There comes a time when the ‘doctor is in’ but not as the doctor; instead — as the patient. In the early morning hours of Nov. 10, 2008, Eban Alexandar awoke. He was not feeling well. As events later proved, that was the best news of the day. Everything went down hill from there. Before we look at the relevant Return and Advanced charts, let us review is natal chart from a couple of ‘posts’ ago.
Eban Alexander’s natal chart reviewed again
We can look again at Eban Alexander’s natal chart which is a “bowl” chart with the focus on the Ascendant and the empty part being centered around the Descendant (other people) area. He would have a need to discover the value of interrelationships but would have to discover that through intense personal experiences. Appreciating his own life experiences in a deep way could permit him to seek out and better understand the lives of others who came to him for help through his medical skills. Mars, at the Ascendant rules the 7th angle, Libra, while Neptune (which conjoins Mars) rules the 6th house cusp of service to others.
This involvement of ‘others’ is further supported by the Cancer MC ruler, the Moon which is located in the 4th house within the sign of Aquarius, the sign of caring for humanity as a whole. Uranus, ruler of this sign is at the MC where it opposes the North Node. The North Node signifies a need to acknowledge and be involved with others, to have an ‘open partnership’ approach to life.
As an adult, this chart is quite appropriate for a surgeon with Mars on the Ascendant, conjoining Neptune, and the focal point of a T-square with Uranus-MC and N.Node-IC.
This pattern can be seen as applying one’s craft to fulfill an ideal of bringing new life to those in an crises situation (Node-IC) through one’s specialized and individualistic skills (Uranus-MC).
The sextile between Sun and Moon focuses Eben on communication and understanding. With Sun in the 3rd sextile Moon, hand-eye-mind coordination is evident. With Chiron on the Sun-Moon midpoint, the focus is on healing and making adjustments in the life of those who might otherwise be at the end of their life.
Venus square Pallas; How one compromises, works within a ‘team’ and deals with differences of opinion is important in his life. Mercury square Vesta; Alternating approaches to enthusiasm and indifference by others has to be dealt with. Should he fight against this, accept the variables in others, or just go about his own way in life? This ends up as an issue of inclusion or exclusion, neither of which works in all cases.
Dr. Alexander was adopted as a child. In 1999 at the age of forty six he attempted to contact his birth family through the adoption enterprise. The answer came back; “No.” This affected him deeply. In his book, Proof of Heaven, he makes reference to having had an alcoholic problem. It would seen that this period coincided with that. Making contact after years of wondering about the particulars of his birth and his biological mother, only to be refused, was depressing for him. His homelife suffered as he attempted to deal with this refusal to meet with family members. In 2007 he attempted contact again. This time he was successful. He discovered that his parents had later married after his birth, and that he had siblings. Over time, reunions were held, and life took on a more satisfying atmosphere for him. No specific dates are available for these events, so no charts are available.
All of these basic observations do play a role in Dr. Alexandar’s life. We will see some of these in the charts we examine.
A preliminary comment on Near Death Experiences (NDEs)
There are many reported NDEs. As one reads them, they seem to fall into one of two very broad categories: First, and most common, the subject reports a NDE, writes about it, creates an Internet site offering books and advice, and goes on tour to expound upon their spiritual views and experiences. Second, and less common, the subject reports a NDE and writes about it so as to share it in a teaching-learning manner. The idea is to help others in various ways. There are elements of their story that seem to substantiate the validity of their experiences. Further, those in this group do not seen focused on making money such as the first group does.
For the astrologer, the first category is frustrating in that birth information is seldom available and only the date of the NDE is given. There is nothing to substantiate the story other than the subject’s exuberance and claims. The second category is more interesting in that both dates and substantiating materials is often available. This makes the calculation and review of charts both easier and more rewarding.
