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Articles from 1938

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The Modern Mystic and Science Review


Article by Willi Sucher, January 1938




It is natural that the horoscope of the birth of a great historic figure like Napoleon I should have aroused unusual interest. Arising like a meteor in the historic heavens and vanishing again into the darkness, humanly speaking, Napoleon is an enigma. There is a horoscope of his birth familiar in astrological circles which we have reproduced in the accompanying figure. The correctness of the data has been questioned, however, both from an astrological and historic point of view. Even the day of his birth not to mention the hour is a matter of some doubt. Astrological researches in the traditional manner, taking their start from this horoscope, are not, therefore, of any certain value.

One aspect however one that is not dependent on the precise hour or day of birth is of immense significance. It is the planet Mars and, notably, its path across the heavens during the prenatal period.

The beginning of the prenatal period takes us back approximately to the beginning of November, 1768. Mars at that time was just emerging from a retrogressive period at the beginning of the constellation of Aries. In the immediate neighborhood, also in Aries, is Uranus. Thereafter, in the three-quarters of a year until the time of birth, Mars moves through Taurus, Gemini, and Cancer into Leo. About the day of birth it is in conjunction with Neptune. Moreover when in Gemini about the middle of the prenatal epoch it passes Saturn. This, therefore, is the aspect: Mars journeys through the prenatal epoch from Aries to Leo, comes into conjunction with Uranus at the beginning, and is conjoined with Neptune at the time of birth.

In Mars we recognize the martial, the aggressive, warlike quality which lived to such a high degree in this human being. In all that Napoleon did and suffered, we might say, Mars was itself partaking in the life of Earth; it was as though a Mars-being were living through an earthly destiny. That is what seems to find expression in the cosmic picture, for the in-pouring of the cosmic world as represented by the horoscope must be taken in a realistic way. But the Mars-being who works into this human body strikes a peculiar note. It reaches right across from the influences of Uranus out of Aries to those of Neptune out of Leo.

Now the planets Uranus and Neptune (Pluto has been added to these in more recent times) are newcomers among the seven planets known to the ancients. How is it then with these newly discovered planets? The ancient seven represent something related more nearly and intimately to the human being and to the cosmic environment which is still visible to us. Like the Greek Gods, extraordinarily near and akin to humanity, the seven planets stand for forces working quite directly in the human being the force of upright carriage, the force of thought, of speech and so on. Through the development of modern science, the three planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto have now been added to these seven other planets. They, in reality, reach out beyond the cosmic environment which properly belongs to the human being. In them there is reflected a spiritual world reaching beyond human consciousness; a spiritual world which eludes the one-sided physical and material point of view and, to the modern scientific outlook, seems quite unattainable by humanity. It is the spiritual world from which our genius derives its intuitions, yet also hostile and demonic powers work into our world from it.

It is from this world that the martial being of Napoleon receives such strong impressions. To begin with, at the very beginning of the prenatal constellation, Uranus works strongly into Mars. Even the sign for Aries, , seems to express a strong incision of this kind. Super-human forces of the past are arising here. Then the Mars-being who bears this experience within it, passes out of Aries into Taurus. Now since the times and phases of the prenatal constellation reflect the rhythms of one's destiny in later life, this passage of Mars through Taurus will be the picture of a certain period in Napoleon's biography. It represents, in fact, the time of his greatest power when he was Emperor of half the Continent. Mars, tinged with Uranus in Aries, is in the mightily out-raying constellation of the Bull which expresses, most of all, the overflowing tide of physical might and power.

In all this we may recognize a path of evolution of the planet Mars. It is like a living being intent on reaching a certain goal by means of the man Napoleon. It is intent on wresting its way through to Leo. Leo, the picture of the grand and courageous animal, yet also of the incalculable, universally feared beast of prey. Out of this sphere the Mars-being would have brought about very remarkable achievements on the Earth; achievements, however, which would not have served the normal spiritual evolution of humanity.

Mars wanted to unite with the Neptune-demon; Mars, in effect, was in conjunction with Neptune at the time of birth. Neptune in Leo has to do especially with the attempts of humanity to form and re-form the social life, yet it may also reflect the deterrent examples of misplaced and untimely efforts in this direction. Neptune's coming into Leo at this moment represents a peculiar situation in human history.

The impulse which was seeking incarnation through Napoleon did not succeed in his time. Yet at a later time it did, to some extent, strike through though in quite a different form than it would have under Napoleon. I refer to the Russian Revolution of October, 1917. This fact emerges from certain other astrological considerations. Napoleon invaded Russia; he reached as far as Moscow, but the dread Russian winter destroyed his army. Then came the sudden decline in his fortunes. In 1917 Lenin went to Russia, where he brought about the disastrous Revolution. Neptune in Leo, with cosmic greatness, prevailed in both of these events.

In Napoleon's biography [prenatal-epoch], Mars never reached as far as Leo, though at his birth the close of the prenatal epoch it stood there. It was with Mars in Taurus that he experienced the zenith of his power; thence Mars went on into Gemini, passing by Saturn. This latter prenatal period is reflected in the last declining years of the great human meteor and his painful end upon St. Helena. Here the Mars-demon was met by a stronger one: Saturn or Chronos, the all-avenging and all-leveling God of Time. Saturn, in fact, is the cosmic picture of human destiny, a portion of our mysterious higher self. As such, it also wields its power in the form of natural events and catastrophes like the all-destroying Russian winter or the incurable disease.

In Napoleon's case, at the prenatal moment in question, Saturn and Mars stood in Gemini. It was as though the Twins were measuring their strength: The Mars-demon inspiring this human being with an ambition incalculable and beyond all bounds and Saturn in its beneficial aspect, weaving the threads of individual and all-world destiny. Mars was defeated in the conflict. The demon seeking to work down through Mars was not allowed to wield his final destructive power in the destinies of humanity, and yet it may have served and may serve even now to awaken Western humanity from slumber; that as we ward it off, we may develop necessary forces which hitherto were lying fallow and unused.


©Astrosophy Research Center 2012 ‒ ISBN 1-888686-13-8
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