Swank as Earhart
In honor of the new Hilary Swank biopic on Amelia Earhart (and the controversy surrounding its star, who has recently been criticized for sleeping nude and allowing her boyfriend’s young son to see her this way), let’s look at the chart of the pioneering aviatrix and of her rival, another female pilot who could’ve easily outshone Amelia, if not for the efforts of Earhart’s husband–more on that later; first, we’ll peek at Swank’s chart, and see if there’s anything in the natal chart that might indicate the chance of winning two Oscars before age 29, as well as the affinity for sleeping naked. We have no time of birth, but we do have a date and place for Swank (30 July 1974 No Time Known Lincoln NE USA). Without angles we’re frustrated in connecting energies to the public image, but we are able to see the Leo Sun trine Sag Neptune, a creative and extremely outgoing Soul urge; add the Moon and Pallas each at 29 degrees (Sag and Cap, respectively) and we have the emotional necessity to express the skills–this really is the signature of someone who in just being alive will be compelled to express express express the creative and imaginative nature–and it’s the kind of energy that draws the attention (and admiration, via the skills) of others–and their projections, as well, through the strong Neptune/ Sun contact–really perfect for a performer. No angles takes away a main timing element, but we do notice that the natal Saturn, Mercury, Venus conjunction did, by Solar Arc, contact the Sun at the ages of 18 (Mercury), 25 (Saturn–the year of her win for ‘Boys Don’t Cry’–see? Saturn brings good things to those who work hard!) and 26 (Venus–the point when the paycheck likely soared), so it’s not hard to image major accolades coming in early adulthood to this Leo lady. As to the stir over sleeping habits, Hilary’s Vesta/ Uranus conjunction says that the individuality and uniqueness (as well as the urge to be different) of the Self is sacred to her, and the exact Chiron/ Uranus opposition suggests that the expression of one’s freedom could be a way of refusing to succumb to wounds to the Self-esteem or fears (and that there’s not an ounce of lasciviousness in her penchant for nudity). Not at all a surprise, then, that this Leo should be chosen to portray another Leo, aviatrix Amelia Earhart (24 July 1897 11:30 PM Atchison KS USA) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amelia_earhart. Rather than concentrate on what every schoolchild already knows about ‘Lady Lindy,’ as she was called (after Charles Lindburgh, another ambitious pilot), I’d like to point out two lesser known facets of her life, the first being her involvement with nursing and social work.
Amelia trained as a nurse in response to the flu pandemic of 1918, and at her Saturn Return, after she’d already earned her pilot’s license and garnered a reputation as an aviator, she began work with Dennison House, a resource for disadvantaged families. We see this in the natal Saturn/ Uranus conjunction in the 7th (the need to do something concrete, progressive, socially relevant, for others); possibly, too, in the Moon/ Pluto conjunction in the 2nd, suggesting deep empathy out of personal experience, and the Grand Square of Sun/ Earth axis and Pallas/ Chiron opposition (this latter across the 12th/7th axis), showing a serious need both to show the skills for personal fullfillment and glory, and to heal wounds, both personal and of the Collective (in this instance, Chiron taking on transpersonal expression, attempting to alleviate some of the darker suffering of others–Scorpionic Chiron in the 7th).
Amelia on the wing, George on the ground
The other thing about Amelia we might not be aware of is that she wasn’t the only famous aviatrix of the time (notably Beryl Markham–read about her interesting life http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beryl_Markham and Bessie Coleman, about whom we’ll talk in a moment), but it may have seemed that way to many in the US, as Amelia’s marriage to George Putnam of Putnam publishing fame in 1931 put her firmly in the limelight–not because her exploits were more impressive than anyone else’s, but because Putnam not only published and promoted her book, ‘The Fun of It’ very successfully, he knew how to work that era’s publicity machine as few others did. The reality was that though others were known for feats just as exciting as Amelia’s at the time, we chiefly have her disappearance, while trying to complete an around the world flight with co-pilot Fred Noonan, as well as her husband’s tireless pre- and post-disappearance promotion, to thank for her status as legend.
