When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back in the Holy
Neptune in Aquarius + Saturn in Cancer with Uranus
in Pisces + Pluto in Sagittarius =
Mel Gibsons Pa$$ion A Material Success
but a Spiritual Flop
SHELLEY L. ACKERMAN
Power of Film
The Moon was in Scorpio on June 20 1975 as Steven Spielbergs
"Jaws" burst out of the sea and onto the silver
screen defining the era of the big screen blockbuster. Saturn
was in Cancer during filming and the movies release.
And feeding on the deprivational horror of that placement,
the cameras rolled as the soon-to-be legendary mechanical
shark stalked and devoured several frolicking swimmers off
the chilly Spring waters of Marthas Vineyard.
fear-based entertainment had reached new heights and depths
that Summer, as the Super-Star Shark terrorized movie-going
masses as never before. The powerful images, which threatened
our primal sense of safety, overwhelmed us, leaving an indelible
mark on our psyches. Even Steven Spielberg (and his
Scorpio Moon) was said to avoid the ocean after the films
completion, fearful of the wrath of the films villain-
the monster-shark lead (presumably angered by
his lack of billing and the movies outcome) lurking
beneath the waves - just waiting for the opportunity to avenge
and consume the director.
Jaws was arguably a contrived formula film, it
was an undeniable work of art. The viewer was taken on a journey:
Jaws had a superb story line, a protagonist (more than one),
a villain, several great characters with fabulous flaws, and
it even moralized in a way that was instructive and entertaining
as it was satisfying.
months earlier, that same Saturn in Cancer transit brought
us The Towering Inferno and The Hindenburg
and the no place is safe theme found a home as
the modern disaster-fantasy genre established
itself as a more lucrative one of the times. Little did we
suspect however, that those films might serve as stirring
templates and how to primers for a generation
of terrorists in their infancy, some not yet born. The fantasy
element was temporary if not fleeting.
circa 1970-75: Price of Admission: $1.50--$2.
Dreamy Neptune, the ruler of film, fantasy, and spirituality
had entered high-spirited Sagittarius in 1970 and the collectives
hunger for soul and inspiration overrode the religious cynicism
of the 60s: "Is God Dead?" asked the April
8 1966 cover of Time Magazine at the height of the Saturn/Uranus-Pluto
opposition. Audiences now flocked to the cinema in search
of what was lacking in their churches and other religious
institutions. Soon Neptune conjoined Jupiter in Sagittarius
(early 1971) and the entertainment world complied instantly
with "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Godspell".
bible had made a comeback, at least as far as show business
the very birth of the movies, The Bible has been the most
consistent and sought-after source of material for filmmakers:
Pioneer film director D.W. Griffith and early film star Lillian
Gish intuitively understood the power inherent in this new
medium to influence the world in ways not fully comprehended
at the time. In fact, Ms. Gish often quoted DW s early
reproach to her: Upon hearing Gish and her co-stars using
the term flickers, he said: "You think it's
just entertainment. It will be the most powerful influence
in many lives, Flickers? DW exclaimed,
"Don't let me ever hear you use that word. Don't you
know you're taking the first baby steps in the universal language
that was predicted in the Bible? Now, you think of that the
next time you face a camera!"
bad DW Griffith isnt here to admonish Mr. Gibson. Wed
all be better for it.
the power of film was recognized and hailed early on by journalists,
clergymen, social workers and intellectuals in the early 1900s
as the universal language with the power to restore
man to a position he had not known since before the Tower
the timing of this new collective experience was perfect:
public was lured into its love affair with film by Neptunes
entrance into Cancer in 1901. And audiences unwavering
devotion to Biblical films most likely began with the release
of the first Passion when early French filmmakers
Lucien Nonquet and Ferdinand Zecca brought the
first full-length feature film (37 mins!) to audiences in
Life and Passion of Jesus Christ: From The Manger to The Cross
took three years to complete. Though an exact release date
of that film is not available, Neptunes lullaby in Cancer
was buoyed by the mass communications revolution of Uranus
in Sagittarius (through 1904). And by 1905, Pluto, which was
opposed by Uranus 1901-1902, was at 20º-22º Gemini.
99 years later, Pluto has traveled 180°degrees from that
point, to 22º Sagittarius, which is where it was on Ash Wednesday,
as The Passion opened in Los Angeles: Midnight
February 25, 2004.
mutual reception era of Neptune in Aquarius and Uranus in
Pisces now had its first major bible-based motion picture
of the new millennium. For me it was 2 hours + of blood and
"Dying is easy, comedy is hard" is the oft-quoted
response to that question, the last words of British actor
and director Sir David Wolfit.
Sir David will never see Gibsons self-indulgent, sadomasochistic,
lower-chakra epic of a bloodfest depicting the
last 12 hours in the life of Jesus.
no redemption here: Critics have suggested renaming The
Passion: The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre, The
Gospel According to Mad Max, A Crucifixion on
Elm Street, Pulp Scripture, and may I add
to the list, The Greatest Story Never Told.
