Dr. Eban Alexander; NDE

This is an abridged compilation of the blog-posts for Dr. Alexander.  Not all of blogs are included.   Some blogs are shortened.  To read any of the complete blogs in this series, refer to the archives to find them.

 The Story of Dr. Eban Alexander; A Near Death Experience — Part 1

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 Background

 Eban Alexandar was and is a neurosurgeon with many years of operating upon and repairing brains of patients with a variety of problems.  He was a scientist, an assistant professor at Harvard Mecical School as well as a surgeon prior to his NDE.  At age 55 he quickly became ill and lapsed into a coma within hours.  This coma lasted seven days and was caused by a form of bacterial meningitis.  His outer brain was being eaten alive and had such a severe display of infection that the doctors could not offer any hope of recovery nor any form of treatment that would affect his illness in a positive manner.

While younger, Alexander was fascinated with flying and skydiving.  He had logged some 365 jumps.  One of them resulted in an almost fatal accident.  There is no date given for that event.  In 1976, at age 23, he gave up skydiving to concentrate on his studies.  Dr. Alexander devoted the beginning of his book to this flying experience, giving much detail to the near-miss with death that occurred on one jump in particular.  That issue will be addressed later.

Dr. Alexander’s natal chart

eanatalinwinston-salem

Let us look at his natal chart, located at Winston-Salem, N.C. where he spent his childhood and younger years, and where he did his flying which, according to him, had an impact on his later career and Near Death Experience.

  • Uranus-MC;  One’s individuality is partly defined by the out-of-the-mainstream hobbies and interests one develops in life.  A unique lifestyle will include exploration and the adoption of advanced or new practices, plus a curiosity for whatever intriguing situations that arise.
  • Mars-Neptune-Asc.;  The pursuit of one’s dreams, being very present within uncertain situations where self-assurance is required.  Aggression and sensitivity will need to become partners in any personal endeavors.
  • Sun-Part-of-Fortune (PoF);  Risk taking, seeking out change, enjoying a challenge, is part of a promised lifestyle with this combination.
  • Sun-sextile-Moon;  Dr. Alexander will, while young, seek to establish his own identity and place within the family on his own terms.
  • Mercury-Venus in the 2nd;  His values and self-esteem is as much intellectual as it is the physical value that is accrued in life.  The appreciation of others, and by others, is much considered and noted by him.  Venus’ square to Pallas will likely display as an attempt to always accomplish something in the best way possible.  Self-esteem is linked to personal satisfactions.

From these few observations we can summarize the likely development of this subject’s chart into a lifestyle expression.  Eban Alexander will exhibit exceptional and different qualities that place him outside of the mainstream.  He will aggressively pursue his visions and dreams, mixing hard work and effort with a sensitivity to the needs of others.  Challenges are his spice-of-life, he can hardly resist them.  Seeking to establish his own identity at an early age, Alexander seems to have never stopped defining himself in new ways.  He has and will exhibit a solid blend of good taste in his surroundings with an appreciation for consistently proving himself as a worthy person.  His drive for both accomplishment and personal value related to what he does helps to build his self-esteem.

Looking ahead, we know that he had two big things happen in his life time outside of his medical career.  First, his parachuting almost cost him his life.  A near-miss averted a mid-air tragedy between parachutists.  Second, he actually died from  an infection by a bacterial meningitis which left him brain dead and in a coma for a week.  Can we see these events reflected in his natal chart?

In subsequent posts we will examine the two events; the parachute jump and the sudden illness that killed him.

Parachuting Isn’t A Walk In The Park; Part 2.

eban-photo-3Playing detective to find a significant Saturday in the ‘autumn’ of 1975.  

In making an effort to find a particular Saturday within a span of a few months time that presented factors relating to excitement, chance, danger, flying, death, etc., one has to cast a number of charts.  These charts would be both t/Moon-to-n/Sun Returns and t/Moon-opposed-n/Sun Returns.  Once a chart is identified as being a possibility, that chart has to be advanced to any Saturday within that chart’s two week cycle.  That chart then has to be evaluated.  If two or more charts are found with appropriate symbolism, then study has to be deeply applied to determine which to choose and use.

This was the challenge, finding the single date when a Moon-to-Sun Return or Advanced chart would reflect the almost fatal events of that fine Saturday afternoon when Eban Alexander almost died for the first time.

