Castaneda’s Natal Chart
By David Worrell
I've decided I really can't spend the time to do a decent analysis of Castaneda's chart (this stuff is just too dubious anyway). It would take a lot of effort to get a decent approximation of his ascendant, and without the ascendant, I lose a great deal of what is needed to interpret a personal chart.
Here is the raw data I'm going on: born in Cajamarca, Peru, on December 25, 1925. I will be ignoring other astrologers' estimates of his birth time. This leaves me with only the following to go on:
(All positions approximate, but accurate to within a degree, with the exception of the Moon...)
So here we go, I'm going to play astrologer. A few brief comments ...
Both Sun and Jupiter in Capricorn indicate a primary need to structure his surroundings in order to put people and things to the most effective use. Capricorn is into building that which makes a meaningful contribution to civilization. Jupiter here as well as the sun implies that Castaneda's building tendencies might well be directed toward pursuits of higher education, philosophy, and religion. The sun is rather weakly aspected, and thus some of the more negative traits of Capricorn might be expected, i.e. tendencies to use people selfishly, to become depressed, and possibly to become enveloped in routine (however, Castaneda's powerful self-expression abilities lead me to believe there is a distinct possibility that the ascendant--which I don't have for sure--is trine to his sun--and in fact one astrologer I know does rectify the chart in just such a fashion). But Jupiter is actually in its "fall" in the sign of Capricorn, and this gives a tendency toward self-aggrandizement, with a strong desire to achieve "personal influence" on civilization somehow (as opposed to the genuine desire to benefit others).
Moon in Taurus reveals, first, that both Sun and Moon are in earth signs, ensuring that whatever Castaneda did, to some extent one would expect it to be practical. And his concerns often did show an emphasis on the "pragmatic." He always said he was not "spiritual" and claimed that he was practical instead. That is earth talking. Moon in Taurus would represent a person who, emotionally, wants to feel stable in terms of what he has in the world. It would not be surprising that Castaneda lived in the same house in Beverly Hills for 25 years, or that he amassed a valuable estate. Those things would have mattered to someone with both Sun and Moon in earth. Taurus is a strong sign position for the Moon (exaltation) and shows a person who arrives at a feeling of security via material attachments but who also feels a very deep appreciation of many of the fundamental values of life.
Mercury in Sagittarius again indicates a basic mentality which is commonly concerned with the pursuits of higher education, philosophy, and religion. Castaneda never dropped the tendency to embed his mystical teachings in the language of academia--in fact, in his later years I'd say this tendency made a strong resurgence. The harmonious aspect with Venus shows an enhanced potential to use his mental gifts in conjunction with the arts (or to woo a lover). But this is actually considered a weak sign position for Mercury (detriment), and is said to give rise to the flaw of "exaggerating principles at the expense of facts."
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Venus in Aquarius (in harmony with Mercury as mentioned above) shows potential for originality, even unconventionality, in the arts, and a tendency to meet socially with diverse individuals from many backgrounds. The aspects are important here, for Venus square Saturn, basically, is an aspect of one who does not feel loved, and Venus opposed to Neptune is an aspect high in potential for deception. The Saturn square is indicative of one from whom love was withheld, thus is also indicative of one who will use the same tactic on his own loved ones, i.e. he will withhold love, in an attempt to "test" others. The Neptune opposition indicates deception and secrecy in romantic involvements, but is also indicative of the need to learn to "balance personal and universal love."
Mars and Saturn are conjunct (together) in Scorpio. Mars in Scorpio is a strong position (dignity), and shows a person whose drive toward personal achievement and sexual expression is intense, and yet at the same time somewhat secretive. There is a strong desire for power, and a gift for acquiring it as well, often via the effective manipulation of others. Saturn here also lends an even more ruthless and serious edge toward attaining his desires. It shows an enhanced ability to probe deeply into any situation with the intent of controlling the outcome for personal advancement. This conjunction shows a person concerned with and quite capable of effectively controlling other people and situations to his own advantage. The fact that this conjunction is square to Neptune once again shows that the main flaw here is that deception may often be involved. One astrologer describes the Mars-Saturn conjunction as "driving the car with the brakes on"-- i.e. it represents a great deal of power and ambition but accompanied by fear, tension and uncertainty. The Uranus trine is an additional aspect to the conjunction showing him able to channel his power and drive into being progressive, ageless, and ever-inventive. However, the Mars-Neptune square adds an "obsessive" feeling to the mix, giving rise to outbursts of cruelty and strange impulses of imagination, while the Saturn-Neptune square is often indicative of self-defeating tendencies, the aspect of one who loses everything at the last minute by pulling the rug from under his own feet.
A personal comment would be that I have not yet looked very "deeply" at this chart, but that's all I will say right now without the ascendant on which to base a more complete interpretation.