The astrology of the biography

A brief look at the birth chart of the diplomat and poet Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda, the diplomat and poet

Carolina Sawney, Astrologer

La Tundra, Number 2, January 2012, London

The birth chart is a map of the person’s potentials. It’s components are the elements, planets, signs and houses that are interpreted as archetypes or fundamental principles that the person mediates creatively to manifest them in a practical way in its life, according to the perspective of archetypal astrology.

The poet, intellectual and politician

Water is the predominant element in Pablo Neruda’s birth chart, with six planets in Cancer in the eight house. This emphasis describes a poet that wrote fluidly and with great sensibility about the feelings inspired by the sense of belonging to a common past. Having the Sun, that symbolises the purpose in life, in the eighth house, the poet’s deepest motivation or his “destiny” was to include in his personal struggle the collective historical experience. This house represents the history of passions that move humans to fight for their survival and make history. In his epic poem General Song, Neruda’s purpose was to “reveal the deep process of historical change that Chile was gone through and its repercussions in men” to explore “America’s greatness and its historic destiny”. The emphasis in the eighth house, shows his interest for what’s authentic, true, that explains the poet’s combative personality, who explained that “the darkest facts of our people has to be brought to light”. The book was finished when the poet was being persecuted by the police after he lost the immunity as senator representing the mining zone. After thirteen months living in clandestinity, Neruda crossed the Andes mountain range on horseback through the south and flew from Argentina to Paris, where he was exiled until 1952. Pluto, the planet that governs the eight house, is associated to the principle of metamorphosis in nature and experiences that are irrevocably transformative, both personal and social, that contribute to develop the person’s own power, but that inevitably include sombre periods. Later, Neruda complained of what he called the mourning hero, reflecting on the melancholic tone of Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair and the painful pessimism of Residence on Earth, both written during his first period. He realized that he could’t build a better world with pessimism.

The positive and optimist diplomat

Turning up a notch Neruda said: “I like the positive hero, but be careful with separating the two halves of the apple, we must move between light and shadow”. It’s that paradoxically, the sign in his ascendant is Saggitarius, governed by Jupiter, name that in Greek means “daylight” and the return of good weather. In later poems, llike Ode to the Present, Neruda’s writing is full of optimism in the luminous future of human beings. The archetype of Jupiter represents the motivation to develop wisdom through experience and the expansion of horizons. Jupiter is in the sixth house, of work and daily life. This is Neruda the diplomat, that in his book I confessed I have lived narrates his daily discoveries in countries in the Far East. It was through this daily life stories that he found the meanings that would entwine with the deeper topics of the eight house. He wrote Ode to the Artichoke about the political economy of the vegetable before reaching the plate. It was through daily life that he wanted to make history.

Pablo Neruda's astrological birth chart


The planets

Sun: ☉; Moon: ☽; Mercury: ☿; Venus: ♀; Mars: ♂; Jupiter: ♃; Saturn: ♄; Uranus: ♅; Neptune: ♆; Pluto: ♇.

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