D E C E M B E R 2 0 0 2 G A L A C T I C F L A S H B A C K
by Alex Miller-Mignone
This month Galactic Flashback revisits the 1997 Gianni Versace murder and the life of serial killer Andrew Cunanan with a piece which details the impact of both positive and negative manifestations of the Black Hole Sun.
"They called him the chameleon. He could be the man next door, the woman next door, the nun on the corner collecting money. He could be anyone."
Anonymous source, ABC News' 20/20, 25 July 1997
On July 15, 1997, the nation was shocked to hear of the murder of fashion mogul Gianni Versace, latest victim of the previously downplayed alleged serial killer Andrew Cunanan. Cunanan, who began his five-victim killing spree in late April at the time of a Mercury station and a transit Sun conjunction to his natal Saturn, with a stationing Uranus in exact square, was found dead in a Miami Beach houseboat, an apparent suicide, little more than a week after Versace's murder, leaving many unanswered questions as to his mental state and motivation for the killings.
Born August 31, 1969, Cunanan, according to a Newsweek article of July 28, 1997, "was a great and gaudy pretender. He improved upon his breeding, his education, his employment (he had none), even his name. He created, out of his imagination, a flamboyant persona.... Cunanan was a skillful fraud. He knew enough, was practiced enough, to fake his way into glittery worlds far beyond his means or station."
As such, Cunanan is a perfect example of Black Hole (BH) Native Type A; his victim, Versace, is a perfect example of Black Hole Native Type B.
Both men had Suns (as well as several other chart points) conjoined Black Holes (Cunanan's, at 8 Virgo, is sandwiched snugly between BH Tiamat at 7 Virgo and BH Apsu at 9 Virgo; Versace, born December 2, 1946, has the Sun conjunct BH Anubis at 10 Sagittarius), both men have Sun trine Saturn (their Saturns square each other, Cunanan's conjoined the Maser at 8 Taurus, Versace's at 8 Leo, conjoined BH Cernunnos), both men were strongly activated by the Uranus station at 8 Aquarius in May of 1997 (squaring Cunanan's Saturn and opposing Versace's). Incredibly, both men had Mars at the same degree, conjoined the Black Hole Ereshkigal at 18 Sagittarius.
The Black Hole Sun native is nothing if not compelling and chameleon-like. Cunanan's BH Sun enabled him to be all things to all people, to infiltrate the highest levels of the gay subculture, to change his appearance dramatically (an aid in avoiding capture for months) and to subsist in high style, predominantly on the kindness of strangers.
Versace's BH Sun enabled him to persuade a sizable portion of the fashion-minded world that his designs were worth paying top dollar for, and helped him to carve a globally recognized name and a $1 billion financial empire out of very modest origins.
The Black Hole native can be very attractive, very magnetic, drawing others into his orbit almost effortlessly. For one lucky enough to have a clear calling, a distinct goal, the focus and direction afforded by the Black Hole can prove an incredible asset. Witness the likes of Michael Jackson ("the King of Pop"), Bruce Lee ("the Dragon"), Muhammad Ali ("the Greatest") and Lucille Ball ("the Funniest Woman in the World"), all acknowledged masters and superstars in their fields, precisely because of the level of their concentration and focus, as well as such lesser-known BH Sun individuals as Timothy Leary, Martha Stewart, Rush Limbaugh, and Versace himself. The Black Hole Sun native who is not so fortunate as to have a clear direction in his life can wind up self-destructing like Andrew Cunanan, who betrays many of the characteristics typical of these individuals.
According to Eric Greenman, Cunanan's last roommate, interviewed by John Quinones on ABC's Primetime July 30, 1997, Cunanan was "very much a nocturnal person; he wouldn't wake up until about 3, 3:30 every afternoon." The Underworld connotations of the BH native make it difficult sometimes to function in the Light World.
