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,

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