Michael Jackson: Mystery Man
I don’t know how much news coverage is being given to Michael Jackson in the rest of the world, but California is agog over the charges that he sexually molested one or more teen-aged boys. The first (and only) time I have seen him in a performance was during the inaugural celebrations in Washington, DC when Clinton became President of the U.S. in January 1993. One cannot keep up with everything going on in the world, and personal interests dictate the areas we choose to omit. Fiction in any form, along with sports, fashion, and popular music, are among my omissions.
Obviously, one of my main interests is the study of horoscopes of unusual people. So when the sex charges against Jackson hit the news, I started getting phone calls from readers of our journal who were looking for his birth data. At present, we have to classify Jackson’s data as DD (dirty data) to use Lois Rodden’s categories. I have three different birth times for him, all supposedly from people who got the data from him! Lois is a primary source of data for all of us, and she was given the time of 7:54 A.M. by Richard Gehman who is not at liberty of reveal his source. Marc Penfield is another inveterate data collector, and he says that the birth time of 11:45 P.M. was given in the first edition of a biography of Jackson called Moon Walker. Unfortunately, no one else has been able to confirm that. Marc thinks that later editions omitted the data. One of our subscribers gave me a birth time of 1:30 A.M. which supposedly came from an astrologer who got it from a close associate of Jackson. The AFA was given a birth time of 9 P.M. “from an unknown source.” I did a speculative time originally of 12:54 P.M. to put transiting Pluto on the Ascendant and P MC on the asteroid Jackson when the story broke, but I don’t really have any faith in that time. Proper rectification requires the dates of many important events in an individual’s life.
We are going to include charts for the three birth times which supposedly came from Jackson himself, but in view of the conflicting data, I suspect that none of them are accurate. Jackson has his Moon in Pisces, and I suspect that he has been putting out smoke screens in this area as he does in so many areas of his life. J Randy Taraborrelli, who wrote a biography of Jackson subtitled The Magic and the Madness, provides a quotation from Jackson from an interview done on August 22, 1978. “Everybody has deep, dark secrets....” At least we do know that Jackson was born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, IN with CDT in effect. Many of our readers will know that he has five brothers and three sisters, that the family started in poverty and became immensely wealthy as a singing and dancing group, with the younger children joining as they became old enough. But Michael was always the star, playing a lead role by the time he was five years old. Michael’s personal net worth was estimated at $300 million when Taraborrelli’s book was published in 1991. But in his preface, the author describes Jackson’s story as one of great success and accomplishment but also of betrayal and exploitation. He writes that despite the millions for whom he has performed, Jackson’s life is one of abject loneliness and great despair.
Of the three birth times which supposedly came from Michael Jackson himself, the 1:30 A.M. time seems to best fit the character and events described in Taraborrelli’s book. The Cancer rising ruled by the Piscean Moon fits his early attachment to his mother and his sensitivity, including frequent periods of depression and crying. The loaded third house is appropriate for his lifetime involvement with his siblings who performed with him as the Jackson Five for many years. Jupiter and Neptune in the fifth house are in a grand trine to the Moon and the Ascendant for success in entertainment. Leo in the second house also supports pleasure and financial gain through children and/or the entertainment area. Vesta in the first house added to the Virgo emphasis can indicate a workaholic, living through and for his work.
But the progressed aspects on August 17, 1993 at the beginning of the police investigation of the sex charges do not seem adequate for this revolutionary alteration of his life. P Mars is highly relevant with a square to Pluto and a quincunx to Neptune, but those aspects would be present for any birth time. There are some appropriate house cusps including the natal Ascendant calculated in Los Angeles which is in 3 Gemini so P Mars is on both the natal twelfth house cusp and on the local Ascendant. Also, P Ascendant squares P Neptune and P Jupiter and is trioctile Saturn, but P MC trines P Saturn, P L MC trines Vesta and P East Point and P L Ascendant are sextile natal Sun-Juno and trine P Jupiter. P Moon is octile-trioctile the lunar nodes, but the chart just doesn’t look critical enough for the bombshell which hit Jackson. He reportedly talked of suicide and for months he avoided coming back to the U.S. to face the charges and had his lawyers try to get a postponement for years to let the statute of limitations run out. These actions seem to imply some degree of guilt or a person really dominated by the element of water.
