Astrology Musings: The ‘Divine’, Extraordinary Sarah Bernhardt

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It would seem famous French stage actress Sarah Bernhardt had little going for her when she was born. Her mother, a courtesan, wasn’t married and it’s said she never knew the identity of her father; Sarah was educated in a convent, where she learned the etiquette which would equip her for life.

She was clearly determined to become an actress – and how. Despite being small and skinny, she more than made up for her obvious disadvantages through sheer will power and ambition.

With Cancer rising her ruling ‘planet’ is the Moon, which is involved in the most important feature of the chart.

She has the Moon exactly conjunct Uranus in Aries in the 10th house of career, exactly opposite Mars. Here symbolised is her emotionally intense, dramatic, fiery, at times explosive nature, plus her sheer determination to succeed, whatever the odds – an implacable ambition, plus a great deal of outspokenness, I should imagine.

Saturn, the planet of patience and work, is well aspected to this configuration, hinting that the vast amount of energy from the opposition was offset into painstaking hard work.

Another interesting feature is her Venus conjunct Chiron in Virgo in the 3rd house of the mind, education and communication. This to me indicates her early life in particular, the strict convent schooling which would have been both difficult and character defining.

Venus can stand for femininity and in Virgo it is very particular, functional, precise. Chiron’s presence here shows how difficult this training was for her, but also reveals her life as an example to others, to make the best of a difficult start to life.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Source: Astro-Databank

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

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Astrology Musings: The brilliant Jean Cocteau

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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.

 

Mozart – Sheer Genius – Astrology Musings

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was no mere child prodigy. In his short life he produced 41 symphonies, 17 piano sonatas, 20 operas… in fact around 600 works in total. He is, perhaps, the greatest known musical genius of all time.

He was born with Virgo rising, very useful for artists of all kinds, especially where attention to detail is paramount.

Astonishing talent, inherited genius

Astonishingly, the north node of the Moon – which along with the opposing south node, is often regarded as a karmic point in a birth chart – is virtually exactly conjunct his rising degree in Virgo and almost exactly opposite Uranus on the descendant in Pisces.

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Uranus is often equated with genius, amongst other things, and being exactly conjunct the south node, it symbolises a born genius, someone who has inherited some astonishing, unusual gift. However, it is one thing to have the potential, quite another to realise it. Thankfully for all of us, his talent was spotted early.

In astrological terms, one is supposed to head more towards the north nodal position in the ‘present’ life, in Mozart’s case, right on the ascending degree, meaning that he had to push himself forward, realise his unique ability in music and composition.

The Virgo Pisces axis is particularly symbolic here, with Uranus and descendant (DC) in vast, inspirational Pisces and the ascendant (AC) in exacting, attention to detail Virgo, the perfect axis for bringing spiritual dreams into earthly reality, in his case in the form of music.

A wellspring of inspiration from the subconscious

His ruling planet, Mercury, which is also house 10 and MC ruler (career/life direction), was found in Aquarius conjunct his Sun in house 6 – opposite Neptune in house 12.

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In many ways this substantiates the nodal position above on a different level. Here is the unconventional person (Aquarius), a natural workaholic too (Sun conjunct Mercury with Saturn nearby in house 6), but in contact with the spiritual numinous (Neptune) from the subconscious (house 12) in the form of music.

I find this remarkable and may attest, in astrological terms at least, to his genius and what the nature of it might be. His Venus trine Mars will also give him much creative energy and potential.

Another interesting feature of his chart, is the exact conjunction between the Moon and Pluto in Sagittarius in house 4, in good aspect to Jupiter in Libra in house 2. I think this basically represents an open, friendly manner, but probably with caustic edge at times. He would appear to have had a good sense of humour and keen on the odd bawdy joke. This aspect might also represent an interesting family and home life, plus ancestry.

copyright Francis Barker 2019

Today’s Astrology Musings: The sign of Cancer

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I feel the water signs get a pretty bad deal in general, that there is, somehow, something uncool about them.

Even Cancer, the cardinal or dominant water sign, is often described as overly emotional or ‘touchy’. All of this is unfair. Maybe it is to do with the fact that they are all classed, traditionally, as ‘negative’.

So what is the sign of Cancer, the first of the water signs? I see it in its clear relation to the fourth house, which sits visually at the bottom of the birth chart.

