Using Medieval Astrology: Michael Jackson’s Nativity
© 2004 Benjamin Dykes, PhD
July 2009 Update: The following article was written as an experiment in 2004. I do not practice all the techniques which appear below, nor did I rectify the chart used for Jackson below. In 2009 I will update the article and look at some traditional longevity methods to see what light they can shed on Jackson's death.
In this article I illustrate how medieval astrological methods work when delineating a native’s birth chart. I have selected the chart of singer/entertainer Michael Jackson (using the most widely-available birth time for him), and I believe the reader will agree that great detail, accuracy, and insights that possible with medieval methods.
For each area of Michael Jackson’s life below, I will briefly outline the approach and considerations used by medieval astrology, and then summarize the results with a few explanations. The reader will see that medieval methods accurately describe and retroactively predict Jackson’s professional skills, two failed marriages, fame and successes, enemies, children, wealth and so on. Since Jackson is about to head to trial (December 2004), I will also offer predictions for the upcoming year using standard medieval/traditional techniques like firdaria, profections, primary directions, and his most recent solar revolution (solar return). But I must caution the reader that my delineations (especially of the solar return) are based on an assumption of the time of his birth and his location at the time of his solar return (see below). Minor discrepancies can make some of the fine-tuned predictions fall off the mark, and if he was not in or around his home or the Los Angeles region on his birthday, the solar return predictions will fail. Having said all that, for most purposes the standard delineations and predictions should do just fine.
If you are unfamiliar with astrology in general, I think you will be pleased by the no-nonsense, direct, practical and clear descriptions and predictions that are possible with medieval astrology. If you already know some modern astrology, you should be aware of the following points that set the two types apart:
- We do not use any modern planets like Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto; no asteroids or other bodies like Chiron; no hypothetical planets. Instead, we stick to the 7 traditional planets visible to the naked eye.
- We do not rely on New Age ideologies and beliefs such as universal spiritual evolution, socialism, past lives and past karma. There are profound spiritual dimensions to medieval astrology, but in natal astrology we are primarily helping the client understand what his or her life will be like, how to take advantage of real opportunities, and prepare for real setbacks.
- Medieval astrology speaks about real events in the native’s life, not just psychological responses to events. This is something very difficult for modern astrologers to get used to, since most modern astrology is devoted to describing personal psychology, often bordering on outright flattery.
- The medieval astrologer relies heavily on techniques and rules of interpretation, rather than idiosyncratic, intuitive insights.
- Medieval astrology uses a number of predictive and interpretive techniques that seem foreign to modern astrology, like firdaria, profections, primary directions, triplicity rulers, Arabic parts, and so on. And on the other hand, we rarely use the two main predictive techniques used by moderns: transits and secondary progressions. The two types of astrology are not totally different, but they diverge greatly.
In medieval astrology we also use the following basic meanings for the houses (referred to by their numbers from here on). They diverge in some respects from modern astrology:
- 1st (Ascendant or ASC): body, health, well-being, happiness
- 2nd: wealth (money)
- 3rd: news, kin, siblings
- 4th: family, home, domestic situation, real estate
- 5th: children, having fun
- 6th: minor illness, hard work, servants
- 7th: marriage/relationships, open enemies, lawsuits
- 8th: death, the spouse’s/enemy’s wealth and allies
- 9th: foreigners, foreign travel, religion
- 10th (Midheaven or MC): reputation, actions, professional concerns
- 11th: friends
- 12th: secret enemies, mistakes, incarceration/oppression
I. Body, Character, and Happiness
Medieval ideas about character were closely linked to ideas about the body – they were largely materialistic. In delineating the native’s character, we also describe his body, temperament, and health.
First, I will delineate Michael Jackson’s body and character. To do this, we add up the elemental qualities of the native’s rising sign, certain rulers of the Ascendant (ASC), and planets in or aspecting the Ascendant. The qualities with the highest scores determine what the native’s temperament will be, which basically describes how the native’s energy level makes him interact socially and professionally. It also contributes to the native’s health (omitted here).
After that, we look at aspects to the Ascendant and the degrees it falls in, to determine something about the native’s body structure – which again contributes to some character and health issues. In Jackson’s case:
- Ascendant (Gemini): Hot and Wet
- Almuten of ASC (Mercury): Hot and Dry (look at aspects)
- Moon squaring ASC: Cold and Wet
- Venus sextiling ASC: Hot and Wet
- Saturn opposing ASC: Cold and Dry
Hot and Wet win out with 3 points apiece, making the native sanguine: humanitarian, liberal, artistic, creative; an artist, musician, active, a people-person.
The rising sign, the majority of planets aspecting the ASC, and the almuten (most powerful ruler) of the ASC confer “masculine” body structure; and the sign and degrees the ASC make the native’s body a combination of a long rectangle with a triangle superimposed over it. The native’s body is masculine, with long legs and arms, but a short trunk; a longish body with broader shoulders and narrower waist and hips.
Of the planets aspecting the ASC and its almuten, Saturn is the most elevated, aspects both, and his body structure is more akin to the other testimonies above. The native has a Saturnian body and character: hard-working, suffering, serious, scientific, criminal; suffers in silence; dreary and sad. Wisdom achieved through suffering, experience and study. An anti-social streak.
Next, we look to see what personal needs for happiness make Michael Jackson tick. Again, we look to the ASC and its rulers and aspects to see what sorts of things, if present, will make Jackson happy and flourish. We look at the rising sign, and the rulers that are the most powerful and in the best condition.
The native’s rising sign is Gemini, so that to be personally happy Jackson needs to freely express and move, using airy means like speech, interactions, and ideas. Of his rulers, Mercury is seriously afflicted in the 4th. So the native tries to find this happiness through his family (4th), using speech, ideas, and business. He is somewhat successful because of his strength, but with fear, setbacks, and difficulties. Of the other rulers, Saturn is in the 7th, Jupiter is strong in the 5th, Venus is afflicted in the 4th, and Mars is very afflicted in the 12th.
