Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sir Edmund Hillary & Hemispheres

A 20th century hero, mountaineer and explorer Sir Edmund Hillary died recently. Glancing at a 12 noon chart for the day of his birth, 20 July, 1919, Tuakau, North Island, New Zealand, my immediate reaction was "Huh?" Four planets (2 sets of conjuncts) in soft, sweet homeloving Cancer? This man was one of the first pair of climbers to reach the highest peak on this planet. Homebody?

There are, of course, three Leo planets in the mix too, and natal Moon would have been in Aries whatever his time of birth, so perhaps, taking a simplistic view, the Fire planets outweighed those in homely Watery Cancer.

Astrotheme has Sir Edmund's time of birth as 4pm, producing ascendant in Capricorn. (I think THAT IS a Capricorn face!) Cancer and Leo are his dominant signs, but Saturn and Jupiter are dominant planets. Saturn, ruler of Capricorn, Cardinal Earth, represented by the mountain goat or seagoat, fits his persona and history well - better than Cancer the homebody, for sure!

See chart, biography etc at Astrotheme, HERE.

Pondering this, and that fact that Sir Edmund was born in the southern hemisphere, my mind ventured down a path it took early in my blogging experience, when I tried to compare my own chart with that of Australian author and feminist Germaine Greer. The same conundrum arose: do the signs of the tropical zodiac have the exact same interpretation for people born in the southern hemisphere as those we use here in the north?

Astrologers have a variety of theories, but I haven't found anything definite or convincing, so far. Some say reverse the signs/interpretations, some say tweak them, others say everything should remain exactly the same for both hemispheres.

In the few articles I found via Google, astrologers mainly concentrated on examples using Sun signs when writing on this subject. I didn't find this helpful. If there is to be any difference in astrological interpretation for Earth's two hemispheres, then the difference would apply across the board, which complicates the issue even further.

People with "splash" natal charts, planets well-scattered across the whole circle have a good showing from 9 or more zodiac signs, and some of the character traits associated with them. It would be difficult to disentangle charts of that kind to discover whether hemisphere matters. A clearer idea of any differences might be pinpointed by studying people born on days such as those in Feb 1962, when many planets were grouped in Aquarius. Would people born in the southern hemisphere at that time display a very different side of Aquarius? I wonder if astrologers have investigated.

In the case of Sir Edmund Hillary, with Capricorn rising, it would be difficult to disentangle his Cancer Sun and personal planets from his Capricorn ascendant - Cancer and Capricorn are opposing cardinal signs - both initiators. Aries, home of Sir Edmund's natal Moon is yet another cardinal sign. Here, I think is the recipe for a mountaineering hero, Sun, Moon and ascendant in cardinal signs, with Saturn (strength through self-limitation, discipline and planning) his dominant planet.

A quote from the man himself, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of climbing Everest:

"I like to think that I am a very ordinary New Zealander, not terribly bright perhaps but determined and practical in what I do" (How very Capricorn!)



R J Adams said...

One of my early childhood heroes. Thinking back, none of my heroes from that time ever killed anybody. For kids today, it seems to be a necessary criteria. I guess I'm getting old!
Rest in peace, Sir Edmund.

Twilight said...

Mine too, RJ.

Thor Heyerdahl was another. They're not making 'em like those two any more......although the astronauts are their modern equivalents, so I'm being a little unfair. There are still a few non-violent heroes around.