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Astrologer Susan Miller Creates Don Draper'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 last of our three main characters:

Screen shot 2013-04-11 at 2.20.26 PM.pngDon Draper
Creative Director and Partner of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce

Thanks to that memorable scene when Megan Draper sang "Zou Bisou Bisou" at Don's surprise 40th birthday last season, we know that Don's birth date is June 1, 1926. However, during that episode, Don indicated he had actually turned 40 six months previous, leading us to believe he celebrates the real Don Draper's birthday day but his own (Dick Whitman) birth year. Thus, Dick Whitman's real date of birth would fall around December 1, 1925 (more on that later). As Don Draper, he is a Gemini and was born with Mercury (news, communication, sales) orbiting close to his birthday Sun. He works in an advertising agency, so the emphasis on Gemini fits his personality and explains his choice of career. His moon is in another air sign, Aquarius, again, which fits with his communications-oriented profession. On the show, Don Draper is said to be an extraordinary wordsmith and idea presenter, and soon the viewer sees clearly why he has risen through the ranks to such an important position as partner in the firm.

When it comes to Gemini, "wordsmith extraordinaire" is a perfect description of this sign's talent. Most Gemini can run rings around others when it comes to having a debate, giving a speech, writing a book -- or advertising copy. Gemini is also associated with commerce and the daily buying, selling, and negotiating, and members of this sign are said to be talented with this process.

Gemini are often so compelling and entertaining when speaking, writing, or negotiating that it is impossible not to pay full attention to them when they have something to say. President John F Kennedy was a Gemini -- his speeches had the power to rally an entire nation to his cause. To this day, Gemini JFK is considered one of our finest presidential orators. In ancient days, it was said that the king of the land would only employ Gemini to interpret and inscribe the king's laws on clay tablets. When Gemini handled the task, the populace could understand the laws, and follow them. This makes you wonder why the IRS doesn't hire only Gemini to inform us of their new rules on their website and on their brochures and newsletters!

With his natal Aquarius moon, Don Draper is naturally gregarious, and always up for a night out with friends. Don's natal moon is found conjunct to his natal Jupiter, which usually means he might have had a good relationship with a woman, most likely his mother. (In astrology there is a pecking order, and we need to always start with mother as we go down the list of possibilities). In this case, however, Don's unhappy childhood rules his mother out -- his biological mother was a prostitute who died in childbirth and by all accounts, his stepmother did not treat him well. Thus, we go to the next in line, to wife, and in that area, Don has indeed been fortunate. He married twice, both times to stunningly beautiful, intelligent women who where exceedingly good to him and in the case of Betty, his first wife, she took very good care of the children they had together.

His moon conjunct Jupiter would also bring Don benefits from all women in general. The women around Don certainly do adore him, and seem to fall quickly under this powerful magnetism. He benefits from women too, such as when he hired Peggy as a secretary and supported her promotion to copywriter. Peggy proved to be a jewel, and she made Don shine. (As you will see in Peggy's personality profile, she blends well with Don.) 

Still, there is one little incongruous part of the story. A Gemini is usually an open book to others, but Don Draper is a very secretive person. Here I am not only referring to his continual infidelities, but also to his even more bothersome need to conceal and change his identity. Though born Richard Whitman, Don assumed the identity of a fellow fallen soldier named Don Draper whom he met while serving in the Korean War. He knew if he did this, his family would believe Richard "Dick" Whitman was dead, and hence, he could avoid going back to his old life, one that brought with it memories of a deeply unhappy family life. By stealing the identity of this fallen soldier, he was able to get a fresh start. His plan worked -- his family was told he died in the war and for a long time, no one was the wiser. This is a very extreme move and hints how deeply wounded a person Don is inside, a truth that will eventually cause other ramifications in future episodes in coming seasons. He never directly deals with that hurt.

Screen shot 2013-04-11 at 2.22.07 PM.png
Don Draper's natal chart

I feel Don Draper has Scorpio rising. Don is not only secretive (a prime Scorpio trait) but is also very sexy, suave and sophisticated -- a virtual 007 -- and those sparkling qualities are always associated with Scorpio. With his bedroom gaze, Don is completely irresistible. Scorpio is said to be the sexiest sign, and Don Draper fits the bill. He seems to be quite skilled in bed too, for women seem to keep coming back for more even though he is not faithful.

With his ascendant being Scorpio, he would have his natal Uranus (genius) and natal Mars (action and intent) in the fifth house of creativity -- that would fit his life in advertising beautifully. He is brilliant at coming up with ideas for his advertising campaigns, and also good at selling his ideas to clients. He does this in classic Scorpio style: honing in on a key point, and never squandering his words on points that are not germane to his sales argument. Don Draper stays on message, as Scorpios are known to do, perhaps better than anyone else. Scorpio is a shrewd business sign, and highly intuitive, which I feel fits Don quite well, too.

Also with the Scorpio rising I have chosen for him, Don would have natal Saturn in Scorpio in his first house of personality, so Don would have a deeply serious side. According to the story line, he does. His ad pitch on Hawaii to clients in the season six premiere episode revealed a surprisingly candid look at his philosophical side, including a hint at his attitude about life and death.

Gemini often has a very complicated relationship with siblings, and Gemini character Don Draper does with his brother, Adam. Stern Saturn in Scorpio RULES Don's third house of sisters and brothers. When his younger brother, Adam comes across a photograph of Don accepting an award for an ad campaign in a newspaper, Adam seeks him out. Adam is amazed, shocked and thrilled to see that his brother is still alive (not having been killed in the army in Korea).

