Thursday, January 28, 2010


Alan Alda was born this day in 1936. I've just finished reading Alan's autobiography, Never Have Your Dog Stuffed. His second book, Things I Overheard While Talking To Myself awaits on the shelf. He comes over as a thoroughly nice guy, and an engaging writer. His role as Hawkeye Pierce in the long-running TV series M*A*S*H thrust him to international fame, but he has also presented TV science programmes, written screenplays and acted & directed in stage and movie productions. He writes that before he began his stint in M*A*S*H he was excited but very nervous to begin portraying Hawkeye, a character so very different from himself: "He drinks, he chases women, he's a smart alek."In spite of his misgivings though, he managed to create something of a legend. He tells that on his very first entrance in the show he had to cross the compound, with several nurses around. He feared that if he hadn't "transformed" by the time he arrived at the other side he'd fail. He grabbed one nurse by the waist as he passed her, et voila! He was Hawkeye!

Born 28 January 1936 in New York at 5.07 AM (Astrodatabank).

In the chapter of Never Have Your Dog Stuffed headed "Conversations With the Dead", Alan tells of a passing interest in spiritualism and ESP, and writes:
At one point I could cast a horoscope using a sidereal ephemeris which is a kind of bus schedule of the planets. I was studiously exploring what I later came to think of as highly improbably stuff, but it headed me unexpectedly toward an interest in science.
Dang! You know, had he been born sometime earlier or later in the day, we might have had a brilliant astrologer here, instead of a brilliant actor. Capricorn rising, and Saturn semi-sextile Sun probably propelled him science-ward.

Some of his own words are woven into the following to help interpret his natal chart.

I'm most at home on the stage. I was carried onstage for the first time when I was six months old.
I'd have expected some Leo emphasis in Alan's chart, but there is none. His father was an actor, so being born into that kind of environment was enough to propel him towards a career in the spotlight, without any of Leo's show-bizzy assistance. Astrology is only part of all our life stories, and weaves into them, entwined with several other influences.

I'm an angry person, angrier than most people would imagine, I get flashes of anger. What works for me is working out when it's useful to use that anger.
Saturn conjunct Mars, semi-sextile Aquarius Sun on one side and Aries Moon on the other more or less translates that that quote into astrologese, I reckon.

You can't get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you're doing. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover will be yourself.
That's Aries Moon flanked by semi-sextiles from Saturn/Mars and from Uranus, planet of the unexpected.

When people are laughing, they're generally not killing one another.
Laughter is key to Alan Alda's philosophy and personal success. Aquarius Sun/Mercury sextile Jupiter in it's own sign Sagittarius. Also Venus trine Uranus.

It's too bad I'm not as wonderful a person as people say I am, because the world could use a few people like that.
Jupiter (publication) squaring Neptune, planet of illusion. Or perhaps Mercury (communication) quincunx Neptune. Or is it Alan being self-deprecating - Saturn semi-sextile Sun? I think so!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Considered logically, there's really no good reason to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, anymore than we should celebrate every sunrise and sunset. It's custom and practice, an excuse to give and receive, just a personal benchmark on the waves of time. Birthdays give us an excuse to eat cake, have a celebratory drink, or do something completely no blogging for me on my birthday tomorrow - that'll be different. I'll be a day older when I return, not a year older - that's my story.

A solar eclipse fell right on the degree of my natal Sun last year, though it happened on the day before my birthday. "What happened?" I hear you cry. Nothing. Nothing out of the ordinary. The least normal event I can recall around that time was that I chipped a (dental) crown and had to have it replaced, at great expense. My husband's younger daughter has a birthday on 26th, so her natal Sun degree was affected by the eclipse too. She had had health problems for the past couple of years, but her health improved gradually throughout the year - so only positive things, if anything at all, from the 2009 January eclipse for her. I'm not at all convinced that eclipses should be a cause for consternation in personal astrology. The only thing I've noticed is the 19-ish year cycle of the Moon's nodes tends to coincide with life changes - for me, anyway. This may not work for everyone though. I have Uranus conjunct South Node of the Moon, which could act as a trigger.

