[Editor's note: this Galactic Profile originally appeared in the January 2009 issue of Daykeeper Journal. Steve Jobs passed away on October 5, 2011.]
Steve Jobs is the charismatic founder, Chairman and CEO of Apple Inc., former CEO of Pixar Animation Studios, and the largest shareholder in Disney. Born in San Francisco in 1955 to an unmarried grad school couple, Steve was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs. A 1972 graduate of Homestead High School in Cupertino, California, Jobs dropped out of Reed College in Portland, Oregon after just one semester.
In 1974 he began attending meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club with friend and former Hewlett-Packard summer job co-worker Steve Wozniak, with whom he founded Apple Computers in 1976, after working for Atari game systems.
Apple’s Lisa Computer and later the Macintosh (introduced in 1984, the first to profitably utilize a graphical user interface) revolutionized the world of personal computers, and by the early 1980s, Jobs had hired former Pepsi-Cola executive John Sculley to serve as CEO, overseeing Apple’s rapid expansion.
An industry slump and resulting deterioration of relations with Sculley led to his dismissal of Jobs from Apple’s Macintosh division in 1985, whereupon Jobs founded NeXT Computers, which focused on increased graphics capacity and advanced software and technology. The cost, however, precluded a really broad popular base, and with only 50,000 units sold by 1993, the company moved exclusively to software development, abandoning completely its hardware division and renaming itself NeXTSTEP/Intel.
In 1986, Jobs bought The Graphics Group from Lucasfilm’s computer graphics division, renaming the company Pixar. As with NeXT, Pixar’s first market thrust was for a graphics-friendly computer system, and sales were again sluggish. But in the early ‘90s, Pixar contracted with Disney to produce computer-animated feature films, the first of which was the critical and popular success, “Toy Story,” in 1995. This initial effort was followed by box-office record-breakers “A Bug’s Life” (1998), “Toy Story 2″ (1999), “Monsters, Inc.” (2001), “Finding Nemo” (2003), “The Incredibles” (2004), “Cars” (2006), “Ratatouille” (2007), and “Wall-E” (2008). Deteriorating relations with Disney CEO Michael Eisner in 2004 caused a temporary rift between the two companies. This rift was healed in 2006 when Disney, under new leadership with Bob Iger, bought Pixar for $7.4 billion in stock options, making Jobs, with 7%, by far Disney’s largest single shareholder. Jobs remains on a six-member steering committee overseeing joint projects between the two companies, which retain separate corporate structures.
In 1996, a turn of fate brought Jobs back to Apple when NeXTSTEP was bought by Apple for $429 million. A boardroom coup shortly thereafter gave Jobs a second shot as Apple’s CEO. Another rapid expansion of Apple followed, with the company branching out to develop other digital appliances, including the iPod portable music player (2001), the iTunes digital music software (2001) and in 2007 the iPhone, a combination multi-touch display cell phone, iPod and internet device.
In 2004, Jobs was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in the pancreas. Of an unusual variety more than typically responsive to conventional therapies, the tumor was successfully removed in July 2004. Post-operative complications, however, are common with this disease, including difficulty in nourishment absorption, which could have led to Jobs’ marked decline in appearance and stamina in the years since. Apple spokesmen have continued to refuse comment on the specifics of Jobs’ health issues, stating that it is “a private matter,” but confirming that he has not had a recurrence of the cancer in four years.
Born 24 February 1955 at 7:15 PM PST in San Francisco, California, Steve Jobs’ 5 Pisces Sun is exactly conjunct a Quasar, the Deep Space source of his success and accomplishment. Quasars promote visibility and notoriety, and Sun/Quasar natives seem to have the knack of getting things done, exuding a smooth, suave style that opens doors and enhances networking. The heights to which the native will be able to rise will depend upon his or her natural gifts, but the Quasar ensures notice, with these individuals standing out from their peers like a beacon on a hilltop.
The Sun is also exactly squared the Black Hole at 5 Sagittarius, indicating an intense, almost covert aspect to the personality, great force of character and determination, vast reserves of energy, the ability to draw others into one’s orbit almost effortlessly, and a unique, creative perspective which allows the native to envision, not just the way things are, but the ways they might become. Far less overwhelming and chaotic than a solar Black Hole conjunction, the square is still possessed of all the creative gifts its connection with alternate realities and parallel dimensions has to offer.
Mercury at 14 Aquarius is conjunct the Black Hole at 12 Aquarius, squared the Black Hole at 16 Taurus and the Pulsar at 14 Scorpio, and opposed the Maser at 13 Leo. The Black Holes reiterate the creative, unique perspective of the Black Hole squared Sun, affording access to complex problem-solving abilities and allowing the native to probe deeply into the heart of the matter, finding inspiration in seemingly unimportant detail. The native is persuasive and can be charming (and Jobs is noted for his masterful and adept salesmanship), though there is also a ruthlessness which can outstrip the apparent geniality (at one point during a major reorganization at Apple, employees dreaded meeting up with Jobs in the elevator, fearing they would no longer have a job when the ride was done). The opposition to the Maser encourages an enthusiastic, charismatic relating style, for which Jobs is well known, but can also bring controversy in its wake. The Pulsar contact makes for excellent PR and manipulation of the media, something very evident in Apple’s strong branding and its exceptional marketing skills.
