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Astrologer Susan Miller Creates Peggy Olson's Natal Chart

AstroMadMenFINAL.jpgFor all Mad Men enthusiasts, I will be creating the "natal charts" for each of the three main characters of the show whose birthdays we were able to uncover: Don Draper, Peggy Olson and Joan Holloway Harris. The editors of Paper Magazine have done some digging to find the birth dates of these three -- the only characters to have their birth dates revealed on different occasions during the past five seasons of the show.

No times of birth were listed, of course, so I looked at the natal planets that were at play on the dates stated and also placed the birth in the city that approximated the place each character alluded to as a home birth city. In Joan's case, we don't know her home birth city so I had to make an educated guess based on the scarce details we know of her upbringing. I estimated the ascendant sign too (also called the "rising sign"), judging by the traits and talents of each person on the show. Keep in mind that my analysis relates to the character in the story, not the actor playing the part. To discuss the actor would be a whole other article!

In case you're not familiar with the term "rising sign" or "ascendant" (both terms are used interchangeably, as they have the same meaning in astrology), a rising sign is the sign found coming up over the eastern horizon at the precise minute of birth no matter what time of day that happened to be. (It does not have to be in the morning -- and rarely is for many people!). It includes a calculation of the longitude and latitude of the place of birth too. The rising sign is considered equal in importance to the Sun sign and explains why all Sun sign natives are not alike -- we are all a combination of both. Specifically, the rising sign reflects the qualities you adapted naturally to cope with life.

Now, without any more delay, let's get started with the first of our three main characters:

peggyolson_chart_susanmiller.jpgPeggy Olson
Over the course of five seasons, Olson has gone from Don Draper's young, dutiful secretary to copywriter at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and, finally, tough-as-nails copy chief at rival firm, Cutler, Gleason and Chaough 

Peggy, according to the show, is a Gemini, born May 25, 1939. As I watched many of the show's episodes I would have guessed Peggy to be born a Virgo, because she is such a hard worker, always helpful to others, and very talented with words and other communication arts. These traits are all strongly associated with Virgo. On the day the show's writers chose for her birthday, she is born with the moon in earthly Virgo, considered a perfect place for a writer, explaining why I kept seeing "Virgo" whenever I watched Peggy. With a Virgo moon, she has staying power, and she'll want to look at every word, every bit of grammar and not let go until it's "just so."

The moon is very important in a chart, for it shows inner latent talents that can be developed if desired. The moon comes out at night, and is hidden in the day. These are talents that may not be immediately obvious to the casual observer but might come out in time, as they did with Peggy. When Peggy started at the advertising agency, no one knew that she had such a talent with advertising copy. In one defining episode, an executive asks Peggy for the discarded lipstick blotted tissues that female respondents used during a focus group and Peggy handed him the trashcan of tissues, saying, "Here is your basket of kisses." That took his breath away. Next, when asked which color lipstick she preferred that day, she explained that she was very particular, and that she was more than a box of colors -- she was unique and wanted to be treated that way. With that, her career was to change forever, and promotions into advertising copy followed quickly.

Virgo and Gemini are signs most likely to produce a compelling, talented writer. Gemini alone can become a bit scattered if the person has no earth in the chart to bring feet-on-the-ground stability to the personality, but here Peggy has an earth sign moon in Virgo to keep her practical. She can succeed if she applies herself -- and as we see, she works hard and is smart and does prove herself. (Astrology is not destiny -- we have to provide the energy and intent.) Mercury is the analytical, thinking planet that, remarkably, governs both Gemini and Virgo, as well as the advertising business, so it is clear, Peggy loves her work. She is obviously willing to make sacrifices, such as long hours at the office, and perhaps not marrying and having children, just so she can get ahead. In that sense, she is willing to go against culture and take a stand on her own happiness.

