In book 10 of Plato’s Republic, he describes the process of rebirth, where the souls choose their new life which is accompanied by a daimon or guardian angel.
The souls assembled and a prophet or priest approached them. He took from Lachesis (one of the Fates) samples of new lives and laid them before them. He explained that each life had a daimon attached to it and that they had free will to choose the life they wished. When they had chosen the new life, then Lachesis assigned them a suitable daimon who was to be the guardian of their lives. The daimon then led the souls to Clotho, who took up her spindles and spun their destiny around their soul. Then the daimon led them to Atropos who spun the threads and made them irreversible.
The role of the daimon, or guardian angel is to help the individual to work out their destiny in their chosen life in the best possible way. Hellenic astrologers spent much time trying to pin down how you can find the daimon in a horoscope and there was a deal of disagreement. Some said the Part of Fortune others the Part of Destiny, or the Moon. I think that it is probable the whole horoscope shows our destiny when we chose to incarnate, at the time of birth.
Certainly, there are pivotal times in our lives when fate seems to intervene and redirect our course. Those of you who read the blog on Aldous Huxley, will remember the fated time when he lost his eyesight. Such an episode might seem an absolute disaster, but with hindsight it can be seen that it dramatically reoriented his life. He had wanted to become a doctor, but poor sight made this impossible, he was a talented artist, but again, poor sight meant this field was no longer available to him. He chose to study English literature and so began his true path as a writer. Also important is what was denied, was what was prevented. Because of poor eyesight Huxley was unable to fight in WW1, and so arguably, this disaster saved his life. Finally, as a non-combatant, he worked on the land and met literary lions, as well as his future wife in Garsington Manor. Undoubtedly, this was the hand of fate, steering his life and talent in the designated direction for his chosen life path.
Another example, equally dramatic, is found in the early career of Jay Z, the billionaire rapper, entrepreneur and businessman.
Jay Z had a tough childhood in the Macy Projects in Brooklyn, New York. The youngest of four children, his father abandoned the family when Jay Z was 12. Jay Z had a hit single, ‘Hard Knock Life’ which sampled the same song from the musical Annie. Jay Z said all the children living in the ghetto knew this to be their reality. Growing up during the 1980’s crack epidemic, Jay Z was surrounded by death, drugs and poverty. Most black men did not make it out without succumbing to violence or jail. Jay Z sold drugs and carried guns as did all his friends, his life was dangerous and precarious. This environment made him hard and ruthless, as he described it,
‘It was a very intense and stressful situation. It was a weird mix of emotions. One day, your best friend could be killed. The day before, you could be celebrating him getting a brand new bike.’
Ambitious, Jay Z moved to selling drugs in New Jersey and Maryland all the while making music. He described standing on the corner selling, composing rhymes in his head and then returning home and recording them. The rapper Jaz-O became a friend and mentor to him. Jaz-O was signed by EMI Records and in 1989 he was sent to London to record his debut album. He brought Jay-Z along with him.
‘Up until that point, my life could be mapped with a triangle: Brooklyn, Washington Heights, Trenton.’
They were set up in an apartment in London’s fashionable Notting Hill.
‘It was a surreal, disorientating experience: two niggas from Marcy in a flat in Notting Hill.’
He was there to shadow Jaz while he recorded his album. They both hoped this was their big break, but the fates decreed otherwise. Jay later said it was, ‘career suicide.’
‘Jaz went from being courted at the highest level to not having EMI return his phone calls.’
Jay Z remembered the way Jaz was treated by EMI and when he eventually became famous, he made sure he was in control. Running his own record company, Roc-A-Fella records, formed the basis of his great wealth.
While he was in London, his entire network was arrested through a sting operation by the police. Subsequently, one of his best friends, Emory Jones was given a 16 year sentence for selling cocaine. Jay Z said he was with Emory ‘every single day’, and if he had not been in London, he too, would have gone to prison.
Although he did return to drug dealing on his return, he had seen the writing on the wall. Jay Z later wrote,
‘Shootouts in clubs, police investigations, whole crews arrested. I got out of there just in time. Some of my best friends weren’t so lucky. It was tragic.’