Next post Thursday.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Music Monday ~ Spoilt for choice....

With so many musical birthdays coming up I simply could not decide on one singer/musician/composer to feature, so listed the best known of the bunch, chronologically, by year.

January 27 1756 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - composer.

January 27 1885 - Jerome Kern - composer/songwriter.

January 26 1908 - Stephane Grappelli - jazz violinist.
January 23 1910 -Django Reinhardt - jazz guitarist

January 28 1927 - Ronnie Scott - jazz saxophonist, jazz club owner.
January 28 1929 - Acker Bilk - jazz/dixieland/pop clarinetist.

January 25 1938 - Etta James - blues/soul/jazz singer.

January 24 1941 - Aaron Neville - singer, soul/R&B.
January 24 1941 - Neil Diamond - singer/songwriter, pop/rock.

January 26 1955 - Eddie Van Halen - guitarist/songwriter, rock.

January 25 1981 - Alicia Keys - singer/musician/actress, pop, rock.
January 29 1982 - Adam Lambert - singer/musical theater, pop, rock.

You can feel the waves of change passing through the music industry just by considering each variation of style represented by the artists in the list: classical in the 18th century to standard ballads, to jazz, to soul, to pop and rock and eventually to new stars of today and tomorrow, born in the 1980s, just now flowering. From Mozart (left) to Adam (right)-

All these artists have Sun in Aquarius, of course, and in the first decan (10 degree sector) of Aquarius. I'm not certain how much weight we should put on the decan theory, but it's something to keep in mind. Some astrologers favour the Chaldean system for calculating rulership of the decans, others favour a system based on tripicity (the elements). Using the latter, the first decan of Aquarius is said to represent the most Aquariusly Aquarius of the three 10 degree sectors, and is ruled by Uranus/Saturn. The remaining sectors - 2nd and 3rd are the Gemini/Mercury and Libra/Venus decans. Under the Chaldean system the first decan of Aquarius is ruled by Venus, arrived at using an order dictated by planetary speed. Bearing in mind that Venus rules the arts, including music, in this instance the Chaldean system appears more apt. (See The Decans in Astrology by Benjamin Dykes for more on decans).

(There are posts about Neil Diamond and Adam Lambert elsewhere on this blog, access via the label cloud in the sidebar.)

Sunday, January 24, 2010


My husband became a great-grandfather this month. Serenity (4lb.15oz) was born on 6 January.

This little girl will have no problem knowing how many beans make five and which way is up - she has 4 planets in Capricorn, a couple in Aquarius. Born in 2010 - what wonders will she see in her lifetime? It's tempting to surmise, but wiser not to. As Shel Silverstein wrote, Anything Can Be.

Listen to the mustn'ts child
Listen to the don'ts
Listen to the shouldn'ts,
the impossibles and the won'ts
Listen to the never haves
Then listen close to me
Anything can happen child
Anything can be.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I'm feeling completely disenchanted after this week's Supreme Court ruling which will allow corporations to virtually "own" politicians, who will then do their bidding, which will inevitably be in the interest of the corporation, not the people. Fellow-blogger R.J. Adams has written a rather good post on the subject HERE. Democrats also managed to lose a Senate seat this week, for whatever reason (probably disenchantment).

I have a copy of Bernard Rosenberg's Dictionary for the Disenchanted (1972) to hand, perhaps some of Prof. Rosenberg's definitions will help to put things into perspective.

I couldn't find any birth data for the good Professor, who died in 1996, so astrology will have to take a back seat today.....except for the first definition, in which he gives the ancient art a cynical nod:

Twentieth-century astrologers handicapped by tunnel vision who, unable to apprehend the present, helpfully extrapolate it.

A clear picture of impending doom best perceived by those who do their utmost to hasten its onset.

