Astrology of Shameless

via Netflix

Sometime in March, for the first edit of DDY, I wrote an article about the astrology of various characters from the TV show Sex Education. As that article was so well-loved by many readers, I took the opportunity to write a similar article for my current favorite TV show – Shameless. While the subject matter of Shameless may be very different from Sex Education, astrology can still be applied.

For those unfamiliar with the premise of Shameless, allow me to briefly explain. The TV show, which ran for 11 seasons and ended in April of 2021, is set in the South Side of Chicago. It focuses on the Gallagher family of 6 kids with an absent mother and an alcoholic, unemployed, father. The family is essentially completely raised by Fiona, their oldest sister. The dramedy focuses on the Gallagher family and their neighbors, friends, and love interests. As the show has a very large cast, I didn’t include every single character when I thought about their astrological placements, only the Gallaghers and the main Milkovich characters (apart from Sandy, as she’s only in 2 seasons.) I also chose not to include Liam or Monica, as the former barely speaks until Season 9, and doesn’t have a lot of screentime, while the latter only occasionally appears to wreak havoc every few seasons until she dies in Season 7. 

Since I don’t know the birthtimes of any of the characters, I had to apply my best guess and expansive knowledge of astrology, based on the behavior of the characters. Since there are 11 seasons of the Showtime dramedy, we have lots of source material and specific examples to go off of when considering this sort of thing. 

Ian Gallagher

Gemini Sun, Taurus Moon, Cancer Rising

My favorite Gallagher obviously has to go first. Ian, despite his hair color, definitely has limited fire energy, if at all. But yet he’s definitely not composed of exclusively earth and water, leading me to believe that he’s a Gemini Sun. He’s very adaptable and open-minded about things, and he usually brings humor into situations to lighten them, something that really comes in handy when you live with Frank Gallagher. 

Ian is very in tune with his emotions and takes them very seriously. He’s up front with Mickey about his feelings about things, and gets frustrated when Mickey brushes him off or doesn’t respond in the way that he wants. Ian’s feelings are things that he won’t budge on, as we can see when he threatens to leave Mickey if he continues to keep their relationship a secret, and again when he refuses to marry Mickey, only relenting when Mickey moves in with Byron. This is all very classic Taurus Moon behavior. I would know. 

While he may be stubborn, he’s also very empathetic, like a Cancer Rising, as we can see during his Gay Jesus phase. As his followers mainly wanted to focus on expansion of the movement and commercializing it, all Ian really cared about was taking care of people, something that definitely contradicts his Gemini Sun. He wanted to stay in prison so he could continue teaching the other prisoners about consent, even when his followers raised money to bail him out. Ian’s also extremely sensitive, going so far as to illegally enlist in the military when Mickey married Svetlana. His obsession with escapism at first led me to believe he was a Sagittarius Rising, but I think Sagittarius Mars is probably more likely. 

Lip Gallagher

Aquarius Sun, Sagittarius Moon, Pisces Rising

Lip is one of the most Aquarius characters ever. Whenever I meet anyone with any Aquarius placements, I instantly find myself comparing them to Lip, totally subconsciously.The way that Lip views the world is in the analytical way that only an Aquarius would. His interests in things like engineering and robotics are classic Aquarius, always focused on the technical side of things. Lip also consistently seems to be detached from reality, always off in his head about something.

Emotionally, he doesn’t seem to be quite so detached, but he does appreciate escapism, which points towards a Sagittarius Moon. Lip always had really big dreams and ambitions, even though they didn’t end up coming to fruition. But yet he consistently has the witty style of humor and consistent optimism that only a Sagittarius would.

Deciding what his rising is proved to be quite difficult, because he doesn’t seem sad or demure enough to be a Pisces rising, even though he both acts and looks like one. But he is extremely emotional, even though he usually expresses this through anger, which is probably due to his Sagittarius Moon. But the truth is, I think that Lip’s relationship with Karen definitely altered his personality. A Pisces rising after experiencing heartbreak would definitely end up closed off and unemotional, like how Lip presents himself to the world. But as we see with Helene and Sierra (no shade to Tami I just think their relationship was more circumstantial) Lip does fall in love again, he just doesn’t express it like how he did with Karen. 

Fiona Gallagher

Aries Sun, Cancer Moon, Aries Rising

Fiona is genuinely one of the most intriguing and well-written characters on the show, even though she’s not my personal favorite. She’s very protective of her family, and can’t bring herself to admit that she might need help until someone (usually Lip) has to tell her. In Season 9, as she spiraled into alcoholism after she lost all her money and found out about Ford’s other family, she refused to accept any help until she went to an AA meeting. This independence is indicative of an Aries Sun.

The way that Fiona wants to be needed so desperately makes me think she has a Cancer Moon. She truly cares about other people deep down, but she doesn’t let anyone see it. After she left in Season 9, the family really began to operate in a different way, more separate from each other. It was because of her that they were all brought together. There seems to be a consistent imbalance with Fiona. She wants to be needed, but she also wants to not need anyone. This is a prominent indication of Aries and Cancer placements in a big three. 

The way that Fiona presents herself and the way that she interacts with others is a typical Aries Rising. She’s very expressive and loud, typically the life of the party. She’s blunt and straightforward about things, in a way that can be intense to receive, but is (usually) meant kindly. 

Debbie Gallagher

Scorpio Sun, Cancer Moon, ??? Rising

Debbie is probably one of the most overhated Shameless characters and I’ve never really understood why. She seems to be worried about abandonment to an obsessive extent, as we can see based on how her relationship with Sandy ended. As a child, she desired closeness with her family. She spent extensive amounts of time calling hospitals and morgues whenever Frank went missing. After Fiona left, she desired the amount of control that is typical of a Scorpio Sun. 

