Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Astrology of Julie Taymor & “Spiderman”
John Marchesella

The colossal brouhaha about Julie Taymor’s colossal production of “Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark” as a Broadway musical with overtones of Greek theatre and myth is a colossal example of astrology at work. But perhaps colossal is the only way a double Sagittarius would have it!

Taymor’s birth info is: December 15, 1952, 10:06 a.m. EST, Boston, MA. (Readers are encouraged to refer to the horoscope for this article). Her MC is 1 Sag 45 and the ASC is 10 AQ 20.

In case, you missed the real life drama, Julie Taymor is a theatre and film director and designer, known for her unique style and innovative techniques in stage wizardry, certainly in keeping with her ASC, Venus and Mars in Aquarius. Her career has been prolific, but her most popular works to date are the Broadway musical, “The Lion King,” and the biopic of Frida Kahlo, “Frida.”

For years, she’s been working with musician, Bono, to bring “Spiderman” to the musical stage. Finally, on November 28, 2010, the show previewed with some disastrous results. Actors were injured by the complicated and failure-to-launch sets, and word of mouth was dreadful.

The most expensive show ever produced on Broadway became the show with the longest preview period, so long, in fact, that critics got tired of waiting to see it. So, they broke with theatre tradition and reviewed it without invitation. And scathing were the reviews!

Ironically, the show’s attendance and gross weekly profits also broke records, largely due to an audience who wanted to see how bad it really was, how failed the scenery was, and if they would catch a performance when another actor gets injured!

Taymor was fired, and the show is being entirely reworked for a “definite” opening night on June 15, 2011, just after a station of Saturn and on a Lunar Eclipse, that falls, by the way, on Taymor’s Sun. Talk about fated events! However, until April 17th, Taymor’s original version continued to rake in the dough, and it became known as “the director’s cut.”

Here are some of the highlights that describe the fiasco.

1. Taymor’s Progressed Mercury is leaving Aquarius. SURPRISE! Note the importance of natal Mercury on the MC, indicating the natal potential for career, reputation and profile.

2. Her Progressed ASC is forming a Yod with the natal Sun and the Neptune-Saturn. Excuse me, but who’s running the show? The finger of God, I’d say!

3. Simultaneously, her Progressed ASC is in square aspect to natal Pluto, so we all know which one of God’s fingers that is!

4. Shortly after that first preview and lasting for much of the winter, transiting Saturn stationed in square aspect to natal Uranus, the ruler of the chart in the 6th house of work and innovative techniques. Her signature was blocked. Actors fell and scenery literally did not move.

5. Transiting Pluto is on her ASC/MC for months, so her professional reputation is in the toilet…but stay tuned for the resurrection that Pluto brings. After a long while of no say, Pluto often allows us the last word in power struggles.

6. Transiting Uranus left her first house at the time of her firing. It was big news too because it is on the World Axis. Interesting that Uranus entered the first house when “Lion King” opened on Broadway and it was the cat’s meow, even winning her several Tony awards. Always note the parallels when planets enter a house and leave the house.

All of these are good and clear indications of Taymor’s plight in these last few months. However, the astrological handwriting was on the wall, way back on October 20, 2005, when, as reported by The New York Times, contracts were signed between the producers and creators to go forward with the project. From the look of things back then, they could have used an electional astrologer to pick a better date!

1. Transiting Mars was retrograde, obviously, not a promising time to move forward on a new career project. But perhaps this indicates a RE-working of the show is in good order.

2. Transiting Saturn was exactly to the minute on her 7th house cusp of partnerships, obviously, not an indication of promising partnerships.

3. Transiting Neptune conjoined her North Node in Aquarius in the first house, perhaps overestimating her way with inventive techniques and group collaborations.

4. Transiting Pluto was in the early days of conjoining her Sun, much more a time of endings rather than beginnings, especially if you want to do a project about spiders!

5. Just a few days prior to this signing, a Lunar Eclipse at 24 Aries 13 formed a Kite, in Grand Trine with the natal Sun and Pluto, but opposed to Neptune and Saturn. Perhaps this offered some confidence to an already very confident person to proceed, despite the red flags of the aforementioned transits.

