Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Richard Alpert, who took the spiritual name of Ram Dass after his conversion experience in India, was born in Boston, MA on April 6, 1931 at 10:40 A.M. according to his birth certificate. As discussed in the article on Applewhite, Ram Dass shares a cardinal cross with the rest of the cohort born in that year. Instead of having close to a “natural” zodiac like Applewhite, Ram Dass has most of his occupied signs in houses that create natural squares. That is, his Aries factors are in the Capricorn house, his Taurus factors in the Aquarius house, etc. Such combinations intensify the potential for conflict, but Ram Dass seems to have managed to handle the conflict reasonably well most of the time.

Following his acceptance of a Hindu guru, Ram Dass became a guru himself for the counter culture of the 1960s. He reportedly struggled with relationship issues, including sex, alternating between celibacy and bisexuality. Pluto’s conjunction with his Ascendant for many years of his life highlights the potential for tension. The first house calls for freedom while Pluto shows the desire for a mate. The first house seeks spontaneous action but Pluto demands inner analysis prior to action. Free self-expression confronts self-knowledge and self-mastery. The Aries emphasis, especially the tight Sun-Uranus conjunction in the sign, reinforces the urge to be both free and unique, not bound by cultural conventions in love (the Sun), close relationships (the lunar node), or career (the tenth house). Juno (the marriage asteroid) opposite Ceres (the parent asteroid) square Vesta in 6th house (the details of the job) and Jupiter in the 12th house (the search for the Absolute) repeat the theme of tension between the areas of home/family, career, and idealism.

Since both the first house and Pluto show a desire for personal control, when we add the stellium in Aries in the tenth house, the squares from the first house to the tenth house, and from Aries to Saturn in its own sign, the power issue is a major statement in the chart. The issue of self-will meeting the limits of self-will is as strong as I have ever seen it, but in the case of Ram Dass, he seems to have focused totally on personal freedom, resisting any control by others while avoiding trying to control anyone else. I suspect that many if not most individuals with such an intense power issue have had periods of trying to control others in order to assure their own freedom. The first house Mars adds to the emphasis on personal freedom, in addition to the Moon in Sagittarius and Venus (pleasure) in the house of Sagittarius. Sagittarius also reinforces the idealism, while Sagittarius in the 6th house and a Pisces MC connect it to the work. It is an appropriate chart for an unconventional guru, with the trine of Mercury to Neptune (shared by Applewhite and Jim Jones) testifying to the creative imagination and persuasive ability. As usual, the extra asteroids provide icing on the cake. Richard, the personal name asteroid for Ram Dass, is in 21 Pisces in the 9th house closely conjunct Urania for the unconventional spirituality and Icarus for the possibility of overdoing it.

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