Capricorn Research has to admit to a taste in music that fits the sign well, it is strictly traditionalist. If pushed I would have to say that all the best music was created by the mid 1970s with 1973 being a bit of a cut off point.
I have to confess I enjoy my sign’s reputation for being a bit of a dinosaur, but in my defence I have many friends who will state that there’s been no real musical progression since the death of Johann Sebastian Bach in 1750. And there is a part of me that can’t entirely disagree with them.
In fact these two dates of the end of the golden ages of music coincide with the death in 1973 of one of the greatest cellists who ever lived, Pablo Casals.
Casals made many recordings throughout his career, of solo, chamber, and orchestral music, also as conductor, but he is perhaps best remembered for the recordings of the Bach Cello Suites in the late 1930s, a period which marked an upturn in the popularity of the great composer himself.
Like many of the greatest composers, Bach’s true genius was not recognised during his lifetime. It was not really until the twentieth century, that there was true recognition of the musical as well as the pedagogic value of some of his works. Casals was the first major performer to record the Cello Suites.
The synastry between Bach and Casals is exceptionally strong.
J S Bach had an extraordinary chart. The Sun in Aries exactly conjunct the Ascendant shows what a force he was. Aries we know is a force of nature, a powerful pioneering spirit with irrepressible energy to create and initiate something.
The Sun conjunct the Ascendant reflects many of the attributes of the Sun in Aries, as it is the start of all things and it always shows a dynamic personality that has to express itself assertively, no matter what sign it is in. When that sign is Aries we know that we are in for something exceptional.
Bach’s Sun is opposite Jupiter, anyone with this aspect will always do things on a grand scale, and the sheer magnitude and complexity of Bach’s canon of works is unmatched.
This opposition is focused by T Square onto an apex Pluto, which shows the power of his impact on human history.
Its interesting also that Pluto returned to this position in Cancer going through Bach’s T Square between 1922 and 1930, a period during which his reputation was seriously enhanced.
Despite the exceptionally powerful Aries feel of his chart, Bach’s music itself is of a very different flavour. The spiritual core of much of his work is reflected by the conjunction of Mercury, Venus and Neptune in Pisces in the 12th. But of course his compositions have incredibly strong layers of structure as well as reflected in the fact that this conjunction is opposite Saturn in Virgo in the 6th house.
It is for these reasons that many churches and spiritual teachers have used and worked with Bach’s music. Gurdjieff referred to his work as one of the greatest examples in music of objective art, something that is composed deliberately in order to portray and symbolise the highest of spiritual ideals.
Pablo Casals chart has extremely strong synastry with Bach’s.
Casals has a very close Sun / Moon opposition from Capricorn to Cancer that is square to Bach’s Sun / Ascendant Jupiter opposition.
Casals Mars / Pluto / Uranus T Square is in aspect to Bach’s Moon in Aquarius.
Both of these patterns in Casal’s chart make Grand Crosses to Bach’s.
The Grand Cross in many ways is an aspect pattern of great finality. All four of the elements are represented, there is always tension and challenge with this aspect but more than any other it gives the opportunity for completion, because it’s the only one that includes Fire, Earth, Air and Water. Its as if Pablo Casals was meant to complete J S Bach’s legacy.
Pablo Casals chart is fascinating. He has the Sun in Capricorn in the 5th house. As Capricorn is the sign of tradition and structure and the 5th is the house of creativity, what better placing for a classical musician ?
But the intriguing thing is that its opposite the Moon in Cancer in the 11th.
The Sun and Moon in opposition is interesting. It seems likely that the sensitivity and intuitive feel for things from the Moon in its own sign would be a perfect complement for a Capricorn artist. The Capricorn structure would help give the Cancer some definite focus and a sense of mission to be accomplished.
But more than that, Cancer rules one’s family, roots and homeland. The Moon in this sign means that these issues will always be very important, even to a Capricorn who is usually quite pragmatic about emotional ties.
Casals Moon is in the 11th house of ideas and politics. So we have an extremely strong pull between this Sun and Moon creating a tension, conflict and challenge between Casals musical career ( Sun in Capricorn in the 5th ) and what he feels he wants politically for his homeland ( Moon in Cancer in the 11th ).
Casals was Spanish but primarily a Catalan and a strong supporter of the Republican government. The Spanish Civil War broke out at the very peak of his career, and after the Republican defeat he vowed not to return to Spain until democracy was restored. He spent the rest of his life in exile, settling in a French Catalan village near the Spanish border. So fierce was his opposition to Franco’s dictatorial regime in Spain that he refused to appear in countries that recognised the authoritarian Spanish government.
Its interesting that this same theme is repeated in Casal’s chart by the T Square.
Mars in Scorpio in the 4th conjunct the Nadir, shows the deeply held passion that he had for his Catalan heritage. Mars opposition with Pluto in Taurus in the 10th, shows how this passion would conflict with a dictatorial fascist regime that took control of his homeland by revolutionary means.
This opposition focuses by T square onto an apex Uranus in Leo conjunct the Ascendant. This shows that Casals would become an artistic ( Leo ) spokesman ( conjunct the Ascendant ) for the forces of opposition ( Uranus ).
His mode of fighting Franco was determined passive resistance, that most effective Cancer / Capricorn tool. He simply used his cello as his greatest weapon.
Casal’s recordings of the Bach Cello Suites were made during the Civil War between 1936 and 39. A major reason for him focusing on this work was because he was unable to do live performances at the time.
These are the recordings that brought him most global fame and the interest in him as a figure drew attention to his position as a self imposed exile and opponent of Franco.
Its interesting that in 1937, Jupiter was conjunct Casals Sun and opposite his Moon.
In 1939, when Franco took over and Casals left Spain, Uranus was transiting the T Square opposite his 4th house Mars.
Sadly Pablo Casals did not live to see the end of Franco’s regime. He died at the age of 96 in 1973.
Two years later in November 1975 Franco died and Spain returned to democracy. King Juan Carlos I issued a commemorative postage stamp depicting Casals, in 1976 in honour of the centenary of his birth.
Looking at Casal’s chart, the Sun / Moon opposition was so clearly about his fight with his cello for his country.
Of course the strongest possible transit that could ever occur in his chart would be Pluto forming a T Square with the Sun and Moon.
When did that happen ? Two years after his death, 1975 – 6.
In the case of both J S Bach and Pablo Casals, Pluto’s transits show that great music lives on as a power, long after the players have left the stage.