Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Real-life Aquarius

I wish Many Happy Returns to all born with Sun in Aquarius!

I'm bumping up a lightly edited version of a 2008 post of mine: my own take on Aquarius, as found in real life.......

As a 27 January variety of Aquarius myself, I've often thought that textbooks have a take on Sun in Aquarius that is not exactly right. Maybe not all textbooks, nor for everyone, but certainly wrong for some age groups. The position of a Sun sign's ruler is likely to modify the way the Sun sign manifests.

I suspect that such modification is most easily identifiable in the case of Aquarius and its modern ruler, Uranus. Uranus, moves very slowly, taking a long human lifetime(around 84 years) to make full circle of the zodiac, remaining in each sign for around 8 years. Even Aquarius' traditional ruler, Saturn, is the slowest mover of the inner planets, but I'll ignore that for now, to avoid confusion.

While Uranus travels slowly through each zodiac sign, every January/February of those 8 years a wide swath of Aquarius-born folk will result. Rulers of most other Sun signs cover the full zodiac fairly quickly. There are millions of Sun Geminis with Gemini's ruler, Mercury in Capricorn, for instance, but they are not all of the same age group, they're more widely scattered. The same applies to other rulers of Sun signs. Pisces and Scorpio-born individuals are exceptions, they also have modern rulers, (Neptune and Pluto) both slow moving.

I can confidently say that any Sun Aquarius-types who were in school when I was were born with Uranus, their Sun's ruler in Taurus; it transited that sign between 1935 and 1941. This would not be a certain "rule of thumb" for most other Sun signs whose ruling planets are quicker moving.

Saturn, traditional ruler of Aquarius, still figures quite heavily in the makeup of Aquarius natives and, I suspect, more especially when Uranus, modern ruler of Aquarius, is in an Earth sign.

So... some real-life examples which I see as support for the above proposition. A few Sun Aquarius-types I have known and loved. All were born in that part of Aquarius between 23 January and 8 February.

First, my father. I have enough of his birth data to know that from him I inherited Sun Aquarius, Mercury in Capricorn and Saturn in Aries. He was a master baker first and foremost. He and my mother spent their lives running their own small businesses, first a bakery and shop, later a small hotel, a cafe, a fruit shop, and latterly sub-Post Offices. They were an Airy pair (Aquarius/Libra) with itchy feet, loved to move house and location, and had a variety of talents. Was my Dad in any way typical of Aquarius ? Not the textbook kind. He had Sun and Venus in Aquarius, but in many ways he seemed more like Capricorn. He worked very hard and long hours to keep the businesses going, especially the bakery. He was very good at what he did, a perfectionist when it came to bread-making. People came from miles around to buy his bread and baked goods. He was in no way rebellious, or revolutionary, he was quite predictable. Very easy going, kindly, liked and respected by everyone, and absolutely devoted to my mother, and to me. (URANUS IN CAPRICORN).

Second non-textbook Aquarius, a close schoolfriend from around age 9 to 16 (on the right). She was born one week after me. She had a talent for drawing and painting and went on to Art School, while I attended Grammar School. She abandoned hopes of a career in art early on though, left home to work in the south of England as a children's nanny, after taking training. She soon married, settled down, had two children, and never did return to the north of England. After many years out of touch we located each other again a few years ago. Sadly her husband died in 2005. She still paints, knows nothing of computers, and still lives where she moved after marriage.

Is she typical of Aquarius? Again, not really. Both she and I had a great need for freedom and a devout wish to leave the small market town where we grew up. We both did leave by age 18. No clear sign of textbook Aquarius, other than that need for freedom.(URANUS IN TAURUS).

Third non-textbook Aquarian was my very first boyfriend, around age 15 or 16. He was born two days before me, but either in the previous year or two years before. A farmer's son, very quiet and shy, and an only child (like me). We "courted" for two years. He decided to ask if we should get engaged..... at which point it was I who did the Aquarius thing and fled. I could never see myself as a farmer's wife.

Was he typically Aquarian? Definitely not. Least typical of any so far. He was a sweet, good natured lad, very easy going (like my Dad). But I can't think of a single textbook Aquarius trait he had. Perhaps he developed some in later life. He married the girl he befriended after me, and, as far as I know, still lives in the same place as when he was a boy. (URANUS IN TAURUS).

Fourth, my cousin (my father's sister's son), born four days before me, same year. He's had a very varied career, including teaching, draftsman, and member of the police force. He, like my friend and I, left the small market town early on, to find a future. He is very intelligent, not at all outgoing, a little old fashioned in many ways. He won't have anything to do with computers, though he used them at work, but he loves playing bridge. Interestingly, our lives have followed similar time-lines regarding marriage, divorce, deaths, and caring for ailing loved ones. I see a little of both Aquarius and Capricorn in my cousin - heavily weighted towards Capricorn.

Lastly, Uncle Ted, my father's brother. His birthday was 4 days after mine, he was a couple of years younger than my Dad, always my favourite uncle. He served in the Royal Air Force during the war, and worked for the RAF in civilian capacity afterwards. He was great fun, clever, witty and lively.

Another Sun Aquarius-type I've met more recently: my husband's younger daughter. She is the most like a textbook Aquarian I've encountered so far. She, in common with most of those above, left her home base at an early age to find her future. Her birthday is the day before mine, but obviously of a different generation from me, or any of my friends and relatives listed above.

As for yours truly, it's impossible to say how others see me, but I believe I'm a little like my cousin, but with the Capricorn/Aquarius mix reversed - a bit more Aquarius than Capricorn for me - or so I like to think.

Conclusion: The only common traits I can detect, in most of the Sun Aquarius-types above (and myself), is a fair amount of versatility and a need for freedom and variety - all very appropriate for an Air sign. None of the textbook rebellious, inventive, eccentricity. No cold unemotional attitudes unless a certain shyness or reserve can be counted as such.

It seems to me that Sun Aquarians born when Uranus lay in Taurus or Capricorn are unlikely to match textbook descriptions, and may better match descriptions of Capricorn traits in many respects. Sun Aquarians with Uranus in Virgo, the third Earth sign, are an unknown quantity to me. It would be interesting to compare them with the other age groups who have Uranus in an Earth sign.

