HOLLYWOOD IN SCORPIO
I haven't written much about Astrology in my posts, because I like to present what can be spoken about using Astrology without using Astrological language. But today I will. In the first week of October, Jupiter passed from Libra into Scorpio. Right about the time that the first Harvey Weinstein stories came out. The planets themselves, whether in a natal chart, a transit, or in a sign change(lIke from Libra to Scorpio) don't cause anything, just as a mirror doesn't cause your eyes to be brown. But, they do reflect some larger collective dynamics in play.
Scorpio is ruled by Pluto, the god of the underworld. It is in the underworld where we hide our deepest secrets, and what secrets are deeper than our sexuality, it's distorted expression, and the shame that distortions gives birth to? A perfect storm composed of these things had been gathering for years in Harvey Weinstein. With his eye for good stories, his bullying manner in getting those stories made, and his hidden assaults on women that were discussed, but tolerated, because of the power he wielded. Once a producing avatar of the film world, he will die(probably sooner than later) an avatar of abusive power, sexuality and shame. Most likely finally seen by everyone trapped in the Underworld Prison where he had secretly lived his whole life.
I recently told a Scorpio friend of mine who is publishing her memoirs this month, "Jupiter in Scorpio, good for your book, bad for Harvey Weinstein." Scorpio is a sign of depth and revelation. But in our superficial culture we usually store our depths in the basement, where nobody can see them. Root around down there, and you'll find lust, rage, shame, illnesses and all kind of unrealized fantasies. And the basement is where the first report of Harvey Weinstein's abuse came from. There beneath a restaurant he partly owned, he masturbated into a potted plant. But how did he find himself there pleasuring himself in front of an unwitting victim? What had happened to him, that created that desire?
I make no excuses for Harvey Weinstein or the other sexual assaulters and rapists who are being exposed, and will continue to be exposed in the days, weeks, and months to come. I find their actions disgusting and their choices reprehensible. Every single one of them should go to jail for what they've done. But there are reasons why they've behaved this way, and their sexuality has became so distorted in its expression and function. I can say with surety about them or anyone who exploits other people sexually, the genesis of their behavior usually can be found in their own sexual abuse. People who behave this way, have usually been treated this way. It's like a game of tag. It's not an excuse. But, it is one of our culture's darkest Underworld secrets.
I myself was not a victim of sexual abuse, but it's been close to me. In my 20's I had an incredibly beautiful and talented girlfriend, who as a small child had been abused by her father's best friend. The impact on her sense of herself was global. It affected every part of her life, and always will. Like Persephone(read the myth) she had been dragged to the Underworld, and it is her life's work after dragging herself back out, to help others escape. Some, like Harvey Weinstein, never get back out, and they spend their lives dragging others down to the Underworld to be with them. Their struggle to survive in such a dark and frightening environment energizes them with a great power, that in it's purest and least camoflaged form, is rage.
I grew up in Los Angeles and had a couple of close calls with the Underworld as a child. I remember being ten and having my father take me to Malibu Colony to watch the US OPEN final at one of his friend's house. The man had been a producer on Laugh In. He lived on the beach and his incredibly beautiful and enchanting British ex-wife had her own place in Coldwater Canyon and a butler. My father had once been a producer for the Carol Burnett show, but had fallen on hard times in the industry, and probably viewed the outing as something that offered him professional opportunities.
As the match (Connors-Borg as I recall) wore on, the producer became more and more drunk. I'd never seen an adult drunk during the day, and was semi amused by it. His watery eyes, and his slurred speech were a new experience of adults, and I was titilated by it. He began to speak about his days playing professional football in the Canadian Football League. I sensed that along with his watery eyes, and slurred speech, I was also being exposed to a new world of adults lying. I told him I didn't believe him several times. Each time I said I didn't believe him, he grew more angry. Not only was I meeting a daytime drunk for the first time, I was popping the lie balloons of adults. It was great fun!
Since his environment was so permissive, I'd been matching his whiskey on the rocks with Coca Colas. I asked him where the bathroom was, and he rose up to show me. We had passed into the next room, out of sight of my father, when he hustled up behind me, pulled my right arm up behind my back in a hammer lock and put his left hand over my mouth. He uttered something insolent and mean, which I can't recall, because my memory is dominated by the smell of whiskey and the sensation in my right shoulder, that it was about to come out of the socket. I struggled to get away from him and did., and ran into the next room, tears streaming down my face, and curses poring from lips. I shouted to my father about what this lying drunk had done to me, and was waiting for him to leap from his seat and begin beating him to death with his bare hands. My father had once been awarded a certificate of bravery by the City of New York, for grabbing a Lion by its' mane that had escaped its handler, and was cornering a group of children on the tv show he was worked on(remember Wonderama?) So I was sure he was going to rip this asshole limb from limb.
To my surprise, and profound disappointment, rather than sprinting to the other room to rain death and destruction(Hello Pluto!)upon this idiot who had attacked his son, he rose up, "shhhhhd" me and tried to get me to stop yelling. My rage, unleashed in the presence of an adult that I did not know for the first time, turned back toward his cowardice. I carried on for a good five minutes and may have even taken a run at the lying drunk, before my father told me to knock it off. I was so angry at the drunk, and so disappointed with my father, I felt like I was going to pass out. It wasn't until years later, that I realized that my father probably wanted a job. I suppose that was a version of how power imbalances between people allow awful behavior to go unchecked, and allow people to compromise their values in response to the misbehavior of those who have power. People will sacrifice their dignity if they want something from those who offend decency.
A second incident of my childhood also carried some Underworld darkness that could be found in L.A. or anywhere. When I was 13, a group of my friends were having sex with someone's mother's boyfriend's 13 year old daughter. All of them. They were very excited that they had found someone to divest them of their virginity. One of them went on to be a successful actor. When I turned down their offer to join in, sensing I thought it was wrong, they attacked me. They suggested I was gay(the worst insult one thirteen year old could hurl at another at the time) and told me that I was a pussy. But, I knew what they were doing was wrong, and I also felt like if my father found out that I was doing some thing like that he would have beat the shit out of me. That was not a bad thing to fear, in retrospect. It was a good compass, and more men would do better to worry about such things.
A third Underworld incident happened when I first returned to Los Angeles as an adult. I had done an Astrology reading for a very well known comedy writer. When I was finished, he told me that it was an amazing reading, and that, "he would lose his card carrying membership as a gay man, if he didn't offer me a blowjob." I declined, at which point he offered to put me in touch with a big hollywood honcho, who no doubt would be interested in my screenwriting as well, "but would want to give me a blowjob before the reading." I passed on the referral.
Partly what is at issue here is in these predatory behaviors is Illness, and partly what is at issue is internal authority. I knew better at 13 the difference between right and wrong than a lot of these men we are hearing about do as adults. Some of them have been victimized by sexual abuse, some were neglected by authority figures, some are predatory, and some of are just plain stupid. All deserve the same punishment. Whether their healthy sexual instincts has been distorted by abuse, twisted by the desire to express power against another person, or merged with a predatory instinct, it doesn't matter. Once sexuality turns down toward the Underworld, it will reach up to grab others to join it it in its isolation and shame. That is a fact of psychological life. Shining a light on this reality is the best antidote. Exposing the secrets of distorted Underworld sexuality will allow people to identify it something that occurs in real life, and defend themselves against it in the future. Carl Jung said, "We do not become enlightened by aspiring to the light, we becoming enlightened by shining a light into our darkness." That is Jupiter in Scorpio's gift. It exposes our darkness. It's going to be here all year.