The Astrology of Real Life & TV Spies: Burn Notice’s Michael Westen

Jeffrey Donovan(Astrology Explored) Michael Westen is a spy. Or at least he was a spy, until his organization dumped him. In season two we are told that Michael’s burn notice was engineered by a shadow government organization in order to recruit him into their little group. It’s all very sketchy and we haven’t quite found out why the CIA hasn’t reversed this error and bring their spy back in from the cold. What we do know is that Michael Westen is very smart and has one heck of a skill set. He also has boundaries, geographic as well as emotional. The fun in the show, Burn Notice, is seeing how each of these elements are stretched in each episode.

Any attempt to leave the Miami, his boyhood hometown, where he was dumped would result in an arrest by the government. This normally wouldn’t restrain a spy of his caliber, but the strategically savvy Westen knows that he would lose any chance of regaining his former job if he did. So he sits in Miami, doing odd jobs as a sort of unlicensed private investigator, scamming an assortment of bad guys from the seamy underside of Miami, and basically acting out like a toddler sent to his room until a grown-up notices him. This is not to imply that any of Westen’s games are childish, they are far too life and death for that designation. One wonders, however, if Michael will ever get that for whatever reason his life is changed and the players aren’t interested in him saving the world anymore.

Adding to Michael’s angst is that he is forced to deal with family and personal relationships that he distanced himself from when he left home to join the military at the age of seventeen. Michael’s mother, Madeline is a curious mix of needy hypochondriac and master manipulator. His girlfriend Fiona is an an ex-IRA operative with a penchant for explosives and violent behavior. Her motto is “Kill them before they kill you.” His wingman is a supposedly wash-up and retired CIA operative, Sam Axe, who comes-up with the most incredible resources at a moment’s notice. In a show however, where turnabout is not just fair play but what the plot points turn on, one never knows where just who is going to do what and that includes anyone close to Michael Westen.

What sort of horoscope would be behind such a complex character? The unreferenced birthday, January 7. 1970, listed in Wikipedia seems a stretch. With four planets in Capricorn, one wonders where a man with a chart like that can get out of bed let alone run around the world in high stakes operations. You would think a chart like this you’d get a banker with a mortgage, wife and kids.

So incredulous was this astrologer about this date, I did some research on well-known spies taking from a site call Ten Famous Spies the birth data listed and drawing up charts. A quick survey yields some common threads:

Heavy Pluto contacts with the personal planets, Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars
Strong Neptune influence
A Taurus/Scorpio opposition involving any of the planets

Take for instance the chart of this spy:

Klaus Fuchs (full name Klaus Emil Julius Fuchs) was born on December 29, 1911 in Russelsheim, Germany. He was a famous as a British theoretical physicist and atomic spy. In 1950 was convicted for spying from the British and American atomic bomb research to the USSR after World War II. Klaus Fuchs have died at the age of 76 on January 28, 1988 near Dresdes, East Germany.

Klaus has his Sun & Pluto in tension aspect (opposition), Venus/Mars opposition on the Taurus/Scorpio axis, Neptune in harmonious aspect (trine) that Venus and in friendly energetic connection (sextile) with that Mars.

In Michael Westen’s chart we find Pluto trine the Moon and Mercury, Jupiter, the planet of abundance and Saturn, the planet of duty, on the Taurus/Scorpio axis, and the planet of action Mars in Pisces, ruled by Neptune, in friendly energetic connection with his Moon/Mercury combination. So indeed, Michael Westen does fit the quick astrological sketch of a spy.

In doing other pieces about the birthdays of fictional characters, I noticed common threads. While the fictional character need not have the same birthday, they do seem to share the same ascendant as the actor playing them. For instance, while doing a rectification for the character of Indiana Jones, based on the life events written by his creator, the ascendant of Harrison Ford neatly fit. However in Jeffrey Donovan’s case, we don’t have an ascendant, though we know he has a Taurus Sun and a Scorpio Moon.