The film furthered no deeper understanding of Christs
life and impact on the world and provided no useful insight
into the human frailties that killed him; it was neither instructive,
enlightening, inspiring, nor was it entertaining. It certainly
wasnt healing. Its mind boggling that as of this
writing, the films director, co-writer, and chief investor,
Mel Gibson, has earned over $800 million from it and those
numbers will continue to grow exponentially for many years
to come. Its been published that a consortium of mysterious
European investors has approached [Mel] Gibson about
a possible takeover of Disney now that Comcast has thrown
in the towel, with Gibson in the position now held by Michael
that this go round, the collectives baptism
of Uranus in Pisces is being tainted by the darkest expressions
of Pluto in Sagittarius taking hold. One can only imagine
that Christ himself would not have been that pleased with
Gibsons artistic choices: the exploitation of his image,
the medium, blatant sadism and misogynistic undertones to
tell his story in such a vile and unbalanced way. The film
promotes violence much more than it does an understanding
of the human condition which lead to the crucifixion.
what is in Gibsons chart that makes for such brutal
forcefulness? How has he become this a powerful of a lightening
rod of the collectives negativity? (Speaking of Lightening
Rods, the actor playing Christ, James Caviezel was struck
by lightening on the set). Why is Gibson so very popular and
unstoppable at this moment and what, for heavens
sake, is his true motivation?
Religious Makeover: There Shall Be No Other Director Before
Mel Gibson was born on January 3, 1956 at 4:45 PM in Peekskill,
NY (B Lois Rodden rating).
has Cancer Rising, The Sun in Capricorn in the 6th house within
2 degrees of the 7th, and the Moon at 0° Libra on the
world axis. Mel Gibson has 7 out of 10 planets somewhere between
the 28th degree and the 2nd degree of a sign, and therefore
in relationship with one another. Anytime an outer planet
changes signs, hes deeply affected, as in the case of
Uranus ingress into Pisces (The chart for that ingress
on March 10 2003 @ 12:54 PM PST in Los Angeles resonates big
time with Gibsons).
with Uranus at 1° Leo (retro) opposite Mercury at 29°
cap 17: Pluto is at 28° Leo conjunct Jupiter at
1° Virgo (both retro), the Moon is at 0° Libra- exactly,
Neptune at 0° Scorpio, and the ruler of his Sun, Saturn
at 29° Scorpio10. His midheaven is 24 Pisces 22,
so Christ as the embodiment of the Piscean Age is not at all
surprising as a professional destination for Gibson. Interestingly
enough, the Sabian Symbol for 25° Pisces is: A
Religious Organization Succeeds in Overcoming The Corrupting
Influence of Perverted Practices and Materialized Ideals.
Dane Rudhyars commentary is interesting too: "The
power of the soul to intervene in the personal life and induce
Gibsons means to catharsis is to beat it the hell out
of you with no uplifting payoff; his intervention"
is anything bur gentle as Christs would have
been. Did Gibson forget that Christs teachings were
"The Teachings of The Heart", and is he at a loss
as to how to achieve that for his audience? Christ would have
made a truthful but more heart-centered movie, Im sure;
charged no admission, and bought you the popcorn. And yes,
we as astrologers should have compassion for Chiron transiting
Gibsons Sun through much of 2003, putting him in touch
with his deepest suffering, (which he was only too happy to
share). And we must note Mels creative core, his Scorpionic
5th house. The lineup of Neptune at 0° Scorpio, Mars at
23° and Saturn at 29° Scorpio trining his midheaven
all seem to insist on imposing their darkest marks on each
and every scene while making you pay.
has turned our sacred theatre into an S&M dungeon.
didnt have to go this way. Whereas Jaws
took us on a journey, The Passion did not. It was a missed
spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre
minds", said Albert Einstein. What would have been so
valuable here is for Gibson to have spun his artistic wheels
in such a way as to provide the audience with fresh insight
as to why it is that saviors (and great leaders) are often
was killed when Pluto was in Sagittarius nearly 2000 years
ago! He must have possessed a charisma beyond anything that
had ever been seen before. He was magical. His being and message
inspired beyond measure.
types have always threatened the status quo, and
the more popular the savior, the more likely they become targets.
And in 2000 years we have learned little. JFK, RFK, The Reverend
Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lennon have all drawn comparisons
to Christ (on a smaller scale of course), and there are many
others, perhaps some on Earth even now, who embody aspects
of His energy.
be told, how many of us have been in the presence of a highly
magnetic person and have privately been consumed with jealousy
and an urge to eliminate them? Gibson could have helped us
to understand this phenomenon better. And he should
have. Instead, he was reckless and irresponsible with his
story. Clearly he has learned little from the cinematic achievements
of an impressive list of predecessors including DW Griffith,
John Huston, George Stevens, Cecil B. De Mille, Franco Zefferelli,
Martin Scorcese and Stanley Kramer, in the way that they aspired
to tackle the mammoth stories, parables, and cautionary tales
lived out by the archetypal characters of the Old and
New Testament. Who can forget Samson and Delilah,
Ben Hur, The Ten Commandments, Joseph
and His Brethren, The Greatest Story Ever Told,
Quo Vadis, The Robe, King Of
Kings, and my all time favorite, Inherit the Wind
(1960) in which Spencer Tracy as Clarence Darrow defended
the right to teach Darwinism (which challenged the Bibles
account of creation) in Tennessee schools in the Scopes Monkey
Trial of 1925?
guess what? I would fight for Gibsons right to
make any picture he damn well pleases, but I would urge him
to make some less menacing choices the next go round. After
all, He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the
Forgive him father, he knows not what he does.
an exceptional read see what theologian Matthew Fox has to
say in his fine piece: Mel
Gibson's Passion and Fascism's Piety of Pain
On The 90 degree Dial:
by Liane Thomas Wade
This is just for starters:
To put Mel Gibsons chart on the 90 degree dial with
(Uranian) Transneptunian points is to gaze at the depiction
of a forceful and public persona. His Moon is exactly on the
(=contact with the masses), which is also the midpoint of
five pairs of planets,
a rare occurrence. The Upshot? Mel Gibson, with his rapacious
(Sun, Poseidon, Pluto and Kronos picture), sees himself as
the spiritual leader of us all!
This article first appeared in The NCGR Memberletter of June
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