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Posted July 21, 2007

What's Sicko?
by Mary Plumb

Michael Moore’s latest film, Sicko — an exposé of the American health insurance industry —opened on June 29, 2007. Moore has the Sun in Taurus and Leo rising. He was born close to noon, so the Sun is conjunct the Midheaven, and Pluto is in the 1st house. (Chart 1) The Sun, ruler of the Ascendant, is very close to the 10th house cusp; this is someone who seeks fulfillment in the public eye. His creative urges (Leo) keep him in the limelight. Moore has been accused of self-promotion — but then that’s a observation made of many other individuals with Leo rising.

Venus, ruler of Moore's Taurus Midheaven, is comfortably and prominently in her own sign at 23°40' Taurus in the 10th house, square Pluto at 22°34' Leo in the 1st. Moore’s career is described in part by this square: He is drawn to questioning and challenging established value systems in a very public way. Venus–Pluto signifies “big” money and power issues. Moore’s personal presence and magnetism (Pluto in the 1st) can be a disruptive force. How money and power are used — or misused — is an obvious trigger for him.

In Moore’s horoscope, the asteroid Pallas Athena adds to the raw, often unconscious power suggested by Pluto; she is partile conjunct Pluto at 22° Leo. Pallas Athena is the goddess of wisdom. She is the protector of the state; she watches over its affairs in order to dispense justice fairly. In contemporary symbolism, Pallas Athena is associated with political activism; this asteroid's close conjunction with Pluto intensifies the idea of protecting the state by being just and wise. When Sicko opened on June 29, 2007, transiting Saturn was at 22°11' Leo — right on Moore’s Pallas–Pluto conjunction. (Chart 2) The movie is regarded by most critics as his best film yet. Certainly, his message has generated widespread public awareness of the dismal (Saturn) health care situation in the United States.

In the natal chart, Moore also has Mars (exalted) partile conjunct the Moon (detriment) in Capricorn. Whatever this may suggest about his inner dynamics, we can imagine someone who is uncompromising, persistent, disciplined, and quite capable of using anger for constructive purposes. The Moon–Mars conjunction in Capricorn tightly trines the Taurus Sun, so Moore's emotional traits are directly entwined with — and find expression — in his public life. These planets also reflect what his critics have seen as a tendency to oversimplify issues. For example, Dr. Atul Gawande — in "Sick and Twisted" (The New Yorker, July 23, 2007)although he appreciates the message of the film itself (e.g., he calls the movie “a revelation”) — says of Moore himself: “He is manipulative, smug, and self-righteous. He has no interest in complexity.”

When Sicko opened, transiting Mars was conjunct Moore’s Sun at 3° Taurus; he was actively in the public eye and in the mood to speak his truth. With the persistence of the natal Moon–Mars in Capricorn behind him, Moore went on a highly visible media campaign to defend his movie.

The U.S. natal Moon (Sibly chart) is at 27°10' Aquarius, with Pallas Athena at 26°32'. (Chart 3) One (perhaps romanticized or at least optimistic) interpretation of this proximity is that the goddess of wisdom and political activism is standing close to the U.S. public interest. Transiting Saturn will oppose the conjunction just once in this cycle, on August 7–11, 2007. As Saturn moves into Virgo on September 2, this opposition will be over, perhaps freeing up an inherent and repressed political activism in the American people.

The U.S. progressed Moon (signifying the public) was at 15°48' Leo at the film’s opening; Michael Moore’s natal Ascendant is 16°41' Leo. (Chart 4) So, for at least the few months following the opening of Sicko, the American people will be strongly receptive to Moore’s message. (There are obviously many other pulls on the public's attention at this time.)

Moore’s progressed Sun is at 24°15' Gemini, just past his natal Jupiter at 23°54' in the 11th house of social concerns and community endeavors. (Chart 5) His fervor for the current cause is shown by his progressed Jupiter, now at 5°01' Cancer, opposite progressed Mars at 5°12' Capricorn. His progressed Jupiter is also conjunct the U.S. Jupiter at 5°56' Cancer. Jupiter is exalted in Cancer and is the ruler of the U.S. chart (Sagittarius rising). Moore’s connection to the U.S. chart will stay strong for a while — his progressed Jupiter exactly conjoins the U.S. natal Jupiter in 2011.

Jupiter often promises more than he can deliver. Still, given all the disheartening news, especially from Iraq, I am hopeful that the message in Michael Moore’s film will continue to resonate with the American people. Perhaps a sincere concern for health care will influence the 2008 elections, and we will choose leaders who have the motivation and the means to build a more equitable health care system. What a positive manifestation of the U.S. Moon–Pallas Athena conjunction that would be!

1. Natal chart: Michael Moore; April 23, 1954; 12:45 p.m. EST; Flint, MI, USA (43°N00', 83°W41'); AA: birth certificate, as reported by his sister.
2. Bi-wheel: Inner wheel and house cusps: Michael Moore, natal; outer wheel: transits for June 29, 2007.
3. U.S. Sibly chart, July 4, 1776; 5:10 p.m. LMT; Philadelphia, PA, USA (39°N57', 75°W10').
4. Tri-wheel: Inner wheel and house cusps: Michael Moore, natal; middle wheel: U.S. Sibly chart; outer wheel: U.S. Sibly chart progressed to film opening, June 29, 2007.
5. Tri-wheel: Inner wheel and house cusps: Moore, natal; middle wheel: Moore, progressed to June 29, 2007; outer wheel: U.S. Sibly chart.

© 2007 Mary Plumb – all rights reserved

Mary Plumb has been studying astrology since the 60s. She has practiced as an astrological counselor since 1985 and has been the Book Review and Web Editor for The Mountain Astrologer magazine since 1993. She has written numerous articles for TMA over the years. Mary has taught a variety of astrological topics to all levels of astrology students - including, most recently, a series of Astrology Salons (2001-2003); annual talks at the Southern Oregon Chapter of NCGR in Ashland; and, in November 2005, the Black Moon Lilith and the Progressed Moon Cycle at the Oregon Astrological Association in Portland, Oregon. She also gave the keynote address in Ashland at the NCGR Regional Conference in November 2004. She is available for consultations, in person in Ashland or via phone: 541.488.3048. You can read her blog www.maryplumb.com, or contact her via e-mail at: mary@maryplumb.com

© 2007 The Mountain Astrologer. All rights reserved.