During a Uranus to Sun/Mercury transit I came across the exceptionally well researched and acclaimed biography written by:
Jon Lee Anderson , Che Guevara : A Revolutionary Life, Grove Press, 1997.
I read the book fervently after researching Ernesto Guevara’s birth data for the mystery chart. Numerous internet searches gave two different dates, one 14th June 1928 at 3:05am, the other 14th May 1928 also at 3:05am (which was also the same through a friend with astrodatabank). The story of his confusing birthdate is all revealed in the book.
The biography starts with the words, “ The horoscope was confounding” and continues to reveal the story behind the true date of Ernesto Guevara’s birth. We find out that Che Guevara was indeed born on 14th May 1928 in Rosario, Argentina. It continues that his mother “confided a secret she had guarded for over three decades, that her famous son had actually been born one month earlier on May 14th. He was no Gemini but a headstrong Taurus”. She said “if her son had not become famous she would never have needed to reveal the deception. The deception had been necessary because she was three months pregnant on the day she married Che’s father, and a doctor friend falsified the baby’s certificate moving it forward one month to help shield them from scandal.”page 1. Ernesto’s parents were both from well known and respected, Catholic families of Buenos Aires, large land and plantation owners, who found it necessary to keep away from the prying eyes and ears of Buenos Aires at the time, also saying that their son was born 2 months prematurely.
His mother accounts to him being born at dawn, on May 14th , but no time is given. Finding the time for dawn in Rosario Argentina was first on my agenda. Sunrise in Rosario is at that time of year is 7:40am and dawn is within the half hour before that. In the chart above, I have chosen 7:15 am to be the chart I use for this exercise and the chart that was given to the group to unravel the mystery. Che’s exact birth time however could be somewhat different, I would say no more that ten minutes earlier or later, but then again what is dawn in a mother’s eyes while giving birth,is another mystery. Regardless, a few factors whilst setting a time for the birth needed to stay in place, Saturn in the 8th and Venus near the ascendant, but in the 12th house, and Neptune conjunct the IC(using placidus houses).The Pisces Moon in the tenth house, the mother’s secret, square Saturn in the 8th, the parent’s marriage, squaring the nodes , the individual’s karmic life directions, Neptune on the IC, not knowing, and the 12th house Venus, Chiron and Jupiter, together all paint the story of the cover up, his birth myth and how it symbolically shaped the man he was to become, and the excerpt below infuses the astrology further:
“If their child had not grown up to be the famous revolutionary Che, his parents’ secret might have gone with them to their graves. A rare public figure of modern times whose birth and death certificates are both falsified. Yet it seems uniquely fitting that Guevara, who spent most of his adult life engaged in clandestine activities and who died as a result of a secret conspiracy, should have also begun his life in subterfuge.” page 4.
Throughout the biography we find out a few times, that Che celebrated his birthday on the 14th of June, but it is not revealed whether he ever discovered his true birthdate, but would be interesting to find out.
The rising of the planet Venus, the ruler of the chart and Sun sign, was perhaps the most important placement to consider in this chart. It was important to have Venus rising and close to the ascendant, not in the 1st house but in the 12th. Venus in the first would make the birth time too early and before dawn, and making the birth time later moves Venus further away from the ascendant. Venus needed to be closely aligned to the ascendant but in the 12th, as I continued to read this biography.