The very important part played by ascendant, angles, Moon position etc. in astrological birth charts has been put aside for the purposes of the above post, it's the Sun sign and ruler issue only I'm highlighting.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lord of the Flies and Sir William Golding

Turner Classic Movies channel (TCM) showed the 1963 film adaptation of Sir William Golding's classic Lord of the Flies at the weekend. It's one of many books and films which have somehow slipped through the cracks for me, and husband could recall little of it from a long ago viewing, so we watched. Enjoyed would hardly be the right description of my reaction, but I did find it very interesting, compelling enough to get me diving into research on the book and its author. One thing I discovered: the title Lord of the Flies is a translation of the word Beelzebub.

The film was shot in black and white with a cast of young amateurs and no scripted dialogue, just boys working from the director's description of what he wanted from each scene. That sounds decidedly risky, but turned out to have been exactly what the subject matter called for.

For anyone else who has missed both book and film, a nutshell rundown follows. There is, by the way, a second purported film adaptation from 1990 which, by all accounts, bears little resemblance to the novel, and really should have been re-titled. (That film version is investigated briefly again, later in this post.)

The novel, with its 1963 movie adaptation, is an allegory reflecting on human nature, its inherent core of evil, civilisation and its breakdown. The author places a group of English schoolboys aged, roughly, between 6 and 12 on an unpopulated desert island. They arrive there, the only survivors from a group of evacuees fleeing a nuclear holocaust, their plane having crashed The boys come from varied backgrounds, most seem distinctly upper class, with a few middle and working class lads mixed in. As the story unfolds the older boys take control with two, Ralph and Jack, vying for leadership. The conflict between Jack and Ralph, representing the forces of savagery and civilization, is helped along by the boys' fear - unfounded but encouraged by Jack - of some ghost or mythical beast roaming the island. The group gradually morphs from early attempts to form a moral and rational community with a caring leader, into a society which becomes increasingly tyrannical and cruel with leader to match. There is bullying and teasing of an overweight near-sighted asthmatic working class lad (Piggy) whose pleas for common sense are routinely ignored and ridiculed by Jack and his followers. Without the strict rules of the English public-school system, this new freedom allows the human propensity for evil to emerge. Disaster ensues, There are murders.

This is an apt place for mention of an insightful remark among some reviews at Amazon criticising the newer movie adaptation of the book:
.........instead of proper little English tykes this (1990) film substitutes closer-to-home American military school kids, future Halliburton wannabes, but there's more that's changed as well. Instead of falling into depravity because it's their nature, in our nature, like in the first film and in the book, these guys do it because their leader said so. Maybe with yanks that's the relevant, resonant way to go, hmmm? Didn't the jerries (Germans) try that line of rationale at one point? Nevertheless the dark lord is underplayed as well, and so what remains is a watered down examination of our "civilisation".
(From reviewer "Universal Dreamer")
As well as being an allegory the book was a tragic parody of children's adventure tales, one in particular: The Coral Island: A Tale of the Pacific Ocean (1858) by Scottish author R. M. Ballantyne. When asked about the philosophy of his book William Golding's reply was "The theme is an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature. The moral is that the shape of a society must depend on the ethical nature of the individual and not on any political system however apparently logical or respectful."

I was interested to find out more about Sir William Golding, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1988 - maybe also to take a peek at his natal chart.

He was born in Cornwall - in the far south-west of England on 19 September 1911.
Here I'm including two excerpts from published pieces. I trust this will not get me into hot water copyright-wise. These are useful both for general interest and in order to discover more about the man himself and throw a little light onto his natal chart, which follows.

From Wendy Smith's 2010 review by of a book by John Carey "William Golding: The Man Who Wrote 'Lord of the Flies'," in the Washington Post :
The conflict between reason and faith, neither of which can wholly ameliorate human cruelty, was waged in Golding's breast long before it became the subject of his fiction. His father, a popular schoolteacher in Wiltshire, was an atheist, socialist and rationalist; his mother shared her husband's "advanced" views. Both endeavored to disabuse their sensitive, fearful son of what they saw as his superstitious tendencies. Yet his most powerful childhood memory was a vision of a benign spectral presence in his bedroom: "a glimpse of 'the spiritual, the miraculous,' " Carey writes, quoting from an unpublished autobiographical fragment, "that [Golding] hoarded in his memory as a refuge from 'the bloody cold daylight I've spent my life in, except when drunk.' "

Drunkenness became a problem early on; Golding was sacked from his first teaching job in 1939 at least partly for drinking too much. Alcohol may have blunted the humiliation of being judged "not quite a gent" at class-conscious Oxford. And it may have helped with the guilt he felt over jilting a hometown fiancée to marry Ann Brookfield, whose mother also worried about his alcohol consumption. Carey gently presents Golding's lifelong weakness as the self-medication of "a deeply self-examining and self-blaming man who, as he said more than once, saw the seeds of all evil in his own heart."

Service in the navy during World War II confirmed Golding's jaundiced view of human nature, especially his own: "I have always understood the Nazis because I am of that sort," he later wrote. Nothing in his outwardly ordinary postwar existence as a husband, father and lackadaisical schoolmaster justified such a comment, but Carey makes excellent use of Golding's personal papers to delineate the turbulent inner life that fueled both his creativity and his harsh evaluation of unexceptional failings.

In this context, "Lord of the Flies" - shamelessly written in the classroom while his students labored at make-work tasks - can be better understood as a salvo in the author's battle between dark impulses and the longing to transcend them. Charles Monteith, the Faber and Faber editor who plucked the manuscript from the reject pile, encouraged Golding to eliminate religious echoes that suggested Simon's death was a willing martyrdom. Golding reluctantly complied, and perhaps his more mystical original would not have been as popular as the published version. With subsequent novels, he would not so readily accede to demands that the action be "explicable in purely rational terms," and his critical reputation occasionally suffered as a consequence.

By the time "Lord of the Flies" became a cultural phenomenon, Golding had published three more novels, all well received despite some carping from the upper-crust intellectual establishment.

From Golding's obituary in the New York Times (1993)

His allegory achieved a cult status. The book inspired two films, was translated into 26 languages, sold millions of copies and became a standard on college and high school reading lists.

Sir William recalled that as a teacher he once allowed a class of boys complete freedom in a debate, but he had to intervene as mayhem broke out. That incident and his own war experiences inspired Lord of the Flies.

"World War II was the turning point for me," he said. "I began to see what people were capable of doing. Anyone who moved through those years without understanding that man produces evil as a bee produces honey, must have been blind or wrong in the head." Another time he said: "Look out," he said, "the evil is in us all."

He confessed that as a youth he was sometimes a spoiled brat and a bully and "I enjoyed hurting people." ...................................He spent his last years quietly with his wife of 54 years, the former Ann Brookfield, at their home near Falmouth in Cornwall.

