Art Bell—Radio Superstar
Our readers may remember the name of Art Bell from the previous discussion of the chart of Marshall Applewhite, the leader of the Heaven’s Gate cult who led his followers to commit suicide in Rancho Santa Fe, CA in 1997. Art runs a call-in radio show from a tiny town in Nevada named Pahrump. His topics include almost everything unconventional, from psychic predictions to cults to every variety of conspiracy theory. UFOs and government cover-ups are popular topics. Listeners phone the show from all over the world to contribute their strange experiences and beliefs. I have never managed to hear the show, but have friends who listen regularly, and one of them just gave me Art’s birth data. Art himself gave the data on a show, commenting that many people had asked him for it, so he had looked it up and was sharing it. According to Art Bell, he was born on June 17, 1945 at 12:36 P.M. EWT in Camp Lejeune , NC in a military camp.
My favorite charts include both people who have experiences which can’t be explained by materialistic beliefs, and also gurus who teach or promote unconventional ideas. Bell is clearly a promoter who does not profess a personal belief in any of the bizarre theories and experiences described on his show, but who gives everyone a chance to express their opinions. He is also becoming more famous, carried by over 400 stations in the U.S. and with an expanding audience around the world. The company which syndicates his show also gives us Rush Limbaugh and Laura Schlessinger, so it is obviously more concerned with the bottom line than with a specific ideology.
We can certainly see the potential for success in Art’s horoscope. He was born with Jupiter exactly on the Ascendant in Virgo plus Chiron and Neptune in the 1st house to reinforce an identification with the Absolute. With such an identification, we may think we ought to be perfect and never accept ourselves. Or we may think we already are perfect and have a right to anything we want in life. Or we may struggle to become more perfect. We may think we already know final truth and become a guru, or we may search all our lives for more knowledge. Art chose the last option, which is much the most comfortable and safest of the alternatives I listed. (There are many more possible ways to manifest the principles, of course.) Art offers anyone who thinks he or she has valuable information a chance to offer it to a wide (and getting wider) audience.
Art’s passion for knowledge and the choice of a career involving information is repeated by the mental planets Jupiter and Chiron placed in Virgo and also by Mercury in its own Gemini in the natural house of Capricorn. Since Mercury rules the Ascendant, its position in the 10th house repeats an identification with both knowledge and work, added to the East Point and Ascendant in Virgo and Virgo in the 1st house. Vesta in the 1st house also adds to the identification with work, plus the one-six mixture indicates a desire to work in one’s own unique way, when, where, and how we choose, with independence and variety. The one-ten mixture of the ruler of the 1st house in the tenth, added to Saturn, the natural ruler of the 10th, in its own house and also the Sun there show the desire to be in control of one’s work, not under anyone else. Uranus in Gemini in the 9th house suggests a pervasive curiosity about everything and its conjunction with the MC connects this desire to the career and repeats the need for variety and independence. Art is certainly living his chart’s potential in his work.
A different theme in Art’s chart involves his need for relationships, but also some challenges in that area. Libra in the 1st house and Mars in the 8th house are different ways to show an identification with partnership, which can include marriage, business partners, counseling, or other long-term, systematic, peer relationships. But such mixtures usually indicate a freedom-closeness issue, often, including in Art’s chart, a power issue. Libra in the 1st house feels like “I want you with me on my terms.” Mars in the 8th (or the 7th) feels like “There is a danger of you having power over me.” The strongly occupied 1st and 10th houses also reinforce power as an issue, while the dominant Uranus on the MC and occupied 11th house add to the personal independence. Almost everything in the horoscope points to personal resistance to being controlled by others. The potential for a power struggle in relationships is also shown by squares between the 8th house Taurus and the 11th house Leo factors, as well as by the 1st house Vesta in Libra square the lunar nodes. These aspects involve planets in signs which are in their opposite houses, so a single square like Venus square Pluto is actually a full grand cross involving the fixed sides of life. Similarly, the Libra in the Aries house, Cancer in the Capricorn house and vice versa, and Saturn in Cancer produce a full cardinal cross. Fixed and cardinal conflict aspects are the hallmark of power struggles, but these can be appropriately manifested in competition in sports or business or fighting for causes. Art is on a second marriage, but mostly seems to be successfully handling his power issue by becoming a star as a radio talk-show host.
We can also read Art’s Cancer-Capricorn mixtures as a career that affects the public or that is carried out in his own home. In this case, Art does both. His rising Moon in Virgo repeats the message, connecting work, the public, and the subconscious mind. He has the potential to impact many people, even some who are otherwise basically conservative in their lives. As Uranus, and now Neptune, move through Aquarius, we may see the death of materialism except among a few scientists on one end of a continuum and a lot of traditional religionists on the other end who are too stuck in their beliefs to look at the evidence of life.
Art’s identification with the Absolute shown by the rising Jupiter, Chiron, and Neptune suggests his expansive aspirations for himself. His 10th house Sun also shows a potential for prominence in his career. Since he does not feature astrologers as call-in guests on his show, though he does have psychics, I doubt that he consulted an astrologer when he chose to move to Pahrump NV, but that move put his natal Venus exactly on his local MC! Many astrologers would be green with envy to have Jupiter on the Ascendant and Venus on the MC.
