One of the features that drew me to Vedic Astrology as a student at Kepler in 2006 was the astonishing accuracy of the timing methods of the Vedic tradition, which has been in use for several thousand years at least. When events are unfolding on a world-wide scale, another compelling reason to attempt rectification emerges: the hope of shedding light upon the actions and motives of a leader like Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, whose increasingly bold and attention-getting moves culminated with the invasion of Crimea on March 1, 2014. Here I am presenting one possible rectification for Putin's birth time, provided as a sort of research item which can be tested based on events in the next few years. If this birth time is close to correct, I think it is likely it should be possible to test it as well against western rectification as well.
Vladimir Putin's Birth Data
Birth Date: Oct 7, 1952 time unknown, conflicting reports.
Rectified by Lynn Bootes using Vedic astrology for 17:00 Capricorn rising
Birth Place: Leningrad, Russia 59 N 55, 30 E 20
Data source: Astrodatabank archived March 26, 2014. “C” data. There is a reply to an e-mail to Putin's Webmaster, citing government archives, of 9:30 am. There is a report of a conversation in which Putin stated 1:00 pm. There are several rectified times. See http://www.astro.com/astro-databank/Putin,_Vladimir
Biographical source: Wikipedia, archived March 26, 2014, cites over 214 sources.
Putin's birth date, according to his website, was October 7, 1952, in Leningrad, USSR (now St. Petersburg, Russia). This is a Gregorian or western date, not a Julian date as used in the Russian Orthodox Church calendar – I verified this with a friend and client who is a Russian ex-patriate and her family. Even if he was baptized, a likely event, the recorded birth would be the government date, which used the western calendar. A rumor has circulated recently that he may have been born two years previously in Georgia and secretly adopted. However, the dates of school entry, graduation and college education fit exactly the norm for the Soviet system at the time, and according to my source it would have been highly unusual to change the birth date or year even in the event of adoption.
The Astrodatabank notes there are no birth certificates issued in Russia, and the source of data is the government archives. In 2002, Putin's webmaster replied to an e-mail, stating his birth time was 9:30 am. Another individual reported a conversation in which Putin quoted 1:00 pm. A number of rectifications have been attempted by Western astrologers, with various birth times. Such conflicting reports are considered “C” data by the databank editors.
Working with Vedic Astrology
If the reader is not familiar with Vedic astrology, a few words of explanation are in order. Most of the meanings assigned to the Zodiac signs, planets and houses are similar to Western astrology. The most important difference from most Western or tropical astrology is the use of the Sidereal Zodiac: that is, the divisions of the Zodiac signs are based upon the position of marker stars, rather than the spring Equinox. The two systems were more or less the same about 2,000 years ago, when Hellenistic and Vedic astrology texts were written, but due to Precession of the Equinoxes, the tropical zodiac used in the west no longer corresponds with stellar constellations.
In India, while exact details differ from region to region, the government standard Lahiri ayanamsa (the difference between tropical and sidereal) is based upon the position of the star Spica at 1 degree Libra. This star rises at sunset when the sun is in 1 degree Aries on about April 14. The difference between the two zodiacs is about 24 degrees. Thus, Putin's Sun is at 21 degrees Virgo in a Vedic chart and 15 degrees Libra in a tropical chart.
A second notable difference is that Vedic astrology places very little or no attention on the outer planets or asteroids, even though they are acknowledged to exist. Instead the Sun, Moon, visible planets and the North and South lunar nodes, Rahu and Ketu, are used. The interlocking rulerships of the planets, signs and houses are extremely important and work in a fashion very similar to Hellenistic and Medieval systems.
A third difference is the use of Whole Sign Houses: if the Ascendant is, for instance, 17 degrees Capricorn, then the entire sign Capricorn is considered to be the first house, and the houses are of equal size and counted from the first house. The Midheaven is commonly ignored and the 10th house serves as the marker of career. Because of this different house system, it is not uncommon for one or more planets to be placed in a different house than in the Western chart.
