Fritz Haber – Modernity’s Mutable Angel of Life and Death, Part I : Saving Billions

 

Fritz Haber
Modernity’s Mutable Angel of Life and Death
Part I : Saving Billions

by
Brad Kronen

The Fourth Installment from Brad’s “A Series of Unfortunate Sagittarian Events”
Fritz Haber facing right

 

For nearly the entire calendar year of 2019, the biggest planet in our Solar System, otherwise known as “The Great Benefic”, mighty Jupiter will be transiting through the sign it naturally rules over, that being sign of the Centaur, Sagittarius. To be expected with the planet of Luck and Fortune in its own sign that happens to be naturally lucky based on the influence of its planetary ruler, extra emphasis has been given as of late to such overtly positive subjects as Blessings and Abundance along with activities that are as unlikely of actually occurring as they are beneficial such as winning the lottery.

As a way of providing some semblance of cosmic balance during this concentrated Jupiterian time, your author thought it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to present Jupiterian blessings and abundance from a perspective that is seldom if ever looked at – the negative spectrum.
In this series of books, “A Series of Unfortunate Sagittarian Events” astrological analysis is given to the stories of three famous Sagittarians from the diverse worlds of science, art, and politics who experienced tragic endings which unto themselves resulted from the cause and effect repercussions of their own actions.  In reviewing how these Sagittarians came to such unfortunate ends, the Great Benefic’s “good stuff” is given balanced juxtaposition by showing that even among Jupiter’s own there are those who brought about their own ruin by either taking their good fortunes for granted or because they were unwilling to face the realization that Life is not made up solely of just pleasure and pleasantries along with situations don’t always automatically “work out”, especially risk filled ones where no prior preparation or planning is given.

One could reasonably say two of these notorious Sagittarians, namely Fritz Haber along with the artistic great whose life is discussed in this series’ second installment, Alexander Rodchenko, both ended up dying of a broken heart due to being rejected by their chosen “cause” which served both men as the source of their projected passions and ground breaking work.  Of the three Sagittarians overall, John Kennedy Junior’s tale is by far the most tragic since not only did his Sagittarian presumptuousness and careless actions result in the political hopeful’s own untimely demise but the lives of two other vibrant young people of vast potential were snuffed out as well.  The deaths of all three brought about by the reckless behavior of one Sagittarian, which painful truth be told, were irretrievable losses that were COMPLETELY AVOIDABLE.

It is by appreciating the good things in our lives along with realizing it is the combination of said goodness along with Life’s hardships and difficulties that our souls are given the best opportunities to optimally experience growth of both a spiritual and evolutionary nature.

We’ll begin this series with a scientist who barely anyone in the present day is familiar with but whom it can arguably be said created the greatest invention of the 20th century which many believe is the most significant contribution made towards sustaining the survival of the human race throughout all of Modern Science.


Hubris –
(noun) 1.)  (in Greek tragedy) an excess of ambition or pride, ultimately causing the transgressor’s ruin 2.)  To overestimate one’s own competence or capabilities, especially for people in positions of power, 3.) To believe one is equal to or above the jurisdiction of the Gods.

 

 

God and the Universe.  Soul and Consciousness.  Idealism and Realism. I swim in a sea of forma dialectic and logic.
– Letter written by Fritz Haber in 1887 at age 17

 

When looking at the concept of “patriotism” in Astrology as evidenced by its presence in the human personality and its subsequent displays of behavior, two signs come to the forefront – that being Cancer, the Crab and Sagittarius, the Centaur.  One sign is more apparent than the other due to its elemental foundation and House rulership. However, while the other sign is less obvious, it tends to exhibit patriotic behavior with a much wider range than the other and in ways far more extreme.

 

Because of its elemental foundation of Water, the sign of Cancer shows its love of country from an emotional or “heart felt” core, along with that sign’s rulership over the 4th House of Home and Family (in particular one’s Mother) extending outwards from a connection that’s intensely personal to also include one’s “Home”-land and “Mother”-land as well.
With the sign of Sagittarius’ foundation being Fiery, their patriotism is shown mainly through their actions and because that sign naturally rules over the 9th House of Philosophy, Organized Religion, and Higher Education, the more patriotic a Sagittarian’s deeds become the greater the likelihood of that person becoming a zealot in both mind and soul.

