Out the Comet's Ass

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Eliel and Eero Saarinen

This was supposed to be a study of the Gateway Arch, a Memorial built in St. Louis, Missouri, officially called the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. I drove across the country a few years ago and one of the high points of my trip was seeing this elegant Monument which was built as a link between the Eastern and Western parts of the United States. It was built near the spot where Lewis & Clark started their expedition to explore the Western half of the United States and Saarinen designed it so that it would look like it was soaring. I managed to find a hotel room with a view onto the Arch and sat for hours watching the changing lights of the Sun setting all around it.

I started out by looking at the chart of the architect who designed the Arch, Eero Saarinen, and then out of curiosity looked at the chart of his Father, Eliel, who was also a brilliant Architect, and found the strangest Astro story. The family immigrated to the United States from Finland in 1923. Here are their Birth Dates:

Eero Saarinen (Son)

b. Aug. 20, 1910 Kirkkonummi, Finland
d. Sept. 1, 1961 Ann Arbor, Michigan

Sun 27 Leo; Moon probably in Aquarius, maybe Pisces; NN 24 Taurus

Eliel Saarinen (Father)

b. Aug. 20, 1873 Rantasalmi, Finland
d. July 1, 1950 Bloomfield, Michigan

Sun 27 Leo; Moon Cancer or Leo; NN. 19 Taurus

Right off the Bat you can see that Eero the Son was born on his Father's Solar Return and also on his Nodal Return. Both men's Suns square their Nodal Axis. When Eero was born, Eliel's progressed Venus was conjunct their Suns. Eero may also have had an opposition of Aquarius Moon to the Leo Sun which expands his t-square out into a Grand Square.

Both Father and Son share unaspected Jupiter and Chiron as well. Eliel the Father also had natal unaspected Venus in Cancer and Uranus in Leo. I assume that with birth times these planets would show up as aspecting the angles since their careers were so successful. Both Father and Son had Saturn Retrograde which seems very appropriate for Architects since Saturn has to do with Structure. But also makes me wonder what their relationship was like with each other. Eero worked with his Father but soon branched out on his own.

Comparing these two charts, it's almost as if the sky were saying that it would take two generations to complete the message that Nature had in mind. The only other thing I'll mention is that Eero's Uranus, while not unaspected, is very prominently aspected in his chart. It's located in Capricorn and involved in an opposition to Neptune in Cancer so it represents a generational influence that was able to use conventional engineering techniques and boundaries represented by the material known world to create new forms that basically exploit the previously known boundaries. (Whew, I'm going to leave that sentence there but you don't really have to try to read it). In short, he was able to work great technological advances while achieving extreme beauty (Venus in Leo, Mercury and Mars in Virgo).

The Arch was designed by Eero (the Son) for a competition in 1947. Ground wasn't broken until Feb. 12, 1963 (completed Oct. 28, 1965) and it was dedicated Dec. 21, 1965. Eero, however, had developed a brain tumor and had died in surgery on Sept. 1, 1961. The Arch was completed by his Partners. His transits at time of death were very precise.
  • Uranus was conjunct the North Node conjunct his Sun all at 27 Leo.
  • T. Saturn was at 22 Capricorn conjunct his Neptune at 21 Cancer opposing Uranus.
  • His Progressed Sun and prog. Mars were both conjunct his natal Jupiter (Unaspected in Chart).
  • Also, he was having his Chiron Return in Pisces (Unaspected in Chart).
  • T. Pluto was at 9 Virgo conjunct n. Mars at 10 Virgo.
The Mars-Pluto contacts plus Uranus seem to indicate a Brain Tumor to me but I'm certainly not a pro at Medical Astrology. I wonder if the fact that his Progressed Mercury had just Retrograded back into Virgo, sign indicating Health ruled by Mercury which rules the thinking processes, is also significant. It would help to know the rulers of his 12th and 1st houses to talk about any further.

On the day that Eero died, Eliel's chart was totally in sync his own chart, it seems in almost a jealous kind of way. His Progressed Sun and prog. Mars were conjunct at 25 Scorpio conjunct his Son's South Node in Scorpio. Natally, Eliel (the Father) had a conjunction of Pluto with his North Node. (Remember they both had the same Nodal Axis.) This was squaring both men's Suns plus the Uranus-Node transit. In addition, Eliel's Pluto was passing over his son's natal Jupiter. Of course, we'll never know the nature of their relationship, but it seems that this Arch was more of a Gateway to Heaven than a Gateway out West.

(And as a matter of fact I just found this on Wikipedia: "When Saarinen won the competition, the official notification was sent to "E. Saarinen", thinking it to be the architect's father Eliel Saarinen, who had also submitted an entry. The family celebrated with a bottle of champagne, and two hours later an embarrassed official called to say the winner was, in fact, the younger Saarinen. The elder Saarinen then broke out a second bottle of champagne to celebrate his son's success."). Both men were having their Nodal Returns in 1947 which indicates some sort of Fated occurence which they both share. I remember reading that Nodes on the Taurus/Scorpio axis are often the most difficult to deal with as the Soul has tough lessons to learn about materialistic gain in the world. Competition with one's family members can be especially tricky as one is bound to them through blood.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or does that arch look suspiciously like a North Node symbol?

Yeh, that is one cool structure.
There is an excellent documentary all about the design and construction of the arch, produced I think, by USSteel, which was very involved in the project. It was a big PR coup for them. If you can find it, you might enjoy it and find it quite fascinating and even fun if you like those Saturn/Cap- Uranus/Pluto/Virgo nerd-type engineering nail biters.

Among other things, like pre-fabbing everything in pieces and then assembling on site, which was an innovation, when they put the last piece in - the topmost 'keystone' section, it was so precisely made that they had to start before sunrise and then spray water on it to cool it down due to the thermal expansion, which was making it too big to fit.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Out the Comet's Ass said...

Wow! I can only read the first half of the first sentence in the moderation section so I had no idea what you were going to say. (Wait until you see what I wrote for today's postinspired by the words "does that arch look suspiciously like".)

Thanks for the extra information! I hope to watch that documentary. It does look like a Node!

3:25 PM  

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