Monday, December 19, 2011

The astrology of the Bone Wars

The Bone Wars started when two competitive paleontologists came across 'themselves' in the ‘Great Dinosaur Rush’ of 1877-1892. Episode 4 of O'Hanlons Heroes - a series of discoveries through the 19th Century – is about the competition between Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh. They collected numerous bones of dinosaurs and tried to be number one in the field. They ended without a penny, partly because of the ‘war’ between them. They had a lot in common. Same 'job', same attitude towards each other, same dirty method to discredit the other one. 
I want to show you how their charts looked at each other and how the synastry between the charts tells us that the heroes ‘deserved each other’. 

Edward Drinker Cope was born on July 28, 1840,  a Leo with a Leo Moon, Sun sesquisquare Uranus, most probably Mars rising before the Sun (and Moon) and Mars inconjunct Neptune.

Othniel Charles Marsh was born October 29, 1831, a Scorpio with a Leo Moon, Sun square Uranus, Mars rising before the Sun and Mars square Neptune, tightly.

From what they share (Leo Moon, Sun afflicted by Uranus, Mars afflicted by Neptune and Mars rising before the Sun) it is without doubt that they were active, competitive and in a way tending to negative ways to fight or compete. Both longed to be the star in their field. Both were outsiders with the will to be ‘different’ and a tendency to be controversial. Those rather arrogant macho men were competing each other in remote places, digging for bones. They were enemies, but not from the start. There is a Venus sextile Venus synastry that tells us about sympathy in the past. But:

- They have Sun square Sun. Such a synastry aspect raises the question:’ Who is the boss, who is the real star?’
- There are two inconjunctions between the charts. Mars of Edward Cope is inconjunct Jupiter of Othniel Marsh and sort of a vice versa: Pluto of Marsh is inconjunct Jupiter of Cope. Inconjunctions cause lack of balance. Mars-Jupiter and Jupiter-Pluto are combinations of success and progress. Inconjunctions however don’t match. If they had joined forces, could they have had the same extraordinary result and amount of bones? Perhaps it was the competition that contributed to the results.
- Saturn of Cope is square the Pholus of Marsh. Though many of their contemporaries shared this synastry aspect, we can conclude that it is not a favorable one. Marsh as the catalyst of the guilt and restrictions for Cope?
- I would not be surprised if both had Sun/Moon in aspect with Uranus. That would have motivated them to go on and on and on…

Here is the chart of the day of birth of Edward. The positions outside the circle (the 'transits) are the positions of the day of birth of Othniel.

Anyway, they were two of a kind (rather macho outsiders) and they were competing in the same field with not matching sun signs and apparently they stimulated each other in their competition. They made a great contribution to science that way. And their story is a contribution to astrology, too. Their charts confirm the characters and the competition. I particularly like this quote, that seems very Moon Leo to me:

"The patrician Edward may have considered Marsh not quite a gentleman. The academic Othniel probably regarded Cope as not quite a professional."

They didn’t match, they tried to ‘beat’ each other the hard way, but if they hadn’t met, there wouldn’t have been such a storyJ. Sometimes people meet in order to stimulate each other to do what they always wanted to. On Astromarkt ( you see this about sharing Mars-Neptune (I mean when both have an aspect between Mars and Neptune in the chart):

Mars-Neptune: Being without job, sharing drugs or alcohol or medications. Maybe they are working together in a health or non profit organization. Or having affairs...Sorry, this is an aspect that does not cheer up…

Apparently with this aspect you can also have ‘dirty’ competition…

About the program with Redmond O’Hanlon

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