Born Under Saturn

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Β This idea of the alienated artist, the Wittkowers demonstrate, comes into its own in the Renaissance, as part of the new bid by visual artists to distinguish themselves from craftsmen, with whom they were then lumped together. Where the skilled artisan had worked under the sign of light-fingered Mercury, the ambitious artist identified himself with the mysterious and brooding Saturn. Alienation, in effect, was a rung by which artists sought to climb the social ladder.

So Born Under Saturn is a reprint of Sixties “art classic” and super academic, I am guessing BUT how interesting that SATURN was identified with the troubled artiste archetype.

In ancient eras, people took their patron planet seriously, altars and all, so to identify with Saturn was a big-deal.

These days, artists are seen as more Neptunian with an avant-garde zap from Uranus in some cases. Saturn is connected more as the God of athletes (4am rises to do laps of the pool, rigid diets, performance metrics + in most cases a professional dimension of their career that has to be managed) and of course the professions.

Neptune was not discovered till 1846 and this book goes up to the French Revolution, the late 1700s.

So really, Saturn was IT.

Here, for perspective, are the key astrological signatures of some modern-era artists of renown:

  • Tracey Emin – Saturn in Aquarius square Neptune in Scorpio.
  • Damian Hirst – Saturn in Pisces trine Neptune in Scorpio and opposite Mars-Pluto-Uranus.
  • Jeff Koons – he is just super Uranian – Saturn in Scorpio trine Jupiter/Uranus in Cancer and Neptune in Libra squaring it.
  • Andy Warhol – Saturn in Saggo trine Leo Ascendant trine Moon in Aries – that’s a Grand Fire Trine, folks. He also had the win-win of Jupiter in Taurus on his Midheaven – enduring fame and artistic legacy. $$$ too.
  • Marina Abramovic – Saturn/Pluto in Leo trine her Sagittarius Sun trine her Aries Midheaven – another Grand Fire Trine artist.
  • Ed Ruscha – Saturn opposite Neptune in Virgo.
  • Richard Prince – more of a Uranian – Neptune in Libra square Mars/Uranus in Cancer.
  • Sophie Calle – Saturn/Neptune in Libra square Uranus in Cancer.
  • Louise Bourgeois – Neptune opposite Uranus/Lilith in Cancer.

My feeling is that the successful artists and the ones whose work resonates need a bit of Saturn and Neptune/Uranus.

Thoughts?

Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons

 

 

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Jupiter56
Jupiter56

I’ve noticed that influential musicians with a cutting edge flavour often have this influence – these have tight conjunctions – Laurie Anderson, Brian Eno Saturn/Pluto. Dave Gilmour Saturn/Mars Ian Anderson Saturn/Sun .

davidl
davidl

Laurie Anderson, Brian Eno … swooooonnnn.
Have to look up the work Laurie Anderson did with Peter Gabriel in the early 80s ? Or am I just wet dreaming ?

davidl
davidl
firecow
firecow

This is so interesting, Taurus sun, Aries rising, Mars conjunct Saturn in cancer, 5th house. I identify with Saturn and Mars as my creative muses, not Neptune (drugs and disillusioned dysfunctionality are dull and I like to be grounded, unsurprisingly). I am a 4am writer, studying writing at uni and mum, wife and teachers side…and love schedules and lists in order to fit everything i want to do in. Hate wasted time πŸ™‚

aquasunrise
aquasunrise

I was born into art, now I move away from it, at least I seem to be drawn into other areas of life. I used to live art, but I feel this is essentially in everyone now; its not the sole domain of artists or gallery people, its wonderful for people who need healing. In the past others regarded me as an artist, libra south node 2nd in almost exact trine to sun 6th. My parents met at art school, one was admitted by merit, the other through an elite network, prestigious contact. They parted not long after I was… Read more »

davidl
davidl

After reading that I feel like I know you x like you were drawing yourself in front of my eyes. So nice to meet you. πŸ™‚

aquasunrise
aquasunrise

Thanks. I am having a hell of a transit since end last year. I met a healer (shamanic and orthodox) who radically changed me for better or worse. Potent themes like last time saturn leaving scorpio. It is now direct / on natal neptune 3rd house, so I’ll be hopefully studying post grad 2016. Pluto is degrees away from my venus 5th. Uranus is transiting 8th (almost on north node) sextile sun 6th, hence interests in healing, therapy, sex. South node libra is still important, the art is always there. Children and older people altered my view considerably, and I… Read more »