The last radio contact with Earhart and Noonan occurred at 8:55 AM local time near Nukumanu Island on the way to Howland Island in the Central Pacific Ocean. If we look at the chart for the time of last contact as it relates to the natal chart, we don’t see a lot of bang-up contact, and to me this suggests that Earhart likely landed her plane on an atoll, rather than plummeting to her death in the ocean (and this is supported by the spotting of old wreckage by satellite in 2001). What we do see hints at some possibilities: the 29 degree Ascendant suggests that at this point, her fate was sealed–whatever was wrong had already cascaded into a determined course; natal chart ruler Venus in transit shows a semi-sextile to the natal Part of Fortune (dubbed the Part of Misfortune by Richard Houck, who found it involved often at points of fate determining events), square to Juno, and opposition to Saturn and Uranus, signalling a moment when the individual is challenged in many significant ways; T Neptune square N Ceres (with T Ceres and Juno at 00 degrees, calling for adaptablility to the ‘new’ vibe), suggesting perhaps that Earhart’s natural sense of earth and sky, so vital to a flyer, may have been confused, or that she may not have recognized a ‘natural’ problem of some kind; and the transiting Moon sextiled natal Pluto–an emotionally charged glimpse into the abyss, certainly echoing the natal situation (of the loaded 2nd House, containing Moon, Pluto, Ceres, Neptune, Venus, Part of Fortune). Another note on the natal chart: the Mars/ Jupiter conjunction in the 5th, endowing the individual with the romantic view of exploration and pioneering efforts, and connecting the ego and animus to these, with Jupiter ruling the 8th and 9th, bringing in the need to garner others’ support and to explore what’s ‘foreign’–certainly a signature for Earhart’s efforts as a flyer.
Bessie and her plane
Another female flyer, Bessie Coleman, gave Amelia a run for her money–if Amelia hadn’t been married to Putnam, it might have been Bessie who would be the stronger presence in the national consciousness–especially considering that Coleman was the first licensed Black pilot, male or female, in the world. ‘Queen Bess’ (26 January 1892 no time known Atlanta TX USA) was inspired by returning WWI pilots to take to the air–and when she couldn’t get anyone to teach her how to fly in the US, she went to Europe, where she studied with some of the best flyers in the world. Coleman performed around the country as a barnstormer, a flyer who astounds crowds with daring feats and acrobatics; she became a celebrity, known for her ability and willingness to perform the most difficult stunts. Unfortunately, Bessie didn’t live long enough to fulfill her dream, which was to establish a school for young people of color who wished to fly. It was in 1926, while up with her mechanic and publicity manager at the stick, that Bessie was thrown, unsecured, from the open cockpit to her death. A (literal) wrench in the gears caused the controls to jam and the plane to plow into the ground–and in many ways this rings true to the chart, where great talent and drive is shown as being challenged at every turn (the many squares).
We see Bessie’s spirit loud and clear in the natal chart. A Sag Moon shows the need to reach out, explore, and the willingness to go far to fulfill the emotional needs; Uranus forms a T-square with the Sun/ Earth axis, suggesting that dynamism of the individuality acted to energize (and also present challenges to) the Soul expression and identity and material situations; Vesta is quincunx Saturn–this struck me as an expression of the need, or even insistence, of ‘getting off the ground’–quite literally, in this case! The Nodes create a T-square with Pallas apex, implying that intelligence ran the destiny–but also presented plenty of challenges to moving forward successfully (such as through the desire to do something she at first was unable to find co-operation or support for); Sedna quincunx Uranus, epitomizing perhaps the form many problems took, but also an ‘engine’ that helped drive accomplishment, in that she may not have seen how her own rebelliousness to the system, individuality, innovative spirit, and intelligence served to both hinder and propel her accomplishments; Venus trine Uranus=treasuring the uniqueness of Self, something any groundbreaker needs; and I see bravery in the ‘chain reaction’ conjunction of Venus (at 7 Pisces), then successively Ceres, Jupiter, and finally Juno (at 22 Pisces)–this combo epitomizes a very strong, capable, and confident individual with both the ability to empower herself and an ultimate faith in the Universe (Pisces) that supports her independent path. Read about ‘Queen Bess’ here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bessie_Coleman and here www.bessiecoleman
Here’s an excellent update on Amelia’s status http://ameliaearhart.com/news/2009/10/earharts-final-resting-place-believed-found/, with thanks to Jude Cowell’s http://www.starsoverwashington.com/ for pointing the way