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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 interpretationís focus is on the stressed critical health indicators found in his natal horoscope based on Placidus house cusps. A section on Solar Arcss and Midpoints is forthcoming.

Below is an image of Scott's natal horoscope.


Explorer Robert 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. N. Node conjuncts *Regulus, the fixed star bestowing fame, honors, luck and royal protection. Significantly he was awarded benefits, medals, and the Kingís patronage via *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 hand picked favorite Royal Navy captain there were serious personal and health problems awaiting exposure by trial. These latent personality factors, expressed by his full moon, amounted to what author Noel Tyl terms, "accumulated developmental deficit" referring to personal health signatures.

His natal Saturn in Sagittarius, sign of the wanderer, is retrograde, denoting a lifelong striving for parental approval through travel. Saturn Rx squared protective *Regulus. Thus when he traveled far away from this protection, by physical removal and the passage of time he was alone and at high risk.

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

Mental Orientation in the Horoscope

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

Others in his party observed Scott 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, is conjunct Pluto, in the fixed earth sign of Taurus. He was noted for stubborn inflexibility and sensitivity to criticism.

Chiron in Aries squared the adventurous and full moon in Sagittarius; sign of the Cavalier,

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

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

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

Contrary Uranus squares 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. Scott had the pioneering ideas but not the safety practices or the survival savvy of his polar competitor R. Amundsen. With Uranus square Jupiter he also allowed no safety margin, relying on his famous luck instead.

As recorded in his journal, the ill-fated party was, "delayed by fog and blizzards; the last for nine (critical) days". Such is the natural power of 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 horoscopeís 8th house.

Family Life

Venus rules what we like and value. Scottís 12th house Venus in Cancer meant he was emotionally close to his mother, his family and the nationís future prestige, as well as itís glorious past. He admired futurism and gadgets like the recently invented motorized sledges, one of which quickly sank upon being unloaded onto the southern 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 Ernest Shackleton. He took on the hopes of Victorian England for his own - Full Moon inconjunct Venus.

Politics: His appointment and fate reflected like a mirror image the fate and coming trial 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 Amundsenís use of the traditional method of polar travel- sled dogs.

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

Physical Energy and Willpower

With Scottís 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 & Physical Health

Much has been said about Scottís jealousy of Amundsen and Shackleton, his polar rivals. In his natal horoscope, Juno in Scorpio (partnerships) means to suffer from jealousy. Two quindecile aspects focusing on Saturn Rx in the 4th house signify a changeable vitality e.g. limitations on physical mobility and prolonged exposure.

Natal Sun sextile (opportunity) Neptune/Hygeia lead to confusion and over optimism 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 refusal to heed valuable nutritional information even though it was available. As a prime indicator of marriage the Juno opposition foretold the fate of his marriage which ended with a public notice of his tragic death in the New Zealand and English newspapers.

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

Nutritional Roulette

After exhaustive study of his natal astrology chart I came to the conclusion the death of Captain Scott and his party was due to a combination of natal health factors and critical mistakes in planning for an Anarctic expedition. The failures in dealing with the aforementioned health issues in an extreme and unforgiving environment all but guaranteed his fate. Following todayís competitive athlete nutritional 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 the Antarctic cold at Ė50 deg. Fahrenheit. ** It was simply impossible to carry this amount of food on human powered sleds, on foot.

The immediate cause of his partyís demise was starvation and exposure, abetted by poor nutrition and vitamin deficiency. Tragically, Scottís party perished only 10 miles short of a depot they had left stockpiled with food after weeks of trekking in terrible weather. In the months before setting out on foot (Uranus and Pisces rules ankle/foot) the Scott expedition 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 Godís sake take care of our people."

On 30 Mar 1912 early am the asteroid Kronos (Master of oneís fate) conjuncted the event ascendant reflecting that the fated hour had arrived. Kronos/fate was T-square to Lillith @ 22 degrees on the MC (his reputation) and opposite Ceres in Cancer on the IC (his family). The challenge was and still is- to nurture oneself and others. These facts were covered up by the government (Neptune / Hygeia) and Scott died a national hero under Victorian rules of patronage.

To the Crownís eternal credit Scottís widow was awarded a yearly pension.

USA Today: New climate studies suggests despite mistakes the Scott party had "to battle intense cold". Click on link to find out more.

USA Today Weather Study Article

** Source ESPN TV

Copyright 1998-2000 Robert Needham-England All rights reserved


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