Unforgiven: Tonya Harding’s Astrological WHHHHHYYY?

It was a WHACK heard all across the world: On January 6, 1994, while the moon was in the competitive sign of Scorpio, someone entered Detroit’s Cobo Arena and hit Nancy Kerrigan’s knee after her practice skate for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

A Quick Recap [no pun intended!]
Kerrigan is actually hit above the knee, which keeps her off the ice for ten days. She’s not able to compete on January 8th, and Harding wins the U.S. Figure Skating title and a place on the Olympic team. It’s soon revealed that Harding’s entourage (would-be stars of World’s Dumbest Criminals) was behind the attack, and speculation rose that Harding herself at least knew about it or even orchestrated it. Harding gives a statement saying that she knew about the attack only after the fact, and apologizes for not having told authorities sooner. The United States Olympic Committee wants to keep Harding from competing in the Olympics for ethical misconduct; she threatens lawsuit because she’s “innocent until proven guilty.” Harding gets to compete and takes eighth place; Kerrigan wins silver. Soon after, Harding is found guilty of hindering the investigation; she’s put on probation for three years, fined 160K, and is forever barred from the U.S. Figure Skating Association.

Twenty-four years later, Margot Robbie gives a heroic performance in the movie I, Tonya. The titular character is given more dimension beyond the media’s “evil jealous bitch” portrayal: we see Tonya’s backstory as an abuse victim at the hands of her mother (Allison Janney=perfection) and her on-again-off-again husband Jeff Gillooly. With the advent of the movie, Tonya Harding goes to the Golden Globes and is thanked by winner Janney; she’s profiled by the New York Times, ABC and nearly everyone else. Backlash ensues, people problematizing the celebration of a morally reprehensible Tonya Harding. YET, redemption has been a reoccurring theme over the past few months:

  • Mandy Bass’ Florida home is broken into and she’s beaten to a pulp; she forgives her attacker (he was on drugs = bygones) and pleads on his behalf to avoid prison time; they go on Today and chat with Megyn Kelly.
  • Someone calls Sarah Silverman the c-word on Twitter; she “sees his pain” and uses her celebrity to beef up his gofundme account and offers to pay his medical bills.
  • At a Las Vegas Celine Dion concert, a sloshed fan rushes the stage and dry humps the Canadian singer; Dion coddles her, saying she’s glad she came on the stage. Together, they sing a few bars of I Love You, You Love Me.

The above instances are heralded as new benchmarks, beautiful lessons in compassion, humanity and forgiveness. Having to pay for heinous crimes, verbal assault and ruining a concert for over 4000 (and ostensibly sexually assaulting the singer) is redundant; we assume these people have gone through enough, with their horrible pasts and problems and backstory we know NOTHING about. YET we get an award-winning movie that explains Tonya’s past, she pays for her crimes, and 24 years later, we still hate Tonya Harding. For whatever reason, she’s less redeemable than a violent drug-addled intruder who nearly kills a woman, a misogynistic verbal abuser, and a shitfaced fan who has no boundaries. WHY? It makes absolutely no sense.

But yet it does. Perhaps Tonya Harding better portrays the darker aspects of our personalities; when we see Tonya, subliminally perhaps we see our truths and are not able to skate around them (sorry;).

That’s why astrology is so great. It helps us to understand others and ourselves more. Astrology is based upon archetypes that we all embody to different degrees. The sign of Aquarius, for instance, correlates to the archetype of friendship and community; some of us will resonate more or less strongly with this theme in our lives, yet we all experience it to some extent. Perhaps with the following look at Harding’s astrology, you’ll gain a glimpse into her psyche that perhaps makes her — and us — more redeemable.

Sun in Scorpio
Tonya Harding’s Sun is in Scorpio. (Interestingly, this is Nancy Kerrigan’s moon sign, which depicts one’s secret self.) The sign of Scorpio is often maligned and seen as mean-spirited. Most of my clients are Scorpios, and they are among the most loyal, honest and caring people I know. They are, however, much more in touch with their primal impulses than the rest of us; in Freudian parlance, they are more aware of their id, which corresponds to the pleasure principle of immediate satisfaction. For example, a typical person may think, “That person is cute!” A Scorpio, however, might think “I want to have sex with them.” A typical person may think, “I really don’t like him,” whereas a Scorpio may realize they want to kill them. They may not do either, particularly the latter, but they’re aware of their innermost selves — their hyper emotionality ensures they don’t dismiss the truth. Without enough love, understanding and social feeling, someone with a keen awareness of their impulses may act on them. They may not kill anyone, but they may not hold back when they’re upset, and may not pull punishes in competition — thus, Scorpios’ reputation (a few bad apples spoils the bunch). Perhaps Tonya, and even Scorpios in general, reminds us of our own id that we don’t want to see; or on some level, we’re jealous we can’t be as at peace with it as they are.