In 1983, Golding received the Nobel Prize for literature for his novels which, according to the Nobel committee, "with the perspicuity of realistic narrative art and the diversity and universality of myth, illuminate the human condition in the world of today."

I was half expecting some emphasis on philosophical and religion-oriented Sagittarius, but was wrong. Sir William was a rather Earthy individual: Sun Mercury and Venus in meticulous Virgo, linked via two 120* harmonious trine aspects to Saturn in Taurus and Uranus in Capricorn - an Earth Grand Trine. I have one of those myself - like to think it keeps the old feet on the ground! That trio of personal planets in perfectionist Virgo reflect the biting self-criticism mentioned in the first quoted piece above ("...jaundiced view of human nature, especially his own: "I have always understood the Nazis because I am of that sort....")

Neptune (creativity and potential for overdoing alcohol) in sensitive Cancer helpfully sextiles both Saturn and Sun/Venus so forming a kind of mini-modification of the Earthiness of his Grand Trine, loosening it up some, bringing imagination, sensitivity and a potential vein of alcohol addiction into the picture.

There's another sextile, this time between Mercury (writer's planet) and Jupiter (links to religion and philosophy)- that fits the pattern.

Moon would have been in Leo whatever Sir William's time of birth - the Leo spotlight may have been late to fall upon him, but fall upon him it did, eventually, and there it will remain, with at least one of his books becoming a classic of its kind!

His hopes for the human race are pessimistic - where's that trait in his chart though? Moon in Leo isn't pessimistic, Earthiness isn't necessarily so either.It could come from his ascendant - we can't know that without a time of birth. Pluto or Scorpio on the ascendant could provide an aptly dark lens through which he's viewed by others and through which he viewed the world and himself.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Elizabeth Warren and 2016

Commenter "Sonny" left a note on a 2011 post featuring the natal chart of Elizabeth Warren the other day, with information on Ms Warren's time of birth, and asking if I'd take another look at the chart.
"1:51:24 pm time of birth..
Would you consider doing her chart again and letting us know your feeling on her being VP in 2016.
Thank you"
Ms Warren is now Senator Warren of Massachusetts, of course. Excellent!

Her natal chart updated with the proposed time of birth :

My view:
It'd be difficult to narrow down any potentialities to an indication of her being Vice President in 2016. All we're likely to see is some indication of change in her career, extra dynamism around Uranus (change) or Saturn (career, legislation) also involving Sun, Moon or ascendant (different parts of "the self).

In November 2016 Mars (dynamism, energy) will conjoin her Jupiter at 00 Aquarius, the planet at the apex of the Yod mentioned in the 2011 post. The Yod involves Sun/Uranus, Saturn and Uranus-ruled Aquarius. Indication of "something" happening linked to career matters, but there are numerous possibilites.

Another possible indication of "something" important/different happening is that Uranus, planet of change will be conjunct north Node of the Moon in her chart.

Perhaps Mike, our blog friend who is more expert and experienced than I am in these matters, will offer his opinion....please?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

United In Name Only, Divided We Stand.

The people of the USA provide an easy soft target for those bent on creating and maintaining a division between them. A comment on a piece by David Sirota this week "Actually, Obama Does Support Perpetual War", criticising the President's second inauguration speech brought this home to me again.

Snip from Mr. Sirota's article~~
Four years into his presidency, Barack Obama’s political formula should be obvious. He gives fabulous speeches teeming with popular liberal ideas, often refuses to take the actions necessary to realize those ideas and then banks on most voters, activists, reporters and pundits never bothering to notice – or care about – his sleight of hand.

Whether railing on financial crime and then refusing to prosecute Wall Street executives or berating health insurance companies and then passing a health care bill bailing out those same companies, Obama embodies a cynical ploy – one that relies on a celebrity-entranced electorate focusing more on TV-packaged rhetoric than on legislative reality.

Never was this formula more apparent than when the president discussed military conflicts during his second inaugural address. Declaring that “a decade of war is now ending,” he insisted that he “still believe(s) that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.”

The lines generated uncritical applause, much of it from anti-war liberals who protested against the Bush administration. Living up to Obama’s calculation, few seemed to notice that the words came from the same president who is manufacturing a state of “perpetual war.”
The piece appeared at Salon and Common Dreams, perhaps elsewhere too. I agreed with what Mr. Sirota put forward, but was also in accord with many commenters, especially those at Common Dreams, when they pointed out that just weeks ago Mr Sirota was encouraging readers to vote for Barack Obama in November's presidential election, rather than leading an attempt to bring the Green or other party further to the fore. One comment at Salon rang particularly true and managed to put, in a nutshell, the whole dire situation. The highlighted (by me) portion relates to the rest of this post, and to the ease with which the population of the US can be herded into two camps.
....The entire Obama m.o. is "Liberal speeches, Conservative governance," and it is not only the unbelievably gullible/scared/misguided Democratic base that helps him, and the media sycophants (MSNBC) that shill for his narrative and sweep his hypocrisy under the rug, but it is the lunatic Right that helps him also. The more they call him Stalin, the more the Obama Left rushes to his defense and ignores that he is actually Mussolini. The more extreme they sound about policy (and there is no shortage of this, of course), the more the rest of the country is trapped into supporting the unprincipled failure who at least isn't batsh*t insane. It adds up to a perfect system of misdirection and endless partisan bickering among the citizenry in sports-fandom for a completely phony "fight" in Washington that isn't actually happening at all.
("Benga" 25 Jan 2013 11.32 AM)

I've written along these lines before......

The states are united, the people never will be. Their destiny, and their desire, it appears, is to remain passionately divided, with more than a little help from their "friends". In the past, the extent of it wasn't as easily noted by the average person. The internet has provided a viewing platform unavailable until recent years.

I'm drawn back to the astrological chart for the USA known as The Armistead Chart, set for 2 July 1776, the date on which Congress adopted a resolution of independence. Most astrologers choose one of the US charts set for for 4 July - Independence Day, when the resolution was proclaimed. I believe that the time when Congress adopted the resolution, was the time the die was truly cast. I've copied the chart from the collection at Astrodatabank, and taken the liberty of further highlighting a relevant division.

Normally, I'm skeptical about astrological charts for inanimate entities such as countries, but this one could convince me there's value in them. Just look at that opposition between Mercury (communication, mental processes) and Moon/Pluto. Moon represents the public, Pluto = powerful passions. As I see it, that opposition dominates the chart and symbolises the dichotomy.

