What Sign Is Cayce Pollard?


Someone amazing mentioned Cayce Pollard in a comment the other day and i was like ‘fuq yeah’ because i love this character. If you don’t know her, she is the heroine of William Gibson’s (he is the genius Piscean author of Neuromancer) book Pattern Recognition.

Named after the cult psychic Edgar Cayce (another Pisces, born day after William Gibson fyi)   Ms Pollard is an elite cool-hunter hired by corporations to detect trends. But of course the book turns into a major thriller.  Cayce’s skills come not from a love of fashion but because she is actually allergic to it. She dresses in such a way that she would not stand out in any era from 1945 onward. Fiercely intelligent, eccentric and observant, i’ve always seen her as Uranian Virgo type with a strong Scorpio Moon.

“…CPUs for the meeting, reflected in the window of a Soho specialist in mod paraphernalia, are a fresh Fruit T-shirt, her black Buzz Rickson’s MA-1, anonymous black skirt from a Tulsa thrift, the black leggings she’d worn for Pilates, black Harajuku schoolgirl shoes. Her purse-analog is an envelope of black East German laminate, purchased on eBay if not actual Stasi-issue then well in the ballpark.
She sees her own gray eyes, pale in the glass, and beyond them Ben Sherman shirts and fishtail parkas, cufflinks in the form of the RAF roundel that marked the wings of Spitfires.

CPUs. Cayce Pollard Units. That’s what Damien calls the clothing she wears. CPUs are either black, white, or gray, and ideally seem to have come into this world without human intervention.

What people take for relentless minimalism is a side effect of too much exposure to the reactor-cores of fashion. This has resulted in a remorseless paring-down of what she can and will wear. She is, literally, allergic to fashion. She can only tolerate things that could have been worn, to a general lack of comment, during any year between 1945 and 2000. She’s a design-free zone, a one-woman school of anti whose very austerity periodically threatens to spawn its own cult.

—Pattern Recognition, 2. “Bitch”, page 8.[9]”

You can read the first chapter here btw.

Cultural Wishlist Du Jour: That Pattern Recognition be made into a movie (who could play Cayce? Carey Mulligan?) and that the rumored Blade Runner sequel be real.

So what sign do you think Cayce Pollard is?  And hands up who likes William Gibson? Thoughts?


32 thoughts on “What Sign Is Cayce Pollard?

  1. Cayce’s astro: Scorp sun, Pisces rising, Libra Moon. True Node conjuct Uranus in Virgo.

    • Woops: Make that Sag rising, not Pisces, and with Saturn in the first house.

      I’m feeling the TN conjuct Uranus in Virgo. I won’t compromise that feature of her chart.

  2. This is vaguely related – I like it when fictional characters actually seem to be the right sun sign. I was watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries the other night and it was mentioned that Phrynne’s birthday was 21 December and I though “A Sagg – that’s about right!”.

    Or in Sunset Boulevard where Norma Desmond says she is a Scorpio and I thought “She sure is!”.

    It annoys me when they get it wrong though. In Friends I would have pegged Ross as Kataka but when they did mention his birthday it was in October making him a Libra or Scorpio. Pfft!

    • yes i noticed that too with Miss Fisher! Never fully understood the character’s back story though – an Honourable but always seen as a child living in poverty?

      • Yeah the bsckstory is in one of the books – may be the first one – something abut growing up poor in Melb (?Collingwood) and then finding she was part of a rich, titled Brit family – so she went there for awhile, I think had some edukashion, but decided she could not stand the BS (tho the money was OK) or missed Oz – so came back returned a rich person. Sorry if I have botched the story – really love the books, have not seen the series. Love all Kerry Greenwoods books.

  3. Super Observant, Classic Dresser sans labels, blacks, whites, greys, Haute Scorp i’m putting my money on.

  4. o I remember that Cayce Pollard comment, I also looked it up as I was curious. Was it you, Scorp Inc who mentioned that?

    I get the whole anti-fashion thing, the idea of trend-spotting is sort of recreation for me although as a general commercial notion it makes my skin crawl. I suppose I’d make money out of it if I could. Trends in general make me want to take a machete to fashion magazines and society in general. Many of us are probably style anarchists yeah? i know it’s not just me. I get the ‘zeitgeist’ concept, i understand why long cardigans have stuck around, and many many other things, but .. anyway *decides not to stand on soapbox as this is not about me it is about Cayce Pollard*

    But for someone who presumably hates fashion, that blurb up there sure focuses a lot on clothes, regardless of their origins…

    “black harajuku schoolgirl shoes” ?? come ON. if you THINK that much about what you’re wearing then you ARE obsessed no excuses..right?

    Although I have noticed there is sort of more fiction starring young, ‘ruthlessly intelligent’, women, using the system against itself for their own subversive reasons. they see the matrix and exploit it . the other example i am thinking of is Lisbeth Salander. I think it’s the female version of the superhero. Using intellect and perception and a sense of being the outcast, or outside society, rather than physical force. Both make and female are social outcasts or dropouts in some way (Clark Kent, Peter Parker, …you know, soft, geeky guys. – no one would look twice at them. Same for the Salanders and Pollards of the world)

    maybe I should just shut up and read the book/s.

    • Aren’t you the bee’s knees for thinking so, but no, it wasn’t me– it was a *different* amazing person. Haha

      Re Friends: whatever, that show. Never got into it. Totally unrelateable (is that a word? mercury person?) to me.

