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Originally posted on La Audacia de Aquiles:
►Greek Mythology: “The Sphinx and her Riddle”:
The Sphinx (from the greek word Σφίγξ, meaning “to squeeze”, “to tighten up”) was a female mythical creature with the body of a lion, the breast and head of a woman, eagle’s wings and, according to some, a serpent-headed tail.
According to Hesiod, the Sphinx was daughter of Orthus and Chimaera, born in the country of the Arimi (Theog. 326).
According to Sophocles, when King Laius of Thebes was murdered, by an unknown in a Phocian road, the king’s brother-in-law Creon came to power.
It was during his regency that the Sphinx came to Thebes, as a punishment, sent by Hera, or, according to other accounts, by Hades, and and gobbling up people
The Sphinx guarded the entrance to the Greek city of Thebes, and to have asked a…
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Teen icon and “genius” actor James Dean was obsessed with speed and with doing things his own way, it is always noted, and his new Porsche Spyder convertible had little chance to give him joy or the racing victories he sought since production of his third film, Giant, had wrapped up. Instead, the 24-year-old’s new Spyder very soon acted as a method of death during a road trip to auto races in Salinas, California on September 30, 1955. At 5:45 pm near Chalome, California the driver of a heavier Ford Tudor coupe driven by student Donald Turnupseed made a left turn across the Y-shaped intersection directly into Dean’s path.
The officially declared “Year of the Teenager”–1956–had not yet dawned in September 1955 and archetypal teenager James Dean had already left the world stage forever.
Astrologers who use the YOD planetary configuration with its ‘crossroads; crisis; turning point; special task’ implications may instantly recognize the road conditions and actions on that day reflected in a YOD-like situation in addition to a transit of dangerous proportions for accident-prone Uranus was triggering Dean’s natal Mars in Leo!
In the car crash chart, a YOD formed as the Moon (physical body) rose @27Pis41 (conjunct Dean’s progressed Ascendant–@28Pis43 if we progress the natal chart to Chalome, CA). Moon opposes SP Moon @25Vir29 (in SP 6th house of Health) with racing Mars @22Vir04 nearing conjunction with SP Moon. So transiting Moon and tr Mars are Angular in Dean’s progressed chart. MC/IC Angles are at critical 29th degrees (MC 29Sag/IC 29Gem).
The car crash is timed by the rising Moon in late Pisces (had he smoked marijuana? He was known to) for at 5:45 pm Luna reached the apex of a YOD with the Neptune-Pluto sextile at its base–all three at 27 degrees which adds to the karmic or fated quality of the tragic event. And if we include the 28th degree Mercury in a sextile with deathly Pluto, the YOD condition becomes more complex and indicative of a crossroads/turning point event of life-changing importance made even more likely his purchase of a race car.
The Neptune-Pluto pair also hints at drug use along with otherworldiness, mysticism, and perhaps more to the point–crooks, swindlers, and organized crime. Separately, both planets are linked with end-of-life conditions and events with one of Pluto’s roles the god of Hades. And with a 12th house apex Moon in a YOD pattern with them we think of 12th house realms such as karma, self-undoing, hospitals, and secret enemies. Chances are, Dean had made quite a few enemies in Hollywood and New York with his rude, use-them-while-they-benefit-you behavior.
And this troublesome teen icon as leader of a generation of rebellious American kids? Uh-oh! Perhaps the Solar Eclipse Series of Dean’s death is of importance? That would be the 11 South which manifested in Jimmy’s natal 3rd house of Short Trips on June 20, 1955 @28Gemini–conjunct his progressed IC (End of Life, Separations). 11 South themes include system failures, old ideas or methods die and need replacing with new ways of handling issues, sudden reforms, and “any blocks may be violently or tragically removed” (Brady, ‘Predictive Astrology’.)
Now if you’ve studied James Dean’s natal horoscope (February 8, 1931 9:00 am CST Marion, IN), you know that this disruptive, conflicted rebel was born with electrical planet Uranus rising at critical degree: ASC 12Ari13, Uranus 12Ari26, a picture of coping ability, sudden crises, individuality, originality, and yes, genius. And of course, an Aries Ascendant makes racing Mars his chart-ruler, here posited in the 5th house of Risk-Taking and Creative Endeavors (such as theater and film acting) in the self-dramatizing, entertaining sign of Leo the Lion (@2:24 Rx). Plus, his natal Uranus in Mars-ruled Aries identifies him among such characters as anarchists, Utopians, and those with a zealous, cantankerous streak.
