The astrology of Doctor Who

Way back when, in the first round of my love of Doctor Who, I did an event chart for the program. I do that for my most favorite shows because I have this theory that the chart for the program works as a natal chart for the best-known character on the show. With Doctor Who, the chart should describe the essential characteristics that all the Doctors share. Even though the new Doctors renewed my love for the show, I didn’t think about that chart again until recently. What with this being the 50th anniversary of the premiere, people have been writing about that first episode, giving the time and date of that first broadcast. Combined with location—the BBC is headquartered in London—and there’s enough to cast an astrological chart. For old times’ sake, I decided to cast the chart again and have a quick look at it.

Doctor Who astrological chart

Overview

The strongest elements in the chart are fire and air. The fire planets, in red, are easy to see in the chart. Someone with a lot of fire in their chart (like the Doctor) is often intense, enthusiastic, optimistic, and idealistic. Strong fire can also symbolize a dominating personality, someone who can ride over others with the sheer force of their personality. At first glance, air (shown in yellow) doesn’t seem to be all that prominent in this chart. However, it includes the Moon and the Ascendant, two of the three most important parts of a chart. This much air suggests that the Doctor takes a rational, logical approach to life. He’s talkative and loves to socialize, although at the same time, he is somewhat detached and distant.

The emphasis on fire and air means that earth (green) and water (blue) are comparatively weak. Neither element is absent, but the earth and water planets in this chart are Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, and the sign placements of the outer planets show the tendencies of a generation rather than an individual. The Doctor’s weakest element is water. Now obviously, he’s not an uncaring soul. How many episodes show how much he loves Earth, the human race, and/or other species? But he doesn’t like to express his feelings directly, and he’s been known to try to avoid painful situations. Likewise, low earth doesn’t mean the Doctor is wholly impractical, but thanks to this being a science fiction program, he can be depicted as literally ungrounded: not staying long on any planet or time.

The modes are also not very balanced. Not surprisingly, the Doctor is strongly mutable, with six of nine planets plus the Ascendant in mutable signs. The mutable mode is restless, variable, and changeable (this is someone who changes his entire body and personality: the epitome of mutability!). It’s versatile—the Doctor seems to know at least something about almost any topic imaginable and has an almost unimaginable range of skills—but isn’t goal-oriented. There’s only one planet in this chart in a cardinal sign, the mode that initiates action. This fits the Doctor: mostly content to just observe life and drift along. Luckily the writers keep dropping him into unstable situations that force him to act or the show would probably have been cancelled in its first season.

The Sun, the Moon, and the Ascendant

In a birth chart, the Sun represents the sense of self, the ego; it’s the center of the personality the way the physical Sun is the center of the solar system. With his Sun in Sagittarius, the Doctor is optimistic, adventurous, a lover of truth and freedom, with a philosophical bent and a love of travel. He is also undisciplined and outspoken, which can annoy both friends and enemies at times.

The Moon represents feelings, emotions, habits, and security needs. Remember how the Doctor is strong in air and weak in water? This repeats that theme. Having the Moon in Aquarius shows that the Doctor is sociable, idealistic, and a humanitarian, but he’s probably not comfortable with open displays of emotion. He finds it easier to care for entire species than individuals, and he needs his freedom and a certain amount of detachment.

The Ascendant is the sign that was on the eastern horizon at the moment of birth (or broadcast, in this case). It represents outer appearance, the persona we use to deal with others, and the first impression we give others. The Doctor’s Ascendant is in Gemini. Gemini rising is talkative, clever, changeable, and adaptable. No matter which actor has played the Doctor, most of the eleven incarnations have been, ah, loquacious. Villains, and sometimes companions, probably wish he’d shut up for a few minutes—and start to worry if he actually did so. Changeable? The Doctor changes his appearance and personality more thoroughly than most other characters except maybe Dax from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I think individual Doctors would be better described with different Ascendants: perhaps Capricorn for the First Doctor (Hartnell), Libra for the Third Doctor (Pertwee), Scorpio for the Ninth Doctor (Eccleston), and so on. But for the Doctor as a whole: ever-changing, talkative, knowledgeable about practically everything in the universe, Gemini Rising is oh so appropriate.

Conclusion

Okay, that’s not a complete natal analysis by any means: a thorough exploration of a natal chart could go on for pages and wouldn’t easily fit in a blog post. But this is enough to highlight major themes of the chart. I’m kind of amazed that despite so many different actors, writers, and directors over the years, the core character of the Doctor has remained essentially the same, and I love how the chart of the TV show mirrors that core. But then, stuff like that is a great part of why I love astrology in the first place.

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