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Astrology in the Old West: Billy the KidBillyKidImage

Of all the legends of the Old West, Billy the Kid is probably the most alluring. He was the outlaw who, if your skew the facts just right, had right on his side. He was the beardless youngster who struck fear into the hearts of hardened gunmen. He was affable rebel who refused to be tamed. And he died young, freezing that image onto the pages of history.


Billy the Kid (also known as William Bonney or William McCarty) was a Sagittarius by Sun sign. (Click here to see a horoscope for William Bonney charted for noon.) Accounts of his personality  make it sound as if Bonney was particularly true to his Sun sign. He was fun-loving and friendly, as quick with a joke as he was with his pistol. He had little concern for material goods and was loyal to his friends. A small man, he was nonetheless agile and athletic and he loved to dance. These are all Sagittarian qualities.


Bonney also seems to have possessed the breath of vision and native intelligence we associate with Sagittarius. Even though he can’t have had too much of an educations, he was capable of writing articulate letters to various authorities stating his case. Also, unlike many “Anglos” of his time, Bonney got along well with his Hispanic neighbors and was fluent in Spanish.


Bonney had the Moon in Scorpio. In my book, Father Sun, Mother Moon: Astrology’s Dynamic Duo, I point out that Sagittarians with the Moon in Scorpio are more focused and relentless in their pursuits, but that focus is often guided by deep emotional issues that the Sagittarius person might not recognize.


The Lincoln County War, the affair that made Billy the Kid a household word, was a feud between powerful men with competing business interests. Billy Bonney was just a hired hand for one of the men. He had no pressing material reason to get involved in the fray. But when his boss (who one of the competitors), was killed, Bonney made it his personal duty to bring the men who had murdered him to justice.


A Sagittarian on a mission can be a bit of a blunt instrument, and it seems that Bonney set about this task with no particular plan other than shooting anyone he thought was involved in the crime. Beyond that, his actions were guided by his instincts. In true Sagittarian fashion, he made use of the opportunities afforded him and depended upon good luck and good friends to get him out of trouble.


The aspect that dominates our partial horoscope for Billy the Kid is the opposition
between his Sun and Uranus. This is the aspect of a rebel, of someone who feels at odds with convention. Though Bonney started off his search for justice with the support of the law, he did not temper his actions when that support was withdrawn. The youngster wasn’t bothered with he was declared an outlaw. As long as he was sure of his cause, it didn’t really matter what people in authority thought.


All of the famous figures from the Old West we have seen so far had Neptune, the planet of popular culture, strongly placed. In William Bonney’s horoscope Neptune is square his Mercury and quite possibly trine his Moon. (A birth time after 11AM would have the Moon is a Grand Trine with Neptune and Jupiter.) This seems likely, since no person from that period has left so deep a mark on American pop culture as Billy the Kid.

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