kristo’s horoscope
for Michael Hart
March 8th, 1947
Tacoma, WA

kristo’s horoscope

for Michael Hart
inventor of the eBook and
founder of Project Gutenberg

Michael was as much a visionary, if not more so, than Steve Jobs...
indeed, Michael’s original concept for Project Gutenberg was very likely the inspiration for the iPod, and is, without the shopping cart of course, the model for the iTunes Store...
he passed away on September 6th, 2011

the planets
10th House Libra Moon Sextiles 8th House Leo Saturn (in Yod with Mars, and Opposite Venus) at 12:22 AM, and reaches an exact Quincunx to 3rd House Piscean Mars at 12:54 AM.

kristo’s intuition
This is an awfully potent Yod...and Michael’s idea was equally potent.
He is, after all, credited with inventing the eBook, and this 3rd House Mars easily represents the essence of his insight, which was to have a virtual / eLibrary from which all books would eventually be downloaded.
The interesting thing here is this Libra / Capricorn Moon and Leo / Scorpio Saturn which probably indicates the Eureka moment Michael describes.
It’s no surprise then, that he was motivated by a certain sense of guilt and responsibility...and that he chose certain classics as his initial offerings.
There’s no mistaking a hint of subversion in that Saturn, just as there’s some very solid sense of fairness and justice in that Libra.
For him, there must have been certain rights carved in stone that apply to everyone...hence, it’s not complete coincidence that the Declaration of Independence became the first ever eBook.

the planets
9th House Moon Trines 2nd House Aquarian Venus at 2:19 AM.

kristo’s intuition
This Moon is all about Sharing...and that Aquarian Venus would mean the Great Ideas he loved sharing.
Not just his own...but in a solidly Aquarian fashion...the ideas he admired.
At this point of the day there is a Grand Trine brewing with the 6th House Gemini Dragon’s Head...and that would easily explain a Virgoan tendency to be copying books, as opposed to the Libran desire to write and create his own.
Not that he didn’t write...but he would easily have found the distinctly Virgoan task of reproduction to be VERY satisfying.

the planets
7th House Moon Trines 3rd House Gemini Dragon’s Head (in Trine to Venus, Square to Mars, Quincunx to Chiron) at 6:06 AM.

kristo’s intuition
Here, that Libran desire for creativity kicks in, and so we see that his fate (as represented by this Gemini North Node) is deeply connected with books.
Geminis LOVE books...and they are curious about EVERYTHING.
Give them an encyclopedia and a dictionary, and they just might think they’re in heaven.
So, I would expect that project gutenberg became one of Michael’s chief creative outlets...but still, he was simply in love with words and communicating and playing.
Gemini is also the quintessential kid energy, and so playtime (however he would have chosen to define it) is / was his birthright.

the planets
12th House Retrograde Mercury in Pisces (Conjunct Sun, and BiQuintile Pluto) exactly Squares 3rd House Gemini Uranus at 7:36 AM.

kristo’s intuition
Mercury may be the ruler of Gemini, but this Square arrangement indicates a certain frustration with the whole enterprise of digitizing books.
I would imagine that his appetite for the appropriate technology to get more books out there ever more quickly was constantly frustrated, but was actually much stronger than his desire to tackle the whole copyright / private ownership bugaboo.
And while a Piscean Mercury might long for “the cloud,” the technology was only ever gonna advance at its own slow pace.

the planets
4th House Moon BiQuintiles 9th House Piscean Mars (in his Quincunx to Saturn, and BiQuintile to Neptune) at 12:08 PM.

kristo’s intuition
For me, 4th House planets reveal a kind of karmic problem left over from previous generations.
That is, I couldn’t care less about karma, since I don’t buy that past life, personal guilt bs...but I DO think we’re all meant to fulfill a kind of destiny. And when crucial aspects of that destiny are denied (not necessarily through outside influence but by personal choice), it leaves a Psychic burden that has to be carried by subsequent generations.
In a way, it sounds just like karma...but this isn’t a personal burden of comes from ancestors who didn’t live up to their own responsibilities to themselves, and then acted in such a way as to cause their children problems.
As Jung always said, the Shadow of the parents falls directly on the children....
People with 4th House planets seem to be the ones in this generational pyramid scheme (or game of musical chairs) who are stuck paying the price for someone else’s unrecognized Shadow.
I don’t know if Michael had 4th House planets (which would be determined by knowing his exact birth time) but as the Moon passed through the 4th House on his particular birth day it struck some sort of gold with this Mars.
Consider project gutenberg then, to be Michael’s gift of paying off some huge Psychic debt for some huge segment of ancestral humanity.
And don’t think it didn’t cost him.
That Mars Quincunx Saturn means that his music suffered, since he wouldn’t have had the time or resources to devote to it.