davidl
davidl

I had Saturn conj Neptune in my 5th last year. It turned out very different from my expectations . I thought Saturn would sort of crush my Neptune fun but he accommodated it and showed me a balance there that I hadn’t experienced before. Now for Saturn conj my Jupiter in sag in the 6th.
Also just starting Uranus and Eris conj Aries sun in my 10th. I’m hoping this means I can unleash my crazy and get paid for it.
Eris ? Hmmmm I could become the bitch of wall street πŸ™‚

aquasunrise
aquasunrise

Agree, was most sceptical of saturn over neptune; today another art therapy workshop, this time for post graduate study – hopefully. Everything / experiential here is emphasized, via specific creative path / choice…We had many people in a group participating in movement activities designed to elicit, test trust. It was wonderful. Saturn over jupiter, that is belief, philosophically oriented; tests in this regard, but it sounds as though it will trine any aries in the 10th, or any leo, so it should yield benefits with peers in the 10th, but you will be taping into intuitive networks for those opportunities,… Read more »

hdq
hdq

I can see different types of art with different astro signatures. For example: One of my best friends is an artist. Plein air, impressionistic, Cezanne tops her list. She has a Jupiter-Neptune yod topped by Saturn in the 11th, a 5th house cap moon, Leo rising, and a Scorp sun. Killer work ethic — she paints every single day and has the schools and shows and portfolio to show for it. We looked at the charts of a lot of her favorite artists and found a Leo-scorp-cap dominance in all of them. Saturn likes mastery of technique, precision, mathematical rigor,… Read more »

gemyogi
gemyogi

So I only recently started calling myself an artist (3 years) ago and I have Saturn in Pisces 11th house, square Moon and Mercury in Taurus. Saturn trines my Kataka Venus, 3rd house.

Uranus (11 deg) Pluto (6 deg) in 5th virgo, Uranus squaring moon and mercury and trining Jupiter. Pluto squaring my Gemini Sun in 2nd.

Neptune in Scorpio 7th house, opposite Mars and Jupiter in Taurus. Confusing! will have to do more research.

dizzarina
dizzarina

Ha- I have that selfsame yod! With Saturn in the 10th conj Midheaven. Have yet to get my head around it.

Glad you couldn’t stay away. πŸ™‚

supakali
supakali

<3 you πŸ™‚

I haven't been able to stop thinking of Rothko for weeks! NN transiting his Libra Sun?

vikingwoman
vikingwoman

I like this perspective. It makes a lot more sense to me than Neptune placement actually. Saturn is my chart ruler and my natal Saturn is in Pisces. As a young dancer I knew artistry is work…daily work and daily discipline. Also Saturn is limits..art sometimes is what you work with…within limits. Like what Mary Pickford remarked about sound films…”it would make more sense if it went the other way around”…because in her opinion (and mine) it’s what you remove. Debussy said that music is what is between the notes. I have Neptune in Scorpio in the 10th. Let’s just… Read more »

davidl
davidl

I live with an artist and she is definitely not of saturnine nature. Much more sag Neptune and kataka, so to her art is a more spiritual experience that is channelled than a craft that is hewn by long hours and strict protocols. Thank god. To me the saturnine troubled artist thing is so annoying. Art ? Good art ? So subjective, I reckon the most important skill to have these days for an artist is chutzpah and PR skills. Thats the difference between a piece that costs $1000 and one that’s $50,000.

davidl
davidl

Maybe the saturnine image was for the wealthy Caps that had the $s and appreciated all that discipline and detail ?

gemyogi
gemyogi

I agree about the PR skills. I think the more self promoting aka Warhol you can be the more chance your art will be taken seriously, taken up, etc. Having a compelling or charming personality helps as well, as does having art establishment mentors/friends. Tracey Emin is compelling for her bad girl tortured artist persona and deeply personal, confessional work.

gemyogi
gemyogi

plus, as in most fields, to become super successful, you need the luck of ‘being in the right place at the right time’

Lux Interior Is My Co-Pilot
Lux Interior Is My Co-Pilot

Well Art=hard work, and practice practice practice so this makes sense. I think I need to study my astrohacks a bit more though, need to really wrap my head a round Saturn.

catfish moon
catfish moon

I have saturn conjunct my sun. I am creative, but not really artistic. Might be my strong mercury in gemini in the 10th that leaned me more towards writing. I also have sewn, landscape,played musical instruments, sang.

