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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Martin Luther, Passionate Reformer – Astrology Musings

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If the Christian Reformation could be said to have a starting date, it must surely be the day of October 31 1517, when Martin Luther, Augustinian Doctor of Theology at the University of Wittenberg, is said to have nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the door of All Saints Church in that German city.

What is not generally acknowledged is the hard work and mental torture that this man must have gone through to get to that crucial point, basically becoming exasperated with such practices as the selling of indulgences, which supposedly reduced a person’s time in purgatory.

A passionately intense man

According to the birth data given, Luther was born with Leo rising, making the Sun his ruler, which is found in Scorpio in house 4. Essentially, here is a lover of life, a deeply passionate and intense person who is interested not only in his family and background but also the fundamentals of life – what he saw as the truth, stripped back to brass tacks.

His Sun is in good aspect to Chiron in house 8, indicating that he suffered much through his deeply penetrating attitude, his wish to get to the fundamentals, but which also put him in to a positive position to help others later.

This can be seen through his encouragement to look to scripture, rather than the other teachings of the then Catholic church. This would necessitate the translation of the Bible into the native tongues of Europe, something which Luther also encouraged.

Black and white

His character is also moulded strongly by the elements; he has no planetary activity in earth and lots in fire and water.

He clearly saw things in black and white, he was emotional, intense, and with the Moon in Aries in house 9, he could be a bit of a firebrand, reacting quickly, strongly, angrily at times, especially in mental pursuits, perhaps most particularly in higher mind/philosophical areas. This was only exacerbated by the Moon’s opposition of Pluto in house 3. He clearly often felt blocked by the intransigence of the Catholic authorities, who were not supportive of his wish to reform and sweep away.

Strongly defining conjunctions

His character is also strongly defined by two important conjunctions. Mercury is almost exactly conjunct Neptune in Sagittarius in house 5.

He had a free thinking, creative mind, able to quickly grasp ideas and philosophy, but behind all this was a strong sense of spirituality, a connection to the numinous (Neptune); it’s almost like having a direct line to God, or believing that you have. I think this was a most important trait.

The other highly symbolic conjunction was between Venus and Saturn in Scorpio in house 4. Though deeply and powerfully emotional, he was also mightily controlled, willing to endure suffering, loss, privation even torture for what he believed.

He certainly did not ‘get his kicks’ from any run of the mill enjoyment and would probably view most earthly pleasures as pointless and tedious. The strength of these two conjunctions alone, are a prime indication of his motivation to become a priest/friar in the first place.

Cutting zeal

Add to this the cutting zeal of Mars in Scorpio (aided by loose conjunction with Jupiter) in house 4, being the ruler of house 9 of philosophy and religion, plus the above said conditioning of Venus, being the ruler of house 3 of the everyday mentality, and a picture of him fully emerges as someone of complete determination and belief that his deeply felt spiritual cause is correct.

Most interestingly, the north node in house 9 is exactly opposite Jupiter in house 3. The north node shows where are meant to go in life and in his case it is towards a more outer, philosophical direction, a direction which he certainly led.

The harder – but only choice

It would have been much easier for him to have continued as a Doctor of Theology, which, although clearly religious, is very much more house 3 activity than 9, especially in the way the Catholic church was structured then, where he stood to glean much, even materially, from his position in Wittenberg University. Such was the strength of his belief and conviction, he decided to take the harder route and thus became the historical figure he is now.

Few other people, especially common people, have had such an impact on history, a fact which I believe is fully shown in the quality of the chart of his nativity.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

*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.

300-Year-Old Farmhouse | Germany — Edge of Humanity Magazine

Photographer Robert Mertl is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of these images. From the ‘An Old Farmhouse’ series. To see Robert’s body of work, click on any photograph. Schwarzer House, Grassemann, Germany. Built in 1698. All images © Robert Mertl […]

via 300-Year-Old Farmhouse | Germany — Edge of Humanity Magazine

Johannes Brahms born this day 1833 – What do the ‘stars’ say?

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Brahms

With Tchaikovsky also born on this day in 1840, this middle period of Taurus is evidently fertile ground for great musicians and composers.

Born in Hamburg in northern Germany, many aspects of his life and personality are reflected in his birth chart. He is said to have been both an innovator and a traditionalist. I believe we can see the latter in his Sun in Taurus, which though artistic (ruled by Venus), favours the more conventional elements of art and music. His Capricorn Midheaven and Saturn in Virgo, trine his Sun in Taurus in the 6th house, strongly hints at a highly structured, methodical approach to work and career. The latter too probably accounts for his meticulousness and perfectionism which are often referred to. He famously destroyed some of his work, or at least left it unpublished.

However, where might his so called innovative and romantic side stem from? Well, he has Aries rising, which likes to plough new furrows and which traditionally means the ruler of the chart is Mars, which finds itself in emotional, romantic Cancer – which also, incidentally, is conjunct the north node of the Moon in the 4th house: I think he clearly followed the path he was supposed to take.

