Friday, July 31, 2009

Arty Farty Friday ~ The Pre-Raphaelites

Looking back to one of my earliest posts on art, from 2006, now with a few years' blogging experience under my belt, I can appreciate that my early effort needed a good dusting down. The core point of it stands though, so here's an updated version of my thoughts on the art and astrology of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
(Left: "Lady Lilith" by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, one of the movement's leading lights.)

To passing readers in the USA, the Pre-Raphaelite movement might seem obscure. Its art was, and is, largely unrecognised here. It didn't travel across the Atlantic as well as did Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Even so, I think that over the decades some of the best examples may have become familiar worldwide.

In England, in 1848, three artists banded together, deciding that they'd had enough of the current British art scene. They were irked by what they saw as stagnant and uninspiring work. Paintings at that time consisted mainly of boring landscapes with cattle, stags at bay, seascapes, still life studies, or family portraits.

The three rebellious artists seeking change were Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, and Sir John Everett Millais. The name of the movement they founded - "The Pre-Raphaelites" stems from their determination to take inspiration from a time before the artist Raphael set standards in art which they felt had been followed for too long. Their vision was to paint real, unidealised landscapes, figures drawn from life, to real proportions, and grouped without stylised arrangement. They favoured subjects from poetry, mythology, religion or mediaeval tales. Paintings were to be vibrant, so they used a white paint background base - which certainly adds impact when viewed next to other contemporary Victorian art. Vivid colour and lyrical forms were to be used for dramatic and emotional effect. Several other artists soon joined the original three, and their work became well known in Britain, attracting both criticism and praise from contemporaries.

I've set 12 noon charts for the three principal founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, half expecting to see some link between them involving Uranus, reflecting their common rebellious attitude - but the link comes via Jupiter. Jupiter is the royal blue glyph like an "L" with a cross on the horizontal bar.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti born 12 May 1828, London, England.

William Holman Hunt born 2 April 1827, London, England.

Sir John Everett Millais born 8 June 1829, Southampton, England.

Immediately clear is Jupiter's opposition to Sun, or Mercury in each case.

Rossetti - Sun 21* Taurus, Mercury 8* opposed by Jupiter @ 7 Scorpio.
Millais- Sun 17* Gemini opposed by Jupiter 9* Sagittarius.
Holman Hunt -Sun 11* Aries opposed by Jupiter 9* Libra (Pluto and Mercury at 5* and 17*Aries respectively.

Less significantly, in all 3 charts, Neptune in Capricorn (widely) opposes a personal planet in Cancer.

The oppositions involving Jupiter are significant. Skyscript has this to say about such aspects:
"The opposition of the Sun and Jupiter suggests an over-expanded ego. Jupiter deals with judgment, and with this aspect, the drive for significance is subject to being overemphasized. There is often a tendency toward extravagance and pretension. You can have too much optimism, and promise more than you can deliver. There is a continuous need to control urges to enter grandiose schemes and avoid ostentatious manners. The strength of this aspect lies in the ability to apply much charm to gain the approval of those dealt with in daily affairs. There is often much talent and creativity associated with this aspect." ( Jupiter/Mercury opposition is mainly similar).

Pretension, over-optimism, grandiose schemes, fit the bill quite well. I guess it was pretty pretentious in those days to think one could do better than "the establishment" in art. It must have been quite a challenge to stand against the status quo in the art world of Victorian England. Uranus would seem a more appropriate focus in such a case, yet this group of artists were actually looking backward for inspiration, rather than inventing a new style, so Uranus energy may not be applicable.

Weboteric Astrology tells us:
Jupiter rules the law and moral authority, and our attitude to these issues. It brings a strong desire for understanding and the tendency to have powerful opinions and convictions The aspects Jupiter makes shows a psychological identity characteristic where the need for expansion, influence and understanding is paramount. These aspects show the specific personal drives where the search for wisdom is most intense.

