A Hero Falls
According to his birth certificate, Orenthal James (O. J.) Simpson was born in San Francisco, CA on July 9, 1947 at 8:08 A.M. PST. His early life was tough, abandoned by his father at age 5 and raised with three siblings in a neighborhood where normal life included membership in a gang, shoplifting, fights, crap shooting, and truancy. But O.J.’s mother was exceptional, working long hours as a hospital orderly to provide a home and three meals a day to her children. O.J. wrote that when he was eight years old, all his friends thought he had the best mother in the world. O.J. also had some help from other adults, including a supervisor of the local recreational center who arranged for sports hero Willie Mays to spend a day with O.J. after a gang fight had briefly landed him in jail at age 15. He was also pushed by his high school coach, and two years of record-setting football in San Francisco City College got him a scholarship at the University of Southern California. His fame as a running back was won at USC which he led to two Rose Bowls, and where, in his senior year, he won the Heisman trophy given annually to the best player in college football. Professional football followed, along with lucrative ad campaigns as a sports hero, temporary stints as a sports broadcaster, and roles in a few movies.
Despite his vocational and financial success, O.J. had problems with women. He married his high school sweetheart in 1967 and they had three children, but they divorced in 1979, the same year in which his 25-month old daughter drowned in a swimming pool accident. Rumors claim that O.J. both physically abused and was unfaithful to his first wife. In 1977, while still married, he met 18-year old Nicole Brown. According to her testimony, they were living together most of the time by 1978 when she was 19. They married in 1985 and had two children, but police say that they were called to the Simpson home at least 8 times to settle domestic fights. Early on January 1, 1989, after a particularly brutal New Years Eve fight, witnesses said that O.J. screamed repeatedly “I’ll kill you.” Nicole filed for divorce in March 1992, and she told her therapist that O.J. was “stalking” her and she was afraid for her life.
Police estimate that the murder occurred between 9:30 and 11:30 P.M. on Sunday evening, June 12, 1994. Nicole left a restaurant with her two children about 8:30 P.M. and later called to say that she had left her prescription sunglasses there. Waiter Ron Goldman offered to take the glasses to her and left the restaurant about 9:45 P.M. A car with lights on was seen in front of Nicole’s house at 10:10 P.M. A witness later dismissed as not credible claims that she saw Simpson or his car nearby at about the same time. At about 11:10 P.M., another witness saw a white dog barking in front of Nicole’s house in a strange, “sick” way, so the murder had probably occurred by then. At 10:45 P.M. a limo driver arrived to take O.J. to the airport. The driver reported that Simpson was delayed and when he got into the car, he was “agitated and sweaty.” Simpson’s plane left for Chicago at 11:45 P.M. One friend who was on the same plane said that Simpson seemed normal while attendants described him as acting glassy-eyed, like a zombie, in contrast to his usual friendliness.
Most of our readers have probably seen the rest of the details. The bodies of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman were found in front of her home at about 12:10 A.M. on June 13. Both had been stabbed to death. Simpson was arrested about 10 P.M. on June 17, after being followed by police cars for some 60 miles as a lifetime friend, Al Cowling, drove the car and O.J. held a gun to his own head. O.J. has pleaded innocent and hired three of the most famous, expensive, and successful criminal lawyers in the country for his defense. As this article is written, Nicole’s parents have testified that they spoke to her on the telephone on that fatal evening. Nicole’s mother says the conversation took place about 11 P.M. If accurate, this information would come close to ruling out O.J. as a suspect. However, Nicole’s father says that the conversation took place about 10 P.M. Many more claims and counter-claims will be broadcast before the drama ends. Remember: despite what we can theorize with astrology, an accused person must be considered innocent unless/until he is proved guilty!
O.J.’s horoscope emphasizes interpersonal signs (Gemini to Leo) in transpersonal houses (10th to 12th). This is a common combination in individuals who live public lives but relate to many people in an emotional, personal way. A positive expression of the combination includes work in service professions: psychologists, social workers, nurses, etc. One of the challenges is the tendency to be emotionally vulnerable to and/or dependent on people in general with whom one would normally be more “casual.” This may be expressed as a constant need for attention, applause, the limelight, reassurance, etc. from the public instead of having one’s personal emotional needs met by one’s family.
Mars in the tenth house plus the strong Leo, especially with a conjunction of Saturn, Pluto and the East Point, show a desire to reach the top and to keep control. The strong eleventh house indicates a need for personal freedom, a tendency to resist any limits. Yet the Cancer and Leo want love and closeness, so O.J. has a freedom-closeness dilemma.