Greenman asserted: "I saw more of him than anyone else did. He only let people see a certain side of him, which is the charming side, the entertainer side, the friendly, almost big brother side. I saw the down side at home, going through drugs and depression." Greenman goes on to describe Cunanan's use of drugs such as prescription pain killers, and occasionally crack cocaine (Cunanan's 26 Scorpio Neptune squared BH Hekate at 27 Aquarius) and his addiction to S & M sexual practices, domination and leather, whips and sadistic pornographic materials (these predilections borne from the same Black Hole-conjoined Mars which provided the fatal link to Versace).
The Black Hole's insatiable lust for energy and power is evident also in Greenman's statement that Cunanan "lived for the power, the wealth and the admiration [that Versace had]....Power is what he wanted."
Cunanan's smooth tongue and ability to reinvent himself is typical of the Black Hole Sun native, who may not even be aware that the parallel universes he draws his reality from are different from that of ordinary mortals. According to long-time friend Philip Howe, interviewed for the 20/20 profile, Cunanan "had a way of telling these really ridiculous stories in a very believable way, and keeping enough consistency over the years that it was pretty seamless. He was incredibly pathological in his lying."
Cunanan, who had been dumped by a rich boyfriend the year before and whose credit cards were maxed out, had begun to feel the pressure of maintaining the facades and personas generated by his Black Hole Sun. The internal pressure, the gravitational pull, of the Black Hole is so intense that many natives without an outward focus feel overwhelmed by the energy required to maintain themselves in the Light World of everyday reality.
Cunanan left his apartment in San Diego and headed for Minneapolis, where on April 29 he murdered his first victim, Jeffrey Trail, a former boyfriend whom he killed with repeated blows from a claw hammer. He followed this up on May 3 with the shooting death of another lover in the Minneapolis area, architect David Madson, whom Cunanan once described as "the love of my life." The May 4 death of millionaire Chicago realtor Lee Miglin is harder to understand, though from the torture and abuse Miglin was put through prior to his death, it seems the formerly voyeuristic fantasies of the Black Hole Mars were kicking in. On May 9 Cunanan shot a cemetery caretaker in New Jersey, apparently for his truck, which he used, with stolen North Carolina plates, to drive to Miami Beach and stake out Versace for a period of almost two months.
These early murders were apparently under the auspices of the Uranus station forming (complete on May 13) in square to his Maser-conjoined Saturn. Maser energy is extremely volatile and erratic, and Uranus, of course, is disruptive and impulsively hot-headed. The situation was doubtless aggravated by Mercury's retrograde station at 9 Taurus, atop Cunanan's Maser/Saturn, on April 15, just two weeks before the first murder, and the transit Sun's conjunction with his natal Saturn, from where it squared transit Uranus, on April 28, just one day before Jeffrey Trail was murdered.
The timing of the Versace murder is even more elegant in its geometry. Who says Grand Trines are fun? On the day of the shooting, transiting Venus at 19/20 Leo had just formed a trine to Cunanan's and Versace's Mars, both at 18 Sagittarius atop BH Ereshkigal (see last month's article for more info on BH Ereshkigal), while transiting Saturn completed the Grand Trine from 20 Aries.
That day the pattern became a Kite, with transiting Jupiter at 20/19 Aquarius retrograde exactly opposing Venus, an apt image of the death of a fashion mogul. Transiting Mercury was conjoined Versace's natal Pluto at 13 Leo (itself conjoined a Maser and opposed a Black Hole), bringing news of his volatile death.
Cunanan's life, crimes and death are a dramatic image of the potency of Black Hole contacts and Deep Space energies in the realm of mere mortals. The energy needs of the Black Hole, always insatiable, became at last fatal. In the words of 20/20's reporter Juju Chang, "Cunanan was nothing if not a chameleon....In the end, he could not escape from himself. He was a middle-class kid with high-class airs. It was a facade he created, that crumbled."
Alex Miller-Mignone is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book and The Urban Wicca, former editor of "The Galactic Calendar," and past president of The Philadelphia Astrological Society.
His pioneering work with Black Holes in astrological interpretation began in 1991, when his progressed Sun unwittingly fell into one. Alex can be reached for comment or services at firstname.lastname@example.org.