There’s got to be some goddamed Aquarius up in this joint!
I have a hard with (blank) history month. That’s any month, fill in the blank, mostly because I think that most history is fiction and it’s propped up mostly for marketing, entertainment and diversions sake. We’re told one story, one narrative, while another, perhaps more than just one other, thread and series of events are usually at play–the story beneath the story. That said, I have always found it interesting that Black History month is held during February and of course during the sign of out times, Aquarius.
I began to think about the resonance and how Aquarius dovetails with black culture and some of the connections were really interesting. This series might stretch out over a couple of posts, because there’s a lot in the mix. But let me start with a revelation of a film that I caught yesterday on cable. It’s called, “Talk To Me” and stars Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor, both of whom are clearly at the top of their games in this smart, uplifting and very, very real film. Don Cheadle plays, “Petey Greene.” Greene, was a radio phenomenon in Washington, DC during the late sixties and seventies and up through the early-eighties.
He was a convict at Lorton Reformatory doing a ten-year-bid when he bumped into Dewey Hughes (Ejiofor), a director at a local DC radio station (WOL). Hughes’ brother Milo (played by Mike Epps) was also at Lorton and raved about Greene to his brother, who served as the prison DJ. After a brief confrontation Greene had with Hughes in passing, one of those destined moments, Hughes made a vague reference of Greene looking him up when he got out. Well, Greene had a little trick up his sleeve and persuaded a fellow con to get up on a tower, naked, and scream at the warden, yelling at the top of his lungs that the warden has a “tiny dick.” The embarassed warden wanted him down at almost any price and that’s where Greene jumped in. He offered to get the prisoner down if the warden would let him go. Since it was all a set-up, Greene got the guy down with ease and got his release, whereupon he looks up Hughes.
After a series of hilarious, insightful and revealing encounters, Greene eventually gets the gig, much to the consternation of the station manager, nicely played by Martin Sheen. Greene immediately becomes a man for the times, a voice of the community and a lightning rod of controversy. He quickly adds local television and stand up comedy to his repertoire. He’s irreverent, incendiary and above of all, truthful. He’s loved by by his listeners and helps Hughes take WOL to the top of the local ratings. His morning show is a mix of soul, funk, raps on politics, race, sex and the war, with a call in element thrown in for good measure. Intrigued, I looked up Greene’s birth date and sho nuff, he’s an Aquarian, born 1/23/31.
Born at two degrees Aquarius, ironically it’s his only planet in the sign and yet, his command of radio and television, displaying a funky and fiery spirit, bordering on radical was decidedly Aquarian. Greene was no bullshit and that can be seen in his Venus in Sag at 15 degrees, which ultimately forms a Grand Fire Trine with his Mars in Leo at eight degrees and his Uranus in Aries at 11 degrees. This trine is representative of the firebrand, and with Uranus in Aries, someone mostly at odds with authority, which is amplifed by the opposition of Mars and The Sun. Petey Greene was a rebel.
Beneath his smoldering surface, Greene was a deeply sensitive, caring and loving man with Moon in Pisces, Jupiter in Cancer and Pluto In Cancer, the latter two forming a wide conjunction. The Cancer connection colored Greene’s deeply compassionate disposition towards his community and in effect was a community organizer as well the cities top rated DJ. One of Greene’s contributions to the community was founding, “The Ralph Waldo Greene Community Center and Efforts for Ex-Convicts.”
Greene won two Emmy’s as the host of Petey Greene’s Washington and even met with heads of state such as Jimmy Carter. Howard Stern who was in black face when interviewd by Greene called Greene a “broadcasting genius.”
He had Saturn in Capricorn at 15 degrees, which opposed his natal Jupiter in Cancer at 13 degrees. The Saturn/Jupiter opposition is difficult, but to have it in Cancer/Cap is doubly tricky, even though once sign is exalted and the other in it’s ruler. The push me, pull you effect of this dynamic is extremely challenging and is encapsulated nicely by Strangehouse;
“The opposition from Jupiter to Saturn indicates that you fluctuate between knowing what you are worth and having grave doubts of your value. You are never completely sure of yourself, and need to be constantly reassured by others that you are as talented as you think. Probably some strained contact with superiors, perhaps your parents, has given you this poor understanding of your capabilities. “
This is a push-pull planetary combination. Because you need approval, you seek people who will make demands on you to prove your competence to them and to yourself. If their praise is not forthcoming, you reject them and alienate yourself. You seem to be looking for ‘yes’ people to give you the approval you require. But how hollow the victory that is forcibly extracted. Wouldn’t it be simpler to accept competition from your peer group and make your determination that way? You obviously cannot face the truth, and your progress will be slowed until you can be honest with yourself. You generally reject other people who have qualities like your own.
You are inclined to be irresponsible and look for the easy way out of duty. This attitude needs severe adjustment. First, you must face reality and accept the responsibilities it brings; second, you should learn how your behavior hurts people and try to be less indifferent to them. If you can change in these ways, you can rise to any goals you set for yourself. However, if you doubt your own competence, your associates may also refuse to attest to it. You have work to do, and it is advised that you begin soon, if you haven’t already.
The same problem in evaluating your worth will crop up in personal relationships, both in friendship and in romantic interests. You might well decide to use better judgement in these instances, because it wouldn’t do to sever an alliance with someone very special to you. You don’t usually make generous overtures to anyone, even to a lover. Even though you casually reject anyone who doesn’t voice enthusiastic approval, you are surprisingly shattered when you are rejected and can’t believe you desetve such treatment.
Once you know what you are worth, you won’t feel threatened by anyone. Then you can proceed to develop your potentials for success.”
This is extremely exacerbated by the Cancer/Cap element of the opposition. There is a critical scene in the movie and in Greene’s life, a turning point for both he and Hughes for radically different reasons. Hughes, who had taken over managing Greene’s career as well as ownership of WOL, had arranged for Greene to do his stand up bit on The Tonight Show. Greene was mortified and if there was ever clear example of the Jupiter/Saturn in cinema, this would be it. Greene can’t handle the stress and the pressure of the moment, he had reached his ceiling and when he finally gets the call, uses foul language and refuses to do “nigger jokes” for a bunch of white folks. That was it. He was essentially done and wound up parting ways with Hughes. Hughes in turn decides to be a broadcaster himself and goes onto becoming a media mogul as a result. The lives of the two men literally switched tracks.
Greene and Hughes eventually mended fences and became friends again before Greene eventually died of cancer at the age of 51.
“Talk To Me” is nearly flawless. It captures the spirit of times and two men that are integral in one anothers success and evolution as humans. I highly recommend it. And Taraji P. Henson, who plays Greene’s main squeeze, if you ever read, this all I have to say is David Frost and Dianne Carroll, David Bowie and Iman, know what I’m sayin’?
To learn more about Petey, his incredible life and his ongoing legacy, you can visit his website here.