The more significant indications of moving forward, despite such foreboding transits, were some very encouraging progressions.

1. Her Progressed Sun was in the early days of conjoining natal Mars, offering courage to take on a huge task.

2. Her Progressed Venus was in a trine with her natal Moon and in a sextile with her natal Venus, offering a sense of well being in the undertaking.

This is a very good example of the interaction of progressions and transits. The positive progressions put her in the mood, so to speak, to take on the difficulties that were represented by the transits. If her progressions were more worrisome, perhaps she would have thought twice about the project; and if the transits at the time of the signing were more favorable, perhaps the task would have been easier.

But let us not judge her choices. After all, we have yet to see the final production and the full repercussions of her actions. We only offer this information as a lesson in the dynamics of astrology.

John Marchesella can be reached via his website,

Monday, April 25, 2011

Royal Nuptials and the Void of Course Moon

The much anticipated royal wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton occurs on April 29, 2011. According to all news reports the ceremony is to commence at 11:00 am in London and finish by 12:15 pm. Had they consulted the royal astrologer they would have been told that the moon is void during the entire ceremony; not a propitious sign for this or any marriage. In fact she remains void until 6:33 pm. Starting a major life event on a void moon signifies that nothing comes of the event. Might I suggest that nothing will come of this fairy tale romance and perhaps it will fizzle out in some way?

The chart for this marriage shows 12° Leo rising. Not a bad rising sign since after all this is a royal wedding. The ruler of the chart is the Sun in Taurus in the 10th house. Taurus is a sign of stability, security, money and the 10th house symbolizes status, recognition and an event that is in full public view by the world at large. There is a stellium in Aries including Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter and Uranus with Saturn exalted in Libra opposing all those planets as a singleton forming the handle of a bucket chart. I think that’s actually rather good since Aries/Libra are the relationship signs. The 9th / 3rd house emphasis shows the media attention to the event plus the extravagance and world interest. Saturn gives seriousness of purpose and grounds all that impulsive Martian energy to be more balanced. Such a strong Saturn suggests communication between these two people is of utmost importance. The Jupiter/Mars conjunction at the midheaven occurs as the ceremony begins and by 12:15 the Sun conjoins the midheaven. Pretty nice huh?

But the major concern here is the void of course moon at 26° 45’ Pisces in conjunction to Uranus – ouch! The moon is about bonds, feelings, home, family and attachment. Pisces is a romantic sign yet also a blind one and Luna in the balsamic phase of an out of sign conjunction to Uranus only adds to the blindness of the entire event. By solar arc the moon enters Aries in September 2014. Perhaps this shall be a wake up call ending the romantic period of the relationship and when the Moon conjuncts Uranus by solar arc in the spring of 2017 dare I suggest divorce? Uranus rules the 7th and 8th. The Moon rules the 12th house further emphasizing feelings of imprisonment, blindness and sacrifice. But, if I were to put a positive spin on all this Uranus, Moon, 12th house and Pisces energy perhaps they will be a romantic couple who use their power for helping the under privileged through their devotion to humanitarian and global causes. As British Royalty in the age of Aquarius these charitable deeds will definitely be part of their duty and responsibility but let’s check up on them as that solar arc perfects in 2017. And if that’s not enough, by 2018 solar arc Uranus will be on Venus while solar arc Mercury is on Mars.

Joseph Addeo

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Joan Crawford, Kate Winslet and Mildred Pierce

James M. Cain’s depression era novel, Mildred Pierce, first filmed by Michael Curtiz as a 1945 Warner Bros. film noir has been adapted by Todd Haynes as an HBO mini series debuting Sunday, March 27, 2011. This time around Kate Winslet stars in the title role originated by Joan Crawford in the 1945 version which earned her an Academy Award.

Joan Crawford is an actress of mythic proportions and Kate Winslet is an extremely talented actress quickly racking up awards and having a career that rivals Joan Crawford in her prime. Both are considered fiercely ambitious, resilient and determined with almost super human work ethics. I thought it would be interesting as a lesson in synastry to see what these two have in common and what may draw Winslet to invite comparison to Crawford. In essence these two actresses are now forming a relationship via the character of Mildred Pierce.

