Astrology’s an ancient tool for exploring the real final frontier: Consciousness
In a dizzying collision of fiction and real life, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin just sent Star Trek actor William Shatner into space.
Sure, sending the actor who played Captain Kirk into space is an epic publicity stunt. But Bezos, a self-described Star Trek fan, also understands it’s something more…
Kirk, an Un-Born Leader
Courage, leadership, innovation and a little irreverence — these are the hallmarks of the Captain James T. Kirk, captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise.
But this characterization of Kirk isn’t just written in show and movie scripts, it’s in the final frontier he loves and explores. Not only do the stars define James T. Kirk through his adventures, but they define him in a cosmic sense, as well.
If we look at the sky from the place and time of his hypothetical birth, something out-of-this-world happens: we see a reflection of Captain Kirk’s character “written in the stars.”
Using the tools astrologers have used for thousands of years to interpret this heavenly writing, let’s explore this final, final frontier...
The “Birth” of an Archetypal Hero
Everything that has a beginning in space and time has a corresponding map of the surrounding sky at that instant. Astrologers uses these maps to explore the archetypes active at that moment in time.
And archetypes, a word popularized by the psychologist Carl Jung, are the eternal patterns that shape how we experience and assign meaning to the world around us.
The fictional character James Kirk was born in Iowa, but with no more specific details. Fortunately the town of Riverside, Iowa, stepped in. In 1985 it proclaimed itself the future birthplace of Kirk, lore that’s been incorporated in the official Star Trek storyline.
There are conflicting reports of his birth year. The database on Startrek.com lists the birth year as 2233. The plaque outside Riverside reads 2228. The 2233 date is also listed in Michael Okuda’s chronology, so it seems the more official of the two.
Kirk’s future birthday is March 22. It’s an homage the actor William Shatner, who first played Kirk in the original Star Trek series; Shatner’s birthday is March 22.
No time is listed for Kirk’s birth. However, if his birthday is the same as William Shatner’s, using the time of Shatner’s birth is a reasonable solution. The collection at astrodatabank, the largest collection of astrological data, has his time of birth listed as 4 am.
Taken together, this would create a birth date: March 22, 2233, 4 am, Riverside, Iowa.
Reading Stories in the Sky
Putting this information into chart calculation software, we get this image of the sky as it will look at that time and place of birth.
Astrology has several thousand years of history; astrologers don’t just make it up as they go along. There are many standardized rules for interpreting meaning from an astrology chart. And, while there are now many schools of astrological thought, there remains a remarkable consistency, which can be learned and taught.
That being said, it’s easy to see in Kirk’s chart a person who desires “to boldly go where no one has gone before.”
Astrology’s its own language, and the mechanics of describing a birthchart can sound foreign to those who haven’t studied it. So I’ll just include a few of the highlights.
You can’t miss the equilateral triangle in the chart above, it’s what astrologers call a “grand trine. The points of the triangle are in fire signs of the tropical Zodiac. As an archetype, fire seeks to be uncontainable, to move, and break free. It finds inspiration in limitless possibility, and leads the charge.
The points of the triangle are the Sun and Mars in Aries, the Moon in Leo, and Uranus in Sagittarius.
The Sun and Mars are considered the two fieriest “planets.” (Yes, astrologers know the Sun is a star, not a planet. We use “planet” for brevity’s sake, the way modern society uses acronyms.)
Placed together in Aries they are an extremely powerful combination, giving a tremendous desire to chart one’s own course in life. In the whole sign house system they fall in the house of family and ancestors— appropriate for someone who calls a warp-powered starship home.
The Moon is in Leo. Leo’s symbol is a golden Lion, king of the beast. Sitting on his throne, err, captain’s chair, surrounded by people who love him and obey his commands, is a comfortable place to be for Moon in Leo.
And finally Uranus is in Sagittarius. Sagittarius loves to find out what’s beyond the river bend. Uranus seeks freedom, and isn’t known for following the rules. Put them together, and you’ve got a recipe for a life of discovery.
In short, this is the chart of a leader and an explorer. Someone who always needs to move and be where the action is. Someone who is both loved and admired by those he leads. And someone who will break the rules (or rewrite them), if it suits a higher purpose (or even just to win).
To Boldy Go: The Final Frontier
And that’s astrology in action. For a fictional character. Who won’t even be born for another 220 years…
Put another way, an imaginary moment in time, one created by “random” circumstances, is a perfect and powerful reflection of a heroic and inspirational space explorer.
If that doesn’t rattle your brain, and give you pause about our understanding of the nature of the universe we live in, I’m not sure what will.
There’s no way to use gravity, light, or other physical causes to theorize how astrology might work. This is a chart for a character who exists only in the imagination.
And yet, it’s a moment in time that’s created a myth that’s moved millions. Captain Kirk has galvanized more than just Star Trek fans, his story inspired a generation with dreams of space, and a new vision of what Earth and humanity could be.
It’s a moment that even produced this…
(And, to make you scratch your head a little more… At the moment these new astronauts lifted off on their journey, the degree over their heads was 0 Leo, the same place the Moon is at in Kirk’s chart. If the launch hadn’t been delayed a few minutes, it wouldn’t have happened that way.)
To claim astrology doesn’t work — well, astrologers have thousands of other examples like this one. These meaningful “coincidences” hint at something about the essential quality of a particular moment in time (and the person born in it).
Or, in the words from another Star Trek character:
Wesley Crusher : That space and time and thought… aren’t the separate things they appear to be? I just thought the formula you were using said something like that…
The Traveler : Boy, don’t ever say that again, especially not at your age in a world that’s not ready for such… such dangerous nonsense.
You could cling to the notion that “it’s all just coincidence” — but how many times can you live with that answer. When does it become akin to sticking your fingers in your ears and humming: “la, la, la. I’m not listening.”
A true scientist must always remain an agnostic. Whenever you close your eyes to possibilities because they challenge what you think you know, you’ve become an ideologue, not an explorer.
Wonderfully strange and meaningful coincidences happen all the time. Aren’t you at least a little curious why?
James Kirk is. Let’s follow him and go boldy where no one has gone before.