By Erica Bridgeman, Pandora Astrology Intern
By the time I saw my first episode of Star Trek on TV, the show had been off the air for 15 years and was, instead, relished as Saturday night reruns. Like almost everyone who experienced the program as part of their childhood and adolescence, I was impacted by the dream and the drama of a futuristic world where humans and aliens grappled with issues of power, domination, diplomacy, negotiation and, hopefully, peace. Star Trek was more than a television entertainment show that brought a message. It was a cultural and technological time marker.
Star Trek Went Where No One Had Gone Before
In 1969, the same year of the last broadcast episode of Star Trek, the U.S succeeded in landing the first humans on Earth’s Moon. Although I was never into the “technical” aspects of rockets like circuit boards and cooling systems, I was taken by the notion of traveling and living among celestial bodies. With the announcement that Roddenberry’s cremated ashes will be put into orbit around the Sun in November 2014, along with the remains of his wife, Majel, and James Doohan, who played Scotty, the chief engineer on the Starship Enterprise, I started thinking about the creator of Star Trek and what his birth chart might reveal.
Television writer Gene Roddenberry helped to usher numerous generations into the humanitarian Age of Aquarius with his legendary characters from the Starship Enterprise. As creator of Star Trek, Roddenberry’s natal chart shows a man with enormous creative energy who could penetrate deeply into imaginative worlds with profound passion, spirit, and energy. Amazingly, four planets and two asteroids reside in the playful and performance-oriented sign of Leo – the Sun, Mercury, Mars, Neptune, Pallas Athene, and Ceres (circled in red) – indicating a strong, creative personality with strategic initiative and drive and the ability to communicate in a down-to-earth manner that affirmed his personal purpose and mission. In fact, I venture to say that taking strategic visionary action was also a very important way to heal past life trauma that was incurred in the area of career as indicated by these celestial bodies in Leo trine both the South Node and Chiron in Aries in the tenth house (circled in blue).
Watery Nostalgia, Uranian Rebellion
Roddenberry was born with Pluto in Cancer. The Pluto-in-Cancer generation (b. 1913-1938) had an enormously strong identification with nostalgic images of the past (“the way it used to be”), the childhood home environment, and rather provincial, if not entrenched, social and family roles and responsibilities. For Roddenberry, however, his Pluto conjunct a Cancer rising ascendant in the first house (circled in green) trine to a Pisces Moon conjunct Uranus (also in Pisces) in the ninth house (circled in silver), suggests that Roddenberry felt a strong emotional urge to rebel against the status quo and mainstream for a greater life philosophy that was inclusive of all kinds of people, not just those found at home—and the harmonious trine between these Pisces and Cancer planets assured he would give himself permission to act on those urges.
Adventures Far From Home
Uranus conjunct the Moon in Pisces in the ninth house also indicates that Roddenberry had an imaginative spiritual depth blended with an instinctive urge for autonomy that led him on travels through different cultural world and cosmic perspectives. It was Roddenberry’s sense of adventure and love of the unknown and unexpected, along with a sense that “all is one” that allowed him to be able to portray his diverse characters, both human and alien, with enormous respect, care, and dignity. The theme of relating what is “home” to what is “far away” is repeated again in Roddenberry’s Cancer rising ascendant (circled in pink) trine his Moon conjunct Uranus in Pisces in the ninth house.
A Teller of Archetypal Tales
Finally, Roddenberry’s Pisces Midheaven (ruler of movie and television film and circled in yellow) ensured that his deep emotional sensitivities and capacity to imagine terrestrial and cosmic worlds would combine with his fiery creative passionate self-expression to enable him to give birth to fictional characters that would become archetypal heroes and heroines in universal stories. Roddenberry lived out his potential with panache and flair and, in the process, created the first major television franchise by endearing millions to his timeless creations.
by Erica Bridgeman
(Pandora Astrology Intern)
I’ve always known that the sun sign was a significant marker within the birth chart, the representative of the personality, the ego, the personal sun which gives life and sustenance to the individual self. But learning about the characteristics of each of the planets within our solar system, I discovered a major player lingering in the shadows of my chart, affecting me in subtle and not so subtle ways since the moment of my birth. That major player is none other than Saturn—astrologically, a planet most people willingly avoid at best and severely repress at worst (although Pluto often gives Saturn a run for his money where repression is concerned).
