A man’s promiscuity does not usually become the subject of a book. Some times it does, but instead of being labeled promiscuous, he is considered a lover, a Don Juan--some one for other men to emulate, or at least envy.
Auto Focus, a book about Bob Crane’s life and death, is not about his promiscuity. It is about his unsolved murder. Even so, in describing conditions that created his life and culminated in his murder, Auto Focus chronicles Crane’s descent into promiscuity. I use the word "descent" because in reading about his life it looks like sexually he became less and less satisfied, and more and more lacking in discrimination.
Married May, 1949 at age 19 to a longtime sweetheart, Crane’s first marriage lasted for twenty years and produced three children. On May 13, 1969, he filed for divorce, charging mental cruelty. According to Robert Graysmith, author of Auto Focus, Crane was faithful to his wife during most of their marriage. I have no reason to doubt Graysmith’s research. Crane, born a Catholic, was brought up with the religious ideal of fidelity in marriage.
Crane’s second marriage, on October 16, 1970, was to Patti, a member of the cast of “Hogan’s Heroes.” Their relationship started before Crane’s first marriage ended. He was never faithful to her. Questioned after Crane’s death, she stated their marriage started out “open” (probably more open for him than for her). He bedded so many women she figured they all meant little to him. So, how could she be jealous?
At one point in his career, Bob Crane acquired the reputation of a man involved in sadomasochism, group sex, and all kinds of perverse and dark sexual practices. As Graysmith documents, Crane, a man with high energy, was one of those individuals who could rejuvenate himself after a 30-minute nap. He was not, however, into sadomasochism. He was continually picking up women, often having sex with them once and never again. Some times he shared a woman (or women) with a male friend, but he did not care for group sex parties sponsored by others. He usually filmed--in a time before home videos were easy--his sexual encounter, then kept the video for his collection. Some times he had the woman’s permission to film. Some times she was completely unaware she was on camera. According to women who knew him more personally, after sex he often viewed its film and masturbated. He never forced any one. He never paid for sex.
The pilot for “Hogan’s Heroes” was picked up in February, 1965, when Crane was 36 years old. It ran for 168 episodes, and was canceled on July 4, 1971, covering about five years before his first marriage ended and about eight months after his second one began. “Hogan’s Heroes” would become one of the most successful syndicated shows of all time. It was during that time--after his stardom but before the end of his first marriage--that Bob Crane became sexually promiscuous.
After Crane was murdered, some individuals, reflecting on his changed sexual pattern, felt he had been unable to handle success. They blamed his promiscuity on Hollywood. While I do not doubt success as well as failure has potential for bringing some of us down, I do not blame Crane’s promiscuity on his inflated ego.
As an astrologer, I see Bob Crane’s promiscuity as the result of his intense interest in sexuality coupled with his severe emotional blockage. By number and variety of sexual encounters he tried to compensate for a depth he could not achieve. The timing of his problem--unfolding most powerfully in middle age--is accounted for in part by the location of the planet representing his emotional obstruction, and in part by a progression.
[2012: I should state here that all promiscuity is not caused by strong sex plus emotional blockage. It looks like the strong sexuality of swingers is just that--very strong sexuality accompanied by big emotional highs. The sexual planets are forefront in their charts and therefore sex is forefront in their lives. Their astrology is discussed in the paper on bisexuality. Here is its link: First Paper on Bisexuality. Do a search with the word "swinger".]
Let’s take a look at the partial chart which illustrates Crane’s situation.
Before looking at it, however, I must first insert a few paragraphs about this method:
Below are partial charts for illustrating the discussion. In all of them, birth planets and their harmonics are inside the circle. Conception planets and their harmonics are outside the circle. Perhaps an easier way to see them is: blue planets inside the circle are birth planets; if they are not blue, they are birth harmonic planets. Red planets outside the circle are conception planets; if they are not red; then they are conception harmonic planets.
For an explanation of the whole method, go to “About This Method” on the Home Page. Here, also, is its link: Paper on Method. Also useful is the paper which shows all the empirically-derived rules for reading charts of this method. Here is its link: Chart Reading Rules. For those who do not want to do that, a reminder: this method uses only conjunctions, applying and separating squares, and oppositions. Planets so related to each other are called “sets.” The orb when they include lights is 5°. When they do not include lights, about 2.5°. For progressions of Angles, 1°. Birth planets and their harmonics rule birth houses. Conception planets and their harmonics rule conception houses.
