Sep 14, 2020

Astro-Notes: Artist Joshua Reynolds

Image: Joshua Reynolds, self-portrait circa 1747

Astrology of Famous Artists: Sir Joshua Reynolds

by Jude Cowell

In the 18th century, portrait painter Joshua Reynolds was a big deal. Known as the primary promoter of the Grand Style in painting, Reynolds was born on July 16, 1723, founded and was first president of the Royal Academy of Art, and was knighted by George III in 1769. So that's Sir Joshua Reynolds to you and me!

Now other posts have been published here and there concerning the Astrology of Famous Artists. Two such are Edouard Manet and Paul Cezanne. And even though I know of no birth hour for Joshua Reynolds there are still a few details concerning the gregarious fellow that can be ascertained from his natal planets.

For on July 16, 1723 in Plympton, Devonshire, England the Sun was in Moon-ruled Cancer while the Moon floated through the late degrees of Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius and on into Saturn-ruled Capricorn as the morning proceeded.

Checking both Sun Cancer-Moon Sag and Sun Cancer-Moon Cap personality blends, I find myself leaning toward Moon in Sagittarius (gregariousness!). For one thing, a Capricorn Moon - ambitious for advancement to be sure - gives a blend shared by hard-hitting author Ernest Hemingway while a natal Sun Cancer-Moon Sag blend is shared by landscape artist Jean-Baptiste-Camille Carot! If you wish, check out a previous Astrology post on Camille Corot here.

Now because Joshua Reynolds was something of a workaholic, a Capricorn Moon is certainly a possibility yet with his Saturn (planet of work and concentration) in late Sagittarius, a Sag Moon would conjunct natal Saturn during the early morning hours of his day of birth so that a Moon-Saturn conjunction suggests a similar influence as a Capricorn Moon. And actually, a mutable (changeable) Sag Moon could also be more descriptive of how his assistants painted the outfits his subjects wore suggesting that perhaps Joshua got a little bored before his portraits were completed and wandered off, perhaps for a new adventure!

Even so, we know his Jupiter Rx in Capricorn conjoins one of the four Cardinal World Points of Fame and Recognition (@00Capricorn) which makes me think that perhaps worldly benefits were not too difficult for Reynolds to attain, consistent worker or no. Especially considering the Reynolds family's social status, plus, his early expression of obvious art talent so that even his father, who had wanted Joshua to go into medicine, soon conceded to his son's favored career ambitions.

As an artist since childhood myself, I believe that art talent should always be encouraged not squelched, don't you?

As for further indications of art ability and interest in Reynolds' natal chart, one indication we can look to is a pleasant sextile between his Mercury (which relates to the mind but also to hands and dexterity) and art-loving and inspiring Neptune. This is a very creative combination with a deep well of inspiration and with idealistic Neptune involved, his Grand Spirit style that promoted painting "the idealization of the imperfect" makes sense. Additionally, a Mercury-Neptune sextile suggests spiritual or mystical tendencies, and a deep love of beauty.

Now let's close with Joshua Reynolds' Prenatal Solar Eclipse Saros Series ('PE') and its themes that would have run in the background of his life and been activated (if or when conditions were right) approximately every 18.6 years. An accurate birth time isn't needed for this:

Born into the 14 North series which manifested as a Total Eclipse (the most influential kind) on June 3, 1723 @11Gem50, 14 North themes and potentials include: 'a peculiar turn of events; unrequited love; despair; unexpected happenings in finances; a draining of energy; possible illness; too much confusion and delusion to form clear judgments' (paraphrasing Brady's Predictive Astrology).

For a modern day example of such a confusing period of time we have only to look to the last occurrence of a 14 North Solar Eclipse on November 25, 2011 @2Sagittarius. This was during major financial woes in the US, if you remember, when politicians of both parties dramatically dashed back to Capitol Hill to engage in "sequestration" tactics and took the peculiar step of creating a so-called "Super Congress" to deal with budgetary issues.

And recently in my political astrology posts, I have related 14 North and its difficult influences to the current pandemic crisis via cosmic time links and the "sequestration" tactics and impositions we now endure. Yet what any of such 14 North themes could have meant in the life of Sir Joshua Reynolds I do not know unless a possible illness occurred for there were, of course, gracious plenty of them to contract in the 18th century - but on second thought, and considering his 'love of beauty' and what was perhaps his dreamy nature, it may have been 'unrequited love' that complicated his life!

