One of the giants of the Central and South American political scene, Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías is only making fleeting appearances now as he fights to a serious bout of colon cancer, although the Venezuelan authorities argue that he is making a full recovery. I look at a fascinating man and assess the health story looking at his current chart aspects.
Hugo Chavez was born into a relatively poor family on 28th July 1945 in Sabaneta, Venezuela at 04.00am. He entered the army, and disagreeing with the political system of the day was part of a coup to unseat the government. That attempt in 1992 failed and he was jailed, but after he was released he formed a new political party. In 1998 he swept to victory in national elections, and has been incumbent as President ever since.
Chavez has a proud, arrogant Leo Sun as well as a protective, security conscious Cancerian Moon and Ascendant. You can see the mix here all too well, the Leo Sun will exert all his energies to get to the top, as far as Hugo will see his rightful place to be, and then the Cancerian Moon and Ascendant will go to all costs to protect his position - Hugo will build in barriers around himself, change laws, promote those around him who support him and erect levels of national security to make sure his position is safe. The Sun in the 2nd house reinforces this need for security, as well as an aptitude for finance, economics & trade. Hugo will place great emphasis on his own possessions and a comfortable lifestyle, indeed he may see the Presidency as his own possession too.
Alongside the Sun there is a stellium of planets in the 1st house. Here we find Jupiter, the Moon, Mercury and Uranus, all in Cancer. Make no bones about it, Hugo Chavez is one very smart guy. The Mercury in the first house within conjunction to his ascendant sees to this, however not only is Chavez intelligent, more pertinently he feels. Almost instinctively he will know the right course of action at the right time. The Moon in Cancer will sense the moment, emotionally he will be able to pick up the mood of the people, with Jupiter in Cancer he will be able to empathise with them. Mind you he will end up doing his own thing, the Moon in the first house is a very self-sufficient “gonna do things my way” position. He will then tell them all about his plans, endlessly. Mercury in the first house does seem to like the sound of it’s own voice. It is a bit of a con-trick he pulls, sucking the people in to follow his revolutionary (Uranus) socialist ways. I say socialist, because the Moon, Jupiter and Mercury sextile onto social Venus. Jupiter and Mercury create the idea of a big scale ideal and Venus adds the social angle to it. Venus in the 3rd house likes harmony, beauty, a local environment in peace without disorder or inequality. We find Venus in Virgo which promotes devotion and service. You can see the socialist ideas running right through this set of sextiles.
Before I move on to the other planets, I want to focus on the Moon which is in very close conjunction to the South Node. This connection to the Nodal axis or paternal axis as I see it shows a very close connection to the person who mothered him and brought him up. Normally this would be the parental mother, however because of the size of the family (he had 6 brothers and sisters), he was brought up by his grandmother. The grandmother of a man can always be seen in the first house, and this is where this Moon and South Node were tenanted. She would have been an inspiration to him and someone he would return to again and again when he needed any advice. Incidentally if you were wondering, the grandmother of a woman can be found in the 7th house.
Uranus squares to Neptune in Libra in the 4th house which suggests that Hugo would always have been a revolutionary with a social dream (Libra in this case providing the social element). Neptune conjuncts Saturn, the dreams is serious, ambitious and has the need to build a society and to administer it. The two conjunctions Uranus/Sun and Neptune/Saturn square each other and you can see the tense flow of energy between them. Squares always drive you onwards and upwards; as you overcome the obstacles along the way and make progress until you reach your goal. Once you are there however, you relax your guard and then of course the problems mount and it becomes harder and harder to stay at the top. Square aspects forever will challenge in new ways as the transiting and progressing planets circle around the chart and connecting and disconnecting to the natal aspect, sometimes favourably but sometimes not. Returning to Saturn/Neptune in the 4th house, we know the Chavez household would have been a strict one and also one with a conservative religious air, something that Hugo still believes in being stoutly Roman Catholic with Pisces (ruled by spiritual Neptune) on the cusp of his 9th house of faith.
There is one more aspect formation on this chart that I have not explored. Neptune sits at the point of a mini grand trine based around a powerful Pluto in Leo in the 2nd trine to retrograde Mars in Sagittarius the 6th house. Mars trine Pluto is an enormous store of pent up energy, based around control of money and possessions (remember I stated that Chavez will see the presidency as his possession) and his physical health and everyday work. Chavez joined the army, he would have seen it as an adventure (Sagittarius) and a way to exert all that energy. However soon as he rose up the ranks, he would have seen the opportunity to use the army to further his insatiable need to have control over money & possessions and also to fulfil his social dreams (Neptune). Mars through Aries rules his Midheaven, his work and public position and Pluto through Scorpio rules the speculative 5th house. Chavez was willing to gamble (5th) that his underground movement (Pluto) would eventually get him to the position he desired – leading Venezuela in a new socialist direction. Mars being retrograde in the 6th has one other effect. It will put a lot of stress on one’s health. Because the energy of Mars is working internally (this is the effect of retrograde planets) rather than outwardly, this will have the effect of loading huge stress on his psyche and in the 6th on his health. It sort has the same effect as those with lots of water in their charts, the effect to to internalize any problems, however with the water signs the effect is more emotional than physical.
Chavez has both, with 5 planets in water signs, so will appear amazing calm on the surface, however beneath the surface he will feel physically and emotionally tied in knots. Mars retrograde is more a planner and plotter rather than someone who takes direct action, waiting for the correct time to act; when it actually feels right to him. One with this placement will want to go it alone too, shunning the help of others unless it is absolutely necessary. With connections to debilitating Neptune and transforming Pluto, this Mars and Chavez’s health was very vulnerable. In medical astrology, the colon, focus of Hugo’s cancer battle, is ruled by Scorpio (Pluto) and to a lesser extent by Mars. The health problems he faces now were predicted in the natal mini grand trine at his birth.
Now looking at the present and future, immediately one can see that Hugo is facing huge pressure from transiting planets. Transiting Pluto is exactly opposite his ascendant at 6 Cancer. Pluto has been around this degree zone for a fair while and will not clear through until late next year. Pluto will force Chavez to change his life direction and is affecting the way the public see him through the opposition to the ascendant and square to his Midheaven. At his Midheaven we find transiting Uranus, often associated with a change of career status. Indeed the Solar eclipse on the 1st July with a cardinal cross at it’s formation impacted all 4 angles of Chavez’s chart. This will be a time when Chavez’s life takes on a new direction. By Solar Arc, SA Saturn has in the last 3 years has been conjunct to natal Mars, it is now 2 and a half degrees from being exact and separating away from conjunction. The damage however has already been done and Saturn would have weakened his energy (Mars) around that time (2008 to the present), his body not being able to fight any physical problems in a normal way.
I believe it should be time for him to focus on his battle with cancer and to step away from the Presidency. Of course, he won’t want to being so Cancerian and protective, however if I were his astrologer, I would be advising him to move aside. This is a battle in which he will need all his will and his energies in order to make some type of recovery.