Back in 2012 I ran into a series of charts of people I knew and those in the news, in which transiting Saturn was crossing natal Pluto. This is often quite a difficult transit. I posted a couple of these chart in a blog entitled Irresistible Force Meets Rigid Obstacle. One of the charts was that of the Oakland A’s pitcher Brandon McCarthy who was hit in the head by a line drive. He suffered an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture, which required head surgery. Saturn symbolizes hard structures, including the human cranium.
Recently the case of Otto Warmbier has been in the news. Otto is the university student who foolishly traveled to North Korea despite State Department warnings. He toyed with a poster in his hotel and was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in a brutal North Korean detention camp. We learned this week that he has been in a coma for the past year and is likely to be brain dead.
Here is his sunrise chart with Placidus houses for his birth place, time unknown:
Otto has his Sun, Moon, Mercury and Jupiter in fire signs, suggesting an adventurous and daredevil nature. He may have viewed travel to North Korea, despite the dangers, as a personal challenge. His natal Pluto/Jupiter conjunction indicates someone who wants to live life to the fullest, even if it involves taking risks.
Comments by Otto’s father confirm these chart factors. According to Wikipedia:
“Fred Warmbier stated that his son Otto was traveling in China at the end of 2015 when he saw a company offering trips to North Korea. He decided to go because he is adventurous, according to his father, who accused the tour operator of specifically targeting young Westerners with slogans like, ‘This is the trip your parents don’t want you to take!'”
Otto made the decision to go to North Korea toward the end of his 2014-2015 Solar Return year. If we superimpose his Solar Return on his natal chart we see a striking Saturn/Pluto conjunction, nearly exact, on the cusp of the sunrise chart 12th house of confinement and undoing during this period:
As I commented in the 2012 post, “Pluto symbolizes powerful or explosive forces. Saturn symbolizes laws, rules, barriers, obstacles, gravity, and governmental authority. When transiting Saturn meets natal Pluto, we are often confronted with the limits imposed by laws, either man-made or natural.” Clashes with powerful natural forces or with governmental regulations are common during this transit.
In Otto’s natal chart Pluto intensifies his natal Jupiter in Sagittarius, which seeks adventure and disregards risk. Transiting Saturn, especially in a Solar Return, throws a monkey wrench into the process. The unfortunate manifestation in this case was imprisonment and a medical state of coma, both of which are symbolized by the presence of this configuration on the sunrise chart’s 12th house cusp.