A socioeconomic system that, though no longer in existence, should nevertheless be abolished in favor of socialism. The distinction is important: capitalism is the exploitation of man by man, socialism is the exact opposite.

Constancy; fixity; immutability.


Erroneously decoded by the late e.e. cummings as The United States of Hysterica (E Pluribus Eunuch); actually, the United States of America is one of the few surviving republics where, if you do not first get killed, you can still make a killing.

A sleepy northern town where the walls have ears and the ears have walls.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Arty Farty Friday ~ Georges Mathieu

Georges Mathieu, French artist and developer of an art style he called Lyrical Abstraction. His is not a universally well-known name, and his artwork is, I suspect, an acquired taste. I don't always appreciate abstract art, but some of it has charms. There's something about many of Mathieu's paintings that attracts the eye - the placement on the canvas of the squiggly bits, the colour combinations.....there's an echo of Japanese style there too, I think. As in Jackson Pollock's work, it initially seems random and pointless, yet there's also something about the rhythm and colours that grabs the eye.

From the archives of TIME magazine (April 1954)
Fame & Fortune. Now 33, Mathieu has already made his fame in Europe, sells everything he paints. Slim, dapper, cultivated, he occupies a town house furnished with fine Gothic furniture and Persian carpets, in the fashionable La Muette section of Paris. He whips out small paintings in as little as ten minutes, and even his huge pictures require no more than a couple of hours to paint. This, as Mathieu is frank to point out, leaves him "lots of time for other activi ties . . . I'm keenly interested in modern music, philosophy, mathematics, poetry, literature . . ."
Like most painters of his school, Mathieu is his own worst advocate. He says he has "no interest in nature," and maintains that his art is what he calls "an orgasm of uncontrolled expression." But whether he chooses to admit the fact or not, Mathieu's paintings are as elaborately controlled as a professional golfer's game. Moreover they do reflect the real world around him, especially the technologically molded world of speed, smoke, glare, and vast perspectives.
Read more:,9171,819779,00.html#ixzz0cz01VxKi

Georges Mathieu first studied philosophy and literature, later around the age of 21, he began to paint - first straightforward realistic landscapes and portraits, but in time he developed something completely different: Lyrical Abstraction. He eventually began to expand from working in solitude to producing his artwork in public, in damatic fashion.

Here's a trailer for a DVD about his work "The Fury of Being" showing him at work.

Born 27 January 1921 in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France at 10.45 am (Astrotheme). He shares my birthday (not year!) Whereas I have Jupiter in Pisces semi-sextile Aquarius Sun, Mathieu's Sun is semi-sextile its modern ruler, the wild, eccentric planet Uranus. And thereby hangs the big difference!

Sun and Mercury in Aquarius reflect his rather intellectual nature. It's that semi-sextile to Uranus that tips Aquarius into its textbook mode of avant garde inventiveness.

Taurus rising seemed surprising at first, but Venus, planet of the arts rules Taurus, and Mathieu's obvious liking for very ornate, opulent traditional style furnishings connects to Taurus too. I'd have expected such an avant garde artist to favour a more minimalist style - not with Taurus rising though.

Moon in Virgo, conjunct Saturn & Jupiter opposes Venus & Mars in Pisces. Two Pisces planets with a dreamy, imaginative flavour are pushed and pulled by three more disciplined and practical influences from Virgo. Had Moon been with the Pisces planets, I wonder whether he might have developed a much softer, more of the lyrical less of the abstract, style. It's interesting to surmise.

Some examples of what he calls "orgasms of uncontrolled expression":

Thursday, January 21, 2010

TYPING can be dangerous

A plate of warmed-up re-hash today. I wrote the original in early 2007.

