AAA Flashback: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
I just couldn’t let the 25th anniversary of the premiere of my favorite show ever slip by without due acknowledgement, so here we go! On March 10, 1997, the Warner Brothers television network opened the gates of Hell and unleashed “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, a teen angst horror hell-odrama about a high school age Valley Girl fated to battle evil in all its forms; the world would never be the same. Creator Joss Whedon had assailed the topic in a 1992 theatrical film starring Kristy Swanson, but wasn’t done with the idea, not by a long shot! TV’s Buffy was the guardian of a hell mouth in “everyman” Sunnydale, California, charged with slaying, not just vampires, but all manner of demons, ghosts, zombies, hell-beasts and things that go bump in the night.
For his 16-year-old heroine, Whedon chose Sarah Michelle Gellar, a slightly older American actress who had just made a name for herself (and a Daytime Emmy) for her work on ABC’s popular soap “All My Chjldren.” The selection was inspired, with Gellar inhabiting the role fully, growing Buffy Summers from an awkward high school ingénue into a powerful, self-possessed (and occasionally demon-possessed) young woman. “Buffy” went on to become a global phenomenon, running seven seasons (five on WB, and two on UPN) and hell-spawning a successful spin-off, “Angel”, in 1999.
In an astrological analysis of the series, we’re presented with one conundrum from the start: what is Buffy’s birthdate? Buffy’s grave (which wasn’t big enough to hold her, returning from the dead not once, but twice, during the run of the series) just lists the year 1981 for her birth, contradicted by what little evidence the series itself presents, which is itself contradictory. During episode eight of season one, a computer screen entry with Buffy’s high school record flashes onscreen briefly in two scenes, but two different birthdates are given for the same record: May 6, 1979, and October 24, 1980. Besides the obvious continuity issues, the 1979 date would make Buffy older than her supposed sixteen years in spring 1997.
Wikipedia and the fan-based Buffyverse Wiki both list her birthday as January 19, 1981, and the air date for the first birthday observance celebrated on the series, her seventeenth, is January 19, 1998, so that is at least internally consistent. Subsequent birthday episodes (which have a history of ending badly for our heroine) typically air in the mid-late January timeframe, and in season four, Buffy describes herself astrologically as “Capricorn on the cusp of Aquarius,” so this seems a likely birth date, as opposed to the too-early May 1979 and the October 1980, which would render a January birthday party a bit tardy.
And the stars bear this out. Buffy Summer’s 29 Capricorn Sun is conjoined by asteroid Sumner (one of four asteroid referents for Summers) at 27 Capricorn on that date, with the fictional character portraying a typical PNA (Personal-Named Asteroid) placement, with its solar conjunction. Also here is asteroid Joyce at 28 Capricorn, Buffy’s mother’s name, and asteroid Tantalus at 23 Cap, a point noted for its connections to pure evil, the thing Buffy was destined to combat, which formed such a central core element of her character and biography.
Likewise, asteroid Sumners, our second variant for Summers, appears at 10 Leo, closely opposed Mercury, ruling the naming function, at 11 Aquarius, another common PNA linkage. Not to be outdone, our last two variants, asteroids Sommersdorf and Sommerfeld, are both at station, making them embedded factors in the day, exerting a greater-than-usual impact on the time period. Sommersdorf at 12 Virgo is sesquiquadrate the Sun, and turned retrograde January 6th; Sommerfeld at 21 Taurus is trine the Sun, and turned direct on January 7th. The fictitious Buffy Summers may not have been born then, but she should have been!
This is a truly remarkable celestial showing for the imagined birthdate of a fictional character, but there’s more. Asteroid Buffon (closest to Buffy) at 3 Taurus conjoins asteroid Gellnar (closest to Gellar, who played the role) at 0 Taurus, and both square the Sun and Mercury. Also here is TNO Chaos at 2 Taurus, that state of being which would prevail should the hell mouth open, something Buffy is charged with preventing.
Asteroid Sara (for Sarah) at 18 Libra is just a bit too wide to consider as squared the Sun, but it conjoins asteroid Josse (for series creator Joss Whedon) at 12 Libra, as well as Saturn and Jupiter at 9 and 10 Libra, and Pluto at 24 Libra. This establishes the connection with Whedon (Josse) as pivotal for Gellar’s (Sara) career (Saturn), bringing fame and celebrity (Jupiter) and self-empowerment (Pluto). Pluto also squares the Sun, conferring almost superhero powers on Buffy Summers.
Buffy’s two best friends on the show are Willow Rosenberg, a budding witch, and Xander (Alexander) Harris. Unfortunately, there’s no real match for either of Willow’s names, but Xander appears as asteroids Alexander and Harris, which at 29 Virgo and 29 Taurus respectively, are both embedded at station and form an exact Grand Trine with the 29 Cap Sun.
