Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Into the Wild and Vintage 1968

We heard mixed reports about the movie "Into the Wild". An on-line Flickr friend of my husband recommended the movie to him, presumably for its photography, but also because of a photograph of my husband's showing an abandoned 'bus - echoing part of the movie's storyline. My husband's daughter told us that she didn't enjoy the movie at all and advised giving it a wide berth, though her husband had enjoyed it.

We found the DVD and watched it Sunday evening. Our reactions were a mixture of the two reports.

Details of "Into the Wild', a book by Jon Krakauer, and film directed by Sean Penn, based on a true story, can be found at Wikipedia HERE.

The movie made me feel very angry with Christopher McCandless, whose story it tells. I couldn't see one admirable characteristic in the young man who had had every advantage but chose to throw everything away and virtually commit suicide. Perhaps that was his subconscious intention.

He seemed to me to be filled with hatred - for anything and everything - but with no apparent reason, other than the fact that his parents had relationship problems. The guy was highly intelligent, an A student with opportunity to go to Harvard Law School, parents who financed him generously, a loving sister and a potentially bright future. Now I can understand idealism, I have Sun in Aquarius, but his particular kind of idealism was purely selfish, judgmental, cold, and cruel to those who loved him, however flawed they may have been. Had he followed a different path his idealism could have been used to help people in need, rather than to destroy himself.

Although McCandless was said to be highly intelligent, he ventured into the wilds of Alaska without even carrying a map of the area. A map could have saved his life. Did he really have a subconscious death-wish ? Is there any indication of it in his natal chart?

Christopher McCandless was born 12 February 1968, in Annandale, Virginia. He died of starvation in Alaska on 18 August 1992. I can find no time of birth, so his ascendant sign and house positions remain a mystery, as does the exact position of natal Moon.

A Sun Aquarian! Wouldn't you know it? There was certainly rebellion and no little eccentricity in his actions and attitudes.

If I had to pinpoint aspects which could account for this person's state of mind I'd go for Jupiter, Pluto and Uranus in Virgo opposing or quincuncx his Sun and Mercury in Aquarius. The two outer planets, Pluto and Uranus, 6 degrees apart in Virgo, lie quincunx Sun/Mercury. Jupter lies in opposition to Mercury. Quincunx (150 degree aspect) is an uneasy mix - the two signs involved have no understanding of each other, so there's constant irritation. Uranus is ruler of his Aquarius Sun, which is also squared by Neptune in Scorpio. Therefore McCandless's Sun and Mercury - his ego, his "self" and his mental modes are being constantly challenged or irritated by all three outer planets as well as Jupiter. This could well account for the inner conflict he suffered. His natal Mars at 26 Pisces is directly opposed by Pluto and Uranus. Without this particular aspect perhaps Chris McCandless would have used his undoubted intelligence to work through his conflicts in a different manner. Mars the fighter, under challenge from Pluto and Uranus, brought the physical firmly into play.

Time of birth would bring everything into much clearer focus. I notice, looking at the 12 February 1968 entry in Wikipedia, that day is also the birthday of, among others, movie actor Josh Brolin.

One could argue that, if those chart positions resulted in such conflict for one person, why hasn't a similar pattern emerged in the lives of everyone else born the same date? This is where time of birth makes such an enormous difference, it defines the angles in the chart - the ascendant, midheaven and equally importantly the exact Moon position. Others born on 12 February 1968 will deal with inborn conflicts in very different ways, according to their external circumstances - astrology isn't the only factor to consider, but the seeds of conflict will be present in all cases.

1968 was a pretty tumultuous year in the USA - the position of those outer planets probably had a lot to do with the atmosphere overall. I even surprised myself when I turned back to an earlier blog post "1968, The Year That Rocked the World". That year certainly left its trademark on several of its infamous natives, as well as on Christopher McCandless.


R J Adams said...

I haven't read Krakauer's account of this tragedy, though I have his earlier work, Into Thin Air, that chronicles the ill-fated Everest expedition of 1996. On May 11th of that year eight climbers died on the mountain while descending in a storm.
This young man certainly seemed to harbor issues. As another Sun Aquarian, I suggest you take a map if the urge to head off into the wilds of Oklahoma ever becomes irresistible.

Wisewebwoman said...

I read the book, T, but was told the movie fell far short of it so avoided. I like Jon Krakauer's writing a lot.
And I hate movie letdown.
Chris was on a death wish mission for sure. Strange way to do it but he certainly lives on in books and movies such as these.

kaleymorris said...

You go girl.
It makes me wonder if this just isn't a "chick flick."

Michelle said...

I knew a Scorpio born this year (Earth Monkey) that was equally self-destructive. He is still alive, but more from luck than sense!

I also know another Monkey who tried to commit suicide, but that's hardly enough to form a theory on.

Twilight said...

RJ - LOL! I have a folding map in my purse at all times! I'm confident that, should I ever feel the need to go walkabout, I'd be rescued by a kindly Okie riding his tractor. ;-)

WWW - Yes, he lives on - undeservedly I reckon! But perhaps the book and film stand as a warning to others.

Kaleymorris - Hi! You're right - it didn't make me cry (a sure sign of a chick-flick) it made me (and himself) feel very cross. It wasn't the least bit uplifting.

Michelle - that's interesting! As you say these instances aren't enough to form the base of a theory, but I shall keep them in mind whenever I see 1968 come up in a birthchart.

voet said...

hi, i'm just seeing the film and thinking about the natal chart of chris.

i am convinced he has a very strong north node in the IX house. the position of the node decides the place of evolution in life, and he self-defined as a truth seeker and rejecter of urban life, a very sagitarian point of view.

i think, too, that it's action were more conditioned by mars in pisces that by his sun. specially by the oposition in pluto, who renders a personality not capable of attack, but able to retreat from what he perceives as menaces.

Twilight said...

Voet ~~~ Hello - and thanks for your visit and comment!

It's very difficult to say what was the major factor leading Chis into what turned out to be his own destruction. I guess that, to be fair, we have to say it was a combination of many things - including his own background, education and experiences, as well as the time into which he was born.

But Pluto is going to be involved in most theories of "Why?", I feel certain.

Anonymous said...

Chris's high intelligence level allowed him to see through the chains that bind individualism and truth within modern day society; to which we are all subconscious slaves. His aquarian nature is what sent him on this journey; seeking truth, justice, and freedom. This was not inner hatred or anger but rather a fiery independence and desire for truth. Everyone should take at least a momentary break from such a pretentious and shallow society.

Twilight said...

Anonymous ~~ I have to agree with you about the shallow society we've created. One can break out, go walkabout, back to nature and shun civilisation without necessarily endangering one's own life. That ought not to be part of the package, in my view.

Chris was such a clever guy, yet he squandered the gift nature had bestowed upon him...which was his right to do, I guess, but just what did he learn from it all?