Let me say up front that I have seen neither of the summer blockbusters, “Barbie” or “Oppenheimer,” which combine in this article’s portmanteau title, nor do I intend to. That said, it simply isn’t possible to ignore them, or be unaware of their existence. “Barbie,” in particular, has been cross-publicized in a dizzying variety of promotional tie-ins to other products and services, everything from fast food to auto insurance. Watching commercials for the two weeks prior to its release was like living a Pepto Bismol fever dream.
Nevertheless, Barbenheimer is fast on its way to becoming a cultural phenomenon, and as such, worthy of celestial consideration. And the cosmos has been paying attention, no doubt.
Brain child of Mattel cofounder and president Ruth Handler, the Barbie doll took her first bow on 9 March 1959 at the New York Toy Fair. The inspiration for Barbie came from watching her daughter Barbara play with paper dolls, and seeing her cast them in adult roles. Handler decried the lack of “older” dolls in an era where most girls still played with simulations of infants, and determined that the market was ripe for a “fashion doll,” a fully posable, adult-looking representation of womanhood. Barbie, her daughter’s namesake, was born (Handler would later stick close to home for her choice of Ken as Barbie’s boyfriend, named for her son Kenneth).
The first Barbie doll wore a black-and-white zebra striped swimsuit, set off with her signature topknot ponytail, with options as either a blonde or brunette. Marketed as a “Teen-age Fashion Model,” Barbie was an instant success, with some 350,000 dolls sold during the first year of production. Sixty-four years later, with more than a billion Barbies sold worldwide and a global box office take of some $600 million in its initial week for her first movie, we can safely say that Barbie’s powers of attraction haven’t waned.
That may be due in part to Barbie’s PNA (Personal-Named Asteroid) referent’s proximity to a mysterious Deep Space anomaly known as the Great Attractor. Nobody knows exactly what it is, but this behemoth is dragging much of its region of the universe, including us, inexorably toward it, at the incomprehensible rate of 600 kilometers per second! Philip Sedgwick, Deep Space astrologer extraordinaire, likens its energy to a “come hither” stance, the implication being that in time, everything goes its way, so to speak. Barbie is certainly pulling much of America into her orbit as I write, with two sequels mooted in reaction to audience response to her premiere widescreen foray.
Barbie was “born” 9 March 1959, with asteroid Barbieri 12433 (“Barbie” with a “ri” tacked onto the end) at 12 Sagittarius conjoined the 13 Sag Great Attractor (GA). Inventor Ruth Handler is right there, too, as asteroid Ruth 798, exactly conjunct the GA. Now, as Barbie moves to the wide screen as the next step in her phenomenal career, Barbieri returned to its natal degree, and at 19 Sagittarius once again conjoins the GA, currently at 14 Sag (like all Fixed Star and Deep Space points, the Great Attractor proceeds through the zodiac at the rate of about one degree every 70 years).
Even sans the Deep Space assist, Barbieri and Ruth are well placed to reap the attention so necessary for success. Squared the highlighting Sun at 18 Pisces, pulling focus, Barbieri and Ruth are also opposed Mars at 12 Gemini, funneling large amounts of energy into Handler and her creation, and creating a T-Square. Asteroid Handley 2718 at 21 Gemini, one of two PNAs for Handler, is also involved.
Barbie, whose full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts, is also represented by asteroids Barbara 234 and Roberts 3428. Barbara at 21 Leo conjoins asteroid Karma 3811 at 25 Leo, implying a fated destiny for the doll. More, Barbara appears at the Apex of a Thor’s Hammer, a destiny-driven pattern similar to a Yod, with sesquiquadrate aspects to both Saturn (conveying career success, status, longevity, and staying power) at 5 Capricorn and Mercury (tying in to children and media attention) at 5 Aries.
Asteroid Roberts at 7 Taurus closely opposes Neptune at 6 Scorpio, perhaps a nod to the doll as every little girl’s fantasy, as well as the unrealistic body image expectations raised by Barbie’s 39-18-33 hourglass measurements, if her plastic self were blown up to life-size. Neptune also prefigures her ascension to film star. Asteroid Toya 6990 at 12 Leo (for “toy”) exactly opposes Uranus at 12 Aquarius, forming the crossbars of a Grand Cross and imaging the toy’s (Toya) unique, innovative (both Uranus) place in the evolution of dolls.
Handler’s other PNA referent, asteroid Handlin at 22 Aries, squares a pairing of asteroids Dollen 7449 (for doll) and Toyen 4691 (also for toy) at 24 and 26 Capricorn. Note that Pluto’s most recent direct station, in September of 2022, occurred at 26 Capricorn, exactly conjunct Barbie’s natal Dollen, and perhaps prompting the powerful transformation (both Pluto keywords) to the silver screen, as well as intimating the millions in box office revenue to follow.