If we add the aspecting planets, then the native’s character and experience of life is also connected to a glamorous, fantasy reputation (Moon in 10th), a love of home and family (Venus in 4th), and conflicts with enemies and a sad marriage (Saturn in 7th). Putting these all together, we say:
“The native seeks freedom of expression and movement, using speech, interactions, ideas, seeking a glamorous, fantasy reputation and position; he has a love of home and family, and tends to engage in contentions with enemies and marriages that are sad.
"He is somewhat successful in achieving this happiness through his family (using speech, ideas, business); and more so through entertainments, children and having fun, esp. through singing, travel, generosity and money-related ventures; and less so through Venusian activities involving the home, i.e., a beautiful home, partying, etc.
"The native will be unsuccessful in any attempts to achieve this freedom in his private life; indeed he has secret enemies and these private, hidden things will work against him. He should also be careful about his partnerships with others – any marriages will tend to be gloomy and sad, and he has open enemies; but perhaps if they involve business or property relations (Saturn) they will contribute more to his happiness.”
Next, we look at the balance between reason and emotions in the native, and what their qualities are. Mercury (standing for the intellect and cleverness) is afflicted in a fixed sign; and he bears no aspect to the Moon (standing for emotions and desires), who is angular and strong, but afflicted by Saturn, and in a mutable sign. Jupiter rules the Moon and aspects both Mercury and Mercury’s ruler. So the emotions are stronger than the intellect, but more changeable; there is some instability and trouble there; and Jupiter’s characteristics have a governing role. Putting these together, we say:
“The native lives more according to the pleasures of the senses than the intellect; and these will tend to diverge from and conflict with the intellect. Emotions/desires are more changeable and it is difficult for him to know what he seeks; but his rational mind is more fixed and stable. The thrust of his mind is honest, gentle (Jupiter). But on account of the afflictions there is less stability and sharpness; a harshness of emotions. Mars shows a quarrelsome and unjust mind; Saturn shows dishonest emotions.”
Note that Jackson, like many people, could be both basically honest and gentle, and yet be emotionally agitated enough that he is quarrelsome or dishonest; or gloomy (melancholic temperament). These types of seeming conflicts are present in many people. What is remarkable is that medieval astrology can get such complexity out of only a few techniques.
Next, we look at the triplicity rulers of the ASC and the Midheaven (MC), and judge by their condition and strength whether and when the native will feel like life is going well, or he is being most effective. We assign each of the three rulers to 1/3 of life. It is difficult but possible to predict the native’s longevity, but without using those techniques we can assign about 25 years to each 1/3 of life (making 75 years total. In Jackson’s case, we say:
“The native’s ability to achieve what he wants out of life is realized, but afflicted by, his family members, in the first 1/3of life; he becomes known for, and engages in, sad and difficult partnerships and encounters with enemies in the middle third. In the last 1/3 of life, he achieves more happiness and peace, being known for actions that are generous, fun, wise; travel, children, etc.”
Native is a sanguine personality, creative, liberal, artistic, engaged in people-oriented activities. He is hard-working, suffers and is aware of suffering; tends toward dreary and sad, achieving wisdom through suffering and experience, and with an anti-social streak.
Native lives more according to the pleasures of the senses than the intellect. The emotions are more changeable, it is difficult for him to know what he seeks, and there are signs of dishonest emotions; emotions diverge from and conflict with his intellect; his intellect is more fixed and stable but he has a quarrelsome mind. Still, the general thrust of his mind is honest.
Native’s body is masculine, with short trunk and longer arms and legs; broad shoulders and narrower waist and hips suggesting a triangle superimposed on a longish rectangle. His height is about 6’, and normal weight between 157-170#.
In terms of his personal happiness, the native seeks the freedom of expression and movement, using speech, interactions, ideas, seeking a glamorous, fantasy reputation and position; he has a love of home and family, and tends to engage in contentions with enemies and marriages that are sad.
He is successful in achieving this happiness through his family (using speech, ideas, business); through entertainments, children and having fun, esp. through singing, travel, generosity and money-related ventures; and less so through Venusian activities involving the home, i.e., a beautiful home, partying, etc.
The native will be unsuccessful in attempts to achieve this freedom in his private life; indeed he has secret enemies and these private, hidden things will work against him. He should also be careful about his partnerships with others – any marriages will tend to be gloomy and sad; but perhaps if they involve business or property relations (Saturn) they will contribute more to his happiness.
The first third of life will see him finding what he wants out of life on account of family, but he will also be afflicted and encounter difficulties here. The second third of life will see him in sad and difficult relationships and encounters with enemies, though his efforts and activities are strong. The third third of life will see him enjoying himself more and being happier – pleasure, travel, enjoyment, perhaps teaching or being wise; good relationships and friends.
B. Social Standing and Reputation
This area deals with the native’s reputation and the actual level of social contribution and power/influence he or she operates at. So it is a kind if mixture of what other people think, along with the real actions and influence that affect (and effect) reputation.
We use the sun is used as a natural significator of fame, along with the MC, plus some other considerations such the “slavery” considerations: e.g., how powerful the malefic planets are versus the benefic planets and the Sun and Moon. In medieval astrology, people with more pronounced malefics tend to have a lower quality of life, encounter more difficulties and struggle – which clearly affects one’s rank of fame. In this particular delineation, I also use profections, firdaria, and primary directions to determine times of fame and increased reputation.
Sun: The native’s sun is rather strong, angular and unafflicted, so some fame is indicated. Its aspects to Jupiter make him known as generous, expansive, philosophical; the native often exaggerates. His ruler is the Mercury, in the 4th: his fame comes from or through his family.
