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The 20th Anniversary Edition of Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is being re-released this spring, with digital enhancements and never-before-seen footage. At the time, E.T. was the biggest grossing film in history. Twenty years later, it is still a powerful film, combining great special effects with a heart-warming ending. For those of you who have not seen the film recently, read the plot summary below.

Great filmmakers act as channels through which the energies of the planets express themselves. The friction resulting from hard aspects in a director's natal  chart results in creative energy that he puts into his movies. Hence, there are many correspondences between the hard aspects in Spielberg's chart and the plot of E.T. The aspect that represents the most tension is the Moon square his Saturn-Pluto conjunction. A square is an aspect that usually manifests as a struggle between the expression of the planets involved. In E.T. one can see a battle ensuing between the Moon and Saturn.

The Moon symbolizes the child, the home and one's sense of belonging. Saturn is the principle of restriction and authority-the Establishment. Throughout the film, there is a struggle between the children (Moon) hiding E.T. and the throngs of adults trying to find and get him. The images of police cars and the giant white tent limiting access to and from the house are all expressions of Saturn. Pluto's role here is to intensify the energy of Saturn. This outermost planet gives the suffocating quality of Saturn all the more power; instead of a few secret service agents coming to the door to collect the alien (which would be an adequate Saturnian experience), we see what seems like hundreds of people merging in on one home.

This aspect also manifests as E.T.'s separation from the other aliens. Saturn, being the furthest planet from the Sun that can be seen with the unaided eye, is the boundary-maker, beyond which reside the transpersonal planets. Saturn cuts E.T. off from his home (Moon), his physical connection to the aliens who had to leave him behind. The heartbreak is so strong that he dies on the operating table, after having lost his life force from not being with them. The Moon is also E.T.'s childlike wonderment at everything on this new planet he came to explore. In his vulnerability and need to be taken care of, E.T. also exhibits qualities of the Moon.

A Whole Lotta Love

Jupiter  conjuncts Venus in Spielberg's chart. The planet of expansion and good fortune, Jupiter lends abundance to the Venus principle of love and relationship. It is no surprise that everyone who meets E.T. feels great affection for him. This conjunction also relates to the unforgettable image of E.T.'s heart chakra glowing red after Elliott tells him he loves him.

Out of This World

Spielberg also has Uranus opposite his Sun. Uranus is the principle of independence, of breaking free. The archetype of the Sun, usually understood as one's sense of self, is also the literal Sun. E.T. is a being who is independent of our solar system. (Spielberg's preoccupation with aliens also manifests in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and AI). Uranus lends an "out of this world" quality to the stranger from another planet. On a more mundane level, the Sun represents Elliott's father, who left his wife and kids and moved to Mexico. He presumably experienced the Uranian need to break free from the confines of his home life.

Private Life or Public Record

Most of us will never know how the above planetary combinations play out in Steven Spielberg's personal life. However, study of his films allows us to understand how he turns these conflicts into works of art. Because the planets project onto the silver screen so clearly, we also have ample opportunity to study the dance of the planets we call astrology.
 


ET Plot Summary: A spaceship lands near a suburban neighborhood. Apparently, the government is aware of the aliens' potential presence. Due to imminent threat of being discovered, the spaceship leaves before one alien can return safely to the craft. The alien hides in the shed of a suburban California home, where he is found by a ten year old boy, Elliott. The boy and his siblings hide the extra-terrestrial being, promising to keep him a secret from adults.

After many amusing scenes, E.T. starts becoming ill because he is separated from the other aliens. He builds a transmitter out of spare parts to "phone home." At the same time, the home is under surveillance by the government; when E.T.'s health is deteriorating, people in white protective suits take the opportunity to enter the house. They quarantine the home with a large tent; a long plastic tunnel restricts access to the house. Despite their best attempts at medical intervention, E.T. dies. After the EKG registers with a flat line, Elliott has the opportunity to spend time alone with the alien, and tells E.T., "I love you." E.T. re-awakens; he knows that the aliens are coming back for him. The boy and his friends bring E.T. to the previous landing spot of the spaceship via bicycle, while they are being chased by several police cars. They outbike (and through E.T.'s paranormal powers, outfly) the cops, and E.T. is safely whisked away in his spaceship for his journey home.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeffrey Kishner, MA is an astrological counselor, writer and psychotherapist, as well as webmaster of Astrology at the Movies. He has a graduate degree in integral counseling psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, where he first learned astrology.

Send an email to the author.

For more information about Jeffrey Kishner, click here.



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