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Jesus Christ has spiritually elevated billions of believers during the past two millenia. It is but natural that there be interest of his devotees in the times and circumstances of his birth. Opinions abound about the likely time of birth of the great master though there could be little concrete proof of the validity of the various opinions about this matter. Working on the times of birth of ancient historical characters is a daunting task for any one. A Vedic astrologer perhaps is better suited to decipher more closely the likely time of birth of such an individual, armed as he is with the profound principles of Jyotish handed down to him by the sages of yore. It is with the background of Vedic astrology only that Francis R Day has attempted to pinpoint the time of birth of Jesus Christ and given the planetary positions for that moment of time. A lot of labour on the part of the author has gone into the preparation of this article and it deserves critical attention of the discerning reader. - Editor
There have been many dates proposed for the birth of Jesus of Nazareth in the range 1-8 BC. Dating the birth of Jesus is a controversial issue and various theories have emerged as to what celestial phenomena prompted the Magian astrologers mentioned in the gospel of Matthew to leave their homeland and venture to Bethlehem to pay homage to the newborn king. Most authorities believe that it was a natural astronomical event (including comets and supernovas) which had a deeper astrological meaning for the Magi. Whilst there has not been agreement on the date of the birth of Jesus, it will be useful to examine the main theories to see which offers the best potential in finding a birth date. Finding the birth time of the man known as Jesus of Nazareth, the religious teacher and healer from Bethlehem will have implications in the areas of astrology, astronomy and history.
The first question to be clarified is why should astronomical events be of importance when looking for a birth time for Jesus. This relates to a passage in the gospel of Matthew, which states that the Magi (astrologers or wise men from Babylon) had seen "A Star".1 Being aware of the prophecies surrounding the coming of a King or Messiah they headed in the direction of Bethlehem. They arrived at Bethlehem to pay homage to the young king shortly after the child's infancy. This is the story most historians would agree upon.
The main contending theories on the Star of Bethlehem are as follows:
Heliacal rising and lunar occultation of Jupiter - 6BC
Astronomer Michael R. Molnar has proposed a date of 17th April 6BC for the birth of Jesus based on the heliacal rising (before the Sun) and lunar occultation of the planet Jupiter in the constellation Aries.2 He looks at royal combinations in Greek astrology as practiced in that period. The basis for this interpretation is a bronze coin minted at Antioch and showing a Ram looking back at an overhead star. Aries the Ram signified Judea, Samaria and Palestine according to the Tetrabiblos of Ptolemy and King Herod ruled these lands. Molnar thinks the coin was issued by the Romans of Antioch to commemorate their takeover of Judea in 6AD and provides a celestial omen about the birth of a king of the Jews.
Molnar shows how various factors in Greek astrology converge to form a regal chart on 17th April 6BC. These include heliacal rising of Jupiter and lunar conjunction (occultation), rulers of trines well positioned, exaltation of the Sun in Aries and Venus in Pisces, attendance and Sun, Moon, Jupiter and Saturn in Aries. He doesn't stipulate a birth time for this day mentioning that any chart for the day is suitable for a Regal birth but some times are better than others. Molnar also maintains that the occultation or exact conjunction of the Moon with Jupiter does not need to be visible (the conjunction occurred during the day) since the Magi were looking for an astrologically significant event, not an astronomically visible one.
In Vedic astrology the conjunction of Jupiter and the Moon is called Gaja-Kesari yoga (Elephant, Lion). Parashara says of this yoga : "If Jupiter is in an angle from the ascendant or from the Moon, and if he is in conjunction with and is aspected by a benefic and if he (Jupiter) is not in a debilitated or combust or inimical sign, the yoga thus caused is called the Gaja Kesari yoga. The native born in this yoga will be splendorous, wealthy, intelligent, endowed with many virtues and be a favourite of the king."3
Since the Jupiter/Moon conjunction (yoga) forms the main foundation in Molnar's theory, it needs to be examined in more detail.
A strong Gaja Kesari yoga in a chart can give rise to regality, political success, high status, fame and wealth. Parashara mentions the words "wealth" and "favoured by the king". This is a yoga for worldly success, not renunciation. Jesus renounced external wealth and the material life and was at odds with the government of the day.
If this yoga is taken as the basis of "regality", there are several blemishes to be considered.
