• Nili Mendelsohn

How did she do it? The Chilling Chart of Hellen Keller

When you look at a birth-chart, there is so much information to take in and sometimes you just don’t know where to start. The symbols seem to be jumping out, as if competing with each other, crying: start with me! Start with me!

Julia child, courtesy of Wikipedia
Hellen Keller and Anne Sullivan, Courtesy of Widipedia

So, even though I want to talk about the fascinating shape of Hellen Keller’s chart, or her north node, or about the traumatic circumstances of her life, I need to follow a more systematic road and look, first of all, at Hellen Keller’s primal triad: Her Sun, Moon, and Ascendant.

If Sun is identity, Moon the soul, and Ascendant one’s personae, we can say that Hellen Keller had the identity of The Great Mother (Sun in Cancer), the soul of The Mystic (Moon in Pisces) and the personae of The Detective (AC in Scorpio).

Keller’s primal triad as all water: Cancer, Pisces and Scorpio, the three water signs of the Zodiac, indicating an imaginative, creative and sensitive person, even one with psychic abilities. Strikingly, the triad not only lies in the water signs but all three points are also in the water houses: Sun in the 8th, Moon in the 4th and AC in the 12th. I am not sure there are many charts like this.

But there is more; and it is uncanny. If the only thing you looked at in the chart was the placements of the planets, just taking in the shape, like a painting, without going into any interpretation of placements, planets or signs, you would immediately notice that the left-hand hemisphere of the chart is empty. From the from the IC and up to her MC, clockwise, there are no planets. No 'occupants' -- besides Uranus, peeping in, as it were, on the cusp of the 10th house, less than a degree into it. This vacancy is so poignantly indicative of Hellen Keller’s circumstances as she came into this world: blind, deaf and dumb, Keller cannot see the world nor present herself to it. The left-hand side is the ‘active’ part. It is about our personae, it is about building ourselves on the stage of the world, for everyone to see. No hiding here. It shows the way we dawn on people in our daily interactions. So Keller’s is, in this sense, 'absent'. She is on the other side of everything, locked away, hidden; it is difficult to reach her, nor can she reach others. No-one can grasp her inner world, which is likely stormy (Scorpio in the AC), deeply emotional, sensitive to the core, and highly creative. Can we imagine the frustration, the anger and the helplesness of being caught in circumstances where all that energy has no outlet?

When we turn our gaze to the right-hand hemisphere to unfold the story, the personality, of this woman was, I am stricken, again. The only sign which is empty on this busy left hemisphere, is Gemini: Gemini is empty. Gemini: the first word that comes to mind with Gemini is communication, and even if this is pop-astrology Gemini meaning, I don’t care! Gemini’s archetypes: The Teacher, the Storyteller, the Journalist. Gemini has to do with collecting data, new information and ideas. It needs verbal exchange and reaches insights through attentive listening, reading and conversing. But how can you tell your story if you cannot talk, how can you listen if you cannot hear, or read, if you cannot see? The only way for Hellen Keller to connect was through touch. The sign which has to do with the body, with the the physical, sensual world, is Taurus. And Taurus is where Keller’s DC lies; thi is the cusp of the 7th house of relationships; Keller’s connection to the world would come to her through the language of touch.

Let’s go back to the Uranus, up there on the cusp of the 10th house - the house of one’s Mission in Life. Any planet in the 10th house speaks of the unique mission which is, as I see it, a gift which the person must give to the world. In addition, the planet which is at the highest point in the chart signifies the stamp which this person leaves to the world; it tells us about how they are seen in the public eye. Keller’s mission has to do with the sign Virgo, and with the planet Uranus, conjunct her MC, almost to exactitude. In ironic fashion, Virgo is ruled by Mercury, planet of communication - The Messenger of the Gods. But Mercury also rules Gemini. The way I see it, Keller’s mission in life is to become Mercurial. It has to do with filling that empty place, symbolized by the lack of planets in Gemini by perfecting a craft for the betterment of humanity (Virgo - the servant, the apprentice). Back to that Uranus on Keller’s MC: Uranus is the higher octave of Mercury; it holds the potential of genius, innovation and originality. A distinctly unique Uranian mission was hers: to impact the world with her genius, her courage and her and profound mental capacities. We will soon look at the tools she was given to accomplish this great task.

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