Jay Z has several significators for musical ability, especially Venus conjunct Neptune in Scorpio in the 3rd house. If he did make music, he would make great wealth (Scorpio) from it. Of course, neither planet is well placed in Scorpio, but it feels a fitting expression of rap music. Jay Z said of hip-hop,
‘Hip-hop has always been controversial, and for good reason…It leaves the shit rattling around in your head that won’t make sense until the fifth or sixth time through. It challenges you.’
Another significator is Moon conjunct Uranus in Libra, showing a refined aesthetic sense, love of harmony, beauty, luxury and conjunct Uranus, radical music, confrontational and revolutionary. Jay Z said rap challenges you because,
‘…rap is controversial (Uranus, Libra): People don’t bother trying to get it. The problem isn’t in the rap or the rapper or the culture. The problem is that so many people don’t even know how to listen to the music.’
Said like a true Libran, this music is sophisticated, subtle, even though it appears not to be, pay attention, engage your brain, listen carefully or you won’t get it.
Obviously, Jay Z is a Sun Sagittarius and so he is a man who likes to party and enjoy the best things in life, has a grand vision, a warm, engaging nature and an open mindedness. While Jupiter in Libra sextile Mercury in Sagittarius would again show luxury, grand gestures and a life lived on a magnificent scale.
So what was happening in 1989? At first glance, not very much. In 1989, (we don’t have the month) there was a Saturn, Uranus, Neptune conjunction in Capricorn, Jupiter goes from late Taurus to Gemini and Pluto is around 12’ Scorpio. So no transits to his chart. His progressions for that year are more hopeful, progressed Moon is going to conjunct progressed MC, showing career focus, but with the Moon there, things are not what they seem, which was the case, it turned out this was not his big break. Generally, progressed Moon to MC shines a light on your career and can be a lucky time, and remember the Moon was one possible place to find the daimon. In his birth chart, the Moon rules his 11th house, the house of hopes and dreams, which no doubt he had in abundance at that time. In addition, the 11th house is a fortunate house in Hellenistic astrology, the house of the good daimon.
Hellenistic astrology used lots or the Arabic parts, more than modern astrologers. The part of Fortune in a night-time chart is calculated by adding the Ascendant plus Sun minus Moon. This gives us 26’ Scorpio, so conjunct that expansive, luxury loving Jupiter in Libra in the second. No help here. There is another important part, the Part of Spirit. Robert Hand says of the Part of Spirit,
‘The Lot of Spirit is a point which has strong psychological and spiritual overtones, unlike the very physical-plane based Lot of Fortune. The Lot of Spirit has to do with the nature of the will, what you intend (as opposed to what merely happens to you), and also has much to do with career, but apparently more your career as a statement that you make about what you are in the world…Paulus Alexandrinus says the following about the Lot of Spirit. “Spirit happens to be lord of soul, temper, mindfulness, and every power; and sometimes it also cooperates in the determination concerning what one does.’ (https://www.astro.com/astrology/in_fortune_e.htm).
Jay Z’s Lot of Spirit is 12’ Cancer (Asc. + Moon – Sun). So in 1989, Saturn and Neptune would have been opposing his Part of Spirit. As stated above, it is the ‘lord of the soul, temper(ament)…and every power,’ which co-operates in determining what path one should take in life.
Now I don’t know if his daimon is shown there, but something stopped Jay Z in his tracks (Saturn) gave him another vision (Neptune) and spoke to his soul-that one that he chose to come into this lifetime with, and tapped him on the shoulder, reminding him what he said he wanted this time around and encouraging him to reorientate himself. All of which he did. The rest, as they say is history.
I believe there will be incidents or choices made in most of our lives when fate or the daimon guided us away from a situation towards the future we were meant to have. Whether we chose to use that opportunity, is of course, down to our free will.
*The inspiration for writing about the daimon, came from a lecture by Geoffrey Cornelius, of the Company of Astrologers. www.coa.org and Dorian Geseler Greenbaum’s Book, The Daimon in Hellenistic Astrology. 2015.