1. The Moon is depleted due to the extreme waning phase (approximately one day from new moon).
2. Mars, the dispositor of the yoga and all planets associated with the yoga, is combust. This creates a weakening effect on Saturn, Moon, Jupiter and Sun. The Sun has effectively caused its dispositor, Mars, to become weak and less effective. This in turn has its effect on the Sun and associated planets.
3. Jupiter is associated with malefic Sun, Rahu and debilitated Saturn.
This is not a yoga that would give rise to an individual with the qualities and stature of Jesus of Nazareth. We could focus on an exalted Sun (possibly in an angle) to boost this chart but it suffers from a Rahu/Ketu affliction, a late sign degree and a combust dispositor (Mars). Also, the sage Parashara does not include strong angular luminaries in the Pancha Mahapurusha yogas, i.e., yogas for a great being.
Michael Molnar has produced some splendid research on astronomy, astrology and history of time around 6BC but his proposed date for the birth of the Christ falls short from the Jyotish perspective.
Triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn - 7BC
The triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Pisces in 7BC is another explanation proposed for the Star of Bethlehem. Research has been carried out by David Hughes in this area.4 He concluded that the star was a tangible physical phenomenon and came to a date of 15th September 7BC for the birth of Jesus.
Pisces was associated with the nation Israel, Jupiter was the regal planet and Saturn was known as the protector of the Jews.
The conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn were on 29th May, 1st October and 5th December 7BC. At the closest conjunction the planets did not appear to be closer than about two apparent lunar diameters. The previously mentioned passage in Matthew refers to a star, not an arrangement of stars (planets). If Matthew meant an arrangement of stars then there is the possibility he had knowledge of astrology. There is no evidence to suggest that astrology was part of his worldview and it seems that he was relating a physical observation of a star or bright object by the Magi.
In the spring of 6BC there was a Jupiter, Saturn, Mars conjunction. This again constitutes an arrangement of stars and not a single star.
Jupiter/Venus conjunction - 3BC
Dr Ernest Martin, history and theology professor, author and former director of the Foundation for Biblical Research and the Associates for Scriptural Knowledge proposes that two extremely close conjunctions of Jupiter and Venus (August 3BC and June 2BC) formed what was seen as the star of Bethlehem.5 The second conjunction looked like one bright star. This theory has been popularized by John Mosley, Program Director at Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, USA. Over 600 planetariums in America and Europe have revised their Christmas star shows to present solutions to the star of Bethlehem more in line with Martin's views.6
Another notable astronomical event was the conjunction of Jupiter with the star Regulus on 14th September 3BC. Regulus is the star associated with kings and royalty and Jupiter was transiting Leo and in particular, the nakshatra Magha, "The Mighty One". Magha's symbol is a palaquin, the royal seat upon which the king was carried while travelling. Jupiter entered Leo (and Magha) on 15th August 3BC.
Bepin Behari states : "Magha is concerned with sustaining and assisting the evolutionary impulse; in discharging this responsibility, its primary task is to overcome the various obstacles to the fulfillment of that particular dharma. The primary impulse of Magha is metempsychosis; it leads to transmigration of the soul and involves the ego in the evolutionary process."7
At this time, Jupiter appeared as a morning star and the account in Matthew (2:1,2,9) states that the Magian astrologers saw the star rising above the eastern horizon.
Dr Martin has given a date in his book for the birth of Christ based on his extensive historical research but in particular a symbolic passage in the bible, i.e., Revelation 12:1-5. This date is 11th September 3BC between sunset and moonset.
"And there was a great wonder [sign] in heaven; a woman clothed with the Sun, and the Moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: and she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder [sign] in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his head. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to earth; and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron."
The woman represents the constellation Virgo. This constellation is the only sign of a woman located on the ecliptic. The Sun and the Moon are amidst or in line with the body of this woman.
Martin states : "She occupies in body form a space of about 50 degrees along the ecliptic. The head of the woman actually bridges some 10 degrees into the previous sign of Leo and her feet overlap about 10 degrees into the following sign of Libra, the Scales. In the period of Jesus' birth, the Sun entered in its annual course through the heavens into the head position of the woman about August 13, and exited from her feet about October 2. But the apostle John saw the scene when the sun was "clothing" or "adorning" the woman."8 Martin takes this position of the Sun as being mid-bodied to the woman and postulates:
"The only time in the year that the Sun could be in a position to 'clothe' the celestial woman called Virgo ..... is when the Sun is located between about 150 and 170 degrees along the ecliptic. This 'clothing' of the woman by the Sun occurs for a 20-day period each year......In 3BC., the Sun would have entered this celestial region about August 27 and exited from it about September 15."9
Martin refines the birthday further by locating the Moon position. Revelation states that the Moon was "under her feet". The feet of Virgo represent the last 7 degrees of the constellation. In order for the description in Revelation 12 to be satisfied astronomically, the Moon has to be positioned in the last 7 degrees of Virgo. At the same time the Sun must be positioned mid-bodied within the constellation to give the clothing appearance.
