In this final section of our astrological exploration of Dr. Eban Alexander’s Near Death Experience we are going to look at the two Moon-Sun Return chart cycles that covered his hospitalization, comatose situation, and his miraculous recovery. Also covered will be a refining type of chart called the Double Diurnal chart.
Near Death Experiences bring profound change. The example of Dr. Eban Alexander brings a most knowledgeable and believable accounting to us for study and reflection. His severe medical crises, his beautiful experience while comatose, his family’s support, and the changes in his life deserve our attention. We can gain more understanding of our own place in the universe by his story.
As astrologers we have to take note that this was a complex medical situation that is not easy to see or understand in an astrological chart. It may be that these Moon-Sun Return charts are not the best format for studying medical situations. Yet, this story offers us a unique situation. The doctor was hospitalized under one Return chart cycle and later recovered under another Return chart cycle.
What happened when the second cycle kicked in, how did it change the dynamics of dying to the dynamics of healing? We have to remember that the astrology chart mirrors life. Life is not guided or driven by astrology. If ‘life’ changed as a result of an experience that was not part of this physical world, how does the Return chart reflect that? Has does the Advanced daily chart reflect that? These are the questions that this next section will attempt to answer.
There were four charts presented that covered his Near Death Experience:
- The November 1, 2008 t/Moon-to-n/Sun Return.
- The November 10, 2008 Advanced chart for his hospitalization.
- The November 14, 2008 t/Moon-opposite-n/Sun Return.
- The November 16, 2008 Advanced chart for his sudden recovery.
The Nov. 1st Return chart showed his t/Moon, t/Venus, n/Sun, n/Part of Fortune grouped in the first house. His experiences in the following two weeks would be up close and personal, involve love, support and bonding, and involve a measure of risk. His natal MC-Uranus pattern coupled with t/Uranus near the IC angle, plus his t/Part of Fortune contacting his natal Moon’s North Node, added surprising changes affecting his life status and associations with others into his astrological delineation.
The Advanced to Nov. 10th chart brought the Venus-Sun-Part of Fortune pattern directly onto the chart’s Ascendant degree while the Moon had advanced in that interval to position itself directly on the IC angle of ‘ends-and-beginnings.’ The transiting version of the Part of Fortune had moved to an opposing position to the transiting Sun and a squaring position to the Moon’s North Node. Moon and Part of Fortune are timing triggers for the patterns established in the Return chart of Nov. 1st. What is generally mirrored in this chart is a ‘personal challenge that is of a severe magnitude (with both natal and transiting Part of Fortune contacting the Sun’s vitality and life purpose) and which will involve a deep reaction and disruption of his daily life and involve both past and new associations with others in his crises.
This chart, and my interpretation of it, is not reflective of the specific medical problem which Dr. Alexander was encountering. A handful of symbols is not sufficient to detail the complexities involved. It does show his reactions and nature of experiences on this date.
The Nov. 14th Moon-opposite-Sun Return chart cane at a point in his comatose situation where the doctors and family were facing the almost absolute and immediate death of the patient. None of the treatments were abating the constant disintegration of his outer brain and the shutting down of his internal organs. One of the chart’s two strong patterns involved n/Neptune-n/Saturn at the IC angle, a signature for despair as well as a conflict in determining the difference between a fixed reality or reality’s dissolution. The second pattern involved transiting N.Mode and Chiron to the natal Moon position; this being an ‘association of healers’ trying to bring about a ‘response.’ This is a most clear and blatant interpretation for these bodies at the Descendant angle.
This is a complex situation and I am not sure that this form of chart is best for describing conditions of a medical nature. In any case, a few days later, Dr. Alexander had a t/Moon-opp-n/Sun Return which is generally found to address a clarity to what is developing in one’s life. When we examine that return and the Advanced chart for the day he surprisingly regained consciousness, fully cured, we will be asking ourselves, “What has changed to reflect this dramatic turn-around?”
The Nov. 16th Advanced chart is obviously critical to study as it represents two dramatically opposite conditions for us as astrologers! First, this Advanced chart does represent the date that Dr. Alexander suddenly awoke from his coma at the same time that the family was discussing the need to face his death and allow them to “pull the plug” and cease trying to keep him alive. Second, this Advanced chart has to be given our attention in terms of how it describes his sudden, miraculous recovery. This chart is shown below.
The IC angle was now closer to n/Saturn, the Desc. angle closer to t/N.Node. In Advanced charts we typically first check the transiting Sun, Moon and Part of Fortune no matter where they lie in the chart. They are most often the ‘triggering’ functions that help explain what is happening.
- t/Sun was at the midpoint of t/Mercury-t/Mars. t/Sun is in an angular house and there for is a primary consideration. Let me use some elementary ‘healh’ related terms: Sun is vitality, Mercury is nerves and thinking, Mars is energy and force affecting one’s presence. Together, this is a ‘fight for life.’
- t/Sun square t/Neptune-t/Pluto. In a ‘health’ sense, Neptune is drugs and contamination, Pluto is regeneration and the boundary between life and death.
- t/Moon conjoining n/MC-n/Uranus. Alexander’s ‘take a chance and change your life’ natal-defined attitude is ‘triggered’ here by the Moon. He has a great emotional push to express himself.
