He has given us the eyes to see beneath the waves, through the ice, into the dark belly of the earth, deep into the singing rainforest and the snowy taiga. He has shown us the world through the eyes of an eagle, a dolphin, an ant.
From your sofa to the far Pacific islands or the melting polar ice caps, David Attenborough has made travellers and naturalists of us all. He has made us pay attention. And without being evangelical, he has shown us the horror and the sadness of what has happened to our dear planet over his lifetime.
David Attenborough is surely one of the greatest television broadcasters. The stories he has told have changed lives and influenced ideas all over the planet.
He is 92 today — and his chart tells a story.
The chart is dominated by the extraordinary fixed Grand Cross — Sun in Taurus, Saturn in Scorpio, Neptune in Leo and Jupiter-Ascendant in Aquarius.
• Aquarius Rising gives him the common touch, despite the patrician mien. Jupiter there gives him a kind of warmth and generous spirit plus a humanitarian outlook. These are opposed by Neptune — TV, the screen — in glamourous Leo. So he has always photographed well, and it’s one reason he’s a natural communicator. That glamourous opposition makes a perfect aspect to young Mercury in Aries — and of course, Attenborough’s great gift is to express complex ideas in simple, clear language. He synthesises a huge amount of information and packages it in small digestible gobbets. He is, after all, a populariser.
• That Jupiter rules the Sagittarian MC — no wonder he is known for his travels around the globe, an his appeal is international.
• Sun in Taurus has tremendous stamina, and an appreciation of all five senses. It’s also the sign with greatest affinity for Mother Earth. And that Sun is opposed by Saturn, made even more persistent and penetrating in Scorpio. Scorpio is, of course, a sign that digs beneath the surface — just as Attenborough has taken us into the depths of the Blue Planet. Saturn up there near the top of the chart might have something to do with his incredibly long public career too. Sun in Taurus in the Second House can give a very lovely speaking voice, another of his gifts.
Young David Attenborough was not only easy on the eye, he was so fashion-forward. In this film, shot in 1961, he’s wearing a nifty pair of Converse sneakers — how Aquarius Rising + Venus-Uranus!
But there’s another outstanding feature to this chart — the extraordinary conjunction of Moon-Uranus-Venus.
• Moon-Uranus are in unbounded Pisces — and indeed Attenborough managed to make the world seem simultaneously so large and so small, so complex and simple, so limited and so boundless. Uranus is associated with broadcasting — and you can see right from the start of his career, that Attenborough was at home on screen. The camera, as they say, loved him (Neptune on the Desc), and he knew how to speak to it naturally (All the Aquarian).
• Venus in Aries loves adventure, and loves to be first — and Mars Rising echoes these themes. A love of physical adventure. It adds an easy grace and agility.
I’ve put in the asteroids, because they often seem to be prominent in the charts of people who are here to care for mystical well-being of our planet, our species and the relations between the two. Ceres in the 6th certainly shows the desire to nurture and protect small animals. The Neptune-Ceres contact is a priestly, spiritual one. And indeed, Jupiter Rising is also a priestly sign, especially with political Juno. Attenborough has managed to skirt politics — despite the attempts of some to turn climate change into a political issue — but in fact his programmes have a deeply political message. We are all equal — me, you and the birds and the trees.
Finally, look at that legacy conjunction Vesta-Pluto-North Node-Pallas. His transforming legacy (Vesta-Pluto) is wisdom about nurturing (Pallas in Cancer). (Of course, he also had to real life children — a schoolteacher and a zoologist)….
Happy Birthday to him!