Martin notes: "In the year 3BC, these two factors came to precise agreement for about half an hour, as observed from Palestine or Patmos, in the twilight period of September 11th.The relationship began about 6:15 p.m. (sunset), and lasted until around 7:45p.m. (moonset). This is the only day in the whole year that the astronomical phenomenon described in the twelfth chapter of Revelation could take place.
This also shows one other important point. The Moon was in crescent phase. It was a New Moon day, the start of a new lunar month."10
The "crown of twelve stars" and the "red dragon" referred to in the symbolism are thought to refer to the constellations Coma Bernice and Draco.
Rectification of date and time of birth
When reading Dr Martin's theory on the Star of Bethlehem it occurred to me to examine the solar eclipse chart previous to his proposed birth event date and also the Lunar New Year chart for the capital of Judea. These charts are useful for mundane predictions. The Lunar New Year chart can give an indication of the type of events which may transpire in the country in the one year period from 16th March 3BC. If Dr Martin's theory on the birth time of Jesus is correct then these charts should show definite indications for this event.
Solar Eclipse Chart (Chart 1)
This solar eclipse chart is quite significant. Ketu is closely conjunct the eclipse point within minutes and Saturn is closely conjunct the ascendant. The eclipse point squares the ascendant. This is the type of eclipse chart that would suggest a significant event in the locality within days or weeks of the eclipse, certainly before the next solar eclipse. Less than 2 days later there was Jupiter/Venus conjunction. There was also a lunar appulse eclipse on 26th August 3BC. This occurred at approximately 7degrees from the descendant at Bethlehem.
It is to be noted that eclipse charts are quite relevant for specific localities in an astrological sense even though the eclipse is not visible in that location. Eclipse charts for cities are important for making predictions when there is no official birth chart.
During the ruthless reign of King Herod there was a growing expectancy that a Messiah would arise in Judea and deliver the people from their tyrannical Roman enemies.
In the solar eclipse chart, Saturn is close to the ascendant. Saturn has multiple significations in this mundane chart. The ascendant represents the common people and Saturn's position here shows that the people are oppressed. Saturn is also yoga karaka (lord of a kendra and a trine) so some favourable benefits can also occur. In its lordship of the highest dharma house (9th house) it shows a manifestation or crystallization of the highest collective aspirations or desires (of the masses). Saturn is also the 10th lord so it indicates the king or the servant of the people.
Ascendant lord Venus represents the people in this mundane chart and is closely conjunct exalted Jupiter, the karaka of children. Since Venus is also 6th lord, this suggests that a child may be born who may help and serve the people. This person will be more than a superficial helper or healer. Since Jupiter is 8th lord, a transformation of religious and spiritual values is possible over time. The eclipse falls in the 4th house representing the opposition to the government. This eclipse appears to herald the coming of the messiah and the potential for change in the collective consciousness.
Lunar New Year Chart (Chart 2)
The Lunar New Year chart (Luni- Solar) is cast for the new moon in Pisces at the capital of a country to give annual mundane predictions. The year begins with the Chaitra Shukla Pratipada which indicates the beginning of the first tithi or Pratipada (moon phase) of the brighter half (Shukla Paksha), falling in the month of Chaitra. The exact moment of the beginning of this year coincides with the exact conjunction of the Sun and the Moon in the sign Pisces which marks the end of Amavasya and the beginning of Pratipada. I have cast the chart for Caesarea where the ruling powers were located but a chart for Jerusalem will be very similar.
The new moon is in the 5th house (children) conjunct Uranus (humanitarian, revolutionary). The fifth house lord is exalted Jupiter located in the 9th house (religion, spirituality). These astrological indications support the birth of a special individual in the eyes of the Jewish people.
Refining the birth time
The birth event is possible soon after the August solar eclipse. The period 27th August - 15th September as mentioned above is quite relevant.
