Spiritual Company Newsletter
By Steffan Vanel • Astrologer • Tarot Reader
The Astrological Karma of the USA
Charles & Diana: The Inside Story: An Astrological-Karmic View
Now on YouTube:
The Astrological Karma of the USA and The New Presidency
Bridging Heaven & Earth Show #238
The Enigma of Hugo Chavez
Sometimes I find that trying to enter into any effort to intelligently assess the political/economic realities of the world just too daunting of an enterprise. And I feel that anyone who makes a claim at being successful at doing so deserves valid criticism from another perspective.
It makes one want to hang out in non-committal detachment espousing assessments like the bumper sticker which says: “Under the Republicans Man Exploits Man. Under the Democrats It’s Just the Opposite.”
During my years of living in Europe, however, I did find greater comfort and a willingness to engage in the political formulas stating a desire for an integration of ‘socialism with a brain, combined with capitalism with a heart.’
Some of the successes of the Scandinavian countries are often cited for accomplishing a degree of balance along these lines.
Whereas we have seen many societies exhibiting socialism without much of a brain and capitalism one could definitely describe as heartless
When I read the entry on Wikipedia about Hugo Chavez I am struck by the amazing continual swordplay of argument and counter-argument, both seemingly valid, in relation to the actions, policies and behavior of this man.
When I was in South America I met intelligent, educated Venezuelans who were strong supporters of Chavez and sympathetic to what he was trying to accomplish. I have never, however, met any of this type of Venezuelans here in this country where strident resentment of Chavez is the rule.
In this article I simply want to point out some of the facts I discovered, but more essentially I want to use the Astrological factors in his birth chart to provide a unique, more objective view of this man.
First of all, in the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that during the time of War in Iraq I was enchanted by anyone who could thumb their nose at George W. Bush. I also have some knowledge of the abuses of American Capitalist involvements in South America such as this little vignette I placed in my book: The Astrological Karma of the USA:
For example the ‘free’ market zealots in these organizations and multi-national corporations consider even the water people drink to be a resource that should be exploited through private ownership. An American corporation persuaded the Bolivian government to allow them to privatize that nation’s water supplies. Water is often scarce there due to the high and dry mountainous terrain. The price of water soared by 50%, threatening the economic survival and health of many subsistence farmers and their families. As the profits rose ever higher, the insatiable corporation then pressured the Bolivian government to prohibit any person from collecting rainwater because it would be ‘unfair competition.’
These observations have pre-disposed me to be sympathetic to anyone who could ‘rock the boat’ of Western Capitalist political/economic hegemony.
That being said, I also feel that Chavez definitely seemed to have engaged in some ‘brainless’ socialism and a very mixed record on human rights and abuses of power. However upon reading the Wikipedia account of him I would definitely place emphasis on the word ‘mixed.’
For example there is this account from early in his life:
He was sent to take command of the remote barracks at Elorza in Apure State,  where he got involved in the local community by organizing social events, and contacted the local indigenous tribal peoples, the Cuiva and Yaruro. Although they were distrustful due to their mistreatment at the hands of the Venezuelan army in previous decades, Chávez gained their trust by joining the expeditions of an anthropologist to meet with them. His experiences with them would later lead him to introduce laws protecting the rights of indigenous tribal peoples when he gained power many years later. 
I don’t think that Hugo Chavez courted the trust of these indigenous people when he was in the army just because he was thinking of future votes. I think he was a man who really cared.
As far as who he really was...well for that we have to forget all the debates and opinions and take a look at his Astrology Chart
We know that he was a Leo, which is pretty recognizable. Interestingly his Sun in Leo is three degrees away from the Leo Ascendant of his nemesis, George W. Bush. This is what Hilarion* says about a Leo Sun and a Leo Ascendant:
The Leo individual is one who, in a past incarnation, showed the trait of leadership and guidance for those who without such help would have perished. From this action comes another gift: in this case, a tap into a spiritual source of initiative and leadership qualities which is always available to the soul, and can be manifested in the personality, filters permitting. But the task which comes with the gift is to express the guidance and leadership without allowing the self to assume too great an importance. These energies are easily misdirected into aggrandizement and pride of self, and constant effort is called for by the Leo personality to avoid these negative traits. The best way to keep the pride and self-centered tendencies from manifesting is to cultivate kindness and consideration for others. But even the kind ones can become enmeshed in a habitual tendency to view life as a kind of play in which they are the principal actor around whom everything revolves. This tendency is again due to the abundance of the energy which is being tapped at the higher level, which comes down as a clear picture of the individual leading others, i.e. at the head of, or in some way above the mass of those who are being led. The best way to deal with the Leo energy is to find an outlet where others are being served at the same time as they are being led or directed. This is why a teaching role is one of the best ways to manifest the Leo nature.
