Beethoven’s astrological chart
Beethoven’s chart has Sun, Moon and Mercury in Sagittarius opposing Mars in Gemini – a signature of exuberant fiery passions that surface easily but exhaust themselves with no lingering malice. He wrote himself of being born with a ‘fiery, active temperament’ and biographers note that he became angry regularly, but usually made honourable and generous gestures of amends soon afterwards. Goethe described him as ‘completely untamed’ and his behaviour was recorded as excessive and impulsive, faults that were mainly excused on the basis of his talent.
Uranus rising portrays his striking image (typified by features of intense concentration and unruly hair), and describes a personality marked by originality, freedom of expression, volatility, and a need to break away from the definition of expectations. Pluto culminating describes obsessive will applied to areas where he could project himself out to public scrutiny. The sextile between these two planets on the angles, combined with that powerful opposition between Mars and the luminaries, reveal that challenge would be a strong motivating force for success. This is borne out in the main threads of Beethoven’s life and the trivial details revealed in his letters: “yet I got some pleasure out of it, as I always do when I successfully overcome difficulties” – he writes, referring to an incident when his carriage got stuck in mud in a tiresome journey.
In terms of a birth chart articulating the ‘harmony of the spheres’ that reigns at a moment of birth and seeks to find manifestation through life, it is perhaps foolish to try to isolate the factors that describe Beethoven’s professional style. His whole chart carries the stamp of the energies that found expression through his music – dynamic, energetic, uplifting and stirring yet simultaneously melancholy and powerfully profound. However, a traditional approach to breaking down the chart would note that Venus, ruler of the ascendant, marks its presence strongly in the midheaven, disposed by Saturn in the 5th house of arts and creativity. Here we see the professional autograph of a composer remembered for his masterful sensitivity to musical structure, tempo and form.