AstroBiography: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates (9/20/11)
By Mark Lerner
This is the beginning of a series of articles about those rare individuals who – via destiny, fate, luck, hard work or a combination of these factors – manage to become archetypal icons of their generations (whether of the so-called “Greatest Generation,” “the Baby Boomers,” “Generation X,” “Generation Y,” or one of the other, time-divided categories of hundreds of millions of souls who have graced this Earth). As this series moves forward, my focus will be on highlighting and exploring the astrological and zodiacal themes that make these rare individuals stand out – so that they become icons and exemplars of a collectivity of human beings. I will also be highlighting the generational themes illuminated by William Strauss and Neil Howe in their books “Generations” and “The Fourth Turning,” as they are relevant to this exploration.
Coming Up in Future Installments
Among the many characters who have reached a heightened stature on planet Earth, I will be reporting about: two of the greatest inventors born only three weeks apart in 1847; presidents from opposing parties born six weeks apart in the summer of 1946; a master of comedy and a demonic presence of tragedy born only 4 days apart in 1889; two individuals born on the same day in 1809 who changed the course of the 19th century; and two young film stars (born in 1986 and 1990) who are currently taking the movie industry by storm. I will also explore the unique connection between two notable figures in the women’s liberation movement, the interactions among three powerful female leaders (born within a 16-year time-span), and the star-crossed destinies of a glamorous actress and a first-lady who shared an astrologically-dominated rivalry for the youthful American leader whose mortal wounds will never heal in the psyche of our nation.
How Astrology Fits into the Picture
One way to distinguish one generation from another is to utilize the zodiacal signs being transited by the outer two planets – Neptune and Pluto – because of their slow speed moving around the Sun. Thus, Neptune spends around 14 years in each sign of the zodiac. Pluto, on the other hand, being much more eccentric in its orbit, spends as little as 11 years or as much as 30 years in a sign. However, by using both Neptune and Pluto planetary transits and then combining their alignments with the more personal celestial bodies (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars), the social-oriented celestial bodies (Jupiter and Saturn) and the planet of radical change and revolution (Uranus), we can come up with a fairly reliable system for gauging our rare, larger-than-life individuals who dominate a cultural generation.
Although I work extensively with the 4 main asteroids, Chiron and many other astrology points, angles and dimensions of birth chart analysis, in this series we will keep most of the references to the Sun, Moon and eight major planetary placements in each person’s horoscope.
The Big Ideas of this Series
Here are some of the keynotes that will be offered via working with sound and sensible astrological themes and zodiacal characteristics.
1)Towering figures, in various departments of life, come forward from the collective consciousness of humanity as iconic sources of creative knowledge/wisdom and guiding lights of their respective generations.
2) Their astrological charts will represent their popularity, notoriety and/or significance to their generation, possibly more than one generation, and potentially to humanity as a whole.
3) In addition, these individuals often go through a higher-destiny transformation at key ages (i.e. Saturn Return “Identity Crisis” and Maturation at age 29 – 30) and/or when the outer planets are moving in a strategic manner, symbolizing a radical change for the generation looking up to these individuals as icons and exemplars.
4) It will be shown that the length of time a planet spends in a sign has much to do with the overall significance of the individuals we will study. For future reference, consider this list indicating how long each celestial body spends in a zodiacal sign: Moon (2+ days); Sun (1 month); Mercury (usually 3 to 4 weeks); Venus (usually 4 weeks); Mars (usually 6 weeks); Jupiter (1 year); Saturn (2+ years); Uranus (7 years); Neptune (14 years); Pluto (between 11 and 30 years).
5) I will delve into the rare phenomenon of Pluto moving inside of Neptune’s orbit (for a 20-year time-period) every 248 years, and some of the significant events and provocative individuals entering into the Earth plane during those epochs that changed the direction and evolution of humanity.
For all these reasons and more, stay tuned to this Inner Sight channel for your latest AstroBiographical features.
In the AstroBiographical Spotlight: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates
I have selected Steve Jobs and Bill Gates to inaugurate this series because their births occurred in the same year (1955); they are probably the two best-known and recognized high-tech innovators of our era, and they sharply represent the right brain (Jobs) and left brain (Gates) qualities of the human species. What’s more, in this case, as opposed to many others to be presented in the weeks and months to come, I feel that Jobs and Gates are remarkable in that they are titans, representing the hopes and dreams of several generations, and they are working their particular form of magic on a global level.
Steve Jobs was born on February 24, 1955, while Bill Gates was born eight months later on October 28, 1955. Consequently, they are solidly part of the Baby Boomer generation, which spans the years from 1946 to 1964. In fact, they were born exactly at the middle of this 18-year time-period. As is true of all Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1955, they each have Neptune in Libra and Pluto in Leo and these planetary energies go a long way toward defining the first half of their generation.
A synchronicity linking their teenage years is that both were computer geeks (before the term was invented) and each had an older, encouraging “brother-type” figure – Steve Wozniak for Jobs and Paul Allen for Gates. Wozniak’s exact and intense, natal Sun-Pluto union in Leo would push Jobs out of his garage and into speeding up his rendezvous with technological destiny while Allen’s Sun at the Zero Point of Aquarius, precisely on top of Chiron in the chart of Bill Gates, would provide a healer-shaman-mentor for the future multi-billionaire of software fame. Ironically, both catalytic individuals would, ultimately, part ways with their young neophytes, but only after having radically changed Jobs and Gates in the process.
