SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS
The astrological role of Hylonome and 1999TD10
by Juan Antonio Revilla

http://www.expreso.co.cr/centaurs/posts/bio/cedars.html


Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2003 18:18:18 -0600
Subject: [Centaurs] 1999TD10: Snow Falling on Cedars

David Guterson's first novel, "Snow Falling on Cedars", won the 1995 PEN/Faulkner Award and the American Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award, and in 1999 it was made into a beautiful, poetic movie premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, on 12 Sep 1999, directed by Scott Hicks starring Ethan Hawke. The film was nominated for an Oscar in 2000 and received numerous awards.

I haven't read the book. The film, all very slow and dark, is one of the most poetic and moving I have seen.

David Guterson was born May 4, 1956:

Sun (at 12h UT) = 13,59 Taurus
TD10 = 15,22 Scorpio

There is an interesting reference to the (good) influence of his father in the Internet biographies of him, and this relationship with the father is reiterated in the story he wrote as well as in the movie. I believe we have here a very good example of TD10 working creatively, despite the alienation and the pain it describes. I will analyze this later with material from the movie and the interviews found in the Web. The Japanese American Internment during WWII, which is at the heart of the story, is probably also a theme strongly related to TD10.

Scott Hicks, the director, was born March 4, 1953:

Sun = 13,37 Pisces
TD10 = 14,23 Scorpio

Ethan Hawke was born Nov 6, 1970:

Sun = 13,40 Scorpio
Jupiter = 15,52 Scorpio

So Ethan practically incarnates the "TD10 vision" of both the writer of the book and the director of the film.

At the time of the premiere, 12 Sep 1999

TD10 = 26,24 Pisces
Ethan Hawke's natal TD10 = 26,34 Scorpio

The Book was first published in hardcover in September 1994:

http://www.bookbrowse.com/index.cfm?page=title&titleID=340

transiting Jupiter 30 Sep 1994 = 14,54 Scorpio

Juan

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Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2003 00:42:37 -0600
Subject: [Centaurs] 1999TD10: Snow Falling on Cedars, 2

Consider the following summary of the book by Kristen Dorsey, found in Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/067976402X/002-6195128-0461618?v=glance

<<The novel "Snow Falling on Cedars" opens in the year 1954, thirteen years after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Kabuo Miyamoto, a Japanese American is on trial for the murder of a local fisherman, Carl Heine. Ishmael, a local reporter for the San Piedro Times is sitting in the audience glancing at Kabuo's wife, Hatsue. Throughout the entire trial, there are flashbacks of Ishmael's relationship with Hatsue. They grew up together and eventually fell in love. However, because of the war, they are separated and forced apart. Hatsue moves on, but Ishmael stays in love with her to the present day trial. This novel is very well written and incredibly detailed. It is a combination of a murder mystery, romance, and war story. It allows us to understand what Japanese Americans went through during World War II. Because of all the description, I was actually able to feel what they were feeling, and understand what it was like to live during that time.>>

a detailed summary of the plot is found here, where it is said that the book opens (and the movie) with the trial, on December 6, 1954:

      http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/cedars/summary.html

When writing my past post, I had thought: "Oh! This is a Venus/Hylonome story..."

Now, looking at the positions of this day (6 Dec 1954, using 12h U.T. just for reference), I was stunned:

Venus = 14,40 Scorpio, stationary going direct
Hylonome = 14,36 Taurus
TD10 = 14,59 Scorpio

which is an extremely beautiful confirmation of the meaning of both Hylonome and TD10...!

Juan

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Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2003 07:08:09 -0600
Subject: [Centaurs] Snow Falling on Cedars, 3: Hylonome

I saw the movie again yesterday, so maybe I should attempt at least a brief astrological comment. On the movie, as well as on the original novel, there is a lot of material on the web, enough to make an in-depth analysis.

