Vitalik Buterin, for those who don’t already know, is the 23-year-old prodigy who at 17 was already a principal Bitcoin developer. He went on to father the Ethereum project, whose Ether coin is now Bitcoin’s main rival in the cryptocurrency world. But Ethereum is much more than a currency. In less than a year it has been the vehicle for the blossoming of blockchain start-ups capitalized in the tens of billions. For a growing movement of techies and investors blockchain technology is the game changer to break the chains that have enslaved humanity immemorially, and Buterin, especially in the absence of a figurehead for Bitcoin, is modestly assuming the persona of one of the planets most important people. Which is odd because, even at 23 he still seems quite child-like in some respects, with an almost extra-terrestrial detachment and patience in explanation.
First off, Vitalik Buterin is an Aquarius, which makes perfect sense, a futuristic visionary in the Zodiacal company of the originator of the modern scientific project Sir Francis Bacon, iconic time-traveller Jules Verne, scary nuclear futurist Herman Kahn, and both Ray Kurzweil and Michio Kaku, “probably the most prominent futurologists in the world today” (New Statesman). And let’s not forget Faith Popcorn. All Aquarians. Likewise brainy mystics like Douglas Hofstadter, Ken Wilbur, Eckhart Tolle, Fritjof Capra, Thomas Merton, Simone Weil and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Also angelic whitebeard sages like Swedenborg, Martin Buber, Alfred North Whitehead, and especially, Charles Darwin who turned our attention away from individual egos and towards the species, along with the two influential and also Aquarian 19th century population theorists, Thomas Malthus and Francis Galton.
The sign Aquarius represents revolution and decentralizing in the broadest sense. Geometrically in opposition to the high summer sign, sun-ruled Leo, the central autocrat and king of Beasts, Aquarius speaks for the circulating democracy of the planets and the Zodiac, and the fact that the Sun is itself only one star among many. Aquarius is the sign in which the solar personality, egocentric, authoritative and vital is subdued. Against the compelling strength of the beating heart and the majesty of the Sun Aquarius balances the voice of reason and mind, the highest human faculty, and the authority of utilitarian calculation. Jeremy Bentham, father of Utilitarianism, was an Aquarius.
The Aquarian principles of liberty, equality and fraternity gained currency only with the discovery of the planet Uranus, numerically pre-assigned to the rulership of Aquarius, which hove decisively into view in 1781, while Kant was writing his essay on Enlightenment. (Kant didn’t know it, but Uranus was exactly opposite the Sun at the time of his birth, making his own chart emblematic of his famous statement about “. . . the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.”) The first new planet to be discovered since the beginning of human knowledge, Uranus seemed a world-wide herald of the falling away of limits previously supposed to be eternal. It was likened to a torch that carried the revolutionary fire from America to France. (We now know further that the perverse planet uniquely rotates perpendicular to the plane of its orbit, and flaunts a set of rings like its neighbor Saturn.)
The image of Aquarius the Waterbearer itself refers to decentralization, the flow of rivers representing the entire atmospheric cycle of cloud, rain, river, ocean, cloud, the events of weather, thunder, lightning, even the rainbow. (Note that the Sun still plays a vital role energizing the system.) So the visionary Aquarian novelist James Joyce used the atmospheric cycle as a structural element in his telling of the dream of HCE (Here Comes Everybody), systematically punctuated with storms, thunder, lightning, rainbows, with the rhapsodic Anna Livia Plurabelle chapter in which the name of every river on earth is woven into the murmuring, chattering gossip of timeless washerwomen on the banks of the Liffey.
Hence Aquarius is an Air sign, not a Water sign (the common mistake). In astrology the four classical elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water are categories within which, for the sake of the game, phenomena are distributed. Under the rubric of Air various ideas about immateriality; prana, pneuma, wind, spirit, mind, atmosphere, breath, consciousness, reason, relations, number, language and communication come into play.
The placement in Buterin’s chart of all three inner planets, the Earth’s companions: Mercury, Venus, and Mars in the same sign as the Sun, is somewhat rare, suggesting a precocious concentration of interest and ability, the focused unification of the biological personality, in its mental (Mercury), affectional (Venus) and operational (Mars) inheritance, as the firm basis on which the later, external and social influences of the outer planets can build. And if Aquarius Sun has a basic weakness in eccentricity, to compensate the planet Mercury greatly benefits there (technically by ‘exaltation’).
