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Mel Gibson
by Barney Battles
Hollywood superstar Mel Gibson has traveled down some rocky roads. Press articles in recent years are awash with stories of alcohol abuse, domestic violence and anti-social behavior. Having lost over $400m in a divorce settlement, the star is now keeping a low-profile. How have his astrological influences contributed to this self-destructive tendency, and can he pull himself out of it for good?

The Years of Living Dangerously

Mel Gibson was born on January 3rd, 1956. According to Western astrology, the sign that rules him is Capricorn, the mountain goat. Under the Eastern zodiac it is the sign of the Monkey that guides him through life.

Both signs are driven towards success. The goat is sure-footed and naturally inclined towards climbing to high altitudes. However, it will let nothing stand in its way between itself and the next plateau. Whether the obstacle is a situation or a person, the goat will trample over it in order to get where it wants to be. Indeed, it could be argued that this aspect of Capricorn, if left unchecked, can lead to narcissism and a feeling that the world revolves around you. In discussing Apocalypto, Mel revealed that: “what I am doing is creating an action-adventure of mythic proportions...and I am a megalomaniac, so I like the position.”

While this confession may be lighthearted, it sheds  light on his recent fall from grace. The Monkey is also renowned for being egotistical and selfish – traits which tend to mask its feelings of superiority under the veneer of a prankster. Gibson is well-known as a practical joker on set, having his actors rehearse serious scenes wearing clown noses and mooning his cast and crew following scenes of high drama.

While these tactics may seem like attempts to diffuse tension, they might also be psychic attempts to belittle people around him, and put them in their places. Helena Bonham-Carter, who starred alongside Gibson in Hamlet, expressed her disapproval, saying: “He has a very basic sense of humour. It’s a bit lavatorial and not very sophisticated.”

The notion of a prankster driven to succeed is at odds with the image of a drunken, violent brute that the press has shown. These erratic qualities are practically alien to Capricorn, who chooses his footings for their stability. The Monkey, in turn, prides itself on adaptability. It maintains its egotistical standpoint by presenting a bright, cheerful exterior to the rest of the world.

Perhaps the choice of parts that Mel Gibson has chosen to play can give us further insight into what is happening in his psyche.

To Be Or Not To Be?

Gibson seems to gravitate to playing characters that present one aspect of themselves whilst hiding another. As Riggs in Lethal Weapon, Gibson portrayed a tortured cop who hid his grief beneath a facade of recklessness. As Hamlet, Gibson infused the Dane with similar qualities. Even in his more comedic films, such as What Women Want, his characters appear to be at odds with themselves.

The key lies within his star signs. Both consider themselves to be superior to those around them. Both are quick to show frustration in what they perceive to be other peoples’ shortcomings. The Monkey responds by trying to create an alternate persona of cheekiness and a devil-may-care attitude. This is like putting a cork into a bottle of fizzy drink and shaking it. Ultimately the cork will pop.

If Gibson is to achieve  psychic harmony, he must attempt to tune in to the more gregarious and selfless aspects of his astrological signs, before he dooms himself to loneliness and self-imposed psychic exile.

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