10th: The Moon is in the 10th, strong and afflicted by Saturn. It suggests a high reputation, riches and honors; a fantasy or glamourous reputation. Looking to the other planets ruling and aspecting the MC, we say Jackson is known for actions that involve difficult partnerships and contentions with enemies; hard work, disciplined, suspicious; and also activities involving glamour, women, beauty; and self-destructive actions and afflictions by enemies.
Slavery: Here we not that the Sun and Moon and benefic planets are strong. The malefics are both elevated, and the Moon aspects both. We say: the native is not held down and it looks as though he achieves a high level of service/station in society. Look for things to turn downward as time goes on, with difficulties and afflictions.
Doryphory: The strongest rulers of planets accompanying the Sun and Moon (according to Ptolemy) are the Sun and Jupiter, each of which is strong and unafflicted. This adds more fame, honor, entertainment, pleasure that the native is known for.
When: Now we look to planetary periods called firdaria that are ruled in some way by the sun, “profections” of the MC, and primary directions involving the Sun. Firdaria cover the longest periods of time, anywhere from years to one year; profections cover one year; and primary directions pinpoint events, usually within weeks. If the birthtime is a few minutes off, the directions can be off by months, so I will note when they are close to the other dates.
The Jackson 5 came to fame between Oct 1963 – Feb 1965 (age 5-6), when the sun was his sub-firdar ruler, the 10th house was profected to the house with the Sun and Jupiter (ages 6-7). At this time his Sun directed to sextile Jupiter in June 1965 (age 6) and the ASC to square the Sun in September 1965 (age 7) also predict fame.
The Jackson 5 recorded a series of hit singles when the Sun was sub-firdar ruler again between May 1972 and December 1973 (ages 13-16). The Sun directed to the IC/MC promised fame at age 16, as well (though a few months later, perhaps because his stated birthtime is off by a few minutes).
Arguably Jackson’s most famous moments came when the Sun was subfirdar ruler again between February 1982 and October 1983 (ages 23-25), when Thriller was released in 1982. 1982 was also the year when his 10th house was profected to itself. A year before its release, fame was promised by the direction of his ASC to sextile the Sun (September 1981) – another argument for a slightly different birthtime.
Jackson won 8 Grammies and the song “Thriller” became #1 on the charts in and around March 1984 (age 25), when his MC was directed to conjunct the Moon in the 10th.
Jackson published his autobiography, won an American Music Award, and both Bad and Off the Wall were certified as 5x platinum or more when his ASC was directed to trine the Sun in and around May 1988 (age 29).
When the Sun was sub-firdar ruler again from August 1991 – August 1992 (age 33-34), Jackson released Dangerous and started an international relief foundation.
When the 10th house was profected to itself in 1994 (age 36), Jackson engaged engaged in a highly publicized marriage to Lisa Marie Presley, and his first molestation scandal erupted.
Jackson appeared at the MTV 30th Anniversary concert in September 2001 (age 43), released Invincible in October, and re-released Thriller in October. Again, this was when the 10th was profected to a house containing a benefic (Jupiter), and the Sun was directed to the square of Jupiter (September 2001).
Publicity over Jackson flared up due to a controversial interview involving the boy who is the subject of the current allegations of molestation against him. At this time the MC was directed to trine his Sun in and around January 2003 (age 44).
Jackson made headlines again when he surrendered to police over the accusation of molestation in November 2003 (age 45), barely weeks before his Sun promised fame again through a direction to conjunct Jupiter. The event turned into a media circus and Jackson defended himself through highly-publicized interviews.
From August 2002 to August 2012 Jackson will continue to be in the news, although as medieval methods predict, his reputation will suffer as time goes on. The 10th will profect to itself from August 2006 – August 2007 (age 48), so that year will be especially public.
In May 2013 his Sun will be directed to oppose his Moon in the 10th house, promising fame again.
At age 60 (August 2018 – 2019) Jackson will be in the news again, just before he begins the next sub-firdar period ruled by the Sun, from July 2019 – August 2020 (ages 61-62).
Native will achieve fame on account of his family, and will be known as being generous [note his philanthropic activities], philosophical, and as an exaggerator. He will be known for actions involving difficult partnerships and contentions with enemies, being a hard worker and suspicious, along with self-destructive actions and afflictions by enemies. (He will also be known because of his professional activities, which are related to arts, music, entertainment – see below). As time passes the native’s reputation will become more difficult and afflicted, but generally speaking his fame remains strong, and he will probably achieve a rather high level of fame, with important social functioning.
C. Professional Skills or Mastery
In medieval astrology, professional skill has to do with a fundamental skill the native has for his/her whole life, and which wants to be expressed. It relates to what the native is meant to do in society, even if they may not be part of the native’s day job. The goal of this technique is to identify a planet or planets that govern a certain range of abilities.
We look to planets in, governing, and aspecting the angles (1st, 10th, 7th, and 4th houses). If Mercury, Venus, or Mars are present or prominent, they are favored. But in most people’s cases, planetary testimonies are mixed.
Planets in/aspecting angles: Moon (10th) – I already said this involves glamour. Saturn (7th). Venus (4th). Mercury (4th). Sun (4th). Because Mercury and Venus are more present, they receive an initial emphasis; since Venus is closer to the cusp, she is favored.
Rulers of angles: 1st: Mercury. Strong in power, but afflicted by the sun’s beams and a square from Mars. 10th: Saturn. Strong and in his triplicity; unafflicted; in a trine with Venus; aspects the MC closest of all. 7th: Jupiter. Rather strong in power, unafflicted. 4th: Sun. Strong in power, unafflicted. In this case, Venus is favored more than Mercury because she is more angular and aspects the MC. But he should be considered secondary because of his rulership of the 1st and his angularity. We will also consider Saturn because of his rulership of the MC and his close aspect to it (and the ASC).