Astrologically, the most direct testimony is the one given by the Dec 6 1954 date, when the story begins, at the opening of the trial for murder against Hatsue's husband. Venus stationary going direct in exact conjunction with TD10 is a perfect description of Ishmael (Ethan Hawke), whose character is central in the story. He has been embittered by the War, where he lost an arm, but also --or mainly-- by Hatsue's love rejection. He is still in love with Hatsue at the time of the trial, unable to let go the past, despite the fact that Hatsue married years ago just before the War had started.

They had grown up together and became something like "twin-souls" in their early teens, discovering love and sensuality in a hollow cedar tree where they liked to go and isolate themselves from the racial and cultural prejudices that menaced to keep them apart. But after Pearl Harbor, the racial hatred and cultural prejudices became stronger than their personal desire to be together. Hatsue adapted to the situation, since even before she had begun to let go their relationship due to the incompatibility with her (Japanese) family tradition, that allowed her no space or choice for such an inter-racial relationship.

Their relationship is Hylonomian, "made in heaven", lived as a sort of primordial or utopian Garden of Eden, away from the pressures of the social reality surrounding them. As such it is intrinsically "sad", the lovers are destined for separation. This is shown in the Venus/Hylonome opposition, showing the ambivalence of Ishmael, who is still longing for his Lost Paradise with Hatsue 13 years after she terminated their relationship. Due to the tabus of her culture, Hatsue, now married, cannot give Ishmael a last good-bye embrace, which he is asking for in order to let go his love for her.

Venus retrograde represents Ishmael's yearning for what he lost, epitomized by his missing arm. A part of his manhood has been severed fighting the Japanese during the War, as a metaphor of a part of him that Hatsue took away by refusing to hold him in that last loving embrace he needs to go on with his life. As Venus turns stationary during the trial, he flashes back in time and relives their moments together and their separation. He is deeply embittered, with no life of his own, continuing the work of his father as a journalist in the community, but as a cynical observer only, without the commitment of his father --who has passed away-- in favour of his Japanese neighbors and friends.

But Ishmael's reporting curiosity leads him alone to a crucial piece of evidence that would free Hatsue's husband from a certain conviction for murder. He conceals that evidence fighting inside of himself with his bitterness, and it is not until the trial has ended when he finally decides to show the evidence to the Police and to the Judge. After the jury had decided "guilty", the Judge, seeing the evidence, revokes the sentence and sets Hatsue's husband free. By giving up Hatsue in his heart after so many years of bitterness, he grants her for the first time the possibility of happiness and of having an independent life. Hatsue, finally, gives him a big embrace in gratitude. Ishmael, in deep pain but strong in his conviction, hugs her back tenderly as much as he can with his only arm, and walks away alone in the dense atmosphere of winter.

This "giving up the past" of Ishmael, finally deciding during the trial to face life once more after many years, is beautifully represented by Venus stationary turning direct the day the trial starts. He is Venus, totally identified with his object of love, without a life of his own, hurt and vulnerable, in need of Hatsue's love. Hylonome in opposition is his yearning for the paradise he had lost, and also his final surrender and forgiveness.

In my next message, I will deal with the very focal meaning of TD10 in the story, or in the movie at least.

Juan

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Date: Wed, 05 May 2004 07:47:04 -0600
Subject: [Centaurs] Snow Falling on Cedars, 4: TD10 - a

In the last post, I showed how Hylonome described the romantic relationship which is the axis of the story, and I also suggested that this story should help us understand the positive aspects of 1999TD10.

The correct way of saying this would be: "the positive or creative way of dealing with TD10"

In my description of their "hylonomian" relationship which I wrote on that occasion, I have now included "[TD10]" in brackets whenever I think its role is evident

"Astrologically, the most direct testimony is the one given by the Dec 6 1954 date, when the story begins, at the opening of the trial for murder [TD10] against Hatsue's husband. Venus stationary going direct in exact conjunction with TD10 is a perfect description of Ishmael (Ethan Hawke),  whose character is central in the story. He has been embittered by the War [TD10], where he lost an arm, but also --or mainly-- by Hatsue's love rejection [TD10]. He is still in love with Hatsue at the time of the trial, unable to let go the past, despite the fact that Hatsue married years ago just before the War had started.

