Glenn Beck has emerged from a minor and cartoonish character of conservative and religious unrest to become a force to be reckoned with in the Republican party. Beginning with the Tea Party rallies last year, he has built a movement that culminated this weekend with a crowd of 100,000 people in Washington at the Lincoln Memorial, to restore America’s honor and return it to the ideals on which the United States was founded.
Beck talks a lot about the Bible in his speeches – about Moses and Jesus and the founding fathers. (Beck, a Mormon, seems fascinated with the idea that the book of Deuteronomy in the Bible (in which the Ten Commandments are found) was instrumental to the development of the ideals of the Founding Fathers to which we must return. Much of this is mythology, but it’s worth noting that Deuteronomy is one of the most violent and vindictive books in the Bible, which is no small feat. There are many threats against the enemies of the Israelites, but also against the Israelites themselves who disobey the Commandments. It’s safe to say that religion is crucial to Beck’s world view, and a return of America to the conservative religious values of the mid-twentieth century.
Glenn Beck (born February 10, 1964, Everett WA, time unknown) was born when the Sun was in Aquarius, the sign of the rational thinker with radical new ideas. But his Sun is in a triple conjunction that includes Saturn and Mars as well. The Mars influence energizes him but also provides frustration – it can be difficult to focus one’s energies. The Saturn influences puts the brakes on and creates blocks and disappointments, and also suggests a deep loneliness especially in childhood.
Ironically, Beck has the same square of Neptune to the Sun that President Obama has. Neptune instills in us a longing to merge in a union with the Divine – to transcend this ordinary reality and become a part of something more beautiful and transcendent. However, this aspect can also make it more difficult to see this person for who he really is, just as we see with Obama. There is a blurring (Neptune) of the sense of Self (Sun) that can be confusing, and we also sometimes see changes as these people shapeshift from one identity to another.
Like all individuals born between 1962 and 1968, Beck’s chart includes a conjunction of Uranus to Pluto – a uniting of the radical revolutionary (Uranus) with the planet of destruction and regeneration (Pluto). Uranus/Pluto people have a deep desire to do something meaningful with their lives – the principles of radical change and destruction of the status quo that were at work in the 1960s when Uranus and Pluto were conjunct in the sky become more personal in these charts. For Beck, that Uranus/Pluto combination opposes Chiron, the wounded healer.
Chiron/Uranus oppositions generally reveal an extremely sensitive nature – emotionally sensitive, and energetically sensitive. This aspect creates an energetic imbalance that requires personal healing work to overcome, but we often see alcoholism and drug addiction as individuals attempt to medicate their nervous system. Beck admits to having smoked pot for fifteen years, and he also snorted coke and drank heavily for much of his life up until his conversion experience. The opposition from Chiron to Pluto suggests a deep and dark early wounding of some kind, and a tendency towards depression as the wounds of the soul (Chiron) demand to be healed.
Glenn Beck had an extremely difficult childhood (source here). His mother was addicted to various medications and also suffered from manic depression, and his father left the home when Beck was 13. His mother died in a drowning accident two years later which was likely a suicide. In 1994, just after Beck’s Saturn return (when Saturn returned to the same degree of Saturn in Beck’s chart it also set off the triple conjunction that includes his Sun and Mars), he contemplated killing himself just like his idol, Kurt Cobain. At the time transiting Pluto, the planet of destruction and transformation, was in a challenging square to his Sun, Mars and Saturn. Pluto transits often bring about a Phoenix-like regeneration in which we are reborn from the ashes of disaster.
We don’t know Beck’s rising sign, but I suspect it could be Leo. Most individuals which this kind of deep intense suffering do not choose to go on radio and television, but Beck exhibited a desperation to be noticed from the earliest days which is a hallmark of an afflicted Leo persona. He performed in local theatre and went on the radio as early as the age of 13. A former colleague said that “he was great at being a grandstanding, pompous idiot and shaking the brushes for attention.” Another former partner said “Beck was always desperate for ratings and attention.” Beck’s obsession with ratings and popularity would add to the validity of a Leo ascendant as well.
Beck has embraced this story of personal triumph over devastating personal tragedy, and this story is echoed in his chart: the personal tragedy (Chiron/Pluto) that results in a radical turnaround (Uranus) and the goal and desire to transform the status quo of the culture (Uranus/Pluto). Beck is often mocked for his tears during his radio show, but I would venture to say that these tears are real. His story, for him, is extremely personal and vivid. The dual emotional whammy of Saturn/Sun and Chiron/Pluto pack a powerful punch, and while he’s not always very clear about the details (Neptune square Saturn/Mars/Sun) he has staked out a niche where the rawness of his emotions set him apart from the rest of the talking heads at a time when a segment of Americans (primarily white and middle class), sensing that they are quickly becoming a minority in this country, are filled with fear about the change and desperate to go back to the security of a time that never really existed.