Another re-print from ECLIPSE, this time on the wildly original Spanish artist:
Born with Mercury retro, just after an Inferior Conjunction, Salvador Dalí (11 May 1904 8:45 AM Figueras Spain) spent his life as an innovative artist, so we might expect a prominent Neptune and Uranus, but the Merc retro natal point, at 23 Taurus 28 Rx, plays a big part as well. If Merc is our ability to communicate, Dali’s ability was shaped as a sense of anticipation. This is what we have in the post-Inferior Conjunction phase of the retrograde: a subliminal excitement, a shadowy coalescence of ideas and concepts, and we are willing to try things that are new and perhaps considered unusual for us—and somehow Dalí was able to translate this into his creative life, probably through the 29 degree Uranus in Sagittarius, a placement requiring expression of the individuality (and creating tension with the individuality!) perpetually.
Neptune is in the Whole Sign 1st, above the Ascendant, sextile Venus, trine Black Moon Lilith, and squared by the natal Aries Moon and Midheaven. He may have identified with being creative, but not entirely consciously. A great deal of his creative ‘fuel’ may have been women, relationships (he had many with both men and women, and met his wife Gala, 9 years older than he, when she and her husband, a poet, and daughter came to visit him—she remained when they went home). Dalí excels at delving into the material others avoided—as seen in his penchant for eyeballs, melting clocks, and the disturbing dreamscapes of his Art. The contact to Moon-MC is puzzling, until we consider that though the social sphere (Jupiter in the 10th in Aries) found him disruptive and odd (10th, ruler Mars conjunct Mercury—he was communicating), his parents, especially his mother (10th, Moon) encouraged his Self-indulgence and unusual creativity. This undoubtedly affected the emotional perceptions, with the Aries Moon emphasizing Self-Will as the way to feel emotionally nourished—and coupled with the MC, probably made him equate emotional satisfaction with fame and professional accomplishment.
Interesting to note that he was born 9 months and 10 days after the death of his older brother; given the same name and told he could never replace him, Dalí came to believe he literally was his brother’s replacement, his reincarnation. Mercury, the natural representative of siblings, is conjoined his Sun (in this case perhaps both suggesting the melding of identities and, as Merc is moving away from conjunction, the effort toward individuality and freedom). Merc rules his 3rd, representing his siblings, with Virgo there; it may have been the childhood criticism that made him who he was in a significant way—it certainly figured in his thinking.
His wife Gala may be key to so much here, in particular the extreme sexual nature, represented by Pluto opposed Ceres. This suggests his deepest sexual energy may have been at odds with what he considered ‘natural’, and yet Gala, an incredibly strong Mother Earth figure, came along and negotiated his own sexual nature with him—she was his Ceres, adjusting his sense of Self (Ceres quincunx the Sun) as well as becoming a foil for his passion (Ceres opp Pluto). Also interesting, this amazingly original and unique artist died in the period of his Uranus Return at the age of 84, at the point of a symbolic, and very real, completion of a cycle.
“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”– Salvador Dalí This from a man who wielded the most perfect brush strokes in his oil paintings I’ve ever seen.