Of all the characters we are studying here -- Don, Joan and Peggy -- it seems Peggy is the most flexible, for both Gemini and Virgo are classified as "mutable" signs, known for their ability to adapt to wildly changing circumstances. The season premiere episode was a good example of Peggy's ability to change; she quickly understood she needed to alter her earphone client's Super Bowl ad at the last minute, and would have to come up with a new solution that was both practical and compelling. She does not complain or stamp her feet. We see Peggy at work in her office on New Year's Eve evening. She hardly noticed the date -- she had a job to do and with her head down and concentrating hard, she creates a brilliant new campaign, all while most others had long left the office to celebrate the New Year.

I set Peggy's estimated time of birth at 11:56 PM EST on the date given by the show, May 25, 1939 in Bay Ridge, New York. That would put her birth rising sign on the cusp of Capricorn-Aquarius, with 27 degrees of Capricorn rising. (Signs go from 0 to 29' 59" before they turn into the next sign.) With 27 degrees of Capricorn rising, she has a very late degree of Capricorn rising, and would have Aquarius filling that first house of personality too.

With Capricorn rising at 27 degrees, Peggy would have Aquarius intercepted in the first house, which rules personality. This means, in laymen's terms, that Peggy has two rising signs, Capricorn and Aquarius. An interception is a mathematical term that would bring two signs into one house, as a result of the roundness of the earth, and the distance the person was from the equator on the day of their birth. (Admittedly, this is a concept hard to explain in simple terms, but come along with me anyway.) In the future, Peggy would have to read for Capricorn in all the horoscope columns she picks up, and she would also relate to the Aquarius descriptions and forecasts too, due to that quirky "interception" in her first house of personality. A rising sign never changes.

Plato wrote that Capricorn epitomized the ideal of what he called "philosopher king" -- a leader that is fair and just to those in his employ. The philosopher king can easily assume the role of wise teacher to his recruits and show them specifically how to shine. In this case, Peggy can teach her copywriters in her group how to make the campaign ideally fit the client's needs, something she demonstrates on that New Year's Eve episode. Capricorn is also a global money sign, so in the show, Peggy demonstrates that she never forgets that the real goal in designing a campaign is not only to be clever and entertaining (admittedly important) but ultimately, to make a profit for the client. Always financially savvy and realistic, Peggy knows that the campaign must fit the brand and targeted marketing approach, another secret to her success.

Screen shot 2013-04-09 at 5.14.11 PM.png
Peggy Olson's natal chart

Capricorn is a big money sign, and having that sign prominent aids her when dealing with behemoth companies. Like most Capricorn, Peggy takes her responsibilities seriously. She arrives at the office in a timely manner, and in all sorts of weather, and never makes excuses. (Some of the male executives in the show seem to do nothing but go out to lunch and drink hard liquor all afternoon, winging their way through their careers, something she -- nor Joan -- would do.) Peggy stays with a project until it is done. Her natal moon in Virgo is also at play here, as Virgo cannot let go of a task until it is polished and "perfect" -- a Virgo word if there ever was one. Her ability to concentrate so deeply that an airplane could land in her office and she'd barely notice is due to her Mercury being in fixed sign Taurus. (Taurus is another sign associated with money and making a profit too.)

Capricorn is known to be the most ambitious sign of the zodiac and usually they attain very high positions of power garnering much respect, and often, awards. This is a sign that rises through the ranks quickly -- in the show, she starts in a secretarial job and makes it to chief copywriter.

The goat, which symbolizes Capricorn, is one of the only animals surefooted enough to make it to the very top of the mountain -- a metaphor for Capricorn's leadership ability. The goat is able to walk along the narrowest of paths as he makes his ascent, without any fear of falling from the mountain's great height, all the while passing all the other little animals who have given up and are on their little backs, legs and feet in the air, exhausted from their climb. The little goat just laughs as he passes them along that harrowing, narrow path up the mountain.

Capricorn loves the structure of a corporation, for these goats can readily see the clear path upwards. In other words, the person with Capricorn rising (like Peggy) looks at the firm's hierarchy to decide which job to aim for next. Internal office politics often waylay an employee for they have no stomach for it, but others, like Peggy, deal with it in a matter-of-fact way, all the while keeping her emotions in check.

