The Astrology of Alzheimer’s

Tuesday April 7th 2015
1966 Book cover designed by Edward Bawden

1966 Book cover designed by Edward Bawden

Some readers of this blog have been having a discussion about Alzheimer’s in the comments section under the short post on Terry Pratchett, the English author who died recently of the disease.

They have come up with several interesting hypotheses about finding a predisposition for the condition in the chart. So I thought it would be interesting to get up a few charts of well-known people who were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and see what we could see.

The proposals are

  • Mars-Mercury contacts
    This is to do with Mercury’s rulership of aluminium and Mars’ of iron. The processing of these metals is thought to be a factor in some forms of Alzheimer’s.
  • Orcus-Arachne contacts, or just Arachne
    Jeremy Neale, who is an expert on Orcus, a planet that twins Pluto, wrote an interesting piece about Alzheimer’s called The Astrology of Oblivion. To read it click here. He did a neat look at the chart of Dr Alzheimer himself and found an Arachne-Orcus link.
    Locus Beatus had a discussion on her FB page about Arachne but I cannot find the link.
    Arachne is the girl who was turned into a spider, of course, for daring to compete with Athena’s weaving. You can see a mythical connection there between the goddess of mind, and losing your mind.
  • Hypnos
    This is what Eleonora said: “I checked Hypnos (there is an underworld river of oblivion in the greek mythology, called Lethe. There is no asteroid with such name, but Lethe is connected to Hypnos, and to Pluto of course). In nearly all charts (I checked around 20 different) secondary progressed Hypnos was conjuncting a planet AND aspecting the moon (memory) when Alzheimer appeared. Alternativly, it was conjuncting / aspecting the ruler of moon. In case of Terry Pratchett, it was his Saturn. His natal Hypnos conjunct Pluto.
    There is one more interesting thing… The orbit of Hypnos is not steady. It is a very fast asteroid, but it remains in zodiac signs gemini, cancer and leo, longer (about 3 years), and then it moves very fast through other signs (1 year). So, most of us have their natal Hypnos in gemini, cancer or leo. Consequential, the generations with pluto in these signs will be more prone to get the Alzheimer (especially pluto in cancer, because Hypnos is longest in this sign (the sign of memory).
  • Neptune
    As the master of dissolution and dissolving, he could be involved in losing one’s mind.

So here are the charts. We ought really to look at transits to these charts for the onset of Alzheimer’s, but I think this is enough to be getting on with. All charts are from astrodatabank. I’ve put the Rodden Rating next to them. AA means birth time is accurate to DD meaning darn dubious. For the most part, I’ve stuck to close aspects.

I have made brief notes below each chart, but I think you’ll see immediately that Eleonora is definitely on to something here, especially when you throw in Neptune.

It’s worth remembering that Mercury plus Moon equals mind: left and right brain if you will. And that Sun equals the sense of self.

Also Alzheimer’s takes many forms. Rita Hayworth, for example, was terribly disabled by it, poor lady, while Terry Pratchett managed to carry on reasonably well until he died.

American illustrator Norman Rockwell (RR:B)

American illustrator. (RR:B)

 Hypnos ☌ Neptune (in Gemini)
Arachne ☍ Hypnos (partile, that is exact)
 Chiron makes this a T-square
Mercury sextile Mars (wide)

Dutch-American artist: RR: AA

Hypnos ☌ Neptune (in Cancer) sextile Sun (partile)
Sun ☌ Arachne square Chiron
Mars and Mercury in Taurus (too wide for ☌ and separating)

I used to live on her street her in Oxford. This was after she passed, but the neighbours all remembered her wandering in her slippers.

English novelist and philosopher. RR: A. I used to live on her street here in Oxford. This was after she passed, but the neighbours all remembered her wandering in her slippers in her later years, very tragic.

 Hypnos ☌ Neptune (wide) (in Leo) trine Chiron
Arachne opp Orcus (partile)



British Prime Minister. RR: A

Arachne ☌ Uranus (partile) trine Moon (partile) trine Hypnos (wide)
This is a Grand Trine in Air.
Orcus sextile Mercury (partile).