The philosophical depth of the Aquarian principle cannot quickly be summarized, however enough has been said to shed some light on Buterin’s astrology with regard to his sunsign, for now. So much for the Sun. The Moon travels 13 degrees a day, so not knowing the time of birth often means one can’t be sure which 30 degree sign the Moon is in. In Buterin’s case the Moon moved out of Virgo and into Libra by 8AM.
Since Virgo is the sign associated with detail and process, data, statistics, code and algorithm, the grid, the weave, the precise inner works of things; and nothing else in the chart fosters these characteristics, I stick my neck out and say that Buterin was born before 8AM. Especially because of how important that Moon is in this chart; it’s the leading planet of a bowl formation (or the handle of a bucket formation, however you want to see it) and most probably a hemispheric singleton, two important emphases.
The prominence of the Moon in Virgo very much describes Buterin’s leading role in the revenge of the nerds scenario.
Virgo also is associated with decentralization by being adjacent to Leo; as the signs sinusoidaly reverse polarity, adjacent signs are also in a sense opposites. Virgos are the workers, not the Kings. Mercury as the planet of observation and data is also the ruling planet of Virgo, bringing Mercurius to a very high level indeed in this chart.
Exalted Mercury in Aquarius, itself one of the loveliest of all planetary positions, polished to a great shine in Buterin’s horoscope, is the seed of a further ‘genius’ configuration; a pair of close conjunctions, at exact right angles, of said Mercury and Saturn (the reality principle) vs Pluto (mass influence) and the Moon’s node (personal contacts). There’s more: the Saturn that is conjunct the exalted Aquarian Mercury has just moved into the intense first degree of the adjacent, deeply intuitive final sign Pisces. Here we are not surprised to find the subtlest mathematical imagination. This cluster of Saturn, Mercury, Pluto, Pisces and Aquarius is Einstein’s territory.
I would conjecture further that Buterin was born before 6 AM, because that will bring the 2nd and 8th houses into play. The 2nd house represents real, physical possessions and stores of value, such as metals, chattels, titles and lands, which might pertain exclusively to an individual, while in its opposite, the 8th house, reside all the social, interactive, non-physical forms of wealth and exchange: credit and debt, interest, trusts, insurance, obligations, investments, financial markets, instruments and derivative, probate, taxation etc. Without putting too much weight on a hypothetical birthtime I only point out how strikingly those two houses are entangled and enriched when the Sun, ruling Buterin’s 8th, is imagined at the cusp of the 2nd.
Not wishing to overstay my welcome in what I expect to be a hotbed of skeptics, I’ll just mention that if my morning chart were correct, Buterin would have Sagittarius rising, an appropriately forward-looking and illuminating sign, sign of the centaur, of Freeman Dyson and Nicholas Negroponte, the teacher and far-reacher, the 9th sign and allied with the 9th house, on whose cusp, if the early chart is correct, the restless Moon will be found, making the native one who might predominantly live out of a suitcase. And the two odd-ball outer planets, Neptune and Uranus will inhabit the 1st house, of physical appearance.
It’s worth looking further into the meaning of the planet Uranus. It’s discovery coincided with social revolutions, when the idea of overturning suddenly became widely credible. If the heavens were not simply, timelessly there, but offered new discoveries, then perhaps the divine rights of monarchs are equally breachable. Any peasant could understand that.
But Uranus is also quite specifically related to the idea of a modernity brought about by inspired technical ingenuity and theoretical insight. It is the planet of the thunderbolt illumination. The iconic Aquarian here is Thomas A. Edison (founder of General Electric, of public electrification, of the light-bulb, phonograph, movie camera, the first industrial research laboratory). Decades before the American Revolution the scientist/diplomat Ben Franklin (with Mercury in Aquarius opposite Uranus) was already world-famous for having tamed lightning with his kite experiment. He was a new tech lightning-rod entrepreneur with international distribution. He was in correspondence with Herschel about the discovery of Uranus.
(I can’t resist here digressing to the case of Roy Sullivan, Aquarian born with Mercury exactly conjunct Uranus at O degrees Aquarius, who was recognized by Guinness Book of World Records as “the Human Lightning Rod”. Having survived seven strikes, he died at the age of 71 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound over an unrequited love. The Aquarian novelist Muriel Spark was struck by lightning on the mouth. The Aquarian poet Elizabeth Bishop was struck on the foot. Thomas Merton electrocuted himself with a badly wired lamp during a monsoon.)