If the August solar eclipse could be compared to the day counter on a clock, the Jupiter/Venus conjunction is the hour hand and the Mercury/Venus conjunction (1st September) is the minute hand. Those ancient astrologers noting this event would have known the promised event was near. The chart for sunrise at Bethlehem on the 1st September 3BC shows an exact Mercury/Venus conjunction and the Moon conjunct the MC. It would be tempting to take this time or the sunrise time for the next morning as the birth event but in keeping with the passage in Revelation we need to wait for the next major astronomical event-the new moon on the 9th September 3BC (late afternoon). This is the second hand on the clock.
Dr Martin has given a birth time of 6:15 pm to 7:45 pm corresponding to sunset and moonset. This time interval includes the ascendants Aries and Pisces. Based on the under mentioned considerations, I have not selected either of these signs for the birth ascendant of Jesus.
The case for a Virgo ascendant
A combination of factors suggests that the ascendant should be Virgo.
. The ascendant for the exact Jupiter/Venus conjunction at Bethlehem on 12th August 3BC was 25 degrees Virgo and the Moon position was 5Vi40.
. Virgo is the 5th house (children) sign in the pre birth solar eclipse chart.
. Virgo fits with the "Virgin Birth" scenario (of which there are many theories).
. Virgo is the sign of a healer, a servant and one who is skilled with the hands (trades).
. For a Virgo ascendant, the Rahu/Ketu or karmic axis would go 12/6. The 12th house is the house of moksha or final liberation and the 6th house is the house of enemies, service and healing. The 12th house emphasis gives an interest in the hidden mysteries of life. These things were prominent in the life of Jesus.
For a Virgo ascendant, the birth would have been in the morning. But which morning? There are two possibilities based on the Moon position -the 10th or the 11th September 3BC.
It is now necessary to further examine the passage from Revelation 12:1-5.
The woman (Virgo) is described as being clothed by the Sun. This will occur when the Sun is in Virgo but the constellation will not be visible when the Sun is above the horizon. When the Sun is below the horizon before sunrise or after sunset, the constellation will still be visible through the faint glow of the Sun. I propose this is what the apostle John meant when he said, "clothed by the Sun".
Let's examine the sequence of events from the time of the new moon. The new moon was mid afternoon on 9th September 3BC. At sunset, the Moon dipped below the horizon. Approximately 11 hours later, the Sun was below the horizon (before sunrise ) and the glow of the Sun would be giving the special clothing effect to the woman (Virgo). Also the Moon had moved towards her feet and had just entered the nakshatra Chitra, "The Star of Wonder" whose symbol is the "Shining Jewel." I propose that the birth of Christ occurred near this time.
From astrological considerations, the ascendant is Virgo near sunrise. On the evening of the 10th and especially the 11th which Dr Martin takes as the birth time, the Moon is in Libra and the ascendant will be Pisces or Aries. Also the Moon will have moved out of its kendra (angular) position. It is most probable that the Moon is placed in a kendra for a prominent religious figure who had a special affinity with the public. It is important to locate the Moon position correctly and in addition to kendra location, its position was also determined to give a Vimshottari dasha sequence (the main timing tool used in Vedic astrology) for the event of crucifixion (29AD to 33AD) (see Chart Analysis). The planetary dasha sequence based on the Moon position for this event is best seen with a Virgo Moon (24Vi59).
Although Vedic astrology does not normally utilize the outer planets, the Moon/Pluto conjunction and Moon/Uranus opposition on the morning of 10th September are noteworthy and help to confirm the Moon position. The Moon/Pluto conjunction can give a life of transformation on all levels with a death and rebirth of the emotional body. The person is sensitive to the psychological needs of others and exudes healing energy. There is emotional intensity. Braha writes the following: "Fortunately, the Moon-Pluto conjunction indicates strong spiritual development and a phenomenal capacity for self-discipline. The person intermittently uses these abilities to completely remake and remold himself. He has powerful energy to regenerate his cellular structure and improve himself in any area of life. He is a walking mass of human potential".11
I have moved the birth time back from the time found by Dr Martin by about 1.5 days.
Dr Martin has taken the birth event time for when the new moon became visible. I propose an earlier birth time, which better fits with the above astrological factors.
I have arrived at a birth time of 10th September 3BC, 5.23 am LMT, Bethlehem, Judea.
Sidereal Ascendant 14°36' Virgo (Krishnamurti ayanamsha) (See Chart 3)
Astronomical events leading up to the birth of Christ
. 10th August 3BC: Solar eclipse (see eclipse chart for Bethlehem).
