Fifty years ago today on the 12th April 1961, history was made. Yuri Gagarin was blasted off in his Vostok rocket from the Tyuratam test range, now in Kazakhstan. The 108 minute flight or one orbit of the earth nearly ended disastrously on re-entry to the earth’s atmosphere however Yuri bailed out before his capsule crashed to the ground near the River Volga.
Gagarin was born on 9th March 1934 at 06.30 am in Smolensk, Russia. He had a Pisces Sun, that of a dreamer with an expansive Sagittarian Moon and a technical science orientated Aquarius ascendant. Just in those three main indicators, this was a man who had a dream (Sun in Pisces) to go on a long journey (Moon in Sagittarius) in the name of science (Aquarius ascendant). He had a particularly “connected chart” with all the planets in multiple aspects to each other except for Venus which is quite unusual. Venus in Aquarius was peregrine (unconnected to any other planet by major aspect), sitting in the unconscious 12 house conjunct the ascendant. Any peregrine plane tends to run away with the chart, it dominates and I think that Venus here was the key to Gagarin’s personality. Peregrine Venus indicates to me that Yuri would be unusually independent and concentrated on his own actions. He had little or no need for people to help him, Venus is a social planet but here in individualistic Aquarius he would be kind but very cool and distant. Had Venus been in sociable Libra he would have been quite the opposite and very gregarious; a totally different personality. This Venus would have given him a burning love of technology and anything Aquarian including the planets and space.
Sitting in a large first house we find Saturn, and a triple conjunction of Mercury Sun and Mars. Saturn in the first house would have given him a serious, cautious realistic attitude. The triple conjunction was opposite Neptune in detail orientated Virgo so he would have been a dreamer (Sun/Neptune), had a very quick mind (Mercury/Mars), able to grasp unusual and technical concepts with ease (Neptune in Virgo/Mercury/Mars) and he would have had a love of exercise and keeping himself in shape (Mars in 1st). He would have been self-confident (Sun/Mars) with huge resources of control and he would have been very focused on his aims in life. Sun/Mars were both in trine to Pluto in the 6th house. This intensified his need to always improve himself physically and mentally, he would work tirelessly and he would tend to dominate all his colleagues around him.
Looking at Gagarin’s moon, one can immediately see that Gagarin was destined to travel to distant places. The moon was in the 10th house in Sagittarius. The Moon shows need and Yuri had the need to do his own thing, he would take control, he needed to expand his horizons. The Moon was conjunct the Sagittarian Midheaven, the indicator of his profession. Again, both the moon and the Midheaven show the desire to travel to far away places through his work, which he did even after his spaceflight, travelling around the world as a celebrity and ambassador for the USSR. Jupiter which rules Sagittarius sits as part of a t-square formation. The t-square shows desire and tension. Jupiter is opposite Uranus in forge ahead pioneering Aries, the desire (Aries) to explore and travel (Jupiter) in space (Uranus). Square the Jupiter/Uranus opposition was Pluto, Yuri had a single minded approach to this. On the other side of the Jupiter/Uranus opposition was a wedge formation with sensible Saturn at the point – the single minded approach was balanced by his concentrated, careful, serious persona.
On the day that he blasted off into space, the transiting planets were definitely in his favour. The transiting Sun made a trine to his Moon (balanced emotions), an opposition to Jupiter (an opportunity to push back boundaries), a constructive sextile to Saturn (enhancing reputation), conjunct Uranus (highlighting the technical space challenge) and square Pluto (great self control and putting one’s self and personal safety on the line). Transiting Mars was trine natal Sun so he had good energy and transiting Uranus made a sextile to Jupiter (lucky) and an opposition to Saturn (able to assess all the risks). Finally transiting Neptune was almost exactly square Yuri’s powerful Venus – the dream of visiting the stars was coming true and it would make him a star himself, broadcasting his name and reputation around the world (social Venus conjunct Ascendant) by TV and media (ruled by Neptune). Neptune through Pisces intercepted in the 1st house represented the self & Venus through Taurus and Libra ruled the 3rd houses of communication and the 8th house of personal transformation illustrated how the Yuri was affected. The feat of orbiting the earth that day changed his life forever.
I suppose in picking the first man ever to attempt to travel into space, they would have looked was a careful cool individual with all the ambition, technical ability and control to make it happen. Yuri had all these attributes and more. He was a humble man who lit up wherever he went with charisma and an infectious smile. The charisma was shown by a Mars/Neptune quindecile and then we come back to that cool Aquarian Venus. Venus in Aquarius conjunct his ascendant (the physical appearance) shows an electric beauty and the quiet independent Gagarin’s smile was the thing that everyone who knew him remembered him by. He had plenty to smile about.