Albrecht Dürer – German Renaissance Genius – Astrology Musings

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Photo by Daian Gan from Pexels

Albrecht Dürer is an astonishing, yet somewhat enigmatic artistic character from late 15th and early 16th century Renaissance Germany.

He was a prolific painter, engraver, designer, writer and theorist. He has had an enormous influence on other artists, not merely in his own time, but right up to the present day, through the sheer quality of his work and the magnetic power of his often haunting imagery.

Personal magnetism – Pluto in first house

Astrologically, he was born with Virgo rising, with Pluto just beyond his ascending degree in challenging aspect to his native Sun in Gemini in house 10.

Virgo rising denotes a versatile, analytical and critical outlook on life, very useful for an artisan where detail and patience are absolutely key. His ruler, Mercury, was found in earthy, artistic Taurus in house 9, underlining his practicality and enduring qualities in producing vast amounts of woodcuts and engravings that have stood the test of time.

Pluto in house 1 would intensify his painstaking attitude, almost bordering on obsession at times, it would seem, especially so as Pluto is challenging his Sun in Gemini in house 10; he would likely drive himself hard so as to potentially endanger his health. This intensity of Pluto, so personalised within him, may indicate the fascination of self portraiture – he produced several good examples of this. In these magnetic self portraits, note the intensity (Pluto house 1 square Sun) of the stare.

Another outstanding feature of his chart is the relatively full house 10 in Gemini, including the Sun, Saturn, and Venus conjunct Moon. The latter conjunction is in beneficial aspect to Uranus in house 2, a very clear indication of his distinctive, unusual manner and his originality, not only in character but artistically.

Ambitious, distinctive, but very likeable

He was also clearly a very versatile, communicative, physically attractive, rather pleasant and probably quick witted person – once you got beyond the initial intensity (Pluto) of his personality.

Many people at the time testified to his charm and wit. Mercury is also high up in the chart, so with all these luminaries here is a strong indication of ambition, the desire to ‘become’ someone in the world. This Mercury is in Taurus in house 9, so he had a practical mentality and a strong interest in philosophy and travel. He made two important trips to Italy and one to the Netherlands.

He was indeed also something of a humanist, contributing much in literature, especially in the realms of natural sciences and mathematics. He wrote treatises on measurement, practical theories (Mercury Taurus house 9) on such things as fortifications, proportion, and also on artistic theory. “Human Proportions” is probably his most important literary work, which took virtually a lifetime to produce.

copyright Francis Barker 2019

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Michelangelo, Creative Genius of All Ages – Astrology Musings

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni – known simply to us as Michelangelo – is often considered the greatest creative genius of all time.

It is hard to argue against this considering his achievements. He was a notable artist, poet, sculptor and architect who created, among other things, the painting of the Last Judgement on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Pieta and the statue of David in Florence.

If his birth data is correct, then he certainly seems to have a birth chart that implies a significant creative force.

Multifaceted

Let’s start with the basics. Firstly, there is only Pluto in earth signs, which is very surprising considering many of achievements are practical creations, like sculpture – more of this later. His elements are primarily air and water, showing that he was inspired and put much rational thought into the creative process too.

He has Sagittarius rising, meaning he had a very free and multifaceted approach to life, an indication of his ability to span many types of creativity. His ruler, Jupiter, is in Aquarius in house 3, meaning there is more than a touch of originality, objectivity and freshness in his ideas and mentality.

Highly sensitive and creative

He has the Sun and Moon in Pisces in house 4, with the Sun in good aspect to Neptune in house 12, showing how he was essentially sensitive, impressionable and also deeply inspired from the subconscious. Mars is also quite close to the Sun, giving him great bursts of creative flair, especially so as Mars in ruler of house 5.

Venus in Aries is also an indicator of primal artistic flair, especially his Venus in house 5 of creativity. Venus is also ruler of house 6 of work and the MC, which also has associations with life direction and career.

However, I want to concentrate mainly on what I consider to be the primary pattern of his chart, namely the fairly loose, yet important ‘kite’ formation involving Mars, Saturn, Pluto and Neptune, and also the Sun and Uranus to some degree. This is a fairly unusual configuration and I am sure one that is significant when one comes down to discussing creative genius. I think the fact that all three ‘outer planets’ are involved is highly significant, an indication that he could tap creatively the transpersonal energies of transformation (Pluto), inspiration (Neptune) and originality (Uranus).

