Colo, 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.
MOON CONJUNCT PLUTO
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.
MOON SQUARE VENUS
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.
MARS IN ARIES IN THE FIFTH HOUSE, RULING THE FIFTH HOUSE*
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.
TRANSITING NEPTUNE OPPOSITE MOON, SQUARE VENUS AND SATURN
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.
This year’s ceremony begins at 5:30 PM on February 26th this year, in Los Angeles. What’s really interesting is that the ceremony starts a few hours after a Solar Eclipse at 8 degrees Pisces, and comes a couple of weeks after the Lunar Eclipse at 22 degrees Leo (more on those closer to those dates).
It’s interesting to note how this might affect the awards ceremony itself. Last year, I managed to track down a proper date, time, and place of birth for the very first Academy Awards ceremony (you can see it HERE). Note that the Solar Eclipse is happening closely opposite the Oscars’ Moon. That might be an indicator of trouble, but then again that Eclipse is happening below the horizon of the Oscars natal chart, and one of the old-school rules for interpreting an Eclipse is that it has more effect if it falls above the horizon in your chart. Nonetheless, that opposition is to the ruler of Oscar’s Pluto, and as I mentioned last year the Oscars are having their Pluto Opposition.
As for my predictions? I may have more once we know who the nominees are, but you’ve always got to be careful when speculating without a confirmed time of birth, and that’s often the case with these things. Don’t make the same mistake that many astrologers did with A Certain Large Historical Event that happened recently (and if you do get it right, don’t be a Wee Willy about it). However, two things stand out:
- Mahershala Ali, who stars in Moonlight, appears to be having some really great transits, as is that film’s director, Barry Jenkins. I haven’t seen Moonlight yet (and most people haven’t), but Mahershala Ali was awesome in Luke Cage (see my article about Luke Cage HERE).
- It doesn’t matter what you or I think, the Oscars often nominate films that people will still be watching ten or twenty (or more) years later — but those films are rarely the ones that win.
This means (of course) that Arrival is going to get stiffed, and (as many are predicting) La La Land will probably win big. Here are some examples…
-Actual winner: Ordinary People
-Nominee that people still actually watch: Raiders Of The Lost Ark
-Actual winner: The Last Emperor
-Nominees that people still actually watch: Fatal Attraction, Moonstruck
-Actual winner: Dances With Wolves
-Nominee that people still actually watch: Goodfellas
-Actual winner: Forrest Gump
-Nominee that people still actually watch: Pulp Fiction
-Actual winner: Shakespeare In Love
-Nominee that people still watch: Saving Private Ryan
…and so on. I plan to be annoyed by this well in advance, as I was with the lack of major awards for Mad Max: Fury Road. Twenty years from now, that will still be a classic… and as for the actual winner, Spotlight? Go ahead: if you’ve seen both, tell me which one was more memorable. I dare you.
LAST TIME (click here if you didn’t see it): I took a look at the “birth chart” (or rather, the chart of the first publication date) for everyone’s favorite example of how childhood trauma plus relentless dedication plus huge wealth can lead to masked vigilantism — Batman. I focused mostly on the character’s personality. This time, I want to show how upcoming transits may be affecting the actual trademarked character, in real-world terms.
You see, The Defender Of Gotham has faced some tough times lately. Sure, he’s changed over the years — from the gritty detective/crime-fighter he was in the 1930s and 40s to the largely goofy figure of the 1960s to the brooding goth superhero of the 1990s. However it was in the 2000s that we reached Peak Batman, with the trilogy of films featuring Christian Bale in the title role… and we can track all of these permutations in Batman’s image by the path Pluto has taken through the Zodiac during those decades. And now Pluto is moving into the most challenging of all places for Our Hero.
Batman grew in popularity during the 1940s and 1950s, when Pluto was in Leo, trine the Sun, Mercury, and Saturn of the character’s “birth chart.” After that, his popularity faded somewhat, until the mid-1960s, when the Uranus-Pluto conjunction in Virgo landed right on top of Batman’s Neptune and opposite his Jupiter. This was when the popular Batman TV series came out — the crime-fighter was no longer as serious as he once was, but he made some serious bucks off of showbiz.
After that, the hero’s public profile diminished, until director Tim Burton brought Batman back to his roots (in classic, kinda-weird Tim Burton style) in 1989: specifically, when transiting Pluto in Scorpio was closely opposite Batman’s natal Uranus, giving the character a quirky but much-needed reboot. The film franchise slowly degenerated after that, and it took Pluto’s entry into mid-Sagittarius (the Christian Bale years as noted above), making the trine to all those Aries placements in the birth chart to re-invigorate the character’s popularity.