Don, hoping to keep his past locked tightly shut, is horrified by being contacted by his younger brother. Don gives Adam an envelope of money ($5,000) and tells him that there won't be any more cash for him, and that he (Don) never wants to see Adam again. Adam, who never asked for the money but only wanted a relationship with his brother moving forward, is deeply hurt and ultimately falls into a depression leading to his suicide. In later episodes we see that Don's crass behavior toward Adam leaves Don feeling guilty -- a feeling that would later haunt him. Don discovers it's not so easy to erase one's past.

Natal Saturn is in hard angle to his natal Neptune in Don's birth chart, explaining his heavy-handling of his brother and hinting at a possible misunderstanding of what really was going on in the family during Don's childhood. That can become another whole set of episodes, for the "chart" of this character indicates Don was probably not seeing things as they really were back then, when he was little.

Finally, Saturn is in Scorpio in Don Draper's first house and that house rules not only personality but also physical vitality. Saturn's placement indicates that Don's smoking and drinking will eventually have an adverse affect on his health; Don does not seem concerned about his health now, but may well have to worry about it in the future. In one episode he ignores a sore tooth, and the dentist tells him that had he delayed coming in any longer, he could have had an abscess that may have been so severe, it could have taken away part of his jaw and changed the look of his (handsome) face. For a person who has gotten ahead and relied on his good looks for the breaks and happiness in life, that had to be a sobering moment. Saturn demands we follow the rules and be sensible and mature. Saturn always brings consequences to a poorly made action -- or to complete lack of action. Don would do best to take good care of his health now, while he can still do so.

Will Don continue to chase women? This was the open-ended question that punctuated the end scene of the last season. Unfortunately, it appears that the answer is "yes." In last week's premiere, we see Don canoodling in bed with his neighbor's wife. Only time will tell what kind of ramifications this might have on his second marriage and on his happiness. 

Don seems to sense his past will eventually catch up with him, one way or another, for good or bad. With transiting Saturn now in Scorpio (in real life), it makes perfect sense that Don's reflective side would start to come out. I think we are about to see a new, more contrite side to Don Draper -- one who is not only the golden boy who has gotten by with charm and good looks, but also the enlightened man who wants to consider his eventual legacy -- to the world and to his children. It looks like we will see some changes in Don, possibly revealing a new and more mature side to his character. Will he become a tragic character or an inspiring one? That decision is up to Don.

Dick Whitman

Now onto Don Draper 'real' chart. Not only did Dick Whitman take a deceased soldier's name, he also took his birth date, June 1, 1926. Dick Whitman's real birthday was precisely six months earlier, December 1, 1925, so in a way they shared the same axis, Gemini-Sagittarius, and therefore both birthdays deal with communication, including an intense interest in broadcasting and publishing.

I feel the June birthday takes precedence over the old one, but let's have a look at that December 1, 1925 -- a birthday Don Draper no longer celebrates. This is the first time I have been asked to compare the charts of a fictitious character that stole another's character's identity!

Again, I feel that Don Draper has Scorpio rising for all the reasons I mention in the main article I wrote about him concerning the June 1, 1925 chart he assumed. The fact that his mother was a prostitute gives extra credence to the idea Draper (Richard Whitman) has Scorpio rising, as Scorpios in general seem to have to confront matters involving sex or reproduction.

The December 1 chart is chart is laden with responsibility and a proclivity for sadness or depression. Don would have bouts of depression or feelings of isolation, and later in life may have found sex to be an antidote to growing up a motherless child. Saturn falls very close to the Sun, on this day, and sometimes a baby born with this aspect can have serious health concerns and its very life may be in danger. The babies that survive Saturn conjunct the Sun in the first days of life often grow up to become very strong -- this describes our hero, Don.

The Sun always points to a male in a chart, so it not only describes Don but also points to his father. In this case, it appears Don's father was plagued by burdens in life and was often quite depressed. Saturn conjunct the Sun can also describe a father who was too stern with his children, too cold and unemotional, and too aloof.

Don was "smart" to trade in his birthday for the June 1, 1926 birthday of the deceased soldier. I can't believe I just said that, but it's true -- the June chart is the better one. Uranus is found in the fourth house of home in Don Draper's "real" chart (actually Richard Whitman's chart), creating continual change. More aptly said, home brought nothing but sudden, unpredictable chaos for our hero. Pluto in Cancer (here Cancer points to family member) in his eighth house suggests Don suffered a loss of a family member at an early age -- that turned out to be the death of his mother.

In the old chart, Dick Whitman/Don Draper still has an analytical air-sign moon. In the June chart that he took on, Don had the moon in air-sign Aquarius. This time Don has the moon in Libra in the same element (air), showing an ability to work well in collaborative situations. Air signs are especially talented in communication, so Don's talent with words are strong in the "old" and the "new" chart, quite remarkably. Jupiter in the third house gives amazing talent with writing, speaking, and -- you guessed it -- all kinds of negotiation matters related to commerce, promotion and advertising copy. Don need not stay in advertising if he should ever feel he would like to have a change -- one day he may write a book on his recollections of the advertising business.

Someone with the moon in Libra usually likes to be married, so despite the horrible example of family life that his parents presented to him as a child, Don still believes in marriage, for he married twice.

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.

More Mad Men Astrology Charts:
Peggy Olson
Joan Holloway Harris

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