Bradley Manning and the Fire of Prometheus
|Prometheus, Nicolas-Sebastien Adam.|
Prometheus, the rebel god, stole fire from heaven and brought it to the human race. This made Zeus, king of the gods, cross, because fire was one of the gods’ secrets, along with lightning and thunder and stuff.
According to some versions of the story, Prometheus thought the gods were being cruel to withhold fire – that could keep those little humans warm, cook their food and keep wild animals from eating them up – so he disobeyed the Olympian injunction. And according to some stories, Prometheus brought more than fire to humans – he taught them writing, mathematics and craft.
He paid for his theft, condemned for eternity to be bound to a rock and have his liver plucked daily by Zeus’ own eagle. Every night his liver grew back, of course, because Prometheus was immortal. But, oh the pain and agony.
Prometheus was rescued at last by the hero Hercules, who needed his cunning mind to help him steal apples from the Gardens of the Hesperides. Hercules killed the eagle, and thanks to Prometheus’ advice tricked Atlas, who held up the world, into stealing the apples.
In astrology, the planet Uranus, the Awakener, is associated with Prometheus – trickster, rebel, inventor.
Bradley Manning, sentenced to 35 years today by a military court for selling state secrets, is a Promethean character – a thief of information brought down by the American eagle. He stole millions of documents which spread out across the world like fire. The repercussions of the release of the secret US government communications he gave to Wikileaks are so wide, it’s hard for anyone to really calculate exactly what they are. Was the president of Bulgaria ousted because of the leaks? Did the Iraq War end sooner? Certainly, we can see evidence of a war crime. Were agents lives put in danger by having their covers blown?
|Birth time unknown|
So it’s no surprise to see that Bradley Manning’s chart is dominated by Uranus. There is the awakener, the alien, the rebel, right next to his Sun in Sagittarius, the sign of the broadcaster. How appropriate. Then with the Sun sandwiched between Saturn and Uranus, he has been almost frogmarched to his fate.
Bradley Manning must feel like a stranger on planet earth. Not only is his Sun conjunct Uranus, that Uranus is directly aligned with the Galactic Centre. This is not a point I normally use, but in the case of Manning, it’s impossible to ignore. People with the Sun, Moon or Ascendant at this point do seem to have a peculiarity to them, a discomfort on planet Earth almost. I have come across quite a few people with Moon or Ascendant here who truly feel as if they are visitors, almost as though they have been beamed in from another galaxy. What is more, some people feel as if they are in the wrong body. Bradley Manning felt something like that, perhaps, hence the cross-dressing. And he was also, apparently, out of place wherever he went. Bullied in the army, bullied at school in Wales, always a stranger.
Chiron opposes that Uranian stellium. His otherness made him a victim. And then there’s the other stellium in Scorpio. We see a little nerdy-looking guy, but underneath that, hidden from us, there’s strength and incredible emotional intensity and passion in that Moon-Pluto-Mars stellium. If he can get through this, he will be able to renew himself, like Prometheus unbound. Remember, we don’t have a birth time, so the Moon is around that spot but the degree is not accurate. Moon-Scorpio: either his mother was a wonderful transforming powerhouse, or she was a nightmare. Mars-Pluto: temper. With the Moon: self-harm. He stole the fire and burned himself.
Finally, he has the North Node in Pisces, the sign of sacrifice.
|Birth time gets an AA rating|
It’s interesting to see how Edward Snowden’s chart compares to Bradley Manning’s. Snowden is currently in Russia, running from the American auhorities for letting it be known that the spies are spying. Snowden, unlike Manning, is a computer whizz – see the Aquarius Moon and South Node: technology is easy for him. They’re in the house of broadcasting.
Bradley Manning is a mirror for Snowden, whose very late Gemini Sun opposes Manning’s Uranian stellium, and whose Neptune (the mirror) conjuncts that stellium. Consciously or not, Snowden was copying Manning. Manning’s stellium also falls in Snowden’s seventh house – again the reflection of the Self. Snowden has both Ascendant and Sun in Gemini, the mimic.
Snowden is finding out who he is. His Leo North Node makes his life-journey a search for identity. One way to find out who you are is to try being other people.
With Saturn-Jupiter in Libra the sign of justice, Snowden probably is motivated by a sense of right and wrong, but he is rather rigid with it, and it’s on the cusp of the 5th house of the gamble, the game.