Jude's Threshold

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Astro-Notes on Claude Monet

Houses of Parliament, London: The Sun Shining Through the Fog, 1904, Claude Monet [Public domain]; Musee d’Orsay

The natal horoscope of Impressionist painter Claude Monet (November 14, 1840–December 5, 1926) is untimed and thus rated AXX with no ascending (rising) sign. This mysterious circumstance prevents knowing in which houses of life to place his planets. However, his Sun at or about 22 Scorpio and his Moon in either Cancer or Leo make it possible to ascertain information about Monet’s personality for those who may be interested yet some sleuthing may be necessary in the lunar department!

For Your Consideration: Two Possible Personality Blends of Claude Monet

Sun Scorpio-Moon Cancer, a double Water blend of feelings and imagination, easily able to “go with the flow.” Gushing with emotions or suddenly becoming misty and teary-eyed are features of a Water-Water personality. Right away we think of his fascination with water and water-lilies as a topic for his paintings and the lily pond he created at this home in Giverny.

The Water element is feminine-oriented and highly creative yet men with Water strong in their natures often become ultra-rational and proud of showing little if any emotion. If so, emotional types would be found in his environment, acting out emotions in his stead. With Sun Scorpio-Moon Cancer a streak of clannishness would be in evidence, along with shrewdness, secretiveness, and a passionate commitment to his creative projects and to the people in his life–although his own survival needs would come first.

With this blend extreme subjectivity would triumph over objectivity and negative emotions could overpower the thought processes; sinking into abject self-pity is a negative potential. If this is the personality blend of Claude Monet, he shares it with US president Theodore Roosevelt and body-builder Charles Atlas!

So let’s consider Sun Scorpio-Moon Leo, a steamy Water-Fire combo of elements–steam which can cleanse and sterilize or scald. This elemental blend reveals an artistic temperament of volatility, romantic passion, and wildly changing moods. Thriving on love, this type is warm and emotional with a life that is rarely smooth-running. For positive results, this much volatile emotion must be channeled into creative pursuits and if this describes Monet, he definitely did it well! Of course, with Moon in Sun-ruled Leo, his reigning need would be for applause, approval, public attention, and recognition for his talent, plus, dramatic changes in his love relationships may also have been a factor during his lifetime.

Now Sun Scorpio-Moon Leo personalities can be bright and brooding, ambitious and intense, and exhibit a strong sense of self-dramatization. If this blend describes Monet’s personality, he felt he deserved a central place in society yet protected his privacy once the limelight was directed upon him (his lovely home at Giverny would have been the private place of serenity and calm, oui?) A desire to give expression to his feelings would guide his creative projects and compulsive workaholism would be evident. Perhaps this may be seen by his tendency to paint the same subjects in a series of images, showing the passage of time by the movement of light over forms. This blend has the ability to “see and encourage light” from within the “blackest darkness.”

And with Sun Scorpio-Moon Leo, a strong anarchistic streak would cause a ‘do my own thing’ vibe in the man although an ability to outwardly conform for the sake of his career would be helpful for achieving personal and economic success.

If the Sun Scorpio-Moon Leo pair of conscious-unconscious energies is the natal blend of Claude Monet then he shares it with poet Ezra Pound and actress-genius Hedy Lamar and one of two ‘Images for Integration’ seems quite applicable here:

“A Samaritan mirrors sunshine into the depth of a dark pit bringing hope to those who live there.” (Sun Sign-Moon Sign, Charles and Suzi Harvey).

Any thoughts? Well, perhaps you’ll agree with me that the stronger case is made for Claude Monet as a Sun Scorpio-Moon Leo native!

Note: the Wikipedia bio of Monet is an excellent resource containing a large variety of his paintings along with biographical details of his life, relationships, career, and creative techniques.

Written by Jude Cowell

June 30, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Posted in art, art history, astrology

Limbaugh lands self in news

La Toilette by Toulouse-Lautrec

La Toilette by Toulouse-Lautrec

Having successfully inserted himself into *Scene One, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh had to diss Republican Colin Powell’s endorsement of Democratic candidate Barack Obama to manage it, but the roly poly one has landed his exalted guru-esque self into the middle of Monday’s news cycle:


Rush’s talents are “on loan from God” you know – as if everyone else’s aren’t.