That his testy Mars was retrograde added to Dean’s tendency to do the unexpected thing and to go against the grain, and he often received criticism from colleagues for being difficult to work with. They never knew what sort of performance he would give until he gave it and he was super-sensitive to any and all criticism or direction–a sense of self-determination is a must for eccentric Uranus rising folk. Plus, a natal 7th house Moon in sensitive Scorpio (early death of Mother) squared Mars making for an emotionally touchy nature and explosive temper for this abandoned child who ended most of his personal relationships before others could break off with him (relating Jupiter Rx and square separative Uranus). This habit applied to relationships with guys and gals and there is a hint of sexual lack of follow through shown in the natal chart (Venus inconjunct Mars). Apparently, personal relationships were either emotionally satisfying to some degree (Venus ruled by Saturn) or were sexually so (Mars in Sun-ruled Leo.)
Now there are many other factors worth considering in the natal horoscope and psyche of James Dean yet this post is actually meant more for notating a certain cosmic condition operating on the day of his death and detailed, below, under ‘Dean’s Pre-Natal Eclipse Triggered’.
That some people since 1955 have proposed deliberate assassination of this budding Hollywood star (said to be bisexual and thus privy to certain other stars’ romantic secrets which if blurted out by the unpredictable Dean would ruin careers and devastate studio bottom lines) is also beyond the scope of this post though a small mention of such may be necessary, below. (Donald ‘Turnupseed’…’Turn Up Speed’?? Weird!)
Dean’s many obsessions and psychological complexes may be viewed within the gestalt of his natal chart, made obvious by an excruciatingly tragic childhood: his beloved, creative Mother died of cancer when he was 9 (or, 8, he said in an interview, linked below). Then his rigid, cold Dad packed his grieving son off to live with relatives in Fairmount, Indiana. In the heavens on his day and hour of birth, we see difficult configurations across the Parental-Security axis–the 4/10 houses and Cancer-Capricorn, a sad, depressive, restrictive Moon-Saturn signature which was lightened somewhat by a Moon-Jupiter trine and an imaginative Moon-Neptune sextile of opportunity. (While alive, his Mom always lifted his spirits with play-acting and such–‘the actor’ able to easily display for an audience a myriad of emotions across his expressive face! See a telling note concerning their marriage blend of Sun and Moon, below.)
And consider Dean’s Cancer-Capricorn planets! Jupiter @11Can36 Rx and powerful manipulator Pluto @19Can12 Rx in 4th house opposite old man Saturn @18Cap09, its own sign, and little boy Mercury @26Cap01 in 10th house. Except for Mercury, all are significators for Father and the authority Dean constantly rebelled against (well demonstrated in his second film, Rebel Without a Cause)…yet there in 10th house is small, ‘speedy’ Mercury with its well-structured mind that naturally tends toward the depressive side in Saturn-ruled Capricorn (a harsh Saturn-Pluto opposition–1A03–ouch!)
With rave reviews of his inspired performance in ‘East of Eden’ now to his credit, James Dean was approaching the verge of finding his inner authority when his life was cut short–and directing was his eventual career goal. Yet psychological improvement may have been far in the future considering his natal Sun-Neptune quindecile (165 degrees), an aspect suggesting a hidden or unknown personal identity (Sun) and may also denote actors who must hide behind masks to win approval and must work hard to define themselves–to themselves, most of all. You see, Father disapproved of a son he considered ‘effeminate’, a son whose Mother had him taking violin and tap dancing lessons.
So on September 30, 1955, the Aquarian Sun actor and developing matinee idol was glad to be free for a while to pursue his longtime love of car racing once Giant had wrapped. Soon he was off to Salinas on a beautiful autumn day with a Porsche car mechanic riding by his side and other of his team following in a vehicle behind. But then Turnupseed turned up at the Mercurial crossroad and the rest is legend.
Dean’s Pre-Natal Solar Eclipse Triggered
James Dean was born into a difficult Solar Eclipse Saros Series, the 4 South. A South Node eclipse denotes an out rushing of energy and has a Saturnian, separative undertone. (Getting swiped by the Tail of the Dragon is seldom if ever fun.)
4 South themes involve fated happenings in financial and relationship matters which feel out of control; blocked or frustrated emotions cause trouble, and there may be a sudden desire to end a relationship (Dean’s forte). Avoiding rash actions until things settle down is the best advice when 4 South is influencing matters (Brady) yet it’s doubtful James Dean would have listened if an astrologer had counseled caution at any point in his brief life, much less on a liberating day just made for racing a new Porsche. Perhaps getting the hay out of town while enjoying new vistas was his way of avoidance.
