Friday, 28 September 2018

The Downfall of Bill Cosby

The super famous seem to exist in an entirely different universe, like those distant twinkly constellations glimpsed on a dark night. As we watch them on the screen, spinning dream-like illusions, it’s hard to imagine that their lives are subject to the same laws as us mere mortals.

These are the beings, like the Gods on Olympus, who are allowed to behave badly and get away with it. And yet, under a Pluto in Capricorn world, that seems to be changing. Bill Cosby is the first high profile star of the #MeToo era to be criminally convicted (on three counts) of aggravated indecent assault, after drugging and assaulting a woman at his home in 2004. He was first tried for these offences in June 2017, but the case ended in a mistrial. A retrial was held in April 2018 and according to the District Attorney Kevin Steele, “he seemingly thinks that he hasn't done anything wrong. The jury thinks otherwise," and a guilty verdict was returned. On September 25, the 81 year old was sentenced to a three to 10 year custodial sentence.

Cosby - with his Sun at 20 degrees Cancer, Conjunct Mercury and Opposite Jupiter in Capricorn - secured his name in the stars with the lead role in the eponymous The Cosby Show, a joyful and extremely popular sitcom. It ran for eight seasons with Cosby as Dr. Cliff Huxtable, a clever, funny and wholesome family man and dedicated father, the beating heart of a tight knit family. Living up to the promise of his Cancer Sun Opposite Jupiter in Capricorn, he became a household name and earned the moniker of America’s Dad.

Sun and Mercury are also Conjunct Pluto in Cancer. Pluto has often been cited as the ruler of the black race and the show received praise for portraying a black family as stable, prosperous and successful, breaking with prevailing racial stereotypes.

The only fixed sign planet in his chart, Mars in Scorpio (wilful and sexually intense), Trines his Cancer planets and Sextiles his Jupiter. The Moon at 19 Virgo Conjunct Neptune, Sextile his Sun complex, perhaps signifies how much he fell into the illusion of the role he played, the safe and perfect family guy, and how much his audience also bought into it.

His conviction occurred under Pluto’s Opposition transit to his Sun in Cancer in particular and his other Cancer planets by association – transmuting his identity from homely family man to, as the Pennsylvania Sexual Offenders Assessment Board has recommended, classification as a “sexually violent predator”. 

Transiting Pluto cuts through illusions to reveal the naked truth, however ugly and for Cosby, it has marked the symbolic death of his old identity and a rebirth into something entirely different. That Cosby seems to have failed to surrender to the process and take responsibility for his crimes, surely increases the suffering for all involved. 

Note that during the original trial, transiting Uranus in Aries was exactly Square his Mercury-Pluto Conjunction (disruption to the status quo, challenges to a deeply held mind-set, shocking revelations, breaking down the details to shine a laser beam on the truth). However, transiting Pluto was still shy of its first Opposition to his Sun.

The crimes for which he was convicted first surfaced in 2005, when Andrea Constand, a member of staff at Cosby's former university, alleged she had been drugged and then molested by the star at his home in 2004.  A number of other women made similar allegations against him, but this was the only case that made it to court. In 2004, transiting Saturn in Cancer crossed Cosby’s Cancer stellium and Trined his Mars and transiting Pluto in Sagittarius Quincunxed his Cancer Sun. Built into these transits is the Sagittarian ideal of justness and the Saturnian idea of not getting away with it, however long it takes for justice to prevail.

Constand, taking about her assault, said the drugs he gave her had left her "frozen" and unable to move when the sexual assault took place. This is interesting in the context of Mars in Scorpio. It’s said that Cancer is contained water, Pisces is free-flowing water and Scorpio is water in its frozen form. With Mars signifying sexual desire and Scorpio about control, a naturally fiery planet in a cold sign, the imagery fits. Which is not to say, of course, that all Mars in Scorpio natives are sexual predators, nor that all sexual predators have Mars in Scorpio!  It’s notable however, that Cosby’s custodial sentence comes at the time of transiting Jupiter in Scorpio exactly Conjunct his Mars. This reminds us that Jupiter transits are not just about growth, optimism and good luck, they’re also about justice and integrity.

Birth details from Astrodatabank: 12 July 1937, 3pm, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Rodden rating DD – an alternative birth time of 12.30am is also cited)


©Mandi Lockley, 2018

Friday, 14 September 2018

Soul Connections IAM#21 Sept/Oct 2018

 I've been a contributor to Smiljana Gavrancic's Infinity Astrological Magazine (IAM) since the first issue and now write a regular movie column.

The online mag has grown from strength to strength, featuring articles from every branch of astrology, written by astrologers - many of them very well known - from every corner of the globe.