Synesthesia, Memories, and Minor vs Tertiary Progressions

Mysteries of The Mind: A Path to an Unknown Land by Jude Cowell

September 14, 2020: This morning while investigating the rather curious brain phenomenon of synesthesia and its possible connection to Astrology's technique using Minor, Tertiary, and Secondary Progressions, I ran across an interesting Ted-Ed video Ideasthesia: How do ideas feel? by Danko Nikovic. Opening with Descarte's famous, "I think therefore I am" and moving directly into Science's ongoing attempts to understand the mind-body connection, this brief video could possibly make you...well, think. And if you're into Astrology, you might think of the 3rd-6th house mind-body connection!

You might also think of how a study of the three psychological houses (4-8-12) in a horoscope provides information on such topics as the mind-body connection while special attention is always warranted toward the mysterious 12th house of the Unconscious. What, we wonder, could be bubbling around in there? Which ideas and concepts to suppress or express into reality?

For more on Minor (mind/thoughts), Tertiary (emotions/intuition), and Secondary Progressions (body/reality), here's an excerpt from a previous JCAstro post with the post's link added:

"A Revealing Astrological Method -- 1:13:27 in Progressions

One astrological method for sussing out the Unconscious involves time and the three dimensional quality of it as found in astrologer Robert Blaschke's work on Progressions and the 1:13:27 ratio of Secondary ('1' = physical plane/day for a year), Tertiary ('13' = feeling-desires-intuitional plane/day for a month), and Minor ('27' = mental-thought plane/month for a year). Everyone has unconscious thoughts (Minor-mental plane) that drift up from the depths and are either allowed into awareness or suppressed on the Tertiary-intuitive-emotional plane--for we have positive or negative emotions and feelings about these thoughts and whether we choose to act (or feel compelled to act) on them or not. So thoughts occur 27 times faster than physical action, and feelings-desires occur 13 times faster than the actions we may take based on our feeling about those thoughts." Astrology's 12th house: There Be Monsters!


So is the Minor-Tertiary-Secondary Progression method yet another way to study the mind-body connection? I see it as such although, as always, you are welcome to disagree.

Kitchen-Related Synesthesia?

So why was I searching today for information on the curious case of Synesthesia? Because I wondered if I am afflicted by the neurological condition since childhood when certain names conjured sights, fragrances, and textures, a tendency I consciously noticed around the age of 5 1/2. (Born in early January, I'm always a half-year-old in summers and this was the summer we moved into a new house--I first noticed the tendency in my Mom's new kitchen and can see it now in my mind's eye as it first happened!)

The very first occurrence of what I suspect falls under the heading of synesthesia involved milk packaged in waxed cartons back in the day (not so much plastic around then) and how the name 'Fred' was the sensation of wax that flaked off from inside the container whenever I drank a glass of milk poured from a waxed carton. That annoying feeling which interfered with the flavor of milk was Fred.

Throughout my childhood other names became associated with food-related connections and though I don't remember them all as I type now, here are three amusing ones that I do remember:

Vanessa: chocolate pudding, accent on the consistency of pudding; Jennifer: spicy gingerbread cake (just baked! not cookies - cake!), and Scott: foods with butterscotch flavors, especially butterscotch candy in cellophane wrappers.

Now can anyone challenge the logic of Scott? ;)

Sep 12, 2020

Do You Know Where Your Saturn Is?

Image: Celestial View From Turquoise Arch by Jude Cowell

A Search for Saturn

September 12, 2020: You know there's been so much going on in the realms of Politics and major social concerns of late that Jude Cowell Astrology has become quite forlorn and seemingly abandoned. But tonight I'm here to update with a link, below, to an informative article written by master astrologer Ray Grasse and it involves the karmic planet Saturn, aka, the taskmaster, lesson bringer, and ruler of old age and master of Time. Plus as you know, Saturn is the original ruler of Astrology with Uranus, discovered in 1781, the upstart full of futuristic vibes, frequencies, and novel or shocking ideas and ideals. Quirky and erratic, the Genius and the Awakener!

Now realistically speaking, the more stable Saturn in a natal horoscope can signify something of a sore spot for 'he' (the old man or senex) reveals where the flaw in a personality is found by house placement and sign. Full disclosure: my own natal Saturn is in Virgo (in case you were wondering! And as you may know, I'm fond of criticizing craven politicians!) and this sign placement for Saturn actually works (a Saturn word!) rather well with my Capricorn planets (ruled by Saturn).