Yes, 4 South is merely a background influence in his life unless activated by transit or progression so what triggered or stimulated its themes at his death? Actually, there are two: Mercury, planet of travel and vehicles, was Stationary Retrograde at that moment @28Lib37 conjunct transiting Neptune @27Lib12, both in 8th house of Transformation and Death, and both conjoining Dean’s PE degree of 27Lib46–an exact double ‘hit’ to 4 South. Transiting Neptune brings a veiling, deceptive influence with a higher plane possibly in the mix as well (ex: death) and when applicable, may also supply the potential for assassination or murder. Certainly, Neptune, planet of the Unconscious, contributed to a loss of direction, or to taking the wrong path which may describe the events of this accident, if indeed it was that.
Meanwhile, speedy Mercury, strengthened by its Station, rules such things as communications, thinking processes, perceptions and impressions, hand-eye coordination, and the physical senses–including eyesight (Dean’s was not good so he wore glasses). But was the collision really Dean’s mistake?
Perhaps his last words to his passenger yelled into the rushing wind (Neptune) are telling of the fatal crash’s planetary implications including the confused, out-of-sync Mercury-Neptune conjunction (a restless, often deluded pair of energies when blended) as they conjoined Dean’s PE and thus may have affected his ill-advised bolt toward freedom on that day as he separated himself from others:
Dean’s Porsche had the right-of-way as Turnupseed’s Ford unexpectedly crossed the road and smashed into the actor who said as he accelerated, “That guy’s gotta see us–he’ll stop,” an unfortunate, tragic misperception of the other driver’s intentions since, occurring at dusk, Turnupseed may not have seen the gray, low-slung convertible at all as Dean assumed (his progressions show an SP opposition between Mercury in confused yet creative Pisces and Neptune Rx in Virgo–across the 6/12 Vir-Pis axis (victim-savior). Perhaps the collision was only Dean’s mistake.
James Dean was pronounced dead shortly after with internal injuries and a broken neck, jaw, and arms. His passenger, the Porsche mechanic, felt guilty for the rest of life, it is said, yet he survived the 1955 accident with injuries but perished in a car crash in 1981. Mr. Turnupseed suffered minor injuries in 1955 but basically ‘walked away’ leaving Dean’s Porsche a tangled, crushed mess of metal–and millions of fans bereft. No charges were brought against 23-year-old Turnupseed.
As for James Dean’s natal 1st house Chiron, the Wounded Healer and Blindspot, its natal degree and sign, 14Tau07, is a placement indicating a crisis concerning values and one’s physical incarnation on Earth (Clow); plus, Chiron conjoins difficult Fixed Star, Menkar, in constellation Cetus, the Whale–‘a victim of the unconscious’ indicator which supports Dean’s untimely Mercury-Neptune misperception and his tragic misreading of environmental conditions which led to fatality.
Now a word about the ‘shotgun wedding’ of James Dean’s parents, Winton and Mildred (who was 2 months pregnant.) Their early afternoon ceremony on July 26, 1930 (Marion, IN) shows Sun (male; husband) and Moon (female; wife) in Leo with the Moon conjoining Mercury @15Leo, the Lion Point. Mercury may be seen as James, her unborn child and this is supported by the blend’s apt ‘Image for Integration’ given by Charles and Suzi Harvey in ‘Sun Sign-Moon Sign':
“A child in an Edenic paradise builds a beautiful sandcastle in the sunshine with all the creatures of nature in joyous attendance.”
Shades of play-acting with Mom, later with colleagues, and of the disruptive rebel whose unique, magnetic talent for acting stole the show in ‘East of Eden’!
As noted, James Dean’s natal horoscope is a fascinating study full of conflicted emotions and parental complexes if you haven’t checked it out and I recommend it to you, plus, there are many biographies of his life in print and now available on Kindle.
My primary source during preparation for this post is Donald Spoto’s ‘Rebel: The Life and Legend of James Dean’. Also recommended are the following related links, the first of which is an excellent article by master astrologer Tony Louis:
Mars and the Passion for Speed (includes interesting links to follow, plus, horoscopes.)
Here are a few notes from the History Channel: James Dean Dies in a Car Accident.
Plus, columnist Hedda Hopper’s famous interview with Dean published March 27, 1955: Keep Your Eye on James Dean, subtitled, “Indiana Farm Boy, 23, Scores a Smash Hit in His First Film” (‘East of Eden’, with its spun sandcastles upon a California beach.) The caption under his photo reads, “James Dean…wins “young genius” label” and reports that onscreen Dean has an “exciting tenseness and the gift for projecting ever-changing moods.”
Now is such a Scorpio Moon-drenched assessment of his talent Uranian enough for you?
Updated 12.01.14 with more YOD and progressed info. jc
Originally posted on symbolreader:
My imagination has always been stirred by crumbling ruins and underwater palaces. Their symbolism is directly connected with the astrological Neptune, a planet which governs dissolution by water, getting lost in imagination, fantasy and reverie and being enchanted by inner visions. It evokes the transience of all things material and a general feeling of world-weariness. The twelfth house of the Zodiac, which is ruled by Neptune, is a primordial ocean, the birthplace of the archetypes of the collective unconscious. Out of its primordial waters all form is manifested, as it precedes Aries, the first sign of the Zodiac, which brings manifestation on the physical plane. Without this non-material and unseen realm of images nothing could ever be born.
Neptune is often called a planet of illusions because if it features prominently in a natal chart, a person may be prone to excessive fantasizing and escapism. On the other hand, I…
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Originally posted on symbolreader:
“The longing for redemption is an ancient, strange and many-headed daimon, which dwells within even the most earthbound and prosaic of souls. Sometimes eloquent and sometimes mute, this daimon aspires toward some dimly sensed union with an all-seeing, all-loving, ineffable Other, in whose encircling embrace may be found ultimate solace for the harsh limits of mortality and the frightening isolation of individuality which lie embedded somewhere, albeit unconscious, in every life. Even if we do not call the Other by any divine name, but instead direct our devotion and our yearning toward unrecognized surrogates such as humanity en masse, family, nature, art, love, or admiration for a particular person or thing. The hallmarks of the longing for redemption are, first, that it is a longing; that it is compulsive and absolute, and often collides violently with individual values; and third, that its goal is not…
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Originally posted on Wind Song Myths:
~twilight of the goddess, call to song to aery dancing, lady fair your fiery trance rewinds our souls; enjoy these offerings of fancy: all art is yours ~
By sibylline light
images I recognize,
creviced captures of my life.
I know her judgment to be my own.
“Nourished by Moon rivers
mythical cavern blooms
unseen by sunlight
Thus she sets the scene;
becomes the prophecy.
“Purest white simplicity
curved to suggest fragility
faith fed maiden ready for
given in bondage to womanly woes,
hard rows to hoe
for tight human hug through
crying of night.
Fate of mortal soldiers, sacrificed to lust.
Seeking relief, beg for the boon of drama
sneaking into sad hotels
for a fix or a tumble.
danger, a real chance.
Barefoot in the snow
winds so strong
I could not make you hear.
I thought you…
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Originally posted on CHILDREN OF ARTHUR:
As the royal wedding approaches, it’s interesting to dig into the royal family’s claims of descent from King Arthur. Here is some information about those claims from my chapter “Arthur and the English Royal Family” in King Arthur’s Children:
Among those who have tried to claim descent from King Arthur, the most prominent and most determined have been the monarchs of England. As we have already seen, little chance exists that any of King Arthur’s children outlived him, and the only grandchildren he had were murdered by Constantine. These two grandsons could have been old enough to have had children of their own before they died, but this theory is only a surmise since no record, chronicle, or romance states they had heirs. Therefore, it is highly doubtful that King Arthur had any descendants who lived beyond the sixth century. Yet the royal family of England has claimed, at…
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Modern day “republicanism” isn’t near what it once was. Would #GeorgeWashington be proud of Capitol Hill antics? Or would he have the posers tarred n feathered?
Originally posted on Stories from American History:
The 1712 play, “Cato, a Tragedy” by Joseph Addison, had a pervasive influence on the generation that fought in the American Revolution. Based on the story of Cato the Younger, the enormously popular play glorified Stoic virtue and devotion to republican principles.
During the darkest time of the Revolution, at Valley Forge, Washington assembled his officers to see a performance of “Cato.”
Washington paraphrased a line from the play when he wrote to Benedict Arnold, “It is not in the power of any man to command success, but you have done more – you have deserved it.”
Abigail Adams described George Washington with a paraphrase from the play: “Cato is stern, and awful as a god.”
Two of the most famous lines from the American Revolution are Nathan Hale’s last words on the gallows, “I regret only that I have but one life to give for my country,” and Patrick…
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