Even though Jupiter is found in 3 different signs, elements and modes (Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius - Air, Water, Fire - Cardinal, Fixed, Mutable) the strong link between the three charts remains. Jupiter is in a similar section of the relevant sign (7 or 9 degrees) and in similar aspect to Sun and/or Mercury.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood disbanded after a few years but, in England at least, their body of work has endured. I enjoy their paintings a lot. I saw a collection of Pre-Raphaelite art at the Manchester City Art Gallery on my last visit to the UK. It was wonderful to encounter the real thing at close quarters. These are not works to hang in today's small living rooms, they are large pieces, need gallery space and the right light to show off fine workmanship and vibrant colors.

ROMAN WIDOW ~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti

BOWER MEADOW ~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti

ISABELLA & THE POT OF BASIL ~ William Holman Huntdepicting a scene from John Keats's poem of the same name. It depicts the heroine Isabella caressing the basil pot in which she had buried her murdered lover Lorenzo's severed head.


BUBBLES ~ Sir John Everett Millais

THE NORTH-WEST PASSAGE ~ Sir John Everett Millais

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Today, 30 July, is the anniversary of the founding of the city of Baghdad. Wikipedia tells us that
"On 30 July 762 the caliph Abu Ja'far Al-Mansur founded the city of Baghdad.......The framework of the city itself is two large semicircles about twelve miles (19 km) in diameter. July was chosen as the starting time because two astronomers, Naubaknt and Mashallah, believed that the city should be built under the sign of the lion, Leo. Leo is significant because he is the element of fire and symbolises productivity, proudness, and expansion. "

I like this story, but wonder whether, in 762, the Sun would have been in Leo (as we know it today). Precession of the equinoxes puts 30 July in Leo now, but in 762, I think this day would have fallen in Cancer, from the point of view of astronomers who go by constellation rather than modern astrological signs. I could be wrong here. Maybe someone better informed will comment on it.

Baghdad, originally known as "The Round City."
From the musical Kismet:

Baghdad! Don't underestimate Baghdad!
A city rich in romantic oriental lore

Baghdad! You must investigate Baghdad!
And learn a few of the facts you never knew before

Due south of the Garden of Eden
Due north of the Gulf of Aden
Where every male and maiden
Is laden down...with the blisses of
Baghdad, this irresistable town

(Illustrations by Edmund Dulac).

Once upon a time Baghdad, and Arabia in general, were famed for magical myth and legend: Scheherazade, The 1001 Nights, Aladdin (Ala'ad-Din), Sinbad (Sindibad al-Bahn), magic carpets, genies..... What happened to the magic? It would be so good if Baghdad could, today, look forward to "Many Happy Returns" to its former (Leo?) glories.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

MAGICAL BONDS #2: Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn

Continuing in jazz mode, after the post on Billie Holiday and Lester Young (here), a look at Ellington & Strayhorn.

Duke Ellington's a name is widely recognised internationally, not so the name of Billy Strayhorn - outside of the jazz-fan world that is. Part of the reason could be that, as is so often the case in collaborations, the best-known artist gets the credit. This was often a deliberate ploy to sell more records or concert seats, but in the process some gifted people (and Billy Strayhorn is a good example), remain in the overbearing shadow of a "celebrity".

Ellington once described composer and collaborator Billy Strayhorn as "my right arm, my left arm, all the eyes in the back of my head, my brainwaves in his head, and his in mine." Their collaboration spanned almost 30 years, and produced many legendary musical compositions: Chelsea Bridge," "Day Dream," "Johnny Come Lately," "Clementine", "Take the A Train", "Lotus Blossom". Strayhorn also collaborated with. Ellington on many of his suites: "Deep South Suite," the "Shakespearean Suite, the "Peer Gynt Suite" for example. He and Ellington composed the "Queen's Suite" and gave the only pressing to Queen Elizabeth II of England. Two of their suites, "Jump for Joy", and "My People", had as their themes the struggles and triumphs of African Americans to achieve racial equality.

