This post will be most interesting to those of you who have listened to this podcast. If you haven’t yet heard it you might want to take a listen before reading the post, it will be much more revealing.
S-Town is a serial podcast from the folks that bring you This American Life. It begins as a story about a murder, and ends up as something else entirely. Along the way, the darkness of a human soul is revealed. It’s a fascinating psychological study of a man imprisoned by his own rage and self-loathing and the layers of mysteries that lie within the people surrounding him.
I recently took a long flight and listened to most of the seven episode podcast on the way home and over the following couple of days. At the very end of the series the birth date of the main character, John B. McLemore, was revealed: March 15, 1968. I wanted to learn more about this guy and delved into his chart.
I’ve tried not to reveal any podcast spoilers for those of you who intend to listen.
John B. McLemore was a southern gentleman who lived in Woodstock Alabama, which he calls S-town (using the full expletive rather than the polite version). The story is full of twists and turns like the maze which John grew on the farm on which he lives. Over the course of the podcast we learn that he is brilliant, but desperately unhappy and lonely – that he hates his life but feels trapped within it.
This is a theme that many of my clients struggle with – they want to change but they feel they lack the courage or the will to take the necessary steps to get there. I usually see this as a fire problem – a weakness in the fire element or in Mars that keeps them from being able to take action.
McLemore’s chart (click to enlarge) is fascinating. Born with the Sun in watery Pisces, his natural tendency is to go with the flow. He is sensitive and finds boundaries difficult – Pisces is the sign of the ocean and boundaries simply stop the flow and prevent its easy trajectory. Chiron (wounding and healing) conjoins his Sun, indicating a deep and painful soul wound that requires conscious growth in order to heal. Uranus (electromagnetic energy, radical behavior) is opposite Chiron and the Sun, revealing a rebellious character (Uranus opposite Sun) who is also extremely sensitive energetically (Chiron opposite Uranus), and to top it all off Pluto (obsession and transformation) gets involved, opposite the Sun and widely interacting with Chiron and Uranus.
Already we see that this is not an individual who can fit easily into the mold enforced by small town life in the deep south. Then we see that his Moon is in Libra, creating a longing (Moon) for connection (Libra) – but his Moon is opposed by stern Saturn which creates in him a predisposition to feeling lonely and isolated despite his desire for love.
Mars is in Aries, its own sign, which is the strongest place for Mars. Mars is the planet of action and shows how we assert our personal Will: what we want and how we go about getting it. An individual with Mars in Aries has strong desires and a strong Will; however, McLemore’s Saturn is also in Aries which creates insecurity around taking the steps to manifest that Will and attain his desires.
A chart like this does not make life easy. I have counseled many individuals with similar charts, and often their fear keeps them stuck in places or relationships or jobs or other situations which are ok enough, but not really satisfying. Often these people want to know when their chart says they will be able to make a change. Or they want to know where they should move so that their live can be easier. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Astrology can’t fix our lives – we have to make the difficult choices and take the hard steps to make the necessary changes that will bring us the satisfaction and joy that we crave.
What astrology CAN and DOES do, however, it to reveal the internal workings of the chart so that we can better understand the inner motivations that create our problems, making it easier to repair and transform them.