I think it would be interesting here to point out a particular fact concerning the connection between eBooks and music, since that Saturn is in the 2nd House...which is (among other things) the House of Music.
So, get this: in 1998 Michael told a somewhat snarky Wired magazine reporter that “20 or 30 years from now, there’s going to be some gizmo that kids carry around in their back pocket that has everything in it - including our books, if they want.”
The really wild thing is that I remember when the iPod was first introduced in October, 2001. Do you remember what they said in that very first tv commercial???
A thousand songs in your pocket.
The iPod then, is simply the commercial - musical version of what Michael had in mind...and the iTunes store is, well, just a hugely commercial version of project gutenberg.
It makes you wonder about the nature of that archetype of Recognition that was so strong in both Steve Jobs and Michael Hart.
And it may have just been coincidence, but wasn’t that really Steve Jobs recognizing Michael Hart???

the planets
9th House Piscean Sun exactly BiQuintiles 2nd House Leo Pluto (in his Sextile to Neptune, and Square to Chiron) at 12:29 PM.

kristo’s intuition
That 9th House is connected to the archetype of Generosity...and so here we have Michael’s symbolic gift to the music industry...i.e. the iPod, albeit via the genius of Steve Jobs.
And that Pluto is a perfect symbol for the difficulty the music industry would eventually have with Michael’s visionary concept of “free” downloads of digitized information.

the planets
4th House Moon Conjuncts Neptune at 1:31 PM.

kristo’s intuition
Michael was born with that Baby Boomer Libran Neptune enhanced by the Moon, and in this 4th House placement there’s a sense that the justice he most cared about had some deeply personal, secret significance.
I would have to say that somewhere in his psyche was the memory of some wrong that he either witnessed or was told about in family stories, and then decided that he was going to right.
He was called a Don quixote character in one Wired story...and this certainly confirms its psychological ground.

the planets
8th House Sol exactly Conjuncts Retrograde Mercury at 2:34 PM.

kristo’s intuition
This pretty much shows that he liked to stick it to certain people.
Especially those who wanted some sort of control over his enterprise.
Hey, who could blame him?

the planets
2nd House Moon Sextiles 12th House Pluto at 4:00 PM.

kristo’s intuition
Unfortunately for Michael, his sense of fairness cost him a certain amount of personal comfort.
Not that he saw it that way...but his brand of stubbornness is still stubbornness.
A 12th House Pluto ALWAYS wants to save the matter what the price.
It’s just a Mother Teresa kinda thing.

the planets
7th House Mercury exactly BiQuintiles 12th House Pluto at 4:43 PM.

kristo’s intuition
While I may not be such a huge fan of the Mother Teresa enterprise, Michael definitely was.
And it worked for him.
Some people aren’t meant or cut out to be ascetics.
Michael must have reveled in it.
Not only that...but he turned it into a battle against illiteracy, not poverty.
And maybe that’s the most fascinating thing about him.
He didn’t mind poverty...but what he DID mind was a world with only selective / gated access to the written word.
That, apparently, was his windmill.

the planets
12th House Moon Quintiles 9th House Leo Saturn at 9:34 PM.

kristo’s intuition
This is a definitive workaround for copyright law.
That is, I would see this symbolizing the fact that he started something that is eventually going to be accomplished.
It may have been a little Blanche Dubois of him...but his particular form of reliance on the kindness of strangers (in this Quintile) is anything but weak and affected.

the planets
5th House Sol exactly Squares 8th House Uranus at 9:37 PM.

kristo’s intuition
And just look at that! A near simultaneous transformation of what’s possible in this world.
The strong 10th House Pluto, which is pretty much averse to censorship, information mining, and snooping is gonna succeed as perhaps the most important contribution of the Baby Boomer generation.
Even as this Square to Uranus (signifying a revolution in the publishing industry) throws a monkey wrench into that possibility, it just means that Michael wasn’t the guy to finish the job.
The copyright law isn’t written in stone...and isn’t even written for authors.
It WILL eventually change in everyone’s favor...just as Michael would have loved it to.
I think if you read this longer, more interesting piece on Michael in Wired, you’ll see that he wasn’t a Steve Jobs in terms of marketing...but he certainly was a success...for himself and for generations to come.

Interestingly, Michael was under the influence of a Saturn transit which was to end on December 5th of this year...i.e. transiting Saturn was Conjuncting his natal Moon (right after Conjuncting his natal Neptune).
The approximate dates for this were:
I’ve written about the significance of Pluto Transits on my blog, but haven’t addressed Saturn transits outside of private readings.
Let’s just say that they constitute the concept of “experience.”

So, this is my lunarscope version of Michael’s horoscope.
Instead of using 12 Noon for people with an unknown birth time, I choose to use the course of the Moon for the entire birth day, and therefore include perinatal influences, i.e. the time just before and just after birth, as a significant aspect of a person’s character.
Even when the time of birth IS known, a lunarscope (in addition to a regular horoscope) provides greater information, and therefore additional depth of insight into character.



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kristo’s daily horoscope ... jungian horoscope for Michael S. Hart ... © Curtis Cates, M.D.