A Virgo Fantasy ? P L Travers and the Magic of Mary Poppins

What do Enid Blyton, Beatrix Potter and J K Rowling have in common ? The obvious answer is that they are 3 of the greatest and highest selling female children’s novelists in history.

They also share the Sun in Leo and a number of significant planets in Virgo.

Blyton had a Mercury, Mars, Jupiter conjunction in Virgo.

Potter had Mercury and Venus in the sign.

Rowling had a Moon, Venus, Uranus, Pluto stellium in Virgo, and her Mercury was at 29.57 Leo.

Its interesting to ask why they should have such astrological common ground. Leo and Virgo are both signs that have connotations with purity and innocence, it could be this that drew them to writing for children.

The combination of Leo and Virgo gives a tremendous stamina together with a strong work ethic. All three writers were prolific in their output.

Both signs are perfectionists with a strong sense of right and wrong, of the natural order of things that comes through in their writings.

J K Rowling’s take on this natural order led her in the most un Virgoan directions into the world of magic, but then she did have an extremely close Moon / Pluto / Uranus conjunction

Rowling was also very interested in astrology https://astrologyresearch.co.uk/j-k-rowling-world-famous-astrologer/ and many of her characters were conceived with their birth charts in mind https://astrologyresearch.co.uk/harry-potter-and-the-mutable-grand-cross-2/

J K Rowling

Fascinatingly her chart was very similar to another female children’s author who was best known for creating a magical character, the author of Mary Poppins, P.L.Travers.

Travers was also very interested in astrology, and consulted astrologers on major issues in her life. Unfortunately no birth time is available for her, but a noon chart works well.

P L Travers

Both J K and P L had the Sun in Leo and the Moon in mid Virgo in close aspect to Pluto and Saturn.

When an writer or actor is so strongly associated with one book or part, it is likely that their chart will have quite a lot to say about that particular novel or role.

While a nanny would be likely to be a Cancerian figure, Mary Poppins was definitely cast in the role of governess, with the job of teaching and bringing up her charges in a correct manner. Hence the Moon in Virgo symbolism.

In fact the original figure from the books was quite different from the Julie Andrews / Disney version. According to Traver’s biographer, Poppins was  “tart and sharp, rude, plain and vain”.

As the Moon is the apex of a Tsquare including Saturn and Pluto, this view of the character is entirely appropriate.

The novel, Mary Poppins was published in 1934 with Neptune conjunct Travers’ Moon. The daughter of Walt Disney was an early fan and she persuaded her father to make a film of the book.

Disney first attempted to purchase the film rights as early as 1938 but Travers did not believe a film of her books would do justice to her creation and she turned him down.

Disney finally persuaded her in 1961, and Travers was an adviser to the production. However, she disapproved of the dilution of the harsher aspects of Mary Poppins’ character, felt ambivalent about the music, and hated the use of animation. Disney overruled her, citing contract stipulations that he had the final say on the film.

Travers believed that Disney had betrayed her fiction and misrepresented the character of Mary Poppins who was a tribute to her fierce, bossy Aunt Ellie.

Walt Disney’s Sun was in Sagittarius in square to Travers Virgo Moon, a clear indication that the filmmakers’ broader vision would be unmoved by the writer’s concern for detail and accuracy. His Sun was also conjunct her Saturn so its hardly surprising they clashed so strongly.

As with all of these articles, the transits of Pluto show us a watershed time in the subject’s life. This is particularly true if Pluto is in aspect to one of the main personality significators in their chart.

As Pluto is part of the Travers’ T Square, it would only make one contact by transit during her lifetime. In December 1964, when Mary Poppins was released, Pluto was in the T Square conjunct Travers’ Moon. Not only that but Uranus was in the same position.

The chart for the day of the film’s release showed a powerful Virgoan influence.

Mary Poppins

There is a  powerful Mars / Uranus / Pluto conjunction. Just like in Travers’ chart, the Moon is in Virgo in aspect to Saturn.

The film’s release was obviously the most profound turning point in Travers’ life, but we could also say that it marked a major change in the character of Mary Poppins herself.

Walt Disney had given Mary Poppins a Uranus / Pluto makeover.

Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews was a Libra, who also had Virgo rising together with Venus and Neptune in the sign.

Interestingly Andews’ Neptune is closely conjunct Travers Virgo Moon, a clear indication that her film version of Mary would be much softer and gentler than the original. Neptune also adds a mysterious quality.

While the chart for the film has the Moon in Virgo opposite Saturn, Julie Andrews has Venus in the same sign opposite the same planet.

Andrews also has an exact sextile between her own Moon and Neptune. When the film was released Neptune had transited to conjunct Andrews Moon.

Disney gave Mary Poppins a Venus / Neptune type makeover.

In November 2013, a film called Saving Mr Banks portrayed P L Travers as a pedantic and curmudgeonly character who fights Walt Disney all the way, but she gradually comes round and warms to the film.

The film, however, was released by Disney Film Studios and the bias is obvious. Travers refusal to allow Disney to film any sequels to Mary Poppins makes it clear that her objections to the makeover remained.

Also in November 2013, Saturn was square to Travers Sun, so its unlikely that she would come out of the film well.

So was P L Travers really as grumpy as she was made out to be in Saving Mr Banks ? Who knows, but even J K Rowling might have got a bit stroppy if Warner Bros had tried to turn Harry Potter into a musical.



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