Bill Maher (Aquarius) vs. Bill Hicks (Sag)

Share this post

Robert Phoenix

Robert Phoenix

journalist, blogger, interviewer, astrologer & psychic medium

maher hicksWho gets top Bill?

I had the great misfortune of watching Bill Maher (0 degrees Aquarius) the other night on Larry King. II used to be a fan of Maher, but he’s lost me as of late. I’m going to step on a few toes here, so if you are a diehard Maher fan, you can either go to another post, leave, or simply read on and hit me back with some comments, but as I disassemble Maher, I will introduce you to the most spiritually and politically enlightened comedian of my time and how Maher pales in comparison to the breadth and scope of the late, great, Bill Hicks. But first let me briefly re-cap Maher’s tete-a-tete with Larry.

One of the things that Maher is great at is dismissively deriding anyone that isn’t in his circle of intellectual and political persuasion. A self-described Libertarian only in name, Maher succumbs to what I call, “socially progressive, elitist entitlement.” It reared it’s ugly head when Sarah Palin emerged as a voice for the mute middle whose values are quickly being disregarded as not only inconsequential and obsolete, but God forbid, un-hip. While I may or may not agree with every position Sarah Palin has, people like Maher and even Deepak Chopra have gone to great lengths to demonize and even shame those that don’t ascribe to progressive viewpoints and attitudes.

The other night, Maher gleefully lanced “Joe The Plumber”, questioning his intelligence and knowledge of politics in general, then went onto laud The Clintons, who although were not about changing government, knew the system well enough to make it work. When Maher taps into his Jupiter/Pluto conjunction in Leo, 28/29, he launches his vitriol and opinions with authority, hammering home points with impressive and cutting force. But this conjunction can lead to tremendous hubris and it was clearly on display the other night, as he pontificated on the stupidity of “The Joe The Plumbers” of the country. It was abundantly clear and has ben since Palin arrived on the scene that the most regressive qualities of the progressives was on display, a quality which manifests as an intellectual superiority and quote-un-quote knowledge of the issues that the “Joe Sixpacks” of the world, due to their superstitious ignorance just don’t get.

As I laid out in my examination of “The Palin Effect” espoused by Chopra, I believe that these smug and self-assured attitudes accelerate the culture wars even more, creating a deeper divide between classes, races and faiths. The socially progressive left, often preaches “tolerance” for causes and ideals that they are invested in, but when it comes to ideas and attitudes that run counter to their “ism” it’s not tolerance, but rabid intolerance as displayed by Maher two nights ago on Larry King.

In addition to the aura of entitlement that surrounds Maher and to some extent, the bulk of The Boomers also born with Pluto in Leo, he has a powerful Sag aspect in his chart, including a Mars/Saturn conjunction in Sag. This can begin to explain Maher’s vehement dislike for religion and his faithful support for animal rights, both ruled by Sag. His moon in Taurus squares his Mars/Saturn conjunction, which gives him a decidedly fixed and intractable position on those views. Freedom seems to be important to Maher, but clearly it’s on his terms and not readily extended to those that doesn’t feel that intellectually or morally qualified. His natal Mercury is retrograde in Aquarius, which speaks to me as the force in his life that separates and divides, rather than joins and unifies as might be the focus if his Mercury were direct. I won’t succumb to bi-partisan spiritual bashing, so I’ll even point out that Maher has Venus, exalted in Pisces at 2 degrees. Somewhere beneath the bluster and bullying is a very sensitive soul, with lots of heavy artillery to protect it from the cruel, harsh, nasty and stupid people of the world. Mahers full frontal assault on “The Joe The Plumbers” and Sarah Palins is in some ways an elaborate agreement between his quick mind and caustic tongue to protect the vulnerable underbelly of his desire to experience unity and merging as exemplified by his Venus/Pisces.

In essence, Bill has trust issues.

However, his latest blitzkrieg on the mute middle only widens the gulf between the unification that I think he desperately seeks, yet simultaneously destroys with glee.

Now let’s have a look at another comedian named, Bill.

bill hicksLadies and gentlemen, the late, great, Bill Hicks.

