Born to Play the Role: Sean Connery/James Bond

Sean Connery’s chart contains one of the strongest correlations throughout this series of articles.  Not only did his timeless portrayal of James Bond represent a breakthrough in notoriety, but despite the various actors who have played the role, Connery’s version is widely recognized as the most accurate depiction,[1] leaving an indelible mark on our cultural psyche that hasn’t been matched been any actor we have reviewed thus far.  When associated archetypes find outlets of expression so conducive to their nature the scope of manifestation becomes proportionately maximized into extreme degrees of visibility and exposure.  This degree of ubiquitousness can sometimes feel like a calling and are idealistically referred to as destiny.  In many respects, Sean Connery became the embodiment of James Bond with a personality that is almost inseparable from the character.  His chart:

8th house Virgo Stellium

Similar to the last article, this chart includes another Virgo stellium, but unlike Keanu Reeves’ Neo, Connery’s Bond doesn’t appear to rely on Virgo’s disposition for detail.  In this regard, Virgo appears to be an odd match for the iconic secret agent, but a more fundamental alignment can be uncovered if we instead focus upon Virgo’s core need.  According to astrologer Stephen Forrest:

To the old astrologers, Virgo suggested servitude in the menial sense.  That is very misleading.  The Virgin symbolizes our capacity to be of use to other people.  And that service is a method of self-discovery, never a form of self-abasement.  The point is not simply to serve.  It is to express the self through service.  Virgo is not here to serve other people so much as to serve the principle of service.  In doing that, she transforms herself.  She takes the most perfectible part of herself and becomes utterly identified with it.  She becomes her work.[2]

With Reeves, Virgo wasn’t evaluated at this level because the plot of the Matrix and the character of Neo didn’t appear to overtly necessitate it, but James Bond is a secret service agent working in service to his country.  As a government employee, he fits the Virgo mold of service accurately.

Additionally, Connery’s stellium is placed within the 8th house, yielding a much differentjames bond5 avenue of manifestation than Reeves’ 12th house placement.  The 8th house is the house of death and as a secret service agent, 007 was given a license to kill while performing his duty in service of country.  This is confirmed by the 8th house’s ruler, Mercury, placed in the 8th in square (conflict) aspect to Mars (aggression), the ruler of the 10th (career) placed in the 6th (daily work).

James bond3The 8th is also the house of sex and Bond’s adventures with various ladies are well documented.  The Sun-Neptune conjunction is the most potent piece of the stellium as these combinations tend to give a dreamy or glamorous allure to the ego (Sun) and when placed on the cusp of the 8th they are exceptionally sexy.  The strength of this particular conjunction is amplified because the two bodies are also parallel in declination while Neptune sits at the Venus-Pluto midpoint.  The combination of these dynamics cemented Connery’s reputation as a sex symbol[3] idolized by females everywhere through his role as Bond.[4]

Saturn Rising

Saturn risingAny planetary body near any angle carries a high degree of significance[5] and Connery has Saturn in conjunction with the Ascendant (i.e. 1st house cusp), the most visible (and active) of the four angles.  Considering that Saturn represents the archetype of restriction and the 1st house is what we project forth externally, it can be generally concluded that Saturn’s presence here tends to make the individual a bit more reserved.  This is because “the Saturn rising person will usually approach the world with a certain amount of caution, as if on some level they feel that it is not a very safe place…typically, the individual feels that they must be ready to defend themselves against possible disaster”.[6]  For a secret agent, it is essential that they carefully guard (Saturn) their identity (1st house) in order to protect against others who may be plotting again them.

For Connery/Bond, the astrological justification/correlation for this can be found acrossbond villlians the other side of the chart where Jupiter, ruler of the 12th house[7] of secret plots, is placed near the 7th cusp of “open enemies”, in wide conjunction to Pluto, but tightly conjunct the fixed star Sirius.  Pluto and Sirius add a critical piece of information: these enemies are powerful.  When blended with Jupiter’s archetypal nature of expansion, it can then be concluded that their power is motivated by some goal of global (Jupiter) domination (Pluto).[8]  The opposition between Saturn and Jupiter denotes that Bond is acutely aware of his enemies (i.e. their power, goals, etc), necessitating his Saturnian “armor”, or need to protect his identity.[9]

Jupiter T-Square

bond girlsJupiter’s significance is further underscored by it’s placement at the apex of a t-square involving Venus and Uranus.[10]  Hard aspects between Venus and Uranus are classic astrological signatures for unconventional love affairs and Connery’s opposition reflects how Bond is balancing this polarity while focusing the energy of this t-square on exploring (apex Jupiter) relationships (7th again).[11]  When combined with Connery’s 8th house Sun-Neptune conjunction, it is easy to see why “Bond Girls” became a dominant theme throughout the James Bond genre.

Apples to Oranges

I hope everyone can appreciate the chart comparisons in these last two articles.  Despite the strong preponderance of Virgo qualities, they offer an educational example of multivalence, the diversity of manifestation within a shared archetypal structure.

Historically, critics have attempted to reduce astrology to its parts and when the comparisons appear inconsistent the entire discipline is held accountable.  The problem with this misunderstanding is that no individual, astrological “part” is separate from each other.  In other words, astrology must be viewed, delineated and interpreted holistically.  If it is concluded that astrology is not consistent or repeatable because Seanannoying orange Connery’s Virgo stellium is not manifesting in exactly the same manner as Keanu Reeves’, then this assumption would ignore all the other factors in Connery’s chart (or vice versa, Reeves’) that are mixing with his Virgo stellium and augmenting its manifestation.  This would be comparing “apples to oranges”.

Consider Connery’s Saturn rising.  By itself, it isn’t overtly flirtatious and definitely wouldn’t be mistaken as representative of the “ladies’ man” archetype.  But ironically, Connery would probably be exhibit A in any rebuttal to this claim because of his historical reputation as a sex symbol and because Saturn happens to be rising in his chart.  But, by only focusing on Saturn rising we have effectively taken the comparison out of context by ignoring other factors in the chart that contribute towards uniquely shaping what type of “ladies’ man” (albeit, guarded) he would ultimately become.

This problem of context appears to be at the heart of most astrological criticism and with Virgo being the sign most obsessed with details and minutiae it seems fitting to reflect upon the maxim that we don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees.  More often than not, the modern mindset has a tendency to assume anything/everything can be understood only by analyzing it under a microscope and while this approach has value, it suffers when the entire structure must be considered or the function of each individual part must be evaluated in relation to its connection to the whole.  Astrology is a suitable discipline for this skill set because it challenges the mind to simultaneously measure and define each individual part while also being open and flexible to the range of possibilities that may alter those definitions based on the web of interrelated connections and combinations.

More to come…

End Notes

[1] The majority of online sites dedicated to Bond comparisons appear to be overwhelmingly for Connery.  Also, it should be noted that the American Film Institute recognized Connery’s Bond as the 3rd greatest hero in cinema history.

[2] Steven Forrest, The Inner Sky, (San Diego: ACS Publications, 1988), 63.

[3] Connery was named “Sexiest Man Alive” by People Magazine in 1989.

[4] It shouldn’t be ignored that the Moon’s sextile aspect to Pluto from the 8th to the 7th amplifies the sexual seductiveness more overtly represented by Sun-Neptune.  It provided an emotional intensity that was excited through areas of sex and relationships.

[5] Normally, Saturn rising will probably be the most immediately noticeable characteristic of the chart.  As a result, many astrologers may start their delineation with it.  But, because Connery’s stellium contributed so heavily to Bond’s character I gave it higher priority to it instead.  Possibly a minor difference of opinion, but I don’t think there is any major disagreement over Saturn’s overall significance when placed on the Ascendant.

[6] Sue Thompkins, Aspects in Astrology, (Rochester: Destiny Books, 1989), 277.

[7] Jupiter rules the sign of Sagittarius.  Sagittarius is on the cusp of Connery’s 12th house.

[8] Foreign or foreigners also fall under the archetypal umbrella of expansion (i.e. expanded beyond what is known).

[9] This secret identity theme is further corroborated by the intercepted sign of Aquarius contained within the 1st house.  The blocked, withheld or concealed nature of an intercepted sign confirms that there is another side to this individual’s identity that is not shown.

[10] While Saturn is opposing Jupiter, the potential square aspects to Venus and Uranus are a bit wide (12 & 9 degrees).  As a result, Connery loses a possible grand square configuration.

[11] For anyone struggling with the 7th house manifesting as both open enemies and relationships, consider how many relationships devolve into bitter enemies.  This underlying symmetry maintains the philosophical integrity of the astrological houses regardless of how its multivalence may appear to contradict.

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