* a near quote from one of my favorite (if imperfect) films, Moulin Rouge, whispered by John Leguzamo’s character, Toulouse-Lautrec, the brilliant painter whose childhood accident resulted in short, twisted legs giving him a dwarfish stature.

Above is an image of his lovely ‘La Toilette’ (oil on cardboard, painted in 1896) and may be seen in The Louvre Museum, Paris and was obviously created with talents on loan from God, as you see.

I have a 30+ year old copy of the book, ‘Masterpieces of the Louvres’ (text by Marcel Brion), which states that the master painter’s ‘olfactory realism’ was taken from Edgar Degas (whose natal chart is discussed on this blog), and that his pointed style of drawing was learned from Japanese prints which were quite popular in France at that time.

Aristocratic by birth, Toulouse-Lautrec turned his back on upper crust society and frequented the popular dance halls, music halls, brothels, and circuses where his appearance would shock the least.

“Libertines and vagabonds” were his companions as he wandered at night through “disreputable streets” –  which is more than a little like hanging out on Capitol Hill 2008, isn’t it?

The paintings of poet, e.e. cummings

This morning I listened to a lovely feature on NPR (make that ‘npr’) on the paintings of e.e. cummings which may be accessed here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=76095288  and which provides you with a SlideShow of 11 of cummings’ paintings and drawings. Yes! Paintings and drawings!

By his death in 1962, cummings had produced over 1,600 oil and watercolor paintings and drawings. This seldom seen collection of 72 of his works at State University at Brockport (SUNY Brockport) has been damaged through the years and is in need of more restoration.

Well known and loved for his quirky poetry with its dispensing of capital letters, cummings was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Oct 14, 1894. The Rodden rating of his natal chart is ‘A” for accurate so let’s take a quick peek at his birth chart.

ASC 5Gem01, first planet to rise: Pluto 11Gem35 Rx, Neptune 15Gem38 Rx. As you probably know, he was a volunteer Red Cross ambulance driver in WWI, and came under suspicion by the French government of harboring ‘treacherous views’ (as cited in his Biographical details at http://www.astrodatabank.com) and was incarcerated in a detention camp for three months.

Neptune-Pluto’s Great Conjunction of the 1890s reflects this vast dissolution of society’s power structures and his having both outer, transpersonal planets in first house of Self affected cummings directly. You could almost say he “was” Neptune-Pluto.

Yet he used the sad, frustrating experience to good effect when writing his first novel, ‘The Enormous Room.’ Natal Midheaven (Mc–the Aspiration Point of any chart) is at 9AQ58, sign of the Collective.

Moon is conj Mars which is at a critical 29th degree, in the 12th house of the Unconscious. A Moon-Mars conj indicates a touchy, oversensitive nature with an imagination that works overtime. This is the “imagined slights” aspect where one defends oneself against imaginary insults which results in being emotionally abusive toward others. It’s the “sore loser” aspect, too, with a jealous influence.

Yet the implied emotional immaturity of this aspect may be part of why he’s been described as “childlike” and his Sun-Moon blend, as you’ll see below, added some counterbalance to the picture bwo Libran diplomacy.

Many awards for poetry came to this independent-minded, eccentric man including the National Book Award in 1955 and the Bollingen Poetry Prize in 1957.

He was known for being an unabashed romantic, yet being a romantic doesn’t automatically make love run smooth as evidenced by his marriages, divorces, and other partnerships, with only one child (it is believed), a daughter born out-of-wedlock with Elaine Thayer, wife of his friend and patron, Scofield Thayer. They later married and divorced.

As a **Full Moon personality (born with Sun 182 degr 42 mins Moon), cummings possessed objectivity and a clear consciousness which illuminates but can bring divorce and relational difficulties. Yet relationships mean everything to the Full Moon type–hence a lifelong dilemma, for Sun and Moon are in opposite signs, showing an inner split in the male-female principle–a learning process which must be internally resolved for harmony in relationships to manifest.

There may have been a chasing of the “ideal” partner which most people should admit is nonexistent, and his off-on-again partnerships seem to show problems in this area. And sometimes people search for the “ideal” person because they don’t want to bother with the compromising necessary to make relationships deepen–so they flit to the next rose.

The painter-poet’s Prenatal Eclipse Series (4 South) occurred in Libra, sign of partnerships, and indicates strong feelings concerning money and relationships, with much frustration, inhibitions, lust, and anger. One feels caught up in relationship events over which one has no personal control and must deal with a sense of fatedness; rash actions never have the desired effect with this difficult Eclipse Series. (Brady’s ‘Predictive Astrology.’)