 

It must also be mentioned that in Astrology alongside the 4 elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water are the not nearly as well-known but equally as important 3 “qualities” of Fixed, Cardinal, and Mutable. The Mutable signs of Gemini, Pisces, Virgo and Sagittarius tend to look at any given thing from many different perspectives and intriguingly derive the most stimulation from things that are of a dualistic or juxtaposing nature.
Considering the above, it should be no surprise that one of the most controversial figures in modern History was a Mutable signed man whose efforts are the source behind the saving of human lives in the theoretical billions but also the destruction of human lives in the actual millions.  A Sagittarian zealot who was given the notoriously grim title “The Father of Chemical Warfare” and is considered one of the greatest scientific minds of his generation, German chemist, Fritz Haber.

 

 

Fritz Haber Portrait

The scientist seen as Humanity’s  protective angel to some and Mankind’s terminating demon to others – Fritz Haber.

 

 

To say Fritz Haber was one of the greatest scientific minds of his generation is no small feat when considering his peers and colleagues were such trailblazing scientists as Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Max Planck, and Nicola Tesla whose collective efforts escalated modern Science to the advanced level it is today.

 

But even so, within the Pantheon of scientific geniuses born in the middle of the 19th century, only Haber is credited for an invention which many believe to be the 20th century’s greatest achievement of scientific innovation.  An achievement which not only expanded our working knowledge of the Universe, it positively altered the course of humanity’s progress on this planet.

 

Conversely alongside J. Robert Oppenheimer the scientist who directed The Manhattan Project which created and utilized the world’s first nuclear weapons, Fritz Haber is one of the most vilified of scientific inventors due to another of his creations elevating the horrors of War to a new level of incomprehensible terror the likes of which had never been experienced before throughout Man’s history.

 

Never was there such a man who gave and took so much from the world around him with his inventions both sustaining Human Life as well as exponentially ending it, and all of his efforts stemming from the same foundational source – his fervent love of country.

 

Fritz Haber was born on December 9th, 1868 in Breslau, what was then Prussia is now Poland. An exact time of birth could not be found so a complete birth chart cannot be cast, but we can see where the planets were positioned on that mid-nineteenth century day and how they interact with one another.  It must be stated that since the birth time is not known the standard time of 12 noon was used, but the House placements and the Pisces Ascendant are not definite and will not be referenced as such.

 

 

Fritz Haber Natal

 

Fritz Haber was born into a long line of wealthy Jewish merchants.  Although his parents were related to each other as first cousins, they were very much in love and rebelling against the wishes of both family sides, they married.  Fritz’s mother Paula had a complicated pregnancy and an extremely difficult birth when she had Fritz, so much so she died not too soon thereafter when he was just 3 weeks old.

Paula’s death devastated Fritz’s father, Siegfried. Unable to cope raising his infant son on his own, he left Fritz to be cared for by his two sisters.

 

On the day Haber was born, both the Sun and Saturn were conjunct, or placed in close proximity of one another in the sign of Sagittarius.  Regardless of sign when a person is born with their natal Saturn conjunct their Sun significant tensions will be abundantly evident between that person and their father from early onwards.  This assuredly was the dynamic between Fritz and Siegfried.  Haber claimed to have always felt an indirect blaming from his father that his entry into this world was the cause behind the love of his father’s life taking her permanent leave of it.

Needless to say the two never got along.

 

Fritz Haber at 3 years
A forlorn looking Fritz Haber at 3 years old who for all intensive purposes was orphaned with his mother dying when he was 3 weeks of age and his father passing him over to be raised by his aunts. Eerily the picture reveals the one thing little Fritz clung to in his unnurturing world as a child – his toy rifle.

 

Many men with Saturn conjunct their natal Sun are born into environments where it is expected they will take on their father’s line of work or will take over the family business once they mature.  This pre-determined work assumption is often viewed by the Saturn Sun person more as a burden of obligation rather than a freely made career choice, whether they express their feelings on the matter or not.  This definitely was the case between Haber father and son.

 

Not only did Fritz not want to pursue a career in the dye pigments and textiles industry like his father, and his father before him, and his father before him, Haber also saw no need in remaining Jewish since that very same line of merchants had assimilated sufficiently enough within Breslau’s proletariat in order to do business with both Jew and Gentile alike.