      I totally hear you: harajuku, really? Excellent point. The narrator mentions CPUs range from 1945-2000. When did Stefani bring that mainstream? What is harajuku hx? I guess I could google that, but that would entail more footwork than I can commit to at the mo.

      At the mo. True Nodes, conjuct. Fuq, look at me absorbing and learning here! Can I get a witness?

      And I agree: the hero(ine) born of the social outcast has been a redundant theme… But I don’t think it’ll ever go out of style. Unlike Friends, it’s Completely Relateable.

      • I agree. (western) society is so individualist. as long as there are people feeling like social outcasts in some way, there will always always be ‘social outcast fiction’ of some form or another 😀 …taking on the big targets. Hey, look at David and Goliath… this stuff’s been around since, you know..

        I realise this has nothing to do with Cayce Pollard’s sun sign. But ftr if she is that finicky about whatever she is wearing I would agree with everyone that there is some serious Virgo happening. I never knew how fanatical Virgos were at wardrobe until my beautiful Virgo GF described her prep for a day / night out. My mind boggled 😀

    • and, oh my goodness, it sounds awesome! I love the title too, Pattern Recognition, speaks to my Pallas conjunct MC. I think I went through a similar phase of dress for a few years, but my Leo sensibilities have since resurfaced. Back on board with the ridiculous vintage ’60s dayglo floral jumper!

  5. I think a lot about this sort of fashion, as I can’t wear “fashion” being the wrong shape and size.

    I spend a lot of time trawling for “Classics” & have found that mostly, you end up with the Parisian’s Uniform:

    Black knee length skirt. Black trousers. Tailored shirt. Trench. Blazer. Ballarinas, pumps or brogues. LBD. Scarves. Hats. Smart jewellery.

    Dull, but you can easily do 1945 – 2012 in it. The interest comes in how you use the scarves, hats and jewellery.

  6. Gibson’s Cayce is one of the few literary narrators I can really identify with. I’m taurus sun, virgo rising, with i think aries moon. But i also have an auto-immune disease, which somehow feeds in to the hypersensitivity to trends. I used to write about contemporary art world with the same kind of visceral need to get it off my skin.

    • really. amazing! I want to know how you link the auto immune to trend sensitive. I have the same but would never have made the link. Sorry if this is a book reference as I have not finished pattern recognition yet. It’s been “on the list” 😉 x

      • Hey, well, the link for me is in so far as consumption/capital is about speed and affect, rather than objects, in the network society, and so you need energy to literally ‘keep up’ with the speed of images, trending being that keeping up with their change. If you don’t have the energy you will be more sensitive to what changes and how fast. That’s a sort of negative reading, but what is interesting about Cayce is her extremely precarious “thrown-ness” in to the world that she can only navigate through its impact upon her (and her savvy recognition of this as her saving grace). Very interesting non-cartesian heroine survive/thrive tactics.

        • Whoa: “f you don’t have the energy you will be more sensitive to what changes and how fast.”

          I’m in the same boat as you both, msresearcher and Ms. And that thought above is very profound to me…

          Yoga it is. My neo-Neptune square New Moon in Gem eclipse resolution is yoga. Done and done 😉

  7. My ex forced this book into my hands re character type when I moved to Camden and I have just started to read it as I only hit the first chapter and then have left it for one reason or another for years. Spooky timing.

  8. YES!! William Gibson is one of my favorite authors and I am thrilled to DEATH that you mentioned him! Two of my loves unexpectedly combined into one!! You’ve just made my night MM :)

    I don’t know enough about astro to have a really concrete idea for Cayce…but yes, your idea of Uranian Virgo + Scorp moon seems VERY true to me. She’s kind of one of my heroes.

  9. *puts down the Lem, reaches for a Gibson*

    How can i not be interested in the sci fi of a Piscean, especially when his character is named after the famous clairvoyant on whose birthday i was born?

    I cannot guess the astro of a character i haven’t read but i will say that i put a great deal of (not effort but) thought into clothing. i try to be ex-fashion but structured to my own style and mood (whichever of the Piscean-Sagittarian selves i have woken up with that day, or whatever other house i happen to be channelling) but not for others. It is odd when people comment on my outfits, as i never feel well turned out and have pretty much given up on looking like anything. Dressing is more talismanic to support the self in its day’s journey than for display.

    I’m thinking Capricorn. My own Mars is exact on the cusp of 2nd house, in Capricorn. I also believe Capricorn to be more efficient than Virgo. Then again, Aquarius is pretty efficient and can be ultra-style itself, noticeable because it’s not of your world, Mere Observer.

    • Mille – ” Dressing is more talismanic to support the self in its day’s journey than for display.” YES!! I so agree….

  10. I reckon she’s an aquarian, she’s dry enough not to give a fuq about what others think with a taurean ascendent and a scorp moon, she writes that fff column so her conspiracy theories actually turn out to be real which lands her in all sorts of strife

  11. She’s aqua. Has to be. Personally rigid, yet adaptable in the world.

  12. yep, aqua, because she doesn’t give a damn…but deep down she really does. when this book came out (was it nearly a decade ago, ffs?!), loads of friends told me that Gibson had written a character on me (and I was all, yeah, I know). just coincidental similarities, but I have since had the honour of meeting Mr Gibson a couple of times since. i’m not his Cayce, but we sit right next to each other…aquarians.

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