On November 18, 2003, the world was stunned to learn of police raids on Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch and the issuing of an arrest warrant for child molestation against the 45 year-old "King of Pop."
Well, OK, maybe 'stunned' isn't the right word here.
Ten years previously, we went through the same routine. Jackson had thoughtfully set us up for this round with a startling documentary the previous spring, produced at his behest, wherein he recounted his pleasure in sleep-overs with adolescent boys to whom he is not related, while holding hands with his current accuser. The wonder is not that the issue has been raised again, but rather that it's taken this long to call him on a very well established pattern of abnormal affections with minors.
In comparing the two incidents, separated by a decade of bizarre actions by Jackson, including two failed marriages and the births of three children, we find a set of factors linking both, hinging predominantly on Pluto and Black Holes. But to truly understand the situation, as always, we need to go back to the birth chart.
Born 29 August 1958, Michael Jackson's life and career have been an amazing testament to the power of Black Holes when combined with natural talent, propelling him into a position of global superstardom, with dozens of Top Ten hits and the best-selling album of all time. Unfortunately, it has also proven to be a testament to the ways in which Black Hole energies can warp a psyche, rob the native of all vestiges of normalcy, and utterly devastate said life and career.
Jackson's Sun at 5 Virgo is conjunct a Black Hole at 6 Virgo, and he exhibits the magnetic pull of the Deep Space anomaly perfectly. Witnesses describe the starry-eyed countenances of those he brings into his orbit, which with the Black Hole's intense gravitational pull, isn't difficult.
Most prominent with Jackson, besides the hugely acquisitive nature of the Black Hole (which we'll discuss later with Jupiter and Saturn), is its ability to create an alternate reality culled from the infinity of potential realms in the parallel universes beyond a Black Hole's singularity. Jackson is able to constellate persons and events into his life from which he has crafted here his particular version of the fantasy life impinging our reality from beyond the Black Hole. Michael's intimate connection with parallel realities and alternate dimensions is perhaps most clearly seen in his persona, and in Neverland, his Peter-Pan-themed Amusement Park Ranch.
As to the persona, Michael's bizarre eccentricities abound: old PR about the bones of the Elephant Man, sleeping in oxygen chambers, and the continuing adventures of Bubbles the Chimp; his fascination with and friendship for child stars such as Emmanuel Lewis and Macaulay Culkin; his epaulette-hung, military-style attire, the famous white glitter glove and infamous face scarf; his physical transformation from a typically featured black youth into a plastic-surgery-blighted, white-skinned adult with Caucasian features and a clownlike appearance; even his trademark Moonwalk, all speak to the Black Hole's connection with fantasy, with creating its own unique world amid the common one we all inhabit.
Similarly, Neverland is the ultimate testament to the Black Hole's ability to remake reality into any image it desires. Dazzling with lights, featuring rides, a full sized Ferris wheel, a menagerie and a small train, Neverland is a child's fantasy world come true. The youths that he brings into his orbit help to make that picture complete. It's a picture of Michael's Peter Pan/Pied Piper duality, both as leader of his own Lost Boys, who are cast as his emotional peers; and as their enticer from the realms of normalcy into the exotic via his elaborate lifestyle and child-friendly attractions and atmosphere at Neverland
The pairing of Uranus and Venus at 13 and 16 Leo respectively is particularly unfortunate. It easily describes one whose affections and intimacies (Venus) are combined in such a way that others find shocking, unorthodox, unacceptable, exotic, or just plain weird (Uranus)they are outside the norms of societal convention. Venus and Uranus combined is often an indicator of homosexual attraction, and in addition asteroid Sappho, a similar indicator, is tightly square the Sun/Black Hole conjunction from 7 Sagittarius. Mercury within scope of this conjunction at 25 Leo adds its own flavor, specifically that of romantic attractions and sexual preferences for children, youths or partners younger than himself. Mercury is also retrograde, a secondary indicator of introversion.
Uranus' exact conjunction with a Maser indicates the volatility inherent in Michael's relationships by the very nature of how others see them. They agitate and irritate others, creating turmoil and upset. The kettle is constantly simmering on the back burner, occasionally erupting into full boil.
