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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Primo Levy

I feel kind of heavy hearted saying "Happy Saturn Return" to a Concentration Camp Survivor but these Saturn in Leo folks really like to jump out at you during their returns, even through History. Elie Wiesel says we should never stop talking about what happened during the Holocaust with hopes that it will never happen again. Since the 40s there have been many Holocausts over the World so I don't know if it does any good, but at any rate, here you go Elie. And, Primo, for whatever Cloud you're floating around on, this was supposed to be a "Happy Solar Return" greeting for you because you're a Courageous LEO.

Primo Levy

b. July 31, 1919; 4:00am; Turin, Italy;

Sun 7 Leo; ASC 10 Cancer; Moon 25 Virgo; MC 15 Pisces; NN 2 Sagittarius

First Lesson. When a person has a name like "Primo" one must always always check to see whether Mars either rules the 1st House or is placed therein as Mars rules Aries and Aries is the 1st sign of the Zodiac and likes to be first. Primo, get it? And this is an example of when this trick works. Primo's chart (astrotheme) shows his natal Mars is in his 1st House. Not only that but it is conjunct Pluto and the Ascendant in Cancer. You want to understand what the word "Survivor" means? Well, this is a good indicator. Strong Willed.

Primo Levy was a Jewish-Italian Chemist who was sent to Auschwitz during World War II. He survived and wrote about his experiences of the camps with a stark, realistic style. He survived 11 months before the Red Army liberated Auschwitz. The living conditions were so brutal at that point that the average life expectancy of an entrant was 3 months. Levy continued working as a chemist in a paint factory and also became well known for his memoirs of the camps and his other writing. He then passed away at age 68; most believe his death was a suicide due to the depression that took him over later in life.

Levy's chart shows some strongly placed aspects that may work against each other. The best one is the fact that he had a conjunction of Jupiter in Cancer and Neptune in Leo to his Leo Sun. I read this as a person with high ideals and love of life. This conjunction doesn't aspect any other planets in Levy's chart so its influence stands out and maybe elevated his awareness of the atrocities going on around him during the War. Also remarkable is that Levy's didn't have any Planets in Air. This might mean that he was constantly searching for the Intellectual distance. He was able to describe in precise detail with a scientist's observations life in the camp. Then there's the Mars-Pluto conjunction in Cancer on the Ascendant. This shows deep emotions working through the feeling element. As I'll show later, he probably became stronger when under stress.

Making up for the lack of Air in his chart, Levy's Mercury was in its own house (3) in his chart conjunct Saturn in Leo and opposite Uranus in Pisces (sorry my notes are so full I can't read them so don't know degrees). This reflects his scientific background and his ability to stay mentally sharp. His perception of reality (Saturn) and truth (Uranus) were very keen. Uranus was further emphasized as the handle to his bucket-shaped chart. And the Mercury-Saturn to Uranus opposition was squaring his Nodes showing that this aspect will somehow influence his subconscious life path.

One can follow the transits of these two outer planets, Saturn and Uranus, through his life to see how his mental status (Mercury, H3) affected his health (North Node conjunct 6th cusp, SN on 12th cusp). Levy suffered a devastating depression in 1963 from which he supposedly never fully recovered. Whatever other indicators there are for it, Post Traumatic Stress is at least in part influenced by Uranus due to its Shock and Sudden, unpredictable onset. Saturn of course is depression. When Levy went to Auschwitz both planets had just passed over his South Node and were in his 12th house. Since 12th House rules jails one could read that as a fitting description for what was going on in his life. Both planets were once again in close aspect to each other but in the opposite 6th House when Levy committed suicide. (Also, his progressed Mars and ASC were conjunct his natal Mercury-Saturn conjunction. And t.Pluto was squaring his Sun stellium.)

Levy joined the resistance in Italy but was caught by the Fascists and sent to Auschwitz on February 11, 1944. Transiting Pluto and North Node were conjunct his natal Sun-Neptune (and Jupiter). Pluto transits can, of course, cause great Trauma to an individual as well as Uranus, especially when in aspect to the Sun and Neptune. Also of note, Levy's progressed ASC and progressed Sun were changing signs, p.ASC into Leo and p.Sun into Virgo (squaring his North Node.) This shows huge changes, hopefully changes that an individual can choose for himself rather than changes which are foisted upon him. (Lack of control is a PTSD indicator). Levy was just past his Uranus square which could explain his attempts to rebel and work with the resistance.

The fact that so many aspects were firing at once might explain how Levy rose to the occasion and survived. Normally he seems to have been physically frail. He seems to have been physically weak most of his life so I find this interesting and as said before think it may be related to his Mars-Pluto conjunction. During his time in Auschwitz, Jupiter was passing through the 3d & 4th houses. It was just past his Venus-Moon conjunction when the Red Army liberated Auschwitz. He seems to have survived through a few lucky, Jupiterian, circumstances. Even the fact that he was in the medical facilities with Scarlett Fever turns out to have been Lucky as he wasn't fit to participate in a final death march that was required of the healthier prisoners on learning that the Nazis had lost the war.

Levy went on to write his Memoirs and to gain International fame. Then in 1963 he suffered a huge depression from which he never seems to have recovered fully. There are some extremely interesting aspects to look at. This was 19 years after his incarceration so his "system" was going through a Nodal Return for the incarceration. This once again hit his unaspected Sun-Neptune-Jupiter conjunction and so repeated "psychically" the conjunction of the Pluto-NN transit from 1944. The past might literally have gone off in his psyche like a bomb. In addition to that, Levy was going through his Uranus opposition, another major Uranus transit. (Remember his Uranus and Saturn transits were very strong because of natal placement within a Grand Square with his Nodes.) His earlier Uranus square coincided with the time right before Auschwitz when he had joined the resistance. Also in 1963, Levy was going through his Neptune square (which would have been squaring t.Nodes) which is a indicator for mental collapse if there is any predisposition.

Levy received psychiatric care, but I wonder if with his strong Saturn-Uranus aspect he would have responded better to Chiropractic as those planets rule that practice, Saturn = Bones and Uranus = Nervous system. With the Neptune transits, he certainly shouldn't have been put on drugs. Neptunian transits require maybe a couple of household pets to play with and some time alone.

The Moon Progressions and Arcs are interesting. I would expect them to be important as the Moon is ruler of Levy's chart and his natal Moon is placed in his 4th house. At the time of his Auschwitz arrest his Progressed Moon was at 18 Leo conjunct Jupiter at his 3d house cusp. Although the rest of his transits describe what was going on his Moon seems completely oblivious. His Solar Arc Moon at that point was conjunct his 5th house cusp squaring natal Mars.

In 1963 things the Lunar influence shows. Progressed Moon was travelling through the end of Aries-beginning of Taurus. It would have opposed his Solar Arc Moon and squared his natal Sun. In 1987 progressed Moon was conjunct his natal Uranus, squaring his natal Nodes and Solar Arc Moon (c. NN).

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