CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND


   1- Introduction.

   Something happened at the end of 1977, apart from the discovery of Chiron. Something that, for those of us that witnessed it, changed the paradigms with which people live and think. It gave us a vision that we today take for granted, but back then it was a new revelation, or so at least I think. It is a film I always felt became a cornerstone in the history of ideas, because of the impact it had over the millions of people that saw it. This film is a wonderful example of what the astrological centaurs are, of their "visitation", of their "healing touch", their wolfen nature, their transcendence. It is "Close Encounters of the Third Kind".

   This film came to us with Chiron. It has an aspect that is absent in "Star Wars", another science-fiction film of 1977: the "encounter", the "touching", the "communion", the transformation at the end of the film of plutonian obsession and vision that brings social isolation and pain, the "hunting" and kidnapping of the child, the wonder of the miraculous, the God-like... All this is transformed at the end of the movie: the scary creatures, skeleton-like, came to us with a smile and for a brief moment there was love coming from what was scary and dreadful in the past. This is the "Centaurean visitation", the shamanic aura of Chiron's coma, making us friends from the heart with what was before an enemy and scared us to death. This is how Pluto "comes to us" with these messengers from beyond.

   There seems to be a solid source for Steven Spielberg data: Louis Rodden "How to Find it With Astrology", 1994, which quotes the birth certificate. This data is found in Richard Nolle's web site, who gives 6:16 p.m. EST, 12/18/1946; we have:

   Sun = 26,27 Sag
   Pholus = 23,38 Cap
   Pallas = 25,15 Cap
   1995DW = 27,53 Ari

   Chiron = 4,54 Sco
   Moon = 6,51 Sco
   Nessus = 7,21 Tau
   Saturn = 8,09 Leo
 

   2- The Centaurean Moon.

   The Moon stands out, conjunct Chiron and in exact opposition to Nessus. The two Centaurs show a totally new dimension of what without them would be simply "Moon square Saturn", and certainly explain much better the personality and production of Spielberg.

   There was a Chiron transit at the end of 1977, when the movie was released and Chiron was discovered, that didn't quite reach the Moon, but stopped for retrogradation at 5,47 Taurus. This is, however, the midpoint of the 2 degree conjunction, and it could still be considered activating the conjunction. On the night of the release, November 16th, transiting Venus in 8,34 Scorpio and Mars in 7,38 Leo were closing on Saturn, the axis of the t-cross configuration.

   This centaurean Moon is represented in the film... presumably in all of Steven Spielberg's films, but it was Chiron's transit in open opposition to its position at birth, corresponding to "Close Encounters", what "released" or objectified this centaurean complex into the world.

   It is interesting to compare the father-son relationship appearing in the "Terminator" films, with the also fatherless small child in "Close Encounters", having in mind Spielberg's lunar Centaurs. The father figure doesn't appear, as in the machine in "Terminator". The child is pure innocence, unlike the pre-puberty boy whose mother is really masculine in "Terminator". This little child's mother is "wrapped" in feelings, with deep sadness and sense of abandonment, being all-mother and feminine, in correspondence with the child. There is a very transcendental father figure, god-like, which is not human, that hunts and kidnaps, in a very scary, omnipotent way, making people feel completely helpless. The entrance to the spaceship in the end is very mythical, like entering a big paradisiacal womb. It is very lunar in this respect, as opposed to terminator which is solar and masculine.

   The father-son relationship wound in "Close Encounters" seems to be healed mainly because there is no death --unlike Terminator 2-- but a call to a higher mission, so that the separation is accepted and experienced almost like a gift. This film is really amazing in the way it has all these religious themes implicit. It is very mystical, one could say Neptunian, but the essence to me is this: the first part is very plutonian; there is a "higher call", an inner vision that isolates from the group, that sends people to "the wilderness" and becomes an obsession. They undergo their personal "passion" and humiliation... But there is a redemption in the end: the "ogres" or predators are transformed into vulnerable beings that stretch their hands in love, with a smile. And considering that the premiere of the movie came almost exactly with the discovery of Chiron, I think what Chiron is bringing us is the chance to heal the inner, plutonian desolation by making it more human and friendly.

   (There is a parallel here, in an unrelated field: the publication in 1976 of "Life after Life", starting an awareness and an unstoppable wave of "resurrected" people being documented in hospitals.)

   In Close Encounters, everything happens like in a womb; when it is dark at night, or inside of people. The mother-ship that appears in the end is like a big cosmic womb, like a going back to the source. It is indeed very lunar: the mother whose child is kidnapped is lost in the world; the father that is obsessed and ostracized, incapable of performing his role as one in the family; the affinity the aliens have with children (believe me, the truth is much more terrifying than that!), and the joyful, childish tune of their call.

   The aliens "implant" their seed, or their call, inside people's psyche... and it develops there until the time is ripe. But they don't ask. They invade and intrude, for example, kidnapping the child and reducing people to utter impotence. This is rape, and they inflict a very deep wound. They act, in a way, like the cuckoo, laying their egg in someone else's nest and then abandon it. And in the movie, they even have that cuckoo-like singing (the image of "the Sun appearing at night, singing").

   There is no father in the movie. The only one (Richard Dreyfuss) is incapable of being one, agonizing in his inner pain, not knowing what is happening to him. And at the end of the movie, he becomes like a child and abandons his family to go "with them". Hi deserts his family. The little child who was kidnapped, on the other hand, returns to his mother, to the happiness of the primal womb.

   The aliens come, change your life forever, and leave. But they bring something. Like comets. Like Chiron. It is one of those "somethings" in life that have no answer, that are paradoxes...

   Most people would associate Neptune with this imagery of the womb, but it is clearly Lunar. It is the Moon in conjunction with Chiron in Scorpio, dark and womb-like, opposing Nessus and squaring Saturn. It is people wounded, like the Jewish people, dragging their wound for centuries. It is like the primal wound of anyone that is deserted by a parent. But it is also how we all have communion in our woundedness.

   And it is because of the wound and the pain that there is a time for healing. This healing is like a "mystical aura", like a shamanic presence: it is Chiron's coma. It doesn't change circumstances, the wound is still there, and will remain, the abandonment is still there. But when the movie ends, there is a sense a joy, a sense of something miraculous that has happened. And you will never be the same: we now have something that we didn't have before, call it love, or grace, among all the misery, something healing visited us, and came to stay.
 

   3- Richard Dreyfuss.

   There is a striking coincidence, regarding "Close Encounters" and Chiron. We already talked about the Moon/Chiron conjunction in Spielberg's chart. Let's remember the numbers:

   Moon=6,51 Scorpio
   Chiron=4,54 Scorpio
   midpoint=5,53
   transiting Chiron was stationary retrograde in 5,47 Taurus in August 9, 1977.

   Actor Richard Dreyfuss was born October 29, 1947, 6:07 P.M. in Brooklyn, N.Y.(Richard Nolle cites Gauquelin, Michel & Francoise. New Birth Data Series Vol.3, 1984.). He goes through this ordeal in the film, and finally leaves with the aliens who had chosen him to who-knows-where, in a state of bliss. Well, his natal Sun is 5,41 Scorpio. How chironic!

   He is a very centaurean individual himself, with a Moon/Nessus applying conjunction (Moon in 7,16 Taurus and Nessus in 9,41 Taurus), in opposition to the Sun (5,41 Scorpio) and Chiron (12,45 Scorpio). All this was activated by the Chiron transit that came with "Close Encounters". Transiting Chiron in opposition to his Sun is "reaching out" to the "unknown other". The Sabian symbol image is interesting:

6 Taurus: a bridge being built across a gorge (Jones), cantilever bridge across a deep gorge (Rudhyar). Jones key-word is "channelship"...
   The "deep gorge" is the Devil's Tower Mountain where it all happened. Actually, this image is almost perfect for the movie. The gorge is the symbol of all the first "ordeal" part, while the bridge being built is exactly what was happening, and was accomplished during the second, "mother-ship" part, which is the bridge. The end-message would be like an enormous rainbow in the middle of the night...

   4- The Progressed Sun.

   In a person like Steven Spielberg, doing several pictures a year, it becomes absurd to try to relate all those movies to factors in the birth chart, unless, probably, one tries to find one of the 6000 thousand named asteroids available... But the first successful films are another matter, because they become emblematic, and enable us to see many of the characteristics of the director. "Jaws" was his first great hit, "Close Encounters" followed, and they are both similar in ways that are reproduced in the others to come.

   The data I have says that "The Sugarland Express" was Steven Spielberg's first professional feature film, done in 1974, when he was 26. Then  followed "Jaws" in 1975 and "Close Encounters" in 1977. These movies correspond to the progressed Sun making the following hard aspects: conjunction Pholus, conjunction Pallas and square 1995DW2.

   If we assume that it is valid to use the film to derive characteristics of the planet that is activated when Steven Spielberg made it, then we have to see "Jaws" as expressing the characteristics of Pallas, since he had progressed Sun in conjunction with Pallas some months before this movie saw the public in 1975.

   "Jaws" was not his first major production, but it certainly launched his fame, and we can see in it what became characteristics of his other blockbusters: the excellence of special effects, the use of all available technological resources to achieve his end, the use of "state of the art", pioneering means to produce a striking experience in the spectator. And there is also the motif of human ingenuity, of defensive strategies to protect ourselves against danger and enemies. Also: everything happens not at the psychological level, intimate level, but in the interest of a community.

   This has always been recognized as the workings of Pallas. I think that is clear here. And these same words could be used to describe, for example, Jurassic Park. Pallas... but I would never imagine that Palllas would appear like a gigantic killer shark protruding from the water to eat us, let alone a Tyrannosaurus Rex... there's too much hunger, too much danger... so there's something wrong or... Pholus is getting in the way!

   When Spielberg was born, Pholus was in 23,38 Capricorn, in conjunction with Pallas in 25,15Capricorn. So the progressed Sun (it is in 26,27 Sagittarius at birth), apparently, carried Pholus with it and activated the conjunction. The result of this activation was "Jaws", which launched him to stardom and became the model for other spectacular successors like "Poltergeist" and later "Jurassic Park".

   Spielberg's progressed Sun was in conjunction with Pholus at the beginning of 1974, which corresponds to "The Sugarland Express", his first professional feature film; three years after that, in late 1977 and early 1978, with the premiere of "Close Encounters", the square with 1995DW2 was exact. Pallas is in conjunction with Pholus at birth in the 7th house, and the progressed Sun reaches the conjunction with it at the end of 1975, closer to the premiere of "Jaws". We can conclude that the Pholus/Pallas conjunction, when reached by the progressed Sun, launched his career.
 

   5- The Sugarland Express.

 The "Sugarland Express" could help us understand something about Pholus, since it was done when Spielberg's progressed Sun was in conjunction with it. I never saw it, but here is a review by Edwin Jahiel that I found in the Web:

   "Steven Spielberg's debut in movie features, at age 26 (after he had made TV films) is a tale of human road runners. Goldie Hawn (literally hysterical) and husband William Atherton (malleable and obedient), whose family values are questioned by the law, kidnap their own child from a foster home, take a highway cop (Michael Sacks) hostage, and are pursued uphill and down dale by what looks like all the patrol cars in Texas, especially as compressed by Vilmos Zsigmond's lenses in his color cameras. Unusual, single-idea, cartoonish road movie has feverish action. Though based on a a true incident (in 1968 Texas) the film is given an absurdist, surreal treatment. Amusing, but, unlike most of later Spielberg -- with the notable exception of "Schindler's List"-- also sad."

   This is very superficial, but we can try to pinpoint the words used:

   - "human road runners"
   - "values questioned by the law"
   - "kidnap their own child from a foster home"
   - "take a cop hostage"
   - "pursued"
   - "uphill and downdale"
   - "unusual, cartoonish"
   - "feverish action"
   - "absurdist, surreal"
   - "amusing... but also sad"

   This looks like a list of keywords, and some are very similar to those given by Robert von Heeren and quoted by Zane Stein in his web page. So it seems that the method of inference based on the movie characteristics works, and I'm sure there's still a lot of garbage that has to be cleaned, but something begins to appear. We still have to interpret these words, we have to learn what is the principle that is acting behind them. If we can understand the principle, then we can make our own dynamic and creative intepretations.

   This dynamic and creative principle, in my opinion, is not related to mythology. To me, the excess of dependence on mythology is a mistake. I believe that we should pay more attention to the orbital dynamics, physical characteristics, and the place the object has within the structure of the Solar System, how it is related and how it is not related to other objects. I don't deny that mythology can give us clues, but only that. We have to free ourselves from the myth of the centaurs if we want to understand what they are astrologically.

   And it is apparent that, by documenting the relationship a film has to the birth chart of its creator or creators, some fruitfull conclusions are derived. This could help astrologers free ourselves from an excessive use of Greek mythology where new planets are concerned, something that hinders real discovery.

   Usually, to "explain" something from a scientific point of view, has a lot to do with considering the causative factors. Therefore one could think that one is trying to "explain" something by means of something else as its principal "cause", in this case, a film by the director's chart. That's not what I have in mind. It's not an "explanation"... it's more about meaningful and carefully weighted astrological relationships. I don't think that astrology "explains" things. The historical and social significance of the films in question can never be reduced to the birth charts of either director or actor or producer, but the astrological relationships are there, because these people are part of that social and historical process, they are being the agents of history.
 

   6- Conclusions. The Unknown.

  We have seen how "Jaws" was the result of the Pallas/Pholus natal conjunction in the 7th house. "Close Encounters", made 2 years later, was his 2nd big success, and still carried the same Pallas/Pholus impact, but was very sharply related to his natal Moon/Chiron conjunction, with Richard Dreyfuss' Sun exactly in the middle, being transited by Chiron from the opposite side. Striking.

   "Close Encounters" brought something that was totally new, ideologically speaking, for the whole of humankind. At the end of the movie, the "bridge" was formed. The aliens came, like an enormous comet, with mountain-like power, but with a smile. A communion, a "touch"... and then left, leaving hope behind like a rainbow in the night. The night... the unknown that came to us in a redeeming way, Pluto becoming more human and friendly, death that doesn't scare us any more.

   Steven Spielberg's progressed Sun was, by November 1st, 1977, in 27,49 Capricorn (precession-corrected), and the natal position of 1995DW2 in his chart is 27,53 Aries. This means that when the movie was getting ready to go out to the movie theaters, this centaur was beginning to "clash" with Spielberg's Sun. Yes. This clash is what happened at the end of the movie, a clash with the unknown, a "crack" in humanity's paradigms. A plutonic messenger coming from the Uranus/Neptune realm visited us. We don't know what 1995DW2 stands for, and we won't know for a while, but we know that it is a centaur, a Pluto's child, coming to us to teach us not to fear the unknown, not to be afraid of fear, but let ourselves be "taken" by the shamanic and healing power of the wild wolf in the wilderness.
 
 

Juan Antonio Revilla.
San Josť, Costa Rica, February 9, 1999.
 


 
 

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