The Astrological Chart of Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall is an English primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist and UN Messenger of Peace. She is the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees and is known most for her 50-year study of social and family life of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. She is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and has worked extensively on conservation and animal welfare issues.
This paper takes a close look at Goodall from an astrological perspective, examining the three most prominent houses in her chart, and ascertaining whether the themes associated with these houses correlate with the themes in Goodall’s life. Supporting evidence is backed up by videos that Goodall has appeared in and the following books she has written:
- Africa in My Blood (the Early Years)
- Beyond Innocence (the Later Years)
The First House (Ascendant)
The first thing I noticed about Goodall’s chart is the Moon on her ascendant, which indicates that Goodall’s mother would play an important role in her life, and this was indeed the case. On numerous occasions, Goodall has expressed her thankfulness for having had a wonderful mother. In “Sowing Seeds of Hope,” Goodall says, “I just got lucky. I was born into a family with a mother who above all was supportive.” When she was just 4 years old, she was given the job of collecting the hen’s eggs. “When no one answered my question to my satisfaction about where eggs come out of the hen, I followed the hens around and, in the process, worried my parents because they couldn’t find me.” But, upon finding her, Jane’s mother patiently listened to what Jane had learned about hens and egg.
“Isn’t that the making of a little scientist, the curiosity, asking questions, not getting the answer, deciding to find out for yourself, making a mistake, not giving up, and learning patience. A different kind of mother might have crushed that spirit of scientific curiosity.”
Although Goodall was away from her family for most of her life, her family was always in her thoughts. Mercury in the 4th house makes the native’s mind focused on home and family, and Goodall wrote prolifically to them. In fact, many of the letters she wrote in Africa in My Blood and Beyond Innocence were to “Darling Mummy” and “Darling Family.”
The mind of a Scorpio moon also notices and imagines things far beyond the scope of others because it is highly intuitive. When asked by Al Roker on the Today Show, “What was it about Africa and chimps that captivated you?” Jane answered, “Being out in the wild. But back when I dreamed it, there was nobody doing anything like that.” Jane dreamed that up. The interview continued:
Roker: To go where nobody had gone before, what gave you the confidence to do that?
Jane: I think I was destined to do it.
Several areas in Goodall’s chart show the source of this confidence and belief in herself — and in what she was doing. First, the Sun-Mars conjunction (two hot planets that are friendly together) in the fifth house is like having the king and a soldier in one house. It’s one of the most powerful conjunctions for achieving a goal, and with the Sun (the soul) in the lower degree, the Sun acts as the leader and Mars the willing follower of the soul’s purpose. The sense of purpose this conjunction produces is strong enough that the person will do what it takes to make it happen (i.e., sleep on the street until things get getting, or in Jane’s case, live amidst the wild animals).
Also, Sun is at home in the fifth house, so it gives the native strong resistance to any obstacles that arise in that house, and the person will fight for their principles, their higher ideals, and values – their kingdom. In Goodall’s case, her kingdom has a Piscean quality to it, which is described by Yavanajataka as being related to pilgrimages, rivers, oceans, clouds, and where heaven and earth come together, the path of contemplation, the place where you are aware of yourself as the ocean and how anything that you need can come out of it.
Letting go of London and making the long voyage to Africa, where Jane would spend her life in service and sacrifice to a cause that would have far-reaching effects beyond Africa and throughout the world, resonate with Yavanajataka’s description.
The fourth house indicates where Jane would call “home” and with whom she would live. It also indicates how she would compensate for this unique living arrangement. Beginning with the Saturn-Venus conjunction: Venus, the natural ruler of Libra (Goodall’s 12th house, a significator of wild animals) is in her fourth house (a significator of home). So here we have Goodall living among the wild animals instead of with her family (Saturn-Venus conjunction can separate a person from family). Saturn, especially being in an air sign like Aquarius, can also give detachment from material possessions. Saturn is in its MT in Goodall’s chart and is fully awake (jagrat), which no doubt contributed to Goodall’s determination, moral strength, and her ability to overcome obstacles.
The following Lajjitaadi Avashta also applies:
- The 12th lord (Libra – Venus) in the 4th house (Aquarius): Excellent capacity for devotion and contemplation. Home is an ashram. Lives and is educated in foreign lands. Helps those in need. Feels emotionally free and unburdened. Collects artifacts (!!) from other cultures in one’s home. Spends time in libraries and museums.
