The verdict on the Oscar Pistorius trial is due on September 11th after the end of closing arguments. Pistorius was arrested for the Valentine’s Day shooting of his girlfriend, Veena Steenkampf. Previously he rose to fame as the first double amputee to win a medal in an able bodied world track event.
As I wrote last spring: Pistorius is a Bionic Man as befits a transhuman athlete in the Aquarian Age – fitted with artificial limbs that some argue give him an unfair advantage over mere mortals. (See my posts on Transhumanism here.) Pistorius was profiled in the New York Times last year in a piece that described him as “more than a little crazy” – a risk taker who was fearful of intruders and an excellent shot at the firing range. This fear is captured in a tweet from November: “Nothing like getting home to hear the washing machine on and think it’s an intruder.”
The astrological chart of Pistorius offers interesting clues into his character. The French website Astrotheme offers a birthtime of 10:30 am on November 22, 1986 (source: email from family member) which indicates Aquarius rising. Aquarius is the sign of detachment and reason, technology and innovation. We can’t be 100% sure of this birthtime, of course, but an Aquarius ascendant is the perfect mask for a Transhuman-type athlete; someone who seeks to shatter the paradigms of what is possible for human beings to accomplish.
His Sun is at the very last degree of Scorpio, often called the “critical” or “anaretic” degree. In medieval astrology the “anareta” was a planet of destruction. While modern astrology doesn’t take these significators literally, the 29th degree indicates a completion of some kind of karma and needs to be taken seriously. The Sun is on the Scorpio/Sagittarius cusp where the Sagittarian longing for freedom begins to interweave with the Scorpionic pressure to remain fixed and complete an uncompleteable task. There is tension there, and this tension is exacerbated by a challenging square to Mars in Aquarius. The Sun/Mars square evokes tremendous aggressive energy that requires an outlet, something he has presumably found through athletics. Mars is particularly strong in his chart because it rules his Scorpio Sun.
Pluto, the planet of death and regeneration, sits atop the chart at the Midheaven if this birth time is correct. Scorpio is on the Midheaven – the sign of power that is ruled by Pluto – beaming out a signal that this individual has an intensely focused and dramatic destiny that could involve a series of endings/deaths and regeneration.
Four planets are in Scorpio, and five if we include Ceres, along with the Midheaven. This is a very intense lineup of Plutonic energy which confers with it a darkness that must be confronted and challenged. The Moon is in Leo, signifying Pistorius’s need for attention and acclaim. However, that Moon (also representing the mother) is squared by Pluto, a challenging aspect that suggests intense emotions and challenges in the maternal relationship (his mother died when he was thirteen). A tattoo on his arm commemorates for all eternity the dates of his mother’s birth and death, very fitting for a Moon/Pluto aspect although it would tend to make the release required by Pluto very difficult if not impossible. Under Pluto’s tutelage we hold on fiercely to the things that frighten and haunt us in an effort to retain some sort of control, but Pluto’s lesson is the letting go and learning the art of trust in a higher purpose. Pistorius’s romantic life is further complicated by the fact that Venus (in Scorpio) conjoins Pluto and joins in to the Pluto/Moon square.
Again, we see the theme of struggle to control one’s fears and the necessity of letting go and releasing those fears in trust.
With transiting Saturn moving across all of his Scorpio planets, life for Oscar would not have been very pleasant over the past few months. Between Thanksgiving and New Year Saturn made the first pass over his Venus/Pluto conjunction and then crossed the Midheaven. Saturn is after all the Celestial Taskmaster, and he requires that we do the work our soul needs in order to progress. When Saturn transits Pluto, the planet of fear and obsession, the fears and anxieties that we normally may be able to overcome erupt into consciousness where hopefully we will address and deal with them. However, that Sun/Mars square has a tendency towards reckless and impulsive action that can become problematic.
Pistorius tells a story of fear and anxiety over intruders, and describes the vulnerability of being in bed without his prosthetic legs, unable to flee or protect himself. That story bears up under the burden of Pluto in his chart. There are no particular planetary events that would have motivated an act of domestic violence such as the intentional shooting of Ms. Steenkamp.
As a curious aside, Reeva Steenkamp’s Mars sat exactly on Pistorius’s Sun. That is a placement in chart comparison that can bring about an exciting sexual attraction, but it generally signifies a great deal of conflict between the individuals. Or perhaps in this case it simply denotes an act of violence, whether intentional or not.
Just before the shooting in February Mars and Jupiter aligned in the progressed chart. Jupiter often brings out latent aggression and hostility, sometimes in the individual himself and sometimes in the form of a situation that we draw to ourselves. With his troublesome Sun/Mars square in the natal chart, this progressed aspect would have stimulated the eruption of something into his reality so that these energies could be faced directly. It’s difficult to predict which way the judgment will go. There are challenging transits (Jupiter squaring Mercury) and harmonious ones (Jupiter trine Saturn). In any case, this tragic story has many interesting psychological dimensions and there is no route to a happy ending.
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