Eban Alexandar’s Coma and NDE
At the time of his medical emergency, Dr. Eban Alexander was living in Lynchburg, VA. In the early morning hours of Nov. 10, 2008, Alexander awoke, not feeling well. The Advanced chart for that date will be presented and discussed later. At this point we will examine the Return chart for nine days earlier.
t/Moon-to-n/Sun in the 1st house relates to personal experiences, physical involvement and the likelihood of changes in one’s environment. The conjoining with t/Venus and opposition to n/Jupiter points to a combination of both minor and major events at play during this cyclic period. Note that Venus plays a role as a “bridging” mechanism between the physical world and access to a spiritual world or area of greater consciousness. As such, n/Venus-angular is often seen in ‘death’ charts.
- With the Ascendant angle being the only one populated by planets, the message is clear. This will be a totally “you” experience. We can discuss the actual symptoms and experience he was about to have now.
- n/Jupiter in the 7th house broadly squares the first house grouping. How Jupiter’s proclivity for expansion and growth opportunities should be interpreted is a puzzle to me.
- t/Venus-Asc. squares t/Uranus-opposite-t/Saturn. This t-square includes t/Moon-n/Sun-n/PoF, making it both a key pattern and a complex pattern. With the consolidation-maintenance forces of Saturn opposed by Uranus’ freeing nature, the other planets are caught up in this change-don’t change dilemma. Venus is for balance, Moon for change, Sun is for integrity of the person. It’s a toss up, a gamble of significant importance. The nature of the bacterial infection of Alexander’s cortex meant that it was being destroyed after becoming fully inoperable. It was only a matter of time before he became a vegetable-at-best or died. He certainly was unable to consciously function at any level.
Supporting patterns include t/PoF-n/N.Node; changes in who and how you associate with others will prove to be valuable to you. These lessons will impact your life’s goals and sense of individuality (n/MC-n/Uranus). Since t/Venus is at the Asc., we need to look at its counterpart, n/Venus in the 12th. This placement can interpretively range from a ‘secret love’ to a ‘pleasurable retreat.’ This is valid but will have to wait until much later in this review before it is discussed.
Alexander’s problems became evident on Nov. 10th, 2008, a Monday. The Advanced chart is shown below.
At 4:30 AM on this date, Nov. 10th, 2008, Eben Alexander awakened with severe back pains. As time passed these pains became more severe and spread along his back and to his head. Baths and massage helped at first but soon proved inadequate. He was taken to the hospital where he lapsed into a coma. Tests soon revealed that he was suffering from a bacterial meningitis, a very rare condition for adults. Within hours it became severe. Spinal fluid tests revealed that massive white blood cell counts were evident, an acute battle was going on in his brain as the outer layers were being rapidly destroyed. Activity in those outer layers ceased. He became incapable of speech, hearing, any human-like activity.
- At this date, the Ascendant conjoined n/Sun-n/PoF; his vital signs and character were undergoing drastic changes.
- t/Moon-IC pointed to changing conditions; these can relate to bodily fluids, blood-serum and the lymph system. This keeps the interpretation within the context of his situation.
- Interestingly, if we look at the midpoint of t/Sun-t/Moon, we find t/Chiron. Sun-Moon balance is what life is all about. In this pattern, Chiron signifies ‘adjustments’ in how one deals with balance and imbalance. Interestingly, if we look at natal Sun and natal Moon, that midpoint is at the natal Chiron position. We have a doubled-up pattern here. Experience with these cyclic charts has shown that any doubled-up pattern which brings great emphasis to the interpretation.
- n/Jupiter-Desc. activates the natal pattern of Jupiter-Sun-PoF. This is tough to assign a meaning to within the context of the chart and situation. Perhaps “opportunity requires the interaction of others acting on one’s behalf, taking chances to affect change.’
The medical team was at a loss of how to treat Alexander’s condition. Everything they tried did not help in the least. Using their network of peers, endless hours of conversation could not point out any other solutions.
It was later reported, after the coma ended and his recovery was complete, that Alexander had experienced a number of contacts with a spiritual place and with guides. His recollection of these events following his recovery remained very sharp and available to him. His son encouraged him to write these down in as much detail as possible before reviewing other reported NDEs.
This is the end of Part 3.