What makes an extreme philanthropist? Why would anyone want to give away outrageous sums of their own money to help those in need? Astrologically, Jupiter, the planet of abundance and generosity, rules philanthropy. But it’s empathetic Neptune that gives the urge to help the helpless. Philanthropists Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and John D. Rockefeller Sr. have strong Jupiter and Neptune influences in their charts. But that’s just part of the picture. Let’s take a closer look to see why these three billionaires decided to change the world with their wealth.
Pluto power: Bill Gates
For the world’s richest man, giving away money is a full time job. Having disbursed more than $14.4 billion so far, Gates is planning to leave behind his daily duties as chairman of Microsoft this summer to work full time at his philanthropy. With an endowment of 36.7 billion, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is committed to improving the health of poor people in developing countries and improving education in the U.S.
Born on Oct. 28, 1955, Gates has the Sun, Venus and Saturn in influential Scorpio and Moon in fiery Aries, which make him a force to be reckoned with in business. Underneath this powerhouse persona, however, is a Neptunian soul – one of the strongest influences in his chart is Neptune conjunct the Sun. This means his individuality and destiny (the Sun) form a merger with the planet of compassion. And although Uranus in the first house gives him a brilliant intellect, his ascendant in nurturing Cancer indicates a caring nature.
Interestingly, his wife, Melinda, co-chair of the foundation, has strong Neptune and Cancer influences as well. She’s a Leo with Venus and Mars in Cancer. Neptune trines her Venus and Mars, indicating great sensitivity. What’s more, she has Saturn, the planet of karma, in Neptune-ruled Pisces. This means her destiny is to help the underprivileged.
As for the Jupiter side of the philanthropy equation, Bill has Jupiter conjunct powerful Pluto, which happens to reside in the second house of earning ability (no surprise there!). In other words, his personal power (Pluto) merges with abundance and generosity (Jupiter) to make him co-chair of the largest philanthropic foundation in the world.
Investing in humanity: Warren Buffett
Intriguingly, consummate investor Warren Buffett shares not only his friend Bill’s Sun-Neptune conjunction, but his Jupiter-Pluto conjunction as well. His compassion and generosity are so in sync with the Gates Foundation’s objectives that he’s pledged 10 million shares of Berkshire Hathaway stock – currently worth about $41 billion – to the foundation in the coming years.
Born on Aug. 30, 1930, Buffett has Sun and Neptune in Virgo, the sign of service. He also shares Bill and Melinda’s nurturing influences, having Mars, Jupiter and Pluto in Cancer. Perhaps it’s the foundation’s belief that all lives have equal value that most impressed Buffett. After all, he has Mercury and Venus in fair-minded Libra, which complements Bill’s Mercury, Mars and Neptune in Libra. All in all, this friendship between philanthropists has the power to change the lives of millions of people.
Revolutionizing philanthropy: John D. Rockefeller Sr.
He was the richest man of his time and a pioneer of modern philanthropy. John D. Rockefeller Sr., founder of Standard Oil, used his considerable wealth to advance education, public health, scientific research and the arts. Perhaps most important, he revolutionized the structure of philanthropy, demanding greater efficiency, involvement and accountability from grantees.
Born on July 8, 1839, the billionaire oil baron shared Gates’and Buffett’s Cancer and Libra influences, having Sun and Mercury in Cancer and Mars and Jupiter in Libra. But it was Jupiter opposing Pluto that heightened his ability to build a fortune – and then give vast sums of it away. And although he was regarded by many as a ruthless monopolist, Neptune trine Jupiter and Mars gave him a dose of compassion for those in need.
Extreme giving can transform lives, but it doesn’t take great wealth to make a great philanthropist. Just the desire to make a difference in the world.
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