Art’s current progressions also fit his growing success and fame. P Jupiter holds a conjunction to his N Moon and Chiron for years, though it also moves from a square to his N Sun to a square to N Mercury as his work challenges the traditional establishment and its ideas. He had a New Moon in mid Leo about two years ago, starting a new 30 year cycle of fame with its position in the 11th house connecting it to non-traditional knowledge, spread by new technology, and reaching many people. Art’s P Sun just reached his local Ascendant in August 1998, pointing to a new level of personal fame. It might also have been a key to personal growth. Art reported on one of his shows that he recently had an out-of-body (OBE) experience while visiting Paris with his wife. He was strongly impacted when he experienced something he had previously heard described by others but, with his focus on the rational Gemini and Virgo, he had not personally experienced. He described his sensations as a state of bliss and joy that was beyond words.
Unfortunately, I do now know the date of Art’s OBE, but if it was recent, it may have been during the summer of 1998. I looked at his chart in Paris to see whether the local angles emphasized water factors, which are theoretically connected to the subconscious mind, which is our link to the infinite, the door to psychic experiences. During the summer of 1998, Art’s P Moon was in 7 to 9 Virgo, so it was aspecting its own nodes and Pluto—a strong water emphasis. Art’s Paris P Antivertex was in 8 Aquarius, connected to the network of aspects, and his P MC in 25 Virgo and P Ascendant in 24 Sagittarius were also aspecting some of the factors in 9 degrees with octiles or trioctiles. For what sounds like a genuine mystical experience, we expect Neptune to also be involved. Art’s P Mercury is holding a trine to Mars, a sextile to P Ceres, and a semisextile to Neptune. These aspects last longer than P Moon aspects, but they were highlighted in Paris where P Mercury is on Art’s natal MC. Still another emphasis comes from Art’s N Ascendant in Paris in 18 Scorpio where it is octile his Neptune. Local charts can be really important, and should always be watched along with the birthplace angles.
I checked a few of the asteroids which should be relevant to Art’s unusual involvement with borderline areas. Pythia was named for the Greek priestesses who presided at the oracle of Delphi, giving psychic answers to the questions of visitors. Art’s N Sun and Pythia are conjunct each other and Hela, a death goddess, within my standard one-degree orb. Many psychics believe that their information comes from individuals who have left the physical body. Pythia is also trine Ceres, a key to work and nurturing people, though it also squares Pallas. I don’t know whether Art is an abbreviation of Arthur, but the asteroid is in 3 Cancer square his Neptune. Arthur is also conjunct Siva and trine Mr. Spock in 2 Pisces. The latter asteroid is appropriate for Art’s major involvement in UFO material. Siva in 4 Cancer is trine Paradise in 4 Pisces to add it to the network of aspects, and Mars in 4 Taurus and P Mercury in 4 Virgo and P Juno in 2 Virgo are also tied in. Currently, Art has P Ascendant and P Ceres in 4 Scorpio to form a grand trine with the other factors, an additional clue to his expanding success. T Saturn on his N Mars seems to be heralding positive consequences.
N Spacewatch is just under 6 Leo and when Art moved to Nevada he put his local East Point closely conjunct it. He lives relatively near the famous U.S. secret testing ground for experimental aircraft, the so-called “Dreamland.” Conspiracy buffs are convinced that the U.S. has learned to build its own UFOs there after taking apart crashed UFOs and maybe with the help of captured aliens. Spacewatch is also quincunx Fama in 5 Pisces and P Venus is currently semisextile it for a couple of years. Another asteroid named for space activity is called Interkosmos. Art has it in 13 Libra trine Uranus and trioctile Icarus (who flew but crashed) in 28 Aquarius.
I was especially amused to find N Kassandra being opposed by P Saturn for years while P Kassandra stays conjunct the south lunar node for years. N Saturn was also conjunct Aletheia, the goddess of truth. Kassandra was noted for predictions which were always both negative and accurate but never believed. I see the south node and Saturn as two primary keys to areas where we have something to learn, and, if we learn it, something to give to the world. Art’s guests as well as callers with questions or just strange experiences to share include a number of professional psychics and native gurus. From what I have been told by friends who listen to the show, some of these guests have taken major liberties with the truth. They have fulfilled the negative part of Kassandra’s reputation, but the predictions have been believed and have not been accurate, a reversal of Kassandra. A notorious example of this was the Heaven’s Gate cult which believed a report from a man in Texas that a spaceship was following the Hale-Bopp comet. The cult members committed suicide to “join their approaching space brothers.” Needless to say, Hale-Bopp came and went without a spaceship which others said was carrying millions of reptilian aliens who planned to take over the earth.
So where is Fantasia in Art’s chart? In 24 Taurus in the 9th house trine Pallas but quincunx Ceres, square the Antivertex, and octile/trioctile the lunar nodes. Perhaps it is a warning about gullibility unless we exercise the caution and testing associated with the earth element. Another call for caution is suggested by P Fama in 3 Pisces conjunct P Skepticus, trioctile P Saturn, and quincunx Neptune. This fall, P Midas continues its slow passage over P Uranus, additional support for financial success for Art’s unusual career. P Venus has just reached the P mean north lunar node, another sign of success. P America has entered his 11th house as increasing numbers of Americans discover his show. P Pythia sextiles his East Point. P Arthur sextiles Pallas on one side and Fantasia on the other side. P Interkosmos and P Vesta are trine Mercury as Art’s work (Vesta) brings space or spacey ideas to radio listeners. A triple conjunction of P Aletheia (truth), P Wisdom, and P Aten (a sun god for fame) is in 29 Cancer about to move into Leo, which may herald even more fame on the public stage. One of these days, I really will take the time to listen to Art’s show.