AquaMeg
AquaMeg

Thank you, Mystic. This was the exact post I needed to read, since I’ve been frustrated for YEARS that I’m not a working writer and have had to resort to day-jobs for steady cash. Ugh, it’s the most frustrating thing being slightly off to the side of the path I’m supposed to be on. I’ve been working recently on my writing self-discipline, and until I read this post, I hadn’t connected all the dots of being a working creative writer/artist. (I certainly feel like an artist, not a craftsman). I have a heavy 5th house Mars-Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Libra trine… Read more »

sphinx
sphinx

Have you had a chart done by MM? She pointed out some reasons for my professional leanings and it really helped me!
Saturn trine the MC/Sun sounds totally amazing for any career!

sphinx
sphinx

Though I do recall Mercury being a powerful influence in a writer’s chart. Where is your Mercury/how aspected?

Laura
Laura

Sun in libra here, conjunct the MC, Uranus (Lib) and Pluto (late Virgo), Pluto trine Saturn in Taurus in the fifth, and sextile Neptune in late Scorpio in the twelfth (currently being shat upon by transiting Saturn). Neptune opp Saturn and square NN in Pis. It’s taken me yeeeeeears but I’m finally finding the balance between the Neptune/Saturn/Pluto/Uranus thing.

Charles
Charles

I don’t think I can buy into this Saturn artist’s thing. But then, I have Saturn in the 5th house in Sag, so who knows, maybe it works. But I don’t think this Born Under Saturn concept is workable. I spent some time trying to locate some excerpts from the book, the best one is at this link: http://tinyurl.com/qy38kk3 The site also has other summaries and excerpts, you can find them by going to the home page and searching for “Wittkower.” I don’t see any evidence that the Wittkowers have any actual knowledge of astrology, and there is some evidence… Read more »

Pi
Pi

Hmm .
It could also be argued that artists (to generalise) also have to apply a lot of Saturn in getting their work done, and also in grokking (yes, ok) where to cut, exclude, focus, what to leave out… That sort of thing. Saturn as Work Ethic and chief auditor. And also knowing how to make $50 last for a week, hahaha

Charles
Charles

I looked at some other opinions on astrological significators of a career in the arts. Of course there are plenty of talented amateur artists who may have been brilliant, but never had a career in the arts. And I think that essay goes a little too far the other way, mythologizing the great Masters like Leonardo and Raphael. And on checking, oh no, I put the wrong link, here is the important excerpt I meant to post: http://tinyurl.com/nswemj7 Read that one instead. Anyway.. art historians refer to the work of these great artists as “the canon” and their canonization tends… Read more »

hdq
hdq

I think you’ve hit a lot of nails on the head here. Let’s hope there weren’t too many art historians dancing on them. 😯

My 5th house Pluto disagrees with your 5th house Saturn though. Pluto says to channel the gods is NOT enough. The artist must ALWAYS be a Titan. All or nothing. Which is why I currently do nothing. :/ Saturn probably wins that argument actually.

Pi
Pi

Thanks for adding to this, I might be alone in the universe on this one but pre-20th century art tends to leave me a little…bored? I mean I know one thing must follow another and there is of course Michelangelo, but I live for the avant garde and/or contemporary stuff more than anything. As soon as I see ‘master’ this or ‘hero’ that I instantly get a case of the yawns.. This obsession people have with person x or y. The Prometheus thing, i don’t understand why people see it like this. Nobody holds the keys to the universe and… Read more »

gemyogi
gemyogi

Agree Pi. I prefer modern (20th-21c) art to the renaissance stuff. Probably because we’re living now and modern artist resonate more for us?

Also, *most* art history theory is about male artists, which really gives me the sh*ts πŸ˜€

AKAPluto
AKAPluto

The Saturn thing makes total sense to me. Most of the “tortured” artists I know have a strong Neptune/12th/Pisces signature along with a stron Saturn/10th/Capricorn signature. What says torture more than knowing in order to make heaven real you must submit to the earth? When you feel diffused into life itself but must sit yourself down day after day and keep yourself in “reality”? Of course, I see this more in a certain type of artist: the visionary type, to be specific. The more fiery, Leonine type has less trouble- they are creating more for the thrill and more for… Read more »

Pi
Pi

That’s an interesting analysis imho.
X

dizzarina
dizzarina

Very well observed, AKAPluto.