- Saturn is the karaka planet for the eighth house.
- The lord of the eighth (Gemini) – Mercury is in the fourth with Venus and Saturn (MT).
Moon and Research Style
Moon is the natural karaka of the mind, and is the more receptive, feminine, and imaginative side, so Moon in Scorpio could create an intense interest in secretive matters, a desire to unearth something good – and that’s exactly what Goodall did. Shortly after arriving in the remote African rainforest of Gombe, Goodall made one of the most important scientific observations of modern times: that chimps not only use tools, but they know how to make them. “It was hard for me to believe,” she recalls. “At that time, it was thought that humans, and only humans, used and made tools. … I remember that day as vividly as if it was yesterday.”
With Moon in Scorpio, Goodall’s investigative style had a personal touch to it. Instead of numbering the chimpanzees she observed, she gave them personal names and observed their unique and individual personalities, an unconventional idea at the time.
“It isn’t only human beings who have personality, who are capable of rational thought [and] emotions like joy and sorrow.”
In Africa in My Blood, Goodall writes that she observed behaviors such as hugs, kisses, pats on the back, and even tickling, what we consider “human” actions.
Strict scientific doctrines would have overlooked many of things Goodall discovered about wild animals, including cannibalism. In true Scorpio style, Goodall unearths the unspeakable about her beloved wild chimps:
“I heard the details of Gilka’s baby’s barbarous murder now. Passion attacked Gilka, Pom helped for a bit, and then while Passion continued, Pom seized the baby, went off with him, and – just as Passion did before – deliberately killed him, biting into his forehead. Then the cannibalistic family fed on his remains for 5 hours, Passion taking charge of the body, Pom and Prof begging.”
Throughout Africa in My Blood and Beyond Innocence, Goodall talks a lot about matters dealing with life and death, about the crises going on in Gombe (Scorpio investigator).
“At this intimate range, I observed details of their lives never recorded before. I saw chimpanzees in the wild hunt and kill for meat. Though this had been suspected, nobody dreamed that a chimpanzee would attack an animal as large as a bushbuck, until I saw an ape with his kill.”
In addition to cannibalism, Jane also discovered that these animals also made war, wiping out members of their own species with almost genocidal brutality on one occasion. This is Scorpio terrain, for sure, as these areas of life simply aren’t discussed, never mind witnessed by a young girl/woman.
Moon is also the ninth house lord, which is related to the need to gain deeper understanding and insight into life, travel, and education. Goodall traveled worldwide throughout her life for speaking engagements, book signings, film appearances, educational programs, and many other related events. She was also the eighth person in Cambridge University’s history to earn a Ph.D. without first earning a baccalaureate degree. (Ketu in the 9th and 9th lord in the 1st, can give a strong affinity towards educational success from past lives.)
In closing, an apropos quote from Goodall:
“When I look back over my life, it’s almost as if there was a plan laid out for me – from the little girl who was so passionate about animals who longed to go to Africa and whose family couldn’t afford to put her through college. Everyone laughed at my dreams. I was supposed to be a secretary.” – Dr. Jane Goodall
(This paper was written by R. Wright, Asheville Vedic Astrology Apprentice.)
 Fish, Richard and Kurczak, Ryan, The Art and Science of Vedic Astrology, Vol. 1, Asheville Vedic Astrology, Asheville, NC (2012).
 Kurczak, Ryan and Fish, Richard, The Art and Science of Vedic Astrology, Vol. 2, Asheville Vedic Astrology, Asheville, NC (2014).
 Goodall, Jane, Africa in My Blood, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston – New York, 2000.
 Ryan Kurczak, Sun and Mars Astrological Conjunctions, https://www.youtube.com/watch?, July 28, 2019.
 KRSchannel, Sun and Mars Conjunction in Astrology, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByRPIo4pttk.
 Ryan Kurczak, The Moon in the 12 Houses, https://ashevillevedicastrology.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/the-moon-in-the-12-houses/
 The Today, Interview with Al Roker, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYFj2feOjLA
 Sowing Seeds of Hope, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQVVIDCXk50.
 Goodall, Jane, Beyond Innocence, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston – New York, 2001.
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