Mars In Survival Mode

Because I am an astrologer, the first thing I did when I saw the final episode of the wildly popular CBS summer television series “Survivor” was to cast charts for the castaways – the four finalists, that is. Something in me just had to know if these people had anything in common that would explain their ability to endure hardship, hunger and the enmity of their fellow travelers for 40 days and 40 nights.

The finalists’ birth data was available on the Internet. No times or places of birth were given so I created noon charts for each of them. Richard was born April 8, 1961; Kelly, June 24, 1977; Rudy, Jan. 20, 1928, and Susan, August 17, 1961, Reading astrological birth charts with no times or places is rather like wallpapering with one hand tied behind your back. Nevertheless, I plunged ahead.

I was astounded by my discovery. Three out of the four, Richard, Kelly and Rudy, had harsh aspects to the planet Mars. While Susan’s Mars was unaspected, her natal moon was in the sign of Scorpio, under the ancient rulership of Mars, and a sign of tremendous will and power.

In any chart, Mars symbolizes masculine aggressive energy, so I would have expected these extraordinary survivors to have easy aspects to Mars, releasing a flow of tough, assertive energy with no problem. Instead I saw their Martian energy hitting brick walls throughout their charts.

Richard, the winner, has Mars opposing rock-hard Saturn and making a tough aspect to his Mars-ruled Aries sun. His moon in Capricorn also makes an opposition to Mars in Cancer, the sign of its fall. A self-proclaimed homosexual, Richard most likely has felt his masculine energy blocked at every turn, given the condition of Mars in his chart. Yet, here he was enduring heat, bugs and primitive conditions and all the while utilizing the manipulative skills of a Machiavelli. Richard seems to be a perfect example of the phrase “Whatever doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.”

Kelly, the second runner-up, also has Mars in a tough aspect to Saturn. Harsh Mars-Saturn aspects lead to broken bones, falls and generally speaking, a rough start in life. Nonetheless, this kid stuck it out, primed perhaps by the difficulties she has already experienced in life. If you want to know what Mars in the fixed stubborn earth sign of Taurus looks like, just remember that young woman with her hand still on the totem pole four hours into the rugged endurance contest on the beach.

The mental slip that caused the 72-year-old Rudy to unthinkingly remove his hand from the same pole most likely can be attributed to his age. His ability to survive on the island is amply pictured in his chart by his Mars in difficult aspect to Jupiter. While Jupiter is not the harsh taskmaster Saturn is, Jupiter brings excess into whatever area it touches. Rudy’s Mars in Capricorn is in the sign of its exaltation, the opposite of Richard’s. Capricorn reveres authority and Rudy accepted Richard’s authority early on and never wavered.

Finally we have Susan, the truck driver with a Scorpio moon whose vituperative remarks directed at Kelly in the final episode was an example of Scorpio at its worst. Vindictive, unforgiving and revengeful, Susan with her proud Leo sun did her utmost to make certain the only other woman remaining in the contest wouldn’t win.

My conclusion from all this is simple. As I was taught early on while studying astrology, without difficult aspects in our charts, none of us would ever manage to achieve – or survive.

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