Roscoe ‘ Fatty ‘ Arbuckle and the Mother of all Hangovers

We’ve all done it at one time or another – woken up the day after a Bank Holiday party with an awful hangover and wishing we’d never gone in the first place. Some of us might have struggled to remember the night before, but however horrible we felt it was nothing compared to the experience of Roscoe Arbuckle.

Arbuckle was an American actor, one of the great comics of Vaudeville and the silent screen. He weighed 266 pounds and was widely known by the name ‘ Fatty ‘.

Roscoe Arbuckle

Unfortunately there is no time available for Arbuckle’s birth so we have to construct one for noon on that day. The noon chart works particularly well in this case but for sake of accuracy we will have to ignore the house positions and Ascendant as these are dependent on the time of day. The Moon also can move positions over 24 hours but it is almost certainly still close to the Sun and Mars.

Roscoe Arbuckle had an extraordinary chart. He was born with the Sun, Moon and Mars in conjunction in Aries. Aries is the first of all the signs. The Sun is in Aries just as Spring is bursting through so the Aries personality is youthful and extremely energetic, wishing simply to assert itself in whatever environment it finds itself in. Having the Sun, Moon and Mars together in the same sign simplifies things as one’s needs, habits, instincts and drives are the same as one’s essential goals. For Arbuckle life was there to be lived and he would have been driven strongly by this Arian energy to just get out there and do it. The sex drive with this combination is powerful and demands expression.

With this much Aries life would be like driving a fast car with no brakes. Saturn is the planet that applies the handbrake and holds our energy in check. Most people do have their own inner Saturn and use personal restraint to check their own expression. For some people, particularly those with a strong fiery energy who have difficult aspects to Saturn, the restraint comes from the outside. They will come across obstacles, restrictions and frustrations which will force them to slow down because they can’t do it themselves. Mars and Saturn are opposites, like fast and slow, go and stop, action and inhibition.

Arbuckle’s Sun / Moon / Mars conjunction is opposite Uranus. This opposition adds a strong degree of wilfulness to an already very assertive cocktail. It is also indicates sudden and disruptive events that cause considerable conflict and tension. Mars is exactly opposite to Uranus pointing to a serious accident that would happen.

The tension from this opposition focuses by T Square onto Saturn which suggests a big downfall and a depression or serious restriction coming out of the disruptive accidental event suggested by Mars and Uranus.

Pluto would only make one aspect with the planets in the T Square. The first part was square to the Sun from 1916 – 18. Arbuckle began his screen career with Keystone in 1913 as an extra for $3 a day, quickly working his way up through the acting ranks to become a lead player and director. The films were so lucrative and popular that in 1918 he was given a three-year, $3 million contract equivalent to about $50 million now.

By 1916, Arbuckle’s weight and heavy drinking were causing serious health problems. An infection became so severe that amputation of his leg was considered and he became addicted to pain killers.

Pluto’s square to the Sun showed the sudden rise to the absolute peak of his career, by 1918 he was the industry’s 2nd highest earner after Chaplin. It also showed the serious health problems that were the evidence of his extreme weight and non stop lifestyle.

In September 1921 Pluto reached 10 degrees Cancer joining the T Square and triggering the Mars / Saturn opposition.

Arbuckle’s career was destroyed by a wild party in September 1921, during Labor Day weekend, at which an actress, Virginia Rappe, was injured, allegedly while having sex with him. She died the following Friday, from acute cystitis.

Arbuckle endured three widely publicized trials which lasted from November 1921 to April 1922 for rape and manslaughter. His films were subsequently banned and he was publicly ostracised.

After the first two trials, which resulted in hung juries, Arbuckle was acquitted in the third trial and received a formal written apology from the jury; however, the trials scandal has mostly overshadowed his legacy as a pioneering comedian. Although the ban on his films was lifted within a year, Arbuckle only worked sparingly through the 1920s and his career as a big film star was finished.

Roscoe Arbuckle’s life was utterly dominated by Pluto’s transit through his T Square. From the sudden propulsion to megabucks superstardom under the first aspect to the Sun, through the sudden death and sex scandal whilst aspecting the Mars / Uranus opposition to the resultant depression and ending of his film star career and status in conjunction with Saturn in the mid twenties, Pluto gave everything and took it all away leaving him with a lifelong hangover.

For the rest of us, the next time we’re tempted to go on a day long binge on a Bank holiday weekend just consult the planetary ephemeris first.


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