Presenting a number of charts and their analysis would be overly detailed for this presentation.  Suffice it to say that one Return chart, which happened to occur on a Saturday, was found that indicated a major event that incorporated danger and the possibility of dramatic changes that were experienced.  That chart was a t/Moon-opposite-n/Sun Return for Aug. 30, 1975 — and that date was a Saturday.

eamopps8-30-1975parach

Most striking in this chart is the presence of the natal and the transiting Part of Fortunes at the MC angle.  Either, alone at an angle, is sufficient for concern. Both at an angle indicates chaos and difficulties to an extreme.

Important, also, is t/Moon-IC opposite n/Sun very near the MC. The book, Personal Moon-to-Sun Returns 2, provides the following theme, “Difficulty with plans . . . private and public life clash . . . doing the unexpected.”  Not that much of a generic statement for any typical daily-life situation is likely to apply in this ‘extream’ situation.  So, we have to parse the meanings to fit the unusual circumstances.

Since the t/Moon and n/Sun are angular, we have to also consider their opposites:  t/Sun-t/Venus-square-t/Mars indicates a battle or danger of some sort.  Also a square to n/Venus-t/Neptune is important as they all comprise a T-Square patternn/Venus is often found in death charts when angular.  The Venus-square-Venus pattern indicates a lack of harmony or balance in life.  The n/Moon, at 18 Aquarius, has a trine aspect to the t/Moon.  This can indicate an ease or unimpeded flow of emotional energy, a happy and exhilarating day.

Let us now review the events of this day to see how the chart reflects reality.

For the last jump of that day, six parachutists were to attempt to make a “star” above the runways of the airport as they fell towards the ground.  Eban was the last one out of the airplane.  He would have to move fast by diving head first, picking up speed in order to catch those ahead of him so that all could join up in mid-air before separating to open their chutes at a lower altitude.  Eban would be dropping at almost a 100 miles an hour faster than those ahead of him.  One of the newer chartists had misjudged his jump and caused the formation to break up before it even was established.  Everyone was tumbling about, trying to get clear of the others before deploying their parachutes.  As each parachute deploys it leaves a stream of low-pressure air behind and above it.  Anyone diving into that zone would find his speed accelerating.

To Eban’s horror, one of the group had deployed his chute and had diverted into his dive path instead of in his assigned direction.  Eban had only a fraction of a second before he would crash into the drag chute and the unfolding main chute in front of him.  Pulling his arms in and tucking his head down into a dive, Eban passed the man below him at some 150 miles per hour.  I quote Eban from his book, ” Somehow I had reacted in microseconds to a situation that, had I actually had time to think about it, would have been much too complex for me to deal with. And yet . . . I had dealt with it, and we both landed safely. It was as if, presented with a situation that required more than its usual ability to respond, my brain had become, for a moment, superpowered. How had I done it? Over the course of my twenty-plus-year career in academic neurosurgery—of studying the brain, observing how it works, and operating on it—I have had plenty of opportunities to ponder this very question. I finally chalked it up to the fact that the brain is truly an extraordinary device: more extraordinary than we can even guess.”

Technically, the short distance between the Eban and the deploying parachute below him, the speed that he was diving at, the extraordinary quick reaction time, the increasing speed due to the low-pressure area behind the parachute all combined to assure a mid-air collision as a diver plowed into a chute, tangling both men, and sending them to the deaths a few thousand feet below.  It couldn’t have been any different.  And yet, it had been.  This is what impressed Eban Alexander and what puzzled him for many years.  He had been saved somehow to live for another day.

Reviewing this event to the chart, we can now appreciate the following.

  • A doubled-up Part of Fortune at the MC is truly “chance, change, chaos.”  Given that Eban’s natal MC conjoins Uranus, his inclination for excitement over the course of his life must have prepared him in some way for quicker reactions under stress.
  • The trine aspect between natal and transiting Moon clearly painted the emotional high and good time that he was enjoying in his many jumps on this date.
  • n/Jupiter-IC may be attributed to his “luck.”  Jupiter has a reputation for conveying ‘luck’ but that is not often seen in charts.  But t/Jupiter-t/Chiron opposed t/Uranus; this all indirectly seems to have reinforced his n/MC-Uranus and n/Jupiter by involving the transiting versions of t/Jupiter-t/Uranus.
  • t/Sun-square-t/Mars is not angular but they do involve n/Venus and t/Venus to make up a T-square.  Sun (Eban) was challenged (Mars) but somehow the square between natal and transiting Venus became a positive factor in his physical experience of that day.  Perhaps we could say that enjoyment (Venus) was going to be compromised (the square aspect).
  • That t/Uranus was in the 8th house, previously known as the house of sex, death and taxes.  Yet, that old set of meanings was not evident here.  Uranus instead seemed to function as suddenness and a heightened nervous response to a situation.  Perhaps t/Mercury-t/Pluto (intense reactions) combined with Ceres, the great-mother principle and overseer of major life cycles.

