An article written on these pages about Peter Sutcliffe – The Yorkshire Ripper drew a negative response from one reader who shared with the subject an 8th house stellium. This reader admonished Capricorn Research for suggesting anyone with such a chart would inevitably be a serial killer.
This notion is absurd and betrayed more than anything that the person concerned had not even read the article beyond the headline.
This reaction is one of rather extreme paranoia but it is also simply an exaggerated version of something that so frustrates this writer.
Billions of people follow astrology on some level or another but very few of them are genuinely interested in the subject itself. People simply want to see it in terms of what it means to them. They want to know whats going to happen in their chart, but beyond that nothing really.
Its understandable human nature, Capricorn Research was the same at the beginning but once a decent self understanding was acquired through astrology, I was addicted to the subject to the point that I had to find out what made everyone else tick as well.
The reader of the Sutcliffe article got hold of the wrong end of the stick and tried to bash me over the head with it. One effect of his reaction is that I now feel obliged to write a kind of covering note whenever I do charts of serious baddies, saying that just because one person with X in Y sign does this it doesn’t mean that everyone who has it will do the same.
I have been on the lookout for an article about the 8th house that might persuade people of a lack of prejudice on my part, so hopefully this one will contribute to redress any perceived imbalance.
Honore Daumier was an innovative 19th Century painter and sculptor, but he was most widely known for his satirical cartoons which ridiculed pompous lawyers and the hypocritical bourgeoisie.
With the Sun, Moon, Mars and Pluto in conjunction in the 8th house, we could be forgiven for expecting another Sutcliffe. Daumier was certainly aggressive and extremely sharp in dishing out his attacks. But of course the whole stellium is in Pisces so its unlikely to be expressed through direct physical violence.
Satire as an art form has incredible power to undermine preconceptions in an indirect way. This is how Pisces attacks its targets.
Daumier’s acid pen quickly earned him a notoriety that was not without its downside. His 1831 engraving of the bourgeois King Louis Philippe in the guise of an enormous glutton with a pear-shaped head–which became the caricaturist’s shorthand for the pudgy monarch, landed Daumier in prison for six months.
Like many people with Pluto aspecting the Sun and Moon at birth, Daumier did not live long enough to experience a major transit of the planet, but his experience in prison coincided with Saturn being in Virgo opposite his 8th house stellium.
Undeterred by this experience, he followed up by heaping scorn on the entire government with a collection of clay busts. These were portraits of politicians and magistrates, pompous asses with ravenous mouths, bulbous noses, triple chins, ruthless and mean spirited.
Daumier’s political protest is evident through his paintings. He powerfully depicts the cold-blooded massacre of poor, innocent dwellers by troops called out to quell an uprising. He also portrays insurgency with workers, arms raised in protest and sketches of immigrants fleeing some invisible catastrophe or misery.
Honore Daumier was one of the most popular artists of his time, who inspired Cezanne and Picasso. Charles Baudelaire called him “One of the most important men I will not say only in caricature but in the whole of modern art.”
Charles Baudelaire was a poet and one of the major innovators in French literature. His works show the rejection of the belief in the supremacy of nature and the fundamental goodness of man as typically espoused by the romantics in favor of a new urban sensibility, an awareness of individual moral complexity, an interest in vice, decadence and sensual and aesthetically pleasures.
He is credited with coining the term “modernity” to designate the fleeting, ephemeral experience of life in an urban metropolis, and the responsibility art has to capture that experience.
In many ways he is a much more classic 8th house stellium character than Daumier. But then again his planets were in Aries, a much more directly assertive and self centred sign.
Daumier’s Piscean concern for the suffering of the masses is absent. Baudelaire’s view of politics and ordinary people can be understood from this quote
“There is no form of rational and assured government save an aristocracy. A monarchy or a republic, based upon democracy, are equally absurd and feeble…. There are but three beings worthy of respect: the priest, the warrior and the poet. To know, to kill and to create. The rest of mankind may be taxed and drudged, they are born for the stable, that is to say, to practise what they call professions.”
His Sun’s conjunction with Saturn showed a liking for the dark side and an Arien 8th house tendency to explore it in depth, come what may. It is alleged that Baudelaire advocated satanism, he certainly experienced drug altering states of mind.
His view on love – “There is an invincible taste for prostitution in the heart of man, from which comes his horror of solitude. He wants to be ‘two’. The man of genius wants to be ‘one’… It is this horror of solitude, the need to lose oneself in the external flesh, that man nobly calls ‘the need to love’.”
And marriage – “Unable to suppress love, the Church wanted at least to disinfect it, and it created marriage.”
And pleasure – “Personally, I think that the unique and supreme delight lies in the certainty of doing ‘evil’–and men and women know from birth that all pleasure lies in evil.” and “But what can eternity of damnation matter to someone who has felt, if only for a second, the infinity of delight??”
The turning point in Baudelaire’s life was probably Pluto’s conjunction to his Sun between 1840 and 42.
Up to this point Baudelaire was erratic in his studies and prone to idleness. During this period he began to frequent prostitutes and may have contracted gonorrhea and syphilis and he began to run up debts. His stepfather sent him on a voyage to India, in 1841 in the hope of ending his dissolute habits. The trip provided strong impressions of the sea, sailing, and exotic ports, that he later employed in his poetry. When he returned he began to compose some of the poems of “Les Fleurs du Mal”.
Many of Baudelaire’s philosophical proclamations were considered scandalous and intentionally provocative in his time. He wrote on a wide range of subjects, drawing criticism and outrage from many quarters. But what else would we expect from someone with a stellium in Aries in the 8th house ?
Another artist with an 8th house stellium although from a very different milieu was fashion designer Coco Chanel. Her impact was extraordinary and she was on Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.