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AN ASTROLOGICAL STUDY and HEALTH REVIEW of Antarctic Explorer Robert F. Scott R.N.

Captain Robert Falcon Scott was born in Devonport, England Long. 04W10 Lat. 50N22 on June 6, 1868 birth time unknown- from Roland Huntford and other authors. I rectified his birth time to 8:39 am GMT based on life events and the recorded historical facts of his loss.

This astrological interpretation’s focus is on the stressed critical health indicators found in his natal horoscope based on Placidus house cusps.

Below is an image of Scott's natal horoscope.


Scott had a number of planets and aspects in his horoscope which represent conflicting ideas and a style of focus which later denied his cherished ambition of being first at the South Pole. As his proud Leo ascendant denotes Scott was a social success. North Node conjuncts *Regulus, the fixed star that bestows fame, honors, luck and royal protection. Significantly he was awarded benefits, medals, and the King’s patronage via his *Regulus at 29 degrees Leo. On the minus side, *Regulus seems present when one takes a great fall. Underneath the outward governmental approval of a favorite Royal Navy captain there were serious personal and health problems awaiting exposure. These latent factors, expressed by the full moon, amounted to what Noel Tyl terms, "accumulated developmental deficit".

His natal Saturn in Sagittarius, sign of the wanderer, was retrograde, denoting his lifelong striving for parental approval. Saturn Rx was square his protective star *Regulus. Thus when he traveled far away from this protection, by physical removal and natal progression, he was alone and at high risk.

His teaching planet, Saturn Rx is sesquisquare Neptune symbolizing a leader headed for trouble because of his penchant for self-delusion (being ill-prepared, confused). Saturn in Sagittarius is also known for its belief in pet ideas and theories, as we shall see.

Mental Orientation in the Horoscope

Mercury (travel, transport) was square natal Jupiter confirming his taking on too many projects and being unable to complete journeys without getting lost. For example, he once "ran his ship aground while on a naval exercise". In the severe Antarctic climate his "animals (ponies, Jupiter) died on trips." Mercury in Cancer was in its own dwad and paired with an upsetting and rebelliously proud Uranus at 11 degrees (Leo dwad).

Others in his party observed he was "nervous and fidgety" in a crisis. He would suddenly scrap previous laid plans without notice and was known for being high strung. The action planet Mars, was conjunct Pluto, in the fixed earth sign of Taurus. He was noted for his stubborn inflexibility and his sensitivity to criticism.

Chiron in Aries was square his adventurous and cavalier full moon in Sagittarius

(the outdoorsman) reflecting the potential for injury while on a journey. Indeed Scott had strained his Achilles tendon unnecessarily at the very outset of the ill-fated 1911-12 Antarctic polar attempt.

In his daily journal Scott readily admitted to recurring bouts of "absent-mindedness".

Sun in Gemini in a dual-minded mutable air sign sextiled his 9th house Neptune in Aries signifying "a strong sense of mission" mixed with plenty of ideas, apathy and all around confusion.

Contrary Uranus squares his Hygeia-conjunct-Jupiter combination in headstrong Aries, pointing to a devil-may-care insouciance over health matters and biting off more than he could chew. He had the pioneering ideas but not the safety practices or the survival savvy of his polar competitor Amundsen. With Uranus square Jupiter he also allowed no safety margin, relying on his famous luck instead.

As recorded in his journals he was, "delayed by fog and blizzards; the last for nine (critical) days". Such is the natural power of his natal Uranus (storms) square Neptune (fog) being inconjunct Saturn (delays). He also suffered from disorientation from the extreme altitudes of eight thousand to ten thousand feet found on the frozen Antarctic plateau. I used Neptune in the 9th house to rectify his birth time because it matched the date and timing of his loss and house significations- while on a long journey. Neptune rules the horoscope’s 8th house.

Family Life

Venus rules what we like and value. Scott’s 12th house Venus in Cancer (at 26 degrees = Aquarius dwad) meant he was emotionally close to his mother and family and the nation’s future prestige, as well as it’s glorious past. He admired futurism and gadgets like the recently invented motorized sledges, one of which quickly sank upon being unloaded onto the ice. Although he was slender in build Scott liked sumptuous and rich food, see the dinner photos in his first expedition journal.

