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Robert Hanssen: The Aries SpyHanssenR Image

The death of Robert Hanssen, former F.B.I. agent and convicted spy for the Soviet Union, reminded me of the great interest I took in his horoscope back in 2001 when was arrested. Hanssen has to dubious honor of being the double agent who did the most damage to U.S. intelligence interests during his absurdly long career as a spy. He didn’t do this for political reasons. After his arrest Hanssen claimed his motive was entirely financial. However, many feel that there was another reason his 30 year campaign of betrayal. He was really pissed off.

What made Hanssen so angry was the fact that he was not promoted by the F.B.I. at a rate that he felt was commensurate with his intelligence. He was an Aries by Sun sign and, like most Aries people, he was ambitious. The fact that people who wer, in his opinion, far less brilliant than he were getting promoted over him left this Aries feeling frustrated, and there is few things more dangerous to peace and harmony than a frustrated Aries. (Click on Robert Hanssen to see the chart.)

The outstanding feature in Hanssen’s horoscope is the placement of the Sun in Aries in the Tenth House. As I said, ambition is a typical Aries trait. Having the Sun in the Tenth House doubles that quality. With this placement Hanssen needed to be seen as something special. He needed to stand out, particularly in his professional life. When his superiors at the F.B.I. failed to do this, Hanssen took revenge.

Hanssen’s Moon is in the Eighth House, and excellent placement for someone who worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Moon in the Eighth indicates a natural affinity for what is hidden and for what is forbidden. These qualities are, of course, necessary for a sleuth, but they also work well for a spy.

The problem with the Moon in the Eighth, particularly in combination with the Sun in the Tenth, is power. In my book “Behind the Horoscope” I say of this house placement “with the Moon in the Eighth, power always carries an emotional kick and that kick can become addictive”. Hanssen’s ability to continually fool his superiors at the F.B.I. obviously gave him a sense of power and once he had tasted that forbidden fruit, he couldn’t give it up.

The fact that the Moon in Hanssen’s chart makes a quincunx to Neptune is also an important factor. The quincunx is a wildcard aspect. It always breaks in weird ways. And Neptune is the planet of deception and porous boundaries. Hanssen was a devout Catholic but the boundaries of Christian morality in no way impeded his activities as a double agent.

One thing that is odd about this chart is the placement of Venus near the Midheaven square Mars. This aspect conveys a lot of sexual tension. It’s hard to see how this relates to Hanssen’s activities either as a F.B.I. agent or as a spy. However, it is known that Hanssen used a hidden camera to film himself having sex with his wife and that he shared these videos with a friend. He also frequented a local strip club and befriended one of the dancers, though he refused to have intercourse with her. He apparently preferred the sexual tension.

When Hanssen was finally arrested on Sept. 18, 2001 he reportedly said, “What took you so long? Anyone who spent time with an impatient Aries has probably heard something similar, though hopefully not as that Aries was being dragged off to jail. On that day Hanssen’s secondary progressed Sun was conjunct his natal Saturn (symbol of justice) which is placed in the Twelfth House of imprisonment (in the house system I’m using here). This is certainly an appropriate marker for the end of this man’s career as a double agent.