Oct 15, 2019

Dante Gabriel Rosetti and Proserpine-Persephone

Proserpine; Dante Gabriel Rossetti [Public domain]

As his Wikipedia page details, Dante Gabriel Rosetti was born in London on May 12, 1828 and died of Bright's Disease (kidneys) on April 9, 1882. Listed as a British poet, illustrator, painter, and translator, years of drug addition took their toll (probably begun due to a botched operation, in a word, pain) and his last years were spent as a recluse. But does his stunningly beautiful art live on!

Here you see Rosetti's depiction of Proserpine (or, Proserpina), only one excellent example of his brilliance as a painter. And of course in Astrology, Proserpine (asteroid #26) is often interchanged with her Greek equivalent, Persephone (asteroid #399) yet as you see, there are two asteroids with different numbers. Check out Where Does Persephone Hide in Your Natal Chart? for more details on the archetype's symbolism which can include potentials for: traumatic rites of passage, leaving home, separation anxiety, mother-daughter issues, abduction, lost innocence, transition, sacrifice, other-worldliness, freedom issues, and of course, there's her association with death via abduction into the Underworld by Hades, and with Earth's seasons due to her mother Ceres' (Demeter's) rescue of her daughter which resulted in a 6-month compromise with hellish Hades.

And if we inspect the natal horoscope of Dante Gabriel Rosetti we find an abundance of sensual Taurus planets: Sun, Moon, Mercury, plus, his natal Ascendant, and Chiron! Actually, Rosetti's natal Moon conjoins Chiron, Mars @12Capricorn conjoins artful Neptune Rx @18Capricorn, and Mercury @8Taurus exactly opposes natal Jupiter Rx @8Scorpio which identifies him as a man who tended to promise more than he could deliver, didn't easily keep secrets, had a memory that failed him under stress, had trouble with religion (ex: held illogical or agnostic beliefs), had to develop the ability for working with details (painting!), could be easily flustered, may have been unreliable and neglectful of responsibilities, and pursued impractical studies such as esotericism. Too much daydreaming or woolgathering may also have been the case (supported by a 12th house Mercury) which is not unusual for an artist for someone must gather the wool in this world!

Appropriately, Rosetti's Sun Taurus-Moon Taurus personality blend reveals a sensualist with a mischievous sense of humor--a calm yet explosive, mystical lover of nature (Sun Sign-Moon Sign, the Harveys). Perhaps a few words from a certain composer who shares this blend and personality can illustrate: "Doin' What Comes Naturally"--Irving Berlin, from Annie Get Your Gun.

Add to this Rosetti's Mars-Neptune conjunction in Capricorn and a picture emerges of an indecisive fellow who is highly creative and inspired from divine realms on high yet who feels a good deal of confusion over goals. A tendency to be overly romantic (!) can lead to misguided or exotic activities that end disastrously and which issue from unconscious urges. A strong psychic magnetism emanates from this conjunction, healing ability is usually present, and treachery on his part--or directed against him--is a potential. A Jupiter-Pluto inconjunct (or, quincunx; 1A03) is in need of moderation and denotes an opportunist who feels overwhelmed by responsibility and who may feel resentful toward those who use him for their own purposes (Pelletier). Well, who wouldn't, really?

Yes, extreme creativity and fated romance to the point of sexual and financial problems infuse Rosetti's natal chart and psyche through planetary aspects such as a difficult Venus-Mars opposition (attraction vs desire), an intense Venus-Pluto square (karmic relationships; materialism, passion that can turn to hatred), and a resentful, even violent or criminal Mars-Saturn opposition although 'goddess' Venus is ruler of his natal Ascendant @25Taurus and his chart (jealousy, possessiveness, materialism, intolerance). Yet a lovely Mercury-Venus sextile reveals his harmonious art talent and poetic ability and gracefully supplied him with a sociable nature when he wasn't working in isolation (Sun, Mercury, Moon, Chiron, and Pluto in the behind-the-scenes 12th house of Karma and The Unconscious).

Plus, we should note that Rosetti's Jupiter-Uranus square shows a tendency to go overboard with grandiose schemes, is unfavorable for speculative ventures, and provided him with unusual or eccentric religious beliefs (cultism? guruism?), plus, a restless urge for travel and adventure, and a taste for a Bohemian lifestyle which his abundant Taurean energies could happily revel in.

And what of Rosetti's natal Persephone?

On May 12, 1828, Persephone was traveling through creative, mystical Pisces (21:58) and sextiling his natal Ceres (20Taurus), the mother. Yet perhaps the most telling feminine archetype in the realms of his paintings is that his natal Lilith Rx (the seductress) was slinking her way through sexy Scorpio and infusing Rosetti's Mercury-Jupiter opposition (see above) with her 'goddess energies' which were expanded by contact with boundary-breaker Jupiter via conjunction. This may also indicate an artful mixture of religion, idealism and philosophy (Jupiter) with alluring feminine images (Lilith).

So there's my brief astro-portrait of master artist (and one of my favorites!) Dante Gabriel Rosetti and if you're curious, I hope you'll check out his fascinating natal horoscope (RR: A) for there is much more to be discovered about this complicated, psychic fellow born during a Balsamic Moon phase of the prophet!

Now to close, here's a handy List of D. G. Rosetti's paintings which you may enjoy perusing if you haven't already.

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