Bill Hicks shot onto the national comedy scene in the eighties where roamed the country as part of Sam Kinnison’s Outlaw Comics. He and Kinnison were kindred souls in many ways, outrageous, sharp, funny, take-no-prisoners practitioners of comedy. Both were Sags’ and both had a flippant disregard for authority as well. Anything but subtle in their approach, they were rock and roll comics, the Meatloaf and David Lee Roths of stand up. But there was something special about Hicks, something I have never seen any other comedian do. Hicks was able to do much of the same things that Maher does, only better and, here’s the kicker, he was inclusive. He could rail against the left and the right with equal force, he could illuminate foibles and stupidity with a 50,000 watt searchlight and yet, at the end of his set, people usually felt better, more connected and even a little smarter.

The astrological parallels between Hicks and Maher are fascinating. Sag Hicks has his Moon in Aries and Jupiter in Sag. His exact birth time is unavailable so I’m not certain if his Moon and Mars trine, but both Hicks and Maher share strong Sag and Aquarian aspects, which manifest in a similar emotional dynamic for moral outrage. Hicks had a stellium in Sag, highlighted by an exact conjunction of his Sun, Mercury and Mars at 23 degrees. This powerful trio allowed him to have no fear when it came to expressing his views and made him painfully truthful at all costs. His honesty and desire to get to the bottom of social BS allowed him to tackle topics like “Drugs” and “The Kennedy Assassination” with a razor-like-wit, getting close to the nerves of conspiracy, all the while enlightening and making us laugh. Hicks didn’t preach and he often made fun of himself, employing outlandish physical comedy in the process. Although he could rail against stupidity with as much bile as Maher, occasionally adopting a southern drawl, one would often get the sense that the person that Hicks was satirizing was himself. In name and in spirit, he was one of “The Hicks,” unlike Maher, whose antipathy for the common man treads painfully close to the surface, but Maher is often too cool to hold the mirror up to himself

As Maher has his Mercury in Aquarius (retrograde), and Jupiter in Leo, Hicks had his Jupiter in Aquarius and therein lies the rub, the differentiator. Maher expands as he pontificates by decree, powered by the authoritarian Jupiter/Pluto conjunction, while Hicks sought to reach levels of unity and possibility, often ending his shows with a declaration that we are all part of a whole that consists of pure, un-condtional love, a testament to his Jupiter/Aquarian perspective. In Bill Hicks’ world, everyone has a ticket to come along for the ride. This is what sets him apart from Maher in the most dramatic and empowering way.

Bill Hicks, like most prophets and turned-on pundits got taken from us early, succumbing to cancer in 1994, but his message is all over the internet and lives on. In fact, it is rumored that Russell Crowe will play Hicks in an upcoming feature film. I highly suggest that you quickly watch a Hicks segment after having any exposure to Bill Maher. For one thing, you’ll laugh more (oh yeah, Hicks is still funnier) and for another, you’ll feel better.

11 thoughts on “Bill Maher (Aquarius) vs. Bill Hicks (Sag)”

  1. T

    Well….I was surprised and pleased to see someone else writing about Bill Hicks. I pounced on your article the minite I saw in in AstroDispatch! I’d been thinking about Bill a lot after I mentioned him myself in yesterday’s post. Thanks for your visit to mine by the way, which I’ve just noticed! Perhaps Bill is up there beaming down ideas and we were both on the wavelength to catch them this week. 😉

    I enjoyed your take on Maher and Hicks – you’re honest and fair. I am a fan of Bill Maher, have been ever since I arrived in the USA and first heard him. I’ve never missed an episode of Real Time. I’ve been annoyed with him often, especially his treatment of Hillary Clinton during the primaries, and though I don’t like Sarah Palin much myself, I don’t appreciate his attitude towards her. His sexist remarks anger me – he could be so much better than he is (as Bill Hicks was!)

    I agree 100% with what you’ve said about Bill Hicks. I so wish I’d known of him sooner. His words strike sensitive chords in people and live on, Maher ‘s are unlikely to do so.