Despite some appropriate aspects at the start of the police investigation, I kept wondering whether Michael had given out several false birth times to see what astrologers would say, perhaps thinking he would keep the most favorable chart. After reading Taraborrelli’s biography, I decided to speculate on what chart would best fit the character described in the book. Michael’s sensitivity and attachment to his mother fit the rising Cancer chart but they would also fit a first house Moon. His major financial success would fit emphasis in the second and/or the eighth house. He is also very generous, especially in his gifts to causes involving children, which would fit Neptune and Jupiter, rulers of his Moon sign, in the eighth house. He made money with and for his siblings but he also fought them, fitting Mars in Taurus in the third house. Michael is also described as perhaps justifiably paranoid due to constant exploitation by his family and others. One of the common keys to feeling that other people have power over us, or might have if we are not careful, is an emphasis on factors in the seventh and/or the eighth houses. One of the best ways to reassure ourselves that the power is within our own hands is to choose a helping profession where we deal with weak people, but the sense of emotional vulnerability to others can also lead to a public career where we win attention and applause from the public to reassure ourselves. Leo in both the sixth and the seventh houses would fit such a career. Saturn in the tenth house square both Ceres and Moon would fit Michael’s brutal, dominant father who was intensely ambitious and frequently unfaithful to his wife.
But I did not start with any of the above. I started with the possibility that Michael’s sexual hangups might imply Vesta in the fifth house. Taraborrelli discusses the questions about Michael’s sex life from time to time in his book. The usual speculation shifted between concluding that he was simply asexual, choosing to remain celibate, to the possibility that he was gay. Taraborrelli decided that the first was more likely. Michael was dismayed by the fact that his father and all of his brothers were unfaithful to their wives. On occasion, he tried to talk star-struck young female fans out of giving themselves to his brothers. Though news stories periodically linked him with Hollywood stars, the latter insisted that they were simply “friends” of Michael. According to Taraborrelli, Michael was so paranoid that he really only felt comfortable with children and animals. If true, that is an extreme development of the need to deal with weak associates in order to bolster one’s own sense of security.
In addition to the three charts using birth times which supposedly came from Michael himself, my speculative chart is based on his character and on angle aspects for a few events in his life. When you use only one or a few events, even a dramatic one like the police investigation, it quickly becomes obvious that several birth times are possible; that is, that several birth times will produce appropriate aspects. I am enough of a “mentalist” (as opposed to a “materialist”) that I think we might even be born at one time and find another time in the day which gives as good or better results when matched against the life. Theoretically, we are born when we “fit” but there might be several times which fit reasonably well, in case the birth process is messed up by the doctor or other complications. But, whatever the philosophical implications, a chart calculated for 7:03 P.M. gives some fascinating patterns.
The beginning of the police investigation was a crucial event for Michael and this early evening birth time gives dramatic progressed angle aspects. It puts P MC quincunx P Moon and opposite the fifth house Vesta while P local MC is opposite P Moon and quincunx Vesta. The symbolism of the law (MC) confronting issues involving children and sex is right on. P MC is also quincunx natal Venus in Leo to complete a yod for a major new direction in the life. P Ascendant is square P Vesta which has just entered Leo, the sign of sex, children, etc., and it is octile P Moon and natal Antivertex and trioctile P L MC. P L Ascendant is octile-trioctile the P lunar nodes and the natal local Ascendant. The P nodes hold a square to the local Ascendant for many years, which fits tension in personal relationships. The nodes in the second and eighth houses are appropriate for relationship tensions around money, property, sensuality, and power as well as for a lesson involving sensual self-indulgence versus self-mastery. The eighth house cusp, like Pluto and Scorpio, calls for sharing the material world for mutual pleasure, for learning to master our own appetites partly out of respect for the rights of others. The P eighth house cusp for this birth time is in 3 Sagittarius, just finishing an opposition to P Mars but square P Pluto and trioctile the fifth house Vesta. P Pluto has remained octile Vesta all of Michael’s life so far. P local eighth house cusp in 20 Libra is octile natal Sun and Juno and will have reached the conjunction with P north lunar node by the time Michael is scheduled to confront the police in January 1994.