I have both (all?):
Moon conj Neptune
Saturn in 10th conj Venus straddling the MC
Leo rising/Mars in 5th Sag

I’ve been blessed with Gifts but that Saturn/MC makes for slow, slow progress.

Catcatcat
Catcatcat

I’m an artist. Here’s my ‘stuff’: Saturn in Libra in the 8th, trine my Pisces ascendant, squaring my Cap moon, conjunct Pluto. Sun in Scorp. Neptune conjunct the Midheaven. I do struggle with the ‘I vant to be alooone’ and then the, uh, resulting loneliness! I sometimes skip out on big groups, but then I want want want to find/be in them. (For awhile.) I’ll go seek my tribe, but then realize I just want one kinda cool artsy/challenging person to collaborate artistically or lustily with me. Heh. I used to fear Saturn, but as I just had an epic… Read more »

LunaGreen
LunaGreen

Saturn in Leo
-Trine Neptune in Sag
-Sextile Pluto in Libra (Ruler of my AC, Scorpio) Conjunct Sun in Libra
-Sq Uranus, Venus (conjunct AC) in Scorpio
-Sq Moon in Taurus @DC (conjunct Jupiter retro in Gemini)

Been a super-hermit craving/taking extra alone time for practice, conjuring sound & creativity; just like an athlete training for…something. Thank you Saturn transit in my 12th House, over my Mars, NN, Uranus, AC, Venus & into the 1st house now. Tomorrow I leave the city to get even MORE alone to hone a few techniqes & prep for the New Moon Eclipse & Saturn’s move into SAG!
(Musician/Writer person…)

annica
annica

So many great points in your article Mystic and so many interesting comments too. I wish I had something more to say than “me too” but yeah…me too!

ICPluto
ICPluto

I donΒ΄t have the “artistic signature” in my natal chart πŸ™ Saturn in Taurus conjunct Venus/Mercury 11th house. I invest in art though. It so happens I live in a loft in an artistic neighborhood that allows me regular visits to open studios.

Oh well, at least I used to wake up at 5am in the dead of winter to go to the swimming pool.

Catcatcat
Catcatcat

Sound pretty artsy to me. I don’t know if there’s one ‘signature’ set of planets that makes one an artist.

I am awe of your getting up at 5am to go swimming! Gimme some of that, please. πŸ™‚

Pi
Pi

Dude it’s not like any expressive capacity you have is revoked just because of some aspects that may or may not be present. Mind you, Saturn in toro does seem to gel with art investment πŸ™‚ and if Venus merc in 11th house doesn’t allow for living in an artist-laden area .. πŸ™‚
And artists still need people to buy their stuff, in one way or another. It takes all sorts. πŸ˜‰

Pi
Pi

Buy, notice, write and talk about, support, go see, photograph, …

LiberatingVenus
LiberatingVenus

Anecdotally, I have actually observed that a shit-ton of artists I know are born under a Sagittarius Sun – when I mention this correlation, people seem to scratch their heads, LOL. But it makes complete sense if we look at the Sun as the driving force to create…in Sagittarius this would be abundantly so since the underlying Jupiter rulership is all about expansion. I have known a few Saggos in my day who are almost like Leos on steroids, LOL, – the magnification of the Solar principle is *that* amped up! On a personal note, I have some degree of… Read more »

Invicta
Invicta

Yeah, Twyla Tharpe would fit the Saturnine artist archetype too!
I love Sophie Calle and Tracy Emin too!

Houdini
Houdini

Twyla Tharp has also written a great book with practical advice about the creative process. Haute Saturn. Highly recommended. http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0743235274/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=&sr=

dizzarina
dizzarina

Yes, I second this! Wonderful, constructive, inspiring book.

Charley
Charley

Makes sense. Being an artist and a successful one requires huge amounts of self discipline, structure and routine.

Scorpio_Rising
Scorpio_Rising

yes, it does!

Houdini
Houdini

A question regarding chart interpretation. If you break down the aspects, doesn’t the majority of people have something between Saturn and something else? A trine, a square a conjunction?… And if you add asteroids and angles you cannot NOT have a bunch of aspects. And if it’s not Saturn it will be Neptune, if it’s not Neptune it will be Uranus etc… Ehat is the guiding principle regarding what aspect matters?

