The Role of the Least Aspected Planet in Astrocartography.
Planetary Symbolism in Astrocartography and Transcendental Astrology,
by Rob Couteau.
Jupiter = 102
Photo: Freidrich Nietzsche
At Nietzsche’s greatest moments he achieves an ecstasy … the self … is revealed as something … capable of enormous expansion and transformation through the absorption of experiences which mostly we attempt to suppress or deny. […]
There is no doubt that he means what he says in his stress on ‘the little things’ … climate, diet, digestion … And he stresses that the organ he uses to come to his most important conclusions is his nose: ‘I was the first to discover the truth, in that I was the first to sense–smell–the lie as lie… My genius is in my nostrils.’
These little things–nutriment, place, climate, recreation, the whole casuistry of selfishness–are beyond all conception of greater importance than anything that has been considered of importance hitherto…. All questions of politics, the ordering of society, education have been falsified down to their foundations because the most injurious men have been taken for great men–because contempt has been taught for the ‘little’ things, which is to say for the fundamental affairs of life ...
–Nietzsche, Ecce Homo.
The modern “philosopher” (Primary Jupiter) Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was born in Röcken, Saxony, close to the vertical, midnight line of his Primary Jupiter. Nietzsche’s Secondary Venus runs in a vertical, Midheaven position over the western perimeter of Europe, creating a wide Jupiter / Venus Transcendental Midpoint-Field over his birthplace and over the general region of his later travels.
Many significant events in Nietzsche’s early life occurred near Primary Jupiter: his “higher education” (Jupiter), including his studies in theology and philology at Bonn University (1864) and at the University of Leipzig (1865); his appointment to the chair of classical philology at Basil (at the age twenty-four); his brief service in the Franco-Prussian War (1870); and his subsequent return to Basel (1870). After he was granted a retirement pension in 1879 because of chronic illness (most likely, syphilis contracted during his student days, in the 1860s), Nietzsche “traveled to foreign countries” (Jupiter) such as France, Switzerland, and Italy: all located within this Jupiter / Venus Transcendental Midpoint-Field, where he wrote some of his most influential work.2 After his mental collapse in 1889, he returned to his mother’s care in Naumburg and was subsequently attended by his sister, Elizabeth, at Weimar (51N22; 9E23).
Despite Nietzsche’s explicitly stated mistrust of German culture and his suspicion of all herdlike, mass-movements, the Nazis later embraced aspects of his “philosophy” (Jupiter) under the pretext of justifying their own perverted notions of a will to power, intentionally misinterpreting Nietzsche’s concept of the Ubermensch or “overman.”3 The misinformation promulgated by Nietzsche’s pro-Nazi sister, Elizabeth Foster, led to a variety of distorted appraisals of his work, although later scholarly efforts (in particular, those by Walter Kaufmann) helped to clarify and promote the brilliant philosopher’s actual ideas and intentions. In any case, it is perhaps no coincidence that Nietzsche’s Primary Jupiter was in proximity to Germany. (As we can see in his astrocartography, Jupiter runs along the east German border.)
Considered one of the most influential thinkers of the nineteenth century, Nietzsche’s work exemplifies the “higher mind” symbolism associated with Jupiter. His profound reexamination of the history of thought, chronicled in works such as The Birth of Tragedy (1872), Beyond Good and Evil (1886), Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883-1885), and his autobiography, Ecce Homo (completed 1888, published 1908) changed the course of modern “philosophical and ethical thought” (Primary Jupiter).