The result is that the professional significator is Venus, with Mercury participating and Saturn added in. We then look to traditional lists of skills associated with these planets (see for example, Ptolemy’s account in Tetrabiblos IV.4 (see below). With so many planets angular, the native has a number of skills. The planet with the most rulerships over these three the Sun, who adds glamour, authority, and activities where presence is important.
Finally, we note that Venus and Mercury are each strong because they are in angles: so the native’s skill is strong and prominent. But they are afflicted by a square from Mars, who is in detriment in the 12th (the house of secrets and secret enemies), and who rules the 6th (illness) and the 8th (death, fear, risky things). So he will incur danger and destruction on account of his profession, likely from hidden enemies or the native’s own self-destruction (12th) – incarceration and condemnation.
The native’s “profession” or personal skill that wants to be expressed, is related to activities in music, theater, entertainment, and pretty things, and professions related to women’s finery. Look for professions that involve visibility and personal presence or even glamour. The previous delineation of social standing showed that the native does experience fame, so it is reasonable that what he is famous for is also his profession (instead of it being a special hobby unrelated to his day job) – as is the case.
The native’s skill is high; but there is danger of incarceration, troubles, condemnation, on account of hidden enemies or self-destruction on account of it.
D. Financial Significator
This delineation focuses both on a cluster of significators of wealth (Jupiter, Moon, rulers of the 2nd) and a special significator that is supposed to show where the native makes his wealth, whether by good or bad means, et cetera. Once we know whether and how the native will gain wealth, we apply some predictive techniques to determine when finances are more important and prominent. In Jackson’s case, we know he is wealthy, but since we do not know the exact details, we have to omit certain techniques like the monthly rise and fall of income.
One notable element of this sort of medieval delineation is that the significator is found through a list of ranked candidates: starting with the Part of Fortune (POF), we see if each candidate meets certain criteria. If it fails, we reject it as the significator and move to the next one. The more we must reject, the poorer the native is. In Jackson’s case, the POF is in a good situation, with a very benefic Jupiter as its ruler – so it is the special significator, indicating strong wealth, and there is no need to go any further.
Rulers of the 2nd: Of the several rulers of the 2nd house, two are rather strong but afflicted (Moon, Venus), and one is both weak and afflicted (Mars). The strongest is Jupiter, who is rather strong, in some dignity, and unafflicted. This is all the better because he is also the natural significator of wealth, and so can perform rather well. So our initial estimation is that the native’s strongest and most lasting source of income by this method is through activities involving entertainment (5th), children (5th), travel, teaching, and other traditional Jupiterian activities.
Triplicity Rulers of the 2nd: Again, we assign each of the three triplicity rulers of the house to one-third of life: First: Mars. Cadent, detriment. Income lowest here. Second: Venus. Angular, afflicted by Mars. Income strong. Third: Moon. Angular, afflicted by Saturn. Income strong.
So Jackson does have wealth that comes mainly from activities surrounding entertainment, children, travel, teaching. His income will increase as he gets older, and while there are troubles and contentions afflicting his money situation (afflictions by Mars and Saturn), generally things look good.
Specific significator (FS). The first candidate on our list is the Part of Fortune. It is unafflicted, and one ruler who aspects it (the Sun) is both unafflicted and strong. Being at the top of the list, it shows wealth and ease in getting it. Its dispositor is Jupiter, succeedent and unafflicted in the 5th – again, wealth from entertainments, etc.
Since the Part of Fortune is in the 6th house, we say the native gets wealth from subordinates and people who attend to him. My sense is that this could mean fans, but it could mean shrewd businesspeople hired by him. Since the most powerful ruler of the 6th is in the 12th, we say that this money is made on account of institutions, confinement, and secret enemies. How can this be? In the case of natives who work in prisons or hospitals, we can see how money could come from institutions. What we must do is to adapt the traditional language to a modern situation. My sense is that it means Jackson’s money is made possible by difficult contracts, secret activities, and things that make life confining for him.
Since the ruler of the Part of Fortune is Jupiter, the native makes money from important offices and responsibilities, managing important things. Jupiter’s condition and aspect to a benefic sun testify that he makes his money by licit means.
Finally, since the ruler of the native’s ASC is in the 4th, the native’s family and the native’s property (i.e., immoveable property like a home) also plays a positive role in his accumulation of wealth.
Primary directions show the following (keeping in mind they do not show every significant event):
- POF oppose ASC: April 1968 (age 9) – unknown
- POF square MC: (age 12) – unknown
- MC square POF: November 1972 (age 14) – the Jackson 5 recorded hit singles here.
- POF sextile MC: May 1973 (age 14) – the Jackson 5 recorded hit singles here.
- MC sextile POF: February 1974 (age 15) – the Jackson 5 recorded hit singles here.
- POF sextile Sun: October 1980 (age 22) – unknown
- POF sextile Jupiter: June 1983 (age 24) – during this period Thriller was released.
- POF conjunct Jupiter: May 1985 (age 26) – unknown
- POF trine Sun: February 1992 (age 33) – Jackson released Dangerous and began his relief foundation.
- POF trine MC: March 1993 (age 34) – Jackson released Dangerous and began his relief foundation.
- POF trine ASC: April 1996 (age 37) – unknown
- MC to trine POF: July 2000 (age 41) – unknown
- ASC to trine POF: February 2008 (age 49)
If we knew Jackson’s monthly income, we could use profections to look at his income from month to month and year to year. So we must omit them here, but I do note that his profected 2nd comes to the 12th house this year (2004-05), which has a Mars in detriment who also afflicts the ruler of the 12th. Malefics mean expenses, so the native will have many debts and expenses this year.
