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And Then There Were Three: the Astrology of the Season 6 Top Chef Finalists; Third, Michael Voltaggi

Those of you watching Bravo's Season 6 of Top Chef were no doubt holding your breath like I was when the final three were revealed. Now that we know one of these chefs will be crowned the latest 'Top Chef' and we know who we love and who we love to hate, I'll take a look at the astrology of each. Who will win? Who should win? You decide; I just work here! Although I have no time of birth for any of the contestants, a look at their dates of birth still reveals a great deal astrologically. I'm devoting an entire entry to each of them since a paragraph never does any chart justice! Third finalist: Michael Voltaggio.

Michael Voltaggio

Libra is a sign that is most stereotyped as the 'peacekeeping, nice and tactful one,' so it may be quite surprisingly, initially, to find that Michael's Sun and Mercury are in Libra. But Libra is not strictly about niceness, it's really about balance. Libra is Venus-ruled, which gives it an entire creative component, and a Libra's skill in creating it's own art, whatever medium it chooses to use, will be utilizing it's natural understanding of balance and harmony to put components together in a way that is pleasing. Michael clearly has chosen to express his art with food, which emphasizes balance not only in presentation of the food (color, shape, style) but also tastes. Libra is a sign of partnership, which means that it understands that nothing exists in isolation – everything is relative to each other. A dish paired with wine, a spice paired with the right meat, elements from all the food groups, you name it; Michael innately understands how everything fits together and is deepening that understanding as he works with Libra energy.

Michael also has three planets in Scorpio, a sign that is also about extremes, just as Libra is. But while Libra is a sign of learning how to bring extremes into balance and getting them to cooperative harmoniously or at least agree to co-exist, Scorpio is a sign of extremes in the sense that it takes something down to its core and pushes it even further. Michael's Venus and Uranus are conjunct (in the same place as each other) in Scorpio, which means that Venus, the creative extension of his Libra Sun, and his Uranus, the way he expresses his individuality, function together. In Scorpio, he will always wanting to be pushing that creative envelope past it's edges, not only taking risks but working with intense flavors or innovative combinations.

As a side note about Michael's bedside manner (and it's seeming absence on the show): he may have the Sun and Mercury in Libra, but his Venus and Uranus conjunct in Scorpio shows that his relating style (Venus) is less about going the extra mile to fit in or feel understood and more about asserting his independence and being his authentic self in relationships. His personal authenticity demands that he not compromise his individuality for another, but the side effect of that instinct can often be a tendency to push others away. As we'll see below, other factors in his chart have a tendency to make him very single-minded when working, which means that when he's working, don't get in his way! If we knew his birth time, his rising sign, or Ascendant, would be revealed, giving us more insight into the style of social interface that is most comfortable for him to present to the world.

Michael's chart also shows an interesting relationship between Mars in Scorpio, Saturn in Virgo, and Jupiter in Leo, all in a sextile relationship with each other, with Mars and Jupiter on the edges forming a trine to each other. Both sextiles and trines between planets help those components of him to work well with each other. Mars in Scorpio shows his strong desire to take something to its edges. Jupiter in Leo, and its connection to Mars, reveals an innate belief and confidence in himself. Not that he won't ever have a down day, but there is something inside of him that knows if he just pushes it all the way and is willing to go after what he wants (Mars in Scorpio), success is all the more likely (Jupiter in Leo). Confidence, when turned on its side, can look a lot like arrogance, which may be the astrological fingerprint of Michael's cockiness (as some would say he has), but it's likely that a birth time would reveal more fingerprints that add to that story.

Finally, Saturn in Virgo between the two (Mars and Jupiter) is really where he can take anything he does to the next level. If it were just Mars and Jupiter, he may have all the confidence in the world, and a lot of competitiveness, but perhaps no commitment to see things through. Working successfully with Saturn in Virgo means that if he doesn't skip the details, if he follows through with painstaking care, and will accept nothing less than himself than excellence (and take care not to berate himself too much when he doesn't achieve it), then that Mars and Jupiter can take anything he does all the way to the top.

Good luck, Michael!


If you are an astrologer and would like to work with these charts and make your own observations (please share!), the available birth data of all three contestants is as follows (no birth times available, which is why no houses or rising signs are revealed):

Michael Voltaggio: Sept 29 1978

Bryan Voltaggio: April 15 1976

Kevin Gillespie: Sept 30 1982


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