Why don't writers and entertainers drop the insidious habit of stereotyping? There's a lot of nonsense thrown around in the media, and on the internet. Some people, myself included, have learned this from experience, and make allowance for it, becoming cynical in the process. Stereotyping on the basis of nationality, age, gender, class, ethnicity, and profession abounds. Hardly any American, Irish, British, French, German etc. folk fit the stereotypical patterns attributed to them yet they are still regularly churned out in the name of journalism or entertainment. It's common in astrology, too, for those who haven't managed to escape from a Sun Sign mentality. A good example is the jokey list of "How many Librans, Leos, Virgos....etc. it takes to change a light bulb". Stereotyping par excellence! It's funny, as long as we keep in mind that it's a joke, not a fact.

In astrology proper, archetypes replace stereotypes. The existence of archetypes imprinted within the human psyche was first proposed by Carl Jung. Theres a list of traditional archetypes and characters who seem to portray them HERE.

There's a clear difference between archetypes and stereotypes, but they can sometimes be confused. Archetypes represent the original, perfect example of any given aspect of human experience - the recognisable pattern, the perfect template. A stereotype represents an opinion, often an over-simplification or caricature emphasising particular factors which support whatever prejudice the writer or speaker upholds.

Stereotyping provides a quick and easy thumbnail sketch of a type of person or situation - it's journalistic shorthand, which may contain a tiny grain of truth but almost always a lot of misconceptions and generalities. It saves the writer many extra words and much effort. In the process, stereotyping encourages readers and listeners to form opinions which can eventually develop into prejudice, and lead to discrimination. Stereotyping can therefore be dangerous, unless we remain aware of exactly what is going on.

Imagine a family tree with archetype at the top , icons through the ages on the next branches, spawning beneath them a variety of stereotypes, these in turn giving birth to prejudice & bigotry, the terrible twins.

I noticed that at Yahoo Answers an enquirer was offered the opinion that, in a nutshell, an example of an archetype is Marilyn Monroe, the stereotype would be the dumb blonde. I understand what was meant, but it's not quite accurate, in my view. Marilyn Monroe is not the archetype, she is the icon of an archetype recognisable in the 20th century. Earlier icons would be Cleopatra or Helen of Troy. The nearest classic archetype of these women, I guess, is The Temptress. The dumb blonde, as a stereotype, was fuelled by an act Marilyn Monroe liked to put on for the cameras. This stereotype has now fuelled a whole set of "blonde jokes", relatively harmless - unless you happen to be a blonde beauty with a Ph.D in nuclear physics.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Zodiac Sign Aquarius

The Sun has now slipped into the sector of the zodiac called Aquarius; it does so every year around 20 January and remains there until around 19 February (give or take a day).

I haven't changed my view that most people born when the Sun was in Aquarius, or with Moon or ascendant in this sign, do not fit standard textbook descriptions of Aquarius. Around this time in January 2008 I wrote "Real-life Non-textbook Aquarians"; in 2009: "Aquarius Stripped". The position of Uranus (modern ruler of Aquarius) in a natal chart may have much to do with how stereotypically Aquarian a person appears to be. Or the fact that other planets and signs are more prominent - closer to the angles (ascendant/descendant, midheaven/nadir), or perhaps a bundle of planets place emphasis on a different sign.....or for a variety of other reasons, it's unwise to expect textbook descriptions to fit.

Pick up any book on popular astrology, believe what's said about Aquarius, and you'll expect anybody born late January to mid-February to be rebellious, eccentric, cold and unemotional, independent, a lover of groups (yes, a contradiction), clever, inventive, analytical, and a radical know-it-all. My real-life experience of Sun Aquarius people denies most of that, as explained in the two posts linked above.

How did Aquarius come to acquire the reputation of endowing such peculiar traits on its natives? Because astrologers of the past chose to give a newly discovered planet with an eccentric orbit the rulership of Aquarius, which had traditionally been Saturn's territory, along with neighbouring sign Capricorn. I don't understand why the three outer planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) had to be allocated rulership of signs. Why could they not have simply been classed as generational planets, leaving traditional rulership allocations in place? It seems like pure arrogance on the part of whoever decided new rulership allocations.