Finally, the firdar of the ruler of the financial significator (Jupiter) shows that finances will be emphasized and stronger during Aug 1978 – Aug 1990 (Ages 20 – 32) – which they were.
The native’s wealth is strong and comes easily. His most lasting and strong source of income some on account of activities involving entertainment, fun, children, teaching and traveling. He will have important managerial responsibilities in earning it, and he will make his money by licit and laudable means.
His family and property will also play a positive role in his accumulation of wealth.
He may also gain wealth on account of subordinates or people serving him; and institutions or secret enemies or otherwise things that confine and restrict him.
His wealth will be greatest in the last 2/3 of life, and there will be an extra emphasis on finances from 1978-90, along with the above dates shown by primary directions.
Marriage and relationship delineations are complex and interesting. They have many steps, because they cover both whether and when a native will marry (or have his/her significant relationships), as well as issues of sexuality, compatibility, relationship breakdowns, and so on. The main thing in these considerations is how the marriage functions and contributes to flourishing and objective satisfaction (and by extension, reproduction), rather than finding a soul-mate. As far back as Plato people have talked about romantic partners as soul-mates, but the key functional questions are: will he marry, how many times, is it a good match, are they sexually compatible, will his social status and functioning be more upward and beneficial?
1. 7th House and the Part of Men’s Marriage. Here we examine planets in and ruling the 7th house (marriage) along with the Part of Men’s Marriage (12 Aquarius 21). The more powerful, benefic, and unafflicted they are, the better for relationship compatibility and happiness. The less powerful, malefic, and afflicted, the worse.
In Jackson’s chart, Saturn is in the 7th house, strong and unafflicted; the ruler of the 7th is Jupiter, who is strong and unafflicted. Each planet aspects the lord of the ASC with benefic aspects. This indicates the native will marry. But Saturn is a malefic planet, and afflicts his Moon in the 10th house with a square aspects. And he opposes the native’s ASC (well-being). So the native’s relationships will be burdened and hard work, and will be a burden on his personal happiness. Moreover, the native’s finances and reputation will be negatively affected by his relationships (Moon in the 10th is reputation, Moon ruling the 2nd means money). Saturn both ruling and sextiling the MC means there will be a professional element to his marriages. The native’s relationships come about through his professional work and through people of authority and high status. I note that both of Jackson’s marriages are rumored to have been primarily business arrangements.
Looking at Jupiter, who rules the 7th, the native’s marriage is related to his Jupiterian entertainments and pursuits: generosity, travel, humanitarianism (in Libra) – so he will meet at least one wife through these or on account of these. Since Jupiter is in the 11th from the 7th by derived houses, he might meet her through her friends.
The majority of the marriage significators are afflicted, even though the most powerful ruler of them (Jupiter) is not. This means that the native’s marital bliss will be middling to low, with sadness and laboriousness (Saturn) a distinct feature. Since Jupiter is in a good condition, the marriages will still be of benefit to him despite the problems.
The 7th house is on a mutable sign: he marries two women. The Lord of the ASC is lighter than, and joined to, the most powerful ruler of the 7th, which according to traditional authority means the native wants to copulate with women.
The Part of Marriage is weak and cadent, but in the 9th and otherwise unafflicted. Its ruler Saturn is strong and unafflicted. This means the quality of the wife is middling – i.e., a somewhat suitable match for the native.
2. The Luminary Signifying the Opposite Sex: Moon. Here we look at the luminary signifying the opposite. In men’s nativities, it is the Moon; in women’s, the Sun. Currently I am working on showing that gay men’s charts have the sun as the luminary signifying the spouse, but since we know the native has married women we will go by tradition and make it the Moon.
This consideration evaluates the appropriateness the wife and the joy of the marriage. Normally, the number of planets aspecting the Moon signifies the number and nature of the respective wives (subject to some exceptions). We especially want to emphasize planets already playing a role in the 7th house location or rulership.
Generally speaking, the Moon and Venus are each strong in quantity but all afflicted. This is more testimony for a middling marriage of average happiness, with afflictions.
Three planets aspect the Moon: the Sun, Mars, and Saturn. This ought to signify three wives. But the sign on the 7th says two wives, and the Sun plays a more general role in the outcomes of marriages. So I will ignore him here, and use the other two planets: note that Saturn is already in the 7th, and so definitely signifies one wife. So the native has two wives: a Saturnian wife who is difficult, hardworking, and inflexible; and a Martial wife who argues (all by traditional interpretation).
Jackson has indeed married twice. The first wife was Lisa Marie Presley (married 5/18/94 – 1/18/96). The second was Debbie Rowe (married 11/15/96 – 10/8/99).
Based on my research, I believe Lisa Marie Presley is the Saturnian wife. He married her during the profection of his 10th to itself – and its ruler is Saturn in the 7th, who also is the one afflicting his Moon (the Moon-Sun signifies divorce). This would make Debbie Rowe (his second wife) the Martial wife. I note that Mars is the ruler of the 6th (service and servants) and in the 12th (hidden, secret things). Debbie Rowe used to work for Jackson as a nurse, and is/was very much out of the public eye. This is quite different from Presley, who was very public (her planet and aspects signify publicity).
3. Venus: General Love Significator. Next we look to see if Venus and her rulers show the marriages bringing more good, with an appropriate wife, or harm, with an inappropriate wife.
Venus is rather afflicted but her triplicity rulers strong. This means the native will marry an inappropriate and disagreeable woman, but he will be fortunate and will find utility from it. Ptolemy says that if Venus is in aspect to Saturn, the wife will bequeath him enough of the goods of life, and she will love him and the children a lot. Venus is peregrine but Jupiter is in one of her signs: the native’s marriage has more good than bad, and will be praised by others. Venus is squared by Saturn and Jupiter aspects neither: the native will not delight much with women, and if he marries, he won’t enjoy sex much.
