by Boots Hart
Sometimes the hardest thing to do as an astrologer is demonstrate how astrology works. But in the OJ Simpson story we have a very good example, one which shows how cosmic events manifest as a clock on one’s life, timing events and outcomes.
Best known in America as a star college football player, OJ Simpson (born July 9, 1947 in San Francisco, CA at 8:08am PST) came to worldwide notice when accused of murdering Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in 1996. Interestingly, this trial began on January 25, 1995, just as Pluto rolled into Sagittarius. Acquitted of all charges in the criminal trial, OJ was later convicted in civil court on the same matter. The multi-million dollar judgment levied against him in that suit apparently remains unsatisfied.
Both astrologically and judicially, many have asked how OJ escaped criminal conviction. The astrological answer is in his natal chart: a strong Leo Saturn/Pluto conjunction in the 12th house.
The 12th house concerns all things hidden, limited (or) limiting, passive or ‘confined.’ Financially this can manifest as a pension, such as OJ gets from the National Football League. Physically, the 12th manifest as hospitalization, physical handicaps (particularly congenital), prison terms, entering a convent—or even choosing life as a hermit on a deserted island. Emotionally, the 12th is reticence or fear, compassion and faith (or lack thereof), fantasies (sexual or otherwise), illusions, idealism and delusions, all of which can range from the very good (“I’m the best!”) to worst (“I’m a total failure”).
Concrete ‘things’ represented by the 12th tend to exist ‘out of sight’ or in a ‘hidden’ state, which is why your life tends to be less active or ‘worldly’ every year when the Sun passes through either your natal 12th house or the 12th house of your solar return chart.
OJ has a Cancer 12th house cusp. Because Cancer has to do with traditional values, women, feelings, the unconscious, habits built in childhood, family and home, we know these are the areas of his life most prone to being ‘hidden’ or ‘limited.’ But since the astrological condition of the planet which rules the sign on any house cusp delineates the positive/negative of what’s going to come out of that house, we must look to OJ’s Moon, as the Moon rules the sign of Cancer.
That Moon at 25 Pisces. This tells us something right away, as Pisces is the ‘native’ or ‘natural’ ruler of the 12th, doubling up on this ‘limiting’ or ‘hidden’ factor. In addition, OJ’s Moon is posited in the natal 8th house.
As a symbol, the Moon describes emotions, females, memories, the physical workings of the body, money and one’s relationship to family. As for the 8th house, it is associated with matters of control, power, domination, submission, life, death, conception, joint finances, investments (monetary, emotional or of one’s time), sex/sexuality, taxes, earning, emotional bonds (whether constructive or destructive) between partners married or otherwise, and all events/ situations which are innately transformational. And put simply, the Moon is doesn’t function well in the 8th, where it tends to manifest as lack of fulfillment, issues with abandonment and a tendency towards money issues (physical or emotional) and manipulation.
So when we combine the figure of the Moon with Pisces and the 8th house, we come up with a disposition rooted in a lack of worth—principally self-worth, which is then projected onto others (i.e., “they did me wrong”). This marks OJ as a man likely to try domination and control in order to escape his own fear. Because the Moon always ‘images’ females in a person’s life, this Moon also says OJ would likely seek out (and attract) women vulnerable to a particular form of manipulation which begins with OJ eliciting their sympathy as the ‘wounded, misunderstood guy,’ which then evolves into emotional control exacted either through manipulation or guilt, or through the classic 8th house mechanisms of sex, money or physical abuse.
On the up side, this 12th house/8th house connection also says a lot about OJ’s fabled charm: having the ruler of the house of sensuality and fantasy (the 12th ) be a fantasy-laden Moon in the karmic, erotically sexual 8th house is a powerful signal.
Still another way to see this 8th house/Pisces Moon/12th house issue is to say that the 12th describes both our spirituality, faith and sense of ‘fate’ or ‘universal connection’ as well as our fears, particularly those which involve failing our own expectations for ourselves as human beings. Here the problematic 8th house Pisces Moon suggests OJ has a fear of being abandoned, ignored or insignificant.
So! What about that Saturn/Pluto conjunction? Well, for one, it’s in Leo, not Cancer. When we have planets posited in a house where the sign of the planet(s) is not that on the house cusp, the good or bad is read from the house cusp ruler (i.e., the Moon in the 8th), but the qualities of the planets will tend to ‘live out’ through the next house, that which actually wears their zodiac sign, which here is OJ’s 24 Leo Ascendant.