I'm not surprised to find that Washington DC itself has been described as a city of dichotomies:
Washington was a city of dichotomies, contrasts, and striking inequalities. It was the capital of a major democracy that lacked local democracy. It was a citadel of power whose residents lacked power. It was a city with an excess of multimillion dollar office buildings and a shortage of housing. It was a city that was wealthier than most in which a sizable minority lives in great poverty. It had a 70 percent black population but the major decisions were still made by whites. It was a city in which the American dream and the American tragedy passed each other on the street and did not speak. It was, finally, a city that had suffered a form of deprivation known primarily to the poor and the imprisoned, a psychological deprivation born of the constant suppression and denial of one's identity, worth, or purpose by those in control. Washington to those in power was not a place but a hall to rent. The people of Washington were the custodian staff. And the renters were as likely to visit the world in which this staff lived as a parishioner is to inspect the boiler room of the church. The purpose of Washington's community was to serve not to be.

Image credit:

Friday, January 25, 2013

Leaping from Cosette to Lovelace....

My archived post from 2009: LINDA LOVELACE - A Star is Porn (sorry!) has gathered the greatest number of hits of any post so far on this blog....42,404!

Well a kind of update a bit of current news on the same topic. Amanda Seyfried the actress who played the rather simpering and virginal Cosette in
Les Misérables is now playing Linda Lovelace in a new biopic, Lovelace!

I haven't seen Ms Seyfried in any movie other than Les Misérables, so am not a good judge of her abilities sexpot-wise. A snippet from Wikipedia is a little worrisome though:
Seyfried has a taxidermy collection. Some of her collections contain a baby horse, a fox, an owl, a moose, a goat, a hybrid taxidermy deer, a couple of butterflies, and during an episode on Conan (TV Show), Conan O' Brien gave her a taxidermy raccoon attached to a jet pack as a gift for her collection.

“There are three things to remember when teaching: know your stuff; know whom you are stuffing; and then stuff them elegantly”

I'll have to apologise for a second time now. I could not resist that quote (out of context but relating back to Lovelace.) It came from one Lola May (Dr. Lola J. May (1923-2007) a noted mathematics educator.)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What a Difference a Year Makes......

I've deliberately avoided, up to now, mentioning dire issues in the news during last year relating to the late Jimmy Savile (Sir James Savile would you believe?) He was a Yorkshireman and he let the side down very, very badly. Under cover of "good works" (which he did spear-head at times) and popular TV shows he was up to some really nasty works of abuse and paedophilia. The BBC's tardy investigation into his crimes has also uncovered some similarly criminal activity perpetrated by others. Just this week I've seen the name of British TV sports commentator and games presenter Stuart Hall OBE (yep - OBE - Order of the British Empire) involved.

From Wikipedia

On 5 December 2012, Hall was arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault and charged with three counts of indecent assault against three different girls, (a 9-year-old, a 13-year-old and one aged "between 16 and 17") between 1974 and 1984. He was bailed to appear at Preston Magistrates Court on 7 January 2013, when he pleaded not guilty He was bailed until 16 April to appear at Preston Crown Court, on condition that he lived at his home address and that he had no unsupervised contact with children under the age of 17. On 22 January 2013, Hall was charged with one count of rape and 14 additional counts of indecent assault between 1967 and 1986.
I remember Stuart Hall from a TV game show "It's A Knock-Out", also recall that there were a few snide remarks about him going the rounds back then, though whether due to knowledge of his doings outside of TV shows, or whether because he was a bit of a hammy show-off I don't know.

Anyway, in the process of trying to remind myself what Stuart Hall looked like long ago I came across a blog called Classy Gents with a post dated 31 January 2012 about Stuart Hall, sincerely praising his "classiness".

A snippet:

His voice is really quite something; warm, refined, and luxurious, it harks back to a bygone era of television, when the BBC required it’s own unique intonation. Quite why this Classy Gent has been relegated to providing merely the occasional update on 5 Live’s football coverage is beyond us. In his younger days, such was the respect in which he was held that he is perhaps the only commentator never to have played the game professionally, who has appeared on the bench for a European cup final.....................So, in celebration of his long career and the hope that we may get to hear from him more prominently in the years to come, we give you Stuart Hall – our Classy Gent of the Day.

What makes late discovery of such egregious activity even worse is the fact that both the above-named had been honoured! Savile was knighted, Hall accorded Order of the British Empire. How did two such well-known individuals, recognisable by almost everyone in the UK during the 1970s and 80s, not only escape discovery of their wrong doing, but manage to get themselves honoured as well? Somebody, somewhere, must have known what was going on.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Dennis Kucinich's 16-year stint in Congress ended this month. I was surprised to read, last week, of his engagement as a regular contributor at Fox News.

I've been a fan of Mr Kucinich for as long as I've been in the USA. It was partly due to the despicable way he was treated by his own party the Democrats, and the media, that I decided not to register as a Democrat, but as Independent back in 2008.

20 posts featuring Kucinich dated from 2006 to 2012 are accessible via the Label Cloud in the sidebar, the most recent of them, including his natal chart, is HERE.

I wondered which way DK might go once free of congressional duties and loyalties. Fox News though? That would have been right at the bottom of my list of possibilities! Still, what would be the use of his singing to the choir, even given the chance? The Democrats, if they'd bother to listen - most wouldn't - cannot bear to hear and acknowledge the truth. They prefer to ridicule and denigrate, even the best of 'em, I'm sad to say.

There's a strong possibility Kucinich will be shouted down at every turn in every discussion, but then again it may not be as easy as the Fox gang suspect. DK is a seasoned national campaigner. He will not be content to be "token liberal" du jour, another Alan Colmes. Colmes and Kucinich are both diplomatic Libra Suns, as it happens, but, and it's a big but, Dennis Kucinich has heavy Scorpio back-up, as I mentioned in this 2006 post Scorpio's Iron Hand in Libra's Velvet Glove.

Some suspect that the Fox people will be hoping to see Kucinich attack President Obama, as they do themselves, but from the left. Ironically, this is truly what's needed - but not on Fox! The more I think about it the more screwed-up it all becomes. To keep my wayward blood pressure steady I stopped watching political talking heads on TV long ago. I'll not have the stomach to watch Fox, but will hope to read of DK's adventures there. Perhaps he might even get his own show - eventually - now that would be worth watching!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Les Misérables - eventually!

At last we got to see Les Misérables, on Sunday afternoon. The movie had actually reached our local cinema (stands back in amazement) over a week ago. As our shared coughing virus has thankfully subsided to an occasional expanded "ahem" or two, we braved the outer world first time in what seemed like ages. There were only around 25 people at the afternoon showing, and three of 'em left around 20 minutes in and didn't return.