. 12th August 3BC: Jupiter/Venus conjunction.
. 15th August 3BC: Jupiter enters Magha nakshatra.
. 26th August 3BC: Lunar eclipse near descendent for Bethlehem.
. 1st September 3BC: Mercury/Venus conjunction.
. 9th September 3BC: New Moon mid afternoon.
. 10th September 3BC: Moon enters Chitra nakshatra.
. 10th September 3BC: Birth of Jesus.
. 14th September 3BC Jupiter/Regulus conjunction.
. The ascendant is Virgo.
. The luminaries Sun and Moon, and Venus and Mercury are in the ascendant.
. Venus and Mercury are in the nakshatra Uttara Phalguni.
. The ascendant and the Sun are in the nakshatra Hasta and the Moon is in the nakshatra Chitra.
. Mars and Saturn occupy the Dharma houses, i.e., 5th and 9th house. Dharma is being established in one's most natural path in life or being attuned to one's purpose.
. Jupiter and Ketu occupy the 12th house of moksha (final liberation or self-realization). Planets in this house show that moksha may be a strong focus for the individual if other factors support.
. Due to the number of planets in Virgo, there is a strong Mercurial influence on the individual.
. It is the combination of Sun, Moon and ascendant lord Mercury in Virgo in the ascendant which makes Jesus a "Super Virgo".
The ascendant is 14 degrees Virgo in the nakshatra Hasta. Virgo's symbol is "A maiden, often in a boat, holding wheat in one hand and fire in the other". This suggests cooking or transforming a commodity so it can be digested. Also if the fire represents the digestive fire then the symbol represents refinement or purification that must occur before the process of digestion and assimilation.
Virgo is, therefore, a sign of purification and being the 6th house of the natural zodiac represents disease. This gives Virgos an interest in healing, health care and service-orientated activities. Virgos often develop skill at a trade. The maiden is a virgin so the symbolism "born of the Virgin Mary" is fitting.
The ascendant is powerful. The four planets in the ascendant are disposited by exalted ascendant lord Mercury which receives directional strength (dig bala) and forms a Pancha Mahapurusha yoga (Bhadra yoga) or combination for a great being. This yoga is particularly strong as it occurs from the ascendant as well as from the Sun and the Moon. Since Bhadra yoga involves Mercury, the emphasis here is on learning, intelligence and virtue and the skill to effectively address and inspire an assembly.
The ascendant is in the nakshatra Hasta. Hasta is observed in the sky as an open hand giving blessings to humanity. Hasta is a nakshatra associated with the hands and it is reasonable to assume that Jesus worked in the same trade (carpentry) as did his father Joseph.
In the book "Stars and Your Future" by Jain, (similar to Sabian symbols but specifically for the sidereal zodiac), the Ascendant is in the "Degree of Arising".
"A radiant rainbow in the centre of which is the Sun in its brightness."
"Denotes a lover of nature in her grandeur, one of artistic, mystic and philosophic mind, who will move about a great deal and travel to various places. He is capable of spreading the light of truth and of helping many to see and appreciate its marvels. This degree is a fortunate one and promises much."12
The Sun is close to the ascen_dent in the nakshatra Hasta and is a few degrees below the horizon -The dawn of a new era! This is a person who has courage and power and will not go unnoticed. He is a leader. The Sun is considered a malefic in Vedic astrology and its position close to the ascendant can give some irritability or outbursts of anger at times.
Behari says of this placement : "His area of operation may be away from the home, in a distant land, possibly for a humanitarian cause."13 He also notes that this placement can give the person feminine physical features.
According to Jain, the Sun is in the "Degree of Endeavour".
"A rough fire mountain, from several parts from which smoke is rising. On one of the slopes labourers are working."
"Denotes one who exercises patience and persistence in his life's work, and whose position is often attended with much worry and personal danger. His soul is full of enterprise. He is magnetic, psychic and extremely active. This degree gives good imagination."14
Venus and Mercury are located in the nakshatra,Uttara Phalguni (Star of Patron) where they form a Raja yoga (kendra-trinal lord combination). Strong and unafflicted Raja yogas give rise to success, influence, celebrity and kingship. We would expect to see at least one Raja yoga for the man who became "King of the Jews".
Venus is in Neecha Bhanga Raja Yoga. This gives a cancellation of debility allowing some strong beneficial effects to manifest. Uttara Phalguni is symbolised by a bed or hammock and shows a person's desire to help others and alleviate suffering. This nakshatra also gives leadership qualities, courage, endurance, fighting for righteous causes, esteem from others and a desire for moksha.