As in the relationship between Holiday and Young, the Ellington/Strayhorn collaboration wasn't always sweetness and light. These were two very different personalities, yet with a common professional bond. Strayhorn was said to be quiet, complex and sensitive, gay in an era when gayness was neither understood nor accepted. Ellington had the reputation of being something of a narcissist, an ebullient showman, and a womaniser.
"He (Strayhorn) was both antithesis and metaphor to Ellington. He knew Ellington's mind so well that he could and often did compose sections of the same suite, sections indistinguishable from Ellington's contributions. Yet I was intrigued by the musical difference between them. To me, Strayhorn expressed the feminine side of Ellington. There is a delicately blended mixture of male and female in all of us, and in the music they created together Ellington and Strayhorn completed this balance."

Strayhorn died in 1967 at age 51, from cancer of the oesophagus.
"When he heard the news, Ellington was devastated and would not leave his bed for several days. A few months later, Ellington brought his band into the studio to record "...and his mother called him Bill", an all-Strayhorn tribute album."

Is the undeniable bond between these two men discernible from their natal charts?

Duke Ellington, born in Washington DC on 29 April 1899, at 1.25am (Astrotheme).

Billy Strayhorn, born in Dayton, Ohio on 29 November 1915 at 4.15am (Astrotheme).

There are some very clear links between their natal planets and ascendant degrees:
Strayhorn's natal Sun and Ellington's Uranus are conjunct at 6 and 7 degrees of Sagittarius.

Ellington's Rising degree and Strayhorn's natal Uranus are conjunct at 8 and 12 degrees of Aquarius (Uranus' home sign).

Ellington's Moon/Saturn conjunction and Strayhorn's natal Venus are conjoined at 23 and 25 Sagittarius.

Ellington's Jupiter and Strayhorn's rising degree are close at 4 and 7 degrees of Scorpio.

Ellington's Mars and Strayhorn's Neptune are close at 5 and 2 degrees of Leo.
The links involve Venus planet of music and the arts, Uranus planet of invention (musical composition is a kind of invention). Sun = self. Saturn = work and business. The ascendant = the part of self shown to the world at large.

Signs involved are Sagittarius (philosophy, expansion); Aquarius (invention, social awareness); Scorpio (passion and intensity) and Leo (show business).

The astrological links are very appropriate to the links in their professional life involving music, composition, business, performing on stage, and some civil rights action and support.

However, in the face of all that compatibility on a professional level, these two were quite unlike personally and their natal Suns in scratchy quincunx aspect to one another - 8 Taurus and 6 Sagittarius is testament to that.



Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Covering 22 July to 22 August(ish) - can change a wee bit from year to year. What does the zodiac sign of Leo say to us? Keywords springing immediately to my mind are: limelight-loving, outgoing, fun-loving, sociable, warm, show-biz, the two 'o's: ostentation and opulence, leadership, kingly bearing.

Naturally, every keyword doesn't apply every time a planet or sensitive point in a natal chart sits in Leo's throneroom. When the Sun lies in Leo it's at home, and unless there's a slew of planets nextdoor in Cancer, damping things down, or in Virgo's straitjacket on the other side, I guess the Leo Sun person will almost always demonstrate, at the very least, one of the above traits.

I've met few Leo Suns in my time - a couple of guy friends I recall, back in the 1960s, in Devonshire, the English south-western riviera. One had clear Leo tendencies - he wasn't wealthy - far from it, but he made it his business to have a flashy Jaguar car to make a good impression. Onlookers probably never guessed that the back seats were supported by a couple of old soda crates, and various other bits and pieces of the interior had seen much better days. He started his own business, a one-man affair which hadn't truly taken off at the time I knew him. He had dreams of building a lovely house on a Devon cliff-top, took me to see the site he wanted to buy. He was a sweet dreamer. I often wonder how things turned out for him.

