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John Pilger: Investigative Journalist & Documentary Film-maker
John Pilger is an award-winning investigative journalist and documentary film-maker. He is admired by many for remaining true to his journalistic integrity while others in his profession have caved in to the pressure to unquestioningly and faithfully report the official versions of events. His articles, books, and films have uncovered injustice, inhumanity, and abuse of power where mainstream news sources have remained silent.
Born in Australia, he began his career in journalism working for the Daily & Sunday Telegraph in Sydney. He qualified in 1961, became a freelance journalist in Italy in 1962, and moved to the UK later that same year where he worked for Reuters, and subsequently the Daily Mirror. He has worked and lived in London ever since. International recognition followed, and came particularly with his reports on Cambodia and Vietnam.
Pilger's first foray into television documentaries was in 1969/70, investigating USA soldiers' attitudes to the Vietnam war. His most recent documentary, 'Stealing A Nation', was first shown in October 2004 and has recently won the Royal Television Society's Best Documentary award. The programme, about how successive UK governments secretly and unlawfully manoeuvred to expel the Chagos Islanders from their homes in the Indian Ocean so that the USA government could build a military base there, is due to be repeated on ITV on 21st July at 11pm (Information correct as of 21/4/05). The judges of the award commended the documentary for "displaying refreshingly unfashionable passion and forensic skill."
Below is the chart for John Pilger, calculated for noon on his day of birth, since there is no birth time available. This means that it's not possible to calculate his Ascendant and house cusps. The Moon changed sign, moving into Virgo, at around 23:45, so unless John was born in the last 15 minutes of the day the chances are that his Moon is in Leo.
The role of Mercury
In astrology, journalism is associated with the planet Mercury. In Greco-Roman mythology, Mercury was the messenger and herald of the gods, acting as a link and go-between, connecting and contacting as he went. So in the chart of a journalist we should be able to learn a lot about what sort of journalist they can be by assessing the aspects and midpoints of Mercury.
In John Pilger's chart, Mercury is in septile to the planet Jupiter, and the planet Uranus. Moreover, if we find the point halfway between Jupiter and Uranus, Mercury is directly opposite it, which means that Mercury is on the Jupiter/Uranus midpoint (if you trace the half-way point around the longer arc of the circle, you will find Mercury there). This doubling up in the form of 'midpoint plus aspect' between the same trio of planets shows a very powerful feature of a person's life and nature.
The common denominator of these three planets is information. Traditionally, all three are association with media, publishing, intelligence, reasoning, opinion-forming, and so on. So the fact that they are combined by midpoint and aspect already tells us that dealing with information and communication in some way, shape, or form, is what this person is about. It is a central feature of their life.
The septile aspect is one of inspiration. Having Mercury, Jupiter, and Uranus linked by septile shows that this is someone who not only is inspired by dealing with information, but who can use information to inspire other people in turn. The involvement of Uranus reflects the controversial and upsetting-the-applecart nature of Pilger's reporting. It shows that he is inspired on a deep level to seek out the stories of unjustice that normally go untold. Both Jupiter and Uranus are related to human rights and freedoms, and again, the septiles point to his tireless engagement with these issues, expressed through his articles, books, and films.
When we consider that this Mercury-Jupiter-Uranus configuration exists in the context of a Libran Sun, Mercury, and Venus, then the issue of fairness and balance is revealed as key to this person's very purpose and identity. John Pilger has spoken in interviews and articles about the media's bias and imbalance, and one of his recent interviews - with the BBC, as it happens, which regularly promotes its values of balance and fairness - mentioning this, has gone unpublished, thus demonstrating his point that the mainstream media are unwilling to tolerate such views.
Mars in Aquarius is known for being prepared to fight for rights and justice, particularly on behalf of groups of people. In opposition to Pluto in Leo, as it is in John's chart, Mars becomes a fearless friend and an implacable enemy. Whereas Mars is normally a 'flare up, flare down' type of energy, this aspect with Pluto means that it is far more sustained, driven and determined than it would otherwise be. It also shows a considerable temper; a rage that can either be very destructive, or very powerfully and creatively channelled. Investigating brutality and cruelty in an attempt to end barbarism through educating people about it is one very healthy and creative way to combine this aspect with those discussed earlier. Long may John Pilger continue doing so, and may he inspire other journalists to salvage their profession and follow in his footsteps.
John Pilger's official website is: www.johnpilger.com
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