Neither the husband nor I have seen Les Miz the stage musical, I have seen DVD and tapes of the main parts of it, and we've both seen several variations of the straight film adaptation of the novel - over the years there have been many. I began reading Victor Hugo's 1,400 page novel (English translation) at New Year, my resolution is to read it all the way through. I've just finished Part One (covering the first 275 pages), and enjoying it, finding it so far an easy and comfortable read due in part, I guess, to Norman Denny's translation style.

My overall comment about this new film, as we left the cinema was: "I'm not sure whether I liked that or not....I'm glad to have seen it though. It wasn't bad, but there was something missing." Husband thought it was superbly made, with some great shots and angles, and some obvious difficulties which had to be overcome.

The film maker was able to show us scenes from strange angles and perspectives a stage presentation could never have approached. I enjoyed that part of the movie. There was an attempt at realism in the way the songs were sung live to camera, no lip-syncing or pre-recording, yet because of that I missed the grandeur of some of the show's famous "set piece" songs which seemed to be almost thrown away. That was a disappointment. I really didn't enjoy the "sung through" style: no straight dialogue at all. If the film maker had wanted to strive for realism it would have been better to make a straightforward, non-musical film of the novel - a better one than has ever yet been seen on screen, with all the new technological help, the best possible A-list actors in each key part, loyal to the descriptions in the novel, and who had no need to be able to carry a tune. Some of the musical's main themes could have been used in the background of certain scenes, as a nod to a relative.

Hugh Jackman wasn't my idea of Jean Valjean, far too good looking and he didn't age sufficiently during the movie; but he can sing a bit, which is obviously what got him the part. Russell Crowe looked more Jean Valjean-ish for me, but he can't sing - did his best with Javert though. Anne Hathaway as Fantine should've been blonde, much is made of her beautiful golden locks in the novel. Also, she should have sold her two front teeth according to Hugo, not two back teeth well out of camera's searching lens.

As it stands in this new film the best of the musical version is lost, and much nuance of the story itself is lost - in my opinion.

I guess one has to look on the four entities involved as completely separate and only loosely related: the novel, the film adaptation, the stage musical adaptation, and the film musical adaptation. There's something of value in each, and something lacking in each.

Every viewer or reader will identify some point of reference which, for them, is the key to the story. For some it might be the classic sin/mercy/suffering/redemption motif, closely linked to the teachings of the Christian church. For others "the terrible lot of a poor woman's life" motif, or the "love at first sight" motif, or the "ill-treated children" and "unfailing love of a father" motif, the "doggedly obsessed man of conscience, a policeman determined to catch a thief" motif or - and in my own case: the political theme: "downtrodden masses kept in poverty, suffering and need will at last rebel against the tyranny of the wealthy" motif.

Yes, my heart always beats a little faster when I hear:
Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!

I don't know how many of the 20 or so people in the cinema with us were weeping at any point during the movie. I wept more than once. Why? I knew the story, I knew the ending, there were no surprises. The music and lyrics, derided by several snobbish critics, do put a strong pull on the emotions, especially in tandem with the sufferings of those depicted in close detail on the big screen - their squalor and their pain, their striving to do the best they can in the face of it all, while constantly being kicked back.

Below: a favourite scene from the anniversary DVD when all the actors who have played Jean Valjean in countries around the world came together on stage for a Grand Finale. I love this - it encourages me think that because Victor Hugo's story has survived, still fresh, and loved by people all around the world, there is still hope for us all.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Music Monday ~ Two Songs Representing the Best of Aquarius sung by Sun Aquarians:

It's pleasing (to me) to find that two singers who were born on 21 and 22 January in 1931 and 1942, with Sun in the first degree of Aquarius, are both remembered best for songs which I think represent the very best Aquarius can be:

Edwin Starr for War
Sam Cooke for A Change is Gonna Come.

Sadly both artists are no longer with us. Starr died in 2003 of a heart attack; Cooke was shot and killed in 1964.

Edwin Starr -

War , a protest song against the Vietnam war written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong - the latter also had Sun in Aquarius - born 5 February 1941.

Considered among Motown's "second-string" acts, Starr had only one major hit, 1968's number-six hit Twenty-Five Miles, before recording War
He heard about the conflict surrounding the debate of whether or not to release "War", and volunteered to re-record it. Whitfield re-created the song to match Starr's James Brown-influenced soul shout: the single version of "War" was dramatic and intense, depicting the general anger and distaste the antiwar movement felt towards the war in Vietnam. Unlike the Temptations' original, Starr's "War" was a full-scale Whitfield production, with prominent electric guitar lines, clavinets, a heavily syncopated rhythm accented by a horn section, and with The Originals and Whitfield's new act The Undisputed Truth on backing vocals.

Upon its release in June 1970, Starr's "War" became a runaway hit, and held the #1 position on the Billboard Pop Singles chart for three weeks, in August and September 1970

From the 1970s Starr was based in the UK. In the 1980s he collaborated with the Style Council on a record in support of striking coal miners, more Aquarius flavour!

Sam Cooke -
A Change is Gonna Come - written by Cooke himself

Upon hearing Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" in 1963, Cooke was greatly moved that such a poignant song about racism in America could come from someone who was not black. While on tour in May 1963, and after speaking with sit-in demonstrators in Durham, North Carolina following a concert, Cooke returned to his tour bus and wrote the first draft of what would become "A Change Is Gonna Come". The song also reflected much of Cooke's own inner turmoil. Known for his polished image and light-hearted songs such as "You Send Me" and "Twistin' the Night Away", he had long felt the need to address the situation of discrimination and racism in America. However, his image and fears of losing his largely white fan base prevented him from doing so.

The song, very much a departure for Cooke, reflected two major incidents in his life. The first was the death of Cooke's 18-month-old son, Vincent, who died of an accidental drowning in June of that year. The second major incident came on October 8, 1963, when Cooke and his band tried to register at a "whites only" motel in Shreveport, Louisiana and were summarily arrested for disturbing the peace. Both incidents are represented in the weary tone and lyrics of the piece, especially the final verse: There have been times that I thought I couldn't last for long/but now I think I'm able to carry on/It's been a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Oddments of Different Kinds ~~~

While searching for something else I stumbled upon this superb video cartoon, it's one segment of a half-hour film, Why Man Creates written by Saul Bass and Mayo Simon, and directed by Saul Bass, available in full HERE The rest of the film is interesting, but this segment, The Edifice Sequence is the stand-out, in my opinion.