Uranus does reflect eccentricity, because of its peculiar orbit. Eccentricity is then extended to embrace radical thought, rebelliousness, change, etc. All this is dumped, willy-nilly, upon Aquarius. Why? Because astrologers wanted one planet per sign? That's dubious reasoning.

If Uranus is linked by close aspect or is in a strong position in the chart of a Sun Aquarian, or for that matter in the chart of a person born when the Sun was elsewhere in the zodiac, then yes, they could well exhibit those eccentric, rebellious traits. Uranus is the key to them, not Aquarius. (My personal view, of course).

Two incontrovertible facts about Aquarius are that is is an Air sign and a Fixed sign - mentally oriented (Air)so there's natural intelligence and a kind of stubborn attitude (Fixed). Comparing it with other Air signs, and other Fixed signs can throw up clear and reliable areas of difference. For instance, Gemini is Mutable Air, and quite like Aquarius in many ways - but not at all stubborn. Taurus is Fixed Earth, and equally stubborn as Aquarius, but isn't nearly as mentally-focused.

I often think that the elements and modes are by far the most reliable yardstick for describing the signs. Anything outside of their ambits are subjective best guesses, extensions, frills, and can be unreliable.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Who's best at being spontaneous? The thought was inspired by this article by Michele Willens who declares that sponaneity is the ultimate anti-ager.

Astrologically, people with a lot of Mutable signs emphasised in their natal charts are spontaneous by nature, while those with Fixed signs dominant are more likely to favour a wee bit of structure in their lives. With Cardinal signs predominating the native could swing both ways, or either way, but will usually seek some level of control, being the natural initiators of the zodiac. In this respect I'm a blend, equally balanced between Fixed, Mutable and Cardinal, so I can mix and match as the whim takes me - even surprise everybody once in a while.

I reckon it's a moot point as to whether spontaneity helps to keep people young, or even whether it's always the best thing. It sounds good, sounds cool and exciting.....The "Why don't we do it in the road" kind of attitude.

Too much structure is definitely not to be advised, whatever age group one belongs to. In fact most advice doled out to those "of a certain age" is equally applicable to those of more tender years. Having the population divided by age, gender, ethnicity, religion, or any other divisor just isn't helpful. People are people, and if more people accepted just that, it'd be a better, kinder world.

Being spontaneous eliminates planning, but many people enjoy planning. It's not always a matter of wanting to feel in control, it's simply a way of expanding the pleasure of... whatever, by adding anticipation to the mix. Speaking of mixes, the very best recipe is to have a mixture of planned and unplanned stuff in one's agenda....or is an agenda to be outlawed as too control-freakish?

A partnership of control freak and random risk-taker is workable in a relationship of any kind, provided there is love and respect in the mix too. One party will fill in blind spots for the other. The risk-taker will look askance at the controller from time to time, and the controller will have to get used to rolling their eyes to heaven - but it's all in the game!

As for staying young - who the feck wants to, or cares enough to try? Staying fit and healthy is good, trying to stay "young" is definitely not spontaneous - far too much planning involved!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Music Monday ~ The Everly Brothers

Born a tad less than two years apart Don on 1 February 1937 at 2pm in Brownies Creek, Kentucky, Phil (his birthday tomorrow) on 19 January 1939 in Chicago, Illinois at 7.30pm (Data from Astrodatabank). These brothers had enough in common in their astrological natures to enable them to harmonize beautifully, and enough that's different to lead to their professional conflicts and eventual break-up.

The Everly Brothers shone their brightest in the late 1950s and early 1960s. They weren't the first duo or group of siblings to sing in harmony, but they were one of the best examples. It's said that their harmonies influenced many who came after: the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel for instance. Although this seems reasonable, and I think has been acknowledged by those involved, I can't help thinking that the Beatles and Art and Paul would have done what they did anyway, influence or no.