PlutonicUranian
PlutonicUranian

I’ll give this a try – Most people have rich charts, agreed. Regarding aspects, traditional casters ranked importance as follows: conjunction, opposition, square, trine, sextile, inconjunct. Regarding houses, the cadent houses ranked first – 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th. So, you may say that first-house conjunctions would be of premier importance to the native. Regarding planets, I use dignities to weigh individual influence, and disposition to further rank. As you start to layer-in complexity, your awareness (or intuition) increases. Practice is required. Study the rules of the ancients to start – they will push you in the right direction, more times… Read more »

PlutonicUranian
PlutonicUranian

…and I should add, that your question is as ancient as the art itself so, in asking, you join the ranks of initiates throughout the ages, and past masters have left legacies of simple, well-ordered texts to enlighten and guide you, and you are blessed in your quest for truth.

Houdini
Houdini

Thank you, PlutonicUranian.

baristagem
baristagem

😯

I gravitate towards anything creative, writing, drawing & music, not because I’m any good at it, I’m seriously not. Yet there’s always been a determination to go through the process, a sense of tenacity that comes with it.

Pisces Rising w Saturn conjunct Mars in Virgo 6th

Pi
Pi

Louise bourgeois though, that astro signature makes a lot of sense given her work.

dizzarina
dizzarina

Oh totally- nice catch.

toroloco
toroloco

I have Sun-Saturn trine in Toro/Cap and a loose Nept-Uranus conj in Cap. I always did wonder why I felt more accomplished when my poetry & fiction were chosen to be published by credible organizations as opposed to feeling like a “sell-out.” Getting paid for my creative writing had been what I expected once upon a time. I think I understand the Renaissance artists in the regard now… This book will go on my must-skim list for sure!

Pi
Pi

Sweet. Pisces Sun with Capricorn moon and Saturn in Leo. Uranus in 5th house square Saturn exact. Saturn, Neptune, MC in grand fire trine.
*awaits showers of cash*

Pi
Pi

I fuqing hate isolation btw. Artist as troubled loner is not a meme that I identify with. Fwiw

Pi
Pi

Hate but can’t avoid. That is.

Chrysalis
Chrysalis

LOL I await mine too! I have Jupe in Taurus conj midheaven.. Saturn-Sun conj in Pisces opp Uranus-Pluto-Mars in Virgo.

I must be like the lazier and less talented second cousin twice removed of Damien Hirst and Andy Warhol. I can’t even play Pictionary FFS. Perhaps my fifteen minutes is already up πŸ™‚

Pi
Pi

I had the idea that you were a music person. Is that right? X

Charles
Charles

Painters paint. Proper painters paint pleasing pictures. Poor patronage, philistines plague painters. Paint, Painter, paint!

Electro
Electro

Perfect!

bull with sting in tail
bull with sting in tail

Tick.

bull with sting in tail
bull with sting in tail

Nazi in a blue tie ( surely I can say it if my Prime Minister can say it ) Security and jobs, security and jobs Avoiding the mobs and saluting Steve Jobs Fiscal position patter is cerebral emission , rather A rechtus rictus, verbal rhetorical concrete Strutting effete, punctilious party-line blather Look at me ma ! Ive come so far, living amongst the blessed A Corman choral of rehearsed diversion A Hockey stick graph of acute perversion I know all Abbott your ambition I will not Pyne for your position Yes, we know all Abetz it There will be no… Read more »

Charles
Charles

Perfectionist poets painstakingly prune prose.

Sincerely,
Saturn.

Aqua-cap-Gemini
Aqua-cap-Gemini

Saturn in 9th, Virgo 26Β°

Trine Sun – 1st house Aqua 5Β°
Trine Moon – 5th house Gem 3Β°
Trine ASC – 12th House Cap 27Β°
Sesquiquadrate Chrion – 4th house Taurus 9Β°
Sesquiquadrate Mercury – 1st House Aqua 9Β°
Square Neptune – 11th House Sag 21Β°
Sextile Uranus – 11th house Scorp 25Β°

Pluto conjunct MC – 10th house Libra and Square ASC

I like to think I’m a creative. Isolation / Alienation – it’s a natural state of being for me. Feels more comfortable that way. Easier to catch the crazy and smear it across the blank pages.

Mystic Medusa
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