Martin Luther .
Copyright Michael D. Robbins 2005

Astro-Rayological Interpretation & Charts
Images and Physiognomic Interpretation

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Martin Luther—Inspirer of the Protestant Reformation:

November 10, 1483, Eisleben, Germany, 11:00 PM. (Source: his mother; listed in More Notable Nativities), Died February 18, 1546. 


(Ascendant, Leo; Sun in Scorpio with Venus conjunct Saturn also in Scorpio; Mars, as well, in Scorpio; Moon in Aries in or on cusp of H( {depending upon exact time used}; Mercury conjunct Neptune in Sagittarius; Uranus also in Sagittarius; Jupiter in Libra)

Martin Luther was a great religious reformer, clearly changing the course of Christianity in the 16th Century, and protesting against many of the abuses then current in the Catholic Church. He became a priest in 1507 and taught theology. As an act of protest in 1517, he nailed his ninety-five Theses the church door and in 1519 he broke with the Catholic Church by refusing to recognize the supreme power and infallibility of the Pope. He was condemned as a heretic in 1525 and began the Reformed Church also in 1525; and also married in that same year (a year in which transiting Jupiter was very active, transiting both his Moon and reaching his Taurus MC). He spent the rest of his life organizing and spreading the new gospel of his Protestant Reformation.   

The Tibetan associates Martin Luther with the first ray (at least in terms of his writing style).

“The literary work of a first ray man will be strong and trenchant, but he will care little for style or finish in his writings.  Perhaps examples of this type would be Luther, Carlyle, and Walt Whitman.” (EPI 202)          

It is, however, difficult to know whether this means that Luther was principally upon the first ray, or that perhaps his personality or mind were upon the first ray. In any case, such was the nature and strength of his effect upon humanity and religion that the first ray must, necessarily, have been prominent. Was he as well in the department of the Master Jesus and more essentially (in the soul) upon the sixth ray? This question could be debated. The Christian Church is certainly upon the sixth ray under the direction of the Master Jesus, and Luther’s most profound effect was at first upon the Christian Church, and, inevitably, upon society (build around that Church). Yet, it must be remembered that the Catholic Church itself, upon which his effect was, to say least, shocking and provocative, is found upon the first ray in its soul nature (its rays, according to the Tibetan, being 13-667).          

St. Paul who conditioned the entire Scorpionic direction of Christianity, was not, it would appear, a first ray soul—rather, probably, a sixth ray soul with a fifth ray monadic subray. Paul’s monadic ray, however, was very probably the first (as he was one of those who would “take the kingdom of heaven by storm”). Could this have been the case with Luther as well. Intensive biographical research is needed.       

Luther’s early life in the church was both devoted and disciplined. In 1505, when his progressed Sun in Sagittarius held a midway position between (and conjuncting) both his natal and progressed Uranus (also in Sagittarius), he had a profound religious experience and entered a monastery of the Augustinian friars at Erfurt. He devoutly adhered to the rigid disciplines of the order. Transiting Saturn had entered his twelfth house (the monastery) and progressing Saturn (natally in the sign of mortal conflict, Scorpio) continued to converge upon the IC of his chart.       

Luther was ordained as a priest in 1507 with Saturn in the vicinity of and then crossing his Ascendant, indicating the serious beginning of a new cycle. In 1510 he was sent to Rome on business for his order and was shocked to witness the spiritual laxity apparent in high places. His high idealism (Mercury conjunct Neptune in Sagittarius), further intensified by his powerful Scorpio planets could not condone such lapses. Thus, the sixth ray certainly cannot be dismissed from Luther’s chart. He was a man of great intensity—little given to compromise, especially on matters of principle (first ray blended with the sixth). His mind began to envision the possibility of reformation (Mercury in Sagittarius, parallel Uranus.)      

From the astrological perspective, the esoteric ruler of his Leo Ascendant is sixth ray Neptune in sixth ray Sagittarius, and trining his singleton Moon. Thus, there exists a powerful conduit into the chart for the sixth ray. As his Sun sign is placed in Scorpio, both the orthodox and esoteric rulers of this sign are sixth ray Mars—a planet further empowered because it itself is placed in Scorpio—its own sign.     

