Astrology Musings: The brilliant Jean Cocteau

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Photo by Genaro Servín on Pexels.com

The remarkable, unconventional, eclectic, multi-faceted brilliance of French artist, writer, designer and producer Jean Cocteau, ought to be shown in his birth chart.

For me the most remarkable feature is his Sun, Chiron (the ‘Wounded Healer’) and the Moon’s north node very close together in Cancer in the 3rd house, with Mars nearby too.

Although this feature would have been common to individuals born around this day, it seems to be particularly personalised in Cocteau’s case by the Moon’s rulership of the 3rd house and the 5th house Moon being in good aspect to the chart ruler Venus conjunct the ascending degree in Taurus. Complicated but remarkable – I will try to explain.

A wounded self esteem

Chiron so close to the Sun in Cancer in the 3rd house indicates that his own self esteem suffered greatly early on in his life. His father (Sun) committed suicide when he was 9 and Jean was to travel about (3rd house) Europe with his mother (Cancer). Though difficult, he was clearly to learn and grow from this.

The strong 3rd house is all about communication, travel, mainly shorter distances. During WW1 he was an ambulance driver, also very 3rd house.

The north node’s inclusion in all of this hints of karmic influences playing a role too; he was meant to immerse himself in the milieu of communication, whether by everyday short distance travel, or writing, rather than through his more natural propensity for longer distance travel and philosophy, as shown by the south node in 9th house.

Saturn in the 4th house also shows difficulties, restrictions in the family, at home and harsh lessons to learn.

Practical and artistic

Taurus rising with Venus close to the ascending degree underlines the artistic practicality required to produces results from the 3rd house communicative potential; Cocteau was a brilliant stage and screen designer as well as artist and writer.

This position for Venus also indicates an attractive individual. However, Neptune is also quite close to Venus and whilst this would have introduced inspiration and a certain alluring changeable quality, which he was noted for, it’s also interesting to note that he did become addicted to opium. A prominent Neptune, although inspiring, can often also show a strong potential for drug taking and addiction – need to escape.

Another indication of constant change is his Mercury in Gemini in the 2nd house in challenging aspect to his Virgo Moon in the 5th house. Here we see a constant readjustment and probably a strong fastidious tendency in practical and creative areas.

His 4th house Saturn, ruler of 10th house of career, in good aspect to the 6th house Uranus, reveals the hard work and unconventional approach he had.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

source: Astro-Databank

*Contact me on leoftanner@gmail.com if you would like a personalised astrology 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 Virgin 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’s 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

Prague Churches, Some of the Best I’ve Seen Anywhere

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These pictures are just a selection of some I took on a recent trip to Prague. Nothing could have prepared me for the sheer quality of the churches throughout the city. I can’t remember the names, I was simply blown away by the visual and spiritual feast.

copyright Francis Barker 2019

Pictures of Wenceslas Square, Prague, Czech Republic

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Known as Vaclav in Czech, Wenceslas (actually a Duke, according to some) was martyred by his brother, Boleslaus in the 10th century.

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Wenceslas Square is a major focus for national events in Prague and some compare it to the Champs Elysees in Paris.

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There are some examples of progressive sculpture and art in the square today.

copyright Francis Barker 2019

Haiku: Cathedral

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Praise the bishop’s chair
Build a house high around it
Culture will follow

copyright Francis Barker 2019

Original Oil Painting, Wells-Next-The-Sea, North Norfolk, England

This is an original oil painting, based on a scene in the harbour at Wells, North Norfolk, England.

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Blow up of painting.

It has been completed on stretched canvas and is unframed, size 51 x 41 cm.

copyright Francis Barker 2019.