The other Sun in Leo guy friend I met, around a year later, was a very different character. He was the foster son of a couple of elderly spinsters who ran a small boarding house where I stayed when attending an interview in the same town. I got the job, and later the son befriended me. He was neither outgoing, nor particularly warm. No aim to be successful. He had, I think, been worn down by life with the two ladies. I tried hard to like him, but didn't succeed. Several years later after I'd been away from the area and returned for some reason, I happened upon one of the ladies from that boarding house. She told me that her foster son had commited suicide some months ago. That was a shock - and so very un-Leo-like! I don't know his chart other than his birthday - 27 July - so can't say what other unfortunate placements might have added to his obviously distressing situation. I suspect he might have had just the Sun in Leo with small groups of personal planets in both Cancer and Virgo - but that's a wild guess.

Those two guys, birthdays 27 and 28 July and a cousin of mine, also born 28 July are the only Sun Leos I recall, apart from my paternal grandfather, and (I think) my paternal grandmother who were both Sun Leos. With 10 children of their own to raise, as well as bringing up at least 3 others, they didn't have much chance to be ostentatious! My grandfather was quite amazing. He used to sew clothes for all the kids - taught himself how to do it. He also used to go around collecting old broken clocks then, via mixing and matching parts, he'd get them working. After serving in the First World War he became a postman for the rest of his working life. His name was Edward but people called him Moses or Isaac - nobody seemed to know why, not even my Dad, his eldest son.

I mustn't forget Himself now - my husband - who has Leo rising and Moon in Leo. I really do struggle to identify any strong Leo traits in him. He was in management, before retirement - there's one. He ain't in the least ostentatious or opulent, nor does he crave the limelight (quite the opposite). Kingly bearing? Nope. Fun-loving - yes, he is. He adores cartoon in film and in newspapers. Loves slapstick humor, and in fact, all humor, loves to laugh. A favourite thing to do, for him, in antique shops is to try on old hats, the more outlandish the better, and take his own photograph in a nearby mirror (while I try to pretend I don't know him!) I put his hat fetish down to his Aries Sun, by the way - Aries rules the head. I have to say he's a wee bit of a music snob at times, but kindly with it. Snobbery, of any kind, might be one of Leo's shadow sides.

Me? Natally, all I have in Leo is Pluto, along with trillions of other mortals, but it does fall in First House of self. I suppose I'm a wee bit Leo-like in my tendency to always crave the best quality (and most expensive) of almost anything. Craving doesn't necessarily bring me satisfaction though, 'cos I don't have Leo $$$$. "Champagne taste and beer money" was how my mother oft described her only daughter.

Monday, July 27, 2009

MONDAY MARINADE #3: Helene Darroze

Number 3 in this series, and I wanted it to be about a female chef. Not only a female chef, but one who actually carries out her profession according to its job description. So many in the food industry nowadays have migrated to presenting TV shows, writing cookbooks and otherwise doing celebritous (new word) things. I want to feature chefs who cater to the public in restaurants or hotels. If they write the odd book, that's fine, if they appear on TV once in a while, that's fine too, but the main thrust of their career must be catering to the public, not becoming a celebrity.

With that in mind, I had a hard job finding a female chef whose birth data is available. I found one eventually though: Helene Darroze. The name might not be familiar to you or I, unless a passing reader lives within a very high income bracket. This lady, well known in France for her Paris restaurant has recently crossed the English channel to open another in London. It's at the extremely swish Connaught Hotel, which has recently undergone a 70 million pound makeover (that'd be over $100 million at current rates, I guess). Recession? Hmmmm!

Ms Darroze is exactly the kind of chef I'm looking for. She will divide her time between London and Paris, while still caring for her young child, adopted in Vietnam. She has said that it's important for her to be in the kitchen of the restaurant where her name is, so that it is not just "a brand name on the door."

Helene Darroze's father and grandfather were both chefs. She says that she was practically "born in the kitchen". She was actually born on 23 February 1967 in Mont de Marson, Landes, in the south-western area of France. I found her data on a French page of Wikipedia. My schoolgirl French isn't up to translating much of the rest of the page, but this chef's arrival in London last year spawned a slew of newspaper articles. These have afforded some nice detail about this lady.
(Sources linked at end of post.)