In fact, one of my Capricorn planets is Mercury, ruler of Virgo, so now the mutual reception in my natal chart is revealed. They're on friendly terms, you know, and they - I - do like to study rather serious topics, then haul off and fuss about them.

Now I could go on - about Saturn, the importance of Saturn Returns, about being a Saturnian astrologer (to me horoscopes reveal DNA not 'past lives'), and more but why do this when Ray Grasse has some excellent information waiting for you concerning Saturn in his article published in The Mountain Astrologer magazine in 2019.

But after all, it isn't as if details about planet Saturn in a horoscope can ever grow passe!

Jul 9, 2020

A Cosmic Portrait of Henri Rousseau

Astrology of The Artist, plus, Henri Rousseau's The Dream :

A Cosmic Portrait of the Artist by Jude Cowell

Biographical details concerning the life of painter Henri Rousseau usually include the fact that a certain mystique surrounded him. He's not quite in the 'not much is known' category of famous artists but he comes pretty close. So let's see if his natal horoscope and planets (RR: B if you care for a peek, or a glance, below) can lift at least a corner of the veil of secrecy that enshrouds the life, personality, and creativity of Henri Rousseau. Note that some differences exist between the two bio sketches linked here--ex: one says two wives, 7 children, none lived, the other says 4 children, one lived; either way I suggest that his 'childlike' paintings full of mystery, darkness, threat, and violence may have been inspired by the tragic loss of his children, and in 1888 of his beloved wife, Clemence Boitard, his landlord's daughter, whom he had married in 1869. And you know that Rousseau never visited the locations he painted but studied his subjects from books, at the zoo, and from a taxidermy museum! Thus his paintings depict "landscapes of the mind" - and his personal mystique comes in part through a mystical Neptune-Pluto sextile.

Moving to Paris in 1868, and after years working as a successful civil servant (customs official), Rousseau taught himself to paint at age 40 and curiously, the distance between his natal Sun @00Gemini (adult personality) and Moon @10Cancer12 (childhood personality--his in the 5th house of Children and Creative Pursuits)--is 40 degrees 10 minutes. Therefore, in the degree-for-a-year way of progressing a horoscope, this syncs perfectly with one life cycle or phase of activity coming to a close as conscious (Sun) and unconscious (Moon) symbolically culminated with a Progressed Full Moon @8Cap28 (Sun 8Can28) in August 1884, the year he took up a paint brush, eventually devoting himself to Creative Pursuits full time. The very creative Rousseau also wrote poetry and composed music (ex: a waltz for his wife!) so where can we see these natural talents in his natal chart?

Paintings with Long-Lasting Appeal

Through the years Rousseau's creations have often been deemed "childlike" and "innocent" yet as noted above, there are also strands of darkness running through them such as in his Jungle Art with its predatory tigers and other animals 'lurking' (my word!) behind leaves and vines (spy them in The Dream, above!) The childlike quality in many of his paintings makes sense when we consider that his Sun is in Gemini, Mercurial sign of the child, while his Moon is happily in Cancer, sign of Family, Mother, and Home (he didn't willingly wander far from it, apparently).

So if you look at his natal horoscope, you'll see I've scribbled my study notes upon the chart and in the lower right corner, you can see listed a famous composer who shared Rousseau's Sun Gemini-Moon Cancer personality blend: Igor Stravinsky. I've added a (musical) quote from Stravinsky because it could easily apply to the appealing Art of Henri Rousseau, "My music is best understood by children and animals." And so it appears that every viewer's 'inner child' can be reached by gazing at the masterful artwork of Henri Rousseau!

Creative Talent in His Natal Horoscope

There are multiple indications of art talent found in Rousseau's natal chart including creative Neptune in novelty-loving Aquarius - rising at his birth. Basically, Rousseau Is Neptune. But there's more for Neptune is part of a Minor Grand Trine (highlighted in greenish turquoise) between Mars trine Neptune, then both planets sextile powerful, transformative Pluto - all at 23 degrees, an indication of something karmic going on beneath the surface and I suspect it's inherited talent which may have stayed hidden until about age 40. Actually, a Mars-Neptune trine is super creative on its own but add intense Pluto in a Minor Grand Trine pattern and the qualities of the planetary configuration deepen and allow the power of his images to transform the viewer. However, the addition of underworld Pluto to Mars and Neptune can also add dreams of violence and aggression. Yet the Mars-Neptune trine suggests a double-Pisces influence of mysticism, fated romance/s, and creativity that has a healing quality.

