The Higgs Boson, Professor Higgs, and the Astrology that Connects Them.

Note: This article originally appeared in NCGR eNews.

By David Perloff

Here is the New York Times front page headline from July 4, 2012: “Physicists Find Elusive Particle Seen as Key to Universe.”

The particle in question is known as the Higgs particle or the Higgs boson, named after British physicist Peter Higgs.

Depending on when you went to high school, you probably learned about electrons, protons and neutrons. They are all sub-atomic particles. Since then, physicists have added more, such as quarks, neutrinos, and bosons. Bosons allows multiple identical particles to exist in the same place in the same quantum state. They have no intrinsic spin, no electric charge, and no color charge. They are also very unstable, decaying into other particles almost immediately.

Why is the discovery of the Higgs boson a big deal? I think the issue is that it confirms the existence of what is called the Higgs field, described this way in the NYT article: “An invisible force field, a cosmic molasses that permeates space and imbues elementary particles with mass.”

Doesn’t that sound a bit like what the ancients referred to as ‘ether’ – the fifth element?

The New York Times article goes on to say:
“Without the Higgs field, or something like it, all elementary forms of matter would zoom around at the speed of light, flowing through our hands like moonlight. There would be neither atoms nor life.”

Another writer referred to this as the binding glue of the physical universe.

The experiments were conducted using the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, a particle accelerator designed to smash atoms into their many component particles. The Collider is the largest scientific instrument ever built, with a circumference of 17 miles. It lies in an underground tunnel that straddles the French-Swiss border near Geneva.

Many physicists, using thousands of computers around the world, analyzed about 800 trillion proton-proton high-energy collisions over the prior two years. The theory was that the cosmic molasses, normally invisible, would produce its own quantum particle if hit hard enough with the right amount of energy. The results of the analysis announced on July 4 were reported as having a 5-sigma statistical significance, which implies a certainty of roughly 99.99994%.

On to the astrology:

Peter Higgs was born May 29, 1929, in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

The headline

–Higgs was born at the Uranus-Pluto square; he published his theory during the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of the 1960s, and his theory was confirmed at the next Uranus-Pluto square.

Natal chart

–Higgs was born less than nine months before Pluto’s discovery. (His Pluto is less than one degree from Pluto’s location in its discovery chart.)
–His natal Uranus-Pluto square has a 6-degree orb – well within the eight degrees that Richard Tarnas allows for outer planet squares.
–He has Uranus in Aries, and the July 4th Higgs particle announcement occurred very close to his Uranus return (less than two degrees from exact).
–The quintile aspect is related to creativity, and Higgs natally has Mercury exactly quintile Uranus (within 3 minutes of arc).
–His Moon phase at birth is Disseminating – He has had something to share!
–He has a tight grand trine in Fire (Saturn – Venus – Neptune).
–That natal Saturn in Sagittarius is very close to the Galactic Center.
–His Temperament Type (or Planetary Pattern) is a Locomotive, with Saturn as the engine. It is said that locomotive types are slow starters, and take a while to build up steam. Higgs admitted he did “not perform well” at physics while at school, and his boson ideas were originally derided. An early paper he wrote on his theory was rejected.

1964 epiphany

–Higgs’ “eureka” moment reportedly came in a flash of inspiration while walking in the Cairngorms (mountains in Scotland) in 1964 in the midst of the Uranus-Pluto conjunction.

–When Higgs published his first brief paper on his theory, transiting Jupiter was conjunct his natal North Node, and transiting Venus was conjunct his natal Mercury.

–Later in 1964, when one of his initial papers on this subject was rejected, he was sure that the journal had not understood him. Once his theory was published later in 1964, he and his colleagues were ridiculed as young pretenders and urged to abandon their research or risk “professional suicide.” (At the point the publisher received Higgs’ paper, transiting Uranus was exactly inconjunct Higgs’ natal Uranus.)

The 2012 denouement

–The July 4, 2012 announcement was just a week and a half after the first of the seven Uranus-Pluto squares.

–There were six planets in Cardinal signs. (Scientists, start your engines!)

–It was a week and a half before the Uranus station.

–At the announcement, transiting Venus was conjunct Higgs’ natal Sun. When Higgs entered the meeting, he received a sustained ovation.

–The atmosphere at the announcement was described as like being at a rock concert. The Sabian symbol for the Ascendant in Geneva was:

A barge made into a clubhouse is crowded with revelers.

In Marc Edmund Jones description of this degree, he mentions “co-operative relationships with his fellows.” That leads to this point:

–Scientific discoveries are often made in multiple locations at basically the same time. This is an example of what Richard Tarnas explains as synchronic events that occur around the globe in concert with astrological aspects. In 1964, six physicists working in three independent groups published the theory within four months of each other. For the record, the others are: Tom Kibble of Imperial College, London; Carl Hagen of the University of Rochester; Dr. Guralnik of Brown University; and François Englert and Robert Brout, both of Université Libre de Bruxelles.

