absence of 27 years, detective John Shaft returns to the screen. Shaft
was originally portrayed by Richard Roundtree, who became something of
an icon during the 1970s period of "Blaxploitation" films. Roundtree played
Shaft in three films, Shaft, Shaft's Big Score
and Shaft in Africa.
us to the latest incarnation of the character. In this film, Samuel L.
Jackson plays Shaft's nephew, a New York cop, who at the end of the film
becomes disgusted with the justice system, hurls his badge at a judge
and goes freelance. Let's take a look at the horoscope of the new John
Shaft, played by Samuel L. Jackson–Shaft for the new millennium.
born Dec. 21, 1948, so his Sun is right on the cusp of Sagittarius and
Capricorn. We don't have the precise birth time for Sam Jackson, and in
this case, perhaps that lack of detail may be an aid to understanding
the complex personality of an individual who has at various times been
a social worker who busted fake welfare mothers, a student activist who
got kicked out of Morehouse College after seizing the administration
building, a crack cocaine addict who kicked his habit only to get his
first major role as a crack addict, married 30 years to the same woman
and who has worked assiduously since college days to become an actor.
Combined with Boldness
Sun in Samuel Jackson's chart sits on the line between Sagittarius and
Capricorn. Normally I like to think that the Sun is either in all one
sign or another, but in this case, a blend of Capricorn ambition, seriousness
and drive with Sagittarian boldness and dash is very descriptive of Jackson.
born in Washington, D.C., but was raised in Chatanooga, Tennessee by aunts,
uncles and grandparents. He said in a recent Washington Post
interview that it "was a good life." The Moon in the birthchart represents
our mother, childhood and early nurturing. On the day Jackson was born,
the Moon was transiting close to Saturn, the planet of hard times, although
we cannot say how close these two planets were without Jackson’s exact
time of birth. However, because the planets were in each others’ “neighborhood,”
we may deduce that despite what he says about it, childhood for Jackson
brought its share of problems.
mother did not live with him until he was in the fourth grade. Individuals
with Moon in proximity to Saturn often experience some form of emotional
deprivation in early life. Sometimes, as in Jackson's case, the mother
is just not available to provide the early emotional nourishment vital
to survival. Without that emotional foundation, Jackson's attitudes toward
the feeling side of life may be somewhat suppressed.
This is something
he may be aware of, since in the Post interview, he admitted
that his wife, LaTanya Richardson, always told him that as an actor he
had the body language, the right inflection, "But there's nothing coming
out of here." she said, thumping his chest. Jackson says now he can "project
that." And he admits that before "I was so numbed to that stuff I really
didn't know I wasn't doing it."
Heart of a Rebel
father separated from his mother at their son’s birth, and Jackson’s horoscope
shows the Sun, the astrological symbol for the father, in an opposition
aspect to Uranus, the disrupter. This aspect of Sam's horoscope shows
that his father wanted his freedom and wasn't there for him to serve as
a role model. Jackson has used the Capricorn energy of his Sun and the
freedom-loving energy of Uranus to forge his own self-image. In many ways,
Jackson is a self-made man.
But the connection
of the Sun with Uranus also works to make Jackson something of a rebel
himself. In the 1960s, he was expelled from Morehouse College after he
and a group of students took over the administration building because
the school had no black studies program. This in-your-face approach comes
through forcefully in his portrayal of Shaft as a disenchanted cop who
walks away from the system.
feature of Samuel Jackson's horoscope is its earthiness. He has a total
of five planets in earth signs—six if you count the Sun. Mercury, Mars
and Jupiter are in Capricorn. His Mars is directed toward achievement,
reaching the top of the mountain in his profession. Next to Mars, Jupiter
provides a philosophy that can only be described as the "work ethic."
You only earn what you work for, and Jackson is known for a no-nonsense
attitude toward his profession. There were press reports of Jackson taking
a somewhat critical view of Shaft director John Singleton,
who slowed the production down to indulge in dalliances with female cast
Moon is in earthy Virgo, providing a sense of discrimination, and again,
an emotional need to work. As noted earlier, the Moon is close to Saturn,
pointing to a tendency to really push himself. All of this practical,
results-oriented earth energy is the key to Jackson's salvation. Sam publicly
admits that he had a drug problem since his college days. He says peer
pressure at Morehouse brought on his experimentation with marijuana.
But experimentation grew to heavier drugs, and finally, in the 1980s,
he became a crack addict and an alcoholic. In 1990, he says he came to
a precipice. "It was doing crack that I came down to my knees," he said.
He entered rehab and has been clean ever since.
But in a
weird twist of fate, he was cast by Spike Lee just months later to play
the role that was his breakthrough performance–the crackhead Gator Purify
in Jungle Fever. Jackson said playing Gator was "cathartic."
He had done the research and the performance shows it.
are usually indicated in a horoscope by the planet Neptune, our urge to
escape the mundane realms of life and to experience altered states. When
used correctly, Neptune provides artistic inspiration or spiritual insight.
In Sam's chart, we find Neptune in Libra making difficult square aspects
to Mars and Jupiter. Mars is another male symbol in a horoscope, and can
indicate how our fathers taught us to behave. With Mars in a tense aspect
to Neptune, it isn't surprising to learn that Sam's father died of alcoholism.
Jupiter is also involved in this configuration, upping the ante, adding
to the manic urge for euphoric experience.
The Reality Factor
transiting Saturn was passing over Mars in Sam's chart, advising him it
was time to clean up his act and he went into rehab. Saturn, the planet
of reality, forces an individual to come to grips with his problems, and
to take responsibility for himself. Through Saturn we learn the hard lessons
of life, and either face our limitations or pay the price. Jackson’s basic
earthy common sense came to his rescue during this Saturn transit. In
the ten years since then, Sam has moved from playing character parts to
leading man roles. In addition to Shaft, he has had lead
roles in The Long Kiss Goodnight, A Time to Die,
Rules of Engagement, Pulp
Fiction and got a part as a Jedi Knight in Star Wars: Episode
I, The Phantom Menace.
currently in Taurus, a sign very friendly to Jackson's earth planets,
indicating he is at the peak of his career. Bigger things lie in store
as transiting Pluto in Sagittarius assists his Neptune, channeling creative
imagination into bigger and better roles. At the recent MTV Movie
Awards, Star Wars producer George Lucas dropped
a hint that next year Jackson may be on stage getting an award for his
part in the next Star Wars episode. Stay tuned.
theme for the original Shaft had the lyric: "He's a complicated
man, and no one understands him but his woman." But with the help of astrology,
I think we've come to understand Samuel Jackson perhaps even better.