In previous posts I proposed that Alexander the Great was born around 19-20 August 356 BC, based on historical evidence and astrological conjecture. Records suggest that he was born close to the time of the Olympics in mid- to late-August of 356 BC. Plutarch says he was born on the 6th day of Hekatombaion, which translates into the 6th day after the New Moon in one of the summer months (the month depending on how many intercalary months were inserted since the previous Olympics).
Upon examining the historical evidence I concluded that the 6th day of Hekatombaion most likely fell on Aug 19th or 20th of 356 BC, near the start of the Olympics that year. The New Moon occurred at 6:01 AM on 13 August 356 BC, so the first day of the month (sunset 13 Aug – sunset 14 Aug) would probably equate with 14 Aug 356 in our modern calendar because the Moon would have first been visible that day. Counting 14 Aug as the first day of the month, we find that 19 Aug (sunset Aug 18 – sunset Aug 19) was the 6th day of the month. If they started counting the days of the month at sunset Aug 14th, then he was born between sunset Aug 19th and sunset Aug 20th in the modern calendar. In any case, I am reasonably confident that Alexander was born between sunset on Aug 18th and sunset on Aug 20th.
Astrologically, I started by looking for stations of major planets because these often show up by secondary progression in the life of the native. The first major station after mid-August was that of Saturn, which turned stationary retrograde on September 9, 356 BC, about 20 days after a likely date for Alexander’s birth. Historically, Alexander’s father was murdered shortly after his 20th birthday, so the symbolism fits (especially if Alexander was born around August 19th).
Because the death of a parent is often indicated by an MC/Saturn conjunction or opposition by primary direction (Saturn already appeared implicated in his father’s death by secondary progression), I thought it was likely that Alexander was born with Saturn roughly 20 degrees (1 degree = 1 year) away from the MC-IC axis. With Saturn at about 21 Taurus on 19 August 356 BC, this argument produces four possible rough estimates for an MC: 1 Taurus, 11 Gemini, 1 Scorpio, or 11 Sagittarius. These correspond to the following approximate possible times of birth (which would need to be rectified by primary directions):
- Aug 19th: 4:27 AM (Leo ASC, Sun in 1st, Libra Moon, Saturn in 10th, Mars in 11th)
- Aug 19th: 7:07 AM (Virgo ASC, Sun in 12th, Scorpio Moon, Saturn in 9th, Mars in 10th)
- Aug 19th: 4:25 PM (Capricorn ASC, Sun in 8th, Scorpio Moon, Saturn in 4th, Mars in 6th)
- Aug 19th: 7:07 PM (Aquarius ASC, Sun in 6th, Scorpio Moon, Saturn in 3rd, Mars in 5th)
- Aug 20th: 4:23 AM (Leo ASC, Sun in 1st, Scorpio Moon, Saturn in 10th, Mars in 11th)
- Aug 20th: 7:03 AM (Virgo ASC, Scorpio Moon, Saturn in 9th, Mars in 10th)
- Aug 20th: 4:21 PM (Capricorn ASC, Sun in 8th, Scorpio Moon, Saturn in 4th, Mars in 6th)
Although I would prefer a Scorpio Moon, the configuration that seems to best fit Alexander occurs with a birth time of about 4:27 AM on 19 August 356 BC. This chart has the sun in Leo in the 1st, Saturn in the 10th (common in charts of ambitious people who rise to the top only to fall), and warlike Mars in the 11th of hopes and wishes. The Libra Moon would be consistent with the strategic mind of a great general. The date 19 August 356 BC is also the likely date of the 6th day of the month Hekatombaion.
The chart for 19 August 356 BC at about 4:27 AM is also consistent with a citation by a Byzantine astrologer of the 11th century, George Kamateros, who is quoted by Thomas Gazis as claiming that Alexander had the 2nd decan of Leo rising:
“Ο δεύτερος δεκανός (του Λέοντος) γεννήσει Αλεξάνδρου του κτίστου και Μακέδονος υπήρχεν ωροσκόπος”
“The second decan of Leo was the Ascendant of Alexander’s the Macedonian nativity”
I am encouraged by this quote because I came upon after after deriving the 4:27 AM time and then doing a google search to see if any other astrologers had come up with a similar chart. Some advantages of the 4:27 AM time are that the following astrological factors are in effect for this time of birth:
- Saturn makes a station by secondary progression when Alexander turns 20 years old. This correlates with the time of his father’s murder.
- Primary directed Saturn (Naibod measure, directions with and without latitude) crosses the MC in the period May-November, 336 BC. His father died in October of 336 BC. (Saturn’s station at age 20 following the primary directed MC crossing Saturn in the same time period is a powerful symbol for his father’s death.)
- For a birth time of 4:26:55 AM, primaries directions (as in previous bullet) have Jupiter opposite MC by primary direction from March through August of 323 BC. Alexander’s lover Hephaestion died in the spring of 323 BC. Alexander then became grief-stricken and died around June 11 of 323 BC. With a 4:26:55 AM birthtime, the Jupiter/MC opposition perfects by primary direction on that date. Jupiter rules Alexander’s 8th house of death and his 5th house of lovers.
- The 4:27 AM time also has, by primary direction, the MC crossing natal Pluto in Aries in the 9th around the spring of 344 BC, and Jupiter sextile the ASC during the spring and summer months. This is the period in which Alexander tamed the famous wild horse Bucephalus to the amazement of the kingdom. The symbolism seems apt.
- Interestingly, astrologer Thomas Gazis working independently came up with a rectified chart of 5 AM on 24 August 356 BC, which is quite similar to this one.
Here is the rectified chart for Alexander the Great based on the above reasoning:
In a previous post I noted that Alexander’s Sun and Mercury fell in the 3rd decan of Leo, which correspond to the Seven of Wands in the Golden Dawn system of tarot correspondences. In this rectified chart his ASC falls in the 2nd decan of Leo, corresponding to the Six of Wands, a card of victory in battle:
Bucephalus (βουκεφάλος) means “head of a cow or an ox.” Alexander’s horse must have had a big head.
An alternative rectified chart could be set for August 20th at 4:23:30 AM. This looks very similar to the above chart but the Moon has moved into Scorpio, a position I prefer because it so well describes his mother and his dogged determination to succeed no matter what the cost. The only problem with this August 20th rectified chart is that by secondary progression Saturn makes a station in December of 337 BC, ten months prior to his father’s murder. This is still within orb of a Saturn effect, however, so the August 20th chart is also a possibility.