For readers new to the blog or this series, in this series of posts I test and refine an ancient Hellenistic astrological approach to delineating a person’s profession, occupation, or as I like to think of it, development of goal-oriented skills, from configurations in their birth chart.
Very similar techniques were discussed by Ptolemy (2nd Century CE), Paul of Alexandria (4th Century CE), Olympiadorus (6th Century CE), and Rhetorius (7th Century CE). Therefore, these astrologers appear to have actually presented their own personal preferences for the application of the same basic technique, one that assigns particular importance to the indications given by Mars, Venus, or Mercury, or even some combination of them, as professional significators, planets in the “stakes” of the chart (the 10th, 1st, 7th, 4th houses), rulership of the 10th, and certain relationships with the Lights (i.e. Sun and Moon).
In past posts, I have outlined my own particular approach to applying this technique and have applied it to many charts, such as those of techies, musicians, and most recently a defunct chart challenge concerning the charts of a musician, athlete, and priest. Please refer to the two posts linked in the last sentence for quick summaries of how the technique is applied in practice. Not all ancient astrologers of the Hellenistic and Persian period used this technique, as many preferred basic delineation and/or special combinations of factors for delineating profession (Rhetorius seemed to use all three), but as a specific technique for finding the planets most relevant to the goal-oriented skills development, this technique is unrivaled in its efficacy.
So far, most of the posts have focused upon artists (Venus) and intellectuals (Mercury) with little attention paid to athletes and laborers (Mars). I’ve also mentioned in the past how Mars can be a little trickier than the others, because in a chart of high social standing Mars may indicate a more aggressive managerial role or competitive political role rather than athletics or labor. So far, we’ve only seen one example of Mars as significator, and that was very briefly when looking at the chart of football star Dick Butkus in the previous post. Here I’d like to look at another person who went on to become a star athlete, in order to show the efficacy of the technique in correctly singling out Mars as significator.
O. J. Simpson
O. J. Simpson is now a convicted felon who will be serving decades in prison, best known for the controversial legal trial over the death of his ex-wife Nicole Brown, which was preceded by a lengthy flight from police, ended with his acquittal, and was followed by his trying to publish a book detailing how he supposedly would’ve killed her if he had done it. Years later we see his arrest on multiple additional felonies. You can read a brief bio on Wikipedia, and you can see his chart data, rated AA for accuracy, on AstroDatabank. His chart (with twelfth-parts) is pictured below.
While this series is not about delineating character, it is instructive to note the positions of the planets most relevant for character, including the ruler of the 1st, the sect light, Mercury, planets in the 1st, and the Moon. We find the sect light as ruler of the Ascendant and it is in a dark/bad place, the 12th of betrayal and enmity, while its ruler, the other light, the Moon, is also in a dark place, the 8th of death. The twelfth-parts of both lights are in the 6th, a dark place, in Capricorn, ruled by the malefic, Saturn. Mercury is out of sect and in a dark place, the 12th, while under the beams (concealment). The Ascendant and the Moon are both in the bounds of Mars. Saturn is in the 1st, as is the twelfth-part of Mars, the out of sect malefic. Overall, it is very clear that the malefics and dark places predominate over matters of character, thus it wouldn’t be unusual to expect much in the way of hidden motives, malicious intent, and personal undoing. Additionally, with the sect benefic, Jupiter, as the generally strongest planet in the chart, actually right on the IC (conjunct within 3 degrees), a great deal of good fortune, luck, and a larger than life atmosphere permeate the life as pervasive themes as well.
First, while no planet is strongly advancing toward the MC within 15 degrees, the advancement of Mars to the MC is quite strong, at less than 18 degrees. Saturn and Jupiter are in stakes of the chart (the 1st and 4th respectively), but out of Mars, Venus, and Mercury, only Mars is in an appropriate place, the 11th, Gemini. Also of relevance is that the twelfth-part of Mars is in the 1st, and Mars overcomes in a sextile application (within 3 degrees) the planet Saturn which occupies the 1st. Mars is the only planet of the three action planets in the chart with some form of rulership at both the Ascendant and the MC, having bound at the Ascendant and participating triplicity at the MC and 10th. Jupiter also has some rulership in both places. The Sun and Venus, which rule the 1st and 10th respectively are both in the 12th, which is generally the most inappropriate place for a professional significator. Venus is in phasis in the chart, very strongly in fact, as she is almost exactly 15 degrees from the Sun.
Mars is judged to be the most significant planet for profession, but Venus is deemed to have some importance on account of ruling the 10th and being in phasis. The Moon very closely aspects Mercury also, so there is a sense in which the Sun, Venus, and Mercury together signify entertainment work of a Venus-Mercury nature generally (vocal, acting), such as the later announcing and acting work. Overall Mars is by far the most significant planet, being advancing toward the MC, in an appropriate place (with twelfth-part in a pivotal place), with some rulership of the Ascendant and MC. Jupiter is of very great importance to the profession, as it is in a stake, with rulership at the 1st and 10th, but it is not one the three action planets, so we view it more as a modifier.
Jupiter is by far the planet with the greatest general strength in the chart. Jupiter is not just strongly advancing but actually conjunct the angle of the IC. Jupiter also regards both lights by trine, being overcome by scrutinizing (i..e within 3 degrees) applying trine by the sect light. Jupiter stations direct about 6 days after birth. Jupiter’s ruler is the next strongest planet in the chart.
I consider Mars the next strongest planet in the chart in a general way, and the strongest of the three action planets. This is primarily on account of Mars advancing quite strongly to the MC, and being dominated by the Moon, while most of the other planets in the chart are retreating or not advancing very strongly. Venus is of near equal strength with Mars or stronger but in different ways, as Venus is in phasis, and is advancing, while she is co-present with one light and regards the other.
Mars is the planet in O.J. Simpson’s chart with the greatest relevance for profession, and is also a planet with a broad generally pervasive influence over the life (i.e. you would expect significations of Mars to show up in many guises in many different areas of the life, quite often). In the most simplistic terms, Mars would show a career path pertaining to brawn, as opposed to the brains of Mercury or aesthetics/pleasures of Venus. It is interesting that Mars is in the bound of Jupiter and with the twelfth-part of Jupiter, as Jupiter can particularly have significance for athletics.
We noted that Venus and Jupiter are of secondary importance. Jupiter modifies Mars in some ways. Looking at Venus and Jupiter together is also interesting, as Ptolemy identified the Venus-Jupiter combination of significators as signifying champions and athletes (Venus as entertainment, Jupiter as winning and glory).
Once again we find this technique to be a breath of fresh air in comparison to most other vocational technique of western astrology, leading us down the right path to look at the proper planets, and even telling us something of the possible nuances and variety of skills. Not only is Mars singled out for O.J. but we get a sense of the importance that Venus (entertainment) could play, how that seems connected with the brawn of Mars, and how they all relate to this larger than life Jupiterian influence upon everything