Astrology Musings: the Creativity of Victor Hugo

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Writer, poet, dramatist, novelist, essayist, painter, architect, critic… his creations include ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’, and the novel ‘Les Miserable’. Few creative geniuses of the 19th century – or at any time – were as eclectic as Victor Hugo.

So what made him tick, astrologically speaking?

I have homed in most particularly to his 5th/11th house axis: love, luck, life (creativity) versus hopes, dreams and wishes – if you will. These themes were to dominate his creative life and his political interests.

Compulsively creative

Here we have the Sun, Pluto and Venus in a loose conjunction in Pisces in the 5th, opposed by Saturn in Virgo. Mercury is also in Pisces in the 5th house in aspect to the expansive Sagittarius Moon and inspirational Neptune.

The 5th house is largely to do with creativity, the children of the mind as well as the body. Pisces is hugely imaginative, sensitive, intensified by Pluto and beautified by Venus in the sign of its greatest flowering – its exaltation. He had a compulsive need to create, an energy which also extended into his emotional life.

Add that inspiring Neptune in his first house in good aspect to communicative Mercury in the 5th house, and we can see just why Hugo was so creatively multi-faceted; he seemed to be able to draw on a vast well of inspiration from all the ages as well as his own.

Social justice ‘warrior’

However, as I said earlier, the triple conjunction of Sun, Pluto and Venus is opposed by a very strict, disciplined Saturn in Virgo in the 11th house of societal issues, and is in a loose conjunction with Jupiter in the last degree of Leo.

This great conjunction occurs every 20 years and is often tied to the ‘birth and death of kings’. It certainly relates to political cycles and, so tensely personalised in his birth chart, is an indication that he was always in tune with, or perhaps we should say troubled by, the great political issues of the day, which indeed he was.

His Saturn is also ruler of his 3rd and 4th houses of communication and home and family. So this may also relate to the fact that his parents never seemed to get on, a lingering dichotomy in his life which must have had deep psychological effects.

Controversial yet popular

All this, plus his ruling planet Mars in ‘off beat’ Aquarius in good aspect to revolutionary Uranus in Libra, may also be indicative of the themes he used in many of his writings; he was an outspoken and harsh critic of the political and social injustices during his life and was not afraid to court with controversy. He went into exile in Belgium and then the Channel Islands in the 1850s.

Despite such controversy, he was a hugely popular writer amongst the people, even in his own lifetime and there was a massive outpouring of grief when he died in 1885.

copyright Francis Barker 2019

source: Astro-Databank

*Contact me at leoftanner@gmail.com if you would a personal astrological report.

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Astrology Musings: Leonardo di Ser Piero da Vinci

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Finding that Leonardo da Vinci was born with Sagittarius rising is no surprise.

The mutable fire sign is ruled by Jupiter, is wide ranging, restless, multi-faceted, all of which are qualities that Leonardo used in his approach to life. He travelled extensively and was gifted several creative and scientific fields.

His ruler, Jupiter, was found in conjunction with the Moon in Pisces in his 4th house. He was sensitive, imaginative, quite private really, though quite generous I would imagine, as indeed stories about him testify.

Nevertheless, his Sun was in Taurus in the 6th house, along with Venus in good aspect to revolutionary Uranus and challenging aspect to prolific Jupiter.

Practical and inspirational

This means he was also totally practical, workmanlike, as well as creatively inspirational. Here was no idle dreamer, in other words, he wanted practical solutions.

This is clearly evident from his art, which produced such enduring masterpieces like the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, to his endless quixotic quests into the functioning of the human body and his ability to invent things which were centuries ahead of their time, like the helicopter and other military solutions for those rulers who gave him patronage. Such patrons included the Medici, Ludovico Sforza, Cesare Borgia and King Francis I of France.

Chiron’s position in the 7th house is an indication that relationships were difficult for him, yet he also developed an ability to help others in theirs.

North node in the 2nd house underlines his task to be practically resourceful in his life – a task which he achieved, considering the voluminous amount and variety of work he got through.

copyright Francis Barker 2019

source: Astro-Databank

*Contact me at leoftanner@gmail.com if you would a personal astrological report.

Astrology Musings: Helmut Ruhemann, definitive art restorer

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Saint Luke Drawing the VirginĀ By Rogier van der Weyden – a prime example of the restorative work of Helmut Ruhemann.

Helmut Ruhemann was one of the best and best known art conservators and restorers of the early to mid 20th century, who exuded a highly exacting and painstaking attitude towards his profession.

He kept full documentation of his work, as well as photographic records which continue to highlight the methods underlying art conservation to this day.

It is perhaps not surprising to find Helmut was a sun Taurean, but he was also born at the exact time of the New Moon (his chart ruler) with Mercury in close attendance in his 11th house. Here we have the epitome of patience and endurance, but also an appreciation of art as Taurus is ruled by Venus.

His Venus (Sun ruler) is actually in impatient, fiery Aries in the 10th house of career, in good aspect to Mars in Gemini.

An ardent love of art brought down to earth

This would have given him that initial, strong, ardent love and appreciation of art, the need to communicate and disseminate his knowledge of it, and also seek to make this his career (10th house and Mars house ruler).

However, the strong Taurean elements would have grounded this energy in totally practical ways, and this earthy activity being in the 11th house, means that he invariably sought share this with others in the same field as himself, as a way to make a body of knowledge within his profession.

I think we can also see here his willingness to use modern means, x rays for instance, in the process of restoration but only as a way to give a truer, more conservative result, totally in keeping with the original creation where elements like brushstrokes were left unaffected.

One of his most famous restorations is that of early Netherlandish painter Rogier van der Weyden’sĀ Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin, a task which totally suited his exacting approach.

Nervous energy and home/career challenges

His Mars is at the apex of a fairly tight T-square involving an angular Jupiter Saturn opposition in mutable signs and houses. There is a lot of nervous energy here.

Jupiter is conjunct the MC here too, and whilst this may be an indication of career success, it clearly was no easy ride to the top, this energy being harnessed and funnelled down to quite precise, deliberate artistic channels.

The fact that he decided to leave his homeland of Germany in 1933 was probably all bound up with this, that natal Saturn exactly conjunct his IC (home, family, origin) maybe always left him feeling a sense of overriding duty, even privation at home (wherever that might be), especially so with Jupiter opposing, offering wider opportunities in the outside world, which he eventually found in Great Britain.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

source: Astro-Databank

***If you would like your own astrology report creating, or one for a loved one or friend, please contact me at leoftanner@gmail.com

Beautiful Prague – The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saints Vitus, Wenceslaus and Adalbert

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copyright Francis Barker 2019

Haiku: Faith

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Once it moved mountains
Right now we can’t build a thing
Sure sign of the times

copyright Francis Barker 2019

Haiku: Civilisation

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Civilisation
The first city is unearthed
Let battle begin

copyright Francis Barker 2019

Poem: Homeless

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The chilling chords reverberate
around this cathedral space
There are never any words
yet always you deny my place
my expression of love and peace
and truth –
to accuse me of the traits you exude in floods
Yes I was foolish in my youth
and you saw that as weakness
Now there’s no place that I call home
though a nameless land remains
through which I roam

copyright Francis Barker 2019