In many ways Luther exhibited some of the same psycho-spiritual dynamics as St. Paul. The years between 1510 and 1513 were times of profound spiritual and physical torment. Obsessed with anxieties about his own salvation, he sought relief in frequent confession and extreme asceticism (sixth ray). Here we see at work the full dynamics of Scorpio (the sign of struggle between the soul and personality.) The presence of the often tormented, harmony-seeking fourth ray (conveyed by Scorpio) may be inferred, as well as by his own love of music and hymn-writing.           

Here is a man who took action. He destroyed and rebuilt. He set himself against corruption as is so often the case with disciples conditioned by Scorpio. With a strong first ray he proved to be an agent of beneficent destruction. Scorpio is the sign of radical transformation, and he had not less than four major astrological factors are placed in this sign—Mars (the “God of War”), Saturn (the “God of Opportunity” and Discipline), Venus (the ‘Goddess of the Soul’) and that all-important centralizer of energy, the Sun.

These planets are of the utmost importance in the struggle between the great Pairs of Opposites—soul and personality. Mars indicates the full rebellion of the integrated personality against the higher principle, but also the courage to face the opponent; Saturn (“Lord of Materiality”) concentrates the forces of the “Dweller on the Threshold”, but also gives the discipline and understanding of law and principle necessary to oppose it; Venus indicates that the light of the soul has penetrated to the dark places (Scorpio) within the personality and is involved in its redemptive work, uplifting towards the mountain top, where its transfiguring light can shine. Interestingly, both Saturn and Venus are placed in the Venus-ruled decanate of Scorpio—the second, and Mars is in its own decanate—the first. The Sun is concentrated in  the third decanate, considered by some to be ruled by Pluto, indicating a final struggle, especially with the mental heads of the Hydra (pride, separativeness and cruelty).      

From a certain perspective, these four planets can be considered potently involved in the second and third initiations. Scorpio is archetypally the sign of the second initiation, and Luther, with his tremendous early emphasis upon purity, idealism, devotion and principle, was certainly at least that—an initiate of the second degree. Through Mars the Hydra can be fought. Through Saturn the Dweller can be intelligently faced. Through Venus, the astral waters can be calmed by the luminous light of mind, and through both Venus and the Sun, the mind itself can be greatly illuminated. Further, Saturn and Venus, conjuncted, are the two rulers of Capricorn, the sign most associated with the third degree. For those upon the “reversed wheel”, Saturn rules the first decanate of Capricorn, Venus the second, and Vulcan the third. Interestingly the sequence in his chart is Saturn-Venus-Sun, and it is well known from the Tibetan’s writings, that “Vulcan and the Sun are one”. The Sun in the third decanate of Capricorn promises illumination on the mountain top. Thus we see in this chart a passage through the second degree and a rehearsal for the third degree through the agency of those planets especially related to the third degree (Saturn, Venus and the Sun).  

An interesting sidelight on one of these planets (Venus) is related to the fact that in his forty second year, he married a former nun Kartharina von Bora (Venus in Scorpio), raised six children (Jupiter, planet of increase, is ruler of the fifth house of children, placed in Libra, the sign of marriage, and also conjuncted to Juno—the asteroid of unions—itself placed in Libra), and had a happy (Venus) home life (Venus conjunct the IC) with much music (Venus) in the home! Given the position of Venus at the cusp of the fourth house, we might say that this marriage was part of the soul’s plan, and presented a much-needed and balancing view on how a priest of God might live—more naturally.           

Like St. Paul, Luther resolved his Scorpionic turmoil by finding a loving God who bestowed upon sinful humans the free gift of salvation, to be received through faith, against which all good works were as nothing. Certainly this is a further corroboration of Luther’s sixth ray approach, emphasizing a God of Love, Who required of all human beings faith—above all other contributing factors—if salvation were to be attained.

It is interesting to realize that St. Paul as he approached the third initiation immersed himself in the field of love (Letters to the Corinthians), and Luther seemed to follow a similar course. Could it be that the Leo ascending sign with its esoteric ruler, Neptune, (the planet of the Christ, of buddhi and the heart) conferred this possibility?        