"They had grown up together and became something like "twin-souls" in their early teens, discovering love and sensuality in a hollow cedar tree where they liked to go and isolate themselves from the racial and cultural prejudices that menaced to keep them apart [TD10]. But after Pearl Harbor, the racial hatred and cultural prejudices became stronger [TD10] than their personal desire to be together. Hatsue adapted to the situation, since even before she had begun to let go their relationship due to the incompatibility [TD10] with her (Japanese) family tradition, that allowed her no space or choice for such an inter-racial relationship [TD10].

"Their relationship is Hylonomian, "made in heaven", lived as a sort of primordial or utopian Garden of Eden, away from the pressures of the social reality surrounding them. As such it is intrinsically "sad", the lovers are destined for separation. This is shown in the Venus/Hylonome opposition, showing the ambivalence of Ishmael, who is still longing for his Lost Paradise with Hatsue 13 years after she terminated their relationship. Due to the tabus of her culture [TD10], Hatsue, now married, cannot give Ishmael a last good-bye embrace, which he is asking for in order to let go his love for her.

"Venus retrograde represents Ishmael's yearning for what he lost, epitomized by his missing arm. A part of his manhood has been severed [TD10] fighting the Japanese during the War, as a metaphor of a part of him that Hatsue took away by refusing to hold him in that last loving embrace he needs to go on with his life. As Venus turns stationary during the trial, he flashes back in time and relives their moments together and their separation. He is deeply embittered, with no life of his own, continuing the work of his father [TD10] as a journalist in the community, but as a cynical observer only [TD10], without the commitment of his father --who has passed away-- in favour of his Japanese neighbors and friends.

"But Ishmael's reporting curiosity leads him alone to a crucial piece of evidence that would free Hatsue's husband from a certain conviction for murder [TD10]. He conceals that evidence fighting inside of himself with his bitterness [TD10], and it is not until the trial has ended when he finally decides to show the evidence to the Police and to the Judge. After the jury had decided "guilty", the Judge, seeing the evidence, revokes the sentence and sets Hatsue's husband free. By giving up Hatsue in his heart after so many years of bitterness, he grants her for the first time the possibility of happiness and of having an independent life. Hatsue, finally, gives him a big embrace in gratitude. Ishmael, in deep pain but strong in his conviction, hugs her back tenderly as much as he can with his only arm, and walks away alone in the dense atmosphere of winter.

"This "giving up the past" of Ishmael, finally deciding during the trial to face life once more after many years, is beautifully represented by Venus stationary turning direct the day the trial starts. He is Venus, totally identified with his object of love, without a life of his own, hurt and vulnerable, in need of Hatsue's love. Hylonome in opposition is his yearning for the paradise he had lost, and also his final surrender and forgiveness."

Here ends my description written Oct 13 2003. Now let's see what seem to be the TD10 --or more accurately the Sun/TD10-- parts of it:

- trial for murder
- embittered by the War
- love rejection
- racial and cultural prejudices that keep them apart
- racial hatred and cultural prejudices became stronger
- incompatibility
- no space nor choice for such an inter-racial relationship
- the tabus of her culture
- his manhood has been severed
- deeply embittered, with no life of his own, continuing the work of his father
- as a cynical observer only
- certain conviction for murder
- fighting inside of himself with his bitterness

In future posts I will comment each of these in detail.

Juan

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Date: Wed, 05 May 2004 07:59:44 -0600
Subject: [Centaurs] Snow Falling on Cedars, 4: TD10 - b

Now I want to quote the following analysis from the publisher, Barnes and Noble, found in their "SparkNotes" site and written by Selena Ward and Owen Wozniak:

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/cedars/themes.html

This will provide further material on TD10 that I think complements and enriches my previous analysis.