The Sun and Leo are different forms of the same principle, and Juno is another form of the Pluto principle, so the issues of sensuality and power keep repeating. The instinct of Leo is that we should have all the power — the prototype is the king. The goal of Pluto (too rarely achieved) is to learn to share the power and the pleasure with equals. When an individual feels too inadequate to relate to normal equals, he or she may seek out weaker associates or may try to overpower strong people. Taraborrelli thought that Jackson’s personal insecurity led him to avoid sex, but the Sun conjunct Pluto on one side and Juno on the other side added to the factors in Leo and Neptune in Scorpio certainly suggest a strong sex drive. Even though much of it may have been sublimated into Jackson’s fantastic dancing, singing, and drama, it would have been hard for him to totally repress it. If this speculative birth time is actually close to accurate, the Leo-Virgo mixtures are a major repeated theme in the chart. Sun in Virgo, Leo in the natural house of Virgo, and Vesta (our Virgo asteroid) in the natural house of Leo, and even Mercury (as a coruler of Virgo) in Leo keep saying the same thing. We can do all kinds of creative work with such mixtures, from work with kids to speculation to sales to sex therapists, but it is also possible to struggle with impotence or other sexual problems when the self-esteem is inadequate. Looking at his incredible success, it is hard to accept the depth of Michael Jackson’s insecurity, but Taraborelli makes a good case for it.
Of course, there were also some striking asteroids in Michael’s chart. Neptune has held a lifetime square to the asteroid Michel (French version of Michael) in 3 Aquarius. But I was most struck by the fact that the P Ascendant for this speculative birth time had just started a square to P Michel at 1 Aquarius 51 when the police investigation began. P Ascendant was also square natal Karma, P Geisha, and P Aten. Karma is self-explanatory (if the asteroid was properly named, and so far it seems to be working). Geishas are the Japanese women who were (maybe still are) hired by bars to satisfy the needs of male patrons. Aten is a sun-god, carrying the Leo significance. P Moon was conjunct and P L MC was opposite natal Phaethon, the young man who tried to drive the chariot of the Sun and crashed in flames. P Phaethon was opposite Saturn. P L Ascendant was quincunx natal Fama (fame) in Leo and P Mercury in Libra to form a yod and opposite P Child in the seventh house of partnership. P Karma was on P Uranus and quincunx P MC. In the natal chart, Asmodeus (the demon of lust) was on Fortuna (fortune) and America, and P Amun, another sun-god, is now conjunct all of them. P Jackson has been slowly moving over the north lunar node for years and is still on the mean (average) position of the node. P Sun reached natal Jackson in mid-December 1993, just as a flurry of news stories reported that Michael had secretly returned to California and was in his Neverland ranch north of Santa Barbara. As readers probably know, the name of his ranch was taken from the story of Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up. Michael was working before he was in school, and often said that he never had a childhood, so he tried to make up for that by being a child with children, animals and toys whenever he could. He has been generous and helpful to many children’s causes, but the evidence suggests that he is still struggling with the need to integrate his own child-self with his adult sexual needs.
Remember that the birth time of the preceding chart is purely speculative. I’m sure that some enterprising astrologer will dig up Jackson’s birth certificate some day, and we will have a follow-up on this article as we do in the present issue of The Mutable Dilemma for David Koresh, whose birth time has finally been provided by his mother. But exploring possible birth times for famous people can still be a useful exercise if only to see the elasticity of our symbol system to help prevent us from getting too dogmatic about pet theories.