Pride of Lions: one male and six females

I am remiss in sharing new astrological data. Just picked up an addition to the Leo file. Turns out that the radical modernist composer Karlheinz Stockhausen (b. 22 Aug1928), one of the pioneers of electronica, was polygamous. Three other important, charismatic Leos were similarly all-embracing in their love lives.

Carl Jung (26 July 1875), like Stockhausen center of a cultish circle, was famously shared by his wife and his pupil/colleague Toni Wolff, who was also said to  manage his harem of Jungfrauen. For the last 40 years of his life he was commonly accompanied by both women  at public and private functions.

Erwin Schrodinger (12 Aug 1887) the great physicist and Einstein colleague, a Vedantist with deep theories about the role of sunlight in the creation of life on the subatomic level, lived openly with two women, because of which several universities terminated his engagements. Oddest of all, perhaps, the great Lutheran theologian Paul Tillich (20 Aug 1886), author of ‘The Courage to Be’ (such a Leonine title) agreed with his wife early on to an ‘open marriage’ but according to his son, “this arrangement got out of hand. He wouldn't stop and she didn't like it anymore.” Nevertheless they did not divorce, and his promiscuity was unconcealed.

What particularly strikes me is that all four of these guys, in addition to being Leos, are German (yes Jung was Swiss, but German-speaking Lutheran and self-identified as Aryan). Needless to say, the lion in the wild is virtually a symbol of authoritarian maleness. He is also the Blond Beast. 


Slavoj Zizek and the Eclipse

Today is International Astrology Day

Much is being made of today’s eclipse which falls precisely on the zero degree of the Zodiac, the Vernal Equinox, where the last gasp of the exhausted Twelve, dissolved in the oceanic fantasms of the Fishes, gives it up to the blind up-rising birth-force of the Ram.

I’ve been astrologically following some of the well-known living philosophers, among whom certainly Slavoj Zizek stands out, and it happens that he was born on the 21st of March, in 1949, so that his sun stands in this very first degree of Aries. Moreover, the planet Mars on that day was in the adjacent last degree of Pisces, so today’s eclipse, remarkable in itself, presses the dominant button of Zizek’s personality, which sutures the zodiac's alpha and omega. 

That personality is marked by the shot-from-guns, volcanic fiery sun in the first degree of the first sign and of the fiery element, Aries, which might appear so much philosophical hot air and sputtering lava, but, closely conjunct the fiery Mars, and copiously supplied with Piscean seawater we get something more powerful, steam: cloudy, turgid, but a harnessable force. Another way to parse Zizek is to see his aggressive deployment of heavy philosophical artillery as Aries, and particularly derivitive of the Subject problem (as originated in the Aries Descartes and is handed directly to Zizek by the Aries Lacan). On the other hand the striking role played by the fantasies of the silver screen, and the Fantasmal at large, extending even to a kind of Christianity, refer to Pisces.


Coincidentally, the great mime Marcel Marceau was also born with Sun in 0 degree of Aries, and with a strong dollop of Pisces. Zizek is often called an entertainer. Can the creative energy that underlies his ceaseless and exclusive verbosity be the negative of the completely non-verbal art of the Frenchman?

The intense contact of Aries and Mars seethes with “Violence”, which is the title of one of Zizek’s recent books. The thread of violence runs through Aries historically: Grotius, Hobbes, de Maistre, Bismarck, Lenin, Hitler, Landru, Ernst Junger, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, all 4 horsemen of militant atheism (Harris, Dawkins, Dennett and Hitchens), Rodney King, Quentin Tarantino, lots of ax murderers, martial artists, superheroes, etc. The scent of revolutionary violence, its possibilities, threats and justifications, smolder continually in Zizek’s post-Marxism and set off alarms.

Some hold that the effect of an eclipse is felt in the world shortly thereafter, others anytime in the following year. Without an accurate birth-time I’m disinclined to essay prediction, but the stars seem to say that this year something's got to give. [2019: As far as I've heard, nothing particularly unusual happened to Zizek that year.]