He also has love and mate closely associated with ideals with Neptune in Libra, Chiron and Jupiter in Scorpio, Juno in Sagittarius, Pallas and Moon in Pisces in the houses of partnership, and Leo in the house of Pisces. As always in astrology, the chart shows the principle but many details are possible. We can look forever for the perfect love, or think we have found it and be disillusioned, or make the idea of love or a specific person into our ultimate value, etc. Saturn always symbolizes a lesson involving power/rules/limits, the Law in some form. Its conjunction with Pluto and the East Point (an auxiliary Ascendant hence key to instinctive action), suggests a lesson in learning to respect the rights of a mate, learning to share power with a mate. IF he is guilty of the murders, O.J. flunked that lesson. The action would demonstrate that his need to possess and control was dominant.
The water principle in astrology symbolizes absorption and assimilation. We start a new outreach with fire, deal with the material world with earth, try to consciously understand our experiences with air, and absorb and assimilate the experiences with water, turning them into habits which are managed by the subconscious side of the mind. Water is dependent and/or nurturing, holding on or in or being held, possessing or being possessed. Its goal is to protect ourselves and/or others. In self-absorbed individuals, self-protection overrides the needs or rights of others. Security needs may lead to attempts to possess objects or people. When people are emotionally identified as the source of security, it is most commonly children with letter four and mates with letter eight. One expression of letter twelve is the need to possess God—to convince ourselves that our religion is the “one true one” in order to feel safe. Jealousy is a potential in all such situations. The Old Testament describes the Hebrew God as jealous, furious when “his” people honored rival gods. Common examples involving other humans include siblings who are jealous of each other as rivals for parental affection, and divorced parents who resent a child’s love for the other parent.
With 8 factors in water signs and 6 in water houses, O.J. had a strong focus in that security-driven element. He also had an emphasis on fire-water mixtures, the two emotional elements, with fire signs in water houses, Sun in Cancer, Jupiter in Scorpio, and Mars on the lunar node. Fire and water intensify the emotions yet there is a natural conflict between them as fire wants to express the emotions immediately and freely while water wants to hold them in for security reasons. Fire-water mixtures, combinations of planets/houses/signs, can lead to mood swings from elation to depression or to explosive outbursts when the fire builds up enough energy to blow out of the control of the restraining water. In his adult, public life, O.J. was generally noted for his sunny personality which is characteristic of fire and air, but he had periodic depressions when he couldn’t get his way. In his early life, before his vocational success, he demonstrated the fire-water explosive potential with considerable fighting and violence.
Many progressed aspects show the current crisis in Simpson’s life, with both midpoints and asteroids featured along with planets and angles. O.J.’s P MC in Los Angeles was at 7 Cancer 51 conjunct P Vesta, P Mars, the midpoint of natal Mars/Saturn, with P Mars still in a one-degree conjunction with the midpoint of Ascendant/MC. The combination keeps repeating the confrontation between personal will (Mars and the Ascendant) and the Law, the limits of personal will (Saturn and the MC). Vesta adds to the danger of alienation from the feelings of others with its tendency to symbolize a total focus on one’s own purposes. During the next three years, Simpson’s P Local MC will move to conjunct the midpoints of L Ascendant/L MC, Mars/Pluto, and Mars/East Point to repeat the same message and add the Pluto principle—the need to respect the rights of others.
Another midpoint which I have been watching for some years is Saturn/South lunar node. I think that these two factors are keys to primary lessons so their midpoint may be a valuable focus showing where we need to grow and may be challenged. I first noticed that midpoint in the chart of a man whose P Ascendant was conjunct it when he murdered his wife and her lover and then committed suicide. O.J.’s local P Ascendant was still in orb of a conjunction to his P Saturn/P south node, and his P East Point was conjunct natal Saturn/south node. P Ascendant from his birthplace will reach his natal Saturn/south node in about three months if his birth time is accurate. P L Ascendant was also conjunct Karma and P birthplace Ascendant was conjunct Hel, the Norse goddess of death. Of course, angles depend on an accurate birth time, and at this point, O.J.’s birth time looks right on. Other angles included P L East Point and P Antivertex on P Neptune, P L Antivertex square Mercury and natal Dionysus and quincunx the eighth house Moon in Pisces.
