Professor Stephen Hawking was 70 years old today. That is 49 years since he first suffered the symptoms of ALS, a variation of Motor Neurone disease. In this regard he is almost unique, as the normal life expectancy of such a condition is normally 10 years. Add to the fact that he is one of the most brilliant cosmologists and theoretical physicists in the world today, and this is a very remarkable man.
Stephen was born on 8th January 1942 in Oxford, England. There is no official birth time for Stephen and the chart above is a rectified chart for Stephens birth time, after considering events in his life from 1961 when he became ill until the present day. Getting an official time for him would be difficult and knowing his scepticism for Astrology study, I think it highly unlikely he would give it.
He is a Sun sign Capricorn with his Moon in precise and analytical Virgo. I think his Ascendant is just into Taurus, bringing his Saturn/Uranus conjunction into the 1st house and bringing Capricorn onto the Midheaven. There are several reasons why I came to this potential birth time. Knowing Stephen’s illness, I knew that his physical body represented in the first house would be under severe planetary tension. With 12.50 hrs, his Taurus ascendant receives a square from Pluto and an undermining inconjunct aspect from Neptune from the 6th house of health in Virgo, the health sign; Mercury’s Virgo’s ruler is affected by an opposition from Pluto too. Not only this, but Taurus’ ruler Venus also receives a quindecile from Pluto. Finally, Saturn conjunct Uranus sits in the first house affecting the physical body and is square to the chart ruler Venus. These contacts came under attack from planetary contacts in early 1961 (see below for details), starting off the condition that he has suffered until this day.
As for Stephen surviving longer than any ALS sufferer in history, I think it is down to Mars being conjunct to his ascendant as well as square to Pluto bolstering him with drive and energy (but restricting his movement) and having his 10th house Capricorn Sun trine to Capricorn’s ruler Saturn, which is a traditional sign of a good old age.
Ok to the chart. We have Sun and Mercury in the 10th house. This is a very prominent position for the Sun, showing that Stephen was motivated by his work to achieve a good position in life and to make his mark on the world. Mercury here showed an aptitude for writing and speaking and Stephen has authored countless papers and books, and lectured on physics and cosmology, despite his disability. The Sun Moon combination shows a down to earth disciplined and very analytical mind. Stephen is one of these people who can dig out the tiniest details out literally the building blocks of the universe. His mind is very powerful, searching and sharp as a knife, receiving a square from Mars in Aries (which is pioneering) and an opposition from Pluto which searches for the truth. Mercury in Capricorn receiving these aspects is very matter of fact, his communication is clear and objective with no frills and emotion. Looking at the chart as a whole there are no water planets anywhere, not even on the Ascendant or Midheaven, so with Stephen emotion and feelings do not come into the equation of how he sees life and the universe.
That unemotional Mercury is part of a grand earth trine. Grand trines are a source of self sufficiency as well as huge talent. Here we have Mercury in Capricorn in the 10th house of work trine the Moon and Neptune in Virgo the 6th house of health and everyday work trine to Saturn and Uranus in Taurus in the 1st. Saturn and Uranus pushes back the boundaries, bringing and discovering new order out of the old, and if you were ever going to describe a physicist in astrological terms, then Saturn conjunct Uranus in an earth sign, dealing with the physical, tangible world would be it. Neptune and the Moon on the other hand deals with the intangible, the impossible, the probable. The Moon is in a hard working position and in the 6th house aims to fix problems. You can see the connection, the physicist trying to find solid proof out of things which are hidden, complicated, unintelligible to normal human minds. The trine between Neptune and Uranus/Saturn so much says to me trying to make sense of the vast enormity of space, the stars, the galaxies, the building blocks of the universe. This he tackles with the razor sharp mind I explained earlier.
The fact that Stephen has astounded many people and is so well known can be seen by his Venus in Aquarius. This Venus loves a bit of glamour, star quality if you mind the pun and Stephen will revel in the adulation and awards that his amazing achievements have brought him. This Venus needs independence and space, and is quite cool emotionally (as is most of his chart). His 7th house ruler Pluto receives a square from Mars which explains his inability to have a settled emotional life, he has been married and divorced twice. It is ironic that he has been able to discover the secrets of the universe, yet is unable to solve the riddle that is understanding human relationships. Life throws these conundrums to us, doesn’t it?
Finally, I look at Jupiter. It is peregrine in the 2nd house in Gemini. Here we have the ability to connect seemingly unconnected ideas together and communicate them with clarity and insight. Jupiter dominates the chart and Stephen’s grand vision and optimism will get pull him through life where most others would fall by the wayside. It shows a love of luxury and comfort, and his fame and constant work has given him a quality of life that few would have believed when he contracted his illness. He says it was a blessing in disguise and I tend to side with him on this. Would he have made such an impression on the world of physics had he not be confined to a wheelchair? I think not.
Today he was unable to personally deliver a 70th birthday speech in Cambridge because of illness. My job, like his, is to study the mysteries of the cosmos (in admittedly a completely different way), and I have complete admiration for the way he has conquered all the barriers put in front of him and carried out his work and research so successfully. I hope he gets well soon, and I wish him many happy returns.
Events in life in conjunction with rectified chart –
Spring March 1961 – felt effects of illness – transiting Saturn square ascendant, trine to 6th house Neptune. Uranus opposite Venus (Chart Ruler), Pluto and North Node quindecile Venus as well.
July 1965 - Married – Pluto and Uranus trine to Midheaven – Pluto rules 7th house of permanent partners.
Summer 1974, elected to the Royal Society – Saturn opposite Midheaven
June 1982, received Order of British Empire medal for services to Science. South Node conjunct Midheaven, Jupiter opposite Ascendant.
April 1988 – published first book – “A Brief History of Time” – Pluto sextile Midheaven, Saturn/Uranus trine ascendant.
June 1989, made a companion of Honour by Queen Elizabeth – Saturn and Neptune conjunct Midheaven
September 1995 – married for 2nd time – South Node conjunct Ascendant.
October 2006 – filed 2nd time for divorce – Uranus sextile Midheaven from 12th house amid claims that nurses had abused him (consistent with freedom sought after bizarre (Uranus) treatment in hospital – 12th )