As described elsewhere in this study,4 Nietzsche’s Secondary Transcendental, Venus, is traditionally associated not only with “artistic and aesthetic matters” but with achieving a “rectifying balance” between the individual and his surroundings. The pursuit of such a balance is an essential theme in his work, and it appears at the inception of his oeuvre, in The Birth of Tragedy. The Venus complex as manifest through the zodiac sign of Libra symbolizes “balancing scales”: a tendency to formulate a proper value or, literally, to “evaluate.” Combined with Jupiter, we have the keynote: “philosophical / evaluation” (Jupiter / Venus). What Nietzsche called his “revaluation of values”–of cultural, artistic, philosophical, and social mores–dovetails this Transcendental equation, for to value is to weigh, to assess, to appraise, or to render a judgment of worth, and it was precisely this which Nietzsche attempted to accomplish in his own across-the-board “creative revaluation.” The Jupiterian concern for a “soulful advancement of the larger social order,” especially through “educational and cultural activity,”5 combined with Secondary Venus to form a “creatively accomplished, just balance.” Nietzsche’s creative revaluation comprised principal themes symbolized by Jupiter: religious, educational, and cultural institutions. As he said, his task was “to look from a morbid perspective towards healthier concepts and values” (Ecce Homo).
According to Nietzsche, nearly 2,000 years of Christianity has led to a devaluation of the body and to a depreciation of the instinctual life force.6 These were now eclipsed by idealistic religious notions: specifically, by utopian ideals of spiritual “perfection”: one achieved not in this world but in the next (thereby negating the value of this lifetime):
The lie of the ideal has hitherto been the curse on reality, through it mankind itself has become mendacious and false down to its deepest instincts–to the point of worshipping the inverse values to those which alone could guarantee it prosperity […]
I was the first to see the real antithesis–the degenerated instinct which turns against life with subterranean vengefulness (–Christianity, the philosophy of Schopenhauer, in a certain sense already the philosophy of Plato, the whole of idealism as typical forms) and a formula of supreme affirmation born out of fullness, of superfluity, an affirmation without reservation even of suffering, even of guilt, even of all that is strange and questionable in existence … This ultimate, joyfullest, boundlessly exuberant Yes to life is not only the highest insight, it is also the profoundest, the insight most strictly confirmed and maintained by truth and knowledge.7
The one-sided psychology of idealism, largely promoted through religious institutions, needed to be redressed by a revaluation of the instinctive, earthy, Dionysian elements that Nietzsche heralded throughout his work (especially in his highly symbolic work, Zarathustra). In his promulgation of the Dionysus complex and of other pre-Christian symbols (“I am a disciple of the philosopher Dionysus, I prefer to be even a satyr rather than a saint”; ”Every expression of contempt for the sexual life, every befouling of it through the concept ‘impure’, is the crime against life–is the intrinsic sin against the holy spirit of life” [Ecce Homo]), we see a typical Venus / Jupiter tendency to return to “holistic values / that form the true basis of creative culture”: in this case, values that preceded and that were usurped by Christianity. In his Jupiterian conception of Dionysus, Nietzsche envisioned a potential for joyful “expansiveness” (the ultimate keynote of the Jupiter symbol): one that affirms life and the life instinct, despite the suffering that one must typically endure. “In the Dionysian symbol,” he wrote, “there is attained the extreme limit of affirmation.”8
1. Michael Tanner, introduction to Nietzsche’s Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is, p. xiii, xv. For Nietzsche’s quote on “the little things,” see Ecce Homo, “The Birth of Tragedy,” p. 48.
2. For example, Nietzsche worked on The Birth of Tragedy (1872) around the time he visited Lugano; the Bernese Oberland; Naumburg; and Liepzig (1871). In 1875, “he goes to Klingenbrunn, in the Bavarian Forest, where he spends much of his time writing psychological reflections which will later be incorporated into Human, All Too Human” (1878). The following year, he “travels with [his sister] Elizabeth to Schloss Bremgarten, near Bern, then to Zurich, then alone to St Moritz: there he completes The Wanderer and his Shadow  (second supplement to Human All Too Human) in September.” In 1880, he is in Riva, Venice, Marienbad, Naumburg, Basel, Stresa, and Genoa. In 1881, he travels to Recoaro, Riva, St Moritz, and Sils-Maria. (See Tanner, “Chronology of Nietzsche’s Life,” in his introduction to Ecce Homo). Nietzsche was extraordinarily sensitive to the effect of particular locations on his creativity, and he was especially fond of Sils-Maria (“I know of nothing more suited to my nature than this piece of high land”). Commenting on his inspiration for Zarathustra, he writes: “The basic conception of the work, the idea of eternal recurrence,” came while talking a walk “through the woods beside the lake of Silvaplana,” in August 1881 (Ecce Homo, p. 69). For more on Nietzsche’s “creative / wanderings” (Venus / Jupiter), see Tanner’s “Chronology.”