Through studying many birth charts of creative types, like artists and composers, I have found that Neptune in particular almost invariably forms strong aspects to personal planets, or is strongly placed, or both.

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The ‘Kite’ – the sign of a great, dynamic genius?

Apart from Pluto, at the top apex of the shape, it all takes place in water signs and houses using the ‘whole signs’ house system, showing its emotive and inspirational wellspring.

In this regard, Pluto’s presence in an earth sign (Virgo) and house (10), becomes all the more significant, I feel, symbolising the long term, transformative physical effect Michelangelo produced and experienced in his career, and the incredible, powerful legacy he left with us.

Let’s take a closer look at it. Mars in Pisces in house 4, reveals his emotive, disparate energy in opposition to Pluto in Virgo in house 10, a tense, compulsive battle between personal and transpersonal power, which creates great waves of energy to transform the life direction but which needs to be harnessed to make useful.

Applications in the world

Enter Saturn in Cancer in house 8 and Neptune in Scorpio in house 12, both in good positive aspect (sextile and trine) to the Mars Pluto opposition, both of which can feed off this energy. Saturn will tend, despite being in a water sign and house, to earth this energy, look for practical, structural applications of it.

Neptune, and to some degree Uranus, will add sheer inspiration and some originality to the mix from a subconscious and transpersonal ‘muse’, perhaps encapsulating the very nature of genius. And with the Sun also fairly closely linked to this inspirational dynamo too, we can perhaps appreciate the great depths of creative potential that this man had, his ability to produce it for all the world to enjoy – even to this day and hopefully for centuries still to come. He was that rare individual, a genius for all time.

*If you are interested in getting your own astrological report, or would like one created for a loved one or a friend, please contact me at leoftanner@gmail.com.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

 

England’s Heritage: The Collegiate Church of Holy Trinity, Tattershall, Lincolnshire

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The incredibly beautiful 15th century Collegiate Church of Holy Trinity in the village of Tattershall in central Lincolnshire.

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To my mind it is one of the best examples of English Perpendicular architecture anywhere.

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At various times in history, the church has fallen into disrepair but has been restored, even preserving a colony of three species of bats within its structure!

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The major advantage of the massive Perpendicular windows is the great amount of light let in.

words and photographs copyright Francis Barker 2019

Poem: The Empty Naves

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The voice and song remind me
of why I don’t come.
The words and the platitudes wash over me,
echo and reverberate around this sacred space,
crying for heaven
though never finding any home.
The bats are nearer but unaware
of their advantage,
leaving me staring high into this perpendicular sky.
Is this all that is left?
Listening to Betjeman and Vaughan Williams
to stir us up,
to remind us of what once was.
This is me and you coming here,
cultural appreciators
though never spiritual partakers
in a creed we can’t believe.
Give me the fire and brimstone,
a faith which disturbs me
into knowing I’m not already saved.
It is better than this – looking up in awe
into a world that is lost.

words and photographs copyright Francis Barker 2019

England’s Heritage in Photos: Pinchbeck Church of Saint Mary, Lincolnshire

Pinchbeck is a large village in the south of Lincolnshire, which has a very impressive church.

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Pinchbeck church lychgate.

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Older gravestones moved to the side of the graveyard.

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copyright words and pictures Francis Barker 2019

 

England’s Heritage in Photos: Crowland Abbey Flower Festival, Lincolnshire

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Recently, there was a flower festival in Crowland Abbey church in the extreme south of the county of Lincolnshire. The theme was decades over the past one hundred years.

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Poppies are a special symbol for the British losses during World War One.

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World Cup 1966 – England 4 West Germany 2.

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copyright words and pictures Francis Barker 2019

 

England’s Heritage in Photos: Crowland Abbey, Lincolnshire – Medieval Survival, Vandalised by Oliver Cromwell

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Crowland Abbey was dissolved in the 1530s during the Reformation, part of Henry VIII’s restructuring of the England church. However, unlike many monasteries at that time, significant parts of the buildings did remain.

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However, during the English Civil War of the 1640s, the rebellious forces of Oliver Cromwell finally took the what remained of the abbey in a siege against the Royalists in 1643. It was at this time that the structure appears to have sustained much more serious damage, as some of the remaining architecture testifies.

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copyright words and pictures Francis Barker 2019