On to Crane’s partial chart. Only the relevant parts of his charts are shown as they come up for discussion:
It does not take much astrology to demonstrate Crane’s pathology--just part of two sets.
(1) Note his b7 moon (it should be green--I used the wrong pen) is in Gemini in c5th (and b 1st) house. Our moons show areas of our fascination, places where our consciousness tends to return again and again. Through them, it is as if we are saying, “if I could just get enough of that (quality, interest, activity), then...(I’d have something really nailed down.)” For that reason, the house and sign the moon is in is especially active. For instance, if the moon is in the 7th house (partnerships and one-on-one encounters)--as, for instance, is the case with most physicians--the individual experiences a wide variety of one-on-one encounters. Much of a physician's interest in relationships is thereby realized through his profession.
(a) In Crane’s chart, his moon is in the 5th house. The 5th house describes our sexuality and says something about our children. Since our creativity is also our offspring, the 5th contains information about our creativity. Crane’s moon in the 5th means he had a lot of sex, or a lot of children, or a lot of creativity. He could have had all three. Crane had four children, was an actor, and had a lot of sex. His “lot of sex” could have been within his two marriages, so by itself a 5th moon does not imply promiscuity. Couples can have ten children and a very active sex life throughout their marriage, but never once stray from fidelity to the marriage bed. A frigid or impotent mate, however, would cause a lot of pain for a faithful individual with moon in the 5th. Even a long dry spell--say his spouse is incapacitated for six months--would be difficult, but not impossible, for a man with a 5th moon. The sun is individualistic and choosy, but the moon is proletarian, and for it any outlet is better than none.
(b) Crane’s moon in Gemini identifies an individual who is interested in language and words and all their possible applications. Crane used some of his verbal skills in, especially, portraying Hogan's wit and humor. I suppose in Gemini in the 5th, he was also skilled in talking his way into bed. One of the other implications of Gemini, however, is “superficial.” The mercury that rules Gemini--unlike that which rules Virgo--has connotations of just being “interested in the facts, ma’am.” Facts and ideas, not their relevance or hierarchical value, are fascinating in themselves. So, individuals with Gemini emphasis (I should say, over-emphasis and affliction) have the reputation for being the “children” of the zodiac, our individuals who refuse to grow up. Combined, as it is in Crane’s chart, with the 5th house, it has a possible interpretation of superficial (Gemini) sexual (5th) encounters.
So, Bob Crane’s moon by sign (Gemini) and house (5th) identifies an individual who might stray--some of the necessary ingredients leading up to it are there--but not necessarily. The same moon could also conceivably play out as an individual who writes children’s stories. With his Gemini moon, Crane would be young-at-heart anyway. And, instead of (or along with) his energy going into sex it could be used for creative writing.
With the above we can see how Bob Crane’s 5th house contributed to his promiscuity, but did not, by itself, create it. His second condition, shown above in his partial chart, was also necessary in order to turn Crane from a faithful married man into an individual who perhaps experienced his greatest sexual satisfaction by masturbating while watching films of his earlier intercourse.(2) His second condition shows conception Midheaven conjunct saturn in Scorpio.
Scorpio is naturally associated with the 8th house, and both are associated with efforts at transformations, especially emotional transformations that lead from being alone to belonging with another (or others). The 8th and Scorpio have both sexual and non-sexual implications. For those so motivated, the 8th house is important in fusing individual values into functionally integrated group ones. But, the 8th house also has an important part in transforming the sexuality of marriage into each partner's sense of shared purpose. The 5th shows sex for the sake of sex, but the 8th, in promoting union or its failure, ends up being the proving ground for the marriage bed. If it is seriously afflicted, the individual will have trouble transforming his I-identity into a we-identity. If married, he does not feel married. His experience with his partner lacks depth, change, and permutations, stunting not only his sexual experience, but all the non-sexual aspect of his relationship, too.
Crane was born with saturn in the 8th sign, that of Scorpio. He was also born with it forefront, that is, conjunct an Angle (which is an Midheaven/MC or Ascendant/Asc). Our Angles progress forward about one degree per year of life hitting new planaets and bringing up that form of consciousness for us. But whatever we have on Angles at birth remains forefront, that is, dominant our whole life. Saturn in and of itself represents limitation or outright denial, so saturn in any sign (if Angular) is going to deny exactly what the sign purports to deliver. Crane’s in Scorpio, the sign of the 8th house, denies the emotional closeness Scorpio promises--demands, even.
