Well, I just found out that Patrick McGoohan has finally escaped the island–for good.
Yes, I am referring to his masterful turn as “Number 6” in “The Prisoner.”
McGoohan was actually born in New York to Irish parents, who, after his birth returned to Ireland and later England to raise him. He was a Pisces with an Aquarius rising and a large cluster of Aquarian planets in his first house. McGoohan would go onto star in a number of films throughout his career, often popping up as a bad guy. We’ll talk about one of those films a little later.
“The Prisoner” is a virtual cornucopia of layers of symbolism, a feast for anyone wanting to “think backwards” as Crowley once exhorted those who wanted to know the truth. “The Prisoner” debuted on October 1st, 1967 in England. It was a sequel to a show called, “Danger Man” in The UK, known as “Secret Agent Man” in The USA. McGoohan’s “Danger Man” was part of the popular spy genre that permeated TV in The 60’s. From, “I Spy” to “Mission Impossible.” to “Man From U.N.C.L.E.” to “The Saint” and to “The Avengers” (in some ways, The Prisoner’s companion show), these shows leant an air of secrecy and intrigue to the culture at large. What was the social subtext, if there was any? It was that there were eyes and ears everywhere. There is no show that this is more evident on than “The Prisoner.” While on the island, Number 6 is under constant surveillance. The term that is used for this type of society that is constantly under observation is called, “panopticonism.” Ironically this is the current state of affairs in England with the prevalence of CCTV cameras everywhere, a society that is constantly under watch. ‘The Prisoner” was a prescient model of the observable society.
For those that are unfamiliar with the show, McGoohan’s “Danger Man” character calls it quits and decides that he wants out of the cloak and dagger game. But, just like you can never truly leave a gang, or the mob, you can’t get out of the spook world either. Number 6 knows too much and would be too much of an asset to other agencies and countries around the world, so they put him on ice with a bunch of other spooks and plants and see what they can crack out of him during his stay. Most of the series is dedicated to Number 6’s attempt to escape the island, find out who is behind his captivity (Number 1) while matching wits with his captors.
The show was stylish and futuristic, employing arcane symbolism and what amounted to hi-tech devices for the time, which gave the show an extremely authentic feel.
In the very first episode, “The Arrival” tracks Number 6’s abduction and introduction to the island. In an early sequence, Number 6 is brought in to get his orientation and some interesting things occur. First, on the large screen behind Number 6 is a floating mural that has a series of Jupiter’s, rippling in and out of focus. While on the other screen, the one that faces Number 6, the constellations are stretched out across a map of the world. I find this to be fascinating. First of all, Jupiter plays a large role in the symbolism of Free Masonry. It is often considered “The Second Sun” and while Venus, The Morning Star, is often symbolic of Lucifer, Jupiter represents the new Sun, The Sun that is The Sun of this world. Arthur C. Clarke, used Jupiter as a key symbol for his books, 2001 and 2010, where Jupiter gives birth to the new consciousness in 2001 and the second Sun in 2010.
So here we see the modulating imagery of Jupiter in the periphery of our consciousness. Then there’s the constellation floating across the map of the world. To me, this links astrology to intelligence agencies, all of which have unfolded in an esoteric fashion, ever since John Dee became England’s first spy. Then, Number 6 does something very unique, as he’s being briefed while he’s amazed at the details of his life that are exposed. The details, photos mainly stretch back into his childhood. How did they obtain some of the earliest photos of his life and how did they manage to track him from youth, to puberty, to adulthood? Did they find them in his home or was he tracked and cataloged from childhood? But the one thing they did not have, was his birth date, which McGoohan reveals on the show (3/19/28, 4:31 am). The birth date is McGoohan’s actual birth date and I am assuming he is giving his actual birth time as well, which is where I cast his chart.
McGoohan had a double stellium of Aquarius (Rising, Moon and Mars) and Pisces (Sun, Mercury and Venus). They’re all clustered in his first house, which is a very wide first house, the home of The Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun and Uranus. McGoohan’s Sun was conjunct Uranus. Film, art, creativity and self-expression are the area of emphasis in his chart. Mercury and Venus in Pisces were exactly conjunct at 1 degree. McGoohan was most likely incredibly empathic to the point of being psychic. In an odd way, it would serve him well in a form of type casting as Dr. Paul Ruth in the movie, “Scanners.” Ruth is the head of a secret intelligence agency (here we go again) called, “ConSec” and they are in the trail of MIchael Revok (memorably portrayed by Michael Ironside) an evil scanner that is planning global domination via “The Ripe Program” where he is injecting thousands of pregnant mothers with “Ephemerol” the drug that made the first generation of scanners, psychic wunderkinds .
Much like what we saw in the charts of Pike, Wilson and Schiff, McGoohan had a very strong emphasis of transpersonal planets, but they are clustered in very personal potions of the chart. So in essence, McGoohan was a man that was dramatically transpersonal and yet, grounded in a very real sense, especially with his natal Jupiter in Aries in The 2nd house.
But that said, I have no doubt that he was also deeply connected to MI5-6 as the producer of “The Prisoner” and it was that series’ role to promulgate ideas, spread memes, and reveal bits and pieces of the inner workings of “The Great Plan,” particularly through esoteric symbolism and imagistic means.
How does “The Prisoner” end? Well in one of the most over-the-top TV episodes of all time, with far too much going on to breakdown here, the one key component is the revelation of who Nmber 1is and that is McGoohan himself! In a classic case of alter/split personalities, just like Jason Bourne, just like the Tyler Durden program, the two characters are one in the same.
Congratualtions Number 6, you’ve finally left the island for good . . . or did you?