If Simpson is guilty of the murders, (and this remains to be proven in court), the reason is obviously crazed jealousy. However, temporary insanity is not a legal defense in California. Megaira was the one of the three Greek Furies associated with jealousy. O.J. had natal Megaira conjunct his Venus in the water sign of Cancer and P Megaira quincunx his Juno in the house of Cancer. Juno, as often noted, is like Pluto. Astrologers in the past have often associated letter eight, (Pluto, Scorpio and the eighth house), with jealousy, often stopping with the “detail” in the life without realizing the nature of the general principle—the security needs of water. All forms of letter eight do call for us to learn to respect the rights of other people who should be peers. Hopefully, we learn to share power, possessions and pleasure, and to control only ourselves—not others. But we are helped to reach those goals when we recognize and deal with the emotional roots of the possessive instincts. Where water factors show the potential for possessiveness which is driven by security needs, each of the fixed sides of life has some tendencies to possess and control for different reasons. Taurus does it for physical pleasure. Leo does it for self-esteem, as a demonstration of personal power, partly to impress others. Aquarius (when not mixed with other sides of life) seeks only to possess knowledge and personal freedom, to escape any limits.
Long term progressed aspects show the dominance of letter eight in Simpson’s nature and they also show the error of ignoring Pluto as a primary key to one’s personal nature as some astrologers do by relegating it to only a transpersonal, generational meaning. P Pluto moved into an exact conjunction to O.J.’s East Point (equivalent to being conjunct his Ascendant) when he was 24 years old and he would have to live 66 more years to outgrow the aspect. Another dramatic long term progressed aspect in Simpson’s chart was his P Saturn conjunct both Pluto and the East Point for much of his life. THAT ASPECT JUST ENDED A FEW MONTHS BEFORE THE MURDERS. Saturn symbolizes both the external laws, natural and cultural, and our internal law, the conscience. Was the end of the aspect a sign of reduced self-discipline and/or of reduced fear of the external law and consequences? Most astrologers would rejoice over the end of a Saturn conjunction since they fail to recognize its value when functioning as an appropriate conscience and realism about laws and consequences. Without these inner constraints, there is more danger of emotions taking control of the life. Where one’s ruling emotions include empathy and compassion integrated with some common sense, we can safely follow our instincts. Where the ruling emotions are totally self-centered, their domination can lead to retreating from the world, or to totally giving in to it, or to a perpetual power struggle with it. Do NOT ignore the long-term progressed aspects of the slow moving planets. They are major keys to the evolving character.
As additional clues to O.J.’s relationship with his ex-wife, Simpson’s P Sun was conjunct Nicole’s natal Pluto, octile his own Sun, and square his own true lunar nodes. His P Mercury squared his P lunar nodes. A strong water emphasis in a relationship is often a sign of enormous emotional dependency. Current pop psychology talks a lot about co-dependency. When fire factors are included in the situation, the outcome can easily become explosive.
Dionysus was the Greek god whose followers became crazy with alcohol, drugs, and “religious” ecstasy, and tore him apart. As mentioned above, Simpson had natal Dionysus conjunct Mercury. P Dionysus was conjunct his natal Saturn and P Arabic Part of Mars and opposite his P Part of Death at 8 Aquarius 53. His local P Part of Death at 17 Aquarius 26 was opposite his natal Part of death at 16 Leo 52 and square Jupiter. When a mate is equated with emotional security and God (ultimate value), and one’s ego/self esteem/personal power (letter five) is being challenged, a reversion to early reactions to challenges is common. O.J.’s early reactions included violence. The story of Orpheus is another Greek myth involving someone who “loved too much” and ended life being torn apart. O.J.’s P Venus was conjunct his natal Orpheus in 29 Leo. Pan, like Dionysus, was a Greek god involved with revelry to the point of crazy actions and fear. O.J.’s P Pan at 25 Virgo formed a grand cross to natal Moon, P Moon, and P Uranus. P Moon was within the permitted one- degree orb of a trioctile to natal Saturn and an octile to P Part of death, so the opposition in fixed signs and mutable houses was connected to the cross in mutable signs and fixed houses. The concern of the fixed sides of life with possessiveness and power has been discussed above. The mutables bring in the issues of faith, beliefs, ethics, and judgment based on them.
