(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.
Photo taken from Wikipedia listed as being published under Public Domain