I know what you’re thinking. That Jacobs. He’s such a Scorpio. Of course he’s doing a profile on this guy!
But it’s the guy’s birthday is why it’s happening. And the karmic story is pretty juicy, as you might imagine.
As much as we might be discomfited re what de Sade did and/or had others do or what he represents – pushing the boundaries of sex with violence (I know even my Scorpio self can at times!) – he was just another dude with a soul learning about how to be here and how to do this human dance.
June 2 1740
Paris France (rated AA)
To begin, his Pluto is in Scorpio in the 12th, a handful of degrees above the horizon. This is a strong placement for any planet. At the moment of birth it is rising over the Eastern horizon, showering its portion of sunlight to reflect on the Earth and the tiny squirming baby just born. So close to the Ascendant, there is a natural tendency for whatever it is doing in the 12th house to come out in the 1st. Essentially we need to read that Pluto as also affecting the 1st, so close to the Ascendant it is.
Next, his South Node of the Moon (SN) is in Capricorn in the 2nd house. It is conjunct retro Uranus in the same house and sign. He is raised in environments in which order is emphasized (Capricorn) but also where there is a lot of Uranus. The planet being retro says that Uranus in those environments works differently, which can lead to a lot of conformity.
Opposing the SN, conjunct the 8th house North Node (NN) is Saturn in Cancer in the 9th. The SN ruler I see as representing a person’s role in his or environments in various lives. De Sade comes from Capricorn in the 2nd-type places (including his family), yet he is wired to be Cancerian and in the 9th house. These are very different energies. It means that in his soul’s various lives he shows up as someone who doesn’t really fit in with the people he came from.
Saturn is conjunct Venus. This says that he in his various lives is creative, and concerned with Venusian things – relationship, sexuality, sensuality, creativity, etc. In the 9th house, he is an explorer. He seeks in his many lives to explore possibilities when it comes to relationship and sexuality and, because this is the sign of Cancer, feeling. Saturn is square Mars in Aries in the 6th house, telling us that he is learning about the right use of will by receiving friction from people who embody it.
His explorations of the extremities of sexuality can be seen in a few places in the chart. This Pluto in Scorpio/12th is about the soul being empowered by digging through the taboo corners of the collective unconscious (Pluto in Scorpio/12th) and doing something active in response to it (conjunct Ascendant). Mars in Aries/6th is on one level about exploring sexuality through unequal relationships – the 6th is always where we are not equal to others. It doesn’t have to be abusive and violent, but that’s one way it can come out.
And the SN ruler conjunct the 8th house North Node. This makes him determined to explore the energies his people/clan/family are not exploring (they are in the 2nd dealing with that retro Uranus and the stifling routines and boredom that comes with it).
I see his expressions as part showing others what he has found in his “travels” and part middle finger to the world around him for being afraid of what he has found to be true. And it’s hard to tell which came first! Re the middle finger idea, he reminds me some of Marilyn Manson, whose profile can be found here. There’s that idea that he will not be told to be quiet and not look in these dark places. Manson also has the North Node in the 8th house, for the record.
And separate from the karmic story, he also has his Sun in Gemini in the 8th, another indicator of curiosity about the shadows most of us don’t want to see. It is conjunct Chiron and this speaks to a wound surrounding intimacy. We could trace it back to his childhood: How his curiosity about taboo subjects and intimacy was received by his parents when he was young hurt him, and it contributed to his explorations of sexuality as he grew (Chiron always manifests as a wound in childhood). The true Black Moon Lilith is also conjunct the Midheaven from the 9th, which can bring a harsh energy out into public form. And then finally he had Eris in the 1st house.
We are not yet all working with Eris. It moves very slowly so there are some people who will tell you it can’t matter that much. I’ve been spending time with Eris the last couple of months and I feel strongly that it does matter, especially in a position such as the 1st house.
Eris is the energy of disruption. When we bring Eris with us we push other people’s buttons and light fires under them. We challenge them to see and deal with their insecurities. Ultimately it can be a wonderful gift to bring around with us (stay tuned for the book Living Myth II, still in process, which contains a chapter on how we live Eris’ story in our own lives) because we inspire others to grow in whatever way they need to – by stirring them to confront their fears. Yet being the one who disrupts things can in some circumstances lead us to feel we need to quiet down. De Sade was just the opposite. He loved watching others squirm. I would argue that he embodied a healthy version of Eris energy because he was not apologetic about the fact that his natural way of being pushed other people’s buttons. But more on Eris later!
If this style of karmic chart analysis speaks to you, check out my new book The Soul’s Journey I: Astrology, Reincarnation, and Karma with a Medium and Channel, available here. In it I teach this method of analysis (SN, its ruler, and Pluto as telling of the soul’s conditioning in its many lives) and walk you through two dozen examples to bring it to life.
Tom Jacobs is an evolutionary astrologer, medium, channel, and author. His books include Living Myth: Exploring Archetypal Journeys, Seeing Through Spiritual Eyes: A Memoir of Intuitive Awakening, and The Soul’s Journey I: Astrology, Reincarnation, and Karma with a Medium and Channel. All are available here, and you can read more about his work and book a consultation at his site.