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The Astrology of Happiness ... cont.


            Dopamine and Jupiter continued:


Born two days apart musicians Eric Burden and Ritchie Valens are examples of dopamine types with their Sun’s conjunct Jupiter in a stellium with Uranus, Venus, Mercury and Saturn – and all these square natal Mars.


Another famous dopamine/Jupiter type was Janis Joplin whose Jupiter is unaspected in the 5th house; and as is often the case with unaspected planets, she projected everything into her 5th house in an attempt to understand it. Her life was cut short before resolution at age 27 following her progressed lunar return (in the 5th), with Lilith progressed conjunct Jupiter and transiting Lilith semi-square Jupiter.



GABA and Saturn


A way of avoiding the extreme floods and droughts of Jupiter/Dopamine excess and deficiency is to break big tasks into subsets and to multitask, so that achievement is spaced out, rewards come steadily and you’re not continually annoyed with not getting all the things you planned in a day done.


Jupiter is not a personal planet so the remedies for the stress of excess dopamine are generalised into well known healthy lifestyle regimes like relaxation, meditation, exercise, massage, music and sleep; along with vitamin B and adaptogen herbs like Withania, Gotu Kola, Ginseng and Rhodiola.


If Jupiter is weakly aspected then the individual is likely to be uninterested in life generally and the same remedies for excess apply.



Unlike dopamine, gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) is a neurotransmitter that reduces the activity of nerve cells; much like Saturn’s policeman role of reducing fun for the sake of order.


GABA is the dominant neurotransmitter in 50% of people and in Dr Eric Braverman’s ‘Personality Test’ GABA clearly facilitates the attributes of Saturn - stability and objectivity.


GABA/Saturn working well in your body has an effect like taking ‘Benzos’ or their herbal equivalent Valerian – they calm you down.  L-Theanine in tea also helps and has the opposite effect to coffee which excites the neurones.


As we all know alcohol breaks down the inhibitions surrounding Saturn’s principles - but why not consider self regulation of GABA by adhering to Saturn’s rules and then you wouldn’t have to worry about anything – except boredom!

Mathieu Ricard's Birth Chart

The varying proportions of neurotransmitters generated by a day’s activities is limitless – as are the layered associations of planetary interplay; but even so, the planets should give an indication of which neurotransmitters are more likely to predominate; remembering that self development through the wisdom of years will alter natural inclinations. 

(15th Feb 1946, 4.20 pm AA, Aix les Bains, France)


Points of note:

·        Sun conjunct Venus in the 7th accentuates a desire for positive self reflection and with Mercury also being conjunct there is much thought put into bringing this about (activating acetylcholine). Serotonin is regulated by the resultant feelings of worthiness which are accentuated by the Sun/Venus/Mercury stellium being trine his 4th house Jupiter in Libra, creating multiple opportunities for generating self respect and in turn releasing dopamine associated with new ideas and activities. (Note that Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung both have their Suns in the 7th house.)

·       A grand trine is then completed by the North Lunar Node in the 11th house which indicates a quest to serve humanity through the communication (in Gemini) of spiritual truths (North Node septile Moon).

·        Saturn’s conjunction to Mars in the 12th house controls excess energy, regulating adrenaline with a dose of GABA and focusing motivation towards the collective with an eye for anything hidden in the process.






·        Saturn’s square to Chiron on the IC exposes a judgemental tendency emanating from the paternal side of his parentage. This was probably behind Mathieu’s decision to switch from molecular genetics to Tibetan Buddhism in 1972 with his Moon progressed over natal Pluto conjunct his Ascendant. Saturn square Chiron is a difficult arrangement since Saturn’s pragmatism is not suited to 12th house ‘feelings from beyond’ and meditation would be a way of coming to terms with physical and familial incongruences which were antithetic to positive self reflection through relationship. (Mathieu is celibate and a vegan.)

·       Oxytocin aligns with Mathieu’s Leonian Moon in the 1st house which gives emotional satisfaction through the enlightening of others (Cancer ruling the 12th house).

·        The endorphins of physical activity could seem to be repressed by Saturn’s restraining influence on Mars but its higher octave, Pluto, is on the Ascendant, sextile Neptune, quintile Chiron and parallel the North Node, giving an intense devotion to humanitarian causes; and as noted, laughter and happiness triggers endorphins - something that Mathieu would be well aware of.






Emotions have a necessary place in our survival and advancement - if they didn’t we wouldn’t need inner planets.


In practise happiness is something we experience in bursts punctuated by periods of unhappiness which require reflection and adjustment. The trick is to keep emotions within useful boundaries and when their job is done move on while retaining the knowledge gleaned from the experience.


According to Buddhist teachings the basis of happiness is our attentiveness to thoughts and actions and the resulting cultivation of wisdom and compassion. 


By associating planets with the activation of particular neurotransmitters astrological counselling can be complemented with lifestyle regimes and nutritional supplements that help regulate our behavioural responses so that we can move forward towards the goal of happiness and inner contentment.





The Reality of Happiness

‘Charts don’t moralise and say this is a good or bad quality to have. They make no statements of that kind. We tack our morals onto astrology, but the planets and signs make no comment. They merely suggest that this is your piece of cosmos for a lifetime, and you must make of it what you can.’ – Liz Greene, The Outer Planets and Their Cycles; The Astrology of the Collective. 1983, P 44.






GABA and Saturn
Mathieu Ricard's Birth Chart
The Reality of Happiness
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Let’s look at Mathieu Ricard’s birth chart and see how his happiness is configured.