To research possible combinations I searched Astrofaces, and look up Taurus Suns and Scorpio Moons. What should I see but a photograph of an individual that could be Donovan’s brother. It is a strong possibility his ascendant is Libra. And that fits so well with the smiling demeanor of our world-class spy as well as Michael Westen’s penchant for Armani suits and the perfect haircut. Yes, Westen may get down and dirty righting wrongs for a price, but he’ll look good doing it every time. With a Libra ascendant, the planets swing into appropriate places in the chart, with Pluto, the lord of the Underworld, sitting on the ascendant.

Mercury in Capricorn describes the “do it yourself gene” that Westen displays so well in crafting ordinance and spy devices on the cheap and on the fly.

Capricorn in the fourth, the Sun sextile Mars, and sextile Uranus describes the abusive Dad, though you can imagine with that Mars in Pisces, usually passive aggressive rather than aggressive that dad was “cruel to be kind” so to speak.

And all that Capricorn describes his reticent nature in reestablishing his relationship with Fiona. He is well aware of the complications of having a romantic relationship while pursuing a dangerous profession. This is a handy excuse not to commit, and he is trying to keep a lid on the intense feelings he has for her.

All and all, this is not a man to cross. And he’ll prove that over and over in the fourth season and beyond of this popular hit show.

Note: Six months after I posted this piece, Burn Notice aired an episode, Past and Future Tense, which supposedly gives the birthdate of January 6, 1967 for Michael. This information was posted on Wikipedia under the section for Michael Westen. Of course this would give Michael a much different chart and quite frankly a chart that doesn’t work as well as the one above. There is no birthdate listed on the official Burn Notice site so I’ll keep working with the chart I presented here. If you want to read more about Michael’s birthday check out my most recent article.

Natal Horoscope of Michael Westen

Photo taken from Wikipedia listed as being published under Public Domain

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Jupiter in Pisces: There’s More Room in Broken Heart

Note: Play song while reading.

In two of the last three periods when Jupiter was in Pisces, I fell in love, mad, wild, passionate loves that didn’t have a hope and a prayer of lasting despite my fervent prayers. It took years for the some of the prayers to manifest, when the man who was my first love came back into my life and we married. Unfortunately, the taint of Jupiter in Pisces was too much of a mark upon the relationship and for Neptunian reasons, we divorced after seventeen years of marriage.

In the Carly Simon song “Coming Around Again” she sings:

I know nothing stays the same
But if you’re willing to play the game
It’s coming around again
So don’t mind if I fall apart
There’s more room in a broken heart.

Pisces itself is a heady sign, a rare wine that can be drunk by few without losing their head. Those with more earthy influences in their chart tend to cluck and shake their heads, wondering what is wrong with those people, the ones who chase rainbows and believe in happily ever after, like life is some sort of fairy tale.

Those with a serious Pisces or Neptunian signature in their chart understand of course. They are the ones that tell tales of little people who place their pots of gold at the end of the rainbow, who hear Gaia whispering her song in the tops of trees and tinkling of waterfalls. They are the ones who delight little children with nonsense tales of Cheshire Cats and Mad Hatters and Queens with a dark sense of law and order. Part and parcel with this penchant for fantasy comes the need to for a transcendent love, one that throws a glamour around all flaws of the beloved. What is reflected back to the loved one is a mirror of perfection that few can resist.

Call it a drug if you will. They are born addicted, these souls with Neptune running through their heart and their blood. When reality and dreams clash, these souls may fall apart, weeping piteously and railing against fate for the end of the dream. Curiously though, after a suitable period of mourning, they will pick up the pieces of their broken heart and glue them back together. They have to, because to fail to do so would be the same as death, life without color or meaning or passion.

With Jupiter in Pisces, we all get to experience a bit of this, and you should look where Pisces is in your chart to see where you dream impossible dreams, where you might have your heart broken.

As for me, transiting Jupiter is slated to run over my Pisces moon and Saturn is hitting on my natal Jupiter in the fifth house. So bring it on, Jupiter in Pisces, I’m on to you. There is plenty of room here because of the work you’ve done before.

