The Importance of Being Oscar

I’ve been having a spirited e-mail exchange with a correspondent who wants to know why I’m so fond of Oscar Wilde. I usually have a quote from the playwright, who was a Libra, as my signature at the bottom of my e-mail and also have one in the About section of this Web site:

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Prodded by the question from my e-mail pal, I decided to investigate. Why I am I so partial to Oscar Wilde, the Irish man of letters who was imprisoned in Victorian times for “the love that dare not speak its name.” That phrase, by the way, is not Wilde’s; it was coined by Wilde’s lover Lord Alfred Douglas.

I love word play. I’m no literary lion, but I believe it’s the tension of opposites in many Wilde quotes that makes them sizzle. However, they can also appear contradictory or downright silly. No matter, I love them.

Here’s a Wilde sampler:

We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities.

The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.

Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.

The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.

There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.

What accounts for this sparkling wit? If you look at the natal chart for Wilde, born Oct. 16, 1854 in Ireland, you see a T-square in fixed signs. Mercury (communication) in Scorpio opposes Uranus (electricity) in Taurus, while both planets square the Moon (woman) in flamboyant Leo.

I think the Uranus/Mercury opposition reflects the dynamism of opposites in Wilde’s aphorisms.

Many of the witticisms for which Wilde is known were the lines of female characters in his plays. One of my favorites is from Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest when she is informed by Jack Worthing that he is an orphan: “To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”

Here’s one the economists always appreciate, also from The Importance of Being Earnest. When Miss Prism leaves Cecily to her studies, she tells her pupil: “The chapter on the fall of the rupee you may omit. It is somewhat too sensational.”

Because the North Node in Taurus is conjunct Uranus, Wilde’s quotes were a hit with the public (North Node).

At first I was suspicious that Wilde’s time of birth could be known, but a 3 a.m. time is used by many sources. That produces a Virgo rising that puts Neptune, the planet of deceit and illusion, on the descendant. Given that Wilde once said: “The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly, terribly deceived,” the chart seems to make sense.

I don’t have time to do a full treatment of Wilde’s life and I’m sure other astrologers have already done it, but now I know why I’m wild about Wilde.

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9 comments on “The Importance of Being Oscar

  1. Pingback: Astrology Around The Web » Blog Archive » The Importance of Being Oscar by Astrology Mundo

  2. Pingback: Conspirama

  3. I, too, am wild about Wilde, and enjoyed this. I might suggest that Uranus conjunct the North Node could also show his unique style and Beingness, as well as his forward-thinking life example. Also love the previous post with the Mayer quote. Thanks for some great blogging (your topics are always interesting!)

    Julie

  4. Julie — Thanks so much for writing. I’m a big fan of your blog as well. Your understanding of symbolism is amazing! — Monica

  5. Soon I am going to be “wild” as well about OW. Having a quiet day and always eager to learn, I drew OW’s chart. Well, Mercury “always playing a role in those cases” – especially here where it’s opposite Uranus – and then all the rest in OW’s chart, as you so well explained. I am developing unexpected sympathies for the guy.

    Incidentally, there are very intriguing transits occurring: Jupiter closes in on OW’s natal Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury (had to be) all just crossed his Venus in Libra (ruling ladies), and soon will touch his natal Sun.

    If it were not for a personal experience that I had some 15 years ago with another well-known artist, Alberto Giacometti, I could hardly have established this type of link. Let me explain: At that time I had a friend, an art critic and owner of a gallery in Frankfurt. That lady had a true knack for timing things right.

    On top of her intuition she accepted my help. I dug into Giacometti’s life, horoscope, and what have you. And, reconstructing now from memory, I saw that Giacometti (dead for about two decades then) had very strong and favorable planetary transits on his natal map. It was “all systems go.” The lady (incidentally her name was Monika) had a smashing success with her exhibition on A. Giacometti and I was pleased. We even received compliments from Giacometti’s heirs, conceivably not totally disinterested, but for sure sincere!

  6. Gian Paul — I’m going to have to put you on the “payroll” at Astrology Mundo because you are such a prolific commenter. Thanks for taking the time to look at Oscar Wilde’s chart. The story about Giacometti is quite interesting indeed. My former astrology teacher Eileen McCabe also says to look at outer planet transits to the chart of someone long dead who is suddenly famous again. I’m thinking of the Leonardo da Vinci craze from 2004 to 2006. (The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown was published in 2003, but picked up momentum after Uranus moved into Pisces in 2004.) I believe transiting Uranus was sextiling Leonardo’s natal Sun and conjuncting his natal Jupiter at the time, bringing him back to life as it were. — Monica

  7. Just saw that the Dow gave up what it had gained yesterday. So well. I did a slight injustice to Bernanke. Officially, it’s Paulson (listening to his pals at Morgan Stanley, where he possibly will retire after having so well served George Bush) who took such a courageous step as the one he took last Sunday. But you can “swear by Bernanke’s beard” that he at least condoned the move. After all, if history can be a guide to the future, the chairman of the Fed usually outlives presidents. It’s all part of the show. (Think that Jacques Rueff now would agree with me…) Until next time, GP

  8. Pingback: Reverend Wright Redux « Astrology Mundo

  9. Hi there

    I only recently decided to look at Oscar Wildes star sign to see if it could cast any new light on him and I have to say it s quite revealing, your post captures a lot of Oscar Wildes traits, personality and conflicts.

    I have been exploring lately his life as an outsider, i.e as a Protestant in catholic Ireland , as an Irishman in England, as a bisexual / homosexual in a straight world . Now I have another Oscar as a libra!!

    I am admin of the http://www.oscarwildefanclub.com and I was wondering if you would like to do a guest blog for the site exploring this angle, it would make a great log post

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts

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