We have an asteroid for O.J.’s middle name, James. Its natal position in 21 Leo 31 was square his Sun/Moon midpoint at 21 Taurus 6 and the midpoint of his natal and local MC at 20 Taurus 51. P Jupiter is just coming to an opposition to the Sun/Moon midpoint as Simpson starts his legal fight over life and death. P Jupiter holds a very long octile to his Saturn/south node midpoint. P James at 23 Virgo 0 conjuncts P Atlantis, often associated with the abuse of power, and both are square Uranus and P Germania, the country where Nicole was born. P James was trioctile his P Part of Death when the murders occurred, and was just starting an octile to natal Saturn. P Atlantis was already in orb to Saturn. Since overlapping orbs can tie many factors into huge networks of aspects, we have to link O.J.’s name asteroid to the fixed-mutable network described above. Simpson’s natal Libitina, Roman goddess of death, was in his eighth house in 22 Pisces 12 with a quincunx to natal James and an opposition to P James. P Libitina was retrograding on the natal cusp of the eighth house, square his natal Juno and P Gaea (earth) in 16 Sagittarius but trine his natal Sun. The drama stemming from Nicole’s death is being watched by much of the earth but even if he is proved guilty, Simpson’s prestigious lawyers along with his own popularity may save him from death. P Juno’s quincunx to O.J.’s Sun had been in orb for years, fitting their emotional and physical estrangement. P Juno was also octile Chiron, another key to faith and ethics.
Many other aspects could be mentioned. The drama is likely to be protracted as the local and birthplace P MCs move over P Mars, P Vesta, and the midpoints mentioned earlier, while the angles of personal action, Ascendant and East Point, move over Neptune. Neptune maintains a long-term square to three of the midpoints: L Ascendant/L MC, Mars/Pluto, and Mars/East Point, as well as an octile to the natal Ascendant. Many commentators have compared the ongoing drama to Shakespeare or a Greek tragedy. The similarity would be even closer if O.J.’s son by his first marriage were to be implicated in the deaths. The son reportedly lived with O.J., had a violent temper, and hated his step-mother.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Nicole Brown Simpson was born in Frankfurt, Germany on May 19, 1959. So far, we have no time for her, but since Germany records birth times and we now have international cooperation in sharing birth information, we will probably have Nicole’s birth time before long. In the meantime, of course, astrologers will speculate. My speculative choice after very preliminary work is 4:40 P.M. (UT 3:40). I first put the P Moon at her death in an opposition to her P Mars and P Uranus, giving her Cancer rising. This remains a possible time slot, but I did not find appropriate local angles, so shifted to the earlier time which puts P Moon opposite Vesta with Libra rising. The Libra Ascendant also fits Nicole’s personality which is described as outgoing and sociable but dependent on others.
Regardless of her birth time, Nicole had most of her astrological factors in the interpersonal signs, Cancer to Scorpio. This emphasis shows her need for other people while her south lunar node in Aries points to a lesson in learning to be independent, learning to meet her own needs and to protect her own rights. Saturn, our other primary key to lessons, was in its own sign of Capricorn, pointing to a lesson in handling power and responsibility. Of course, as we keep saying, astrology shows principles. Another person with Aries and Capricorn connected to lessons might be working on the other end of the principles, learning not to overdo personal independence and the use of power. This illustrates the problem of “proving” astrology since the same astrological factors can be manifested in opposite details in human lives. It is easy to associate the astrological principles with the life details once the details are known, but deducing them in advance is an educated guess.
Nicole’s Venus in Cancer completed a grand cross in the cardinal signs with its opposition to Saturn and square to the lunar nodes. She also had a T-square in fixed signs with the Sun in Taurus opposite Jupiter and with Chiron in Aquarius square both of them. P Chiron maintained the exact fixed T-square all of Nicole’s life, emphasizing challenges in the handling of possessions, pleasure, and power. She needed to integrate her ego-strength (or lack of it), her faith in her own power and self-worth, with her faith in a higher power (Jupiter and Chiron). The true lunar nodes were exactly octile-trioctile the fixed T-square, forming a network of conflict aspects in fixed and cardinal signs—a strong indication of a life involving power struggles. Healthy power struggles can be carried out in sports, games, competitive business, or fighting for causes. When not manifested in healthy, game-playing ways, there is always the danger of projecting one’s power into others who may use it against us, or of displacing it so that personal relationships which should be cooperative turn into rivalry and power struggles.
