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The Boat that Rocked: an astrological look at the (loose) inspiration behind the film, Pirate Radio

Pirate Radio is a film out November 13th in the U.S., also known under the British title The Boat That Rocked. The film is very loosely based on the boat known as MV Caroline which was the location for the pirate radio station Radio Caroline. In response to the dead ends he kept hitting when trying to get his sponsored artists some radio air time, Ronan O'Rahilly, began a series of events that led to the creation of the first Radio Caroline, a radio station that operated from a ship and is still on the air today (although it has gone through several incarnations).

Ronan O'Rahilly was born May 21st, 1940. No birth time is given so this chart is without house cusps.

I don't know much about Ronan's life other than his involvement with Radio Caroline and the bands he managed but one of the acts he's most famous for is his defiance in starting his own radio station specifically because he was unable to do so through regular channels. I expected I might see a strong streak of Aquarius energy when I pulled up his chart, but as you can see that is not the case (although an unknown Ascendant leaves that door open). As an evolutionary astrologer, I am fascinated with the south node and its representation of a personality's 'comfort zone', what one enters this life as and falls back on frequently in life. An Aries south node tells me that Ronan came into this life with a strong inclination toward typical Arien qualities: a tendency to act directly from one's desire, a tendency toward competitiveness and/or combativeness, and a passion for overcoming obstacles, especially their own fears. Coming from that perspective, we can see that telling Ronan it can't be done may be the best way to get him to start something.

Following one's passion is something that Aries can be very good at. Mars, the ruler of his south node, is in Cancer, indicating he's likely to be very loyal to and protective of the things he is passionate about. We know that he seems to be passionate about radio because of his history with starting Radio Caroline, but clearly he's passionate about information, communication, and the right to know as reflected in his very tight conjunction of Mercury and the Sun in Gemini, and his Moon in Sagittarius. The Aries south node is channeled through the lens of asking questions, finding meaning, and communicating, and the freedom to do so.

This statement he gave in a 1977 interview seems to sum up much of his beliefs:

I believe very strongly in the individual. I believe in the freedom of the individual. I mean there are so many arguments that I like to put my case for the lack of control. I believe in the individual completely. I have complete faith in the individual. I have no faith in the State, any State. The State is a power and not an individual.

Obviously a birth time would be exceptionally useful to finding out more and given the statements he's made in various interviews about the rights of the individual, I would be shocked to find he didn't have any Uranus or Aquarius emphasis when the house positions, Ascendant and Midheaven especially, were revealed. But the willingness to engage in conflict, even 'war' for what one believes in is definitively Arien, as it his response to an interview question: "If you had known what was the risk of adventure with Radio Caroline, would you have gone ahead?" He said:

Without a question I would not have deferred from it … I am very wild anyway and I was always … For somebody who has a wild kind of streak in them and who likes to live dangerously, I couldn't have had a better life.

References and info:

Radio Caroline's first broadcast: March 29 1964

Ronan O'Rahilly birth data: May 21 1940

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