A fourth difference is that the chart is laid out in a square fashion: the North Indian style is very similar to Medieval Persian and European chart forms except that the Ascendant is at the top and it is read counter-clockwise. In the South Indian style the Zodiac signs are always in the same position with Pisces at the top left and the Ascendant is marked on the chart and it is read clockwise.
Timing a Life in Vedic Astrology
Timing in Vedic astrology relies in large part on Dasha systems, customarily derived from the traditional Lunar Zodiac of India, the 27 Nakshatras or Lunar constellations. Each is 13 degrees and 20 minutes of longitude, approximately the distance travelled by the Moon from one night to the next. In the most commonly used Vimshottari Dasha system, each Nakshatra is assigned a one of nine planetary rulers, which have a specified order and have a specified number of years assigned to them, adding up to 120. (There are a number of different Dasha systems, but I will deal only with Vimshottari here).
The Moon's position in a Nakshatra at birth is used as the starting mark for clocking the effects of dasha periods in a person's life. For instance, Putin's Vedic Moon is in Taurus; if he were born before about 10:00 am, his birth Nakshatra would have been Krittika, and the first dasha planet would have been the Sun. After 10:00 am, the Moon was in Rohini and the ruling dasha period at birth would have been the Moon. Transits of planets through the signs and houses play a secondary role in Vedic astrology.
I first looked at Putin's chart with the 9:30 am birth time, a chart which I concluded is not likely to be accurate. (See figure 1 at right) This chart has an Ascendant (Lagna) of 9 degrees Libra with Venus in the first house. Venus is the ruler of Libra and thus of the first house and is opposite Jupiter in Aries in the 7th house.
Note that Vedic astrology uses whole sign aspects and only a few of them, conjunctions, oppositions, and a few other selected “special” aspects. I take issue with this as his chart simply based upon the position of Venus: I would expect a far more charming individual with more interest in the arts. Also, with Jupiter in the 7th house, his marital relationship ought to have been more positive rather than troubled.
This chart has Sun, Saturn, and Mercury in the 12th house and Moon in the 8th house. This is not a likely placement for someone who has risen from humble origins to the pinnacle of power: in Vedic astrology this is an “Aristha Yoga” of difficulty and obstacles. It does not have a “Raja Yoga” of rise above ones' station in which the 4th, 5th, 9th and 10th house rulers combine in a positive fashion: the 4th and 5th house ruler is Saturn in the 12th house.
The 9th house ruler Mercury is in the 12th, and the 10th house ruler Moon is in the 8th. Putin's mother and father were both influential in his life and lived until 1999; in this chart the 4th house ruler Saturn indicates the mother, and the 9th house ruler, Mercury, the father. Both are in the 12th house as is the Sun, so some loss of parental care would be expected which did not happen apparently. Finally, the South Node, Ketu, is in the 10th house, and people born with Ketu in this location commonly have more than average setbacks in career
I next looked at the Vimshottari Dashas for this chart (figure 2). I am skeptical of the birth time because the dasha periods just don't quite line up. It has been my experience that people who have long, successful careers often first become ambitious if they begin Rahu Dasha at a young age. Putin has said that martial arts training, which he began in 1966, had a significant role in his development. However, in the 9:30 am birth time, he would not have entered Rahu dasha until 1969, his last year of secondary school. This would have been overly late to explain admission to an elite university directly from high school – he would have had to have been diligent through secondary school to achieve this.
Another concern is that Jupiter dasha began in 1987, four years after his marriage and six years after he began a career in the KGB, the Soviet Secret Service, in which he steadily rose through the levels of bureaucracy. Finally, he entered Saturn dasha in 2003, four years after the fateful events of 1999-2000 in which he became Yeltin's appointed successor and then President of Russia. Notice that several key events occurred about four years before the dashas changed in this chart; for a Vedic astrologer, this is a key clue to how far off the chart might be from the true birth time.
Rectifying to a 5:00 pm Birth Time
I then checked various birth times to find out which hour would best fit the dasha periods. The best fit, I believe is with a sidereal Capricorn rising, corresponding to about 5:00 pm birth time. (See figure 3).
