Canes Atroces OR Astrology of Reservoir Dogs

I have recently purchased John Frawley’s “Horary Astrology Textbook” and I was having a blast while reading it. From the first pages I liked his style and no-nonsense attitude. This article is not a book review but I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone studying astrology.

The textbook is often quoted on forums in threads about horary  readings, but my favorite quote from ALL of Frawley is not about methodology of chart interpretation. If you open this textbook on page 65 (the part about “Moon void of course”) you will read the following: ”It is rumored that Quentin Tarantino was inspired to make Reservoir Dogs by the sight of astrologers discussing the meaning of void of course.” OK, I really need a ROFL emoji here!

It is true, discussions on this topic can get brutal, but I am just glad some astrologer  out there (I suspect it was Frawley himself) decided to start this rumor , thus combining two of the things I enjoy greatly – astrology and Quentin’s breakthrough masterpiece.

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An article idea didn’t take long to pop into my head. There are numerous articles on various film and book characters’ Zodiac signs out there but even though I haven’t done an extensive search, something tells me the Dogs weren’t written much about. In fact googling for “reservoir dogs zodiac signs” produces only one relevant link to a page with character’s GIFs, names and signs (2 signs per person) and no explanations for the choice. I feel like the task was to *randomly* divide the 12 signs equally between the six “Misters” so that no Zodiac sign feels left out. It gives an impression that someone didn’t even watch the movie, because if they did, it went over their head. Joe and Nice Guy Eddie are left out, instead the Dogs are the nominal six guys in suits.  I mean, OK, Mr. Brown is somewhat identifiable as Gemini with his stream of verbal diarrhea  – and Gemini was not the choice of that… uhm… article. What’s more, even Mr. Blue gets described with a Zodiac archetype – and the guy only has four lines and and 2 minutes of screen time!

In any case, I think it is time someone had not only posted about it, but actually gave it some thought. My first impulse after I decided to write this entry in my blog was to re-watch the film for the God-knows-which-th time, since it’s been a while, but then I thought it would be better to go on what’s left in my memory about the characters. After all, it would be the brightest features and the qualities that showed most that would help me to define them.

For any astrology-savvy people, I need to make a disclaimer – this is just the Zodiac archetypes, the basic energy each one is embodying. So please save your arguments about ascendants, Sun and Moon signs, aspects and houses for some other article. Unlike Dexter (read article here), whose life story is described in detail, these guys’ lives are shown only in connection with the robbery, so I am not attempting a full delineation for each one.

Let me start with the Dog whose sign was the easiest one to tell:

Mr. Pink – Virgo

“Keep calm and act like a professional” should be on this guy’s coffee mug. Amidst the post-robbery chaos Mr. Pink tries not to let emotions get the better of him. Like any Virgo, he keeps them safely locked up in a special vault. He urges the others to think, to analyse, to try and figure out who the rat is. The desire to be rational and “act like a professional” along with harnessing any emotional outbursts could also describe another Earth sign – Capricorn. Why isn’t he the Goat?

See, Capricorn is cardinal, it’s more like Joe’s “My way or the highway” boss-like attitude regardless of the actual position of a person in any organisation. Virgo is mutable, ready to change the alliances on a moment’s notice and adjust to any circumstance life should throw at them. Capricorn is, much like Aries, bent on moving forward butting any obstacle with the horns. Virgo is quicksand, shifting its way around the problem rather than fighting it openly. They can, of course, if they’re forced to, but it is never their initiative. And that’s what we see in his interaction with others.

Mr. White – Sagittarius

He’s the most jovial type of them all, the kind you keep forgetting is a criminal until you see him shoot out the car. In all other scenes his face bares a good-humored expression and with his concern for (and later – protection of) Mr. Orange he really steals our hearts as being a gangster with one. This bond with Mr. Orange is also quite revealing for both characters. Sagittarians indeed are open-hearted and would go an extra mile or two for a friend they have met 3 days ago. Besides, this fatherly attitude (as he keeps calling Orange “kid”) is another typical trait – they like to be seen as a figure of authority. Not the “I’m the boss, so you must listen to me” Capricornian authority. Sag’s agenda is more like “I’m pretty wise, so you should listen to me and you might learn some good things”. In this particular example it translates into: “Are you a doctor? No! So listen to me – I’ve seen some stomach wounds and it takes days to die from them…so you’re not going to die!”