This photograph is one of husband's vintage acquisitions. He posted it on his Flickr pages recently, wondering whether anyone might recognise the subjects, who have a rather VIP/"celeb" air about them, and appear to have arrived in, or are about to depart from, Hawaii. From the woman's hat style one commenter puts the date of the pic around the mid 1930s. Some commenters suggested names, not always seriously: Cantinflas (from husband) but he'd have been the wrong age in the mid-1930s; Ethel Rosenberg, Shelby Foote, Tim Curry's uncle......

Does any passing reader here recognise either the woman or the man?

Peter Mark Roget, he of the famous Thesaurus, was born at this time of year (18 January 1779, in London): Capricorn/Aquarius cusp country:

Snippets: Pocket Paradigms from the Writings of Sam Smith

The greatest power of the mass media is the power to ignore. The worst thing about this power is that you may not even know it's being used.

The system that envelops us becomes normal by its mere mass, its ubiquitous messages, its sheer noise. Our society faces what William Burroughs called a biologic crisis -- "like being dead and not knowing it." The unwitting dead -- universities, newspapers, publishing houses, institutes, councils, foundations, churches, political parties -- reach out from the past to rule us with fetid paradigms from the bloodiest and most ecologically destructive century of human existence. What should be merely portraits on the wall of our memories run our lives still, like parents who retain perpetual hegemony over the souls of their children.

Why bother? Only to be alive. Only to be real, to be made not just of what we acquire or our adherence to instruction, but of what we think and do of our own free will. Only, Winston Churchill said, to fight while there is still a small chance so we don't have to fight when there is none. Only to climb the rock face of risk and doubt in order to engage in the most extreme sport of all -- that of being a free and conscious human. Free and conscious even in a society that seems determined to reduce our lives to a barren pair of mandatory functions: compliance and consumption.

Life is a endless pick-up game between hope and despair, understanding and doubt, crisis and resolution.

On a lighter note, something from the husband's blog Thinks Happen (vintage 2008) also via Flickr. He used to write fanciful narratives to some of his vintage found photographs- not everybody "gets" this type of deightful wackiness, but I always have... and that's what got me where I am today, I guess. ;-)

It was to be a work-free week-end in the hills at the famous Woodsnipe Walls Manor for the members of the Waistdeep Nature Club. After gathering for the get-away in the gilded grand foyer, the group wandered out on the grounds for this group picture to commemorate the great event.

Just as the photographer yelled “pose” someone pinched the butt of Geary Stype, standing third from the right. Geary obviously suspects Gilda Goldflue standing just to his left. Gilda is ignoring him, of course. Geary did not see the guilty grin on Baldwin Molepost, just to his right. Actually Baldwin is grinning because he is secretly wearing a tie fashioned from a scarf belonging to Caldera Soo (standing, far left). Caldera designed her own blouse, hat and matching scarf. This morning her scarf went missing.Caldera, it must be noted is standing next to B. F. D. Blasko the well known vampire and vacuum cleaner repairman. They are not related.

The women of course perceived immediately that there were not enough men to go around. The men, of course, in typical masculine fashion, perceived that there were not enough women to go around.

All the girls are wearing hats for identification purposes.

Inside, the cook was making celery soup and singing "Heart and Soul” along with the wireless which was playing, “Night on Bald Mountain” by the Harmonicats.

Someone noted later in green ink, that Ivie Leak (seated fourth from left) was not a Waistdeep Nature Club member at all but an undercover writer for Popular Séance magazine.

But then, that’s another story, isn't it?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Arty Farty Friday ~ David Lynch

A couple more days will take us into what I sometimes think of as astro-wierdo country....aka Sun in Aquarius. On Sunday we'll be at the Capricorn/Aquarius cusp, it will also be the birthday of a guy who I see as displaying clear Aquarian tendencies: David Lynch. He was, though, born around 5 hours too soon to qualify as a true Sun Aquarian, and has no planets in that sign. I've always believed that the signs, at their cusps, can bleed into one another (most astrologers don't agree). David Lynch offers a good manifestation of this possibility, in my opinion..

An interviewer HERE described Lynch like this: "In conversation Lynch proves to be a living, breathing analog to his art: a beguiling combination of the cosmic and the mundane, the surreal and an abnormally normal-seeming normal."

As well as being a maker of films with a distinctly surreal edge and dreamlike qualities, occasionally dipping into the macabre, David Lynch is also an internationally acclaimed painter, photographer and sculptor, he designs furniture, composes music and lyrics, and writes books too - in his spare time, you understand.

His films include an adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune, (didn't do the book justice); The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet and a peculiar TV mini-series, Twin Peaks. We have the DVD set of Twin Peaks and declared it to be a kind of hybrid of Psycho, Monty Python and The Three Stooges. To be fair, I think Lynch was attempting to parody some of the more hokey soap operas of the time. Here's a quote from the man himself:
"The whole Twin Peaks series wouldn't have been possible without the trust in the power of subconsciousness. I show in my movies thoughts and situations that preoccupy my mind. And I'm mainly interested in the dark side of life, the unknown, the frightening. That leads automatically to the controversy about violence. I'm tired of the perpetual arguing about the alleged brutality in my films. Violence exists in our world and you can't simply ignore it. You have to show it, especially if you want to tell powerful stories as I want to. Those who only want to tell about the joys of being and the art of picking cherries shouldn't start making films at all. Because good people are boring. Only the bad guys have style."
Hmmmm. Only bad guys have style? Can't agree with him there!

His rather unsettling artwork can be sampled at The City of Absurdity. There's more unsavoury detail at BBC News "David Lynch's Dark Side Laid Bare" ..." much of it resembles blackest nightmares or darkest hidden fears splattered onto canvas".

From the catalogue of a Tokyo exhibition of Lynch's artwork:
"When it comes to painting, it´s the darker things I find really beautiful. All my paintings are organic, violent comedies. They have to be violently done, and primitive and crude, and to achieve that I try to let nature paint more than I paint and stay out of the way as much as I can. In fact, I don´t paint with a brush too much any more - I prefer to use my fingers. I´d bite them if I could."

Four examples of David Lynch's artwork:

David Lynch was born 20 January 1946 in Missoula, Montana, at 3:00 AM

Scorpio ascendant definitely relates to the preoccupation Lynch seems to have with death and life's darker side.