These testimonies say the native’s marriage (or one of them) won’t be a very good match so far as personalities and having sex goes, but it will be praised by others and generally provide more good than bad.
4. Mars: Significator of Male Sexuality. This delineation overlaps with the miscellaneous section below. To put it bluntly, as a significator of male sexuality Mars shows how hot to trot the native is for sex – generally, the more dignified and strong, the more appropriately lusty he is. In Jackson’s case, Mars is in detriment, so the native “cultivates sex excessively and causes impediments and business problems” because of it. I have to admit I do not see the conceptual relation between wanting sex and causing business problems. But it might mean that the pursuit of sex leads to bad decisions in running one’s life.
5. Does the Marriage Last? Here we look at the luminaries: good aspects and no afflictions tends to show the marriage lasts; if the opposite, the opposite. In Jackson’s case, the luminaries are in opposition, with Saturn afflicting one (Moon): so there will be a legal contest or separation (could be the Saturnian wife) and they are not reunited (no benefics aspecting Moon). Both malefics aspect the Moon, so the native will be the dissenter. But why? Here we have to be careful because we do not know all the details. But I do note that (a) the South Node of the Moon is in the 11th, which is the 5th from the 7th by derived houses – this could have something to do with her children or having children, or how she has fun; (b) since Saturn in the 7th signifies difficulties with others, it could simply be that they could not get along and she was opposing him in his plans (whatever they were). I also note that they separated when he was 37, and the profection of his 7th house came to Capricorn, ruled by Saturn in the 7th.
If we adapt a technique that authorities mention specifically for women’s marriages, we get the following: Mercury aspecting the malefic that afflicts the Moon, the divorce is much gossiped about; Venus aspecting as well, the divorce happens by suspicion or adultery.
So the divorce probably concerns the Saturnian wife: they are divorced but are not reunited, he initiates the divorce, it concerns suspicions or adultery (or similar things), and it is all much gossiped about.
6. Mars-Venus-Saturn: Miscellaneous Sexuality and Emotional Considerations. Here, Mars, Venus and Saturn are treated as general significators. Much of this material relates to incest and other socially disapproved sex interests. Generally, Mars means lust, Venus means sexuality in general, and Saturn adds conservatism and propriety (but afflicting and in a bad condition, things get sexually dysfunctional and strange).
In Jackson’s case, Mars squares Venus, with Mercury also involved. Mars is in detriment, afflicting her from the 12th. So the native’s sex drive is unusual or wild. Venus trines Saturn, again with Mercury involved: the wife is older, and there is a public dimension to the marriage. All three of these planets together, the marriage is not durable or useful.
So overall, the sexuality situation is unstable. Mars cadent and in detriment could be sexual dysfunction or strange sex interests.
Currently Jackson is facing trial for a second molestation charge against a young boy, so one might wonder whether the chart says something about that. There are a number of traditional aphorisms that cover cases where a prospective husband is inclined to take younger boys/men as lovers (presumably as rivals for his new wife’s attention), but none of them apply to the figure. Based on traditional authorities, the chart is silent. At any rate, it is unclear to me exactly what these aphorisms are supposed to capture. In Jackson’s chart there are signs of unusual things, but not necessarily criminal. If Saturn had squared Venus instead of trining her, I would have said the sexuality issued tended toward the really unusual, criminal, disgusting. Lacking these signs or other modern insights into natal figures of natives who have sex with children, the astrologer must not rely on guesswork or emotion and make up an answer.
Since Mars and Saturn each indicate a wife, and since they each play different roles in this section, I’m tempted to separate them somewhat. If we separate the Saturnian and Martial influences, then Presley is the older wife, it is a publicized marriage, it is less sexual and more gloomy. The Martial marriage is the one that is the more unusual, with sexual irregularities.
7. Predicting Marriage. Predicting marriage is difficult in medieval astrology. There are a number of techniques, and information for some of them is difficult to get unless one knows the native personally (i.e., solar return techniques). Add to this the fact that they often show when the couple actually met, rather than the date married. Still, combining techniques tends to yield a clustering of dates around certain ages, and some techniques are more often reliable than others.
For Jackson’s marriage to Presley, two types of profections yield age 34, about a year before they married. Since the techniques often show when a couple meets, perhaps he and Presley began marriage negotiations at age 34.
Primary directions give us a more exact period of time. If we follow traditional rules and direct the Moon to the opposition of Jupiter, we get the following values:
- Early November 1994 (age 36.2), a few months after they were married. This calculation is made “without latitude,” i.e., it does not assume any celestial latitude for the opposition of Jupiter.
- March 1993 (age 35.5), which was in fact 2 months before the date of the marriage. This calculation is made “with latitude.”
- If we direct the ASC to trine the Moon “without latitude,” we get May 1994, exactly when the marriage took place.
- For Jackson’s marriage to Rowe at age 38, the profection of the ASC to a sign ruled by the Lord of the 7th (Cancer, ruled by Jupiter by exaltation) shows marriage. I note that the profection of the 7th for that year yields Capricorn, who is ruled by Saturn in the 7th house.
- A Saturnian wife who is difficult, hardworking and inflexible. [I believe this is Presley]
- A Martial wife who is argumentative and difficult [I believe this is Rowe]
- By quadrant houses, we get ages 38 (Venus) and 39 (Mercury).
- By whole sign houses, we get ages 38 for both Mercury and Venus.
- 12/26/04: Finances and his reputation
- 1/25/05: Gossip, news, kin, and his reputation
- 2/23/05: His domestic situation
- 3/25/05: His children, entertainment activities, and philanthropy
- 4/24/05: His children/entertainment/philanthropy, and people he hires. He may contract a minor illness.
