Conan O'Brien leaves The Tonight Show
(Posted January 21, 2010) Conan O'Brien is off to bad start in 2010. The newly-minted host of NBC's The Tonight Show has seen rumours of a late night shuffle grow over the past two weeks to a point where he is on the verge of relinquishing the coveted host's chair to the long-running late night talk show back to his predecessor, Jay Leno. The dispute between Conan, Leno and NBC has been public and acrimonious and has left the television audience forced to choose sides between supporting the younger, hipper O'Brien and the more established and mainstream Leno. While Leno will likely garner better ratings, at the moment most people believe that Conan has been the victim here. It is a very unfortunate development for Conan in what has been a long and successful career that began in television writing, through 16 years of hosting the popular The Late Show and now his aborted 7-month stint at the helm of prestigious Tonight Show.
A quick glimpse at his horoscope shows the source of his woes. The most obvious culprit is Saturn (10 Virgo), which recently stationed exactly opposite his Jupiter (10 Pisces) in the 8th house. Saturn is often a negative influence symbolizing loss and disappointment and the retrograde station of January 13 is extra problematic owing to the unusually long period of time that Saturn would have been in close aspect to his Jupiter. Jupiter is in mixed condition here since it is in its own sign in Pisces but it is also in the 8th house representing embarrassments, obstacles, and setbacks. Transiting Ketu (South Lunar Node) had just conjoined his natal Rahu (North Lunar Node), another sign of stress and change since node-to-node transits are often times of rearrangement and uncertainty. We may also note that the recent Mars retrograde station at 25 degrees of Cancer in December would have exactly opposed Conan's Moon (25 Capricorn) and was still within close range when the brouhaha went public in the first week of January. Mars' energy is often too much to take when in hard aspect -- and doubly so when in a lingering planetary station. Conan may well have first discovered NBC's plans to bring back Jay Leno sometime in late December when this aspect was closest. No doubt he would have been irritated and annoyed as is often the case with Mars-to-Moon contacts.
The dashas also do not paint a positive picture for him. He started the Saturn dasha in 2003. Saturn dashas can sometimes be tough going, although we should note that Conan's Saturn receives a boost since it is in its own sign of Capricorn and in close conjunction with the Moon, albeit in the dussthana 6th house. The bigger problem concerns the subperiod lord Ketu. Ketu looks more problematic for Conan as it is placed by itself in the 6th house of conflict. Like Saturn, Ketu is a natural malefic and it can produce painful situations and conflict if not redeemed by an association with a benefic planet. While Ketu is in a wide conjunction with Saturn and Moon here in the 6th, neither of them offer much support to Ketu. The 6th house is all about conflict including legal matters, so perhaps it is not a coincidence that Conan would have become embroiled these legal wranglings with NBC during the major and minor periods of two planets that were both placed in his 6th house. Of course, good things can occur in Ketu's period. He did, after all, become host of the Tonight Show during the Saturn-Ketu period. But it is perhaps more telling that he lost that job while still under the predominance of Ketu. In that sense, Ketu's energy required the completion of its subperiod to become fully manifest. As luck would have it, Ketu's subperiod ends in mid-February according to the Krishnamurti ayanamsha, just after Conan will have been forced off the show.
As painful as this turn of events must have been for Conan, the immediate future looks quite good for him. Transiting Uranus is conjunct his exalted Venus in the 8th house of unearned income. I would say that fits pretty nicely with the $32 million buyout of his contact by NBC! Transiting Jupiter will transit his 7th house of business and aspect his first house for the next several months so that will keep his spirits up and boost his public profile. More important perhaps is that Conan's Venus minor period begins in February so that bodes well for the next 3 years. Venus is a benefic planet and it produces good results in Pisces. At the same time, it is not without its peculiarities. While it's exalted in Pisces, it is in the first degree of Pisces, a placement of planetary "infancy" and suggesting it is somewhat weak and placed in the troublesome 8th house. More importantly, it receives a close aspect from Rahu. Rahu governs things that are unconventional and weird -- and what could be more appropriate for the Conebone? -- so Conan is more likely to keep his comic edge in any future endeavor and resist the drift to the mainstream middle. While his career may be recover, the Rahu influence here may indicate that Conan's fortunes will be more up and down, as he may experience periodic problems in both his professional and personal life.
On balance, these influences look positive for Conan and point to an upturn in his fortunes over the next three years but there will likely be some unexpected or unusual developments in his career. We could hear positive news about Conan's next job as early as February when Sun, Venus and Jupiter all transit his 7th house. March also seems quite positive as Sun, Venus and Uranus will all conjoin near his subperiod lord Venus. So it looks as though fans of "Coco" won't have to wait much longer before seeing the string dance again. Perhaps a new show will appear in the Fall as transiting Jupiter will station conjunct his Venus in October and November. This certainly looks like a fantastic time for him.