- t/PoF-squares t/Venus. ‘Change’ has to fit in with love, support, bonding and the ‘bridging mechanism’ between physical life and spiritual understanding (this side of Venus is not often addressed by astrologers).
So, again, we have to ask ourselves, “Does this chart reflect the life and experiences of its owner, Dr. Alexander?” Given the magnitude of the event, some would say no, others would say yes. As astrologers, we always have to ask, “Am I missing something?”
I always keep in mind that astrology mirrors what we experience in life. Life doesn’t follow the chart. If the chart is structured to show certain views and we make a choice to change our life path, the Return chart and any of the following Advanced charts will continue to portray a life-path that has suddenly changed. The chart may not reflect of our life now.
Let us briefly review how the birth chart is linked to the t/Moon-n/Sun Return and diurnally-Advanced daily charts.
- We start with the natal chart. We are born at a certain season which dictates exactly where the Sun is positioned in its annual cycle. This is an important point in time. Along with this point in time the relative positions of the planets are also noted in the birth chart.
- As life and growth continues each year we experience ‘anniversaries’ or birthdays. Because of the use of precession-correction, the zodiac location of the natal Sun is adjusted relative to the star background. This represents our growth as a spiritual person who is currently experiencing life in physical form.
- The return of the t/Moon-to-the-n/Sun’s (corrected) position symbolizes changes (Moon) in our personal environment that impinge on our intent and lifestyle (Sun). This defines a sub-cycle relative to the Sun’s cycle.
- By diurnally advancing this Moon-Sun Return chart, we are using the Earth’s natural daily cycle to follow upon the Moon-Sun cycle. This cycle portrays the Return chart’s MC as advancing about a degree per day (slightly less on average). This Advanced (daily) chart is calculated for the same time of the day as was the Return chart.
- Using this Advanced chart and its calculated time/location, we can rotate the chart’s MC and time, either forward or backward, to a specific ‘event-time’ on that given date. I refer to this as a Double Diurnal chart since we have diurnally advanced the Return chart once to arrive at the day in question, and have now diurnally advanced the chart again by a matter of hours and minutes to reflect a particular event and its timing.
It is this important step FIVE in this cyclic chain linking the birth chart to the Advanced daily chart that we will now examine to see what suddenly changed for Dr. Alexander on the morning when he awoke from a medically defined ‘fatal condition of bacterial meningitis of the brain.’
Introducing the ‘Double Diuranl’ Advanced chart.
So, in this example I will be taking the Advanced chart for that Nov. 16th “awaking day” and noting the chart’s calculated time which is 10h 29m 35s PM. This ‘Advanced’ chart has been diurnally advanced from the Return date, Nov. 14, 2008. We will further diurnally adjust it from the late evening calculation time by subtracting 12 hours. This orients the chart for 10h 29m 35s AM.
Dr. Alexander’s account does not provide the specific time for his awakening other than it was in the morning. Let us assume that hospital doctors make their rounds following breakfast at 7 to 8 AM. They may be finished at 9 or 10 AM. At this point the Alexander family had gathered for a planned meeting with the doctor and to visit the patient’s bedside. It was while they were discussing removing Alexander from life support that he woke up. I have merely subtracted 12 hours to arrive at an approximate 10:30 AM time frame. This chart is positioned for that time.
- t/Moon is on the Descendant angle. Alexander noted that he felt ‘called back’ from his spiritual journey. His young son, Bond, had been by his bedside this morning praying for his dad to return to life. He had overheard the subject of the family’s discussion with the doctor and desperately wanted his father to be alive.
- Note t/Vesta at the IC. Vesta brings a strong focus, a ‘workaholic’ level of fixation upon a topic or project. The IC is the end and the start of things.
- t/Juno is at the Ascendant angle, representing relationships and a commitment to love.
- t/Part of Fortune squares the t/Sun while conjoining n/Pluto-n/Juno. Martha Wescott, a recognized authority and researcher on asteroids, notes the following for Pluto-Juno. I quote in part, and paraphrase the comments of my old friend, “Relationships and their complexity are involved . . . attempts to get the other to change . . . and learn the lessons of Will and Power. People will be going through radical situations or intense emotions.” These brief comments convey the nature of this combination.
- Finally, we have n/Saturn near the MC. Father time has his say. Lessons have been given and learned.
As an “after-the-fact” chart, this Double Diurnal chart adds more detail to our understanding of the astrological view of this situation. On a trial-examination basis, this chart seems appropriate in mirroring the sudden changes in Dr. Alexander’s life, changes that came after his Return chart came into play and changes which the regular Advanced chart — based on that Return chart — may not have mirrored to our satisfaction.
- These ‘double diurnal’ charts, for me, are still in the exploratory stage. To date I have utilized them perhaps twenty times. Each time they seem to reflect what I am looking for.
- This is the final presentation in the series covering Dr. Eban Alexander. In this series I have included the fullest treatment possible of the astrological uses of Return charts and Advanced charts.
- I have also introduced ‘spiritual’ delineations for these charts, these ‘spiritual’ observations are based on the chart and the story. They are not attempts to copy, define or refute what others have presented in their astrological work.
- As an astrologer, this delving into Spiritual experiences that are associated with medical, accident, inspirational or other approaches to gaining a greater sense of who we are is somewhat new. Those who have different views or who wish to share their views and comments are more than welcome to comment.
A new person and their experiences will soon be introduced for our study.