Che, more than anything, was driven by a strong need and desire to help the impoverished and underprivileged in society, spending his life devoted to the cause.. Venus in the 12th but rising, coupled with his Pisces Moon and Mars, shows us a man driven to extreme lengths of self sacrifice to help others in his ongoing fight against imperialistic regimes. Venus in the first would indicate a person more self involved and concerned with their own needs. Taurus energy is like that of a Bull, following a particular path, not concerned with peripheral distractions, or getting there in a roundabout way, totally determined to go straight for the red flag. His Sun in the first house and Venus rising, reflects his determination, as well as his often talked and written about, charisma and charm. Anyone that met Che spoke of an instant liking for the man. He was never concerned about how he looked , how he dressed or what he wore, often wearing the same clothes for days on end without washing, even when not in the jungles with the guerrillas. The rawness of this Taurus personality comes out strong throughout the story, his smile and laughter and calm seriousness adding to his uniqueness and unforgettable presence.(Ps – yes I do know he was a brutal murderer having killed many people)
The most incredible likeness to Venus rising is of course that he wore the five pointed star on his forehead. Rarely seen without his guerrilla garb, boots and beret, with the representation of Venus, his star placed firmly on his forehead. It’s as if he wore his astrology chart on his head, Venus rising on his beret! The five pointed metal star he wore was the symbol of his socialist mission, he didn’t wear the Red Star of the communists, nor the Gold star of the military, his socialist cause stemmed from Marxist ideals and his vision was different to that of the communist movements around the world at the time.
His nickname Che, comes from the time he first met Fidel Castro and other Cuban revolutionaries during the mid 50’s in Guatemala and Mexico, when they were all planning the emancipation of Cuba from Battista. “Che” refers to the Argentine way of saying “Hey You” , and stuck with him for the rest of his life, reflecting a no fuss attitude of who he was. It was much more important to him, what he could do. A doctor, a comrade, a respected commander of the Cuban guerrilla forces, the hero of the Cuban revolution, Che was also appointed as chief prosecutor , commander of agrarian reform , the production of sugar and the head of the National Bank of Castro’s Cuba. A career path that reflects all the fixed angles in his chart and angle rulers, the Midheaven, Ascendant, descendant and IC. Fidel Castro writes on the competence, diplomacy and patience of the man, often referred to as Castro’s brain,
“ When grenades were needed, Che set up a factory to make them. When bread was wanted, Che set up ovens to bake it. When new recruits needed to learn tactics and discipline, Che taught them. When a school was needed to teach peasants to read and write, Che organized it.” Castro’s Brain, 1960.
Venus conjuncts Chiron, and the Guevara story deepens. Chiron tells us the story of his weak lungs, his difficulties with breathing , the suffering from asthma all his life and his need to become a medical doctor. He was born with asthma and as a baby and young man, his family kept moving and uprooting the family home, to see if a new location and atmosphere would help alleviate Ernesto’s asthma. He suffered incredibly long bouts of illness at home in bed, missing school for months on end trying to breathe, constantly vomiting and feverish. As a young engineering student , WHEN his much loved grandmother died, he decided to change career paths and study medicine. He wanted to help alleviate human suffering and particularly to help those that suffered the same condition as himself. He wrote years later of having a dream that motivated his decision,
“ I dreamed of becoming a famous investigator………of working indefatigably to find something that could be definitively placed at the disposition of humanity “ page 42. Certainly fitting to what he was to become .
Later, in the guerrilla camps, he continued to be subjected to great weakness due to his asthma, nearly dying many times. He took up smoking cigars in Cuba , saying it helped his asthma. As Guevara was an avid diary keeper, the biography continually references his own writing and we gain great insights into the man, his mind and his thinking. When suffering asthma attacks during his guerrilla missions, he writes numerous times how he comes to understand the necessity of his illness. He opens up to us astrologers his personal connection to the meaning of his Venus Chiron, with Venus being ruler of his house of health the 6th in Libra. He sees his illness as something he knows he needed to have, he saw his asthma attacks as his time out, his time to reflect, hold back and not move for a while. Sometimes crucial to the movement of the Guerrillas which he commandeered. He saw this timing as a time to plan before commanding the next move, and often wrote that if it wasn’t for his debilitating asthma he would be completely unstoppable and dangerous.
