I was watching “Touching the Void” again the other night. Since I view life through the astrological lens, I wondered about the horoscope of this man, Joe Simpson, who went climbing in Peru, broke his leg on a descent, fell into a crevasse after his partner cut the rope and spent several days without food or water crawling back to a camp where his companions were just ready to leave.
I would have died.
In his own words from the movie his is stubborn and things “weren’t going his way.” And he likes things to go his way.
So what drove him to make it?
Physically he simply set himself goals, like crawl to that rock in 20 minutes. Mentally he focused on those goals. He clearly is a man of intense focus.
Simpson’s sun is in Leo and moon in Taurus. Leo is fixed fire and Taurus is fixed earth. Fixed signs are stubborn and explain the “things weren’t going my way” attitude that helped Simpson survive. Uranus is conjunct his sun in Leo which also explains the “sudden” events that plague his climbing life. Uranus is also about enlightenment so hopefully he’s getting more than broken legs from these experiences.
If Uranus is enlightenment and Leo is the about self, the enlightenment or insight should be about ego and self. In the film, Simpson describes how he got to the point in his crawl back to camp where he peed on himself and realized he’d lost all concerns about self, ego, and other concerns of daily life which involve what others think of us.
Leo likes the spotlight and dying alone is not the spotlight. But at a young age Simpson got a major lesson in his Leo-ness. He seems to have put the experience to good use by telling the story to others as motivation.
So why climbing?
Years ago a college roommate joined the mountaineering club. As I have moon in a water sign, nature to me is imaginative. When I go to the river, I canoe slowly and peacefully and think about Native Americans before conquest. In my youth, I thought everyone did the same.
Much to my surprise the members of the mountaineering club were hard-partying sorts. Now I see that drive to climb mountains and the partying as part of the same core – sensation.
Taurus is the fixed earth sign. Moon in Taurus is like getting a massage with a sweater on. The masseuse has to push harder for you to feel the sensation. Climbing a mountain in frigid cold, getting frostbite on your fingers and toes and having your knee cap in your chin are all strong sensations.
In the movie Simpson says it’s fun to climb, but I’m guessing he’s looking for that intense sensation.
I should also mention that Saturn, that planet of burden and restriction, is in Capricorn which rules the knees. The knees help you stand and I believe spiritually represent standing on one’s own. Even if Simpson weren’t a mountain climber, I would suggest care with the knees.
Simpson’s story to me is twofold – 1) don’t risk your life so carelessly and 2) if you are in a pinch, let go of your ego self and focus on the reality of the situation.