Henry Kissinger (1923 – 2023)

“America has lost one of the most dependable and distinctive voices on foreign affairs with the passing of Henry Kissinger. I have long admired the man who fled the Nazis as a young boy from a Jewish family, then fought them in the United States Army”.

~ George W. Bush

Henry Kissinger died this week, on the same day as Shane MacGowan and Alistair Darling.  He had reached the grand old age of 100, and a later generation may relate to Alistair Darling (b. 1953), and a still later generation would prefer to read about Shane MacGowan (b. 1957, but whose Christmas song with Kirsty MacColl is still hailed the best ever).  But I (of the elderly generation) remember vividly his early involvement with Richard Nixon. He has been described especially in recent days as a “divisive figure”.  So how do you distil a hundred years into one blog?  I am about to try…

Birth Chart

Kissinger’s is a supremely intellectual and Mercury ruled chart: he had half his planets (5) in the Air element, he was a double Gemini (with the Sun and the Ascendant in Gemini, with the Sun and Mercury conjunct in Gemini.  Fortunately we have a birth time for him, and can see just how his personality and lifestyle is described by his birth chart.  Then there is the Warrior Archetype, shown by Mars rising (in Gemini, the Verbal Warrior) and a trine of Mars to the Moon.  The Moon is strong, too, in his chart, being exactly trine the Ascendant, in its home House, the 4th.  The Moon furthermore trines his Midheaven (Careerpoint), to create a powerful Grand Trine with which to manage his life.  Venus sextiles Pluto in his chart, and reminds us that he used the power of the cheque book in his diplomacy.  A factor in his success is a fairly rare exact conjunction between his Jupiter in Scorpio and his Part of Fortune in 5th House – I call this the “pot of gold at the end of the rainbow”.  The 5th House is often used to project the personality in dealings with others.  Added to this is a trine between Jupiter and Uranus – The Entrepreneur Archetype.  Jupiter closely trine Pluto indicates a love of power (he called power “the ultimate aphrodisiac”).  But his Jupiter didn’t have it all his way: a square with Neptune meant a confusion about religion and spirituality, which may be linked with what many saw as a lack of integrity.  Uranus conjunct the South Node may point to a past life as a manipulator in Atlantis.  But he was often a “fixer” in his career, some of that down to the sextile between his Midheaven and Chiron.

Life and Career

Kissinger was born in Germany, and as a Jew he recalled beatings by Hitler youth gangs as a child.   His family fled from the Nazis to settle in the U.S. in 1938.  At the time, transiting Uranus was exactly sextile his natal Uranus in Pisces in his 9th House of Foreign Lands, signifying a break with the past and a new direction in life.  He was forever grateful to his new homeland, and patriotic in his foreign policies in his career.  His high school years were spent in Manhattan, as part of the German-Jewish community.  He studied accounting at College in New York, prior to being called up for the army in 1943. Around that time, his naturalization papers came through, with transiting Pluto sextile his natal Sun in Gemini. He was later educated at Harvard College, graduating in 1950 having studied political science, and staying on in academia at Harvard, specializing in nuclear weapons and foreign policy.  From there, he became foreign policy advisor to the presidential campaigns of Nelson Rockefeller.  When Richard Nixon became President in 1969, Kissinger was appointed National Security Advisor.  Thus was a historic collaboration born.


Though he won the peace prize in 1973 for the Paris Peace Accords, his responsibilities for decision making regarding the Vietnam war under the Nixon administration came under fire on account of secrecy and manipulation.  He kept Congress in the dark regarding the U.S. bombing of Cambodia, for example.  In 1969 hundreds of thousands of people were involved with mass protests across the United States calling for withdrawal of troops from the Vietnam War.  He was notably outwitted by interviewer Oriana Fallaci on 4th November 1972, with transiting Mars on his Moon (clash with a female) and transiting Neptune opposite his Sun (exposure and accusation of duplicity).  It was an embarrassment for Nixon.  The charge of secrecy, often applied to his character, is one feature of the natal Sun in 12th House of Secrecy. The Vietnamese remain bitter about his work in this area, to this day.

Yom Kippur War

In his work on international relations he developed what is called Realpolitik, a system of politics or principles based on practical rather than moral considerations (hence my description of the slight shadiness of his Jupiter- Neptune square). At the height of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, a conflict which began with the invasion of Israel by its Arab neighbours, he persuaded the Israelis to stop the war when they encircled the Arab armies. In the aftermath of the Yom Kippur war, he became known for his “shuttle diplomacy”, travelling between all the countries involved to try to broker settlement (most specifically between Telaviv, Cairo and Damascus).  With his heavily Geminian chart, and the North Node in the 3rd House (the natural home for Gemini), this may have been a feature of his karmic mission.  He was responsible for settling the region after that horrific war between Israel and its neighbours, and there was a period of stabilization afterwards, but of course the issues were not solved, and we are seeing the same problems today in the Israel-Hamas war.  Notable transits for Kissinger at the onset of the Yom Kippur war were Uranus on his Moon in Libra in his 4th House (taken by surprise emotionally), Neptune opposite his natal Sun (confusion) and Pluto trine his natal Sun (a gargantuan task).  Simon Tisdall, writing in the Observer this morning, notes that Kissinger’s “contacts with the Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat, are credited with opening a path to the Camp David accords… Those accords led, in turn, to the breakthrough i979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty.”