Barring a strongly muted Sun (the Sun being the ruler of Leo) any Leo Ascendant describes a person with a showy quality. When the Ascendant is in the first decan (degrees 0 through 9) that person will care about appearances and have issues with personal risk—they’re a ‘risk it all’ or ‘I can’t bear risking anything’ type. When the Ascendant is in Leo’s second decan (degrees 10 through 19) the focus is emotional, : such a person either wants everyone to be happy, thinks they know how others should feel, or they really don’t care about anyone’s feelings but their own. And again, all such pro’s and con’s are delineated through the placement and condition of the person’s Sun.
Then we come to OJ, whose Ascendant at 24 Leo is in the third decanate (degrees 20 through 29). This is a signature of a person who does things in order to gain attention and admiration. But there’s a twist. Any third decanate placement (whether we’re talking about a planet, cusp, node, etc,) must do what they do well in order to earn a positive reaction. The action must come first, with the great governor of the Ascendant being the nature of the action, as Ascendants are all about what we do or act like and OJ’s 11th house Sun makes him all about his interactions with others. Thus when OJ used his powerful physicality to do great deeds on the field, he received acclaim. And though playing football has an age limit, there are other things OJ could have done after football which would have been positive and ‘giving’, as opposed to what he ended up doing (living on past fame), which metaphysically is ‘taking.’
Specific to OJ’s Saturn, it’s at 9 Leo, the exact degree of the August 1st (2008) Solar Eclipse. Saturn is the symbol of time, responsibility, justice (not law—that’s Jupiter) and structure. Being the outermost planet visible to the naked eye, it is often likened to our ‘outer shell’ or ‘armor.’ In the 12th house, this Leo Saturn might well be seen as OJ’s ability to hide his arrogance or his fears—as well as his ability to act out in a ‘hidden’ manner and go ‘unseen.’
But then along came the 9 Leo August Solar Eclipse, exploding OJ’s Saturn ‘shield.' Convicted in an armed robbery, he now faces lengthy jail time. And that said robbery was all about his desire to reclaim his own memorabilia? That’s ironic, if instructive: with the Moon ruling the 12th house in which Saturn sits, we have a distinct aura of money and memory… or memorabilia, if you will.
With 24 Leo rising, that also puts 24 Aquarius on OJ’s Descendant, the chart point which most represents our reputation, partners, transactions entered into and products offered to the world, all of which were activated by the August 16, 2008 lunar eclipse at 24 Aquarius. The robbery centered around a transaction—OJ posing as a ‘buyer’ of OJ memorabilia—a classic lunar situation, since the Moon is an astrological indicator of memories, money and ‘value.’ The chief witnesses who testified against him were the people OJ had asked to come along with him as backup—his ‘partners.’ That this episode will end in incarceration for OJ (the blocking out of his sunny life) is very much an eclipse image: in the solar eclipse, the Moon (money, memories, emotions) block out the Sun (life, will, goals); in a lunar eclipse, the Earth (society) comes between the Sun and Moon. In activating OJ’s 12th and 8th houses through the afflicted lunar image, this eclipse pair plainly has set off the 12th house Leo Saturn/Pluto, suggesting OJ’s sense of entitlement has met up with karma long denied or hidden.
But surely many people with a Leo Saturn/Pluto in the 12th were also hit by the August solar eclipse without having to go to jail, right? True. But they don’t have the rest of OJ’s natal chart, which is why astrologers don’t predict major events based solely on one chart indicator. It takes at least three, of which we have two. So what’s the other?
It’s Jupiter at 17 Scorpio just in front of an 18 Scorpio IC (or Nadir). The IC point—the bottommost point in the chart—is the horoscope’s foundation. It always poses a personal challenge, and until the native confronts and ‘solves’ this issue, the foundation of the chart (and one’s life) remains shaky and prone to collapse.
