Fat Man Walking
Steve Vaught walked all the way across the United States. That's a big deal for anyone. Thing is, Steve weighed 410 pounds and he left his house with only $200.00 in his pocket and no cell phone. He had only trained and planned for the trip for a couple of weeks.
Who would do that? Who could? Answer: Sun in Leo would/could/can. Those crazy, crazy Lions can be King of any Jungle.
When you look at Vaught's chart you immediately notice the strong opposition that he has. Many people born in 1965 have it. Pluto-Uranus in Virgo opposite Saturn-Chiron in Pisces. That's crises, revolution, karmic lessons, wounding, transforming, healing, innovation all bound up into one big balancing act. Put the planets in Pisces and Virgo and you add major themes of servitude, martyrdom, spiritual seeking and redemption. Pisces and Virgo also rule health issues so this is the area in life that would be affected by activation of the aspect. This opposition is sextile/trine Neptune in Scorpio on one side and is squaring Jupiter in Gemini on the other side. Gemini rules walking. Jupiter rules long distance travel. Neptune rules a Wandering Nature. Scorpio rules Extreme behavior. And in between there's this constant balancing act to achieve harmony and spiritual balance.
Steve Vaught initially set out to lose weight. But then, according to a beautifully written article in Backpacker Magazine (August, 2006), he found that he had to look more deeply into his traumatic past and his spiritual self. He stopped taking the anti-depressants he was on (Neptune trine/sextile). He left from San Diego, CA on April 10, 2005 and reached New York City on May 9, 2006 and lost more than a hundred pounds (Sun opposition Saturn). Early on he attracted a lot of media attention and a book deal which ended his financial hardship and probably gave needed incentive for finishing the trip. He's become a great inspiration for others and hopes to continue with teaching.
It's not possible to discuss weight problems in a chart without a birth time because you really need the Ascendant and Moon sign to give proper information so I'm only going to discuss the emotional problems which could lead to the weight gain shown from other aspects. The Sun rules one's ego and vitality and so, as is evident here, affects one's health in a big way.
His whole story is so well told by the movement of his progressed Sun through his chart. In 1987 Progressed Sun would have changed signs from Leo to Virgo. Progressed Sun is a great call for a person to change his/her outlook and life focus in order to "progress" one's soul in Life. Each sign improves what the sign before it is lacking but there can be a difficult adjustment period during the initial phase. Some signs transition more easily than others and some people are better prepared to take on the new energies.
The switch from Leo to Virgo is like letting the air out of one's jets all at one time. Leo pumps one up so far, so fast, it's a real gas. Virgo analyzes, discerns what's not real, criticizes, picks apart in order to create a more solid, perfect experience. This would have been an extra major force for Vaught because he has Mercury, ruler of Virgo, right at 0 degrees Virgo. A person who ready to take on the Virgo energy can use it to constructively manufacture a solid life from what he has built so far. If he hasn't reached that level in his life events can happen which bring up many insecurities and he will struggle for a few years while his self learns to adjust to the Virgo tendencies. It seems that Steve's difficult childhood and family issues hadn't provided the securities for the more stable aspects of Virgo. Mercury represents state of mind and communciation style. His progressed Sun would have passed over it at the age of 22 and it seems as if his self-esteem really began to pull out from under him at this age.
According to the article, Vaught dropped out of school at 17 to join the Marines and then married and divorced in his early 20's. At some time between age 25 to 30 Vaught was involved in a devastating car crash in which he killed two elderly people crossing a street. Such an event would have been the pin prick for anyone. It seems he fell apart and began to gain weight during that time and spent a couple of years wandering around, unemployed and lost. His Venus is then a few degrees farther into Virgo so his progressed Sun would have passed over that around the age of 30 (Progressed Sun advances about a degree per every year). This could indicate a new love, even marriage, but I've also seen it show a great depression, even suicidal thoughts. The Sun's presence will magnify whatever it touches. There's mention of both suicidal thoughts and then marriage a couple of years later but I'm not sure how the dates correspond to the chart.
Around the year 2000, the Progressed Sun would have passed over Vaught's Uranus which could have been a more positive time for him emotionally. Uranus rules group activities and new, inventive ways of doing things; things are usually exciting and erratic during these times so that one can't weep too much over the past. Unexpected things happen. At this point he was growing a family and the chaotic nature of family life would seem appropriate. His work as a car mechanic may have been important to his at this point also as Uranus rules mechanical things and technology.
Next Progressed Sun would have passed over Vaught's Pluto, around 2002. Emotional Crisis time. A time to look very deep within and to figure out what's really, really, really, really wrong. Often people going through a Prog. Sun/Pluto aspect simply have to flee from whatever's going on. There's a feeling that something is wrong, sort of a paranoia and mistrust, and there's are a need to search for something with more meaning and depth. Similar progressions happened to both the Runaway Bride when she left her Groom at the Altar and Dave Chapelle when he left his Comedy Show.
At first Steve Vaught realized that his weight was killing him (Pluto rules 8th house of Death) and then he looked further and saw other problems which were equally alarming. This seems to be about a year before he took off on his trip and can also bring Fame into one's life, especially when aspected by Jupiter as it is here.
Progressed Sun then Opposed his Saturn, 2005. Saturn is constricting and represents the father and disciplining behavior. It's great for going on a diet and losing weight but can also lead to a depression. The article states that both issues plagued Vaught during his walk. The article talks about how he grappled with the aftermath of his relations with both his father and his step-father. Relationships and how one relates to others can be tested, must be "taken on," during an Opposition aspect.
The Progressed Sun is approaching opposition to Vaught's Chiron. His book will be out soon and he hopes to teach and inspire others in spiritual and health matters. Nothing could be more appropriate than to have an aspect from Chiron who was the great teacher of many of the warriors of Greece. He was wounded by a jealous God and used the knowledge he realized from his own wound to heal and teach others. Uranus will also pass over Chiron-Saturn which will bring some kind of transitional period into Vaught's life. This could indicate a tough mid-life crisis or it could be a major time for taking a leadership position helping others through some kind of new health or religious teachings.
Steve Vaught's website is www.fatmanwalking.com. The article is called "Lost in America" by Steve Friedman, Backpacker (August, 2006).