3. Ironically, at least three times in Ecce Homo, Nietzsche makes clear his disapproval of German anti-Semitism. And in general, he was not fond of German culture: “I am a pure-blooded Polish nobleman, in whom there is no drop of bad blood, least of all German”; “I wouldn’t award to the young German Kaiser the honor of being my coachman”; “the German spirit is an indigestion”; “As far as Germany extends it ruins culture”; “the mere presence of a German hinders my digestion”; “I expressed my mistrust of the German character already at the age of twenty-six […] the Germans are impossible for me.” These are typical remarks from Ecce Homo. He counters his own (ironic?) talk of blood heritance by stating (in an eerie presentiment of what will later arrive in Germany): “All the prevalent notions of degrees of kinship are physiological nonsense in an unsurpassable measure. The Pope still deals today in this nonsense. One is least related to one’s parents: it would be the most extreme sign of vulgarity to be related to one’s parents. Higher natures have their origins infinitely farther back, and with them much had to be assembled, saved, and hoarded.”
4. See my essay on Robert F. Kennedy.
5. Sakoian and Acker, Transits Simplified, “Keywords for Transiting Jupiter,” p. 136.
6. See Carl Jung, Nietzsche's Zarathustra. Notes of the Seminar Given in 1934-1939.
7. Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, p. 4, 50. Like any antique philosopher worth his alchemical salt, Nietzsche probably arrived at such insights by having first examined his own psychological shadow, i.e., he was able to “illuminate with piercing brightness this underworld of the ideal” by having first encountered it–and its deleterious affects–within himself: “Ten years behind me during which the nourishment of my spirit had quite literally been at a stop, during which I had learned nothing useful, during which I had forgotten inordinately much over a trash of dusty scholarship. Creeping meticulously and with bad eyesight through antique metrists–that is what I had come to!–I was moved to compassion when I saw myself quite thin, quite wasted away: realities were altogether lacking in my knowledge, and the ‘idealities’ were worth damn all!–A downright burning thirst seized hold of me: thenceforward I pursued in fact nothing other than physiology, medicine and natural science …” In Jungian terms, here Nietzsche encounters the shadow of his unconscious sensation (e.g., pragmatic reality) and feeling (e.g., creature comforts) functions.
The “perfect utopian ideal” is ruled by Uranus, which was Nietzsche’s Secondary Leader, or second most aspected planet. Therefore, it symbolized a key shadow-component of his psyche. By appraising and consciously integrating such shadow aspects, Nietzsche was able to liberate psychic energy that is normally trapped in the Leading Planet complex and to integrate it into his Jupiter-Venus life task. Thus, an encounter with the personal shadow enables us to encounter–and perhaps to heal–aspects of the collective shadow, as well. This work of individuation is the modus operandi of the philosopher who is to “know thyself.” It is the central work of the wounded healer who knows, through his own wounding and transformation, how to heal. (For above quotes, see Ecce Homo, p. 59, 61.)
8. Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, “The Birth of Tragedy,” p. 49.
Revised & updated:
5 August 2005
Role of the Least-aspected Planet in Astrocartography
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II. Transcendental Biographies | III. Transcendental Events
IV. Psychic inflation - Summary of Planetary Symbolism - Transcendental Planets
V. Nodes / the Triple-zero Transcendental | Appendices: Orbs / References / Data
Additional Maps | Bibliography | FAQ
I. Interview in Astrolore | II. Transcendental Nations | III. American Presidents & LAP Saturn
IV. World Events | V. Numinous Consciousness
VI. The LAP as a metaphor of the soul | VII. Zones of Intensity |
VIII. Complete Index of Names and Events
All text © Copyright 2005 Robert Couteau and cannot be used without the written and expressed consent of the author.
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