Foundations

Cancer is associated with home and family and the protection of them. How is this ‘negative’? It is fundamental, the foundations of our whole existence; very little can be achieved or sustained without it.

We all need a base to our lives and Cancer and the fourth house gives indications as to the quality of that in our birth charts.

Cancer, because of its associations with the family, is also about our roots and the past, another very important base of our lives. Look at the huge interest in genealogy and DNA analyses these days. Yes, of course, they’ve been marketed, but for a good reason: we all want to know where we come from. It’s important to us.

Spirituality

And this has spiritual connotations too, all to do with the Cancer/Capricorn axis and its association with birth and rebirth, reincarnation. Cancer can be see as the gateway into life, in human form, Capricorn the way out.

Of course we can also see this mapped out on the earth, if you will, in the two tropics of Cancer in the north, and Capricorn in the south, the two extremes of the path of apparent path of the Sun around the earth.

The summer solstice, which traditionally marks the beginning of summer in the north, also marks the start of the sign of Cancer, the beginning of the Sun’s fall southward, symbolically showing the soul’s descent into matter.

Glyphs and symbols

But why the crab symbol? I think it’s all to do with protection, the hard outer shell. In earlier medieval astrology, Cancer was often represented by a crayfish, which would have been much more evident in the streams and rivers of Europe back then.

Maybe the Cancer glyph, the 69, represents the crab’s pincers. And the Moon’s rulership of Cancer is beyond doubt, its phases and associations with water being key here.

Walking on the Moon

It’s also interesting to note that the first Moon Landing hit our screens in the year 1969, co-incidentally incorporating a suggestion of the Cancer glyph – and on July 20-21, as the Sun was leaving Cancer for Leo.

My own musings lead me to speculate that the 69 glyph may represent the Sun’s turnaround at the summer solstice (which means sun standstill); in other words, the 6 flips over to become 9, symbolising the beginning of the return south for the Sun. Just a thought and I’m probably not the first to say this.

Associations

If Cancer is ruled by the Moon, Jupiter is said to be exalted in the sign, bringing out the best of the Jupiterian positivity in nurturing ways.

However, Saturn the ruler of Capricorn, is said to ‘fall’ in Cancer, and Mars is in his detriment because Mars is exalted in Capricorn.

So, here in a few words we can see that Cancer (and the water signs) are far more interesting we realise. And Cancer due to its prominent placing on the ecliptic (the zodiac), is in fact most fundamental – literally.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Astrology Musings: Jupiter, time for re-appraisal?

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As we are rapidly approaching the Summer Solstice and the Sun’s entry into Cancer, I wanted to contemplate Jupiter and his traditional exaltation in the Cardinal Water sign.

For some time, I have thought that not enough is made of Jupiter, astrologically speaking. Here he is, the so-called Greater Benefic, but astrologers seem to spend so much time (myself included) hand wringing about Saturn, the ‘outer planets’, the minor planets, asteroids and comets, anything it seems except poor old neglected Jupiter.

Psychological angst

It’s as if anything that is potentially ‘good’ can’t be worth examining closely, nor would it make a ‘good’ subject for a book or an article.

The emergence of so-called psychological (and Sun sign) astrology is probably the reason for this, over the last 70 years or so.

Have we become so obsessed with pain and misfortune as life’s necessary harbingers of psychological growth, that we forget to enjoy ourselves? What ever happened to accentuating the positive?

Time for a Reappraisal

So what is Jupiter? The largest planet, we are told. He spends around a year in each sign, part of his 12 year cycle around the zodiac. He is, traditionally, associated with opportunity, expansion, good fortune, optimism, joviality, but also an overblown wastefulness and ‘devil-may-care’ attitude in difficult aspect.

When I think of Jupiter, I can hear the composer Gustav Holst’s wonderful take on the big planet, the happy, strident, jovial musical themes, the touch of patriotism, and the ocean of opportunity and expansion – all linking to Sagittarius, Pisces, and his exaltation in Cancer (patriotism).

The Greater Benefic

So why is Jupiter exalted in Cancer? Well, it was considered that his benefic qualities were best shown through caring, protective and nurturing ways. Not a bad thing.

However, as the Greater Benefic, surely he is potentially good in any sign? What about Jupiter in Aquarius, for example. If Aquarius stands for humanitarian ideals, with which it is often associated, then a well aspected Jupiter in Aquarius should be mighty fine, you would think. That sounds pretty exalted too and doubtless there are examples of prominent humanitarians who have had such a Jupiter position.