Scott compared himself unfavorably to others, like his archrival Earnest Shackleton.

He took on the hopes of Victorian England for his own - Full Moon inconjunct Venus.

Venus, ruler of the end-of-matter 4th house, is at the focal point of a yod formation in his horoscope- the "finger of God" points to a sudden change in fortune. His appointment and fate reflected the mirror image of his country, then in a state of decay and imperial decline nevertheless seeking a new hegemony. Lilith in Aquarius saw him experimenting with technology and disparaging Amundsen’s use of the traditional method of polar travel- sled dogs.

Lilith inconjunct Mercury/Uranus meant adjustments and improvements were needed to perfect his travel modes. This negative aspect would have also exaggerated any foot problems he and his party encountered. Several of his team suffered from frostbite and gangrene which sealed their doom.

Physical Energy and Willpower

With Scott’s Leo North Node and Aquarius South Node his physical energies, the ability to sustain such the vast effort so necessary in 1912 points to high stress corresponding to an ultimate test. These two fixed signs, one of impatient fire (Leo) and stubborn air (Aquarius) frequently imply one whom suffers a "crisis of the will". Scott himself remarked he was, "an indifferent polar explorer". The lunar nodes (emotions, drives) are in the fateful, "anaretic" 29th degree; also known as "the degree of tears." This 29th degree signifies someone "at the end of their rope" and who suffers from a high degree of anxiety. For example, as a leader he was ever busy, harrying off in a new or different direction, anxious to get to the next state of affairs or developments. Often the follow-up was left to others in his party.

Psychological Health

Much has been said about Scott’s jealousy of Amundsen and Shackleton, his polar rivals. In his natal horoscope, Juno is in Scorpio meaning to suffer such strong emotion and was the focal point of a yod from his Sun- signifying his changeable vitality.

Natal Sun was sextile (opportunity) Neptune/Hygeia leading to confusion over health matters. Scott was a person seriously in need of education regarding this vital survival subject. The yod formation to Juno Rx opposite Pluto confirms a tragic and sudden change of fortune owing to his emotional fixity, obstinate intensity and his refusal to heed valuable nutritional information even though it was available. As a prime indicator of marriage the opposition foretold the fate of his marriage which ended with a public notice of his tragic death in New Zealand and English newspapers.

By comparison, his archrival Amundsen was well educated in polar dietary needs after living with the Eskimos in his previous travels to Canada and the Artic.

Nutritional Roulette

After exhaustive study of his natal astrology chart I came to the conclusion the deaths of Captain Scott and his party were due to a combination of critical mistakes in planning for an artic expedition and the failure in dealing with the aforementioned health issues in an extreme and unforgiving environment. Following today’s competitive athlete requirements for the Tour de France bicycle race, he and his crew would have needed to consume over 6,000 calories per man, per day, to survive in the Antarctic cold at – 50 deg. Fahrenheit. ** It was simply impossible to carry this amount of food on human powered sleds, on foot.

The immediate cause of his party’s demise was starvation and exposure, abetted by poor nutrition and vitamin deficiency. Tragically, Scott’s party perished only 10 miles short of a depot they had left stockpiled with food. In the months before setting out on foot (Uranus and Pisces rules ankle/foot) they had dined on a rich, but vitamin poor diet with no fresh fruit or vegetables. As author Roland Huntford said, "fate was sitting at the dinner table."

On the day Scott died, 29-30 Mar 1912, his last entry read; "for God’s sake take care of our people."

On 30 Mar 1912 early am the asteroid Kronos (Master of one’s fate) was conjunct the event ascendant reflecting that his fated hour had arrived. Kronos/fate was T-square to Lilith @ 22 degrees on the MC (his reputation) and opposite Ceres in Cancer on the IC (family). The challenge was and still is- to nurture oneself and others. The facts were covered up by the government (Neptune/ Hygeia) and Scott died a national hero.

To the Crown’s eternal credit Scott’s widow was awarded a yearly pension.

** Source ESPN TV

Copyright 1998 Robert Needham


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