North Node, with its connection to the public, is conj the Aries Point, a place of connection to the world, and is considered a point of Fame and Prominence.

With Mercury (writing, communication; The Scribe) conj creative genius Uranus, cummings possessed an original mind. This natal aspect indicates that he reveled in shocking people and shaking things up.

This is supported by three *Quindecile aspects (165 degr) of obsession-compulsion which often lead to fame: Mercury QD Mars; Mars QD Uranus; Moon QD Venus.

All are related to creativity and risk-taking, and Moon-Venus may indicate mother-anima confusions.

Quarreling Mars QD disruptive Uranus also has a “living on the edge” flavor with a tendency toward sexual irresponsibility and unpredictability. All in all, not the stuff happy marriages are made of!

NPR’s feature relates how seriously cummings took his artwork, painting all day in his NY studio then switching to writing poetry when the light failed at the end of the day.

Son of a Harvard English professor, this feisty but cool-headed crusader graduated from the venerable college himself, and liked to emulate the works of great painters such as Cezanne, Picasso, and Degas. His Sun Libra-Moon Aries personality blend gave him a fun-loving, cheeky nature with an enthusiastic sense of justice. (Perhaps the Libran “That’s not fair!” exclamation was heard from him quite often–it’s a common battle cry of Librans everywhere.)

Gentle and diplomatic, cummings was a champion of the underdog (remember his ambulance driving in the war) yet may have tended toward rash judgment which could masquerade as astuteness. Sun Libra-Moon Aries makes for a well-developed aesthetic sense which was used to good purpose.

~Image for Integration: A little girl and a little boy barter whilst playing on a see-saw. She wants his toy gun; he wants her creamcake. They decide to share. (‘Sun Sign-Moon Sign’ by  Chas & Suzi Harvey.)

Well, I hope this tiny thumbnail of e.e. cummings has given you a smidge of insight into this complex genius of a man. I can’t resist closing with one of my favorites of his quotes which has certainly lost not a bit of its aptness in 2008:

“A politician is an arse upon which everyone has sat except a man.”

*Ricki Reeves’, ‘The Quindecile.’

** ‘The Lunation Cycle’ by Dane Rudhyar.

Further reading: ‘Dreams in the Mirror: A Biography of e.e. cummings’ by Richard S. Kennedy.

The eyesight of Edgar Degas (July 19, 1834)

Edgar Degas natal chart 

As you know, artist Edgar Degas (1834–1917) suffered deteriorating eyesight–a serious dilemma for anyone, but a great tragedy for a visual artist.

Degas’ natal chart is rated A for accuracy at http://www.astrodatabank.com

so we may be confident in its use. Here you see it with original, detached Aquarius rising–and rebellious Uranus–which had been sighted years prior to Degas’ birth–soon to rise in 1st house of Self (click chart to enlarge.)

Degas is known to have been difficult within friendships and other relationships yet he was fairly amiable with kith and kin. The disruptive, sometimes icy influence of Uranus opposes relational Venus giving him distance with the ladies–a bachelor, he preferred to devote himself to his artwork and studio life–yet the aspect also gives brilliance in Art and a tendency toward voyeurism. Uranus with Venus = original Art.

(Venus’s wide opposition to Uranus is often called the “divorce aspect” and a certain liking for variety in relationships is certainly indicated along with much quirkiness.)

His earthy desire nature (Mars in Taurus) in 3rd house of Communications and Siblings made quarrels likely with his brother and with neighbors; and Saturn, the father, is in 8th house of shared resources–Saturn is exalted in Libra. Degas’ father, Auguste De Gas, was an Italian banker whose money made Degas’ art studies and explorations possible.

Also we see his earthy Taurean desires exhibited in his subject matter as ladies of the evening, etc., tending to mundane things like washing up. Chiron, the Wound or BLINDSPOT, is near Mars although out-of-sign for a wide conjunction; plus, with Jupiter (ruler of the liver) conjunct Chiron, I suspect that liver problems may have been at least a part of his eye problems…perhaps qualifying as an underlying condition which weakened his eyesight and immune system.

