Oh My Stars

“Character is destiny.”
-Heraclitus of Ephesus

Many people object to astrology on principle because it’s too fatalistic for their tastes. Not many people want to be told that their will is limited, or that there is only so much they can achieve in life. I can understand that, but astrology is far from the only thing that places limits on us. You might have all the genetic markers associated with alcoholism or depression. That wouldn’t guarantee that you’re an alcoholic or depressed, but it certainly increases the risk. If you’re a child who wants to grow up to be the CEO of a major bank, that’s a possibility if you work hard for it… but if you’re one of five children being raised by a single unemployed mother, that’s going to significantly affect your odds. That’s the nature of The Universe and/or Humans, and if you don’t like it… please send your complaints directly to The Manufacturer.

So let’s accept that and have a look at the birth chart of former NBA player and former Kardashian spouse Lamar Odom, and see what (if anything) in there made him the kind of guy who would nearly unintentionally kill himself after a three day binge at a Nevada brothel in the wake of his divorce.

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Lamar Odom (born November 6th 1979, Queens NY) hasn’t exactly had as pain-free a life as one might expect from a well-paid famous athlete who married a Kardashian. One of his three children from a previous relationship died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome while he was preparing for his aunt’s funeral. He has gone through court-ordered treatment after a DUI conviction. While in New York for a cousin’s funeral, his driver struck and killed a 15 year old. And of course his marriage to Khloe Kardashian only lasted for four years, among numerous rumours of cheating and drug abuse.


Breaking up a long-term relationship is rarely as easy as it can be, or “should” be. If a relationship has gone from good to terrible, sometimes it’s easy to forget that there was once a form of love involved that may still be there in some way — even if the actual relationship that should be there is dead as a doornail. That usually only serves to make a difficult situation (ending the relationship) even harder. Most of us over the course of our adult lives will face something like this at least once… but how many of us will end up nearly dead over it? Or, specifically in the case of Lamar Odom… how many of us will end up nearly dead after a three day binge at a Nevada brothel over it?

Astrologically, these things break down into two parts: the birth chart, which tells us the potentials and proclivities a person comes into this world with, and the transits, which tells us the circumstances that person is dealing with at any given time. What is it in the birth chart that can make a person so prone to escapism, drugs and/or alcohol, and reckless behavior that they (willingly or unwillingly) become a threat to their own survival?

First of all give up on the cliché that as a Scorpio, Lamar is somehow into “death” more than the average person: cemetaries everywhere are filled with people who destroyed themselves (deliberately or otherwise) who weren’t Scorpios. That sort of generalization doesn’t do any of us any good. If you really want to find a person’s emotional core, you look to the condition of their Moon. Although we don’t have his time of birth, we still know that Lamar Odom has Moon in Gemini, and is subject to a square to Saturn and an opposition from Neptune. A Moon-Neptune aspect often comes with a degree of escapism, and a Moon-Saturn aspect often fuels depression. The fact that those aspects are difficult ones in Odom’s case doesn’t help any. Neptune is the planet most associated with drugs and escapism, and the square from Saturn in Lamar’s chart indicates bad consequences from substance use.

Under the right circumstances, even a “good” aspect can go wrong. Lamar has a Mercury-Venus conjunction in his birth chart. That often lends the personality creativity and idealism… but when idealism meets the ugly truth, it can often make the ugly truth hurt even worse. Jupiter square that conjunction makes the results of the conjunction stronger and more erratic, and the fact that Jupiter is conjunct the North Node implies that learning to deal with that square is one of his major “life lessons.”


Hindsight is 20/20 of course, and it makes all the potential negatives in Lamar Odom’s birth chart all that much easier to see. But as I said at the beginning of this article, astrology doesn’t have to be fatalistic. We are all the sum of what we were born with, what we experience, and what we choose to do with it. So next time, I’ll be back to look at the confluence of transits that took all the negative potential in this birth chart and resulted in near tragedy.

(Continued in Part Two)

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