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Sunday, August 13, 2006

S.S. McClure

My Irish Grandmother was the 9th Wonder of the World, a Gemini. Her family had emigrated to America when she was 13 and she had flounced around L.A. as a flapper, boozing it up, partying wildly, and eventually opening her own dress shop with her sister. She rattled off story after story of her youth leaving out the scary details which were later added by my mother after she had died. All of her stories ended with the Motto "You've got to be tough if you want to survive as an Immigrant."

She often told about the time that she had fled to New York from L.A. She had been cavorting with a rich, married man. When she finally realized that this man was never going to leave his wife for her she took off to New York to study fashion design. She told about the boarding house where she lived, the school where she had studied, and best of all the time she met the only relation she had in New York, her famous cousin from Ireland who had hit it big, the Magazine owner/editor Sammy McClure, owner of McClure's Magazine. He invited her to a fancy restaurant for lunch, gave her a copy of his Autobiography, and halfway through the lunch excused himself to go to the bathroom and never came back. She had had to scramble to pay the bill.

Anyway, my very extremely abnormally distant 90th cousin removed:

S.S. McClure, born February 17, 1857 Ballycastle, Ireland. Magazine Owner, Muckraker, American Success Story, Rich Relative, Bad Date.

Sun in Aquarius: ingenious, friendly, innovative, distant, eccentric, individualistic, a Voice for the People and Social Reform (Mercury c. Chiron in Aquarius too).
Moon either in Scorpio or Sagittarius, I'll guess Sagittarius because his magazine became the center of the Muckraking Movement in late 19th, early 20th century and Sagittarius is the sign of the outspoken voice (see comments on Janet Napolitano's and Howard Dully's charts).

Here's a list of key events in McClure's Life along with some of the transits doing on in his chart at the time:

1864, Age 7, Saturn square: Father killed in Industrial Accident in a Shipyard, Family faces poverty. t. Neptune c. NN-Jupiter in Aries squaring Saturn and opposing t. Saturn. Prog. Mars just moved into Aries (Industry, Impulsiveness)

1866 Age 9, emigrated to U.S.. t. Uranus c. n. Saturn; p. Mars moving into conjunction with NN in Aries.

1873 Age 16 Step-Father dies. t. Pluto c. n. Uranus in Taurus

Knox College. Establishes the first Student Newspaper.

1883 Age 26, Married. prog. Sun c. natal Mars, prog. Mars c. n. Venus, prog. Moon having a Return, t. Jupiter c. n. Saturn, prog. Mars-NN opposite n. Venus. Had five children.

August 27, 1884, Established one of the first newspaper syndicates. Syndicated Fiction rather than news.(Sun progressed through Pisces!) Made his money. n. Saturn trining n. Sun. Prog. Mars-NN opposite n. Venus. Prog. Sun c. n. Mars in Pisces (Fiction) opposite Uranus in Virgo (ruled by Mercury) and t. Neptune c. n. Uranus in Taurus. Prog. Mercury in Pisces trining n. Saturn.

Jne, 1893, Established McClure's Magazine. P. Sun c. NN squaring n. Saturn opposite t. Saturn (same place Saturn was in when his father died). Nationwide Depression that year and Magazine almost tanked.

1901, McClure's publishes Muckraking Articles denouncing Monopolies of Standard Oil Company and others. p. Sun c. Jupiter-Venus squaring Saturn. Prog. Mars changed signs into Taurus. T. Chiron-Jupiter-Saturn opposite n. Saturn

1906, Staff Defected because of disagreements with McClure. Chiron Return in Aquarius c. Mercury squaring n. Pluto. P. Mars c. n. Pluto in Taurus.

1911, Sold Magazine to Creditors. Taurus planets (money) were affected. Pluto in Taurus (Money, Bankers) and Uranus. T.Jupiter in Scorpio (Creditors) opposite Pluto and conjunct the Nodal Axis. T.Saturn c. n.Uranus in Taurus. T.Chiron c. n.Sun.