British writer. Birth time unknown

Hypnos ☌ Pluto square Sun qq Moon
Neptune qq Mercury


American movie star. RR: AA.

Arachne ☌ Pluto
Orcus sextile Arachne (partile) Hypnos on the midpoint (in Gemini)
Sun ☍ Orcus


American movie star and NRA activist. RR: AA.

Orcus ☍ Arachne Rising square Hypnos on MC
Mars ☌ Mercury Rx



American singer-songwriter. RR: B.

Arachne ☍ Uranus
Hypnos in Gemini ☌ Chiron
Orcus in Gemini
Mars ☌  Mercury in Taurus


Composer. RR: C.

Hypnos ☌ Moon trine Chiron
Mercury ☌ Uranus (applying)


US President: RR: D. There seems to be some controversy about his birthtime.

Orcus trine Arachne
Hypnos square Arachne qq Orcus
Mercury ☌ Uranus (applying)


Movie star. RR: DD. This doesn’t look like a good birth time, but there’s still plenty of good info here.

Hypnos ☌ Neptune (wide)
Hypnos square Orcus sextile Arachne
Arachne ☍ Chiron

As you can see, Hypnos conjunct Neptune seems to be a frequent signature. Uranus may also be important: take a look at Dr Alzheimer’s chart. I’d be interested to hear what you think.


The doctor after whom this disease is named. RR: AA.

Finally, here is the chart of Dr Alzheimer himself.

He must really have been a great diagnostician. Look at the conjunction of Saturn and the Moon in Libra — and it’s trined by Hypnos.

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  1. Locus Beatus says:

    This is great work and a valuable contribution to astrological knowledge.

    You won’t find a link to the discussion on my page as it’s set to ‘private’ – a group of us ‘astro friends’ use it as a collective resource, often for quite personal discussions; that’s why I very rarely have pro astrologers with their big lists of followers on there – nothing personal!

  2. Eleonora says:

    Here are few more charts. Additionaly, I took about a dozen birth data from obituaries… you know, „dear so and so, died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.“ Unfortunatly, there is no birth time. I analysed numberless english and german obituaries. I think I need a boyfriend.

    First Alzheimer’s patient (we don’t know when she got the disease, nor is the birth date 100% sure):

    Famouse german photographer, author, industrialist and astrologer… commited suicide probably because of Alzheimer:

    German actor:

    This one is from the orbituaries… I haven’t implemented the others yet, I will post them when finished:

    Transits are very important as well. There are some important transits when the person get the diagnose (transiting Hypnos conjunct Node is very often). But we know the exact date only in few cases. In some cases (famouse politicians), we don’t even know the decade when the Alzheimer symptoms first occured. But it is important to see the natal chart anyway, since Hypnos is often prominent in such charts.

    When I have a bit more time, I will implement and post the other charts.

    • Locus Beatus says:

      I’m glad you posted Margaret Thatcher, although I couldn’t open the link.

      I’ve made a chart on with the transits for her day of death adding Hypnos and Orcus. the result is quite startling! I use Equal House – it’s the only system which makes any sense to my Cap Mercury and Jupiter in Libra!

      t-Hypnos is in partile conjunction with her MC, opposing t-Neptune and squaring natal Venus; t-Orcus is in close conjunction with her NN. And she has a partile conjunction of Hypnos and Mercury in her natal, opposing Chiron, and squaring natal Jupiter and Pluto.

      There’s much more of interest if you look… t-Jupiter (so often active in the transits in death charts) is still within a degree of her Arachne. Orcus and opposes Asc in the natal, Saturn too – and t-NN. A conjunction of t-Arachne and Ixion conjuncts natal Pholus.

      • Christina says:

        Good grief! Astrology is astounding sometimes — even if you’re one of the people who know it works. (I don’t want to say a “believer”)

      • Locus Beatus says:

        I tried to post a link to my chart from Imagur but it’s not loading 🙁 Let’s try again…

        • Locus Beatus says:

          Damn! I don’t want to try loads of poss links for IMG, that one should have worked – it’s for blogs.

