Elements of Horror

John Carpenter

John Carpenter

 

Night Chart  

 


Saturn Node + Pisces Moon
 (Saturn at bendings of Nodes; Moon in final degree and third decan of Pisces, and bounds of Saturn) 


Prominent Neptune  film, imagination, the unreal and projected
 + Uranus on Midheaven (shock factor) 


Moon Neptune  parallel southern declination
 ~ film, illusion, prophecy, music


Sun Hades  square
 (Sun applies to wonderfully notorious TNP, Hades, ruling secrets, decay, catastrophes, garbage, death, murder)


Mars Rising  above Ascendant (in Mars' bounds) in technical Virgo
 (Mars with its natural cutting/cathartic attributes inhabits the mental sphere of the whole sign first house)


Mars Neptune  =  Ascendant (midpoint)
 ~ the will directed toward fantasy and the arts
 

Sun in cold, dry Capricorn  (by night)  in the fifth house of Venus' Joy: arts, music, fortune
 (Sun tightly connected -sees- the Ascendant by trine)


Moon in Setting Place  (seventh house) and increasing in light
~ waxing/gains in place of setting sun (death)


Saturn Awards  Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films ~ many for Best Music :  
  Listen to John Carpenter here.

 

As always, there's so much more to say . . . 

 

Curious Maleficence : Dahmer

Essential dignity is important. Yet I think it is easily misunderstood, overemphasized, or used willy-nilly without considering a lot of other factors. Assessing dignity [like most things in astrology] is complex. Some people will make a really big deal about a dignified planet, but dignity does not simply make a planet good. Dignity is also strongly altered by planetary aspects and receptions. 

In a very dark example, likely the darkest expression of the day, we see a so-called 'dignified' (in its own sign) yet 'contrary to sect' malefic, Mars, configured with the Moon in the place of the setting sun (7th house). Mercury, Venus, and Saturn as well are all in their own domicile (sign), and therefore have essential dignity.

 

 

Some technical gymnastics:

The Ascendant in Dahmer's chart rises in Libra at the degree of the Sun's deepest debility. The Sun is most exalted at 19 degrees Aries and is at its maximum fall at 19 Libra. I think this is an immediately important factor since it is a daytime chart (the Sun is above the horizon and so is the luminary of the sect in favor). The ruler of the Ascendant is Venus (the benefic of the sect not in favor - it prefers the night). It has 'power' in its own sign, Taurus, so it is good at getting what it wants, even if this is not particularly good for the native. It is in the 8th whole sign house, so it does not see the Ascendant. The 8th house is the traditional house of death. Venus is also rising before the Sun, and so is a morning star Venus, showing her more assertive and warrior-like face. Venus connects to Rahu, the head of the dragon (north node of the Moon), by a close trine aspect, but it is the sign of Venus' fall (Virgo) in the 12th house. The exaltation ruler (and almuten) of the Ascendant is Saturn in Capricorn (its own sign) in the whole sign 4th, giving a strong connection to and esteem for the parents and tradition. Also think of the 4th as pertaining to things buried, or deep under the earth. Saturn is, however, in a tight square aspect to the Ascendant, so we see potential for stress and blockage here. Houses 4, 7, 8 all pertain to death; in the 4th we return to the place from which we came, 7th is the setting place, and 8th is the experience of death, often not our own but the experience of death and upheaval around us (sometimes called a place of transformation). Also of note here, as all these places are highlighted, houses 4, 8, 12 according to the 13th century astrologer, Guido Bonatti, were thought to be houses of varying kinds of imprisonment.  

The Moon, luminary of the night sect (not the sect in favor), is waning and is right on the horizon, setting at the time of his birth. The Moon is configured in the whole sign 7th (traditional house of death = setting Sun) with the contrary to sect malefic, Mars, which is in its own sign Aries (making it strong, though potentially reckless). Moon (pertaining to body, nourishment, feelings, and the irrational) receives a dominating square from both Jupiter - which is debilitated in the sign of its fall, Capricorn, and is also the sign of the Moon's detriment - and Saturn, strong in Capricorn, but seeing the Moon in the sign of its own fall, Aries (which it does not care for). Mars receives these squares as well, and since Capricorn is the sign of Mars' exaltation, it is strengthened further (and apparently not for the better). Remember, strong does not equal good. Saturn sees Mars in this square and being the sign of its fall is not especially pleased. Mars is also the lord of the 7th house of partners and open enemies.

Mars severs, it is related to cutting and knives, it separates . . . 

Mars is also antiscia the moon's Node - a point symbolizing connections. Mars|Node can be work connections, physical, sexual, or athletic connections, connecting with men, or collaborative or quarreling connections. Mars can also sever or cut connections (Yikes!- when considered literally). Antiscia, being symmetry around the cardinal axis or Aries Point, is indicative of how we connect to the world. Dahmer connected via Mars|Node. Of course, a general Mars|Node connection means a lot of different things as noted, dependent on varied context and circumstance.