Sun is right on the cusp of Capricorn/Aquarius, and conjoined to Venus planet of the arts, with Mercury also in Capricorn. In opposition there's an exact conjunction of Mars and Saturn, Capricorn's ruler, in Cancer. I'd guess that it's this opposition which is Lynch's driving force. The Capricorn planets reflect a capacity for hard work and a well-honed business-sense; a little bleeding over of Aquarian quirk allows for a less staid manifestation than unadulterated Capricorn would present. Opposition of Mars and Saturn drive the energetic work ethic feel of the chart, with a potential fascination with violence(Mars) thrown in.

The Capricorn/Cancer opposition already mentioned also forms part of a further configuration known as a T-square, linked as it is to Jupiter in Libra by two 90* square aspects. This configuration indicates stress, but manageable stress, once harnessed. In this case the configuration occurs in Cardinal signs - its owner is likely to thrive on crisis and excitement. It seems that David Lynch has successfully harnessed his T-square.

Yet another configuration occurs in Lynch's chart: I like Yods (Fingers of Fate) - there's one here linking Pluto(darkness) and Uranus(quirky/surreal) in sextile to Mercury via two 150* aspects, at the apex of the configuration. Being translated: elements of darkness and the surreal are blended and channelled through the planet of communication, Mercury. Exactly what Lynch is doing in his movies and paintings!

There's more: Neptune (creativity, illusion, dreams) Uranus (quirky, surreal) and the Sun (self) form a slightly out of kilter Grand Trine = harmonious flow between imagination, illusion, the unexpected and quirky, and the inner self.

Without a single planet in Aquarius, David Lynch does leave one with the distinct feeling that Aquarius is there - somewhere, around the edges.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


A robber baron, originally, was an unscrupulous and despotic nobleman of medieval Europe. The term is also used to describe wealthy and powerful unscrupulous industrialists of the 19th century who used exploitative practices to amass their wealth. They would exert control over national resources, gain a high level of government influence, pay extremely low wages to their unfortunate employees, quash competition by buying out competitors in order to create monopolies and eventually raise prices and limit services, and devise schemes to sell stock at inflated prices to unsuspecting investors in a manner which would eventually destroy the company for which the stock was issued and impoverish investors. (Wikipedia)

I did a bit of light research on Google's two entrepreneurs, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, then went on to look into that other internet giant, Amazon, and its CEO and founder Jeff Bezos (below). Are these three individuals some of the 21st century's equivalents of 19th century robber barons? They are now certainly among the wealthiest individuals in the USA, multi-billionaires, (allegedly more than 20 billion each, and # 11 and 13 on the Forbes 400 list). All three experienced meteoric rise from the mid 1990s onward, in tandem with mushrooming of the internet.

I am becoming frustrated and annoyed with Google's ongoing shenanigans. Having forced me into using their Chrome browser because Blogger's (now owned by Google) new interface is incompatible with the most up to date version of Internet Explorer my XP pro operating system is compatible with, there then arose an issue with the e mail address associated with my Blogger/Google account. I am to be forced to provide a second e mail address. I don't want to do so. Chrome will not function without my doing so. Firefox to the rescue. What'll happen when Google buys out Firefox?

Google has become way, way too big for its boots with too many tentacles! Much as I admire the skills and talent involved, and the wondrous search engine, I can't help thinking that the interests of users have, latterly, been well and truly sidelined. I don't know how Google treats its staff, but they tend to treat users of their services with deep disdain.

Amazon, on the instruction of their CEO, do put the interests of their customers first at all times, but often to the detriment of their staff members. Staff are badly paid and in some cases expected to work excessive hours in poor conditions with no sick pay should they fall ill. Amazon's undeniable efficiency is achieved at the expense of its workers - in conditions loosely comparable to Walmart's staff treatment.

Admittedly, these examples of 21st century robber baronitis are not nearly as nasty as 19th century counterparts, they are not the worst 21st century examples either, but they are two very familiar to all who spend time online every day. There is, though, potential for even worse to come. Google has access to information on everyone who uses the internet, and on what we do online. If such information were to be only slightly expanded, maybe released to government by mandate, results could prove to have unpleasant consequences - doesn't take much imagination to see that!

Google and Amazon: two examples of how excellent innovative ideas from brilliant minds, with initially good intention, can become corrupted by intoxication of success and then morph, like some unwieldy drunk, into an entity the men may not have originally envisaged. They are now blinded by the size and power of the behemoths they created.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Waltz & Ramble with Matilda & Tom

It was a viewing of the 1959 movie On the Beach the other evening that set me on a Waltzing Matilda ramble. The old song features frequently in the movie's soundtrack, presumably because the film adaptation of Nevil Shute's famous novel On the Beach is set around Melborne, Australia. Time: the aftermath of a nuclear World War III, in 1964, just 5 years after the movie's release. In 2013 we might tend to feel quite smug that such a disaster was averted, and has been kept at arm's length ever since. A 2006 re-interpretation of the novel, made for TV, might wipe out any feelings of smugness though - haven't seen that version yet.

When the movie was first released the fear and possibility of a nuclear conflagration was very much alive in people's minds, the film would have packed far more of an uneasily sharp edge, back then. In black and white, it's a low key affair, considering the subject matter. Nevil Shute (more about him in an archived post HERE) projected that legendary "stiff upper lip" style well, and though he and the movie's director, Stanley Kramer disagreed about certain aspects of the adaptation, the movie in general manages to retain the general atmosphere of the novel. There's no mass paranoia, just a quiet and rather eerie acceptance of the situation, with a determination to carry on for as long as feasible. Waltzing Matilda, with its air of serene melancholy fits right in, even though the song was really written about an itinerant worker who steals a sheep, and chooses to commit suicide rather than being caught by the police - far cry from nuclear annihilation!

All through the movie I kept remembering another song in which the Waltzing Matilda melody is used....Tom Waits' Tom Traubert's Blues. The song became popular in the UK in the 1970s after Rod Stewart sang a version of it - but his doesn't pack nearly the same punch of the original, which is the only song of Tom Waits that I truly enjoy. Oddly, my husband hadn't ever heard it before, it must have tanked on the US market. If I were making an apocalyptic movie in 2013 I'd choose Tom Waits' song as suitable accompaniment to (gods forbid, but they probably won't) the last days of humanity on Earth.

Tom Traubert's Blues lends itself to a variety of interpretations, but according to Waits it was written about "a friend of a friend who had died in prison", with references to alcoholism, lost love, and a general feel the "skid row" lifestyle. I used to think the song was about a soldier in the Vietnam war. The lyrics are capable of bending and blending themselves to encourage a variety of interpretations.