Furthermore, if Peggy has Capricorn rising, her natal chart shows she has natal Saturn, Venus, Uranus and Mercury in her third house of communication, which is further evidence of just how considerable her talent is for writing. I feel she may eventually write a blockbuster book, in the way James Patterson (formerly the real-life creative director and, later, U.S. chairman of J Walter Thompson in New York) would do while employed at the agency. He would work on his novels all morning -- and his staff was told never to disturb him during those morning hours while his door was shut -- and then he was available to his staff and clients all afternoon and early evening. If Peggy wanted to write a screenplay instead, she'd have the talent to do so too -- this girl has the Midas touch when it comes to words.

Mars, the energy planet, in communicative Aquarius, on the horizon at zero degrees would give Peggy an unending supply of energy. Mars in Aquarius brings still another indicator of Peggy's talent for coming up with compelling ideas and words. (Aquarius is an air sign like Gemini and Libra, and all three signs are known to communicate exceptionally well). Aquarius is associated with newly invented digital and electronic media, giving her talent not only for print but also with television commercials, too.

If Peggy were working today, she'd be positively awesome at coming up with innovative ideas for digital and mobile advertising. Gemini is the one sign that looks and acts in a way that makes others assume they are far younger than their years. (The Gemini personality is associated with the myth of Pan -- most of us know the childhood story of Peter Pan -- a story based on the more serious mythology of Pan.) Peggy is up to date on what's hot on the changing cultural landscape. If Peggy worked at the agency in our day, she would have been a whiz at social media like Twitter and Facebook, and in developing new ways to reach the consumer in that arena, and so would Don Draper, due to his moon in Aquarius.

With the birth time I chose for Peggy, she would have natal Jupiter in the second house of earned income so she would rarely, if ever, have to worry about money. This placement indicates that Peggy will eventually become quite wealthy. Actually, Peggy has the confidence to demand her due (as she did when she decided she had to quit and move to a competing firm for better pay). Her natal Jupiter is found in Ares, so in a future episode, she may decide to become a self-employed independent creative consultant, for with Jupiter in Aries, she has ideas that could make her quite a bit of money. She'd love to open her own shop and she'd know how to keep the business coming through her doors. She might offer the idea to Don Draper, and together package themselves as a team, which would also work.

With Aquarius filling most of her first house, Peggy has an interest in all social causes of the day, including those related to women's rights, as Peggy has demonstrated in the show. This might become a bigger theme as the show moves forward.

The ruler of her house of true love and children, Mercury, is found in Peggy's natal chart to be conjunct Uranus, the ruler of Aquarius, and planet of surprising, unanticipated events. This would explain why Peggy seemed rather impetuous about getting involved with another executive at the firm, Pete Campbell, a character somewhat bereft of a moral compass. (Her moon in ethical Virgo kept her from going completely off the grid.)

When Peggy gets pregnant with Pete's baby, Peggy's decision to give up the baby for adoption would also be explained by her impetuous natal Uranus conjunct Mercury. That had to be a brave decision in the 1960s but with Aquarius in her first house, she is ahead of the social curve. This sign has a set of rules all their own -- they listen to the beat of a different drummer. Aquarius really does not care what others think of them; it has a yardstick of its own making. 

The house of children is also the area of the chart that covers creativity, and with Mercury conjunct Uranus, Peggy's mind is ablaze, forever capable of coming up with ideas that would thrill us all.

If you would like Susan Miller to explain your natal chart to you in a custom 65-page book, you can go to www.SusanMillerMyPersonalHoroscope.com. Order the yellow-purple cover book, and it will be ready in approximately two weeks. Once you know your rising sign, you can find horoscopes for it, along with your Sun sign, on Miller's website, AstrologyZone.com.

Check back on papermag.com for the natal charts of Don Draper and Joan Holloway Harris

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