Immoderation with alcohol and other drugs would have exacerbated his health situation for Mars/Jupiter conjunctions can tend toward overindulgence, as we know. Degas may have had a diabetes/eye connection as well…wouldn’t surprise me at all esp since his eyesight deteriorated (macular degeneration?)

A mentally active AIR Grand Trine involving Saturn, Neptune, and Jupiter also relate to father–the Grand Trine is a closed circuit of energies which gave Degas self-containment–good for a frustrated-in-love fellow who liked to work alone, thanks.

(And yes, his Venus-Neptune contact points to ‘anima confusion’ received in childhood from mama–was he perhaps gay or simply a frustrated, disillusioned celibate? Perhaps no one really knows, and you can’t be sure from looking at a natal chart–yet sexual frustration certainly shows along with his preference for isolation.)

Moon in Cap indicates what may have been a rather cold-hearted mother–a difficult example for adult relationships but tres helpful with career matters which may be used as a substitute for intimacy. Famous people of modern times are still using it!

With Sagittarius at MC (Career; Public Status; Aspirations and Goals) Degas desperately wanted recognition in his profession, a fact supported by an ambitious Capricorn Moon in the behind-the-scenes 12th house…another indication of emotional fulfillment bwo solitary work, along with artfully inspired Neptune–there, but not to be discovered until 1846.

Eternally dissatisfied Neptune is, of course, fairly happy in Pisces’ natural 12th house…or as good as the nebulous, gaseous giant can get in any horoscope.

Sassily, I do so love to place the outer planets in historical charts even if the native had never heard of Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto (or Chiron)  in their lifetimes!

So it seems Edgar had a liking for variety in Art as well, for he explored many art forms during his career, among them photography which is said to be “ruled” by Neptune as evidenced by the invention and rise of photography around the time of Neptune’s sighting.

(I use ” ” around the word, ruled, because I don’t use outer planets as rulers but as higher frequencies–in Neptune’s case, of Venus–or as undertones of the energies involved. Call me traditional–don’t mind if you do.

Basically Venus-Neptune = Art…but also delusions within romance and other relationships. And as with most things in life, Astrology describes positives along with negatives simultaneously–just as experience teaches us.

Sun in creative Cancer gives a talent for business and a self-protective over-sensitivity like a crab scuttling sideways from any emotional encumbrances or difficulties. Sun is in 6th house of Work, Service, and Health which further weakened his immune system while giving him a place to ‘shine’–in his artwork, drafts of which he repeated over and over and over again until he got it ‘right’. Touchy North Node in Gemini tends to do this, too, with its aloofness and a need to always be right–in other words, he was self-righteous.

Also, a Gemini NN doesn’t truly listen to people when they talk assuming that it knows what’s about to be said–another fly in the relationship ointment which may cause all sorts of disagreements. And Degas’ NN is in the 5th house of Romance…he met plenty of candidates but had little if any patience with them while taking himself too seriously.

Breaking with the Impressionists in 1886, Degas continued exploring his own path in Art, and certainly the outdoor habits of his Impressionist friends must have been anathema to him for sunlight caused his poor eyes much pain. This left him free (Uranus!) to develop as he liked, resulting in a more modern, contemporary style which still amazes in its complexities, strength, and brilliance.

Degas’ steadily declining eyesight was thought by him to have begun during his service in the Franco-Prussian War due to exposure to extreme cold.  Yet he had a few years to become well-thought-of by his art colleagues and by the public for his paintings, and later on for pastels, sculptures, engravings, lithographies, printmaking, aquatints, and as mentioned, photography.

Shy and aloof, Hillaire-Germain-Edgar Degas (born De Gas), former student of the great Ingres, is known as a master whose darkened life ended as a recluse in Paris working with clay figures of women and horses.

Such sensitive fingers he must have had!

Edgar Degas passed away on Sept 27, 1917, after which his brother destroyed some of his brothel drawings apparently considering them to be too naughty for public viewing, yet his beautiful ballet dancers, his brothel scenes, cabaret tableaux, ladies in their private baths, and horse races live on.

Read artist Robert Genn’s take on Degas here:


and don’t be surprised if you notice a certain similarity of subject and theme (but certainly not talent) in some of my own figure studies at:

http://cosmicpersonadesigns.blogspot.com for with my art background in Fashion Illustration and Design, I too enjoy drawing theatrical women, ballet dancers, and private moments in the lives of what I know best for I am one–ladies in their mundane lives.

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