The Sun, the luminary for the day, is configured with Mercury, the lord of 9 and 12 and in the curious, dual sign Gemini. Mercury is a youthful and somewhat androgynous character, one that moves between worlds (the underworld and the earthly world). The primary trigon lord for Air signs in a day chart is Saturn, so both Sun and Mercury are tied strongly to Saturn at the bottom of the chart.
 

Chart set up from the Lot of Fortune. 
(Vettius Valens, a 2nd century astrologer, instructs us to use the Lot of Fortune as an alternate Ascendant.)


I read the chart from Fortune with whole sign houses, meaning: 0-30 Virgo is the 1st house, 0-30 Libra is the 2nd house, and so on. 


Pluto, lord of the underworld, rises with the north node, Rahu - the insatiable, hypnotic and deceptive head of the dragon. Neptune in 3rd - confusion and deceit in communication. Jupiter in its fall with Saturn in 5th - morally problematic pleasures and recreation; Venus' joy distorted. Chiron and Ketu, the tail of the dragon, indicative of loss, illusion, and wounding in the place of the other -the 7th. Moon and Mars - body and cutting and upheaval in 8th. Venus 'strong' in Taurus (strong for what? pursuing one's bodily desires? pursuing 'matter') and in the 9th, the traditional house of god and spiritual concerns; Dahmer's life was devoted to matters of the flesh. Of note here, Venus receives superior trines from both Jupiter (in its fall) and Saturn, in Capricorn; Capricorn is a notoriously lusty placement for Venus, and so due to the unimpeded flow (trine) it is highly affected by this influence. Sun Mercury in whole sign 10th - public image - Mercury in its own sign is receiving its only strong aspect from Mars, a superior sextile from the malefic contrary to sect. Mercury Mars is adept at handling tools, dissecting for instance [in his case, curiosity gone horridly awry]. Two faces, two places. Uranus in 12th - strange secrets. 

A brief interview with Dahmer. 

His father's perspective. 

This is of course a horrific example of a person with a serious mental illness. Astrology does not show that he is mentally ill, and it does not show that he would harm or kill people. It does show issues with emotions, parents, and others, but astrology does not say what a person will do or how conscious, conscientious, or aware they are. 

To recap, it seems clear that essential dignity does not make a planet good, it may make a planet good at getting what it wants, but this might not be good for others or for the person himself. Dignity does seem to strengthen a planet, but again that can be for better or worse. (Frida Kahlo for instance had an exalted Mars in the 6th (health, disease, accidents) and it was in partile opposition to her Sun in Cancer (the sign of Mars' fall) - it seems probable this powerful planet did more harm to her than it did good.)

One must look at the whole chart. Aspects relaying dignity or debility (called receiving and reception) seem to alter and affect things immensely, as does the way in which one chooses to direct and work with the energy. 

 

K U R T

Today it has been nineteen years since Kurt Cobain's death. To commemorate him, his life's work, his bittersweet poetic and musical contribution to the world (which I personally think was of tremendous importance), I will delineate a few elements of his natal chart that I believe speak a great deal to his style and character and maybe also to his destiny.  

As you probably already know, much about astrology is finding recurring or reiterating themes (i.e. confluence). Usually one does not make a judgement or assessment about a chart based on a single factor alone. This is especially true when examining a natal chart (a person's birth chart). When an astrologer sees repeating or similar factors emerging from different aspects of the chart, they can be near to certain that the expression of those themes will be present and active in the native's life. With Kurt Cobain we see this.
 


First, some basics. You can see in his chart the Sun is under the horizon in the sign of Pisces, Venus' exaltation. He was born after sunset. The rising sign is Virgo, and in the hour and minutes of Cobain's birth the long-standing conjunction of Uranus and Pluto were rising right on the horizon at his Ascendant. His character was greatly defined by these two radical outer planets.

Mercury is the lord of, and is exalted at, the Ascendant and is another major definer of character. It is in Pisces, which is the sign of its fall, and it sees the Ascendant from the seventh place. A planet in its fall frequently must do things outside the box -- in some way outside what society deems is acceptable or normal or appropriate. This somewhat androgynous Mercury, guiding souls to and from the underworld, is a powerfully descriptive planet for him. In earlier times, when we would not have had Uranus and Pluto to help us see immediately the revolutionary or rebellious qualities inherent in his chart, we would associate much of these things to Mercury in Pisces (along with the position and aspect of Saturn, more on that in a minute). 