So, with this chart in hand, we will need to study it and keep in mind that this event, this escape from certain death, had a profound and lasting impact on Eban Alexander.  Following this period, he pursued his life and studies that led him to becoming a neurosurgeon whose skills saved the lives of many others.  We will also see that this chart had great relevance to the events that were to occur much later in his life when he would once again meet death and emerge the better for it.

Part 3; Sick Like You Wouldn’t Believe !

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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.

(A review of the natal chart has been removed.)

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.

eamtos11-01-2008timed

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.

eaadv11-10-2008timed

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.

Part 4: Dead, but still conscious !

butterfly-ride-for-eban

Eban Alexander, surgeon and scientist, suffered a severe form of bacterial meningitis, was taken to the hospital, pronounced dead and hopeless in terms of recovery. While in a coma he visited heaven and was, upon waking a week later, able to recall in great detail all of his very exciting experiences and observations there.  This  blog covers those recountings and offers charts for that period.

eaadv11-10-2008timed

This chart was posted in Part 3.  It is displayed for reference.  The situation this chart represents is briefly reviewed now.

  • At 4:30 AM Eban Alexander awakened with severe back pains.  These intensified and resulted in him being taken to the hospital where he lapsed into a coma.
  • Spinal taps revealed a severe case of bacterial meningitis.  His thinking functions of his brain were literally being eaten away.
  • 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.  During the time that this hospital drama was going on, Eban Alexander was experiencing another reality.  I will briefly review the highlights of that recounting.

The reader can refer to Chapter 5 and following chapters in his book, “Proof of Heaven, a Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife.”  This book can also be found on-line as a .pdf download.

Eban became aware of a darkness and a very deep, repeating pounding noise.  He became aware of root-like tangles above, around and below him.  Unpleasant smells and faint images made him uncomfortable.  He detected a faint light in the distance.  As he focused on this he seemed to move rapidly towards it.  He emerged high above a lush country side.  He was amazed to see that he was sitting on the wing of a butterfly with a beautiful girl sitting nearby.  He received three thoughts from her:  “You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever.  You have nothing to fear.  There is nothing you can do wrong.”

The girl was both herself and also an “orb” of light that focused the thoughts and presence of a vast being comprised of love and support.  He saw this light as being God.  Understanding of many issues became immediately apparent to him.  Eban came and went from/to this place while his physical self lay within a hospital bed, deep in a coma with a “dead/dying” totally unresponsive brain.

The book provides a deep and interesting narrative of his experiences in this ‘other place.’  It is not the mission of this posting to repeat that in any detail, only to note it as part of our astrological exploration.

The Advanced chart for Nov. 10th, 2008, a Monday, shows n/Sun-n/PoF-Asc.-t/Venus-t/Pluto-opposite-n/Jupiter-Desc.  The horizontal axis is an “experience” axis.  We might choose to see this as an enlightenment (Sun).  In this particular case note that this grouping at the chart’s Ascendant is also the midpoint of n/Asc-n/Mars-n/Neptune and n/Moon.  The natal Ascendant represents the way we choose to act within and experience one’s physical environment.  Eban is having a major (to say the least) experience at this time.

Wednesday, two days after being admitted to the Emergency Room, was the day doctors expected to see a change in Eban Alexander’s condition if their various treatments were to have any effect.  Wednesday came and went.  No change, the infection was advancing without pause.  Things were looking very bad.