[BEGIN QUOTE]
-----------------------------------------------------
The Struggle Between Free Will and Chance

Guterson uses words such as mystery, fate, accident, happenstance, and coincidence to describe the inhuman, uncontrollable, and unknowable forces that govern the universe.  Indeed, many events in the world of Snow Falling on Cedars simply happen, causelessly and unpredictably.  Carl Heine dies because a freighter happens to pass by his boat at the exact time that he is atop his mast, at his most vulnerable.  Ishmael happens to survive the storming of Betio while almost everyone else in his platoon dies.  The lighthouse radioman, who would have been able to prove that Kabuo was innocent of murdering Carl, happens to be transferred out of San Piedro the morning after Carl’s death.

These events, like the motions of the storm and the sea, happen for no reason and without human control.  The characters in the novel continuously struggle to exert their own will against such impersonal and random forces.  This struggle sometimes entails learning to accept what they cannot change: Ishmael, for instance, must accept that his arm has been lost in the war and that Hatsue does not love him.  Sometimes, however, circumstances that appear inevitable and unchangeable­prejudice or war, for example­are the result of human action.  Guterson suggests that people can and should act to resist these things.  Nels decries prejudice in the courtroom, and Arthur does the same in his newspaper.  Kabuo assists Carl in an emergency despite having every reason to disregard him.  The challenge facing people, Guterson suggests, is learning to recognize the difference between what is human and therefore changeable and what is inhuman and therefore unchangeable.  Drawing on love, compassion, courage, reason, and forgiveness, individuals and societies can and must decide as much of their own fate as they can.

The Cyclical Nature of Prejudice

Snow Falling on Cedars reads like a map of prejudice, clearly showing the fault lines between groups and individuals.  Prejudice is pervasive on San Piedro; whites resent and fear the Japanese immigrants, but reap economic profit from the Japanese-American residents’ discipline and hard work.  Envy, mistrust, and greed run rampant as the island’s whites round up, imprison, and exile their Japanese neighbors when the government gives its internment order.  Yet the Japanese-Americans are not simply victims; in some ways, they choose to maintain their separateness, partly out of a sense of superiority.  Fujiko, for instance, has contempt for whites and for American culture in general.  Likewise, Kabuo distrusts his white neighbors so much that he refuses to cooperate with Art Moran’s investigation of Carl’s death.

Guterson implies that prejudice runs in such cycles, with each biased action and attitude reinforcing and generating new prejudice.  Characters who are surrounded by such resentments and biases start to internalize them, allowing them to seep into other parts of their life.  Ishmael, for instance, learns to hate the Japanese during World War II because he hates Hatsue for having rejected him.  Carl likewise hates the Japanese because the war takes him from his beloved farm.

Additionally, we see that such prejudices in the novel are not limited to differences in ethnicity.  The San Piedro fishermen mistrust Ishmael because he is an intellectual and makes a living by using words rather than his hands.  Such prejudices remain buried beneath the surface of the seemingly placid community on the island, but they have the potential to erupt with violent consequences.  The struggle to identify these prejudices in public and in private is a central challenge for the characters of Snow Falling on Cedars.

The Limits of Knowledge

Ishmael’s argument with his mother, Helen, illustrates the limits of knowledge in the novel.  While Ishmael lies and argues that the facts show Kabuo is guilty, Helen wonders if such facts are ever enough to justify condemning a man.  Ishmael resists his mother’s argument despite his knowledge that the case against Kabuo is dangerously incomplete and circumstantial.

Guterson suggests that facts and knowledge are not the same thing.  When the young Ishmael tells his father that a newspaper should report only facts, Arthur responds by asking his son, “Which facts?” Ishmael ultimately asks the same question when he urges Art Moran to search Carl’s boat a second time.  As the novel progresses and we learn more about Carl’s death, we realize that the facts of the case are never complete.  The facts remain important, however, because they are often the only resource we have in making any judgment.  As individuals and as a community, the characters in Snow Falling on Cedars must use reason when making decisions that could hurt others: weighing Kabuo’s guilt or innocence, for example, or sitting idly by as the island’s Japanese residents are rounded up and put in prison.  In every decision, human beings must rely on facts that are inevitably incomplete.  We must accept that our knowledge is limited and must rely on our hearts and our reason to make the right decisions.

