Philippe Petit – Leo on Wire

I finally had the opportunity to see the documentary film “Man on Wire”. In case you aren’t familiar, it features Philippe Petit, the French wire-walker, juggler and magician who walked on a wire suspended across the Twin Towers. As the closing credits rolled by I couldn’t wait to fire up Wikipedia and find his birth data. Philippe was born on August 14th, 1949 in Nemours, France (no birth time available). Here is his sunrise chart.


His chart is striking on so many levels. If we were to view his chart using only classical planets (sorry Pluto), we would find Mars “oriental”. That is, it is the first to rise before the Sun. I believe Evel Knievel has that as well. It might be an indication of daredevil tendencies. That Mars is also square his natal Neptune. How perfect for a man who put his energy into creating a guerrilla art form. His Mars is also in a wide conjunction to Uranus, but not only that, the two planets are in a close parallel. As I look at the glyph for the parallel, it actually makes sense – it resembles the Twin Towers. Also interesting, is that Philippe’s Mars is @ 13° Cancer, conjunct the US Sun. He was born in France but the United States became the stage for his greatest and most daring feat ever. Back to his other planets. He has a close Mercury / Saturn conjunction in detailed, exacting Virgo. Perfect for the strategizing and mental focus required to succeed in this venture. Both Mercury and Saturn are sextile his Mars and Uranus, allowing him to channel these energies. His dramatic death defying walk is symbolized by his natal Sun / Pluto conjunction in Leo. People with Sun / Pluto conjunctions are intense, driven and posses a deep reservoir of power. From an interview in Psychology Today Petit states:

“Death frames the high wire. But I don’t see myself as taking risks. I do all of the preparations that a non-death seeker would do. The WTC walk was crazy though; I was lucky. It was terrifying. Still, I grabbed the balancing pole not with the feeling of a man who is about to die.”

According to Marc Edmund Jones, the Sabian symbol for 21° Leo is “Intoxicated domestic birds fly around in dizzy attempts…” Other descriptions involve drunk chickens flapping their wings attempting to fly. Petit doesn’t look “chicken” by any means, but he is birdlike and I’m sure he felt an intoxicating rush as he stood 104 stories above the ground. I think I heard that he was chatting with a seagull when he was up there. Maybe from the gull’s perspective he looked like a drunken bird attempting to fly.

The transits for the day of his wire walk are fascinating as well. On August 7th, 1974, “shortly after 7:15 am” according to Wikipedia, Petit began his walk. The ascendant at that time was 28-29° Leo, the degree of the fixed star Regulus. Regulus, The Lion’s Heart, is a royal star and considered by many to be a benefic associated with power and ambition. Saturn was at 13° Cancer transiting his natal Mars and transiting Mars at 6° Virgo was conjunct his natal Saturn. Aside from this combination of transits being quite rare, it fits the moment perfectly. Saturn would test Petit and his preparation for this moment as it crossed his Mars – his actions. At the same time, transiting Mars compels him to act on years of discipline and careful planning. Even the Sun is in Leo and the Moon in Aries, his own natal placements.

In an unrelated matter, on August 8th, the next day, President Nixon resigned. Saturn was conjunct the US Sun.

Kudos to this blogger for writing about Petit over a year ago:

I hope I’ve added some additonal insight.
For an interesting read, check out this interview:

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