Now, 21 Issues in, it's reached a major landmark - its first print issue.

Here's the link should you wish to order a print or online copy.

And here's an extract from my movie column in this issue, where I unearth the astrology of horror director George A. Romero and his iconic zombie movies....

The dead have risen from their graves. But these are not seductive, hyperaware vampires, nor are they incorporeal spirits of dejected souls hopelessly seeking restitution for wrongs done unto them in lives long past.  These are the zombies – repulsive and rotten, shrouded in the dirt of their burial place and wearing the un-healed wounds of forgotten lives. Devoid of human emotion, save for the irresistible and insatiable urge to consume flesh, theirs is a slow death march, mindlessly relieving humanity of its soul and consciousness one bite at a time.
Welcome to the world of George A. Romero, king of the zombie movie. See beyond the shocking violence and gore and Romero’s series of ‘Dead’ movies reveal a satire for the times.

The social comment in Romero’s work is reflected in Sun Conjunct Mercury in Aquarius*, a combination also suggesting an active imagination. A fixed Square from Uranus in Taurus brings tension and shock (Uranus) from the Zombie’s slow (Taurus), relentless (fixed Square) pursuit of the living. Uranus also represents what we find revolting and repulsive on a collective level and in earthy Taurus it’s unsurprising that the social comment is about mindless (Mercury) materialism and that the mindless consumers are flesh eaters that rise from the ground.  Sun-Mercury Square Uranus is also about going against convention and unlike other popular supernatural monsters in the horror genre, for zombies and their victims there is no redemption – a decapitation or a stoved-in head is the only way out. Jupiter in Aries Trine Pluto in Leo also fits with the dramatic and overblown gory visual of how the dead meet their finality of death – first they lose their minds and then they lose their heads.
And heads brings us to Aries (which rules the head). Romero has the two traditional malefics, Mars and Saturn, and also the South Node in Aries. Whenever a chart is strong in Aries we look for ways in which the individual expresses a pioneering instinct. Indeed, Romero’s Wikipedia page notes he was an “influential pioneer of the horror-film genre”1 and also held the status of “father of the zombie film,”2 reflecting his prominent Saturn in Aries which is the dispositer of his Sun and Mercury in Aquarius and possibly his Moon in Capricorn (unfortunately we don’t have a birth time).
Mars Conjunct Saturn is heavy enough, but they also make an out of sign Square with Pluto. A grim combination, suggesting deeply buried rage clawing towards manifestation. The South Node joining this mix means the energy needs to find a release. Sun and Mercury in Aquarius (social comment) Quintile the Aries stellium encourages release through creativity and what’s more creative than the imaginary world of a movie? In fact, a number of Quintiles in Romero’s chart (Neptune to Chiron and Uranus to Pluto) suggest a generational urge to find creative expression through dark themes.
Venus in Pisces is both a creative and an idealistic placement, evoking pretty images of peace and love, rainbows and unicorns and Venus’ exaltation in Pisces suggests the potential for Venus’ energy to rise to its highest expression. Venus in Pisces also bestows empathy with the underdog and compassion for the suffering of others, which can draw the native into experiencing the uglier side of life and this comes out in the imagery and subject matter of Romero’s movies.

Venus’ opposition to Neptune in Virgo, the sign of Venus’ fall, brings a fear of loss and chaos, perceived in an overactive imagination and in the case of his movies, the loss and chaos is imagined through the zombie apocalypse. It brings tension to the yearning for perfection, promising perpetual disappointment of Venus’ high ideals. More mundanely it’s about learning that other people will always let you down when you set your expectations too high. Even as we are asked to root for Romero’s ‘human’ characters, he expresses his disappointment in their ability to cooperate and get along peacefully in the movies. It is human error and aggression which allows the zombies to breach their protective boundaries, spelling humanity’s doom. Venus in Pisces Opposite Neptune of course has issues with maintaining boundaries and Mars Conjunct Saturn speaks of the massive effort of trying to maintain literal – and emotional – boundaries against the relentless and bloody assault of the dead risen from Pluto’s underworld. Chiron in Cancer - Trine Venus and Quintile Neptune - describes the wounds that never heal, illustrated in the zombies, who wear their festering injuries and deformities like badges. Those bitten are robbed of their individuality, reducing them to their most unconscionable baseline - animated meat, with no purpose but to consume living flesh.
IAM #21 Contents

Quincunx, Aversion & Venus in Libra

I always have great fun recording the Academy of Astrology UK weekly podcast, hosted by the wonderful Rod Chang. It's never scripted, w...