- 5/23/05: Minor illness and people he hires (remember they are associated with mistakes, secrecy, and secret enemies).
- 6/21/05: Open enemies and lawsuits; debt; the enemy’s money; fear
- 7/21/05: Foreigners and foreign travel
- 8/19/05: Career and reputation
I also note that the technique of firdaria suggests a relationship between October 1983 and July 1985, when the firdaria rulers were Jupiter (ruler of the 7th) and Venus (a planet conjunct the 4th house cusp, signifying home and family). During this time he was rumored to be dating Brooke Shields. But I would normally have preferred the next firdar period, ruled by the lords of the 1st and the 7th: July 1985 to March 1987. I do not know enough about his relationships to comment on that period.
The native does marry. He marries at least twice, though not necessarily in this order:
The divorce of the first wife is at his initiative, on account of suspicions or adultery. It is much gossiped about.
He should expect to find his wives from the following areas: professional activity, perhaps with or through someone of authority and status; and on account of his entertainments and pleasures (i.e., his philanthropy, travel, etc.). He might meet one wife through her own friends.
The native will have only middling marital bliss, his marriages being characterized by burdens and difficulties (including being a burden on his personal happiness), even though they will be of benefit to him. At least one of the wives is a disagreeable and inappropriate woman. The marriages will afflict his finances and possibly his reputation and image. Still, the marriages are praised.
The wives’ social status and suitability is middling; since the native has indications of fame and wealth, they are likely to be of lower status.
Sexual indications are mixed, with signs both of disinclination to sex and an unusual (perhaps unusually active) libido. I’m inclined towards the “inactive” libido, since while Mars is in detriment he is also cadent and so very weak. So the native’s sex life with the wives has some sort of dysfunction and irregularity – it is not consistent or highly pleasant.
Children are usually assigned to the 5th house, but medieval techniques actually treated it last, favoring the 1st, 11th, 10th, 7th, and only lastly the 5th. This fact suggests that children in general add to the strength and lastingness of the native’s life, and hold hopes that his/her name will continue. It furthermore suggests a reason why children are associated with the 5th: since the 5th is the 2nd house from the 4th by derived houses, the fifth house signifies the helpers/allies/assets of the household. I have never seen anyone explain the 5th house in this way, but it may have been on the minds of the early developers of astrology.
In this technique we look to see if the houses named above, and planets in them, are givers of children or deniers of children – and if so, to what extent? In conjunction with these we also look at the Part of Children, the Part of Fortune, and the most powerful ruler (almuten or significator) of the significators of children. In Jackson’s case, the Part of Children is at 23 Aries 39 and the significator is Jupiter.
Number and Nature of Children: In Jackson’s natal figure, most of the signs are very or rather fruitful, and two givers of children are present (albeit one afflicted). The native will have at least one child, probably more because of Jupiter. But the majority of planets are on masculine signs, with two barren – an argument that at least one child will shrink from social contacts or perhaps die young. I note that his children are usually sequestered from the public eye, and when actually in public they are covered with veils and masks.
The Part of Children is in the 11th, conjunct the South Node, trine Saturn and opposition Jupiter. By being in the 11th, the native has a few children, and with goodness and joy. Jupiter generally testifies that he has many children by cultural standards. Jupiter’s triplicity rulers are strong, again signifying many children.
The Lord of the 5th applies to the Lord of the 6th: the children are the native’s servants.
The Lord of the ASC sextiling the almuten of children, and the lord of the ASC trining the Part of Children, the native and the children have a good relationship.
When the Native Has Children: The triplicity lords of Jupiter are all occidental, signifying he has children after his youth is over. Now we look to profections (and if we knew more about Jackson, his solar returns) to see when children are most likely born. If we profect the ASC to the 5th, then by both quadrant and whole sign houses we yield age 40. If we profect the ASC to the house with the Lord of the 5th in it, we get very similar results. Virgo is on the cusp of the 5th by quadrant houses (ruled by Mercury), but Libra is intercepted in it (ruled by Venus):
So by both techniques, Jackson should have children in middle age, between 38-40. Indeed his first child was born in February 1997 (age 38) and his second in April 1998 (age 39). This leaves as an open question his third child, born February 2002 (age 43). This is the child Jackson famously dangled out of a window before a crowd while it was still an infant. It is allegedly his through a surrogate mother or by artificial insemination. Nothing by profections indicates a child at that age, which makes me wonder as an astrologer whether the child is really his. Other techniques (like solar returns) might show such a child, but we do not have the information necessary to draw up the figure.
We could extend the profections to future years. If he is to have more children (which is possible), we could look to the same profections 12 years later: ages 50-52. There are other profections that are possible. But since the techniques do not show a huge number of children, it is best to stay conservative.
The native has several children, a middling to high amount for his culture, after his youth is over (38-40, 50-52), and they serve him. He and they have a good relationship, they bring goodness and joy. There is an argument that at least one will shrink from social contacts or be sickly (but signs of serious affliction aren’t present).
In medieval astrology, we reckon the year from birthday to birthday. In August 2004 a new year began for Jackson. In making predictions for this upcoming year (until August 2005) I will employ firdaria, profections, full moons, and Jackson’s solar return. I will omit primary directions since none take place this year “without latitude.”
Jackson is in his Sun firdar period. This is a 10-year period lasting from August 2002 to August 2012. During this time, the meanings of his natal sun (fame, family, real estate) will be pronounced. He will continue to be in the news and his home and family subject to publicity. Important people will be in his home, including public authorities. Friends and social connections will be found in his home.
From February 2004 to July 2005, Jackson will be in his Sun-Venus firdar. He will be with women in his home, especially female relatives. His domestic situation will be exciting and festive. He will be concerned with privacy and things done privately (or secretly) in the home. He will be involved with enemies who work against him behind the scenes. It is likely his father will have a serious illness.