Did Luther take the third initiation? Certainly he influenced directly (and indirectly) millions of people for centuries to come. Scorpio is a sign that may be associated with the first three initiations (if not, in some important way, even the fourth). Leo is a sign that may easily be associated with the third degree, as it represents the Solar Angel risen to a position of domination over the personality elementals which have been subdued by strenuous application of the Scorpionic and Sagittarian forces. There is more than one way to achieve the third degree, and Capricorn need not always be involved. However, it must not be overlooked that while the preparation for Luther’s break with the Catholic Church occurred while his progressed Sun was in the sign Sagittarius (a predominantly sixth ray sign having much to do with the second initiation), when his ninety-five Theses were actually posted on the door of the castle church, his progressed Sun had moved into Capricorn (the sign of the third initiation).       

We now come to the moment which destined Luther to break with the Catholic Church and which, thus, set the Protestant Reformation upon its inevitable course. The radix chart features involved show the prominence of several signs and planets. Sagittarius is a sign in which religion is emphasized, and Uranus, the Transformer, exalted in Scorpio, is placed in Sagittarius. The Moon is a singleton on the cusp of the ninth house of religion, and so, Luther being definitely a disciple if not an initiate of some degree, must have had the Moon veiling Uranus (further emphasizing this planet)—with Moon’s position trining the midpoint between the Mercury/Neptune conjunction and Uranus. He initiated (Aries) great transformations (Moon veiling Uranus) in the field of religion and religious philosophy (H9).         

The ninety-five Theses were posted on All Saints Day, 1517. Initially, Luther was largely protesting the dispensation of indulgences (a great financial success for the Church) and was thus pitting himself against the Church’s commercial, venal third ray personality. The chain of events which he launched (the triggering Moon in Aries), however, went far beyond his original intentions and was responsible for creating, at length, an entirely new religious and theological structure. It is fascinating to see that at that crucial time, the progressed Sun, which had entered Capricorn about a year and a half before, was receiving a exact conjunction from transiting Pluto! A great destruction was underway, leading to a re-birth of the Christian Church. Note as well, that Pluto, the regenerator is a special ruler of Scorpio (one of Luther’s most significant signs) and is, natally, in close opposition to that all important Aries Moon on the cusp of the ninth house. In effect we have a natal Uranus/Pluto opposition, since the Moon in advanced individuals veils Uranus. The potentials of this opposition would be activated whenever Pluto came into prominence, as at the time of the posting of the Theses.

Leo, his Ascendant, showed the strength with which he had to stand for these Theses, and all the organized theology and doctrine which developed from them. He had to embody the Reformation in his person (Leo), and have the fortitude to withstand the inevitable backlash from the Catholic orthodoxy of his day, as well as the splintering effect of those within his own camp who wished to carry things perhaps too far, and whose respect for the unity and synthesis which Leo represents was far less than his own.

For the rest of his life, Luther was involved in a dangerous game—really a kind of ‘war’ (Scorpio) with the Catholic Church, over the hearts and minds of his countrymen. His life was frequently in danger. He was eventually condemned as a heretic in 1521 (under the influence of Uranus which was transiting in Taurus near his MC on the midpoint between his MC/IC and his Scorpio Sun), and more than once he had to flee opposing forces or be protected from them. On other occasions, however, he marched directly into the “enemy camp” (the star Alhena), and despite the patent danger, survived (the star Aculeus). The potential courage of the combination of Leo and Scorpio are much in evidence. Despite many setbacks (originating as much from his allies as his enemies), he achieved great influence, and permanently weakened the Catholic Church and its claims over the souls of humanity. In this mission he attacked the misuse of the Catholic Church’s first ray soul energy, just as when he protested against its venality, he attacked its third ray personality force.         