The waxing Moon is in the Ascendant having low brightness (pakshabala) (only 14 hours from the new moon). The new moon signifies new beginnings and this was a new beginning for the word of God on earth. This Moon position can give a magnetic personality, well respected and happy and a type of elusiveness due to unconventional thinking.
The degree for the Moon in Jain's most useful book is as follows:
"Degree of Overcoming."
"A man from whose forehead streams a dazzling white light, passing through a fiery valley, at whose end are beautiful lawns, flowers and trees bathed in brilliant sunlight."
"Denotes one of an affectionate, hopeful, sincere nature who endeavours to do by love alone what others are attempting to do by force. Gifted with a will of strength, he is able to resist and subdue all the demons which rise against him; thus is his spiritual nature uplifted, and he is inspired and helped from occult sources. He will have struggles in life and difficulties which seem insurmountable, but he knows he will overcome them, and he overcomes them all, for they are but sent to teach him what worldly life is and what it may be."15
Courage, endurance and initiatives
In addition to the Sun occupying a prominent position, Mars lord of the 3rd house (courage and valour) is exalted in the 5th house. He is a fighter and a leader - a spiritual warrior with drive, ambition and courage. Mars is strong and gives him the energy and endurance to achieve his goals whether on the material or spiritual level.
Jesus needed great courage to bear the strength of his convictions and to achieve many goals in his short ministry. He became a serial pest, stood up to the establishment, confronted the money changers in the temple, proclaimed he was the coming messiah and continued in his actions despite the knowledge that he would be "the sacrificial lamb" that the Jews demanded.
Mars is also lord of the 8th house of life energy. Whatever he did he put his whole being into it.
Knowledge, teaching and disciples
Mars is exalted and close to the 5th house equal cusp in the nakshatra Shravana- The Star of Learning. This nakshatra is associated with religious teachers and sacred oral traditions. Mars is also lord of 3rd house of communications making Jesus a master at imparting orally transmitted knowledge. Mars is a planet of action thus he taught by example also.
Mars's dispositor Saturn is in the 9th house of religion and higher knowledge and a nakshatra exchange between Mars and the Moon further highlights the strong emphasis on religious teaching.
Since this powerful Mars is in the 5th house, Jesus spent much time and energy with his selected disciples so that they could continue to spread the "word".
Public notability and fame
The Sun, the Moon and exalted Mercury in the ascendant shows a person of distinction, celebrity and charisma. Jesus's renown has not waned through the centuries.
In the time when Jesus was involved with his ministry his celebrity was mainly with the poor, downtrodden and oppressed. This is shown by Saturn (oppressed) in the 9th house (his ministry) and Jupiter lord of the 4th house (public and mass appeal) in the 12th house. Such a person will attract the people who are not seen much or who are in confinement.
Since ascendant lord Mercury is in the nakshatra Uttara Phalguni (Star of Patron) people would approach him for support. Uttara Phalguni is the nakshatra of public prominence.
Healing and service
Virgo the 6th house of the natural zodiac is the sign of healing and service. Ascendant lord Mercury is exalted in the star of the healer-Uttara Phalguni. This shows a person who feels and cares for the suffering of humanity. This is also indicated by the 12th lord (sorrow of the masses) Sun close to the ascendant.
Rahu is placed in the 6th house in the nakshatra Shatabhisha (its own nakshatra) which means "the hundred physicians" or "hundred healers". It bestows gifts in the healing arts by pouring forth the cosmic waters from the pitcher (of Aquarius) to nourish humanity.
Rahu is well placed in the 6th house (Aquarius) and may give a person a strong desire to heal others (and the ability to defeat rivals). Since Rahu is manipulative and Rahu's dispositor Saturn rules over the lepers and the disabled, this person could miraculously cure them, but his healing abilities extended further than this. Saturn is in the house of religion and spirituality, the highest dharma house and Saturn aspects its own house (6th) so he is a gifted spiritual healer as well. Since Saturn is in the nakshatra of the Moon and the navamsha of the Moon his healing abilities extend to the mind and emotions. We could say that he is a healer on all levels of the being from the gross physical to the highest spiritual realms.
