Although the torch of Star Trek’s “Kirk” has passed from William Shatner to Chris Pine, there are some traits that have been carried over the generations – courage, leadership, innovation and a little irreverence.
This characterization for James T. Kirk isn’t just in the scripts and the shows; it’s in the final frontier he loved and explored. Not only do the stars define James T. Kirk through his adventures, but they define him in a cosmic sense, as well.
If we look at the sky from the place and time of his hypothetical birth, something out-of-this-world happens: we see a reflection of Captain Kirk’s character written in the stars.
Using the tools astrologers have used for thousands of years, let’s explore this unknown.
Charting the Stars
The practice of astrology has its roots in the idea that there is a meaningful correlation between the patterns in the sky and events in the mundane world.
Everything that has a beginning in space and time has a corresponding map of the surrounding sky at that instant. Astrologers call this sky-map a birth chart.
In order to create a birth chart, which is a map of the sky from the time and place of birth, one needs coordinates in time and space. That means a specific place, date and time of birth.
The fictional character James Kirk was born in Iowa. The town of Riverside later claimed to be the future birthplace of Kirk, which has been incorporated in the Star Trek storyline
Kirk’s birthday is said to be March 22, which is the birthday of the actor William Shatner who first played him in the original Star Trek series
There are conflicting reports of his birth year. The database at StarTrek.com lists Kirk’s birth year as 2233. The plaque outside Riverside reads 2228. The 2233 date is also listed in Michael Okuda’s chronology, so it seems the more official of the two.
No time is listed for Kirk’s birth. However, if his birthday is the same as William Shatner’s, using the time of Shatner’s birth is a reasonable solution. The collection at astrodatabank, the largest collection of astrological data, has his time of birth listed as 4 am.
Taken together, this would create a birth data of March 22, 2233, 4 am, Riverside, Iowa.
Writing in the Sky
Putting this information into chart calculation software, we get this image of the sky as it will look at that time and place of birth.
In astrology, there are many standardized rules for interpreting meaning from an astrology chart. While there are several schools of thought, there is still a remarkable consistency, which can be learned and taught. Astrology has several thousand years of history; astrologers don’t just make it up as they go along.
That being said, it’s easy to see in Kirk’s chart a person who desires “to boldly go where no one has gone before.” The mechanics of describing aspects can sound foreign to those who haven’t studied the language of astrology, so I’ll just include a few for
The chart features what’s called a grand trine; you can’t miss the equilateral triangle in the chart above. The points of the triangle are in fire signs of the zodiac. As an archetype, fire seeks to be uncontainable, to move, and break free. It finds inspiration in limitless possibility, and leads the charge.
The points of the trine are the Sun and Mars in Aries, the Moon in Leo, and Uranus in Sagittarius.
The Sun and Mars are considered the two fieriest “planets.” (Yes, astrologers know the Sun is a star, not a planet. We use “planet” for brevity’s sake, the way modern society uses acronyms.) Placed together in Aries they are an extremely powerful combination, giving a tremendous desire to chart one’s own course in life. In the whole sign house system they fall In the “house of home” – appropriate for someone who calls a warp-powered starship home.
The Moon is in Leo. Leo’s symbol is a golden Lion, king of the beast. Sitting on his throne – whoops, captain’s chair – surrounded by people who love him and obey his commands, is a comfortable place to be for Moon in Leo.
And finally Uranus is in Sagittarius. Sagittarius loves to find out what’s beyond the river bend. Sagittarius also has a strong philosophy of life. Uranus seeks freedom, and isn’t known for following the rules.
In short, this is the chart of a leader and an explorer. Someone who always needs to move and be where the action is. Someone who is both loved and admired by those he leads. And someone who will break the rules (or rewrite them), if it suits a higher purpose (or even just to win).
The Final Frontier
Astrology in action. For a fictional character. Who wouldn’t even be born for another 220 years.
If that doesn’t give you pause about our understanding of the nature of the universe we live in, I’m not sure what will.
There’s no way to use gravity, light, or other physical causes to theorize how astrology might work. This is a chart for a character who doesn’t exist.
But to claim astrology doesn’t work – astrologers have thousands of other examples like this one. Meaningful “coincidences” that hint something about the essential quality of a particular moment in time (and the person born in it). You could cling to the notion that “it’s all just coincidence” – but how many times can you live with that answer. When does it become akin to sticking your fingers in your ears and humming: “la, la, la. I’m not listening.”
A true scientist must always remain an agnostic. Whenever you close your eyes to possibilities because they challenge what you think you know, you’ve become an ideologue, not an explorer.
Wonderfully strange and meaningful coincidences happen all the time. Aren’t you at least a little curious why?
James Kirk is. So let’s follow him and go boldly where no one has gone before.
Star Trek and the Astrological Final Frontier webinar at Kepler College