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Into the Wild with Uranus and Mars

Christopher McCandless was made famous by John Karkauer’s 1996 book, Into the Wild, and the movie that followed. McCandless a young man who decided to test himself against the Alaska wilderness, backpacking into deep the forest, living in a discarded bus and finally dying there of starvation.

A recent book by his sister, Carine McCandless adds a new wrinkle to this tragic story. She describes the life she and Chris led prior to his adventure, a life dominated by an alcoholic and abusive father and an unfeeling mother. Carine McCandless states that Chris sought to “divorce” himself from his parents and that was why he chose to go off on such an extreme and dangerous adventure.

Christopher McCandless was an Aquarius by Sun sign, which should come as no surprise. Aquarians are independent and prone to acts of rebellion. We don’t have a complete horoscope for McCandless, but a chart done for noon (click here to see the chart) shows several aspects that further these rebellious tendencies.

McCandless was born during the 1960s, a period when Uranus and Pluto made several conjunctions. By the time he was born, Uranus was separating from Pluto, but his Mars is positioned so that it forms an opposition aspect to both planets. At the time these Uranus to Pluto aspects were taking place the world was in tumult, with old traditions and old values crashing down on all sides. McCandless’ horoscope indicates that the restlessness of that time was deeply imbedded in his personality.

Another quality we associate with the combination of Uranus and Pluto is extremism. A lot of young people seek to disown their upbringing, some for good reasons; some for reasons that are much more superficial. But very few of these youngsters would be willing to do what McCandless did, cut themselves off from everyone they ever knew, become unreachable and untraceable and, finally, lose themselves in the wilderness. That’s much more that typical youthful rebellion. That’s Uranus and Pluto at work.

Neptune is also an important factor in this horoscope. It is trine McCandless’ Mars and square his Sun and Mercury. Neptune’s influence answers some of the questions raised by McCandless’ actions, such as why he thought he could survive in the wild with just a few instructional books and a small supply of rice, and why he never seems to have used or properly read the map of the area that was found among his belonging. Neptune romanticizes. It allows us to see reality as we want to see it, rather than how it really is. It leads us to do things that defy rational explanation and make no sense to anyone but us.

The combination of Neptunian delusion and the extremism of Pluto and Uranus is not something you want to take into the unforgiving Alaskan backcountry, but that’s exactly what McCandless did. A complete horoscope, with a time of birth, might give us further insight as to why this intelligent and capable young man made this fatal choice. But even without that, the seeds of this tragic story are evident in the partial horoscope we have.

I’m sure that some of our readers were born during the Uranus to Pluto conjunction during the 1960s. What’s it like having this aspect in your horoscope? How did being born during this tumultuous time influence you?

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