Our basic understanding of the behavior of Air, the atmosphere and gasses, derives from the experiments and theories of two Aquarian scientists, Robert Boyle and Daniel Bernoulli. An inventor born in February, Thomas Newcomen, created what he called the ‘atmospheric engine’ in 1712. Another Aquarian inventor of genius, James Watt, made (via a number of inspired improvements) of the ‘atmospheric engine’ the modern steam engine, leading to the development of railroads and the generation of electricity. Among his inventions, incorporated into the perfected steam engine, is that
emblem of factory industrialism, his patented “double-acting cylinder and flywheel in a sun-and-planet motion”. Another was the centrifugal governor, the principle of which, centrality distributed, led J. Willard Gibbs, again an Aquarian (and often regarded the greatest native-born American scientist) to the virtually complete theory of chemical thermodynamics resting on the ‘Gibbs phase rule’, which describes the equilibrium of heterogeneous systems.
So the Aquarian mind tracks the secret energy of cycles, flows, orbits, atmospheres. Not only was James Watt an Aquarian, but so were Georg Ohm, Andre-Marie Ampere, AND Alessandro Volta! the entire four-part structure of electrical current was discovered and named by Aquarian scientists. The graphic summary of Ohm’s laws looks much like a horoscope.
All these Aquarians have contributed to the understanding of electric current, in keeping with the Aquarians trope of circulation, and distribution. But even stranger, when you consider the development of our knowledge
specifically of magnetism, (the other half of the unified phenomenon of electro-magnetism), the principal culprits would have to include William Gilbert, Simeon Poisson, Auguste Coulomb, James Clerk Maxwell and Oliver Lodge: all Geminis. Which is OK because Gemini is also an Air sign and natives of the Twins natural identify with simple dualisms.
Before the discovery of Uranus we regarded Saturn as the ruler of Aquarius, as well as the ruler of the adjacent sign Capricorn, and for various good reasons we still regard Saturn as a co-ruler. Confronted near the Zodiac’s last gasp, at signs 10 and 11, the anomaly that the two planets with adjacent orbits are rulers of two adjacent signs cannot be without meaning. The slow-moving outer planets pace large-scale historical changes and generational effects. Surely Saturn, planet of wisdom, necessity and age, subsumes the idea of social economy built on money as store of value, underlying legacy institutions, while Uranus vibrates of money as pure, electrical currency, digital information.
A good deal of astrological predictive work involves the slow transits of the outer planets and the formation of their angular relations. When 120 degrees apart they are said to be in trine, and the principles they embody are acting harmoniously on earth. When the stately ships of Uranus and Saturn nodded briefly to each other at a 120 degree angle, beginning mid-May 2017 the market cap of cryptocurrency surged noticeably. An astrological hypothesis suggests itself, that cryptocurrency gains traction in the legacy marketplace when Saturn and Uranus are in harmonious aspect. Which they will be again around November 11. And again with greatest intensity in Aug/Sept 2018. But beware: in 2021 the two gas giants come into major conflict. (Both planets are almost entirely composed of material that would be gaseous at all temperatures on earth.)
[Aquarians mentioned: Sir Francis Bacon (1/22/1561), Jules Verne (2/8/1828), Herman Kahn (2/15/1922), Faith Popcorn (2/11/1947), Michio Kaku (1/24/1947) and Ray Kurzweil (2/12/1948), Douglas Hofstadter (2/15/1945), Ken Wilbur (1/31/1949), Eckhart Tolle (2/16/1948), Fritjof Capra (2/1/1939), Thomas Merton (1/31/1915), Simone Weil (2/3/1909) and Dietrich Bonhoeffer (2/4/1906). Emanuel Swedenborg (1/29/1688), Martin Buber (2/6/1878), Alfred North Whitehead (2/15/1861), Charles Darwin (2/12/1809), Thomas Malthus (2/13/1766) and Francis Galton (2/16/1822). Jeremy Bentham (2/15/1748), James Joyce (2/2/1882), Thomas A. Edison (2/11/1847), Robert Boyle (1/25/1627) and Daniel Bernoulli (2/8/1700). Thomas Newcomen (2/?/1664), James Watt (1/30/1736), Georg Ohm (2/16/1787), Andre-Marie Ampere (1/20/1775), and Alessandro Volta (2/18/1745), J. Willard Gibbs (2/11/1839).
[Gemini magnetists: William Gilbert (De Magnete; 5/24/1544), Charles-Augustin de Coulomb (6/14/1736), Simeon Poisson (6/21/1781), James Clerk Maxwell (6/13/1831) and Oliver Lodge (6/12/1851). Franz Friedrich Anton Mesmer (5/23/1734).]