Cobain's powerful Moon in Cancer (the Moon rules Cancer) is positioned in the eleventh sign from the Ascendant, the place of friends, gain, and Good Spirit. The Moon is the sect light (the 'luminary of the sect in favor' - due to it being a night chart) and is of supreme importance. It is configured with Jupiter which is also in Cancer (Jupiter is in its exaltation). Jupiter is a great benefic and can bring great success, and Jupiter is positioned here in its own house of Joy strengthening the association. There can however be a tendency toward indulgence and extravagance with Jupiter and that possibility is increased here due to its being a night chart. Because Jupiter is a planet belonging to the day sect, and is therefore out of sect in this chart, its potential for boundlessness, knowing no limits, is increased. This can be good and bad, and in Cobain's case I believe we see both. The good and bad is reiterated again by aspects the Moon and Jupiter receive: superior trines from both Venus, the benefic that is of the sect in favor (for a night birth), also in its sign of exaltation, and Saturn, the most difficult malefic being out of sect at night. Venus Saturn being dark art, torment and love. (As an aside, you see the Moon configured with Jupiter in Whitney Houston's chart too, though in the second sign from the Ascendant; Saturn also is in a superior aspect. She too was a night birth. I'm not implying that you will always see problems associated like the ones shared by these two artists, but wanted to mention this similarity in expression.)

Returning to Pisces, the seventh sign from the Ascendant -- classically a place of marriage, enemies, the later part of life, and death -- we see the Sun configured with Mercury, Venus, and Saturn. Saturn being contrary to sect is a very important player here, it colors Cobain's character in a very strong and distinct way -- a way of decay, darkness, and heaviness, like lead. (Another aside, these are a lot of planets dispositing to a very dignified (by sign and place) benefic, Jupiter. We see something similar in Jimi Hendrix's chart: the Sun, Mercury, and Venus all in Sagittarius disposing to Jupiter also exalted in Cancer and configured with the Moon.)
*See charts for both Houston and Hendrix at bottom of article. 

Next we note Cobain's Mars, the "better" of the hard-working malefics, is dignified in its own sign Scorpio, which favors meaningful conflict and struggle and a preference for experiences that are passionate and devotional. This is the third sign from the Ascendant, one might say a place of oracles, and as it's Mars (in Scorpio) its expression is intense. Configured here with Mars is the south node of the Moon (a.k.a. Ketu, a mystical, otherworldly figure) and Neptune. This leads us to an importantly precise grand trine between Neptune, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn. Flowing, and again, knowing no bounds, for better and worse . . . inspiration, devotion, manifestation of melancholic beauty, fantasy, slipping into escape, overwhelm . . . a dream that's gotten out of control.

The Lot of Fortune (an alternate Ascendant) is in Taurus and its ruler Venus is located in the eleventh sign from fortune, a place of acquisition. Again: the place of friends, gains, and Good Spirit, a place associated with Jupiter; a theme is reiterated. 

Much of what we associate with Neptune was originally expressed through Jupiter and Saturn. Something to think about....

 

MUSIC +
POETRY

Cobain was born just a couple of days before both Mercury and Neptune stationed retrograde. Because stations occur over time, meaning the planet from our perspective doesn't just stop on the day of its station, but slows down and stalls out, literally standing still for days at a time, any planetary station which occurs within a week of one's birthday (on either side of the date) is of huge importance. 

Indian astrologers hold the opinion that retrograde planets are actually at their strongest -- this usually differs from traditional or modern Western thought. 

Mercury, along with Venus, is very much associated with music and musicians.
Neptune, the imagination. 

 

SYMMETRY

 

Being the huge nerd that I am, I also love to examine declination +and+ antiscia.

With Cobain we see parallel conjunctions of Mercury, Venus, and Saturn. We already know that the planets are conjunct by zodiacal degree (longitude), but by declination (sharing the same latitude) they are even more closely aligned. This further strengthens their conjunction and because they all rest near the celestial equator (by 2.5 degrees of Southern declination), they are very much tied to the earthly plane.

Note too that the Moon is way Out Of Bounds. Another signature for a bit of a radical character and unrestrained energy; and ruling the eleventh, extremes apply to fortune and friends, and, as astrologer Austin Coppock points out, fans.

 

ANTISCIA?
 

Planets and angles connected by antiscia (symmetry around the zero degree cardinal points) have been recognized as important and potent for at least two thousand years.

A more modern perspective sees connections across the axis as illuminating 1) that a person will connect to the world, and 2) how that person will connect with the world (whether it be intentional or not).

With Cobain we see a strong connection between the powerful and dignified luminary of sect the Moon and his Midheaven. The Moon is emotion, it rules the public, also women and the feminine. And this ties the lord of the eleventh (again), the place of Good Spirit, fortune, and friends, to the MC (Midheaven) - the point of profession, one's mission or path, and culmination in the life, and for Uranian astrologers: the soul. In fact, in Reinhold Ebertin's classic book, The Combination of Stellar Influences, the principle delineation given for Moon|MC is =

"One's own soul." 

 

To me, Kurt Cobain expressed, exposed, and shared with us his soul. He certainly touched other souls. Like the Moon, his work and nature was not, or seemed not to be, rational. And his music, his lyrics, prose and poems, uncomfortable at times (Saturn), sometimes desperately sad, touched and spoke to others on what I can only think of as an emotional (Moon) soul level. 
 

 
 



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androgynous mercurial chart ruler 

androgynous mercurial chart ruler