Date: Sat, 23 Oct 1999 16:57:41 -0600
From: Juan Antonio Revilla <email@example.com
Subject: Eric Satie
Many of us have probably heard some version of the "Gymnopedies" by Eric Satie, even if we don't know them by name.
When the composer died in Paris in 1925, he was unknown outside of France, or even outside of Paris, and was dismissed as a charlatan by the critics. Today he is considered as a figure of great importance who had a profound influence in Debussy and Ravel --who admired him deeply. He also was a forerunner of minimalism and anticipated the use of jazz materials by Stravinsky.
He was born Alfred Leslie, in Honfleur, May 17, 1866, at 9h according to Gauquelin (in Louis Rodden's ABC):
= 26,11 Taurus
Venus = 16,34 Gemini
ASC. = 2,14 Leo
Whatever you read about him, his eccentricity, wit, humor, and irreverence will stand out. He was very talented at that, besides his musical genius and his radicality (for example, he was a Rosicrucian and a member of the Communist Party)
His chart is complicated and I won't try to figure it out, but I was interested in the possible effect of 1994TA over his Sun. The most obvious is his irreverence and wit, his enormous sense of humor... but I believe this is only the surface. If we try to see inside of him, what do we see?
1- Biographers know of only 1 relationship he ever had, a stormy affair with the painter Suzanne Valadon, who was the girlfriend of another man whom she later married.
2- From 1898 until his death, for the last 27 seven years of his life, he lived alone in a one-room apartment in a Paris suburb, almost as a destitute, and he *never* allowed anyone to enter the apartment (it is said that he had 2 pianos in there, one on top of the other, and that he played them both after arranging the pedals... and also that he stored there a collection of more than 100 umbrellas...)
There is a lot to tell about him, and a lot to laugh about, and a lot to his chart. But I think that the 2 facts mentioned above refer to 1994TA- Pylenor. What do you think of a man who lived like that? What do you see inside of him?
In an effort to penetrate beyond the surface of Satie's irreverence and wit, I suggested looking at 2 facts of his life: that biographers note only one (stormy) relationship he ever had when he was young (27, died at 59), and that he lived as a destitute in a one-room apartment where he allowed no one to enter.
Consider these 2 other details:
<<When a woman fell in love with him and Satie no longer wished to see her he had a police guard posted outside his house. It isn¹t hard to imagine her reaction.>>
<<Satie was also a collector. Once someone asked him what he wished for birthday present. He replied - I saw this beautiful handkerchief the other day.... After his death they found in his wardrobe 84 identical handkerchieves, besides 12 identical velvet costumes and dozens of umbrellas.>>
These things are extremes, and I suggested can help us understand the meaning of his Sun/1994TA conjunction (and yes, his Venus/Asbolus conjunction). Satie was an outsider and a lonewolf all his life.
Art and an artist's life is probably very centaurean in general. Artists are usually very creative individuals for whom is difficult to find a place in their society, and through the forms they create they penetrate beyond the normal cultural boundaries and can speak a transcendental language where the opposites unite. But this activity is often a compensation for extreme lacks and unbalances in the social and psychological level.
I am going to quote from an article found in the Internet ("Why and where Satie composed", Chapter 2 of Robert Orledge's book 'Satie the Composer'.© 1990 Cambridge University Press.). My interest in quoting this is that it may help us understand the inner reality of Satie on the personal side. It will help us understand something of the nature of 1994TA-Pylenor.
I wish someone could comment on these details and what they can tell
us about this man. Just imagine you don't that he is "Satie". What would
you think of a man who lived like this? (remember he died in July 1925)
"To judge from the reports of those who entered it in October 1925, Bibi-la-Purée's occupancy must have been like the Ideal Home Exhibition by comparison! Although Satie's precious paintings were protected by bits of newspapers his images had become invisible beneath the grirne. There were canes, old hats, shoes, wing collars, newspapers, scores and books (with dedications from friends like Péladan, Debussy, Ravel and Cocteau) everywhere The seven identical dun-coloured velvet suits he had bought from a small inheritance in 1895 were piled on top of an empty wardrobe, whose significance in Satie's wierd existence is anyone's guess. Bredel (1982, 79) suggests that Satie may have meditated inside it, or that it was somehow linked to his fascination with magic, ritual, sorcerers and things occult that so often surfaces in his drawings and writings.
"The miracle is that Satie emerged each day immaculately dressed, 'as an actor steps out of the wings' (Shattuck, 1968, 181), and rumour had it that he enjoyed a long-standing affair with a laundress in Montparnasse and did not return to Arcueil as often as he claimed.
"Certainly it is difficult to imagine how he kept his scores and even his sketchbooks so clean if he did indeed work much in Arcueil, and the picture in reality was a sad and far cry from the cosy domesticity of Satie's drawing on a letter to Cocteau in 1917 shown on the cover of this book. The clean table must have been as much of a myth as the caged bird and the cat, though the last two may well have been symbolic. And even here Satie is dreaming rather than composing, perhaps of an ideal existence. For he often referred ironically to his servants and his estates in letters, and despite his extreme left-wing views his vision was of a luxurious, ordered existence. His drawings are full of chateaux and castles, worlds away from his self-imposed prison in Arcueil.
"When Georges Auriol met him in February 1924 and asked if he was still living there, Satie replied (1924, 216): 'Alas yes, my good friend... I am searching in vain in Paris. I need something enormous, you understand... 30 rooms at least. I have so many ideas to accommodate!' While Satie may have joked to the last, there is still a pathetic element in his intransigence; in his inability to realize even the least part of his escapist vision.
"One might say that he only ever travelled to Brussels and Monte Carlo because he was so poor and because his work always came first. But for so progressive a composer there was a curiously insular and conservative streak in Satie's mentality. He hated travel and upheaval as much as he hated the telephone and other modern inventions. He never sought to record his music for posterity (as Debussy and Faure did), he never possessed a radio or listened to one, and he even refused to use the Métro. In short, his essential world idealized the medieval past rather than the present or the future, and he showed an unexpected distrust of modern technology and the conventional concept of progress.
"Only as far as music was concerned did he have a futuristic vision, which more than compensated for his other deficiencies."
He was once criticized for writing music without form, to which he composed "Trois Morceaux en forme de poire" (Three Pear-shaped Pieces)...
Perhaps these qualities can be ascribed to his Moon in Cancer in the 12th. When I think in the "Gymnopedies" and the "Gnosiennes", I feel something other-worldly in them, so pure, so simple, so quiet and charming... They are also slow-paced and contemplative, other-worldly, which may show the influence of Asbolus.
But most of his later compositions did not have the charm of the Gymnopedies and Gnossiennes, which belong to his youth, something that he himself regretted.
His Asbolus/Venus conjunction (orb=1,14) in the 11th house probably had a lot to do with his friendship with painters of the Dada and surrealist movement. However, one cannot disregard his elevated Mars/Neptune conjunction:
Mars = 10,12 Aries
I will try to deal later with the possible meaning of his Sun/1994TA conjunction.