Debbie’s been a homemaker for all 11 seasons. In Season 1, when Frank and Fiona kidnapped Aunt Ginger, she spent copious amounts of time bonding with her. When Aunt Ginger left, she was so distressed that she stole a child from a birthday party. And in Season 11, she expressed her need to take care of someone in their old age, upset after she broke up with Sandy. The care she expresses, along with her maternal instincts, are all classic Cancer traits. 

I’m really not sure what her rising would be. Cancer seems to be the most likely option, but the thing about Debbie is that her personality shifts quite a bit throughout the show; starting out responsible and caring as a child, then becoming bratty and self-centered as a teenager, ending up as almost a matriarchal figure in Seasons 10-11.

Carl Gallagher

Leo Sun, Leo Moon, Aries Rising

Carl is easily one of the most popular Gallaghers, definitely the result of pretty privilege, since he had the most boring character arc, in my opinion. Who cares about a child who displayed serial killer-like tendencies who goes on to become a cop as an adult? Definitely not me. Carl has always been very bold and up-front about everything. He always says exactly what he’s thinking. When he liked Dom, he bought her gifts and consistently asked her out. This boldness and ability to be upfront with people shows strong traits of Leo, both in Sun and Moon.

Carl can be very aggressive when he needs to be, which we saw very well in the entirety of his White Boy Carl phase. He’s a natural leader, but very protective of those he loves as well (when he bought the Gallagher house for Fiona.) He’s not a mean person, just direct about what he wants. He reminds me of Fiona in this way.

Mickey Milkovich

Scorpio Sun, Scorpio Moon, Virgo Rising

Mickey is a hard character to crack. He spends Seasons 1-3 extremely emotionally closed off, and is basically absent for all of Seasons 6-9, save for the prison scenes and the whole Season 7 ordeal. But one thing about him is extremely obvious. He is a Scorpio. He’s dark, bitter, possessive, and insanely repressed. One of the best examples of this is in Season 3 when Ned took Ian to the bar. Mickey followed them there and beat Ned up, which, firstly, was a turning point in his emotional development, but secondly, was one of the most Scorpio things I have ever seen. That rivals Blair Waldorf’s entire existence. You can really tell that Mickey is a Scorpio in terms of his relationship with Ian. A non-Scorpio probably would run away to Mexico without stopping to get Ian. A non-Scorpio probably would not get himself in the same prison cell as Ian. Whenever Mickey experiences strong emotion, the only way he knows how to cope with it is by aggression. Ian tried to get him to admit he loved him, he beat him up. All Mickey does is beat people up. 

But when he’s not beating people up, he can be very anxious. He’s always worried about something, and he’s extremely detail-oriented. He likes when things are clear and simple, and doesn’t do well with emotional situations. This all has very strong Virgo energy, which is why I think he’s a Virgo Rising.

Frank Gallagher

Aquarius Sun, Leo Moon, Gemini Rising

Confession time: I hate Frank. I hate him. 99% of every problem in the show was caused by him, which I guess is sort of the point, but still. I think that part of the reason why Frank and Lip are so similar is because they’re both Aquarians. Both of them are focused on the technical side of everything. Almost everything that’s similar about the two of them is an Aquarius trait.

I’m not just saying that Frank is a Leo Moon because he’s self-centered, before you ask. Frank acts like the entire world is built for him to perform on. He’s always making a spectacle of himself, on purpose. His main goal in life, it seems, is to make his presence known to anyone who will listen. He has a big victim complex as well, almost to the point of delusion.

Frank loves to talk. All he does is talk, all day long, to Liam, to Kevin, to Tommy/Kermit, to everyone. He just talks and talks and talks. Part of the reason why people like Frank is because he’s funny. But he’s funny in a very Gemini way, which is why I think he’s a Gemini Rising. No one else would talk that much and try so hard to be so funny.

Mandy Milkovich

Sagittarius Sun, Pisces Moon, Scorpio Rising

Mandy being a Sagittarius would honestly explain a lot. She’s funny, honest, and it would explain why she’s so close with Ian, what with him being a Gemini. Mandy’s always going somewhere, like a Sagittarius. I don’t have a lot of specific examples to back this up, it’s more of the energy that she has, the way that she talks, etc. When she grows up, she tells Ian about how much she enjoys travelling with her clients. 

Something that I admire about Mandy is how personal she is with her emotions. She’s very giving and kind, going to lengths for those she cares about. Examples: fake-dating Ian to protect him from homophobia, applying to colleges for Lip, etc. But she can sometimes be secretive about those emotions, which usually backfires on her. These are all qualities of a Pisces Moon. 

Originally, I thought Mandy had some sort of Earth Rising, but she’s much too menacing. Mandy knows exactly what she wants and won’t hesitate to get it, using fear tactics to do so oftentimes. She outwardly displays herself extremely aggressively, as well as keeping her feelings locked inside. The only time we ever saw her display emotions other than fear were around Lip or Ian, people that she’s very close to and trusts. 

Shameless is my current favorite show, but it can be extremely unpredictable. One could argue that Season 1 Mandy and Seasons 2-7 Mandy had completely different personalities, even though an actor change shouldn’t affect that too much. The characters seem to be constantly contradicting themselves, which makes it extremely difficult to decipher what their astrological placements may be. The characters are written to be highly emotionally complex. One could argue that characters such as Fiona and Lip are some of the best written in modern television. It would probably take a lifetime of rewatching Shameless to fully figure them out, so everyone will probably have highly differing opinions on topics such as these. 

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