Out the Comet's Ass

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The Scream

Happy New Year! I have to admit this isn't my cheeriest Holiday season ever. The World just seems like it's going to Hell in a handbasket (my Mother used to use that expression). Anyway, thought I'd check out the astrology behind one of the greatest symbols for the anxiety of Modern Society.

The Scream was painted around 1893 by Edvard Munch. It features a person so contorted he or she sort of looks like an alien, his mouth drawn out in a big fat zero with his hands over his ears. He's dressed in black, the sky is thick with opaque red. The picture has become one of the most famous paintings ever symbolizing Modern Anxiety. It just so happens that many people think that this painting was inspired by the explosion of Krakatoa in 1883 which occurred 9 1/2 years earlier. The final explosion is thought to have been the loudest sound ever heard. It spread from Indonesia to 2200 miles away in Australia. The skies as far North as Norway were turned red from the ash for months afterwards.

I decided to check the astrology for this explosion against the astrology of Munch's chart to see if there is a planetary explanation why he hooked into it. Actually, I just pulled a book off the shelf in the library by Anthony Aveni called Uncommon Sense and read about how NASA scientists were actually paid to research whether or not Munch was influenced by the explosion of Krakatoa for his painting. Hey, NASA scientists, look what I found. Can I have some of the money?


began to explode Aug. 26, 1883 at around 1pm

Sun 3 Virgo; 21 Sagittarius Rising; Moon 16 Gemini; NN 5 Scorpio; MC 19 Virgo
Uranus conjunct MC squaring Moon c. DESC

Loudest explosions the next morning (according to Wikipedia) at
5:30am: 25 Leo Rising; 30 Taurus MC // Pluto c. MC squaring Sun-Venus c. ASC
6:42am: 15 Virgo Rising; 17 Gemini MC // Saturn c. MC
8:20am: 11 Libra Rising; 10 Cancer MC // Mars c. MC
10:02am: 9 Scorpio Rising; 4 Leo MC // Nodes straddling ASC-DESC, all planets above Horizon

This chart is a Bundle chart with all the planets held between a trine of Mercury-Uranus in Virgo and Neptune in Taurus. Krakatoa is said to have been 10 times bigger an explosion than the Atomic Bomb "Little Boy." "Little Boy's" chart is also a Bundle chart. Have never really read this description but I guess there's some kind of need for excitement with Bundle Charts.

Krakatoa's Sun was at 3 Virgo. It is apex of a small triangle to a Trine between the Scorpio NN and Mars in Cancer. And it's also squaring a conjunction of Pluto-Chiron-Saturn in Gemini. There is an explosive quality to all of these aspects. The Moon at the first explosion is conjunct this last stellium and by the last explosion has moved on to the last degree of Gemini in conjunction to Mars in Cancer right over the Aries Point. No Void of Course Moon on this day, needless to say.

And there's a Mercury-Uranus conjunction that's prominent on angles and in squares that I won't go into but I suspect that it has something to do with both sound and anxiety as it's in Virgo, the sign of anxiety par excellence. With the animation feature on the software it's just wild to watch this Bundle Shape swing around the chart. At the last and loudest explosion all the planets were above the Horizon and the Nodes were almost exactly straddling the Horizon line.

So, connecting Edvard Munch's chart with this is so much fun. It's basically just a big lesson in Scorpio North Node returns. Scorpio likes intensity, doesn't like to do things half-heartedly. Munch was born with 27 Scorpio North Node and his art is indeed extremely emotional. He made multiple copies of "The Scream" starting in 1992. He first wrote the idea down in his journal on 1/22/1892. At this point the North Node was at 24 Taurus so he was going through his Nodal Opposition.

The Krakatoa explosion happened just after Munch's first Nodal Return. It's North Node is at 5 Scorpio, so it would have happened about 8 months after Munch's Nodal Return (guessing at the amount of time). But it doesn't really matter that it wasn't an exact Nodal Return because this Nodal Axis corresponds pretty closely with Munch's natal Venus-Pluto opposition with Pluto at 11 Taurus opposite Venus-Jupiter in Scorpio. (I've actually remarked on Venus-Pluto imagery at being volcanic in the singer Corinne Bailey Rae, http://outthecometsass.blogspot.com/2006/11/girl-put-your-records-on.html). At any rate, Venus-Pluto is a signature for an artist, especially one who paints emotional extremes.

The imagery of the Red Sky really plays out in the chart for Munch's journal entry. Mars rules the color Reddish Orange and Scorpio/Pluto rules the Deeper Blood Reds. Munch was having his Mars Return in Scorpio (within 2 degrees) and this was conjunct his Natal Scorpio North Node. And, as a matter of fact, I'm writing about this just as we're having a long, drawn out Mars Return over the Krakatoa chart.

And, don't know how exact this timing really is, but Munch's Sun is conjunct the 1 pm chart for the beginning of the explosions on Aug. 16, 1883.

Edvard Munch
b. Dec. 12, 1863 Loten, Norway

Sun 20 Sagittarius; Moon Capricorn; NN 27 Scorpio
"I was walking along a path with two friends—the sun was setting—suddenly the sky turned blood red—I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence—there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city—my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety—and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature."

--Edward Munch, Jan. 22, 1892

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Blogger Twilight said...

Fascinating piece OTCA - thanks.

I didn't know of the connection between Krakatoa and "The Scream".

It's such a compelling picture isn't it! And that gesture seems to have passed into popular use now, the hands to the sides of the face - it's often used by comedians to express mock shock/horror - Craig Ferguson does it regularly! :-)

7:14 AM  
Blogger Demetrius said...

Thank you. That was fascinating as I saw a Munch exhibit in '06 that really showed the well-expressed heavy emotions along from a very talented painter.

I think of the planets as different energies, and read bundles as a tea kettle wanting, waiting to boil. Or a bundle of firecrackers that once set goes off in a solid, sizable succession.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Out the Comet's Ass said...

Thanks for your comments Twilight & Demetrius!

Twilight, I love Craig Fergusson and he's coming back on tonight! I hope he's wearing a kilt ... and I can stay up. I didn't know of the connection between Krakatoa and the Scream either, but, hey, I'm not arguing with NASA. That's a connection I really don't get, why's NASA studying Munch's painting?

Demetrius, Thanks for the great descriptions of the bundle charts. They're fascinating.

10:21 AM  

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