American broadcaster Art Bell was born on this day, June 17, in 1945.
Art Bell was the founder and original host of the conspiracy and paranormal-themed radio program Coast to Coast AM. A controversial figure hosting an even more controversial show, Art Bell’s voice reached the ears of millions of listeners. According to The Washington Post in 1997, Bell was the most popular late-night radio talk-show host at that time, with his syndicated show broadcast from over 320 stations.
Bell “semi-retired” from broadcasting in 2003, but made frequent returns to the airwaves until his final retirement in 2015.
Art Bell passed away on April 13, 2018 at his home in Pahrump, Nevada at the age of 72.
Now hosted by George Noory, Coast to Coast AM continues to air seven nights a week, from 1:00am to 5:00am Eastern Time, with an estimated audience of close to three million listeners.
Art Bell’s natal chart
Art Bell has his chart ruler, Mercury, in Gemini in his tenth house, with his Sun and MC co-present. This placement screams “a prominent career in communications.” When we add in his second house ruler, Venus, and his third house ruler, Mars, both being in the ninth house (significations of which include knowledge, dreams, visions, stories, and fables) we see a very clear picture of what Bell did for a living and what he was known for.
We also see how he did it. With the ruler of the first so well-placed in the tenth, Bell’s passion for work would be the driving force of his entire life.
While Mercury is technically combust in his chart, that’s not much of a problem at all here. First, because Mercury is in a sign that it rules, it can be said to be “in its chariot.” This special, mitigating factor effectively “shields” a planet from the effects of combustion.
Second, Mercury’s nature is naturally “dry,” so the burning heat of the Sun does little to affect it. That’s good, because Mercury is often combust since it’s never far from the Sun. For the most part, a combust Mercury usually does little more than diminish the native’s objectivity.
Since Bell was constantly criticized in his life for “peddling conspiracy theories” and allowing “pseudoscientists” on his show without any push-back, a case could be made that we’re seeing the effects of a “non-objective Mercury” play out with regards to how he was seen by others.
A couple of other points are worth noting. First, according to the biographical information I have available, Art Bell took an early interest in radio, and obtained an amateur radio license when he was thirteen years old. This would have been a second house profection year for him, and so could be seen as foreshadowing where his resources would come from later in life.
When he entered this profection year in June of 1958, Jupiter was also transiting his second house, and it conjoined the transiting North Node there in August. The Greater Benefic conjoining the “increasing” Node of the Moon may well have been an important trigger for this profection.
Also, prior to it becoming known as Coast to Coast AM, Bell’s radio program was called West Coast AM, which he created and launched in 1978. While I don’t have an exact month and day for when this show first went on the air, it’s entirely possible that it was when he was thirty-three years old, and thus during a tenth house profection year.
On June 24th of that year, just after his thirty-third birthday, Mercury conjoined Jupiter in Cancer, where the latter planet is exalted. This aspect between the ruler of Bell’s tenth house and the Greater Benefic, forming mere days after he would have entered his tenth house profection year, is interesting. I wouldn’t be surprised if that date was either the day of his first broadcast, or the day he received permission to do his show.
Finally, and less fortunately, Bell’s seventh house is ruled by Jupiter, which is in its detriment in Virgo in his first house. I don’t generally like to associate “relationship troubles” with a single placement, but it’s significant to note that Jupiter is ruled here by Mercury, a planet which we’ve already seen is vital to the chart and absolutely dedicated toward Bell’s work.
Bell was married four times during the course of his life, and according to his biography, his choice of career and his dedication to it was a constant source of friction in his relationships, particularly in his marriage to his second wife, Vickie.
Art Bell’s chart, and his life in general, is a case-study of someone who felt a calling, embraced it wholeheartedly, and (for better or worse) didn’t let anything interfere with it.