When the sign Leo rises, there will be a tendency for the self-picture to be colored by the notions of elegance, specialness and superiority. A proudness will often be felt internally, even though it usually does not manifest. The reason for giving this Ascendant to an individual is to prompt him to think better of himself than he is in the habit of doing when in incarnation. The rulership by the Sun thus lends to the individual certain bolstering influences in terms of how he sees himself, which are intended to teach him not to underestimate his own worth and not to feel inferior to others. In view of this explanation, it will be understood that those with Leo rising will often find that they are torn between thinking little and thinking a lot of themselves. Through the experience of this inner battle, it is hoped that they will ultimately learn that each person is complete and worthy in his own right, and that none are either superior or inferior.
I would suspect that the proud self-involved arrogance of Chavez, the true Leo, was pretty irritating/unsettling to George W. Bush who only thinks he’s a Leo.
Now for Chavez’ Ascendant we have to deal with his mother’s memory of a 3 to 5 am range for his birth time. This would go from a late Gemini Rising to a Cancer Rising. I’m convinced of the Cancer rising. Chavez was definitely talkative and critical and therefore Gemini-like, but I think that round-moon face of his and his ability to at least ‘see’ himself as caring and nurturing combined with the Leo leadership capabilities really fits his modus operandi.
With Gemini rising I think he would have been a bit more intelligent, more intellectually ‘edgy’ and not so clownish. He would be more like another Gemini rising we all know: Mitt Romney. Chavez’ Mercury in the First house, however, made him think he was more intelligent than he was, as Hilarion says:
When Mercury is located in this sector of the chart, it is an indication that the view of the self is strongly colored by the notion of mental prowess. The person who has Mercury in the first.... almost invariably has an inflated picture of his own mental abilities. The great lesson for such a person to learn is to see himself in true perspective, and especially to perceive that although he may indeed be more clever than many others, his mental qualities do not match his inflated picture of them.
Along with the Cancer rising comes an Aries Midheaven, the way he would present himself to the world, which Hilarion describes in this manner:
Aries This sign on the M.C. will show a tendency to appear to others as headstrong, willful and dynamic, whether the internal self-image corresponds or not.
This also seems to fit his behavior.
The dominant, eye-catching configuration in his chart, however, is the five planets and South Node in the First House of self-image of oneself. Some of these placements ‘pump-up’ or exaggerate the power of the Self-image. Especially the first planet there, and therefore the strongest, Jupiter, of which Hilarion* says:
First House Jupiter in the first house points to a secure sense of the self. However, under heavy affliction this placement denotes an exaggeration of the self-picture or the sense of self-importance. In such cases, the individual will estrange others because of his puffed-up attitude toward himself. His lesson is of course to learn not to project vanity or pride or vainglory — or any other manifestation of an exaggerated self-image.
But he also as the Moon in the first house of which Hilarion* says:
The effect of the Moon in the first sector is literally to weaken the self-image, and this placement is often given to an individual who, in previous lives, had a strong and integrated sense of the self but who allowed the power of that strong personality to dominate and limit others. This is then the Karmic implication of Moon in the first – namely the requirement to suffer the feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness that always accompany a poor self-image, as a recompense for having put others through similar pangs in a previous incarnation.
The mixture of this configuration would indicate a complex individual with overweening confidence and continual insecurities at the same time.
Venus sextile to his Moon and a Neptune with two positive aspects in the Fourth House would indicate a lot of sincere love and affection from someone, somewhere in his childhood.
He also has Saturn in the Fourth House of childhood, square to his Sun, so a sense of Saturnian restriction, resentment of authorities/powers in control, and a limitation on his ability to really let his Leo light shine.
The childhood, Fourth House, Neptune has one difficult aspect as well, a square to Uranus. So sudden ruptures/changes creating a sense of victimhood. These combined positive and difficult childhood placements would resonate with this account from his biography:
Hugo was born the second of seven children, including their eldest,
Adán Chávez. The couple lived in poverty, leading them to send Hugo and Adán to live with their grandmother Rosa, whom Hugo later described as being "a pure human being... pure love, pure kindness." She was a devout Roman Catholic, and Hugo was an altar boy at a local church. Hugo described his childhood as "poor...very happy", and experienced "humility, poverty, pain, sometimes not having anything to eat", and "the injustices of this world."
At age 17 he went to study at the Military Academy in Caracas:
Living in Caracas, he saw more of the endemic poverty faced by working class Venezuelans, something that echoed the poverty he had experienced growing up, and he maintained that this experience only made him further committed to achieving social justice.