My interest in investigating Saturn’s influence on me began after I received a Life-Long Love reading with Jamie where I discovered that Saturn was transiting my natal Venus in the 10th house from September 2012 to about August 2013, during which time relationships of all kinds, but especially romantic ones, would become a challenge. But as Jamie and Liz Greene (author of the book Saturn: A New Look At An Old Devil) emphasized, if I remained open to the process and engaged consciously the work that it would take to both look at both my own patterns in relationships as well as what may be going on with potential mates, I would emerge from the transit with a greater capacity for self-knowledge and loving self-compassion. So I accepted the challenge.
In my reading of Greene’s book as well as meditating on the birth chart that I received after my astrology reading, I had a major realization, one that had remained hidden in its significance but whose impact on me underscored a lifetime of feeling creatively stunted and insignificant while also feeling that I was the casualty of intense romantic disappointment and heartbreak. Saturn was in the fifth house of my natal chart, which is traditionally thought of as the house of the Sun’s rulership. It is also known as the house of children, creative self-expression, and love, or as Greene refers to it, “the house of romance” because “this also is an area where the individual may express – or project – his [or her] own identity without interference, and through the experience of love of this kind he [or she] may get a glimpse of his [or her] own inner centre.” Ultimately, in the cosmic point of view, the goal of intimate relationships is not so much happiness and security but “to complete something that is incomplete within the psyche of the self. It is to become healed and whole unto the self while realizing unity within the universal One.
So to have Saturn in this house, can mean that the expression of all that the Sun represents—self, identity and will within the world and within the individual, self love and love for the other, innate creativity, and the reproduction of life either literally or figuratively—is eclipsed. Thus, chronic feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt plague the psyche of the individual, leading to either a depressive and even fatalistic outlook or, more hopefully, the making of the decision to break the limiting restrictions that Saturn embodies and move forward with consciousness, guidance and patience; slowly peeling back the facade that shrouds one’s inner light.
For me, what this realization has meant is to be willing to engage in the continual process, all the days and nights of my life on this planet called Earth, not to reject or repress but instead to fully accept and integrate my shadowy and rather base aspects as well as my own shining brightness, so that I am not living a life of duality but of wholeness. To realize my inner yin and yang merging in the infinite cosmic circle/spiral. For this, I am utterly grateful to the planet that has been called “the devil.” For, having accepted his ultimate challenge, I find Saturn offers me the key out of my own personal hell.
This year I’ve had the wonderful fortune to find not one but two excellent interns. Erica and Sara will each be doing a Pandora blogpost every month to talk about their experiences and learning. Here’s the first from Erica:
When I first read that Jamie was looking for an intern for her astrology business, my first thought was, “What an incredibly unique and fascinating opportunity this would be.” My next thought, however (which I admit reoccurred even after I was fortunate enough to be offered the internship) was, “Am I crazy to commit myself to seriously learning an art and a craft that is thousands of years old (at the age of 42 no less!) and which a good portion of people living in our “post-modern, left-brain dominated society” regard either with pat curiosity or downright hostile disdain?
“If you are going to make a midlife career change, why don’t you do something that has a guaranteed (i.e. legitimate) market potential?!” It was almost as if I could see in my mind a horde of angry and indignant naysayers circling me, ranting menacingly with shovels and rakes and other household items in their hands. But the fact of the matter was, through the years I’ve always had a continuing interest in astrology and have tracked my sun sign (Virgo) to learn as much as I could about the mysteries of my own personality.
More recently, having gained a deeper understanding of how houses, signs and planets work together in the birth chart through my rather intense Virgoan reading proclivities, I have to admit and accept that having a Sun, Mercury, Pluto and Uranus all conjunct in the 9th house pretty much guaranteed that the allure and pull of the astrological journey would inevitably call me on a quest – whether I was 23, 42 or 85. Needless to say, I greatly look forward to learning the practice and business of astrology, especially in the 21st century, no matter what the opinions of the naysayers might be! Cheers!