Oh My Stars

matthew currie astrology colo gorillaColo, the first gorilla born in captivity, has died at the ripe old age (for a gorilla) of 60. She was born December 22, 1956 at around 6 AM at the zoo in Columbus, Ohio.* Colo’s birth chart shows us a grab-bag of astrological bits and pieces that perfectly describe various things about her. I’m not talking about personality traits either — I mean real, objective facts about her life.

* (an aside: several phone calls went into researching this time of birth, covering the highly esoteric subjects of “what the scheduling was like for zookeepers in Columbus in the 1950s” and “how long can a baby gorilla survive outside the mother’s womb if the baby is still in the amniotic sac?” After all that, I found no definite answers, but “6 AM” appears to be reasonable based on the information I was able to gather. You’re welcome, Dear Reader.)

I’m sure you could make a lot of observations about Colo’s personality from this birth chart, but there are a number of details that anyone wishing to learn past the very basics of astrology can benefit from. Feel free to click on the chart below (it gets bigger!) and play along at home. Also, as usual, I am using Whole Sign Houses (but since the time of birth isn’t confirmed, any House-Based observations I make will be marked with an asterisk.


matthew currie astrology coloHere are some of the things that stand out to me about Colo’s chart:


A Moon-Pluto conjunction can make for some serious emotional issues, often related to (or inherited from) the mother. In this case, that Moon-Pluto conjunction is also square Venus and Saturn, which is another indicator of possible maternal issues. When Colo was born, her mother left her on the floor, still inside her amniotic sac. Were it not for the immediate intervention of veterinary student Warren Thomas (who worked at the zoo), she would have never made it.


There are plenty of places on the Internet where you can find an interpretation for this aspect, but here’s something you aren’t likely to find: the last exact major aspect the Moon completes before birth often describes the circumstances of that birth.

In Colo’s chart, Moon square Venus equals “rejection by the mother.” Furthermore, that Venus is ruled by Jupiter — in fact, Venus and Jupiter are in what’s called a mutual reception in this chart. A mutual reception occurs when two planets are each in the Sign the other one rules and are aspecting each other. This tends to boost the results one gets from those planets. Thus, although Colo was rejected by her mother, you could say that she had the good fortune (Jupiter) to be taken in and loved (Venus) by friends from another culture (Venus in Sagittarius, Jupiter in the Eleventh House*). Humans took her in and raised her, much as they would a human baby.


As a general rule, one tends to have good results when the planet which rules a House is strongly placed and well-aspected, or when that planet lies in the House that it rules. All of the above apply to Colo’s Mars. She had Mars in Aries in the Fifth House*. Among other things, the Fifth House rules children… and despite the unfortunate situation with her own mother, Colo went on to have three children of her own. At the time of her death, Colo was a great-grandmother.


Beyond the psychological effects of the Moon-Venus-Saturn complex mentioned above, for the last couple of years or so transiting Neptune in Pisces has been performing difficult aspects to that part of Colo’s birth chart. Neptune transits can bring health issues — particularly issues involving the immune system or mysterious overgrowths. Last month, a biopsy of a growth under her arm found that she had cancer. The growth was successfully removed — or so it was thought. Cancer may have been a factor in her death.


If you’ve read my blog for a while now, you’ve noticed that I’m not afraid to discuss the subject of death (and we all had plenty of that last year, didn’t we?). Specifically, I’m talking about how astrology can be used to foresee a time when there is considerably more risk of death than usual. It’s a complex subject, and many astrologers won’t go near it for either ethical reasons or because the techniques involved are obscure and difficult to work with.

Nonetheless, kind of like astrology itself, these things that you’d think shouldn’t work do work. Come back next time and I’ll lay it all out for you as to how the astrology said it was finally time for Colo to move on to that big tire swing in the sky.

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