September Astromusings – The French Connection

Daniel Cohn-Bendit_

Daniel Cohn-Bendit

Daniel Cohn-Bendit's natal chart

The May June Events  of 1968 in France
I have always been fascinated with French politics. Having trained as a French teacher I have always been a Francophile. I remember as a uni student being swept up with excitement of the May June Events of 1968 France when the French students took to the streets to protest against the authoritarian system in both the tertiary and secondary education sector, led by the student leader Daniel-Cohn Bendit or Dany Le Rouge as he was affectionately known both for his politics and his shock of red hair. Not surprisingly he is an Aries with his ruling planet Mars squaring rebellious Uranus in the 9th house of higher education. He was born in France of German Jewish parents. The student riots acted as a catalyst for the powerful trade unions to join forces with the students, culminating in wild cat and major general strikes, almost bringing the Gaullist government to its knees. They were heady times as I studied this phenomenon with Vera Sauran our lecturer of French sociology.

Simone de Beauvoir – The Second Sex
It was also around this time that I was inspired by Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex and studied Jean Paul Sartre’s literature on existential philosophy

Simone de Beauvoir receives the Prix Goncourt

Simone de Beauvoir receives the Prix Goncourt

Simone de Beauvoir's natal chart

I recently had occasion to revisit the life and work of Simone de Beauvoir when I saw the French movie, ‘Violette’ about the life of the French author Violette Leduc who met Simone de Beauvoir in 1942. Simone de Beauvoir encouraged Violette Leduc’s writing including her outspoken sexual autobiography and other books which caused a stir in France at that time. I recently gave a powerpoint presentation on Malala Yousafzai who among many other awards was awarded the Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Women’s Freedom. Simone de Beauvoir herself was awarded the coveted Prix Goncourt prize in 1954 for her novel The Mandarins, one of my treasured books.
Simone de Beauvoir has a Scorpio ascendant, Jupiter in Leo in the 9th house of philosophy and publishing, Neptune in Cancer conjunct North Node in 8th opp Uranus, Mercury, Sun, Moon conjunct Mars in Pisces conjunct Saturn in 4th, Hygeiea trine Juno, Pallas Athena is in Virgo in 10th opposite Moon Mars. She was a brilliant philosopher of existentialism. Along with Jean Paul Sartre she presided over avant-garde Parisian intelligentsia. She also has Vesta in Cancer in 8th opposite Uranus and Mercury in Capricorn,  and Pluto is in 7th . She was an advocate of sexual liberation, had an open relationship with Sartre, and encouraged Violette Leduc to publish her outspoken autobiography on female sexuality.

Contemporary French Politics – Dangerous Liaisons – The President, the Journalist and the Actress!
French politics is again in the news with the latest scandal that has erupted with the publication 2 weeks ago of a kiss and tell book Merci Pour Ce Moment by Valérie Trierweiler the former partner of the French president François Hollande. Francois HollandeNormally the French don’t care about the private lives of their political leaders. It is a well known fact that president the late François Mitterand not only had a mistress but also a daughter from that liaison. Mr Mitterrand, who was known as the Sphinx, began his double life long before he was elected president, but the existence of his second family was revealed only near the end of his political career. Less than a year after leaving office in 1995, he died of cancer, an illness he also tried to keep secret. His mistress Anne and their daughter Mazarine Pingeot attended the state funeral along with Mr. Mitterrand’s wife, Danielle, and the Mitterrands’ two sons.

François Hollande's natal chartIn January this year 2014 the magazine Closer revealed that continuing in the age-old tradition of  French presidents, François Hollande had been enjoying a secret affair with the beautiful French actress Julie Gayet 18 years his junior, who has not shied away from full-frontal nudity in her films. Hollande’s natal chart indicates his sense of adventure in his love life with headstrong Mars in Sagittarius in the 7th house of relationships. He has never married any of his long-term partners preferring his freedom. He also has black moon Lilith in Scorpio which would attract dramas in his life. When the scandal of his affair with Julie Gayet erupted transiting Pluto was approaching his north node in his 8th house of sexuality.