The exact square of Venus to the 16 Taurus Black Hole again indicates bizarre or alternate reality relationships. In Michael's universe, whatever is happening between himself and these boys is perfectly natural and perfectly all right, but in this regard it differs dramatically from the universe the rest of us are living in. This disjuncture isolates him in his fantasy existence, much in the same way Michael's fame and wealth do.
Mars is tied only slightly to galactic influences, at 21 Taurus being within the event horizon, or orb of influence, of the Black Hole at 24 Taurus, but not closely conjunct. This could indicate that there is in fact no overtly sexual content to the relationships, or simply that Venus/romance is the priority, of which Mars/sexuality is the by-product.
Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn, the leading lights in Jackson's career and public life, all make significant aspects to galactic points, the latter two being each exactly conjunct a Black Hole, and Mercury in a tight trine to the Galactic Center.
Jupiter (at 28 Libra) in particular has been galactically active, as acquisitor of tremendous wealth (e.g., not content with the income from his own recordings, Jackson also acquired the rights to the Beatles tunes, and his brief marriage with Lisa Marie Presley gave the King of Pop access to the financial legacy of the original King). Unfortunately, Jackson also has Jupiter's proclivity towards excess; his fortune has dwindled due to declining record sales and the exorbitant expenses of his lavish lifestyle.
Black Hole Jupiter has also helped to craft the larger-than-life persona, from the ten-year-old belting out Motown tunes with his four brothers, to his engaging and childlike softness and apparent sensitivity as a young solo artist, which made him a global sensation. Jackson's popularity has continued, particularly in Europe, with hordes of emotional, worshipping fans, long after the heyday of his creativity has passed ('Thriller,' his apex album, which spawned five Number One hits, is over 20 years old). Mercury's contact to the Galactic Center may help to explain the universality of his appeal; his music struck a chord that everyone could respond to, and Galactic Center contacts often provoke innovative artistry, particularly as cultural forms are changing.
Individuals with strong Saturn/Black Hole contacts are either hugely successful in career, or abject failures; at 19 Sagittarius Jackson's Saturn is exactly conjunct one of these Deep space behemoths. Black Holes promote an all-or-nothing mentality, and up until the first allegations emerged a decade ago, Jackson seemed a template of the successful typedriven, prolific, high-profile, devoting huge amounts of time to his work. The apparently asexual Jackson (who had never been linked romantically in a serious way to anyone, despite a brief period of dating Brooke Shields) was a media darling who actually disseminated and self-promoted the earlier bizarre publicity releases about himself.
But ten years ago all that changed dramatically. The culprit in the case, which is active again today, seems to have been Pluto.
In 1992, Jackson endured a PR nightmare spurred by his bizarre crotch-grabbing antics during a special world premiere showing of his controversial "Black or White" video, smack in the middle of family-friendly prime time TV, after a Simpson's episode on Fox TV. Pluto at 21 Scorpio was exactly opposing his Mars at the time, and was apparently informing the notoriously undersexed Jackson that he did, in fact, have a penis. Outraged parents resented his "strutting his stuff" on national TV, and his media image of a quirky but nonthreatening artist began to disintegrate. The question soon became, now that the 34-year-old Michael has finally found his penis, what has he been doing with it?
In February 1993, Pluto turned retrograde at 25 Scorpio, in exact square to Jackson's Mercury at 25 Leo, indicator of his relationship with his public, his music, the press, and children. The period started out well, with Jackson, whose media image had become a bit too bizarre, making strides towards reforming his relationship with the press in such actions as his hugely popular live Super Bowl half-time performance in January, and an emotional and sympathetic interview with Oprah Winfrey in the spring.
But matters were about to take a distinct downturn. When Pluto returned to its station direct degree of 22 Scorpio in August, again opposing his Mars and still within square of Jackson's natal Mercury, the first allegations of child sexual abuse emerged. At the time (24 August 1993) transit Saturn was tightly opposed natal Mercury from 26 Aquarius, forming a Grand Cross with natal Mars and transit Pluto, and exactly opposed transit Mercury, which at 26 Leo had just made its Return to the birth degree, reinforcing natal patterns and tendencies.
