’m using Morinus software because it provides more graphic information. I do not intend to get into much detail. The charts authenticity pretty much speaks for itself

Those of you who have studied Isabella’s life, will know her brother Henry was an ineffectual but treacherous monarch. He had done all he could to block her from successsion. It is no surprise then to see a weak Mars in the house of brothers as it is for the following year. Henry was in frail health and died during 1474 in Madrid

Most spectacularly, Jupiter is in his Exatation is in the House of Partners. The Sun is in the Fifth House. The Part of Fortune is in the Royal sign of Leo.

So we have an ongoing process. First there is the recognition that the chart is skewed, then step by step we narrow it down then test with Solar Revolution. Again, there are many other tools to use and many events we can try to nail down, but that really isn’t necessary. I’m convinced of the superiority of the rectification, although I make no claims to the exact degree. I’m primarly concerned with house placements and plausible planetary positions. This will meet most requirments in any case. Perhaps at some later time, we can discuss the finer tuning.