IF this birth time is close to accurate, Aries on the cusp of the seventh house is one of the possible indications of the projection or displacement of personal power. Mars square the Ascendant shows a danger of self-blocking as well as adding to the possibility of power struggles with others since it also squares the Descendant. The Ascendant and other factors in Libra and the first house Neptune are often associated with physical beauty which Nicole had. The chart is almost a classic picture of a woman designed to be an ornamental possession of a strong, wealthy man. Even the asteroid Sita, the self-sacrificing wife in the great Hindu epic story, fits the picture with an exact conjunction to natal Mars. Asteroid Darwin, named for the man who gave us the concept of “survival of the fittest,” was also on Mars and Sita. Sita survived, thanks to the intervention of the gods. Nicole did not. O.J. very well may survive unless or until he carries out the suicide hinted at in his farewell note which was publicized before his arrest.
Another asteroid which carries the connotation of women who devote their lives to pleasing men is Geisha, named for the Japanese women who used to work in bars where they were at the service of male customers. Nicole’s N Geisha was 13 Leo 23 in a square to her N James. At her death, P Mars and P Uranus were conjunct Geisha. P James at 8 Gemini 8 was octile N Mars, square N Hel and trioctile the local Part of Death IF my speculative time is right. Arabic Parts depend on accurate birth times. O.J.’s P James was conjunct Nicole’s local IC and his N Libitina was on her L MC, again IF the speculative time is right. Other asteroid aspects which depend on this birth time (and which were among the reasons I chose the time) are her P Libitina conjunct and P Hel octile her N IC, P MC conjunct Pluto and P Xanthus (another name for Apollo, a sun god for power and fame) as well as quincunx N Libitina.
I was fascinated to note that P Hel was also conjunct N Salome which was named for the daughter of Herod, ruler of Palestine during the life of Jesus. Salome, at her mother’s request, demanded the head of John the Baptist when Herod offered Salome anything she wanted after she danced for him. P Salome was conjunct Nicole’s local MC and O.J.’s N Salome was on Nicole’s N Ascendant IF my speculative time is right. Regardless of Nicole’s birth time, her P Salome was conjunct O.J.’s N Libitina.
In addition to the association of Salome with beheading, the star Algol at about 25 Taurus carries that tradition. Nicole’s Sun is two degrees from Algol, and I normally limit aspects to the so-called “fixed” stars to one-degree orb conjunctions. But one is tempted to stretch the orb when the circumstances fit. The midpoint of Nicole’s N and P Jupiter would be closely opposed to Algol. The preceding astrological correspondences are particularly fascinating since they fit the early news reports which claimed that Nicole’s head was almost severed from her body. These reports were later denied by the defense’s forensic specialist, Michael Baden, who examined the coroner’s photographs, but it may be a matter of semantics. Reportedly, Nicole’s neck was cut to the spinal column which kept the head attached to the body. The astrological picture fit the information given to the public, even if the actual physical facts in the case are debatable. As has been said many times, astrology is a mental phenomenon. The sky pictures the state of the cosmic mind and we join the party where and when we fit.
As usual, many more aspects could be mentioned. Nicole’s P Sun was on O.J.’s N Venus and her own N Hephaistos who made the weapons for the gods of Olympus. Her P Sun was also quincunx N Libitina. As this is written, the murder weapon, thought to be a sizable knife, has not yet been found. P Jupiter held a long square to the midpoint of Saturn/south lunar node in 23 Aquarius. P Vesta moved into an opposition to the midpoint and a square to P Jupiter a few years ago as the marital tension escalated. IF the speculative birth time is accurate, N Part of Death at 22 Taurus 37 along with the north node of Mars (regardless of time) completed a fixed cross, and P L Part of Death at 22 Leo 27 reinforced it. Since the Moon is one of the factors in calculating the Part of Death, its progressed position moves at about the same speed as the P Moon, so it would only maintain an aspect for about two months.
Lois Rodden will probably provide Nicole’s birth time before long, and I will pass it on. If it is quite different from this speculative chart, it will provide additional evidence that more than one chart can fit an individual’s character and destiny. We saw that happen last year when I initially worked with the wrong date of birth for David Koresh but the chart worked beautifully. Even without her time, the interweaving of the lives of O.J. and Nicole is clear. The conjunctions of the spiritual planets are particularly striking, reinforcing the importance of faith and the danger of a kind of idolatry if human beings or possessions or pleasure become ultimate values. Nicole’s P Jupiter was conjunct O.J.’s local IC. His P Jupiter was conjunct her Ceres which was on her Megaira (jealousy). His P Chiron was conjunct her Neptune. His Neptune was conjunct her Pallas and (more widely) her Juno. Her Chiron was on his local Descendant. If we put our faith in a fragment of life, losing it can seem intolerable.