Richard Dean Anderson

Still Flying High...

By Gloria R. Lalumia

In "Pandora's Clock," the recent NBC-TV mini-series based on the best-selling novel, Richard Dean Anderson plays a pilot with a problem--a plane load of passengers with an Ebola-type virus onboard, one hour of fuel, and not one airport in the world willing to allow a landing. More than one passenger on that flight must have been wondering "Where's MacGyver when you need him?"

In the four years since "MacGyver" has been off network TV, Anderson has turned in his Swiss army knife and duct tape to play a variety of roles. Breaking from the MacGyver image of a clever, anti-gun idealist, Anderson has played a scruffy drifter, a college professor, a wife-abusing police officer, and, most recently, a prickly, 19th-century dime novelist by the name of Nicodemus Pratt in "Legend," the TV series he also produced.

Anderson's versatility stems most obviously from his Gemini Ascendant and 1st House Uranus, coupled with his Aquarian MC and the stellium in Aquarius--his Sun, Jupiter, Venus--that hovers around it. And let's not forget the two Grand Trines in Air involving Jupiter, Venus, and the MC which tie into the Ascendant and the Mars/S. Node and Neptune/S. Node conjunctions. He's a thinker, all right, and VERY attractive--but that Mercury Rx in the 8th House hints that while he's charming the pants off everyone, there is a lot going on underneath the surface that he's not revealing. If we consider his Aries Moon along with his Aquarius Sun and Saturn's trine to Mercury Rx, we get a picture of someone who projects a confident, action-oriented sense of self but who remains detached and aloof in his dealings with others--he's just not the type to reveal himself as he lives his life focused on new experiences.

That Aries Moon also describes a go-getter in terms of relationships. Anderson has been linked to a string of younger women, but admits to having a problem "settling down." He has often expressed just such a desire--with a Western chart, he is a responder and wants to integrate with others. But Sagittarius on the Descendant (along with his strong airiness and Saturn squaring the Ascendant-Descendant axis) creates a real conflict for him. How to get close to others while wanting to stay free and meet the need to take the lead and keep his individuality? And consider the fact that Pluto opposes the MC/Venus/Jupiter stellium--charming, yes, but also capable of being a controller, combative, and certainly one who wouldn't want to be possessed! Perhaps that is why more than one ex-girlfriend has angrily refused to talk about him, or, in one case, has thrown his belongings out into the street! Pluto also describes a possible reason for his inability to form a permanent relationship. Placed in the 4th house near the IC, Pluto describes a home situation in which he might have felt a certain insecurity and powerlessness. His parents' did divorce, an event which certainly might be a factor in his difficulty in figuring out what he calls "the wife thing."

OK, so he needs to work on relationships! But can he ever do it? A T-square involving Uranus square the each end of a Moon/Mars opposition doesn't offer an optimistic view of the situation. Eccentricities and erratic and freedom-loving behavior heighten the already tense relationship between the Moon(Aries) and Mars(Libra). As a result, Anderson's notorious love-life has become the butt of Jay Leno's friendly teasing every time he shows up on the Tonight show.

Mars in the 5th also aptly describes Anderson's love sports. As a boy he dreamed of playing professional ice hockey and he still plays with a celebrity team at home in Los Angeles. An avid skier, he's been known to finish a ski run even after sustaining severe injuries that would stop anybody else. And, he often performs his own stuntwork when it is called for in a role. Mars, as well as the 9th House Sun, also describes Anderson's love of adventure and travel. While still a teenager, he was hopping freight trains around his native Minnesota and at 17, he bicycled from his home through Canada.

Fifth house Saturn also is a key to understanding Anderson's relationship to children. While starring in "MacGyver," Anderson made a point of answering letters from children and their teachers, even over the course of several years. He has always felt a deep responsibility toward children, stating that he "loves kids." Unfortunately, although he goes on to say that he would love to have children of his own, his problems in committing to a stable relationship may not make this possible in his personal life.

However, his 9th House Sun, his 5th House Saturn, and his 6th House Vertex point toward his continuing to want to serve and influence children in a positive way. While filming "MacGyver" he stated that "What we've been able to realize our position--that we're able to sow some seeds for education...we're here to entertain, ...though we like to teach a little bit. Not preach, teach." To this day, he participates in charity hockey games to raise money for children's causes.

Anderson has often noted that "MacGyver is a lot like me." So, when he describes the character as "an independent, maverick loner...who starts getting nervous and shuffling his feet in any interpersonal confrontation," you have to wonder if MacGyver and Anderson were born at the same time! And maybe, just maybe, the captain of that plane carrying the deadly virus in "Pandora's Clock" actually was being watched over by MacGyver after all...

Chart Data: Richard Dean Anderson, January 23, 1950. 1:05 PM CST, Minneapolis, MN 9W16 44N59 Source: Minnesota Department of Health. Copy of original birth certificate.

Copyright 1996 by Gloria R. Lalumia

All Rights Reserved

[Gloria R. Lalumia is an editor of scientific journals. She lectures and writes on astrological topics and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Astrological Society of Princeton, N.J. She may be reached at 29 Manley Road, Trenton, N.J. 08638.

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