Of course, if Jupiter is challenged through aspect, one might expect to see some rather less positive tendencies.

Out of control

I once knew someone who had Jupiter rising in Gemini in difficult aspect to Mars. Though very generous and fun to be with, when he wasn’t talking or boasting or gambling, he was drinking. His life was indeed a mess, his birth chart had few ‘grounding’ indications, like, yes, a prominent Saturn perhaps or several planets in earth, for example.

Right now Jupiter’s in his own sign of The Archer (retrograde), so he ought to be overall benefiting long distance travel, philosophy, growth in general, depending on where he might be transiting in individual charts, though Jupiter in Sagittarius really ought to create an overall sense of optimism. Are we feeling it?

The Good News

However, with Saturn and Pluto conspiring together in Capricorn and Uranus threatening to turn a few things over in Taurus, it’s very easy to forget the good things.

I have often thought over many years that we do not make enough of Jupiter. Perhaps we should have ‘good news’ astrology, with a concentration on Jupiter and Venus? Only joking.

And there’s one word that isn’t used enough in regard to Jupiter: Opportunity.

See Blue Sky

When Jupiter does not bring good fortune to us when we might be expecting it, perhaps we are missing the boat. Jupiter can represent blue sky thinking – but you have to do more than think, you have to act and get out there into it. Go for it.

Opportunity is what it is, but you must act upon it and not wait passively.

So here’s to Jupiter, the old king of the gods, our jovial friend. Cheers and good health and good fortune to us all.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

May Announces Resignation – Astrology Musings

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So, finally, the British PM has decided to call it a day. It was sad to see her so upset though – she’s done her best.

But from an astrological angle, what did the mundane chart of the time of her public resignation show?

Positive

Well, for a start, it’s a more positive chart than some I’ve seen during this protracted Brexit process.

There’s a Leo ascendant and an Aries midheaven. Decisions! Albeit in the negative – she’s leaving.

Leo declares publicly, dramatically. An Aries midheaven, the ‘government’ sector of the chart, shows decisive leadership. Its ruler, Mars, is in Cancer, which may reveal something of the emotive and patriotic nature of the statement.

Open Declaration

The Moon, now in Aquarius in the seventh house, exactly and positively trine Mercury in Gemini, indicates the open declaration to the public, the outside world.

Uranus in the tenth house may reveal a change at the top, though this was hardly unexpected.

In all, this chart to me seems to symbolise a clearing of the air, maybe the chance of a new start, of sorts.

A very interesting quick look – but who might her successor be?

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

 

Astrology musings: Gemini, is it all about duality?

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Gemini, ‘The Twins’, is the third sign of the zodiac, the first of the air sign triplicity and the first mutable sign.

The symbol or glyph of the sign appears to represent two columns, or perhaps the Roman number for 2, II.

Here we also see relation symbolised, the third mundane house of relations, the mind and local environment, also associated naturally with Gemini.

The glyph may simply represent duality; we have two hands, arms and lungs, all traditionally said to be ruled by Gemini.

Dexterity

And then there’s the ruling planet of Gemini, Mercury, the Ancient Greek Hermes, the fleet footed messenger of the gods in myth.

Here we see the essentially communicative nature of the sign. Gemini is of course very often a great talker, versatile, perhaps a ‘jack of all trades’ – but does that mean he or she is really a master of none?

What is more, we also find with Gemini the comic, the comedian, or at least the ready wit, and the mimic, the ability to act and play roles.

In other words, Gemini is capable of being dexterous mentality and physically, quite often both.

‘Bad Press’

Nevertheless, I don’t think Gemini deserves the ‘bad press’ for being a ‘bit shallow’. Except in more extreme cases, where the other mutable signs may also be involved, or a very prominent Mercury, I don’t think this is true.

We just have to understand the function the predominantly Geminian type person carries out. Just as Mercury is the messenger, Gemini’s can bind together the local community in which he lives. He or she can be the happy face who’s always available. That’s good, isn’t it.

He is often out and about, yes, probably doing a variety of things, tasks, jobs, often involving a variety of skills, but this is needed a lot of the time. He will see and know a lot of people and this is what community is all about, isn’t it?

We need Gemini. It’s not so much about duality but being of service. So don’t criticise the messenger too much.

Leofwine Tanner 2019