Friday, June 7, 2013

Astrological Chart of George Custer

Astrology is part of a larger whole that includes your upbringing, your experiences, your family, and a host of other factors. You may be well suited to be a concert pianist, for example, but if your family doesn't have the money for a piano and lessons, likely you're not going to end up as a concert pianist. 

St. Augustine, who, incidentally, was a sun sign Scorpio, had a great saying about astrology: "The stars may impel, but they cannot compel." In other words, your astrological makeup can tell you a lot about who you will become and give tendencies that may affect your life, but in the end it's all about your choices. It's especially interesting to cast a chart for a newborn and see what happens as the child grows older, and see what choices s/he makes.

So why did I choose to say this today? Well, there are certain astrological signs and scenarios that make people a particularly good fit for what they do in life. The repressed emotion of Capricorn moon, for example, will make for an outstanding general, but that moon placement would suck for someone who works with children, for example. The intensity of Scorpio sun is fantastic for the military in many cases, and the sign rules matters of life and death. But I know plenty of Scorpios who are incapable of following orders, much less killing someone in combat.

Looking at Custer's chart, some parts are very suited for military work, while certain others are not. I'll try to highlight these qualities as we move forward.

Aries Chart Signature--The "signature" of a chart is based on some calculations of the overall dominant element and quality (cardinal, fixed, or mutable). Aries is the ultimate sign for combat, so while Custer is a sun sign Sagittarius, the Aries signature will make him more suited to leading troops than your standard Sag.

Sun in Sagittarius--With its fiery temperament, and sharing the fire element with Aries and Leo, Sag might seem on the surface to be a good choice for military leadership. And it's far from the worst choice. You have many, many fine qualities, including a fantastic sense of humor, an ability to take life and themselves with a grain of salt, a penchant for honesty, and the ability to think philosophically/spiritually. And as a fire sign, bravery is not usually an issue. What's interesting is that Custer was a cavalry commander and Sagittarius, the Archer, is a centaur. So he was in the perfect branch of the military, I'll say that. What's the problem, then? 

It's not the best choice for one big reason: Sag is the wanderer of the zodiac and the ultimate freedom-seeker.

As a mutable (flexible) sign, Sag folks are typically good at following orders, to a point. In other words, if given orders that go against their "truth"--a very subjective thing for Sag that they refine throughout their lives--the Sag might very well refuse to obey those orders. With the understanding that "ground truth" from commanders in the field might very well cause those planning any given campaign to change their minds, Sag might decide on a moment's notice that a particular objective--one that likely is a piece of a much larger puzzle that Sag may or may not be aware of at the time--is no longer viable from his point of view, despite command opinion that it is important.

Also, that "to a point" illustrates another facet of Sagittarius. They love their freedom. They don't want to be tied down to anything, and that includes a set of rules that everyone follows. That's not to say that they are constantly deliberately disobedient or insubordinate. But to quote a famous movie, for many Sag people, rules are "guidelines" to follow when they're convenient, but can be ignored at will. Custer got in trouble once for going AWOL to see his wife, and it was supposed to cost him a one-year suspension until his higherups interceded on this behalf.

Large amount of "night" planets--The majority of Custer's planets are underneath the equator of the chart. Nine of the major celestial bodies fall into this category. Since "personal" matters"--involving mostly things that are extremely important to you and mainly you alone--are a big part of night planets, Custer likely had a "me first" attitude in many different areas. For me, this would be a command deficiency. 

Venus in the 1st House--Venus has a great placement in Libra, in its dignity. But it's sitting in the 1st house, which represents ourselves, our personal expression, and how we see ourselves. With Libra in this most personal of houses, Libra being the love planet and all could give someone with this placement the idea that they're, well...pretty damn awesome. So it's pretty likely that Custer thought pretty highly of himself. With Libra rising--the edge or "cusp" of the 1st house is the rising sign, the mask through which we see life--he probably thought he was good-looking, too. (He may not have been wrong; Libra rising people have a tendency to inherit Venus' good looks. No, really. But I digress.) Again, this could be a problem on the battlefield. 

Mars in Capricorn in the 4th--We know that Mars is the planet of war, and its position is of particular importance for a military man. One of the great things about this position is that Mars in Capricorn gave Custer excellent battle organization skills, and up until his death he had the pedigree to prove it; he was a skilled commander. But an even larger benefit would be for Custer to think before committing to a battle; Sagittarians are not usually ones for planning things out terribly well. Mars in Capricorn in the 4th house is common for a military background, so it's not surprising that this is what Custer ended up doing. 

Alternate career--Based on my read of this chart, Custer would have made an outstanding teacher if he hadn't gone into the military. As a Sagittarius with a heavy third house, he'd have done very well teaching, especially children. I wonder how much training he did; I'll bet he was excellent at it. Younger soldiers would have done better with him than the older ones, generally.

Thanks as always for stopping in! See you next Friday for another military chart! 

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