–In India, there is upset that little has been said about Satyendranath Bose, the Indian physicist after whom the boson is named. He worked in the 1920s with Albert Einstein in defining subatomic particles that carry force and can occupy the same space if in the same state – such as in a laser beam. All particles that follow such behavior – the one posited by Higgs, as well as photons, gravitons and others – are called bosons.

The Nobel Prize for Physics – 2013

On October 8, 2013, the Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to Peter Higgs and François Englert. Here is the text of the announcement:

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2013 to François Englert, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium, and Peter W. Higgs, University of Edinburgh, UK, for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.

François Englert

The scientist with whom Higgs shared the Nobel Prize is Belgian physicist François Englert. ADB has an exact birth time for him: 6 November 1932 at 02:20 (= 02:20 AM ) Etterbeek, Belgium, 50n50, 4e23

Like Higgs, that would place his birth at the Uranus-Pluto square.

The astrology of the Nobel Prize announcement

From the recorded video of the announcement, I place the time at 12:43 PM CET, Stockholm, Sweden.

The most striking thing for me was that it was at Peter Higgs’ Uranus return.
Higgs’ natal Uranus: 10 degrees Aries 27 minutes
Uranus at the time of the announcement: 10 degrees Aries 20 minutes

Transiting Mars in Leo was very close to Englert’s exact Mars return (within 19′ of arc).

The announcement was just 3 weeks before the next exact Uranus-Pluto square.

Void of course Moon

The announcement was delayed about an hour from its scheduled time. One theory was that prior to the announcement, the committee was trying to inform Higgs that he had won. But for some time leading up to, and after, the announcement, no one knew where Higgs was.

The Moon was void of course (29+ degrees Scorpio) at the time of the announcement. Marc Edmund Jones writes about this degree: “an individual gains refreshment, or is freed for the moment from life’s insistent demand on him”

From Britain’s The Guardian: “Peter Higgs first heard he had won the world’s most famous science prize when an old neighbour stopped him on the street.

“Higgs, a self-effacing theoretical physicist who values his privacy, had quite deliberately disappeared last Tuesday morning and headed by himself for a secluded lunch just as the Nobel prize committee in Stockholm had prepared to announce he was this year’s joint winner of its prize for physics.

“Rumours circulated that he had disappeared into the Scottish mountains. Even his closest friends had no clear idea where he was. He has no mobile phone, no computer and does not use email.

“‘Curiously enough, I heard the news when I was returning from my lunch later in the afternoon,’ Higgs said. ‘A lady in her 60s or 70s got out [of her car] and introduced herself as a former neighbour. She congratulated me on the news and I said ‘What news?’ She told me that her daughter had phoned from London to alert her to the fact that I had got this prize.’

Englert and Higgs

In the full announcement, the Nobel Committee noted that Higgs and Englert, working independently, had each written theoretical papers about this particle in 1964. The date the committee mentioned for Englert’s paper was August 31. Although the date the committee cited for Higgs’ paper was October 19, which was the date of the final publication of his full paper on the subject, August 31 was also a key date for Higgs. That was when Higgs’ paper was received by the publisher. Not only were Uranus and Pluto conjunct in that general time period, but on that August 31 date, Uranus, Pluto, the Sun and Mercury were all conjunct within about a 5 degree orb.

So, both Higgs and Englert were born at the Uranus-Pluto square; independently published their theories during the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of the 1960s, and had their theory confirmed and honored at the next Uranus-Pluto square.

Englert and Higgs had never met until the July 4, 2012 announcement at Cern.

On the date of the Nobel Prize announcement, transiting Mars was only 16′ of arc from an exact conjunction with Englert and Higgs’ composite Sun.

The God particle

You may have heard the Higgs particle referred to as the ‘God particle.’ This comes from the title of a book about sub-atomic particles, written by American physicist Leon Lederman in 1993. The related anecdote is that Lederman wanted to use the expression “the goddamn particle” because it was maddenly elusive for decades, but his publisher did not like that choice of words.


In Cosmos and Psyche, Richard Tarnas explained that: “Celebrated milestones in the history of science coincided with the Jupiter-Uranus cycle with extraordinary consistency.” At the July 4th, 2012, announcement, there was a Venus-Jupiter-Ceres conjunction, sextile to Uranus.

The future

There has been a fair amount of doom and gloom about the Uranus-Pluto squares. Historically, events associated with Uranus-Pluto aspects have certainly been wrenching. To insert some notes of hope and optimism, those aspects have also always been accompanied by major advancements and breakthroughs.

Professor Joseph Incandela at University of California at Santa Barbara has stated that this discovery could spawn a new era of technology and development in the same way that Newton’s laws of gravity led to basic equations of mechanics that made the industrial revolution possible.

I’ll end this article with the quote that ends the New York Times July 4 write-up: Nima Arkani-Hamed, a physicist at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, said: “It’s a triumphant day for fundamental physics. Now some fun begins.”

David Perloff