          For the record, Thatcher’s Arachne is at 7˚06 r in Gemini, and her Hypnos is at 23˚49, only .02˚ from her Libra Mercury in H12


    • Christina says:

      Wow thanks for this. Tons of more data to look at.

      I wanted to ask you a bit more about Hypnos’ cycle. I was so surprised that Neptune conjunct Hypnos came up in the first charts so often that I wondered if their orbits were connected. The combination is such an obvious metaphor for a certain kind of dementia. (I love astrology when it works like this.) I also think Hypnos in Gemini is significant.

  3. Eleonora says:

    There is no connection between the orbits (as far as I know). Hypnos is very close to the Earth. But since Neptune is in so many of these charts in gemini/cancer/leo, and Hypnos is in these signs for most of the time, there is at least a current astrological connection. Which would explain why is Alzheimer / Dementia so frequent today. The planet which comes closest to the Hypnos is – Earth. And it’s trans-marsian. To see it google „14827 Hypnos orbit”. NASA should have it in 3D.

  4. Eleonora says:

    I just looked at Queen Elisabeth, Redford and Kissinger’s natal and s. progressed charts… Queen Elisabeth and Redford have no such issues. But Kissingers natal Hypnos conjunct Pluto (no natal aspects with Neptune and none with s. progression). There is another obvious explenation for this aspect.

  5. mimi says:

    Hi Christina,

    If Hypnos is so important in the chart of people who develop alzheimer’s / dementia, then how would you explain that there are so many more young patients, who have recently been diagnosed with dementia ( there was an item about this on tv here in the Netherlands ) ?
    Apparently doctors are seeing more and more really young patients (and I mean very young like in their thirties / forties / fifties ) who have developed alzheimer’s or dementia already (and it is not Korsakov).

    I really think there is much more to it.
    Therefore we must not forget that there are so many, many different forms of alzheimers and dementia. When my eldest brother was diagnosed with alzheimer’s the doctor told us that there were at least 84 different kinds of alzheimer’s!

    And don’t forget alzheimer’s is a disease in the brain and dementia is a consequence of bad arteries and just becoming older, but could also be a consequence of the disease of alzheimer’s.


    • Christina says:

      Yes – I did point out right at the top that Alzheimer’s “takes many forms” and I think you can see from these charts that there is no single signature. Nevertheless, it’s clear to me that there is a Hypnos factor, and I was quite surprised by the insistence of the Neptune-Hypnos signature in some of these charts.

      I also feel that certain kinds of Alzheimer’s are more Uranian and some more Neptunian. This is simply from personal experience, but since I couldn’t put my finger on it with these people — not knowing enough about each case — I have left it to you readers to add what you know.

      As always with astrology, the “rule of three” is important to keep in mind: only when you see something suggested three times in a chart can you with certainty call it.

      However, I thought it would be useful to simply have these ten charts as a starting point.

      • Isy says:

        While there are many kinds of Alzheimer’s, they are still unified by a core set of alterations in life expression. I’m not at all surprised that there is a set of astro markers, and that different cases lean towards one type of signature and others to others. Both the commonality and the variations make sense.

  6. Isy says:

    The tie-in (haha) to Arachne makes perfect sense to me. The salient feature of Alzheimer’s disease under a microscope is the the tangled structure of the neurons. Instead of the network of neurons forming a fairly neat net, it’s a mess of rat’s-nests.

    Here is a link to an NIH page with images on the left. Scroll down to the Neurons heading and just scan through the healthy and unhealthy neuron images. It’s amazingly clear. Tangled skeins, not tidy weaves.

