Out the Comet's Ass

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Rembrandt the Musical

Inspired by the Sun in Libra and Jupiter's passage over my 7th House cusp I decided to take a look at True Love in an artist's chart. I decided to study the chart of Rembrandt with his first wife Saskia who seems to have been his first Muse. I figured it would be a good start. Well, I started there not knowing anything about Rembrandt's story... Apparently I didn't choose the right guy for the job.

Rembrandt's first wife, Saskia, was the subject of many of his most beautiful paintings. He is said to have loved her deeply. The couple's first 3 children died tragically shortly after their births. Saskia died shortly after giving birth to their 4th child, Titus, at Age 30 (Saturn Return).

Rembrandt immediately took up with his wife's nurse, a widow, Geetje Dircx. (Scorpio Rising and Moon can't go for long without the Sex relations?) Dircx nursed son Titus in his early life. Rembrandt didn't love her and had affairs, and Dircx flew off into rages. After 6 or 7 years Rembrandt got his new 23 year old maid, Hendrickje Stoffels, pregnant and Dircx sued him in court for breach of contract. In turn, Rembrandt had her committed to an insane asylum for 12 years. That was pretty nasty. This was the woman who nursed his son. Geertje Dircx was let out after a number of years, not the original 12, but she died soon after her release. Really tragic. Someone wrote a Musical about this love triangle which is performed periodically on Broadway.

Astrologically, what's interesting is that during the whole time all this chaos was going on, Pluto was traveling through Rembrandt's 7th House. The minute it hit his 8th house cusp, Rembrandt almost had to declare Bankruptcy (along with other aspects). Apparently his son and his mistress rearranged his finances so that he wouldn't lose everything. He never married his mistress because he was living off of his first wife, Saskia's money and would lose it if he ever remarried. Pluto doesn't provide easy answers, especially when it comes to Love and Money. But it does provide the stuff that Broadway Musicals are made of... You could call this story "Testing True Love" or "Why Is Cupid's Arrow So Damn Sharp?"

Rembrandt van Rijn

b. July 15, 1606 3:00pm Leiden, Netherlands


Sun 23 Cancer; ASC 17 Scorpio; Moon 25 Scorpio; MC 7 Virgo; NN 24 Virgo.


Saskia van Uylenburgh

b. Aug. 2, 1612 Leeuwarden, Netherlands


Sun 11 Leo; Moon Libra or Scorpio; NN 29 Taurus


Geertje Dircx

b. born 1610-15


Hendrickje Stoffels

b. 1626 Bredevoort, Netherlands


Rembrandt has a really magnificent chart, it's pretty ridiculous to pick apart for relationship issues. Like Beethoven, he was born with a Grand Earth Trine between 3 Outer planets, Neptune, Pluto, and Saturn. Neptune, planet of Art is conjunct his Virgo Midheaven.

But this chart goes beyond that because it just misses making a Grand Sextile Hexagon of Sextiles. (The orb between the Sextile of Chiron to Saturn is too big.) But the Grand Trine does expand out into two Kites: Neptune-MC opposite Jupiter in Pisces is the axis of the first Kite and Mercury in Gemini opposite Saturn makes the axis of the 2d Kite. Almost all of his Planets are in Water and Earth. Most descriptions of his art include the words "Emotional Depth" "Emotional Power" and "Sympathy for Humanity" This is a Cancer Sun with Scorpio Rising and Moon. (Technical Genius as well: Neptune-MC in Virgo).

The Water-Earth dominance does explain why he got bogged down in relationship and financial problems. Rembrandt had no planets in Fire which is interesting because he is known for his Brilliant Lighting techniques. A lack in a person's chart makes them want to seek it out either through relationships or through work or other means. Rembrandt would show light shining from within a person or from unknown sources or directions in order to emphasize the spirituality of the person or the situation or to enhance the design of the picture. "Rembrandt Lighting" is a special way of lighting a subject's face which is particularly flattering for the shape of their face.

Rembrandt's Venus (Art) is located in his 7th House. It's in Gemini and is a singleton in Air. And I suppose that's a great position for a Portrait Artist who needs to build a business (Gemini) around flattering (Venus) others (Venus). Venus rules Artistic Design and Proportion through it's relationship with the Golden Mean. I took a drawing class once and the instructor picked up a book of Rembrandt drawings to explain the Golden Mean. Willy nilly he went through the book measuring out Golden Means sketch after sketch. Rembrandt had a natural sense of divine proportion.

But, Venus in Gemini can also show a person who multi-tasks in the relationship department. And that's where we get gossipy about his Love Life. The relationship axis is telling. Rembrandt had a conjunction of Moon and Mars in Scorpio in his 1st House which opposed Uranus at 29 Taurus in his 7th House. That shows emotionalism, upheaval and erratic happenings in the relationship sector. Along with Uranus, Venus was in his 7th.

Pluto ruled both his Chart and his Moon and his Mars so it's transit would have an extra powerful effect on his life. Shortly after Pluto entered his 7th House, a Collector took a big interest in him and his career took off. Pluto also rules Fame and Famous people. He became very successful and attracted big commissions and attracted a wealthy wife. Pluto likes to build you up before he tears you down. Pluto was 3 degrees away from conjunction with natal 7th house Uranus when Rembrandt married Saskia and was within orb the whole time they were married so the Opposition was always under fire by Pluto while they were married. Pluto, Uranus, Moon and Mars working together, that's stormy weather.

When Saskia died Pluto was applying to conjunction with Venus at 8 Gemini and squaring his IC-MC axis. Pluto and Venus rule his 1st and 7th Houses. T.Neptune had just passed over his Ascendant was now in conjunction with his Moon-Mars conjunction and it looks as though he went through years of running around in a haze, struggling in his relationships and declining financial circumstances. Of course, Neptune aspects are great for Artists but generally to the exclusion of dealing well with real life. Pluto-Venus transits wreak emotional havoc in relationships and finances. He didn't treat his mistress well and she tried to get her fair share. But she was a mere woman and was dealing with a well respected artist and a double Scorpio-Cancer type whose bite was worse than his bark. He would certainly have been better respected by the courts than she was. Well, and the screaming didn't help. A lesson for us all.

I'm fuzzy on the dates around the time that he got involved with his final mistress, Hendrickje Stoffels. It looks like his Progressed Venus had just passed over his Natal Sun and his progressed Sun was conjunct his MC-Neptune with the Nodes passing over that angle. They had a daughter Cornelia together (b. 1654). Their relationship seems to have been solid but they never married due to the financial circumstances. Rembrandt outlived Hendrickje and died shortly after his Son, Titus, died, on Oct. 4, 1669.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Twilight said...

Hmmmm - interesting! Thanks.
I'll come back and read more carefully when I have more time.

Like many of the big name artists,it appears that old Rembrandt wasn't as wonderful in character as might be expected from his beautiful paintings!

6:00 PM  
Blogger Out the Comet's Ass said...

Yeah, when I was young I had a teacher who warned me to never date the most talented guy in my class because they're always awful people.

11:28 AM  

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