Signs, bitch! Astrological archetypes of Breaking Bad characters.

Breaking Bad - Astro Flame

Spoilers ahead!

 

Better Call Saul season 5 has just premiered and, as I am bracing myself for the long-forgotten experience of watching one episode per week (argh, the wait!), I decided to kill some of the torture waiting time with my favorite game of matching the characters with the astrological archetypes aka signs. There will be no deep digging and no detailed analysis – only the general feel of the character and the Zodiac energy it corresponds to. After all, this is just a popular astrology article as I want to keep my audience as wide as possible (and I leave the deeper analysis for the consultations).

Without further ado let me start with the learn’d chemist himself:

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Walter White – Capricorn

Eyes firmly fixed on the goal The Goat is always climbing up and up until the goal is reached. Strategically and unyieldingly as is befitting to an Earth sign ruled by Saturn, he is not averse to making some quick decisions on the spot when circumstances require which is in line with the cardinal modality of Capricorn.

There is a tremendous drive and ambition present in Walter, of course stifled and buried at first, but slowly emerging in the course of the first season. Capricorn is associated with social achievement and recognition, mastery, work and career. All these things are clearly important to Walter, as he is frustrated every time he is denied any of the above in situations like:

1) The Gray Matter. Yes, the financial aspect is also on his mind, but not being recognized as a creator of the company is just as important to him.

2) The donations (money laundering) via Junior’s web-site. That one’s bugging him even more. A missed opportunity due to pride and youthful recklessness is one thing. Now, he is a 50-year-old who has finally achieved success by applying his skills and has something to show for it. Yet, he is forced to hide it and appear to the wider world as a helpless chemistry teacher who has to accept charity for his cancer treatment. A major mood-killer for a Capricorn.

3) The need to hide the wealth. Social status is also a sensitive spot for Walt. Unlike Gus Fring, he’s not content with appearing humble, driving a Volvo and wiping down tables while sitting on bags of cash. Again – while having the money is important, it is not enough. His knowledge that it was his earnings for his masterful performance and not donations is not enough. He’s yearning for recognition of his achievement.

Another thing about Capricorns is that the goal is always shifting, since a Capricorn without a goal is extremely miserable and depressive. Just as the original one is reached, another one is set and the climbing continues. So making $700,000 is just a pit -stop and retiring to be a car-wash owner is a delusion. Peaceful and placid life is for Taurus. Capricorns need to keep climbing higher and higher until a miscalculated step finally brings them peace… at the bottom of the cliff.

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Jesse Pinkman  – Cancer

I know, I know, it’s cliche-ish. Opposites attract, yin-yang, complimentary energies… Well, guess what? There is really nothing new under the Sun. Or on the ecliptic, for that matter. And Jesse having a Cancerian energy about him is a universally perfect way to display his radical difference from Walter.

He is quite an emotional type and unlike Mr. White he can not just focus on the goal and use it to justify the means. He might have had more street knowledge in the beginning of their journey and appeared to be a better fit for the business this unlikely duo was getting into but pretty soon it became obvious that climbing the career ladder of the drug business is not his cup of tea. Jesse’s too sensitive for that.

Cancer is the sign associated with nurturing, mothering and family. There are several incidents where this side of Jesse shows distinctly: he had nursed his dying aunt, he’s unusually caring and impartial to children who aren’t his (or related to him) and the one and only time he murders someone is when there is no other possible way to protect Mr. White who’s almost like family to him by then. And that murder sends him into a much deeper and longer depression than Walter White’s first murder had sent him – after all, as a water sign he’s much more attuned to the emotional world. With Cancer’s essence being about nurturing and caring, hurting someone does inflict the psychological wound which Jesse kept on picking rather than focusing on that goal, like Walter did.

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Gus Fring – Scorpio

This one is a no-brainer, for sure. An immensely powerful presence and energy lurking under quite average and commonplace facade. Gus might have lost to the unstoppable locomotive of a man Mr. White, but he got to his position of power by carefully manipulating the events, by knowing when to crouch back, sit quietly and wait for the right moment to strike the deadly and very accurate blow.

Holding a grudge is something Scorpios are infamous for. Of course, depending on the chart and the person, they may choose not to act on it, not to seek revenge or even waste their time on being angry with you. But they will always remember, trust me. Always.  It’s just that Gus chose to pay back with interest to Hector Salamanca and everyone else involved in his partner’s murder and waiting all those years was, actually, an important ingredient to the dish that Scorpios like to serve ice-cold.

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Mike Ehrmantraut – Taurus

Taurus is a fixed Earth sign and the difference in modality is a large contributor to their difference with Capricorn, who are restless because of the dynamic cardinal energy. The Earth element keeps them both rational and grounded, concerned with practical results, rather than emotional realm (unlike Fire or Water), but the fixed mode of Taurus produces a calm, placid, deliberate and paced people. They’re never in a rush in contrast with their preceding sign of Aries. They like to contemplate things and don’t waste words. They’re simply imperturbable. Uhm… What is Mike Ehrmantraut? 

Practically anything he does – from walking with his granddaughter to solving crisis situations to even being killed by Walt – he’s borderline phlegmatic with just a few sprinkles of rage popping up in some extreme cases. But when it all comes to an end, his final words are “Let me die in peace” as he is watching a serene nature scene… oh, yeah, forgot to mention that Taurus is also closely associated with nature. Not that all the other signs don’t like it, but this sign falls on the time of the year when nature is firmly taking root and having its growth spurt after waking up in Aries and enjoying simple life pleasures like the sunshine, the smell of the flowers, the sound of leaves rustling in the wind or the taste of a pimento cheese sandwich is a Taurean energy everyone has in their chart at some level.

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Saul Goodman – Gemini

Jimmy McGill – Pisces

I am actually going to do some deeper exploration on this one, since not only Saul was given his own separate show, but also because the prequel reveals a completely different side of him.

In Breaking Bad he radiates Mercurian energy: witty and talkative, quick-minded, full of ideas and information – a classical Gemini rather than a Virgo. He doesn’t bother with any questions of morality, just like the ruler of this sign – the god of  tricksters, thieves and merchants. Morals are left to Jupiter while Saul is quicksilvering his way through the daily influx of tasks most of which somehow end up being about tricking the law.

This is how we first see him, how he comes off to those who don’t know him well personally, which makes me think of a Gemini Ascendant with Sun in Gemini first house thrown in the mix (I mean – these outfits and his general manner of presenting and carrying himself grab one’s attention and hold the spotlight in an unmistakable Leo-like way, but he’s way to mutable to have any serious placements in the actual sign of Leo, so it’ll have to be residual Leo in form of the Sun on the Ascendant).

In Better Call Saul there is a different side of him – Jimmy McGill. Still the trickster, but trying to change, to be a better version of himself, as he’s looking to impress his brother Chuck and his love interest Kim. He’s also tender and caring, making sure Chuck has everything he needs day in and day out, so his sensitive side is more prominent. Looking up to his older brother and as a result trying to change his true nature of a witty trickster who is having fun and enjoying pulling different scams makes me think of Pisces – the sacrifiers of the Zodiac. Pisces can be quite receptive to the point of being submissive and lead on. The general lack of direction is true for all mutable signs, but it is stronger in Pisces due to affiliation with Neptune and its cloudy and hazy ways.

 So when it comes to putting more touches on Jimmy-Saul’s chart, I’m thinking of the Moon and a couple of other personal planets here in Pisces. Not Venus and Mercury, obviously, but even Jupiter and Mars would give him a nice Piscean core as well as creating two major themes in Saul-Jimmy’s chart:

  1. Gemini stellium of the Sun and the entourage in an aspect of square (by sign, if not by degrees) with another stellium in Pisces 
  2. Multiple Gemini-Pisces placements creating a strong imbalance of mutable modality

So Jimmy is always torn and always swinging between the desire to do the right thing, to live up to the ideals and be of service to people (Pisces) and the drive to exercise his wit and develop his mental abilities in a more fun and stimulating way (Gemini).

Oh, and as I was typing his real last name at the beginning of the section, it hit me that it is actually quite fishy, if you know what I mean. So I take it as a sign that my guesses are right. 

 

Now, it feels like I have been writing forever, why in the hell is it not next week yet? I want my fix next episode!

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5 thoughts on “Signs, bitch! Astrological archetypes of Breaking Bad characters.

  1. I disagree about Saul/Jimmy. I think he would be a Sag or even the sun sign of Odenkirk, Libra. I can almost agree on Jesse but I actually lean more towards Aquarius because I have met a lot Aquarius dudes who act just like him.

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    1. Sure 🙂 First of – this was just the Sun signs. Jesse might as well be Cancer Sun and Aquarius Moon. Saul/Jimmy being a Sag is not too far from the general Pisces energy, seeing that they’re both ruled by Jupiter (law and justice) and Sag is also the sign of the mutable cross, together with Pisces, Gemini and Virgo

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  2. Once I’ve read in a book that an archetypical gemini story is that they have an older brother that is really important to them and it is him who must die in order for the gemini to become an adult. Then they begin to manifest some abilities that they appreciated in their brothers. I really loved this coincidence, this seems to me as exactly what is going on in the show.

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    1. Nice! Yes, you’re talking about Castor and Pollux story but I haven’t read this particular version/point of view about becoming an adult… indeed, plays nicely into the story of Chuck and Jimmy

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