On 10 January this year the magazine released photos it said are of Mr Hollande and Ms Gayet arriving separately at a Parisian pied-a-terre, a stone’s throw away from the Elysee Palace. The man pictured is in a Francois Holland cartoonhelmet, but the magazine claims that it is Hollande.

The photos came after months of media speculation that there has been an affair going on, while his relationship with ‘First Girlfriend’ Valérie Trierweiler had reportedly become strained.

Eternal Triangle

The Eternal Triangle

The alleged liaison dangereuse seemed to be very well organised. It has been claimed that Ms Gayet arrived there in her white Citroen, having come from the Paris apartment where she lives with her two children. Thirty minutes later, Mr Hollande’s bodyguard comes to inspect the entry hall of the building. Two or three minutes afterwards, Mr Hollande is allegedly dropped off by an Elysee Palace motorcyclist, and the president spends the night. The same motorcyclist apparently picks him up the next day, after a bodyguard drops off croissants to the happy couple. The ‘scandale’ provided a field day for cartoonists lampooning the president’s amorous antics!

Valerie Trierweiler

Valérie Trierweiler

The revelations came as a complete shock to his then partner Valerie Trierweiler who ended up being hospitalised suffering from  nervous shock. Fast forward 8 months from January to September and France has a best seller flying off the shelves in one day outselling the best seller of five years Fifty Shades of Grey!- Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! The president was completely taken by surprise by the publication of the book by his former partner of 7 years. In her book she tells how she tried to commit suicide on learning of her partner’s infidelity with the beautiful young actress Julie Gayet. It is not surprising to see quite strong connections in Hollande’s and Gayet’s synastry with her planets in Gemini conjuncting Hollande’s Gemini ascendant. It would fit the hallmarks of a passionate clandestine union with his Venus conjunct her Pluto and his Mars opposite her Venus and square her Pluto.

Trierweiler relates how Hollande visited her in hospital to inform her that he was ending their relationship. However, it is not his callous behaviour toward his former partner that has been so damning for Hollande but the slur on his socialist credentials where Trierweiler said he despises the poor to whom she claims her referred to as ‘sans dents’ meaning toothless!

In France, money and the desire to make it are perceived as dirtier than sex. That’s why no one reacted when Hollande said in 2006: “I don’t like the rich. I admit it.” Again, in a speech in 2012 that helped carry him into power: “I like people while others are fascinated by money.”

While in public Hollande has admitted disliking the rich in private, according to his ex, the president mocks the poor and, echoing a 16th-century French proverb, a man without money is like a wolf without teeth, calls them “les sans dents“, the toothless.’Julie Gayet's natal chart


Julie Gayet

No one in France cared much about his trysts with Gayet or his bad behaviour towards Trierweiller but people do care about this. Within minutes of the revelation about his “toothless” remark, social networks were ablaze. Two new Facebook groups emerged, the leftwing Nous les Sans Dents and the right-wing La Revolution des Sans Dents, the tagline of which is: “Better no teeth than no balls.” Nevertheless the ‘sans dents’ have rushed out to buy Trierweiler’s memoir pushing it to the top of Amazon France. Bruno Roger-Petit, political columnist for the left-leaning Le Nouvel Observateur, pointed out last week, with Trierweiler’s book: “The president has been stripped naked. Naked as no president has been before him. The king’s body has been profaned.”Julie Gayet's natal chart

Hollande is France’s most unpopular leader since the Second World War, with a poll taken last Thursday by IFOP for Le Figaro showing that nearly two-thirds of French voters want to see him resign before his term ends in 2017. A quarter of socialist voters said that they want to see the left-wing leader go.

His credibility has been dealt a serious blow by Trierweiler’s book as she paints him as an uncaring leader and a member of the ‘caviar left’, France’s term for ‘champagne socialists’.

Valérie Trierweiler's natal chartWhile Hollande has plummeted in the polls since the publication of Trierweiler’s memoir besmirching his hitherto impeccable socialist credentials but there has also been condemnation of her memoir on all sides of the gender and political divide – men and women, socialist and conservative alike have strongly criticised it. Even Front National leader, Marine Le Pen joined the chorus of condemnation, calling her book “indecent” and “a dishonour to France” Trierweiler’s chart reveals potential challenges in love and relationships with a fixed T square from Venus in Aquarius in the 7th house squaring Neptune in Scorpio in the 4th opposite Jupiter in Taurus in the 10th house. It is interesting to note that transiting Jupiter, the planet of publishing, was exactly conjunct her ascendant when her book was published.