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The Astrology of Solar Eclipses: Spring Cleaning for the Soul

partial-solarCutting through Central Africa, swiping the tale end of India and sweeping through China, last Friday’s Annular Solar Eclipse happened at 25°01′ of Capricorn.

“A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partially obscuring Earth’s view of the Sun. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon’s apparent diameter is smaller than the Sun, causing the sun to look like an annulus (ring), blocking most of the Sun’s light. An annular eclipse will appear as partial eclipse over a region thousands of miles wide.”

A New Start

Solar eclipses always happen in conjunction with the New Moon, adding the power of the Sun to the cycle of the Moon, signaling a time of new beginnings. The two-week period before the next full moon is an especially sensitive time to set the stage for the next six months.

The area of 25 degrees 01 seconds of Capricorn is an area that is due for a major change in your life. Occurring as the planet of communications Mercury turns direct, there is an unleashing of new information, a revision of past actions, and a chance at a fresh start. Should you have a personal planet or even a midpoint between two planets in that area within a degree or two, this is place that will act as if a lens has been placed on it, focusing your attention on the issues of that planet.

In the Celtic perspective because this eclipse occurs roughly halfway between winter and spring solstices this eclipse signals a time when we balance the old against the new. We do not necessarily throw the baby out with the bath water, but we should be aware that growth means changing your perspective and ultimately your method of solving your problems.

Saturn Speaks

Whatever house has the degree of 25 degrees of Capricorn, whether or not you have a planet there, will kick up in importance. Because we are talking about Capricorn, which is ruled by Saturn, your Saturn issues about self worth in this house may take on an added emphasis for the next half year.

Old issues if not resolved on previous cycles may reappear. Bills that have been stashed in a drawer, old lovers you are quite done with, legal issues that you thought were finished all show up on your door step to point out what limitations you’ve ignored. Think of this as Spring cleaning for the soul.

Limitations and roadblocks to our success are often self-imposed. Saturn always means to instruct us, but he will not do so by handing us the answers. We must thrash through the questions ourselves. We might realize that what our parents or other authority figures told us was not true and we do not need to be bound by their assessment. We might find out that our own view of self is faulty and is in serious need of revision. We may just discover that our fears are just shadows and wisps in the wind. This is the hope and promise of this Solar Eclipse, that we find what is holding us back from taking the action that will move our dreams forward.

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Mars Retrograde: When the First Shoe Drops

mars-retroIts not easy being a fixed sign or having a planet in a fixed sign these days. Those with the zodiac signs Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius have the planet of action, Mars, to deal with. Folks, Mars here is no lightweight. Wherever Mars is sitting with, making a challenge or tension aspect to whatever stuff you have in a fixed sign is where you are experiencing trouble, with a capital “T”.

What is giving Mars its special super powers is that it is taking its own sweet time traversing the sign of the Lion, moving forward, then retracing its steps in what astrologers and astronomers call retrograde motion. From the vantage point of planet Earth, Mars appears to be moving backward in the heavens. What actually happens is that the Earth in its tour around the Sun has temporarily sped past Mars. Mars then plays catch up with sister Earth, creating what appears in the sky, if you were taking stop motion photography, a loop in its orbit.

Leo likes to fix attention on him/herself and Mars is the planet of War, so put that heady cocktail together, you get something akin to C-4 explosive primed to blow. However, it is well known that fixed signs just don’t like to admit there is a problem, much like the gentleman I recently spoke with that denied having issues in the bedroom despite having Saturn in Scorpio in the Eighth house, so it takes some time before the first shoe drops. When it does, the second comes in rapid succession.

So here is how it works. Either you book a consult with an astrologer, or you grab a hold of your chart and find where your fixed signs are and check out the description below. Oh, we all have them, somewhere, even if it is a fixed sign on house cusp, so no one is immune to the powers of Mars Retrograde, just some feel it more keenly than others.

Like everything else in astrology, it is all about cycles, and eventually the cycle passes. Mars is due to move onto Virgo in June. Aren’t we looking forward to that one!