From July 2005 to December 2006, Jackson will be in his Sun-Mercury firdar. He will be engaged with siblings and children in the home. He will spend much time with family, and his domestic situation will be very busy.
Profected ASC: The profected Lord of the Year is Jupiter, with Mars participating (the profected ASC is on Pisces, ruled by Jupiter; but Aries, ruled by Mars, is intercepted in the house). Jupiter is in the 4th, in detriment; Mars is in the 4th, combust. Jackson should not expect to make the money and achieve the positive fame he is used to, although he will continue his philanthropic and entertainment activities. He will have powerful secret enemies, with a loss of friends and fights with friends. I note that Mars, ruler of the 6th in the 12th, shows that people hired by Jackson will secretly work against him.
Solar Return: After these general comments above, we can get to the details of the solar return. Delineating a solar return is a lengthy procedure, and I will simply offer my results. After that I will address the question of his legal problems. But I should note that I am assuming Jackson spent his birthday at his home in Neverland: everything in the solar return depends on where he was during it (12:51 AM PDT on August 29, 2004). If he was nearby (say, in Los Angeles), then the predictions will still apply. If not, then not.
This year, the general outlook of the native’s life and well-being will be emphasized: his fame, well-being, his finances, and his enemies (all of which are prominent in the natal figure). It will be a very significant year. The native will be confined this year, and afflicted by secret enemies or his own bad mistakes. He will be under some sort of house arrest or perhaps even jail.
1st house: The native and his condition are tied to rumors, publicity, and his kin – it will be negative. Secret enemies and foreigners (or even foreign travel) and financial concerns will make life difficult for him. He will be hemmed in.
2nd house: The native’s finances are going to be very bad this year: he should expect debt and the actions of his enemies’ assistants to plague him financially. His reputation will be harmed on account of his financial problems. But he will get some help from family and on account of real estate.
3rd house: The native’s kin will make a dramatic speech; there will be dramatic rumors surrounding the native and his kin.
4th house: There will be disruption and conflict in his home: hired people (servants, etc.), authorities, enemies, reporters, and kin. Harm will come to him on account of these disruptions. The figure indicates that his financial woes will be mitigated by his home or other real estate, which leads me to believe he will sell either the house or other real estate.
9th house: Jackson will travel abroad this year.
10th house: The native’s actions are mainly concerned with his home and domestic scene, which will benefit in the end.
11th house: The native’s friends will not be able to help him, and there are indications they seek to harm him. (According to the natal figure, too, people the native thinks are his friends secretly work against him.) Hopes of aid will suffer.
For about 18 days after the following dates, the following topics will be emphasized for Jackson:
What these last few months suggest to me is that his lawsuit will reach an important stage in late June, and he will either simply travel abroad or actually flee the country on account of financial problems in July.
Incarceration? The most notable feature of Jackson’s life (and what interests most people about him now) is his legal situation. I have already explained that I do not know whether he did what he is accused of, but we still want to know: will he go to jail? Above I said he will be confined, trapped, and perhaps in jail. But although I have seen incarceration in figures before, I am hesitant to offer a yes or no answer. Cases involving this much publicity and money frequently have multiple stages and multiple grades of “incarceration.” I worry that being under house arrest, or being forbidden to travel out of state, or actually being in jail, might all look alike in a chart. A rich client may be arrested one day and then post a huge bail the next, and then also have certain strictures placed on him – all of which has happened to Jackson. He has already been in jail, but was he arrested in the sense that a regular criminal would be arrested?
What I have done is two things: first, I have examined his solar return chart as though it were a horary or electional chart describing a war. Second, I have examined both his natal and solar return chart for traditional signs of incarceration. Hopefully this will give insight into what will happen this year, even if we cannot say “he will/will not go to jail.”
Solar Return as a War: Using Bonatti’s rules on war as a model for Jackson’s solar return, we treat the 1st house and its ruler (Mercury) as Jackson, and the 7th house and its ruler (Jupiter) as his opponent. I will simply review the indications I see, retaining the traditional language as much as possible:
Mercury is retrograde; in the 9th from the 7th or the 12th from Jupiter. Jackson strives to deceive by sending his opponent on a long journey or exile, to suffer hardship there; and by tricking him and trapping him through pleasant and conciliatory words.Jupiter is a superior planet, in the 10th from his own house: the enemy is strong and will conquer. But note that Mars is combust (and the Sun afflicted) in the 4th, which suggests that victory is not absolute.
Moon joined to Mercury, and cadent; there are multiple wars and conflicts.
Benefic in the 2nd, its lord in the 9th. Jackson’s allies are faithful and give assistance. Malefics in the 2nd (Saturn) and in the 4th (Mars): the war arose to get Jackson’s money, and because of a city or castle or land or inheritance. The war will be (financially) ruinous to Jackson. (I note that the mother of the alleged victim has been portrayed as trying to get Jackson’s money; did Jackson promise to give her money when her sick child died, but then changed his mind? This would be like denying an inheritance.)
Summary: The war began in order to get Jackson’s money and on account of some sort of real estate or inheritance. Jackson will try to deceive and distract his opponent through long delays or conciliatory words, but the opponent is strong and will conquer (but not absolutely). The process will keep going on. Jackson has faithful allies but will be financially ruined.
Natal Figure as Incarceration: Using Lilly’s advice on delineating incarceration, I find one sign of it in Jackson’s natal figure: Mars in detriment in the 12th, and the Moon afflicted by a square to Saturn. How much weight should we give this, and what does it mean for this year? It is unclear to me, but I do observe that this same 12th house Mars plays a role in the themes of this year. We will have to see what 2005 brings.
The method here, taught by my teacher Robert Zoller, is different from that found in William Lilly and as described by John Frawley.