Michael Vick plead guilty today to dogfighting charges at the state level after serving nearly a year for federal charges. The horrific nature of these crimes, which as an animal lover I cannot bear to repeat in this column, led me to investigate his astrological chart (born 6/26/1980, time unknown, Newport News VA) to look for clues to his behavior. I am in no way excusing the actions of criminals in this kind of chart research – Vick’s chart did not doom him to cruelty and he always had the choice to choose a different path.
The psychospiritual development of a human being is the result of a combination of the psychological and spiritual factors in the birthchart, the family environment, and the choices that we make at every moment of our lives. The raw material in a birthchart will not help us to predict which individuals will become psychopathic criminals and a criminal may share a birthchart with a brillliant philanthropist. It is easier to look back and see clues in the birthchart that can help to explain where the psychopathic behavior originates.
In the case of Michael Vick, his Sun is in Cancer, the sign of emotional sensitivity. Cancer is a difficult sign for a man – its extreme sensitivity often does not easily find expression in most societies where men are expected to be strong and emotional sensitivity often becomes buried. Obviously, there are many Cancer men who have successfully integrated the need for caring into their lives but for Michael Vick the Cancer is a starting point in an analysis of a personality which has not integrated this dynamic.
Jupiter (confidence and expansion) in Vick’s chart forms a harmonious aspect (sextile) to his Sun which offers opportunities and good luck along with an inner optimism that helps to keep him more balanced than he would otherwise be. The combination of the Cancer sensitivity to the plight of others with the faith and optimism of Jupiter often shows a philanthropic nature, and in fact Michael Vick has invested in at-risk children in his community through his own charitable foundation and others.
Mars in Vick’s chart is in Virgo, a placement that is typically not aggressive but rather expresses anger and desire (Mars) through disciplined and systematic means (Virgo). This placement is typically found in those who are hard workers and perfectionists in their craft. But Saturn conjuncts Vick’s Mars, squelching his ability to express his desires and express his anger. The conjunction of Saturn to Mars suggests an overbearing father who perhaps was a stern disciplinarian who did not permit the expression of the self. A continual repression by a parent can lead to a deep rage that eventually requires expression of some kind.
Mars is further stressed by a square (challenging aspect) from Neptune, the planet of confusion and illusion. A stressful aspect from Neptune to Mars drowns the fire of our internal energy (Mars) with a flood of inhibitions and distortions. This aspect combines with the Saturn/Mars combination and creates a situation where the internal rage that has no viable expression must express itself through a fantasy of violence. Neptune drives many of our instincts into the realm of the unconscious and in this case it is the anger and drive of Mars that becomes an unconscious instinct rather than a mature expression of personality.
My clients will recognize this as what I call a “Mars Problem,” and for Vick it is the spark for the flame that is consuming his career. Adding fuel to the Mars fire is a square from Mars/Saturn to his Venus and to his Moon, revealing a lonely (Saturn/Moon) and touchy (Mars/Moon) nature and a guy who doesn’t feel that anyone will love him (Saturn/Venus). Vick’s parents were young (15 and 16) when he was born, and it is likely that the parenting he received was less than ideal. This is reflected in his birthchart.
Vick’s father has reported that the dogfighting began in 2001, coinciding with the period hen transiting Pluto likely formed a conjunction to Vick’s Moon (which is anywhere from 8 to 20 degrees Sagittarius) and began a multi-year transit over all of the sensitive points listed above. Pluto transits tend to bring out compulsive behavior as the underground of our psyche (Pluto) is excavated and we may have difficulty knowing how to deal with the intensity of this excavation.
Transiting Uranus came into the picture in 2006 and when Vick was fined in November of that year for making an obscene gesture to fans Uranus was at about 11 degrees Pisces and may have been forming a square (challenging) aspect to his Moon which would put his birthtime at about 6 am and give him a Cancer ascendant which would amplify that sensitivity even more.
Currently, the opposition of Saturn and Uranus in the sky is in exact aspect to the Mars complex in Vick’s chart. Saturn will retrograde in December as it makes a station (stands still) in a square to Vick’s Saturn which will intensify the pressure on Vick and also likely force him to take responsibility for his actions.
I hope that therapy is a part of Vick’s hopes for early release. The kind of cruelty that he has shown to animals is always symbolic of a greater conflict that can result in even greater violence to others