There is more on saturn in Scorpio in the papers about Vivienne, the teenager who committed suicide, and John Nash, who spent many years being psychotic. Vivienne’s saturn contributed to her youthful suicide because it was in her 1st house (childhood identity), progressin of her Ascendant hitting her with devastating emotional alienation at a vulnerable age, her mid teens. Nash’s contributed to his schizophrenia because its impact was greatest on his identity (1st) and mind charts (3rd), which, astrologically, were most vulnerable to saturn in Scorpio’s truncation of his feelings. Nash's saturn progressed to the close conjunction of during the period he experienced his schizophrenia as "out of control" and had to be hospitalized. Other than that, he may have been disturbed and had some odd perceptions, but he was socially functional.
Here are those links: Paper on Nash and Paper on Vivienne.
Returning Crane’s chart, naturally a sexuality as feeling-limited as his lead to a persistent sense of dissatisfaction. In fact, toward the end, it is likely that it was continuous sexual variety that made sex possible at all for him. So, yes, the added opportunity and swollen ego of success surely facilitated the development of his promiscuity. But they did not create it. His astrology suggested the problem. Its timing factors brought it to full fruition.
There are two timing implications in Bob Crane’s turn from fidelity to promiscuity.
The first timer came from saturn’s position--where it was at birth. Crane’s is conjunct his conception Midheaven. Our Midheavens represent roughly the “noon” experience of our lives, that is, our middle years. So, Crane’s had implications of expressing more strongly when he was middle-aged and at the top of his career.
Bob Crane’s second timer was an actual progression. His birth south node was at 15 Scorpio 09 at birth. On the date he filed for a divorce from his first wife, it had progressed to 11 Scorpio 49, exactly one degree (minus one minute) away from conjoining his C MC/saturn in Scorpio. It was beginning to “light,” and therefore increase the potency of his original MC/saturn (emotional alienation).
On the date of his death, which occurred some time in the early hours of June 29, 1978 in Scottsdale, Arizona, it was at 10 Scorpio 47, conjoining (less 3 minutes) C MC. It was, so to speak, turning his MC/saturn in Scorpio on full force (see footnote 1, below).
Even given the difference between male and female sexuality (could we but factor out conditioning to see it bared biologically), I think men are not “naturally” promiscuous. They may be more visually excitable, and more open to stray thoughts if not actions, but promiscuity is usually pathological, whether it occurs in men or women. It implies the individual is unable to achieve (married) union, that is, depth of sexuality and the enhanced personal relationship that follows from it.
Crane’s situation shows one astrology that fosters promiscuity. Another occurs when an individual, male or female, has light/venus/mars Angular with one of them ruling a 5th house. In that case, the individual has the full complement for sexual satisfaction forefront in his own chart. He sees the world primarily through sexual eyes, and is, so to speak, ready all the time. How well he handles his condition depends of many things, including his religion, principles, and wisdom in choosing a mate.
Bob Crane was not--whatever his idiosyncrasies--a mean man. He was well-liked by most who knew him. All the women he bedded went willingly. Even promiscuous, however, (Graysmith writes that) Crane was devastated by his divorce. That is not surprising. He was filing for divorce when his MC/saturn in Scorpio was being emphasized by his progressed node in Scorpio. As that became more exact--right up to his death, his experience was shunted from his 1st house (personal identity) through each successive house up to his 7th (partnerships, one-on-one encounters, close friends, and marriage), then turned around to start again at the 1st (footnote 2). His angular, emphasized saturn in Scorpio (house 8) would not let him get beyond house 7 to deeper and more satisfying relationships. He was involved in a kind of astrological Sisyphusian task. Unlike Sisyphus, who at least summited the hill, Crane only got his rock part way up before it escaped him. Then it rolled again to the bottom where, eternally, he had to start over again.
Auto Focus described it this way: “As he reached forty, Bob found his normal insecurities intensified “ (p. 158). And “From a faithful marriage, Bob had gone from a few casual affairs to a continuing search for and overwhelming pre-occupation with sex...he seemed determined to “maximize” his number of sexual conquests, but the more he pursued this, the more intense were his periods of loneliness and depression.” (p.159) Crane’s pre-occupation with sex came with his 5th house moon. His loneliness and depression resulted from his Angular saturn in Scorpio.
I often try to cover what--especially which parent--sponsored the individual’s pathology. In Crane’s case, his worst pathology was represented by his C MC/saturn conjunction in Scorpio, which received harmonic emphasis in two charts. (1) His 1st chart contained b1 moon at 11 Taurus 33, opposing (and lighting) it. (2) His 4th chart contained c4 sun at 11 Leo 15, squaring it. The 4th chart contains information about one’s experience of one’s father. Since, however, Auto Focus did not write much about Crane’s formative influences, I decided to identify, but not elaborate, those two charts. Saturn’s emphasis in his 1st chart, however, shows that whatever created his difficulty with closeness, it started in early childhood and was part of his individual identity.
