Coming to America
Michael Jackson's move from Channel 4 to the US is signified by
seductive Neptune crossing his Mercury, luring him to a
position ideally suited to his talents.
His new job with the USA Entertainment Group is his fifth senior
TV position in ten years, giving him a reputation for being
restless, but boredom isn't the reason he's moving on. He has six
of his ten planets in fixed signs, and his Aquarian emphasis
(February 11 1958) suggests he is motivated by the paradox of
this complex sign.
Aquarius is ruled by two planets, Saturn and Uranus, and both are
strongly placed in his personal horoscope. Self-disciplined and
ambitious Saturn makes him a first-rate strategist and careful
planner, with an understanding of authority and tradition. Yet
radical Uranus, lined up against Mercury, marks him as an
alternative thinker with a mind that "does not always pursue the
beaten track, but makes its own rules, follows its own laws, and
obeys its own inner nature" (Alan Leo). This Uranus gets mistaken
for highly strung nervous energy, but its true gift is an
unerring intuition for the new and the different. Bob Dylan puts
it nicely: "If there's an original thought out there, I could use
it right now".
So far in his career Michael Jackson has successfully played both
sides of the paradox, mastering both structure and creativity. He
was a golden boy at the strait-laced and Saturnine BBC, first as
a ground-breaking producer and then as Director of BBC2. His
stint at Channel 4 has led to criticisms of dumbing down, but
with programmes like Big Brother and Ali G, he can credibly claim
to have held to the channel's Uranian brief of 'innovation,
diversity and creativity'.
His current move is signified by seductive Neptune crossing his
Mercury, luring him to an apparently ideal set-up for his
talents, especially involving feature films. But things are never
what they appear to be with Neptune. Rather than the smooth ride
he might be hoping for, his horoscope for the next three years is
dominated by stormy and tempestuous Mars, the old god of war.
This angry planet began to take hold from April this year, and we
may suspect that there is already some blood on the carpet in the
move from Channel 4.
So the man who has always been able to ride two horses is heading
for a rodeo. He'll have to buck a competitive and potentially
hostile working environment where events are out of his control
and where his cool and intelligent Aquarian approach won't cut
much ice. To get what he wants, he may find himself having to
call on the uncompromising and tyrannical side of his Uranus
But it's all grist to the mill, and despite denials, he almost
certainly has a long strategy in mind. The contacts between his
horoscope and the horoscopes for the BBC (Incorporation 1927,
First TV Broadcast 1936), are as good as it gets, tuning his
Saturn in to the corporation's Jupiter and its public service
role. If the Governors followed astrology, they'd be ordering
Greg Dyke's removal van now.
With the US wars over, we can expect Mr Jackson back here in
2005, seemingly in pole position for the top job at the BBC. His
timing may not be quite right, but sometime, somehow, he ought to
get there. The interesting challenge, and the game to play for,
is that by the time he returns, the culture at the Beep will have
significantly changed, and Michael Jackson himself will also have
moved on. From being an innovative young gun, he will be part of
TV's senior generation.