Her natal chart, set for 12 noon, in the absence of a time of birth.

Here's a quite different flavour of personality from either Escoffier or Puck ( chefs featured on the past two Mondays.)

There is one clear similarity to Escoffier's chart here though - the opposition of Uranus and Pluto to the cluster of personal planets around their natal Suns. I called this Escoffier's "engine room" in my post. Here's a mini version of his chart.

Helene Darroze obviously has oodles of energy, to keep up a London/Paris commute on a regular basis, as well as being a single mother.

A chef, she has said, "cooks with heart, with personality. A dish is part of ourselves so the way I will cook will be very different from the way Tom Aiken or Gordon Ramsay cook."

I'd say that as well as being something of a human dynamo, Ms Darroze has a soft and intuitive heart coming from her 4 Pisces planets. Her Moon would be in Leo whatever time of birth, and this Leo-ness at her inner core enables her to take center stage in her kitchens. She doesn't "lord it" over her staff as some famous male chefs are said to do though. She calls her staff her "collaborators" and insists on being called "Helene" rather than"chef". This is coming from the emotional intelligence born of Pisces.

There's a Grand Trine in Water signs in her chart. It links Saturn/Venus in Pisces to Jupiter in Cancer and Neptune in Scorpio. The presence of both Venus and Neptune in this Watery, emotional circuit underlines her artistry and creativity, while Saturn draws in a well-integrated work ethic. Her energy, as well as being reflected in the opposition already mentioned, is further emphasised by natal Mars (the energy planet) in harmonious trine to her Sun.

I think that hers could also easily be the natal chart of an artist or musician. This is where environment and background make a difference. Ms Darroze happened to be born into a family of chefs, her artistry was thus focused towards food, from an early age.

This lady sounds so very different from some celebrity chefs who hit our TV screens. I'm glad!

'Oh, you know, I'm just like anyone else,' says Darroze waving her hand dismissively. She blithely ignores the TV crew and perches on a grey-blue armchair, sitting on the edge of the seat like an attentive schoolgirl. She does not look remotely like the sort of steely, ambitious figure one might expect. She has a ready smile and a delightfully easy manner, recalling those friendly patronnes you find occasionally serving double measures of pastis from behind village bars in rural France. Compact and short, she has cropped peroxide-blonde hair and twinkly eyes. She is sweetly pretty, but I get the impression that such trifles do not especially concern her. Her face is bare of make-up, the grey cardigan she is wearing has a hole in one arm that keeps threatening to unravel each time she moves and she wears little jewellery apart from an enormous gold crucifix that dangles almost all the way down to her navel.





Thursday, July 23, 2009


This will be my last post for a few days - we're going to Tulsa to see the American Idol concert at the BOK Center. We plan to spend an extra day, or maybe two in the city. There's a jazz museum to be investigated, some nice art deco architecture to gaze upon; who knows what else!

The concert will be our main focus. I know that American Idol isn't everyone's cup of tea, but the show did, for us, brighten TV schedules throughout the winter and spring. I've always been keen on musical talent shows, and seem to have infected the husband with my own enthusiasm, to some extent.

The concert tour features the top ten Idol contestants from this season's show.
Sun sign line-up is as follows: 1 Aries; 3 Taurus; 1 Gemini(cusp); 1 Cancer(cusp); 1 Leo; 1 Libra; 1 Sagittarius(cusp); 1 Aquarius. (No Capricorn, Pisces, Scorpio or Virgo). There's an oil rig worker, a welder, a couple of young mothers, a couple of students, a 17-year old gal, a former church music director, a visually impaired guy, and a singer who cut his performance teeth in musical theater. For some of these, their lives will never be the same again; all will have some amazing memories to treasure.

