Ansari came under public scrutiny recently via the publishing of the account of a New York City woman’s experience on a date with Ansari. The woman, who’s only identified by the pseudonym “Grace,” was 22 at the time. The alleged incident occurred on 25 September 2017.
“I believe that I was taken advantage of by Aziz. I was not listened to and ignored. It was by far the worst experience with a man I’ve ever had.”
Writer Katie Way posted Grace’s account of the fateful evening on a website called “babe.” To date, I’ve only read two pieces of journalism related to this accusation: the account itself and Bari Weiss’s opinion piece about it in The New York Times.
Aziz Ansari has not been accused of a crime. It seems that he’s just being accused of being an insensitive jerk. So what’s really going on here? Astrology offers lots of food for thought.
The chart for the event itself is fuzzy. I might look at a 9:00 PM chart for the night of their date, but that would be highly speculative at best.
However, my astrological interests are strongly centered on human nature. And we can definitely look at one of the participants’ natures through the lens of astrology. So let’s do that with Ansari.
Ansari’s Natal Chart
I’ve looked at many celebrity charts for which we have confirmed birth times, and I’ve far more often found Pluto elevated in their birth charts, for example, than I have found an elevated Sun. So I use an 8:00 AM birth time for everyone, famous or not, when we don’t have a confirmed birth time.
The 8:00 AM birth chart actually tells me a credible story for this public figure. Overall, my gut leans toward him having a Water ascendant. And I can see him possibly having a Libra ascendant, which would put his Venus in Aries somewhere in the 7th house, which would also make sense for purposes of this story. At any rate, I’ve made limited references to houses and house cusps below. If in the future a confirmed birth time becomes available, I’ll revise accordingly.
There’s another chart out there for Ansari that’s well worth looking at, and it’s from astro-charts.com. I love their charts because they contain visual information about major aspect patterns. As you can see by the screen shot below, Ansari has got a rather intense collection of notable aspects there.
But Ansari’s Venus at 0 Aries explains why this story went public to begin with:
“Events involving the Aries Point, or people with it prominent in their charts, have impact. Their lives can affect many people. They have a connection to the public and the public has a connection to them. This is the degree of the zodiac bearing the message, ‘The personal is political.'” (PlanetWaves)
“Kiss and tell” is nothing new. But we live in the Information Age. And having this sort of of “news” zoom around the world in a red-hot second for consumption by billions of people is new, relatively speaking.
The internet functions kind of like a nervous system for the entire planet. And all of us who are plugged into it are continually reacting to the stimuli we receive from the planetary nervous system.
Venus: Your Sexual Style
Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, I wrote a “love post” a few days ago about Venus. This was before I became aware of the Ansari/Grace story. Here’s what I said about Venus in Aries:
LITTLE RED CORVETTE. “Baby, you’re much too fast.” But they like it like that. Tell them you want to burn down the night with them. They spend a lot of time at the gym, and they want a lot of sex. They don’t speak in riddles, and neither should you. This is the “go hard or go home” Venus of the zodiac. They may propose on the third date, but you should play hard to get–they love the chase.
So Venus’s disposition/inclination in Aries is to assert its desire in a clear and forward manner. And the repeated vagueness, “mumbling” and “nonverbal cues” that Grace described herself as providing are a complete mismatch for the frank and straightforward style of Ansari’s Venus in Aries to begin with.
According to Grace’s account, Ansari rebuffed her at first–“nevertheless, she persisted.” And Ansari’s Venus in Aries is going to find a woman’s persistence to be very attractive.
It’s understandable to me that Ansari might have interpreted Grace’s “nonverbal cues” as playing hard to get and that Ansari simply played along with what he saw through his Venus/Mars/Aries lens. Some people really like a bold and straightforward sexual style, while others don’t. There are many shades and flavors of sexual expression. But as I continued to sit with Ansari’s chart, it became clear that some additional factors were also in play.