“Barbie” premiered at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angles on July 9th, but general release came on the 21st. On the former date, a tight square from asteroids Roberts at 15 Aries and Handley at 20 Aries to the Sun with Dollen and Mercury at 17, 19 and 26 Cancer showed a Media (Mercury) focus (Sun) on the doll (Dollen) created by Ruth Handler (Handley), come to life as Barbie Roberts (Roberts). Mercury is also joining a T-Square with asteroid Toyen at 22 Libra and Pluto at 29 Capricorn, intimating the power (Pluto) of this toy (Toyen) to become dominant (Pluto) in mind, conversation and the Press (Mercury) at this time.
By “Barbie”’s general release, the Sun at 28 Cancer has edged away from the square to Roberts, but the damage has been done, so to speak, with Sun/Dollen (at 25 Cancer) now fully embracing their power in a tight opposition to Pluto. The film stars Margot Robbie in the title role, with asteroid Margot at 26 Gemini in a T-Square, opposing Barbieri at 19 Sagittarius, with asteroid Roberta 335 (also for Roberts) on the fulcrum at 20 Virgo, linking her to versions of her character. Barbie’s natal asteroid Margot at 9 Pisces widely conjoins her 18 Pisces Sun, so Margot Robbie was a good fit for the part. [Born 2 July 1990, 7:45 AM AEST in Dalby, Australia, Rodden Rating A, Margot Robbie sports a conjunction of asteroids Barbieri and Barbara at 21 and 23 Pisces, conjoining doll Barbie’s natal Sun as well.]
Transit asteroid Barbara at 5 Aquarius squares transit Jupiter at 12 Taurus, enhancing Barbie’s fortunes, and sits on the fulcrum of another T-Square formed with the natal Roberts/Neptune polarity, as Barbie embarks on her widescreen career. Barbara is also exactly sesquiquadrate Roberts, linking first and last names of the irrepressibly chipper pink-obsessed living doll.
“Oppenheimer” opened to rave reviews and rampant audience interest on the same date, 21 July 2023. It’s interesting how the same chart can portray two wildly disparate events with perfection, but that’s the cosmos’ specialty, after all. The 28 Cancer Sun’s tight opposition to Pluto at 29 Capricorn now manifests as the overwhelming power of the atom bomb, which Robert Oppenheimer was the first to unleash, as portrayed in the film.
Asteroid Oppenheimer 67085, named for the scientist, appears at 23 Sagittarius, opposing asteroid BAM 2031 at 29 Gemini, in a T-Square with Neptune on the fulcrum from 27 Pisces. This indicates a film (Neptune) about Oppenheimer’s (Oppenheimer) quest for his own personal Big Bang (BAM). Other references to bombs include Uranus, ruling bombs and explosions, which at 22 Taurus trines asteroid Bomben 12834 with asteroid Roberta (feminine version of Robert), at 21 and 20 Virgo respectively, uniting the creator with his creation. Pluto at 29 Cap makes a wide Grand Trine, and the solar opposition places the Sun on the String of a loose Kite.
As well, asteroid Bombig 100519 (“bombing” without the “n”) at 7 Sagittarius is at station, making it an embedded factor and a focus of the time. Bombig turned direct on July 28th, one week after the film’s general release, and is also within orb of the Great Attractor at 14 Sagittarius, well on its way to its $300+ million box office take. Bombig lies on the fulcrum of a T-Square with asteroid Alamosa 2927 (for the Los Alamos test site of the first nuclear explosion) and Mars (war) at 0 and 6 Virgo, and Saturn (ancient lord of death) at 6 Pisces.
Born 22 April 1904 (no time available), Julius Robert Oppenheimer’s destiny as “the father of the atomic bomb” may be seen in a grouping of Jupiter with asteroids Bombig and Nemesis 128 at 12, 16 and 18 Aries, implying his creation of the biggest, baddest (Jupiter) bomb (Bombig) ever to that date, which would become a potential source of mass destruction and ruin (Nemesis). Asteroid Julia 89 at 4 Gemini (feminine version of his given first name Julius, though history remembers him by his middle name of Robert) exactly opposing asteroid Krishnan 22533 at 4 Sagittarius, with asteroid Alamos on the fulcrum of yet another T-Square at 0 Pisces, may help to explain Oppenheimer’s self-identification (Julia) with the line he quoted from the Bhagavad Gita, first spoken by Krisha (Krishnan), when he saw the success of his efforts in Los Alamos (Alamosa): “Behold, I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.” Natal asteroid BAM at 6 Virgo creates a Grand Cross, and is itself at station, turning direct two days after Oppenheimer’s birth, indicating the pivotal importance of an explosion (BAM) to his biography. Transit Alamos at 0 Virgo was exactly opposing its natal place when the movie was released.
Transit Oppenheimer at 23 Sagittarius conjoins natal Uranus at 29 Sagittarius, ruler of scientists, bombs and explosions, and is exactly opposed by transit BAM at 29 Gemini, while natal asteroid Oppenheimer at 22 Aquarius was exactly squared by transit Uranus at 22 Taurus.
Slice it anyway you want, the cosmos was doing double duty for that blockbuster opening weekend in late July, reflecting the focus of mere mortals in our eternal quest to be amused. To which it might rhetorically ask, in another famous movie line, “Are you not entertained?”