Now below you see his natal chart with hard working Saturn joyful in the 12th house of the Unconscious from which creativity flows (12th house = work in isolation, peace and quiet needed); Saturn is placed in futuristic Aquarius conjunct dedicated worker Vesta, one of the feminine archetypes in Astrology:

Now as you know, Saturn rules form, structure, and realism, and for creative projects Saturn forms a container for Uranian ideas to be poured into. This was easy for Rousseau for as you see, his practical Saturn (his chart-ruler) sextiles (60 degrees) genius planet Uranus with both planets as chart-ruler if you, dear reader, consider Uranus as a ruler, co-ruler, or the higher octave planet of Aquarius (and Saturn the sign's traditional ruler). Well, obviously, an easy aspect between Saturn and Uranus is excellent for creativity, for bringing into reality one's ideas, for giving them form and substance. And having the North Node of future direction conjunct Midheaven ('MC'), the Career and Public Status Point, brings public recognition and fame, even if it's delayed until the end of life.

Plus, there's another indication of artistic talent - his charming Moon-Venus conjunction in 5th house! This aspect denotes pleasant relationships especially with women (his mother must have been loving and lovely), a happy home life (yet unfortunately marred by the loss of children, as noted), and a compassionate nature which may have been supported by Rousseau's first house Jupiter in compassionate Pisces. Yet drugs, including alcohol consumption, may have tagged along with excessive Jupiter in mutable, often weak, Pisces. If so, he was no different than other creatives of his day. And there's erratic planet Uranus also rising in first house (Physical Body; Self) and there's really no telling how quirkily the planet of chaos in 1st house affected his behavior - made him 'an original' with a preference for solitude, I suspect, and maybe a little cantankerous at times. Well, the sign of Uranus describes something about behavior and in Rousseau's case, this would be pioneering Aries, ruled by energetic Mars, which is posited in the 4th house of Domestic Scene and one of the Psychological houses as well. This suggests that not all was sweetness and light in the home for angry quarrels may have broken the peace at times, or perhaps some measure of blame was cast for various reasons. Plus, Mars and Aries can suggest someone with a me-first attitude toward others which is seldom easy to live with. Of course, this relates to young Rousseau's father's behavior and to Henri himself as an adult: like father, like son.

Certainly, misunderstandings could occur as within every relationship with Rousseau's poverty adding its own aggravations to issues and difficulties at hand. And it's even possible that rigid Saturn, the 'earthly father' archetype, tilting a BOWL pattern of his planets, reveals a lack of experience in various spheres of life and this may have caused instances of misunderstandings within the realms of his empty signs and houses: 7th house Leo (except for wounded/wounding Chiron - was wounded pride a tender issue for his ego? his painting were rejected multiple times), Virgo, sign of The Critic (the Virgo-Pisces victim-savior polarity intercepted across the 1/7 relationship axis - thus karmic and unconscious), 8th house Venus-ruled Libra (but with psychological planet Pluto in Mars-ruled Aries opposite in 2nd house), 9th house Scorpio, the intense, brooding sign ruled by lusty Mars, 10th house Sagittarius, the Jupiter-ruled sign of The Seeker, and 11th house Saturn-ruled Capricorn, sign of duty and maturity. That's a lot of missed life experiences and areas to know little about! However, Rousseau did take care of his mother after the death of his father which is a major credit to his sense of responsibility. Kudos for him!

Now in closing, a word about Henri Rousseau's Pre-natal Solar Eclipse ('PE' in 10th house) @28Sag44 in the 8 North Saros Series. Here we come close to approaching a significant essence of the artist for 8 North is an indicator of unusual themes with potentials for: 'flashes of genius, visions, vivid dreams, insights, good ideas, intuitive leaps, new-found inspiration'. When affecting the individual, 8 North times a period when he is pulled away from relationships or his social life by a need to be free, "if only for a few weeks." This causes "strain in the private life" (Brady's Predictive Astrology). And more quarrels at home perhaps? These eclipse themes would have come around approximately every 19.6 years to inspire his work and/or to create relationship problems! Plus, planetary transits and progressions could set them off, positively or negatively.

Henri Rousseau's life spanned from May 21, 1844 until his death on September 2, 1910 in Paris, I regret to say, from blood poisoning (gangrene). And as you well know, images of his paintings may be found in various art museums and all across the Internet so you'll have no trouble viewing them!

