Ingeborg Bachmann – A Philosopher to the End

Ingeborg Bachmann was an Austrian philosopher, writer and poet.

Ingeborg Bachmann

Bachmann had the Sun in Cancer in the 6th house. The Sun is part of a vitally significant T Square as it is in opposition to the Moon and the Ascendant in Capricorn. Pluto is also involved as it is conjunct the Sun and opposite the Moon and Ascendant.

Capricorn Research has a collection of 127 charts of philosophers and the most common placings for the Sun are in Cancer and the 6th house. This collection also shows that Pluto’s conjunction to the Sun and its opposition to the Ascendant occurs 70% more often than expected and its opposition to the Moon is over 40% higher than normal. The Sun’s opposition to the Ascendant also scores over 50% higher than expected. This is interesting in that Pluto rules deeply unconscious patterns that suddenly emerge to devastating effect to profoundly alter behaviour. Philosophers would be particularly interested in the inner motivations of people so its perhaps not surprising that Pluto is so strongly connected to their Sun, Moon and Ascendant.

Capricorn Research has proved that 20,000 plus public figures are more likely to have the Sun rising because this placing would mean that their own personal agendas tend take precedence over the needs of others whereas people with the Sun setting have to take greater account of the concerns of their partners and other people generally. Philosophers spend their time observing, analysing and commenting on the behaviour of other people and so it is perhaps natural that they would be more likely to have the Sun setting than rising.

The opposition in Bachmann’s chart projects onto an extremely powerful T Square apex Mars in Aries. Ingeborg Bachmann wrote extensively including poems, essays and short stories as well as opera libretti and radio dramas so the passionate and assertive Mars in Aries certainly came out in her writing. The 3rd house is the place of communications, both written and verbal and Mars is conjunct the 3rd house cusp.

In fact Bachmann had a very difficult chart with a Grand Cross as well as the T Square. A Grand Cross is an aspect of extreme tension because it contains 4 planets all pulling strongly in opposite directions. Venus in the 4th house was opposite Saturn in the 10th and square to Neptune in the 7th and Jupiter on the cusp of the 2nd house.

Bachmann had a relationship with the Swiss playwright and novelist Max Frisch. His infidelity and their separation left both partners referring to a painful break up in their subsequent writings and this appeared to have had a deep impact on Bachmann’s life. Neptune in the 7th house would suggest Bachmann would idealise her relationships but when this planet receives such difficult aspects it would point to deception and a gradual dissolution of trust and of the relationship itself. The fact that Neptune is in the Grand Cross connected to planets in the 4th and 10th shows that her home life and career would suffer considerably as a result.

The T Square is of primal importance however as it involves the Sun, Moon and Ascendant. It is hard to get a definite astrological fix on this planetary pattern unless we take it to signify one event of earth shattering importance in Ingeborg’s life.

Whenever Pluto is in aspect to the Sun at birth, the specific impact is likely to be felt when it makes its next aspect to the same body which would be a square. As Pluto is part of the T Square also making difficult aspects to the Moon, Ascendant and Mars, the transit would be extremely explosive and would trigger a number of themes simultaneously.  Pluto would also be forming a Grand Cross with this T Square in direct opposition to the apex Mars. The timeline for Pluto’s transit is 1973, when Bachmann would be 47 years old.

Ingeborg Bachmann died in hospital in October 1973, three weeks after a fire in her bedroom caused her injuries which required her to be hospitalized. Local police concluded that the blaze was caused by a lit cigarette. Withdrawal symptoms (such as seizures) when her stay in hospital interrupted her long habit of barbiturate compulsive pill-taking of which the doctors who were treating her were not aware may have contributed to her death.

This is when the symbolism of the chart really comes into play. The 6th house rules health and the 12th covers hospitalisation. Cancer rules care and nourishment, Capricorn stands for institutions. Mars the fiery planet is in its own Fire sign, Aries.

Pluto was opposite Mars from the 8th house of death at the time so the picture is clear. Ingeborg Bachmann died suddenly and unexpectedly ( Pluto in the 8th forming a Grand Cross ) after a fire ( opposite Mars in Aries ) in a bedroom in her home ( square to the Sun in Cancer ) which caused her to be hospitalised ( square to the Moon in Capricorn in the 12th house ). The health care received ( Sun in Cancer in the 6th ) was possibly hampered by the doctors being unaware ( opposition to the Moon in the isolated 12th house ) of her drug dependency.

For the vast majority of people, the nature and timing of their death is not predictable from their birth charts but when the person’s death is untimely and unusual, the symbols in the chart can reveal it. In Ingeborg Bachmann’s case the planets of her T Square not only showed her life and work as philosopher and multi talented writer but they also showed her tragic early death.


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