We all know that the Ides of March was the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar, but it seems to have been conveniently forgotten that this is an astrological statement. We also know that in Shakespeare’s famous “Julius Caesar” play, there is the warning to Caesar from the Astrologer/Reader figure to “Beware the Ides of March”. The “ides” meant the middle of the month, and so this date was taken to mean March 15th or around that time since this was determined by the Moon. This prediction did come true and Caesar was betrayed by his friends and ministers and was assassinated on this day. So why did this particular time frame get singled out? Is there any Astro-logic behind it?
Its actually a very simple logic behind this statement. First off, we do not even have to know Caesar’s birth data to know that a great leader of a great nation such as Rome will obviously be ruled by the Sun. This is the most likely case. So let’s imagine Caesar to have been a Leo lagna (rising sign), and with also the Sun as his atmakaraka, which would likely be the case for someone who ruled the greatest nation at the time. (Of course he may not have had this, but likely had something similar or would not have had the merit to have the life he had.)
If he was indeed a Leo, then during the time of the Ides of March, the Sun would be passing through Pisces, which is the eighth house for a Leo ascendant. The eighth house is the house of death, sudden breaks and changes to one’s life, battles, betrayals, and drama to put it bluntly. Right away we see that this is not the luckiest time for a King. Also when the Sun is in pisces, it is weaker by nature because Pisces is a sign of rest and relaxation, but not a sign of great physical strength or power. He also was 55 when he was killed, which is the natural dasa period of the Sun, so the transits of the Sun would have more bearing on him at this time in his life than other times as well. But these three factors happen often for Sun ruled people, and not so often do they die or get betrayed, so there must be something more to it, but this is a good start.
Now we may recall that the Sun has two enemies, Saturn and Venus. Saturn could have been anywhere at that time, so we will leave Saturn out of the equation. But we do know that Venus would have had to have been either in Aquarius, Pisces, or Aries, as Venus cannot be any further from the Sun astronomically. So focusing on Venus, if Venus was in Pisces, then that would mean that the Sun was being badly “starved” (thrishita, in sanskrit) if it was conjunct its enemy Venus. This is a big problem for the Sun and prevents it from being able to do its job properly (Caesar, in this example). This is even more of a threat because Venus is exalted in Pisces, and so at its strongest possible state! So this Venus is strongly able to starve and afflict the Sun, and the Sun doesn’t have the power to overcome it on his own when in Pisces. Now consider the fact that Venus happens to rule Ministers, and advisors to the King! How did Caesar get betrayed? His advisors, his ministers, his “Venus” in the symbolic sense, conspired against him and had him assassinated! This fits perfectly with the most likely transits to be occurring on the Ides of March. Get an exalted Venus starving the Sun in the eighth house of betrayal and death, this spells bad news for the Sun, which in this case was Julius Caesar.
This may have also had a relation to the Drekkana chart, the third divisional chart in Jyotish. It is called the “Decanates” in Western Astrology, so we know that the Western tradition did have vargas at some point, and likely lost them over time. Perhaps this reader who warned Caesar also used the Decanates or Drekkana chart. If so, they would have likely noticed that the Sun will move from the Cancer drekkana to the Scorpio drekkana around the time of the Ides of March. The Sun would definitely be in the drekkana of Scorpio by the time the Ides of March came, as the Sun would have to be in the last 10 degrees of Pisces at this time. It is a very basic fundamental of Astrology that Scorpio, the eighth sign, has the same qualities as the eighth house we have been discussing, and so Scorpio deals with all of the above themes of death, betrayal, sudden breaks and changes as well. So the Sun’s placement in the Drekkana chart on the Ides of March is also showing the same theme of some type of fall from a height or drama occurring for Caesar at this time.
Oh and what does the Drekkana chart specifically deal with? It is the specific chart we look at to see how one interacts with their siblings, their peers, their ministers, their associates, and the people that they work with who have similar goals. In the context of Caesar, the Drekkana would show the karma’s relating to his Ministers and Advisors, and others who are working towards the similar goal of governing Rome. So this chart is very relevant to the death of Caesar, as it is showing Scorpio/betrayal/death themes very clearly, and it was his associates that betrayed him and murdered him. As many as 60 conspirators were said to have been involved with his death, so he had quite a lot of Drekkana associates to contend with!
This example is made with just the understanding of where two factors were placed in Caesar’s horoscope, the Sun and Venus. Imagine how much more we could see if we had his whole chart? We normally need to see things indicated from a number of different angles, all pointing to the same event, for that event to be able to be predicted confidently. Likely there were even more themes indicating a similar fate for Caesar, but this is what we know was most likely occurring for the Sun and Venus. Mars and Saturn were likely also involved in my opinion. It definitely was not just a simple Sun transit that could have caused this. It is my hope that the reader takes away from this example a more nuanced understanding of the sophistication of astrological predictions along with a newfound appreciation for this idiom.