 

Intent of freeing himself from any kind of association with his father, who it must be said, wasn’t integral in raising him and whom he didn’t like much Fritz converted to Lutheranism and embarked on an academic career in the Sciences, Chemistry to be exact.

 

Haber’s Saturn Sun conjunction is the planetary interaction that would dominate his entire life.  With Saturn being the planet of doubt and inadequacy conjunct the planet which represents the overall self, the Sun, it can be inferred right from the start Haber perceived his father’s disapproval of his very existence by Fritz either consciously or subconsciously sensing his father’s withholding of parental love for him. This in turn would motivate Haber to intensely focus his energies on “proving” his worth to others, even after his efforts had been affirmed with the most prestigious of accolades.
And when considering his scientific colleagues were the crème of the intellectual crop within turn of the century Europe, this proving of the self was an ever-constant factor in both Haber’s personal and professional life.

 

Saturn’s natural influence is to sober up and/or tone down whatever is in its vicinity.  With both the Sun and Saturn positioned in the sign known for its inherent luck and optimism, Sagittarius, your author believes Haber had an almost pre-awareness of the negative consequences his actions would have in the lives of those closest to him, be they manifestations of resentment, jealousy, ill fortune, or
bad karma which he seemed prepared never to be emotionally affected by, regardless of the outcome.

The Angel Bestows Life upon the World’s Future
The man born beneath the quality of Mutable first gained notoriety for a creation which both protected and sustained the existence of the human race on this planet. Unlike his good friend Albert Einstein, Fritz Haber was not a physicist.  His scientific expertise was in Chemistry and it was Haber’s mastery of the thermodynamic principles within that scientific discipline which was precisely what was needed to tackle and solve a potential crisis that grew ever more alarming for the world’s populace with each passing year.


At the dawn of the last century, a mammoth problem of global proportions loomed over Europe. The planet’s population in 1900 was around 1.6 billion and from what scientists could foresee the world’s populace had to be kept in check or else Humanity faced the very real possibility of starving to death due to there not being enough food available to feed everyone within a short period of time.  This very real possibility was made even more threatening when in 1898 British chemist Sir William Crookes predicted that if preventative measures weren’t taken to counteract the oncoming crisis, the world’s population would outgrow the planet’s wheat supply as early as 1931 due to the earth’s soil being depleted of all its natural Nitrogen.

 

The element of Nitrogen was both the cause and solution to this problem which grew more and more dire with the passage of Time.  Nitrogen is a critical component for plants to grow and takes up nearly 80% of the earth’s atmosphere.  But despite being a substantial majority of the very air we breathe, the element in its natural state, is inert.  Said another way, Nitrogen does not naturally possess the ability to react to or with anything else.

Despite Nitrogen’s abundance of presence, in the first decade of the 20th century there was no way of productively harnessing the inert element. That is, until the invention called the Haber Process came into being.

 

Pulling Nitrogen from out of the Air


Utilizing his knowledge of thermodynamics in the relatively new branch of scientific study known as Electrochemistry, in 1909 Fritz Haber devised a technique to synthesize ammonia from the very Air itself by stripping atmospheric Nitrogen of its foundational bonds and joining it with Hydrogen using high temperature along with high pressure.  The combination of intense heat and pressure created within an environmental apparatus of Haber’s making in effect “broke” the strong triple covalent bond which held two Nitrogen atoms together as referenced by “N2”.  This was followed by each Nitrogen atom being combined with three Hydrogen atoms or “H3”.  The end result of this chemical reaction where Nitrogen in gas form was joined with Hydrogen also in gas form was the formation of a liquid – ammonia.

 

Both Nitrogen and Ammonia Sulphate are core components in the fertilization process required for plants to grow.  Single-handedly Fritz Haber created a process of pulling an element out of the air and manipulating it to interact with other elements resulting in a seemingly endless supply of soil fertilizer that could be applied on an industrial scale to the production of plant crops.

 

 

Haber Process

A simplified flow chart detailing the synthesis of liquid ammonia via The Haber Process.

 

Fritz Haber 1908 Laboratory for synthesizing ammonia

The laboratory apparatus created by Fritz Haber in 1909 to conduct his experiments in ammonia synthesis known as The Haber Process which applied  high pressure and high heat to Nitrogen and Hydrogen molecules.

