Breaking Bad is a critically acclaimed TV drama now in its fifth season on AMC.
The story starts with our protagonist, Walt, receiving a cancer diagnosis. Walt has a teenaged son, and his wife is pregnant with an unplanned second child. Although a brilliant chemist, he has settled for teaching at the local high school and works a second job at a car wash to make ends meet. Believing his disease will kill him—and desperate to provide for his family after his death—he makes some choices that set him down a bad path.
As it turns out, Walt has a real flair for being bad. Circumstances cultivate this natural talent for badness until, in time and with his cancer in remission, Walt is completely transformed.
If we were to map this progression astrologically, what might it look like? Such an exercise is a good way to explore concepts of planetary dignity and debility. It's also fun.
I see Walt as Saturn. He’s over 40, ill, and strongly motivated by his responsibilities as a father. We could choose other planets to be his significator, but let’s run with the Saturn analogy for now.
We could start with Saturn having moderate strength, perhaps in Gemini where it is in term. This is Walt before the diagnosis. He’s a decent guy, good dad, works hard, etc. He’s also frustrated and disgruntled on several levels. Let’s put him near the end of Gemini to show that he’ll soon be in much worse shape.
A persistent cough sends Walt to the doctor, and he returns with a grim diagnosis. Boom, Saturn moves into detriment in the next sign over, Cancer. (As an aside, there is a conceptual connection between this water sign and the disease of the same name. It has to do with cardinal being fast and desires being endless, just as the disease is about uncontrolled growth. This is not to say that the sign Cancer has anything to do with having or getting the disease.)
Saturn in Cancer also fits because Walt is preoccupied with his family (Moon, Cancer's ruler, is natural significator of women and children). Being in terrible shape, he begins to make bad choices (Mars, symbol of right action, is in fall here). This starts him off down a dark road (cardinal sign = new season).
Walt's dark side must have been innate but latent all this time. Soon, being bad is second nature for him. It's just who he is. This could be expressed as Saturn moving into fixed Leo, where it continues in detriment. While in Leo, Saturn is ruled by the Sun, symbol of power and leadership. In fact, by the end of Season 4, Walt takes over as King.
King of what, you may ask? Watch the series to find out! Actor Bryan Cranston's performance as Walt has won him three Emmys in a row. If you like a good drama, don't miss this show!