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.

In Praise of Reinhold Ebertin

I’m in tizzy! I can’t find my trusty copy of Reinhold Ebertin’s The Combination of Stellar Influences. As readers of this column know, I can’t live without this book. I had it out recently when I was doing my BlogTalkRadio broadcast with Pamela Cucinell of AstroChatter, and now it’s gone missing.

I’m hoping it will turn up when Mercury goes retrograde later this month. I know the minute I order it from Amazon.com, I’ll find it. I guess I could give the new copy away as a present.

Labor Day weekend was an emptying of armoires, closets, and drawers and the transfer of seasonal clothing in anticipation of cooler weather. Maybe COSI, as fans call it for short, is stuck in a box of my husband’s golf shorts.

With all the clothes flying around the house, I didn’t keep up with my favorite astrology blogs going into Labor Day weekend. I missed a very important post on my hero over at Chirotic.

I’m linking to the post on “cosmobiologist” Reinhold Ebertin here. This is a dense post, but one well worth reading. Wait until you have a few minutes of quiet time to study it.

Readers and fellow bloggers who have noticed that my links have more words in them: The word has come down at my day job that if you link to someone’s site using the word “here,” the subject matter doesn’t get credited properly in Google’s search machines. We bloggers who love to link are racking up millions and millions of instances of the word “here.”

The Brangelina Twins’ Birth Charts

There’s lots of conflicting information about the birth times of the twins born to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie July 12 in Nice, France. One gossip site says one twin was born at 6:45 p.m. and the other at 7 p.m. However, this story says two girls were born, when in fact the twins were a girl and a boy: Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt and Knox Leon Jolie-Pitt.

People’s Web site has come forward with a 6:27 p.m. time for Knox, which it’s backing up with a picture of the birth certificate presented by the mayor of Nice, France. I’m going to go with that for now. People is saying Vivienne was born a minute or so later, so I’ve got her at 6:28 p.m. Here’s that link.

Even Gawker seems to have fallen prey to the twin girls story. Ah, news in the age of the Internet: Get your story first, check your facts later. And, of course, that’s exactly what I’m doing. Thank heavens for Astrodienst. A couple of clicks and I can have a new chart in no time, if need be.

Here’s the link to Knox’s chart, courtesy of Astrodienst.

Here’s Vivienne.

The charts have a nice grand water trine between Sun in Cancer, Moon in Scorpio, and Uranus in Pisces. Even though the combination of these planets suggests “shared upsets” and “separation of the partners,” according to Reinhold Ebertin’s The Combination of Stellar Influences, a beneficial trine should help ease the pain.

The Sagittarius rising and Pluto in Sag could indicate the media frenzy that surrounded the birth of the twins, not to mention the nomadic, global lifestyle they are likely to have. Although their parents are American movie stars, the twins were born in France and will most likely spend a lot of time outside the U.S.

With expansive Jupiter as the ruler of both charts, Knox and Vivienne will be spiritual searchers. The Great Expander is in the earth sign of Capricorn so I don’t think material resources will be a concern, though with Neptune conjunct Node in the second house, it may be hard for them to hold on to money. The ethereal quality of their lives is emphasized by the Moon/Node square, which Ebertin says is “a spiritual link or unon with others.”

The Sun (male energy) in Cancer could symbolize Brad Pitt’s caretaking role of the children and/or the publicity that Angelina Jolie has gotten for motherhood.

On a less happy note, Mars (energy) is conjunct Saturn (restriction) in Virgo, which rules health. I wonder if there will be health problems or educational obstacles for the twins, since the conjunction is in the ninth house of higher education.

Elián González Lives!

Cuba’s Elián González already had his 15 minutes of fame, but he’s back in the news today.

You may recall that Elián was rescued off the coast of Florida in late November, 1999, went to live with relatives in Miami, and then was “rescued” by U.S. immigration officials and ultimately returned to his homeland in mid-2000 at the age of 6 after a lengthy legal battle.

Today, Elián is back in the news because he’s joined Cuba’s Young Communist Union. Here’s the link to the story: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080616/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/cuba_elian_gonzalez

Elián was born Dec. 6, 1993, in Cardenas, Cuba. The time of birth is unknown.
Here’s the link to the AstroDataBank chart, and comments from the period when he was front-page news:


Elián has a stellium, or group of planets, in Sagittarius. Right now, the Moon in Gemini is opposing his natal Sun, while transiting Jupiter in Capricorn is on his natal Uranus, which is conjunct Neptune. According to Reinhold Ebertin’s The Combination of Stellar Influences, Uranus/Neptune equals Jupiter means “a strange luck or good fortune, the acceptance of presents without thinking about it.”

Although he was one of 18,000 young people inducted into the Young Communist Union this weekend, Elián was chosen to deliver a speech on June 14 in honor of the 80th anniversary of the birth of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, the Argentinian who was a hero of the Cuban revolution.

I’m going to write more about Elián and his role as an ambassador/pawn in the U.S./Cuba political game. It will be interesting to see how his life turns out. If you have any thoughts about aspects between Elián’s chart and those of Fidel Castro, Guevara, and the Cuban revolution, I’d love to hear them.

Meanwhile, the comments on his AstroDataBank chart make for fascinating reading about an individual who seems destined to live life on the world stage. Perhaps this is the result of a North Node/Venus conjunction in Sagittarius.

Pluto on the World Axis: Welcome to the Inferno

Now, I know it wasn’t 96 degrees in the shade everywhere yesterday, and I’m sure not everyone’s corporate communications network collapsed. However, I’m definitely feeling Pluto as it crosses the world axis at 0 degrees of Capricorn, as it prepares to move back into the fiery sign of Sagittarius from June 13 to Nov. 26.

Civilians may ask: “What’s the world axis?” It’s a good question. The world axis is 0 degrees of the cardinal signs — Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn — and is considered a powerful position. So when planets move through this area, astrologers pay attention.

With Pluto in Cap here for the next few days, I’d say there is a greater than normal chance of a financial crisis or global banking disaster. Of course, we’ve been experiencing that nearly all year, and the stock market seems to have taken it in stride. But this event may be unexpected. Friday the 13th may turn out to be bad luck indeed for some bank presidents.

In terms of Pluto’s retro back into Sag, here’s a good macro take on it: http://www.astrologyinsights.com/events/current.html I’ll have more to say about Pluto’s last pass through Sagittarius in the coming days.

On a micro level, I’ve got Mars at 29 degrees of Sag, and I can already feel the intensity being turned up. Natally, Mars sits in my third house and rules my seventh house of partnerships. We’re suddenly down two people at work just as vacation season is starting and I took on some extra work that is due this Friday.

Oddly enough, Reinhold Ebertin in the classic midpoint guide The Combination of Stellar Influences, says Mars/Pluto can be “piecework,” which is a good description of the kind of publishing jobs I do. With Pluto heading back to my Mars, everybody wants their work done immediately.

A speaker at one astrology conference I attended (can’t remember who or when) said that if he could have only one astrology book, it would be COSI (the acronym for Combination of Stellar Influences), and I’ve come to feel the same way. The version I have has a violet cover, which makes it easy to locate on the bookshelf.

My social life is suddenly heating up now that I’m back on the East Coast, but many of the invitations seem to fall on the same day, putting me in a state of conflict. There’s a good Mars word for you.

All of this is by way of an apology for ignoring my blog, which I’ve worked so hard to cultivate. Maybe you’re dealing with Pluto problems yourself. Certainly, it’s felt as if we were living in the realm of the underworld the last few days on the East Coast, with the heat wave we’ve been having.