Other foreign policy

Kissinger has been accused of war crimes and of supporting dictatorial regimes.  However, he initiated the policy of detente, as applied to the Soviet Union, and brokered a new relationship with China (notably with Zhou Enlai), a country that praised him highly this week.

Kissinger and Nixon

These two forged a tight working collaboration.  Their synastry points to a karmic bond, especially since  Nixon’s Ascendant was exactly conjunct Kissinger’s North Node.  Their charts have some similar aspects (despite their being born 10 years apart), and secrecy is a theme in both charts (Nixon had a natal opposition of the Sun and Neptune, which is the natural ruler of the 12th House).

Later perspectives

Also from Simon Tisdall:

“Today, as Kissinger admitted in recent interviews, the world has grown more geopolitically complex – multipolar, multilateral, multidimensional. Nations assert themselves. Non-state actors proliferate. Globalisation creates odd bedfellows…. However celebrated at the time, Kissinger’s approach to the big questions of his day – the China conundrum, the Soviet threat, Middle East instability – failed to produce lasting remedies. All three still pose daunting challenges for the US and its democratic partners.”

Even in this last year or two of his long life, Kissinger had things to say about the situation in Ukraine, including voicing the opinion that “Ukraine above all cannot give up territory that it had when the war started because this would be symbolically dangerous.”, and expressing admiration for Zelenskyy.  He met up with him as recently as September of this year.

He has also commented on the current war between Israel and Gaza, saying the goals of Hamas “can only be to mobilize the Arab world against Israel and to get off the track of peaceful negotiations”.  But his response to the destruction and loss of innocent life in Gaza has not been reported to my knowledge.

I include these commentaries on current situations to illustrate that he felt able to pronounce upon them even to his centenary year.

The divisiveness of his character, life and achievements tends to illustrate that public figures are rarely all bad or all good.

“A good negotiator is somebody who can give others the confidence to move in what they must each perceive to be their own interest and, since they are responsible for the future of their country, you would be reckless if you try to trick them about that.”

~ Henry Kissinger


Today Pluto squares Venus, which is not an easy aspect whatever way you look at it.  Deep feeling issues may be preying on your mind.  These will require some psychological soul-searching for a true interpretation, and may spur on honest-as-you-can-be interpersonal communication. I seem to have been receiving distressed and distressing texts and emails all morning, while writing this blog!  When Pluto squared Venus in October 2022, Liz Truss was forced to resign.

Venus enters Scorpio tomorrow (Monday 4th) ), so emotions and passions could be heightened.  This is a time when deep feelings can be experienced and expressed.  Her previous sojourn through Libra focussed on relationships, and on entering Scorpio the quality of relationship deepens.  You can take a relationship to the next level.  Venus will change sign again on 29th December, so make the most of the opportunity.

A calmer hiatus for Venus occurs on Tuesday (5th) when she forms a trine alliance with Saturn.  This brings hope, of people coming together with more commitment and loyalty.  Venus can provide a softening role to a hard line stance.  It is conciliatory, which may be just what is needed.  Relationships may need serious resolving, and this aspect can help, whether on a personal level, or between nations.

Some unravelling of thorny spiritual knots may become possible from Wednesday (6th), when Neptune is Stationary, prior to turning Direct.  If you have felt confused of late, there is a chance for more clarity, certainty, inspiration and spirituality.  If  you felt your feet were treading water, then your  path could be on surer ground.  It is an opportunity to fine tune relationships, art, or spiritual practices.  After the turnaround has been achieved you may detect greater flow and movement.  Interactions may be subtle, but subtlety can be powerful.

We end the week on a high note, with Mercury trine Jupiter on Friday (8th).  This is the veritable aspect of good news itself.  This could bring productivity, and good conversation.  .  Mercury trine Jupiter expands our minds and philosophies.  This is an upbeat vibe mentally, and can bring opportunities.  It is also helpful for writing projects and studying, so you may make progress on that novel you’re writing, for instance!

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – emotional pain
  • Tomorrow – emotional intensity
  • Tuesday – loyalty and commitment; truce
  • Wednesday – spiritual ease
  • Friday – good news