According to reports of the 12 concerts so far held, on the west coast and into Texas via Arizona, the last-mentioned musical theater guy is stealing the show. This comes as no surprise. Adam Lambert(Aquarius Sun/Aries Moon/Libra Rising) has had the celestial support of the Jupiter/Neptune conjunction in his Sun sign for past weeks and months. He's heading for super-stardom - I'd bet on it. Whether this will come largely from recording, TV, movies or concert tours or a combination of all, it's hard to say as yet. A tidbit of information I picked up this week is that Adam's voice may be featured in the soundtrack of the upcoming movie 2012, due for release in November(see here).

I'll be back on the blog in a few days, but in the meantime might manage the occasional tweet on TWITTER.

A sample of Adam Lambert's performance. Videos made by fans at the concerts.

"STARLIGHT" (a Muse song)

AND Adam Lambert's homage to David Bowie in a medley (Life on Mars/Fame/Let's Dance)

There's a brief report on the concert at my other blog "The Rest of It", and below is a compilation of my husband's shots - taken from 17 rows back from the stage, so they are not as sharp as we'd have liked. Click on "FULL SCREEN" for best view. (The background music is something called "Prevailing Winds" fromFreeplay Music's site - royalty free, please note, Mr. Copyright Detective!)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Flashing Forward

Transits of Neptune (dreams, imagination, mystical) and Uranus (futuristic) through Aquarius and Pisces, in each other's sign of rulership ("in mutual reception") over the past few years has helped spawn lots of movies and TV series with futuristic and/or mystical themes. The list is too long to present here, but no doubt y'all could name quite a few of them. There are still more in the pipeline. I saw a trailer for "The Time Traveller's Wife" last night, "2012" is due for release in November, and a new TV series coming up in September, in the US, all fit the bill.

The TV series, "Flash Forward", will explore "the aftermath of a two-minute, 17-second, blackout experienced by the whole of humanity." From publicity so far released, it appears that there's some connection to CERN and the Hadron Collider.

Two minutes 17 seconds doesn't sound like much, but imagine a worldwide total blackout of consciousness - think of what might be affected - surgery, driving, aircraft....a never-ending list of disaster looms. During the blackout, individuals had visions of their lives six months in the future, on a specific date, April 29, 2010.

"Besides the car wrecks, botched surgeries and bruised bodies resulting from 6.8 billion earthlings losing motor function simultaneously, Episode 1 (which includes a cameo from Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane) sets up two overarching questions: a) What the hell happened? And b) During the global blackout, each human experienced a “memory” of events that happen six months in the future. Can they, or should they, try to change destiny?"(See here)

The series is based, albeit very loosely, on a novel by Robert J. Sawyer, "Flashforward" published in 1999.

More information on the series, and some promo videos at

The theme of "Flash Forward" has great potential, if handled well. That's a big "if" in American TV though! First complaint - and the series hasn't even started yet - take a look at the cast below. Nobody much over 30? Come on guys - be a bit realistic! A large proportion of your viewers are well over 30, 40, 50, 60... why not give 'em a prominent character to whom they can relate - it'd be good PR.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


A total solar eclipse will occur tomorrow, 22 July, though will probably not be visible to any passing reader of this blog. It will fall in the last degree of the zodiac sign Cancer. Interesting detail about this eclipse at Wikipedia.

I don't know whether eclipses have been consistently good predictive tools for world events, or in relation to natal charts. My natal Sun was directly hit by the solar eclipse in January - nothing of interest to report. Neither could I recall anything of significance from the 1990 eclipse in the same part of Aquarius. I have a sneaking suspicion that there probably needs to be at least one other factor in a natal chart "ripe" for eventfulness exactly at eclipse time, before something memorable occurs. The eclipse could provide a tipping point, or add more intensity to an event, I guess. That's just my take on it. In any one lifetime it could even happen that no eclipse arrives at just the right time to tip things into action.

A couple of items to mark the eclipse:
a Total Eclipse in Art, and a Total Eclipse of the Heart.

"ASTRONOMERS STUDYING AN ECLIPSE" by Antoine Caron (c.1575). In those days the astronomers were probably astrologers too.


