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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Mark Twain's Astrological Chart: Haley's Comet

Haley's comet passed across the November skies in 1835, the same month Mark Twain was born--and it was his greatest wish--and proclaimed vow--that he would "go out" with the passing of that comet some 75 years later. And he did. Twain died on April 21, 1910 as Haley passed across the heavens once again. Twain had another wish too--that his autobiography would come out exactly 100 years after his death--as per his instructions--on this November 2010. And so Twain, like Carl Jung and the publication of Jung's Red Book, will be in the news again and we'll be able to read the inner thoughts of another man of integrity.

After watching Ken Burn's poignant documentary on the life of Mark Twain, I was astounded at the depth of Twain's character. Here was an author, satirist, humorist, and great humanitarian who suffered such tragedy in his life--a massive bankruptcy, public shame, and the early death of his daughter--and yet who vowed not only to pay back every penny of his his debt in bankruptcy by doing ten years of grueling hard work, but who also had the audacity to tell "the gods" that his greatest wish was to die with the passing of Haley's comet, and "the gods" obliged.

I don't intend to tell his story here, but just to point out some points of astrologiucal significance. Born with his Sun in Sagittarius, he had the natural story telling ability, ego strength and optimism that is characteristic of that sign. His Moon, in Aries, reflects his emotional courage, passionate and entrepenurial character. Yet that Moon was conjunct Pluto, God of the Underworld, and Twain suffered not only personal deaths and rebirths, but the early deaths of those closest to him. He expressed the suffering of slavery, of humanity's cruelty to each other, and he dared to rage against "God himself." And yet he did it as one of us--not with a finger of blame, but instead by "smiling through the sorrow" with his characteristic good will towards all.

How did he do it? With grit and force of character--astrologers see this in his chart with Scorpio rising as well as his South Node in Scorpio in the first house--and his great summons to his live into his North Node in Taurus in the Seventh house of marriage, and intimate one on one relationships---all of which grounded him in a reality that allowed him to endure and be creative. In the polarity between these Nodes we see the balance and challenge of the Scorpio and Taurus Nodes--the tension between the Scorpionic drama of life with its capacity to overwhelm and the Taurus rootedness in loyalty, steadfastness, and the good things of this earth.

Of course, he overdid it all--as a a Sag with an Aries Moon might do, but he lived to tell about it, and now with Ken Burn's documentary and his upcoming autobiography, we get to see the story of death and rebirth profoundly expressed in the life of a man with so much integrity that even "God himself" honored him with his last wish. (c) Elizabeth Spring


  1. Reading your wonderful piece on Mark Twain, he's someone I really look up to for his 'out of place out of time' ways, esp his ideals towards slavery, women & the fair treatment of all. He was someone I am sure I would have loved to have known and seeing his Sagi spirit with Moon conj Pluto and NN in the 7th we share very similar patterns as above!

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