His conflict with Mr. Pink only confirms my choice – these two signs are in a square to each other, which is an aspect of conflict. Sagittarius is annoyed by Virgo’s nitpicky attitude, his nature is to see the bigger picture and he can’t be bothered with every detail. He believes, he doesn’t analyze. If he believes Mr. Orange is “a good kid” and can not be a rat – then it is beyond doubt. Virgo Mr. Pink, on the other hand, wouldn’t rule out his own mother if she was a member of the group. He would only base his decision on carefully collected evidence. This unwavering belief in the essential goodness of humankind gets many Sagittarians in trouble, which in the case of Mr. White became a fatal mistake.

reservoir-dogs

Mr. Blond – Scorpio

Yes, yes, I know. Stereotypical AF, you will say. Nevertheless, let me explain. The ear cutting scene is, of course, the one that would be the reason anyone even remotely familiar with Zodiac archetypes will rush to stick the label “the nasty one” (aka Scorpio) right across Mr. Blond’s mugshot. And that is definitely following a stereotype. Scorpio does not equal blood lust or cruelty. Dr. Josef Mengele, a nazi physician who not only supervised  the selection of arriving transports of prisoners, determining who was to be killed and who was to become a forced laborer, but personally performed multiple surgeries without anesthesia as part of his experiments, was a Pisces Sun and a Libra Moon. So please, put you labels away and I’ll tell you why Mr. Blond’s a Scorp.

From the very beginning he acts as cool as a cucumber. The opening scene aside, there’s more than enough going on to tip one’s balance. Everyone’s freaking out with different degree of intensity, while this guy is entirely in his element. Scorpio and the 8th house is associated with work in both police and criminal structures. Ever wonder why? It has nothing to do with morals, those are left for Sagittarians to deal with. It is all about danger – Scorpios thrive in it. If they can’t get it at work, they create it elsewhere in life. Sometimes by choosing an extreme hobby, sometimes by simply getting in all sorts of trouble, just to see if they can get out.

After getting away from the immediate danger at the store, Mr. Blond’s danger-o-meter goes straight back to zero. It doesn’t matter that there are cops “out there” – his danger tolerance level is a dozen times higher than all of his…hmmm…. colleagues’?… put together. He stops for a bite, picks up a cop to-go and shows up at the warehouse as if he’s just 5 minutes late for another day at the office. Quite masterfully provokes Mr. White, without any seeming effort, by slighting his authority (remember – Sagittarius is sensitive about that). So yes, like a true Scorpio he knows what buttons to push and likes doing it just to see how people would react.

And before we get to the iconic Danse Macabre, I want to take you guys back to Joe’s office where fresh-out-of-jail Blond is asking Joe when he can get some “real work”. The whole business of doing time for someone is, naturally, all part of the job when you’re building a career in organised crime. Mr. Blond’s attitude to it is what adds to him being profiled as Scorpio.

He is not looking for praise or trying to curry favor with the boss, he doesn’t care how far up the ranks it would get him nor is he interested in the financial benefits that come with this feat. He did Joe a solid and now the old man owes him. There’s no need to put it in the limelight but this info will be recorded…. No, it will be etched in laser in Scorpios memory and stored for eternity, or until the time comes to call in that favor. Joe knows it, Blond knows it, it’s a part of their power play. Incidentally, Scorpios like to call in favors in the most dire situations. Just in case you know a Scorpio or two – be ready. It is also useful to know that they’re not desperate and are very likely to be able to manage without you but they want to test you. You know, just to see what you would do.

Back to the warehouse and the cop torturing. As we have seen, blood thirst is not exclusively a Scorpio’s feature, so it is more important to watch HOW he goes about it. Again, his reasons are not the superficial “Me want hurt you” or asserting his power. He does have the power over the man and he knows it. Pain is not the goal, it’s the means. The means of exploring, in the words of Heath Ledger’s Joker, “who this man really is” (when you take a knife to him). Some Scorpio-influenced Plutonians out there, provided the rest of the chart has some tense placements, do very similar things without spilling a drop of blood, but causing the same (or higher) equivalent of emotional pain instead. I’m not trying to add to their bad rep. It is an essential part of a complex process of healing others, unfortunately not every Scorpio has read the manual till  the end.

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And just as abruptly as the scene with Mr. Blond jamming out to Steelers Wheel is ended, were are going to jump to the guy who did it.

Mr. Orange  – Aries.

He was the hardest one to define and for a good reason – he’s undercover. I bypass another stereotype of “undercover = secret = Scorpio”(because, again, it’s not about the job, but about HOW he does it)  and we only have one clue so far – Mr. White. They get along quite well, which must mean Mr. Orange is either another Fire or Air sign. Yet, it’s futile to look for any more hints at Orange’s Zodiac sign in his behaviour as a member of the gang. Since he’s undercover, he’s wearing a mask that is hiding his true identity, he’s playing a role of some other guy that is not himself. So what do we have left to go on?