Holy pilgrimages and travel
Jupiter's placement in the 12th house suggests that hidden or esoteric knowledge may have been gained in far away places. This is confirmed by 12th lord Sun close to the ascendant. Jupiter is also the 4th lord (home) so it seems Jesus would have spent much time away from his birth place learning with wise elders and spending time in solitude, preparing for his divine mission on earth.
Religion, spirituality and ministry
Since Mars rules the 3rd house of initiatives and is disposited by Saturn which is located in the 9th house and aspecting the 3rd house, Jesus was a man of action in a religious sense. After his learning and solitude phase he went into dynamic activity mode-The spiritual warrior!
The 6th lord Saturn in the 9th house in Taurus allowed him to serve the spiritual needs of others in a very wise and practical manner. Saturn in this position can give enmity with teachers and religious leaders and we know that Jesus had many confrontations with the religious leaders of the time and with established religious practices.
Venus is the 9th lord of religion, debilitated in the ascendant. It has Neecha Bhanga Raja Yoga. After setbacks and obstacles Jesus rose to become a spiritual giant. Venus is also the 2nd lord of speech so what Jesus said was significant and the knowledge he gained was given out for all to hear.
Renunciation and Moksha (final liberation)
The 4th lord Jupiter, located in the 12th house, in the nakshatra of Ketu, is a classic combination for renunciation of home comforts. The 12th lord Sun close to the ascendant can give ascetic tendencies.
The moksha houses are 4th, 8th and 12th houses. The 8th lord Mars aspects the 12th house and 8th house, the 4th lord Jupiter is placed in 12th house and aspects the 4th house and the 8th house, and the 12th lord Sun is close to the ascendant. Additionally Jupiter is in the nakshatra of moksha karaka Ketu and Jupiter and Mars are conjunct in the navamsha ascendant.
These combinations of moksha lords indicate that this theme was a strong focus in this man's life. Finding the kingdom of heaven within relates to moksha. And one saying of Jesus is-"Seek first the kingdom of heaven, then all else will be added".
Venus lord of 2nd house (possessions) and karaka for comforts is debilitated in the ascendant showing his strong ability to renounce the things of the world.
Betrayal, sacrifice and crucifixion
The 7th lord Jupiter is placed in the 12th house. This is a combination for deception and betrayal. There is also affliction to the 12th house of secret enemies by the Rahu /Ketu axis within a 5 degree orb of the equal cusp. The 8th lord Mars also afflicts the equal cusp of the 12th house. Crucifixion cannot be seen here specifically but Jesus's final sacrifice can be seen from the malefic Sun (12th lord) with close orb to the ascendant.
The applying aspect (trine) between 8th lord (longevity) Mars and 6th lord (enemies) Saturn, shows that his death (and dharma) was due to his enemies.
Longevity, death and immortality
Longevity is difficult to determine from a natal chart. This appears to be a chart for high longevity with exalted ascendant lord Mercury and exalted 8th lord Mars which are both well placed. There are some factors which may contribute to a short to medium life span. Ascendant lord Mercury is debilitated in the navamsha. This can give an underlying weakness even though Mercury is exalted in the Rashi chart. The 12th lord Sun is also afflicting the Ascendant. Dashas and transits at the time of death also need to be considered.
There are many dates given for Jesus's crucifixion. The dates given are usually in the range 29AD to 33AD in the month of April. The solar eclipse on the 29th March 32AD is ominous. The solar eclipse is conjunct the natal 8th cusp, eclipse ascendant and eclipse Pluto are conjunct the IC. The Vimshottari dasha period is Jupiter/Venus. Both planets are marakas or planets that can show death or deathlike experiences in their periods. I would suggest that the crucifixion was shortly after the March solar eclipse.
It is to be noted that the 8th house and the 8th lord are exceptionally strong. The 8th lord Mars is exalted in a trine and it aspects the equal cusp of the 8th house (its own sign Aries). This can give a type of immortality. Jesus lives on through the biblical accounts, the stories, his message and the modern media. In that sense he is immortal.
The 12th house and "The After Death State"
One of the significations of the 12th house is the "Destination of the soul after death".
A theme in the Christian religion regarding the state after death is that after the soul leaves the body, it is evaluated in a type of judgment. The soul may then experience heaven, purgatory, hell or loss of awareness. Christians propose that when Jesus returns to earth in the "second coming" there will be a final judgment. The placement of Jupiter (justice and judgment) in the 12th house of Jesus's chart fits with this theme.
