Thursday, October 15, 2009

Alfred, Bertha, and THAT Prize

News of the recipient of this year's Nobel Peace Prize award has spawned more vitriol than I recall ever accompanying it in past years. It's sad and rather peculiar that an award with such good intention has to be met with so much ill feeling, and really for no valid reason. I can only assume that people like to feel negative - about everything. Ah well, as my old Gran used to say, "All the world's queer save thee an' me - an' even thee's a bit queer". Garrison Keillor has it about right in his piece "Betting Against America", except that he should have included a good slice of so-called "progressive" liberals in his criticism of Republicans.

For Alfred Nobel to have specified, among the five awards he outlined in his will, one to reward a person who"....shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses...." seems surprising in view of the fact that Nobel's life's work and resultant fortune was based on producing and selling explosives.

It was probably the influence of Nobel's sometime secretary and housekeeper, Countess Bertha Kinsky, an Austrian noblewoman, which led to the inclusion of a Peace Prize. He and Bertha continued a lifelong correspondence, even after her marriage to Baron Arthur Gundaccar von Suttner. She was always very critical of the military applications of the dynamite Nobel produced and sold worldwide. She worked actively for the peace movement in Austria and Germany. Among her books is the classic, "Lay Down Your Arms" (1889). She also published a pacifist journal of the same name. Nine years after the death of Alfred Nobel, in 1905, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Their natal charts are below (12 noon versions, as no times of birth are known.)
In Alfred's chart it's very apt that Mars (which could be thought to represent explosives) lies close to his late Libra Sun, but is in the early degrees of Scorpio ancient rulership of Mars, and lies close to Mercury. Without a time of birth (and my usual software) we can't be sure that his natal Moon was in Aquarius, though chances are that it was, along with the sign's ruler, Uranus. This provides one link to Bertha's chart - the Aquarius content, the social awareness: she has Jupiter and Neptune in Aquarius. Their Airy Suns in Libra and Gemini would have provided an initial mental compatibility, and with the added underlying Aquarian input, I'm not surprised that they maintained relationship through extensive correspondence, aided in part by her (probable) Scorpio Moon linking to his Mars/Mercury also in Scorpio.

Alfred Nobel born 21 October 1833 in Stockholm, Sweden

Bertha Kinsky born 9 June 1843 in Prague, now in the Czech Republic


Diane L said...

News of the recipient of this year's Nobel Peace Prize award has spawned more vitriol than I recall ever accompanying it in past years.

This floored me too. I thought having this prize awarded to a sitting president would be seen as a good thing. But apparently not. Sad.

R J Adams said...

Apart from the usual Republican rabble, who just denounce Obama for everything, justified or not, I think most genuine commentators were surprised because of his lack of obvious achievement in matters of peace. He may well have proved an excellent recipient in four, or possibly eight, years. Right now, the award apparently has more to do with his dreams than any reality.

Twilight said...

neith ~~~ Hi! Yes, sad indeed!

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~~~ As I understand it RJ, the award is sometimes presented for aspiration rather than achievement. Obama hasn't been able to do stuff yet, for a variety of reasons. I reckon he's still the brightest light of potential hope in a dark, negative world. He has made it clear that his hand is outstretched in friendship to those who America looked on as enemies, he has reversed the horrendous image the USA had gathered gradually over the past 8 years in the eyes of the world. Those outside of the US seem to see things far more clearly than those inside.
("Would some power the gift tie gie us to see ourselves as others see us").

I see the award as encouragement not only for the President and his administration, but for all American people who voted for Obama, encouragement to continue seeking the things he set out as his aims.

It's a sin that so many people only want to rain on a parade that could have been so helpful to the communal mindset.

Yours truly
Disgusted of Oklahoma.