With OJ, this Jupiter/IC is in the emotional ‘teen’ degrees of an emotional sign (Scorpio) which is all about integrity, fair play and one’s ability to value others (and be valued by them) in equal measure. Jupiter rules law (its cosmic partner, Saturn, rules justice), but Jupiter is poorly placed in the 3rd house of thought and communication, as it tends to ‘over-inflate’ thoughts. Thus we see OJ as a man challenged by a sense of emotional entitlement. That we know so much about it tells us he’s never dealt with this Jupiter/IC issue. But that this all would be an astrological ‘done deal’ isn’t obvious until one considers how the Scorpionic Jupiter/IC factor integrates the chart: Scorpio naturally rules the 8th house, and Pisces (the sign on OJ’s natal 8th ) is ruled primarily by Jupiter (and secondarily by Neptune). That links the Jupiter/IC with the 8th house Pisces Moon—the same Pisces Moon which rules the Cancerian 12th house in which sits the Saturn/Pluto, a joint signature of limiting self-implosion and karmic justice.
With OJ, why now? What marks 2008 as a year when OJ would be pronounced ‘guilty’? For that matter, should anyone be surprised he was found innocent back in 1995?
For these answers we look to OJ’s solar return charts, the first of which would be cast for 1993, as the Simpson/Goldman murders took place on June 12, 1994, prior to OJ’s 1994 birthday. Most prominent in this 1993 chart is the Descendant at 26 Pisces, one degree off OJ’s (by now infamous) 8th house 25 Pisces Moon. That Neptune (ideals/illusions) are also conjunct Uranus (disruptions/breakthroughs) in Capricorn in this chart (Capricorn being ruled by Saturn, sign of justice) with the 4th house of home-family-emotional habits having the Jupiter-ruled sign of the law (Sagittarius) on the cusp sets the chart up.
But again, one indicator isn’t enough to make for any big life event—so what else was afoot? Answer: two successive pairs of eclipses. Beginning in November 1993, a solar eclipse 21 Scorpio whacked OJ’s natal Scorpio Jupiter/IC, undermining OJ by setting off his unresolved personal/karmic issues. After this came a lunar eclipse on November 29. At 7 Gemini, this eclipse hit OJ’s Mars, setting off emotional (i.e., lunar) Gemini discussions (Gemini = communication) of a very public 10th house ‘social arena/social status’ sort. And what did these discussions center on? Various forms of Mars symbolism: assertion, aggression, physical strength, ego, headstrong actions, blood, violence, braggadocio, knives….
Then came the solar eclipse of May 10, 1994, an event which at 19 Taurus hit OJ’s 18 Taurus Midheaven, adding fuel to an already highly public (10th house/Midheaven/social status) matter. Then all was emotionally exacerbated yet again by the lunar eclipse of May 25 which, in opposing OJ’s Mars at 3 Sagittarius, symbolized the wave of public opinion sitting in judgment as well as a ‘classic’ South Node message involving what OJ had or hadn’t done with his life. The South Node indicates what we want to do, while the North Node indicates life purpose; those who ignore this metaphysical rule often come to grief when a major transit or eclipse conjoins either node.
The final blow delivered by this 1993-1994 solar return came when the case was bound over for trial on July 7, one day before OJ’s 1994 solar return (which due to the 4-year-long Leap Year cycle fell on the 8th instead of the 9th). Many of us experience difficulties (or feel worn out) just before our birthday. It’s as if the light of our solar-year candle as burned down to a nub. So it was with OJ, but 1994-1995 was to be no picnic, as indicated by a ‘new Moon’ solar return chart featuring a Cancer Sun and strong but uncomfortable Cancer Moon in the 8th house, indicating the difficult and unsatisfying transformation of core issues expressed by the location of OJ’s natal Sun (in the 11th, house of income and societal acceptance). That this is problematic comes from noting that Cancer, the sign on the return’s 8th house, is the sign on OJ’s natal 12th house (limits, fear, illusions, idealism, etc.). Not only that, but remember—that natal 12th is also ruled by the (Pisces) Moon in OJ’s natal 8th house. This represents a cycle, one coming to fruition.
The trial itself began on January 25, 1995, but didn’t get handed over to the jury until October 3, 1995, putting it under the auspices of OJ’s 1995-1996 solar return, a chart which shows Saturn at 24 Pisces in the 1st house, conjunct OJ’s natal 8th house (25 Pisces) Moon. So astrologically, why did he receive an acquittal? That is figured by the image of Juno—one’s ‘partners and defenders’ (in other words, his lawyers), being in exactconjunction to the return’s Midheaven in Sagittarius, sign of the law.