Well, this concludes my Cosmic Portrait of Henri Rousseau and I hope some benefit is derived from it in some way. If so, your generous Shares would be much appreciated! Jude

Another Cosmic Profile of a Famous Artist: Astro-Notes on the Personality of Edouard Manet.

Jun 19, 2020

Annular Solar Eclipse in Cancer on the Solstice 21st June 2020: The Scottish Astrologer

June 2020: Here is The Scottish Astrologer with astrological observations concerning the Summer Solstice 2020 Solar Eclipse @00Cancer, one of the four Cardinal World Points of manifestation:

Jun 3, 2020

Astro-Notes: the Personality of Edouard Manet

Astro-Notes on Edouard Manet: A genius (Sun Aquarius) in Art (Libra Moon)

by Jude Cowell

As you know, it's common in Natal Astrology that studying the natal horoscopes of long-ago figures, no matter how prominent, is frustrated by the fact that no exact birth time is known and often 'noon' is chosen to set up their charts but without the input of a correct Ascendant (Self) and Midheaven (The Goal). Plus, knowing a correct birth time allows the placement of natal planets in their houses (departments of life) so obviously, these two chart angles are important for gaining a fuller picture of the native.

Well, fortunately, this is not an issue with the natal horoscope of the artist many historians have called, "the first modern painter," Edouard Manet for his birth data is rated AA for accuracy! Follow the link for a view of his natal chart if you wish but a few details are included below concerning Manet's double Air Sun Aquarius-Moon Libra personality blend. Now many moons ago when I attended art school in Atlanta, Georgia, Manet was a favorite artist of mine so this post is a labor of love and curiosity!

Edouard Manet born January 23, 1832 7:00 pm LMT Paris, France to a prominent family and under the influence of Sun Aquarius-Moon Libra, an intellectual, cultured, and independent blend of energies (Saturn-Uranus; Venus). In fact, this blend's airiness can tend the native toward an overly abstract approach to life, if not to Art. As you know, Manet has been termed "the first modern painter" and counted several Impressionist painters among his friends. Developing the all prima painting technique ('all at once' - wet layers of paint applied upon wet layers), Manet is also known as "a genius of modern art" which can be seen by his Sun and Uranus in Aquarius! His "innovative realist" style of painting is identifiable via his Aquarian Uranus, the genius and innovator, and natal Saturn, planet of realism, in the practical workaholic sign of Mercury-ruled Virgo.

For as you know, Uranian genius needs a Saturnian vessel to pour into otherwise ideas remain without practical application in the real world and expression of this ability depends upon the aspect between the two planets. In Manet's natal chart we find a Saturn-Uranus inconjunct which suggests a resistance to change so it took some attitude adjustments before he could adopt new techniques in his work. Plus, this inconjunct can lead to conflict in relationships as well and hints that others could 'see' or appreciate his talents more clearly than he could - at least early on in his career.

And regretfully I must add that a Saturn-Uranus inconjunct (or, quincunx; 150 degrees) can denote the development of arthritis and/or a "sudden loss of limbs/amputation" (Ebertin) - and Manet suffered both!

For on August 30, 1883, at age 51, he died from rheumatism and untreated syphilis contracted during his 40s (natal Moon conjunct Lilith, the seductress). Sadly his final years were spent partially paralyzed and, as we can see from his age at death (51), Manet's Chiron in Taurus (in Astrology the Christ archetype of the Wounded Healer, often depicted as lame) may have been involved since he expired only 11 days after his left foot was amputated due to gangrene.

Further more, it's worth noting that the orbit of centaur Chiron (approximately 50 years in duration) passes between the orbits of planets Saturn and Uranus which symbolically forms a bridge between our earthly and spiritual natures!

And this creates an uplifting note on which to close this astro-tribute to one of my favorite artists of all time, and provides a chance for me to say, May Edouard Manet R.I.P.


For more information, here are biographical notes on Edouard Manet including a few views of his paintings, plus, the Royal Academy of Arts recently published an don't-miss video presentation of Manet: Portraying Life.

May 5, 2020

David Hamblin's The Spirit of Numbers

May 5, 2020: Here's master astrologer David Cochrane (see his videos in the sidebar) in 2016 sharing with us The Spirit of Numbers, a book on the topic of Harmonics in Astrology authored by David Hamblin which reveals his latest research in this fascinating branch of Astrology.

And as you know, David Hamblin's previous book Harmonic Charts: A New Dimension in Astrology, first published in 1983, is a classic:

And here, in his own words, David Hamblin explains that he has reached conclusions about the "spirit' of numbers up to 31!