Ascendant/Natal planet in the First House making inharmonious aspect to Mars or traveling Mars in the First House—You may embark on a mission to reshape your body, which wouldn’t be a bad thing except that you are driving everyone else nuts while you do so. Stop insisting your significant other take predawn runs trips to the gym or jogs through the neighborhood just to keep you company. Even if you don’t need your sleep, your SO does.

Natal Planet in Second House, etc, etc, or Venus in inharmonious aspect to Mars or traveling Mars through the Second House—Every fraking bill you’ve been putting off suddenly comes due. Worse yet, its like they’ve met in some secret place in the walls of your house and procreated. Call your financial planner, your accountant or some other trusted advisor to help you make sense of it all, because frankly, you are just too ticked off about it to plan this out rationally.

Natal Planet in Third House making inharmonious aspect to Mars, Natal Mercury making inharmonious aspect to Mars, or traveling Mars through the third house— Your brothers and sisters have stopped talking to you and you don’t understand why. It’s because you can’t stop challenging them, or your innate obnoxiousness is shining through. Keep to short written notes when communicating with them and forget the emotionally charged phone calls. Attend to all your school work or company reports promptly.

Natal Planet in the Fourth House making inharmonious aspect the Mars, Natal Moon making inharmonious aspects to Mars, traveling Mars through the fourth house—Issues in the home or with your mother take central stage. This is especially tough if you aren’t getting along well with the spouse or Mom in the first place. Everything is an argument or a pout. The priority here is learning what constructive action is needed to minimize conflict, and lucky you, the ball is in your court.

Natal Planet in the Fifth House making inharmonious aspect to Mars, Natal Sun making inharmonious aspect to Mars, traveling Mars through the fifth house—Read the one above and substitute the word “children”. I feel your pain.

Natal Planet in the Sixth House making inharmonious aspect Mars, Mars traveling through the sixth house—The good new is that the problems here will resolve themselves by early summer, and are more scares than actual problems with your health. However the shock of having a potential major health issue rearing its ugly head can push you into a healthier lifestyle which isn’t such a bad thing either.

Natal Planet in the Seventh House making inharmonious aspect to Mars, Mars traveling through the Seventh—Partnerships are tested under this transit. (Read Forth house description.) You have suspicions your life partner is cheating or your business partner wants to jump ship. The issue is to dig deeper past your partner’s actions and find a way to communicate openly and honestly about how you feel. Maybe, just maybe he or she will also.

Natal Planet in the Eight House making inharmonious aspects to Mars, Natal Pluto making inharmonious aspects to Mars, Mars traveling the Eighth House—I’m not going to expose what it is that troubling you because you know what it is and you don’t want the whole world to know. I will tell though, it just really is time to make an appointment with a good therapist.

Natal Planet in the Ninth making inharmonious aspects to Mars, Natal Jupiter making inharmonious aspects to Mars, traveling Mars through the ninth—If you are in school, its going to be tough. Put away the beer bottle and pick up the schools books. If you aren’t in school you are going to need a lawyer. Trust me.

Natal Planet in the Tenth making inharmonious aspects to Mars, Mars traveling through the tenth—Everyone wants to challenge your authority. Mars upsets the apple cart in your career sector. No one wants to let you do what you need to do. Suddenly everyone in the boardroom refuses to listen to you. It sucks and there is nothing you can do that won’t dig you deeper. Maybe you should re-evaluate why you stay in a situation where your talents aren’t appreciated.

Natal Planet in the Eleventh making inharmonious aspects to Mars, Uranus making inharmonious aspect to Mars, Mars traveling through the eleventh—Read the fourth house description and substitute the word “friends”. Activities in organizations don’t go so smoothly either. Keep your head down and don’t challenge anyone unless you are ready to nuke them all. Then where will you be?

Natal Planet in the Twelfth making inharmonious aspects to Mars, Neptune making inharmonious aspects to Mars, Mars traveling through the Twelfth.–Like the description for the Eighth House, you need some outside help to straighten out your insides. Whether it is you or a loved one with the substance abuse or mental health issue, or the SO’s (or worse yet, your) affair come to light, put the pedal to the metal to find someone to help you through this. This is not the time to go it alone.

Photo is public domain from the NASA
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