Wasted and wounded, it ain't what the moon did
I got what I paid for now
See you tomorrow; hey, Frank, can I borrow
A couple of bucks from you to go
Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda?
You'll go waltzing Matilda with me

I'm an innocent victim of a blinded alley
And I'm tired of all these soldiers here
No one speaks English and everything's broken
And my Stacy's are soaking wet to go
Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
You'll go waltzing Matilda with me

Now the dogs are barking
And the taxi cabs parking
A lot they can do for me
I begged you to stab me
You tore my shirt open
And I'm down on my knees tonight
Old Bushmill's, I staggered
You buried the dagger
In your silhouette window light to go
Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
You'll go waltzing Matilda with me

Now I've lost my St Christopher now that I've kissed her
And the one-armed bandit knows
And the maverick Chinamen and the cold-blooded signs
And the girls down by the striptease shows go
Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
You'll go waltzing Matilda with me

No, I don't want your sympathy
The fugitives say that the streets aren't for dreaming now
Manslaughter dragnets and the ghosts that sell memories
They want a piece of the action anyhow, go
Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
You'll go waltzing Matilda with me

And you can ask any sailor and the keys from the jailer
And the old men in wheelchairs know
That Matilda's the defendant, she killed about a hundred
And she follows wherever you may go
Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
You'll go waltzing Matilda with me

And it's a battered old suitcase to a hotel someplace
And a wound that will never heal
No prima donna, the perfume is on
An old shirt that is stained with blood and whiskey
And goodnight to the street sweepers
The night watchman flame keepers
And goodnight, Matilda, too.

Tom Waits is one of nature's true oddballs. I did a post about his natal chart in 2009 - extract below:
Tom Waits, born 7 December 1949 at 7:25 am in Pomona, California. (Astrodatabank).
This singer, songwriter, composer and occasional actor doesn't immediately strike me as a Sun/Mercury Sagittarian with Sagittarius rising. His demeanor, his broken-down, hard-lived-in crackly voice, and the unrelenting melancholia seeping through his songs seems far too downbeat for bright and breezy, extravagant Sagittarius.

Neptune (creativity) sextile Sun is a helpful link for a song writer/composer. Jupiter, his Sun's ruler is in Aquarius conjoined with Venus, planet of the arts . Perhaps an Aquarian penchant for the unusual and unexpected is playing into the picture via his stage persona. Aquarius can be sensed in some of his more socially concerned lyrics.

Mars conjunct Saturn (a difficult combination of two planets often seen as having negative connotations) in Virgo form a challenging square (90*) aspect to Tom's natal Mercury, planet of communication. This Mars/Saturn link could well account for his draw towards the downbeat of life. His natal Moon in sensitive, moody Cancer just five degrees from Uranus, planet of the unexpected and rebellious echoes the peculiarly dismal impression Tom Waits projects.

The best way I can think of to describe Tom Waits' singing, to anybody who hasn't heard it, is "like the sadder, darker side of Louis Armstrong". Unexpected!

Monday, January 14, 2013


I'm not sure whether the husband and I have a version of the 'flu , a particularly virulent common cold or, in my case especially, pertussis aka whooping cough. Maybe we're passing viruses back and forth, mixing and matching 'em, mutating as they go, producing an uncomfortable combination of all three possibilities.

I didn't have whooping cough as a child, husband did, as well as receiving the whooping cough vaccine - which I didn't. Whatever this is, it's not much fun, especially during the night! I've developed bouts of paroxysmal coughing, leading to retching, gasping, etc. and more or less complete loss of voice after the first half hour of a morning. We've resisted going to the doctor's office, so far, because we'd only infect others, and/or pick up additional infections there ourselves.

Anyway, in the course of looking around online for possible helpful home remedies I kept noticing the names of two women: Pearl Kendrick (left of the two photos) and Grace Eldering. They researched and pioneered the whooping cough vaccine which has, over the decades saved many thousands of young lives. Whooping cough tended to mainly infect, severely affect, and sometimes kill, very young children, who were unable survive its constant bouts of brutal coughing. So, to keep my mind off the next world-class coughing bout I did a wee bit of research on the lives of these two sterling ladies.

Pearl Kendrick was born on 24 August 1890 in Wheaton Illinois, daughter of a Methodist pastor. After university she began teaching, but during World War 1 when women had the opportunity to take positions which would, in normal times, have been filled by men, she took a job in research into microbiology and bacteriology. She would eventually become the initiator of further research resulting in a valuable, life-saving vaccine. Her research partner was Grace Eldering, 10 years her junior, daughter of a Scottish immigrant mother, father's family roots in the Netherlands. Grace grew up in Montana, had to leave university due to financial problems and took up teaching. In 1932 Grace joined Pearl at a laboratory in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she was heading a research team.

Both women had suffered from whooping cough when young, knew its dangers first-hand. At its height, whooping cough claimed over 6,000 lives each year in the United States, and was responsible for the deaths of more infants than polio, measles, tuberculosis, and all other childhood diseases combined. The ladies and their team developed standardised diagnostic tools; modified and improved existing vaccines; conducted the first successful, large-scale, controlled clinical trial of the pertussis vaccine; and participated in international efforts to standardize and disseminate it.

For more detail there's an interesting read at pdf containing excerpts from Bold Women of Michigan by Virginia Law Burns.

I can't find birth data for Grace Eldering, but can construct a natal chart for
Pearl Kendrick from information at Wikipedia - set for 12 noon as time of birth isn't known.

Sun (self) conjunct Saturn (science) in Virgo, and Mercury (mental orientation)also in Virgo (service & meticulousness)- an excellent start!

Jupiter (expansion) in inventive avant garde Aquarius lay in harmonious trine to Neptune/Pluto in Gemini. I'm no longer surprised how often this period of Pluto and or Neptune in Gemini brings forth such brilliant characters, in all fields - when the outer planets are closely linked to personal planets. Here the two trined Air signs reflect gravitation to mentally-based work and research.

Moon in the travel sign, Sagittarius (whatever her time of birth) along with Mars reflects dedication to the expansion and availability, in needy counties outside of the USA, of the valuable fruits of her team's labours.

One more factor: a loose Yod (Finger of Fate) linking Mercury to Chiron (the Wounded Healer) by sextile; then two 150* quincunx aspects link both Mercury and Chiron to Jupiter in Aquarius at the apex. This is a nice "nutshell" of Ms Kendrick's work: inetellectual efforts blended with the urge to heal expanded (Jupiter) and distribute (the apex) for the good of others (Aquarius).