In point of fact, Luther’s influence extended far beyond Church matters. He contributed to the formation of a new German nationalism which was a seed of synthesis leading in later centuries to the formation of true German nation. In Germany his socio-religious concepts laid a new basis for German society, and His writings, in forceful idiomatic language (an application of the first ray of which the Tibetan speaks), helped fix the standards of modern German. Thus, it is clear that his work had implications impacts not only in the Department of Religion of the Bodhisattva, but also in the Departments of Civilization lead by the Mahachohan and the Department of Government, led by the Manu.           

It would seem that his greatest influence occurred in relation to the Ashram of the Master Jesus, Whose work it is to oversee the development of the Church and Christianity. However, it is also apparent that Luther worked with the first ray, contributing the energy of synthesis, becoming a factor of moment in the synthesizing of the German nation. There is good reason to believe that St. Paul (Hilarion) for all his recent emphasis upon the energy of Love and Buddhi, is a monad upon the first ray. Again we ask, could the same be true of Martin Luther?          

Martin Luther will always be considered the man who began the Protestant Reformation. In this regard, it is important to consider a few of the aspects of the stars relative to his natal chart. Both his Saturn and Venus (planets of initiation) are closely conjunct Zuben Elschemali (which are considered stars of “negative reform”). The term “negative” should not be taken too literally, as it probably relates to the degree of self-consultative independence with which the reformer undertakes his mission, and the potentially drastic effect of the reform. Certainly, Luther took matters into his own hands (Moon in Aries, Leo Ascendant), and his reformation led, subsequently, to a number of brutal wars. The star Alhena, called the “Proudly Marching One”, is closely parallel his MC, and its meaning is interpreted as “to have a mission”—an undeniable truth in the case of Luther. One other star makes a close conjunction to Uranus (the planet of reformation) in Sagittarius—Aculeus—the meaning of which is “enduring attacks successfully”—also remarkably true of Luther, who had to contend with conflict from the Catholic Church, from the various factions within his own Reformation Movement, and even from his own psyche—a battle of which every Scorpio person know.  

Whatever may have been his personal limitations, Martin Luther stands forth as a man of vision (Mercury and Neptune conjunct in visionary Sagittarius with Uranus also in Sagittarius), and fortitude (four planets in Scorpio with Leo Ascending and its ruler, the Sun, placed in Scorpio). If the initiate can be recognized by his eventual positive impact upon his society and humanity as a whole, Martin Luther has to be recognized as an initiate.


I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.
(Leo Ascendant. Mars in Scorpio)
ATTRIBUTION: Martin Luther (1483–1546), German leader of the Protestant Reformation. Speech, April 18, 1521, at the Diet of Worms, Germany. Where he was summoned by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in an attempt to effect a conciliation between Luther and the established Church; the words, “Here I stand, I can do no other”Madded in Luther’s handwriting to the original printed version of the speech—were later inscribed on the monument to Luther at Worms: Hier steh’ ich, ich kann nicht anders.

Anyone who can be proved to be a seditious person is an outlaw before God and the emperor; and whoever is the first to put him to death does right and well.... Therefore let everyone who can, smite, slay and stab, secretly or openly, remembering that nothing can be more poisonous, hurtful, or devilish than a rebel.
ATTRIBUTION: Martin Luther (1483–1546), German leader of the Protestant Reformation. Pamphlet, May 1525. Against the Robbing and Murdering Hordes of Peasants.
Against the Peasants’ Revolt in Germany (1524-1525), a stand that lost much popular support for the Reformation.

“How soon 'not now' becomes 'never'.”

“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess”

“You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say”

“I more fear what is within me than what comes from without”

“All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired, although not in the hour or in the measure, or the very thing which they ask. Yet they will obtain something greater and more glorious than they had dared to ask.”

“Pray, and let God worry”

“Peace if possible, truth at all costs.”

“Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God”

“If you are not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don't want to go there”

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”

“Faith is a living and unshakable confidence, a belief in the grace of God so assured that a man would die a thousand deaths for its sake”

“Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.”

“Faith is permitting ourselves to be seized by the things we do not see.”

“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.”

“The fewer the words, the better the prayer.”
(Mercury in Sagittarius conjunct Neptune)

“My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.”

“Reason is the enemy of faith”

“There is no justification without sanctification, no forgiveness without renewal of life, no real faith from which the fruits of new obedience do not grow.”

“Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us”

“When schools flourish, all flourishes”
(North Node in 9th house. Mercury, Neptune & Uranus in Sagittarius)

“Every man must do two things alone; he must do his own believing and his own dying.”

“Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world”

“It is pleasing to God whenever thou rejoices or laughest from the bottom of thy heart”

“Grant that I may not pray alone with the mouth; help me that I may pray from the depths of my heart”

“Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.”

“Faith is a living, daring confidence in God's grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.”

“Music is the art of the prophets and the gift of God”

“The Bible is the cradle wherein Christ is laid.”

“I feel much freer now that I am certain the pope is the Antichrist”

“Anyone who is to find Christ must first find the church. How could anyone know where Christ is and what faith is in him unless he knew where his believers are?”

“Peace is more important than all justice; and peace was not made for the sake of justice, but justice for the sake of peace.”
(Pluto & Jupiter in Libra)

“If you young fellows were wise, the devil couldn't do anything to you, but since you aren't wise, you need us who are old”

“Be thou comforted, little dog, Thou too in Resurrection shall have a little golden tail”

“I never work better than when I am inspired by anger; for when I am angry, I can write, pray, and preach well, for then my whole temperament is quickened, my understanding sharpened, and all mundane vexations and temptations depart.”
(Mars & Saturn in Scorpio)

“Forgiveness is God's command.”

“The word and works of God is quite clear, that women were made either to be wives or prostitutes”

“Whenever I happen to be prevented by the press of duties from observing my hour of prayer, the entire day is bad for me”

“The whole being of any Christian is faith and love. Faith brings the man to God, love brings him to men.”

“There is no wisdom save in truth. Truth is everlasting, but our ideas about truth are changeable. Only a little of the first fruits of wisdom, only a few fragments of the boundless heights, breadths and depths of truth, have I been able to gather.”

“If by any effort of reason I could conceive how God, Who shows so much anger and iniquity, could be merciful and just, there would be no need of faith”

“Who has skill in the art of music is of good temperament and fitted for all things.”

“You should not believe your conscience and your feelings more than the word which the Lord who receives sinners preaches to you.”

“So our Lord God commonly gives riches to those gross asses to whom He vouchsafes nothing else”

“To gather with God's people in united adoration of the Father is as necessary to the Christian life as prayer.”

“What can only be taught by the rod and with blows will not lead to much good; they will not remain pious any longer than the rod is behind them”

“Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding.”

“The hair is the richest ornament of women”

“Reason should be destroyed in all Christians”

“It is the most ungodly and dangerous business to abandon the certain and revealed will of God in order to search into the hidden mysteries of God”

“No man ought to lay a cross upon himself, or to adopt tribulation, as is done in popedom; but if a cross or tribulation come upon him, then let him suffer it patiently, and know that it is good and profitable for him.”

“I have no pleasure in any man who despises music. It is no invention of ours: it is a gift of God. I place it next to theology. Satan hates music: he knows how it drives the evil spirit out of us.”

“We are at fault for not slaying them (the Jews)”

“The Devil fears the word of God, He can't bite it; it breaks his teeth”

“War is the greatest plague that can afflict humanity, it destroys religion, it destroys states, it destroys families. Any scourge is preferable to it.”

“I am more afraid of my own heart than the Pope and all his cardinals. I have within me the great Pope, Self.”

“Jews and papists are ungodly wretches; they are two stockings made of one piece of cloth”

“People must have righteous principals in the first, and then they will not fail to perform virtuous actions.”

“Mankind has a free will; but it is free to milk cows and to build houses, nothing more.”

“Sin cannot tear you away from him (Christ), even though you commit adultery a hundred times a day and commit as many murders”

“A preacher must be both soldier and shepherd. He must nourish, defend, and teach; he must have teeth in his mouth, and be able to bite and fight.”

“Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but - more frequently than not - struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God”

“When God wants to speak and deal with us, he does not avail himself of an angel but of parents, or the pastor, or of our neighbor”

“An earthly kingdom cannot exist without inequality of persons. Some must be free, some serfs, some rulers, some subjects.”



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