And then, Batman v Superman happened. For a full and nerdy rant about that mess, please click here for the astrology involved (along with a little too much geek venom for many people’s tastes). In future, the same Batman under the same director is scheduled to appear in the upcoming Justice League movies (two of them, at least), and in a solo project that keeps getting rescheduled and still hasn’t found the right script yet — things which are often a bad sign in Hollywood. Many fans and showbiz observers alike are concerned about the outcome.
So: should we be worried that The Caped Crusader is going down for the count? Not at all, because it appears that this most Plutonian of superheroes is going to be saved by a Pluto transit. Specifically: the Pluto Opposition. During the current Batman v Superman era, Pluto is square Batman’s natal Saturn — which is never an easy time, whether you are a person or a fictional property.
But Batman is facing his Pluto Opposition in the next few years. This is a transit one doesn’t hear too much about, because frankly most of us haven’t lived that long. Because of Pluto’s highly elliptical orbit, expecting people to make it to their Pluto Opposition has often (historically) been pretty unrealistic. Pluto travels a lot more slowly when it’s at the Taurus end of its orbit. Pluto only spent about a decade in Scorpio, but takes about thirty years to move through Taurus. If you had been born in 1860, you would have had to live to the age of about 125 to experience your Pluto Opposition.
In theory, this should be a powerful time of transformation for a person (or a fictional property). In practice, we simply have seen enough cases of a Pluto Opposition to really comment intelligently on them. Yet Batman will start experiencing the effects of “his” Pluto Opposition in as early as 2021 — at the relatively young age of 82. So how should we interpret this transit? Perhaps it’s best to say that the Pluto Opposition is likely to have a phoenix-like effect: regeneration in the face of death; the willingness to live on and fight back against the darkness.
Sounds like Batman to me…
Seen your January 2017 horoscope yet? If not, CLICK HERE for it!
Personality-based astrology drives me a little nuts. Yes, it’s a large part of the appeal of astrology, but like any stereotyping, it has its limits. Aquariuses really do tend to be a little odd, and Scorpios do seem to have a talent for brooding over things, but insisting that these are absolute standards not only dismisses the complexity of astrology but the complexities of human nature as well. That, plus so much about “personality” is subjective. Is Politician X a bold visionary who is unafraid to speak up, or a loudmouthed loony who won’t shut up? The answer to that depends as much on your politics as on a birth chart.
Frankly, I’m concerned about the future of Batman — or more accurately, the future of the commercial viability of the character — based on upcoming transits to the chart of his first appearance. The character first appeared in Detective Comics #27, with a cover date of May 1930. But as I noted in my Luke Cage article, comic and magazine dates don’t match the actual printing date. However, we do know that Detective Comics #27 first entered the world on March 30, 1939, thanks to the Catalog of Copyright Entries For Periodicals (you see the research I do for you, Dear Reader?). Using this date gives us the birth chart for Batman that I posted at the top of this entry (click to enlarge). The “time of birth” of noon is speculative, but Cancer Rising seems likely based on the time of year, latitude, and regular business hours — and Pluto on the Ascendant certainly matches the character.
Even though I just picked on “personality-based” astrology, at the same time I have to admit that in previous entries about fictional characters there are distinct parallels between the “personality” of a fictional character and that character’s First Appearance Chart. And… sorry all those of you who insist that Batman just has to be a Scorpio… the Aries chart fits the character of Batman nicely.
A few points that jump immediately out at me:
- Sun, Mercury, and Saturn in Aries: Action-oriented and bold.
- Sun square Mars: Unafraid, even when he probably should be.
- Venus quincunx Pluto: An erratic love life, driven in part by fears of loss or abandonment from childhood
- Moon in Leo conjunct (although out-of-Sign) Pluto: Loves the drama of dressing up and playing a role, forceful about imposing himself on others when he feels he needs to.
- Jupiter opposite Neptune: Intellectually bold and curious, subscribes to a unique world-view
- Uranus conjunct South Node: driven by unusual circumstances from his formative years.
Now, having said all that, clearly Batman is well-equipped to survive bad times. However, I believe the transits show that The Caped Crusader faces challenging times ahead…
Seen your January 2017 horoscope yet? If not, CLICK HERE for it!