To Boldly Delve Into Star Trek’s Chart: Part One
|The first episode of Star Trek, The Man Trap.|
I really enjoyed this piece by Jackie Taylor in The Astrological Journal. So I was pretty pleased that she gave me kind permission to publish it here. I’ve split it into three bite-sized chunks.
It was nearly 46 years ago that, for the first time, the public was treated to that famous split infinitive sounding over the credits, to the polystyrene rocks, the wobbling rails around the bridge, the phasers, the transporter, the communicators and, indelibly associated with the concept, the guy with the pointed ears, Mr Spock. The first episode aired was The Man Trap, aired on 8 September 1966 at 8.30pm.
Bristling with armaments, phasers, photon torpedoes and a crew of 430 military personnel, the Starship Enterprise set off on its five year mission of peace and interstellar good will. Star Trek’s Gemini Moon, in the third house of communication, gave them the need to communicate with a universe’s worth of different species.
|Captain Kirk at it again!|
Its Aries ascendant and unaspected Mars in Leo made sure that small details like the Prime Directive, the policy of non-interference in the internal development of alien species, wasn’t going to stand in the way of Captain James T Kirk. That Mars could be synonymous with the energetic James T, who had to have a lengthy fight in every single episode, who didn’t know how to take no for an answer and who managed to seduce an astonishing number of ravishing space babes, notwithstanding the fact that at least two were android.
Yet the Star Trek chart has a stellium in Virgo in the 6th House. The Sun/ Mercury is conjunct the Pluto/Uranus conjunction which defined the 1960s, and which in this chart suggests that the power and search for the new and different were the soul’s purpose of the ship, but a Virgo stellium in the 6th house of routine and day to day grind is perhaps not the hallmark of the flash and glamour expected of a new science fiction show. It does however express the original purpose of the show’s creator, Gene Roddenberry.
|Gene Roddenberry in 1976.|
His stellium of Mars, Neptune, Sun and Mercury in Leo in across the 2nd house of talent and the 3rd of communications, ensured that he fought hard and bitterly with the studios to retain the integrity of his original ideas and ideals. Aware that they would never accept an expensive and literally out-of-this-world show which illustrated his views on racism, tyranny, sexual equality and a hundred other causes, his pitch to the studios was that Star Trek was “like Wagon Train to the stars”. A plain ol’ tale of ordinary folk and their adventures as they travelled, through the stars rather than the Great Plains. To a some extent, he was practising deceit, as he had every intention of creating in Star Trek a series of morality plays for this century.
Yet the plain ordinary folk idea was in fact truly close to his heart. He wanted his characters to be real, recognisable, leading recognisable lives. He once said that he wanted to create a vision of the future in which people could still savour the joy of ham and eggs. They had the same concerns as us. They were just three centuries ahead. This I think is the manifestation of Star Trek’s Virgo stellium in the 6th house. People like us leading ordinary lives and just doing their jobs.
The studio nevertheless took some persuading and rejected the first pilot; yet they took the unusual step of asking for a second pilot to give it another chance. This was shown when Star Trek’s progressed moon was on the nodes, and it did the trick – the series was commissioned in March 1966. It finally hit the airwaves in September of that year, to reasonably indifferent reviews. And the general response to Star Trek remained reasonably indifferent. Strange as it may seem, in the light of its many spinoffs, its familiarity, its catch phrases such as “Beam me up, Scotty “ (which, like another famous phrase, “Elementary my dear Watson”, was never actually said) and its extraordinary longevity, Star Trek limped through three series only and, after 79 episodes, was finally cancelled due to poor ratings.
But Star Trek’s Sun/Pluto was not ready to lie down and die. Those 79 episodes were shown over and over again in syndication across America.
In 1971 Pluto repeatedly opposed Star Trek’s natal Saturn, destroying the boundaries originally intended for it, and, as Uranus crossed and recrossed Star Trek’s Descendent from the end of 1971 and throughout 1972, a huge groundswell of popularity started to grow. Its fans united, not an easy feat in pre-internet days. Star Trek Conventions were born. The first, in 1972, was planned for a few hundred stalwarts to meet up and talk about their favourite show, but the organisers gave up counting when in excess of 5,000 people arrived.
Subsequent Conventions continued to attract thousands of visitors to each one. The show was sold and shown all over the world. The cast members, who, last time they’d looked, had been mainly bit players in a small time TV show which had been cancelled due to poor ratings, were paid considerable sums to attend conventions at home and abroad and talk about anything and nothing, but particularly their reminiscences about working on the show. They were as bemused as the Press, who were eventually unable to ignore this quirky phenomenon and rather derogatively dubbed the show’s followers “Trekkies”.
Tune in next week to find out about Mr Spok.