Sun in Scorpio: a time to examine the mysteries of life or a time to crack out the sexual innuendos and toilet humour?
Joking about Scorpio probably stems from the need to defend oneself against such dark and heavy themes. Not even the master of horror himself, Alfred Hitchcock, was immune to a bit of toilet humour.
To many horror movie fans, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is a film that stands out in their minds. The scene when poor Janet Leigh is innocently taking a shower only to be stabbed to death by an “old lady” whilst screeching music plays is surely one of the most iconic in cinematic history.
Alfred Hitchcock, the director of Psycho was not a Scorpio by Sun sign. But, as we shall see, the themes that run through his movies are very Scorpionic.
In the next day or so, both the Full Moon and transiting Uranus will make contacts to Hitchcock’s natal Moon/Jupiter conjunction. So it’s a great time to, um, resurrect a very Scorpio Tale.
This article is an amended extract from Growing Pains.
Although Hitchcock was a Leo by Sun sign, he also had Saturn in Sagittarius in trine aspect to his Sun.
Planets in fire signs tend to indicate spirited and energetic people–even when in aspect to Saturn. Saturn’s presence deepens the sense of responsibility and duty in the chart but doesn’t necessarily make it scary or perverse. Hitchcock even had Venus rising, which many astrologers might attribute to charm and grace.
So what could explain Hitchcock’s ability to scare the living crap out of us?
We’re looking in all the wrong places if we look at the solar placement.
To understand Hitchcock, we need to look at his dark side.
Pluto, the god of the Underworld and the modern* ruler of Scorpio, seems to be a good place to begin looking for answers. Added to this is Hitchcock’s Moon conjunct Jupiter in Scorpio and we may be on the way to finding some answers.
Hitchcock’s Pluto in Gemini opposes his Saturn in Sagittarius. Neither of these planets are connected to playfulness or lightheartedness. In fact, of the parthenon of ecliptic planets, these are the two you would least like to see in the shadows (or anywhere else).
Oppositions in a chart represent tension and conflict. The gloves are off. Now imagine the god of the Underworld and the god of Time (who ate his own children) duking it out.
It ain’t going to be pretty.
Yet both Saturn and Pluto are in aspect to Hitchcock’s Sun in Leo. There is something about this battle that Hitchcock would need to bring to the light.
Added to this is the conjunction of Jupiter and the Moon in Scorpio. Conjunctions are blends, like mixing two different colours of paints to get a third colour. Jupiter and the Moon should be a big dose of Mother energy–but in Scorpio it just can’t be the cuddly type. Both Jupiter and the Moon are in square aspect to Venus. Venus and the Moon represent the Feminine. Jupiter and Venus are benefics but when they’re in conflict, it’s all a bit like naked mud wrestling. With spikes and spurs.
However, squares are also productive. So imagine all the fighting going on with “I Will Survive” belting out on the loudspeakers.
Using archetypes, symbols and keywords are all very good to help build a framework but let’s see how it all plays out in reality.
Alfred described his childhood as lonely and sheltered. Remember that Moon (mother) and Jupiter conjunction.
Although Saturn in his situation did not inhibit growth (Alfred was obese from early childhood), it does not indicate a happy free-range adolescence. Once, his father sent him to the local police station with a note asking the constable to lock up Alfred as a punishment. One might say it was an abuse of power illustrating that Saturn-Pluto opposition. It also triggered an interest in crime and punishment that would have a long lasting effect.
His mother would make him stand at the foot of her bed as retribution. Notice here that mum is not going about doing the things an early 20th century mum might do. She is in bed, not cooking delicious food for her greedy, obese son but is depriving him of love and comfort as a punishment. How Alfred must have wanted to have the power to make her love him. Or maybe he would have liked the power to punish her.
Right on astrological cue, Alfred’s father died during his first Saturn opposition when transiting Saturn was conjunct his natal Pluto.
The sign of Scorpio does a great job of recycling.