Not much. Half of the time he’s not doing anything other than bleeding out on the floor and the rest of the screen time is divided between pretending to be someone else and learning 4 pages of text, which he seems to struggle with, so we can eliminate Gemini (besides, it’s already taken by Mr. Brown).

I spent a few days mulling over it until the revelation came – there IS one moment where he shows his true nature which indicates very clearly that he can be none other than the Ram. It is literally just a moment, a split second of action and I kept overlooking it for a while or, rather, it kept blending into the bigger picture. Once I took a magnifying glass to the scant evidence on Mr. Orange’s case, it jumped out at me and I think I had my duh moment of the year.

Without further delay, and because some of you guys are probably not as thick as I was about this particular question, I give you the proof  for my choice: the shooting of Mr. Blond. I mean, it’s so simple, I still want to hit myself for not seeing this before. Luckily, my hands are busy typing, so instead, let me  tell you just how perfectly everything falls into place with Mr. Orange being Aries.

Impulsiveness, of course, is one of the traits of this sign. To be fair, other signs are not strangers to spontaneous decisions, however we can immediately eliminate Libra – they would have taken so long to consider all the pros and cons of shooting, the cop would have been roasted twice by the time a Libra had finally chosen one option (which they still would not be sure about).

That leaves us with Leo and Aquarius to look at. Leos are just as brave as Arieses but they’re much more concerned with their own well-being and have the capacity to realize such an action would put their ass in even deeper trouble than they already are, cutting all chances of surviving the ordeal down to 0%. Yes, they would have felt bad for the cop, but Leos value their precious self above all else. They’re ruled by the Sun, and this point of view is quite natural to them – we can all go on living if Venus or Neptune just up and disappears, but without the Sun… well, you can use your imagination to think just how long the Earth would last if the Sun disappeared.

Aquarius is the sign with a completely opposite world view – everything is done for the benefit of all people, the entire community and not just to serve the interests of one. So in this particular scenario an Aquarian would also feel sorry for the cop but he wouldn’t endanger the entire operation, the work of the large group (police) and all the efforts they put into catching the big fish.

This leads us back to Aries by way of elimination, but let’s test it a little more just to make sure we got the right one. Arians, just as Leos, are pretty selfish folk, but their selfishness is different. They’re not so much about their own well-being. They’re more about doing what they want, come hell or high water. Incidentally, very often it does come, which is just what they’re looking for, since they have to apply all that Mars energy somewhere. They almost never take time to think what the actions might lead to – once they decided to do something, the only thinking that is done is about how to do it.

There is another side to it all, too. I don’t want it to look like being an Aries made Mr. Orange too daft to understand he’s blowing his cover. It was this particular situation that appealed to another trait of this sign – the desire to protect the weak.

Every Zodiac sign has a legend of how it got to be in the skies. Here’s the one for Aries:

King Athamas and his wife Nephele had an unhappy marriage, so Athamas turned instead to Ino, daughter of King Cadmus from neighbouring Thebes. Ino resented her step-children, Phrixus and Helle, and she arranged a plot to have them killed. She began by parching the wheat so that the crops would fail. When Athamas appealed for help to the Delphic Oracle, Ino bribed messengers to bring back a false reply that Phrixus must be sacrificed to save the harvest.

Reluctantly, Athamas took his son to the top of mountain, overlooking his palace. He was about to sacrifice Phrixus to Zeus when Nephele intervened to save her son, sending down from the sky a winged ram with a golden fleece. Phrixus climbed on the ram’s back and was joined by his sister Helle, who feared for her own life. They flew off eastwards to Colchis, which lay on the eastern shore of the Black Sea…

Later, the ram’s golden fleece appears in myths about Jason and the Argonauts, but the theme of saving the innocent children is the one we’re interested in.

You see, it was the cop’s helplessness Orange couldn’t tolerate. If the cop hadn’t been tied, if he and Mr. Blond were fighting and Mr. Blond had overpowered the cop, I doubt Mr. Orange would have lifted his gun – after all, it would have been a fair fight and dying while fighting criminals is what cops do. But trying to take a life of someone who isn’t given the chance to protect themselves touched that deep core belief in justice that any Aries carries in them. Which, in turn, triggered the impulse to do what he wants and sees as the only right thing to do in this particular moment, not burdening himself with any concern for the future, including his own. Paradoxically, a selfish impulse lead to a selfless action.

So there you have it – four main characters explained astrologically as I see them. I finally get to pour some tea and go watch the film again. As I said, it’s been a while…

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