Actors who have played Jesus in the movies
The purpose of Tables 1, 2 and 3 is to present the chart data of some actors who have played the role of Jesus and compare their charts with that of Jesus. This comparison is not a primary rectification tool but can give useful information. This synastry needs to be used with discretion because different actors portray different qualities of a character and some miss the mark.
Many actors have played the role of Jesus over the years. Most birth times are not available. Midday charts are used if birth data was not available.
The principle I work on here is that when rectifying the chart of an historical character, it is often found that key planetary positions or angles in the charts of actors playing the role will correlate closely (by aspect) with key planetary positions or points in the character's chart-Day's Rule.
This is not surprising. These actors often spend several months in the shoes of the character attempting to resonate with the person. As an example, take the chart of Robert Powell who starred in the movie "Jesus of Nazareth" which received quite favourable reviews. For example:
"Among the numerous superlative performances, surely the most notable is that of Robert Powell in his role as the Nazarene, whose performance subtly captures the humanity of the Son of God, neither adding human weakness where none is present (vis-a-vis The Last Temptation of Christ), nor resorting to docetic immutability (Greatest Story Ever Told).
Indeed, one senses that Jesus is fully aware of who He is in this film." - Amazon Reviews
A recent movie about Christ to grace the big screen was "The Passion of the Christ" directed by Mel Gibson. The data I have for Mel Gibson, the director of this movie is 3rd Jan 1956, 4.45pm, Peekskil, New York, USA. (Steinbrecher Class B). He has a Virgo Moon (6Vi50) and his Rahu/Ketu axis is conjunct Jesus's Saturn so he certainly identified with the suffering!
The pre sunrise chart for the 10th September 3BC is the chart of a spiritual giant, a teacher and a gifted healer. The message and the teaching of Jesus continues to reverberate down through the corridors of time. There is more that can be said. Western astrologers will see a different angle. My main aim in this article has been to present the birth time of a person who has had a profound influence on the morality and spirituality of the western world.
The birth time I have found is in alignment with the historical research and findings of Dr Ernest Martin. I have made a 1½- day adjustment in the birth time found by Dr Martin with the additional proposal for a Virgo ascendant.
I believe this newly found birth time for Jesus of Nazareth, the religious teacher, leader and healer from Bethlehem, will be of interest to astrologers, astronomers, historians, theologians and others.
References and Notes
1. Matthew 2:1,2,9.
2. Michael R Molnar, The Star of Bethlehem-The Legacy of the Magi, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey, and London, 1999.
3. Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra, Translation and Commentary by G C Sharma, Sagar Publications, New Delhi, India, 1994.
4. David Hughes, The Star of Bethlehem: An Astronomer's Confirmation, Walker & Co .New York, 1979.
5. Ernest L Martin, The Star of Bethlehem: The Star that Astonished the World. Second edition, ASK Publications, PO Box 25000, Portland, OR 97225, USA, 1996.
6. "The basic premise of Martin's book is that there is enough information available from the archaeological and historical records, as well as from the biblical accounts in the New Testament, to formulate a self-consistent sequence of events that fits the incidents associated with the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. In doing so the author adopts a chronology for the reign of Herod the Great that moves the date of Herod's death to 1 B.C., a few years later than most accepted estimates.
7. Bepin Behari, Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology, Passage Press, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, 1992.
11. James Braha, How to be a Great Astrologer- The Planetary Aspects Explained, Hermetican Press, Florida, USA 1992.
12. M.C Jain, The Stars and Your Future, Sagar Publications, New Delhi, India, 1997.
13. Bepin Behari, Planets in the Signs and Houses, Passage Press, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, 1992.
16. Information received from Robert Powell was that he thought his birth time was 8am. This has to remain unverified data. Hopefully in the future I will be able to obtain some life events to verify this time.
Mark Kidger, The Star of Bethlehem, An Astronomers View, Princeton University Press 1999.
Hart DeFouw and Robert Svoboda, Light on Life- An Introduction to the Astrology of India, Penguin, 1996.
John Mosley, The Christmas Star, Los Angeles: Griffith Observatory, 1987.
Dr K.S. Charak, Yogas in Astrology, Systems Vision, New Delhi, India, 1995.
Dennis M. Harness, PhD, The Nakshatras, The Lunar mansions of Vedic Astrology, Lotus Press, USA, 1999.
James Braha, Ancient Hindu Astrology for the Modern Western Astrologer, Hermetican Press, Florida 1986.
© Francis R Day and Vedic Astrology