Thursday, July 07, 2011

Humour/Humor ~ Astrology

Huffington Post yesterday published a slideshow of "Our Favourite UK Comedians"....."Our" presumably meaning USA-ans.

There were omissions, some rectified by commenters. I got to thinking that many of those comedians pictured and named owe a debt of gratitude to forerunners from a preceding generation, about whom people in the USA are completely oblivious. Some such names are already disappearing into the mists of time, even in the UK: - Arthur Askey, Tommy Handley, Ted Ray, Tony Hancock, Frankie Howerd, Beryl Reid, Kenneth Horne, Hattie Jacques, Kenneth Williams -- and, by the way I didn't see Ken Dodd's name even among the comments....and I think he's still with us.

Humour. It's good to see the gap between British and USA humour narrowing. It was often said in the past that Brits didn't "get" US humour and vice versa. TV, the internet and internetional travel have gone a long way towards closing that gap.

Humour defies definition, like beauty it's in the eye or ear of the beholder. Astrologers have tried to isolate it in natal charts. 20th century British astrologer C.E.O. Carter had this to say about humour in his "Encyclopedia of Psychological Astrology":

"Each sign has its special kind, but the general astrological indications of this gift are Venus and Taurus, Jupiter, Neptune, Sagittarius and Pisces; Moon, Cancer and Uranus. Humour in the strict sense, I put under the Moon and Cancer.

Venus and Taurus seem to have to do with laughter and amusement generally; Moon, Neptune and their signs with whimsicality (which is also noticeable in many Virginians (I think we usually call 'em Virgoans these days!), Uranus with incongruity and unexpected effects; Jupiter and Sagittarius with fun and satire. Mercury must, of course, be prominent where the power of humorous expression is involved. Humourous persons, unlike witty ones, have not always the gift of speech.

Wit depends upon a strong Mercury, the quality of wit being determined by the chief aspecting planet........ The signs which most commonly lack humour are Leo, Scorpio and Capricorn, as these often produce persons with a strong case of personal dignity, not to say self importance. They can seldom appreciate a joke at their own expense, as the Jupiter person can. It is probable that Saturn afflictions to the Moon tend to destroy humour, while Martian ones coarsen it, and incline to horseplay."

I don't agree with everything Mr. Carter wrote there. He appears to separate wit from humour, so perhaps that's where I find conflict. I see wit and humour as indivisible, part and parcel of the same thing, and I don't get the link to Cancer at all.

I certainly don't see Capricorn as lacking in humour. Strong Capricorn in a natal chart can bring forth very dry wit, a droll turn of phrase, and while they may not be into a roll-on-floor-laughing type of humour, they're in no way devoid of fun. His listing of Leo as lacking in this respect is rather odd. Leo's draw to entertain others, love of the limelight will quite often go along with a fine sense of the ridiculous and good comic timing - possibly not the most sophisticated of humourous styles, but certainly not lacking - unless the natal chart has much strong in conflict with Leo planets.

Our natal charts are webs of connections, mixtures, blends and conflicts, it is no straightforward matter to see humour, or lack of it, there.


Anonymous said...

Agree with your view, T. that Leos do not lack humour. My brother, a Leo, was one of the funniest guys one could meet. Especially when he could poke a joke at someone else. In the bar of his hotel he had a sign hanging which said that "anyone who could not laugh at a joke, even if depreciating, should move to another bar". GP

James Higham said...

British humour is drier on the whole and sometimes borders on wry. For example, there was one British show with a pie-making contest in the main hall and the pies became bigger and bigger as the competition got fiercer.

The real humour was the tramp right at the back of the shot who'd managed to get in to the hall to use the toilet. Behind the slapstick at the front, his legs were showing past the doorway at the back.

American humour I see more as structured pieces - Bob Hope with a straight man and his looks and silences were the humour. I loved WC Fields and always liked Groucho. The Addams Family [original] was the best.

Twilight said...

Anonymous/Gian Paul ~~ Mmmm. I'm surprised that Mr Carter defines Leo in that light. Doesn't Leo relate to 5th house of (among other things)enjoyment, which doesn't exactly equate with a lack of humour. I always think of circus clowns as a kind of Leo logo.

My husband has Leo Moon and Leo rising and he's certainly not lacking in sense of humour (look who he married) ;-)

Twilight said...

James ~~ Yes I agree. British people enjoy dry wit and satire, and let's not forget irony (sometimes still lost on US people).

I think humour on both sides of the pond has evolved quite a bit, one borrowing from t'other, as well as from the Australians - Paul Hogan's humour always appealed to me, and it's an evolution of the English style I think.

Wisewebwoman said...

A lot of American humour I find too simplistic, I love the British wit and all the old comics and John Cleese, et al.
I also enjoy the Irish which can be a little too cruel for some (taking the 'piss').
As to Leos not having a sense of hit, pshaw I say.

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ Yes, some American humour is irritating. George Carlin was a master though (miss him!) Bill Hicks too - and series such as 3rd Rock From the Sun, and several Saturday Night Live alumni were very good (Gilda Radner, Jane Carver). But there's a lot of dreck too.

Irish humour is probably my favourite of all - Dave Allen, Graham Norton - any Irish person I've ever known in fact.....I suspect English humour largely evolved from the Celts who visited our shores. ;-)