Venus at 21 Capricorn is conjunct the Black Hole at 19 Capricorn. Venus with Black Hole energies can be very acquisitive, absorbing vast amounts of income, which Jobs has certainly done over the course of his career, not least with his Disney stock. But it can also result in huge expenditures, with cash flow problems (note that the Disney buy-out of Pixar came as a stock option, not in cash), and the failed financial efforts of computers priced out of the market at NeXT and Pixar can be traced to this placement as well.
Adding fuel to this fiscal fire is Jupiter at 20 Cancer retrograde, opposed Venus and the 19 Capricorn Black Hole. Jupiter here enhances Venus’ acquisitiveness, while its placement in the Tenth House and conjunct Uranus retrograde at 24 Cancer indicates the heavy high-tech emphasis of Jobs’ career, as well as the growing number of technological areas he has developed and the larger-than-life, “can do!” quality he exudes in his work life. It also depicts Jobs’ over-the-top expectations and the gulf between rhetoric and reality, as described by associate Chris Espinoza, commenting on the early days when Sculley was first brought in to manage Apple:
“The grandiose plans of what Macintosh was gonna be was just so far out of whack with the truth of what the product was doing … the gap between the two was just unthinkable.”
Uranus’ exact square to the Black Hole at 24 Aries is the source of innovation and elegance for which Jobs’ products are noted, as well as their “everyman” appeal and their futuristic, visionary quality. Jobs is fond of quoting hockey legend Wayne Gretzky in reference to his forward-thinking philosophy of business:
“I skate where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”
The 21 Gemini Midheaven reflects the field of information technology as Jobs’ profession of choice, and, amazingly, it is conjoined by asteroid Macintosh at 17 Gemini. Both the MC and Macintosh oppose the 18 Sagittarius Black Hole, signaling the transformative effect they would have on Jobs himself and the world in general. Macintosh is also exactly conjunct asteroid Vesta, perhaps the source of the quasi-religious devotion exhibited by many Mac users.
Saturn at 21 Scorpio opposes a Black Hole at 24 Taurus, the likely root of the erratic nature of Jobs’ career, the sudden rise to business prominence of the college drop-out, his on-again/off-again relationship with the first company he founded, and depicts also the enormous amount of energy channeled into career and work matters. Its close conjunction with Juno at 18 Scorpio signals the importance of a partner in Jobs’ career, a vital role filled early on by the often-overlooked Steve Wozniak. The role partnership plays in Jobs’ success is underscored by his comment that “Great things in business are not done by one person, they are done by a team of people.”
Mars at 29 Aries conjoins the Black Hole at 26 Aries, squares Uranus, and opposes natal Neptune exactly conjunct the Black Hole at 28 Libra. Forceful, brash and energetic, Mars in Aries compels attention, but its linkage with Black Holes and Neptune suggests that there is another side to Jobs, which may be more yielding, less confident, than he portrays. The square to Uranus adds to the erratic, questing quality of Jobs’ biography (he took the job with Atari largely in order to afford a spiritual retreat to India, was married by a Zen Buddhist monk, and has called his early experimentation with LSD “one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life”) and also attests to a sizeable temper he evinced as Apple CEO during stressful periods.
Pluto at 25 Leo retrograde squares the Black Hole at 24 Taurus and rounds out the celestial financial trio, further reinforcing the connection with truly vast sums of money. Its square to Saturn indicates the transformative nature of Jobs’ career, as well as the occasional power struggles (as with Scully and Disney CEO Eisner) which have from time to time affected it.
Apple Computers was founded 1 April 1976by Jobs and Wozniak. The day shows a Superior Conjunction of the Sun and Mercury at 11 Aries, opposed Pluto at 10 Libra retrograde, a fitting image of the company that transformed how we view and work with data. Asteroid Karma figures in the pattern as well; from 13 Libra it conjoins Pluto and is exactly conjunct a Black Hole, a fact which the esoterically-minded Jobs might have appreciated. Asteroid Macintosh is also significantly placed—at 26 Taurus it is conjunct the Maser at 28 Taurus and a Black Hole at 24 Taurus, presaging the excitement its computer namesake would create in a few years, and the revolutionary market transformation it would cause; and exactly sextile Saturn at 26 Cancer, showing its strong connection to the overall image of the business (Saturn).
In Jobs’ natal chart, asteroid Macintosh for the founding of Apple fills in a T-Square with Pluto at 25 Leo retrograde and Saturn at 21 Scorpio, indicating the catalyst the computer would become for Jobs’ career. It is also sextile natal Uranus at 24 Cancer, reflecting the innovative genius which set it apart from its competitors.