    I didn’t see Bill Maher with Larry King this week. On Real time last night he had a dig at “middle America” and Palin’s remarks that it is “the real America”. As I’ve said the same thing myself about the much derided “fly-over states” where I live, Bill raised my hackles again. It’s all a bit childish really, I guess.: “My America’s better than your America!” America wouldn’t be America without these sharp divisions though – I notice that that they are part and parcel of American life.

  2. a


    it’s really interesting that you and I were picking up on the same wavelengths. That’s very encouraging for me as it reveals avery subtle connection to in the “innernet” a network of vibrational interactivity that we are always immersed in.

    I find it fascinating that Hicks was really popular in England, in some ways more then here. Like Jimi Hendrix before him, The Brits can often trainspot true talent when they see it and even before us when it comes to our own artists. One of my favorite alternative-pop bands, Orson is from LA, but huge in England. So big, London is now their home.

    I think Hicks even married or had a serious GF Englishwoman, didn’t he?

    In any case, I’ll be adding your very fine site to my links and hope that others who stop by here visit you as well.

  3. T

    Thank you , that’s very kind of you – and I’d just remembered to add you to my “Trines” before I read your response! Bingo – again! 🙂

    I don’t think Bill Hicks was married, but I’ve read that he was very popular in England (at least in London). I wasn’t aware of him when I was in the UK, I lived in the north, where American artists, especially comedians, seldom ventured! The first I knew of him was from a DVD picked up by chance here in OK, followed by several more once I’d seen his performance.

  4. For the last few years of his life Bill Hicks was THE comedian on the British comedy circuit. He would never be someone to appear on mainstream family viewing during early evening. But he had broken onto TV with talk show apperances and specials, which in turn led him to be able to sell out decent sized venues around the country.

    If he’d lived I’m sure his popularity would have increased in the US, but he already had success and, perhaps more importantly to him, respect over here in Britain. I’ll certainly never forget the times I saw him.

  5. D

    Years ago when I was just starting out my career as a talent agent, I would spend week nights in empty comedy clubs looking for the next big thing. I got to see Bill Hicks at the Comedy Store in Westwood on several occasions. Many times his jokes would misfire and badly, but oh man, a few of his bits were comic gems.

    However, it’s important for us who are on a spiritual path to also understand that Hicks was a tortured soul. The cancer that killed him was most likely self inflicted as he put so much blame for the ills of the world on “everyone out there”. In truth, we are responsible for our reality. But he was very very funny. However, in Bill’s case, the joke was on him. Example: it’s funny to make jokes and tell people to f off if you don’t like the fact that you smoke. But what’s the point. Hey, f you, I’m killing myself, ha ha ha. Same with Andy Kaufman and Sam Kinison. Toxic comedy can kill you. It may be funny, but death gets the final laugh.

    Regarding Bill Maher, a very smart guy. Not always right on, but more often than not, hit’s it out of the park. Just my two cents. I especially like Bill’s take on organized region, although he steals a lot of material from Carlin.

    Anyway, always remember what the wise man said. “blessed are the cheesemakers for they shall inherit the kingdom of God”

    Gotham, WI

    As far as

  6. a

    Hey Don,

    Thanks for the upclose view of Hicks. I see him as a sprinter and not a marathoner. I think that somewhere inside, Bill made a choice to not spend a lot of time here. Burning bright and incandescent seems to have been part of an internal strategy. Marathons are for guys like Maher, who is into the perks and lifestyle side of celebrity. Frankly, I just couldn’t see Hicks hanging at The Playboy Mansion in a smoking jacket. Maher is anything but politcally incorrect. And, as far as I’m concerned, bashing the lunacy of religion is like picking low hanging fruit. It’s an easy target. Carlin was great, but ultimately nihlistic. Hicks had the rare ability to redem the social hypocrisy and toxicity that he railed against and take it to another level, a redemptive place. That’s an art form rarely achieved by any comic, past or present.

    Don’t be a stranger.

  7. k

    When Bill Hicks said ….Pot shouldnt be legalized,.. it should be manatory. I was smitten. If anything/one can be too funny this guy was it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top