The positive aspects to his Neptune are part of a configuration, which I feel is the place where Hugo Chavez would have loved to remain and ‘hang-out.’ I think this configuration is a major part of what inspired him, motivated him, and if he didn’t have so many other complicating factors in his chart, he would have used this configuration to much greater benefit to his country and to the world.
Neptune in positive aspect is unconditional love, spirituality, compassion. Chavez has Neptune in positive aspect to his Mars in Sagittarius, which would combine that Neptunian compassion with an energetic (Mars) righteous enthusiasm (Sagittarius) in the Sixth House of which Hilarion* says:
A sixth house Mars is in many ways the best placement which the planet can have. Unless severely afflicted, Mars in this sector will energize the mind, and help clarify the organizational tendencies which the individual has.
This would enable Chavez to really organize and do something with that compassionate enthusiasm.
His Neptune is also in positive aspect to Pluto, and the Mars is trine, also harmonious, with Pluto. So Neptunian compassion with Martial enthusiastic engagement comfortable with Plutonian complete death/rebirth transformation.
The Pluto is in the Second House of money and finances and it is this realm that he was inspired to transform.
But the Neptune also relates to the fact that he was a religious man. As this entry states:
Chávez was a Catholic. He intended at one time to become a priest. He saw his socialist policies (Liberation Theology) as having roots in the teachings of Jesus Christ,  and he publicly used the slogan of "Christ is with the Revolution!" He had some disputes with both the Venezuelan Catholic clergy and Protestant groups like the New Tribes Mission.  Although he traditionally kept his own faith a private matter, Chávez over the course of his presidency became increasingly open to discussing his religious views, stating that both his faith and his version of Jesus' personal life and ideology had a profound impact on his Liberation Theology.
I would say, however that the squares in his chart were his big problems. The Sun/Saturn square creating resentment of any kind of outer authority over him, combined with the Leo Sun tendency to think the world revolved around him, didn’t make him a great diplomat.
And the Uranus/Neptune square? I think in early childhood Chavez was the Neptune victim of Uranian ruptures, such as being sent away by his parents to live with his grandmother.
I would say that later, Chavez moved into identification with the Uranian unconventional, independent, revolutionary liberator of others who were Neptunian victim/martyrs i.e. the poor Venezuelans in their (Fourth House) homes.
And yet, that frightened, Neptunian victim/martyr little Chavez boy never went away...
At the time of Hugo Chavez’ diagnosis with Cancer, Saturn was moving through his Fourth House, having already squared his Jupiter, his Moon, and his Mercury. In the months after the diagnosis it conjuncted the Neptune and squared his Uranus. He had to own his own Neptunian vulnerability, although reacting with some Neptunian delusionary fears of bizarre unconventional/Uranian plots against him in doing so.
I think this is what took him down in the end. I still honor him as a valiant, albeit at times pompous and delusionary, soldier in the fight against the complete corporatization of Planet Earth.
Again, I think that if he had a few less flaws, or was trying to save a country a little easier to manage than Venezuela, he would have accomplished much more and his legacy would not be so covered with the disdain that seem to be the ‘conventional wisdom.’
I leave you with these statements of his beliefs, which I personally, find sympathy with:
He propagated what he called "socialism for the 21st century", but according to Gregory Wilpert, "Chávez has not clearly defined twenty-first century socialism, other than to say that it is about establishing liberty, equality, social justice, and solidarity. He has also indicated that it is distinctly different from state socialism", as implemented by the governments of the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China.  As a part of his socialist ideas, he emphasized the role of so-called "participatory democracy", which he claimed increased democratic participation, and was implemented through the foundation of the Venezuelan Communal Councils and Bolivarian Circles which he cited as examples of grassroots and participatory democracy.
Democracy is impossible in a capitalist system. Capitalism is the realm of injustice and a tyranny of the richest against the poorest. Rousseau said, 'Between the powerful and the weak all freedom is oppressed. Only the rule of law sets you free.' That's why the only way to save the world is through socialism, a democratic socialism... [Democracy is not just turning up to vote every five or four years], it's much more than that, it's a way of life, it's giving power to the people... it is not the government of the rich over the people, which is what's happening in almost all the so-called democratic Western capitalist countries.
Hugo Chávez, June 2010
Following his own political ideology of Bolivarianism and "Socialism of the 21st century", he focused on implementing
Socialist reforms in the country as a part of a social project
known as the Bolivarian Revolution, which has seen the
Implementation of a new constitution, participatory
democratic councils, the nationalization of several key
industries, increased government funding of health care and
education, and significant reductions in poverty, according to
government figures. Under Chavez, Venezuelans’ quality
of life improved according to a UN Index and the poverty
rate fell from 48.6 percent in 2002 to 29.5 percent in 2011,
according to the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin
* Quotes are from Astrology Plus, channeled from the Ascended Master Hilarion and available as an EBook at this link: