Katherine Johnson – a Neptune inspired maths genius


Katherine Johnson, a trail-blazing mathematician, overcame racial and gender discrimination to become a kay part of Nasa’s space exploration programme. Her calculations, made with a slide rule and pencil, were critical to the missions which sent Apollo 11 to land on the moon and afterwards to see Neil Armstrong’s history-making moonwalk and return to Earth. Her story was told in the 2016 Hollywood film “Hidden Figures.” She has just died at 101.

She was born 26 August 1918 in West Virginia with a farmer/lumberjack father and a teacher mother, was fascinated by numbers from an early age, and excelled at school and then college, despite the restrictions placed on African-American education.

What’s fascinating about her chart is partly the confidence and determination it exudes with a Virgo Sun on the focal point of a trine from Pluto Jupiter trine Mars in Scorpio. But also the prominence of her Neptune in Leo. It is conjunct her Venus and perhaps on the focal point of a T Square of Mars opposition Moon. Her Saturn in Leo also sat exactly on her Sun/Neptune midpoint.

Her super-star 22nd harmonic has an exceptionally notable Neptune.

Neptune is surprisingly often prominent in genius-level mathematicians’ charts, which isn’t quite what you’d expect. Mary Cartwright, a Brit pure mathematician, an expert on chaos theory, 17 Dec 1900, was a Sun Jupiter in Sagittarius opposition Neptune and Pluto. Andrew Wiles, 11 April 1953, who solved Fermat’s Theorem is a Sun Venus in Aries opposition Neptune Saturn. He has two Yods – of Mercury in Pisces sextile Jupiter in Taurus onto Neptune Saturn – and Pluto sextile Neptune Saturn inconjunct Mercury. So heavily Neptunian/Piscean.  Leonhard Euler, 15 April 1707, was a Sun Neptune in Aries trine Pluto Jupiter in Leo.  Bernard Riemann, 17 Sept 1826, was a Sun Jupiter Mercury in Virgo with Mercury trine/sextile a Neptune opposition Saturn.


9 thoughts on “Katherine Johnson – a Neptune inspired maths genius

  1. Believe in Noel Tyl’s book on Mundane Astrology he said In the Chart of the USA Neptune represented African American. Can be seen how White’s project negative attributes of overt Sexuality Laziness Dishonesty. Also The importance of Faith in the never ending struggle for freedom and equality. “I have a Dream.” Katherine and her collegues were very consciously fighting for their race as well as their individual ambitions during the apex of the Civil Rights movement in the 60’s. Felt Hiden Figures was a brave wonderfully crafted beautiful film of sacrifice and achievement in the struggle against bigotry.

  2. BTW, I’ve seen that ‘Hidden Figures’ movie. It’s a rather slow and unevenly paced movie, though it seemed to depict Katherine Johnson and those other trailblazing African-American ladies working at NASA quite well. Not a bad film overall.

  3. I always thought of mathematics as astrologically connected with Taurus but thinking about my husband who has very good skills when it comes to mathematics, he is also a photographer and has a strong, well-aspected Neptune (it is part of a Grand Trine and a Yod on Venus in Pisces), and he has a deep affinity to music, also governed by Neptune. Of course, mathematics and music are entwined so I can see how both are Neptunian.

    • They’ve studied this and found that drummers especially seem to have well above average math skills. I know several drummers, none of whom is your traditional “math nerds”, but yes, they seem to gasp causality in a way I seldom encounter. My rather prominent Neptune somehow hasn’t translated to general math skills, but I am pretty good in geometry (I think I wouldn’t even have gotten into astrology if this wasn’t the case) and statistics.

  4. This is interesting. I know some very nerdy people. However, I’ve only met one person whose peers, themselves Mathematicians on some level, constantly told me that “he is a genius”. This person had possibly the wildest Neptunian chart I’ve ever seen, with Neptune in Sadgittarius conjunct IC, trining Leo Sun, Mercury, Venus and Saturn stellium, squaring Virgo Moon/Ascendant. Unfortunately, this led to some other Neptune issues too, which is why you don’t find his name on scientific publications or as a bigshot R&D for some Fortune500 tech company today.

  5. ”Neptune is surprisingly often prominent in genius-level mathematicians’ charts.”

    What about Mary Somerville? Said to be the Queen of Science?

    ..”When she died in 1872, The Morning Post declared in her obituary that “Whatever difficulty we might experience in the middle of the nineteenth century in choosing a king of science, there could be no question whatever as to the queen of science”.

    …”She was among those who discussed a hypothetical planet perturbing Uranus. In the 6th edition of Connexion (1842) she wrote, “If after the lapse of years the tables formed from a combination of numerous observations should be still inadequate to represent the motions of Uranus, the discrepancies may reveal the existence, nay, even the mass and orbit of a body placed for ever beyond the sphere of vision”.
    Predictions were fulfilled in 1846 by the discovery of Neptune revolving at the distance of 3,000,000,000 miles from the sun. “The mass of Neptune, the size and position of his orbit in space, and his periodic time, were determined from his disturbing action on Uranus before the planet itself had been seen.”

    Born in Jedburgh, Scotland on the 26th December 1780.

    Sorry no birth time, but using noon for her chart she seems to have Neptune (5 Libra) square Sun / MC (5 Capricorn) plus Moon (13 Capricorn?), trine Pluto (3 Aquarius).

    Saturn conjunct Mercury (13/14 Sagittarius) trine Ascendant (16 Aries).


  6. Andrew Wiles and two yods in his birth chart! I’m in awe! In September 1994, there should have been a ‘tickle’ at the apexes of these yods! We’re in the Neptunian magical realm of Maths and Universe. I will double check so to speak!

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