The Unattainable Lover
Ansari’s watery Mars also makes an exact square to also-watery Neptune. In other words, friction arises when you combine Mars-style direct action with Neptunian lack of clarity. Marina Macario at Darkstar Astrology notes about this aspect that “Chasing the unattainable lover is another manifestation, as Mars loves the chase while Neptune tends towards unrequited and courtly love.” Ansari was quite literally that night chasing a lover who, as it turned out, was unattainable. They did engage in some sexual activity, but Grace ultimately became both sexually and emotionally unavailable.
A guy with a Pisces sun and a Cancer Moon really is a sensitive, nurturing, giving, and kind person at heart. So I have to wonder why Grace didn’t see that side of Ansari on the night in question.
Even “Hard” Capricorn Has a Soft Side
There is a duality to the sign Capricorn that I think we sometimes overlook. When I went looking for an illustration to include with this blog post, this became immediately clear.
There are lots of goat photos and illustrations that people clearly intended to represent Capricorn. But Capricorn isn’t just a goat. It’s a hybrid creature–a sea-goat.
The goat is a land creature, reflecting Capricorn’s elemental alignment with Earth. But its lower, private half is a fish’s tail. So like Cancer’s crab, its polar opposite on the zodiac wheel, a Capricorn sea-goat also has emotions. But Capricorn’s emotions are hidden beneath its goatish upper half. And both Capricorn and Cancer “hide” their vulnerabilities (or may try to).
You’re not going to see the sea-goat’s fish tail unless you dive into the (emotional) water with it. And this concept is key to understanding Ansari’s South Node Capricorn “default” strategy and the karmic work of facilitating a more balanced nodal approach.
We never completely leave our South Node behind–nor should we. We learned valuable lessons via our South Node “story.” But in order to grow, we redirect the South Node gifts toward different goals than we had early in life (or in a previous life).
Ansari’s Nodal Story
“. . . once he has made up his mind he [Capricorn] sticks to his course. Fear, frustration, resistance–nothing can sway him. He may feel those forces, but Capricorn’s actual behavior always reflects his intentions, not his emotions.” — Steven Forrest
Ansari previously experienced a certain reality with South Node in Capricorn/10th and North Node in Cancer/4th. He learned that if you showed vulnerability, especially in public or to a stranger, that stranger is going to hurt you. They’re going to clean your clock for you or suck you dry. It has a flavor, to me, of “You’re either the predator or you’re the prey.”
If you don’t believe in past lives, you could attribute this reality to one or more things that happened in Ansari’s early childhood. Cancer on the 4th house cusp with Moon in Cancer paints a picture of a child who was very sensitive and intuitive and might have been wounded easily. If you believe in past lives, you can stretch this reality to multiple lifetimes.
But that same Cancer 4th cusp with Moon in Cancer also suggests a mom and a family who are very loving, nurturing, and protective. So if something happened in Ansari’s early childhood in this lifetime where he got hurt or felt unsafe, he likely had nurturing parents who showed lots of love and caring and helped him to heal whatever wounds he may have sustained. I’ll get back to Ansari’s family in a bit.
Bari Weiss’s article notes that Ansari is not a mind reader; while he may not be that, his water planets are going to produce a person who’s extremely intuitive. He is, by nature, a feelings reader. While he can’t read what’s in your head, he does have a talent for reading an environment. Clearly his ability to do this failed on the night in question.
Ansari, with the fundamentally gentle and emotionally vulnerable nature that shows in his natal chart, learned early on (or in one or more past lives) to camouflage himself from predator animals. Ironically, though, a guy with Ansari’s Pisces rising is going to find hiding that nature to be a challenge. The “face” he wears on his ascendant looks gentle and harmless to the casual observer. And the face Ansari shows on the ascendant is absolutely authentic.
Prey animals use many different means of camouflage to help them avoid the jaws of the predator. And some creatures specifically make use of camouflage in a way that makes them look larger or more threatening than they actually are. But the prey animal doesn’t have the ability to hurt the predator in any meaningful way. What you’re seeing is a “show.” In reality, it’s a vulnerable creature that’s trying not to become some other animal’s dinner.
What You See Isn’t Always What You Get
Clearly, Grace found Ansari’s Pisces rising “face” attractive enough to initiate a relationship of some sort with him. Interestingly, though, Ansari rebuffed her at first; “nevertheless, she persisted.” And I can see how that persistence might be very attractive and relatable to a guy with Ansari’s Venus in Aries conjunct Mars.