This narrative is instructive because in the midst of this severe situation we shift from the cycle of a t/Moon-to-n/Sun Return cycle into a new cycle.  On that following Friday, Nov. 14, 2008, Eban’s t/Moon-opposite-n/Sun Return occurred.  That chart is shown below.

eamopps11-14-2008timed

Notice that the very-close location of planets to chart angles in the earlier chart are largely absent here.  t/N.Node-Desc. (4 degrees), n/Saturn-IC (5 degrees) are the closest angular factors.  The N.Node-Desc. pattern represents a strong appreciation of interpersonal contacts.  (These would be demonstrated by later comments on the support given by his family while in a coma).  The relationship of this t/N.Node to the angular n/Saturn-IC indicates a structure and a lesson is somehow involved.  Let us examine t/Sun, t/Moon, and t/PoF as these often represent driving forces in the chart when angular planets are less present.

  • t/Mercury-t/Sun-t/Mars in 4th. This ordered grouping suggests an ingenuity in doing things or of finding alternatives.  One’s mental persistence helps to reach goals.  t/Sun-square-t/Neptune requires a struggle to keep focused on one’s ideals and intentions.
  • t/Moon (11th)-n/Jupiter-opp-n/Sun-n/PoF. Whenever Alexander has a Moon-opposite-Sun Return he activates his n/Jupiter-n/Sun-n/PoF pattern.  This is very much a natal-ingrained upbeat and happy pattern that brings a positive bent to his life.   In this chart a Grand-Square pattern is created with t/Saturn (2nd) opposite t/Uranus (8th).  The “status-quo” is broken, a change in the environment and a clarity (the full moon pattern) is found as to what one’s life-purpose (n/Sun) has to be is now to be achieved.
  • t/PoF-square-n/Venus. Alexander will work/struggle to obtain a balance between change and what needs to remain a stable platform for his life.

eaadv11-16-2008timed

Let us now move to the Nov. 16, 2008 chart which occurred on a Sunday.  The family had been praying consistently for Eban’s recovery.  Their church community and friends had joined in this effort as well.  This fits with the previously mentioned t/N.Node-Desc. pattern in the Return chart.  On Sunday morning as the doctors had gathered the family for a meeting to discuss their recommendation to stop all life-support efforts and accept that Eban would not be able to recover, Eban opened his eyes and looked around his hospital room.  He was back, fully conscious.

The angles have moved closer to t/N.Node and n/Saturn.  Most notable is:

  • t/PoF square t/Venus.  In the Return chart, t/PoF squared n/Venus.  It is the time to restore balance in one’s life.
  • t/Moon-n/Uranus-n/MC-opposite-t/Jupiter-n/Chiron.  Change (t/Moon) is now triggering his unique and personal life-status and life-goals (n/MC-n/Uranus)  and seizing (opposition) opportunity (Jupiter) to make big adjustments (t/Jupiter-n/Chiron) in his health and physical resources.
  • t/Sun-square-n/Pluto.  This is a transformational crises point.  One might choose to see this as Eban’s Creator (transiting Sun-God) bringing about a personal transformation (n/Pluto).

Upon opening his eyes, the whole family went to his room.  A tube was taken from his throat so that he could speak.  He was conscious, lucid and felt ready to rise from his bed and go home.  Of course, it wasn’t that easy.  He was weak.  Not all of his memory and logical facilities had yet returned.  It would take several days before he could leave the hospital.  Yet, a miraculous situation had happened.  Alexander’s brain had been subject to a total bacterial attack.  He had been brain dead.  The attack had actually destroyed his ability to have consciousness at any level.  Only his brain stem had partially functioned to keep basic body functions going along with help.  When he was later able to relate his unique visits to other places, nobody wanted to believe him or even listen to him.  We will address this post-sickness portion of his life in the next post.

Part 5: Eban Alexander — Post NDE

Eban photo-7

Following his Nov. 16, 2008 awakening from a coma, and a week of recovery to get most of his memory and motor functions restored, Eban went home on Nov. 25th, two days before Thanksgiving.

(The remainder of this post has been deleted.)

 

 

 

 

Profile of Conscious Awareness for Dr. Eban Z

EA Profile

The above Profile of Conscious Awareness notes Alexander’s criteria relative to that of Goethe’s profile.  The only factor that is a ‘No” relates to a Moon in a closing square to a Sun, either body being natal or transiting.  Note also that this profile is based on the chart for the day he entered the hospital and went into a coma.  It was in the several days of being comatose that Dr. Alexander had his several visits to heaven.  At some point in this series we will compare a larger number of profiles and construct a more precise profile.

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