Richard Branson – Virgin on the Ridiculous

Many moons ago Capricorn Research learnt the tools of the astrological trade in much the same way that Capricorns learn anything, not with any great feel for the symbols that might be expected of a Water sign, but simply by consuming all of the ancient rules by rote and then applying the most vigorous practical testing to all of them. Capricorns, particularly those with the Sun, Moon and Ascendant in the sign have no great interest in theories or beliefs, and will only attach themselves to something if its proved to work.

In the early days there were a great many puzzles to deal with like the 8th house. Traditionally the 8th house rules sex, death and other people’s money, a combination of ideas that seem to be plucked from the air with no apparent connection between them. It also invites the question ‘ who says anything rules something else and why should we believe it ? ‘.

The astrological house system has a fundamental natural beauty that is clearly obvious when we consider the angular houses of the 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th. The 10th house at the very top of the chart should obviously be the person’s career and social standing and the opposite house, the 4th at the bottom of the chart is our home base and our roots and family connections. It is also quite natural that the eastern horizon, Ascendant and 1st house is associated with the immediate personal concerns of the individual and the issues that must be expressed because this is the start of the day where the Sun is rising. The 7th house where the Sun is setting marks the end of the person as a separate individual entity and so the partnership or marriage is the main focus.

The 1st and the 7th are both opposite each other as is the 4th and the 10th. Its also very neat that the house experiences fit naturally with the signs, so the 1st house and the 1st sign Aries is concerned mainly with self expression and the 7th and 7th sign Libra with one to one relationships. The same applies to the 10th sign Capricorn which resonates naturally with career and the 4th sign Cancer with the home.

Because of this connection it seems perfectly reasonable that the 8th house should resonate with the 8th sign, Scorpio, so sex and deep transformational experience including death itself comes under its rulership but other people’s money ?

Every symbol in astrology has many different meanings and most of these come from the distant past when the focus of the subject was very different from what it is today. These days the interest is in psychological stuff so the characters of the signs assume great importance. Even people who have no interest in Astrology are aware of the signs. It would be very interesting to do research into online dating to find out how quickly the average punter asks their target what their Sun sign is.

Years ago the average person would have no idea what sign they were, even if they knew what year they were born in. Birthcharts were only drawn for royalty and important families so when ordinary people consulted astrologers it was not to find out about their psychology, their concerns were much more practical and they would ask specific questions which they would expect to be answered. These questions were answered not by looking at transits to the birth chart as there wasn’t one, but by drawing a chart for the moment that the question was asked, a practice called Horary Astrology.

In horary the houses have much more importance than the signs, because they rule specific areas of life rather than types of behaviour. The skill in reading a horary chart would be in determining which houses were appropriate for the question. So if for example the question was ” When will my great aunt die and will I get anything in her will ” the astrologer would draw the chart and set about ascribing planetary rulership to the parts of the question.

The aunt would be ruled by the 9th house because a father or mother is ruled by the 4th and their parents by the 4th from the start of the 4th which would be the 7th and siblings are ruled by the 3rd, so for a great aunt we take the 3rd house from the start of the 7th which gives us the 9th. The aunt would be symbolised by the planetary ruler of the 9th house. The question is about the death of the aunt, so this would be located in the 8th house from the 9th, which is actually the 4th. The relationship between the planets ruling the 9th and the 4th would therefore reveal when the great aunt would die. In order to work out whether the client would benefit from her will ( also 8th from the 9th ) the relationship between the ruler of the 4th and the ruler of the 1st house would be considered. Horary might sound complicated but it works so Capricorn Research is content to use it as a system.

In modern day Astrology, the 1st house is the individual and the 2nd house rules the things that the person has, money, possessions etc. The 7th house is the partner so the 8th house, being the 2nd from the 7th rules the partner’s money. The 8th house would be very important when it came to any discussion of dowries and practical marriage arrangements in general, an area that still across the globe attracts more astrological consultations than any other.

There is also the sense that the 7th house rules other people in general even including opponents who may be the last people one would consider marrying. The 8th house therefore rules other people’s money in general and its connection with death gives it specific rulership over financial inheritance but it could also be linked to one’s ability to extract money from other people. For any self respecting businessman a strong and beneficial 8th house would be as important as the 2nd.

A quick check through the top 100 on the Forbes World’s Richest list makes intriguing viewing or at least it would if all their birth times were available. Only 11 out of 100 are known which suggests that these mega rich people don’t want astrologers poking their noses in to find out how they made so much money in the first place. If we include close conjunctions to the cusp, 4 out of these 11 have 8th house Suns which is 4 times the expected figure.

A superficial understanding of Astrology might lead us to expect many of these figures to have the Sun in Taurus. Capricorn Research is not at all sure about that. Our culture is one that has enormous respect and possibly also jealousy of these super rich figures but it might be just as appropriate to view the accumulation of vast personal wealth in a world of limited resources as a result of a weakness rather than a strength. Maybe these people are primarily driven by insecurities and they seek to solve an inner problem by filling it with billions of dollars.