What is extraordinary here is that in the eight months and a few days separating the births of Jobs and Gates, Saturn in Scorpio and Neptune in Libra would shift and turn enough in their signs that both men would have these two very important planets in the same degrees of the zodiac (22 degrees of Scorpio for Saturn, and 29 degrees of Libra for Neptune). Furthermore, their psychic, visionary and impressionable Suns are both at 6 degrees of their respective water signs (Pisces for Jobs and Scorpio for Gates), both have pioneering, forceful and independent-minded Aries Moon placements, each has a Mercury placement rising ahead of the Sun in intellectually-strong air (Aquarius for Jobs and Libra for Gates), and their Venus placements are both Saturn-dominated (Venus is in Capricorn for Jobs, and Venus is united with Saturn for Gates).
Steve Jobs comes into the world with a revolutionary and vision-enhancing Jupiter-Uranus union in watery Cancer, while Bill Gates has the power-driving, willful celestial signature of Jupiter with Pluto in fiery Leo. This is one of the biggest distinguishing differences between the two; however, each of these celestial signatures is actually a prime indicator of their iconic stature within their generational profile as Jupiter represents the potentiality of large-scale success and providential blessings in the field of Big Business while Uranus and Pluto – as two of the three outer planets – signify the universality of their wide-ranging achievements.
Both Jobs’ Jupiter-Uranus conjunction and Gates’ Jupiter-Pluto conjunction are Big Business, achievement and success enhancements that many other people born in 1955 also had in their charts, but it is important to note that Jobs also has his Jupiter-Uranus conjunction closely trine Saturn while Gates has his Jupiter-Pluto conjunction closely trine Pallas. These flowing and harmonious, 120-degree alignments open higher portals of consciousness for Jobs and Gates that many other people born in 1955 did not have etched into their horoscopes. Even though they were born eight months apart, they have three asteroids (Ceres, Pallas and Juno) in similar signs – very unusual – while they also both have Chiron in early Aquarius.
How the Famous 1984 Macintosh Ad at the Super Bowl Changed Everything
On January 22, 1984 – just three days after a Jupiter-Neptune union in the sky and just four days after Neptune entered earthy Capricorn – Apple launched an ad campaign (directed by Ridley Scott) during the third quarter of the Super Bowl. Using the theme of Big Brother (from the George Orwell novel 1984), Apple promoted the launch of its new Mac computer line, featuring an enormous leap in graphics, as well as foreshadowing the near-future of what would eventually be called the Desk-Top Publishing Industry. Ten months later in November 1984, the first version of Microsoft Windows would appear.
The key to the above is that both Jobs and Gates were experiencing their first Saturn Returns in 1984 – pushing them into personal identity crises, but also reflecting their unusual abilities to be at the pinnacle of a maturation-responsibility-success cycle for their generation. Meanwhile, Neptune (the planet more connected to Jobs since his Sun-sign is Pisces and Neptune is strongly associated with this sign) was now moving into the last earth sign of the zodiac – Capricorn – representing entrepreneurial genius at the highest levels. Pluto (the planet more connected to Gates since his Sun-sign is Scorpio) was now moving into Scorpio (a sign associated with mutually-held assets and potentially vast financial resources) – eventually to unite with the Sun, Venus and Saturn for Gates during the next 10 years.
During the past few years, Pluto in Capricorn has been transiting back and forth over the spot where Neptune was located in Capricorn in 1984 when the Apple and Microsoft revolutions in computers and high-technology really began to impact all of our lives. Pluto on top of Neptune is usually an indication of a conception or seeding process, and the beginning of an incubation or pregnancy cycle of something profound. This shows that the celestial forces of the universe, now or in the future, continue to influence past generations as one planet moves over another from decades ago. And it has been during these last couple of years that Apple has facilitated another radical-change in communication and social norms through the widespread release of the iPhone, the creation of a new field know as Applications (or apps), and now the iPad – a definite Plutonic amplification of the Neptunian vision that came through with the arrival of the Mac in 1984.
Simultaneously, this year – coming partly from Microsoft as well as other high-tech firms including Apple – is another Plutonic seedling called “The Cloud,” which could move enormous amounts of information, data and imagery out of our individual computer frameworks and memory systems, and into some kind of collective, virtual cyberspace. This is yet another example of the reinforcement – via Pluto in 2011 moving over Neptune in 1984 – of gigantic thought-forms and visionary advances that seem to be taking place beyond the conceptual understanding of any one individual, including Jobs and Gates. Thus, it appears that their revolutionary contributions in the field of high technology are beginning to take on an archetypal life of their own as many researchers now look to a time (perhaps around 2041) when the so-called Synchronicity might occur – when computers and electronics overtake the human mind in terms of higher intelligence and even control of our planet.
Though Steve Jobs left Apple in the wake of a dispute the year after the Macintosh ad (and eventually return in 1997), and Bill Gates continued to develop Windows as a PC-oriented software tool, these two men – with the variety of high-tech services and products they have created and championed for several decades – fought hard to make it to the top of their technological summits. As a result, an enormous percentage of our species is now utilizing computer software and technical gizmos that people of previous eras would be convinced are pure magic. Along the way, their rivalry and even at times animosity for one another, demonstrated how the right and left brains of humanity needed such guiding lights to transfigure several generations simultaneously.
©2011 by Mark Lerner and Great Bear Enterprises, Ltd. All rights reserved.
(Note: Birth data for Steve Jobs is Feb. 24, 1955, at 6:40 a.m. in San Francisco, and for Bill Gates is Oct. 28, 1955, at 10:00 p.m. in Seattle. Some astrologers may be using 9:15 p.m. for Bill Gates, but that will still produce a chart with Cancer Rising.)