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Edward Snowden: Hero or Traitor?

edward snowden

On August 3rd I will be presenting Rulers of the Nativity, the sixth part of an ongoing series on Traditional Hellenistic astrology being held in Portland Oregon. Earlier that morning, I also will be giving a live webinar on The First House: Life and Spirit, discussing the ancient and modern meanings of the first house and how to interpret planets located in the house as well as the ruler. This is the first of a series of 12 webinars I will present. Every month, there will be another webinar on each of the other houses.

I have been captivated by the story of Edward Snowden and his chart. The debate rages as to whether he is a heroic whistle-blower or a despicable traitor. At my upcoming Portland workshop Rulers of the Nativity, we will examine Snowden’s chart from a Hellenistic perspective and see how it compares to that of President Obama. We’ll discover which planets are in charge of their lives as a whole and how they might be expected to stand off against one another. For those who can’t attend, we’ll offer the audio here for download this fall.

Edward Snowden Birth chart

Here are a few preliminary insights about Edward Snowden’s natal chart (June 21, 1983, 4:42am, Elizabeth City, NC) based upon the asteroids and eclipses.

With 12° Gemini rising, Snowden has Mercury, the divine winged messenger, as the lord of his Ascendant. Mercury, at 10° Gemini, is conjunct his Ascendant. The Hellenistic astrologers would stay that as steersman, the mercurial wordsmith has his hands directly on the Helm of the ship guiding Snowden’s life to its destination. Mercury is extremely powerful in his own sign, conferring access to mental resources. Here, its own trigon, it also gives support from the larger community. Mercury makes a helical rising a few days after Snowden’s birth which intensifies the role that the acquisition and dissemination of information plays in his life.

The asteroid Aletheia, the Greek personification of truth, is conjunct his Mercury, as is the asteroid Asia (where he told his truth). The Latin word for truth is veritas, and an asteroid by this name is at 9° Cancer in Snowden’s chart, currently receiving the Pluto transit by opposition as well as the conjunction by Snowden’s progressed Ascendant. The the issue of how he must express his identity is brought front and center. Verax, a word derived from veritas, was Snowden’s code name when he used encrypted email.

With Aletheia conjunct Mercury ruling his Ascendant, clearly he is compelled to tell the truth of the information that he has uncovered. Pluto’s transit opposing Veritas has triggered an international incident with repercussions in the United States relationships with Russian, European and South American countries as more and more details of invasions of privacy in the name of protection from terrorism are exposed and revealed. Because Mercury is a diurnal planet in Snowden’s nocturnal chart, it does not belong to the sect in favor. Even though it is extremely powerful, in the end its actions may not result in favorable outcomes concerning his best interests.

The eclipses around Snowden’s birth all tie into his natal chart, indicating that he will play an important, almost fated role, in some sort of larger purpose that impacts the collective. When eclipse planets near the birth align with a person’s natal planets, the natal indicators become highly charged and dynamic.

The solar eclipse shortly before his birth on June 11th, 1983 has a triple conjunction of Sun, Moon, and Mars in Gemini at 19° Gemini which falls near his natal Mars/Node at the Sun/Mercury midpoint. The prior solar eclipse on December 15, 1982 at 23° Sagittarius opposed this very same Mars/Node conjunction at 24° Gemini, bringing forth the verbal warrior. The companion lunar eclipse on Dec 30 at 8° Cancer was conjunct his asteroid Veritas, which is now being opposed by Pluto as well as conjoined by his progressed Ascendant, compelling the issues of Codename Verax to the forefront of his public identity.  

The eclipses following his birth occurred on Dec 4, 1983 with the solar eclipse at 11° Sagittarius opposing his Mercury and the lunar at 27° Gemini conjunct his Sun which rules the 3rd house of information. These eclipses prefigure the national and international conflict that is engendered as a result of Snowden’s investigations and disclosures.

When trying to decide which of the eclipses may be more influential, one can also look at the eclipse paths as designating areas in world where that destiny unfolds. The 1983 eclipse path follows a line across South America, centering upon Columbia and Venezuela. Venezuela is one of the countries that has offered Snowden asylum, and based upon the astrology of eclipse paths, this seems a possible place of refuge for him. The asteroid Venezuela is at 7° Libra in Snowden’s chart and it is conjunct the asteroid America at 8° Libra, which will have one more oppositional pass by transiting Uranus in December 2013 when it stations. This suggests that he will continue to constellate tumultuous and rebellious interactions between the nations of North and Latin America.

The most troubling upcoming eclipse pattern for Snowden occurs in November 2013 when the solar eclipse Sun/Moon/Saturn exactly conjuncts Snowden’s own natal Moon at 13° Scorpio. His Moon, sect light, is the weakest planet in his chart. It is in the sign of its fall and in the cadent 6th house associated with bondage and servitude. This eclipse path runs through Russia arcing above Moscow. The placement of the asteroids Russia at 1° Taurus in his 12th house and Moskva and Washingtonia at 27° & 25° Scorpio in his 6th house tell the tale of exile, confinement and imprisonment in these capitals that may unfold as destiny takes its course.

Other geographical asteroids in his chart that are part of this ongoing drama are Cuba, at 19° Aquarius conjunct his 9th house MC at 20° Aquarius. Cuba is likely to play a prominent role in international negotiations concerning his asylum. Jupiter at 3° Sagittarius, ruling his 7th and 10th houses, is conjunct both the asteroids Ecuador and Boliviana at 7° & 8° Sagittarius, who have also offered asylum and refuge.

Written July 13 2013

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