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Nikola Tesla: Remembering the Forgotten Genius of Electricity
Written & published: February & March 2007 respectively
Nikola Tesla was born during a thunderstorm in the middle of the night, prompting the midwife to remark that the baby must be a child of the storm. She couldn't have been more right. Often referred to as the forgotten father of technology, the forgotten genius of electricity, and master of lightning, Tesla invented and paved the way for the modern electrical world.
Whilst many people think that all our modern electrical conveniences were made possible by well-known people like Thomas Edison or Guglielmo Marconi, Nikola Tesla is actually the person we have to thank. He invented AC power, fluorescent light, the bladeless turbine, the precursor to radar, the hydroelectric generator, the rotary engine, and much more besides. He has been called 'the God of Lightning' because of his daring experiments with human-made thunderbolts.
A millionnaire at the age of 40, Tesla gave away almost all of his royalties on future inventions and would have been the world's first billionnaire if it weren't for his wider vision and humanity. He is regarded as a bad role model financially, however this could well be a mistake of our narrow perception. We live in a materialistic society that is organised around competing for scarce resources, whereas Tesla saw the obvious: nature is abundant and there is ample for all. He simply didn't fit into the prevailing limited economic model of our time.
Tesla's birth chart
Here is Nikola Tesla's birth chart, showing Uranus on his Ascendant, in Taurus, symbolising the electrical power of the Earth and the free-ranging character of nature's abundant resources that Tesla foresaw needed to be used for the ethical betterment of humankind:
Uranus, the future, and the truth
Speaking his chart, Tesla said this about invention (Uranus):
"It is the most important product (Taurus) of man's creative brain (Uranus). The ultimate purpose is the complete master of mind (Uranus) over the material world (Taurus), the harnessing of human nature to human needs."
Uranus symbolises a futuristic orientation towards life, and placed on the Ascendant means that this was Nikola's characteristic outlook on the world. Expressing this, he said:
"The present is theirs; the future, for which I really work, is mine."
"The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up. His work is like that of a planter (Taurus) - for the future (Uranus). His duty is to lay foundation of those who are to come and point the way."
And again speaking his chart, this time giving voice to Uranus' association with truthhood:
"Let the future tell the truth."
A further expression of Taurus - associated with matter and the material world in general - is this quote, which perfectly exemplifies his Uranus placement on the Taurean Ascendant, which is the interface between the inside world and the outside:
"Even matter called inorganic, believed to be dead, responds to irritants and gives unmistakable evidence of a living principle within. Everything that exists, organic or inorganic, animated or inert, is susceptible to stimulus from the outside."Tesla's work was designed to connect people, to transmit communication or energy, to transport, to 'network' as we call it today, to overcome distance and geography. Again, this is all traceable back to his Uranus in Taurus (Uranus is freedom from, interconnectedness, Taurus is geography - Uranus is the first planet, moving outwards from the Sun, that is beyond Saturn, representing the known limits, and so represents the desire to move beyond the accepted limitations of human experience to date). But of course it goes deeper than that, astrologically.
How his mind worked
Nikola's chart has four planets in his 3rd house, which is the house of the mind and the desire to connect. Mercury and Saturn combine to reflect a serious application of attention, required for long periods of study and enduring concentration, and the close Sun-Venus conjunction shows a great potential for artistry and creativity in this area. But we need to look at midpoints to see a fuller picture.
We have already discussed Uranus on the Ascendant. In Tesla's chart Uranus is at a 45 degree angle to Jupiter, thus linking the two planets associated with thunder, lightning, earthquakes and vibrations - all Nikola Tesla's areas of interest and expertise. Uranus and the Ascendant lie at the halfway point between Mercury (the desire to connect, transmit, communicate) and Jupiter (the desire to disseminate, travel great distances, roam far and wide).
Nikola wrote in his autobiography about how his mind worked. He tells us that he would see flashes of light (Uranus) that interfered with his physical vision, and when he heard a word spoken (Mercury) he would see the object so clearly (Uranus) that he had trouble distinguishing between the imagined object and the real object. This is partly due to his intensely focused and highly developed Uranian nature, and partly due to the midpoints that his Uranus is involved with that signify tremendous visionary and audio-visual potential. These are Tesla's Uranus midpoints:
In a similar way to Einstein, Tesla used his creative imagination to help him solve real-world problems that eluded plain logical reasoning. His inner world was as intensely real to him as the outer world, if not moreso. Thus he had an 'other worldly' quality that others commented upon.
We can see these midpoints in the following statements by Nikola about his life's work:
"The greatest good will come from the technical improvements (Uranus) tending to unification (Venus, Neptune) and harmony (Venus, Neptune)."
"Only through annihilation of distance (Uranus on Mercury/Jupiter midpoint) in every respect, as the conveyance of intelligence (Mercury, Uranus), transport of passengers (Mercury, Jupiter) and supplies and transmission (Mercury, Uranus) of energy will conditions be brought about some day, insuring permanency of friendly relations (Uranus). What we now want is closer contact (Mercury) and better understanding (Mercury, Jupiter, Uranus) between individuals (Mercury) and communities (Jupiter, Uranus) all over the earth, and the elimination of egoism (Sun) and pride (Sun) which is always prone to plunge the world into primeval barbarism and strife... Peace (Venus, Neptune) can only come as a natural consequence of universal enlightenment (Uranus)."
