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Fixed Signs, Mutable Signs and the Amazing Story of Jaycee Dugard

In a previous article I defined the astrological term, Qualities. The twelve signs of the Zodiac are divided into three groups or Qualities: Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable. 

The horoscope and tragic history of Jaycee Dugard provides us with an excellent example of how two of these Qualities function within the personality.

Dugard was kidnapped by convicted pedophile, Phillip Garrido, and his wife on June 10, 1991. She was eleven years old. She was tasered, pulled into a car, driven far away from her home, handcuffed and locked in a room. {jcomments on}

After a day or so, Garrido raped her for the first time. He continued to hold her prisoner and rape her, often while he was under the influence of amphetamines and other drugs, for the next several years.

Dugard was born with Sagittarius Rising and the Moon in Sagittarius. This predominance of Mutable signs allowed her to adapt to the horrific situation in which she found herself. If she had panicked, if she had become hysterical and refused to cooperate with her captor her suffering would have been much worse and it is very possible she would have not survived the ordeal. This is what Mutable signs allow us to do. They allows us accept drastic changes in our circumstances without losing our mental balance.

Of course, this flexibility comes at a price. After a while Dugard became to accept her captivity as a kind of “normal.” She stopped thinking about finding a way to escape and concentrated on making her day-to-day life more bearable. We might say that she was “brainwashed,” but it is probably more truthful to say that she was too focused on the immediate problems of survival to even consider the possibility of fixing the overall situation.

In Dugard’s case the natural adaptability of Mutable Sagittarius is augmented by the placement of both the Moon and Neptune near the Ascending degree. Neptune, in particular, blurs boundaries and skews our perception of reality. For Dugard the boundary between the Phillip Garrido who repeated brutalized her and the Phillip Garrido who had become her sole human contact, who brought her food and clothing, who put an air conditioner in her cell and bought her a television and video games, became indistinct. In her book “A Stolen Life” she writes that she endured sex with Garrido by thinking of the “nice man” he would become when it was all over.

Fortunately for Dugard, along with her Sagittarius Ascendant and Moon she has Taurus as her Sun Sign. Taurus is a Fixed sign. Despite the fact that she had been brutally cut off from her mother and her childhood, despite the fact that she was forbidden to use her real name, despite the fact that Garrido continually preached to her about the dangers of the world beyond her prison, Dugard never lost track of who she was. More importantly, Fixed signs are noted for their phenomenal strength of will.This strength allowed Dugard to give birth to two children in her cell (the first born when she was 14) and gave her the toughness to survive 18 years of captivity.

On Aug. 24, 2009 Jaycee Dugard was finally rescued. At first she lied to officials and tried to protect Garrido and his wife, Nancy. The Neptunian fog that had sustained her through a cruel and unjust existence was not easy to dispel. But, with time and therapy, Dugard has been about to create a new life for herself and her daughters, a life in which her time with Phillip Garrido and his wife is just a confusing and distressing memory. The strength of Taurus is also evident here. Taurus people are practical and well grounded. Once Dugard was able to identify the delusions that made her life with the Garridos livable, her return to reality was relatively smooth.

All of us have some mixture of Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable signs in our horoscopes. Some have a little bit of all three, some a predominance of two, some a whole lot of one with just a little of one or both of the others. Each of these Qualities provides with a different set of survival skills. This is why it is important to look at the entire horoscope and see how the Qualities are distributed. In this way our true strengths (and weaknesses) can be identified.