Cancer Rising
Tonya Harding has a Cancer rising, indicative of her personality and approach to the world. Cancer is the most sensitive sign of the zodiac. They feel everything. It’s often said it’s like they have no skin, their feelings are so raw. If the movie and Tonya’s account of her abusive past are true, her hyper-sensitivity coupled with constant abuse might make any person mad. And it could have been worse: Per FBI statistics, Cancer is the most dangerous sign of the zodiac. Their emotions, perhaps bottled up over time, overcome them; they usually kill because of jealousy.

Taurus Moon
Tonya Harding’s Moon is in Taurus. This Moon appears opposite her Sun (Taurus is the opposite sign of Scorpio); this means that Tonya was born under a Full Moon. The Sun, representative of father, and the Moon, the mother, in opposite signs shows that her parents came from drastically different perspectives. The dichotomy between parents is internalized within the child, and is ideally harmonized with the right conditioning. If not harmonized, the subject is internally at odds with themselves, i.e., satisfying one aspect leaves hungry the other. Further, the Full Moon makes Tonya’s mother — to Tonya — larger than life. If she had really been abused by her mother, her whole world — as she experiences it — would be abusive. This is explored in the movie, as it’s intimated that Tonya perceives herself to be attacked by the world — perhaps because her mother was her world and had attacked her, according to accounts, non-stop both verbally and physically.

Saturn Conjunct Moon
Tonya’s Taurus moon is within one degree of Saturn. Saturn restricts, limits and cuts off energy; in this instance, it cuts off the emotional comforting and nurturing energy of the moon ideally found in one’s mother. If we believe Tonya and the movie’s portrayal, Saturn here is most severe; her mother had not just withheld love, but expressed Saturn’s side as a punishing, cruel dictator.

In her mother’s defense, there had to be some love there. Their family was dirt poor, yet Tonya was still afforded the luxury of lessons that allowed her to skate all the way to the Olympics. And who’s to say that her mother’s strictness and ridiculously high standards (Saturn) didn’t mold Tonya into elite athlete status? Without the self-discipline of Saturn, great achievements cannot be accomplished.

Saturn also represents time. With Saturn so close to her moon, great timing is second nature to her. Thus, it makes sense that she is still one of nine women to have executed a triple-axel during competition. A triple axel is a jump constituted by three-and-a-half rotations in the air; it’s all about timing.

Mercury Conjunct Neptune
We also see that Mercury, the planet of Communication, is at an exact conjunction with Neptune, the planet of illusion. This often gifts the native with great imagination. On the downside, it can indicate mistakes in judgment based on suggestive information; in the movie, her mother tells a young Tonya to not talk to another little-girl skater: “That’s your enemy.” Thus, the die is cast for Tonya’s relationships with other skaters. Further, this aspect can indicate a mental process that re-creates experiences into more acceptable ones to be absorbed by consciousness; this is akin to selective memory which may exclude realities one refuses to acknowledge. If Tonya has lied, therefore, she may actually believe her lies.

North Node in Aquarius, 9th House
The most important thing — irrespective of our pasts — is where we’re going. In our charts, we look to our North Node which is like a guiding star to help us maximize our creative and spiritual potential. With Tonya’s North Node in Aquarius in the Ninth House, her destiny is to better the world through teaching — to tell stories that have universal meaning for global impact. With her South Node in Leo, the fuel for this destiny is wrapped up in a past that is self-focused and even dramatic. Looks like she’s doing that. She’s shared her story, and if we take a closer look, we may be able to learn so very much — about parenting, competition, our pasts, passions, love and more. Already, she’s done more for the world than a lot of other people. In fact, some people have done much worse and haven’t even paid for their crimes. Through the movie, her publicity circuit, and even this article, perhaps in understanding the WHYS of Tonya Harding, we can focus on the HOWS of our lives — how to be our best and achieve greatness without having to pay such a price.