Buffy’s undead main squeeze is Angel, the tortured vampire-with-a-soul. Asteroid Angel at 0 Capricorn broadly conjoins Venus at 10 Capricorn and exactly squares Mars at 15 Aquarius, for the romantic love interest (Venus) who became Buffy’s first lover (Mars). Buffy has a thing for guys without a pulse, and although she only had sex with true-love Angel once (turns out, the bliss he feels at that encounter brings him perfect happiness and ends the curse which re-souled him, turning him back into a monster), her story arc caused her to knock boots with another vampire, Spike, late in the series.
This sexual attraction of Ms. Summers for bloody bad boys is reflected in Mars opposed asteroid Vampilov at 9 Leo, which can be seen as a sort of celestial portmanteau shorthand for bloodsucking amours (“vampire love”), cojoined asteroid Sumners at 10 Leo. Regrettably, there’s no asteroid Spike, who started early on in the series as a repeat-offender nemesis, but that’s just his nickname. His actual name was William (epithet, “the Bloody”), which eponymous asteroid at 10 Capricorn exactly conjoins Venus and is inconjunct Vampilov. The character’s pivotal role in Buffy’s bio is seen in asteroid Williams, which at 25 Virgo is also at station, turning retrograde three days before her “birth.”
The impact of the show on Gellar personally is easy to see. Born 14 April 1977 (no time available) Buffy’s 24 Aries Sun squares that of her alter ego, as well as TNO Chaos at 28 Aries and asteroid Apophis at 29 Aries, another point associated with irredeemable evil. Asteroid Sumners at 24 Sagittarius is exactly trine the Sun and also at station, having turned retrograde the day before her birth. Asteroid Sommerfeld at 19 Leo is also at station and trine the Sun, turning direct five days prior, while asteroid Sommersdorf at 3 Gemini conjoins Jupiter at 2 Gemini and trines asteroid Sara at 2 Aquarius, making Buffy Summers (Sommersdorf) the source of Gellar’s (Sara) celebrity (Jupiter).
Joss Whedon’s importance in Gellar’s life is reflected in asteroid Josse at 19 Cancer squared the Sun, and asteroid Jos at 16 Aries, conjoined it. Asteroid Buffon doesn’t make a huge statement in the chart, but at 21 Taurus it T-Squares asteroids Sommerfeld at 19 Leo and Sumner at 17 Aquarius, uniting her character’s names.
When “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” premiered on March 10, 1997, the Sun at 20 Pisces formed a T-Square with an opposition to Mars at 29 Virgo, asteroid Apophis on the fulcrum at 19 Gemini, representing the fight (Mars) against evil (Apophis) which was the show’s raison d’etre (Sun). The Sun conjoins Mercury at 19 Gemini, a nod to the always superlative writing and the intellectual underpinning of the scripts, while asteroid Sara at 11 Sagittarius broadly squares the Sun, putting its lead actress into focus. Asteroid Sommerfeld at 29 Gemini is also broadly squared the Sun, while asteroid Michelle at 12 Virgo opposes it, and asteroid Gellnar at 17 Aries is widely semisextile.
Asteroid Buffon at 23 Cancer is at station and trine the Sun, turning direct two days later, giving the series its potential to embed into the psyche of the time. Also at station are asteroid Angel, Buffy’s vampire lover, which at 9 Scorpio turned retrograde on February 26th, but remains at that degree two weeks later; and asteroid Alexander, for bestie Xander Harris, which turned direct two days before the premiere. This places PNAs for three prime cast members in vital position as the show aired. Creator Joss Whedon is seen as asteroid Josse, which at 22 Leo is inconjunct the Sun.
The character’s longevity is suggested by asteroids Sumners and Sumner at 3 and 5 Aries, which conjoin Saturn (stability and endurance) at 7 Aries and oppose asteroid Jos at 8 Libra. In addition to her previous life on the widescreen, and seven seasons on TV, Buffy Summers’ saga continued with a series of comic books produced by Whedon, a canonical continuation of the series which began as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight” in 2007 and ended with “Season Twelve” in 2018. In addition, five BTVS video games have been produced, and Simon & Schuster bought the rights to Buffy-themed novels, publishing more than 60 between 1998 and 2008.
I was right there with “Buffy” from episode one, and still consider it one of the best-written shows I’ve ever had the pleasure of viewing. I quickly became a superfan, and was devastated when it ended, but managed to pull together the tattered remnants of my life and go on. Buffy had a long afterlife in syndication on various networks, all of which I faithfully followed, but last aired on ABC Family in 2015. I still miss it.