The Everlys sang straight pop ballads with a hint of country. Their songs seem very innocent now. Back then things were different. It was before hippies, psychedelia and the like - a simpler time. They wrote some of their own songs, one of their biggest hits, Cathy's Clown was their own composition. A few more titles to jog hazy memories: Bye Bye Love; Bird Dog; Wake up Little Susie; Walk Right Back.

Younger brother, Phil has Sun, Moon and Mercury in Earthy business-oriented Capricorn, with no planets in Air signs, Virgo rising, Taurus at midheaven, Jupiter in Pisces close to the descendant angle. Don, the elder brother has Sun in Aquarius, Moon in Libra giving him a much different, Airy, mentally driven nature in contrast to his more practical business-driven brother. Phil does have two Capricorn planets, however, Mercury and Jupiter, adding some definite grounding. Whereas Phil has three planets in Fire signs, Don has none.

The Airy Everly supplies what's lacking in his brother, and the Fiery Everly supplies what's lacking in his sibling, both have Earth and Water in ample supply.

I'd guess that Phil, the younger brother, would often have seemed like the elder of the two, more serious, more practical.

There are several similar placements in their charts. Both have Mercury in Capricorn and Mars in Scorpio, both have generational Neptune and Uranus in the same Earth signs, Virgo and Taurus; the other outer planet, Pluto, had moved into the first degree of Leo from late Cancer by the time Phil was born in 1939.

Venus, planet of music, in these charts is in helpful trine to Saturn, planet of work and business for Phil; Don's imaginative Venus in Pisces trines Phil's Mars in Scorpio.

Their natal Moons are in challenging square aspect from Libra and Capricorn though, which could be the seat of their eventual conflicts. The two split up professionally in 1973
By then the brothers' personal lives had gone through serious upheavals. Both were addicted to speed for a while, and Don was hospitalized for a nervous breakdown. Their relationship became increasingly acrimonious until it blew up at the John Wayne Theater at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California, on July 14, 1973. Phil smashed his guitar and stalked off stage, leaving Don to announce the duo's obvious breakup. Subsequent solo attempts by both were largely unsuccessful. From a Rolling Stone biography.
They reunited on stage around ten years later and continued to perform together into the decade just past.

Love is Strange- from their early days:

And some 20-ish years later during a UK tour in 1985:
Bye Bye Love

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Waking ~ Theodore Roethke

The poem below is by Theodore Roethke, Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet. Born 25 May, 1908 in Saginaw, Michigan. The death of his father and suicide of his uncle when Theodore was just 15 must have been engraved in memory and triggered the rather dark, melancholy feel of some of his poems. He suffered from manic depression (bi-polar disorder) - exaggerated mood swings. His poetry was obviously something of an escape valve.

His Gemini Sun and Moon in Aries reflect an ease of communication and driving determination to overcome difficulties, but it's Pluto exactly conjunct natal Mercury, also in Gemini, which I suspect relates to the darker side of his poetry. Mars, Neptune and Venus in Cancer reflect a deep sensitivity which must have made the tragedies in his young years even harder to cope with. I don't have a time of birth for him, but it's possible that Moon and Saturn were conjoined as well as Mercury/Pluto - which could also contribute to the serious tone of his work.

His poem I've chosen is open to a variety of interpretations. I prefer to see it as positive, with a hint of good advice: take things calmly, whatever events are before you, take each day as it comes, and keep on keeping on.... just keep putting one foot in front of the other, learning by mistakes and from nature. I find the poem has an almost musical rhythm.

The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me, so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I swore ...but...

I swore I'd not watch another season of American Idol after 2009's debacle.
Indeed, indeed, Repentance of before
I swore--but was I sober when I swore?
And then and then came Spring, and Rose-in-hand
My thread-bare Penitence apieces tore.

(Omar Khayyam)

I guess I wasn't sober. Actually, after watching last season's finale when Adam Lambert was placed as runner-up instead of winner, I wouldn't have been sober! As it has turned out though, it was all for the best - and probably all part of The Fix.