Location, location, location
We can map the birth chart onto the Earth's surface. This technique is usually called AstroCartoGraphy, or AstroMapping, or AstroGeography. It is part of the astrology of place, and it shows where certain planets in the sky come down to Earth for us. It relies, however, on a very accurate birthtime, we will have to bear this in mind when we look at Nikola Tesla's astromaps.
This first map shows Niagara Falls, a pivotal location in Tesla's life. When he was a schoolboy, Nikola saw a photo of Niagara Falls and reputedly said "Someday, I'll harness that power"... and he did.
His astromap shows a Uranus (electricity, engineering, inventions, technology) novile to his Ascendant axis just 13 miles away, a Neptune (the power of water) novile to his MC axis 11 miles away, a trine from Pluto (power) to his Ascendant axis just under 70 miles away, and his Jupiter/Uranus midpoint (symbolising his creative genius) aligned with his MC axis just over 60 miles away. The 'orb' for a location is around 100 miles, so these are all within play.
Buffalo, just to the south of Niagara Falls, was the first town to be electrified by this power plant. Appropriately enough, it is just 3 miles from Tesla's Uranus novile Ascendant.
Building this AC hydro-electric power plant (hydro = Neptune, electric = Uranus, power = Pluto) is hailed as starting the electrification of the USA, and of the world. It was the decisive demonstration that AC, rather than Thomas Edison's DC, was the effective way to carry electricity across distance.
This next diagram shows Nikola's transits on 16th November 1896 when when the Niagara Falls plant sent its first electricity to Buffalo. Transiting Uranus making a novile to his Ascendant is just 15 miles away. The other line you can see on the diagram is the transiting Sun also making a novile to his Ascendant, just 3 miles away from Buffalo.
Not shown on the picture are the transiting Jupiter and Uranus septile lines, symbolising inspired engineering knowledge, both to Tesla's MC axis and both within 100 miles of Buffalo and Niagara Falls.
The next map - below - shows Colorado Springs. This is where Nikola carried out his lightning experiments. Uranus (lightning, electricity, the sky) in septile (inspiration) aspect to the MC (goals, aspirations, career, the peak of achievement) runs within around 6 miles from this location, and Uranus in novile to Tesla's Ascendant is around 2 miles from here (the yellow line closest to the black dot representing Colorado Springs).
Within 100 miles, and also visible in this map, are Pluto novile his Ascendant showing his working with power and transformative ideas here, and his Ascendant on his Saturn/Uranus midpoint symbolising the earthing of Promethean visions and shattering the then known limits of electrical power.
In New York City (not shown) where Tesla lived and worked for almost 60 years of his life, he had Pluto linked with his MC-IC axis running within about 5 miles of the centre, indicating an intensely powerful location for him to reside and work in. Interestingly, Nikola caused pandemonium here with an 'earthquake' using a little device that, he said, "you could put in your overcoat pocket". Uranus novile his MC axis is less than 70 miles away, and Mercury is less than 10 miles distant, forming a conjunction with his Descendant, showing contacts with the media and a place to stimulate one's mind and the minds of others.
Tesla's star parans
Nikola Tesla's star parans are very interesting. Parans are like aspects, but instead of linking a planet with another planet, they link a planet with a star. There is space to review just a few of them here.
Tesla was born at a time and place that was in the period of the star Ras Alhague, which is part of the Ophiuchus constellation. The symbolism of this translates into a person whose vocation and motivation is to seek knowledge that helps and heals people, whether individually or as communities and societies.
With the Moon in paran with the star Alnilam - shown in this diagram of Orion - Nikola was a person who could problem-solve the everyday challenges humans face. This paran has the theme of laying a new foundation of knowledge by improving on what is already established and known about, broadening its horizons, in an area that has relevance to ordinary people and daily life. It links the capacity to imagine and to nurture with the desire to find new ways and methods.
Tesla had both Mercury and Saturn in paran with Arcturus - shown in the sky map below, it is part of the constellation Bootes - and these combinations relate to innovativeness in engineering and having capabilities that set new standards. The Saturn-Arcturus paran focuses a 'go your own way' style to his career, and the Mercury paran indicates the breaking of new ground intellectually.
Conclusion - his future is our present
Tesla's inventions are used today and we are dependent on them, but his vision and message seems to be more urgently needed now than ever before:
"No matter what we attempt to do, no matter to what fields we turn our efforts, we are dependent on power. We have to evolve means of obtaining energy from stores which are forever inexhaustible, to perfect (Uranus) methods which do not imply consumption (Taurus) and waste of any material (Taurus) whatever (Uranus in Taurus symbolises freedom from consumption and waste). If we use fuel to get our power, we are living on our capital (Taurus) and exhausting it rapidly. This method is barbarous and wantonly wasteful and will have to be stopped in the interest of coming generations."
What to him was the future is to us the present. We are the 'coming generations' and we are the people who must stop using fuel to get power.
Tesla's vision was not just technological, it was humanitarian, and it was beyond the idea that nature's resources should be plundered then sold at a scarcity in order to make an elite few resource-controllers rich. Tesla would not have been Tesla if he had been good at business; he was beyond the 'scarcity mentality' that is the foundation of our modern economic system. He could see a way to organise provision based on freedom and equality for all (the best of Uranus), rather than profiteering, control, and greed (the worst of Taurus).
Today, we need more people who, like him, are dedicated to making his vision real, not in the future, but now.
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