Crawford’s birth information: March 23, 1903, 10:00 pm, San Antonio, Texas. Told by Crawford herself to astrologer Nelle Sliter.
Winslet’s birth information: October 5, 1975, 7:15 am, Reading, England. This is the time of birth found everywhere I’ve looked and although not verified, I’m going with it.

Crawford is an Aries with the Sun in the 5th house and Winslet is a Libra (in fact Winslet is a triple Libra) with the Sun and Moon in the 1st house indicating a very aggressive, Aries type of Libra. Winslet’s creative inspiration may be in direct contrast to Crawford’s, while retaining a commonality which is indicative of opposite signs. Winslet would be driven to balance her interpretation and offer an alternative choice by creating from another direction and showing a different side to the character.

A mini series format provides ample opportunity to flesh out the character in contrast to a 2 hour film condensation of the novel more in tune to Crawford’s direct Aries approach. The creativity of the Sun sign opposition indicates the actresses mirror each other in some way and most definitely fans and critics will take sides. Winslet, being smart and diplomatic in true Libra fashion, would respect, appreciate and admire Crawford yet stay detached, balanced and aware of her own individuality and not be swallowed up by the powerful presence of Crawford’s legend.

Their Saturn’s are in aspect by opposition again giving perspective and awareness regarding their work and reputation as well as pointing up their differences and similarities. There are other interesting aspects between the charts; yet, the most karmic interaction, indicating an unconscious link for channeling energy between the two actresses, would be the nodal connection. This is where we see astrology at work in a very mysterious way and what buttons are being pushed. Winslet’s Sun, Moon, Pluto, Ascendant and Mercury conjunct Crawford’s North Node and Mars. This is an enormous vortex of energy funneled between them. Crawford’s North Node in Libra is bringing out the best of what Winslet’s planets have to offer. In essence she is getting Crawford’s approval, encouragement, support, caring and inspiration from the grave. Likewise Winslet’s nodal axis sits on Crawford’s ascendant/descendant further emphasizing the karmic nature of this contact. There is a give and take and hopefully a healthy debate in discussing the relationship both these actresses have with each other and their interpretation of the character of Mildred Pierce. Some mysterious force throughout time and history links them.

Transiting Saturn all over Winslet’s Libra stellium on the Ascendant indicates career endings and beginnings while opposite Crawford’s Sun suggests a re-assessment of Crawford’s past creative achievements. Transiting Pluto has been squaring Crawford’s Sun for several years (and currently squaring natal Mars, her chart ruler) doing a mighty job of resurrecting her past and transforming her legacy that had been decimated by Mommie Dearest. Her identity has come up for re-examination and purging and in typical Scorpio rising fashion we see “the phoenix rising from the ashes”. No less than 4 new biographies on Crawford have surfaced in less than 2 years. Read this great article written in the January 3, 2011 edition of New Yorker by esteemed film critic David Denby as he tries to put Crawford’s career and reputation in perspective:

And let’s not forget transiting Uranus has just entered Aries conjuncting Crawford’s Sun helping to give a 180° shift in perspective to her talent, creativity and legacy (Sun rules the 10th). Uranus needs a few years yet to revolutionize Winslet’s career but its ingress into Aries may herald a new beginning for her in terms of roles and direction. After all this is a major return to television after having appeared exclusively in films since her debut in 1994’s Heavenly Creatures. We should keep an eye on Winslet’s career in 2013 as Uranus and Pluto form a very tight transiting t-square to her natal Sun.

The original Mildred Pierce premiered on 9/24/45 showing a stellium of Sun, Neptune, Jupiter and Chiron in Libra and the HBO series premieres on 3/27/11 with a stellium of the Sun, Uranus, Jupiter and Mercury in Aries; the signs so heavily represented by Crawford and Winslet. Recent transits by Saturn, Pluto and Uranus have activated and continue to activate the cardinal signs.

Joseph Addeo