-----------------------------------------------------
[END QUOTE]

The complete, very detailed analysis, summary, and description of the novel can be downloaded here:

http://pdf.sparknotes.com/lit/cedars.pdf

Juan

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Date: Thu, 06 May 2004 08:08:41 -0600
Subject: [Centaurs] Snow Falling on Cedars, 4: TD10 - c

I will try now to synthesize the "themes" presented by War and Wozniak with TD10 in mind, or to extract those parts which I think relate to TD10:

... mystery, fate, accident, happenstance, and coincidence ... the inhuman, uncontrollable, and unknowable forces that govern the universe.

The point here is not these forces in themselves, which would apply to any transneptunian, but their direct intervention in humans' personal lives (the fate, etc.), dramatically described by the orbital gesture of TD10:

a-) coming from "the beyond" (the "forces that govern the universe") up to Saturn.
b-) its relatively very low inclination (little space for bargaining, rigidity, compulsiveness)

These events, like the motions of the storm and the sea, happen for no reason and without human control.  The characters in the novel continuously struggle to exert their own will against such impersonal and random forces.

Here we see the action of the Sun. Later, or ultimately, Guterson's novel (and film) could be seen as the answer of the Sun to the "death" or the wall of alienation signified by TD10.

... This struggle sometimes entails learning to accept what they cannot change:

Here is the Sun: struggle, learning (growing, strengthening your spiritual self)... remember the suggestion was that Guterson's story exemplifies the positive way of dealing with TD10.

Ishmael, for instance, must accept that his arm has been lost in the war and that Hatsue does not love him.

Both things are expressions of each other, and both signify death or severance, separation.  Both are "fateful" happenstances that menace to drown or suffocate the Sun. For Ishmael, they are anti-Sun, anti-life.  Both alienate him from life, submerging him in chronic depression and pain.

Sometimes, however, circumstances that appear inevitable and unchangeable­prejudice or war, for example­are the result of human action.  Guterson suggests that people can and should act to resist these things.  Nels decries prejudice in the courtroom, and Arthur does the same in his newspaper.  Kabuo assists Carl in an emergency despite having every reason to disregard him.  The challenge facing people, Guterson suggests, is learning to recognize the difference between what is human and therefore changeable and what is inhuman and therefore unchangeable.  Drawing on love, compassion, courage, reason, and forgiveness, individuals and societies can and must decide as much of their own fate as they can.

This paragraph describes the action of the Sun involved with TD10.  Racial prejudice, death, war, unrequited love, depression [death, alienation] are not inevitable and individuals have the power to change them.  The above words are a reminder for the politicians responsible of the Israel/Palestine catastrophe (Sun/TD10), but unfortunately they are all deaf and do exactly the opposite.  The crumbling of the Berlin Wall (also Sun/TD10) should be an example.of what happens when the Sun "awakens" and responds to the challenge of TD10.

... a map of prejudice, clearly showing the fault lines between groups and individuals.

This now is "the wall": Arabs and Jews, or Islam and "the West", communism and democracy, men and women, old and young, all alienated from each other.

Guterson implies that prejudice runs in such cycles, with each biased action and attitude reinforcing and generating new prejudice.  Characters who are surrounded by such resentments and biases start to internalize them, allowing them to seep into other parts of their life.  Ishmael, for instance, learns to hate the Japanese during World War II because he hates Hatsue for having rejected him.  Carl likewise hates the Japanese because the war takes him from his beloved farm...

Israel and Palestine...the internalization of resentment and bias that continues through whole generations, the "cycles of prejudice" that alienate men from each other and from themselves...

Additionally, we see that such prejudices in the novel are not limited to differences in ethnicity.  The San Piedro fishermen mistrust Ishmael because he is an intellectual and makes a living by using words rather than his hands.  Such prejudices remain buried beneath the surface of the seemingly placid community on the island, but they have the potential to erupt with violent consequences.  The struggle to identify these prejudices in public and in private is a central challenge for the characters of Snow Falling on Cedars.