But Grace’s lack of a foundational emotional relationship with Ansari prior to consenting to have sex with him (and this happened as a “nonverbal cue” when she agreed to go home with him after their dinner date) Grace had no way of knowing that Ansari is also a sexually bold and assertive guy. She just saw his gentle Piscean face on the ascendant and assumed that what she saw would be what she got.
In my experience, people are never that simple. And in Ansari’s case, his Neptune on the Midheaven does make him vulnerable to other people’s projections. Astrologer Elsa Panizzon has blogged many times about this due to her own experiences with Neptune on the Midheaven.
Ansari is not wrong to protect himself. Celebrities and public figures often have difficult encounters with the paparazzi or with grifters or starfuckers or straight-up stalkers. His Chiron in Taurus actually does speak to the experience of something painful in the landscape, an “unhealable wound,” whether that’s a karmic experience or something that’s happened in his present life. Chiron’s loose trine to Neptune on the Midheaven in this chart bears a suggestion of that pain being related to public life. And with Chiron being in Taurus and the 2nd house, he is not wrong to be concerned that someone might be trying to take advantage of him.
Grace Felt Unsafe–But I Think Ansari Did Too
In some sense, Ansari changed, at least from Grace’s perspective, after they arrived at his home. In private he became more assertive than the person she saw at first via his ascendant. But Grace changed too. In private, she became less assertive than the person he saw at first who was persistently pursuing him. Many people would characterize a woman going home with a man on the first date as sexually bold and assertive (and there’s nothing wrong with that, in my view. No slut-shaming here!)
I think these two people were confused by the changes they saw in each other. I think these changes made them both feel unsafe, if “only” subconsciously. And they reacted, each in their own way, to protect themselves in a situation that had turned into something that neither of them understood.
On the surface of it, I can credit that Grace likely wanted to have the sort of gentle, romantic sexual experience that Ansari’s Pisces “face” seemed to promise her. And that turned out to be a projection on Grace’s part. She was expecting a soft, fluffy kitty and got a wildcat instead. And Ansari was expecting a wildcat but didn’t even get a soft, fluffy kitty–he got a mouse instead. Who wouldn’t be confused?!
Update: “Grace’s” identity is now known, and she is a photographer by the name of Abby Nierman. And the idea has indeed been put forth that “the photographer is accusing Aziz for money and publicity.”
It’s reasonable, then, to consider that a deeper level of the “something” Grace wanted from Ansari was to advance her own career through a relationship with him. So my initial question holds true: Was Ansari the predator, or was he the prey?
To be fair, he was asking her questions about what she wanted–questions that she was not able to answer due to her own confusion and perhaps her own need to make things work out with Ansari if she was pursuing the relationship–at least in part–as a way to advance her career. Grace needs to take responsibility for her inability to “own” and verbalize her desires. And she also needs to look deeply at her own motivations for pursuing Ansari.
Nonetheless, as far as Ansari is concerned, the South Node response or reaction to a situation is regarded in evolutionary astrology as a lower, or unevolved expression of whatever it touches. His bold sexual style is NOT the “unevolved” factor in this situation. His South Node Capricorn’s decision to doggedly pursue the sex, in spite of what his considerable intuition may have told him about her, is the lower expression of this.
But there’s a way forward that offers him better protection than defaulting to South Node Capricorn’s hard camouflage.
The “good idea” embodied by the Cancer North Node is for Ansari to rely on the Moon-ruled Crab’s fluctuating quality and its sensitivity. Here’s why: Looking “tough” when you’re suddenly faced with a predator is best left as an emergency strategy. You never want to face a predator when you’re at your most vulnerable. The chances that your scary camouflage will work if you have to whip it out in an emergency are iffy–because if the predator is hungry enough and desperate enough, it might just attack you anyway.
But what if, when you just started to feel confusion or danger in the environment, you took steps to avoid or outsmart the predator before things ramped up to emergency status? Your chances of surviving another day just got way better.