Even more though, he has a tight Mercury Jupiter conjunction in Aries conjunct the ascendant, sextile Uranus in Aquarius and trine a wide ranging Moon in Sagittarius. Here is the precocious, talented child, a bundle of creative energy and, probably, a very ‘difficult’ child too. Here is great manual dexterity, innovation, flare and sheer raw talent rolled into one. Some might call it genius. Venus in Gemini trine Neptune also evokes an easy romanticism and someone truly inspired at times.

So little wonder then that Johannes Brahms is considered one of the all time greats, to rank alongside Beethoven and Bach.

source: http://www.astro.com

Poem: A Walk by the Sea

a walk by the sea

Without too much thought I took
to the beach,
followed the white lines of
breakers
leading me due north along that
fractured shore.

in no time at all the beach huts were
behind me,
removed by dunes and blurring
summer haze.

then suddenly
she was there
right in front of me, as if she’d
dropped
right out of the ether.

she was squatting down,
blonde haired and
quite young,
her blue-green dress hitched up a touch
showing small bare feet
half buried,
where the dry white sand
gave way to shingle.

I stopped
said hi
but she didn’t even look!
staring into that wide expanse
she could see
clear across the ocean.

looking down I admired her
gold-embroidered dress,
the delicate amber jewellery on
slim fingers,
her long hair matted by
the keen breeze.

then she looked up,
her eyes like cyan gems
and pointed to herself–
‘Elfhild’ I thought she said
sounding sort of German
or Dutch or maybe something
in between
but I didn’t speak a word.

not then.

she didn’t seem lost or in any distress
so I moved on,
giving her a faint wave,
after all, what business was it
of mine?
I carried on steadily
maybe half a mile or so,
felt the wind move round
south to south east.
I could’ve done with a jumper so I
turned back,
got up quite a pace in the end.
frankly I wanted to return
to see if she was alright –
but I saw only footprints
where she had been, where the shingle
gave way to sand.

walking to the shoreline something
caught my eye, a piece of amber
wet and shining.
I picked it up, held it
to the light
and smiled, looking out
to where the waves
were rolling in by the edge of
that German sea

poem and image © copyright Dave Barker 2012

Poem: ‘München 1980s’

Toit stade Munich

Toit stade Munich (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Munich was the revelation, a summer
day and sultry night spent on streets
full of girls.
Americans from Boston, all eyes,
all teeth and smiles, never knowing
the word ‘retreat’. But they froze
in the face of my voice, my accent
(and so what is that all about?). Not a word
to comprehend, though one
would understand my kiss.

Then we rose in circles of museums,
BMWs going back in time— looking
further out toward Alps, first glimpses of
Olympic legacies, where Bayern now
played in their blazing red. More
a work of art than a stadium; like
the girl at the counter, almost beyond
beauty, leaving me speechless
and sadly gawping. “What is this?”
I asked myself. “What are you
doing to me, this feeling?”

So typical of me, my mind going off
in tangents, to eastern philosophies
of afterlives and rebirth. Patience
has made her beautiful, patience
in forgotten pasts, risen up
into this image which attracts
without trying, like a baby or a kitten,
yet so deep, more profound.

I found myself smiling into
cobalt eyes, stuttering my worst
German words. And all the poor girl did
was blush

poem © copyright David F. Barker 2012
* inspired by a trip to Munich way back when
and Claudia’s fine prompt for dVerse.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NIi-Q09gLs

Some favourite music for a hot sultry night…

Poem ‘The Artist’

The Artist

Black paint on the front door
was peeling badly. Before knocking
I ran a crackling finger over it,
flakes falling into shade around my feet.
A small grey lady in garish pink
dressed for bed, squinted up at me,
something akin to Stravinsky
played in the darkness behind her.
“Take a pew!” – words betraying her age,
her station, a headmistress perhaps,
Arnold’s paintings in primaries all over low,
leaning walls in a room of gloom,
as if yellowed by years of smoke
and smelling of rose and age.
His preference for palette knife
and fingers were evident at once –
then a portrait, blue eyes staring at me,
almost violet, gorgeous like Liz Taylor
and hints of a grey uniform with pips.
Tea and scone arrived on Royal Albert
with shuffles of pink slipper.
“The portrait,” I pointed.
“Oh, that’s me, circa 1944,” she croaked,
standing bent. “But not his usual style.”
“No,” I had to agree, writing frantically,
excitement like sap
sent tingling up my spine.

So, let’s get this right:
She had trained in Ireland,
was deployed to France,
following allied troops into Germany
all the way to the end, in Berlin.
Hers an eccentric family of noble stock,
a quite irregular life lived on the edge.
Did I believe her? At first, yes.
At least until I closed the door
with that peeling paint.
Then I noticed the corner in the road,
breathed in the fresh air,
saw the rush of wind in poplars
and rooks cawing their honest presence.
The further I drove the less I believed.
Narrow roads led into town, a realisation
that still – the artist had eluded me

Poem and image © copyright df barker 2012