Crane also had c7 moon (ruler of c 7th house) in Pisces, an indication one of his models for women was that they were unfortunate and pathetic, and, sooner or later, would fail him. Certainly Crane’s one-time sexual partners, even though voluntarily participating, were reduced to mere whiffs of womanhood. His longer-term partnerships with women, however, provided the venue for the worse damage. His wives, failing to please him but not understanding why, would lose self-esteem, behave badly in their distress, lose more self-esteem, and so on, round and round. Graysmith does not indicate how Crane’s first wife fared emotionally. Crane’s second wife, Patti, from whom he had separated, was so emotionally distraught prior to his death some even suspected she was his executioner. Patti may have thought she knew what she was in for by marrying him, but our psychological models of women as represented by our moons are primarily unconscious and extremely powerful. If people in our lives do not fit our models, we unconsciously set about to make them. Otherwise, we are not comfortable with them and they cannot be in our lives.
Without incredible volumes of research, it cannot be established with certainty that Crane had to be promiscuous. Astrologically, his promiscuity was--to say the least--not astonishing. Good research on his problem would have to have two arms. Its first would measure individuals with the same, or very similar, astrology and chronicle their actual feelings and experience. Its second would grade the effect of various therapies, including spiritual ones, on their problem. We want to keep individuals without that astrological problem out of the count. They may not have the problem (so could possibly be useful models), but they didn’t solve it, either, so their how-to manual on extrication from such consciousness is at least suspect until proven otherwise.
(1) I should point out that the above condition (node progressed to MC/saturn), by itself, did not mandate Crane’s death. In addition to it, he had another Angle/moon/mars/saturn which satisfied his major significators for death. His 12th chart (one of the charts murder expresses in) had c12 mars at 9 Scorpio 56, conjunct C MC/saturn, and was, therefore, more ominous. Crane’s 12th MC/saturn/mars also received the progressed birth south node. By itself it did not mandate Crane’s murder because the 12th chart includes many things in addition to murder. Below are Crane’s 7th chart positions for the date of his death:
|B MC||26 Capricorn 44|
|b7 saturn||27 Aries 12|
|progressed b7 moon||26 Libra 29||ruler of b 4th house|
|progressed c mars||26 Libra 33||ruler of C MC and c 3rd house|
(2) Roughly, giving him experience along the lines described by:
|House||Key Words for Experience|
|2nd||”I have and build mine from having”|
|3rd||”I think and relate it”|
|4th||”I feel beginnings and nurture them”|
|5th||”I create and demonstrate it”|
|6th||”I analyze and postulate differences”|
|7th||”We are--I and other relate equally”|
|8th||”We share and build from that”|
Crane is blocked before house 8. Later house influences bring in: spiritual elements (9th), social ones (10th), and those of group identification (11th). So Crane's whole sense of belonging and contributing to the "family of man" was sharply curtailed.
There is a big difference between saturn on an Angle and within the chart. In the former instance (much of Crane's), the individual’s whole life is powerfully influenced by it. In the latter, on progression the individual has a "saturn experience." So, for instance, some one with saturn in Scorpio within the chart, but not Angular, would experience progressed Angle to it as a painful experience where he either failed or was failed in relationship (physically, emotionally, or through death), but he would see that as atypical of his life. [2012: Or, if it involves 5th and 10th houses simultaneously, something of his normally private sex life (5th) would become very public (10th). A good example is shown in the astrology of Tiger Woods when his rather extensive secret sex life became known publicly. Here is a link to that paper: Paper on Tiger's Sex Scandal. In his case the saturn is not in Scorpio, so it does not have the implication of inability to connect emotionally. But it does relate to his sex life because his 10th house saturn in Cancer rules his 5th house of sexuality..
Auto Focus (previously published as The Murder of Bob Crane by Robert Graysmith. New York: Berkley Boulevard, October, 2002.
Bob Crane (AA)
Birth: 7/13/1928, 3:00 a.m. EDT., Waterbury, CT. From Astrodatabank (the site is http://astrodatabank.com). by Lois Rodden and Mark McDonough. Dana Holliday quotes his birth certificate.
Conception:10/04/1927, 3:12:31 p.m. EST, Waterbury, CT.
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