There are lots of “takers” in the world. But there are also a lot of very nice strangers in the world who might become friends or lovers or even family of choice if you take the time (Capricorn) to get to know them and if you can relax enough (Cancer’s and the Moon’s fluctuation/flexibility) to let them into your private emotional world.
So instead of shutting strangers out wholesale (which, in Ansari’s case, might lead to a lonely romantic life) or defaulting to South Node Capricorn’s hardness in his dealings with people, use the thing that works to your best advantage.
With that said, who Ansari chooses to let in or keep out is still entirely his own choice.
It’s a very good idea for Ansari to get to know potential intimate partners on a deeper emotional level before he engages in sexual activity with them. (I’m not saying that everybody has to do this as some kind of stealth imposition of “morality” on the collective. But it’s clearly a good idea for Ansari personally.) He needs to intuitively size up people and situations before he puts himself in a vulnerable position.
Our North Node isn’t the life strategy we tend to default to. Because we have limited early (or past life) experience of our North Node matters, “doing” our North Node can often feel awkward and silly to us. But our North Node offers us some very good reasons for exploring a different way of being.
In Ansari’s case, you can see some ways that his natal chart supports him exercising his Cancer/Pisces sensitivity:
He can absolutely trust his intuition–his water sun and water moon are going to key him in to plenty of subtle information about people and situations.
He can absolutely trust his Saturn in Scorpio conjunct Pluto, the modern sign ruler of Scorpio. If a sign’s energy works to his detriment in one area of his chart, why not look to the sign’s planetary ruler to see if there’s a better way to work with that energy?
Ansari can actually make much better use of Saturn’s persistence in Scorpio than he can with his South Node being in Saturn-ruled Capricorn. Saturn in Scorpio is going to relentlessly dig until it gets to the bottom of, in this case, sexual matters. And Ansari needs to be able to rest assured that he’s clear about people’s motivations before he shows them his more private side. Saturn (the planet) supports him in this goal when Ansari brings fierce integrity and an honest desire to know the truth to the search.
His Saturn at 4 Scorpio connects in flowing trine to his Sun at 4 Pisces and makes another flowing trine to his North Node at 2 Cancer. So all this digging and intuiting about people actually is laid out as “karmic work” for him. And this should, actually, be rather easy for him–trines are an easy energy to work with. The danger for all of us is that we can get lazy about maximizing our trines to best effect.
And with Pluto in Libra conjunct Saturn in Scorpio, this need to dig into people’s motivations is further focused on the topic of his potential intimate partners.
Cancer on the 4th house cusp with Moon in Cancer shows that he can trust his family, whether it’s family by blood or family by choice, to have his back. And just from what I see in the media, he’s got a wonderfully supportive relationship with his family.
“My mom doesn’t even like acting on the show. She’s really just doing it because she loves me very much. She hates acting. Before the second season, when we announced the second season, she’s like, “OK, this season the mom character’s on vacation or she’s just gone.” And I was like, “She can’t be on vacation the whole time.” She’s like, “No, maybe she’s at a wedding sometimes.” She just didn’t want to be a part of it. She did it because she loves me and my brother is also heavily involved with the show. It’s a really special thing that we get to do this together. … And after the [first] season aired, my dad came to New York and we went on Stephen Colbert’s show together. … And we went out to dinner afterwards, and he was telling me, … “The reason I’m acting in the show and doing all of this is just to spend more time with you and to see you.” — Aziz Ansari
Don’t you just want to give Mr. and Mrs. Ansari a group hug? I do.
Many of us have experienced how frightening it can be, at times, to stay real and stay sensitive and stay in the moment rather than reflexively doing something that we think will keep us safe. But in this case, and with hindsight, Ansari’s very understandable Capricornian hard camouflage turned out not to be the best way to handle the situation.
Aziz Ansari isn’t a perfect person–and neither are the rest of us. But I do find convincing evidence in his natal chart that he’s basically a nice guy who should have listened to his gut. And his Venus on the Aries Point says that this situation has got some things to teach the rest of us too.
Do you have some insights to share about Aziz Ansari’s birth chart? Share your thoughts below in the comments!
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