What Time Was Orson Welles Born?

I’ve long been fascinated by actor/director Orson Welles. Right now, I’m reading a wonderful biography of him published in 1995, Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu, by Simon Callow.

Like many epicurians, Welles was born under the sign of Taurus, the same sign as William Randolph Hearst, the media mogul who was the inspiration for Welles’ epic film Citizen Kane.

Here’s what’s interesting. Many astrology Web sites, including Astrotheme of France, show Welles being born at 7 a.m. on May 6, 1915 in Kenosha, Wis.

That’s not the time that Callow reports. According to the Welles biographer, journalists were constantly asking to see Welles’ birth certificate because they wanted to prove that he was 5 to 10 years older than the wunderkind said he was.

Says Callow: “His mother later told him that because it was six o’clock in the morning — the time Kenosha’s many factories started work — whistles and bells had all started blowing at once, as if to herald him; a perfectly appropriate beginning, since most of the rest of his life was accompanied by fanfares of one sort or another.”

This reminds me of inventor Nikola Tesla, who was reportedly born at midnight as lightning struck outside.

My goal in writing this post is to point out that the time of birth floating around the blogosphere for Welles is most likely wrong. I intend to write more about the prodigy, who had a creative Venus/Mars conjunction in pioneering Aries, after I finish the book and complete my research into Welles’ Depression-era production of The Cradle Will Rock.

Like another O.W. (Oscar Wilde), Welles was born with a conjunction between revolutionary Uranus and the public-oriented North Node.

Wilde had Moon square his Uranus/Node conjunction; Welles had the Moon in the middle of his Uranus/Node combo. According to Reinhold Ebertin’s The Combination of Stellar Influences, this picture results in “an excitable disposition in the presence of other persons.”

Here’s a natal chart for Welles with a 6 a.m. time of birth, courtesy of Astrodienst.

Of course, reading a biography is not as foolproof as seeing a birth certificate for Welles. But back in those days birth times were often not recorded. As I like to point out, biographies are a treasure trove of data for the astrological student.

I’ve got one word for you: Rosebud.

Geena Davis Will Play Sarah Palin in the Movie

Somebody else in the blogosphere may have noticed this resemblance, but after watching Sarah Palin’s speech last night at the Republican National Convention, it suddenly dawned on me who she reminded me of.

No, not Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality, as suggested by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. No, not Saturday Night Live’s Tina Fey, as noted by StarIQ’s Michael WolfStar.

I think Sarah Palin is a dead ringer for fellow Aquarian Geena Davis, who played Mackenzie Allen, the first female President of the U.S., in the short-lived ABC TV series Commander in Chief, which ran during the 2005-06 season. According to the Wiki, Allen becomes commander-in-chief after her boss dies in office from a sudden cerebral aneurysm. Are you listening, John McCain?

Born on Jan. 21, 1956, Davis is nearly a decade older than McCain’s vice-presidential pick Palin, but is surprisingly youthful. What they both share is a toothy grin, a no-nonsense manner, and a square between an Aquarian Sun and Neptune in Scorpio (nearly exact in the case of Davis.)

You can look at Davis’ chart here.

Commander in Chief started off on a high note, and was the No. 1 rated TV show on Tuesday nights until it got knocked from the top spot by American Idol, according to the Wiki. After last night’s triumphant speech by Palin, Davis should get her agent on the phone to Disney, which owns ABC, and try to revive Commander in Chief.

But maybe life will imitate art and Palin will lose steam the way that Commander in Chief did. As numerous commentators have pointed out, Palin’s got transiting Neptune on her Aquarius stellium of Sun/Mars/Saturn, so her dreams could dissolve.

I’ve seen some provocative photos of Palin on the Net, including one where she’s wearing a tight T-shirt that says, “I may be broke, but I’m not flat busted.” This particular snapshot is being disseminated by a leftie friend of mine. For some reason, many liberals have decided that women are cheating in the battle of the sexes if they flaunt their femininity.

I’m amazed that the Madonna/whore schism is still alive and well in this country. I’ve got Moon quincunx Venus in my chart so reconciling the many faces of Eve is part of my life’s work.

With all my Sag, I can laugh at bawdy T-shirts, but I wonder whether there aren’t some racier pics or videos of the former beauty pageant contestant floating around since her natal Neptune (film) in Scorpio (sex) squares her Aquarius (Internet, collective) stellium. Still, French First Lady Carla Bruni has that issue and it hasn’t hurt her popularity.

Sarah Palin has brains, beauty, and brawn (she was nicknamed “Sarah Barracuda” for her aggressive basketball moves in high school), and she’s not afraid to use all three to get what she wants. What’s wrong with that?

I don’t share her views that abortion shouldn’t be permitted even in cases of rape and incest and that creationism should be taught in public school but not sex education. In my view, all of these beliefs surrender feminine power to a patriarchal father figure, which is consistent with Palin’s Jupiter in Aries.

This is the same aspect, incidentally, that prompted Palin to declare that U.S. troops are in Iraq on a “task that is from God.” Funny, that’s the rationale that Islamic terrorists use for their jihad against the U.S. Isn’t it great that God is on everyone’s side?

Whatever surfaces about Palin’s past, we must keep in mind that her Sun/Mars/Saturn triple conjunction in Aquarius falls on the U.S. Moon. She’s going to force us to examine our stereotypes about the role of women and highlight the contradictory beliefs about female sexuality held by conservatives and liberals alike.

What we saw last night in Palin’s speech emphasizing small-town roots and family values is the presence of her North Node at 10 degrees of Cancer on the U.S. Sun. Her message resonated with the American people.

Like the audience at the feel-good film Juno a couple of years ago, we want everything to turn out O.K. for Bristol Palin, Sarah’s 17-year-old daughter who is five months pregnant. Let’s hope Bristol gets a happy ending the way the teenage mom did in Juno.

As Maureen Dowd and others have noted, Sarah Palin is a modern-day Cinderella — a hockey mom active in the PTA who ends up as the GOP’s vice-presidential candidate. What’s not to love? I can hear my husband in the background doing his imitation of Bill Murray in Caddy Shack: “It’s a Cinderella story…”

As an astrologer and a follower of Carl Jung, I revel in mythology, symbolism, and Hollywood plots. Life does imitate art and vice versa. That’s why Frank Rich’s pedigree as a theater critic makes him such an insightful political columnist for The New York Times.

But we must not get so wrapped up in the story line that we lose sight of the 299 million extras in this larger-than-life drama — the man struggling to find work after his factory job got outsourced to China, the seniors forced to choose between paying for expensive medications or heating the house this winter, and the single mom who is raiding the piggybank to buy school supplies for her son.

We can’t afford to leave them on the cutting room floor.