If this is the case then Taurus would not be the obvious sign, they might be possessive and love beautiful things but they have an inner stability that few other signs can match. The sign Cancer and it’s ruler the Moon have more to say about emotional insecurity and these may be stronger factors in the upper echelons of the Forbes list. This is not to say that these people come from difficult backgrounds, very much the reverse in most cases as much of the wealth has been inherited. The theme of the family holds great importance for Cancer and its overriding concern is to provide security and nourishment for those close to them.

If we were looking at countries rather than individuals the chart topper would obviously be the USA. The American chart has the Sun in Cancer on the 8th house cusp. It is easy to view the US character from its Sagittarius Ascendant image of extroverted pioneers always looking for new ground to explore. The Sun in Cancer’s theme of family however, seems to be at the essence of just about every film made in Hollywood and it’s placing on the 8th house cusp suggests the insecurities that drive the nation to assimilate other people’s money as its core project. Just a thought.

Talking of Cancer Suns, coming in at a mere 272 on the Forbes list but at 6th in the UK charts is hippy entrepreneur turned transport king, Richard Branson.

Richard Branson

When the Sun is in Cancer, the Moon assumes even more significance than it would in any other chart and its placing indicates the direction that person would go in to attempt to resolve the issues of support and security that come with the Sun sign.

Richard Branson has the Moon right on the cusp of the 2nd house so the pursuit of money is the core of this chart.

As fitting with the Capricorn Research Project, Branson has all bar one of his planets on the Eastern side of the chart, with the Sun in the 12th house, the most common position for public figures. In fact he only has one planet on the Western side, Jupiter in the 8th house.

When there is only one planet on one side of the chart it becomes very important especially if it is aspected by opposition to other important planets. Branson’s Jupiter is opposite his Moon and this is the most significant aspect in his chart particularly when we see that the only other aspects are all over 8 degrees in orb which makes them quite weak.

So the insecurities that require resolution through the pursuit of money  ( Moon in the 2nd ) combine with a grand scale capacity to organise and manipulate the resources and energies of others ( Jupiter in the 8th ) as being the central theme in the chart. It isn’t correct however, to see this as an essentially selfish combination. The Sun in Cancer and the Moon are usually strongly motivated by a maternal desire to provide security for their own families. Jupiter is also known for its generosity of spirit and its patronage. Jupiter has an expansive nobility and when it is in aspect to the Moon, one’s sense of personal family becomes larger so Richard Branson would probably view his employees as part of this family. Branson has given considerable support and energy to many humanitarian initiatives which possibly shows that he sees the whole world as part of his extended family.

The houses in a chart will point to the areas of life that a person will focus on but the signs will show the manner in which they will do it. Its interesting that Branson’s Moon is in Virgo as it suggests a tremendous eye for detail but more importantly shows us the title of all his business exploits,” Virgin “. Astrology is an exceptionally simple symbolic science, it tells it like it is.

Another important factor that powers this chart up the rich list is the exact conjunction of Pluto with the Leo Ascendant. This is a particularly strong astrological expression of leadership and it gives a tremendous ability to utilise and focus the energies of his employees. Branson has been tagged as a “transformational leader” in the management lexicon and a more succinct summing up of Pluto rising in Leo would be hard to find.

Many of the extremely rich people on the Forbes list do not take such a prominent personal position in the marketing of their own business. Branson’s personal image is a very important part of the Virgin group and his ability or desire to front this so strongly does not fit with a Cancer / Virgo combination which would be more interested in working hard behind the scenes. The image, however comes from the Ascendant and with Pluto there in Leo, Branson’s personal domination is always visible. His appearance is also very Leonine with the long straggly mane of hair which has always been with him to remind us of his hippy roots. One thing about Leo rising people is that they won’t be told by anyone else how they should look, this is doubly so with Pluto in close attendance so the whole not looking like a businessman thing fits like a glove.

Jupiter is the planet of exploration and travel and its importance in the chart shows the main thrust of Branson’s business enterprise, Moon in Virgo opposite Jupiter is Virgin Airways. Jupiter is in Pisces so the thrusting expansive nature of the planet will be multidirectional. Pisces is never contained in one area and wants to flow freely so we have Virgin Records, Rail, Mobile, Media, Money, Healthcare and many more besides.

Branson’s view of life is very Moon opposite Jupiter. ” My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them … from the perspective of wanting to live life to the full, I felt that I had to attempt it “.

This could be seen in his own personal missions not least his attempts to circumnavigate the globe by balloon. Between 1995 and 1998 Branson, Per Lindstrand and Steve Fossett had several goes at this feat and this seems to confirm his central theme as Pluto was creating a T Square to both his Moon and Jupiter at the time. This was generally a period of time when Branson was constantly in the media.

An opposition between planets in the 2nd and 8th house is likely to generate a lot of energy around money. Jupiter always loves to do things in a big way but in opposition to the Moon in Virgo, and with a fortune of close to £ 5 billion, Richard Branson could be said to be Virgin on the Ridiculous.


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Astrology and Celebrity – all in the timing



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