The Astrology of Bloomsday

Would the departed never nowhere nohow reappear? Ever he would wander, selfcompelled, to the extreme limit of his cometary orbit, beyond the fixed stars and variable suns and telescopic planets, astronomical waifs and strays, to the extreme boundary of space, passing from land to land, among peoples, amid events. — James Joyce, Ulysses

A literary friend reminded me that today, June 16, is Bloomsday, a celebration of James Joyce’s Ulysses and the novel’s protagonist Leopold Bloom. Bloomsday, according to the Wiki, is the anniversary of the day in 1904 when Joyce and his future wife Nora Barnacle had their first formal date, a walk to the Dublin village of Ringsend.

Bloomsday is a marathon of words, with Joyce aficionados reading from Ulysses for hours in locales around the world, including some of the places where Joyce and Barnacle actually stopped on their walk, like Davy Byrne’s pub in Dublin.

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, you can hear one of these readings taking place live tonight at Symphony Space in New York from 6:30 p.m. on. It’s the 27th celebration of Bloomsday on Broadway.

Here’s the link:

As an astrologer, I was curious what the chart of June 16, 1904, set for noon in Dublin, would look like. I don’t know what time Joyce and Barnacle made their celebrated trek; when the time of an event is unknown, astrologers set the chart for noon.

In any event, this chart has no less than five planets in the talk-talk-talk sign of Gemini, which are squared by group-oriented North Node in Virgo, which is rising. So this is a collective jabberfest, the chart says. The Gemini lineup is opposed by Uranus in the global sign of Sagittarius down near the IC, or bottom of the chart, so it’s interesting that Bloomsday tributes are held around the world.

Revolutionary Uranus could be seen to represent Joyce’s break with such niceties as punctuation and traditional sentence structure in Ulysses, which takes place during a single day in Dublin.

Bloomsday is at its heart a tribute to word play, a very Geminian concept. Here’s what Joyce had to say about Ulysses: “The pity is the public will demand and find a moral in my book — or worse they may take it in some more serious way, and on the honor of a gentleman, there is not one single serious line in it.” Remember that last line the next time you’re talking to a Gemini!

Given Bloom’s meditations on Molly’s sexual charms that infuse the stream-of-consciousness novel, it’s fitting that in our chart that Jupiter is found in the forthright sign of Aries and is located in the eighth house of sex and other mysteries. This chart, though it may be theoretical, is a surprisingly apt representation of what Bloomsday is today.

Here’s the link to the chart, courtesy of Astrodienst: