by Eugene Johnson.
Ralph Nader’s birthday is today. He was born 02/27/1934 @ 4:52 AM, Winsted, Litchfield County, Connecticut) and I have decided to honor this by working through his chart Hellenistically something I studied under Chris Brennan. He is a good teacher.
Nader is a lawyer and consumer advocate who was a four-time candidate for the U.S. presidency (1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008). Currently he runs the Ralph Nader Radio Hour that can be heard here.
The son of Lebanese immigrants,he graduated from Princeton University in 1955 with a Bachelor of Arts and then a law degree from Harvard University in 1958. He became interested in consumer safety because of his job with the US Department of Labor in 1964, that led to him viewing the high amount of deaths from the Chevrolet Corvair.
In 1965 he published Unsafe at Any Speed, that stated that the Corvair was a “one-car accident” in the making. The problem was that it heavily over-steered because it did not have an anti-sway bar and so on turns could overturn.
e book became a best seller and led directly to the passage of a major piece of legislation: 1966 National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, giving the government the power to protect the public by “reducing traffic accidents as well as the number of deaths and injuries to persons involved in traffic accidents.”
Sects & Hellenistic Astrology
I thought it would be interesting to have a look at his natal chart from a Hellenistic astrology perspective. The Hellenistic method requires a Whole House system i.e. there really aren’t houses as much as signs which equal the houses.
Most of what we call Hellenistic Astrology is based on Ptolemy’s writings, despite his Tetrabiblos he was not a practicing astrologer. Consequently, his texts left out or even distorted significant parts of the astrological doctrine because of his misunderstanding. about them. One technique in particular he omitted is the ‘doctrine of sect.” (The Greek word hairesis has been translated as ‘sect’ generally meaning school, academy, religious group, etc. as a group of people brought together by an idea or set of beliefs).
Sect is how ancient western astrologers delineate a chart based whether the person was born in the day or night. “Day” ( diurnal) is when the Sun is above the horizon; “night” (nocturnal) below the horizon. Planets are also segregated into sect affinities: the diurnal sect is Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn ; while the Moon, Mars, and Venus are stronger in the nocturnal chart.
Ralph was born early in the morning. He is a nocturnal birth ( because the Sun had not risen; it would later that day at 6:31 am). His Sun is in the 2nd House and the Moon is setting, but still visible in the 7th house. In the Hellenistic tradition the house positions and visibility of planets were very important.
The Ascendant is the ‘helm of the ship’ as it steers the chart, ala nautical terminology — the energy of the chart flows through it. The stronger houses were believed to be connected by aspect to the first house and thus the Ascendant thus the sixth house, which has no connection to the ascendant was always considered a weak spot. Correspondingly, the eighth is also five houses away in the other way and between the two create the natural yod — they are separate by a sextile . This yod point then connects because to the Ascendant and thus the chart is whole again.
The angular houses were considered the most powerful, the 5th, 9th, 11th, and the 2nd and 3rd, low to middling in strength, and the 6th, 8th and 12th at the bottom of the pecking order.
In Ralph’s chart, since it is nocturnal, Moon, Venus and Mars have a particular note as does Mercury which is rising behind the Sun. The Moon, is designated as the ‘sect light’ because it is the luminary of charge of the night. It is in opposition to Saturn and a key indicator of the Ralph’s kind of lifestyle and personality.
This is a configuration that suggests that Nader has ‘workaholic:’personality, rather austere and self-effacing. Saturn by the standard dignity measurements is strong in his chart because of it located in the house of its rulership (domicile) of Aquarius, and also located in the first House, The Helm. Saturn rules Venus then Jupiter followed by Sun, Mars, Uranus, and lastly Mercury. Hence, Saturn is second only to the Moon is significance in the chart.
However, it is here that the doctrine of sect is helpful. A planet ‘out of sect’ is not necessarily less powerful in a chart. Saturn in Mr. Nader’s chart is a good example of this condition, as it is ‘out of sect’ but is strong from other influences. Turn over any leaf in the Book of Nader, and you will see the influence of the Old Man Saturn. Indeed this is the point, the man appeared to be dominated by what we might call an “out of control Saturn”, everything seemed to be influenced by it. The biographies of him he is often described as having ‘a monastic lifestyle’, owns no car, has little interest in clothes, spending less than $10,000 a year on himself, and is very uncomfortable talking about his personal life.
It is probably true the function and behavior of ‘out of sect’ planets show up as less stable, reliable or helpful for the native. In Ralph’s case you could say “It was too much of a good thing”, but it seemed to suit him well.
Venus & Saturn in the First
Venus is also in the 1st House with Saturn, and any planet in the first house important because of its affect on the native’s personality . While Ralph exhibits very few Venusian behavioral traits, that is because Saturn is muting it’s strength as the latter planet is in its domicile and ‘almuten” i.e. “strong in power”. Venus, on the plus side, has active dignity as it is in degrees of ‘terms’ and ‘face’ ( see Marc Jones’ Temple Astrology Lessons Sets. Page 48 )
Venus is not well integrated into the overall aspect pattern; its only significant aspect is broad opposition to the Moon. This suggests a tendency toward self-consciousness and social sensitivity that underlay his need for privacy, and the fact that he never married or had a romantic relationship.
Another important part of Hellenistic astrology is the use of the ‘triplicities.’ We are familiar with the term, but they had a much more important role to play for the Hellenistic astrologer than as a categorization of the elementals ( see page 80 in Temple Astrology, the diagram at the bottom of the page depicts the essential triplicity assignments).
Triplicity, as used by the Hellenistic astrologers, was as another level of rulership. Planets in their triplicity were considered stronger. The triplicity rulers of the Air Signs are Saturn (D), Mercury (N) and Jupiter (P).
Ralph’s Saturn in Aquarius is strengthened by being in a sign favorable to it by triplicity. Mercury is in the triplicity ruler of Saturn as Nader was a nocturnal birth.
Nader is a highly gifted, successful and relentless lawyer. This is indicated in the chart by the placement of Jupiter in the 9th ( which is a ‘good’ house as it is Trine to the ASC) and trine to Venus by sign ( the Hellenistic astrologers made a distinction between aspects “by the sign’ and by ‘degree’). Jupiter is the ruler of the second house (Pisces) suggesting Nader has acquired his income from legal activities: he is a lawyer.
Nader’s Lot and Bounds
The Part of Fortune ( the Lot of Fortune) was a paramount point for the ancients. For Mr. Nader, it is in a favorable house, especially since the Angles are considered paramount for success.
Nader’s Lot of Fortune is in the 7th house, and conjunct the noctural leader the Moon. However, Ralph never married and apparently never had a serious romantic relationship, what one would expect with this configuration. Perhaps we can see the underlying dynamics of why this was. The opposition to Saturn did not help him in his social life, as has been mentioned. Also the Moon in the seventh house is quincunx to Mars, in the second, another downer, and the Moon is located in a degree of Saturn’s Terms (Bounds).
The Bounds system was originally Chaldean, and later called Egyptian. Ptolemy mentions another Bounds system he found in a manuscript. This is now called Ptolemaic. Bounds is a system of dividing each zodiacal sign into 5 unequal regions called bounds or terms. Each of the five bounds are ruled by one of the five planets excepting the Sun and Moon. Bounds are the only set of dignities that exclude the Lights but that is because they cannot be contained i.e. bounded thus Cancer is bounded by Mars and Leo by Saturn.
If you find this interesting I recommend Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos and Chris Brennan’s Hellenistic Astrology. You can get either the hardcover or ebook on Google Play. I recommend both.
The Temple Astrology Set can be obtained from www.Sabian.org by writing to the webmaster. I highly recommend it.
We routinely update and vet our reports. This one, Ralph Nader Hellenistically, was reviewed on March 28, 2020 with the latest news from Ralph. Thanks.