1914, wrote autobiography, maybe ghost written by Willa Cather. Jupiter and Uranus c. n. Mercury-Chiron, prog. Mercury c. n. Pluto squaring natal Mercury-Chiron, t. Pluto and Saturn c. n. Saturn.

Last issue March, 1929. T. Saturn opposite n. Saturn; t. Uranus c. n. North Node; t. NN c. n. Uranus; Neptune opposite n. Sun; p. Sun squaring n. Chiron-Mercury.

Died 1949. P. Sun in last degree Taurus squaring n. Sun. T. Neptune squaring n. Saturn. Neptune would have been opposite where it was when his father died and squaring his natal Saturn.

Saturn is a very prominent planet in McClure's Chart. Natally, it's debilitated in Cancer. It borders a Locomotive shape chart pattern along with the Moon to which it disposes. So interesting that the two planets that rule traditional social outlets of homeland, tradition, big business in a man that became known for running a magazine that became the Moral Compass of the Big Businesses of its time. (The Progressed Moon would be really interesting to watch as it travels at about the same pace as transiting Saturn in the chart and can double up the impact of events during Saturn transits. Unfortunately, without a birth time we can't know for sure what the progressed Moon was doing) The Moon and Saturn work well in business together and adding the Locomotive Shape Chart adds a large amount of energy to apply these pursuits. Add the Sun, Mercury-Chiron in Aquarius for Ideals of Social Reform. Note also that Saturn is co-ruler of Aquarius.

Amazingly enough the Saturn transits seemed to trip off events in McClure's life like clockwork (another Saturn keyword). During his first big Saturn transit, the square around the age of 7, his father was killed in an Industrial Accident. Saturn rules the father in a chart. It also rules discipline, life lessons and duties and poverty. His family was indeed faced with poverty and my grandmother said that even as a young boy he used to gather old magazines and newspapers and walk around the countryside reselling them in order to make extra money. He married and started his first magazine venture during his mid-late 20's when Saturn made benefic trines. And he invented his fiction syndicate and made his first big wad of money at his 1st Saturn Return. He started McClure's Magazine when Saturn was opposing his natal Saturn and shut the magazine down as a magazine the next time Saturn opposed his Saturn. He wrote his autobiography during his 2d Saturn Return. And he died 2 or 3 years after his 3d Saturn Return.

Also of note are the Progressions of the Sun over his planets and through the signs and houses during his life. P.Sun would have progressed into Pisces around the age of 2 and stayed in that sign until he was around 32. Pisces is mutable so it would have been useful energy for an immigrant to have and also for adjusting to tragedy in childhood. His father died when he was 7 and his step-father died when he was around 16 and his family's finances and emotional status would fluctuated wildly. Pisces goes along with the flow, not making waves. It also rules Fiction and he created the first Fiction Syndicate in the Country, publishing famous authors such as Arthur Canon Doyle and Jack London in serial format. Once his progressed Sun moved into Aries his publishing ventures became wildly successful. P. Sun passed over NN, Jupiter and Venus during the first 15 years of that Sign progression. It would have been sextiling his natal Mercury-Chiron in Aquarius from Aries. How appropriate for a publisher of a Muckraking magazine.

In 1906 p. Sun had passed over the last planet in this stellium, Venus, and his muckraking staff walked out on him and formed their own magazine. His progressed Mars was c. his natal Pluto square Chiron-Mercury which seems appropriate for labor disputes. Mentally he was probably not very easy to get along with but I can't imagine that a crew of rabid journalists would be easy to deal with either. Mars and Pluto together create conflict and squares do the same. It would be interesting to know what happened when his progressed Sun moved into Taurus around 1918. His own personal focus would have switched to financial ventures, especially after having losing his magazine to creditors in 1911. The focus of McClure's magazine switched from Muckraking to Women's Interests. Both Pluto and Jupiter had a conjunction on his natal Saturn at this time while Uranus opposed his natal Sun. As I said, Saturn is at the edge of the Locomotive Chart shape. McClure retired after this and passed away 20 years later in 1949.



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