Can I picture Putin as a Capricorn rising individual, serious, hard-working, and ambitious? Definitely!
I next looked at the Ascendant ruler, Saturn, which in this chart is well-placed in Virgo in the 9th house with the Sun. The father, described by the 9th house, would be active in his life, serious and strict – his father was a naval officer and a war veteran and party member with a factory job – humble but able to provide a frugal living. The mother, is described by the 4th house, Aires, which has Jupiter placed in it – his mother was religious and provided well for him. Despite having grown up in squalid communal housing, he nonetheless had a secure childhood with regular meals, good education, and a path to Communist Party membership, far better than his parents' generation.
failure of his only marriage. placed Moon exalted in Taurus in the 5th house, with its' ruler Venus in the 10th. The 9th house ruler Mercury is in the 10th. Venus the 10th house ruler is in its own house. Only the 5th house ruler, Mars, is in an unfavorable location in the 12th. In this chart, Rahu, the North Node, is in the first house, adding extra emphasis to the idea that he is an ambitious individual. Mars in the 12th house could fit with a person working in the KGB and having an interest in martial arts, a individual rather than team sport in which strategy and surprise play a key role.
Note the 10th house is Libra and that in this chart Mercury has moved to the 10th house and Venus is there, with an aspect from Jupiter in the 4th house. One would expect to find someone who can be successful in a career and who can use charm and negotiation as a tool. The 9th house is Virgo and with Sun and Saturn there we would expect someone who did well in higher education and studied some serious practical subjects: in his case Law and later a post-graduate degree in Economics. This is not the chart of someone with a military career.
Dasha's Calculated for 5:00 p.m.
17:00 (5:00 PM)
MOON DASHA: Birth to Nov 24, 1959 – age 7 years 1 month
MARS DASHA: Nov 24, 1959 to Nov 24, 1966 – age 14 years 1 month
RAHU DASHA: Nov 24, 1966 to Nov 24, 1984 – Age 32 years, 1 month
JUPITER DASHA: Nov 24, 1984 to Nov 24, 2000 – Age 48 years, 1 month
SATURN DASHA: Nov 24, 2000 to Nov 24, 2019 – Age 67 years, 1 month
SATURN/SATURN: Nov 23, 2000 to Nov 27, 2003
SATURN/MERCURY: Nov 27, 2003 To Aug 6, 2006
SATURN/KETU: Aug 6, 2006 to Sept 15, 2007
SATURN/VENUS: Sept 15, 2007 to Nov 15, 2010
SATURN/SUN: Nov 15, 2010 to Oct 28, 2011
SATURN/MOON: Oct 28, 2011 to May 28, 2013
SATURN/MARS: May 28, 2013 to July 7, 2014
SATURN/RAHU: July 7, 2014 to May 13, 2017
SATURN/JUPITER: May 13, 2017 to Nov 24, 2019
Moon Dasha: In this chart he began life in Moon dasha – the Moon is exalted in the 5th house, a favorable house, and he was apparently a healthy child who experienced parental love and care.
Mars dasha began in 1959 shortly before he entered school in 1960. The only information is a report that at age 11 he was one of the last children of his 4th year class to be admitted to the Communist Youth Organization because of his unruly behavior. Although very general, this does fit the description of a Mars dasha.
Rahu dasha began at age 14 in 1966, the year he began martial arts training; in the Capricorn rising chart the Rahu dasha gains extra importance since Rahu is in the first house. We should not underestimate the importance of the martial arts to his development and refining his ambitions. This dasha carried him through the rest of his academic career and early years in the KGB and fits so well with the image of a man whose career was as a spy!
Jupiter dashanote that he married and had two children near the beginning of Jupiter dasha, and that in 1986 he went to work for the KGB in East Germany. He was called back to Leningrad in 1990 after the collapse of the Communist Empire.
