Beliefnet
Oh My Stars

beliefnet astrology matthew currie mars square marsSometimes I come across a case that is an absolute classic of old-school astrology. Modern astrologers, myself included, love to speak of the birth chart as a collection of potentials. They are the essential toolkit that your free will was provided with when you were born. No one wants to be told that “you have X, therefore you will always Y” (unless of course Y is good news). Sometimes though, with the added clarity that hindsight provides, those sorts of conclusions are pretty unavoidable. Such is the case with actor Michael Jace, who on Monday shot his wife to death.

It’s at times like that I stop and recheck my math, because birth charts (like people themselves) are filled with subtleties and nuances, and should never be treated as simple mechanisms prone to simple impulses. Nonetheless: Michael Jace (who starred in The Shield with Michael Chiklis) is now in custody for shooting his wife April to death, and it is an absolutely classic case of Mars — both in the birth chart and by transits — gone terribly wrong.

Michael was born July 13, 1965, time unknown, Paterson New Jersey. Although Mars is the natural first suspect to look at when it comes to a person’s temper, it is hard to ignore his Uranus-Pluto conjunction, opposed by Saturn and squared by Jupiter. Anyone born in 1965 will have a Uranus-Pluto conjunction, and it often makes for strange compulsions and a lack of impulse control in one form or another. With Saturn opposite that conjunction, that impulse control issue can be the Achilles Heel of the personality. Many who were born that year will have Jupiter square to all three of those planets, but obviously that alone doesn’t make everyone born in mid-1965 a homicidal maniac.

As for Michael’s Mars: other than a weak sextile from Mercury and Venus in Leo, his Mars in Libra stands alone. A strongly aspected planet in the birth chart can become a major driving force: if the aspects are mostly smooth, they can both strengthen and add moderation. A number of so-called “bad” aspects can also strengthen the planet, but make its expression less comfortable. A more or less unexpected planet can become a troublemaker though, especially when it is a “debilitated” placement like Mars in Libra. Depending on the rest of the chart, and on circumstances, transits and choices, that planet can either run away with the show or vanish.

Saturn had been pressing on Michael’s Neptune for a while, undoubtedly breathing some chill reality on whatever it was he dreamed for himself. life Transiting Mercury was on his Jupiter, activating the Saturn opposition of Uranus and Pluto… since Mercury is communication, there were undoubtedly words said that provoked his impulses. And then on Monday night, Michael Jace and Mars in Libra pulled the trigger.

We should note that this is not the first time Michael Jace was accused of domestic violence. threats were made and a violent incidents were reported from his first marriage, which broke up in 1997.

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April Jace was born May 6, 1974. Even without a time or place of birth, we can see where April’s chart may conflict with Michael’s. Although of course hindsight is 20/20, any astrologer looking at the situation a long time ago would have noticed that April’s Mars is at 9° Cancer. Michael’s Mars is at 7° Libra. A square like that can lend real dynamic energy to a relationship, but ask the first caveman who burned his hand or a resident of Fukushima if “energy” is always a good thing. We refer to couples as having “chemistry,” but not all chemicals are safe: a Mars square between two people’s charts can manifest a number of ways, but violence is often possible.

Transiting Mars lends its potential violence to whatever it aspects in the birth chart. Monday night, as Mars was grinding to a halt and preparing to go forward, it stopped almost exactly on top of Michael’s Mars, and exactly square to April’s Mars. As Mars stood dead still in its path, almost exactly one hour before it turned forward, Michael Jace picked up the phone, called 911, and said “I shot my wife.”

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Undoubtedly as events unfold, we will learn that December and January were a difficult time for the couple, as Mars passed through the degrees that squared both their Mars placements. We all have choice as to what actions we take in life, and astrology can never give us a free pass. But a birth chart shows potentials, and at least in this case that potential was obvious, dangerous, and was a tragedy waiting to happen.

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