 

 

Haber had achieved what was thought to be impossible but on a small-scale level.  Taking his findings to the industrial chemist, Carl Bosch, the two perfected the process of ammonia synthesis for fertilizer to be produced at a relatively low cost but on a large-scale industrial level.  The Haber Process was finalized when it came to be known as The Haber-Bosch Process which is the standard still used today for industrial crop production.

 

It is estimated that the Haber-Bosch Process is the source behind 40% of the world’s current food production, which translates to roughly over 3 billion people owing their existence in the 21st century to a guy no one has ever heard of, whose pioneering invention created at the dawn of the 20th century is the main reason why the world population is soon to exceed over 7.6 billion people in the modern day.

 

 

Fritz Haber World Ammonia Production

 

Haber is the reason we are able to have a population explosion at the same time as an obesity epidemic.”
Thomas Hager, author of “The Alchemy of Air


Two planetary aspects within Haber’s natal chart are influencing factors behind the formation of The Haber Process – Jupiter and Neptune in Aries along with Saturn conjunct Mercury in Sagittarius.
The signs of both Aries and Sagittarius are based in the element of Fire and it was the addition of concentrated flame or higher heat along with increased levels of additional pressure which made the synthesis of ammonia a feasible process with measurable results.

Haber may have invented ammonia synthesis but the process was by no means unchartered scientific territory.  Fritz reviewed work done in 1884 by the French chemist Henri Le Chatelier who created the “Le Chatelier Principle” based on his initial work done within two of Chemistry’s newest subdivisive studies known as “Electrochemistry” and “Physical Chemistry”.  The Frenchman planned on continuing his research but abruptly dropped the project after his assistant was badly burned and eventually died from injuries incurred by an explosion that resulted after experimenting with hotter temperatures. Haber picked up the electrochemical experiments where Le Chatelier had left off 20 years earlier.

 

This is not to insinuate that Fritz Haber stole another scientist’s earlier work and later took the credit for it.  The conjunction of Haber’s natal Mercury with his natal Saturn tells us quite the contrary.

 

Saturn deals with anything already pre-established or accepted as dogmatic principle or law.  This can be interpreted in Haber’s life as Le Chatelier’s initial work and the Principal he derived from it.  Mercury is the planet of communication but also of education and knowledge, as well.  With Mercury conjunct the planet of pre-established tradition, Saturn, both placed in the expansive Fire sign of Sagittarius, it can be inferred that Haber took a base of knowledge that was already established and innovatively expounded upon it, eventually coming up with his own independently unique scientific process.

 

Sagittarius’ planetary ruler is the largest heavenly body in our Solar System, Jupiter and the heavenly body unto itself represents expansion and growth.  With Haber’s natal Jupiter positioned in the first of the Fire signs, Aries, amping up the heat used in the Haber Process was not only the right direction to take (with what must have been considerable risk) its successful execution allowed the Jupiterian influences of both Fame and Fortune to shine upon both the procedure along with the man whom the procedure is named after.

 

Neptune is the planet of the IN-tangible and the concept of Pressure is a force that cannot be seen but clearly can be felt.  Not only was temperature meant to be raised with Jupiter’s position in Aries, Pressure was meant to also be amplified as evidenced by Haber’s natal Neptune in the same sign.

 

Aries isn’t solely seen as simply the first of the Fire signs, the sign of the Ram also is associated with such aggressive issues as the military and anything related to War.

 

Continuing that same vein of associative expansion, the synthesis of ammonia can be utilized in ways other than just the creation of plant fertilizer. It can also be used in the making of explosives as well.   With fertilizer being the end result from the joining of two gases, Haber theorized a similar process could be applied to gas that when left in its

natural gaseous state could be highly effective when used as a weapon of war.
Haber’s realization took place in 1914, just prior to the commencement of a global conflict called “World War I” which would wreak its deadly havoc on Humanity and would change the structure of modern society at large.

 

*Brad Kronen has written a book series which focuses on the life of Fritz Haber along with fellow Sagittarians Alexander Rodchenko and John Kennedy, Jr. entitled “A Series of Unfortunate Sagittarian Events”.  Part I can be purchased at the link below:

 

 

 

 

 

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