The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of the nation of Tibet which has been under Chinese rule since the Chinese invasion in 1950. At the time, the fourteenth Dalai Lama, who was born Lhama Dondrub but whose official name is Tensin Gyatso, was fully instituted in his official position at the age of 15. He had been named the successor to the previous Dalai Lama at the age of two. By 1959 the Dalai Lama had been forced to flee his native Tibet for a life in India and has not been permitted to return.
The Dalai Lama’s birthchart shows that he has the Sun in Cancer, the sign of nurturing and protecting family and tribal affilliations, and his Sun sits prominently on the Ascendant of the chart. Such a prominent Sun indicates a powerful influence on others, but a watery Sun tends to manifest far less ego than a more fiery Sun would exhibit. People with a strong Cancerian influence tend to feel the burdens of the world in a very personal way that inspires action (Cancer is a Cardinal sign) to nurture and care for others. The Sun is part of a Grand Trine in water, accentuating the sensitivity and empathy of this individual. The Grand Trine is part of a Kite formation which ameliorates the natural tendencies of the Grand Trine towards weakness and lack of direction. The trine of the Sun to Jupiter provides a natural expansion of the ego to express itself through learning and teaching, and the incorporation of Saturn provides a stabilizing force that
His chart shows a conjunction of Pluto (power) to his South Node (the past), suggesting a past life of great power. Pluto in the first house generally depicts an individual who will be faced with a transformation (Pluto) of his identity and the way he is appeared by others (first house). Pluto on the South Node can depict a person whose desire for power (Pluto) stands in his way of
moving forward (SN), but in a more enlightened being that same Pluto serves as a balance point between the past and the future of the North Node.
The chart ruler, the Moon, is in the humble and service-oriented sign of Virgo. The Virgo Moon requires security and order in order to feel emotionally secure, but the need to feel useful is paramount. This Moon is conjunct Neptune, where it provides the strong sense of compassion and empathy that the Dalai Lama is known for. Falling in the third house of communication, this Moon seeks expression of one’s feelings and emotions.
Saturn in this chart falls in the Ninth House of cultural adventure and spiritual truth and it trines Jupiter, ruler of that house. This double whammy cements the Dalai Lama’s role as spiritual teacher and carrier of wisdom. Saturn is retrograde in this chart, indicating a tendency towards self-criticism and lack of confidence, and it opposes the Moon/Neptune conjunction which reflects the lack (Saturn) of nurturing (Moon) at an early age when he was removed from his family home to fulfill his duties as well as the exile (Saturn) from his country (Moon) and the hard work (Saturn) that has been his focus throughout his life. We could also say that the opposition from Saturn to Neptune mirrors the conflict between his duties (Saturn) which have kept him from a lifetime of purely spiritual experience (Neptune).
Adding to the difficulty of this opposition between Saturn to the Moon/Neptune is a T-square formed by Chiron which is square to both Saturn and the Moon/Neptune. Chiron is in Gemini, reflecting a wound to his ability to express himself and be heard, and in the karmic Twelfth House there is a suggestion that this is a dynamic from which he will not be freed. The square of Chiron to Saturn imposes a difficult life that forces surrender and a willingness to face one’s inner pain so that it can be released. Once that process is complete, and we can argue that for an advanced spiritual being that could occur in childhood, there is great wisdom (Chiron) and inner strength (Saturn).
The Dalai Lama is currently going through a series of powerful Saturn transits and progressions. His progressed Ascendant is exactly opposite progressed Saturn, and transiting Saturn has been passing back and forth over these points since last fall. This stressful cycle has coincided with the riots in Tibet over the continued occupation of Tibet by China which has now stepped up its campaign against the Dalai Lama as an instigator of violence, despite his having received the Nobel Peace Price in 1989 for attempting to forge a peaceful resolution with China.
At the same time, transiting Uranus (rebellion and radical change) is within minutes of an exact conjunction to the Dalai Lama’s midheaven (public life and life path) which is no doubt instigating some impatience and a restless desire for change. This will be exacerbated by an opposition of trnasiting Uranus to the progressed Sun which, having just crossed the nadir of the chart (the point at which we deepen into our inner life and our roots) has renewed its yearning for a return to his native home.
These cycles will begin in full force in May and June, but this is just the beginning of a longer cycle which may inspire more activist tendencies in the Dalai Lama. Combined with the urge for change of Pluto’s moving into Capricorn, we are likely to see increased activity in Tibet.