  7. Meli says:

    Hi Christina,

    Very interesting article. My grand-mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer at the end of 2012. At the beginning we thought it could be a depression as she has always been a very active person. In fact she drove her own car until 2013! She has always had a very active social life and comes from a very big family. I am not an astrologer but I am good at looking at patterns and I have noticed that she started to show this illness when her work and social life changed. She was teaching until June 2012 and had always had a very busy schedule. She has a good amount of friends that are younger than her. She is very healthy (as far as I remember she only had few colds in her life). She has always enjoyed games related to words, culture, maths (scrabble is one of her favourites – she still plays scrabble even if now it is more difficult for her-you need to cheat a little bit to allow her to win as she is not a good looser – and sometimes she is very conscious that her mental capacity is not the same as it used to be). She has always enjoyed playing with cards and in particular to a very complicated game that needs lot of strategy and memory (I would not be surprise if Mercury is strong on her chart). The funny thing is that she still plays to this game and her fellow players say that she is still an excellent player.
    Her birthday is 30/04/1924 (Taurus). I don’t know her time of birth (she has never known it. She always tells me that birthdays were not so important at the time).
    My theory, if you allow me, is that her life style changed when she experienced a strong transit (maybe her third Saturn returns?…29×3= 87 she is now almost 91). She started to feel empty and useless as she was spending most of her time at home (she has always be active and a frequent traveller. As a good earth sign that gives her life-I am a Virgo sun so I can relate to this-). Days became too long for her (despite the fact that she is probably one of the few old people that I know that still gets the amount of daily calls that she receives). So my theory is that she found that a good way to deal with the situation was to evade from it (if you allow me this reaction reminds me of Neptune) she decided let go memories as she is conscious that she is getting old .. for her it´s like she doesn’t need to retain things anymore. (Last year she told me (one week before her birthday) “you know not everybody gets the chance to celebrate my age (90)”) She enjoys the moment so much … she loves chocolates (as all the Taurus people that I know) you can see a big smile when you bring her chocolates or she gets visit (even if a couple of hours later she would probably forget about it)…she still makes notes of everything on her notebook and she even went to vote at her own initiative in 2013 “it was her duty” (she rarely gets out of the house …not because she is not in good health (she is) it’s just that she is lazy…if she wants to do something she will do it and you will not stop her but for most of the things she has lost her initiative. When she had her car her initiative was strong…she would go everywhere with her car).Sometimes she is incredible as she retains perfectly certain things (for example if she knows that I am having a hard time she will ask me again about it even if she forgot all the other things that I said to her… her brain still remembers that there is a concern there. Everything that relates to emotions or wellbeing she remembers).
    She used to be an excellent cook and to be fair she cooked actively until the autumn 2012. She still lives on her own and she is very stubborn (A good Taurus again- it’s very hard for her to acknowledge that she needs help. She gets very well with my sister who is Cancer and has a very strong character… her husband was Piscis…). Three of her daughters are Leo and the other one Pisces. The latter was the one who needed more time to come to terms with the new situation. As a Leo rising sign I have seen how the last transit of Saturn has affected all of us on matters related to the house. I also guess that the recent family of eclipses Scorpio-Taurus may have been at play. There was a Solar eclipse one day before her birthday in 2014 (April 29 08º Taurus 51).
    Despite her age and the fact that she never grew up with technology she still use her mobile and never moves without it (Uranus must be somehow strong on her chart I guess as she is more into technology that my mum). She has also been keeping herself up to date about all the new technology and she always ask about this topic. She was using Skype with us until probably 2009 (her computer became very old so slow and she hates to wait). Her brother who is 89 (Aries) bought her a tablet last year as she was still asking about it but she doesn’t use it too much. In 2012 she was asking me to find an application that could allow her to play Scrabble with me over the computer or phone as we do not live in the same country…she was 88!
    She lost one of her best friend from Alzheimer probably 10 years ago- I can probably find the date of the diagnosis and her birth date-. It was very hard for her to witness that and she was at the time very conscious about the illness and how the patient evolves so I have the sense that she is more conscious of the situation that she is going through that we think (doctors, family and friends)
    Last but not least, it seems that people that get Alzheimer do not develop cancer and vice versa (I read that in a scientific article) …For me cancer seems like an auto destructive reaction of the body -conscious or not- and Alzheimer is more like a strong and permanent evasion from life. I have always seen Mars and Pluto more active and Neptune more passive and confusing…maybe is just me because my MC is in Aries/Taurus and my moon is also there.
    The reason to tell you all these things is that I would be happy to contribute to your research and I would also be happy also to hear what you find on her chart. Thanks!