Monday, July 20, 2009

MONDAY MARINADE #2 ~ Wolfgang Puck

Chef du jour: Wolfgang Puck. Born in Austria, trained in France, achieved fame and fortune in the USA.

I first came across this name at O'Hare airport in Chicago, while en route for my last trip back to Blighty in 2005. I ate at a restaurant bearing his name - had the best Caesar Salad ever. I wasn't aware then of his reputation. As I ate my salad I just pondered on his rather strange surname, one I'd only encountered before in Shakespeare's play "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

Wolfgang Puck is both chef and entrepreneur these days. He now owns some of the most splendid restaurants in the USA.

Puck maintains a cutting-edge role as a creative culinary force with signature dishes like gourmet pizza topped with smoked salmon and caviar. He has also launched companies, including Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc. and Wolfgang Puck Catering.
The Wolfgang Puck Companies encompass 15 fine dining restaurants, premium catering services, more than 80 Wolfgang Puck Express operations, and kitchen and food merchandise, including cookbooks and canned foods. He is the official caterer for the Academy Awards Governors Ball, and has parlayed his celebrity into acting; his credits include Frasier, a recurring role as himself on Las Vegas and a cameo appearance on The Weather Man. He also appeared as himself on Iron Chef America: Battle of the Masters, as well as Cooking Class with Wolfgang Puck on The Food Network, and in an American Idol season finale episode where he introduced unusual foods to Kellie Pickler in comic relief segments. He also made a cameo appearance as himself on an episode of Tales from the Crypt, and appeared in a TV commercial advertising California (along with famous people such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jack Nicholson).

Puck is active in philanthropic endeavors and charitable organizations, co-founding the Puck-Lazaroff Charitable Foundation in 1982. The foundation supports the annual American Wine & Food Festival which benefits Meals on Wheels and has raised more than $15 million since its inception.
(Information from Wikipedia)

Born on 8 July 1949 in Sankt Veit an der Glan, Austria. Birth time isn't known. Chart below is set for noon. Ascendant and Moon degree will not be as shown, other placements are correct.

So here's a chef with Sun in Cancer, the nurturing sign. This is one of the two signs I most expected to find prominent in a chef's chart. I was wrong lat week in Escoffier's case though.

Wikipedia tells us that Puck learned cooking from his mother, who sometimes worked as a pastry chef. As Cancer also relates to the mother, there's a nice correlation here.

Puck, like Escoffier, is said to delight in innovation. Innovation has to be a large part of a chef's agenda, in order to hold the interest of his customers. Uranus conjunct Mercury reflects this flair for innovation. Uranus represents invention and novelty, Mercury, strong and unadulterated in its own sign of Gemini relates to Puck's obvious talent for communication. He has written books, as well as appearing on or acting in several TV shows. His two Leo planets fold in to this facet of his personality.

Puck's artistry and creativity (and his draw towards acting) relate back to Venus (planet of the arts) in outgoing Leo sextile Neptune (creativity) in Libra (ruled by Venus).

Saturn lay in Virgo as Puck came into the world. And the world welcomed another perfectionist. Cooking led on to a chain of business interests, gradually beoming a veritable catering empire. Jupiter in Capricorn speaks of luck in business, and expansive outlook, which Puck obviously has, in spades. Moon in Sagittarius no doubt has a hand in all this expansion too.

There's no emphasis on Aquarius in this chart, as there was in Escoffier's, but Uranus is important here, conjoined as it is to Mercury. Saturn and Capricorn play an important part, as do Sagittarius and Jupiter, again. We'll see if these continue to be highlighted in more charts during coming weeks.

It seems that (some) talented chefs are not be content to simply cook and run a kitchen, they must feel driven to expand and expand. I'd love to do a post on a chef who is just a chef, but a stellar one. These types though will not hit the internet with birth data and detail, so unless I can dig out information on a straightforward working chef, this series will have to focus on "celebrity" chefs - which is a bit of a shame.