More Libras in white

Grisha Bruskin, Russian artist, b. 21 October 1945

Dangerous Games Hugh Jackman, b. 22 October 1965


Scorpio: la femme fatale 7b

Three concentrating men born October 29: The Shah of Iran (1919). Carl Djerassi (1923) and A. j. Ayer (1910)

For an analytic, logical positivist philosopher A. J. Ayer had an astonishing number of sexual liaisons in addition to his four marriages, even fathering at least one illegitimate, on the Hollywood columnist Sheila Graham. It has been said he was "a slave to his libido" and one colleague described him as 'a great mind ruined by sex". As could be predicted by his philosophical affiliation, he was an atheist, but attested to a powerful NDE (near death experience) which caused him to alter his beliefs.

Carl Djerassi is the chemist who invented the oral contraceptive, forever changing the very nature of sex. A man of many brilliances, he greatly concerned himself with the ethical and philosophical implications of the entrance of science and technology into the world of human reproduction. He is a prolific writer and playwright. His play "An Immaculte Misconception" deals with in vitro fertilization, and is published along with the play "Taboo" under the title "Sex in an Age of Technological Reproduction". Others include "Phallacy" and "Foreplay". His life was turned around by the terrible suicide of his daughter.

Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the exiled Shah of Iran, endured a prolonged and very public death, from a rare indolent cancer, Waldenström's macroglobulinemia. Few people have had their death's so thoroughly scrutinized by the international press. He kept a harem og women and had this to say about the opposite sex:

“ . . . All I can say is that women, when they govern, are much harsher than men. Much crueler. Much more bloodthirsty. I’m citing facts, not opinions. You’re heartless when you have power. Think of Catherine de Medicis, Catherine of Russia, Elizabeth I of England. Not to mention your Lucrezia Borgia, with her poisons and intrigues. You’re schemers, you’re evil. All of you."


Scorpio: la femme fatale 7

WINONA RYDER, born today in 1971, the classic Goth teen of Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Bram Stoker's Dracula and Heathers (which concerned mass-murder and mass-suicide). She had her personal near death experience, a traumatic near-drowning at age 12 which left her with aquaphobia. She played a literal femme fatale in the 2007 Sex and Death 101, a character named Death Nell who avenges women who have been sexually mistreated. In 1993 she deeply concerned herself in the kidnapping and death of a little girl named Polly Klaas, compelled to rehearse a Pluto/Persephone narrative.


Scorpio: la femme fatale 6


Scorpio: la femme fatale 5

Halloween approaches. Oct. 27's Scorpio femme fatale must be poet SYLVIA PLATH (born 1932). This is one of her drawings. The night she met her husband-to-be, poet Ted Hughes, she bit his cheek to blood . . . at a party! He wrote "This lightning pass through all the walls of the maze was her real genius. Instant confrontation with the most central, unacceptable things." Fiercely felt female scorpionic imagery, clustering around death, sex, and the Pluto/Persephone story, pours out of Plath as from a wound. In her hair-raising, career-making poem "Daddy”, she cast her dead father as a jackbooted Nazi murderer. ("A cleft in your chin instead of your foot / But no less a devil for that . . ."


Scorpio: la femme fatale 4b


Scorpio: la femme fatale 4

Born Oct. 26, 1947

Francois Mitterand 1916: President of France 1981-1995; He stage-managed his death, inviting his close friends and family to an opulent ‘last meal’; and had two funerals: one attended by his wife and daughter, and one by his mistress and illegitimate daughter. “If I preferred this state of confusion and secrecy, it’s that I cannot resolve myself to leaving those I have loved. I don’t break with somebody. I add up.”

He staged an assassination attempt on his own life. A life full of NDEs.

While Premier he concealed his fatal prostate cancer from the public for ten years. He so cultivated an aura of mystery he was nicknamed “le Sphinx”. He returned again and again to his obsession with death. His conversations on the subject were published in “Dying without God”. 


Scorpio: la femme fatale 3

PICASSO (b. 25 Oct 1881): Now that his pictorial innovations are neither obstacle nor surprise, his love-hate relationship with the opposite sex has become his defining characteristic. Here is an early blue period self-portrait with whore, and his breakthrough painting of five prostitutes.