We watched the opening shows, on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. It'll be Simon Cowell's last season, Paula Abdul has already absconded, replaced on Tuesday, temporarily, by Victoria Beckham, late of The Spice Girls, wife of soccer player David Beckham. I posted about her when she first arrived on these shores ("Oh No! Posh Spice is Here!"). Victoria wouldn't really be suitable for a permanent post as Idol Judge, in spite of her musical background. This is AMERICAN Idol, so to have 50% of the judging panel British would be silly and unfair. Wednesday brought in Mary J. Blige as the temporary fourth judge. She is definitely unsuited for the job. She giggled without control at more than one hapless auditioner, without contributing anything useful. I'm beginning to think that singers are simply not going to make good judges. Mentors ? Perhaps. They certainly have their own talents, which are quite different from the skills needed for judging amateurs.

Ellen DeGeneres is reported to be joining the judging panel in February, for the rest of the season, after the rag-tag auditions are over. That fact alone makes it worth our while to watch one more season. Neith at Real Astrologers has a piece on Ellen's astrology "Ellen DeGeneres, Quirky Aquarius".

I shall no doubt be waffling about characters who stand out from the Idol crowd as the weeks go by, and searching for birth dates. I accept that its all A Fix, stage managed, phoney as a $3 note, but there's something addictive about it, and I still love the idea of giving The Great Unwashed a chance to shine and, at the very least, experience a few brief seconds of "fame".

Friday, January 15, 2010

Arty Farty Friday ~ Francis Picabia

I originally planned to feature Sun Capricorn artist Cezanne today, but found him a wee bit boring so looked further afield. I found Francis Picabia, whose Sun lay just beyond Capricorn in early Aquarius. What a difference a few degrees make! Picabia certainly wasn't boring. In fact, for someone with 5, maybe 6 planets in Fixed signs, he was extremely flexible, style-wise. He's said to have been something of a playboy and lover of fast cars. As my husband commented on looking at the samples of his work below: "he had a sense of humour too!" His artwork covers most of the art style -isms of his time, and there were many: realism, impressionism, cubism orphism, surrealism, as well as Dada and abstract (without the -ism).

Born 22 January 1879 in Paris, France. Time of birth is unknown so a 12 noon chart is shown here.
Rising sign will not be as shown, and Moon's possible degree ranges between 25 Capricorn and 8 Aquarius.

Two quotes from Francis Picabia reflect his Aquarian side, and his attraction to change :
A free spirit takes liberties even with liberty itself.

A new gadget that lasts only five minutes is worth more than an immortal work that bores everyone.
As well as painting, Picabia wrote poetry, articles and did design work for the theater and festivals.

This was not an artist born into poverty, yet his childhood wasn't ideal. His mother died when he was seven years old, then his maternal grandmother died a year later. His father, chancellor to the Cuban Embassy, his uncle, a curator, and grandfather, wealthy businessman were his family, growing up. He is described as being "an aggressively independent character" - Aquarius in a nutshell?

Picabia had a Grand Trine in Earth signs in his chart, linking Mercury(communication), Uranus (innovation, change and his Sun's ruler) and Neptune (creativity). Hmmmm - I should know what this signifies because I have a similar Grand Trine in my own chart, linking the Earth signs and planets, though in different order . In Picabia's case I think this relates to his attraction to variety and change in creative endeavours, but because the link is in Earth signs changes would have been well-thought out, deliberate progressions rather than risky, flighty whims.

Francis Picabia died on 30 November 1953.

There's an excellent blog article on this artist HERE.
Picabia's love of change and variety can be seen clearly in the examples of his work, below:

Port de St. Tropez, Effet de Soleil

Farm at La Petite Mare

Nude Back

Two Nudes

The Procession, Seville

I See Again in Memory My Dear Udnie

Parade Amoureuse (....supposed to be about sex!)



The Handsome Pork Butcher

Star Dancer on a Transatlantic Steamer

Portrait of a Doctor

Sotileza [Subtlety]