In the summer of 1991, corresponding with the Ketu sub-period of Jupiter dasha, there was an attempted coup by the KGB against Gorbachev, and at this time Putin resigned from the KGB and the Communist Party. This is exactly the sort of event one associates with a Ketu sub-period in Jupiter – an interruption or setback in a steady rise.
Later in 1991 he was investigated over some financial impropriety involving $95 million dollars which took place while he worked for the city government. But despite the recommendations of a panel to fire him, he held on to his job in the city government. Note that for a Capricorn rising individual, Jupiter dasha is not the height of the career, as it is a functional malefic, ruling the 3rd and 12th houses. Rather it is the preparation for the Saturn dasha which is generally the height of career.
In the remaining years of Jupiter dasha, he rose steadily in the government of St. Petersburg and later transferred to Moscow as part of the Yeltsin government.
Saturn dasha began in 2000 and will end in 2019. In the last year of Jupiter dasha, on Dec 31, 1999, Yeltsin abruptly resigned and named him as successor of an interim government. He stood for election as President of Russia in 2000, again in 2004, and in 2012.
Saturn is the Ascendant Lord and is in the 9th house and rules the 10th house, so for Putin the Saturn years are the peak career years. During the years 2008-2012 his close associate Dimitri Medvedev served as president, but all have agreed Putin retained a substantial degree of control behind the scenes of government.
Other notable events include the Kursk disaster in August, 2000, the second was in Chechnya in 2000, and the Moscow theater hostage crisis of March 14, 2004, major diplomatic gestures to Iran, Libya and China in 2007, and invasion of Georgia in 2008. The Pussy Riots took place in February, 2012 and the Sochi Winter Olympics in February 2014. The Arab Spring of 2011 and the entry of NATO into Libya took place during the Saturn/Moon sub-period.
Mars sub-period of Saturn Dasha. This sub-period began some time in the spring of 2014. Because Mars is in the 12th house it may be reasonable to expect secret action and dealing. In the fall of 2013, Putin offered asylum to Edward Snowden, the American NSA agent who absconded from the USA with classified data he claimed revealed evidence of massive violation of the privacy rights of Americans. Russia thus obtained potential access to much of the workings of the American security systems, a major coup for Putin. Russia overtly and covertly aided Syrian President Assad despite objections from almost all other nations about the horrific methods used by the Syrian government in that civil war. The Mars sub-period is currently in effect until some time in the summer of 2014.
period of Saturn Dasha. If the proposed birth time is correct, some time in the summer of 2014 he will enter the Rahu sub-period. During this three-year period Putin can be expected to be uncommonly ambitious and domineering, and will continue to use subterfuge and secret dealings.
Saturn/Rahu is also a sub-period in which health issues may be a concern, particularly in someone more than 60 years of age. However, as he appears to have a strong constitution I think it would be prudent to expect him to be around and in power at least through the end of Saturn dasha in 2020.
Although the location of the planets at the present time, transits, receive secondary attention in classical Vedic astrology, they are still revealing.
Saturn has been in the sidereal Libra, Putin's 10th house, most of the time since November 2011 and will remain there until November, 2014. Since Saturn is Putin's Ascendant Lord and he is also running Saturn Dasha, it is a particularly powerful actor in career and political power – he really is at the top of his game.
Rahu, the North Node, entered Libra in January of 2013 and remains until July of 2014. Since Rahu is present in his natal first house and has been the signifier of personal ambition for Putin, it has added extra force to his power-plays.
Mars briefly entered Libra in February, 2014, but has since moved back into Virgo, his 9th house, where it will remain until July 14, 2014. Since Saturn/Mars is the current sub-period lord, it assumes a lot of importance in current events. I expect Putin will back off and resort to diplomacy this spring and early summer.
But after July 14, when Rahu and Mars change signs one day apart and close to the time Putin will enter the Saturn/Rahu sup-period, I expect he will show his hand with more aggressive and insidious power-plays; indeed he may be only warming up.
Finally, let me again stress that this is a speculative rectified chart and not based on any sort of data on Putin's birth time, presented here for research purposes.