As a manufacurer of Scorpionic icons his death obsession must also be given its due:

Georges Bizet 1838: Composer of Carmen, archetypal femme fatale. “The production of Bizet's final opera, Carmen, was delayed because of fears that its themes of betrayal and murder would offend audiences. After its premiere on 3 March 1875, Bizet was convinced that the work was a failure; he died of a heart attack three months later [at 37], unaware that it would prove a spectacular and enduring success.” wiki


       The role of Carmen was introduced by mezzo-soprano Celestine Gilli-Marie (born in November). It was said that at the 33rd performance Galli-Marié had a premonition of Bizet's death while singing the cards scene in Act III, and fainted when she left the stage; the composer in fact died that night. (W. Dean, Bizet)

Agnes Baltsa (17 November 1944) is a leading modern exponent of the role.

Celestine Gilli-Marie and Agnes BaltsaAs a musician I tell you that if you were to suppress adultery, fanaticism, crime, evil, the supernatural, there would no longer be the means for writing one note.~Georges Bizet



 ZADIE SMITH (25 Oct 1975). Her first novel “White Teeth” begins with a near death experience (NDE) and she recently confronted death in an intense meditation, “Man vs. Corpse” (NYRB Nov. 2013). She edited an anthology of sex writing called “Piece of Flesh”.            

                 Katy Perry, singer, living sex-toy, b. Oct 26, 1984


Scorpio: la femme fatale 2


 was born on this day in 1981: "Because any way you look at it, Tila Tequila is quite possibly the most famous hobag in America. She is incapable of doing anything that isn’t drenched in sexuality, from her show, to her awkwardly graphic music videos, to her records (one tastefully titled The Sex EP), to her constant posing for men’s magazines, and plenty of nude photographs online."

. . . . As of December 2006, Tequila had a total of ten tattoos on her back, neck, and wrists, the first being a scorpion she received at the age of fifteen. . . . . On December 20, 2009, Tequila announced she was currently having a surrogate pregnancy for her brother. . . . . Only a month after announcing that she was engaged to be married to heiress Casey Johnson, Johnson was found dead. . . . While performing at an Illinois rock concert in 2010 she was attacked with stones, broken bottles and feces by two thousand Insane Clown Posse fans. . . . Her boyfriend/manager tried to kill her and then won a 2 million dollar suit against her. . . . Her attempted suicide brought on a brain aneurysm during which she had a near death experience (NDE).

Born in Chicago on Oct. 24, 1890, Paris-based haute couturier Mainbocher brought underwear into the open in his scandalous 1939 presentation of the corset, one of the femme fatale's most characteristic garments.


Scorpio: la femme fatale 1


Diana Dors 1931 A magisterial exemplar of the Persephone/Pluto myth. Diana was born black in the face, thrown aside for dead as doctors battled to save her mother, and was revived by a nurse in another room. The result of this near-suffocation as she fought for survival was life long claustrophobia….. She suffered through a kitchen-table abortion at the age of 18. While the father of the fetus was in jail she engaged herself to another man whom she almost immediately married. She became pregnant again and had another abortion at the age of 19. Her husband, a photographer, published her nudes in a book called “Diana Dors in 3D” which came with a pair of red and green spectacles for viewing. Her 1951 film, " Lady Godiva Rides Again, was temporarily banned by the American Board of Film Censors. Her three movie deal with RKO ended after they cancelled the contract on a moral clause.

Dors’s life, both professional and personal, was made accessible to the British public warts and all by the publicity machine controlled by a succession of pimping husbands. Her trust in men who took advantage of her was well documented One of her husbands forced her at gunpoint to sign over the majority of her assets to him.  He died from tertiary syphilis and left her nothing but thousands of pounds in debts.  Another, having the key to a Harrods’ safety deposit box in which she had deposited a large amount of cash, helped himself.   The story alerted the tax man to the fact Diana was storing vast sums of cash. Diana was then pursued by another man wanting money from her - the tax man - and not for the first or last time. She sailed through it all, triumphantly poised and ever popular with the sympathetic British public.

After her death, from ovarian cancer,  her surviving husband burned her wardrobe in the backyard. Five months later he shot himself in their 14 year-old son's bedroom.

(adapted from


Also born on this day in 1844 SARAH BERNHARDT: The great tragedienne and seductress, known for her reckless affairs and morbid flamboyance. For instance, sleeping in a coffin. As a toddler she fell into a fire and was “thrown, all smoking, into a large pail of fresh milk”. As a child, on a histrionic impulse, she flung herself in front of her aunt’s carriage and broke her arm in two places. She beat her classmates and cried herself into life-threatening fevers. She assembled a little zoo of lizards, crickets, and spiders, which she gleefully fed with flies. Later she married an abusive man who was one of the models for Dracula in the novel by Bram Stoker (b. Nov. 8, 1847).


Also born on this day, the French pornographer Restif de la Breton in 1734: writer who haunted the mysterious underworld of prostitution in pre-revolutionary France. Nicolas Edmonde Rétif wrote 44 books published in 187 volumes. His 1775 work "Le Paysan perverti" was a breakout popular success. The author strolled nightly through Paris to watch people. The main objects of his attention were the lower classes, their sexual lives and above all, women’s feet. He maintained an incestuous relationship with one of his daughter for many years.


Certain Librans

Watteau Oct 10, 1684Putin Oct. 7, 1952

Eminem 17 October 1972

Jacques Tati Oct. 9, 1097

Giacometti 10 October 1901


Hands of Gemini 15: Irving Penn

Photographer Irving Penn (June 16, 1917)

Two women with tarot cards and hand-reading chart.

One of them was his wife, model Lisa Fonssagrives.


Hands of Gemini 14: The Case of Aby Warburg

The great bibliomane and iconologist Aby Warburg was born on June 13, 1866, under Gemini, sign of the Twins. Scion of a wealthy family of German Jewish bankers, he ‘famously made a deal with his brother Max to forfeit his right, as the eldest son, to take over the family firm, in return for an undertaking on Max’s part to provide him with all the books he ever needed’. His brother Max was precisely one year younger, also born on June 13, thus also a Gemini, as if a twin displaced by one yearly cycle. Warburg’s great accomplishment, the creation of the Warburg Institute (now threatened) was achieved in spite of psychological disabilities including an often incapacitating dread of astrological coincidences, which he believed pursued him as he himself pursued the scholarly study of the persistent life of classical imagery. To this day the staff of the Warburg repels approaches from practicing astrologers. Perhaps the Institute would be in better shape if it participated in the reality of ancient imagery rather than sequestering it in musty antiquarianism. The campaign to save the Warburg Institute has adopted as its emblem one of the most popular images in the collection, a hand apparently engulfed in dire circumstances, waving for help, bearing the letter W in its sinews. In the classic melathesia of Zodiac to parts of the body, the Hands are of course the Twin’s. More Geminian Hands are here:


Leos are too much.

Two Leos,  Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas are divorcing. They met on the set of "Too Much" and they made one last film together, "Automata".  They will remember each other always tho as they bare matching heart tattoos. (The heart is, of course, the bodily organ ruled by Leo.) Griffith's predeliction to share her bed with lions showed up early. Here she is, age 17, with her family's pet lion, Neil.

Doing the mane thing.


Houdini: Red Aries # 39

b. 26 March 1874.  In his iconic red robe. (At the climax of his death-defying escape from a watery captivity, Bess would sweep on stage with the red robe, to cover his dripping body, and the audience cheered, the orchestra blared triumphantly.) Houdini started his career as a child magician in red woolen stockings. Houdini edited a newspaper supplement called Red Magic printed entirely in red ink. The escape imagery is, of course, a dramatization of the birth experience, Aries being the first sign. Aries actor Adrien Brody (14 April 1973) has been obsessed with Houdini since childhood. 


David Blaine, b. 4 April 1973


Gemini show of hands (12)

Updating Hands of Gemini

Damien Hirst -- his signature camera pose (7June65)

Tom Daley (21May94)

Durer: May 21, 1471

 a self-portrait and his 

iconic praying hands.

more Durer hands below


Elsa Maxwell (24May1883)

Jim Dine (16June1935)  

Jim Dine diptych

Boyfriends and Instagram buddies:

Andy Cohen (2June68) & Anderson Cooper (3June67)

Continued at Hands of Gemini 


A Ramble with Aries Philosopher


Red Aries #38

Bette Davis, 5 April 1908

Marc Jacobs, 9 April 1963