Segolene Royal 1st woman nominated for presidentPrime Minster Manuel Valls as well as Ségolène Royal, Hollande’s partner for 30 years and mother of his four children before he left her for Trierweiler, hit the airwaves in defence of her former partner.

“What nonsense”, protested Ségolène Royal, declaring that Hollande’s record in regional politics demonstrated his concern for the most vulnerable in society. It was Ségolène Royal, the president’s long-term partner who threw her hat into the ring and ran for the presidency in 2007 only to be beaten by Nicolas Sarkozy. However, she did gain kudos for being the first French woman nominated for the Presidency. One of her economic advisors during her presidential campaign was none other than the French economist, Thomas Piketty whose recently published tome entitled Capital in the Twenty-First Century has taken the world by storm being so in tune with the zeitgeist. Piketty was born on May 7, 1971, in the Parisian suburb of Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine. It is interesting to note that was another Taurean born on May 5 1818 and that was Karl Marx, the German philosopher, who wrote the seminal book Das Capital. Piketty addresses some of Marx’s main theories in his book whose title Capital defers to his predecessor. At the age of 22, Piketty was awarded his Ph.D. for a thesis on wealth redistribution, which he wrote at the EHESS and the London School of Economics.

Karl Marx &  Thomas Piketty

Karl Marx & Thomas Piketty

After earning his PhD, Piketty taught from 1993 to 1995 as an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1995, he joined the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) as a researcher, and in 2000 he became professor (directeur d’études) at EHESS. Piketty won the 2002 prize for best young economist in France and is currently Professor at the Paris School of Economics. He is in his midlife transition having his Uranus opposition Uranus this year.


Thomas Piketty

I bought Thomas Piketty’s book last week which I am in the process of reading. I have not yet finished reading it but I have been able to understand the thrust of his argument. His books marks a paradigm shift through which we will view economics and the capitalist society in the 21st century. With an astronomical amount of data including references to literature and sociology he presents a wholistic view of society. He puts paid to the concept of ‘trickle down economics’ and while he wrestles with the same issues that preoccupied his predecessor Karl Marx he draws different conclusions not envisaging an apocalyptic outcome. He equally dismisses the Kuznets thesis as a fairytale. He pleads for the need to address the increasing inequality where the rich are becoming richer and the poor are becoming poorer. While he is still in favour of capitalism he does suggest measures such as global taxes on the wealthy to curb the increasing trend toward inequality and patrimonial capitalism where the concentration of wealth will be increasingly in the hands of wealthy dynasties. His book is a timely warning if we wish to prevent serious social disruption with an increasing under class such as has occurred in USA. This is a major preoccupation with which developed countries have been concerned. We have witnessed the phenomena of Occupy Wall St movement. Our recent ideologically driven federal budget measures, is a blatant attempt at social engineering here in Australia by putting more of the burden on the poor and vulnerable and ignoring the contribution that the corporate sector should make. It has been hotly contested and branded as being unfair and divisive with the simplistic slogans of ‘lifters’ and ‘leaners’ mouthed by the LNP. I would make Piketty’s book compulsory reading for our all our federal politicians who curry the favour of the wealthy at the expense of the poor.

Thomas Piketty's natal chartLooking at Piketty’s chart it is not surprising to see that he has the Sun in the sign of Taurus which rules wealth and possessions. He also has Venus, the ruler of his sun sign, conjunct his Midheaven. Having serious Saturn in Taurus trining Pluto in Virgo would give him the staying power to do the painstaking research compiling data of over two centuries for his book. With 4 planets in the 11th house and Mars conjunct Vesta in Aquarius in the 8th house and the North Node in Aquarius he would be visionary, having a unique approach to his research and a strong humanitarian urge to improve the lot of humanity. Marx also has a concentration of Taurus in his chart with the North Node, Sun, Moon and Venus all in Taurus.Karl Marx's natal chart




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