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!
Friday, May 11, 2012
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Recently I finished watching the tenth and final season of the British spy series MI5 (aka Spooks). It’s among my favorite TV series, ever. SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t seen Season 10 yet and plan to, read no further!
One of the sub-themes in Season 10 was the love between our hero, Harry Pearce, Head of Section D (Counter Terrorism), and Ruth Evershed, intelligence analyst extraordinaire. Would they ever work things out and be together? Alas, no… Just as they had finally declared their mutual love and were planning to leave the spy life behind, Ruth was accidentally stabbed by one of the bad guys. Brutal!
In another of my favorite TV series, 24, Jack Bauer was our sexy CTU hero who could never manage to stay with his love partner for any length of time. He certainly tried. But something always happened to those women. They were killed, or went mad, or Jack had to leave.
So: Why could these warriors never have their loves?
Astrology provides the answer. It is because our warrior heroes are Mars, and their loves are Venus. Mars and Venus just can’t be together, at least not for long. It doesn’t work. Their priorities are too different.
Mars rules Aries and Scorpio, the signs where Venus is in detriment. Venus rules Libra and Taurus, the signs where Mars is in detriment. When Venus is in the house of Mars, she is miserable and functions badly. When Mars is in the house of Venus, he is miserable and functions badly.
Mars has to be in his own house to do his best warrior work. If his love life becomes his focus (Mars in Libra or Taurus), his work is compromised. He can’t be himself, nor do what must be done.
This truth played out very purely in both of MI5 and 24. Many times over we saw how Harry and Jack had to sacrifice their personal happiness for the job. Their work always had priority; the safety and wellbeing of entire nations depended upon it. Other characters, weaker than they, who succumbed to the demands of love inevitably ended up ruined.
Although we protest, in truth we would have it no other way. Whatever would the UK do without Harry at the helm of the Grid, deploying his assets with superior skill to fight the enemy? What disasters would have struck the USA without Jack’s fearless actions to save the day, again and again?
Harry and Jack, both Mars archetypes, were the very best of heroes. But the price of being the best was loneliness.