Jackson, abroad in Asia on the first leg of his (perhaps aptly named) "Dangerous" tour, responded only through attorneys, canceling numerous performances and eventually cutting short the tour, checking himself into a London rehab for addiction to pain killers. As allegations mounted and legal proceedings ensued, the pop icon felt it necessary to respond in person. On December 22, 1993, appearing live from Neverland Ranch, Jackson proclaimed his "entire innocence," and lashed out at the "incredible, horrible media," which he claimed had "dissected and manipulated" the facts to condemn him untried.
He then proceeded to describe a "dehumanizing ordeal" occurring earlier that week in which he was forced by court order to submit to the photographing of his genitals, buttocks and thighs (apparently distinctive enough to be identified conclusively by his accuser). [Author's note: on the day of Jackson's response, transit Jupiter, Pluto, Mars, Neptune and Saturn were each tied to the other by exact, albeit minor, aspects, forming a Galactic Pentagram which the Moon joined for a few brief hours around noon, eliciting the public response. This is one of the most amazing archetypal manifestations of these energies the author has ever seenby simply plugging in astrologic keywords one achieves a full picture of the circumstances Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto/Neptune/Mars quite easily becomes court/order/forcing/photographing/of genitals; you can't get any clearer than that.]
In January of 1994 Jackson came to an out-of-court settlement with the family of the 13-year-old who had accused him, paying a reported $25 million in exchange for the dropping of their civil suit. At this point the child refused to cooperate in criminal proceedings, and the case dwindled into obscurity for lack of evidence. Within the year, Jackson had married Lisa Marie Presley, and most folks who were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt heaved a sigh of relief at the apparent normalcy.
The normalcy didn't last long.
After his marriage to Presley failed little more than a year later, Jackson sought out what was essentially a surrogate mother for his children. Debbie Rowe gave him two children, a son, Prince Michael, and a daughter Paris, before stepping off into the sunset. She is not a part of the lives of Jackson or her children (one recalls the rather stunned and uncomprehending look on Jackson's face during the Bashir interview, when asked if the children's mothers still lived with them"Live with me? Now?" was the singer's dazed, parroted response to the question). A second young woman, with whom Jackson did not bother with the formalities of marriage, gave him another son, Prince Michael II, affectionately known in the family as "Blanket." Jackson keeps his children fairly isolated, but whenever they do appear in public they sport either face masks or head scarves, adding to the cloud of bizarre antics that envelop the pop icon's life.
But strangeness is in the eye of the beholder, and despite an increasingly warped appearance caused by multiple failed plastic surgeries, and the intricacies and oddities of his family life, Jackson struggled on the fringe of celebrity normalcy for most of the decade. However, Pluto was about to make a return engagement to his life, one that may perhaps cost Jackson much, including his freedom.
Pluto's station at 19 Sagittarius in March of 2003 falls exactly on a Black Hole and his natal Saturn, while trine Venus and inconjunct Mars. The November before, Jackson received some unwanted publicity when, while in Germany to accept a Bambi award as Performer of the Decade, he briefly dangled his youngest son, complete with obscuring head towel, over the balcony rail of his hotel suite during an appearance before hundreds of adoring fans. Child protection agencies in California went on alert, and there was some speculation Jackson might lose custody of his children for endangerment.
The furor over this incident had barely died down when Jackson's self-sponsored documentary film was released, shortly after the actual Pluto station. Portraying a middle-aged Peter Pan who refuses to grow up, receives his musical inspiration by sitting in a Magic Tree on the Neverland Ranch compound, and impulsively spends millions on an impromptu afternoon shopping spree was bad enough.
But the revelations, from Jackson's own mouth, of the ongoing sleep-overs with adolescent boys less than a third his age, and Jackson's protestations of the 'loving' nature of these acts, were devastating. In his sponsorship and approval of this documentary, so personally damaging, we can see Jackson's inability to distinguish between 'normal' reality and the fantasy life and world he has created for himself with the Black Hole's connivance. He simply cannot understand how anyone could see his liaisons as anything other than entirely innocent and pure.
The Bashir documentary was the last straw for California authorities, and by November 2003, a case was prepared and witnesses documented. On November 18, while Jackson was in Vegas shooting a music video to accompany the release of his "Number Ones" album, a compilation of past hits plus the new, ironically-named single, "One More Chance," more than 70 police officers and child welfare officials executed a search warrant for Neverland Ranch. In more than 14 hours, investigators seized videos, computers, and personal correspondence, including what has been described as "love letters" from Michael to his latest accuser, Gavin Arvizo, whose pet name "Rubba" came from one of the sex games the two shared. An arrest warrant was also issued for Jackson.
On the 20th, Jackson returned briefly from Vegas to surrender to authorities. Cuffed and fingerprinted, Jackson's mug shot, particularly unflattering, was circling the Internet within moments. Jackson was forced to surrender his passport, but was released on the posting of a $3 million bail.
At this time, Pluto had returned to 18 Sagittarius, conjunct Jackson's Black Hole Saturn, where it was joined by transit Venus at 18 to 21 Sagittarius during the period between the raid and the arrest, with transit Mercury coming along behind at 8 to 11 Sagittarius. The transit Sun at 25-27 Scorpio was still opposed the 21 Taurus Mars, and tightly square both Jackson's natal Mercury at 25 Leo and the Saturn of the first allegations in 1993, at 26 Aquarius. Transit Neptune at 10 Aquarius is energizing Jackson's mid-Leo Venus/Uranus conjunction by opposition, while transit Uranus at 28 Aquarius is preparing to oppose his early-Virgo Sun/Pluto conjunction. At 14/15 Pisces, transit Mars formed a Yod with natal Venus/Uranus and the 13 Libra Jupiter of the 1993 allegations.
On December 18, 2003, with the Sun conjunct the Galactic Center and trine Jackson's natal Mercury, with Pluto now at 19 Sagittarius exactly astride his Black Hole Saturn, and with transit Jupiter at 18 Virgo tightly squared, Jackson was formally charged. Nine felony counts stemming from incidents in February and March 2003, the very period of the Pluto station at this same degree, include 7 counts of committing "lewd and lascivious acts" with "the intent of arousing, appealing to, and gratifying the lust, passions and sexual desires" of Jackson and the minor, and two counts of using "an intoxicating agent" to enable him to commit the molestation (Arvizo has alleged that Jackson gave him wine). If the latter charges are proved, Jackson would be ineligible for parole, and could spend a large portion of the rest of his life in jail.
After the last unsuccessful round of prosecuting Jackson in 1993, and specifically because of that case, which evaporated once the family's civil suit was settled and their son refused further cooperation, California law was altered to prevent Jackson escaping the net again. Minors can now be subpoenaed to testify, and assuming the arraignment judge finds cause to proceed, this case will go to trial. It would undoubtedly be the first "Trial of the Century" of the new millennium.
But with Black Holes, one can never tell. Their connections with alternate dimensions and parallel universes preclude ease of prediction, and could result in any number of outcomes.
It may be that there is nothing sexual in these encounters, and the parallel universe involved is simply the oddity of a 45-year-old man who enjoys playing and sleep-overs with kids.
It may be that the parallel universe activated entraps Michael within a 13-year-old psyche, and the rather tentative encounters which have been described now and ten years before are simply adolescent experimentation between emotional peers.
It may also be that there is no parallel universe involved, in the sense of being separate from what we would 'normally' suspect under these circumstances, but that the consensus reality reigns, which is that Michael is after all simply a middle-aged pederast with an obvious and classic pattern of seduction and molestation of underage males.
But for Jackson, at least, it would seem that there is no going back. Whatever happens, whether he stands trial or not, whether he is convicted or found innocent, his reputation cannot survive this incident. One way or another, Peter Pan will have to grow up.