Again, we see Guterson's way of handling TD10 in a creative way, through "the struggle to identify these prejudices in public and in private"

Guterson suggests that facts and knowledge are not the same thing. When the young Ishmael tells his father that a newspaper should report only facts, Arthur responds by asking his son, “Which facts?”...
 ... As individuals and as a community, the characters in Snow Falling on Cedars must use reason when making decisions that could hurt others: weighing Kabuo’s guilt or innocence, for example, or sitting idly by as the island’s Japanese residents are rounded up and put in prison.  In every decision, human beings must rely on facts that are inevitably incomplete.  We must accept that our knowledge is limited and must rely on our hearts and our reason to make the right decisions.

We discussed this once in this forum, when mention was made of "the objectivity" of facts (which facts are selected, which are ignored) present in the local newspapers.  This is also an important clue to the still unsolved --for me-- relationship of (Sun/)TD10 with the Phenomenology of Edmund Husserl.

Juan

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Date: Thu, 06 May 2004 09:11:03 -0600
Subject: Re: [Centaurs] Snow Falling on Cedars, 4: TD10 - c

[...]

... I feel TD10 is more radical... For example, one can speak of a "misunderstanding" between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, but TD10 probably describes the situation where they alienate from each other completely, without cooperation, working by themselves and the result is psychosis or schizophrenia. I recall the theory of "the bicameral mind", which ascribes this separation to ancient peoples and sees it as the basis of conversations with God or with the gods.

I still have to write a couple of additional posts and try to refine the keywords.

Juan

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Date: Fri, 07 May 2004 12:37:26 -0600
Subject: [Centaurs] Snow Falling on Cedars, 4: TD10 - d

With all the many TD10 cases analyzed previously in mind, I comment my notes:

- trial for murder,
- certain conviction for murder
- the tabus of her culture

The conviction, but also the convict. Privation of liberty... the death sentence... or death itself in the symbolical sense, but especially fratricide, parricide, etc., death in the family, genocide... The alleged murder which happens to be an accident is transposed and becomes also the "murder" at Pearl Harbor. But there is also "the murder of love", the cultural tabus that sentence love to death.

- embittered by the War, fighting inside of himself with his bitterness
- deeply embittered, with no life of his own, continuing the work of his father
- as a cynical observer only

Not war itself, but the fruits of war: hate, prejudice, death of the father or of the children, passed on from generation to generation. As I mentioned in my previous analysis, the film (and presumable, the novel) reinforces the role of the father in the spiritual sense (Ishmael's father, his role in the community as the owner and writer of the morning paper), and also the massive, heavy blow of oppression suffered by the Japanese-American who lost their property and their freedom.

- love rejection
- his manhood has been severed (lost his arm)
- incompatibility

This is another aspect of death. Love rejected is a blow to the Sun, a deep wound, a denial of what comes from the depths of ourselves and defines our worth as individuals. Depression, isolation. I try to touch the other person's heart, but I find myself against a wall. I am not wanted. The theme of the father can also reappear: I am not wanted by my father, or by my mother from the womb: I am born dead. Unrequited love is similar because it is born dead.

- racial and cultural prejudices that keep them apart
- racial hatred and cultural prejudices became stronger
- no space nor choice for such an inter-racial relationship

All the walls again. The walls that separate: the wall of the body, of language, or religion, the wall of money, of class, of external appearance, of culture or beliefs... "the wall between the species", etc. In terms of TD10, as I have mentioned, the idea is a "severance" wall. It is not simply "prejudice" but alienation, something that produces antagonism between one side of the wall and the other.

In the case of Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli "traitor", for example, we have Mercury/TD10. I feel that what I have said here is enough to understand what it means. I can think, for example:

- his imprisonment, the efforts of the Isreali government to silence him, do "drown and suffocate" him
- his efforts in spying, documenting, denouncing and publishing Israel's wmd
- the wmd themselves (TD10=death), with which he is identified through his Mercury

etc.

Juan



   
 
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