  8. Meli says:

    Hi again,

    I had a look at the Charts that you show on the post and from my observation Hypno does not always remain 3 years in Gemini, Leo or Cancer and 1 year on the other signs. (“The orbit of Hypnos is not steady. It is a very fast asteroid, but it remains in zodiac signs gemini, cancer and leo, longer (about 3 years), and then it moves very fast through other signs (1 year). So, most of us have their natal Hypnos in gemini, cancer or leo.). Maybe I am wrong or did not understand how you calculate this but out of curiosity I created a table to see the pattern myself and I cam to this conclusions:

    Date Arachne Hypno
    14 June 1864 27.30 Scorpio 12.21 Gemini
    3 Feb 1894 15.17 Sag 15.26 Gemini

    My observation:
    30 years difference : Same sign for Hypno. Arachne moves 1 sign or 11 signs.
    The date of birth of my grand-mother is 1924 so 30 year from 1894 …Could it be that Hypno is again in Gemini?

    Date Arachne Hypno
    14 Nov 1900 25.23 Leo 5.47 Leo

    My observation: 6 years of difference since 1894
    8 signs difference for Arachne.
    For Hypno: On the 3 Feb 1894 it was mid sign of Gemini so 3 years later =1897 it was mid cancer and 3 years later it should be mid sign of Leo but in Nov 1900 is only at the early degrees of Leo

    Date Arachne Hypno
    24 April 1904 0.47 Taurus 3.47 Cancer

    My observation: 4 years difference since 1900-
    9 signs difference for Arachne.
    11 signs of difference for Hypno or 1 retrograde?. If Hypno spends 3 years in Gemini, Leo and cancer how this works?

    Date Arachne Hypno
    6 Feb 1911 16.16 Sag 17.37 Virgo

    My observations: 7 years difference since1904-
    6 signs difference for Arachne.
    2 signs and a half of difference for Hypno — The 3 years in cancer and the 3 years in Leo works here.

    Date Arachne Hypno
    11 March 1916 17.37 Acua 11.26 Libra

    My observations: 5 years difference from 1911
    2 signs difference for Arachne and the same in the case of Hypno. This would not follow the comments above (3 years in gem, Leo , Cancer and approx 1 year in the other signs) in 1911 it was in Virgo so it should have been in Aquarius?

    Date Arachne Hypno
    17 Oct 1918 3.11 Libra 1.10 Leo

    My observations: 2 years difference since 1916
    6 signs difference for Arachne.
    10 signs difference for Hypno- Unless it moves backwards ( 1 Year Virgo and the 1 Leo) it would not follow the pattern of 1 sign per year.

    Date Arachne Hypno
    15 July 1919 29.30 Libra 1.48 Leo

    My observations: 1 year difference since 1919-
    Same sign for Arachne.
    Same sign for Hypno and almost same degree.

    Date Arachne Hypno
    3 Nov 1921 8.13 Cancer 6.46 Cancer

    My observations: 2 years difference since 1919-
    2 signs difference for Arachne.
    1 sign backwards or 11 signs- It would not follow the 3 years pattern in Leo or Cancer.