His Pisces Moon, 12th house planets and their connections, also his Neptune on the IC in trine with Jupiter in Aries in the 12th, sharing fire with Saturn and squaring the Sun all indicate his illness , his drive for self sacrifice for the greater good, his peripatetic home life, his non patriotic association with one particular country, his never returning back home to Argentina and his universal socialist cause. The astrology and his story fit so well that we have a great sense that his ultimate mission was definitely fated and not his own. When his father asks Che what he planned to do with his medical career, when visiting him in Cuba after the revolution, Che replies,
“I deserted it a long time ago. Now I am a fighter who is working in the consolidation of a government. What will become of me? I don’t know, I don’t even know in which land I will leave my bones.” Page 390
His missions were too great. He was a world leader in the revolutionary socialist cause and became a wanted, but respected man , spending the last few years of his life in hiding and disguise. He knew that he was creating history as he went, but perhaps never knew how far his legend and his image would be circulated, plagiarized and revered as the ultimate symbol of the revolutionary. We see this astrologically through his, Uranus (modern ruler of the MC) in Aries in the 11th house, trine south node and sextile the North node and Mercury.
When we talk about the image of Guevara, a living legend, an archetypal figure , we are all reminded of a specific photo , sometimes referred to as the most famous photo of all time, Guerrillero Heroico, the image above. This image has been copied countless times by artists around the globe in various forms, designs and colours and has become the ultimate image of the revolutionary archetype. This iconic photo was captured on the 5th March 1960, in Havana, Cuba by photographer Alberto Korda, no time available . Taken at a memorial service for fallen comrades of the La Coubre explosion which had happened the day before, the photo however was never published internationally until 1967, the year of Che’s execution. Korda **has stated that he was drawn to Guevara’s facial expression at the time, which was one of “absolute implacability ……..anger and pain……… with that great sadness in his eyes”. Korda said the photo encapsulated Che’s “character, firmness, stoicism, and resoluteness”.***
The astrological line up in the sky for that day was, Uranus was exactly opposite Venus in the sky, Venus at 17 Aquarius and Uranus 17 Leo, both squaring Guevara’s ascendant and exactly squaring his progressed Moon at 17 Taurus.
Inner wheel – Che Guevara, 14th May 1928, Rosario, Argentina,7:15am
Middle wheel – Progressions to Guevara’s’ chart, 5th March 1960
Outer wheel – Transits , 5th March 1960, 12:00pm Havana Cuba
Other transits on the day:
Transiting Venus and Uranus sextile and trine natal Saturn
Transiting Mars squares natal Venus and trines NN,
Transiting Mars squares Transiting Neptune
Transiting Sun conjunct natal Moon, trine natal Pluto, sextiles ascendant.
Transiting Mercury retrograde conjunct transiting South Node sextile natal Sun
Transiting Neptune opposites natal Venus and Chiron, trine natal Moon,
Transiting Chiron op natal Neptune.
And more: The transits and progressions line up to encapsulate the power that would be held in the photo, birthed with a Uranus in Leo and a Venus in Aquarius timing, with transiting Neptune in the Guevara’s 6th opposite Venus and Chiron in the 12th house, triggering off the connection it would make throughout the collective and people around the globe for decades to come.
Reading the biography with the chart, making the correlations of his life and times to his astrology was constantly fascinating. Luckily there are many dates in this book and even a death time that make reading the biography even more intriguing and revealing. If only every biography came with a birth chart. For those interested in great biographies that can be followed with an astrological chart, I can highly recommend this book and this chart. As there is so much to write about I will continue with : Part Two, of the Che Guevara astrological story, as I look into his missions, successes and failures , and his death. Our symbolic language, astrology, helps us further connect to his life, his personality, his drive, the times he lived in and the people he was connected to.
As the Guevara image continues to resonate throughout the world, during these uncertain times, careering towards 2012, in a world transforming and shedding it’s old skin, we can perhaps take some insights from Guevara and his dire need to fight for more equal societies
(sans the guns of course), now we can perhaps get there through our intentions, conscious awareness and a better understanding of conscious global evolution.