But let’s not forget Saturn. Those who believe OJ murdered Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman will undoubtedly see the Saturn as the ‘armor’ or ‘shield’ which protected OJ’s Moon (his personal life and money). But Saturn is also a timer of personal karma. Karma set into motion through the acquittal came to bear when OJ went on trial in 2008 as the August solar eclipse hit his natal Saturn. How was this enacted? Through OJ’s 8th house Moon: Saturn, conjunct the position of OJ’s natal Moon in the 1995 return, is a metaphysical statement that a 29.4-year cycle had come to an end. When we speak of a Moon in 8, it has a great deal to do with one’s earning, which in this case points back 29 years to when OJ was 20 and just gaining a lucrative footing as an NFL star. In other words, it’s the money, the memorabilia, the legacy of that time which came back to haunt him—which is a whole statement about money, and why it may be said this whole affair resembles the way in which the Mafia was finally brought to task not for killing, but for tax evasion.
And what of this 2008-2009 solar return? In this chart, the IC is at 6 Leo, a degree which in Sabian terms speaks to one’s ‘basic spiritual values’ and ‘permanence’ and which is conjunct OJ’s natal Saturn. Another factor in this chart is the position of Mercury at 26 Gemini. In opposition to the Pluto at 29 Sagittarius and the Galactic Center (the calling to do good or contribute to the world), this is an image of OJ wanting/trying to manipulate fate (Mercury) and ending up being transformed by it (Pluto/GC).
Another notable opposition in this chart pits Jupiter against OJ’s Cancer Sun. This time Jupiter is in the 9th house of legalities but in Capricorn, sign of judgment and justice. With the Sun in the 3rd house of thought and communication and the return Saturn tied (through rulership) to the Mercury/Pluto opposition, this thus becomes a year when choices lead to problems, with the cosmic trip-wire again being eclipses. First the February eclipse at 17 Aquarius widely opposed OJ’s natal Pluto (transformation) while in conjunction to the ‘societal debt’ laden North Node. Then came the August solar eclipse at 9 Leo which hit the IC of the solar chart and OJ’s natal 12th house Saturn, setting off all the timing triggers long in place with regards to what he owes society as a whole. And though most will see this purely in terms of the Simpson/Goldman murders, the implication is far greater: on a metaphysical level, OJ was born as a gifted man who should have done more for the betterment of his world.
Lastly, how is it that OJ was found guilty 13 years (to the day!) after being found innocent in the criminal trial? Answer: on both dates, the Sun was in conjunction to the natal position of TNO (Trans Neptunian Object) Ixion in OJ’s chart.
The myth of Ixion is primal, speaking to the first shedding of kindred blood, recalling the Nicole Simpson(/Ron Goldman) trial. But the story goes deeper than that. Ixion’s crime involved killing his father-in-law. But because this was a ‘new’ crime (in mythic, not historic or Biblical terms), Ixion’s ‘trial’ was ineffective and he was let go—an idea which will also remind many of the original murder trial.
After many years in exile, Ixion was finally offered redemption by Zeus, king of Greek gods. But while in Zeus’ house, Ixion fell in love (or lust) with Hera, Zeus’s wife. And it’s this arrogant violation of his ‘second chance’ through self-centered desire for which Ixion was ultimately punished. Zeus transformed Ixion into a flaming wheel out of the center of which he was doomed to forever decry his faults.
Will OJ survive this debacle? He can well do just that. He may even find a new and more constructive life purpose though being stripped of his dreams of glory and living in an (obviously now tarnished) past. It won’t be quick—the effects of solar eclipses evolve over three years, often without revealing the full import of the event until the transit is almost up. But one hopes that Mr. Simpson, and all of us, realize the lesson. Dreams are always dreams, and weaknesses are never healed except through facing the truth. Through facing the truth, we empower ourselves to change and move on. No matter what you think of OJ, it’s probably best to just wish him well and let him pay whatever debt he owes society, hoping that he gets real with himself along the way. And while he’s doing it, we’ll all do well to do a bit of the same in our own lives, lest some eclipse come along and send us tumbling. If we learn that much from OJ’s misfortunes, it’s a gift…one which strangely, maybe even painfully, we should thank him for as a matter of karmic reflection.
Boots Hart is an ISAR-certified astrologer with over 25 years experience. She is a featured columnist for New York Spirit Magazine, long-time contributor to Zodiac Arts and author of a humanistic science-fantasy book series being brought to publication and film production. Boots can be reached at Mentorus@gmail.com for questions or astrological services.