    Date Arachne Hypno
    4 Oct 1923 9.03 Scorp 6.18 Leo

    My observations: 2 years difference since 1921
    3 signs difference for Arachne.
    1 sign for Hypno- So this would follow the pattern of 3 years from 1919 if it goes retrograde

    Date Arachne Hypno
    22 April 1936 4.14 scorp 11.45 gem

    My observations: 13 years difference from 1923-
    same sign for Arachne.
    1 sign and a half backwards or 11 sign for hypno
    I found that from 1924 to 1936 there is 12 years difference. If on 14 June 1864 Hypno was at 12.21 Gemini and on 3 Feb 1894 at 15.26 Gemini it could be that in 1924 Hypno was also in Gem as it would be in 1954 (30 years since 1894). there is almost 15 years from 1924 to 1936 (12 years) it could be that between 1936 and 1939 Hypno was in Gem as it is in Gem on 22 April 1936. This would mean that every 12/15 years approximately he comes back to the same sign. If on 28 April 1948 Hypno is in Leo this could be true. 1939+15=1954-1948=6 years. In 1948 it was in Leo (so 3 years) and then from 1951 +3 years in Cancer= 1954 in Gemini.
    So would this mean that for he goes backward?

    Date Arachne Hypno
    28 April 1948 17.16 Leo 10.45 Leo

    My observations: 12 years difference since 1936 –
    8 signs difference for Arachne.
    1 sign for Hypno ( but in 1936 it was in gemini so let’s say 3 years in gemini, 3 years in cancer and 3 years in Leo = 9 years + 3 years it should be in Sag unless it goes retrograde…)

    Sorry this may be a stupid comment as I am probably missing something but my Virgo side does not find the logic …

  9. Eleonora says:

    Hello Meli! It was only my first estimated value for Hypnos, because I couldn’t find anything about the asteroid. Actually, Hypnos needs some 3,7 years for hole circle, not 3. The values for gemini, leo and cancer are only approximations. So, great you made that work, now we can calculate the more accurate values.

    • Meli says:

      Hi Christina and Eleonora,

      I was reading an article today related to Liliane Bettencourt (Principal shareholder of L´Oreal) and this posts and your comments came back to my mind. She was born in 21 October 1922 and she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer. I remembered that on the list of charts you had one for 1919, another for 1921, another for 1923 and I gave you the date of birth of my grand-mother who was born in 1924. If all these people have been diagnosed with Alzheimer you have 5 charts covering 4 of 5 years (1919-1924). So you might be able to get a better estimated value for Hypnos if you compare them. I also thought that Queen Elizabeth who was born in 1926 does not seem to be affected by this specific disease, so if you have her chart you might also get additional information as you can study the movements within a period of 7 years (1919-1926).

      Additionally, the Egyptian actor Omar Sharif (who was born on 10 April 1932) has also been diagnosed with Alzheimer recently. He was born the same year that the Spanish politician (25 September 1932 Avila Spain) who also died from this disease as I mentioned in another comment. So this gives you two charts for the same year. As you have already analysed a chart for 1936 (22 April 1936) you may be able also to see if the orbital period of 3,7 or 4,79 year works.

      • Christina says:

        Interesting. I’ll dig into this when I get back from holiday. I have followed both those stories. So sad.

    • Meli says:


      I just remembered that a famous Spanish politician died of Alzheimer in 2014…his name is the new name of Madrid’s airport

      DOB : 25 September 1932 Avila Spain
      Death : 23 March 2014 after 11 years of battle against the illness.

      Maybe it’s useful for your research!

    • Meli says:

      Hi Eleonora,

      Thank you for your explanation. I am glad that my observation may be of assistance to you.
      I wanted to have a look at the links that you posted in one of the previous comments but the images had expired according to astro so I could not see the dates. Maybe if you take two charts per year between 1894 and 1954 you can calculate more accurate values.

      In any case I look forward to reading more about your findings!

      • Eleonora says:

        The orbital period (source: NASA) is 4,79 years, but to calculate the period for each sign, we of course need the retrograde periods as well… And since a retrograde period always depends on the relative position to the sun, and that position will change each year (because 4,79 years is not an integral number), we have to track Hypnos for at least 48 years… which is plenty of work.

        Sorry because of the links… I am away on a travel until wednesday, without access to my astro account – but I will fix that as soon as possible. It would be nice to have more data from ordinary people, scince Hypnos may have some influence on fame… so it would be more prominent in VIP’s charts even without Alzheimer.