By the time of his second Jupiter return in 1919, Alfred had begun to use these childhood experiences in his published writings. His early writing always had a twist at the end, a hallmark of his later films.
The short story “Fedora” was his final short story of this era. Written and published in 1921, it coincided with the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction of that year. Both planets were in square to his natal Neptune. The description of the main character was said to be an eerily accurate description of his wife — whom he hadn’t even met yet. It was also during this time that Alfred became interested in the medium of film.
In 1924, as Jupiter made a series of conjunctions to natal Saturn, Alfred moved to Germany where he was inspired by the techniques used in film-making. Just before his Saturn return, as transiting Saturn opposed his natal Mercury, Alfred found his first commercial success with The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog.
After a series of Jupiter oppositions to his natal Sun, Alfred married his wife Alma. She became known as the “woman behind the man” in her biography as she was his closest collaborator, but she was always keen to avoid public attention.
Alma was born only one day after her husband. Although the angles and the moons of their charts are different, many astrological factors, most notably Saturn and Jupiter, are identical. She understood Alfred like no-one else.
Alfred’s films, such as North by Northwest, The Birds, Frenzy, Notorious and, most famously, Psycho are known for featuring men who have troubled relationships with their mothers. With natal Jupiter conjunct the Moon in Scorpio perhaps it isn’t surprising the psychologies of the male leads in his movies had difficulties disentangling themselves from their mothers.
The troubled son theme appears to have started with the film Notorious, made just as Jupiter was conjunct Alfred’s natal Moon, features a man whose mother’s suspicions about his new bride turn out to be correct.
By the end of 1958, as Jupiter in Scorpio was again conjunct his natal Moon, Alfred was working on North by Northwest, a story about a man who is ridiculed by his mother because he is paranoid about being pursued by government agents.
In The Birds, a man struggles to cope with rampaging avians and a clingy mother as Jupiter squares his natal Moon in Scorpio, a transit that repeated when he filmed Frenzy (whose main character loves his mother but wants to kill all other women) in 1972.
So what makes Psycho so memorable? Alexandre Phillippe, who made a documentary on the impact of Psycho, said: “I think it’s this perfect storm of the stars converging and aligning in a way that every creative aspect of the scene is extraordinary, groundbreaking. . .” He went on to say the scenes often tackled taboos or break narrative norms. They stand on the edge of bad taste. They’re dealing with very primal subject matter – sex, hunger, death.
However, Psycho is the ultimate mother/son complex movie. During filming at the end of 1959, transiting Jupiter in Sagittarius was opposite Scorpio’s ruler, Pluto, in Gemini in Alfred’s chart. As the most famous scene, the iconic shower scene, was filmed 17-23 December 1959, the opposition was exact. Also active during this time was a Saturn square to natal Mars, co-ruler of the sign of Scorpio, in Libra.
Funnily enough, the scene that most upset the censors at the time was the sight of money being flushed down the toilet. Until Psycho, no-one had ever seen a toilet flushing at the cinema.
But not even the toilet humour of Scorpio can erase the terror of Psycho.
If you have the natal Sun in Scorpio, to appease your rather intense and frugal nature, I’m offering a 40% discount on all astrological services to the first 10 Scorpios who make an appointment. You can contact me via this website or via Skype (AstroAlex1984). This offer is only good while the Sun is in Scorpio (23 October 2018-22 November 2018).
I’ll be exploring the charts of Alfred Hitchcock and the actor who played him in Hitchcock, Anthony Hopkins. If you don’t want to miss out on this and other articles, please subscribe!
*Wouldn’t you know it? As soon as I posted this, my astro brother Samuel Reynolds comes out with a “Mars rules Scorpio” post! I suppose one could make an argument for Hitchcock’s Mars in Libra ruling his Jupiter/Moon conjunction in Scorpio. But I suppose I could also make an argument for Mars being in Virgo in the sidereal zodiac. I’d be interested in hearing your views in the comment section!