Minerva in Your Birth Chart
Minerva’s symbol in your horoscope looks like a lightbulb. It’s the one that hovers over your head when you have a great idea or crack the solution to a problem.
I loved it when Julija Simas at the C*I*A* made me Agent 93, because that’s Minerva’s number in astronomy. I should explain that the C*I*A* is an organisation for people who cast horoscopes, not for people who lurk in alleyways wearing trench coats.
If Minerva makes aspects to other horoscope factors in your chart, she becomes more important. Your wealth of knowledge about a particular area of your life (shown by Minerva’s sign and house) may dictate many other things too.
Minerva in Leo in the Fifth House (where you lead a younger generation) is common in the horoscopes of lecturers, teachers and professors. You also find it in the charts of wise parents who give their children what amounts to a home education, alongside their school education.
- Albert Einstein had Minerva in Leo in the Fifth House. He was born on 14th March 1879 at 11.30am in Ulm, Germany. Super teacher.
- Thomas Edison had Minerva in the Fifth House and created the first industrial research laboratory. He held 1093 patents and gave us the lightbulb. The younger generations who came through his laboratory were also the heirs to his wise Minerva in Leo throne.
- Johannes Kepler, who lends his name to the American astrological college, was born with Minerva at 0 Cancer making a spectacular pattern with the True North Node at 1 Leo and True South Node at 1 Aquarius. He came into the world on 27th December 1571 at 2.30pm in Weil der Stadt, Germany.
Note the Leo signature again – a younger generation who inherit Kepler’s influence:
- Marie Stopes was the first female science lecturer at Manchester University. She was born with Minerva at 1 Capricorn in the Tenth House of career aspecting Apollo at 2 Leo in the Fifth House of youth. More teaching!
- Simone de Beauvoir, born on 9th January 1908 at 4.00am in Paris, had Minerva at 6 Capricorn in her Tenth House of career aspecting Aesculapia at 6 Leo in her Fifth House of youth. Her book The Second Sex has educated generations of young feminists.
Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, was her father Jupiter’s greatest counsellor and advisor. She is associated with art, design, craft, politics and academia. Such noteworthy individuals have her influence in their charts:
- Giorgio Armani – 11th July 1934, 7.20am, Piacenza, Italy. Minerva 15 Virgo, Jupiter 14 Libra, Venus 15 Gemini.
- Cristobal Balenciaga – 21st January 1895, 5.00pm, Getaria, Spain. Minerva 5 Pisces, Psyche 5 Pisces.
- Coco Chanel – 19th August 1883, 4.00pm, Saumur, France. Minerva 22 Leo, Uranus 22 Virgo, Neptune 21 Taurus, Jupiter 23 Cancer.
- Christian Dior – 21st January 1905, 1.30am, Granville, France. Minerva 2 Taurus, Uranus 1 Capricorn, Hygiea 2 Scorpio, Psyche 3 Pisces.
- Louis Vuitton – 4th August 1821, 3.00am, Anchay, France. Minerva 24 Aquarius, Salacia 25 Gemini, Mars 25 Gemini.
Wise Old Birds
- George Washington – 22nd February 1732, 10.00am, Colonial Beach. Minerva 24 Gemini, Mars 23 Scorpio, Panacea 25 Taurus.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt – 30th January 1882, 8.45pm, Hyde Park, NY Minerva 25 Aries, Panacea 26 Leo.
- Eleanor Roosevelt – 11th October 1884, 11.00am, New York, NY. Minerva 12 Scorpio, Ceres 13 Virgo, Aesculapia 12 Gemini, Salacia 13 Virgo.
- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis – 28th July 1929, 2.30pm, Southampton NY. Minerva 28 Leo, Midheaven 28 Leo, IC 28 Aquarius, Salacia 27 Scorpio, Diana 29 Aries, Proserpina 28 Gemini.
- Nancy Reagan – Astrology Fan – 6th July 1921, 1.18pm, Manhattan, NY. Minerva 17 Scorpio, Mercury 16 Cancer, Midheaven 18 Cancer, Aesculapia 18 Capricorn.
Minerva and Wisdom
The best book on Minerva is not an astrology book. It is Athene, written by Ann Shearer, who read history at Cambridge before becoming a Jungian analyst. If you are curious about this symbol in your chart, start there.
Minerva’s first connection was with arts and crafts. When Julius Caesar met the Gauls for the first time (the Asterix cartoons come to life), he was pleased to find that Minerva was respected by them.
Shearer quotes Caesar in her book: “Among the gods they most worship Mercury…”
After him they set up Apollo, Mars, Jupiter and Minerva. Of these deities they have almost the same idea as all other nations: Apollo drives away diseases, Minerva supplies the first principles of arts and crafts, Jupiter holds the empire of heaven, Mars controls wars.”
Minerva was shipped to Britain and became grafted onto Britannia, goddess of the British Isles. If you look at old pennies, you can see her with Minerva’s helmet, shield, spear and olive branch.
Minerva and Olives
We associate olives and the olive branch with Minerva, because of an ancient myth. Minerva and Neptune were both challenged in a fierce contest, to discover which of them could produce the greatest gift to humanity.
Neptune produced the horse, and everyone thought he had won. Minerva trotted back with an olive. A pizza ingredient. Honestly. Except…horses were instruments of war. The olive (and Minerva) won, not least because olives were not only valuable food, but they also produced the oil that the Romans slathered all over their skin.
We still ‘offer an olive branch’ today when we want to make peace, not war.
Minerva is all head. All brains. She was born from her father Jupiter’s head, fully formed. In a beautiful piece of synchronicity, when they dug up her old temple in Bath, they found the remains of her life size statue after 1400 years. Workmen digging a sewer found her head. That was all that was left. You can see it today, at The Roman Baths there – the temple of Sulis Minerva.
Ann Shearer writes:
“Her very name derives from mens, from mind – and now we see her as nothing but that.”
And, if you’re beginning to wonder if J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter have a part to play in all this, you might just be right. Minerva’s other great symbol is the owl, which we turn to next.
Minerva’s Bird – The Owl
I have Robert Currey to thank for alerting me to the fact that J.K. Rowling knew more than a little about astrology. In fact, she once drew up and illustrated a horoscope for a friend. Robert tells the whole story on his website.
The astrologer, journalist and author Neil Spencer wrote a brilliant piece on the astrological connections between Harry Potter and the stars here.
As all fans of Harry know, the saga begins with an owl. This is historically Minerva’s bird, and of course she lent her name to one of the most important characters in the Potter series.
Owls watch and wait. They take their time. Whenever you find Minerva (or her Greek predecessor, Pallas) in an art gallery or museum, her famous owl will be close by. A Romano-Celtic bronze found in Wiltshire shows Minerva with her owl under her foot. If you walk around the ancient sculptures in the Louvre in Paris, you will see a beautiful owl held in Minerva’s hand.
Minerva’s intelligence is of a particular patient, all-knowing kind. It is quiet and observant. Not always obvious. Deep.
Whenever I give workshops or lectures about Minerva, women always come up to me afterwards and show me their owls. They have owl tattoos, owl bracelets and owl handbags. When they discover Minerva in their charts, they discover themselves!
Edited extract from 2020 Astrology: Your Five-Year Horoscope Guide by Jessica Adams.